Monthly Archives: September 2019

Emergency laws to ban vilification, intimidation and threats in same-sex marriage campaign

ns who feel vilified, intimidated or threatened by another person’s conduct during the same-sex marriage campaign will have legal recourse under emergency laws being rushed through Parliament this week.
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Civil penalties of up to $12,600 will apply, but any legal action for an alleged breach of the new law will have to be approved by Attorney-General George Brandis.

The special protections will end at the conclusion of the same-sex marriage postal survey in November.

Attorney-General George Brandis will have the power to block legal action or appeal an injunction. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Civil penalties can be imposed by a court, but no criminal penalties – such as fines or jail time – will apply.

“It will be unlawful to vilify, intimidate or threaten to harm a person either because of views they hold on the survey or in relation to their religious conviction, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status,” a government spokesman said.

“That will be a sunset provision, it will only last for the period of the postal plebiscite.”

The protections are similar to those already enacted in various state jurisdictions around but do not currently exist at a Commonwealth level.

The laws, to be rushed through both chambers of Parliament by Thursday night, will apply to “conduct” during the campaign, which could include advertising, leaflet materials or behaviour.

Judges will have the power to injunct any materials subject to an alleged breach, but Senator Brandis will also have the power to appeal that injunction.

Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann told the Coalition party room Senator Brandis would no doubt approach the issue of “with a bias toward freedom of speech”.

The Turnbull government has been negotiating the bill, first revealed by Fairfax Media, with shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, and Labor is expected to back the measures.

The bill will also import a number of safeguards from the Commonwealth Electoral Act, such as a requirement that campaign materials bear an authorisation, and apply them to the postal survey campaign.

The usual safeguards do not automatically apply because the survey is being conducted under the auspices of the Census and Statistics Act, through the n Bureau of Statistics, rather than the Electoral Commission.

Tuesday’s Coalition party room meeting green-lighted the new laws as former prime minister Tony Abbott penned an opinion piece for Fairfax Media advocating the “no” vote.

Mr Abbott argued it had been years “since gay people have been discriminated against, and just about everyone old enough to remember that time is invariably embarrassed at the intolerance that was once common”.

However, the former PM went on to say same-sex couples in settled domestic relationships “have exactly the same rights as people who are married”.

“To demand ‘marriage equality’, therefore, is quite misleading. Same-sex couples already have that,” Mr Abbott wrote. “This debate is about changing marriage, not extending it. And if you change marriage, you change society; because marriage is the basis of family; and family is the foundation of community.”

The former prime minister also charged supporters of the legal change for being primarily responsible for bullying and hate speech in public debate, rather than same-sex marriage opponents.

“It’s striking how little love the supporters of same-sex marriage are showing for anyone who disagrees with them,” he argued.

Big businesses, from sandwich giant Subway to the ride sharing service Uber, also copped a serve for “virtue signalling” on the issue.

Mr Abbott concluded by urging a “no” vote to show that “political correctness has got completely out of hand”.

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Sally McManus sounds the alarm about government’s union-busting laws

Sally McManus , Secretary of the ACTU. Photo Nick Moir 30 March 2017A new tranche of industrial relations laws planned by the Turnbull government are an “attack on democracy”, according to ACTU chief Sally McManus, who says fighting them will be the next major front in the organisation’s fight against the federal government.
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The proposed laws amend the Registered Organisations Act and do three things: create a public-interest test that could make it harder for unions to merge, as the construction and maritime unions are currently attempting to do; toughen the rules that allow union officials to be disqualified; and harden up the rules that allow a union to be deregistered.

The government argues the proposed laws, which were introduced into Parliament on August 16 and are now being examined by a Senate committee, protect workers’ interests by ensuring unions comply with their legal requirements.

It says its laws simply expand the grounds a court can consider in deregistering a union, to include repeated law-breaking, serious criminal offences and corrupt conduct by union officials.

But Ms McManus said those three specific measures were “three huge problems” for the union movement, as they would allow employer and business groups – and the minister – to interfere with the operation of unions.

The draft laws state that an application for deregistration of a union can be made to the Federal Court for corrupt or unlawful conduct by a Fair Work Commissioner, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, or “a person with a sufficient interest”.

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‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ by Nah Mate releases new video, plan more rugby league-themed songs

LEGEND: Sam Cupitt and Joshua Ballico from the band Nah Mate.HE gave us ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’,and for that we are eternally grateful.
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ButNewcastle folk/alternative musicianJoshua Ballico,who performs under the name Bofolk Ballico, wasn’t done.

He’s put together a band, Nah Mate, whose first release, a full recording of the unofficial Newcastle anthem complete with a new video dropped last week, and the group plan on releasing more original rugby league-themed songs.

As well as Ballico, Nah Mate consists ofSam Cupitt (vocals), Ryan Cox (harmonica and electric guitar), Dhare Labbe (bass) and Andrew Greentree (drums). But for ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ they were also assisted by Shaun Danger on electric guitar and Spencer Scott on bass.

We wanted to know what other songs the band might cover, and suggested maybe a Cliffy Lyons themed tune that centered on his penchant for rolled cigarettes and inch-perfect inside balls.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that we discuss Newcastle rivals in one of our songs,”Ballico said.

“We also flashback to the 2002 Origin series and discuss one of our favourite commentators. “The attention received by the original video was enough to make me think there was an audience out there for these songs. “A niche. “But after recording the original I practiced the song with my band. “It went really well live and sounded great with a full band. “That’s really what motivated me to make this recording and video. “Sam Cupitt had endless lyric ideas that were all worth pursuing.

“The songs will not exclusively be about Newcastle players, but will all be sung from a Novocastrian perspective.”

GREAT: Joshua Ballico recreates that iconic Joey Johns image.

MONKEY LAWSUIT SETTLES SAY CHEESE: The monkey selfie. Copyright Naruto, er, David Slater.

IF you’ve done a communication degree, a media law course or shown any interest in copyright then, chances are, you’d be familiar with the monkey that took a selfie.

In 2008, British nature photographer David Slater traveled toIndonesiato take photographs of the critically endangeredCelebes crested macaques.

But the case, which is now referred to as Naruto et al vDavid Slater, didn’t gain wider public attention until the photographs werepublished as monkey self-portraits by a news agency in 2011.And we’d hoped that a recent US lawsuit over who owns the copyright to the selfie photographs snapped by Naruto would finally, once and for all, answer the novel legal question.

But, alas, the thing about courts, particularly in the US, is if they can settle a case without proceeding to trial, they will.

Under the deal, Mr Slateragreed to donate 25 per cent of any future revenue to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques, lawyers for an animal-rights group said last week.They said they would seek to dismiss the case pending before the San Francisco- based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued on behalf of the macaque monkey in 2015, seeking financial control of the photographs for the benefit of Naruto. Lawyers for Mr Slaterargued that his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., owns worldwide commercial rights to the photos, including a now-famous selfie of the monkey’s toothy grin.

Slater argued that he engineered the photographs in 2011 by travelling to an Indonesian jungle, spending three days with a troupe of monkeys to gain their trust and deliberately making his camera accessible to the animals to take photographs.

A lower court ruled in the photographer’s favour, saying that animals could not hold copyrights. The 9th Circuit was considering PETA’s appeal. The lawyers notified the appeals court on August 4 that they were nearing a settlement and asked the 9th Circuit not to rule.

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Tomago Aluminium is preparing for more power shutdowns this summer

Smelter’s $100m decision Concerns: Tomago Aluminium chief executive Matt Howell is the man who has to make the “$100 million decision” when the company is asked to shut down parts of the smelter during extreme conditions. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.
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Past: A 1984 photograph of the potroom at Tomago Aluminium showing a worker about to tap molten aluminium.

History: A 1992 photograph showing the huge potline at Tomago Aluminium.

Future: Liddell power station outside Muswellbrook which has become the catalyst for an energy “debate” in .

Talks: AGL chief executive Andy Vesey arrives in Canberra on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Discussions: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks to the media last week about Liddell power station.

TweetFacebookIf a potline is shut down for longer than an hour it can quickly turn to custard, literally.

Tomago Aluminium chief executive Matt Howell

After 75 minutes without power an aluminium smelter’s potlines startto “freeze”. After three hours without power they aredamaged beyond repair. The replacement bill is $100 million per potline, and the risk of shutting even one down is a “$100 million decision”.

’s energy “crisis” –brought to a head by the sudden closure of ageing coal-fired power stations and a decade of energy policy inertia –is an existential threat to the state’s biggest power user, with February’s shutdown a warning of what could lie ahead.

“Of course we’re concerned,” Mr Howell said.

If Tomago Aluminium has an “uncontrolled potline freeze” of its three units caused by energy unreliability this summer,“In an environment of low prices you’d walk away. You’d take the insurance money and walk away,” Mr Howell said.

He argues strongly for coal and gas power into the future, despite AGL’s public statement that it is moving away from coal, and an AEMO report last week backing the need for an upgraded national energy market design because the existing market “is unlikely to incentivise the development of new flexible dispatchable resources (energy on demand) at the level required”.

Mr Howell acknowledged “the need and desirability of renewables”, but after February’s shock, and an earlier shock in January, 2016 when AGL requested a potline to be shut for 40 minutes,he prioritises reliability in the short term to keep the smelter operating.

In the January, 2016 incident there were four failed attempts to re-start the potline. The 40-minute shutdown stretched to two hours and 35 minutes offline, with 11 frozen cells within the potline.

If Tomago Aluminium had ignored AGL’s request for a potline shutdown in February, the company would have been forced to pay the wholesale price applying at the time,at the cap of $14,000 per megawatt hour because of the extreme conditions, with a final bill of $5.25 million for 75 minutes of energy.

If it had ignored AEMO’s request to remove another 300 megawatts of demand from the grid that day there would have been a probable state-wide blackout, with the likelihood of irreversible damage to three potlines, Mr Howell said.

“Our concern is about the reliability of the national energy market. The closure of Liddell in 2022 has just brought the issue into focus. We have a long-term contract with AGL until 2028. We’re obligated to buy and they’re obligated to supply. It’s the reliability of supply and how that affects us that is the issue,” he said.

“We can’t afford to be exposed to the wholesale power price when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. I get asked why I don’t support batteries but it’s a nonsense and it needs to be called out for what it is. The batteries exist, but you can’t afford the costs.”

Mr Howell is critical of AGL, and said interruptions initiated by AGL were “longer and they’re more frequent”.

He strongly supports proposed changes to bidding intervals in the national energy market after clear evidence of late “rebidding” by generators leading to significantly higher prices achieved for power.

“The current system is a bit like playing a hand of poker where the dealer knows the cards to come in advance,” Mr Howell said.

Grattan Institute energy fellow David Blowers described events in February as a “massive warning shot across the bow for everyone in the energy system”, prompting “every point in the market pulling together to make sure they have appropriate responses”.

AEMO’s responses had included finding other high energy users that could potentially shut down in extreme conditions so that Tomago Aluminium is not put at risk, Mr Blowers said. AEMO had also increased emergency capability.

“We’ve got a lot more tools in the toolbox to be able to deal with it, but things can happen. It’s understandable that people are nervous,” he said.

n National University Energy Change Institute director, Professor Ken Baldwin said was “only now realising the implications of a decade of energy policy paralysis by governments, and we’re being forced to address this on a very short time frame”.

“Dysfunctionality” could only be addressed by energy policy certainty, he said.

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Party with Jerry Schwartz at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Party in style with Hunter hotel mogul | PHOTOS Glitzy: Jerry Schwartz built the new five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. A special, pre-opening launch will raise money for the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).
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Jerry Schwartz and his son Dane lay concrete during the hotel’s construction.

Jerry Schwartz at his Vaucluse home in 2013.

Jerry Schwartz at a former monorail station at World Square, which is now an office space, in 2016.

TweetFacebook The five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. If you like to party and have fun, you best keep reading.

Check out this picture–it’s thefirst five-star luxury hotel to be built in Sydney since the Olympics.

It was built by Hunter hotel mogul Jerry Schwartz, who is planning a big party to mark the occasion.

Jerry’s known for owningCrowne Plaza hotels in Newcastle and Hunter Valley, along with theNovotelon Newcastle Beach.

He’s also known for being a doctor, cosmetic surgeon and philanthropist.He’s a big supporter of the world-renowned Hunter Medical Research Institute, affectionatelyknown by its catchy acronymHMRI.

Which brings us to the party. Jerryhasgivenaway all 28 floors of the hotel to 28 charities for a special, pre-opening launch of hisnew hotel at Darling Harbour on October 3. HMRI was given one of these floors.

Those who join the party willbe among the first people to stay at the new five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

HMRI hasnine rooms left, which it is offering for $1000 each. Every cent will go to HMRI.

This “golden ticket” type eveningwill buy you anooncheck-in, an 11am checkout,breakfast, entry to an exclusive cocktail party in the hotel ballroom and use ofthe hotel’s swish facilities.

If you take up this offer, you’ll be the first people to sleep in one of the hotel rooms, the first tojump on the bed and the first to… ahh, how do we say this politely… ermm… christen the bed.

HMRI’s Rebekah Wilson said “it’ll be great fun” and aspecial experience at the upmarket hotel.

“It’s a chance to get dressed up and attend a proper cocktail event,” Rebekah said.

“It’s the day after a long weekend and school holidays. That’s a good night for people to go down there.”

JerryconsidersNewcastlehis second home,since heworked there as an ophthalmology registrar at Royal Newcastle Hospital.

“HMRIis expanding strongly, which will help build Newcastle’s reputation as one of the most progressive medical research and technology hubs in ,” Jerry said.

Jerry Schwartz and his son Dane lay concrete during the hotel’s construction.

“The funds they raise through the Sofitel Darling Harbour charity launch will help fuel that expansion.”

The Sofitel launch isimportant to him.

“It’s the first new-build hotel I’ve been involved with and it will play an important role in Sydney’s future tourism development,” he said.

“I’m expecting all of my friends in the Hunter to get behind HMRI’s fundraising efforts for the charity launch, but also to call the Sofitel their Sydney home away from home.”

Jerry said he’ll personally welcome to the Sofitel those who take up the HMRI offer and also “join in the partying with them”.

“We’ve produced some fantastic brews out at the Lovedale Brewery this year, so I’ll see if we can bring in a few cases to give the party a distinct Hunter Valley flavour.”

To secure a room, [email protected]苏州模特佳丽招聘.au or phone(02) 4042 1000.

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