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‘It’s like Survivor’: ABC staff respond to cuts

09/10/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Staff cuts announced at the ABC studios in Ultimo, Sydney. Photo: Wolter Peeters Illustration: Ron Tandberg
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Reality bites for ABC staff as 400 face the axeThe programs losing resources under cuts

Senior journalists at the ABC were called into a meeting with management on Monday afternoon and told a quarter of them would lose their jobs under the federal government’s $254 million funding cut.

And hours after Prime Minister Tony Abbott denied breaking a promise to strip funds from the broadcaster, a Coalition senator has conceded Mr Abbott did in fact pledge not to cut funding.

In the Sydney newsroom, six of the 24 senior journalists face redundancy and two of the six junior reporters may also lose their jobs.

Staff members were in shock, with one saying: “It’s like Survivor. Who’s going to be voted off the island?”

Journalists were given a sheet of paper with a list of skills benchmarks and told if they were unable to meet them they would face losing their jobs before Christmas.

The new benchmarks focused on the ability to report stories across multiple platforms including mobile and online.

The news came as a blow to newsroom staff who thought the job losses would mainly affect management and backroom operations.

ABC managing director Mark Scott faced robust questioning from 7.30 host Leigh Sales, whose own program will not be spared from the cuts.

She asked her boss why the state-based edition of the 7.30 was being axed when online opinion site The Drum would continue despite a plethora of similar sites on offer.

Mr Scott told her cost was a factor in the decision but said savings were not the only driver in choosing which programs are axed and which would stay.

“It’s a balancing act,” he said. “There’s no single formula you can apply.”

He denied that the broadcaster’s news and current affairs programs were being targeted, saying the majority of cuts were coming from administration and management.

About 100 journalists of the 1,000 employed by the broadcaster nationally would lose their jobs but he said they would hire about 70 new staff with expertise in mobile and online content.

“There’s no joy in letting staff go,” he said.

He also revealed the federal government had not set aside extra money to fund the redundancy program with the finances to come from the ABC’s existing budget.

Nationals Senator John Williams said on Monday: “Look, to be frank and honest, Prime Minister Tony Abbott did say before the election there would not be any cuts to the ABC.”

The NSW Senator’s comments followed questions in Parliament to Mr Abbott about an interview he gave on the eve of last year’s election, in which he vowed there would be “no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

Mr Abbott denied breaking a pledge not to cut funding to the ABC and SBS, saying his government had “fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people” and that the Coalition was simply applying to the ABC the kind of “efficiency dividend” it was applying to almost every other part of government.

Asked about the government’s refusal to acknowledge the broken promise a week after $254 million in funding cuts to the ABC were announced, Senator Williams said Mr Abbott had also promised to “fix the budget mess” and that the cuts were necessary to do so.

Senator Williams, a former farmer, said he was “disappointed” about the decision to axe ABC facilities in regional areas, but said the belt tightening was needed.

“We’ve all got to suffer some pain,” he said. “It’s either a bit of pain now or severe torture later, and I’d rather have the bit of pain now.”

Young Islamic State supporter abuses Christian school students prior to counter-terrorism raids

09/10/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A 14-year-old Islamic State supporter yelled abuse at Christian school students and flew the terrorist group’s flag through western Sydney just two days before his family were targeted in sweeping counter-terrorism raids.
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The boy is the third member of his family to come under the gaze of authorities for supporting the powerful terrorist group, whose recruitment strategy is unashamedly aimed at young people in western countries.

The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is among the youngest Islamic State supporters to emerge in Sydney but community leaders have warned that his case is becoming disturbingly common.

The boy has pleaded guilty in Parramatta Children’s Court to driving past the Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park on September 16 and yelling death threats at students and one teacher.

He sat in the passenger seat waving an Islamic State flag out the window while his friend, an 18-year-old who also cannot be named because he was a juvenile at the time, drove the red hatchback.

Two days later, the boy’s family home in western Sydney was raided as part of a federal investigation into an alleged plot to behead a random member of the public in Sydney and drape an Islamic State flag over them.

Police officers searched the family’s unit looking for Islamic State material and seized laptops and mobile phones but no one was charged.

The following week, the 14-year-old and his friend were arrested over the attack on the Maronite College and charged with offensive conduct and intimidating a school staff member.

The boy appeared in Parramatta Children’s Court on Monday in tracksuit pants and sneakers and had his night curfew removed while he awaited sentencing later this year.

He has been on strict bail after the court deemed that his conduct towards the children and a teacher at the school was “totally inappropriate… in the current climate”.

Joseph Wakim, a spokesman for the Maronite College, said the students were shaken up following the incident and found it hard to believe that international events involving Islamic State had “come to front gate of their school, of all places in Australia”.

The school has since had a security guard at their gates every day.

However, Mr Wakim, who is also the founder of the Australian Arabic Council, said he was more concerned about the number of young, vulnerable boys being sucked into the Islamic State ideology.

“The incident was really a metaphor locally for what is happening globally,” he said.

“It begs bigger questions – who was the driver, what was their destination and how did he get there? And they are the same questions we ask internationally. Who is driving these kids? What is their destination – is it Syria? And how did they get there? What are the psychological signs we might have missed before they reach the airport?”

It follows the case of four western Sydney brothers who left for Syria earlier this month, telling their parents they were travelling to Thailand for a holiday.

Islamic State have openly focused their recruitment on young westerners, such as the Bankstown teenager Abdullah Elmir, who told his parents he was going on a fishing trip but recently emerged as the star of a glossy Islamic State propaganda video, waging jihad on the west.

American journalist Theo Padnos, who was held hostage in Syria for two years and observed eight-year-old children being trained to wear suicide belts and chant anti-Western anthems, said terrorist groups were recruiting Westerners who would indoctrinate their young children to bring the message of hate back home and carve out mini-Islamic empires.

Australian children as young as seven have been brainwashed and drawn into the overseas conflict.

Khaled Sharrouf’s two sons, the youngest aged seven, are with him in Syria and Mohamed Elomar’s four young children were recently stopped at Sydney Airport, allegedly on their way to join their father on the battlefield.

NSW Police and Department of Family and Community Services are also investigating a video of children aged six to 13 chanting anti-western slogans at an event in western Sydney last year organised by fringe group Hizb-ut Tahrir.

“For adults to be manipulating young Australian children and indoctrinating them with violent ideologies is deplorable,” NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said following the emergence of the video.

The 14-year-old and 18-year-old boys will be sentenced in December over the incident.

A recent letter to parents at the Maronite College said the 14-year-old had agreed to write an apology.

Grade loophole last chance for Clarke

09/10/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

The soap opera that has been Michael Clarke’s bid to play the first Test took another bizarre turn on Monday when he was ruled out of the match in which he was supposed to prove his fitness. But he has not given up hopes of lining up at the Gabba.
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The captain confirmed on Monday night he will not be lining up for a CA XI in a two-day tour game against India starting Friday in Adelaide but instead wants to play for his club side Western Suburbs on Saturday. While Clarke is still in extreme doubt for the first Test, the mixed messages from the captain and the selectors has created confusion as to whether his chances are now zero. It is not the first time Clarke and the selectors have been on different pages in recent months.

Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh had said on Monday morning that Clarke’s chances of leading his country at the Gabba were dependent on him emerging unscathed from the tour game. If he was not able to run by Wednesday he would not play the tour game and be out of the first Test. “What they have said is that he needs to start running, and if he doesn’t start running by, I think, Wednesday then I think we can safely assume that he won’t be playing the Test match,” Marsh said.

Clarke, however, is still harbouring ambitions of leading his country next week despite being only able to run at “50 per cent” on Monday. “I’ve been pulled out of, or passed unfit to play the game in Adelaide. The medical team in the Australian cricket team have ruled me out of that game,” Clarke said at a promotional event in Sydney.

He is aiming to play for his grade side on Saturday and has implored selectors to take his word on his fitness. “My goal is to try and get myself fit to play whatever games available,” Clarke said. “The next game that I am available for, if I can be fit, is grade cricket on Saturday. So ideally if I can tick all the boxes along the way and play on Saturday, get through that. Hopefully I can make myself available then it is completely up to the selectors to work out what to do.

“Over the last 10, 12 years I’ve been playing for Australia I don’t think I’ve ever walked onto a field not being 100 per cent fit to perform. So I would hope with my experience that the selectors, my teammates, Cricket Australia staff respect my opinion there.”

Selectors  had wanted to trial Clarke over two days rather than one to give them a better a guide as to whether he could last the five days of a Test. “I think that’s really important, because with his recent history we can’t have him breaking down in the first innings of a Test match … I think we all realise that,” Marsh said. “He’ll know whether he’s ready or not. Just being out in the field for, we assume, a day and then having to bat the next day, or batting and then going out in the field for a day, he’ll know whether he’s fit enough. And the medicos will tell us that too.”

The developments late on Monday provided another perspective on the extraordinary events at Parramatta’s Old Kings Oval on the weekend, which has sparked a Cricket NSW investigation and drew a tongue-in-cheek allegation of “match fixing” from Brad Haddin. Wests captain Jeff Cook had declared his team’s innings on 0-17 in the hope it would allow Clarke to be able to bat the following Saturday.

Officials at CA and CNSW were amazed when new filtered through on Saturday night of Western Suburbs’ declaration.

Cook has been told by his club not to offer further comment on the saga. Haddin, who will become Australia’s 45th Test captain if Clarke is ruled out, stunned reporters when he raised the dark spectre of match fixing.

“I don’t really know the full extent of where that’s at and how that happened. All I know is the captain there better be careful — that looks like match fixing to me,” Haddin quipped. There are no suggestions the declaration was made for financial inducements, though CNSW will next Monday investigate the circumstances surrounding the declaration.

Boyd to scale new heights, says Bennett

09/10/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

“He’s home now, he’s happy; he’s with an extremely good club. This club is his home. I should think he should be at his best”: Wayne Bennett. Photo: Simone De Peak “He’s home now, he’s happy; he’s with an extremely good club. This club is his home. I should think he should be at his best”: Wayne Bennett. Photo: Simone De Peak
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“He’s home now, he’s happy; he’s with an extremely good club. This club is his home. I should think he should be at his best”: Wayne Bennett. Photo: Simone De Peak

“He’s home now, he’s happy; he’s with an extremely good club. This club is his home. I should think he should be at his best”: Wayne Bennett. Photo: Simone De Peak

Darius Boyd has reshaped his life outside of the limelight. Now Wayne Bennett believes the newest Broncos signing can take his game to new heights on the field as he returns to a club that feels very much like home.

The timing and atmosphere appear perfect for Boyd to reinvigorate his career after a series of ups and downs at Newcastle, then an off-season spent seeking treatment for depression and a number of personal and family issues.

On that front, it seems Boyd has made major inroads. He looked like a different man talking to reporters on Monday, appearing relaxed and at ease as he sat beside Bennett and outlined his hopes for the next three years at Red Hill.

Gone were the one-word grunts and disinterested snarls. Instead, Boyd managed a few smiles almost looked like he might back up and do it all again if given the opportunity. He’s become rugby league’s most unlikely feel-good story.

“I’ve learned a lot and done a few things that have taught me how to appreciate things in life more. The list goes on and on. It’s part of the job and I want to be a happier person,” Boyd said.

“I think I’ve sorted those things out. It’s going to take more time but I’m on the right track and it starts with everything in my life; media, fans, friends, family. I can’t change things in the past. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in the future.”

If Boyd’s character renovation is only partly complete – he says there are still steps to take – then on the football front he looks primed to deliver.

At 27, with the fullback spot his and with three years of playing security nailed down, Boyd will be given every chance to thrive in Broncos colours.

Bennett has always had a huge opinion of Boyd and went as far as saying that during much of his time at the Dragons, delivered a weekly output comparable to the great players of Bennett’s brilliant tenure with the Broncos.

Now Bennett has backed Boyd to return to that sort of touch for Brisbane, if not step things up a notch or two.

“He was magnificent at the Dragons. He won the Clive Churchill Medal in the grand final and I thought his three years there were exceptional. At times he played as good as probably the great players at the Broncos, consistently week after week,” Bennett said.

“The Knights was a bit different for him, a different challenge there. He probably wasn’t as good as he was at the Dragons but that wasn’t all because of him.

“We survived all that, he’s a better person for it. He’s home now, he’s happy; he’s with an extremely good club. This club is his home. I should think he should be at his best.

“He’s that age group as well, he’s in great shape, he carries no injuries with him, he’s in the prime of his career and I just hope for the fans and himself that he does that. I’m so confident that he will.”

Brisbane’s backline looks a more dangerous proposition than last year. Along with the addition of Boyd, Anthony Milford arrives to play five-eighth while Ben Hunt will look to build on an outstanding season that ended in selection for the Kangaroos.

Yet even with the likes of Justin Hodges in the centres, there is a degree of inexperience that Bennett feels Boyd can help bridge.

“He was so important to bring here. I know what he brings and what the team needs here and what he brings, the team needs,” Bennett said.

“We’ve got a young five-eighth, a young halfback, although Ben’s played 100 games but most of them were off the interchange bench. He had a great season last year.

“Half, five-eighth and fullback are the keys to the modern game and he’s as good as anybody in that fullback position. He’s a mature player now, a 200-game player, he brings a lot of maturity and we need that. He’ll be invaluable. He was the one I wanted.”

Bennett has said he won’t coach anywhere else after the Broncos and Boyd also wants to finish his career in the Queensland capital. He never wanted to leave in the first place, then never expected to return. Now he has, he wants to make the move permanent.

“I’d love to (finish here). It’s home for me. I never thought I’d be back. I’ve got three years and I want to make the most of them. It would be awesome to finish my career and live here and retire here.”

Michael Clarke in hamstring soap opera before first Test

09/10/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

The soap opera that has been Michael Clarke’s bid to play the first Test took another bizarre turn on Monday when he was ruled out of the match in which he was supposed to prove his fitness. But he has not given up hopes of lining up at the Gabba.
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The captain confirmed on Monday night that he will not be lining up for a CA XI in a two-day tour game against India starting Friday in Adelaide but will instead play for his club side Western Suburbs on Saturday.

While Clarke is still in extreme doubt for the first Test, the mixed messages from the captain and the selectors has created confusion as to whether his chances are now zero. It is not the first time Clarke and the selectors have been on different pages in recent months.

Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh had said on Monday morning that Clarke’s chances of leading his country at the Gabba were dependent on him emerging unscathed from the tour game. If he was not able to run by Wednesday he would not play the tour game and be out of the first Test.

“What they have said is that he needs to start running, and if he doesn’t start running by, I think, Wednesday then I think we can safely assume that he won’t be playing the Test match,” Marsh said on Monday morning.

Clarke, however, is still harbouring ambitions of leading his country next week despite being only able to run at “50 per cent” on Monday.

“I’ve been pulled out of, or passed unfit to play the game in Adelaide. The medical team in the Australian cricket team have ruled me out of that game,” Clarke said at a promotional event in Sydney.

He is aiming to play for his grade side on Saturday and has imploring selectors to take his word on his fitness.

“My goal is to try and get myself fit to play whatever games available,” Clarke said.

“The next game that I am available for, if I can be fit, is grade cricket on Saturday.

“So ideally if I can tick all the boxes along the way and play on Saturday, get through that.

“Hopefully I can make myself available then it is completely up to the selectors to work out what to do.

“Over the last 10, 12 years I’ve been playing for Australia I don’t think I’ve ever walked onto a field not being 100 per cent fit to perform.

“So I would hope with my experience that the selectors, my teammates, Cricket Australia (all) staff respect my opinion there.”

Selectors, however, had wanted to trial Clarke over two days rather than one to give them a better a guide as to whether he could last the five days of a Test.

“I think that’s really important, because with his recent history we can’t have him breaking down in the first innings of a Test match . . . I think we all realise that,” Marsh said.

“He’ll know whether he’s ready or not. Just being out in the field for, we assume, a day and then having to bat the next day, or batting and then going out in the field for a day, he’ll know whether he’s fit enough. And the medicos will tell us that too.”

The developments late on Monday provided another perspective on the extraordinary events at Parramatta’s Old Kings Oval on the weekend, which has sparked a Cricket NSW investigation and drew a tongue-in-cheek allegation of “match fixing” from Brad Haddin.

Wests captain Jeff Cook had declared his team’s innings on 0-17 in the hope it would allow Clarke to be able to bat the following Saturday.

Officials at Cricket Australia and CNSW were amazed when new filtered through on Saturday night of Western Suburbs’ declaration.

Cook has been told by his club not to offer further comment on the saga.

Haddin, who will become Australia’s 45th Test captain if Clarke is ruled out, stunned reporters when he raised the dark spectre of match fixing.

“I don’t really know the full extent of where that’s at and how that happened. All I know is the captain there better be careful – that looks like match fixing to me,” Haddin quipped.

There are no suggestions the declaration was made for financial inducements, though CNSW will investigate on Monday if the integrity of Sydney’s grade competition has been compromised.

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.

Toxic truth: Archive

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