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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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Toxic Truth: No escaping dust for neighbours of moonscape

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

CONSTANT CAR WASHER: Boolaroo resident Stephen Griffen at the old Pasminco site. Picture: Phil HearneToxic Truth: More stories
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​STEPHEN Griffen’s car is the only monitor needed to show how much dust is blowing off the former Pasminco site into the surrounding streets.

A heavy layer of pollution quickly gathers on the ungaraged vehicle within hours of it being washed every second day.

‘‘I’m not a whinger, but it’s quite evident to everyone around here that dust is a big problem,’’ Mr Griffen, whose First Street home overlooks the 191hectare moonscape, said.

‘‘They have got water trucks over there to wet it down sometimes but they don’t go off the main roads.’’

In addition to the dust, there is the noise, which usually starts about 6am.

‘‘There’s four or five trucks over there at the moment but sometimes they have up to a dozen.’’

Several First, Second and Third street residents told the Newcastle Herald they had made numerous complaints to the Environment Protection Authority hotline about dust blowing off the site. Despite that, EPA records show only five complaints had been received about the issue in the past two years.

An Environment Protection Authority spokeswoman said monitoring data provided by Pasminco showed the levels of lead dust blowing from the site had significantly decreased over the past decade.

Despite the official assurances, Macquarie University environmental scientist Mark Taylor said he was not convinced the site would be completely safe.

‘‘There will always be questions over previously contaminated sites,’’ Professor Taylor said.

‘‘If I had a choice I wouldn’t live there. If I didn’t have children I might have a slightly different view on it.’’

Although the EPA is still the site’s overall regulator, areas where remediation has been completed have been moved to Lake Macquarie Council’s control.

The spokeswoman said the EPA had previously shut down work on the site when there had been a high risk of dust blowing from the site.

‘‘Pasminco has an active revegetation program for much of the site, to help limit dust generation,’’ she said.

Revegetation of the main containment cell is scheduled to commence early in the new year.

It was revealed in July that the EPA considered fining the smelter’s administrator, Ferrier Hodgson, over misreporting heavy metal contamination at the site.

Documents lodged with the EPA earlier this year showed lead contamination levels exceeded recommended standards by 6400 times but it has since been revealed the reported levels were incorrect.

EPA hotline 131 555

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Financial security Knights club’s top priority

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

HOOKING IN: Knights chairman Brian McGuigan shares a laugh with Kurt Gidley and Tariq Sims. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE Knights remain one of the NRL’s financially strongest clubs, according to new directors, despite losing money since the league took control from Nathan Tinkler five months ago.
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Under the chairmanship of renowned Hunter Valley vigneron Brian McGuigan, the new board of Katie Brassil, Eileen Doyle, Mark Fitzgibbon, Philip Gardner, John Quayle and Peter Shear met for the first time at Mayfield on Monday to plan the club’s future.

Brassil is Centennial Coal’s general manager of external affairs, Doyle chairs the Hunter Valley Research Foundation, Fitzgibbon is the chief executive of nib, Gardner is the Wests Group chief executive, Quayle is the NSW Venues chairman and former chief executive of the NSW Rugby League and Australian Rugby League, and Shear, a former Lloyds Banking Group executive, is an NRL adviser appointed by the league.

The NRL has agreed to underwrite the Knights for the next three years but McGuigan said the club would become self-sufficient ‘‘as soon as practicable’’.

‘‘We don’t know that yet, because we don’t know who we’ve got as sponsors and what funding that will give to us, but as soon as we have a plan you guys will know about it, and the community will know about it,’’ McGuigan said. ‘‘But we’ve got a responsibility of breaking square as quickly as we can, and that’s what we intend to do.’’

When the NRL, Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group and the Knights Members Club signed off on a settlement in June, the new Knights entity had $5.1million in start-up funds.

– JOHN QUAYLE

That nest egg has since been reduced, though Shear would not divulge to what extent.

‘‘The club’s financial position is strong but the club has been making losses,’’ Shear said.

‘‘But for us it’s about the future and we’re on a strong platform and we’re very focused as a board to continue to build financial stability.

‘‘The club’s made some losses in the last couple of months, but it’s still one of the most financially strong clubs in the league at the moment.’’

Quayle, who along with Shear, Knights chief executive Matt Gidley and other NRL officials helped oversee the post-Tinkler transition, said the new regime had already reduced operating costs by $3million.

‘‘Like any business, you can only spend what you make, and the first stage for us is getting that right and getting that structure in place to make sure the long-term viability of the Knights is secure,’’ Quayle said.

‘‘You can’t do that over one year. You have to do that over a period of time. If we get that right, first up, the rest flows.

‘‘No longer can a team just survive from year to year. It’s fine for people to say that in sport you can win a premiership in one year, but it’s no use doing that and going broke.’’

Gardner said the Knights had been ‘‘chasing their tails’’ financially since inception.

‘‘This time around, they’re not going to be doing that, and you’ve got an independent board in place. For the first time, the shareholder is not running the club,’’ Gardner said.

‘‘You’ve got an independent board that are going to be set up to run the club properly, they’re going to be answerable to the shareholder, and if they don’t perform, the shareholder will fire them. That’s never been the case before.’’

Gardner said the Knights would run a ‘‘leaner, more efficient administration’’ than the one that existed under HSG management, and the new board had moved on from the win now, pay later attitude that influenced the decisions of some directors in the past.

‘‘They put the blazer on and they’re prepared to sell the next 10 years of the business down the river to win this year. That’s not the structure going forward of this board, and it won’t be the structure going forward under any future ownership,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ll have a very different commercial outcome, I think, and a very different governance structure, and it’s going to be very transparent.

‘‘Because you’ve got an independent board, they’ll be transparent not just back to their shareholders but to the community and to the media, because the media is very important in ensuring that everyone is kept honest and honourable in what they’re doing.

‘‘So I think you’ll see a very different organisation both from a governance structure, and transparency to the community, than we’ve seen at the Knights over the last 20 years.’’

LSD dealer fails to sway appeal

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A PORT Stephens man found guilty of supplying a large commercial quantity of LSD has failed to have his nine-year jail term reduced on appeal.
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Stephen John Finch, 49, said he was the victim of a bitter drug dealer who left thousands of tablets of the hallucinogen in his Pindimar home the day before a police raid in September 2010.

A jury convicted Finch in February 2013 after being shown a video of the police raid and hearing from officers who said Finch ran from the front of the home to the rear after police announced their arrival.

Police found sheets of perforated cardboard containing LSD as well as methylamphetamine and amphetamines throughout the house.

He was sentenced to a maximum nine-year jail term with a non-parole period of six years.

Finch appealed against the severity of his sentence in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday, claiming the sentence was ‘‘manifestly excessive’’ and sentencing Judge Peter Berman erred in failing to take into account mitigating factors.

But Justice Robert Hulme dismissed the appeal, ruling the initial sentence was adequate.

‘‘I am not persuaded that the sentencing judge erred by overlooking some of the matter that rendered the offences less serious or by failing to have regard to relevant mitigating subjective factors in the assessment of sentence,’’ Justice Hume said.

‘‘The circumstances could be described as truly exceptional if the offender was an innocent where matters of prohibited drugs are concerned. But that is not a description to which the applicant could aspire.

‘‘He admitted to having been a regular user of drugs. The judge referred to the police having found written records of past drug transactions, albeit they involved [according to the applicant] small quantities of cannabis.

‘‘The judge considered that the applicant had sought to minimise the level of his past drug dealing.

‘‘Notwithstanding that the applicant had quite a compelling subjective case to mitigate the level of punishment to be imposed, I am not persuaded that the sentence of eight years for the LSD offence and the overall sentence of nine years for the two offences is manifestly excessive,’’ Justice Hume said.

Finch will be eligible for parole in November 2018.

Proliferation of city boutique bars continues

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Bar Petite, one of a host of new small bars to open in the CBD in recent years.THE wave of new bars seeking to open in Newcastle is continuing with two more applications lodged with the city council.
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The latest two, planned for Market Street and Hunter Street, are among four applications lodged in the past fortnight and come on top of dozens of new liquor licences issued to city cafes, restaurants and new bars over the past year.

A bar to be known as Shisha Lounge is proposed for 227 Hunter Street, complete with a rooftop terrace, which would operate until midnight Monday to Saturday and until 10pm on Sundays.

The bar is proposed for the historic ANZ Bank building on the corner of Hunter and Brown streets.

Owned by the Jacoub family, the building’s roof offers views of the harbour and Nobbys headland.

According to the application, the 730-square-metre Shisha Lounge would be ‘‘a positive attraction and revitalisation of the whole area’’.

The second new application is for the ground floor of 2 Market Street, opposite the city’s current post office, and is owned by Jordan Mizrahi.

Le Passe Temps, one of a host of new small bars to open in the CBD in recent years.

Under the plan, the former sandwich shop and vacant commercial space would be converted into a bar and outdoor cafe. Its proposed operating hours are the same as Shisha Lounge.

A statement of environmental effects lodged with the application says the bar ‘‘will assist to reactivate Market Street in the evenings … and play a role in the redevelopment of Hunter Street and the East End overall’’.

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the proliferation of new and smaller bars was diversifying the city’s night-time economy.

‘‘They’re reactivating parts of the city and decentralising the big booze barns into smaller boutique bars which are mostly run by locals,’’ she said.

Two weeks ago, the Herald revealed plans for two new bars on Hunter Street, including one on the site of the old Star Hotel.

They come in addition to the dozens of new bars which have opened throughout the city centre in recent years including Reserve Wine Bar, Bar Petite, Le Passe Temps, Red Baron’s Berlin Bar, Coal and Cedar, The Laneway, The Edwards, The Terrace Bar, The Landing and The Grain Store

Jenny’s Place, a refuge for women escaping violence, helps them start again

07/08/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

HELPING HANDS: Out Reach co-ordinator Pam Morris and team leader Rosemary Pillay. Picture: Marina Neil►The terror in our homes
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►These women should be alive today

►Successful man, wife hid abuse from the world

►Opinion: Male violence glossed over

►Editorial:Never an excuse for violence

THEY flee, with their young children, in the middle of the night.

Often, in fear for their lives, they are desperate, and they are empty-handed.

If they are lucky, they make their way to a safe place – if there are no friends or family, they may land at a women’s refuge, like Newcastle’s Jenny’s Place.

And from there, thanks to the generosity of the community, they will not go away empty-handed.

They will be armed with care packages, known as Jenny’s Gift, filled with practical self-care, kitchen, bedroom and other essential items to help them slowly re-build their lives.

‘‘Most of them come with nothing, literally,’’ says Jenny’s Place team leader Rosemary Pillay.

‘‘Just the clothes on their backs. Our funding is limited, so we have a safe place, and we are one of the only refuges that provide food, but these packs contain the basic things that we can’t provide.’’

‘‘Sometimes they contain toiletries, nappies, and sunblock. We also do kitchen packs with a few food items, and maybe a toaster, and bedroom packs with basics like linen.’’

Hundreds of women have received a Jenny’s Gift pack since it was launched six months ago, Ms Pillay said.

Jenny’s Place has been running for 37 years. The associated outreach service has been running for six years.

It helps women transition from emergency and crisis accommodation into full-time living arrangements, as well as helping some women stay safe in their own homes, and visiting families at risk.

‘‘I feel privileged to see these women go from being low and fearful in unfamiliar surroundings to taking charge of their own home, in control of their own environment, with their children with them, it’s just awesome,’’ says outreach service co-ordinator, Pam Morris.

The service is working on developing relationships with real estate agents to help give their clients a better chance of finding a private rental.

That is particularly difficult for those who have been blacklisted due to an abusive partner’s behaviours or failure to pay for rent or damaged property, and for those who have no rental references to due their former reliance on an abusive partner. In the meantime, the service continues to struggle for adequate funding.

The outreach service is run on donations alone, and the turn-away rate from the refuge remains high.

In 2013/14, 336 women were turned away, and 367 children – a 30 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

Donations can be made via the Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre on 49278529, or online at Give Now (http://www.givenow上海龙凤论坛m.au/jennysplace).