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Up and down Nitties still on top in PGA

ON TOP: James Nitties shares a four-way lead entering the third round of the New Zealand PGA. Picture: Getty ImagesJAMES Nitties was left tolamentwhat could have been despitesharing a four-way lead entering the third round of the New Zealand PGA Championships at theRemuera Golf Club in Auckland.
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The Charlestown professional followed his opening round 65 with a 68 on Friday to be at 11-under alongside Josh Geary (68, 65), Scott Arnold (68, 65) and Brett Rankin (66,67).

“I shot four-under par but it felt like even par,” Nitties said. “The par fives are playing really short andthere are a few birdies out there.”

Starting on the 10thhole,Nitties made the most of the par fives to pick up shots at the 16thand 18thholes andturn in 33.He opened hisback nine with the first of four birdies, but bogeys at the 3rdand 9thproved costly.

Nitties’frustration was compounded by the superb form of playing partner Geary, whose seven-under featured six birdies in eight holes on theirfront nine.

“Playing with Josh, he had seven putts for the first nine holes so he was holing everything and not so much for anyone else,”Nitties said.

Geary could not have been happier with his short game.

“I holed three bombs from 30 odd feet and a chip in too,” he said. “It was one of those days where the hole looked as big as a bucket and they kept going in.”

Aaron Townsend is three strokes back in a tie for 10that eight under. He backed up his opening67 with a 69 on Saturday in a round that was spoiled bya double bogey at the par-four sixth.

Jake Higginbottom is in a tie for 41stat three under after shooting even par on Friday.

Callan O’Reilly (72, 70) and Leigh McKechnie (73, 69) missed the three-under cut by a stroke.Jamie Hook (73, 75) finished well back at four over.

Negative gearing hurting National Party seats more

A REPORT published by the Australian Institute (April, 2015) shows National Party seats are worse off in terms of benefits to investors from negative gearing.
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The paper focused its attention on the geographic distribution of negative gearing by federal electorates.

The analysis shows that taxable income and the proportion of people undertaking negative gearing are correlated.

As the income increases so does the number of people negative gearing.

Taxable income and net rental loss are also correlated, as income rises the amount deducted because of negative gearing also rises.

The paper demonstrated that the benefit of negative gearing was concentrated on high income earners with 50 per cent of the benefit gong to the top 20 per cent of households by income, with middle income households only receiving about 40 per cent of the benefit.

Interesting also, when they looked at the spread by political party electorates, Liberal party seats on average were likely to get the largest benefit, secondly by Labor seats, but significantly behind are National party seats.

This is not surprising when you have a closer look at the average taxable income of the electorates, the Mallee unfortunately has the lowest taxable income in the country with the average income sitting on just $25,629.

The paper also looked into those electorates that benefit the least from negative gearing and the Mallee is placed in the bottom 20 of electorates with a net rental loss for investors of $5,712.

It was also interesting to note that National Party electorates are over represented in the bottom 20 with more than 50 per cent of National Party electorates in the bottom 20.

The largest beneficiaries of negative gearing are represented by government ministers, including the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and other senior ministers.

The findings of this report therefore support my earlier letter to the editor whereby I supported the Labor announcement on savings ($32 billion) that can be made through the introduction proposed negative gearing policy, which can then be used to offset Labors funding requirements for education and hospitals.

Lydia Senior,

ALP Federal Candidate Mallee

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Chicken manure spading study delves deep to target catchment area

SEEP TRIAL: Stuart Pope’s property was involved in a chicken manure spading trial targeting seep catchment areas.
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CHICKEN manure spading on Stuart Pope’s Karoonda property targeted non-wetting sand,a catchment area for seeps,and showed positive results.

Mr Pope firstnoticed seeps developing almost a decade ago and said they haddegradedarable cropping land.

“Our main issue has been deep, non-wetting sand.We’ve done a bit of clay spreading, delving and even tried growing millet one year on the non-wetting sand and haven’t had much success with anything,” he said.

The land for the trial was spaded with different rates of chicken manure and the subsequent barley yield, quality and germination exceeded expectations.

Trials consultant Chris McDonough said there was sparse germinationand roots struggled to establishdeep into the control areas.

“The control areas were reaping1-1.5 tonnes ahectare last year. Where we spaded withoutchicken manure was 2-2.5t/ha. Where we spaded with 5-6t/ha of chicken manure it went up to 3-3.5 t/ha. It was quite remarkable,” Mr McDonough said.

“Mallee sands are oftencompacted between 20 centimetresand 40cm so roots can’t break through them.We’re breaking that compaction and because chicken manure is very high in nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur and trace elements you’re mixing nutritious organic matterthrough the top 40cm, and that ischanging the fertility of the soil.”

Mr McDonough said the moisture-holding capacity was much better in the spaded chicken manure soil than the control area, which means the sand is less likely to contribute to seep recharge.

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

Brumbies attack set for Mauritius test as Joseph Tomane finds jet shoes for Super Rugby

The Brumbies celebrate Joseph Tomane’s try against the NSW Waratahs. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe ACT Brumbies will get a chance to test their new attacking game plan at a world club 10s tournament in Mauritius as they take on some of the biggest teams in international rugby.
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The Brumbies will play against French powerhouses Toulon and Stade Francais at the tournament in June, setting the stage for potential match-ups against former Brumby Matt Giteau and Quade Cooper.

But winger Joseph Tomane’s focus is on Super Rugby success, vowing to make the most of any opportunity that comes his way as the Brumbies adapt their refreshed free-flowing attack.

The Brumbies are unbeaten after the first two games of the Super Rugby season, running in 11 tries to stake their claim to be a title contender.

The 32-15 win against the NSW Waratahs on Friday night blew out at the end, but the match was a dog fight with minimal attacking opportunities.

Tomane scored a crucial second-half try to give the Brumbies the edge and the Wallabies winger has been menacing in what looms as his last season in Australia.

The NRL convert is poised to move to Europe at the end of the year, but he has shown he’ll leave nothing in the tank in the pursuit of tries and a championship.

Tomane has made five line breaks, beaten seven defenders and is back to his power running best.

“That part of my game has always been there, now I’ve just got the opportunity to I guess do that,” Tomane said.

“We’re playing a pretty expansive sort of game. What I’ve struggled with in the past is making the most of all the opportunities I got to carry the ball so right now that’s all I’m focused on.

“I want to do everything I can to make something happen when I get my hands on the ball.”

The Brumbies had to grind their way to a win against the Waratahs rather than trying to play their razzle-dazzle style.

However, their willingness to take risks was evident right until the end when they forced a loose-ball turnover and threw some offloads for Nigel Ah Wong to score the final try of the night.

The Brumbies will join the Durban Sharks, Toulon and Stade Francais for the invitational 10s tournament on June 18-19.

The Brumbies lost the final at the Singapore 10s two years ago when the Auckland Blues scored a try after the buzzer.

The eight-team tournament will be split into two pools but it is unknown whether Toulon will roll out their superstar roster which boasts Giteau, Cooper, James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell and former All Black Ma’a Nonu.

The Brumbies will be missing the bulk of their roster, with the club’s star players to be a part of the Wallabies’ Test series against England at the same time.

“We’ve been lucky enough to be invited to the 10s again,” said coach Stephen Larkham on ABC Grandstand.

“That’s the beauty of rugby, you get to travel around the world and Mauritius is a nice place to go.”

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

Malcolm Turnbull to become the first sitting PM to attend Sydney Mardi Gras

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he will attend Mardi Gras in Sydney. Photo: Andrew Meares Performers rehearse their routines ahead of Mardi Gras. Photo: Cole Bennetts
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull arrive at Kinselas for the 2016 Gay Mardi Gras.

Malcolm Turnbull will risk a backbench backlash by becoming the first sitting Australian prime minister to attend Mardi Gras.

Mr Turnbull will attend the gay and lesbian march in Sydney on Saturday night, although he is not expected to march like his Labor counterpart. Bill Shorten will be the first federal leader of a major party to participate in the march.

A spokesperson for Mr Turnbull confirmed the prime minister would attend the event, which he typically attends every year because it is in his electorate.

The move may rile some Coalition conservatives, who have previously warned it would be “dangerous” for the PM to attend.

However conservative MPs contacted on Saturday declined to comment.

Mr Turnbull has also written a message for the festival guide, calling Mardi Gras “a celebration of Australia’s diversity”.

“The hard work and commitment of Sydney’s LGBTQI community has seen this event grow to a festival drawing visitors to Sydney from around the world. However, we cannot forget the history of Mardi Gras and the ongoing need to promote inclusion and deliver equality for all Australians,” he said in the message.

Same-sex marriage remains a fractious issue for the Coalition.

Mr Turnbull has continued with Tony Abbott’s policy of holding a public plebiscite even though he has previously advocated for a free vote in Parliament. However the party’s right-wing has sought to undermine the plebiscite process.

Mr Shorten said he was delighted to be attending Mardi Gras with his wife, kids and Labor Party colleagues in support of marriage equality.

“We’re on the cusp of achieving marriage equality and for me there’s never been a more exciting time to attend Mardi Gras for the first time,” he said.

“Mardi Gras is a fantastic celebration of LGBTI culture, and a powerful demonstration of the ongoing fight against discrimination.

“Marriage equality is a simple, overdue change to Australian law that could be made a reality today if Malcolm Turnbull would just grant his MPs a free vote.”

Mardi Gras CEO Michele Bauer said Mr Shorten’s participation was significant.

“It means a great deal,” Ms Bauer told Sky News on Saturday. “The fact that our issues are being taken seriously, the fact that we are being accepted fully into the community, that our voices are being listed to.”

Mr Shorten says Labor will introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days if it wins the election.

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

Retiring federal politicians will get six-figure pensions for life

Former ministers Warren Truss and Ian Macfarlane are among 16 retiring MPs who will benefit from a generous six-figure parliamentary pension. Photo: Andrew Meares
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The majority of federal politicians who have announced their retirement this year will be paid annual pensions of at least $118,000 – and in some cases much more – adding more than $2 million to the annual bill.

Of the 22 MPs and senators who have already announced they will not re-contest the upcoming election, 16 are believed to be eligible for the controversial Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme.

Only available to politicians elected before 2004, the defined benefits scheme already costs taxpayers more than $40 million a year.

Eight Coalition and eight Labor MPs are set to qualify this time and most will be paid a minimum of $118,125 – or 75 per cent of a current MPs base salary for superannuation purposes of $157,500.

That will add close to $1.9 million to the bill, with more retirements potentially to come.

But that doesn’t include extra allowances for time served as a minister, parliamentary secretary or other office holder. Of the 16 eligible, 14 will get loadings that could add tens of thousands to their retirement income.

Former deputy prime minister Warren Truss and long-serving Coalition ministers Ian Macfarlane and Philip Ruddock will benefit the most from the scheme, grossing between $150,000 and $200,000 a year.

Other Coalition MPs who will benefit from the system – scrapped for new MPs in 2004 because it was deemed too generous – include Mal Brough, Bruce Billson, Bruce Scott, Bill Heffernan and Andrew Southcott. Mr Brough is covered by the scheme because his first stint in Parliament began in 1996.

On the Labor side former speaker Anna Burke and former ministers Joe Ludwig, Laurie Ferguson, Alan Griffin, Bernie Ripoll and Jan McLucas will do handsomely. Jill Hall and Kelvin Thomson will also benefit.

And they will get the money – fully indexed and called a “retirement allowance” – annually. Or they can choose to convert half of it into a lump sum as soon as they leave.

Several of the longest-serving MPs, including Mr Ruddock and Mr Truss, will also be eligible for the Life Gold Pass, which entitles them to 10 taxpayer-funded business-class return flights a year.

But six retiring MPs will miss out on such arrangements.

Former trade minister Andrew Robb, Nationals MP John Cobb and Labor MPs Melissa Parke, Gary Gray, Alannah MacTiernan and Joe Bullock do not qualify for the scheme because they were elected after October 2004. They will be paid superannuation under a standard accumulation scheme instead.

The Parliament is losing close to 400 years of lawmaking experience with this year’s mass exodus.

And that’s not including seven MPs and senators who have called it quits since the 2013 election, sparking by-elections or Senate vacancies.

Of those, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former treasurer Joe Hockey and senators Brett Mason and Kate Lundy also qualify for pensions.

However, Greens senators Penny Wright and Christine Milne and Coalition senator Michael Ronaldson miss out.

It’s understood the pension of Coalition MP Don Randall, who died last year, is being paid to his family.John Howard scrapped the pension scheme in 2004 after coming under pressure from then-opposition leader Mark Latham.

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

Dress code: Women are still a soft target

Illustration: Jim PavlidisWhen one of the pioneers of women in footy media first approached a leading club of the time to ask if she would be allowed into the changerooms, where post-match press briefings were conducted then, she was told by the players she would be welcome – as long as she was wearing what they were wearing. That was only half a working lifetime ago, and you can just about hear the sniggering still.  
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In fact, it never died. In 1990, Lisa Olsson, a Boston Herald reporter, was sexually harassed by New England Patriot players in their locker-room, and ridiculed by management when she complained. Eventually, they were punished, but the fans gave her such a hard time that News Corp arranged for her to move to Sydney, where she worked for the next eight years. I’m sure — I know — many women reporters who could relate.

And still. Late last year, there was cricketer Chris Gayle’s power play against Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin. This week, a Tennessee court heard again the story of Erin Andrews, a sidelines reporter and sportscaster with ESPN. In 2008, a pervert rigged a peephole in a hotel room to film her undressing, then when he couldn’t find a buyer for the footage posted it on the internet anyway. He picked his mark because she was attracting a lot of attention in her job. He went to jail for a while, but she lives with the humiliation every day still, because every day someone reminds her. She is in court seeking damages from the hotel for its complicity.

It is a horrible story per se. But the incidentals are just as disturbing. The footage was viewed 17 million times on the internet and despite the efforts of authorities apparently can still be accessed. What does that say about our prurience? Other instances of harassment by players, officials and fans were detailed. Reportedly, ESPN told Andrews the only way to put the drama behind her was to appear in an interview explaining that it was not a promotional stunt. Implicit in this is the network cared at least as much about its own image as hers. ESPN also was accused of using camera angles to present Andrews salaciously. The network denies this.

Sexism remains an issue in sports media because the presence of women in the ranks still has not been normalised after all these years. It varies from sport to sport. Sometimes, it is sheer weight of unequal numbers, sometimes it is a lingering attitude. Cricket, where I spend much of my working life, is especially bloke-ish. That is hard enough as a working environment.

But it also means that women periodically are forced onto a front line where they would rather not be. McLaughlin only wanted to be a sports reporter. So did Andrews. Instead, they found themselves at the centre of campaigns. McLaughlin’s discomfort was plain to see. She wanted it all just to go away, which was fair enough, since it should never have happened into the first place. Andrews wanted it all to go away, too, but in the US, no one would let it. I know many male reporters have been pummeled in interviews, but none who have been made to squirm as McLaughlin was, or put upon like Olsson and Andrews were. I know none who were advised to take their clothes off in the dressing room, titter, titter.

Of course, television is a visual medium. You cannot but help notice how the people on it look as well as what they say. It is all part of the gig. I don’t doubt that looks are considered by even the most enlightened television bosses when employing women. I know, for instance, that the late John Sorell, who ran the highly successful Channel 9 newsroom in the 80s and 90s, liked his male sports presenters to look a bit rough around the edges, because he thought that was what people expected of sports journalists.

But that’s beside the point. All, men and women, have jobs to do and should be allowed to do them without being made to feel marginal, apprehensive, belittled or threatened. In none of the above instances had the reporter done any more than to go about her job. She was a soft target, the sort you might think any self-respecting professional sportsman would be embarrassed to take aim at, and yet they could not help themselves.

You could widen the argument to include all who work in sport. It is why latter-day efforts to foster the involvement of women at all levels – board, staff and auxiliary – are so important. Quotas and minimums might seem artificial and tokenistic, but at least they set the ball rolling. It is one thing to talk about respect and responsibility, another to live it. I don’t know for certain that a gentler polity would prevail if women were in charge of the world — we might be about to find out! — but I do know that there should never be another Erin Andrews case, and that men should be as adamant about that as women.

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

Within a Lyon’s roar of World T20 glory: Australia need unexpected brilliance

On March 18 Australia start their final push to the top of the mountain when they take on New Zealand in the first round of the World T20.
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Steve Smith’s men are ranked sixth in the shortest format in contrast to the Test and one-day arenas where they are standing like Hillary at the summit.

They were near perfect 12 months ago in the World Cup when the now-retired Mitchell Johnson, the surgically recuperating Mitchell Stark, fast bowling Sherpa Josh Hazlewood and the 20-over superannuant Shane Watson did the business comprehensively with the ball.

The ascent to Test cricket supremacy has me marginally baffled and I have pored over the ICC methodology several times … ours is not to reason why. Steve Smith quite rightly says there is much room for improvement from his morphing squad and they will only get better at the longer forms once the squad settles.

This will not be a World Cup dominated by the fast bowling Australia used so devastatingly in the 50-over format. Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, the selection afterthought, should play every game. We will see spinners opening the bowling for a number of teams; India with Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and slow left-armer Pawan Negi have come well prepared.

Taking the speed off the ball and making batsmen swing and trust the surface – a judgment much harder to make on slow, spinning pitches – will be the key to restricting scores. Scoring runs then will require as much touch as it does swish. Expect the reverse sweep to be the most prolific scoring shot.

Australia will conduct their campaign with their best spinner turning out in NSW blue trying to win the Sheffield Shield instead of wattle and green. It is difficult to reconcile Nathan Lyon’s omission in a tournament that has “SPIN” tattooed to its forehead.

Smith may well become a frontline bowler and even Aaron Finch’s rarely seen left-arm slows could get a gig. Creativity and flexibility are Smith’s captaincy hallmarks and he will need to be at his best to organise the resources the selectors have given him.

Top of the order: Usman Khawaja should open the batting in India. Photo: Getty Images

Usman Khawaja must open the batting with the right-handed Finch and either David Warner or Smith comes in when a like-handed batsman is dismissed. Keeping a right/left combination at the crease might make a significant difference if the opposition keep wheeling up spin.

That sort of order leaves Watson, a veteran of the IPL, to float through the order unless Smith wants him to open and relegates Finch – testy questions which selectors do appear to have countenanced when putting together this squad.

With so many Australians playing professional T20 around the planet it is a small mystery why the team ranks well down the ladder. Perhaps it is because 20-over results can be swung by the performance of individuals, and to an extent by fortune good and bad.

Wielding the willow fiercely at every delivery on pitches of common blandness on outfields with shrinking dimensions relegates cricket to a baseball facsimile. The blades are evolving in weight and form into flat-fronted baseball bats. This brings strength rather than finesse into a game where skill was once king.

When the cricket ball deviates little through the air and if the pitches don’t spin then bowlers are relegated to medium-paced pitchers. The key to winning T20 matches is for players to stick to the roles that best suit their own skill set and complement the team.

Chris Gayle is the biggest hitter in the game but has precious few team pennants to show for that brutishness.

Australia begin the campaign against New Zealand in northern India, so far north in fact that the Himalayas dominate the horizon at the Himachal Pradesh Stadium. If you stand on your tip toes in the eastern stand you can see the Dalai Lama’s house.

Usually this pitch doesn’t take much spin but it is late in the Indian season and the slow men will find some assistance before they return to the Punjab for games against Pakistan and India in Mohali. The Mohali pitch is known for bounce and pace after the pitch was relaid so that it would mirror Australian conditions. I’m not sure if India will be playing a “home” game on a bouncy pitch – chalk this one down to another spin-dominated match.

They should win the March 21 game in Bangalore against a qualifier even if it’s played on the footpath. Two of the five teams in the group go through to the semi-final in either Delhi (a notoriously dusty track) or Wankhede in Mumbai (another red-soiled dust bowl ), which means that the early information available to the selectors about spin bowling being essential to success in this tournament is certainly true. The slow bowlers should be sending down at least 12 of the 20 overs and the seam bowlers will be using plenty of cutters, spinners and back of the handers.

On current form Australia are appropriately ranked and it will need some outstanding and unexpected performances if they are to even make the semi-finals. Twenty-over cricket is the most fickle of formats and all things are possible, but it would have been nice for the selectors to get a grip on their “horses for courses” philosophy and put their best slow bowler on the plane.

It would make the climb to world domination so much easier.

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

Smaller apartments don’t mean lower quality: Tony Trobe interviews Rebecca Stockley

Tony Trobe interviews on the strengths and weaknesses of small apartments. Photo: Melissa AdamsTony Trobe talks to Rebecca Stockley, ACT Planning Institute of Australia committee member, about apartment design.
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TT: Recently there has been heated debate about the inconsistent quality of apartment design. Is this a planning issue?

RS: Planning is inherently concerned with the quality of the environment and the manner in which people interact with it. Housing is fundamental to the quality of that interaction. It is therefore reasonable the planning system seeks to promote an acceptable quality in all housing developments, including apartments.

TT: Is the plethora of very small apartments now on the market a reflection of a race to the bottom?

RS: You have to distinguish between the size of the apartment and the quality of that apartment, in terms of both internal design and construction quality. Construction quality is ultimately a question for building certifiers, so I won’t comment on that.

The rate of delivery of smaller apartments in recent years should be considered against market demand, housing diversity and housing affordability. Ultimately, developers will build whatever sells. For a variety of reasons the investor market has been very strong in recent years and smaller apartments appeal to that market. Historically, housing delivery has been heavily skewed towards detached housing on larger blocks. This no longer marries with demographic patterns, while housing affordability is a deepening issue. The delivery of a higher proportion of smaller housing topologies, including apartments, reflects this.

I don’t think it is helpful to criticise small apartments per se.  However, I think there are opportunities to increase the design quality of small apartments, to improve the way they function, and to address some of the less obvious design features that contribute to a quality environment.

TT: In overseas markets,is there a bigger range of innovative housing topologies with small or very small footprints?

RS: Yes, but that also reflects pressures associated with land availability and cost. The Territory Plan goes some way to mediate ACT community expectations with potential future innovations in design by specifying minimum dwelling floor areas, which exclude balconies and car parking facilities, but also providing the opportunity for the decision maker to consider the details of the internal layout (including functional living spaces, flexibility in furniture layout, adequate storage and service areas, and the availability of shared facilities) when considering designs that do not meet the minimum dwelling floor thresholds.

This approach is sensible in most instances, but could benefit from clearer recognition of the value in innovation and design excellence, irrespective of apartment size. At present there is no detailed guidance to assist the developer or decision maker when considering what might not be an appropriate design, nor does it highlight what design attributes the community might value, or be willing to trade off for other attributes, such as a high level of accessibility to services or sustainability.

TT: Are we dragging the chain compared to other jurisdictions dealing with the similar issues?

RS: In early 2015, Victoria commenced work towards a Better Apartment Design framework. As part of that discussion, industry demonstrated you could achieve high quality and flexible design within small spaces; consequently the government appears to have stepped away from the idea of minimum apartment sizes. However, there is likely to be stronger guidance on the less tangible aspects of good dwelling design, including access to natural light and ventilation, ceiling heights, noise and adaptability, that will improve a person’s enjoyment of their living environment over the longer term.

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MARDI GRAS SYDNEY: A look at the historyPhotos

MARDI GRAS SYDNEY: A look at the history | Photos 2016: Brendan Spratt, a performer Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras rehearses his routines. Photo: COLE BENNETTS
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1978: Protesters take part in the 1978 protest that would evolve into the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Photo SMH

1978: The scene outside of the Central Court of Petty Session in Sydney

1980s: An image from a parade in the 1980s

1986: Oxford Street celebrates the gay and lesbian mardi gras. Photo FAIRFAX ARCHIVE, SMH

1988: Parade spectators climb atop Oxford St shop awnings to watch the parade. Photo: GARY MCLEAN / FAIRFAX ARCHIVES

1998: Drag queens dressed as ‘The Bond Girls’ during the 20th Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney. Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

1999: The 22nd Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP / Getty Images

1999: Vanessa Wagner performed during the festival at the Seymour Theatre.

2001: Australian gays perform Mardi Gras dances during the Centenary of Federation parade through the streets of Sydney. Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP / Getty Images

2001: Australian politician Phillip Ruddock and Australian Prime Minister John Howardcome under scrutiny by having cutouts of their faces displayed. Photo: NICK LAHAM

2002: Spectators at the parade. Photo: PATRICK RIVIERE

2004: An image from the annual parade. Photo JON BUCKLE

2004: An image from the annual parade. Photo JON BUCKLE

2005: Parade Goers dressed as Prince Charles and Camilla pose for photographers. Photo: CHRIS MCGRATH / GETTY IMAGES

2006: Mardi Gras parade

2007: The bring david hicks home float. Photo: JAMES BRICKWOOD

2009: This pic shows Lardonna Rama. Photo: JAME ALCOCK

2010: Parade goers dancing in Oxford Street

2011: Launch of new Sydney mardi gras promotional logo. Photo: Robert McGrath.

2011. Photo: GLEN DRAPER

2012: Kylie Minogue greets the dancers after watching a tribute performance in her honour in Taylor Square during the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney. Photo: JANIE BARRETT

2013: Revellers enjoy the Mardi Gras in Sydney. Photo: JAMES ALCOCK

2014: ANZ dressed up some of their ATM’s around Sydney for Mardi Gras. Photo: SASHA WOOLEY

2015. Jessica Mauboy performs during Mardi Gras Party at the Entertainment Quarter. Photo: DON ARNOLD

2015: Australian Defence Force members and supporters march in the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade

2015: Participants and party goers at the Mardi Gras. Photo: JAME ALCOCK

2015: Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore flies the flag at this year’s Mardi Gras parade. Photo: JAMES ALCOCK

TweetFacebookPHOTOS: 2014 Mega GalleryPHOTOS: A look back in time at the 2002 Mardi Gras2013:Mardi Gras still breaks down barriers after 35 yearsEverybody loves a parade, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest and best, not only in Australia, but in the world.

From humble beginnings back in June 24, 1978, what was once a small scale protest and statement of pride and self-expressionis now a major mainstream national icon that is internationally respected as a celebration of diversity and inclusion.

As revelers gear up for Saturday’s 2016 Mardi Gras parade in Sydney we take a look at the event that started in confrontation back in 1978.

The first march took place on Saturday, June 241978 at 10pm. The march wasmet with unexpected police violence after 53 men and women were violently arrested by police.

Up to 3,000 people marched in an incident-free parade in 1979 after the NSW governmentrepealed the NSW Summary Offences Act legislation that had allowed the arrests to be made and created a new Public Assemblies Act which meant that Sydneysiders no longer had to apply for a permit to have a demonstration. They just had to notify police.

In 1980 a key new element was introduced – the post-parade party. In 1981 the decision was taken to move the event forward to summer to enjoy better weather.

The estimates for the parade audiences show it doubling every year till it reached 50,000 in 1984.

The event began to enjoy extensive media coverage from the mid-80s onwards and the crowds continued to swell, from 200,000 in 1989 to over 500,000 in 1993.

Large numbers of interstate and international travellers had started flying in for the event as well, generating an estimated $38 million for the NSW economy.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras remains the one truly global gay annual event and a uniquely attractive escape from the Northern Hemisphere winter.

– source: mardigras.org419论坛.

2016 Clipsal 500 Adelaide: Scott Pye to start opening race from polePhotos

2016 Clipsal 500 Adelaide: Scott Pye to start opening race from pole | Photos Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race two after qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES
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Jason Bright drives the #8 Team BOC Holden during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race two after qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Mark Winterbottom drives the #1 The Bottle-O Racing Ford during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Chaz Mostert drives the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during qualifying session two for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Craig Lowndes, driver of the #888 Team Vortex Holden, sits in his car prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Craig Lowndes drives the #888 Team Vortex Holden during qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Chaz Mostert drives the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500.

Scott McLaughlin, driver of the #33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo, sits in his car prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Jamie Whincup, driver of the #88 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden, prepares for qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Craig Lowndes, driver of the #888 Team Vortex Holden, speaks with his engineer Ludo Lacroix after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Chaz Mostert, driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford, is seen prior to qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott McLaughlin, driver of the #33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo, is seen after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Scott Pye, driver of the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, celebrates after taking pole position for race one after qualifying session one for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

Practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 at Adelaide Street Circuit on March 4.

TweetFacebookScott Pye has stunned the V8 Supercars field to snatch pole position for the opening race at the Clipsal 500.

The No.17 Falcon has edged out Jamie Whincup by less than a tenth a second and will lead the field in Saturday’s first race of the season.

The pole is Pye’s first in 106 races in the category, and gives a first pole to DJR Team Penske since joining the series at last year’s Clipsal 500.

With new teammate Fabian Coulthard, Pye had endured an off-season in transition as his team expanded to field two cars this year.

The hard work appears to have paid off, with the Roger Penske-backed outfit looking set to compete hard in 2016.

Pye’s garage were euphoric at the result, and the 26-year-old pumped his fists to the Adelaide crowd on Friday after climbing from his Falcon.

“It’s a big relief after a massive off-season,” he said.

This time 12 months ago, DJR Team Penske debuted returning champion Marcos Ambrose in the No.17 Falcon but the Tasmanian didn’t last another race before giving up his drive to Pye.

Team president Tim Cindric said it was a reward for the hard work of both the driver and his engineering team.

“It’s a great start for the season … obviously, we have a lot of work to do,” he said.

“It shows we’re in a better place than we started last year and, hopefully, we can build on it.”

The second row of the grid will be filled by Scott McLaughlin, who was quickest in both practice sessions on Friday, with series champion Mark Winterbottom fourth.

The Sydney Morning Herald

NRL 2016: Action from Round 1 – Thursday, FridayPhotos, Video

NRL 2016: Action from Round 1 – Thursday, Friday | Photos, Video Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE
Nanjing Night Net

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

Brisbane’s 2016 campaign is off to a winning start with a 17-4 win over Parramatta who also lost playmaker Corey Norman to injury. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / MARK KOLBE

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

The Manly Sea Eagles have suffered a 28-6 defeat to the Bulldogs at Brookvale in Trent Barrett’s first NRL game as head coach. Photo: MATT KING / GETTY IMAGES

TweetFacebookThe NRL season kicked off on Thursday, March 3, with a game between the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos.

The Broncos took home the points with a 17 to 4 win over the Eels.

The first round of 2016 continued on Friday night when the Canterbury Bulldogs took on the Manly Sea Eagles.

It was the Bulldogs who took the victory with a 28 to 6 win over the Sea Eagles.

Cardinal George Pell says resigning would be an admission of guilt

Cardinal George Pell reads a statement after meeting with abuse survivors in Rome this week. Photo: Marco Di Lauro Cardinal George Pell giving evidence via video link from Rome.
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Unheard survivors reach out en masse’We met as people from Ballarat’Comment: Pell must resign, or Pope should actBackflip on Cardinal a Bolt from the blueCardinal Pell in his own words

Cardinal George Pell has welled up in a live interview from Rome when talking about a victim of sexual abuse by a paedophile priest, but said he would not resign over the issue.

Andrew Bolt is in Rome as a ‘Sky News contributor’.

In the first display of raw emotion from Australia’s most powerful Catholic, Pell choked up and stopped talking momentarily when speaking about a meeting with victims that followed his testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pell responded during the TV interview with News Corp Australia columnist Andrew Bolt to claims that he appears unmoved or unsympathetic to victims.

“The fact that somebody seems a bit wooden doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling anything inside,” he said. “I found the meeting emotional, but I am a bit buttoned up. That was how I was trained.”

Pell spoke about his “deeply moving” reconciliation with David Ridsdale, the nephew of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, who has accused Pell of bribing him not to go to police.

“I’m a friend of David Ridsdale and I have always been,” Pell said. “I regret … the misunderstanding with him and the way it’s been fought out publicly.”

“There is a grief when you are in public controversy with someone you obviously like.”

He admitted to feeling scared before the meeting with victims that it would become an ugly confrontation.

“I didn’t want a punch-up that made things worse for the church and for them,” he said.

Pell said paedophilia was a broader societal issue, but admitted there had been a “disproportionate amount” within the Catholic church in the past. “We have to plead guilty to that,” he said.

He said failure to protect children from paedophiles within the church in both Melbourne and Ballarat was “colossal failure of leadership” by those above him but excused himself as having no “real power” or knowledge at the time to act.

Pell also addressed the most controversial moment of the four day hearing where he said the “sad story” of abuse by Ridsdale “wasn’t of much interest” to him when he first heard it.

In a convoluted explanation of the “bad slip”, Pell said that in the 1990s, after he had left Ballarat, he “never liked reading in detail about these matters”.

“Things that were professionally necessary to know, I was completely ready to study them,” he said. “To suggest from that bad slip that I was somehow uninterested in the issue is completely contradicted by the whole of my life.”

Pell said he was viewed as an “evil, insensitive stereotype” and a “hate figure” but would not resign because it would be taken as an admission of guilt. Although, he said he would have to tender his resignation anyway when he turns 75 in June because of church protocol. His resignation may not be accepted.

In other revelations during Bolt’s one-hour interview, broadcast live from Rome on Sky News, Pell said he hopes to return to Australia again but not on a long haul flight because he has collapsed twice after such trips.

“I’ve had a pace maker fitted and angioplasty, both provoked by travel to Australia,” he said.

He also denied Victorian Premier at the time, Jeff Kennett, pushed him to set up an inquiry process into child sexual abuse, saying he already had the idea of a commission.

It was the Cardinal’s first interview since he completed four days of testimony to the commission.

Bolt has been a long-time defender of Pell and last month argued Pell was the victim of “one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country”.

But Bolt this week penned a piece in which he wrote that Australia’s most powerful Catholic was either a liar or “just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities.”

It followed Pell’s testimony on Tuesday about when he learnt of the offending of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale. “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,” Pell said, prompting audible gasps.

Those words “will stain his reputation forever”, Bolt wrote in an apparent backflip. However, Bolt followed up with a piece in which he retreated from his criticism.

The Sydney Morning Herald

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