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27 July
Comments Off on CA weighs up Christmas Eve BBL derby

CA weighs up Christmas Eve BBL derby

Cricket Australia is considering staging a Big Bash League Melbourne derby on Christmas Eve within two years, as part of a festive-season bonanza.

It has emerged that a BBL and Women’s Big Bash League double-header between the Stars and Renegades has been floated for Etihad Stadium next summer as part of early fixture discussions. It would take place two days before the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

However, a final call will not be made until mid-year, when fan research has been completed. If the clash does not go ahead this year, it is set to be firmly on the agenda in 2018.

BBL chief Anthony Everard last summer floated the idea of a Christmas Day clash, but said spectator research would be important in making a final call. While league chiefs are now leaning more towards a Christmas Eve game, officials are aware the public may not yet warm to the idea.

Television ratings aside, a point of conjecture is whether the stadium would be full on a night when families traditionally get together.

While Channel Nine’s Carols by Candlelight remains popular viewing, the sporting landscape is largely free on the night.

A derby is seen as the best option on Christmas Eve, as it means neither side will have to fly home on Christmas Day – an issue players had last year when flying on Christmas night for upcoming games.

???The final BBL clash before Christmas last year was on December 23, when the Perth Scorchers defeated the Adelaide Strikers.

Melbourne will be full of English tourists and Barmy Army diehards at Christmas this year, with the first three days of the Melbourne Test expected to feature strong crowds.

While the Melbourne BBL derby is always popular, should there be a Christmas Eve clash that would escalate, with English fans given the opportunity of watching batting brute – and former England captain – Kevin Pietersen on show with the Stars.

Last summer’s derbies were held on New Year’s Day – when the Renegades prevailed in the rain in front of more than 70,000 fans at the MCG – and a week later when Pietersen’s 73 helped to lay the platform for the Stars’ win at Etihad Stadium.

Should a Christmas Eve clash be introduced this year or next, it would be another blockbuster for the host broadcaster to build around. The second derby would be held on New Year’s Day at the MCG.

A new broadcast rights deal will be brokered this year for the burgeoning competition, which already averages more than 1 million viewers a night on Channel Ten.

The rights to international matches are also on the table, with Channel Nine indicating it would also like to win the BBL and WBBL deal. Channel Ten’s $100 million, five-year deal was seen as a risk when brokered, but a new contract is likely to be worth three times that figure.???

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

27 July
Comments Off on Why Roosters hold key to new halves combo at Parramatta

Why Roosters hold key to new halves combo at Parramatta

Corey Norman looks across at how the Roosters halves operates and reckons therein lies the blueprint for playing alongside Mitchell Moses.

Norman and Moses are set to combine at Parramatta, possibly as soon as next week, but first there is the awkward business of facing off on Easter Monday. Moses has signed with the Eels and wants to join his new club immediately, but Wests Tigers won’t consider a transfer until after that clash.

Moses put paid to any suggestions he’d be phoning it in for the Tigers after deciding his future lies elsewhere, producing a man-of-the-match performance in their upset win over North Queensland. However, his present and future will collide in the ANZ Stadium encounter with the blue and golds.

Norman isn’t looking far past that match, knowing that a fifth-straight loss could result in another season finishing early. However, the Parramatta playmaker believes his combination with Moses could borrow from the Roosters pairing of Mitchell Pearce and Luke Keary, a relationship that allows them to run and organise as they see fit without the pressure of either being the “dominant half”.

“I like steering the boys around, too, but I like to run as well,” Norman said of how his game will evolve with Moses.

“I have to find that balance between both, and having someone else there who can organise the team as well and organise our plays would definitely be good.

“Mitch is a good ball-runner as well and needs freedom as well. If you look at Pearcey and Keary, they’re playing good football and I think they feed off each other. There is no dominant half there.

“They do their plays and play what’s in front of them. I think that’s just what we need to do.”

Norman has had numerous halves partners since shifting to the Eels in 2014. Some, such as Kieran Foran, have come with great expectation but the blue and gold jersey remains the only one he hasn’t been able to deliver in. Other playmakers, such as Clint Gutherson and Brad Takairangi, have been the stop-gap variety. Norman craves the day when a “bit of stability” arrives in the playmaking ranks.

“It will be good to have Mitch here and play alongside him and get that combination going straight away,” he said.

“I’ve had plenty of halves alongside me since I’ve been here, they’ve chopped and changed, so it will be another thing where we have to find a combo when he gets here and work hard at it.”

The Tigers-Eels game isn’t just awkward for Moses. The Eels are caught in between welcoming and whacking the five-eighth, a balance they need to get right to keep their season alive.

Captain Tim Mannah knows Moses better than most – they share the same manager and are preparing to represent Lebanon together in the World Cup. Mannah even suggested to his agent, only half-jokingly, that he should send Moses to the Eels.

“That’s why we were so keen to get him, because we know what he can offer on the football field,” Mannah said at the unveiling of the club’s 70th anniversary jersey.

“He’s definitely a big threat. When he’s playing well, the Tigers are going well. It’s obviously a big job for us to cover him, but hopefully we don’t cover him too hard and don’t hurt him because we need him playing for us.”

Norman added: “In the past me and Mitchy have given each other lip, but that’s just being competitive. A bit of banter never hurt anyone. I’m sure nothing will change this week.

“That’s rugby league, people come, they go, they play their old team.”

Not everyone is convinced Moses provides Parramatta with good value. Legendary Eels pivot Brett Kenny questioned whether Moses was worth his reported asking price and hoped he would see out the season with the Tigers.

“His biggest problem is his defence at the moment and it’s obviously something the club will work on,” Kenny said. “But attacking skills, he’s got everything.”

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

27 July
Comments Off on Land of (no) fair go

Land of (no) fair go

AUSTRALIA wasn’t even federated when two states–NSW and Victoria–introduced pension schemes for the aged in 1900.

Eight years later the Commonwealth Government took over with a means-tested aged pension and a new invalid pension. By 1912 Australia had its first maternity allowance. By the 1920s some states, including Queensland, were payingunemployment benefits.

DuringWorld War II it was Robert Menzies who campaigned for election on behalf of Australia’s“forgotten people”–the lower middle class–but it wasthe Curtin Government that initiated acomprehensive social services package,including a national sickness and unemployment benefits scheme, widows’ pensions, and increased aged and disabilitypensions.

In a speech onSeptember 2, 1946,Prime MinisterBen Chifley linked expansion of Australia’ssocial services tobelief during the war that the nationwould survive, and conquer its enemies.

“Despite the multiple cares of a Government involved in a war threatening the very existence of Australia as a nation, the Government never lost faith in ultimate victory,” Chifley said.

“The best evidence of this is furnished by the great extension of social services and health benefits since ittook office.”

I read that speech after working my way through actingCommonwealth Ombudsman Richard Glenn’s 113-page report on Centrelink’s online compliance intervention (OCI) program, or what became known as“robo-debt”. That’s the controversial automated program where tens of thousands of Australians received notices of “debts” they were assessed to owe the Commonwealth, in some cases stretching back to benefits received in 2010.

The “debts” were identified after matching data held by the Human Services Department, which oversees Centrelink, against Australian Tax Office data.

It was introduced in July, 2016. By December complaints to politicians, Commonwealth oversight bodies like the Ombudsman, and the media were in the thousands.

If you have a few minutes this Easter long weekend I recommend you takethe time to read the report, to see how far one of the country’s largest government departments strayed from basic principleslike fairness and acting reasonably with people. After you’ve read the report then take another look at what Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has had to say throughout this mess of his department’s own making, and assess his performance as an elected servant of the people.

Richard Glenn provided a big picture description of what the “robo-debt” program is all about, which is worth bearing in mind. The online compliance intervention project “effectively shifted complex fact finding and data entry functions from the department to the individual, and its success relied on its usability”, he said.

It helps to understand how badly the department implemented “robo-debt” by considering some of the case studies in Glenn’s report.

There’s Mr S, who received a Centrelink letter in October, 2016, saying he owed $3777 from 2011 when he declared some income as a casual security guard, and receiveda Newstart allowance when there was no work. Mr S, like many people, was shocked and couldn’t understand the debt. He also, like many other people, did not realise a debt based on Australian Tax Office income data may be higher due to averaging across the period in question. Richard Glenn found most people would not understand the debt calculation process, “nor should they be expected to”. But the OCI system failed to acknowledge or explain that.

Mr S “accepted” the ATO data online, because it was the correct annual figure. When the “debt” remained he questioned Centrelink, which said he needed to provide copies of his payslips. From 2011. Mr S, unsurprisingly, did not have the payslips andhis former employer was no longer in business. Centrelink told him it wouldn’t accept bank statements as evidence of weekly pay he received during the period.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman investigated. When Centrelink was obliged to act reasonably, Mr S was found to owe no money. He had correctly reported earnings in 2011. He just had trouble disentangling himself from Centrelink’s guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent system.

There are other such case studies in Richard Glenn’s report, such as Ms D whosedebt was reduced from $2203.24 to $332.21, Mr S’s debt from $3777.43 to zero, Ms H’s debt from $5874.53 to zero, Ms G’s debt from $2914.20 to $610.07 and Ms B’s debt from $1441.64 to $267.51.

Glenn said the Department of Human Services should undertake a comprehensive evaluation of OCI in its current form before expanding it further, and consider how to mitigate the risk of over-recovery of debts. He also recommended the department review every case where a person was hit with a 10 per cent debt recovery fee as well as the “debt”, after finding serious flaws in the department’s methods.

It is almost shocking to read that the department has done no modelling on how many debts were likely to be over-calculated. In other words the department, on our behalf, can’t say how many people might have been ripped off by a system Glenn ultimately found was neither reasonable nor fair.

The “robo-debt” debacle has exposed a department where Joe Hockey’s “lifters and leaners” view of the world took hold, but it’s also exposed how strongly that view has been accepted in large sections of the community.

We fly the flag for Australia as the land of the fair go, but “robo-debt” raises serious questions about how far we’ve strayed from that famous ideal.

27 July
Comments Off on WHIM POWERED


IT’S NATURAL: Adults need unstructured play time almost as much as kids.I’ve had the delight to cross paths a couple of times with a Gumbaynggirr man from Coffs Harbour way by the name of Mark Flanders. He welcomed a group of us onto his country with a smoking ceremony and walked the land showing us medicinal and edible plants.

Apart from his knowledge of country, the remarkable thing about Mark is his unusual combination of both the sparkly eyed cheekiness and happiness of a child, and the wisdom and compassion of an elder. He greets each day as a gift, seeing beauty in everything and everyone. His presence is in stark contrast to the average adult, serious and worried, the light of childhood magic faded.

I’ve talked at length about the need for kids to have unstructured play time in nature, but we need it almost as much. I was reminded of this last weekend at the deceptively earnest sounding Deep Nature Connection Practices workshop I facilitated on the Central Coast. Around the campfire on the first night I warned participants that they may find themselves having too much fun to think they are learning anything.

The next day the sun rose pink and glowing, dew pooling at the base of the long leaves of the Gymea lilies that were still sending tall red flowerheads skywards. Yellow robins and fairy wrens danced and played in the tall grass, as if beckoning. Inviting phones and books be left behind, we walked together down a fire trail puddle-licious with the rain of the past few weeks.

Breaking into small groups, I delivered the afternoon task – to wander without agenda or destination; to let curiosity, whim and fancy be their guide; follow kangaroo tracks off trail perhaps, climb trees, nap even if that’s what calls. The groups slowly wandered off, a little bamboozled with the lack of structure. Minutes later I smiled to the sound of hoots and hollers and splashing water. Down by the creek, one group huddled around a small waterfall, exploring a cave behind the cascade. Another group had abandoned their shoes and were venturing downstream. My co-facilitator Mahli and I walked up the trail and climbed a forked old scribbly gum, half-closing our eyes and letting the afternoon sun work its magic. “This is work,” Mahli grinned. A flock of at least a dozen black cockatoos sparked me awake.

The group gathered near dusk at the creek, eyes bright and faces painted with ochre.Back at the campfire, I told them of a study that had been held in a forest primary school in Germany. Researchers were looking for attributes of nature connection across two different classes that were undertaking the same curriculum. Puzzled when the results turned out to be quite distinct across the two groups, the researchers realised the class that exhibited strong connective capacities had a teacher who was nature connected, while the other group’s teacher was not. Kids learn by what adults model. A good incentive if you find it hard to give yourself permission to set out on an unknown trail for an aimless afternoon wander.

Claire Dunn is the author of My Year Without Matches. [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

27 July
Comments Off on ‘A disastrous blow’: Uncertain future as metro comes to Waterloo

‘A disastrous blow’: Uncertain future as metro comes to Waterloo

On a clear day, the view from Peter Bowmar’s Waterloo apartment pans across Redfern’s rooftops, sweeping beyond the park made famous by Paul Keating’s speech, and over the rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood.

Mr Bowmar’s “penthouse suite”, as he calls it, is in fact a modest bedsit on the 27th floor of Waterloo’s Matavai tower – one of the area’s two high rise markers of 1970s social housing policy, and Soviet-style architecture.

Mr Bowmar, 66, has lived in the tower for 14 years, in a room that fits little more than a single bed and desk, with a small kitchenette and laundry attached.

“I’m perfectly content,” he says. “I am staying here until I’m carried out in a box.”

But Mr Bowmar’s resolve may soon be tested. In a little over a year from now, the Department of Family and Community Services plans to begin shifting the first of about 2630 residents out of the sprawling social housing estate.

It will be the first step in a long-term plan, staged over the next 15 to 20 years, to demolish the estate for new housing and the Waterloo metro station.

The estate’s 30-storey towers Matavai and Turanga, the four 16-storey blocks known as the Solander, Marton, Banks and Cook buildings, and a number of walk-up flats will all be demolished.

In their place, as many as 7000 new homes will be built, 2000 of which will be replacement social housing.

The NSW government has promised the relocation will be temporary and, according to a spokeswoman for Minister Pru Goward, all residents “will have the right to return to a new home at Waterloo”.

But the relocation challenge promises to be as complicated, if not more so, than that which confronted FACS as a result of the sale of public housing in Millers Point, which affected almost 600 social housing residents.

Because Matavai and Turanga were originally designed to house low-income elderly residents, the demographics of Waterloo are skewed to the upper age brackets.

Almost half the residents are over 60, according to data obtained under freedom of information. Almost 300 of the residents are over 80, and 40 of them are over 90. One third are long-term residents, and have lived in the area for more than a decade. And just over 10 per cent of the 2630 residents identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.

Fiona Mangold, 89, has lived in Matavai for 19 years, after fleeing country NSW in her late 60s in search of refuge.

“I’d had a family crisis, and I had no home, no money, nothing,” she says.

Many of the tower’s residents have stories that echo hers, she says.

“A lot people have been let down, or had to leave home because of violence. In a lot of cases, it’s a sudden crisis.”

Residents have been told the relocation will occur in stages, beginning in the middle of next year, but beyond that, details are scant. Meetings with FACS officers have yet to yield answers to basic questions, says Catherine Skipper, 80, who lives on Matavai’s seventh floor.

Who will be relocated first? Where will they be housed? When will they be able to move back into the neighbourhood?

“People’s lives are hooked into their community – their meaning and their identity. They seem to be totally unaware of this,” Ms Skipper said of the department.

“They have all this terminology which presents things in a favourable light. But in fact, what they are presenting is a disastrous blow for many people,” Ms Skipper said.

Ms Mangold, however, is unfazed by the looming upheaval.

“I’ve always thought ‘oh well, what’s to be, will be’,” she said. “I really just don’t care. I’m happy anywhere.”

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

27 July
Comments Off on CFMEU and officials fined $590,800 for industrial action

CFMEU and officials fined $590,800 for industrial action

The Good Weekend magazine.Nigel Hadgkiss, Director of Fair Work Building & Construction.Pic Simon Schluter 28 July 2014. Photo: Simon SchluterThe national construction union and ten of its officials have been fined a total of $590,800 for an industrial campaign in 2014 that targeted construction sites in Victoria.

Fair Work Building and Construction took legal action against the CFMEU and ten officials in the Federal Court of Australia, which issued a series of fines on Tuesday.

The Federal Court issued penalties totalling $490,000 against the CFMEU and $100,800 against ten officials.

The FWBC alleged the union targeted eight Kane Constructions sites in Melbourne and Geelong with construction projects worth nearly half a billion dollars.

The action allegedly resulted in more than 100 construction workers walking off the job on April 2 and May 22, 2014.

In his judgement, Christopher Jessup described the CFMEU and its officials as “high-handed and arrogant”. He said the industrial action had the “explicit object of inflicting commercial harm” on Kane Constructions.

Justice Jessup said “in no instance was there any suggestion of an issue or grievance, specific to the site or the workers on it, that justified, or even explained, the organisation of industrial action”.

“Rather, the pattern tended to be that one of the respondents would arrive at a site, presumably with some agenda external to the interests of those working there, and disrupt the performance of normal work,” he said.

“Commonly, this was done without apology or the slightest sense of obligation to the laws which regulate the conduct of industrial relations in Australia.”

ABCC Commissioner Nigel Hadgkiss welcomed the decision, saying it shows the CFMEU could not ignore its obligations under Australia’s workplace laws.

“These are substantial penalties for unlawful industrial action which stopped work on key public projects worth nearly half a billion dollars,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“The ABCC will continue to work towards ensuring all in the industry, whether workers, unions, or employers, comply with the law. Flagrant disregard for workplace laws cannot be tolerated.”

CFMEU Victoria Branch Secretary John Setka said fines against the union were out of balance with fines against companies.

“Again we see fines issued against unions for their ongoing efforts to protect workers continue to far outweigh fines issued against companies when they break workplace laws that put workers at risk,” he said.

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

27 July
Comments Off on Passengers hospitalised after minibus crash in Sydney CBD

Passengers hospitalised after minibus crash in Sydney CBD

Five people have been taken to hospital after a minibus and a ute crashed in Sydney’s CBD, leaving one person trapped.

Emergency services were called to Elizabeth Street, near the intersection of Market Street, about 2.50pm.

They found the minibus driver still sitting in his seat, unable to move after the front end of the bus was partially crushed, causing the windscreen to fall out.

The ute was also significantly damaged in the smash.

Both vehicles ended up on the footpath, coming to rest near an entrance to St James Station.

Paramedics, firefighters and police worked to free the bus driver.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman said the man suffered lower leg injuries, while four others had relatively minor injuries.

“One patient, trapped for some time, is believed to be the driver of the minibus. That patient sustained lower limb injuries,” the spokesman said.

“The other four patients were treated for more general pains, and neck and back pain.”

Two of the injured were taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, while three were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital.

Three lanes of Elizabeth Street were closed following the smash – one northbound and two southbound. Traffic was heavy in both directions, with drivers told to expect delays.

All lanes re-opened about an hour later, with traffic returning to normal.

Some buses on Elizabeth Street continued to experience 10-minute delays. /*\n”,color:”green”, title:”Crash”, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap2017311153420);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/

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

27 July
Comments Off on Tomago Aluminium backs new coal-fired power station

Tomago Aluminium backs new coal-fired power station

Tomago Aluminium Smelter.ONE of the Hunter’s largest employers says “policy instability and uncertainty” in the Australianenergy market is making it harder to justify investing in the region.

Matt Howell, the chief executive of Tomago Aluminium, believes continued changes to federal government policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions since 2007 have led to a situation where the smelter’sowners are now “reluctant” to continue investing.

In a submission to the national energy market security review being conducted by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, Mr Howell said the “uncertainty” caused by changes to policy since the Rudd government have impacted businesses that are “highly dependent on outcomes in the electricity market”.

“As a result the owners of [the smelter] will be more reluctant than they otherwise would be to continue to invest in [and] maintain its international competitiveness,” Mr Howell wrote.

And in a boost to the growing push from some quarters for a low emissioncoal-fired power station to be built in the Hunter Valley,Mr Howell said the smelter, which employs 1150 workers and contributes $800 million to the Hunter’s economy, could be a “foundation”customer.

Warningrising prices and concerns about network reliability risked the plant’s future, he said low emissions coal technology could be “a significant and low cost contributor to achieving abatement”.

The smelter “would form an ideal foundation load for such a facility due to its reliable off-take and system security benefits”.

The federal government has hinted at the possibility of subsidising an ultra-supercritical coal-fired power station –so called “clean coal” technology –despite doubts about its viability from industry players like AGL and Energy Australia.

In February Australia’s resources minister, Matt Canavan, flagged subsidising a “clean” coal baseload power plant from the government’s $5 billionnorthern Australia infrastructure fund.

The Tomago submission comes after the plant was hit with an energy curtailment notice during power shortages in NSW during February’s heatwave.

Mr Howell said “increased reliability and security risks” with the energy market put the plant’s future at risk.

“It is important to note that the joint venture partners who own Tomago Aluminium have a wide range of other investment opportunities internationally and that if [the smelter] begins to lose its international competitiveness, they will not longer invest in continuing improvement,” the submission read.

“This will result in the long-term decline and closure of the smelter with the consequent loss of jobs and economic benefit to Australia.”

Tomago Aluminium Chief Executive Matt Howell.

Other submissions from groups including the NSW government called for the introduction of a price on carbon or a market mechanism to price greenhouse emissions, despite the federal government’s refusal to consider a carbon tax or emissions reduction scheme.

The Berejiklian government made no reference to an ultra-super critical coal power plant, but did state that there was arole for gas to support renewables and provide baseload power.

It stated that there was a “need for a mechanism that provides market signals and framing for orderly generation transition and ensures an appropriately diversified energy mix”.

“These measures should be predictable and long-term so as to underpin investment confidence,” the submission read.

Push for 50 year coal-fired power station closure ruleEnergy supplier AGL also called for a “long term, national carbon budget for Australia that extends to 2050to underpin climate policy”.

“This would allow businesses some insight into the suitability of investments with long lifespans.”

AGL –which owns the ageing Liddell Power Station –also supports a 50-year closure rule for coal-fired power stations, a proposal which reports have suggested the government is considering.

“AGL considers it critical to complement an expanded renewable energy future with the orderly closure of legacy coal plant under an age-based closure rule,” the company said in its submission.

“For example, a rule that within 50 years of commencing operation, coal plants must either close or invest in becoming carbon-neutral, would allow a transparent and orderly exit of the legacy coal generation fleet.

“A closure rule supports energy security and system reliability by enabling the market to plan for the new investment required to modernise and update the conventional generation fleet to complement an expanding renewables presence.”

AGL plans to close Liddell in 2022 and Bayswater in 2035. Both are in Muswellbrook.

Dr Finkel’s report on Australia’s energy security is expected to be delivered in the middle of 2017.

27 July
Comments Off on Young woman stood ‘bewildered’ in dark laneway before alleged rape: court

Young woman stood ‘bewildered’ in dark laneway before alleged rape: court

At 4.02am, the backdoor of the nightclub closed and the young woman looked around the dark laneway as CCTV cameras filmed her.

“The look on her face when the door shuts behind her is one of uncertainty and bewilderment as to where she is and what is going on,” Crown prosecutor Cate Dodds said in her closing address at the retrial of Luke Lazarus.

Mr Lazarus, 25, is accused of raping the woman in a laneway behind Soho nightclub, in Kings Cross, which was owned by his father, in the early hours of May 12, 2013.

The woman told the NSW District Court that Mr Lazarus approached her on the dance floor, told her he was a co-owner of Soho, and introduced her to the DJ.

Mr Lazarus then led her out to the laneway, where they kissed, before the woman said she wanted to return to her friend.

The woman said Mr Lazarus held her back and told her to “Put your f—ing hands on the wall.’

After allegedly raping her, Mr Lazarus asked her to put her name in the notes section of his phone, which she did, the court heard.

The woman was crying when she met up with her friend near Kings Cross station, the court heard.

“The Crown submits that her presentation to [her friend] was not of a woman who had just engaged in enthusiastic consensual anal sex and was feeling aggrieved because she had typed her name into the accused’s phone at the bottom of a list of women’s names and was just another trophy,” Ms Dodds said.

“She was an 18-year-old virgin, who had known this accused for a matter of minutes and who had engaged in consensual kissing and possibly body rubbing, but did not give consent to the anal intercourse that followed.”

Ms Dodds said Mr Lazarus “took advantage of of her intoxicated state, and used his standing at the club to do it”.

Mr Lazarus has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. He is facing a judge alone retrial after the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed his 2015 conviction.

Defence barrister Phillip Boulten, SC, said Mr Lazarus believed the woman was consenting.

Mr Lazarus denied the woman’s account of having told him to stop, and said she raised her body towards him at the beginning of the intercourse.

“What she did and what she said were a perfectly reasonable basis to inform a belief or a view that she was consenting,” Mr Boulten said.

Mr Boulten said it was unlikely that Mr Lazarus would ask the woman to put her name in his phone if he knew she had not consented.

Mr Lazarus also wouldn’t have introduced himself to her, Mr Boulten said.

“If he had decided to overbear her will and to rape her, he did so having given her all of the information necessary to identify who the perpetrator was.”

Judge Robyn Tupman??? will deliver a verdict at a later date.

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

27 July
Comments Off on A death doula comforting the Hunter

A death doula comforting the Hunter

DEATH’S USHER: Lola Rus-Hartland works with the dying to resolve the unfinished business of life. Picture: Max Mason-HubersTHEY call her the death doula. The Netherlands-born counsellor Lola Rus-Hartland ushers the dying and their families through the stages of death, from beginning to end.

In The Netherlands those who do this work are called the stervensbegeleiding – it translates to farewell guide. And it is funded under public health.

“The Dutch people are a little bit more open, probably in Australia we are a bit more of a death denying society than other cultures,” Rus-Hartland says.

“You help the dying person to farewell their life and loved ones, but you help the loved ones to farewell this person. So it works on both ends.”

Her grandmother was also a death doula, but her own career in the field began as a young social worker in The Netherlands.

“My 18 year-old-client gave birth to a baby who was still-born and I somehow kicked into this instinctive doing,” she says.

She arranged for the baby to stay with the mother in the days following the death to help her move through the loss of the infant.

“In 1984 it was not the done thing to walk around in a hospital with a dead baby,” she says.

“We washed the baby and dressed her in oils and wrapped her and my client had the baby with her until three days later.”

Death touched her own life when at 31 her husband was murdered. She was pregnant with their first child. She insisted the body be brought home. She spent five days with him in the Blue Mountains home they had shared in the lead-up to his funeral.

“Where else would I want him?” she says.

Her services are contracted by people who are dying or by their families. She saysthe duties of the job arewide ranging and varied depending on each individual circumstance.

It usually begins with a phone call and an initial consultation. Sometimes the call comes just days after a terminal diagnosis. Other times it comes later when “the fear really starts kicking in.”

“Home visits are good because I get a feel for the place and how they relate, and I listen to what they want,” she says.

Things begin with her asking the client what it is they would like her to do for them.

“But often they don’t know what they want. Usually we start having a chat and I make my own notes in my head,” she says. “I leave it for a few days and then I come back, by then I have a sense of the landscape.

“It’s the talking and the teasing out of the emotions, where the tears, fears and regrets lay and what the underlying unfinished business is – that is often where the work is.”

She facilitates conversations between family members.

“It often creates such a sense of intimacy between the dying person and their loved ones,” she says.

“It intensifies the good feelings that are there between them in those last few months rather than the distance of ‘No we don’t talk about them’.”

The client sets the pace. Rus-Hartland may visit twice a week in the final stages and is often present during the last moments of life.

She also offers after-death care. She has a cooling plate, which slows decomposition and allows families to bring home the body after death. The deceased can remain in the home for up to five days under Australian regulations.

“It takes the human psyche about three days of being around a human body to comprehend this person is dead,” she says.

“After that people are usually ready to let go of the body. To be with the body on and off for a few days makes it easier to comprehend.”

“If you are around the body and you touch and care for the body there is this great respect in it and there is time.”

In the industry there is a saying that after someone dies families should pick up the kettle not the phone.

“When someone dies you don’t need to pick up the phone and have the body whisked away,” she says.

“There is a quiet realm we move in after someone dies, for me it is very similar to the time before birth. People look after each other and bring in meals, it is a very similar feeling.”

A family has 48 hours to notify a GP of a death at home, Rus-Hartland says.

Sometimes people want to bring the body home for just one day. However, eight out of 10 times the family decide to keep the body longer.

“‘Just one more day,’ the say,” she says.

She says the main occupational hazard of the job is tears.