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Local coverage slashed as ABC takes knife to budget

08/09/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

CONSOLE: Staff embrace at ABC studios in Ultimo after hearing of the changes. Picture: Wolter PeetersREGIONAL news, current affairs and sports coverage at the ABC will be slashed and more than 400 jobs lost as budget cuts start to bite the public broadcaster.
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Managing director Mark Scott has revealed a raft of proposed changes to programming, operations and structures to offset $254 million in lost government funding over the next five years.

About 10 per cent of ABC’s workforce faces the axe, including management, with foreign bureaus restructured and a post opened in Beirut.

“It’s a sad day for all of us – no one takes any joy with the job cuts that we face,” Mr Scott said.

“It’s a very significant job cut and those job cuts are going to have an impact right across the organisation.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied he broke an election pledge not to cut funding to the ABC and SBS.

Mr Abbott insisted his government had “fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people”.

“We never promised special treatment for the ABC or SBS,” he told Parliament on Monday.

Five regional radio posts – in Wagin (WA), Morwell (Vic), Gladstone (Qld), Port Augusta (SA) and Nowra (NSW) – will be shut down, as well as the ABC’s Adelaide television production studio.

As predicted, state editions of the ABC’s 7.30 program will be axed and replaced with a national show on Fridays while Lateline will be moved to a new fixed timeslot on ABC News 24.

ABC TV will scrap its outside broadcast vans, with state-based sports competitions including the women’s soccer and basketball leagues, Sydney club rugby and other state football leagues facing the chop.

Under flagged changes to radio, hourly news bulletins will be halved to five minutes and fewer concerts recorded for ABC Classic FM.

Among the other 40-plus proposals, Radio National’s rural program, Bush Telegraph, will be axed.

Using the savings, Mr Scott said a “war chest” of $20 million would be established to reinvest in online and mobile.

He said he didn’t want the ABC to be viewed as “negligent” down the track when the “revolution was very clear”. AAP

Trial witness ‘withheld information’

08/09/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A WITNESS in the trial of a man charged with causing a horrific crash that killed two girls at East Maitland has been accused of withholding information from a triple-0 operator, Newcastle District Court has heard.
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The witness, who cannot be identified, denied the claim and any suggestion that he was the driver when the Ford Falcon crashed off Raymond Terrace Road before midnight on January 12, 2011.

The prosecution alleges another man, aged 17 at the time, was the driver.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of manslaughter, two alternative counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and one count of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Six teenagers were in the car. Two girls died while four males survived.

The triple-0 recording was played to the jury on Monday, with the witness admitting under cross-examination that it was his voice saying “f**k” in the background when the person who made the call advised him the operator wanted to know what happened.

“Is it fair to say you didn’t want to tell the triple-0 operator about what had happened in the car accident?” defence barrister Alissa Moen asked.

The witness replied: “No, I just wanted help straight away, I was in pain.”

Ms Moen also asked the witness why he told the operator that he didn’t know if anyone was trapped in the car, when one occupant was.

“When you said to the operator, “I was too far away from the car and started walking”, were you trying to make it look like you didn’t have anything to do with the crash?” she asked.

He replied: “No”.

The defence suggested the witness ran away from the scene to avoid being caught as the driver.

The jury also heard from another occupant of the car who suffered a brain injury from the crash.

He said he couldn’t remember anything in the lead-up to the incident.

The trial before Judge Penelope Hock continues.

Netballers eye success at Singapore tournament

08/09/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

NEWCASTLE netball will revive their rivalry with New Zealand’s Mount Albert Grammar School, while Lakeside will make their debut at the International Youth Sports Challenge in Singapore this week.
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Hunter teams have competed at every edition of the Singapore Sports School tournament, which began in 2008 but was not held last year due to renovations at the host’s venue.

Newcastle’s under-15 representative side were silver medallists in 2011 but missed the 2012 edition when now-Lakeside coach Desley Cowen took a team of Newcastle and Maitland players to a first title for an Australian team at the tournament.

Newcastle lost the final by a goal to MAGs in 2011 and team manager Helen Wilson said the current team were keen to continue the association’s proud record at the competition.

Wilson said Newcastle had figured in medal matches at each appearance and were third in 2010.

Lakeside and Newcastle will start their campaigns on Sunday in the nine-team competition also taking in sides from the host school, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Newcastle team is Cassidy Flemming, Celeste Alley, Danielle Taylor, Hannah Stephenson, Siane Fonua, Grace Harvey, Angel Barber, Angela Williams and Abbie Gray.

■ Eighteen athletes across four sports will represent Team Newcastle at the International Children’s Games in Lake Macquarie from December 6-11.

The group, aged 12 to 15, will compete against athletes from 30 countries at the first International Children’s Games to be held in the southern hemisphere.

In athletics, javelin specialist Sabrina Kliousis and multiple national shot put champion Stephanie Scigala will combine with Zax DeVenny and Jonti Lanz.

Liam Masters, Peter Staikos and Ethan Swanson will compete in BMX, while Anastasia Bachas, Gabrielle Deacon, Tomika Fuller, Annabelle Hewitt, Lucy Jenkins, Molly Jordan, Paige Kingston-Hogg and Samantha Lazarovski are soccer representatives.

In swimming Adelaide Markey, Emily Richardson and Hannah Richardson will contest multiple events.

■ Bar Beach Skateboarding Club’s Jedd McKenzie led the way for the locals when they hosted a successful contest against Bondi Skate Club on Saturday.

McKenzie was second to Gold Coast-based Australian junior champion Keegan Palmer in the under 18s and also won the highest air award. Bondi’s Noah Fuzi was third and also claimed the best trick award.

Palmer, who is only 10, made it a double with victory in the open division in front of Bondi’s Ben Key and George Richards from Bar Beach.

In the under 12s, Dylan Donnini (Bondi) finished ahead of Bar Beach pair Bryce McKean and Rome Collyer.

Poppy Olsen (Bondi) won the girls ahead of clubmate Sari Simpson and Bar Beach’s Jade Perry.

The interclub competition doubled as a fund-raiser for Jye Parker, who lost an arm in a work accident last month at Bar Beach Bowling Club. About $2000 was raised.

■ St Francis Xavier’s College Hamilton will open the Australian Schools Basketball Championships against defending champions Lake Ginninderra in Canberra on Sunday.

After two years at Knox and Kilsyth in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs, the national titles will be held in Canberra for the next two years at Tuggeranong, Belconnen and the Australian Institute of Sport.

Three other Hunter schools – Hunter Sports High, Macquarie College and Avondale – will compete in the invitational divisions.

Led by NSW and Australian junior Myles Cherry and fellow Newcastle Hunters representative Dhiu Noi, SFX qualified for the championship division by finishing second behind Sydney Boys High School at the NSW qualifying tournament in September.

Cherry chose to represent SFX instead of touring California with an Australian schools team.

He and Noi will be expected to shoulder much of the load in the absence of Noi’s younger brother Kouat, a starting forward for the Australian team that finished second at the under-17 world championships in August.

Kouat is in the USA continuing his education with Florida-based Montverde Academy, the two-time defending national high school champions led by former Hunters junior Ben Simmons.

SFX coach Rohan Stevenson said: “The loss of Kouat is huge but that’s life and that’s basketball.”

Toxic Truth: Councillors concerned by State Government failures

08/09/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Lake Macquarie councillor Daniel Wallace is disturbed by the reported lead levels. Toxic Truth: More stories
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LAKE Macquarie councillors have raised serious concerns about NSW government failures to deal with Pasminco’s toxic legacy.

This follows a joint Newcastle Herald and Macquarie University investigation that found alarming levels of lead and other heavy metals in homes and public places around the former Pasminco smelter.

Lake Macquarie councillor Daniel Wallace, who is also Newcastle Trades Hall secretary, said toxic soil should be removed ‘‘if there’s any chance it’s hazardous’’.

‘‘To hear reports now there’s no safe level of lead exposure – that pulls at your heart strings,’’ Cr Wallace said. ‘‘People have been lied to.’’

Deputy mayor Wendy Harrison said ‘‘the levels in the soil are disturbing’’.

Cr Harrison said it was important to do much more testing, including ‘‘an extensive sample of kids’ blood levels in the area’’.

Cr Wallace said government bodies must ‘‘do an analysis of where they’ve failed over time and what systems they can put in place’’.

As previously reported, the state government approved a Lead Abatement Strategy to deal with polluted residential land.

Macquarie University Professor Mark Patrick Taylor blasted the strategy as a failure.

Cr Wallace said the strategy appeared to be designed to save as much money as possible.

He said Pasminco should have been made to set aside ‘‘some money in perpetuity during the good years’’ for required clean-ups.

Councillor Barry Johnston said residents’ comments about the strategy ‘‘raise a lot of concern’’ about its effectiveness.

Cr Harrison said the strategy ‘‘seemed to be an ad-hoc process’’.

Pasminco administrator Ferrier Hodgson conducted the strategy and the NSW Environment Protection Authority approved it.

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Toxic Truth: Esperance lead clean-up best practice

08/09/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A tanker docked at the Esperance Port in Western Australia Toxic Truth: More stories
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COMMUNITY pressure forced the West Australian government to act following a 2007lead contamination incident in the town of Esperance.

The $25.7million clean-up project that followed is now considered to be an example of world’s best practice for urban lead decontamination.

The deaths of thousands of wild birds initially alerted residents to a toxic hazard, which was traced back to the unsafe transportation of lead ore by truck and rail from a mine at Wiluna to the port at Esperance.

Elevated levels of lead were also found in children and some adults, as well as in water tanks.

‘‘At first the government told the community it wasn’t a big problem but we weren’t satisfied,’’ Esperance Clean-up and Recovery Project steering committee community representative Michelle Crisp said.

‘‘So we went and did our own testing and showed the government they needed to do something.’’

Works undertaken as part of the three year, government-funded clean-up included: cleaning the roofs of 433premises, cleaning roof surfaces, gutters, downpipes and rainwater tanks at 1144premises, cleaning external and internal surfaces including carpets at 1648premises.

‘‘In addition to the roofs, a lot of work was done to clean surfaces that children came in contact with,’’ Ms Crisp said.

An independent audit of the project concluded: ‘‘the procedures developed for the Esperance Clean-up and Recovery Project, the manner in which the team delivered the project and the community input have combined to allow a robust, technically justifiable and comprehensive clean-up and validation of the Esperance townsite.’’

The remnants of the lead contamination incident were no longer considered a risk to humans in 2010.

A survey of those involved in the project revealed an overall satisfaction rating from the Esperance community of 94per cent.

‘‘Overall it was a pretty thorough clean-up; we were pretty lucky,’’ Ms Crisp said. ‘‘My heart goes out to the smelter towns. We only had lead pollution for 18months; smelter towns have generations of dust built up in them.’’

The West Australian Department of Environment and Conservation also imposed licence conditions on the port to ensure all future metal concentrate exports do not cause health or environmental problems.

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