Supermoon and heavy rain cause flooding at the Botanic Gardens

High tide at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Tuesday 5th December 2017 SMH photo Louie Douvis .Monday night’s supermoon was one factor to blame for the flooding of part of the Royal Botanic Gardens on Tuesday morning, a meteorologist said.
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A high tide lapped at the top of the waterfront wall along Farm Cove and flooded the walkway around the Botanic Gardens about 10am.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said the supermoon event was “likely to have been a factor” in the high tide – the highest experienced since midwinter.

“It was forecast to reach a little bit over two metres, we hadn’t had a tide that high since mid-July,” he said.

“The difference back then was that high tide was after a fairly dry spell; there would have been less flooding as a result.”

Mr Dutschke said the last high tide after significant rainfall was in June, but that tide occurred “a couple of weeks” after the rains.

Meteorologist Graeme Brittain said parts of NSW received more than 50mm of rain in the 24 hours to midday on Tuesday.

Narooma and the South Coast received 54 millimetres, while Jervis Bay had 61 millimetres.

Sydney received 10 to 20 millimetres of rainfall, Mr Brittain said.

A spokeswoman from the Royal Botanic Gardens said the pathway near the waterfront floods once or twice a year in high tides, but the gardens remained undamaged.

Mr Dutschke said Tuesday’s tide would be the highest tide for the week. High tide now at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens .. “Never seen it this high” says one gardener. A taste of things to come. pic.twitter南京夜网/h7ICq6h2Qx??? Joe O’Brien (@JoeABCNews) December 4, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Knights scouting for recruits to bring “community feel”PHOTOS

Knights scouting for recruits to bring “community feel” | PHOTOS STARLETS: The Newcastle Knights cheerleading squad is looking to expand for the 2018 season.
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The Knights cheerleaders at McDonald Jones Stadium in the 2017 season.

The Knights cheerleaders at McDonald Jones Stadium in the 2017 season.

The Knights cheerleaders at McDonald Jones Stadium in the 2017 season.

Auditions for the roles in the squad will be held on Tuesday, December 12 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

TweetFacebookThe Newcastle Knights might be making some big-money signings in the form of Mitchell Pearce and a host of other incoming names, but its not the only change the rugby league squad is making for 2018.

The Knights cheerleaders are looking to bring in their own ‘new signings’ as part of their highly-trained dance team, and want talented individuals that are can embrace the “community feeling” that the dance troupe aims for.

Alex Tsambas, who took the helm of the cheerleading squad in 2016, believes that the team is a perfect way to “meet new best friends and get involved in the sporting community in town”.

“The cheerleaders, especially in Newcastle, have become so much more than just the girls that are dancing and providing entertainment at each of the rugby league games,” Tsambas said. “That said, they’re definitely all amazing dancers and pretty awesome at entertaining.”

It’s more about the community feel that the “faces of the game” bring, and Tsambas admitted she loves to bring new and eager dancers into the fold.

“We have gone beyond what a lot of people expect of cheerleaders these days, and speaking to the fans, getting involved in events and being a bridge for the kids and adults at the games is a really fun and rewarding role,” she said.

“It’s disappointing when people suggest that cheerleaders aren’t really needed in the game anymore, because we bring a lot to the excitement. You look down on the field after a try or a goal and the girls are celebrating hardest and creating the atmosphere.

“It’s a special role that we are always honoured to take on. The girls that are at the Knights always say that they might retire at the end of the season, but they miss the roar of the crowd too much to leave I think.”

The roles will also include representing the Newcastle Knights on game days and at a variety of corporate, community and charity events across the season.

“There’s so much below the surface that I feel people miss when they first think of the girls on the side of the field,” Tsambas said. “We are constantly promoting the game, and we all love it so much. A lot of my girls [in the team] play league tag as well –we might need our own cheer squad to fill in if more of them keep playing!”

To be considered for the position within the team, applicants must be over 18 years old, and have a current drivers licence.

They must also be available for all Newcastle Knights home games for 2018, be available for Tuesday training sessions, have the ability to perform routines with 5-6 hours of rehearsal and be committed and flexible for all aspects of the position.

The Newcastle Knights will be holding auditions for the 2018 cheerleading team onTuesday, December 12 atMcDonald Jones Stadium at6pm.

To apply for the audition, [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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‘At immediate risk’: How bushwalkers could be spreading devastating fungi

Bushwalkers and other travellers heading to Victoria and Tasmania over the summer are advised to take care to avoid spreading a fungus that has already placed dozens of native plant species at “immediate risk”.
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So far, the two states have only identified the imported myrtle rust in nurseries but its rapid spread along Australia’s east coast in just a few years underscores the challenges facing biosecurity staff in all states to contain the fungus.

The devastating rust has been blamed for killing about 57 per cent of adult native guava trees, a common shrub along the east coast in just a few years.

Some 380 species among the Myrtaceae??? family of plants, ranging from eucalypts to paperbarks, are considered susceptible to the rust.

“It’s very unusual among rust fungi in that it’s got an extremely wide host range,” said Bob Makinson???, a conservation botanist and vice president of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, adding most rusts only threaten a couple of species.

“There are about 50 species of immediate concern” in Australia, said Dr Makinson, ahead of a two-day workshop on myrtle rust control attended by government agencies and scientists that began on Tuesday in Canberra.

Along with wild species at risk, the emerging lemon myrtle and aniseed myrtle plantation industries are threatened, as are many plant nurseries, prompting the involvement of state agriculture bodies. Rapid spread

The fungus does best in moist forests and woodlands and has spread widely since its first detection at Wyong, near Gosford in NSW, in 2010. (See map below.)

It is not yet clear how it will fare in the biodiversity-rich south-west of Western Australia. With a few exceptions, such as the Clarence River catchment of northern NSW, the rust has mostly been confined so far to about 40 kilometres of the coast.

The rust attacks new growth, such as leaves, preventing flowering. Seedlings are also particularly vulnerable, creating the potential for a rapid spiral decline of susceptible species.

The fungus is spread by microscopic airborne spores that can also accumulate on hats, tents and other gear used by travellers, such as bushwalkers. Its entry into Australia is unknown.

“It could have been somebody going for a bushwalk in Hawaii and then going for a bushwalk here,” Dr Makinson said of its introduction to Australia.

Myrtle rust spores attacking a paperbark species. Photo: Supplied

Increasing travel and trade are raising the risk from bio-threats for both wildlife and agricultural sectors.

“What we’re seeing is a very marked acceleration of the movement of some of these diseases out of their native areas and into new ones,” he said.

Along with the myrtle rust already found in Australia, there are two other “rather more aggressive” that are affecting eucalyptus plantations in South America but are yet to be detected outside the continent, he said. Control measures

The rust penetrates and infects leaves of susceptible plants. Treatment of diseased plants includes coating them with sticky sprays before their removal to avoid the inadvertent spread of spores into the air.

Standard washing-machine use with detergent will kill the spores on clothing.

Similarly, bush travellers can concoct a mix of 75 per cent methylated spirits and 25 per cent water to spray on tents and other equipment to kill the spores, Dr Makinson said.

He said New Zealand had taken a more proactive response to the arrival of myrtle rust, making more on-ground surveys to identify its spread.

It has started “a massive seed bank”, particularly of plants found to be particularly resistant to the fungus, for future restoration of vulnerable plants, an approach Australia should follow.

“We’re seven years down now and we haven’t got a coordinated response so far,” said Dr Makinson, who was formerly a senior researcher at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney for 15 years. Preservation efforts

A spokesman for NSW’s Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the state’s government “is commencing a project under its $100 million Saving our Species program to help manage the threat”.

“The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan are part of a network of Australian botanic gardens raising awareness, providing expertise and establishing conservation programs in response to the threat of myrtle rust,” he said.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Primary Industries said two species, Rhodamnia rubescens and Rhodomyrtus psidioides, have recently been provisionally listed as critically endangered, “in part as a result of the impact of Myrtle rust”.

“People carrying out activities where there is potential to spread myrtle rust to vulnerable species or plant communities are advised to take precautions to minimise risk,” he said, adding the DPI website had more details about its management.

Other work in NSW includes the Royal Botanic Garden, which has also led workshops in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to prepare and respond to myrtle rust.

The NSW PlantBank, which has been storing seeds of all the state’s species, is targeting plants threatened by the fungus, an OEH spokeswoman said.

Since many myrtle species have seeds that do not survive traditional seed banking methods, research is developing new techniques such as plant tissue and cryo-preservation.

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Labor’s David Feeney falls into citizenship trap as doubts emerge over more MPs

Announced today by Parliamentary Secretary for Defence David Feeney that the large disused Hammerhead crane located at Sydney’s Garden Island Naval Base considered of heritage value will be dismantled to make way for development on the naval dock it now stands.Photography Brendan EspositoSMH,2013,8th AugustLabor MP David Feeney has been caught out by the dual citizenship fiasco, admitting he has no documents to prove he renounced his British citizenship and pledging to refer himself to the High Court unless he can produce them this week.
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The revelation raises the prospect of a byelection early next year in his Melbourne seat of Batman, which could easily fall to the Greens. It is also an embarrassment for the ALP, which has long claimed its processes were watertight.

The development came as the Turnbull government ramped up pressure on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to also refer Labor senator Katy Gallagher to the court.

A handful of other politicians on both sides are under renewed suspicion after the citizenship documents of all House of Representatives MPs were published late on Tuesday. As many as five others could also face the High Court, triggering a possible ‘super-Saturday’ round of byelections in early 2018.

But Mr Feeney’s situation was the most obviously problematic, and he immediately stood in federal Parliament to admit he was in trouble.

“I accept I have been unable to produce the requisite notice of renunciation with respect to the United Kingdom,” he said. “I remain hopeful that continuing searches of UK records and archives will clarify this matter in my favour.

“Nonetheless I accept that at this moment my status as a citizen under UK law remains unclear.”

Mr Feeney said if documents were not located soon, he would ask Parliament to refer him to the High Court for a final verdict.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been exposed as a “sanctimonious hypocrite” for repeatedly claiming Labor MPs had no citizenship issues.

“You’ve got to assume Bill Shorten has known for some time David Feeney had this problem. It just completely exposes the hypocrisy on this issue,” he said.

Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus accused the Turnbull government of conducting a cover up and claimed as many seven Coalition MPs faced questions over their citizenship status.

“We have a continuing concealment, a continuing cover up from Malcolm Turnbull on behalf of the seven MPs,” he said.

He revealed Labor was even prepared to refer to court Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, whose parents arrived in Australia stateless after escaping the Nazis.

But Mr Dreyfus could not say when Mr Shorten first learned Mr Feeney faced questions over his citizenship status. Mr Dreyfus also wrongly claimed the opposition leader had never guaranteed no Labor MPs would be caught up in the citizenship saga.

Mr Feeney has a history of sloppy paperwork. Fairfax Media revealed during last year’s federal election campaign that he owned an undeclared $2.31 million property, potentially placing him in “serious contempt” of the Parliament.

Mr Feeney said prior to nominating as a senator in October 2007 he sought legal advice from the ALP about possible British or Irish citizenship. He was advised by the ALP legal unit that he was likely to be a British citizen by descent through his father.

He said he signed renunciation documents and “as far as I am aware” they were sent to the relevant authorities in Britain and Ireland.

But he never got any confirmation that his renunciation was successful and only checked again last month – six months into the dual citizenship crisis.

He said he is satisfied he is not an Irish citizen and took “reasonable steps to renounce any British citizenship”. However the reasonable steps argument may not cut muster with a black-letter ruling from the High Court.

The fate of a number of MPs could be decided by what the High Court considers to be “all reasonable steps” to renounce citizenship of another country.

Tasmanian Labor MP Justine Keay confirmed her renunciation of citizenship had not been registered with the Home Office until a month after nominations closed for the 2016 election, potentially ruling her ineligible to sit in the current Parliament.

Fellow Labor MPs Josh Wilson and Anne Aly also received confirmation of their renunciations after the nomination date.

For Labor MP Susan Lamb, it is unclear if she was ever even eligible to take up UK citizenship. In a letter from the British Home Office on August 10, Ms Lamb was advised Britiain could not be “satisfied from the documents available that you hold British citizenship.”

Two MPs with Polish heritage – Labor’s Emma Husar and Liberal Jason Falinski – have requested their entitlement to Polish citizenship be renounced, but have not provided any response from Polish authorities confirming this had occurred.

Mr Falinksi told Fairfax Media: “My father was never Polish. You might as well ask me why there’s no confirmation from the Ukranian embassy. As far as the UK goes, feel free to ask them yourselves. I’m literally not hiding anything.”

At least four other MPs have sought legal advice over their citizenship status with Alex Hawke, Nola Marino, Julia Banks and Anne Sudmalis all requesting further clarification.

Mr Hawke and Ms Banks received advice that they had to be registered with the Greek municipal government in order to be considered a citizen despite being eligible.

Coalition MP Ann Sudmalis provided legal advice that as she had been born to a British mother, she was not eligible for automatic British citizenship – unlike those born to British father such as former Bennelong MP John Alexander.

Chief government whip Nola Marino – who Fairfax Media revealed last month may have acquired Italian citizenship through her husband – has sought “legal advice to confirm her citizenship status through marriage.”

“I remain assured that I am not an Italian citizen through marriage,” she wrote in her declaration form. She has not provided conclusive documentation despite claiming her husband lost his Italian citizenship when he naturalised as an Australian in 1958.

Referrals to the High Court would likely take place on Thursday or Friday, after the Parliament has passed same-sex marriage legislation.

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Ex-Liberal minister furious at being linked to PM’s foreign money crackdown

The Turnbull government’s sweeping crackdown on foreign interference in Australian politics has prompted a furious response by former trade minister Andrew Robb, who has accused his ex-colleagues of helping paint him as “treasonous”.
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The laws would likely criminalise the type of activity recently carried out by Labor senator Sam Dastyari, the government has suggested, by making it an offence to covertly influence Australian political or governmental processes.

“Unlawful foreign interference” would carry penalties of up to 20 years’ jail if done to damage Australian democracy, including harming national security, interfering in elections or covertly meddling in political or government processes.

People and organisations who seek to lobby on behalf of foreign powers would have to publicly register so that Australians know they are pushing the agendas of overseas interests.

Political parties will be banned from receiving foreign donations, as will activist groups if they plan to use that money for political campaigning.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the changes on Tuesday alongside Attorney-General George Brandis and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, declaring that “foreign powers are making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process, both here and abroad”.

But the foreign lobbying registry has sparked fury from Mr Robb, who after serving as trade minister took up an $880,000-a-year job with Chinese firm the Landbridge Group, which controls Darwin Port.

Attorney-General George Brandis suggested Mr Robb as a former cabinet minister would have to register. Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr, who is now associated with the Australia-China Relations Institute at UTS Sydney, is another ex-MP who may have to register.

But Mr Robb launched a blistering counter-attack, describing the register as “a political stunt” and saying he was “sick of being hammered for being treasonous … sick of the attacks on me”.

“The attempts to trash my reputation in some quarters – now being aided and abetted by the government – are ill-informed and cheap politics,” he said.

“All I have sought to do since I left politics is to use my experience to improve opportunities for Australian businesses in the region.”

Mr Robb said he had been employed by Landbridge to work outside of Australia in China and other parts of the world and that he did not believe “I’m required to sign up to any register as I’m not engaged to lobby the Australian government”.

Asked if he was surprised at the government’s proposed legislation, and the fact that former colleagues had suggested he would have to sign up, Mr Robb said he was not “after the way ABC and Fairfax Media have beaten the crap out of these issues”.

“There is at the present time, and has been for 12 months or more, an inordinate attempt to worry people about China.”

He also criticised the United States for being the “biggest source of instability in the region” as a result of President Donald Trump pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mr Carr said ACRI was now fully funded by the university and singled out other think tanks such as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the United States Studies Centre for expressing “consistently pro-American positions” while receiving “funding from US corporations, including armaments companies”.

“I have not hesitated to make criticisms of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and urge China’s adherence to international law.”

Mr Carr said the Attorney-General was attempting to create a distraction “after their party’s own vigorous fundraising from a Chinese donor had been brought to light”, an apparent reference to Chinese Communist Party-linked political donor Huang Xiangmo.

Under the law changes, it will become a crime for any person or group that lobbies for foreign interests to not sign up to the register.

The laws will broaden the definition of foreign espionage to capture more types of activity.

Legal experts warned that restricting political donations above $250 to Australian citizens and organisations – thereby excluding permanent residents and foreign companies – could be unconstitutional.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham warned a similar effort by the NSW government was struck down by the High Court in 2013. And University of Sydney Professor Anne Twomey said the Turnbull government’s proposal came “very close to the constitutional line and [is] probably well and truly over it”.

Senator Brandis meanwhile suggested that Senator Dastyari’s conduct, which has included publicly backing Beijing foreign policy contrary to Labor party policy around the time he had legal bills paid by Chinese Communist Party-linked businessman, and tipping Mr Huang off that he might be the subject of intelligence agency monitoring, could become criminal under the new laws.

“In my view, the conduct alleged against him does not reach the threshold of the existing laws of treason and espionage, but that is why we are introducing – because of the gap in those laws – a new offence of unlawful foreign interference,” he said.

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Qlders warned of unusually high risk of trees falling during storm season

Arborists have issued a warning to Queenslanders as we head into storm season: beware a heightened risk of falling limbs and trees, brought on by a dry winter and a sodden spring.
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The warning comes as Brisbane weathered the first storm of the summer at the weekend, with more predicted as the season wears on.

“Large, mature trees that are close to high-value targets such as houses, cars and wherever people congregate are particularly susceptible to creating chaos if they come down during a big storm, especially at this time of year,” senior arborist Peter Mumford said.

His colleague, Aaron Nunn, said it was time for residents and councils to be alert. “You get a lot of tree failures when you get that influx of moisture,” he said.

Mr Mumford and Mr Nunn work for Arbor Operations, and said the company had concerns this year’s winter weather could lead to more trees than usual falling on houses and cars, causing significant damage.

“We went from a period of dry weather during winter to our soils becoming sodden with rain during spring, which means a tree’s root system has got less to hold onto if it gets pushed around during high winds,” said Mr Mumford.

Mr Nunn explained that during dry seasons, trees grew more roots close to the surface of the soil where moisture is more abundant.

“It happens over a number of years ??? As soil becomes more sodden, it isn’t bound together as tightly. It’s liquefied, like jelly,” Mr Nunn said. Related: Five dream homes for sale in BrisbaneRelated: Five things you didn’t know about Manly, BrisbaneRelated: Cute country cottages for sale in Australia

Low-lying areas, like those near the banks of the river, are most at risk. As are south-east Queensland’s “storm corridors”.

“The storm corridors from Boonah-Beaudesert to Logan and Brisbane Valley to Moreton Bay and Caboolture are particularly susceptible to damage at this time of year, and are in fact already getting hit,” Mr Mumford said.

NRMA Insurance’s head of shared value, Ramana James, said one in three Queenslanders weren’t prepared for storm season, which made the warning from Mr Mumford and Mr Nunn more troubling.

“It’s concerning that Queensland residents underestimate the impact of storms,” she said. “Take the time now to prepare your home, business, and community for severe storms.”

Mr Mumford said the first step was to get trees checked out to find out if they’re in danger of falling or their branches breaking off.

“Checking the structure of the tree crown, the canopy and the root system can save thousands in property damage,” he said.

Mr Nunn said residents concerned about a tree on public property should ring their local council.

“Not all councils are as proactive as they’d like to be, they’re often inundated,” he said. “If a resident puts in a request, it’s recorded in email so it’s in writing and recorded. So you’ll usually get an outcome with that approach.”

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Water pollution threats, dangerous surf conditions result in Sydney beach closures

Sydneysiders have been warned against visiting several beaches due to dangerous surf conditions and possible water pollution.
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Recent heavy rainfall has resulted in the threat of bacterial contamination at Sydney beaches, said a spokeswoman for the NSW government’s monitoring service, Beachwatch.

“Rainfall is the major driver of pollution to recreational waters, generating stormwater runoff,” the spokeswoman told the Herald.

“Beachwatch’s general advice is to avoid swimming during and for one day following rainfall at ocean beaches.”

Bronte and Coogee beaches are reportedly the worst affected. Warnings for possible water pollution were also released for multiple beaches, including Bondi, Little Bay, and Clovelly in the east, North Curl Curl, Freshwater, and Shelly (Manly) in the north, and Boat Harbour, North and South Cronulla, and Oak Park in the south.

The most obvious signs of stormwater pollution are water discolouration as well as debris in the water and on the tide line.

Swimming sites in Sydney Harbour, including Woolwich Baths, Tambourine Bay, and Rose Bay Beach, have also received pollution warnings. Beachwatch said to wait up to three days after rainfall before swimming in the harbour.

While Sydneysiders were originally warned of heavy rainfall over the rest of the week, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jordan Notara said to expect light showers on Wednesday, clearing up towards the weekend.

“The conditions that we have been seeing have been dependent on whether that trough is positioned and the forecast for heavy rainfall was based on the prediction that the trough would stay close to the coastline,” he said.

“We are now seeing that trough moving away, meaning we will see rain easing off.”

Possible showers and thunderstorms on Wednesday should ease on Thursday, but a frontal system approaching by Friday will mean the return of rain.

About 17 beaches were closed throughout Tuesday due to dangerous surf conditions.

Mr Notara said seasonal tides for the south coast are at their peak, “so a combination of the fact that we have a trough with that has resulted in tide levels being above average”.

“We will see another peak in the tide tomorrow, with high levels rising above the expected average for this time of year,” he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared 2017-18 to be a La Nina year, reflecting the strengthening westward-blowing winds across the equatorial Pacific.

The event, though, is likely to be a relatively short-lived one with only a “limited influence on Australian rainfall patterns during summer”, the bureau said.

La Nina years typically bring wetter and cooler weather than normal to eastern Australia although the expected weakness of the current event – notwithstanding last week’s heavy rain over parts of Victoria – may mean more typical summer conditions prevailing.

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‘Sound judgment’ strips anti-wind group of low-tax status

A prominent anti-wind farm group has been stripped of its status as a tax-deductible charity status in a potentially landmark legal decision that could affect treatment of other groups claiming to promote health.
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The Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Adelaide affirmed a decision by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), first issued in December 2014, to remove the Waubra Foundation’s registration as a “health promotion charity”.

The foundation, set up in 2010, has been active in seeking to raise concern about purported health effects of infrasound or low frequency noise produced by industrial sources, particularly wind farms.

A range of international health bodies, including Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, have investigated the effects of wind farms on human health and found little evidence of such links.

The tribunal’s ruling was the first made for the ACNC since its inception in 2012. Murray Baird, the ACNC’s acting commission, said the decision added to its “understanding of the concept of a health promotion charity and of the purpose of promoting or protecting human rights”.

“The ACNC places great importance on sound judgment and decisions and will use this case to guide considerations about future charity applications,” Mr Baird said in a statement.

A spokesman for the commission said only certain charities were entitled to an endorsement as Deductible Gift Recipients, with health promotion having a category of its own.

As a result of the ruling, the Waubra Foundation would lose that endorsement, he said. ‘Noise-sensitised’

Fairfax Media sought comment from Sarah Laurie, chief executive of the foundation. In a website posting, Ms Laurie said her organisation was “seeking legal advice about our options for an appeal”.

“We will be continuing our work helping noise-sensitised people, and supporting independent research efforts to identify the acoustic triggers for the physiological stress, sleep disturbance and other symptoms reported by those living and working near industrial noise sources,” Ms Laurie said.

The foundation would “remain a registered charity with the ACNC for the purposes of ‘Advancing Health’ and promoting or opposing ‘a change to law, government policy or practice'”, she said.

The ACNC spokesman, though, said such a registration would likely have fewer tax-deduction benefits.

Simon Holmes a Court, a senior advisor to the Energy Transition Hub at Melbourne University, welcomed the tribunal’s decision as “the final nail in the coffin for the Waubra Foundation”.

“It’s hard to think of any organisation that’s done more to foment community division and frustrate the development of clean energy in Australia,” he said.

The Waubra Foundation were able to harness the early conflict between developers and wary communities “to perpetuate division, in their case over an invented medical condition, in the hope that some projects would be stopped”, Mr Holmes a Court said. “Communities, the wind sector and the medical fraternity have moved on.”

According to financial statements lodged for the year to June 30, 2016, the foundation had donated funds of $83,790 frozen while it appealed the ACNC’s original decision.

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Majority of Aussies are tossing clothing in the bin

Australians are churning through clothes at an unprecedented rate, with 75 per cent of us throwing at least one item of clothing in the bin in the past year.
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One in five of us has also tossed clothing after wearing it just once.

It gets worse the younger you are, with a nearly 40 per cent of millennials buying half of the clothing they own in the past 12 months.

With large fashion houses such as H&M and Zara creating new lines every week, the pressure to keep up with trends has never been so great.

Research released on Tuesday by market research company YouGov Omnibus reveals the extent of Australia’s clothing waste.

Millennials (people born after 1981) are twice as likely as baby boomers to toss clothing because it is unfashionable or they are bored of wearing it.

Marketing student Bridget Halpin admitted to shopping online “quite a lot”, buying two to three new items a month, but said she focussed on staple pieces with a longer shelf life.

Unlike some of her friends, the 20-year-old from Hampton in Melbourne’s south-east said she refrained from tossing clothes in the trash.

“I’ll ask my sisters first because they’re similar sizes and then I tend to give it to St Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army, or sometimes my mum gives them to younger family friends.”

YouGov Omnibus found 30 per cent of Australians threw away more than 10 items in the past year.

Ms Halpin, an intern at a public relations company, said she occasionally felt pressure to look fashionable.

“Definitely when I come into the office and see everyone in cool outfits I think I need to step up my game.

“I do feel a bit of pressure because you see people wearing nice new current season clothes and then you just go and buy it.”

While Australians of all generations were guilty of sending clothes to landfill, baby boomers were more likely to donate unwanted items to charity and keep clothing that is unfashionable.

Of the 2536 people surveyed, 9 per cent of baby boomers bought half of their wardrobe in the last year compared to 38 per cent of millennials.

YouGov’s Head of Omnibus Jake Gammon said the survey suggested the amount of clothing in landfill was likely to rise.

“Looking ahead to the future, there is a worrying trend among millennials; their propensity to dispose of clothing at a faster rate and using less sustainable means than older generations suggests that there is an uphill battle ahead for those keen to tackle this issue head on.”

Millennials were nine times more likely to throw away clothing because they had seen a friend wearing it. Disturbingly, 7 per cent of millennials surveyed also said they burned unwanted clothes to get rid of them.

Ms Halpin said her shopping had become less impulsive with age.

“I think when I was younger, definitely during high school, if there was a party I would have to buy something new. Now I’m more last minute and I’ll go ‘this still looks good, I’ll just wear it’.”

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Happy day for retailers as Amazon fails to live up to the hype

NCH NEWS. Christmas shopping rush at Westfield Kotara. Pic shows shoppers queuing in JB Hi-Fi. 23rd December 2015. NCH. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS MMHAustralian retailers have breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed a healthy bump to their share prices after their worst fears about Amazon outgunning them on price and service failed to eventuate.
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The American e-commerce giant sent its Australian website live with “millions” of products for sales on Tuesday, offering next-day deliveries and discounts of up to 30 per cent on popular toys, kitchen appliances and fashion brands.

But retail analysts said Amazon’s prices were not as aggressive as expected and was unlikely to spoil Christmas for local retailers.

Discretionary retailers’ shares have been under pressure for months amid speculation about how Amazon would affect their earnings,but they received a welcome boost as Amazon revealed its hand.

JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman’s shares were the two best performers on the ASX200, jumping 6.76 per cent and 6.25 per cent respectively, while Supercheap Auto owner Super Retail Group closed up 3.1 per cent, and Myer rose up 1.3 per cent. The broader market fell 0.23 per cent.

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey said Amazon’s launch was a “non-event”, and welcomed his company’s share price recovering some of the losses it has suffered due to Amazon “hype”.

“It’s just amazing that this sort of thing can gather this sort of momentum and ended up so lame,” Mr Harvey said.

The company’s shares were as high as $5.17 in January, closed at $4 on Monday and gained 25?? on Tuesday.

Amazon was selling some popular electronics items significantly lower than Harvey Norman, and Mr Harvey said he would match those prices.

“We’re below them on a lot of stuff, and we’ve got a whole heap of stuff they don’t even sell,” he said.

“In Singapore and Malaysia, we’re dealing not just with Amazon but Alibaba and the lot and our sales are going up over there, not down.”

Citi retail analyst Bryan Raymond said Amazon’s range was “patchy”, with more than 40,000 toys and games from big brands available, but no televisions for sale yet.

The bulk of items listed were being sold by third-party sellers who had slower delivery times, while Amazon built up its distribution infrastructure.

“Based on the current offer, we expect Amazon will not be disruptive to Australian retailers this Christmas,” Mr Raymond said.

Morgan Stanley analyst Tom Kierath said Amazon’s initial offer to Australians would be less disruptive to local players than expected, with weak product range, and delivery times that lagged incumbent retailers.

JB Hi-Fi, for example, offers same-day delivery for $9.99, compared to Amazon’s next-day delivery for the same price.

Amazon’s prices on consumer electronics were higher than competitors, Mr Kierath said, and it appeared it was instead going after Australia’s supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths by undercutting them about 13 per cent on dry groceries such as dishwashing liquid, hand wash, and nappies.

“Amazon isn’t always uniformly cheaper than the competitors but does go after certain categories, usually consumer electronics,” Mr Kierath said. “Based on our analysis it looks to be groceries.”

Another analyst, who asked not to be named, was also unimpressed Amazon’s prices and delivery options, noting that Woolworths was trialing one-hour home delivery from four stores in Sydney.

Mr Raymond said Amazon would start to pose a real threat to local retailers when it launches its Amazon Prime subscription service, slated for mid-2018, which lowers shipping costs, and in some markets enables free two-hour delivery.

Steven Kulmar, from consultancy RetailOasis, said Amazon typically started with only a few core product categories when it launched into a new market. Launching with more than 20 categories in Australia showed it was confident of success.

“I think they’ve worked out that the Australian market is ready for them and the more they serve up to us the more we’ll accept,” he said.

Another challenger also arrived Tuesday in the form of sportswear retailers Decathlon opening a flagship store in Sydney. The French retailer was already generating about $100,000 in sales a month online, according to IBISWorld.

Retail spending jumped to a five-month high in October, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed, after shoppers forked out on clothing, footwear and accessories (up 2.5 per cent) and eating out (2 per cent).

Total spending rose 0.5 per cent in October, up from 0.1 per cent in September, pushing annual sale growth up from 1.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

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

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Brumbies want brickwall defence to help ignite attacking spark

Sport. Brumbies training at their UC HQ. Peter Ryan, one of the coaching staff, looking a bit gangster…ish.April 20th 2016The Canberra TimesPhotograph by Graham Tidy.
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Pre-season Brumbies training (28th November 2017)(coaching staff) Laurie Fisher, Peter Ryan, Dan Palmer and Dan McKellar.Photo by Karleen Minney.

ACT Brumbies tackling guru Peter Ryan has challenged the players to find their attacking spark without sacrificing the goal of becoming the No. 1 defensive team in Super Rugby next year .

The Brumbies are on a mission to improve their attack next year as they attempt to break a New Zealand curse and stamp themselves as a Super Rugby title contender.

They scored an average of just 21 points per game last season compared to title winners the Canterbury Crusaders’ average of more than 36 points per game.

But Ryan says they cannot disregard defensive numbers if they want to be a genuine threat in the competition.

The Brumbies were the third best defensive team in the competition last last year, conceding just 272 points in 15 games in the regular season.

“We need to decrease the amount of tries scored against us … We need to be under 20 points against us regardless of whether it’s tries or penalties.

“If we can do that, the Brumbies have historically been able to score more than 20 points, so that puts us in a good position.

“In 2015 we were the best defensive team in the history of the competition. In 2016 we sacrificed a lot of time on our defensive structure [to look at attack].

“From my point of view, our standard dropped from where we wanted it but then we stepped back up last year. We want to be at the top level next year and be No. 1 in defence.

“Although we’re changing our attack a bit, I think our defence will be along for the ride.”

Ryan, a Super Rugby and NRL title winner and dual-code hardman, is back in Canberra for Brumbies pre-season training after completing a stint with the Fiji side on its tour of Europe.

The former Brumbies flanker and Brisbane Broncos forward has signed a one-year contract extension to stay in Canberra as part of Dan McKellar’s first-year coaching set up.

However, Ryan will weigh up his options at the end of the season before deciding if he will return to the Brumbies or pursue challenges in rugby union or rugby league.

Ryan is a valuable asset in Australian rugby given the Brumbies were the only team to concede less than 300 points.

The NSW Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels, Queensland Reds and Western Force all conceded more than 400 points in their 15 games last year.

“Every day for me is a joy to turn up … Every day you can see individual improvement,” Ryan said.

“It’s a really good set up this year that will gel well for a good 2018. The European trip was a lot of work, but I was seeing new places every day so I enjoyed it.

“Moving forward I think Fiji can be a really positive influence in international rugby. But I’m glad to be back here and excited about what we’re working towards for next year.”

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Jensen aims high for first Hobart campaign

STORM A COMIN’: Iain Jensen at the Infotrack launch of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan EspositoOlympic gold medallistIain Jensen said a Sydney to Hobart win on debut “would be up there” in his career highlights as he prepares alongside fellow Lake Macquarie sailors Ben Lamb and Tom Braidwood on InfoTrack.
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Jensen, who wongold at the 2012 London Olympics and silver at the Rio Olympics in the 49er class,received a call from InfoTrack helmsman Lamb asking him to join the crew.

“I’ve always wanted to do the Hobart, it’s an iconic race in Australia,” Jensen said. “To come home with a Hobart win would be up there for sure.[Lamb] sort of asked if I was interested in doing it. He told me who else was on board and which boat it was and it seemed like a really good opportunity.”

The crew of Sydney to Hobart favourites InfoTrack are confident they can not only defend the title butbreak the race record this year.

TechentrepreneurChristian Beck bought 2016 line honours winner Perpetual Loyalthis year and rebranded it after his company.

Perpetual Loyal, skippered by celebrity accountant Anthony Bell, set a new race record of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds last year.

“We’d like totry tokeep the record,” saidBeck, also the skipper ofInfoTrack.”If the conditions are right we’d like totry andholdon tothat record. I think if it’s windy we have a chanceof winning.”

Beckis estimated to be worth more than $600 million and was named Ernst and Youngentrepreneurof 2017 last month.

He hasn’t doneoffshoreocean racingbefore and admits it’s a “whole new world”.

“It’s all about the crewbecause I don’t knowwhat I’m doing, soI really need a good crew,”Beckjoked.

InfoTrack boat captain Ty Oxley will compete in his 15th Sydney to Hobart this year and is confident the 100-foot supermaxi can break the race record if the weather conditions suit.

“It took fourhours, 50 minutes off the record last year so anything’s possible,” Oxley said.“It’s definitely capable of winning again and it’s definitely proved itself to be capable in those strong conditions.”

InfoTrack has assembled a star-studded crew withdecades of Sydney to Hobart experience and Olympic medals.Some were meeting Beck for the first time at Tuesday’sInfoTracklaunch.

Beck is also keen to organise a weekly race between supermaxis in the style of the start of theSydney to Hobart, where the yachts race to be first out of the Sydneyheads.

InfoTrack,Comanche, WildOats XI andBlack Jack are the supermaxisin the107-strong fleet.

“It’s going tobequite acompetitive year this year.Comanchewillbea hardboat tobeat,” Jensen said.

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Ministers to kill off changes to marriage bill

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Defence Industry and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during a motion for a proposed citizenship register, in the House of Representatives in Canberra on Monday 4 December 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex EllinghausenCabinet ministers will ignore Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s lead and kill off amendments to the same-sex marriage bill that would have bolstered religious exemptions and enabled civil celebrants to discriminate against gay couples.
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Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne indicated he would oppose all amendments to senator Dean Smith’s bill, deriding the various changes proposed by his Liberal colleagues as unnecessary and superfluous.

Mr Pyne’s declaration means there are now enough MPs opposed to the amendments to form a blocking majority of 74 votes, including Labor’s 69 MPs, Adam Bandt, Rebekha Sharkie, Andrew Wilkie and Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch.

Fellow Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman took that number to 75, telling Fairfax Media on Tuesday: “I have not seen any amendments that would dissuade me from believing that the bill adopted by the Senate should stand.”

Mr Pyne – a long-standing supporter of same-sex marriage – told the chamber he was satisfied the bill already protected religious freedom.

“I do not support the insertion of unnecessary amendments,” he said. “Acts of Parliament should not contain superfluous clauses – especially superfluous clauses based on the opinion that Australia’s laws don’t adequately protect the religious freedoms that we have cherished since Federation. I firmly believe that they do.”

In a passionate and personal speech reflecting on his own Christian faith, Mr Pyne said the right for same-sex couples to marry had been “denied too long, too cruelly – and too often with such meagre and patently disingenuous defences”.

The denial of civil marriage equality was “a betrayal of the separation of church and state”, “hypocritical” and “plainly wrong”, he said.

Mr Pyne’s opposition to the amendments will give the green light for other MPs to vote against them in what is a conscience vote for all Coalition MPs. Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, also a member of the moderate Liberal faction, stated last week that she is unpersuaded by the amendments put forward to date. Education Minister Simon Birmingham and Defence Minister Marise Payne, also moderates, rejected the amendments in the Senate last week.

Their stance contradicts that of Mr Turnbull, who will support moves to allow civil celebrants to discriminate against gay couples even though they are doomed to fail. On Tuesday, the PM said it was his ministers’ “absolute right” to disagree with him and vote as they see fit.

“I am not sure what part of free [vote] you do not understand,” he said.

But at a Coalition party room meeting on Tuesday, Mr Turnbull and the man he replaced, Tony Abbott, clashed over Mr Abbott’s proposal to add a so-called “pious amendment” to the bill. The motion, which would not alter the bill, is a declaration that nobody should “suffer any adverse effects” from their beliefs about marriage.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne clashed over Mr Abbott’s proposed ‘pious amendment’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Several MPs in the room told Fairfax Media the exchange was “terse” or “heated”. A frustrated Mr Turnbull eventually told Mr Abbott he would not support the motion. “He basically said to Abbott, ‘I have been married to Lucy for 38 years and I know the importance of marriage’,” one MP recounted.

“It’s the strongest I’ve seen Malcolm. He really put Abbott in his box,” another MP said.

Mr Pyne then intervened and said the pious amendment would stop the bill in its tracks, that debate would have to be restarted and that it would cause a major problem. Mr Zimmerman echoed Mr Pyne’s intervention, while Kevin Andrews backed Mr Abbott.

Alex Greenwich, co-chair of the Equality Campaign, said he was “grateful to all the MPs across the Parliament who are voting down amendments, and in doing so ensuring the will of the people and the government’s promise are fulfilled to achieve marriage equality this week”.

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