Heavy industry the winner under new carbon trading proposal

A government proposal to allow international carbon credit trading has buoyed the Australian manufacturing industry, but may have little impact on cutting energy sector emissions.
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The manufacturing, smelting and energy sectors – some of the highest carbon-emitting industries in Australia – could look overseas to buy carbon credits to reduce their comparative emission levels without investing in higher-priced domestic carbon credits or lower-emissions technology under a proposal in the Turnbull government’s latest climate change policy review.

The Australian Industry Group has thrown its weight behind the proposal, saying it is a major advance for industrial emissions reductions policy.

“Ai Group has been arguing the merits of allowing international credits for several years,” its chief executive, Innes Willox, said.

Calling it a victory for common sense over ideology, Mr Willox said: “There is simply no reason to waste efforts on higher-cost domestic abatement options when credible, high-quality and less expensive alternatives are available abroad.”

The Australian Aluminium Council also supported the proposal for international credit trading.

“A tonne of CO??? is a tonne of CO???. It’s a global issue,” the council’s executive director, Miles Prosser, said.

He said this provided another emissions reduction option, which, combined with operational efficiency and low emissions technology, allowed for greater choice in slashing carbon dioxide output.

“We support the flexibility of going internationally for permits to reduce emissions at the lowest cost.” Power and policy

International credit trading could also support the government’s national energy guarantee (NEG), but damage future renewables investment.

“It could help energy retailers meet the emissions standards under the NEG, as it may be cheaper for them to buy these credits rather than supplement their energy mix with new wind or solar,” an industry source said.

One Australian energy retailer believed these credits weren’t needed for the electricity industry.

“While there’s a role for them in trade-exposed industries, in terms of energy we have the means and technology to reduce emissions by replacing coal with gas and renewables,” an energy insider said.

“It sends the wrong investment signals, if you want to encourage investment then international credits are the wrong way to go about it.”

Australian Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said the proposal supported the NEG as a process for energy reliability.

“Our perspective is that these permits can be used as a balancing mechanism,” Mr Warren said.

He said it would be a short-term response, and there remained the need for the replacement of old energy generation.

“We’re struggling to see how you can rebuild the grid without evolving the assets and then buy permits for 50 years. They can help, but they shouldn’t be the cure.”

Concerns have also been raised over their ability to actually play a role in reducing wholesale emissions.

“Given that the rules are still being negotiated for the use of international units, we’d be concerned about the efficacy of their use to meet our Paris Agreement commitments,” Market Forces analyst Daniel Gocher said.

“We’d prefer the government focused on the domestic market, particularly reducing land clearing. Permits can also act to delay more meaningful action, particularly in the electricity sector.”

Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said it would have no impact on the NEG, which operates through existing energy market mechanisms and there are “no subsidies or certificates involved in this guarantee and in this sense it does not involve a price or tax on carbon”. Australia’s credit industry

The policy may also be a double-edged sword for Australian carbon abatement companies, as it widens their potential reach beyond Australia’s smaller domestic market, but could also drive them out of business as buyers look overseas for cheaper credits.

“Pollution is going up, we won’t meet even our paltry Paris targets and the government’s only plan is to make things worse by allowing companies to buy dodgy permits from pig farms in China instead of cutting Australia’s emissions,” Greens climate change and energy spokesman Adam Bandt said.

Carbon Farmers of Australia director Louisa Kiely said the review was a mixed bag, which might put the fledgling carbon credit industry at risk.

“International prices for carbon credits are very cheap, and they may or may not be as rigorously verified as they are in Australia,” Ms Kiely said.

“The threat is that these cheaper credits could damage Australia’s highly-monitored and verified industry, and there’s the risk the market may be flooded with these cheaper carbon credits,” she said.

However, she noted there was also the potential for Australian companies to export their more-verified credits.

The policy would also impact indigenous groups that run native land management carbon businesses, such as those facilitated by the Kimberley Land Council.

Since 2014, four North Kimberley native title groups have run carbon farming operations, generating almost half a million Australian Carbon Credit Units through traditional land management and maintenance, providing these carbon offsets to companies such as Qantas.

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Banks overhaul code of conduct in bid to rebuild trust

Banks have vowed to make it easier for customers to cancel their credit cards, they will stop charging statement fees, and borrowers will be alerted when their interest-free period is about to end, as part of a new code of conduct.
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The Australian Bankers’ Association will on Wednesday unveil a swag of changes intended to put a greater focus on ethical behaviour in an industry that has copped a backlash from government.

Changes in the code include a commitment to allow customers to close a credit card online, rather than needing to do so in a branch or over the phone.

Banks also say they will waive or refund “statement fees” for customers without access to electronic statements, and remind customers when a credit card’s interest-free period is about to end.

With more parents acting as guarantors to help their children enter the housing market, the code also includes changes targeted at people guaranteeing the loans of others.

It says guarantors who have not received legal advice must have a three-day waiting period before signing up. Guarantors will also be informed if the borrower is struggling financially, it says.

Banks decided to revamp the code last year as political pressure on the industry started to mount following a series of scandals.

“Banks are committed to change and the new code is stronger, broader and written in simple to understand language,” ABA chief executive Anna Bligh said.

“It has been completely rewritten to better meet community expectations and service the needs of customers.”

The code includes an already-announced commitment by banks to no longer have tellers selling “add-on insurance” with credit cards, which is intended to cover consumers if they get sick or lose their job. The corporate regulator has said such insurance is problematic, and many customers end up being ineligible when they attempt to make a claim.

In a sign of the finance sector’s problems with add-on insurance, it was announced on Tuesday that Swann Insurance had refunded $39 million in premiums to 67,960 customers. The refunds covered six types of add-on insurance sold by Swann, owned by Insurance Australia Group.

Separately, the federal government has this year cracked down on the banks’ credit card businesses, including new restrictions on how banks can determine customers’ credit limits. Banks are also being banned from making unsolicited credit card offers to customers.

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Smith and Australians in line for $1 million Ashes bonus

Steve Smith’s Ashes-winning Australian team will collect a bonus of nearly $1 million if they can complete a 5-0 whitewash of England in the final two matches of the Test series in Melbourne and Sydney.
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The Australians left Perth on Tuesday glowing after reaching an unassailable 3-0 lead with a comprehensive victory in the third Test, regaining the title they surrendered on their tour of England in 2015.

The result automatically triggered a $432,000 series-win bonus and the members of the squad stand to pocket further financial reward for winning back possession of the urn.

There is an additional pool of $438,000 available to the Australians for match-win bonuses in the Ashes. They have already secured a majority of that by winning three out of the five matches but can grab the lot if they complete victories in the Boxing Day Test and in the first week of January at the SCG.

The bonuses were thrashed out during the long and bitterly fought pay negotiation between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association that was resolved in August.

Under the terms of the new five-year memorandum of understanding, the players retained their guaranteed share of the game’s revenue, which is at its greatest during a home Ashes summer, and also won a new incentive scheme that offered lucrative reward for major series victories.

The richest of the bonuses under the new structure are available against opposition countries ranked in the top four on the International Cricket Council Test rankings, as England were entering this series. And with match-win bonuses built in on top of players’ retainers and match payments, the five-Test Ashes series provides an even greater opportunity to cash in.

The pending windfall provides more motivation for Smith’s side to clean-sweep the tourists in the final two matches.

They will be feeling driven towards repeating the feat of Michael Clarke’s team in 2013-14, with only Smith, David Warner and Nathan Lyon having experienced that famous whitewash.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann said the team would not be taking its foot off the pedal, but could now approach the rest of the series free from much of the pressure that built in the lead-up to the summer.

“It’s a lot more relaxed, which is a good thing,” Lehmann said. “Ashes cricket is high pressure, everybody is nervous every ball, every session.

“It’s been that way for 15 days so far, so they can go and express themselves a little bit more. We’ll be playing the same brand of cricket but obviously with less pressure on us. It will be interesting to see how we respond to that. Boxing Day and SCG are fantastic Test matches to be a part of.”

The Australians will head to Melbourne after two days’ break, aiming for a 5-0 result but not taking it for granted. Lehmann said Joe Root’s tourists had been closer to the hosts than the final margins – the latest an innings and 41-run defeat – suggested.

“It was extremely satisfying for the lads … they’ve worked so hard over the last few months to get the prep right, the way we played,” Lehmann said.

“The planning came together, so all credit to the players and the support staff were fantastic. The work behind the scenes was great. I’ve loved the way we have gone about it in all three Tests.

“It was a lot closer than what the scores relate to. Certainly in Brisbane they had the upper hand at certain stages, but the captain was brilliant there. Obviously the bowlers were great in the second innings to get the job done.

“Adelaide was close and this one – albeit by an innings – it was still close, it come down to magnificent bowling from our quicks on the last day.”

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Caps fit for Foster in bid for national crown

RUN: Stockton-Raymond Terrace off-spinner Nick Foster, in action earlier this season, will represent the Bush Blues for a fifth straight time at the Australian Country Championships next month. Picture: Marina NeilNick Foster has worn the Stockton coloursfor the best part of two decades.
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He’s been amongthe Newcastle representative squad for around a dozen campaigns.

And now the the 34-year-old off-spinner’sabout to receive hisfifth straight Bush Blues’ cap for NSW Country selection.

He knows he’s on a roll and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Of course [it’s special]. There are plenty of people who would like to do it [play for NSW Country], but they don’t get the chance,” Foster said.

“I’ve just been fortunate enough to be given an opportunity and it’s beena great experience.”

During that periodFoster, who lives on the city’s northern peninsula, has travelled to Woolongong, Mount Gambier, Bendigo and Canberra for the Australian Country Championships.

This time around the venue is Geraldton, meaning a trek across the Nullarbor next month in pursuit of some sought-after national silverware.

One that Foster has yet to claim.

“I came in the year after they last won it, so I might even be the jinx,” he said.

“We did win the one-day part last year but we went terrible in the T20s, so it would be good to get the overall job done.”

Foster said the 2017-2018 group, includingNewcastle state-title teammatesNathan Price and Joe Price, would be much better equipped to deal with the changed tournament format in edition number two.

Two-dayers have been scrapped from the competition structure with now a mix of one-day and T20 fixtures on the draw.

“We didn’t really deal with it that well last year,” Foster said.

“Hopefully we are better equipped this time around and I think a fair chunk of the side now have experience in the Sydney T20 competition as well.Having guys like Nathan Price back really adds a level of calmness we probably didn’t have before.”

It comes after Foster helped steer Newcastle to a third NSW Country Championship crown since 2013-2014, featuring the final against Central Coast at Bowral’s Bradman Oval last month.

“We’ve had a little period over the last seven or eight years that has been pretty successful,” he said.

“Both at country level and holding our own in the Sydney T20 competition.”

Closer to home and thissummer has been a bit tougher, with the Seagulls again struggling near the bottom of the ladder.

But Foster is up for the challenge and a week after bowling 40 overs from one end he made his highest first grade score staving off an outright loss, falling one short of a maiden century.

Avoid mistakes with care

HELPING HAND: Sue Mann Nursing and Community Care has more than 30 years of experience helping improve the quality of life of the elderly, from the Hunter, to the Central Coast and Upper Sydney.Have you or your parents been thinking about hiring a Home Care Provider to give you a little extra help and freedom? Have you been thinking about taking advantage of the government packages that are available?
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Sue Mann Nursing and Community Care has compiled a list of the biggest mistakes people make, and what to look for to help ensure you choose an excellent provider who can fulfill your needs and help improve your life.

Mistake 1 Choosing a provider that doesn’t have decades of experienceRecent years have seen many, less experienced In-home Aged Care service providers pop up. Be sure to choose one with many years of experience. A provider that can give you the confidence and care you need.

Mistake2 Choosing a provider that doesn’t offer a full range of services and careMany providers are just too small to offer a full range of services, meaning you won’t have access to all the services that you require. As the largest provider in the region, Sue Mann offers a specialist approach and comprehensive range of services including clinical care, allied health, dementia, and more.

Mistake 3 Choosing a provider that doesn’t give you flexibility of choiceIt’s important that your provider can give you the flexibility you need, without the headaches or red tape. Sue Mann offers the full range of government-subsidised programs, providing flexibility to transition as your care needs changes.

Mistake 4 Choosing a provider that doesn’t understand your needsIn-home Care is about you and improving your life. Sue Mann focuses on your story, your needs and what makes you happy to support you living at home amongst family, friends and your local community.

Mistake 5Choosing a provider that doesn’t help simplify the process for youThe In-home Aged Care system can be a little hard to navigate. It’s important that someone really takes the time to sit with you and explain how it all works so that you can get the best service and the most value from your package.

These tips will help you avoid the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a home care provider and help you find one that will best suit you.

For further help with In-home Aged Care Services and learning how you (or your parents) can remain independent in your (or their) own home for longer, while receiving the care they need, call Sue Mann Nursing and Community Care on 1300 241 300.

Up 1226%: ASX’s best stock is one you’ve never heard of

Technology isn’t big on the Australian sharemarket, but it has provided investors with a stock that has soared 1,226 per cent this year.
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Big Un, which uses its software to make promotional videos for restaurants, salons and other small businesses at lower costs, is the top performer this year among the almost 700 companies in Australia whose shares fetch at least $1 apiece.

A penny stock until June, Sydney-based Big Un is trading at more than $3 per share and is worth about $450 million.

It’s hard to pinpoint what changed Big Un’s fortunes, but it’s been raising sales projections regularly.

This month brought another revision, with the company forecasting revenue of at least $22 million for the December quarter, a 10 per cent increase from expectations in November.

“We have perfected our business model and hit traction,” said Big Un Chairman Hugh Massie, who signalled his bullishness when he bought $488,750 of shares at market price late last month. “Small businesses want video at a low cost and we are able to provide that through our combination of technology platform and operation structure.”

Big Un’s software helps reduce production costs by as much as 80 per cent, Moelis & Co. estimates, to a few thousand dollars for a short video. The company said it had 4,900 paying subscribers as of September, who on average each contributed $7,500 to quarterly revenue.

Founded by Executive Director Brandon Evertz in 2013 when he was just 19, Big Un listed on the local stock exchange a year later via a reverse takeover of former mining company Republic Gold.

The shares traded at less than 50 cents for the next 2 1/2 years before shooting up. They have retreated 39 per cent from their peak in November. The sell-off prompted the company to say its disclosures were up to date, but it didn’t give a reason for the decline.

Some investors have avoided the stock, saying Big Un doesn’t yet have a proven track record.

“Big Un is performing great, but most of its clients are young clients,” said Guy Carson, chief investment officer at Quick Brown Fox Asset Management. “We need to see retention rates before we know the growth is sustainable.”

Carson prefers Gentrack Group, which makes software for utilities companies and whose shares have climbed 81 per cent this year. About 32 per cent of his $20 million portfolio is invested in technology stocks.

Technology represents less than 2 per cent of the nation’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index – in contrast to Wall Street’s S&P 500, which it dominates representing about 24 per cent of the index.

Big Un has said it plans to add videos of consumers reviewing businesses in the future. That would mean competing with the likes of TripAdvisor and Yelp, according to Moelis’s Keiran Hoare, the only analyst covering the company in data tracked by Bloomberg.

He recommends buying the shares, which he expects to reach $5.58 in a year. That would be a gain of another 83 per cent from its closing price on Tuesday.

Bloomberg

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

The 12 travel trends that need to die in 2018

Mostly, travel is great. It’s a highly enjoyable pursuit, a never-ending highlight reel of places and experiences and people.
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Sometimes though, it’s also kind of annoying. There are trends within the travel industry that tend to bug you after a while, that you really wish would just disappear like England’s Ashes dreams, that would vanish and never be seen again.

So as 2017 makes its way over the horizon, and we usher in the potential greatness of another 12 months on this beautiful planet, it’s worth pausing to consider the most annoying travel trends that are out there, and making a group pledge to get rid of them. Begpacking

Backpackers in south-east Asia seeking money. Photo: @ImSoloTraveller/Twitter

This insane practice of travellers begging for spare change in developing countries, leaning on the kindness of strangers in order to make their way around the world, has to stop. If you have the money and the luxury of time to travel from a first-world country to a developing nation, then you also have ability to spend a bit longer at home saving enough to pay for the whole thing yourself. Leave the charity to people who actually deserve it.

See also: ‘Begpackers’ – backpackers begging for money: it’s a disgraceSelfie culture

Selfies: make it stop. Photo: Shutterstock

What you do on your holidays is really up to you – until, that is, it starts bugging everyone else. Who hasn’t stood around at a viewpoint or monument or anything else of interest on their travels and waited interminably as a never-ending queue of wannabe social media stars spends a lifetime lining up the perfect pouty selfie? And we haven’t even begun talking about the sticks???

See also: Taking selfies: The most offensive travel invention?Crowding the baggage carousel

It’s not that hard to make some room. Photo: Shutterstock

I’m not actually sure if you can call this a trend, given travellers have probably been doing it ever since the first bag ever whirred around a carousel. Still, it bears mentioning. The entire luggage collection process would work a lot better if everyone just took a step back from the carousel and moved forward when they spied their bag. Is that so hard to get your head around? Drones

Drones: Even worse than selfies. Photographer: Bloomberg

I’m a little torn here, because drone photos are pretty cool. However, when you’re relaxing at a campsite, or on the beach, or anywhere really that’s natural and peaceful and beautiful, and your world is suddenly invaded by the whining of some moron’s drone as it zips past over and over again, you have every reason to hate these things. White saviours

Yes, their intentions are good. However, white travellers who visit developing countries and think they’re going to “save” the locals, who post photos of themselves posing with poor people, who perpetuate the stereotype that those in developing countries are hopeless, and those from the West can rescue them despite having no actual skills or experience in sustainable, long-term development strategies, are actually doing more harm than good. Just ask Ed Sheeran or Tom Hardy. Charging for Wi-Fi

It’s an annoying quirk of the accommodation industry that every $10-a-night hostel invariably gives away Wi-Fi access for free, and yet some $400-a-night five-star resorts still think they can get away with charging for internet. Sometimes $20 or $30 a night. And often these places are in Australia. Wi-Fi might once have seemed like a luxury, but these days it should just be a given. Tiger tourism

Photo: Shutterstock

This mostly seems to have stopped now, fortunately. However, it’s not just photo ops with drugged-up tigers that are the problem. Any tourism experience that involves animals – elephant sanctuaries, zoos, even national parks in some countries – should really be scrutinised closely before you commit to a visit. There are plenty of dodgy operators out there who don’t actually have the animals’ best interests at heart. Saying you’ve “done” somewhere

Argh! You haven’t “done” anywhere! You haven’t “done” Asia. You haven’t “done” Europe. No one has! Not even the people who live there. You could go back to the same continent, the same country, the same city over and over again for the rest of your life and still find new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. Nowhere, and nothing, is ever “done”.

See also: Climbing Uluru – how is this still a thing?Tourists behaving badly

Here’s the rub, travellers. There are a lot of us out there. Many more than there ever have been. And the industry is only going to grow. If we want this thing to be a success, if we want to keep visiting popular cities and staying in apartments in the trendy suburbs and eating at local cafes and drinking at local bars and sharing in other people’s lives for just a few days at a time, we have to behave ourselves. We have to treat other cities and other countries as our own. We have to be kind; we have to be respectful. If we do that, we all get to travel safely and happily for a lot longer.

See also: 10 things travellers probably shouldn’t be doingComplaining about all of the tourists

If you’re in a place that’s filled with tourists … Surprise, you’re one of them. Slum tourism

A slum area in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: AP

At their best, tours of slums and favelas and shantytowns will be run by residents, and will provide an accurate and respectful snapshot of local life to travellers who will be able to learn from the experience and contribute a little cash to the community. At their worst, however – and their most frequent – these tours are pure poverty porn, like visiting some sort of zoo where you take photos of all the poor people and then leave, having contributed nothing. Do your research thoroughly before you get involved in something like this. Staring at your phone while walking

To be fair, this isn’t just travellers. It’s commuters and pedestrians in all forms, around the world. People walk while staring at their phones. They’re playing games on there. They’re reading books. They’re flicking through music. They’re also really slow walkers, and they bump into other people constantly. Stop. Looking. At. Your. Phone.

What do you think are the travel trends that deserve to die in 2018? Are there any from this list that you think should live on?

Email: [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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See also: Australia – have we become a nation of idiots?

See also: Why do Australians behave so badly overseas?

Revealed: minister failed to release gambling harm report despite advice

Former NSW deputy premier Troy Grant was advised in May last year to make public “as soon as possible” a landmark gambling harm report that recommends banning a controversial poker machine feature that was the subject of a Federal Court battle involving billionaire James Packer’s casino company Crown.
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But the NSW government sat on the report until October this year – almost two years after it was delivered – despite inquiries from its lead author, University of Sydney gambling researcher Professor Alex Blaszczynski, who “expressed frustration” at the delay.

The revelations are contained in emails and briefing notes released to Fairfax Media under government information access laws.

In October Gaming Minister Paul Toole finally released the report by the University of Sydney gambling treatment clinic, commissioned in 2013 at a cost of $263,000 and handed to the government in December 2015.

Among its recommendations is banning a controversial feature of poker machines known as “losses disguised as wins”, blamed by experts for fuelling addiction.

Losses disguised refers to when celebratory music and graphics are played when a player wins an amount, despite it being less than what was gambled.

The government sat on the report as Crown and poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat fought a Federal Court case in which it is alleged the feature is “misleading and deceptive”.

Crown and Aristocrat are defending allegations by a former poker machine addict, Shonica Guy, that a machine called Dolphin Treasure – 38 of which are installed at Crown’s Melbourne casino – is misleading, deceptive and in breach of consumer law. The parties are awaiting a verdict.

A May 2016 briefing note for Mr Grant, who at the time was deputy premier and gaming minister, recommends that he approve release of the report. It says the report “should be published as soon as possible to ensure that it is still current when it is released”.

“The research provides new and important information about the harms related to gambling products,” it says.

“This will be valuable to all gambling stakeholders in Australia. It will ensure that any new initiatives are informed by the latest evidence.”

An October 21 email from a senior Liquor and Gaming NSW official says the report and its recommendation were “sent to the deputy premier on 31 May, 2016, with a recommendation to release the report. However, the deputy premier has not yet advised on the release of the report.”

It notes the Herald had questioned the delay and that Professor Blaszczynski had “expressed frustration” and raised “concerns” including “the lack of updates or rationale provided by the government to date as to the significant delays in releasing this research report”.

An October 31 email between bureaucrats shows an adviser in Mr Grant’s office had flagged the report would be released but was “awaiting necessary authorisations”.

A response on November 3 states: “FYI – I have been informed today that Dr Blaszczynski has inquired with Leanne Perry in my unit as to who he can speak to in order to arrange a meeting with the deputy premier to discuss this issue.”

Mr Grant, who is Police Minister, was dumped as Nationals leader and deputy premier in a reshuffle in late November and replaced as gaming minister by Mr Toole in January this year.

A spokesman for Mr Toole said the report “made a number of legislative, regulatory and policy recommendations which needed be to clarified and further considered by Liquor & Gaming NSW”.

“It was important the government gave due regard to these issues as part of an extensive process of evaluation,” he said.

“There was also a need to draft a formal government response document and for both the report and response document to be considered by cabinet. Once this had all occurred, the report was released without delay.”

The government has said a ban on losses disguised as wins will be considered as part of a broader review of prohibited features on poker machines in NSW, with the timeframe yet to be determined.

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The foul comments on the Oceans 8 trailer are exactly why we need it right now

It might not be screening until June next year but that hasn’t stopped women of almost every age, colour and creed excitedly celebrating the Ocean’s 8 trailer. Starring Sandra Bullock in the George Clooney role, and Cate Blanchett in the Brad Pitt one, it features plenty of what we need right now: relief. Certainly, there is more than this. There’s Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Sarah Paulson; there’s witty banter, there’s action, there’s jewellery and clothes and there’s not one single sex pervert in sight. We need this right now. We need a movie to show that yes, women can go get what they want, (even if it is, ahem, a jewellery heist) but more importantly, women can have fun.
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Women? Fun? Don’t we know that already? It would appear not, as a glance at the comments below the YouTube trailer would suggest.

“Seeking attention with bullshit diversity. It’s gonna suck balls. Don’t even bother”.

“All female cast. Insta garbage (historically)”.

“Another movie the feminists ruined”.

???”Looks like they decided to make all the women all confident badasses. That was a mistake.”

“They need to stop shoving these forced all women movies on us”

“Ghostbusters teach you nothing ? Look at the dislikes already ? Internet you know what to do.???”

It would appear that these commenters, like so many before them, have no idea that all-female casts are kind of exactly what half the population wants. All-female casts, and the aforementioned fun. ???We need fun so desperately right now, it’s not even funny how badly we need fun. It’s been quite a year for women; a year in which the rest of the populace finally clicked to what we’ve been enduring for millennia. Sexual assault, sexual harassment, dream killers, rape, workplace harassment. The populace clicked and expressed outrage and shock, but so far nothing much has changed. A handful of careers are over. For now. But nobody has been charged with anything, and Matt Damon, original star of the original remake of Ocean’s 11 is still wondering why we don’t celebrate men more.

Ocean’s 8 shouldn’t have to be a perfect film – Ocean’s 11 certainly wasn’t. Go back and watch it. It’s cheesy; it’s cliched and the acting – from Clooney and Pitt in particular – is average. Let’s not even mention Ocean’s 12 and 13. But none of it mattered. What mattered was that a group of good-looking, sweet-talking, movie star men were banding together and getting up to no good.

It’s interesting that all-male casts don’t have to be extraordinary, they can just be average. Because all-male casts aren’t considered special, they’re the generic default.

It’s just a tad reminiscent of what happened late last year. You know that thing that set the backlash ball rolling in the first place: the first woman to run for President of the United States lost the election.

Hillary Clinton was far from perfect, but because she’s a woman she was held to a higher standard than every other candidate. And in the end, even accounting for voter suppression, the college electoral vote and collusion with Russia, the American people sent a clear message: they’d rather have an unstable, unqualified, racist, sexual harassing narcissist in the top spot than a woman.

Similarly, women aren’t yet allowed to make fun-loving, slightly pointless movies. If there’s a female cast, it had better be super important and statement-making, like Wonder Woman; or Big Little Lies. It should tell us something about how strong women are, and how seriously we’ve fought against patriarchal constraints. If it is trying to be funny, it has to be the right type of funny – not Bridesmaids funny, where there’s pooping and burping involved. And not Ghostbusters funny where the gags don’t always land. No, it has to be expertly hilarious and shiny and perfect. You know, like Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, or Louis CK’s I Love you Daddy. Yeah, just exactly as funny and topical and brilliant as that.

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Travelling on the M1 these holidays? Allow extra time for these road works

File image: M1 Motorway.Significant roadworks have begun between the Tuggerah and Doyalson interchanges and at the Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive intersection, which can become potential congestion points for holiday traffic.
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“There are 12 kilometres of roadworks on the M1 between Tuggerah and Doyalson this holiday season with reduced speed zones” Parliamentary Secretary Scot MacDonald said.

Mr McDonald has warnedSydney, Central Coast and Hunter motorists to allow extra travel time for the M1 over the Summer holidaysto allow for roadwork upgrades.

“We anticipate these will cause delays for holidays motorists travelling in both directions.

“Motorists who haven’t used the M1 for some time may be caught out”.

Read more: Holiday opening hours for essential services in Newcastle and the Hunter

Roads and Maritime Services is expecting an increase of holiday traffic at the M1 service centres at Warnervale and will deploy traffic controllers to manage vehicles entering the centres during the holiday period to minimise delays on the motorway.

Work on the M1 between Tuggerah and Doyalson will stop during the busy Christmas period to ensure motorists reach their holiday destinations safely. No construction work will be carried out from Friday, December 22, to Wednesday, January 3.

A reduced speed limit of80 km/hwill remain in place for the safety of motorists.

The Beresfield Driver Reviver will finish operating on Monday, January 1,after 30 years of service to allow work to start on the upgrade.

The M1 upgrades make up the $391.6 million M1 Productivity Package funded by the Australian and NSW governments.

[email protected]: ASX to open slightly lower

The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.
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Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

It was certainly positive to see the ASX 200 convincingly hold and close above the 10 November high and year-to-date highs and while Aussie SPI futures indicate that the ASX 200 will open just a touch weaker (our call sits at 6069), the trend in the index is higher and any pullbacks into 6055/50 should be supported today.

1. Japan and China: Keep an eye on the Nikkei 225 and China too. The Nikkei 225 is called to open a touch weaker at 22,856, but there is a ceiling open the market at 23,000 and a close through here would be significant, so hold tight and wait for any closing move through here as it could indicate higher levels are on the cards. China requires attention as the government release its economic blueprint for 2018 today and the talk is looking quite positive for risk. The view is they place less emphasis on debt reduction and that debt levels will be tolerated in a bid for higher growth, notably, given creeping concerns about a softer property market and trade threats.

This could be a highlight of the session ahead.

2. ASX: With the ASX 200 at a nine-year high, we looked at valuations yesterday and one conversation I had with clients is the sort of index levels we can expect in the index in 2018. Of course, for a trader making longer-term predictions is often a negative exercise as it just creates a bias and a view that so many fall in love with and refuse to alter even if price or ‘the trade’ is going against them. The market is not wrong if you are making a loss and it’s the trader’s job to admit that and move onto another idea where their capital is put to better use. So we need to consider that while we have seen earnings growth in 2017, however, with the 7% gain in the ASX 200 (13% total return) YTD, the ASX 200 commands a forward earnings multiple of 16.6x. There have really only been two brief occasions in the past decade that investors have been happy to buy the market above here, so the question for equity investors is where does the growth come from? Materials, banks, healthcare? Without a belief that we can see earning re-ratings then it’s very hard to see the index push through 6150 to 6200 anytime soon.

We also need to consider the macro backdrop, as this has an important role in determining if the market is happy to pay a lofty premium (relative to the long-run average) for the index and if investors felt equities had to wear a higher risk premium then perhaps 15.5x earnings would be a more fair multiple, which would result in the index close to 5700 to 5800. Of course, the central backdrop to this investment case is near-record implied volatility, not just in the ASX 200 or S&P 500, but in interest rate, Treasuries and FX markets too.

So while being long Bitcoin (and the numerous other cryptos) has been easily the retail trader’s trade of 2017, selling volatility has been the institutional trade of the year and this has kept markets supported on any pullbacks as more and more cash made their way off the sidelines. This has been largely backed by global corporations themselves, who have been the biggest buyers of stocks over the years and we can see corporate buy-backs have had a huge role in suppressing volatility too. So as long as implied volatility stays low then investors will be happy paying a lofty multiple for these future cash flows and earnings.

3. The year ahead: I stand by the call that there is a good chance we see a repeat of January 2017, where the S&P 500 continued on its bullish trend from the get-go and just because it was a new calendar year nothing changed. That should, in theory, materialise this year too, with inspiring global growth still a dominant theme, back by earnings growth and central bank forward guidance, which makes life so much more predictable. Inflation and importantly inflation expectations is therefore key and if we are to see a sustained pick-up in volatility, which will promote an unwind of a sizeable short volatility structure, that in turn increases cash levels within portfolios and causes traders to ramp up expectations of tighter policy from the Fed, ECB and BoJ then it has to come from inflation expectations moving higher. Central banks have created the conditions by which we live today, so they will ultimately be the driver of moves in credit, equities and fixed income. The question is of course, whether the market is guided to tighter financial conditions by the central bankers themselves, or they front run the idea of more aggressive tightening and try to get ahead of the curve?

One could say this is now actually happening in Europe right now where we just have to look at the interest market. So despite the ECB being openly dovish, with its QE and liquidity forever message, the market is starting to question this. We can see the spread or difference between December 2018 and 2019 Euribor futures contracts now at the widest in a year and about to break higher through 29bp, which would be key. This requires close attention, especially if one trade the DAX or EUR.

4. Green light for tax plan: Back to the here and now and tax reform has been the central focus of late, but is discounted into equity markets here. We are hearing the vote is unsurprisingly passing through the House, followed by a vote in the Senate tomorrow. The market has heard the change of heart from the likes of Senators Collins and Corker and Marco Rubio has seen conditions change to vote for the plan, so we have come to a conclusion here.

5. Wall Street: So with tax priced in and in the absence of any new triggers, US equities have been modestly offered, with the S&P 500 currently -0.2%, driven by weakness in tech, REITs and utilities. That said, there have been some decent moves in bond markets and a steeper Treasury curve has been in play, where we can see small selling in the UK- and German 10-year, while the US-10 year Treasury has pushed up a sizeable 7bp into 2.46% and breaking out of the recent consolidation range. US banks have not warmed to this traditional driver, but we have seen an impact in FX, with USD/JPY the main beneficiary, with a move back into ??113 which should support the Nikkei 225. We can actually see EUR/USD not responding at all to higher US bond yields and has focused quite intently at the interesting workings taking place in the interest rate markets (Euribor) which I mentioned earlier. EUR/USD has gained of 0.5% on the day is in play and a test of last Thursdays high of $1.1862 takes the pair into $1.1900 perhaps $1.2000 in the early parts of January.

6. Aussie dollar: AUD/USD is unchanged on the day and the three-day consolidation continues here, with a pronounced ‘doji’ candle in play that needs to be reconciled and it will make interesting viewing as to the direction of the ensuing move.

7. Commodities: In commodity markets, we can see buying in US and Brent crude (+0.4%), while gold is largely unchanged, as is copper and spot iron ore closed -0.3%, with a touch of weakness in iron ore futures too. Nothing here that will greatly inspire, although the ASX 200 materials space was hot yesterday and put in good points, so one suspects weakness will be bought today, although traders should keep an eye on any headlines around the China economic blueprint.

8. Market watch:

SPI futures down 5 points or 0.1% to 6072

AUD flat at 76.60 US cents

On Wall St: Dow -0.1%, S&P 500 -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.4%

In New York, BHP -1.1% Rio -0.8%

In Europe: Stoxx 50 -0.8%, FTSE +0.1%, CAC -0.7%, DAX -0.7%

Spot gold -0.1% to $US1260.92 an ounce

Brent crude +0.5% to $US63.70 a barrel

US oil +0.5% to $US57.47 a barrel

Iron ore slips 22 US cents to $US73.93 a tonne

Dalian iron ore -0.4% to 531 yuan

LME aluminium +1.2% to $US2099 a tonne

LME copper +0.5% to $US6942 a tonne

10-year bond yield: US 2.46%, Germany 0.37%, Australia 2.57%

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

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

Government delivers NRL clubs another win

30Jul2015. Sydney:?????? Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015Day 1 – Session 3 – Moderator The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Sport, NSW Government. Photo Michele Mossop/Boao Forum.A new community and high-performance centre will be developed by the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Maroubra, part-funded by a $50 million outlay from the state government to NRL clubs.
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Sports Minister Stuart Ayres revealed on Tuesday the government would increase funds available to NRL clubs for “centres of excellence” from $40 million to $50 million.

The funds, which the government says come from previous cash allocations for NRL grand finals, are contingent on clubs raising equivalent money themselves or from third parties.

At Maroubra, Souths will use $8.7 million from the state government to build a 5,500 square metre facility at Heffron Park costing $25.7 million. The federal government will provide $10 million, Randwick Council $3 million, and Souths $4 million.

The club’s chief executive, Blake Solly, said the bulk of the centre would be open for public use and for Souths’ community programs. “The gym facility won’t be, but pretty much everything else will be,” said Mr Solly.

Such facilities included sporting fields, a classroom and meeting rooms. Souths plan to move into the area when their lease runs out at Redfern Oval in 2020, though the club said it would retain links with its “spiritual home”.

The government will also make grants to the Bulldogs ($2 million), Newcastle Knights ($10 million), the Roosters ($5.8 million) and the Cronulla Sharks ($8 million). The government said it would reserve for the Sea Eagles $10 million, and Wests Tigers $5.5 million, while those clubs developed proposals.

The funding for the Roosters is to be spent on headquarters and training facilities, the government said, while the Bulldogs’ facilities will be developed at Belmore. In a statement, the interim chief executive at the Sharks, Paul Eriksson, said the club’s centre of excellence would be a “sporting, community and education hub.”

The announcement of the funding allocation follows significant public controversy over stadium funding. The $40 million was promised in April 2016, when former premier Mike Baird said the government would refurbish ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park, but not build a new stadium at Moore Park.

Last month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over-turned that decision, and said the government would replace stadiums at Moore Park and Olympic Park at a cost of $2 billion.

Mr Ayres said the centres of excellence would “provide NRL clubs an opportunity to maintain a strong presence in traditional communities as the government prioritises capital investment into a targeted number of … venues”.

The opposition, which has previously promised $55 million for NRL centres of excellence, criticised the increase in the funding.

“This is even before we get to the additional $200 million needed for the indoor sports stadium they have promised,” said Labor’s sports spokeswoman, Lynda Volz.

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

Revealed: minister failed to release gambling harm report despite advice

Former NSW deputy premier Troy Grant was advised in May last year to make public “as soon as possible” a landmark gambling harm report that recommends banning a controversial poker machine feature that was the subject of a Federal Court battle involving billionaire James Packer’s casino company Crown.
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But the NSW government sat on the report until October this year – almost two years after it was delivered – despite inquiries from its lead author, University of Sydney gambling researcher Professor Alex Blaszczynski, who “expressed frustration” at the delay.

The revelations are contained in emails and briefing notes released to Fairfax Media under government information access laws.

In October Gaming Minister Paul Toole finally released the report by the University of Sydney gambling treatment clinic, commissioned in 2013 at a cost of $263,000 and handed to the government in December 2015.

Among its recommendations is banning a controversial feature of poker machines known as “losses disguised as wins”, blamed by experts for fuelling addiction.

Losses disguised refers to when celebratory music and graphics are played when a player wins an amount, despite it being less than what was gambled.

The government sat on the report as Crown and poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat fought a Federal Court case in which it is alleged the feature is “misleading and deceptive”.

Crown and Aristocrat are defending allegations by a former poker machine addict, Shonica Guy, that a machine called Dolphin Treasure – 38 of which are installed at Crown’s Melbourne casino – is misleading, deceptive and in breach of consumer law. The parties are awaiting a verdict.

A May 2016 briefing note for Mr Grant, who at the time was deputy premier and gaming minister, recommends that he approve release of the report. It says the report “should be published as soon as possible to ensure that it is still current when it is released”.

“The research provides new and important information about the harms related to gambling products,” it says.

“This will be valuable to all gambling stakeholders in Australia. It will ensure that any new initiatives are informed by the latest evidence.”

An October 21 email from a senior Liquor and Gaming NSW official says the report and its recommendation were “sent to the deputy premier on 31 May, 2016, with a recommendation to release the report. However, the deputy premier has not yet advised on the release of the report.”

It notes the Herald had questioned the delay and that Professor Blaszczynski had “expressed frustration” and raised “concerns” including “the lack of updates or rationale provided by the government to date as to the significant delays in releasing this research report”.

An October 31 email between bureaucrats shows an adviser in Mr Grant’s office had flagged the report would be released but was “awaiting necessary authorisations”.

A response on November 3 states: “FYI – I have been informed today that Dr Blaszczynski has inquired with Leanne Perry in my unit as to who he can speak to in order to arrange a meeting with the deputy premier to discuss this issue.”

Mr Grant, who is Police Minister, was dumped as Nationals leader and deputy premier in a reshuffle in late November and replaced as gaming minister by Mr Toole in January this year.

A spokesman for Mr Toole said the report “made a number of legislative, regulatory and policy recommendations which needed be to clarified and further considered by Liquor & Gaming NSW”.

“It was important the government gave due regard to these issues as part of an extensive process of evaluation,” he said.

“There was also a need to draft a formal government response document and for both the report and response document to be considered by cabinet. Once this had all occurred, the report was released without delay.”

The government has said a ban on losses disguised as wins will be considered as part of a broader review of prohibited features on poker machines in NSW, with the timeframe yet to be determined.

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