On ‘Brexit Day’ Britain will leave the EU – but not any EU institutions

‘Brexit Day’ on March 29, 2019 will see Britain leave the European Union in name only, under an EU plan leaked to the media hours after the so-called ‘divorce deal’ was done.
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Instead, two ‘transition’ years will follow Brexit, during which the UK stays subject to the entire body of EU law, set by Brussels, but no longer having any say in those laws.

The UK will stay in the Customs Union and the Single Market for that time, and would have to abide by their rules such as the free movement of labour.

The document implies the UK government has already agreed to these conditions – and European Council president Donald Tusk also gave that impression.

“As you know, the UK has asked for a transition of about two years, while remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union,” Tusk said. “And we will be ready to discuss this, but naturally, we have our conditions.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers have previously insisted that Britain would leave both institutions on Brexit day.

In a statement to parliament in October, May said: “As we leave the European Union in March 2019 we will leave full membership of the Customs Union and full membership of the Single Market.”

She could argue the UK will no longer have ‘full membership’ because it cannot set the rules, but that explanation would likely not be well received.

In a sobering speech shortly after the divorce deal was announced, Tusk said he was satisfied with progress on the divorce deal but “the most difficult challenge is still ahead”.

“We all know that breaking up is hard, but breaking up and building a new relationship is much harder,” Tusk said. “Since the Brexit referendum, a year and a half has passed.

“So much time has been devoted to the easier part of the task. And now, to negotiate a transition arrangement and the framework for our future relationship, we have de facto less than a year.”

The document, circulated to European leaders on Friday, is the EU’s draft of guidelines for the second phase of negotiations.

Tusk said the EU was ready to start preparing a close EU-UK partnership in trade, in the fight against terrorism and international crime as well as security, defence and foreign policy.

Whitehall insiders said they would not be taking a celebratory holiday now that the first stage of Brexit is done, but would be hard at work nailing down the transition arrangements.

UK-based businesses, including big corporations in the City of London, have made it clear to May that there must be clarity on the transition by March 2018, a year ahead of Brexit day.

Otherwise they will not be able to plan for the year ahead, and could activate contingency plans to move operations and staff to the continent.

Reaction to the divorce deal struck in the early hours of Friday morning was mixed, with hardcore eurosceptics calling it a betrayal of Brexit.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the “very bad deal” was a humiliating capitulation, and the UK had met every one of the EU’s demands.

“We collapsed at every level,” he said, saying it would be at least six years after the Brexit vote before the UK was able to make a trade deal with any other part of the world.

“We look like mugs,” he said. “We wasted months and months and in the end we agreed to all the things the Commission insisted upon.”

When asked for an example of where the EU had given ground, chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he was not “at this stage insisting the UK should repay the removal costs” for EU agencies leaving London.

Under the deal, Britain will pay a financial settlement for outstanding debts and obligations, calculated and paid over time – and estimated in the media at about between ??35 billion ($62 billion) and ??40 billion.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker called the agreement “the breakthrough we needed” allowing the two sides to begin discussions on crucial future trade and customs arrangements.

May, who may have saved her job by getting the deal done, said it had required “give and take from both sides”.

The Democratic Unionist Party, who scuppered a draft deal on Monday because they were concerned it would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, have cautiously accepted the new version, saying there was “more work to be done”.

Their leader, Arlene Foster, said they had run out of time to go through the details of the agreement, and May had decided to go to Brussels anyway in the national interest.

DUP support in Westminster is vital for May’s minority government.

The agreement, which is provisional and could change next year, also guarantees the continuation of current rights of the three million EU citizens in the UK to continue to live, work and study there, including family reunification rights for spouses, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren.

And it guarantees there will be “no hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic, while also maintaining the “constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom”.

The UK will “maintain full alignment” with the rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union, unless it can come up with some other arrangement that guaranteed no immigration posts or customs checks on the geographical border.

In a public letter from the EU Commission to the European Council – the leaders of the nations forming the union – the Commission expressed its scepticism.

“(The UK’s) intention seems hard to reconcile with (its) communicated decision to leave the internal market and the Customs Union,” the letter said.

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England’s focus on sledging could cost Ashes, warn retired stars

England must forget about the sledging and redirect their energies to playing cricket if they’re to save the Ashes.
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That’s the opinion of several retired Australian Test cricketers who believe the chatter out on the field this summer has been no different to what’s gone before in more than a century of cricket between the great foes.

There have been no official complaints made to the International Cricket Council, despite much discussion so far this series focusing on whether or not the sledging has become too personal.

The visitors believe Australia took things too far in the opening Test at the Gabba, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow one of the primary targets.

Then in Adelaide there appeared to be plenty of discussion between Australian captain Steve Smith and the English bowlers.

At one stage umpire Aleem Dar stood between Smith, at the non-striker’s end, and Jimmy Anderson when one of their discussions became particularly robust.

“It’s been round for 100 years,” former Australian quick Craig McDermott said. “You don’t want to get personal, that’s for sure, but there’s always words said and that’s part and parcel of it at the end of the day.

“That’s what they said last time when they got flogged 5-0 out here. We didn’t cry poor when we got beaten in England did we? I think they need to just concentrate on playing cricket.

“It wasn’t a very quiet field when you played against blokes like Ian Botham and people like that. There was always plenty said in that particular era, and the West Indies were the same.”

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland played down the perceived sledging during the Adelaide Test as “banter” and CA feel the umpires are doing their job in managing the players.

“We do recognise that international cricket is a high-stakes, competitive environment and on-field banter is as old as the game itself,” a CA spokesperson said.

“All players are reminded regularly that they have a responsibility to manage their on-field emotions, even in the most pressured situations. Our players understand the consequences if they overstep the mark at any time.”

When England beat Australia in the Old Dart in 2015 their players were only too quick to remind the visitors that their Ashes campaign was falling into a state of disrepair.

“If the English are going to complain about it, they probably should look internal to see who their main culprits are as well,” retired all-rounder Shane Watson said. “When things are flying for them, they’re always very happy to continue to dish it out.

“It’s part of the game and part of an Ashes series, it’s high stakes out in the middle, not just the players, but the support staff around, the administrators, the fans, everything, there’s a lot on the line.

“I’ve loved seeing Steve Smith stand up to a few of those senior guys in particular, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, because he’s a leader of the team and he’s got to make sure he stands strong for himself and for his team around him.

“The players know where the line is, they’re going to push the line of course because it’s high stakes and people are trying to put their stake in the ground as well. I’d be extremely surprised if it boiled over.”

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UN warns racism on the rise in Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Senator Zed Seselja during a visit to the Crace Early Learning Centre in Canberra on Wednesday 8 February 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe United Nations has issued a scathing report on racism in Australia, warning discrimination is “on the rise”, including in the political sphere and in the media.
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But the assessment and its recommendations have drawn a fierce response from the Turnbull government’s Multicultural Affairs Minister, Zed Seselja, who lashed out at its “bizarre criticism”.

The periodic review documented 16 areas of concern including the welfare and status of Indigenous Australians, asylum seekers and migrant workers.

The UN committee proposed a range of radical changes to combat racism, including beefing up section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and effectively censoring aspects of the media and public commentary.

It suggested racist incidents were often “treated with impunity” and said section 18C should be better policed by “law enforcement officials”. UN officials were concerned too few racial discrimination complaints made it to court because the costs and the burden of proof were too high.

Free speech advocates consider section 18C – which makes it unlawful (but not criminal) to offend, insult or humiliate someone on the basis of race – a blight on free expression. The Turnbull government earlier this year tried to water down the section’s wording but was blocked by the Senate.

In its report released overnight in Geneva, the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination declared “expressions of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia, including in the public sphere and political debates as well as in the media, are on the rise” in Australia.

The report’s conclusions are based largely on submissions and testimony from non-government organisations, communities and Australian governments.

Hate speech and violence particularly affected Arabs and Muslims, asylum seekers and refugees, Africans, South Asians and Indigenous people, the committee noted.

It recommended ditching the anti-terrorism and national security clauses of the Multicultural Australia statement – announced by the Turnbull government in March – which it warned could lead to racial profiling of Muslims and Arabs by police.

Senator Seselja said the Turnbull government “completely rejects this bizarre criticism” and that a successful multicultural Australia “is only possible, if at the same time, our borders are secure and our nation is safe”.

The UN committee also turned on politicians, saying Australia needed to combat xenophobia in political discourse by ensuring public officials “not only refrain from such speech but also formally reject and condemn hate speech”.

Furthermore, the media should “put an end to racist hate speech” in print and online, and adopt a “code of good conduct” with provisions banning racism.

Alina??? Leikin???, lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the UN report was a clear call to arms for the government to “act both urgently and effectively” in tackling racism.

Of particular resonance were concerns about Aboriginal land rights and the failure of the Closing the Gap strategy to improve the welfare of Indigenous Australians.

The UN said a “paradigm shift” was necessary in how governments deal with Indigenous people, calling on the state to “demonstrate the necessary political will to ensure that aspirational plans and programs become a reality”.

Several of the concerns raised in this year’s evaluation were already flagged in the UN’s previous report on Australia in 2010. However, the document released overnight was significantly more critical than the one seven years ago.

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Under-siege England may be split by factions, says Pietersen

England are imploding after the latest in a series of alcohol-related incidents but Kevin Pietersen has climbed into the tourists for other failings, accusing Alastair Cook of looking uninterested, batsmen of making out that the Australian attack “is the scariest bowling they’ve ever faced” and suggesting there may be a factional split in Joe Root’s touring party.
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At 2-0 down in the Ashes series and with England Lions squad member Ben Duckett having caused a new wave of controversy by throwing a beer over the head of James Anderson in a Perth bar, England are in proper eat-their-own mode.

Pietersen is at the front of the queue. He says the surprise decision by captain Root to bowl first after winning the toss in Adelaide may not have had the support of all his players.

“I have heard there are rumours that a couple of people didn’t want to bowl first in Adelaide. If a couple of people didn’t want to bowl and Root’s made that decision and they’ve lost, yeah there are certain factions that can happen in dressing rooms when that happens,” said Pietersen, who on the weekend labelled the Duckett episode a “f****** embarrassment” on Twitter.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. I think Perth is going to be a fascinating Test match – to see if the wheels are going to come off or not.” What the hell is happening in English Cricket?!?! Strauss????? It’s becoming a f*****g embarrassment! https://t.co/IF1nz84lo8??? KP (@KP24) December 9, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Why batting records are tumbling in the WBBL

Cricket superstar Meg Lanning says conditions, tactics and the professionalisation of women’s cricket are leading to record breaking scores on the opening weekend of the WBBL.
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The Sydney Sixers, who scored 242, set a record on Saturday for the highest score in a BBL or WBBL match.

The Sydney Thunder also set a previously unmatched WBBL team total of 200 on Saturday, while the Melbourne Renegades (189) and the Perth Scorchers (188) – who were missing Lanning through injury – posted the fourth and fifth highest WBBL totals respectively.

The Adelaide Strikers’ 183 against the Hobart Hurricanes in South Australia on Saturday was the sixth highest score in the competition’s history. Their 176 against the same team on Sunday was the seventh highest score.

The Sixers’ total included the highest and quickest ever WBBL century, a brutal 114 off 52 balls smashed by Ashleigh Gardner. Susie Bates made 102 off 65 balls for the Hurricanes on Sunday.

Before Bates and Gardner smashed centuries on consecutive days only two centuries had been made in two whole seasons of the WBBL.

The previous highest team score of the competition was Brisbane Heat’s 190 in 2015.

Lanning, who said she was frustrated having to watch others make runs on the pristine North Sydney Oval deck, believed the trend toward high scores would continue through the season.

“We have got a great ground to play at, the wicket has been really good,” Lanning said. “I think the other thing is more batters are able to utilise only having four fielders out, so I think in the first couple of WBBLs you could have your cover fielder up a lot more and you’d probably get away with it.

“Now a lot of players can hit both sides of the wicket and once play gets going I think it’s pretty impossible to stop so hopefully the scores continue throughout the WBBL and it’ll be an exciting tournament that’s for sure.”

The ropes at North Sydney Oval were only very slightly in from the men’s rope outline which was still visible. The outfield was quick too, however given how hard many of the batters were striking the ball it would be hard to argue that it was too much of an aid.

With Australian contracted players being paid more, NSW contracted players taking home full-time wages and players who play WBBL and domestic one-day cricket getting close to, if not, a full-time wage, Lanning said Cricket Australia’s investment in the women’s game was reaping rewards.

“No doubt, I think that [the professionalisation of women’s cricket] makes a massive difference,” she said. “Not only training more for skills but you’ve also got your strength and your fitness ability as well that’s able to go along with that so we’ve had a good week and a half together as a team which helps so I think we will only see that continue to grow.

“It’s a combination of all those things and I think teams are going harder early, we’re not waiting for the last five overs to start taking on the bowlers so obviously that gives you a better chance to get a higher score so look, 242 last night, that’s just a bit ridiculous really, but it was a great spectacle to watch.”

Sixers and Australia star Ellyse Perry, who smashed 91 off 49 deliveries against the Melbourne Stars on Saturday, agreed with Lanning.

“We are another year into the development of women’s cricket,” Perry said. “Most of the women have been full-time elite cricketers for the past 12 months so that’s always going to lead to development.

“The girls are fitter, they’re stronger and have more time to work on their technique and get to know their game so it’s probably not surprising.”

Meanwhile, the boy in the crowd who was hit in the head by a Perry six during her stunning innings is OK. Perry rushed off the pitch after hitting the ball to check if the boy was well.

He did not spend the night in hospital and is at home under the supervision of his parents. Perry phoned the boy on Sunday morning to check in after she gave him her hat during the innings break on Saturday.

Other big, quick-fire scores from the weekend’s games included Natalie Sciver (84 runs off 46 balls), Delissa Kimmince (87 off 54), Jess Duffin (81 off 47) and Nicola Carey (47 off 17).

The match at North Sydney Oval attracted 3914 fans for Saturday’s WBBL double-header. 4812 turned up for Sunday’s double-header at the same venue. A lot of those fans were families, with many young children in attendance across the weekend.

The Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars match on the Saturday was the most watched regular-season WBBL match in the competition’s history, attracting an average national audience of 422,500 viewers with a peak of 629,000, a 59 per cent increase on last season’s WBBL average ratings.

The other match televised on Saturday, Sydney Thunder vs the Melbourne Renegades, attracted an average national audience of 278,500 peaking at 426,000.

The first day average audience of 350,000 was a 46 per cent increase on last season.

Sixers wicketkeeper-opening batter Alyssa Healy lauded the success of the opening WBBL weekend.

“It’s amazing to see just how far this competition has come and what it’s done for cricket in general and women’s cricket more specifically,” she said. “I think it’s been exciting to be a part of and hopefully it just keeps growing the game and we see more people coming.”

Lanning also revealed she was aiming to return to cricket in early 2018, after the WBBL finishes on February 4.

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Australian troops to stay in Iraq despite victory over ISIS

Australia will maintain a military presence in Iraq well into 2018 as local security forces continue their fight against Islamic State insurgents who have escaped capture.
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the extremist group at the weekend, three years after IS first stormed the country and seized a third of its territory.

The declaration came after Iraqi forces recaptured the last areas still under IS control along the border with Syria. But while the territorial battle is over, coalition security forces now expect the group’s remnants to engage in a new phase of deadly guerilla warfare.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the people of Iraq and their security forces for their “courage and determination”.

“The liberation of Iraqi cities and towns from ISIS control has saved countless lives and ended a pattern of terror, anguish and murder,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Their bravery in the face of unimaginable brutality has made the region and the world a safer place by robbing terrorists of their narrative of invincibility.”

Australia has made a significant contribution to the fight, deploying hundreds of troops who have been focused primarily on training local troops and police. The Australian Defence Force has also contributed to air strikes against IS targets in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Australia’s sixth rotation of about 300 troops – along with 100 New Zealand troops – deployed to Iraq in recent weeks and are scheduled to remain there until the middle of 2018.

There are no plans to cut short Task Group Taji 6’s deployment but Australia will now enter talks with Iraq and coalition partners about the road ahead.

“While today’s announcement by the Iraqi government is an historic moment, Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism and ISIS in Iraq is over,” Mr Turnbull said.

“ISIS fighters who escaped capture will seek to conduct an insurgency to continue their legacy of death and destruction. The biggest challenge is to bring security, peace and unity to all Iraqis through inclusive, representative democracy and political equality.”

Mosul, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq, fell in July after a gruelling nine-month campaign backed by a US-led coalition that saw much of the northern Iraqi city destroyed. Islamic State’s Syrian capital Raqqa also fell to a US-backed Kurdish-led coalition in September.

The group was then squeezed into an ever-shrinking pocket of the desert along the border.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio recording on September 28 that indicated he was alive, after several reports he had been killed.

His followers imposed a reign of terrorism on the populations they controlled, alienating even many of those Sunni Muslims who had originally supported the group. They took thousands of women from the Yazidi minority as sex slaves and killed the men.

The war has had a devastating impact on the areas previously controlled by the militants, with more than 3 million people still displaced, according to the United Nations.

Iraq’s announcement comes two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the militants in neighbouring Syria, where Moscow is backing Syrian government forces.

With Reuters

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Owner sought for World War I medals found in box in street

Police are hoping the owners of a set of World War I medals can be found so they can be reunited with the prized collection.
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A man from Seven Hills saw a brown wooden box on the road at the intersection of Caroline Chisholm Drive and Langdon Road at Winston Hills in Sydney’s west about 1pm on Saturday.

He handed the box to police from the Quakers Hill Local Area Command.

Inside the box were original World War I medals in good condition, police said.

“While the recipient of these medals may have passed away, we believe there are family members out there who would really appreciate having them returned home,” Duty Officer Chief Inspector Garry Sims said.

“They would be of high sentimental value to the family of the soldier who fought and served his country valiantly to earn these medals.”

Among the collection is the 1914-15 Star, which was awarded to those who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War, including the Gallipoli campaign.

Also in the collection is a British War Medal, awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served during World War I, as well as the Victory Medal, awarded to those who entered a theatre of war during the Great War.

The box also contains a Silver War Badge, given to service personnel who were honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness.

There is also a Returned Sailor’s & Soldier’s Imperial League of Australia Badge.

Police will liaise with the NSW RSL sub-branch in an attempt to locate the owners.

Anyone with information about the medals is urged to contact Riverstone police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Sydney is a city fatigued by record development

building Perth 061025 AFR pic by Erin Jonasson. the construction boom in Perth. a New housing estate in the southern suburbs of Perth, Roof plumbers, residential property, trades, tradesman, building of new homes, house. skilled labour shortage in WA, generic hold for files, first use AFR please. SPECIALX 00057683The NSW government is on track to double the supply of homes achieved through the rezoning of state land, but the community is now fatigued at the frenetic pace of development, a senior Planning Department official has acknowledged.
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NSW continued its streak of record housing approvals for the 45th consecutive month, as ABS data showed about 69,700 dwellings were approved in the year to October.

But Planning Department deputy secretary Brendan Nelson said a new challenge had emerged in allaying community concerns that Sydney had reached capacity.

“The community are feeling the pressure. They’re feeling the fatigue of a city that is going through a fundamental transformation,” Mr Nelson said in a recent address to a property industry function.

“Collectively we need to be thinking about how we take the community with us on this journey.”

His comments reflect a growing awareness within government of wilting community support for more development, after a recent Fairfax ReachTell poll found an astonishing two-thirds of NSW residents believed Sydney was “full”.

Mr Nelson also attributed the current backlog in Sydney’s housing supply to a declaration by former Labor premier Bob Carr in 2000 that Sydney was full.

The comments, he said, led to an “almost grinding halt” in supply as housing completions plummeted to their lowest in more than 60 years.

“What we saw after that announcement was made was a decline infrastructure spending, and a decline in a whole range of investment.

“It is only in the last few years where the government has reinvested back into infrastructure and [with] better confidence in the market that we found that things have been changing.”

This rationale has been prosecuted repeatedly by the Berejiklian government in its attempts to explain its aggressive housing boost to an electorate increasingly sceptical of overdevelopment.

Mr Nelson said the Planning Department was on track to add an extra 20,000 dwellings in 2017-18 through state-led rezonings. In July, Premier Gladys Berejiklian assigned the department a target of 10,000 additional dwellings a year to 2021.

About 8400 new homes will be delivered in Bella Vista and Kellyville, in north-west Sydney, after rezonings were finalised in November.

A further 15,000 homes are expected through state-led rezonings expected to be finalised by mid-2018, including Showground (5000 homes), Vineyard (2300), Sydney Olympic Park (4700), and Wilton South East (3000).

In total, the Greater Sydney Commission has estimated Sydney will need an extra 725,000 new homes over the next 20 years to accommodate an extra 2 million people.

According to the latest housing completion data, the majority of new homes are currently being built in western Sydney.

In the year to September 2017, 4877 new homes were built in Parramatta, 2997 in Blacktown, 2749 in Canterbury-Bankstown, 2521 in Camden, and 2386 in the City of Sydney.

In a bid to address bubbling concern over the rapid pace of development, the government has renamed its core planning process for boosting housing from “priority precincts” to “planned precincts”.

Under the priority precinct scheme, the Planning Department identified areas as a priority for more density (often around a train station) and accelerated the rezoning process.

The Labor opposition slammed the process as “cheap and nasty mass rezoning” and has promised to scrap the scheme if elected in March 2019.

Explaining the name change, Mr Nelson said “there was a presumption in the community that priority precincts was all about supply, supply, supply”.

“The focus now around planned precincts is starting to articulate the difference. Planning for schools, planning for open space, planning for homes, planning for active and passive recreation.”

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‘Beauty often has a dark side’: The truth behind one of Sydney’s most scenic spots

It is one of Sydney’s most scenic spots. Towering sandstone cliffs topped with endangered banksia scrub guard the entrance to Sydney Harbour, providing sanctuary to a rich array of native animals, including an endangered community of long-nosed bandicoots and penguins.
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But North Head was also a place of disease and death for Indigenous people as well as convicts and migrants making the arduous and often lengthy journey from their homelands.

More than 500 people were laid to rest in the three burial grounds at North Head, although artist Susan Milne said: “I imagine there were many more deaths.”

Milne was one of 10 artists who were invited by Manly Art Gallery & Museum to explore the site’s Aboriginal heritage, environmental significance, military history and migration stories after camping at North Head earlier this year.

Thier artworks will be exhibited in The North Head Project at the gallery until February 18.

Made of gauze and bearing crosses, Milne’s artwork, Souls on Board, represents the 572 recorded deaths at the Quarantine Station, which opened in the 1830s and operated for more than 150 years.

“As part of the disembarkation method for a yellow-flagged ship moored in the waters off the station, the travellers were protected and isolated, incubated and infected, sealed and preserved,” she said. “Each soul was in limbo, in a hospital where fumigation, steam and lime were the salving agents.”

More than 13,000 people passed through the station from ships suspected of transporting people infected with contagious diseases, such as typhus, smallpox, Spanish influenza and bubonic plague.

“Some of the staff working at the Quarantine Station also died,” Milne said. “It was the arrival of the Europeans and disease, which had a devastating impact on the Aboriginal people in this region. Beauty often has a dark side.”

Milne’s thoughts were echoed by photographer Tamara Dean, who said she kept “straying back” to the Quarantine Station.

“In particular the evocative stories of people being placed outside and treated with the fresh air to try to heal them, as well as imagining the discomfort of being sick in the hospital beds in the heat we had experienced ourselves,” she said.

The North Head Project features landscape paintings, photography, porcelain, botanical watercolours and Karla Dickens’ Unwelcome, an upturned boat with oars bearing cruel messages aimed at Aboriginal people and refugees.

Dickens said North Head was a site of death and destruction for Indigenous people: “The foreigners were quarantined to heal and deal with infectious diseases at the same time as the First Australians were poisoned, murdered and raped.”

Curator Katherine Roberts described the site as “an amalgam of Australian history” for its overlapping Indigenous, social, environmental and military stories.

Rich in flora and fauna, North Head was crucial to Sydney’s coastal defences, laced with tunnels, equipped with artillery and home to soldiers. It was also colonised by the Catholic church, which built a seminary and Bishop’s palace on the slopes above Manly.

“I can see North Head from my office window; ever-present, monumental and rich in natural and social history,” she said. “This charged site is relevant, thought-provoking and especially ripe for artists’ interpretations.”

The North Head Project is at Manly Art Gallery & Museum until February 18, 2018.

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Hunter students top state in HSC

​On your marks: Seraina Danuser and Jacob Wallace, who said his keys to success were being able to prioritise, manage time and know when it’s time for a break. He balanced study with riding dirt bikes. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students have been praised assome of the country’s standout academic performersafter theytopped the state in fourHigher School Certificate subjects.
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Newcastle Grammar’s Seraina Danuser received first place in Design and Technology, while Mount View High’sJacob Wallace came first in Electrotechnology, which he completed throughTAFE NSW Maitland.

Merewether High’s Owen Small outsmarted his peers in Geography andMaitland Grossmann High’s Alexandra Fletcher achieved the number one spotin Visual Arts.

Newcastle Grammar’s Seraina and TAFE Maitland’s Jacob are first in state in Design and Tech and Electrotechnology #hsc2017pic.twitter南京夜网/PTRJj1JyA2

— Helen Gregory (@HGregory_Herald) December 15, 2017

The quartetwere among the 120 students from 85 schools recognised at a First in Course ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday.

Seraina, 18, said the honour was“unexpected”.

“I’m still quite shocked,” she said.

“I didn’t think I’d know anyone – let alone be the person – to receive first place in the state.”

Seraina Danuser with her table and stools.

She said she was “adamant” about completing a major work to help make the exam period “less stressful” and chose the subject because her older sister had enjoyed it.

“It’s a different kind of concentration and you put more time into it because you can see you’re making progress.”

She spent all of the subject’s classes, as well as free periodsand some lunchtimes, afternoons and holidays completing the major work – a table and two stools constructed using a vacuum press from Bendy Ply and covered in American Walnut, for the cafe where she used to work.

“My written exam was my last one and only 90 minutes,”she said.

“I was relaxed and it was definitely betterthanpast papers.”

Seraina hopes to travel to Europe next year and study chiropractic science at Macquarie Universityin 2019.

Jacob said Electrotechnology piqued his interest early and he felt it could be helpful for a future career.

“It was my strongest subject and just came naturally,” he said.

“But I was not expecting this at all –I thought I’d finish the HSC and that would be the end of it.

“I knew I seemed to be good at it but I didn’t realise I was that much in front –there was only one other person in my class!

“But it was the only exam I went home actually thinking ‘I did alright’.”

Jacob will start an electrician apprenticeship atBulga open-cut minein January.

Owen andhis family were absent fromthe ceremony.

Alexandra is on holidays in Europe with her parents and twin sister, Charlotte. Her cousin, Lucy Grummitt, accepted her award on her behalf.

“I haven’t spoken to her properly about it but I think she is pretty stoked,” Ms Grummitt said.

“Her family is very arty and the twins have always been creative.”

Students will receive their subject resultsfrom 6am on Thursday.

The HSC Results Inquiry Centre,1300 13 83 23, willopen from 8am.

Students will receive their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) on Friday.

Hunter excels in HSC 2017Lambton High and Newcastle Grammar named among All RoundersMerewether High goes to top of classMerewether sets ATAR record

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Opals coach urges Rachel Jarry to put health first

Australian Opals coach Sandy Brondello has urged Canberra Capitals star Rachel Jarry to put her health first and avoid rushing a return to basketball.
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Jarry’s seventh career concussion saw her stretchered from the venue and taken to hospital during Canberra’s drought-breaking WNBL win over the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday night.

Play was halted for almost 20 minutes as paramedics were called, and Jarry will now spend a few days in Melbourne with family before returning to Canberra to be assessed by AIS medical staff.

The 26-year-old concedes she won’t play again this season as she prepares for a possible six-month stint on the sidelines which would rub her out of Commonwealth Games contention.

But Jarry says she felt much better on Sunday morning, taking the chance to reach out to everyone that had her in their thoughts.

“Thanks for all the concern and well wishes. I’m alright, I’m in good hands with the doctors and everything so I’ll be fine,” Jarry said.

Jarry will have extensive neuropyschological testing at the end of the season to monitor concussion symptoms.

The 26-year-old told The Canberra Times in November the lack of knowledge about the long-term effects of concussion is “worrying” but she had no plans to change her hard-nosed style.

Brondello says Jarry’s “body on the line” approach is “just the way she plays” but the Opals mentor has implored the Capitals forward to ease into the recovery process.

“With anyone, their health is the most important thing,” Brondello said.

“Coming back from injuries or coming back from a hit in the head – I know she had a recent concussion too – that’s the most important thing, your overall wellbeing.

“I think everyone – her club, her coaches, the Opals, Basketball Australia – they’re all concerned about the individual and making sure they come back at the right time.

“You don’t want to risk anything with your health so hopefully Rachel is doing okay. She will take her time, there’s no rush. She needs to do what the doctors tell her and then feel comfortable out there.”

The WNBL concussion policy was approved by the Australian Basketballers Association and requests any concussion must be reported, and any player must be cleared by an official club doctor before returning to training or play.

Brondello says she has seen “a few, but not many” concussions during her time in basketball and she was very surprised to learn Jarry has suffered seven.

“It just shows what a competitor she is. She’s not afraid of the contact and it really is unfortunate,” Brondello said.

“Everywhere has concussion protocols, it’s no different to the WNBA. There’s a few but not many, but it does still happen.

“They say it’s a non-contact sport but it really is, it’s a very physical sport and it’s how it’s played. It’s incidental contact and it’s just unfortunate, it’s through the nature of the game with the aggressiveness that there is.

“No one ever wants to see that. It’s talked about a lot in the NFL in America and I’m sure it’s talked about in other sports here too.

“It does happen, it’s such a serious thing so you have to make sure the player is healthy and everything is fine before they get back to doing anything.”

The loss of the WNBA and WNBL champion is a cruel blow for a struggling Capitals outfit, albeit one that got a much-needed confidence boost with a stunning win on Saturday.

Jarry’s absence opens the door for Chevannah Paalvast to play extended minutes in the final five games of the year, beginning against Bendigo on Thursday night.


Thursday: Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium, 7pm.

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Sydney FC disappointed not to have scored more in the derby

They sent their fans into raptures, they sunk their rivals into the depths of despair but Sydney FC players weren’t rushing to pop open bottles of champagne after their clean sweep over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
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The Sky Blues inflicted a record A-League defeat of their rivals with a commanding 5-0 win at ANZ Stadium but while the players were pleased with the result, there was no hiding their disappointment at having not scored more. It was the “ruthless” performance Graham Arnold called for in his pre-match talk as Sydney tore the Wanderers apart away from home, carving open chances with ease as they left Western Sydney’s defence in tatters.

Their rout of the Wanderers was the highest winning margin of any team thus far this season and the heaviest defeat in Western Sydney’s domestic history but Sydney FC were bemoaning missed chances and a controversial decision that denied them an even more one-sided result.

“We still think it could have been six, it could have been seven, it could have been eight,” midfielder Brandon O’Neill said. “That was the message after the game, we still think there are areas we could improve on … it was good but it could have been better.”

Sydney FC were perhaps unfortunate to have a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee after Michael Zullo’s impressive strike was ruled out after a handball was noticed in the build-up, some five passes earlier and well before a critical moment leading to the goal. While a clear handball from Sydney FC’s Adrian Mierzejewski, it brought into question the manner of use for the VAR, which was not meant to re-referee the game but only to eradicate referee blunders.

It failed to take the gloss off Mierzejewski who scored two goals and played a pivotal role in a third in a stellar performance in his first Sydney Derby. The Polish international opened the scoring in the 14th minute before doubling his tally with a curling free-kick on the stroke of half-time. Mierzejewski spent hours practising his set pieces at training before the derby and says he’s as dangerous from distance as the penalty spot.

“I think it’s my good side, I know how to score free kicks,” he said. “I was training with [Sydney FC defender] Jordy [Buijs] and to be honest every free kick was a goal, it’s like penalties for us. I know the last goal against the Wanderers, Brandon scored an amazing free kick but I know it’s my place on the pitch and I knew that I’d score. That’s why I’m working hard and training to be ready for this. I am just waiting for more free kicks.”

While Mierzejewski posed a constant threat from dead balls, Bobo, Alex Brosque and Zullo were denied late goals by a string of fine saves from Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic who was one of the best performers on Saturday night, according to Mierzejewski.

“He conceded five goals but he could still be man of the game,” he said.

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Mysterious sea creature remains wash up at Mystery Bay

Mysterious sea creature remains wash up at Mystery Bay BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.
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BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.

BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.

One of the smooth or short-tail stingrays common in the Narooma area.

Typing ‘stingray neurocranium’ into Google shows any number of diagrams matching the mystery Mystery Bay body part.

TweetFacebookNarooma News Facebook page also a new fish identification service on the iNaturalist website.

Bermagui commercial fisherman Jason Moyce, who blogs under the name Trapman Bermagui, was one of thefirst to commentthat the object looked like it could be the skull of one of the large black smooth or short-tail stingrays common on the Far South Coast.

While the body partwas relatively large, so are the stingrays around Narooma and Bermagui, growing to 4.3 metres longand 2 metres wide and up to 350kg in weight.

This was backed up by renowned marine biologist and fishing writer Dr Julian Pepperell, who also saidit did “look like cartilage rather than bone, so more likely shark or ray, with similarities to various ray skull elements”.

This was further confirmedby Owen Li who works at the the Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre atJames Cook University in Townsville.

He posted that it appeared to bethe neurocranium of a large ray. “Typing ‘stingray neurocranium’ into Google shows any number of diagrams and photographs of the same skull element for multiple ray species.”

There was plenty of other speculation on the Narooma News Facebook page that it could be a cow’s head or even the nose or rostrum of a whale, but these ignored the fact it was soft cartilage and not bone.

Further clarification was sought through the new AustralasianFishes projecton the iNaturalist website where anyone can post photos of animals, plants or other natural objects can be identified by experts logged on to the site.

In this case the mystery object was uploaded under the heading of “elasmobranchs”, which denotes the class of sharks and rays, and the feedback came in immediately.

iNaturalist user adammyates suggested: “the big open dorsal fossa, down curved olfactory capsules and the lack of an obvious postorbital process make this look like a big ray skull to me”.

The Australasian Fishes project was set up by Mark McGrouther, collection manager ofichthyology at theAustralian Museum Research Institute.

He encourages anyone interested in fishes to upload their unknown or even favourite fish photostohttps://梧桐夜网inaturalist.org/projects/australasian-fishesto help build up the database.

“It allows anyoneto upload images of fishes, or parts of fishes,from anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. It’s quick and easy, and gives you access to a growing community including many fish scientists who identify and comment on fishy images,” Mr McGrouther said.

This is second natural mystery at Mystery Bay covered by this journalist in the past two weeks with the other being mysterious tracks identified as belonging to feral deer.

Narooma News

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