Skip to Content

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Farmers ventilate 2017 policy demands

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

Queensland grain farmer Brendan Taylor wants the inland rail construction fast-tracked by the Coalition government, to help reduce freight costs.FARMERS have urged federal politicians to focus on delivering smart policy outcomes, like cutting freight and electricity costs, and avoiding protectionist temptations that damage trade ties, as federal parliament kicks-off for the first time this year today in Canberra.
Nanjing Night Net

Responding to a social media call-out, grain farmer Brendan Taylor from Warra in Queensland’s Darling Downs region said he wanted the government to advance building the inland rail from Brisbane to Melbourne, to help cut the hefty, profit-eating costs of transporting grain from farm to port.

Mr Taylor said rail infrastructure was a “must” policy priority for farmers in 2017 with freight costs being a “killer” for farm-profits.

He said it was more expensive to move grains like wheat and chick peas about 260kms from his farm in Warra to the Brisbane port than the cost of transporting it from there, in bulk or containers, about 9000kms away to India.

“The sooner we can get the inland rail built the better,” he said.

Mr Taylor said it cost him about $40 per tonne to transport grain to port but if the inland rail was completed and operational he could save $5 to $10 per tonne – adding $20,000 to $30,000 per year to his farm-gate profits.

The $10 billion inland rail project is a priority for Transport and Infrastructure Minister and senior Victorian Nationals MP Darren Chester, requiring decisions on where and when to build about 600kms of new rail tracks and locate strategic inter-modal hubs.

Victorian dairy farmer and industry leader Lisa Dwyer said she wasn’t convinced that the big issues for farmers were a lot different from those of business generally.

She said Australian agriculture needed strong government, supported by the Senate and, where it was in the nation’s best interests, by the Opposition.

“We need leadership that focuses on core issues, rather than fashionable causes and real progress made in tax reform – including reduced company tax – industrial relations reform that actually drives increased employment growth rather than stymies it, a commitment to digital connectivity in the regions and continued investment in agricultural R&D,” she said.

On Twitter, National Farmers’ President and NSW Liverpool Plains farmer Fiona Simson said her farm policy priorities for 2017 were trade and markets for Australian produce along with digital and “other” infrastructure.

CASE IH machinery dealership manager Sam Collier from Wee Waa in NSW also highlighted digital connectivity as a policy priority for federal parliament this year, in the areas of mobile, phone and internet.

Nuffield Scholar Jonathan Dyer from Victoria’s Wimmera region reminded Canberra’s political elite that Australian farmers needed global trade “in an era of populist protectionism”.

Digital connectivity has been a policy priority for NSW Nationals Senator and Regional Development and Regional Communications Minister Fiona Nash, while market access impacts the portfolios of Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.

Farmer, social media enthusiast and Nick Xenophon Team candidate for the South Australian rural seat of Barker at last year’s federal election James Stacey said, energy pricing for electricity was, “impacting both production agriculture and food processing”.

Lock the Gate national coordinator and land manager Phil Laird highlighted his policy priorities as being; land use conflict, corruption, climate change, digital drought and mental health.

Leading young farm advocate and mixed producer from Caragabal in central-western NSW Daniel Cooper pointed to power prices, supply chain costs, red tape, industrial relations and “all the stuff that’s been promised to fix and we’ve seen (nothing)”.

He said the government’s policy priorities for this year should be, “the things that make farmers uncompetitive globally”.

On Twitter, Peter Holding, a mixed crop and sheep farmer from Harden in NSW called for a political focus on effective energy and climate change policy and “grains industry future”.

Rural photographer and writer Fiona Lake from Townsville in Queensland said the Zone Tax Offset that she’s long-championed should be brought into the twenty-first century.

Sydney based Alexandra Hall said beef producers would like a focus on political inquiry into processors because, “there’s absolutely the perception that they put downward pressure on prices”.

Josh Frydenberg has been the Minister for the Environment and Energy since last year’s election but has said little, if anything, in regards to any impacts of his portfolio on farm viability, as has Treasurer Scott Morrison.

But Mr Frydenberg’s Department will conduct a broad-ranging review of climate policies this year including looking at the opportunities and challenges of reducing emissions on a sector-by-sector basis.

That policy examination is sure to spark a farm sector response due to concerns about potential impacts and cost hikes for farmers, through any new Emissions Trading Scheme.

Beef producer and outback photographer from Queensland Ann Britton cited cost of production, infrastructure, equipment and freight on her list of core policy demands.

She also warned government against imposing regulations “made with no regard to common sense” that impact farm viability.

Mr Taylor said his farm region and others in central Queensland were facing extremely dry conditions which had thwarted summer planting plans.

He said Queensland normally had two or three cyclones per year during summer which provided subsequent rain events for farmers to aid moisture levels for their cropping programs – this season there was likely to be none.

Mr Taylor said there had been sporadic storm rain events in summer but nothing significant since September last year.

“We were sweating on planting mung beans over the Christmas and New Years’ period but we never got any planting rains so the seed is still sitting in the shed,” he said.

“There’ll be a significant shortfall in the mung bean trade this year due to the big shortage in plantings.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Real estate boost for town

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

Collie is one of the most accessible towns in the South West and Western Australia for first-time buyers, according to a new report from Bankwest.
Nanjing Night Net

The 2016Bankwest Financial Indicator Series’ First Time Buyers Report findings found Collie placed in the top 10 most accessible areas for first time buyers.

Collie placed sixth on the list behind Boyup Brook, East Pilbara, Moora, Ravensthorpe and Wongan-Ballidu.

Data for the report was sourced from the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census as well as the ABS Wage Price Index, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Residex.

A Bankwest spokesperson said the 2016Bankwest Financial Indicator Series’ First Time Buyers Report found Collie had one of the shortest saving times in WA for first time buyers to save for a median priced house deposit.

“The eighth annual Bankwest First Time Buyer Deposit Report tracks the time it would take for first time buyers to save a deposit in 465 local government areas (LGAs) across Australia over the five years to June 2016,” they said.

“The report quantifies how long it would take a first time buyer to save a 20 per cent deposit based on local incomes and local house prices and the level of the First Home Owners Grant, where available, by state.”

“The data shows the LGA of Collie is in the top ten of areas in WA which have the shortest saving time for first time buyers to save for a deposit for a median priced house.”

The report found it would takea couple 1.4 years to save the $43,000 needed for a 20 per centdeposit, increasingfrom the 1.3 years seen in the 2015 survey.

The deposit savings times were based on a first-time buyer couple setting aside 20 per cent of their combined pre-tax income annually, with calculations assuming savings are deposited into an online savings account each month and earning interest.

According to Bankwest, WA’s average saving time forfirst-time buyers is below the national average of 4.4 years.

Summit Realty SW senior sales executive Charles Pinto said Collie was well established for the property market compared to other areas in the South West.

“Over the last couple of years, in Collie itself we’ve had our ups and downs with mining employment and insecurity but, having said that, we’ve had a steady flow of sales not like it used to be three or four years ago but we are consistently selling properties,” he said.

“When you compare Collie with other surrounding towns, we’re very well established here.

“It’s the best in-land town in the SW as far as I am concerned and the possibility of buying a nice, comfortable home you won’t find better in the sub-towns and outlying areas better than Collie.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Barossa’s own genius innovator

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

Mount Pleasant’sRyland Kungel was one of 26 innovators selected from across the nationto attend thesecond NationalQuestaconInvention Conventionin Canberra from January 16-20.
Nanjing Night Net

Fifteen-year-old Ryland was lucky enough to travel across to the country’s capital, where they had to come up with an idea.

“During the convention we had to come up with an idea based around three things:food, water and shelter,” he said.

“During the week we had multiple people come to talk to us about these three subjects.”

Ryland’s idea was based around an atmospheric water generator, based on a beetle from South Africa.

Across the five days, Ryland was fortunate enough to meet a large number of people, and “learn plenty”.

“One night we met up with a bunch of entrepreneurs and got to speak to them,” he said.

“The facilities there are really good.

“I used some CAD software, that was good, I really enjoyed that.”

The process to get into the convention was simple, but available placeswere slim, with Ryland not thinking his chances were promising.

“I had to write an application form, I thought I had no chance, not at all,” he said.

However, the feelings when the news filtered through changed.

“It was an awesome feeling when I found out,” he said.

“I found out after school one day when Mum told me, she was very excited.”

Ryland’s experience at the convention was summed up strongly.

“That was one of the best things in my life, it was a really good experience,” he said.

“I’m thankful thatQuestaconselected me to attend the NationalQuestaconInvention Convention.

“This was a great opportunity to network with peers and work with Australia’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The NationalQuestaconInvention Conventionconcluded with a showcase and gala dinner attended by the delegates and invited guests, including innovation professionals who provided guidance throughout the week long program.

INNOVATOR: Ryland Kungel displaying his idea at the convention in January.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Unicombs lead the charge

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

SOLID: Creeks batsman Stuart Plant gets right behind the ball in the T20 first grade final at Howe Park on Sunday.CREEKS had dual reason to celebrate on Sunday when the Singleton District Cricket Association (SDCA) club claimed two T20 titles.
Nanjing Night Net

Unfortunately, the vanquished side on both occasions was Valley.

Creeks prevailed in the first and second grade deciders at Howe Park, while JPC triumphed over Denman in the “thirds” at Cook Park 5.

In the feature fixture, Valley amassed a competitive 4-122.

Isaac Barry and Daniel Story led the charge with 52 and 30 not out respectively.

Mark Unicomb picked up 2-14 with the ball.

Creeks then responded with 6-125, courtesy of Myles Cook (40), Bayden Mulholland (30) and Chris Unicomb (30).

Brendan Nichols (3-12) and Tom Cox (2-26) were the pick of the bowlers.

Creeks also flexed its collective muscle in the second grade encounter.

With Josh Whittington (3-6) and Lachlan Charnock (2-31) in fine form, Valley could only muster 101, despite Liam Storey’s 40 and Brennan Whittington’s 14.

Charnock (43 not out) and Clint Harman (46 not out) then guided Creeks to a nine-wicket victory.

Storey collected the only scalp to fall.

In third grade, JPC reaped the spoils, thanks to a handy 3-155.

Kyle Thomas (70) and Steve Dunston (46) starred with the bat.

For Denman, Anthony Worth and Brendan Walters snared 1-29 and 1-32 respectively.

In reply, the team posted 138 on the back of Jamie Vessey’s 42 and Craig Heuston’s 40.

Dunston (3-24) and Gregg Dann (2-28) caused the most damage with the red pill in their hands.

The T20 crowns capped off a big weekend for Creeks, who also won a thrilling two-wicket showdown with Glendon at Cook Park 3 on Saturday.

Glendon opted to bat first – and the move paid dividends, despite the early loss of Alex Thrift (16).

Joey Butler (54) and Greg Thrift (82) combined for a 110-run stand.

But, the departure of Thrift, who belted two sixes and 13 boundaries, triggered a collapse, which saw the side slump to 5-136.

Late contributions from Jake Daniels (30) and M. Wills (36) lifted Glendon to 9-255.

Mark Unicomb took 5-38 and Chad Solman chipped in with 4-32.

Creeks’ run chase started strongly with openers Cook (31) and Chris Unicomb (39).

A hiccup derailed the momentum, although Hill (37) and Mulholland (25) held the middle-order together.

At 7-168, Glendon appeared on top of proceedings.

However, Charnock (46) and Blake Cook (37 not out) rose to the challenge and secured the victory.

Daniels (2-40), Dan Thrift (2-47) and Alex Thrift (2-43) shared the bowling honours.

Valley crushed PCH to the tune of 68 runs at Howe Park.

After being sent in, Valley compiled 9-210, largely due to Ash Sully (43), Chris Duffie (37), Isaac Barry (28) and Brendon Nichols (24).

Abe Jones returned 4-44 and Danuel Bell 2-48.

Nichols then ripped through the PCH line-up.

He removed Jackson Cox (4), Brad Cox (7), Jake Mackaway (16), Bell (13) and Tully Winsor (0) as the team faltered for 142, finishing with 5-32.

The Singleton District Cricket Association colts/second division team will play Maitland, at Maitland, in the final of the Hunter Valley Cricket Council competition on Sunday, February 12.

The game starts from 10am.

In the John Bull Shield decider, Cessnock will host Maitland at Branxton.

Singleton District Cricket Association (February 4 report):First grade –Valley 9/210 (Ashley Sully 43, Chris Duffie 37, Brendan Nichols 5/32, Luke Nichols 2/44) defeated PCH 142 (Daniel Oldknow 60no, Jake Mackaway 16, Abe Jones 4/41, Danuel Bell 2/48)

Creeks 8/256 (Lachlan Charnock 46, Chris Unicomb 39, Mark Unicomb 5/38, Bayden Mulholland 1/2) defeated Glendon 9/255 (Greg Thrift 82, Joe Butler 54, Jake Daniels 2/40, Alex Thrift 2/43)

Second grade –JPC 4/121 (J. Thomas 34, Mick Taylor 28no, Tim Gore 3/25, Joe O’Brien 2/9) defeated Glendon 116 (Ethan Coe 44, George Reid 17, Aaron Brennan 2/24, Marty Carroll 1/48)

Creeks 7/207 (Jarrod Campbell 58, Josh Whittington 47no, Jarrod Campbell 3/33, Robert Hill 3/51) defeated Valley 183 (Nathan Bagnall 57, Rick Janssen 52, Tate Edwards 4/54, Dean Hayes 1/35)

Muswellbrook RSL v Denman no results received

Third grade –Denman 3/116 (Ryan Butta 45no, Jack Mann 29no, Anthony Worth 5/18, Jack Mann 2/4) defeated Creeks 112 (Jake Palmer 44, David Bird 24no, John Hipwell 15, Jake Palmer 3/28)

PCH 144 (Corey Oldham 25, Adam Goldfinch 24, Cameron Shearer 3/13, Pat McNab 2/8) defeated Valley 117 (Alex Hall 39, Craig Hawkins 19, Ethan Van Zyl 4/36, Aiden Bagnall 2/16)

Muswellbrook RSL 213 (Dominic White 72, Owen Barry 32, Adam McLean 2/8, Dominic Cooper 2/17) defeated JPC 89 (Andrew Knox 22, Steve Dunston 17no, Craig Knox 4/30, Blake Hampton 2/44)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Track’s amazing Grace

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

FLYER: Hunter beach sprint champion Grace Hewitt, 13, will swap the sand for the track this weekend when she competes in the Hunter regional Little Athletics championships. Beach sprintsensation Grace Hewitt continued her unbeaten run at theHunter branch age surf-lifesaving championships at her home break last weekend.
Nanjing Night Net

This weekend she turns her focus to beating a red-hot field in her age group at the Hunter regional Little Athletics championships at Glendale to clinch the 200-metre title.

The Nelson Bay 13-year-old will be part of what is expected to be the most hotly contested age group at the regional hit-out.

Hewitt competes for Port Stephens Athletics Club but does specialist training at Glendale under sprint coach PeteGentz.

Five of his squad will be vying for state selection in the under-13 girls 100m and 200m sprints this weekend.

“That under-13 group of girls in the Hunterare the quickest in the 100m and 200m in the state and I expect it will be theonly age group in all of the [eightregional]venues where possibly five will get through on times,” Gentz said.

“The first two automatically qualify for state and the restare determined on time. Hunter has the fastest girls in that age groupin the state. Last year we got five through so I’m expecting the same because they are all getting faster.

“I’m pretty confident that the regional record for both the 100m and 200m will be broken.”

Hewitt won the 13-years girls’ beach sprint at Fingal Beach last Saturday to remain undefeated in the event at branch level. She was second in the flags.

On Sunday she helped speed Fingal’s 13-years girls’ relay to victory and helped the 14-years relay to second.

She was also part of Fingal’s 13-years girls’ board relay team which placed third.

“I was pretty happy with that,” the modest teenager said of her carnival effort.

Hewitt gets the chance to defend her state beach sprint crown when the NSW surf-lifesaving age championships are staged at Blacksmiths Beach next month.

But this weekend she will be focused solely on winning the 200m sprint on the track at Glendale. It will be her only event at the regional meet.

“I couldn’t make the 100m because I had NSW Interbranch [surf lifesaving championships] on the same weekend as zone [athletics],” she said.

“Our age group is really competitive and will be hard to get through [to state].

“I’m really hoping to come first at regionals but I’ll just be trying my best.”

Hewitt trains with most of her main rivalsfor the sprint crown under Gentz.

They include Wallsend duo Paige Worley and Tiahna Skelton (Wallsend), Port Stephens clubmate Jacy Carterand Adamstown-New Lambton’s Millie Moore.

They will faceMacquarie Hunter’s Milly Stephenson, who last year was the NSW All Schools 100m and 200m champion.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aboriginal and Environmental Interpretive centre revised

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

When the Maali circle of elders received a Lotterywest grant for new development, pictured with Shire president Steven Pollard and Wheatbelt MLA Mia Davies.A special meeting was held on February 2, 2017 forNortham Shire councillors to considertenders received for the construction of the Aboriginal and Environmental Interpretive Centre, and appoint the successful tenderer to construct the centre.
Nanjing Night Net

As all of the tenders received were above the anticipated construction cost of the centre, a comprehensive list of savings was identified by the architects and the builder to reduceconstruction costs.

These savings totalled approximately $480,000 and included 43 deletions or revisions of building components.

Cr Rumanjantsev, Cr Davidson and Cr Proud voted against the motion but it was carried 7/3.

Shire president Steven Pollard said tenders for the build came in well overexpectations so subsequently the Shire hashad to pare back a number of areas,but still leaving the project overcost expectation by approximately$700,000.

“We believe the project that will be delivered will still meet community expectations and be a significant asset to the region for many years to come,” Mr Pollard said.

Shire chief executive officer Jason Whiteaker said:“Negotiations over the final project sum include, but are not limited to, the deletion of some identified building components”.

“In saying this maintaining the integrity of the building is viewed as paramount, hence the changes being suggested were being put forward in that context.”

FIRM Construction, whose tender was ranked as the most advantageous to Council in the evaluation assessment, was selected by Council as the successful tenderer, subject to negotiations over the final contract sum.

Construction of the centre will start this month.

It will be adjacent to the Northam Visitor Centre on the foreshore of the Avon River.

The Northam Shire says the centre will “offer an opportunity to blend Aboriginal knowledge and environmental programs to develop approaches to land management that incorporate traditional principles.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Airport takes off

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

WA based company Ascent Aviation, is in the last stages of planning the redevelopment of Cunderdin Aerodrome, as an alternate landing site for international aeroplanes.
Nanjing Night Net

The Ascent Aviation website saystheproposed airport would act as an alternative landing site (ALS) for planes that cannot land at Perth Airport – generally due to anincident on the runway or bad weather.

Ascent Aviation managing director Benjamin Reid said the proposed aerodrome is not an airportthe travelling public would expect to use, but it’s extremely useful to international airlines.

“Perth Airport’s geographic isolation and sometimes tricky weather conditions,requireairlines to carry a substantial volume of reserve fuel that enables them to fly on to another airport, in the event they cannot land at Perth.” he explained. Mr Reid said theproject is tailored to widebody, international traffic.

“Theirnearest suitable ALS is Learmonth (Exmouth), but a large number of the airlines rely on Adelaide. “In some instances, they need to plan for Melbourne.

“This is because there’s no large-scale aviation infrastructure available to them, closer to Perth Airport.

“Redeveloping Cunderdin Aerodrome into an alternate landing site reduces airlines’ fuel carriage to Perth which saves them money.”Mr Reid said Cunderdin was chosen out of possible sites, due to meeting selection criteria.

“Northam was included in the site evaluation, but like the other possible sites, it presented a number of development and weather challenges,” he explained.

“Like Northam, Cunderdin isvery close to Perth Airport (in flying time) which is good for airlines, and on Great Eastern Hwywhich is good for logistic linkages such as fuel resupply.

“Furthermore, Cunderdin’s weather, topography, and surrounding land arrangement set it apart from the other possible sites.

“We spent a lot of time analysing Bureau of Met aviation weather results for Cunderdin and Perth, and provided the data to airlines’ own Navigation teams, and they’re satisfied we’ve got the right environment.”Mr Reid said the project will create employment for Cunderdin,as well as the wider wheatbelt community.“We’ve impressed upon the various interested contractors our expectation that people and materials should be sourced locally wherever possible, not just in construction, but throughout steady-state operations.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Salmon stoush heads to court

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

Huon Aquaculture has filed legal proceedings against the state government and the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in both the Tasmanian Supreme Court and the Federal Court.
Nanjing Night Net

The fish farming company claimed the government and the EPA had failed to effectively regulate salmon farming activity in Macquarie Harbour.

Huon Aquaculture alleged that too high a biomass cap had been set in the harbour– which,in this case, means the amount of salmon in a given area–after the EPA set the cap at 14,000 tonnes in January.

The company’sexecutive director Frances Bender said she was“pleading” with EPA director Wes Ford to release IMAS’ findings to the public.

“I don’t see how you can interpret no oxygen at the bottom of the harbour and the fauna in the sediments being deceased, as being anything [else],” Mrs Bender said.

Mr Ford said that given the nature of the legal proceedings, he would be unable to comment at this time.

Mrs Bender, meanwhile,said the government seemed to be“completely ignoring” IMAS’ science.

Her company recommended a biomass cap of fewer than 10,000 tonnes.

The lack of oxygen in the water at Macquarie Harbour is said to be caused by a high volume of fish and the sediment it sends to the harbour floor.

Huon Aquaculture is one of three marine farming companies with a presence at Macquarie Harbour: the others being Tassal and Petuna Seafoods.

Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said there was“no greater supporter” of Tasmania’s salmon industry than thestate government.

He said the industry was“among the best regulated in the world”.

But Greens environment spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff was of another mind.

“As thegovernment won’t listen to impartial scientific evidence…about the need to regulate for the future, they’ll now be forced to explain themselves in a court of law,” Ms Woodruff said.

The expansion of marine farming in Macquarie Harbour was overseen in 2012by then federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Huon Aquaculture believed the conditions imposed by Mr Burke’s decision were not being abided by, which was whyproceedings had been filed to the Federal Court.

There has been salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour since the early 1990s.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Malcolm Turnbull convinced Donald Trump not to dump refugee deal

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

President Donald Trump went on the attack after the phone call with Malcolm Turnbull.Donald Trump’s intention in his phone call with Malcolm Turnbull last week was to terminate the refugee resettlement deal with Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

And that’s exactly what he told the Australian Prime Minister, according to a US official who was briefed on the call.

The official told Fairfax Media that the American President told Mr Turnbull that he “hated” the refugee deal and was “not going to do it”.

The Australian Prime Minister responded forcefully that the two countries had a deal, and persuaded Mr Trump to change his mind, according to the official.

This disclosure puts a new complexion on the much-discussed call, which ended with Mr Trump describing it as “the worst call by far” of a series with national leaders, according to the Washington Post’s account in details denied by neither government.

The experience, it seems, may have been so unpleasant for him because he didn’t get his way. He cut short the scheduled one-hour call after 25 minutes.

Until now, it was not clear whether Mr Trump had opposed the deal, or had merely complained about it so that he could be seen to be reluctant, or that he had argued over its terms.

His unhappiness was on display when he tweeted, after the call with Mr Turnbull, that “I will study this dumb deal”.

His spokesman, Sean Spicer, later conveyed the same reluctance when he told the media that “the deal that was cut by the last administration is something that he [Mr Trump] is extremely, extremely upset with.

“He does not like it, but out of respect for him [Mr Turnbull], he’s going to allow that process – continue to study it and allow it to move forward under the conditions that have been set – that there will be extreme vetting on every single one of those individuals.”

The disclosure also explains why Mr Turnbull has declined to elaborate on the call, other than saying it ended courteously.

Evidently, he didn’t want to take credit publicly for persuading Mr Trump to change his mind in case this further antagonised the US leader.

Mr Turnbull didn’t want to give Mr Trump a pretext for revisiting the vexed decision.

In resisting the arrangement, Mr Trump told his Australian counterpart that it was “the worst deal ever” and that he was “going to get killed politically” for it, according to the Washington Post.

The arrangement for the US to accept asylum seekers from the two Australian offshorecamps was originally struck betwen Mr Turnbull and then US presidentBarack Obama.

Mr Trump decided to repudiate it as a deal between two men, but Mr Turnbull apparently persuaded him that it was a deal between two nations.

Mr Turnbull on the weekend said that there was “absolutely” no request from Mr Trump for any quid pro quo.

While this is accurate, it is not true that there is no Australian reciprocation. In a separate, earlier agreement, Australia agreed to join a US-led multilateral plan to resettle US refugees from Costa Rica.

Under this plan, Australia eventually will accept some of the Costa Ricans,though none has yet been resettled in any third country.

While the two arrangements are separate and not linked in any formal way, they do represent, in effect, a trade-off, as sometimes happens between allies with a wide range of shared interests.​

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Conservative MPs scrambling to stymie same-sex marriage push

Written on July 22, 2018 at 11:38, by

Same-sex marriage is being debated by the Liberal Party, again. Photo: Chiang Ying-Ying MPs reject prospect for government to hold a free vote without a plebiscite: Eric Abetz. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

Avoided questions on whether a free vote should be revisited: Liberal leader of the House Christopher Pyne. Photo: Supplied

Conservative MPs are scrambling to prevent a push by Liberal MPs to allow a free vote on same-sex marriage, warning “this is not a fight we should be having now”.

The chances of the issue being debated in the partyroom meeting scheduled for this week receded on Monday, swamped by the revelation that South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi planned to resign as soon as Tuesday and set up a new party.

Fairfax Media revealed on Saturday that Liberal MPs who support the law change had planned to raise the issue in the second week of Parliament, after a Senate inquiry report was handed down and after the proposed date for the same-sex marriage plebiscite, February 11, has passed.

Liberal leader of the House Christopher Pyne, who supports same-sex marriage, ducked questions on Monday on whether debate about a free vote for Liberal MPs – who, combined with Labor and the Greens would deliver the numbers to change the law – should be revisited.

“Labor defeated the plebiscite bill for marriage equality last year in a very “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face” move, and we could have had marriage equality probably after this Saturday,” he told ABC radio.

“There’s no Coalition bill before the house at the moment to deal with marriage equality, and until and if there is, then it’s a moot point.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said he would “leave the fake news to others. This is not an issue that is focusing the government’s attention”.

Fairfax Media stands by its report.

Mr Turnbull said on Sunday the issue could be debated again in the partyroom but “the government’s position is that which we took to the election”.

Supporters of a free vote in the Liberal Party were tight-lipped about their plans on Monday, but Coalition MPs George Christensen and Eric Abetz – who both oppose the change – both pushed back against the prospect of a move by Liberal Party moderates for the government to hold a free vote on same-sex marriage without a national plebiscite.

Mr Christensen said the government needed to stick with the policy it took to the election.

“If this government goes down the road of breaking its agreement with the people that we made that we were going to do to a plebiscite, then, you know, the show’s over,” he said.

Another political opponent of the law change, who asked not be named, said the net effect of the debate over the weekend – which prompted former prime minister Tony Abbott to speak out on the issue and warn Mr Turnbull not to change policy – was that a law change was less likely.

“There will be no change on the plebiscite, no one wants this debate. All the people pushing for it are in safe seats, or inner-city electorates, or both.”

Follow James Massola on Facebook.

Follow us on Facebook

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.