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14 Sep 19

Fathers have changed. Surveys that track how families use their time show dads are spending much more time with their young children.
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And they’re not just mucking around. Fathers are taking a bigger role in the day-to-day, hands-on care of children, such aspick-ups, drop-offs, feeding and bathing.

It’s a profound cultural shift that has become even more pronounced over the past decade.

But n workplaces have been surprisingly slow to adjust.

Professor Marian Baird, a work and family expert atSydneyUniversity, warns “there’s still a long way to go”before businesses fully take on board the reality of the modern working father.

Her research on employer attitudes to parental leave illustrates some of the constraints fathers face.

Businesses are now quite amenable to mothers taking lengthy periods of parental leave and returning to work part-time, but it’s a different story for dads.

“Employers have accepted that fathers should take some leave around the time of a birth, but it’s really a pretty short period – about two weeks,”she said.

“Most employers are not ready for fathers to take extended leave, or have greater work flexibility, when they have children.”

It is also striking how fathers are largely ignored in the current political debate about government-funded paternity leave.

“It is still all couched in terms of maternity leave and time out for mothers,”says Professor Baird.

“It’s virtual silence when it comes to leave for dads and partners.”

A significant proportion of male workers – up to one in five according to some estimates –would like more flexible work hours but feel they can’t ask for it.

They fear making such a request will stifle their career or even make their job less secure.

Traditionally, being a father has been a career plus –men with children have enjoyed a wage premiumcompared to others.

Women, however, tend to suffer a “motherhood penalty”because so many leave their careers for long periods and take on lower paid, less demanding jobs after having children.

But the determination that modern dads have to be more involved with their children could alter that dynamic.

A new study in Great Britain – which has a work context similar to’s – warns of an emerging “fatherhood penalty”as many men choose to move into lower paid and lower quality work because they have become fathers.

Nearly half of the fathers surveyed for Britain’s “Modern Family Index” –which was released this month – said they would like to downshift into a less stressful job, reflecting the difficulty they face in reconciling work and home. More than a third said they would take a pay cut to strike a better balance between job and family.

This desire was most pronounced among younger “millennial generation”fathers, many of whom have a partner working full-time.

Many resort to fibs to help manage the daily juggle – 44 per cent of fathers and 37 per cent of mothersadmitted they have “lied or bent the truth to their employer”about their family responsibilities.

Unless workplaces can adjust to the way families have changed, there’s a chance we’ll end up with both a motherhood penalty and a fatherhood penalty.

Matt Wade is a Fairfax journalist.

Mum’s the word: It’s virtual silence when it comes to leave for dads and partners.


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14 Sep 19

NEARING THE END: Michael Byrne, who plays central character Phil in Pencil Case Productions’ ‘Bed’ at the Royal Exchange.IT’S not surprising, given the play’s title is Bed, that actor Michael Byrne, who is the central character, spends most of his onstage time in and around a bed.
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Byrne’s Phil, who is nearing life’s end, recalls while bedbound the five people who were his most important friends and partners between his teenage school years and his life after retirement.

Bed, by renowned n playwright Brendan Cowell, is being staged by Pencil Case Productions at Newcastle’s intimate Royal Exchange performing arts venue from February 22 to 26.

The production, directed by John Wood, also includes Oliver MacFadyen as Phil’s best friend at high school, Pearl Nunn as an attractive young woman he idolises as a university student, Linda Read as a frustrated career woman who is the mother of his son, Benjamin Louttit as a sharply tongued party boy, and Katy Carruthers as a free-spirited and fun-loving elderly woman who has a similar outlook to Phil.

Bed won author Cowell the 2002 Patrick White Playwrights Award for Bed, given annually by Sydney Theatre Company for an outstanding new play.

The work has Phil remembering significant moments in his relationships with the five people, with each making three appearances, most of them brief, in the 60-minute play.

Michael Byrne said there are flashes of love, heart-ache and heartbreak in the moments Phil recalls, and they often have a sharp dramatic edge. Party boy Drew, for example, is very streetwise and knows how to get what he wants.

John Wood notes that it is Grace, the mother of his son, who gets Phil settled in his 30s after his edgy teen and 20s relationships. The audience learns that she is American, with Phil moving to the United States to be with her, then returning to when the relationship breaks down.

Wood said the tone of the play can change in a moment, as Phil’s mind moves to another incident in his life. And at times his comments show that he doesn’t remember the minute details of relevant points in his relationships.

While the people in his life are seen briefly, the audience learns a lot about them.

Kane, Phil’s high school friend, is a challenging character.

Does Phil ever really understand him as they flee from school sport days?

And, as John Wood points out, two people can be beside each other on a bed but be miles away in their thoughts.

Bed plays at the Royal Exchange nightly from Wednesday, February 22, to Saturday, February 25, at 8.30pm, and on Sunday, February 26, at 7pm. Tickets: $20. Bookings: trybooking苏州夜总会招聘.


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14 Sep 19

n boxer Anthony Mundine will not acknowledge the national anthem. Photo: James Brickwood n boxer Anthony Mundine aka Choc at the Elouera- Tony Mundine Gym in Redfern ahead of his bout against n boxer Danny Green. Photographed Friday 20th January 2017. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH SPORT 170120 Photo: James Brickwood
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Danny Green has received a tonne of support from black and white ns after he slammed arch-rival Anthony Mundine’s decision to make public he would not stand for the national anthem before their fight at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

More than 3300 people responded to a social media post from the WA boxer on Monday – alongside a photo of him with an Indigenous fan and his daughter – with the majority in support of Green, while also despising the decision of Mundine, an Aboriginal and self-proclaimed Muslim.

“Big fight this Friday in . Lots of talk in the public and the media about division because Mundine is Indigenous and I am a white fella with Irish roots,” he wrote.

“Mundine won’t stand for the anthem before the fight and that is totally his choice. Doesn’t affect me. He is allowed his choices and his opinion.”

Green, 43, then criticised Mundine for trying to cause unnecessary division among fans and black and white people before the fight.

“One thing I do however despise, is people trying to cause division in our communities,” he said.

“I only give a shit about people being good to people.

“I have been raised to acknowledge and respect the original land owners. Always have and always will.

“I also appreciate the support I get from the Indigenous community. The bush telegraph talks fast and talks wide, and those people know my attitude and beliefs.”

Green shared a photo taken with an Indigenous supporter and his daughter to help appease any ill will arising from Mundine’s comments and to show his 41-year-old opponent he was not going to let him be divisive.

“Here with this proud father and his beautiful daughter who were wishing me well for the fight,” he wrote. “Peace.”

Indigenous singing superstar Jessica Mauboy is poised to sing the national anthem at Friday’s fight at Adelaide Oval, but Mundine bizarrely said this was only “because she is black”.

Mundine caused a typically-limp stir on Monday when he told News Limited papers Advance Fair was a racist anthem he would not stand for.

“It’s a racist anthem and doesn’t represent our people,” Mundine said.

“It’s disrespectful to our people. And this is close to my heart.

“First and foremost I want to focus on the fight… I’m not trying to divide people or be controversial but you’ve asked the question and I’m answering it honestly to tell people where I stand.

“We’re not young and free. My people are still being oppressed. Nothing’s changed … the anthem isn’t right. It’s not for all of . I just can’t stand up for something I don’t believe in.”

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson also weighed into the anthem brouhaha.

“Who cares what Anthony Mundine is saying?” Ms Hanson told Sunrise.

“That is his opinion, but the fact is, we have teachers in schools who are telling kids, children, you don’t have to stand for the national anthem.

“They’re saying if you find it offensive, don’t stand and leave the classroom.

“We are saying this in our classrooms. Why should we worry about what Anthony Mundine is saying? I am more concerned about what the kids are being taught in our classrooms.”

Indigenous WA football star and Sydney Swan player Lance Franklin criticised Mundine last year when he urged players in the AFL and NRL grand finals not to stand for the anthem.

“Personally, I think it’s pretty stupid really. It’s the n national anthem, it’s a part of our sport, our history,” Franklin said at the time.

Green accused Mundine, a former NRL star, of copying former American NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who infamously knelt before games when the US anthem played this season.

“This dingaling sees some blokes pull a stunt and he copies,” Green posted.

“Once again he doesn’t come up with anything original.”


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14 Sep 19

Cooks Hill keeper Josh Petrowski playing against Maitland in the 2015 FFA Cup.Swansea will face a 137km drive to Muswellbrook when two clubs at the extremities of the Northern NSW Football southern pool meet in the first round of the FFA Cup.
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The pairwere among 28 Zone League teams drawn to face each other on Tuesday in a competition which this year excludes second-tier Northern League sides until the second round.

Zone League One club Stockton Sharks will have a bye in the first round.

Top-tier NPL clubswill enter in the third round, one later than last year.

“It’s a reflection of some of the very lopsided scores that were taking place in rounds two or three,” NNSWF chief executive David Eland said.

“There are clubs that want the opportunity to knock off a Northern League or NPL club, but we’ve also got clubs saying, ‘We’ve only just started training and we don’t want to play an NPL club.’”

NPL champions Edgeworth beat Muswellbrook 20-0 in the second round last year and Broadmeadow beat Hamilton Azzurri 17-0.

The semi-finalists from lastyear’s NPL, Edgeworth, Magic, Olympic and Maitland, are seeded not to face another NPL club in round three.

The southern pool will whittle down to six before a finals weekend with the top two from the northern pool. The last two standing reachthe national round of 32.

NNSWF apologised to clubs after confusion in the latter part of Tuesday’s draw, streamed live online, when the commentary did not match the order of the draw.

“We take responsibility for it, but every club had a number in the bowl, and the draw is reflective of the order in which the balls were pulled out,” Eland said.

Round one draw

Westlakes Wildcats FC v Hamilton Azzurri FC

Dudley Redhead United FC v Mayfield United JSFC

Hunter Simba FC v Maryland Fletcher FC

Beresfield United SFC v Warners Bay FC

Jesmond FC v Kotara South SFC

Dudley Redhead United SFC v Garden Suburb FC

Barnsley United SFC v Newcastle Uni Mens FC

Beresfield FC v Newcastle Suns FC

Mayfield United SFC v Morisset United FC

Charlestown JFC v Cardiff City FC

Argenton United JSC v Merewether Advance SFC

Bolwarra Lorn JSC v Edgeworth JSC

Muswellbrook FC v Swansea FC

Raymond Terrace SC v Nelson Bay FC

Stockton Sharks bye


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14 Sep 19

Upgrades ahead PNG voyage HEALTH: Dutch medical vessel, Ruach, has docked on Newcastle’s Lee Wharf ahead of upgrades before heading to PNG to deliever medical services. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght.
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PORTHOLE: Newcastle Harbour can be seen through one of the Ruach’s portholes. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

VOYAGE: Ruach will be fitted with upgrades, including air conditioning, before making the voyage to PNG. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

VESSEL: Ruach docked in Newcastle on Saturday, after sailing from Europe. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

SAILING: Ruach was piloted by between nine and 10 crew members while making the voyage from Europe. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

SAILING: Ruach will sail to PNG after a number of upgrades, including air conditioning. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

RUACH: Dutch vessel, Ruach, will sail to PNG providing essential medical services. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

COMMAND CENTRE: Ruach was piloted by between nine and 10 crew members during the voyage to Newcastle. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

CONTROL ROOM: Ruach navigated the seas between Europe and to provide medical services to PNG. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

UPGRADES: Ruach will be fitted with upgrades, including air conditioning, before making the journey to PNG. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

DOCKED: Ruach is currently docked at Lee Wharf, on Honeysuckle. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

MEDICINE: Ruach will provide islands around PNG with essential medical services. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

SAILING: Between nine and 10 crew members sailed Ruach from Europe to . Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

CRAMPED: Crew members fit themselves into small cabines with up to four beds. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

VOYAGE: Ruach made the journey from Europe to . Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

VOYAGE: Ruach will move to a working wharf in Newcastle in a few days to be fitted with essential upgrades. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

UPGRADES: Upgrades to Ruach will include air conditioning, smoke detectors and extra zodiacs. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

BELOW DECK: Ruach is fitted with a height-adjustable table for extra storage. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

SAILING: Ruach sailed from Europe to . Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

VOYAGE: Ruach was manned by nine to 10 crew during the voyage to . Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

STEEP: To save space, the steps down to below deck are kept as steep as possible. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

MEDICAL: Ruach will travel to PNG after ssential upgrades to deliever medical supplies. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

ISLANDS: Ruach will visit small island communities around PNG to deliever essential medical supplies. Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

FOOD STORAGE: The rear cabin of Ruach was used as a food storage facility during the journey to . Picture: Gary-Jon Lysaght

DOCKED: Ruach when it docked at Lee Wharf on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

SAILING: Ruach sailed into Newcastle harbour on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

UPGRADES: Ruach will be fitted with air conditioning and smoke alarms ahead of its voyage to PNG. Picture: Supplied.

WELCOME: Crowds of people greet Ruach as it docks at Lee Wharf on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

SAILING: Ruach as it makes its way past Nobbys Head into Newcastle Harbour. Picture: Supplied.

CROWDS: People gathered at Lee Wharf on Saturday to welcome Ruach to Newcastle Harbour. Picture: Supplied.

WELCOME: Ruach was greeted by scores of Novocastrians as it docked at Lee Wharf on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

VOYAGE: From left to right, Ken Mulligan, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and David Stephenson welcome Ruach to Lee Wharf on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

TweetFacebookDutch medical vessel, Rauch, has docked at Honeysuckle’s Lee Wharf ahead of essential improvements before making its way to Papua New Guinea.

David Stephenson, managing director for YWAM Ships Newcastle saidthe improvements, including installing air conditioning andsmoke alarms, will begin in a few daysat a working wharf in Newcastle.

Rauch will operate out of the Milne Bay at PNG, and make two week voyages to small islands around PNG. Mr Stephenson said the crew will be offering “primary health care, medical education, dentistry, optometry, and general health care”. He said some of the island communities receive health care very rarely and some never.

Mr Stephenson said Newcastle was chosen as thesending location because of its “strong maritime base”.


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14 Aug 19

DON’T CLOSE IT DOWN: About 30 residents gathered earlier this month to show their support for keeping Weston Fire Station open. Picture: Krystal SellarsThe community has won its campaign to keep WestonFire Station open.
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A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman has confirmed that the on-call firefighters posted at Weston will remain in the town, despite and earlier decision to close the station.

The news is a big win for the local community,which is in the midst of a horrendous fire season.

On January 11, Fire and Rescue NSW announcedplans to close Weston Fire Station once the new station at Abermain is fully-operational.

The move garnered community outrage and a campaign was launched to save the station.

It seems people power won out in the end with Fire and Rescue NSW overturning its decision.

Cessnock MP Clayton Barr welcomedFire and Rescue NSW’sdecision to reconsider the station’s future, sayingwas“a victory for the little guy”.

Mr Barr said the appointment of Nationals MP Troy Grant as emergency services minister,the community campaign to save the station and the media coverage of the station’s plight could have been the reason for the last-minutechange of heart.

The fire fighters at Abermain will still move into the new premises, opening on February 7 or 8.

“As always we will continue to review services in the area,” a F&RNSW spokesman said.

SAVED: Weston fire station will remain open Firefighters in Northcote Street, Kurri Kurri. Picture: Simone De Peak

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Bowden St, Heddon Greta Picture: Victoria Darcy

Residents in Aberdare Street looking at the Kurri Kurri fire’s thick black smoke. Picture: Simone De Peak

Residents in Aberdare Street looking at the Kurri Kurri fire’s thick black smoke. Picture: Simone De Peak

@newietraveller/Twitter

Picture: Joshua Grace

Picture: Jessie Townsend

Picture: Jessie Townsend

Fire crews near Railway Road at Kurri Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Picture: Sky Insley

Picture: Theresa Oldano

Heddon Greta. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Heddon Greta. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Heddon Greta. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Brett Keeble

Picture: Brett Keeble

Picture: Brett Keeble

Picture: Brett Keeble

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Michael John Fisher

Picture: Des Stone

Picture: Jenny Naidu

Picture: Des Stone

Picture: Jenny Naidu

Picture: Jenny Naidu

Picture: Jenny Naidu

Krystal Sellars

Picture: Lachlan Bromage

@woodward_luke/Instagram

@j1mmy86/Instagram

SMOKE: The view from Lang Street, Kurri Kurri around 2.15pm Wednesday. Picture: Amy Cagney

The fire from the Hunter Expressway. Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

Picture: Morgan Ross

@smallbatchboutique苏州夜总会招聘.au/Instagram

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Picture: Brett Keeble

Heddon Greta. Picture: Krystal Sellars

Picture: Theresa Oldano

Picture: Peter Houston

Fire crews near Railway Road at Kurri Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Fire crews near Railway Road at Kurri Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Fire crews near Railway Road at Kurri Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Fire crews near Railway Road at Kurri Kurri. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Stanford Merthyr. Picture: Simone De Peak

Residents in Aberdare Street looking at the Kurri Kurri fire’s thick black smoke. Picture: Simone De Peak

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14 Aug 19

The killing of a prominent Muslim lawyer and long-time adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi was a political assassination and terrorist act aimed at undermining the country’s stability, according to Myanmar’s government.
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Ko Ni, 65, a veteran of the country’s decades-long pro-democracy struggle, was shot twice in the head outside Yangon International Airport as he cradled his grandson on Sunday evening.

Tens of thousands of distraught relatives, friends, politicians, activists and others attended his funeral in Yangon on Monday as the United Nations condemned the killing and called for an impartial investigation.

Ko Ni’s assassination has heightened communal and religious tensions in the Buddhist-majority country where the military is waging several wars against ethnic groups in border areas and conducting a brutal crackdown on Rohingyas in western Rakhine state, after deadly attacks on police border posts last October.

“There is a serious risk that in a context of strong anti-Muslim sentiment in the country, rampant hate speech on social media and virulent Buddhist nationalism propounded by some senior Buddhist monks, this crime could embolden others and unleash further violence,” the International Crisis Group warned.

Ko Ni was a widely respected expert in constitutional law and a powerful voice in the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) against the country’s military, which still dominates key security and other institutions, despite the NLD being swept into office after a landslide victory at elections in late 2015.

Ko Ni was also a strong advocate for the rights of the country’s Muslim minority. Friends and relatives said he had had received death threats from Buddhist nationalist groups.

Bertil Lintner, a Myanmar expert, said the ambush after Ko Ni’s return from a government-led trip to Indonesia indicates that a 53-year-old gunman who was apprehended after being chased by scores of airport taxi drivers appeared to be part of a plot.

He said whoever was behind the killing knew the arrival time of Ko Ni’s flight, pointing to a high degree of organisation.

Yin Ngwe Khine, who went to the airport to greet her father, told reporters he always said that someone had to stand up for the truth.

“My father was talking to his grandson. Then I heard a gunshot. At first I thought it was a car tyre blowing out, then I saw my father lying on the ground,” she said.

Taxi driver Nay Win, 42, was killed as he attempted to apprehend the gunman.

The NLD described the killing as a terrorist act aimed at its policies.

Yanghee Lee, the UN’s special rapporteur for Myanmar, said the killing was another shocking example of reprisal against those speaking out about the rights of others, pointing out that after a recent visit to the country she issued a statement highlighting her concern at the increasing risks faced by human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and others working on sensitive issues.


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14 Aug 19

Peter Capaldi is stepping down as The Doctor. Alex Kingston as River Song and Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in the 2015 Christmas Special. Photo: Simon Ridgway
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Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara in Doctor Who. Photo: Supplied

Mr Who: BBC producer and writer Steven Moffat also finishes his time with the Dr Who franchise.

Peter Capaldi is stepping out of the Whoniverse.

The Scottish actor, who has played the title role in the iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who since 2013, revealed on BBC Radio 2 on Monday night (UK time) that he will finish in the role at the end of the current series, his third.

In the surprise announcement, Capaldi told BBC’s Jo Whiley that it was a difficult decision to make.

“I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it’s a fantastic program to work on and it has been a huge pleasure to work with a family,” he said.

“I feel it’s time for me to move on to different challenges.”

Capaldi made his first appearance in the role in the 50th anniversary special Day of the Doctor. He then took over the role when the character regenerated from Matt Smith’s interpretation to his in the 2013 Christmas Special.

Capaldi’s performance as The Doctor has been described as “wise and thoughtful” by The Guardian, with Radio Times saying “Peter Capaldi’s one-man show is an instant classic”.

The tenth season of the rebooted series, which begins airing in April, will mark Capaldi’s final . The yet-to-be-shot Christmas Special will be his final episode and will feature the regeneration of the character as the new doctor. A replacement is yet to be named.

“It’s sad (to pass it on to someone else), but what a privilege to have done this,” he said. “But like everything, you have to be aware when it’s time to move on.”

Capaldi revealed that his contract was coming to an end and he decided not to renew despite producers urging him to stay on. “I didn’t know how much longer I could do it and give it my best,” he said.

The upcoming season also marks the final season of Doctor Who for showrunner Steven Moffat

Moffat has helmed six seasons of the show and will hand over to Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall.

Dr Who screens on ABC in and Capaldi’s final season will be fastracked.


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14 Aug 19

Qantas’ new safety video features catwalk models in oxygen masks.Qantas has continued its shift to more relatable in-flight safety videos, using everyday ns in stunning locations for its latest on-board safety video launched over the weekend in the US.
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The three-minute video, featuring non-actors such as a fashion designer at Docklands, Victoria, a doctor in Mount Ainslie, ACT and Indigenous dancers in Cape Banks, NSW, was unveiled at the Loews hotel in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The previous video, released one year ago, also had non-actors in 16 locations across the country, creating a showcase of amazing places to visit.

Before that, Qantas had used Hollywood legend and airline ambassador John Travolta and sports stars to help impart the safety message.

The national airline carrier admitted it was trying to find smart ways to reach new audiences. It’s something that has proven extremely effective for trans-Tasman rival Air New Zealand – the Kiwi carrier’s humorous safety videos featuring a range of celebrities have been viewed tens of millions of times online.

As the biggest private investor in n tourism promotion, Qantas is hoping the video will prove as popular as its predecessor, which has accrued 90 million views across social media platforms.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce said the goal was to “make the safety video engaging as well as informative”.

“We know the combination of beautiful landscapes and laidback Aussie charm really cuts through. It’s also why this video doubles as a perfect tourism ad.”

Other people and places featured include an apple grower from Hobart, a caravan park cleaner from Cape Hillsborough, Queensland, a winery experience from the Barossa Valley, SA and a window washer from the Gold Coast.

There are 60 versions to accommodate 11 languages and the varying aircraft types across the Qantas group fleet.

The video will screen across domestic and international flights from February 1.

See also: Do funny airline safety videos actually work?

Meanwhile, Qantas also opened a new A380 superjumbo maintenance hangar at Los Angeles International airport, promising a more efficient and reliable service for passengers.

Joyce unveiled the $50 million, 5.7 hectare facility, explaining the benefits of being able to conduct maintenance on four A380 aircraft simultaneously.

“This facility offers a huge improvement on what we had before. The maintenance is 20 per cent more efficient. So it means our aircraft are more reliable and our schedules are more on time and that’s great for our customers.”

Features of the new hangar include two aircraft parking pads with walkways direct to the workshop, a larger spare parts facility and electric vehicle charging stations.

The previous hangar was built in 1958:  “On the last day of operation of the hangar, the light fitting fell down,” Mr Joyce said. “So it was ready to retire.”

Qantas also has plans to lease the only purpose-built A380 facility in North America, subject to availability, to other airlines that may want to share the space or have Qantas engineers do the work for them. Deals could generate millions of dollars for the national carrier.

Qantas operates more than 40 return flights a week from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles using A380s and B747s. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner services on the Melbourne-LA route begin December this year.

The writer travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Qantas.

See also: to US flights guide: The best and fastest airlines and routes

See also: Qantas to fly new 787 Dreamliners on LA direct route  


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14 Aug 19

A local group is now pushing for the old railroad to be turned into a bike trail. Photo: Facebook/MonaroRailTrail Will Jardine of Nimmitabel says turning the disused rail line running 150km from Queanbeyan to Bombala into a bike trail would be the saviour of regional towns on the Monaro. Photo: Ben Smyth
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A project predicted to inject $15 million a year into several rural communities on the Monaro is attempting to get on track.

A small committee has been operating for around 18 months looking at the potential of turning the disused and decrepit rail line between Queanbeyan and Bombala into a bike track.

The 150km long rail line was once used for both passengers and freight from Monaro villages and townships including Bombala and Nimmitabel. It carried wool, cattle and sheep through to Sydney processors.

However, it has not been in use since the mid-1980s – the line between Bombala and Cooma for even longer.

Small business owner Will Jardine of Nimmitabel said a bike trail along the route would be “the saviour of this region”.

Mr Jardine, along with other members of the committee, have been trying to drum up government support for a feasibility study into the idea. He said prior to amalgamation, then-mayor Bob Stewart and the Bombala Council were all for the idea.

However, since the merger, Mr Jardine said he had hit nothing but brick walls at both local and state government level. Funding is needed, but there also needs to be active state legislation passed to officially turn it into a disused rail line.

“A bunch of us could see the benefits in using existing but unused infrastructure and turning it into a revenue stream [for these small towns],” Mr Jardine said.

“State government wants to ‘preserve the rail corridor’ – well that’s what we’re doing. The corridor remains, it’s not an either/or position.

“The current state government’s policies have been lock-out laws, council amalgamations and the greyhound bans. None of those – which were all negatives – had feasibilty studies done,” he said.

“Now we’re trying to add something to our community. We’re not going forwards – and if you aren’t, you’re going backwards.”

He said it was estimated around 15,000 riders travelled the 150km route a year. Given they could potentially spend around $200 a day at each of the five towns the railway line passes through (on food, drink and accommodation etc), he said the conservative estimate was for $15 million annually brought into the local economies of Michelago, Bredbo, Cooma, Nimmitabel and Bombala.

The numbers aren’t plucked out of thin air, they are based – just as the bike rail trail is based – on an almost identical track in Otago, New Zealand.

In fact, Mr Jardine said he had heard from some locals who had ridden the Otago trail and thought the Monaro version had the potential to be even better.

The aim is to seek around $50,000 to conduct a feasibility study into the idea, but negotiations need to take place with both local and state governments as well as the ACT government, which Mr Jardine said has proven troublesome. Benefits aplenty for bike trail

Mr Jardine is himself an avid cyclist. He enjoys racing and takes part in Gran Fondos, long-distance chip-timed rides.

He said he also rides his mountain bike around 20km every second day, mainly for health and fitness.

“When you own a bakery, you need all the exercise you can get,” he said with a laugh.

Mr Jardine said benefits of the Queanbeyan to Bombala bike trail would include the obvious health and fitness factors, but would also be a safer option taking cyclists off the main trucking freight corridor to Canberra. It could also piggyback off the recent international status of Canberra Airport.

He said the Otago bike trail reports 40 per cent of its riders are international visitors and 15 per cent ns.

Mr Jardine said some landholders do have concerns of the potential use of the rail lines through properties along the Monaro, “but most are alleviated by existing rail trails proving they can co-exist”. The current committee president is even a local landholder.

Mr Jardine said the group had already received plenty of support out of Canberra and its cycling community.

To find out more about the proposal, find the Friends of Monaro Rail Trail page on Facebook.

Bombala Times


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