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  • DCC seeking interest in running civic centre

    2018 - 07.03

    EXPRESSIONS of interest to manage the multi-purpose civic centre developed as part of stage one of Living City are being sought by the Devonport City Council.
    Nanjing Night Net

    It’s believed the Devonport Gateway Church has expressed some interest in the management of the centre and will submit a proposal.

    The Gateway Church runs a small facility on Don Road in Devonport called the Don Centre that frequently hosts functions and music acts.

    Comment was sought from the Gateway Church.

    Stage one of the $250 million Living City project includes the construction of the multi-purpose building that will house a civic centre with up to 800 seats.

    It will be run in conjunction and complimentary to the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre.

    In addition its understood the multi-purpose building will also house the Devonport City Council chambers, the Devonport LINC and Service Tasmania.

    Stage one also includes the construction of the food market space as well as two storeys of the multi-storey car park.

    Devonport general manager Paul West said the council had received some informal interest in the management of the civic centre and said expressions of interest would involve a two-part process.

    PUTTING OUT FEELERS: Expressions of interest for the management of the Living City multi-purpose civic centre (pictured) are being sought by the Devonport City Council.

    “We have had some informal interest that’s come about as part of the planning phase, ” Mr West said.

    Mr West said advertising for the expressions of interest were likely to be published in Saturday’s Advocate and said the process would run for about three to four weeks.

    Following that, any groups who had expressed interest would be invited to send in a more formal proposal.

    “We will be able to seek any interested parties and assess what they have to offer,” Mr West said.

    “We want to see how they could value add and compliment the existing DECC.”

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

    Man sold guns to buy drugs

    2018 - 07.03

    A SOMERSET ice addict trafficked unregistered guns to fuel his addiction, a court heard yesterday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Benjamin Shane Moran sold a 12-gauge and a .22 rifle to fund his habit, and used Facebook to try to arrange more gun sales.

    Moran pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully trafficking a firearm.

    In the Supreme Court, in Burnie, yesterday, crown prosecutor Jody Dennison told Justice Helen Wood police stopped a car at East Devonport on June 26 last year.

    They searched the car after seeing drug-related items.

    Mr Dennison said they found messages on Moran’s phone and his Facebook account about selling firearms and attempting to arrange more gun deals.

    On Facebook, Moran asked one man: “Wanna buy a 12-gauge shottie?”, meaning a shotgun.

    He offered it for $500 and accepted $450 cash.

    He also sold a .22, and messages were found about other potential sales.

    Defence counsel Steve Wright said Moran had only ever been in possession of two guns; the .22 and the 12-gauge.

    He said Moran was an introverted person who had used drugs, including ice, to try to overcome his shyness and make him more gregarious in social environments.

    Ice use caused significant issues, including the firearms charge, Mr Wright said.

    He said Moran had been seriously addicted to ice and all his money went towards buying the drug.

    Moran was in a haze from ice use, Mr Wright said.

    Moran’s uncle had left a .22 with him and he became aware other people would want it.

    He sold the .22, then took possession of the 12-gauge and sold that too.

    Moran was then approached by people wanting guns and he sent “random postings” to people he thought had them, Mr Wright said.

    Mr Wright said Moran could not now believe he acted the way he did.

    He said Moran had since weaned himself off ice and wanted to work and take care of his partner.

    Mr Wright said the incident “showed the insidious nature of what this particular drug can do to people”.

    Mr Wright said anecdotal evidence suggested ice was highly addictive.

    Moran accepted trafficking illegal firearms was a grave evil, Mr Wright said.

    “The risk of re-offending, on my instructions, is absolutely nil.”

    Justice Wood bailed Moran to next appear tomorrow.

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

    Cats tipped to win flag

    2018 - 07.03

    IT’S official.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Wynyard will claim back-to-back premierships for the first time in their 130-year history, according to an annual poll of the NWFL club coaches.

    COACHES CALL: At yesterday’s NWFL 2015 season launch at the Wynyard Football Club were senior coaches Dale Perry (East Devonport), Ryland Coombe (Smithton assistant coach), Justin Rodman (Ulverstone), Andrew Bacon (Burnie), Errol Bourn (Wynyard), Mark Lowe (Devonport), Wade Anthony (Latrobe) and Peter Templeton (Penguin). Picture: Stuart Wilson.

    League officials and sponsors as well as representatives from the eight clubs gathered in Wynyard last night for the launch of the 2015 NWFL season and the consensus on who were flag favourites was clear-cut.

    All but one of the seven opposition coaches picked the Cats to hold aloft the silverware for a second consecutive year such was the landslide prediction.

    The only man not to do so was Latrobe’s Wade Anthony, who believes Ulverstone will go one step further than last year’s grand final appearance.

    NWFL president Andrew Richardson also thinks the premiership race is far from a one-horse show.

    “Don’t get me wrong I think Wynyard will still be strong but I think it’s wide open,” Richardson said.

    “I think Ulverstone and Penguin would have to be right up there.

    “Both of those clubs are sneaking under the radar a little bit.

    “Latrobe, with Anthony leading the charge, will be a test and then of course no one really knows what the two new clubs, Devonport and Burnie, are going to be like.

    “East [Devonport] won’t be world-beaters but they’ll see improvement as will Smithton.

    “I think it’s going to be an exciting season and one that creates plenty of interest.”

    Richardson said having Burnie and Devonport back in the Coast’s premier football competition made the league complete.

    “Having a city the size of Burnie without any representation at all just wasn’t right so I think with them and the Magpies back in, it just makes us truly Coastal,” he said.

    The poll also forecast Cats on-baller Zane Murphy to win his first Baldock Medal.

    Three club coaches said Murphy would take home the medal.

    Penguin’s Jack Templeton was selected by two coaches for the Baldock, while other players to be chosen were Ulverstone smooth mover Jeremy Soden, Wynyard co-skipper Zac Smith and Robins’ playing-coach Justin Rodman.

    Coaches were not allowed to nominate their own team or players.

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

    Did Karl Stefanovic sledge Indian cricket fans with 7-Eleven remark on Today show?

    2019 - 08.21

    TV host Karl Stefanovic is known for his on-air gaffes. Photo: James GreenNote to Karl Stefanovic, Indians do more than work at 7-11
    Nanjing Night Net

    Today show host Karl Stefanovic has once again found himself the story, notching up another on-air gaffe to add to his already long list.

    Interviewing Indian cricket supporters ahead of Thursday’s World Cup semi-final between Australia and India, Stefanovic said:  “I was just going to ask…who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens today?”

    The Swarmi Army member laughed off the comment before returning as good as he got: “I’m not sure about who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens but you might have to look at Centrelink as well I think Karl.”

    While the Indian and Australian cricket teams have a notorious rivalry with no shortness of sledging, some social media users did not see Stefanovic’s question as a harmless quip. Aust-Ind relations have matured over past 10 years, unlike you @karlstefanovic – watch the #AUSvIND game and stop your basic comments! — Kamna (@kamnamuddagouni) March 25, 2015 Can’t believe @karlstefanovic this morning. I cringed so hard. Good to see the Indian cricket supporters give some back to him. #AUSvsIND — Ashley (@S00TS420) March 25, 2015

    Indian Australian Association of NSW president Yadu Singh said there was an “inherent and underlying stereotyping” in Stefanovic’s question but he did not think it was racist.

    “It might be a news to him that Indian Aussies constitute a sizable proportion of medical profession in Australia,” Mr Singh said.

    “Big numbers are also in accounting, IT profession, finance, banking and small business segment. They are basically in every profession. Nothing wrong if some of them are working in 7-Eleven set-ups.”

    Former Wallaby Tim Horan has also trodden a similar path to Stefanovic. Horan posted on Twitter on Thursday morning: “What are the chances of getting a taxi in Sydney later today” followed by the hashtags #taxidrivers, #india, #worldcup and #cricket.

    After receiving some criticism, the tweet was later deleted.

    Mr Horan later posted another tweet to apologise for his comments calling the earlier post “an innocent error” and saying he “never meant to offend anyone”. Hi all earlier tweet today was an innocent error……never meant to offend anyone — Tim Horan (@TimHoran12) March 26, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Caught red-handed … or just a classic snap?

    2019 - 08.21

    A timely Getty Images picture of Mile Jedinak’s sensational free kick to give Australia a 2-1 lead over world champions Germany shows that it could have been an even better strike than first thought.
    Nanjing Night Net

    As the ball edges over the heads of of the German defenders, towards Ron-Robert Zieler’s goal, a bright red light can be seen to the right of the last defender in the wall. A person in a dark coat with what looks to be a blue shirt or scarf showing around the neckline is seated closest to the aisle.

    The person’s hand is raised to their shoulder level, as you may hold a torch, and a light is clearly shining from the clasped hand.

    This photograph has our office divided. Is that a laser or a camera in the hand of the cloaked fan ?

    It certainly had no affect on the end result of the stunning strike which was the highlight of the Socceroos’ encouraging 2-2 draw.

    What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.

    If it is a camera then that fan has snared a fantastic memento of the game. If it is a laser then it is another example of an annoying trend that has recently blighted sport.

    Last year, Australian five-eighth Bernard Foley was targeted by green laser beams on his face and missed two crucial kicks when Australia trailed Argentina towards a Test they eventually lost 21-17.

    Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic was also targeted during the Asian Champions League win over Saudi Arabia giant’s Al-Hilal by the Riyadh, although that did not prevent him from making a series of great saves.

    “There was a whole bunch of them out there doing whatever they could to distract me,” said Covic after the game.

    “It’s just more of pain in the backside really … I spoke to the ref at half-time.

    “I mean, what do you do? Sixty-three thousand people and 20 or 30 of them shining lasers, not much you can do. But in the end we’re the ones smiling.”

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

    Flat Chat: Horror Airbnb hosts flout building’s and council’s by-laws

    2019 - 08.21

    Flat Chat – March 28 Photo: Shakespeare.The facts are appalling – a family rents several apartments they own in a seaside block through an online agency, in direct contravention of their building’s by-laws and local council zoning.
    Nanjing Night Net

    They are making so much money from this that they just pay any NSW Civil Administration Tribunal fines that come their way.

    Meanwhile, the council says they need more reliable evidence than something as unconvincing as Airbnb listings, complete with an online calendar that tallies with the comings and goings of short-term guests.

    A senior member of the council, and a friend of the family, also rents part of his house online as holiday accommodation.

    Members of the executive committee have been threatened, their cars have been keyed, they are subject to a torrent of email abuse, police have been called many times and AVOs have been issued.

    Now, before all you Airheads get your iPads in a twist, this is not an attack on Airbnb. We use it and have found some great friends through it.

    The problem is, online rental agencies make it way too easy for scumbags like this family to flout their building’s by-laws and ignore council zoning.

    At least Airbnb asks owners to confirm that they are allowed to list their properties this way. This family is clearly lying. Unfortunately, the Airbnb complaints email address isn’t working.

    The two real problems here are that, firstly NCAT is ultimately a toothless organisation, no better than its predecessor the CTTT when it comes to dealing with the realities of modern apartment living.

    If the by-law breacher decides it’s worth paying modest fines every few months, there’s nothing they can do. Another fine, another slap on the wrist and the victims get zilch as their apartment block is turned into a holiday hotel.

    As for the council – let us not forget that the government prefers to leave issues like this to the locals; hand washing and buck passing in one deft move. Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s bill on short-term letting can’t come soon enough.

    You can read the whole holiday hosting horror story on the Flat Chat Forum.

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

    Glenn McGrath’s Cricket World Cup formula for Australia against India: Quick wickets equals victory

    2019 - 08.21

    Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath.DL: What do Australia’s fast bowlers need to do to counter India’s batsmen?
    Nanjing Night Net

    GM: We have the bowlers to do it, hopefully there’ll be a little bit in the wicket for the fast bowlers. India has always been a quality batting outfit, there’s never been any doubt about that. It was their bowlers, more-so, who let them down in the tri-series earlier this summer. To see the turn-around in the Indians has been incredible because you would hardly have given them a chance to make the last eight the way they played earlier! They’re really switched on – it’s the World Cup and it’s obviously important to them. Australia needs to take early wickets. The importance of early wickets was highlighted the other night when New Zealand played the West Indies. [The Kiwis] were only two or three down at the 30-over mark and then scored 230 runs off the last 20 overs. They showed if you have wickets in hand you can do anything. There’s a need to take early wickets [today]. India has an outstanding batting line up and while M.S.Dhoni has been a little bit out of form he still adds a lot as a proven finisher.

    DL: A lot has been said about Australia’s bowlers, what are your thoughts on India’s attack?

    GM: Their bowlers have really turned it around. They have guys who are bowling at 150 km/h, they have control, are taking wickets and bowling well in partnerships. Mohammad Shami is one  . . . bowling in the high 130s [and taken 17 wickets at 13.29]. Ravi Ashwin offers good control as well; a quality spinner. They’ve worked things out . . . maybe they were thinking about the World Cup during the Tri-series.

    DL: What does Australia need to do to win this semi-final?

    GM: Score more runs than India [laughs]. Australia needs to focus on what they do well. They have a strong batting line-up, a very good fielding team and very good bowling attack. They just have to go out there and continue to do what they’ve done so far. If Mitchell Starc can take early wickets again; Mitchell Johnson comes back and bowls a little bit better; Josh Hazlewood bowls good areas  . . . look, they just have to bowl as they have throughout the World Cup. They need to be aggressive, they need to look to take wickets because if they can take three or four early wickets then it’s game over.

    DL: You mentioned Mitchell Johnson. Put your coaching cap on for a second and tell us what’s going on with him.

    GM: It can be tough coming back from a successful year because everyone’s expectations – as well as your own – are very high. If you don’t start off with a bang everyone’s asking questions and making comments. You can try and force things so my advice is ‘Mitch, just relax. Run in and let it go. You have everything you need to be successful and your other bowlers are bowling well’. Yeah, just run in and let it go and try and bowl good areas and at good pace.”

    DL: That sounds easier said than done

    GM: Sometimes it is. It all comes back to the individual. Pressure is something that I think comes from within. Mitch will know better than anyone else where he’s at. If he’s happy with where he’s at it won’t be long before he’s back. Although, he did well in Adelaide [against Pakistan] and he just needs to build on that effort.

    DL: The left-handers have made a big impact . . .

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been the stand out but Trent Boult [New Zealand], Wahab Riaz [Pakistan] have been tremendous. I thought it was ridiculous Riaz was fined for his duel with Shane Watson the other night. Everyone at the ground loved it, it was a good and competitive battle and I don’t think it crossed the line at all. But the left-handers have been outstanding and I put that down to the pace they’re bowling and their control.

    DL: Finally, your thoughts on Starc?

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and if he bowls well he’s a match winner. He knows his one day game very well – he can run in and swing the ball and bowl yorkers. His confidence is up and that’s having a positive affect on the others. If he continues to bowl well Australia can win the World Cup.

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

    Local breeders set to reap rewards as Fastnet Rock stays put

    2019 - 08.21

    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty
    Nanjing Night Net

    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Australia’s champion sire Fastnet Rock is an absentee from Coolmore’s 2015 northern hemisphere breeding season, a decision that will no doubt be a popular one with local breeders.

    Fastnet Rock has been shuttling to Coolmore’s Irish base since 2010 and during that period has had 436 foals born. He had 55 live foals in his first year after arriving late in the season in Ireland.

    The following year he successfully covered 136 mares and in 2013 had his most successful season with 183 mares foaling. However, last year his book was just 85 mares served – a decision that no doubt prompted the Coolmore team to keep him in Australia.

    Fastnet Rock’s oldest progeny are four year-olds and he has had more than 40 winners in Europe, including several group wins and a group 1 placing.

    The son of Danehill won the Australian 2013-14 stallions premiership with earnings of $9,440,061 from 340 foals, which featured 151 individual winners, including 13 stakes winners.

    Fastnet Rock has been at the top of this year’s premiership for the past four months – 106 winners from 205 runners and $7,232,589 in earnings. First Seal is his leading lady and she runs in the group 1 Vinery Stakes at Rosehill as a hot favourite on Saturday.

    Last Saturday he sired the Golden Slipper third-placegetter Lake Geneva, a $1 million yearling sale purchase, which has been placed at her only three starts earning $520,000.

    Fastnet Rock will once again be the star attraction at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales with 57 lots catalogued. He has relatives to Ocean Park, Mosheen, Smart Missile, Starspangledbanner, Dance Hero, Igugu, Rock Classic, Arapaho Miss and Fiveandahalfstar.

    He also has full sisters to Lake Geneva and last year’s Inglis Sales top lot, the Fastnet Rock x Perfect Persuasion colt, which fetched $1.6 million and races as Lighthouse Keeper in Saturday’s opener at Rosehill.

    US breeders set to spend up

    One of America’s emerging breeding operations, Merriebelle Stables, will again be represented at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales at Newmarket beginning on April 7.

    A year ago Merriebelle’s wealthy owners, John Moores and Charles Noell, sent noted bloodstock agent Mick Flanagan to Sydney and he purchased three yearling colts on their behalf going to trainers Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Gerald Ryan.

    Waller’s two-year-old is the Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh, a $100,000 buy, which won first-up at Randwick before finishing fifth to Tarquin in the Pago Pago Stakes on March 14.

    Moody prepares a More Than Ready youngster, which cost $230,000 and Ryan’s two-year-old is a $100,000 purchase by Nicconi.

    Merriebelle Stables began their splurge into racing three years ago and currently have 15 broodmares in America and 10 in Europe with a number of seven-figure buys.

    “This year we could buy a filly or two in Australia. We believe that our interests will be able to grow slowly over time and the owners really like the overall racing there,” Flanagan reported.

    Overall, a number of American’s have become extremely impressed with the Australian breeding set up and have been most active at the past two Easter sales and Magic Millions Gold Coast sale in January.

    Star miler for Swettenham

    Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud in Victoria has received a major boost to its 2015 breeding roster with European champion miler Toronado joining shuttle sires Americain and Equiano.

    Toronado becomes the second European sire from Sheikh Joaan in the space of a week to be involved in a shuttle season to Australia. Last week Bloodlines reported Arrowfield Stud had done a deal to stand Olympic Glory in 2015.

    Sangster claims Toronado is the quickest son of the deceased High Chaparral and was described by champion English jockey Richard Hughes as the fastest horse he has ever ridden in a mile race at Ascot.

    Toronado stood his first season at the English National Stud this year and was strongly supported by Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab operation with many of the top breeders in Britain, France and England also sending big numbers to the stallion.

    His Australian service fee at Swettenham Stud is $22,000.

    [email protected]南京夜网.au

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

    Tony Abbott announces new Australian Defence Force chiefs

    2019 - 07.22

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell (center) was announced as the new Chief of Army by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces the changes. Photo: Andrew Meares
    Nanjing Night Net

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will be the new Chief of Army. Photo: Andrew Meares

    The man who led Operation Sovereign Borders has been confirmed as Australia’s next Chief of Army, but has been prevented from speaking to journalists at a press conference about his appointment.

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will take the job in May, while Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Davies will become Chief of the Air Force in July.

    At a media conference in Canberra on Thursday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government would announce changes to its border protection operations next week.

    Mr Abbott would not say whether General Campbell, a former SAS commander and deputy army chief who has coordinated the government’s tough policy of stopping asylum seeker boats, would be replaced by another military official or someone from a civilian field.

    “I’m not going to pre-empt announcements that will be made next week other than to say that we will be sending a very clear message to people smugglers [and] their potential clients,” Mr Abbott said.

    “We are not relaxing our vigilance here because the instant we relax our vigilance, the risk is we put the people smugglers back into business.

    “If the people smugglers go back into business, the boats start coming the deaths start again, that’s the last thing anyone should want.”

    General Campbell brought a military approach to border protection, including rigid operational secrecy and strict co-ordination of different arms of government. But he also became the subject of controversy over the boats policy, in particular his and then immigration minister Scott Morrison’s consistent refusal to provide information about operations.

    The Prime Minister said Air Marshal Davis, who most recently served as Deputy Chief of the Air Force, had a wide range of operational and command experience, including deployment to the Middle East and a posting as Air Attache in Washington.

    “I think we are very lucky to have two outstanding officers taking on these vital roles in our defence force,” Mr Abbott said.

    While both General Campbell and Air Marshal Davis were present for Thursday’s press conference, both men were prevented from answering a number of questions from journalists.

    “The protocol I understand is that prime ministers, ministers and [the chief of the defence force] speak at these events,” Mr Abbott said.

    “The distinguished appointees will no doubt talk to you on another occasion.”

    Both men were moments later asked to leave the media conference so Mr Abbott could take unrelated questions.

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

    Peter Dutton defends Nauru hospitals as better than some in Australia as Cambodia deal takes a step forward

    2019 - 07.22

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Nanjing Night Net

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan at the Cambodian government’s ministry offices. Photo: Sarah Whyte

    Asylum seekers on Nauru receive schooling of the same standard as in Australia and access to hospital facilities that are better than some regional areas, says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

    But a Cambodian official compared the living conditions of detainees to those of “animals”.

    Mr Dutton mounted the defence of Australia’s detention facilities as he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Sar Kheng, that will clear the way for the resettlement of refugees to that country.

    As the government deals with the fall-out of the Moss review into sexual abuse on Nauru, which exposed evidence of rapes, sexual assault on minors and Nauruan guards trading marijuana for sexual favours, Mr Dutton said the facility was well-resourced.

    “I’ve been to many hospitals in regional Australia, including in towns where people would say that those hospitals aren’t up to the standard of those in Nauru. I also had the opportunity, the great privilege, to go to Afghanistan to see our troops and the field hospital that I saw there … was not in my judgement up to the standard that I saw in Nauru,” he said.

    “I also went to the educational facilities, the classrooms there [in the detention centre in Nauru] where young people at taxpayers’ expense are being provided with English classes and schooling otherwise that is of a standard at least as good as in Australia.”

    A “first wave” of three to five families is expected to resettle in Cambodia in coming months.

    Cambodian government officials are on Nauru to speak to families but there are signs of resistance among asylum seeker families.

    Mr Dutton warned that some “well-intentioned people” in Australia and elsewhere were trying to “provide messages” to people in Nauru not to accept resettlement.

    “For those people in Nauru … I think it’s very important to properly consider the offer that is on the table in relation to going to Cambodia,” he said.

    In Cambodia, an official said the Hun Sen government had agreed to the $40 million refugee resettlement deal to “pay back” Australia for taking their own refugees after the country’s bloody civil war.

    It comes as the Hun Sen government defended the forced deportation of a number of indigenous Vietnamese refugees late last month as a “national security” matter.

    The Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan said that the Hun Sen government had agreed to the deal with Australia on humanitarian grounds and that Cambodia “felt sorry for Australia” for shouldering the burden of refugee resettlement.

    “We understand how hard it is,” Mr Siphan said from his office in Phnom Penh.

    “[Refugees] are like animal at the camps, they have no right to move, they have no right to do anything.

    “We give them a choice, where we open to everyone [on] what can you learn from Cambodia as a hosting country.

    “It’s not fair that Australian government has spent so much money for refugees,” he said.

    It is not known how many refugees living on Nauru will take up the offer to permanently resettle in the South Asian nation, nor how much it will cost the Abbott government to facilitate the resettlement with the International Organisation of Migration. This is in addition to the $40 million in aid that has already been pledged for development assistance over four years.

    Mr Siphan estimated “10 to 15” families could take up the offer in a “pilot program”, while Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told local Cambodian media last week that “three to five” families would initially volunteer to move to the country.

    “Australia was open to Cambodian refugees, we have to pay back something. We don’t want to take and take from Australia,” Mr Siphan said.

    “These people, we will treat them equally as all Cambodians.

    “They will become rich if they work hard.”

    By contrast, nearly 40 Christian Montagnards – an indigenous group who claim they face religious persecution and live in the Northern Highlands of Vietnam – were allegedly deported to Vietnam by the Cambodian government in February.

    Mr Siphan said the government would not take “political refugees” from Vietnam or China.

    “We don’t allow political refugees to springboard into our country,” he said.

    “That is our national security,” he said. “Those people are not refugees, they are just getting away from the government, they are not refugees.

    “We call it illegal immigration,” he said.

    Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch has questioned the conditions refugees will face in Cambodia, saying that most refugees already in Cambodia are “living hand to mouth with few employment opportunities, facing racism and corruption on a daily basis, and inadequate services”.

    “Cambodia is neither safe nor equipped to resettle refugees,” she said. “The Cambodian government has consistently shown it is willing to sign agreements and even laws, yet completely fail to implement them – like its own refugee law.”

    This week the Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who is implementing the resettlement deal, is in Australia to discuss the plan further.

    But the deal has been heavily criticised by a number of international aid agencies based in Cambodia who said they did not support it, arguing it was not appropriate for a country that has been accused of human rights abuses and has no refugee resettlement experience.

    Sarah Whyte is on a journalism fellowship in Cambodia with the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre.

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

    ‘I don’t have a Facebook page!’: John Howard shocked by digital impersonator

    2019 - 07.22

    Steps Group Australia executive officer Stuart Coward shows former prime minister John Howard the fake Facebook page. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The fake John Howard Facebook page. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Nanjing Night Net

    Mr Howard discovers he has a digital impersonator. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Former US president George W Bush once called John Howard a “man of steel” over his steadfast support for the American-led invasion of Iraq.

    But it was the relatively trivial matter of a fake Facebook page that wrong-footed the usually unflappable former prime minister on Thursday.

    Appearing at a leadership conference in Canberra, Mr Howard was approached by Stuart Coward, the executive officer of Steps Group Australia, a national not-for-profit employment, training and housing organisation based in Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

    Mr Coward was excited to meet Mr Howard after sending him messages via Facebook for the last couple of years. Mr Coward would use the page to try to engage Mr Howard in conversation about cricket or seek advice about leadership issues. He never received a reply but put this down to the impossibility of personally replying to each of the page’s 37,000 followers.

    But the former PM appeared surprised when Mr Coward mentioned their correspondence. “I don’t have a Facebook page!” Mr Howard told him.

    “I think he was rather shocked actually,” Mr Coward told Fairfax Media.  

    Mike Baird’s Government deserves to be reelected. The Premier leads a strong united team and is making the right decisions. John Posted by John Howard on Saturday, March 21, 2015

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    Australians frustrated at time spent booking travel online

    2019 - 07.22

    Was it worth all the planning? Was it worth all the planning?
    Nanjing Night Net

    Was it worth all the planning?

    Was it worth all the planning?

    Australians love all things we travel. We love thinking about it, talking about and planning it – or so we think.

    According to a new research by travel search engine KAYAK南京夜网.au, 25 per cent of Australians spend over half their annual leave planning and booking holidays each year.

    This means one in four spend almost as much time per year searching for holidays as they do taking them, with 31 per cent abandoning their searches halfway because they become frustrated with booking travel online, saying that it takes too long.

    Time spent searching is not the only thing irritating Australians. Hidden costs was the number one gripe, outranking fluctuating prices, confusing websites and information overload.

    While online travel booking has made searching for cheap flights, bargain accommodation, and tour and cruise deals more accessible to the average Australian, the amount of time spent planning and booking holidays has largely remained the same over the past three years (86 per cent of those surveyed indicated they did spent the same or more time planning).

    The survey revealed 33 per cent of Australians are also more preoccupied finding flights and accommodation deals than researching things to do at their destination.

    However, holiday satisfaction levels has also largely remained the same, with 58 per cent saying the more time spent planning and booking did not necessarily make the holiday more enjoyable.

    Remarkably, the survey revealed that 27 per cent of Australians spend less time deciding on a location to live than booking an overseas trip, with 21 per cent of those surveyed saying they booked a holiday while in bed and 1 per cent booking their holiday while commuting to or from work. Top destinations Australians are searching 

    1.    Los Angeles 2.    London 3.    Melbourne 4.    Bali 5.    Sydney 6.    Bangkok 7.    Auckland 8.    Singapore 9.    New York 10.  Tokyo

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

    Treasury signals company tax cuts

    2019 - 07.22

    “Australia’s company tax is relatively high by global standards,” says Rob Heferen. Photo: Jessica HromasThe head of Treasury’s revenue group, Rob Heferen, has thrown his support behind a move to cut the company tax rate from 30 per cent, saying it would boost foreign investment and economic growth.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has said the tax reform process will kick off this Monday with a discussion paper. This will be followed by a green paper later in the year, and will then be finished off with a final tax white paper.

    Speaking at a Minerals Council of Australia tax conference in Melbourne on tax reform, Mr Heferen said lower company taxes boosted foreign investment, resulted in more jobs, higher wages and increased productivity.

    He did not say what the rate should be, but the previous tax review by former Treasury boss Ken Henry has suggested it be cut to 25 per cent.

    “Let’s be clear: taxes have negative consequences for economic growth.. some are worse than others,” Mr Heferen said.

    Small businesses will still receive the 1.5 per cent tax cut they were promised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott before he was elected, but presently the 30 per cent company tax rate still applies for medium and large businesses.

    “Australia’s company tax is relatively high by global standards, particularly with a number of other countries [in the developed world] having reduced their rates,” Mr Heferen said.

    But Mr Richardson said there should be an extra tax on companies to ensure that big profits are taxed during boom times.

    He said it could be a new state tax, rather than a federal one.

    “You could have the states mirroring a company tax,” Mr Richardson said. “You don’t even need the feds involved at all.”

    Mr Heferen said while Australia should not compare itself to low-tax nations like Singapore, high company tax meant Australia was losing economic benefits.

    He said reducing the company tax rate would cost the federal budget in the short term, but over the long term it would increase economic activity and productivity.

    “I hope it’s the case – through the tax [white paper] discussion paper process – that [it’s accepted that] the idea of reducing company tax will actually improve capital stock and have flow-on benefits.”

    He said the government was still wanting to ensure that multinationals paid their fair share of taxes, and was working through the OECD process to stop companies shifting profits to no-tax or low-tax nations.

    He said this often occurred if there were “intangibles” such as intellectual property, as it was hard to determine where that value was created. “When you are buying something that’s intangible-heavy, it’s more contestable where the value sits,” he said.

    But with tangibles, such as mining resources, it was easy to determine, as value was created when it was digged out of the ground. This suggests Mr Heferen disagrees with the business lobby line that if the OECD plan against profit shifting succeeds, Australia will lose out on mining revenue.

    Companies such as Microsoft, in submissions to the federal inquiry into corporate tax avoidance, have admitted using hubs in low-tax nations such as Singapore. The practice, which is currently legal under international tax rules, has come under fire as world governments hunt for more revenue from companies making billions in sales and big profits.

    Mr Heferen said large businesses disclosing the taxes they pay was a good thing.

    He also dismissed recent analysis carried out by the Australia Institute that said tax projections in the report indicated that by 2055 someone on the equivalent of $300,000 would be paying only 32.4 per cent of their income in tax, down from 37.7 per cent in 2021.

    The analysis said the tax cut, expressed in present dollars, would be worth $15,900. A low earner would receive a lower tax cut of about $4500.

    “That analysis is wrong,” Mr Heferen said, adding it had made “simplified” assumptions to derive those figures.

    Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson, also speaking at the conference, said for the first time the Intergenerational Report noted issues around bracket creep and superannuation.

    But he was worried that the current government “lacked the political will” to tackle tax reform, including the need to stop superannuation concessions to the rich, and increase the GST.

    Both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey have ruled out increasing GST or broadening the base in the first term. Mr Hockey has also signalled there’s limited scope to deliver personal tax cuts, although they are desirable.

    Mr Richardson said because of the political limits, “I don’t expect the national debate on tax to be a great one”.

    He said while taxing royalties made by miners was a “rotten tax”, those making super profits should still be taxed.

    Everybody had been “spooked” to do something because of the mining tax debacle under the former Labor government.

    “That does not mean you cannot do better,” Mr Richardson said. “Don’t be scared of tax reform. You can do this better.”

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