Sticky

ALLIANCE: The Prime Minister has treated Senator Matt Canavan and deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce very differently in the citizenship furore, Mr Fitzgibbon argues. In my 21 years in the federal Parliament I’ve experienced some very interesting sitting weeks. For balance, many of them occurred during the 43rdParliament when Labor was in minority-government and Tony Abbott was making the most of every opportunity.
Nanjing Night Net

But I believe last week’s sitting takes the prize as the most bizarre.

Behind all the political battle lines lay some very serious issues. When the two Greens declared their dual citizenship they immediately left the Parliament.

The Prime Minister admonished them for their “sloppiness” and declared their departure the right thing to do.

But he was happy to embrace somewhat of a lower standard for the National Party’s Senator Matt Canavan.

He was asked to step-aside from his Cabinet post and declared he would not exercise his vote in the Senate until the High Court determined his fate.

For the time being, he remains in the Senate.

When Barnaby Joyce rose to his feet in the Parliament to declare he is a citizen of New Zealand, the Prime Minister adopted a different and lower standard.

Joyce was allowed to retain his roles as deputy Prime Minister and cabinet minister.No satisfactory explanation was given to explain the different treatment for Canavan and Joyce.

Of course, the difference can only be their respective parliamentary chambers.

Governments are made and unmade in the House of Representatives. It’s where the numbers matter most.

Subjecting Barnaby Joyce to the same standard as Matt Canavan would have cost the government a vote in the house where it has the barest of majorities, just 76 of the 150 seats.

After providing the Speaker the number is just 75 seats.

Allowing the number to fall to 74 seats poses an existential threat to the government, and the Prime Minister was not prepared to take that risk.

This political expediency puts the government’s political interests ahead of the national interest.

We already have somethingof a crisis of confidence and a lack of community trust in our political system and institutions. Allowing members who appear to be in breach of the Constitution to continue to exercise their vote threatens to undermine that trust further.

It is likely to be late October before the High Court rules on the validity of Barnaby Joyce’s election.

In the meantime, he plans to vote on a number of crucial bills which affect all of us. He should not.

I’m yet to speak with a constitutional lawyer who believes Joyce’s prospects in the Court are good.

Like Matt Canavan, he should not exercise his vote until the verdict is known.

Just when we thought the Parliamentary sitting week could not grow crazier, Pauline Hanson donned the burqa.

Senator Fiona Nash also declared herself a Scot.

Like her party head, the Nationals’ deputy leader has no intention of giving up her vote or her cabinet post.

And we wonder why people are shaking their heads!

Joel Fitzgibbon has been the federal member for Hunter since the 1996 election. He is Labor’s shadow minister for rural and regional Australia, spokesman for the country caucus and shadow minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry.Read More →

Sticky

Rome: An earthquake hit the tourist-packed holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, killing two people, injuring dozens and trapping three young brothers who survived for up to 16 hours before being rescued.
Nanjing Night Net

Tourists and residents on the island off the coast of Naples ran out onto the narrow streets after the quake wrecked a church and several buildings. Fearing aftershocks, many decided to leave the island early.

Rescuers found a baby boy called Pasquale in the wreckage and pulled him out alive in his nappy early on Tuesday, seven hours after the shock. There was a hush followed by loud applause.

Fire crews found his brothers Mattia and Ciro, aged seven and 11, stuck under a bed nearby. They kept talking to them and fed water to them through a tube.

“I promised them that after this was all over we would all go get a pizza together,” one emergency worker said on Italian television.

They freed Mattia late on Tuesday morning and later extracted Ciro more than 16 hours after the quake hit. The parents were safe because they were in another room.

They said Ciro had probably saved his brother’s life by shoving him under the bed when the quake struck.

“The rescuers were great. We really have to thank God for this miracle,” said the island’s bishop, Pietro Lagnese.

About six buildings in the town of Casamicciola, including a church, collapsed in the quake, which hit at 8:57pm local time on Monday. The walls of one were ripped open, exposing a kitchen with a table still set for dinner.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology put the magnitude at 4.0, revising it up from an initial 3.6, but both the U.S. Geological Survey and the European quake agency estimated it at 4.3.

It struck three days before the first anniversary of a major quake that killed nearly 300 people in central Italy, most of them in the town of Amatrice. Falling masonry

The director of the island’s hospital said two women were killed and about 40 injured. One of the victims was hit by falling masonry from the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio, the Civil Protection Department in Rome said.

The church was rebuilt after it, like most of Casamicciola, was destroyed by an earthquake that killed about 2,000 people in 1883.

Most of the damage was in the high part of the volcanic island. Hotels and residences on the coast did not appear to suffer serious damage but fire brigades were checking to see if they were still habitable.

The island has a year-round population of about 63,000, which swells to more than 200,000 in summer, with many people from the mainland owning holiday homes.

Civil Protection Department head Angelo Borrelli said about 2,600 people could not re-enter their homes, pending checks.

Helicopters and a ferry boat brought in more rescue workers from the mainland. Some civil protection squads were already on the island because of brushfires.

Three extra ferries were provided during the night for about 1,000 residents and tourists who wanted to leave. As daylight broke, dozens of people went to the island’s ports, having decided to end their vacations early.

Many who were due to take ferries from Naples on the mainland to start their vacations cancelled their plans, local officials said.

Ischia, about a one-hour ride from Naples, is popular with German tourists, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has stayed there often.

Reuters /**/

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

Sticky

Clear skies: Blackall-Tambo mayor Andrew Martin is looking forward to the day when, rather than searching for a signal, he can operate his business “in the cloud”.Residents of the Blackall-Tambo region are on the cusp of a technological shake-up its leaders say will be the envy of regional communities around Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

An exhaustive search by the region’s mayor for a communications solution to what he described as an “unreliable and expensive” satellite internet service has led to the announcement of a partnership with South Western Wireless for the provision of “superfast internet”.

“The fast backhaul offered by this idea would allow a company as big as BHP to set up here,” mayor Andrew Martin said. “It’s a blueprint for remote communities around the world to have the option of very fast internet.”

Although the bold project is not yet fully funded –it relies on a $500,000 grant from the federal Building Better Regions fund to become reality –Cr Martin is confident it will succeed.

“The applications are all intertwined, every level of government is aware of the other parts,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a fait accompli but it’s unusual for these sorts of things not to get full support.”

The Blackall-Tambo Regional Council committed $125,000 to the project in its 2017-18 budget, to be used in conjunction with $500,000 from the state government’s Building Our Regions fund.

The scheme uses optic fibre cableat Barcaldine, bypassing Telstra’s fibre running through both Blackall and Tambo, and 24‘point to point’ microwave towers to transmit a wireless signal equally around the region.

As well as internet packages, even the most remote resident will be able to choose whether to continue with existing landline services or move to Voice Over Internet Protocols, and possibly use their mobile phone via wifi hotspots.

The 20-year deal will be hosted and maintained by South Western Wireless at no cost to the council.

“For the first time, people living on properties will be waiting for technology to catch up,” Cr Martin said.

The offering doesn’t stop there –not only will government departments, especially emergency services, be offered use of the network for no charge, grey nomads will be able to pull into laybys in the region and access wifi hotspots.

Council’s existing infrastructure will be upgraded, including rebroadcast capability for digital television and radio, UHF repeaters, and even its telephony services.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach, described it as the BTRC Metro Area.

“Wifi hotspots and emergency telephones will be deployed at council’s roadside amenities stops to provide communications for travellers and monitoring of equipment at the sites using CCTV and other remote monitoring equipment.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach

The scheme is an opt-in one, meaning people can choose to stay with their SkyMuster retail service provider or Telstra service but Mr Peach expected that 80 per cent of the shire’s residents would say they weren’t happy with their current service.

He is callingon organisations to offer services, based on the speeds and prices on offer.

As a vertically integrated organisation, it’s the subscriptions from users and companies with add-on services that South Western Wireless relieson for its profit.

“People on the network can have their telephones provided by us as well –it’s a whole of communications solution,” Geoff said.“People will be able to import their telephone number –everything is identical from the point of view of the subscriber.”

Geoff described South Western Wireless as the first company to bring in a facility that “deals with the needs of a whole region in one hit”.

“I think this will bring people back, and stop people from leaving,” he said.

Cr Martin has similar high hopes. He used the example of rural businesses not being able to use a custom-designed world-acclaimed accounting package on current internet systems, and shifting their businesses elsewhere.

“People are currently paying $90 a month for internet that’s sometimes unusable.”

Geoff expected they would start deploying infrastructure before the middle of August and hoped to have the first dozen of 24 towers in operation before Christmas.

Ongoing tower maintenance will be provided by South Western Wireless.

Two other councils have already asked for a similar deal for their communities.

Queensland Country Life

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Your photos from Book Week 2017 Bethanie Lloyd (K/1P) as Moana and Reinhard Lloyd (5B) as Grug
Nanjing Night Net

Book week at Fennell Bay. The staff were all dressed as Things with the Cat in the Hat.

Halle and Leearna Clemente from Cardiff south public school

Year 5 and 6 teachers at Kurri Public School went as characters from Lord of the Rings!

Charlize & Ryder – St Michaels Nelson Bay

Lillian and Bailey Knox from Holy Spirit Kurri Kurri and Abermain.

BOOK WEEK: There were plenty of exciting costumes at KSPS.

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Cessnock High School

Isobel (Newcastle East PS) went as Felipe the cactus (from the book Hug Me). Her dad made her outfit with cable ties and pipe cleaners.

FUN: Jacob Carroll dressed up as the Monster Truck Maximum Destruction or Max D for short at Merewether Heights Public School 2017.

Room on the Broom witch

Oscar Swan from Kindergarten Merriwa Central School

Sienna – Year 5 at Wirreanda P.S dressed as Hermione Grange from Harry Potter!

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Book week at Belmont public school

Thing 1 and Pocahontas

Reinhard Lloyd (5B) as Grug

Picture: Pennie Looker

Oscar Arnold from Kotara South Public School. Class 4G, dressed as Diary of a wimpy kid.

Picture: Casey Wynne Maliszewski

Picture: Erin Lavender

Bethanie Lloyd (K/1P) as Moana

BOOK WEEK: There were plenty of exciting costumes at KSPS.

Reinhard Lloyd (5B) as Grug

BOOK WEEK: There were plenty of exciting costumes at KSPS.

BOOK WEEK: There were plenty of exciting costumes at KSPS.

Picture: Emmie Price

Picture: Michelle Price

BOOK WEEK: Jace Grainger year 4 as The Man From Snowy River and Jai Grainger as Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox both of Kitchener Public School

BOOK WEEK: Hinton Public School, Lachlan as Jack Sparrow, Alina as Twilight Sparkle, Nic as Quicksilver and Tim as Harry Potter.

BOOK WEEK: Kindy Teachers Rutherford Public School

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK: Crikey! Here is Millah Winsor aged 6, dressed as Steve Irwin for his book week at TPS.

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Cessnock High School

BOOK WEEK: Maxwell Smith, class KS at Abermain Public School, dressed as an explorer

BOOK WEEK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Singleton Christian College

BOOK WEEK: Maxwell Smith, class KS at Abermain Public School, dressed as an explorer

BOOK WEEK: Amelia went dressed as The Very Hungry Caterpillar one day Peter Rabbit another day.

BOOK WEEK: Amelia went dressed as The Very Hungry Caterpillar one day Peter Rabbit another day.

BOOK WEEK: Amelia went dressed as The Very Hungry Caterpillar one day Peter Rabbit another day.

BOOK WEEK: Amelia went dressed as The Very Hungry Caterpillar one day Peter Rabbit another day.

BOOK WEEK: Eight-year-oldAlecia, who is in year 3 at Merewether public school, dressed up as Hermione Grainger from the Harry Potter books

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Aberdeen Public School celebrates Book Week 2016. Picture: Betina Hughes

BOOK WEEK: Rohan Freeman, Holy Spirit Abermain, dressed as an army soldier

BOOK WEEK: This is 6-year-old Olivia. She will be wearing this on Tuesday. She has been calling everyone possum since she tried it on.

BOOK WEEK: School children across the Cessnock region have been caught up in the magical land of literature this week as the Cessnock City Library toured local schools ahead of Book Week 2016.

Picture: Kimberly Johnson

BOOK WEEK: (back to front) Kathy Viner, Bella Martin, Robyn Norris, Elijah Inwood, Jayden Berry, Euan Gardiner, Lily Everett, Gemma Hicks, Noah Martin, Jay Matheson and Sarah Smith from Dungog

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

St Aloysius Chisholm Book Week Parade 2015

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Robyn Farrell

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Robyn Farrell

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Jennifer Armstrong

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Jennifer Armstrong

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Rhianna Hernando

Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Melita Lockwood

Wonder Woman Grahamstown Public School. Picture: Jennifer Armstrong

Grahmastown Public School. Picture: Bec Bartush

St Michael’s Primary School, Nelson Bay.

St Michael’s Primary School, Nelson Bay.

St Michael’s Primary School, Nelson Bay.

TweetFacebook Book Week in the HunterBook Week celebrates the magic ofintroducing young mindsto the adventures of reading. Each yearschools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and children celebrate Australian children’s literature.

This year’s theme isEscape to Everywhere and encourages kids to jump inside the pages of their favorite books.

With book parades taking place across the Hunter we want to see your best Book Week costumes!

We arecalling on all schools and parents celebrating Book Week to submit their photos forour gallery.

Submissions can be made to [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.
Nanjing Night Net

Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

The bulls seem to have taken back some control here and while we saw some positive flow and traders veering towards risk assets in Asia yesterday, we expect another positive session ahead and traders adding to risk.

1. China: The Chinese equity markets look interesting as a trade and the message on the ground in China is becoming somewhat more optimistic, with a certain confidence from authorities that they have curbed the level of outflows from the economy. One just has to look at the decline in USD/CNH (Chinese yuan) from late June to see a visual representation of this trade and while the USD has been weak on a broad basis, there have been there have been good flows into CNH and we even heard commentary from a PboC advisor yesterday that the pair may hit 6.500. Which, in effect, would be the strongest levels relative to the USD since May 2016. Stay long China H-shares, A-50 cash or CSI 300 and add to exposures on a breakout of the recent highs.

Another way to play this is through the EEM ETF (iShares Emerging Markets ETF), which has closed up 1.2% and is extremely close to breaking above the 8 August high of $44.58. Happy to add exposures on a daily close through this high on a momentum view and the concept of buying high and selling higher.

2. MIners shining: Mining stocks are having their time in the sun and while BHP closed up 2.1% in London, we can see a strong performance from mining sector in US trade. Again, we can look at ETF’s here and see the XME ETF (SPDR S&P metals and mining) gaining a sizeable 2% and this bodes well for the Aussie equity open.

3. Wall Street: The S&P 500 by way of leads is the backbone of the feel good factor, with strong gains in the NASDAQ (+1.4%) and Russell 2000 (+1.1%). The S&P 500 was looking vulnerable to downside yesterday but has held the 100-day moving average (currently 2419) and we have pushed back above last Friday’s low of 2432. A break above 2475 (the 17 August high) and we start talking new all-time highs again in the worlds institutional equity benchmark and it seems the bulls have latched onto an article in Politico around tax reform in the US. The cynics among us would still suggest the details of the article are too optimistic, but the headline “Trump’s team is said to make strides on tax reform plan” have seemingly thrown some lift back into the market and with the main players apparently holding a consensus on a plan, then perhaps, just perhaps, the Trump administration could deliver on one of its objectives. ‘Buy the dip’ is apparently not dead.

4. Europe: Aside from solid gains in equities, not just in the US, but in Europe too (the German DAX closed up 1.4%), we have seen a tightening of high yield credit spreads, while US treasuries have seen modest selling across the curve (the US 10-year treasury sits +4 basis points at 2.21%). The 2′-10’s treasury yield curve has steepened a touch, and the moves in fixed income have underpinned a 0.5% gain in the USD index.

5. Greenback: USD/JPY has built on the gains we saw yesterday and clearly the market has defended the ??108.82 low I spoke about yesterday and that seems important. AUD/USD traded as high as $0.7951 through Asia trade yesterday but has found sellers easier to come by and is testing Friday’s low of $0.7910. A close through here and the pair prints a bearish key day reversal and opens up a possibility of a move lower. Naturally in this environment, we have seen implied volatility crushed and we are staring at the US Volatility Index (“VIX”) trading down to 11.5%.

6. ASX: Following moves in the S&P 500 futures, SPI futures were trading at 5712 when the ASX 200 officially closed at 16:10 aest and given they reside at 5741 now we are calling the ASX 200 to open at 5775, a gain of 25 points. SPI futures will be interesting today, as a further follow-through buying from local traders and we start to focus on the 17 August highs of 5772, although I would be fading moves here as a short-term trade, with this also taking the ASX 200 back into the top end of the 14-week trading range. Certainly one to watch, but with the Nikkei 225 like to feed off USD/JPY moves and open around 19,483 (+100p) and China in bullish mode there are reasons for traders to buy today’s ASX 200 open.

7. Reporting season: It’s another busy day on the earnings front with names like CCL, IAG, QUB, SGR, SRX, TRS, VOC and WOW reporting numbers. These names are unlikely to be a huge influence on the broader index, but I’d expect some interest from equity focused clients here. As mentioned, it’s the materials space which will likely get the bulk of the attention, but while US equity has provided a strong lead keep in mind spot iron ore closed -0.4%, while Dalian iron ore futures are down around 4%. We should see some buying in energy, with US crude gaining 0.6% on the session. Copper is up a touch at 0.2%, while gold is down 0.5% on the day and has held in well given the moves in USD/JPY.

8. Market watch:

SPI futures up 24 points or 0.4% to 5737

AUD -0.4% to 79.11 US cents (Overnight range: 0.7898 – 0.7951)

On Wall St, Dow 0.9%, S&P 500 +1%, Nasdaq +1.4%

In New York, BHP +1.2%, Rio +2.1%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.9%, FTSE +0.9%, CAC +0.9%, DAX +1.4%

Spot gold -0.5% to $US1285.52 an ounce

Brent crude +0.4% to $US51.87 a barrel

Iron ore -0.4% to $US79.65 a tonne

Dalian iron ore -4.3% to 576 yuan

LME aluminium -0.3% to $US2075 a tonne

LME copper -0.1% to $US6580 a tonne

10-year bond yield: US 2.21%, Germany 0.40%, Australia 2.64%

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

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Jason Groves (right) President of Liberals Abroad UK entered into a civil union with his partner in 2011. Photo: SuppliedLondon: Liberal party members living in the United Kingdom have declared their official support for the “yes” campaign in the postal survey on same-sex marriage.
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The declaration from Australian Liberals Abroad – UK makes it one of the first officially affiliated Coalition party groups to declare its support for change, despite strong opposition from party conservatives and many elected MPs, including former prime minister Tony Abbott.

President Jason Groves, who is gay, told Fairfax Media the organisation polled its members, comprising about 100, to ask if the organisation should take a position and if so, what that position should be.

Every response was in favour of backing the yes campaign and the executive committee’s decision was also unanimous. Mr Groves said he was not surprised by the outcome.

“In a country where same-sex marriage is legal, and no longer in any way controversial, it makes complete sense,” he said.

He declined to criticise Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to hold the postal survey in the first place, a tactic condemned by Australian Marriage Equality, the leading group campaigning for same-sex marriage.

He said Mr Turnbull, who personally supports same-sex marriage and has previously argued Parliament should decide the matter, had been clear about the plebiscite before the last election.

“I’d rather we got on with it and focused on winning,” he said.

The latest Newspoll found 55 per cent of Coalition voters supported changing the law to allow same-sex marriage, 39 per cent opposed it and 9 per cent had no opinion. The same poll found 63 per cent of voters overall in Australia supported the change. UK an example

Mr Groves pointed to the UK, where same-sex marriage was legalised by the Conservatives under David Cameron in 2013 and came into effect in 2015. Mr Cameron recently told PinkNews that the passage of the legislation was one of his “proudest achievements.”

“Marriage is a great institution and I have long believed that it should be there for everybody; it now is and Britain led the way,” Mr Cameron said.

Mr Groves said Mr Cameron’s success had been won by effective campaigning and taking the country with him on the issue.

He said many of the claims made by critics of same-sex marriage in the UK at the time, and currently in Australia, about potential wider effects of changing the meaning of marriage, had failed to materialise.

“The only effect is that more people have got married,” he said.

But he said it was vital to address concerns raised by religious organisations and honour their right to practise their faith, including the right to refuse to marry gay couples.

“There is a conservative argument for same-sex marriage,” he said. ‘People are on long journeys’

Mr Groves entered into a civil union with his partner in 2011, seven years after they began their relationship. He attended a same-sex marriage on the weekend and said the newlyweds and guests expressed their disbelief that gay marriage had happened in their lifetimes.

“Even the two young grooms said that they couldn’t believe when they were adolescents they’d ever be able to do this,” he said.

“Many guests who come to these ceremonies also would never have thought they would attend, let alone celebrate, the marriage of two people of the same sex. But all you have is joy and happiness, just like at any wedding.”

Britian decriminalised homosexuality 50 years ago but sodomy was not completely eliminated as a crime in Australia until as recently as 1997.

“We shouldn’t forget just how far and quickly attitudes have rapidly changed, people are on long journeys,” he said. Plea to enrol

Australians have until the end of Thursday to enrol to vote. Unlike regular elections, voting in the postal survey is not compulsory.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is managing the survey and will begin posting the survey form to those enrolled over a two-week period from September 12.

Voters have until close of business on Friday 7 November 2017 to return their forms to the ABS.

But Australians overseas will be allowed to vote online.

“This method will be made available only to Australians overseas,” the ABS said.

“Eligible Australians in these categories will be able to request a secure access code from the ABS. The secure access code is then used to provide a survey response.”

It is estimated that about 87,000 Australians live in the United Kingdom, and Mr Groves urged those old enough to vote to check they had not fallen off the electoral roll.

In the 2013 election, 15,000 votes were registered at Australia House.

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The NSW coalition is spending up to $5 million a year more on political staff since it came to power, analysis of new figures shows, despite campaigning on a mantra of leaner government.
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In the first financial year after the Coalition took office, 2011-12, the government had about 185 full-time-equivalent political staff. That number now stands at about 203 full-time staff.

By the end of June that put the government’s total staff bill at between $25.5 million and $31 million.

Including adjustments for inflation, that amounts to an increase in the government’s political staff costs of between $3 million and $5.5 million since it took power, according to calculations by Fairfax Media.

Precise numbers about the government’s spending on staff cannot be calculated because the department publishes only salary bands, not exact salaries.

About 35 staffers receive the top salary band of between $150,000 and $300,000, or nine more than in the final year of the previous Labor government, according to the opposition’s waste watch committee spokesman Hugh McDermott.

“I think most people would be shocked to know that [Gladys Berejiklian] has loaded up her ministry with political operatives that are paid between two and four times the average NSW wage,” Mr McDermott said.

He accused the Premier of using public money to buy “political muscle”.

But the Premier said she had kept ministerial staff lower than the past Labor government had in the 2010-11 financial year.

“Labor should take a look at their own records,” she said. “The total ministerial staff budget for the current ministry is the same as the budget for the last Baird ministry, despite having 23 ministers compared to 22.

“The total ministerial staffing budget is less than Labor’s last ministerial staffing budget.”

Ms Berejiklian employs about 28 full-time-equivalent staff, only slightly more than former premier Barry O’Farrell.

But the Premier’s staff includes 10 people on salaries in the top band of up to $300,000 including senior media advisers and chiefs of staff, or double the number in Mr O’Farrell’s office during 2012 financial year, according to department figures.

But Ms Berejiklian noted the total number of staff receiving the top pay grade across the government had remained “virtually unchanged” and that ministerial staff wage growth was subject to the same 2.5 per cent wage cap the government had brought in for public servants.

Only six government staffers are in the bottom salary band of between $47,000 and $63,000, according to figures published by the Premier’s Department annually.

Ms Berejiklian’s top counsellors include former journalists cum advisers including Clive Mathieson and Ehssan Veiszadeh, as well as Mr O’Farrell’s former top spinner Brad Burden, who has rejoined politics under the title “Director, Government and Stakeholder”.

Ms Berejiklian took over the reins of power only at the beginning of the year following the resignation of former premier Mike Baird.

But in her former role as treasurer she argued that governments “should be as small and as efficient as possible to ensure resources are dedicated where they are needed most”.

The Coalition also introduced a controversial 2.5 per cent cap on pay increases for public servants upon taking power in 2011, sparking mass demonstrations.

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It’s made with “vine-ripened tomatoes” and crammed with “delicious and plump” olives, but Barilla’s Olive pasta sauce has been found to contain 90 times more salt than other options.
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An analysis of 2215 cooking sauce products sold in the major supermarkets in the past seven years by researchers at the George Institute for Global Health has found a massive variation in salt levels.

It showed Barilla’s Olive sauce was packed with 1.88 grams of salt per 100 grams – more than 90 times the amount in the best option, Tenuta Fragassi’s Napoletana pasta sauce.

“A fresh pasta sauce from the supermarket refrigerator contains almost a third of a daily salt intake in the sauce alone; add cheese and you could be blowing the family’s salt intake to well over the maximum daily limit,” said Clare Farrand, a nutritionist at the George Institute.

“The food industry [must] reduce the amount of salt … to the lowest possible levels immediately to save the maximum number of lives.”

Australians are currently consuming double the World Health Organisation’s recommended daily salt intake of 5 grams a day and showing the consequences, with a third of adults living with high blood pressure.

The study found the saltiest powder-based sauces were made by McCormick (for example, its Garlic & Rosemary Lamb Shanks has 22.38g of salt per 100g) and the saltiest, non-pasta meal-based sauces were made by Pandaroo (its Ezy Asian Thai Stirfry Sauce is loaded with 5.63g of salt per 100g) and Ayam.

Ms Farrand said cooking sauces were one of the highest contributors of salt to the diet, alongside bread, breakfast cereal and processed meat, and reducing the salt content could “improve the health of the nation”.

While the data showed food manufacturers had slowly cut the amount of salt in pasta sauces by 27 per cent since 2010, in line with national salt reduction targets, there were no significant drops in the past two years.

“These results show us that manufacturers can produce these products with much less salt, and we need all manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt to the lowest possible level,” said Ms Farrand.

The study was released to mark the launch of the “Unpack the Salt” campaign, led by VicHealth and the Heart Foundation.

Kellie-Ann Jolly, chief executive of Heart Foundation Victoria, said high blood pressure could lead to a stroke or heart attack.

“We know in a number of foods the salt is hidden, and you can’t see the added salt or taste it, which means you’re unaware of how much salt you’re actually eating,” she said.

“We’ve launched ‘Unpack the Salt’ to help consumers understand the health impacts and to help families reduce their salt intake helping them read labels, giving recipes and tips and tricks.”

McCormick Foods Australia said its “Recipe Base” products were designed to “provide a convenient flavour solution” with the nutritional value of the total meal in mind.

“McCormick will also be reviewing the salt content in our range, and work towards reducing the levels of salt,” Paris Golden, its commercial director, said.

“McCormick welcomes the opportunity to work with the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership to discuss strategies to help us work toward reducing the salt content in our products.”

Barilla said it had improved the nutritional value of 219 products since 2010, including by reducing salt.

“This is an ongoing process as guidelines evolve and Barilla continues to work to adhere to its commitment on all its products and categories, in all markets it operates,” a spokesman said.

The study also showed on average the salt content of non-pasta, meal-based sauces (for example stir fry, taco and curry sauces) had increased by 29 per cent in the past seven years. Some products contained 10 times more than others.

Black bean/Asian sauces had the highest average salt content, with Ayam’s Pad Thai Stir Fry sauce containing 4.64g per 100g.

Jerril Rechter, head of VicHealth, said: “It’s critical we raise awareness of the dangers of hidden salt in packaged foods to help consumers make the healthy choice for their families,” she said. Shopping tipsTo reduce salt in your diet and for your family, it’s important to know how to check the amount of sodium listed on packaged foods. Use the ‘per 100g’ column to compare the sodium content of different brandsFor cooking sauces, look at the label and aim for less than 400mg sodium per 100gWhen using packaged sauces from the supermarket, try using less – for example, use only half of the packet or jar to reduce the amount of salt you will eat. You can always top up with extra herbs, and vegetablesThe best way to reduce salt is to eat more fresh foods and reduce your reliance on processed and packaged foodsSee unpackthesalt南京夜网419论坛

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It’s an unforeseen peril of dramatic architecture – a building meant to inspire awe that instead triggers minor panic.
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In the Pathumwan district of Thailand’s capital last week, the removal of some scaffolding from a 30-storey luxury hotel, the Rosewood Bangkok, sparked fear among city dwellers, as the building appeared to be leaning to one side.

The Bangkok Post reported that photos of the building were widely shared after they were posted on Twitter, with concerns expressed that the Rosewood was on the verge of tipping over onto an adjacent apartment block, the Noble Ploenchit.

But after local police received complaints and sent officers to investigate, they established that it was just an optical illusion created by the new hotel’s distinctive architectural design.

“We have found out that the rumours are not true. It’s just that this building is designed differently from others,” Superintendent Pol Lt-Colonel Duangchot Suwancharas told The Nation.

The building’s “lean” extends from the 10th floor to the 33rd floor, but it is only external.

The social media swarm also prompted the project’s technical director, Dr Assawin Wanichkorkul, to hurry to the site to confirm nothing was wrong. An artist’s impression of the Rosewood Bangkok. Source: KPF.

The shape of the Rosewood is inspired by the Thai greeting known as the “wai”, and its two connected towers will provide “opportunities for terraces, shrinking floorplates, and unique, occupiable spaces”, according to the project website.

Construction is due to be completed and the hotel ready to open in 2019. #Bangkok – #Noble#Ploenchit – Design of building is misleading (Thai) https://t.co/rhkmGQELM4#NotLeaningTowerofBangkok??? Incident Alerts (@Incident_Alerts) August 15, 2017Downtown panic as new building seems to tilt https://t.co/IQOKk25XGQpic.twitter南京夜网/GBOhoqUxaO??? Bangkok Post (@BangkokPostNews) August 15, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →

I’m on a hunt for Wonga Park’s rich and reclusive. Two things are for sure. The first: I won’t find them at The Village Centre. This small brown-bricked shopping strip once housed a butcher, a baker, a candle stick… Okay you get the picture.
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Let’s make that a supermarket, post office, hair and beauty shop and the obligatory fish and chips shop. Now it’s an eerily abandoned strip. Printed letters, obviously posted hastily on the aforementioned doors, announce that their leases were up. It seems that suddenly, two years ago, the shopkeepers were forced outta there.

The second thing that’s for sure: the rich and reclusive are not hanging at Jumping Creek Reserve. The only person hanging around Sandy Bay Carpark midday mid-week is a possibly dodgy dude ringing my “don’t get out of your car” alarm bells. There’s no way I’m tackling the Jumping Creek Nature Trail (two kilometre, 30-60 mins return) and I quickly move on.

The Jumping Creek part of Warrandyte State Forest Park borders Warrandyte, while the other side of Wonga Park borders Bend of Islands. Croydon and the shopping mecca of Ringwood are not far away.

Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Bend of Islands have one thing linking them: the Yarra River. While Warrandyte’s village fronts the beautiful expanse of brown, Wonga Park’s access is a little more discrete.

So how do you find it? You can scout around aimlessly, past mansions hidden up driveways with grand, locked gates, only to come face to face with “no access to river!” signs, or you can ask someone who knows. “Turn left, and left again!” says Lisa from the warm oasis of Kellybrook Winery.

Kellybrook is one of the best surprises of Wonga Park. This winery is a blast of warmth on a cold day, a haven in a suburb that really doesn’t have too many highlights. Here you can taste an exhausting variety of wines, and pick up local foodie goodies for a picnic. They grow pinot noir, cabernet, shiraz, sav blanc, chardonnay and gewurztraminer on site, and have a ripping range of apple ciders, including apple brandy ($80 a bottle) for sale. Related: A suburb not famous for anythingRelated: Secret suburb you’ve never heard ofRelated: Baristas, this suburb needs you

And they can tell you how to find the non-signposted Yarra. Immediately, Wittons Reserve feels like a special place. It’s traditional Wurundjeri Women Country, and a sign lets visitors know that this is a sacred spot and that a re-enactment of a traditional Women’s Ceremony was held here in 2014.

There’s a gathering of other sorts here today: of BMWs and late model Volvos. Is this where the rich and reclusive come out to play? It’s the starting point of the Mt Lofty Hill Walk (five kilometres, one and a half hours, according to Manningham Council’s brochure) and I wish I’d brought my trail-running shoes. Others are out running, and walking, and being serenaded by kookaburras and currawongs.

Some way in, there’s a signposted swimming spot. The Yarra is churning up, flashing white water out of the brown. It’s quiet, no one’s around. Just the noise of the river, the background of old gums and tea-trees.

I ponder that this suburb is one of the few actually named after an Aboriginal leader (Simon Wonga). There’s something special, and dare we call, it, sacred, about this place, just forty minutes from Melbourne. Maybe this is the rich and reclusive we were looking for.

Five things you didn’t know about Wonga Park: Every fourth Saturday of the month (this Saturday) Wonga Park Primary hosts the Wonga Park Farmers Market. It’s on from 9am-2pm.Every last Sunday of the month (this Sunday) Kellybrook Winery has free music with a local band.Into the #waronwaste? Apiary Made is made in Wonga Park. As well as making medical-grade honey, they make pretty and reuseable food wraps from wax collected from bees that buzz around Kellybrook Winery.The Scouts have an almost 20-hectare property in Wonga Park called Clifford Park. It’s not all running and jumping in nature, though; they run electronics workshops for Scouting groups, too.Apparently permits have lapsed for renovations for The Village Centre, but goodies (and petrol) can be bought from the mixed business shop on Yarra Road, or the Foodworks on Jumping Creek Road.

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A fierce battle over disused laneways in Melbourne’s northern suburbs has led to accusations Darebin council is trying to sell off residents’ backyards, pitting pensioners against cashed-up developers.
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The policy affects 4000 homes backing onto 30 kilometres of disused laneways in 10 suburbs, including Preston, Reservoir, Coburg, Northcote, Fairfield and Thornbury, and involves council trying to sell parcels of laneway to adjoining properties.

Owners who have had sections of laneway fully enclosed in their property for decades have been shocked to receive council notices saying that part of what they believed to be their back garden must be split between neighbours, or sold off to the highest bidder.

Greg Goldenberg, a Reservoir resident who successfully battled to save his garden, says other residents have lost large sections of backyards they had used exclusively for up to 40 years because council had claimed full rights to the land.

“The council said if the land was sold to someone else, and the resident refused to vacate, they would forcibly take the land, relocate the fences, and charge for the exercise,” he says.

Former Darebin councillor Bo Li accused the council of “placing 70-year-old pensioners against cashed-up developers who see a 10-metre strip of land that’s worth a lot of money to them, because it means they can build an extra unit”.

Documents provided to Fairfax Media show council giving residents incorrect legal advice and pressuring them to buy sections of laneway it didn’t actually own, because the titles were still held by long dead 18th or early 19th century subdividers. Related: Squatter makes adverse possession bidRelated: What price a Melbourne laneway?Related: Laneway masterstroke in Fitzroy renovation

The documents also show council officers enforcing the policy two years before council voted to adopt it.

After distressing arguments with council, a growing number of residents are using adverse possession laws that enable them to gain ownership of a disused laneway if it has been fenced inside their property for 15 years or more.

“There are three major cases other than mine that were won in exactly the same way, and there would be at least 24 other adverse possession claims still going through the titles office within the Darebin area alone,” Goldenberg says.

“The council used what were effectively bullying tactics and some local pensioners lost backyards they’d looked after for many decades.”

Northcote resident Andrew Schudmak was shocked when told part of his property enclosed for more than 30 years would be auctioned off.

“Slicing off three metres at the side of my property would drastically reduce its value and visual appeal and require the demolition of my garage,” he says. “The council’s policy deliberately sets neighbour against neighbour and has caused huge distress.”

Schudmak says after the council refused his offer of $40,000 for the land, he was able to gain title by adverse possession at far less expense.

Arthur Stabolidis of Reservoir, another successful adverse possessor, tells a similar story. “The agent who sold me the house didn’t point out that 75 square meters of the land was marked as a road on the Section 32 papers,” he says.

“When I talked to councillors, they said I could be up for $75,000, that the land would be either sold between neighbours or go to the highest bidder if we couldn’t agree, and that I’d need to pay the costs of removing trees and replacing fences.”

Darebin mayor Kim Le Cer – elected to council last year – did not respond to questions about council’s past actions, but described the current policy as “problematic and inconsistent with community expectations”.

“I am concerned the review called for in 2015 has not already taken place, and have been reassured by officers today that consultation will now urgently take place in order to revise the policy,” she said.

Phillip Leaman, of Tisher Liner FC Law, a leading expert on adverse possession, advises people to seek legal advice before responding to council offers to sell them unused roads, old laneways or reserves that are enclosed within their properties.

“In many cases, residents can acquire the land without paying the council anything,” he says. “Even if they have only owned the property for a short time, it’s possible to prove previous owners have had the land enclosed for decades.”

The Victorian Titles Office says it receives an average of 200 adverse possession claims a year, and that usually only 25 of them are either rejected or withdrawn.

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I found the perfect house. It has four bedrooms, a study, a freshly renovated kitchen and a laundry the size of a carport. And a carport. It has a huge garden and a swing set.
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It didn’t just tick all the boxes on my “deal-breaker” list – it ticked boxes I didn’t even know I had. I was mentally unpacking our moving boxes before I reached the end of the photos. The best bit? We could afford it.

Of course there was a catch. The dream house, as I came to call it, wasn’t exactly in our desired postcode. It wasn’t even close. Living in the dream house would mean packing up our inner-west rental and moving 90 kilometres to the Blue Mountains.

There were lots of reasons to go for it. Comparing the dream house with similarly priced property in the inner-west was mind-boggling. Looking to buy in our current neighbourhood would probably mean squeezing our family into a two-bedroom unit, and even then we would be pushing the mortgage a little further than we comfortably want to go.

On paper it seemed like a no-brainer and I decided it would be crazy not to move to an area that we can afford. I felt the tug of the dream house and envisioned family life within its walls. The four of us around the kitchen table, the kids running wild in the garden, walking the dog (who would surely join our family once we had the space) and working from home. Everything would be perfect.

The Blue Mountains has a lot to offer. The scenery is magnificent and there are countless activities for outdoor family fun. Townships such as Leura, Wentworth Falls and Katoomba are heaving with cafes and shops and, despite the obvious tourism, there is a strong community vibe.

It’s a decision that many families have been weighing up. Although property prices in the Blue Mountains are increasing (the region has seen 12.5 per cent price growth over the past year), they are still attractive compared to Sydney prices. On top of this, transport links have improved and developments such as the new airport will bring more jobs to the area.

In my little dream-house fantasy we were all really happy living in the Blue Mountains. And maybe making the move would have been great. But my heart just wasn’t in it. Every time I found myself talking about a tree change I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Related: I made a sea-change at 25Related: The realities of living in the countryRelated: The new generation of country-dwellers

I suppose I am a city girl. I like to be near the action. I enjoy the fact that I can walk to local cafes, shops and the gym in under 10 minutes and only drive if I really have to.

My children are very happy and settled at their inner-west primary school and the thought of dragging them away from their friends made me sad. I know that had we gone the other way they would have adapted and made new friends, but staying put means preserving the friendships they’ve been cultivating since pre-school.

A tree change would have also given my husband a major commute. There are ways of lessening the blow; working from home a few days a week, working on the train and potentially sleeping in the city one night a week. But the cost to family life would be high.

Most importantly, for me, I couldn’t bring myself to leave my network. Since moving to Sydney (from London) 10 years ago I’ve had six different addresses in four different suburbs and I’ve never felt as settled as I do now. And it’s my community of friends and neighbours who make me feel at home. Yes, I could build a new network – but when I weighed the life we have now to the life we could have my instincts told me to stick.

I deleted the dream house from my Domain favourites and removed the Blue Mountains from my search criteria. If staying in the inner-west means downsizing then so be it – our home might be (a lot) smaller than it could be, but our hearts will be full.

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More than a year after a monster storm swallowed 50 metres of Collaroy Beach and destroyed beachfront homes, one of the locals has returned his house to the property market.
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The campaign to sell builder Patrick Finlay’s two-storey house was interrupted on June 6 last year when huge waves and an eight metre king tide struck, leaving 10 houses that line the beachfront uninhabitable and at risk of falling into the sea.

Although there was no damage to Finlay’s house, which is set back from the beach, three of the 10 beachfront homes that bore the brunt of the destruction remain unoccupied 14 months later.

As locals hold out in hope the state government will give approval for a seawall to be built to protect the homes, work started this week to restore the balcony of the Beach Club Collaroy.

Finlay first listed his Pittwater Road property with a $3.6 million guide last year, having redesigned the house since he bought it in 2006 for $2 million.

The four-bedroom home, with separate living areas and a level rear lawn with direct beach access, is now set to go to auction on September 23. McGrath’s David Rothschild has a $4.2 million guide.

Fears the storm may have turned buyers off the beachfront look to have been baseless, after three contracts were issued within hours of the property hitting the internet on Monday.

Collaroy’s median house price has risen 9.7 per cent in the past 12 months, to a high of $2,277,500, according to Domain Data. Related: Coastal reforms on hold a year after stormRelated: Erosion swallows 50 metres of Collaroy, Narrabeen beachesRelated: Shifting storms under climate change to worsen

Another house sale on Collaroy Beach that was interrupted by the storm involved property owned by Spiro Toursounoglou. At the time, an asking price of $3 million for the three-level house was set before its planned June 15 auction.

However, it was withdrawn when the storm hit, and is not expected to return to the market in the immediate future.

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