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25 July
Comments Off on Bird landing unknown but Knights deal stays

Bird landing unknown but Knights deal stays

Bird landing unknown but Knights deal stays STRUGGLE: The battle for Jack Bird’s signature continues with the Knights, who have tabled an offer with the Sharks star, now waiting to see if he stays at Cronulla, leaves for Brisbane or comes to Newcastle. Picture: Getty Images
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TweetFacebook Jack BirdPictures from Getty ImagesKnights coach Nathan Brown concedes he would understand if Jack Birdchoseto play in Brisbane instead of Newcastle next year but would still love the Sharks premiership star to end up in the Hunter from 2018.

The race for Bird’s signature heated up this weekwith the Broncos reportedly upping the ante considerably on the Knights original offer, which included a recent visit to the region, while current club Cronulla are also keen to keep hold of the NSW representative.

Brown said the Knights weren’t about to get in a bidding war and remains content with what has been tabled for the 22-year-old back despite the danger of losing his services north of the state border.

“Brisbane are an appealing club with10 or 12 origin and rep players, and they’re a one-townteam, which are all attractions for Jack,” Brown said.

“We had heard about it [the Broncos offer], but it doesn’t surprise me. Some clubs have the capacity to do a lot more than other clubs andBrisbane have always been a club that can attract those type of players and can afford those type of players.

“It would be great for Brisbane if it happens, but obviously we’d like him to come here. What unfolds there will unfold and we can’t do anymore as a club.

“We’ve put a fair bit of time into it andmade Jack a very good offer forwhere we’re atas a club. Hisdecision will come sooner or later, either favourable or unfavourable.”

In terms of Friday’s round 7 NRL clash with the high-flying Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium, Brown said the last-placed Knights would once again be up for the challenge despite losing four games by 10 points or less.

“I’d love to see the guys get some reward for their hard work, but wecertainly don’t do big chunks of the game well enoughto be quite honest,” he said.

“We’re far better than what we were at any stage last year as far as competitiveness, especially in the heatof the battle in the early parts of the game. But at some stages we fall away and when we do there’s a little three-four-five minute window where sides jag a couple of tries on us, which makes it hard.”

The Knights’21-man squad named on Tuesday remained unchangedfrom last week’s 22-12 loss to the Bulldogs but Danny Levi returns to starting hooker after a late shift to the bench, Jamie Buhrer moves back to the second-row and Joe Wardle goes to the reserves. Sam Stone has been elevated to the main 17ahead of Luke Yates.

“Sam Stone, whilst only a kid, has certainly been one of our most consistent players, so he’ll definitely come back into the squad,” Brown said.

“The fitness of one or two blokes will probably determine that [the final 17].”

PREVIOUS: Knights name squad to tackle Roosters

Elsewhere in rugby league the NSW Challenge Cup continues at Leichhardt Oval on Wednesday night with Macquarie playing Helensburgh in onesemi-final (8pm) while South Newcastle have been eliminated from the state knockout competition followinga forfeit toConcord Burwood.

“Pulled out due to a lack of fit players,” Souths coach Ben Cross said.

25 July
Comments Off on Scripture review finds a lot is taken on faith

Scripture review finds a lot is taken on faith

THEREare more than 100 faith organisations providing special religious education, or what is more commonly known as scripture, in NSW public schools.
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The majority are Christian, but Jewish, Hindu, Islam, Buddhist, Baha’i, Sikh and Vedic is also taught at some schools.

In 2015 the NSW Department of Education commissioned a $300,000 taxpayer-funded review of special religious education and special ethics education after controversy following its decision to change enrolment forms so that parents had to opt their children out of scripture. This followed a brief period when parents had to opt their children into scripture, which sent scripture numbers across the state crashing, and Christian scripture providers appealing to the NSW Government.

The ARTD Consulting review had a December, 2015 deadline, but it controversially remained with the Department of Education and NSW Government until its release on Tuesday.

The review contents, and the Department of Education’s rejection of all recommendations of substance, make it plain why the department sat on this for so long. The findings highlight serious issues with transparency, provider accountability, compliance monitoring by the department, parental choice and availability of information, the quality of what is taught and the amount of trust the department relies on when it comes to scripture providers in a self-regulating environment.

The department’s wholesale rejection of major recommendations reminds us what a politicised field scripture in state schools has become, only weeks after respected former Newcastle principal John Beach described it as “a can of worms” for principals because “you can’t say no to the scripture people”.

The department’s rejection of one recommendation –that secondary school students opting out of scripture should be able to do regular classwork while scripture lessons are held –is particularly troubling after the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council expressed “serious concern” that the choice of a minority of students deniedthe opportunity for learning for others.

In astatement the department noted the framework underpinning scripturedated back to 1848. The ARTD review supportsmore modern concepts of transparency, accountability and parental choice. The department needs to get with the times.

Issue: 38,463.

25 July
Comments Off on Hospital death rates higher than expected

Hospital death rates higher than expected

Mortality rates: John Hunter’s rate for haemorrhagic stroke improved between 2009 and 2015 from higher than expected to no different than expected. Cessnock Hospital had a similar improvement for heart attack.PATIENTS who attend John Hunter Hospital for ischaemic stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)or hip fracture surgeryare dying at a rate “higher than expected”considering their ages and conditions when compared to counterparts in other hospitals, according to new data.
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The Bureauof Health Information’sreport Exploring clinical variation in mortality analyses deathwithin 30 days of hospitalisation for seven different conditions as either lower than,higher than, or no different to the expected rate.

BHI chief executive Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque said the July 2012 to June 2015 data assessed a patient’s “entire journey”, from diagnosis in the emergency department to care provided on the ward.

“Patients in NSW can trust the care they receive,” he said. “We provide this information so hospitals can target their assessments to further improve quality of care.”

Hunter New England Health executive director of greater metropolitan health servicesKaren Kelly said it had undertaken an “extensive review” of the data. “In response, we also conducted our own audit of patient information for the identified chronic diseases,” she said. “The results tell us that overall patients consistently received timely and appropriate care for all of these conditions.

“We haveidentified opportunities to improve the clinical pathways for these conditions andstrategies will be put into place with the aim of improving outcomes.”

Dr Levesquesaid there had been a “substantial improvement” in NSW death rates for all sevenconditions over the past 15 years, including a 41 per cent decrease forheart attack, which now has the equal lowest rate.

Calvary Mater Newcastle is one of only four NSW hospitals to record higher than expected death rates for heart attack:10.3 per cent compared to a NSW figure of 6.9 per cent. This is up from 2009 to 2012, when its rate was no different than expected. Its ratefor COPD also grewto higher than expected. Chief executive officer Greg Flint said it would“assess and enhance the clinical pathways for the conditions highlighted”.

DrLevesque said NSW death rates fell most sharplybetween the two time periods for ischaemic stroke. At John Hunter, its rate hasbeenhigher than expected for the past six years. Ms Kelly said it had a highproportion of severe stroke patientsbecause of its dedicated stroke unit. Its rates for COPD and hip fracture surgery grew to higher than expected.

Belmont Hospital’s death rates for congestive heart failure and COPD also rose to higher than expected. It is the only Hunter hospital with a lower than expected rate, for ischaemic stroke.

Statement fromCalvary Mater Newcastle (CVM) chief executive officerGreg FlintCalvary Mater Newcastle is the major cancer care centre and palliative care service for the Hunter New England Local Health District.

CMN delivers more than 320,000 occasions of outpatient services and in excess of 16,000 inpatient treatments per year.

Further to the latest BHI report, CMN also conducted a general audit on the conditions reported on by the BHI.

CMN dedicates significant time to improve and strengthen clinical pathways to ensure that our patients are getting to where they need to be quicker and therefore start their treatment faster.

Work has already begun to assess and enhance the clinical pathways for the conditions highlighted in the most recent BHI report. This will ensure we continue to improve the quality of care we provide for our community.

CMN regularly reviews its performance and clinical outcomes. CMN submits data to the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards and submits data for comparative purposes to the Health Roundtable. Performance is also reviewed with Hunter New England Local Health District.

Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)

An older and frailer cohort of people present to CMN with AMI compared to NSW state averages.

The BHI Report identified that patients who presented to CMN with acute myocardial infarction had significantly higher rates of other chronic health conditions compared to NSW similar cohorts. These included: Hypertension (14.5% higher), Renal Failure (3.9% higher), Malignancy (2.1% higher), Dementia (0.9% higher).

Patients were also significantly older, with 41% of the presentations to CMN being 75 years or older when compared to 38% in NSW. Our audit showed that the average age of patients who died was 80 years.

Our own audit has shown that all patients were under the care of, or had a consultation with a cardiologist. Documentation on the Chest Pain Pathway indicates that all elements on the pathway are well adhered to at CMN.

A change in process for Cardiac Rehabilitation for AMI patients in the Coronary Care Unit at CMN has seen a marked improvement in inpatient cardiac rehabilitation review and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation referrals. This also included an improvement in education for the patient upon discharge and providing individualised care plans to patients.

CMN will make some adjustments to the current process and documentation of the cardiac rehabilitation inpatient review system to indicate when patients have received a cardiac rehabilitation review while an inpatient.

CMN will improve the documentation of education provided to cardiac patients during admission and at discharge through the development of a check list.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Patients presenting to CMN with COPD had one or more significant chronic health condition.

Significant co-morbidity and patient factors among the CMN patients were higher than the NSW index. These included pulmonary circulation disorders, congestive heart failure, fluid and electrolyte disorders, cardiac arrhythmia, solid tumour without metastasis, metastatic cancer, diabetes (complicated), psychoses, lymphoma and liver disease.

Our audit has shown that an average of 93.5 percent of patients had their discharge summary provided to their primary care clinician within two days and there was improved use of antibiotics in the audit period.

Improvements can be made to the number of referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation and patient education relating to COPD, including smoking cessation. There has been some improvement from 2014 to 2016, reflecting a slight increase of consults by the Chronic Disease Nurse.

Spirometry (a test that can help diagnose various lung conditions, most commonly COPD) was not well attended within 24 hours of admission and decreased in 2016, while previous patient history spirometry attendance was not well documented. This is anticipated to improve with spirometry being added to the Clinical Application Portal in the future.

It is recommended that spirometry education and training for nursing staff is provided with a review of available equipment and spirometry be attended in the emergency department to determine baseline and confirm diagnosis.

It is also recommended that promotion of the referral and access to a Chronic Disease Nurse is increased and supported to include Congestive Cardiac Failure and diabetes in their service to COPD patients.

Statement from Hunter New England Health executive director of general metropolitan health services Karen KellyHunter New England Health has undertaken an extensive review of the BHI data. In response, we also conducted our own audit of patient information for the identified chronic diseases.

The results of our audit tell us that overall patients consistently received timely and appropriate care for all of these conditions.

We haveidentified opportunities to improve the clinical pathways for these conditions andstrategies will be put into place with the aim of improving outcomes in patient care.

For each condition, improvement strategies include:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The Respiratory Stream has identified COPD management as a priority on the 2017 annual plan with specific focus on expansion of John Hunter Hospital’s AcuteNon-Invasive Ventilationservice to other sites using a telehealth model, increasing the number of patients having access to quit smoking programs and increasing the uptake and completion of pulmonary rehabilitation programs.

Hip Fracture: Consolidate the implementation of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Clinical Care Standard,Hip Fracture Care.

Ischemic Stroke: Improve access to dedicated stroke beds or units as a priority.

Congestive Heart Failure: Development of a check list for best practice in the management of Congestive Heart Failure. Increase referrals to community and primary care for early intervention

Hunter New England Health is also rolling out the use of electronic discharge summaries, which will improve the information patients get when they leave the hospital and the communication to GPs and other care providers. This will enhance the coordination of follow-up care.

John Hunter Hospital

John Hunter Hospital is the tertiary referral centre for the entire northern NSW region with more than 76,000 presentations each year to our emergency department.

John Hunter Hospital is also the Major Trauma Service for Northern NSW and the only one outside of Sydney.

The hospital provides a full spectrum of care for patients along with education, clinical support and workforce development and treats the more seriously ill patients transferred for more specialised care.

Many patients receiving care in these categories are transferred to John Hunter Hospital from other hospitals.

Hospitals right across the district transfer patients to John Hunter Hospital for its highly specialised services. Often patients are first treated and stabilised in their local facility, but then transferred to John Hunter Hospital for further treatment.

Ischaemic stroke: John Hunter Hospital has a renowned stroke service with a track record of world-class care for patients who present with stroke.

The quality of stroke care we provide and the fact we have a dedicated stroke unit means that a high proportion of severe stroke patients present at John Hunter Hospital.

Our stroke team prides itself on accurate diagnosis and assessment of initial stroke severity. Since early 2016 this has been done with the assistance of more sophisticated imaging, including the Bi Plane Angiography.

We acknowledge that travel distances between people’s homes and hospitals in the rural areas where patients are being transferred from means that it can take longer for them to start receiving the care. We have begun work that focuses on reducing the time it takes to start treatment for a number of conditions.

We are also strengthening our relationship with NSW Ambulance, with initiatives such as the on-route thrombolysis program and stroke by-pass protocol. These initiatives mean that suspected stroke patients can begin receiving treatment while they are on their way to hospital.

We are always working to improve stroke management at John Hunter Hospital. We have recently expanded our Acute Stroke Unit four to 12 beds. This will improve the delivery of care, rehabilitation and outcomes for stroke patients. In addition, our Stroke Team is at the cutting edge of research, working to find ways to provide better care for our patients.

Research has shown that initial stroke severity at onset is the most powerful determinant of mortality and dependency. Since initial stroke severity was not recorded in the BHI data, small differences in the severity case mix could explain the small absolute difference in average 30 day mortality, which gave a higher than expected result.

Hip fracture surgery: Each year at John Hunter Hospital we admit more than 400 hip fracture patients who are older than 65 years of age. The BHI report shows that 94.7 percent of hip fracture patients between 2012 and 2015 were aged 65 years or older and 81.2 percent were aged 75 years or older.

In addition to this, our patients had more chronic diseases than the NSW index, including dementia and renal failure. Our audit data shows that John Hunter Hospital patients had a 6.6 percent higher incidence of dementia.

In early 2015, the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Hip Fracture Care were introduced and are now implemented for patients admitted with hip fractures. The Orthopaedic Clinical Nurse Consultant ensures all seven standards in the guidelines are followed for every patient. The BHI data will not yet reflect these changes in practice, but we would hope to see future improvement.

Since the introduction of the guidelines, 92 percent of patients at John Hunter Hospital have had their surgery within 48 hours of admission, receiving more timely and appropriate pain relief and being mobilised sooner.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: John Hunter Hospital audit data shows a relatively high proportion of our patients were experiencing acute respiratory failure. This may indicate that the COPD patients treated at John Hunter Hospital were very sick patients transferred for specialist and Intensive Care services.

Our internal audit of patient information showed that 94 percent of patients had one or more significant other chronic diseases, while a high proportion of patients (92 percent) were current or ex-smokers.

John Hunter Hospital patients had more chronic diseases than the NSW index, including Congestive Heart Failure, pulmonary circulation disorders, diabetes (complicated), other neuro disorders, psychoses and lymphoma.

To address this, we are creating medical records to accurately document COPD severity, in particular pre-existing COPD severity and other chronic diseases. This will enable more accurate prognosis and support treatment decisions for each patient.

Staff will also improve the promotion of interventional programs with evidence to improve COPD outcomes: including smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation and co-ordination of care following discharge.

Belmont Hospital

Belmont Hospital is a community hospital with 23,000 presentations each year to the emergency department.

Many of the patients treated at Belmont Hospital live in the surrounding area. This has an impact on the type of conditions and the acuity of patients treated at the hospital. The patients presenting are older, with many other chronic diseases.

Belmont Hospital dedicates significant time to improving and strengthening clinical pathways to ensure that patients are getting to where they need to be quicker and therefore start their treatment faster.

Work has already begun to replicate this methodology for the conditions highlighted in the most recent report. This will ensure we continue to improve the quality of care we provide for our community.

Congestive heart failure: The BHI reports showed that Congestive Heart Failure patients at Belmont Hospital were older than their cohorts across NSW. 94 percent of patients were aged 65 years or older (90.2% NSW average) and 75 percent of patients were aged 75 years or older (73% NSW average).

The Belmont Hospital patients had more chronic diseases than the NSW cohort, including hypertension (27.4 percent higher), renal failure, other neuro disorders, fluid and electrolyte retention, metastatic cancer, three or more previous acute related admissions and paralysis.

Belmont Hospital is working to increase referrals to community-based clinical services for patients with heart failure conditions and introduce a checklist management guide to clearly identify best practice and allow staff to record adherence and completion of this.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Cigarette smoking is the most significant risk factor for these patients and our audit showed that 98 percent of COPD patients reviewed at Belmont Hospital were former or current smokers.

Age also played a significant factor for COPD patients at Belmont Hospital, with the BHI report showing that 85.1 percent of patients were aged 65 years or older (79.5% NSW average) and 58.3 percent of COPD patients at Belmont Hospital were aged 75 years or older (50.7% NSW average).

Belmont Hospital COPD patients also had more chronic diseases than the NSW cohort, including congestive heart failure, diabetes (complicated), other neuro disorders, three or more previous acute related admissions, solid tumour without metastasis and fluid and electrolyte disorders.

13 July
Comments Off on Rate hikes on the horizon, agent warns

Rate hikes on the horizon, agent warns

First home buyers need to weigh upwhether they can service their home loans as interest rates start to climb, one of the country’s leading agents has warned.
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It comes after all four big banks announced they would raise interest rates, independently of the Reserve Bank. Many smaller lenders, including Newcastle Permanent, are following suit.

There could be pressure for further hikes if the Reserve Bank lifts the official cash rate from its current recordlow of 1.5 per cent.

CEO of Century 21 Australasia Charles Tarby said rising rates could have the positive effect of cooling an overheated real estate market, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. But he saidyoung people – who had never witnessed the heights of interest rates in the early 1990s – needed to be prepared if an era of historically low rates came to an end.

“If you’re accustomed to paying an interest rate of fourper cent and it goes up to five, which is very possible, that’s a 25 per cent increase in your repayment.

“I don’t think people have factored that in. I don’t think people understand how potentially easily rates can rise.”

But Mr Tarby said higher rates could bring some needed relief to the “upward movement” of overheated markets around the country.

“I know this sounds a bit odd coming from a real estate agent but that is not what our economy needs right now,” he said.

“A boom market is a massive disruption to a real estate cycle, and in certain locations it has been brought about by the reduction of interest rates because of economic issues.”

But he challenged the mounting calls for negative gearing to be abolished.

“Realistically only Sydney and Melbourne are producing these massive results and some other markets are struggling,” he said.

“My greatest concern is if you remove negative gearing, what impact is that going to have on the rest of the country, places like Western Australia?”

He said prices in Sydney were “clearly a supply issue” and the result of “dysfunctional arrangements” between councils and state governments, tying up land.

TIGHES HILL IN DEMAND Rate hikes on the horizon, agent warns TweetFacebook‘MUCH ADMIRED’ DISPLAY HOME TO BECOME MEDICAL PRACTICEThe miserable conditions broke to abeautiful Autumn morning as a “much admired” property at 141 Gordon Avenue in Hamilton South went under the hammer.

Domain previously reported that the property, on one of Newcastle’sbusiest street corners, was built by the Australian Agricultural Company as one of the city’s first display homes.

Four registered bidders battled out it with the gavel falling at$750,000.

The successful buyer plans to use the property as a medical practice.

Listing agent John Kerr of Dalton Partners described it as a “fantastic” result for the vendor NSW Trustee and Guardian.

13 July
Comments Off on Magpies maintain unbeaten start

Magpies maintain unbeaten start

OPENING GOAL: Ryan Broadley opened the scoring for the Maitland Magpies in their 2-1 victory against Charlestown City Blues on Tuesday night.A second half penalty to Ben Martin has given the Maitland Magpies their second win from their first three starts in the 2017 NPL, as they overcame a resilient Charlestown City Blues 2-1 at a rain-swept Lisle Carr Oval on Tuesday night.
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The match was Maitland’s third within the space of just six days. Regulars Matt Thompson and Ryan Clarke were missing from the side, while Matt Comerford and Jordan Elphick were rested from the starting 11.

In a tight opening half-hour, Josh Dutton-Black forced Charlestown keeper Nathan Archbold into action with a pair of saves from two free kicks, until the game came to life shortly afterwards.

New signing Andrew Pawiak breezed past the defence on the right flank before delivering a cross to the centre of the penalty area which was emphatically finished into the bottom corner by Ryan Broadley, to give Phil Dando’s men the lead in the 37th minute.

The Magpies threatened to double their lead shortly after, as Jye Mackellar went close with a header, but Maitland looked in control at the break, despite the slender lead.

All their good work was undone in the 49 th minute however, as Rene Ferguson scored the equaliser for the Blues – scrambling home a close range finish to level it up at 1-1.

The home side was only level for nine minutes, as Martin sent Archbold the wrong way from the spot to reclaim the lead in the 58th minute, after Dutton-Black drew a foul inside the penalty area.

Maitland went in search of a third goal to kill the game, but the sealer proved to be elusive – Carl Thornton forced Archbold into a sharp save, while Dutton-Black saw his goalbound effort deflected over the crossbar after a cut-back from Pawiak.

Despite some heavy, late pressure from Charlestown, Maitland held strong to claim all three points and remain the only undefeated side in this year’s NPL.

The Magpies will look to continue their unbeaten run, as they host the Weston Bears in the local derby at Cooks Square Park on Good Friday at 2.30pm.

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

13 July
Comments Off on Karen Howard among those looking at upper house tilt

Karen Howard among those looking at upper house tilt

LINING UP: Former Newcastle and Paterson candidate Karen Howard is reportedly considering running for the vacant upper house seat left by Mike Gallacher’s resignation. PICTURE: Phil HearneA raft of candidates are considering nominating to replace former police minister Mike Gallacher in the NSW upper house, including former federal MP Karen McNamara and Newcastle businesswoman Karen Howard.
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The Liberal Party needs to select Mr Gallacher’s replacement before Parliament resumes on May 2 in order to retain the status quo whereby it only needs the votes of either the Christian Democrats or the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party to pass legislation.

But it may have avoided a “nightmare” scenario of three preselections instead of one, should parliamentary secretary Scot Macdonald decide to contest the vacant position.

The Liberal upper house members are either responsible for individual “provinces” or deemed “at large”.

“At large” positions are more perilous as they are further down the upper house ticket and preselected by a state-wide panel.

Mr Macdonald is facing a strong challenge for his Northern Country province position from Catherine Cusack, an “at large” MLC who previously represented the province.

Ms Cusack last monthresigned as parliamentary secretaryafter criticising Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s first cabinet.

If Mr Macdonald decided to nominate for Mr Gallacher’s vacant Hunter/Central Coast province spot, Ms Cusack would almost certainly quit her seat to contest preselection, sparking a third preselection for her former spot.

On Tuesday, Mr Macdonald told Fairfax Media he would not comment on internal party matters, but said: “I’m happy where I am.”

LEAVING: Mike Gallacher announced his resignation from parliament last week.

Mr Gallacher last week announced his resignation from the NSW Parliament to take a job as chief executive of Ports Australia, three years after he stood down as police minister amid Operation Spicer, an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into Liberal Party fundraising.

The Liberal Party has the right to replace him, and nominations for his upper house seat close on Thursday at 5pm.

Among those understood to have expressed interest are Ms McNamara, the former federal member for the Central Coast seat of Dobell, who is being backed by the party’s right faction.

Also believed to be considering nominating is businesswoman Karen Howard, the Liberal candidate for Newcastle at the 2015 NSW election, who is backed by the left faction.

Others said to be interested include Mr Gallacher’s former staff member John Macgowan, Michelle Moffatt and Young Liberal member Danielle Brown.

13 July
Comments Off on Managing your pelvic floor

Managing your pelvic floor

Specialist: Dr Brett Locker has been practising in gynaecology since 1997.A common problemIf the thought of running, jumping, coughing or sneezing has you feeling nervous, then you are not alone.
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According to the Continence Foundation of Australia 37 per cent of women in Australia experience some level of bowel or bladder control problems or uterovaginal prolapse –all widely described as pelvic floor problems.

While many women report some level of issue with incontinence, only 1 in 5 will actually seek professional help, preferring to self manage or sometimes shy away from this highly sensitive topic.

Dr Brett Locker is a specialist gynaecologist based in Newcastle and has been practicing in all areas of gynaecology for the last 20 years.

While he refers to the surgical treatment of pelvic floor issues as a relatively ‘simple twenty minute walk-in, walk-out’ procedure he understands the resistance many women have to seeking consultation.

“It’s only a problem if it’s causing a problem.

“If it’s affecting how you live, for instance; you’re not doing things you would usually do, like exercising or playing with the kids, then it can be problematic and there is a solution,” says Locker.

While it’s usual for patients to undertake a degree of initial investigation into how to go about managing pelvic floorissues, it’s important says Dr Locker, to identify the cause of the problem first, to ensure the correct treatment is provided.

“There is a difference between a patient with incontinence as opposed to someone with an urgency to urinate, or to urinate frequently and this needs to be considered as part of the treatment. Surgery for one will not address the other.”

Where tostartIf you are in the throws of considering reaching out for help, or simply educating yourself a little more, Locker suggests visiting the following websites to get some valuable information and contacts ofwhere else to get help:

jeanhailes.org419论坛continence.org419论坛menopause.org419论坛ranzcog.edu419论坛A visit to your local GP is often a good point from which to start.

Dr Locker says that asking for a referral to a pelvic floor physiotherapist with post graduate qualifications can also be a positive first step.

Do your researchWhile pelvic floor issues are often genetic, they are most common in women after the ageof 40.

Risk factors include: pregnancy, childbirth genetics and menopause.

Determining the underlying cause of the issue involves investigative tests and is often a stumbling block for women uncomfortable about disclosing information.

Dr Locker is sympathetic to this and accepts that the first port of call is often to jump online.

“I embrace the fact that Google is often the starting point for people, it’s inevitable with health related scenarios and it’s important that clients feel that they have exhausted all options first.”

For those though considering professional advice, there is merit in asking the right questions of any potential consultant or surgeon.

Dr Locker suggests that a surgeon that shares information about his or her workis worth pursuing.

“There’s strong evidence to suggest that the more procedures a specialist has done the better their success rate, its important that patientsfeel informed and the discussion is transparent.”

“For instance asking a specialist or surgeon about their consultation to surgery rate can be very telling. A surgeon that says yes to treatingeveryone they see isn’t necessarily a good thing.”

What to expect aftersurgeryIf you decide to undergo surgery, normal life can resume fairly quickly and while a level of common sense should be applied, it’s realistic to assume that you can return to most day to day activities within a matter of days.

Heavy lifting, drivingand sexual intercourse can all resume after several weeks and should be discussed with the specialist at the time of consultation to ensure that expectations are clear.

Dr Brett Locker studied medicine at Sydney University and returned to his hometown of Newcastle to study Obstetrics andgynaecology, until1997. After practicing as a specialist in Port Macquarie for 7 years he again returned home and opened hisCharlestown practice.

13 July
Comments Off on Labor resists pressure for $900 million Adani coal mine loan

Labor resists pressure for $900 million Adani coal mine loan

Labor has rejected government claims the Adani Carmichael coal mine project in central Queensland deserves a $900 million concessional loan funded by taxpayers, saying the project should stand or fall “on its own two feet”.
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The opposition supports the $22 billion endeavour, which backers say will create thousands of jobs, but resources and northern Australia spokesman Jason Clare has dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s claim on Tuesday the government funding is a “tipping point issue to get this mine going”.

“The project should stand on its own two feet,” Mr Clare told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning.

The government is currently considering offering a $900 million loan to the company, to build a railway that would transport coal from the mine to the port at Abbot Point, where it would be shipped to India.

While Adani says the loan would help fund the project’s 389 kilometre rail line, the Indian energy giant has said it is “not critical” or “make or break”.

“On that basis alone … it doesn’t meet the requirement of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Clare said.

“The government’s all over the shop on this. Malcolm Turnbull’s in India saying that this should be done independently by the board … Barnaby [Joyce] yesterday was basically directing the board to fund this project.”

In October 2015, then-resources minister Josh Frydenberg said it wouldn’t be a priority project for federal assistance.

“This is a commercial operation, it needs to stand on its own two feet,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said on Wednesday he hoped the mine became a reality.

“I want to see more jobs in Australia, I want to see more jobs in regional Queensland, but it has got to stack up commercially, it has got to stack up environmentally,” he said. “But I can’t for the life of me see any good reason why Australian taxpayers should be underwriting a billion-dollar loan to a giant billionaire Indian mining company.”

In Delhi on Monday, the Prime Minister assured billionaire businessman Gautam Adani that legal issues with the Native Title Act will not hinder the mine’s progress.

“The issue needs to be fixed and will be fixed,” Mr Turnbull said.

The project is facing widespread opposition from conservationists concerned about the “carbon bomb” impacts on global greenhouse gas emissions as well as local environmental impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.

Supporters tout the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in a region plagued by high unemployment.

The ongoing uncertainty over the project comes as a new report warns climate change-related damage to the Great Barrier Reef could see one million visitors a year abandon the reef, costing the local economy $1 billion and 10,000 jobs.

Overall, the loss of coral reefs could cost the global economy $1 trillion, the not-for-profit group says, citing recent research.

“The GBR is not the only reef affected by unprecedented coral bleaching in recent times. The longest global bleaching event on record began in 2014 due to record breaking ocean temperatures and continues into 2017,” the report states.

“The burning of coal, oil, and gas is putting Australia’s iconic reefs at risk of further bleaching and death. The rate of surface ocean warming in the 21st century is seven times faster than during the 20th century and the frequency of extreme sea surface temperature events has increased…

“Extreme coral bleaching and the death of reefs will become the new normal unless serious and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved.”

According to new legal advice for the Australian Conservation Foundation, the company directors of the NAIF could be in breach of their duties and face legal action if they approve the loan for the Carmichael project.

Lawyers for Environmental Justice Australia found that, under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the financial risks associated with climate change must be considered in the decision.

“NAIF must consider climate risks. These are assets that will be useless within a decade,” ACF president Geoff Cousins said.

“Investment in coal infrastructure risks public money and in the meantime helps to drive dangerous global warming. NAIF directors who support it should be held accountable.”

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13 June
Comments Off on Spicer: ‘Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons’

Spicer: ‘Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons’

Washington:White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday tried to emphasise the depravity of Syria’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, but the way he did it – by crediting Adolf Hitler with a measure of restraint – struck many journalists as confusing and insensitive.
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“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said. “You know, you had a – someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

After drawing widespreadcriticism, Spicer issued anapology on CNN, and emaileda statement clarifying his remarksto reporters.

Spicer seemed to be suggesting that chemical weapons are so bad that even Hitler wasn’t willing to use them. It was a bizarre argument, however, given Hitler’s extensive use of poison gas to kill millions of Jews and others in concentration camps.

Spicer was presumably thinking of battlefield uses of chemical weapons; even in that case, however, his version of history would be questionable. According to some accounts, the Nazis used poison gas against Russians who failed to surrender after the Battle of Kerch in the Crimean peninsula.

According to the bookIvan’s Warby Catherine Merridale, the Nazis in 1942 deployed poison gas into a cave city in which as many as 3000 Russians were living for months:

Umm… did we just get some Holocaust denial from the White House?

— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) April 11, 2017Just gas chambers, use of human skin, etc https://t.co/QQVe6Vqe2k

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 11, 2017Transcript of Spicer’s commentsSpicer was asked about the US response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons in attacks in Syria last week. This is what he said:

Spicer:You look – we didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had a, you know, someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.

So you have to, if you’re Russia, ask yourself, is this a country that you, and a regime that you, want to align yourself with? You have previously signed onto international agreements rightfully acknowledging that the use of chemical weapons should be out of bounds by every country.

To not stand up to not only [inaudible] but your own word should be troubling. Russia put their name on the line, so it’s not a question of how long that alliance has lasted, but at what point do they recognise that they are now getting on the wrong side of history in a really bad way, really quickly. And again, look at the countries that are standing with them: Iran, Syria, North Korea. This is not a team you want to be on.

Reporter:I need to clarify something you said that seems to be getting some traction right now. Quote: “Hitler didn’t even sink to the level of using chemical weapons”. What did you mean by that?

Spicer:I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing. I mean there was clearly – I understand your point, thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that. There was not in the, in the, he brought them into the Holocaust centre, I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down into the middle of towns. So the use of it, and I appreciate the clarification there, that was not the intent.

Washington Post and Fairfax Media

13 June
Comments Off on ‘The most evil slur’: Confusion and ridicule as besieged Spicer apologises

‘The most evil slur’: Confusion and ridicule as besieged Spicer apologises

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New York: White House press secretary Sean Spicer, besieged by widespread condemnation and calls for his resignation, made a televised apology on Tuesday afternoon for a baffling series of gaffes in which he favourably compared Adolf Hitler to President Bashar al-Assad, and claimed the Nazi leader had not used chemical weapons against his own people.

Democrats and the Anne Frank Centre for Mutual Respect were among those calling for the senior official, already a frequent target of criticism and ridicule for his combative and at times bumbling style, to be dumped from the role.

In making his unreserved apology, Spicer made a further couple of gaffes, mispronouncing the name of the Syrian leader and stating that he didn’t want to distract from President Donald Trump’s attempt to “destabilise the region”.

Spicer’s unforced errors began during a high stakes press conference on Tuesday, in which he was trying to explain the White House’s position on several critical international policy fronts, including the US strikes on Syria, mounting tension with Russia and Trump’s sabre-rattling against North Korea on Twitter that morning.

During an answer on the recent chemical attack in Syria, Spicer framed the depravity of the act using a comparison with Nazi Germany, saying: “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to chemical weapons.”

Hitler’s regime slaughtered millions of Jews and many others during the Holocaust; many were murdered using the poisonous gas “Zyklon B”, or hydrogen cyanide, in gas chambers.

Asked to clarify his remark by shocked journalists, Spicer gave a rambling answer citing “Holocaust centres” and mispronouncing the name of the Syrian leader.

“I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no – he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad is doing … he brought them into the Holocaust centres and I understand that.

“But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into towns dropped them down to innocent, into the middle of towns ??? the use of it. I appreciate the clarification there, that was not the intent.”

As the responses drew a fierce backlash on social media, Spicer, who repeatedly mangled the name of the Australian Prime Minister during several press conferences earlier this year, then put out two separate statements trying to clarify what he meant by comparing Assad and Hitler.

“In no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centres. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable.”

But within hours, the series of comments sparked confusion, ridicule as well as multiple calls for the press secretary’s resignation.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Centre for Mutual Respect, went as far as to accuse the press secretary of engaging in Holocaust denial.

“Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary,” he said in a statement.

“Sean Spicer now lacks the integrity to serve as White House press secretary, and President Trump must fire him at once.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Spicer must be fired and that the President should disavow his comments.

“While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust.”

Others, without defending the remarks, rejected the suggestion Spicer was denying the Holocaust.

“Spicer is historically illiterate, but he didn’t deny the Holocaust, as his doltish reference to ‘Holocaust Centres’ makes clear,” author Michael Weiss wrote on Twitter.

Spicer later appeared on CNN trying to defuse the anger and fallout over the comments, offering a full apology and withdrawing the comparison between Hitler and Assad.

“I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust for which, frankly, there is no comparison. For that, I apologise. It was a mistake to do that,” he said.

“I should have stayed focused on the Assad regime and the dangers they have brought to their own people, and the terrible atrocities they did, and to drag any other comparison into this was not appropriate.”

Pressed on whether Trump had pushed him to make the apology, Spicer said he was doing it because he realised he had made a mistake, and “did not want to be a distraction from the President’s agenda”.

But during that interview with Wolf Blitzer, he again mispronounced the name of the Syrian leader, saying “Bashar al-Asee … Bashar al-Assad.”

Blitzer made a curt interjection: “Bashar al-Assad. I know you’ve mispronounced his name a few times.”

During the interview, Spicer also said he didn’t want to distract from Trump’s attempt to “destabilise the region”, when he presumably meant stabilise. Spicer literally just said Trump is trying “to destabilize the region” during his #holocaustcenter apology pic.twitter南京夜网/tWrn1rEODQ??? Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) April 11, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 June
Comments Off on ‘His last one did alright’: Cleese returning to TV to star in sitcom

‘His last one did alright’: Cleese returning to TV to star in sitcom

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 30: John Cleese attends a press conference ahead of their upcoming tour at the O2 Arena ????????Monty Python Live???????? at the London Palladium on June 30, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images) Photo: Getty ImagesAfter almost 40 years, John Cleese has announced he’s returning to the scene of his greatest triumph: BBC television comedy.
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The upcoming sitcom, titled Edith, will be Cleese’s first leading role on a TV series since Fawlty Towers – featuring his iconic turn as bumbling hotel manager Basil – wrapped in 1979.

The six-episode series – co-starring Alison Steadman, who Cleese worked with in the 1985 film Clockwise – follows the widowed Edith (Steadman) and Phil (Cleese), two longtime neighbours who marry and “plan to follow the sun and move abroad”. But their plans are thwarted when Edith’s 50-year-old son Roger (Jason Watkins) moves back home after leaving his wife, kids and job.

The series is being penned by writer Charles McKeown, a satellite member of Cleese’s Monty Python crew, best known for his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

“These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years,” Cleese joked in a BBC statement announcing the news.

The announcement marks a major about-face for Cleese, 77, who had recently taken potshots at BBC’s comedy content.

The actor infamously pilloried the network in an interview in 2015, accusing its commissioning editors of having “no idea what they are doing” and saying he would never work for them again.

But last year, when news of the project first floated, BBC’s head of comedy Shane Allen brushed off the criticism, saying Cleese is “a comedy god and the door is always open to him”.

“It’s a huge pleasure to welcome John Cleese back to the land of BBC sitcom – his last one did alright,” Allen offered in yesterday’s press release.

The announcement continues the BBC’s unlikely infatuation with its veteran content and stars. It courted ridicule with its ‘Landmark Sitcom Season’ offerings last year after producing a slate of one-off reboots of its stale classics, including new episodes of Are You Being Served?, Porridge and a prequel to Keeping Up Appearances, titled Young Hyacinth.

Cleese, who’s made the odd TV guest spot since Fawlty Towers in American series including Will & Grace, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Entourage, was in Sydney last year for the debut run of Fawlty Towers Live, a theatrical adaptation of the sitcom that opened to middling reviews.

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13 June
Comments Off on Players’ big pay break through

Players’ big pay break through

AFL players would get a pay rise this year of almost 25 per cent after the league put forward a revised offer to the players union in protracted pay talks in recent days.
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In the first meaningful movement in talks since August last year, the league has discussed an increase of about $45 million for this year in the total player payments, an increase that would represent a rise of close to 25 per cent increase on last year.

Despite the huge jump in year one, the increases in the subsequent five years of the six-year collective bargaining agreement are modest and the players view is that the league’s total offer over the six-year term represents less in terms of a percentage of revenue than they are receiving now. The league is expected to forward the improved pay offer to the AFLPA in writing in coming days. The total player payments increase will also be slightly offset by changes to the veterans allowance.

Some players, including highly prized Adelaide key defender Jake Lever and ruckman Sam Jacobs have put off talks on a new contract until the new CBA is completed.

“In terms of my contract status, I’m sort of waiting for the CBA to be done, but my manager is in constant talks with the club,” Lever said last week.

“With the CBA not being done, it’s almost like you’re building the house without a budget, so you don’t really know what you’re working with.”

Clubs had budgeted for a 10 per cent increase this year. A figure that clubs had been told to budget for in 2017.

The AFLPA will continue to push for significant rises beyond this season.

The players have made a number of concessions in discussions, but are continuing to push for a percentage of key game revenues.

While the AFL and the players are close to reaching an understanding over a mechanism where the players will receive an uplift should AFL revenues exceed forecasts, the two parties have hit a stumbling block over rises for players for an increase in club revenues.

AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan returned last month to the negotiating table.

The two parties are talking regularly, meeting on a weekly basis, with the players determined that their wage rise will come into play in 2017, the first year of the new six-year, $2.5 billion broadcast agreement.

While the players have agreed to set aside some of their demands, the union remains determined to push for two mid-season byes despite the AFL’s opposition and a lack of public support. The AFL is determined to have no mid-year bye and one at the end of the season.

Although the AFL offer represents some progress, clubs fear the two bodies remain significantly apart in terms of the pay increase after the first year and the longer it drags on the harder it is for them to complete deals with valuable unsigned players and oversee significant list-management decisions.

The clubs are taking comfort in the fact the AFL will fund all future rises in the salary cap.

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13 June
Comments Off on Exciting shows coming to Newcastle

Exciting shows coming to Newcastle

An intriguing, qualityexhibition from the National Gallery of Australia is heading to Newcastle in May.Abstraction: Celebrating Australian Women Abstract Artists, opens on May 20.
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Abstractioncasts a wide net with a diverse and broad range featuring 76 works of art by 38 artists including Yvonne Audette, Dorrit Black, Grace Crowley, Anne Dangar, Janet Dawson, Inge King, Margo Lewers and Margaret Preston, through to contemporary practitioners Elizabeth Coats, Melinda Harper and Idiko Kovacs, among others.

Robert Nelson, art critic for The Age, reviewed Abstraction, currently showing at the Geelong Art Gallery. He said, in part, “This fine exhibition covers the great range of approaches. Drawn entirely fromwomenartists from the 1920s to now, it follows a chronological model that locates each artist in her proper historical place.

“It begins with the ghost of cubism, where artists like Margaret Preston, Dorrit Black, Grace CrowleyandAnne Dangar wrestled with forms that simplified or essentialised motifs. There are lovely ceramics by Dangar which, with their graphic robustness, could have inspired Preston’s paintings.

“Then there is the influence ofabstractexpressionism, considered in America to beabstractionin its essence. The movement sought to create inventions in colour that were about nothing but the paint, as if the subject matter of painting was the paint itself. This encouraged a grand manner of gestureandscale, proposing a new sublimity of form.

“This is captured best in Yvonne Audette’s work of the 1950s. Her greyandbrown The flat landscape invites you to see foreground, middleandsky; but you have to unread the painting to understand it.”

The Abstraction show will be followed by The Phantom Show, which celebrates 40 years since the Newcastle Art Gallery exhibitionTheGhost who walks.

The Phantom Show runs June 10 to August 20. It will be curated by Peter Kingston and DietmarLederwasch.

The 1977 exhibition young talentto Newcastle, including Peter Kingston,Richard Larter,Richard Liney, Phillipe Mora, Garry Shead and Martin Sharp.

In 2017The Phantom Show will show from artistsEuan Macleod, Michael Bell, Dallas Bray, Chris Capper, Dino Consalvo, James Drinkwater, Ron Hartree, Aleta Lederwasch, Dietmar Lederwasch, Claire Martin, John Morris, Lezlie Tilley, Peter Tilley, John Turier and Graham Wilson.

In the show: Grace Crowley Abstract painting 1947, NGA.