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Five authors to see at Supanova

07/05/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Fans of Robin Hobb’s fantasy books include George R.R. Martin. Photo: SuppliedThe line up of stars from popular movies and TV shows are always the most hyped guests at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo.

But the three-day event is also a great literary meet-up for fans of genre writing, such as science fiction and fantasy.

Here are five authors to see at this year’s event.

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is the second pen name of Californian-born author Margaret Ogden. Her first novel was Assassin’s Apprentice, the beginning to her successful Farseer Trilogy. She’s also celebrated for her Tawny Man Trilogy. Ogden’s written in a different style of fantasy novel under the name Megan Lindholm. Lindholm’s most popular title is probably Wizard of the Pigeons, a contemporary fantasy set in Seattle. Hobb’s books have garnered acclaim from esteemed novelists George R. R. Martin and Orson Scott Card, the latter stating she “arguably sets the standard for the modern serious fantasy novel”.

Hobb will participate in signing sessions at 2.30pm-5:30pm on Friday and 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. She will also participate in Q&A panels on Saturday and Sunday.

Colin Taber

Colin Taber is a Perth resident whose first novel, The Fall of Ossard, was published in 2009. Over the past twenty years he’s written over a hundred magazine articles, notably for Australian Realms Magazine. Taber’s also had a diverse range of occupations, from working in bookshops to event management, small press publishing, landscape design and even tree farming.  Red Winter, the second title in Taber’s series The United States of Vinland, will be launched in time for the Supanova.

Taber will participate in signing sessions at 2.30pm-5.30pm on Friday, 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am-5.00pm on Sunday. He will also participate in a Q&A panel on Sunday, as well as conduct a “How To” Publishing Master class on Friday evening.

Ian Irvine

Ian Irvine is an Australian marine scientist who has written thirty novels, most notably the Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, which has sold over a million copies. He’s now a fulltime writer and has written fantasy, eco-thriller and children’s novels. Irvine’s latest novel is Justice, the third book in his series The Tainted Realm.

Irvine will participate in signing sessions at 2.30pm to 5.30pm on Friday, 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am-5.00pm on Sunday. He will also participate in a Q&A panel on Saturday.

Steve Worland

Steve Worland has worked extensively in Australian and American film and television. He’s written scripts forWorking Title and Icon productions, worked in script development for James Cameron’s Lightstorm and wrote Fox Searchlight’s Bootmen, the winner of five Australian Film Institute Awards. He’s written the action adventure novels Velocity and Combustion, as well as Quick, which was released in August.

Worland will participate in signing sessions at 2.30pm-5:30pm on Friday, 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am-5.00pm on Sunday. He will also participate in a Q&A panel on Saturday, and conduct a Screenwriting Master class on Sunday.

Kylie Chan

Brisbane-based, best-selling author Kylie Chan’s marriage to a Hong Kong national and ten-year stint living in on the island piqued her interest in Chinese culture. When she returned to Australia she used her knowledge and study of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Buddhist and Taoists philosophies to help weave the stories of her successful trilogies Dark Heavens and Journey to Wudang. Chan’s most recent book is Demon Child, the second in theCelestial Battle series.

Chan will participate in signing sessions at 2.30pm-5:30pm on Friday, 10.30am-5.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday. She will also participate in a Q&A panel on Saturday.

For more information about Supanova and ticket prices, visit their website.

Business confidence improves

07/05/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Phillip Vlahogiannis, Martin Seward, Minister Bruce Billson, Melissa Jackson (L-R)Small business confidence has improved after a post-budget slump, the November Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index report has found.

Despite a positive appetite to increase businesses activity in the next quarter, however, small businesses said they were reluctant to invest.

“This could largely be a result of current macro economic conditions, including the slow-down of the mining investment boom and the historically high Australian dollar, continuing to weigh down on small business confidence,” Westpac general manager of small business, Julie Rynski, said.

While the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index which surveys small business outlook nationally, was up 10.4 per cent from the previous quarter, only about 20 per cent of small businesses were planning to expand.

Those looking to invest will focus on finding customer bases, improving their technology or hiring staff.

The survey also found small businesses in the health care and professional services industries are most likely to invest.

Marred by a high level of insolvencies, small businesses have traditionally found it difficult to sustain their businesses with most struggling to maintain a steady cash flow, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“Three quarters of small business owners in Australia say it’s getting harder to run a small business, with two in five admitting they’re not sure they’ll be around in five years’ time,” the American Express Australian Attitudes to Small Business Report, which was released last week, said.

The report echoes the results of the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index finding 40 per cent of small businesses are planning on investing in online channels or social media, and many plan to increase marketing and discounting to remain competitive.

“What I have found is that my small business clients are planning on doing things in 2015 and implementing strategies to expand which is a sign of optimism,” sales consultant, Licence to Bill director, Jenny Tse said.

“I myself am also looking to invest in my business.”

In an effort to revive small business patronage, American Express is running a “Shop Small” campaign in November by providing a $10 statement credit to those who register their cards online.

Federal minister for small business, Bruce Bilson also unveiled a Shop Small Gallery in Melbourne’s fashion strip, Bridge Road to revive the strip which has seen the closure of many small independent outlets.

“For consumers who value a broad range of options and the unique characteristics of a local shopping strip, it is important for them to support thriving and cherished high streets to ensure they don’t become a thing of the past. It is of our responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen,” Mr Bilson said.

These efforts are starting to produce a positive outcome with the November Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index finding a substantial increase in local sales, 4.5 per cent higher than the previous quarter.

“This may be attributed to increased spending from tourism and customers are opting to support their local businesses to make a difference to their local community,” Ms Rynski said.


Tamir Rice: Not a boy with a toy in a park, but a black male with a gun

07/05/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Shot: An undated photo of Tamir Rice, who was killed by police. Photo: New York Times

Shot: An undated photo of Tamir Rice, who was killed by police. Photo: New York Times

Shot: An undated photo of Tamir Rice, who was killed by police. Photo: New York Times

Police shoot dead 12-year-old boy waving fake gun

Washington: Tamir Rice, 12, was with his sister and a friend in a gazebo in a Cleveland park on Saturday when a rookie cop shot him in the chest. He was playing with a gun that fired plastic pellets, but looked dangerously real.

Someone had called local police and reported seeing “a guy with a pistol, and it’s probably fake … but he’s pointing it everybody.”

According to early reports the two officers who responded – the rookie and a veteran – were not told that the caller had twice said he believed the gun to be a fake.

In the last minutes before he was shot Tamir could not have known that he was now in grave danger. As though by magic a stranger had reached out and transformed him.

He was no longer a boy with toy in a park but a black male with a gun.

According to the police when the officers arrived on the scene they instructed Tamir to put his hands up. He reached for his gun and two shots were fired, they say.

Tamir did not die until early on Sunday morning. Later on in the morning CNN was having a roundtable discussion about the tension in Ferguson, Missouri, where the community fears violence might break out should a grand jury decide not to lay charges against another cop who shot dead another unarmed young black man, Michael Brown.

One of those on the CNN panel was Jim Wallis, a Christian social justice activist. There is no suggestion he had even heard of Tamir Rice when he spoke, but he could have been talking about him.

“Every African American dad that I know has the talk with their son about how to deal with being in the presence of a white policeman with a gun,” he said. “I am a white dad … I won’t have that talk with my two white sons.”

It is not known what colour the Cleveland police were, though others have noted that the problem in America is not between young black men and white police, but young black men and police in general.

Studies show African-Americans males are about as likely to smoke marijuana as whites, but four times more likely to be arrested for it. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, innocent New Yorkers were stopped and frisked by police four million times between 2002 and 2010, 90 per cent of them from minority communities.

The impact on crime rates of the stop-and-frisk practice is contested. The fact that it has destroyed the relationship between police and minorities is not.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson could have been discussing Tamir last year when he wrote, “Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent.

“But black boys in this country are not allowed to be children. They are assumed to be men, and to be full of menace.”

He wasn’t of course. He was writing about Trayvon Martin, a young black man who was followed home and then shot dead by the neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was not even arrested before six weeks of protests forced authorities’ hands, and later he was found not guilty of committing any crime.

And in considering Tamir’s killing it is impossible not to think of the shooting of John Crawford, who in September picked up a pellet gun from the shelves of a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Another customer called emergency services to say there was a man in the store waving a rifle about. Police arrived five minutes after the call and in seconds had shot him dead. Other witnesses – and video evidence – suggest that Crawford had simply been wandering the aisles, chatting on his phone. Neither officer has been charged.

Ohio is an open carry state. Even if Crawford had been carrying a loaded rifle, it would have been perfectly legal for him to do so, just as it is for the overwhelmingly white members of Open Carry Texas, who are commonly to be found hanging around in shopping centers armed with military-style semi-automatic rifles in celebration of their right to bear arms.

None of them have yet been stopped by police, let alone shot.

The sense among many African-Americans that the most dangerous part of their day will be when they inevitably cross paths with a police officer now runs deep.

Some are scared, others are angry, many are determined to use the protests in Ferguson as a fulcrum for change.

As the community waits to hear from the grand jury, US President Barack Obama, has called for calm.

“This is a country that allows everybody to express their views. Allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are,” he told ABC News in an interview on Friday. He added that minorities who believe they are unfairly treated are sometime justified in that view. “Sometimes they are not.”

After Tamir died on Sunday a police union spokesman told the media:  “We have to assume every gun is real. When we don’t act, that’s the day we don’t come home.”

And this is a fair point for the representative of a public servant doing a dangerous job to make. But you can’t help thinking that Tamir’s family expected him home on Saturday afternoon, too.

Thunderstorms move into Sydney region

07/05/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Sydneysiders should prepare for a short period of intense rain on Monday afternoon and evening. Sydneysiders should prepare for a short period of intense rain on Monday afternoon and evening.

Sydneysiders should prepare for a short period of intense rain on Monday afternoon and evening.

Sydneysiders should prepare for a short period of intense rain on Monday afternoon and evening.

Dark skies: the storm hits Sydney’s west on Monday afternoon. Photo: Adnan Bhatty

The storm clouds and rain hitting the city on Monday afternoon. Photo: Ben Rushton

The storm rolls in over Sydney Harbour. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Three people were struck by lightning and almost 15,000 homes and businesses lost power across a wide area of Sydney when a fierce thunderstorm hit Sydney on Monday afternoon.

Ambulance officers responded to a woman who was struck by lightning when she put her hand out the window of a car travelling on the M5 at Casula in Sydney’s south west. The woman, believed to be the passenger, was taken to hospital.

A man, 33, was reportedly hit by lightning in Holsworthy about 4pm, suffering minor injuries and a third person was struck in Wetherill Park about the same time.

More than 3000 lightning strikes were recorded with heavy rainfall and wind gusts of up to 80 km/h. Emergency crews had restored most of the blacked out homes by 7pm.

The NSW Rural Fire Service reported that the storms had caused dozens of new blazes, with 107 bush or grass fires burning across the state, 71 of which were not contained at 10pm.

The NSW State Emergency Service recorded more than 100 calls for assistance in the lower Blue Mountains, Richmond and Windsor with trees falling across roads, cars and properties.

The storm was intense but brief with the Bureau of Meteorology cancelling its severe thunderstorm warning for the Sydney metropolitan area just before 5pm.

It issued a warning for severe thunderstorms including large hail storms and damaging winds across rural parts of NSW, including Albury, Deniliquin, Broken Hill, Taree, Tamworth and Moree.

Some regions in Sydney’s west copped heavy rain of as much as 10 mm in 10 minutes as the storms moved in a south-easterly direction from the Blue Mountains, Bureau of Meteorologist forecasts said.

Richmond and Penrith have had wind gusts reaching 80 km/h.

Some schools cancelled activities because of the storms, as noted on Twitter: 4pm, Cancelling primary & secondary tennis due to thunder storms. All girls are returning back to school — SCEGGS Sport (@SCEGGSSport) November 24, 2014

Mark Scott announces ABC job cuts: TV and radio programs axed, bureaus closed

07/05/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

ABC staff embraced at ABC studios in Ultimo after hearing managing director Mark Scott’s announcement of widespread cuts. Photo: Wolter Peters* ABC’s D-Day: 10% of jobs to be cut

* There’s plenty of fat to be cut at the ABC

* Outcry at ABC cuts: Pollies blamed

ABC staff confronting forced redundancies consoled each other with hugs after managing director Mark Scott announced on Monday that more than 400 jobs will be cut, television and radio programs axed and five regional radio bureaus closed.

Adam Harvey, a television reporter with the 7.30 Report, said the job cuts “will have a huge impact” on ABC programming and staff.

“There is a lot of money going out of the ABC, a lot of jobs going. It was a very sad day,” he said. “Everybody here knows that this amount of money and this amount of staff going out of the ABC will result in a poorer product.

“They are not doing a general call out for voluntary redundancies, it is going to be targeted redundancies so that’s particularly hard on people who may want to stay and can’t.”

Mr Harvey said staff were saddened that programs including Radio National’s Bush Telegraph and the 7.30 NSW television program were among those being cut. The flagship Lateline television news program will lose resources and move to a new timeslot on ABC News 24.

“[ABC managing director] Mark Scott talked about putting more money into digital because that’s the future,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Scott told staff on Monday that more than 400 jobs would be lost, close to 10 per cent of the ABC workforce, as a result of a $207 million budget cut from July 2015. It comes on top of a cut of $120 million announced in May.

“We regard the changes as vital to securing the long-term health of the organisation, but I acknowledge that is no comfort to those who will lose their positions,” Mr Scott said.

The Adelaide television production studio would close, as would five regional radio centres.

Television sport broadcasts would also be scaled back as part of a rationalisation of broadcast vans.

Mr Scott said foreign bureaus would be restructured to allow a new post in Beirut to open.

The host of 7.30 NSW, Quentin Dempster, an ABC employee of more than 30 years, was sad about the loss of his program. The existing 7.30 Report hosted by Leigh Sales will be extended from Monday to Friday.

“I feel very sorry that when we get the long white envelope, it looks as though we won’t be there for the 2015 state election,” he said.

“That is a little bit of perverse editorial planning by the management in wanting to knock these shows on the head.”

Mr Dempster said the decision to sacrifice state-based shows, including his, with original content to channel $10 million in extra funding to upgrade iView technology was hard to understand.

“I think there is a fair bit more blood to flow that we don’t know about,” he said.

“I suspect they are going to run a spill of a lot of positions to have a skills audit and people will have to reapply [for their jobs].”

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Federal Secretary Chris Warren said the ABC announcement marked “one of the largest job cuts in the media industry that we’ve seen”.

He said 300 of the 400 jobs targeted would be cut before Christmas.

“It will mean a significant reduction in the ability of the ABC to keep the Australian people informed of the things that matter to them,” he said.

“Inevitably when you have efficiencies you lose regionalism and localism. There will be regional offices closed or downgraded,” Mr Warren said.

Newcastle and Canberra would lose much of their local content and be networked to national content providers.

“All of that will mean just less diversity particularly in local and regional news,” Mr Warren said. “That will be very bad for the important role the ABC has always played as being both the national voice and the local voice for so many people.”

Mr Warren said what was tragic about the ABC cuts were that they were “totally unnecessary”.

“There are some local managers who are jumping the gun who are trying to pick and choose who they want to move on based on personalities,” he said.

“I think there are some really key people who the ABC is going to lose and ABC management needs to take a deep breath and make sure these changes are being effected with the support of their staff.”

He said redundancies should be voluntary.

Community and Public Sector Union national president Michael Tull said the government cuts would seriously impact on the quality of programming, despite assurances to the contrary by Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“Programs are being cut and regional radio offices are closing so once again the government is lying when it said that the cuts to the ABC budget would not affect the public,” he said.

“These cuts are not about helping the ABC – as Malcolm Turnbull would have us believe – they are about attacking and weakening it.”

Mr Tull said the ABC’s formal consultation with unions would begin on Wednesday.

“We will be looking for more detail and justification for these cuts. We are absolutely opposed to compulsory redundancies and we will fight them tooth and nail. We want to protect as many jobs as possible. The ABC must consult with staff and we will be reminding ABC management of that legal obligation.”

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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杭州龙凤论坛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杭州龙凤论坛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.