Super Rugby: Michael Wells favourite to fill David Pocock’s shoes in Sydney

Michael Wells is favourite to replaced suspended ACT Brumbies star David Pocock for Saturday’s clash with NSW. Photo: Rohan ThomsonWhen ACT Brumbies forward Michael Wells gave up a shot at the Olympics, replacing David Pocock for a grudge match against NSW Waratahs would have been a dream scenario.
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If picked to fill the biggest boots in Australian rugby, Wells won’t be overplaying his hand when he battles Waratahs and Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper in Sydney on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old quit the rugby sevens program and any hope of playing at the Rio Games to take up a one-year fringe contract with the Brumbies.

His Super Rugby debut in the away loss to Cape Town Stormers three weeks ago lasted just 10 minutes after hooker Josh Mann-Rea was sent off for punching.

But the cameo was enough to shed any nerves before the biggest stage of his rugby career so far.

With Jarrad Butler expected to miss another week with medial ligament damage, Wells is understood to be the favourite to replace the suspended Pocock, who will sit out the next two games.

“Those guys [Pocock and Butler] have credentials which speak for themselves and if I do get picked I’ll do my job, not what they can do,” Wells said.

“I’ll do my role and won’t try and do too much, because that’s the biggest mistake you can make.

“It was nice but unexpected to get [a debut] that early. Jarrad hurt his injury at training and it was a dream come true to debut, but I didn’t expect it to come in round four or five.

“A lot of the senior guys got around me so when it came to game time there wasn’t that many nerves.

“It [quitting sevens] was a tough decision and [before the season began] I would have classified this year a success if I made my debut.

“I’ll watch the Olympics and there will be a little bit inside of me thinking I could have been there, but I’m really happy with the path I’ve chosen.

“Now if I can get more game time this week, I’m looking forward to taking that opportunity.”

Wells is Sydney born and bred and has spent the Brumbies’ bye week there catching up with family and friends.

He grew up hoping to play for the Waratahs but wants to continue his transition back to the 15-man game and make the Brumbies a long-term home.

If selected, a strong showing against Hooper would give hima huge boost.

“I’d say Poey [Pocock] and Fards [Scott Fardy] have been the biggest mentors I’ve had, playing the same position and being senior players,” Wells said.

“Getting back to Sydney and seeing family has motivated me for the rest of the season because it gives you that sense of purpose you might lose after six weeks.

“Rugby becomes your sole purpose and when you get to see family I think ‘I’m doing it for them’.

“Hopefully a lot of them have swapped allegiance [from Waratahs to Brumbies] if I’m playing.

“I’ll have a few friends yelling a bit of banter from the stands if I’m on because I don’t think they’ve changed allegiances yet.

“Being NSW born and bred you want to grow up and be a Tahs player, but as you get older you realise if you want to make anything out of rugby you have to go anywhere, and I’m a proud Brumbie now.”

After last week’s home loss to Waikato Chiefs the Brumbies (17 points) are top of the Australian conference on for and against from Melbourne Rebels (17), with the Waratahs six points back with a game in hand.

The Brumbies won this year’s first match over NSW 32-15 in a brutal round two contest in Canberra.

“Because we’ve let a few points slip losing to the Stormers and Chiefs, we want to open that gap up again at the top of the conference,” Wells said.

“The rivalry between the Brumbies and Tahs speaks for itself. it’s always going to be a pretty physical game.”

SATURDAY

Super Rugby round eight: NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies at Sydney Football Stadium, 7.45pm

TV: Fox Sports 2 live

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

Former TWU official blasts safe rates created to ‘destroy’ owner-drivers

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that if re-elected, his government would abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. Photo: Andrew MearesA former Transport Workers Union official has claimed the tribunal that sets rates of pay for owner-drivers says the link between road safety and remuneration is “marginal” and that the union “doesn’t care” about small operators.
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Michael Wong, who worked for the union between 2009 and 2012 in the Queensland, NSW and National offices of the union, has also apologised for allowing his “professional skills to be used in a campaign for safe rates that would have a profoundly negative effect on the owner-drivers of Australia”.

The extraordinary apology comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Sunday that if re-elected, his government would abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

Mr Turnbull said that two government-commissioned reviews of the RSRT, by Jaguar Consulting and PwC, had found no link between rates of pay and road safety and recommended it be abolished.

The federal government and truck owner-drivers argue a recent pay order by the RSRT threatens the livelihood of small operators by pricing them out of the market and enforcing much higher rates of pay.Mr Turnbull said on Sunday the RSRT’s recent pay order would “drive owner-drivers out of business. It will make them uncompetitive with other larger businesses. It is designed entirely and was designed entirely by Bill Shorten when he was in government to advantage the Transport Workers Union”.

“It is not a tribunal that does anything effective to do with safety. It undermines owner-operators, it undermines small-business, it undermines family businesses.”

Mr Wong, who worked on the political campaign to establish the RSRT while at the union, said “fundamentally, the union doesn’t care about owner-drivers, it cares about its income and the political power it can achieve”. NormalfalsefalseEN-AUJAX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}NormalfalsefalseEN-AUJAX-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Knights tame Tigers at Hunter Stadium  | Photos

Knights tame Tigers at Hunter Stadium  | Photos THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll
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THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

THRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook Knights tame the TigerTHRILLER: All the action from the Newcastle Knights’ 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers on Sunday at Hunter Stadium. Pictures: Jonathan CarrollNEWCASTLE scored their first victoryunder coach Nathan Brown–and ended a 231-day winless run–with a gripping 18-16 triumph against Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

Bridge to bipartisan climate policy exists – if major parties want it: Grattan Institute

Cooling towers at the brown coal-fired Loy Yang power plant in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley. Photo: Supplied Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt. Photo: Chris Hopkins
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A bipartisan approach to tackling climate change is still possible if Labor and the Coalition can get past their “policy bonfire” and develop existing mechanisms to curb carbon emissions, a Grattan Institute report finds.

While an economy-wide carbon price remains “the ideal preferred future climate policy”, the political reality excludes that prospect winning bipartisan support for now.

Still, sufficient flexibility exists within the major parties’ platforms that a “sustainable policy phoenix can yet arise”, the report argues.

The longer big parties threaten to dismantle their opponent’s policy once in office, the less likely companies will have the confidence to fund long-term investments in low-emissions technology, making it harder for Australia to meet its carbon goals.

“We know we’ll all pay eventually, whether it comes from the left pocket or the right pocket,” Tony Wood, the report’s lead author and director of Grattan’s energy program, said.

Common ground to build on includes the remaining bipartisan goal to meet a 5 per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2020. That target is likely to be reached in part because of favourable accounting but also because of some success in the government’s purchase of emissions reductions, cheaper than the carbon tax, he said.

Beyond 2020, however, the Coalition’s policies are unlikely to set Australia on track to meet its commitment to cut 2005 level emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030. (See Grattan chart below.) Labor is yet to declare its ambitions.

Emissions rise

The Grattan report comes as the latest emissions data for the electricity sector – which make up about one-third of Australia’s total – show pollution accelerating after the Abbott government scrapped the carbon price in 2014.

The carbon emissions index calculated by energy consultants Pitt & Sherry found emissions in the main electricity market were 5.5 per cent higher in the year to the end of March compared with June 2014 when the carbon tax ended.

While renewable energy’s share is at its highest level in decades – at 13.2 per cent – coal’s share has jumped almost four percentage points to 76.1 per cent since its low in July 2014. Electricity demand is also growing again, accentuating the emissions rise, Pitt & Sherry said. (See chart below.)

Way forward

The Grattan report focuses in large part of those elements of the Abbott-Turnbull government’s climate policies that could be strengthened. These might also be acceptable to a future Labor government because they match the party’s stated aim to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

The Coalition’s $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund is unlikely to be the answer because rewarding businesses to cut pollution relies “increasingly on scarce public funding”, the report said.

Those purchases should cease. Under the Turnbull government’s climate action policies, the contribution of the Emissions Reduction Fund is grouped with the safeguard mechanism – leaving it unclear how big a role purchases alone will make in reaching the 2030 goal. (See Grattan chart below.)

The Grattan report said the safeguard mechanism – intended to place “baseline” limits on individual polluters – offers the mechanism to roll back emissions. Major changes, though, will be needed.

As currently designed, 140 entities emitting at least 100,000 tonnes a year of carbon-dioxide only face penalties if pollution exceeds fixed baselines.

“First, baselines will need to be progressively reduced, consistent with Australia’s emissions reduction target,” the report said. It will also need to be extended to many more sources of pollution since about half of the country’s emissions are now unrestricted, such as transport or agriculture.

While penalties should be imposed on firms that don’t cut emissions, they should be allowed to buy permits to pollute from companies that exceed their reduction goals, or from international markets.

The mechanisms for this transition towards a return to a carbon prices are largely in place, Mr Wood said.

“You’ve put them under the bonnet,” he said. “You can’t see them, and you’re not using them – yet.”

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

Critics of Treasury’s budget forecasts reveal their own ignorance

Secretary of Treasury John Fraser, pictured with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, has warned it is getting harder to forecast budget deficits and surpluses. Photo: Alex EllinghausenWe are entering peak killing season for Treasury forecasts.
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With the federal budget just three weeks away, Treasury officials are working overtime to put the finishing touches on their forecasts for the economy, revenue and expenditure.

Treasury has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over the accuracy of its forecasts.

It has become the fallback position of every political hack in the budget lock up to throw doubt on Treasury’s forecasts: “A surplus in 2020, yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it!”

It is true that Treasury gets it wrong. All forecasters do.

But it’s a cheap shot to entirely write off the diligent work that Treasury officials do to put these forecasts together. Forecasting’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

And on the most recent evidence, a review in 2012, Treasury gets it wrong no more frequently or wildly than other private sector forecasters.

In a sense, economic forecasts are like poll results. Both exist within a margin of error. The analysts who produce them are quite open about that. But that often gets lost in translation when the media go on the hunt for a good yarn.

Political pundits faithfully report poll changes that lie comfortably within the survey’s margin of error.

Economic pundits, too, report economic forecasts with little reference to the inevitable uncertainty that surrounds them.

Why do we accept poll results, but refuse to believe Treasury’s best estimates?

Treasury is very open about the confidence intervals that surround its point estimates, publishing “fan charts” which show the range of possible outcomes around the forecasted one.

For example, last year’s mid year budget update forecast a budget deficit for this coming financial year of 2 per cent of GDP. Does that mean it will happen? It’s unlikely.

A separate fan chart shows Treasury is 90 per cent sure, based on past forecasting errors, that the actual result will lie somewhere between a deficit of nearly 5 per cent of GDP or a surplus of nearly 1 per cent of GDP.

Unhappy with that? You probably yell at the weatherman too.

Treasury will present the budget forecasts in three weeks having just had another internal review of its forecasting process, this time by Warren Tease, a former UBS investment banker hired to Treasury’s Sydney office.

In a recent speech, Mr Tease summed up the challenge thus: “Economic forecasting is hard. The future is mostly unknowable so forecasts will often be wrong. This is particularly the case when we are confronted with the types of unprecedented circumstances that we have seen over the past decade.”

Past reviews have found Treasury has had particular trouble forecasting changes in prices the economy. It’s pretty good at forecasting activity levels, but when it comes to translating this into dollar, or “nominal” terms, it has fallen wide of the mark – as most forecasters have.

Treasury failed to predict the large structural decline in inflation in the 1990s and ended up overestimating GDP as a result. During the mining boom, it failed to foresee the massive ramp up in commodity prices, and hence consistently underestimated nominal GDP.  Because everyone pays their taxes in nominal, or dollar terms, this meant revenue estimates were always too low – allowing Treasurer Peter Costello to do his rabbit in a hat trick of plucking budget surpluses from nowhere.

Similarly, since the mining boom, Treasury failed to forecast the steep decline in prices, leading to overly optimistic revenue forecasts.

So, how much confidence can we have in Treasury’s forecasts? The answer is about as much confidence as we can have in any economic forecast.

If it helps, Treasury don’t write its forecasts on the back of an envelope. There is a rigorous behind the scenes process to produce the numbers you will see on budget night.

Treasury employs around 40 people to produce its global and domestic macroeconomic forecasts.

The process kicks into gear every three months with the Bureau of Statistics’ national accounts data dump.

The latest accounts for the December quarter were released a little over a month ago. As soon as they got them, Treasury’s forecasting subgroups, including on consumption and dwelling investment, labour markets and income, exports and imports, began feeding the numbers into their equations to produce preliminary forecasts.

They presented them internally and then to a meeting of the Joint Economic Forecasting Group – a high level pow-wow between the chief forecasting geeks of Treasury, the Reserve Bank, the Bureau of Statistics and the departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Finance.

But that’s not the end of it.

Ever since, Treasury has been running new iterations of its forecasts regularly, taking in new data that comes out, like the most recent jobs figures.

In the coming weeks, Treasury officials will also keep a watchful eye on the currency and on spot prices for the key commodities of iron ore, coal and oil. A “recent average” will be taken and built into the forecasts – usually an average of the four weeks prior.

Sometime in the week before the budget, Treasury’s macro forecasting group will finalise the numbers and send them to the revenue group, which builds the revenue forecasts from them.

They won’t be perfect. But you should have confidence that they’re the best available.

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

Australian breeders bitterly opposed to Australia Racing Industry moves to bring them under the rules of racing

Shocking cruelty: Some of the severely malnourished horses found on a Bulla property last week. Photo: Eddie JimFollow the Age Sport on Twitter
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Moves by the Australian Racing Industry to bring breeders under the rules of racing in a bid to avoid the sickening cruelty discovered on a Victorian property last week are being hard fought by breeders across the country.

Horse lovers and racing industry figures alike were shocked by the dreadful conditions at a Bulla property that resulted in 22 horses dying of malnutrition and others fighting to survive. A racing breeder, owner and trainer is facing more than 90 charges of animal cruelty.   Despite this incident thoroughbred breeders are bitterly opposed to any move to bring them under the rules of racing.

Racing Australia chief executive Peter McGauran would not even confirm on Sunday that Racing Australia discussed the matter at meetings in Sydney last Friday.

Fairfax Media understands a debate about bringing breeders under the rules did occur and there is a clear and significant move to make the change.

It’s also understood debate has raged privately between both bodies for more than two years with last week’s findings at Bulla only making the issue even more important.

One breeder who would not be named believes those in his business should not be under the jurisdiction of the racing stewards as they are primary producers and are only ever under the rules of racing when their stock are registered to race at two years of age.

At the moment stipendiary stewards from any jurisdiction in Australia are not permitted onto a breeding farm.

It’s further understood that breeders are so incensed by the attempted change that if the move is legislated they are willing to take legal action.

Fairfax Media understands there are some stud farms, which are feeling the pressure of drought, that may be looked at by the RSPCA.

In other news, trainer Darren Weir has again managed to take over the training of a smart international galloper after the Japanese-owned stayer Tosen Stardom was transferred to his Warrnambool property.

Tosen Stardom came to Australia specifically for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but suffered a bleeding attack and was subsequently suspended from racing for three months.

Australian Bloodstock, who raced Protectionist to win the Melbourne Cup, have taken a half interest in the horse who is set to commence racing in the early part of the spring.

Last year Tosen Stardom came to Australia and finished second in the Ranvet Stakes and then an unlucky fifth in the Queen Elizabeth.

Weir in recent times has had great success with international horses being sent to his base at Warrnambool.

Trainer Kris Lees who prepared Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, Lucia Valentina, said on Sunday the mare had pulled up well and would now be set for the Cox Plate in September after the horse’s owner allowed the mare to continue racing for another year.

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$8000 a year lost by punters

A majority of gambling losses are on the pokies. PROBLEM or moderategamblersare losing up to $8000 a year, according to figures calculated using the 2015 Social and Economic Impact Study (SEIS) and ABS population data.
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However, Independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie said he’d heard estimations far greater.

“When I was chairman of thegamblingreform committee in the previous parliament, we heard evidence of problemgamblerslosing up to $25,000 a year on average,” he said.

“These tend to be people on lower income and often on government pension payments, so whatever figure you use, you can probably draw the same conclusion – it’s more than they can afford.”

In 2013, about $62 million of losses in Tasmania were by moderate or problemgamblers, aged 20 years and over.

Total real gambling losses in 2011-12 prices was $310 million in 2012-13.

The second Social and Economic Impact Study found electronic gaming machines tended to be concentrated in lower socio-economic areas, including Glenorchy and Devonport.

Bass Greens MHA Andrea Dawkins said the figures showed removing electronic gaming machines from pubs and clubs may not stop problemgamblers, but it was still the best place to start.

Mr Wilkie said the 2010 Federal Productivity Commission still remained the most credible report forgamblingreform, which recommended $1 maximum bets and mandatory precommitment.

This was the most sensible reform, Mr Wilkie said, as a total ban of pokies was not a ‘realistic position’ to take.

Federal Group gaming operator spokesman Daniel Hanna said regulation of gaming in Tasmania was the most stringent of any Australian state or Territory.

“The density of gaming in Tasmania, the average spend on gaming by Tasmanians, and the problemgamblingrate among Tasmanian adults are all well below the national average,” he said.

Last Thursday, the government outlined its terms of reference regarding gaming reform, including a pledge to put the right to EGMs post-2023 out to tender and a public interest test to apply to the relocation of machines into new venues.

A 2015 poll by Anglicare found 4 in 5 Tasmanians want pokies machines reduced in number or removed entirely from clubs and hotels.

The statewide EGM cap of 3690 would also be decreased by 160 machines, and a consideration of up to two ‘highroller non-residential’ casinos.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein did not respond directly to questions surrounding $8000 ofgamblinglosses but said that the government’s final decision will be informed by a parliamentary inquiry.

Opposition Treasurer Scott Bacon said Labor was in the process of engaging with stakeholders to inform its response to the Joint Select Committee.

“Labor has two clear objectives in framing its response to the gaming license issue: improving harm minimisation for problemgamblersand providing certainty for investment,” Mr Bacon said.

“The position the Liberal Government has put forward achieves neither. It does not achieve a real reduction in gaming machine numbers and it creates an uncertain investment environment until at least 2023.”

Ms Dawkins said that the Greens were disappointed that the government’s terms of reference made no mention of the number of EGMs and their location, type and design.

“We’ve been on record for many years for saying the poker machines should come out of our least advantaged suburbs.”

Jail managers blamed for brutal prison attack

Steve McMahon, chairman of the Prison Officer’s branch of the Public Services Union Photo: Channel SevenThe “complete failure” of prison managers to share critical information with the rest of the staff is to blame for a brutal attack allegedly carried out by an Islamic State supporter on his cell mate, the prison officers’ union says.
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The 18-year-old Islamic State supporter, who was imprisoned at the Mid-North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey, allegedly used a sharp tool to carve the letters “e4e” into the forehead of a fellow inmate on Thursday.

The letters were an apparent reference to the terrorist group’s “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mantra.

The general manager of the correctional centrehas been suspendedpending the outcome of an internal investigation, NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

The 40-year-old victim, who reportedly served in East Timor, is “close to being released back to a correctional centre”, the Department of Corrective Services said.

The teenager had a maximum security classification and the former soldier had a minimum security classification.

NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin. Photo: Peter Rae

Steve McMahon, chairman of the Prison Officer’s branch of the Public Services Union, said the two should never have been locked in a cell together.

However, he alleges that managers failed to pass on vital information about the radicalised prisoner that “would have prevented”the vicious attack.

“We believe there was sufficient informationthat, if acted on correctly, would have prevented this from happening,” Mr McMahon said.

“It was a complete failure by the people in positions of responsibility, who had access to that information, to share it with the people who needed it to do their job.”

He said prison officers made decisions about which inmates to place together “every day”, based on the evidence provided to them.

However, in this case, “the evidence that said that they shouldn’t have been together was mismanaged or withheld for some unknown reason”.

“It was a bad choice of cells based on incorrect information,” Mr McMahon said.

He added that prison officers had been particularly distressed by Thursday’s unprovoked attack, in which the teenager allegedly carved letters into the front and back of the older inmate’s head and crushed his sternum before placing a towel over his head and pouring boiling hot water over it.

“It’s quite a horrendous piece of work, not unlike torture,” he said.

Inappropriate or careless cell placementhas contributed to more than 20 deaths in NSW prison custody in the 10 years to 2011, according to coronial reports.

Andfailure to communicate vital informationabout prisoners’ health and safety has been implicated in more than a dozen deaths-in-custody cases, including at least three homicides.

Mr McMahon said such incidents were “rare” but they demonstrated why it was “critical that managers, when they receive information, deal with it correctly”.

The Mid North Coast Correctional Centre at Kempsey

He said the Public Services Association believed the teenager had previously demonstrated “radical Muslim views” but the department had failed to act on it.

“The last year they’ve been denying there’s any problem with radicalised Muslims or any other radicalised individual in jail,” he said.

“We’ve been calling on them to produce a policy on such and allocate some programs and resources for it.”

He said the daily interaction between prison staff and inmates meant Corrective Services officers were in a unique position to help address the rise of religious fundamentalism in jails.

“[But] at the moment we don’t believe that we’re being adequately equipped to deal with this new threat.”

The Department of Corrective Services told Fairfax Media it would seek “an independent assessment of its policies and procedures for the placement of fundamentalist inmates” following the attack.

“CSNSW has seen a gradual increase in the number of fundamentalist inmates in recent years and, while that number remains small, ongoing efforts are placed on dealing with any possible violent extremism,” a spokesperson said.

“Its officers are trained and ready to deal with the changing and increasingly volatile mix of inmates in the state’s prisons.”

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Virgili burns Rosebud

IN BEHIND: Broadmeadow’s James Virgili terrorises the Adamstown defence on Sunday at Magic Park. Picture: Max Mason-HubersJAMES Virgili and Broadmeadow sent a warning shot to their Northern NSWNational Premier League rivals with a 7-2 demolition of Adamstown in round one at Magic Park on Sunday.
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James Virgili, who played 57 A-League games for Newcastle,used his skill and lightning pace to score a hat-trick and set up two more goals as Magic turned a 2-0 half-time lead into a romp.

On a day of draws across the league, Magic showed they will be hard to stop with Virgili and fellow speedster Kale Bradbery, who scored twice on Sunday, up front.

Bradbery beat teenage keeper Jake Hamilton at the near post on 25 minutes. Virgilthen provided the cut-back for Peter Haynes to finish with a first-time shot in the 40th.Two minutes into the second half, Virgili found space and buried his one-on-one chance then repeated the dose on the hour. Bradbery followed suit in the 64thminuteand Virgili struck again in the 66th.

Alex Read and Matt Paulscored on breakaways of their own to soften the blow for Adamstown before Daniel Casciaroli hit a header home off a Virgili corner at the death.

Although a comprehensive result, co-coachRobert Virgilisaid Magic wouldhave “to improve on that performance to say that we are going to be a real threat”.

“Obviously we scored seven goals, but I’m disappointed with the two we conceded,” he said.

“Probably the last 25 minutes we took the foot off the pedal, which we can’t do. But give the boys credit, scoring seven goals any day is great.We did some really good things with combinations, getting boys in behind, which is what we want to do.”

As for his son, James, he believed the 23-year-old would improve.

“I don’t think James is at his best yet, in regards to his sharpness, but that will only come with more games,” Virgili said.“But he’s going to be massive for us, there’s no two ways about it.”

Rosebud coachGraham Law said James Virgili “finds space when it’s not there”.However, Law was not unhappy with the effort from his team.

“I can’t fault the guys,” he said.“First half we went in 2-0 down and genuinely thought we were the better team.We were moving the ball well, but second half we had to throw it to the wind to try to get something out of the game. But it’s frustrating. Five of their seven goals came when we’ve got the ball in their defensive third, then the transition kills us.It’s very difficult to defend that.”

At Cooks Square Park, Hamilton and Maitland hada scoreless stalemate, Charlestown and Valentine finished 2-2 and Garry McDermott scored a hat-trick forWeston in a 3-3 draw with the Newcastle Jets Youth.On Saturday, Keanu Moore scored the winner for Edgeworth in a 2-1 victory over Lambton Jaffas at Edden Oval.

John Majurovski scored forJaffas beforeAyden Brice equalisedandMoore scored the late winner. Daniel McBreen set up the Brice goal and cleared a ball off the line late for the Eagles.

At Weston, a late penalty strike from Andrew Pawiak gave the Jets Youth a share of the points. Former Joeys strikerCameron Joice scored the opener for the Jets on debut and the team’ssecond was an own goal.

At Lisle Carr Oval, Rene Ferguson scored with 12 minutes remaining to equalise for the Blues. Sam Bradshaw scored Charlestown’s first before Brenton Olzomer equalised for Valentine for 1-1 at half-time. RidgeMapu put Valentine ahead with 25 minutes to play.

Charlestown coach Shane Pryce and Valentine counterpart Darren Sills said the Blues had the better chances late in the game.

Pryce said his side “had enough chances to win two games”, while Sills said a draw was “probably a fair result”.

Western Sydney Wanderers secure second on A-League ladder with 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix

Close encounter: Vince Lia of the Phoenix and Mitch Nichols of the Wanderers compete for the ball. Photo: Hagen Hopkins Nice one: Wanderers players celebrate a goal from Brendon Santalab. Photo: Hagen Hopkins
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Farewell: Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix acknowledges the crowd after his final game. Photo: Hagen Hopkins

The Western Sydney Wanderers have secured second place on the A-League ladder with a 2-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

It was an unhappy end to Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat’s eight-year Wellington Phoenix careers as Brendon Santalab’s first-half brace helped the Wanderers claim the victory.

The Phoenix had the better of possession in the opening half, but it was the Wanderers who looked more dangerous going forward.

They were denied a penalty in the first four minutes when Phoenix left-back Tom Doyle took down Santalab from behind in the box, but referee Shaun Evans waved play on.

Michael McGlinchey came closest to scoring for the Phoenix in the half when his 25-yard curling effort rattled the woodwork in the 11th minute.

Wanderers keeper Andrew Redmayne produced a great save to deny Blake Powell in the 30th minute, as he tipped his shot over the bar with it destined for the top corner.

Sixty seconds later the Wanderers were down the other end to break the deadlock. The outstanding Romeo Castelen beat Alex Rodriguez down the right flank before squaring in the direction of Santalab.

The ball ricocheted between him and Sigmund before rolling across the line, with the Wanderer being credited with the goal.

The Wanderers then had a classy second with just 90 seconds left until halftime. Castelen skipped past Sigmund in the middle of the park with a silky smooth move and was off charging towards the Phoenix box before laying off to Santalab on the right, who applied a cool finish past Glen Moss.

The Phoenix produced some good football as well to make for an entertaining half, but poor finishing and final balls meant they went into halftime down 2-0.

The second half started evenly before Roly Bonevacia became the second Phoenix midfielder to hit the post, this time with a low shot which had Redmayne beaten to his right.

The Wanderers continued to look for opportunities on the counter, but for the most part seemed content to sit back and defend their lead. They almost had a third goal when Castelen sent a shot sailing past Moss, and the goal, with 15 minutes to go.

Sigmund ended his professional career bloodied after being caught by a stray elbow from Santalab. He returned with a bandage around his head in a dedicated performance typical of the way he has played his entire career.

The Wanderers’ win guarantees them second spot on the ladder, while the Phoenix finish their miserable season in ninth.

On a positive note, 10,143 people – including a vocal pocket of Wanderers fans – showed up for what was a meaningless game for the Phoenix, outside of farewelling the two club stalwarts. It was their second-highest home attendance of the season.

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