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December, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull staffer suspended over three-month old ‘Tuck Frump’ Facebook post

A model wears a ‘Tuck Frump’ shirt on the organisation’s website.The Prime Minister’s Office has suspended an administrative staffer over an “inappropriate” three-month-old Facebook post about Donald Trump, amid a media storm prompted by a Sydney shock jock.
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2GB radio reported the executive assistant to Malcolm Turnbull’s chief-of-staff Drew Clarke had been suspended Friday afternoon after announcer Ben Fordham inquired about her online activities.

The junior staffer was accused of posting to Facebook a photo of a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Tuck Frump”, a play on the phrase “F— Trump” and which also promotes an anti-Trump website.

According to 2GB the original post was made in November, but the staffer had the image permanently fixed on her page as recently as January.

It follows revelations of a hostile phone call between the Prime Minister and the US President, in which Mr Trump reportedly yelled at Mr Turnbull about the Obama-era agreement to accept refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

The suspension underlines the hyper-sensitivities around the relationship between the two countries following the call.

A spokesman for Mr Turnbull told Fairfax Media: “The employee accepts that these posts were inappropriate and has deleted them from her account. The chief-of-staff has suspended her immediately while the matter is investigated further.”

Fairfax Media has chosen not to name the staffer, who was employed in an administrative rather than political or policy-related capacity.

Fordham said prime ministerial staff were “shocked” when he contacted them about the matter at lunchtime on Friday. He was informed about the suspension hours later, he said.

The website TuckFrump苏州夜总会招聘 – to which the staffer did not link directly – features a caricature doll of the US President which is subjected to several violent acts including being burnt, steamrolled, blended, flushed down a toilet and blown up.

Visitors can also purchase a “Tuck Frump” tank top, bumper sticker and voodoo doll.

“TuckFrump苏州夜总会招聘 is a #NotMyPresident social media protest campaign working to organise opposition to Donald Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted, anti-environmental agenda,” the website declares

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Concerns raised about ‘integrity’ of Greens preselection

Dawn Walker won the ballot to replace retiring upper house member Jan Barham in December. Photo: SuppliedThe NSW Greens’ supreme decision-making body is being asked to consider the integrity of the ballot which saw Dawn Walker preselected to fill a seat in the upper house, opening the way for a push to overturn the result amid escalating factional tensions.
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In December Ms Walker won the ballot to replace retiring upper house member Jan Barham by just 13 votes over Kelly Marks, a former staff member in the office of the late Greens MLC John Kaye.

But the returning officers’ report, obtained by Fairfax Media, states they “have identified areas of concern which may have bearing on the integrity of the preselection process”.

“While it is difficult to raise these issues for the consideration of the State Delegates Council, it is the role of the SDC to consider them as the supreme decision-making body of the Greens NSW in order to make an informed decision about the outcome of the preselection,” the report states.

The commentary raises the prospect of a push by opponents of Ms Walker to overturn the result and have a fresh ballot, which would escalate already bitter factional battles inside the NSW Greens.

The preselection, along with an earlier ballot in August last year to replace Dr Kaye, who died of cancer, is being tied to a recent outbreak of party infighting.

The contests have pitched the left wing of the party, whose leaders include upper house MP David Shoebridge and Senator Lee Rhiannon, against those aligned with upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham and n Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

The rancorous preselection which saw Justin Field elected to replace Dr Kaye in the NSW upper house prompted former n Greens leader Bob Brown to call on Ms Rhiannon to retire.

The result in Ms Walker’s preselection sparked claims of irregularities, including about the unauthorised use of a privileged party email lists for campaigning purposes.

These complaints were not upheld by the party’s preselection disputes committee but the returning officers expressed concerns about the committee’s interpretation of the rules.

“Over the course of the preselection it became apparent that there are different views about exactly what constitutes a privileged communication channel or tool,” the report says.

The returning officers’ report will go to the State Delegates Council next weekend and if adopted by consensus the result will stand.

But if it is pushed to a vote ratification of the result could be blocked by 25 per cent of delegates.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that Ms Barham, a supporter of Ms Walker, will not formally resign from the upper house until after the matter is resolved. Ms Walker declined to comment.

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HAZMAT crews decontaminate patients at Westmead Hospital

Specialist fire crews have been called to Westmead Hospital in Sydney’s west after six men were possibly exposed to “hazardous material”.
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The men were contaminated at a building site and made their own way to the hospital, where staff contacted emergency services.

In a statement, Westmead Hospital said the men arrived in the emergency department at around 4pm and were receiving treatment.

“All patients are in a stable condition,” a spokeswoman said.

“Fire & Rescue NSW has established a decontamination zone in the hospital’s ambulance bay as per HAZMAT requirements.

“Westmead Hospital will continue to receive other patients via ambulance. There is no risk to other patients, staff or visitors.”

Staff at the hospital were sent a message on their phones which read: “Disaster”.

Superintendent Ian Krimmer from Fire and Rescue NSW said four crews were called to the hospital, including one HAZMAT crew, to decontaminate workers who were coming in.

“It appears as though they may have been working at the old Rosehill Oil Refinery, demolishing something, possibly contaminating them,” Mr Krimmer said.

“We were decontaminating them as they were going in [to the hospital].”

Vision from the scene showed firefighters in bright orange overalls, wearing oxygen tanks, standing outside the entrance to the emergency department.

A tent and tarpaulin were set up in the car park as the decontamination took place.

Westmead Hospital said it would provide an update on the Western Sydney Local Health District Facebook page once normal services resumed.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said paramedics were on standby at the hospital.

with Roydon Ng*/]]>

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College that graduated just 12 per cent of students wins lucrative training contract

Evocca College has been investigated by the n Skills Quality Authority and the industry body, the n Council for Private Education and Training. Photo: Andy Zakeli The n Federal Police has tendered some of its training to Evocca. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
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Lucrative training contracts for the n Federal Police and the Department of Defence have been awarded to a private college group that has been under investigation by the federal government.

The new contracts between ACTE, trading as Evocca, and the Department of Defence and the AFP come after the college graduated just 12 per cent of students over a three-year period while earning $180 million in taxpayer-funded student loans under the scandal plagued VET FEE-HELP scheme.

A spokeswoman for the AFP said the selection of the training provider “met all government purchasing and procurement requirements”.

The tenders, worth more than $200,000, have been awarded under several different company names, including Dimension Data Learning Services, to supply training for less than five months in software courses, electrical services and general training.

DDLS was acquired by Evocca in October and now shares the same n business number listed on the tenders, more than a year after Evocca came under investigation by the federal government’s regulator in 2015.

DDLS chief executive Mal Shaw said the company remained a standalone division of Evocca. “[We] have been providing IT training to the Department of Defence for 10 years,” he said.

The Department of Defence has been contacted for comment.

The latest data on the now scrapped VET-FEE Help scheme, a HECS-style student loans program that allowed students to pay back their fees when they earned more than $52,000 a year, reveals Evocca earned $110,000 in taxpayer funding per graduate between 2013 and 2015 after only 1600 of its 13,000 students completed their courses.

An Evocca spokeswoman said the completion rates were “misleading” due to course duration, “partial completions” and that many students are still on track to graduate.

The n Skills Quality Authority launched the investigation into the college’s recruitment practices after allegations were raised that the college had enrolled students that did not pass basic literacy tests and few support services were being provided.

At the time, the chief executive of Evocca College, Craig White, admitted he was “not happy” with the low number of students emerging from study with a diploma.

An ASQA spokesman said that Evocca was one of 21 colleges investigated as part of a “targeted audit”.

It found the college did not meet ASQA’s standards in regards to its assessment system, the accuracy of its marketing, and its complaint and appeals policies and procedures.

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Ellie Brush and Jenna McCormick put AFL Women’s rivalry on hold for Canberra United bid

Canberra United players Ellie Brush and Jenna McCormick outside Canberra Stadium. Photo: Rohan ThomsonEllie Brush and Jenna McCormick will go from enemies to teammates in 24 hours when they battle for AFL bragging rights before joining forces for a W-League title bid.
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The Canberra United defenders will be temporarily divided on Saturday when their respective teams, the GWS Giants and Adelaide Crows, go head to head in a historic AFL Women’s contest.

Brush and McCormick are itching to make their debut in the new league that’s breaking down barriers for female athletes.

But instead of playing against each other at Thebarton Oval, Brush and McCormick will be united on a mission to win their W-League semi-final at Canberra Stadium.

Canberra’s championship charge means Brush and McCormick will delay the start to their AFL Women’s careers as they chase a soccer grand final berth.

“Of course you want to be a part of the firsts for AFL,” McCormick said.

“There’s so much buzz about the competition and it is very hard to not think about.

“But I know that when I’m at soccer, I’m at soccer for a reason and I’m committed to the team and the things we’re trying to achieve.

“I know that once we’ve hopefully achieved our goal in soccer, I can switch to footy. But this round one is a big one … bragging rights are definitely on the line against Brushy.”

Brush and McCormick are part of a 10-strong contingent of Canberra athletes who are playing in the inaugural AFL Women’s season, which started on Friday night.

McCormick flew back to Adelaide earlier this week to help launch the Crows’ season but the former Brisbane Lions will be watching on television for the club’s first game.

Brush will be cheering on the Giants after her Canberra United skipper was recruited as one of the club’s rookies.

“It would have been good to play against Ellie … hopefully we end up playing against each other in the [AFL Women’s] grand final so we get the chance to go at it,” McCormick joked.

Canberra United finished at the top of the W-League ladder and needs to beat Melbourne City on Sunday to clinch a grand final spot.

A loss against Melbourne would mean Brush and McCormick can start their AFL season earlier than hoped. But both want championship glory before they swap codes.

“I know the AFL is exciting and the opening round will be awesome, but it doesn’t really compare to the excitement of a semi-final,” Brush said.

“This is been in the plans for a little while now and we’ve known about it, and W-League was always going to be the priority for finals.

“No one really remembers who [finished top of the ladder], our Canberra United season starts now. I want it so badly. It’s amazing that as you get older, you don’t want to take these moments for granted.”

Canberra’s clash against Melbourne has been shifted from 2pm to 8pm to accommodate for the high temperature in the capital.

Brush played her 100th W-League game last weekend after making her comeback from a knee injury. The injury kept her out of action for almost two months in the longest lay-off of her career.

“I haven’t had an injury like that over the past nine seasons,” Brush said.

“That was tough, but it has actually been helpful that I’ve had the AFL to concentrate on as well because it’s probably helped my mental health a bit. It’s helped me learn for AFL and get in the gym to do different things.”

W-LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL

Sunday: Canberra United v Melbourne City at Canberra Stadium, 8pm.

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Western Sydney Wanderers spurred by criticism ahead of Wellington Phoenix match

Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jack Clisby says criticism of his club’s performances is spurring them on to reach the A-League grand final despite being outside the top six.
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Wanderers coach Tony Popovic was criticised by pundits during the week after the club suffered its fifth loss of the season. His recruitment and coaching was called into question by Fox Sports’ Mark Bosnich. The Wanderers have used more players than any other club in three seasons prompting suggestions that the high turnover was proving costly as they fell two points adrift of the top six following their 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar last week.

However, Clisby said the criticism directed towards the club is being used as motivation for the players ahead of their must-win clash away to Wellington Phoenix in New Plymouth. Despite their poor results not reflecting their performances, the fullback says the Wanderers still believe they can not only reach the finals but finish the season with silverware.

“You expect that criticism because it’s such a big club and there are high expectations for this club and it’s still a young club,” he said. “As [Popovic] mentioned on the show, we’ve had a lot of success in five years and that’s why we’ve got a fan base that expects a lot from us. It’s frustrating, it’s frustrating from our point of view as well, but there are still 10 more games to play and we’re looking to make the grand final.”

Clisby said the Wanderers’ poor run of form which has resulted in just three wins all season has not dented their spirits and says the mood within the team is positive and confident. Much of that morale, he said, stems from the influence of Popovic.

“He’s probably the most positive manager I’ve had. He finds the good in all the bad situations, he finds the positives and tries to work with them. He inspires you to go out and play for this manager. We’re all behind him and we’re backing ourselves to have a good end of the season,” Clisby said.

Western Sydney Wanderers travelled to New Zealand early in preparation for the match, leaving on Thursday morning and spending two days in New Plymouth. Because the trip is one of the furthest and logistically more difficult ones they will make this season, the club brought a large travelling party with an extended squad. The players have been kept on their toes and left in the dark as to who will make the team on Saturday.

“We’ve taken a fair travelling group because anything can happen. We took an extended squad so we don’t know what the line-up will be until the coach has made his final decision,” Clisby said.

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2017 BATHURST 12-HOUR: Information and updates from Mount PanoramaRolling Coverage

The #88 Maranello Ferrari team celebrate their win with fans. Photo: LYNN PINKERTONRelated links:
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VIDEO:Fans of the Bathurst 12 Hour set a three-day recordFULL COVERAGE:The 2017 Bathurst 12 HourPHOTOS: The raceFollow the Bathurst 12 Hour on social media, #B12hr

5.45pm: Jamie Whincup crosses the line to finish the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour with a win for the #88Maranello Ferrari with team members Craig Lowndes and Toni Vilander.

Jamie Whincup crosses the line to finish the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour with a win for the #88 Maranello Ferrari. Photo. Phil Blatch

5.30pm: WOW –can you believe it!

#B12Hr – Provisional Results:88 Ferrari12 Porsche -1 lap17 Bentley -1 lap912 Porsche -1 lap1 McLaren -1 lap32 Lamborghini -2 laps

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017Can you believe it?! #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/A25R6gjfNj

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017A very unhappy @MaroEngel with @shanevg97. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/yxMq9MfFJ6

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017INSANE!! 😲😱 #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/kjpjSEkAIr

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017SVG due in shortly his final stop. But is 53 seconds is enough of a gap? Will he go sans-tyres? #B12Hr

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017🔥🔥🔥 great job by the fire marshals to extinguish the flames. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/uWQHoIzrQK

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 20172017 Bathurst 12-hour | Rolling Coveragehttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/9nQYdrBHQxDB6mMpJRZdp8/bb95401a-a506-451b-9864-479c4ebf06f0.jpg/r0_217_720_624_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgCheck back regularly as we bring you information and updates from Mount Panorama during the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour.news, local-news, 2017-02-05T05:30:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5309825882001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5309825882001The #PitStopChallenge is drawing a crowd at the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour, with a record four seconds for the challenge here in Bathurst, the question is, can you beat it?

3.30pm: We’ve just updated our gallery with a few more photos from this morning and yesterday. Take a look here.

2017 Bathurst 12-hour | Rolling Coveragehttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/9nQYdrBHQxDB6mMpJRZdp8/bb95401a-a506-451b-9864-479c4ebf06f0.jpg/r0_217_720_624_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgCheck back regularly as we bring you information and updates from Mount Panorama during the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour.news, local-news, 2017-02-05T05:30:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5310232656001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=53102326560013pm:The Dipper has claimed yet another victim today, with safety car number 14 out on the track after a heavy impact incident by the #66 Nissan GT-R.

Driver Fred Poordad was out of the car and leaning against the wall, though the medical team aren’t taking any precautions.

With still a few hours to go we are sure it will be a record amount of safety cars at this year’s Bathust 12 hour. As reported earlier, the record currently sits at 15.

Crews are working to clear up the Poordad crash. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/q3sP05Z3aS

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017It’s a good race so far. The Ferrari is way too fast down the straight. But we are all fighting hard!! 💪💪 #B12hr

— Shane van Gisbergen (@shanevg97) February 5, 20172017 Bathurst 12-hour | Rolling Coveragehttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/9nQYdrBHQxDB6mMpJRZdp8/bb95401a-a506-451b-9864-479c4ebf06f0.jpg/r0_217_720_624_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgCheck back regularly as we bring you information and updates from Mount Panorama during the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour.news, local-news, 2017-02-05T05:30:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5310041964001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5310041964001This time it was #54 stuck going the wrong way at Turn four after hitting the wall on the way in.

The restart sees the lead cars on lap 197 with 4 hours and 22 minutes remaining of the race.

With 4.5 hours to go the top three leaders are #88 Ferrari, #22 Mercedes and #12 Porsche while the Bentley Racing cars are the fastest on the track both sitting in the 2:05s.

Reports are that 54 did hit the wall on the way in. You can tell from the skid marks, or is that skid MARC’s? #B12Hr

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017COMPARISON:2016 #Bathurst1000 161 laps by Davison/Webb in 6:192017 #B12Hr 161 laps by Baird/van Gisbergen/Engel in 6:49.

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 20172017 Bathurst 12-hour | Rolling Coveragehttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/9nQYdrBHQxDB6mMpJRZdp8/bb95401a-a506-451b-9864-479c4ebf06f0.jpg/r0_217_720_624_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgCheck back regularly as we bring you information and updates from Mount Panorama during the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour.news, local-news, 2017-02-05T05:30:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5309833193001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5309833193001In the past 30 minutes theMark Skaife, Russell Ingall, Longhurst and Glock’s BMW found the fence at the dipper.

It was game over for the team after Ingall hit the wall at the apex at Turn 13, then rebounded into the wall hard on the outside and slid through the dipper.

11am:Safety cars breed safety cars, and that seems to be the sentiment for last few hours of racing, though all looks to be going okay as we write this update and we are hoping they stay racing for a while.

First up an hour ago it was a safety car for the #2 Audi stuf in the gravel at turn one.

The body language says it all 😔 #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/85OxmVNZ04

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 5, 2017No, wait… Now cover your eyes! 🙈 eeeeek. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/KRS2m8xlyE

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017At one of the fastest and most dangerous parts of the track, this happened to @russellingall 😳 #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/DjRXxV8KZh

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017We’re not going to mention that the Tander family cars have crashed into each other there. #B12Hr

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017Hard to explain this one… 🤔 #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/8FCnYmG7l6

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017Thanks to all our race officials today for your work. Long day for our world-class volunteer crew. Stellar job. #B12Hr

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017The Grove Porsche into the wall at Reid Park. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/oFEuJNPnDq

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017So fast, so close! #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/2pHWbKTT0r

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017REPLAY: the #75 Audi hit the wall hard after the Esses. #B12HRpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/KbNYKAQdAf

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017If you’re wondering why the 88 and 41 were penalised, this paragraph from the CAMS Race Regulations explains… #B12Hrpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/vgL0wKC6Tz

— Bathurst 12 Hour (@Bathurst12hour) February 4, 2017Nice clean first lap, now #BringTheThunder#B12hrpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/mZk9OirQJQ

— Steve (@stevewardell) February 4, 201722 year gap for me at Mountain, nice to be back… @Porsche 👍🏁🇦🇺 pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/OpgRkuxUJT

— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) February 4, 2017

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Tom Cusack leaves sevens heaven behind to chase ACT Brumbies dream

Brumbies player, Tom Cusack . Plus500 Brumbies v n Barbarians at Viking park in Canberra. Photo Jay Cronan Photo: Jay CronanTom Cusack will trade the bright lights of the Sydney Sevens for downtown Mudgee on Saturday as the Rio Olympian takes the next step towards his ACT Brumbies goal.
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But the Canberra junior admits the fear of the unknown in Super Rugby weighed on his mind after leaving the glamorous sevens circuit for a chance to play for the Brumbies.

Cusack will play his second game for the Brumbies in a trial match against the NSW Waratahs in front of a humble crowd in Mudgee.

It’s a world away from his former life of playing in front of sellout crowds at the Sydney Sevens and at tournaments in Las Vegas, London, Edinburgh and Dubai.

But Cusack says the sliding doors moment of being in country NSW rather than in Sydney has reaffirmed his desire to earn his first Super Rugby cap.

The versatile flanker took a hefty paycut to end his sevens career after the Olympic Games last year to sign a development contract with the Brumbies.

It was a risk he was willing to take after growing up idolising the Brumbies and dreaming of playing for the Super Rugby franchise.

“To be honest, I was pretty nervous [before the first trial] because it was a complete unknown for me,” Cusack said.

“I didn’t really know what to expect about Super Rugby standard and playing against the Waratahs is going to be another step up.

“But I think I was happy … I watched the n sevens boys in Wellington [last weekend] so that’s new. But I’m enjoying the transition.

“The pre-season definitely helped, I don’t think I was out of my depth in any way in terms of chasing the game.

“I was concerned about that initially. There are still learning points and positional things I have to work on, but that will come with working with the senior guys.”

Cusack will come off the bench for the clash against a relatively unknown Waratahs side and the 23-year-old is trying to impress coach Stephen Larkham ahead of the start of Super Rugby.

He’s been on the Brumbies’ radar for the past four years and turned down previous offers to join the club to pursue an Olympic ambition.

He was hampered by injuries in the past 12 months, but managed to overcome a major wrist problem to play for at the Olympics and be named in the sevens team of the tournament.

But he now faces a different challenge to transition back to the 15-a-side game, competing with Scott Fardy, Jarrad Butler, Ben Hyne, Lolo Fakaosilea, Jordan Smiler, Chris Alcock and Rob Valetini for game time.

Fardy is a guaranteed starter for the first game of the season against the Canterbury Crusaders on February 25, but the openside flanker and No. 8 spots are up for grabs.

The Brumbies have been testing Cusack as an openside flanker option, but he can play any position in the back row.

Jarrad Butler is considered the front-runner to replace David Pocock, but he is nursing a lower-leg problem and racing the clock to be fit for round one.

Smiler and Alcock have Super Rugby experience while Fakaosilea and Valetini add powerful punch as No. 8 hitmen.

“Tommy has been fantastic, he’s obviously a very fit player coming in off the back his sevens stuff,” Fardy said.

“He’s another local guy which is really important for the area. That’s why the Brumbies were set up and we’re looking at guys who were born in 1995 or 1996 when the Brumbies started, and now they’re here.

“That’s a pretty special thing to have.”

SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON

Saturday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Mudgee, 6pm.

February 11-12: Brisbane Global 10s at Suncorp Stadium.

Brumbies team: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. James Dargaville, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Tomas Cubelli, 8. Lolo Fakaosilea, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 1. Nic Mayhew. Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Faalelei Sione, 18. Ben Alexander, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23. Tom Banks, 2. Saia Faingaa, 4. Tom Staniforth, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Ben Hyne, 10. Isaac Thompson, 11. Nigel Ah Wong, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Andrew Muirhead, 6. Rob Valetini.

Waratahs team: 15. Bryce Hegarty, 14. Reece Robinson, 13. Irae Simone, 12. David Horwitz, 11. Harry Jones, 10. Mack Mason, 9. Jake Gordon, 8. Michael Wells, 7. Brad Wilkin, 6. Jack Dempsey, 5. Denio Toleafoa, 4. Ned Hanigan, 3. David Lolohea, 2. Hugh Roach, 1. Tom Robertson. Reserves: 16. Tolu Latu, 17. Damien Fitzpatrick. 18. Paddy Ryan, 19. Sam Needs, 20. David McDuling, 21. Matt Lucas, 22. Andrew Deegan, 23. Andrew Kellaway, 27. Ryan McCauley, 28. Jamason Schultz, 30. Con Foley, 31. Maclean Jones.

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Opinion‘Predatory’ policy pushes moral agenda on world

ABORTION POLITICS: The Mexico City Policy relates to the US provision of international family planning assistance. Picture: GettyDoes making America great again require restrictions to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)? Trump and his posse certainlythink so.After gaining office, the US President’sfirst executive orders were to: freeze federal hiring; withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); and reinstate the Mexico City Policy.
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Those of a certain political persuasion could muster an argument for freezing federal hiring and the TPP withdrawal, but no matter what your politics it’s extremely hard to mount a case for the Mexico City Policy as an integral component to making America great again.

Trump is not the only president with vagina on his mind, the governance of the female reproductive system has been of critical importance for every new US President since Reagan, who introduced the Mexico City Policy in 1984.

The policy relates to the USprovision of international family planning assistance and is heavily focused on abortion politics. In order for a foreign non-government organisation to be eligible for USfederal funding they must not, even with non-US funds, perform, advise on, or endorse abortions.This unconstitutional behaviour of suppressing the freedoms of others to engage in public policy debates, prevents the Mexico City Policy being imposed on US citizens; hence the policy not applying to US-based organisations.Interestingly, the Mexico City Policy is not even required to prevent American federal funds being utilised for abortions outside the US, as the 1973Helms Amendmentto the Foreign Assistance Act already prevents this, biomedical research, and lobbying on abortion (since 1981).

No one could express my feelings for abortion or President Trump better than Gough Whitlam:  “Let me make quite clear that I am for abortion and, in your case Sir, we should make it retrospective.”But,this is not an abortion debate. It’s a debate on America’s predatory behaviour putting people at greater risk in order to progress a moral agenda through a policy that is unconstitutional in their own county.

US funding is a big deal for global SRHR. It gives $607.5million a year, preventing six million unintended pregnancies, which in turn averts 2.3 million abortions and 11,000 maternal deaths.After the Bush administration re-introduced the Mexico City Policy in 2001, abortion rates rose insub-Saharan Africaand inGhana, andshipments of US-donated contraceptives stopped in 16 developing countries. Given modern contraception is one of the most important barriers to preventing unwanted pregnancy and there’s an estimated 225 million women worldwide who do not have access, this is a flawed mindset to reducing global abortion.

The Mexico City Policy does not reduce global abortions because it does not deal with the real issue, women’s need for abortion. Although abortion is a last resort, it is still a requirement for many women. And it will always remain an important part of providing global SRHR.Providing SRHR will unlock stifled talent. By allowing girls and women control over the number and spacing of their children, education will become more accessible, unlocking employment and business opportunities, activating their economies and creating a better world.

So to Trump and all who champion the Mexico City Policy, I say ‘go love yourself’. To the rest I say ‘it’s time we look further than government to solve the world’s biggest issues’.

Jacqueline Haines is a social entrepreneur who champions SRHR and social enterprise

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Newcastle’s Urth Energy shuts its doors on power customers

GOING THROUGH THE BOOKS: Jirsch Sutherland supervisor Hayden Asper leaving Urth Energy’s Wickham offices yesterday with boxes of documents. The solar-focused power retailer has shut its doors, for the time being at least.A WICKHAM-based power retailer, Urth Energy, has gone into voluntary administration, putting more than 20 people out of work and stranding an estimated 800 electricity customers.
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Urth​ Energy,which billed itself as a “boutique”energy retailer focusingon solar energy systems, appointed Newcastle insolvency expert Brad Morelli, of Jirsch Sutherland, as external administrator on Wednesday.

As a result, the n Energy Regulator suspended the companyfrom operating in the national electricity market onThursday.

The regulator’s acting chair, Cristina Cifuentes, said customers had been transferred from “the failed electricity retailer” to other suppliers to ensure their electricity supply continued without interruption.

“The AER has ensured customers of Urth Energy were transferred to new retailers,” Ms Cifuentes said.

“Depending on where the customers are located they were transferred to either AGL, Origin Energy, or Energy. The AER is responsible for overseeing the national Retailer of Last Resortscheme. The scheme is designed to ensure that in the event of retailer failure, arrangements are in place to ensure that customers continue to receive electricity and/or gas supply. If an energy retailer fails, the AER has the power to transfer customers to a new retailer.”

Ms Cifuentes said cutomers affected by Urth Energy’s failure were not obliged to stay with the provider of last resort.

Urth Energy is the second small retailer to go under in less than a year, after GO Energy went into voluntary administration in April 2016.

Ironically, Urth’s problems came to light just as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was triggering a national debate over energy security with his insistence that coal would remain a major part of ’s energy mix for decades to come with cleaner and more efficient new-era power stations.

Urth Energy featured in the Newcastle Heraldlast year, when a director, Richard Hermens, said a lack of parking was forcing Urth out of Wickham.

“We don’t want to leave Newcastle –we were born and bred here,” he said at the time. “But, unfortunately, we’ve been forced out. We can’t afford to keep worrying about where to park all the time.”

Administrator Brad Morelli said on Friday that he had appointed as administrator to six companies in the related group. It was too early to say conclusively what had gone wrong beyond saying there appeared to becash-flow problems. Most of the company’s 27 employees had lost their jobs but a few were being kept on to help the administration.

At this stage he was hoping the company could be sold.

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