Federal nuclear liability to hit deficit – National

OTTAWA – A sudden $2.4-billion revision to Canada’s nuclear liabilities has crept up on Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and substantially deepened the deficit for the current fiscal year at a time when he is trying desperately to whittle it down.

Analysts say there is probably enough wiggle room in the government numbers this year to absorb the $2.4 billion without throwing Flaherty’s longer-term deficit reduction plans too far off course.

Story continues below

杭州龙凤

Related

    AECL victory over Nordion pushes down nuclear medicine company’s stock

But the Opposition is suspicious of the timing of the discovery, suggesting the Conservatives are playing with budget numbers to mask their lack of oversight of environmental liabilities.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. quietly announced Tuesday night that the expected long-term cost for cleaning up its nuclear program has surged to a total of $6 billion, up dramatically from the $3.6 billion currently on the books.

AECL said the increased liability will go straight to Ottawa’s bottom line, adding to the deficit for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

AECL said previous estimates were out of date and the indirect costs of disposing of radioactive waste over the next 70 years have climbed.

“The main reason for the liability adjustment is an increase in the indirect costs attributed to the decommissioning and waste management over the period of up to 70 years of the program,” says the AECL.

But cleanup costs should not be taking the government by surprise, said the NDP’s natural resources critic Peter Julian.

“It shows a profound inability to take the right management decisions to see what liabilities exist,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

It’s no coincidence that word of the large increase in liability is emerging just before Flaherty tables the spring budget, says Peter DeVries, an Ottawa-based consultant and former senior official at the Finance Department.

“They want to book it now, in 2012-13, because the year is nearly over. They want to get it out of the way,” DeVries said in an interview.

The 2012-13 fiscal year ends March 31 and the $2.4 billion will show up as a one-time hit on the government’s books for that year only — even though the money won’t actually be spent for years.

“It’s a year that is not important in terms of hitting their deficit target in 2015-16. They want to make sure they have got as complete a liability as they can come up with, and book it completely to get it out of the way,” DeVries said.

“The sooner they book this liability, the less of a chance it will spill into 2015-16.”

Indeed, before the AECL news, the federal government was probably on track to come in a couple of billion dollars ahead of where they had projected last fall, added Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Derek Burleton.

“Based on this year’s fiscal monitor results, they may have some wiggle room.”

So even though the revised AECL liability will set them back $2.4 billion, Ottawa is better off booking it this year than next year, he said.

That’s because economic growth is projected to slow more than Ottawa had expected next year, eating into federal revenues and making it difficult for Flaherty to get ahead, Burleton said.

Flaherty had previously projected a deficit of $26 billion for this fiscal year and many had expected him to beat that projection by a couple of billion dollars. Now that the increased AECL liability has been thrown into the mix, he will probably be close to his initial $26 billion when he tables the budget Thursday, Burleton added.

By dumping the full cost into the 2012-2013 fiscal year at the last moment, the Conservatives will then try to argue that they made huge progress in deficit reduction in 2013-2014, the NDP’s Julian added. But in reality, the 2013-2014 deficit will be smaller mainly because the AECL charge was a one-time hit.

Budget details will be made public Thursday, although it was not immediately clear whether the new AECL liability would show up in the budget documents.

For years, the federal government did not carry any liability for the inevitable cost of cleaning up nuclear waste.

But in 2005, officials began the process of trying to put a price tag on decommissioning, managing and safely disposing of AECL’s radioactive waste. That led to the $3.6-billion liability that was on the books last year.

Since then, expected costs have been rising around the world because of higher safety standards, a better understanding of decommissioning and low interest rates, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said in a statement.

So Ottawa ordered a second review in mid 2012, AECL said.

“Our government has a long-standing commitment to clean up historic radioactive waste sites for which it is responsible,” Oliver said in a written statement, pointing out that many of the liabilities date back decades to the beginning of Canada’s nuclear program.

“We remain committed to cleaning up these historical waste sites,” he said.

If that’s the case, then Canadians should brace themselves for more big liabilities down the road, said Greenpeace Canada’s nuclear analyst, Shawn-Patrick Stensil.

“Cost overruns are typical in the nuclear industry. With a place like Chalk River, which is a mess, I think we can expect many more,” Stensil said, referring to AECL’s headquarters in Ontario.

He says government number-crunchers have been struggling to get a grip on the cost of decommissioning for more than a decade, and it is now time to have a full, public airing of the issues and price tags involved.

Ottawa is in the midst of restructuring AECL and will issue incentive-based contracts for safe, efficient clean-up of nuclear waste, Oliver said in his statement.

He said the hit to Ottawa’s books would have been even worse if AECL had not kept their liability analysis up to date.

“This has allowed the government of Canada to discover this increase in costs earlier, which in turn has allowed us to formulate plans earlier. We will continue to take the actions necessary to protect Canadian taxpayers while ensuring that Canada continues to benefit from a strong nuclear sector,” Oliver said.

AECL has long been a drain on Ottawa’s finances, requiring billions in subsidies over the years. But it’s certainly not the only cleanup that will cost the government dearly.

Last spring, the federal environment auditor took the government to task for not setting aside enough money to deal with contaminated sites.

Scott Vaughan found that Ottawa would be facing at least $7.7 billion in cleanup costs but had only set aside a fraction of that amount of money.

AECL said that confirmation of its most recent calculations still need to be verified by its board, external auditors and the Office of the Auditor General.

©2013The Canadian Press

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Federal nuclear liability to hit deficit – National

Airplane Etiquette – BC

Many people hate flying and it’s not because they’re scared, but the annoying travelers that drive them crazy 30 thousand feet in the air. I have gone over the basics before…looking behind you before you recline your seat, giving the arm rest to the person stuck in the middle, and so on. But, there are definitely more travel faux pas out there and to make sure you aren’t the offender the next time you travel.

Story continues below

杭州龙凤

Starting with being an overhead compartment hog. More and more people are choosing to carry-on to avoid checked luggage fees. Fill up the space under the seat in front of you first, if you can. Then use the bin that’s directly over your own seat.

Well, forget a child kicking the back of your seat, an adult fidgeting with the seat in front of them can be just as bad.Jamming your book, oversized water bottle and snacks into that seat pocket is super annoying to the person sitting in front of you and ends up poking them or shaking their seat.

This is also a problem with the new touch screens some planes have in the back of their head-rests. The rule here is to take care when placing items in the pockets and gently press on the touch-screen.

I’m a huge advocate for keeping kids occupied on the plane, but it’s important to make sure this is done quietly. Kids playing games together is great, but shouting and horseplay is not so fun for the passengers around you. Parents – make sure you control the noise level. This also goes for video games or portable DVD players with sound. Pop the headphones in or turn the volume down.

The next offender is the frequent bathroom tripper. Now I know when nature calls, well, it calls. But if you are someone that needs to get up to use the washroom frequently, do your other seat mates a favor and book an aisle seat. Getting up many times to let you in and out can be super annoying. Especially if your neighbors are trying to sleep.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Airplane Etiquette – BC

Australia respected Chretien on Iraq: Howard – National

OTTAWA – The United States may have been upset and disappointed by Canada’s refusal 10 years ago to join its coalition to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

But Down Under, no one was surprised when then-prime minister Jean Chretien decided against sending Canadian troops to join those from the U.S., Britain and Australia.

Former Australian prime minister John Howard says he understood Chretien’s aversion to sending his country to war without a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Story continues below

杭州龙凤

And although Howard didn’t agree, he respected the decision.

Howard offered that insight in a recent interview as the first decade since the U.S.- and British-led invasion of Iraq passed into history Wednesday.

Howard’s view differs sharply from the American reaction, which the then-U.S. envoy, Paul Cellucci, said days after the invasion amounted to “disappointment and upset that Canada is not there for us now.”

As for Howard — who contributed Australian special forces and fighter jets to the invasion — there were no hard feelings when it came to Canada.

“As far as Canada was concerned, I knew — given Jean Chretien’s attitude — that Canada was not going to join,” Howard told The Canadian Press in a recent interview in Ottawa. “I respected that decision. That was his right. That was his call.

“I didn’t have arguments with him about it.”

A decade later, the decisions taken by world leaders on the Iraq question have had political ramifications.

For Chretien, it elevated his battered legacy in Quebec, the most anti-war province, as he prepared to end his four-decade political career.

For former U.S. president George W. Bush and British prime minister Tony Blair, the citizens of their own countries have judged them harshly because of the high death toll. Their longtime political opponents now in hold power in their respective countries.

Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq and 30,000 wounded. More than 100,000 Iraqis were killed.

Australia got in — and out — of Iraq remarkably unscathed. No Australians were killed in the initial invasion. In the years to come, a total of three Australian military personnel would lose their lives in Iraq.

“We were very fortunate,” Howard said. “We’ve taken some casualties in Afghanistan, but nothing like the casualties that Canada has taken. Canada has taken very high casualties in Afghanistan, very high.”

Howard said he knew Chretien well and enjoyed his company, even though the Canadian was further left on the political spectrum.

“We talked very frankly,”Howard recalled “He had a different view.

“He had a view that you shouldn’t do anything except with the authority of the Security Council. And that’s a view that a lot of people, more on the centre-left, hold now.”

But Howard said if you wait for the Security Council to act on important matters, “you wait interminably” because of the veto powers of the permanent members.

That view of the UN fits hand-in-glove with the one held by the current Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper and his cabinet ministers have snubbed and attacked the UN over the years. They have criticized the Security Council’s inability to deal with the Syrian crisis.

In 2003, the American decision on Iraq had one very notable, vocal supporter in Canada — Harper, then the leader of the opposition Canadian Alliance.

Harper told the House of Commons that Canada should have stood with its American ally.

In October 2008, Harper backed down from that when pressed during a televised leaders’ debate during the federal election campaign.

“It was absolutely an error,” Harper said. “It’s obviously clear the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction proved not to be correct.”

Harper and Howard, kindred political spirits, are good friends.

Harper drew lessons from Howard’s record of three majority election victories, prior to winning power himself in 2006. Later that year, Howard became the first foreign leader to call on the newly elected Conservative prime minister in Ottawa.

Almost two weeks ago, Harper and Howard had a private lunch in Ottawa.

Howard said he and Harper have discussed Iraq “in a general way,” but he wouldn’t divulge specifics.

Instead, he shifted the interview back to Chretien.

“We had a friendly relationship, although we had different views on a number of issues — not a lot of issues. When you get to head of state, head of government, the differences dissolve a bit. I enjoyed working with him,” said Howard.

“But philosophically, I’m obviously much closer to Harper.”

To this day, Howard said he has no regrets about contributing to the Iraq coalition, even though the main justification — relieving Saddam of his supposed arsenal of weapons of mass destruction — has been discredited.

“The intelligence was not doctored. It was not made up. It wasn’t based on lies. It didn’t turn out to be accurate. But intelligence can never be there beyond a reasonable doubt. If you wait for perfect proof, you get another Pearl Harbour don’t you?”

Howard said he doesn’t know how history will judge him, but he thinks it was been too hard on Bush.

“I thought Bush was courageous. I never felt Bush got the credit for keeping America free of another attack,” he said.

Howard was in Washington when the 9-11 attacks occurred. On Sept. 10, 2001, he met Bush.

“When this attack took place, the thing that preoccupied everybody was when and where the next attack would take place,” Howard said.

“It was in that context that Bush’s attention was focused.”

©2013The Canadian Press

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Australia respected Chretien on Iraq: Howard – National

Give unemployed people a chance: minister

Jobs Minister Kelly O’Dwyer is urging businesses to give unemployed people a chance.Jobs Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has urged businesses to give unemployed people a chance, saying industry must accept more social responsibility for low-skilled and untrained workers.

杭州桑拿

In a speech to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry leaders’ summit in Canberra, Ms O’Dwyer outlined her plan to drive better results for the unemployed.

Long-term unemployed people must take part in work and education programs, which need government support, especially for people at the margins.

“Industry and businesses need to step up and give the unemployed a go,” Ms O’Dwyer told the gathering on Wednesday.

She said industry needed to accept more social responsibility and partner with the community to invest in the low-skilled and untrained people and individuals who haven’t worked in a long time.

“Putting on unemployed people is an investment in the future of your business, and in the nation’s future,” the minister said.

Ms O’Dwyer, who is also industrial relations minister, took aim at a “sweetheart” deal between the Victorian Labor government and unions to boost salaries on major transport projects.

Under soon-to-be finalised agreements, average employees on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and West Gate are set to take home $150,000 a year.

“But who pays for these wages that push up the prices of these projects which will add hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars to the cost?” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“It is the people in my home state of Victoria who will pay higher toll charges and taxes.”

The construction union has defended the deal, arguing labourers are working minimum 56-hour weeks in dangerous conditions with overtime, long shifts and Sundays.

But Ms O’Dwyer said the wages would mean less money for hospitals and schools.

“That’s why these sweetheart deals are not fair,” she said.

A bill to make it easier to deregister unions, ensure they are run by “fit and proper” people and put a public interest test on mergers is before the Senate.

Ms O’Dwyer said the government was determined to process the legislation, despite the bill not being listed for debate on Wednesday after key crossbencher Tim Storer said he wouldn’t support it.

“The Ensuring Integrity Bill is critical to making sure all Australians are being treated fairly,” she said.

The minister also attacked Labor’s industrial relations policies, flagging further announcements in coming months.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Give unemployed people a chance: minister

AFL prelim a test of Treloar list analysis

Adam Treloar was drafted by GWS in 2010 before being traded to Collingwood in October 2015.Adam Treloar had no idea when he uttered the words “I think Collingwood have a better list” that it would become such a major talking point at the time, let alone three years on.

杭州桑拿

Treloar, explaining why he wanted to join the Magpies rather than Richmond in his first interview after leaving AFL start-up GWS, didn’t muck around with cliches.

Some pundits regarded it as regrettable contempt; a mistake the young gun would come to regret.

Others thought it was admirable honesty, accusing the media of manufacturing a mountain out of a molehill.

Treloar offered the caveat that “a lot of people might think I’m silly because Richmond have a lot of good players” but the horse had bolted, the headlines were out there and hatred from the Tiger Army was heated.

Richmond’s drought-breaking premiership in 2017 suggested Treloar may have erred. However, a flag for Collingwood this month would be vindication of sorts.

The 25-year-old made it clear last week he meant no offence and moved on a long time ago.

But it’s safe to assume Treloar’s list analysis will be raised at the MCG during Friday night’s preliminary final – and not just in the stands and commentary box.

Treloar’s first meeting as a Collingwood player against Richmond was at the same venue early in the 2016 season.

Treloar’s choice of clubs, and ensuing comments that prompted Tigers legend Kevin Bartlett to call him “brainwashed” and “delusional”, had not gone down well with the opposition.

Tigers captain Trent Cotchin was particularly vociferous, castigating the midfielder for speaking too soon.

The Tigers, leading by 17 points late in the final quarter of that contest, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Treloar couldn’t resist a chance to return serve after the one-point win, ruffling Cotchin’s hair shortly after the siren while reciting the same piece of unsolicited advice.

“I said, ‘you spoke too soon, mate’ and I gave him a wink,” Treloar said the following week.

Treloar added that “pretty much everyone” in Richmond’s team needled him about the list remark in one way or another.

“But it wasn’t anything serious, it was just all fun,” he said.

Regardless of this week’s result, Treloar is at peace with his decision.

“Hand on heart I wouldn’t change anything … everything happens for a reason,” Treloar told News Corp Australia last week.

“I probably could have worded it better.

“I thought I was better suited to Collingwood because Richmond had players like me.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on AFL prelim a test of Treloar list analysis

The Lions & the Roses: Souths netball stars help England national team train for Novocastrian fixturephotos

LIONS & ROSES: Narelle Eather, Katelyn Stansfield and Tianna Cummings helped the English Roses prepare for their Quad Series clash against the Diamonds on Wednesday evening.The English national netball team may be hurtling towards a Commonwealth Games rematch against Australia on Wednesday evening, but the Roses have already had their brush with netballing talent in Newcastle.

杭州桑拿

A handful of Souths Lions stars, all of whom contested the Greater Open Championship decider less than a month ago, rounded out the Roses’ training roster on Monday and Tuesday as they prepared for the Quad Series clash, an experience Tianna Cummings described as “mind-blowing”.

“We had to submit a request – or kind of a suggestion – to Netball Australia that told them we were happy to train with the Diamonds and the Roses, and they came back to us and said we were up to train for England,” Cummings explained.

“None of us really expected to hear back about it so it was a really surreal experience to suddenly be practicing and playing with these girls that we watch on TV all the time.

“I think we all had so much fun, it was a real eye opener to see what it was like behind the doors of the English training squad, it was really mind-blowing.”

Souths stars help international Roses prepare for Quad Series Katelyn Stansfield, Brooke Fennings and Nakita Jackson with the Roses on the first day of training.

TweetFacebookfacebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappMORE GALLERIES

12345 – Cummings was joined by four of her Souths Lions teammates, Narelle Eather, Katelyn Stansfield, Brooke Fennings and Nakita Jackson, most of whom will also be attending the Quad Series game at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

While most were just looking to “enjoy some great netball”, Cummings admits after spending time with the Roses she may have been swayed to back them “just a little”.

“It’s funny, I was going into the game just keen to not have to travel to Sydney and get to see some amazing netty here in Newcastle, but now I’m kind of barracking for England as well,” she admitted.

“Having met them all, and finding out how lovely and welcoming they all are, I want to see them do well in the game for sure.”

Read moreAustralia out for revenge against England in the 2018 Netball Quad SeriesClean slate for Diamonds ahead of rematch with the English teamNewcastle Entertainment Centre playing surface cleared for netball TestThe Souths cohort were mainly used by the Roses as training partners, setting up defensive formations to test the English attack, but Cummings also believes they learned a lot “just hanging around with them all”.

“I think we’ve all come out of it having picked up a few things, just seeing how they work together and move up close was a bit eye opening,” she said.

“I think it was really one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities that we’re going to relish for a long time, it was just really cool. I’m glad I got to meet them all, and I think we all had a pretty good time.”

Australia prepared for their clash against England at Hunter Sports High School.

A sell-out crowd of 4,500 will attend the first netball Test match staged in Newcastle since the Diamonds beat South Africa 63-31 in October, 2012.

Adding to the occasion, it will be the first time Australia and England have met since the Roses scored a memorable 52-51 boilover to claim the gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, in April.

Australia opened their Quad Series campaign with a 61-44 win against South Africa in Auckland on the weekend, in which goal shooter Caitlin Bassett found the net 31 times from 34 attempts.

The match starts at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre at 7.50pm.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on The Lions & the Roses: Souths netball stars help England national team train for Novocastrian fixturephotos

State, club rivals unite for Tonga RL Test

Greg Inglis and Boyd Cordner put their inter-state rivalry aside to make the Tonga Test a reality.They faced off for state pride and are about to battle for their clubs, but rival NRL captains Boyd Cordner and Greg Inglis have already united their country.

杭州桑拿

Two months after a memorable State of Origin series, a grand final will be at stake when Cordner’s Sydney Roosters meet Inglis’ South Sydney in Saturday’s NRL preliminary final.

But the pair have been credited for putting aside their rivalry and leading the negotiations in getting next month’s historic Test between Australia and Tonga over the line.

The Rugby League Players’ Association first approached the star duo a few months ago when it was initially floated the contest would be played in the United States.

At the time, it was believed financial support from outside promoters would have ensured Kangaroos players would have earned close to their regular $20,000 Test match fee.

However when discussions fell apart, the game appeared doomed.

That was until the NRL looked at the possibility of staging the game in New Zealand – the week after the Kangaroos’ Test with the Kiwis – but with one important caveat.

“They said, ‘Righto it’s going to be in Auckland, the only thing is you won’t get your usual money. And what do you think?” Cordner tells AAP.

For the NSW skipper, it was a no-brainer.

“It’s a chance to represent your country, pull on the green-and-gold, and play against Tonga, who’ve shot out of the ground and created all this attention around rugby league,” he said.

Inglis also had no hesitation in agreeing to terms.

While Tonga star Andrew Fifita has been outspoken in his desire to play for free for a shot at the world champions, Cordner and Inglis are just as passionate about international football.

“I think it’s the perfect showcase for the international game. For us as an Australian playing group, and for myself talking personally, I think it’s a great idea for the game,” Cordner said.

“GI was the same. I agreed, he agreed, and all the other players that were spoken to agreed to take the pay cut.

“I would play for free. That’s how much Australia means to me, and that jersey means to me.

“The money is a bonus. We put our bodies on the line, so we get looked after.

“But for a one-off game and an opportunity to grow the international brand – which we need in rugby league, we want it to grow and be massive – we have to play this game.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on State, club rivals unite for Tonga RL Test

Munster maturity key to Storm NRL success

Cameron Munster has been given greater playmaking responsibilities in Melbourne’s attack in 2018.Cameron Munster’s ability to deliver for Melbourne under pressure is a reflection of his personal growth, according to his long-time teammate Christian Welch.

杭州桑拿

Before Friday night’s NRL preliminary final against Cronulla, Munster has emerged as a genuine match winner, nailing the field goal that piloted the Storm into the final four.

His playmaking talent was never in question but whether the 24-year-old could replace the club’s long-time go-to man Cooper Cronk was.

Less than 12 months ago Munster was on the outer at the Storm, hauled out of Kangaroos camp to be told by Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy that binge-drinking was threatening his career.

Admitting he had a problem, Munster put himself on a booze ban and into the hands of a psychologist.

Kicking the Storm to within a game of the NRL grand final and now the most sought-after signature in the competition as the game’s premier five-eighth, the results are there to see.

Welch, who has played with Munster since the Storm under-20s and lived with him for the past three years, said he’d seen the Queensland five-eighth grow up this season.

“I’ve seen him mature a lot,” said Welch, who has been named on the bench for the clash with the Sharks.

“I think he’s really motivated and developed as a person and certainly the way he’s playing his footy – with Cooper departing and the way he’s being a senior player and driving the team – I think it’s a reflection of how far he’s come as a person.”

Welch said that didn’t mean Munster had lost his trademark larrikinism but he was channelling his energy into positive projects, like a sports program that he runs weekly at schools and investing in property.

“Playing in the NRL is a tough job but you do get a lot of spare time,” Welch said.

“In previous years he’s struggled to have some stuff that keeps him busy but this year he’s doing a really good job.

“He’s a great bloke to live with and keeps the light side and is always up for doing something whether it’s going out for tea or playing golf – you never have a bad time with Munster.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Munster maturity key to Storm NRL success

State, club rivals unite for Tonga RL Test

Greg Inglis and Boyd Cordner put their inter-state rivalry aside to make the Tonga Test a reality.They faced off for state pride and are about to battle for their clubs, but rival NRL captains Boyd Cordner and Greg Inglis have already united their country.

杭州桑拿

Two months after a memorable State of Origin series, a grand final will be at stake when Cordner’s Sydney Roosters meet Inglis’ South Sydney in Saturday’s NRL preliminary final.

But the pair have been credited for putting aside their rivalry and leading the negotiations in getting next month’s historic Test between Australia and Tonga over the line.

The Rugby League Players’ Association first approached the star duo a few months ago when it was initially floated the contest would be played in the United States.

At the time, it was believed financial support from outside promoters would have ensured Kangaroos players would have earned close to their regular $20,000 Test match fee.

However when discussions fell apart, the game appeared doomed.

That was until the NRL looked at the possibility of staging the game in New Zealand – the week after the Kangaroos’ Test with the Kiwis – but with one important caveat.

“They said, ‘Righto it’s going to be in Auckland, the only thing is you won’t get your usual money. And what do you think?” Cordner tells AAP.

For the NSW skipper, it was a no-brainer.

“It’s a chance to represent your country, pull on the green-and-gold, and play against Tonga, who’ve shot out of the ground and created all this attention around rugby league,” he said.

Inglis also had no hesitation in agreeing to terms.

While Tonga star Andrew Fifita has been outspoken in his desire to play for free for a shot at the world champions, Cordner and Inglis are just as passionate about international football.

“I think it’s the perfect showcase for the international game. For us as an Australian playing group, and for myself talking personally, I think it’s a great idea for the game,” Cordner said.

“GI was the same. I agreed, he agreed, and all the other players that were spoken to agreed to take the pay cut.

“I would play for free. That’s how much Australia means to me, and that jersey means to me.

“The money is a bonus. We put our bodies on the line, so we get looked after.

“But for a one-off game and an opportunity to grow the international brand – which we need in rugby league, we want it to grow and be massive – we have to play this game.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on State, club rivals unite for Tonga RL Test

ACCC says $1/litre milk blame claims are dishonest: processors can pay more

Industry honesty: ACCC chairman Rod Sims believed milk factories had little incentive to pass on to their suppliers any higher price returns received from retailers.The national competition watchdog says drought-stressed dairy farmers could be paid more for milk which sells for just $1 a litre in supermarkets, but their processors, not the retailers, are failing to make it happen.

杭州桑拿

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also threatened dairy companies with legal action if they persist in blaming supermarkets for refusing to help farmers cover their skyrocketing milk production costs.

ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said supermarket contracts with milk processors had “pass through” clauses allowingmilk factories to adjust milk payments to their suppliers when farm production costs increased.

“It’s a done fact,” he said.

“If processors decide they should paysuppliers more to secure their milk, the supermarkets will absorb the extra cost as part of their arrangements to sell milk at $1.”

He believed the cost flow-on clauses were common to all the contracts with major retailers which the ACCC examined duringlast year’s dairy inquiry.

He said a flow-on clause probably contributed to enabling Norco’s promise last week to pay its suppliers a temporary five cents/litre increase in farmgate prices after hay and grain costsdoubled during July and August. Norco packs $1/litre house brand milk to Coles supermarkets in NSW and Queensland.

Mr Sims said farmers should be aware supermarkets were not exactly at fault in the current stand-off which has seen producers pleading for retailers to lift milk prices so more money will trickle back to farmgate.

However, headmitted the flow through price clauses only applied to milk which ended up in private label bottles selling for $1/litre.

He also declined tocomment in support of Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s call for a rise in all retail milk prices at the supermarket as a direct means of helping farmers.

“He’s trying to help solve a differentissue,” Mr Sims said of Mr Littleproud’s remarks.

“It’s fine to have that discussion as well, but ourwarning is to dairy processors to be honest with farmers on the $1 milk issue.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sims hoped the dairy industry’s solidified support for a mandatory code of conduct deal between farmers and processors would lead to stronger bargaining power for farmers in their negotiations with processors, and indirectlysupermarkets.

He expected the code could result in a flow on impact on supermarket prices if it resulted in farmers bargaining for better price deals with processors, subsequentlyresulting in more wholesale pressure on retailers to respond to rising production costs.

Stock & Land

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on ACCC says $1/litre milk blame claims are dishonest: processors can pay more

Man admits role in $800k NAB loan fraud

A Melbourne man has admitted receiving almost $800,000 in commissions as an introducer for the National Australia Bank, though he had nothing to do with the loans.

杭州桑拿

Nicola D’Agostino, 35, only kept five to 10 per cent of the money taken from the bank and even paid tax on it, his lawyer Nick Papas QC told a plea hearing in the County Court on Wednesday.

He’s pleaded guilty to two charges of recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime after filtering the money through his bank accounts between 2012 and 2016.

D’Agostino, who is a photocopier technician with no background in banking, became an introducer for the bank in 2011 after being told about the idea through a family friend.

Prosecutor Allan Sharp said introducers bring prospective clients to lenders and if the loan proceeds, the customer signs a form confirming the referral and the introducer receives a commission.

He said D’Agostino had received commissions for loans handled by his family friend, an NAB staff member.

While some of the introductions were legitimate, Mr Sharp said more than 300 transactions were not.

It’s alleged the family friend – who is also charged and due to face a committal hearing next month – added the commission paperwork to other loan documents for customers to sign.

An NAB audit picked up a disproportionate number of introductions to that man from D’Agostino, prompting an investigation.

While D’Agostino received $796, 274.31 over four years, most of it was passed back to the family friend, paid through invoices to the other man’s company, the court heard.

D’Agostino received $67,329.34, which his lawyer Nick Papas QC said he would pay back.

Mr Papas suggested the family friend was a “conman” and his client had been sucked in.

He told police he hadn’t known what he was doing was wrong.

Mr Papas accused NAB of leaving the door open for this type of behaviour, but added the bank couldn’t be blamed.

D’Agostino will be sentenced next week.

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Man admits role in $800k NAB loan fraud

Labor wants Turnbull to appear at inquiry

Labor wants Malcolm Turnbull to appear at an inquiry into the Great Barrier Reef Foundation grant.Labor is ramping up pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to appear before a Senate inquiry into a controversial $444 million grant given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

杭州桑拿

The inquiry wants to know why the government granted the six-year funding stream to the small not-for-profit foundation in a meeting that lasted less than an hour.

Labor has written to the former prime minister asking he return to Canberra for questioning.

Foundation directors, including chairman Dr John Schubert, were grilled during a three-hour hearing at parliament on Tuesday.

Dr Schubert told the committee the first he knew about the foundation receiving near half-a-billion dollars was in a meeting with Mr Turnbull and then-environment minister Josh Frydenberg in April.

The Sydney meeting was arranged only two days before and no information was given prior to what it was about.

“The idea that you can go to a meeting, with no paperwork, with no agenda and within half-an-hour you’ve got $444 million – you couldn’t write this stuff,” Labor leader Bill Shorten told reporters on Wednesday.

Dr Schubert said the foundation recognised that climate change is the biggest threat to the reef, believing it had already been “altered forever”.

Despite this, he said it was not the foundation’s place to take political positions on other projects that could contribute to climate change, including the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

Foundation director Grant King has expressed his support for the Adani proposal.

Labor senator Kristina Keneally, who fired questions at the foundation directors on Tuesday, believes there are too many unanswered questions for Mr Turnbull not to appear.

“We have written to (Mr Turnbull) – we have respectfully asked for his participation,” Senator Keneally told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The concern here is that there was no process to say that this was the best use of the money.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Labor wants Turnbull to appear at inquiry

Senator weeps as he uses parliamentary privilege to air death list

Jordon Steele-John was almost alone in the federal chamber on Tuesday night when he read out a list of dead Australians, including nine-year-old Isabella Leiper fromClarence Town.

杭州桑拿

Few senators were there to witness his tears as he struggled to read the names of those he said had died as a result of violence, abuse or neglect in institutional and residential settings.

“F—ing hell,” the 23-year-old could be heard saying under his breath, as he tried to honour the dead through his tears.

Using parliamentary privilege, which gives MPs special protection to raise allegations publicly and with impunity, Senator Steele-John listed the names of 34 Australians who died in recent years. All of them had a disability.

Some of the cases he named have been the subjects of state-based legal proceedings, such as inquests. They included the deaths of seven-year-oldShellay Ward, seven-year-oldLevai Bonar, nine-year-oldIsabella Leiperand 29-year-oldShona Hookey.

“These are the names that don’t get spoken,” Senator Steele-John said, after reading his list of 34 names.

“These are the human beings, these are the loved ones, the mothers, the fathers, the sons, the partners who need justice, who demand justice, whose lives were worth living, in whose memory I tonight wear a white flower and whose passing fills me with an iron-clad determination.

“I will not stop, I will not rest, until they find the justice that is desperately owed them,” he said as he wept visibly.

Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John became the first senator to serve with a disability after he replaced Scott Ludlum.Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senator Steele-John is Australia’s first senator to serve with a disability. He replaced Greens senator Scott Ludlam, who was disqualified for holding dual citizenship. In his first speech to Parliament in November last year, Senator Steele-John vowed to use his role to be a “tireless champion for a fundamental change in the way that society thinks about people with a disability”.

“We must now recognise that disability is not created as the result of various medical impairments, but is, in fact, created by society’s collective failure to adapt to, embrace and celebrate the varying levels of ability which we all have,” he said.

He and other disability advocates are calling for the royal commission into aged care be extended to examine the treatment of not just the estimated6000 young Australians with disabilities but alsoall disabled people in all settings.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the royal commission would take into account disabled people living in aged care homes but stressed that it would not be the priority.

“It will be dealing with young people living with disabilities in residential aged care,” the Prime Minister told reporters in Canberra.

“It is a very focused inquiry, it’s important that we keep the focus of the inquiries. If they become an inquiry into everything, they become too broad. I want to ensure that this inquiry remains very focused so it can give us some very clear direction.”

Posted in 杭州龙凤 | Comments Off on Senator weeps as he uses parliamentary privilege to air death list