Farmers look to future at drought summit

Farmers are urging the federal government to look to the future as Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepares to reveal his latest plans to tackle the drought at a national summit.
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Mr Morrison has foreshadowed an announcement at Friday’s meeting in Canberra, where leaders and agriculture industry leaders will come together.

The National Farmers’ Federation wants a new agreement between commonwealth and state governments to provide a national approach to drought preparation, response and recovery.

NFF president Fiona Simson said while government support for the current drought was important, farmers would be better served by a holistic plan for dry times.

“I believe it is a well accepted view, from the prime minister down, that we can’t afford to continue to be reactive in responding to drought,” Ms Simson said.

The NFF will also propose effective and affordable agricultural insurance products be available to farmers to manage drought.

“We’re calling on the government to consider introducing a 150 per cent tax incentive for agricultural insurance premiums for five years,” Ms Simson said.

The bolstering and refinement of the Rural Financial Counselling Service and the Farm Household Allowance are also priorities for the NFF.

In an entree to the summit, Mr Morrison announced a $15 million grant program for regional community groups on Thursday.

Mr Morrison told reporters there would always be criticism of the government’s drought response inside the “Canberra bubble”, but communities backed more money to support local economies.

Ms Simson says the summit is a chance to get the farming sector together to take action on a long-term drought strategy.

“It is an opportunity not to be squandered.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the event would be a chance to review the government’s drought settings, praising Labor for their bipartisan approach to the issue.

“It’s important to understand the story of agriculture is still a good one – one of just add rain,” he told parliament.

A new drought finance task force bringing together major agricultural lenders, the government and the National Farmers’ Federation had its first meeting on Thursday.

NSW firearm amnesty nets thousands of guns

A sampling of the 8000 firearms turned in during a New South Wales gun amnesty.Police hope the 8300 weapons surrendered to NSW authorities during the latest gun amnesty will put a dent in the killing power of the state’s criminals.
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More than 1300 rifles, 400 shotguns and thousands of handguns were surrendered over the three months, NSW Police said on Thursday.

However, -wide there are still more privately owned guns and illicit firearms in circulation today than ever before.

University of Sydney gunpolicy苏州模特佳丽招聘 research estimates there were more than 3.57 million legal and illegal firearms owned by civilians in in 2017.

In 1996, the year of the Port Arthur Massacre, there were an estimated 3.2 million guns, the research shows.

A historic 1851 navy six-chamber percussion revolver and eight .303 Lee Enfield bolt action repeater rifles were among the notable weapons handed in during the latest NSW amnesty.

About 80 per cent of the total guns collected were from regional areas with towns on Sydney’s fringe and farming communities identified as hotspots.

Police Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy says the amnesty reduces opportunistic gun crime and lowers the risk of accidental shootings.

But he acknowledges criminals still seek out firearms for their trade.

“We understand that organised crime will always go to firearms for their criminal acts,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“But I think the community has shown very strong conviction today to really ensure that these (8300) firearms are off the streets of NSW.”

The Howard government’s gun buyback following the Port Arthur massacre saw the number of guns nationally drop by almost 700,000 but in the decades since the total has crept back up to surpass the previous all-time high.

Despite the increase in guns, the number of licensed firearms owners is close to its lowest point.

In the late 1980s, the last time there were more than 3.5 million guns in , there were more than 2.38 million licensed owners. But in 2016 there were just 816,000.

Data released by the ABC last year under freedom of information laws showed some residents of Sydney and Newcastle have assembled legal arsenals of up to 300 guns per person.

But the number of illicit firearms has also grown – last year there were an estimated 414,000 nationally, gunpolicy苏州模特佳丽招聘 suggests.

Between 2006 and 2016 that number was hovering between 250,000 and 267,000.

NSW Police say the latest amnesty follows the success of a national operation in 2017 that resulted in nearly 25,000 guns being given up in NSW alone.

Mr Loy said getting a combined 33,000 guns out of circulation across the state was “a positive story”.

Catherine Hill Bay bowlo set to be demolished but long-term use of the club’s site remains unclear

VIEWS: Catherine Hill Bay Bowling and Community Club.Catherine Hill Bay Bowling and Community Club will be given a“last hurrah” on Saturdaybefore being demolished, but the long-term use of the coastal site remains uncleardespite plans for a new multi-use communityfacility.
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The club –built by locals and opened in 1954 – wasclosed by Lake Macquarie council in December because of asbestoscontamination. It wasslated for demolition this month.

The club had faced various financial battles over the years and closed brieflybefore being leased off council by community membersin 2012.

Up until itsclosure in December, ithad mainly been run by volunteerswhofocusedon social bowls, raffles and hostingevents, including weddings.

Now the picturesque club and its storied history is set to have one last community interactionon Saturday at ‘Farewell Catho Bowlo’.

‘Last hurrah’ for picturesque coastal bowling club WHAT A SPOT: Bowlers at the picturesque club in 2006. The Catherine Hill Bay Men’s Bowling Club still exists and plays out of Belmont.

AS IT STANDS: The now closed Catherine Hill Bay Bowling and Community Club. The building is set to be demolished in coming months and the site returned to natural parkland. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

HISTORY: Nancy Smyth with a picture of local WW1 soldiers which was salvaged from the club. The picture will be donated to an RSL. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

WHAT A SPOT: The club in 2006.

VINTAGE: Catherine Hill Bay Bowling Club in use in the mid-1950s.

BANDING TOGETHER: Life-long friends Sybil Mascord and Barb Martin, both of Catherine Hill Bay, in 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

BANDING TOGETHER: Club secretary manager Lyn Hall prepares for the 2013 fundraiser for the RFS, following severe bush fires.

BANDING TOGTHER: A donations box on the bar in 2013. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

DESTRUCTION: Lyn Hall in scorched bush at the back of the club for a story about a fundraiser for local firefighters in 2013. Picture: Peter Stoop

STANDING TALL: Lyn Hall at the club in 2013 when it was struggling to stay open. Picture: Peter Stoop

STANDING TALL: Lyn Hall at the club in 2013 when it was struggling to stay open. Picture: Peter Stoop

TROUBLE: Lyn Hall with concerned members outside Catherine Hill Bay Bowling Club in 2011 when the club planned to close its doors. Picture: Phil Hearne

TROUBLE: Lyn Hall with concerned members outside Catherine Hill Bay Bowling Club in 2011 when the club planned to close its doors. Picture: Phil Hearne

RELIEF: The club are a Land and Environment court decision not to go ahead with a residential development in 2009.

RELIEF: The club are a Land and Environment court decision not to go ahead with a residential development in 2009.

RALLY: Debate over a resort development in 2002. Foreground Sybil Mascord. Picture: Brock Perks

CONCERNED: Fighting a rate rise in 2002 – Kate Northwood, 93, and Dorrie Trowbridge, 90, at the club. Both were life members who joined the club in the mid-1950 s. Picture: Darren Pateman

CONCERNED: Fighting a rate rise in 2002 – Kate Northwood, 93, and Dorrie Trowbridge, 90, at the club. Both were life members who joined the club in the mid-1950 s. Picture: Darren Pateman

VINTAGE: Catherine Hill Bay Bowling Club in use in the mid-1950s.

TweetFacebookHerald alsoreported in June ofMr Nicholson’s idea to relocate Catho pub to the bowling club site.

Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association president Sue Whyte said any new “integrated multi-usefacility”must“offer everything that we had before plus more” in order to cater for the suburb’spopulation boom.

“The population of Catherine Hill Bay is set to rise within the next 15 years by 1300 per cent,” she said.

AS IT STANDS: The now closed Catherine Hill Bay Bowling and Community Club. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

“It’s an enormous amount of people and we have to have the facilities to cater for them.”

She said the CHBPA was“currently writing to council to try and get someclarity” as there had been a bit of conjecture about whether the surf club would be upgraded to include new community space, oranew facility built on the bowling club site.

“The facilities at the northern end have to be built before the surf club,” shesaid.

“The new surf club is going to have to be moved back because it is in a hazard zone, but it is not falling into the sea in the next 15 years.

“We’d like to have playing areas, change rooms, desperately need toilets around graveyard beach, andwant to have a bowling green and other activities.”

Ms Smyth said the closed club was “sadly missed” by locals who enjoyed Sundays either on, or by the green.

“We don’t have a community facility anymore,” she said.

“Council seem pretty sincere about their hope to develop it with the sports field and bowling green.

“Hopefully that’s what is going to happen.”

Indi independent happy for Nats challenge

Cathy McGowan (R) says she looks forward to a potential challenge from Nationals’ Bridget McKenzie.Cathy McGowan has three words for the major parties trying to win her seat back.
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“Bring it on.”

The independent MP for Indi is also threatening to withdraw support for the coalition government if the Nationals bring Barnaby Joyce back as leader.

Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie is moving her Senate electorate office nearly 300km to Wodonga in Victoria’s northeast, in preparation for a potential run at Ms McGowan’s seat.

“I hope Bridget makes her announcement pretty soon that she’s running,” Ms McGowan told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“I would look forward to her as a candidate.

“We’ll have National party, we’ll have Liberal party, we’ll have independents.”

Mr Joyce criticised Ms McGowan in her local newspaper for her threats about withdrawing confidence.

“Cathy, my door is always open if you wish to discuss anything with me that could be of such weight that you would make a public statement like you did,” Mr Joyce told The Border Mail.

“Alternatively, please desist with the gushy charade that is part of the disingenuous patter that you partake in every other time we meet.”

Ms McGowan said she probably was “gushy”, but there was a lot of anger in her country electorate about how the Liberals dumped Malcolm Turnbull.

Regional and rural ns would “not be happy” with a change of leadership in the Nationals, she said.

Nationals frontbencher Michelle Landry again hosed down speculation a challenge to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is imminent.

“Politics is a tough business, Michael’s our leader now and he has the support of our party room,” Ms Landry told reporters.

Last week she conceded Mr Joyce was likely to become leader again at some stage.

To contest the Nationals leadership, Senator McKenzie needs to be in the lower house.

Her Senate term does not expire until mid-2022.

Ms McGowan would not say if she would contest the next election.

“I’m working on a succession plan, so whether it’s this term or next term we haven’t quite got to that space,” she said.

“But at some stage I’ll stop being the member for Indi.”

Injuries as Typhoon Yutu hits Marianas

Super Typhoon Yutu has crossed over the US commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, making it the strongest storm to hit any part of the US this year, the National Weather Service says.
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Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands’ delegate to US Congress, said the territory will need significant help to recover from the storm, which he said injured several people.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Saipan, Sablan said he has heard reports of injuries and that people are waiting at the island’s hospital to be treated. He could not provide further details or official estimates of casualties.

“There’s a lot of damage and destruction,” Sablan said. “It’s like a small war just passed through.”

Nearly 200 federal emergency workers were in the Marianas to assist.

Maximum sustained winds of 290km/h were recorded around the eye of the storm, which passed over Tinian and Saipan early on Thursday.

Tinian suffered a direct hit. Saipan and Tinian will be unrecognisable. Fallen trees could isolate residents, and power and water outages could last weeks, the weather service warned.

Recovery efforts on Saipan and Tinian will be slow. All ports were closed, and flights into the Northern Marianas were cancelled.

The Northern Marianas have a population of about 55,000 people.

Waves of six to 12 metres were expected around the eye of the storm, and flooding is likely, forecasters said.

A typhoon warning was in effect for Saipan, Tinian and Rota. A tropical storm warning was in place for Guam and other southern islands.

Lake Macquarie council calls for community help establishing heritage master plan for West Wallsend

Carrington Street circa 1920.Before Lake Macquarie City Council begins work revitalising West Wallsend, it wantscommunity help to develop a master plan that focuses onthe town’s historic characteristics.
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The council is calling forpublic feedback through its Shape Lake Mac website to develop ideas of what needs to be protected and what can be enhanced and there will be a one-hour community workshop atHolmesville Community Hall from 5.30pm on November 7.

In a statement on Thursday, council called West Wallsend one of Lake Macquarie’s most historically significant suburbs and pointed to its past as a booming town with a population of 6000 and four operationalminesat its peak in the early 1900s.

The master plan will look at streetscape, pedestrian access, mobility issues and focus on the area around Carrington and Withers streets.It will deal with council land and public spaces–not privately-owned property.

Integrated planning manager Wes Hain said theplan would aim to reinforce West Wallsend’s historic character and revitalise the suburb’s retail and commercial precinct.

“We want to make sure any revitalisation ofWestWallsendis sympathetic to its important and fascinating history,” hesaid.

Northumberland Hotel circa 1940.

“WestWallsend’s significant historical value is already recognised by its inclusion as a heritage conservation area in our Local Environment Plan, but a master plan will provide a blueprint for us to follow over the next 10-15 years.

“Recent residential and commercial development aroundWestWallsendhave the potential to affect the viability and long-term conservation of the old commercial precinct.But there is a great opportunity here to capitalise onWestWallsend’s rich history and use it to attract investment and business, and to create a vibrant, contemporary retail and commercial precinct.”

Historian Ed Tonks said West Wallsend was a prime example of how mining drove the Hunter’s early expansion, experiencing significant growth in a 15-year period that sparked the introduction of a steam tram system toNewcastle.

Some of the responses posted on the Shape Lake Mac website as of Thursday afternoon pointed to the cemetery, post office, pubs and butterfly cave as beingamong the historic parts of the suburb considered important.

In news today October 25, 2018:

‘Horrific and brutal’: Inquiry seeks LGBTI survivors of hate crimeDemarcation dispute causes crane shutdown at Hunter Street site‘Powerful still seem to be immune to prosecution’ parliament toldNewcastle council rejects call to scrap skate bowl on Newcastle South beach

Ex-Armstrong manager gets life cycling ban

Lance Armstrong’s former cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel was banned from the sport for life on Wednesday after a successful appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
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The 54-year-old Belgian was initially banned for 10 years in 2014 by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA) for helping orchestrate an elaborate doping program that helped Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles.

In its ruling, CAS also said doctor Pedro Celaya was handed a lifetime ban while trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti had his period of ineligibility increased to 15 years from eight.

The trio all worked for Armstrong’s US Postal Service team (USPS), which changed its name to Discovery Channel after a change of sponsors in 2005, and opted for arbitration when the charges were originally levelled against them in June 2012.

Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban in 2012, finally admitting his use of banned substances in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

The AAA had said the ban given to Bruyneel, who is often described as Armstrong’s right-hand man, was “appropriate” but CAS said he was at the heart of the system and deserved more.

“If a lifetime ban is a possible sanction, as it is, the Panel sees no reason why it should not be imposed in this case for Mr Bruyneel’s active involvement in widespread, systemic doping in the sport of cycling spanning many years,” CAS said in its ruling.

Bruyneel acknowledged in an open letter sent to cycling websites that “mistakes have been made”, but he still felt USADA did not have the jurisdiction to bring charges against him.

“I want to stress that I acknowledge and fully accept that a lot of mistakes have been made in the past,” he wrote on www.cyclingnews苏州夜总会招聘. “There are a lot of things I wish I could have done differently, and there are certain actions I now deeply regret.

“The period I lived through, both as a cyclist and as a team director, was very different than it is today.

“I would simply like to observe that we were all children of our era, facing the pitfalls and temptations that were part of the culture at the time.

“We didn’t always make the best choices.”

Celaya was the team’s doctor from 1997 to 1999 and then again from 2004, and CAS said he was a willing and indispensable participant in the system which required medical supervision.

Marti chose not to testify, but CAS said there was no previous evidence from which it could infer contrition or any change of heart by the trainer.

Saints replace Suns in AFL’s China match

St Kilda’s Seb Ross (left) and Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines are looking ahead to their China venture.Chasing funding and fans, St Kilda has replaced Gold Coast as Port Adelaide’s opponent for the AFL’s annual match in Shanghai.
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The Saints have committed to the Chinese venture for the next three years, giving up a home fixture to do so.

The match will be staged later than the previous two iterations, on Sunday June 2 as part of round 11 and preceding both clubs’ byes in order to allow for the travel demands.

Hopes are high that after two dubiously attended fixtures, both won easily by Port Adelaide, the Saints’ involvement can breathe life into the fledging match.

“China is not a short-term strategy … we’re really pleased that St Kilda have made this decision,” AFL executive Travis Auld said.

Neither Auld, Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas or Saints counterpart Finnis could or would give figures as to either their financial underwriting or returns from their involvement in the match.

But Finnis said it was a “significant” injection from the deal, which the Saints would aim to leverage opportunities for its sponsors – and to improve crowds.

“There’s the commercial outcome but it’s also a chance to grow our fanbase,” he said.

“There are so many Chinese international students in Melbourne. Monash University, one of our performance partners, has 10,000 Chinese students in its own right.

“It starts to differentiate our football club in a very competitive market.”

The Saints are no stranger to international AFL fixtures, having played three matches in Wellington for three losses between 2013 and 2015.

The club clarified the China match didn’t mean the end for their aspirations to play matches in New Zealand, which hung on finding “a suitable venue in Auckland”.

Auld said St Kilda were the only Victorian club to signal interest in participating in the fixture.

After a brouhaha between Port and the Suns over Gold Coast’s right to wear its home jumper, Thomas said those issues had already been ironed out with the Saints.

“When we first started thinking about China we were quite unsure about what was important and what wasn’t important. We knew the colour red was very significant in the Chinese culture. But it’s not that significant,” he said.

“We have no issue at all with St Kilda having the home guernsey. We’ll design our own guernsey for the occasion … with just a subtle reference to China.”

A Victorian Government representative also tabled the idea of a women’s match in China, catching Auld on the hop.

“This is the first time I’ve thought about it … but we love the idea of expanding the game,” Auld said.

Fitness guru Kayla Itsines’ fortune swells

Fitness guru Kayla Itsines and partner Tobi Pearce have jumped to No 5 on the AFR’s Young Rich List.Helping people whittle down their waistlines has fattened the fortunes of fitness guru Kayla Itsines, propelling her into the ranks of ‘s richest young business people.
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Ms Itsines and her partner Tobi Pearce are the brains behind the Bikini Body Workout program and fitness app Sweat.

With 20 million followers they’ve amassed a combined fortune of $486 million, according to the n Financial Review’s Young Rich List for 2018.

The couple set up their Bikini Body Training business in 2013 and a year later launched a 12-week workout and diet program, which later morphed into their hugely popular fitness app.

The 20-somethings have enjoyed one of the biggest rises on the list this year, leaping from 40th spot in 2017 list into fifth place this year.

Joining them in the top 10 are Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, the husband-and-wife co-founders of online graphic marketplace Envato whose fortune has doubled in the past year to $428 million.

Mrs Ta’eed and Ms Itsines are the only two women to appear in the top 10 of this year’s list of ‘s wealthiest self-made businesspeople aged 40 and under.

Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar came in on top for a record seventh year, with their fortunes more than doubling to $14.2 billion.

The software gurus’ combined wealth is more than 14 times that of the next two on the list, Melbourne luxury property developer Tim Gurner and New York-based Ori Allen, whose real estate tech business Compass has made a big splash in the US.

Gurner, who is worth $631 million, created controversy last year when he warned millennials they would never be able to afford their first home if they don’t give up spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees while not working.

There are 21 newcomers on this year’s list, including former n cricket captain Steve Smith and Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Most of those on the list have made their fortunes in the technology and finance sectors, as well as through sport.

The full list will be published in the AFR on Friday.

YOUNG, SUCCESSFUL AND RICH

1/2. Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Atlassian founders, $14.2b

3.Tim Gurner, luxury property developer, $631m

4. Ori Allon, real estate technology, $539m

5/6. Kayla Itsines and Tobi Pearce, Sweat founders, $486m

7. Owen Kerr, partner in foreign exchange brokerage Pepperstone, $460m

8/9. Collis & Cyan Ta’eed, online graphic marketplace founders Envato, $428m

10. Peter Greensill, farming and finance capital investor, $412m

Wingard hurt at being labelled a ‘sook’

Hawthorn recruit Chad Wingard has rejected claims he had attitude issues at Port Adelaide.Hawthorn recruit Chad Wingard has hit out at a “bunch of lies” surrounding his AFL split from Port Adelaide.
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Wingard has taken aim at Port greats for saying the Power’s leaders “complained about me being a sook”.

“To read and hear those things hurt a lot,” Wingard wrote in a column published Thursday on the AFL Players’ Association website.

After Wingard was traded to Hawthorn, former Port captain Warren Tredrea said he understood the Power’s “leadership group were sick of him, sick of his attitude”.

And Kane Cornes, a four-time club champion at Port, said Wingard was “feeling not a lot of love at Port Adelaide”, adding the move to Hawthorn was an “easy out for him.”

After hearing those comments, Wingard phoned Port coach Ken Hinkley.

“I rang Ken to see if there was any truth to that and he told me that nothing had come from the club, there was no truth to it, and that’s just how the media want to play things,” Wingard wrote.

“If you have seen the coverage in Adelaide, it has been a bunch of lies and a lack of understanding.

“Just because a deal like this has gone through, it doesn’t mean they have to jump to conclusions and reach for the negative angle.”

Wingard denied his post-season exit meeting with Hinkley was heated.

“I went away from that meeting still thinking I was going to be a Port Adelaide player next season,” he wrote.

“Following on from the discussions and the exit meetings, they let my manager know that they were open to trading me if a suitable offer came forward.

“I was completely taken back and upset with that initially. It rocked me, but the longer I thought about it, the more I began to understand.”

Wingard said even after meeting with rival clubs, he believed he would remain at Port.

“Meeting with other clubs … I actually told Kenny that I felt like I was cheating on a girlfriend,” he wrote.

“It just wasn’t a great feeling and I didn’t enjoy it but things started to move quickly and the opportunity at Hawthorn came up.

“I started to have doubts as to whether I was wanted at Port because, as you can imagine, getting your name thrown up for a trade isn’t exactly the best feeling.”