Showtime: Brumbies and Canberra Vikings player Rodney Iona is keen to make the most of his chance in the No.10 jersey this weekend. Photo: Jay CronanCanberra Vikings playmaker Rodney Iona will be out to take advantage of Brumbies star Christian Lealiifano’s absence when he lines up at flyhalf on Saturday against NSW Country.
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Lealiifano has been named in the Barbarians squad to play Samoa in London on Saturday, opening the door for Iona to stake a claim for the No.10 jumper during the National Rugby Championship.

Iona struggled for opportunities during the 2015 Super Rugby season, but said he was eager to show his skills in the Vikings’ first match of the NRC season.

“I’ve been training at flyhalf the whole year, and getting the chance to work under Stephen Larkham, Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano, it’s been great,” he said.

“It’s good to put my skill-set out in the national competition. It would be good to have Christian there but he’s obviously doing his things with the World XV so it’s just another opportunity to showcase what I’ve got and what I can do at 10.”

NSW Country is coming off a narrow 32-31 win against big brother Greater Sydney Rams, while the Vikings were forced to watch from the sidelines with an opening round bye.

But Iona said the squad was put through its paces with a challenging training session on Saturday to replicate a match.

“We’re very excited, it’s that point where we just want to get out there and play already.

“We took a positive out of the bye, trained hard and grabbed the opportunity to work on combinations.”

Vikings lock Blake Enever agreed with Iona, and believes the bye had given the side an extra week of preparation.

“Knowing we had the bye was beneficial to the whole team,” Enever said.

“The other teams played 80 minutes but hopefully we’ll be a bit fresher and we still had a big day so we should be right to go.”

Enever enjoyed a breakout season with the Brumbies, playing 11 matches after fellow lock Sam Carter was injured.

After playing with Queensland Country last year, Enever said there was an encouraging mix of Super Rugby players and club players in the Vikings squad.

“I’m really enjoying the set up, it’s exciting – there’s a good bunch of blokes coming from clubs, and we’ve got a good amount of players coming from our Super squad so I think it’s a good balance.”

SATURDAY

NRC round two: NSW Country Eagles v Canberra Vikings at Woollahra Oval, Sydney, 3pm


Leaders from across industry sectors have united against violence towards women. Photo: Louie DouvisIf Australian deaths in war zones matched fatalities from domestic violence, commanders would be held accountable and forced to explain, David Morrison, the former Chief of Army said.
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The full force of the “shocking and appalling” prevalence of violence against women in Australia was a focus of the 2015 Male Champions of Change business forum in Sydney on Tuesday.

Retired Lieutenant General David Morrison said 800,000 women in the Australian workplace are today in some way affected by violence and that domestic violence fatalities are a “national scourge”.

“Two women have been killed every week this year by their partner or their former partner. If we were seeing two soldiers killed every single week in Afghanistan or an area of military operations, commanders would be held to account and be asked to explain,” he told Fairfax Media before speaking at the high-powered event, where he compared the “unspoken” effects of domestic violence to the horrors of war.

“For a lot of men this is a problem that is unseen, and because it is unseen in a busy life it isn’t given the focus it needs.”

With a plan to “disrupt the status quo”, the male leaders, including the head of the ASX Elmer Funke Kupper, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and the Commonwealth Bank’s Ian Narev are using their combined influence to advocate for gender equality across all organisations and sectors.

Mr Narev told Fairfax Media that the MCC’s work with domestic violence campaigner and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty had opened leaders’ eyes to the scale of the problem.

“We’ve all been shocked and appalled. It’s led us to actually look at our own businesses and our own customer bases and say ‘within the scope of our businesses we’ve got women who are victims of domestic violence and men who are perpetrators of domestic violence and that’s unacceptable’.

“This is a mainstream issue. This isn’t an issue only in particular parts of the economy or parts of the business, this is something we’ve all got to be prepared to stand up and deal with.”

KPMG’s Gary Wingrove agreed. “I for one did not have a clear understanding of how prevalent [violence against women was] was,” he said.

He added that in coming weeks, pushes for policy change, including leave entitlements that would mean those affected by domestic violence would have access to paid time off work, would emerge from the MCC.

The call comes on the same day as the UN Secretary-General’s monthly UNiTE Orange Day, which seeks to raise awareness of violence against women. Number five on the list of the UN foundation’s sustainable development goals, due to be ratified at the end of September, is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by 2030.

“If every leader in the community, every leader in business, every leader in the military, every leader in the government says [violence against women is unacceptable], then that hasa powerful impact,” former Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Dr Ian Watt said before speeches at the forum.

“But you’ve got to say it, you’ve got to live it and you’ve got to call it if it occurs.”


Senator Jacqui Lambie speaks at the 2015 National CWA ConferenceThey are strong women and salt of the earth 鈥?there is little wonder Senator Jacqui Lambie fit right into the mix when the CWA took her under their wing during her toughest moments.
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Senator Lambie arrived in Port Macquarie on Wednesday with just one thing in mind 鈥?to meet the women, who for the last 70 years, have been a part of an organisation that has rallied with grit for change in rural and remote communities.

The voice of the Country Women鈥檚 Association is louder than ever, with the national conference in Port Macquarie tackling some of the nation鈥檚 biggest and most challenging issues.

鈥淧rime ag land is where these ladies are born and bred from. You鈥檝e got their nice side and their attitude of tough love, and then you鈥檝e got their political side,鈥?Ms Lambie said.

鈥淗elping others is what these ladies are about. You鈥檝e got to give back to the life you receive and that鈥檚 exactly what they do.

鈥淪ome of the issues these ladies hit are the ones our own politicians are putting into the too hard basket. And that鈥檚 their toughness. They don鈥檛 shy away from what people are asking for.

鈥淭hey are the last entry at the gate in looking after our rural communities.鈥?/p>She spoke candidly to the Port News about her catapulting into politics saying she has learned a lot in 12 months.

The single mother of two and proud Aussie digger for 10 years before being medically discharged, said politics is her way of making a difference.

鈥淚 think I鈥檇 be the only woman in the crowd who has fired an M60 machine gun and has a licence to drive a tank,鈥?she said.

鈥淥ne lesson I鈥檝e learned in politics so far is that an M60 and a tank would come in handy.

鈥淚 admit I鈥檝e made mistakes and when you get knocked down you just have to get back up again.

鈥淭hese women here today are leaders in our country. They are no bullshit women 鈥?put them in politics and we might get something done.鈥?/p>LIVE: CWA tackle the big issues | photos, videohttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd杭州夜网/transform/v1/crop/frm/storypad-ppNWdZhTTkjhqMUVsrRSd4/091ba75a-19a1-4633-a175-db15eca4fce5.jpg/r0_245_4928_3029_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgSome of the nation’s biggest issues will be debated at the National CWA Conference in Port Macquarie on Wednesday proving these trailblazing women have 21st century influence.news, local-news, cwa, conference, port macquarie, cwa national conference2015-08-26T10:00:00+10:00https://players.brightcove杭州夜网/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4444453917001https://players.brightcove杭州夜网/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4444453917001Ms Lambie reacted emotionally to the positive response she had received since sharing her personal story of her son鈥檚 addiction to ice. She also hit out at those who said she鈥檇 鈥榯hrown her son under a bus鈥?by mentioning his addiction before parliament as well as media slurs implying she was a bad mother.

It鈥檚 a 鈥渨icked drug鈥?she said, and time the Australian government took the epidemic seriously before more young lives are lost.

鈥淥verall the feedback I received was very caring and supportive and many people shared with me their tragic and terrible stories.

鈥淣ot all feedback kind and I expected that criticism because not all people know what it is like to have a child on a drug takes on their body and mind. Some went out of their way to write hurtful comments that I was a bad mother.鈥?/p>Ms Lambie called for a reintroduction of national service to help give young people direction in life which was met by a round of applause.

鈥淚 think the state of Australian politics at the moment is embarrassing. We are a laughing stock on the international scene. It鈥檚 time for us to clean up our own backyard and that needs to start with employment.

鈥淭he people who make it, mine it, grow it and show it are our primary wealth creators.

鈥淚 want our politicians to get out there with their boots on and see first-hand what is actually going on in this country.

鈥淚鈥檓 just getting on with it.鈥?/p> LIVE: CWA tackle the big issues | photos, video TweetFacebookThe NSW CWA has partnered with Rape and Domestic Violence Australia to develop workshops and personal development courses in rural and remote areas for sexual health workers dealing directly with victims of domestic violence.

The association also hopes to host forums to educate the community about how to identify signs of domestic violence and raise awareness about the services available.

The forum agreed that at the local courts level, matters of domestic violence are not being dealt with effectively and harshly enough and conversations must be had with magistrates and police about how the process can change.

鈥淚t鈥檚 such an enormous problem . Women are presenting to court and the guy that is beating them up is representing himself and he can have free shots at them in court. This has to stop. Their safety has to be given a higher priority,鈥?Ms Brooke said.

鈥淲e need to find ways to address ways that honours and supports the victims, and does not empower the perpetrators.鈥?/p>Country women will demand all levels of government commit to investigations into the existence of Lyme disease in Australia, how it is contracted and diagnostic tests.

NSW CWA representative Gail Commens said it was time for a united approach to address the devastating health implications of this little known disease and provide some hope and support to people seeking treatment.

鈥淭his disease is officially not recognised in Australia,鈥?Ms Commens said.

鈥淥ur government and medical practitioners refuse to acknowledge it.鈥?/p>Lyme disease is contracted by ticks presenting itself initially as a bullseye rash and manifesting into a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, blindness and crippling muscle pain.

The forum heard the story of five-year-old Sydney girl Genevieve Huntly Jackson who was bitten by a tick and presented symptoms shortly after.

Genevieve on her worst days living with the disease, cannot get out of bed and is confined to a wheelchair.

鈥淪ince she was bitten in 2012, she has seen 30 doctors. It took 23 months and 23 health professionals to come up with a diagnosis,鈥?the forum heard.

Many Australians are assistance overseas, particularly in Germany, where diagnosis and treatment can cost up to $200,000.

The CWAA will put forward a recommendation to all governments to have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) recognised as a disability so services will have adequate access to funding and support to assist families in rural and remote areas.

The forum heard that FASD is a serious health condition across all regions of the country, arising from fetal exposure to alcohol, and is totally preventable.

鈥淚t is the invisible disability,鈥?the forum heard. 鈥淚t takes a village to raise a child 鈥?this does not happen in isolation.鈥?/p>Dorothy Coombe, Victorian CWA representative, said while the disorder itself was already recognised, classification as a disability will ensure the right services are funded to address the issue.

鈥淚f we acknowledge it as a disability, children and adults can be given the care they need to live their lives at the highest possible level of function,鈥?she said.

鈥淓arly diagnosis provides access to intervention.鈥?/p>Judy Richardson, NSW delegate, believes not much has changed in terms of equitable access to care for all Australians.

鈥淚t鈥檚 taken them so long but we have to stand our ground on these matters. If you took a state child you were given all these things to raise them, if you took an Aboriginal child you were given one set of clothes and sent on your way.

鈥淣othing much has changed unfortunately, we really need to try and make this one country.鈥?/p>An emotional discussion about how to address the epidemic of the ice has resulted in a call for more resources to address the effects and impacts of the drug on all Australian communities.

Many of the women in the CWA forum shared their own experiences of how the drug has affected their families.

Sharon Pendergast, Victorian delegate, said families in all corners of the country are suffering.

鈥淓very day when we turn on the radio or TV, pick up paper there is another article about ice,鈥?she said.

鈥淵ou may say it鈥檚 not your problem, it鈥檚 everyone鈥檚 problem.

鈥淟ast week , Senator Jacqui Lambie came out and said her son was on ice. I too have a son on ice. I can鈥檛 get help. It鈥檚 embarrassing to admit you can鈥檛 help your child. It鈥檚 hard to face and deal with it.

鈥淚 know she is not alone. Many families all over Australia are in the same dilemma.

鈥淪weden has mandatory rehabilitation and it seems to be working very well.

鈥淧rison is not the answer – I know from life experiences that even after being incarcerated, because there is no drug rehab in prison, they return home and back to their old habits and eventually back in prison again.鈥?/p>The forum called for better security for health workers treating ice addicts and adequately trained staff capable of managing aggressive and threatening behaviour.

鈥淪adly we do not have enough beds in rehab in this country and many are waiting up to 10 months to enter rehab. For many who decide to kick this habit is too long.

鈥淲e need services for those who come forward and say need help. That help is now.鈥?/p>Julie Morrison, Riverina delegate, said her hometown of Wagga has been named the ice capital of Australia.

鈥淭he police said it鈥檚 the hardest thing for them go to an accident because in many cases they are drug related and many are on ice. They can be attacked and the same with our ambos,鈥?she said.

As a result, Wagga police have been resourced with four additional drug response officers.

Jan Peasnell, NSW delegate said more resources for police is required if the problem is to be tackled at the source.

MORE than 45 percent of Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their life.

The CWAA is call on the government to stand up and recognise the shortfall in resources and support services to address mental health, treatments and recovery.

Sharon Pendergast, Victorian delegate, said it was time for the stigmas attached to mental illness to be broken down and attention to focus as a priority on providing services to address what is a national health crisis.

鈥淢ore than 40 percent of the population will be affected by depression. It is oone of the most common conditions among our young people,鈥?she said.

鈥淧eople living with mental illness are also likely to be victims of violence, sometimes by themselves. It is not purely physiological, it can have physical features as well.鈥?/p>鈥淯p to 85 percent of homeless people suffer from mental illness. I鈥檓 shocked by these figures.

鈥淭here are just not enough facilities around Australia and families continue to wait for places for their loved ones so they can have the best chance of recovery.

鈥淚t is unfair to just expect families to care for people with mental illnesses 24 hours a day 鈥?even nurses get to go home after a bad eight hour shift.鈥?/p>All women and children must be removed from mandatory detention centres in Australia.

That is the call of the CWAA to the Australian government in a bid for urgent policy change.

Heather Scott, Victorian delegate, said Australia is a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of the child and is bound to protect children.

There are currently 127 children held in immigration facilities in Australia, 88 of those are on Nauru while a further 642 are in community detention.

鈥淭here is still no change to legislation which requires all those who arrive in Australia without a visa to be detained. Detention is used as a first and not a last option. Australia is the only country in world with such a policy,鈥?she said.

Ms Scott said a 2014 Australian Human Rights Commission investigation into children in detention found significant negative health and well-being impacts, physical and mental illness.

鈥淭he best interests of the child should be our primary consideration. Prolonged detention is having profoundly negative impacts on mental and emotional health.

鈥淥ver a 15 month period, 128 children in detention engaged in acts of self harm including attempted suicide. 鈥?/p>Judy Anictomatis, Northern Territory delegate, was told by one detainee that she鈥檇 rather have died on the ocean than remain in mandatory detention.

鈥淭o quote one mother 鈥榠t would have been better if I fell in the ocean and sharks ate my body鈥?鈥?Ms Anictomatis said.

鈥淐losed detention for an indefinite period is not a healthy environment for women or men either,鈥?she said.

鈥淎lternatives can include community arrangements in line with international human rights laws. Community placement is much cheaper than mandatory detention. There are fewer risks to mental health and safety of asylum seekers and refugees ad lower rates of suicide and self harm.鈥?/p>The current superannuation system is failing women forcing many to live in poverty in retirement, and even leaving some homeless.

The CWAA is urging the federal government to implement policy to enable women who have not had adequate superannuation contributions during their working life to live poverty free.

Lyn Harris, Victorian delegate, said the aim of the current retirement income system encourages an individual to accumulate wealth to provide financial security in their post-work years.

This, she says, 鈥渄oes not serve women well鈥?

鈥淎 gender gap arises when you link the retirement income system 鈥?superannuation 鈥?to engagement in paid work and levels of learning,鈥?Ms Harris told the CWAA forum.

鈥淭his disadvantages women who move in and out of the paid workforce due to caring responsibilities, and women generally earn less than men and have lower superannuation coverage.鈥?/p>RENEWED acquaintances, shared ideas and working together are some of the goals Country Women’s Association (CWA) member Carol Clay has for the organisation’s 2015 national conference in Port Macquarie this week.

The past state president of Victoria said it is her third national conference, having joined the CWA in 2001.

“It’s great to talk with each other so we all sing from the same hymn sheet,” she said.

“The CWA carries great weight with the government; that’s why the national president is on so many committees,” the Packenham, Victoria resident said.”People sit up and listen when the CWA weighs in.”

Of the 18 resolutions the conference has on its agenda Mrs Clay said the banning of the sale of energy drinks to young children is important to her.

“Children are our greatest asset and we don’t need them polluted by all this rubbish so early in life.

“We are concerned mothers and grandmothers who want the best for the next generation.So many influences on them are not for the better.”

Mrs Clay said people from all walks of life, some who struggle to finance the trip and others who generously sponsor someone to attend, bring with them diverse achievements.

“It is great to be among so many positive women looking for the best in each other.”

Taree resident Jacqueline Hyde has been a member of the CWA for 62 years.

The former Pilliga (530 kilometres west of Port Macquarie) resident worked the family farm there until she retired.

“The CWA was our life. We didn’t get drought assistance much but we got personal support from each other,” the 85-year-old said.

She loves to cook and still does but agrees the organisation is about so much more.

“Bush nursing home and baby health centres are two of the most important things the CWA brought to people on the land back in the day,” Mrs Hyde said.

“The scholarships were also vital, so people in remote areas could study medicine.

Mrs Hyde was a state executive at the age of 37, at the time, one of the youngest.

“But the drought came and I didn’t have time to devote to it.

“Now we tackle the big issues like domestic violence and awareness of things like organ donation.”

She would like to see the CWA get more young members.

“In Victoria they have 50 new branches and I think we need to discover their method of attracting members,” Mrs Hyde said.

“It’s a bit harder on the coast because everyone has so many opportunities for entertainment.

“And these days women have to support their families by going off to work so they don’t have the freedom to be involved.”

The conference continues until Thursday afternoon.

[View the story “FairfaxRegional/2015-cwa” on Storify]


Tony Abbott tours Green Hill Fort on Thursday Island with Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Tony Abbott and Palm Stephen during a medal presentation for veterans on Thursday Island. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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His parents called him Palm because he was born on Palm Sunday. He was the little brother who didn’t want to miss out who became a forgotten veteran of World War Two.

He is also the powerful face of the war story that passed most Australians completely by; one that helped shape the modern identity of the people of the Torres Strait.

When Henly, Jerry, Sereako and Arthur, his four older brothers, enlisted in the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion to fight the Japanese, Palm decided to join them, even though he was not yet 15.

“I was going to school and I was feeling sorry for my other brothers and thinking to myself, ‘I am big enough to use a rifle.'” Palm “Bill” Stephen, now 86, said on Tuesday.

Although he was big for a boy of his age, the enlistment application was rejected, so Palm tweaked his name and address, claimed he had no birth certificate and applied again, this time successfully.

War records show that Bill Stevens from Steppens Island enlisted in April 1944, a month after Palm Stephen from Stephen Island turned 15. He served for two years on Horn Island.

They also show that outside of Darwin, Horn Island was the most bombed and the most savagely attacked part of Australia, with eight air raids in 1942 dropping 500 bombs and killing 156 people.

Mr Stephen told his story at an extraordinary remembrance service on Thursday Island on Tuesday, where young Torres Strait islanders were presented with a ceremonial bow and arrow to represent their taking over responsibility for the future defence of their community and country.

There was also a stirring rendition of the national anthem by a frail man with a powerful voice, 86-year-old Seaman Dan.

On the second of five days in the area, Prime Minister Tony Abbott pointed out at a service that more than 1100 men of the Torres Strait volunteered to serve in that conflict.

“If volunteering to serve is the ultimate mark of commitment to country and patriotism, no part of Australia has been more patriotically Australian than the Torres Strait and its citizens,” he said.

“At a time when we hardly acknowledged Indigenous Australians, Indigenous Australians acknowledged us … At a time when Indigenous people were not even counted in the census, Australia could count on Indigenous people.”

That Mr Stephen was honoured was the product of what Mr Abbott called some “marvellous sleuthing detective work” by the local member, Warren Entsch, a longstanding advocate of Torres Strait war veterans.

After noticing that there were six Stephens, including two cousins of the brothers, mentioned in the war records, he saw that there was a seventh named Bill Stevens, but no Palm.

“It didn’t make sense because I knew there were no ‘Stevens’ in the Torres Strait. Then I looked where he came from and I knew Steppens Island didn’t exit.”

After the recognition was finalised a few weeks back, arrangements were made for Mr Stephen to make a two-day trip from Broome with a grandson to join two of the other surviving veterans, Mabai Warasum and Bamia Mast.

He said that his only surviving brother, Jerry, was 102 and not strong enough to make the trip from Cairns.

“I just wanna give a little speech about me and my brothers,” he said at the start, adding the trip was worth it to be with old mates and have breakfast with Mr Abbott and Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

“We were proud to do our bit for our country,” was his parting line.

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Robyn Butler (left) with Lucy Fry in the comedy Now Add Honey. Photo: Ben King Successful series … Madeleine Jevic and Michala Banas in Upper Middle Bogan. Photo: Lachlan Moore
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Movie session timesFull movies coverage

The success of the TV comedy Upper Middle Bogan seems like an ideal platform to jump into filmmaking.

But co-creator Robyn Butler says there is another reason for making the new comedy Now Add Honey with husband Wayne Hope.

“I’m stark raving bonkers,” she says.

After success with earlier series Very Small Business and The Librarians, the couple have had three “super busy” years working on comedy projects they created.

As well as Upper Middle Bogan on ABC and the children’s mockumentary series Little Lunch on ABC 3, they have combined to make Now Add Honey, with Butler writing and starring and Hope directing. They also produced the film.

Butler plays a woman whose life falls apart when her teenage movie star niece, Honey (Lucy Fry), is forced to stay with her in suburbia. The cast includes Portia de Rossi, Lucy Durack and Hamish Blake.

Despite the couple’s television success, Butler says she has always wanted to make a comic film with bite.

“I love being in a movie theatre with a lot of people,” she says. “I just like that shared experience.

“And even if it’s not in the cinema, even if it’s watching a DVD or watching it later at home on DVD, I like that 90-minute format. I love Tootsie and Groundhog Day and When Harry Met Sally – that format of comedy with bite. I was really tempted to try it.”

Now Add Honey opens the CinefestOz Film Festival in Western Australia on Wednesday ahead of cinema release on November 5.

It is one of five contenders for the country’s richest film prize, worth $100,000, at the festival. Also vying for the award are Michael Petroni’s psychological thriller Backtrack, Paul Ireland’s comic drama Pawno, Nicole Ma’s documentary Putuparriand the Rainmakers and Simon Stone’s timbertown drama The Daughter.

The festival is touting it as a world premiere but Butler admits Now Add Honey has had one screening already – at Geena Davis’ new Bentonville Film Festival, which champions women and diversity in film, in Arkansas.

That seems fitting considering the issues the film addresses.

“The idea of the movie star niece coming to wreak havoc with her suburban family in Melbourne is the plot but the idea is about aging and body image and self-esteem – all the big ticket issues that women and girls talk about all the time,” Butler says.

“It’s in every magazine, it’s in every brunch that you sit down with your friends, it’s in the schoolyard talking with people. I just thought it would be really interesting to try to dramatise that and put it on screen somehow.”

Butler describes Now Add Honey as a broad comedy that is similar to Upper Middle Bogan in having generations and levels of society clash.

To cast Honey, the filmmakers auditioned 200 actresses before setting on Fry, the young Australian best known for Vampire Academy.

“Honey is reliant on two things – the ability to seem like she’s a star and somebody who’s on the cusp of being a child and being an adult,” Butler says. “They’re really hard things to find in one person but Lucy Fry captured all of it at that moment in time.”


A speed camera on the Eastern Distributor at Darlinghurst is making a motza. Photo: Brendan EspositoSpeeding drivers, meet your enemy.
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The speed camera on the Eastern Distributor in Darlinghurst madenearly $4 million last financial year andcaught an average of50 drivers per day, making it the most lucrative camera in NSW.

That’s more than$10,700 a dayor nearly $450 per hour.

The state’s most lucrative red light camera is on George Street in Haymarket. It nabbed an average of 15 drivers per day last financial year and issued penalties worth nearly $2.6 million.

Money raised from speeding and red light penalties has surged more than 2.3-fold over the past five years,according to Office of State Revenue figures. NSW drivers were hit with more than $178 million dollars worth of fines in 2014-15, compared to $78 million in 2010-11.

Nearly 435,000 drivers were fined for speeding last financial year – about 1300 a day.

You’rethree times more likely to be caught for speeding than running a red light. However, you’renow also three times more likely to get caught for running a red light than you werefive years ago.

As the connected scatterplot below shows, the Eastern Distributor speed camera (shown in red) has significantly lifted the bar when it comes to revenueraising. It has been the state’s top earner every year since beginning operation in early 2012; its annual earnings consistently eclipse those of every other camera in the state.

It’s raked in$14.5 million over four years of operation— nearly 1.5 times more than the camera at Cleveland Street in Moore Park (shown in grey). The Cleveland Street camera isthe state’s second most lucrative, as ranked by total earningsin the five years to July 2015, and has been in operation for the full five years.

Revenue-raising for speed cameras is a combination of volume(catching the most drivers) andspeed (the more the driver exceeds the limit, the heavier the penalty).

Two in three drivers (64 per cent) caught speeding are exceeding the limit by 10km/h or under.Less than one per centare caught exceeding the limit by more than 30km/h.

As the scatterplotabove shows, the Eastern Distributor camera excels at both. The camera at Botany Road in Rosebery (shown in yellow, ranked 3rd in 2014-15) catches more drivers than the Cross City Tunnel camera (in blue, ranked 2nd in 2014-15), but the latter makes more money per driver, so we can assume they’re caught at higher speeds.

With red light cameras, the penalty is always the same, so the biggest earners catch the most drivers.

Theheat map below shows the monthly earnings of the state’s top 40 red light cameras over the five years to December 2015. The darker the red, the higher itsearnings.

The most lucrativered light cameras,ranked by total earnings over the five-year period,are on Woodville Road, at Granville and Villawood.

The heat map alsoshows (via the isolated patches of dark red towards the right of the map) the most effective cameras – those thathit drivers hard from the start.

The cameras at Stacey Street Bankstown, George Street Haymarket, Falcon Street Neutral Bay andEpping Road Lane Cove haven’t been in operation over the full five years, but still managed to jump to the top of the list of high-earning cameras.

So watch out for that camera at Falcon Street, Neutral Bay. It’s been the state’s most effective over the past five years, nabbing an average of 19 drivers a day to the tune of $8320 a day or $347 an hour.


Friend or foe: Robyn Lawley likes her juice.
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Friend or foe: Robyn Lawley likes her juice.

Friend or foe: Robyn Lawley likes her juice.

Friend or foe: Robyn Lawley likes her juice.

As we’re milling around waiting for the presentation to start, waiters offer fruit juice or water.

I look around the room and notice the majority have bypassed the juice-heavy tray for one of the waters at the back.

We are here at an event put on by Fruit Juice Australia to hear from the CSIRO about new research that will, according to the press release, “challenge anti-sugar messaging around fruit and fruit juice”.

The messaging, as the drink choice of most people in the room would attest, is not good.

Earlier this year, we learned that many fruit drinks have more sugar than Coca Cola and are barely any better when you consider that as well as the additives.

Fruit Juice Australia CEO, Geoff Parker admits the bad press has squeezed the industry, saying sales have dropped 3 per cent year on year.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation, dare I say, perhaps an understatement, around fruit and fruit juice of late and particularly from the anti-sugar proponents,” Parker said as journalists sipped their waters. “The data that we’re going to present today, I think will surprise you.”

It shows, he said, the “really important role that fruit juice plays in our diet”.

The data are that 93 per cent of Australian adults are not eating the recommended two daily serves of fruit.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines say that a small, 125mL glass of fruit juice with no added sugar consumed occasionally can count towards a serve of fruit.

“When fruit juice was also counted as a fruit serve, the percentage of Australians who reached their daily recommended fruit target more than doubled,” Malcolm Riley, CSIRO’s lead researcher said.

Just how occasional is ‘occasionally’ is unclear, although Riley said he would suggest it means “less than once a day”.

Most things ‘occasionally’ are fine.

But is juice the nutritional baddie we are lead to believe or, as Parker calls it, a “nutritional powerhouse”?

Model Robyn Lawley, who was announced as the new ambassador for Fruit Juice Australia, said she grew up drinking juice.

“I think everything in moderation,” said the 26-year-old model who believes juice has been unfairly “demonised”.

“I think [juice] is one thing we’re really missing from our diets.”

Queensland University of Technology professor Amanda Lee, disagrees.

Like Lawley, many of us grew up drinking juice, and we turned out OK. Didn’t we?

“People say they smoked every day too and survived,” Lee says.

“There has been a major increase in junk foods in the last 40 years. Drinking juice might have been the only problem in their diet. These days we’re surrounded by affordable, available unhealthy foods.”

Check out the supermarket shelves and you’ll notice that most juice packs are 250ml, double the “occasional” recommended serve. Those are the smallest sizes.

“You only have to look around the shopping centre to see people consuming 600 ml bottles,” Lee says, adding that juice comes without the satiety benefits of whole fruit nor the fibre.

However she says while soft drinks are “completely empty calories” fruit juice “can provide some vitamins and minerals”.

Riley said that the CSIRO analysis found that fruit juice provided about 60 per cent of total vitamin C, 16 per cent folate and 14 per cent potassium amongst people who consumed juice on the surveyed day.

Lee says these vitamins are “ones that we don’t necessarily need because of our dietary patterns anyway”.

What about the sugar content?

In the presentation, Riley says that across the population, only 1 per cent of energy and 3.5 per cent of sugar is coming from fruit juice.

This figure is divided to average out across people who don’t drink juice too. Of those who do drink juice, the sugar contribution jumps to 20 per cent of their daily intake.

The numbers can be deceptive but, Lee argues, whether it’s one or 20, every per cent counts.

“When we are living in a country where 60 per cent of adults are overweight and 25 per cent of children, any excess energy is important to consider.”


A spectacular relief rally on the ASX defied market expectationsMal Maiden: Market bounces but questions still unansweredASX bargain hunting: Where to look and what to avoid
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The Australian sharemarket staged a stunning turnaround on Tuesday as bargain hunters swooped, shrugging off fears over China’s economy.

Almost as quickly as $60 billion was wiped from Australia’s sharemarket on Monday, $40 billion was returned in a trading day that dismissed a dismal lead from Wall Street and Europe as well as yet another sharp fall in China.

“Today was a classic example of a relief rally,” Beulah Capital chief investment officer Peter Mavromatis said.

The benchmark ASX 200 index closed 2.7 per cent higher, up 136 points to 5137, after beginning the day with investors fearing the worst as the market fell to a fresh two-year low of 4929 in early trade.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged investors not to “hyperventilate” over the sharemarket’s volatility and said stock market corrections were normal.

“While the Chinese economy is slowing, the US economy is gathering speed. The European economy is gathering speed,” Mr Abbott said.

Dr Mavromatis​ said after Monday’s savage sell-off, discounted high-dividend paying stocks proved irresistible to Australia’s yield-hungry investors.

“The market has taken that as a buying opportunity today,” he said.

The big four banks rebounded strongly, up 4 per cent on average, and the shares in blue chips including Woolworths, CSL and Westfield were all snapped up.

Tuesday’s 200-plus point turnaround took the market by surprise. The scene was set for a repeat of the previous day’s carnage after the futures market indicated another 4 per cent fall was in the offing.

However, a relatively modest fall at the market open was quickly reversed, with the market trading in positive territory for most of the day.

A sharp 6 per cent fall on the Chinese sharemarket when it opened just before midday AEST, marking five days of heavy losses, did not stem the buying.

China’s markets were lone losers in the Asian region, with gains recorded on most major bourses, and European and US markets were tipped to follow suit.

A 5 per cent fall in iron ore, Australia’s key commodity export, did not deter buyers and the mining stocks bounced, albeit not as strongly.

Dr Mavromatis​ said Tuesday’s rally was not a sign the worst of the global rout was over.

Volatility was likely to remain a fixture with global concerns over the stability of China’s economy and the threat of a recession still looming, he said.

“When investors panic you see a stampede and the emotional and pyschological side of investing comes out which creates additional volatility.”

QIC head of credit research and strategy Phil Miall said however markets were looking for a policy response from China to show it was managing the slowing growth in its economy.

“It is getting to that point where the question is what will be the circuit breaker for the self-fulfilling prophecy where a loss of confidence feeds into the real economy,” he said.

Monday’s sharemarket meltdown also lifted bets that the Reserve Bank of Australia may move to lower interest rates that are already sitting at a record low 2 per cent.

“Equities have stabilised today, but if we continue to get this sort of stress weakening the markets, it may bring the RBA back into play for further easing,” Mr Miall​ said. More ASX news and analysisFollow us on Twitter @BusinessDay


VegeSafe members Mark Taylor and Marek Rouillon, of Department of Environmental Sciences at Macquarie University.The soil in which kitchen gardeners grow their edibles determines the quantity and quality of the crop but how many of us consider whether it contains elements that may be detrimental to health.
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A Canberran with a young family who moved into a 1970s house in Scullin heard on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia about a soil testing program called VegeSafe.

The program is an initiative of Macquarie University’s Department of Environment and Geography and it tests metal concentration of soils using handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) analysis.

Professor Mark Taylor says VegeSafe was initiated in 2013 to address issues of soil contamination with the increasing popularity in domestic gardening and food cultivation. The principal objective is to inform and educate the community about harmful contaminants that may be present in their garden soil.

VegeSafe also promotes safe and sustainable gardening at home including the growing of vegetables. So far they have carried out 11  tests for home/residential gardeners in the ACT but recent national exposure for VegeSafe has led to 100 samples being received by the team and five per cent of those are from the ACT.

The program operates as a community service and runs on the goodwill of staff and students. Donations to support the program are tax deductible via MQ.edu.au/support.   Do register that your donation is specifically for the VegeSafe program.

The Canberra gardener from Scullin sent soil samples from five areas, where he was growing rhubarb, broad beans, raspberries, the bottom corner of the garden and near the house wall. The metal concentrations for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead and zinc were provided to him with a table of relevant Australian soil standards and international guidelines to use as a comparison.

Taylor and Steven George, who is also in the VegeSafe team at Macquarie University, say all of the eight elements tested for are harmful at certain levels and are the most common found in soils in the domestic environment. Sources include former industrial activity (for example, gas works), pesticide use, lead paint and leaded petrol emissions.

In Scullin, chemical levels were higher near the house and a problem spot was in a small garden bed next to the downhill wall of the house. Consequently, the gardener   hasn’t planted anything edible within 15 metres of the house.

Having heard about the results, a kitchen gardener with plots at Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS) garden in O’Connor decided, with permission from other plot holders, to have the soil checked in beds there. Two were from private vegie patches, two from communal garden beds and one from near water tanks beside the church hall.

All the metal levels were safe with “no nasties” and all the lead levels, the heavy metal of most concern to people, were well below the Australian standard for vegie gardens. It was interesting that there was little difference in lead levels between new, imported soil and soil that had been on the inner-suburban site for many decades.

The level of zinc in the tanks enclosure near the eaves came from soil that had been excavated from a metre deep when the hole for the tanks was dug. The gardener who requested the tests pondered whether this was caused by hundreds of galvanised nails that once held down tennis court line-marking tapes as O’Connor COGS was developed on the site of a former tennis court.

When supplying the results, VegeSafe noted that the O’Connor samples were from participant #867, part of an ever growing research cohort of backyard and residential soils numbering more than 4000 across Australia.

Great feijoa secrets to be the revealed. Photo: Strukov IgorFeijoa grafting workshop

On Sunday, August 30, from 1pm-3pm at Canberra City Farm on Dairy Flat Road in Fyshwick, you can learn the skill of grafting feijoas with Mark O’Connor who has led a project, partly developed through readers of the Kitchen Garden column, to find and propagate the best feijoa trees in Canberra.

All participants will be given a grafted feijoa variety of their own choice. $10 members CCF, $30 non-members. Bookings essential: [email protected]杭州夜网m

Susan Parsons is a Canberra writer.


Village Roadshow says a new trilogy of Star Wars movies will contribute to a predicted record year. Photo: LucasfilmMad Max: Fury Road has already been a standout this year.
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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is set to pull in the teens.

Village Roadshow is hoping to hitch a ride on Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon in 2016, with company’s co-chief executive Graham Burke predicting a record year for its cinema business.

The first half of the 2016 financial year will see a new James Bond film, the conclusion of The Hunger Games and the beginning of a new trilogy of Star Wars movies.

Investors reacted positively to the result and forecast, with shares surging 7.8 per cent to $6.36.

“We believe it’s going to be gigantic,” Mr Burke told Fairfax Media.

“If we move into the second half, with the cinema business and those giant movies and more following, we’re looking at another record year, that’s our projection.”

Village Roadshow’s cinema business delivered 14.3 per cent growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $71.5 million – which was a record.

The improvement was underpinned by a strong film line-up over the year. Movie stand-outs

“The year just gone, some of the stand-outs were Jurassic World, Imitation Game, American Sniper, Fast and Furious 7, Avengers and Mad Max Fury Road,” Mr Burke said.

“It was a very powerful year of product and I think we’re going to match, if not exceed, that year of product in the coming year.”

But it was all rosy for Village Roadshow. Bad weather ended up hurting the bottom line of its theme park business. EBITDA in that part of the business slipped 4 per cent to $92.5 million, while in its film distribution business it fell 17 per cent to $34.6 million.

Mr Burke said rain cost the business $20 million.

“It’s been a solid year, considering the weather. We look forward to hitting it out of the park in 2016 with some decent weather.”

Overall, Village Roadshow net profit was down 4 per cent to $43.9 million.

“Equally, it’s been a year where we are putting in place some terrific building blocks for our future, building our cinemas in new population corridors, building out our gold class cinemas in America, the CITIC deal we put in place to grow and fund theme parks in China, and plans that we’re working up to grow our theme park business on the Gold Coast,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said the 2016 film pipeline and predictions of better summer weather should help drive the business over the next year.

“In the theme park business, the long-range forecast, which has a certain amount of witchcraft to it, is for a very hot summer. If we get the hot summer and get the good weather, we’ll do the business,” he said.

The company will pay a final dividend of 14¢ a share in October.