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    Herbert Bartlett found alive

    2019 - 09.21

    Herbert ‘Nobby’ Bartlett has been found alive.Herbert “Nobby” Bartlett wasfound alive in grassland in Maitland shortly after 10.30am Thursday.

    The elderly man, 86, was found in the back paddock of a property onBonar Street, Maitland.A police dog located the man during a search operation this morning.

    He was hidden in long grass and was suffering exposure after spending four days in the elements.

    EARLIER COVERAGE: Stroke victim missing from Maitland Hospital

    Mr Bartlett is in Maitland Hospital being assessed. His family has been informed and was with him at the hospital for the medical assessment.

    Ada Gibson owns the paddock where the elderly man was found.

    “I could not believe it,” she said.

    “I had been down there with the police yesterday.I am just so pleased he was alive.”

    FOUND: Ada Gibson at the spot where Nobby was found. PHOTO: Cath Bowen.

    The area of Ms Gibson’s property where Nobby was found is bounded by a fenceline andrailway tracks.

    The property slopes downhill and is covered in very high grass, which made it difficult to see the man.

    Mr Bartlett hadbeen missing since Monday after leaving Maitland Hospital where he was recovering from a stroke.

    He is unable to speak or communicate andhas spent the past six weeks in hospital after suffering a stroke.

    Earlier this week police, Mr Bartlett’s family and hospital personnel launched a city-wide search for the man.

    Thursday’s search included officers from the Central Hunter Local Area Command, Newcastle Police Rescue, Hunter Region SES and the Dog Unit.

    Dog Unit officer,Senior Constable Wynn, and his dogUlrichwere the ones tofind Mr Bartlettlying in the long grass.

    “We are very much pleased to have located him,” Central Hunter crime manager, Detective Inspector John Zdrilic, said.

    “We would have liked to find him sooner. But as hope was fading, there was still hope and it is very fortunate for Nobby and his familythat we found him.”

    Detective Inspector Zdrilic said police dog Ulrich has since been deployed back to Newcastle after a successful day. Maitland’s police dogMarco was used in a search yesterday, but was injured in the line of duty by a horse and could not participate in today’s search.

    ‘A part of me died that day’: Victim of sex assault by Luke Lazarus tells court of her trauma

    2019 - 09.21

    Sentencing hearing: Luke Lazarus. Photo: FacebookA young woman says a part of her died the night she was sexually assaulted in a laneway behind a Kings Cross nightclub by the club owner’s son.

    Luke Andrew Lazarus, 23, is being sentenced in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court having last month been convicted of the attack on the 18-year-old woman behind Soho on Victoria Street, Potts Point, in May 2013.

    Lazarus’ father, Andrew Lazarus, is a part-owner of the club, as well as popular Bondi Junction hotel The Eastern.

    The sexual assault occurred in an alleyway behind the club after Lazarus told the woman, who was on her first night out in Sydney, he would take her to a VIP area.

    In court on Thursday, a victim’s impact statement was read out on behalf of the woman, who said she would never be the person she was before the attack.

    “I thought that once I left the alleyway the pain would go away … but it didn’t,” the woman’s statement said.

    “Everything that made me who I was stayed in that alleyway.”

    The woman said she spent days sitting in a bath after the attack and, in the two years since, had cried until she “couldn’t breathe, crying until I physically couldn’t any more”.

    “I’ll never be who I was. I had to rebuild myself with what I had left,” she said in the statement.

    “A part of me died that day, the part that trusted others.”

    During the trial it was heard that Lazarus approached his victim on the club’s dance floor.

    He claimed to be a part-owner of the club and asked if she wanted to meet the DJ.

    Lazarus then told her: “No, we will go to a VIP area” before he took her out of a back exit into an alleyway.

    The pair kissed but the woman said she wanted to go back to her friends because she was uneasy being in an alleyway.

    He told her to put her hands up against the fence before demanding that she “just get on your hands and knees and arch your back”.

    The woman, fearful of what he would do if she did not comply, then knelt on the gravel and put her hands on the ground.

    Lazarus then sexually assaulted the woman for 10 minutes during which time his victim told him she was a virgin.

    When he had finished, he told her to put her name into his phone.

    After the attack, the woman returned to the club, met her friends and left.

    Police were informed the following morning after the woman told her older sister what had occurred. Detectives seized CCTV footage from Soho, which showed Lazarus leading the woman out into an alleyway.

    They also intercepted calls on his mobile with nightclub staff during which he talks about having sex in the back alleyway.

    In a text message to his friend the afternoon after the attack, Lazarus also said: “I honestly have zero recollection of calling you … Was a sick night – took a chick’s virginity.”

    His friend replied: “bahahahaha nice popping does cherries …”

    Lazarus replied: “… it’s a pretty gross story tell ya later”.

    The note section of his phone also contained a list of female names, with his victim’s name appearing on the end of the list.

    During the trial before Judge Sarah Huggett at the Downing Centre District Court last month, Lazarus’ lawyers argued that the sex was consensual. But a jury convicted Lazarus of one count of sexual intercourse without consent.

    The hearing continues.

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    Why Vote Compass doesn’t work for me

    2019 - 09.21

    Patrick Batchelor’s Vote Compass result shows his views are closer to the Greens, but he is a Labor member.Every election I take the ABC’s Vote Compass survey, and every election it tells me to vote for a party I don’t support.

    I believe we should invest more in public transport, public education, and public healthcare. I support marriage equality, drug law reform, and the humane treatment of refugees. When it comes to WestConnex the only thing I want in my backyard are solar panels and maybe some kale plants. Put succinctly, I’m a rabid inner-city leftie. But in the world of Vote Compass, there is only one answer – I’m a Green.

    The problem is, I’m not a Green.

    I’ve been a Labor Party member for more than 10 years and have volunteered for my two local candidates at every state and federal election since.

    Yet Vote Compass keeps telling me I’m a Green. And I’m not alone. All my fellow Labor volunteers from the state seats of Balmain and Newtown who have taken the Vote Compass survey have experienced the same frustrated bewilderment when told they should vote for the party they are campaigning against.

    So what is the problem?

    The first issue is how the responses to the Vote Compass survey are calculated. Responses are graded against each of the three parties’ state platforms. There is the erroneous assumption that voters living in the inner city who support one of the two major parties, vote for state party platforms without taking the candidate’s personal views into consideration. This is a misleading assumption. It assumes that major parties have a one-size-fits-all platform, ignoring the fact that local candidates represent a diversity of views within a larger coalition.

    A Labor or Liberal candidate contesting an inner-city seat will almost certainly be far more progressive than their respective parties’ state platforms. This also neglects the ability of these candidates to push progressive policy from within their own party caucus.

    Online surveys of this style are far more effective in a presidential-style electoral system where you directly elect a leader and can assess their individual platform. But in a Westminster system like ours, in the lower house, you are not voting for the premier, you are voting for your local member.

    Vote Compass is arguably better suited to the upper house, where voting above the line is essentially a vote for the party’s state-wide platform. But this still doesn’t account for the fact that progressive Labor voters are being identified as Greens.

    This is because Vote Compass fails to assess the level of the voter’s pragmatism in achieving policy outcomes. Even though my responses qualify me as a Green, I’ll vote for my local Labor candidate because I want to see progressive reform implemented, not just feel good talking about it.

    I, like many other inner-city Labor voters, believe a party with a two seat lower house strategy will only ever act as an impotent lobby group to the government of day. Whereas a Labor government, while not always perfect, is the only viable option to deliver actual progressive change.

    But how do you measure this in a question? Perhaps along these lines:

    “Do you believe being part of a party that can form government matters?”

    “Do you think it is important to work with moderate supporters to build a majority coalition to progress policy initiatives?”

    These questions would address, at least partially, one of the main distinctions between a left-wing Labor voter and a Green. If given the opportunity to scale the importance of these questions at the end of the survey, it would hopefully recalibrate my results to reflect my true voting intention.

    The ability to scale which issues are most important to you at the end of your survey is a good concept, but it also has its problems. I identified education and public transport as two of my most important issues. But of course, this made me become more of a Green. While aspects of the Greens transport and education platform might somewhat align with my personal views, the two Greens candidates in Newtown and Balmain would only be elected at the expense of Penny Sharpe and Verity Firth. Two left-wing, progressive Labor candidates and likely transport and education ministers in a Labor government.

    I want to like Vote Compass. I really do. It encourages civic engagement and helps people with one of their most important responsibilities as a citizen. But sometimes an online survey like Vote Compass is about as useful as a quiz figuring out which character from Game of Thrones you are. Or maybe I am just a Green after all. Since when has an internet quiz ever been wrong?

    Patrick Batchelor was a field director during the 2013 federal Labor campaign and the 2012 Obama campaign. He wrote his masters thesis on the Americanisation of Australian election campaigns.

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    ‘Petty requests’ for metadata: public servants caught in the middle

    2019 - 09.21

    Independent Senator Nick Xenophon. Photo: Andrew MearesMore public service news

    The Greens and independent senators say the Coalition’s metadata retention laws would make public servants both the perpetrators and victims of intrusive information gathering under the new legislation.

    Attorney-General George Brandis has argued the laws – requiring telecommunications companies to keep customer’s metadata for two years – were needed for national security agencies to stop terrorists.

    On Thursday, looking to toughen privacy provisions, Independent senator Nick Xenophon quoted Fairfax journalist Philip Dorling by saying public servants could get in trouble for revealing “how many paper clips Centrelink had”.

    The senator also referred to former Customs official Allan Kessing who received a nine-month suspended jail sentence in 2007 after it was found he leaked two confidential reports about weaknesses in security at Sydney Airport.

    The leak led to a $240 million security upgrade.

    In an interview with ABC TV in 2007, Mr Kessing, who still maintains his innocence, said the government’s pursuit of him had a wider effect.

    “It sends the message – you’d have to be a fool to take a call from the media or anybody else because you’ll always find incompetent people able and willing and eager to hide their incompetence by being vindictive,” Mr Kessing said.

    Senators worked through numerous amendments on Thursday for a bill which the Greens say worked two ways for federal bureaucrats.

    It could expose whistleblowing public servants or allow them to unnecessarily spy on Australians for petty reasons.

    The Greens have this week argued existing metadata requests showed a massive number had nothing to do with major crimes.

    Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said instead they related to “petty requests by agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services to track what ordinary Australians – people not suspected of any serious crime – are doing”.

    “So, why the red flag on national security? Because that, of course, pushes buttons,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

    “But knowing where a Centrelink recipient is at a particular time when they make a phone call, and knowing who they make it to, is the type of information that we are talking about.”

    She said under the new legislation, Australia’s attorney-general will be able to add agencies to the list of agencies able to access metadata.

    “Further, history shows that the data will be hacked and leaked to the internet – there is no way that the government can pretend that they can guarantee that that would not happen – leading to massive privacy breaches.

    “The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been involved in one of their own scandals of breaching privacy of data, when they accidentally released the names, the numbers, the addresses, the ages and the nationalities of over 10,000 asylum seekers here in Australia.

    “Who, overwhelmingly, accessed that data? Governments and sources with international IP addresses.

    “That put those 10,000 people who were seeking asylum and protection from their own countries at even more risk because it revealed that they were in Australia seeking protection.”

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    Hard to pin down: Callum Morton’s new set for the Melbourne Theatre Company

    2019 - 09.21

    Callum Morton on the set he designed for the Melbourne Theatre Company production of Endgame. Photo: Penny StephensIn an age where design is elevated to the same status as art, Callum Morton happily flits between the two. The new set he has designed for the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Beckett’s Endgame should not be, he says, seen as a signature Morton artwork.

    “I want audiences be seeing a set that works on stage. Its not art, its design. You try and make things works for the specificity of the performance,”

    Aiding him on the journey to anonymity is Beckett himself, whose directions are both elusive and strict.

    “The cues are very specific and indeed the Beckett Foundation ensures they are kept to. I was interested in working inside that limit and seeing what you could do.”

    It’s not the first time Morton, head of visual art at Monash University, has turned his hand to set-making. His earlier collaboration with director Sam Strong and MTC was on Other Desert Cities in 2013.

    “In Other Desert Cities, it was a specific time in Palm Springs modernist architecture you could place it in a world.”

    “With Beckett, I did start by testing it in particular places. We knew it needed bare interiors, two windows high up, a door at stage right, a picture back to front on the wall, grey light.”

    Morton then started to play with the ideas of a window where ocean is on one side and land is on the other. A lighthouse was the natural conclusion.

    “There’s all sorts of possibilities inside a tight frame. It’s kind of like the world Beckett describes which is contained and tortured.”

    “Because Beckett is such an ambiguous figure, he’s equally a modernist and a postmodernist, he’s quite elusive. His work is hard to design because it’s never in a place. It’s not a non-place but every time you try and locate it disappears from your grasp.”

    Endgame is at the Sumner, Southbank Theatre, until April 25.


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