Archive for June, 2019

PROBLEMS: Scott Morrison’s plan to have jobseekers work for farmers raises more questions than answers. Picture: Alex EllinghausenOpinion. It is, by definition, a personal thing. It’s built by experience, grafted through our ongoing engagements in the communities in which we live and often dished out at opportune times to inflate or deflate the egos of others.

We tend to gravitate towards those who share our opinions and can often feel threatened by those who oppose them, especially when the dissenter is not nervous about confronting the disparity between us.

Ultimately, opinion is the heart of our perception of ourselves, of others, and of the world. As we gravitate and repel others based on our perceptions, we create, perhaps unthinkingly, schools of thought.

A few of us are adaptable to changing views and ideas and will allow ourselves to have our opinions changed or influenced by others, by evidence, by our own ongoing experiences.

Some of us hold steadfastly to our opinions and become entrenched in our ideals.

This entrenched thought becomes problematic when it stops forward motion. When our perceptions and biases prevent us from adapting to changing need.

When groups of people who share opinion find their ideas challenged by a changing world with changing needs, they can either choose to dig in or to adapt.

One subject that keeps arising almost cyclically in the media stream is the concept of a “dole bludger.”The concept itself isn’t up for debate: it’s reported as a given.

Social media is rife with keyboard warriors battling out on digital battlefields over the treatment of people receiving welfare.

These trolls are usually self-described as never having had any trouble finding work and mistakenly assume that as a result, no-one else should either.

Nothing seems more personal than having to pay taxes to the government when another person receives benefits from that tax pool.

Newstart allowance has been frozen for 24 years. I was 13 years old when they last raised the benefit. Cost of living has gone up quite considerably since then and the allowance rate puts recipients UNDER the poverty line – they are hardly livingit up on free moneyin lush comfort.

The latest attack from the government came in the form of an order to pick fruit or lose benefits for a month. Prime MinisterScott Morrisonhas launched a new scheme to urge jobseekers to accept work on farms on pain of benefits loss.

At first glance, it may seem like a good idea. The farming industry needs labourers, communities have people who aren’t working, put them together and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbido-boo.

Unfortunately, in the real world, this is seriously oversimplifying a complex issue. And not even the farming community is happy about it (which begs the question, who did the government consultwith when planning this new scheme … but that’s another story).

Public perception of people experiencing unemployment are consistently characterised as lazy, bludging, layabouts who contribute nothing to society and are a drain on everyone.

Newstart allowance was less than 2.1 per cent of the 2018 federal budget.

Ironically, the Newstart allowance wasless than 2.1 per centof the 2018 federal budget and it must be remembered that not everyone on Newstart is experiencing unemployment. Aged care costs 13.67 per cent, families with children cost 7.53 per cent. But let’s demonise a group of people who are already vulnerable and regularly tell them – from our own government leaders no less – that they are a burden to society and need to pull their head in.

As National Farmers’ Federation presidentFiona Simsonsaid, this latest scheme is a carrot and stick push to fill farm work that’s shallow and oversimplifying a deeply complex issue.

She acknowledges agricultural work is often short-term and seasonal,and will not offer meaningful long-term employment for people looking for work. However, what it will create is the illusion of a drop in unemployment as statistically, employment rates will rise on a seasonal scale. And this looks good on paper.

The reality is that people who are unemployed aren’t looking for a Band-Aid fix. Employers aren’t looking for people who don’t want the work they have to offer but are required to take it.

We need a long-term solution to employment in this country, not an illusion hidden in statistics that fuel the dole-bludger perception and make the rich politicians feel better about themselves.

Zoë Wundenberg is a careers writer, counsellor and coach atimpressability成都夜总会招聘.au

LEECraddock (Short Takes 12/10), I am appalled, disgusted and down right outraged that you would take a wooden spoon to the rear ends of our pollies. Let’s think about it. What self-respecting wooden spoon would go anywhere near our politicians?

Craig Morsley, Raymond TerraceI DO hope the markets at Warners Bay which were held this Super Boat weekend (‘Two swell days for the Big Weekend’, Herald 15/10) are worth the effort because I feel outraged and angry that the council’s almost-completed renewal of the waterfront has been trashed. To gain access to the various market outlets, cars were parked on the newly-installed grass which is now completely ruined and the mud and tyre marks on the brand new walkways make this rate payer livid with anger. I witnessed ‘stand-offs’ between the drivers of these cars and pedestrians. Where were the council rangers? Is council being adequately reimbursed for all the damage done,and how long will that remediation take?

Glenda Winsen,Speers PointTO BUILD their new nuclear power plant, the government of Britain had to guarantee to pay $170 per megawatt hour, rising with inflation for 35 years. The average cost of electricity in NSW last financial year was $85 per megawatt hour. Nuclear power is nice in theory, but terrible in real life.

Sean Farnham, Kurri KurriAS MUCH as I’m happy for Maitland to be receiving a solution from the state government (‘State puts $1.5m towards fix for Maitland gridlock’, NewcastleHerald12/10), what about the traffic along Pacific Highway from Charlestown to Swansea, especially in morning and afternoon peak hour traffic? With the recent surge of Sydneysiders, and so many more cars on the road, synchronised traffic lights could be a start.

Lorraine Gibson, JewellsI HAVE no reason to doubt Jeff McCloy’s claim that Hunter Street businesses have been adversely affected by the loss of parking in the city (‘Parking at breaking point’, Herald13/10) After all Document 71, which was reported in the media before the closure of the rail line, predicted that the removal of on street parking eastward from Worth Place would have that exact outcome. What is notable however is that despite that information, most of the Hunter St business owners either supported rail in Hunter Street or failed to oppose it.

Kim Cross, MetfordIF YOU rely on in-homechildcare services to support your work needs, then listen carefully.Many services all over have already closed and more will be following with December’s deadline, if the government mess isn’t fixed.The new system just doesn’t work for this type of essential childcare and we need your support to get it to politicians now.Media has been just about nil and this is disappointing to say the least. They obviously don’t care either.

Amanda Johnstone,MayfieldTHE POLLSSHOULD the Knights be working harder to retain key players?

Yes 54%, No 46%

A-GRADE OFFICE SPACE: The former Newcastle Herald building on Bolton Street has undergone an internal overhaul and the ground floor and first level are up for commercial lease.The well-known Newcastle Herald building in Newcastle East’s Bolton Street has had a major refurbishment and its bottom two floors have been listed for commercial lease.

Michael Chapman, of Colliers International, said the ground floor and level one of the historic building at 28-30 Bolton Street presented the opportunity for businesses to lease brand new A-grade office space.

Areas available range from 243 to 530 square metres. There will be 10 on-site car spaces anda new entrance has full accessibility and a lift servicesboth floors.

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“Last year we took to the market three commercial floors in the existing Herald building and sold them off the plan individually,” Mr Chapman said.

“Thedevelopment is nearing completion now and we have started marketing ground floor and level one.

“In essence, it has been a complete rebirth of the Herald building. The major heritage facade and features havebeen retained but internally will be new A-grade office space.

“We’ve had a bit of enquiry so far, only one week into the campaign, just based on the nature of the building and the history around it.”

The building adjoins a new residential development of 119 luxury apartments and is located within close proximity to transport, the harbour and amenity.

Mr Chapman is also marketing “a premium investment” at199-201 Hunter Street in Newcastle.

It is a modern three-storey building with a net income of $172,294.76 per annumplus GST leased to national superannuation fund and located close tothe Hunter Street Mall redevelopment site.

It is set for auction on November 8with bidding expected around $2.85 million.

“Interest has been pretty strong,” Mr Chapman said. “The location is fantastic as well. You’ve got everything happening with the East End development and light rail opening up.”

$1.25m guide for transformed home in Lambton’s Turner Street TREEHOUSE FEEL: The main living space has bi-fold windows and overlooks the property’s inground swimming pool and yard.

VERSATILE: The property is equally suited to entertaining as it is to family life with plenty of indoor and outdoor living options.

NEW LOOK: Kirsty and Peter Bailey overhauled a two-bedroom home in Lambton into this four-bedroom residence.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

A two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street has been transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

BEFORE: This two-bedroom home in Lambton’s Turner Street was transformed into a spacious four-bedroom family haven.

TweetFacebook Transformation in Lambton’s Turner StreetKirsty and Peter Bailey were at a family function in Lambton when told there was a house for sale in the suburb’s“best street”.

The Singleton pair had already completed two renovation projects and instantly saw the potential in a two-bedroom weatherboard home on a decent-sized block at 33 Turner Street.

“We had no idea if we were in fact buying into this supposed best street,” Kirsty said.

“But we now know it absolutely is.We knew we wanted to live in Newcastle eventuallyand this was our foot in the door.”

The house was“extremely original” when they bought it eight years ago.

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“It was your typical Hudson home with side entry, brick verandah off the lounge room that had had windows installed for a sunroom,” Kirsty said.

“It was twobedrooms, there was agreen bathroom that had a laminate-style product on the walls rather than tileswith the art deco pedestal basin to match.

“The dining was small and had a corner fireplace and through the dining door there was the small U-shaped kitchen with blue laminate benchtops that we could lift off as they weren’t secured and the old oven sat on the bench with the grill next to it.

“There was no deck and the back yard consisted of an old asbestos garage, which we replaced.”

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They undertook a lengthy renovation and extension, transforming the residence into a spacious and modern family and entertainer’s haven.

There are now four bedrooms, multiple indoor and outdoorliving spaces, new garage and inground swimming pool complete with a covered entertaining area.

“It was important for the home to be family friendly, to still have a little bit of yard and to make the best use of the block by having a garage, all-weather access to the home with a carport off the front entry and we wanted a pool,” Kirsty said.

“Basically, the home is brand new, except for the ceiling in the front lounge room which was in such great condition and fit in with our plans.”

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The original kitchen and dining room became two bedrooms, the second bedroom became the new main bathroom and the old laundry a butler’s pantry.

They worked their plans around a central hallway.

“Once you reach the end off the hall, which wasthe original back of the house, we removed the deck and added a kitchen, dining and living area with huge raked beam ceilings,” Kirsty said.

“It is also high off the ground and feels like a treehouse and gives beautiful glimpses of Bar Beach by day and gorgeous lights by night.”

Polished Coastal Blackbutt flooring was used in the hall and back living area and the feature was continued outside with Blackbutt also on the pool deck as well as screening for an area under the house perfect for winter entertaining or as a games room.

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It has been listed for sale through Phil Swan, of Robert Crawford Real Estate, and is headed for auction on November 3 with a guide of $1.25 million.

It is positioned close toLambton Village, Lambton Park and Lambton Pool.

“Turner Street would be the most sought-after street in Lambton,” Mr Swan said.

“It is on the hill and gets a really good aspect.”

It is open for inspection at 1pm on Saturday.

Hamza Abbas could not be trusted to know the details of an alleged Christmas Day Melbourne terror plot, and jurors deciding his involvement might judge him the “idiot brother” rather than complicit, his lawyer says.

The 23-year-old is on trial in the Supreme Court with his cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, and Ahmed Mohamed, 25, charged with conspiring to prepare and plan an attack on Federations Square, Flinders Street Station and St Paul’s Cathedral two years ago.

His older brother, 24-year-old Ibrahim Abbas, has already pleaded guilty to the same charge.

But Felicity Gerry QC says common sense dictates that siblings do not always agree and while Ibrahim was radicalised after years of jihad research, there was no evidence Hamza had similar radical interests.

“He is simply not a jihadi. He is just a good Muslim,” she said on Monday.

In closing submissions after seven weeks of evidence, Ms Gerry said Hamza had learning difficulties.

She reminded jurors of evidence from his sister Nabilla Abbas, who said he was once sent to buy milk and had to call home twice to be reminded what to do.

“If you send Hamza for a Ramset cartridge he’ll come back with plant pots,” Ms Gerry said.

“There’s no point telling him the purpose or detail, he can’t be trusted.”

Jurors could even conclude “taking an idiot brother was good cover”, she said.

Ms Gerry raised Ibrahim’s suggestion he would strap a vest on Hamza on the day of an attack, noting “strap them and drop them” would be easier than explaining the plot.

Crown prosecutor Nick Papas QC earlier said it was obvious the trio wanted to “wage violent jihad” against non-believers.

Hamza is accused of joining the plot in December, while it’s alleged Mohamed and Chaarani’s plans were on foot by late October 2016.

Mr Papas played an extremist video found on Chaarani’s phone showing pictures Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Yarra River, calling others to “come to martyrdom”.

He also showed a CCTV clip of the accused and Ibrahim meeting at Federation Square.

“The Crown says they’re talking about this as a great place to cause lots of mayhem and injuries, lots of innocent people to be killed, the more the better,” Mr Papas said of the CCTV.

He said Ibrahim’s claim in court that he had suggested it as a suitable location for an attack during a spontaneous trip was “ridiculous”.

Mohamed is alleged to have saved an al-Qaeda magazine article “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” in October, shortly before Chaarani researched sparkler explosives.

Mohamed and Ibrahim also bought materials including light globes, pipes and Ramset cartridges, the prosecution argues.

There were also three trips to Clonbinane, where it’s alleged explosive devices were tested.

When the bombs failed, prosecutors say the men moved on to a new method using hydrogen peroxide, which Hamza and Mohamed were seen buying.

Defence submissions will continue on Tuesday.