Council bears cost, but shirks responsibility

Latrobe Valley RSLs will receive funding to cover Anzac Day and Remembrance Day traffic management costs until the end of next year, but could be on their own after that unless another source of funding is found.
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At Monday night’s Latrobe City Council meeting councillors voted to provide funding until the end of 2018 when the Anzac centenary commemoration period ends.

According to a council officer’s report, 2017 Anzac Day and Remembrance Day traffic management expenses across the municipality will cost about $23,500.

Traffic management is a legislative requirement once a road is closed for an event.

The motion passed by councillors also resolved council would continue working with local RSLs to lobby other levels of government to meet traffic management expenses on an ongoing basis.

It comes after disagreement between the three levels of government as to who is responsible for traffic management costs on these days. Councillor Dale Harriman told the meeting council could only cover the expenses for the next two years.

“What I’d love to say is ‘we’re covering it for forever and a day’ – we can’t,” Cr Harriman said.

“We’re only doing it for two years to work out how we’ll do it in the future.”

He said council would continue to investigate options for other levels of government to cover the costs.

Council will also investigate the possibility of sourcing corporate sponsorship and engaging other service organisations to assist with traffic management operations.

The situation will be reviewed ahead of 2019 Anzac Day and Remembrance Day planning.

Council first paid for traffic management expenses in 2015 as part of the centenary of Anzac Day.

In late 2015 Traralgon RSL revealed signage and contractor costs for 2014 Anzac Day services in Traralgon and Glengarry were $10,500 – money that could have been spent on veteran welfare.

Councillors unanimously voted to support the motion.

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Action ‘critical’ in achieving cyber safety

Adults are being urged to act on behalf of young victims of cyber bullying. A workshop is empowering adults to take action when it comes to cyber bullying and exploitation.
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The free eSafetyworkshop is the result of a partnership between the BYou City of Ballarat Youth Development Team and the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

It is aimed at parents, and people working in youth education and welfare sectors, with a focuson the steps they can take whenrespondingto the online bullying of children.

Jodie Downey from the Youth Development Team said the office had significant powers to remove damaging online material such as hate pages and posts.

“(The office) has aclose alignment with all those big organisations such as Facebook and Twitter to be able to pull down material that is destructive and offensive, and that (power) never existed previously,” she said.

“You can access the office, put in a complaint and it is taken very seriously.”

Ms Downey saidyoung victims of bullying were oftenin a position where their self-esteem was low, andexperiencedfeelings of stress, depression and confusion.

She urged adults toadvocate for them.

“Very oftenyoung people don’t talk about these sorts of things until it is at a crisis point,” she said.

“So at that point it is really important that someone steps up and is in their corner and acts on their behalf, it is critical.”

Shesaid the policing role the office played was vital, especially in combating the harms of cyber bullying, which could have a “devastating” impact on the victim.

Councillor Des Hudson agreed.

“The impacts if these issues are notcontained or resolved, it could potentially lead to unlawful assaults, even much more criminal assaults, suicidal ideology and in the most tragic of outcomes, where a person will take their life,” he said.

In his role with Victoria Police, Cr Hudsonsaid there was alwaysdemand for cyber safety presentations at primary schools, secondary schools and parent forums.

One of the biggest difficulties for schools and communities was the uncertainty of who was responsible when it came to the online platform.

Despite these grey areas, Cr Hudson said local schools were “very proactive” in working throughissues with their students.

He also noted it was important to realise cyber safety involved everyone.

“We tend to think cyber safety is just a young person educational opportunity, when we know that there are more than 15 million Australians who regularly use Facebook and then other social media platforms as well,” he said.

Cr Hudson said if people were the victims of online bullying or harassment, to gather evidence by taking screenshots and keeping these ina folder that could be useful for law enforcement later on.

The free eSafety workshop takes place on Thursday, February 16, from 6pm-8.30pm at the Ballarat Art Gallery Annexe.

Registration is essential. For more information visit esafetyballarat.eventbrite南京夜网419论坛.

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Public asked for help tracking crusaders

DISCOVERY: QVMAG entomologist Simon Fearn examining the crusader bug, which has been recently found in Tasmania. Pictures: Piia WirsuIt’s not the middle ages and we’re not in Europe but there may be a crusade happening in Tasmania right now.
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The crusader bug, or mictis profana, has recently been observed in the state for the first time and it’s something of a mystery.

“What is really odd about it is that it’s such a large and conspicuous a bug, they are quite big animals and they’ve got this distinctive cross on their back,” Queen Victoria Museum entomologist Simon Fearn said.

“The questionis, how can such a large, conspicuous insect that’s been recorded all over Australia stay unnoticed here for 200-odd years?”

The museum is calling on the public to help solve the “curious mystery”.

“We can’t be everywhere and to do a proper survey of the coastline is just beyond our resourcesso we’re asking for the public to help us,” Mr Fearn said.

The public is asked to keep an eye out for the crusader bug and let the QVMAG know of any sightings.

The bugs, which are widespread on mainland Australia,occur in coastal areasandanyone living or holidaying near the beach is asked to keep their eyes peeled for the bug.

“They live in the … low scrub that’s directly behind the dunes above the high tide mark, and they live on the coast wattle or boobyallah,” Mr Fearn said.

Mr Fearn found the crusader bug at Beechford on the North Coast in December, 2016, which is intriguing in itself.

“We had a family shack there for many years in the 70’s and 80’s and as a bug-mad kid Icollected insects extensively there … and never saw them,” he said.

He has not found the species in any other coastal locations.

It is unknown if the bug has recently arrived in Tasmaniaor has just been rare and gone unnoticed in localised pockets, which is contrary to its behaviour everywhere else it occurs.

“It’s really important to know whether or not due to global warming maybe these things have recently arrived, maybe they came in on a camper van or something –we just dont know,” Mr Fearn said.

“If it turns out there’s just pockets of them right around the coastline then it just means that for whatever reason they’ve been completely overlooked, but if it turns out they’re only in that area [Beechford] then it looks more and more like they may have accidentally got here.”

Mr Fearn thinks it unlikelythe bug will have a big impact on coastal ecology.

“They don’t appear to be a pest, on the mainland they sometimes get into citrus crops but they’re never a major pest so their impact is probably going to be very small, but it’s just areally curious storywhy they have suddenly popped up allof a sudden,” he said.

For anyone who sights the bug;it is not dangerous but be warned, it does produce a stinky liquid when handled. Mr Fearn suggests the use of a jar, into which they will drop easily, to collect any specimens.

Any specimens found can be taken into the museum, or anyone who has sighted the bug can contact [email protected]论坛.

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Bernard Foley wants Waratahs to channel their inner Tom Brady against Highlanders

Focused: Bernard Foley is excited to get back in the sky blue of NSW to take on the Highlanders in a pre-season trial. Photo: Peter RaeBernard Foley wants the Waratahs backline to channel their inner Tom Brady by remaining composed at all times when they tackle the Highlanders on Thursday.
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Foley, a keen NFL fan, tuned into the Super Bowl last Monday morning to watch star New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady orchestrate a miraculous comeback to win his fifth championship ring.

Foley tweeted late in the game, “You think you’ve seen it all, and then this”.

Brady will go down as one of the all-time greats and be remembered for his ability to always keep calm regardless of the situation.

Foley used the Brady analogy when discussing how he wanted inexperienced Waratahs duo Jake Gordon and Irae Simone to go about their business against last year’s semi-finalists the Highlanders.

“It’s communication and composure, ease those guys into the game, a bit like the Tom Brady effect,” Foley said. “Just allow them to do their job, not to overplay their hand, not to try and push the pass or do too much for the team.

“As you always do when you’re a young person or inexperienced in a team, you want to go out there and prove yourself first-up, but for those guys they’re really capable footballers. It’s for them to do their job for the team.

“My brother’s a big Tom Brady fan, so he always is preaching to me about it. He’s a very impressive athlete and the way that he can control himself and show that composure especially in those drives in that Super Bowl … that’s something I’ll take out of him and the Patriots’ organisation in what they believe in.”

Thursday will mark Foley’s first game of 2017 after a busy season last year, in which he started all 15 Wallabies Tests.

Foley has had the benefit of a proper off-season given he went to Japan to play after the 2015 World Cup leading into last year’s Super Rugby season.

But his pre-season was far from ideal, with injury ruling him out of the first three matches.

“This year I’ve really enjoyed coming in and having a four-week block of pre-season,” Foley said. “We’ve been training pretty hard. It’s hot, we haven’t been able to escape the heat, so I’ve been eager and watching on the sidelines. Looking forward to getting into this competition.”

Foley said the Waratahs were a little unsure about their structures last year under new coach Daryl Gibson.

NSW were slow out of the blocks, winning just two of their first six matches, something Foley said might have been because of some confusion as to what style they wanted to play.

“At the start of last year … we were probably a bit hesitant on how we wanted to play on the new structures Daryl implemented,” Foley said. “We’ve changed things again but everyone is a lot more certain in where we want to go. It’s in no way going to be perfect in these couple of rounds but I think the style and the attitude that the players have shown in the first couple of pre-season games … has been impressive.”

Foley, 27, said he felt an added sense of responsibility to lift his game in the absence of playmaker Kurtley Beale and a number of other experienced figures who have left since the Waratahs won the Super Rugby title in 2014.

“In the past couple of years you’ve looked around and had the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, guys who have been stalwarts of rugby,” Foley said. “Now looking around in that backline there is a bit of a void but it’s a challenge that I have to take up along with myself and Israel [Folau].”

Australia v Sri Lanka T20 series: Packed calendar blamed for Australia’s poor form in Twenty20s

Australian captain Steve Smith could go nearly two years without leading the Twenty20 side as his deputy Aaron Finch said the packed international schedule was not helping Australia’s development in the shortest form of the game.
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Despite the raging success of the Big Bash League, Australia is well off the pace in the international Twenty20 arena. Ranked fifth, the country has a poor record at the World T20, which they will be desperate to improve heading into the next edition at home in 2020.

The three-game series against Sri Lanka is a rare opportunity for Australia’s Twenty20 team to play but first-choice players Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are all unavailable as it clashes with preparations for the Tests in India.

Australia are scheduled to play only another 11 Twenty20 games before the 2020 world title in the current future tours program, which finishes at the 2019 World Cup. The need to manage Australia’s stars means it will be long odds their best players will be available for the bulk of those games.

Smith, who last played in the World T20 11 months ago, will not lead the side again until the back end of next summer at the earliest, against England and New Zealand. But If recent history is a guide, it would not surprise if Cricket Australia gave Smith time off during those games, which are wedged between an Ashes series and a marquee Test tour of South Africa.

“Ideally you’d love the best 11 players available for every game Australia plays but that’s not feasible at the moment,” Finch said.

“There is a lot of cricket. When you’re looking at the schedule it’s hard to see where guys will get a break. I totally understand it, the players want to be available for everything but you need a break here and there.

“These guys are going into a huge Test series as well so you have to take that into consideration. Out of the three [formats], T20 internationals would be the least prioritised until the World Cup year – I understand that but at the same time it makes it difficult.

“There’s a fine line between how many is enough preparation for a tournament and expect to be successful. If you tack on one or two games to the end of each series then the summers blow out and become too long in my opinion and guys will be worn out.

“You have to rest people and give guys a chance to be at their best for Test and one-day cricket, which in my opinion are more highly prioritised than T20 internationals.”

Australia’s squad against Sri Lanka includes four men yet to represent their country. Only Finch, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner and Travis Head are regular players at international level.

A crowd of around 40,000 is expected for the first game on Friday night, which features the Southern Stars as a curtain-raiser, well down on the 71,162 who turned out for the BBL’s Melbourne derby on New Year’s Day at the venue.

“There’s a lot of pride still. Every time you represent your country it’s a huge honour and there will be some guys who do it for the first time,” Finch said.

“Someone like Maxy Klinger, who gets an opportunity after the best part of 15 years grinding it out and being very successful.

“We haven’t been as successful as we’d have liked in the T20 format. This is a great opportunity for some young guys and experienced guys to get some international experience and put their name up there.”

Cycling stunner: Australian champ set to race for Russia

Shane Perkins is switching allegiances. Photo: John Veage 07.02.16-Adelaide-Shane Perkins wins the Australian Keirin title.Picture John Veagemkeirin11.jpg Photo: John Veage
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Gutted by being left out of Australia’s track cycling team for the Rio Olympics, Shane Perkins has moved to switch sporting nations and compete for Russia at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The 30-year-old, who won a world title for Australia five years ago and gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has already been photographed in the Russian team kit.

Cycling’s international governing body will have ultimate approval power over Perkins’ switch for competition, but it’s understood Russia’s cycling federation is assisting the application that would effectively grant the Victorian dual citizenship.

The development came as news to Perkins’ one-time manager, Bade Stapleton, when Fairfax Media sought explanation on Wednesday, but was later confirmed by former Australian cyclist and Commonwealth Games medallist Emily Rosemond, who said she has been assisting Perkins with his Olympic pursuits since late last year. Stapleton said he has been less involved with Perkins, a bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, since Perkins missed the cut for Rio.

Australia’s reigning national keirin champion, Perkins spoke to Fairfax Media last year about his great disappointment at being excluded from an invite-only Olympics training camp. He was effectively cut from the national elite track cycling program after losing his Australian Institute of Sport scholarship in 2015.

Though unable to conceal his surprise initially, Stapleton said Perkins’ move to chase a Tokyo Olympic berth made sense strategically given his experience, and ongoing opportunities, in Japan’s multi-million dollar keirin circuit where cyclists compete into their forties and earn huge sums.

Less obvious, prima facie, is the motive behind Perkins’ move to race for Russia, a nation with its sporting reputation in turmoil and one that was banned from entering track and field competition in Brazil last year due to endemic doping. Perkins’ connection, however, has apparently come through friend and training partner Denis Dmitriev who won the bronze medal in the individual sprint on the track at the Rio Games.

“Shane considers everything very carefully,” Rosemond said when asked about any misgivings Perkins might have about aligning himself with Russia in the current sporting climate.

“He definitely would have considered, obviously, the reputation of Russia. But he’s of the opinion that he’s going into a clean environment, he’s a very conscientious athlete and will remain a conscientious and clean athlete and he would expect the same from his new teammates.”

Fairfax Media has been told Perkins, who moved from Adelaide to Brisbane with his wife and their two children late last year, cannot represent Russia in this year’s track world championships, in April.

He has been training in Queensland’s new velodrome, built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games – held on the Gold Coast – but it’s understood he would not anticipate representing Australia at that major event in light of his decision to compete for Russia.

“I think the colours you wear don’t always define you as an athlete,” Rosemond said.

“Shane has been fully supported by Cycling Australia for a number of years but unfortunately the circumstances at the moment have meant that he’s had to seek some support elsewhere ??? if that’s with the Russian cycling team, well, so be it.

“Shane is a real fighter, he’s a real athlete, and he’s doing whatever it’s going to take for him to make it to the Olympics [again] and unfortunately there’s not an opportunity there within the Australian cycling program, so he has had no other option except to pursue other opportunities … we’re working with the cards that we have on the table.”

A two-time world champion on the track – in the keirin (2011) and team sprint (2012) – Perkins has been riding on Japan’s lucrative keirin scene for the last seven years including, for a period, with Dmitriev.

Riding later this week for a Japanese professional trade team at a world cup meet in Columbia, Perkins had hoped to be picked in the last Australian Olympic track team up until it departed. The Cyclones were plagued by bad luck in Rio and missed their medal target by more than half.

Perkins, who coaches juniors in cycling in Queensland, did not appeal his non-selection.

If Perkins continues riding keirin events successfully in Japan in the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics his profile in that country will strengthen.

He would of course have to be selected in Russia’s Olympic cycling team in three years time, but if he is – and if he then happened to perform well at the 2020 Games – it could prove a further launch pad.

Paul Perry’s Australian Derby aspirant Hollywood Mo returns to the racetrack at Newcastle today

Paul Perry’s Australian Derby aspirant Hollywood Mo returns to the racetrack on Newcastle’s Beaumont track on Thursday and the master trainer is expecting a strong performance.
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The colt resumes in the 1250 metre Maiden Plate in his first hit-out since the group 1 Victoria Derby, in which he finished sixth after a tough run.

Perry took the horse to Melbourne in the spring and after a solid second in the Geelong Classic on October 19, Hollywood Mo was never on the track when beaten 4½-lengths in the Victoria Derby on October 29.

The three-year-old trialled impressively on the Beaumont track three weeks ago.

Perry said on Wednesday that the horse should sprint well fresh. “As you would expect, Hollywood Mo is only about 75per cent fit for his first-up run,’’ he said.

“However, this is a nice race for him to kick off his preparation and providing the back markers are running on, I expect him to sprint well.

“The horse spelled well after the Melbourne trip and I was happy with his recent trial. I have nominated Hollywood Mo for the Australian Derby to be run at Randwick during the Championships.’’

Another of Perry’s promising three-year-olds, Walk RightIn, also resumes tomorrow in the final event, the 1150mBenchmark 65 Handicap. He was placed twice on metropolitan tracks during the spring and he was runner up to last Monday’s group 3 winner, Zestful, in a recent Newcastle trial.

Walk Right In has drawn off the track but with any luck his trainer believes the gelding will go close.

Randwick trainer James Cummings heads to Newcastle with five runners, and his smart filly Mega Mall has prospects of notching back-to-back wins on the track.

HOPEFUL: Paul Perry

After a luckless second on the Beaumont track on January 21 she was an impressive winner here at the meeting on February 4. She will contest the 1350 metre Class 2 Handicap, and she should have a cosy run from her ideal barrier.

Cummings will be looking to another of his team Static Lift to atone for a narrow last start defeat on the track when he steps out in the 1350 metre Class 2 Handicap. The four-year-old was run down by the smart California Nike at the last meeting on February 7.

Chris Waller’s New Zealand filly Midnight Delight a fast finishing second on this track at her Australian debut on February 4 should go one better in the 1350 metre Maiden Handicap. The three-year-old has drawn nicely and she was placed in her only two New Zealand starts before joining the Waller stable.

The first of eight races kicks off at 1.15pm.

Greens call on Labor to return Santos political donations

Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham wants Labor to return a political donation from energy company Santos. Photo: Simone De PeakNSW Labor is being accused of a lack of credibility on coal seam gas policy after accepting $2250 in donations from Santos, despite handing back a similar amount from the energy company before the last election.
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Less than two weeks before the March 2015 poll, NSW Labor announced it was returning a $2200 donation from Santos after criticism from the Greens amid a fierce battle for the seat of Ballina.

Labor had announced that if elected it would permanently ban coal seam gas activity across the Northern Rivers. The Greens’ candidate Tamara Smith went on to win the seat.

Data published by the Australian Electoral Commission reveals Santos donated $2000 to NSW Labor in January last year and $250 the following March.

“Once again Labor have been caught out taking easy money from a coal seam gas company, despite promising the public that they would not do so,” said Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham.

“Taking money from Santos shatters Labor’s credibility when it comes to opposing coal seam gas.

“The public is tired of seeing Labor promise something in opposition and then do the bidding of their donors once they come to power. [Opposition leader] Luke Foley must return this dirty money.”

A NSW Labor spokeswoman pointed out that the most recent donations were for federal election purposes.

“NSW Labor has accepted no donations from Santos for NSW state campaigns,” she said.

In February it emerged that Santos has lodged an application to develop its controversial billion-dollar Narrabri coal seam gas project in and around the Pilliga Forest.

The Greens challenged Labor to state whether or not in power the party would tear up a production licence that might be issued by the Coalition government.

Opposition energy and resources spokesman Adam Searle said a Labor government would not do so – a position reflected in its bill promising a moratorium on coal seam gas activity.

“Any existing production lease in place will not be affected by Labor’s moratorium,” he said.

“That is why we are pressing for the bill to be passed in this Parliament and we call on all parties to support Labor’s sensible and balanced legislation that resolves this important issue”.

Sydney chiropractor Hance Limboro fined $27,500 for cancer cure advertisements

Chiropractor Hance Limboro has been fined for false or misleading advertising, which claimed chiropractic treatment could cure cancer. Photo: Facebook The offender said it was ”a biological imperative for the male species to be attracted to a younger, younger mate”.
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The online advertisement proclaimed: “By having a regular visit to a chiropractor, people can rest assured that they are prevented from having cancer.”

Sydney chiropractor Hance Limboro​ is the first person in the country to be prosecuted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for misleading advertising, relating to a series of ads on a website called Cancer Cure Sydney.

Included in the lengthy advertisements – which linked to the website for his CBD clinic – were claims that spinal adjustments could cure cancer because posture issues are “believed to be the root problem of all diseases and disorders, including cancer”.

One article also said chiropractic treatment was “worth a try” to treat brain tumours.

In Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, magistrate Alison Viney​ convicted Limboro of 11 counts of advertising a health service in a false or misleading way and fined him $27,500.

Ms Viney said while most healthy people would quickly disregard the claims on the website, cancer sufferers might not.

“Unfortunately the target of these sites are people who have chronic or devastating diseases, which make them so vulnerable … in regards to a cure or a fix,” Ms Viney said.

“Random people, healthy people don’t access sites for cancer cures.”

According to documents before the court, one of the articles posted in 2015 said: “If you are afraid to have the side effects of radiation therapy, one cure you can try is chiropractic treatment.”

Another ad said: “A natural cancer cure that most people choose nowadays is chiropractic treatment as it has no significant side effects and guarantees long-term relief.”

A statement of facts said the assertions were false.

“There’s no scientific evidence that chiropractic adjustment aids in the treatment of cancer.”

The barrister acting for the regulatory body, Duncan Berents​, said the use of misleading advertisements was serious.

“The articles themselves are promoting something that is safe and risk-free and something that’s a cure for cancer. This is potentially tragic,” Mr Berents​ said.

But Limboro argued he had hired a search engine optimisation company to increase traffic to the website for his clinic, Action Health Centre, and was unaware of the content of the ads on the Cancer Cure Sydney site.

He said he was “ashamed and embarrassed”.

Magistrate Viney rejected the suggestion that Limboro was not personally responsible, noting the website was registered under his wife’s name.

Limboro, 45, was also fined $2000 for using testimonials – which are banned in health advertising – on the website for his clinic.

One of the testimonials said: “Would have been in a wheelchair.”

Another testimonial said: “Since receiving chiropractic care, I’ve had no asthma, no hay fever, and no back pain.”

The court heard Limboro is likely to face professional disciplinary action.

Former Reserve Bank chief Glenn Stevens advises NSW on housing affordability

Glenn Stevens says housing affordability is a “growing challenge for many residents of NSW”. Photo: Louie DouvisFormer Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens will advise the NSW government on measures to improve housing affordability that are expected to be unveiled during or before the next budget.
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Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday that a cross-government working group had been established “to explore all options to make housing more affordable for NSW residents”.

Housing affordability was one of three priorities announced by Ms Berejiklian upon becoming Premier in January.

She said Mr Stevens accepted a “personal invitation” to review and advise “on the options being considered by the government to tackle housing affordability issues in the state, and in Sydney in particular”.

A spokeswoman said Mr Stevens would not be a member of the working group – which includes senior officials from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and Planning – or provide formal recommendations.

But she said he would be free to raise issues he felt were being overlooked or were otherwise important.

The working group is expected to deliver recommendations to the government in time for Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s first budget, which is likely to be in June.

Mr Stevens, who retired as RBA governor in 2016, said housing affordability “is a growing challenge for many residents of NSW and I look forward to working with the government on measures that might help address it”.

“I am pleased that the government has indicated it has an open mind when it comes to reviewing existing and new avenues of dealing with the issue,” he said.

Ms Berejiklian and Mr Perrottet have not indicated what type of policy changes are under consideration – such as stamp duty changes – but have said boosting housing supply is the biggest “lever” for the NSW government.

Also on Wednesday, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said housing completions in NSW reached the highest level since 1972.

Mr Roberts said more than 33,000 homes were built in the year to November 2016.

“NSW is experiencing a boom in housing construction like we’ve never seen before, with record housing approvals and completions an important ingredient in our quest to make housing affordable,” he said.

Dan Miller relied on pact to his wife to survive while trapped under excavator in dam near Port Stephens

Firefighters work to free Dan Miller from the dam at his property in Charlotte Bay. Photo: Facebook/Saimaa Miller The moment Dan Miller was pulled from the dam.
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Dan and Saimaa Miller at their home in Charlotte Bay. Photo: Scott Calvin

When Dan Miller found himself trapped under an excavator in a dam, it was a pact he had made to his wife years earlier that made him fight for hours to keep his mouth and nose above water.

The 44-year-old builder was working on his property at Charlotte Bay, north of Port Stephens, last Tuesday, when the excavator he was driving began to slide. Before he knew it, it was heading for the water.

“I hit the water and was still on the machine but trying to get off. I pushed off and was underwater and I felt the roll bar come down just below by shoulder blades. I was completely submerged and I thought ‘shit, this is heavy’.”

Face down, Mr Miller slid up until the roll bar reached the small of his back in a position similar to a Cobra pose in yoga. He put his hands in the mud and tilted his head back to keep it clear from the water.

“That first, gasping breath is my clearest memory.”

Within 10 minutes the excavator had turned off, it was silent apart from the machine ticking away.

“I thought there’s no one coming for a long, long time. I stopped yelling almost straight away, it was pretty pointless, you’ve got to keep calm, there’s no point.

“I’ve done a lot of surfing, and when you’re in the water, no matter what happens you stay calm, you make good decisions. You panic you’re going to be swallowing water, diesel and hydraulic fluid you won’t last.”

When he tried to dig himself out he sunk further into the murky water. Water got into his ears, only his nose was above the waterline.

Mr Miller began playing through scenarios in his mind of what would happen if he succombed, realising it would most likely be his four-year-old daughter and her minder who would find him.

“They would bring her home and see the excavator in the dam.

“That gave me strength. I just thought ‘You can’t do that to a four-year-old, or my son,’ and I thought of the promise I made to my wife.

“Saimaa’s mother died when she was really young. When we got married we made a pact.

“It was humorous in that it was a horrible topic, but she made me promise I wouldn’t die first. When I hit the water that was the first thought in my mind.”

Mr Miller was stuck in the dam for five hours – he was rescued when a neighbour heard his well-timed cries for help.

“At three [I knew] my neighbour Mel would be home – I needed to give 10 minutes of energy. It was extreme and excruciating and I pushed my body up and didn’t worry about the pain in my back. I just yelled and yelled and yelled. I had to go down and suck in breaths through my nose and just keep yelling ‘help, help, help’.”

When his neighbour’s car came up the driveway, he gave it “one last burst” and was finally discovered.

“She was amazing, she just got on the phone and just bang, bang, bang. Then came more neighbours, then police, then the fire brigade – legends who saved me.”

Mr Miller’s wife, Saimaa, only found out about the ordeal when she finished work at her day spa in North Bondi and saw two missed calls from her neighbours.

​”Funnily enough I had the exact same thought that he did, he couldn’t die, because he promised me. Then [my neighbour said] ‘I can just see his head’.” ​

Great Lakes Advocate

HistoryStory behind Christo RdMike Scanlon

Then and now: John Shoebridge at Murdering Gully with a picture of what the copper smelter there once looked like.DOWN most streets, there’s a hidden story.
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Or perhaps, should I say, behind most street signs lurks a tale. It may be a forgotten story, but an interesting one.

Today’s tale is about the likely unknown background behind the naming of a familiar street running today through Georgetown, Waratah and Waratah West.

It all started with an email to Weekender about the history of Christo Road, Waratah which went like this: “Hi Mike, my name is Greg Archbold and I’m a regular reader of your local history column. In researching my family history, I came across information that may be of interest to you and the readers of your column.

“It relates to John Penrose Christoe, whom I believe Christo Road, in Waratah, is named after,” he wrote.

“I feel this may be of interest to your readers because it relates to Newcastle’s industrial heritage. He arrived in Newcastle about 1869 to establish a smelting works at New Lambton where I believe (the old) Goninans is now located.He also managed the (smelter) works at Burwood Beach, on the southern side of Merewether hill.”

So far, so good. A little sleuthing soon discovered there was once a now forgotten New Lambton Smelting Works still employing a large number of men in 1880-81.

A quick check of council records then confirmed the Waratah street was named after a J.M.Christoe, a “prominent resident in the area about 1870”.

“But that’s a mistake, that initial M, rather than a P, ” Greg Archbold later told me. “I believe it’s definitely the same J.P. Christoe. Names were also often shortened when being written down.”

More surprising is that Greg Archbold’s recent research into the past is not because he’s a relative.

“I’m not related to Christoe. I was instead researching my own relative Thomas Hussey, whose name is like the Australian cricketer, when I came across Christoe’s name. I believe they were associates. Hussey then died in 1874 after he fell from a horse.”

Pioneer industrialist Christoe later moved to Queensland where he died in Mackay in 1918 aged 88 years.Christoe had originally been a Welsh copper smelter and assayer born in 1830 in either Truro, Cornwell, or Swansea, in South Wales.

He arrived in the Kapunda copper mines in South Australia about 1850 where he married Dorothea Blood, the daughter of a local doctor in 1852.

They then returned to Wales where he gained further experience in the smelting of copper which was vital to make wire, to have the then telegraph system operating.

They then came back to Australia in July 1858. Here, John Christoe set up copper smelting works in NSW at Byng and Cadia in western NSW, before arriving in Newcastle about 1869.

Christoe had left inland NSW in 1866 to become a smelter manager in Queensland. Soon after, in late 1867, copper prices fell and the miners started to leave Cadia despite having producing 2000 tons of copper.

The mine was put up for auction in January 1868, and here’s where this background story gets a little more interesting. The old Cadia mine site is today 25 kilometres south of Orange, in western NSW. It’s a series of large underground and open-cut gold and copper mines in the Cadia Valley, operated by Newcrest Mining Ltd.

And on the company’s online historical timeline, Welsh smeltermanJohn Penrose Christoe features strongly in the pioneering years of 1859-61. For it seems the secrets of smelting were very closely-guarded.

The Welsh had developed the tightly held expertise in smelting in England from the 1850s onwards. Meanwhile, the Cornish tried to circumvent the high costs charged by the Welsh and gain the almost magical knowledge for themselves.

And it appears Christoe may have left another NSW legacy behind. It’s the striking Cadia engine house and tall chimney that are now listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.

The unique Cornish-style engine house, built in 1865, is the only such engine house in NSW. Newcrest Mining restored both historic items in 1994.

But let’s turn now to Christoe’s role supervising the copper smelting works in the dunes of ‘Smelter’s Beac’, better known today as Burwood Beach, or Murdering Gully, in 1872.

Noted Hunter mining historian John Shoebridge knows better than most that there’s nothing left of the famous 19th century smelter on site today, except for some copper slag. Back in 2013, he conducted a tour of the site revealing Dr James Mitchell set up a smelter here in 1851-52. The site then reopened on a grand scale in 1868-69, but closed in 1873, probably producing about only 300 tons in its whole lifetime.

It was indeed a grand venture with eight buildings sprawled across the landscape behind Burwood Beach. Today, however, all have vanished.

Instead, in its place nearby amid the trees, is the Burwood Beach Wastewater (sewage) Treatment works. A lot of copper slag, however, may have helped build the only road today down to the isolated site, Shoebridge said.

Speaking of Newcastle street names, another relevant and topical name that comes to mind is humble Telford Street, in Newcastle’s historic East End.

It commemorates forgotten British engineer Thomas Telford (originally Telfer) known for improving road construction and bridge building.Well, that’s a massive understatement. Telford’s nickname was the Colossus of Roads.

This engineering genius (1757-1834) overcame early poverty to invent the modern road. A stonemason turned architect turned engineer also built 35 churches, plus harbours and canal docks. He also built the famous Menai Bridge, at Bangor, in North Wales. It was the first great suspension bridge of the modern age, back in 1826.

Astonishingly, almost everything he ever built remains in use today. In his 77 years he worked on 184 big projects, among them 93 large bridges and aqueducts, plus 17 canals and 37 docks/ harbours.He constructed more than 1200 miles (2040 km) of roads and 1076 bridges to open up the Highlands of Scotland, improved the navigation of four major English rivers and surveyed the route of three early British railways. Who’d have guessed it?

Finally, a fascinating, fitting tribute to this virtually forgotten revolutionary genius by author Julian Glover entitled Man of Iron (Bloomsbury $35) will be published in March.

[email protected]南京夜网 What’s in a name: A Christo Rd street sign reveals no hint of why it was so named.

Wildlife Aid blames Singleton bat deaths on lack of tree cover in Burdekin Park

BAKED: Flying foxes lay dead on the ground in Singleton’s Burdekin Park after last week’s heatwave. Wildlife volunteers say the removal of trees in the park contributed to the heat stress. Picture: Wildlife Aid IncANIMAL welfare organisation Wildlife Aid has blamed the deaths of up to 1000 flying foxes in Singleton in last week’s heatwaveon the felling of treesin the town’s main park.
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Volunteers are still removing dead bats from Burdekin Park, in the Singleton CBD, where they “cooked from the inside, out” as temperatures soared to 46 degrees on Saturday.

Many of the bats were found still gripping the trees as their lifeless bodies hang below.

“We’ve seen bats die after a heatwave before, but nothing like these figures,” Wildlife Aid bat coordinator Jaala Presland said.

“It wouldn’t be unreasonable to estimate 1000 bats have died, and they’re still dying –that’s a very big chunk considering the size of the camp before the heat.”

The influx of bats over more than a decade had all but destroyed most of the trees in thepark, which was eventually shut to the public due to the danger of falling branches as well as other health and safety concerns before a councilclean-up campaign.

Before Friday, Wildlife Aid estimated the size of the camp in Burdekin Park to be about 2000, which is down significantly on estimates of up to 30,000 bats that called the park home before dozens of badly damaged trees were removedlast year.

Bats lay dead in Singleton’s Burdekin Park after the heatwave. Video: Wildlife Aid IncFormer mayor John Martin said the strategy was successful, as there was nowhere for the bats to roost, granting reprieve to residents who had been “tormented” by the colony for years.

However, Ms Presland said the removal of trees took away shade and a source of nutrition in the park, producing a nasty side effect on the endangered species.

“You can’t imagine what they would have went through,” she said.

“In the past, theywould have climbed up into the canopies of the trees to cool down in the shade. Taking away their habitat may have moved some of them on, but most of the bats still in the park had nowhere to go and cooked from the inside, out.”

No trees turned flying foxes into frying foxes: rescuers Bats at East Cessnock on November 8, 2016. Picture: Marina Neil

Bats at East Cessnock on November 8, 2016. Picture: Marina Neil

Bats at East Cessnock on November 8, 2016. Picture: Marina Neil

Bats at East Cessnock on November 8, 2016. Picture: Marina Neil

Bats at East Cessnock on November 8, 2016. Picture: Marina Neil

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

THE BATS ARE BACK: Hundreds of flying foxes have returned to the corner of Long Street and Old Maitland Road, East Cessnock in November 2016. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Bats in central Maitland, November 3, 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bats in central Maitland, November 3, 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bats in central Maitland, November 3, 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bats in central Maitland, November 3, 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bats in central Maitland, November 3, 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Rachelle Corcoran

Bats at Carrington in early 2016. Picture: Susan Mitchell

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: ShayLeigh Riddle

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Bats on the barricades at Burdekin Park in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Flying foxes in the Hunter region in early 2016.

Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon inspects the bats with East Cessnock residents Cindy Jeffery and Pamela Jeffery in April 2016.

East Cessnock bats in early 2016.

Behind Cessnock East Public School, early 2016 Picture: Emmie Price

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Kimberly Johnson

Dead bats near East Cessnock School in early 2016. . Picture: Michelle Bond

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Crystal Maree Norden

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Daniel Radford

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Kylie Radford

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Kylie Radford

Bats in the Hunter region in early 2016. Picture: Kylie Radford

Cessnock Bat Camp in early 2016. Picture: April Hatchamana

Taken Cessnock Bat Camp. Picture: April Hatchamana

Cessnock Bat Camp in early 2016. Picture: April Hatchamana

Cessnock bat camp, early 2016. Picture: April Hatchamana

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Candice Preece

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Tiarna Croft

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Walter Upson

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Walter Upson

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Walter Upson

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Dyarnie Riddock

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Picture: Neil Lyle

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. INSTA @ynot_young_nomads_on_tour_ #battyhunter #battyhunters

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Fried bat in Blackwood Avenue. Picture: Nathan Wright

Bats in the Hunter, early 2016. Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

Bats and damage in Burdekin Park, Singleton in early 2016. Pictures: Shannon Dann

TweetFacebook The Hunter’s bat plague: photosA collection of photos of flying fox camps across the Hunter. Pictures: Various photographersCr Martin defended his council’s decision to remove the trees.

“It was done legally and legitimately,” he said. “The park was broken down and ruined, the situation was unbearable. My opinion was then, and still is now, we had to do something about it.”

There had not been any reports of deaths at other troublesome bat colonies in Cessnock and Maitland.

Elsewhere in the state, thousands of bats died in Casino in northern NSW.

Ms Presland said while it was common for a percentage of bats to die in hot weather, the weekend’s death toll was the worst since the first “heat stress event” in 2004, when 2500 bats died.

Theweekend roasting killed a higher number of bats as a proportion of the total colony, and came after another 100 died in January.

Residents are being warnednot to touch thebat carcasses, which can carry the deadly lyssavirus, instead urging they be reported.