Altair boss in dispute over mother’s shares

The fund manager who shocked the market by closing his Altair Asset Management funds and returning the cash to investors, citing an imminent property calamity and market correction, is embroiled in a dispute surrounding his mother’s share portfolio.
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In a case proceeding through the NSW Supreme Court, Philip Parker, who is Altair’s chairman and chief investment officer, is one of the defendants named in an action stemming from claims brought by his elderly mother, Faye Mary Parker and F M Parker Pty Ltd.

The action and its numerous cross-claims were set off when Mrs Parker filed suit against Attis Capital, its director David Reynolds, and Altair Assets and Pepsec, which is an entity linked to Mr Parker and Altair.

The dispute centres around a loan obtained by Pepsec on June 11, 2015, from Attis Capital, against which Pepsec providedMrs Parker’s shares as collateral. Attis Capital alleges that it exercised its right to sell those shares at the instruction of Mr Parker who denies giving these instructions. Mrs Parker argues that she never approved the transfer and sale of her stock and she wants her shares back.

Mr Parker refused to comment on Wednesday; he has previously maintained shuttering the business was predicated on a bearish market call. Last night, his lawyers said the court action had nothing to do with Mr Parker’s surprise decision to close his funds and repay investors.

“It appears that the plaintiff” – Mrs Parker – “is the victim of a fraud perpetrated by the second defendant” – Pepsec – “and the third cross defendant” – Mr Parker, it is alleged by Mr Reynolds and Attis. Mr Parker denies the fraud allegations. Pepsec and Mr Parker, in response, claim wrongdoing by Mr Reynolds and Attis and, that Mrs Parker did sign the transfer forms.

Papers filed on behalf of Attis and Mr Reynolds detail how $3 million was incrementally advanced to Pepsec, the entity linked to Altair and Mr Parker. Mr Parker told Mr Reynolds in June 2015 that Pepsec needed $1 million for the purpose of Altair working capital.

“Mr Parker instead used part of that money for his own use and benefit,” the documents allege.

Attis advanced $1 million to Mr Parker, and Attis intended to reconstitute the portfolio of shares when Mr Parker repaid the $1 million.

Mr Parker directed Attis to retain the balance of the proceeds and trade it, according to Attis and Mr Reynolds.

Moreover, “Mr Parker directed Attis to split any profits from that trading on a 50-50 basis between Mr Parker and Attis,” the documents submitted for Attis say.

Around October 14, 2015, $1.96 million was deposited in to Attis’ account with ANZ by F M Parker Pty Ltd.

Attis advanced a further $1 million to Pepsec from the $1.96 million at the direction of Mr Parker, the same documents say, and Mr Parker directed Attis to retain the balance and trade it.

Around December 22, 2015, $2.97 million was deposited to Attis, which advanced a further $1 million of the $2.97 million to Pepsec.

Again, Attis retained the balance and says it was instructed to trade it and profit share any spoils.

Altair, a plaintiff in one of the cross-claims, alleges Attis and Mr Reynolds sold the shares and used the proceeds to fund the loan to Pepsec. Altair also alleges the balance of the proceeds have been retained by Attis and Mr Reynolds for their own benefit.

Mr Parker claims he did not sign the loan agreement and did not witness his mother’s signature. Alternatively, he did not know what he was signing as he was signing numerous documents put forward by Mr Reynolds.

In their response, Attis and Mr Reynolds say the second secured loan agreement was provided by Mr Parker, signed by his mother and Mr Reynolds. They say the mother denies having signed it and Reynolds has no recollection of having signed it.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Parker said “giving up management and performance fees and handing back cash from investments managed by us is a seminal decision, however preserving client’s assets is what all fund managers should put before their own interests.”

The case continues and is likely to be heard in September. Mrs Parker was approached for comment via her lawyer. The lawyer acting for Mr Reynolds and Attis Capital had no comment in relation to the proceedings.

Separately, Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show that Altair Assets director John Milne Hall resigned from the board April 7, 2017. Mr Hall submitted his resignation to Mr Parker, where he told Mr Parker that his reason for resigning was a lack of information.

“The principal reason for my resignation is that for the past three or more years I have not been provided with sufficient information in relation to the conduct of the business of Altair Assets Ltd to discharge my duty as a non-executive director to monitor the conduct of the company’s business and to intervene where appropriate.”

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Colossal Fifita comes of age as Blues humble Maroons

Match Report: Fifita stars as Blues smash MaroonsPlayer Ratings: How New South Wales faredPlayer Ratings: How Queensland fared
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Fat kids rule.

Eight months ago, Andrew Fifita was admonished and banished from the Australian team because of his subtle support for one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge.

On Wednesday night, he ripped out an Origin performance that has Queensland ripe for the picking in game two at ANZ Stadium on June 21.

The Sharks prop manufactured the Blues’ first try for James Maloney, helped get the ball rolling for Mitchell Pearce’s try on the stroke of half-time and then bulldozed over for his own in the 55th minute.

Fifita is one of the game’s great mysteries.

Cronulla fans adore him, not least after his display in last year’s maiden premiership victory. Many rival supporters consider him a stain on the game, as much as he tries to paint himself as a misunderstood soul.

In this match, it was impossible not to applaud him no matter what you think of him.

Park Fifita’s character to the side for a moment and what’s left is a 120-kilogram footballer who looks like he’s ducked through the drive-through at Hungry Jacks on the way to the game before playing with Beetson-like aplomb. The biggest kid on the field who nobody can stop and if you can he’ll just pop an impossible pass anyway.

In a game that’s becoming increasingly played by athletic robots, all of the same size, all of the same mediocre skill, he’s an unlikely breath of fresh air.

He set up the first try of the match using equal parts size and skill, scattering Maroons defenders like a bowling ball and then squeezing out an offload for Sharks teammate Maloney to score.

Late in the half, with NSW reeling from a Maroons try to winger Corey Oates from a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick, Fifita smashed it up the middle again, getting Queensland on the back foot and giving the Blues enough momentum for the play to surge down field before Pearce went over just before half-time.

Fifita was one of several stars in a Blues side whose time looks like it has finally arrived, albeit against a Queensland team that will now be sweating on the injured Johnathan Thurston returning for game two. It will stun if Billy Slater – for some reason overlooked for this match – isn’t there, too.

Even with those players, however, Laurie Daley’s men will be brimming with confidence after a 28-4 victory, their biggest in Brisbane.

Fullback James Tedesco was equally as dominant as Fifita, scoring tries at one end and snuffing them out at the other. Aaron Woods found the form he hasn’t had all season at the Tigers. Rookie hooker Nathan Peats tackled everything but the Maroons trainers.

Jarryd Hayne went into the match with his future at the Titans unclear, however on Thursday morning, the NRL club announced he would in fact be seeing out his second year on the Gold Coast.

When he scored in the 60th minute, he ran towards the large pocket of Blues fans behind the posts climbed into them, arms outstretched. After toying with American football and rugby sevens, the Hayne Plane was home.

In many respects, rugby league needs a NSW series win. Just to change it up.

For all the navel-gazing the game has been doing recently, it can always rely on Origin to bring it back to life, but this series has been different.

The opening match, in Brisbane, did not sell out and worryingly there were empty seats dotted around the outer of a rugby league cathedral that not that long ago would sell out Origin matches within a day.

Perhaps it had something to do with the Blues’ supposed favouritism with Queensland missing the likes of Thurston, Greg Inglis and Matt Scott.

Whatever the interest, it meant nothing to the players who produced one of the most absorbing opening halves of football seen at this level in years.

While Pearce was solid in his return to Origin, there would’ve been legions of Blues supporters sitting in loungerooms and throwing remote controls at the wall through an impotent kicking game that has long been his downfall in Origin.

He was starting to come into the game until the 50th minute when he was collected by Maroons centre Will Chambers and was ruled out of the rest of the night with concussion.

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Andrew Fifita produces performance for the ages

Andrew Fifita, take a bow. It was the night the controversial Cronulla prop finally stamped his authority on the Origin arena.
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With a performance Arthur Beetson would have been proud of, Fifita solidified his place as the game’s premier front rower – producing an inspired outing to lead the Blues to a 28-4 victory in the series opener at Suncorp Stadium.

Almost three years to the day Jarryd Hayne earned praise for producing arguably the best individual performance in NSW history on the same ground, Fifita put his name up in lights alongside him with a try and a try assist on a night that is likely to be remembered as the changing of the guard in Origin.

No Johnathan Thurston, no Greg Inglis, no Matt Scott, no chance … apparently. And judging by the dominance of NSW in game one, it appears the curtains are closing on a dynasty that many believe rugby league won’t ever see again.

The 27-year-old Fifita, who has earned his fair share of detractors after his controversial support of one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge, was public enemy No.1 in Brisbane before a ball was even kicked.

That certainly didn’t change after full-time after terrorising Queensland with a barnstorming display that included nine tackle breaks and almost 200 metres in his first Origin appearance in the run-on side in eight games for NSW.

Fifita was far and away the best player on the field, but Blues fullback James Tedesco put aside a season to forget to leave Suncorp Stadium with the tag as the second-best player on the paddock in NSW’s biggest win in enemy territory.

In only his second Origin game, Tedesco proved almost impossible to stop, bagging a try and setting up another as he rediscovered his mojo.

But it was his never-say-die attitude in defence, saving a couple of tries with his relentless pursuit of the ball carrier that would have pleased coach Laurie Daley the most.

Like they did in 2014 when they last won an Origin series, the Blues will head to ANZ Stadium looking to wrap up the series after a victory on away soil.

Three years ago, in the corresponding game of the series, Hayne etched his name into the history books with a performance for the ages.

This time it was Fifita.

In 2014 Hayne carried NSW on his shoulders to a drought-breaking series victory the last time he donned the blue jersey.

But the superstar status he left the game in possession of has eroded over the thousand odd days since he last walked out on to the Origin arena.

It took him 34 minutes, but Hayne showed he still possesses the superstar qualities when he bumped off a few defenders and produced an incredible offload to send Brett Morris into open space.

However his defensive deficiencies were also exposed, making a poor read in defence in the set of six that lead to Queensland’s first try to Corey Oates off a Cooper Cronk kick.

Hayne was picked based on the contribution he has made to the jersey in the past, and a hope that the jersey would contribute to Hayne rediscovering something from the past.

It was the opposite for Mitchell Pearce. There’s not much from the past the Blues wanted him remembering.

Unfortunately, after a sickening collision with Will Chambers early in the second half, there won’t be much from Wednesday night’s game Pearce will remember.

But when he sits down to watch the replay, the heavily scrutinised Blues halfback will reflect on a moment to savour when he combined with future Roosters teammate Tedesco to give the Blues a 12-4 lead on the stroke of half-time before his night came to a premature end.

In the early exchanges of the second half, NSW transformed a dominant start into a unassailable lead when Fifita and Tedesco crossed.

Queensland, unlike in previous campaigns, had no answer.

Hayne redeemed himself for his first-half defensive lapse and in the process took a walk down memory lane, leaping into Blatchey’s Blues when he scored NSW’s fifth try mid-way through the second half.

Debutant Nathan Peats braved a quad injury to prove he has the physical and mental toughness to belong in Origin.

But that was overshadowed by Fifita. The villain turned hero.

NSW 28 (A Fifita J Hayne J Maloney M Pearce J Tedesco tries J Maloney 4 goals) bt QUEENSLAND 4 (C Oates try) at Suncorp Stadium. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Gerard Sutton. Crowd: 50,300.

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Great skill and sportsmanship

This competition is a state wide event and is one of the largest sporting events in the southern hemisphere, this year attracting 305 teams, 3600 participants from 86 associations from as far afield as Young and Cootamundra, Brunswick, Byron to the Sapphire Coast.
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The 12s Years team played in Division 3 at Charlestown in their first year of State Championships. The girls played 24 games over the three days of competition, eight games each day consisting of two by eleven minute halves.

Winning to Armidale, Casino, Great Lakes, Narrabri, Cowra, Gunnedah and Moree, and losing many more by only a couple of points, the team ended up finishing an overall 19th.

A standout game for the weekend was our win against Cowra. We were losing at half time by only a few points and a change of positions at half time proved to a positive move and we came back at the end with four unanswered goals in a row, all with first attempt at goal to win 12 points to 11.

They proved to me then that they could play very well together and I knew that they were capable of this.

The Defence players Zoey Perovic, Carlee Russell and Monique Moon worked so hard all weekend to turn over the ball, making countless intercepts and rebounds.

Mid Court players Amy Legge, Katherine Pajuczok and Krystal Grover who amazed me with their endurance levels, and helped to move the ball up the court and feed the circle.

To the five shooters, Jade Crouch, Kelsea Tarlinton, Karie Van Hoesel, Jarrah Kennedy and Renee Hoare with certain combinations worked well together in the circle and shot on not such a consistent basis but tried hard all weekend regardless.

Also Kelsea Tarlinton, Kari Van Hoesel and Jarrah Kennedy who also played in the mid court.

Our Player’s Player for the weekend went to Jarrah Kennedy and runner-up Carlee Russell, and our Coach’s Award went to Krystal Grover.

All 11 players are to be commended on their sportsmanship over the weekend and all playing with the will to win and never giving up. As a coach I am very proud of them all.

It has been an absolute pleasure to coach this great group of girls this year and also it has been a great learning experience for me as my first year coaching a representative team. I would like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to do this.

Thank you to all the parents, helping in anyway possible over the weekend, from preparing the food to scoring and supporting the whole team, including Shelley and myself.

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Former Wallabies on regional tour

SIX former Australian players of various vintages were at Tamworth’s Viaduct Rugby Park yesterday as part of the Rugby True Colours Tour.
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All had played Test football for the Wallabies or toured with Australian teams and all had a connection to the region.

Barraba’s Bill McKid and Quirindi’s Dave Carter played for Australia and their respective Central North clubs and both still live in those communities.

Moree’s Brian Mansfield represented Australia, the Bulls and Tamworth.

Ollie Hall toured Italy and France with the Wallabies in 1983 and played for Scone at the end of his career and now lives in Scone while Neil Latimer, who played one Test against New Zealand in 1957, lives just out of Tamworth. Latimer’s son Ben played first grade with the Magpies until a few weeks ago.

Tamworth’s Denis O’Callaghan toured the British Isles and Canada with the Australian side in 1966-67 before playing rugby league with St George.

His son Tim plays with the Pirates and Denis also coached the Buccaneers in 1976.

O’Callaghan said he reckoned the Wallabies could “give the World Cup a shake” as he sat next to Bill McKid signing autographs for a long line of school children yesterday.

“The forwards are going to have to improve and dominate the game.

“That’s where it all starts. Bill (McKid) will tell you that. He’s a back but he still understands all that,” O’Callaghan said with a chuckle.

McKid, in good form, piped back: “It’s pretty easy to blame the forwards.”

McKid drew attention to the near quarter century of service given by Barraba and former NSW player Geoff White.

White broke a leg in a recent clash with Tamworth, although McKid wouldn’t be surprised to see the man known as “Horse” back in the green and white.

“I didn’t know he was finished yet,” McKid said.

“I wouldn’t write him off but if it is the end of an era I don’t blame him for retiring after what happened.

“He’s certainly had a fantastic career and has been a mainstay of Barraba for the past 20 years. We’ll see what happens. He’s not gone yet.”

Brian Mansfield paid tribute to the play of the Moree Bulls in their recent 72 match-winning streak in the Central North


“They had the people and the attitude and that was a very hard level to sustain for that period of time. Bill (McKid) and Barraba did something similar (four CN titles in a row) in the 1980s when he was running the show.”

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Season nearing its end

Unfortunately, the Halligan brothers were unavailable and this left a gaping hole in the team. Helping to balance was the return from injury of Matthew Joseph and a rethink of retirement from Michael Sullivan.
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The team that took the field was M Joseph, G Norris, P Perkins, C Cook, M Jackson, C Stewart, M Sullivan, A Power, L Kimber, S Sten, M Stone, C Clear, C Elton. Reserves were A Guthrie, T Cameron, A Anderson, D Cotterell.

Bega kicked off and the game seesawed or 10 minutes until Bombala scored through Malcolm Stone and led 4-0.

Five minutes later Bega opened their scoring with a converted try which they quickly repeated to lead 12-4. Bega lost the ball from the kick off and the Blues were keen to take full advantage.

Clay Stewart earned plenty of brownie points from brother-in-law Paul Perkins with an expertly constructed try, sucking in several defenders and giving Paul an uninterrupted passage to score, the conversion was missed but the Blues were right in it at 12-8 down.

However, possession went astray from the kick off. Bega scored to lead 16-8 at the 30 minute mark after a penalty, Bega scored again to lead 20-8, quickly followed with a long range converted try to lead 26-8 at halftime.

Bega wasted little time in scoring in the second half with a classy passage of passing to lead 32-8. Then a classic front on tackle from Michael Sullivan shook the ball loose and with good field position Bombala scored through Clay Clear, Corey Elton converted and Bega led 32-14.

Bega then took complete control of the match and with four more tries led 50-14. Bombala scored the last try through Clay Stewart, converted by Michael Sullivan to go down 50-20. The Cooma game next weekend is a must win whilst hoping Bega can be beaten.


Bombala Juniors had another heavy loss, going down 74-0 to the highly rated Bega team. They took the field with only 12 players. They played much of the game with 11.

One must surely congratulate the tenacity and perseverance of Wayne Peisley and the boys, who kept turning up every week. They never forfeited, and showed a lot of guts for supporting their mates when it would have been easy to just not turn up.

This Saturday both teams will play Cooma in Cooma, the Under 18s at 1pm, and the First Graders at 2.30pm, with hopes a big crowd of supporters will follow them to the clashes.

Afterwards, End of Season drinks and live music will be enjoyed at the Bombala RSL Club, with all who are involved with the Bombala Blues, including their supporters, being encouraged to come along.

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Choosing a home for now and the future

According to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), cities need to be liveable, affordable and connected, with successful residential projects implementing these three ideals.
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This connectivity, which is fostered by providing ample green spaces as well as amenities and infrastructure to turn an area into a community, can play a huge part in choosing a home for now and the future.

Sydney-based buyers’ agent, Amanda Segers, says most of her clients tend to have 10-year plan.

“There’s a different property for every different life stage,” says Segers, who assists buyers in finding, negotiating and purchasing a property.

“You might start with a unit in one area then move to a semi. If kids come along, you might want a bit more of a yard, and once they’ve left home you might want to downsize.”

Segers says clients desiring a home for both now and the future tend to be younger parents who want to be near schools and amenities throughout their children’s school years.

She has noticed, though, that all types of buyers tend to look for an abundance of green spaces, shops and amenities within walking distance.

“No matter what stage of life, people want a sense of community,” says Amanda.

“For example, younger people without kids [and] older people are looking for green spaces often because there are pets involved, plus these days we’re a real cafe society; we want to be able to walk to the shops, restaurants and cafes.”

UDIA has conducted research in this area, using machine-learning technology to analyse “big data”, such as NSW’ Opal Card system for public transport fares. They also surveyed Sydney commuters to determine what they’re looking for in their lives and communities, and found that people desired close proximity to public transport and diversity of amenity such as shops, parks, hospitals and schools.

Ample green space that connects the community is integral in the master-planning of Ecco Ripley in Brisbane. Photo: Graham Jepson

Steve Mann, chief executive officer of UDIA NSW, says that these days, most people do not have a choice when it comes to their future plans.

“For example, a retiring couple looking to downsize from a five-bedroom family home into a terrace that’s close to family is unlikely to find any terraces for sale. This is a phenomena known as the ‘missing middle’, where there is a shortage of medium-density building types that bridge the gap between detached houses and apartment blocks,” Mann says.

Mann says that this gap is being bridged, with many master-planned developments moving towards a greater diversity in housing.

“More of the missing middle, such as townhouses, terraces and duplexes, is being constructed, providing greater proximity to employment, which is highly valued,” he says.

Recently, UDIA developed software called Urban Pinboard where anyone can check a visual representation of what their community will look like in a few years’ time. It works by placing 3D models of development proposals on a map similar to Google Maps and allows users to see proposals and give immediate feedback.

“This will allow home buyers to plan for the future in a way they never have before,” says Mann.

Ecco Ripley, a new development in the Ripley Valley 39 minutes from Brisbane, is one such master-planned project that is looking to the future. Scott Blaney, the Queensland state sales manager for Sekisui House, says the project has been designed with a wide variety of residents in mind.

“Sekisui House has a long-term vision to develop a community that will improve with age as it becomes more established and blends into the environment,” Blaney says. “The Ecco Ripley development caters for all lifestyles and life stages, and its broad appeal will help to create a rich, multifaceted community that will last for years to come.”

Ecco Ripley provides for the “missing middle” with a diverse product mix, including traditional homes as well as townhouses, terraces and duplexes. Photo: Graham Jepson

Sekisui House is also developing the nearby $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre. The centre is slated to be the regional hub for the entire Ripley Valley community, and is forecast to house a population of 120,000 residents.

Stage one of the Ripley Town Centre is earmarked to open in March 2018, and will include a 3800-square-metre supermarket, medical centre, pharmacy, veterinary clinic, and 20 specialty stores.

Blaney explains that area one of the Ecco Ripley community has been designed to ensure that each house is no more than 400 metres away from parkland or green space. In the soon-to-be-launched area two, homes will sit within 200 metres of more than 10 hectares of extensive parklands, and will also be just a short walk from the Sekisui House Ripley Town Centre.

And, importantly, Ecco Ripley will be providing for the “missing middle”.

“Whilst we continue to build traditional three- to four-bedroom single- and double-storey homes, we’ve also introduced a range of duplexes, terraces and townhouses that have been designed to deliver affordable, low-maintenance new homes for buyers,” says Blaney.

“It’s another way for the community to grow with the area and the area to grow with the community.”

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State of Origin opener pulls in huge ratings for Nine

Nine’s State of Origin coverage has once again swept all before it, recording another dominant victory in the ratings battle.
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However, the sport’s dominance has slipped somewhat, with ratings slightly down on last season’s record-breaking Game One.

An average of 2.348 million viewers tuned in across the five metro areas to easily hand the first instalment in the annual battle between New South Wales and Queensland a ratings win. With regional areas included, an average of 3.527 million viewers tuned in to watch New South Wales record a resounding 28 points to 4 victory.

Channel Nine’s coverage also collected second and third place, with the pre-show and post-show recording 1.509 million viewers and 1.201 million viewers respectively.

Those figures were enough to give the telecast the biggest ratings numbers of the year so far, and scored Nine a hefty 45.2 per cent of the evening’s total audience.

Perennial ratings winner House Rules was well down the list in 15th place, with Channel Seven choosing not to air the show in New South Wales and Queensland. In order to avoid a certain ratings defeat, the network aired reruns of Border Security and The Force – Behind the Line and will instead run last night’s episode tonight.

Channel Ten’s Masterchef fared slightly better, finishing in 10th place with 704,000 viewers. However it was defeated by State of Origin in all five metro areas and by House Rules in the three metro areas that Channel Seven chose to broadcast the home renovation show.

While the NRL and Channel Nine will be celebrating the ratings victory, the numbers were down 13 per cent on last year’s series opener.

That match set ratings records, delivering the biggest numbers in the history of State of Origin as an average of 2.708 million viewers tuned in across the five metro areas. Nationwide, viewership spiked at 4.423 million viewers, compared to a peak of 4.046 million on Wednesday night.


1 State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 1st – Match Nine 2,348,000 2 State Of Origin Rugby League Qld V NSW 1st – Pre Match Nine 1,509,000 3 State Of Origin Rugby League Qld V NSW 1st – Post Match Nine 1,201,000 4 Seven News Seven Network 1,126,000 5 Seven News / Today Tonight Seven Network 1,038,000 6 Nine News Nine 1,009,000 7 Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,003,000 8 A Current Affair Nine 912,000 9 Home and Away Seven Network 725,000 10 Masterchef Australia Network Ten 704,000 15 House Rules Seven Network 585,000 0

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It’s time to fill the gaps and set up a federal ICAC

The NSW anti-corruption watchdog, NSW ICAC, has revealed over 100 cases of systemic corruption and misconduct involving local and state public servants and politicians.
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One of these investigations resulted in former politicians and ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald being found guilty of misconduct in public office through their involvement in lucrative coal licencing deals.

Recent charges of tax fraud in the ATO show that such issues do not stop at the NSW border and our federal systems are equally vulnerable.

The reason more cases have been revealed in NSW is that there is an effective anti-corruption watchdog operating in NSW, but not one operating federally.

Despite the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull,assuring us that the government has zero tolerance for fraud and misconduct, readers will be surprised to find out that in fact half the public sector and the entire parliament are not covered by any anti-corruption watchdog.

Why? Because we don’t have a federal ICAC.

Instead we have a cobbled together and largely uncoordinated assortment of organisations responsible for oversight of different parts of the public sector. The Australia Federal Police, the Ombudsman, the Auditor General, the Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Public Service Commission all have roles, but with many jurisdictions, there are gaps.

The AFP pursue only criminal matters, which means that unless it is clear from the start that laws have been broken, many corruption allegations will not be investigated.The Ombudsman and the Auditor General are restricted to responding to complaints about administrative decisions and financial reporting.The Commission for Law Enforcement can only investigate cases of misconduct within law enforcement bodies like the AFP.The Public Service Commission cannot investigate politicians, and has only limited inquiry functions. In addition, Australian Public Service agencies only account for approximately half of the total Commonwealth public sector activity and agencies.None of the above have the jurisdiction to investigate ministers or the wide investigative powers needed to effectively pursue individual corruption allegations.

Transparency International describes how this system came about in a 2012 submission to the national anti-corruption plan discussion paper, which found: “The Commonwealth’s present arrangements are the result of decades of largely uncoordinated developments in administrative law, criminal law and public sector management, together with political accident.”

This reality seems to contradict Mr Turnbull’s statements in his response to the recent ATO tax fraud case. “You cannot be ever complacent about any aspect of integrity in public life or in government. So we have a relentless pursuit of corruption, malpractice, abuse of office.”

A Prime Minister who wanted a ‘relentless pursuit of corruption’ would fill the gaps and set up a Federal ICAC to investigate and expose corruption across the public sector and federal government. And Mr Turnbull would do well to learn from the success of NSW ICAC model.

Obeid and MacDonald: By following seemingly weak trails, the NSW ICAC has uncovered complex webs of corruption and misconduct.

Hannah Aulby is theAccountability and the Law Conferencedirector at The Australia Institute

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How Deb survived driving off Swansea Bridge

How Deb survived driving off Swansea Bridge SAFE AND DRY: Deb Moroney, who survived plunging off the edge of the Swansea Bridge on Wednesday night, and her 12-year-old son Ethan, who made a late decision to ride with his dad instead. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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SAFE AND DRY: Deb Moroney, who survived plunging off the edge of the Swansea Bridge on Wednesday night, and her 12-year-old son Ethan, who made a late decision to ride with his dad instead. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

WITNESSES: Lockie Rose and Caleb Gilbert called triple-zero after a driver crashed off the Swansea Bridge into the channel below.

Swansea Bridge on Wednesday night, after the car went over the edge. Picture: Brodie Owen

Swansea Bridge on Wednesday night, after the car went over the edge. Picture: Brodie Owen

Swansea Bridge on Wednesday night, after the car went over the edge. Picture: Brodie Owen

Police divers retrieve the car’s number plate on Thursday. Picture: Brodie Owen

Police divers prepare to enter the water to locate the car. Picture: Brodie Owen

Police divers prepare to enter the water to locate the car. Picture: Brodie Owen

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Fire and Rescue NSW

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Fire and Rescue NSW

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Fire and Rescue NSW

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Fire and Rescue NSW

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

A separate accident in 2014 left a car teetering over Swansea channel. Pic: Matt Smith Photography

TweetFacebookRain had whipped through Swansea around 5pmas Ms Moroney and Mr Armstrongbegan their run home to Salt Ash after driving down to SwanseaforEthan’s team soccer practice.

At about 5.20pm, with therain setin, Ms Moroney pulled her son from practice earlyto start thehour-long drive home.

Butknowing shewascollecting her teenagedaughter Cassandra from her boyfriend’s house on the way, Ms Moroney told Ethan, “how about you go with your dad, mate”.

She thinks those words spared their lives.

“It would’ve been two fatals. Ethan can’t swim, and if he had been involved…”

As she screamed in the channel, alone, Ms Moroney was spotted by teenagers Caleb Gilbert and Lockie Rose.

The mates were about to go fishing in the channel atabout 5.30pm when they saw what seemedlike a boatbetweenthe pylons of the bridge.

Police divers retrieve the car’s number plate on Thursday. Picture: Brodie Owen

“I was getting our rods out of theuteand my matewas looking out at the channel. He said, ‘is that a car?’,”Mr Gilbert, 17, said.

“We could hear a lady yelling for help. The car started to sink pretty quick. She got out through the window, but she was getting dragged out [by the current].”

Mr Gilbert and Mr Rose, 18, ran onto the bridge and rang triple-zero.

They yelled outto Ms Moroneyto swim towards rocks near the Swansea RSL Club.

Once she stopped yelling her husband’sphone number –worry about himlater, urged the voices from the bridge – Ms Moroney reached the south bank of the channel and grabbed ontoa rock. Then another.

A resident with a housenear the waterfetchedMs Moroneya blanket, before police and paramedics arrived totake her to hospital.

She surprised everyone by being in good spirits, crackingjokes about going back for her phone and wallet. Her husbandand Ethan were almost at Belmont before they got thecall to turn around.

“Eth is shell shocked; hekept saying how grateful he is that mum is OK,” Mr Armstrong said.

“He’s now going over all his belongings –some brand new –that are still in the car. He was also pretty impressed with his ambulance ride.”

Deb and Rod Moroney with son Ethan Armstrong and baby Noah Armstrong at their home in Salt Ash on Thursday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Police said the car had broken through guard rails on the bridge’s outernorthbound lane and pitched into the channel.

They advisedboat owners to steer clear of the area.

One northbound lane was closedfrom Wednesday nightas Roads and Maritime Services assessed the damage.

Police divers at Swansea found the sunken Falcon on Thursday afternoon, and a recovery team will attempt to retrieve it on Friday.

Police investigations into the crash continue.

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Injury to key Wallaby gives Cheika a headache ahead of Tests

Nick Phipps will miss the Waratahs’ match on the weekend against the Chiefs but NSW coach Daryl Gibson believes “he’ll be fine” for the Wallabies’ first Test against Fiji in Melbourne.
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The Waratahs were initially optimistic about Phipps’ chances of starting at halfback for their must-win match, but Gibson has now brought in Jake Gordon.

Phipps, who left the field in the 51st minute with an ankle injury in the Waratahs’ 16-point loss to the Highlanders, flew back to Sydney on Thursday for more scans.

There is a small chance Phipps has syndesmosis, an injury that would keep him out for longer period, however Gibson said the information he received indicated the Australian halfback would be back sooner rather than later.

“Our doctor said he just ran out of time,” Gibson said. “I think he’ll be fine for next week. It’s a more a 10-day injury and he just ran out of time. We’ll get those scans to just rule that [syndesmosis] out.”

Phipps will join the Wallabies in Melbourne on Sunday and his problematic ankle shortens the odds on Brumbies young gun Joe Powell making his Test debut off the bench, providing Will Genia is given the all clear to start against Fiji.

Should Phipps be ruled out for a longer period, he could be replaced in the Wallabies squad by Gordon, a player who has been ahead of Phipps in the pecking order for the Waratahs at different stages this year.

When asked if he was surprised Gordon, the Waratahs’ second-leading try-scorer, did not get picked in the Australian squad, Gibson replied: “I’m sure he was in consideration and so it’s a real positive that I’m sure he’s been talked about in that light.

“I’m sure selection and higher honours aren’t too far away for him.”

Gibson was adamant Phipps’ late withdrawal wouldn’t have an effect on the side given Gordon has actually started more often for NSW this year.

The other major change to the Waratahs’ team is the inclusion of Jack Dempsey, who makes his return to Super Rugby after two months out with a broken foot.

Dempsey returned to football last week in the Shute Shield, getting through 35 minutes of work for Gordon before flying across to join the Waratahs in Queenstown, where they have been training this week.

The 23-year-old has played next to no football this season, making him a bolter in Michael Cheika’s Wallabies squad.

Saturday will his only chance to impress in a match situation before going into Wallabies camp and pushing for a bench spot for perhaps either the Scotland or Italy Tests.

“For Jack, in only his second game back, it’s really a case of him finding his match fitness again,” Gibson said. “You do that by playing. I expect him to get 20-25 minutes off the bench.

“He’s a player of enormous potential and promise and so having only just come back from injury I’m sure they’ll work with him in the June period and see where he can get to. That’s a position if you look around Australia, a [number] six, it’s a real opportunity for both Ned [Hanigan] and Jack to stake a claim there.”

Waratahs (1-15): Tom Robertson, Tolu Latu, Sekope Kepu, Dean Mumm, Will Skelton, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley, Cam Clark, David Horwitz, Rob Horne, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Israel Folau

Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Angus Ta’avao, David McDuling, Jed Holloway, Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas, Bryce Hegarty

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Blair aide says Labour and Tories have abandoned the centre

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Tony Blair’s longtime former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, says British politics has abandoned the middle ground and warns that the Labour Party and its supporters must fight grimly to avoid an election wipe-out at the hands of Theresa May.

Mr Campbell, who helped steer “New Labour” to three successive election victories from 1997 under Mr Blair, said current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn lacked the broad appeal to win the June 8 election but the “personality cult” the Conservative Party had built around leader Ms May was overblown.

“I don’t find her impressive as a leader who understands the modern world,” Mr Campbell told Fairfax Media in an interview from his home in London.

“The whole thing is being built around her. They’ve tried to construct a cult of personality around a non-person. She is not a Margaret Thatcher or a Barack Obama. She’s not a Bob Hawke or a Paul Keating.”

Mr Campbell – whose rugged approach to politics inspired the creation of foul-mouthed fictional spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the British series The Thick of It – will vote Labour despite doubts about Mr Corbyn’s leadership and severe differences with his supporters.

“I’m not going to claim he’s a great leader, because he’s not,” he said. “But we do have to do what we can to stop [Ms May] getting a massive landslide.

“I’m tribally, viscerally Labour. I spent my whole life trying to smash the Tories, but the most abuse I get on social media comes from Corbyn supporters.”

Mr Campbell said the critical centre ground “feels homeless” in this election.

“There is no doubt our politics is in a mess in Britain; the only choice is a hard Brexit Tory party or Labour which is openly, defiantly left of Blair and [Gordon] Brown, and left of the middle ground,” he said.

“Those people who were persuaded away from the Tories or the Liberal Democrats in 1997 have no one [from Corbyn’s Labour] saying we want you in the team.”

He spoke to Fairfax Media before two significant moments in the campaign: a surprise narrowing in the polls towards Labour, and the Manchester bombing, which swung momentum back to the Tories.

Ms May is polling 25 per cent ahead of her rival on who voters believe will keep them safe from terrorism.

Mr Campbell remains close to Mr Blair and recently interviewed him on camera for GQ magazine, asking his former boss what it was like to go from being “very popular to somewhat toxic and in some parts of the world hated?”

Mr Blair replied: “Yes, it’s hard.”

Mr Campbell told Fairfax Media that Mr Blair had become politically active again during the Brexit campaign – in which they both fought for “Remain” – but was unlikely ever to rejoin politics.

“The level of toxicity might just be too much,” he said.

Mr Campbell arrives in Australia in June to conduct a series of “masterclasses” in Sydney and Melbourne for Connect Media Group.

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Sing your heart out under the shower

The Voice: We’re pretty sure soprano Lorina Gore did lots of singing in the shower. Topics has often wondered why some people can sing and some can’t.
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Why do some people sound like songbirds and others like screeching cats?

Trish Watts might just have the answer. Trish is holding a workshop at Adamstown on Saturday called The Moving Voice.

Trish said we’re born to sing, but this gift can be stifled.

“It’s very natural for us to sing lullabies and little ditties when we’re children.It’s a part of our emotional language system,” Trish said.

But if we’re not encouraged from a young age, our singing voices can be strangled.

As teenagers, we’re allbelting outour favourite rock or pop songs.

But then, someone might tell us we’re singing too loud,out of tune or that we sound awful.

We might not get selected for the choir. Our parents might tell us to zip it. This is getting a bit Freudian, isn’t it?

That’s probably because Trish is a “Voice Movement Therapy” practitioner.

Trish says criticism of our singing voices can make usthink “I can’t sing”.

This was a shame because then “they don’t get to experience the joy of having their voices”.

“Not everybody will be singing on the Opera House stage,”she said.

“That’s not what the voice is for. Our voices are powerful mediums to connect with each other in a very human way about everything in life.

“It’s a natural way to express how we feel, what matters to us.”

Trish believes everybody has a voice.

“Some people are content to sing at home,in the shower, in the pub, at a footy match [like the fans who sing at English soccer matches] or karaoke,” she said.

“Others want to take it further and perform. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, everybody has the right to have their voice. When it’s taken away, you’re taking away a huge power. Not just individual power, but community power.”

Trish has deep thoughts on this. She reckons singing can help the body heal.

“The deeper youbreathe in life and open up to life and the life flow, the more you’ll be able to access your voice,”she said.

“When you start singing, you go into another world that’s not just the cognitive world where everything is rational, but you go into the world that’s full of imagination, soul, spirit and rhythm. It links us with each other.”

The workshopwill be held at Adamstown Uniting Church on Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Limited places are available, but more workshops are planned. Email inquiries to [email protected]南京夜网.au.

Beatlemania A photo of The Beatles from the album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Speaking of singing, was there anyone better at holding a melody than The Beatles?

We’ve been writing this week about readers’ thoughts on the50thanniversary ofthe Beatles’ albumSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album was originally released on June 1, 1967.

Bar Beach’s Mark Robinson told us that the band had opened its studio vaults to offer fans access to previouslyunreleased tracks and alternate takes of each song on a re-release of the album. In some cases these takes are very different to what made it on the original album, according to Rolling Stone.

Mark also shareda bit of Beatles’ trivia: “Did you know Ringo Starr is actuallyleft-handed, playing right-handed as a drummer?That’s part of the reason his drumming is so unique”.

We didn’t know that. We also didn’t know that Paul McCartney is considered by some to bean “insecure workaholic”.

“He’s virtually on tour every night of his life, and he’s nearly 74,” Esquire reported last year.

McCartneywrote a new introduction for the Sgt. Pepper anniversary edition, saying:“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art”.

Amen to that.

Cold Day in HellWinter is here. It’s cold. How cold is it?

It’s so cold, politicians have their hands in their own pockets.

That was a bit cold, wasn’t it.

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Company fined $460,000 after cattle deaths

Company fined $460,000 after cattle deaths Danger: Stacked nitrate at Warkworth’s Dyno Nobel plant in a photo taken in 2005.
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Devastated: A farmer was devastated after up to 80 cattle were locked in a paddock where the only available water was toxic. Warkworth’s Dyno Nobel has been fined $460,000 for causing five cows and a calf to die.

Fined: Warkworth’s Dyno Nobel site. The company has been fined $460,000 for a significant water pollution incident in 2015.

TweetFacebookThe notice should refer specifically to the death of the cattle and the partial abortion of a calf. It is not appropriate to soften or sanitise the description of what took place.

NSW Land and Environment Court Justice Tim Moore.

Dyno Nobel manufactures ammonium nitrate emulsions used in explosives for the mining industry at its Warkworth site and handles and stores a range of hazardous goods for this purpose.

The wastewater in the farm dam had a nitrate level of 9700mg/L, which is more than six times the toxic level for cattle, the court was told.

Dyno Nobel accepted that five cows and a calf “probably” died because the cows drank wastewater from the Warkworth site which entered the dam and contained “sufficiently elevated concentrations of nitrate and nitrite to have caused their deaths”.

The company’s acceptance of responsibility was “reflected in its decision to compensate the farmerin the amount of $76,000 and in its expression of deepest regret to the farmerfor having accidentally caused the incident”.

Justice Moore ruled that the environmental harm caused was “substantial”, in part because of the manner of the cattle’s deaths and “the suffering experienced by them in their dying”.

The court was told the cattle could have experienced pain and significant symptoms for up to 24 hours before their deaths.

Justice Moore ruled the water pollution event was “significantly above the midpoint of the range of seriousness for such offences”, and fined the company $400,000 for the offence.

He fined the company another $60,000 for breaching its licence conditions.

Justice Moore ordered Dyno Nobel to publish a notice about the Land and Environment Court convictions which had to include that five cattle died and one cow partly aborted a dead calf, after Dyno Nobel proposed a notice that did not include a reference to the deaths.

“The notice should refer specifically to the death of the cattle and the partial abortion of a calf. It is not appropriate to soften or sanitise the description of what took place,” Justice Moore said.

Dyno Nobel was ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $72,000 in addition to the penalties.

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Texas rode on rabbits’ back

At its peak, the Texas Rabbit Works could process 6000 rabbits a day.It usedto be said Australia rode on the sheep’s back. But rabbits also played a part in the country’s prosperity, not least in the township of Texas on the Queensland-NSW border.
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And the hub of the local industry was the Texas Rabbit Works, which is now open to the public as a very different kind of museum.

Lester Dawson, secretary of Texas Qld Inc, said the building is believed to be the only one of its type in such good repair anywhere in Australia.

You can take a self-guided tour of the newly renovated complex, and along the way take in the photos and information, displays and the unusual structure of the building.

Among other things, you can find out how Akubra hats are made or watch a TV program filmed at Texas in the 1970s by the ABC.

Needless to say, there are colourful tales to be told.

“Some real characters worked at the Texas Rabbit Works,” Lester said, adding visitors can see and hear some of them telling their stories by way of digital recordings.

“And if visitors have a short story to tell, there is a recording room to capture it for others to hear.”

You can also have your own photo taken in front of a special wall created for the purpose.

Lester said the first part of the building was constructed in 1928, with final additions completed between 1930 and 1932.

In 1930, The Amalgamated Rabbit and Skin Export Company Ltd Sydney began processing rabbits in Texas – 30,000 in the first two weeks, according to former Texas resident and historian Jeane Upjohn.

At its peak it processed 6000 rabbits daily.

In this early period the factory employed 33 men and was credited with saving the township during the Depression.

Locals were able to make a good living from trapping and selling them to the rabbit works. In fact, schoolchildren were known to earn more than their teachers.

“Underground mutton” was a staple on many family dinner tables.

Eight or nine trucks made daily runs along the roads leading to Texas to collect rabbits that had been trapped overnight and placed in screen boxes made of hessian.

Sold in pairs, the animals were processed, graded and the unskinned rabbits sent by boat to England.

Railway distribution was used between Texas and the Brisbane port. Rabbits were packed in boxes and ice that was made in the building, hence the Texas Riverside Freezing Works. Ice was also sold to the community.

After the demand for rabbits in England dwindled, carcasses were sold all around Australia, and from 1955 the rabbit skins were sent to Akubra and the Sydney Fur Market.

In the end, fumigators, poisons, myxomatosis and calicivirus led to the demise of the industry. The business closed down in 1992; at the time it was owned by Peter Sturgeon, who still lives in Texas.

Lester said it is a fascinating story, with much more still to be learned.

“We just keep finding more and more information. The dots are still being connected.

“Rabbits appear to be have been a quick source of food strategically placed by ships on some islands where they bred up for the use by different mariners.

“Also add to this the game rabbits introduced by the landed gentry for sport.

“The conditions in Australia allowed rabbits to flourish.”

Texas Rabbit Factory, open Saturday 9am-1pm or by appointment; admission $5 per person. Phone 0448 762 016, email [email protected]

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Hospital debate date setPhotosVideo

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison and some health workers’ union representatives handing in the petition in Sydney on Wednesday. Picture: SuppliedMaitland Hospital forum. Hunter New England Local Health District chief executive Michael Di Rienzo. Picture: Perry Duffin
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Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Maitland Cr Loretta Baker and Fairfax Media Lower Hunter editor Eve Nesmith. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Fairfax Media Lower Hunter editor Eve Nesmith. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison. Picture: Perry Duffin

Lower Hunter hospital forum in Maitland. Picture: Perry Duffin

Lower Hunter hospital forum in Maitland. Picture: Perry Duffin

Lower Hunter hospital forum in Maitland. NSW Nurses and Midwives Association assistant general secretary Judith Kiejda. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Maitland Mayor Cr Peter Blackmore. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Gerard Hayes, Health Services Union. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Maitland councillor Henry Meskauskas. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Andrew Holland, ASMOF. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Picture: Perry Duffin

Maitland Hospital forum. Dr Ben Spies-Butcher, Macquarie University. Picture: Perry Duffin

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