‘People’s summit’ into harbour-front development to go ahead

“Community representatives are clearly an important part of the discussion”: Pru Goward. Photo: Rob Homer “Community representatives are clearly an important part of the discussion”: Pru Goward. Photo: Rob Homer
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“Community representatives are clearly an important part of the discussion”: Pru Goward. Photo: Rob Homer

“Community representatives are clearly an important part of the discussion”: Pru Goward. Photo: Rob Homer

A “people’s summit” into the state government’s plans to throw open prime harbour-front land to development will still go ahead, its organisers say, even though some community groups have made the guest list for the official Bays Precinct “international summit” in November.

About 300 people from industry, government, academia, the community and the arts – such as the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart – are being invited to attend the government’s two-day “exchange of ideas” into the future of the Bays Precinct.

David Pitchford from UrbanGrowth NSW, the government’s property development arm, said the event would be used to help prepare an “overarching blueprint” for the 80 hectares of public land encompassing Glebe Island, White Bay, Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

The invitations to groups such as the Better Planning Network and Glebe Society are being sent out two months after a community meeting criticised the level of public involvement set out in the government’s plans as “patronising, undemocratic and unacceptable”.

This anger prompted plans for a people’s summit, an idea that won the backing of the City of Sydney.

Planning Minister Pru Goward said that, along with “an impressive line-up of speakers” yet to be announced, “community representatives are clearly an important part of the discussion” on November 19 and 20.

“I am delighted that they are keen to participate in this forum, to contribute to the discussion as well as to hear from experts from around Australia and the world,” Ms Goward said.

Lesley Lynch, an organiser of the Sydney Harbour Bays Precinct: People’s Campaign, welcomed the government’s “constructive change of position” and said the people’s summit would now be convened after, rather than before, the government event.

“The people’s campaign is determined to see the public interest appropriately protected in the redevelopment of this bit of Sydney Harbour,” Dr Lynch said.

“Given recent history of such developments, we have every reason to expect the public good will come a very poor second to developer interests and short-term political interests of the government of the day.”

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Long walk for Womens cancers

Krista Wakefield, Kelly Logan and Kylie Roach are taking on a 60km walking course, participating in the 2014 Weekend to End Women’s Cancer on November 8-9. The women have already raised more than $5500 of their goal of $6000. Photo: Barbara Reeves Three local women will look to raise funds and awareness of breast and gynaecologic cancer when they participate in the 2014 Weekend to End Women’s Cancer.
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Kylie Roach, Krista Wakefield and Kelly Logan have already raised over $5500 with a goal of raising $6000 for the benefit of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Anything over that amount would be a “fantastic effort,” they said.

The trio’s efforts will culminate on November 8-9, when they will be joined by thousands of women and men in walking a 60km course in Sydney.

With just over a month to go, the group have been busy training with regular walks out to Cookamidgera and around the community.

Their fundraising efforts so far have included regular Saturday morning BBQs at Big W, a charity pool competition at the Parkes Hotel, and a community raffle.

There will be a charity family bowls day and auction on Saturday, October 11, at the Railway Bowling Club, which will include a triples competition and a BBQ lunch, as well as a jumping castle, face painting and craft activities for children.

In addition to this, the trio’s friend and work colleague Darelle Hodge will shave her hair off at the bowls day if the original goal of $6000 is surpassed by $1000.

The group said they had been overwhelmed by the support of the community and would like to thank the businesses in town who have donated prizes for their fundraising events, as well as Colin Ford for his help organising the bowling day and Shannon Birmingham from Parkes Central Butchery.

Donations can be made at the counters at Big W or online at the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer website under the team name Walking for a Cure.

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Two-year suspension would have ended my career: Ahmed Saad

Suspended footballer Ahmed Saad believes his AFL career would have been over if he had been given a two-year ban for taking a stimulant banned on a match day last season.
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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority had pushed hard for the former Saint to receive the maximum 24-month suspension, but Saad was ultimately suspended for 18 months and the 24-year-old was very grateful for that.

“[If the suspension was] 24 months, I think it’s my career over,” Saad told AFL Trade Radio on Thursday. “A coach might take into [account] 18 months might be a bit too long [out of the game], but just imagine 24 months, which is really two seasons of football.

“So I guess it would be pretty hard from there to try and get back in and have that hope, but I’m pretty thankful it didn’t go down that path and it’s 18 months, which is a season and hopefully [I’ll] get back in.”

Saad insisted he was better placed to have an impact than a player recovering from a long-term injury.

“Being out of the game for 18 months, realistically it’s just a season,” he said. “Players do their knee and have to go through rehab for the next 18 months.

“I’m fit, I’m ready to go right now. I haven’t been injured, I’ve been training since I’ve been banned so in that case they don’t really have to worry about that and of course I’m hungrier probably more than ever.

“I want it more than I wanted it at the beginning because I’ve had a taste of AFL footy, I’ve had a taste of being in that environment and that lifestyle and playing in front of a big crowd and there’s nothing like it.”

While he wasn’t sure about which of the three drafts he would be selected from, or if he will be thrown a lifeline at all, the 29-gamer said it would “mean a lot” to get another crack at senior footy.

“It was a dream of mine to get drafted in the first place and for it to be taken away from me in the way that it was, it was pretty tough to deal with at the start knowing that my career could have been over,” Saad said.

“There’s nothing that I want more than to get back into playing AFL footy and I’m doing everything I can to give myself that best chance.”

Saad said he would like to go back to St Kilda but he was prepared to play anywhere next season.

“There’s been no commitment from any club, which is why I can’t really close any doors, I’m not in a position to do that,” he said.

“My main aim is to get back playing AFL footy. Of course it would be good to go back to the Saints.

“My manager has spoken to a couple of clubs, we’ve had a fair bit of interest, which is good, and that’s something that keeps me motivated to push myself even harder.”

Saad could start training with an AFL club on January 1 and said he would make sure he was fit enough to hit the ground running by then.

But he won’t be doing it at Richmond after the club’s football manager Dan Richardson ruled the Tigers out on AFL Trade Radio on Thursday.

Richardson also said Richmond wasn’t pursuing  Mitch Robinson or Jeff Garlett from Carlton.

He did admit the Tigers were interested in recruiting Levi Greenwood, but didn’t expect him to leave North Melbourne.

Richardson insisted that Ty Vickery was not up for trade.

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‘That field goal was important’: Ron Coote on the Rabbitohs’ 1971 grand final win

One of the greats: Ron Coote. Photo: John O’Gready
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One of the greats: Ron Coote. Photo: John O’Gready

One of the greats: Ron Coote. Photo: John O’Gready

We know grand finals are usually tight, but kicking a field goal to lead 1-0 at half-time in the 1971 win over St George?

It was like we were playing soccer. It was a really tough afternoon and we knew points would be hard to come by against a Jack Gibson team. Late into the second half it was 11-10 our way, so that field goal was important. Ray Branighan scored a great try in the Members Stand corner. People down the other end didn’t see much footy because we only scored down that end.

That might be one for David Middleton’s annals if we can find another 1-0 scoreline at half-time.

The other great thing of the day from a strategic point of view was George Piggins kept raking the ball back, because every play the ball was a two-man scrum. George had this knack of lifting his foot and raking the ball from the other side he was playing. We got so much ball we eventually got over the top of them. People were streaming onto the ground [at full-time] and there were 62,000 people there.

How many teammate of the week awards did you get for driving a beer truck for a bit of extra coin at the time?

I was a panelbeater as a kid and used to get crook knees kneeling on the concrete. I used to get 12 quid a week as an apprentice panelbeater and I was playing first grade with Souths getting 20 quid a win. The economics didn’t add up. I brushed the panelbeating and took a job as a road rep or sales rep. Johnny Sattler worked for me too. I captained Australia in the 1970 World Cup, and when I came back in 1971 I gave that job away and the brewery told me I could have a beer truck.

Surely the Souths boys thought all their Christmases must have come at once?

You used to get a few beers! But I tell you what, it was a good fitness thing because you were climbing up and down off the truck and you used to get all the bruises out of your legs. You were bending over all the time and working your body. I thought it was a really good thing to do.

Funniest teammate at the time?

Big Lurch [John O’Neill] was a funny big bloke and he used to rev himself up in the dressing room banging tables. I’m sure there was steam coming out of his nose sometimes. That was how he used to rev himself up … kicking doors. Satts [John Sattler] was a bit that way too.

Sounds like Des Hasler has learnt a thing or two from your old friends in the Rabbitohs’ engine room. Today’s Souths side?

They’re terrific. Sam Burgess is a sensational player and what he’s done for Souths is nothing short of amazing. The game is going to be the loser when he leaves the country. I’ve got to admire that James Graham too. He’s a great player and has had a great year. They’re both outstanding players.

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Going the extra nautical mile: how Australia captured Pirates 5

Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The film has grossed more than US$1 billion worldwide.Movie session timesFull movies coverage
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The Australian government has signalled it is willing to fight hard in the cut-throat world of movies, offering an unprecedented treasure chest to lure Pirates of the Caribbean 5 to our shores.

The hugely popular franchise will film its fifth instalment in Queensland from February 2015, after Walt Disney Studios accepted a $21.6 million bounty – originally earmarked for the same studio’s planned production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – from Canberra, plus payroll tax exemptions from the state government, to choose the Sunshine State over close rival Mexico.

After the collapse of 20,000 Leagues, which David Fincher had been slated to direct, with Brad Pitt rumoured to star, Disney lobbied the federal government to have the $21.6 million transferred to Pirates 5. Last month, the government agreed to that request.

Federal arts minister George Brandis said the $21.6 million was the biggest contribution the government had ever made to the financing of a blockbuster, which is set to create at least 1000 jobs and pump $100 million into the economy.

“[This] will be the largest international feature film ever to shoot in Australia and will focus the world’s attention on Australia as a leading film destination,” he said. “Our investment in attracting the film to Australia will result in substantial benefits for the screen industry and economy.”

The wheeling and dealing to bring the film to Australia began in earnest in February, when Queensland Premier Campbell Newman met with Disney executives during a USA trade mission. Other states had also vied for a slice of the action.

The ink was still drying on the contract when Queensland’s Arts Minister Ian Walker called a media conference in Brisbane on Thursday morning to announce “We got it”.

“There was talk about this film going to other parts of the world, there was talk about this film coming to Australia but only partly done in Queensland,” he said. “That wasn’t good enough for me or for Screen Queensland, and so we’ve been negotiating and negotiating hard while the rumours were flying around to ensure that Queensland got this film and got it exclusively.”

Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira began working on the deal in early March, not long after she started in the role, in order to convince producers the Gold Coast and far north Queensland locations could work both financially and creatively.

“Right down until a week ago it wasn’t just ours,” she said. “We faced strong competition from our state rivals, and also from Mexico.”

Ms Vieira said staff sent almost daily packages of potential shooting locations, and hosted key production staff on two separate scouting trips.

“The first one was four people who came out here… the production designer, art director, location manager and producer, and that was really about finding out whether creatively if it would work,” she said.

“Then there was a second scout that involved the directors, the visual effects designer, and the producer.”

Ms Viera and Mr Walker said commercial-in-confidence arrangements meant they could not specify the value of the payroll tax exemptions granted to Disney.

AusFilm, the industry-government partnership that lobbies moviemakers to shoot their films in Australia, said incentives were crucial to securing blockbusters, especially in light of the fact that California has finally agreed to offer tax incentives in order to keep more production in the state.

CEO Debra Richards said 2013/14 international productions The Moon and the Sun, Unbroken and San Andreas shot employed 6300 people across all states and brought in new inward investment of $150 million.

“The international film industry is highly competitive and without compelling incentives such as the Location Offset this production would not have considered Australia as a production destination,” she said.

“The filming of Pirates of the Caribbean will further enhance the international positioning of Australia as a world class filming destination.”

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David riding in aid of kids charity

GOOD CAUSE: Cootamundra’s David Moore is inviting people to sponsor him as he embarks on the Great Cycle Challenge. RIGHT now, cancer is the largest killer of children from disease in Australia.
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There are countless stories across all forms of the media of young people with cancer and each story is just as devastating as the next.

Rather than hearing the stories and feeling bad for the families involved, Cootamundra’s David Moore has decided to take action.

He has joined the Great Cycle Challenge which raises funds for the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

The challenge allows riders across Australia to take on their own personal cycling challenge throughout the entire month of October.

David has set himself a goal of 1000 kilometres over the course of the month, which he is breaking up into small increments and getting a bit done each day.

“My daughter Kate has worked out it is only 33 kilometres per day so it is completely achievable!” David said.

“It will be tough but nothing compared to what these kids face every day of their lives as they battle this terrible disease,” he added.

When the opportunity to do something positive and proactive came up, David jumped at the chance to be involved.

“I have enjoyed good health and my kids have been fortunate enough to have good health; not everyone is so lucky so if I can put my good health to a good cause of course I’ll do it,” David said.

Thinking of his own two kids, Kate 21 and Brendan 17, David said seeing kids inhospital when they should be out and about enjoying themselves inspired him to take action.

“Kids should be living life, not fighting for it,” David said.

Over 600 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer every year and sadly, on average, three die every week.

Show your support for the cause bysponsoring David at www.greatcyclechallenge南京夜网.au/Riders/DavidMoore.

All donations are gratefully received and will go towards this great cause.

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Rylstone patient 300th to benefit from lifesaving heart program

A Rylstone patient was the 300th person statewide to benefit from a new program which aims to save people from dying of a heart attack.
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The “Pre-hospital Lysis program” allows paramedics to send an ECG (a simple test that records electrical activity in the heart) directly to a cardiologist as soon as they suspect a heart attack.

This gives the patient immediate access to a specialist, so that a diagnosis can be made within minutes of the paramedics arriving.

If a heart attack is confirmed, paramedics can give immediate life-saving treatment (Lysis), wherever the patient may be.

The program has assisted 35 people in western NSW in the first six months of operation.

The “Pre-Hospital Lysis program” Western NSW Local Health District Cardiologist Dr Ruth Arnold said early diagnosis can improve the chance of recovery and survival in heart attack patients, which is especially important in rural and remote areas.

“Time is crucial when it comes to diagnosing and treating a heart attack successfully,” she said.

“Once a heart attack is confirmed by the ECG, the paramedics can provide appropriate treatment in the form of “lysis” or thrombolysis (clot busting medication to dissolve the blockage in the coronary artery), before the patient is transported to the best place for their further care and treatment.

Thrombolysis treatment involves dissolving the clot and opening up the heart artery, improving the chance that the person’s heart will remain normal and undamaged. This treatment is most effective if given within the first 60 minutes of a heart attack. In some rural areas it can take 30 to 60 minutes to even get a patient to the closest hospital.

This program makes each ambulance into a mobile coronary treatment unit and brings specialist care to the patient.

People are reminded that they should call Triple Zero immediately for an ambulance if they experience the following symptoms:

• Tightness, heaviness, pressure or pain in the chest, neck, jaw, back or arms;

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, especially if these symptoms come on quickly;

• Sweating, dizziness, nausea, or epigastric discomfort.

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Griswolds to play at Yours and Owls festival

The Griswolds will play at the sold-out Yours and Owls 4th Birthday Party festival on Saturday night.Constant touring can have unexpected consequences, says band member Chris Whitehall.
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Chris Whitehallof the Griswoldsrealised the harsh realities of non-stop touring after being abandoned by his band in Brooklyn at 1am.

“We had just finished a gig at Rough Trade and I carried out the last thing as we were packing up,” he says. “I came back and the van was gone, they’d left me behind.”

The band was in the midst of a three-month touring stint of the United States when Whitehall found himself wandering the streets lost at 1am.

“I’ve got no idea where we’re staying or what to do,” he says. “My shoes exploded off my feet as I’m walking through Brooklyn. I’ve got no shoes, no band and nowhere to sleep.”

Luckily, Whitehall found some friends by chance in a bowling alley and was reunited with the band in the morning.

“It wasn’t the first time it’s happened and when you play 50 to 60 gigs in 3½ months, it becomes a game to try and remember which cities and venues we’ve played.”

The Griswolds’ mammoth tour came as a baptism of fire for the Sydney four piece.

They had only released two songs when US label Wind Up Records came knocking and this tour is first time they’ve played live with their current line-up.

“There was definitely a feeling of being out of our depth,” he says. “They were throwing contracts at us and we just closed our eyes and jumped in.”

The boys worked with famed indie producer Tony Hoffer in New York on their new album before hitting the road. The band had requested Hoff after admiring his efforts on Beck and Phoenix albums and had prepared themselves for a knock back.

“We thought there was no chance in hell he’d say yes but he did,” he says. “This guy was a hero of ours, he’s worked on our favourite albums, we were giddy when we met him.”

Whitehall describes him as “freaky genius” who became almost a favourite member of the band.

“He pushed us, he kept us up to 4am every night rewriting songs and challenging us,” he says.

Whitehall is excited about the band’s upcoming show in Wollongong.

“Playing regional dates is some of the most fun we’ve had. People just love music there and throw themselves into the gig,” he says.

The Griswolds will play at the sold-out Yours and Owls 4th Birthday Party festival on Saturday alongside Dune Rats, Sticky Fingers and Hockey Dad.

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Young Australians arrive to deliver aid message to politicians

More than 350 young Australians form the words End Poverty on the lawns in front of Parliament House. Photo: Jeffrey Chan Liz Rhodes takes a selfie of her and Darcy Lower as 350 young people get into formation to spell out their anti-poverty message. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
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More than 350 passionate young people from around Australia rallied outside Parliament House on Thursday, condemning mooted cuts to foreign aid spending.

Responding to a report on Thursday that the Abbott government would cut aid funding to help pay for an Iraq military campaign and national security measures, the members of the Oaktree youth aid organisation said Australia should play a leadership role in ending poverty.

The demonstration, which included them spelling out the words “End Poverty”, was part of the organisation’s campaign to pressure governments to do more in the developing world.

Oaktree communications director Meg Brody said Australia should change its attitude towards its international responsibility.

“Australia has the opportunity to lead the world in ending poverty, instead we have seen cut after cut by this government,” Ms Brody said.

Volunteers have also been hitting the streets of Canberra, approaching residents and urging them to support the movement.

Oaktree head of campaigns Fiona Canny praised the efforts of those involved in the event, and was happy to see that young Australians were coming forward and having a voice.

“Today and this week highlights that young people are deeply committed to justice … There is something deeply inspiring about [it],” Ms Canny said.

Before the demonstration the group met Greens leader Christine Milne and other politicians. Ms Brody said they would attend more meetings with members of Parliament over the next few days.

“We have over 100 MP meetings lined up … It will provide the opportunity for young people from their electorate …to speak up,” Ms Brody said.

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Australian shares slip despite dollar rebound

A rebound in the Australian dollar was not enough to stop the selloff among banks and miners on the local sharemarket on Thursday.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 36.4 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5297.7. The broader All Ordinaries lost 36 points, or 0.7 per cent to 5298.5.

The local market took its lead from a weak session on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 index fell for a third day on the back of soft economic data, while the small-cap heavy Russell-2000 index slipped into a technical correction, down more than 10 per cent from recent highs.

Local investors are still reeling from a rough September which saw the ASX 200 drop more than 6 per cent, while overseas investors have continued to leave the Australian market as the local currency remains under pressure.

A lower Australian dollar was a long-term positive as it helped boost exports, supporting a fair chunk of the local market, but short-term investors were losing money from the falling currency, Tribeca Asset Management portfolio manager Sean Fenton said.

“There is also concern of a rate rise in the US, down the track, so there has been a bit of an unwind of the carry trade and for Australia that’s pretty material in terms of some of the high-yield sectors that have seen flows from the carry trade offshore with a strong currency and high yields, along with self-managed super funds searching for yield,” Mr Fenton said.

The Australian dollar jumped as high as US88.16¢ on Thursday, following solid building approvals data, and moved further away from a near-four year low the currency plumbed on Wednesday.

Building approvals jumped 3 per cent in August, led by the fastest growth in apartments and townhouses in seven months.

Building materials company Boral rose 1.6 per cent to $5.03, while CSR dipped 2.4 per cent to $3.27.

Australian miners have also suffered as a weaker growth outlook for China weighs on the price of iron ore. But overnight on Wednesday, the price of the steel-making ingredient lifted 1.1 per cent to $US78.89 per tonne.

On Thursday, BHP Billiton fell 1 per cent to $33.65, Rio Tinto dropped 0.5 per cent to $58.94. Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals bucked the trend, adding 2.6 per cent to $3.55.

Despite a torrid September for banking shares, CIMB analyst John Buonaccorsi thinks there is more to come, cutting his recommendation for the sector to ‘underweight’, from ‘neutral’.

“Our estimate of their ‘new world’ intrinsic valuations are about 30 per cent below current share prices and the support from offshore yield investors will fade as the Australian dollar falls and US$ interest rates rise,” Buonaccorsi said.

Among the big four banks on Thursday, Commonwealth Bank fell 0.5 per cent to $75.81, while ANZ dipped 0.7 per cent to $31.22. Westpac lost 0.5 per cent to $32.29 and National Australia Bank finished 0.5 per cent lower at $32.68.

Australia’s financial sector was still awaiting the findings of the Murray Inquiry and there were concerns about what that would mean for banks’ capital requirements, Patersons Securities strategist Tony Farnham.

In corporate news, Treasury Wine Estates said that the company would continue to benefit from an oversupply of grapes in the Australian market. However, TWE shares were 1.6 per cent lower at $4.21 at close on Thursday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission gave the green light for global online travel powerhouse Expedia to take over Wotif南京夜网, boosting its shares 6.5 per cent to $3.29.

Telstra shares fell 0.6 per cent to $5.35, with just one day to go before investors must decide whether to participate in the telecommunications company’s $1 billion share buyback. The cut off time is 7pm on Friday.

Market volatility is increasing and there are a number of macro events investors will need to keep an eye on.

“[Thursday night] We’ve got the ECB policy meeting, everyone is waiting to see to what extent they follow through with their asset backed securities and covered bonds QE program,” Mr Farnham said.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls numbers in the United States was also likely to spark speculation about when the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, Mr Farnham said.

“Yellen has been talking about the need to think about employment and that it’s not quite as strong as they’d like it to be.”

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