‘I didn’t tell them that I was pregnant’: Call to scrap maternity loophole

A legal exemption that allows employers to refuse to hire someone who knew they were pregnant when they applied for the job is being targeted for abolition.
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Two subsections in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 allow employers to dismiss women who knew they were pregnant when they applied for a job.

NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for the status of women, Mehreen Faruqi, will introduce a new bill to Parliament to repeal the sections.

“It’s time for NSW to come into step with all other state and federal laws on sex discrimination and remove these exemptions that protect employers who have been discriminatory towards pregnant women,” Dr Faruqi said.

“We know pregnancy discrimination at work is still a huge problem in and many women suffer in silence.

“The fact that NSW has these exceptions means that they are turned away from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Commission which is unacceptable. We urgently need to change this law to protect pregnant women from discrimination.”

A woman who made a complaint to Dr Faruqi’s office but did not want her name published told Fairfax Media she was pregnant when she recently applied for a communications strategy job.

She did three face-to-face interviews and submitted essays and examples of her work before being offered a job when she was about 4?? months pregnant.

“I didn’t hide my pregnancy, but I didn’t tell them that I was pregnant,” she said.

After being hired the woman called the CEO of the company and told him she was pregnant “as a courtesy” and said she would need four months of maternity leave.

“Then I could jump back into it. We were launching a product, but the launch would have been happening in June and I would have been on maternity leave from September.”

The CEO then offered to put her on a temporary four-month contract instead of the full-time job she had been offered.

Within days after starting work she was dismissed on the basis that she lived 45 minutes away from the office.

After the woman tried to lodge a complaint about the employer, she was told exemptions under the Anti-Discrimination Act applied.

Subsections 25 (1A) and 25 (2A) of the act have exemptions that allow an employer to refuse to hire or to fire an employee who was pregnant at the time of applying for the job, at the time of interview or at the time of hiring. There is an exception for a woman who did not know and could not reasonably be expected to have known that she was pregnant.

“It makes no sense to me. I’m the one being discriminated against,” the woman said.

Dr Faruqi said the NSW Law Reform Commission reviewed the Anti-Discrimination Act in 2009 and proposed a draft bill that removed the exemptions and included pregnancy protections. However, this recommendation had not been adopted.

“We know we still live in a society where too many people think pregnancy and motherhood are incompatible with work,” she said.

“On top of this, we have these laws that protect employers who discriminate against pregnant women, when we should be making it easier for women to overcome discrimination wherever and whenever it happens.

“It is unacceptable that these discriminatory laws have been left unchanged after several reviews have recommended otherwise.”

Belinda Smith, associate professor of law at the University of Sydney and an expert on sex discrimination laws, said NSW was lagging behind federal and other state legislation in addressing pregnancy.

“While we may appreciate that some employers are disheartened to hear that a relatively new employee is pregnant, the fact that someone is pregnant when they are being recruited or hired should not allow discrimination,” she said. “[O]ther acts provide for suitable tailored exceptions rather than this carte blanche one.

Dr Smith said the recent n Human Rights Commission inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination had revealed that even after decades of anti-discrimination laws, pregnancy and maternity discrimination is still “remarkably pervasive”.

She said the NSW protections were limited by not having pregnancy as a separate ground or attribute. Pregnancy had been provided for as a characteristic pertaining generally to women which meant it effectively only provided for direct not indirect discrimination.

“To allow the defence provided for in these sections significantly waters down an already limited protection,” she said.

“Some women would be able to pursue protection under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984, but this does not apply to state public servants (who only have the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act available), and entails much greater litigation risks (because for hearings of federal discrimination matters in court, the default costs rule applies, which means the loser pays all).

“In any event, that some women have some protections under federal law is not a good reason for NSW to have such backward and limited state protections.”

Fairfax Media on Tuesday reported a case involving an employer who had made an employee redundant two days before she was due to start maternity leave. This was found to be unlawful because of its timing.

Aphotic takes aim at Newcastle CBD coffee market

Aphotic: Baristas Bell Montgomery and Anthony Ferris with co-owner Melissa Askew. Picture Simone De PeakAphotic, 266 King Street, Newcastle (ground floor), Mon-Fri: 6:30am-2pm.
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If there are any caffeine fanatics in Newcastle who still haven’t had their heart rates sent into the stratosphere by a Suspension coffee then you are fast running out of excuses.

Forget for a moment that in this café family the eldest sibling in Islington pumps out a near metric tonne of high octane fuel seven days a week.

Or even that the younger and better behaved Good Brother has held up the eyelids of the office workers in the inner city for many a year by now.

You can savour their best blends in Carrington and, as if you needed any other reason to visit The Edwards in Newcastle West, the Suspension stuff flows night and day out of their machine as well.

Just this week yet another Suspension fuelling station has been added to the network. You might notice that this one looks and sounds a little different from the others.

If the older siblings have been a little loud, rough and ready then Aphotic at 266 King Street, Newcastle is definitely the most clean cut of the bunch.

You are unlikely to find any dirt under the nails in here. The clientele wear shirts and ties. The music is down to a respectable volume. This place means business.

When owners Graham and Mel Hardes decided to open up a café on the ground floor of one of the busiest office buildings in Newcastle they knew exactly where to turn for their supply.

Literally hundreds of sleep deprived employees would pass by this coffee window every morning. Graham and Mel almost felt that a responsibility had been bestowed upon them.

This workers above them were going to need endless cups of coffee. Expertly prepared, super humanly strong and freshly roasted ones. They would need something created by Suspension.

Your first taste of this coffee will remind you of all the flavours that are familiar to one of their outstanding medium roasts.

It has subtle acidities but is full of richness and bold, full bodied flavours – Guatemalan, Tanzanian and the famous well roundedness of the Papua New Guinean Kongi Gold.

Yet something is noticeably different. It is take-away coffee but not as you know it.

Amidst the everyday beiges of the flourescent office foyer, the interior of this realm is a black and cobalt blue. This is the Aphotic zone. The deepest, bottom floor portion of the ocean that is least affected by sunlight.

These baristas work like they have been surviving on something else as well. Fast, efficient and focused only on the coffee order at hand. A brand new perk for working in an office.

Maguire clone Seibold to land Rabbitohs gig

He’s almost cloned Michael Maguire’s career development and Rabbitohs assistant Anthony Seibold will be announced as the South Sydney coach’s replacement on Thursday.
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The softly-spoken Seibold, who has quietly cultivated a coaching resume away from the harsh glare of the NRL head coaching spotlight, is set to rise to the helm of the proudest club in the league after Maguire’s Redfern exit was confirmed on Tuesday.

Seibold, 42, was shortlisted for the vacant Titans coaching job, but Rabbitohs officials have moved swiftly to lock up the highly regarded Queensland State of Origin assistant to lead South Sydney’s resurgence.

Rabbitohs officials will unveil Seibold at a scheduled press conference on Thursday morning.

The similarities between former teammates Maguire and Seibold are uncanny, the pair both serving apprenticeships under Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm.

They were teammates at Canberra in 1998 during Seibold’s only season in the NRL.

But the little-known Seibold, who served as Trent Barrett’s understudy at Manly last year before joining the Rabbitohs and was hand picked by Kevin Walters to be a Maroons assistant for the last two years, is said to vary greatly in his methods from the famous disciplinarian in Maguire.

“I think he is really good to be honest,” Queensland Origin star Darius Boyd said. “He knows a lot about his footy and gets along well with the players.

“We’ve had him at Origin for two years now and I have been really impressed with what he has done.

“It’s easier when you are an assistant, I don’t know what he is like as a full- time coach but around the blokes at Origin he is quiet but gets through what he needs to say and gets his point across.”

The future of Maguire, who was said to be caught off guard by the Rabbitohs’ decision to cut him loose, doesn’t appear as bright in the immediate future despite interest from English Super League club Warrington.

It’s understood the Titans are reluctant to pursue a coach who employs the similar hard nosed methods of ex-boss Neil Henry, meaning Maguire could be forced to bide his time if he decided to remain in .

But with a resume which is highlighted by being South Sydney’s drought breaker, opportunities are sure to present themselves.

Seibold’s career path might mirror one of the most unlikely elevations to NRL head coaching having completed a Bachelor of Teaching after his retirement from playing.

He has previously spoken about his tertiary qualifications and passion for teaching as a great grounding for rugby league, perhaps not too different to one of the most successful coaches in the modern NRL era in under fire Bulldogs clipboard carrier Des Hasler.

The Rabbitohs have never hidden their desire to promote coaches from within their own system and Seibold, who is set to be guided by current South Sydney assistant David Furner, fits the bill.

The central Queensland-raised Seibold will welcome back a fit-again Greg Inglis next year while the Rabbitohs’ capture of Knights star Dane Gagai has filled their fans with hope they can return to the finals after two years outside the top eight.

The support for Maguire from ex-players continued on Wednesday with Eels’ centre Kirisome Auva’a hailing the coach’s influence on his career.

“He was a really good mentor and a father figure given I was an interstate boy moving to Souths from the Storm,” Auva’a said. “He being there, he looked after me off field and obviously on the field as well. It’s sad to see him leave, he’s obviously done good for the club.”

Through the cracks: The story of a little girl lost in Mandurah

The Mandurah Mail writes many stories about the achievements of remarkable young people, but this one is not like the others.
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The law means we can’t show you a photo of this particular 13-year-old’sbrilliant, hopeful smile or even use her real name.

We can’t tell you where she’s from or the complete story of the violence and abuse she has suffered at the hands of relatives.

But what we can tell you about Danni –this is not her real name–is both terrifying and inspiring.

For the past three weeks she has been staying in Mandurah after two months ago being thrown out of her home in Perth where she lived with her guardian.

In the middle of a cold July nightDanni was told to get out of the house with only the clothes on her back.

She waited outside a friend’s house until the morning, then –unlike so many homeless young people –went to school.

Withouttelling her teachers she didn’t have a place to sleep –because she was afraid –she borrowed a uniform and a school bag and went to class as though nothing was wrong.

For the following six weeksshe managed to eat at friends’ houses and arrange “sleep-overs”, only occasionally going hungry or sleeping in backyards.

But three weeks ago, she met a Mandurah mum who learnt about Danni’s circumstances and decided enough was enough.

Since then, Jennifer –again, not her real name – has worked overtime to get the authorities to take some kind of responsibility for Danni.

“She was taking herself to school,” Jennifer said.

“She’d been couch hopping for over a month and a half, and her family didn’t even wonder where she was, they weren’t even looking for her.

“When Danni told me what was going on, I said, ‘This is bulls**t’.”

She said she immediately rang Danni’s school in Perth and contacted the Department of Child Protection, but has felt she has been knocking her head against the wall, with phone calls unreturned and non-profits unable to assist.

Jennifer said she felt as though no-one was prepared to help.

“This is what I don’t get,” she said.

“These mums who were looking after her for a day or two or whatever, what are you thinking?”

Danni had spent most of her life moving from foster home to foster home, struggling to make friends and shifting schools regularly.

Jennifer was furious our community could let a 13-year-old girl live on the streets without a home while having the determination and self-discipline to take herself to school.

“You know what really p****s me off?” she said.

“But there has to be some means of government assistance in advising a young girl. Why hasn’t she been contacted once throughout this whole process?

“There is a breakdown in this stupid bureaucratic system and I can’t believe I’m only learning about it this way because I know there must be hundreds of kids out there that are doing this, and the government is just fobbing you off.”

She said the irony was that Danni would need her guardian’s permission to enrol in a new school in Mandurah, but that her guardian wanted nothing to do with her.

But Jennifer said she was inspired by the 13-year-old who she said would be in her life forever, come what may.

“You know what? She’s done it all on her own. The tenacity,” Jennifer said.

“She’s so brave and I’m so happy and I knew when I met her she was a good kid.

“She’s been reading books since she’s been here, she’s dug out homework from the old school.

“All she wants to do is go to school.”

Help is available by calling the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or by going to kidshelpline苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Facts and figuresThe latest statistics collected in Western revealed there were more than 5000 children under the age of 14 who accessed specialist homeless services in 2013-14.In 2016, a government report revealed 28 per cent of people accessing specialist homeless services were under the age of 18 and 18 per cent under 10-years-old.

How tax planning distorts the property market

20110528. BRW. Torquay. Generic Real Estate. Property, for sale, sold, housing, growth, development, housing market, greater melbourne, home, residential, real estate, home buyer, rent, lease, land, interest rates, building.Photograph by Arsineh Houspian. +(61) 401 320 173. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘Far from encouraging efficient use of the housing stock and improving housing affordability, proposals to increase the capital gains tax payable on the sale of investment properties could well add to current housing problems. A concerned reader highlighted this point arguing that even today’s CGT levied on 50 per cent of the gain was deterring sales of his several inner-city properties.
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The large appreciation in their values because of inflation and their location means that selling these properties would generate a tax bill of slightly less than 20 per cent of their current value. Even if the property market weakens as expected, the fall in their values is unlikely to be as large as this.

CGT is payable only when a property is sold and by bequeathing them to resident heirs, the tax liability can be further postponed until their ultimate sale.

While not all investment property owners have been so fortunate in accruing such large gains, even smaller percentage gains can be subject to high tax rates for several reasons. The main one is that the applicable tax rate is calculated at marginal rates that increase as the owner’s other taxable income rises.

Also, unlike shares or other managed products that can be sold in small parcels over a number of tax years, selling a property will result in a bulky gain taxed in the one tax year. This increases the likelihood that the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate applicable to the gain will be high.

Recognising this fact, several overseas governments levy their CGT at a flat rate not dependent on the owner’s other taxable income. Clearly, the higher the CGT liability is, the greater the deterrent to realising the gain, especially when transfer in kind at death can further postpone the liability.

It’s most unlikely that a future government would be prepared to reduce the CGT payable on investment properties and property investors could even face higher tax rates. Therefore, new investors need to pay attention to ownership structures when purchasing properties.

For example, the negative gearing tax benefits increase the attractions of making the purchase in the name of a high marginal rate taxpayer. But this decision is also likely to increase future capital tax bills if, as is usual, the objective is to make a large capital gain. For properties likely to appreciate substantially over a relatively short period, ownership by a low-income taxpayer, discretionary trust or super fund can be a more attractive option.

Ownership structure decisions will be even more important if CGT rates are increased further, especially because capital appreciation is such a large component of the returns available from property ownership.

Daryl Dixon is the executive chairman of Dixon Advisory. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

[email protected]: ASX set to open higher as Wall St steadies

The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the n Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, , on Friday, July 24, 2015. The n dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.
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Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the n Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, , on Friday, July 24, 2015. The n dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

Risk trends across the global financial spectrum stabilised this past session, but it didn’t pace much in the way of significant recovery. That is somewhat surprising considering the US government seems to have bought reprieve from the next debt crisis bearing down on the country. Yet, despite the encouraging news, US equity indexes showed little progress beyond the initial gap higher won through the Wednesday open. Meanwhile, the onus of North Korea tension and a mixed backdrop of global monetary policy – normalisation that exposes increased risk taking versus a scramble back to the extreme end of the curve to suggest a troubled future – are still rolling around in investors’ minds.

1. Wall Street: Most of the action for US equities was seen on the open – meaning it was more a reflection of the bounce in sentiment registered in European hours rather than significant course correction into the New York hours. Through the end of the session, the S&P 500 closed up 0.4 per cent (2,467), the Dow 0.25 per cent (21,808) and Nasdaq 0.3 per cent (6,393). That was performance generally in line with the outcome for Euro Stoxx 50 Index. For volume, the day’s turnover was still elevated from the previous three week’s average; supporting the seasonal shift that is often attached to the the August to September transition. Furthermore, the VIX remains at 11.7. A higher resting rate for implied volatility likely speaks more to market activity and opportunity for traders than fear and risk to investors. This popular volatility measure is still well below the past three-year average of 15.

2. US debt ceiling relief but North Korea risks linger: The most surprising news through this past US session was President Donald Trump’s unexpected support of the Democratic Party’s proposal to fund the government and increase the country’s debt limit by three months. That effectively disarms the impending threat of a third debt ceiling standoff in the US in six years. Back in 2011 and 2013, the brinkmanship drew the country right to the edge of a financial cliff that threatened to through global markets into a crisis as the world’s preferred ‘risk free’ assets (Treasuries) were cast deep in shadow. The first standoff earned the US a cut to its sovereign credit rating from Standard & Poor’s which maintains a serious blemish to the country’s pristine safe haven status. It was remarkable that there was not more of a rebound in risk assets following this news. Perhaps there are concerns that GOP republicans would not support the initiative or maybe the concern truly rests with the unresolved North Korea escalations. Yet, it is just as likely that we are seeing that complacency – which has been the primary feature of the financial landscape – can curb risk taking as readily as fear at this stage.

3. n dollar: While the Aussie Dollar registered some significant movement against the New Zealand Dollar (gains) and Canadian Dollar (losses), this progress was almost exclusively the reflection of more motivated counterparts. From the most liquid pairings – AUD/USD, EUR/AUD and GBP/AUD – there was virtually no change on the day. The robust 0.8 percent 2Q GDP reading from yesterday’s session that was also slightly cooler than economists’ consensus seemed to hold little lasting influence.

4. ASX: The ASX200 is due a strong open Thursday with the general stability from the previous US shares session carrying over. Wednesday, the best performing sectors were energy and industrial with the worst showing from financials. Looking at the S&P 500’s breakdown, energy offered a significant acceleration of performance with a 1.6 percent climb while financials were green to the tune of 0.2 percent.

5. Surprise bank of Canada hike: The Bank of Canada surprised the market’s Wednesday when Governor Poloz and crew announced another 25 basis point hike to the benchmark rate that brings the Loonie’s yield to a competitive 1.00 percent. This was not completely unexpected as the group moved at its meeting in July and the market afforded a 44 percent probability of a subsequent move according to overnight swaps. That said, the audacious pace compared to a far more constrained Fed and other global peers who are not comfortable with even discussing normalisation makes the Canadian Dollar look even more stately as a carry currency. The response was remarkable with USD/CAD dropping over 2 percent immediately following the news. The currency posted gains against all of its major counterparts, but some of the drive eased back through the remainder of the session. At this point, the Loonie is the only traditional, liquid carry currency that is raising rates and it is now moving at a faster pace than the Fed. The premium this affords the currency is significant, but how much reach this affords depends on how aggressively the market is reaching for yield.

6. ECB moves to deflate expectations: With the Bank of Canada and Reserve Bank of policy decisions setting the extremes for how market moving such events can be (the former extremely, the latter not at all), the European Central Bank seems to be interested in following the RBA’s lead. The Eurozone policy authority once again used its unofficial channels to guide market expectations. Last week, unnamed officials ‘familiar’ with the situation suggested more voting members were concerned with the climb from the Euro. This past session, a similiarly described source let leak to Bloomberg that a plan to reduce its balance sheet would not be reached before October. It is highly unlikely that these are rogue leaks from staff. Rather, this is almost certainly an effort of forward guidance to help shape market reactions without having to put the bank’s credibility on the line if it fails in the endeavor. Watch for the ECB decision later today as this is arguably the developed world’s most dovish effort.

7. Commodities: Softs saw robust performance through this past session with particularly strong showing in sugar and corn. Closer to home wheat and live cattle prices however were more restrained in performance. It is the energy complex that holds he most promise for Thursday’s session. Crude oil prices climbed another 1 percent which has shown some spill over to natural gas and coal. For metals, ore, gold and aluminium had descending performance from 0.6 per cent gain down to a 1.1 per cent loss.

8. Market Watch:

SPI futures up 17 points or 0.3% to 5691

AUD +0.05 per cent to 0.8000 US cents

On Wall St, Dow +0.41 per cent, S&P 500 +0.42 per cent, Nasdaq +0.39 per cent

In New York, BHP +1.11 per cent, Rio +0.68 per cent

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +0.38 per cent, FTSE -0.25 per cent, CAC +0.29 per cent, DAX +0.75 per cent

Spot gold -0.51 per cent at US$1332.81 an ounce

Brent crude +1.31 per cent to US$54.07 a barrel

Iron ore +0.59 per cent to US$86.847 a tonne

Dalian iron ore at 554.0 yuan

LME aluminium (cash) -1.19 per cent to $US2072.25 a tonne

LME copper (cash) -0.25 per cent to US$6869.50 a tonne

10-year bond yield: US 2.11 per cent, Germany 0.35 per cent, 2.60 per cent

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

Minister Christopher Pyne corrected for his cattle breed mistake

Christopher Pyne posted this image on his Facebook page with the caption: At the Royal Adelaide Show hanging out with the Santa Gertrudis!
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WITH so many new breeds in the beef industry today, sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish them.

But when you’re a minister of the Commonwealth, at the Royal Adelaide Show, you really have to get it right.

For those in the know, telling a Speckle Park and Santa Gertrudis apart is a straight-forward business.

But if you’re not a quick check before a social media post is probably a good idea..

And for that, Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, who has come under firefor his breed misidentification.

While visiting the Royal Adelaide Show, Minister Pyne posted a picture on Facebook standing beside a Speckle Park animal only to caption it “hanging out with the Santa Gertrudis”.

Mr Pyne was quickly corrected in the comments by Facebook users who weren’t afraid to add in their own humor to their responses.

Sherilyn Birch said in her comment,“Before Ipass judgement on these santas, Iwould like to acknowledge the idiot presenting himself as a cattlemen in front of Speckle Parkcattle. I have place(d) this individual in last place based completely on his poor stature, feminine head, lack of depth and inability to step out properly. He lacks presence and Iam doubtful of his reliability in seasons to come. Thank you.”

O’Hara Lowlines said, “Perhaps young Christopher Pyne could recommend a NAPLAN test for politicians. On the other hand, this is a specsavers moment if ever I have seen it.”

It is understood Mr Pyne knew he wasn’t standing in front of Santa Gertrudis cattle but had just finished looking at them before posing for a photo.

Mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence, is genius. Or crap

“Holy. Crap.” That’s the two-word review someone, somewhere, will surely give Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival on Tuesday after months of utter secrecy. This is a film so out there, so bold, so borderline insane that it practically begs the haters to hate.
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From the acclaimed director of Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream and Noah, Mother! is a mad, sprawling, wildly ambitious piece of work that is one long metaphor for ??? well, a whole bunch of things, including creativity, celebrity culture, religious mania, environmental degradation, the rise and fall of civilisation and, of course, motherhood. That the director and the star are romantically involved adds to the complexity, but explains none of it.

Is it holy? In parts, absolutely. Is it crap? I’m not so sure, though plenty of people will say so.

There have been reports already of raves and boos in Venice. That’s par for the course at the big international festivals – if there isn’t at least one film from a big-name auteur dividing audiences like that, it’s considered a dud year.

The first reviews have been similarly mixed. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman called it “a movie that’s about everything and nothing”. The Playlist called it “Aronofsky’s most bombastic, ludicrous and fabulous film”. In Vanity Fair, Guy Lodge said it was a “pained, deranged provocation” that makes “Black Swan look like an episode of Murder, She Wrote” before confessing “the longer I sit with Mother!, the more moved I am by its madness”.

It’s that kind of movie – even those who respond to it will struggle to find words to say exactly why they do so. Unless they hate it, in which case it’s easy. Holy. Crap.

I saw it in Melbourne at roughly the same time it was being unveiled in Venice. I had to sign a form at midday in which I pledged not to write anything about it – not even a tweet – until the embargo was lifted. At 5pm that day.

On the way into the cinema, that struck me as laughably mad. On the way out, it struck me as suitably inspired, a mildly lunatic directive that was of a piece with the movie itself. Logical, in an utterly illogical way. Or vice versa.

The story, if that’s the right word for it, goes something like this. A woman (Jennifer Lawrence, billed only as “mother”) lives in a massive Victorian mansion in the middle of a paddock, surrounded by forest, with her husband (Javier Bardem, billed as “Him”). It was his childhood home, but it burned down; now mother is painstakingly rebuilding it while her poet husband struggles with writer’s block.

One day, a visitor turns up (Ed Harris, “man”). He claims to be a doctor looking for lodgings, but he’s actually a rabid fan. Soon he is joined by his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer, “woman”), and others quickly follow. There is a murder, then a home invasion, and finally a descent into utter bloody chaos.

Through it all, the house seems to be alive. When mother leans against a wall, she can hear its heart beat. When blood is spilt, it seeps into, and from, the very fabric of the building.

Is it a haunted house film? The trailer would lead you to think so, and that would be only a little misleading. There are real echoes of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, a masterful portrait of mental decay in an apartment that seems to turn on its female inhabitant (Catherine Deneuve). Much of Mother! is shot from mother’s point of view (echoes here of the superb Holocaust film Son of Saul), but it’s hard to escape the sense we’re being dragged inside the mind of a character whose perspective is far from reliable.

But there’s so much else going on here than mere madness. Haunted or otherwise, that house comes to stand as a symbol of civilisation itself, just as mother stands for all mothers, for Mary the blessed mother, for Mother Earth. Giver of life, protector, pawn and victim.

Him is the creator, the needy God craving the adoration of his acolytes, as blind to the needs of his family as he is sensitive to the wants of the world.

It’s a portrait of a marriage in decay, of a loving couple torn apart by new parenthood. It’s a madcap, surreal comedy, in the style of Luis Bunuel, of a bourgeoisie rendered impotent by its own good manners.

There is so much going on in Mother! that it is almost impossible to say what it is about, other than to say that like much of Aronofsky’s work it is about spirituality, human suffering, and a quest for purpose amid the chaos of existence.

It overflows with potential meanings. Hell, that exclamation mark alone will doubtless spawn a multitude of interpretations.

I’m not sure if that makes it a good movie, much less an enjoyable one. But does it make it the most interesting, and probably most divisive, film of the year? Holy crap, yes.

Facebook: karlquinnjournalist Twitter: @karlkwin Podcast: The Clappers

Foo Fighters bring their stadium rock back to China in 2018

Dave Grohl (centre) will bring the Foo Fighters to in January as part of their world tour. Dave Grohl and great mate Taylor Hawkins thrilled a smallbunch of local rock’n’roll fans recently, but the full weight of Grohl’s multiple Grammy award-winning band will be on show when Foo Fighters tour in January, supported by Weezer.
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After bashing out some old favourites in Hawkins’ cover band Chevy Metal at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory last month, anticipation around a Foo Fighters tour only heightened with new albumConcrete &Goldalso coming out September 15.

The band’s world tour will bein on January 20atPerth’s nib Stadiumahead ofshows in Adelaide (Coopers Stadium, January 23), Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium, January 25), Sydney (ANZ Stadium, January 27) and Melbourne (Etihad Stadium, January 30).

The tour also touches down in New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on February 3.

Pre-sale tickets for Frontier members will be available from Tuesday, September 19 and general ticket sales begin on Friday, September 22.

Foo Fighters’ last n tour on the back of their 2105 albumSonic Highwaysplayed to over 250,000 people. The band’ssupport act next summer,Weezer, has sold 10 million albums in the US alone since their self-titled release in 1994. Fronted by singer and songwriter Rivers Cuomo​, Weezer release their 11th studio albumPacific Daydreamlater this month.

Grohl, who played drums in Nirvana, founded Foo Fighters in the mid ’90s and has gone on to make nine Foo Fighters albums, winning 11 Grammy awards on the way and selling more than 25 million albums.

“I wanted it [Concrete & Gold]to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever … a gigantic rock record,” Grohlsaid.

Local bands will also support Foo Fighters across the country, including Clowns in Melbourne, the Preatures in Sydney and DZ Deathrays in Brisbane.

This Teneriffe home is falling down but it’s still worth a fortune

6 Hastings Street, Teneriffe?? 6 Hastings Street, Teneriffe??
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6 Hastings Street, Teneriffe??

The hazard tape barring anyone from walking up the front steps is the first clue this house isn’t in the best shape.

And it only gets worse at 6 Hastings Street, Teneriffe. The second set of steps is made of up rows of broken brick, and is almost completely obscured by the overgrown front garden.

Inside, rising damp, wood rot, and termite damage all feature heavily throughout.

Abandoned years ago and left vacant since then, this house may be on the verge of being condemned but it’s no basement bargain.

In fact, it will be too expensive for the majority of most Brisbane buyers ??? last week Domain reported Teneriffe as being on the cusp of becoming Brisbane’s first $3 million suburb.

Given its elevated position, city views and 455 square metre land size, n Property Monitors puts the property’s estimate range from $1.51 million to $2.01 million.

Listing agent Ivo Kornel, of Belle Property New Farm, said he couldn’t give a price guide by law because the house will be auctioned on September 30 but said it’s likely the property, once renovated, would be worth $4 million-plus.

“The biggest question right now is what will it sell for? Who knows? I’ve never seen a worse house than this ??? it has serious issues ??? but the fact is, it’s a huge opportunity in a great street in Teneriffe,” he said.

Already firmly cemented as Brisbane’s most expensive suburb after becoming the first to break the $2 million median, data from PriceFinder shows Teneriffe’s median price has skyrocketed by 41 per cent up to $2,685,000, based on 10 sales so far this year. House prices have grown a staggering 71.8 per cent over the past two years. Related: Teneriffe on the cusp of Brisbane’s first $3m suburbRelated: Brisbane suburbs at the end of their life cycleRelated: Brisbane: crazy for run-down renovators

The property at Hastings Street is in pretty dire condition, with several shattered windows, previous occupants’ possessions strewn throughout the house, and a sagging facade and deck.

In fact, prospective buyers won’t be able to step onto the edge of the deck, because of fears it would collapse.

Mr Kornel says while its pre-war era, its condition meant potential buyers could explore the possibility of demolition.

“Either way, this is an opportunity,” he says. “A Shaun Lockyer (architect-designed) house is being built next door and the owners are spending $2 million on the build alone. It’s definitely a case of being the worst house in the best street.”

6 Hastings Street, Teneriffe, will hit the market next week. See domain苏州夜总会招聘.au for more details.

John Cornforth 1917-2013

John Cornforth was awarded a Nobel prize in chemistry in 1975 and is still the only n to take the Nobel in chemistry. That year he was also named as joint n of the Year. Later hen was knighted and still later the recipient of a Centenary of Federation medal for his contribution to society.
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John Cornforth in 1997.

John Warcup Cornforth was born on September 7, 1917 in Sydney, the second of four children of John Cornforth, a Classics teacher from England, and his n wife, Hilda (nee Eipper), a nurse, and grew up in Sydney and Armidale. At 10 he started to go deaf from a condition called otosclerosis, where the bones in the middle ear become deformed and stop transmitting sound. By 20 he was completely deaf, except for the ringing in his ears of tinnitus, a common side effect of the disease.

Luckily, at Sydney Boys High, a young teacher, Leonard Basser, influenced Cornforth in the direction of chemistry, which seemed to the young student to offer a career where his deafness might not be a handicap. And so it proved, he was accepted to the University of Sydney at 16 and because he couldn’t hear the lectures he started reading textbooks, which in those days were mostly in German, so he taught himself German as well. He graduated in 1937 with a bachelor of science, first class honours and University Medal.

Big moment: John Cornforth receives the Nobel prize for chemistry from King Carl XVI Gustav. Photo: AP

After some post-graduate work in , Cornforth was awarded one of two 1851 Exhibition scholarships in 1939 to study at Oxford. In those days there was no facility to do a PhD in chemistry in .

The other winner of the scholarship that year was Rita Harradence, who he had already met in the laboratory when she needed his help. Equipment was so hard to get in those days that Cornforth had taught himself glass-blowing so he could repair things, and Harradence asked him to fix a flask he she had broken.

Cornforth and Harradence arrived in Oxford in 1939, just as the war started, and after they had finished their doctoral work (on steroid synthesis) they became part of the group doing chemical studies of the new drug penicillin (the discovery of which earned the n Howard Florey a Nobel prize in 1945).

In 1949 Cornforth helped to writeThe Chemistry of Penicillin, the record of that work.

Meanwhile, in 1941 Cornforth and Harradence had married and she became his co-researcher and interpreter. They collaborated on 41 scientific papers and he always said that she was ”much better at the bench than I am” and that she did most of the experimental work.

After the war had few openings for research chemists who could not lecture at universities, so the Cornforths stayed in England and he went back to the synthesis of steroids, in collaboration with his PhD supervisor, Robert Robinson. In 1946 Cornforth joined the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council and worked at its National Institute. In 1951 his team was able to complete the first total synthesis of the non-aromatic steroids.

At the Institute he met biological scientists and started work on collaborative projects with several of them. In particular, he shared an interest in cholesterol with the Hungarian scientist George Popjak.

He and Popjak devised a complete carbon-by-carbon degradation of the nineteen-carbon ring structure of cholesterol and identified the arrangement of the acetic acid molecules from which the system is built, work that eventually led to Cornforth’s Nobel prize.

In 1962 Cornforth and Popjak left the Medical Research Council and became co-directors of the Milstead Laboratory of Chemical Enzymology, set up by Shell Research Ltd. There they studied the stereochemistry of enzymic reactions by means of asymmetry artificially introduced by isotopic substitution, and Cornforth continued the work when Popjak left for the University of California.

Over the years, honours came along. Cornforth was elected to the Royal Society and awarded the Chemical Society’s Corday Morgan medal in 1953. He also received the Flintoff medal in 1965. The American Chemical Society awarded him its Ernest Guenther award in 1968 and he took the Prix Roussel in 1972. He and Popjak were jointly awarded the Biochemical Society’s Ciba medal in 1965, the Stouffer prize in 1967 and the Royal Society’s Davy medal in 1968.

In 1975 Cornforth left Milstead to become Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Sussex. Then came the Nobel prize, which he shared with Bosnian chemist Vladimir Prelog for ”their efforts to relate molecular structure to the properties of chemical compounds”.

In an interview in 2006 he recalled the time, after his wife had told him the news that she had heard on the radio.

”I think that’s the day I remember with the most pleasure in my experimental life.

”I was quite surprised. I had estimated my chances at about one in three. I knew that [Robert] Robinson had put me up for the prize.

”As for the ceremony, I couldn’t hear a word of what was said. And so, as usual, I amused myself by looking around at the audience. It was in this sports stadium, an enormous place, because the town hall was being refurbished, but I could see, in the darkness of the auditorium, these flashes of bright light. They kept on like this, and I couldn’t make out what they were. And finally I realised all the women were wearing their jewels, and that was what was causing the flashes of light. That was the thing I remember most of all from the ceremony.”

Cornforth was knighted in 1977, then awarded the Copley medal by the Royal Society of London in 1982. He went on lecturing at the University of Sussex until he retired and also travelled around the world to give lectures. He last lectured in in 1992 for the 75th anniversary of the Royal n Chemical Institute.

There he sympathised with modern students, saying that their study was more difficult than in his day.

”When Rita and I were learning our chemistry here, chemistry was not really very difficult. There was not really all that much to know. Now I am sorry for you people because there really is a lot to know.”

A lot of it, it must be said, because of his original research.

John Cornforth is survived by his children Brenda, John and Philippa, grandchildren Catherine and Andrew, four great-grandchildren and nine nieces and nephews. Rita died in 2012.

Sydney Morning Herald –first publishedDecember 14, 2013

James Ashby photographed flying drone near power station

One Nation staffer James Ashby has been referred to the aviation watchdog after flying a drone near a Queensland power station.
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But Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff said he did not do anything wrong.

Fairfax Media has obtained an image which shows Mr Ashby apparently operating a remote control while standing beside a ute outside the Stanwell power station, near Rockhampton.

It is understood a security guard approached Mr Ashby on July 13 about 5pm after witnessing him using a drone near the power station.

Mr Ashby stopped using the drone and handed over his One Nation business card.

The incident was referred to authorities, with a Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman confirming the Stanwell matter was being assessed.

The CASA spokesman said there were no specific restrictions or laws against flying drones over or near Queensland infrastructure, such as power stations, as current laws concerned their use near people or crowded areas.

Contacted for comment, Mr Ashby said no drone operations were performed over the Stanwell power station.

“Recorded vision from that day prove this response,” he said in a text message.

Mr Ashby said CASA officials had confirmed there was no concern of illegal activity and pointed to the CASA Drone Complier website which stated for the Stanwell power station: “You may fly here, but beware of low flying aircraft”.

Mr Ashby told Fairfax Media there was no requirement to seek permission to fly in the area.

Asked for a copy of the drone video, Mr Ashby declined and said the footage was for One Nation purposes when the party discussed electricity.

But he said he believed the footage may have been used in a Facebook video for One Nation candidate for Keppel Matt Loth.

The video contains about six seconds of footage that appears to have been filmed by a drone above a road near the Stanwell power station.

During estimates hearings in July, Stanwell Corporation chief executive Richard Van Breda confirmed an incident where a person flew a drone near the power station south-west of Rockhampton.

“In mid-July we did have an event at one of our power stations,” he said.

“We did observe a member of the public flying a drone in the vicinity of Stanwell power station taking photographs and footage of that site.

“Permission had not been sought for that activity and had not been granted.

“In accordance with our standard procedures, we confronted the person and requested that they stop that activity immediately.”

Mr Van Breda said the matter was referred to police, ASIO and CASA.

More generally, Mr Van Breda said its power station sites were considered critical infrastructure, given their importance in providing security of electricity supply.

“As a result, we treat any unauthorised activity around our sites very seriously and we have comprehensive and very strict procedures in place covering security, communication and escalation of issues,” Mr Van Breda said.

“All our power stations have perimeter fencing and we have security in place and an escalation process to deal with any security issues.”

At the time, Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the outcome of the case was not yet known, but he believed Stanwell had acted appropriately.

“There is a very good reason why we have all of the regulation in place to ensure that people require permission to approach, to be on premises and to be around such important pieces,” Mr Pitt said.

It is the third drone incident linked to Mr Ashby to make headlines this year.

In June, a drone video was posted on Senator Hanson’s Facebook page including aerial shots of Parliament House.

Vision from news cameras apparently showed Mr Ashby operating a drone.

Last week, Labor Senator Glenn Sterle asked CASA to look into whether the Canberra flight was illegal, with an inquiry due by September 13.

At a Senate committee hearing, CASA officials said using a drone over Parliament House was “not appropriate” because it was within the control zone of the Canberra Airport.

In July, Senator Hanson posted a video on social media of her flying a drone from a balcony over a street in Townsville, and said the drone was owned by Mr Ashby.

Commonwealth Bank should pay price for its silence

A licence to lend money does not give you a licence to break the law and leave others to foot the bill, no matter how big you are.
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When the law is broken, you should be held to account and required to compensate the victims of your wrongdoing, no matter how big you are.

Since Maurice Blackburn announced its class action against the Commonwealth Bank of for its failure to disclose alleged breaches of national money laundering and terrorism financing laws, there has been some fatuous criticism levelled at those pursuing the case including: the bank’s failures to disclose its misconduct were not material and the class action involves shareholders suing themselves.

The argument about materiality stretches credulity.

Everything about this most recent scandal is material. It raises fundamental questions about CBA’s compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws and if it has blatantly disregarded its continuous disclosure obligations to shareholders.

In short, it goes to the heart of whether or not CBA has proper governance and risk systems.

A banking licence should be a guarantee of exemplary conduct. Instead, in CBA’s case, it appears to have been treated as a licence for bad behaviour.

Over a period of nearly three years, 778,370 accounts were allegedly not monitored by CBA for money laundering and CBA is accused of failing to lodge reports in 53,506 separate transactions of more than $10,000 with the regulator.

Significantly, many of the transactions in question are alleged to be attributable to money laundering syndicates and several of these are related to customers who CBA itself assessed as a potential risk of terrorism-related activities.

Adding insult to injury, it is now evident that CBA apparently knew of these breaches in the second-half of 2015 but chose not to disclose their existence to the ASX.

Shareholders, it seems, were deliberately left in the dark for nearly two years.

The contrary argument regarding materiality is that, because the price movement after the news of the Austrac proceedings was less than 10 per cent, it can’t have been material.

The argument is based on a fallacy. There is no requirement under the Corporations Act or the ASX Listing rules for a 10 per cent price movement for information to be regarded as material and therefore disclosed.

Rather the information has to be information that would influence investors to buy or sell shares.

It is axiomatic that finding out ‘s largest bank has apparently failed in its responsibilities to comply with anti-money laundering laws meets that test of materiality. Would anyone other than an apologist for bank misconduct say otherwise?

In any event, all the empirical evidence points to a material price movement: after the news, the decline in the CBA share price was in the top 1 per cent of price movements for CBA shares in the past five years.

Maurice Blackburn’s class action against CBA seeks to hold the bank to account for its sustained misconduct.

Shareholders who suffered losses will be compensated for the results of that misconduct. Some of those who had interests in CBA shares will no longer hold them, so the suggestion they are suing themselves is false.

Nor will any settlement necessarily be paid exclusively from CBA funds. In many instances, companies have insurance and that insurance meets some or all of the payments in shareholder class actions.

So the notion of a money-go-round is also false.

More importantly though, every CBA shareholder will benefit from the bank being properly held to account for its corporate governance failures.

The alternative is to leave Austrac to prosecute the money laundering breaches but ignore the only effective mechanism for holding CBA to account for the cavalier disregard it appears to have shown for its continuous disclosure obligations.

All that would do is send a signal to large corporations that they can ignore their continuous disclosure obligations with impunity. We have continuous disclosure laws for a reason. They promote the efficient allocation of capital by ensuring investment decision are made on the best available information.

No one should sensibly regard an attempt to enforce those laws and obtain compensation for those affected by flagrant breaches of them as a bad thing. The problem here is not the class action but the underlying corporate misbehaviour that caused the class action.

Andrew Watson is national head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn

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