$1.3 million weekly windfall from Sydney Airport station fees for NSW government

Written By: admin - Mar• 13•19

Patronage has surged by almost 22 per cent on the Airport Line over the past year. Photo: Steven Siewert A one-way trip to the airport from the CBD costs almost $17 when using an Opal card. Photo: Steven Siewert

The amount of money funnelled into NSW government coffers from fees charged to train passengers passing through station gates at Sydney Airport has surged by 27 per cent over the past year to almost $69 million.

And in further evidence of the staggering growth on the rail line to ‘s busiest airport, the latest accounts for the private operator reveal total patronage across its four stations – including Green Square and Mascot – surged by almost 22 per cent to 18 million people in the year to June.

The growth resulted in Airport Link Company paying the government $68.6 million in a “train service fee” this year, up from $54 million in 2014-15, and $27.2 million in 2013-14.

The increase in travellers using Sydney Airport, combined with road congestion encouraging more people to catch trains, mean the government is set to reap further windfalls in the coming years from the station access fees paid by passengers.

A one-way trip to or from the airport from the CBD costs an adult passenger $16.78 when using an Opal card during peak hours, making it the most expensive stretch of rail track for passengers on Sydney’s rail network.

The ticket price comprises a $3.38 train fare and a station access fee of $13.40 for the airport terminals (or $12 for concession-card holders such as pensioners or children).

The journey for those using a single-trip ticket costs $17.40 – or $34.80 return.

Contrary to perceptions that the operator of the stations pockets all the money, the state government is now the major beneficiary of the fees passengers pay when using the Airport Line.

Since a so-called threshold was reached in July 2014, the government has been entitled to 85 per cent of the sales revenue from Airport Link under a revised contract.

Transport for NSW said removing or reducing the access fee would cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars and require negotiations with the Airport Link Company.

“Every dollar received is ploughed straight back into improving services or delivering better infrastructure for customers,” it said.

The transport authority also said the station usage fee was capped at $25 a week for Opal cardholders who travelled to the airport more than once a week.

“The NSW government has also ensured that under the contract with [Airport Link Company], the weekly Opal cap for the station usage fee cannot cost more than double the single station usage fee, which was previously not the case,” it said.

“This is now extra protection for customers which previously did not exist.”

A spokeswoman for Sydney Airport said it had long advocated reducing the station access fee to encourage more people – including airport workers, passengers and visitors – to take the train to and from the airport.

In its latest accounts, the Airport Link Company said its own expectations of income growth was based on modelling beyond 2020, and the airport’s master plan “which envisaged total passenger growth levels exceeding 71 million passengers by 2033”.

With roads to the airport congested at peak hours, the government has also been urging people to catch the train instead of driving.

The option for passengers to take a bus is limited because the 400 service between Bondi Junction and Burwood remains the only one that stops at the domestic and international terminals.

The use of the Airport Line will be further fuelled in the coming years from people moving into the large apartment towers under construction around stations at Green Square and Mascot.

Unlike the airport, the access fees at those two stations in Sydney’s south have been subsidised since a decision in 2011 by the then Keneally government.

Patronage on the line to the airport has been among the fastest growing on Sydney’s train network.

The possibility of one day separating the Airport Line from the suburban network, and running a metro-style shuttle, emerged in an options paper released in September by the state and federal governments.

The paper found that running metro trains between Central Station and Revesby via Sydney Airport could allow an extra 12 trains an hour from the outer south-west to operate on the congested City Circle Line.

Donald Trump attacks Beyonce as poll shows Hillary Clinton ahead on election eve

Written By: admin - Mar• 13•19

1. US votes

It’s the final countdown! Finally. Later this morning I’ll be manning our live blog, so do make sure you join me as this utterly fascinating campaign draws to a close. [Live blog]

A new national poll has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 50-44. [The Hill]

Trump held a rally in Florida. “This is it,” he told supporters, saying this was his one chance – that in four years’ time his movement would be defeated by immigrants and the Supreme Court. [Watch]

NBC is reporting a President Trump would appoint Newt Gingrich Secretary of State and Rudy Giuliani Attorney-General. [Katy Tur, Benjy Sarlin]

While Trump was pledging to repeal Obamacare, the architect of that policy was busy mocking reports that Trump’s advisors have banned him from tweeting. [The New York Times]

(Certainly Trump’s Twitter feed has taken a more restrained tone, sending out bland “Thank you” tweets to states where he’s campaigned – the boring sort of tweets staffers usually send out.)

Fantastic line from Obama: “Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear code.” [The Hill]

The celebrity endorsements continue to roll out for Clinton, who will be backed by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi in Philadelphia.

Beyonce and Jay Z perform at a concert for Hillary Clinton in Cleveland. Photo: Getty

On the weekend, Beyonce and Jay-Z became the biggest stars to lend their names to Clinton’s campaign. Trump took aim at R&B’s royal couple, claiming the endorsements for Clinton are a “form of cheating.” [The Independent]

On the choice for America: “One would seek the rational management of US decline, while the other would break the furniture just because he feels like it,” writes The Sydney Morning Herald’s international editor Peter Hartcher. [Fairfax] 2. n politics

Today Labor will unveil its position on the government’s changes to superannuation and the tax treatment of foreign workers (the so-called backpacker tax.) The Opposition will push for more cuts to superannuation concessions and a lower tax rate. [Philip Coorey/Financial Review]

Senator Murray Watt and Senator Penny Wong after the vote on the Plebiscite (Same-sex Marriage) Bill 2016 in the Senate on Monday night. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

On Monday night the Senate killed off the government’s plebiscite bills. Liberal Senator Dean Smith abstained from voting while the Attorney-General George Brandis warned marriage equality would be delayed for years by Labor’s decision to oppose a public vote in favour of a parliamentary vote which, for now, is unlikely to become a reality in this term. [Michael Koziol/Fairfax]

Labor Leader Bill Shorten would like to be the one to deliver gay marriage, writes Michelle Grattan. [The Conversation]

Another bad Newspoll for Malcolm Turnbull. Labor is leading 53-47 two-party preferred. [Philip Hudson/The n]

Here it is my duty to remind you that Turnbull cited 30 bad Newspolls as a reason for knocking off Tony Abbott…

The moderate Liberal MP Russell Broadbent is questioning the prevailing view in the Coalition that allowing far-right MPs to speak out on issues like Islam is a counter to One Nation’s resurgence. [Michael Gordon/Fairfax] 3. 18C

After writing about this issue for years, the Coalition is finally on the brink of moving on free speech, specifically amending section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act which makes it an offence to “insult” or “offend” a person on the basis of their race. Turnbull is expected to outline a government inquiry to the partyroom today. [David Crowe/The n] [Michelle Grattan/The Conversation]

Significantly, the indigenous Liberal MP Ken Wyatt has backed change. [David Lipson/Lateline]

n Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs Photo: Andrew Meares

Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Gillian Triggs has defended the HRC’s handling of the QUT 18C case, saying the organisation was simply following the law. Professor Triggs says the organisation wants a higher threshold for 18C cases. [Michael Gordon/Fairfax] 4. The Battle for Mosul

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga have stormed a town north-east of Mosul, held by Islamic State. [Reuters] 5. Unrest in Indonesia

Protesters clash with police in central Jakarta. Photo: Roni Bintang

An excellent piece from our correspondent in Indonesia, Jewel Topsfield, about the political machinations behind protests that are demanding the governorm widely known as Ahok, be jailed for insulting Islam, and what this all means for President Joko Widodo. [Fairfax] 6. Brexit

The Minister overseeing Brexit, David Davis, says there must be no attempt to use the High Court ruling that Parliament must have a say on invoking Article 50 to stay inside the European Union. Importantly, Labour has said it will not try to frustrate the Brexit process.  [BBC]

And that’s it from me today – you can follow me on Facebook for more.

By submitting this form and creating your account you agree to the Fairfax Media Privacy Policies and Conditions of Use.

Liberal MP Russell Broadbent calls out George Christensen for anti-Islam remarks

Written By: admin - Mar• 13•19

Russell Broadbent addresses Federal Parliament on Monday night. A speech by Queensland LNP MP George Christensen in September prompted Mr Broadbent’s comments on Monday night. Photo: Andrew Meares

“The politics of fear and division have never created one job,” Mr Broadbent said on Monday night. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Veteran Liberal Russell Broadbent confessed to failing to repudiate his colleagues who promote fear and division on Monday evening.

 Politicians don’t usually admit to mistakes when they address the national parliament, but veteran Liberal Russell Broadbent confessed to a big one on Monday evening: failing to repudiate his colleagues who promote fear and division.

Mr Broadbent expressed his regret for not immediately rejecting a “diatribe about the rise of Islam in this country” by fellow Coalition MP George Christensen back in September.

That same week, Pauline Hanson had delivered a similar speech in the Senate, warning that was in danger of being swamped by Muslims who did not share n values.

Mr Broadbent, who holds the west Gippsland seat of McMillan, spoke immediately after Mr Christensen in an adjournment debate that week, but ignored his remarks, believing that “saying what I thought” would only result in them receiving more attention. That, he now says, was a big error.

“It was a long and lonely walk before the penny dropped as to why I had not called out the member for (Queensland seat of ) Dawson on the spot,” Broadbent explained in a speech to Parliament on Monday night.

“The issues swirling in our multicultural nation are for me public and passionate, but for me they are not personal. The truth is I didn’t act as I should have because I am not Muslim, Chinese, Afghan or Greek looking. Not Italian, Sri Lankan or Sudanese. Not Aboriginal.”

Having realised his mistake, Mr Broadbent told the nation what he really thought in Monday’s address, appealing to all MPs to reflect on their relationship with the n people because “right now it’s broken”.

“It’s time for us to rise above the politics of fear and division because our love of diversity, difference and freedom will endure,” he said.

Mr Broadbent made no reference to the two divisive debates of this week – one about the proposed life-time visa ban on refugees processed offshore; the other the push for changes to laws outlawing racial hate speech.

But he did challenge those on his side of politics who were “cuddling up to Hansonite rhetoric” to think again, saying: “Those propositions and policies will only hurt the Coalition parties in the long run in the same way as the once great Labor Party now is captive to the Greens.”

Part of the answer, he said, was to have empathy and consideration for those doing it tough and “speak to the people in their language about basic concerns affecting their daily lives”.

“The politics of fear and division have never created one job. Never come up with one invention. Never started a new business. And never given a child a new start in life, or lifted the spirits of a nation.”

And part of it was to show leadership, and convince those who were targeted by Christensen and Hanson that they haven’t been left out.

Turnbull government’s same-sex marriage plebiscite defeated in late-night Senate vote

Written By: admin - Feb• 13•19

The Senate votes on the same-sex marriage plebiscite bill on Monday night. Photo: Andrew Meares Labor senators Murray Watt and Penny Wong after the vote. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Greens senators Sarah Hanson-Young, Janet Rice and Larissa Waters embrace after the vote. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Turnbull government’s proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage has formally been killed off by the Senate, where it was defeated 29-33 in a late-night vote on Monday, amid a warning the decision would delay marriage equality “for years”.

Months of speculation and political posturing culminated in Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch combining to defeat the proposal, which would have seen same-sex marriage decided by the n people in February.

The decision – an inevitability since Labor pledged to oppose the plebiscite four weeks ago – will force a new conversation about marriage equality that will divide the Coalition and threatens to destabilise the Turnbull government.

Conservatives will resist any attempt to shift away from the plebiscite policy, demanding no action on same-sex marriage until at least the next election. Most observers expect any change on that front would blow up Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.

In a final defence of the policy he once opposed, Attorney-General George Brandis warned that a plebiscite was the only foreseeable way to achieve same-sex marriage and that if defeated, “the cause of marriage equality will be delayed for years”.

Senator Brandis, a supporter of marriage equality, said Labor’s decision to block the plebiscite was “one of the more cynical exercises in politics that I have ever seen”. He implored the Senate to “stop playing politics with gay people’s lives” and “get out of the way”.

But senators had already made up their minds, voting 29-33 against the plebiscite just after 9.30pm on Monday. n Marriage Equality chairman Alex Greenwichsaid the focus would now shift to netting a parliamentary vote before the next election.

“The past 12 months has been a very difficult time for the LGBTI community,” he said. “We now need to make sure that we channel the frustration of the plebiscite into passionate advocacy to achieve this reform.”

Mr Greenwich said one positive to emerge from the past year was that several Coalition MPs had put on record their support for marriage equality.

The plebiscite was first floated by former prime minister Tony Abbott following a marathon Coalition party room meeting in August 2015, when liberal and conservative forces in the government tussled over how to respond to an issue which has long commanded the support of the n people.

Back then, Malcolm Turnbull had opposed the plebiscite in favour of a free vote, but was obliged to continue the policy when he took over as Prime Minister just a month later. Introducing the plebiscite bill in September, he said marriage equality was “a big moral issue” best decided by a public vote.

Earlier in the day, senator Dean Smith – the Liberal Party’s first openly gay parliamentarian – spelled out his own opposition to the plebiscite, arguing it would set a dangerous precedent of the Parliament outsourcing important decisions.

“Plebiscites are not and should not be a feature of our democratic culture in ,” he said. “How do we look our electors in the eye and ask them to place their trust in us on future issues?” Senator Smith abstained from Monday night’s vote.

Key crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie argued in favour of the plebiscite, saying that although she opposed same-sex marriage on “sacred religious grounds” she would have respected the will of the Tasmanian people after a plebiscite.

Q&A: Naomi Klein says China no better than ‘insane and racist’ Donald Trump

Written By: admin - Feb• 13•19

“They’re so desperate to have their freedom of speech heard that they’re self-immolating”: Canadian journalist Naomi Klein on Q&A. Photo: ABC “The detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru are open centres where people can come and go”: Liberal senator James Paterson. Photo: ABC

Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Virginia on Monday. Photo: ALEX BRANDON

Canadian journalist Naomi Klein has skewered for its treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention, comparing the policy to one proposed by Donald Trump.

On the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Ms Klein – an author and climate change activist – said the conditions on Nauru and Manus Island were an “international atrocity”.

“I find it shocking that people on Nauru and Manus are lighting themselves on fire, sewing their mouths shut, so they can be heard,” Ms Klein said.

“They’re so desperate to have their freedom of speech heard that they’re self-immolating. I want to know where the outrage is in this country about their freedom of speech and the freedom of whistleblowers – the doctors, the teachers – who are speaking out against this atrocity. This international atrocity.”

Ms Klein said the US presidential election had lowered the level of political discourse to such a degree that some abhorrent policies seemed normal.

“One of the reasons why I can’t wait to be rid of Trump, if this does happen, is he’s lowered the bar so much that anything can seem sane in comparison,” Ms Klein said.

“We can all feel terrifically smug because we’re not that crazy.

“I think that Donald Trump talking about building the wall with Mexico is insane and racist, but I also think what is doing on Nauru and Manus is as well. I think we shouldn’t be so self-satisfied about it. You’re actually doing it, he’s just talking about it.”

The comparison was also made by a questioner from the audience, who asked: “What is the difference between ‘s Operation Sovereign Borders and Donald Trump’s wall?”

Liberal Senator James Paterson, who was also on the panel, defended the policy.

“For one, the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru are open centres where people can come and go,” Mr Paterson said.

“They can have jobs. They have healthcare. They can go to school. That’s one difference.”

Another difference, Mr Paterson said, was offshore detention is also supported by Labor.

Speaking about Donald Trump, Mr Patterson, 28, who entered the senate in March, said the Republican nominee wasn’t his “cup of tea” but it was important that n politicians work with whoever is elected.

“I think we can’t afford to be complacent in ,” he said.

“We have to always make sure, particularly politicians like us, that we are in touch and doing what we say we’ll do, because otherwise we’ll have the same kind of cynicism about our leaders and politicians [as in the US].”

Crowdfunding campaign raises $10,500 for widow of killed Bali police officer

Written By: admin - Feb• 13•19

The widow of Wayan Sudarsa, Ketut Arsini, and her son Kadek Toni, hold a portrait of the police officer who was killed on Kuta beach. Photo: Alan Putra The widow and son of killed Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa meet with representatives of Bali charity Solemen, who have raised more than $10,000 for the family via a crowdfunding campaign. Photo: Alan Putra

n woman Sara Connor, who along with her British boyfriend David Taylor are accused of the police officer’s murder. Photo: Supplied

David Taylor has admitted to bashing Mr Sudarsa with binoculars, a smashed beer bottle and a sharp object but not to killing him. Photo: Amilia Rosa

Bali: In 2014 a mentally ill Irishman known only as Sean was found wandering the streets of Bali, dazed and confused, with horrific leg wounds from a motorcycle accident.

The late Balinese police officer Wayan Sudarsa responded immediately to requests for assistance from Solemen, a charity that helps the disadvantaged in Bali.

On Monday, Sarah Chapman, the head of Solemen’s outreach team, recalled Mr Sudarsa’s kindness as the charity met with his widow, Ketut Arsini, to inform her a crowdfunding campaign had raised $US8000 ($10,500) to assist the family.

“He was a good person, I knew him when he was helping the Irishman,” Ms Chapman told Ms Arsini, patting the widow’s back when she became overwhelmed with emotion.

On August 17 Ms Arsini, an elementary school teacher, was attending a flag-raising ceremony to mark Indonesian Independence Day when she learned her husband’s bloodied corpse had been found on Kuta beach.

At first she couldn’t comprehend the fact her healthy husband was dead – it was only when a colleague of his showed her the photos that the horrific reality sunk in.

Byron Bay woman Sara Connor and her British DJ boyfriend David Taylor are expected to this week go to trial over Mr Sudarsa’s alleged murder in the Denpasar District Court.

Solemen founder Robert Epstone said the charity decided to appeal to people over the internet when they heard about Mr Sudarsa’s death.

“On an island where we are very quick to launch humanitarian funding campaigns for hapless tourists in hospital who come to the Island, get drunk and fall off a motorcycle or to fund an operation for a wounded stray dog, we desire to step up and set up a special fund to aid the family of the fallen policeman,” said the crowdfunding website, which was written in both English and Indonesian.

Mr Epstone said Solemen did not contact Ms Arsini because he was unsure if they would be able to raise any funds. “We didn’t want to raise Ibu’s (Ms Arsini’s) expectations then to come up with nothing.”

But over a two month period 158 people pledged more than $US8000. “We are just happy we can do this,” Mr Epstone said.

Ms Arsini was overwhelmed when she learned the donations were not linked in anyway to Connor and Taylor.

“So these are voluntary donations? I am very grateful for it. I can’t repay your kindness. I can only pray that God will repay your kindness,” she said.

Ms Arsini had earlier told Fairfax Media she could never forgive Connor and Taylor, despite Taylor writing her a letter saying he would always be haunted by his “terrible actions”.

“The one thing I miss about Bapak (Mr Sudarsa) is that he was always by my side, wherever I went,” she said.

“Aside from when he was working, he was always with me. I just remember him if I am alone. I stayed away from the news, I can’t watch it.”

Ms Arsini’s youngest son, Kadek Toni, was unsurprised to hear of his father helping the Irishman. “I remember my father telling me about it,” he said. “If he helped someone and there was a casualty he would attend the funeral. My father would do that.”

Ms Arsini said she hoped Connor and Taylor would be honest in the trial, which is due to start in the Denpasar District Court on Wednesday..

Taylor has admitted to bashing Mr Sudarsa with a beer bottle but not killing him, while Connor has said she is innocent of the police officer’s death.

“I hope both perpetrators will be able to tell honestly what they did to my husband, that cost him his life,” Ms Arsini said.

“That’s what I hope for, they admit it honestly, so the trial can end quickly.”

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Rosebery development site has $100m price tag

Written By: admin - Feb• 13•19

Rosebery Properties and Filetron, a private family company in Sydney, is selling three separate lots of land with a value of more $100 million in Rosebery. Photo: Supplied The privately-owned Rosebery Properties and Filetron, a company run by Ben Cottle, is selling three separate lots of land with a value of more than $100 million in Rosebery – an area undergoing rapid transformation from industrial to residential.

Mr Cottle is also the founder and managing director of FDC Construction, one of the larger construction companies with offices in all of ‘s capital cities. Founded in the early 1990s, the company is earning half a billion dollars and employs 300 workers.

The sale in Rosebery is located within one of Sydney’s strongest new apartment suburbs, with a potential gross floor area of 32,864.40 square metres and a height limit of 29 metres.

The land is at 12-40 Rosebery Avenue and 108 Dalmeny Avenue, and consists of 15,215 sq m of land with existing industrial and commercial buildings equating to 11,722.80 sq m, which generates an existing rental income in excess of $2 million per annum.

The agents on the deal. Michael Crombie and Trent Gallagher of Colliers International, said demand is expected to be strong as suburbs on the City fringe, such as Rosebery, are see as some of the hottest markets in Sydney for residential apartments.

Mr Crombie, the director in charge of South Sydney for Colliers International, said, it was seen as “one of the best sites to come onto the market in 2016. It has great scale, over multiple titles, quality buildings and solid income, allowing staging of the development”.

Rosebery and surrounding suburbs are slowing morphing from industrial zones to “trendy” residential areas complete with new food outlets and a burgeoning cafe society.

The site is also near the multi-billion-dollar Green Square development, which will transform that area into a major mixed use and residential area.

Investors hold little fear of any over-supply of apartments in Rosebery given its proximity to Sydney airport, the eastern suburb beaches and universities and the City.

“Well known developers have focused heavily on the Rosebery precinct, including Meriton, Mirvac, Stockland, Top Place, LivStyle & JQZ, as Rosebery provides a lifestyle choice for the discerning investor or occupier, with so many new trendy eateries within the precinct,” Mr Crombie said.

According to Mr Gallagher, the director, property sales & leasing for Colliers International, rates being achieved in nearby residential development projects such as “Symphony” by Meriton – a 215-unit brand new development on Epsom Road in Rosebery, due for completion in mid-2017 – are as high as $19,000 per sq m.

The leasing market is also strong in the area with private firm Martin Sales Pty Ltd, paying $785 per sq m per annum for a 191 sq m retail space at Shop 3, 1-3 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, from Epsom Property Group Pty Ltd through Jessica Male and Charlie McKenzie, JLL.

Bill Shorten offers alternative super plan for Malcolm Turnbull’s budget woes

Written By: admin - Jan• 14•19

Bill Shorten says the government has not gone far enough in its crackdown on high-end superannuation tax concessions. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The Coalition hopes to get its super package legislated before the wind-up of Parliament on December 1. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

 Federal Labor has quibbled with media reports claiming it is poised to support the Turnbull government’s modified superannuation package as is, which if passed would save the budget about $3 billion over four years.

Instead, the opposition says it will put forward steeper cuts to generous concessions to help repair the budget.

Sources close to Labor leader Bill Shorten say that on Tuesday the opposition will unveil an alternative set of proposals to make the superannuation system fairer by hitting high-income earners harder, and thereby dramatically increasing the pace of budget repair.

Proposed is a plan to reduce the government’s $100,000 annual post-tax contributions limit to $75,000. The government originally announced a $500,000 lifetime cap on such contributions, and even took this to the election, promising repeatedly that there would be no change, before being pressed by its own backbench into a backflip.

Conservative backbenchers had showed little regard for the government’s “ironclad” pledge to voters and campaigned vigorously behind the scenes to overturn it, arguing the backdated $500,000 lifetime cap was overly harsh and retrospective.

But Mr Shorten said the government had not gone far enough in its crackdown on high-end superannuation tax concessions.

“The current superannuation system delivers half of all tax concession to the top 20 per cent of income earners – that isn’t fair or economically sustainable,” he said. “That isn’t fair or fiscally sustainable.”

Another proposal Labor favours would reduce the High Income Superannuation Contribution threshold to $200,000 from its proposed $250,000 annual income.

That would mean a person earning more than $200,000 paying 30¢ in the dollar on contributions, rather than the 15¢ currently.

According to Labor’s accounting, provided to it by the Parliamentary Budget Office, that would save $688 million over the forward estimates and $7.3 billion over 10 years to 2026-27.

Labor says just 4 per cent of taxpayers would be affected and that less than 1 per cent, at 0.7 per cent, pay non-concessional contributions annually at rates greater than $100,000 a year.

The government hopes to get its superannuation package legislated before the wind-up of Parliament on December 1.

But it has just three sitting weeks in which to push the measures through or risk delaying its intended July 1, start date.

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Scrutiny will be on Cricket China CEO James Sutherland if wheels come off China

Written By: admin - Jan• 14•19

Summer heat: Cricket CEO James Sutherland is a survivor. Photo: Paul KaneWhen Cricket ‘s chief executive, James Sutherland, announced in April that the first Test of the summer would be shifted from its traditional base in Brisbane to Perth the news passed, in the thick of football season, with little scrutiny.

Steve Smith’s side was world No.1 at the time on the back of a dominant home campaign and a series win in New Zealand.

Seven months later, however, the location change has come back to bite the floundering ns, threatening to send their entire summer off the rails. Rather than begin at the Gabba, a ground that has been a fortress for and launched many successful Test series, they faced a South African team that thrive in the west and have done so again.

This is not to absolve the players of responsibility for what occurred since the morning of day two at the WACA, and in particular the batsmen whose part in the first-innings collapse was principally to blame for going 1-0 down.

But whether the venue shift is indicative of a worrying imbalance in priorities at CA, with commercial gain and data about the popularity of the sport trumping the best interests of the national team, is a question increasingly being asked by those in and around the game.

Amid the introspection and recriminations that will follow ‘s fourth successive Test defeat are myriad issues that stretch beyond the shortcomings of the team to the very program they exist in: are Pat Howard and co right in the policy of resting fast bowlers be it from a one-day tour, a Matador Cup final, or half a Sheffield Shield game? Were selectors correct in picking the same squad for first two Tests, depriving them of flexibility now? And given ‘s performances since the winter, should Darren Lehmann really have had his contract extended, in August, to 2019?

Lehmann, Howard, Rod Marsh and his selectors and the team captain will be singled out if go on to lose this series, but blame must also be apportioned further up the management chain. It was Sutherland’s administration that switched the first Test to Perth to accommodate a second day-night Test of the summer in Brisbane.

And it was Sutherland and the top brass at CA who, by jamming ‘s international schedule in the lead-up to the summer, were responsible for Smith and his players being deprived of even a single red-ball match in the Sheffield Shield ahead of the first Test. Smith made the call for NSW, stacked with n players, to have their only pre-Test Shield game played with the pink ball in Brisbane to ready themselves for the day-night Test against Pakistan there next month.

But because of the ill-timed and ultimately ill-fated one-day series in South Africa that was not an adequate preparation, as Mike Hussey lamented on Monday, arguing there should have been at least two matches of “good, hard, disciplined first-class cricket” for the ns before taking on the Proteas.

It is difficult to fault Sutherland for having raked in truckloads of cash for the code and its players via broadcasting deals or for the undisputed success that is the Big Bash League. Cricket can now claim to be the top participation sport in the country, with more than 1.3 million playing it last year. The day-night Test revolution, Sutherland’s baby, is also a fine innovation to broaden the appeal of the game.

Yet if the n team, the shop-front product, is going backwards, then the brand is bust no matter how forward-thinking or heavy the code’s pockets are. Sutherland’s personal crusade to make day-night Tests successful is noble on one level but, as evidenced by the switch of the first Test to Perth, has been pushed through at just about any cost.

As for CA’s position, there was an interesting nugget in their recently released annual report. A breakdown of expenditure showed that more money ($34.87 million) was spent on communications and marketing than on team performance ($26.86 million), excluding player remuneration, in the last financial year.

They can’t and shouldn’t throw every cent at the players, but the balance is out of whack when the best interests of the n team are jeopardised by other priorities.

Sutherland, CEO since 2001, is a great survivor. He hung on through the exhaustive self-analysis that followed the Ashes defeat of 2010-11.

But the buck ultimately stops at the top, and if the n team reaches breaking point again this summer, a point it is dangerously close to, the heat will be on the boss too.

Police with PTSD tell of difficulty getting adequate help

Written By: admin - Jan• 14•19

‘MANAGED OUT’: A group of former Hunter Region police officers have spoken out about what they say is a toxic culture, where officers suffering psychological injuries are afraid of seeking help through official channels. More PTSD storiesAFTER struggling through years of bullying, the suicides of two colleaguesand haunting memories of murders, car crashes, assaults, dead babies and a near stabbing, police officer Rebecca* said she made the decision to end her nearly 20-year career,by askingfor help.

She put in a “Hurt on Duty” form (HOD), which is used to report physical and psychological issues through the NSW Police Force’s injury management system.

In reality,to report psychological injury was “career suicide”, Rebecca, a former Newcastle and Lake Macquarie officer, said.

“You are then targeted. You are managed out,” she said.

Rebecca is one of several former Hunter Region officers who have spoken out about a toxic culture of bullying and intimidation within NSW Police ranks, where, they say,unwell officers are targeted until they quit, breakdownor commit suicide.

“They’ve pushed as hard as they can for me to put myself in the grave,” Rebecca said.

She was medically discharged from the police force in 2010 after 17 years and is still battling for a settlement to her workers’ compensation claim. Police insurers dispute her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which she says has been diagnosed by five psychiatrists and four psychologists.

She joined the force at the age of 20.

“My stuff started fairly early, when I was a student, a bloke blew his face off in front of me,” she said.

“It sounded like a car backfiring but it just wasn’t right. So we drove back to check it out. He was 20 metres from my side of the car, put (the gun) under his jaw and shot his head off.

“I was offered no counselling, no debriefing, nothing. Zero. Ever.”

Rebecca has grappled with thoughts of ending her life many times. During her time in the force she lost friends, also fellow officers, to suicide.

Two of them were working with her at Toronto police station at the time of their deaths, which occurred after Rebecca started speaking out about a lack of support for officers in distress.

Rebecca said she moved to Toronto police station after “sustained bullying” by a superior in the Newcastle Local Area Command.

“I joined the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committee because out of my experience of how they treat injured officers, something had to be done.

“I remember asking (at a meeting) ‘how come you haven’t mentioned psych injury, it’s one of your biggest problems?’.”

Then a colleague took his own life.

“The first OHS meeting back you go through the general issues … and everyone had raised the usual stuff, cracks in concrete, and then it got to my turn and I said ‘I’m just curious how many people have died from psychological injury and how many people have died from a crack in the concrete?’.”

Weeks later, another colleague working at Toronto took his life.

“They arranged for a psychologist to be present at the police station for four Fridays,” Rebecca said.

She struggled to recover following the deaths, and said she felt pressure to “just get over it”.

Eventually, she put in her HOD form.

“Because obviously speaking to them and telling them that I had a problem, I wasn’t getting any support,” she said.

“So career suicide, but I put it in.”

Rebecca said people learned not to speak up about stress or bullying after seeing how others were treated.

“You make a complaint against someone, it’s turned on you,” she said.

Ray*, an officer of 10 years who left the force with PTSD in 2009, agreed.

“The minute you do say something, you’re targeted,” he said.

He said officers who spoke out against management would be reprimanded in a number of ways including being intimidated at unnecessary meetings, additional hurdles when accessing leave, having their current and past work heavily scrutinised and reviewed and being tasked with menial duties.

For Rachel*suffering a physical injury after a relatively short time in the force lead to her being bullied by fellow officers, which left her a wreck. Eventually she had a breakdown.

“I was bullied after I was physically injured, I was bullied really badly,” she said.

“People hated me for being injured.”

She said some fellow officers made it difficult for her to do her job.

“They shredded the stuff out of my pigeon hole, which was court documents,” she said.

“(A colleague) said ‘it’s been filed’, and I said ‘oh cool, where is it?” and he said ‘filed means shredded’.

“So I didn’t have the reports I needed.They made my life really difficult …I couldn’t do my job.

“My psychologist told me‘if you hadn’t been bullied you could have handled the PTSD’.

“But the bullying, they destroyed me.

“When I came out of the academy I was invincible and I was fit and Iwas amazing and I loved my job. I don’t know howthey wore me down, but they did.”

Rachel said when the bullying at her station intensified, she was contacted by a superior with what seemed like a lifeline.

“(The superior) rang me and said ‘you’re being harassed would you like to come to Boolaroo for a while’,” she said.

“I was sitting in a dark room, by myself 10 hours a day doing victim follow up, where I was meant to dob on my fellow cops.

“I had to go through every event, I had to … ring all these people for 10 hours and ask them ‘how did the cops do, are you happy?’.

“I was being bullied and he sends me to go and do that, so they hate me even more.”

NSW Police declined to comment when asked if there was a culture of bullying within the force, but said complaints were acted on.

“Any complaints of bullying and harassment are investigated and, if found to be sustained, will result in the consideration of serious management action,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Thespokesperson said all claims of injury were reported through the injury management system and were classified as HOD“dependent upon an investigation of the factual circumstances”surrounding the injury.

Police had a “range of options” to support officers following traumatic events including “operational debriefing, the Employee Assistance Program, Peer Support Officer program, Police Chaplaincy, and the wellcheck program”.

“NSWPF has recently launched the Incident and Support Database to assist in identifying officers exposure to incidents which may adversely impact their well-being,” the spokesperson said.

Rebecca slammed the policies, saying they were no good if not enacted.

“They have an abundance of policies and information on psychological injury yet failed to use any of them in my case,” she said.

“Instead of offering support, the police are antagonistic towards injured workers. Instead of of recognising or supporting an injured officer, too often the officer is subjected to performance programs, disciplinary action or unsuitable duties.”

The NSW Police spokesperson said the force was working to help officers struggling with trauma.

“NSWPF is continuing to develop cultural change with a focus on understanding that it is normal for the incidents that police attend to impact them,” the spokesperson said.

“Commanders who have concerns about the psychological well-being of an officer can proactively refer the officer to an experienced occupational physician and psychologists”.

The officers who have spoken to theHeralddispute that this occurs. They have told of a difficulties in recognising problems and a culture that discourages seeking help.

“Generally what happens is you don’t know you’ve got a problem, you’ve got no idea, so you just keep rolling along,” Rebecca said.

“And you’ve got no idea that you’re falling apart until you hit the wall.”

Rebecca said she does not recall being offered debriefs after critical incidents.

“I’ve been to murders, almost shot people, people trying to stab me, fatal accidents, people dying on you every critical incident that you could imagine, I’ve been to, done it,” she said.

“Not once ever had I been offered anything.

“They’re meant to. It doesn’t happen.”

The NSW Police Force spokesperson said managers received “substantial training” through an applied leadership program.

“In addition an education program entitledYour Health Firstcommenced delivery in late 2015 to all ranks dealing with resilience and suicide prevention.

“A particular focus of the training is identifying the signs that either the individual or a fellow officer may be at risk and strategies to engage when concerns are raised.

“NSWPF has delivered substantial education in relation to emotional wellbeing including presentations by doctor Kevin Gilmartin, author of Emotional Survival for Law Enforcementand various literature including our Five Thingsbooklet.”

*Names were [email protected]成都夜网.au

For crisis support: Lifeline 13 11 14