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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How a promise of the Great Australian Dream became a nightmare

BUYERS: From left, Margaret Morgan-King and Stephen King, Grant and Kim Conroy and Tim and Melissa Weatherstone at the Teralba Waters Estate site. Picture: Marina NeilKimand Grant Conroy are battlers, a teachers’ aide and machinery operator, who worked overtime to save thousands for their dream – a house and land package in Lake Macquarie where they planned to retire.
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The advertising for Teralba Waters Estate, on Cockle Creek, that featured in a glossy Newcastle magazine looked just the thing.

“Waterfront estate,” the ad read. “17 brand new three bedroom homes. Access to Lake Macquarie.” And all this starting from just $432,500…how could you go wrong?

They went and had a look at the site, called the real estate agent the same day. There were only four left, they picked the one they thought they liked, paid a $1000 holding deposit and signed up on the spot. It was July, 2016.

All 17 house and land packages were sold in just four weeks. Why did people come running?

“It was in a price bracket,” Mrs Conroy said. “It attracted people with not a great deal of money. It was a new three-bedroom house that was affordable.”

A year later, Mrs Conroy was speechless. “It’s just destroyed us, we’re second marriage and we put everything we had into this,” she said. “We worked so hard to save for a place…we planned to retire there.”

She was told by a friend last month that he’d seen the Teralba Waters development site relisted for sale on the internet. Not only that, itwas advertised as a mortgagee in possession sale.

“No-one told us a thing,” she said. “Then we find out the place is back up for sale.” They want to know what happened to their $50,000 deposit.

Likethe majority ofbuyers, the Conroys signed a contract that stipulated their deposit would be released to the vendor.About $700,000 was paid upfront, the money was to be used for civil works.

Steve David, whose parents workednight shift for years to save the $48,000 deposit they gave him as a wedding present, summed up the feelings of the buyers.

“To put it bluntly, we are furious and we want answers about how this could happen,” he said. “It’s all of my parents’ hard-earned money, that’s what I can’t stop thinking about. They worked for years putting that money away from a host of cleaning and othertough jobs. It’s just not right this can happen.”

ANGRY: Kim and Grant Conroy are fighting to get their $50,000 deposit returned.

Mr David, who is getting married next year, planned to move to Teralba to start a new life. Instead, he’s been forced to take a job in Orange.

“I’m going to have to put my retirement on hold now,” said Margaret Morgan-King, another unhappy purchaser, who at 63 is the main bread winner in her family.

“It’s not just the $50,000 we put in, we sold our home and have been wasting money on rent. Prices have gone up a lot while we have been waiting for this to progress.

“It’s been a financial disaster for us. For a while it was all happening, but then everything just stopped.”

Sydneyfireman Lloyd Mulder set up a self-managed super fund to invest in Teralba, putting down a deposit of $86,000.

Stephen King and Margaret Morgan-King have been forced to put their retirement plans on hold.

It’s money his young family, that has been living with relatives for four years to save,can’t afford to lose.

“I’m a firie and my wife is a midwife so we’re never going to be making big dollars, we did this to invest in our future,” Mr Mulder said. “This was our retirement savings.”

It all began several years ago when businessman, Colin Wallace, and real estate agent and developer, Jamin Ryan, both prominent members of the Christadelphian Church, bought a three-acre block in William Street, Teralba, for $1 million.

Back at that time the men were good friends. Theyhad high hopes for their $8.7 million plan to develop Teralba Waters Estate.

They formed a company called R & W Design (Teralba)and embarked on an ambitious plan to sell the house and land packages.

Melissa and Tim Weatherstone planned to move to Teralba Waters Estate.

Their companysigned a loan last year for $1 million with Home Savers Group, trading as Finance Wise, a lenderthatis run by Mr Wallace’sstep-daughter’s partner’s family.

The artist’s impressions thrust into the hands of potential buyers shows asmall, neat subdivisionwith brand new brick homes. They were all proposed to be built by Mr Wallace’scompany, Castle Eco Build.

Mr Ryan’s wife JanettBazouni Ryan, who runsMy Home Company, was signed on as the real estate agent.

By March, according to Mr Wallace, CastleEco Build, should have completed all 17 three-bedroom homes.

None of this, Mr Wallace reluctantly conceded last month, was now likely to happen.

Almost 18 months after the buyers signed onto the project and most handed over their deposits, the site lookslike aghost town, covered by grass, with large dirt mounds from partially completed earthworks.

Teralba Waters Estate site relisted for sale.

Mr Ryan and Mr Wallace, both former bankrupts,disagree on thecause of the development’s demiseand how their business relationship explodedat the start of the year: needless to say money isat the heart of the dispute.

The feud became so acrimonious it ended in Mr Ryan taking legal action against his former business partner.

Mr Wallace, who went bankrupt in1991, alleges the Teralba project couldn’t get further finance.

Mr Ryan, who went bankrupt in 2008 and wasconvictedby ASICin 2009 for breaches of the Corporations Act involvingcompany collapses, said his control of the development ceased in February when he was “removed” as a director ofR & W Design (Teralba) against his wishes.

“As far as I was concerned it was all moving ahead,” he said.“Everything was going fine, it was all smooth.”

He said 80 per cent of the civil works had been completed and there were “finance offers on the table”. Themen agree asignificant amount of money wasspent on earthworks and installing services atthe site.

In the 10months since the business relationship ended, the Teralba Waters saga unfolded dramatically.

The secured first mortgage to Finance Wise went into default and the finance company called on the loan.

Mr Wallace estimates W & R Design (Teralba)now owes about $1.3 million, partially due to defaults and penalties.

The 65-year-old claims to have mortgaged his house and said at one stage last month he had just $25 in the bank.

“I’ve put in $800,000 of my own money and I don’t have any more money,” he said. “I’m going to come out of this with nothing. I’m driving a borrowed car, I’m going to end up in a caravan on the pension.”

The issue was complicated furtherlast month whenMr Wallace’s Castle Eco Build was placed inliquidation owing more than $1million.Legal action to wind upthe company was initiatedby Mr Ryan’s wife, Mrs Bazouni Ryan, claiming $145,000 owed to My Home Company from unrelatedbusiness transactions.

An expressions of interest campaign to sell the Teralbasite, initiated by Finance Wise,ended unsuccessfullylast month.

Real estate agent Joe Di Claudio, of Dowling Mayfield, said there had been “plenty” of interest, but not in the right price range.

Stuart Scoles, a disability support worker from Maitland, who handed over $200,000 to secure a house and land package at Teralba Waters said he has “no idea” what he’d do if he doesn’tget his “life savings” back.

The 58-year-oldsaid he had known Mr Wallace for years because hispartner used to work for Castle Eco Build. He’s taken a caveat out on Mr Wallace’s Central Coast home, butdoesn’t believe Mr Wallace has done anything wrong.

“It’s really messy,” he said.“If I don’t get my money back it will really hurt me bad.”

Amid the dispute there is one thing Mr Ryan and Mr Wallace agreeon.

The value of the house and land packages hasincreased about $80,000 each since the project was first sold.

That is way beyond the means of the purchasers interviewed byFairfax Mediafor this article.

Mr Wallace said he was still hopeful the land would sell for a “decent price” and the buyers would get their money back.

“I’ve had hate mail addressed to my wife,” he said. “I’ve never done property development before, it’s my first time, and in all honesty it’s failed abysmally. At the end of the day it’s an investment and it hasn’t worked.”

Newcastle Herald

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Pictures from the NSW Surf Life Saving Championship at Stockton Beach

Pictures from the NSW Surf Life Saving Championship at Stockton Beach Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Day 1 of the NSW Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships at Stockon Beach, Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookStockton Beach wasthe venue for this year’s Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championship. TheHunter Clubhosted thecarnival for the first time since 2002.

A decade and a half mighthave passed since those days, but the Interbranch Championships still maintains a special place on the surf sports calendar.

A maximum of 40 athletes from each branch, consisting of three male and female competitors in the Under 12, Under 13, Under 14, Under 15, Under 17, Under 19 and Open age groups compete in both ocean and beach events over the course of the weekend.

For the athletes, performances are crucial with this weekend being thelast opportunity to impress selectors to be named in the NSW Interstate team to travel to South Australia in January.

​Check out all the action in the gallery above.

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An institution in crisis: Where to now for the Catholic Church?

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to hear Anne Levey has not stepped foot inside a Catholic church for more than two years.
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Her son Paul’s tale of being sent to live with notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale in Mortlake, Victoria,in the mid-1970s was among the most harrowing heard across more than two years of testimony.

Despite her best efforts to have her teenage son removed from Ridsdale’s control, disgraced former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns claimed he could not fulfill her wish despite knowing of the priest’s abusive history.

Now living in Albury, Ms Levey said her once-devout commitment to the cross had evaporated after hearing countless cases of rampant sexual abuse and systematic cover-ups.

“Iwas totally devastated when I went to the commission. Ithought it was just Ridsdale,” Ms Levey said upon hearing of the volume of paedophile priests operating throughout the Ballarat Diocese.“Iused to go to church every Sunday but I just couldn’t go down to the church now and look a priest in the face.”

Damaged: Anne Levey refuses to step foot in a Catholic church following the extensive sexual abuse suffered by her son Paul in the mid-1970s. Picture: Mark Jesser

While many parishioners like Ms Levey have chosen to abandon the organisation, others with an intimate understanding of the abuse have found comfort in their faith. However in the wake of the scandal there is a clear, growing groundswell calling for major reform of the Catholic Church’s governance.

Nowhere clearer was the commission’s damning effect on a once mighty institution of western Victoria felt than in the 2016 census, which delivered a blunt critique of the Catholic Church’s standing within Ballarat.

Those who registered as having ‘no religion’ jumped by more than 10 per cent, while the city’s official Catholic population dropped to less than 25 per cent.

The role faith had played in allowing abuse to proliferate throughout the diocese wasnot lost on the nation’s most powerful legal inquiry.The commission heard countless instances where clergy used their unquestioned standing within the community to break into families and gain access to children.

For one Ballarat family, who didn’t want to be named, it was this betrayal of trust which shattered their affiliation with an organisation which had once been a pillar of their lives.

Once active members of the Catholic community, the boys’ father said the family was willing to “do without a bit themselves” to put their children through the revered Catholic education system.The family felt “honoured” to host senior clergy for meals at their home and were thankful for one particular priest who seemed willing to go out of his way to spend time with the children.

The couple recalled when their boys fronted police with the allegations in the early 1990s, it was not just the senior church hierarchy who sought to silence the scandal.“Once they knew this had happened to our kids the parishionersdumped us,” the boys’ mother said.“I think they thought we were blaming the church for what happened to our kids.They thought you should never criticise the church.

“Alot of people who we thought were friends have never contacted us to see how we are.”

In just a few weeks the pair will make their annual trip to St Patrick’s Cathedral for Christmas mass, an unlikely ritual which has survived the trauma.Despite an unwavering belief in the Catholic doctrine, both affirmed the bulk of thechurch’s leaders and followers “simply don’t get it”.

Despite three separate hearings in both Ballarat and Sydney into abuse across western Victoria, the commission acknowledged the figures accrued were likely well short of the true scope of the damage.

Staying faithful: Jean Dumaresq’s son was among the dozens of Gerald Ridsdale’s victims when he was an altar boy in Lake Bolac. Picture: Lachlan Bence

The commission heard from several survivorswho“believed a number of their classmatesfrom St Alipius (Christian Brothers School) and St Patrick’s College had died by suicide or died prematurely,” never given the opportunity to tell their story before a federally-sanctioned inquiry.

While a remarkable 78 claims were made againstRidsdale, the story of JeanDumaresq’s son was not one of them.

An altar boy at Lake Bolac in the 1970s, Ms Dumaresq’s son did not reveal the abuse he suffered while his mother was“standingin the church yard” until he was almost 50 years old.A lethal concoction of prescription medication and alcohol in January 2016 led to his untimely death before he ever reported the abuse to the church or police.His mother to this day does not know if the tragic loss was suicide.

Despite the deep sense of betrayal, Ms Dumaresq remains a dedicated member of the Ballarat Diocese.Surrounded by religious paraphernalia in her Lucas home, she claims“it was my faith that kept me going and it’s kept me going through all of the trauma I’ve been through”.

“My son did ask me once why I was still going to church after what happened to him but I said my faith is in God, it’s not in some priest,” the 72-year-old affirmed.“People think the church is the hierarchy, but the church is a people.We’re the church, it’s not a building.”

Radical change: Warrenheip parishioner Liz Hanrahan believes the Catholic Church must “hit rock bottom” and rebuild as a grassroots movement. Picture: Brendan Wrigley

While almost a quarter of the city’s population might still class themselves as Catholic, the anecdotal evidence from the pews paints a bleaker picture, particularly amonga younger generation struggling to connect with a once revered institution.

While in part this reflects an almost eight per cent spike in Australians removing themselves from religion across the past half-decade, neither modern clergy or parishioners are denying decades of abuse and secrecy has tarnished the Catholic Church’s moral authority.

“The older generation have come through and their faith is so strong so they’re hanging in there,” Warrenheip parishioner Liz Hanrahan said.“But I have come across a lot of people who have been really strong church goers who have just walked away, some of them you would never expect.

“It’s very hard to get the kids interested in religious education anymore…I think (the abuse)has had an effect on the way they think about the church.I just feel as though the church has got to go down to rock bottom and emerge as a new way of operating as a church.A grassroots church.”

New approach: Vicar-general Justin Driscoll says the church has a mountain of work ahead of it to regain trust in the community. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

In a matter of days the commission will deliver its final diagnosis on the state of the Catholic Church when it hands down its recommendations.Ballarat Diocese Bishop Paul Bird said the church would be judged by its actions to protect children into the future.

His junior,Vicar-generalJustin Driscoll, was far stronger in his assessment.While the churches dotted across the small towns of western Victoria affirm the continued presence of Catholicism, Fr Driscoll admitted the trust in the church which was once taken for granted had vanished.

“I still see there would be individuals in the church who would want to pack this whole experience away and move on as though it hadn’t happened,” Fr Driscoll said.

“But the ground has so significantly shifted from beneath our feet that what was before won’t be regained.”

The Courier, Ballarat

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The winding path to same-sex marriage through the eyes of cartoonist David Pope

Marriage equality has been a long time coming in Australia.
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And throughout the past decade, Fairfax Media cartoonist David Pope has been there to capture every political moment as it happened along the way.

These twelve cartoons byPope, drawn between 2006 and 2017, illustrate the path to same-sex marriage in Australia.

The winding path to same-sex marriage through the eyes of cartoonist David Pope July 11, 2006

August 4, 2009

December 2, 2011

May 22, 2013

October 23, 2013

May 30, 2015

August 28, 2015

August 9, 2017

September 2, 2017

September 20, 2017

November 16, 2017

December 8, 2017

TweetFacebookWhat’s in the Marriage Act now?

According to Attorney-General George Brandis:

“The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender.Marriage will now be defined in theMarriage Act 1961as the ‘union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’. Same-sex couples now have the same rights under the Marriage Actas all other couples.”

When are the first same-sex weddings going to happen here?

The marriage reforms officially started on Saturday, December 9.

Couples must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month before the ‘solemnisation of the marriage’ –the wedding.

This means the first same-sex marriages in Australia will be on January 9, 2018.

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How to choose the right sunscreen

Kate Swift and her three children Carter, 5, Willow, 7, and Finn, 9, apply sunscreen at Coogee Beach. Photo: Katherine GriffithsKate Swift can remember a time when summer was synonymous with sunburn.
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So sun protection has become an essential part of life with three children, including Finn, nine, and Willow, seven, who do nippers training every Sunday.

“We always leave the house with a hat, sunscreen and appropriate clothing,” Ms Swift said.

“When your kids are little, their skin is so perfect and delicate, and you quickly realise how it can burn in the harsh Australian sun.

“It’s so different to when I was a kid – our school uniform didn’t have a hat, and a trip to the beach meant you’d sometimes get so burnt your skin would peel, or even blister. I tried explaining that to my kids recently, and they couldn’t believe it.”

As summer sets in, the Cancer Council stresses sunscreen is not enough to stop sunburn, and a hat, clothing and sunglasses are also essential.

“It’s not a shield of armour,” said Craig Sinclair, head of the Cancer Council’s public health committee.

“The intensity of UV rays, which we know cause sunburn and skin cancer, is very strong this time of year. To protect ourselves against this harsh and intense UV environment, you need all the forms of sun protection.”

With SPF 30+, SPF 50+, generic, expensive, perfumed, and spray lotions available, sunscreen is often the trickiest form of sun protection to decipher.

How to choose the right sunscreen

Mr Sinclair said the basic criteria should be a product that is at least SPF 30+, is broad spectrum, and water resistant. It should be a product that feels comfortable because you’re more likely to re-apply it.

While SPF 50+ offers more protection it can be thick or have a “ghosting” effect on the skin, deterring some people from applying it correctly.

“If it doesn’t look or feel right you’re better off choosing an SPF 30+, which you find easier to rub on,” Mr Sinclair said.

“An SPF 30+ applied properly will always outperform an SPF 50+ applied inadequately.”

How to choose a brand

Selecting a brand generally comes down to personal choice about how a sunscreen looks, feels, or smells, as all products sold in Australia are regulated.

Sunscreens must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, just like medicines. In order to be listed, manufacturers must test the product according to the Australian standard.

Concerns have been raised about the efficacy of some SPF 50+ products in the past, but Mr Sinclair said problems usually arise with incorrect application.

“Consumers have every right to feel confident that the sunscreen they’re purchasing – whether it’s a cheap generic brand or an expensive, exclusive brand – offers the sun protection that’s stated on the bottle,” Mr Sinclair said.

How to apply

An adult should apply about one teaspoon of cream to each limb, the torso, back and face – about 35ml in total – 20 minutes before going out in the sun.

It should be rubbed into dry, clean skin and be re-applied every two hours, or after swimming, sweating, and using a towel.

Is it safe?

Aerosol sunscreens were recently deemed useless because they cannot deliver an adequate amount of lotion.

Bannister Law has raised the possibility of a class action against Edgewell Personal Care, the makers of Banana Boat aerosols, alleging the products were marketed as having a higher SPF level than they really did.

Banana Boat “categorically refuted” those claims.

Over the years, there have been concerns about ingredients that disrupt the endocrine system and the effect of nanoparticles.

The Cancer Council says there is no evidence of chemicals used in Australian sunscreens disrupting the endocrine system.

The peak cancer advisory body also says based on the best evidence, nanoparticles used in sunscreens do not pose a health risk, though it continues to monitor the research.

Cream for kids

Lotions targeted at children are usually suitable for sensitive skin. But that doesn’t mean they can’t use regular sunscreen.

“Use it on a small patch of skin first and if there’s no problem, then go ahead and use a typical adult formula,” Mr Sinclair said.

Sunscreen should not be used on babies, who should be protected by hats, clothing, shade, and kept inside during the hottest parts of the day.

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Jets strike late to stun Perth

ON TARGET: Johnny Koutroumbis celebrates after scoring against Perth Glory in the Jets’ 2-1 win on Saturday night. Picture:AAPNEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick says he should be charged with “theft” after watching his side steal a 2-1 A-League win over Perth Glory with two goals at the death.
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Glory looked headed for victory courtesy of a 20th-minute strike from Joe Knowles in Saturday night’s game at nib Stadium.

But a sweet volley from 19-year-old Jets substitute John Koutroumbis in the 88th minute levelled the scores, before Glory defender Jeremy Walker scored an own goal in the 92nd minute to hand all three points to the Jets. The double blow stunned the 8063 crowd, and left Glory languishing in eighth spot following consecutive defeats.

The Jets remain in second spot, five points adrift of ladder-leading Sydney. Newcastle struggled for opportunities for most of the match, and Merrick said his side were lucky to come away with the win.

“The police have just come into the dressing room and charged us with stealing three points,” Merrick said.

“It really was theft. We didn’t deserve three.

“Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck. We’ve played some really good games and finished up either losing or getting a draw.

“We were a bit lucky tonight. I felt it was a bit of a scrappy game, but the better team was Perth Glory, without a doubt.” Glory coach Kenny Lowe was proud of his team’s efforts, and agreed with Merrick’s thoughts.

“I think he’s being very honest. Ernie’s a decent bloke and he knows the game,” Lowe said.

“They’ve had one shot on target and won the game. I don’t know how you can do that.

“I thought we were excellent. I thought we controlled the game.” Koutroumbis made no mistake with his volley after Roy O’Donovan’s header fell to him as he surged into the box.

And Walker could only look on in distress as his attempted clearance from a corner came off his left thigh and rocketed into the back of the net. Star Glory striker Andy Keogh failed to return from a groin injury, but Spaniard Diego Castro made a strong cameo off the bench Jets striker O’Donovan also made a strong return off the bench in his first game back from a groin injury.

Glory defender Alex Grant (hamstring) and Xavi Torres (groin) limped off in the 67th minute, and their absence left a big hole as Newcastle stole the win.

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How to cope when your ATAR arrives

The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves, but remember: the ATAR will not make or break your life. Don’t let your ATAR define you
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It is the biggest cliche of them all when it comes to the final years of school. But it is also the most true: The ATAR will not make or break your life. The ATAR is not an IQ score. The ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admission Rank – is exactly that. A rank. It is not a measure of how well you will succeed in life, and it is not a ticket to a high-paying job. It won’t set you up for life, and it certainly won’t end your chances.

You have every right to be super proud if you do get the ATAR you were aiming for. It will probably get you into the university course you have your heart set on and it can make the next step in your journey a little more straightforward. But do not let it define you.

Remember: More than half of all students who start a degree at an Australian university are admitted in ways other than by their ATAR. That can be anything from interviews, to Year 11 and 12 reports, to portfolios.

Professor James Arvanitakis is an academic who regularly speaks and writes about the unhelpful hype around the ATAR. He offers students this advice: “Put enough pressure on yourself to do well. Any more than that is wasted energy. It leads to panic and over-stress.”

“When I did they HSC there was only one way to university. But now we have so many pathways. Even medicine has multiple pathways,” Arvanitakis says. What is an ATAR and how is it calculated?

The ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is not a mark; it is a rank. It’s a number between 0 and 99.95, increasing by 0.05 increments. The highest possible ATAR is 99.95, while the lowest is 30. Any rank below that is referred to as “30 or less”. The ATAR system is now used by all Australian states and territories, although Queensland is still transitioning from its Overall Position (OP) to the ATAR system.

The ATAR is a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement in relation to other students. It helps universities rank applicants for selection into their courses. It’s designed to predict how well you will perform in your first year at university.

Your result is a percentile position out of all students who started Year 7 with you. So an ATAR of 80 doesn’t mean you got 80 per cent, rather, it means that you’re in the top 20 per cent of your year group. The average ATAR is usually around 70, not 50 as you may think. It would only be 50 if everyone from Year 7 went on to get an ATAR – and they won’t.

Scaling is the first step in calculating the ATAR. This is important because students take all sorts of different courses, so scaling allows courses to be compared fairly. The same marks in different courses are not necessarily equal, just as the same amounts of money in different countries are not equal. Scaling is done using raw marks to ensure apples are compared with apples, so a scaled mark of 50 means the same – you were in the middle of those who took the course. Scaled marks are then used to rank students.

Universities make admission offers based on the number of places available for a course, the number of students who have applied and their ATARs.

All universities publish their ATARs for each course, based on the previous year’s admissions. This gives a good indication of the minimum ATAR you will need. Advice for parents

Judith Carlisle, headmistress at top British independent girls’ school the Oxford High School, has a blunt message for her students: No one will give a damn about your final school results a couple of years down the track.

So forget about being perfect, she says. Instead, learn how to cope with failure.

Sounds harsh – but it is good advice.

Since 2014, Carlisle has been running a program called the Death of Little Miss Perfect. She wants to get rid of the idea that girls need to be perfect, so she uses the phrase ‘”unhelpful perfectionism” to explain what she means.

“In a high-achieving school such as Oxford High School, there is now a recognition amongst pupils that the further you go in academia there is less likely to be an answer that can be verified as correct or perfect. Girls are encouraged to just go for it, and that it is OK to learn from failure,” Carlisle says. “Importantly, they are all encouraged to be kinder and more positive towards themselves.”

In Australia, Jenny Allum, head of the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School in Darlinghurst, has a similar message for teenagers and their parents: Parents have a role in helping their teenagers (girls or boys) to avoid “catastrophising” when things do not go as planned.

“If you think getting 12 out of 20 in an essay, or even 8 out of 20, is the worst thing in the world, then you have a pretty good life,” Allum says. “Every tiny little milestone that happens in your last two years of school is not the be-all and end-all. Nothing is the end of the world.”

“Teenagers have highs and lows about all sorts of things.” says Allum. “I think it is important for the adults around young people to be the stable ones, to be the calm and rational ones with reality checks. When parents ride waves of emotions with their teenagers – whether they are elated when something good happens [or] angry when things are not so good – [it] only amplifies those ups and downs.” When the results are not what you were expecting

The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves.

When the day arrives, there can be jubilation. Or devastation. And plenty of emotions in between.

All may not go well. Disappointing scores? An ATAR that will probably fall short of the mark?

The not-for-profit organisation Youth Beyond Blue, which works to address issues around depression and anxiety, urges parents not to be fooled by their teenagers if they appear too dismissive of their results – particularly if they were lower than what everyone expected.

Chances are they really do care about how they went, and especially about what their parents and friends think.

Don’t make negative comments or point out what they could have done differently.

It’s too late to criticise now. Remind them that all is not lost if they do not get into their first choice of uni course or miss out on their traineeship. There are many pathways to get to their ultimate career destination.

Their exams will be a distant memory before they know it, and their marks will not damage their future.

Encourage your teenager to think of Plan B.

It is common to transfer degrees after first-year university, so their second-choice course may be a good option. They could take a gap year and spend some time working. A career or guidance counsellor may be able to help make a plan.

And just keep reminding them that a Year 12 result, whether good or bad, does not define them.

This is an edited extract fromIf You Want to Blitz Your Year 12 Exams … Read this Book, by the Herald’s education editor Alexandra Smith (ABC Books RRP$27.99), published on December 18.

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‘I bought the zoo,’ says the man who fell in love with the devil

News Review. Singles Gallery. Kangaroo road kill between Walgett and Lightning Ridge. Photograph by Edwina pickles. Taken on 25th July 2010. ” i must of drove around & past 10-20 kangeroos, casualty of roadkill.The devil made him do it. Animal behaviouralist Bruce Englefield emigrated to Australia after falling in love with Tasmanian devils, working with others to save them from the facial cancer that was threatening them with extinction.
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But he was shocked when nearly a quarter of healthy devils released back into the wild became road kill within weeks of their release.

The roads are as big a threat to the devils as the facial cancers, he says. His research estimates “millions” of Australian marsupials are killed on the Australian roads every year. The most vulnerable are kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and koalas, he says. The figures don’t include birds or reptiles, also run over in large numbers.

At 75, Mr Englefield – previously a television technical director, animal behaviour counsellor and farmer in Britain – is now undertaking a doctorate in veterinary science with the University of Sydney.

To find out how many animals are being killed by cars, Mr Englefield is conducting a survey of anyone who rescues native animals. He wants to quantify the size of the problem (estimates vary wildly and hard data is hard to find), the number of wildlife carers, how much support they need and how they can continue to rescue injured animals as the amount of road kill increases.

“If you find a dead wallaby with a live joey, it can be alive in the pouch for three to four days,” he said. With so much road kill, the government and the public had a choice of policy options: “You either bring in a policy to leave them there and let them starve to death, or take them out and euthanise them. I don’t think the Australian public would go along with this. The only alternative, then, is hand rearing these animals, and if that is the decision you may need a lot of voluntary carers.”

NSW’s WIRES Wildlife Rescue responds to thousands of calls each year related to motor vehicle collisions.

Right now, it’s the worst time of the year for road kill and injured animals.

It is currently receiving about 4000 calls a week about animals that have been injured on the roads and elsewhere, and the number of calls rose 19 per cent in the past year to 143,000.

Yet its spokeswoman said it was impossible to say accurately how many animals were killed or orphaned by cars each year.

She said it was difficult to identify why animals were coming into care because some may have been moved from the scene of the accident. Those which were euthanised on the scene, or orphaned, were not attributed directly to motor vehicle collisions, although they were often the result of these crashes.

It receives more calls to help animals in more populated areas where there are major roads located near areas of native habitat. “This is partly due to road traffic but also loss of habitat and just greater human-animal interaction in general,” the spokeswoman said.

Some highways now have overpasses or tunnels to allow native animals to cross safely.

In Queensland, CSIRO’s research has found vehicle strike is a major threat to koalas. In 2013, Fairfax Media reported 10,956 of the 15,644 south-east Queensland koalas that died between 1997 and 2011 were struck by cars, mauled by dogs, or died of stress-related disease.

But a six-year study of bridges and tunnels found many animals regularly used tunnels and bridges as soon as they worked out how to use them.

WIRES wants more of these crossings: “We are a long way from the ideal, but it would be great if organisations and government could work together to identify hotspots where safe animal crossings or rope bridges could be deployed to reduce the impact of our roads on wildlife.”

Based in Tasmania, described by some as the road kill capital of Australia, Mr Englefield fell in love with Australian wildlife when he visited Tasmania on holiday in 2000.

When he visited a wildlife park about 150 kilometres east of Hobart, he saw devils for the first time.

“I was wowed, I couldn’t work them out, and their behaviour with spinning and running, and everything they did, was different from anything I’d seen from other animals. They were unique. They fascinated me,” he said.

He also saw that the zoo was for sale.

“To cut a long story short, we bought a zoo,” he said.

“But it was the devil that brought me over here. I started the Devil Island Project and by running a wildlife park I had the thrill of seeing devils on a daily basis,” he said.

Researchers within the Tasmanian government’s Save the Tasmanian Devil Program have since pioneered new approaches that have reduced the road toll of devils being released.

As part of his research Mr Englefield is undertaking a scientific appraisal of a virtual fence system that appeared to reduce devil road kill. If shown to be successful, it could be extended Australia-wide.

Survey: https://redcap.sydney.edu419论坛/surveys/?s=NHTLWLKTRT

Wildlife Rescue Line: 13 000 WIRES or 1300 094 737.

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Paramedic educator shortage stokes fears for front-line

Overstretched paramedic educators are struggling to support untenable numbers of front-line staff hone critical skills to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies including birthing complications and stroke.
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A shortage of educators has left critical training officers (CTOs) responsible for training up to three times the number of paramedics than recommended by NSW Ambulance itself.

A leaked 2015 report from NSWA stipulates the appropriate ratio for educators to paramedics is one to 75.

But this ratio has never been achieved in Sydney “with subsequent negative impacts on both educators and paramedics”, according to the Paramedic Response Network, Education report.

“Educators are overwhelmed with a workload incorporating CTP course delivery, workshops for accelerated clinical roll outs, return to clinical practice, training needs analysis, clinical assistance programs, on road assessments, trainee followup [sic] and general engagement with paramedic staff,” the report read.

Paramedics were not able to access educators when they wanted to, and a lack of CTOs meant there were delays in getting returning paramedics back to work.

Two years on, the ratio of educators to paramedics in western Sydney has ballooned to 1:211, almost three times recommended ratio, according to staffing figures obtained by the Health Services Union (HSU).

In south west Sydney there are 188 paramedics to a single CTO, two-and-a-half times the recommendation.

In South East and Central Sydney, the ratio is 1:177, and in North Sydney there are 146 paramedics for every CTO.

Paramedic CTO and HSU delegate Allison Moffitt said the roles of responsibilities foisted upon educators have increased markedly, but their ranks have not.

“There is an untenable workload pushed onto educators because of a lack of staff,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“We’re not even close to where we need to be, There is just not enough of us to effectively support our paramedics.”

Mrs Moffitt said the pressure has taken its toll on educators as well as frontline staff.

“They work in really difficult conditions under really stressful circumstances and are short staffed themselves. They turn to us for support and when we can’t give it to them, that is a really hard thing for us to deal with.”

“We feel like we’re letting them down.” Educator to paramedic ratiosWest Sydney 1:211South west Sydney 1:188South east and central Sydney 1:177North Sydney 1:146

Being “severely understaffed” on the front lines and in eductors ranks will also have flow-on effects for patients, Mrs Moffitt said.

When NSWA decide to roll out a new training module, CTOs are tasked with creating the content and teach the course in addition to their already overwhelming workload that sees them travel between ambulance stations to oversee paramedics’ follow up training.

“When a new training package is rolled out, ongoing training suffers,” Ms Moffitt said.

CTOs are currently working on a suite of new maternal care training covering medical emergencies involving pregnant women and their unborn babies.

The skills paramedics need to respond to birthing complications including breech birth and prenatal haemorrhage are not routine, and paramedics will need considerable training and support to master the techniques.

The relative rarity of encountering a birthing complication only reinforced the importance of thorough and ongoing training to cement the knowledge, Mrs Moffitt said.

“It’s a big area of need for us [in terms of training] because it’s not something paramedics do everyday.

“When it does happen we’re talking about a critical medical emergency,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“You can’t just go through a course and be a master at it. They need to be supported throughout their career and we can’t give them that with the current ratios,” she said.

Training in thrombolysis to treat blood clots and prevent heart attack and stroke was another training priority.

“We know drastically improves patient outcomes and decreases long-term complications, but again it’s not something paramedics practise everyday so they need to drill the skills,” Mrs Moffitt said.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said the community expected paramedics to be prepared for critical health emergencies across the gamut of medical scenarios, and capable of dealing with the most extreme presentations in volatile situations.

The HSU is urging the state government to fund an additional 31 educators.

Mr Hayes said paramedics needed consistent ongoing training and access to educators to maintain the skills and knowledge needed to respond to traumatic births, heart attacks, major trauma, mass casualties, drownings, suicide attempts, mental health emergencies and rescue operations, Mr Hayes said.

“We can’t expect to maintain world-class paramedic standards without sufficient paramedic educators,” he said.

“Over the next 20 years, this state will grow by several million people. NSW desperately needs investment in its paramedic workforce to keep pace with that growth.

“Unfortunately, the current government’s investment in paramedic skills and training is a fail.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for NSWA said the service had 70 dedicated staff to support training and eduction of frontline paramedics and two new CTOs recently started in Sydney, as well as an additional aeromedical educator starting in the new year.

“NSW Ambulance is committed to providing quality clinical training for our dedicated paramedic staff,” the statement read.

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Investor Angie Ellis reveals the secret of her Shares Race success

The Sunday Age,Money. Angie Ellis is the reigning champion for the 2017 Shares Race, pictured with her dog cushion Charlie.Pic Simon Schluter 10 November 2017.
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Angie Ellis has won more of the four-week shares races this year than any other competitor, including the professional tipsters.

Not only has she won more four-week competitions, she was leading the one-year race all year and was just pipped to the post in the final results published last week.

So what are her secrets for success?

It all started when Ellis seeded her family share portfolio from the proceeds of investment properties about four years ago.

The 46-year-old from Melbourne has an investment style best described as “growth”.

She prefers to invest for capital gains rather than holding the local market’s big dividend payers like the big banks.

Her family portfolio is separate from her superannuation, which allows Ellis, a trained accountant, to take more risks knowing her retirement savings are protected. Speculative

Ellis is much more speculative for the four-week Shares Race than she is with the one-year game and her family portfolio.

For the four-week race, in which eight competitors select 10 stocks with a hypothetical $10,000 in each, she likes to see strong share price gains with no down days before the race starts.

“It has to be an easy-to-understand business that is also a ‘hot’ share,” Ellis says. “I pick shares in sectors that are trending up and that are receiving a lot of media attention.”

Ellis also likes to see the directors of the company themselves as well as fund managers buying shares in the company.

With her star pick Digitalx, a facilitator of overseas money transfers using digital currencies, Ellis ended the last four-week race of the year, which she won, with her original $10,000 worth $31,250.

“I like companies that have a global outlook and a lot of my shares are not just Australian based,” she says.

Ellis has done very well from A2 Milk Company in her family portfolio, whose products include infant formula.

“There were a lot of articles in the Australian Financial Review about A2 Milk and about milk formula generally in China,” she says.

“I went to the supermarkets and you could see that it was flying off the shelves and I spent the whole week looking at A2 Milk.Then, I was helping a girlfriend out who had broken her knee and I opened her fridge and there were half-a-dozen bottles of A2 Milk in her fridge and I started buying A2 Milk at about 80c.”

A2 Milk’s shares are now worth almost 10 times that.

Of course, just like any share investor, Ellis has had her fair share of disappointments.

For her family portfolio she bought Buddy Platform, a platform for monitoring and reducing consumption of electricity, water and gas, among other things.

She bought the shares for about 13c in May last year and sold out a year later for 5c.

Almost immediately after selling the shares, they rocketed to about 35c.

“I’ve learnt that sometimes it takes a while for the market to catch-up on why these businesses are amazing,” Ellis says. Year-long race

For the one-year shares race and for her family portfolio she puts more emphasis on companies with strong revenue and profit growth and good “tailwinds” for the business.

She wants to know how a company is going to generate cash, grow its business and strengthen its economic “moat”, the barrier to entry for new competitors.

Ellis’ pick of Big Un, the parent company of Big Review TV, helped to finish in the long race as well as helping her to win many of the four-week races.

She bought shares in the company in late January this year for 42 cents and they are now trading at about $3.50.

The Big Review TV platform integrates multimedia to provide a hub for people to search, view and review businesses, events and destinations.

It has a global focus and strong revenue growth. She took the time to understand the business model and contacted a few of its customers to see if they were happy and would be likely to resubscribe to the service.

Ellis took the opportunity to realise her huge gains from Big Review TV to plough 80 per cent of the sale proceeds in jewellery retailer Lovisa, which became her largest holding in her year-long portfolio.

The company is rapidly expanding overseas and recently opened a “pilot” store in Los Angeles.

Ellis has a contact in Los Angeles who sent Ellis some photos of inside the store showing it bustling with customers.

Last year, Ellis visited a QVB store in Sydney with her daughter and after seeing the store doing a brisk trade, bought more of the company’s shares.

Ellis attends the company AGMs to make a point of meeting the chief executive and the board. Offshore holdings

Ellis has 30 per cent of her family portfolio invested in global markets with much of her international exposure held in Australian-listed exchange traded funds (ETFs).

These are funds that track not only sharemarket indices, but a variety of markets such as the gold and oil prices.

One of her ETFs tracks the share prices of the biggest companies listed on Asian sharemarkets.

She has further exposure to emerging markets through a managed fund with a focus on the Indian sharemarket.

Ellis holds only two overseas-listed shares directly; Amazon and Twitter, which are listed on Wall Street.

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