‘If you want to be a predator, they will keep a jail cell open for you’ judge tells Towradgi teen

A 19-year-old Towradgi man who “preyed” on his neighboursunder the cover of darkness has been told a jail cell at Nowra’sSouth Coast Correctional Centre will be “waiting for him” if he doesn’t clean up his act.
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Jake Smith was handed a14-month prison sentencein the Local Court earlier this year after pleading guilty to stealing one car andbreaking into two others inEast Corrimal in July last year.

On each occasion, Smith left evidence at the scene by way of finger or palm prints which were easily matched by forensic police.

Smith appealed the sentence to Wollongong District Court on Monday, arguing for a longer time on supervised parole to help him reintegrate back into the community.

His lawyer said he was at risk of becoming institutionalised if he remained in custody too long.

Judge Andrew Haesler agreed to reduce the minimum time behind barsto 12 months but confirmed the overall sentence of two years, telling Smith to make the most of his time on parole.

“Maybe as you get older you will wake up to yourself but if you don’t there will be a jail cell waiting for you at South Coast,” he said.

“If you want to be a predator, they will keep a jail cell open for you.”

The court heard Smith broke into two cars and a garage on the evening of July 6, rummaging around inside but not taking anything.

A day earlier officers had found him near a vehiclethat had been reported stolen from a Thirroul supermarket carpark on June 29.

It was towed from the scene and examined by forensic police, who discovered Smith’spalm print on the gear stick.

Smith was arrested but released on bail in August.

However, he breached that bail two weeks later and was again arrested and remanded in custody.

With time served, he will be released next March.

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Pub gunman denied bail

POLICE allege a man who wielded a shortened shotgun at patrons in a pub usedthe firearm two days before the bizarre incident near Gunnedah.
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Phillip Jason Winsor chose not to appear in Tamworth Local Court on Monday afternoon, and instead remainedin the police cells when his case was called.

The 43-year-old is facing 11 firearm-related charges and made no application for bail during the brief proceedings after his solicitor said he needed more time before he lodged a fresh bid for release.

“I have instructions …we need to make some further enquiries in relation to bail,” solicitor Geoff Archer told the court.

The charges stem from incidents between September 20 and September 22 in Mullaley and Gunnedah.

Detectives allege Winsor had a 410 loaded shortened shotgun in his possession on September 20 and fired it as hetravelled along the Oxley Highway at Mullaley.

Winsor was allegedly carrying the firearm with disregard for his safety and others while he was in a black Holden Commodore along the highway.Police then allege between 9 and 9.25pm on Thursday, Winsor wielded the shortened shotgun at the Post Office Hotel, and then in the beer garden.

He’s also accused of being armed with the firearm during anaggravated enter dwelling of a residence of Nombi St, Mullaley, at the same time and being armed with intent to assault a man at the location.

Fairfax Mediaunderstands the firearm has not been recovered by police andWinsor has not been charged with robbery or stealing.

Winsor has been in custody since he was arrested by Gunnedah detectives at about 1.30pm on September 23.

“He’s had a prior bail application,” Magistrate Robert Williams said, examining the court papers on Monday.

Winsor was denied bail on Saturday in an out-of-sessions bail hearing in a Tamworth court after the court found he had not shown cause why his detention was not justified.

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Sharing market changes ahead

The state government couldrelax restrictions in the holidayhome-sharing market by increasing the current permit-free period.
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Premier Will Hodgman used his State of the State address at aCommittee for Economic Development of Australia to announce the changes which wouldaffect up to 3000 Tasmanian property owners.

The government has already proposed that a property owner would beable to rent their property for up to 42 nights without a permit

The Tasmanian Planning Commission is gatheringfeedback on theproposal.

There are about 2000 activeAirbnb listings in Tasmania and 1000 Stayz listings.

Mr Hodgman said almost 10 per cent of visitors to Tasmania, or 124,000 people, used this mode of holiday accommodation.

“With a booming tourism industry, it has become even more important that we embrace the sharing economy,” he said.

“Indeed, it is a fact that without the sharing economy and companies like Airbnb and Stayz, Tasmania would have a serious accommodation shortage.

“The challenge is to strike the right balance between the competing interests of existing businesses and those in the sharing economy.”

In his speech, Mr Hodgman labelled managing the state’s health budget as the government’s biggest challenge as the population aged and health costs escalated above the rate of general inflation.

He said the state government had fully committed to funding the final years of the Gonski rollout –despite the federal government not doing so.

Mr Hodgman said that the government’s plan to extend the voluntary starting age and make compulsory school leaving provisions would close the gap on Tasmania’s lagging school resultscompared to the rest of the country.

He said year 12 extensions at 12 high schools had yielded a 57 per cent increase in enrolments at those schools over two years.

Mr Hodgman in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following the electionlisted education budget cuts from 2018 in state schools as a result of the most recent federal budget as a concern and sought an ongoing funding commitmentfor the Mersey Hospital past June 2017.

Mr Hodgman on Monday said the decision to make the Mersey a day surgery centre had freed up beds at the state’s three other big hospitals.

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Segovia day trip from Madrid: Feast on history

The mighty Roman aqueduct of Segovia, Spain. Photo: JTB MEDIA CREATION, Inc. / Alamy Segovia is the perfect day trip from Madrid.
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Alcazar castle in Segovia at twilight. Photo: Jeremy Horner / Alamy Stock Photo

One of author Sally Webb’s sons at Alcazar castle. Photo: Sally Webb

It is snowing when we arrive in Segovia. Heavy flakes float silently to the ground, settling onto the terracotta rooftops of the medieval buildings surrounding Plaza Azoguejo like icing sugar dusted over the top of a cake. Above us, the Roman aqueduct is an imposing and awesome presence, and evidence of the strategic and architectural importance of this town for millennia.

We’ve come to Segovia for a day trip from Madrid, choosing it, on the advice of a friend, over the more famous and visited Toledo. It is the perfect detour – beautiful, easy to explore on foot, packed with cafes and restaurants and easy to reach. The train journey from Madrid’s Charmatin station on the Renfe Ave fast train takes only 28 minutes, although the whole journey takes closer to 90 minutes as we have to connect from the centre of Madrid to Charmatin by metro, and take a taxi from Segovia station into its historic centre.

It is bitterly cold on this winter’s morning when we leave the Spanish capital and it’s even colder in Segovia as the snowflakes settle in our hair. My husband and I have left our hats in the hotel so first stop is a tiny shop near the tourist office to kit up with knitted beanies. Second stop is the obligatory churros and hot chocolate that has come to be a staple of our Spanish diet (to the delight of our children Archie and Lulu, who think doughnuts for breakfast is the best thing about Spain).

Grabbing a map from the tourist information office we set out to explore this Unesco World Heritage City. The aqueduct, symbol of Segovia and the most important in Spain, is the obvious place to start. Built in the 1st century it has 166 stone arches set without mortar and was used until the mid 19th century to transport water to the city from a spring 17 kilometres away.

We climb the steps next to the aqueduct for a different perspective of this architectural phenomenon, getting superb views over Plaza Azoguejo as a bonus, then meander through the narrow streets. We find history lessons and photo opportunities at every turn, from the thick limestone walls that formed the boundary of the city in the 11th century, to the 15th-century Casa de los Picos with a facade covered in intriguing pyramid-shaped granite blocks. Originally a mansion for a patrician family, and designed in the style of grand Renaissance palaces in Italy, it now houses the Segovia School of Applied Arts and Crafts. In the 13th and 14th centuries, we learn, Segovia was home to a significant Jewish community who lived harmoniously throughout the city. This all changed in the early 15th century when their synagogue was confiscated and they were forced to live in a segregated area. Brass plaques embedded in the cobblestone streets indicate the ghetto’s rough location.

It feels like all roads lead to the cathedral, situated at the highest point of the city. Built between 1525 and 1768, it has Flemish tapestries and significant altarpieces by Van Eyck and Morales, among others, but the kids are more intrigued by the instruments of torture on display in the light-filled cloister.

Walt Disney is said to have modelled Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland on Segovia’s Alcázar, and as we approach the turreted building the resemblance is uncanny. A fortress was first built on this strategic site – a rocky crag at the confluence of two rivers – in Roman times and it has always played a significant role in the history and defence of the Castile kingdom, although the current building dates mainly from the 13th century.

The kids adore exploring its decorated throne rooms and dank prison cells deep in the basement, but especially love posing with swords and cannon in the armoury.

The snow continues to fall as we wander back through the streets, with stops for snowball fights and the creation of the obligatory snowman. It’s weather that makes you hungry and fortunately Segovia’s other drawcard is of the culinary variety.

We mange to score a table at Mesón de José Maria, famed for its extraordinary cochinillo, or suckling pig. Our waiter brings the whole roasted, crisp-skinned animal to the table, snout, ears, splayed feet and all, and with a theatrical flourish proceeds to cut up the meat not with a knife but with the side of a bread plate. It’s that tender, and extraordinarily delicious, and even better with a glass of the house red, Ribera del Duero.

Day trips or detours are underrated. We’re all so busy ticking off big-ticket sights in major cities that we often forsake visiting smaller towns and villages to get away from traffic and busyness and travel a little slower. In a city like Segovia, with a good lunch and some unforgettable landmarks, you’ve got the perfect day out. TRIP NOTESGETTING THERE

The journey between Madrid’s Charmatin station (north of the centre but on the metro line) and Segovia takes 28 minutes on a high-speed train. However, Segovia’s high-speed train station is about 5 kilometres out of town, so you need to take a taxi or bus from there into the centre. EATING THERE

Meson de Jose Maria, Calle Cronista Lecea, 11, 40001 Segovia, +34 921 461 111


There are other dishes on the menu – lovely warming soups, cured jamon, croquetas – but it’s really all about the sickling pig.

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Dentsu Mitchell dumps AdCorp from major government advertising contract

AdCorp has placed federal government recruitment ads since 2009. Department of Finance merged ad buying into one contract in 2014. Photo: Melissa Adams
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Advertising powerhouse Dentsu Mitchell has dumped listed company AdCorp from an alliance on a major government media-buying contract worth up to $150 million annually.

The two agencies jointly won the four-year contract in 2014 and Denstu Mitchell has been sub-contracting AdCorp to book non-campaign federal government advertising, such as recruitment advertising, public notices and tender notices.

The contract for information campaign and non-campaign work is worth up to $150 million annually. When AdCorp last held the contract for non-campaign ad booking on its own, it was worth about $40 million annually.

BusinessDay understands AdCorp is considering legal action over the abrupt move.

In a statement to the market, AdCorp said Dentsu Mitchell would “consolidate the management of the Australian government’s Master Media Agency contract” and would no longer use AdCorp to place non-campaign ads.

“After several years providing services to the Australian government and its many clients, we are disappointed this relationship will no longer continue,” AdCorp chief executive David Morrison said in the statement released on Friday.

AdCorp would provide the market with another update this week, Mr Morrison told BusinessDay, as it was too early to know what impact Dentsu Mitchell’s decision will have. Up to 15 people were working on that government contract, but their future is unknown, he added.

Acting national manager of Dentsu Mitchell, Penny Davy-Whyte, said she hoped the “transition-out plan” from the alliance would be finalised this week with “minimal impact”. The non-campaign media buying would now be done by a team in Melbourne.

Ms Davy-Whyte added Dentsu Mitchell alone held the contract and sub-contracted work to AdCorp.

The decision leaves AdCorp with a big revenue hole. On Friday shares traded hands, but did not drop below the opening price of 1.7 cents. Once worth $1.80 a share more than a decade ago, AdCorp has been hit by cuts to government hiring – which reduces recruitment advertising – and declines in advertising spends.

Last year it raised $3.76 million through a renouncable rights issue and bought a $1 million stake in video-production company Shootsta.

Founder and chairman Ian Rodwell remains the company’s largest shareholder with 74.3 per cent of shares.

Two state government contracts were recently renewed, but the federal government contract has been a reliable source of income.

However, the Department of Finance decided to consolidate campaign and non-campaign advertising contracts in 2014, and awarded it to Mitchell and Partners (since re-branded Dentsu Mitchell) in alliance with AdCorp.

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How to choose a primary school? Not just academic results, say parents

Chebiwot Kipsaina and her Australian-born daughter Malaika Kisia. Photo: Chris Hopkins Kenyan migrant and mother Chebiwot Kipsaina and her Australian born daughter Malaika Kisia. “I wanted a school that went beyond that,” says Chebiwot. Photo: Chris Hopkins
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A government primary school in Melbourne’s south-east was Chebiwot Kipsaina’s first choice for her daughter, six-year-old Malaika.

Close to home and near to public transport, initially at least, it ticked all the boxes.

But Malaika would have been the only black African at the school, so during orientation Chebiwot asked the principal how it promoted diversity.

“We have children from Denmark,” was his reply.

“It was very limited,” Chebiwot says with a wry laugh. “That kind of put me off. I wanted a school that went beyond that.”

For most of the 20th century, it was uncommon for Australian parents to actively choose a primary school for their children, but this is changing.

And while academic or sporting prowess might feature in high school deliberations, less is known about how parents decide which primary school is the best fit for their kids.

Now, using data from 8000 families across Australia, researchers have discovered that parents decide on primary schools based on a whole host of largely personal factors that go beyond academic results.

“Australian parents and mothers, in particular, tend to do a lot of research into the school community, its reputation, academic performance and the affordability of fees,” said Anne Hollonds, researcher and director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The proximity of a school to home, whether other family members are attending, academic quality, and its religious or philosophical outlook were the main considerations, researchers found.

But the reasons behind school choice differ considerably depending on whether parents send their children to private or government schools.

Government schools are still the main providers of primary school education, while about 20 per cent of students go to Catholic schools and 12 per cent go to private schools.

Those who sent their kids to government schools were most concerned with convenience and if another family member was already at the school. Those who chose independent schools were motivated by academic results and religious values.

Kipsaina, who came to Australia as a student and then became a citizen, decided not to enrol Malaika at the government school and opted for a Catholic primary school in their south eastern Melbourne suburb instead.

Malaika is still the only black African student at this school, but when her mum asked the teachers about diversity she liked their response: “She was quite frank, she said they hadn’t had children from an African background specifically, but she said it was a learning opportunity.”

Religion is a central part of Kipsaina’s life, but she has had to adjust to the Australian approach, where not all parents at her daughter’s school are practicing Christians.

Some parents expected religiously-affiliated schools to demonstrate active religiosity, while others saw them as a haven for their children from unsatisfactory government schools, the study noted.

You can follow Miki on Facebook

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‘Pokie-Leaks’ campaign calls for gambling industry secrets

Whistleblowers are being urged to reveal poker machine industry secrets. Photo: John Woudstra Greens deputy leader, Larissa Waters, Andrew Wilkie MP, Senator Nick Xenophon, and former pokie machine victim, Shonica Guy launch PokieLeaks in Sydney CBD. Photo: Peter Rae
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Andrew Wilkie MP, with Senator Nick Xenophon, and former pokie machine victim, Shonica Guy launch PokieLeaks in Sydney CBD. Photo: Peter Rae

Three federal politicians are calling on whistleblowers to send them poker machine industry secrets with a promise they will be made public using parliamentary privilege.

The Pokie-Leaks campaign is being launched in Sydney on Tuesday by independent senator Nick Xenophon, Greens senator Larissa Waters and independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie.

They will call for confidential information, such as details of how machine design targets vulnerable players and undisclosed industry interaction with political parties, to be sent directly to them for release in Parliament.

It comes as Crown Casino and Australian pokie manufacturer Aristocrat are taken to court by former pokie player Shonica Guy, a supporter of the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

Ms Guy is seeking an order that the machines she played are deceptive.

Potentially, information made public via the Pokie-Leaks campaign could be used by lawyers Maurice Blackburn in the case.

“This information needs to be out there in the court of public opinion,” Senator Xenophon said.

“If you know something that needs to be revealed, tell us, and with parliamentary privilege, we can tell everyone. For too long, this predatory industry has relied on secret and harmful features, which are designed to be addictive.”

Senator Waters said information about dishonest or illegal behaviour in the pokies industry “can help us hold them to account in Parliament” and that the identity of whistleblowers would be protected.

Mr Wilkie, who was included in a recently abandoned defamation action brought by Clubs NSW against the ABC, said the poker machine industry “is fundamentally exploitative and very careful to try and keep its methods secret”.

“Pokie-Leaks will establish a valuable mechanism for industry insiders and members of the public to tell us what they know,” he said.

The defamation action was launched after ABC’s 7.30 program broadcast claims by former federal MP Peter Garrett that someone from Clubs NSW handed him an envelope full of cash after his election in 2004. Mr Wilkie described it as a bribe.

Mr Garrett later said it was a cheque, not cash, and was given before he was elected.

Clubs NSW denied the claim and sued, but dropped the action after the court granted the ABC access to its financial records.

“It was telling that Clubs NSW dropped its legal action against the ABC on account of the court discovery process and requirement to open its books to scrutiny,” Mr Wilkie said.

“This just goes to show the steps that this particular industry player will go to in order to avoid scrutiny, and of the need for whistleblowers to speak up.”

A Clubs NSW spokesman said the campaign appears to be “a typical Nick Xenophon and friends publicity stunt”.

“Sadly, it shows yet again how little regard is held by some politicians for the serious business of governing our nation,” he said.

An Aristocrat spokeswoman declined to comment.

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New law will compel websites, including IMDB, to delete actors’ ages if they ask

How old is Jen? A new law will prevent you finding out. Photo: Richard ShotwellEntertainment industry websites that publish the ages of actors will be forced to stop the practice in the wake of new legislation in California intended to combat ageism in Hollywood. The law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2017, will force online databases that publish filmographies, resumes and actor headshots to remove an actor’s age if a formal request is made to do so.
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The most obvious example is the online film and television resource Internet Movie Database – IMDB – which publishes agents, headshots and other biographical material. But the law would apply to any casting website that accepts payment for the posting of professional information. It also affects any individual who works in entertainment, though it is principally aimed at actors.

“Even though it is against both federal and state law, age discrimination persists in the entertainment industry,” California assemblyman Ian Calderon said. “[The law] provides the necessary tools to remove age information from online profiles on employment referral websites to help prevent this type of discrimination.”

Though the principle is essentially to protect actors from having casting directors discount them from roles on the basis of their age, the debate over the legislation has provoked fierce opinion on both sides.

Advocates of free speech and a free internet say the law is risky because in principle it advocates suppressing factual information on the internet.

“Requiring the removal of factually accurate age information across websites suppresses free speech,” internet freedom advocate Michael Beckerman said earlier this year. “This is not a question of preventing salacious rumours; rather it is about the right to present basic facts that live in the public domain.”

The law only affects paid casting websites, and requests for information to be taken down can only be made by a paying client of the site. That limitation may also insulate the legislation from a constitutional challenge on the grounds that it contravenes the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech.

The California legislature also came up against the powerful Screen Actors Guild, which supported the law. “It is time to stop the ageism that permeates Hollywood’s casting process,” SAG president Gabrielle Carteris said earlier this year. “This problem exists for all performers, but most distinctly for women.”

Carteris is best known to television audiences as one of the stars of the 1990s drama Beverly Hills 90210.

SAG issued a statement thanking California’s governor Jerry Brown for signing the legislation into law on behalf of “everyone in the industry who has struggled with age discrimination”.

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Houston shooting: Nine people injured and gunman shot dead

Houston: A Houston lawyer whose business was struggling opened fire on morning commuters on Monday, injuring at least nine people before being shot dead by police, authorities said.
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Six people were taken to hospitals and three were treated at the scene after being shot at while inside their vehicles in the affluent neighbourhood of West University Place, acting Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters.

One victim was in critical condition and another was in serious condition but both were expected to survive, officials said. The FBI said there was no indication that the shootings were linked to a radical group.

Police declined to identify the suspect, but local media reported that he shot at vehicles from a black Porsche registered to Nathan DeSai.

Public records showed that DeSai lived in a condominium near the shooting scene and that he had no criminal record.

DeSai, who received his law degree from the University of Tulsa in 1998, started a small law firm but his former law partner, Ken McDaniel, said they closed it about six months ago.

McDaniel told local television the shooting was “out of character” for DeSai.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in Cuba to develop trade relations, told reporters, “The motivation appears to be a lawyer whose relationship with his law firm went bad”.

Prakash DeSai told ABC television’s Houston affiliate that his son drove a black Porsche, and that he was “upset about his law practice not going well” and money woes.

Police said the suspect was dressed in a military-style uniform and that military paraphernalia that included Nazi items was found in his possession.

The police bomb squad secured the shooter’s car, which contained more than 2600 rounds of ammunition. Police said a handgun was found on the suspect’s body and a rifle was found in this car.

An agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the firearms had been legally purchased.

Christopher Miller, who lives near the site of the shootings, said he watched much of it from his apartment. “The only way I can explain it is like a firework show; you hear a shot, a shot, then more shots, then a finale of a bunch of shots. Then you know it’s over.”

Police said more than 75 shell casings had been recovered.  

Reuters, Washington Post*/]]>

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Q&A: Simon Birmingham says some private schools ‘over-funded’

Education minister Simon Birmingham. Photo: Q&A Calling for more money: SA premier Jay Weatherill. Photo: Q&A
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The panel on Monday night also included Amanda Vanstone and Penny Wong. Photo: Q&A

Education minister Simon Birmingham has conceded some private schools are “over-funded” amid fiery negotiations with states on a new four-year model for school funding.

However, he says he won’t produce a “hit-list” to name them.

On the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Mr Birmingham was grilled by host Tony Jones after an audience question about allocating “generous” amounts of money to wealthy schools.

An analysis obtained by Fairfax Media last week revealed NSW would lose $100 million if funding plans by the Federal government go ahead, with the bulk of this money coming from public schools.

NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has predicted the states will be “fighting regularly” over the issue.

Under questioning, Mr Birmingham said he was “very cautious” about saying no school will lose money under the government’s plans.

He agreed some schools are over-funded, and said it is “possible” some of them could be worse off, sparking a rapid exchange with Jones.

“Can I just confirm this – the ones that are over-funded, you must have a list of them,” Jones asked.

“If you want me to create a hit list or something tonight, Tony, that’s not about to happen,” Mr Birmingham responded with a laugh.

Jones continued to probe, asking how many schools were over-funded.

“Well that depends actually on how you measure what a funding benchmark is,” Birmingham said. “I mean, we’re not talking vast numbers, but there are some.”

“Are the wealthy private schools over-funded?” Jones asked.

“There are some that fit that bill, yes, there are,” Birmingham said.

“So some private schools could expect under your governorship to lose money?” Jones asked.

Birmingham said that situation would depend on whether the Federal government could reach accord with states and territories.

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill, who was also on the panel, made clear that any such agreement will not be easily obtained.

He said $335 million has been “ripped out” of his state’s education budget over two years, and called for Malcolm Turnbull to allocate more money.

“At the last federal election, there was a commitment in relation to Gonski funding,” Mr Weatherill said. “Remember, a unity ticket with Labor in relation to school funding. Now $80 billion was cut from health and education.

“What the Prime Minister can do is to put back in the funding that was cut.”

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Letters to the Editor

Best foot foward: There was an amazing display of artistic volley’s at Tootsie on Sunday for the ‘Best Foot Forward’ Fundraiser. Photo: Camilla Duffy. Response to Sheri NortonResponding toletterpublished onSeptember 12, 2016.
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Sheri Norton is free to express her dislike of us ‘clones’ who ran in groups in the recent Council election – but the fact is 3138 people voted above the line for groups – almost one-third of voters. People still have freedom to vote below the line if they choose, and most did, including myself, as is our democratic right. I am yet to see any benefit from having ‘clones’, although it would be nice to be in two or more places at once sometimes. Hilarious and efficient!

Sheri sees groups as a burden, but grouping of candidates goes back to 1919 and pre-dates the printing of party names on ballot papers. It made it easier for associated candidates to be found by voters, and for parties to publicise their candidates. Groupsare not new, and they give voters a clearer sense of where like-minded people could align on issues when on Council. Wagga had ninegroups in this election, Goulburn had none. Different strokes.

Sheri alleges that 25 per cent of people voting for the former Mayor is a mandate to continue in that role. What does that mean for the 75 per cent of people who didn’t? They may be concerned that a former senior Council employee is now so publicly supporting a former Mayor. Sheri should know that we do not popularly elect a Mayor. It is up to the nine new Councillor’s to now decide. The General Manager will no doubt be pleased to work with whomever is elected, for the good of the whole Yass Valley for the future.

Bec Duncan, Yass

National Stroke Week successOn behalf of the Stroke Foundation I would like to thank the thousands of Australians who helped us educate the community about the importance of knowing the signs of stroke this National Stroke Week.

National Stroke Week is our annual campaign to shine the spotlight on stroke, raising awareness of the devastating impact of this insidious disease.

Stroke Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about stroke and how they can reduce their own risk. I am confident there are thousands of people in the community who now know about the FAST message thanks to the more than 2,500 activities that were held across the country.

With Stroke Week now wrapped up for 2016, it is vital we remember strokes don’t just happen one week of the year. Every ten minutes an Australian has a stroke. Every ten minutes someone’s life changes forever.

Stroke is shockingly common in Australia. Yet despite the devastation it causes, this disease is largely unrecognised by the broader community – until it happens to a loved one, a friend or a colleague. Stroke is largely preventable, but we know that almost 50,000 new and recurring strokes will happen this year. Stroke is treatable but again we know that many stroke patients will miss out on lifesaving treatment because they don’t get to hospital on time.

Stroke strikes suddenly and often without any warning. When it does happens, every minute counts. Time is brain. For every minute that parts of the brain are left without oxygen, brain cells are dying. A speedy reaction to stroke can mean the difference between life and death or permanent disability. Stroke doesn’t have to be a death sentence, it is treatable but people need to know the signs of stroke and get to hospital fast. Every stroke is a medical emergency.

Thanks to our incredible supporters we were able to spread this message far and wide this Stroke Week, reaching a record number of Australians. But our work doesn’t stop here – it is our mission to stop stroke, save lives and end the suffering caused by this devastating disease.It will take the combined efforts of the community, health professionals and governments to achieve this mission. I know together we can prevent, treat and beat stroke.

Sharon McGowan -Chief Executive Officer,Stroke Foundation

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Webs, weeds & wisdomSeasonal Waffle by Kate WalkerIt’s Spring and mud luscious this year, sparking my memories of bumper rain in the ‘50s and ‘60s. My sister was born at the end of the 50s during a huge dump of rain and to get to the hospital to see her my father carried me on his shoulders and waded through the swollen billabongs that separated the hospital from the rest of our town. To get home we managed to catch the returning school bus as it passed the hospital. A new sister and my first ride in a school bus, so much excitement!
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What a season this rain promises! Bumper crops, plenty of hay, and a wealth of flowers. Wattle in full blaze trumpets nature’s bounty. Drive slowly towards Cooma Cottage along the old Barton Highway section of the Dog Trap road and look to your left, you’ll be blown away by the myriad multi hued daffodils that fill thepaddocks.This part of the worldis so very beautiful at this moment with its rolling hills, that change from Spring’s emerald greens to slate blues. Sitting at my window I love to watch the storms rolling in and out.

Two weekends past, the Turning Wave festival was such a buzz! It was fun to sit in the Yazzbar or the Royal, perhaps, the Memorial Hall for sure and the Lovat Chapel by chance and join friends both old and new, tapping feet and appreciatively clapping each talented piper or fiddler. And on the Sunday afternoon, a Yass Showcase Concert, with local talent galore, brought the festival to a rousing finale.

This season has only begun. We’ve had a circus in town, at the showground. A show not to be missed. My sources advised that the circus acts were most entertaining andathletic – a great family outing.Do come along to Sculpture in the Paddock at CoomaCottage this month towalk off Winter weight and enjoy the sculptures. Take a friend so you’ve someone to discuss the many works. Some will delight and others will confound; regardless, you’ll have an opinion.

Then with your Best Foot Forward, were you at Tootsie Fine Art and Design last Sunday? Dunlop Volley art works were auctioned as a fundraiser bringing in somewhere close to $10,000 to build Kim Nelson’s legacy.Hibernate no more!

Here’s to seeing you springing round town!

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Backpackers over-represented in underpayment disputes

The Fair Work Ombudsman resolved more than 800 disputes for 417 visa holders in the past financial year. Photo: Louie DouvisBackpackers on 417 working holiday visas make up a small percentage of workers in Australia, but are over-represented in complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
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In 2015-16, the Ombudsman resolved 855 workplace disputes involving overseas workers on the 417 working holiday visa.

This represents 45 per cent of the 1894 workplace disputes involving overseas workers on all types of visas resolved by the Ombudsman. #backpackers= 0.1% of workers but 6% of our complaints and 45% of all #visa holder complaints. https://t.co/[email protected]_caldwell— Natalie James (@NatJamesFWO) September 21, 2016

The 417 visa disputes made up six per cent of the of the 14,329 workplace disputes the Fair Work Ombudsman resolved across the country in 2015-16.

A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesman said it had a strong focus on protecting the rights of overseas workers, including backpackers.

“We know they can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights or are reluctant to complain,” the spokesman said.

“We are conscious that youth, language and cultural barriers can also create difficulties for overseas workers.”

The spokesman said overseas workers contributed to the labour market by providing specialised skills, knowledge and innovation.

“And a more flexible labour supply, particularly in industries where employers have difficulty attracting domestic workers,” he said.

“We want the work experience of an international student in Australia to be a positive one.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Circuit Court has penalised the operators of a strawberry farm on Newlands Rd at Cottonvale, near Stanthorpe, almost $70,000.

Farm owner Hour Him and his partner Tay-Duc Nguyen, the farm’s former operations manager, were each ordered to pay $6400 – and Him’s company, I Luv Pty Ltd, was ordered to pay a further $56,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman discovered that six overseas workers were underpaid a total of $2601 when the farm was audited last year as part of the agency’s national Harvest Trail Inquiry.

The six employees, who were on 417 working holiday visas, were underpaid over a two-week period between March 28 and April 10, 2015.

It was not the first time that workers on the property were underpaid.

In 2013, the Fair Work Ombudsman required I Luv Pty Ltd to back-pay nine employees more than $21,000.

The company also received two contravention letters and a formal letter of caution placing it on notice that further breaches could result in enforcement action.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the court’s decision sent a clear message to rural employers that exploitation of overseas workers would not be tolerated.

Judge Salvatore Vasta also agreed to make additional orders aimed at overhauling workplace practices on the farm. These were agreed to by the operators.

Judge Vasta ordered I Luv Pty Ltd to commission an external audit of its compliance with workplace laws next year and provide the Fair Work Ombudsman with a report on the findings, including steps taken to rectify any non-compliance.

Him and Nguyen were instructed to do training in relation to their workplace obligations.

I Luv Pty Ltd must register with the My Account service at 梧桐夜网fairwork.gov419论坛 and use the educational self-help tools for employers.

Ms James said the Fair Work Ombudsman was devoting considerable resources to ensuring the many farms around the country that relied heavily on labour from overseas workers were complying with workplace laws.

The Harvest Trail Inquiry was launched in response to ongoing requests for assistance from employees in the horticulture sector and confusion among growers and labour-hire contractors about their workplace obligations.

“We are conscious many fruit pickers are young overseas workers who may be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their rights, are reluctant to complain or face language barriers,” Ms James said.

“It’s important we are proactive about ensuring they receive their full lawful entitlements.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also finalising a national review of the wages and conditions of overseas workers in Australia on the 417 working holiday visa after receiving allegations that some unscrupulous operators were exploiting backpackers.

Stay informed. Like the Brisbane Times Facebook page.

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