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We’re not bogans: Wagga ‘oozing with culture’

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August 8, 2018 by admin

A sign of sophistication.Wagga’s cultural identity has been thrust into the spotlight after a Canberra commentator, who admits to knowing nothing about the city, branded residents “a rather conservative, unsophisticated flock”.
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Columnist Ian Warden used the analogy “we’re living in a kind of Wagga” to describe the disappointment he felt after the Canberra Symphony Orchestra released its concert program for 2013, which he says is conservative and “rather depressing”.

“Lots of the selected works are the sorts of things you’d find on one of those four-CD sets of Classical Greatest Hits for Bogans, for people who don’t know much about classical music but who know what they like,” Mr Warden wrote.

Later, Mr Warden admitted he knew nothing about Wagga when questioned about his comparison. Wagga City Council tourism manager Sally Nolan suggested Mr Warden “make a trip to Wagga to see the vibe that surrounds us”.

On the eve of the Jazz Festival, Ms Nolan said ‘unsophisticated’ is not a how she would describe the culture and attitude of the city.

“I look at what Wagga was like 10 to 15 years ago and the city has grown and matured, more than anything else people are very proud of it,” Ms Nolan said.

With the five new shows set down at the Civic Theatre, seven exhibitions due to arrive at the city’s galleries and a host of markets and community events in coming weeks, Ms Nolan said the city is “oozing with culture”.

“Visitors to the gallery and museums are quite high,” she said.

Reflecting on his column, Mr Warden said his readers would be familiar with the tongue-in-cheek comparisons to depict the difference between country and city.

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Qantas tech operations flying along

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August 8, 2018 by admin

Qantas’ decision to split its international and domestic operations sent shockwaves around the airline in July, but one team was already preparing for the job of splitting IT systems.
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The restructure complicated an already nuanced technology operation whose tentacles touch every part of the airline – from freight to frequent flyers. It was also a catalyst for improvement as it exposed weaknesses in outsourcing, enabled the relocation of IT people to where they were needed most and, ultimately, saved $30 million.

It all began when the airline looked to outsource parts of the project, exposing gaps and weaknesses in the technology operations.

”We had many sources of truth and this old state created complexities,” said Qantas IT financial controller Larry Morrissey.

”We had multiple sources of data, which led to lots of reconciliation, and also lack of consistency in what we were reporting to the business.”

So the airline made an early decision to install a project management application in October 2011 that would provide visibility of all legacy systems as well as help with the difficult task of prioritising projects along domestic and international lines, explained Qantas chief information officer Paul Jones.

The CA Clarity PPM system would also ”liberate” the knowledge locked away in spreadsheets and silos.

”By having this single source of truth it allowed us to have a look at the entire portfolio and relating that to which projects make sense in an international and domestic sense,” Jones said.

Qantas now more accurately aligns IT spending with commercial goals, according to Jones, because the project management application centrally stores technology project information such as where it is installed, phases of implementation, and upcoming projects.

”That means it’s easier to take a portfolio view across the entire airline rather than everyone having their own pots of technology,” he said.

The new system also gives visibility to the distributed technology operations where seven outsourcers – IBM, Fujitsu, Telstra, Optus, TCS, Satyam and Amadeus – manage 80 per cent of the carrier’s technology systems and support.

The remaining 20 per cent is provided in-house where, from August 1, IT staff were relocated inside the various divisions – from catering, freight, engineering, international, domestic and loyalty – assembled into mini businesses, each with its own chief executive.

”The airline is very complicated so you need IT people with the customers,” Jones said. ”Every sub-part of the airline [needs] tech people working day-by-day.”

He said five technology strategies added value to the airline: IT staff located within divisions, technology modernisation programs, single project view, employee engagement and IT cost reduction.

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The forecast is for no paper with an uncertain outlook

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August 8, 2018 by admin

Behind this pile of predictions is a paperless office.NBN Co predicts the country’s new high-speed broadband network will transform the economy by sprouting paperless offices across the country. But, for the immediate future at least, paper is here to stay.
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Real estate agency Dougmal Harcourts, on the New South Wales south coast, is counting on becoming a paperless office on the back of its early national broadband network (NBN) adoption. It recently invested in iPads and remotely hosted storage applications, and shifted its offices out of the Kiama CBD – so staff can work from anywhere.

It had previously accumulated 20 filing cabinets of documents to satisfy its licence obligations as it needs to keep records of every transaction for five years.

”The possibility of being able to hold all that data in a safe and secure place with cloud backup is one of the things the NBN enhances,” said Sue Spence, the realtor’s managing director. ”It’s not our main consideration but it’s certainly one of several that led us down this path.”

NBN Co says its high-speed broadband fibre can now support multiple telephone lines, which will allow small businesses to provide more reliable services.

”Ours is still definitely a face-to-face industry but more and more we can run services online that traditionally a real estate agent is doing face-to-face,” Spence said.

But it is the iPad, not the NBN, that is hastening print’s decline, according to Kyocera managing director David Finn.

”Before the iPad erupted onto the scene, the industry pundits were saying the paperless office or reduction will occur in 20 years’ time,” said Finn, whose company continues to sell printing machines. ”Who knows how much that is going to accelerate?”

Increased viewing quality on the iPad and other mobile devices meant people were definitely printing less, he said, but businesses would use paper for at least the next 15 years.

”[NBN Co] has this vision that everyone will be connected, but there will still be people with more devices at home just to receive information and print documents.”

The paperless toilet will arrive before the fully digital office, he predicted. ”The paperless office is a myth.”

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Keep it simple: Hoffman

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January 10, 2019 by admin

Ryan Hoffman of the Storm in action against the Cronulla Sharks last month.WITH a 75 per cent win record in finals, few players know more about what is needed to get the job done than Melbourne Storm back-rower Ryan Hoffman.
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And, as he said repeatedly yesterday as the Victorian side prepared to host South Sydney in their qualifying final at AAMI Park on Saturday, the recipe is pretty straightforward.

Accept your opportunities when they come, stay focused on your own game, don’t overcomplicate things by worrying too much about your opponents, don’t get ahead of yourself and never, ever, give up.

”I’m very excited,” he said on what, after a cold and wet winter, was an unfamiliar, warm morning for Melbourne.

”This is the time of year you want to be playing footy again, the weather is getting warmer and it’s an exciting time. We won’t worry about Sydney … The main focus for us is this game.

”We have a lot of younger players. They got a taste of finals footy last year. Unfortunately we fell short, but I think that experience will give them confidence that they can handle it,” the native of Campbelltown, New South Wales, said.

”I remember being a young kid in my second or third year playing finals and it was so exciting. You want to take these opportunities when they come in.

”We had a chat about finals footy yesterday. The key aspect is taking the opportunities. You never know when you are going to get another one.

”You have to make sure that when you get a chance to put points on the board or get repeat sets you really have to take them.”

Hoffman, who returned to the Storm after a year in England with Wigan, pinpointed Storm’s decorated skipper Cameron Smith as a key factor in a game that pits the Melbourne side against a reborn Rabbitohs outfit inspired by former Storm hero Greg Inglis as well as ex-Storm stalwarts Michael Crocker and Matt King.

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Text your way into consumers’ hearts

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January 10, 2019 by admin

Few people can resist opening a text message for more than a few minutes.Emails can go unopened, leaflets go straight to the recycling bin, and telephone sales people get hung up on. But people can’t resist a text message.
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But 97 per cent of SMSs, or phone text messages, get opened. Most are opened within four minutes of receipt, with 83 per cent opened within the hour, according to research by US technology and strategy consultants Chetan Sharma.

It’s a trend that businesses – including gyms, beauty salons, clothing stores, cafes and dance schools – are increasingly tapping into to try to drive better results for their marketing efforts.

“It really blows every other medium away in terms of response rates and open rates,” says Lauri Lassila, director of digital marketing agency of SL Interative. “It’s such a personal and direct medium and at the same time it’s very fast and immediate, so that’s why you’re getting a good response.”

SMS marketing can be used by retailers to make special offers and by other businesses to remind customers to book appointments. Response rates to SMS marketing messages are typically in the double digits, says Lassila, although this can be as high as 30 per cent depending on the offer.

Lassila says if companies don’t already have a database of customers’ mobile numbers they can do something like hold a competition and ask customers to text them to win or get a special offer. “That’s using inbound SMS to either update your database or create a completely new database,” he says. This is also important because according to rules set down by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), markers need the consent of mobile phone users before they can send SMS messages to them.

Lassila says text marketing only works if a business’ database is up to date and it’s sending out genuine offers that customers would want.  “It can go horribly wrong if you try and abuse your customer contact with something that they have no interest in receiving,” he says.

SL interactive advises businesses to step back and consider what value an offer has before they send it to customers. “If you’re second guessing whether the offer’s really that good, then we recommend not to send it,” says Lassila.

SMS marketing is often done through a third-party, which can provide technical and marketing expertise in sending out text messages to large groups of people. SL Interactive charges between 4.9 cents and 7.9 cents per message, depending on the volume.

However, a recent entrant to the market is offering free SMS messaging. Slexicon, a Sydney-based internet start-up, gives retailers and other businesses stickers to post around their business inviting customers to ring a number and register to receive SMS offers from the business.

Co-founder Vito Grigorov says Slexicon doesn’t need to charge for sending out SMSs because it buys data capacity in bulk and so the cost of messages is “minuscule”. Once Slexicon is more established, Grigorov plans to add extra features, such as analytics of customers and their response, and charge users for them.

Grigorov says that SMS marketing is not just for making offers or special deals to customers, but also as a way of connecting and communicating with them.

“The loyalty element and the ability to get the customer back in the store can only come from actual communication,” he says. “It can be about offers but it doesn’t always have to be. It can be updates about product lines or services.”

Slexicon also advises businesses to add a line to their text marketing message encouraging recipients to pass it on to their friends who might like to receive the same offer. “It has a viral element in that people forward the offer to friends, who are potential new customers,” he says.

One of Slexicon’s clients is Sydney clothing store Surry Zoo, which Grigorov says sharply increased its sales through the use of SMS special offers, such as $10 off all purchases ending on Friday. “That type of message brings in a lot of people,” he says.

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Strong winds for Sydney tomorrow

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January 10, 2019 by admin

Sydney will experience strong warm winds tomorrow that are expected to whip up plenty of pollen and dust.
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Northwesterly winds, which will strengthen through the day bringing in a warm air mass, will average 35-50km/h by midday with wind gusts likely to reach 70km/h, Weatherzone meteorologist  Rob Sharpe said.

These winds are unlikely to cause significant damage, though.

Thursday is looking similarly warm and windy.

However, the winds are not as strong as in Australia’s south. Strong winds are developing in South Australia and will impact on New South Wales Victoria, Tasmania and .

A severe weather warning was issued this morning for damaging winds in parts of South Australia and Victoria. Northerly winds are expected to average 50-65km/h and gust up to 100km/h in many southern districts. Winds of this strength are capable of felling trees and power lines.

Damaging winds have already been recorded today at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island where winds were consistently gusting above 90km/h from 7am.

The very strong northerly winds are developing ahead of a vigorous cold front that will cross South Australia today, reaching Adelaide about midnight.

The front will then weaken as it moves further east, but not before it delivers winds of similar strength to the Wimmera and South West districts in Victoria.

Winds are likely to be even stronger tomorrow in southern parts of South Australia as a low pressure system sweeps near the coast.

These winds should average 60-80km/h for exposed parts of the coast with wind gusts in excess of 100km/h. These winds are likely to cause even more damage along the coast than today’s strong winds. Adelaide is also at risk of wind damage.

Victoria will then receive the brunt of the strong winds tomorrow night with damage a fair chance, mainly on the coast and ranges, including Melbourne. These winds would be strong enough to fell trees and power lines.

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Sydney weather statistics can be seen here.

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Scientology marriage plot a ‘lie’

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January 10, 2019 by admin

Was Katie Holmes’ marriage to Tom Cruise the fruit of an exhaustive search by Scientologists?It was only a matter of time for the retort: Tom Cruise has hit back at claims that his relationship with Katie Holmes was part of an elaborately arranged marriage plot.
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Reacting to Vanity Fair’s explosive revelations laying out Scientology’s unusual process to find a suitable wife for their famous acolyte, Cruise has told Radar Online that the news is nothing more than lies.

The actor’s rep told the site: “Lies in a different font are still lies — designed to sell magazines”.

The upscale magazine’s October issue details Shelly Miscavige’s central role in the plan to matchmake Cruise with an actress, and that the Scientology chief’s wife’s first choice had been London-based, Iranian-born actress, Nazanin Boniadi.

The beauty was allegedly vetted, “audited” and interviewed in the process that saw her sworn to secrecy and unable to access her own money or tell the truth to her own family, said the magazine.

According to writer Maureen Orth, Boniadi was ordered to dye her hair, remove her braces and dump her boyfriend and was taken to New York – it was only then that she is said to have realised the role Scientology’s mandarins had in mind for her.

After a “blissful” first month at the end of 2004, the unorthdox relationship faltered and Boniadi was sent to Scientology’s Florida HQ in January 2005, writes Orth. Cruise then went on to marry Holmes in June of that year.

It comes as no surprise whatsoever that Cruise has labelled the claims as being far from the truth – both Cruise and Miscavige declined to be interview by Vanity Fair, and the Church of Scientology denies the search took place.

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‘Death of the mining boom exaggerated’: PM

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January 10, 2019 by admin

The death of the mining boom has been “exaggerated”, according to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who today called on industry leaders to back the Federal Government’s $6.7 billion education reform agenda and do its part to hire Australian workers.
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Speaking at a mining conference in Perth, Ms Gillard drew on the sector’s skilled labour shortage to find common ground with the crowd on education.

But her comments come as the iron ore spot price benchmark has fallen below US$90 per tonne in recent days and Australia’s third largest iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group announced job cuts as part of a massive pull back on its expansion plans in the Pilbara.

“Reports of the mining boom’s death have been exaggerated,” Ms Gillard said, urging heads of industry to do their part in hiring Australian workers.

There were 16,000 job seekers now registered on the Federal Government’s Jobs Board and 14,000 unfilled jobs in the resources sector, according to Ms Gillard.

“Migration is not the cure all that some might think,” she said.

“Why fly workers in from Manilla or Shanghai when they could be flying in from Hobart or Adelaide, especially given the softening of construction and manufacturing in parts of the nation.”

Ms Gillard has had a tumultuous relationship with the mining sector which has lobbied aggressively against the introduction of the MRRT and Carbon Tax.

Similarly the Federal Government’s relationship with Western Australia has remained strained as the Colin Barnett led WA government continues to push for a greater piece of GST revenue.

Australia saw $57 billion of mining investment in 2010-2011 and is expected to top $119BN by the end of this financial year, Ms Gillard said, arguing although the price boom had burst the investment boom was still underway.

“I know there’s uncertainty around as well,” she said.

“From depressed conditions in Europe and the US, from a softening of growth as China prepares for its new leadership and rebalances its economy and from the rise of resources competitors elsewhere in the southern hemisphere.”

Ms Gillard said China was undergoing a transformation the size of the industrial revolution, which would continue for decades.

“It’s happening on our doorstep and it’s not even half way done,” she said.

“China is only 50 per cent through.”

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Dollar ‘spooked’ to six-week low

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December 10, 2018 by admin

Concerns about the cancelling or mothballing of some of Australia’s biggest mining projects have begun to take their toll on the Australian dollar, with the currency hitting a six-week low today against the greenback.
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That’s the view of some of Australia’s most respected currency strategists, who also believe that an improved outlook for Europe has reduced demand for the dollar’s so-called safe haven status.

The dollar fell to $US1.0241 this morning, down from $US1.0258 yesterday, a figure not seen since July 25.

It comes as the trade-weighted index fell to 76.6 overnight, the lowest since June 29. The index is a measurement of the dollar’s value when compared to a basket of currencies of Australia’s most important trading partners.

“There are a number of factors but I think the most potent is this quite intense focus in the financial press on mining projects being cancelled or delayed,” Robert Rennie, Westpac chief currency strategist, said.

“Then [European Central Bank president] Mario Draghi turned around overnight, in what was supposed to be a closed meeting, to say that the ECB could buy one-year, two-year, or even three-year bonds, and that there’s very little monetary financing effect at all in what they’re doing.”

Mr Draghi’s comments were a sign that there are positive developments afoot in Europe, which weakens the case of those who believe the Australian dollar has become a haven, Mr Rennie said.

“What’s the Australian dollar becoming a safe haven from? If it’s Europe, then why do you need a safe haven if Europe is about to address its issues?”

Commonwealth Bank foreign exchange economist Peter Dragicevich said the focus on falls in commodity prices and global concerns about the Asian growth story, particularly China, were having an effect.

“You’re also getting a lot of headlines about Australia’s capital expenditure story, and concerns about that. So I think the market sentiment is just a little bit negative,” Mr Dragicevich said.

“[But] we don’t think the fall in the dollar is overly bearish. Our forecasts have been for the Aussie to be at $US1.03 by the end of September for a number of months, so we did expect it to come under some pressure.”

Mr Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament overnight that the ECB would not be breaking European Union law if it bought bonds from member states.

His comments come just days before the ECB meets on Thursday.

“There is a lot of expectation in the market ahead of the ECB meeting,” Mr Dragicevich said. “[Markets are hoping] the ECB will provide a lot of detail about what they plan to do, and how they plan to buy those bonds.”

It comes as the Moody’s rating agency moved the EU’s triple-A credit onto a negative outlook overnight.

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Road to nowhere: NSW transport plan falls short

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December 10, 2018 by admin

A NEW plan for the state’stransport system confirms regional NSW needs new roads, bridges, buses and trainsbut fails to reveal when the projects will be rolled out or how they will befunded.
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The draft plan, releasedtoday, has been largely devoted to strategies to alleviate congestion stranglingthe Sydney transport network.

However, a small part of the 370-pageplan outlines future transport needs for growing regional cities, as well as thechallenges small towns will face to retain viable public transport services.

Most metropolitan or regional projectsare listed as medium-to-long-term aspirations (list below), meaning they willnot be built for at least five or possibly up to 20 years from now.

The report recommended thepreservation of land for the proposed Bells Line Expressway over the BlueMountains but stopped short of listing the project as even a long-termpriority.

It also highlighted the needto replace dozens of timber bridges before roads could accommodate heavyfreight vehicles.

A fund reserved for roadimprovement projects that would improve travel times and reliability has been floatedfor the Hunter region, the Central Coast and the Illawarra.

In Sydney, the plan endorsedfour major motorway projects: the M5 East freeway expansion, the M4 extensionfeaturing a tunnel under the inner west, the F6 to the Sutherland Shire, andthe F3 to M2 link in northern Sydney. A second harbour rail crossing would be a‘long-term’ initiative.

As for how projects would befunded, the plan advocates “efficient public sector operatingmodels”, “smarter project procurement”, “consideration ofthe benefits of more efficient road user charges” for trucks and motorwayusers, unspecified “value capture” from major transport investments,and “identifying future funding opportunities by working with NSW Treasury”.

The draft NSW Long TermTransport Master Plan will be followed by a final plan in November. A separateplan, the State Infrastructure Strategy, will be presented to the governmentthis month by its advisory body, Infrastructure NSW. It is unclear how theplans will relate.

Nearly 2.9 million people live in regional NSW.

Each day, people in regional area make around 7.5 milliontrips – 90 per cent by car.

Regional buses carry over 5.7 million passengers a yearwhile CountryLink transports about 1.9 million rail passengers a year.

WHAT THE PLAN MEANS FOR YOUR AREA

NORTHERN RIVERS

Short-term

Complete duplication of thePacific Highway and widening works and upgrades on the Bruxner Highway. Completethe Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor investigation.

Medium-to-long-term

Additional crossing of theClarence River at Grafton. Tabulam Bridge across the Clarence River identifiedfor replacement.

MID-NORTH COAST

Short-term

Complete duplication of the Pacific Highway through theregion. Complete upgrades to sections of the Oxley Highway between PortMacquarie and Wauchope.

Medium-to-long-term

Bridge over Sportsman Creek Bridge at Lawrence upgraded. ConstructCoffs Harbour bypass.

NEW ENGLAND

Short-term

Upgrade the New England Highway near Tamworth.Complete upgrades to New England Highway at Bolivia Hill south of Tenterfield. Additionalovertaking lanes on the Newell Highway. Complete pavement reconstruction of theNewell Highway between Narrabri and Moree. Deliver stage two of Moree Bypass. Planfor the Tenterfield bypass. Tulludunna Bridgeon the Kamilaroi Highway at Wee Waa and the Gunnedah rail bridge on the OxleyHighway at Gunnedah replaced. Replace the New Street Bridge over the rail lineat Gunnedah.

HUNTER

Short-term

Upgrade link between the F3 Freeway/Hunter Expresswayinterchange and Broadmeadow in Newcastle.

Medium-to-long-term

Continue delivery of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass. Consider extending the F3 to Raymond Terrace.Consider best way to reduce the impacts of freight movements on Muswellbrook,Scone and Singleton. Plan for construction of strategic rail freight corridorat Fassifern and the Hexham rail bypass. Glennies Creek, Williams River andPatterson River bridges upgraded or replaced.

CENTRAL WEST

Short-term

Upgrades to Newell Highway and Great Western Highway to addresscongestion in Blue Mountains, Bathurst and Orange. Complete study into theBells Line of Road and protect corridor. Construct a heavy vehicle bypass of WestWyalong.

Medium-to-long-term

McKanes Bridge over the Cox River and Warroo Bridgeacross the Lachlan River upgraded.

ILLAWARRA

Short-term

Upgrades to the Princes Highway between Gerringong andBomaderry. Upgrades to Picton Road.

Medium-to-long-term

Investigate bypasses of Foxground and Berry.

MURRUMBIDGEE

Short-term

Complete the remaining bypass at Holbrook.

Medium-to-long-term

Additional overtaking lanes and heavy vehicle rest areason Newell Highway, Sturt Highway and the Mid Western Highway. Improve walkingand cycling infrastructure in Wagga Wagga.Kapooka Bridge on the Olympic Highway replaced.Bridges at Tooleybuc over the Murray River and Swan Hill over the Wakool Riverreplaced or upgraded.


Missing women met with foul play, coroner finds

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December 10, 2018 by admin

Two women with links to a house south-west of Sydney, who disappeared within days of each other in 1991, most likely met with foul play and are dead, a coroner has found.
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The cases of Karen Gilbody, 30, and Valerie Howell, 41, have this morning been referred to the Unsolved Homicide Team after police investigating the case said there was insufficient evidence to charge the person of interest, Michael James Cook.

Mr Cook has denied he had any involvement in the women’s deaths.

Ms Gilbody was living in a de facto relationship with Mr Cook at 8 Avoca Street, Yagoona, when she went missing about July 1, 1991.

At the Coroner’s Court in Glebe today, Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon said there was evidence Ms Gilbody planned to leave Mr Cook and this could have been the motive to harm her.

Ms Gilbody was reported missing on July 3, her 30th birthday, when her brother and parents were unable to get in contact with her.

She spoke to a girlfriend on June 30 and Mr Cook told police he last saw her on July 2, when she left their house to go on a holiday. He also said he spoke to her by phone on July 4.

Ms Gilbody’s niece Renee told the court her aunt doted on her and her two brothers, and regularly rang and visited them. However, they had not had any contact with her since she was reported missing.

“My grandparents have had to live with this for 21 years,” she said.

Ms Howell visited the Avoca Street house with a female friend on July 3 to inspect some leather goods Mr Cook had for sale.

Later that day, she told that friend Mr Cook had rung her and asked her to return to the house as the goods were ready to be collected.

She has not been seen since. Her car was found doused in petrol but not set alight at Seven Hills 10 days later.

Mr Cook told police he had rung Ms Howell but in fact told her the goods had been sold and not to come to the house.

Mr MacMahon found Ms Gilbody died at or near Yagoona on or about July 1, 1991.

Ms Howell, who was described as a “woman of independent means” died at or near Yagoona on or about July 3, 1991.

Mr Cook remains a person of sufficient interest but police do not have enough evidence to charge him, Mr MacMahon said.

In February last year, NSW Police announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the disappearance and suspected murders.

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Detective ‘fed answer’ to officer who fired fatal shot: inquiry

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December 10, 2018 by admin

The senior homicide detective who headed the investigation into the police shooting of mentally disturbed Sydney man Adam Salter has admitted that he asked a series of leading questions during a crucial interview with the officer who fired the fatal shot.
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Detective Inspector Russell Oxford exonerated all officers involved in the 2009 shooting of Mr Salter, 36, finding that one of them had been under threat from the victim.

The Deputy NSW Coroner later rejected these findings and described aspects of the investigation a “failure” and a “disgrace”.

During the Police Integrity Commission hearing into the matter today, the commission was played a recorded “walk-through” interview, which Inspector Oxford conducted with the shooter, Sergeant Sheree Bissett, to re-enact what occurred.

Inspector Oxford is seen to ask a series of leading questions on crucial aspects of the incident, including why Sergeant Bissett called “Taser, Taser, Taser” before pulling her Glock pistol and firing the fatal shot.

“Even though you yelled ‘Taser, Taser, Taser’, there was no mistake that you were grabbing your pistol … You had decided that the pistol was the best option,” he said.

After playing part of this interview to Inspector Oxford, counsel assisting the commission, Geoffrey Watson, SC, asked him: “Who was giving that evidence, you or the interviewee?”

Inspector Oxford replied: “That would be me.”

When questioned further, Inspector Oxford conceded that he “asked some leading questions a bit more than I should have”.

Mr Watson said: “You saw the purpose of that interview as conforming to an idea you already formed – that the police were not guilty of any culpable act.”

“No,” Inspector Oxford replied.

The hearing continues

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Hunt launched for life-changing medical devices

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December 10, 2018 by admin

Devices of the calibre of the cochlear implant are being sought.Science guru and breakfast radio presenter Adam Spencer has described it as “The New Inventors meets The Apprentice meets ER”.
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It may sound like the latest reality TV venture, but Spencer is referring to the new Medical Devices Fund being launched by the NSW government, with scientists, researchers and inventors invited to submit their ideas for new medical devices and technologies.

The government has committed $8 million to the fund until the end of its first year in 2013 – with $5 million committed each year after that – in the hope of finding proposals for major medical innovations in line with past breakthroughs like the cochlear implant.

Spencer, who will be part of an expert panel chaired by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane, said the panel would be looking for innovations that could change the lives of patients and their families.

“I plan to play devil’s advocate as the panel goes through the submissions, while being blown away by some of the very clever proposals I’m sure we will receive,” he said.

Applications should support the development as well as the commercialisation of devices, which Spencer said provided a unique opportunity.

“I’ve never met a researcher or scientist who said there’s many opportunities for this kind of stuff,” he said. “This is an opportunity for innovations that will make a genuine impact.”

The NSW Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner, said the fund would allow individuals, public and private hospitals, medical research institutes, universities, other public-sector research organisations and the medical devices industry to take their innovations to a worldwide market.

“I’ve been blessed to have been with families when their child’s cochlear implants were turned on for the first time,” she said.

“It’s these kinds of life-changing innovations that we want to see created, developed and supported.”

Project applications for the Medical Devices Fund will open today.

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