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Conservative forces push to frustrate same-sex marriage legislation

Senator Louise Pratt joined the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire to sing outside Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 16 August 2017. Fedpol. Photo: Andrew Meares MPs in favour of same-sex marriage reform are bracing for “a blizzard of amendments”, or a rival bill, from Christian conservatives intent on delaying the legalisation until they have all the safeguards for religious freedom they deem necessary.
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Conservatives believe the Parliament should ensure businessess and individuals who refuse services to same-sex couples on religious grounds are not exposed to adverse legal consequences under any change to the Marriage Act.

The looming progressive versus conservative battle is the next headache for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was criticised for ordering the $122 million protracted postal poll, while reassuring voters their verdict would be respected if they backed change by Parliament expediting the matter before Christmas.

With the n Bureau of Statistics reporting that nearly eight in 10 ns returned their forms, pessimistic “no” campaigners have confirmed they will insist on major changes to the way same-sex marriage is introduced if the “yes” vote gets up – as expected – when results are announced next Wednesday.

At present the only proposed same-sex marriage legislation on the table is the private member’s bill drafted by Liberal senator Dean Smith. This bill has been through the committee process and is ready to go.

But prominent conservative “no” MPs say this bill fails to provide sufficient religious exemptions for businesses, individuals and schools, and that it does not guarantee freedom of speech to conscientious objectors.

“In the event of ‘yes’ vote, the Dean Smith bill is an insufficient basis to start the conversation,” conservative Liberal senator Eric Abetz told Fairfax Media.

“While it would be desirable to have the matter resolved by Christmas, it is an artificial deadline in relation to this matter.

“It’s more important to get this right, rather than rushed.”

One MP said the Dean Smith bill was “exceptionally narrow”, and conservative sources confirmed a rival bill is being drafted by a group of right-wing MPs.

Mr Turnbull has pledged that in the event of a “yes” result, the government would “facilitate” the passage of a private members’ bill but has not said which one.

There are only two parliamentary sitting weeks left this year in which to legislate gay marriage.

Former Abbott government minister Kevin Andrews has argued Senator Smith’s proposed legislation is silent on crucial protections.

“The Dean Smith bill has virtually no protection for religion and belief in its terms,” he said.

“It’s very narrow, it doesn’t even apply to all marriage celebrants, and it only applies to the wedding ceremony itself.”

Education Minister Simon Birmingham on Thursday issued a clear warning to conservatives angling to take control of the parliamentary process.

“It would be illogical and inconsistent with past practice for those who oppose change who seek to be the authors of a bill for that change,” he said.

Pro-gay marriage LNP MP Warren Entsch said the Dean Smith bill had already been scrutinised and should be introduced without delay if the “yes” vote was successful.

If conservative MPs wanted to amend it, they could “test the numbers on the floor of the house”.

“Let’s do what we’re paid to do. Let’s put the bloody legislation through without any further delay,” Mr Entsch said.

“I am confident the vote will go through in the last few weeks. It has to, it has to. I will not go into Christmas without it. There have been commitments made.”

Another pro-change MP told Fairfax Media it would be “a bit rich” if the people who have campaigned furiously against the change, “decisively lost the argument with voters, but still expected to write the bill”.

Progressives also complain that the “no” case focused on “everything but same-sex-marriage” during the postal survey campaign period and, having seen their arguments rejected by voters, unreasonably demand that the Parliament take up the cause.

n Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi has linked the upcoming parliamentary debate to the dual citizenship crisis, saying instead of waving through the change, the Parliament should be prorogued.

“I don’t want to lose it with people in the Parliament who shouldn’t be there,” he said, as more MPs suspected of dual citizenship emerged on Thursday.

But in the wake of what is tipped to be strong public support, conservatives trying to drag debate into 2018 will have their own factional leaders to contend with, as well as the bulk of Coalition MPs who have promised to respect the postal survey outcome.

Senior ministers including prominent social conservatives like Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Treasurer Scott Morrison, and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, have told colleagues they want the marriage law settled by the Parliament this year.

They believe any manoeuvres seen as creating unnecessary delays following a decisive public vote for change would leave ns feeling cheated.

Mr Dutton and Senator Cormann, key members of Mr Turnbull’s Praetorian Guard, also believe the same-sex marriage issue has dogged the government for long enough, causing disproportionate damage to party room unity, and attracting more attention than it is worth.

Along with Mr Morrison, they are expected to use their influence within the party’s right wing to ensure the change is enacted before Christmas.


17/12/2018 0

Why Postecoglou should fear playoff venue

If the Hondurans have it their way on Friday, they could spend the evening dancing on a grave.
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The apprehension of n fans over the venue for the away leg of the World Cup play-off against Honduras appears well-founded: the Socceroos are walking into a stadium locals have proudly christened “La Tumba”, or “The Tomb”, thanks to its reputation as the final resting place for the ambitions of a string of visiting overseas coaches.

While the warm and welcoming people of San Pedro Sula have struggled to change negative perceptions of their city, the intimidating reputation of Estadio Olimpico is one they revel in. They go to great lengths to accommodate foreigners but proudly boast their stadium will chew up visiting teams and spit out their coaches.

The heat, humidity, passionate fans and hostile atmosphere make La Tumba one of the most difficult places to play in international football. In the short time it has been the permanent home of Honduras, four coaches have been sacked directly after defeats at the Estadio Olimpico.

The first casualty was Rene Simoes after Jamaica lost there to Honduras in 2008. Sven Goran Eriksson’s tenure with Mexico came at an abrupt end in San Pedro Sula, while Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart was twice sacked at the venue, once with Canada and another with his native country. Indirectly, they also claim responsibility for last month’s sacking of Bruce Arena from USA after Honduras eliminated the Americans by beating Mexico at the Olimpico.

It wasn’t until the qualification process for the 2010 World Cup that the venue was discussed as a primary base for the Honduran national team. At the start of that campaign, newly-appointed Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda asked his players to choose their permanent home venue. According to Diego Paz, editor of Diez, Honduras’ daily sports newspaper, those players changed the fate of the national team.

“Most of the players are from the north side of the country. That’s where the best players are born, maybe more than half the players in the national league are from this side,” he said. “They could get a climate advantage and the players wanted to play close to their people, their family and their friends.”

A team dominated by the minorities of the north refused to play in the capital, Tegucigalpa. The football-specific Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula was ruled out, deemed too exclusive with its capacity of just 18,000 and potentially unsafe. The choice of Estadio Olimpico, the 40,000-seater athletics venue built for the 1997 Central American Games, was not well received by all.

Graveyard: Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto celebrates after Honduras’ 3-2 victory over Mexico last month, which eliminated the USA and led to the sacking of their coach, Bruce Arena.

Resting at the foot of the Sierra Merendon mountain ranges, the Estadio Olimpico sits in a natural catchment of rain and humidity. Combined with the searing tropical heat, the south of the city makes for a nightmare venue for any elite athletes. With limited shade and shelter, it wasn’t initially popular with the fans either, but that soon changed.

“People started liking it because of the results they were getting,” Paz said.

Two years later, Honduras qualified for their first World Cup in 28 years and just the second in the country’s history. A national holiday was declared on October 15, 2009, the day after they beat arch rivals El Salvador to qualify for South Africa. The party continued four years later when Honduras reached the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, making it two from two since moving to the Olimpico.

The stadium was decorated in the team’s colours, while a designer noticed the structure at the entrance formed a giant “H” and painted it blue. It was during that period of Honduran regional dominance when the heads began to roll.

“They started calling it the home of the national team and then ‘La Tumba de los tecnicos’ – ‘The Tomb of the Coaches’,” Paz said.

The success of Honduras was not measured just by World Cup appearances but also by the scalps of coaches sacked by their own federations after failures in San Pedro Sula.

Much of that had to do with the local fans. Some Hondurans say that football has given the country its deepest pain as well as its greatest joy. Considering a football game started a war with El Salvador, it is not much of an exaggeration.

But in the Estadio Olimpico the people began to feel an ownership of their national team and stadium. When it’s not used by Honduras, it’s open to the public specifically for community and youth programs. It has connected the team with its people, and in San Pedro Sula football takes an importance above nearly everything.

“Right now, we have national elections in 19 days and nobody is speaking about who is going to be the next president, they’re talking about who is qualifying for Russia 2018,” Paz said. “It makes you feel proud of what you are, what you represent – being Honduran. We want to see our five-star flag in Russia.”

The “house full” sign for the match against the Socceroos officially went up on Tuesday, yet scalpers continue to flood the streets of San Pedro Sula waving tickets at motorists. When on sale via legal outlets, the cheapest seats were sold for around $26 – a quarter of the weekly wage of the average Honduran. That price soared on the black market.

After sacrificing so much, the normally generous and hospitable Hondurans break character for 90 minutes inside the stadium.

Intimidating: Police use shields to protect Panamanian Abdiel Arroyo from missiles thrown from the stands as he leaves the field at the Estadio Olimpico.

“I’ve seen like 25 cups of beer rain down on our guys when they’re trying to take a corner. God bless the running track,” USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan told The Players’ Tribune.

“The fans could look right down into our locker room from street level. The next thing we knew, people were kicking through the windows and trying to throw stuff down at us. It was pandemonium, but I have to say, it was also a pretty great adrenaline rush.”

A lack of faith in their current coach, Jose Luis Pinto, and concerns over a rare long-haul trip to have sown doubt in the minds of many fans over Honduras’ chances of making it to Russia. But the locals’ confidence in La Tumbaand its daunting reputation is undiminished.

“It’s very difficult,” Honduras most decorated player, David Suazo, said about the play-off against . “But what I do know is that Honduras has to be respected in San Pedro Sula.”

A concrete stadium will vibrate as nearly 40,000 jump in unison. The noise of the drums, horns, whistles and chants make a wall of sound aided by a steep-tiered bowl. The Socceroos will dodge coins, lighters, and cups from their arrival to their departure. Local fans will be hanging from the fences, climbing light towers, painted, masked, waving flags, banners and even lighting fireworks. All the while, the groundsmen will be building another crypt in the tomb.

“You better watch out for your national coach, because he’s not having a good time right now,” Paz said.

For all the speculation surrounding Ange Postecoglou’s future as Socceroos coach, the Hondurans have good reason to believe that La Tumbamight well take the decision out of his hands.


17/12/2018 0

Strong postal vote outcome the key to social and political support

For critics of the government’s constitutionally pointless marriage poll, the time has come to “flag down a black cab and head for Real Street”, as Red Dwarf’s Dave Lister would say.
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Time for progressives – if not the LGBTI community, which must speak for itself – to pop a prophylactic Quick-Eze and prepare to eat Humble Pie.

Time to give Malcolm Turnbull, George Brandis, and yes, even Peter Dutton, their due credit.

From its comical inception, the Coalition’s ungainly “snail-mail” survey championed amazingly by the ultra-conservative Dutton, was the butt of derisive humour.

Transparently self-serving, it seemed like just another hurdle, just another can-kicking exercise, risible and beneath contempt.

Once green-lighted, after a desperate High Court challenge, it provoked the gravest warnings.

It would license a hideous public discourse, applying an unfair society-wide judgment on individual identity – a cold-hearted metric devised exclusively to devalue same-sex attracted relationships.

Zero weight was given to any affirmation arising from the major party leaders backing the change, let alone that flowing from a likely victory.

And in all the indignation, it was completely lost that marriage is by definition quintessentially a social construct. The broader the social engagement in its modernisation, the greater its validity once so broadened.

Politically this has been excruciating.

There’s no denying the Prime Minister lost paint in middle by embracing an ostensibly “ridiculous” process. But neither can one ignore the realpolitik. Bluntly, Turnbull saw no realistic alternative if he was to drag his party into the 21st century.

Wisely, equality advocates chose to participate strongly, even as some within favoured a boycott. The temptation was to limit its turn-out to below 35 per cent and then argue its result was meaningless.

Hardheads decided to go for broke. They knew that drumming up the vote was also drumming up the survey’s credibility, thus validating the Coalition.

But the bigger principle was worth protecting.

Ironically, the greatest advantage now, assuming a strong public endorsement, is the legitimacy of any question that has been so publicly and extensively litigated.

Indeed, the greatest asset the “yes” case has ahead of the parliamentary vote is that clear public endorsement.

Denial would be betrayal on a colossal scale.

In practical terms, the survey has given Coalition MPs the cover they need to ignore their recalcitrant base and vote squarely for social justice. More than that, it brings a moral and democratic obligation.


17/12/2018 0

Why Bitcoin’s bubble might not burst just yet

OK, we can all see it: bitcoin looks a lot like a bubble. It stinks of irrational exuberance: it is incredibly volatile, and not only does its price continue to increase, but it is doing so at ever accelerating rates.
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It took 1789 days for bitcoin to go from nothing to $US1000. Then 1271 days to get from $US1000 to $US2000, and just 13 days to jump from $US6000 to $US7000, its latest milestone.

Individuals are selling their houses and giving up their life savings to put everything into bitcoin, seemingly more out of speculation that its price will continue to rise than because of any serious belief in its intrinsic value.

Many of the characteristics of a classic bubble – the fact that everybody is talking about it, extreme predictions about its future price, and the parabolic price curve – appear to apply to bitcoin.

For the record, I have no idea where bitcoin’s price is going to go, and in no way do I endorse it. It is very possible – likely, even – to believe this craze won’t last. But is the only way down? There are reasons to think not. Everybody thinks it’s a bubble

When a lot of bubbles pop – the real estate crash of 2007, or the dotcom crisis of 2000 – the aftermath is often characterised by complaints that nobody saw it coming.

But there is a cacophony of senior figures in the finance industry – including JP Morgan’s chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon, Tidjane Thiam, the boss of Credit Suisse and the much-followed veteran investor Warren Buffett – warning that bitcoin is a “fraud”, “the very definition of a bubble” and “doesn’t make sense”.

This isn’t a situation where there are no safety warnings, almost everybody who people would usually listen to on this stuff say bitcoin’s out of control. And yet, people are willing to ignore them. If nothing else, it suggests that the market is not easily spooked. It’s all a matter of timing

Bitcoin has been called a bubble for most of its lifetime. In 2011, when it dropped from a measly $US33 to $US2.51, The Economist noted that “the currency’s rise was the result of a speculative bubble”.

The arguments advanced against it were eerily similar to those now. The same happened in 2013, when it peaked at slightly over $US1000 – a seventh of where it is today.

Bitcoin has crashed before, in 2011 and 2013, but on both occasions, its price rapidly rose again. Looking back, you can hardly say now that it was a case of the bubble bursting.

One can argue it’s only a matter of time, but on a long enough timescale, so is everything.

Kodak had a long and illustrious run before it went bust in 2012 – was it in a century-long camera bubble?

The total value of bitcoin, around $US100 billion, is tiny compared with other assets, so it might run for some time yet.

Indeed, the floodgates are only just opening to institutional cash. There is some value to it

Critics of bitcoin say that apart from wild price swings and speculation, there’s nothing to it: it’s not a great way to pay for things, for example.

But it isn’t exactly useless. The blockchain technology that underpins it is (at least in theory) useful for all kinds of things. Its decentralised nature makes the currency itself nearly unhackable.

And “initial coin offerings”, a way for companies to raise funds using cryptocurrencies, do have some benefits (albeit a series of scams, hacks and raised eyebrows have not enhanced their reputations).

Admittedly these are uses for blockchain and cryptocurrency in general – not bitcoin – but as the best known and original implementation of the tech, it has the position of being a barometer for the rest of the industry. Believe it or not, it is more stable than other assets

Bitcoin might look like nonsense compared to the (relative) stability of the US dollar or the British pound. But this isn’t the case everywhere.

Google suggests that the countries with some of the most interest in bitcoin are Bolivia, Columbia, Nigeria, Slovenia and South Africa – countries that have been hit by inflation, falling currency values or expensive money transfer services.

For many people in these countries, bitcoin may represent a safer, more stable and more convenient store of value than local currencies.

The Daily Telegraph, London


18/07/2019 0

Taylor backs Wade and Maxwell for first Test

Former n captain Mark Taylor is backing both Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell to be selected by for the first Test of the Ashes series at the Gabba in a fortnight’s time.
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The battle for the wicketkeeper spot appears to be a four-horse race between Wade, Peter Nevill, Tim Paine and Alex Carey.

Wade, who is ‘s incumbent Test keeper, has been criticised for his glove work in recent times.

However, Taylor believes the 29-year-old has improved enough to warrant another chance in Brisbane against England.

“I watched quite a bit of the Indian series that played in during the winter months and there’s no doubt in my mind that Matthew Wade did improve as a keeper, but it’s tough over there,” Taylor told SEN on Friday.

“I haven’t seen the blokes in recent times but if Matthew Wade has improved his keeping, which he did a little bit in India, well then I think he’s the man for the job. But the selectors see more of the game than me. If they don’t think he’s the best keeper then they should get the best keeper.

“I’m a bit of a believer that the incumbent should almost lose the spot first, but I’m also a great believer that with that bowling attack, need to pick their best wicketkeeper.

“There will be some edges flying around at the Gabba and if I’m the skipper I want them hung onto. So I think if the keeper does his job and holds the catches for , or the stumpings from Nathan Lyon or whatever comes along, that’ll go a long way to helping win a Test match.”

Taylor also believes his theory on incumbency should apply to Maxwell when the selectors sit down and decide who should take the number six spot.

“To be totally honest I think Glenn Maxwell has got the lead-in at the moment,” he said.

“I know he hasn’t made huge runs in recent times, but he’s made a couple of 60s, he is the incumbent and I suspect if he has a reasonable Shield game over the next week or so, he’ll be the number six.”

Taylor reckons ‘s bowling attack, which consists of Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Lyon, will tilt the series in the hosts’ favour and he suspects the Aussies are more settled than the English.

“We’ve got a good pace arsenal, Nathan Lyon I think really has improved as a spin bowler so it’s always good going into a series when you know who your four bowlers are going to be. So that’s a real advantage for ,” Taylor said.

“So ‘s side is pretty well picked. So they’ve got good bowlers and a side that pretty well knows what it’s going to be going into the first Test and that’s a nice place to be.”

The same couldn’t be said for England, according to Taylor.

“There’s no doubt England have their concerns at the moment with their side but you just never know with these Ashes contests,” he said.

“England have got to find a couple of blokes to bat in that middle order and if they can uncover someone over the next three months, they’re a chance. But they’re going to have to find someone very shortly.”

Taylor conceded there was a chance star all-rounder Ben Stokes could feature for England in the Ashes if he wasn’t charged over his involvement in a late-night brawl, but he probably wouldn’t be available until the third or fourth Test.

“So between now and then, England have to play some good cricket against who seem to be getting their ducks in line so we’ve got a good series.”

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18/07/2019 0

Move to salvage Trans-Pacific Partnership gathers steam on APEC sidelines

Danang, Vietnam: Trade Ministers of 11 countries have reached agreement on a pact to salvage a Pacific Rim trade deal rejected by the United States that has been lobbying for on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
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But several countries, including Japan and Canada, disagree on how fast the agreement should be progressed. They differed, too, on what had been agreed.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters after arriving in the Vietnamese seaside city of Danang the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will bring together economies with a collective GDP of about $US10 trillion.

“So that is a huge market,” he said.

Mr Turnbull began lobbying hard for the TPP after arriving in Danang, telling an APEC leaders’ reception the pact “creates rules of the road to match the new economic world in which we’re living.”

“It aims at old hidden trade barriers like corruption and new ones like data protectionism,” he said.

“It works to level the playing field for non-state companies and is designed to defend and extend the freedom to explore, share and capitalise on new ideas.”

Japan’s Minister for TPP negotiations Toshimitsu Motegi described the agreement reached after days of intense negotiations in Danang as a “high standard and balanced agreement.”

“The agreement has a great significance in creating free, fair and new rules in the Asia-Pacific region where growth is robust,” he said.

However Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne later said on Twitter: “Despite reports, there is no agreement in principle on TPP.”

Canadian officials have insisted Canada, the second largest economy among the TPP nations after Japan, would not be rushed into reviving the pact.

A Canadian official said ministers from different countries may have different interpretations of what ministers have agreed on.

Mexico officials said agreement had been reached but gave no details.

Mr Turnbull and leaders of the other 10 nations are tentatively scheduled to meet at APEC to discuss the proposals of ministers.

Backed by , Japan has lobbied hard to proceed with the pact that is seen as a way to counter China’s regional dominance.

US President Donald Trump, who abandoned the TPP days after taking office, is scheduled to make a keynote speech at the annual 21-member APEC talk-fest that will be carefully examined for clues as to how his “America first” mantra will guide US engagement in Pacific Rim countries.

Leaving behind escalating tensions with Opposition leader Bill Shorten over the citizenship crisis, Mr Turnbull turned to trade at APEC, saying he will be urging 20 other APEC member countries not to turn their backs on protectionism.

“The region cannot close the door to the flow of goods, services, capital and ideas,” he said.

Mr Turnbull announced a new trade agreement with Peru, one of the world’s fastest growing economics that will generate more exports, including for farmers who have been effectively shut out of the country’s market.

It will eliminate 99 per cent of tariffs that exporters face to the country.

There will be immediate duty free access for n sheep, kangaroo meat, most wine and most horticulture products, including wheat.

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said concluding the agreement at APEC sends an important message to the world that ” embraces trade because we know it creates jobs and drives economic growth.”

Peru’s GDP is similar to that of Vietnam and its population is similar to Malaysia.


18/07/2019 0

“A couple of them didn’t make it out”: World War II veteran John Fenwick speaks of importance of Remembrance Day

A day to remember: WWII-veteran John Fenwick, who turned 96 this year, will take a moment to remember the sacrifice of friends and family on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIt’s a day that John Fenwick thinks every young n should always recognise.
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On Saturday November 11, Remembrance Day, John will do what has been doing for decades.

He’ll head out to the Maitland RSL Sub-Branch service before taking a few solemn moments to remember the effortsof thousands of young men and women who have served in ’s armed forces –including his own, his father, his son and his mates.

“On Remembrance Day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country,” John, of East Maitland, toldThe Mercury.

“In my opinion it’s a good day. It’s a day whenyoung people should remember these gallant young men who gave their lives for their country.”

He’ll remember his own service, too, which included a 14-month stint in Darwin when it was a constant target forJapanese bombers.

“A couple of them didn’t make it out,” he said of mateswho lost their lives on n soil to the raids.

A special day like no other for WWII veteran John TweetFacebookA 21stbirthday at warJohn Fenwick can still remember the panic that came over Darwin every time the Japanese bombers flew over.

“Every time the moon was out, over came the Japanese,” the 96-year-old from East Maitland recalled.

He spent 14 months in Darwin during World War II, including a hectic year-long period whenthere were 65 Japanese bombing raids.

There were plenty of close calls for the 21-year-old.

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Memories of sacrifice resonateLegacy’s helping hand“The Japanese came in low flying when we were in the shower one day,” John said.

“A couple of them (his mates) didn’t make it out. They were a little late getting out of the shower.”

Thosesacrificeswill be among the many he’ll quietly commemorate on November 11, Remembrance Day.

John’s time in WWII is nestled among a long family history of service, which includes his father who fought in WWI and his son who served in Vietnam.

His father, an Englishman who moved to to work in a Kurri coalmine, signed up to the n war effort in 1916.

“My father dug tunnels under the German lines at Hill 60,” John said.

“He got gassed twice and shot once. He was never the same when he came back.”

John said he could still clearly remember sitting up in the early hours of the morningwith his father.

A day to remember: WWII veteran John Fenwick and wife Muriel met when she was working at a munitions factory in Adelaide during the war. They’ll celebrate their 74th anniversary next week. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

“When he came back, he couldn’t sleep,” John explained.

Those experiences pushed John to fulfilhis “life’s ambition” to help other returned soldiers.

“When I saw my Dad like that, I thought I wanted to help any other soldiers who’d come back,” he said.

He has certainly done that, racking up decades worth of service for both Legacy and the Maitland RSL Sub-Branch, where he was president for seven years.

“I feel like I’ve done my bit for the community,” he said.

“I just wanted to give back.”

He’ll give again on Saturday, laying a wreath on behalf of Legacyat the Remembrance Day ceremony held in Maitland Park.

And he’ll take a few moments to pause and reflect on the service, and sacrifice, of mates and family.

The Maitland Mercury


18/07/2019 0

Artist Trevor Dickinson releases Newcastle playing cards featuring the city’s most iconic and obscure places

Nostalgia on the cards Knows how to fold’em: Trevor Dickinson has just released a pack of cards which feature his work of Newcastle and another for Canberra. Picture: Simone de Peak
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Please be seated: Tallara Parkway bus shelter, Narrabundah, ACT. By Trevor Dickinson.

Ordinary to extraordinary: Trevor Dickinson in front of an image that featured in his Welcome to Maitland Exhibition in 2016. Picture: Simone de Peak

Big splash: Trevor Dickinson with his mural on the southern wall of Mayfield Pool in 2013. Picture: Peter Stoop

Sea patrol: Trevor Dickinson at the Nobbys breakwall, a place he was once scared to go (because of the sign) but that features in one of his most iconic drawings. Picture: Marina Neil

Beach days: Artist Trevor Dickinson and his daughters Ella and Lucy in 2011 with the artwork of an ice cream van part of the mural in the tunnel leading to Newcastle Beach which they all worked on. Picture: Phil Hearne

Still life: Trevor Dickinson’s image of the Newcastle Council building.

Say cheese: Trevor Dickinson with then mayor John Tate at a photowall at Newcastle Museum. Picture: Dean Osland

TweetFacebook Trevor Dickinson’s workRESPECTED artist and muralist Trevor Dickinson has released a pack of playing cards featuring both obscure and well-known Newcastlelocations, including business facades.

Thecards show a cross-section of Mr Dickinson’swork from the past eight years, with plenty of images that only a Novocastrian would recognise.

“This collection of drawings is really a personal portrait of Newcastle, and I love the idea that it fits into a pocket and can be easily posted around the world,” he says.

Businesses on thecards include Godfreys on King Street, Watt Street Commercial in the city, Don Beppino’s in Merewether and Gambles accountancy in Hamilton.

Mr Dickinson emigrated to Newcastle from England in 2002 with his n wife and two children. Working remotely as a freelance commercial designer on projects ranging from Star Wars to textile design work, it took him seven years to pick up a pencil and begin his quirky and oft nostalgic seriesof Newcastle images.

“I wasgetting homesick [for England] because I hadn’t connected much with Newcastle, so I started drawing Newcastle to get out of the house,” he says.

His first drawing was the infamous “Men, do it longer!” billboard on Lambton Road at Broadmeadow, and since then he’s captured iconic images such asNobbys to random scenes such as a rubbish bin in Braye Park, Waratah, not to mention his 100 letterboxes series.

While Newcastle is his favoured muse, Mr Dickinson has also released a pack of cards on Canberra, a city he’s currently focused on by drawing its iconic bus shelters, which will feature in a 2018 exhibition.

And yet at the start, he had no real inkling that his wonky line drawings would develop into his now thriving company Newcastle Productions.

“I wanted to make money from it so Icould justify stopping to take time to do it; it was just pocket money, but it was like a game. Then it just started selling,” he says.

Mr Dickinson’s works can be found athis online store, and placesincludingStudio Melt in Newcastle and the National Gallery andPortrait Gallery in Canberra.


18/07/2019 0

Master continues tradition

Precious work: Jason McCulloch’s workshop is fully equipped to carry out jewellery manufacturing, from handmade pieces, to restorations, to repairs.ADVERTISING FEATUREJason McCulloch Manufacturing Jewellers, at 253 Brunker Road, Adamstown, specialises in the design, manufacture, remodelling and repair of fine jewellery.
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Jason is a local, trade-qualified jeweller who has spent almost 30 years mastering his craft. In 2018 his company will celebrate 21 years in business. Experience counts.

With two Master jewellers, two trainees, Jason’s wife Michelle, who is a qualified diamond grader, and shop staff with over 60 years combined experience in jewellery retail, Jason’s team boast great collective knowledge and passion. Manufacturing jewellery by hand, resizing rings, restoring old pieces, soldering broken chains, replacing lost stones – everything is done on site.

“It’s one of our strengths,” Jason explained. “Our customers can talk to qualified jewellers in person.

“The way we shape, and form metal is similar to a blacksmith’s workshop, only on a much smaller scale.

“We use traditional methods like hammering and beating the metals as well the latest technological innovations like CAD for more complex creations.”

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Jason McCulloch Manufacturing JewellersEvery day brings something different. For example, a customer lost her ring in the garden and her husband hit it with the lawn mower. Jason wasable to get it to a point where it was wearable.

“It gave me great satisfaction that we were able to repair it rather than replace it,” Jason said.“No need to abandon something of sentimental value and quality when you can repair it and enjoy wearing it for many more years to come.”

Jason also does bespoke work, designing and making new pieces from scratch, remodelling of family heirlooms and melting down unworn pieces to create entirely new ones.

“It might be your grandmother’s ring that’s had a lifetime of wear, it can be redesigned into a dress ring or even an engagement ring, giving it another lifetime.” Jason said. “Each piece is unique and we can analyse it and advise what is possible.”

Jason encounters pieces sometimes 150 years old, sometimes just a few years old, however, from his many years of experience in the business one thing is clear;

“Handmade jewellery lasts longer than mass produced, due to the quality of manufacture and materials,” he said. “That’s why engagement and wedding rings are one of our specialties. Those pieces need to stand the test of time.”

Jason can also help you maintain your jewellery.

“We suggest you have your jewellery inspected and given a professional clean and polish every 12 months,” he said. “As trade qualified jewellers we can do this for you. It keeps pieces looking nice and you can keep on top of any potential issues.”

To get in touch with Jason, ring 4957 1610, or visit his premises at 253 Brunker Road, Adamstown.


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White hot: best dressed celebs on Oaks Day

Ah Oaks Day. For many celebrities, it’s the final thrill of being in hair and make-up at 4am before they can put back on their active wear until the summer polo season.
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For us, it’s the last chance before Christmas really to see what each stylist/celebrity has in their deck.

After the fervour of Cup Day, Oaks Day is often an anti-climax both fashion wise and in the celebrity stakes. But this year, there were some stunning looks, with many women donning suffragette white, or staying on trend with explosions of pink and red.

Here are the best looks of the day (in no particular order). Jennifer Hawkins

It’s hard when you’re the face of Myer to have your smile glued to your face for three days, lest some sneaky pap photographer catch you in a snarl/growl/looking bored. So no wonder JHawk was literally glowing on the racing equivalent of TGIF for most celebrities (except the die hards who do Stakes Day). In white Roland Mouret, this dress is everything. Her millinery was mostly MIA but hey, Oaks Day is like casual Friday.

Jennifer Hawkins Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy???Nadia Bartel

???When a celebrity has a racing formula that works – in Nadia Bartel’s case, a fitted, one-shoulder dress – it’s sometimes best not to mess with it. We loved her Cup Day headpiece by Viktoria Novak and the dress was pretty, just not together. Thankfully on Oaks Day, Bartel pulled out her best look of the whole racing season, frill and all. Bonus points for the contrasting hot pink shoes.

Nadia Bartel Photo: AAPFrances Abbott

I have a serious girl crush on the daughter of the former prime minister. Rolling up on Myer’s black carpet, Abbott said she nearly went into her bodybuilding poses when asked to stop for photos. Thankfully her Misha dress had sleeves that were buttoned to her body, meaning she couldn’t raise her arms more than about 20 degrees.

Frances Abbott Photo: AAPEmma Davenport

OK, so it’s a little Sex and the City in the execution but this ballerina inspired dress by Sonia Cappellazzo, who has done some of the best looks of the week (Elyse Knowles, Jessie Murphy) is total Oaks Day perfection. Frothy with just a hint of scuba badass around the waist, we were stalking the Channel Seven personality all afternoon to see if we can borrow it for the Christmas party.

Emma Davenport Photo: AAP Image/Tracey NearmyLaura Henshaw

This fitness blogger/model/law student’s smile alone could power Flemington for a week. In dusky pink Demkiw, with a hot pink headpiece with just the right amount of veiling and a swinging statement earring, this is Oaks Day wrapped up in one outfit. One of the best of the day.

Laura Henshaw Photo: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy/APJessie Murphy

Someone give this WAG a medal for staying power. It’s not easy to pound that Birdcage pavement for three days straight, let alone with a baby strapped to your belly. But she makes it look effortless.

Jesse Murphy Photo: AAP Image/David Crosling/AP Usain Bolt

Can we all please give it up for this man and his fashion prowess? While most blokes from n celebrity life nick down to MJ Bale for yet another blue suit (albeit a very nice one), Usain brings the “I don’t give two f–ks” to the Birdcage, while managing to stay out of the headlines, which is why he’s one of our best guests of the week.

Usain Bolt Photo: Supplied


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Review: Jon Cleary delivers wick load of funk

Cleary’s cool courses through Newcastle veins Cha Cha all night long: Jon Cleary at Lizotte’s on November 9, 2017.
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TweetFacebookStranger Things 2, Jon Cleary turned from a chilled out soulman into a funk monster during his two-hour show at Lizotte’s on Thursday night.

It was not just Jon:the intensity was magnified by his band, The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, with vocalist and keys player Nigel Hall showing teasing glimpses of his greatness as he powered through the set, for the most part shadowing Cleary’s fast and devastating rhythms.

Songs from Cleary’s Grammy-winning 2016 album, GoGo Juice, set the benchmark for highlights, with Getcha GoGo Juice dropped in early in the night, proceeded by Beg Steal or Borrow. Later we got Brother I’m Hungry, pushing on the edge of soul. The finale, Pump It Up, also from GoGo Juice, was truly an absolute monster of funk.

For those who may think funk was a music trend from an earlier world, you haven’t been paying attention to New Orleans music, certainly not the way it’s preached by Cleary.

As Cleary told me earlier this week: “If you’re a good musician then you find yourself in this funny situation, where the more you learn about music the more you become painfully aware of how little you know.. A lifelong journey that never ends. If you devote the time, you do get better. The wavelength you broadcast on gets stronger.”

There was a lot of playing and not much talking, like the spaceship broke through gravity and kept you circling the room on a layer of soul, blues and funk. The detours weren’t far from the main game –like Taj Mahal (and Cleary’s) 21stCentury Gypsy Singin Lovin Man, exploring the edges of soul; and Cleary’s own version of Junker’s Blues, going way down that funky alleyway; and Don’tPlay No Frenchman Street Blues, a softer approach.

No one left early. It didn’t even feel like bedtime.


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Remembrance Day 2017 in the Hunterphotos, video

Remembrance Day services 2017 Pictures: Simone De Peak
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Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

TweetFacebookSERVICES ACROSS THE HUNTERBOOLAROO/SPEERS POINT 10.35am at Speers Point cenotaph. Light refreshemnts after.

BRANXTON 10.45am start. Combined service at Branxton Rotunda.

CARDIFF 10am start at memorial in front of Cardiff RSL, Macquarie Road. Light refreshments to follow.

CESSNOCK 10.45 am for 11am start. Service at the war memorial in the TAFE grounds.

DUNGOG 10.30am gather in car park, 10.40 start. 100 Lord Street Dungog, Dungog Memorial RSL Club

KEARSLEY 10.30am start at Kearsley Community Hall.

KURRI KURRI 10.45am start at Rotary Park, one minute’s silence at 11am. Guest speaker: Col Maybury. Refreshments to follow at Kurri Kurri Bowling Club.

LAMBTON 10.45am start at Lambton Bowling club, Karoola Rd, Lambton.

MAITLAND Main cenotaph in Maitland Park at 10.35am

MEREWETHER 10.50am at Gregson Park, Hamilton

MERRIWA 10.40am at the cenotaph. Plaque memorial in RSL Memorial Gardens 11.45am

NEWCASTLE 11am start, Civic Park, Newcastle

PELICAN 10.45am Service commences Pelican RSL Memorial Park, Soldiers Road and Piriwell St.

REDHEAD 11am at War Memorial site, Redhead

SCONE 10.30am start at cenotpah near Scone Memorial Swimming Pool

SHORTLAND 10.45am Memorial Gardens next to hall, Marten St/ Conmurra Cct, Shortland.

SINGLETON 10.30am at Burdekin Park

SWANSEA 11:00am, War Memorial in front of Swansea RSL, Chalmers Street, Swansea

TANILBA BAY 10.45am start. Tilligerry RSL Sports Club Cenotaph, Lemon Tree Passage Road.

TORONTO 10.30 for 10.45am start. Goffet Park, Toronto.

WESTON 10.45am start Memorial Park, 56 Cessnock Rd, Weston. Light refreshments in the hall afterwards.

RYHOPE 4.40pm. Crematorium, 405 Cessnock Road, Ryhope

Do you have a service to add to the list? Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

MORE ON REMEMBRANCE DAYWorldWar II veteran John Fenwick speaks of importance of Remembrance DayRoad to Remembrance: ns suffer on Western Front


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Sentinel Property Group flips second Melbourne asset

Warren Ebert’s Sentinel Property Group has flipped a second Melbourne commercial asset in as many months.
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The Dandenong Home Quarter complex, about 31 kilometres south-east of town, is understood to be selling for more than $30 million, reflecting a modest capital gain for the Brisbane-based syndicate which acquired the retail asset 18 months ago for $29.8 million.

Occupying 3.2 hectares at the prominent intersection of Frankston-Dandenong Road and the Dandenong Bypass, Dandenong South, the 12,234-square-metre complex returns annual rent of $2.24 million from 11 tenants including major retailers, Officeworks, Supercheap Auto and The Good Guys.

With 275 car parks, it services a local population of more than 150,000, according to CBRE selling agents Justin Dowers, Kevin Tong and Mark Wizel.

Any deal comes four months after West Perth-based RG Property banked a reported $30 million selling the Village Dandenong complex – a 5343-square-metre complex on 1.9 hectares, which was returning annual rent of just over $1.8 million.

In September, Sentinel Property Group banked a reported $33.98 million offloading a three-level retail asset at 140 Bourke Street, in the Melbourne CBD, which it bought for $20 million in late 2013.

In that month, the company, which has more than $2 billion of real estate assets under management, also listed for sale the Nowra House & Home complex, on the NSW south coast, which it bought for $15.3 million in 2015.

Earlier this year Sentinel Property Group banked $44 million selling three regional NSW shopping centres, which it bought for a total of $26.1 million three years ago.

Central Geelong asset fetches $7.52m

A shopping arcade with enormous redevelopment potential in central Geelong sold for $7.52 million last week – a yield of about 5 per cent.

The property, forming a corner and known as 115-145 Moorabool Street and 102 Little Malop Street, offers 5860 square metres of commercial space – of which 3000 square metres is upstairs, configured as offices. Downstairs, 14 shops occupy the site which has nearly 100 metres of street frontage.

Allard & Shelton’s Michael Ryan, James Gregson and Joseph Walton represented the owners, a consortium of high-net-worth individuals. The holding – across 2075 square metres – was also marketed to high-rise developers for its potential to make way for, among other things, apartments, a hotel, or offices.

In September, developer Scott Vickers-Willis’ company Techne, with joint venture partner, Geelong investor, Dean Montgomery, proposed the 11-storey Dennys Lascelles Tower to replace airspace atop a woolstore at 20 Brougham Street, Geelong. The proposed complex will include eight levels of office space.

Last year, Techne secured the National Disability and Insurance Scheme as the anchor tenant for a proposed office building to be built on the former Carlton Hotel site in Geelong’s Malop Street.

Eastwood Bairnsdale selling

The five-year-old Eastwood Village Shopping Centre in Bairnsdale, a regional town about 280 kilometres east of Melbourne, is understood to be close to finding a buyer.

The 1.65-hectare site containing a 4154-square-metre centre that returns $978,000 per annum in rent, is speculated to be worth more than $10 million.

Eastwood Village is anchored by a Ritchies Supa IGA supermarket and includes a medical centre, 12 specialty stores and nearly 170 car parks. The retail asset was listed in July by CBRE’s Justin Dowers, Kevin Tong and Mark Wizel.

Numerous retail assets have sold on sub-7 per cent yields recently: in May, a private investor paid $5.5 million (reflecting a 4.85 per cent yield) for the IGA Blackburn complex in Melbourne. In March, The Markets Yarrabilba property in Queensland sold for $9 million (a yield of 4.74 per cent).

Also in March, an IGA complex in Stawell, about 240 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, exchanged hands for $5.1 million, reflecting a yield of 5.83 per cent.

I-REIT pays $10.5m for Mitcham asset

Canberra-based Indigenous Real Estate Investment Trust (I-REIT) has paid $10.5 million for a modern and fully leased industrial asset about 21 kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD.

The four-year-old complex at 28 Edgerton Road in Mitcham, includes a 5480-square-metre building, configured as an office, warehouse, showroom and production area, and small open-air car park.

Offered with a new seven-year lease to established tenant, international lighting company, Versalux, and returning starting annual rent of $703,630, the asset is exchanging hands on a yield of 6.7 per cent.

Knight Frank’s Gab Pascuzzi and Adrian Garvey were the marketing agents.

The deal comes five months after I-REIT paid $11.6 million for a Woolworths-anchored shopping centre in Mackay, Queensland. Elsewhere in the sunshine state, it also owns the Townsville Central Shopping Centre. I-REIT’s portfolio also includes the Katherine Government Centre (Katherine, NT) and the IGA Building in Kalgoorlie, Western .

I-REIT was launched in 2013 to provide Indigenous investors the opportunity to invest in partnership with other Indigenous groups. As of March this year, its portfolio under management was worth more than $100 million.

Prestige Kew property worth more sans mansion

An enormous Kew property that failed to sell as a development site two years ago – when a historic home was sprawled across it – has found a buyer following a recent campaign, as a block of dirt.

The development site marketed as 367 Cotham Road is believed to be exchanging hands for about $11 million.

On the north-east corner of Bradford Avenue, the 2411-square-metre block was offered with a permit to build 28 apartments within a four-level complex. The proposed building, with an internal area of 3195 square metres, would enjoy views of the Melbourne CBD about six kilometres away.

CBRE’s Julian White, Jimmy Tat and Lewis Tong marketed the property, which was for sale via a different agency in 2015. It had previously traded for $5.6 million in December 2013 as a prestigious estate, with a historic eight-bedroom home.

Email: [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘


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