Jun 20

Planning bill ‘not enough’

THE Hills Council has acknowledged the state government’s changes to the draft Planning Bill 2013 “as a step in the right direction”.
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“But they don’t go far enough,” a council spokesman said.

Hornsby state MP Matt Kean said changes to the current draft bill include:

■ allowing councils to modify the existing state-wide code for houses up to two storeys, to better reflect their local area in certain circumstances;

■ code assessable development for broad strategic medium/high density will only apply in nominated growth areas — for example, transport corridors such as the North West train line or WestConnex or urban activation precincts — or areas nominated by councils;

■ the target for code assessable developments has been removed entirely; and

■ councils will be required to prepare Neighbourhood Impact Statements if they intend to implement code assessable development. Issues such as building height, setbacks, traffic, car parking and environmental issues will be considered in detail by the community.

Council’s spokesman said: “Council encourages Mr Kean to lobby his government for a streamlined, simple planning system that removes duplication and restores community standards by giving local planning powers back to local government.”

He said this could be done by abolishing Joint Regional Planning Panels, abolishing government controls that override local councils and removing the “inherent conflict of interest associated with private certifiers”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

Farmland sale queries

HOW many Tasmanians are aware of our farmland being sold to foreign investors? If we had any foresight, and we obviously do not, or consideration for our children and grandchildren we would perhaps allow leasing the land but not outright sale. Or do we want our grandchildren to wake one day to find they are tenants in their own land? The Chinese, Indonesians or Japanese would not sell their farm land. They are not silly. With growing populations they are looking to their future food security. And we are fools enough to let them have it — dazzled by the dollar as usual. I have yet to see detailed reasons just how this ‘‘investment’’ will benefit Tasmanians although it certainly stands to benefit those with vested interests. Call me xenophobic but I suspect foreign owners will mine — not farm — this land with uncontrolled use of chemicals, would be likely take any produce grown out of the country and perhaps even bring in foreign workers. What are the guarantees against this? And how, in future, do we ever buy it back? I know that I am the only person who is in a position to care for and respect my land, leaving it in better condition in order that future generations of Tasmanians enjoy the benefits.
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— FRANK GILES, Seaview Farm

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Jun 20

MEGA GALLERY: Naval ships converge on Jervis Bay

THE assembly of visiting warships ahead of theInternational Fleet Review got under way on Sunday at Jervis Bay, with 11warships lying at anchor off the naval training base, HMAS Creswell.
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As well as preparing for the IFR in Sydney, the ships andtheir crews have been taking part in a Maritime Security Field TrainingExercise, which is being staged both inside Jervis Bay and in the EastAustralian Exercise Area.

Ships from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand,Brunei, China and India were among those participating in training exercises,along with HMAS Parramatta and helicopters from HMAS Albatross.

More ships are due to arrive in the bay and more than 20are expected to be anchored on Wednesday, with a number of local activitiesplanned.

The vessels will sail up to Sydney for entry into theharbour following the navigational path of the original seven ships of thefirst Australian navy 100 years ago on Friday.

Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, SarahWilliamsand Paul McCallum.

GALLERY: Photos from day two

Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

PHOTO: Robert Crawford

PHOTO: Bonnie Cullen

PHOTOS: Defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

PHOTO: Frances Rand

Photo Frances Rand

Photo Frances Rand

Photo Frances Rand

PHOTOS: Defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Warships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Eleven warships have anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney. Photos by defence photographers Yuri Ramsey, Sarah Williams and Paul McCallum.

Photo by Leony East

Photo by Leony East

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo by Robert Crawford

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

Photo Lea Hawkins

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

PHOTOS: Preston Elder

GALLERY: Our readers’ photos

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jun 20

RSPCA’s euthanasia allowance a ‘perverse incentive’ to kill, claim critics

Financial boost: “You could get a 10 per cent salary increase by continually killing.” Photo: Joanne AndersonAn extra $14 paid to RSPCA staff on the days they euthanise animals is providing a “perverse financial incentive to kill” and may be driving up death rates, critics say.
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The “euthanasia allowance” is detailed in the RSPCA’s enterprise agreement which says it should be paid on each day that appropriately trained and certified employees are required to euthanise animals.

Lawyers for Companion Animals principal Anne Greenaway said even hardened critics of the RSPCA had been shocked by the revelation.

“It’s pretty weird, very weird, that for anyone who loves animals that an allowance of $14 is going to compensate for having to put an animal down, particularly when some of them are perfectly healthy,” Ms Greenaway said.

Other critics, including Sue Barker of Dog Rescue Newcastle, have described the allowance as “disgusting”.

David Kelaher, an ex-union official who exposed the allowance during online debate, says he has represented RSPCA employees in disciplinary matters in the past and that if workers could “swing it” to kill five days a week, they could add $70 per week to their take home pay.

“The median wage was around $35.5K – so presuming you worked a regular 48-week year you could get a 10 per cent salary increase by continually killing,” Mr Kelaher said online.

The executive manager of animal care services for RSPCA NSW, Brendon Neilly, rejected the notion the allowance provided a financial reward for the euthanising of animals.

“I think suggesting in any way that this is something that people seek to do for financial gain or otherwise is offensive,” he said.

“It is in recognition that it is a difficult job that people undertake, and that people may be paid more for performing any workplace role … with a qualification attached to it, such as a first aid officer for when they are the nominated go-to person for that particular work.”

The allowance was not built into a worker’s base salary because those staff members were not necessarily required to use those qualifications every day, he said.

Mr Neilly was unable to say what proportion of staff were qualified “euthanasia technicians”, or how often they were required to make use of those qualifications.

“We do have qualified people at most facilities,” he said.

Heated online debate over the RSPCA’s handling of strays followed a Newcastle Herald article last week about two Jack Russell terrier pups destroyed at the RSPCA’s Rutherford shelter despite ongoing negotiations between the shelter and the owner to pay for their release.

The Jack Russell terriers, Rocket and Nikki, were euthanised on Monday last week after being held at the shelter more than 28 days.

Owner Kylie McCrea, of Sawyers Gully, was told the family pets would be held until she had a chance to contact Maitland City Council over the $960 fee but a supervisor made the decision to put the pets down over the weekend.

Mr Neilly said an investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding the dogs’ death was continuing, and the findings would be made public, but it appeared that it had been a genuine error.

Newcastle Herald

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Jun 20

Parents prepare for the workforce

Eight young George Town parents have continued their studies and earlier this month received a Certificate One in Business following on from recent community service training.
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The parents undertook the Level One courses as part of their involvement in UnitingCare’s Pregnant and Young Parent Support (PYPS) Service.

The training was provided through a partnership between UnitingCare Tasmania and Avidity Training and Development.

PYPS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs’ Communities for Children initiative.

It provides provides an opportunity for young parents and parents-to-be to meet in a supportive

and relaxed environment to share ideas and experiences, learn from each other and have fun.

In addition they are given the opportunity to gain further qualifications, currently at Certificate One level.

PYPS George Town intends to continue its partnership with Avidity Training and Development to enable parents to undertake Level Two training next year.

PYPS worker Kelly Sheehan said the interest by young parents and parents-to-be in completing Certificate ll level courses was strong.

The training is seen as providing parents with the background required to increase their employment opportunities.

Ms Sheehan said access to further education allowed young parents the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in an area of interest while receiving support in their parenting role via onsite childcare arrangements.

“Young parents benefit immensely by participating in the program. It increases their self-esteem, social capital and connections to community while also increasing their chances for employability in both their local community and beyond,’’ Ms Sheehan said.

Eight young George Town parents have continued their studies and earlier this month received a Certificate One in Business following on from recent community service training. Picture: Supplied

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Jun 20

Mullaloo Beach reopened after injured seal sparked shark fears

A 30-kilogram seal has made its way back into the water after fears it had suffered a shark bite led to the closure of Mullaloo Beach.
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Officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife monitored the injured bull seal throughout Sunday until the animal returned to the ocean, a spokesperson said on Monday.

Rangers sectioned off an area around the seal and waited with it until the late afternoon, when it returned to the ocean.

Surf Life Saving WA reported the adult male seal may have been bitten by a shark, and a helicopter patrol was carried out but no sightings were made.

Shark warning in Scarborough

Further south, Scarborough beachgoers have been warned to look out for sharks, after monitoring equipment washed ashore on Saturday.

Tagged sharks in the area will not be identified by the monitoring network until it is fixed.

A buoy receiver used to alert authorities of nearby tagged sharks, broke free of its station off Scarborough Beach and was found on Peasholm Dog Beach.

The Department of Fisheries said staff members had begun plans to re-install the monitor in its normal location.

The tagged shark monitors are part of a range of shark hazard mitigation strategies in place.

Members of the public should report shark sightings to water police on 9442 8600.

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Jun 20

Castrol EDGE Man of the Series

Each week, Fairfax rugby writers will vote for the best-performing Wallabies players of the Rugby Championship round. Three, two and one points will be awarded by each panellist, with the points being tallied to determine the Wallabies player of the series. The Herald will print running totals each week. The winner will be awarded the Castrol Edge Wallabies Strongest Performer trophy.
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Points after round five:

Michael Hooper 75Christian Lealiifano 28Israel Folau 25Scott Fardy 19Will Genia 19Adam Ashley-Cooper 17Stephen Moore 17James O’Connor 15Nic White 12Quade Cooper 9Robert Simmons 9Tevita Kuridrani 7Ben Mowen 6Ben McCalman 4James Slipper 4James Horwill 3Matt Toomua 1

Panellists: Georgina Robinson, Paul Cully, Stephen Samuelson, Chris Dutton, Spiro Zavos, Matthew Burke, Peter FitzSimons, Rupert Guinness, Phil Lutton.

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Jun 20

Seven scoops the ratings pool with Matthew Ames’ heart-warming tale of survival

Sunday Night … Amputee Matthew Ames with his wife Diane, and their three sons and young daughter. Water therapy .. Matt Ames frequently exercises in the pool.
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Becoming the bionic man

A special episode of Channel Seven’s flagship current affairs program, Sunday Night — devoted entirely to a man who had both arms and legs surgically removed — drew more than 2.12 million viewers nationally.

It was the second most-watch program last night behind Seven’s The X Factor, which had 2.35 million viewers – and well ahead of arch-rival 60 Minutes on Nine, which had 1.32 million. (Figures reflect combined metropolitan and regional audiences.)

The Sunday Night episode, titled ‘Bionic Dad’ and presented by veteran reporter Mike Willesee, told the story of Matthew Ames, his wife Diane and their four children.

Twenty years after Matthew and Diane fell in love at university, he came down with what he thought was a bout of “man flu”. But his agony intensified and after visiting four different doctors, who each sent him back to bed, his family took him to hospital.

He was diagnosed with toxic shock from Streptococcus A – a normally harmless bacteria that can turn fatal if it gets into the bloodstream – and was soon in a coma. Doctors amputated Matthew’s left arm but the infection continued to spread.

It was then the specialists forced Diane to make a grim choice. They gave her husband a tiny one per cent chance of survival – but they had to remove his three remaining limbs to give him that chance. Diane did not hesitate to consent, but took their children to the hospital to say goodbye to their father before his extremely risky operation.

Incredibly, Matthew survived, emerging from the coma to find he had no arms or legs.

The program showed that although the bond between Matthew and his family has deepened, his battle is far from over. Because he was not injured at work or in a traffic accident, he has fallen through the cracks of the disability support system. In order to feed himself and go to the toilet without assistance, he needs prosthetics that cost more than $500,000, for which a fund has been established.

The story of the Ames family’s courage has helped Seven dominate the top three ratings slots of the night, with its 6pm news bulletin taking third place with 1.85 million viewers.

Nine claimed the next three spots with its 6pm bulletin at No. 4 (1.66 million); Australia’s Got Talent at No. 5 (1.49 million); and 60 Minutes at No. 6.

US crime comedy-drama Bones took seventh place for Seven with 1.27 million.

At No. 8 was ABC1’s 7pm news bulletin with 1.23 million and its documentary series Supersized Earth took the ninth spot with 1.1 million.

Channel Ten had one program in the top 10: the second episode of US sitcom Modern Family at No. 10 with 1.07 million.

The top-rating morning program was Weekend Sunrise on Seven with an audience of 358,000 in the five major capital cities, while Weekend Today on Nine had 272,000. (All figures from this point are for the five capital cities only as full regional ratings are not yet available.)

ABC’s political program Insiders had a combined audience of 312,000 in its various slots while Ten’s The Bolt Report had 204,000.

The top-rating digital channel program was Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom on ABC2 with 250,000.

Overall, the Seven network had a 36.3 per cent share of the audience, followed by Nine on 25.5 per cent and Ten on 19 per cent. The ABC channels claimed 14.5 per cent and the SBS channels had 4.8 per cent.

The top-rating individual channel was Seven with a 28.2 per cent share, followed by Nine on 20 per cent, Ten on 13.4 per cent, ABC1 on 10.7 per cent and SBS One on 4.1 per cent.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

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Jun 20

Ellen moves on from her $11m farm

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Photo: Reuters. Ellen DeGeneres and Melbourne-born Portia de Rossi, have sold their California getaway for $US10.85 million ($11.65 million).
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The property as having eight private cottages, a tennis court, an art barn, yoga pavilion, stables, dressage area and a windmill.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her actor wife, Melbourne-born Portia de Rossi, have sold their California getaway for $US10.85 million ($11.65 million). The equestrian estate, Hidden Valley Farm, was bought by the couple in 2009 for $US8.5 million, a year after they were married at their Beverley Hills home.

Marketing by Sotheby’s pitched the 10.5-hectare property as having eight private cottages, a tennis court, an art barn, yoga pavilion, stables, dressage area and a windmill.

The couple put it up for sale in 2011 for $US16.5 million, but after nine months it was taken off the market, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It was relisted in June for $US11 million, which was upped to $US12.995 million in July. It was reported sold last week. In August, the couple sold a Beverly Hills two-bedroom penthouse for $US843,000.

The couple have bought a Santa Barbara estate for $US26.5 million.

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Jun 20

Students fill in for paramedics on Sunshine Coast

University students have been forced to fill in for Sunshine Coast paramedics due to financial cutbacks, potentially putting patients’ lives at risk.
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On Saturday night, trainee paramedics from the University of the Sunshine Coast were asked to man crews out of the Coolum and Maroochydore stations, according to the United Voice Union.

Student paramedics are not allowed to practise on patients and it is unknown if those involved had undergone advanced driver training.

The union described the situation as “fraught with danger” and unfair on patients, paramedics and students.

The students were asked to cover after two officers could not fill their shifts due to illness.

Read more at The Sunshine Coast Daily

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