‘The devil incarnate’: Barnaby Joyce on decentralisation debate

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Andrew MearesBarnaby Joyce says he’s pushing ahead with the Coalition plans to force relocations of government departments from Canberra, despite the policy seeing him cast as “the devil incarnate”.

A day after going to market for a permanent home for the relocated n Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in his own electorate of New England, the acting Prime Minister said he’s faced opposition for trying to move public service departments and agencies from Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne to regional cities.

“So often we have to accept services being taken away from regional centres,” he toldThe Armidale Express.

“It’s amazing the fight I’ve had to deal with in moving services back to a regional centre.

“The Canberra Timeshas basically made me a key feature of their front page.I am the devil incarnate because I dare to have a belief for other places in apart from Canberra.”

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Andrew Meares

The government is seekingbetween 2000 and 3200 square metres of office space in Armidalefor the authority, which is currently working from a temporary office and with an interim chief executive.

The new building must be within 10 kilometres’ radius of the University of New England campus and close to a commercial or retail precinct, with public transport links and car parking.

Despite more than 50 regulatory scientists and former chief executive Kareena Arthy leaving ahead of the controversial forced move, Mr Joyce said it was good news for the city.

“That’s great for the economy, that’s great for the shops in the mall, that’s great for the local district, it’s great for confidence in Armidale,” he said.

The authority is expecting staff to decide if they will join the move to Armidale towards the end of next year, with the final transition completed by July 2019.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie talked up the Coalition’s decentralisation agenda in northern Victoria this week, meeting with local councillors and calling for the private sector to invest in country towns and cities.

She said the Turnbull government wanted to help communities in the Indigo Shire – which includes Rutherglen, Chiltern, Beechworth and Yackandandah – to benefit from public service jobs.

“In Melbourne the average price of a house is approaching $1 million. In Wodonga, it’s much more attractive at $375,000 and in Chiltern that drops to an average of $230,000.

“So while re-located staff from Commonwealth agencies and offices would be located in the regional cities, they can live in a very attractive town like Chiltern which is just 20 minutes from Wodonga,” Senator McKenzie said.

Government ministers are beingrequired to justify keeping agencies and departments in their portfolios in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne by next month.

Cabinet will sign off on more forced moves before the end of the year.

Fenner MP Andrew Leigh said regional ‘s development shouldn’t hurt Canberra.

“Barnaby Joyce’s plan to force hard working public servants to move to his electorate will cost taxpayers more and deliver worse services,” he said.

“Pork barrelling jobs to the regions is bad for Canberra and bad for the nation.”

– withMadeline Link

No, Jayden K Smith is not coming to hack your Facebook account

Hackers friending you or your friends will not give them access to your computer. A hoax message warning Facebook Messenger users not to accept friend requests from a “hacker” named JaydenK Smith has begun to circulateacross the world, prompting confusion and an avalanche of memes.

Like most viral Facebook messages, it’s a totally made up story that scares users with a vague threat before imploring them to forward the lie on to all their friends or suffer the consequences.

Also like most Facebook posts, itis very easily debunked if you think about it for more than three seconds before forwarding it on.

I am proud to announce Jayden K Smith as the new head of cyber security. He will be working with the Russians and maybe North Korea. #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realdonalbtrump) July 10, 2017I don’t know who “Jayden K Smith” is on Facebook but he’s sent every middle-aged friend I have into social overdrive

— Seán Maher (@irishkangaroo) July 10, 2017

If the threat was that Jayden K Smith was a hacker who would try to befriend you and convince you to click on a link or open a file, it would be a much more believable threat. But of course that lacks the all-important impetus for users to forward the message to all their friends.

The idea that a person “has the system” connected to your Facebook account, and will hack you if any of your friendaccepts his request, is blatantly ridiculous. What system? How does the originator of the message know anything about a “system” connected to your personal account? How does the hacker’s connection to a friend of yours put you at risk of anything?

It’s obvious though thatthe silliness of the threat is not immediately obvious to everyone, as the message has circulated broadly enough to become a running joke online.

The “don’t add x and also tell all your friends” hoax is an incredibly old prank, the earliest known version listed onSnopes苏州夜网dating back to the Geocities days in 2000. Usually it’s a simple case of a prankster wanting to see how far their clever joke will be circulated, althoughthe moremalevolent forms hope to bully someone by unfairly connecting their name with a worldwide nuisance.

While it’s unclear which kind this latest prank is, individuals who happen to be called Jayden K Smith are probably having a pretty weird time.


Knights winger Chanel Mata’utia reflects on his return to the NRL.

CHANEL Mata’utia might have been out of sight, and out of mind, for the best part of two years.

FLASHBACK: Teammates show concern in March when Chanel Mata’utia tears his hamstring during a training session. Picture: Getty Images

But nobody needed to remind his eldest sibling of what he had to offer, given the chance.

“I believe he could be the best out of the four of us,” Peter Mata’utia said after Sunday’s 20-18 loss to Canterbury, which was Chanel’s first NRL game in 16 months.

Since debuting alongside youngest brother Sione in late 2014, Chanel has endured a torrid time.

In his first seven top-grade games, he scored five tries, including a hat-trick when marking up against Parramatta superstar Semi Radradra.

Then in seasons 2015 and 2016, he made justone appearance apiece, as knee, shoulder and hamstring injuries continually set him back.

Last season he could only watch from the stands as Peter, Sione and their other brother, Pat, featured regularly in Newcastle’s top team.

But on Sunday, the 24-year-old was not about to waste his opportunity after earning a long-awaited recall.

Playing outside Peter and Sione on Newcastle’s left edge, he scored a try, made 132 metres in attack and hit Bulldogs winger Marcelo Montoya with a tackle that rattled his teeth.

“He’s a big boy, got good footwork, hard to handle out of yardage,’’ Peter said. “He helps us get forward, gets our sets started … it’s just been his injuries.’’

Knights coach Nathan Brown said Chanel was “a talent” who had plenty of scope for improvement.

“If he gets his life away from footy –his diet –if he gets all that right, there’s a good footballer inside Chanel Mata’utia,’’ Brown said.

“I’ve got no doubt about that at all.

“He needs a little bit of luck to go his way and he needs to make some right decisions himself. But he had a great impact out there [against Canterbury] and I’d be hopeful he can have a little run where he can play a number of games in a row.’’

Peter said that, in his junior years, Chanel was happy to “go with the flow”, and for that reason he was overlooked for representative teams.

“But I think now it’s starting to kick in, that if he really wants it, he’s got to work hard for it,’’ Peter said.

Reflecting on Sunday’s game, Chanel felt he was “a bit rusty” and was disappointed that Montoya scored a try down his edge.

But he also exuded a sense of relief and satisfaction.

“After all the injuries, it’s good to be back,’’ he said. “I’ve been fighting to get back up there since the start of last season. I’ve just to keep working hard and knuckle down. I need to be more consistent in“D”, but it was a good first hit-out.’’

Bones are a serious matter

This article is sponsored byOsteoporosis .

WHEN it comes to your health it’s common to wait until the very last moment to act.

We can often delay going to the doctor especially for early signsof a more serious disease.

As the world’s population lives longer the significance of osteoporosis and fractures increases.

Obviously bones don’t deteriorate overnight but did you know your bone density begins to gradually decrease from age 30?

So taking preventative measures throughout your lifetime is vital in building and maintaining strong bones that will be the key to your independence in your later years.

To paint a picture of how prolific this disease really is, take a look at the statistics released on the 27 June in the ‘Osteoporosis report: Failure to prevent fractures costing all states and territories’.

The brittle bones of ns aged 50 years+ is expected to cost a whopping $3.1 billion this year alone.

Osteoporosis CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky said action is needed to improve the health outcomes for patients and their families.

“The report clearly indicates the rising cost of osteoporosis and related fractures and the majority of this cost is actually due to fractures, which is a consequence of osteoporosis,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

By 2022 the 10-year cost of broken bones will climb to an estimated $21.9 billion.

“We need to remember that this cost is not just impacting our healthcare system it’s also significantly impacting patients and their families.

“It disrupts normal life and patients often cannot perform activities like working, driving, or shopping and consequently they become reliant. This reality means we have double impact within the community.

“One is cost and one is suffering for patients and families who actually suffer from fractures,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

The release of the report coincides with the launch of the independent SOS Fracture Alliance – ’s first national alliance of 30 medical, allied health, patient and consumer organisations focusing on the prevention of osteoporotic fractures with a goal to ‘make the first break the last’.

The alliance seeks to prevent fractures from happening by increasing nation-wide recognition of the disease and help to close the gap in osteoporosis care.

Mr Lyubomirsky said there is a significant gap in patient care and the problem is with patients who have fractured a bone and are patched up but not investigated for osteoporosis.

Four-out-of-five ns treated for an osteoporotic fracture are not tested for osteoporosis, and therefore, are not offered treatment for osteoporosis

“There are 160,000 osteoporotic fractures expected in this year.

“However we know probably at least half will be discharged from hospital without any investigations or testing for osteoporosis, just an acute repair of the fracture, whether it’s surgery or a plaster,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

“There is no investigation such as a bone density test, and in some cases no blood test to check vitamin D and calcium deficiencies so basically the patient is put back into the community without any knowledge of what’s happening with their bones.”

So why is this happening?

“It’s like a building structure with cracks on the wall but we’re not looking at the foundation and that’s very important because if the foundation isn’t correct you’re at risk of having more fractures.

Normal bone matrix (left) vs osteoporosis

“This means the bones will fracture more often and patients will continue coming back to the hospital system and it’s costing everyone more,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

The good news is there are proactive steps you can take for risk assessment that will only take a few minutes.

The ‘Know Your Bones’ online assessment tool is one proactive measure created by Osteoporosis and The Garvan Institute of Medical Research that puts the power in the hands of the patient to help understand and self-assess their risk.

“The majority of patients do not understand the importance of bone health or that a broken bone or fracture can be due to a disease like osteoporosis.

“The majority of the population who have high blood pressure and cholesterol understand the consequences of it and that it may lead to heart attack or a stroke, however that’s not necessarily the link with broken bones and osteoporosis.

“This is a very important message as it’s a real and immediate medical emergency but it’s also an ongoing medical issue because once a fracture occurs, it can occur again if the underlying cause is not attended to appropriately,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

Bone health needs to be made a priority and it’s a collective responsibility of ours.

It’s time to be proactive by taking the necessary measures to help you maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle, free of pain and suffering caused by broken bones.

For recommendations on exercise, diet, preventative measures and treatment options visit the Osteoporosis website.

This article is sponsored byOsteoporosis .

Health Minister Brad Hazzard listened to the community on Maitland Hospital, and then responded.

ON October 31, 1901 –less than a year after n federation –NSW Parliament’s Upper House exercised itsconsiderable energies discussing an issue that few thought would be controversial –the Maitland HospitalEnabling Bill.

But controversial it ended up being.

The Bill called for funds raised by a Maitland Hospital committee to be diverted from maintaining the existing hospital, to build a new hospital. The government proposed matching the committee’s funds, pound for pound.

Reading Hansard from that day is like reading the Hansard of 116 years later, when the subject of Maitland Hospital has come up for debate.

Like debate in 2017, the 1901 Parliament was told that the existing hospital was “not at all suited tothe purposes for which a hospital is required” by a “very populous locality”.

Port Stephens-born MP Henry Dangar jumped to his feet during debate in 1901 to say he did “not propose to mix myself up in any of the squabbles that are apparently going on with regard to this Maitland Hospital”.

But the Bill eventually passed. The new hospital was built.

For at least the past six years the future of Maitland Hospital has been the subject of strong debate after a NSW Coalition campaign promise to build the facility. LaborMaitland MP Jenny Aitchison has made the new Maitland Hospital a key commitment since her election, with a prominent clock on her website counting off, by the second, the time since the Coalition promise.

As of Tuesday, it had been 2336 days since that promise. It was also the day NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard drew a line under the highly controversial public/private model announced in 2016, with a plan for a new $450 million hospital at Metford after a not-for-profit provider is “approached” to build and run it.

The announcement came only days after the government also ruled out a privatised Wyong Hospital.

There is much to commend in the new Maitland Hospital model –particularly cancer services –and it is clear Mr Hazzardhas consulted widely to address people’s quite reasonable concerns.

There are obvious questions that still need to be answered, but the minister deserves credit for listening to the community, and responding.

Issue: 38,542

Edgeworth goalkeeper Nate Cavaliere takes chance with both handsphotos

FLYING EAGLE: Edgeworth goalkeeper Nate Cavaliere in full flight during the FFA Cup. Picture: Max Mason-HubersOn paper at least,or from the outside, it might not have seemed the smartest of moves for Nate Cavaliere.

Nate Cavaliere’s leap of faith to Edgeworth rewarded | photos TweetFacebookThe 23-year-old goalkeeperhad spenttwo years in the shadow of veteran Brad Swancott atLambton Jaffas, but instead of moving down to a lower-ranked team in search of game time, Cavaliere went to the top.

Cavaliere joined Edgeworth, who had just finished a second season of domination in the Northern NSW National Premier League. Jim Fogarty had been the mainstay in goalsand even secured a short-term deal with the Newcastle Jets as injury cover last November.

Coach Damian Zane, though, was keen to increase competition for spots and Cavaliere was up for the challenge.

Fifteen games in, Cavaliere is statistically the bestin the NPL.

He has started in every game for the league-leading Eagles, whohave the best defensive record, with just 10 goals conceded. He also has seven clean sheets to have the NPL goalkeeping award all but secured, and he’s helped his team into the FFA Cup round of 32.

And all in his first full season of top-grade NPL action, a fact that most excites Zane.

“We didn’t promise him anything,” Zane said.“But he came in, Jim was away on holidays, and Nate got his shot and did nothing wrong.

“You could say it’s easy to keep your spot behind our defence but I said to the keepers, ‘any mistake will be getting punished’, justbecause they are all there and they want a fair go.

“But he hasn’t put a foot wrong and considering it’s his first year in first grade andgoalkeeping is all about experience, it’s exciting to think where he may be in a few years.”

Cavaliere was also highly valued at the Jaffas and was being groomed to take over from Swancott, who was expected to retire at the end of last season.However, the 37-year-old played on this year, prompting Cavaliere’s switch to the Eagles.

Cavaliere, though, had only gratitude for the Jaffas and was thankful for his time learning from Swancott.

“If you’ve got life in the legs, you want to keep going, so there’s no hard feelings there at all,” he said. “I’d be the same.”

Cavaliere, who spent three years at West Wallsend before joining Jaffas, said he had no expectations at Edgeworth.

“They give a lot of young players a chance out there and Zaney had always rewarded people for good performances,” he said. “I thought if I went there and did well, I’d get rewarded.”

He said standing behind the likes of Pat Wheeler and Josh Evans “makes my job easy” and he had quickly learned why the Eagles had become so successful.

“Just the attitude and atmosphere the players have,” he said.“It’s a never-say-die attitude and the training we put in, the intensity and quality is always there.Eventually that always shows on the pitch.”

Cavaliere, who works as a waiter and personal trainer,admitted to feeling intimidated initially training with the all-conquering squad but said they had welcomed himin and were “agreat bunch of lads”.

The Warners Bay junior has ambitions to play at a higher level but was focused on staying on top in his breakthrough season at the Eagles.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” he said.“I just want to keep my head down, do the right things at training, and hopefully it can continue.

”Usually at Edgeworth, which has been different than previous seasons for me, is sometimes you only get that one moment in games, and you’ve got to win it, so it’s a matter of staying focused for the whole 90.”

Tanya Plibersek meets with Hunter parents of children with disabilities and calls for royal commission

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek and Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon met with Hunter parents on Tuesday.HUNTER parents’ allegations of schools mistreating their children with disabilities has left deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek in “shock and sadness”.

Ms Plibersek, who is also shadow minister for education, met with University of Newcastle academic David Roy and parents on Tuesday to discuss theirexperiences and reinforce Labor’s calls fora royal commission on violence and abuse against people with disabilities.

“It’s absolutely vital to investigate and expose any instances of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities,” Ms Plibersek said. “It’scertainly as serious as [allegations of child sexual abuse in institutions] and it took a royal commission to understand the extent of those types of issues. Until you have this kind of opportunity I think you’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg. Royal commissions give an opportunity for people who have been voiceless or too frightened to have their stories heard. The second thing you hope for is systematic changes that prevent further abuse and the third thing is for people to know they are believed when they disclose.”

The government has saidframeworks in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would address concerns within thedisability services sector.“The NDIS can’t solve historic issues of abuse and we shouldn’t expect it to,” Ms Pilbersek said.

Calls for a royal commission followthe Legislative Council inquiry into the provision of education to students with a disability or special needs in NSW schools, which has raised questions about inclusion;funding for students; and how the Department of Education managescomplaints.

“I’ve heard from so many parents and so many young people who have experienced abuse in schools or in educational settings that inevitably I’ve come to understand this is a very widespread problem,” she said. “The fact I personally know it’s widespread does not reduce the shock and sadness I feel when I hear these individual stories.”

Kerrie Fletcher said a school didn’t allow her son, who has autism spectrum disorder, to use the playground or attend excursions and regularly suspended him. “I thought I was an aberration because … you don’t realise there’s other people being treated like that too.”Her son moved toanother school, where he became dux. He is now at university.

Dr Roy said while the parliamentary inquiry could “change the future, a royal commission could heal the past”.

New Maitland Hospital public-private partnership shelved for not-for-profit sector involvement

A previous artist’s impression of what the new Maitland Hospital at Metford could look like. Picture: SuppliedThe state governmentwill seek a not-for-profit organisation tobuild and run the new Maitland Hospital, ditching controversial plans for a public-private partnership.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard will announce today that the government will adoptan arrangementmore like Newcastle’sCalvary Mater Hospital or Sydney’sSt Vincent’s Hospital, in a move that’s attracted the support of the n Medical Association.

The new plan likelymeans more money and services than what the government would have provided on its own, or under a PPP.

Mr Hazzard told Fairfax Media he wanted construction of the hospital to start before the end of this year–earlier than the previous mid-2018 estimate.

He hasasked the NSW Ministry of Health and Hunter New England Local Health Districtto“expedite the process”, with tenders sought from today. Construction is expected to create 1250 jobs over four years.

“I’m aiming to bring it on as quickly as possible,” Mr Hazzardsaid.

“Today, as Minister, I hit the start button. I want it underway ASAP.”

The not-for-profit organisation chosen will provide money to build and run the hospital on top of the $450 million the state has promised.

Chemotherapy, mental health,emergency, intensive care, palliative care, maternity and paediatric care, surgical theatres and inpatient surgical beds are planned for the new facility at Metford.

“There are a range of opportunitiesout there and I want to tap into that and really make some medical magic for the local community,” Mr Hazzardsaid.

“Under this arrangement, the NSW Government’s $450 million investment wouldbe combined with substantial funds from the successful not-for-profit provider to ensure the people of Maitland get first-class public health services that go beyond anything the government alone could deliver.”

The decision comes after the government scrapped plans for PPPs at Bowral and Wyong hospitals last week.

AMA NSW presidentProfessor Brad Frankum said the doctors’ union welcomed the decision, particularly the“commitment to a hospital being able to offer a significantly expanded range of services” in the Hunter.

“This is essential for the health of the community of Maitland and the surrounding districts,” he said.

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison said on Wednesday there were still major questions around the hospital that needed answers.

“I will continue to hold the government to account to deliver a hospital that is in the best interests of our community,” she said. “After six years, the community and staff deserve to know exactly what is on the table.”

beach report: Wednesday, July 12, 2017

SANDED UP: Sandy shorebreaks at Bar Beach. Picture: Dave AndersonBeach watchCLOUDY day on the beach, with some coastal showers about. The onshore winds are not strong enough to generate much of an increase.

Surf conditions will only be of average quality. Swell is from the south at 1 to 1.5m. Winds moderate south to south-east by the afternoon.

Tide islow for the early. Merewether and Nobbys the best options. Groms may sneak a wave on the high tide at the Cowrie Hole.

Swell too south for Port Stephens, so try North Stockton. Try Dudley, Blacksmiths and Caves to the south. Not the best of days for a swim, with Nobbys, Bar Beach and Merewether patrolled. The water temperature is 16 degrees.

– Dave Anderson

Hunter boatingWinds:Southerly 15 to 20 knots turning easterly 10 to 15 knots in the evening.

Seas:1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to 1 metre around noon.

Swell:Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres.

Weather:Cloudy. 90 per cent chance of showers.

Newcastle shippingDepartures

Yesterday: Spring Brave 8.19am, Kind Salute 1.52pm, Sonja 2.50pm, MP Kamsarmax 1 3.15pm, CBDL Ivy 8.17pm, Navios Melodia 9.32pm, Taipower Prosperity VII 10pm. Today: Cemtex Prudence 12.15am, Kaguya 5.15am, Topas 5.30pm, Ince Point 6.30pm.


Yesterday: Taipower Prosperity VII 1.42am, Topas 4.20am, Kaguya 10.54am, Sen-oku 4.45pm, Unity Discovery 5.45pm, Formosabulk Brave 11.15pm. Today: Brilliant Century 12.15am, Ocean Aphrodite 1.15am, Ince Point 2am, RTM Dampier 7am, Century Wave 11.45am, Pedhoulas Trader 1.45pm.


Air qualityWallsendGood






George Michael paid for Deal or No Deal contestant’s IVF, says former executive producer

The story of George Michael funding the IVF treatment of a woman he saw on a game show is one of many reported random acts of kindness that have come to light following his death on Sunday.

A tweet from UK television presenter Richard Osman has been retweeted over 34,000 times after alleging the late singer donated £15,000 ($25,000) to a woman who appeared on Deal or No Deal, attempting to win that amount of money to fund her IVF treatment.

Osman, who worked as an executive producer on the game show, said the singer “secretly phoned” the next day to gift the woman the money. A woman on ‘Deal Or No Deal’ told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 26, 2016

Although Osman did not reveal the identity of the woman, a woman named Lynette Gillard, from Bolton, England, saw the tweet and claimed to be the recipient.

The 38-year-old told the London Telegraph she received £9,000 from an anonymous donor after her then-husband appeared on a 2008 episode of Deal or No Deal but won less than the total amount needed for a round of IVF.

“For many years I wondered who would of been so generous and now I know,” Gillard said. “What more can I say other than thank you George.”

A spokesman for the game show would not confirm the donor’s identity to the Telegraph.

Osman’s story seemingly prompted others to report random acts of kindness and charity work the late singer performed anonymously.

One Twitter user said the singer worked at a homeless shelter, and asked his fellow volunteers to not tell anyone. Another said he saw him give a waitress a cheque for £25,000 ($43,000) to give to a woman who had been crying about her debt at the cafe after he had left. @richardosman he gave a stranger in a cafe £25k as she was crying over debt. Told the waitress to give her the cheque after he left.— VectorVictoria (@V3ct0rv1ct0r) December 26, 2016George Michael worked anonymously at a homeless shelter I was volunteering at. I’ve never told anyone, he asked we didn’t. That’s who he was— EMILYNE MONDO (@EmilyneMondo) December 26, 2016

The stories have not been confirmed.

In addition to his iconic music career, George Michael is being remembered for his philanthropy.

He was a dedicated supporter of AIDS sufferers charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, as well as UK confidential youth counselling service, Childline.

Fellow musician Billy Bragg reminded his Twitter followers on Boxing Day that the singer played free concerts open to any nurse working in the UK’s National Health Service to express his gratitude to those who looked after his late mother during her cancer battle. His support for the LGBTQ community, the NHS and the miners marked George Michael out as an activist as well as a great artist. pic.twitter苏州夜网/tsKNp22Lr7— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) December 26, 2016