An unlikely murderer: how police caught Daniel Jack Kelsall

Daniel Jack Kelsall’s parents Mark and Lynne (in black) outside court on Wednesday. Photo: Daniel Munoz Mr Huxley’s ex-girlfriend Jessica Hall (in stripes) and family members spoke after the verdict. Photo: Nic Walker
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Kelsall guilty of murdering HuxleyLife ‘stolen by worthless psychopath’Who is accused Daniel Kelsall?Huxley ‘texted ex-lovers in final hours’Kelsall a nice young adult: mother

In the weeks after Morgan Huxley was found dead in his Neutral Bay flat, police were interviewing former girlfriends, his flatmate and her boyfriend, and his colleagues.

A young man seen in CCTV footage running after Mr Huxley as he left The Oaks Hotel early on September 8, 2013, was identified as Daniel Jack Kelsall, a kitchen hand and cleaner from the local Sydney Cooking School.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dukes, said that when Kelsall was first voluntarily interviewed by police he was not considered to be Mr Huxley’s murderer.

“I just thought he was just strange, to be honest, sorry,” Detective Dukes told a pre-trial hearing in the NSW Supreme Court, glancing at Kelsall in the dock.

It only took a matter of hours for a NSW Supreme Court jury to find on Wednesday that Kelsall stabbed Mr Huxley more than 20 times, declaring him guilty of murder.

After speaking to Kelsall formally that first time on September 24, 2013, when he told them he had never been in Mr Huxley’s apartment, police continued looking at other people.

Mr Huxley had been dating several women at the same time, one of whom he described as a “psycho”, and at least two of them had found out about each other.

The 31-year-old had also been having disputes at work, after the man Mr Huxley rented his business premises from grew enraged when he “mooned” – flashed his bottom – in front of clients.

On September 26, Kelsall rang police to admit he hadn’t been entirely honest in his interview.

Kelsall asked Detective Dukes to meet him in the car park of Woolworths in Neutral Bay, where he told them he had gone to Mr Huxley’s apartment after striking up a conversation with him as he left the pub that morning and the pair had sex.

He told police Mr Huxley fell asleep, so he left the unit, and saw a blonde woman approaching.

“She saw me coming out and I think that’s why he got murdered,” he said, crying.

But soon, Kelsall got legal advice and stopped talking to police. The jury never heard about that conversation in the car park, which was deemed inadmissable.

Forensic tests later showed that Kelsall’s DNA was on Mr Huxley’s penis, his fingerprint was on Mr Huxley’s bedroom door. A shoulder bag Kelsall was seen carrying in the CCTV footage had spots of Mr Huxley’s blood on it, and appeared to have been cleaned.

Investigators also discovered that 16 months earlier, Kelsall had told a GP and a psychiatrist he was having violent, intrusive thoughts about stabbing someone on the way home from work “for the thrill of it”.

The case against him was strong.

But Kelsall appeared to be an unlikely murderer – he was fine-featured and thin, compared to Mr Huxley who worked on wharves, stood at 181 centimetres tall and weighed 90 kilograms.

When Kelsall was arrested on October 4, he was carrying a fantasy novel called Magician. The book, by Raymond E. Feist, tells the tale of Pug, an orphan boy who is apprenticed to a master magician.

Kelsall was adopted by his parents Lynne and Mark, and was raised in New Zealand, where he trained as a chef, before moving to Sydney with his family and working in a restaurant at Balmoral.

His mother, who carried Kelsall’s Pikachu doll – a Japanese comic character – around with her during the trial, said her son was loving, caring and often left sweets on the kitchen bench for her when he got home from work.

His boss at the cooking school, Brett Deverall, told the trial Kelsall quietly tolerated chiding from his workmates about his odd behaviour, his sexuality and his curly red hair.

“The whole time he never raised his voice, even in [celebrity chef] Gordon Ramsay-type situations.”

Kelsall was the only defence witness at the trial and appeared to enjoy the attention, as all eyes in the packed courtroom fixed upon him.

He said that he and Mr Huxley engaged in a deep conversation as they crossed Military Road that night and Mr Huxley invited him into his flat.

It was there, Kelsall told the jury, that Mr Huxley agreed to go upstairs and have a sexual encounter, which was interrupted by a random, unknown attacker.

When Kelsall was under cross-examination and asked about why he didn’t notice the attacker approaching, he smirked and said: “I was concentrating on other things.”

His testimony explained away the forensic evidence and the CCTV footage.

But, perhaps one of the biggest sticking point for the jury, there was overwhelming evidence that Mr Huxley was sexually interested in women and nothing to suggest he ever desired men.

Crown prosecutor Peter McGrath, SC, told the jury that Kelsall’s violent fantasies about murder were a “prophecy”, carried out on Mr Huxley.

“There was no reason for it at all.”

As the jury handed down their verdicts, also finding Kelsall guilty of indecent assault, he did not look at his mother, who was trying to catch his gaze.

He briefly nodded at her as he was taken down to the cells.

Kelsall will face a sentencing hearing next month.

He was also later charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material, to which he has pleaded not guilty, and which will be dealt with in another court.

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

Sydney Opera House most expensive ‘go green’ attraction for St Patrick’s Day

Sydney Opera House charges more to ‘go green’ on St Patrick’s Day than any other of the world’s most famous landmarks.
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Around 150 buildings and monuments around the world went ‘go green’ as part of Tourism Ireland’s ‘Greenification of the World’ initiative costing the tourist board €95,000 ($A13,220) in 2014.

The initiative, first launched six years ago, is designed to showcase Ireland’s fun, scenery and heritage, and was spurred by Liam Neeson who, as a Hollywood A-lister and Irishman, put his voice to a Tourism Ireland film, urging everyone to ‘go green’ on St Patrick’s Day.

The Opera House was the first to participate back in 2010, and in 2014 charged Tourism Ireland $A11,132.

The London Eye charged $9045 to illuminate. Other fees charged included: $4174 for the Sphinx and Pyramids in Egypt; $3576 for South Africa’s Table Mountain; and $3310 for the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Figures show that Irish landmarks cost disproportionately more to illuminate than international attractions.

However, a number of places went green for free, including The Empire State Building, Niagara Falls and the Las Vegas “Welcome” sign, as did Munich’s Allianz Arena, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland Paris, and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, among a host of other sites worldwide, according to Tourism Ireland.

Landmarks to go ‘green’ for the first time this year include Rome’s Colosseum, Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle and the top five floors of the Shard in London.

There is growing sentiment against the initiative, with many suggesting the greening ‘stunt’ is a waste of money.

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

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan says they are on the hunt for information to catch multinationals

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said the ATO was working in sync with 38 countries to multinationals suspected of tax evasion. Photo: Louie DouvisTax Commissioner Chris Jordan says information sharing with foreign nations has allowed it to raise $730 million worth of tax liabilities over the past two financial years.
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In a speech to be delivered at the Tax Institute’s annual conference in Gold Coast on Thursday morning, Mr Jordan says he is confident that the number will significantly increase as the Australian Taxation Office gets better information through treaty and exchange agreements.

“We are doing what we can to ensure that individuals and companies pay the right amount of tax here in Australia,” Mr Jordan says in the speech provided to Fairfax Media.

Australia has information-sharing agreements with tax authorities in 36 countries, as well as treaties with 44 countries.

In 2012-13 such exchanges resulted in $480 million in tax and penalties and interest.

This figure dipped to $250 million in 2013-14, but the Tax Office says there is often a lag between demands for information and actually issuing tax bills. It expects to raise significant liabilities from financial information exchanges this year.

Mr Jordan said the ATO was working in sync with 38 countries to multinationals suspected of tax evasion.

“With so many tax authorities committed to working closely together, at Australia’s instigation, we will have much more timely and detailed information available to us on aggressive tax avoidance,” he says.

The Tax Office has also benefited from informants and leaks. Some of these involved information it got through an informer on hundreds of Australians identified as holding HSBC bank accounts in the former tax haven of Switzerland, but there have also been other sources.

“Since 2006, we have identified about 1900 Australians and offshore promoters,” he says. “We have undertaken about 800 audits, reviews and nudge letters, resulting in $340 million in liabilities being raised and 18 successful prosecutions.”

Mr Jordan will also pledge to solve disputes with taxpayers faster and more fairly than has been the case in the past.

The Tax Office has faced widespread criticism for the way its staff have treated small business people and individual taxpayers in the past, with the federal inquiry into tax disputes hearing from people who have lost their livelihoods and contemplated suicide because of the way the ATO treated them.

Mr Jordan said that while most taxpayer interactions with the ATO do not end up in dispute, they “impact people’s lives”.

“We have a number of strategies in place to resolve disputes as early as possible – early face-to-face or telephone engagement, increased use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) … [and] sensible settlement guidelines,” he says.

Despite the ATO’s increased efforts to reduce the amount of money owed to it, the amount of collectible has continued to rise from $18 billion to more than $20 billion.

To avoid this, Mr Jordan says it will increase efforts to get this money by “taking legal action earlier when warranted”.

“This means initiating bankruptcy and wind-up action where there is evidence that a taxpayer is insolvent, and looking to use other statutory powers where businesses have failed to pay employee superannuation entitlements or pay amounts held in trust,” he says.

“Litigation is appropriate where … the behaviour is such that we need to send a strong message to an individual – or broadly to the community that we won’t sit idly by,” he says.

The Commissioner will also speak about the Tax Office leadership’s recent attempts to change the internal culture.

Mr Jordan has long advocated his desire to move to a system of “willing participation” – that is that most people willingly pay their due taxes.

He will announce a “Reinventing the ATO Blueprint” on Thursday that describes the kind of experience that Australians want to have when they deal with the ATO.

“It will guide everything we do in the coming years,” Mr Jordan says.

Individuals will for their 2016 return be able to use an app to capture tax-related deductions “on the go”. “The app will record, classify and upload work-related deductions data direct to their myTax return in time for Tax Time 2016 – which means the days of the shoebox full of old receipts are gone,” Mr Jordan says.

Half a million taxpayers will also get “OK letters” for “simple, straightforward affairs” that confirm their 2015 tax return is closed from further review or audit.

“By using pre-filling and background analytics, we can provide this confirmation to these taxpayers within about a month of them lodging their return – except in cases where there is good reason to suspect fraud or false claims,” he says.

Mr Jordan believes the word “dispute” is no longer relevant for the majority of taxpayers.

“Doesn’t that start us off on different sides, set us up to focus on our differences?” he says. “Perhaps it is just a matter of clarification or correction – not actually a dispute.”

Recent ATO data shows that the Tax Office settled on disputes with 34 large business – typically those with over $250 million turnover – that amount to over $1.2 billion.

This, according to a recent review into tax disputes by the Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi, has left the ATO open to allegations of favouritism – cutting deals with the top end of town but not with small companies, which lack the resources to effectively dispute claims.

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

Brent oil jumps over 6pc on US Fed caution

Oil prices jumped as much as 6 per cent on Wednesday as the dollar fell after the Federal Reserve indicated it preferred a more gradual path to normalising US interest rates despite being open to the first rate hike in almost a decade.
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Benchmark Brent oil saw choppy moves earlier while US crude prices fell after data pointing to the highest oil inventories in the United States in at least 80 years.

The dollar’s tumble on the Fed’s latest policy statement changed the market’s direction.

“Well, we thought we’ll have some fireworks today and certainly got that with the Fed’s stance and the dollar’s tumble,” said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow in New York.

“But to me, the bottom line is the gains we have seen will be short lived, maybe through next week at most, as the fundamental data week after week shows we still have a tremendous amount of oil in storage that’s growing.”

The US government said crude inventories rose 9.6 million barrels to 458.51 million barrels in the week to March 13, the highest since the EIA began keeping a weekly record.

John Kilduff, partner at New York energy fund Again Capital, concurred the stockpiles were “too big a factor to ignore” and considered another downturn in prices.

“Speculation over storage capacity limits will only increase,” he said, referring to concerns the United States was running out of places to store oil.

Brent closed up $US2.40, or 4.5 per cent, at $US55.91 a barrel. In post-settlement, it extended its gain to above $US3, or 6 per cent, reaching $US56.84.

US crude finished up $US1.20, or almost 3 per cent, at $US44.66 a barrel, and above $US45 post-settlement.

Brent has struggled to stay above the mid-$US50 level while US crude has tried to find ground at around mid-$US45 since the end of January, when oil seemed to hit bottom from a seven-month selloff that knocked 60 per cent off prices.

The Fed opened the door further for an interest rate hike as early as June, ending its pledge to be “patient” in normalizing monetary policy while making clear that it needed to see more strength in the labor market and price growth.

The dollar fell against most major currencies after the statement, raising the appeal of dollar-denominated commodities, including oil, for holders of other currencies.

Reuters

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

MyMaster essay cheating scandal: More than 70 university students face suspension

Yingying Dou, who is the director of the MyMaster website, from which students bought essays. Photo: Dominic LorrimerEXCLUSIVE:
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Two university students have been expelled and a further 70 are facing severe penalties, including expulsion, from five of NSW’s most prestigious universities after being identified in connection with a widespread cheating scandal centred around an online essay writing company.

The students were identified using data provided by Fairfax Media, following an investigation last year that revealed up to 1000 students from 16 universities had hired the Sydney-based MyMaster company to ghost-write their assignments and sit online tests.

The data, which was insecurely stored on the now-defunct My Master website, included copies of the purchased assignments, bank receipts showing proof of payment, and in some instances suspected names and student numbers of those involved. The website was written in Chinese and was marketed to international students studying at universities in NSW.

The University of Newcastle – the only institution to have mostly finalised its internal investigation into the scandal – confirmed it had expelled two students and suspended a further eight for using the MyMaster service. A total of 31 students were found to have breached the university’s academic misconduct protocol, deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Parfitt said. All of them were international students based at the University of Newcastle’s Sydney campus.

When the cheating allegations were put to them, “the vast majority of students” admitted to buying their assignments and “expressed regret,” Professor Parfitt said.

Among them, 24 students received a fail grade for courses completed in 2014 – a penalty that was applied 51 times, indicating some students had bought their assignments for multiple courses.

Those students were suspended or expelled.

The two expelled students had used the MyMaster service four or five times, or had previous misconduct breaches on their record, he said.

“I think we’ve always known there are various forms students use for cheating. But we have a very strong process in place here.”

Professor Parfitt said the university was still pursuing a number of former students who had not responded to the cheating allegations. Those who graduated last year risked having their degrees revoked.

 

Four months after the cheating scandal was uncovered, the four other worst-affected universities – Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydneyand University of NSW – have told Fairfax Media that their internal investigations are still under way, but a number of students had been identified.

All universities, except UNSW, listed expulsion as the maximum possible penalty for students found to have breached academic protocol in their dealings with MyMaster. At UNSW, the maximum penalty is 18 months’ suspension from the university. All universities contacted by Fairfax Media said no penalties would be imposed until all appeal processes had been exhausted.

Macquarie University – the worst-affected university with students logging 128 requests for work in 2014 – confirmed 43 “current and former students” had been asked to attend disciplinary committee hearings to explain how their names were among the files held on the MyMaster website.

Professor John Simons, deputy vice-chancellor of Macquarie University, said the university had commissioned an independent investigation to audit the data provided by Fairfax Media and would  “leave no stone unturned in establishing whether or not cheating had occurred”.

“Some of these students may be completely innocently mentioned [in the Fairfax data]. This is for the disciplinary process to uncover,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the University of NSW said 19 students had been issued with “notices of allegation” in relation to 18 assignments, after plagiarism detection software had matched copies of the purchased assignments with those handed in by the students last year.

A further 11 students are under investigation at the University of Technology, Sydney, deputy vice-chancellor Shirley Alexander confirmed. Attempts were also being made to identify students in connection with 53 assignments that had been purchased using fake names.

Three students at the University of Sydney are also being investigated.

During the course of Fairfax Media’s investigation, it was revealed the MyMaster company had received more than 700 requests for work from NSW university students and turned over more than $160,000 in 2014, with some students paying up to $1000 for an assignment.

   

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

US firm ServiceMesh founded by former Al Gore adviser at centre of CBA scandal

‘I cannot believe we were tis [sic] stupid’ allegedly stated Keith Hunter in an email. Photo: James BrickwoodFormer Commonwealth Bank IT executive charged with briberyKeith Hunter was on fast track at CBAElizabeth Knight: CBA’s kickback scandal raises new questions about banking culture
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After being questioned by his employer, the Commonwealth Bank, over large sums of money discovered in one of his accounts, IT executive Keith Hunter allegedly fired off an email to a colleague.

“I am so shocked I want to vomit,” the email allegedly stated.  “I cannot believe we were tis [sic] stupid.”

Mr Hunter, 61, the bank’s former general manager of technology service management and operations, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of bribery relating to a contract awarded by the bank to a US IT firm – ServiceMesh.

Police are wanting to speak to the email’s recipient, Jon Waldron, the Commonwealth Bank’s former general manager of IT engineering.

Mr Waldron flew to the US on the weekend after he became aware of the police’s bribery investigation. Last week police froze an account with almost $2 million of allegedly corrupt payments.

The men are alleged to have awarded big-money contracts, worth tens of millions of dollars, to ServiceMesh without putting it to public tender.

The two men then allegedly received payments from a not-for-profit organisation, Ace Foundation, which was set up by by ServiceMesh, in return for awarding the contract.

Commander of the fraud and cybercrime squad, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, said Mr Hunter and Mr Waldron were “probably the most senior bank executives” to be allegedly caught carrying out a fraud.

ServiceMesh, a cloud computing company, was co-founded by leading IT entrepreneur Eric Pulier, a health and technology adviser to then US vice-president Al Gore and a member of former US president Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative.

The company was sold to US giant Computer Sciences Corporation in 2013 for more than $150 million.

NSW police will allege that the Commonwealth Bank contract was of a “significant size” and would have “contributed significantly” to the IT company’s sale to CSC.

After the sale, police allege that Mr Hunter and Mr Waldron were paid $2.19 million by Ace Inc.

Police allege the not-for-profit organisation, of which Mr Pulier was a founding member, was set up only to launder money.

Mr Hunter has told detectives the payment was for consultancy work done with the not-for-profit organisation. Fairfax Media does not suggest Mr Pulier is involved in the alleged crime.

Some of the money was paid into an account held with the Commonwealth Bank.

Asked if that was a “blunder”, Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis replied: “What do you think?”

The Commonwealth Bank began its own investigation into the alleged crime last October while also notifying police. Both Mr Waldron and Mr Hunter were fired by the bank last year.

“We have no tolerance for any illegal activity by any employee and we take every situation seriously,” a statement from the bank released on Wednesday said. The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Those who visit GPs the most are old, sick and poor, new data finds

Health Minister Sussan Ley. Photo: Andrew MearesThe Australians who visit the doctor most often tend to be older and poorer than those who visit their GP less, and would be hardest hit by the introduction of a “price signal”, new data has found.
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The data, to be released on Thursday by the National Health Performance Authority, suggests this group are twice as likely as the average to delay or decide against seeing a GP due to cost.

While Health Minister Sussan Ley two weeks ago dumped plans to cut Medicare rebates by $5 and allow doctors to charge patients this amount, she is continuing to explore options to make more people pay to see the doctor.

But the report shows those likely to be most affected by such a change tend to be older and poorer than those who see the doctor less often, and many have several long-term health conditions.

Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler said the data undermined the arguments of some proponents of a Medicare co-payment, who suggested asking more patients to pay would reduce the number of unnecessary visits to doctors.

“Contrary to what was implied by some in the recent debate over co-payments, these patients are not frivolous users of the system,” Associate Professor Owler said.

He said the data showed people who most frequently visited their GP were generally unwell, with complex and chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions. Better management of the care of these patients by GPs would likely save the health system in the long run by keepng them out of hospital, Associate Professor Owler said.

Public Health Association of Australia chief executive Michael Moore said if more patients had to pay to see their doctor, “the evidence here is showing us that those who are most in need of medical intervention through general practice are the ones who are likely to put it off”.

“That is also likely to lead to much greater costs down the line, when the very same people are going into hospitals and needing much greater interventions than they would have, had the issue been nipped in the bud.”

The data provides the most detailed picture ever seen of the Australians who are the heaviest users of the health system.

While 13 per cent of Australians see a GP more than 12 times a year, this group accounts for 41 per cent of out of hospital Medicare spending. This group were more likely than others to also have visits to specialists and hospital emergency departments, and need pathology tests and diagnostic imaging, yet they are the least likely to have private health insurance.

About one third of this group see five or more different GPs in a year.

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Frank Jones said it was these patients, who visited doctors most frequently, who would benefit the most from an ongoing relationship with a specific regular GP.

“When a GP has a longitudinal continuous clinical relationship with their patients, their health problems can be resolved more effectively and efficiently,” Dr Jones said.

“Patients are also more likely to receive quality preventative care and this results in healthier patients and fewer hospital visits,” he said.

On average, Australians visit a GP 5.6 times a year.

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

NSW election: Baird pledges $18 million to John Hunter Children’s Hospital

$50 million for Hunter hospitals Health pledge: Mike Baird and his Liberal candidates on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman
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Health pledge: Mike Baird and his Liberal candidates on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

Health pledge: Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner on the election trail in the Hunter. Picture: Darren Pateman

TweetFacebook$50 million for Hunter hospitalshttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd上海龙凤419/transform/v1/crop/frm/storypad-D8vFkr4DfTRK2kpdPpAQJC/11ac18a7-1851-4fd7-81ee-fe68fdb23ae8.jpg/r0_308_2820_1901_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgVIDEO: Maitland, Singleton and the John Hunter Children’s Hospital would win funding if the Liberals win government later this month.news, local-news, mike baird, nsw election 2015, john hunter hospital2015-03-19T08:23:00+11:00https://players.brightcove上海龙凤419/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4120717686001https://players.brightcove上海龙凤419/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=4120717686001He said voters had a choice between the Coalition’s “positive” plans for light rail in Newcastle and infrastructure that would befunded from the proposed lease of the poles and wires, compared to Labor’s “negativity”.

“We’ve learnt our lessons, we’ve got great candidates in the field who are fighting every day for every vote with positive plans,” he said.

“Look at the difference you’re seeing up here in the Hunter versus what we saw here for 16 years. Labor, whatever spin you put on it, took the Hunter for granted.

“We haven’t. We believe in it, we are delivering the infrastructure that is needed to make this region even greater.”

Mrs Skinner said the completion of the neonatal unit would benefit children in need of care from Wyong to the Queensland border.

“If you look there right now, it’s very crowded, there’s hardly room for parents to cluster around the cots of these very, very sick babies,” she said.

“When it’s completed this will be a superb service.”

Tenders have gone out for stage one, with works to start soon.

Stages two and the would then be rolled out to increase special care and neonatal intensive care cots from 42 to 53, although the work could be slow going.

“I’m told even in the early works, the preparatory works, they have to go very carefully because drilling upsets these very little, very delicate babies,” Mrs Skinner said.

Mr Baird confirmed the construction of a new Lower Hunter hospital at Metford was not contingent on the lease of the poles and wires, although it may yet be a public-private project with a decision to be made by mid year.

“Work will be underway on the hospital by next term, this is a green light,” he said.

“…The hospital boom is coming to a corner near you and that is because we are doing everything possible to build the hospitals that we need for today and tomorrow.”

Labor has called on the government to say whether the hospital would be operated by the private sector.

Orica boss Ian Smith too explosive for the dynamite maker

The fiery management style of Ian Smith ultimately proved a little too explosive for dynamite manufacturer, Orica.
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Still, it’s not like the company did not know what it was in for when it employed the former Newcrest boss as a ‘change agent’ three years ago.

“If you have got an issue, confront it, wrestle it, pin it to the ground,”  the Broken Hill-born Smith said in his chapter of Unearthing Wisdom, a tome containing the thoughts and wisdom of 20 mining industry leaders.

“Be confrontational when you see people are not applying their capabilities to the utmost,” is another weighty piece of advice from Smith who got the bullet from his chairman, Russell Caplan, after a rather volcanic meeting with his investor relations head, Karen McRae.

Smith might have to update another line from the book where he says he has been field-tested “through nearly every catastrophic event you can think of, and survived”.

Arvi’s Wrong ‘un

Unearthing Wisdom was commissioned by head hunter Swann Global to mark its 20 year involvement with the mining industry – hence the 20 mining industry veterans interviewed.

True to its mining theme, the book came in a year late and over budget, according to a speech given by mining veteran, Ian Cockerill.

But it is hard to beat Sir Arvi Parbo’s speech which helped launch the book in Melbourne last year.

“What worked well in a given situation in the past is not necessarily translatable into other circumstances. As an example: in my time in the industry, in today’s terms I did everything wrong,” the mining industry legend said.

“I worked for the same company for 43 years, was both the Chairman and Managing Director for 15 years and, on retirement as an executive, continued as the non-executive Chairman for a further nine years. These would all be shooting offences today but there was worse: for a period I was at the same time the Chairman of three major companies in the same industry,” he said.

“Unthinkable today, but as recently as 15 years ago no-one, including corporate regulators, shareholder associations, media, or anybody else saw any problems with this, and in the then environment there weren’t any problems.”

Virgin oil

Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti has bought many interesting items in his life – budget airline, Tigerair, and scores of classic cars including a 1962 Porsche 356B. But an oil refinery?

Borghetti was asked at a business lunch in Sydney on Wednesday whether he had any interest in following in the footsteps of Virgin’s alliance partner, Delta Air Lines. The American airline decided a few years to buy its own oil refinery because it was sick of oil companies slapping large margins on the conversion of crude to jet fuel.

The Pennsylvania refinery now accounts for 75 per cent of Delta’s fuel needs in the US.

While pointing out that there is a refinery at Kurnell near Sydney Airport that his planes fly over every day, the Italian stallion made clear that he has no plans to buy it from Caltex.

“I have got my hands full with what I have got,” he said.

Borghetti might be missing a bargain given Caltex is in the process of closing the Kurnell refinery.

Besides, there is the small matter of the fuel bills for his warehouse full of vintage cars to think about.

Fashion victim

David Jones boss, Ian Nairn, was sporting the latest autumn look at the retail property shindig, SCN Big Guns lunch – a tan, no tie, and one missing shoe.

The latter was making room for a moon boot, making him the latest victim of misadventure from Woolies South Africa empire.

Woolies South Africa boss, Ian Moir, was battling with back surgery last year as he battled Solomon Lew for control of David Jones and Country Road.

Moir then failed to make it to the Woolies AGM in November after injuring both legs in a fall in Sydney earlier that month while inspecting the new acquisitions.

Back to Nairn, he was sharing beef and blue-eyed cod with retail property royalty like John Gowing – the last of the dynasty to preside over the Sydney retailer institution.

The table also included Coles property guru, Sam Pinchbeck, and Topshop director David Slade.

Don’t bank on it

The Commonwealth Bank has finally revealed what sort of fraud gets it so fired up that the bank is prepared to take the matter to the police.

Keith Hunter, the former Commonwealth Bank executive who has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges on Wednesday, was dobbed in by his former employer.

“CBA reported this matter to the NSW Police and we will continue to fully co-operate while the investigation continues,” a bank spokesman said.

So what makes this case different to the wealth management fiasco which ripped off clients? CBD hasn’t noticed any reporting to the police on that front.

Hunter, and another former executive, allegedly received kickbacks from a US-based IT company in return for not putting a lucrative contract to public tender.

“We have no tolerance for any illegal activity by any employee and we take every situation seriously,” said the bank, which added “no customer has been affected by this matter.”

This means that, unlike the wealth management fiasco, it was the bank who suffered from this alleged fraud.

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

Sydney intern architect underpaid almost $7000

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says they are working to educate employers and workers about what genuine learning opportunities look like. Photo: Jesse MarlowA student was underpaid almost $7000 during an internship with a Sydney firm of architects, a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation has found.
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The student was completing a masters degree in architecture when he was paid $12 per hour for six months of full-time work.

His duties included architectural drawing, consulting with clients and and conducting site visits.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found that the student, aged in his 20s, should have been paid under the Architects Award and was short-changed $6830.

He performed work that was not a part of his university studies, entitling him to a minimum wage of $16.37 per hour, rising to $21.19 an hour after his graduation.

The company also failed to pay the student his correct leave entitlements or to issue him with any pay slips.

The company back-paid the employee after the Fair Work Ombudsman’s intervention. It also agreed to donate $500 to Interns Australia.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said employers need to be aware that they are at risk of breaching workplace laws if they use unpaid work schemes as a source of free or cheap labor.

“When a worker moves beyond merely learning and observing and starts assisting with business outputs and productivity, workplace laws dictate that the worker must be paid minimum employee entitlements,” Ms James said.

“We don’t want to stifle genuine learning opportunities that help young people get a foot in the door, but we also don’t want to see young people being treated unfairly through unpaid work schemes.

“We want to educate employers and workers about what genuine learning opportunities look like.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman released a report on unpaid work in 2013, which found growing numbers of Australian employers are using unpaid work schemes as an alternative to hiring paid staff.

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