Archive For 22/07/2018

Bail denied in domestic assault case

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A Dubbo man is accused of arming himself with a knife with intent and other serious domestic violence offences.
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Kody Joshua McKellar, 27, allegedly told the woman “I’m going to hit you, you’re gone” during the same incident, Dubbo Local Court heard.

He was brought before the court on Wednesday charged with committing five offences the previous afternoon.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges and made a bid for bail.

Magistrate Paul Hayes said the allegations were so serious that the court could only have concerns about endangering the safety of the alleged victim, and he remanded Mr McKellar in custody.

The man is charged with entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence, being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, intimidation, common assault and contravening an apprehended violence order (AVO).

Police allege Mr McKellar stood outside a house waving his arms and asking where the woman had been, the court heard.

It was also alleged he entered the house through a window, the court heard.

Once inside he is alleged to have said to the woman “I’m going to hit you, you’re gone,” before the other offences allegedly took place, the court heard.

The prosecution opposed bail, submitting the matter was a serious allegation of domestic violence.

The likelihood of a custodial sentence if the accused was found guilty was quite high, particularly because of the aggravating features, the sergeant said.

The defence conceded the allegations were serious.

The solicitor proposed a number of conditions for bail, including that the accused live at a Sydney address, report to police and abide by the AVO.

He submitted the proposed conditions would address the concerns of the prosecution and the court.

But Mr Hayes said the court could not be satisfied any conditions would mitigate the risk of endangering the safety of the alleged victim.

Mr McKellar, who was not wearing shoes, was led from the dock into custody.

The matter was adjourned until March 22.

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Head over heels in the age of Tinder

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Kiss Me: The Beatles had it right… money can’t buy you love. Picture: iStock. It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Does that mean love is in the air?Quite possibly.
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Apparently quite a few suitors pop the question on this most famous of [American] days.

Buthey, why should only American girls get to benefit from a day of love. And blokes, too. Blokes like a bit of love – when they’re not shooting roos and downing coldies.

What are we on about? This is the era of the metrosexual and the man bag. Some men are into love and expressing their feelings, just as much as women.

Anyhow, Valentine’s Day is particularly special for those who are courting, as our great gran would say.

And besides, Saint Valentine of Rome was a pretty cool cat. Legend has it he was imprisoned for performing forbidden weddings for young lovers. The Roman emperor of the time, Claudius the Cruel, believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. So hebannedmarriage.Saint Valentine defied the ban. For his punishment, he was clubbed to death and beheaded by Roman executioners around the year 269.

Some say Saint Valentine gave his life so that young couples could be bonded together in holy matrimony. He also stood up for Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. Hmmm, this is starting to sound like another story we know. But we’ll leave that for another day. Let’s not spoil the big day for all those lovebirds out there.

Down OnOne KneeSomeone who knows all about love is Hamilton wedding photographer Heath Wade.

To mark Valentine’s Day, Heath has revealed he is producing a book titled, Will You Marry Me? –Down On One Knee.

Heath has photographed more than 200 weddings in eight years. We asked him about the best proposals he’d heard.

One bloke proposed while ice skating at a rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, he said.

Another decent effort involveda bloke hiringout a viewing floorat The Shard skyscraper in London, while on holiday.

A proposal at an ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower.

“It was just the two of them there. He popped the question, then took her to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant,” Heath said.

Heath told Topics he was fascinated aboutwhy couples were attracted to one another.

Money, it seems, isn’t a big factor. The Beatles had it right all along.

A common story is thatcouples meet at school.

“A lot are childhood sweethearts,” Heathsaid.

Nowadays, though, many couples meet online. We wonder if Tinder has produced many marriages? There must be at least one or two.

But we digress. Back to Heath. He’s heard quite a few stories in which “the guy is doing the chasing, and when they first meet, the girl can’t stand the guy”.

“But the guy keeps pursuing her and eventually the girl comes round,” he said.

“The subtext is she kindalikes being pursued, even though she’s saying no.”

Ahhh, the thrill of the chase. It’s nature, really. The blokes wear down the sheilas, eventually.

A Twist of FateBeing a tad cynical at times, we asked Heath if he could tell which couples were headed fordivorce. Having been to so many weddings, we thought he might have a sixth sense for that kind of thing. Nope.

But he has noticed that marriages often happen after a twist of fate.

For example, in one case, a bloke and his mates were about to go out clubbing to a gay bar [even though they were straight].

“He bumped into this girl on the way to the toilet, just before he left the venue,” he said.

“He’d known her from years gone by and hadn’t seen her for eight or nine years.

“They chatted on the way to the toilet. A spark happened, he blew his mates off and a few months later they were engaged.

“There’s these little chance moments that happen andquirky little stories of how people get together.”

Heath is looking for engaged couples to tell their story and feature in his pictorial book.

Contact him at facebook南京夜网/HeathWadePhotography or email [email protected]南京夜网.

[email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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Battle for Jakarta: Ahok under siege despite high approval rating in office

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An Ahok shirt seller waits for customers in the Jakarta suburb of Menteng. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah A protester carries a sign that reads “The people of Indonesia do not need Ahok” at the December rally in Jakarta. Photo: Jewel Topsfield
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The Ciliwung river in east Jakarta. Ahok has won favour with the middle class by cleaning up slum areas and alleviating infrastructure problems in the capital. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Santi Panggabean, right, does a brisk trade in Ahok’s trademark plaid shirt. But the governor’s popularity is not reflected in election polling. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Residents of Jakarta’s Kampung Akuarium say they were evicted by Ahok despite a “political contract”. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Jakarta: It’s 2pm on a Tuesday in the Jakarta suburb of Menteng and blue and red plaid shirts on a curbside rack are selling like hot cakes.

They might be unsuited to Indonesia’s sticky climate – many are long-sleeved and flannel – but that is not dampening enthusiasm or sales.

This is coveted Ahok merchandise. Shirts like these are worn by the polarising governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, universally known by his nickname Ahok, and his army of loyal supporters.

The iconic plaid shirts were first worn during the 2012 gubernatorial election campaign by Ahok and his then running mate Joko Widodo, who is now the president of Indonesia.

They symbolise everything Ahok stands for: hard work and no bullshit.

Ahok, the city’s first openly ethnically Chinese and Christian governor, is standing for re-election on February 15.

This time he is seeking a mandate of his own after he assumed the governor’s chair when Jokowi became president in 2014.

But the campaign has been complicated by the fact that Ahok is fighting not just to save his political skin but also to stay out of jail, after he was named as a suspect for allegedly insulting Islam.

Many see the outcome of the election and blasphemy trial as a test of religious and racial tolerance in Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country with a population of more than 250 million that officially recognises six religions.

“I think this is going to be a litmus test of Indonesian Islam,” says Tobias Basuki from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “Are we tolerant? I think this will be one of the most important elections, even more so in some ways than the last presidential election.”

A shiny black car glides to the curb and Mariana Rahayu, an immaculately-groomed director of sales at a five-star hotel, jumps out to buy a plaid shirt.

“I’m a true Ahoker – I see Ahok not from a religious or racial perspective but from the perspective of what he has done,” she tells us.

Mariana believes Ahok has succeeded where three former governors failed in addressing the city’s chronic flooding problems caused by housing settlements on the river banks. “The evidence is quite complete – he is doing a good job.”

Ahok has won plaudits for combating corruption, streamlining services, fast-tracking a Mass Rapid Transit rail system and reforming the creaky bureaucracy.

He insisted City Hall was there to serve the people. A smartphone app, Qlue, was launched, allowing Jakartans to report the problems that beset the heaving megalopolis: broken street lights, clogged drains, traffic jams, floods.

He evicted slum dwellers and relocated them to low-cost apartments in order to tackle flooding, create new parks and eliminate vice.

This alienated many of the urban poor but it won praise from the middle class. His manner was abrasive, truculent – even arrogant – but he cleaned up the city.

“What distinguishes him from others are the large scope of his success stories, and the speed with which he achieves them,” says Professor Ariel Heryanto from Monash University. “He demonstrated transparency and accountability in his work like no other public officers of his level.”

Heryanto also points to the crass, impatient, abusive way in which Ahok deals with what he considers bad elements within the bureaucracy.

“All this is so rare or idiosyncratic in Indonesia. Lee Kuan Yew’s style of managing Singapore in the 1970s may be comparable to Ahok today.”

But there is a yawning gap between the high level of public approval for Ahok’s performance in office and the likelihood of his re-election.

A survey by polling group Indikator of more than 800 people in mid-January showed 75 per cent were satisfied with Ahok but his ticket’s electability was just 38.2 per cent.

Ahok is pitted against two Muslim candidates: Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Anies Baswedan, a former university rector and education minister.

At first  Ahok appeared a shoo-in. Agus, an infantry major in the army whose nomination took everyone by surprise, was young and inexperienced. Anies, who had recently been sacked from Jokowi’s cabinet, also seemed an unlikely winner.

But Islamic hardliners had long maintained that a non-Muslim should not hold office.

They seized their opportunity last September after Ahok provocatively told fishermen in the Thousand Islands that his opponents were using the Koran to deceive them into not voting for him.

Thousands of people attend a protest against Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, in December. Photo: AP

Ahok’s nemesis, a firebrand cleric named Rizieq Shihab, was the public face of colossal rallies calling for Ahok to be jailed.

Eventually police caved in, after the sheer size of the rallies threatened to destabilise Indonesia, and named Ahok as a suspect.

To complicate matters further, Rizieq has also been named as a suspect for allegedly insulting Pancasila, the state ideology, and is being investigated by police over pornography.

Ahok has juggled court appearances every Tuesday with campaigning on his track record.

His opponents, Anies and Agus, have homed in on the plight of those alienated by Ahok. Both have vowed to end evictions. Agus has promised direct cash payments to the poor.

But Australian National University academic Ross Tapsell wonders if the election will be decided on emotions rather than policies.

His research examines the impact of a “post-truth” world, where voters have lost faith in the mainstream media and all news is considered equally fake.

An anti-Ahok cyber army is also hard at work. A popular meme calls Ahok a kafir [the Islamic term for an infidel]. Others link the ethnically Chinese governor to communism, which is banned in Indonesia.

“Online, this anti-Chinese sentiment has been really strong, which also helps to explain Ahok’s decline in the polls,” Tapsell says. “In addition we are also seeing a rise of pro-Islamic news sites, that in some cases try to replicate a credible news site … so a lot of anti-Ahok material is spread.”

Monash University’s Heryanto says it is unfortunate that many of the attacks against Ahok use racist rhetoric or exclusionary religious overtones.

“Ahok needs to be strongly criticised for his allegedly illegal practices in evicting some poor neighbourhoods when a lawsuit was still unresolved in court,” he says. “But his strongest enemies have preferred to attack him on religious grounds and ignore the fate of the evicted families.”

Polls are notoriously unreliable in Indonesia but it appears the three-legged race is close.

Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan listens to Julie Bishop in Jakarta in March 2016, when he was a minister in the Indonesian government.Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Ahok and Anies are leading in most surveys but neither are likely to gain the majority needed to win the election outright on February 15.

This would mean the two top candidates would face off again in April. Ahok’s opponent is expected to pick up the anti-Ahok vote, making it improbable that the incumbent governor would win.

“If it goes to the second round it will be very ugly with race and religion,” warns Basuki. “This first round is not that brutal yet, because there are three candidates and Agus and Anies are fighting each other to make sure they’re second. But if it goes to the second round, then it’s going to get very, very, very ugly.”

The other unknown is the outcome of Ahok’s blasphemy trial. The Home Affairs Minister has said Ahok will only be suspended from office if prosecutors seek a jail sentence of more than five years.

Otherwise, Ahok could potentially still be governor even if convicted of blasphemy.

“He will appeal, and while he’s on appeal, he’s not in prison,” Basuki says. “And while it is a process of appeal he’s still governor from my understanding.”

Mariana Rahayu shows her support for Ahok: ‘The evidence is quite complete – he is doing a good job’ Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Mariana will be overseas on February 15 but intends to post a photo of herself on social media. She will be wearing her new plaid shirt in solidarity.

She poses, grinning broadly, and gives Ahok’s trademark two-finger salute (his ticket will be listed second on the ballot paper).

“I cannot (be here for the) election, but my heart will vote for him.”

Follow Jewel Topsfield on Facebook

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Sydney Opera House renewal program prompts fierce debate

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Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron “it absolutely makes sense” to renew the World Heritage-listed building. Photo: Louise Kennerley Architect Andrew Andersons described the temporary infrastructure – fencing, stages, stalls – for outdoor events at the Opera House as “an insult to visitors and residents”. Photo: Mark Metcalfe
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Opera House CEO Louise Herron Story details: Opera House’s $200million+ renewal program is under sustained attack on many fronts – commercialisation, ignoring Utzon’s design principles, trashing heritage, the outdoor events. ?9th February 2017 Photo by Louise Kennerley SMH Photo: Louise Kennerley

Outdoor events at the Sydney Opera House such as the Australia Day concert have stirred controversy. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Its soaring sails, monumental steps and enviable location on Sydney Harbour make it one of Australia’s most famous landmarks.

But the Sydney Opera House, built with considerable controversy between 1959 and 1973, is showing signs of wear and tear.

Chief executive Louise Herron points to ageing technology, the unsightly marquee on the northern broad walk and “all the stairs, all over the place” that can be difficult for people with limited mobility to negotiate as reasons for embarking on an ambitious $300 million program of building works principally funded by the NSW government.

“When you think about everything that’s changed since the end of the Second World War, it absolutely makes sense that it needs to be renewed,” Ms Herron said.

A tangle of heritage rules, council regulations and “design principles” formulated by the Opera House’s architect Jørn Utzon add complexity to Ms Herron’s building plans, which also include the upgrade to the Joan Sutherland Theatre funded by the Opera House.

“We don’t shy away, in anyway, from the fact this is a very complex set of projects we are undertaking, that we must undertake,” she said.

But the Opera House’s renewal program has been criticised for risking the iconic building’s heritage, violating Utzon’s design principles and endangering its World Heritage values.

The Opera House’s building plans include a permanent function centre, learning centre, sprucing up public spaces with bars and restaurants as well as improving accessibility. ‘Akin to retail development’

Yet the City of Sydney has raised concerns about the adverse heritage impact of improving accessibility: “The character of escalators is more akin to retail development”.

Leading architect Andrew Andersons, who worked on the upgrade of Circular Quay and the Opera House Forecourt in the 1980s, said the proposal to cut through stairs on one side of the Joan Sutherland Theatre conflicted with Jørn Utzon’s vision.

Ms Herron agreed the plan was “significant”.

But she asked: “Does it matter more for the stairs to be intact through the whole building or to allow people with mobility issues to enjoy the marvels of the Opera House? I think it is the latter.”

Mr Andersons said rules around providing disabled access are too restrictive, and prevented, for example, the type of elevators installed at the Louvre in Paris.

“Disabled access is unquestionably important in a venue of this kind but should not detract from the building’s cultural significance,” he said.

Heritage consultant Kylie Winkworth said the building proposals appear to be a front for turning the Opera House into a food, beverage and retail destination.

“A lot of the building renewal project is about making bigger bars and bigger spaces for hire,” she said. “The two foyers for example will be long opening food and beverage spaces outside performances.”​

The City of Sydney has submitted objections to a number of the Opera House’s development applications lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Graham Jahn​, the council’s head of planning, development and transport, said the plan to create a new function centre “is in direct contradiction with Jørn Utzon’s vision for the Opera House”.

A related plan to convert a ballet rehearsal room into a kitchen would have an “unacceptable heritage impact”. “Worse, it prioritises the function centre use over … the performing arts,” he said.​ ‘An insult to visitors’

The Opera House also faces a barrage of criticism from architects, heritage experts, former Opera House trustees and Utzon’s son Jan, who are enraged by the use of the forecourt for outdoor events and the proposal to host sleepovers.

Their concerns are not new. In November 2002, letters were published in The Sydney Morning Herald under headings such as “Opera House louts” and “Operatic desecration and vandalism on a grand scale”.

Mr Andersons described the temporary infrastructure – fencing, stages, stalls – for outdoor events as “an insult to visitors and residents” who are denied important views of the Opera House.

“It is totally inappropriate for the building to be hidden behind junky temporary structures for events of dubious artistic value,” he said. “Similar activities in front of New York’s Lincoln Centre, Milan’s La Scala or the Palais Garnier would be unthinkable.”

He said the Opera House trust led the world in its “culture of squalor”.

He added: “The sleepovers are emblematic of the mindlessness of the [Opera House] management.”

Mr Andersons said the Opera House was a victim of funding cuts and poor board appointments by government.

“It’s a sad fact of life that cultural institutions have been subject for years to ‘efficiency dividends’ forcing them to investigate supplementary sources of revenue,” he said. “This situation is aggravated by the appointment to the various boards governing these institutions of representatives of business and finance with little (or no) sensibility to the arts.

“They in turn appoint CEOs of similar mind cast. This is all a vicious downwards spiral.”

Former Opera House trustee Leo Schofield echoed Mr Andersons’ criticisms.

“Imagine any other world city treating its landmark performing arts centre in this money-grubbing fashion,” he said. “The latest catch-penny proposal for sleepovers is simply daft.”

“Effort expended on rattling the cash can could be better directed to lobbying the state government for adequate funds to run the place efficiently without trashing it.”

Herron said the NSW government “is our greatest supporter” pointing to the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money given towards the Opera House’s facelift. ‘There will be outdoor events’

The Opera House has also copped flak from some of Sydney’s wealthiest and most influential residents, including radio host Alan Jones, over the staging of events such as last year’s Crowded House concert.

Ms Herron said there was a balancing act between respect for neighbours and the reality of living in an urban environment.

“The residents of the Toaster [building] didn’t like the noise of the flags on the flagpoles and so we removed the flagpoles,” she said. “Apparently they complained about the sound of the ferry horns but the ferries still need to have their horns.”

Herron said there were no concerts requiring big infrastructure planned for the forecourt until November although “there could be events like Greek National Day”.

But she said: If 25,000 or 30,000 … people want to come and experience the Opera House over a two week period, I think we should do that.

“Utzon said it is an outdoor auditorium, there will be outdoor events.”

She added: “The big next thing we have to focus on is getting the appropriate infrastructure.”

Jan Utzon, a member of the Opera House’s eminent architects panel, said the scale of outdoor concerts is not in accordance with his father’s vision.

“[I]t was always my father’s intention that open-air performances could take place here, as a natural extension of the activities within the House,” he said.

“However, the current uses, with the clutter of invasive items and structures that seem to be part of these events at an increasingly alarming rate, were never planned or foreseen by him.” World Heritage in danger?

Architect and heritage adviser Joan Domicelj warned in 2014 that the Opera House could be eligible for the World Heritage in Danger list because of “clutter that obstructs views” and a “lack of integrity in presentation of the property”.

“The acceptance of outdoor `temporary’ commercial or community functions with their ancillary structures is insidious,” she said.

Ms Winkworth said international visitors to Sydney had a one in four chance of finding the Opera House obscured by portable buildings, fencing, a sound stage and shipping containers used in outdoor events.

“There is something deeply amiss and compromised in the governance around heritage management at the SOH,” she said.

Ms Winkworth said she had also asked the National Trust to declare the Sydney Opera House at risk.

“As Utzon foresaw, this is a time of great risk for the building,” she wrote. “We will only have one chance to get it right.”

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Seeing double at tender age of 90

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Seeing double at tender age of 90 TWICE AS FUN: The Hornery twins of Parkes, Marie Mullin and Merle Christie, celebrated their 90th birthday in style with a lunch at the Parkes Services Club in January. Photo: Maree Grant Photographic Design
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BIRTHDAY: Merle Christie and Marie Mullin look back on 90 years together. The image on the wall is a photo of them in their younger days. Photo: Maree Grant Photographic Design

TweetFacebookThe following details have been taken from an excerpt of the family’s history:

The twins were the youngest of a family of 11.

They lived at Gunningbland and were born at “Niola” Parkes on the 18th of January 1927.

They weighed 2 ½ and 3 LB and told by their eldest sister could fit in a shoe box.

They went to school at Gunningbland until 1940 then moved to Parkes School for 1 year.

Their father was a ganger on the Railway at Gunningbland.

We had several jobs over the years.

We worked at the shoe factory and glove factory in Court Street in the 1950’s where the telephone exchange used to be.

Also we worked at Ashcroft’s ice-block factory in Bogan Street.

We lived in Bogan Street at 71 in the next block up and rode our push bikes to and from work.

Merle worked at Cook’s Delicatessen in Clarinda Street for many years.

Then at Parkview Motel and Coach House and Littler’s Shop in Dalton Street (where the bottle shop is now).

Over the years Marie and I did house work for a lot of people around the town.

Then Marie and I took on the contract mail-run to Alectown town, in our Morris Minor.

We turned our home in Phoenix Street into a boarding house.

We had up to six boarders at one time.

That was the happiest working days of our lives.

Marie married Chris Siviour in 1971.

But sadly Chris was killed in a car accident in 1979.

Chris and Marie loved dancing.

Marie remained in Forbes about 25 years.

Became interested in carpet bowls for many years and won lots of trophies.

Marie also did voluntary hair dressing at the old people’s home for some years and did house work on a farm and cleaning at a school.

Marie also met Jimmy Pout and he was a great friend for Marie for 12 years.

Eventually Marie came back and lived in Cecile Street Parkes in 2002.

Marie married John Mullin. Since then they have travelled all over Australia and Tasmania by car.

John is 86 and still driving and loves driving.

I met Cliff on the 10th of June in 1975 and was engaged on 27th June (17 days) and married on 16th August 1975 (6 weeks later).

We do a lot of dancing and play indoor and outdoor bowls.

Cliff plays indoor bowls.

Cliff and I went to Fiji on the “Arcadia” for our Honeymoon and have travelled all over Australia to W.A. twice on bus trips and several times to Tasmania by boat and air.

Cliff’s family comes from Tasmania.

We lived in Belmore Avenue from 1975 to 1980.

We built a home in Jubilee Street in 1980 and lived there until 2010.

Then in 2010 we moved to Dalton Street where we are at present 2012.

Written by Merle and Marie

Our Cottage in Gunningbland 1920 – 1940

We lived in Gunningbland in a remarkable little three bedroom home, built by our father and helped by our eldest brothers and Mr Bamble.

The house was built of round pine boards and flat tin.

The foundations were made of sleepers which Dad bought off the railway (Dad was a foreman settler) for about 4 pence each.

The house had a very large kitchen with stove and fireplace at one end.

There were 11 children in our family.

Our mum was a wonderful cook and could make a meal out of anything.

Mum always had a beautiful garden of vegetables and flowers.

As things were pretty tough and a lot of mouths to feed, Mum sold vegetables to the neighbours around the district.

Dad built an underground well also a dam near the house for our water supply.

Dad also had grey hounds, he used to feed them on toast and fat and eggs.

We remember clearly the two main bedrooms had “built in wardrobes” “curtains across the corner on a curtain rod”

We remember clearly the split level between kitchen and dining room was a very high step.

We remember the older members of the family would all gather around the piano (Thelma playing) having a sing-song also playing cards.

There would be a lot of young people there and a tasty supper afterwards, but we can never remember any alcohol in the house.

Although Dad always had a few bets on the races.

Dad always had a roll of notes in the bed-post (brass).

It was a happy house. Mum always had some one calling for a chat on cup of tea.

The kitchen lino was painted by mum.

The lattice on the front (put on later was made by 5” x 2” slats).

We also had the biggest fern house, you could walk through it and the biggest drip-safe.

Mum also had 3 to 4 cows to milk, she used to separate and sell the butter, milk and eggs.

We had a big enamel dish on the stove and used to skin the cream off the top.

Mum also reared the calves and had quite a few pigs to eat all the scraps.

She use to smoke her own bacon and make brine for pickled pork.

We also remember a row of “Chrysanthemums” down the side of the vegetable garden down towards the old toilet hidden with a lot of bamboos.

Mum and Dad had an enormous vegetable garden and sold the vegetables.

Mum boarded the men at the wheat silos every year for mid-day lunch.

Marie and I used to run and meet them and get a piggy ride-back on their shoulders.

We had a big row of grape vines down the western side of the house and plenty of peach trees.

What a wonderful world it would be today if everyone worked like our Mum and Dad.

P.S. Our Mum had to milk the cows, because the cows wouldn’t let the milk down for Dad (he had no patience with them).

P.S Mum was a good cook.

Meat pies, sausage rolls, apple pies, lemon pies, plum puddings, her special was two rounds of pastry filled with jelly and icing on top, lovely custards and plenty of cream also rhubarb pies and also bacon and eggs.

Written by Merle and Marie

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Julia Creek stage set for Laidback Tones

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PERFORM: Charters Towers singer, Tony Cook, will perform at the Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Festival. Photo sourced.Tony Cook,also known by his stage name Laidback Tones, is set to take the stages of Julia Creek by storm, performing at the iconic Dirt n Dust Festival in April.
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The Charters Towers man, who describes himself as just a simple honest and humble country boy, has been given the chance of a lifetime to perform at the festival, which expects to draw in over 3000 guests over the weekend.

The acoustic country and rock singer will take the stage on the weekend to perform original songs – including his new single “Laid Back Country” which he hopes to unofficially launch at the festival – as well as plenty of classics that will be sure to please the country crowd.

“I like to generally try to get people up dancing and having a good time, you know, get everyone to let their hair down and have a good night,” he said.

“It’s always great to get out back home – I call it my home because it’s my emotional homeland, my heart’s out there. Everytime I play the crowds out there, they are so appreciative and they’re the kind of people that let their hair down and have a good time to 150 per cent.”

Laid Back Country – Tony CookMr Cook has been performing professionally for 10 years now but has said he has been songwriting and playing guitar all his life.

He performs all the hits from country, rock and modern music, combined with his own compilations off his self titled EP which has been played on AUSTER’s CMC & national Radio and says he’ll give the crowd one hell of a show out there.

“It definitely will be good to get out there – I would have loved to have played the festival event for many years now, but Ihaven’t had the chance to do so I’m keen as mustard to get out there to perform and get amongst it,” he says.

“It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival president, Stephen Malone, has said it was important to ensure the entertainment was relevant to the event so as to create the right atmosphere.

“We have hand-picked some incredible Aussie talent, who all hail from outback Australia. Each one will bring their wonderful talents and laidback Aussie manner. It’s a really exciting line-up and I think our visitors will have a ball, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We’re really proud to be supporting local regional artists.”

“Tony is an exceptional Aussie talent and we think he’ll fit in perfectly with our laid-back, fun-loving country atmosphere,” Mr Malone said.

“I think people out there will fall in love with his music just as much as we did.” “All of the talent we’ve got performing this year is incredible, it’s really not to be missed. It’s going to one hell of a weekend.”

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Possible catastrophic fire conditions and heatwave forecast

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THE Hunter faces an unprecedented fire danger during the weekend’s heatwave, with authorities admitting they will be unable to stop blazes if they occur and would instead concentrate on saving lives and property.
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Extremely high temperatures combined with low humidity and increasing north-westerly winds have prompted the Rural Fire Service to warn the Hunter’s fire rating could reach the catastrophic range on Sunday afternoon – the highest warning level available.

It would be the first time the catastrophic level had been reached in the Hunter – and only the second time across NSW – since the national standardised ratings system was introduced in 2009.

The forecast temperatures, expected to exceed 47 degrees in many parts of the Hunter, has already prompted the cancellation of sporting events and widespread warnings from health authorities.

Lifeguard hours on Newcastle beaches extended to 7.30pm, depending on demand.Beresfield Swimming Centre is able to extend closing time from 5pm to 7pm if there is the demand from patrons at the pool at the time and Lane 4 Aquatics have already extended the hours for this weekend including Lambton from 7pm to 8pm; Wallsend and Mayfield from 6pm to 7pm and Stockton will close at 6pm.

Muswellbrook water shortage

With bushfire danger rising further up the Valley, Muswellbrook Shire Council has asked its residents to minimise their water use in order to ensure there are adequate supplies if needed.

Muswellbrook residents are also asked to ring6549 3700 if they see any tankers that are notfire trucks taking water from hydrants.

ForecastSaturday: Newcastle,max 37: Wallsend47,Maitland 45,Singleton 46,Cessnock 46, Scone 45,Muswellbrook 45

Sunday: Newcastle, max 44, Wallsend 47,Maitland 44,Singleton 44,Cessnock 43,Scone 43,Muswellbrook 43

Cancellations and closuresSend your cancellations and information to: [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

Cricket:Maitland, City and Suburban, HVCC, cancelled Saturday

SLSC competition masters and open, Fingal

Hunter regional Little Athletics championships at Glendale, set down for February 11 and 12

Jets game moved to Monday, 7.50pm

Knights Harold Matthews and SG Ball games, Toronto

Animal Rescue Speers Point

Nippers,some nippers are cancelled and others are bought forward.Check with your local club

Regal Cinema, Birmingham Gardens, closed

Lake Cinema, closed

Closed parks:Watagans National Parks,Blue Gum Hill National Park, Karuah National Park, Wallaroo National Park, Karuah State Conservation Area, Medowie State Conservation Area, Karuah Nature Reserve, Medowie Nature Reserve, Wallingat National Park, Jilliby State Conservation Area and Popran National Park

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Vatican under pressure to speed up abuse investigations: Royal Commission

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Catholic church authorities have received thousands of claims of child sexual abuse over decades. Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
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Counsel assisting the royal commission Gail Furness. Photo: Supplied

A Vatican panel is dealing with a backlog of child sex abuse claims in the Catholic church internationally, taking up to three years to hand down findings about alleged perpetrators, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told the Vatican is under pressure from Catholics to expedite processing of claims.

Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said the length of the process was neither fair on claimants or alleged perpetrators.

“When (a case) goes to Rome, it sits there for a very, very, very long time . . . two to three years,” she said.

“That is not justice for anybody . . . I don’t think it’s justice for the accused. It is not justice for the complainant.”

Under Catholic church laws, claims of child sexual abuse meeting a certain threshold must be examined by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith which decides on disciplinary action.

Under questioning from counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC, Ms Devlin said that the Irish Catholic hierarchy had appealed to the Vatican for a way to speed up the process.

“There needs to be some mechanism for expediting that fairly and justly,” she said.

The commission heard tighter regulations around child safety had reduced the number of allegations of sexual assault but Ms Devlin raised concerns about clergy downloading child abuse material online.

“If you have an interest in abusing, a sexual interest in a child, and you’re still a member of the church, well the only other place to go was to the internet,” she said.

“We have had a few examples of allegations emerging about downloading child pornography. . . We have to familiarise ourselves with the risk . . . this is the next threat.”

The fifth day of a three-week public inquiry into the Catholic church’s response to claims of child sexual abuse heard that the institution will never be risk-free.

“My worry is complacency,” Ms Devlin said. “I’m really nervous about people thinking that it’s all over. I don’t want anybody to think that they can stop being vigilant.”

The royal commission has conducted 15 public hearings into Catholic church authorities over the past four years and will use its current case study to examine factors which led to abuse and ways to prevent it.

Figures released on Monday revealed between January 1980 and February 2015, 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse related to Catholic church institutions. The commission heard the average time between the alleged abuse and the date the claim was made was 33 years.

Ms Devlin told the commission Irish authorities receive between 170-200 new allegations of child sexual abuse involving Catholic institutions each year.

“I’ve been once described as the most hated woman in Ireland in the Catholic Church,” she said.

“There’s nothing more important than making sure children are safe.”

The hearing, before Justice Peter McClellan continues.

Blue Knot Helpline 1300 657 380. Care Leavers Australia Network 1800 008 774. Survivors & Mates Support Network 1800 472 676

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‘Capitulation’: Clive Hamilton exits Climate Change Authority, blasts Turnbull

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Professor Clive Hamilton has resigned from the Climate Change Authority, saying the Turnbull government isn’t serious about tackling global warming. Photo: Katherine GriffithsThe Turnbull government’s recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has “abandoned all pretense of taking global warming seriously”, Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton said, explaining why he resigned from the agency.
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Professor Hamilton, who teaches public ethics at Charles Sturt University, sent his resignation letter to Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday, saying it was “perverse” that the government would be boosting coal when 2016 marked the hottest year on record.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used his National Press Club speech last week to call for support for so-called “clean coal-fired power plants” to provide “reliable baseload power” while meeting Australia’s carbon emissions goals.

Professor Hamilton said the comments were “completely irresponsible and perhaps the sharpest indicator yet just how completely Malcolm Turnbull has capitulated to the hard right of the Liberal Party”.

“If the new coal-fired power plants were built, it would make the government’s already weak 2030 [carbon] reduction target unattainable,” he said in his letter.

“Deeper cuts in the subsequent decades, essential to limit the worst impacts of warming, would be off the table.

“Professor Hamilton told Fairfax Media the authority “no longer has any role in the development of climate change policy in Australia”.

Mr Frydenberg said the government was “unapologetic that our priority as we transition to a lower emissions future is energy security and affordability”.

“We are smashing our 2020 target by 224 million tonnes and we have an ambitious 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005, which on a per capita basis is one of the highest in the G20,” he said.

The Senate blocked repeated efforts by Abbott government to scrap the authority.

In October 2015, then environment minister Greg Hunt appointed five new members including Wendy Craik as chairwoman in a move the Greens said amounted to a stacking of Coalition-leaning appointees.

“In its first years, the authority did great work,” Professor Hamilton said, including recommending Australia should aim to cut 2000-level emissions by 40-60 per cent by 2030.

The current government target is for a cut of as much as 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, which amounts to about 20 per cent below 2000 levels.

The authority, though, “has become a shadow of its former self”, particularly since the departure of former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser as its chairman, Professor Hamilton said.

Last September, Professor Hamilton and fellow authority member David Karoly, issued a dissenting report, accusing the authority of failing to give the government independent advice.

The two claimed its Special Review of Australia’s climate goals and policies was based on “reading from a political crystal ball” rather than meeting its own terms of reference.

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Jessica Chastain astronaut project slammed by Hidden Figures fans

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Box office hit Hidden FiguresThe Huntsman: Winter’s War. Photo: Giles Keyte
Nanjing Night Net

First came Hidden Figures, the hit American film about overlooked black female mathematicians who helped NASA put the first astronauts into space in the 1960s.

While it won’t open in Australia until next week, the moving drama starring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae has received glowing reviews in the US and is nominated for best picture at the Oscars. Spencer is also up for best supporting actress.

Now Jessica Chastain has been slammed for announcing a television drama that she will produce and possibly star in about overlooked white female astronauts in the 1960s.

Called Mercury 13, it centres on 13 “daring and determined female pilots” whose dreams of going into space were crushed by NASA, the US Congress and President John F. Kennedy, despite doing the same tests as male astronauts – and sometimes performing better.

Scientist William Randolph Lovelace II, who helped develop tests for NASA’s male astronauts, embarked on a secret experiment to see if sending women to space was equally viable. But when the women were ultimately blocked from space flight, it was another 20 years before the first female American astronaut.

Mercury 13 is described as an “event series” be written by Sully’s Todd Komarnicki for ITV Studios.

As soon as it was announced, there was a social media backlash centring on the similarities to Hidden Figures and the apparent re-framing of storytelling about overlooked women in the early space program from black to white.

As one tweeter put it: “When Black women do something extraordinary, someone always has to ask, “Well what about white women?” As if we forgot that they exist.”

Tweeted another: “Oh wait it made MONEY? With BLACK women? Well get a load of THIS.”

Another called for women to support projects about women rather than being divided along racial lines. When Black women do something extraordinary, someone always has to ask, “Well what about white women?” As if we forgot that they exist.— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) February 9, [email protected]@JessicaValenti “Oh wait it made MONEY? With BLACK women? Well get a load of THIS”— Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) February 9, 2017

And just over a year ago, Chastain wrote an opinion column on gender imbalance in the film industry for The Hollywood Reporter.

“I want to make sure I’m contributing to cre­ating diversity in the industry,” she wrote. “I want to work with anyone who is talented, but I know that some people have to work harder to succeed in this business than others.”

Chastain also praised Viola Davis’ speech at the Emmy awards that said “the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.” @vulture Here, I fixed that for you. pic.twitter南京夜网/LtvQQIt0ol— Katherine Karlin (@katherinekarlin) February 9, 2017

After the success of Hidden Figures, it’s understandable that anyone making films and television shows will look for similar untold stories. Timing aside, Mercury 13 could be powerful television but the backlash shows the sensitivities surrounding race and gender on screen – as well as off – in the US.

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