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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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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Nanjing Night Net

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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