Pork chop thrown at paramedics in Darwin

A pork chop (not pictured) was thrown at paramedics. Photo: Penny Paramedics stopped to move a woman off the road when they were hit with a pork chop in Darwin. Photo: Christopher Knight
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A woman has been hit with a fine after two paramedics were hit with a half-eaten pork chop as they tried to convince her to stop sitting in the middle of the road.

It’s not clear why the 21-year-old was apparently eating the hunk of meat at 4.40am on an inner-city Darwin street but the pig projectile has been labelled a “waste of a pork chop”.

The paramedics were on their way back to the station from another job when they noticed the woman, apparently drunk, sitting in the road on Daly Street, to the north-east of the city centre.

St John’s Ambulance Northern Territory operations manager Craig Garraway said they stopped the car but the woman refused to budge.

The paramedics were calling police to help when something sailed through the window, hitting one in the face and the other in the arm.

“Now they didn’t know what had happened at the time,” Mr Garraway said.

“They turned the light on and realised she’d thrown a pork chop through the window and hit both of them and fell to the floor.”

Not wanting to hang around for any more hog-based assaults, the ambos rolled up the window and drove off, leaving police to deal with the “quite abusive” woman.

They arrived a short time afterward and fined the woman for disorderly behaviour in a public place, which reportedly carries a $472 penalty.

Both police and paramedics warned assaulting a public officer was a serious crime but in this case Mr Garraway said the officers found the incident “very amusing in the end”.

“They’re in good spirits and they think it’s quite funny,” he said.

“These things unfortunately happen quite regularly, not so much pork chops being thrown.”

The paramedics had no idea where the pork chop had come from but assumed the hungry reveller must have been chowing down as she took a break in the roadway.

“It was a waste of a pork chop, and I suppose the question is, where do you get a pork chop at four o’clock in the morning?” Mr Garraway said.

“And was it cooked I suppose is the next question, or was it raw?

“I can’t answer that question. I don’t think she’s won a meat tray earlier in the night.

“I suppose luckily for our officers she didn’t have a fork with her or a knife to eat it.”

Mr Garraway said unfortunately people regularly threw things at St John’s Ambulance officers, who are contracted to provide the state-run ambulance service in both the Top End and Western Australia.

Rocks and beer cans were most common but he said the list of projectiles extended to kangaroo tails and other weird items.

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Rugby league unites over sportsmanship behind Central Charlestown four-year-old boy’s first try

UNLIKE most things that becomeinternet famous, there isn’t avideo of IzacSoewarno’s first rugby league try.
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It’s in the scorebook, sure, and the momenthecarefullygroundedthe ballon a sodden Saturday in June will stayinthe memoriesofhis Central Charlestown under-6 teammates.

But none of thatmeant Izac’s first try would go viral.

The Hunter try that made rugby league smile  |  photos, video SPORTSMANSHIP: Izac Soewarno relives his try, scored for Central Charlestown following a sporting gesture by Cardiff. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

SPORTSMANSHIP: Izac Soewarno relives his try, scored for Central Charlestown following a sporting gesture by Cardiff. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

SPORTSMANSHIP: Izac Soewarno relives his try, scored for Central Charlestown following a sporting gesture by Cardiff. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookNo, the four-year-oldwith anoversized jersey and a smile totransport anyoneto the fields of their childhood hasfoundfame because of a Facebook post written by histeammate’s mum.

“I have a son who plays under 6s at Central Charlestown and I never ever write anything or make a comment on Facebook about an opposing team,” began Renee Ridgeway, in a post-game message to the opposing Cardiff Cougars.

“Towards the end of today’s game our little player Izac was passed the ball…there would have been at least 5 players who ‘pretended’ to tackle him and ran as slowly as they couldbeside him watching his first try.”

Ms Ridgeway’s accountleftIzac’s mum SarahSoewarno brimming with tears for her sonwho had startedthe season running the wrong way. Ithas since been shared onlineby Jarryd Hayne.

NSW Blues captain Paul Gallen –who would have givenplenty for a four-pointer at the right time in Wednesday night’s State of Origin loss – alsomessaged hiscongratulations.

Jade Porter, the Cardiff coach whose playersorchestrated Izac’s big moment, saidhetried to set upan oppositionplayer for a try almost every week.

“I saw this kid and told them, this is the day he scores a try,” Mr Porter said.

“No,I don’t think it would have happened when I was his age. But 100 per cent,it’s good for a kid’s confidence and it’s going to make him want to come back next year andplay the game of rugby league.”

Charlestowncoach Mat Toshack has already noticeda lift from his smallest player at training.

Izac’s try,reportedly scored from just inside hisown half,has brieflydominated the lives oftheBelmont NorthSoewarno family. Izachas, obliging various media,relived it dozens of times. A children’sclothing line has made approaches.

Andrew Blackwell, the Central Charlestown Facebookadministrator who first promoted the post, said it had reached more than 150,000 people by mid-week.

But even if Izac’s momenthad been confined totwo teams and their parents watching in the rain, hismum said she would have been happy.

“It was just beautiful to watch his teammates run over andgive him hugs,” MsSoewarno said.

“It made him feel special.”

Hybrid barley a weed control tool

Syngenta technical manager for conventional genetics Kathryn Hearn with Syngenta growth awards winner Greg Giblett, Quirindi, NSW, and Syngenta northern EU marketing manager Mark Hall with a crop of hybrid barley at the recent Cereals event in Cambridgeshire, England.BRITISH farmers are increasingly looking at non chemical methods of controlling problem weeds, with uncertainty surrounding future registrations of key herbicides such as glyphosate.
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With this in mind options such as hybrid barley are becoming more and more popular as higher yielding varieties hit the market.

Syngenta reported strong interest in its new Hyvido Bazooka and Hyvido Belfry lines at last week’s Cereals field day, the premier arable farming event in the United Kingdom.

Hybrid barley, introduced to the UK in 2011, is being used as a tool in running down blackgrass seed numbers.

Blackgrass is the number one crop weed in the UK. It is a vigourous species with the ability to set large numbers of seed.

The winter barley crops are achieving great success in outcompeting blackgrass.

Syngenta technical manager of conventional genetics Kathryn Hearn said the hybrid vigour meant the crops got away strongly early after being planted.

“There is good early canopy closure which makes it difficult for weeds,” she said.

As hybrids, the barley varieties are only suitable for feed purposes, but Ms Hearn said farmers were saying the high yields would compensate for a lack of a malt premium.

Farmers in the UK are reporting high yields with hybrid barley lines.

Hybrid cereals are widely available in the UK, with barley recording better results in weed suppression than wheat in trials.

The two new Syngenta lines will have a strong fit in northern England, due to high levels of resistance to wet weather diseases.

Unusually for Australian growers, used to semi-dwarf varieties, the hybrid barleys are bred to be tall in order to smother blackgrass.

They are also six row varieties, virtually unknown in Australia, with all three spikes on the ear fertile.

The hybrid barleys are generally sown in September, relatively soon after the previous crop is harvested.

While Australian producers are familiar with growing hybrid canola lines, the hybrid cereal sector is far less developed. There have been hybrid wheat lines commercialised but they have failed to attract significant market share, due to the fact yield benefits are relatively modest in comparison to the additional costs.

· Gregor Heard travelled to the United Kingdom as a guest of Syngenta.

Nick Kaldas would ‘seriously consider’ becoming NSW police commissioner

Nick Kaldas would ‘seriously consider’ becoming NSW police commissioner if asked Photo: Nic WalkerNick Kaldas says he would “seriously consider” becoming the next NSW police commissioner, should the job be offered to him by the state government.

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The former NSW police deputy commissioner who resigned in March after 34 years on the force, was asked on ABC Radio National’s breakfast program if he would take the job after Andrew Scipione retires.

“I’ve always had a passion for serving NSW and I’ve absolutely had a passion for helping the men and women of NSW police,” he said.

“If called on I would have to seriously consider it. But I’m doing other things now and I’m heading in a different direction.”

“There would have to firstly be a request and we would look at what happens next”.

However, Mr Kaldas added: “I’m in a different space at the moment. I don’t really see that happening in the current environment.”

“Anything could happen in the next six or 12 months I guess,” he said. “I would give it very serious consideration if I was asked”.

A spokesman for Premier Mike Baird declined to comment.

When Mr Kaldas unexpectedly quit the force in March he said: “You reach a point in life where you realise there are other things you can do and there are more preferable places to be at various points in your life”.

He and other senior police have been waiting for the NSW Ombudsman to deliver the report of Operation Prospect, a marathon investigation into a police bugging operation, codenamed Mascot, which ran between 1999 and 2001.

Mascot used a corrupt policeman, codenamed M5, to target allegedly corrupt police and a journalist with a listening device.

Mr Kaldas was bugged by Mascot, of which his former fellow deputy commissioner Catherine Burn was team leader. A parliamentary inquiry recommended he and others receive a formal apology.

Fairfax Media revealed last year that the Ombudsman was considering seeking advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions about potential criminal charges against Mr Kaldas.

The article outlined an allegation that Mr Kaldas misled the office of then Ombudsman Bruce Barbour about the source of documents given to him about Mascot.

This prompted a furious response from Mr Kaldas who via his lawyers accused the Ombudsman of bias and claimed Prospect – which had already run for two years – was “invalidated and must be held again afresh”.

Three months earlier Mr Baird had announced that Mr Scipione, due to retire that September, had agreed to stay on for up to two years.

The Prospect report is due to be handed to the government by the end of this year.

Mr Kaldas, who has been working with the United Nations investigating chemical warfare in Syria, was recently appointed to a panel investigating murders attributed to an alleged British army agent who infiltrated the Provisional IRA, codenamed “Stakeknife”.

Mr Kaldas has previously led the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

NT royal commission: Tiwi Islands community feels betrayed by government

Royal commissioner Margaret White (left) and Sister Anne Gardiner, a 63-year veteran of the Bathurst Island convent. Photo: Hasnah Harari Royal Commissioners Mick Gooda and Margaret White with Tiwi totemic statues. Photo: Hasnah Harari

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When Sister Anne Gardiner arrived on the Tiwi Islands, she met the women who, as young girls, had been brought out of the bush nearly 40 years earlier to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart’s then new convent.

The convent is still there. So too is Sister Anne, 85, who arrived on Bathurst Island in 1953 and has seen the community changed almost beyond recognition.

“The girls who came in 1915 were still close to the old ways but since then certainly everything has just happened too quickly,” Sister Anne said.

“Change has been thrown onto a group of people too quickly. They weren’t helped, they just had to grab and run. We’re dysfunctional now.”

On Monday, the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory held a community meeting at Wurrumiyanga, the largest Tiwi settlement, and it was Sister Anne who set the tone.

Rising to her feet, the diminutive nun stopped the meeting, telling the story of a young Tiwi teenager sent to the controversial Don Dale Youth Detention Centre for stealing a car, after going to the mainland with his parents who disappeared into alcohol.

“There is only one path ahead for the Tiwi people. When are we going to take responsibility to help our kids here?” she said, to mounting applause.

Commissioners Margaret White and Mick Gooda are on a fortnight trip around the Territory addressing community meetings after conducting their first public hearings last week in Darwin.

The Monday meeting heard claims about children roaming the streets at night and into the early hours, of children under the age of 10 carrying out break and enters, of an absence of child welfare facilities, and a lack of help for young people returning to the islands after being released from jail in Darwin, among other systemic failures.

Many people – black and white – said the scandal surrounding the Don Dale centre proved the urgent need for Tiwi islanders to run their own affairs, free from government interference, with the same autonomy that had been extended to Torres Strait Islanders.

“White fellas haven’t got it right for 200 years so why not give the Tiwi people a go,” said Tiwi Council adviser Brian Clancy.

About 3500 people live on the Tiwi Islands. They lie about 80 kilometres north of Darwin and comprise Bathurst and Melville islands and a group of smaller uninhabited islands.

Christianity has been a strong influence since Catholic missionaries arrived in 1912. Now Australian rules football is big too.

Champion Michael Long was born there; Maurice and Cyril Rioli came in courtesy the stolen generations. The biggest sign at the airport proclaims AFL club Essendon supports the local team. Unfortunately the Tiwi Bombers went down to Nightcliff on Sunday.

The royal commission followed revelations last July by the ABC programme Four Corners of tear-gassing and youths being shackled with handcuffs and fitted with spit hoods at the Don Dale Centre and other NT Correction Services facilities. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a royal commission the following day.

Tiwi elder Marius Pirrawayyingi, who established the Elders Visiting Service to Don Dale in 2005, told the meeting he felt betrayed by the Corrections Service and the Territory government.

“The things that went on in Don Dale happened right under our nose and we were none the wiser,” he said.

“I feel guilty and cheated. It was all about protecting themselves and they ignored their duty of care to the children.”

The principal of Wurrumiyanga’s Xavier Catholic College, Tess Fong, said Tiwi people would be far better at solving their own problems, and that should start from early parenting.

“You do need to fix the top level but you’ve got to fix the foundation,” she said.

“We white people can only do so much. We love kids, but we’re not Tiwi.”

Anthony Albanese fails to endorse Bill Shorten’s key ally Kimberley Kitching for Senate

“Quite clearly [Kimberley Kitching] had the support of some significant figures from the Victorian branch and that’s a matter for them”: NSW Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Labor leader Bill Shorten’s support for Ms Kitching is seen as key to her securing the plum spot. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

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Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has refused to endorse Kimberley Kitching for a plum Senate seat, placing him at loggerheads with Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Ms Kitching, a key ally and friend of Mr Shorten, was parachuted in to fill the Senate vacancy created by the retirement of Stephen Conroy, with the Opposition’s Leader support, on Friday.

But in a thinly veiled reference to the behind-closed-doors decision to install Ms Kitching to the role, Mr Albanese – a former deputy prime minister who stood against Mr Shorten in the 2013 leadership contest – said ALP members should be given a greater say in Senate preselections.

Mr Albanese also slapped down Victorian Labor senator Gavin Marshall, who on Monday foreshadowed he would work to unseat Albanese ally and Labor MP Andrew Giles and possibly frontbench health spokeswoman Catherine King.

Ms Kitching was on Thursday selected unopposed by Victorian Labor’s 100 person Public Office Selection committee for the casual Senate vacancy, which will see her serve almost all of the six-year term. Mr Shorten’s support for her is seen as key to her securing the plum spot.

Her selection has triggered concern in some sections of the ALP. The federal government has used Ms Kitching’s selection and the fact that she was referred for “further investigation” by the Heydon royal commission into trade unions to attack the Opposition Leader and make the case for the passage of its bills to re-establish the construction industry watchdog and the establishment of a Registered Organisations Commission to monitor unions.

Mr Albanese, who had pushed for Labor party reforms in the 2013 leadership contest, repeatedly refused to endorse Ms Kitching’s preselection on Tuesday, pointing out that as a NSW MP he did not have a say in Victorian matters.

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One Nation policies: The definitive guide to the views of Pauline Hanson and her senators

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts delivers his first speech in the Senate as fellow senators Brian Burston, Pauline Hanson and Rod Culleton listen. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

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Senator Pauline Hanson delivers her first speech in the Senate. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

It’s One Nation’s plan to make Australia great again.

While the Pauline Hanson-led party has policies listed on its websites, a review of its four senator’s first speeches reveal the party’s priorities.

And its inconsistencies.

Senators Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts, Brian Burston and Rod Culleton all have plans to reform immigration – but different ideas of how to go about it.

The group also have pet projects, ranging from exposing climate change, to exposing the banks to exposing welfare cheats to exposing the “black armband version of history” being taught in school curriculums.

The party, which has seen its popularity soar since the July election, is united in its call for ‘one nation’, identifying those it believes to be acting contrary to that call.

All those contrarians compose a broad church that includes the media, the major parties, the political class, those taking advantage of welfare, anyone who has not “assimilated” or upheld “Australian values”, any cultural or religious identity contrary to “Australian values”, Marxists, the left, those who refuse to see the “ugly reality” of Australia’s multiculturalism, socialists, minority activists, and those who share an opposition to “traditional Australia”.

As neither the Coalition or Labor holds a majority in the upper house and One Nation potentially have the power to make or break legislation, the speeches also reveal where the minor party’s priorities will lie during negotiations.   One Nation Policy Platform

Australia

Restoring the constitution: “Bring back the constitution and bring back our real laws.”

Restoring national sovereignty

Restoring freedom

Senate inquiry into “the jailing of Pauline Hanson to identify the individuals responsible for the assault upon her”: “We need an independent and authoritive assessment of the propriety of the decision to withhold election funding.”

Against the constitutional recognition of indigenous peoples: “The national flag is often ignored or dishonoured in schools, while multiculturalism and Indigenous issues are now part of the curriculum. The majority of students are not supported in their Anglo-Australian identity but are made to feel guilty for supposed historical injustices committed by their ancestors. The acknowledgement of country ceremony, recited in school assemblies across Australia, finds no place of honour for the British and other European explorers and pioneers for the nation they created. That first nation founded the Commonwealth and served the country in two world wars. Our nation is still at the heart of Australia’s economy, culture and identity but is routinely dishonoured in schools and the media. Soon that injustice could be thrust into our constitution, if the referendum on constitutional recognition succeeds.”

Limit population growth

“Democratise” multiculturalism and “restore the traditional policies which forged this nation”.

Anti-privatisation

Against deregulation: “Before deregulation, Australia has the lowest grocery prices in the developed world and a quality second to none. Post de-regulation, however, Australia’s consumers now pay the highest grocery prices in the developed world.”

International relations

Withdrawal from the UN, i.e. AusExit: “Australia’s values and way of life are also at risk from insidious institutions such as the unelected swill that is the United Nations…the EU is a template for total socialist domination of Europe through unelected bodies, such as the IMF, forcing their frightening agenda on the people. It is also the UN’s template and Australia must leave the UN.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and G20 should have been taken to a referendum: “Did the government take the proposal to a referendum, as demanded under the constitution? No, they did not. It appears that all major parties live in hope that the Australian people will abandon their present democracy and their constitution and let today’s politicians formulate a new constitution based on the very imposts they have already forced on the people of this nation ain breach of our constitutional rights, and all done without the consent of the Australian people through referendum.”

Ban on foreign ownership and foreign investment

Finance

“Comprehensive” tax reform

Lowering tax on fuel and energy production

Limiting the federal government’s ability to collect tax

Royal commission into bank sector and currency to: “expose what the big international banks are doing to trash our country”.

Establishment of a “People’s bank”

Establishment of a “Rural bank”

Government-backed banks

Reintroduction of co-ops

Restore industry protection

Islam

Stopping Muslim immigration

Banning the burqa

No more mosques or Islamic schools to be built; those that already exist to be monitored

Sharia law “should not be acknowledged or allowed”

Australian companies banned from paying for Halal certification.

Immigration

A halt to all further immigration: “Clean up your own backyard before flooding our country with more people who are going to be a drain on our society.”

Allow those who prove a commitment to “Australian values” to immigrate: “We should welcome anyone of any background who wants to live in peace.  But for those who do not plan to integrate into our country and laws, we need to protect our borders and keep them out.”

Reform immigration tests: “Why don’t we test people more properly before they come to Australia on upholding our great nation and our laws”.

Zero net immigration – annual intake to match emigration: “We believe that our country needs to stabilise its population.”

Restrict immigration – vows to “discriminate by cultural and religious identity” in selecting migrants: “Immigration restriction is a principle wider than the White Australia Policy…because any country that does not restrict immigration to preserve its identity and thus social cohesion, will lose it sooner or later, sooner if it is a country as attractive as Australia.”

Welfare

Welfare support limited to one child: “Get a job and start taking responsibility for your own actions.”

Introduce an Australian identity card with identification chip, photo and electronic fingerprint to access Medicare and other government-funded services: “If we are ever going to pull back our deficit we must stop the thieves.”

Law and order

Review of the Family Court system: “Until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration and depression and mental illness caused by this unworkable system.”

Review of child support arrangements

Scrap 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act

Environment

Scrapping all renewable energy targets

Scrapping all climate policies: “It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. This means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it. It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong.”

Secure compensation for communities affected by alleged Defence Force contamination of groundwater (through the use of fire-fighting foam)

Public broadcasters

Establishment of a Patriotic Broadcasting Corporation: “whose explicit mission would be to represent the identity and interests of mainstream Australia”, presenting news and current affairs “from the perspective of the historic Australian nation”.

ABC to receive funding “commensurate with the size of its inner city, Greens-voting constituency”: “It is time for the nation to break the bias of public broadcasting before that bias breaks the nation.”

Education

Restore patriotic curriculum of the ’50s and ’60s: “The patriotic curriculum of my childhood has been replaced by the full gamut of political correctness. The black armband version of history is firmly in the curriculum, playing on the sensitivities of children and young adults unable to defend themselves.  An understandable concern for indigenous children has been allowed to crowd out the needs of others. Children are subjected to wrenching images of the stolen generation.  At school assemblies the acknowledgement of country ritual tells them again and again, that their land belongs to Aborigines, whose flag is often flown with equal or superior prominence to the national flag.”

Scrap Safe Schools

Include celebration “of the remarkable achievement of the First Fleet … and pioneers” in school events.

Acknowledge Australia’s first [European] nation during school events

Teach the constitution at schools. (They do). “How would Australians know what is being taken from them, if they were never taught about this great gift they have?”

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Cox Plate 2016: Lucia Valentina camp hoping to rain on parade of superstars Winx and Hartnell

SPOT ON: Lucia Valentina, with Cox Plate jockey Kerrin McEvoy aboard, works on the Moonee Valley track on Thursday. Picture: Getty ImagesMAL Ollertonwon’t be complaining if forecast heavy rain hits Moonee Valley on Fridayahead of Lucia Valentina’s clashwith stars Winx and Hartnell in the $3 million Cox Plate (2040 metres).

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In fact, thetravelling foreman for premier Newcastle trainer Kris Lees would love rain every day until the Australasianweight-for-age championship.

“We had rain here this morning and a bit yesterday,” Ollerton said after working Lucia Valentina at Sandown on Tuesday morning.

“There’s more forecast, and we’d love it to rain everyday up until Saturday. More the better for us.”

Lucia Valentina and Mal Ollerton at Caulfield before the 2014 Caulfield Cup. Picture: Getty Images

Lucia Valentina’s love of rain-affected ground was highlighted in her Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory in April at Randwick, where she stormed home on a soft track to win the $2.5 million cheque by 2.3 lengths.

Ollerton, though, said while the six-year-old mare“really appreciates” softer going, $1.90 favourite Winxand Hartnell ($3) also get through the conditions.

“A lot of people have got her pegged as a wet tracker, but she’s performed well on dry tracks too,” he said of Lucia Valentina. “She’s just one of those horses that when it is wet, it probably brings the others back to her a bit further because she gets through it.”

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy gave Lucia Valentina her first lookat Moonee Valley in track work last Thursday but the Lees camp opted to keep the three-time group 1 winner away from Tuesday’s ‘Breakfast With The Best’event at the track.Ollerton said the mare appreciated the outstanding Moonee Valley surface last week, but they were keen for a “quieter”hit-out at Sandown on Tuesday.

“She just worked on her own this morning,” he said.

“She just did a bit of pace work and quickened up the last couple of furlongs, just on the bridle. She had a hard hit-out last week so she’s didn’t need much.”

Lucia Valentina was a $21 chance with TAB Fixed Odds after drawing barrier nine in the 10-horse field on Tuesday. Ollerton, though, said the absence of an obvious pacesetter was a bigger concern than the draw.

“She’ll go back anyway and, to be honest, it probably wasn’tgoing to matter what she came out of,” he said.

“In saying that, there doesn’t look to be a lot of speed, but it is what it is.She’ll get back and you just hope that one jumps out and rolls along and strings them out a little bit.”

He said Lucia Valentina was “probably spot on now”, but there were no illusions about the task ahead.

“Everyone is saying it’s a two-horse race, and it could be, but anything can happen,” he said.“The thing is, when they are that level, those are the sort of horses you’ve got to come up against. Pretty much her whole career she’s been racing against the best, so you can’t really run and hide from them. You got to take them on at some stage.”

The Cox Plate Field is: (Number, horse, trainer, barrier, weight)

1HAPPY TRAILS (Paul Beshara) 1059kg

2BLACK HEART BARTDarren Weir659kg

3HARTNELLJohn O’Shea759kg

4HAURAKIJohn O’Shea859kg

5HAPPY CLAPPERPatrick Webster459kg

6VADAMOSAndre Fabre259kg

7AWESOME ROCKLeon & Troy Corstens 559kg

8WINXChris Waller357kg9

LUCIA VALENTINAKris Lees957kg

10YANKEE ROSEDavid Vandyke147.5kg

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Mary-Anne Monckton visits her original gymnastics club, Lake Macquarie PCYC

BALANCING ACT: Mary-Anne Monckton shares her knowledge during a motivational/coaching session at Lake Macquarie PCYC in Windale. Picture: Marina NeilSHE hasn’t abandoned her dream of competing at the Olympics, but as she recovers from a recent knee reconstruction, Mary-Anne Monckton is pushing ahead with a contingency plan.
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“I definitely see myself being a gymnastics coach,’’ the Commonwealth Games silver medallistsaid.

“I can see myself making a big difference. My goal is to coach at the highest level possible.’’

Studyingexercise science and business at university, the 21-year-old is laying a foundation for a coaching career withmotivational sessions at junior clubs and launching a website,maryannemonckton上海龙凤419m.au.Last week she visited her original club, Lake Macquarie PCYC, to provide an insight into her introduction to gymnastics as a five-year-old.

“When I started gymnastics I was screaming and crying because I couldn’t do it,’’ she said.

“Then my mum told me if you want to be good at something, you have to work. After that, I just put in the effort and started to see the rewards and grew to love it.’’

Ten weeks after surgery on her knee, Monckton is still coming to terms with her own disappointment and Australia’s failure to secure a team berth at the Rio Olympics.

“To be honest, I think about it every day,’’ she said. “But I’m just trying to get my head around working towards a new goal.’’

“I need to rehab my knee properly, get back to normal activities like walking and running, and then start thinking about competing again.’’

Within days of the surgery, she was back in the gym, albeit on restricted duties.

“I had surgery 10 weeks ago, so I’m just taking it really slow for the first three months and then hopefully I’ll get the all-clear to start more vigorous rehab,’’ she said.

“I’m walking around fine for a while now and I’ve been doing strength training, upper-body and also stuff in the pool. It’s going pretty well.’’

Maitland police are warning parents to keep an eye on their children’s online activities after teens were approached for nude pictures

Maitland police have issued a warning to parents to monitor their children’s time onlinefollowing an incident involving threeteenagers last week.
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The teenagers, students at Maitland High School, were approached by a male online when they were playing a computergame at a friend’s house.

The man, believed to be located in the United States, asked for nude photographs.The matter came to the Fairfax Media’sattention after one of the teenager’s parents posted a warning on Facebook.

The parent warned other parents to remind theirchildren about the dangers of sexual predators online.

He said he had received a call from his child’s school telling him that one of thechild’s friends had been contacted on Facebook by a person asking for nude photographs.

“I know that many of our children are friends on Facebook and may be exposed to this person,” he said in his post.He praised the school for acting so promptly on the issue.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector Mitch Dubojski said police had not received a report about the incident as of late last week.

He urged people who came across these types of incidents to immediately contact police and make a report, so a formal investigation could be launched.

Inspector Dubojski said detectives had skills and tools at their disposal to track down people allegedly involved in cyber crime, including by tracing IP addresses.

But he said police could not launch an investigation based solely on an allegation made through a Facebook post.He added that people needed to report crime over the phone or in person at Maitland Police Station.

Maitland High School principal Paula Graham said one of the students spoke about theincident with a teacher who immediately raised the alarm with parents.She said that teacher had conversations with each of the parents to alert them aboutwhat had occurred.

“The school has a pro-active approach to incidents such as this. Our students’ safety is paramount,” she said.

Ms Graham said the good thing was that one of the students felt comfortable enough about raising the issue with a teacher even though the matter occurred outside school hours.

Targeting influencers for long-term change

RELATED: Advertising aims to interrupt our thinking
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HEURISTICS: They’re the mental shortcuts our brains take.

The automatic thoughts we have, when presented with an issue –regardless oflogic or accuracy.

They take us to a place where we have pre-conceived beliefs or ideas, and block us from looking beyond them.

And, they get in the way. They’re the tricky mindsets difficult to navigate around – often, wrong and sometimes damaging.

It’s no easy feat to shift ourmindset.

But an advertisingcampaign rolled out across the nation in recent weeks, aims to do just that.

It aims to interrupt ourthinking –and those behind it make no apology for wanting to get inside our heads.

Because to do so, could just lead to social change.

A change that saves lives.

The researchBy now, most have seen the graphic and confronting advertisement on our television screens.

There’s a little boy, who slams a door on a little girl at a birthday party. Her mother excuses the boy,saying he only did that ‘because he likes you’. That sets the scene for what happens at the end of the 60-second ad,where the father is yelling at the mother untilshe trips andfalls over. He hovers her, he is threatening. She is fearful. Then he reverts back to being the little boy.

Julie Oberin, chief executive of Annie North Women’s Refuge and member of the Council of Australian Governments advisory panelto reduce violence against women, says that’s“what will happen if we don’t nip it in the bud, if we don’t stop it with the attitudes in younger children, that’s what it ends up’’.

The Council of Australian Governments agreed in2015 to take ‘urgent collective action’ to reduce violence against women and their children and the panel was appointed to assist with this work.

Chaired by former Victoria Police chief commissioner, Ken Lay, and includingFounder of the Luke Batty Foundation and 2015 Australian of the Year,Rosie Batty, and the chief executiveof Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, Heather Nancarrow,the group was asked to assess current approaches by all governmentsto addressing violence and put forward recommendations for theNational Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

The panelprovided its third and final report to COAG in April, this year.

Julie saysthe group found that‘despite a lot of good work, rates of violence against women in Australia were unacceptably high’.

Among a list of agreed outcomes was an advertising campaign, based on COAG commissioned research.

The research shows disturbing and shockingattitudes amongchildren and that from avery young age, many of us learn to condone or excuse disrespectful or aggressive behaviour towards girls and women.

Some of the research findings include:

young people begin to believe there are reasons and situations that can make disrespectful behaviour acceptable;girls blame themselves, questioning whether the trigger for the behaviour is potentially their fault, rather than questioning the behaviour of the male;boys blame others, particularly the female, and deflect personal responsibility telling each other it was a bit of a joke – it didn’t mean anything;adults accept the behaviour when they say ‘it takes two to tango’ or ‘boys will be boys’The research included data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey, which found thereare clear differences in the way violence is experienced by gender, andtheThe 2013 National Community Attitudes Survey.

The community attitudes survey found many believethere are circumstances in which violence can be excused, with two in five people agreeing rape results from men not being able to control their need for sex, one in five believingdomestic violence can be excused if people get so angry they lose control. and one in five sayingdomestic violence can be excused if the violent person regrets it.

Italso found half agree most women could leave a violent relationship if they really wanted to,one in six agree domestic violence is a private matter to be handled in the family and one in 10agree it’s a woman’s duty to stay in a violent relationship to keep the family together.

Of particular concern, were the findings among young people –which showed:

Half (47%) of youth males and one third (34%) of youth females do not agree that ‘trying to control by denying your partner money’ is a form of partner violence / violence against women. One quarter (24%) of youth males and one in eight (13%) youth females do not agree that ‘controlling social life by preventing your partner seeing family and friends’ is a form of partner violence / violence against women. One in five (21%) youth males and one in seven (14%) youth females do not agree that ‘repeatedly criticising to make partner feel bad / useless’ is a form of partner violence / violence against women. Three in five (60%) youth agree that ‘violence against women is common’.The authors of the COAG researchnoted that while thereis ‘strong community support for the cessation of extreme violence against women’ thebarrier to achieving such change was ‘low recognition of the heart of the issue and where it begins.

WRONG MESSAGE: The girl’s mother tells her, “He just did it ’cause he likes you.”

The issue:The heart of the issue is the linkbetween violence towards women, and attitudes of disrespect and gender inequality.

The report states:These attitudes are unconscious, yet firmly entrenched, among many Australian adults and children. And as adults we are allowing young people to develop these attitudes from an early age. Often unknowingly, we are perpetuating the problem. Before community change can be achieved, therefore, people will first need to recognise the problem, and our personal role.

It found there are three dominant heuristics we make when faced with the issue of violence against women, and they need to be recognised for change to occur.

Victim blaming: When presented with a hypothetical scenario of disrespectful behaviour, there are consistently high levels of automatic victim blaming. As a result, many young males externalise the behaviour by blaming others, and many young females internalise the experience by blaming themselves.Minimisation: Many actions that signify inequality, disrespectful and aggressive behaviour are considered by adults as social misdemeanours rather than behaviours that should be corrected and modified.Empathy with male: There is a strong desire to avoid blaming males, and a sense that participating in these behaviours is a rite of passage that should be understood rather than addressed. There is little empathy towards the female experience.We are taught to make mental short cuts, Julie says.

“It’s not taught at schoolas part of every day learning, we see our parents do it, we see it on TV, we see all of these mental shortcuts and we make them ourselves.Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re not and in this case they’re not.

“What the research shows quite clearly and quite disturbingly isthat the general population when it’s faced with a situation of seeing violence against women happening, they do three things.

“They blame the victim; they minimise the behaviour and the third was they justify the abuse or excuse the perpetrator in some way.

“So,the research was groundbreaking in that it showed those three heuristics, those three mental shortcuts which are held by the majority of the population in Australia and in other countries in the world.

“That’s what they do when they see violence against women, rather than not blame the victim, hold the perpetrator to account and see the assault or the abuse for what it is.’’

Julie saysAustralia has some of the most credible research in the world in relation to violence against women, and we need to respectthat.

The research includesthe ABSpersonal safety survey, the Women’s Health Longitudinal Study, the National Community Attitudes survey, ANROWS research andOur Watch resources.

“The research is absolutely rigorous and you can’t dispute it but some peopledon’t want to listen to the evidence and they are programmed to make these mental shortcuts which colludes with the perpetrator and continues to abuse the woman in her situation and doesn’t stop this gender based violence against women from happening,’’ she says.

“So these ads were designed with that in mind, to interrupt the cognitive process, those mental shortcuts –that’s why the ad says stop it before it starts

“And it starts with young people. This is is not just about physical violence, this is about every day sexism, this is about the way women and girls are treated, this is theway we blame victims, this is the way we excuse the perpetrators.

“These attitudes are entrenched culturally through society because we still have patriarchal values which are embedded through all parts of society that men are decision makers, leaders, important, more valuable than women and girls are and that the masculinities that are held up as being good masculinities are actually quite negative masculinities for both men and for women.

“The cultural attitudes are really embedded down and have been for a very very long time and community education campaigns themselves haven’t been working because just educating or raising awareness isn’t enough, it hasn’tbeen enough to make change systematically across the whole society, it’s made some changes in some people and some families but as far as the population goes it hasn’t.’’

There is no easy solution to interruptingthose thoughts, but there are some approaches worth trying.

DON’T THROW LIKE A GIRL: The ad includes a man saying this to a young boy, which Julie Oberin says puts down girls as being inferior and that real boys, real men, don’t have any attribute of a female about them. “This is quite unfortunate because females have got good stereotypical attributes like nurturing, tenderness and kindness”. “The look on the little girl’s face says ‘’I know what you just said to that boy, I’m not as good as him and i never will be because I’m a girl’.”

What can we do?One solution? To target the influencers of young people.

The research found the major influencers in a young person’s life are those in coaching positions, followed by fathers, older brothers, older sisters, then mothers.

That makes sense, Julie says, as “women haven’t got as much status in society so they don’t have as much influence on young people as what men do, and older brothers have more influence than older sisters’’.

“The interesting thing about the research is the influence coaches have and we know that because they can be mentors and they can be change agents for young people …there’s a lot of opportunity for them to influence young people in a good way because they do have that influencing power –not just coaches of sport, but any coach-like person, so a teacher, or a ballet instructor, any type of coach person.

“The ads … try and change the beliefs and attitudes of the influencers who can then start to change the messages and the attitudes of the younger generation aged from 10 to 19.

“They decided to target 10 to 19 because after the age of19, males show up overwhelmingly in statistics around assaults, so around normal assaults and family assaults.

“The reason why the government targeted the 10-19 year olds is to get them before they get to that age, to try and interrupt the cultural transmission of beliefs and attitudes.’’

The advertisements, which also include print media, are more than a campaign –they’re designed to create social change.

“When Iobserved the focus groups Irealised how hard it was,’’ Julie says.

The first focus group includedmiddle-aged and older men, who had sons aged between 10and 19. The second group includedyounger men with brothers aged between 10and 19.

“The older men didn’t get it, they did the mental short cuts –they blamed the woman, they excused or justified or said she must have done something,’’ Julie says.

“The older brotherstotally got it and they werethe same messages …they started to have a bit of an epiphany about their whole role in this and they didn’t want their younger brother to grow up with those attitudes and they didn’t realise they were complicit in helping it by not challenging it and not seeing it.

“You do have to worry because those ads do get streamed into people’s lounge rooms …and it’s goingto have adifferent impact on different members of the family and there will be some risk.

“There will be increased reporting, increased resistance from women, there might be increased control or violence from the perpetrator, there might be children feeling a bit funny about it.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen but we do know that it worked for that age cohort of those older brothers and a lot of those might be in a coaching situation as well, so if it works for some group that’s a start –if they’re a major influence of young people, it’s worth the risk of trying to get something right, to try and get the attitudes changed.’’

Our behaviourJulie says we should all reflect on our own behaviour and how we make our own mental short cuts.

Acknowledging it is sometimes difficult to know how to intervene, particularly when physical abuse is involved, Julie says it’s important not to be silent.

“Ifyou see something serious say something, because sometimes the victim needs someone else to intervene,’’ she says.

“The easiest way for the community to make change is to be reflective about their thinking when they think about violence against women and think about the mental short cuts they’re making.

“Are they blaming the victim? Are they justifying his behaviour? Are they minimising his behaviour?

“We see it all the time, so if people can start to reflect about their own responses and also to challenge the everyday sexism and the everyday misogyny and hate speech that we see and jokes that we see about women and girls.

“If you don’t get rid of that you don’t get rid of that sexist and rape culture which enables sexual assault and violence to flourish.

“It might not seemimportant and people have said ‘it’s only a bit of fun’ but it’s actually not – many people can’t see the link between sexism and violence against women.

“I think Australia has got this very matey culture of masculinity and it’s all in good fun and you shouldn’t take it seriously, but if you look at what women have to say when they wear the brunt of it, and how they have to live their lives every day and all the things they have to think about and do to keep themselves safe just in case, and how they feel when they’re objectified, people need to really think about that from their shoes.’’

Gender equalityTo achieve social change, we need both formal and substantive gender equality through transformative social and cultural change–and we haven’t achieved either, Julie says.

“Formal gender equality,which we haven’t got yet andneed to strive for,that’s where we reduce the gender pay gap, we have equal pay for equal work, which we say we have but we don’t, you have an equal number of men and women on boards and in leadership positions in parliament, you start to challenge and disrupt the gender segregated workforces.

“That’s formal equality, and we need that –but it’s not sufficient in itself and we know that by looking at the Scandinavian countries, where they have a lot higher gender equality than we do and they still have violence against women.

“What we have to get is transformative change –we’ve still got to deal with the sexism, and the misogyny, and the stereotypes, and if you don’t do that gender equality is not the solution, not enough.

“You can pass laws that say women have equal rights, you can pass laws which say non-white people, Aboriginal people or African American people have equal rights and you can pass laws against racism and so forth, but it doesn’t get rid of racism.

“You can have a black American president and still have racism –and so having the laws is important, and they need to be there, but you have got to change the attitudes otherwise you never really achieve transformative gender equality.

“It’s not ever about women being in charge, it’s just about being equal.’’

Where to from here?Our Watch chairNatashaStott Despoja saysAustralia is facinga national emergencyon family violence.

“The statistics are chilling …the death toll keeps climbing.

“In 2015, 79 women were murdered. The majority of those victims were killed by a male family member. We are in crisis and it needs to be addressed.’’

The COAG panel has recommended all commonwealth, state and territory governments commit to a long-term national primary prevention strategy.

Julie says social change takes decades, so the messages and the interruptions into the way people think, need to happen“for at least a decade, maybe two’’.

“And that needs to be entrenched through everywhere where people live their lives –workplaces, sporting clubs, schools, community clubs, everywhere and not just on TV and short term ads, that’s the challenge for government,’’ she says.

“They need to be consistent and brave enough to continue this interruption of what has become entrenched community attitudes, which enable violence against women to flourish.

“We need to keep applying pressure on the government to make sure they don’t stop that, because they lose an amazing opportunity to dosomething no one in the world has ever done.

“Acampaign like this, this is not a community awareness campaign, it’s a social change campaign around violence against women –we’ve done it with seat belts, we’ve done it with littering, no one in the world has done it regarding violence against women in such a sophisticated manner.

“But itrelies on Australian governments to fund it.’’

For more information, visitwww.respect.gov.au

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assaultor family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visitwww.1800RESPECT上海龙凤419.au. In an emergency, phone000

Newcastle:A friendly destination for oldies in their RVs

HAVE you noticed all the superannuated old farts driving self-contained recreational vehicles (RVs) around this gorgeous nation on their ski*tours?
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You probably haven’t if you rarely leave Newcastle. As a city, we’ve done nothing to welcome them. The tourism gurus in Newcastle have largely focused on attracting the top-end-of-town and bunging them into flash hotels. Little attention and no welcome has been extended to the bring-your-own mob and that is a lost opportunity. It’s also ironic given the national office of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia is based at Wickham.

But that may be about to change.

Among the papers for tomorrow night’s Newcastle City Council meeting sits a notice of motion from Greens councillors Osborne and Doyle. Item-7 on page 137 is a proposal for Newcastle to become an official RV friendly town or destination. Whether we list as a town or destination depends on the ability to meet specific criteria, with ‘town’ requiring the provision of more facilities than ‘destination’.

More politely known as grey nomads or the RV (relaxing vacation) set, at this time of year – in fact during much of the year, except during thesummer months when they surrender the humid highways to the crassness of the Wicked campers and Griswold-like families undertaking tours-of-duty to the Goldy – the New England, Pacific, Newell and Hume motorways are chockers with the species as it makes its way north to warmer climes.

It’s now as much part of the Aussie bucket list psyche as buying jousting sticks and complaining about referees. Retire, get the machine, fit-it-out and just take off for no other reason than to have a relaxed optic nerve and abandon the routines of the schedule slave.

And some of these recreational vehicles are not modest like the caravan sauna gulags I remember being forced to endure as a kid. Some are luxury apartments on wheels – shower, loo, bedroom, kitchen, lounge-room, satellite tele and sound systems that you can turn up to 11.

So, what’s in it for Newcastle and what do we have to do to get us some of that sweet RV coin?

Figures quoted by the Campervan and Motorhome Club indicate that members of the RV community in Australia spend an average of $100 per day while travelling.

If Newcastle goes for the higher-level accreditation, we must provide appropriate parking within the town centre (lol) with access to a general shopping area; provide short term, low cost overnight parking for 24/48 hours as close as possible to the CBD, access to potable water and a free dump point at an appropriate location.

Perhaps, given the above criteria, it is more likely we can achieve the designation of an RV friendly destination. That category requires the provision of short term, low cost overnight parking for 24/48 hours for self-contained RVs, the parking area needs to be on a solid, level surface and there must be enough room for large vehicles to manoeuvre.

The hard sell is managing any increase in visits by non self-contained RVs (no more poos in the bushes at the dog beach thanks very much) and convincing locals that the RVs can resist the urge to stay in our beautiful city for more than short periods.

*Ski- spending kids inheritance (no apostrophe, because the inheritance does not belong to the kids).

Twitter @paul_scott_ or [email protected]上海龙凤419m

NBN: Do Australians even care about the FTTP v FTTN debate?

Faster internet, fostering a vibrant digital economy and future-proofing a vital communications resource seem to only resonate with the tech savvy. Photo: ShutterstockSince the National Broadband Network (NBN) was first announced, it has stirred up debate among politicians, technology experts and the specialist press about which technologies will best serve the nation.
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Should we (allegedly) spend more tax payers’ dollars for a superior fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) model that will pay off in the future? Should we stick to the fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) approach doggedly pushed by our current government? Or is something in-between required?

It seems illogical to be opposed to the “best” technology, but most Australians — the very people the NBN is being built for — simply don’t care.

There is no doubt in my mind that FTTN is an outdated model for the NBN and that we’re better off going full fibre with FTTP or FTTdp. Many of my peers who are in the IT industry or have an interest in technology tend to agree and they are active in sharing content on social media that supports FTTP.

Recently, a friend of mine shared a pro-FTTP Facebook post and one of his acquaintances came out of the woodwork to shoot it down, saying that the NBN is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Naturally, other people jumped into the debate trying to convince this individual that FTTP NBN will do wonders for the Australian economy and all that jazz but that person would not budge on her beliefs.

It was a frustrating sight, especially when you know the technology is sound and it will genuinely be better than FTTN in the long run. But when it comes to convincing NBN detractors, talking about how great fibre technology is feels like beating a dead horse that’s already covered in maggots.

People tend to gravitate towards those who share the same ideology as themselves. That’s how cliques form in high school and why our Facebook feed are full of content from our friends that reverberate our own thoughts about certain topics.

Faster internet, fostering a vibrant digital economy and future-proofing a vital communications resource seem to only resonate with the technology savvy individuals, experts and forward-thinking business people.

It sounds absurd to hear Australia’s Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne say that “[people] simply didn’t need the speeds that Labor was promising” with its original FTTP NBN plan. Yet, it is something that many Australians agree with.

You have publications like the Herald Sun claiming that “[it] is all very well to promise geeks download speeds of 1 gigabyte, not much use if they have to wait until 2030 to get them … The evidence from the MTM-NBN to date is that most people don’t particularly want speeds much above 25Mbps — which they will get totally from the MTM-NBN; and they certainly don’t want to pay for them”.

Again, this all sounds ridiculous and short-sighted but there are people who read these articles and nod in agreement. Those people probably don’t care that Australia’s internet speed rankings have slipped compared to the rest of the world.

Us “geeks” can beat the drum about the benefits of an FTTP NBN but it seems the noise is only heard by those who already support it. Focusing on what technology is better and comparing FTTP and FTTN won’t change people’s minds or votes. Many people don’t understand and, to some degree, don’t want to understand how broadband technology works. Why should they have to care about the intricacies of the invisible wires that serve them this intangible thing called the internet, regardless of what technology experts say?

That is why the political rhetoric on the NBN has shifted from what is better for the future to how much it would ultimately cost. Labor’s message has changed from “let us invest a lot of money to build a brighter future with FTTP” to “we’ll build a better NBN and it will only be a fraction more expensive than the one the Coalition is currently rolling out”. The party talks about FTTP but makes it clear that it won’t be at the same scale as Labor’s first iteration of the NBN which was much more ambitious.

Both of the major political parties are now trying to claim that their NBN will be more cost effective.

On a recent episode of Q&A, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed the Coalition is “rolling [the NBN] out literally six to eight years sooner and $30 billion cheaper than would have been the case under Labor’s plan” (a questionable figure). Meanwhile, former NBN chief executive Mike Quigley launched a scathing attack on the Coalition’s FTTN and mixed technology strategy claiming it will cost taxpayers more in the long run due to complexities in managing this model.

I’ll continue to personally support a full-fibre solution for the NBN. As Quigley aptly puts it: “A NBN based on FTTP was, and still is, the right answer for Australia’s broadband needs”. But sometimes it feels like I’m screaming into the void.

I dare say most of the people who read these pages do have an understanding of NBN technologies and see the value of FTTP. Is there a better way for us “geeks” to get the message across to the wider public? Let us know in the comments. is your expert guide on how to get things done and do everything better.