AFP investigating itself after arrest details accidentally broadcast

The Australian Federal Police is investigating itself after details of an operation to arrest an alleged North Korean agent were accidentally broadcast on social media.
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AFP officers arrested a 59-year-old Sydney man on Sunday and charged him, alleging he had tried to arrange the sale of North Korean missile parts.

But days before the man’s arrest, the AFP’s media team broadcast a minute-long discussion on live-video streaming app Periscope of how they would manage media surrounding the event.

The Periscope clip was recorded by The West Australian – whose report included details on the timing of the arrest, and whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull or opposition leader Bill Shorten would need to be briefed.

In the audio, an officer was heard saying AFP officers were “not going in all guns blazing, it’s only half-a-dozen people and a forensic van”.

Another AFP officer can be heard saying they needed to take into account what politicians would need to know.

“We just need to recognise that the PM will be standing up at some time on Sunday to talk about Bennelong [by-election], as will Shorten.”

According to the newspaper, the broadcast remained on the AFP Periscope page until they notified media officers it was still there.

An AFP spokesman confirmed part of an office conversation was accidentally broadcast via their Periscope account on Wednesday, December 13.

“The incident occurred when testing a piece of social media broadcasting equipment,” the spokesman said.

“Steps have been taken to ensure such incidents will not occur again.

“The matter has been referred to the AFP’s Security area for review. As such, no further comment will be made at this time.”

At the time of the arrest on Sunday, AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the case was an Australian first.

He said the AFP allege the man had been acting “to serve some higher patriotic purpose” to raise funds for North Korea, and could have raised tens of millions of dollars if successful.

“This case is like nothing we have ever seen on Australian soil,” Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.

The man, named as Chan Han Choi, is understood to have been born in South Korea but has lived in Australia for three decades as a naturalised citizen.

He was charged with offences relating to being a broker and economic agent for the North Korean regime, including two under Australia’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995.

The man is expected to appear in Central Local Court next week.

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Car parks a battlefield during Christmas

ONE in three people who have a collision with aparked car do not leave their details, newdata released ahead of the Christmas shopping rush reveals.
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Insurance company Youireleased the research on the eve of the Christmas shopping frenzy to warn drivers of the increaseddangerin shopping centre car parks during thefestive season.

“Unfortunately, many drivers returning to their cars often find it damaged and the offender has not left their contact details,” Youi CEO Frank Costigan said.

The research also revealed up to 14 per cent of all motor insurance claims occur when cars aresitting stationary.

The average cost of each claim from a parked car collision is over $2000.

Mr Costigan outlined the need to take extra care when navigating the congestedshopping centre spaces.

“Unfamiliar car parks can be difficult places to safely navigate and when combined with large numbers of stressed-out drivers looking for scarce available spaces it’s a perfect scenario for increased numbers of collisions,” Mr Costigan said.

“The intense competition for space often means drivers try to squeeze into tight spots. People trying to get out of their car also often knock their door into other vehicles, with many cars bearing the trademark nick on the side.”

The stress of shopping at Christmas isn’t just restricted to the car park, asthe Heraldrevealed on Tuesday with details of abuse aimed at customer service workers.

The ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign aims toend abuse and violence towardsretail staff, particularly during the Christmas period.

Asurvey of 6000 workers was conducted by the SDA union which revealed over 85 per cent of respondents had been verbally abused in the past 12 months.

This is why you should never throw a New Year’s Eve party

You’ve decided to have a New Year’s party. Yeah, you’re going to have it at your house and invite all your dearest friends to welcome in the new year with a night of laughter and dancing and joyous revelry, you massive massive idiot.
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So you send out a text to everyone that says “Heyyyyy, I’m having a New Year’s par-tayyyyyyyy! Come along and bring a drink (or several!) PLS RSVP ASAP THX (phewwww!!!)” – the kooky comical tone giving people a little preview of the hilarity and good times they are sure to enjoy.

Then you sit back and wait for the replies to flood in.

A day passes, two days, a week, you hear nothing. That’s because all your dearest friends are waiting to get a better offer before they commit to yours.

There is all kinds of desperate stuff going on behind the scenes that you have no idea about: late-night calls, clandestine discussions, crisis negotiations. It’s intense.

You are not discouraged by the lack of replies. You figure that everyone must be too busy to text back immediately, or maybe there are mobile-tower outages across town – yeah that must be it – so you carry on with your party plans, you poor, deluded buffoon.

You go out and buy a fire pit to create a summery backyard ambience: it’s a big rust-toned one but all the colour comes off on your shirt when you carry it to the car and turns out, it’s just an enormous chef’s mixing bowl painted with insta-rust.

You also go into your shed and get out your festoon lights for glamorous outdoor mood lighting, but they’re all tangled together in a big lewd clump, all the sticky-outy bulbs snagged on each other. Related: Everyone is renovating and it’s pushed me to the brinkRelated: An ode to all the unfinished jobs around my houseRelated: Australia’s affinity with the backyard

After two hours of untangling, you give up and throw the festoon lights back in the shed, close the door, and let them carry on with whatever they were doing in the dark.

You won’t let yourself be defeated by these setbacks. You prepare the house for partying by cleaning the bathroom, tidying the garden, and stocking up on plenty of food and beverages.

You even put together a party playlist: you want to be up to date so you throw in a few songs from your So Fresh: The Hits of Summer 2005 CD. And you fill it out with heaps of classic funky dance tracks: 10cc, Karen Carpenter, and selections from Miss Saigon for after midnight, when the dance floor really heats up.

Your New Year’s party goes ahead, but it doesn’t turn out quite like you had hoped. Not everyone shows up. Just the old Korean couple from next door, who pop around for 15 minutes. And your brother and sister-in-law who bring their three kids, a dog, and a six-pack of beer with two beers missing.

Also someone named Ivy shows up; she says she’s a friend of Alice’s but you don’t know anyone named Alice, so it’s all a bit of a mystery.

But still you make the most of it and have a great New Year’s party, laughing and dancing and revelling until dawn. All by yourself.

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Mayfield, Medowie lead container deposit scheme

The ‘Return and Earn’ scheme has been popular in Newcastle. Picture: Daniel MunozMAYFIELD and Medowie have been the Hunter’s most popular collection points in the state’s fledgling container deposit scheme, data shows.
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Two weeks after the program began on December 1,theHeraldcan reveal Hunter residents have returned over 490,000 containers across the region’s set of reverse vending machines (RVM).

Mayfield and Medowie have proved to be the most utilised, each havingover 150,000 containers deposited through their RVMs.

A total of over fivemillion containers were collected across NSW in the first two weeks.

Are you wondering which containers are eligible and which containers aren’t? Our video below is a quick-stop guide, but full guidelines can be located on our website: https://t.co/VkkiZ5VIs1#ReturnAndEarn#DoingMyBit ♻️ pic.twitter南京夜网/gQiH7SdXYi

— Return and Earn (@NSWGovCDS) December 14, 2017

The scheme’s rollout has been widely criticisedbythe Opposition, with many areas of the state unable to access collection points.

Reverse vending machines are in place nearWoolworths stores inMayfield, Jesmond, Mount Hutton, Medowie, Salamander Bay and Singleton.

Read more:Mayfield reverse vending machine one of state’s first

Over-the-counter collection points are also operatingin Tenambit, Morisset andMcDougalls Hill, but have restrictions in operating hours and volumes that can be returned.

State Member for WallsendSonia Hornery MPcriticisedthe government over itsfailure to deliver the promised 800 RVMs at over 500 collection points across the state, believing more needed to be established in the Hunter.

“All 80,000 Wallsend residents now have only one site where they can go and get a refund on their bottles and cans,” Ms Hornery said.

“This is totally unfair to local residents, businesses and their staff across Wallsend.”

Read more: Recycling Scheme Pays Out

An EPA spokesperson said Hunter residents had “participated enthusiastically” in the new scheme and suggested their had been minimal issues for the scheme’s operator in the Hunter thus far.

“[Scheme operators] TOMRA Cleanaway are electronically notified immediately when a reverse vending machine is full, or requires technical assistance, and dispatch technicians as required,” the EPA spokesperson said.

“They continueto roll out new collection points across the state.

“New locations are added to the map on梧桐夜网returnandearn.org419论坛as soon as they are finalised.”

Hughesy and Kate prove KIIS FM’s loss is 2DayFM’s gain

Even with another disappointing showing in the year’s final Sydney radio survey, the beleaguered bosses over at 2DayFM will be rubbing their hands with glee over 2018’s potential.
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The station, which has sputtered through 2017, has a welcome head start heading into the new year thanks to incoming drive hosts Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek.

Hughesy and Kate, in their last showing for KIIS FM, topped the drive ratings for the second consecutive survey, building 0.2 points to expand their audience share to 10.8 per cent.

The pair were spectacularly poached by 2DayFM’s Southern Cross Austereo in October after KIIS’s Australian Radio Network stuttered on their contract renewals, and are set to debut on the station in a new national show in January.

The duo will be taking over from the retiring Hamish and Andy, while little-known Perth personalities Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw will host KIIS’s new national drive show.

The other drive results remained steady, with Nova 96.9’s Kate, Tim and Marty in second place with a 10.3 per cent audience share (up 0.4) and 2GB’s Ben Fordham at 9.4 per cent (down 0.3 per cent).

The breakfast results remain, as always, with 2GB’s Alan Jones.

The veteran broadcaster ended another year on top with a 13.3 per cent audience share (down 0.5), ahead of KIIS 106.5’s Kyle and Jackie O, who’ve mounted a challenge heading into 2018 with a 1.0 point jump to a 12.1 per cent audience share.

WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda’s solid year sees them close out with a 10 per cent audience share (down 0.7 per cent), while Jones’ 2GB officemate Ray Hadley rules the later morning slot with a 14.9 per cent share.

Another dismal showing for Em Rusciano’s ballyhooed breakfast show underscores 2DayFM’s troubled year, dropping 0.1 points to a 2.8 per cent audience share, its lowest in the slot since Maz Compton and Dan Debuf bottomed at 2.4 in January 2015.

The show will relaunch with new co-hosts Ed Kavalee (Have You Been Paying Attention?) and Grant Denyer (Family Feud) in January.

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Easy and budget-friendly DIY jobs to do over the summer holidays

It’s somewhere around the summer holidays that people begin to notice all the things around their homes that need fixing.
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But that doesn’t mean you have to call in the professionals. Many projects are easy to DIY and just require a little time and elbow grease.

Tackling one or more of these projects will go a long way towards refreshing your home over the holidays. Interior painting

Photo: Stocksy

Just about anyone is capable of this one. Assuming your surfaces only need a light prep and you are painting them yourself, you can expect the cost of paint to average out about $50-$100 per room.

You will also have the expense of rollers, brushes and masking tape, as well as sugar soap or whatever you decide to clean your walls with.

If you have wallpaper to remove, or there are little nicks or gouges in the wall, you will need to fix them first. Allow as much time for preparing the surfaces as for painting them. You will need to patch the imperfections, sand, clean then mask any areas you aren’t painting, around windows, door handles and ceilings, before you start the actual painting.

Typically prep and painting will take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours per room, but sometimes more. This includes prepping and painting the trims which can sometimes take longer than the walls. Related: The jobs you really need the experts forRelated: Tips to tackle a budget apartment renovationRelated: 5 DIY renovations you can do in a weekendLandscaping

Photo: Stocksy

Fixing up an entertaining area or improving the street appeal of your property is an ideal holiday project.

On a budget? Simply transplant plants and cuttings that friends and family are happy to hand off. If you’ve got some money to spend, buy a range of plants and style your backyard accordingly. Allow around $800 for an average front yard; this will give you a pretty solid look.

While it can be difficult to estimate the time frame of a landscaping job, I’d allow a small job to be done in a day. If there are pavers to lay or a lot of landscaping needed, you are looking at three or four days of solid work. Door Handles

Replacing outdated door handles can do a lot to refresh the look and feel of a house. There are lots of videos on YouTube that will show you what handle to look for and how to put it together properly. Allow between $30 and $50 per set of handles.

A expert will usually take 20-40 minutes per door to install handles, so if it’s your first time, it will probably be double this – at least for the first few doors. Timber floors

Photo: Stocksy

If you’re a reasonably confident DIYer, you might want to have a go at redoing your timber floors. A quick sand and a new coat of clear varnish will have the floors looking brand new.

Many of my clients have successfully tackled this job themselves. Take a look at a few YouTube videos first to make sure you know what you are doing, and test your skills in an area that is seen less often, like under a bed or in the office.

You can hire a floor sander for about $150-$200 a day. It should take you about three or four days to do the whole job. Curtains

Photo: Luigi Rosselli Architects/ Houzz Australia

This is a relatively simple job and a great way to improve the aesthetics of your home. If you’ve already got tracks in place, then it’s just a case of replacing the curtains.

The different styles of hooks can be confusing, so take photos of tracks, or take them into a curtain shop so the staff can help you work out what you need.

Ready-made curtains can cost as little as $50 a set and can be installed in a matter of hours. Retiling the kitchen splashback

Photo: Hommemaker

If you’re quite handy, you might want to have a go at updating the kitchen splashback by retiling it. However, this is one job where you’ll want to weigh up your experience level, and the type of tiles you are going to use, before you dive straight in. Some tiles are trickier to align and won’t look good if done by somebody who is not experienced.

Again, YouTube is a great place to gather info, get tips and watch how the professionals do it.

Before you start, make sure you consider the knock-on effect so it doesn’t turn into a mountain of a job. For example, if your tiles sit behind the benchtops, it will become a much more complex task.

Cost to DIY a new tile splash-back? Anywhere from $100-$500 for your materials (plus tools). Refreshing surfaces

Simple tasks like water blasting driveways and cleaning gutters are jobs many homeowners can tackle. They are labour-intensive, but are not too expensive and can make a huge difference to the outside appeal of your home.

The only costs involved are your water blaster, which can be hired for about $100-$200 a day, and any chemicals that might be needed. A job like this will take you anywhere from half a day to a few days depending on how big and how dirty your property is.

Jane Eyles-Bennett is one of Australia’s leading home renovation and interior design experts. She is an award-winning interior designer with more than 25 years’ experience designing the interiors and exteriors of homes, specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces.

Contact Jane at [email protected]南京夜网 or via her website.

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Melbourne weather: Temperature plunges as storm lashes state

Stony creek backwash (under Westgate Bridge) looking back towards Coode Island. Storm hits Melbourne’s CBD.
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A fierce storm battered parts of the state on Tuesday night, with large hailstones the size of golf balls pelting Melbourne’s south-east.

Wild winds, thunderstorms, heavy rain and giant hailstones began lashing the city just before 8pm, with reports of flash flooding across Melbourne.

The Bureau of Meteorology said three to four centimetres of hail pelted Nunawading, East Doncaster and Templestowe.

Lights went out on late night Christmas shoppers at Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s west as rain started poured in from the ceiling.

Dangerous thunderstorms, damaging winds and large hailstones were detected on the weather radar near Craigieburn, Greensborough and Preston, with severe thunderstormsdetected near Dandenong, Glen Waverley and Kilmore.

Just before 11pm, Warrigal Road was closed in both directions between Canterbury and Riversdale roads due to a landslide, according to VicRoads.

Drivers are being urged to avoid the area and it remains unclear when the road will be reopened.

A severe windstorm has also brought down trees and powerlines across the North East and Hume Region.

VicEmergency has warned travel is “very dangerous” in these areas due to a number of trees and powerlines down and traffic light outages.

Earlier, VicRoads advised motorists to avoid travel in fierce weather conditions.

Nick Addison was inside his house in Templestowe watching the freak thunderstorm with his four-year-old daughter when they heard a deafening sound outside.

“We’re were just looking up at the lightning across the sky then all of a sudden we heard this pretty loud banging and kept going so we went out the front to take a look,” he said.

“There were huge hailstones everywhere…. I picked a few of them up and they were easily golf ball-size.”

Mr Addison said his car was protected under a double garage, but friends and family living nearby in Templestowe weren’t so lucky.

“I know my friend’s car has copped a fair bit of damage and hailstones just pelted through my parents’ pergola,” he said.

“I’d imagine there is plenty of damage out there tonight.”

Melbourne Airport warned some flights may be delayed due to the weather, with a spokeswoman confirming the airport was operating on a single runway on Tuesday evening.

The airport also urged travellersto check with the airlines they were flying with for updates on delays.

The State Emergency Service has responded to more than 1600 call-outs across the state, with the bulk of requests for help coming from regional areas including Mildura, Swan Hill, Kilmore and Shepparton.

The SES has also been inundatedwith calls for help from the Manningham municipalitywhich encompasses Doncaster, Templestowe, Donvale, Bulleen, Warrandyte and Wonga Park.

“Most of these calls have been for assistance with trees down over roads, fallen powerlines and building damage,” a State Control Centre spokeswoman said.

“There are also reports of large hail stones falling in some areas, thunderstoms and damaging winds as the storm moves from central Victoria to the east of the state and into Melbourne.”

An estimated 100,000 Victorians are currently without power, according to the SES.

It remains unknown when power will be restored.

The bureau has also warned another wild storm front may affect areas including Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.Hey @Mick_Fanning, sweet surf on Swan St in Melbourne if you wanna grab your board and join me ???? pic.twitter南京夜网/J220S4jRlh??? Andy Lee (@andy_lee) December 19, 2017Check out this hail holy shit #melbourneweatherpic.twitter南京夜网/TQxlQ0pzvS??? ???? jayde ???? (@lostravenclaw) December 19, 2017Hails stones far wider than my skinny hands pic.twitter南京夜网/NCyKbswkPU??? Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) December 19, 2017#melbweather mega storm that flew over Tullamarine plus the part where the door slammed behind me and I literally jumped pic.twitter南京夜网/EWrMYZbnIg??? Anthony Farrell (@AnthoBuzzTV) December 19, 2017Hailstones on the aluminium roof sounded like gunshots! Crazy scenes! #vicstormspic.twitter南京夜网/Gra1GPFlmM??? kenners (@dankennedy81) December 19, 2017And another violent storm dumping heavy ????on mildura. Lawns going to look good for backyard cricket Christmas Day. pic.twitter南京夜网/E2odO8pdIB??? Michael Moodie (@Moodie_ag) December 19, 2017#Victoria thunderstorm outlook. Analysis shows potential for severe #storms in central areas (including #Melbourne) during the afternoon, extending eastward later. Heavy rain, large hail and damaging gusts are a risk. All forecasts available via https://t.co/bcbdPhHwQfpic.twitter南京夜网/pSasZDaziu??? Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) December 19, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

This Christmas, Eric Abetz is making a list

Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Public service emails could be the next front in a battle over “political correctness” after hardline Coalition senator Eric Abetz asked agencies to disclose their holiday staff greetings.
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Government agencies are releasing Christmas and Easter messages from departmental bosses to the bureaucracy for the former public service minister, known for his ardent Christian views and social conservatism.

Senator Abetz has come under fire from the Greens and public policy experts, who said he was wasting the time of agencies that should be allowed to focus on delivering services.

But the Liberal Senate backbencher said people had a right to know the extent of “the infiltration of a political correctness agenda in the public service” that repudiated Australia’s long-held traditions.

Senator Eric Abetz. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

He has asked more than 80 agencies to release their Christmas, Easter and Ramadan messages.

Department heads in greetings disclosed to the Senate commonly wish their staff a merry Christmas and eschew greetings of “happy holidays” despised by socially conservative critics.

Home Affairs department secretary Michael Pezzullo, writing then as Immigration boss, former Defence secretary Dennis Richardson, and ex-Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell in 2016 all gave the traditional greeting.

Agency bosses also commonly wished their staff a “happy Easter”.

Debate over Christmas messages moved to social media after Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim posted on Facebook a tongue-in-cheek photo showing a banner wishing a “merry nondenominational seasonal festivity”, in a dig at Senator Abetz.

Senator McKim said the questions from the conservative backbencher showed Christmas messages had become his new obsession after losing the debate over same-sex marriage.

“This is just Eric Abetz fighting imaginary enemies,” he said.

“Public servants have better things to do than answer idiotic questions on notice.

“Heads of government agencies are well entitled to send celebratory messages to their staff without having to worry what the right wing culture warriors think about it.”

ANU Crawford School of Public Policy director Helen Sullivan said Senator Abetz’s questions were a ridiculous waste of time for public servants.

“They’ve got more important things to worry about than checking on how people are being greeted,” she said.

“Of the great range of things Senator Abetz could be dealing with, I don’t think this is a particularly important one.”

The public service represented all Australians, and this should be reflected in both their holiday messages and their broader work, Professor Sullivan said.

“The APS should not be used as a political football. It’s not there for the purposes of people to argue their political differences or to be a new front in the culture war.”

Senator Abetz said his questions were very easily answered and included no impost.

“I am pleased to see that, so far, most agencies have no qualms in celebrating Easter and Christmas,” he said.

The senator, who presided over the Coalition’s hiring freeze and 15,000 job losses, has remained vocal about his views on how the government should manage the public service, calling twice in 2017 for more massive cuts to its headcount.

Follow Doug Dingwall on Twitter.

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NRL: Brock Lamb among three Knights in Emerging Blues squad

IN THE FRAME: Brock Lamb has been named in a 38-man Emerging Blues squad. Picture: Marina Neil
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BROCK Lamb may be set to play a back-up role at the Newcastle Knights but the halfback remains in the mind of NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler

Lamb and fellow Knights Daniel Safiti and Connor Watson were on Tuesday selected in a 38-man Emerging Blues squad.

The squad, which includes established stars Mitchell Moses, Nathan Cleary, Latrell Mitchell and Angus Crichton,will attend a camp in Sydney on January 13.

Fittler and assistant coach Danny Buderus will be joined by former Blues Andrew Johns, Craig Fitzgibbon, Matt King, Mark O’Meley and Anthony Minichiello in specialist positional coaching roles.

“I’ve brought these players in because they’re players I really respect and I believe they can learn a lot from the camp – both on and off the field,” Fittler said.“The majority of theplayers are young stars already playing first grade, or on their way to the top grade.These players will be the backbone of the NSW Origin team going forward. We’re hoping they get a lot from the Emerging Blues camp, about expectations, and learning from some of NSW Origin’s best former players, who I have played with and really respect.”

Lambstarted in 21 games for the Knights last season and was a finalist for the Dally M rookie of the year.

However, the 20-year-old’s future has been cloudedsince the Knights won the race to secure MitchellPearce’s signature.Lambhad been all set to start next season at halfback alongside Roosters recruit Connor Watson but is most likely to start the season on the bench or in NSW Cup.

Emerging Blues:Payne Haas,Tevita Pengai Jr, Michael Lichaa (Brisbane),Nick Cotric (Canberra),

Jayden Brailey,Kyle Flanagan,Jessie Ramien (Cronulla Sharks),Lachlan Croker,Jack Gosiewski,Brian Kelly,Luke Metcalf (Manly), Curtis Scott (Melbourne),Brock Lamb,Daniel Saifiti,Connor Watson (Newcastle),Nathan Cleary,Dylan Edwards,Moses Leota (Penrith),Bevan French,Tepai Moeroa,Mitchell Moses, Kyle Schneider (Parramatta), Jake Hazard, Latrell Mitchell, Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters),Angus Crichton,Tyrell Fuimanu,Campbell Graham,Cam Murray (South Sydney),Matt Dufty, Jai Field, Zac Lomax,Reece Robson,Hame Sele (St George Illawarra),JacobLiddle,Bayley Sironen,Moses Suli,Alex Twal (Wests Tigers)

Centenary of the Great War

DESERT CHRISTMAS: Time away from fighting was a treasured break for these lighthorsemen. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for December 17-23, 1917.
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HONOUR ROLLThe ceremony of unveiling the roll of honour containing the names of members of the Merewether school of arts who volunteered to serve the Empire, took place on Saturday, in the presence of a large number of residents. Mrs E.A.M Merewether stated it was with pleasure that she acceded to the request of the committee of management to be present with them that day. She trusted that the war would soon be over, but if necessity demanded that further sacrifice should be made to bring the Allies to victory, she would like to see the tablets on the monument filled with the names of brave volunteers. She then touched a cord, and the Union Jack fell away, disclosing a structure some eight feet high, on which were engraved 19 names. One tablet bore the following inscription: “Erected in honour of our heroes, who answered their country’s call, and fought in the great war, 1914, unveiled 15th December, 1917, by Mrs E.A.M Merewether.” Mr A Edden, MP, paid a tribute to the members who had gone to the front. Personally he had no time for shirkers. He knows the heart burnings of mothers and wives of the gallant fellows who were today doing all they could to uphold their country’s honour. Alderman Wells, the Mayor, complimented the school of arts committee for erecting such a fine structure to the memory of their members, and suggested that one grand monument should be erected in some conspicuous place within the municipality in honour of all the young men who had gone forth from Merewether. The Rev. Mr Reid addressed the gathering at some length.

WIRELESS TRAINING SCHOOLMen are urgently required for training in the Wireless Training School in Sydney. Vacanciesexist for fitters and turners, instrument makers and repairers, electricians, electrical mechanics, linemen, telegraphists, wireless operators and drivers, while watchmakers are very urgently required. Full particulars as to rates of pay, etc., may be had on application, either personally or by letter, to the O.C., Wireless Training School, Moore Park. Applicants should furnish full particulars of their experience, and produce copies of any credentials they may hold.

POLLING BOOTH RULESInstructions have been issued by the District Commandant to commanding officers, and all concerned, as follows: The responsibility for the maintenance of order in and around the polling booths on referendum day, December 20th, rests with the civil authorities, but the following instructions must be issued to all troops. (1) As far as practicable arrangements will be made for all soldiers in camps to record their votes in camp.(2) Instructions must be issued that no soldiers in uniform must loiter in the vicinity of polling booths. (3) Where it is necessary for soldiers in uniform to vote at booths, outside their camps, they must go to the polling booths individually, and under no circumstances must they approach the booths in any military formation.

WELCOME ANDFAREWELLA pleasant social evening was spent at the Broadway Picture Palace on Monday evening, when a welcome home was extended by the Broadmeadow Citizens’ Soldiers’ Comforts Fund to Lance-corporal Miller, Privates Carlyon, Jamieson, and Kerr, and a send-off to Sapper F. M’Kenna.An interesting exhibit was the flag presented by Mr D. Watkins, MHR, to the wireless scouts, before their departure for Mesopotamia, and was hoisted in Bagdad by the Australians, who were the first to enter that city on its capture by the British forces. The flag bears the signatures on its stars of the Australians who reached Bagdad with General Maude. Another exhibit that excited much attention consisted of shirts and socks made by the lady members of the Broadmeadow Citizens’ Soldiers’ Comforts Fund for the soldiers. At the supper presentations were made to the guests by Mr. Watkins. MHR, on behalf of the fund. For Lance-corporal Miller and Private Jamieson, there was an inscribed silver cigarette case each; for Private Carlyon an inscribed silver-mounted tobacco pouch; for Private Kerr a fountain pen; and for Sapper M’Kenna a wallet.

PRIVATE HUMPHRIESMrs Humphries has received the following letter from Lieutenant W. Stevens, of the 53rd Battalion: “I have been directed by the commanding officer to acknowledge your inquiry re your son, Private R.H. Humphries. It was during the battalion’s tour of duty in the first line of trenches at Bullecourt that he met his death. On the 13th May he was hit in the head by a piece of enemy shell, and died a few minutes later, without regaining consciousness. He was buried near Bullecourt the same day. May I take this opportunity of expressing the sympathy of the Commanding Officer and the whole battalion with yourself, and relatives of Private Humphries. He was always a gallant and keen soldier, and well-liked by officers and comrades. I can assure you very much he is missed by all.”

GUNNER SMITHThe official news that Gunner J.T. (Sugar) Smith was suffering from gas poisoning was received by his wife, who lives at 45 Union St, Wickham. Gunner Smith, who is in hospital in England, has been on active service for two years. This is the fourth time his name has appeared in the casualty list, he having been wounded on three occasions.

LANCE CORPORAL JOHNSTONMr and Mrs Johnston, of Anderton St, Islington, have received a letter from Sergeant F. Smith, relating the circumstances under which their son, the late Lance-corporal H. Johnston, met his death. Sergeant Smith, after referring to the fact that he and Corporal Johnson enlisted together, states that the deceased soldier was a runner, and in that capacity he acted on many occasions in a manner which called forth praise from the colonel of the battalion, his actions at the battle of Messines being especially praiseworthy. They entered the line on October 12 to take part in the battle of Ypres, and they had a rough time while the advance was taking place. About 9 o’clock on the following morning a shell burst about 20 yards from a party, including Sergeant Smith and Corporal Johnston. A piece of the shell penetrated Corporal Johnston’s heart, and he died immediately.

TOY DISTRIBUTIONThe members of the Newcastle League of Honour held their annual toy distribution to soldiers’ children on King Edward Park on Wednesday afternoon. Glorious weather prevailed, and there was a large attendance. The platform on which the toys were placed was gaily decorated, and a large Christmas tree, heavily laden with toys, added to the picturesqueness of the scene. The children, with their mothers, were grouped in a semi-circle opposite the platform, and their smiling countenances testified to their appreciation of the thoughtfulness of the league in providing toys for them. It was a happy gathering, not a discordant note being sounded until the proceedings were about to close, then a few disappointed mothers said unkind things because their children had not received toys. The league was in no way responsible for this, as ample notice had been given when the names had to be handed in. Alderman Kilgour, the Mayor of Newcastle, in opening the proceedings, said the members of the League of Honour, in promoting the distribution, were trying to make up for the deficiency when the fathers of the children were away fighting for King and country. The league had done remarkably well, and for several days members had been working at high pressure to make the distribution a success.

Father Christmas, in the person of Mr Arthur Croxon, of Messrs. Dix and Baker’s company at the Victoria Theatre, then made his appearance, and met with a cordial reception from the children. He chatted pleasantly with all the little ones, and afterwards handed them their toys, with many bright and cheery words of Christmas greeting.

It was announced that those children who did not receive toys, through no fault of the league, would receive them later.

AUSTRALIANS’ CHRISTMASMr C.E.W Bean, the Official Australian Correspondent, telegraphing on December 22, says: The Australians are in country which is at present an exact picture of the old-time Christmas cards. The ground is covered with white frost, and every twig is outlined in sparkling white. In some parts, where snow has fallen, the men have been tobogganing down the hills, and sliding on the frozen pools. In other parts of the line they look out over a landscape like a great dreary moor, where nothing moves except shells, occasionally blackening nature’s coverlet with grimy smears. The Germans are continually raiding, trying to cut off posts, and discover how the line is held. They raided one division 13 times this week in the fog. After one attempt, in which they lost a raiding party three times the size of the post which they raided, they succeeded in capturing a post near Messines, picking up two other men lost in the fog further south. Our patrols certainly capture and kill far more Germans, because they are more at home in this class of warfare. At the present time the Australians, whether in the line or behind it, are certainly constantly thinking of the sunny country which is their home. Christmas here is being made more homelike by funds partly provided by seven concert parties, which are now a regular part of the Australian military organisation, besides the comforts fund of the YMCA, two institutions which have splendidly helped the various portions of the Australian force.

ENLISTMENTSHugh Vincent Cumming, Dunolly; George Joseph Fuge, Muswellbrook; John William Parsons, Merewether; James Arthur Peberdy, Gungal; James Ryan, Denman; Hugh Sharpe, Broke; John Francis Tattersall, Cessnock; Humphrey Camfield Windeyer, Tomago; Richard Michael Windeyer, Tomago.

DEATHSL/Sgt Alfred John Charlton, Lambton; Pte George Leonard Furner, Allynbrook; 2nd Lieut John Francis Garaty, Morpeth; Lieut Charles Albert Read, Merriwa.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook南京夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory