New integrity body set to oversee NSW greyhound racing

Greyhound racing in NSW is set to be overseen by a new integrity body.A powerful new integrity body is set to be created to oversee greyhound racing in NSW following the recommendation of a panel established to advise the government on how to reform the industry.

The panel was announced last year by then premier Mike Baird as part of his sensational backdown on a push to ban greyhound racing in NSW.

The report of the panel, chaired by former premier Morris Iemma, is due to be released on Thursday.

Creation of a new Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission that separates the sport’s regulatory and commercial arms is understood to be one of its key recommendations.

At present, Greyhound Racing NSW undertakes the sport’s commercial and regulatory functions.

The panel was required to develop a new regime for the sport including “an independent regulator with strong new powers to ensure transparency and accountability”.

The government said the regime should also include mandatory life bans as well as increased jail terms for live baiting, registration of greyhounds for their entire lives, and more resources for enforcement, prosecution and animal welfare.

Fairfax Media revealed just days after Mr Baird’s announcement that a dispute had erupted over the reform plan in relation to an industry offer to cap breeding of greyhounds for racing at 2000 a year.

The chief executive of the NSW Greyhound Industry Racing Alliance, Brenton Scott, told the panel at its first meeting that he had reached agreement with the government that the 2000 figure be scrapped.

However, the government insisted there was no agreement reached and that the cap would remain in place under any reform plan.

Mr Baird announced the plan to close the greyhound racing industry after a special commission of inquiry report found 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years because they could not race, or were too slow.

He backed down in the face of immense pressure from the opposition, media outlets and the industry.

Wilson chasing fairytale WNBL championship finale

Spot the real Carly Wilson ahead of her final game in Canberra for the Capitals. They’re turning the game pink for her favourite colour. Photo: Karleen MinneyCarly Wilson is hoping her 15-year-old lucky charm can keep Canberra’s season alive on Thursday night as the WNBL veteran prepares for her final home-and-away game in the capital.

Win, lose or draw there will be tears from Wilson as a final appearance at Tuggeranong Stadium looms, with the guard sure to don her trademark pink socks against Adelaide Lightning.

After a poor performance while playing for Dandenong in 2002, a superstitious Wilson has worn the eye-catching socks in every WNBL game since.

Canberra are still in the race to host a semi-final, but only if they win their final two games of the season and Dandenong fall to Perth on Saturday.

“In the back of my head I know this could my last home game but either way I think I’m going to be a blubbering mess,” Wilson said.

A fairytale championship ending is still alive for the 361-game veteran after a superb win against Bendigo on Sunday.

“We’ve had a few lean years at the Caps so it’s really exciting to still be fighting in my final season with a really good chance to host a home final, which we haven’t done since 2010,” she said.

“The fans deserve it because the crowds this year have been phenomenal. I’ve played a lot of seasons in the WNBL and the Tuggeranong crowd this season has been really special. We feed off them.

“I’m hanging out for another championship, we won in such convincing fashion last Saturday and played so well, it brought back the belief that we can win the whole thing.”

The first 300 fans through the door at Tuggeranong Stadium on Thursday night will receive a Wilson face mask, with the club intent on sending the champion out in style.

“I’m a bit nervous to have 300 of my faces looking back at me but it’ll be a laugh and lots of fun,” Wilson said.

“In some ways I think, God it’s just basketball, and I’ve been running around all these years because I love it, but to see everyone put in so much effort is such an honour and really humbling.

“Being a Cap means everything to me, I’ve been here for so long, ridden the highs winning a championship and been bottom of the ladder, so I’ve been through everything here and it’s just made me a stronger person. I’m just so proud to wear the uniform, it’s just a privilege to be a part of.”

Wilson, 34, said it was simply the right time to leave the game and is looking forward to enjoying a basketball-free summer for the first time in 20 years.

“I must admit when we were up by 30 points on Saturday and the crowd was cheering, I was having the time of my life and thought ‘you know what, I could do this for the next 20 years, this feels great’,” she said.

“But that ended pretty quickly after the game and at no point have I had any second thoughts.

“I’ll miss the relationships, that’s why you play, the bonds, all the really important people in my life I’ve met as a result of basketball. I could give back to the sport for the rest of my life but I’ll never be able to repay it.”

Wilson believes she is leaving the WNBL in a strong strong position as the women’s sport juggernaut continues to grow across Australia, but added the job isn’t finished yet.

“You look at how popular the AFLW has been and as a female athlete I couldn’t be prouder, but in reflection you look at it and think ‘we’ve been doing that for a number of years’,” Wilson said.

“We were the leader for women’s sport for so many years and now it’s probably time to ramp it up again and that starts with getting basketball back on TV.

“There’s still a ways to go in women’s sport, that’s just the way it is at the moment and it’s silly to say we’re equal with men because we’re not. We’ve just got to keep pushing and getting it out there.

“But we’ve done it for so many years without much money and without much coverage because that’s not why we do it, we do it because we love the sport, so we’ll keep going regardless.”


Thursday: Canberra Capitals v Adelaide Lightning, Tuggeranong Stadium, 7pm. Tickets at the door.

Saturday: Canberra Capitals v Townsville Fire at Townsville Stadium, 8pm.

Battling demons of hoarding disorder

RAY OF HOPE: Newcastle psychologists Barb Noonan and Michael Bazaley run programs that help sufferers lift the weight of hoarding disorder.How would you feel if you were unable to have friends over for coffee, because you felt ashamed of the state of your home.

Perhaps it had become so cluttered with acquisitions and project materials for future hobbies that you reached a point where your friends, and those of your family were kept away with excuse after excuse, theisolation leading to genuine fear that come the next real estate inspection, you might be evicted.

Welcome to hoarding disorder,added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013 and recognised asan official mental illness.

It is estimated thatupwards of 5 per centof the population are affected.

According to the manual, sufferers experience “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with processions, regardless of value”, “distress associated with discarding items”, “the accumulation of possessions that contest and cluttered living areas” or and that “hoarding causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social or occupational areas of functioning”.

It’s prevalence increases with age and its origins are often rooted in adolescence.

Research suggests HD has a genetic and environmental component andthe total number of traumatic life events often correlates with the severity of HD.

Brain scans indicate people with HD making decisions about their own possessions have over-activity in areas related to judging importance and relevance.

Emotional attachment and unhelpful beliefs about possessions, and problems processing information related to such things asmemory, decision-making andsustaining attention are believed to be factors that maintain hoarding disorder.

Late last year Newcastle psychologists Michael Bazaley andBarb Donnandelivered the first hoarding disorder therapeutic treatment program in Newcastle with funding from Hunter Primary Care.

Bazaley saysindividuals who exhibit symptoms of hoarding disorder may find that they also have a tendency to continually acquire items which eventually clutter the home.

“This constant acquiring may in turn lead to conflict with family and partners adding to the severity of their problem,” Bazaley said. “Many hoarders may resist attempts by others to intervene in their lives or collections which in turn may lead to isolation and possibly other mental health concerns such as depression.”

Indeed, sinceits recognition as a mental illness, hoarding has featured on talkback shows, reality TV and therapeutic interventionist TV.

“Many of these programs actually traumatise and place fear into the minds of present day hoarders, making them believe that any type of intervention or treatment will involve dramatic forced eviction of their most prized processions and collections,” Bazaley explains.

“Our programfocuses on the individual management of the many complex aspects of hoarding. The 13-week course based on a US program called Buried in Treasures, developed by US expert Randy O Frostoffers a judgment-free environment for people ready to make a change in their life.

“By the end of our program, many of our group members achieved their specific goals.”

Bazaley and Donnan are facilitating the Buried In Treasures program again in late February.

For information email [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训 or phone 4910 4005.

Keren Parnell pleads guilty to manslaughter over mum’s stabbing death

The Redhead house where Gail Parnell, 73, was stabbed to death. Picture: Sam RigneyKEREN Parnell was angry that her parents were pandering to her brother and jealous that they loved him more than her when she stabbed her elderly mother, Gail Parnell, in the chest and stomach in a mobile home at Redhead in October, 2015, court documents state.

But despite pleas from her father, John Parnell, to call an ambulance to treat the badly injured 73-year-old, Keren Parnell locked the doors, hid the cordless and mobile phones and provided only a band aid and a bandage for her mother’s wounds, according to a statement of police facts, which defence barrister Peter Krisenthal said on Wednesday had not been agreed upon.

Gail Parnell, an advocate and volunteer for mental health services in the Hunter, was stabbed about 2am on October 10, 2015.

At about 6.26pm the same day, she appeared to have stopped breathing and Mr Parnell finally convinced his daughter to let him contact the emergency services.

By 6.57pm, Gail Parnell was pronounced dead.

Parnell, 37, of North Lambton, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday from Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre where she pleaded guilty to manslaughter over her mother’s death and a charge of detaining a person with intent to obtain an advantage and cause assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to her father.

A charge of murder, laid by detectives in October, 2015, was withdrawn by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday.

According to court documents, Parnell caused the death of her mother “in circumstances amounting to manslaughter, by wounding her mother and depriving her of medical assistance”.

The stabbing occurred after Keren Parnell’s brother arrived at his parents mobile home at ‘The Sanctuary’ on Kalaroo Road to borrow money about 2am on October 10, 2015.

Keren Parnell was angry he was there and became enraged when her father gave him $50, court documents state.

Parnell was committed for sentence on Wednesday and the matter was adjourned to Newcastle District Court on February 23.

National Disability Insurance Scheme becomes latest victim of partisan politics

Inaugural chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency Bruce Bonyhady. Photo: Andrew MearesA unity ticket which had placed the National Disability Insurance Scheme beyond politics has been shredded, with the Turnbull government accused of “holding the disabled to ransom” and Labor refusing to admit the $22 billion scheme lacks $4 billion in funding.

The landmark social scheme became a political football this week after Treasurer Scott Morrison linked its funding to a range of controversial welfare cuts. A brawl then broke out on Wednesday over Coalition claims that Labor left a multi-billion dollar black hole in the NDIS budget.

The inaugural chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Bruce Bonyhady, told Fairfax Media the dispute was “deeply cruel”.

“I think this is very cruel treatment of people with disabilities and their family and carers – for the spectre of how the NDIS will be funded to be raised at this time,” he said.

“We are talking about the central support for one of the most disadvantaged groups in the community and I think for this sort of political game to occur now is deeply cruel. It is unfair.”

Mr Bonyhady said the government had raised questions about NDIS funding at a time when it was talking-up expensive defence projects, and company tax cuts worth $50 billion.

“All governments and all political parties have known since 2013 what the full costs of the NDIS are,” he said.

“They have known that the increase in the Medicare surcharge that they all agreed to would not meet the full costs and they all committed to it, and with that came a commitment to ensure that it would be funded sustainably. What I think the government needs to do is simply confirm that it will meet its obligations to fund the NDIS in full and not engage in the kind of scaremongering which is deeply worrying for people with disabilities at this time.”

Melbourne mother Tanya Humphrey, whose five-year-old son Lachlan was diagnosed with autism last year, said she felt politicians were point-scoring off people’s lives.

“It feels like they are holding the NDIS to ransom – that unless you are willing to take a budget cut, we won’t help fund therapy,” she said.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter has insisted the NDIS will be “completely funded” and the government was committed to it.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said the scheme was “vitally important”.

“Your commitment to the NDIS is not measured in words, it is measured in deeds, and what we are doing is taking the steps, making the decisions to ensure we’ve got the money to pay for it,” he said.

Jo Briskey, the executive director of lobby group The Parenthood, said she had not been concerned about the scheme’s future prior to this week.

“Now obviously it has come into question,” she said.

“I hope that the Turnbull government sees that they have made a mistake here, they have made a misjudgment, that the NDIS should be above party politics, should be above the petty politics that is happening at the moment and every politician in Canberra should be getting behind the future of the NDIS.”

The chair of Deaf Services Queensland, former LNP MP David Gibson, said fighting “put at risk” public support for the scheme.

“As a former conservative MP I understand the mantra of the need to balance the budget and I fully agree that for too long governments of all political persuasions have spent up big with very little to show for it, but the NDIS is different.”

Ms Humphrey, whose son’s future depends on the therapy he receives in the next few years, said both parties should put people above politics.

“I look at it as the future,” she said. “I know the NDIS covers the elderly as well, but for me, they need to stop playing with the futures of children and help them, not hinder them.”