Western Australian property developer Cedar Woods has posted a record net profit of $45.44 million after a bumper 12 months of sales.
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Net profit increased 4.2 per cent in the year to June 30 on the back of a 27 per cent surge in revenue to $222.26 million.

Cedar Woods managing director Paul Sadleir said the boost came from a 29 per cent increase in the volume of settled lots.

“That’s going to continue in the next few years. We’ve got some projects under construction in Adelaide and WA that aren’t yet providing revenue,” he said.

Pre-sales are also surging. Cedar Woods has booked $260 million in pre-sales which will settle in 2018 and 2019, a 40 per cent increase on the $184 million booked at the same time last year.

The WA-based developer has a pipeline of 11,358 units across 11 projects in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland covering housing estates, apartment and town house developments and some commercial operations.

There are no plans for an expansion into NSW, he said.

“We don’t need to be in Sydney. We have good representation across Australia – not that we wouldn’t go to Sydney if an opportunity came along but it’s a very hot market. We are doing land and medium-density projects and Sydney is more of a high-rise city which doesn’t suit our business model,” he said.

Earnings next year are expected to be skewed significantly to the second half of 2017-18 although first-half profit is expected to be higher than the same time last year.

Deals waiting to be booked include the Williams Landing office building sold to Centuria for $58 million. Retailer Target is shifting its workforce from Geelong to the eight-level suburban building. That sum will be booked after the building is completed in 2019.

Cedar Woods has also bought two new sites in Victoria: an 11-hectare, 135-lot development site in the new north-western suburb of Bonnie Brook, near Melton, cost $4.2 million. The company is also making its first foray into Melbourne’s inner-city market with the $9.8 million acquisition of a 1390-square-metre site in Leveson Street, North Melbourne.

The 18?? half-year distribution brings total dividends to the year to 30??, up from 28.5?? in the 2015-16 financial year.

Chief operating officer Nathan Blackburne, who has spearheaded the expansion into the eastern states, takes over as managing director next month as Mr Sadlier steps down.

Cedar Woods shares climbed 11?? to close at $5.20.

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 24: Number 4 draft pick Clayton Oliver during the 2015 AFL Draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre on November 24, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by David Mariuz/Fairfax Media)The ”t” word has reared its ugly head again in the second half of this season and is getting even more air time as Saturday’s mockbuster between the Brisbane Lions and North Melbourne draws closer.
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In case you’re wondering, the “t” word is “tanking”.

We haven’t heard much of tanking since the expansion clubs were introduced and dominated the early parts of four consecutive drafts.

But with the bottom two sides set to duke it out at the Gabba this weekend in a “loser takes all” match-up, the inevitable conspiracy theories have followed.

“Both clubs would be crazy to win and cost themselves the No.1 draft pick,” say the so-called modern footy pragmatists.

The thing is, though, there have been 31 national drafts and, except for Nick Riewoldt (2000), Adam Cooney (2003), Brendon Goddard (2002) and maybe Luke Hodge in 2001, the first pick in the draft hardly ever turns out to be the best player in the draft.

Don’t forget, dual Brownlow medallist Chris Judd was taken at pick three in 2001, so it’s debatable whether Hodge was the pick of the bunch that year.

If you have a top-five pick at your disposal, which the Lions and Kangaroos are guaranteed this year, there’s a good chance you’ll to land a player that turns out to be just as good as, if not better than, the No.1 pick.

So what is all the fuss about? Why would Brisbane and North do all they can to avoid victory on Saturday?

It doesn’t make sense.

Both clubs will be fielding very inexperienced teams and should be doing everything they can to secure a victory and drive home the behaviours and attitude demanded of a ruthless win-at-all-costs football club heading into the next pre-season.

Let’s use Melbourne as an example as they were the only club that was punished by the AFL for conduct that came closest to resembling tanking.

The Demons collected 14 top-20 picks between 2007 and 2014 but are only just emerging from one of the darkest periods in their history. Finally, after 11 years, they look set to return to the finals.

But all that supposed high-end talent did little to prevent Melbourne’s losing culture from bringing the famous club to its knees and if it wasn’t for the intervention of Paul Roos, who knows where the Demons would be right now?

Former North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw spoke passionately on Monday about his desire to see the Kangaroos avoid their first wooden spoon since 1972, saying the club wore the fact that they hadn’t “won” one in 45 years as a “badge of honour”.

“I will be very, very, very annoyed if there’s even a thought of the Kangaroos trying to achieve a wooden spoon,” Brayshaw told Triple M radio.

“They will be hellbent on winning that game of footy.

“They should be fighting with everything they’ve got to make sure that they get over Brisbane on the weekend.

“Pick one? Pick two? Who gives a stuff?”

Who gives a stuff, indeed.

If you look at the last few drafts, Clayton Oliver was selected at pick four in 2015, Christian Petracca was taken at pick two in 2014, Marcus Bontempelli went at No.4 in 2013 and Stephen Coniglio was picked at No.2 in 2011.

That’s enough proof in itself that “tanking” is a flawed concept and by all reports there isn’t that much separating this year’s top crop of talent in Cameron Rayner, Paddy Dow, Adam Cerra, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Darcy Fogarty and Jarrod Brander.

And, of course, Zach Merrett (pick 26), Lewis Taylor (28), Rory Lobb (29), Toby Nankervis (35), Tom Barrass (43), Riley Knight (46), Ben Brown (47), Orazio Fantasia (55), James Sicily (56) and Jayden Hunt (57) proved in 2013 alone that a swag of bargains can be available in the later rounds as well.

Top 5 picks at recent drafts

2016: 1. Andrew McGrath (Ess), 2. Tim Taranto (GWS), 3. Hugh McCluggage (BL), 4. Ben Ainsworth (GC), 5. Will Setterfield (GWS) – 6. Sam Petrevski-Seton (Carl), 18. Sam Powell-Pepper (PA), 21. Will Hayward (Syd), 46. Mitch Hannan (Melb), 49. Lewis Young (WB), 61. Tom Williamson (Carl)

2015: 1. Jacob Weitering (Carl), 2. Josh Schache (BL), 3. Callum Mills (Syd), 4. Clayton Oliver (Melb), 5. Darcy Parish (Ess) – 12. Charlie Curnow (Carl), 15. Daniel Rioli (Rich), 18. Jade Gresham (StK), 19. Ryan Burton (Haw), 25. Josh Dunkley (WB), 35. Marcus Adams (WB), 39. Rhys Mathieson (BL), 66. Sam Menegola (Geel), 68. Michael Hartley (Ess)

2014: 1. Paddy McCartin (StK), 2. Christian Petracca (Melb), 3. Angus Brayshaw (Melb), 4. Jarrod Pickett (GWS), 5. Jordan De Goey (Coll) – 6. Caleb Marchbank (GWS), 8. Peter Wright (GC), 10. Nakia Cockatoo (Geel), 14. Jake Lever (Adel), 24. Jack Steele (GWS), 26. Toby McLean (WB), 29. Touk Miller (GC), 43. Mitch McGovern (Adel), 45. Bailey Dale (WB), 46. Caleb Daniel (WB), 53. Oscar McDonald (Melb), 67. Dan Butler (Rich)

2013: 1. Tom Boyd (GWS), 2. Josh Kelly (GWS), 3. Jack Billings (StK), 4. Marcus Bontempelli (WB), 5. Kade Kolodjashnij (GC) – 9. Christian Salem (Melb), 11. Dom Sheed (WC), 13. Patrick Cripps (Carl), 23. Matt Crouch (Adel), 26. Zach Merrett (Ess), 28. Lewis Taylor (BL), 29. Rory Lobb (GWS), 35. Toby Nankervis (Syd), 43. Tom Barrass (WC), 46. Riley Knight (Adel), 47. Ben Brown (NM), 55. Orazio Fantasia (Ess), 56. James Sicily (Haw), 57. Jayden Hunt (Melb)

2012: 1. Lachie Whitfield (GWS), 2. Jonathan O’Rourke (GWS), 3. Lachie Plowman (GWS), 4. Jimmy Toumpas (Melb), 5. Jake Stringer (WB) – 6. Jack Macrae (WB), 7. Ollie Wines (PA), 18. Brodie Grundy (Coll), 41. Mason Wood (NM), 46. Tim Membrey (Syd), 81. Rory Atkins (Adel)

2011: 1. Jonathon Patton (GWS), 2. Stephen Coniglio (GWS), 3. Dom Tyson (GWS), 4. Will Hoskin-Elliott (GWS), 5. Matt Buntine (GWS) – 6. Chad Wingard (PA), 11. Toby Greene (GWS), 12. Sam Docherty (BL), 13. Taylor Adams (GWS), 14. Devon Smith (GWS), 30. Elliot Yeo (BL), 33. Bradley Hill (Haw), 57. Tory Dickson (WB), 58. Lachie Neale (Fre)

2010: 1. David Swallow (GC), 2. Harley Bennell (GC), 3. Sam Day (GC), 4. Andrew Gaff (WC), 5. Jared Polec (BL) – 8. Dyson Heppell (Ess), 11. Tom Lynch (GC), 14. Brodie Smith (Adel), 19. Isaac Smith (Haw), 33. Jeremy Howe (Melb), 40. Luke Parker (Syd), 53. Tom McDonald (Melb), 66. Paul Puopolo (Haw)

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Social Services Minister Christian Porter believes the new drug testing regime would ensure taxpayers’ money is not being used to fund addictions. Photo: Andrew MearesAs many as 1750 young people and job seekers in western Sydney will be drug-tested and face strict welfare quarantining measures as early as next year, should the Senate approve the government’s contentious welfare crackdown.
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Leading drug rehabilitation providers again rounded on the federal government on Tuesday over its proposed drug-testing trial, after it named Canterbury-Bankstown as the first of three locations where unemployed job seekers would be drug tested.

Matt Noffs, chief executive of the Noffs Foundation, Australia’s largest drug and alcohol treatment service provider for young people, said the trial would exacerbate drug-dependency and risk replicating the rampant drug-crime problem which ravaged Cabramatta during the 1990s.

“We are going to see a return to Cabramatta, but instead of Cabramatta it will be closer to the heart of the city,” he said.

“By taking away those supports from young people who are already in a cycle of drug dependence, you’re going to push them further to the brink. The easiest job they’re going to get is drug dealing.”

Announcing the trial in Bankstown on Tuesday, the Social Services Minister, Christian Porter, said the policy was “focused entirely on helping job seekers overcome drug problems” and was “not about penalising or stigmatising people who have a barrier to employment which is as serious as drug abuse”.

Under the two-year trial – a policy which was first unveiled in the May budget – 5000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance will be drug tested for illicit substances such as ice, ecstasy and marijuana across three locations.

Beginning as early as January, about 1750 people will be tested at a Centrelink centre or nearby facility in Canterbury-Bankstown over the two-year trial period.

Canterbury-Bankstown was chosen due to its high growth in welfare recipients – more than 5600 people began Newstart or Youth Allowance payments in the area last year – and an increased in ice-related hospitalisations in the area.

The trial is accompanied by strict income management measures. People who test positive to two drug tests will have 80 per cent of their welfare payment redirected to a cashless welfare card, which quarantines the money for use on essential goods and services such as groceries.

The Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge, said income management was a “proven and effective tool to help welfare recipients manage their money” and would limit the amount of money available to fund drug-using.

As part of the trial, the government has committed $10 million to fund treatment services for those jobseekers who test positive across the three sites.

However, for the trials to take place, the government will need to find support on the Senate crossbench to pass the legislation after Labor and the Greens declared their opposition.

Senator Nick Xenophon – who commands three votes – said his party was working constructively with the government on the proposal but expressed concern about some details.

“We haven’t got a closed mind to this but we want to make sure there are clear costings and outcomes and it’s about helping people rather than punching people,” Senator Xenophon said in a press conference.

He said he would prefer to see rehabilitation as a first step after a positive drug test – rather than the immediate enforcement of a cashless welfare card – and did not want the measure to be a “ticking the box exercise”.

Nadine Ezard, clinical director at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital alcohol and drug service, said the policy had been formulated without the advice of addiction medicine specialists and was unsupported by clinical evidence.

“This is the key question: can the government point to a single piece of evidence – here or overseas – that shows the likelihood of this approach succeeding? They can’t because it doesn’t exist,” Ms Ezard said.

“There’s been no clinical input in putting this policy together despite its potential impact on the health and well-being of people with substance use issues.

“By definition, people with severe substance use disorders are unable to modify their behaviour, even in the face of known negative consequences.”

Yvonne Bonomo, director of the department of addiction medicine at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said the trial was an expensive way of directing people towards addiction treatment.

“In 2015, the New Zealand government spent $1 million testing 8000 people, with only 22 testing positive – it was not a cost-effective use of precious resources,” she said.

“A much less expensive and more effective approach would be to use the already existing flags within the welfare payments system – which indicate when someone is struggling with their drug and alcohol use – and support these people to access health services in a timely way.”

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Strong support for mining stocks helped the sharemarket snap a three-day run of losses, as BHP reported bumper profits and iron ore and metals prices pushed higher.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lifted 24 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5750, as it continued to meander within a tight range. Global investor attention is fixed on this weekend’s Jackson Hole central banking summit in the US, and a lack of strong leads from overseas have also kept the local bourse contained and helped investors focus on another busy schedule of profit results.

Resources was the standout sector on Tuesday. BHP Billiton gained 1.1 per cent as the mining giant tripled its dividend payment and said it would sell its shale oil asset in the United States. Those results followed similarly solid earnings numbers from Rio Tinto and Fortescue, all of which, when combined with a spot iron ore price that was pushing $US80 a tonne on Monday night, lifted the sector and the ASX with it. Rio Tinto added 1 per cent and Fortescue 1.4 per cent.

South32 was a notable exception, as the diversified miner slipped 0.3 per cent.

While BHP’s result was broadly well received, Citi analysts were disappointed that the Big Australian hadn’t announced any further capital returns.

“The decision to exit US onshore will generally be viewed positively, although it looks like shareholders will have to wait a while longer before capital management, excluding dividends, kicks off in earnest,” the Citi analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Oil Search led the energy sector higher after its earnings release helped spur a 3.3 per cent gain in the stock.

Among other well-know names, Sydney Airport added a healthy 3.4 per cent as the company’s management said they had “increased confidence” in the outlook and raised their dividend guidance as part of its half-year earnings release. Seven Group surged 8.9 per cent after the company announced profits and that it had sold its Caterpillar business in China.

The Big Four banks were broadly supportive, with Westpac the standout as it climbed 0.8 per cent, while ANZ eased 0.4 per cent. Wesfarmers, owner of Coles supermarkets, was the heaviest individual weight on the market, falling 2.9 per cent as it traded ex-dividend. Rival Woolworths’ releases earnings on Wednesday.

The sharpest share price moves were once again felt among the cohort of smaller reporting companies. Software business Aconex slumped 10 per cent, while Corporate Travel Management – one of the most heavily shorted stocks on the market – dropped 5.4 per cent.

Stock watch Monadelphous

Engineering services firm Monadelphous Group’s annual profit fell 14 per cent over the past financial year as competition and reduced spending by customers put pressure on its margins. The company provides construction, maintenance and industrial services, and made a net profit of $57.6 million in the year to June 30, down from $67 million in the prior year. It said a fall in activity in the construction market was partially offset by increased maintenance activity. The company said market conditions in the Australian resources and energy sector have stabilised, and it expects an increasing number of resources construction opportunities in the coming years. Investors liked the sound of that, sending the stock up 5.2 per cent to $14.48 on Tuesday. Market moversBulk run

Iron ore’s mid-year rally has been so powerful that the raw material has clocked up a 50 per cent surge in less than 50 days, rewarding bulls for their optimism about Chinese demand while handing bears further reason to be cautious about the outlook for 2018 as supply may expand. Spot ore climbed 2.6 per cent to $79.93 a tonne on Monday evening, the highest level since April. That’s 50 per cent above than the year’s low point of $US53.36 hit on June 13, with prices posting gains in nine of the past 10 weeks. Block party

Earnings releases from a number of recently-listed companies has meant strategic investors and directors who took a stake pre-IPO are now able to sell out. Analysts at FNZC on Tuesday noted that TPG Capital’s 47 per cent stake (around $610 million) was due to come out of escrow after chicken producer Inghams reported full-year profits. The stock dropped 4 per cent to $3.36 on the day. The analysts added: “Bravura Solutions (around $160 million) and Kogan (around $90 million) also come off escrow, while ReaWise Holdings’ approximately $950 million WiseTech stake comes off escrow [on Wednesday]”. Black and Blue

BlueScope Steel recovered some of Monday’s heavy losses as analysts said investors had overreacted to Monday’s earnings release. While BlueScope’s profits had fallen short of its own guidance, the sell-off was overdone, UBS analysts said, retaining their “buy” recommendation. Macquarie analysts kept their “outperform rating”, noting that while BlueScope’s updated outlook was “undoubtedly weak”, but they too believe a 22 per cent plus plunge on Monday was an overreaction. The shares climbed 5.4 per cent to $11.62 on Tuesday. Brent, not broken

The global crude oil benchmark drifted 0.3 per cent higher on Tuesday, with Brent fetching $US51.82 a barrel in late trade after dropping 2 per cent on Monday night. Traders are eyeing weekly US inventories data due Wednesday night. “Oil will remain under pressure while we see US production continue to rise, that’s the swing factor,” said Fat Prophets analyst David Lennox. “Prices will probably remain between $US45 and $US50 a barrel. To break out of that range we’ll need to see OPEC cut deeper, or demand will have to be more sustainable outside of the seasonally strong period.”

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QUANDARY: Sione Mata’utia.

THE Newcastle Knights have played it safe and restedSione Mata’utia from Friday’s clash withCanberra at GIO Stadium after his third concussion incident of the season.

Knights coach Nathan Brown was weighing up on Tuesday morning whether to include Mata’utia, but when the 21-man squad was named hours later, the co-captain was a notable omission. It will be the first game he has missed this season.

Mata’utiawas replaced in the first half of Saturday’s 44-21 loss to Melbourne for a head-injury assessment and did not return. He was involved in similarepisodes against South Sydney in round three and Cronulla in round five.

Mata’utia did not join his teammates during Tuesday’s ball-work session but Brown said he had passed all his tests so far.

“Everything suggests from a health perspective, everything is fineto play,’’ Brown said.

“Is it the right thing in these days?

“I don’t think anyone knows with the concussion, that deeply.

“We’ll just be guided by the experts and doctors and if they say he’s fine to play, we’ll sit down and talk to Sione.

“If they say he’s not fine to play, he’ll be automatically ruled out.”

Brown said the 21-year-old had suffered no lingering ill-effects after his incident on Saturday.

“The one he got on the weekend, he came in the next morning and was as good as gold,’’ Brown said.

“If he had any headaches the next day, or anything wrong the next day, he would have been automatically ruled out.

“I rang him up, he was as good as gold. He did a light bike thing, which is part of the protocol, and he went and played golf.’’

Nonetheless, given that Mata’utia has suffered five concussions in the space of 18 months, Brown admitted: “I’d be lying if I said we weren’t concerned about it.”

The Knightshave access to two world-renowned neurologists, Professor Chris Levi and Dr Andrew Gardner, and Brown said the club liaised with the latter on Monday.

“We spoke to Andrew Gardner,’’ he said.

“Chris Levi is away. Those two guys are leading the field in the world.

“It certainly is something we have to check out, not only from Sione’s well-being, but also from the club’s point of view as well.

“Sione’s a player that we’dhere like here long term, and we don’t want to keep losing him during games as well.”

Brown said that while he was concerned about Mata’utia’s welfare, the back-rower showed no outward signs that he was bothered.

“He doesn’t let on, when I’ve spoken to him about it,’’ Brown said.

“The way he plays suggests he doesn’t worry about it.

“But it’s certainly something that we have to look at, and certainly something Sione needs to look at, because of the long term and what they say may or may not happen.”

The NRL has tightened its concussion protocols in recent seasons, but the availability of players is largely in the hands of clubs and their medical advisors.

Brown agreed that if players sufferedserious concussions, there should perhaps be a mandatory stand-down period, enforced by the governing body.

But he added:“If it’s a minor bump, do people need to be ruled out?

“I’m not so sure.’’

In Mata’utia’s absence, Jamie Buhrer will switch from hooker to second row on Friday night.

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Top cat: Annabella Rossini at her Alley Cat coffee cafe, Melbourne Street, East Maitland. Picture: Marina NeilAlley Cat Espresso, 92 Melbourne St, East Maitland. Mon-Fri, 5am to 1pm, Sat-Sun, 7am-Noon.
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Spend a minute chatting with Annabella Rossini at her Alley Cat Espresso in East Maitland and things just start to make sense.

A chandelier in a tent? Every café should have one. A café owner committed to socially sustainable enterprise? Proudly.

What about a multi-award winning South and Central American blend that knocks your socks off with bold, chocolately characters – a full-bodied, tongue-tingling rush of flavour to the brain that makes you wonder about the housing market in Maitland? As good as a holiday.

A world away from Newcastle, on a quiet high street, a short vacation is exactly what this morning feels like. Annabella is fond of claiming she has made a little bit of Melbourne on Melbourne Street but there is something far more exotic than Victoria being mixed up in here. Nestled snugly inside a cushioned tent and under that twinkling old chandelier, I feel like a confused tourist being spoilt by a tribe of sunburnt bedouins.

Every other camper in the alley knows the ropes. Coffees appear to be ordered and made with nothing more than a wink and a warm smile. When the customers do speak it is quietly and intimately with each another. As Annabella politely reminds me that she has been serving coffee from this site for two years, yet another thing suddenly makes sense. This campfire was lit some time ago. I have arrived late to the party and all the fuss and flames have upped and gone.

The good news:my coffee has just arrived. It is one of those moments when you wonder whether every other roaster might have been doing it wrong. When Scott Jones and Kevin Crouse founded the Black Drum roasting house, they fused the richness of experience with the nuts and bolts of pure coffee nerdiness. The mad caffeine scientist and the master roaster entered a lab in Blacktown and emerged with a now legendary range of medium to dark roasts.

What Alley Cat barista Will has served me up in East Maitland is a staggering maze of all those hard to find flavours. Smoky dark but teetering on bitter chocolate. A warm and malty fingertip of syrup. A caramel bud. Black Drum call it their four/four blend. It is hands down the best coffee I have ever had in Maitland. If there are coffees on this street that are almost as good then this is a strip to be left alone no longer. Get yourselves out of town -take a trip this weekend to Melbourne. Forget Victoria.

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THE traditional relationship between doctor and patient is understood to rely on trust –if your life is in the hands of the doctor in front of you, you’d like to think you can trust that he or she will have your best interests as a priority.
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It’s a breach of this trust that women implanted with some pelvic mesh devices feel.

They believed some doctors who said mesh would fix their incontinence and prolapse problems after childbirth. They believed those doctors operated within a system that would weed out risks to patient safety early.What we’re discovering now is how vulnerable too many women were when it came to pelvic mesh devices –all of which remain classified as medium to high risk, even those described by some doctors as being “the gold standard”.

For the past three years the Newcastle Herald has explored how too many women came to suffer devastating, permanent and life-altering injuries after they received mesh implants for what were, in the main, relatively minor incontinence and prolapse issues where alternative remedies were often available.

A Senate inquiry, established in February after a campaign by the Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group, backed by the Herald, has already heard evidence from doctors that could be classified as concerning.

Two doctors who supported pelvic mesh did not disclose they were also giving evidence on behalf of Johnson & Johnson in a landmark class action case brought by hundreds of Australian women.

A third doctor repeatedly told a Senate hearing in Melbourne that manufacturers had withdrawn their devices from the Australian market from 2014 because of commercial reasons, and not because evidence to back their safety and efficacy was deficient. It was a Therapeutic Goods Administration senior executive who set the record straight.

Australian Medical Association national president Dr Michael Gannon’s acknowledgement on Tuesday that the AMA promoted and exclusively distributed a pelvic mesh device that helped spark the global mesh scandal was sobering, but he deserves credit for speaking frankly.

The decision more than 15 years ago to promote the device was not the AMA’s proudest hour, he said, before conceding the consequences are a tragedy.

Issue: 38,578.

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Pic Leigh Henningham for the Age Ipad. 2014 Port Phillip Bay Scenes. A lazy man watches volley ball at Middle Park beach. aIt seems counter-intuitive but unlike most endeavours in life the less work someone actually puts into investing, the better they do.
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At least that’s the conclusion drawn by Chris Brycki, the chief executive of Stockspot, an online investment adviser.

He reckons if you listen to all the market news and tipsters to give you an edge, you’ll probably just be befuddled.

He points to a study showing that over the past 30 years the average share market investor in the US earned a return of just 3.7 per cent per year compared with an annual return of 11.1 per cent for the market.

Those investors who read and researched ended up giving away returns by making bad decisions and perhaps chopping and changing their portfolios and generating higher costs.

The “lazy” investors who bought the market, tripled the returns of everyone else.

Shane Oliver, the chief economist at AMP Capital Investors, has written on how the combination of a massive ramp up in financial information with our natural inclination to zoom-in on negative news is making us worse investors: more fearful, more jittery, more short-term.

As Oliver points out, there’s an increasing availability of information and competition among the media to attract clicks, which magnifies perceptions around various worries.

One of the biggest effects of this is “loss aversion”, where a financial loss is felt much more than a financial gain of the same size.

Oliver argues this leaves us biased to be more risk averse and it also leaves us more influenced by bad news stories as opposed to good news stories.

As I have written recently, that can mean missing out on investment returns.

So how can these natural traits of our brains, such as the “fight or flight response”, be countered?

From Oliver’s tips I like these oldies because they are also goodies. That is, invest for the long term and be aware that investment markets move in cycles.

He says the trouble with cycles is that they can throw investors out of a well thought-out investment strategy that aims to take advantage of long-term returns.

Another is to turn down the noise and resist the temptation to check your investments too frequently.

To these I would add that it’s important keep the fees and costs down. Just as the investment returns compound over time, so do the expenses.

While Investment markets returns are out of the investors’ control, the costs are within the investors’ control. And if you cannot ascertain all of the costs, walk away from the investment.

Favour simplicity over complexity. Complex investments favour the provider and leave the investor at a disadvantage.

Complexity also makes it easier to keep the fees and charges hidden from the investor.

Finally, don’t be enticed to invest mainly because of the tax breaks. While tax breaks can be nice to pick up along the way, the potential for the investment to produce returns should always come first.

Follow John Collett on Twitter.

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Having conquered the Tour de France’s green jersey, Canberra cyclist Michael Matthews is now looking to conquer the world.
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Last month, Matthews became just the third Australian to win the sprinter’s competition at the world’s most famous race and the first from the ACT.

But he’s already turned his sights to the next goal – winning the road race at the world championships in Norway on September 24.

Matthews finished fourth to Peter Sagan at last year’s worlds and second to him the year before, having won the under-23 world title back in 2010.

While the sprint to the line in the Norwegian town of Bergen is flat and would suit the pure sprinters, there’s two climbs on the circuit, which means after 18 laps the sting could be out of their legs or they might’ve been dropped by the leading group.

That opens the door for a rider like Matthews. A rider who can not only sprint, but handle a climb as well.

“That’s the next goal. To have a little rest now and then build up towards the worlds,” he told Fairfax Media.

“I think it’s a course that suits me really well so hopefully I have the full backing of Cycling Australia to bring that jersey home also.

“The actual sprint is flat, but it’s 18 laps of a circuit with two climbs on it. I think it should be a muchly reduced bunch sprint. That should suit me.”

As the magnitude of his green jersey win sinks in, Matthews was confident he could challenge for the title again in 2018.

It would lift him up towards fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen, who won the green jersey three times during his glittering career.

He’ll have to contend with Sagan, who was disqualified early on in the Tour, and Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel should be back after crashing out of this year’s race.

But Matthews floated the possibility it might not be the goal Team Sunweb aims for.

His team had a brilliant Tour, not only winning the green jersey, but roommate Warren Barguil also won the polka dot jersey as the King of the Mountain.

But with teammate Tom Dumoulin winning this year’s Giro d’Italia, Matthews thought Sunweb could have a crack at next year’s yellow jersey instead.

That would mean they’d build a team around Dumoulin rather than Matthews.

“I think I can get there again, but it depends on the team goals for next year,” Matthews said.

“With Dumoulin winning the pink jersey [at the Giro] this year, maybe they’ll target the yellow for next year and maybe he needs all the support from a full [general classification] team.

“In the end I have to do what the team wants. They’ve made my dream come true this year so maybe I can change my goals for next year.

“That’s something I can see at the end of the season what they want to try and achieve.”

Matthews hasn’t stopped smiling since his win, after his parents Allan and Donna joined him in Paris to see him climb the podium.

A week later, he finished third in the London-Surrey Classic.

The 26-year-old said the “few lows” at the start of the Tour, when he looked to have fallen out of green jersey contention, had made it a special achievement.

But he refused to give in and sat down with Sunweb sports director Luke Roberts to map out a plan of attack.

Matthews will visit Canberra for a couple of weeks in October before returning to Europe via Japan, where he’ll ride in the Saitama Criterium on November 4.

“My smile’s too big to rest … it’s been a dream for so long in my cycling career that it’s going to take a lot longer than a few days to sink in something like that,” he said of his green jersey.

“I was just so focused on the race that I didn’t actually realise what I was doing. I was just racing. To race like I want to race it was a really nice feeling.

“I’ve heard a few different rumours of what Canberra has organised. I heard there’s something to do with a key to Canberra? It’s pretty cool.

“It’s nice to know that Canberra and Australia is so happy about my achievement, it really makes it more special when everyone’s so excited back home.”

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BE REAL, BE HONEST: “You may be a good enough actor to fool an audience but that’s not the purity of performing. An audience knows. I don’t know how but they do.”King of comedyJerry Lewisdied last Sundayat his home in Las Vegas at 91.
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Lewis was 54 when I interviewed him by phone(reproduced below).I was young, inexperienced, and didn’t realise his well-considered answers would not be so typical of stars I’d later interview. I thought chatting to big names would always be this easy.

As the ’60s and ’70s drew to a close, taking with it all those lightweight slapsticky comedies, the comic geniusfaced some tough decisions and two tough projects. Ultimately, the one wouldmake him bigger than ever with moviegoers. The other became the bane of the rest of his life.

The first choice was to go completely straight. He’d been the highest-paid actor in Hollywood and – thanks to his extraordinary European following, mainly France–the world. But films were changing. He’d have to, too.

There wasn’t a pratfall, not even a sight gag, whenhe played TV host Jerry Langfordin Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, stalkedby Robert de Niro. It was one of the first films to newly examine celebrity. He played it dead straight, and the filmwas huge for all involved.

The other project was a doomed labour of love, The Day the Clown Cried, aboutacircus clown,Lewis, imprisoned by the Nazis who goes with Jewish children to their deaths in a camp. It blended comedy and tragedy, a mix even Lewis worried about. Heworked on it for 10 years beforeshooting it in 1972. Helost 40 pounds to play the roleand itaffected him sodeeply he had at least 20 breakdownsduring filming.

It was shotin Stockholmbut the producerran out of money and Lewis had to pay to finish it off. Then a writer filed suit for not being paid and thefilm remains tied up in litigation to this day.

Lewis gave theonly copy of the film to the Library of Congress with the stipulation itnot be screened until2025. And for the rest of his life he refused to discuss it. As recently as 2008 he snapped at a reporter whoasked when it’d be released: “None of your goddamn business!”

I didn’t know all thiswhen I asked him about the film, in passing, when I spoke to him for the Australianrelease ofHardly Working. I had no idea howclose to the edge I was sailing.

He had a reputation for eating the press. He’d plannedapress junket here but this got changed when a chronic back ailmentflared up.Even up to the moment he came to the phone the PR had warned usthere was no guarantee he’d talk. He’d already cancelled one complete round of phoners for this.

I was first in the queue. He did talk, and we got on well. For lots of reasons, to me he’ll always be king.Here’s the interview:

Hardly Working –that’s the ironic title of Jerry Lewis’s new movie and it could hardly be more apt. He’s working as hard as everat his movie comeback aftera decade away. “I worked three years last year,” hesaid, by phone fromhis office in Los Angeles.

THE KING OF COMEDY: He played it completely straight, stalked by Robert de Niro.

The familiar pratfalls, sight gags and one-liners in the movie suggest he’s still enjoyingperforming so much you could hardly call it working. “I’m very satisfied and very excited about my new work.’”

It’s the first of three films he’s made to mark his return to movies, the others beingThe King of Comedy, made by “that marvellous director” Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro, and Slapstick of Another Kind, written by Kurt Vonnegut. And he’s working on a fourth, Smorgasbord [ultimately released asCracking Up]which will see him in six or seven different roles.

His last-releasedfilm wasWhich Way to the Front?a decadeago which had marked the way to the back. “When I saw it double-billed with [infamous porn film]Deep Throat I could see which way the business was going.”

Why the long break? “I was just waiting for them to clean out some of the theatres,” he said, half joking.

THE DAY THE CLOWN DIED: A comic goes to his death with kids in a Nazi camp.

Producers’ preoccupation with nudity and sex concerned him. You once famously said: “Sexis not a spectator sport. It’s fine in a hotel room but not in a cinema.” Your thoughts now? “Notdiminishedat all. In fact, they’restronger.”

His one effort at making a film during his decade away was frustrated from the start. It was, ironically,The Day the Clown Cried.“It’s sitting in Sweden along with two of Ingmar Bergman’s films. We’re told that the French and Swedish producersare going to shake hands again and we’llbe able to get our work finished.” But he’sobviously not holding his breath.

Lewis had offered Australian Chips Rafferty the part of apompous military officer. “Chips had a tremendous sense of humour. And he always looked marvellously fit.”

But they never worked together. Hours after Lewis offered him the role Rafferty died of a heart attack. “I was shattered when I heard. It was a loss to everybody, not only to Australia.”

“You know, I love Australia. I love it every time I go there. I had a marvellous time in Hobart –the audiences there were super. But Australian audienceshave always been marvellous to me. You can say that in your article. Not like the headline i got after playing one of the clubs in this country. They said I died on stage. I suppose you’ll use that line in your headline now, won’tyou?” I promised to think about it, worried the subs would have other ideas. [They did.]

How are we different to Americans? ”I think you’re quicker.”I said some visiting performers find us hard to crack. “Well, I think that’s the entertainer’sproblem. I’m telling you the laughs they come for me and I find Australiansvery quick. You know, this is not like telling someone from a place how swell that place is. Let me makethat very clear.

“And that’s one of the things where truth is terribly important because you can’t fool an audience. If you’re not happy to be therethey’re gonna spot it. I was thrilled with youraudiences and their treatment of me was terrific. I’m going to make it my business to come back, I promise you.

“One thing I’ll never do again thereis drink a glass of beer after I’ve played nine holes of golf. I got splashed on two little glasses of beer –then they told me it was much stronger than ours! When I was trying to putt on the 10thhole I knew how strong it was!”

Has he seen any Australian films? “Acouple. I saw the big one, theBreaker –what was it called? [Morant] –when it first came out and I loved it. I sure would like to make a movie in your country. Would I have to work with a pouch?”

He prides himself on versatility –acting,writing, directing and producing. “Oh,yeah, I do it all. As long as there’s an audience.”

Favourite moments with an audience? “You haven’t got that much time for me to tell you. One particular thing thatstands out is the London Palladium, playing for the Queen. I was a nervous wreck. I’m told I did a super show but I can’t remember what I did, I was too nervous. But it’s the audience that makes you good.

“It’s a marvellous feeling to be in awe of someone or something and to perform that way. It’s much better that way because it’s real and it’s honest. And that’s very important for me. I think that you can be a good enough actor to fool an audience but that’s not the purity of performing. I think an audience knows. I don’t know how they do, but they do.”

John F. KennedyDear Ian, thank you so much for sending me the copy of our interview AS PROMISED, which I have received and really enjoyed reading. Thank you for quoting me EXACTLY word for word, just the way I said it. That is such a RARE treat! God bless,Jerry

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