McCloy’s challenge to political donations laws may delay ICAC report

The findings of a high-profile corruption inquiry into NSW political donations may be delayed for a second time, after the High Court said it could not hear a case with major implications for the investigation until mid-year.
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Property developer and former Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy, who has admitted to giving illegal cash donations to state Liberal candidates, has launched a constitutional challenge to NSW laws banning donations from developers.

Mr McCloy was one of several developers hauled before the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry last year into political donations.

The commission was due to hand down its findings in the inquiry, codenamed Operation Spicer, in late January, but it has delayed doing so pending the outcome ofa separate High Court battle with Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, which is due to be heard in March.

On Monday, High Court Justice Stephen Gageler said the seven judges of the court would not be available to hear Mr McCloy’s case until the second week of June.

The barrister for Mr McCloy, David Bennett, QC, said his client would prefer an earlier date and “from my client’s point of view, June is some time after the [March 28 state] election”.

“I suppose there’s no hope of February?” Mr Bennett said.

“I don’t think I need to respond to that,” Justice Gageler replied.

Mr McCloy is seeking to have the NSW ban on developer donations overturned by the High Court on the basis it infringes the implied freedom of political communication in the Commonwealth Constitution.

The High Court ruled in December2013that a similar ban on donations by trade unions and corporations – introduced in 2012 –was invalid on this basis.

Mr McCloy’s challenge also extends to the ban on donations by the liquor, gaming and tobacco industries.

If the High Court strikes down the laws, it would be as if they had never existed.

This would affect the bases on which the commission could make corruption findings against MPs and developers caught up in Operation Spicer, including Mr McCloy and embattled coal mogul Nathan Tinkler, because it would not have been illegal for them to make the donations.

However, the men may still have breached other laws.

A spokeswoman for the commission declined to comment on whether Mr McCloy’s case would delay its findings.

The High Court will hear a number of cases relating to corruption inquiries this year. The commission says the Cunneen case goes to the heart of its powers and will affect past, present and future investigations, including Operation Spicer.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Massimo Luongo says Socceroos must forget about pitch dramas for Asian Cup quarter-final

Massimo Luongo has played on virtual sandpits. Matt McKay has seen Suncorp Stadium both slick and sloppy. Both men say it’s time to move on from the pitch debate as the Socceroos prepare to face China in an Asian Cup quarter-final in Brisbane on Thursday.
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The Asian Cup has been met with energetic fan support in Queensland and some enthralling contests, but much of the football has been overshadowed by the state of the playing surface, which has been lambasted by players and coaches from a host of nations.

Issues with summer couch grass failing to grow in time to replace the winter rye has perplexed ground staff, as it has everyone else in Brisbane given local lawns have to be mowed three times a week during a searing wave of heat and strangling humidity.

The turf in the six-yard boxes has been relaid in a frantic effort to improve playability, but McKay and Luongo have just about heard enough, saying the time to fixate on the surface had passed, while the Socceroos wouldn’t be changing their style to accommodate imperfections in the track.

While coach Ange Postecoglou remains understandably disgruntled, McKay said he felt the surface held up well against Korea and had no misgivings ahead of their match against China, which managed to string together some fluid passing and quick raids in their two appearances at the venue.

“It was fine. I’ve played at Suncorp a lot, I’ve seen it at really good times, I’ve seen it at bad times. For me, I enjoy the stadium, the facilities. It’s just a good feeling,” McKay said.

“We look at the way we’ve got to play our game and we’re still going to try and play the way we want to play. The pitch is not going to stop us from trying to play that way, we’re not going to change our tactics.”

The impressive Luongo, who plays for English League One side Swindon Town, felt the surface was almost luxurious compared to some of the pitches he campaigns on across Britain.

He said some long passes were hopping about but given his experience on fields that are closer to cow paddocks (which, incidentally, Tomi Juric labelled the Brisbane deck) than the fairways at Augusta National, he wasn’t overly concerned.

“I did notice it bobble towards me but it’s nothing I haven’t experienced before. Playing in League One, you get much worse pitches. That was soft and stable so I can’t complain. It’s fine for me,” Luongo said.

“We played Notts County last year and their pitch was rock hard. We played Doncaster two years ago and that was a sandpit. They called it a beach. Those are up there.”

Both men were taking their share of positives from the 1-0 defeat to Korea on Saturday night, a match where the Australians enjoyed some quality stints in possession but weren’t able to reflect that command on the scoreboard.

McKay said their subsequent deconstruction had given the Socceroos no reason to question their tactics or approach against China, which have won all three pool matches under the guidance of French manager Alain Perrin.

“Our possession was extremely high. We had 66 or 70 per cent at some stages. That’s good signs for the team and we haven’t done that for a long time against a team like Korea, even Japan,” McKay said.

“His [Ange’s] message to us was that if we had won the game and had a poor performance, he would have been more disappointed. We had a good performance but didn’t get the result.

“The signs are good. We’ve got to keep believing in ourselves because we have to be able to do that consistently against the better teams in Asia.”

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak has returned to training and looks a certain starter for the quarter-final, while defender Matthew Spiranovic will miss the match on accumulation of yellow cards.

Australia cancelled their training session on Monday afternoon and are likely to have an early session on Tuesday as they manage their preparation in the extreme weather conditions, which have seen humidity levels hit 90 per cent during stages of the day and into the evenings.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Abbott government asked to reconsider timing of introduction of higher-education reforms

Only two public universities have announced what fees they will charge from 2016.The Abbott government is facing fresh calls to delay the introduction of its higher-education reforms, with a vice-chancellor breaking ranks with the sector to support limits on the amount universities can charge for a degree.
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Only two of the nation’s 40 public universities have indicated what fees students would be charged from 2016 if the government’s plan, currently stalled in the Senate, becomes law. The main round of university offers for NSW and the ACT will be released on Wednesday, with 80,000 hopeful students in the dark about what they would pay in the later years of their degree.

“UTS is concerned about the financial uncertainty deregulation of fees means for students starting in 2015,” University of Technology, Sydney, vice-chancellor Attila Brungs said.

“We believe it is unreasonable for deregulation to proceed for 2016 due to a lack of time to consider and implement any final legislation and to provide appropriate advice to prospective students. 2017 is now the earliest that fee deregulation should be considered.”

Professor Brungs said the government should also consider retaining caps on the fees universities can charge rather than deregulating fees totally. Increased student contributions, capped by the government, could boost university revenues while preventing exorbitant fee hikes, he said.

“A cap on fees – as we move from a regulated to deregulated system – is an approach that could moderate any unintended consequences and help ensure that access to university remains merit based,” he said.

This approach has previously been backed by economist Bruce Chapman, the architect of the HECS repayment system.

Most vice-chancellors have rallied behind full fee deregulation as a way to boost revenues and make universities less reliant on government funding.

Macquarie University joined UTS in backing a delay in the introduction of the reforms.

“The retrospective nature of the Government’s proposals, in that students are accepting offers in 2015 without knowing what their fees will be post-2016, is not ideal and perhaps the timeline for introduction could be one of the aspects to be reconsidered,” a spokesman said.

Despite the uncertainty over fees, universities have reported strong demand from potential students. Total enrolment applications were steady on last year, with some universities reporting an increase in applications.

The University of Western Australia has said its students would pay a flat annual fee of $16,000 under a deregulated system. The Queensland University of Technology has also released detailed estimates

Despite conducting their own internal modelling, other universities have refused to say what they would charge if fees were deregulated.

“Many details of the deregulation proposal remain unclear and these will influence the way the university will set fees,” a spokeswoman for the University of Sydney said. “The university will finalise its plans once the regulatory arrangements are confirmed.”

A spokeswoman for the University of NSW said: “Given the uncertainty surrounding the government’s proposals in the Senate, and the number of variables involved, we do not consider it feasible, or indeed useful to students, to release fee estimates for specific courses at this stage.”

A spokesman for the University of Western Sydney said releasing fee estimates would confuse students.

“When the university knows the full parameters of the reform package, we will promptly act to inform our students and prospective students of the university’s position,” he said.

“It is very much time for certainty and clarity to prevail in higher education reform.”

Education Minister Christopher Pyne said: “Applications for university study are as strong as ever because students are seeing through the Labor/Green scare campaign on fees. They are ignoring the misinformation, listening to our factual information campaign, and voting with their feet for an Australian university education.

“Students also know that universities can be trusted to set fees fairly and that anyway, too-high fees would mean no students in lecture theatres.”

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Schedule change hits Belmont hard

BELMONT general manager Greg Pearce is relieved that next year’s Lake Macquarie Men’s Amateur will revert to its traditional spot on the summer calendar, after the tournament’s earlier scheduling caused a hit to the club’s revenue.
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The Lake Macquarie Amateur is usually held following the Australian Amateur on a Thursday to Sunday in late January.

However, this season Golf Australia brought the 72-hole tournament forward by two weeks, with it running from last Wednesday to Saturday.

The crowds watching the final round were smaller than past years.

The rescheduling also meant the Lake Macquarie Ladies Amateur (January 4-7), the Belmont Seniors (January 8-9) and NSW Men’s Senior Foursomes (January 7) were all brought forward.

That resulted in Belmont being closed for social golf during their busiest trading period – the week before Christmas and the fortnight following.

Pearce said Golf Australia had confirmed the Lake Macquarie Amateur would be held in late January next season.

■ Charlestown wonder kid Blake Windred will look to turn around a poor showing at Belmont last weekend by again reaching the matchplay rounds of the Australian Amateur this week.

The Lake Macquarie Amateur was a disappointing four days for the Hunter golfers, as Charlestown’s Brayden Petersen was the highest finisher at 42nd, 22 strokes behind the Canadian winner, Corey Conners.

The 17-year-old Windred had a rare poor tournament, carding seven-over-par 295 to finish 50th.

A third round of seven-over 79 proved his undoing.

“You have your bad rounds sometimes and unfortunately it came at the wrong time,” Windred said.

Windred, Petersen, Scone’s Will Barnett and The Vintage’s Dylan Perry will fly the Hunter flag at the Australian Amateur starting on Tuesday in strokeplay at Sydney’s The Australian and The Lakes courses.

After the first two rounds of strokeplay the top 64 qualify for the matchplay at The Australian from Thursday.

In last year’s Australian Amateur, Windred qualified 26th in the strokeplay and then won his opening matchplay round 3 and 2 against Zach Murray, who last week became the Australian Master of the Amateurs champion.

In the round of 32 Windred lost 4 and 2 to Victorian Ryan Ruffels.

“I think I’ll just be concentrating on shooting good rounds to qualify for the matchplay first as there’s going to be a lot of good amateurs from around the world,” he said.

“A couple of good rounds should get you into the top 64.”

■ It was only fitting that it rained on Monday when the Toronto Tech Centre officially opened.

The centre allows golfers to fine-tune their swings through the use of interactive indoor facilities.

Club professional Darren Green delivered his first lessons at the centre, and his brother, former US PGA Tour cardholder Nathan Green, is also expected to delve into coaching.

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Immigration bosses to be purged within weeks

The Immigration Department at Belconnen.More public service news
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Up to 25 senior managers at the Immigration Department will learn the news of their sackings within weeks, DIBP has confirmed.

The long-feared purge of Immigration’s Senior Executive service by their new boss Mike Pezzullo is expected in early February with up to 20 per cent of the department’s SES expected to be shown the door.

The sackings will come as the department prepares for the emergence of “Australian Border Force”, which will see Immigration merged with Mr Pezzullo’s old agency, Customs, to create the new entity.

Senior Immigration managers and their new colleagues from Customs  have been undergoing “assessments” for several months since soon after the merger was announced and will learn their fates in early February, with Mr Pezzullo himself expected to make the final decisions.

Insiders expect the casualties to be heaviest at Immigration as part of what is being called the “Customisation” of the department and a “reverse takeover” by the smaller Customs agency.

Do you know more? Send confidential tips to [email protected]整形美容医院m.au.

In addition to the purge of the top ranks, about 100 of Immigration’s 530 middle managers at Executive Level 2 classification are expected to be clearing out their desks by the end of 2015.

In recent months Immigration’s 8500 public servants have been told they will be breathalysed and drug tested and must make detailed personal disclosures to satisfy a new Organizational Suitability Assessments or face the sack.

There will also be a crackdown on second jobs, social media use and sloppy appearances among the department’s public servants, as the Customs agency hierarchy tightens its grip on Immigration.

A departmental spokeswoman confirmed on Monday that the senior executives in Customs and Immigration would learn their fate early in February.

“SES staff in both the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Customs and Border Protection have been engaged in an ongoing process of assessment and feedback,” she said.

“The future organisation structure and placement of staff is in development and will be communicated with the SES in early February.”

Immigration’s staff headcount shrank by 600 last year but the number of senior executives, who earn between $162,000 and $310,000, remained steady at 119.

Customs reduced its headcount by about 158 in 2013-14 but the ranks of senior executives swelled from 59 to 65, despite undergoing its own transition process during the year.

Senior executives at Customs earn between $147,000 and $283,000 a year, although they may benefit from performance bonus payments not available to their counterparts at Immigration.

Wage disparities and cultural differences between the two agencies will be among some of the challenges to be overcome as the formation of “Border Force”, due in July 2015, draws closer.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Andrew Barr says sold out Canberra Stadium highlights Socceroos potential

A section of the sell-out crowd at Canberra Stadium on Sunday night. Photo: Melissa AdamsACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the Asian Cup sellout puts Canberra in the perfect position to host future Socceroos games, while event organisers insist their hands were tied in turning people away from Sunday’s sold out China-North Korea clash despite having about 2500 empty seats.
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Barr said the ACT economy received a  boost from the Asian Cup, with hotels and restaurants benefiting from thousands of interstate tourists coming to the event.

He said a Chinese television audience of more than 10 million people had tuned in on Sunday night to see China’s 2-1 victory at Canberra Stadium.

The chief minister said the 18,457 crowd answered the question that people would turn up to watch quality matches.

Barr said there were no problems with the immaculate Canberra Stadium pitch, unlike in Brisbane where Suncorp Stadium had come under constant criticism..

“It demonstrated for fixtures that can attract a crowd of around the 20-25,000 mark that Canberra Stadium is the perfect venue for those sort of matches,” Barr said.

“I don’t think you could doubt the atmosphere that was created and you get the strong sense that that’s a better outcome – in terms of atmosphere at the ground and for a TV audience as well – than playing in front of a half-empty, much-bigger venue.

“I understand for the major Socceroos games they’ve got to go to the big cities with capacity for 80,000, but there are plenty of Socceroos matches that would go really well in Canberra.”

The sold-out signs went up in the minutes leading up to China’s victory, meaning hundreds of fans who had queued up outside the ground for tickets left disappointed.

Eyebrows were raised when the 18,457 crowd was announced because the ground’s normal capacity is just over 25,000.

A sell-out crowd of 25,628 packed in for the Australia-New Zealand rugby league Test in 2013, while 26,476 watched the Canberra Raiders lose to Wests Tigers in the 2010 NRL finals.

General manager of communications for the Asian Cup local organising committee Alison Hill admitted it was a shame they couldn’t accommodate more, but said there was valid reasons.

The ground’s capacity for the Asian Cup is approximately 21,000, mostly due to the many rows of seating that have been removed to accommodate the huge international media throng.

Capital Football boss Heather Reid confirmed no free tickets were handed out, and the UAE-Qatar clash in Canberra on January 11 was the only match where there were.

“It was a sell out because we physically didn’t have any more tickets to sell, but unfortunately you still do get some empty seats, it’s the same with any major event,” Hill said.

“We’re not able to sell standing room tickets because it has to be all ticketed seating, plus there’s a number of things which have to be done to all our stadiums, which reduces capacity, to accommodate an event like this.

“Stakeholders get an allocation of tickets and sometimes they’re not all used up. We can’t re-sell them because they’re already allocated.

“We feel the same way, we want to see every seat full but, if someone else has bought the seat or has been allocated it, we can’t re-sell it because we don’t know whether they’re going to arrive.

“We also have to build media tribunes to accommodate the massive media contingent. To build those tables you have to remove rows of seats.

“We also use more broadcast cameras: there’s 18 and the A-League uses 12. There’s a whole bunch of seats which have to be killed, because they’d be behind a cameraman.”

Hill said a number of people who bulk-purchased tickets, or bought a package deal to all seven of Canberra’s Asian Cup fixtures, may have been no-shows.

“There’s a whole range of people who get given tickets, sponsors and government [officials] and so forth,” she said.

“There was some empty seats last night but there were people who bought venue packs, where they get seven games but might only go to five or six.

“People who buy seven-game passes are entitled to do that; they’ve paid the money and bought the ticket.

“We would love to have fitted some more people in there last night, the atmosphere was fantastic.”

TUESDAY

Asian Cup: Iraq v Palestine at Canberra Stadium, 8pm

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Shark alert called off as storms roll in

Sharks out, storms in Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Wet weather rolls out over Newcastle. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookShark sighting: These guys might need a bigger boat, video

UPDATE:Redhead beach is closed on Tuesday due to dangerous surf.

THE great whiteshark may have disappeared but wild weather and big surf have rolled in to keep most of Newcastle’s beaches closed.

The city’s beaches officially reopened on Monday after a record nine days of closures due to repeated shark sightings.

A five-metre great white shark and at least another 3-metre shark had been spotted in the breaks offshore.

The large great white was first spotted off Merewether Beach on January 10, before it was seen swimming up and down the nearby coastline throughout the week.

‘‘It’s a great relief for everybody but we’re still going to maintain a higher rate of surveillance than we normally would,’’ Nobbys beach inspector Paul Bernard said.

City Council spokeswoman Dana Fischetti said Novocastrians hadn’t been too perturbed by the shark threat.

‘‘Really most people have just taken it in their stride,’’ Ms Fischetti said.

‘‘We haven’t had anyone call up about doing something about the shark.

‘‘People are pretty accepting that it’s their habitat, so when one comes along we just wait for it to go away.’’

So ubiquitous was the creature that a local jokester set up a Twitter account under the handle Newy—Shark. ‘‘Likes: Swimming, marine mammals. Hates: media demonising sharks,’’ it wrote.

Following a shark-free weekend in Newcastle, warnings were finally lifted at midday on Monday.

But eager swimmers were let down again, this time with stormy surf.

Nobbys and Stockton beaches were the only ones open on Monday while the city’s other four beaches stayed closed.

‘‘It’s a really horrible day, it’s not a beach day at all,’’ said Mr Bernard.

‘‘It’s a bit of a let down.’’

He said there were no swimmers before 3pm but expected a smattering of surfers to return once the waves were there.

‘‘There are waves but they’re the rough, blowy sort,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve seen them surf worse.’’

While the shark threat was gone, Mr Bernard said lifeguards were grateful the vast majority of the public had heeded their warning.

‘‘It had the desired effect, no one was bitten [but] we are still on a heightened awareness,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s been obvious that there’s been more than one shark, and we will keep up patrols even more than we usually would.’’ with AAP

Fishermen at Newcastle beach on Monday. Pic: Max Mason-Hubers

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TOPICS: Asian Cup seating makes no sense at all

WEIRD: It’s OK to sit on the grass at Hunter Stadium for some events, but not the Asian Cup.SAY you’re a mad soccer fan. And your country hosts the Asian Cup which, while not the World Cup, has you madly texting your mates.
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Suddenly the national team is set to play a massive game, a potential semi-final, in your home town of Newcastle. Mind blown, yeah? But then the Asian Football Confederation, the body presiding, decides the stadium’s grassy hills – a third of its capacity – are off limits because Asian football doesn’t do hills.

Soccer’s rivals – that is, every other sport – must be sore from high-fiving.

Putting temporary seating at the ends of Hunter Stadium (at considerable cost, on the grass, where thousands sit year round and watch soccer and league in baffling safety) might be all that can be done in the face of the AFC’s dumb rule. But it won’t be good enough. And this scenario, of Australia finishing second in a group containing South Korea and now on a collision course with Newcastle , was on the cards long before a ball was kicked.

Trimming a venue that holds 33,000 to 23,000 so you can say every spectator has a seat might make sense for the concrete bowls of Doha and Dubai. But with the whingers in Sydney already saying the semi – which could be Australia versus Japan or Iran – should move to the 83,000-capacity Stadium Australia in Homebush, why are we turning away thousands of fans again?

As Venues NSW chairman John Quayle told Fairfax, the loss of major sporting fixtures is a chronic problem as marquee games in the football codes move to bigger stadiums.

‘‘We are operating in a challenging environment where there is significant competition for content in both stadiums and entertainment centres,’’ says Quayle.

Indeed. It makes you wonder if the right people fought the AFC hard enough on this one, or if they even glanced at the draw. Hashtag: #fillthehills.

YOU might’ve seen a clip of two kids enjoying a chaotic outdoor feed to the strains of the Benny Hill Theme, but maybe you didn’t realise they were from Newcastle.

The video was shot by Tighes Hill dad Andrew McMahon and stars his daughter Charlotte, 4, and son William, 3, making a meal of eating a meal.

It has been shared around the web, popping up on AOL, Fox and the Huffington Post.

‘‘It was just something we shared with friends on Facebook that got looked at by a lot of people,’’ says Andrew, who got a laugh out of the clip with his wife Sarah.

‘‘I was actually cooking dinner and thought, ‘These kids are gonna be pains’, and I made a film of them and they were.’’

In the clip the siblings, who’ll surely get to see it on significant birthdays, make a mess of their dad’s culinary efforts and chase each other around the table. We reckon William is the main offender.

TABLE MANNERS: William and Charlotte’s antics have gone viral.

HELLO THERE: Politeness probably wouldn’t help either.

MOST of the feedback to the video shot by Tim Watson, of Belmont, of a shark circling his boat has focused on the language used by Tim and his friend Allan de Sylva.

Observed a Facebook user named Gurtbeef Henry McGuire, ‘‘It appears the key to deterring these creatures from an attack is to tell them to ‘get farked’.’’

But Topics can forgive a few rude words given the situation; we’ve uttered worse in the Westfield Kotara car park. And the lads’ best line was completely tame.

‘‘Can we go now?’’

​Email Tim [email protected]整形美容医院m.au or tweet @TimConnell or phone 4979 5944

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Mud larking in the Red Centre after unseasonal rains

Three-year-old Tommy Prow swims in the now filled Ilparpa Claypans Alice’s own “Lake District” behind the West MacDonnell Ranges on the outskirts of Alice Springs Photo: Glenn Campbell Tommy Prow swims in the now filled Ilparpa Claypans, currently Alice’s own “Lake District”. Photo: Glenn Campbell
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Tommy Prow swims in the now filled Ilparpa Claypans, currently Alice’s own “Lake District”. Photo: Glenn Campbell

Tommy Prow swims in the now filled Ilparpa Claypans, currently Alice’s own “Lake District”. Photo: Glenn Campbell

Unseasonal rains across central Australia are helping to fill Lake Eyre and are providing some unusual recreational activities for residents of Alice Springs.

Shelby Prow regularly takes her three-year-old son Tommy and their dog for exercise at wide clay pans about 10 minutes’ drive from the outback town.

Those pans have now become great mud baths after two low-pressure systems joined up a fortnight ago over inland Australia to dump three-quarters of Alice’s average annual rainfall in just four days.

“We were out there for two hours,” Ms Prow said of her son’s wallowing ways. “It’s still full.

“We get a sprinkle or two now and again, but heavy rain is pretty rare.”

Alice, too, is transformed, with grass sprouting everywhere. “It’s all green,” Ms Prow said.

Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, said the four-day rainfall total of 182 millimetres was the sixth-highest in 74 years of records at Alice Springs Airport, “suggesting that it’s a one in 10-15 year event at that location”.

Conditions, though, are unlikely to remain as lush. Forecasters predict a top of 42 degrees for Tuesday and mid- to high-30s without rain for the coming week.

The region is known for its extremes. In November, Alice Springs Airport reached 44.9 degrees, smashing records for the month by a couple of degrees and exceeding even December’s highest maximum.

With the airport located 546 metres above sea level, an equivalent temperature on the coast would have been 48 or 49 degrees, weather experts say.

Ms Prow said the November heat “was horrible”, and her family and dog made sure they stayed indoors.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Politicians, gay advocates want independent investigation into claims of police misconduct

Alan Rosendale and Paul Simes describe the 1989 incident. Photo: Daniel MunozErased from the records: investigation into bashing of gay many in 1989
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Momentum is building for an independent body with the power to investigate police misconduct, following revelations that eye-witness allegations of a police gay bashing have been wiped from official records.

But Police Minister Stuart Ayres has resisted the calls, saying the existing system is adequate.

As Fairfax Media reported on Monday, police say they have no details of an account by Paul Simes, who in 1989 claimed to have witnessed a group of men bashing another man near a gay beat at Moore Park.

Mr Simes says he recorded the registration plate of the perpetrators’ car and reported the incident to police, and was later told by a police gay liaison officer that the car was an unmarked police vehicle. Mr Simes says he was called in by senior police and gave an account of the incident. Police now say details of the meeting cannot be found.

In August 2013, after Fairfax Media reported Mr Simes’ recollection of the bashing, Alan Rosendale came forward to identify himself as the likely victim. Mr Rosendale believes police have done little to investigate the matter – a claim police deny.

Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, who is gay, said it was “greatly concerning” that records of Mr Simes’ allegations have been erased.

He said the incident reinforced  the need for an independent body to oversee police, investigate complaints and make binding recommendations, adding that claims of police misconduct were  often investigated internally.

“Police, like every government agency, should be held accountable,” he said.

NSW Labor’s police spokesman, Steve Whan, said police should be able to maintain and provide accurate records and “in this case it is reasonable to expect an explanation for the absence of records”.

Should suggestions that the alleged crime was not properly investigated be substantiated, “it would be reasonable to undertake a review”, he said, adding the government could consider establishing an independent authority to investigate such incidents.

ACON chief executive Nicolas Parkhill, whose organisation promotes the health of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, said the apparent loss of police records was a concern.

“This is a very serious allegation warranting a full and transparent police investigation, which we hope would result in any perpetrators being brought to justice,” he said.

Mr Parkhill said allegations of police misconduct, including those related to gay hate crimes “must be investigated by an independent, civilian-led organisation without institutional, cultural or political links” to police.

He added that a significant number of gay hate crimes dating back to the 1980s around Sydney beaches remained unsolved.

Police Minister Stuart Ayres said NSW Police had  a Professional Standards Command, and were  independently overseen by the Police Integrity Commission and the NSW Ombudsman, adding “representations can be made to these bodies at any time by members of the public”.

Mr Greenwich said the PIC mainly dealt  with matters of serious corruption, and the Ombudsman lacked  resources to conduct comprehensive investigations and did  not have the power to make binding recommendations.

Comment has been sought from NSW Police.  

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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