Archive for December, 2018

letters to the editor for Wednesday December 13 2017

DRAWN OUT: Islington’s Dan Endicott argues bad behavior around cyclists on Hunter roads is spilling onto Newcastle’s shared footpaths as they become more popular.
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SHARED paths for walkers and push bikesare getting more popular in Newcastle. The citymust not get into the same bad habits seen on roads: faster vehicles passing too fast and too closely to the slower person.

It all used to be so simple in a car: honk horn, change lanes to overtake, plenty of safety room.But 50 years of ever-worsening driving habits and more confusing bike pictures on roads mean mostcars pass cyclists too closely, resulting in most cyclists scared off the roads.

Do not pass too fast or close to walkers when you are running or on a pushbike.Basically, do not act like Newcastlemotorists do. If we all acted like that on shared paths, hardly anyone would be walking on the iconic Bathers Way or the Anzac Memorial Walk, or any footpath for that matter.

Children aged 12 or under are legally allowed to ride pushbikes on all footpaths in NSW.Unfortunately people get used to bad habits in cars (passing too closely to people) and act similarly on shared paths(passing too closely to people).

Why can’t the police clean up the mess of the roads? We need to look at the bigger picture. Basic human rights to walk safely on footpaths is tightly linked to cars operating on roads safely. Society changed to make drunk driving socially unacceptable in a short time.Change is possible!

Dan Endicott,IslingtonA TOAST TO GOOD POLICYIN 1999, as Newcastle City Council’s inaugural community safety coordinator, I became very quickly aware of the relationship between late night alcohol consumption and anti-social behaviour and violence.

With the support of council meand my successors in the community safety areasought to mitigate anti-social behaviour and violence by negotiating with licensees, police and other interested partiesto better manage late night behaviour. The past nearly 20 years have seen that partnership develop and prosper.

Rolly de With’s article (“Community comes of age in decade of great change”, Opinion 9/12)sensibly sets out the progress made as part of what had been termed the “lockout strategy” over the past 10 years. The reduction in violent incidents he quotes clearly point to the success of that strategy. The “lockout strategy” is now being reviewed after what can only be described as a successful 10 years of operation.

Hopefully, this review will examine what works, look at what needs to improve, and suggest modifications to the strategy. This will be particularly the case when the review takes into account changes that have accrued as a result of the passage of time. If conducted correctly, this review should provide Newcastle with a road map for managing late night alcohol use for the next ten years.

Barney Langford,WhitebridgeTWO DECADES OF DECAYWITHIN the last 20 years the Liberal government has had stewardship for about 15 years, so they deserve the credit for the state that finds itself in now. That is a country that has brought ridicule and shame on itself, made a mockery of the political system, makingitself lesssecureandsafewith most of its policies stagnating or sliding backward. The trigger for a financial meltdown is just one interest rate rise away.

There will be many that disagree with this, but of thema lot will use overpopulated third world countries as a bench mark. , with what it has on hand to work with, deserves so much more than this and should demand respect, andgood governancefor the country and its people.Stop playing games to save yourown jobs.

Allan Earl,ThorntonLAMB DESERVES TO STAYI BELIEVEit’squite obvious the Knights have used players in the past twoyears as cannon fodder at the same time as telling them they are the future of a rebuilding club.Now the Knights are buying so many playersfrom outside that there is simply no room for many of them. Thanks for nothing.

In my opinion, the statements about Brock Lamb by CEO Phil Gardner are ignorant and patronising in the extreme. For example,expecting him to play some first grade this yearand seeing him as a long-term player.

Lamb has already played well over 20 first grade games and was one of the few players to consistently perform well the past two years and could reasonably be expected to get a fair go in 2018, but this seems impossible given the players the club has bought.

Yet another club junior to seemingly be brushed aside and be forced to leave the club.

Robert Green,GeorgetownGIVE VOLUNTEERS A SPOTSHEPHERDS Hill cottage,formerly home to Marine Rescue Newcastle, is about to get a renovation worth more than $1 million . It will probably be re-openedin the form of another eatery or restaurant.

Considering the importance of Marine Rescue, why not allocate a room or section for these volunteers to operate from so people can see and appreciate the work these people do?

This experience would be more of a tourist must-see than another boring restaurant, and gives Marine Rescue an opportunity to collect donations, and attract more volunteers. Come on council, give these volunteers an early Christmas present as a reward for doing good work helping make our waterways safer.Call it the MarineRescue Restaurant if you like -just the name alone will guarantee patronage.

Carl Stevenson,Dora CreekA MINER MATTER FOR CITYWHILE walking in the suburb of Charlestown I passed by a cottage with the name Miners’ Rest. It reminded me of the house that I had grown up in at Wickham. Many Novocastrians may not know this but in the early 20th Century if a miner was killed while at work, as compensation for the widow and children, the mining company would build a cottage for the family. I imagine that there are quite a few of these cottages scattered around the suburbs of Newcastle.

The Queens Wharf Tower is finally coming down so what should go in its place? In the early 1900’s the coal face was a very dangerous place to work. My proposal is that a statue be erected on the site that is a visual representation of miners working at the coal face. It would be a tribute to the men who worked and died under the streets of Newcastle.

Judith Spargo,Kahibah

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Google, Fairfax join forces in advertising partnership

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 16: New Boss of Google and New Zealand Jason Pellegrino at the Pyrmont offices on September 16, 2016 in Sydney, . (Photo by Anthony Johnson/Fairfax Media)Fairfax Media will join forces with tech giant Google in a partnership that is the first of its kind in the world to streamline advertising and develop digital media products.
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The partnership will allow a portion of the day-to-day advertising of Fairfax’s n Metro Publishing business to be booked using Google’s real-time digital platform for advertisers and media buyers. This allows bookings to be automated by computers.

This programmatic platform enables clients to make bookings based on the specific audiences they hope to target, with advertisements then served to different mastheads and verticals as appropriate, through to specific requests such as booking home page banners for a certain time period.

The new approach still allows advertisers and media buyers to work with Fairfax directly across The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The n Financial Review, WAtoday, Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, and lifestyle properties.

Fairfax’s managing director of n Metro Publishing, Chris Janz, said the partnership was about playing to the strengths of Fairfax and not trying to “be everything to everyone”.

The commercial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.

“Google clearly are the global experts on programmatic and automatic trading and programmatic is moving so far beyond cheap, ordinary inventory to actually being a more efficient way to buying and selling media,” Mr Janz said.

There could also be an element of data-sharing, though he said the two companies were yet to work through these details.

Fairfax and Google will also tackle product development, with digital subscriptions to be a major focus.

“One way people are introduced to our mastheads and products is by Google search. Figuring out how we can work together to introduce people to our subscription products is really key,” he said.

This could build on developments from Google that allow search users to see news articles from titles they are subscribed to promoted higher up on the results page.

Google is currently one of the larger companies at the centre of a federal government-directed inquiry into the role of tech giants in diverting advertising away from traditional media organisations.

“If media companies sit back and talk about how their world has been disrupted by new entrants but don’t actively do something to address it, you end up deciding your own path,” Mr Janz said.

Google and New Zealand managing director Jason Pellegrino said the company had been working for a long time with publishing partners.

It’s understood the current arrangement has been under discussion for at least a year.

“This deepening of our partnership with Fairfax allows us to jointly demonstrate the power of programmatic sales by combining Google’s best-in-class technology with Fairfax’s quality brands and deeply engaged audiences,” he said.

As a bespoke partnership, this is a world first between the two companies and is one of the most extensive publisher partnerships for the search giant globally.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood said the partnership would cement the company at the “global forefront of digital publishing innovations”.

“We expect upside performance from this partnership will allow us to make new investment in our journalism.”

The partnership is expected to start in March.

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Premier Youthworks investigation part two: lawyer slams broken glass and blood in Canberra home

RAISING CONCERNS: An excerpt from a letter written by a Legal Aid lawyer to the ACT government in April, after visiting a group children’s home run by Cardiff-based company Premier Youthworks. Part one: pressure mounts on Cardiff out-of-home care providerVulnerable children have been discovered living in a group home with broken walls, blood on the door and smashed glass in the kitchen.
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The property in question islocated in Canberra and run by PremierYouthworks, a company headquarteredin Cardiff.

Children from troubled backgrounds wind up in itsgroup homes when they are unable to live with their families.The company provides around-the-clock care forover 80 children across Newcastle and the ACT.

Concerns about the state of the home have been uncovered in a joint investigation by the Newcastle HeraldandThe Canberra Times.

A Legal Aid lawyer wrote a strongly wordedletter to the ACT government in April, after visiting the property.

“The house was in an unsatisfactory condition. There were at least two windows broken, broken doors, many holes in the walls, and broken window fittings,” read the letter.

ALARM: A lawyer has criticised conditions inside a Premier Youthworks group home in Canberra. A picture from inside the home, showing bed sheets on the floor.

“The children appeared to have dragged their mattresses in to the living room, which was extremely messy.

“The most concerning observation was of blood on one of the doors and broken glass in the kitchen.”

In the same letter, the lawyer broachedconcerns about the children’s safety in such an environment.

“This letter is not intended as a ‘finger pointing’ exercise,” they wrote.

“However it is important to make [it] clear … there are real concerns about the children’s safety in the current placement.”

Three days later, the lawyer fired off another letter to the ACT’s Public Advocate,seeking help in having the property cleaned up.

“As you will be aware, I hold concerns about the children’s current placement with PremierYouthworks,” the letter read.

DAMAGED: A picture of a wall inside a Premier Youthworks group home. Graffiti scrawled on the wall has been blurred to protect the identity of children.

“Please advise whether you have, or intend to attend the property and what, if any, involvement the Public Advocate will have in addressing concerns around housing for the children.”

Pictures from inside the property showed clothes strewn across the room, a mattress without sheets on the floor and a large hole in a wall marked with graffiti.

The ACTPublic Advocate Jodie Griffiths-Cook has regular meetings with PremierYouthworksto monitor the care of children in residential homes.

She said her office had not received any complaints about the company.

“PremierYouthworksstaff engage positively with this process and have been responsive to concerns when raised,” she said.

“For example, in early 2017 the Public Advocate became aware that a couple of properties had been damaged and needed repair.

“My office raised these concerns with management staff in PremierYouthworks, who took action to respond to the concerns in a timely manner.”

In the ACT, Premier Youthworks operates as part of a consortium of organisations, led by the Barnardos Charity.A Barnardos spokeswomansaid all residential care homes operated under a strict “quality assurance program” of weekly and monthly inspections. Property damage could be a result of “challenging behaviours” displayed by children in care.

“Damage is always repaired as a priority,” she said. The spokeswoman said the conditions illustrated in the photos obtained by Fairfax Media had been addressed as a priority at the time.

A former Premier Youthworks employee, who did not want to be identified,was highly critical of the condition of homes in Canberraandclaimed the situation was also “heading that way” in Newcastle.

But Premier Youthworks managing director Lisa Glen rejected the allegations. She saidwhile property damage did occur from time to time, the company had rigorous processes to deal with it, including an on-call system for staff.

“That young person could have been raging all night and we’ve had police and ambulance there and then as soon as that young person’s taken away we would bring people in to clear that up,” she said.

Chief executive Jared Gillard said there was scheduled maintenance and weekly inspections of Newcastle properties, which werechecked by the Ombudsman, Office of the Children’s Guardian, community visitors and FACS.

“If the young person’s just done it and then someone’s walked in or taken a photo of it, then you know, it’s that point in time,” he said.

“It’s not reflective of the environment.”

Do you know more? Email [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Centenary of the Great War

ENDURANCE: The winter of the Western Front was one thing to endure, the constant threat of poison gas was another. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony
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Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for December 10-16, 1917

AUSTRALIANS CHEERFULMr Gordon Gilmour, the representative of the n and New Zealand Press Association, telegraphs: Those n divisions in the line overlooking German positions are cheerful.Our men have suffered practically no casualties as yet. We have deep, comfortable dug-outs. The enemy artillery is intermittent, and only moderately destructive.General Birdwood this week distributed 265 decorations, mostly Military Medals, to the Third Division, on its completion of twelve months’ service in France. The division distinguished itself at Messines and on the slopes of Passchendaele.Recent events on all fronts have caused the men to realise that their job is far from being finished.

CAPTURE OF JERUSALEMMr Bonar Law, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in the British House of Commons on Monday that Jerusalem had surrendered to the British troops. He said: General Allenby reports that on December 8th he attacked the positions west and south of Jerusalem. Welsh and Home county troops, advancing from Bethlehem, drove back the enemy, and passing eastwards of Jerusalem established themselves on the Jericho road. Simultaneously, London infantry and dismounted Yeomanry attacked strong positions westward and north-westward, and established themselves astride the Schekem road. The holy city, thus isolated, surrendered. British political officers, with a British Governor, accompanied by French, Italian, and Mahommedan representatives, were on their way to safeguard the city’s holy places.General Allenby proposes to enter the city officially on Tuesday, accompanied by the Commanders of the French and Italian contingents, and the heads of the French political mission.The capture of Jerusalem was in some degree delayed in consequence of the great care taken to avoid damage to the sacred places in and around the city.The newspapers recall the fact that Sunday was the anniversary of the capture of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus. There was a demonstration in the House of Commons after Mr Bonar Law’s announcement.

The London newspapers applaud General Allenby’s brilliant tactics there. There was a solemn To Deum in Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the capture of Jerusalem.

THE KING’S MESSAGEIt is officially reported that the King has sent the following message to General Sir Edmund Allenby:

“The occupation of Jerusalem will be received throughout the Empire with the greatest satisfaction. I heartily congratulate you and all ranks on the success of the achievement, which is a fitting sequel to the troops’ hard marching and fighting, and the organisation whereby the difficulties of supply, transport, and water are overcome. I rejoice in the skilful dispositions that preserved intact the holy places.”

AMERICAN SATISFACTIONThe New York newspapers are most elated at the fall of Jerusalem. They anticipate the greatest moral effect on the Turks.The New York Times holds that Jerusalem is of great strategic value. The population will welcome the beneficent British rule, with its reforms and promotion of trade. Damascus will be the next objective, it says.

The New York World says: “The capture of Jerusalem stirs civilised minds everywhere. It is not only a real military achievement, but will have memorable political consequences.”

The New York Sun says: “The German dream of expansion in Asia Minor is now ended.”

The Jewish newspapers recall the British promise. Efforts will be made to establish a national Jewish homeland.

CALL TO AUSTRALIADr Wright, the Archbishop of Sydney, states: “The event is of great importance, and all ns must be very glad to know that ‘ was there.’ I think the fact that ns have taken part in this success is a distinct call to to see that her men at the front are adequately reinforced, so that this most important gain, which will have a great moral effect on the nations at war and throughout the East, may be maintained.”

ABERMAINThe ladies of the Abermain Comforts Fund despatched 33 parcels of comforts by post on Monday to local boys on active service. These parcels bring the number up to 275, sent away altogether. The committee wishes to thank the ten school girls for the sum of £4 16s 9d collected by them at their recent bazaar. The weekly knitting class will be postponed for the holidays, and will start again on January 17th. Miss Endean, secretary to the Abermain Comforts’ Fund, has received a letter from Private J. Devon, dated from France, thanking her committee for a parcel received and much appreciated. He had met many of the Abermain boys, including his own brother.

NEWS OF THE DAYThree dug-outs blown in by Fritz in succession, and an invasion of rats, was the lot of one YMCA with n troops in France last month. J. T. Massey, a military secretary of the association, writes from the front: “Every night Fritz shelled us, sometimes worse than others, but always severely enough to make it dangerous. If we lay down for a while in a dug-out while the boiler was getting up steam, the rats would be sure to investigate, and insist on sharing the premises, and any eatables about. There are times, when, despite evil-smelling and noisy rats, the whistle and explosion of shells, and the zip of gas shells in hundreds, one can sleep, but it is an unsettled sleep, from which one is often awakened by the huge explosion of an extra close shell, which shakes the rather flimsy dug-out like an earthquake. We had three of our dug-outs blown in by Fritz, and we had to retire from so advanced a position, but the Red Triangle branch still did business.”

ADVANCE IN PALESTINEAn official report from Palestine states: Our line has advanced midway between Jerusalem and Jaffa.The Patriarch of Jerusalem has telegraphed to the Pope that the city is not damaged. Not a shot was fired against it.Mr Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, read a telegram from General Sir Edmund Allenby in the House of Commons, stating that he had entered Jerusalem on Tuesday at noon, accompanied by a staff of commanders of the French and Italian detachments, the heads of the political mission, and military attaches of France, Italy, and the United States.The procession was on foot, and at the Jaffa Gates was received by a guard representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, , New Zealand, India, France, and Italy. The population gave them an excellent reception. Guards have been placed at holy places, Russian and Greek representatives supervising the arrangements, while the Mosque of Omar was placed under Moslem control. A military guard of Mahommedans was placed around the Mosque.A message from Odessa states that there was a great Jewish demonstration there on learning Britain’s plans regarding the Jews and Palestine. Fifteen thousand participated in a procession two miles long. They marched past the British Consulate, which they asked to convey their gratitude to Great Britain.

The Berlin newspapers admit that the capture of Jerusalem gives the victor considerable glory. General Allenby’s campaign was well prepared and cleverly executed.

The Austrian papers state that the Central Powers will make an effort at the Peace Conference to secure the restoration of Jerusalem to Turkey.

CARDIFFMrs Lovell, of Cardiff, has received a cable message, stating that her daughter, Nurse Ilma Lovell, who sailed from on September 14, has arrived safely at Port Said. Nurse Lovell was on the Wallsend Hospital staff.

NEW LAMBTON PSThere was a large gathering at the New Lambton Public School on Thursday afternoon to witness the unveiling of the roll of honour of ex-pupils of the school who have enlisted. The roll, which was made by Messrs. Mackie and Coy., and hangs in a prominent position in the school room, is of polished silky oak, and contains 83 names, six being marked by an asterisk, denoting that they had made the supreme sacrifice, and one, J. Mitchell, had received the DCM. Mr Estell, MP, who performed the unveiling ceremony, spoke appropriately to the occasion, as did also the Revs. Beeman and Weatherall.

MINMIThe erection of the brick wall in front of the post office, to which the roll of honour is to be affixed, was commenced this week. Mr Dann, of Holmesville, assisted by Messrs. R. Whent, A. Sneddon, and R. Fullicks (members of the committee), have given their services each afternoon after doing their usual day’s work. The brick work has been completed and the front of the monument is now being finished off with tiles.

ATHLETICSBefore going in camp, Jimmy Clabby will take part in at least one boxing contest, having entered into an agreement to meet Fred Kay at the Melbourne Stadium. Clabby is anxious to defeat Kay, who has a decision against the American. Though an American, Clabby will go to the front as a member of the Sportsmen’s Thousand. Clabby’s action in deciding to go with an n unit has added in his popularity. “ and her people,” said Clabby recently, “has treated me well every time I have visited the Commonwealth, and I will regard it as a great honour to fight beside gallant n lads. Some of my hardest contests with the gloves have been with ns and no one has a greater respect for them than I. Standing side by side with them against the common enemy is a privilege that I have sought for a long time.”

THE REFERENDUMA message, signed by 1182 n women domiciled in the United Kingdom, addressed to the women of , unanimously supports the reinforcements referendum.It points out that every division, battalion and company is now under strength, therefore every man is carrying a greater burden than is right. The women working in hospitals know that many are anxious to return to the front, simply anxious to succour their comrades. The Government’s scheme means a shorter time in the trenches, longer spells out of the lines, and quicker victory, and a return home.They appeal to their sisters in the Commonwealth not to give the enemy a chance to gloat as he did over the last negative referendum, and asks women to preserve ’s honour by voting “Yes.”

AUSTRALIANS WANT HELPBrigadier-General Paton, writing from the West front,15th October, to Mr Charles Earp, says:“For the last four weeks we have been pushing back the Germans incessantly east of Ypres, and are just out now for a breather. It has been a very trying and exhausting time for everyone concerned. To drive the Hun off Passchendaele Ridge before winter is upon us is a big undertaking, but I fancy we will manage it, and in any case we are slaying thousands of them. The reports about reinforcements are not very cheery; hope there will be sufficient to keep the divisions now in the field going, but it seems doubtful.”

ENLISTMENTSJames Frederick Begg, Hamilton; William Cedric Dorrington, Mayfield; William Frederick Dyer, Wickham; Gordon Grant, Newcastle; Alfred Cecil Horne, Wickham; Stuart William Smith, New Lambton; Henry Charles Thomas, Merewether; John Dawson Thomson, West Maitland.

DEATHSDriver William Joseph Humphreys, Wickham; Private Alfred Ernest Parker, West Maitland.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. (facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory)

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Surgery staff wear names, professions on scrub caps to avoid mix-ups and errors

Dr Rob Hackett was met with smirks and confused, occasionally derisive, looks when he started turning up to surgeries with his name and profession emblazoned in bold black typeface across his scrub cap.
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“Rob ??? Anaesthetist”, his forehead announced to colleagues and patients alike.

“You look a little daft because not everyone is doing it,” Dr Hackett said.

“There were some snide remarks, like ‘can’t you remember your name’.”

But six months on, Dr Hackett’s bid to improve patient safety is gradually gaining support from surgical staff in and internationally.

The move, they argue, could reduce the chances of delays and misidentification when clinicians can’t recognise or can’t remember the names of their colleagues in the operating theatre.

Surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, midwives and other clinical specialists are sharing photos of themselves donning the cranial name tags, their identities, printed neatly on cotton hats or scrawled with black permanent marker on paper caps.

Alison Brindle, a UK student midwife, gifted Dr Hackett’s intervention with the hashtag #TheatreCapChallenge. Surgical staff from , the UK, US, Europe and South America have used the hashtag to share images of their own name-caps.

There’s Beth, Nurse and Caroline, Ophthalmologist. There’s Alison, Student Midwife and Jo, Obstetrician.

When hospital staff are in full scrubs, their faces are almost completely obscured by their caps and face masks, with their eyes and eyebrows suspended between the two.

Clinicians can work with hundreds of different combinations of colleagues between multiple hospitals. The revolving door of partial faces can make recognising your fellow staff member instantly, in time-critical moments, challenging.

In the midst of a medical emergency, precious seconds, even minutes can be lost when clinicians can’t remember the names of their colleagues in the operating theatre, the campaign’s supporters say.

In a critical iteration of the bystander effect, Dr Hackett said there have been delays in performing chest compressions on patients in cardiac arrest because no one in the operating room at the time knew who the clinician had tasked with the job, since they had not referred to anyone by their name.

Other theatre staff told Dr Hackett of incidents where medical students had been mistaken for surgery registrars and asked to complete procedures.

“When you work across four or five hospitals and with hundreds of people, I’d say 75 per cent of staff I walk past I don’t know their name. It’s quite awkward,” Dr Hackett said.

“Last Friday I went to a cardiac arrest in a theatre where there were about 20 people in the room. I struggled to even ask to be passed some gloves because the person I was pointing to thought I was pointing to the person behind them.”

“It’s so much easier to coordinate when you know everyone’s names. It’s great for camaraderie and it’s great for patients as well.” Great to see more staff taking up the #TheatreCapChallenge to help improve #patientsafetyhttps://t苏州夜场招聘/2zK1UnBPc9pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/kc2hB6Xl4X??? Shlomo (@Flat_corp) December 11, 2017If we want #patientsafety to improve we will need to support the introduction of #humanfactors solutionsShow your support #TheatreCapChallengehttps://t苏州夜场招聘/EQ2oZwPAnHpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/64LnhPIcDM??? Rob Hackett (@patientsafe3) December 10, 2017

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Short Takes for Wednesday December 13 2017

BARBARA Ferris (Letters 11/12) is right. Business use of global Sydney’s prime intercity rail corridor of enviable direct access to the coast has been squandered for decades. Sodon’t rush burying it. Work on getting swift, frequent services.
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Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkNICE one, Newcastle council – how did theShepherds Hill Cottage get to be in the state of disrepair it’s in (“New dawn for historic Shepherds Hill house”, Herald 11/12)? You take care ofit, don’t you? Now it’s going to cost over a million to restore it.

Wayne Ridley,GatesheadI TOOK my elderly mother to Dixon Park beach so she could let the waves wash on her feet in the shoreline. Mum and I would like to thank all those people who helped get to that point, your kindness, support and love shown to us was overwhelming.We were blessed to meet you, and are richer that you shared your love to us and with us. Thank you again

Steven Wisnie,DudleySHOULD the time come that I lose my dignity and my mind, please treat me as I would treat my animals. No prolonged suffering.

Olwyn Edmonds,EleebanaI CANNOTbelieve the same sex marriage bill got through yet we can’t legalize euthanasia to stop terminally ill people suffering with pain and putting their families through all that heartache. Let us show some compassion and sympathy.

John Keen, GatesheadTHE mention of Garside Gardens (Short Takes, 2/12) brought back memories for me.I grew up inIslington and a few doors from my home there lived the Garside family. There was Mr and Mrs Garside and their children. Mr Garside was in the RAAF inthe war and when he came home he worked for Newcastle council as head gardener. The gardens were named in his honour. Not everyone knew that. I always considered it an honour to know him.

Elaine Richards,Salt AshEVERYONE in the NSW government should hang their heads in shame. The money they are going to waste on a very good football ground could do a lot for our disadvantaged children and homeless kids.This government doesn’t seem to care about children and their welfare, they just want to build things which will stand out to the public so people will remember them.

Barry Spaulding,CardiffIT cannot be said too often that all humans are one species, so that every man is my brother, every woman my sister. Yet many wish to divide us as white, left, or hetero, or Christian. Such pushers of division are a menace (to peace, order and happiness) in my view. There is hope, though. Human decency (via True Ethics) may one day reign.

Les Hutchinson,South MaitlandTHE POLLSDo you get a yearly doctor’s check-up?

Yes (male), 44%, No (male), 44%, Yes (female) 11%, No (female) 1%

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Transurban Group to raise $1.9b to fund West Gate Tunnel Project

Toll road giant Transurban has announced a $1.9 billion equity raising round to help pay for Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel Project.
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The company announced on Tuesday morning that it had reached contractual close with the Victorian state government on the $5.5 billion project.

Transurban will tip in $4 billion to build the road, which it started construction on over the weekend, is due for competition in 2022 and which it will operate tolls on until 2045.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday that the projected cost of the road had blown out to $6.7 billion.

The equity raising will consist of a fully underwritten, pro rata accelerated renounceable 3 for 37 entitlement offer made to eligible shareholders at a price of $11.40 per new share.

That offer price is a 5 per cent discount to Monday’s dividend adjusted closing price of $12.

Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton said construction on the new road was underway and that the first tunnel boring machines would be ordered soon.

“West Gate Tunnel will help address congestion along Melbourne’s critical M1 corridor and provide an iconic addition to the city’s transport network,” he said.

The tunnel is also being funded through a 10-year extension to its CityLink tolls to 2045, the introduction of higher tolls for trucks and trailers, and a city access toll during some periods.

Transurban said that while the tunnel project did not need the state parliment’s approval, it would need to legislation passed to approve changes to its existing CityLink concession that will support the project.

The Victorian Labor government has confirmed it would back the CityLink changes and Transurban said it had struck a deal where the state would cover the funding shortfall should it not get the legislation through parliament.

These “completion/substitution payments” would cover project construction and financing costs, as well as expected financial returns.

Both the Liberal state opposition and the Greens have threatened to block the road, with opposition leader Matthew Guy on Tuesday saying the agreement was “one of the worst contractual deals signed by a government in living memory”.

Transurban said the new securities it issues to fund the road will not be entitled to its first-half dividend of 28 cents, and reaffirmed financial 2018 dividend guidance of 56 cents per share.

An institutional entitlement opened on Tuesday and will close at 11am Wednesday.

Retail shareholders can apply to take part in the issue by 5pm next Wednesday to be allotted new shares at the same time as institutional investors.

Retail investors have up to January 24 to apply to purchase a pro rata amount of new shares.

The company entered a trading halt on Tuesday and will remain in a halt until Friday.

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Basil Zempilas considering move to Weekend Sunrise

Basil Zempilas has confirmed he is in negotiations to replace Andrew O’Keefe on Weekend Sunrise.
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The Perth-based radio and television presenter recently filled in for David Koch on the weekday breakfast program. Speaking on his 6PR radio show on Monday, the father of three – who is also a regular AFL commentator for the Seven Network – admitted he “enjoyed it thoroughly”.

“It’s obviously no secret that I’ve been over there and done a bit of fill-in for both Andrew and David over the last six months of this year,” he told listeners.

“I can tell you categorically I won’t be moving to Sydney next year… [but] we have discussed the possibility of Weekend Sunrise and clearly there is now a vacancy.”

Zempilas said that negotiations will probably “play out” into the new year, however, given he is already locked into several commitments such as being a commentator for Seven’s coverage of the n Open. He also stressed the network is looking at other options.

“Yes it’s a possibility,” he said. “Has anything been locked in? No, it hasn’t. Is it of interest? It is of interest. Will it happen? I’m not sure yet.”

The Perth presenter has been tipped to replace Andrew O’Keefe ever since the former Deal or No Deal star announced he was quitting breakfast TV to spend more time with his family. O’Keefe had been the co-host of Weekend Sunrise for more than 12 years.

For what it’s worth, Zempilas’s radio co-host Steve Mills says he believes his mate has got the gig.

“I’m very confident that he will be there [on Weekend Sunrise] next year,” he joked on Monday. “Based on the fact I’ve seen his demeanour every time the topic’s brought up. I’m an expert. I’ve read all those body language books.”

A potential sticking point for Zempilas’s contract negotiations is the fact Seven may also be looking to replace David Koch for one day of the week. The longtime Sunrise co-host has flagged his intention to drop down to four days a week, but picking up the extra work would eat into Zempilas’s gig at 6PR.

A Seven spokeswoman said O’Keefe’s replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. BIG WEEK…. Thanks to @sam_armytage and the @sunriseon7 team for making me feel so welcome… a dream team to work with. Loved it And always such a blast being part of @7horseracing at the Melbourne Cup Carnival Shout out to #Millsy @6pr_breakfast for holding the fort while I was in, out and away… and of course to my beautiful, capable and extremely supportive wife @amyzempilas for encouraging me to do my thing and keeping team Zempilas together in my absence… Amazing Amy! @sammacinsta got it right Now, just Stakes Day and International Rules in Adelaide and I’ll be home A post shared by @basil_zempilas on Nov 10, 2017 at 1:21am PST

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A-League: Newcastle Jets title hopes dealt blow with O’Donovan sidelined for three months

O’Donovan out for three months in cruel blow to Jets OUT: Roy O’Donovan is set to miss three miss after suffering a major groin injury. Picture: AAP Images
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TweetFacebook Roy O’DonovanNewcastle Jets’ premiership hopes have suffered a cruel blow with strikerRoy O’Donovan facing three months on the sideline after reinjurying his groin.

The Irishman, who missed three games with a minor tear, re-tore the muscle in the come-from-behind 2-1 win over Perth Gloryon Saturday.

Read more: Lowey’s take on the week in Jets news

The injury happened in the 80th minute when the front-man collided heavily with Glory custodian, Liam Reddy as O’Donovan tried to meet a Ivan Vujica cross.

Scans Monday confirmed a grade-three tear.

O’Donovan is the league’s leading goal-scorer with seven and was involved in both of the Jets’ goals against Perth.

CoachErnie Merrick was disappointed at the loss of his leading attacker, but said the injury was an unavoidable one.

“First and foremost, I’m disappointed for Roy,” Merrick said.“Roy had worked extremely hard to get himself right and our physio, specialist and myself were comfortable with him taking part in the game. “We were actually taking a cautious approach by having Roy return via the bench – but there was nothing we could do to avoid this one.Impact injuries like these are part and parcel of football, and unfortunately it seems like we’re having more than our fair share at the moment.”

Read more: Jets striker Roy O’Donovan earns peers’ recognition

O’Donovan will begin rehabilitationunder the guidance of Jets physiotherapist Justin Dougherty and in consultation with groin specialist, Dr Neil Halpin.

“Dr Halpin is well recognised in dealing with these sort of injuries, so Roy is in excellent hands,” Merrick said. “He has confirmed that his previous injury had healed well, but this latest one – while on the same side of the body – is in a completely unrelated area.At this stage, we won’t get drawn into any timelines for recovery but we’ll monitor Roy’s progress closely and hopefully we can see him back for the final rounds of the regular season.”

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