Police uncover cannabis growhouse on Steel Street Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: NSW Police
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Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: NSW Police

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: NSW Police

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: NSW Police

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: NSW Police

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Steel Street, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebookCANNABIS plants the size of Christmas trees have been removed from a“complex and well-established” grow house hidden inside an inner-city Newcastlebuilding.

As office workers on their lunch break watched on,police collected at least 40 bags of buds and a large number of plants at varying stages of maturity from the Steel Streetstorage shed on Tuesday, after executing a search warrant at the property at 2am and finding an elaborate hydroponic set-up.

Newcastle City Local Area Command Inspector Shane Buggy said the operationincluded an intricate electrical system, irrigation, ventilation and a large number of chemicals including a fertiliser called “Monsta Bud”.

“It’s acomplex and well-established grow houseacross several rooms,” Inspector Buggy said.“It’s a commercial premises, so it’s quite large in the scheme of grow houses. Any situation where we have a building which has illegal wiring,unattended lights designed to produce heat and aheap of chemicals lying around, it’s potentially dangerous.”

Specialist police, including detectives, target action group officers and forensic services were at thescene until late on Tuesday and may need to returnon Wednesday.

“It’s a large operation and this type of drug house – as far as dismantling and investigation – is labour intensive.”

Inspector Buggy asked for anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious to contact Crime Stoppers.

“It might not be suspicious activity – it might be a lack of activity,” he said.

“Quite often nobody lives in these places, they’re only attended to at times when people are working there sporadically.”

Images released by police showed a large crop of plants under heat lamps.

In another room, a mess of electrical cords andextension leadswere plugged into overloaded power outlets.

The discoverycomes a month after police dismantled a sophisticated cannabis grow house in Kotara.

Detectives and specialist police entered the five-bedroom Marshall Street property on September 6 following a tip-off and found it had been completely converted into a hydroponic cannabis factory. More than 150 plants were inside.

Meanwhile, three men have been charged after police allegedly found them in possession of 18.8kg of cannabis on Monday night. They are Vietnamese nationals unlawfullyin , according to court documents.

The Anh Hoang and Hoai Nam Nguyen,both 22,and Cuong Van Nguyen, 33, faced Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday.

Each was charged with possessing a prohibited drug and supply of a prohibited drug, after police allegedly found 18.8kg of cannabis in the vehicle they were travelling in during a stop atGlebe Road, Adamstown.

Officers pulled the vehicle over around 6pm and breath-tested the driver, who provided a negative result.

Bail determination documents noted that all three men were illegally in , and were“liable for immigration detention”.

The bail determination for the older Mr Nguyen noted that he was“an extreme flight risk”.

None of the three men applied for bail on Tuesday –and it was formally refused.

According to court documents, Mr Hoang and the younger Mr Nguyen listed Teralba Road, Adamstown, as their home address, while the older Mr Nguyen was listed as living at Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

They will face court again, via audio visual link,on November 16.

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Rio Tinto’s new chief executive Tom Albanese at the Park Hyatt hotel in Sydney, 25 July 2007.SMH Picture by PETER MORRISAn American law firm based in Seattle has filed a class action lawsuit against Rio Tinto over the mining giant’s failed investment in a Mozambique coal project which cost the mining giant billions of dollars.
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The law firm Hagens Berman, which revealed the action on Monday, alleges defendants in the action made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information about the true value of Rio’s Mozambique coal investment made in 2011.

Rio acquired the coal assets for $US3.7 billion but the company’s plans for coal mining in the African country hit major hurdles, the assets crumbled in value, and the miner sold them in October 2014 for just $US50 million.

Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are Rio Tinto’s former chief executive Tom Albanese and former chief financial officer Guy Elliott.

Hagens Berman, which describes itself as “a national investor-rights law firm”, has taken the action on behalf of purchasers of Rio Tinto plc American Depositary Receipts between October 23, 2012 and February 15, 2013.

The writ alleges: “Defendants’ wrongful conduct has inflicted significant damages on Rio Tinto investors.” The plaintiff is named as Anton Colbert.

“This action concerns a fraud previously unknown to investors and only recently revealed by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in its complaint filed on October 17, 2017,” the writ says.

The class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, and comes just days after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it had charged Rio Tinto and Mr Albanese and Mr Elliott with fraud.

In a statement, the law firm said the complaint alleges that defendants “made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding RTCM’s (Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique’s) true value,” during the period October 23, 2012 and February 15, 2013.

The writ, which echoes the SEC’s allegations, says: “Within months of the acquisition, Albanese and Elliott knew of material problems adversely affecting this asset’s (“RTCM”) multi-billion dollar publicly reported valuation. By early 2012, Albanese and Elliott knew of additional problems with RTCM requiring an impairment analysis and material reduction of its publicly reported value. Instead, Albanese and Elliott thwarted the required impairment analysis required by the relevant accounting rules and throughout the Class Period continued to promote RTCM’s worth to investors.”

The writ alleges Rio’s 2011 annual report “contained statements about RTCM that were materially misleading, and collectively depicted RTCM in a positive light that was not supported by the best information then known to Defendants and did not disclosure adverse developments at RTCM or the related valuation challenges. To the contrary, defendants falsely declared in Rio Tinto’s financial statements that the value of RTCM was the amount it paid to acquire Riversdale, i.e., approximately $US3.7 billion dollars.”

It also says: “Albanese and Elliott signed the 2011 Annual Report and were therefore responsible for the materially false and misleading statements and/or omissions.”

Rio would not comment on the class action lawsuit on Tuesday, but it is understood the miner is not surprised by the move and is confident the case has no merit.

Last week, in response to the SEC announcement, Rio and the two former executives all vowed to fight the charges.

Mr Albanese said: “There is no truth in any of these charges. I echo Rio Tinto’s confidence that these will be proved baseless in court.”

A spokesperson for Mr Elliott said: “Guy also fully refutes these charges and will be vigorously contesting them.”

Rio said it believed the SEC’s case was “unwarranted and that, when all the facts are considered by the court, or if necessary by a jury, the SEC’s claims will be rejected”.

It also said: “Rio Tinto intends to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”

Rio said the timing of the impairment of Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique had been reflected in its 2012 end-of-year accounts.

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One year ago, Alfonso del Rio was 110 kilograms and on the path to diabetes. He couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without leaning on the handrail, exhausted and gasping for breath.
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Confronted with worrying health assessment results, he was spurred into action. The 55-year-old lawyer swapped chips for fruit, steak for fish and began walking 10,000 steps a day.

“I made changes and lost 30 kilograms,” the Clayton Utz partner said. “I now ‘swim’ in my old clothes, I can’t wear them and I can sustain greater levels of intense concentration. I’ve lengthened my life.”

Mr del Rio’s transformation, as well as his ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, reflects the results of a new study that shows the legal sector has the healthiest executives in , followed by the banking and consulting sectors.

Lawyer Alfonso del Rio’s headshots, before and after he lost 30 kilograms during a 12-month period. Photo: Keith Friendship

An analysis of 30,000 health assessments of senior employees at 500 organisations by Executive Health Solutions found white-collar sectors fared best overall, while blue-collar industries – specifically “transport, postal and warehousing” and “agriculture, forestry and fishing” – ranked low.

The study ranked 20 industries based on physical, mental, psychological and medical scores, which took into account blood pressure, fitness, alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI).

It said it was known blue-collar workers were generally less healthy, and with promotion through the ranks into management positions being more common, there was a greater risk of poor habits being carried through to the executive level.

Blue-collar executives typically had higher-risk scores for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but some industries bucked the trend. The mining industry ranked second in psychological health.

“From the blue-collar perspective, it’s important to continue to invest in health from a culture point of view, whether hours worked or supportive environments,” said John Hall, chief executive of Executive Health Solutions.

“A healthy CEO doesn’t mean everyone in the company is healthy, but a CEO who values health will be more likely to have an environment conducive to good health, from stand-up meetings to better food in canteens.”

When it came to physical health, the “professional services and consulting” sector came out on top, while “agriculture, forestry and fishing” was at the bottom.

Those in professional services had an average BMI of 26.8, with fewer than one in five participants classified as obese.

Executives in agriculture, forestry and fishing, had an average BMI of 28.25, and were more likely to be classified obese. A “normal” range is between 18.5 and 24.99.

The report said executives at law firms were among the fittest, with only 7 per cent getting a below average or poor fitness rating.

In regards to medical health, which considered cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure test results, the legal, financial services and banking sectors were at the top.

The data showed the public sector performed poorly in both physical and medical sub-indices, with federal public sector executives ranking 15th in medical health and their state counterparts ranking 17th in physical health.

“Both industries were particularly affected by poor fitness levels coupled with elevated waist measurements resulting in lower than expected rankings for blood pressure and cholesterol,” the report said.

“This suggests the public sector may be falling between the blue and white-collar divide and would benefit from focusing on movement/activity and optimal nutrition.”

On mental health, “small business and individuals” category ranked last.

Dr John Lang from the Health and Productivity Institute of urged small business owners to not view time spent with family and exercising as a “cost in time”.

“They wear personal responsibility and their pay can be halved in tough times, so it’s more stressful for them and they may work after hours,” he said.

“But they’re junk hours that will compromise physical and psychological health and lower productivity, so it’s actually counterproductive.”

While the legal sector performed well overall, it dropped to 12th when it came to mental health. The mining industry ranked second-best.


Alfonso del Rio lost 30 kilograms by exercising and changing his eating habits. Photo: Janie Barrett

In his Canberra office, Mr del Rio said mental health issues were a “scourge” on his industry, but that firms were working to provide greater support and investing in resilience training.

“We like to win, it’s what being successful in our profession is about, and scoring a victory means there’s a winner and a loser, and so inherently there’s a cultural issue we experience that has an enormous, draining impact,” he said.

“If you’ve got a couple of things that don’t fall your way, that dark cloud can descend upon you and it’s hard to get away.”

Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Law Society, said lawyers tried to put their clients, with all their problems, first, and found it hard to switch off from work, especially with time pressures.

“We’ve researched this and our journal has done articles on stress, but a lot of it is anecdotal and we are keen to investigate further,” she said.

“We have a special webpage with Lifeline for Lawyers information and a confidential 24-hour telephone crisis support service. There is help available.”

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HAIR’S TO DAPHNE: Daphne Partridge, of Telarah, with her hairdresser Robert Threlfo. Picture: Simone De Peak.She’s 93, soon to be94, loves to get her hair “tizzed” and enjoys a goodjitterbug.
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He’s 73, has recently beatenstomach and bowel cancer and,boy, does he know how tocha cha.

Meet Daphne Partridge and Robert Threlfo, the couple whose video has gone viral after it made national television this week.

The pair was filmed at Maitland’s Inspirations Hair Design recently cutting a mean rug on the salon floor after Robert had just finished styling his long-time client’s hair.Salon manager Kira Ryan captured on video the moment Daphne asked Robert to dance to Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes.She sent the videoto Nine Network’s Today program and byTuesday afternoon it had received 218,000 views, 12,000 likes and 1500shares.

Salon owner,Mr Threlfo’s daughter Helen Stuckings, said the dancing duo wasgobsmacked with the reaction to thesalon salsa.

Daphne, of Telarah, loves dancing and often turns on the music at home and dances while she does the housework.

“I just can’t stop. I love to dance,” she said.

“I’m so surprised at how people have responded to the video. It’s just a wonderful thing to be able to dance.”

The mother of two, grandmother of four and great grandmother of six said her secret to a long and happy life was simple. “My husband John never goes out without me and we never have a cross word.” But this feel good story doesn’t end there.

Last year Robertwas diagnosed with bowel andstomach cancer.After intense chemotherapy, major surgery and a weight loss of 40 kilograms, Robert is back at the salon two days a week and, like Daphne, loving life.


The Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd with Opposition Education spokesperson, Stephen Smith and Opposition Communications Spokesperson Senator Stephen Conroy visit Hawker College, a Canberra secondary school.Photograph taken by Andrew Taylor on the 18th Jun2007.Kevin Rudd’s tome Not for the Faint-hearted shines a glaring light into the frenemy fiefdom that masquerades as the n Labor Party.
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Now the Liberal Party – or indeed any other big political party – is probably as dysfunctional, but Rudd’s autobiography, released today, lays it all bare for Labor.

The hate between MPs can be palpable. So is the distrust. And the ambition is naked and all-consuming.

On the surface, to the TV cameras, it’s all smiles. Behind closed doors, it’s all knives.

“As a people we tend to be very good at tearing down,” Kevin Rudd says. “We are not so good at building up. And this judgment is rendered most harshly, and rightly so, for those who enter public life.”

The irony is that Rudd’s assessment of some on his team, including those to whom he awarded top jobs, is ruthless.

Just take his assessment of Stephen Smith, who served as a minister for foreign affairs and minister for trade as well as minister for defence for Labor.

“Stephen Smith was the most ice-cold politician I had ever met,” Rudd says. The man shared former ALP treasurer Wayne Swan’s deep cynicism for the “business of politics” and was so neat that he would be “discombobulated if anyone disturbed the plastic folders of papers that made up his universe”.

This was Labor’s foreign minister, the person charged with selling – and his prime minister’s vision – to the world!

Swan, Rudd says, was out of his depth in Treasury and failed to improve over time.

(At this stage, you are probably wondering why he didn’t get rid of him. I’m wondering that, too).

“Years later, one Treasury official would describe Swan as a small man with a big ego and a giant chip on his shoulder who ??? was not interested in and apparently incapable of being educated in the Treasury craft by his own department,” Rudd says.

Keating’s office christened the pair the “glimmer twins’, policy-free zones and the state secretaries’ club, good for polling rotten for policy”, we’re told.

And the pair, along with Rudd’s media minister Stephen Conroy, were known as the Roosters, who were “deeply accomplished in the dark arts” and who “loathed” Julia Gillard with a passion. “Their loathing for me ran a close second,” Rudd says.

Conroy “was a mercurial personality”. “From laughter to rage, from friendship to near-mortal combat, from highs to lows, and all in an instant.”

The three of them had “painstakingly constructed” a plan over the years to see Kim Beazley lead the party first, followed by Swan or Smith. They wanted to ensure Simon Crean never did.

Rudd says it was his refusal to back a challenge against Crean that broke off his relationship with Smith, Conroy and Swan. “I had refused to act as factional cannon fodder,” he says.

Rudd’s assessment doesn’t stop there, even towards those on his own side.

Mark Latham was one of the most divisive figures in modern n Labor politics. “Even his friends from that time, including Joel Fitzgibbon – who in time became a friend of mine – would later find, to their personal distress, that Latham had no difficulty whatsoever in turning on his own, including those closest to him.”

Rudd adds that he found Latham’s “utterly impenetrable tome” Civilising Global Capital an attempt to brand himself as the “new intellectual leader of the Labor movement”.

Closer to home, here in Queensland, his view of his colleagues is no less savage.

Take Bill Ludwig, for example. “In Queensland, the main right-wing faction was the n Workers’ Union, led by Bill Ludwig, whose views of the world ranged somewhere between Neanderthal and Neolithic,” Rudd explains.

And Bill’s son, former senator Joe Ludwig? He was sent to the Senate by his father, “the Cro-Magnon man of the n Labor movement and the closest came to having a Chicago boss controlling such a large slice of the party”.

Former ALP state secretary Cameron Milner was “a young thugster in training, working hard to become a senior, respected thug at the AWU finishing school for conservative party apparatchiks”.

Of course, thank goodness, some venom is left for the other side.

Former Liberal prime minister John Howard, Rudd tells us, was an abysmal failure as a political leader and misled the public on the reason we went to war. He had also “gone after my wife because he had failed in his pursuit of me” and his dirt unit would have had to watch 6400 hours of tape to find the footage of Rudd picking wax out of his ear.

Peter Costello would never have the “gumption to challenge” Howard, who recognised that “core weakness in Costello’s character” early on.

To be fair, Rudd has also given a big tick to some of his former parliamentary colleagues.

Anthony Albanese, “firebrand of the left, is the most gifted natural politician of his time”.

John Faulkner “had a withering eye for anything resembling posturing and puffery. He was a man elementally dedicated to the Labor cause”.

Alan Griffin was one of the best marginal seats campaigners in the country and Robbie McClelland was “himself the essence of common sense, decency and reason”.

Gareth Evans was “the most effective foreign minister in n history, rivalled only by Bert Evatt in the war and immediate postwar years”.

On the other hand, Alexander Downer was the “least significant foreign minister in n history”.

Rudd’s book is written in an entertaining way and gives his views from childhood, through to the desk of prime minister.

At times it’s funny, self-deprecating and downright intriguing.

But it also shows why voters are turning against the big parties. It shows how our leaders can stand in front of a camera and fulsomely support someone they despise.

This is part one of Rudd’s two-part autobiography. And it ends with Rudd still supporting, strongly, his colleague Ms Gillard.

She’s friendly. She does her job well. She has a wicked sense of humour. And she made mistakes – like the “strange request” of wanting to sit next to him at the front table in Parliament.

“I was lost for words. Julia said it would underline the fact that this was a team from day one. I was uncomfortable with the idea. Also thought it was nuts ??? she eventually relented,” Rudd says.

It’s just a hunch, but I reckon Kevin Rudd is setting Julia Gillard up for a big fall. We’ll just have to wait for volume two, to find out.

Kevin Rudd: Not for the Faint-hearted is out today.

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Every three months, Prudence Thompson would get $110 to spend on clothes at the fashion retail outlet where she worked, but she would spend double that amount to maintain her working wardrobe.
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While working for a fashion retailer as a university student for two years until 2016, Ms Thompson, 21, said she was expected to be wearing clothes from the fashion label’s latest range.

“You needed to look like you were wearing something new,” she said. “You were expected to not be wearing the same thing every day.

“The idea was that if you look good in something, people come up to you and ask, ‘what’s that?’ “

A new University of Sydney study has found that relatively low-paid retail workers are spending thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to promote the fashion brands they sell. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_618″);

The study by Leanne Cutcher from the University of Sydney business school and Pamela Achtel from the Leading Edge found this had led to resentment in close to half the retail workers. But more than half, seemed happy to continue spending their own money on the merchandise they sold, because many saw themselves as an “extension of the brand”.

Professor Cutcher said it was unfair of some companies to expect people in relatively low-paid jobs to buy expensive clothing to model the brand they were selling. She said retail staff should ask prospective employers how much they expected them to spend before accepting a new job.

“With some of the stores the employees couldn’t even buy things on sale. Everything had to be current,” Professor Cutcher said.

“Only one store had a rack of clothing out the back that people could put on for the day.”

The university study based on interviews with female and male employees from 16 major retailers in Sydney found employees were spending a large portion of their wages buying merchandise to wear at work, often with little compensation from employers.

Staff discounts ranged from 0 to 55 per cent.

One retailer offered one free outfit per season.

Outfit costs across the retailers surveyed ranged from $105 to $1150, and included items such as shoes, underwear, jackets, ties, jewellery, belts, and hair clips.

Ms Thompson, from Beecroft in Sydney’s north, was studying communications and public relations at the University of Technology when she worked at the fashion retailer.

She said staff were offered a 35 per cent discount off retail prices.

“Every three months were were given $110 to spend on the most recent season’s clothing, but it didn’t go far,” she said.

“We weren’t forced to buy anything, but every now and then you would get comments like, maybe you should get that dress.

“Because it was my job to get through uni, I didn’t have a massive disposable income to buy clothing I would not wear again.”

A spokeswoman for the clothing brand said it was not compulsory for retail employees to wear the brand at work. However, employees were encouraged to wear the brand where possible and were provided with wardrobe allowances and discounts to assist them.

“Depending on their frequency of work, our retail employees are provided with a wardrobe allowance of up to $1,100 annually,” the spokeswoman said.

“On top of this, employees can use their staff discount of either 35 or 40 per cent (depending on whether they are in a casual or full time role).

“Ultimately, we find that our employees are passionate about the brand and enthusiastic about the product so while there is absolutely no requirement, many choose to wear [the brand] because of the affinity they have with the brand and we offer comprehensive employee benefits to help make this possible.”

Ms Achtel said the study, which has been published in leading international journal Work, Employment and Society, found employees were more engaged if they were given some freedom in what they were required to buy for their “work uniform”. Prescriptive dress codes and disregard for an employee’s personal style had led to “disenchantment”.

“Wearing pieces that fit into the employees’ own personal style, and having fun with the brand really feeds employees’ confidence, and this is communicated to customers in the store”, Ms Achtel said.

“While brand guidelines may be created in head office, it’s the frontline staff that live and breathe them while interacting with customers.”

Priscilla Fujita, 23, from Sydney’s inner west, was studying speech pathology at Macquarie University when she worked for a major cosmetics retailer until earlier this year.

Ms Fujita said she spent up to $2500 of her own money on cosmetics in the two years she worked for the cosmetics brand.

“If you were a full-time student, you didn’t have any extra money and it was quite expensive,” she said.

“I was given an allowance of roughly $80 per month, but I spent up to $200. This was completely up to me.”

Ms Fujita said she received a 40 per cent staff discount and was expected to wear black tailored clothing, which she bought for herself.

“You were expected to be on-season and your make up had to be representative of the products we sell in store and that are in stock,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the cosmetics company where Ms Fujita worked said staff were required to “maintain personal grooming standards that befit” the brand. She said there was no reason why an employee would need to spend $2500 out of their own pocket to be “work ready”.

“Staff have access to all in-store products for use prior to commencement of their shift – there is no requirement for staff to purchase products for use in work hours,” the spokeswoman said.

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Gilman Wong Photo Michele MOssopFri 14th October 2011Gilman Wong CEO of Sirtex seen here at St Vincent’s hopsital Sydney with the micro tech SIR microspheres which treats liver cancer without the need for surgery.The board of Sirtex found it “very difficult” to let go of its former chief executive, Gilman Wong, who is being investigated over trades he made in the troubled biotechnology group’s shares ahead of a profit downgrade.
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But it was a “decision that had to be made”, says outgoing chairman Richard Hill.

Addressing the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Mr Hill acknowledged it was a “tumultuous year for Sirtex” but said the board was committed to “achieving the highest standards of corporate governance”.

The company’s share price has been volatile over the past 12 months following a run of bad news. It was down 1.7 per cent on Tuesday late morning at $13.88. This compares to its December 2015 peak of $41 a share.

Following a number of unsuccessful clinical trials, the company in December downgraded sales growth forecasts for its microspheres, which are used to treat some cancers.

Mr Wong was sacked last year after an internal board investigation into his share trading last October.

“It was, understandably, a very difficult decision for many of us on the board to make – at a personal level – having worked closely with Gilman over the past 12 years – however, it was a decision that had to be made and we made it,” Mr Hill said.

The n Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is now investigating Mr Wong’s $2 million of share trades at the time as possible insider trading. Mr Wong has denied any wrongdoing.

Sirtex in September paid a penalty of $100,000 after allegedly breaching its continuous disclosure obligations to shareholders, but without any admission of liability after being issued with an infringement notice from ASIC.

Separate to the ASIC investigation, the company is facing a class action over alleged breaches of its continuous disclosure obligations.

Sirtex would be “vigorously defending the proceedings”, Mr Hill said. The Federal Court has ordered mediation by the end of August next year and a three-week trial will start in late October next year.

Sirtex’s new CEO, Andrew McLean, told the meeting there was “significant growth potential” for its technology.

“It works, it extends the lives of people with liver cancer and yet we have just an approximate 5 per cent penetration of the accessible market,” he said.

Sirtex was now focused on a program in the United States – a market which makes up about 80 per cent of the company’s business – to reduce the time it takes for doses to get to customers.

It was also piloting a program with a key US institution to ensure faster implantations. And, keeping in line with a new trend in America of moving healthcare outside hospitals, the company was trialling Office Based Laboratories across the US, with a small number of patients treated off site so far.

Next year greater revenue is coming from Canada, Brazil, France and Spain. But China and Japan were “longer-term initiatives” since registration and entry requirements were more time-consuming in those countries.

Mr McClean said sales revenue for the first quarter of 2017/18 fell 5 per cent as a result of adverse currency movements, while dose sales remained flat.

But there were “some early favourable results”. “We knew that Q1 was going to be difficult emerging from the distracting events of last year,” he said, but those events were now “largely behind us”.

The majority (87.75 per cent) of shareholders accepted the company’s remuneration report.

Its interim chief executive, Nigel Lange, who stepped in after Mr Wong’s departure, will get $740,000 per annum including superannuation contributions, which is 19 per cent less than Mr Wong’s 2015/16 base remuneration of $875,695 salary plus $33,305 in superannuation.

Mr McLean, who took over in May, gets total remuneration of $885,184.

The hunt for a new chairman is now under way following Mr Hill’s retirement.

Mr Hill has in previous years come under fire over the lack of women on the company’s board.

In September Helen Kurincic was appointed a non-executive director, making her the second woman on the board following former AVCAL CEO Dr Katherine Woodthorpe joining in 2015.

Ms Kurincic has over 20 years of direct executive and board experience in healthcare. She is also chairman of Integral Diagnostics Limited, and a non-executive director of Estia Health and of HBF Health Limited.

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The man at the centre of a controversy gripping ‘s wool industry has admitted he should not have secretly watched an anonymous focus group behind a one-way mirror or told an ABC journalist to “f— off” when he was later asked for a comment on the issue.
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Wal Merriman, the scandal-plagued chairman of industry group n Wool Innovation, was grilled in a fiery Senate hearing on Tuesday following the “man in the mirror” controversy and broader troubles allegedly plaguing the taxpayer-funded organisation.

n Wool Innovation chairman Wal Merriman. Photo: Andrew Meares

Earlier this year, leading woolgrowers from across the country were invited to attend a focus group on controversial genetic techniques used in sheep breeding and were subsequently shocked to discover that Mr Merriman and others had been observing proceedings.

Months later, Mr Merriman called ABC agricultural journalist Marty McCarthy a “useless prick” and told him to “f— off” at an industry event, when McCarthy questioned him over the controversy.

“It’s fair to say AWI has had a difficult few months, mostly caused by me,” Mr Merriman said in Canberra on Tuesday.

“Never before have meetings been held in a room with a one-way mirror. This was all very strange to me when I went to observe the process.

“If the AWI knew such a room was booked, it would never have taken place. We don’t do things this way.”

Mr Merriman said the incident was not up to the organisation’s standards and noted the focus group company, Axiom Research, had apologised to participants and “reaffirmed confidentiality”.

The industry group chairman has also apologised to woolgrowers and labelled the episode “not one of our proudest moments”.

Mr Merriman addressed the October incident with the ABC journalist too, saying the language he used “was more fitting for a shearing shed”.

“I’d like to apologise to wool growers and anyone else who was offended by the language I recently used when speaking to a journalist,” he said.

“I confess I am direct in the way I speak, I am from the bush. I occasionally come across in a way that causes offence,” Mr Merriman said.

He acknowledged he had breached his industry group’s code of practice, which requires AWI representatives to treat people with “courtesy and respect”.

But Mr Merriman also targeted McCarthy for criticism on Tuesday, saying he pushed through a crowd of people to question him, after being told Mr Merriman would not address the mirror matter.

McCarthy denied he pushed through people to interview Mr Merriman, and says he had been told he could ask mirror-related questions.

During the hearing, Mr Merriman complained about the presence of photographers from media outlets but was told they were allowed to be there as the proceedings were public.

He was also reprimanded by senators for referring to Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie as “madam” rather than “Senator McKenzie”, and seemingly resisting some lines of questioning.

n Wool Innovation is a not-for-profit company that supports research, development and marketing efforts to help sustain and grow the n wool industry. It is funded by the government and levies paid by woolgrowers.

The industry is currently divided over the practice of mulesing, where farmers cut skin off lambs’ buttocks to prevent flies massing and laying eggs, potentially killing the animal.

While traditional farmers defend the practice as necessary, progressive farmers and high-end fashion retailers are pushing for alternative genetic techniques to be developed with the help of AWI investment.

Western n wool grower David Thompson recently told the ABC that the industry group’s culture was “toxic” and some of the anger at Mr Merriman was due to his staunch defence of mulesing.

“He is punch drunk on his own power and I cannot stand that and I think we will suffer for it,” Mr Thompson said.

Critics say AWI is not supporting enough research and development into alternatives to mulesing, which it has previously committed to phasing out.

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‘Aggressive’ shark throws teen from kayak TweetFacebook‘Aggressive’ shark throws teen from kayakhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/e.balnaves-gale%40fairfaxmedia.c/89b3f2d9-1d77-4960-87fe-3f49d1b5df7c.JPG/r0_149_600_488_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg“When I was under the water, I saw the shark’s fin and it’s back tail but it all happened so quickly”shark, great white shark, Normanville, South , kayak2017-10-24T12:42:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=3879528182001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=3879528182001Sarah’s father Chris Williams, who was driving the boat Sarah was pulled in to, said the shark was so aggressive, he could tell it wanted to eat the kayak or Sarahor both.
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“The shark was still thrashing about after we got Sarah out and followed us around so I screamed to Adrienne (his wife who was also kayaking nearby) to get back to the beach,” he said.

Chris said if the rescue had taken just a second longer, Sarah could have died.

“We still can’t believe we got her out, that’s how close it was…we had a window of 10 seconds to stop her from losing her legs or being killed,” he said.

He said his family would never take their kayaks into the sea again.

“I don’t want anyone to endure what we went through, or what Sarah went through…who knows how long this will psychologically affect her for,” he said.

“This incident will have a lasting effect on our family and our friends.”

While he did not condone culling sharks, Chris questioned how the authorities could allow a shark to “menace the population”.

“It really scared me how big and aggressive the shark was…it will probably kill someone before anything is done about it,” he said.

“Anyone who protects these aggressive sharks has never had to pull their child from a scenario that could have killed them.”

He said he was concerned about what the incident would do to tourism at Normanville and the entire Fleurieu Peninsula.

“What does something like this do for Normanville, there’s no one in the water there today,” he said.

“And now the Victor council want a Tuna Pen… how ridiculous.”

His message for the public was to be more careful entering local waters.

“We couldn’t have been more provoked…I think this is a rogue shark and it’s very dangerous,” he said.

Sarah said she would not rule out getting back into the water in the future, but would steer clear for some time.

Victor Harbor Times

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Senator Eric Abetz responds after Defence Minister Senator David Johnston delivers a statement on ASC and shipbuilding, in the Senate at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 26 November 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Dr David Gruen Deputy Secretary, Economic and G20 Sherpa in Canberra on Friday 2 December 2016 Photo: Andrew Meares for AFR
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Good Weekend portrait of Senator Eric Abetz in his office at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 25 February 2016. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen ### Photo for Good Weekend ### GW – march 26

Hardline former minister Eric Abetz has used Senate estimates hearings to extensively question public servants over a new union access policy, claiming employees could have information “foisted upon them whether they want it or not”.

Senator Abetz said the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet should dump a policy to give trade union representatives time to provide advice and information to public servants during business hours, suggesting it could contradict the federal government’s workplace bargaining policy.

The access policy was part of a suite of information agreed to by department employees during enterprise bargaining negotiations, but Senator Abetz said it should have been provided to the n Public Service Commission, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Public Service Minister Michaelia Cash.

He objected to staff receiving emails from the Community and Public Sector Union, new employees receiving written material when they join the department and union officials attending orientation sessions.

Appointed to oversee the public service in the Abbott government, Senator Abetz used Monday night’s hearing to ask how an opt-out email system worked, how long it would take for employees to stop receiving union information and how much time delegates could spend assisting colleagues during work hours.

Senator Abetz questioned why taxpayer-funded telephone, printing and email facilities could be used by the union, as well as meeting rooms, lunch areas and video conferencing.

“Please don’t try to brush me off,” he said to Deputy Secretary David Gruen during the questioning, before later suggesting “someone had tried to pull a swifty” with the agreement.

The department’s chief people officer Emma Greenwood said emails from the union would be facilitated using a centralised system and the union would not be provided with a department-wide email list.

“We would expect those emails to be sent out through a central email address that we would have,” she said.

“We would actually send that information on behalf [of the union] and we would only send it on an opt-out basis, so staff would obviously be able to opt-out and to choose not to receive any information.”

First Assistant Secretary Yael Cass said no exchange of letters of agreement had taken place between the union and the department, and the policy was not yet in place.

Senator Abetz accused the department of having a “secret side-deal”.

On Tuesday he said the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources was implementing similar access rules.

“This secretive new policy should be dumped as a matter of urgency because it flies in the face of not only the Workplace Bargaining Policy but also the spirit of freedom of association,” he said in a statement.

“As confirmed by the officials, this policy has not yet been implemented and on that basis I am hopeful that it will be dropped as a matter of urgency.”

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