Silence on ideas boom ‘is sad’

Policymakers should stop sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that “there are going to be a massive amount of jobs destroyed” from the digital revolution, says Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Australia’s most successful tech company, Atlassian.
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Mr Cannon-Brookes said the need to understand, adapt and be part of the new economy was critical, but lamented the government had been mostly silent over the past year on the topic of innovation despite Malcolm Turnbull’s “ideas boom”.

The federal government has committed to spending about $1.1 billion in the next four years to promote business-based research, development and innovation, as the economy shifts away from mining-driven growth.

Mr Cannon-Brookes said it was a hard sell to the electorate but that governments needed to show leadership.

“The best way to deal with structural change and people fearing for their jobs is to stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not going to happen … clearly that’s the best way to handle a strategic problem,” he said facetiously.

“That’s a f—ing crazy way to handle it’.

Mr Cannon-Brookes, who was speaking at The Australian Financial ReviewBusiness Summit in Sydney, said changes were required now.

“We should be honest and empathetic and admit there are going to be a massive amount of jobs destroyed, there are going to be massive amount of jobs created,” he said.

“Are we ready for those jobs to be created, and are they going to be created here or somewhere else?”

By way of example he said 2.5 million people drive a car as a significant part of their job.

“Those jobs are all going away whether it takes 10 years, 15 years or 20 years, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“Pretending they’re not may make people feel better right now, and the irony is the people in those jobs today … will probably be retired. It’s their children that will suffer the pain.”

He said governments have not succeeded in selling the innovation issue to the broader electorate, noting that it was barely mentioned in the election campaign.

“Let’s just say the dreams that a lot of people had a year ago have not been realised, if anything we appear to have gone in the opposite direction in terms of a national dialogue, which I think is sad.

“When was the last time you actually heard someone say that [ideas boom] let alone write about it in the last six months.”

Mr Cannon-Brookes believes getting education right is vital and that educating the workforce of the future to be ready for the future is an incredibly real thing.

He said we need to have industry, jobs and companies for those people to arrive into.

But he recognised that education is one of the hardest things to invest in because the payback is so long.

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Thanking the lifeblood

They are the lifeblood of any community –the volunteer. So whois your favourite community volunteer?Is it the girl guide leader, the cricket coach who devotes so much time teachingyour children sporting skills, or even one of the Blue Mountains councillors?
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Everyone has a favourite volunteersupporting and enriching thecommunity in many ways. And now there is a chance to acknowledge that volunteer, thanks to a thoughtfulinitiative from Lower Blue Mountains Rotary.

On May 30 the clubwill stage the third annual Blue Mountains CommunityVolunteer Awards Presentation evening in the Emu Plains Sports Club from 6.30pm.

Helping others: Rotarians Sue Parnell and Peter Agar (back) visit one of last year’s winners, Carol Williams, pictured with Sandra Henry.

Nominations are invited for volunteers in a wide variety of categories –health, education, youth programs, sports, emergency services andcommunity support.

Last year’s volunteer awards night recognised 11 volunteers froma variety of services and occupations.

Carol and David Williams were honoured for 23 years of service to BlueMountains Food Services (Meals on Wheels). The pairdeliver and serve almost 1,000 meals tohomes and restaurants from Lapstone to Mt Victoria.

RecentlyRotarians Sue Parnell and Peter Agar made a surprise visit to Mrs Williams. Shewas hard at work, as usual, preparing meals, but encouraged the community to get involved in the project.

Co-ordinator and Rotarian John Keogh, and his project committee, have distributednomination forms to the Blaxland and Springwood Community Centres this month. Several other shops and business across the Lower Mountains will have supplies of the form soon.

The nomination form is also available online from theRotary Club web site – http://lowerbluemountainsrotary.org419论坛/.

Nominations for the May 30 event close on April 21 and should be emailed to John Keogh [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 – or posted to Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Inc, PO Box 60,Glenbrook, NSW 2773.

People seeking further information should contact John Keogh on0416 213 460.

Seating at the Awards Night will be limited to 150, sosupporting nominees should finalise bookings as soon as possible.

Hard at work: Rotarians Sue Parnell and Peter Agar made a surprise visit to one of last year’s winners, Carol and David Williams (hard at work preparing meals as usual) whilst delivering nomination forms to Springwood Civic Centre last week. From left, Sue Parnell, Carol Williams, Peter Agar, Sandra Henry and David Williams.

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Why James McManus won’t feature in parade of Knights legends

THE awkward relationship between James McManus and the Newcastle Knights has been highlighted by his non-involvement in a pre-match parade of club legends at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
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CLUB STAWART: Former Knights winger James McManus has not been invited to join a parade of club legends on Saturday.

Seventeen of Newcastle’s longest-serving former players will be presented to the crowd before kick-off in the clash with Gold Coast Titans.

They range from Newcastle’s most-capped player, Danny Buderus, with 257 games, down to Daniel Abraham, with 100 appearances.

McManus, who wore the red and blue 166 times between 2007 and 2015, is a notable omission, along with two-time premiership winners Robbie O’Davis and Adam MacDougall, and former skipper Kurt Gidley.

Gidley is unavailable because he is playing in England, while O’Davis and MacDougall have other commitments.

In the case of McManus, he has not been invited –although the Once a Knights Old Boys, who have organised the logistics, deny that the former Origin winger has been snubbed.

Old Boys president John Laut said: “We didn’t want to put that sort of pressure on him …the advice that we took was that it was best to leave things as they were”.

It was revealed two weeks ago that McManus is suing the Knights for their handling of concussions that ended his career, although he continues to work for the club as a business-development manager in their corporate team.

Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said that he had liaised with the Old Boys but left the invitation list up to them.

“That’s something the Old Boys have managed for us,’’ Gidley said.

“Whether he’s not available, whether he’s been invited, I’m not too sure …all the legwork has been done by the Old Boys.’’

It is understood McManus may also have work commitments on Saturday, entertaining corporate clients at the game.

McManusattended Newcastle’s season launch two weeks ago, just two days before his law suit was revealed.

He was reported to have taken time off work last week, but Gidley said he was in the office this week.

Knights chairman Brian McGuigan said from the outset the legal action would not affect McManus’s employment: “We have not changed his status at all.”

Meanwhile, Knights lock Mitch Barnett has re-signed with the club for the next three years.

The new contract secures the rugged 22-year-old until at least the end of the 2020 season.

First festival on song

ON SONG: Trombone player Michael Cousins plays with band The Frantic Five, from NSW, performs at the Reardon Theatre during the Port Fairy Jazz Festival. Picture: Rob GunstoneFROM every perspective, the inaugural Port Fairy Jazz Festival was a raging success.
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The nearly 400 responses from our various surveys have been extremely complimentary.

This outcome is only achievable when a large diverse group of people, organisations and businesses all pull in the same direction and give it their best.

The festival committee wishes to thank the community and traders who made these jazz guests feel so welcome.

This festival is run on a different financial basis to most other festivals.

All of the musicians donate their services for the weekend and pay all their own expenses.

However, they receive an equal disbursement per musician from the net operating profit of the event to offset some of their expenses.

The art of the recipe is to ensure that there is sufficient net profit to make the disbursement large enough to encourage the musicians to come back again for next year’s event.

Hence keeping the costs down by sponsorships and lots of volunteer workers is essential for maintaining a viable festival.

To the businesses, associations, clubs, individuals and council who all helped to make this recipe work – we say a big thank you.

The biggest threat to this niche festivalis some accommodation providers elevating their prices to peak rates for a weekend that was previously a bit of a lull.

That approach will discourage both musicians and patrons.

It could result in a festival with a very short life.

My plea is for restraint for both of our longer term benefit.

We are now confidently planning for the second Port Fairy Jazz Festival from February 9 to 11, 2018.

The committees intends to follow the same general format as the first festival, with some tweaking as a result of the feedback we have received.

Port Fairy is a wonderful welcoming community.

There are many community members and businesses who generously give of their support and time.

This helped to ensure everyone who attended this festival had a memorable experience.

John Huf, secretaryPort Fairy Jazz FestivalThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cobras, Rams in semi tussle

Sedgwick’s Matt Dwyer has cracked an EVCA-best 728 runs this season. Picture: DARREN HOWEGOLDEN Gully and Sedgwick have never won an Emu Valley Cricket Association division one premiership.
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But one of the Cobras or Rams will set up an opportunity to vie for their first flag when they meet in a semi-final at Golden Gully’s Langdon Building Oval.

The Cobras and Rams finished second and third on the ladder, each with 8-2 records and separated by 5.11 points.

They met twice during the home and away season for one win each –the Cobras winning their one day match by 15 runs and the Rams prevailing by 49 runs in their two-day encounter.

Both sides have powerful batting line-ups.

The Rams featurethree players –Matt Dwyer (728), coming off 156 last week,skipper Rick Ladson (610) and Andrew Sheehan (512) –who have all made more than 500 runs and are averaging above 50.

Golden Gully’s Greg Thomas has been one of the recruits of the season, scoring 619 runs and passing 50 six times in his 14 innings.

Jeremy Rogerson (432) has also had a consistent season for the Cobras, while key all-rounder Grant Le Poidevin (423), who is an inclusion into the side,is averaging 141.5 across his past five innings.

This season’s meetings:

Rd 1: Golden Gully 4-260 d Sedgwick 5-245.

Rd 11: Sedgwick 223 d Golden Gully 174 & 0-121.

Since 2008: Sedgwick 9; Golden Gully 3.

Prediction: Sedgwick.

• EVCA semi-final teams:

GOLDEN GULLY –Clint Prime (c), Greg Thomas, Jeremy Rogerson, Grant Le Poidevin, Nathan Hamblin, Darren Hinck,Kansas Varker, Shaun O’Shea, Brad Webster, Bradley Smith, James Austin.

Golden Gully’s Greg Thomas.

SEDGWICK, MANDURANG –not supplied.

UNITED –Josh White (c), James Smith, Andrew Duguid, Alexander Collins, Sam Barnes, Kieran Nihill, Xavier Walsh, Noah Walsh, Sebastian Greene, Layton Ross, Andrew Collins, George Hartney.

• Lower divisions:

Division 2:

Spring Gully v Maiden Gully at Spring Gully, Mandurang v Emu Creek at Pearce Reserve.

Division 3:

Marong v Strathfieldsaye at Malone Park, Maiden Gully v Mandurang Lions at Villawood Oval.

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‘I was 8/10 drunk’ – Gwynneville glass attack accused denies intent

Oskar Calvi awaits the jury’s verdict outside Wollongong courthouse. A man accused of glassing a passer-by on aGwynneville sidewalk admits to landing a blow with a bottle in his hand, but denies he intended to cause his victim’s life-threatening injury.
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Drunk, and with no expertise in human anatomy, Oskar Calvi could not have deliberately nicked his victim’s external jugular vein,Calvi’s barrister argued, at the 20-year-old’sWollongong District Court trial on Thursday.

Calvi admits to recklessly wounding Gwynneville manDavid Merxhushi the night of June 24, 2015, as the pair crossed paths on Foley Street, each accompanied by a friend.

To prove the more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, prosecutors must show Calvi planned to cause Mr Merxhushi serious injury when he dealt the blow.

From the stand on Thursday, Calvi told the jury he was too drunk –an “eight out of ten” –to have intended anything.

He said he was taking swigs from a half-empty bottle of VB -found abandoned in the carpark of Wiseman’s Bowling Club moments earlier –when heand hisfriend, Christopher Anderson, encountered Merxhushi.

He told the court Anderson and Mr Merxhushi exchanged “smart-a–e” comments, and he initially defused theirconflict. He accused Merxhushi of behaving aggressively, and said it was Merxhushi who struck first, hitting him in the face three times.

“I struck him back … with my hand,” Calvi said.

“Was there something I your hand,” Calvi’s barrister, Sandy Wetmore, asked.

“Yes.”

“Do you know whether or not the bottle broke when you struck him.

“No.”

“Did you realise at that point you’d caused some considerable damage to the victim.”

“No.

Mr Merxhushi suffered cuts to his face, head and–most seriously -his neck, where the wound came within a centimetre of his carotid artery, according to expert medical evidence.

Calvidenied he told Anderson “I stabbed him [Merxhushi]” the next day, as Anderson claimed in earlier evidence.

He told the court he first heard about the stabbing when police visited his home a month later.

The prosecution is relying on the evidence of three witnessses –Anderson, MrMerxhushi and his friend, AgimBekirovski – who claim have heard the sound of glass smashing in the seconds leading to the moment Mr Merxhushi was injured.

A bowling club kitchenhand, Alexander Thorndyke, witnessed the attack.

In evidence, he described Calvi as the aggressor and said Mr Merxhushi was “walking backwards with his hands up” when Calvi went to hit him.

“He had something in his hand. I couldn’t make out what he was holding,” he said.

Mr Thorndyke later visited the site of the altercation and noted there was broken glass on the opposite side of the road.

“I saw the glass on the eastern side, and I saw the attack more of the western side,” he said.

Crown prosecutor Mark Heffernan called on jurors to consider “the irresistible inference that the bottle was broken before the first blow by theaccused”.

This, and the location of Mr Merxhushi’s wounds, showed Calvi’s “clear intent to do really serious harm”, he argued.

“Look at the area that has been targeted. It’s not a leg, it’s not his back. Not in his stomach or chest. He goes for his head and neck.”

The jury retired to consider its verdict at 3.10pm. The trial continues, Friday.

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Strikers name Holden ahead of Saville clash

BACK: Michael Holden has been named for the Devonport Strikers in round one after returning to the club this season. Picture: Cordell Richardson. The Devonport Strikers will welcome former coach Peter Saville back to Valley Road on Saturday when they take on the highly-fancied Hobart Zebras in round one.
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The 2016 NPL champions have named a 16-man squad for the round one clash in Devonport with plenty of new names added to the list.

Among the big name players to be included in the squad for round one are returning forward Michael Holden who spent the 2016 with A-League side Melbourne Victory.

Holden is a proven goal scorer in the NPL with 12 goals in the 2015 season before his departure to Victoria and will line up alongside captain Brayden Mann in the forward line this season.

Henry Andrews has also been named in the squad for the match against Zebras and brings with him similar A-League experience having spent last season in the Central Coast Mariners under-18 program.

Young but experienced defender Dom Smith will help lead the back line for the Strikers at home while Canadian imports Raph Reynolds and Matt Zaikos look set to get their first taste of the NPL competition.

American import Tyler Fischer has been left out of the side for round one.

The home side have also included a number of youngsters in the round one squad with forward Harrison Wicks joining the likes of Lachlan Ford, Luka Argent, Jack Rand and Edward Bidwell in the side.

Coach Chris Gallo shared his passion for developing young players in the pre-season and it has been proven with the addition of junior talent in the senior side ahead of the regular season.

The Hobart Zebras have been tipped as the team to beat in season 2017 with the addition of Peter Saville as coach.

They proved their strength in the NPL Summer Series pre-season competition, taking out the silverware winning five and losing only one match inthe competition.

In other matches inthe opening NPL Tasmania round, Olympia will welcome South Hobart with the latter naming former Strikers winger Adam Gorrie in their squad for round one.

Launceston City will take on Kingborough on Saturday while Clarence will welcome Northern Rangers.

The Strikers kick-off their season at Valley Road this Saturday from 2pm.

Devonport Strikers squad:Anthony PlappBrayden MannDom SmithEdward BidwellHarrison WicksHenry AndrewsJack DanceJack RandJesse DanceLachlan FordLiam KnottLuka ArgentMatt PearceMichael HoldenMatt ZaikosRaphael ReynoldsCoach: Chris GalloThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hearing aid sector put on notice

WE’RE LISTENING: The ACCC is warning consumers against up-sell practices used by some hearing aid businesses. Accent Hearing’s Greg Butcher said some clients have reported poor experiences with other providers.To mark World Hearing Day on March 3, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its report Issues around the sale of hearing aids to encourage industry to reconsider commissions, disclosure and sales practices in the context of the Australian Consumer Law.
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In Australia, hearing aids can range anywhere from $1500 up to $15,000 per pair. The ACCC is encouraging consumers to be aware that hearing clinics are for the most part profit-making businesses like any other store and to shop around for the best hearing aid for their needs.

“The ACCC is concerned about a range of business practices in the hearing services industry, particularly around incentive based sales and commissions that are commonly used to motivate clinicians in the bigger chain stores to sell hearing aids,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Some larger hearing clinics encourage clinicians to sell more expensive hearing aids by setting sales targets, paying commissions to clinicians or are owned by companies that manufacture hearing aids.”

Audiologist Greg Butcher from Accent Hearingconcurs with the findings of what has been happening for many years in the industry. He said he has felt the frustrations of many clients coming into his clinic after they have been told by other providers ‘the only option to improve your hearing are the $14,000 hearing devices’.

“This behaviour is all about commission driving sales targets that most of the larger hearing chains have in operation,” Mr Butcher said.

“It includesone chain calling the general public from a major call centre (outside of the New England area) offering ‘free hearing screens’. Even the call operator receives a bonus for booking a certain number of people in.

“It’s totally wrong and even annoys people to the point of turning them off having their hearing assessed.”

The ACCC contacted the 10 largest hearing clinic operators to obtain information about their sales practices, and assessed 85 responses to an online survey,59 from consumers and 26 from industry.

The commission also released guidance material to help consumers make an informed choice when purchasing hearing aids. It is available at 梧桐夜网accc.gov419论坛.

The guideincludesdoingresearch first to compare offers, ask questions, read independent online reviewsand takingtime to make the right purchasing decision.

Mr Butcher said he encourages his clients tobring a family member or friend if they need assistance, and not to feel pressured into purchasing a more expensive hearing aid unless they are satisfied that it’s needed.

“And be sure to ask lots of questions.”

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

Court to hear salmon facts

Tassal and Petuna Seafoods will be called to give evidence in Huon Aquaculture’s legal proceedings against the state government and the Environment Protection Authority.
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On Thursday, a draft order for the proceedings was heard in the Hobart Supreme Court.

Huon Aquaculture filed the proceedings in February, protesting the EPA’s alleged failure to properly regulate salmon farming activity in Macquarie Harbour.

In 2016, the EPA reduced the biomass cap in the harbour to 14,000 tonnes, which Huon Aquaculture said was not environmentally sustainable.

This decision was made after the power to regulate salmon farming in Tasmania was transferred from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment to the EPA on July 1, 2016.

Salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour was expanded in 2012, overseen by then federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Huon Aquaculture claimed the conditions Mr Burke imposed on the expansion were not being abided by, which was partly whyproceedings were filed to the Federal Court on the same day they were filed to the Tasmanian Supreme Court.

Huon Aquaculture is one of three leaseholders in Macquarie Harbour, the others being Tassal and Petuna.

The court heard that the latter two companies would be advised of Thursday’s returns.

Tassal and Petuna will be served orders to appear in the Supreme Court in April.

Associate Justice Stephen Holt said confusion around who made the decisions regarding the provision of licences and leases in Macquarie Harbour made it difficult to determine who the first respondent in the proceedings should be.

EPA director Wes Ford is supposed to bethe first respondent, but Associate Justice Holt said this may not be appropriate given the EPA itself was the ultimate decision-maker, not Mr Ford.

Associate Justice Holt implied that changing the first respondent may allay confusion.

Along with Mr Rockliff, Mr Ford will be required to give grounds for being exempted from a penalty.

Once Mr Rockliff and Mr Ford have shown cause,counsel may be heard in relation to the chemical controls clause of the Macquarie Harbour Marine Farming Development Plan.

A directions hearing will be heard in the Hobart Supreme Court on April 3.

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Childcare industry slams government’s omnibus bill

Childcare peak bodies, the key beneficiaries of $1.6 billion in funding under the government’s omnibus bill, have slammed the government for tying its funding boost to savings from “vulnerable Australians”.
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The sector, which has the most to gain from $4 billion in savings through the federal government’s proposed changes to the social services bill, unanimously criticised the changes at a Senate committee hearing in Parliament on Thursday.

“We just don’t believe that it is necessary to predicate investment in early childhood eduction through savings in other areas,” the chief executive of Early Childhood Australia, Samantha Page, told the committee.

Families and providers have been frustrated by delays to the package, as childcare prices look set to soar by 22 per cent over the next four years to $220 a day in Sydney and $175 a day in Melbourne.

The reforms were originally independently tabled in 2013 and were scheduled to provide a maximum of $7500 per child for each financial year, with the lion’s share of benefits going to the lowest-income families. They have since been tied to the government’s $4 billion omnibus savings bill in an effort to get the stalled reforms pushed through.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the changes as a “very big social reform”.

“What we’re proposing – and we’re seeking the support of the Senate – is reforms that will make childcare more affordable and more available, especially for families on lower incomes,” he said in February.

Helen Gibbons, the assistant national secretary of the childcare workers union, United Voice, told the committee it was disappointing that a boost in childcare funding was only being discussed when cuts where being made to other areas, including Family Tax benefits, Youth Allowance and Newstart unemployment benefits.

“[It is such a shame] that early childhood and care, something that is so needed by communities and families, gets cynically tied to savings measures that the government has failed to get the community support for.”

The deputy chief executive officer of SNAICC-National Voice for our Children, Peter Lewis, echoed Ms Gibbons’ sentiment.

“You are creating vulnerabilities for vulnerable people,” he said.

The chairwoman of the National Foundation for Australian Women, Marie Coleman, described the bill as “an absolutely incoherent policy package”.

“They are running it up the flagpole and seeing who salutes it,” she said.

The hearing comes a day after more than 1000 childcare workers walked off the job on International Women’s Day on Wednesday to draw attention to the pay gap between male-and female-dominated professions.

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