Month: December 2018


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

Phoenix rising: the reborn Ten begins emerging from the ashes

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 14: The sunset on a sad day for Channel Ten as the network announces it is entering voluntary administration on June 14, 2017 in Sydney, . (Photo by Jessica Hromas/Fairfax Media)In Greek mythology the phoenix was an immortal bird which died when it was consumed by its own fire, only to be reborn again and again. In n mythology the phoenix is a 53-year-old television network named Ten.
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Twice in its life Ten has been seared by the flames of receivership, only to have its debts wiped, bestowed with a second chance at finding a competitive edge among our unholy trinity of commercial broadcasters.

In 1990 the network was saved through its acquisition by the Canadian-based Canwest Media. This year salvation has come from the US$30 billion ($39.06 billion) American commercial television giant CBS.

Though CBS has not yet fully acquired the network – a wrinkle expected to be smoothed in the coming days – the leaner, meaner Ten was showing off her best side last night to media buyers, producers and industry heavyweights.

The message was clearly steady as she goes: established Ten brands such as MasterChef, I’m A Celebrity and the various Bachelor (and Bachelorettes) are deemed safe. The drama slate, while solid, is expensive, which means the fate of programs such as Offspring and The Wrong Girl is less certain.

The crucial piece of the jigsaw is Ten’s next move, something we won’t clearly see until the new in-laws arrive from America and start renovating the house.

But the way forward is not as simple in 2018 as it was in 1990.

Back then Ten was saved by a curious pastiche of British reruns, US talk shows and the then-much younger seeming 20th Century Fox library titles including The Simpsons and The X-Files.

Nowadays the Fox library – yanked from the network schedule in the wake of CBS’s sudden displacement of the Murdoch takeover plan – looks comparatively tired; The Simpsons is in its 30th season and The X-Files, recently exhumed, has also aged.

Equally, CBS’s own program library, while formidable, is no genie bottle. Nor is Ten’s personality suited to take on its breadth. Seal Team and True Blood are too American. Bull is too niche. And NCIS shows the fatigue of most 15-year-old brands.

The rebirth of a CBS-owned Ten will ultimately be defined by the re-alignment of the network’s personality. The younger-skewing Ten, while difficult to shed quickly, will likely be consigned to demographic history.

In its place will stand a debt-free n commercial network backed by a deep-pocketed American one.

To suggest Ten could become the equal of Nine or Seven might seem ambitious, but Ten’s rivals, having evaded their own financial rebirth by fire, are instead older and loaded with debt.

And in competitive terms Ten might be restarting the race as a rookie sprinter but she’s a decade younger and half a billion in debt lighter than either of her two rivals.

And in commercial television terms that makes Ten a deadly, if still unpredictable, proposition.

17/12/2018 0

Women’s Ashes Test delicately poised after opening day

England blew a golden opportunity to assert themselves on day one of the Ashes Test as produced a flurry of late wickets to leave the visitors 7-235 at stumps.
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Star all-rounder Ellyse Perry claimed a pair of final-session wickets while debutant Tahlia McGrath chipped in with her second scalp of the day to put the brakes on what had been a promising English start, which earlier on sat comfortably at 1-129.

Most of the damage came once with the second new ball under lights in front of 2805 fans at North Sydney Oval, most of whom hope to witness a win for the home side which would mean retaining the Ashes.

As expected, the pink ball started swinging around in the evening session after had toiled earlier in the day on a dry wicket all but devoid of grass.

“I’ve found this using the pink ball a little bit in training, some swing more than others and I don’t think the first one really swung all that much and the wicket probably wasn’t hugely responsive either,” Perry said.

“The second one definitely swung a bit more, obviously we were under lights as well but I think the seam was a little bit more raised on that one so it tended to swing a bit more.

“It’s pretty even conditions out there for the bat and ball. England batted well at different times, there’s definitely enough there to take 20 wickets.”

English opener Tammy Beaumont and captain Heather Knight took charge before tea having won the toss and batted, and the pair put on 104 runs for the second wicket, patiently but confidently stroking the ball around the picturesque suburban ground.

It was another debutant in Amanda-Jade Wellington who broke that stand when a sharply turning leg break shaded Beaumont’s outside edge before landing snugly in Alex Blackwell’s grasp at slip.

Wellington was one of three Test debutants for , alongside McGrath and Beth Mooney who will open the batting with Nicole Bolton.

That meant Sydney juniors Lauren Cheatle and Ashleigh Gardner both missed out on selection.

No Cheatle meant the Aussies had just the three seam options. Megan Schutt was economical and produced her trademark in swing under the lights, but bowled without luck.

Perry and McGrath were complemented by the attacking Wellington, and the metronomic orthodox tweaker Jess Jonassen who grabbed a couple of wickets herself.

She trapped Heather Knight LBW to remove the dangerous stroke maker, before the English middle order failed to take advantage of their solid start.

Georgia Elwiss faced 95 balls for her 27 before skying a ball to square leg, unravelling all of her hard graft.

The classy Natalie Sciver (18) never quite found her rhythm while Sarah Taylor’s 29 was effortless but over far too quickly.when she belted one back to Perry who managed to snaffle a catch in her follow through having seemingly not sighted the ball until it struck her on the arm.

“I just slipped a little bit in some footholds on that delivery and my head went down and I lost all sight of it,” Perry said.

“I kind of looked up and the lights were a little bit in my eyes. The first time I spotted the ball was just before it hit my arm, rather embarrassingly I managed to catch it.

“It provided a lot of entertainment for everyone and I lost all composure and I’m really glad [captain] Rachael [Haynes] took me off after that.

“Every now and then you bowl some bad ones or you have a bit of luck or something obscure happens and that’s what makes the game so fun and entertaining.

“You’d happily get her [Taylor] out any way possible. I don’t think it had anything to do with my skill or ability.” iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#ashes-squad-selector-2017′);var frame = document.getElementById(“ashes-squad-selector-2017”); iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#ashes-squad-selector-2017′);var frame = document.getElementById(“ashes-squad-selector-2017”);

17/12/2018 0

Cessnock jail expansion: rapid-build the new approach for prisons as state tackles overcrowding

IN CHARGE: Governor Richard Heycock at Cessnock jail as it undergoes a massive expansion. Picture: Marina NeilTHERE are no cells. Inmates have an interactive TV. Correctional officers are encouraged to be “pro-social” with crooks. And prisoners will go through a rigorous application process for the dubiousprivilege of being locked up here.
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This is the new world of life behind bars.

And it is unfolding in the Hunter as Cessnock jail prepares to take on 400 fresh maximum security prisoners in stage one of the facility’s massive expansion plans.

The Newcastle Herald was given an exclusive tour of the new rapid-build prison ahead of its opening early next year.

While corrective staff are promising a “culture change” for inmates and officers, this is still a maximum security prison.

“Make no mistake about it,” Governor Richard Heycock said.

NEIGHBOURS: The dormitory-style accommodation that will house maximum security inmates.

“They are still maximum security inmates. This is definitely not a soft approach, but they are going to be treated like adults. It’s like raising children – if you want people to behave a certain way, you treat them a certain way.

“For many that is culture change. The previous thinking has been minimal interaction with inmates.”

The most striking difference between the new Hunter Correctional Centre and the existing jail is the lack of physical cells. Inmates are locked up in open plan dormitory-style accommodation across four wings, with each wing containing four “pods” with room for 25 inmates.

Governor Richard HeycockHeraldwas told, the screens will have access to Skype.

VISITORS: The visitation room inside the new facility.

Inmates are also allowed more time in the yard, but it is lights out at 10pm.

The visitation area is also different, with Mr Heycock pointing out thechildren’s play area.

“You won’t see any of this anywhere else,” he said.

“The build and the concept itself is very unique to . It’s a very innovative way of approaching corrections.”

He said the prison would appeal to inmates because of its modern features and possibly its additional privileges.

A selection process to determine who would be transferred to Cessnock was still under way, with only those who meet a strict criteria approved for transfer.

There is renewed focus on reforming inmates.

“If you’re going to prison, this is where you want to come,” Mr Heycock said.

“It will allow you to undertake industries, get vocational education, better yourself and give yourself a much better standing to get back out into the community and become a productive member of society.

“But the inmates are here to make a change in their lives, and they’ve got to be able to show they want to make that change.”

PLANS: An overview of the Cessnock jail expansion.

Corrections Minister David Elliott said the rapid-build design was chosen out of necessity, with a rising inmate population putting strain on the existing prison system. The new Cessnock jail has risen from the ground in 51 weeks, shaving about two years off normal construction time.

“In a perfect world the number of inmates would be going down,” Mr Elliott said.

“But, unfortunately, they’re not, which is why I’ve been impressed not only by the facility, but the ability to keep to a timetable.”

The jail will have a workforce of234 people, with roughly 80 new staff.

Mr Heycock said the “hand-picked” correctional officers were in training up until the arrival of the inmates early next year.

“It’s a huge task, but the team I’ve got are very skilled and experienced at what they do,” he said. “On day one, this will be a normal prison”.

17/12/2018 0

Your own slice of sand: Brighton beach box to go under the hammer

Bathing box 85, Dendy beach, Brighton
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Looking for somewhere to park your beach ball? You could be in luck because a tiny slice of paradise is up for grabs.

An iconic Brighton bathing box is scheduled to go to auction next month, a rare opportunity to snap up a colourful beachside shack. It is one of 82 brightly-painted wooden sheds that stretch along a picturesque strip of Dendy Street Beach.

The sandy patch of coastline is home to some of the city’s most exclusive and, on a square metre basis, expensive real estate.

Gone are the days when a sunburnt fisherman could lay claim to a wooden box for a few hundred dollars. This niche property market is now fetching top dollar.

The real estate agency handling the auction, Marshall White, has quoted a price range of between $250,000 and $270,000. The record price for a Dendy Street bathing box was set last December, when a newly-built box sold for $326,000.

While Bayside council has periodically built and sold new boxes in recent years, it is rare for existing boxes to hit the market. They are tightly held, often passed down through generations.

In this case, a Brighton family have owned number 60 – a blue, yellow and white striped box – for many years.

Bathing boxes can only be sold to a local ratepayer, and there are strict rules outlining what the boxes can (and cannot) be used for.

No service amenities can be connected. That means no electricity for beachside barbecues or water for outdoor showers or toilet facilities.

It is also prohibited to camp out for the night in a beach box, or use them for any sort of accommodation. So, that’s a no to renting one out on AirBnB.

Put simply, these colourful timber boxes are for storing fishing gear and deck chairs, and sheltering from the sun on a scorching day at the beach.

Listing agent Barb Gregory, once a proud owner of a beach box, said they were part of the fabric of Brighton. She has auctioned a handful of them in recent years, mostly to families with young children.

“I’ve been in a situation where somebody sitting on the beach has realised what’s going on and jumped up and grabbed one,” she said.

Three decades ago, Ms Gregory and her friends pooled their money together and paid $3200 for a beach box. With the benefit of hindsight, she said, she regretted selling it a few years later.

“It’s an iconic, world-famous opportunity.”

Just a few square metres in size, bathing boxes are an expensive addition to one’s property portfolio. On top of purchasing and maintenance costs, owners have to pay about $1650 each year in licensing fees and council rates.

The auction will be held on Saturday, December 2 at 3.30pm.

17/12/2018 0

Appalled shoppers take aim at ‘raunchy’ lingerie store advertising

Appalled shoppers are calling on centres around to take down life-sized advertising for a controversial lingerie chain that they have likened to “soft porn”.
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Sydney mother Kat Israel said she avoided walking past the Honey Birdette store at the Macquarie Centre because she did not want her children to see the its latest window banners.

Ms Israel said she found the advertising sexist, with women “posed to be very sexual” and “looking very sultry”.

“People can buy what they like and that’s fine but I think they shouldn’t be allowed to have that sort of advertising there in a public space.”

An online petition calling on Westfield to take action over the displays in their centres has attracted thousands of signatures.

Ms Israel said she has had to have conversations about the images with her children, including her 11-year-old son.

“He’s a little boy and we’re carefully teaching him about consent and respect, and then you go to a public place and have that potentially undone by seeing these soft porn images that are enormous, they’re absolutely massive.”

A spokeswoman for AMP Capital, which owns the Macquarie Centre, said it always passed on feedback from customers to individual retailers.

“We encourage customers who have any concerns about what they see in our centre to contact management.”

Kenneth Thor, a Melbourne father of three, said his heart sank when he walked past the Honey Birdette lingerie store in Westfield Fountain Gate and his four-year-old daughter asked why the model in the store’s printed display wasn’t wearing any clothes.

He said the store’s display banners featured “near naked women clad only with sheer lingerie in all their raunchy glory”.

“Even worse, [my daughter’s] shrieks caught the attention of my six-year-old son, who came running and together they stared and pointed at the porn-style images trying to make sense of them.”

He started the petition on change苏州模特佳丽招聘 calling on Westfield to step in and force the removal of the images. It had achieved more than 11,000 signatures by Thursday evening.

Mr Thor is petitioning Westfield to stop using “porn-style advertising” and to practise higher advertising standards in Westfield’s shopping centres.

Julia Clarke, head of corporate affairs at Scentre Group said Westfield shopping centres strived to meet the needs of many different shoppers.

“As with all its retail partners, Scentre Group has continued to work closely with Honey Birdette in the period it has operated in the group’s portfolio, and it also implements a number of processes – on a case-by-case basis – which may address any customer concerns,” she said.

“Any customer feedback – positive and negative – that is received by Scentre Group is always shared with Honey Birdette stores.”

The petition is directed at Peter and Steven Lowy but Ms Clarke confirmed they are not involved with the operations of Westfield centres in and New Zealand.

“They are co-CEOs of Westfield Corporation, which owns Westfield centres in the US, UK and Europe,” she said.

Mr Thor complained to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), and the complaint was upheld – but he felt the situation had not been resolved.

“They were ordered to take down the ads, but they have since replaced them with worse ones,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the ASB said complaints were assessed by an independent board of people who decide whether the advertisements are exploitative and degrading based on broad community views.

“With lingerie advertising, what we find is that there are always some people who find it offensive regardless of how it’s advertised,” she said.

“A number of Honey Birdette ads have been found to breach standards but an equal number have been found to be acceptable.”

Managing director of Honey Birdette, Eloise Monaghan said the petition was ridiculous.

“We’ve spent the last 11 years empowering women. All this group wants to do is disempower women; it’s 2017, it’s time to grow up,” Ms Monaghan said.

“We’ve had tears in change rooms because people feel good about themselves and all this group wants to do is make people feel bad about themselves and they’re using us as their platform.”

Ms Monaghan said Honey Birdette would, “keep doing what we do, and that’s empowering women”.

17/12/2018 0

Waratah-Mayfield seek legal advice over pending sale of Newcastle Leagues Club

Second-division outfitWaratah-Mayfield have sought legal advice to determine if they are entitled to proceeds fromthe pending sale of Newcastle Leagues Club.
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The Cheetahs could profit from the $2 million-plus deal, which is due to settle between Newcastle Rugby League and aninvestor early next month, depending on whatdocuments reveal about the ownership of the National Park Street building.

DISPUTE: Newcastle Leagues Club.

Waratah-Mayfield were one of the top-tier clubs that originallypurchasedthe premises together during the late1950s. They no longer play in the main district competition but still exist, winningthe Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League C-grade grand final in September.

Newcastle Rugby League officials have previously stated that anyfunds made will be reinvested inanother property to ensure the “future” of the game forthis regionrather than clearing existing debt or paying individual clubs.

CHAMPIONS: Waratah-Mayfield on their way to a C-grade grand final win this year.

However, Waratah-Mayfield president Kevin King believed the question of “part-ownership” was worth asking,especially considering the Cheetahs were around in the beginning.

“It’s now in legal hands …all I can say is that we’ve requested information from the Newcastle Rugby League in regards to some changes apparently made to the constitution to remove Waratah as an owner of the building,” King said.

“We’re just asking for the information to show that it was legally done and we’re happy to move on. But if it hasn’t been, then there might besomething.

‘We were one of eight clubs that purchased the premises, so we don’t understand how we could be removed as a part-owner. That’s what we’re trying to seek.”

Newcastle Rugby League chairman John Crooks said the board of directors havethe constitutional “authority” to sell the property.

Crooks said Newcastle RL are now awaiting documents from the n Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

“We’re just waiting for copies of documents from ASIC and then we’ll progress from there,” Crooks said.

“We’re quite happy to listen to what they [Waratah-Mayfield] have got to saybut at the end of the day the board has got the authority, according to the constitution, to buy and sell property on behalf of those people as long as it’s reinvested.

“That’s what we’re trying to do is reinvest that money, to increase our financial viability going forward and into the future.”

Waratah-Mayfield last played first grade in 2004. It was the second of two comeback years after a continuous stint between 1927 and 2001.

Waratah-Mayfield share a similar position toNorth Newcastle, as both were part of the original Newcastle Leagues Club purchase and still existtoday but no longer playthe main district competition.The Bluebags, who re-formedin A-grade this season,have not yet taken any action.

Reigning first-grade champions Macquarie entered the fray in 1960, beyond the formation of Newcastle Leagues Club, while in more recent times historic Maitland underwent a name change after twice dropping out.

Current top-tier entitiesSouth Newcastle, Central Newcastle and Western Suburbs wereallfoundation clubs in 1910. Kurri Kurri, Cessnock and Lakes followed by 1947.

The likes of Eastern Suburbs, Raymond Terrace, Northern, Port Stephens and Wyong have come and gone.

Meanwhile, playmaker Jade Porter has announced a one-year deal with the Kurrifor 2018 after five seasons with Wests, including a first-grade premiership in 2014 and this year’s reserve grade title.

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Stan takes legal action against Senator Dastyari’s abusers

Syd Zygier as Maeve, Lily Sullivan as Petra and Tysan Towney as Danny in the 2017 Stan miniseries Romper Stomper. Photo: ben kingStreaming media group Stan is taking legal action against a group of men who racially abused Labor senator Sam Dastyari, after it was revealed that the far-right group took their name from Stan’s upcoming drama series Romper Stomper.
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The men from the group Patriot Blue surrounded the Senator while he was sitting down in a Melbourne pub to tell him to return home to his birth nation of Iran, while one man shouted “You terrorist, you little monkey”, which they filmed and later posted on their Facebook page.

Stan and Roadshow Productions issued a statement condemning the men’s actions and instructed law firm Gilbert and Tobin to seek legal action against the men over the infringement of the Patriot Blue trademark, and use of the Stan name on Facebook.

“Stan and Roadshow Productions would like to clarify that while our series does refer to a purely fictional group created for the series called Patriot Blue, there is no association between our organisations or the Romper Stomper production team and those involved in yesterday’s incident,” the joint-statement said.

“We strongly condemn the actions of this group and racial discrimination in all its forms.

“Romper Stomper is a story that reflects contemporary issues from multiple view points and focuses on the alienated and fractured members of modern society.

“The incident with Senator Dastyari highlights that this is the right time to have an important national conversation about these issues, in a respectful and constructive way.”

Senator Dastyari is considering whether to report the matter to police, but firstly hopes “to properly process it all and talk to my family”.

He said he would likely make a decision by the end of the week and if he did decide to lodge a formal complaint, it would be because he wanted to help protect others from similar abuse.

“I worry more about the 15-year-old girl getting the school bus home today having to get this kind of abuse than a politician that’s lucky enough to have the some support structures around him,” he said. “I’ve got a voice but a lot of people don’t.

“I’d never want to be a martyr for these kinds of racists and Islamophobes, but at the time you also need to send a signal that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.”

Romper Stomper was first released as a skin-head film starring Russell Crowe in 1992, but has since evolved into a post-Donald Trump narrative for the Stan six-part miniseries.

“With the rise of Trump a lot of right-wing groups have been emboldened to walk in the daylight, and take on certain airs and details that might enable them to pass as beings of the mainstream,” director Geoffrey Wright says. “In healthier times, they might have been seen as being off the radar, but not any more.”

In this new era, the right has traded “swastikas for the Southern Cross”, says Lachy Hulme, who plays Blake Farrand, the leader of a patriots’ group who “fancies himself a true n” but is really no more than “a tin-pot piece of shit”.

“We want people to look and go, ‘That’s Romper Stomper?’,” Hulme says. “Because what these guys have done, what the right has done, is monetise their organisation. It’s all about the media now.”

– with Karl Quinn

Stan is jointly owned by Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment.

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