Daily Archives: 05/06/2018

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Super trawler leaving port

June 5th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

ADELAIDE – A controversial Dutch super- trawler was expected to sail from South Australia’s Port Lincoln last night, prompting Greenpeace to call again for the federal government to cancel its licence.
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A spokesman for Seafish Tasmania was unable to confirm whether the trawler was sailing yesterday.

The spokesman pointed to a research paper by the University of Tasmania’s Professor Colin Buxton and others.

The paper – a study of Australian small pelagic fishing grounds- concluded that catch quotas had only a low impact on local fish populations and ecosystems.

Greenpeace spokesman Ben Pearson said the government could stop “this marine weapon of mass destruction – and it should”.

He said the FV Margiris, renamed the Abel Tasman, was expected to depart Port Lincoln and start fishing.

On Thursday, federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said he had done all he could to restrict the ship’s operations in Australian waters but the regulations might need to be extended.

The government has imposed restrictions including a requirement to have an observer on board and to film its operations with an underwater camera.

Mr Pearson said the SA government had banned the trawler from fishing in South Australian waters.

The SA Sardine Industry Association had also called on the federal government to ban the trawler from the small pelagic fishery because it threatened the state’s million sardine industry and jobs.

“The South Australian Labor government has acted to protect its fishing industry and precious marine life,” he said.

“The federal Labor government should now act on behalf of the nation and ban this monster from Australian waters.”

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

ALMOST two kilograms of cannabis seized from an Elizabeth Town property this summer still posed a risk to the community, even though it was grown for personal use, a Supreme Court judge has said.
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Police seized 1.94 kilograms of the drug from Paul Richard Hilton’s Bass Highway home on January 3 this year, where it was drying in the upstairs bedroom.

Hilton, 65, was sentenced in the Supreme Court in Launceston yesterday after being found not guilty by jury of drug trafficking but guilty of possessing a controlled substance.

He also pleaded guilty to cultivating a controlled plant.

Justice Helen Wood said the drugs that police seized had a street value of at least ,000.

“Consistent with the jury’s verdict, I find that Mr Hilton did not intend to sell any of the cannabis,” she said.

Police also found two hydroponically grown cannabis plants, three straggly specimens from the vegetable garden, a tray of 18 cannabis seedlings, hydroponic gear and nine cannabis root-balls in the search.

Justice Wood said Hilton had been a heavy drug user for most of his life, including 28 years on the methadone program.

“Although a heavy user, he would still need more than 12 months to use all the cannabis,” she said.

“When large amounts of cannabis like this are stockpiled, there’s always a risk that some of it will make its way into the community.”

Hilton was fined and put on probation for 12 months.

Justice Wood said he had indicated a willingness to undergo drug counselling.

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

A RECOMMENDATION to allow The Shout Bar to operate as licensed premises under strict conditions within the Launceston Indoor Sports Arena will go before the Launceston City Council on Monday.
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Aldermen will decide whether or not to approve a place of assembly for the Racecourse Crescent bar, which the council alleged was operating outside its “members lounge” permit as a public bar in July.

The council believes the bar, which is operating with a midnight licence, went beyond what was originally approved – resulting in antisocial behaviour and its upstairs deck receiving numerous complaints from the public.

If the recommendation is passed on Monday, The Shout will be for the “exclusive” use of LISA members, their family and friends, must not operate as a general public bar or advertise itself as such and will not be made available for public hire.

Owner Anthony Whitehead must keep a written record of the names and addresses of every LISA member and invited guest who enters the bar, operate between certain times, with the maximum opening hour being 11pm on Saturday nights.

The controversial first floor deck must not be used as a place of assembly, no alcohol is to be consumed on it and no live sports can be shown.

One security guard must be on site from 6pm on Saturdays until closure.

Several alterations to the footpath and parking must also be made with specified periods of time.

The council has received 25 objections to the application.

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

MELBOURNE – Hawthorn has overcome an injury wave and brutal Collingwood resistance to confirm its status as the clear AFL premiership favourite and set up a home preliminary final.
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The Hawks thrashed the Magpies 20.15 (135) to 15.7 (97) in last night’s qualifying final in front of 85,625 fans at the MCG.

Forced to leave out Brent Guerra (hamstring) and Clinton Young (calf), the Hawks made Jordan Lewis (hamstring) a late pre-game withdrawal, then lost Brendan Whitecross to a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury in the early minutes.

Physically pounded by a desperate Collingwood early, with Chris Tarrant setting the tone with his harassment of Lance Franklin, the Hawks trailed the Magpies late in the first half, at which stage Franklin was yet to kick a goal.

But the Hawks showed enormous fight and class, kicking the last three goals of the first half, including Franklin’s first after the siren, to assert their authority, then finished over the top of the Magpies.

Hard-nosed midfielders Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell were outstanding, youngster Luke Breust displayed great poise and kicked two goals, while Franklin finished with four and Josh Gibson was staunch in defence.

Travis Cloke kicked six goals for the Magpies and Andrew Krakouer four.

While the Hawks will have a fortnight’s break, the Magpies face a do-or-die MCG semi-final next weekend, against the winner of tomorrow’s West Coast-North Melbourne clash.

Both sides have some notable match review panel concerns.

Tarrant could be in trouble for a jab to Franklin’s body in the first term and fellow backman Nick Maxwell for an off-the-ball clash with Paul Puopolo in the third.

Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead will also attract scrutiny for knocking Chris Dawes over away from the play in the first quarter.

The Hawks showed early nerves, missing their first four shots at goal, but still built a 15-point lead at quarter-time.

Collingwood fought back with three goals in five minutes early in time-on in the second term to inch ahead, before a late Hawthorn surge sent them 18 points clear at the long break.

Two crucial missed opportunities cost the Magpies dearly in the third term.

Cloke had an early shot at goal, but it was taken off him when Tarrant infringed on Franklin off Cloke could have narrowed the gap to 18 points midway through the term, but kicked out on the full, with the Hawks again going forward where a Franklin free kick against Tarrant resulted in a major.

Another to Jack Gunston a minute later put the Hawks 36 points clear and the contest was all but over.

Cyril Rioli of the Hawks handballs whilst being tackled by Alex Fasolo of the Magpies last night.

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

TALL defender Tanner Smith will pit his endurance, speed, agility and skill against Australia’s top up-and-coming talent in the AFL national combine.
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Smith is the sixth Rebel invited to the intense screening at Etihad Stadium next month.

A further four Rebels have been called up to AFL state combine, run alongside national testing, in Melbourne.

The AFL unveiled 23 tall defenders this week for scrutiny in the four-day national combine – each marked as highly athletic with strong rebounding and spoiling skills and versatility to swing into forward roles.

AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan said Smith fits the mould well with good closing speed. He reads play well and makes good decisions on whether to mark or spoil.

Smith provides good run out of defence but can also move forward and make an impact.

The Kalkee junior played represented Vic Country four times in this year’s AFL national under-18 championships, often matching up on the best opposition forward.

More than 200 candidates have been called on to test at the AFL national combine, with the names of tall forwards, ruckmen and international invitees yet to be released.

Rebels already named for national and state screening include medium forward Louis Herbert (South Warrnambool), medium defenders Martin Gleeson (Koroit) and Tyler Blake (Horsham), medium midfielders Dom Barry (Northern Territory), Matt Crouch (Beaufort), Jake Lloyd (Horsham), Tony Lockyer (Sebastopol) and small forwards Jake Neade (Northern Territory) and Nick Rippon (East Ballarat).

Tanner Smith

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

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Generation lost?

June 5th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

WHEN Eva Valiente finished her university studies in advertising, she fired off written applications to 200 companies in Madrid. She did not get a single reply. So Valiente got part-time work with a chain of fashion shops. They sacked her when she turned 25 – she was too old for their look now, they said.
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”It is illegal but the laws are weak for beginning people,” she says, with the hard-earned wisdom of a 26-year-old.

She tells of a friend who was offered a ”job” in which she would work from 9am to 9pm five days a week – and get no salary for a year. Talking of the desperation of young Spaniards for work, she says ”it’s for crying.”

Spain’s youth unemployment rate is a staggering 53 per cent, the highest in the 17-member eurozone. Among the jobless are Valiente’s boyfriend, a qualified lawyer who has never had work in his field, and two of her sisters: one a graphic designer who has never worked and the other a psychologist who recently lost her job. All of this in a middle-class, educated family – Valiente’s father is a doctor.

The eurozone now has a total of 3.3 million young people who cannot find work. Leading this dismal set of statistics are Spain and its fellow victim of financial crisis, Greece (52.8 per cent). With half the eurozone nations in recession, there are now enough unemployed people of all ages to make up a middling-sized country: 25 million.

There are warnings of a ”lost generation” from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development. In a report in July, it demanded urgent action to stop the cyclic jobless problem becoming permanent, particularly for young people. ”We need to avoid the risk of a lost generation by all means,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

An alarming report by the World Economic Forum, Global Risks 2012, used even tougher language. It warns that with unemployment and systemic financial crises, the world is sowing ”the seeds of dystopia”, defined as ”the opposite of utopia, a place where life is full of hardship and devoid of hope”.

The report, based on the views of 469 leaders from industry, government, academia and NGOs, warned that rapid global changes risked producing misery for much of humanity. The risks included ”a large youth population [that] contends with chronic, high levels of unemployment, while concurrently the largest population of retirees in history becomes dependent upon already heavily indebted governments.

”Both young and old could face an income gap, as well as a skills gap so wide as to threaten social and political stability.”

Declining economic conditions could jeopardise the social contracts between states and citizens and increase nationalism and populism. The Forum warned of the emergence of ”critical fragile states – formerly wealthy countries that descend into lawlessness and unrest as they become unable to meet their social and fiscal obligations”.

The number one risk to global stability, according to the report? Major systemic financial failure – that is, the collapse of finance or banking institutions, or even a whole currency.

All of which leads back to Spain and its potential to wreak economic disaster upon the rest of Europe and, perhaps, the world.

Madrid does not look like the capital of a struggling nation. Its broad, proud boulevards and graceful old buildings speak of majestic confidence. Its pavements are smooth and its many public gardens green and manicured, despite a summer so hot that there have been bushfires in the provinces. Madrid does not seem to have in any numbers beggars such as the Romanies on Parisian streets, or the English homeless holding out plastic cups for coins in London.

But Spain is suffering. While Greece’s public writhing under the agonies of austerity in a recession has been the focus of headlines, this is because if the eurozone falls, Greece is likely to be the first domino. In many ways, however, Spain is the bigger worry.

Greece is a small nation and accounts for only 3 per cent of the eurozone economy. While its exit from the euro might trigger a crisis of confidence in Europe’s financial markets, the euro would have a chance of surviving it. But Spain is Europe’s fourth-largest economy and is widely considered too big to bail.

That did not stop the European Central Bank deciding in June to lend Spain up to €100 billion to help its struggling banks in an attempt to ward off a more serious emergency.

Spain is in financial crisis – and Valiente and her family and friends are out of work – because of what Spaniards call ”the brick bubble”. When Spain joined the euro, credit became cheap as the European Central Bank kept interest rates low for the whole zone. Spaniards bought property, leading to a construction boom. In 2007 came the bust.

Credit tightened. People stopped buying. The value of houses plummeted, some by more than 50 per cent, leaving many people owing big mortgages worth more than the property involved. Banks found themselves weighed down with mortgage defaults and toxic assets worth a fraction of their previous value. The countryside is dotted with ghost towns, huge housing developments that remain unfinished and unsold. Federal and regional governments that had spent big as revenues flowed found themselves unable to balance budgets.

The human cost is dire. Spain now has 1.7 million households in which no one is working, and the government says it does not expect joblessness to fall below 22 per cent until at least 2015.

For Valiente and others like her, this means adult life is on hold indefinitely. She and her boyfriend would like to live together but they can’t afford it, she says in frustration: ”You can’t leave home. You can’t be in a couple. You can’t be a mother. You feel like you are too old for everything, but at the same time, you have to live like you’re a 15-year-old. You live with your parents; you live like a teenager.”

This pattern of delayed adult milestones is also showing up in statistics, says sociologist Almudena Moreno Minguez of Valladolid University. ”If you compare us with other European countries, Spaniards are now marrying three or four years later, on average, and having children six or seven years later.”

This is partly because many of those aged between 25 and 34 who moved out of home a few years ago when they started work are returning because they’re unemployed and broke. Parents call them ”boomerangs”, she says.

”The parents aren’t happy. There comes a point when even the family cannot support another three or four members at home.”

She says research shows that young people are feeling angry and alienated from the formal structures of society; they feel they have no voice in the deciding of public affairs. Recent improvements to welfare benefits did not include them, she says, and Spain spends less of its GDP on training and education than the rest of the eurozone.

Many Spaniards talk with disdain of the ”botellones” (from the word for big bottles) – young people who gather at night in public places to drink and party because they can’t afford clubs or bars.

Moreno says, ”Even worse than not investing in them, people here try to make them feel guilty. ‘You are responsible for this situation.’ It’s like they have spat them out.”

A survey of young people aged 15 to 29 asked them to rank different institutions according to how well they respected them. Moreno says, ”They gave justice 3, unions 4.5 – and politicians 2.”

Their disdain for politicians is shared by their elders. Newspaper columnist Luis del Pino, who contributes to El Mundo, says Spaniards have an old saying, ”Two things are bad for your health – politicians and smoking, in that order.”

He says ”legal” political corruption is to blame for many of the financial problems. Regional politicians manipulated local banks to encourage finance for local projects: ”They put boards of directors that oriented these savings banks towards giving credit to big construction companies who were friends of the politicians. All this subsequently collapsed.”

Four Spanish banks that have been part-nationalised because of toxic debts have at least €71 billion ($A87 billion) in bad loans on their books.

Politicians also made many political appointments to get friends and supporters on the public payroll, he says. ”Mayors and ministers have a total of 17,000 ‘personal advisers’, according to my colleagues at El Mundo. That’s an €850 million expense each year.”

And some politicians also manipulated the ”brick bubble” for personal profit, buying land they knew was to be rezoned and reselling it for many times the original value, he says.

But Spain also has tight labour

laws that need reform. Both right-wing and left-wing economists agree regulations, generous but not all unreasonable in boom times, now serve to lock young people out of work.

Sick employees can get most or all of their wages for 18 months. Employees can only be sacked without a payout in the first year, and many long-serving staff would cost €80,000 or more to let go. Businesses stay small because once they reach 50 employees, they must have five workplace reps to bargain on wages and conditions, each of whom receive 15 paid hours a month for these duties. Companies also pay higher rates of tax once they have more than 25 staff.

Inigo del Toro Calonje lost his job as an environmental engineer with a company designing golf courses when the boom bust. Golf courses had sprung up to add value to housing developments in the middle of nowhere but suddenly his company’s clients stopped paying and Calonje, unable to find another job, decided to set up his own consultancy.

It cost him €4000 and took three months to set it up to comply with government regulations. He earns only 60 per cent of what he earned as an employee but must pay company taxes each month and is driven mad by the different environmental regulations in Spain’s 17 regions. ”They punish us for trying to be independent,” he says.

He is not the only one feeling punished by ”la crisis”. ”Social instability is a risk because we will have a large group of young unemployed for a long, long time,” warns Almudena Moreno (pictured). ”It will produce social conflict and the social structure will break down because young people don’t see any future; they don’t see any solution. What is going to happen in three or four years if we don’t find a solution?

”Here, democracy is quite young. It’s less than 40 years [since dictator General Franco died], it’s nothing. Our structures are quite weak. It’s hard to predict but if groups such as the long-term unemployed, the young people with no future and the people who have been evicted join together, their social power could be terrible, and dangerous too.”

Luis del Pino is another who can foresee potential trouble. He warns of the ”amazing speed” with which the middle class, the backbone of any developed society, is disappearing.

”It would be a disaster if this led to the rise of political extremism. Franco is within living memory here. When you put several million people in a desperate enough situation, then they will hear anyone who promises them some hope, even if that anyone is the most despicable man.”

Right now, those questions are too big for most of the young jobless, for whom the main question is where to go next. Many are considering joining the tens of thousands leaving the country to seek fortune in foreign lands.

Enrique Melendez, 30, who lost his job writing for a public relations firm, is thinking about migrating to South America. It’s far away but they speak Spanish there, he says.

He is grateful to have worked at all: ”At least the people around 30 had a job and lost it. At least we have had the experience of work. It’s more dangerous for the next ones coming behind us, who’ve never had a job and have no experience.”

Eva Valiente is wondering about moving too. She has two ideas; to become a cook and move to a rural town – ”life is cheaper there” – or to go to England and improve her English and, therefore, her saleability. Maybe both. She cannot see anything changing for her in Madrid any time soon: ”They say the crisis will go on for five or 10 years. I don’t know. Young people are very sad.”

Karen Kissane is Europe correspondent.

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

Senator Barnaby JoyceBARNABY Joyce’s Liberal critics claim that when he gets the ball during MPs’ touch football games he never passes it. He goes for the run. In other words, they see Joyce – who this week broke the normal rules of frontbench solidarity to mount a massive attack on the government’s green light for the Chinese-led purchase of Cubbie Station – as not a ”team player”.
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But there is another thing some notice about Joyce, who is his party’s Senate leader and opposition spokesman on regional development, local government and water. He’s close to Tony Abbott. The high-profile National spends a lot of time in the leader’s office. Politically, Abbott and Joyce have more in common than one might think, and they do seem to look out for one another.

In 2010, after Joyce had got into trouble as finance spokesman, Abbott persuaded him to switch jobs with limited fuss. In the past few days, Abbott was again leaning on the outspoken National, this time to pull his head in on Cubbie. When Joyce locked horns with Leigh Sales on Wednesday’s 7.30, he still declared himself opposed to the sale. Later he said, ”If you don’t speak up, you’re a coward. If you do speak up, you’re a pest.” Under Abbott’s pressure, he was clearly conflicted.

Faced with Joyce’s stand, Abbott has publicly taken a softly softly approach (in contrast to his forceful private position with him). ”Barnaby is a St George local, Cubbie Station is just up the road from St George. I can understand why Barnaby and local people feel strongly about this, but in the end this is a decision for the Treasurer based on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Review Board.”

The Coalition’s position has been to support Wayne Swan’s approval for the bid, but ask him to explain it more.

Some Liberals see Abbott’s low-key line as another example of Barnaby being allowed to get away with things others would not. More practically, it’s not in Abbott’s interest to have a public confrontation with Joyce that, if it spun out of hand, could end in his having to walk from the frontbench. It’s not in Joyce’s interest either.

The Australian Financial Review’s Laura Tingle has suggested it could actually suit Abbott ”just a little to have Joyce out there making a lot of noise about Chinese investment in prime Australian agricultural land … out in voter land, the issue is red hot”.

And in Queensland, foreign investment is an issue that Bob Katter’s Australian Party – competitor of the Nationals – could exploit.

In contrast to Abbott’s approach, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey came out swinging. ”Some people are freelancing. They do not speak for the Coalition”, he said on Tuesday. ”They don’t even speak for the National Party.”

His Liberal detractors see Joyce’s stand as ”all about Barnaby”, in particular as appealing to the party base in the seat of Maranoa, where he is set to challenge the sitting member, Bruce Scott, if the veteran National MP does not announce his retirement. In the debate over Cubbie, Scott has been supportive of the approval for the Chinese bid. Joyce is determined to get into the House of Representatives at the election; he would then be positioned to seek the Nationals leadership some years on.

But despite the critics, the Cubbie row is not simply all about Barnaby – it’s all about the Nationals. Joyce is reflecting – and has tapped into – the deep feeling among many within the party and in its constituency about the prospect of Chinese investment in broad acres.

A number of Nationals have come out publicly over Cubbie, including the party’s deputy Senate leader, Fiona Nash, who said: ”Clearly Mr Hockey has no idea what is the National Party view and he has no authority to comment on what is or is not the National Party view.” Leader Warren Truss has had to try to step carefully between the Coalition’s official position and the opinion of his followers.

If any land sale was going to agitate the Nationals it would be Cubbie. Situated in Queensland just north of the New South Wales border, the vast cotton-producing station with its huge water storage capacity is the southern hemisphere’s biggest privately owned irrigation property. What happens there is obviously important for the wider Murray-Darling Basin.

But Cubbie suffered tough times in the drought years and in 2009, with debts of more than $300 million, it went into administration. So the bid from the Chinese-dominated consortium is something of a life-saver. Clearing the way for the bid, after scrutiny by the FIRB, Swan said that if this sale went ahead, it would end a long period of uncertainty – earlier attempts to find a buyer had failed.

The bid is from Shandong RuYi and the Australian company Lempriere (the minority interest), which is part of a family-owned group with experience in managing agricultural properties. Swan said Lempriere would operate and manage the Cubbie Group. As part of the foreign investment approval, RuYi must sell down its holding from 80 per cent to no more than 51 per cent within three years.

For the Nationals, the bottom line is that however much those opposed to the approval kick up, they can do nothing. First, the Coalition policy in favour of the approval is set. Second, even if it were opposed, there is no recourse. The approval power lies with the Treasurer, not the Parliament. Joyce conceded yesterday that the only person who could stop the sale was Swan ”and I don’t think he’s going to”.

The Nationals have already had a substantial influence on opposition foreign investment policy. A recent Coalition discussion paper proposes the FIRB considers any planned foreign acquisition of agricultural land valued at $15 million or more (this limit would apply to cumulative purchases). At present the threshold is $244 million. (All bids by state-owned enterprises are already scrutinised.) Consultations are under way but this appears likely to become the opposition’s election policy.

A Coalition government would not be a threat to Chinese investment in Australia, even in agricultural land. The Liberals would dominate, and ”dry” economic thinking dominates the Liberals. But the complication of the Nationals and perhaps Abbott’s own mixed views on the issue have already led to some confused messages from the opposition, when Abbott was in Beijing and again this week. It is a difficult and unfortunate fault line within the Coalition.

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

IN THE unruly year of 1975, I found myself adrift from the craft of journalism, working as a roadie and novice sound-mixer in the rock’n’roll business.
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It led to a singular moment in which I recrafted the introduction to a Gough Whitlam address to the faithful. It turned out wonderfully, even if it was by ghastly accident.

The power of public oration is all but lost in Australia, as anyone who tuned in to Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s gripping addresses this week to the Democratic Party Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, might reflect.

Australia’s current crop of public speakers in the political field couldn’t come within a bull’s roar of such performances.

Most of them, with the occasional Turnbullish exception, are all but tone deaf. Tony Abbott, once a champion debater at Oxford University, seems to rely more these days on that other skill he practised, boxing, to hammer home his limited messages.

Australia, a land of flat vowels and a people of 22 million infused with the tall poppy syndrome, can hardly be expected, perhaps, to produce the grand flourish of an American who has risen to the top of his or her game in a nation of 340 million whose oratorial tradition has been built on generations of impassioned religious preachers.

Still, the Australian Labor Party when it remembers it should elucidate a vision, is left reaching back wistfully to Ben Chifley’s ”light on the hill”, and the Liberal Party still rhapsodises about Bob Menzies’ ”the forgotten people” – speeches each delivered more than half a century ago.

Hawke, Keating and Howard had their moments, though it remains difficult to recall much from their lips that might be considered to approach lasting greatness. That is apart from Keating’s welcome home to the unknown soldier on Remembrance Day, 1993, and his Redfern speech in 1992 in which he accepted responsibility on white Australia’s behalf for the perdition visited upon indigenous people.

Howard’s most memorable moment was his 2001 election campaign declaration that ”we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”. At least we learned and still remember where he stood. Kevin Rudd’s single lasting oration was the apology to indigenous Australians. All of these addresses, we might ponder, dealt with either the past or fear of the present.

No one, however, can take from Gough Whitlam his ability to hold an audience. The towering stance, the imperious voice, the fully formed sentences that spoke of a mind. Whatever you might have thought of his prime ministership and his politics, Whitlam had an unusual ability within the Australian tradition to rouse the heart.

In late 1975, while I was labouring at rock concerts, Whitlam had been turfed from office by the governor-general, Sir John Kerr.

Tremendous in his indignation, Whitlam set off on a string of public appearances to rally support for a return that was never to be, and, as he put it, to maintain the rage.

One of these rallies was organised at a football ground in the city of Queanbeyan, barely a stroll down the road from Canberra. Whitlam’s enthusiastic team of helpers decided the great man must have the best public address system available to enhance his magnificence.

Big sound was the core business of the rock’n’roll industry, and the outfit for which I worked had the most stupendous amplification system between Sydney and Melbourne.

Ten thousand watts of sonic energy could be pumped through our stack of speakers. Thus, a couple of earnest young men from Whitlam’s team strolled into our headquarters one day, their suits and ties startling the long-haired musicians lolling about and lamming away on guitars, and arranged to hire all those delicious watts of power for the Queanbeyan rally.

Whitlam would speak from the back of a semi-trailer parked in the middle of the football ground. Our little sound-mixing team would command the amplification of his voice while perched on the flat concrete roof of a public dunny, all the equipment connected by hundreds of metres of cables. It was hardly the convention centre at Charlotte, North Carolina.

”What quality of sound would you like?” we asked Whitlam’s advisers.

”Big,” they replied.

What they wanted, we concluded, was what was known as a ”fat” sound. It would expand in the atmosphere as if thunder were rolling. They nodded vigorously.

And so we bound together a forest of microphones, fed them through a complicated system of sound-phasing equipment and connected it all up to the mixing machine on the dunny roof.

When Whitlam arrived, his great figure rising above a surging crowd chanting ”We want Gough!”, he – and everyone within earshot – was in for a surprise.

As he stood on the semi-trailer and approached the coppice of microphones, the crowd’s hysteria subsiding, I noticed a cable wasn’t properly plugged into the mixing desk. Sound-mixing machines in those faraway days weren’t digital. They relied upon a mechanical spring within the works to provide the required reverberation. I reached for the plug and my knee hit the machine. It set the inner spring wild.

”Men and women,” boomed Whitlam’s familiar introduction, ”… of Austra-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya.” The word echoed and bounced and flooded the ether for miles around. We had achieved the fattest sound ever to issue from an Australian politician’s lips.

I broke into a full-body sweat. Whitlam the splendid orator surely would never forgive us.

Whitlam appeared, briefly, to be astounded. He stepped back, allowing the echo to die. And then he smiled. Why, we’d made him sound like God. Just as it should be.

I can’t remember a single further word of his speech.

None of it saved him, but it’s a moment of Australian oratory unlikely to be forgotten by those who were there. Julia, perhaps, could do with a little rock’n’roll.

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

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Seventh heaven

June 5th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

WATER has been the great equaliser for Jacqueline Freney. The 20-year-old was born with cerebral palsy diplegia. She has never been able to jump or run, but in the pool, she can fly.
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Freney has become the star of the swimming pool at the London Paralympic Games. She has won seven gold medals from seven races and was expected to race in the 4 x 100 medley this morning.

Yesterday she broke Siobhan Paton’s record for the most gold medals won by an Australian at a Paralympics. Paton, who coincidentally was coached by Freney’s grandfather Peter, won six gold medals in 2000.

Freney’s father Michael manages the local pool at Skennars Head on the north coast of New South Wales and swimming there has proven to be therapeutic for Freney. A specialist once told her parents that she would need a wheelchair through her life – she hasn’t had to yet.

It was a story Peter Freney had not known. ”I’ve heard a few things this week that I didn’t know about, but I’m glad he [Michael Freney] kept her away from a wheelchair and made her get up and walk and get in the pool and swim and [everything] else she can do,” Peter said. ”She’s been around swimming pools since the day she was born virtually, so it was a natural thing to go into swimming. It was one thing she could do, in some cases, better than her school friends.

”Jacqui has never jumped off the floor under her own power in her life, she can’t do it. She’s never run a step in her life, she can’t do it. But she takes to swimming, and once she gets off the blocks she’s OK.”

Jacqui says when she is in the water she has a freedom her restricted body is not allowed on land. ”On land I’m not really that fast, so it’s great to get in the water and not have any limitations at all on my body and try and be faster than the other people,” she says.

At these Games, Jacqui has proved faster than everybody. She has had dominant wins in all seven of her races.

With a beaming smile, she announced after her seventh gold that she was in ”seventh heaven”.

”I knew I had a good chance in some events, but never seven gold, that’s just unbelievable,” she said. ”I can’t even comprehend what I’ve just achieved. It’s beyond words.”

Peter agreed that the scale of her success in London had ”been a complete surprise”.

”We thought that she would probably win the 400 freestyle,” he said. ”She’s probably only swum two or three 100 backstrokes in her life in competition and she came out and won that one. And the medley was a complete surprise because I think she’s only done two of those before this because she couldn’t do breaststroke. Her breaststroke was pretty woeful until we got working on it a little bit. It’s a pleasant surprise.”

The basis of her success has been simple. ”Hard work, that’s the secret, that’s been the secret with my coaching and with Michael’s coaching,” Peter said. ”We’ve probably worked them harder than any other coaches work their kids.

”Siobhan was on the same sort of program. They train nine to 10 sessions a week, covering something around 40,000 metres a week and a lot of that is hard endurance work. It pays off.

”She does a lot of gym work and she does things in the gym that are quite unbelievable as far as I’m concerned. On the rowing machine she’ll do 5000 metres of fast rowing, not buggerising around, but getting into it, so that gives her the endurance – she’s a pretty strong girl.”

It has helped that her main rival, American Mallory Weggemann, was reclassified just before the start of the Games into the S8 grouping for athletes with less severe disabilities. Jacqui was reclassified from an S8 to an S7 late last year.”I really didn’t expect to go so well in this meet because I had Mallory Weggemann in my classification and she was classified up to a S8 unfortunately,” Jacqui said. ”I was really looking forward to racing her in the 400 free. It’s all kind of gone my way and everything’s fallen in place.”

Jacqui said she would swim on to Rio and had set herself new goals that she would not reveal.

”Let’s just say I’ve got another goal in mind for Rio but I won’t tell you what it is,” she said.

Peter said he did not know how much more improvement Jacqui could make. ”She’s fully grown, she’s trained virtually to the limit now, we’ll just wait.”

He said Jacqui had found a welcoming place among the Australian Paralympic team.

”I must say the Australian Paralympic swimming team is the best swimming team I’ve ever had anything slightly to do with. They support one another magnificently.”

As for breaking Paton’s record, Jacqui said she had been inspired by Paton’s career.

”We’ve been keeping in contract through this whole week,” she said. ”She basically said at the start of the week that I could be as great as her. She’s been one of my main inspirations for the meet.”

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

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Staring at the scars

June 5th, 2018 / / categories: 南京桑拿荤场 /

Cate Shortland is making her long-awaited return after success with SomersaultLore, starring Saskia Rosendahl.
Nanjing Night Net

ONE day in 2005, in the wake of acclaim at home and abroad for her debut feature, Somersault, Australian writer and director Cate Shortland was ushered into a gleaming office in Los Angeles with glass walls on every side. The filmmaker was going through the obligatory rounds of meetings with the handful of talent agencies that stoke Hollywood’s engine and, as a potential next big thing, Shortland was being wooed.

”I sat down in this guy’s glass office and he told me that I could have his life,” she says. ”He said, ‘Cate, you could have the perfect life. You could live in the Hollywood Hills, you could have a dog, you could have a beautiful home.’ I had a mini panic attack and said I had to leave. It was like starring in The Truman Show.”

Since that day, Shortland has been trying to figure out what the second act in her professional life will be. It’s been a long journey, across continents and through personal change, and it ends this month with a return to making movies, an outcome that at certain points in the past appeared more than just unlikely. Shortland’s new work, the German-Australian production Lore, confirms and extends the great promise of Somersault and makes you glad her fallow creative years are done with.

”I was quite wary about making another movie,” says the 44-year-old, who passed through Melbourne this week on her way to the Toronto International Film Festival. ”I got anxious about the media and didn’t know how to deal with them, but now I’m resolved of that. I’ve been attached to a few projects but the reason I kept going with this one is that it’s my passion. I’m so happy that I did because it’s given me a lot of love to get back to making films.”

In the wake of Somersault’s success, when its emotional intimacy was criticised as lacking in commercial appeal and an unnecessary backlash briefly formed after the film swept the 2004 Australian Film Institute awards with 13 nods, a somewhat wounded Shortland found herself travelling from one international film festival to another.

Even as she wondered if she’d make another film, the seeds of Lore were planted when Scottish producer Paul Welsh introduced himself following an Edinburgh screening and passed on Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room.

The English author’s book was written in lyrical fragments, similar to the way Shortland prepares her scripts and shoots them, and since 2006 she had been thinking about it as a movie, intermittently working on it and then putting it aside.

It’s a World War II story set in May 1945, in a devastated Germany during the final days of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and the chaotic aftermath of its collapse and his death. The unquestioned belief in National Socialism ends suddenly for five children when their father, an SS officer, flees and their mother subsequently leaves their rural bolt-hole to hand herself in to the American occupiers. It is the responsibility of the previously sheltered 15-year-old Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) to get her younger teenage sister, two small brothers and an unweaned baby across the remnants of the country to a grandparent’s care.

The periods spent translating the novel to the screen were informed by Shortland’s life. In 2008 she and her husband, fellow filmmaker Tony Krawitz (Jewboy, November’s Dead Europe), relocated to South Africa for a project he was working on. Shortland worked for a non-government organisation outside Soweto and the pair was reunited with the young South African boy they hoped would join their family. Eventually they adopted Jonathan, now 17, and then Ruby, now four, who live with the two directors in their home in Sydney’s inner west.

It was also easier to visit Germany from Johannesburg, so Shortland was able to get a sense of the country and its 20th-century history as she worked on the screenplay. On an immediate level she realised the adaptation would have to be in German, with English subtitles, but beyond that she began to consider how nations deal with the stigma of past failings, whether it was Germany and the Holocaust, South Africa and apartheid, or Australia’s white colonisation.

”We don’t like history here, unless it’s a celebration or something mythical, but what’s happened in Germany is that they have this horrendous history they’re filled with shame about, but the way they’ve dealt with it has given them immense pride as a nation,” Shortland says. ”When you go to Germany now there’s this lack of anger about these issues, which is the opposite to Australia, and that comes from being direct and transparent about what happened. If we, as a nation, could grow into that, it could open this country up in a really profound way.”

Like Abbie Cornish’s Heidi, the protagonist of Somersault, Saskia Rosendahl’s Lore is a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood, aware of her sexuality but confused by it. However, instead of drawing back, as Heidi does, Lore pushes onwards through both physical danger and the realisation that her beliefs have been repudiated. As the children move towards their destination they’re joined by Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina), a Jewish refugee Lore is drawn to despite her anti-Semitic indoctrination.

The few faded photographs Thomas carries with his papers are actually photos of Krawitz’s forebears, who were German Jews, and on the first day of shooting Shortland’s husband delivered the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead, on set. But for Shortland, a convert to Judaism, living and working in Germany came with a steady, unrelenting pressure. Even on her first day in Hamburg, just off the plane, the husband of Lore’s production designer took her to a food hall where a wall that stood over the fast-food joints was filled with Hebrew names. The site, she learnt, was a former Jewish cemetery the Nazis had built over.

”I cried so much about the victims, but when I was working in Germany I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it because you feel like it upsets them so much – people would have a couple of drinks and burst intro tears,” Shortland says. ”Every single place you go to, something happened there. Even the park where Ruby used to play in Berlin was where they murdered a whole lot of people.”

In Lore, Shortland weaves the personal and the political together so that each influences the other. It’s a beautiful, tense film, shot by young Australian cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom), and alive to the summer landscape. Shortland’s ability to accumulate tiny, telling moments, whether sensual or shocking, builds to a complete picture that leaves the viewer to ponder Lore’s subsequent life.

”There’s no happy ending where we try to manipulate the audience,” Shortland says. That will almost certainly extend to her next project, a six-part television series looking at 1915’s Gallipoli campaign through the eyes of newspaper correspondents. Her fascination with history and national image, fuelled by Lore, is only just beginning.

”Gallipoli has such a profound impact on how we define ourselves and how we define masculinity in this country and I’m really interested in looking at the nuances of that,” Shortland says. ”The worst situations in human history are when you have people acting in the most fascinating, different ways, both good and bad.”

■Lore opens in cinemas on Thursday, September 20.

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