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How many twists to change a light bulb?

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018

NEW LIGHT: An impression of the architecturally designed bulbs that could be installed to achieve a similar look to the original lights. Picture: Newcastle Council
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NEWCASTLE COUNCIL staff have baulked at orders to look at returningdome-shaped lightingto the Cowper Street Bridge, warning councillors it would be a costly exercise for lights that arelikely to “self destruct”.

Residents of Carrington lauded it as a victory last month, when councillors ordered a review of a staff decisionto replace the original dome-shaped lamps with“soulless”energy efficient LED lights.

The review was to examinereplacements that wouldrespect“the heritage values” of the entryway to the suburb.

But with that review now finalised– and set to go before councillors at Wednesday’s meeting–council staff are still insisting the lighting installed in January be kept.

Sphere-shaped lights were no longer widely available,the review said,and a bulb suggested by residentswas“not fit for purpose”.

How many twists to change a light bulb? The “much admired” dome lights that once lined Cowper Street Bridge.

The new LED lights that have caused outcry since they were installed in January.

NEW LIGHT: An example of an energy efficient, architecturally designed bulb that could be installed. Staff say they would achieve a similar look to the original dome lights. Picture: Newcastle Council

NEW LIGHT: An example of energy efficient, architecturally designed bulbs that could be installed. Staff say they would achieve a similar look to the original dome lights. Picture: Newcastle Council

TweetFacebook The changing lights of Carrington “This style of sphere dome light will quickly self-destruct due to the severe vibration caused by traffic on the bridge, will not survive in the salt environment and will be prone to vandalism,” it said.“Note that the previous sphere-shaped lights were a regular target for vandalism.”

But Carrington resident Susan Mitchell couldn’t recall any instances of the old lights being vandalized.

“The lights that we researched, I’m sure that a light manufacturer would know his lights need to be of a robust nature, made out of suitable materials to be functional,” she said.

The review said that if councillors proceeded with the replacement, there were energy efficient, architecturally designed fittings that could achievea similar look to the original dome lights.

They would not be compliantwith pedestrian lighting standards but that could be overcome by installing lighting on the bridge’s handrails.

”Council could propose a selection of three lights, one of which could be selected through consultation with the local community,” the report said.

The cost of installing thelights in January was just over $48,000.To replace all 44 lights would cost $305,000, but a compromise could be reached by installing just 12 lights instead for $88,600.

Labor councillor Stephanie Posniak had not seen the report on Friday, but said she expected she would be asking for clarification onsome aspects of it.

“We’re not questioning the staff’s ability but in this particular case you have to be sensitive to what the community wants,” she said.

Ms Mitchell believed the community would be open to a compromise.

“The reflection on the water from the old lights was beautiful. If they could just replace the ones on the outside of the walkways, it could relive that effect.”

The review warned there would also be ongoing financial costs of about $7,800 or $2460 a year–depending on how many lights were installed–as a result of extra maintenance on the bulbs and power consumption.

Six degrees of Bob: celebrating an AFL legend

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018

Six degrees of Bob: celebrating an AFL legend Bob Murphy of the Bulldogs poses during AFL Captains Day 2017 at the MCG. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
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Easton Wood and Bob Murphy with the trophy during the Western Bulldogs AFL Grand Final celebrations at Whitten Oval. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy celebrates a win. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy celebrates that 2016 Grand Final win. Photo: Getty Images

Robert Murphy of the Bulldogs leads the team off after the final siren during the 2017 JLT Community Series match in February 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy celebrates during the 2016 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the GWS Giants and the Western Bulldogs at Spotless Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy and Easton Wood embrace after the 2016 AFL Grand Final win. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy of the Bulldogs holds up the premiership cup with Easton Wood. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy is embraced by team mates as he heads onto the stage to receive his 2016 Premiership medal. Photo: Getty Images

Bob Murphy and Easton Wood of the Bulldogs celebrate with the trophy after the 2016 grand final. Photo: Getty Images

TweetFacebookPaul Kelly, Wil Anderson, friends, even his publican on what Bob Murphy means to them as the Western Bulldogs captain prepares for his 300th match.PAUL KELLYMusician, songwriterDear Bob,

In show business, things aren’t always within your control. So it was that I found myself flying home from Dublin via Abu Dhabi last grand final day. We were three hours from landing when the game started. I paid for a wi-fi connection and managed to get score updates that clicked over every couple of minutes. By the last quarter a large swathe of passengers around me were tuned in to my announcements. With five minutes to go I called it for the Dogs just before all electronic devices had to be switched off as the plane prepared to land. Jubilation all round.

That night I watched every second of the replay on TV and, like many others, I suspect, wept as Luke Beveridge draped his premiership medal around your neck. Like many others, too, I’d been barracking for you and your brothers throughout your seemingly Quixotic finals campaign.

You’ve been called the “spirit of the club”. It’s a cliché overworked. But, in your case, perfectly apt. Cruelly injured for the whole season and unable to join your brothers in the heat of the final battle you were the animating force, the touchstone, the one everyone turned to and sought out.

Rockdogs: Bob Murphy and Paul Kelly at the Community Cup in 2012. Photo: Craig Johnstone

Before the grand final youwrote about the loch locked inside of you, the secret sorrow at the deep heart of joy. You and Keats. “Ay, in the very temple of Delight veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shine.”

Things may not have turned out the way you imagined in your childhood dreams, your adult hopes. But something bigger, wider, deeper happened. Your particular trial made the whole a greater triumph. Your absence from the field made you even more present in the story. Your constraint generated enormous power.

Congratulations, Bob, sprite of the club. (Sprite – a legendary creature with magical powers). Congratulations, tough elf, on 300 bone-jarring games. Congratulations and thanks for it all, the great long story you’ve told. Your story isn’t done yet. It will run long after we’re gone.

WIL ANDERSONComedianI remember distinctly the first time I saw The Artist Formerly Known As Robert Murphy play for the Dogs. As a fellow Gippslander I was excited to see this player who had been described as having the skill of a young Robert (Robbie not Bob) Flower.

But when young Robert took the field wearing the number 22 on his back, it seemed like the club was so poor they had got him a guernsey two sizes too big in the hope he would grow into it.

Physically he probably never did – I have a theory the reason he ended up wearing number 2 was, when they took the jumper in, his shoulders weren’t wide enough for two numbers – but 300 games later he is a giant of the club and the game.

Sometimes as footy fans I think we are disappointed when the way someone plays on the ground doesn’t represent who they are off it. But that has never been the case with Bob.

On the field his greatest skill is that he makes those around him better, and in turn makes the game better. And that’s what he’s like off the field too. A unique individual who loves being part of a team.

So congratulations, Murph. As Bulldogs fans, we’ve had way more than our two Bob’s worth. In fact there’s an idea, is it too late to clone him?

JOHN SCHULTZChampion Footscray ruckman, 1960 Brownlow Medallist, mentorI first met Bob during the pre-season of 2000 when I was fortunate to act as a mentor at the induction of the 1999 draft players. Former players are often asked to speak to inductees to explain what they can expect. We, past players, are always interested in the composition of the team each year and when you speak at an induction you forever have a special interest in these players. I found Bob to be a particularly interesting person; he certainly thinks outside the square and is, in many ways, not your typical league footballer. I recall him lobbying to retain the old tree stump in the property room, the stump that the boot-studder had used for many years as a support when he worked on the boots. I think Bob thought it had historical significance.

What a draft year that was for the Western Bulldogs. Bob, Daniel Giansiracusa, Lindsay Gilbee, Mitch Hahn, Ryan Hargrave and Nathan Eagleton. They formed lifelong friendships and Bob and Gia, who is now a Bulldogs coach, still do part of Bob’s pre-game warm-up together.

Class of ’99: draft buddies Daniel Giansiracusa and Robert Murphy Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

When Bob seriously injured a knee in the dying minutes of an exciting game against the Hawks on Sunday May 10, 2016, he only needed five more games to achieve the dreamed-of footballer’s goal of 300 games. It was an especially cruel blow because Bob had a similar injury in 2006 and he knew the hard work that the recovery would entail. His dilemma was whether to retire then or at his age try to recover the fitness and form that would assure him of a place in the side. Thankfully he decided to play on and what a joyous celebration it will be when he runs onto the ground on Saturday.

DIEGO ORTUSOOsteopathIn 2008 we struck a deal with a handshake, a so-called gentleman’s agreement, Bob and me. “I will get you to 200, but you have to get yourself to 250.” Back then he was injured, low, uncertain, hurting – but I knew he would get better, he just needed to become whole again. He couldn’t even see himself making it to 150 games, but he worked hard – physically, emotionally and mentally.

I used to tell him in those dark days, “I begin the treatment and will help bind your wounds, but it’s you who finishes it and heals them.” He is smart. He understood what needed to happen. He trusts me and I trust his health. This is the basis of our relationship. He bestows upon me the great privilege of caring for that which is most precious to him – his health. Even more importantly, the health of those he loves most – his family.

Murphy has had two knee reconstructions, 10 years apart. Photo: Martin Philbey

You can judge the size of the man by the size of the things that bother him, and recent setbacks have changed the way he views the horizon. But Bob understands perspective. In treatment we talk all sorts of things – about his body, what worries him, what’s on his mind and what’s in his heart. He’s not a tortured artist, though – he loves stories and he laughs easily, which can only be a good thing in the magnified world he exists in.

They also say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Bob is wise enough to realise you only become better if you surround yourself with people who are better than you. He definitely has that in Justine. She is his wife, adviser, confidant, right-hand woman, the mother of his children and the real captain in his most important team. My wife describes Bob and Justine best. “When I’m around them I just feel like hugging them all the time.”

I’m proud to have watched the young rebel become a wise leader. Proud that he picked himself up from the ashes again. Proud that he stands up for what he believes in. Proud that on the field he can once again “move like Jagger”. Proud to call him my friend.

BEN HUDSONFormer teammateHe cares for people, and that’s probably something not as common in footy circles. He’s the first to admit he’s not your typical footy nut, but you can see how the young players at the Bulldogs admire the way he goes about things, and he shows that care and empathy that goes beyond when they cross that white line.

I was lucky enough to share car rides with him to training, so I got to listen to his music and see what he wore into training. His fashion is left of centre and his music is the same, but that’s what makes Bob unique and such a loveable character. He’s pretty quiet and likes to keep to himself. Probably, in all honesty, he hates all the attention he’s copping his week.

People’s beard: Murphy has described Ben Hudson as one of his his favourite teammates, while “Gia” is like family. Photo: Paul Rovere

When Luke Beveridge gave him his premiership medal, that’ll go down as one of the greatest sporting moments. When Beveridge let him lift the premiership cup, it was very emotional, but at the same time you could see the passion and care and what it meant to him, but also to all the supporters in the west. For that iconic moment, he got to share that moment that not many captains or players get to do. You’d have to ask him how he felt about not being able to play, but I reckon, at that split second, he didn’t care.

PATRICK WALSHPublicanI’ve always said that if somebody was going to marry your sister you’d be pretty happy if it was Robert Murphy, and if you needed someone to find a target on their non-preferred side you’d be equally pleased.

We met for the first time in my pub, not long after he wrecked his knee for the first time. I was struck by him from the start – he was interested and interesting. Always admirable qualities, but especially so for someone who lived in the rarefied air of AFL. I felt like we were from a similar place. We talked about music, travel, love, family, writing, Guinness and sunscreen, occasionally arguing about football despite the vast difference in our qualifications.

An osteo (Diego Ortuso), a publican (Patrick Walsh) and a footballer (Bob Murphy).

We’ve covered a fair bit of ground since then and my understanding of a footballer’s life has changed how I watch the game. What hasn’t changed is that I’m very proud of my friend.

Usually after Christmas we have a kick, where he does all the running. I have never got a better appreciation of how good he is than in these moments. It’s like standing in the straight as the ponies head for home. If we get interrupted by his kids, or someone else’s, his football face goes and the other Robert seamlessly appears. Then it’s back to business, and just so you know, even when he’s easing into it, the ball smacks into your hands well before but exactly where you expect.

The Age

Clint Eastwood’s next project is a film about hero backpackers

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018

They were the American backpackers who made headlines around the world after crash-tackling a would-be terrorist armed with an AK-47 on a crowded European train.
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Now, Clint Eastwood wants to immortalise the story of the three men who risked their lives to save their fellow passengers.

The Hollywood veteran has decided to produce a movie based on the real-life survival story and subsequent book The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train and Three American Heroes.

Eastwood has directed a string of action movies in recent years, including Sully and American Sniper. The latter snapped up more than $700 million at the box office worldwide and a string of Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

The demand for the genre doesn’t appear to be dying down, with Eastwood currently working on a film about an aid worker who is kidnapped by Somali pirates, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alex Skarlatos’ quick-thinking on the Paris-bound train fits with Eastwood’s love for stories about ordinary people who are forced to do extraordinary things.

On the day of the thwarted attack, the three mates – who grew up in California together and were in Europe to celebrate Mr Skarlatos’ return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan – attacked the gunman while he was cocking his assault rifle.

Mr Stone choked the man while Mr Skarlatos hit him over the head. The would-be terrorist was armed with an AK-47, pistol and box cutter and one of the men almost lost their thumb in the process.

Mr Stone also had to stick his fingers into an injured man’s neck to stem the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

The trio were awarded French Legion of Honour medals by president Francois Hollande after the ordeal.

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

Enjoy a glass of red at this Red Hill retreat

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Allhomes. Canberra. Domain. April 18, 2017.?? 9 Scarborough Street, Red Hill. Photo: SuppliedCanberra’s icy winter is on its way, but a beautiful new home with a gas fireplace will certainly take off the chill. This Red Hill property offers the discerning buyer class and elegance, combined with modern touches for the ultimate in creature comfort.
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The entry way flows into a front foyer followed by an elegant lounge complete with open fireplace and timber windows – perfect for that warming glass of winter red with friends or family.

The neutral colour palette and cedar touches make it versatile for any decor, while the heart of the home lies within the open-plan kitchen – Caesarstone benchtops and an innovative design making appliances so discrete it almost seems as though it isn’t a kitchen at all. The island bench offers plenty of preparation space, while a custom-designed wall of sleek cabinets conceals an integrated Liebherr fridge-freezer providing generous food storage.

The spacious dining room adjoins the kitchen, and flows to the lounge area, making it ideal for entertaining.

Large bifold doors see the spacious family room open on to the terrace and sparkling pool. The enclosed pavilion can also be accessed from the terrace or family room, with the roof and ceiling fan providing year-round comfort.

Selling agent Mario Sanfrancesco, of Peter Blackshaw Real Estate, says this four-bedroom, single-storey home is perfect for families who want a touch of resort-style living. “I love the large family room and entertaining area overlooking the in-ground pool and the very private rear garden surrounded by mature trees and lush hedges,” he says.

Number nine sits in a prized location, close to schools, sporting fields and shops as well as the parliamentary triangle, CBD and embassy belt.

“The overall response to this home has been encouraging, which is not a surprise given the lifestyle it offers and proximity to Canberra Grammar School,” Sanfrancesco says.

“This home has been loved by many families over its lifetime and is ready for another to enjoy the peaceful surrounds and resort lifestyle.”

We love: The innovative approach to the kitchen, which sees appliances tucked away and carefully integrated into the overall design of the room bringing discreet to a new level.

Need to know: Highest recorded sale in the past 12 months was $2.97 million for 21 Scarborough Street in November 2016. Recent sales: $1.96 million for 37 Investigator Street in December; $1.55 million for 18 Astrolabe Street in February, and $852,500 for 108 Monaro Crescent in July.

Surrounding area: Red Hill is in the prestigious inner south of Canberra, on the southern side of Lake Burley Griffin. Circling Capital Hill, the location of Parliament House, the leafy suburbs of “Old Canberra” are home to many of the city’s most exclusive residences. The retail areas of Manuka and Kingston provide boutique shopping, quality cafes and fine dining.

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

Derby Day over before it begins as Brisbane Roar end Western Sydney’s A-League season

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

The Brisbane Roar have spoiled Sydney’s Derby Day. On a night of endless intrigue and high drama at Suncorp Stadium, the Western Sydney Wanderers were sent packing from the A-League finals after a penalty shootout.
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Jamie Young would be the hero for the home side, coming on in the first half of extra time to replace first-choice keeper Michael Theo, who injured his leg in a collision with Terry Antonis and will miss the remaining finals matches.

When the time came, he stood tall. With the penalty tally at 6-5 in favour of Brisbane, Jumpei Kusukami floated his shot high and right. Young was all over it and hence, the Wanderers’ season was all over.

Scores were locked at 1-1 after fulltime and extra time. The Wanderers could barely lift their feet as they clung to the draw in extra time with 10 men, following the red card to Jaushua Sotirio in the 103rd minute.

Brisbane weren’t clinical enough to finish it before it went to spot kicks but managed to hold their nerve, setting up a date next week against Melbourne Victory, scheduled for 5pm on Sunday. It also cruelled any hopes of a massive Sydney derby should the Wanderers have made it out alive.

“Heartbreaking. The red card didn’t help us. It was a very courageous effort when you put it into perspective. Boys were dropping in the last 10 minutes. It’s one of those things,” Brendon Santalab told Fox Sports after the game, while Young was in tears after his winning save.

“I’ve waited a long time for that,” he said. “I’ve waited the whole year. That was special.”

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic, who must now get his side up for a trip to Japan for Asian Champions League on Wednesday, said the send off of Sotirio was the turning point, leaving his team without an attacking weapon against tiring legs.

“It’s a shame Jaush got sent off because we could see his fresh legs and speed were hurting Brisbane. Just before he got sent off he created a great chance for Santa, Jamie Young came on and made a great save,” Popovic said.

“After he went off, you’ve got tired bodies and we lacked that spark once he was off the park.”

Brisbane are now undefeated in 10 home finals and if that was the last appearance for the great Thomas Broich on his home ground, it was one he would never forget. He played the entire match and ended it with knees covered in ice, praying his teammates could deliver.

The Roar’s imposing home record clearly hadn’t been weighing heavily on the minds of the visitors early on Friday night, who sprung from the blocks and dominated large swathes of the first half, finishing it with a deserving lead.

That one-goal advantage could easily have been more if not for Theo, who was called upon in the opening minutes to stop a pair of back-to-back shots from the Wanderers. First Santalab was denied, then Nicolas Martinez.

When Martinez dragged a shot wide – he probably should have scored – the Wanderers had enjoyed the first five shots of the match. It was a pattern that would last most of the half as the visitors poured on the pressure.

Brisbane had every reason to respond given the emotion of the night around Broich but spent far more time digging it out from their own box instead of sending raiding parties down the opposite end.

It looked as if Western Sydney’s dominance would go without reward before Avram Papadopoulos felled Santalab in the box on the stroke of halftime. Antonis made no mistake and the Wanderers were seemingly on their way.

Aloisi rushed onto the field to make his feelings clear as the officials left the ground and likely continued it in the rooms. Whatever he said, the Roar responded, levelling scores on 55 minutes after Jamie Maclaren pounced on Brandon Borello’s rebound off the post.

The Wanderers were starting to be broken up as Brisbane went on the offensive. Vedran Janjetovic saved Brett Holman’s strike before Borello was denied on the line by a desperate Scott Neville. Brown almost scored against just seconds later, with Janjetovic brilliant again.

Brisbane came perilously close to burying the winner as the clock ticked down. Broich put it on a platter for Borrello, whose volley managed to bounce on the crossbar – twice – before Janjetovic batted it away.

Sotirio has his chance to be the hero at the death but his shot from in front sailed well over the Roar goal, ensuring it went into extra time. It would be one of the most crucial moments of the night, with his cameo from the bench soon ending with a send off.

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

Bunnies edged out by Broncos in two hours of madness

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

If you looked hard enough, a crazy game of rugby league broke out on Friday night. Just a small distraction to the year-round contract capers. It’s how rugby league works now.
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The Broncos won, with a dubious 78th-minute field goal from Anthony Milford who appeared to fumble in the lead-up. It was two hours of rugby league madness on the field after months of madness off it. But were the Broncos really the winners?

Aren’t the winners only those who have a stat line good enough to show prospective new employers? Isn’t the 80 minutes of throwing pigskin around merely the shop window to bump up values and add zeroes to the next bottom line? On that score, let’s say Darius Boyd was the real winner. Maybe Milford. They were two of six Broncos off contract having another audition and both shone brightly again. Add another zero to their bottom lines in their next Brisbane deals.

But surely there was enough to talk about for silly season to subside for a day. Maybe. The Bunker copped a pasting from the Bunnies fans as many scrambled for the rugby league rulebook after a bizarre Korbin Sims try and equally baffling one to Tautau Moga. The Bunker boffins got it right. Possibly.

Milford – yes, he’s off contract too – went down from a Sam Burgess bruiser, hopped up to kick the ensuing penalty goal and then meandered off for a concussion check after Broncos medico Peter Hackney reviewed footage on the sideline, as he’s supposed to do.

Milford missed the last minute of the first half, passed his check at half-time and went straight back on, only for George Burgess to try to shoulder him back into oblivion shortly after and then watch as Brisbane’s No.6 won the game.

And what of Robbie Farah? He was shoved out of a Tigers contract before finding a new one at Souths and rode that many kilometres on the bike as an unused substitute in the first half he might have been angling for a Tour de France deal. Then he climbed off the pine to set up two second-half tries.

Enough to talk about. But chequebooks is where rugby league is at. So how much will Boyd be worth in his next deal? The match-winning Milford?

Bryson Goodwin won the Rabbitohs’ rugby league roulette wheel at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. He spiked a bomb into Robert Jennings’ grateful hands to get the hosts right back into it in the second half when 10 points down. Throw a bit more money at him.

Sam Burgess played strongly and was again the controversy magnet we have all come to know. Because he’s not off contract this year you might have missed he had to fight – and beat – a serious shoulder charge sanction at the judiciary on Tuesday night just to run out this week. He might have a permanent spot there after decking Milford, albeit buckling at the knees, high late in the first half prompting the concussion confusion. It was the flashpoint of a first half where a flying Corey Oates scored twice to chalk off Damien Cook’s opener.

In the second half, Souths were gone, down by 10 points. Then weren’t. The Broncos were then gone. Then weren’t. And then Milford, after missing an easy one with his right, snapped a field goal with his left to win it.

How much is he worth again?

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

Horror-Tahs: NSW sink into crisis after embarrassing loss to Kings

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

The Waratahs are in the midst of a crisis and coach Daryl Gibson says a decision about his future is beyond his control after NSW suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in the club’s history with a 26-24 loss to the Southern Kings in on Friday.
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The Kings, who have been Super Rugby’s biggest flops in the last two seasons, hit the lead 19-17 in the 68th minute against a Waratahs team littered with international representatives.

The South Africans, who are almost certain to be booted from Super Rugby next year, were then awarded a penalty try, smashing the Waratahs pack time and again to the dismay of NSW fans, who booed their heroes as they packed up and left with minutes remaining.

Questions will now be asked of Gibson and his coaching staff in the coming days, for the Waratahs are now in crisis mode with six defeats from eight starts in 2017 and staring down the barrel of a horror year.

“When the team is in the situation it’s in, those questions are going to be asked,” Gibson said. “I’m going to cop it. Those decisions are beyond my control.

“At the end of the day, the coach is responsible for that performance. That’s a team not at it’s best and that’s my responsibility.

“There’s going to be a lot of soul searching in terms of [players] looking at themselves very deeply. That goes for everyone in the organisation [asking] are we at our best? Is everyone doing their jobs to the highest ability they are capable of? Only the players can answer that.”

For context, in the only other match-up between the two sides, the Waratahs annihilated the Kings 72-10 in 2013; their biggest-ever victory.

How times have changed.

The Waratahs froze with panic and senior players failed to lead from the front with their backs against the wall.

Gibson dead-batted a question about whether Wallabies representatives were in danger of losing their national jerseys if they didn’t raise their standards.

“Their No.1 focus is playing well for the Waratahs, first thing first is they’ve got to be at their best,” Gibson said. “I expect that of all our players to be their best and tonight they weren’t.”

If the Waratahs wanted to announce themselves as genuine contenders to play finals football, they fired a blank, showing fair and square they are nowhere near their best as they were outmuscled and outclassed in a David-versus-Goliath clash.

Gibson believed the Waratahs lacked urgency but stopped short of sticking the boot completely into his players, something no doubt his predecessor Michael Cheika would have done.

“The messages at half-time was I felt the team lacked urgency,” Gibson said. “Tonight, clearly not at out best. That’s probably the most frustrating thing. We were 17 points up and looking relatively comfortable.

“Given that inconsistency, we can’t be competitive for that full 80 minutes.”

If someone had said before the match the Kings would have 58 per cent of possession across the 80 minutes, you would have said they were dreaming.

NSW were probably capable of winning by 30 or 40 points if they played their best football and would have privately been eyeing a crucial bonus point.

Now, they go back to the drawing board in search of not just tries and competition points, but credibility among the NSW rugby community.

To make matters even worse, the Waratahs led 17-0 after 34 minutes but capitulated, struggling at set-piece and coughing up too much football at crucial moments.

Tighthead prop Paddy Ryan was penalised on a number of occasions at scrum-time and the absence of Sekope Kepu was clearly evident. Hooker Tolu Latu had an off night with his lineout throws.

Michael Hooper, who has arguably been the Waratahs’ standout player this year, was a broken man at full-time.

While his efforts on a personal note have been unwavering, the effect of captaining this Waratahs side must be taxing.

“It was a pretty embarrassing performance from us there,” Hooper told Fox Sports. “Our set-piece is terrible at the moment. It’s going to be a really tough weekend.”

The Waratahs scored the opening three tries of the match through Taqele Naiyaravoro, Rob Horne and Cam Clark but the Kings responded with a five-pointer of their own four minutes out from half-time to put the score at 17-7.

They made things even more interesting with another in the 47th minute.

Many thought they would drop off as they have done so often, but in what has to be one of their greatest wins, the Kings dealt NSW a serious dose of reality on one of their darkest evenings.

“Every time we lose at home that’s the most disappointing thing,” Gibson said. “Tonight we were a long way from our best.

“I wouldn’t think that complacency would creep into a team that’s in the position that we’re in and that’s frustrating.

“We got a good amount of work done [after the bye] but I’m not going to hide behind that as an excuse. Simply [we are] not at our best.”

The silver lining to the defeat was the Waratahs actually gained distance on the conference leading Brumbies, given they got within seven points of the Kings.

The Brumbies sit atop the Australian conference on 17 points, followed by the Reds (10), Force (9) and then Waratahs (9).

The Force play the Chiefs on Saturday.

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

Paramedic tells of fight to save shark attack victim Laeticia

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

Paramedic tells of fight to save shark attack victim Laeticia Laeticia Brouwer and the scene in Esperance on April 17, 2017.
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Harrowing final moments: Esperance St John Ambulance community paramedic Paul Gaughan with emergency services desperately trying to save 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer’s life, at the Wylie Bay Beach car park, as her family watch on. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Esperance shark attack victim Laeticia Brouwer. Photo: Supplied

Esperance Police acting senior sergeant Ben Jeffes with the surfboard. Authorities are inspecting the mauled surfboard to determine the species of shark involved in the fatal attack. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul

TweetFacebookEsperance Express, I have spoken to community paramedic PaulGaughanmany times in the year I have worked in the scenic coastal town 700 kilometres south-east of Perth.

I’ve interviewed him about all sorts of issues and incidents around the region.

But it was still a shock to suddenly see him onMonday afternoon, standing over motionlessLaeticia Brouwerat the back of an ambulance pumping her chest in a desperate attempt to save the17-year-old surfer.

Under grey skies, with the beach looking far from its usual idyllic turquoise water and pristine white sand, Esperance’s off-road ambulance and a convoy of other four-wheel-drives had just driven off the beach.

In the middle of a chaotic, traumatic, heartbreaking scene in the beach car park, my eyes were fixed on MrGaughan, the St John Ambulance paramedic, as he fought for the teenager’s life: he was focused and composed.

When he initially took the call about a shark attack about 4pm on Easter Monday, MrGaughan’sheart sank.

MsBrouwerhad just been pulled from the water at a surfing spot known as the Kelp Beds on nearby Wylie Bay Beach.

“I got the call and heard that it was a shark attack, I just got in my vehicle and went straight away,” MrGaughansaid.

Paul Gaughan#BREAKING: A 17-year-old girl has died from her injuries, after a shark attack at Kelp Beds in Wylie Bay. #[email protected]南京夜网/kVXn9s8Aq6

— Caitlyn Rintoul (@caitlynrintoul) April 17, 2017

“We are terribly heartbroken and saddened by this tragic accident,”her tearful uncle Steve Evans saidas he thanked emergency service workers the next day.

“We can take comfort thatLaeticiadied doing something that she loved,” he said.

“The ocean was her and her family’s passion. Surfing was something she treasured doing with her Dad and her sisters.”

In a message later shared on social media, the Brouwer familysaid they had been“overwhelmed with care and love from the Esperance community and the people that helped –you were amazing”.

“There were people standing on the beach with my younger daughters for a long time that I didn’t get to thank.

“The nurse who did CPR while I breathed for Teesh (Laeticia). All the paramedics and the police officers who went above and beyond. We thank you all.”

The death of MsBrouwer, the 15th person killed by a shark in Western Australia since 2000, has sparked a political debate over the culling of sharks.

The state’s new Labor state government has said drum lines would no longer be dropped to catch dangerous sharks following fatalities.

“We made it clear in opposition that we don’t see the merit in automatically deploying drum lines because they don’t actually make our beaches any safer,” Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said.

“We want to focus on promoting individual shark deterrents which can actually provide genuine protection for the people most at risk.”

At a Senate committee hearing into shark mitigation held in Perth on Thursday, Surf Life Saving Western Australia general manager Chris Peck said 4600 people had been cleared from the water at Perth beaches after shark warnings over the past two years.

“Our lifeguards have cleared thousands of people from the water… lives have been saved,” Mr Peck said.

But most shark attacks did not occur on the state’s 16 patrolled beaches, he said.

Mr Peck, along with shark researchers from the University of Western Australia and representatives from Sea Shepherd Australia, Shark Shield and Shark Alert, will provide evidence to the Senate inquiry.

The previous Liberal government authorised baited drum lines in Perth and beaches in the state’s south-west from January 2014.

Metadata evidence ban could be ‘catastrophic’ for family violence cases

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

A federal government ban on retained phone and internet records being used as evidence in family violence civil proceedings has been warned to have potentially “catastrophic” consequences.
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Legislation requires telecommunications companies to keep data for at least two years.

Law enforcement and security agencies are able to access the data under strict controls and use it in criminal proceedings, but the government has ruled out allowing admission in civil cases following a review which considered more than 260 submissions.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis said the review had found there was insufficient reason to justify making exceptions.

The ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate submission asked for exceptions to be made in “serious civil proceedings”.

The directorate said communications records had been subpoenaed previously in domestic violence matters, coronial inquests and workers’ compensation cases involving bullying.

The ACT submission argued the impact of prohibition in some civil proceedings could be catastrophic.

“The rationale … is that these types of proceedings can lead to criminal sanctions and the behaviour of concern is often akin to, or overlaps with, criminal conduct [eg stalking, harassment],” the directorate said.

“Family and children’s safety is supported through the protection order process, which relies on the ability of the system to make fully informed assessments of risks.”

The directorate said there were sometimes related civil and criminal proceedings where inconsistent evidentiary rules could cause confusion, delay and higher cost.

The Commonwealth’s response points out the ACT did not provide details on how telecommunications data had been used in past proceedings.

“Given the limited practical evidence about the degree to which telecommunications data has been useful in these types of matters, it is difficult to determine the strength of the case for access in these circumstances at this time,” the response says.

“Further consultation and evidence would be needed to properly assess the case for exceptions to the prohibition in such circumstances.”

The government also rejected an Australian Federal Police suggestion to exempt law enforcement-related civil proceedings from the ban.

The AFP cited examples including proceeds-of-crime matters, child protection orders and apprehended violence orders.

The government said exceptions could be considered later if new evidence emerges.

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

Prices surge in some Brisbane areas as four suburbs gain $1m median

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

The biggest drop in Brisbane house prices since 2011Was it really easier for Baby Boomers to buy a house?Apartment construction outpacing houses in Australia
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Saint Lucia, Samford Valley, Chelmer, and Auchenflower have joined (and in some cases re-joined) the likes of Ascot and New Farm as some of Brisbane’s most sought-after suburbs.

Fourteen Brisbane suburbs now have median house prices above $1million, up from ten last quarter.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said despite more suburbs joining the $1 million+ club, a low ceiling meant Brisbane prices remained relatively affordable.

“There’s 78 suburbs in Sydney with median over $2 million dollars,” he said. “It just shows the value aspect at the top of the market and the bottom, affordability is also about the top end.”

“If you’ve got $2 million, gee whiz, you can get something great in Brisbane but in Sydney and Melbourne, not so much.”

Agents in Auchenflower and Saint Lucia said they were pleased, but not surprised, by the findings.

Space Property Paddington principal Judi O’Dea said she had actually expected the Auchenflower median to be higher.

“Because there’s larger land sizes, character homes and it’s got city views in certain properties as well,” she said. “There’s just a feel of a lovely village about it.”

Ms O’Dea said those who could afford to buy in the suburb often spent a little extra to make the most of their patch of Brisbane’s inner west.

“The land per square metre is very important and very expensive, people invest in the land,” she said. “There’s lots of architecturally designed homes in this area.”

Good schools and a relaxed lifestyle draw people to the suburb, Ms O’Dea said. “I’ve seen this area transition in the last ten years into something that is extremely valuable.”

In Saint Lucia, Harcourt Graceville’s David Gowdie said the suburb’s steadily growing appeal with Chinese buyers and investors was sustainably growing the area’s median and profile.

“It’s a bit of an anomaly, but what we’re finding is Chinese interest market in that market is huge,” he said. “They want to live there and move in there.”

Mr Gowdie is marketing 49 Dell Street, and said Chinese buyers had expressed the most interest in the property.

“We’ve had four people put in offers above $1 million and they were all Chinese,” he said.

The overseas interest was driven by the University of Queensland’s efforts to develop a dual living and education precinct in the surrounding streets, and Mr Gowdie said it was also driving local interest.

“[The university’s master plan] is on the lips of everyone around the place,” he said.

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

Manly pinch golden-point thriller against Raiders

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

It was testament to the type of leader Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker is, but Sia Soliola refused to allow his skipper to shoulder the blame for the heart-breaking, golden-point loss.
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A Dylan Walker penalty, which snuck in off the upright, proved the difference as it took until extra-time for Manly to beat the Raiders 20-18 at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

Croker put his hand up after missing a conversion from the touchline after winger Jordan Rapana scored an amazing try in the corner and slipped when they had an overlap and were shooting for a golden try.

Soliola said it said a lot about Croker that he would even consider taking the blame.

“There’s a few boys that are taking it personally. In my opinion, they played their hearts out, all the boys did. There’s nothing we can do,” Soliola said.

“You can’t expect Jarrod to do everything and you can’t expect people not to make mistakes.

“We don’t go out there to purposely drop a ball or give penalties away, it’s just one of those things where things happen.

“We did that today, it was just one of those things where Junior could have scored, Jarrod could have scored, Jarrod could have finished it off.

“In saying that, that’s the type of character Jarrod is. That’s how much he loves the club, and that’s how much we value him as captain.

“That’s what he’s all about, he’s all about Raiders first and foremost, and that’s what you want from your captain.”

It was a tough, tight, even first half that only had a Walker penalty goal and a Croker try to show for it on the scoreboard – with both teams soaking up plenty of pressure.

Canberra struck first in the second half, with Josh Papalii – who continues to show why both Queensland coach Kevin Walters and Australia coach Mal Meninga think so highly of him – running over Daly Cherry-Evans and then through Tom Trbojevic.

It appeared to have given the Green Machine a comfortable lead until Manly struck twice in a matter of minutes to turn it into a thrilling second half.

The Sea Eagles got lucky with Cherry-Evans’ kick bouncing off Soliola into Jake Trbojevic’s arms, for the Manly lock to score.

Then Walker flew through the Raiders’ line to give the visitors an unlikely lead.

Croker levelled the scores from the kicking tee before Rapana produced a magic finish in the very back corner of the in-goal area.

“No one’s hurting more than me mate, but I’ve just got to take it. I had two chances there to win the game for the boys and couldn’t get through. We’ve got to get over it pretty quickly and move forward,” Croker said.

Having missed a penalty earlier, Walker had a chance to ice it in the dying minutes, but couldn’t convert Tom Trbojevic’s try to level the scores at 18-all.

The Raiders had the first chance in extra-time, with five-eighth Blake Austin almost producing the winning try with a brilliant run on the fourth tackle.

On the very next play, the Green Machine went wide and created the overlap, but Croker slipped when stepping back inside with winger Nick Cotric unmarked out wide.

Walker then converted a penalty from about 40-metres out to win it after Joe Tapine had been penalised for a two-man strip – although Josh Hodgson’s involvement as the second man was limited to touching the Manly player before stepping away.

In his up-and-down night, Walker was put on report for slamming Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer into the turf in a tackle, which added plenty of feeling to the game.

Cherry-Evans admitted the Sea Eagles were lucky to get away with the two points.

“It’s hard not to be a bit flinchy when you’re in those situations. They’re a really good side and to hold them out in a clutch situation, a lot of pressure, it’s going to do a lot for our confidence defensively,” he said.

“I thought we were very, very lucky there, very lucky.”

AT A GLANCE

MANLY SEA EAGLES 20 (Jake Trbojevic , Dylan Walker, Tom Trbojevic tries; Walker 4 goals) bt CANBERRA RAIDERS 18 (Jarrod Croker, Josh Papalii, Jordan Rapana tries; Croker 3 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Referees: Grant Atkins, Chris Sutton. Crowd: 15,976.

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

When a grandmother is so much more than that

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

UNBREAKABLE BOND: Michelle Kearns at home with her grandchildren Justin Oliver, 7, and Christell Papadakis, 17. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
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When Wagga grandmother Michelle Kearns received a call to pick up her two grandchildren from the airport,she never imagined she would be spending her senior years doing the school run.

Mrs Kearns immediately took in her two grandchildren, now 7 and 17, after they were removed from their parents care.

After two years of gruelling FACS appointments, medical assessments, criminal history checks and trauma training, Mrs Kearns is now fighting the NSW governmentfor a grandmother title, with foster carer rights.

“We were immediately treated like foster carers with home visits –it was really quite invasive,” Mrs Kearns said.

“I had to get a medical certificate to say I could care for my own grandchildren.”

Mrs Kearns’ life suddenly transformed as she became the full time carer for her granddaughter, who suffers from a chronic genetic disorder and her grandson, who is on the autism spectrum.

“We were classed under the foster care banner but we weren’t getting the entitlements,” Mrs Kearns said.

“We want the government to advocate for our rights and recognise what we do.”

Mrs Kearns is battling, along with several other Riverina grandmothers, for five days respite a month and the same financial assistance foster carers receive.

“We have to go through FACS just to organise other family members to visit the kids,” Mrs Kearns said.

“The other day my grandson fell over and hit his head; I had to ring FACS to notify them of the bruise because you just don’t know what they could think.

“For a normal parent they would just put the band-aidon and be done with it.”

With four case workers in two years, Mrs Kearns said she wasfed up with the bureaucracy.

“It’s been a curve ball for every one of us but we love the children,” Mrs Kearns said.“We want recognition that we are special and we sacrifice a lot.”

Mrs Kearns and her husband have both had to reduce their working hours in order to care for their grandchildren, putting their own lives on hold.

“There are so many changes you go through which people don’t see,” Mrs Kearns said.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends who no longer call because I’m too busy –we need that adult support.”

When Mrs Kearns joins Wagga’s Grandparents Doing it Tough support group to protest for her cause on April 28, she said she hopes the community’s perception will shift.

“To have community support is just as important as our status,” Mrs Kearns said.

“We live here, we spend money here and I look after so many others in the community, I want to be known as more than a foster carer.”

Riverina grandparents will march from10am at the Wagga City Council Building.

The support group’s monthly meetings are held on the first Friday of each month.

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Why the Bulldogs may not have Foran and Woods just yet

Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

The NRL won’t register the expected contracts of Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran at the Bulldogs until the club outlines how they plan to get under next year’s indicative $9.14 million salary cap.
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With Woods and Foran poised to sign lucrative deals to join the Bulldogs in 2018, the NRL is keeping a close eye on the player movement at Belmore given the likelihood they’ll have to part ways with several contracted players to accommodate the arrival of the superstar duo.

Those contracts, which are yet to be signed by Woods and Foran, won’t be registered by the NRL until the Bulldogs meet with the governing body and provide details of their plans to ensure they are salary cap compliant next year.

It’s also understood the NRL will require some indication from the likely departing players that they intend to leave the Bulldogs, not just a verbal commitment from the club.

It comes after NRL salary cap auditor Richard Gardham sent an email to all 16 club chief executives on Thursday highlighting the ramifications for those clubs that don’t heed the NRL’s advice regarding next year’s still unconfirmed salary cap.

“Clubs were provided with the indicative 2018 salary cap value on 30 March. At this time, it is the NRL’s expectation that this number is used by clubs for planning their 2018 rosters,” the NRL email said.

“Any club that contracts in excess of this number does so with knowledge of the proposed 2018 salary cap as it currently stands and risks contracts not being registered in line with PCR Rule 47.

“Any club which believes it is likely to exceed the 2018 salary cap based on current agreements should notify the salary cap auditor immediately with a plan to ensure the club is salary cap compliant for the 2018 season. Naturally, the NRL will provide support where appropriate.”

Of the big name off-contract players at the Bulldogs, it appears a certainty that Michael Lichaa and Will Hopoate won’t be at the club next season. However, the in-form Josh Reynolds, who a few weeks ago seemed likely to be on the way out of Belmore, now appears to be part of coach Des Hasler’s future plans.

That will likely mean his halves partner, Moses Mbye, will be the big money player shopped around to rival clubs alongside Bulldogs captain James Graham.

Graham is on a heavily back-ended deal for next season worth close to $1 million, and has attracted plenty of interest from Newcastle, who missed out on the services of Cowboys and Australian prop Matt Scott.

Rival clubs are also aware the Bulldogs will be desperate to offload talent to comply with the salary cap and will try and use that as leverage when they negotiate how much each club will fork out for players.

“The offer presented to the RLPA provides for $9.14m in salary cap and allowances for the top 30 players in each club [plus six development list players],” Gardham said in his email. “On a like-for-like basis this is almost 20 per cent more than the equivalent 2017 figure.”

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