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Comments Off on Marsh’s crucial impact

Marsh’s crucial impact

Marsh’s crucial impact

Mitch Marsh. Picture: Getty Images.Australia are likely tohave about five sessions to bowl England out for a second time and complete victory in the secondAshesTest after they remained in a commanding position on Saturday,helped by two crucial breakthroughs by Mitchell Marsh that served to justify his promotion here ahead of Shane Watson.
Nanjing Night Net

Ben Stokes (87) and Alastair Cook (96) looked destined for hundreds during a lengthy partnership that hadrestored hope for England but when they bothfell at the hands of Australia’s new all-rounder the tourists’ chances of squaring the series by Monday were enhanced significantly.

Clarke, as is his custom, did not enforce the follow-on despite Australia exceeding England’s first-innings 312 by 254 and the only question now is when he will declare the second innings. That began to plan late on Saturday as Chris Rogers (44not out) and David Warner (60not out) led Australia to stumps at 0-108.The overall lead is now 362. There are are no shortage of runs to be made on this Lord’s pitch butthe highest ever successful fourth-innings chase at the home of cricketwas the West Indies’ 1-344 in1984.

The key moments of the day were undoubtedly the departures of Cook and Stokes, who had set themselves for the kind of marathon union that England were searching for in their bid to save this match.

It had seemed three figures and beyond was an inevitability for Cook – who hasnever scored a century in an Ashes Test at home – as he produced atypically obdurate display, determined not to give victory to Australia despite thecollapse of his top order the afternoon before.

Just before tea, however, and crucially only two overs before the new ball was due, he drove at a ball that angled across him from Marsh and made contact only with the inside edge of his bat. It careered intohis stumps and Cook dropped to his haunchesin disappointment at himself. From there, theEngland tail did not last long as Mitchell Johnson (3-53) and Josh Hazlewood (3-68) swooped.

Stokes earlier had himself to blame as much as Marsh when he also clipped a ball that stayed low back onto his stumps.

Marsh, used in short bursts by Clarke from the Pavilion End, couldn’t claim to have knocked over the duo with unplayable deliveries. There was nothing special about them but there is also no footnotes on the scoreboard. They all count andno more can have been asked of the 23-year-old on Saturday then to take down Cook and Stokes.

“It was nice to get those wickets like that. Itdoesn’t matter how you get them,” Marsh said. “I’ll take a few more chop-ons in the second innings, I’d be happy to have them.

“(With) the attack we’ve got I’m certainly not going to come out and try to blast blokes out.Butwherever the skipper needs me I just want to be there for him and bowl whenever. Hopefully I can do that in the second innings and take a few wickets.

“We’ve got ourselves in a great position now to drive the game. Hopefully we bat well tomorrow and we can put England under some pressure tomorrow afternoon and on day five.I’m sure Michael’s got a total in mind (for England to chase). He’ll talk to us before the game tomorrow or even tonight. I’m not sure but I imagine it will be around the 450 to 500 mark hopefully if we bat well tomorrow.”

Stokes said: “We’vegot to get our heads around that we’re probably going to have to batabout 150 overs to try and save the game.If there’s ever a wicket todo it on, it’s this one.”

Marsh ended with 2-23 from his eight overs, just the kind of contribution selectors desire from their fourth seamer in support of the frontline attack. The man he replaced at Lord’s, Shane Watson, spent some time on the ground on Saturday, fielding at first slip in place of Adam Voges, who sat out the day with a bruised hip from aStokes sweep he wore at short-leg on Friday afternoon.”I think it’s just a part of being in Dad’s Army…his bones are a bit brittle”, Marsh joked of Voges.

As for Watson, he put on his own show, playing up to the broadcaster’s cameras with his shirt off in the dressing room later in the day.

The more Marsh performs in the middle, though, the furtherWatsonwill be away from another opportunity.

While the new all-rounder collected the two big wickets, Johnson was unlucky his figures were not even better. He hadCook dropped by Steve Smith at square leg on 63 and then after celebrating what looked a brilliant low catch by Peter Nevill of Jos Buttler, the third umpireChris Gaffaney judged the ball to have touched the grass.

Hazlewood, whose pitch map looks like a dollop of tomato sauce has been dropped on the strip so precise is he,was also excellent while Nathan Lyon (1-53), who ended up having Buttler(13)caught behind, could have had another if not for umpire Kumar Dharmasenaturning down his lbw appeal against Moeen Ali (39) when the ball appeared to be taking a big piece of leg stump.

Warner was later fortunate himself not to be caughtbefore scoring by Adam Lyth, who made a mess of an edge that he should have taken at gully. Lyth’s contribution to this match is now a second-ball duck, one maiden over and a dropped catch.

Marsh then left the post-day press conference, where the team’s player of the day is usually sent,making no doubt about his own ambitions for Sunday.

“Hopefully I’ll see you back in heretomorrow night,” he said.

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Comments Off on Blacks belted by ‘Tahs

Blacks belted by ‘Tahs

Blacks belted by ‘Tahs

HEAVY LOSS: Griffith inside centre Alapati Taifai looks for options as Waratahs defenders Matt Shortis (left) and Tim Corcoran come in to make a tackle at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday. Picture: The Daily Advertiser
Nanjing Night Net

AN UNDERMANNED Blacks outfit have slumped to its second since the Southern Inland splitto fall further down the pecking order.

Griffith came into the split thirdbut Waratahs have moved around them following a 57-10 win at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.

Missing some of its best players including co-coaches Nick Gleeson and Matt Vitucci as well as premiership players Chris Latu, Dan Dowson andLafa Lale, the Blacks struggled to contain the firing Wagga outfit.

Waratahs ran in eight tries to oneto take the coveted third spot with three more games beforefinals.

Finishing third enables a second chance come finals time but Gleeson is more concerned about getting his team to play its best football.

Gleeson wasdisappointed in his team’s performance despite missing 10 players.

“In the first half there was patches were we turned up to play as well as the first 10 minutes of the second half but after that we missed a bit of quality and direction whichthose (missing) players bring,” Gleeson said.

“There were players there that stood up and tried to lead us around whichwas good.”

Michael Stalley led from the front which Enoch Tia was strong after stepping up from third gradebut they didn’t have enough answers for the Waratahs’ attack.

Trailing 15-3 at half-time Waratahs scored early in the second half before Manning Doughty hit back for Griffith.

The Hay forward’s try reduced the margin back to 12 points but from there the Waratahs outside men went to a new level.

Letting in five more tries in the second half, the Blacks defence couldn’t handle the pressure to slump to their biggest loss of the season

The Blacks will host their home game as Tumut at Hay on Saturday as they look to bounce back into the winners list.

Gleeson is hoping to have a few more players to call upon to tackle the Bulls, who scored a narrow win over Ag College to remain in fifth, and play like they did in the loss to Leeton two weeks ago.

“Last week we played with a similar team and played a lot better than that and really took it to Leeton,” Gleeson said. “I was a bit disappointed we didn’t win that game and we need to get back to how we got back to how we played against Leeton.”

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Comments Off on Two men charged over Cessnock prison contraband

Two men charged over Cessnock prison contraband

Two men charged over Cessnock prison contraband

Two men will appear in court after allegedly attempting to bring a loaded firearm and prohibited drugs into a correctional facility in Cessnock.
Nanjing Night Net

Two men, a 26-year-old from Smithfield and a 22-year-old from Eastwood, attempted to drive into the car park of the facilityabout 10.20amSaturday.

NSW Police attached to the Central Hunter Target Action Group, and Corrective Security Operations Group officers, were conducting a joint operation and searched their vehicle.

They allegedly located and seized a loaded handgun, 1.89 grams of white powder, believed to be cocaine, $4960 in cash, and five mobile phones.

The two men were taken to Maitland Police Station and charged with numerous offences including an outstanding arrest warrant, possess unregistered firearm, possess firearm without licence, not comply with safe storage of firearm, introduce firearm into correctional centre, possess prohibited drug, introduce prohibited drug into correctional facility, possess prohibited weapon, introduce prohibited weapon into correctional facility and deal with proceeds of crime.

They were refused bail to appear before Maitland Bail Court on Sunday,July 19, 2015.

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Comments Off on Steamers wrap up top spot

Steamers wrap up top spot

Steamers wrap up top spot

TRY TIME: Tom Boyle launches himself to the try-line in the Steamers’ dominant top of the table win at Murrayfield. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICKDYNAMIC winger Sam Allen has helped the Steamers close in on the minor premiership with an outstanding display at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The blue and golds dominated the top of the table clash with Leeton, converting a 29-13 halftime leadinto a 49-22 victory.

The win gives the Steamers a handy buffer at the top of the table with three rounds to finals and the week off for the minor premier.

Coach Mick Raynes said he hasn’t seen a winger have so much influence on a game.

“His running just created a momentum that the wholeteam bought into,” he said.

“A lot of the work is done inside butSamtook his own game to another level on Saturday.

”At one stageRichie Manion put up a bomb, there were two Leeton guys converging from both directions and they just hesitated for a fraction of a second and Sam hit the afterburners,took the ball out of the air and thenbeat two others to score –it was freakishly good.”

Raynes said it was a clinical first half performance.

“We dominated the first half and that came after spending sometimetalkingabout ourslow starts butlike the Tumut game we played to our game plan, kept themout of the red zone and executed our plays better than the previousweek,” he said.

“But it was the likes of Jean-Laurent Pozzobon, who must have racked up 30 tackles, Dan Cottrell in the line-out and Lex Botha out wide who reallystood out with Allen.

“The second half was a little scrappy but we now control our own destiny for the minor premiership.”

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Comments Off on Circus fun at Yenda school

Circus fun at Yenda school

Circus fun at Yenda school

CIRCUS TIME: Pupils at St Therese School had a great time on their circus-themed day. Picture: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

FUN: The circus-themed day was a highlight of the term for pupils at the school. Picture: Supplied

ST Therese School held a circus-themed day recently.

Pupils were asked to dress in anything related to the circus.

The school library was transformed into a circus tent with a parachute hanging from the ceiling.

A mural was painted and put up on the wall and the students drew portraits of clowns that were also put up.

A number of pupils wrote a play to perform to the younger students and the teachers.

There was also a chance for pupils to learn how to juggle and other circus skills.

St Therese is also conducting the Open Days of Discovery Program, which is an eight week program for children who will begin primary school in 2016.

The program aims to provide children the chance to experience school and have fun with older children.

It has proven successful.

The school community would also like to invite residents to become a permanent part of Yenda’s history.

The Sisters of St Joseph Commemorative Garden will provide an enduring link between the past, present and future.

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Comments Off on Federal department made aware of Bronwyn Bishop’s charter flight to Nowra

Federal department made aware of Bronwyn Bishop’s charter flight to Nowra

Federal department made aware of Bronwyn Bishop’s charter flight to Nowra

Refused to stand down: Bronwyn Bishop answers questions about the helicopter flight. Photo: James BrickwoodEmbattled federal Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has revealed a federal department is examining two more charter flights she has admitted could have been used to attend party political events.
Nanjing Night Net

The development comes as Fairfax Media can reveal that Mrs Bishopcharged taxpayers almost $1000 a day to travel in luxuriousprivate limousines during her $90,000 fortnight in Europ

The Speaker finally conceded on Saturday that she made an “error of judgment” when shechartered a $5227 helicopter to make the short journey from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser last year.

Mrs Bishop refused to say sorry to the Australian taxpayer over the episode, saying her refund was apology enough. Despite admitting the only reason she travelled to Victoria on November 5 last yearwas for the party event at agolf club,she dismissed any suggestion she would resign her position as head of the federal Parliament.

“One doesn’t resign for an error of judgment that is within the guidelines,” she said.

Mrs Bishop revealedshe had also asked the Department of Finance to look into two other charter flights she had taken since becoming Speaker –one to Young and one to Nowra –for the sake of “completeness”.

“There were certainly public meetings, there could have been a fundraiser as well,” she said.

But the charters are far from the only extravagance in Mrs Bishop’s expense reports.

Fairfax Media can reveal the Speaker racked up a $14,000 limo billin a little over a fortnight during her European trip in October.

On the same trip, Mrs Bishop’s four fellow delegates spent between $1200 and $2800 each on ground transport. They typically travelled by public transport or in more modest embassy-arranged cars.

“There was a black BMW carting her around like royalty,” said a source involved with the trip. “She wasn’t about to take her eight-inch heels on the subway.”

The Speaker’s chief of staff and spokesman Damien Jones, who was on the trip with another staff member, confirmed the spending on Saturday.

“All presiding officers get their own transport,” he told Fairfax Media. “In fact I think any head of delegations gets their own transport. So yes, that accounts for the $14,000.”

Mrs Bishop and her staff also spent $42,000 on flights and $25,000 on meals and accommodation. The other parliamentarians – the Coalition’s Nola Marino and Cory Bernardi​, and Labor’s Glenn Sterle​ and Tony Zappia​ – each spent a fraction of those amounts.

The trip was partly aimed at securing Mrs Bishop a plum new job. She was running for president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a democracy group based in Switzerland. She lost the vote to Bangladesh’s candidate.

Reminded the Treasurer had said the helicopter charter “failed the sniff test”, Mrs Bishop said: “Joe [Hockey] says some funny thing sometimes, doesn’t he? I think he said poor people don’t drive cars or something.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was standing by his hand-picked Speaker on Saturday.In his first public comments on the expenses scandal, Mr Abbott said he would not ask her to step down.


“Bronwynadmitted it was probably an error of judgement and she’s repaid the money.She has my confidence.”

Mrs Bishop repaid the $5227 cost of the charter –plus a $1300 penalty –amid intense political and public pressure on Thursday.

Mr Abbott dismissed a suggestion she should standaside as the department conducts its audit. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to stand aside simply because the finance department might be having a look at something.”

He also dismissed suggestions that Mrs Bishop was being treated differently to former speaker Peter Slipper, who faced criminal chargesover his expenses.

Labor has called on the Australian Federal Police to investigate the Bronwyn Bishop expenses scandal without further delay, saying the Department of Finance’sinternal audit should not stand in the way of a criminal inquiry.

Oppositionwaste-watch spokesman Pat Conroy hashas written to the AFPfor a second time, urging it to probe the chopper episode.The AFP has referred the matter to the finance department under what is known as the Minchin protocol​, which allowsthe department to conduct an audit to determine whether allegations are credible. If it decides there has been serious and deliberate wrongdoing it can refer the case back to the police.

But Labor believes the protocols do not apply if allegations are referred directly to the AFP.

“Refusing to investigate the allegations against Mrs Bishop would be inconsistent with the approach taken in the Slipper case,” Mr Conroy said.”In any event, the Minchin protocol is no impediment to a police investigation into Mrs Bishop’s conduct.”

Laborbelieves the case hinges on whether Mrs Bishop signed a Presiding Officer’s Charter Certification form. The form requires the Speaker to confirm that a charter is for her”office holder duties” and states that knowingly giving false or misleading information is a serious criminal offence.

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Comments Off on Apartment buyers seek ‘walkable’ neighbourhoods that are a step up from the rest

Apartment buyers seek ‘walkable’ neighbourhoods that are a step up from the rest

Apartment buyers seek ‘walkable’ neighbourhoods that are a step up from the rest

The humble Australian backyard is becoming a historic relic of fading aspirations for the quarter-acre block.
Nanjing Night Net

Melburnians are increasingly shifting to apartment living for its affordability and convenience.

The neighbourhood is the new backyard.

Apartment-dwellers are taking a more communal approach to their recreational spaces both inside and surrounding their buildings and anywhere they can walk to is now part of their territorial claim of “home”.

That includes neighbourhood cafes, shops, markets, parks and public transport and all the other places we walk to as part of our day-to-day lives.

“You can’t have a walkable neighbourhood if you haven’t got anywhere to walk to – that’s the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,” explains Professor Billie Giles-Corti, the director of the University of Melbourne’s McCaughey VicHealth Unit for Community Wellbeing, who has led studies of the city’s walkability.

“It’s the mix of destinations that is really important and the first thing to have is connected streets.”

Another pre-condition of walkability is density as low-density suburbs do not have enough population to support a large mix of shops and services as walkable destinations.

Developers often trumpet the “walk score” of their prized location as a selling point for their inner-city apartment projects.

What does it all mean? The Walk Score website was founded in the US but provides walk scores for Melbourne suburbs assessing how easy it is to get around on foot to various amenities.

The site ranks Melbourne’s most walkable suburbs with scores in the 90s as Carlton, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Melbourne, St Kilda, South Yarra, East Melbourne, South Melbourne, Collingwood and Windsor.

At the other end of the walkability scale, the most car-dependent suburbs with scores in the 30s are Derrimut, Narre Warren South, Belgrave South, Roxburgh Park, Rosebud West, Mount Evelyn, Endeavour Hills, Altwood, Lilydale and Croydon North.

It’s not just students and young people who are seeking car-optional neighbourhoods.

Health-conscious Baby Boomers who have finally emptied the nest want to enjoy their newfound freedom on foot now they have removed the shackles of their more remote suburban homes.

“We see that when people come out of large homes into apartments, they want an increased lifestyle because they’ve got more time on their hands not having to maintain large properties and backyards and pools,” the managing director of 360 Property Group John Meagher says. “The café culture is a massive driver.”

Professor Giles-Corti says the health benefits of living in walkable neighbourhoods is significant, with evidence of lower rates of obesity and chronic disease where residents are less reliant on cars. “It’s really the good news story,” she says.

Young families are joining the shift to apartments in highly walkable suburbs reducing the need for the “mum taxi”, although heavy traffic in high-density neighbourhood acts as a deterrent to walking particularly for children.

Domain Group senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson says that despite the rise of telecommuting allowing people to work from home, they still want to get out and about, which is why digital services like online grocery shopping have limited demand.

“I think there is a move towards areas where you can compartmentalise all the things you need to do within walking distance,” he says. “I don’t think we are ever going to just live in our own little bunkers as there will always be a need for personal interaction with the things that we do.”What makes a suburb “walkable”?A well-connected street network that allows plenty of pedestrian routes encourages walking.A good variety of shops and services, including supermarkets and medical centres, encourages walking for all the needs of day-to-day living.Cafes, restaurants and bars in close proximity encourage people to get out on foot.Traffic has a large impact. Busy roads deter people from walking, especially children.While parks are good for mental health and exercise, too much public open space can reduce walkability as there are a lack of other destinations.Density is necessary for walkability. Low-density areas do not have the population to support a variety of shops and services as destinations.A walkable neighbourhood has good public transport that promotes less reliance on the car.Outdoor facilities that accommodate the needs of all ages of children, such as play equipment for young children and basketball courts or skateboarding parks for adolescents.

663 Chapel Street South Yarra  $460,000 – $6.9 million

AN elegant new addition to the ever-rising skyline of South Yarra is the 21-level Royal Como development on Chapel Street featuring spacious apartments aimed at downsizers.

Adjacent to Melbourne High School in one of the city’s most walkable suburbs, the 112-apartment project by Chinese developer C&L International Holdings is close to South Yarra’s swanky fashion boutiques, restaurants and cafes and is only 100 metres from South Yarra train station.

Designed by Bruce Henderson Architects with interiors by Nexus Design, Royal Como and will have an Australian theme with artworks commissioned from Australian artists on every floor creating an art gallery feel.

The building’s exterior of silver reflective glass and a diagonal motif was inspired by the nearby Yarra River.

“We wanted to give the façade that sense of movement, a bit like the ripples of the Yarra,” says Bruce Henderson Architects director John Scaramuzzino. “It helps give the building a sense of visual energy.”

The apartments are generously sized with one-bedrooms from 46 to 69 square metres internally, two-bedroom apartments 75 to 109 square metres, three-bedrooms 180 to 210 square metres and a four-bedroom penthouse sized at 326 square metres. Outdoor spaces range from six-square-metre balconies to 190-square metre terraces.

The sixth level of the development features a pool overlooking Chapel Street, a gymnasium, a residents lounge and an outdoor terrace with barbecue facilities.

Royal Como is being marketed by Knight Frank, 0438 346 313. A display suite at 663 Chapel Street, South Yarra, is open daily from 11am-3pm.

  Stepping out in style

Doug Eastick is rather fond of walking. So much so, he once set out to do a lap around the Tan walking track which soon became three, then six, and finally 11 laps to walk a full marathon distance – just for fun.

“I’m 49 and I like walking – to the Tan, to the city, to the MCG. That’s part of my health,” the private school property manager says.

His desire to live within walking distance of supermarkets, parks, restaurants and the MCG to see his beloved Tigers play was a key factor in his search for the right apartment.

That quest ended in the off-the-plan purchase of a two-bedroom apartment at the Royal Como development in South Yarra.

“It’s just a great location right on Chapel Street,” Eastick says. “You’ve got all the restaurants, Richmond, the MCG and all the other major sporting grounds and you’ve got Fawkner Park, the Botanical Gardens and the Yarra Trail for cycling and walking along the river.”

Eastick was also impressed with the size and layout of the apartment and looks forward to the low-maintenance lifestyle. “Because I’m in property myself, the last thing I want to do when I retire is maintain properties which I’ve done my whole life,” he says. ]]>DomainThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments Off on Blueheelers end their losing run

Blueheelers end their losing run

Blueheelers end their losing run

DOMINATING: Yenda’s Peter Rameka barrelling over for his second try of the day in Yenda’s round 12 victory at Wade Park on Sunday. Picture: Anthony Stipo.
Nanjing Night Net

The Yenda Blueheelers have put a halt to their three-game slide with a comprehensive 34-6 win over Yanco Wamoon Hawks at Wade Parkon Sunday.

Sitting in sixth place on the ladder and just one point behind Yanco, this was a vital match for both clubs if they had hopesto play finals football.

Ten minutes into the gameYenda found themselvesright on Yanco’s goal line.

Yenda had three sets on the trotand eventually found the line through a barging Peter Rameka.

Just five minutes later Yenda were on the attack again after a Yanco knock-on gifted them field position.

A beautifully weighted kick to the corner saw Todd Granger go over for Yenda’s second of the day.

On the ensuing kick-off Jake Melvin made it clear that Yenda had the momentum, leaving a trail of Yanco players behind him on the way to half-way line.

It wasn’t soon after that Rameka found thetry line once again, going over for his second ofthe day and his team’s third.

William Hannon converted to remain perfect up to that point and push the score to 18-0.

Yanco still had some life in them as they ran in a try of their own thanks to Sean McDowell.

With just five minutes until the end of the half, Yanco knocked on inside their own 10, gifting Yenda field position.

It took them no time at all to pounce on the opportunity as Geoff Cook scooted over in the corner for his first of the day.

A missed conversion from the sideline left the score at 22-6 going into the break.

Yanco needed a quick start in the second half if they were any chance of a comeback, but simple errors cost them dearly.

With 20 minutes to go it was Cook who barged over the line once again.

With the game all but over Cook once more found the try line, getting a hat-trick in the process.

Yenda coach Tom Sellars was pleased his team was able to play out the whole 80 minutes.

“At training we drilled the importance of the gameinto the boys and they responded great,” he said.

“This year we’vestruggled to finish teams off and today we did that well.

“We stuck it out and played the whole 80 minutes.”

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Comments Off on No bite on Nats leader rumour

No bite on Nats leader rumour

No bite on Nats leader rumour

Michael McCormack
Nanjing Night Net

MEMBER for Riverina Michael McCormack isn’t buying into speculation he could be tapped to be an alternate contender to be the next Nationals leader following Cabinet fallout on the Shenhua mine decision.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s sustained criticisms of the decision to approve the Shenhua coal mine in his northern NSW electorate, madeby Environment Minister Greg Hunt, have raised questions about cabinet protocol and invited questions about his suitability to succeed current Nationals leader Warren Truss when he chooses to retire.

Mr McCormack, however, insists he hasn’t thought about the leadership issue, or when Mr Truss may choose to leave politics.

“That’s a matter for Warren and Lyn Truss,” he said.

“I haven’t thought about it –I’m concentrating on doing my very best for the Riverina.”

Neither, he says, has Mr Joyce done anything wrong by his fellow cabinet members in dissenting over the mine decision.

In the aftermath of the decision, Mr Joyce made a specific point in saying his criticism stemmed from his role as a minister, rather than just as a concerned local member.

“There are some ‘die in the ditch’ issues you just have to say, ‘I disagree with my side of politics’,” he said.

“Kay Hull did it (over the sale ofTelstra), I did it (over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan) and Barnaby Joyce has done it. Principles should always win out.”

Mr McCormack recalls being told his choice to cross the floor over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in late 2012 would be a “blot on his copybook”, but said the retribution promised at the time never eventuated.

“You do these things because you have to look people in the eye in your area –those who vote for you and those who don’t for you,” he said.

On the Shenhua mine approval, Mr McCormackstressed the Environment Minister had the sole call, rather than it being a collective cabinet process, and it represented only one of 17 steps in the process.

However, he lamented the decision being made the same day as the government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper was launched.“Why was the decision made about the precise time the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper was launched?” Mr McCormack said.

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Comments Off on Calls for ice hotline

Calls for ice hotline

Calls for ice hotline

MESSAGE: Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs chair Kay Hull speaks at the Wagga Ice Forum on Thursday. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
Nanjing Night Net

CALLS to establish a national support hotline for those affected by the ice scourge have arisen as a result of a forum held about the drug’s growing influencein Wagga.

A frequent concern raised by audience members at the forum on Thursday night was the lack of support services available –not only for those who become addicted to the drug, but others left to pick up the pieces from the fall-out.

One woman angrily confronted panelists at the forum about the lack of support services for friends and family of addicts and education on the subject.

Kay Hull, the chair of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs, a key member of the national ice taskforce and convenor of Thursday’s forum, said the creation of a national hotline was critical in the fight to curb the drug’s rapidly spreading reach.

“The number one gap for me is you need a national number –one number everyone knows, that’s in every pub, every phone book, every chemist, every place,” she said.

“One number you go to which will triage you through the area you need to be at. That’s what we need right now in Australia, right this minute.”

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, who found Thursday’s forum a “raw and emotional” experience, has backed the call for the establishment of a national hotline.

“The thing I really took home from (the forum) is we do need a national hotline and it would be great to have a national service to be able to confront this problem,” he said.

“Hopefully that will be one of the recommendations out of the national taskforce –perhaps we can have a 1800-number where people seeking assistance can go.”

Mrs Hull said the sheer raw emotion displayed at the Wagga forum, combined with the amount of people willing to stand and identify themselves as having dealt first-hand with the ice problem, was something she hadn’t seen at events held elsewhere.

“One of the things that resonated very strongly with me was the sheer emotional frustration of one of the parents who were looking after the grandchildren,” Mrs Hull said.

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