Ian Thorpe and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in Tokyo on August 22. Ian Thorpe is an ambassador for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo supplied. Photos via email from Kirsty Needham.Tokyo: NSWPremier Gladys Berejiklian says she wants to see bullet trains in NSW, reversing her previous scepticism of high speed rail.
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Ms Berejiklian told the Herald: “Of course we would love to see high speed rail servicing our State but for this to be viable it would need to travel beyond NSW and it would require federal involvement.”

The Premier has raised the prospect of bullet trains for NSW, but only if a high-speed rail network crossed the state border and connected major cities.

Ms Berejiklian had previously been cold on the idea of high-speed rail, which is now common in Asia and could significantly cut travel time between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

But two days of meetings in Tokyo, the home of the bullet train, with Japan’s top bankers appear to have prompted the shift in her position.

“I think it is getting closer and closer to the time we can start thinking about having fast rail services in NSW,” Ms Berejiklian told a business audience in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“It would have to be beyond the boundaries of one state to make it viable, I think. It would have to be potentially be a Sydney-Melbourne service to make it viable.”

She acknowledged her attitude change, recalling the last time she was in Tokyo as transport minister she had told people “don’t hold your breath” waiting for fast rail to come to Australia.

But Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday NSW’s train services were “in an evolution” and catching up to Japan, which was at least a generation ahead of the world.

Bullet trains travel at speeds of 240-320 kilometres an hour and could cut the travel time between Sydney and Melbourne to less than three hours.

Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester travelled on a high-speed train in China last month and said the experience was “quite staggering”, and Australia was “envious” of the way China’s high-speed trains had not only shortened the travel time between Chinese cities but sped up the entire rail network.

A fortnight before his high-speed rail trip, Mr Chester had also poured cold water on bullet trains in Australia, saying high-speed rail was “a long way off in the future”.

High-speed rail has long been debated in Australia, but nothing has been done because of the perception Australia’s sparse population meant the service wouldn’t be economically viable.

But an Infrastructure Australia report last month concluded population growth would make a Sydney-to-Melbourne high-speed rail link viable by 2032.

It warned state governments needed to act in the next three to five years to secure a land corridor for a high-speed rail route, at an estimated cost of $720 million, before rising property prices made it unaffordable.

Infrastructure Australia chairman Mark Burrell complained high-speed rail was continually pushed to the bottom of government priority lists.

Japanese and Chinese rail companies could be expected to be competing bidders, should Australia proceed with its first high-speed rail line.

Mitsui executives met with Ms Berejiklian on Monday and gave her a copy of a press clipping from the August 20, 1901, edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, which recorded the arrival of Japanese merchant Mr C. Asano of the trading house Mitsui Busan Keisha in Sydney to look for business opportunities.

Mr Asano told the Herald reporter he would travel to Melbourne by Japanese steamer, and return by train. Mitsui is part of a consortium, Consolidated Land and Rail Australia,that was pushing a privately funded bid for high speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year.

Mitsui and bullet train operator East Japan Railway this month struck a deal in Britain to run inter-regional services and a Birmingham metro, and are competing for a British high-speed rail contract. HongKong’s MTR and a Chinese rail company are bidding for a second British high-speed rail tender.

MTR will operate NSW’s first private railway, the Sydney Metro North West. Federal governments have previously released reports into high-speed rail in 2011 and 2013.

The Turnbull government is expected to call for proposals next month to develop business cases for faster inter city rail connections, although not necessarily bullet trains.

Ms Berejiklian said high speed rail was expensive and “all relevant options” would need to be considered to improve transport to regional areas and between major cities.

“This includes improving the performance of existing networks, rather than solely focusing on new alternative infrastructure,” she told Fairfax Media.

She said Australia’s small population was challenging and this meant to get faster trains, they “can’t stop everywhere”.

She said the punctuality of services and “selflessness” of staff working in Japan’s transport system had inspired her as minister to try to change the culture of the Sydney transport system.

“These were notions that had been lost on NSW for some time… I am very proud of the fact we have changed that culture in NSW. We have a much more customer centric organisation.”

Former Olympian Ian Thorpe joined Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday to tour an Olympic swimming venue in Tokyo, and later recycled his mobile phone in a ceremony with Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike.

Tokyo is turning the gold and silver from recycled mobile phones into medals for the 2020 Olympics to send a message of sustainability.

Thorpe is an ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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New Lambton’s legion of girl players now have a WPL team to aim for.Northern NSW Football boss David Eland says New Lambton’s elevation to the Women’s Premier League next year is recognition of the club’s strength.
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The region’s top-flight women’s competition will revert toeight teams afterstarting with six in 2009 and rising to eight in 2015.

Valentine Phoenix withdrew at the end of that season, and the WPL has been a seven-team league with a bye round for the past two years.

Eland said the Eagles were one of the biggest clubs in the region and deserved their place in the WPL.

The WPL’s youth age groups will also change in 2018, shifting from 14s, 16s and 18s to 14s, 17s and 20s.

“We are getting back to eight teams, which is important,” Eland said.

“I think having only seven teams and a bye has been a bit limiting, so expanding to the eighth team is fantastic.

“They’re a huge club, and I’ve got no doubt they’ve got the capacity to fill the grades.

“They’ll probably take a while to settle into the WPL, particularly into first grade.

“The other big change is we are changing the ages around a little bit, which we’ve done in consultation with the clubs.

“It will make it a bit easier for the clubs to form their sides.

“I think that will really add to next year, having the eighth club in, and continuing to work with all the clubs towards that NPL [National Premier League] status in 2021.”

Eland described this year’s grand final, won by Merewether with a stunning fightback at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday, as an “absolutely fantastic game”.

“I think year on year the status of the grand final has built and this year is no exception,” Eland said after United’s 4-3 win over defending champions Warners Bay.

“It’s fantastic that they can come and play at Edgeworth.It’s one of the better venues, probably second only to Magic Park.

“The other pleasing thing about the WPL is how the clubs are really developing now, and that’s why we are now really focusedon transitioning to be a division ofthe NPL in a few years’ time.”

Eland was also excited for the federation to be hosting the inaugural NNSWF Women’s State Cup at Speers Point from September 22 to 24.

“We’re really looking forward to that weekend. It will be another great opportunity to showcase women’s football,” he said.

Meanwhile, four Emerging Jets,Annalee Grove, Hannah Jones, Molly Arens and Tessa Tamplin, have been picked in a Junior Matildas camp in Canberra next week.

National under-17 women’s coach Rae Dower will use the 23-player camp at the Australian Institute of Sport to choose her final squad for the AFC U16 Championship in Thailand in September.

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FALLING INTO PLACE: Job Centre Australia Ltd. (JCAL) is a not for profit, community based organisation providing employment, training and NDIS supports to help people like Dominic achieve their goals.
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National Skills Week (August 28-September 3) highlights the opportunities available working through Australia’s vocational education and training sector, the NDIS and employment services.

Dominic dreams of working in events management and knows that gaining skills and qualifications are the key to turning his dreams into reality.

After completing a Certificate III in Events Management through Hunter TAFE, Dominic is studying toward attaining his Diploma in Events Management.

Throughout his studies, Dominic completed work experience at Variety, the Children’s Charity in which he is now a permanent volunteer.

To achieve his goal, Dominic identified the need to work on his social skills and after completing Year 12, registered with Job Centre Australia Choice and Control, specifically to take part in the NDIS Social and Community participation package.

Dominic attends the Job Centre Australia program each Friday where he has made new friends and had the opportunity to try new activities, whilst getting out and about in the community.

The group have a busy schedule of events which are all aimed at allowing participants to express themselves, gain confidence socially and make new friends in a safe environment.

Some of the activities Dominic has been involved in have included group laser tag, bowling, going to the movies and BBQ picnic lunches.

“Dominic has become more social and confident when in the community and now, also in the workplace”, Job Centre Australia’s, Jessica Wallace, said.

During his time with Job Centre, Dominic turned his attention to trying to gain employment, to support himself financially as he worked toward completing his diploma.

Through Job Centre Australia’s Disability Employment Service and Golden Opportunities Program, Dominic was employed at McDonalds Swansea.

“We’re so proud of all he has achieved, particularly securing work recently. He has come such a long way”, said Jessica. “He worked through pre-employment training, learnt how to write a resume, go for an interview, and a range of other key skills to prepare him for gaining work. Dominic is a great example of a young person who is well on the way to achieving his goals.”

Job Centre Australia Ltd. (JCAL) is a not for profit, community based organisation funded by the Department of Social Services providing employment, training and NDIS supports to people with an injury, health condition or disability across NSW and QLD.

For further information, contact 4322 5511 or email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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It is hard to believe activist shareholder Elliott Management is about to stop agitating for change at BHP now the company has caved in to its demands to ditch its US oil and gas shale assets.
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Quite the opposite. It will be emboldened to pursue other demands it thinks necessary for BHP to clean up its act.

It is too simple to assume that because BHP delivered a massive boost in underlying profits to $US6.7 billion ($8.5 billion), from $US1.2 billion last year, and more than tripled the dividend to shareholders that this would provide it sufficient armour to push Elliott into retreat.

First, this is because the overwhelming majority of the improved profit performance was due to higher prices in the commodities BHP mines and, second, because despite the massive jump in profit, it came in below what the market was expecting.

Sure, BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has been doing a good job improving efficiency, reducing debt and trimming costs and capital outlays but Elliott wants more structural change.

In particular, it wants BHP to get out of the oil business altogether and at this stage the company won’t have a bar of it.

Neither will BHP acquiesce to Elliott’s push to collapse the dual-listed structure.

Having said that, Elliott has scored plenty of goals in its BHP game since the starting whistle sounded earlier this year.

The most important was BHP’s decision to sell the onshore oil/gas shale (unconventional) assets in the US.

While BHP is dressing up this announcement as its own decision – rather than a result of pressure from Elliott and some of its supporting fellow shareholders – the fact is that BHP first responded to this demand in April with a firm no.

In BHP’s initial response to rejecting this part of the Elliott proposal, it said among other things: “Onshore US expected to be free cash flow positive in FY17 and poised for growth as prices recover.”

On Monday, Mackenzie played the debate differently, saying that it had been going through the process of how to deal with these assets for years. He said the reason for selling was because the company couldn’t find additional shale assets to acquire in order to bulk up that division.

But it appears most likely that BHP had wanted to hold on to these assets in order to improve them to claw back some of the billions of capital blown up buying them. It paid $US20 billion for the assets and spent a further $US17 billion developing them – mostly under Mackenzie’s predecessor, Marius Kloppers.

However, Mackenzie did concede that the views of shareholders were always taken into account.

Meanwhile, an additional Elliott goal was revealed on Tuesday – the decision about developing BHP’s potash business would now be put on hold for a few years rather than going to the board for final approval next year.

Elliott had been hugely critical of BHP taking the plunge into potash on the basis that there was a risk of blowing up more capital, particularly given the current price of this commodity.

Elliott was also successful in its push for BHP to appoint a well-credentialled, cleanskin chairman to take over later this year when Jac Nasser retires. Although BHP may have done this without prodding.

There are a range of views from analysts and shareholders on whether BHP should unify its capital structure, but the majority are not in favour.

There are also plenty of experts looking at how much the shale assets are worth, (some say upwards of $US11 billion), how long it will take to sell them, how a deal could be structured and what it will mean for BHP earnings.

Mackenzie has a preference for a trade sale, but will look at other options.

A report last month by Macquarie found “in aggregate, we find that the valuation of the US onshore petroleum business is ~$US10 billion, driven mainly by the Permian and Eagle Ford. However, our analysis includes a number of assumptions, and risks to execution exist in achieving that value, which when taken into account, provide a more moderate view on valuation of $US8-10 billion for the business”.

It also said: “Shale sale is earnings accretive but value neutral: A sale of the shale assets for $US8 billion would be valuation neutral but deliver a material improvement to group earnings and cash flow. Our shale sale scenario delivers 10-25 per cent earnings per share upgrades for full year 19-21 and a 20 per cent reduction in capex.”

The bottom line is that BHP doesn’t want to hand over the company’s future strategy to Elliott (a 5 per cent shareholder).

Mackenzie is steadfast in his views that the conventional petroleum business is working well and delivering good returns and that there will be plenty more of that in the coming years.

He says there will be plenty of time (a couple of decades) of puffing on this cigar because electric cars will change the dynamics of the oil industry.

Not everyone agrees.

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Senate powerbroker Nick Xenophon has accused Facebook of not acting fast enough to stamp out fake news during a spirited encounter with the social media giant’s Australian representatives.
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In exasperated exchanges with Facebook officials on Tuesday, Senator Xenophon questioned how an organisation famous for its mantra of “move fast and break things” had failed to combat the rise of fake news articles on its platform.

Fronting a parliamentary inquiry into the future of journalism and the impact tech behemoths Google and Facebook have had on the Australian media industry, Facebook Australia representatives Aine Kerr and Mia Garlick struggled to explain why the platform had not found a solution to the global problem.

Fake news is considered to be any inaccurate or sensationalist article that seeks to mislead, or misrepresent a person or event, to help push a certain agenda.

Senator Xenophon said he didn’t understand why the company could not give an end date to a pilot program it started in December in the United States and parts of Europe to help prevent fake news, nor announce when it would expand it across the globe.

“???I say this as a compliment – you do move fast, you do break things, but here you are taking a very conservative, cautious approach which is damaging the integrity of news,” Senator Xenophon said.

The pilot program – in which Facebook works with established fact checking organisations – was just “one layer” of the organisation’s plan to combat an issue that rose to prominence in the recent US election.

But Ms Garlick could not say how many pages Facebook, which has 15 million users in Australia, had removed or shut down for breaching its guidelines. She said the company was primarily focused on monitoring the “behaviour” of its pages, rather than the content.

The Facebook representatives did not give dates on plans for its beta subscription model, which has been mooted as a tool to better address publishers’ concerns over how Facebook uses their media content.

Global search engine giant, Google was also hauled into the committee to explain how it handled fake news, and its use of established media companies’ content.

Google Australia managing director Jason Pellegrino was forced to defend the organisation’s market power after Senator Xenophon accused the company of “abusing it”.

“Publishers have choice in the operating model they choose,” Mr Pellegrino said.

But the search engine could not say how big its Australian market share was, only saying it was not a “metric we use to run our business”.

Both organisations said they were supporters of journalism and actively working to fight fake news, as they considered it counter-productive to their own purposes.

The committee will hand down its findings at the end of the year.

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