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ABC cuts in Victoria: ‘News 24 is the elephant in the room’

07/04/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

The imminent loss of ABC Morwell has drawn criticism from fire-affected regional Victorians, as senior journalists for the national broadcaster slam the cuts for missing “the elephant in the room” – the ABC’s 24-hour news channel.
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ABC managing director Mark Scott announced on Monday he would cut $254 million from the budget over five years. Cuts include replacing weekly state-based 7.30 programs with a national program and closing the Morwell ABC office. Television sports coverage will be overhauled and sports broadcasts scaled back, Mr Scott said.

But former foreign correspondent Karen Percy described the 400 jobs cut from the national broadcaster as “blood boiling”.

“We are talking about staffing and inefficiency but the elephant in the room is News 24,” Ms Percy said.

“I am not saying they should be cut but we have not even had  a conversation about it,” she said.

She said she had raised the issue of the budget cuts on four separate occasions including with Mr Scott, with editorial management, with a board member and at a staff meeting, but these had come to nothing.

Ms Percy said most staff would be able to suggest ways to cut the budget by 10 per cent. She cited inefficiencies like the heavy cost of running ABC News 24 and in-house magazines as a starting point for looking at efficiencies.

She said journalists at the coalface  of reporting were well-placed to discuss ways to cut costs.

Many of those journalists were tight-lipped about the cuts, saying they feared management retribution if they spoke about the cuts.

It is understood there is one journalist at the Morwell office and news for the town would now need to be covered by the Sale ABC headquarters, about an hour’s drive from Morwell and up to three hours from areas that would be covered from Sale when Morwell closes.

The town is a power station hub and was the scene of the Hazelwood mine fire last summer.

A regional ABC source said management’s decision to shut down the Morwell studio was a “big mistake” that showed little understanding of how many major news stories were generated in the Latrobe Valley during the past year alone.

“Clearly this decision was made in Sydney,” the source told Fairfax Media.

“It doesn’t make any sense. For Gippsland, It’s where most of the news comes from, like the courts. The power stations are there, and what happens if there is another Hazelwood mine fire?”

Premier Denis Napthine weighed in to the debate about the cuts, saying the broadcaster was “too Sydney-centric”.

But Dr Napthine would not be drawn on the fate of the Morwell bureau as he was not aware of the details.

“Clearly 730 Victoria is an important medium for Melbourne and Victoria and again I think it shows that when the crunch comes to the ABC, and even in the good times at the ABC, the ABC is very Sydney-centric,” he said.

“They don’t understand the audience in Victoria, and they don’t understand the needs of Victoria,” he said.

Wendy Farmer, president of Voices of the Valley, a community group which sprung up in the wake of the mine fire, fears Morwell residents won’t have access to vital local news reporting as they approach the fire season. Fairfax Media understands there is a possibility the Morwell office could be shut down as early as next month.

“[The ABC] were vital in putting out detailed information across the Latrobe Valley throughout the fires … without these services we don’t know where we’ll get this information from,” Ms Farmer said.

Morwell CFA first lieutenant Pat Quinn said locals, including the firefighters themselves, relied on their local ABC for accuracy and up-to-date information during fire events and the cuts were a “kick in the guts”.

“It’s extremely important. It’s getting that local knowledge straight out there,” Mr Quinn said.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance secretary Chris Warren said the cuts would be “evident” to audiences. He said the last time the ABC offered widespread redundancies, 15 years ago, audiences mourned the loss of Australian-made shows: this time they would also mourn local stories and content.

He said cuts would be felt in country radio and television and in specialist areas like Classic FM and Radio National.

“People have a great sense that they own the ABC – in a way that governments don’t really understand,” Mr Warren said.

“When you feel that ownership – and somebody tries to diminish something that you feel you own – then people get angry about that,” he said.

with Rania Spooner, Tammy Mills, Richard Willingham

Cleaner than nature’s drop

07/04/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

BETTER: HNC’s new recycled water plant makes a cleaner product than rain. Picture: Peter StoopHUNTER Water will open a $73 million recycled water plant at Mayfield on Monday capable of producing 3.3 billion litres of water that is cleaner than rainwater.
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The plant will supply Orica’s Kooragang Island plant, reducing its use of drinking water by the equivalent of more than 12,000 homes annually. Built over four years, the Kooragang Recycled Water Scheme is the largest recycled water project undertaken in the region.

Water will be delivered from the Steel River industrial estate to Orica’s Kooragang site via an 8-kilometre pipeline that runs under the Hunter River.

“Water Wise Rules save the Hunter about 1 billion litres of drinking water a year. The Kooragang Recycled Water Scheme can triple those savings,” Water minister Kevin Humphries said. “Until now, Orica has been the Hunter’s largest water customer, using 5 per cent of all water consumed in the Hunter at its Kooragang site, enough to fill about 1300 Olympic swimming pools. “

Orica’s use of recycled water from the plant will result in it losing its position as Hunter’s top customer to the 19th largest customer.

“Orica believes that responsible corporate practices such as this will not only enhance the company’s performance but also benefit our customers and our community,” Orica Kooragang Island general manager Greg Holmes said.

“Using recycled water will significantly reduce the site’s environmental footprint and contribute to its sustainability.”

Hunter Water chief operating officer Darren Cleary said water produced at the plant was cleaner than rainwater because it lacks dissolved minerals.

“The process of supplying water to Orica commences when raw sewage is treated at the Shortland Wastewater Treatment Plant. It’s then piped to the Steel River site where it is passed through microfiltration and reverse osmosis to ensure suspended solids, bacteria, viruses and dissolved salts are removed,” he said.

The Australian government supported the project with a $4.2 million grant from the Water for the Future Initiative.

Triple wicket maiden snatches unlikely win

07/04/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Merewether v Wests at No.1 sports ground -Pat Darwen. picture by Ryan Osland.THREE wickets in five balls from medium-pacer Ben Neaves gave Wallsend a thrilling one-run win over Newcastle City and kept them within reach of the top four in Newcastle district cricket.
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Chasing just 110 for victory, City recovered from 5-44 to be 7-108 with 17 overs remaining at Wallsend Oval on Saturday in round six.

Enter right-arm seamer Neaves, who bowled Frankie Walsh first ball then repeated the dose against Quinn Fowler two balls later before trapping Tom Anderson in front with the fifth ball of the over.

The triple wicket maiden gave Wallsend an unlikely win and Neaves figures of 3-7, his best with the club since joining last season.

Wallsend skipper Dan McGovern said the win was a pleasant surprise for his players, who thought they had tied the game. The six points kept them in fifth place, one point outside the top four.

“The over before went for 10 or 12 and there was a bit of confusion as well about the score,” McGovern said.

“We weren’t sure how many we had made and if we had tied or won by a run. But we were certainly very excited when we found out we’d won.

“It keeps us with a sniff of a top-four spot, especially with the top teams breaking away for some big wins the last couple of weeks. It was important for us just to keep us in touch.”

McGovern said quicks Cameron Roxby (3-14 off 10 overs) and Chris Raisbeck (2-25 off seven) had kept Wallsend in the game and Neaves’ heroics were just reward for the reliable performer.

“He’s that partnership breaker for us,” he said.

“He doesn’t swing it a lot so that’s why he bowls down the list a bit, but he’s very reliable at being able to bowl full and straight at the stumps.

“He doesn’t stray either side very often. This is his second year for us, and he’s settled in nicely, and that effort yesterday would have given him a lot of confidence.”

Ryan Van Kemenade was the destroyer for City with 5-21 as they rolled Wallsend in 35.5 overs.

Nick Tantos was their best in the chase with 41 not out.

Elsewhere, second-placed Merewether routed Wests for 69 and reached 3-71 in 11.3 overs to gain maximum points at No.1 Sportsground.

Roscoe Thattil made 55 and Chris Rendina 42 as Charlestown (7-221) defeated Belmont 8-205 at Cahill Oval.

Aaron Mahony scored 56 and Grant Stewart made 47 and took 2-38 as leaders University (9-241) beat Cardiff-Boolaroo (9-185) at Cardiff Oval.

Mark Dries was Hamilton-Wickham’s best with bat and ball, making 65 and taking 3-39, in a 225 to 139 win over Toronto at Passmore Oval.

At Lynn Oval, Sam Jenkinson made 78 as Stockton-Raymond Terrace (284) beat Waratah Mayfield (181).

● A century from Jeff Goninan helped Newcastle to a seven-wicket win over North Coast on Sunday, which capped an undefeated run for the defending champions at the NSW Country Championships in Ballina.

Goninan made 105 not out as Newcastle reached 3-195 chasing 191. Ray Cooper (4-31), Joe Price (3-47) and Josh Geary (3-28) were the wicket-takers for Newcastle.

Newcastle, who play next week’s southern pool winners in the NSW Country decider on December 7, clinched the northern division on Saturday with a double bonus-point win over Central Northern in which Goninan top-scored with 70 not out off 61 balls.

Chasing 126, Newcastle passed their target two wickets down in 19.3 overs.

Newcastle beat Central Coast by six wickets in their opening game on Friday.

Talent not the problem for Wallabies, it’s inexperience

07/04/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Best foot forward: Ireland’s kicking game was superior to the Wallabies’ Photo: Ian Walton Best foot forward: Ireland’s kicking game was superior to the Wallabies’ Photo: Ian Walton
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Best foot forward: Ireland’s kicking game was superior to the Wallabies’ Photo: Ian Walton

Best foot forward: Ireland’s kicking game was superior to the Wallabies’ Photo: Ian Walton

The last time the Wallabies lost three matches on the spring tour it cost coach Eddie Jones his job. No matter the result against England next week, Michael Cheika is under no such danger. But patience is not a virtue for modern Wallaby fans and successive three-point losses to France and Ireland will do little to becalm those with a sense of entitlement.

When ARU boss Bill Pulver addressed the media after Ewen McKenzie’s resignation, and again when Cheika was announced as his replacement, it was telling that on both occasions he said he believed the Wallabies were a team capable of winning the World Cup.

It’s at the forefront of many people’s thinking, but it should be abandoned. World Cup glitter is fool’s gold. Winning the Webb Ellis Trophy is the culmination of a good structure, not the answer to a bad one. Continual improvement should be the focus for the Wallabies; a higher winning percentage would be an excellent start. Besides, there is more than a lingering suspicion that Australia do not have the requisite cattle for World Cup success – plenty of show ponies, too few prize-winning heifers. While the potential in the Wallabies is evident – the performance against Ireland was their best this November – it should be developed without the weight of World Cup expectations.

The defence has been shored up. Neither of Ireland’s two tries came from defensive lapses and Matt Toomua’s line speed was both accurate and telling. The Wallabies were competitive against the Six Nations champions in every facet, except general play kicking. The relief Ireland showed at fulltime showed the level of physical commitment required to hold out the tourists. Increased physicality is the granite of Cheika’s game plan. Nick Phipps’ second try was a wonderful embodiment of how difficult teams are to contain when purposeful running and support play is perfected. The razzle dazzle was founded on a solid work ethic.

However, Jonathan Sexton schooled Bernard Foley and Toomua in the kicking department and proved the difference between the two teams. The Wallaby playmakers rarely, if ever, create pressure with their kicks. It’s a flaw in their games.

It all comes down to experience. Only three players in the starting side on Saturday had played more than 50 Tests and basic errors are mixed with sublime play. The dilemma for Cheika is this: do you continue to give players such as Foley, Phipps and Toomua time to develop or opt for the experienced players on the bench?

It must be tempting to pick Quade Cooper and Will Genia alongside Toomua and interchange Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau between wing and fullback.  Those players can use front-foot ball like no other and their experience could prove telling. Cooper’s performances on last year’s spring tour should not be so easily forgotten. The options for the second-row and backrow are more limited. There is simply a lack of depth, and impact, in those positions.

But Cheika has only one more game with the Wallabies until July. To remove some of the guesswork for next year he is reliant on his fellow Super Rugby coaches to buy in to his vision. Playing an up-tempo game is risky and requires souped-up fitness and commitment to keep the ball in hand. Some, such as Richard Graham at the Reds, may not have the luxury of thinking beyond the short term. It was no coincidence the Waratahs were the highest scoring team in the final 20 minutes of matches this year.

Unlike club coaching, Cheika cannot recruit to solve problems. He must make do with what he has got.

Thinking outside the box

07/04/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Lisa Messenger, The Messenger Group founder and editor-in-chief, The Collective.
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FRESH off the plane from Necker Island where she holidayed at the invitation of island owner Richard Branson, Renegade Collective magazine editor Lisa Messenger was back in Newcastle to inspire its entrepreneurs.

Ms Messenger was one of four “entrepreneurial disrupters” to speak at the inaugural Hunter Collective event.

Newcastle business collaborators Heidi Alexandra Pollard from UQ Power and Christina Gerakiteys from Ideation at Work selected speakers who had all successfully disrupted their respective industries by thinking outside the square.

For example, launching a magazine into a collapsing print-media market – which Ms Messenger did last year.

Listen to what the speakers, including Pandora Internet Radio managing director Jane Huxley, author and lactation consultant Pinky McKay and founder of BrandHook Pip Stocks, had to say when the talks are aired at huntercollective上海龙凤论坛m.au from Tuesday.

Auctioneer Sam Dawe at a car auction. Photo by Marina Neil

LEGENDARY auctioneer Sam Dawe is retiring.

Mr Dawe steps down from his role as manager and senior auctioneer at the Valley Auction Group next week.

In a career that spans 49 years, he’s sold everything from goats to million-dollar houses to machinery, paintings and vehicles.

“I was once told you have to pick their pocket with your tongue – that’s virtually what it is all about,” Mr Dawes says.

It was a yearning to go bush that set Mr Dawes on the auctioneer career path. A job selling sheep and cattle for Elders took him to Narrabri where he still remembers his first nerve-racking auction in 1966. There were no microphones or PA systems back then, he says.

“They taught us to project our voices right from the bootlaces and throw it right out,” he says. “I’ve been blessed with a strong powerful voice . . . I developed a passion for what I did.”

After 15 years in the livestock trade he returned to Newcastle where he has built up a name as a motor and property auctioneer.

He says it’s always a thrill, but his most memorable auctions have raised money for charities.

“I know that I’m raising money for people that I’ll probably never meet or never see, but I’ll put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces,” he says.

THE number of Hunter companies employing more than 90 people has fallen to 107, according to Map Marketing’s 2014 Top Hunter Employers List.

In 2012, 128 enterprises with more than 90 staff employed about 82,692 people, while in 2014 companies with more than 90 staff employed 70,772 people.

Map Marketing managing director Maria Charlton, who has done the survey for four years, said the greatest change had been the globalisation of enterprises.

Hunter New England Health outranked all contenders by more than 10,000 people with a staff of 15,500, according to the survey.

The health giant is followed by Glencore Coal, RAAF, University of Newcastle, the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Coal and Allied Operations, Mt Arthur Coal, Arrium Ltd, Ausgrid and Downer Group.

The report is available for purchase at newcastlebusiness上海龙凤论坛m.au.

A BERESFIELD company has been named outstanding supplier of the year at the NSW 2014 Industry and Supplier Awards.

Quarry Mining managing director Kari Armitage said she felt like she was still dreaming the day after receiving the gong.

“It’s the most prestigious award you could win in NSW mining,” she said.

Ms Armitage said the award recognised the work her team had put in to help the company’s mining clients save money during the downturn.

Glencore Australian coal operations chief operating officer Ian Cribb won the outstanding contribution to mining award. Mr Cribb has almost 40 years’ experience in the coalmining industry and joined Glencore in 1999. Glencore’s Bulga underground mine was named mining operation of the year.

THE mediation services of former federal attorney-general Robert McClelland are now available in Newcastle.

Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers have launched an alternative dispute resolution service and secured the services of the former Labor politician and mediation expert.

McClelland joined Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers this year as a partner in the firm.