Quick movement key to Penguin win

Penguin coach Peter Templeton credited his sidefor ‘’sticking to the game plan’’ aftertheir 61-point NWFL win over Wynyard on Saturday night.

TOP GAME: Luke Gorrie’s forward pressure was key in Penguin’s win over Wynyard. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

The Two Blues got the job done 14.22 (106) to 6.9 (45) at Wynyard, a game that Templeton said his boys controlled for the majority of the match.

The visitors led at every change, by 17 at the first change, 30 at half-time and 47 at the final change.

‘’We were just trying to get the ball in a little bit quicker into our forward line,’’ he said.

‘’We looked at where we position ourselves in our forward-line, where the most attacking parts of the ground were, so we could give our forwards the best opportunity.’’

Penguin forward Chris McDonald cashed in to kick five goals, while Will Dau also bagged five for the Two Blues.

Luke Gorrie’s forward pressure and Keenan Slater in the back-pocket drew high praise for Templeton, standouts in what he said was a team performance.

He paid credit to Wynyard’s pressure, which contributed to their inaccuracy, but goal-kicking would be a focus going forward.

‘’We are getting these shots on goals, but we need to straighten up,’’ he said.

For the Cats,Chris Bryan kicked four goals, while Mitchell Englund had a strong game.

Penguin’s win moves them into third spot on the ladder with a 2-0 record, while Wynyard are sixth having split their first two outings.

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Pedigree Tigers at top of the pack

FIVE GOAL BAG: Matt Robinson slotted several majors for the Kelly Tigers.

The Glenrowan Kelly Tigers aren’tshying away from their goal to win three premierships in a row after another healthy start to the season.

The powerhouse club hasdispatched itsfirst two opponents with ease in the opening rounds of theOvens and King season.

Greta couldn’t kick a major in the first half of its gameagainst theKelly Tigers on Saturdayand went on to lose convincingly 4.3 (27) to 30.17 (197).

Jordan Hanstead booted six goals for Glenrowan while teammates Max Scott and Matthew Robinson got five each.

The Kelly Tigers will faceTarrawingee in the next round.

Tarrawingee are also on two wins and beat Bonnie Doon on the weekend 16.10 (106) to 5.8 (38).

In other games Goorambat and District beat Benalla by eight points, King Valley ground out a tough four-point win over Moyhu, Milawa beat North Wangaratta by 134 points and Bright dusted Whorouly.

Full Scores

Glenrowan: 9.3, 16.7, 22.11, 30.17 (197)

Greta: 0.0, 0.2, 2.3, 4.3 (27)

Goal scorers Glenrowan: Jordan Hansted (6), Max Scott (5), Matt Robinson (5), Matt Duffy (4), Mitchell Potts (2), Angus Gray (2), Mitchel Kilner (2), Tristan D’Antonio (2), Christopher Sussyer (1), Josh Garland (1)

Goal scorers Greta: Jason Humphries (2), Patrick Dube (1), Paul Fruzynski (1)

Moyhu: 4.2, 5.3, 8.4, 12.5 (77)

King Valley: 3.5, 7.8, 10.12, 11.15 (81)

Goal scorers Glenrowan: Corey Smith (8), Andrew Balfour (2), Anthony Welsch (1), Peter Sullivan (1)

Goal scorers King Valley: Zachary Blackshaw (3), Brendan Sessions (3), Hayden Sims (2), Adam Evans (1), Daniel Bruce (1), Richard Castles (1)

Goorambat and District: 1.4, 6.5, 9.7, 11.9 (75)

Benalla All Blacks: 1.2, 2.3, 5.4, 10.7 (67)

Goal scorersGoorambat and District:Cameron Symes (5), Liam Hernan (2), Shayne McKean (2), Stuart Sutherland (1), James Dalton (1)

Goal scorers Benalla All Blacks:Harry Moran (3), Samuel MacGregor (3), Max Gallagher (1), Dylan Exton-Cash (1), Joel Eastwood (1),Teague Mcmaster (1)

Bright:5.0, 10.2, 15.3, 19.5 (119)

Whorouly: 1.5, 1.7, 6.11, 12.14 (86)

Goal scorersBright:Thomas Buckley (8), Michael Bradbury (4), Benjamin Bond (3), Brendan Jenvey (1), Darcy Martin (1), Regan Alexander (1),Samuel Buckley (1)

Whorouly:Paul Glanville (3), Nathan Hooper (2), Taylor Fenton (2), Anthony Ivone 2, Josh Kelly 1, James Neary 1,Donald Malsem (1)

Tarrawingee: 1.3, 7.5, 13.9, 16.10 (106)

Bonnie Doon:1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 5.8 (38)

Goal scorers Tarrawingee:Kyle Raven (5), Daniel Salmon (3), Chris Penney (2), Matthew Solimo (2), Jordan Solimo (1), Jarrod Everitt (1),Michael Cornish (1), Daniel McCormick (1)

Goal scorersBonnie Doon:Shannon Galea (2), Kaine Greening (1), Ben Kelleher (1), Kieran McMillan (1)

Milawa: 4.5, 8.9, 20.11, 28.16 (184)

North Wangaratta: 2.0, 6.1, 8.1, 8.2 (50)

Goal scorersMilawa:Jack Stamp (7), Dylan Pritchard (4), Brent Newton (3), Ben Clarke (3), Sam Bowers (3), Edward Dunstan (2),Ryan Hussey (2), Steven Williamson (2), Scott Pell (1), Steven Burke (1)

North Wangaratta:Dayne Carey (2), Haydn Cook (1), Jay Dale (1), Ryan Hearne (1), Michael Denholm (1), Daniel Williams (1),Toby Marx (1)

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Bruce’s toughest battle of all

RECOVERY: Golden Square man Bruce Wright went into cardiac arrest twice during last year’s Tough Mudder event. Picture: DARREN HOWEWITH just a few kilometres left to goin one of Victoria’s toughest endurance events, Golden Square man Bruce Wright thought he could battle through crippling stomach pain.

The 50-year-oldhad already made it past 17 kilometres of the 2015 Tough Mudder event on Phillip Island in October, battling through thick mud and some of the toughest obstacles on earth.

The stomach pain was the only indicator of what was to come.

Next thing Bruce knew, he was being loaded into a helicopter on a stretcher.

“It’s amazing, but all I had was this one silly thought: I hope I paid my ambulance cover,” Bruce said.

But what really surprised the non-drinker, non-smoker was what had happened in those minutes between first falling into cardiac arrest, and the arrival of the helicopter.

Bruce had died twice.

His main arteries were blocked solid.

When he first collapsed to the ground, two other competitors saw the scene from the top of a hill.

They were Epworth HealthCare nurses Kaddy Fogarty and Adam Cuthbertson, who quickly grabbed a defibrillator and raced to Bruce’s aid.

Adam started compressions while Kaddy kept Bruce’s airways clear and out of the mud. A tough task, after a 17 kilometre run through almost solid mud.

A crowd had gathered as the pair worked on Bruce, managing to re-start his heart.

The cheers and applause from onlookers was short lived however, as Bruce fell into cardiac arrest for a second time.

He was resuscitated again and the helicopter arrived to take him to The Alfred.

Bruce underwent a triple bypass and remained in hospital for three weeks.

“I was really looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars, so I hoped I could pull through,” he said.

From the comfort of his lounge chair, Bruce underwent two blood infusions a day for five weeks.

He has now returned to work at Freedom Aged Care, telling his story to his many friends at the residential care community.

Bruce Wright thanks the two nurses who saved his life at last year’s Tough Mudder race – Kaddy Fogarty and Adam Cuthbertson.

But one of the most important steps of his recoverytook place on Monday last week.

Bruce visited Kaddy Fogarty and Adam Cuthbertson at Epworth Health, to thank the two nurses who saved his life that day on Phillip Island.

He continues to keep fit with a home gym, and is still confused at why his arteries had become blocked.

“There hadn’t been any history of cardiac arrest in our family, but it’s got to come down to genetics,” Bruce said.

Either way, he could thank his lucky stars the two nurses were nearby when disaster struck.

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‘Captain’s call’: Lib MP lashes Malcolm Turnbull and ministers for opposing bank inquiry

Liberal MP Warren Entsch has criticised his government for pre-empting a parliamentary enquiry on the banks. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Pressure builds on Malcolm Turnbull as three more Nationals MPs speak out

Veteran Liberal MP Warren Entsch has lashed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and senior frontbenchers for making a “captain’s call” to oppose a royal commission into the banking sector.

Mr Entsch, one of five government MPs who supports a royal commission into the banking and finance sector, told Fairfax Media on Monday that he was “worried about senior colleagues ruling this out when we have an inquiry under way”.

“How can senior members of the government make a captain’s call and pre-empt this [parliamentary] inquiry?”

And Liberal MP Bert Van Manen, a member of the committee holding that inquiry, due to report May 20, told Fairfax Media the committee should be allowed to run its course and that the recommendation of a royal commission should not be pre-emptively ruled out.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott was, in part, brought undone by a slew of so-called “captain’s calls”, including the decision to knight Prince Philip.

The term – which the Macquarie Dictionary named its word of the year – became a politically explosive term in the dying days of the Abbott government and synonymous with the former prime minister’s lack of consultation with backbench colleagues.

When he took the nation’s top political job, Mr Turnbull promised no more captain’s calls and the restoration of cabinet government.

Labor announced on Friday it would hold a $53 million, two year royal commission if it wins the election later this year.

Mr Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison, Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton are among the members of the Coalition front bench who have subsequently dismissed the idea as a “thought bubble”, a political stunt and a “distraction” while highlighting that Labor has previously opposed such a move.

Fairfax Media revealed on Sunday that government MPs George Christensen, former minister Luke Hartsuyker and Ken O’Dowd all supported, or were open to such a probe. They join Mr Entsch and Senator John Williams.

Mr Entsch said that he had referred victims of malfeasance to the committee examining corporations and financial services and that there was “was nothing in the inquiry terms of reference that excluded a royal commission”.

“It’s all very well to say banks have learned from their mistakes and they will be nicer moving forward. But what about the sins of the past?”

“To stand up and pre-empt the findings of a Senate inquiry, when I have been referring victims to this with an expectation of them being heard, they are shattered that senior members of the government have made this captain’s call.”

A fired-up Mr Entsch vowed to keep fighting for a royal commission.

Mr Van Manen said Labor was grand-standing and engaged in political point scoring by reversing its position and backing the probe after previously voting against it.

“We should let the inquiry run its course, there is an awful lot of detail and work being done. That’s what should happen, then let’s go from them there,” he said.

“You can’t rule it [a royal commission] out.”

Mr Morrison defended the major banks on Monday, declaring that “when you hear Bill Shorten come on the eve of an election and call for a royal commission in this area, you know he’s playing politics”.

“You know he is being opportunistic and he’s being opportunistic with something which goes to the heart of the performance of our economy. Of course there are issues that need to be addressed in the banking and financial industry,” he said.

The push for a royal commission follows a string of financial scandals in the past few years, including the CBA financial planning scandal, bank bill swap rate rigging and the CommInsure life insurance scandal, which saw sick and dying people denied claims. Many of these stories were revealed by Fairfax Media.

Last week, the corporate regulator ASIC this week launched action against Westpac Bank over alleged rigging of the bank bill swap rate, and launched an action against the ANZ Banking Group for similar behaviour, while the Commonwealth Bank has been caught up in allegations of unethical behaviour by its insurance arm.

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Bionic eyes set to switch from fantasy to blinking reality

Samsung are attempting to patent a contact lens with a built in camera.Aficionados of the 1970s-era television series The Six Million Dollar Man, rejoice: contact lenses are coming that could make all your bionic-eye dreams come true.
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A patent application published last week shows Korean electronics giant Samsung is working on a contact lens with a tiny built-in camera.

The lens, which would be controlled by blinking, includes an antenna that will allow the lenses to speak to your phone.

The patent follows the disclosure last year that a global team of academics, funded by the US defence industry, had developed contact lenses that could give the wearer telescopic vision.

WIth that device you would soon be able to zoom in on and record whatever is in front of your eye, without anyone knowing.

The Samsung patent application also suggests wearers of the lens would be able to project images directly onto the lens, potentially doing away with the awkwardness that augmented reality applications have sometimes struggled with on platforms such as  Google Glass.

The application is dated to 2014, about the same time Samsung moved to trademark the name Gear Blink, which has set technology bloggers to wondering if the new product and name aren’t tied to the same project.

Samsung uses the name Gear with its line of wearable technology.

The lens as described in the patent would create a product eerily similar to one imagined in one episode of the British cult TV series Black Mirror, in which the ability to record ones’ entire life and replay it on a screen inside the eye leads to destructive and dystopian outcomes.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn, chair of the health committee of the Australian Privacy Foundation, said such technologies were rife with risk and would need to “be watched very carefully”.

He said Google Glass’s ability to record and replay had raised privacy concerns around the world.

If anything, contact lenses would pose even greater threats because footage could be recorded in a way that was completely hidden.

“To record things without people’s knowledge is bordering on pure surveillance and invasion of privacy,” he said.

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Punishment for Australians won’t be ‘extreme’ in 60 Minutes child snatch case: Lebanese police source

Sally Faulkner travelled to Lebanon to recover her two children, Lahala and Noah, from their father. Photo: Facebook Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew were detained in Lebanon. Photo: Channel Nine
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Seven expected to be charged: Lebanese mediaDetained mother has baby in AustraliaAnalysis: What was 60 Minutes doing? 

The five Australians including a 60 Minutes crew being held in Beirut over a botched child recovery operation are unlikely to receive “extreme” punishment, a police source in Lebanon has said.

The source said that authorities in the country would likely be sympathetic to Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner’s desperation, but stressed it still amounted to kidnapping under Lebanese law.

The source also revealed that a Romanian national who was part of the operation has evaded capture by Lebanese police and remains on the run.

A decision on whether charges will be laid over the snatching of two children – the subjects of a custody battle between Ms Faulkner and her Lebanese former partner – off the streets of Beirut last week is expected on Monday.

Local media have reported that charges are expected to be laid against seven of the nine people originally detained, who reportedly include two Britons and two Lebanese along with the four Channel Nine journalists and Ms Faulkner.

The police source said that the plotters behind the snatching had behaved “as though there’s no rule of law in Lebanon”.

“Maybe they had good intentions but you have to look at their actions,” he said.

The children, Lahala, 6, and Noah, 4, were snatched off the street last Wednesday by several men. Ms Faulkner was working with the British-based firm Child Abduction Recovery International. Lebanese authorities reportedly have some evidence that 60 Minutes paid the $115,000 fee to the firm.

The botched operation follows Ms Faulkner’s separation from the children’s Lebanese father Ali Elamine, who took Lahala and Noah to Lebanon and, according to Ms Faulkner, refused to let them return to Australia.

“What they did in the Lebanese law is called kidnapping. They had the intention to save the kids but they are at the same time kidnapping them,” the police source.

Equally there would be an understanding that Ms Faulkner was acting as a mother in what she saw as the interests of her children, the source said.

“Looking at it from an emotional perspective, you need to see how she was thinking.”

The 60 Minutes crew, who accompanied Ms Faulkner, clearly “acted out of excitement”.

“There’s a difference between kidnapping for ransom or kidnapping to return kids to their mother. So in this case their judgment will be minimal. It’s not going to be extreme,” the source said.

“I don’t think they’ll stay (in detention) for too long. I think they’ll be released soon.”

The source added that “there’s one Romanian who hasn’t been found yet – he fled”.

It was not clear whether he was still in Lebanon or had escaped the country.

The snatching happened on the streets of southern Beirut, which is controlled by Shiite political factions.

Complicating the issue, Mr Elamine’s family is reportedly politically connected. His mother, Ibtisam Berri, who was knocked aside on the street during the snatching at a school bus stop, is the cousin of Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri, according to reports.

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A wave of imagination followed Japan’s meltdown

Tamaki Tokita is an academic who has done a study of Japanese and international literature written in response to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Photo: Peter Rae Some of the many books of fiction written in response to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Photo: Peter Rae
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Ryoichi Wago, a poet and high school teacher in Fukushima, was one of the first writers to respond to the triple disaster – earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown – that hit north-eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killing at least 16,000 people.

After a few days in an evacuation camp, Wago went home and began to record his poetic impressions on Twitter: “Radiation is falling. It is a quiet night.” “The kitchen. I cleaned up the broken plates. As I put them in a box one by one, I felt miserable. For myself, for the kitchen, for the world.” His early tweets were published as Pebbles of Poetry in a Japanese journal, and he continues to tweet to 26,000 followers.

Five years later, Tamaki Tokita, an academic at the University of Sydney, is surprised by the wave of literature inspired by 3/11.

In her PhD thesis, just completed, she notes about 40 books already published in Japan, almost 30 of them novels, as well as short stories, poetry and films.

“People expect the early responses to be hasty and not as well thought out as later ones, but I found a lot of fiction that was quite imaginative.”

The few books that followed devastating earthquakes in 1923 and 1995 were non-fiction, the writers intent on interviewing victims and recording first-hand experience.

“That role is now taken by ordinary people who can post their experiences on social media,” Tokita says. “What was expected from authors was something more imaginative that would help people recover emotionally.”

Among the first published – in June 2011 – was Kamisama (God) by Hiromi Kawakami, a reworking of her 1994 story about a young woman on a picnic with a bear, now set in a post-disaster world affected by radiation.

Explaining her fable, Kawakami spoke of her “quiet anger” at the country she and her fellow Japanese had built, which had upset the “god of uranium” in the Shinto tradition of divine retribution.

While no 3/11 monster equivalent to Japan’s post-war Godzilla has reared up, there is a predictable taste for dystopian fiction showing a future changed by war, nuclear disaster, closed borders and totalitarian government.

“There has been a real conflict between, on one side, promoting the idea of people united and strong in the face of disaster, and on the other hand, people feeling suppressed from criticism of the authorities and expressing anti-nuclear sentiment,” Tokita says.

In his 2011 novel, A Nuclear Reactor in Love, Takahashi Genichiro imagines men making a porn video to raise money for victims of the disaster.

“He was also talking about freedom of speech, writing about sex as something hidden in Japanese society like nuclear power,” Tokita says. Proving his point, he was forbidden to use the book’s title in a university lecture.

The best of these books can be read without any knowledge of the events that inspired them, Tokita says, and most authors do not take an explicit pro- or anti-nuclear position.

“They just want to encourage people to talk and debate, which is new for Japan.”

Most of the authors were writing in Tokyo, she says, treating 3/11 as a national event and yet with the safety of distance to reimagine its outcome.

Tokita was in Auckland with her mother, finishing her undergraduate degree, when they heard about the disaster on the news. They couldn’t get through to family in Tokyo, where Tokita’s grandmother was forced out of her home after the water pipes broke.

“It caused her big stress and shock, and she died soon after,” Tokita says.

Famous Japanese writers, such as Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe and Haruki Murakami, have given their views to the media though not in books. But ripples of reaction have spread into comics, children’s books, and around the world.

Ruth Ozeki, a well-known Canadian-American novelist and Zen Buddhist priest, is among several English-language writers of Japanese parentage who have written on 3/11. A Tale for the Time Being, her Booker-shortlisted 2013 fable, follows the inquiries of a Canadian writer who finds a Japanese schoolgirl’s diary washed up after the tsunami.

“The English-language response is to want to know the Japanese way of thinking and how they manage to cope and keep rebuilding after all the disasters they’ve had,” Tokita says.

Tamaki Tokita will give a free talk, 3/11 in Literature and Film, at the Japan Foundation in Sydney on April 15 at 6.30pm.   

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Nick Cummins suffers Rio setback

Injured: Nick Cummins Olympic dream is in doubt after an ankle injury has ruled him out for a month. Photo: Cameron SpencerNick Cummins is on his way home to Australia with his Olympic dream up in the air after suffering an ankle injury at the Hong Kong Sevens that has ruled him out of action for up to month.
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Australian sevens coach Andy Friend confirmed Cummins would return to Australia to begin rehab on his ankle after hurting it during his first sevens appearance in six years on the weekend.

Cummins was a late call up for the Hong Kong event after Henry Hutchison pulled out of the tournament due to a foot problem and was set to feature at the Singapore Sevens event this weekend.

It means Cummins will, at best, have just two tournaments – the Paris and London legs in May – to show Friend why he should be included in Australia’s Olympic squad that will be picked in early July.

“He needs to get home and checked. The smartest thing is to get him home and get him an opportunity to get some rehab,” said Friend from Hong Kong. “Whilst we sat him on the bench, in all seriousness it was only going to be if we had nothing else. It was a pretty serious ankle injury. He certainly wouldn’t have been at 100 per cent if he got out on the field. It was definitely giving him some grief.”  Good to have my sis and the old boy in Honkers. #Aussie7spic.twitter南京夜网/C5mgDJjJLK— Nick Cummins (@nckcmmns) April 10, 2016

Friend said Cummins hurt himself on either his first or second carry of the tournament and was visibly below his best.

“When Nick Cummins makes a line break, Nick Cummins normally scores from a line break … we realised there was something wrong,” Friend said. “I thought he showed great character and fight to continue playing on with that, but it was only afterwards that he realised how serious it was.”

Lewis Holland is also expected to miss a month of football after hurting his foot.

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Phoenix foil Toronto’s plans for payback

TORONTO had waited all summer to make amends for their shock 4-2 preliminary final loss to Phoenix Charlestown last season.

But there was to be no vengeance for the Tigers at Waterboard Oval on Sunday after they went down 7-3 in their first game of the season.

After sitting out the opening weekend of the Newcastle Major League with the bye, Toronto came out fired up to take a 2-1 lead after two innings.

They extended their advantage to 3-2 after six with Josh Judge keeping the Phoenix batters in check, allowing six hits and one walk.

But Phoenix found relief pitchers Michael Campbell and Kurt Eden more to their liking, scoring five runs from eight hits and two walks in the final three digs.

Phoenix also made a pitching change in the seventh as Scott Telfer replaced Adam Berwick, who had given up five hits and three walks.

Telfer managed to shut down the strong Toronto batting line-up for the rest of the game, conceding only one walk and no hits in three innings.

PITCHER: Adam Berwick

All nine members of the Phoenix team registered a hit. Martin Bell (three singles) and Telfer (two singles and a double) ledthe charge with two RBIs each.

Kenny Judge (single and double) and Eden (single and double) accounted for 80 per cent of Toronto’s five hits with a brace each.

Belmont cruised to a 13-2 mercy-rule victory at Stevenson Park in Sunday’s other round two match.

Belmont’s racked up 11 runs before Boomers had brought home one.

The home side got two back in the bottom of the fourth but a further two runs in the top of the seventh gave the Seagulls an early finish.

Jake Amos drove in four runs from two doubles and a home run.

Prisoner injured in Islamic State attack may not have been a veteran: David Elliott

NSW Corrective Services Minister David Elliott. Photo: Tim Hunter The Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey. Photo: Supplied

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott says he has been unable find any evidence that a prisoner who was allegedly attacked by an Islamic State supporter at a jail on the NSW Mid North Coast was an Australian Army veteran.

The 40-year-old man’s radicalised cell mate, Bourhan Hraichie, 18, allegedly used a sharp object to carve “e4e” into his head inside the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey last week. The slogan was an apparent reference to the terrorist group’s “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mantra.

The radicalised teenager also allegedly placed a towel over the victim’s face and poured boiling water over him, and allegedly broke the older man’s sternum.

It was reported that the injured man was a former Toowoomba-based army officer who had served in East Timor, and who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

But Mr Elliott told Alan Jones on 2GB on Monday that he had not been able to confirm that the injured man was a former Australian soldier.

“I’ve got no evidence at the moment that he served in the Australian Army,” said Mr Elliott, who is also the Minister for Veterans Affairs and himself a former army officer.

“I don’t want to cast aspersions, but [after] my preliminary inquiries, I can’t find how anybody believes that this victim is a veteran. I don’t know who told the media that this guy is a veteran because I’ve got no evidence that he was.”

Regardless of whether the man was a veteran, Mr Elliott said the alleged attack was “disgusting” and “this is not the way that a civilised society treats its prisoners”.

Earlier, Jones said he had been inundated with messages from army veterans who were “white hot with rage” that the former soldier had been targeted.

“Is this the best we can do for a bloke who served his country?” Jones had asked.

“Who places a disturbed army veteran in jail to start with, and then in a cell with an Islamic State sympathiser, when our soldiers are overseas fighting this mob, and now for his trouble he gets tortured, and almost killed? Now if this is not an administrative disgrace, what is?”

Mr Elliott admitted that placing the injured man, who was a minimum-security prisoner, in a cell with the radicalised teenager, who was a maximum-security prisoner, was a mistake.

“That was a stuff-up,” Mr Elliott said, adding that the general manager of the prison had been stood down.

Mr Elliott said Muslims were over-represented in the Australian prison system, representing about 9 per cent of the prison population.

“In the last three months, we have implemented a new program called Prism which is deliberately designed to address radicalisation but … as you well know, this is something new.”

The victim was reported to be fighting for his life initially after the attack, but was now “close to being released back to a correctional centre”, the Department of Corrective Services said on Sunday.

Hraichie has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and intentionally choking a person.

He has been moved out of the prison’s maximum security section, and is due to face Kempsey Local Court on May 23.

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Telstra inks $1.6b NBN deal, ACCC raises concerns

Telstra will help with the rollout of the HFC network. Photo: Rob HomerThe competition watchdog is concerned Telstra may have advantages over its rivals in the national broadband network rollout after the telco inked a $1.6 billion  deal to upgrade the cable television and internet assets it sold to the government’s NBN in 2014.

Telstra will provide planning, design, construction and construction management services for the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network it sold two years ago to NBN with the aim of completing the upgrade by 2020.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the watchdog was concerned about the implications of Telstra’s involvement in the NBN rollout. Competitive advantage

“We have raised several concerns with Telstra and NBN Co, including that Telstra may receive a competitive advantage if it has access to better information than other service providers or if it is able to use infrastructure built for the NBN network before that infrastructure becomes available to other retail service providers,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC acknowledged that Telstra’s technical expertise would help with a faster rollout of the NBN, but is worried that construction and maintenance deals, including Monday’s announcement, could give rise to competition issues.

The watchdog said the two parties have recently provided proposals to try to address these concerns.

“We are looking at the parties’ proposals carefully to consider to what extent these proposals address our concerns. It is important that Telstra doesn’t get a head start selling retail services over the NBN just because its technical expertise is being used in the construction and maintenance of the NBN,” Mr Sims said.

An NBN spokesperson said the deal was not subject to approval from the ACCC.

“We have already provided a significant amount of information to the ACCC.  We continue to work closely with the commission and we are pleased that the ACCC recognises that the transaction will contribute to a quicker rollout of the NBN,” the spokesperson said.

“We were very mindful of these perceived issues when we structured the deal and have also offered the ACCC additional measures around monitoring and reporting back to the ACCC.”

The spokesperson said NBN has every incentive to make sure all retail service providers have the same chance to access the network.

Telstra’s HFC footprint includes areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide. Optus deal to come

NBN is still in negotiations with Optus over the upgrading of its formerly-owned HFC network.

NBN paid Optus $800 million for the network as part of a deal struck in 2014 during the renegotiation of contracts done under the Coalition government, which Optus, at the time, said was equivalent to its 2011 signed under the Labor government.

Fairfax Media revealed last year that NBN was considering replacing Optus’s HFC network.

The networks are an important pillar in the Coalition government’s multi-technology mix national broadband network plan, after it abandoned the previous Labor government’s plan for fibre-to-the-premise.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten confirmed on Monday that, if elected, it would move towards a “hybrid” rollout of the NBN, involving more fibre cables, rather than revert to its previous policy.

The new deal with Telstra should come as no surprise with NBN chief executive Bill Morrow flagging at the time the two signed an $11 billion renegotiated contract in 2014 that Telstra  progressively sell its copper and HFC networks to NBN and that Telstra would be an important partner in the construction of the NBN.

The previous contracts, signed in 2011, would have seen Telstra progressively shut off its copper and HFC networks under an all-fibre rollout.

“We’re going to give them some of that business only if it’s at ­market competitive rates and I hope they respond in that way because they do have a lot of knowledge we can use,” Mr Morrow said at the time.

After signing a memorandum of understanding in December, Telstra has begun to support the build of the HFC network.

“We have a very strong relationship with NBN and I am pleased that we have reached an agreement and can support NBN in building out the NBN network in the existing Telstra HFC footprint,” Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said.

“Telstra has a long and proud history in network construction and we believe we will bring great expertise to this important part of the NBN network. We are already mobilising our workforce to ensure we support NBN in their rollout schedule.”

Mr Morrow said the new deal with Telstra would help roll out the NBN to millions more homes.

“Telstra has enormous experience in HFC design and construction, and the rollout will be greatly assisted by having them as a key partner in the delivery of this part of the network,” Mr Morrow said.

“This is a significant milestone in NBN’s goal of finishing the rollout by 2020 and connecting 8 million homes and businesses.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sacked reporter Scott McIntyre and SBS resolve dispute over Anzac Day tweets

Scott McIntyre has settled his dispute with SBS management.Sacked SBS sports reporter Scott McIntyre has settled his unfair dismissal case with broadcaster SBS over a series of controversial tweets he made on Anzac Day last year.

In joint statement released on Monday morning, an hour before McIntyre and SBS were due to begin a three day hearing in the NSW Federal Court, the parties confirmed the dispute over his termination had been resolved.

McIntyre, who had worked at SBS since 2003 and was employed as a sports reporter since 2008, had been suing SBS for unlawful termination under the Fair Work Act and sought a court order requiring SBS to pay compensation and damages.

McIntyre found himself at the epicentre of controversy after he referred to the commemoration of Anzac Day as “remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan”.

In another tweet he wrote: “Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.”

In the statement, McIntyre acknowledged the views expressed in his tweets were “contentious” and regretted “any attribution of his views to SBS and acknowledges that SBS was drawn into controversy following the expression of his views”.

The broadcaster said in the statement that “Mr McIntyre was a well respected sports reporter with SBS for a period spanning over a decade, and SBS is disappointed that it was unable to continue with his services following his tweets”.

Amid the controversy, which spiralled into a debate around free-speech and the limits around using employer-linked twitter accounts to express personal views, then-communications minister Malcolm Turnbull publicly condemned Mr McIntyre’s comments describing then as “despicable remarks which deserved to be condemned”.

The Minister then discussed the issue directly with the broadcaster’s managing director Michael Ebeid in a late-night phone call on April 25, 2015.

McIntyre was sacked the next morning.

However, both SBS and Mr Turnbull denied the Minister had directed SBS to take any action in relation to McIntyre’s employment.

In a hearing in the Federal Court in December last year, lawyers for SBS maintained Mr McIntyre was not sacked because of the political views he held, but because the tweets were in breach of the broadcaster’s social media policy and code of conduct.

The court heard SBS director of sport, Ken Shipp​, had repeatedly told Mr McIntyre to delete the tweets and apologise, but he had refused.

Mr McIntyre’s lawyers refuted this, claiming that at no stage prior to his sacking did SBS direct him to delete the tweets, apologise, or inform him that he had breached the code of conduct or social media guidelines.

He said he was denied procedural fairness and that he was sacked, in part, because of “his expression of political opinion”.

The terms of the McIntyre’s settlement with the broadcaster remain undisclosed. The tweetsThe cultification of an imperialist invasion of a foreign nation that Australia had no quarrel with is against all ideals of modern society.— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan.— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015Innocent children, on the way to school, murdered. Their shadows seared into the concrete of Hiroshima. pic.twitter南京夜网/DQOGXiKxEb— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015

– with Louise Hall

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

‘Springfield monorail of Australian politics’: how a Very Fast Train is a very pre-election promise

Former prime minister John Howard takes a close look at a model of a ‘Speedrail’, the winning tender for a proposed Sydney to Canberra service. Photo: Andrew Meares Former infrastructure and transport minister Anthony Albanese releases a report examining high-speed rail in 2013. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Simpsons watch on as Springfield’s monorail is built.

New Melbourne to Sydney rail pitch destined for Malcolm Turnbull’s desk

If Australia’s high speed train is as reliable as the rate at which it is promised by politicians, it will be a truly remarkable service.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to soon flag plans to once again pursue a high speed rail link down the country’s east coast – a veritable favourite for Australian pollies under pressure.

It’s a bit like our version of the Springfield monorail from The Simpsons – a transport project sold with great fanfare to an adoring public that turns out to be a bit of a pup.

Over the years, politicians have promised high speed rail with such alarming regularity that SBS Comedy’s The Feed predicted this very occurrence only weeks ago, jibing that it was “like a tired old lover teasing their partner with a sex toy they’re too scared to open”.

Indeed, the elusive fast train has now cropped up for three elections on the trot – great fun for headline writers and satirists, but doing very little to inspire public confidence in politics.

Just 12 days out from the last election, a flailing Kevin Rudd announced plans to buy a rail corridor between Sydney and Canberra, and to reserve land for a line south to Melbourne. The then deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese predicted trains could be operational by 2030.

It followed a 2010 election undertaking, when Labor committed $20 million to study the feasibility of high speed rail. That report concluded the line could be profitable, but would require a substantially taxpayer-funded investment of $114 billion in construction costs.

Rewind just a little further to 1998, and it was John Howard himself who ventured down those time-honoured tracks, commissioning the Speedrail Consortium to submit a detailed proposal for a $3.5 billion link between Sydney and Canberra. It was wiped away when the government could not be satisfied the project could be financed without subsidies.

As the Greens’ Adam Bandt observed on Monday: “High Speed Rail seems to be the train that only ever runs in election years.”

Of course, the saga goes back much further. It was the dawn of the optimistic 1980s when the Institution of Engineers first lobbed the grenade of high speed rail into Australian politics. Three years later, the CSIRO proposed the Very Fast Train – a 350km/h bullet train based on the French TGV. It would have linked Sydney to Melbourne in about three hours and cost $2.5 billion in 1984 money.

For a while, it looked as though the VFT might actually leave the station. There were joint ventures, reports, conferences and protests. There were also thought bubbles, with alternative technologies including magnetic levitation and a tilt train coming under consideration. Bob Hawke’s government eventually rejected a proposal to allow tax concessions for investors in the project, and the consortium of infrastructure-builders folds in 1991.

This time around, the government has a different and more innovative approach. Mr Turnbull has previously spoken at length about the virtues of value capture infrastructure – an investment instrument in you use the increased land values that arise from a piece of infrastructure to finance its construction.

The Australian, which reported the government’s high speed rail plans on Monday, described value capture as a “radical new” funding approach. But it is neither, having been used regularly in the US and other countries for decades.

Indeed, in an ABC radio interview last month, Mr Turnbull explained that 19th century railroad projects were “in effect property deals” because they boosted the value of surrounding land.

“This is increasingly what is being done again in the United States,” he said. “In a sense it’s back to the future because people are really remembering that what good transport infrastructure does is transform the amenity and hence the value of real estate.”

Professor of Urban Policy at the University of Sydney, Ed Blakely, said while value capture would not fund the entire cost of a high speed rail line, it could be used to finance land acquisition for stations, the stations themselves and the construction of apartments and other amenities at major junctions.

He rated the chance of the project actually coming to fruition as “better than 50 per cent” because of the added incentive provided by the proposed Badgerys Creek airport.

“I think you have to do it,” Professor Blakely said. “I think if we press on this thing when we have the second airport it’ll get done, because it actually reinforces what we’re doing there.”

But even in those circumstances, Labor – a keen proponent of high speed rail in the not-so-distant past – was unwilling to applaud.

“This is a desperate Malcolm Turnbull clutching at straws,” said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. “Talk is cheap, but it’s actions that really matter.”

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.