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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
Mostly, travel is great. It’s a highly enjoyable pursuit, a never-ending highlight reel of places and experiences and people.
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
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?
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.
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.