Archive for 2018

‘Unacceptable’: Martin Place twin towers proposal angers neighbours

The Macquarie Group’s unsolicited proposal to build two towers either side of Martin Place has angered the owners of a neighbouring skyscraper, who complain it will be overshadowed and its views ruined.
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The owners of the MLC Centre say Macquarie Group’s proposed tower on the south of Martin Place represents a “tipping point” and the “critical site in determining the future” of the pedestrian mall. The MLC’s owners argue the centre’s sky views will be “significantly impacted” if Macquarie’s proposal is approved.

The bank is seeking significant changes to the local building controls in order to build commercial towers on either side side of Martin Place – one more than 40 storeys at the “north site” and the other at least 28 floors on the “south site”.

The MLC centre, which sits at the corner of Martin Place and Castlereagh Street, is located directly opposite the proposed south tower.

In order to build the towers, the bank needs approval from the Department of Planning to increase the maximum floor space possible under the local environmental plan by more than 154,000 square metres, or 54 per cent.

To build the south tower, the bank is asking for a 76 per cent increase to hand it an extra 18,000 square metres of floor space.

It claims the increase is needed “to develop high-quality commercial floor space on an otherwise constrained south site, which if developed under the current controls would produce very small tower floor plates that are not preferred for office uses and would limit the viability of the site.”

But the MLC Centre’s joint owners, property management firms Dexus Funds Management and GPT group, have slammed the increase as “unreasonable and unacceptable.”

They hired prominent architectural firm Harry Seidler and Associates to conduct an analysis of the buildings’ impact on the MLC Centre and to prepare a submission objecting to the proposal. The MLC Centre was designed by Harry Seidler.

According to the submission, which was submitted to the Department of Planning this month, both of the towers will “reduce the amount of sunlight received by the MLC Centre public plaza in the morning, throughout the year” compared with the current situation.

The submission accused the bank of failing to “adequately quantify and address impacts on the [centre]”, despite its close proximity to the proposed south tower.

Macquarie claims its unsolicited proposal will deliver “a single, fully integrated Martin Place Station”, in line with the government’s $20 billion-plus Sydney metro line linking the city’s north-east to Bankstown via Chatswood, the CBD and Sydenham.

Five towers will be demolished at Martin Place to allow for construction of the metro station, which will connect to the existing station.

The bank’s proposal, which is currently being assessed by the department, enables its headquarters at 50 Martin Place to be incorporated into the design of the new station. It also includes an “all-weather” walkway from Martin Place to Hunter Street, with an option to connect further north to O’Connell Street.

“This future development will support the advancement of modern workplaces and resilient office accommodation, improve access to jobs, and strengthen ‘Global Sydney’ as a centre for economic and cultural activity,” the bank’s proposal said.

The MLC Centre’s concerns add to those raised by the City of Sydney and the n Institute of Architects, which lodged separate objections with the planning department earlier this year.

The City claimed the proposal in its current form would result in a “poor urban outcome for Sydney, reducing amenity levels,” while the Institute submitted that such significant developments should be decided through a competitive tender process.

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Elf on the Shelf ideas to get you through to Christmas

Elf on the Shelf ideas to get you through to Christmas Photo: Shane Smith
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Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Alicia Leiper.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Christine Apted.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Courtney Wilson.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Courtney Wilson.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Debbie Harvey-Price.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Debbie Harvey-Price.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Fiona Bruce.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Hannah Lee.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Jac Shell.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Jess Neilsen.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Jess Neilsen.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Jess Neilsen.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Jess Neilsen.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Kate Evans.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Manda Kelly.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Megan McMahon.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Megan McMahon.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Nicole Hann.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Nicole Hann.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Rachelle Haddrill.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Sharon Tracey Pope.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Zara Infante.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Zara Infante.

Elf on the Shelf inspiration from Zara Infante.

TweetFacebookElf takes hostages. Picture: Cassandra Gendle

December can be a tricky month. School’s coming to an end, it’s getting hot outside, school holiday boredom sets in almost immediately and ohmygodthere’ssomuchtodobeforeChristmas I’mbusygooutsideandplay. Elf to the rescue.

What you need: As many elves as it takes to guard the contraband.

Fart in a jar Elf: the ultimate mystery. Picture: Jodie Stewart

Let’s face it, this one has all the elements: mystery, suspenseand, most importantly, the most hilarious of all bodily functions (or so kids seem to think). Now this one sounds dangerous and the storyis just full of holes, but it’ll have them chuckling like there’s no tomorrow. How did the elf get in there? Why did the elf get in there? Who put the lid on? Why didn’t he fart while the lid was still off?So many questions, so little time to answer.

What you need: one elf, one jar, and a note. Bonus points if you can seal in some steamed broccoli fumes. That’ll really get them.

Hot tub party, elf style. Picture: Jess Neilsen

Ignoring the fact it’s probably 40 degrees outside, apparently elves are cold all year round –must be something about being from the north pole. And they’re very busy little critters, so they need a bath. Double-down and make it a hot tub party!

What you need: all the elves you’ve got, extra family members or guests, a bag of cotton balls, a tiny towel or twoand a hotel shampoo.

Selfie Elf.

Guilt trip Elf gets jobs done. Picture: Kelly Monley

Hey, why not use the elf to your advantage? You know, you can make any old task into a rhyme. “Roses are red, violets are blue, be nice to each other or I’ll tell Santa on you!” is a great start. “Christmas is near, the elves are about, please be a dear, and put the bins out” has a nice ring to it, too.

What you need:One elf, one mirror, one rhyme and a texta.

Mechanic elf, for those last-minute repairs.FINALLY, an elf that’s not making a mess or causing havoc. Actually being quite helpful. This right here is a Christmasmiracle. Maybe leave it near something that’s broken and see if anyone else in the house catches the hint. If not, well, you’ve still made it through another night of Elf on the Shelf.

What you need: one elf, one toy car/tractor/motorbike, several blocks or something to raise the car on, toy tools. Vegemite for oil stains optional.

Snowman kidnapper Elf.

Treasure hunt Elf. Picture: Zara Infante

One elf, hyped-up kids, a bit of sugar and an activity that could keep them occupied for a good couple of hours if you really want to –what’s not to love? Hide some treats, set up the elf with the note and let the little ones at it while you get stuff done.

What you need:one elf, one note, booty for the treasure hunt (we suggest candy canes).

Elf makes an important announcement. Picture: Chelsea Neems

Granted, this one would take some serious effort and won’t apply to everyone, but if you’ve got big news, this could be the way to go about it.

What you need: one elf, a pregnancy test and somewhere comfortable for the elf to lay their head. Maybe a support team as well.

Elf goes on a post-it rampage.

Elf makes some new fruity friends. Picture: Hannah Lee

Bello. Luk at tu! Tulaliloo ti amo. Bee do bee do bee do. Minionese, huh? Turns out these tricky elves can be good pals with the hilarious homemade minions hiding in the fruit bowl.

What you need: one elf, bananas, a texta and a true love of Minions.

Rave Elf and friends

How the heck did you get in there Elf.

Christmas Eve Elf –it’s almost over. Naughty Chuckles at the Mayne St cafe in Gulgong. Photo: Stephanie Limn

Well, really, Christmas Eve is a Sunday, but you get the drift. After a hectic few weeks of planning, purchasing, hiding, hiding again, whycan’tyoustayoutofthatcupboard, re-hiding, wrapping and placing under the tree, you’ve earned it. And so has the elf, who has somehow kept everyone on their toes for the last 23 days.

What you need:As many elves as you like (no one likes to party alone), 12 small cups, two ping pong balls, one sign and a ready-to-party attitude. Tell the others it’s BYO.

And of course, if you just. can’t. keep going, there’s always this.What you need:One elf, a tissue or two, electrical tape and a texta. Glass of celebratory wine is optional.

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‘A tear in the eye moment’: Burrows eyes World Cup record and Super W

The chance to play at a fifth and final World Cup on home soil looms as the perfect motivation for Wallaroos veteran Louise Burrows to until she’s 43 years old.
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But it was the news of a new national women’s rugby union competition, the Super W, that brought a tear to her eye on Wednesday.

Rugby launched the inaugural Super W season in Sydney, with the ACT Brumbies to enter a team in the five-side competition.

RA also announced its intention to bid for the 2021 women’s World Cup and the 2027 men’s World Cup as part of its aim to grow the game.

Burrows has already started training with the Brumbies women and is considering playing for another four years to chase what would be a remarkable World Cup record.

Hooker Burrows has already played at four World Cup tournaments and is keen to keep going for as long as her body allows her to pack down in scrums.

And the small luxuries of the Super W could pave the way for Burrows to achieve her goal. For the first time in her 20-year career, Burrows doesn’t have to pay for a gym membership or sell raffle tickets to fund her travel for games.

The Super W is following in the footsteps of the AFLW and the Women’s Big Bash League in funding travel and training programs.

“It did bring a tear to my eye when they officially announced it,” Burrows said.

“We started in the gym this week … it’s the first time in my 20-odd years we’ve started a pre-season before Christmas.

“I guess I was a bit envious of the AFLW and all the sports, but so proud of women’s sport. As a female athletes, you want all female sports to succeed.

“I did hope I would still be playing when it happened for rugby. It’s really a step in the right direction for us.”

Tony Doherty will coach the ACT women’s side, which will start a four regular-season games in March against rivals from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western .

The ACT squad will be cut to 30 next year, but has already started training in the gym and will have a field session on Saturday.

The NRL will launch a women’s season next year, but the Canberra Raiders will delay bidding on a licence until they have the appropriate facilities at a proposed new base in Civic.

Outgoing RA chief executive Bill Pulver said the new competition would provide a pathway for young girls to the Wallaroos and n women’s sevens team.

“Super W will allow our women’s XVs players the opportunity to play in a high-quality competition, fully entrenched within the professional programs at each state giving them access to elite coaching and high-performance facilities,” Pulver said.

“This will make the Wallaroos a significantly stronger outfit moving forward.

“The pathway is now complete in both with the sevens series and Super W working in tandem to provide elite opportunities for players in both formats of the game.

“Bidding for the women’s rugby World Cup I hope signifies to the community how serious we are about making rugby a game for all and growing female participation.

“If we are successful with our bid, it will have an immediate and significant impact on women’s rugby.”

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Dastyari’s fall highlights donor influence in big money politics

Yuhu Group donating $1 million to the Children’s Medical Research Institute, today at Eastwood shopping centre. Saturday 14th December 2013. Photograph by James Brickwood. SHD NEWS 131214. Pictured is Yuhu executive Eric Roozendaal with Labor Senator Sam Dastyari_I9A8955.jpgThere is perhaps no greater illustration of the high stakes involved in ‘s big money federal political system than the careers of soon to be ex-Senator Sam Dastyari and his former Labor Party colleague Eric Roozendaal.
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Each climbed to the top of the pile to become general secretary of the NSW Labor Party – one of the most powerful political jobs in the country.

Yet while a humiliated Senator Dastyari fell on his sword on Tuesday over his associations with Chinese-n businessman Huang Xiangmo, Mr Roozendaal rejoices in the title of CEO of Yuhu Group, Mr Huang’s Sydney-based property development company.

When Fairfax Media first reported in 2014 that Mr Roozendaal – a former NSW Treasurer – had joined Yuhu, the hire was explained by the company as a way to navigate n politics.

The story disclosed that two months before he quit the NSW upper house in May 2013, Mr Roozendaal had travelled to China at the invitation of Mr Huang to tour some of Yuhu’s projects.

“After the inspection, Eric expressed that he would promote international communication and cooperation between Yuhu Group and government,” the company’s website stated at the time.

By that time the company had been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the NSW ALP (and the Liberal party), while Senator Dastyari was NSW Labor general secretary – the top fundraising job at Sussex Street.

The root of Senator Dastyari’s undoing was arguably accepting Mr Huang’s offer to pay a $5000 personal debt incurred while general secretary.

It was exacerbated by his decision, while a Senator, to approach another Chinese businessman-donor to cover a $1600 over spend on his travel budget.

The “transactions” show Mr Dastyari was wont to treat donors like a personal ATM – likely a hangover from his days as general secretary soliciting much larger amounts from all manner of business people.

But more importantly they give credence to later claims that he acted the way he did – speaking against ALP policy on the South China sea and allegedly tipping off Mr Huang to possible n intelligence agency surveillance – because he owed them.

Not because of the relatively paltry sums settling personal debts, but due to the enormous donations to the NSW ALP that allowed him as general secretary to fight election campaigns.

For donors, forming relationships with those who hold the most powerful positions in n politics is just good business. As Mr Roozendaal’s experience shows, their apparent usefulness continues in post-political life.

On the Coalition side look at former NSW deputy Premier Andrew Stoner – a former state trade minister – who took on an advisory role with Yuhu.

It’s not just foreign players. Mark Arbib, another former Senator and NSW Labor General secretary, went to work for James Packer’s Crown.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced laws to curb foreign influence, including a ban on foreign donations. While it’s a start, it is missing – possibly deliberately – the bigger picture.

While the system continues to allow political parties to accept millions of dollars in donations from local businesspeople seeking influence, the concerns that brought down Senator Dastyari will remain.

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Twelve beautiful flight routes where you absolutely want a window seat

I’m an aisle guy, personally. I don’t like having to push past people or force them to stand up every time I feel like stretching my legs. I’d rather be the guy that other people are pushing past.
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Still, there are instances when the window seat on a plane is definitely the better option. There are certain commercial flights that are so scenically spectacular, so beautifully photo-worthy, that to request any other seat would be an absolute crime. These are just normal flights that happen to fly over very beautiful places.

If you’re flying on any of the following routes, you’re in luck: the sightseeing on your holiday begins the moment the wheels leave the tarmac. Just make sure you’ve got a window seat, and a camera. NZ613 – Auckland to Queenstown (Air New Zealand)

This two-hour journey takes in almost everything that makes New Zealand so beautiful. You begin with the rolling green hills of the North Island, cross the Cook Strait, and all of a sudden you’re following the snow-capped peaks and glacier-riven valleys of the Alps across to Lake Tekapo, and then south to Queenstown for one of the most spectacular airport approaches – above lakes and rivers hemmed in by jagged peaks – that you’re ever likely to witness. UA2093 – Dallas-Fort Worth to San Francisco (United Airlines)

This has to be the most scenic route in the US, a four-hour journey that begins with the urban sprawl of Dallas, before ascending over the barren Texas panhandle and eventually hitting the Rocky Mountains around Utah. And soon after that, you discover the true scenic highlight of the flight: Yosemite National Park. Even the approach into SFO, with glimpses of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge, is spectacular. NF240 – Port Vila to Tanna Island (Air Vanuatu)

The views from any island-hopping flight are going to be spectacular, and this is one of the best. Departing the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, you head out over Mele Bay, before making a left turn and setting course over wide blue ocean for Tanna, a volcanic island plopped in the middle of the Pacific. The views of the volcano as you approach the airport at White Grass are truly memorable. AC8889 – Vancouver to Whitehorse (Air Canada)

There are actual, dedicated scenic flights that have nothing on this amazing journey, which tracks the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains as they unfurl to the north of British Columbia and on into the Yukon. Around Vancouver it’s all lush forests and sparkling water, but pretty soon that view turns to white peaks and glaciers as you hit the spectacular high country. CX257 – Hong Kong to London Heathrow (Cathay Pacific)

Hong Kong is a great place to take off from, and London Heathrow can be an amazing airport to land at, given the sheer amount of traffic you’re sharing the sky with. However, the highlight of this journey is in the middle: the vast tracts of the Gobi Desert above China; the plains of the Mongolian Steppe; the icy wilderness of Siberia. It’s even better than watching Miss Congeniality for the fifth time. LA2081 – Lima to Puerto Maldonado (LATAM)

Peru is a country of amazing natural diversity, and you get the perfect snapshot of it all while flying from Lima to Puerto Maldonado. Once the sprawl of the capital disappears from over the wingtip, you’re into the foothills of the Andes, which quickly become the spectacular mountain range that’s the home of Machu Picchu. Eventually you pop over to the other side, where the lushness of the Amazon rainforest awaits. CX785 – Hong Kong to Denpasar (Cathay Pacific)

While there’s nothing much of interest for the first half of this flight, as it heads out over the South China Sea, things get really interesting once you hit Borneo. CX785 crosses land at Sabah, skirting spectacular Mt Kinabalu, before taking in a good few hours of the volcanic ranges, dense jungles and thick, sluggish rivers of Kalimantan. QF63 – Sydney to Johannesburg (Qantas)

If you can’t afford to take a dedicated scenic flight to Antarctica, there’s good news: the shortest route between Sydney and Johannesburg is to fly south, which means QF63 regularly brushes the edge of the great white continent at the base of the globe. To ensure the best views of icebergs and tundra, make sure you’re seated on the port, or left-hand side, of the plane, and hope for good weather. M8 – Male to South Ari Atoll, Maldives (Trans Maldivian Airways)

You could easily sell this seaplane transfer from the Maldivian capital of Male to the stunningly tropical South Ari Atoll, home to several upscale resorts, as a scenic flight alone. The views are as you would expect: flawlessly clear water dotted with coral reef and sandy cays, worthy of a good hundred or so photos. H21 – Santiago to Punta Arenas (Sky Airline)

How beautiful is Patagonia? You’ll know full well after taking the Sky Airline flight from Santiago, the Chilean capital, all the way down to Punta Arenas in the country’s far south. The flight path follows the Andes Mountains from the stunning Lakes District, down through rugged northern Patagonia, and into the amazing fjord land of the south. U24826 – Zurich to Naples (easyJet)

Obviously, Switzerland is going to be beautiful. This is one of the most visually stunning countries on the planet – you really can’t go wrong for the first half of your journey. Then, however, you’re into Italy, which is probably not that exciting once you’ve left the Dolomites behind; that is, until you begin the descent into Naples, with views of Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, the Isle of Capri, the Amalfi Coast and more visible for the lucky few. VW537 – Mexico City to Puerto Escondido (Aeromar)

First, Mexico City. You can’t truly appreciate how mind-bogglingly large this city is until you’re flying above it, watching as it stretches on, and on, and on into the distance. Once you’ve cleared the DF’s urban sprawl, however, you’ll cross the Sierra Madre del Sur, the spectacular highlands of Oaxaca, spying winding mountain roads and small villages, before descending to beautiful, coastal Puerto Escondido.

What is the most scenic commercial flight you’ve ever taken? What about the visually dullest?

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???See also: Mind the drop off: The world’s 10 scariest airports for take-offs and landings

See also: Qantas jumbo jet takes off for Antarctica

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NRL and players union to review third-party deals after Manly rort

The stakeholders with most to gain from third-party arrangements concede the system requires a radical overhaul after the controversial system was at the centre of another salary cap scandal.
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The Rugby League Players Association admit TPAs needs to be reviewed after Manly became the second club busted for rorting the salary cap in as many seasons. The Sea Eagles and two current officials have been issued with breach notices for off-the-book player payments over the past five years. The illegal payments came via third-party payments, the same system Parramatta were caught rorting last year.

While Manly’s cheating wasn’t on the same scale as Parramatta – the Eels overspent to the tune of $3 million over a similar period – the common denominator has been dodgy TPAs.

As part of collective bargaining negotiations, the NRL and the players’ union agreed to review the system.

“What the preliminary [NRL] findings do highlight is the need to review the current third-party agreement system,” the RLPA said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time that salary cap breaches have been exposed which have a direct link to the negotiation and agreement of third-party arrangements.

“As part of the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the NRL and RLPA have agreed to undertake a review of the TPA system. Whilst we do not have any fixed views on the system or how it could be improved, we look forward to working with the NRL and other key stakeholders to review the current arrangements.

“We stress that the review is not a direct consequence of the preliminary findings in relation to the Sea Eagles. However, the findings do reinforce the need to discuss improvements to this space.”

An NRL spokesperson added: “As part of the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the NRL and RLPA have agreed to undertake a review of the TPA system.”

Manly is expected to avoid having competition points deducted from their 2018 campaign, but are facing the prospect of not being able to recruit any further players. The Sea Eagles have about $500,000 left in their salary cap, but those funds will be all but erased once head office takes into account the off-the-book payments made over the past five seasons. Such a ruling will prevent them from bringing Newcastle playmaker Trent Hodkinson back to Brookvale, leaving the club short in the halves after releasing Blake Green to the Warriors.

Integrity issues aside, TPAs were already under fire for creating a disparity between the clubs. While there is an argument that corporate dollars shouldn’t be turned away, it’s evident that some NRL clubs have greater access to TPAs than others. The situation undoes the work of the salary cap, a measure introduced to ensure all 16 teams are on a level playing field.

Several clubs were privately angered at Penrith’s attempts to transfer a third-party deal from Matt Moylan to James Maloney when the players were involved in a player swap with Cronulla. While the NRL refused to register the deal, there is a widespread belief some clubs aren’t operating at the required “arm’s length” approach in such matters.

While some players benefit from TPAs, they are usually limited to the game’s elite and there is a high prevalence of such arrangements falling over, leaving them out of pocket.

During its initial pitch in CBA negotiations, the RLPA attempted to introduce “player marketing contracts”, that would be independent deals brokered at arm’s length from a club and capped at $1 million per club. That initiative was put on the backburner as the parties agreed on a centrally contracted marketing system. However, both parties are prepared to consider similar alternatives to provide a system more equitable and transparent than the TPA system.

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Phase out shark nets and switch to smarter, less-lethal devices, inquiry finds

Lisa Mondy: a shark bite survivor who argues against shark nets and says the chances of an attack on humans remain minimal. Photo: Max Mason-HubersThe NSW and Queensland governments should phase out shark nets and immediately replace lethal drum lineswith more sophisticated gear to limit unnecessary harm tomarine wildlife, a Senate inquiry has concluded.
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The final report on shark mitigation and deterrent measures,released on Tuesday, noted the frequency of shark bites on humans was”infinitesimal” even as the number of beachvisits continue to climb.

Among the recommendations was increased funding for shark research to establish population trends and on the emerging technologies that may deter attacks.

The report also recommended that environment and energy ministerJosh Frydenbergshould refrain from permittinglethal shark controls until after a scheduled review of the biodiversity conservation act due in 2019.

It noted fatalities from sharks in totalled47 during the past 50 years – or fewer than one ayear. People were almost 100 times more likely to die from drowningthan from a shark bite.

READ MORE:​Surfer’s lucky escape from shark

“[The] hodge-podge of policies around the country is guided by politics, rather than by evidence and consultation,” said Peter Whish-Wilson, the Greens Oceans spokesman who chaired the inquiry.

“[Technology] is rapidly developing in terms of personal and whole-of-beach scale deterrence devices, and along with drones and phone apps this allows us to set a timeline for the full withdrawal of shark nets around the country,” he said.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Mr Frydenberg.

Aspokeswoman for Niall Blair, NSW’s Minister for Primary Industries, said the state now deployed only SMART drum lines, with rangefrom Ballina in the north to Narrawallee on the south coast.

“To date we are actively tracking245great white,10tiger and42bull sharks,” she said.

“SMART drum lines are complementing our meshing programs,” she said. “However, we will continue to compare the results of both technologies to make surewe can make decisions aboutthe best protections.”

Mark Furner, Queensland’s new fisheries minister, said the Palaszczukgovernment remained”steadfast in its support for the Queensland Shark Control Program as it has undoubtedly saved lives”.

“That is why it is so highly valued and why it will continue,” Mr Furner said. “While we continue to monitor emerging technology, the safety of swimmers is paramount.”

Phase out shark nets and switch to smarter devices: inquiry Bob Woodcock set a state record in 1981 with his 785kg great white shark caught on a 36kg line.

Page one of the Newcastle Post, January 29, 1992. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

Date and location unknown.

A thrasher shark from Cowrie Hole in 1954.George Southern, Elsie Southern, Sailor Hopkins, Peter Walmsley

Cessnock game fisherman Paul Besoff, 20, spent an anxious night at Shoal Bay wharf last night guarding his prize possesion, a 1200lb plus tiger shark, he hopes will be ratified as a world record. Photo by George Steele, April 25, 1977.

A fishermen netted this ferocious looking fellow of Nelson Bay in August, 1971. It was later identified as a Sawshark.

Big Bitie caught Gil Noble of Pelican with the 12’3″ Tiger shark on April 23, 1984. Photo: Mick Dawson.

Karyn Heyward 16, of Blakehurst with 432kg White Pointer Shark, caught by Peter Thompson of Coal Point on a 36kg line on February 25, 1979. Photo taken at the Shoal Bay weigh in.

Troy Grieves of Caves Beach with the 319kg whaler shark he caught on March 18, 1984. Photo: Ken Robson at Pelican Marina.

Weigh in for the Womens Day In Game Fishing Competition Pictured is Gina Rees of Budgewoi with a 162kg Tiger Shark at Nelson Bay public wharf on February 27, 1991.

Deborah Ford, the widow of John James Ford, who was taken by a shark off Byron Bay is escorted from a service. Photo: Ben Rushton, 1993.

Shark mesh contactor Darryl Sullivan with a tiger shark netted off Merewether at police wharf on October 26, 1983. Photo: David Johns

Scott Graham, 11, of Swansea Heads with a Hammerhead shark meshed off the coast. Photo: David Wicks.

A Tiger shark caught by Hans Zimmerman off Port Stephens. Photo published on April 3, 1990.

Mick Wright with his 395kg Maco at Swansea weigh in on October 8, 1988. Photo: Dean Osland.

Perry James, 19, of Merewether, with the tiger shark he caught off Swansea on April 25, 1978.

Myuna Bay Fitness Camp principal Murray Scoble with shark jaws, taken on November 11, 1988.

319kg Whaler Shark caught by Michael Gleghorn, 23 of Bellbird. Caught about nine mile out from Port Stephens on a 24kg line. Michael is pictured with the rod he used. Photo taken September 20, 1987.

J Pickles of Nelsen Bay with a 762lbs Mako Shark in February 1963.

Hans Meyer with his record Tiger Shark, weighing 487kg. Taken at Swansea on April 26, 1986.

Paul Temperley of Elenmore Vale with his catch, a 291kg Tiger Shark in his boat, Boat Hot Tuna in the Big Game Fishing Competition. Photo: Anita Jones, March 1, 1992 at Nelson Bay.

Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club weigh in Fish & Shark Tournament. Boat crew: Michael Richards, (Marks Point). Angler: Glen Kirkwood, (Swansea). Greg Harrison, (Belmont), on September 29, 1992 at Swansea. Photo: Dean Osland.

World record Mako shark caught, 329kg on a 10kg line. Gary Spruce, (Boat Skipper). Neil Williamson of Cambridge Hills, on November 25, 1979 at Pelican Boat Shed. Photo: David Wicks.

Flashback to March 1984. A Big White Pointer swallows 80kg shark almost whole (in two gulps).

Chris Clarke of the Fish Bowl framed in Tiger shark jaws at the Fish Bowl Charlestown Square on August 11, 1983.

Angler Mick Wright with a huge Mako Shark caught off Norah Head. (318kg) on October 3, 1993.

Scott Fitzsimons with his world record shark catch, on October 2, 1988. Photo taken at Swansea Weigh Station.

Perry James, 19 of Merewether with a tiger shark he caught off Swansea on April 25, 1978. Photo: C. Brodie.

Game Fishing Champ. 186kg Tiger Shark from boat “Down Under” on February 27, 1993. Place taken: Nelson Bay

Brothers Joe and Dominic Bagnato with a four-metre Grey Nurse shark. Phoo taken on July 23, 1986 at Fishermans Co-op, by John Herrett.

Weigh in for the Womens Day In Game Fishing Competition. Gina Rees of Budgewoi with a 162kg Tiger shark. Taken on February 27, 1991 at Nelson Bay.

Robyn Spruce with the jaws of her world record breaking shark. Photo taken at Belmont on December 10, 1980.

319kg Whaler Shark caught by Michael Gleghorn, 23 of Bellbird. Caught about nine mile out from Port Stephens on a 24kg line. Michael is pictured with the rod he used. Photo taken at New Marina, Nelson Bay, on September 20, 1987.

Neville James of Swansea caught this 273kg Tiger Shark off Catherine Hill Bay, at 1.30pm on April 8, 1979. It took him six hours to land it onto his boat Gari-Lee. He caught it on a 50lb line.

Mick Middleton with a Whaler Shark 185kg shark caught on 15kg line on June 30, 1989.

Brett Remington with a 121kg thresher shark on June 29, 1981.

Derek Henon caught this world-record hammerhead shark on January 5, 1986. The 208kg shark was taken on a 15kg line and took more than two hours to bring alongside boat. It was hooked about 10 km east of Port Macquarie. The previous best was 198.22kg caught off Port Stephens in 1982.

Jason Malowey (left) and Brad Thompson on January 5, 1989.

This article, published on January 23, 1988, detailed 15 shark attacks since the turn of the century.

Nathan Ghosn, 12, at Nelson Bay.

Sharks of Dudley Beach, taken February 27, 1997. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

Belmont baths in the 1960’s. Photo: Damon Cronshaw.

Shark attack at Evans Head on January 4, 1989.

Two sharks in Newcastle. Date unknown.

Shark caught. Myuna Bay. Date unknown.

Deckhand from Alice L, Brian Craig pulls a small shark into the dinghy off Bar Beach. Photo: Ron Bell, January 15, 1998.

Shark meshing boat Alice L in Newcastle Harbour. Photo: Ron Bell, January 15, 1998.

Sharks of Dudley Beach, taken February 27, 1997. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

Sharks of Dudley Beach, taken February 27, 1997. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

Sharks of Dudley Beach, taken February 27, 1997. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

Sharks of Dudley Beach, taken February 27, 1997. Photo: Grahame Marjoribanks.

TweetFacebookStep forwardLisa Mondy, who was bitten by a shark seven years ago near Port Stephens, supported the recommendations calling for the removal ofnets but queried the efficacy ofSMART drum lines.

These devices more precisely lure target sharks – such as great whites, bulls and tigers – and allow the animals to be tagged and released. .

“It’s a step towards something better but I think there’s going to be better ways,” Ms Mondy said.

“As much as killing or moving sharks seems like it could be helping, there’s not really any evidence to say that it is,” she said, adding that people “making informed choices about when we’re going into the water and where is a much better way of managing to keep safe from sharks”.

David Woods, a formerBallina fisherman,predicted morefatal shark bites in the future and “it will be more dangerous to swim in the ocean than drive a car on the road” if white sharks werenot taken off the endangered species list.

“Instead of seeing one every 12 months or six months you’re seeing one every second day,” Woods said.

READ MORE:​Hammerhead shark spotted in Lake Macquarie

Dissenting viewsCoalition senators provided additional comments to the report, saying public safety in the water was “paramount”.

They “largelysupport[ed] the use of non-lethal and deterrent measureswhere such measures are proven to be as effective as existing measures”.

They also strongly rejected the Greens’ view that nets and drum lines didn’t make beaches safe. Theynotedthere had been only one death during the past half-century at the 85-odd protected beaches in NSW and Queensland.

A great white shark: Senate report looks into the myths around shark bites. Photo: Paul Johnston

Labor senators, meanwhile, backed most of the report’s 20 recommendations while noting it was “unfeasible to place a blanket restriction” on the federal environment minister for the next two yearsmore. Still, they dubbed the proposal of the former Liberal government in Western for a shark cull as “absurd”.

The Greens, though, were disappointed that the report failed to call for an immediate removal of all shark nets while noted the “political difficultly” of such a step.

The report also highlighted the role of the media. Coverage of deaths from shark attacks”greatly exceeds” that given to most other cause offatalities or injury,it says.

“[Sensationalised] media reporting is problematic for supporting responsible and respectful public debate on shark issues and for the public perception of beach safety generally,” the report says.

Media coverage was one factor in thedecision in October 2016 by the then Baird governmentto backflipon its policy and introduce nets for northern NSW beaches after a spate of shark bites. The nets cover just 600 metres of about 32 kilometres of beaches and resulted in more than 250 animals being caught.

READ MORE:Two-metre shark jumped out of the water and hit him in the right shoulder.

Leading shark mythsThe report addressed popular misconceptions about sharks, including:

– Shark numbers have soared

There is no evidence to support the idea the shark population is dramatically rising despite two decades of protection. Experts say this misconception could have developed from more people in the water resulting in a greater number of sightings. It could also be due to changes in the distribution of prey leading to a higher number of sharks approaching the coast.

– Sharks target humans as prey

Experts say that sharks don’t target humans as prey and encounters that occur are usually due to the shark mistaking a person for their natural targets. Sharks are curious animals that are known to investigate anything they come across.

– Killing ‘rogue’ sharks is the solution

Sharks do not hunt humans and they haven’t developed a tastefor human flesh. Experts say sharks are continually roaming over long distances and most are not permanent residents at one location. Several shark encounters in one area cannot be attributed to one shark.

– More sharks equate to more attacks

Just because there are sharks in the ocean does not mean there will be attacks. Large numbers of sharks are constantly travelling through our waters along the coastlines and this activity commonly occurs without incident.

– Shark nets don’t let the sharks close to shore

Nets are not shark-proof and they do not act asbarriersseparating humans and sharks. They only have limited coverage as they are 150 to 186 metres wide and six metres deep. Experts say nets are not designed to create an enclosed area but are used as a passive fishing device to catch and kill sharks .

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Can Raelene fix the crumbling Rugby China Castle?

If Raelene Castle thought the Canterbury Bulldogs board, supporters and coach were tough, just wait until she starts her Rugby tenure in January.
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How does Des Hasler stack up against Michael Cheika, or the Bulldogs board room power struggles against the deeply divided political beast that is rugby?

Here are the ticking time bombs Castle will have to defuse when she replaces outgoing RA boss Bill Pulver.


n rugby copped an absolute battering this year, highlighted by the ugly drama that led to the Western Force being axed from Super Rugby.

Fans were fed up with the off-field drama and turned their backs on the game, compounded by the fact ‘s Super Rugby franchises failed miserably on the field.

Television numbers, crowd attendances and overall engagement all hit rock bottom. n teams lost all 26 trans-Tasman matches this year to rub salt into the wounds.

Winning games will help Castle’s transition, but her mission will be mending the broken bridges.

Rugby supporters need a clear vision to grow the game at a grassroots level, invest in female growth and to chase Wallabies success. They need something to be excited about.

The second part will be turning billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest from enemy to ally after RA went to war with the mining magnate over the Force’s future.

Ambitious: Andrew Forrest has a heart to heart with Force skipper Matt Hodsgon. Photo: Stuart Walmsley/RUGBY苏州夜总会招聘.au

Castle starts with no blood on her hands and a chance to build a positive relationship with Forrest, who could be a massive asset to the future of the game if his new Indo Pacific Rugby Championship is handled with care.


The Force are gone and Super Rugby is back to 15 teams, but do people even care?

Super Rugby has become irrelevant in . The flow-on effect hurts the Wallabies, especially when they’re not winning.

is locked into the Super Rugby format until the end of the broadcast deal in 2020, but planning beyond that should start now.

There’s a strong belief a trans-Tasman model is the way of the future. New Zealand is reluctant to pursue it, but desperately needs it. Castle might be the perfect person to convince the Kiwis it’s time to breakaway from South Africa.


Michael Cheika or Des Hasler – who would you want to work with if you were the chief executive of a sporting organisation?

Both Cheika and Hasler are very unique and intent on doing things their own way. So in a way, Castle’s four years with Hasler have been the the perfect preparation to work with Wallabies coach Cheika.

The Wallabies are at a very interesting crossroads. They had an average year on the field that finished with a debacle against Scotland.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. Photo: AP

Cheika has blooded plenty of new players to start building a team for the World Cup in 2019, but n rugby cannot afford mediocre Test results.

Cheika and Castle will have to work together, but ultimately Castle has to be the boss.


You only had to see the almost 16,000-strong crowd at the Shute Shield grand final to know n rugby has a pulse.

The problem is grassroots rugby feels completely disconnected from Super Rugby and the Wallabies.

The private-school stigma has hindered rugby’s growth, but RA released figures on Tuesday to say participation numbers of six-12-year-olds had jumped by 112 per cent in the past two years.

Funding has been a major bugbear for years and grassroots clubs feel they aren’t getting a fair share of the pie. RA said it cut the Force for financial reasons, and the savings generated by one less team are supposedly to be injected into grass roots.

Castle will need to find a way to satisfy the heartbeat of the game at an amateur level while also funding the professional model to be successful against the best teams in the world.

The last broadcast deal was supposed to prop up ‘s Super Rugby teams, but just one is expected to record a profit this year.


Castle hopes to succeed where Robbie Deans tried to break new ground. She has spent the past four years as the Bulldogs boss and was Netball New Zealand chief executive for six years prior to that.

Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. Photo: Simon Alekna

Castle beat former Wallabies skipper Phil Kearns for the top job. RA chairman Cameron Clyne said Castle offered “fresh eyes” and it was a “very clear choice that Raelene was absolutely the right candidate”.

Castle wasted no time pledging her Bledisloe Cup allegiance to the Wallabies. But can a New Zealand voice be the one to unite the sport in ?

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The best of both worlds at luxury Wamboin property

A luxurious n colonial-style home and an entertainers’ dream, this Wamboin property is sure to astound.
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Nestled in a small community roughly 30 kilometres from the centre of Canberra, this residence feels like an escape from reality but not too far from the pleasures of urban life.

One step inside 1311 Norton Road, is a bit like walking into a wondrous maze – you don’t know where you will end up but the promised destination is sure to be something magical.

You’re first greeted by the formal dining and lounge connecting to a large gaming room with a billiard table and timber bar. You can just imagine the joyful late nights these walls have seen spent entertaining guests with a drink or two in hand.

As you continue up the corridor, beyond it’s generous five bedrooms, you are met with a more casual family and meals area, where charming timber fittings adorn the space and contrast beautifully with the blue tiling in the kitchen.

Journey through the character home and you’ll soon reach the glorious indoor pool with its own kitchenette and change room. It is the pinnacle of the home, the jewel of the crown, offering endless reward all year round.

Outside the main house lies a detached private cottage. Perfect for guests or a sanctuary retreat from the house, it boasts an en suite bedroom, convenient kitchenette and library.

Built in 1995, the approximately 600-square-metre home is set on 10 acres of impeccable grounds with meticulously maintained gardens adding immense personality to this rural estate.

Reflecting on the place he has called home for the past seven-and-a-half years, seller Tony Garrett says what he’s loved most about the home is its location.

“It’s the best of both worlds being able to live in the country with such close proximity to the city,” he says.

When they purchased the property, Tony and his wife, Melissa, focused their energy and green thumb on the garden.

“The grounds were a blank canvas for us, and in that time we have worked to make a truly beautiful outlook,” he says.

Belle Property selling agent Ryan Broadhurst believes the property is a relaxed socialites’ dream.

“It’s a perfect lifestyle property, you’ve got post rail fencing surrounding the 10 acres and a large home with separate accommodation, which is ideal for when family visits,” he says.

“It’s great for entertaining and if people are interested they can have horses, cattle or sheep,” adds Tony.

Despite the rural setting, there is a communal atmosphere within Wamboin.

“Wamboin is a really good community, they do monthly newsletters and always have events at the Wamboin Community Hall. ” says Broadhurst.

Indeed, the Wamboin Community Hall is the hub of activity for the approximate 1700 residents. Shops and cafes are limited but the beautiful rolling hills of the area definitely make up for this. And if you fancy yourself a wine sommelier, cool climate winery, Contentious Character, is the suburb’s hidden gem where you can enjoy a delectable drop alongside woodfired pizza.

Wamboin is ideal for families and those seeking a rural escape with the creature comforts of the city.

1311 Norton Road, Wamboin

Auction: Saturday, December 16, 2pm

Price guide: $1.7 million +

Agents: Ryan Broadhurst and Shane Zwajgenberg, Belle Property Kingston, 0417 513 896 & 0419 698 899

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AFL staffer resigns after sexual harassment complaints

The Age, News 22/05/2017, picture by Justin McManus. Launch of the AFL Sir Douglas Nicholls Indigenous round at the statue of Sir Douglas Nicholls and wife Lady Gladys Nicholls. AFL General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch.
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An AFL staff member has been forced to resign following a string of sexual harassment complaints.

It is understood the male staffer would drink at work functions and act inappropriately towards female colleagues.

He is believed to have been in a relatively junior role at AFL head office.

One complaint was made about his behaviour before other female staff members also came forward.

The league’s general manager of inclusion and social policy Tanya Hosch said the AFL strived to protect staff to the “highest possible standards.”

“The AFL continues to strive for the highest standards at all times,” Ms Hosch said. “Our organisation’s responsibility is to provide an environment that is inclusive and free from any form of discrimination.”

“We know that people reporting inappropriate behaviour with confidence that they will be taken seriously and responded to fairly and thoroughly is crucial to us meeting these standards.”

The latest incident follows a scandal-ridden year for the league after Richmond and the AFL suspended premiership defender Nathan Broad for the first three home-and-away games of the 2018 season as punishment for sharing a photo of a topless woman without her consent.

The incident prompted a police investigation, which was later dropped at the woman’s request.

Earlier in the year, the AFL was rocked by revelations that then football operations boss Simon Lethlean and then general manager of commercial Richard Simkiss had conducted “inappropriate” relationships with younger female staff members.

They resigned from their senior roles in July.

At the time, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan denied the league had a culture problem and said he had reached out to the two women involved.

“The AFL that I want to lead is a professional organisation based on integrity, respect, care for each other and responsibility,” McLachlan said.

“We are committed to a process of change and I am confident that change is being seen across the industry.”

After the Richmond topless photo scandal, Tigers president Peggy O’Neal said clubs were light years ahead of the AFL in enforcing the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility Policy.

Since then the AFL has established an anonymous harassment complaints portal as part of a sweeping new set of guidelines aimed at protecting women.

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