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.
南京夜网

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.

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

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.
南京夜网

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.

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

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.
南京夜网

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.”

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

ATO wins hot-desking stoush at industrial umpire

The Tax Office will be allowed to roll out hot-desking after winning a fight over the controversial workplace trend at the industrial umpire.
Nanjing Night Net

A stoush between unions and the Australian Taxation Office went to the Fair Work Commission, which heard arguments the agency was prohibited from adopting hot-desking for non-fieldwork staff by its new industrial deal.

In a decision on Wednesday, Fair Work found the agreement let the ATO move all of its public servants into hot-desking, an office set-up whereby staff find new desks each day and pack up their belongings before finishing.

But the Tax Office, which wants to adopt hot-desking at its new Gosford office and has trialled it at Docklands, said it had no plans to roll it out in all workplaces.

“Where there is the opportunity in the fit-out of new buildings or refurbishments the ATO will consider how to design spaces in a way that creates a healthy working environment that improves flexibility, agility, collaboration and productivity,” a spokeswoman said.

Australian Services Union official Jeff Lapidos said the decision was disappointing and that it would review the finding to see if there was any grounds for appeal.

The union would meet with the ATO in January about hot-desking, and was not happy with the fit-out of the Gosford office where desks were too small and lockers too far from workstations, he said.

The Community and Public Sector Union said the hot-desking matter had not ended.

CPSU ATO national organiser Matthew Harrison said it was far from convinced that hot-desking was a smart or cost-effective way to organise workplaces.

“There’s plenty of research out there to back us up on our concerns about its impact on the morale and well-being of workers as well as productivity,” he said.

“Our priority now is to ensure the use of hot-desking at these two trial sites causes the minimum possible disruption, and that any future decisions on hot-desking at other sites are made after proper consultation and after properly considering all the facts.”

The ASU told Fair Work at a hearing last month that ATO staff believed they were backing a workplace deal that would stop bosses rolling out hot-desking when they voted up a new enterprise agreement this year.

A CPSU representative also said while the Tax Office had been open about its wish to introduce hot-desking, unions were clear they opposed it in negotiations.

The unions argued the workplace deal only allowed the Tax Office to require staff doing fieldwork to share desks, a point that Fair Work vice president Joseph Catanzariti disagreed with.

He also rejected union arguments that the ATO during negotiations of the new workplace deal had apparently not intended to introduce hot-desking afterwards.

“The evidence presented at the hearing clearly demonstrates that ATO employees were aware that the ATO intended on utilising shared accommodation,” he said.

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

Robertson’s Big Potato is up for sale

If you’ve always wanted to own Robertson’s iconic Big Potato, now’s your chance.
Nanjing Night Net

Owners Heather and Neil Tait have put the land housing the iconic potato up for sale.

The Robertson couple opened the Family Grocer 27 years ago and purchased the neighbouring potato land just four years ago.

“We decided to buy the potato from Jim Mauger after another grocery shop intended to open in competition,” Heather said.

“But to open they needed to buy the potato land and turn it into a carpark.”

So, Heather and Neil decided to buy the potato to save their business and keep the Big Potato around for the community.

Heather and Neil are both 65 and decided it was time to retire.

“It’s just time for us to finish up,” she said.

“But we won’t sell the shop without the potato.”

If you’re not familiar with the Big Potato, it was built around 1975 by Jim Mauger, and is the focal point of the tiny Highlands town. Robertson used to be a strong potato-growing town, and the potato represents that time in history.

“The potato is a local icon, it’s not the prettiest thing but it’s so unusual it’s a joke,” Heather said.

In fact it’s so unusual that people from right across the country have visited Robertson to see the giant starch in person.

“We sell Big Potato t-shirts and mugs and stubby holders and you should just see people,” Heather said.

“They run in and buy a whole bunch of shirts, put them on and then go and get a whole bunch of photos with the thing!”

Heather and Neil have already had two offers on the potato, but both have been refused.

“We won’t sell the land before the shop,” Heather said.

Heather and Neil hope the fun and enjoyment of the potato will continue for years to come.

“The town would be devastated if it were ever to be taken down.

“It’s such a ridiculous monument that it’s eye-catching and it brings a lot of pleasure to the community.”

Southern Highland News

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

Dirt Candy raises a glass to artisan wine

Grape success: Winemaker Daniel Payne and his wife Jenni with their small-batch wine Dirt Candy. Picture: Simone de PeakHUNTERcouple Daniel and Jenni Payne aren’t big on pretence when it comes to wine.
Nanjing Night Net

With their cheekily namednewcomer boutique label Dirt Candy, they are making high quality, small-batch artisan wine that is quite simply the type of drop they’d personallylike to quaff when entertaining or dining at home.

“We think there will always be a market for a premium non-mass produced product with great packaging and a reasonable price point that is approachable for everyone,” says winemaker Daniel.

“We are in the unique position where we are not restricted by big business or the limitations of appealing to the masses and can simply make the type of wine that we would love to share with great food and friends.”

Both raised in the Hunter Valley, the Paynes bring years of wine experience to their new label, which has four 2017 vintage varietals: The Fizz, an organic sparkling wine; The Natural organic riesling; The Gamechanger rose; and The Wild One Shiraz Cabernet (there’s also The Inheritance Liqueur Muscat).

Mr Payne’s love for wine began when he was studying teachingat the University of Newcastle and did a few vintages in the valley during holidays.

“My interest grew in it because it was a physical job and the science and creative side of it appealed,” he says.

He finished his degree then completed a winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University.Though he could have opted to work inhouse as a winemaker for another company, the appeal in setting up Dirt Candy lay partly in having some flexibility –he and Jenni have three young children.

Dirt Candy sources quality grapes from many wine growing regions in Australia to create wines that reflect the vineyardfrom which they came.

Eachwineis handmade insmall-batches, ensuring the Paynes can maintain a high level of control throughout the wine-making process.

In 2017, the first year of production, the label made less than 50 cases per wine varietal but with things going well the Payne have decided toup the volume to 90 cases per variety in 2018.

The new year will bring a few new projects, including having a crack at making skin-contact white wine (whereby the white wines are made like red wines, with the skins present during the fermentation, rather than pressing the juice off before fermentation begins).

“That’s a growing market, and we are also looking at preservative-freewines,” Danielsays.

Dirt Candy wines are sold via its website and also at Mary Ellen Cellarbrations (Merewether),Diggers Bottle shop (Hamilton South),Bottlo (Greta) and IGA Liquor (Dungog).

Woman’s death after pelvic mesh complications: ‘The pain is just too much’

Close: Alison Blake and daughter Leesa Tolhurst. Mrs Blake committed suicide in June, 2015 after multiple pelvic mesh surgery operations that left her with severe and disabling pain, and unable to urinate without a catheter.
Nanjing Night Net

ALISON Blake took her own life in June 2015 only two weeks after a doctor told hernothing couldbe done to easeher pain oraddress the devastating consequences ofpelvic mesh device surgery.

“I cannot bear the thought of leaving you but the emotional torment and physical pain I’m going through are just too much,” Mrs Blake, 64, said in a final letter to her only child, Leesa Tolhurst.

“I simply cannot bear to be lying on a couch for months on end and to have to rely on catheters, enemas, Temazepam, pain killers and be a burden to my family and friends.”

Read more: Senator Derryn Hinch calls for total ban on mesh devices

Mrs Tolhurstsobbed this week as she remembered the turning point forher mother.

“She’d gone to the doctor hoping that perhaps something could be done. She was hysterical when she came here and said there was nothing left. I just tried to comfort her. I remember her as she drove away from my house, there was just a look in her eyes,” Mrs Tolhurst said.

Mrs Blake, a primary school teacher, was implanted with a prolapse pelvic mesh device in October, 2013 and suffered immediatecomplications, including severe and consistent pain. Her surgeon tried to remove the mesh six weeks later. She had further unsuccessful surgery to treat the complications in May and July, 2014. By November, 2014, the pelvic mesh device was one of the first in the world to be removed from the market because of lack of evidence it was safe and effective to use.

Leesa Tolhurst about her mother, Alison Blake.Suffer in Silenceis a Newcastle Herald investigation spearheaded by journalist Joanne McCarthy

Power back at Bulldogs as list manager

Former Western Bulldogs’ utility Sam Power is replacing Jason McCartney as the club’s list and recruiting manager.
Nanjing Night Net

He will be responsible for TPP management, contracting and player acquisition.

The 34-year-old has been working in Carlton’s football department since 2014 as integrity and operations manager, performing a range of roles including talent identification at the Blues.

He completed a law degree at Melbourne University and played 84 games at the Western Bulldogs and 39 games with North Melbourne between 2002-2009.

The role became vacant when McCartney joined Greater Western Sydney as a list manager last month, a little more than 12 months after the Bulldogs won the flag.

Dogs’ recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple and McCartney built a list that was the envy of many clubs when they won the 2016 premiership under the guidance of senior coach Luke Beveridge, who was in his second season at the club.

But the Bulldogs missed the finals in 2017 and new CEO Ameet Bains, who finished up with St Kilda to start at the Bulldogs in early December, took the opportunity that McCartney’s departure presented to examine the recruiting department’s structure in consultation with football director Chris Grant.

The Bulldogs have made some superb selections at the national draft in recent years with Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Caleb Daniel, Josh Dunkley, Toby McLean and the recently traded Jake Stringer all playing critical roles in the club’s drought-breaking premiership.

At the 2017 national draft they added defender Aaron Naughton, line-breaker Ed Richards and determined midfielder Callum Porter, while also adding talented young forward Josh Schache, midfielder Hayden Crozier and utility Jackson Trengove during the trade period.

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

The $71 million Opera House upgrades that patrons will never see or hear

THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE UPGRADE- Stage hands bump in one of the sets from the Opera La Traviata on the Dame Joan Sutherland theatre at the Sydney Opera House, they are demenstrating how much easier it is to change sets with the new uprades to back stage technologie and lifts on December 20, 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE UPGRADE- Stage hands bump in one of the sets from the Opera La Traviata on the Dame Joan Sutherland theatre at the Sydney Opera House, they are demenstrating how much easier it is to change sets with the new uprades to back stage technologie and lifts on December 20, 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas
南京夜网

Production manager of Opera Australia, James Wheeler stand on the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House, after speaking to media about the changes that audiences will experience when the world-famous venue re-opens on New Year’s Eve, after seven months of renewal works.on 20 December 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron stands on the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House, and speaks to media about the changes that audiences will experience when the world-famous venue re-opens on New Year’s Eve, after seven months of renewal works.on 20 December 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas

THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE UPGRADE- Builders stand on the Dame Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, as the Sydney Opera Houses renovations are nearly complete, ready for the opening night of the Merry Widow on New Years Eve, on December 20, 2017. Photo: Jessica Hromas

They’re likely the most expensive changes to the Sydney Opera House that patrons will hopefully never hear or see.

After seven months and $71 million of work, the Joan Sutherland Theatre will reopen on New Year’s Eve with a performance of Merry Widow.

All patrons are expected to notice is a warm and vibrant sound that does justice to the orchestra, thanks to improvements to the acoustics and the orchestra pit.

Behind the scenes, the improvements include a $45 million upgrade to the theatre machinery including a massive lift built by Austrian firm Waagner-Biro. Unlike the old lift, also built by the same firm, the new one is safer, quieter and 2.5 times faster. It can carry about 20 tonnes of scenery, baritones, sopranos, even elephants and horses to stage level with barely a whisper. The old lift had become unsafe and performers were banned from riding on it.

Above the stage, more than 400 tonnes of wire and steel was removed.

In its place new rigging was installed above the stage managed by a new theatre flying system – that is capable of lifting scenery and cast, even Violetta in La Traviata into the stars – safely and noiselessly.

Previously scene changes were sometimes audible to the audience, making it hard for them to suspend their disbelief.

Opera Australia’s production manager James Wheeler said the changes were designed to provide the best possible performances for singers, dancers, performers and patrons.

“All this work will be happening behind the scenes, as it always has, but less obtrusively, because you won’t hear stuff, everything will work, nothing will break down.”

“We don’t want patrons to know what we are doing, and we don’t want them to see our stuff, unless we are pointing attention, to say, ‘look at this fantastic reveal’,” he said.

The old lift was noisy enough that a member of the Opera House staff swore he could hear it whirring during the overture when watching the simulcast on ABC television.

“What we don’t want is to distract a patron’s attention from what’s happening on stage.

“We don’t want to have someone in the middle of an aria, and suddenly you hear a clunk,” said Mr Wheeler, who started off at the Opera House as a flyman moving rigging. He said he could identify each piece of old rigging by the sound it made during a performance. Now, he hopes to hear nothing.

The improvements to the Joan Sutherland Theatre are the first in the Opera House’s $273 million renewal program, which will include similar improvements to the Concert Hall, changes to the entry foyers and the construction of a new exhibition and performance space under the Opera House stairs.

Inspecting the new changes on Wednesday morning, the Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the improvements “signal a new era for one of the world’s great performance venues and an Australian icon, opening up new possibilities and ensuring it is able to continue to meet the needs and expectations of artists, audiences and visitors for many years to come”.

The changes also include six new toilets for women, improvements in the lighting system and improvements to the air conditioning in the orchestra pit, which previously ranged from freezing to very cold, said a source.

Michael Dixon, a French horn player who has worked in the pit for 12 years, said they worked hard to make a beautiful sound, “rarely achieving anything for the audience other than an echo”.

“I had buried any hope of hearing the warm and vibrant sound that emerged from the section today,” he said after he had tried the new pit.

Now the sound was “truly gorgeous”, he said.

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

Jarryd Hayne accused of rape in US while playing for 49ers

Parramatta Eels superstar Jarryd Hayne has been accused of raping a woman while he was in the US playing for the San Francisco 49ers, US court documents reveal.
南京夜网

Civil lawsuit papers filed in the Santa Clara County court on Tuesday allege Hayne engaged in non-consensual sexual intercourse with a Santa Clara woman identified only as “Ms V” in December 2015.

The civil suit comes more than one year after the case was reviewed and rejected by the District Attorney’s Office, which concluded there was not enough evidence to prove the crime of rape beyond reasonable doubt.

The action filed this week includes claims of sexual battery, gender violence, infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

It is understood Hayne was flying back to Israel when news broke of the allegations.

The league star travelled to Israel earlier this month on a religious holiday, in an effort to strengthen his Christian faith, but returned to Australia halfway through the trip to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday.

Ramy Qutami from Madison Marcus Law Firm issued a statement on behalf of Hayne, who “unequivocally and vehemently” denied the claims.

“Mr Hayne and his management are aware of recent media speculation in relation to a civil complaint filed in the United States of America making certain allegations in relation to an event which allegedly occurred in 2015 whilst playing for the San Francisco 49ers,” Mr Qutami said.

“Mr Hayne has not been served with any proceedings or formal complaint relating to the incident.

“Mr Hayne previously addressed a complaint made to the District Attorney’s office in the County of Santa Clara, California in 2016 and the District Attorney did not proceed any further with the matter due to insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations. Mr Hayne provided all reasonable assistance to the District Attorney with that investigation.

“Mr Hayne unequivocally and vehemently denies the allegations which are the subject of the civil complaint. Mr Hayne will not be making any further comment in relation to this matter.” #jerusalemA post shared by Jarryd Hayne (@jarrydhayne38) on Dec 10, 2017 at 2:30am PSTAngel 1st bday.A post shared by Jarryd Hayne (@jarrydhayne38) on Dec 16, 2017 at 6:29am PSTJarryd Hayne documents by FairfaxPolitics on Scribd

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

Homes of the HunterNewcastle WestPhotos

Homes of the Hunter | Newcastle West | Photos TweetFacebookX Files DVDS.
南京夜网

“I bought the bookshelf from Ikea, and it adds a lot of character to the place,” Mitchell says.

“I don’t want to add colour for no reason. There was a lot of deliberation regarding the cushions on the couch. The black clock was Stephen’s. It’s just there for aesthetics. I took the battery out because the ticking was driving me nuts.”

Mitchell describes his room as being shaped like the Superman emblem, which is nicely complemented by his stand-up bass. Although he does play, he says it’s there for aesthetics. He has the smaller bedroom, but he gets the bigger bathroom.

“I like that there’s the rooftop, that’s sick,” Mitchell says. “Everyone shares that. It’s a nice view of the city, you can see the interchange.”

He’s adjusting to downsizing in space, but he says now it just feels like the whole house is his bedroom. They have a balcony with a view of the city where Ben likes to eat his breakfast. Here he’ll watch people test-riding new bikes as he’s right next to the bike shop.

“I think it works well because I have extremely weird, long, different hours,” Roberts says. “I don’t think my lifestyle would have worked with a 9-5 person. But me and Ben are pretty free-flowing. Last night at 1amBen asked me to buy some laundry detergent on my way home from the Roost.”

Mitchell isn’t just an illustrator, he also creates a comic series called Storm Clouds.

“My whole last comic was about living in a share house, and all the stuff that was really driving that narrative is no longer a part of my life,” Mitchell says.

“There’s nothing that I regret or dislike about that time of my life, but it’s interesting to see it on the page and starting a new chapter of my life with apartment living. In a share house no one feels like they own anything. We never decorated the living room because we’d have to check with everyone. Stephen enjoys anything I do to it. He loves the cushions. He loves the bookshelf.”

Mitchell loves holding rooftop dinner parties. However, when he first moved in, he had a bit of a mishap while cooking and sliced his finger open. Stephen ended up taking him to the hospital.

“If I had done this in my other house I would have died,” Mitchell says.

“Since Ben’s come along it’s added some character to the house,” Roberts says.

The apartment block just became open for residents earlier this year, and the space is a perfect example of modern urban living. Throw in Mitchell and Roberts with their unique personalities and creative endeavors, and Newcastle West becomes a little more interesting.

Have a home that could feature in Weekender? We’d love to see it.Email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

‘Gloopy American schmaltz’: Our review of Titanic, 20 years on

First published in the Sun-Herald on December 21,1997
南京夜网

Here’s the skinny on the most expensive and possibly most anticipated movie of the year: Titanic doesn’t look like it cost $250 million. It’s half an hour too long, thanks to gloopy American schmaltz.

But, and it’s a big but, there are moments of suspense which will have even the blase digging their nails into the armrest. And the scenes involving the ship’s death throes are some of the most spectacular ever on screen.

So, does the average punter looking for a disaster movie extraordinaire, a 1990s Poseidon Adventure with whizzbang effects, get their money’s worth? Yes, indeedy. With a three hours-plus running time, what you get is almost two movies (romantic drama and action mayhem) in one.

It opens on a 1990s diamond-hunter (Paxton) who explores the wreck of the Titanic 12,000 feet below the North Atlantic’s surface.

That’s mostly an excuse for Aliens director James Cameron to flash some expensive hardware and give audiences some poignant footage of the real ship. (Cameron himself shot the deep-dive footage two years ago as a catalyst for his long-cherished project.)

The story centres on the discovery of well-born Rose, a survivor of the 1912 disaster. She tells the story, of her forbidden romance with a free-spirited artist (DiCaprio). So, cut to Cameron’s depiction of the world’s biggest luxury liner, the “unsinkable” Titanic: 269 metres in length (Cameron duplicated at 236 metres) and carrying 2,223 passengers.

Despite all the money thrown at the screen, the boat sometimes looks touched-up, fuzzy where it hits the water, noticeably round the stern. And the fatal iceberg looks like Styrofoam.

But the way Cameron’s camera roams so intimately round the first class private promenades and boxy third class quarters gives viewers a real sense of being on board.

Indeed, its immediacy, the way the pace steadily increases, the plot’s classic tragedy, makes this a movie which grabs viewers by the scruff of the neck and demands, “What would you do?”

It’s nice also to be given two characters whom you can unreservedly cheer on. As the cloistered 17-year-old, stifled by her upcoming wedding to a wealthy prat (Billy Zane), gorgeously gowned English rose Winslet is a beautiful rebel in traditional head-tossing mode.

Marvin’s Room drama genius DiCaprio occasionally takes the easy-smirking option but his impish approach (“This is bad”) is a shrewd link to younger viewers. Older viewers, if they’re not hooked by the lavish historical detail and rich gallery of characters, can enjoy arch performers like Kathy Bates as showgirl Molly Brown. Plus a story which perfectly captures the grim reality that in the 20th century, nothing in life – or technology – is certain.

Rating: M

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton

Critic’s Warning: Language, gunplay, mass fatalities.

Critic’s Rating: 8 out of 10.

First published in the Sun-Herald on December 21, 1997

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

Genial bear still has plenty of charm

PADDINGTON 2 ??????????? G, 103 minutes, now showing in general release
南京夜网

Director Paul King and the producers of the Paddington movies select their villains with great care.

In the first film, it was an implacable Nicole Kidman as a museum curator out to add Paddington’s hide to her collection. This time, it’s a monstrously vain Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan, a once-celebrated actor reduced to starring in dog food commercials.

Valiantly displaying his willingness to play the fool in a good cause, Grant prances through the part as if born to it, assisted by an extensive assortment of props. Phoenix fancies himself a master of disguise, so he’s permitted fancy dress, false whiskers and silly walks.

This is actually meant to be Pooh Bear’s year. Now 91, he’s been honoured with an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a bio-pic of his creator, A. A. Milne, and his son, Christopher Robin.

But fans of Pooh’s friendly rival, Paddington, haven’t got the message and they’re sticking with their favourite. Paddington 2’s British box-office exceeded that of the original during its opening weekend and the reviewers have been equally enthusiastic.

It starts with a flashback recalling Paddington’s beginnings in the Peruvian jungle with his beloved Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo. Then it sets us down in London’s Windsor Gardens, where the bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is still enjoying life as part of the Brown family.

It’s a London we see only in fairytales – a perennially sunny village full of people who look as if they’re about to launch into a song-and-dance number. And all the regulars are back although there are one or two changes.

Hugh Bonneville is looking a little more harassed as Henry, the patriarch, who has missed out on an expected job promotion, and Sally Hawkins as Mary, his wife, is cherishing an unlikely ambition to swim the English Channel.

But Paddington is more popular than ever among all the Windsor Gardens residents. His only enemy is a crabby Peter Capaldi, the neighbourhood xenophobe, who would only be happy if everybody looked and behaved like him.

Things start to go awry when Paddington decides to give Aunt Lucy an expensive 100th birthday present – an antique pop-up book he’s found in the local antique shop. To raise the money, he takes an ill-fated job as a barber’s assistant, followed by a stint as a window cleaner.

And both supply the opportunity for a couple of gently choreographed slapstick routines, their appeal rooted in Paddington’s well-meaning disposition and his unfailing ingenuity.

Whishaw’s voice is perfect for him. There’s no cuteness in it. Nor is there any hint of the pumped up jollity that Disney likes to give its cartoon animals. It catches Paddington’s fragility and his stoicism, along with his determination. Best of all, he never says too much.

It’s at this point that Phoenix begins to screw things up, breaking into the antique shop and stealing the pop-up book. Paddington is blamed and sent to gaol, where we meet a new cast of characters, led by Brendan Gleeson as the fearsome Nuckles, the prison cook, who takes to Paddington after getting a taste of one of his marmalade sandwiches.

The performances are all pitch-perfect but even the sorry sight of Paddington languishing in a prison cell can’t disguise the fact that the story needs more tension. Kidman was genuinely scary but Grant’s mugging – accomplished as it is – fails to drum-up the slightest hint of menace.

Nor is it meant to. Action is the thing here. The denouement is a slapstick marathon scaled up to take in two steam trains and a sea plane, and although it’s as cleverly put together as you’d expect, it doesn’t set the pulse racing.

At least, the pulse of an adult who has seen hero and villain battle on the roof of a speeding train in countless other movies.

Young children, however, may see it differently and Paddington, who must have the most expressive eyes ever seen on a CGI animal, has such durable charm that the film’s shortcomings are overridden by its good-natured spirit.

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