SIMON WALKER: Topping off the guru lists

Written by admin on 05/12/2018 Categories: 杭州桑拿

SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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THERE are certain times in every life when one wonders if one has been successful.

That time might arrive with a glance at one’s superannuation balance, and the dazzling lack of zeroes at the end of it.

Or it might be a glance at one’s waistline and how it’s impeding one’s view of one’s less-than-dazzling super statement. This might not be a bad thing.

Or it may come with a glance at one’s kids, who may or may not get out of juvie within the month.

We’re all different and it’s natural to look for ways to measure up, preferably with a sense of humour, because you might need it.

Inevitably, if you wonder long and hard enough, you’ll end up on the internet reading “guru lists”.

Those scientifically compiled tables of signs, omens, psychopathies arranged in no particular order by people who may have sold pyramid schemes in a former life.

Designed to inform if you are successful “in the now”, or likely to be in the soon-to-be-arriving now – that’s guru talk for “the future” – prior to death, which is a sure indicator you need a new guru.

You know the lists I’m talking about.

Guides like: “10 things you need to stop doing if you are going to be successful”.

I’m always surprised No1 on this type of list is not: Stop taking the piss out of these lists.

Or: “11 things you need to start doing if you are going to be successful.”

Getting off your arse and doing something rarely seems to get spelt out.

Then of course there’s the “12 signs you are successful and simply unaware of it.”

Often cited in the “13 hard-core pieces of evidence you’re in denial” list.

And rarely referred to in the “14.5 sociopathic tendencies of millionaires”.

That’s because millionaires are focused, they think big, they make mistakes (often with other people’s money) before making truckloads of their own.

Based on that standard they may be totally unaware that they are successful, but you’re not, courtesy of the guru lists you might want to copy in your darker moments.

Like when you contemplate your super balance.

Yes, you can get can transported out of your comfort zone reading these lists.

And usually, moving out of your comfort zone is No9 on such lists.

It’s all about manipulating misgivings. I mean, moulding mindsets.

That’s why I warmed to one I stumbled across the other day on a business-type “yeah baby, go for it” website.

It was called “20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires”.

This was a list I could get my teeth into because it combined the idea of being probably not that successful in the now with the possibility of being hopefully a bit more successful sometime in the soon-to-be-arriving now, prior to death.

I noticed early on that chewing your fingernails did not rate a mention as one of the habits.

But I read on anyhow because the suspense was killing me.

According to this particular guru it’s all about “Taking one ray of light and combining them all to become the sun”.

In fact, one was urged to put that concept to one’s 20-year-old self and ask him or her what constitutes success.

Knowing my 20-year-old self, I believe he may well have asked what I’d been smoking. And if I had any spare. But I got the gist of where this list was coming from.

Reverse engineering. Envisioning the end product, you, and working backwards through the process that led to its arrival.

If this process seems alarming, I suggest you refer back to the “12 signs you’re successful but unaware of it” before proceeding.

I did because I was struggling for claret at that moment. I mean clarity.

One trait top of the “20 habits of eventual millionaires” list I found easy to understand was: “Avoid death.”

String that one out as long as possible I would have thought. A little obvious but a good indication of the level of nitty gritty detail this guru was prepared to go into.

Gurus should never get too specific.

Another habit that didn’t seem so self-evident was: “Every day be around people who are kind to you and love you.”

Ironic in a Catch 22 type of way, depending on where you work and how things are going at home.

Which is OK because the next habit is: “Solve difficult gratitude problems.”

Apparently it helps to be grateful for things that really give you the gee willikers.

As the guru outlines, it’s the difference between being scared in a movie and saying, “wait, it’s just a movie”.

Except it’s not a movie.

Speaking of movies, the next habit is a shining light: “Write down 10 ideas a day.”

A great idea, unless that idea you’re writing repeatedly is, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Planting seeds is recommended because, according to my guru, 50 per cent of flowers come from 1 per cent of seeds.

I get lost when it comes to such garden variety mathematics, but I can’t help suspecting it could help when buying a Lotto ticket, and may also have applications regarding my super statement.

Hopefully that’s something I can measure up in the long term and tick off my guru list when it comes to signs of success.

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Refugees in Indonesia go on hunger strike to protest delays in resettlement

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Refugees in Pekanbaru on the Indonesian island of Sumatra go on a hunger strike to protest against delays to their resettlement in a third country. Photo: Supplied The refugees in Pekanbaru come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Myanmar. Photo: Supplied
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The n government cut its refugee intake from Indonesia last year. Photo: Supplied

Jakarta: A group of 120 refugees stuck in Pekanbaru, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, have gone on a hunger strike to protest their frustration over delays to their resettlement in a third country.

Ahmad Zaki, a Hazara refugee from Pakistan, said the refugees wanted the UN refugee agency to come to Pekanbaru to discuss their resettlement cases and open an office in the Sumatran city.

“We are waiting for our resettlement process from more than one year,” Mr Zaki said. “I want to go to or any other country.”

The men, who are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Myanmar, have been found to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR. Their accommodation, medical care and a living stipend is paid for by the International Organisation of Migration.

“We tried to contact UNHCR many times. They make excuses every time. They reached other cities every two to three months regularly,” Mr Zaki said.

About 13,000 asylum seekers and refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia.

Many found to be genuine refugees remain stranded in the archipelago while the UNHCR tries to find a third country in which to resettle them.

In an interview with Fairfax Media last week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia was not a destination country for refugees.

“So we hope that countries like could take more. But of course I understand the domestic situation,” she said. “Shared responsibility, shared burden is very important. I leave it to the UNCHR to have a discussion with destination countries that belong to the Convention [relating to the Status of Refugees].”

The UNCHR’s Indonesia representative, Thomas Vargas, strongly advised the men against the hunger strike. “It’s not going to solve their problem or have their resettlement cases expedited,” Mr Vargas said.

“It just causes a lot of problems and the possibility of harm to themselves, which we would consider to be terrible.”

Mr Vargas said resettlement was a long process, which could take up to two years in Indonesia due to the limited resettlement places available globally and the various procedures that needed to be completed to comply with requirements made by resettlement countries.

He said the UNHCR regularly visited all locations where refugees were in lndonesia and was about to post a few staff members permanently in Pekanbaru given the high volume.

However he warned this did not mean the resettlement process would move any quicker.

“The UNHCR can’t force countries to take refugees,” Mr Vargas said. He said the Syrian crisis made it even harder to find resettlement options for refugees coming out of Indonesia.

Former immigration minister Scott Morrison announced on November 18 last year that would cut its annual intake from Indonesia from 600 people to 450. He said anyone who registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia after July 1, 2014, would  not be eligible to come to . The intention, he said at the time, was to “drain the pool” of asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia.

Mr Vargas said while this had had an impact, he was appreciative that continued to accept refugees who had registered with the UNHCR before July 1 last year.

He said resettlement was only one of a range of protection options.

“We recognise that a very small fraction of the refugee population globally will ever be resettled, which is why we also look at other options and appeal to governments for family reunification, temporary protection and providing labour [programs] for refugees to be able to take care of themselves.”

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The Walk: One man’s extraordinary risks

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Frenchman Philippe Petit walked across a cable that had been illegally strung between Manhattan’s Twin Towers in 1974.THE WALK (PG)
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Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Screening: General release

Rating: ★★★

THE true story of Philippe Petit – the Frenchman who kept onlookers enthralled for 45 minutes while he walked, sat and lay on a cable strung between the tops of Manhattan’s Twin Towers in 1974 – was told in James Marsh’s documentary Man on Wire (2008). It was a tale of a phenomenally brave and gifted obsessive, charismatic enough to draw others into helping him fulfil his lofty ambition.

But, like all obsessives, Petit found it hard to be grateful. And when it was all over, these loyal disciples fell to earth with a bump while he gave himself over to being adored by a much larger and louder audience.

Robert Zemeckis’ take on the Frenchman’s great adventure gets some of this right. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Petit is an impish charmer deaf and blind to anybody’s state of mind but his own. He crackles with nervous energy tempered, when necessary, by his mighty powers of concentration. But you get little sense of the hard-headedness that took him through six years of preparation.

Full of Gallic shrugs and merry montages, the early scenes have him as a whimsical clown working the streets of a Paris that looks as if it’s been plucked straight out of Amelie. Here, he meets Ben Kingsley as a circus aerialist extraordinaire and begins to learn from him.

Pretty soon he’s rehearsing for the big event with a wire walk between the spires of Notre Dame, and it’s not long before he’s off to New York with his devoted girlfriend, Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon), and a small team of pals willing to risk jail to help him get to the top of the towers.

I was so pleased to leave behind Zemeckis’ cloying vision of Paris that I didn’t mind the speed of all this. But once we’re in New York, we switch genres with a suddenness that’s a little disorienting.

We’re now in a caper movie, with the shift in worlds signalled by a score reminiscent of The Pink Panther. The group of conspirators take on more recruits, including a couple of stoners who look as if they’d be felled by vertigo if they attempted to stand upright, and a hardware-store salesman whose talents as a fast-talker are to prove indispensable when the time comes for the group to bluff their way into the tower building, disguised as workmen.

Such an enthusiastic embrace of the story’s more farcical elements does toss up some easy laughs but putting the group on a par with the Keystone Cops also limits the degree of sophistication that the script is able to bring to the interplay between their personalities.

And there was plenty to talk about. As Marsh’s documentary revealed, the strains, fears and disagreements within the group constituted a drama within the drama. But Zemeckis glosses them over with caricature. He’s making a fable here and the only person he’s really interested in is its hero.

So it’s basically a one-man show, with Levitt keeping the others entranced with his demands, explosions and propensity for taking extraordinary chances. His practical, methodical side is there, too, but more often than not, it’s upstaged by his theatricality. And, like any case of extreme self-absorption, his soon begins to bore.

But all these irritations fall away once the group get inside the Twin Towers and we’re confronted by the enormity of the task they’ve set themselves. As the buildings are closing for the night, they have to smuggle in their equipment, which includes a 200-kilogram cable, and get it on to the roof. And having done that, they have to evade the security guard while they work with their teammates on the roof of the other building to rig the cable.

This is what Zemeckis has been waiting for. His hallmark as a director is his passion for visual effects and his use of CGI and 3D is dazzling. I’m pleased to report there’s no hint of the religious in the sense of sublime you feel in Petit’s kinship with space, air and the slender cable beneath his feet. Even so, it is as if he’s consorting with angels.

The last shot is a homage to the lost towers, standing burnished by sunlight, and there’s a certain poignancy in it. But it’s Petit you’re thinking about.

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Capital Gain: VCAT approves shady Flinders Street tower

Written by admin on 08/09/2019 Categories: 杭州桑拿

Peter Singer was part of a consortium to pocket $2.7 million from the sale of a complex in Rowena Parade, Richmond. Photo: Michael Nagle
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Caydon’s 14-level apartment at 443 Upper Heidelberg Road. Photo: Supplied

VCAT approved plans for a 25-level building above the old home of Fletcher Jones at 1-5 Queen Street.

VCAT approved plans for a 25-level building above the old home of Fletcher Jones at 1-5 Queen Street.

Peter Singer was part of a consortium to pocket $2.7 million from the sale of a complex in Rowena Parade, Richmond. Photo: Michael Nagle

Caydon’s 14-level apartment at 443 Upper Heidelberg Road. Photo: Supplied

VCAT approved plans for a 25-level building above the old home of Fletcher Jones at 1-5 Queen Street.

Peter Singer was part of a consortium to pocket $2.7 million from the sale of a complex in Rowena Parade, Richmond. Photo: Michael Nagle

Caydon’s 14-level apartment at 443 Upper Heidelberg Road. Photo: Supplied

VCAT approved plans for a 25-level building above the old home of Fletcher Jones at 1-5 Queen Street.

A proposed Flinders Street skyscraper which would cast a shadow over the Yarra River banks has been approved by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after some cosmetic amendments and a (one-level) height reduction.

Malaysian developer Creative Wealth (Aust) Pty Ltd’s permitted 25-storey development may likely not be allowed under controversial new controls Planning Minister Richard Wynne was spruiking this week. The regulations would enforce, among other things, tower setbacks, density, a builder’s contribution to open space, and his own decision-making discretion.

Creative Wealth’s proposal is to replace blue-ribbon airspace over an existing three-level building, with a tower to rise a total of about 90 metres from the ground.

The 1873 Cobden Buildings, a structure known by the address of 1-5 Queen Street, will be restored externally to its 1955 state and partly act as a podium for the new tower, which would offer unobstructed views over the Banana Alley Vaults and Yarra River, Albert Park Lake and Port Phillip Bay.

The property was occupied from the mid-1950s until recently by clothing manufacturer Fletcher Jones.

A shadow test which accompanied Creative Wealth’s 26-level proposal last year showed the complex would shade part of the river precinct for three hours from 11am.

As well as a reduction in height, Creative Wealth’s revised tower is set back from the historic building more than it was in the 2014 application.

Across the Yarra River, in Southbank, riverside sites arguably more connected to waterfront public spaces have made way for skyscrapers twice the height of Creative Wealth’s proposal.

Creative paid $11 million for the 737-square metre site in 2012.

Another Major Brunswick Site Sale?

Melbourne businessman Tony Beris is speculated to have sold his outgoing and long-time company headquarters, ending an era in inner-north Brunswick.

Mr Beris, who moved to Melbourne in 1956 as an imitation jewellery salesman then went on to establish successful importing business Delta Sales, listed the 3667-square metre asset at 17-23 Hodgson Street earlier this year via agency TCI Teneketzis.

Despite its super size, the property is in a low-rise pocket of Brunswick and is unlikely to make way for a medium or high-rise development, according to sources. It was expected to exchange for a little over $10 million but this could not be confirmed with selling agent Jack Teneketzis​.

A deal would be the latest in a string for the suburb – just last week, a 2946-square metre Ballarat Street site sold for a speculated price of more than $8 million to a developer. A few weeks earlier, the neighbouring 3136-square metre property, on the corner of Ballarat and Ovens streets, exchanged for $8.3 million to an investor.

In his heyday, Mr Beris, now an octogenarian, distributed more than 850 tonnes of cheese and 250 tonnes of olive oil, imported to the Hodgson Street factory. For a period until the mid-1980s, Mr Beris was business partner with John Kotis, who went on to establish his own import business, Elco Foods.

Play Central Leases Bayside Building

Former merchant banker James McIntosh has leased one of Port Melbourne’s most prominent buildings for his latest business venture.

The 2000-square metre deal will see the former Mitchell Laminates site at 37-53 Crockford Street repurposed as a children’s entertainment venue, Play Central.

The Mitchell family recently rejected an offer to sell their vacated Port Melbourne site to a developer – the gentrifying suburb finding favour in recent years with builders able to buy commercial land cheap, then propose medium and high-density projects.

At least three towers of more than 35 levels are proposed for the Fishermans Bend area nearby.

A Mitchell spokesman said the presence of Play Central will enhance the evolving neighbourhood. The former laminates showroom will now include, among other things, a section for dodgem cars and another, with climbing apparatus.

Bayley Stuart’s Alasdair MacGillivray​ signed Play Central to the site.

Banyule Council Offers Public Land to Private Market

The Banyule City Council can expect just over $2 million from the sale of a Heidelberg West property earmarked for decades as a potential public housing site.

The 3319-square metre vacant tract known as 219 Southern Road abuts parkland near Darebin Creek, also the border with the more valuable suburb of Preston.

Knight Frank’s Tim Grant and Ken Smirk are marketing the property, which is also walking distance to the Northland Shopping Centre (a major bus hub).

Earlier this month local developer Caydon was permitted to build a controversial 14-level apartment building on an Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, site which was until recently deemed to be in Heidelberg.

Church Sells Viewbank Land

An investor is paying just over $6.5 million for a 9370-square metre former church site in Viewbank, 15 kilometres north-east of the CBD.

The property at 19-35 Graham Road, zoned GRZ2 – which allows for a medium-density redevelopment – is currently configured with a church hall and seven self-contained units.

Offloaded by the New South Wales-registered Community of Christ Limited Pty Ltd, the site is a short walk from Banyule Creek and Viewbank Primary School, but some distance from the nearest train stations, Macleod and Rosanna.

Barry Plant Eltham agents Aaron Yeats and Jamin Silluzio​ settled on the deal within a week of expressions of interest campaign closing.

Icon Corners East Melbourne Site

Local developer Icon Property is paying a speculated $15 million for a relatively large corner block in East Melbourne – the suburb often said to carry the city’s highest land rate value, when measured per square metre.

The 1000-square metre plot at 30 Powlett Street, at the south-east intersection of George Street, is currently configured as a three-level hotel with 45 studio suites.

The asset was offered with a permit to add 13 rooms – though the property was expected to attract larger developers, like Icon, who may propose a new concept – including a lower-density, luxury development.

Carroll McKeddie’s Peter McKeddie​ and Kay & Burton’s Gerald Delany were the marketing agents.

Their deal comes six months after another local developer paid $13 million for a 709-square metre block at 132-142 Wellington Parade, on the corner of Powlett Street – a property now mooted to become a mid-rise apartment complex.

Nearby, in August, philosopher Peter Singer was part of a consortium to pocket $2.7 million from the sale of a Rowena Parade, Richmond, complex, configured as ten bedsit flats.

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Shanghai Masters: Bernard Tomic upsets Richard Gasquet, to meet Novak Djokovic in quarter-final

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Shanghai Having taken a significant step towards attaining his goal of a top-16 n Open seeding with a fine three-set upset of 11th seed Richard Gasquet, Bernard Tomic will face world No.1 Novak Djokovic on Friday for a place in his first Masters 1000 semi-final.
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Tomic, who recently broke into the top 20 for the first time, claimed the late-night encounter on his third match point 6-3, 6-7(1-7), 6-4 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters to reach the last eight at one of the ATP’s showcase events for just the second time.

He served 19 aces among 47 winners and did not face a break-point until the penultimate game of a match that did not start until after 10pm and lasted two hours, 13 minutes.

“It’s not easy playing a guy you’ve lost to six times from the seven times you’ve played,” Tomic said. “I had to go out there changing my game. I served very good today and I kept on the baseline; normally against him I get pushed back and it’s the worst thing to allow myself against him.

“I’m attacking on the right points and I’m aggressive on the baseline, and that’s what’s causing me to play very good and I’m serving very well on top of that. So there’s a few areas I’d like to work on over the next few weeks, but for now it’s been pretty good and I have to go for it against Novak.

“The last eight matches, nine matches, he hasn’t gone worse than 6-3 in a set … it’s amazing the way he’s playing. I know in Wimbledon in the third round I played well but I had no chances and maybe my chances will come this time.”

The Queenslander, who turns 23 next week, has enjoyed a career-best season in which he has won 39 matches, successfully defended his Colombian Open title and reached the fourth round of the n Open. He will be seeded for the first time at Melbourne Park when he returns there in January.

Thursday’s defeat of Gasquet was just his second win in eight attempts against the Frenchman, Tomic having managed just eight games in the third round of last month’s US Open. His only other win came on grass in the third round at Wimbledon two years ago.

But this, too, is significant, for Masters 1000 tournaments rank below only the four grand slams and the ATP’s annual World Tour Finals in terms of prestige. Tomic has reached just one previous quarter-final at this level, but a back injury meant he was unable to take to the court against Djokovic at Indian Wells in March.

Including a straight-sets loss at Wimbledon this year, he is 0-4 head-to-head against the Serb great, who claimed his 10th grand slam title — and third of the season — at Flushing Meadows a month ago. Djokovic has won his past 15 matches, the most recent against Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-3.

“Obviously it’s the worst time to finish, so I have to try as best as I can,” Tomic said. “I’m playing Novak, the worst thing now for me is I don’t have much recovery (time), but I (will) try my best.”

The winner will advance to a semi-final against either third seed and two-time Shanghai champion Andy Murray, who recovered to beat American John Isner 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, or No.5 Tomas Berdych, who eliminated Gilles Simon.

From the bottom half of the draw, Rafael Nadal reached his second consecutive hardcourt quarter-final during what has traditionally been the Spaniard’s least successful part of the season, beating ninth seed Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6(7-3). French Open champion Stan Wawrinka awaits.

Thursday’s major casualty was Asian poster boy Kei Nishikori, upset in two tie-breaks by improved South African Kevin Anderson, who will play 16th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Linda Pearce is a guest of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

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Books news and events: Drusilla Modjeska’s memoir, Wendy Whiteley’s garden and more

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WHOSE STORY IS IT?
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Speaking to Drusilla Modjeska​ about her new memoir, Second Half First, we touched on the complex ethics of life writing. As the author of two previous award-winning  “fictionalised” memoirs, Poppy and The Orchard, Modjeska has stuck to the facts and used real names in this account of her past 30 years. “It is a difficult line to draw,” she says of what to include or leave out. “You cannot tell your own story without talking about the people who have been part of forming you, all the people we’ve loved and known and worked with. But the contract of friendship and the intimacies of friendship are that they are private. I feel it’s not for me to tell, for instance, the [close friend] Sophie’s story or the story of Helen Garner’s marriage to Murray Bail. I can write about how Helen and Murray at different times have been significant in who I came to be and the writer I came to be, but I don’t think it’s right to go over the line and tell their story.” Modjeska doesn’t like the way Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard exposes people using their real names in his frank autobiographical novels, though she found the bestselling books interesting and readable. “Imagine if Knausgaard was in our world here, so we all knew the wife, the ex-girlfriend, everybody – it’s hair-raising really.” Modjeska sent her book to each person she writes about – friends, family, former lovers – and all have been generously happy with their portrayal even if their memories differ. Her approach seems a wise and clear guide for other memoirists, though not guaranteed to be trouble-free. I will be in conversation with Modjeska at Gleebooks on Thursday, October 22, at 6.30pm.

BOOK HELPS SAVE A GARDEN

Wonderful news that the NSW government will preserve – at least for 30-60 years – the magical public garden Wendy Whiteley created on railway-owned land at Lavender Bay after the death of her husband, artist Brett Whiteley, and daughter Arkie. Shared credit should go to writer Janet Hawley, whose beautiful new book, Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden, showcases the 20-year project, led to a recent ABC n Story and helped persuade the nature-living Premier Mike Baird of its importance after a private visit with Whiteley and Hawley. Hawley first wrote about the garden for Good Weekend in 2006 and the book, one of the last published by Julie Gibbs at Penguin’s Lantern imprint before its closure, already has almost 6500 copies in stores and has been reprinted.

AUSTRALIA’S SUPPORT VANISHES

Indigenous writer Philip McLaren is among the ns speaking at next week’s Asia Pacific Writers and Translators’ conference in Manila, titled Against the Grain: Dissidence, Dissonance and Difference. A Kamilaroi​ novelist and adjunct professor in Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney, McLaren will give a keynote speech on “Grasping the Indigenous nettle and owning it”. Jane Camens, the n founder and executive director of APWT, says there is no n government funding for the event, which has been held in other Asian or n cities in the past seven years. Her proposal for three-year funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was unsuccessful and the midyear round of Council funding – which had previously supported the event – was cancelled after budget cuts. Camens suspects the problem is that Manila is not an economic priority. Future gatherings will be held in Guangzhou, Jakarta and , so she hopes for government interest in an organisation that has built cross-cultural relationships among writers, translators, agents, publishers and creative writing teachers, and provided writers for Griffith Review’s recent New Asia Now issue.

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Obese pregnant women pose challenge to anaesthetists

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Rising obesity rates are presenting challenges in ‘s maternity wards, as anaesthetists report serious difficulties in administering pain relief to seriously overweight pregnant women.
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Spinal taps to numb the lower body for the procedure took longer to administer in larger women giving birth through caesarean sections, lead researcher David Story said.

“The needle goes into the area below the spinal cord and it requires technical finesse,” Professor Story said. “This is one of the issues in obese women – it is harder to get the needles into the right spot because it is a lot harder to find the tips of the backbone.”

Tasmanian anaesthetist Nico​ Terblanche said epidurals, in which a tube is inserted into the spinal cord to numb lower body pain, had a high failure rate in morbidly obese patients.

In such pregnant women giving birth, he said build-ups of fat meant anaesthetists had trouble finding the gap between vertebrae where the eight-centimetre needle is inserted. It was also difficult to judge how deep to plunge the needle in very obese women on sense alone, and sometimes a longer one had to be used instead. The tube can then become dislodged during labour, leaving the woman in extreme pain until it can be re-inserted.

Dr Terblanche said using ultrasound technology to better visualise the area reduces these risks and has been researching new techniques to improve success rates in obese patients.

He said anaesthetists avoid putting obese pregnant women under general anaesthesia during childbirth as this can lead to further complications.

Professor Story, the chair of anaesthesia at the University of Melbourne, said ultrasound technology was also increasingly being used to guide spinal taps.

The University of Melbourne research found obese or very obese pregnant women needed to remain under the anaesthetist’s supervision for longer, incurring up to $450 in additional staff time costs for every birth.

It found a woman was typically monitored by anaesthetists for about 72 minutes during a C-section but obese women needed to be supervised for more than eight more minutes and very obese women for up to 18 more minutes.

Professor Story said obese and overweight women also spent longer under anaesthesia and obstetricians took longer to carry out the birth.

Obese or overweight women were more likely to give birth by caesarean section, he said, and made up about three in ten of the 1500 women involved in the study. One in twenty of those involved were classified as very obese, he said.

During the birth, anaesthetists also provide the woman with oxygen and monitor her heart rate, blood pressure and the success of the spinal injection.

n and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists president Genevieve Goulding said managing patients with obesity has become a key issue for anaesthetists over the past two decades.

Dr Goulding said the college was working on new guidelines for managing obese patients.

Fairfax Media reported earlier this year that anaesthetists were also finding obese children costly and difficult to care for before surgery. Paediatric anaesthetist Balvindar​ Kaur​ said some children were having intravenous lines inserted into their necks because a vein could not be found in their arms through layers of fat.

One in four n adults are obese, compared with one in five 20 years ago. The n National Preventive Health Agency figures also show that one in five children are obese.

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News Corp shareholders go easy with 24-minute ‘exertion’

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Rupert Murdoch is not getting any younger, so it was touching to see News Corp shareholders taking it easy on their octogenarian chairman despite the latest attempt to prise the company from the iron grip of his family.
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At Wednesday’s shareholder meeting in New York, the Murdochs managed to fend off the latest attempt to unwind the dual-class share structure that keeps them in control with a measly 14 per cent of the stock, and wind up proceedings in just 24 minutes.

That includes voting Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch back on to the board.

“See you next year I hope,” said a grateful, and obviously weary, Rupert.

The Sun King was not the only one feeling weary after the 24-minute exertion. Thursday afternoon local time, the company still hadn’t lodged the final vote tally on the latest insurrection.Training boss may get a lesson from investors

The Ivan Brown-run n Careers Network could not have chosen a better time to go into a five-week trading suspension to address a probe by the federal Department of Education into one of its training subsidiaries.

Smack dab in the middle of this halt is its annual general meeting.

With its share price now double last year’s IPO price – let’s overlook the rather twitchy suspension for now – it probably seemed like a good time to ask investors to approve the issue of performance rights to Brown, as well as the entire board including chairman Stephen Williams.

Apparently, the plan is designed to “provide an incentive for directors, senior management and other participants to focus on the medium and long-term performance outcomes of the company”.

Brown will do well if the share price does not tank following the outcome of its regulatory issues.

His $200,000 worth of “performance rights” has effectively doubled because it was priced in July when the stock was trading at half its present levels. Camp compo

Things are obviously going better than we thought at adventure-wear retailer Kathmandu.

All those inspirationally scenic photos littering the annual report could not camouflage the fact that new boss Xavier Simonet did rather well last financial year.

He was paid $136,267, including a $56,831 bonus.

The extraordinary bit was that he started at Kathmandu on June 29, which means he barely clocked up five weeks of work before the financial year ended at the end of July.

A note that the account does clarify the $56,831 cash bonus was a “sign-on bonus”.

And it would have made sense to pay it to Simonet as soon as he walked in the door.

After all, if Rod Duke’s Briscoe Group comes back with a successful bid for Kathmandu, the retailer would have faced the embarrassing prospect of reporting a CEO sign-on bonus, and termination payment, in the same annual report. Cash call

It’s hard not to laugh at the thought of a pay-day lender getting a taste of its own medicine, even if it is a mild one.

The Aussie-run global pay-day lender EZCorp, which is the biggest investor in our charmed little pawnbroker Cash Converters, has been hit with a hike in its own loan rates after an “event of default” on the terms of the $US230 million debt.

The default referred to is EZCorp’s failure to file its second-quarter financial accounts earlier this year due to problems from its Mexican accounting department. It has provided a wonderful welcome for former Myer CFO Mark Ashby.

EZCorp reported that the “sole remedy” to the breach is upping the interest rate on the Cash Convertible Senior Notes from 2.125 per cent to 2.625 per cent.

So it is still a bit short of the 160 per cent effective interest rate that Cash Converters allegedly charged local customers.

Things could get interesting for Ashby, and his boss – former Bank of Queensland CEO Stuart Grimshaw – if the account work is not filed by March 24 next year.

The noteholders can then demand the immediate payment of the $US230 million loan.

In other words, they might need a bit of cash in a hurry. At an appropriate rate, of course.

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Voters ready for change under new PM Malcolm Turnbull, poll finds

Written by admin on 07/08/2019 Categories: 杭州桑拿

A new poll finds voters are seeking policy changes from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government. Photo: Andrew Meares Across all voters, poll results suggest Malcolm Turnbull would have majority public support for progressive policy changes. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Turnbull can afford to dump the Abbott script

Voters are hungry for progress on a range of social and environmental issues in the wake of the combative Abbott government period, and they expect Malcolm Turnbull to deliver.

That is the clear message from a nationwide issues poll conducted by Research Now for the left-leaning Institute.

The 1407-strong online survey found that even those voters who identified as Liberal supporters mostly want to see Mr Turnbull overcome a reluctant party room to enact more humane asylum seeker policies, get going on marriage equality, strengthen the response to climate change and the take-up of renewable energy and to lift funding to schools.

Across all voters, the results suggest Mr Turnbull would have majority public support for progressive policy changes, even where internally he would encounter major, potentially career-limiting problems from changing course.

Asked if he should take “stronger action” even in the face of internal opposition, 55 per cent of voters said yes to more humane asylum seeker policies, and 76 per cent backed improved schools funding.

And on the two signature issues on which Mr Turnbull had reassured colleagues there would be no significant change if he replaced Mr Abbott – climate change and marriage equality – the results were also stark. Sixty-one per cent of voters say he should defy his conservative colleagues to achieve progress on marriage equality and 67 per cent say they want tough action on climate change than the government’s “direct action” policy.

Mr Turnbull is well known to favour a market-based emissions trading scheme model to mitigate global warming and has publicly supported the legalising of same sex marriage, even though he promised he will not accelerate the Abbott time-table to put that question to a national plebiscite during the next term if the Coalition is re-elected.

“The research shows that Malcolm Turnbull has considerable support both in the wider community and the Coalition voter base to do more on issues like renewables, refugees, equal marriage, and Gonski school funding,” said the Institute’s executive director, Ben Oquist.

“The results also probably indicate that Tony Abbott and the hard-right in the Coalition had got increasingly out of touch on these issues.”

Eighty-one percent of voters back stronger policy on renewable energy. Even among Coalition voters, this figure is 75 per cent.

Earlier this year, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced Labor would set a target of achieving 50 per cent renewable energy production by 2030. The poll reflects the popularity of that with 90 per cent of Labor voters backing it.

Support for refugees is highest among young voters aged between 18-24 and lowest among those over 65.

While 52 per cent of Liberal voters want faster progress on marriage equality, the figure jumps to 71 per cent among Labor voters and 84 per cent for Greens.

While the first Abbott/Hockey budget proudly trumpeted its decision to slash $80 billion from future schools and hospitals funding to the states over a decade, the poll shows no one else thought much of it with support for more money staying firmly above 70 per cent across all age groups, including those aged between 45-54 of whom 80 per cent backed stronger action.

Unsurprisingly, support for marriage equality is lowest among older voters with less than half of those over 65 (46 per cent) calling for Mr Turnbull to push ahead.

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Labor pledges to restore some of Coalition’s foreign aid cuts

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Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, pictured in Parliament on Thursday, will announce a $30 million boost to local aid organisations. Photo: Andrew MearesA Labor government would give n aid organisations a boost of $30 million a year to make up for cuts by the Coalition but is  staying tight-lipped on whether it will restore billions more cut from the broader aid budget.
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Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek will announce on Friday that the spending promise “begins a process that will repair the n overseas aid budget following record cuts by the Liberals”.

Coming in the wake of the Coalition’s record-breaking $11.3 billion in total aid cuts, Labor’s pledge would lift funding to groups such as Oxfam , World Vision and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

“An additional $30 million a year will go to n NGOs working in developing countries to deliver critical projects like maternal and child health, schooling, better water and sanitation,” Ms Plibersek told Fairfax Media.

Such funding to local organisations currently totals about $130 million a year, or about 3 per cent of the total annual aid budget of $4 billion.

But it is regarded as highly effective, in part because the non-government organisations match each dollar of government funding. An August assessment by the Department of Foreign Affairs found that the NGO program “delivers strongly on results” and made up 18 per cent of the department’s total development results.

Under the Coalition, about $30 million has been withdrawn from n NGOs over the past three financial years compared with the funding level set by the previous Labor government.

But Labor is declining to say whether it will restore all the aid cuts made by the Coalition.

“Overseas aid funding more broadly will be considered in the lead up to the next election,” Ms Plibersek said.

“First we need to see if the Liberals plan to cut the aid budget further, so we can be clear about just how big the task of repair will be.”

By the 2016-17 financial year, aid as a proportion of gross national income will fall to 0.22 per cent, which is the least generous level since the aid program began and a fraction of the 0.7 per cent committed to by the former Howard government under the 2000 Millennium Development Goals.

It also means that , despite being the eighth largest economy in the OECD, will be the 19th most generous OECD donor.

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Fourteen speeding fines sent to NSW family after car stolen in Canberra

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Penny Bradley had her car stolen in the ACT two months ago, but has since had 14 speeding notices, one for over 160km/h. Photo: Jay Cronan Some of the speeding fines Penny has accumulated. Photo: Jay Cronan
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Penny Bradley has received 14 speeding fines in the mail since mid-August, with one alleging her stationwagon reached more than 160km/h on a Canberra road.

But the mother-of-two, who lives north of Yass in NSW, has a fair reason for returning the notices back unpaid: her car was stolen 20 minutes before it was first snapped on a speed camera.

Ms Bradley has been given a rare insight into the movements of her car’s apparent thief, thanks to the fines detailing the time and locations it has been captured speeding.

She was visiting her in-laws in August when she last saw the Volkswagen Passat, parking it on their Latham driveway overnight.

When she woke up the next morning, the car was gone, along with an iPad and two child seats inside. The only item since recovered was Ms Bradley’s licence, which was dumped in Kingston about a week later.

A few weeks later, Ms Bradley received the first fine in the mail. It showed the car was captured speeding on Hindmarsh Drive at 9.20pm on the night of the theft, just 20 minutes after Ms Bradley last saw it parked outside.

“It was very ballsy; we would have been home, the lights would have been on and the car was stolen from the driveway,” she said.

“They knocked over a tree on the way out.”

Since then, the speeding fines have continued to stream through, mostly from the area between Tuggeranong and Woden.

The majority were recorded on cameras along Hindmarsh Drive and the Tuggeranong Parkway in the early morning between 2.30am and 6.30am.

“It’s almost like this person is using it to go to work, or at least using it on a regular basis, on a regular route,” Ms Bradley said.

One photo requested from the moment of a speed camera capture shows the driver wearing a hood, but their sex has not been confirmed.

Ms Bradley and her family have borrowed a car since the theft, but she said she was starting to look for a new car rather than waiting for the old one to be returned.

“Had we got it back in the first week I would have been rejoicing,” she said.

“Now you feel there’s something unsettling about driving a car and putting your children in a car where you don’t know what’s happened or whether it’s still safe. Has it been driven in a reckless way? Could it break down?”

While she said her “heart sinks” upon receiving another fine in the mail, Ms Bradley wanted to continue to receive them out of curiosity about her car’s location.

“The mind boggles that someone will steal your car and continue to use it in a very illegal way; it’s like something from the movies,” she said.

“I would like it back, but I’d more like people to be aware that it’s around.”

The white 2011 model Volkswagen Passat has NSW registration CEQ18H.

Police are investigating the theft, with radars capable of identifying whether a car has been reported stolen.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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The secret document that decided Belconnen’s future

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More public service newsFinance pulls the pinTuggeranong? One couldn’t possibly
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The Finance Department used a secret report in the past few weeks to decide the future of Belconnen’s largest public service occupant, the Immigration Department.

Despite the intense public and commercial interest around the future of Immigration in the northern town centre, the department is determined to maintain a cloak of secrecy over the report, claiming it is “commercial in confidence”.

The Finance Department is using the same justification to keep the public in the dark about details of its own upcoming move to high-end accommodation in Canberra’s leafy inner-south, which will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the lifetime of the lease.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has backed his department’s stance to keep the Belconnen information from taxpayers, who paid $27,000 for it to be compiled by accounting giant Deloitte.

But Finance is set to come under pressure to release the information when its bosses appears before a Senate Estimates Committee next week as ACT Labor politicians push for it to be made public.

Much of Canberra’s commercial property sector was left fuming last month when the Finance Department announced it was cancelling the tender to provide new offices for DIBP.

Several local and national property outfits, which each spent hundreds of thousands of dollars putting bids together for deal, have had to say goodbye to their money as a result of the decision.The same players were left out of pocket a year ago when a requirement for a new building for the Customs agency was abandoned after the announcement that Customs would merge with Immigration and form the n Border Force.

The decision came after more than 12 months of lobbying and jockeying for position among powerful property interests keen on securing the signature of the large government tenants.

Senator Cormann agreed to the local impact requirement after lobbying by the ACT’s federal politicians, most notably Liberal senator Zed Seselja.

Commonwealth property acquisition rules have also been changed to include a local impact test and requiring the minister to sign off on any deals worth more than $30 million.

Fraser MP Andrew Leigh said the refusal to release the report could reflect a desire to keep Canberra residents in the dark.

“Is the government hiding this local impact assessment because they don’t want Canberrans to know the very real economic harm caused by shrinking or moving our public service agencies?” Dr Leigh asked.

“This decision comes as they are planning the pointless move of up to 600 public servants to Gosford to work in a white elephant office block.

“Finance should release this local impact assessment now so we can see exactly how much public service agencies contribute to Canberra’s local economies.”

A spokeswoman for Senator Seselja said the former Canberra Liberals leader understood why the public was not to be allowed access to the document.

“Senator Seselja understands the decision made by the Department of Finance,” the spokeswoman said.

“He understands legal advice has recommended the report not be released due to being commercial in confidence.

“What is important is that local impacts were considered and the Department of Immigration will continue to have an office presence in Belconnen.

“This is a great outcome for the town centre, local businesses, staff and residents.”

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Gang-gang: Wildlife and Botanical Artists (WABA) online art gallery opens

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Stephen Harrison’s sea-mine sculpture. Photo: Rohan Thomson Janet Matthews’ painting ‘Whatcha looking at?’ Photo: Janet Matthews
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Our only regret about ignoring this year’s just-completed Floriade (we find boycotting Floriade one of the joys of Spring) is that we didn’t see the Wildlife and Botanical Artists (WABA) exhibition there.

But the virtual gallery of the works can now be strolled through online, without suffering an ordeal by massed tulips, at waba上海龙凤论坛.au/floriade-2015-products, And it includes (pictured here) Janet Matthews’ engaging Magpies – Whatcha lookin’ at?

The only fault we can find with this little masterpiece is that the artist may have defamed the famously intelligent species by implying that a magpie wouldn’t know that its reflection is just that, only its reflection, and not another magpie. Those readers with bird baths in their gardens will have noticed how magpies pause pre-plunge on the bath’s edge but only to check out their reflected appearance in the same self-conscious way in which a woman checks the state of her lipstick and a man the symmetry of his moustache.

We were alerted to the WABA exhibition by sculptor Stephen Harrison (his works much praised in this column). He reports that his most famous and notorious work, his sinister-looking effigy of a deadly World War II sea mine (we have portrayed it here before and have reported how its installation on a South Coast beach agitated some locals) was there at Floriade.

A famous work installed at times in all sorts of public spots in Canberra, at Floriade it was installed in a pond, appearing to float there (like a sea mine in the sea). He laughs to report that at Floriade the mine was a major attraction, albeit not so much for people as for birds.

He says that birds flocked to it and perched on it and covered it with bird poo, which he thinks may have meant that “they were being my harshest critics” and showing what they thought of that artwork.

Mention of bird poo and our earlier mention of suburban birds, magpies, brings us to the vexed question of the peacocks of Narrabundah. Allow me a moment as I mount a hobby horse.

Wadda some Canberrans want? Utter silence. When do they want it? Now.

We can all look forward to such a superabundance of restful, utter silence after we are dead (some of us expect it to last for ever while the Bible tells believers it will last until an angel tootles on a trumpet), that the way some Canberrans insist on having it now seems unreasonable. Now the city’s silence-demanding fogeys have had yet another triumph, their zillionth, in the ACT government’s removal of the Narrabundah peacocks after some locals’ complaints about the noise (and to a lesser extent the poo) the birds make.

Locals who have never found the peacocks’ noises a nuisance and who think the birds’ company fun are again (this is an issue we have covered before) cranky with those locals who have made successful complaints about the fowls.

In this column’s long campaign against Canberra fogeydom the issue of real and imagined urban and suburban noisiness comes up again and again. How it knots the knickers of some if they can pick up, through their ear trumpets pointed at EPIC and when the breeze is in the right direction, the slightest sound from distant, only-for-a-few-days-every-year Summernats.

There are Canberrans who somehow expect to live in a city as silent as the grave and who expect governments to furnish that, when, surely, it is ridiculous to expect a metropolis not to give off some yodels, buzzes, squeals, clicks, rumbles, trills and roars. But those Canberrans who want this city to be as supernaturally still as the Wagga-Wagga of the 1950s (their greatest triumph being the way in which Lake Burley Griffin is kept as artificially dreary as death by never having motor-powered things allowed on it) somehow get listened to and indulged by governments.

True citizens, those of us who love cities, expect to hear them humming and even giving the occasional shout of joy. We want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep.

Alighting from our hobby horse and ushering him back into his top paddock, we return to our reference to the trumpet call that the Bible, that powerful work of journalism, says will raise the dead.

Handel’s setting of the Biblical promise “A trumpet shall sound” in his Messiah is one of the great oratorio’s thrilling, goosebump-raising passages. In the unlikely event of there being a God it won’t surprise if He insists that it’s Handel’s trumpet solo from the Messiah that the angel plays on that great waking-the-dead day.

Yes, Canberra is a very secular city and we are living in post-Christian times and yet whenever (every two years) the Canberra Choral Society invites Canberrans to apply to join in the Come and Sing Messiah the response is enormous. Funny little Canberra! This season the response has been even more enormouserer than ever.

The CCS’s Kelly Corner told us on Thursday that “We’ve had a great response, significantly more applications than we’ve ever had before, so much so that we won’t be able to accept them all. We anticipate lots of energy and excitement when we start rehearsals on 2 November”.

Christmas without going to a Messiah is unthinkable and this performance, using the heavenly, angelic acoustics of the Llewellyn Hall, is on December 12.

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