Taskforce told new climate targets ‘must not hamper economic growth’

Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Photo: Louise KennerleyThe man charged with steering a government taskforce reviewing Australia’s climate targets says the Abbott government has made it clear that its recommendations should not hurt the economy or jobs growth.
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And the Climate Change Authority has signalled it will release its own review of Australia’s emissions reduction targets in mid-April to pre-empt any findings by the government-appointed review panel.

David Gruen, a senior economist in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, chairs the steering commitee for a 12-person taskforce that is due to recommend post-2020 emissions reduction targets for Australia in mid-2015.

Speaking at a climate change conference at the Australian National University on Friday, Dr Gruen said: “The government has made it clear that our post-2020 target must be consistent with continued strong economic growth, jobs growth and development in Australia.”

He added that “nothing of value would be achieved” in the global fight against climate change “if emissions intensive economic activity in Australia ceases, only to be replaced by more emissions intensive activity overseas which produces essentially the same goods or service”.

Dr Gruen gave some new detail on how the taskforce would conduct its review, saying it was being guided by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and senior ministers Julie Bishop, Andrew Robb, Greg Hunt and Ian Macfarlane.

He said the taskforce would shortly open the subject of setting new targets ahead of a global climate summit in December for public consultation and was seeking advice from “business, industry and academia”.

“The taskforce is seeking information on policies across a broad range of sectors of the economy which could achieve abatement in a cost-effective manner,” Dr Gruen said.

“The taskforce is looking at a broad range of policies with a fresh perspective and is not ruling anything out at this stage.”

Peter Woolcott, Australia’s ambassador for the environment who will lead Australia’s negotiations with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the government was looking for “clear, credible and quantifiable contributions by all countries”.

Mr Woolcott said while Australia would be guided by the US, China and major trading partners in Asia, the government expected any new global agreement to demand a greater contribution from developing countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It must reflect the fact that developing countries are getting wealthier and have greater capacity to take action,” he said.

Climate Change Authority chief executive Anthea Harris said the authority would fast track its own review of targets – which was launched as part of government deal with the crossbench to pass direct action legislation last year – to try to force the government to consider its recommendations.

But Ms Harris did not say whether there had been any steps by the taskforce to seek out the independent authority’s advice.

“In terms of have we been asked for advice, we’ve been asked to do the review,” she said.

“The government will be required to respond to our recommendations. Mind you, that will be well after the event because the legislative requirement is to report six months after the final report, which isn’t until June next year.

“So I don’t think I can really add much more than that.”

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

Workers in visa row forced to sleep in office, union claims

Filipino workers living in a South Melbourne office. Photo: SuppliedA group of foreign workers were forced to sleep on a Melbourne office floor for almost a month after their employer put a freeze on wages, renewing concerns of widespread rorting of the 457 visa scheme.
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Eleven Filipino workers employed on temporary visas turned Schneider Elevators Australasia’s head office into their makeshift living quarters because they could not afford lodging when their pay suddenly stopped six weeks ago.

Workplace photographs taken by the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union show blow-up mattresses and couch cushions strewn across the floor of the South Melbourne office and employees sleeping among bags of their belongings.

The union’s assistant state secretary, Craig Kelly, said the elevator company had failed to pay correct wages and overtime rates to its 17 workers – including 11 Filipinos, five Australians and a British national – and owed them more than $170,000.

Mr Kelly accused the company of secretly deducting visa charges and building industry fees from the foreign workers’ pay, leaving them with weekly take-home wages of between $150 and $500.

“This is an appalling case of exploitation,” Mr Kelly said. “Originally they were promised board and lodging by the company, but when they got here that didn’t eventuate. So they stayed at backpackers hostels, then when their wages stopped they were basically homeless.”

One of the foreign workers who was employed as a lift installer said staff were paid between $25 and $40 a week while living in the office. He said they moved to a hotel last week after the union intervened.

“This situation without the union, we are still in slavery treatment of our employer,” he said. “Hopefully we can find another job here. We came here for our family, to give them a better future. But right now we don’t have any money in our pocket.”

A recent federal government review recommended plans to relax entry requirements for foreign workers, including allowing specialised workers to stay in Australia for up to a year, instead of six months, under a short-term visa.

Under the proposed change, overseas workers would not need to apply for a 457 work visa, which requires them to take English language tests and forces employers to prove they have first looked to hire locally.

The Australian union movement has attacked the proposals, saying it would let employers sidestep strict sponsorship obligations and lead to more workers being exploited.

The Abbott government has flagged harsher penalties for people found to be abusing the 457 skilled visa program and said it would make it illegal for sponsors to seek a payment for taking on a foreign worker.

The Immigration Department will also cross-check tax office records to ensure workers are being paid properly and will “name and shame” people who exploit overseas workers.

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said the review last year found there was not widespread rorting of 457 visa programme.

Schneider Elevators Australasia managing director Terrence Donnelly declined to respond to repeated requests for comment. A woman who answered the company’s head office phone on Friday said: “I don’t know anything about [people] living here. You need to talk to Terrence.”

According to the company’s website, Schneider currently has contracts in Victoria and NSW  to install elevators in apartment blocks, a hotel, library and police station. It says employee and customer safety is “first and foremost”. “Our efficiency in maximising resources will provide you with opportunities for cost competitive solutions.”

A spokesman for Senator Cash said the matter was being investigated and that the government took alleged breaches of 457 visa sponsorship very seriously.

“The Department is currently liaising with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) regarding this case,” he said.

“If a sponsor is found to have failed an obligation, the Department institutes appropriate action, which may take the form of imposing administrative sanctions, issuing infringement notices, executing enforceable undertakings or applying to the federal court for a civil penalty order.”

“As investigations are ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further on this particular matter.”

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

Hunter Afghanistan veterans join march for Operation Slipper

Recent veterans Laura Callcott, David Hombsch and Ryan Ginty. Picture: Max Mason-HubersFOR Ryan Ginty, Laura Callcott and David Hombsch, serving the nation in Afghanistan and the Middle East during the 13years of Operation Slipper made the hard slog of military training worthwhile.
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Operation Slipper, as the Australian contribution to the war in Afghanistan was known, ended on December31, 2014, when the Operation Highroad training and advisory mission began.

To recognise the 34,500 defence, civilian and federal police personnel who took part in the operation, a series of welcome-home parades are being held on Saturday in nine cities around Australia.

Group Captain Hombsch, Leading Aircraftwoman Callcott and Flight Lieutenant Ginty are part of a large contingent from the Hunter who are taking part in the Sydney march, which is expected to attract more than 6000 participants.

It starts at 10am on the corner of George Street and King Street, and will be followed by a commemorative service at the Anzac memorial in Hyde Park at noon.

Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs, a Slipper veteran and Vice-Chief of the Defence Force, said the events were to give the Australian public a chance to thank all who had taken part in Operation Slipper since October 2001.

Flt Lt Ginty, 29, said he did one tour of duty to the United Arab Emirates in 2011 and a second to Afghanistan in 2014, based at Kandahar.

It’s good to see that what you are doing is having an actual effect,’’ Flt Lt Ginty said.

LAC Callcott, 25, said she was ‘‘born and bred in Warners Bay’’, joined the RAAF in 2009 and was deployed to the UAE in early 2011.

LAC Callcott said some shifts were ‘‘so intense you didn’t have time to think about it’’.

Serving overseas was something she regarded as a personal achievement and she was looking forward to marching in Sydney.

Group Captain Hombsch, 45, served in the Middle East in 2003 and was back in the area as an adviser in 2008.

David Rudisha, Masai warrior, tamed the world and saved the lion

David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas
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David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas

David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas

In 2010 David Rudisha went to Berlin and broke the world record. A week later in the small Italian hilltop city of Rieti the tall angular 21-year-old from central Africa broke his own world 800 metres record.

At the same time in his Masai tribe in the Rift Valley of Kenya the boys of Rudisha’s generation were going through their rite of passage. The Masai boys went out to hunt and kill a lion and so become warriors. Were he not in Europe Rudisha would have been hunting with them.

To hunt the lion the Masai nominate one of their hunters as a sacrifice to lure out the lion. The hunter rings a bell loudly and constantly until an irritated lion attacks. The hunting party then moves in and kills the lion. If the bell-ringer survives he is venerated as a brave and lucky warrior.

“In 2010 it was almost the same time that I was breaking the world record that my age group were going through the rite of passage to become the morran [warrior],” Rudisha said.

“When I came back they said ‘I think you did something special, even more than killing a lion’. They made me a leader. I didn’t have to kill a lion. They say breaking two world records was more significant and was just like killing the lion. I think that is really cool because we are also trying nowadays to educate them to discourage the killing of wild animals because now in Kenya we have more statues of lions than lions themselves.”

In modern Kenya there is a grinding disconnect among the Masai between earnestly defending their culture and traditions and knowing that by doing so they are robbing their heritage. By killing so many lions and wild animals the Masai are killing an essential element of who they are.

“I am proud to be a Masai. We are one of the unique tribes who live alongside wild animals including the big five [the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard]. We are proud of the wild animals because this is part of our heritage and environment. Without the wild animal I think the Masai are different,” he said.

“We want to maintain and be ecosystem friendly. The Masai are known to be very courageous and that is why we live with the wild animals but sometimes people get attacked and this has been a big issue between the Masai and the wild animals. If they come and kill then we go and hunt for them. Now we educate them and say we don’t just go attack them unless they attack us.”

Rudisha is patron of the new “Masai Olympics” which was conceived as a means of challenging warriors and adapting Masai skills without killing wild animals.

“We do unique sports. We throw the spears and Masais are well known for jumping and dancing, so we also have high jump whereby you jump as high as you can to hit the rope with your head,” he said. “It’s a kind of unique high jump. We are trying to encourage them not to continue killing the wild animals.”

Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. He grew up nomadically in the traditional way but now lives in an urban area to train and be able to travel the world as an elite athlete. He is modern yet traditional – when he married six years ago he paid his wife’s family in cows.

“Cows are the most valuable things to Masai, the number of cows you have signify how rich you are … we do all we can to protect them. We fight with other communities because of cows. Before you get married you have to give cows for the family of the bride. I paid 12 cows for my wife,” he said.

“I don’t keep a lot of cows now, just a few at home. Nowadays I live around town in the city and some places now are starting to change because of the modernisation.”

This pride of his heritage informs who Rudisha is as an athlete. The Masai reputation for courage made him change the way he ran in 2009 after failing to make the final of the world championships in Berlin.

“That was when I decided to change my tactics and run from the front which it took me a lot of courage to do,” he said. “I am a Masai and we are very courageous and brave people. Even if you watch most of my races I always run courageously, even sometimes when I am not at my top I always like to lead from the front and do my best. Many people like that.

“I have been pushing and training hard to be fit because running from the front you have to be in good form as well as you have to be smart because you’re calculating and doing out there without following somebody’s pace.”

There was no more courageous run than Rudisha at the London Olympics. Rudisha jockeyed to the front in the first 100, accelerated at the 200, and floated away from the pack by the 300. He was like the Masai bell-ringer the lions could not catch.

He ran the first lap in 49.28 and kept accelerating, confident that no one could touch him. He looked like a man racing himself as much as the field. He had not lost all year, he felt assured of winning, it was another record he was chasing.

While he likes to lead, ordinarily Rudisha uses his pacemaker, Sammy Tangui, to take him around the first lap. Tangui travels the world with him training and pacing him over the first lap. Tangui is not a Masai but he is a tall man with a long stride like Rudisha’s. He was a 400m runner who competed at the African championships and world youth games and now takes Rudisha around the track for the first lap in a predetermined time.

“Tangui is always I would say almost perfect. Most of the races and most of the pacing he gets there minus or plus 30 hundreds of a second,” Rudisha said.

Rudisha was world champion in 2011. In 2013 he missed the worlds through injury. He has broken the world record three times. He is the Olympic gold medallist. He is one of the greatest-ever middle-distance runners. But his name is not really Rudisha.

His name is only Rudisha because his dad’s name was Rudisha. But his dad’s name was not really Rudisha, that was just a nickname.

Rudisha is a Swahili word for return. When David’s father was born in 1945 German soldiers came into their village in Tanganyika, in what had been German East Africa, to take some of the Masai’s bulls.

The German commander kicked in the door of the hut and was startled to see David’s grandmother giving birth. He turned around called out to his men “Rudisha, Rudisha” telling them to return the bulls and leave the village.

And so the young boy, Daniel, was considered the harbinger of good fortune and forever known to the village as Rudisha. He later went on to win silver in the 400m relay for Kenya at the 1968 Olympics as Daniel Rudisha. When he had a son called him David Rudisha.

“Rudisha was just a nickname for my dad. People know my dad more by Rudisha than his official name. I kind of like the name. It’s a good luck name because the bulls got returned,” Rudisha said.

He acknowledges the name now fits. It is a name of luck, of cows, of the Masai and of winning.

Rudisha runs on Saturday night at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park. Events begin 3pm. Rudisha runs at 6.50pm.

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

Bob Carr opens cabinet door at Newcastle Writers Festival

Newcastle writer Philip Ashley-Brown, left, and Bob Carr tread the festival boards. Picture: Ryan OslandIT was political, but not partisan, as Bob Carr took centre stage at the Newcastle Writers Festival on Friday.
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The former NSW Labor premier who became the country’s foreign minister spoke about the rough and tumble of public office and the highlights of a political career spanning four decades.

And the author of Diary of a Foreign Minister had kind words, not only for the late Malcolm Fraser but for another Liberal prime minister, Tony Abbott.

Mr Carr surprised the City Hall crowd with praise for Mr Abbott, saying reports Australia would join the China-led $US100-billion ($130-billion) Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank were positive.

“I was very heartened when I heard the Abbott government took the decision that Australia should join the bank,” he said.

“I thought it was a very bad look for Australia that we were staying out of the bank, only because [US President] Barack Obama had phoned Tony Abbott and said, ‘We don’t want you to join it.’

“That wasn’t a good enough reason. There’s a strong case for us being a part of this bank, shaping the rules, shaping the governments.

“Americans are so anxious about what is an inevitable phenomenon – the rise of China. This sends a very important signal … we’re capable of thinking for ourselves.”

Mr Carr also paid tribute to Mr Fraser, who died on Friday.

“I think we’ve got to give him credit for being a thoughtful political leader whose view evolved,” he said.

“He took a very considered position in his last book in warning Australians about the dangers of our treaty relationship with America.”

Mr Carr also weighed in on recent events at ICAC, after one Hunter resident declared he was fed up with state politics and had thought about casting an informal vote.

“I think the shocks out of the ICAC revelations for both sides of politics have been enormous,” Mr Carr said.

“But you’ve got leaders on both sides resolved to get their parties beyond a very unfortunate period.’’

The three-day Newcastle Writers Festival will continue over the weekend.

SATURDAY

■ Wesley Enoch talks about his life, career and Black Diggers. 10am-11am, City Hall Hunter Room. Tickets $22.

■ Blanche d’Alpuget talks about her colourful writing career. 11.30am-12.30pm, City Hall’s Hunter Room. Tickets $22.

■ Bob Brown, Claire Dunn and Favel Parrett talk about the significance of connecting with wild places. 4.30pm-5.30pm, City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets $22.

SUNDAY

■ Les Murray reads from his new volume of poems. 10am-11am, City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets $22.

■ Erik Jensen and David Leser set out to write about key figures, but found themselves entwined in the story. 1.30pm-2.30pm. Tickets $22.

Best of the rest Barbarians out to cause upsets at under-20s championships

Jordan Fulivai scored the match-winning try for the Australian Barbarians on Thursday. Photo: Jay CronanThey’re the group thrown together as “the best of the rest” in a bid to end the dominance of NSW and Queensland, and Australian Barbarians coach Russell Ingram believes his side can cause havoc at the national under-20s championship.
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The Barbarians side is made up of the best players from Canberra, Victoria, Western Australia and country zones, combining their talent to take on the might of traditional powerhouses NSW and Queensland.

They passed their first test against Tonga on Thursday, with Gungahlin Eagles star Jordan Fulivai scoring a try after the siren to lift the Barbarians to a 40-36 triumph at Viking Park.

But their next challenge is against Queensland on Saturday before clashing with NSW on Monday and finishing the titles with a match against Fiji in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The boys are excited to be a part of it … it’s really set up for the Australian selectors so they can pick the best players,” Ingram said.

“By combining all of these guys, picking the eyes out of the best kids, we’ve got a pretty good side. We just lost to NSW and beat Queensland last year.

“Through Schoolboys Queensland and NSW dominate, but we put the best of the rest together and we’ve got a fairly good unit. The challenge is just pulling them together.”

Fulivai, the son of former Canberra Raiders cult hero “Prince” Albert, was called into the Barbarians squad only on Wednesday.

But the 18-year-old arrived at the perfect time to lift the Barbarians to a thrilling win against Tonga, finishing off an almost length-of-the-field build up to score the match winner.

The Barbarians team boasts 11 ACT representatives, including front-row trio Lloyd Harrison, Connal McInerney and Tyrell Lomax, who are rated as future Wallabies.

Wests junior Brode Leber will start at No.7 against Queensland, despite being just 17 years old.

“Jordan only came in when Jonah Placid was called into the Melbourne Rebels squad [to play Super Rugby] … We were a bit scrappy in game one.

“Leber’s come through the Wests juniors since he was seven years old. He’s not even 18 yet, we’ve got a support system around him so that hopefully he can develop through.

“In most of the systems, these boys are getting little opportunities to train with the elite team. It’s fantastic for their development.”

AUSTRALIAN UNDER-20s CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday: Australian Barbarians v Queensland at 1pm, NSW v Tonga at 3.15pm.

Monday: Australian Barbarians v NSW at 1pm, Queensland v Fiji at 3.15pm.

Wednesday: Australian Barbarians v Fiji at 1pm, NSW v Queensland at 3.15pm.

All games at Viking Park.

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

Friends pay tribute to Malcolm Fraser, also dubbed king of the camellias

It is a small and close community on the Mornington Peninsula which Malcolm and Tamie Fraser have called home for close to two decades.
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A community of families and friends.

The local wineries and restaurants are popular meeting places and the golf course a social hub.

Local resident and former managing director of The Age, Ranald Macdonald, often met the Frasers for dinner, a swing of the sticks and to chew over meaty conversation on topics such as foreign policy.

Mr Macdonald is effusive in his respect for Malcolm Fraser, who spent almost three decades in federal parliament, his sharp intellect and his willingness to make a point or open a discussion.

“He encouraged lively debate with really intelligent and thought-provoking opinions,” Mr Macdonald said on Friday.

“He was good company, a challenging man and someone who contributed right to the end, unlike a lot of other people who left politics.”

Mr Macdonald described Mr Fraser as “a very remarkable Australian” who challenged us all.

Malcolm Fraser was the youngest member of federal parliament when elected at the age of 25 after growing up on Nareen Station near Hamilton in the Western District.

The Melbourne Grammar and Oxford-educated Mr Fraser was a brave and sharp conversationalist.

Mr Macdonald said the enthusiasm, fascination and intellect of Mr Fraser’s argument on important national and international policy issues remained to his last days.

“We spent quite a lot of time with him … lively chatter over good food and good wine,” he said.

The flags flew at half mast at the Flinders Golf Club on Friday where the Frasers are members.

Malcolm Fraser came to golf late and enjoyed the sport, Mr Macdonald said.

“But being a tall man perhaps didn’t have the ball under control,” he said.

Mrs Fraser, also a keen golfer, helped organise an annual charity golf day at the club to raise money for the National Stroke Foundation.

It’s rumoured Tamie Fraser is a little more successful with the clubs.

“We would see Malcolm and Tamie play together fairly regularly in the afternoons,” a Flinders Golf Club regular said.

He said the couple were well liked at the club.

Mr Macdonald talks of the remarkable support Tamie provided to Malcolm and the warmth of their relationship.

“A genuine full-time love affair for over 50 years – it was a love affair right to the end,” he said.

Another of their joint loves was gardening on their 1.6-hectare Red Hill South property, Thurulgoona.

In a 2003 article Mrs Fraser described Malcolm as “king of the camellias”.

Mr Fraser even accidentally bred a new variety that was named Camellia japonica.

The former prime minister was also a car enthusiast and a keen fly fisherman, stocking trout on the Red Hill South property.

He discovered the cathartic allure of casting a fly during the pressure-filled days of federal parliament.

Today’s politicians remembered a great Victorian.

“Malcolm Fraser was a Victorian of purpose and principle – an architect of our diversity and a giant of stature, intellect and legacy,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“For decades, he served the people of Western Victoria. For a lifetime, he served the contest of Australian ideas. We’re all better for it.”

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

Bookmakers cursing top two as Vancouver, Exosphere well backed in Golden Slipper

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber
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Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Bookmakers are dreading chart toppers Vancouver and Exosphere dominating the world’s richest two-year-old race as money continues to tumble in for the top two in betting ahead of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

Exosphere – the top pick of John O’Shea’s four-strong Golden Slipper hand – firmed into $4 with Ladbrokes on Friday evening as he edged ever closer to laying down the challenge to Gai Waterhouse’s unbeaten colt for favouritism.

But Vancouver has maintained his iron-clad grip as the market leader despite having to launch from the outside barrier in 16.

“The market has solidified at the moment, but Exosphere is still our worst way,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “The favourite Vancouver hasn’t flown the way we thought it would and the Slipper is a funny race, and a few of the winners have come from way back.”

The rest of the Godolphin army – Furnaces ($14), Haptic ($16) and Ottoman ($31) – also met with support on race eve as O’Shea seeks to notch up his second and perhaps career-defining group 1 win for the operation.

Di Cioccio said Ladbrokes was bracing for Furnaces to be one of the best backed runners in the hours before the Slipper. Vancouver was only slightly easy as the $3.10 top pick.

He was a little firmer at $2.80 with the country’s largest bookmaker, Tab上海龙凤419m.au, with Exosphere ($4.20) the only other runner under double figures.

“The most popular runner [on Friday] has been the favourite [Vancouver], then Exosphere,” Tab上海龙凤419m.au’s Glenn Munsie said. “Since Tuesday’s barrier draw the punters still want to back Vancouver and they haven’t been worried about the gate.”

Waterhouse’s task of preserving Vancouver’s impeccable record was made just that tad harder after the scratching of outsider Look To The Stars with a foot abscess. Only one horse has won the Golden Slipper when starting from barrier 16.

But it didn’t matter at the call of the card at Randwick with Vancouver, shopped at $3.30, well supported alongside Waterhouse’s other runners English and Speak Fondly.

Mike Moroney’s Serenade takes her spot in the field after Look To The Stars’ scratching.

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

Golden Slipper preview

Vancouver: “He’s probably more like Sebring in that he’s a similar type being a very loose horse. From out there he can do what he likes – he can go forward or back. He can do anything.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse
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Headwater: “John [Hawkes] couldn’t understand why he ran like he did the other day [in the Todman Stakes] but he must have really liked what he saw on Tuesday because he rang me straight away to say I’ve got the ride. It was a confident call.” – jockey Glen Boss

Furnaces: “He has run solid placings in two key Slipper lead-ups and we have elected to add winkers to his gear. He gives the impression he is coming to a peak and has an ideal inside draw.” – trainer John O’Shea

Haptic: “An unassuming colt that has done everything asked of him and won well at both starts. He has freshened up well and a lovely soft draw should give him his chance to settle right on speed.” – trainer John O’Shea

Exosphere: “On exposed form looks our most likely candidate, he is a big imposing colt with a great attitude and from an ideal middle barrier he should get his chance to finish the race off strongly.” – trainer John O’Shea

Ready For Victory: “She’s as good a two-year-old as I’ve ridden this season. I wasn’t surprised at all when Mick [Price] wanted to go straight to the Golden Slipper and I was ready for it.” – jockey Nick Hall

Odyssey Moon: “Obviously it’s worth a lot for a colt – even if he doesn’t win, but runs well in a Slipper. We’re not going to let him hit the front too soon as we’d prefer him chasing down other horses.” – trainer Rod Northam

English: “I was very impressed with her Reisling [Stakes] win and she has a sense of timing about her. We have got a good draw and I should get the right run and as we saw at Randwick she has a great sprint.” – jockey Blake Shinn

Reemah: “She is a Blue Diamond runner-up and we are going to ride her the same in the Slipper. From the bad gate we will take our time and the harder and faster they go the better it will be for her. She will be charging late.” – trainer David Hayes

Speak Fondly: “You can’t forget about this filly. She will put herself on the speed and be in this race for a long way and shouldn’t be underestimated.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse

Fireworks: “She is a Widden Stakes winner coming with a late charge and that’s how I’ll be riding her again. I’ll let her find her feet out of the barriers and if they overdo it up front look out.” – jockey Brenton Avdulla

Haybah: “She has drawn perfectly for her in two. She will race on pace and if they go slow she will lead. She is capable of giving a good kick and at some time in the straight she will be front. I think the market has got her wrong at $61.” – trainer David Hayes

Ottoman: “This filly has shown obvious talent at her race starts to date and the team feel she has made nice improvement. She has drawn ideally to get good cover in the early stages.” – trainer John O’Shea

Lake Geneva: “She’s drawn to get a gun run and it’s hard to win a Slipper at your third [start] – I think Forensics did it – but she’s ready to go. She’ll be behind the speed and as long as she gets out cleanly that’s all that matters.” – co-trainer Michael Hawkes

Single Gaze: “She has been so honest and tough this filly and never run a bad race. I rode Chance Bye in a Golden Slipper and I honestly think she is just as good a chance as she was. We just need a bit of luck from the draw.” – jockey Kathy O’Hara

Look to the Stars: 

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

Taking out the trash but too clever by half

Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Dominic LorrimerFull Moss Review reportRapes, sexual assault, drugs for favours: review findsSomeone owes someone an apology
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Is there no limit to the cynical manipulation of public information to minimise political pain?

Sadly, the late Friday release of the Abbott government’s Moss Review into sexual and other abuse issues in Australia’s outsourced immigration detention centre on Nauru suggests such conniving may have been pushed to a new low.

In political circles, the practice of dropping out unpopular or embarrassing announcements is called “taking out the trash”. The orthodoxy is that with early weekend deadlines, such releases are left off the front pages.

Obviously, this was not just any Friday either but one dominated by the death of a former prime minister. Was this a conspiracy or a stuff-up?

The review in this case is embarrassing because it has failed to validate incendiary government claims from last October that Save the Children employees had been involved in coaching detainees to manufacture sexual abuse allegations as part of a wider discrediting of government asylum-seeker policies.

The government had commissioned the report after it ordered 10 Save the Children case-workers off the island, citing intelligence that they had been involved in either fabricating stories of abuse of children and women or had otherwise engendered behaviour to bring government policy into disrepute.

Critically however, the review could not substantiate these claims, finding no conclusive evidence on which to rely.

Coming on the heels of the tawdry character assassination of the president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, the timing of this report reveals Canberra’s extreme sensitivity to any criticism of its questionable human rights treatment of detainees.

It should be noted that the government strenuously denies altering the release timing to take advantage of the focus on Malcolm Fraser’s sudden death, arguing it had always planned the release for mid-afternoon on Friday.

This is hardly the most robust defence, given it would be a cynical time in any week. Besides, why not postpone given it had been sitting on the report for more than a month?

The risk of being seen to hide the review in the media maelstrom of Mr Fraser’s death should have rung alarm bells anyway, given the former Liberal’s well-known contempt for the harsh treatment of asylum seekers.

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