‘God bless Canberra, but…’: Joyce’s reasons for APS move

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce wants a new, ‘genuine’ parliamentary inquiry into decentralisation to show its benefits as criticism of the controversial project mounts.
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The Coalition government moved on Thursday to form a select committee to probe the policy that would force public servants to leave Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne for bush towns.

As Labor accused the Coalition of controlling the inquiry by drawing committee members only from the House of Representatives, where it has a majority, Mr Joyce said a separate Senate probe into the policy was already stacked with Labor and Greens senators.

“Now we’ve got the opportunity to have a genuine inquiry,” he said.

The committee could travel to more regional areas to show how the Coalition’s decentralisation project would benefit them, Mr Joyce said.

“God bless Canberra. It’s a wonderful place, but we want other parts of our nation to grow,” he said.

Invoking Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam as an advocate for Albury-Wodonga, Mr Joyce accused the Labor party of “inertia”.

The Coalition will establish a new parliamentary inquiry with six Coalition members, three Labor MPs and a crossbencher, likely to be independent MP for Indi Cathy McGowan.

But Labor has warned the inquiry would be an exercise in political spin for the government, which used the Senate inquiry into the troubled relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to encourage regions to show their support for decentralisation.

Labor member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, said the Coalition had shown it couldn’t come up with a regional development plan that didn’t hurt Canberra.

“Labor has always believed in strong regions, but it doesn’t need to involve decimating the bush capital,” he said.

“Barnaby Joyce’s decision to shift the APVMA to his own electorate will cost taxpayers more and deliver worse services.

“There’s no reason to think that the Coalition’s next hare-brained scheme will be any better.”

Dr Leigh said comments from Queensland LNP senator Ian Macdonald on Tuesday that federal public servants should face the sack if they refuse to go to work in Darwin were “ludicrous”.

“Six out of 10 public servants already work outside Canberra, filling roles in a range of roles in Centrelink, Customs and Medicare,” he said.

“But the policy-making role should stay in the nation’s capital. The nation’s public servants deserve our praise, not condemnation.”

The new inquiry will look at how moving public servants to the bush would “improve governance and service delivery”, identify the characteristics of agencies that would be suited to relocating, and towns suitable to host them.

It will also consider different models of decentralisation, including moving individual roles and parts of agencies.

Ms McGowan, who pushed for the inquiry in late May, said it would develop best practice for moving public service jobs to the bush.

“Decentralisation has incredible potential to deliver growth and prosperity in the regions if done properly,” she said.

“This is a huge win for regional policy and an opportunity to develop a plan towards more cohesive, vibrant, inclusive regions.

“What we want to see at the end of this is a process that embeds regional Australia into policy making and recognises the regions’ individual strengths and circumstances.”

*Please keep in mind the above interactive is just a bit of fun*

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We have cyber weaknesses but we’re improving

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a meeting on cyber security at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 31 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Meares In April last year, the federal government released Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy, seeking to enable innovation, growth and prosperity. While not a perfect document (I’d argue ASX100 companies have the bench strength to sort out their own cyber-security issues) and with a focus on national security (I’d argue the attention should be on economic security), it’s a solid effort at placing Australia at the global forefront. Indeed, it’s significantly better than the 2009 attempt.
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The online environment is changing rapidly. Whether it’s the way we now use mobile smart devices, interact via social media, consume government services or use ride-sharing apps, many could not predict four years ago the way technology changed how we now work and play. So creating a four-year cyber-security strategy was always going to be difficult to design, let alone implement. The Public Sector Informant: latest issue

We’re now seeing a refreshingly open dialogue from the government on cyber security. The Prime Minster has acknowledged publicly that Australia has the capability to “hack back” against cyber adversaries attacking the nation’s assets and infrastructure – marking a significant change in government posture and communications policy. We also saw a review into the 2016 eCensus, which focused on cyber security becoming a core platform for digital transformation and acknowledged that public confidence in the government’s ability to deliver on public expectations was diminished.

The first annual update of the strategy includes many positive results, scoring actions against actual deliverables. Of course, it’s only year one and, like all service delivery implementation, the results were never going to be lineal; rather, it will be lumpy as stakeholders get used to working with each other and new ideas are tried and tested. Most notably, the conversation has started: in government, businesses and among individuals. Cyber security has become mainstream dialogue.

Unfortunately, some, such as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, have been overly critical of the results thus far, blaming the design of the strategy, ad hoc government communications, insufficient expectations with industry partners and difficulty in quantifying success. It’s easy to pick holes in the delivery of 33 initiatives at their first gate, but let’s wait until processes fully bed down and cultural change starts permeating across government, business and society.

Protecting Australia’s critical information assets is a journey, not a destination. It will require many more strategies, coordinated by government, but largely led by the private sector – as custodians of our economy. This collaboration will take time; some wins will be quick, some a slow-burn.

The online environment is ever changing. There is a constant discovery of threats and vulnerabilities. However, to get the benefits of digital, we must all play our part to improve the nation’s cyber security.

Adjunct Professor Nigel Phair is director of the Centre for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra. Twitter: @nphair

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See the world differently

Experience: India’s Holi Festival will be just one of the local sights travellers will experience with Jayes Travel Experiences.Travel can be a wonderful thing. Yet organising visas, researching places of interest and finding those hidden treasures that turn a holiday into an experiencetakes time and lots of it.
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Jayes Travel in Newcastle are passionate about providing great travel services and have been fulfilling customerswishes for decades now through their gamut of services that include corporate travel, weddings and honeymoons, womens’travel, cruising and touring holidays.

Current owner Michelle Barkersays that while the business has built happy and loyal customers there has been one key group that were looking for something a little different.

“We noticed agap between those that were looking for say a Contiki tour and those perhaps considering a river cruise. These people wanted to truly immerse themselves in the culture and day to day life of a destination to get the most from the trip and see life through a local’s eyes,” says Michelle.

Out of this came Jayes Travel Experiences, an end to end travel service that enables travelers to tap into a destinations’ true culture. With itsconnections with local tour guides having in-depth knowledge of the chosen location, customers enjoy an itinerary that delves into local culture, food, history and lifestyle that most wouldn’t ordinarily find.

With so many hot destinations to discover, Jayes Travel select locations based on their own rich travel experiences along with the feedback customers give them about where they would like to go. Each grouppermits up to 20 people, whether it be friends traveling together, individuals, or couples, tours attract all types of people, after all age is an attitude not a number.

Transfers from Newcastle, flights, visas, day trips, accommodation and usually 2meals a day, are all inclusive, as is a professional photographer in the guise of your tour guide –able to capture your holiday, leaving you to enjoy the moment. Photos are provided to travelers at the end of their trip.

“So many times I’ve taken groups away to find that everyone is clambering to take a photo or selfie at a popular spot, which led me to think we should take care of this element too and let people enjoy the moment safe in the knowledge that they will have some spectacular photos to show everyone when they get home,” added Michelle.

Jayes Travel have earmarked Cuba and India as it’s next destinations of choice and is taking bookings now. Customers are encouraged to drop in to speak to the team at Hunter Street Mall and share their thoughts on destinations of choice or any particular needs they might have.

With tours also tailored to suit everytraveler, there’s not much to do but day dream, oh and pack.

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Dutton defends ASIO boss Lewis on refugee terror link

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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has come to the aid of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation head Duncan Lewis over his controversial statement that there was “no evidence” of a link between refugees and terrorism.

Mr Dutton would not explicitly agree with Mr Lewis’ remarks, but urged critics to cut the spy agency boss some slack after nearly a week of heavy criticism from the likes of Pauline Hanson, Tony Abbott, Andrew Bolt and others.

“The point Mr Lewis was making, that others have made, and I’ve made on a number of occasions, is that we do have problems where people are indoctrinated online, where they have an impressionable young mind,” Mr Dutton said on Thursday. “They can be of any background, they can come to this country on any visa.

“They can be born here, as was the case in the UK, and we saw this recently in Manchester, where people are radicalised not because of the pathway that they came to our country, but because they have had their minds influenced by people over the internet or by rogue preachers or whatever it might be.”

Mr Dutton also noted the “clarification” from Mr Lewis this week, when he explained on ABC radio that the handful of refugees who became terrorists were radicalised not because they were refugees but because of an extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam.

The intervention from Mr Dutton, as Immigration Minister and a senior conservative member of the Coalition cabinet, is a repudiation of the critics who have dismissed Mr Lewis’ evidence as “denying the obvious” or “not what the Australian people want to hear”.

Mr Dutton, whose department works closely with ASIO, said the government had rejected 30 asylum seekers on national security grounds as part of its special intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees, proving the system worked.

He also repeated his previous concerns about the radicalisation of “some” descendants of Lebanese migrants who entered Australia in the 1970s.

“All of that is fact. It’s not to be critical of Duncan Lewis or anybody else,” Mr Dutton told 2GB shock jock Ray Hadley.

“He is a good, decent man who has the absolute best interests of our country at heart. He has served this country loyally for his entire adult life. So I don’t criticise him.”

Mr Dutton later told reporters Mr Lewis’ detractors should direct their complaints towards him, Mr Dutton, instead.

“If people want to criticise this government in relation to the refugee program, criticise me. I’m the person in charge of this portfolio,” he said.

“But I don’t get too much criticism, in terms of people saying I need to harden up or take a tougher stance in relation to security checks.”

Mr Dutton said that as far as he was aware, the government was not considering the introduction of a special “terrorism court” for returning jihadis, as floated by former prime minister Tony Abbott in an opinion piece on Thursday.

But it would be a matter for Attorney-General George Brandis, Mr Dutton said.

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An open letter from Martina Navratilova: Time to rename Margaret Court Arena

Dear Margaret Court Arena,
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Sporting venues named for athletes, or any place, really, named for whoever, are so named for one reason. That reason is their whole body of work. In other words, it is not just for what this person did on the field, on the court, in politics, arts or science, for instance, but also for who they are as human beings.

When you were named after Margaret Court, it seemed like the right thing to do. After all, Rod Laver already had the big stadium and Court is one of the all-time greats. I had long ago forgiven Court for her headline-grabbing comments in 1990 when she said I was a bad role model because I was a lesbian.

What I did not know about until now were the unabashed racist statements she made in the ’70s about apartheid in South Africa. Saying that South Africa dealt with the “situation” (meaning people of colour) much better than anywhere else in the world, particularly the US: what exactly did she mean by that?

Fast forward to today and Court’s announcement of her boycott of Qantas because of its chief executive’s support of same-sex marriage, which basically means support for the LGBT community in general. That was bad enough. Now she is doubling down with her ridiculous comments about older women luring young girls on the tour to parties to turn them into lesbians. It’s a good thing she didn’t name anyone as I am pretty sure she would be sued for defamation.

It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe. Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too). She is demonising trans kids and trans adults everywhere.

And now, linking LGBT to Nazis, communists, the devil? This is not OK. This is in fact sick and it is dangerous. Kids will suffer more because of this continuous bashing and stigmatising of our LGBT community.

How much blood will be on Margaret’s hands because kids will continue to get beaten for being different? This is not OK. Too many will die by suicide because of this kind of intolerance, this kind of bashing and yes, this kind of bullying. This is not OK.

We celebrate free speech, but that doesn’t mean it is free of consequences – not punishment, but consequences.

We should not be celebrating this kind of behaviour, this kind of philosophy. The platform people like Margaret Court use needs to be made smaller, not bigger.

Which is why I think it’s time to change your name. And I think the Evonne Goolagong Arena has a great ring to it. Now there is a person we can all celebrate. On every level.


Martina Navratilova

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Buffy the Koala’s baby emerges

Tidbinbilla staff have waited for weeks to catch their first glimpse of Buffy the Koala’s new baby.
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On Sunday the brave little Koala joey poked its head from Buffy’s pouch to take a look at the big wide world.

Wildlife officer Corin Pennock was armed with a smartphone and captured the fluffy-faced marsupial wriggling around and checking things out.

A newborn Koala weighs less than a gram and looks a lot like a pink jelly bean. The blind hairless creature develops for several months in the mother’s pouch nourished by her milk as it grows eyes, ears and fur.

Senior wildlife officer Dr Jenny Pierson said the joey was likely to be six months old but it would be a few months until staff undertook a full health check and determined its sex.

“The video was the first time we saw the head pop out of the pouch,” she said. “We know it is about six months old because that is the age they start to pop their head out.”

The youngster has not yet been named and Dr Pierson said eager wildlife fans could keep an eye on the joey’s progress via Facebook and find out how staff plan to go about naming it. The young Koala only drinks its mother’s milk for the first six to seven months and remains in the pouch for that time, slowly growing and developing eyes, ears and fur. Soon the joey will start to wean from milk and transition to gum leaves. To do this the mother Koala passes on micro-organisms in her stomach to her pouch young through a specialised faecal substance called pap. Eating this is essential for the development of the joey to give it the gut bacteria needed to move to an adult diet. Introducing gum leaves to the joey’s diet will boost its growth and staff at the reserve expect this joey will be fully furred and soon hang out on its mother Buffy’s back. As the joey becomes more independent moving from the pouch to its mother’s back staff will conduct a full check of the joey’s body condition, teeth, weight and more. Over the coming weeks the joey would be more active and peer out from the pouch more often. Buffy and the baby koala can be seen at Tidbinbilla’s Eucalypt enclosure.

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Extremists stockpiled weapons ahead of Philippines siege

Tanks arrive at a military camp in Iligan city to reinforce Government troops who are battling Muslim militants who laid siege in Marawi city for over a week now Wednesday, May 31, 2017 in southern Philippines. Fighting continues for the second week now between Government troops and Muslim militants with casualties on both side and civilians.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)Bangkok: Islamic extremists pre-planned the siege of a southern Philippine city, deploying weapons, ammunition, Islamic State flags and bomb-making materials, according to the Philippine military and other sources.
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Authorities had earlier portrayed the siege of Marawi, 830 kilometres south of Manila, as a bloody response to a botched military operation to capture wanted terrorist Isnilon Hapilon???.

“Indeed there was planning that was involved even prior to our entry to arrest Hapilon???when we got information he was holed up in the area,” said Philippine military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla.

The siege has intensified fears that a dozen extremist groups allied with Islamic State will gain a foothold in the southern Philippines.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the violence.

Fighters from the pro-Islamic State Maute group are clinging to the heart of the city, threatening to kill hostages, despite air and ground attacks by security forces for an eighth day.

Kidnapped priest Chito Suganob has appeared in a video in which he repeated the militants’ demand for troops to withdraw from the city.

But the military dismissed the video as propaganda.

“The propaganda of the enemy???is indicative if their fighting for survival. They are trapped???they are in areas where they will never come out alive unless they surrender,” Brigadier-General Padilla told reporters.

Grave fears are held for Father Suganob and a dozen of his parishioners who were abducted from a church as they said prayers.

The military has warned there would be “collateral damage” as they deployed SF-260 close-air-support planes to back attack helicopters.

The death toll has soared above 100 with dozens wounded.

More than 20 of the dead are believed to be civilians.

Military spokesmen said fighting alongside the militants are prisoners they freed from the city’s two jails last week and an unknown number of foreign fighters.

Their weapons include arms seized when the militants rampaged through the city of 200,000, which is now largely deserted, with decaying bodies seen in streets.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who has declared martial law across Mindanao, ruled out negotiating with the militants, calling them terrorists.

“They are trying to correct the way of living for everybody,” he said.

“They do it by killing people, invoking the name of God and that is a very terrible ideology.”

There are unconfirmed reports that Hapilon, who was wounded in January, remains holed up in Marawi.

He is on Washington’s most wanted list with a US$5 million ($6.7 million) bounty on his head.

– with agences

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Sailing into storms of war

REFLECTING: Peter Morris and retired mariner Allen Renwick preparing for a service at the Merchant Navy memorial on the Newcastle harbour foreshore tomorrow. Photo: Max Mason-HubersWHEN retired mariner Allen Renwick lays a wreath at a service tomorrowat the Merchant Navy memorial on the Newcastleharbour foreshore, he will be thinking of one lost colleaguein particular.
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“One bloke I knew was killed on his first trip,” 91-year-old Mr Renwick said. “He was a deck boy, I was a cabin boy. He was torpedoed onthe Iron Chieftain.”

The BHP ship had set sail from Newcastle when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine just off Sydney on June 3, 1942. Twelve crew members died, including Mr Renwick’s friend, J.W. Lindemann. His name is on a plaque at the memorial.

He was one of about 1550 mariners who died at sea around Australia on 41 ships sunk by the enemy during the Second World War.

“The Merchant Navy maintained the supply lines in the Australian economy and the war effort, yet they were overlooked compared to the uniformed services,” said Peter Morris, the chairman of the Newcastle Merchant Navy Memorial Committee. “It was the forgotten war.”

Yet that aspect of the war, along with all those lost at sea, will be remembered at the service at 11.15 am. Mr Morris, a former federal politician, expected up to 200 to attend, particularly as it marked 75 years,to the day, since the sinking of theIron Chieftain.The day after the Iron Chieftain was lost, another Newcastle-crewed ship, the Iron Crown, was torpedoed, with37 killed.

“The iron ore ships were the ‘coffin ships’, they sank so fast,” Mr Morris said.

The BHP ship Iron Chieftain, which was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine on June 3, 1942.

Just a few days later, Newcastle itself was attacked. OnJune 8, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-21 surfaced in Stockton Bight and shelled the city. The prime targets were the steelworks and the Walsh Island dockyard. But shells were also fired at Fort Scratchley, with one exploding in Parnell Place, close to homes.While the attack caused minimal damage, it rattled Novocastrians.

“It was very scary,” recalled Mr Renwick, who was 16 and in the family home in the city as he heard shells whizzing in. “People were expecting the Japs to invade the place.”

While there was no invasion, Japanesesubmarines lurked off the east coast for another year. It is believed the I-21 was responsible for sinking another BHP ship, the Iron Knight,off the NSW south coast onFebruary 8, 1943. Thirty-six crew members were lost.

Soon after the shelling of Newcastle, Mr Renwick ventured to sea, launching in tumultuous times a career that would last46 years.

“We didn’t realise how dangerous it was,” he reflected. “When you’re young, it’slike a great adventure.

In tomorrow’s Newcastle Herald is a special eight-page souvenir supplement, ‘Newcastle Under Fire’, relivingthenight 75 years ago whenwar came to the city.

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Take the focus off glasses

OLD PROBLEM: Presbyopia is the most common eye condition in Australia and occurs as part of normal aging. It is not considered to be an eye disease and symptoms are usually noticeable by age 40–45.Cataract sufferers have been undergoing lens replacement surgery since the 1980s and it is regarded as one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today.
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What many people don’t know though is that a very similar procedure can help presbyopia sufferers to say goodbye to glasses dependence.

How do I know if I have presbyopia?Does this sound famililar –you hit your 40s and suddenly realised you could no longer see as clearly as you once did.

Fast forward another 10 years and your limbs don’t seem to be long enough to hold out that menu you used to read at arms length.

You are starting to depend on those glasses that you hate admitting you need to wear.

You resent that they are always downstairs, upstairs, in the car or in your purse.

You always had great vision and wonder how you ended up here. Very likely you have presbyopia.

Presbyopia is an age-related vision disorder that is considered a natural part of ageing.

It affects the sight of 1.3 million Australians and sets off a cycle of “glasses on glassess on glasses on” as your prescription gets worse, and your lenses get thicker and thicker!

With the latest advancements in cataract surgical techniques and through the learning of lens replacement treatments there is now a solution for helping those with presbyopia.

Using a lens that has a trifocal design to respond to different vision demands, surgeons can ultimately decrease or remove dependence on reading glasses for near and far visual fields.

These treatments have gained popularity here and overseas and have developed a reputation as safe, predictable and with results that work for many patients.

The day surgical procedure is quick, affordable and available.

In Newcastle, iLaser Vision Surgery is fortunate to have an ophthalmic eye clinic dedicated to providing this service.

The specialist ophthalmic surgeons at iLaser vision are highly trained in using this latest technology and techniques and will meet with you and see if you are an eligible candidate for this transformational procedure.

To learn more visit www.ilaservision南京夜网.auor phone 4929 6738.

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Strategies to prevent falls

ON THE FRONT FOOT: Having a fall becomes more likely the older we get but there are steps that can be taken around the house to reduce the incidence.As we age, unfortunately, the chance of falling increases. For many older people and their families, worrying about falls can be very stressful and unsettling.
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Not only can falls bring physical injury and the need for rehabilitation, they can result in loss of confidence for older people, holding them back from doing the things they love.

The good news is there are a number of proactivefalls preventionsteps that can be taken by you or your loved ones to reduce the risk of falls, including things you can do at home.

Say goodbye to trip hazards

Eliminate trip hazards around the home such as uneven surfaces, rugs that are loose, curled at the edges or frayed, cords running along the floor, poor lighting, clutter and slippery floors.

Keep it in reach

Encourage your older relatives or friends to keep things within reach – small changes such as using a cordless phone placed by their side and placing commonly used items within reach can make a difference.

Stay healthy and active withfall prevention exercises

Provide support and encourage your loved one to keep moving and engage in exercise to improve muscle strength and balance. Remember that good hydration and nutrition are also important.

Make sure clothing and shoes fit

Ensuring that your family member or friend has shoes and clothing that fits well is a foundation to reducing the risk of falls.

Shoes should be non-slip, fit firmly and be the correct size, and not cause any pain. Clothing should be comfortable, the right length and fit well.

Check it out

Visit your GP regularly and discuss any illnesses or health concerns such as pain, dizziness, poor balance, vision problems or discomfort in walking. Chat about what treatment and support is available.

Don’t be shy when it comes to mobility aids

Mobility aids such as a walker, walking stick and handrails can help reduce the risk of falls around the home. Talk to a GP or Physiotherapist about what’s available and right for you.

Medication – get it right

Make sure your family member has the correct dosage of medication and ensure that their medication list is regularly reviewed by their GP.

Be aware of the effects of certain medications, such as strong pain relief or sedatives, as these can increase the risk of falls.

Make sure that these effects and ways to minimise the risk of falls is discussed with their GP.

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