Jeff McCloy’s $1 million for Vanuatu

Major Gavin Watts with Jeff McCloy, who has donated $1million to the Salvation Army’s Vanuatu appeal. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTo donate, call 137258 or visitsalvos上海龙凤419.au/cyclonepam
Shanghai night field

IT was big, even by Jeff McCloy’s standards – a $1million cheque for The Salvation Army to start immediate relief work on the ground in cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu.

With his wife and daughters by his side, the former Newcastle lord mayor stood with Salvation Army representatives at Hamilton on Thursday, saying the money would be ‘‘very well spent’’.

‘‘I think it would be great if we could start this national appeal right here in Newcastle,’’ he said. ‘‘The generosity of Novocastrians is well known and … while I am personally committed to this task I am calling on businesses, individuals, sporting groups and churches across the nation to get behind the Salvos’ Vanuatu Cyclone Pam Disaster Appeal by donating generously.

‘‘The immediate challenge is to get food and vegetables to people.’’

Mr McCloy has never been to Vanuatu, but will travel to the island nation with one of his daughters on Monday to begin relief efforts with the Salvos’ international agency workers.

Describing his gesture as ‘‘a no-brainer’’, Mr McCloy said further support was urgently needed.

More than 70per cent of Vanuatu’s population has been displaced by the cyclone, and while the official death toll stands at 11, authorities expect the figure to rise once aid agencies reach remote affected areas.

The divisional commander for The Salvation Army’s Newcastle and Central West arm, Major Gavin Watts, welcomed the donation saying the McCloy family had been ‘‘a very generous donor over many years’’ and had contributed significantly to the construction of the organisation’s new Hamilton headquarters – believed to have been a seven-figure amount.

Thursday’s announcement was the first time Mr McCloy had appeared before a media conference since his brush with the ICAC inquiry which led to his resignation. His appeal will be heard by the High Court later this year.

Despite his philanthropy, he still managed to attract criticism in some quarters on Thursday.

‘‘The haters are going to hate,’’ he said with a shrug. ‘‘But they won’t stop me from trying to help people.

‘‘Can you ask the haters to whip a hat around their mates and raise some money for the appeal? And get them to let me know how much they raise.’’.

Donation a “no-brainer”: Jeff McCloy.

Former Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy has written a $1 million cheque for The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in cyclone-torn Vanuatu.

Describing his gesture as ‘‘a no-brainer’’, Mr McCloy will help launch the Salvos’ appeal at Hamilton on Thursday afternoon.

Tropical cyclone Pam has left great trails of devastation throughout the island nation and the neighbouring archipelago.

More than 70 per cent of Vanuatu’s population has been displaced, and while the official death toll is put at 11, authorities expect the figure to rise once aid agencies reach remote affected areas.

Cyclone Pam’s aftermath: A family surveys what’s left of their belongings. Picture: UNICEF

‘‘Cyclone Pam has done untold damage to infrastructure in Vanuatu,’’ he said.

‘‘With Australia being such a close neighbour it’s a no-brainer that we need to support the people of Vanuatu who have been left with virtually nothing and do whatever we can to lend a hand.

‘‘I’m personally committed to this task and I am calling on businesses, individuals, sporting groups and churches across the nation to get behind the Salvos’ Vanuatu Cyclone Pam Disaster Appeal by donating generously.’’

The appeal will be officially launched at 3pm on Thursday.

To donate, call the appeal hotline on 13 72 58 or visit The Salvation Army website at www.salvos上海龙凤419.au/cyclonepam.

Greens plan to bring historical child sex abuse cases out ‘dark ages’

Greens to put and end to ‘‘Ellis defence’’: David Shoebridge. Picture: Darren PatemanSENTENCING for historical child sex abuse cases would be brought out of the ‘‘dark ages’’ under athree-point reform package unveiled by the Greens.
Shanghai night field

Announced on Thursday morning, Greens’ state upper house member David Shoebridge said the victims of child sex abuse reform package was about removing the ‘‘barriers’’ on a ‘‘path to justice still strewn with obstacles’’.

The three-prong approach proposes striking down existing time limits for civil damages claims, removing historical patterns from modern sentencing decisions, and ending the so-called ‘‘Ellis defence’’ so the property trusts of churches and religious bodies can be sued for abuse.

‘‘Case after case has come out of the Royal Commission involving the criminal sexual abuse of children dating as far back as the 1950s, and it’s not enough to just wring our hands and say we’ll try harder in the future,’’ Mr Shoebridge said.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse sought submissions to most of the issues raised by the Greens package, but Mr Shoebridge parliament should act sooner.

‘‘We can and should change the law going forward, but there are barriers facing victims of past child abuse that must be removed to deliver justice now,’’ he said.

Hetty Johnston, the founder and CEO of Bravehearts, a child protection advocacy group, was consulted in the development of the policies, and said the reforms were ‘‘no brainers’’.

‘‘It’s important to note that the statute of limitations gives three years after the age of 18, so 21, to lodge a civil action,’’ she said.

‘‘But the reality has been that people are not disclosing, often even to themselves, what happened to them until much later in life.’’

Mr Shoebridge said the ‘‘Ellis defence’’ was ‘‘itself an abuse’’ because it quarantined the church’s wealth from legitimate victims.

The defence came about in 2007 when former altar boy John Ellis failed in his attempt to sue an abusive priest, the church and the then Archbishop, Cardinal Pell, when the NSW Court of Appeal found that church assets held in valuable property trusts were protected from law suits regarding the behaviour of clergy.

‘‘Why should the community accept that the Catholic Church cannot be sued and that it doesn’t exist in the eyes of the law – of course it exists, of course it has assets, and if it has caused harm it should be able to be sued,’’ Mr Shoebridge said.

A gracious lakeside paradise

58 Gordon Avenue, Summerland Point.ONE of Australia’s longest-serving sporting and media administrators, Richard Fisk, is selling his waterfront Summerland Point home after almost two decades of lakeside living.
Shanghai night field

Mr Fisk and his wife Ngaire bought the historic cottage at 58 Gordon Avenue 18 years ago as a weekender, before engaging building designer Melanie Symington a decade ago to oversee an award-winning renovation.

The couple moved permanently into the home after the construction work, which included rebuilding the rear of the home and adding a jetty and private boat ramp.

“It’s just a delight for entertaining and lakeside living,” Mr Fisk said.

He said his favourite features of the home were the three major entertainment areas, including one that has 25 metres of water frontage.

“No matter what the wind or weather is, we have a covered area,” he said. “We just love sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine and watching the sun set.”

The Property Market principal Gavin Schwebel has listed the house for offers over $1.3 million.

Positioned on about 930 square metres with 25 metres of absolute water frontage, it features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double garage, drive-through boat shed, en suite and walk-in wardrobe in the main bedroom, manicured estate-like gardens and established fruit and vegetable gardens.

The Fisks plan to travel overseas more and will downsize to another property nearby.

“We wouldn’t leave the area – Lake Macquarie is one of the jewels of the world,” Mr Fisk said.

Rare opportunity in Bar Beach

48 Wrightson Avenue, Bar Beach.

BEFORE retired real estate agent Robert Henning became a partner at the city’s oldest real estate company – Creer & Berkeley – one of his first jobs was to ring a brass crier’s bell on auction day, a task for which he was paid two shillings.

A similar bell will be used today (March 21) when his Bar Beach home at 48 Wrightson Avenue goes under the hammer.

Listing agent and auctioneer Anthony Merlo, of Dalton Partners, said interest was strong in the three-bedroom rendered brick veneer home, with 55 parties having viewed the property and 15 contracts issued.

He said the auction would be “hard fought”, as opportunities to buy in the area were becoming slim.

Mr Merlo said he expected bidding would start at around $1.2 million for the house, which is on a 620-square-metre block just 250 metres to Bar Beach.

The property will be open from 10am for viewing and registration ahead of the auction on site at 10.30am.

Contemporary luxury

THE epitome of contemporary seaside luxury, Graeme and Kerrie Nisbet’s Swansea Heads “dream home” has been listed for sale.

The couple built the spacious coastal residence at 47 Pacific Drive after buying the property from Mr Nisbet’s brother-in-law.

“It was our dream home to retire in, we purposely built it on two storeys so that we had the ocean views from the verandah – it’s my favourite feature of the home,” Mrs Nisbet said.

“We love the northerly breeze that comes through at about 11am every day, our wonderful neighbours and the fact it’s only one hour to the Sydney end of the M1 motorway.”

The property offers low-maintenance living on a level 664-square-metre block with established low-maintenance gardens and lawns and in a peninsula location, opposite an ocean-front reserve and metres from Caves Beach.

Spread over two levels, the five-bedroom and three-bathroom home is on the market with a price guide over $1.1 million. The home features a stone-finished kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances, large shaded entertainment terrace with sea views and lower-level self-contained accommodation.

The house also has a four-car garage with internal access.

A new record for Stockton

283 Mitchell Street, Stockton.

AN impressive Stockton beachfront home that would make an ideal entertainer’s abode has sold for $1.9 million, setting a new suburb price record by $150,000.

Sam Kolatchew of Chapman Property listed the five-bedroom, dual-level property at 283 Mitchell Street, which is only 30 metres from the water’s edge and features three bathrooms, a three-car garage, an internal elevator, master en suite with spa, dressing room, polished hardwood floors, electronic blinds and plantation shutters, a security system with camera surveillance, ducted airconditioning and built-in roof and window washers.

The commercial quality gourmet chef’s kitchen – close to the grand dining room and living area – is the heart of the home, with 40mm stone benchtops, a five-burner gas stovetop, built-in barbecue style grill, a custom built-in oven, convection oven, microwave, coffee machine, dual dishwashers, dual sinks, built-in electronic scales and separate sink disposal system.

Don and Tammy Hubbard from Spring Ridge on the Liverpool Plains bought the property, with plans to use it as a vacation destination for five years before moving up to the area to make it their permanent home.

Historic home sells

10 High Street, New Lambton.

A CIRCA 1906 Federation beauty, 10 High Street, New Lambton, has sold.

Listing agent Nicholas Maguire, of Dowling Eastlakes, said successful negotiations after 86 groups inspected the property called Airth resulted in the $950,000 sold price.

Transformed by owners Brian and Cathy Dick, the land on which the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house sits was originally owned by New Lambton Land and Coal Company Ltd in the 1880s.

The section of land on the corner of Queens Road and High Street was sold in two large lots, 18 and 19, in the early years. One of the original purchasers in August 1906 was James Forbes Scobie.

The family’s roots were in a small royal burgh in Stirlingshire, Scotland, named Airth, after which the house was named.

Mixed-use site offers opportunities

Mixed-use property for sale at 5 Throsby Street, Wickham.A WICKHAM property is for sale which offers an opportunity to buy a mixed-use style property with rental return and development potential.
Shanghai night field

At 5 Throsby Street and listed through Colliers International, agent Byrne Tran said the upstairs is ripe for refurbishment and currently offers an open plan area with separate office rooms and amenities, perfect for converting to possible student accommodation, office or studio apartments (subject to council approval).

Downstairs is leased by Wickham Motorcycles Cafe, giving an income while you refurbish. In a prime, tightly held and in-demand area close to the CBD, it is only a stroll away to Wickham train station and the Port of Newcastle.

Suite deal at Life at Throsby

An artist’s impression of 4/18 Throsby Street, Wickham.

ALSO in Wickham and part of the Life at Throsby development, suite 4/18 Throsby Street, is offered for lease by Raine & Horne Newcastle’s agent Alan Tonks.

The new suite, currently under construction by Reg Flannery Developments, features some key aspects of a commercial office with a few rarities including a sunny north-facing terrace and seven undercover on-site car parks.

Close to Newcastle’s Yacht Club, The Albion Hotel and local cafes, this office offers diversity for clients and employees as well as ease of access to the Hunter Valley.

“Wickham is a suburb in transition, currently undergoing many changes with industrial warehouses being converted to new residential and commercial complexes,” he said.

Large retail centre sold

BENNETTS Green Central has sold before auction to a private investor for $9.4 million.

The modern, large format retail centre with simple configuration and outstanding convenience is situated approximately 14 kilometres south of the Newcastle CBD, within an established and highly regarded retail precinct with excellent arterial road access.

The complex is underpinned by three major national retailers offering a secure 7.1-year WALE (weighted average lease expiry).

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Orca Property by Colliers International Newcastle and Stonebridge Property.

“The fact that one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading specialty retailers, the ASX listed Super Retail Group, guarantee 65 per cent [approximately] of the gross income attracted strong interest,” said Phil Gartland of Stonebridge.

“The sale demonstrates that the asset class is in favour by investors. The hardware sector has long been the strong performer in the large-format retail category, however the recovery in the housing market and low interest rate environment has seen yields firm across assets with tenants relying on discretionary spending,” said Peter Macadam of Colliers.

The estimated net passing income of $742,156 per annum reflects an initial yield of 7.89 per cent.

Subdivision going to auction

A TERALBA small subdivision site of 9500 square metres adjoining waterfront reserve has been listed for sale by auction with David Podmore of Ren Property.

Situated on the corner of William and Bliss streets, Mr Podmore said the site acquired by the current owners some 15 years ago has development consent to create 17 lots.

“Four of the lots are 450 square metres or more, 13 are smaller lots with approved home plans for three- and four-bedroom homes with en suites and double garages.

“Substantial works have commenced to protect the DA and this has been signed off by Lake Macquarie City Council,” he said

Mr Podmore believes the new homes will appeal to many segments in the market.

“Retirees will be keen. Being level homes close to facilities and the bowling club, some have access for caravans and families will appreciate the school close by.”

He said first home buyers will qualify for the up to $15,000 new home grant and investors will have the benefit of new home depreciation schedules.

Mr Podmore, who has an interest in the project, will auction the property on site at 10am Saturday, April 18.

How to put the thrill back into travel

Limestone islets and tropical lagoon in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua. Photo: iStock Swinging over a jungle river in southern Mexico. Photo: iStock
Shanghai night field

Limestone islets and tropical lagoon in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua. Photo: iStock

Swinging over a jungle river in southern Mexico. Photo: iStock

Limestone islets and tropical lagoon in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua. Photo: iStock

Swinging over a jungle river in southern Mexico. Photo: iStock

The tracks have mostly been beaten.

It’s becoming harder and harder these days to find those daring, adventurous destinations, harder to take yourself off the grid, because the world is changing so rapidly. Everyone is travelling. Every country is part of a global community. Everyone is in touch.

Wifi is spreading like a disease. You can access your emails on a plane. You can check your work messages from a beach in Mexico. You think you’ve gotten away from it all – only to find that “it” has followed you around the globe.

And there are tourists everywhere.

You might have noticed recently that it’s getting far more difficult to get away from the people you’ve been trying to get away from. You’ll bump into a group of Australians at a hotel in Tashkent. You’ll have to step through busloads of cruise ship passengers in Yangon. Hostels in Nicaragua are reviewed on Tripadvisor. The world, clearly, has become a much smaller place.

Gone are the days when the Czech Republic was an adventure into the unknown. You’re not going to “lose yourself” in Cambodia anymore. You’re going to find most of your high school mates.

But that doesn’t mean people have stopped trying to push the envelope. Everyone’s still trying to go that little bit further away than their friends (or parents) have already been. That’s why there’s renewed interest in travel to places such as Iran, or the ‘Stans, or Central America, or even West Africa.

It’s experience that’s the problem. Travel is like a drug that you develop a tolerance to over time. At first any destination is exciting – London is a buzz, Bali is amazing. But soon that’s not enough. You need travel to shock you all over again. So you go to India, and then you go to Mexico, and then Tanzania or West Papua.

You’re searching for the next hit, the place that will wow you, the place that will offer up things you’ve never seen before.

And now this type of travel, adventure travel, off-the-beaten-track travel, has hit the mainstream. Last week Intrepid launched a series of “Expedition Trips”, one-off adventures (for this year at least) into uncharted territories.

They’re running tours in 2015 through the jungles of southern Mexico, through Kosovo, Georgia, and Papua New Guinea. The idea is to get back to the roots of group travel, back to the days when people were running bus trips from London to Kathmandu, when tour leaders flew by the seat of their pants, when you had no idea what was going to happen that day, when things could and probably would go wrong on unbeaten trails.

Sounds like heaven to me. So much of touring life and even everyday travelling life has become tame and predictable. You need to do something new and daring if you hope to repeat the chaos and excitement of your earliest travel adventures.

There’s nothing wrong with, say, sitting in a tapas bar in Spain or watching live music in the USA, but if you’ve got some experience and you still want the buzz of something wild when you travel, these are the sorts of trips that you need to be seeking out.

I’ve had some of my best experiences in some of the most out-of-the-way places. A trek in search of gorillas in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo was tell-the-grandkids sort of stuff. A journey up the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon was pretty amazing. And I’ll never forget a train ride through the high plateaus of Mongolia.

Life becomes more interesting when you have no idea what’s going on. Every day is a challenge and an achievement when no one speaks your language and nothing works the way it should. And you’re not going to experience that in places you’ve already been and in which you feel comfortable.

You have to get off the beaten track. That might be becoming harder to find – but it’s out there.

What have been your most memorable travel experiences in far-flung places? Do you enjoy trying to get off the beaten track? Leave a comment below.

Email: [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au

Instagram: instagram上海龙凤419m/bengroundwater

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

Explainer: What you need to know about double dissolution elections

The Abbott government does not hold a majority in the Senate. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen How the current Senate stacks up.
Shanghai night field

PM Turnbull announces he will bring Parliament back early ahead of a likely double dissolution election. Photo: Andrew Meares

PM Turnbull announces he will bring Parliament back early ahead of a likely double dissolution election. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mark Kenny: Malcolm Turnbull throws caution to the windMalcolm Turnbull names date for early double dissolution election

What is a double dissolution election?

The governor-general, on the advice of the prime minister, has the power to dissolve the House of Representatives and the Senate and call an election. The point of the double dissolution election is that it allows the Australian people to break a deadlock in Parliament caused by particularly contentious legislation.

How is it triggered?

Both chambers need to disagree on at least one piece of legislation. This can occur when the government of the day – holding a majority in the House – does not have a majority in the Senate. The bill needs to pass the House and fail in the Senate on two occasions, more than three months apart. The Governor-General can, under section 5 of the constitution, appoint times to hold sessions of the Parliament “as he thinks fit”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday he had received permission from the Governor-General to recall both houses of parliament on April 18 to reconsider the government’s key union reforms, which have been stalled in the Senate since last August, and could form triggers for a double dissolution election.

How does it work?

When the governor-general dissolves the Parliament, all members and senators face a general election. Once the new composition of the chambers is decided, the bill that caused the disagreement is again presented to the Parliament.

The option for a double-dissolution election is available until May 2016, as they cannot occur within the last six months of an ordinary three year term of the House of Representatives.

What triggers does the current government have?

If the Senate fails to pass either the ABCC Bill or the Registered Organisations bill when Parliament is recalled in April, Mr Turnbull will advise the Governor-General to dissolve both houses and call the election for July 2.The Senate has once rejected the ABCC Bill, which aims to reinstate the Howard-era Australian Building and Construction Commission – abolished under Labor and twice rejected the Registered Organisations Bill – to create an independent union regulator with stricter penalties on union officials. The latter is most likely to form the trigger for a double dissolution election.Mr Turnbull said that the bills would ensure that “unions are more accountable, more transparent, managed in the same manner, transparent manner that public companies should be managed.”

It is possible for a government to stockpile triggers for a double dissolution if they wish to get them all passed in one go.

While the government has other failed legislation, including a bill to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, one to establish the Asset Recycling Fund and another to abolish the Australian National Preventative Health Agency – Mr Turnbull made clear that they would only call a double dissolution election if either of the industrial relations reforms failed to pass.

Has it happened before?

There have been six examples in Australian history. Between 1914 and 1987, the government of the day lost those elections on three occasions. The most famous double dissolution election occurred in 1975 when one was called by newly installed caretaker prime minister Malcolm Fraser after the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

Follow us on Twitter

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

Twenty per cent still think it’s OK to discriminate against Indigenous Australians

Called lazy: Indigenous actor Greg Fryer (right). Photo: Paul RovereAn advertising campaign that explores the casual racism of Australians towards Indigenous people has been viewed more than 3.75 million times, but 20 per cent of respondents to a beyondblue survey still think it is OK to discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Shanghai night field

Beyondblue’s “The Invisible Discriminator – Stop. Think. Respect” video highlights research by the charity that found one in five young Australians would move if a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent sat next to them and the same percentage would keep an eye on an Indigenous person if they were shopping.

After the campaign was launched, beyondblue commissioned an independent evaluation by market researchers TNS, the results of which were released on Thursday.

The evaluation found that up to 21 per cent of respondents who had seen the scenarios depicting subtle discrimination in the video still thought the behaviour they depicted was acceptable, while 70 per cent agreed that “almost everyone has been a racist at some point in their lives”.

The findings were a concern to beyondblue’s chief executive Georgie Harman.

“There was a segment of the target audience who saw the ads and didn’t think there was anything wrong with the scenarios,” she said. “This illustrates how much work still needs to be done to change entrenched racist attitudes.”

The evaluation of the campaign confirms beyondblue’s original research findings, released in July, which were based on the opinions of more than 1000 participants, aged between 25 and 44.

 

It found Western Australia had the highest levels of discriminatory attitudes towards Indigenous Australians, while 41 per cent of respondents in NSW said that “they were given an unfair advantage by the government”.

 

The study also revealed that 37 per cent of people surveyed believed Indigenous Australians were lazy. “The results were consistent with my experience,” Indigenous Australian actor, Greg Fryer told Fairfax Media.

 

Thirty-one per cent of respondents believed that Indigenous Australians should behave more like other Australians.

 

The data also suggested that other Australians are suspicious of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in shops, with 21 per cent saying that they would keep an eye on an Indigenous person while they were shopping.

 

Ms Harman, said many people harboured an unconscious bias towards Indigenous Australians.

“Unfortunately, many people don’t realise when they are discriminating against Indigenous people and therefore don’t understand the profound effect it has on how they feel about themselves,” she said.

This attitude was mirrored in the result for Australian’s attitudes towards changing discriminatory practices, with 28 per cent saying it wasn’t a priority.

The beyondblue campaign aimed to point out that day-to-day discrimination was a cause of depression and anxiety for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

 

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

Cyclone Nathan strengthens with ‘hot towers’ as it heads towards Queensland coast

Cyclone Nathan’s winds may gust to 260km/h. Photo: earth.nullschool上海龙凤419 Cyclone Nathan intensifies off the Queensland coast. Photo: NASA
Shanghai night field

Cyclone Nathan’s expected track. Photo: BoM

Cyclone Pam cut a cool swathe across the South Pacific in terms of sea-surface temperature anomalies. Photo: BoM

Heatwave predicted ahead of the cyclone for much of Queensland. Photo: BoM

Cyclone Nathan track points to a category 4 storm when it crosses the coastline Photo: BoM

Cyclone Nathan track points to a category 4 storm when it crosses the coastline Photo: BoM

Cyclone Nathan track points to a category 4 storm when it crosses the coastline Photo: BoM

Cyclone Nathan track points to a category 4 storm when it crosses the coastline Photo: BoM

Cyclone Nathan is closing in on the north Queensland coast, with US space agency NASA identifying “hot towers” at its core as a signal that the storm is intensifying.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that Cyclone Nathan will hit near Cape Flattery in the early hours of Friday, possibly bringing wind gusts as strong as 260km/h.

The storm, now rated a category 3, is expected to intensify to a category 4 event, bringing dangerous conditions to about 150 kilometres on either side of the landfall point.

“Locations to the north and the south are going to be getting [a] very, very strong storm surge, wind and also rainfall associated with the crossing of the system,” Jess Carey, a meteorologist with the bureau, said.

The storm was about 350kilometres off the coast about 9am, EST, and travelling westwards at a rate of 8-10km/h, Mr Carey said.

Damage from the coastal storm surge may be limited because of fortunate timing. On present forecasts, Nathan’s crossing will coincide with low tide.

“The later it goes, the closer it’s going to be to the high tide and the more issues it’s going to cause,” Mr Carey said, adding that dangerous surf conditions would extend all the way south to Cairns.

Cyclone Nathan neared Cape Melville to the north of its present course last week, before looping back out to sea. That approach dumped as much as 500mm of rain in some places.

The same region will most likely collect about 100-300mm of rain over a 24-48 hour period, with some falls of 400mm, depending on how fast the storm moves inland, Mr Carey said.

NASA said satellite monitoring showed Cyclone Nathan was sporting powerful thunderstorms near its centre, known as “hot towers”, “which are indicative of a strengthening storm”. Rainfall was intense on the eastern side of the storm, the space agency said.

Mr Carey said the presence of thunderstorms within the cyclone was not uncommon, noting that ex-cyclone Oswald in 2013 spawned tornadoes in the Bundaberg region.

“It’s quite likely within cyclones that you do get significant storm activity,” Mr Carey said. “That’s another risk associated with those winds.”

He noted that Cyclone Nathan was compact and condensed, much like Cyclone Marcia, which struck central Queensland last month as a severe category 5 event.

Both differed in scale from Cyclone Pam, which tore through Vanuatu over the weekend and which meteorologists say was probably the second most-intense cyclone on record in the South Pacific. Cyclone Zoe in late 2002 is considered to have been slightly stronger at its peak.

The region’s waters remain warmer than average, even though Cyclone Pam was big enough to create short-term cooling over a wide swathe of ocean as it sucked up huge amounts of energy.

Mr Carey said the region’s cyclone season had about another six weeks to run, leaving the possibility of more big storms.

“There’s nothing to say we won’t get more cyclones,” he said.

Cyclone Nathan’s expected landfall will be nine years to the day that Cyclone Larry battered a region slightly to the south.

Cyclone Larry was a severe category 5 event, which devastated the banana-growing region around Innisfail. This week’s storm is likely to spare Innisfail although heavy rain and gusty winds are possible in the area, Mr Carey said.

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

Abbott government and Labor reach deal on metadata retention laws

The Abbott government doesn’t believe the extra protections for journalists are necessary but are keen to get the bill passed. Photo: Andrew Meares The Abbott government doesn’t believe the extra protections for journalists are necessary but are keen to get the bill passed. Photo: Andrew Meares
Shanghai night field

The Abbott government doesn’t believe the extra protections for journalists are necessary but are keen to get the bill passed. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Abbott government doesn’t believe the extra protections for journalists are necessary but are keen to get the bill passed. Photo: Andrew Meares

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there’s nothing the the metadata bill that should concern journalists. Photo: Andrew Meares

The division in the House on the metadata bills, with Andrew Wilkie, Adam Bandt, and Cathy McGowan opposing. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from Parliament

A public interest advocate will be created and will be able to argue against police access to a journalist’s metadata for the purpose of identifying their sources, under a deal struck between Labor and the Abbott government.

This means media companies will be left in the dark over whether or not their journalists’ metadata is being accessed but allows for a warrant application to be tested in court.

The public interest advocate will be based on Queensland’s Public Interest Monitor.  A judge will have to weigh up whether the disclosure of the journalist’s source outweighs the public interest in protecting source confidentiality.

Labor insisted that the legislation include a “presumption against issuing the warrant”, setting a higher bar for agencies seeking access.

The legislation says the judge “must not issue a journalist information warrant unless” the public interest outweighs the disclosure of the source.

A judge will also be asked to consider whether the matter being investigated is “serious or trivial” and keep in mind the “importance of personal privacy”.

The amendment was passed in the lower house shortly after the deal was made public and the bill was passed just before question time on Thusday. The entire bill, which will ask telcos to keep customer records for two years from 2017, is all but set to be passed by the Senate with the Coalition and Labor commanding an overwhelming majority in the upper house when they agree on legislation.

Police would only need warrants when wanting to access a journalist’s source but would not require the same permission if they suspected a person of being the source and wanted to look up their metadata.  No warrant would be required for an ordinary citizen.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the public interest advocate as a “very important protection” for journalists.

“There is nothing in the bill therefore that should concern journalists about their right to do their job, their duty to do their job and to deal confidentially with their sources,” he said the House of Representatives.

“All of us understand that the work that journalists do is just as important in our democracy as the work that we do as legislators.”

Labor has forced the government to provide extra protections for journalists. The opposition believes the public interest advocate will address fears the warrant process for accessing a journalist’s metadata will simply be a “tick and flick process”.

The Coalition believes they aren’t necessary but is agreeing to the demands because it wants its third phase of counter-terror laws passed through Parliament by the end of next week.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was frustrating that the negotiations, which began on Monday, took so long to conclude.

“It’s even more frustrating that the government still refuses to acknowledge that the stronger protections today needed to occur,” he said.

Currently, up to 80 organisations can request permission to access the logs of an internet user or mobile phone customer without a warrant.

Under the proposed laws, the number of authorities able to access metadata would be reduced to 20 crime-fighting agencies but would include the Australian Tax Office, the corporate regulator and competition watchdog.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm said he would support extra protections under the new metadata laws but opposes what he describes as increased government “snooping”.

“But I have to say the whole idea is bad in principle,” he said, arguing the legislation treats all citizens as potential terrorists or paedophiles or “criminals in waiting”.

Follow us on Twitter

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

Crazy brave or crazy crazy? Crossbenchers laugh off suggestions of a double dissolution election

How the current Senate stacks up.The Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentTony Abbott canvasses prospect of double dissolutionExplainer: what you need to know about double dissolution elections
Shanghai night field

Double dissolution election speculation is not “crazy brave” but “crazy crazy talk” aimed at preserving Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership, independent Senator Nick Xenophon believes.

However other crossbenchers are taking the threat more seriously. Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir feels the “writing is on the wall” for an early election and Palmer United Party senator Zhenya “Dio” Wang is urging the government to make good on its threat if it believes the crossbench is defying the will of voters.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm confirmed on Thursday that the prospect of a double dissolution had come up during discussions with Education Minister Christopher Pyne over the government’s higher education reforms.

The government plans to resubmit the same bill to uncap university fees, which was defeated in the Senate on Tuesday night for the second time in three months time. If it is rejected again it will provide the Coalition with a trigger.

“He wants that trigger to be available, he didn’t say they were going to use, it, he just wants that trigger to be available,” Senator Leyonhjelm told reporters on Thursday.

Senator Leyonhjelm told Mr Pyne be believed a double dissolution election was an “empty threat” and added the government “would have to have rocks in its head” to call an early poll because it would lose.

A spokesman for Mr Pyne said the assertion the government had deliberately attempted to create a trigger was false.

“The government wants the bill passed,” the spokesman said.

The government already has a double dissolution trigger because its bills to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation have twice been rejected by the Senate.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann sought to quash the speculation and said the government wanted to serve a full term ahead of the next election, due in the second-half of 2016.

Senator Xenophon said talk of an earlier poll was “crazy crazy talk” from the Prime Minister.

“This talk of a double dissolution election is more of a threat to nervous Coalition backbenchers than it is to the crossbench,” Senator Xenophon said.

“It seems not so much crazy brave talk but crazy crazy talk.”

But Senator Leyonhjelm believed talk of double dissolution was deliberately aimed at the crossbench.

“There’s no doubt that some of the crossbench is feral, I think that’s true and they won’t engage with the government, they won’t be productive, they won’t be constructive and I can’t blame the government,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

Senator Wang said the PUP had been constructive with the government on a broad range of issues, including the abolition of the mining and carbon taxes and asylum seeker visas.

But Senator Wang urged the government to make good on its threat because it would be a “good opportunity” to “listen to the voters” and “put themselves to the test of democracy”.

“If they think the Senate is defying the wishes of the public, they should go to a double dissolution,” Senator Wang told Fairfax Media.

Senator Muir said while the government has not raised the possibility of a double dissolution election with him personally, the “writing seems to be on the wall”.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie told Fairfax Media she found the talk “disturbing” and said the government should ask itself three questions.

“One, do we have the best leader? Two, do we need a complete reshuffle of our cabinet and three, why aren’t our policies getting through the Senate?” she said.

“Until they are smart enough to realise that these are their three major problem areas and be big enough to admit they themselves are in chaos, then they themselves will remain their own worst enemy.”

Family First senator Bob Day said the idea of an early election didn’t faze him.

“No I don’t think so because the threshold [for a Senator to be elected] is halved so it makes it easier for minor parties,” he said.

Senators Lazarus and Madigan were contacted for comment.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow Latika Bourke on Facebook

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