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Bouzanis has case to answer for sledge, Cahill banned as FFA plans new stakeholder talks

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:11, by

Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after the FFA’s match review panel decided on Monday that he had a case to answer after he sledged Melbourne Victory’s Albanian striker Besart Berisha and called him a gypsy during an ill-tempered Melbourne derby on Saturday night.
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His teammate, Tim Cahill, will definitely have a week’s rest after the MRP backed referee Chris Beath’s decision to send the Socceroo legend off before he had entered the field of play after he swore at him late in the game.

The MRP determined that Cahill committed the offence of “use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures against a match official” and handed him the minimum sanction, a one match ban.

Bouzanis’s case is regarded with far more gravity and he may be banned for five matches if he is found guilty of the slur.

The goalkeeper clashed with Berisha – whose penalty he had saved earlier in the game – in the 88th minute of the match after City defender Manny Muscat had put through his own goal to give Victory a match winning 2-1 lead. Bouzanis called him a gypsy.

In a statement the FFA said: “The MRP has determined that, on the basis of the evidence reviewed, Bouzanis has a case to answer whether he committed the offence of “Use of discriminatory language and/or gestures, including racist, religious, ethnic or sexist” [language or gestures].

“The MRP has issued a disciplinary notice to Bouzanis and referred the incident to the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee for hearing as to whether the offence has been committed, and if so, what sanction should be imposed.”

That hearing will take place in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Bouzanis and his club issued an immediate apology on Sunday saying the goalkeeper admitted making the remarks out of ignorance but now understood the seriousness of his comments.

■ The FFA will step up its plans to broaden its membership and governance base next week by holding several meetings with key representatives ahead of changing its constitution.

The organisation has come in for some criticism about the narrow franchise and composition of its governing body, and last week it held meetings in Zurich with FIFA chiefs to discuss the changes.

Any alterations will need to be ratified at an emergency general meeting at which the nine member federations and one representative of the clubs can consider a special resolution to amend the constitution based on the outcome of the stakeholders consultation process.

“FFA bosses will meet with member federations on Monday, club chairmen on Tuesday and the Professional Footballers’ Association later in the week,” it said in a statement.

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Women fly high as AFL drags its feet on respect and responsibility policy

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:11, by

Face in the crowd: AFL boss Gillon McLachlan at the AFLW season opener Photo: AFL MediaFor all his last-ditch attempts to manage expectations around the national launch of women’s football, it seems that Gillon McLachlan and his team have created a monster with the birth of AFL Women’s.
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Now it is the job of the competition to keep pace with its rampant new golden child. Not to mention protect it and the hundreds of new female players and staff who have thrown so much eagerness and enthusiasm in the journey to Friday night’s creation. So it is a pity, at a time that eight league clubs have welcomed gender diversity to its training, staff and dressing rooms, that the AFL has not prioritised the creation of a new competition framework to care for its new female population.

This is not a criticism of the clubs or any suggestion that unsavoury incidents have occurred but surely it is an indictment on the AFL that it has failed to even start its pledged review of the now antiquated respect and responsibility policy.

It is 13 months since McLachlan announced a review of the industry’s so-called policy created to deal with the treatment of women. All the indications then were that the decade-old framework would be redesigned and put in place during the 2016 season.

Just as the original policy was born out of a scandal involving sexual assault allegations levelled at two St Kilda footballers, the review announcement followed the accusations that Richmond’s Dustin Martin had threatened a woman in a Windsor restaurant.

The St Kilda issue proved to be significantly more serious and punctuated the game’s landscape for far longer than it should have due to some poor handling at police level. But on both occasions the AFL grappled with the complexities involved.

Clearly Andrew Demetriou’s call back in 2005 for any woman believing she had been mistreated to come forward to head office is now worryingly outdated.

The AFL has shown it is not equipped and perhaps nor should it be to deal with such incidents.

The competition excels at staging football games and showed over the weekend what it can deliver when it combines a brilliant mix of showmanship, game development and the passion of its office-bearers. But it continues to struggle where social policy is concerned and yet this is an area in which McLachlan and his team have been pressured to and promised to deliver.

An independent body in place to deal with victims of harassment, discrimination and worse should have been established long before now.

Kate Jenkins, the Australian Sex Discrimination commissioner and Carlton director who moved last year from heading the Victorian to national human rights body, was named as the chair of that review 13 months ago.

But still the review has not started despite the establishment of a working party back then.

Now the AFL’s newest executive Tanya Hosch – the general manager of inclusion and social policy – has been given direction of the issue, which has clearly challenged the AFL. Hosch has added a senior Indigenous woman to the committee, which also includes former Victorian police chief Ken Lay.

They have undertaken to complete the review by June and blamed a variety of personnel changes at several levels.

Said McLachlan back in January 2016: ” … it is very timely to have it reviewed. We understand our responsibilities to continue to improve our approach to these issues, and I know we still have work to do to hold the respect and trust of the community. We want to continue to change the culture of our game.”

It is commendable that McLachlan has fast-tracked that cultural change by bringing forward the launch of the national women’s league. But the AFL has dragged its feet in creating the suitable structures around that competition should support and protection be required for its new and estimable female community.

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Midwives should call on obstetricians only when they’re needed

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:11, by

Obstetricians do need to step in when they are needed. So do anaesthetists, paediatricians, orthopaedic surgeons and ER doctors. Photo: iStockThe Queensland arm of the Australian Medical Association is showing an appalling disregard of evidence and is telling a story that’s starting to wear thin on even the most tolerant of midwives.
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Dr Chris Zappala – a sleep specialist – is head of the AMA in Queensland and is spending a large proportion of his time spruiking that midwives throughout Queensland are working without obstetrician supervision or input and this is leading to newborn deaths. This message is wrong.

Why is this message getting so much air time?

And why is Dr Zappala willing to spruik his message to the public, but unable to justify his position when asked about it by an independent facilitator at a recent day-long summit with over a hundred lead obstetricians, midwives, health professionals and politicians in Queensland?  He would not state his case in front of those who could actually speak to it with authority.

The maternity system in Queensland is under pressure, but the newborn deaths have nothing to do with obstetricians being included or excluded.  The models that Dr Zappala speaks of, where midwives “exclude” obstetricians, simply do not exist.  Midwives are regulated by the same regulator as doctors to provide care to women on their own authority.

That means that midwives are required to seek medical help when additional medical help is required and can provide care for normal births when additional medical care is not required.

This is the way midwives have always provided care, and it is the way the whole system has been working for decades.

Obstetricians do need to step in when they are needed. So do anaesthetists, paediatricians, orthopaedic surgeons and ER doctors, in fact that is the basis of the medical system.

In order for women to be informed properly, we need the “real” evidence – the highest-level evidence – to be given air time.

The Cochrane database demonstrates that women are safest with a known midwife, safer than in obstetric care in 16 trials of over 17,000 women.

The Lancet describes Australia as a country moving into the “too much too soon” model of maternity care, which is causing rising rates of intervention without benefit to women and recommends pairing that level of intervention back.

This is the sort of information and research based data that our community needs in order to make well informed decisions about their maternity health care.

We need to hear the truth.

Liz Wilkes is the founder of My Midwives, an Adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University and media spokesperson for Midwives Australia.  She has been a midwife in the public and private sector for over 20 years.

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Senior Lib admits green wedge fears

Written on September 20, 2019 at 01:55, by

A SENIOR member of the Victorian Liberal Party has taken a swipe at the Baillieu government’s stewardship of Melbourne’s green wedge areas.
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In a speech to be made to the Mount Eliza Business School tonight, the federal member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, says ”my father instilled in me the notion that as policymakers, if we fail to think in generational terms then we are in effect stealing the future from our grandchildren. In that context I understand community fears about proposed changes to the state’s planning policy and the green wedge, which has enjoyed bipartisan support for 40 years”.

The Baillieu government has extended Melbourne’s urban boundary into green wedge areas and is proposing to relax development rules there as part of wider planning changes.

In his speech, Mr Hunt says the Mount Eliza area ”carries with it an historic lesson in terms of leadership and vision”.

He said his father, former state politician Alan Hunt, battled to protect the area in the face of leadership of the party strongly supporting ”clearing away the rural buffer between Mount Eliza and Mornington to allow housing across the area”.

”On the other hand, the local community, much of the planning community and those with a general love of the region felt that this would destroy the peninsula’s unique place as a sanctuary and green oasis for all of Melbourne.

”In the end, dad chose the people over the party. Ultimately he won support of then Planning Minister Dick Hamer. The battle was won but his career was deferred. The two then worked to create the green wedges policy, which was formally adopted in 1968 and legislated in 1971,” he said.

Alan Hunt was later Planning Minister in the Hamer government and helped develop green wedge policies.

The Baillieu government’s proposed changes to Victoria’s planning zones, including green wedge areas is believed to have generated thousands of submissions. It is unclear if the submissions will be made public.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the appointment of a hand-picked advisory committee to review the submissions was part of ensuring the big planning overhaul ”delivers productivity growth and drives investment and liveability outcomes for Victorians”.

The advisory committee will report back to Mr Guy by November 30.

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Power pollution plunges

Written on September 20, 2019 at 01:55, by

Hazelwood power station outside Morwell in Victoria.THE carbon tax has helped to drive a sharp fall in the emissions intensity of Australia’s power generation as coal-fired stations are closed, moth-balled or sell less electricity.Power bills could drop with reformsDemand drop shocks power industry
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As Victoria’s Yallourn brown-coal-fired power station became the latest to announce a production cut, experts said falling demand for electricity, more renewables such as wind farms and solar, and the carbon price were all pushing Australia’s coal-fired stations out of the market, making generation cleaner.

Electricity sold into the east coast market in the three months since the tax was introduced created on average 7.6 per cent less carbon dioxide for each megawatt hour of power, an analysis of figures compiled by the Australian Energy Market Operator shows.

Compared with the same three months last year, the decline in emissions was about 6.3 per cent, after seasonal differences are ironed out.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet talked up the role of the $23-a-tonne carbon price in the shift.

”It is significant that the emissions intensity of the electricity generation system has fallen in the first quarter of the carbon price,” he said.

”It is also significant that … about 3000 megawatts of high-polluting electricity generation has closed or phased down.

”The carbon price is a key driver of these changes, although it is not the only factor at work.”

Coalition resources spokesman Ian MacFarlane said the cost of the shift in power generation was being paid by workers.

”The carbon tax might be causing people to cut back on usage, and it is certainly slowing manufacturing, combined with the renewables energy target [RET] that means coal is being taken offline,” he said.

But energy analyst Hugh Saddler said that, at its current level, the carbon price was ”more important as a statement of intent”.

The major reasons that black and brown coal generation was being ”pushed out of the market” were falling demand and the RET, he said.

The chief executive of the Energy Supply Association, Matthew Warren, also said the decrease had more to do with lower demand.

”As demand has softened, renewables have kept their market share because that is mandated through the RET, so brown and black coal generation has acted as the shock absorber,” he said.

The decline in emissions intensity was sharpest in South Australia (16.1 per cent) and Victoria (8.7 per cent). In NSW it was 4.3 per cent. The dip began in June, shortly before the introduction of carbon pricing, as the market began to factor in the change.

The rapid decline in coal-fired generation has led to industry calls for changes to the RET to slow the deployment of renewables, but the Greens said that ”when even coal companies are complaining that solar and wind power are outcompeting them, you know that things have changed forever in our country”.

There has been a spate of recent closures and mothballings of coal-fired plants.

In Queensland, Tarong and Swanbank B have closed capacity; in NSW, the closure of Munmorah has been confirmed; and in Victoria, Energybrix is no longer producing power for the grid and Yallourn yesterday announced the closure of one unit. In South Australia, the Playford B station has shut.

Explaining its decision to cut one of Yallourn’s four units,

EnergyAustralia, formerly known as TRUenergy, blamed the carbon price for significantly increasing the cost of operations and the RET for ”acting to suppress wholesale electricity prices”.

While wholesale power prices have been declining, inefficiencies in the retail market, including over-investment in electricity networks, have meant household bills have continued to soar.

The Productivity Commission yesterday recommended changes, including eliminating regulations that allow ”excessive” returns to network businesses.

In June, the Australian Energy Market Operator said demand in the national electricity market was 5.7 per cent lower than forecast because of increased energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics and a decline in energy-hungry manufacturing.

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Nuclear agency boss emotional as whistleblower taunts

Written on September 20, 2019 at 01:55, by

The ANSTO Lucas Heights facility.THE head of Australia’s nuclear agency briefly broke down at a dramatic Senate estimates hearing yesterday, after an angry whistleblower accused him of covering up a serious incident in which workers were splashed with radioactive material.
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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation chief executive Adrian Paterson was comforted by Senators and staff, and refused to leave the room until the man had left the building.

Listening to Mr Paterson give evidence was former ANSTO worker and whistleblower David Reid, who worked at the facility for almost 30 years, including years as his colleagues’ occupational health and safety representative.”You’re a liar,” Mr Reid growled when Mr Paterson finished telling the inquiry he did not believe the incident had occurred.

”You’ve fabricated the findings, covered up safety incidents … you guys covered it over. You’re a lying piece of shit.”

Mr Reid later told The Age he had been sacked after bringing claims of the incident to management. ”It’s trashed my life; I’ve just been obsessed with it. My marriage fell apart, and I lost my house and I’m living in a caravan. But I can’t let it go.”

The fracas centred on an incident that allegedly took place at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights facility in 2007, which has been the subject of multiple inquiries, and remains disputed by all parties involved.

KPMG conducted the most recent investigation into the incident, reporting in June that many current and former ANSTO employees had ”imprecise at best” recollections of the incident. But it found the regulator – the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency – failed to properly investigate the matter and neither its interim, nor final inspection reports, ”sufficiently examined allegations that a contamination incident … occurred”.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam called for ANSTO to apologise to Mr Reid.

”I think what has to happen from here, Mr Reid is clearly owed an apology, but the regulator is going to have to step up.”

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Upgrades all in the family

Written on September 20, 2019 at 01:55, by

IT WAS not that I didn’t want to buy an iPhone 5 – I did – but even before the first-adopter queues at the Apple Stores had dispersed, I was under family pressure to get a move on with my upgrade.
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We have an iPhone food chain in our family. My wife wanted my iPhone 4S so she could pass her iPhone 4 on to our daughter, whose iPhone 3GS was to go to her daughter, who is three and enjoys the kiddy apps it carries.

That hand-me-down pattern is pretty general throughout Australia, which is either the first- or second-best market in the world – per capita – for what is in my view the most desirable mobile phone there is. I hold this view not only for the iPhone 5 itself, but because it is part of what is, again in my view, the best and safest consumer digital environment on the planet.

That environment is Apple’s huge advantage. TheiPad’s popularity encourages purchases of iPhones and boosts sales of MacBooks and iMacs. To quote the late Steve Jobs, ”it all just works”, and despite hiccups such as the undercooked Apple Maps, it does.

But the map problem is easily solved. Just install the Google Maps app while a seriously galvanised Apple gets up to speed with its maps.

To get Google Maps on to your iPad or iPhone, launch Safari and then go to maps.google南京夜网.au. As the website loads, a small panel will appear that asks you to ”install this web app on your phone” by tapping an arrow to get what looks like an app icon on your screen. Tapping this will launch Google Maps and, provided you have Location Services turned on, it will show you immediately where you are.

The real genius of Apple mobile devices is the software, the operating system, iOS 6, the apps, and the closed, curated, environment – the App Store, iTunes, and the integration of all your stuff through iCloud.

I love iCloud; everything just works. Emails arrive simultaneously on my iPhone5, iPad, MacBook Pro and iMac. My data, pictures and so on are held safely up there in 25GB of free storage, a service that has been extended by another 12 months for me南京夜网 subscribers. Items can be retrieved on any device, regardless of where it was created, and it will talk to a PC.

MobileMe, the previous cloud-style system, could be flaky, but iCloud is solid gold, doing things like instantly synchronising changes in documents across all my devices and, via Photo Stream, also instantly distributing the pictures you take to all your iCloud-linked devices.

In the photographic department, take a look at Panorama. It is a feature of iOS 6 and works on the iPhone 5 and 4S. Select panorama mode on the camera and, guided by an arrow moving on the screen, swing the phone across the scene you wish to photograph. I did it inside a cafe in North Melbourne and flabbergasted the owner, to whom I emailed the result straight from the phone.

You need an iPhone 5 or 4S to run some of the newest features, but they may be installed on models 4 and 3GS.

■And where would we be without a ”confirmed” Apple rumour? AllThingsD, one of the most reliable technology web watchdogs, says the iPad mini will be out this month or early November. It is likely to be a basic device, about $250, with a 17.7-centimetre screen (diagonally), access to iPad apps, with wi-fi and maybe a SIM card, to take on the Samsung and Google Nexus, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Nook and the Kobo.

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Review: Panasonic Lumis GF5

Written on September 20, 2019 at 01:55, by

Price: $700 with 14-42mm lens Smart alternative to a compact
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The low-down: This camera, with a 12-megapixel sensor, is Panasonic’s latest entry model in its micro four thirds interchangeable lens range. It is intended to appeal to customers wanting better image quality from a fully automatic camera. There are very few instantly accessible user controls, and what can be controlled is done mostly through the touchscreen. The LCD is a high-resolution device with excellent brightness and fidelity. Like its predecessor and siblings, it provides for touch and fire – touch the important spot on the screen and the camera focuses and fires. The test camera came with the more-expensive powered zoom, which is ideal for video.

Like: Image quality is consistently good. Autofocus is fast and even in auto-everything mode, the camera works well. The rugged construction makes it feel heavy in comparison with a compact, but it indicates durability and quality.

Dislike: The absence of an accessible knob to move from automatic into P, A, S or M mode (it is done through the menu) is annoying for anyone who wants to exercise user control. This is definitely a point-and-shoot camera.

Verdict: We gave it a good workout at a zoo and were delighted with the results. The LCD was better than average in bright sunlight, although it would be nice to have the option of an optical viewfinder. Considering this camera’s combination of small size, interchangeable lenses, fully automatic operation, nice touchscreen, excellent LCD, RAW capture and great image quality, all at a price in the compact range, you have to ask yourself why would anyone choose a compact over the GF5.

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Little things that count

Written on August 20, 2019 at 14:40, by

THE other day the conversation turned to the subject of macro photography and the art of taking pictures of very small objects.
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The problem, as we are being reminded constantly, is that it is almost impossible to get the front, back and everything in-between of a small object in focus at the same time.

Devotees of the great David Attenborough will know his camera wizards have invented a new type of lens just for the purpose of taking video of an ant in focus in the foreground with a presenter, also in focus, behind.

Compact cameras, with their inherently greater depth of field because of their small sensor area, cope well with close-ups. As the sensor gets larger, right up to full frame, focus becomes more of a problem. Using a dedicated macro lens on a DSLR, stopped down to just before the f-stop where diffraction becomes a problem, is a starting point.

With critical focus, low ISO, small aperture and a slow shutter speed, a tripod and remote release (or at least using shutter timer delay) are essential, but even then front-to-back focus can be difficult.

The solution may be focus stacking.

Suppose the subject is a dandelion with a leaf sticking out of the stem. If you want everything, from the far edge of the seed globe to the tiny seed wings on the front, to be sharp, give focus stacking a try.

Set the camera to manual focus and exposure and take a series of shots, focusing sequentially from the back edge to the front of the subject.

DSLRs don’t have the best-focusing screens for this job and it is a counsel of perfection to replace the default screen with a plain matte glass type, something that is easy on some cameras and nearly impossible on others.

Anyway, it is only the sort of thing you would do if you intend to take thousands of photos of insects, jewellery, coins, toys or small flowers.

Four to five exposures is usually enough to cover every plane in the subject area. For processing, you need software that will align and blend the images into a single, sharp photograph. Photoshop CS5/6 will do it, as will PhotoAcute ($149, photoacute南京夜网). Picolay is free (picolay.de) and does a reasonable job but is slow aligning images. Zerene ($89 from zerenesystems南京夜网) is also very slow but has good output if you use Stack/Align and ”stack all (both)” for best results. There is a 30-day trial version.

In Photoshop the process is: open Bridge and locate image set. Select images. Go Tools/Photoshop/Load files into Photoshop layers. Photoshop opens with layers stacked. Select all layers. Hit Edit/Auto-align layers/Projection Auto. When that’s done, hit Edit/Auto-blend layers/Stack images. When the process is complete, flatten layers. The result is miraculous.

Photoshop CS5/6 and PhotoAcute do the best job and Zerene is the cheaper alternative. Be prepared to experiment with the arcane settings.

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A family’s best friend

Written on August 20, 2019 at 14:40, by

CHILDREN in households with dogs are more likely to get enough exercise compared to those without dogs, according to new research from the University of Western Australia.
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The study, from the university’s Centre for the Built Environment and Health at the school of population health, found ”children who had a dog were 49 per cent more likely to be sufficiently active [60 minutes of physical activity each day] compared with non dog owners.”

The take-home message is not, however, to rush out and get a hound if you don’t already have one, says assistant professor Hayley Christian, who will be presenting the findings at Sports Medicine Australia’s Be Active conference, in Sydney from October 31.

”The message is that if you have a dog and you walk it, it can make a great contribution to your overall physical activity and health and wellbeing,” she says.

While up to 40 per cent of Australian households has a dog, only about half walk it regularly, so having a hound in the home is no guarantee of a more active life.

The broader aim of the UWA research – which has also looked into adults and dog ownership, with similar findings – is to uncover why it is so.

Christian acknowledges a vast range of factors play a part in the answer, from the dog’s age, physical condition and social conduct to the owners’ working hours, but a number of notable patterns have emerged from the data.

People’s sense of duty towards their pets, for example, seems to be a key influence on dog walking. ”If you feel that you have an obligation to walk your dog then you are more likely to do so,” she says.

That finding has led to another trial, the Pooches And Walking Study (PAWS), which is looking at whether a vet providing advice about an animal’s exercise-needs during a consultation has a positive influence on how often the owner walks the dog.

”It’s like your doctor urging you to look after yourself a bit better,” Christian says.

PAWS is also looking to see if pedometer use is motivating – only it’s the dogs and not the humans wearing the gadgets.

Research has shown that when people start wearing a pedometer they tend to walk more. Whether people will be as motivated by their dog’s step count remains to be seen.

Another key influence on dog-walking was the owner’s belief about whether or not having a dog would motivate them to exercise more. It seems to work rather like a self-fulfilling prophecy: people who think that having a dog will motivate them to walk more, tend to walk the dog more, Christian says. ”People who don’t walk their dog do not think that their dog is there to provide motivation for them to walk.”

The third key influence was about the external world. ”Access to parks where you can walk the dog, clear signage about off-leash areas and dog access generally, and dog-litter bags and bins, those were important things.”

A surprise factor that has come out of the data about children in particular, says Christian, is that ”we are also seeing a relationship between dog ownership, dog walking and children’s independent mobility [ie getting around their neighbourhood without adult supervision].”

”Kids who have a dog and walk it … are generally more independently mobile within their neighbourhood, which is important,” she says. ”Kids who are independently mobile are better at problem-solving. They have usually got better self-esteem. They are more aware of their neighbourhood and able to negotiate traffic. Their coping and spatial skills are better.”

The UWA children’s physical activity and dog ownership project relies on data from the West Australian TRavel Environment and Kids (TREK) project and is based on questionnaires completed by parents and children. The data analysis looked at 1218 children aged between 10 and 12.

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Elvis rolls back time with a musical wheel of fortune

Written on August 20, 2019 at 14:40, by

Rock solid performer … Elvis Costello on stage with the Imposters and his spectacular spinning songbook of old and new hits.AS FEATS of memory go it would have to be up there with your nerds reciting Pi almost infinitely. By the time Elvis Costello and his band the Imposters finish their Australian tour next year it’s likely they will have at their disposal up to 150 songs ready to play at the drop of their leader’s hat, or the spin of the wheel.
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The New York and Vancouver-based Anglo Irishman, whose career began in 1976 and whose first tour of Australia two years later climaxed with a memorable riot at Sydney’s Regent Theatre, will be doing a tour of various wineries around Australia in January and February as part of the Day On The Green series.

Along for the ride and the wine will be some equally venerable local musicians such as Joe Camilleri (whose band Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons had a single produced by Costello in the late ’70s), the Sunnyboys and Stephen Cummings.

(Warming up Sydney for this tour of veterans is an extravagantly long list of fellow veterans, by which we mean those whose careers began more than 20 years ago, who will be coming through town in the next few weeks: see table.)

However, the bonus for fans in Sydney and Melbourne is that Costello and band will be bringing to Australia for the first time the giant spinning wheel. The upmarket musical version of your school fete chocolate wheel contains the names of songs old and new, any one of which can be played if the wheel stops there when spun by an audience member.

Costello explained that the tour begins with about 80 songs either on the wheel or on the roster to play during the more programmed parts of the show. But as the tour progresses and other songs from his vast catalogue of more than 300 songs are tried out at soundcheck or “feel right” on the day, not to mention favourite covers suggested by band members, the number rapidly goes past the century.

”That kind gives you a reason to consider what you’ve been doing all these years,” said Costello who admits that ”I’m not very nostalgic by inclination so I try to keep them in the moment”.

In an age where the likes of Beyonce have every minute of every show mapped out months in advance, playing songs at the whim of the turning wheel, can force musicians to work from more than muscle memory. Even the best known songs, the kind which might turn up at the end of the show as a crowd favourite encore, might feel quite strange now when found popping up mid-evening.

“There is something quite wonderful about the chance,” Costello said. “It makes you think about it, makes you think about what’s inside it and what makes it real.”

Elvis Costello tickets go on sale October 29.

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ASX releases draft for new continuous disclosure rules

Written on August 20, 2019 at 14:40, by

Holding back: ASX was asked to wait for the High Court decision.THE Australian Securities Exchange has released long-awaited draft revisions to its continuous disclosure rules, just two weeks after the High Court cleared mining billionaire Andrew Forrest of misleading investors and breaking disclosure rules.
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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission welcomed the draft revisions, saying it had worked closely with the ASX to develop them.

“ASIC views continuous disclosure by listed entities as the foundation of market integrity and a central tenet of fair and efficient financial markets,” ASIC deputy chairman Belinda Gibson said.

“We recognise that listed entities need clear guidance about their continuous disclosure obligations, particularly in the age of instant communication and social media.”

ASX chief compliance officer Kevin Lewis said this was the “single most important” guidance note revision that the stock exchange had been working on for the past two years.

But he said the ASX had been waiting until the High Court dismissed the case brought by the corporate regulator against Fortescue Metals.

“We were hoping to get this out at the beginning of the year, but we agreed with the request by ASIC to hold it back until after the High Court decision on Fortescue, in case the court said something significant about the continuous disclosure rules,” Mr Lewis said.

“As it turned out, the decision was not as significant as we were all expecting … [so] the guidance note hasn’t really changed as a result of Fortescue.”

The last time the rules were updated – called Listing Rule Guidance Note 8 – was in 2005. Since then the Australian market has absorbed the James Hardie and Fortescue Metals decisions, the collapse of Centro, and the spurious takeover approach to David Jones by the British-based firm EB Private Equity.

King & Wood Mallesons partner Evie Bruce said the ASX’s proposals were “quite sensible” and would help to clarify the ambiguity surrounding continuous disclosure, including what is meant by ”immediate disclosure”.

The draft will be out for public consultation until the end of next month. The ASX hopes to have it formally issued by early next year.

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Super funds in joint action to curb ‘unfair’ high-frequency trading

Written on August 20, 2019 at 14:40, by

SOME of Australia’s biggest super funds have written to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, expressing concern about the growth of ultra-fast electronic trading in the local equity market.
Nanjing Night Net

The group – representing more than $1 trillion under management – has also asked the corporate regulator to consider reforming the way in which the Australian Securities Exchange gives information to market participants, believing the ”unfairness embedded in the structure of the market” has allowed high frequency traders to thrive, to the detriment of others.

The group argues that HFTs have an unfair advantage over traditional investors claiming they can see information a fraction of a second before other market participants. The group claims the ASX allows this to happen by offering them ”special access” through ”co-location facilities” and ”special data feeds”.

Given the speeds with which HFTs operate, this is undermining market fairness and contributing to a ”two-tiered market”, the group says.

”We believe attention must be directed towards issues of market fairness, and towards certain practices commonly associated with high-frequency trading,” the letter says. ”We request that ASIC consider reform at the exchange level.”

The move comes as global concerns about high-speed computerised trading continues to rise. Germany recently approved a draft law aimed at reining in the practice and the European Parliament voted to force trading venues to slow the speed at which orders can be made.

In Australia, about 30 per cent of all stock trading is done by HFT.

The Australian fund managers say the provision of ”non-discriminatory access” to special information is not fair.

”Market fairness involves the dissemination of information by market operators that results in a level playing field, this is different from the provision of ‘non-discriminatory access’.”

But Carole Comerton-Forde, of ANU’s College of Business and Economics, says access to co-location and fast data is non-discriminatory, so anyone who wants to buy that access can do so.

”Each individual investor has to make a decision on whether it’s worth investing in that technology to get that advantage,” Professor Comerton-Forde said. ”I don’t really see that as much of an issue, as long as the data that’s being made available is consistent and available to everyone that wants to pay.”

A spokesman for the ASX said the exchange provided non-discriminatory access to its services and it did not give a select group of customers access to information before others.

It comes one month after the Industry Super Network – the funds manager on behalf of many of the nation’s industry super funds – called for a moratorium on HFT in Australia’s financial markets to allow regulators to come to grips with the new technology.

Last year, the Reserve Bank’s assistant governor of financial markets, Guy Debelle, said there was no evidence that HFT caused market shocks. He did say that HFT ”may accelerate and propagate” shocks that begin elsewhere.

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