Bali nine: Tony Abbott won’t rule out withdrawing ambassador from Indonesia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he hopes evidence of genuine remorse from Myuran Sukumaran, pictured, and Andrew Chan might save their lives. Photo: Jason Childs Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he hopes evidence of genuine remorse from Myuran Sukumaran, pictured, and Andrew Chan might save their lives. Photo: Jason Childs
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he hopes evidence of genuine remorse from Myuran Sukumaran, pictured, and Andrew Chan might save their lives. Photo: Jason Childs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he hopes evidence of genuine remorse from Myuran Sukumaran, pictured, and Andrew Chan might save their lives. Photo: Jason Childs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has left open the possibility of Australia withdrawing its ambassador to Indonesia if the execution of Bali nine members Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan goes ahead.

Mr Abbott on Tuesday confirmed he had personally lobbied Indonesian President Joko Widodo on behalf of the pair, saying he hoped evidence of genuine remorse and rehabilitation from the men might still save their lives.

Over the weekend, Indonesia executed five foreigners and an Indonesian for drug crimes, prompting Brazil and the Netherlands to withdraw their ambassadors in protest at the executions of their citizens.

Mr Joko has rejected a clemency bid from Sukumaran, while his accomplice in the heroin smuggling ring, Chan, is awaiting the outcome of his bid. There are grave fears the pair could face a firing squad within months and Sukmaran’s lawyer is seeking another judicial review of his case.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that “at this point” it was necessary for Australian consular officials to remain in Indonesia to argue the case for the pair.

Asked if Australia’s ambassador could be recalled, Mr Abbott on Tuesday told WSFM radio in Sydney that “at the moment my job is to try to stop the executions going ahead and I don’t want to pre-empt what may or may not happen afterwards”.

“I think these two are well and truly reformed characters and I hope the Indonesians will accept that, acknowledge it, and act appropriately,” he said.

Australia did not believe in the death penalty at home or abroad, he said, and “if any Australians are subject to it we do what we can to avert that, but in the end, Indonesia, while it is a good and close friend of Australia, it is a sovereign country, they do have their own judicial system”.

“I hope that the evidence of genuine remorse, of genuine rehabilitation, means that even at this stage pleas for clemency might be accepted because in the end mercy has to be part of every justice system, including the Indonesian one,” he said.

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Asylum seekers claim mistreatment by PNG police following detention centre raids

A picture smuggled out by asylum seekers in jail on Manus Island. A picture smuggled out by asylum seekers in jail on Manus Island.
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A picture smuggled out by asylum seekers in jail on Manus Island.

A picture smuggled out by asylum seekers in jail on Manus Island.

Asylum seekers being detained in jail on Manus Island following raids in the detention centre on Monday have said they were mistreated  by the Papua New Guinea police, as security staff prepare to raid further compounds on Tuesday.

Staff on the island say there are 58 men being held in Lorengau prison on the island, while another 20 men are being detained “elsewhere” on the island after they were found to have “weapons, accelerant and petrol” in the compounds on Monday afternoon.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Tuesday morning that “PNG authorities” and Wilson security staff had entered the compound to “provide support” for those asylum seekers who were in need of medical assistance.

“We send a clear message, particularly those ring leaders on Manus at the moment, and over the course of the last few days that have been causing significant disruption, that those people will not be settled in our country and I have said that publicly before and I repeat it again today.”

A message sent by an asylum seeker detained in the jail contained claims the men in the Delta compound were “beaten like dogs” by PNG police and this was witnessed by Wilson security.

“1st they attacked in delta compound and beats us like dog and tied our hands back,” the asylum seeker said. “Take from our compound and put into [Chauka compound]. In front of Wilson PNG police beat and abuse us.”

Photos obtained by Fairfax Media shows at least 12 men sitting down in a room in the jail. Another photo seen by Fairfax Media shows a man’s face that is bruised.

On Tuesday morning, the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, told Sky News there was “a degree of force” used in ending the protest.

“There was a degree of force, if you like, that was used, and I think that’s appropriate, but there wasn’t, it didn’t escalate to a point where police had to present themselves and be in conflict with the people that are in the centre,” he said.

A statement from PNG immigration minister Rimbink Pato says civilian security staff restrained some “agitators” who tried to stop sick people being removed but there were no serious injuries.

A source on the island said a number of protesting ringleaders who continue to stage a hunger strike and chant for freedom would be removed from other compounds on Tuesday.

The stand-off between asylum seekers and security guards in the Delta compound in the centre on Manus Island came to a dramatic halt on Monday when Wilson guards stormed the compound.

Delta compound, which had been barricaded by asylum seekers who were refusing to eat or allow security guards inside, was forced open by the Emergency Response Team from Wilson Security carrying riot equipment.

It is believed that hunger strikes continue in three other Manus Island compounds – Foxtrot, Mike and Oscar.

The protests came after asylum seekers were told they would be resettle in Lorengau this week with minimal security. They claim they will be killed by locals if they are forced to live in the community.

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Woolworths shares facing headwinds, says Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley has cut its price target for the shares to $27, from $30 and reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock. Photo: Pat Scala Morgan Stanley has cut its price target for the shares to $27, from $30 and reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock. Photo: Pat Scala
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Morgan Stanley has cut its price target for the shares to $27, from $30 and reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock. Photo: Pat Scala

Morgan Stanley has cut its price target for the shares to $27, from $30 and reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock. Photo: Pat Scala

Woolworths

Woolworths

Woolworths

Morgan Stanley reckons Woolworths’ golden period of strong sales growth, M&A, margin expansion and capital management is coming to an end, putting more pressure on its shares.

The investment bank has outlined 10 headwinds Woolworths faces this year.

1. A slowing consumer cycle:  surveys indicate that Woolworths is viewed as more expensive than Coles, and during tough times consumers will also switch to the discounter Aldi.  Also, during a period of weaker economic acticity consumers are likely to cut discretionary spending, which affects Big W and Masters.

2. The ACCC fighting back: With the regulator winning its recent case against Coles – finding that it had breached consumer law in dealings with suppliers – Woolworths will likely need to tone down its claims from suppliers – at least until the dust settles.

3. New Zealand supermarkets facing greater competitive pressure: Woolworths’ like-for-like sales growth in NZ has turned negative and market share losses have expanded in recent years.

4. The Lowe’s put option over Masters: in August 2014, Woolworths announced that the opening date for the put (sell) option Lowe’s has over Masters will be deferred indefinitely. From October 2015, Lowe’s can provide Woolworths with notice that it intends to exercise the put option which can then be exercised 13 months later, valuing it at currently $1.2 billion, according to MS.

5. Taxation and higher lease costs in hotels: in Victoria, taxation rates on pokies were increased last June. Woolworths has indicated that the potential headwind from this change is likely to be on the order of $10-15 million on an annualised basis.

6. Product quality becoming an issue: Woolworths has now twice in the past six months been subject to recalls instigated by the ACCC. MS thinks this shows that it is pushing overly hard to achieve margins – by sourcing cheap product – at the expense of customer satisfaction, risking the shift of customers to other retailers.

7. Deleverage in Australian supermarkets: Supermarkets are a business with high fixed costs, given the huge investment in operating stores and distribution centres. So, during periods when volumes decline – as they did during the 1Q15 – efficiencies also decrease. MS reckons that the recent volume declines are likely to pressure Woolworths’ cost to sales ratio within Australian supermarkets..

8. A lower Australian dollar: The AUD has multiple impacts on Woolworths’ business. Some are positive (food inflation); others are negative (lower gross margins). On balance a lower AUD is seen as a headwind for Woolworths – the lower margin on directly sourced products is likely to offset any upturn in sales growth from higher imported food inflation.

9. Changes to the Caltex-Woolworths petrol JV:  in November, Woolworths and Caltex announced that 131 petrol stations branded Caltex/Woolworths would drop the Woolworths name, to be branded Caltex only. Consumers’ access to petrol stations offering the combination of petrol discounts with shopping at Woolworths has decreased.

10. Decreasing return on equity without a de-rating: MS expects that ROE will continue to decline as Woolworths continues to invest in categories in which it does not have a strong competitive advantage, as it does in supermarkets.

The growing headwinds have led Morgan Stanley to cut its price target for the shares to $27, from $30 and reiterate its ‘underweight’ rating on the stock, now with even greater conviction.

“Growth has slowed, yet the market isn’t pricing in the slower growth outlook,” analysts Thomas Kierath and Monique Rooney write in a note to clients released today. “Despite the pullback in the shares in recent months, we still view valuation as rich at FY15e price-earnings ratio of 15.3x.”

The analysts reckon margins in the key Australian Food and Liquor division are set to shrink.

“We think pressures are building on margins, including: slower like-for-like sales than cost growth, an over-reliance on gross margin expansion, greater competition from Coles and Aldi, and an increasing focus outside of the Australian food and liquor business.”

Morgan Stanley has cut its earnings per share forecasts for Woolworths by 2 per cent in financial year 2015 and 3 per cent in 2016 to reflect multiple pressures on earnings.

The supermarket giant will announce its first-half earnings on February 27, with the analysts tipping Woolies to report just 0.5 per cent growth in pre-tax profit.

Shares are down 0.5 per cent at $30.05 this morning.

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Sydney siege: ‘Terribly disappointing’ that hostages have sold their stories, says Jeff Kennett

Former Victorian Premier and Beyond Blue chairman, Jeff Kennett, has described the payment of Sydney siege hostage survivors as not ‘morally right’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Marcia Mikhael is rescued from the Lindt cafe in Martin Place in Sydney. She is reportedly receiving $400,000 for a media interview. Photo: Andrew Meares
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2UE: Kennett says paid interviews ‘ghoulish’

It is not “morally right” that Sydney siege victims will profit from the tragedy by selling their stories to the media, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett says, describing the payments as “plain grubby”.

However a victims advocate says the decision of hostages to publicise their ordeal, and receive payment, is a personal one and should be respected.

Mr Kennett, who is also the founder of Beyond Blue, an organisation that raises awareness of anxiety and depression, took to Twitter on Monday night to criticise reports that hostages have been paid large sums in exchange for their inside accounts of the Lindt café siege at Martin Place last month.

“Is it not sad [that] those involved in the Sydney siege, who’s [sic] lives were saved are now selling their stories for profit. Terribly disappointing,” Mr Kennett wrote.

“One survivor is alleged to [be] being paid $400,000. What for, being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. To be rescued by others who put their lives on the line. Give me a break!”

Mr Kennett said huge sums of money were spent ending the siege, and the hostages owed their lives to “the brave acts of others”.

“Many first responders put their lives at risk. Two innocent hostages lost their lives. I do not think it is morally right that the media pay, and [that] any of those who were saved should profit from the attack,” he said, describing the payments as “just plain grubby”.   2/3 issue. But payment? Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson lost their lives Many of hostages may be alive today because of Tori’s action 3/3 — Jeff Kennett (@jeff_kennett) January 19, 2015

News Corp has reported that siege survivor Marcia Mikhael has been signed by Channel Seven for $400,000, while John O’Brien will be paid $100,000. However, Fairfax Media understands the real amounts are substantially lower. A lawyer for Ms Mikhael declined to comment on Mr Kennett’s remarks, or the reported figure.

Meanwhile, Nine is rumoured to have signed four Lindt cafe workers – Fiona Ma, Harriette Denny, Joel Herat and Jarrod Morton Hoffman – for a combined $1 million, though Fairfax Media understands this figure may not be accurate.

Many Twitter users took exception to the comments.

User “dennis michael” said it was surprising that Mr Kennett had “no compassion [for the] victims of trauma. Real eye opener”. @jeff_kennett, if they’ll never work again due to PTSD/injuries, perhaps better to take $ from media companies rather than #auspol taxpayers — Kate Ashmor (@KateAshmor) January 19, 2015

Ramsay Yamak noted that emergency services workers involved in the siege “will only take home their yearly wage”.

Mr Kennett later told 2UE radio that the hostages had gone through a terrible ordeal, and it was important they talk about their experiences to aid their recovery.

But he said the hostages were likely to receive compensation and the payments were “ghoulish”.

“Ghoulish by the media, ghoulish by those who are either demanding or accepting payment. They have their lives. Yes, they have been through a traumatic circumstance, but some of them actually may be alive because of the actions of [fellow hostage and victim] Tori Johnson. Some of them may be alive because of the act of our police men and women,” Mr Kennett said.

“I think it is inappropriate, I think it is insensitive, I think it is wrong that the money was offered, I think it is wrong that the money is accepted.”

However victims of crime advocate Howard Brown said accepting payment was “a personal decision made by each individual hostage”.

“The fact that some of the hostages feel comfortable with selling their story doesn’t mean that all the hostages will feel comfortable selling their story … we have to respect each hostage’s rights to make a decision one way or the other,” he said.

“For some of these hostages, giving the interview will be a cathartic process for them.”

Mr Brown said while he appreciated Mr Kennett’s point, “he has never been a hostage; he cannot get inside their mind”.

A spokeswoman for Justice NSW, a government agency that runs a victims support service, says any decision to sell a story was “a personal matter for victims to decide”.

She said support for those directly affected by the Sydney siege has included free and unlimited trauma counselling, replacement of mobile phones and financial assistance to help their family members travel to Sydney.

Mr Kennett’s controversial remarks follow comments by NSW Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile, who last week said the male hostages who fled the siege did not deserve bravery awards.

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Undercover: news about books and publishing

Out of season: Neil Gaiman appears with FourPlay String Quartet at City Recital Hall on January 31.
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Guaranteed bestseller: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Out of season: Neil Gaiman appears with FourPlay String Quartet at City Recital Hall on January 31.

Guaranteed bestseller: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Out of season: Neil Gaiman appears with FourPlay String Quartet at City Recital Hall on January 31.

Guaranteed bestseller: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

PRE-FESTIVAL FESTIVAL

The program for Sydney Writers’ Festival (May 18-24) is taking shape with an exciting guestlist to be announced in March. Meanwhile, the festival starts early with some out-of-season musical literary events: singer Amanda Palmer at the Metro Theatre on Tuesday; Julia Donaldson, the best-selling children’s author of The Gruffalo, with her guitarist husband at Sydney Theatre, February 21; musician-songwriter-novelist John Darnielle at Carriageworks, February 25; prolific authorand Palmer’s husband, Neil Gaiman with FourPlay String Quartet at City Recital Hall, January 31. The festival has a new executive director, Jo Dyer, who brings business and artistic skills from her experience as a film producer, executive producer of the Sydney Theatre Company, general manager of Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Australian Festival for Young People.

GOODBYE TO THE GODFATHER

A memorial service will be held at 5pm on Monday at Sydney University’s Great Hall for Maurice Saxby, “the godfather of Australian children’s literature”. The much-awarded writer, teacher and advocate Saxby died in December aged 89. Children’s publisher Margaret Hamilton says at least 300 people are expected to celebrate his work and generous nature. Among the comments collected in a memory book is this from children’s laureate Jackie French: “Maurice turned me not just into a children’s writer, but with his kindness and insight, made me the one I am now. So much of the strength and diversity of Australian children’s literature is due to him…But his true legacy will last as long as stories are told to young people in Australia.” A Turkish author recalls a moving trip to Gallipoli with Saxby and his wife. And a teacher who was his student in the 1960s remembers that his all-female class was concerned he was single so presented him with one of the girls gift-wrapped. He politely declined – and later had two happy marriages.

THE ARTIST INSIDE

Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk about creativity and her hugely popular books from Eat Pray Love to The Signature of All Things will want Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which Bloomsbury will publish on September 22. She has a guaranteed bestseller in her “manifesto” about overcoming obstacles and being guided by curiosity, ideas that grew out of conversations with social media followers. A publicity video shows three women designing the exuberant cover by throwing pigments at paper. Gilbert has spoken endearingly about her own writing process in Sydney and will give another talk, How to Be Creative, at the All About Women Festival at Sydney Opera House on March 8.

BIOGRAPHIES IN PROGRESS

The shortlist for the 2015 Hazel Rowley Fellowship, named for the late biographer, gives a hint of the fascinating work being done by Australian writers. The $10,000 fellowship will be awarded at Adelaide Writers’ Week on March 4 to one of these finalists: Ann-Marie Priest, who is researching poet Gwen Harwood; Barry Divola – Australian band The Sunnyboys and singer-songwriter Jeremy Oxley; Biff Ward – memoir Vietnam, Mon Amour; Caroline Baum – life and letters of Lucie Dreyfus, wife of Alfred; Lyn Gallacher – Ruth and Peter Mann, owners of Melbourne record store Discurio; Naomi Parry – indigenous resistance leader Musquito; Patrick Allington – David Malouf’s writing; Ronnie Scott – Agatha Christie’s travels.

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East Directory

23/3a Farrell Avenue, Darlinghurst. 167 Macpherson Street, Bronte.
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167 Macpherson Street, Bronte.

23/3a Farrell Avenue, Darlinghurst.

23/3a Farrell Avenue, Darlinghurst.

23/3a Farrell Avenue, Darlinghurst.

BRONTE

167 Macpherson Street

$6 million +

Built 2002, renovated 2006

Land 373 square metres

Inspect Sat and Thu, 10,30am-11am

Agent Phillips Pantzer Donnelley, 0418 404 337

Last traded for $390,000 in 1991

Bronte houses median private treaty price $2,232,500

4 bed 3 bath 2 car

The panoramic, never-to-be-built-out views over Bronte Beach and the ocean have been captured from all three levels of this impressive home which sits at the end of a private road only 250 metres from the beach. With custom interiors by Erick Valls Design, a host of luxury inclusions awaits the new owner, from the chic reception foyer to the heated, resort-style pool. A Stone Italia kitchen comes with butler’s pantry and dumb waiter; there is an Ecosmart fireplace, a home gym, a beautiful wine cellar, a Sonos sound system, ducted airconditioning and a passenger lift to all levels.

Or this…

DARLINGHURST

23/3a Farrell Avenue

About $600,000

Built 1930s, renovated 2012

Size 58 square metres

Strata levy $608 a quarter

Inspect Sat and Thu, noon-12.30pm

Agent The Agency, 0418 243 093

Auction January 31

Last traded for $315,000 in 2009

Darlinghurst apartments median auction price $674,500

1 bed 1 bath 1 car

This unusual studio apartment sits at the back of a boutique Art Deco block within walking distance of Kings Cross station, Victoria Street cafes and bars and the CBD. Comprising a 22-square-metre garage, accessed via Farrell Avenue, with a studio overhead and pedestrian access via Clapton Place, the property has a kitchen nook and a combined bedroom/living room with a corner wardrobe and timber floors. The studio is rented for $412 a week and the garage is casually leased at $170 a week. Live in as is or reinvent this unique space.

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Design tips and tricks to create the illusion of space

Create the illusion of space outside Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.
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Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

Mix and match tiles and timbers, and add some smart decor items to create the ideal outdoor living room that will appear inviting and spacious. Photo: Supplied.

TweetFacebookCarve out patterns in your backyard that are both beautiful and practical by using natural stone and filling in empty space with low maintenance plants, pebbles or rocks and seating that doubles as storage.

Rachel Gilding, designer

Giving consideration to the direction of laying the tile will also enhance the living space, she says.

“Using long rectangular tiles in a space with a shallow back garden can extend your space visually. Similarly a narrow block can be widened using the rectangles across the block,” Rachel says. Good tile suppliers should offer buyers unique tile sizes to suit unusual or tight spaces, she says.. A 810mmx406mm travertine stone tile and 800mmx400mm granite and bluestone tile are among Beaumont’s most popular for smaller spaces.

“This is one of the reasons large format natural stone tiles are a growing trend. (They come) in a range of colours and finishes because, while everyone’s property footprint is unique, we all want to feel they’re bigger.”

Layering of decor is the next step to creating a luxurious feel. A global trend is using materials that remind people of the natural world such as stone, wood or marble flooring, Rachel says. “Tiles that imitate natural materials, such as our wood-look tiles, are really popular right now for creating a seamless indoor-outdoor room. Accessorise with pop-coloured pot plants, mosaic wall art or even a water feature.”

When decorating, take a minimalist approach, which will make it easier to maintain and clean the space. Think large feature statement for pots or lounges. Low-line units will again create the illusion of space by receding into the flooring and making the area appear bigger. If you choose to install a pergola or verandah, make sure you maximise natural light.

“With such busy lifestyles, landscaping your outdoor area will make it easy to look after. Carve out patterns in your backyard that are both beautiful and practical by using natural stone and filling in empty space with low maintenance plants, pebbles or rocks and seating that doubles as storage,” she says. Adding functional luxuries such as a fireplace or fire pit can increase the value of a property and make it useful year round.

READ:Tips to clean timber decking and pavers

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Meet the boss: Physio chief Cris Massis

Leading role: The head of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Cris Massis, says the DNA of any association is challenging.
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Leading role: The head of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Cris Massis, says the DNA of any association is challenging.

Leading role: The head of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Cris Massis, says the DNA of any association is challenging.

Chances are, regardless of the profession, be it accountancy or yoga teaching, there’s a professional association whose role it is to take on the bigger issues.

For the head of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Cris Massis, the DNA of any association is challenging.

“In essence, every technically member is your boss. We need to be very consultative.

We’re a broad church so you’re not always going to do things that satisfy all your stakeholders, but you need to spend a lot of time pounding the pavement having conversations with committees, stakeholders and others,” he says.

For Massis, he has enlarged the church’ significantly, with membership up nearly 40 per cent in his four-year tenure. Now, his role is to find the common thread that keeps over 16,000 physiotherapists engaged.

“It’s about landing on … something that anchors the whole profession. Whether that’s a member benefit or something that helps them be a better professional, or lobbying … on their behalf. Our members tell us we need to do more in promoting the benefits of physiotherapy to the community, so that’s our mandate,” he says.

Massis’s background is not in health, but originally, sport. His first jobs were in marketing and promotion at Calder Park raceway then St Kilda football club, before moving up the ranks at the CPA accounting body.

“This was my first formal CEO role. The board gave me an opportunity. That was a critical decision — do they go with the skill set they were looking for, or do they go with a physio who may not have the full management skill set? Thankfully, they gave me the opportunity.” Part of his success to date is not taking the membership (or it’s $14 million turnover) for granted.

“My view is that the command control days are dying — or dead. It’s important to empower others, [including those] on the front line, to come up with innovations. They are the ones who know the pain points.” He also knows that, despite his success to date, for any association, it’s important not to take the membership for granted.

“No one is a member for life anymore, that notion is gone.”

CURRICULUM VITAE

Name: Cris Massis

Current position: CEO, Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Responsibilities: Management of board of directors and 65 staff in five offices across Australia.

Education: · Bachelor applied science,  graduate diploma in sports business, master of business administration.

Additional training/courses: Company directors course (AICD).

Professional associations: Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Strength: I’m approachable and collaborative by nature. You need to be in this sort of setting.

Weakness: I’m a bit of a softie. I’m very flexible — that’s not all bad news.

Management style and tips: My aim is [that] if I got hit by a bus the whole business can run as normal.

Work motto: My whole career is about creating an environment where people leave a better person than when they arrived — [whether that’s by] learning some skills or making some friends.

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Newcastle set for week of rain

Get ready for a week of rain. Picture: Jonathan Carroll After a spell of stunning sunshine across the Hunter, rain dominates the forecast for almost an entire week ahead of Australia Day.
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The beaches have finally been reopenedbut they will hold little appeal as strong winds and persistent showers ensurethe swimmers remain firmly tucked away.

Heavy rainfall will continue throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, with the temperature hitting24 degrees on both days.

Although the mercury will rise later in the week, with Thursday and Friday temperatures as high as 27 degrees, some showers are predicted toremain.

Friday offers the best chance of a gap in the clouds.

While it hasa medium chance of showers, any rain is expected to fall in the evening.

Thunderstorms mayloom on the radar as the rain settles in late in the week, with late storms also expected on Saturday and Sunday.

The temperature will get as high as 28 on Sunday, but an afternoon change will bring back the rain.

It’s no better news for Australia Day itself, with a high chance of showers and strong winds expected to sendfestivities indoors on Monday.

Surfers should expect an average of 2-3 foot (0.6 to 1 metre) waves from a north-eastern swell for the most of the working week, with waves expected to improve closer to the weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports that Newcastle has received 67millimetres of rain since Sunday, with 38millimetres falling early on Tuesday morning.

Elsewhere, Scone Airport had 26.6millimetres,Maitland 45 millimetres, Cessnock 46 millimetresand Coorabong 50.4 millimetresof rainfall on Tuesday.

The Hunter has escaped the worst of the deluge, with extensive flooding forcing the closure of Forster Library, which will remain closed until January 27.

Forecast –

Tuesday -Partly cloudy. High (80%) chance of showers. Possible early morning thunderstorm. Winds east to northeasterly 25 to 35 km/h.

Wednesday – Cloudy. High (80%) chance of rain. The chance of a thunderstorm. Winds northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h increasing to 25 to 35 km/h in the afternoon

Thursday -Partly cloudy. High (70%) chance of showers, most likely in the morning and afternoon. Winds northeasterly 25 to 35 km/h.

Friday -Partly cloudy. Medium (40%) chance of showers, most likely in the evening. The chance of a thunderstorm. Light winds.

Saturday -Partly cloudy. Medium (50%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm. Winds northeasterly 15 to 20 km/h becoming light during the morning then becoming easterly 15 to 20 km/h during the day.

Sunday -Partly cloudy. Medium (60%) chance of showers, most likely later in the day. The chance of a thunderstorm later in the day. Light winds.

Monday -Partly cloudy. High (70%) chance of showers. Winds southwesterly 15 to 25 km/h tending southerly 25 to 35 km/h during the morning.

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Survival condos in missile silos in demand in the United States

Front door: The armoured entry to the underground Survival Condo Project in Kansas. Front door: The armoured entry to the underground Survival Condo Project in Kansas.
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Front door: The armoured entry to the underground Survival Condo Project in Kansas.

Front door: The armoured entry to the underground Survival Condo Project in Kansas.

You could hardly call it a real estate rush on panic rooms, bomb shelters or bunkers, but there is a growing market for survival silos in the land of the brave.

These modern-day bomb-shelters-on-steroids are growing in popularity in the United States.

Denver-based developer Larry Hall is catering to the market. He is buying former nuclear missile sites on the lonely plains of Kansas and Texas and developing underground apartment complexes. More astonishing, they are selling.

The first development, known as the Survival Condo Project, has sold out. Buyers forked out between $US1.5 million and $US3 million ($1.8 million and $3.65 million) for apartments that come with fake sunlight and video screens mimicking windows that frame a choice of outlooks.

The 15-level subterranean building houses up to 75 people.

Somehow, it also has a penthouse.

The complex includes a spa, dog park, fitness centre including a pool, hydroponic gardens, a library, classroom and medical facilities.

Enough food has been stocked to feed the occupants for five years. Armoured vehicles transport residents to and from the nearest airport.

And in New Mexico, not far from the Albuquerque setting of Breaking Bad’s desert meth labs, a real estate agent has listed a barren 10-hectare plot of land with “lots of potential”, referring to its underground oasis.

As far as survival silos go, this is a renovator’s delight. Smack-bang in the middle of the post-apocalyptic landscape stands a portico and green door with kilometres of nothing behind. Inside, a stairwell leads down to the former home of a Cold War Atlas-F missile.

The decommissioned site descends 10 levels and is capable of withstanding a nuclear blast.

Despite some potential buyers balking at paying $360,000 for a hole in the ground, a sale is pending.

Australians seem to lack a doomsday outlook. Few properties are marketed with the boast of a bomb shelter in the garden, but when they do come up, the public takes note.

Buyers swarmed through this Greenwich house when it was up for sale in 2013, but their interest lay more in the potential of the 1950s house than it’s garden bunker. Perhaps the new owners use it to shelter Fido on fireworks nights.

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