Updates from December, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    The embattled owner of the Donut King and Gloria Jeans brands has again lowered its profit guidance, only three weeks after warning investors of a weaker than expected first half.
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    Retail Food Group said on Tuesday that it would no longer achieve a profit of $22 million for the six months to June 30.

    RFG’s shares dived as much as 10 per cent on the news, before recovering to close down 6 per cent at $2.32.

    The company, which also owns the Brumby’s Bakeries, Crust Pizza, Pizza Capers and Michel’s Patisserie chains, did not say what it now expected its profit to be other than “less than the $22 million” advised on December 19.

    RFG said the lower than expected result was because revenue from new master franchise agreements for its Crust Pizza and Donut King in the UK would not be received during the first half of 2018.

    Instead the profit from the two new agreements would boost RFG’s second-half results.

    “RFG’s financial results for first half of 2018 are still in preparation and will be released once RFG’s financial statements for the period have been finalised,” the company said in a statement.

    RFG’s shares plunged 25 per cent in December when the group said it expected its first-half profit to fall to $22 million, well down on the $33.5 million it posted during the same period a year earlier.

    The downgrades come after Fairfax Media revealed in December that the group was using a brutal business model that had sent hundreds of franchisees within its network to the wall financially.

    Fairfax’s investigation uncovered rampant underpayment of workers within RFG’s brands as a result of the unfair business model for franchisees, and highlighted the company’s misuse of marketing funds contributed by franchisees.

    RFG has said it had appointed Deloitte to conduct a review of its n business, including the terms of its agreements with franchisees and the alleged underpayment of workers.

    The media investigations led to a sharp plunge in RFG’s share price, with its shares tumbling from $4.40 to a low of $1.62 in December before recovering slightly to trade at around $2.40.

    RFG’s share price has also been affected by short-sellers, who believe the company’s financial bona fides don’t stack up.

    Totus Capital fund manager Ben McGarry, who has been shorting RFG since before the Fairfax Media investigation, said nothing had improved for the company in the past month.

    “The company is still facing the twin issues of the balance sheet problems and the business model to fix and until it does it’s going to stay under pressure,” Mr McGarry said.

    “We’ve had another downgrade today and they can’t even quantify it – it’s just ‘less than $22 million’. It’s difficult to see how it is going to bounce.”

    Continue reading Shares in Gloria Jeans owner dive as it warns on profit again
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    Residents in the rural village of Gundaroo north of Canberra are up in arms over a proposal that could see their sewerage centralised in preparation for future development in the area.
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    A Yass Valley Council survey found 75 per cent of residents opposed the plan, with many already having spent thousands of dollars on their own management system.

    The council is currently considering three developer proposals in the area that will ultimately double the population. As a result, it is looking to centralise sewage treatment to accommodate the proposals.

    Residents in the rural village of Gundaroo north of Canberra are up in arms over a proposal that could see their sewerage centralised in preparation for future development in the area. Photo: Karleen Minney

    Located about 40 kilometres north of Canberra’s centre, Gundaroo currently does not have a centralised sewerage system.

    Water supply is sourced from bore water and rainwater tanks. Onsite treatment systems manage sewage and treated effluent – these systems require residents to operate and maintain them.

    President of the Gundaroo Community Association Moraig McKenna said village residents had been told that if the result of the council survey was negative then there would be no sewerage plant for the area.

    About 200 surveys were issued to residents, with 120 returned, and 75 per cent against the plans.

    “We are disappointed that the council has chosen to go forward with a sewage treatment plant for Gundaroo against the advice of its director of engineering and the majority of the community as determined by a the Yass Valley Council’s own survey of village residents,” Ms McKenna said.

    Many residents have already spent thousands on their own management system. From left to right, Gundaroo residents Ian Jones and Abram Hays. Photo: Karleen Minney

    “We are not against growth. We have always stated that we think that Gundaroo should grow over time through the infill of existing blocks within the village boundaries.”

    But director of planning for Yass Valley Council Chris Berry said the scheme had not yet been approved because “there is still some further investigation and consultation to be undertaken”.

    “The final design of the scheme has not yet been completed to enable an approval for the works to be issued,” Mr Berry said.

    “While council resolved to undertake further investigations, to finalise the design, it also determined to apply for a 50 per cent subsidy under a state government funding program for the Gundaroo scheme.”

    He said the public works department looked into several options for the collection and treatment of wastewater and sewage from existing and proposed development in Gundaroo.

    “The preferred option in the report was a gravity collection system and a centralised sewage treatment of oxidation ponds with evaporation or pasture irrigation,” Mr Berry said.

    “Essentially each property connects to a reticulated sewer main which transfers wastewater and sewage by gravity to a sewage treatment plant. The treated output from the plant is discharged to the Yass River or used to irrigate pasture.”

    Gundaroo local Abram Hays said residents had a number of concerns, primarily the council ignoring residents.

    “The councillors seem to have decided that they would ignore both their own staff and the views of Gundaroo residents which they sort as part of a consolation process,” Mr Hays said.

    “What we face is a situation where we as residents are going to have to pay for sewerage that will increase the profits of development conducted either side of this village.”

    He said many residents had already put in “expensive, environmentally responsible septic systems”, spending thousands of dollars.

    “We put the best systems in to ensure that we have responsible environmental outcomes,” he said.

    “Often when we use water, we recycle that water and use it on our gardens, we lose all of that, we lose that investment, we lose the ability to use that water and this town doesn’t have reticulated water.”

    Mr Berry said the council was particularly concerned about the cost to local residents and had directed staff to investigate options to alleviate the impact of high connection costs.

    “If the subsidy is not successful then this investigation would need to examine these implications also.”

    Continue reading Nearby town up in arms over planned sewerage system
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    Scott Street closed for light rail construction Scott Street
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    23hundred cafe

    Workers pour the first section of track on the former rail corridor, near Steel Street, on Tuesday morning.

    Scott Street

    TweetFacebook Scott Street closed to trafficMost of the Newcastle light rail route along Hunter and Scott streets is now closed to traffic and parking as construction work ramps up on the project.

    Workers shut off three blocks of Scott Street, from Newcomen Street to Pacific Street, overnight,leaving access lanes into apartment garages. They also shut another block of Hunter Street east of Darby Street.

    Cars and buses in Watt Street were still able to cross Scott Street.

    Read more

    Burger joint caught in light rail sandwichPremier opens door on rail reliefMinister: Time to look forwardQuestions over light rail business caseLight rail at twice the priceThe light rail route narrows at Scott Street, where cars and trams will share one lane in each direction beside a wider footpath along the Market Street Lawn and Newcastle train station.

    A concept drawing shows cars and trams sharing common lanes as the route narrows in Scott Street. Work has started on this section of the line.

    Further west, on the section of the route running along the former rail corridor, contractors for Downer EDI poured the first strip of concretebetween Worth Place and Steel Streeton Tuesday morning.

    Another blockof Hunter Street, from Union Street to Auckland Street, was closed last week, but two lanes of traffic between Auckland and Merewether streets reopened late in December on either side of the first section ofrails to be laid.

    It is unclear how long the work will take, but the Revitalising Newcastle website says trams will start running in early 2019.

    A concept plan for the light rail stop in Pacific Park.

    The work will include replacing a 1909 sewer line buried six metres below parts of Scott and Hunterstreets, which will extend the construction period in some areas and result in water outages.

    Parking will be removed permanently along the entire 1.7km stretch of light rail from Worth Place to Telford Street, near Newcastle beach.

    Continue reading Scott Street closed for Newcastle light rail construction
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    Travelling, especially alone, can be mildly terrifying. If the whine of the engines isn’t enough to irritate you, the cramped quarters, lack of leg room and screaming baby that always happens to be around will certainly do the job. But one lucky Reddit user recently experienced the unheard of: a whole plane to herself. Hardly a miracle, the occurrence was due to a booking error which landed the woman on a crew-only flight.
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    Earlier this week, Reddit user shadybaby22 shared a selfie on the r/mildlyinteresting board on the site, explaining her situation in the caption: “I got a whole plane to myself when I was accidentally booked on a flight just meant for moving crew.” The thread quickly caught the interest of other Reddit users who were equal parts jealous and curious about the situation. I got a whole plane to myself when I was accidentally booked on a flight just meant for moving crew. from mildlyinteresting

    In reply, she explained further, “I realised something was wrong when I was the only one in the waiting area 45 minutes before take-off. One of the airport agents came over while I was waiting and asked if that was the flight I was waiting for then said, ‘I knew this would happen’. When my flight was cancelled about eight hours earlier, a confused agent gave me and half the passengers a seat for the plane in the pic before another agent realised everyone could go on an earlier flight. They made an announcement on the speaker but I’d already left to go back to my parent’s house nearby to wait for the next few hours. I was never contacted about the flight change.”

    Some other Reddit users joked that the in-flight service must have been incredible and encouraged the woman to take advantage of the free snacks provided. Redditor y8xi suggested she should ask for “All of the snacks you would normally give to everyone on this plane.”

    But the woman decided against demanding special treatment. “It was a short flight, so I didn’t ask for anything.” However, she admitted to taking advantage of the extra cabin space, stretching out across a row of seats.

    While having an entire plane to yourself is rare, it has happened before. In October last year, a British woman found herself alone on a flight from Glasgow to Crete when the only other two expected passengers did not show up. Similarly, in September 2016 a couple, also from Britain, took advantage of their empty flight from Thailand to Malaysia, joking and dancing with crew. Fair behaviour when you have a entire plane to yourself.

    See also: Woman gets entire plane to herself on flight to Greek Island

    See also: The reason why some planes fly nearly empty

    Continue reading Booking mistake sees woman fly on empty plane
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    A growing number of ns live in apartments. The compact city model presents many benefits. However, living close to each other also presents challenges.
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    Rapid growth in apartment developments in recent decades has led to a rise in noise-related complaints and disputes across urban . Households with children are on the front line of such tensions. They are one of the fastest-growing demographics living in apartments. Analysis of the latest census data show, for instance, that families with children under the age of 15 comprise 25% of Sydney’s apartment population.

    Apartment design and cultural acceptance of families in the vertical city have not kept pace with this shift in housing forms. Cultural expectations that families with children ought to live in detached houses are persistent. Apartment planners and developers reproduce these expectations by neglecting children in building design and marketing.

    With children’s sounds being difficult to predict or control, changing apartment demographics are an issue for planners and residents alike. Trying to be good parents and good neighbours

    My research explores the everyday experiences of families living in apartments in Sydney. It reveals that parents trying to make apartment life work face an emotional juggling act.

    Apartment living often creates an emotional dilemma between being a good parent and being a good neighbour. Parents want to allow children to be children, but are ever anxious about annoying the neighbours.

    Cities are layered with many different sounds, but the home is framed as a private space of peace and quiet. Sounds that intrude are considered noise. The “good” apartment neighbour avoids sounds that penetrate neighbours’ homes. Related: Developers failing n families?Related: One bedroom vs two bedroom apartmentsRelated: Rising number of families in apartments

    This is near impossible when children are involved (particularly when apartments are poorly designed). Key pressure points include crying at night and playing and running during the day.

    Parents spoke about the challenges of sleep training in an apartment. They wanted to be considerate neighbours, so felt anxious and guilty when their children did not comply. Some received angry letters from neighbours, or heard them call out and bang on walls and ceilings in midnight protests.

    One mother described the difficult juggling act of an unsettled baby and an upset neighbour:

    “[The neighbour] called out ??? ‘Pick up your baby!’ ??? I was so upset because we are trying our best and we were exhausted ourselves ??? [The neighbour] banged on the ceiling really loudly ??? I felt it on my feet, like it was shaking ??? That just kind of added to my stress ??? When I got back into bed after the shrieking finished and he [the baby] went back to sleep, and the stomping on the roof finished ??? I just said, ‘I don’t know if I can do that again’ ??? knowing that, you know they’re hearing it all of course, and we felt terrible.”

    Parenting anxieties were not limited to night-time. Monitoring kids’ play to minimise noise made parents feel like the “fun police”.

    “I always feel like I am constantly telling them ‘not in here, not in there, don’t do that’ ??? I’m constantly worried that we are annoying the neighbours. Because they are kids, they are loud. They don’t have a volume button.”

    Parents attempted many strategies for managing noise. These included putting down carpet and foam mats, restricting some activities to rooms without adjoining walls or to “sociable” hours, closing windows and covering air vents. The expectation that their children’s sounds do not belong in apartments weighed heavily.

    “When he [the neighbour] first started complaining, Harry [son] was crawling. Imagine trying to teach a crawler that they are not allowed to crawl through the house ??? You know, he [the neighbour] wanted the impossible and got angry with us when we couldn’t deliver that for him, with no kind of seeming effort to understand where we were coming from ???”

    This family’s neighbour had written notes, aggressively banged on their walls and threateningly confronted the parents over their children’s noise. The mother described feeling vulnerable and at a loss:

    “I feel like we have entered this entirely new area of discrimination that I had no idea existed before, but is actually quite prevalent among our peers. It is common among the mothers in my mothers’ group ??? People just don’t like children and they don’t like children’s noise ??? And you know parenting is hard ??? So to have the ‘Oh my God I am pissing loads of people off’ in the back of your mind as well ??? is really uncomfortable.”

    While not all families reported such negative experiences, almost all felt anxious about noise and had stories of friends who had experienced problems.

    The sounds made by children were always front of mind. Aware of their neighbours’ surveillance and (at times overt) moral judgments, they changed their domestic routines and modified their homes as much as possible. People need apartments made for families

    Broader changes are needed. Families living with children in apartments challenge norms that delineate the home as a place of quietude; that define “good neighbours” as tranquil ones; and that position children as belonging elsewhere (detached houses). And they come up against such norms in dwellings that hamper their best efforts to regulate sound.

    Families living in apartments actively pursue strategies for making everyday life “work”. But there is only so much that individuals can change. The wider problem of apartments’ poor acoustic design and performance persists. Both cultural and technical norms must shift if the policy paradigm of urban consolidation is to have any hope of meeting the needs of a diverse population.

    Sophie-May Kerr, PhD Candidate in Human Geography, University of Wollongong

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    Continue reading How do families and their noisy children fit in with apartment living?
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    MISSING: Police are investigating whether Jayden Penno-Tompsett crossed the border back into NSW.
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    POLICE are investigating the possibility missing Newcastle man Jayden Penno-Tompsett may have visited a mystery property and potentially hitchhiked across the border back into NSW before he vanished.

    The 22-year-old had not been seen since New Year’s Eve after an argument broke out between mates at a roadhouse on the Flinders Highway at Charters Towers, about 230 kilometres south-west of Townsville, in Queensland.

    However, new information from a witness puts Mr Penno-Tompsett’s last known location at a mystery property described as “unique” in Charters Towers.

    The witness told detectives the property was on an unsealed road with a red steel fence.

    The witness also said there was a bull skull on a post near a set of yards with silver-coloured fencing.

    A house was visible several hundred metres from the road.

    The unsealed road ran off a bitumen road.

    Police have not been able to pinpoint the location of the property and they appealed for locals who may know where it is, or anyone who may have assisted Mr Penno-Tompsett, to come forward.

    The witness told police the property was “unique”, according to local newspaper The Northern Miner Charters Towers.

    Police believe the Birmingham Gardens man – who was described by his father as “just a wild Newy boy” – may have attended the property on foot or in a Nissan Pulsar sedan bearing NSW plates.

    It is possible Mr Penno-Tompsett hitchhiked from Charters Towers and returned to NSW, police said.

    Police believe Jayden Penno-Tompsett may have driven this Nissan Pulsar to the mystery property. Picture: Queensland Police

    The new information comes after police released CCTV images of Mr Penno-Tompsett in the Charters Towers roadhouse.

    In the footage, the 22-year-old walks around the roadhouse in a singlet and thongs.

    He stretches and looks around the store before walking out again at dawn.

    Moments after he walks out, Mr Penno-Tompsett has an argument with a friend – some have told authorities it was over money.

    His friend later tells police Mr Penno-Tompsett became enraged and got out of the car and walked off.

    Jayden Penno-Tompsett was not reported missing for four days. Picture: Queensland Police

    They do not report Mr Penno-Tompsett missing until Wednesday – four days after he was last seen.

    A land and air search on Thursday in the semi-rural area of Charters Towers where Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen found no trace of him.

    Police still believe Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen about 5am on December 31 and his father, Brendan Tompsett, has warned social media users to rely on facts and not suspicions.

    A post suggesting Mr Penno-Tompsett was now believed to have been last seen on December 30 – a day earlier than first reported – was wrong, according to police.

    “We can’t deal in second-hand information. The best way to help is to tell police what you know so they can deal with the facts,” Mr Tompsett said.

    A land and air search on Thursday in asemi-rural area of Charters Towers where Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen found no trace of him.

    Mr Tompsett said his son’s disappearance was gut-wrenching but his family was staying positive.

    “He is very much like me and has done a lot of walking,” Mr Tompsett said.

    “If Jayden has to walk then he walks, he just does it.

    “He has always been a great, little survivor and that is what I am putting my faith in.”

    Continue reading Jayden Penno-Tompsett disappearance: mystery property at centre of missing person investigation
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    EMIRATES
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    THE PLANE

    Airbus A380-800; Emirates is the largest operator of this aircraft with 101 in its fleet and a further 41 on order.

    THE ROUTE

    EK413 Sydney to Dubai.

    THE LOYALTY SCHEME

    Emirates Skywards.

    CLASS

    Economy aisle seat 87H.

    DURATION

    Fifteen hours, six minutes.

    FREQUENCY

    Multiple daily departures between Sydney and Dubai.

    THE SEAT

    Comfortable enough seat in a 3-4-3 configuration, with adjustable headrest, large seatback pouch, good recline allowing legs to stretch under the seat in front. A width of 45.5 centimetres and maximum pitch of 86 centimetres translates to relatively roomy on the A380. Realistically, it’s economy – you still end up vaguely mummified.

    BAGGAGE

    A generous 30-kilogram luggage allowance and seven kilograms for carry-on. Some passengers continue gaming carry-on rules. Luggage lockers in my rear seating area are full of huge carry-ons, plus Emirates’ red storage boxes. Our aisle neighbour must deposit her carry-on five rows forward.

    COMFORT

    With all the will in the world, a full plane in economy is not super-comfortable. My second-from-the-back-row seat is beside the toilets in the smallest of four economy cabins with 46 people. It’s freezing and one of the toilet floods. Must rely on the nice soft fleece blanket made from 28 recycled plastic 400-millilitre bottles. Pretty amenities pouch offers eyeshade, earplugs, toothbrush and socks.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Emirates is justly proud of its ICE 33-centimetre digital touchscreen with up to 2500 on-demand entertainment channels, including almost 600 movies, more than 50 TV box sets, documentaries, podcasts, live news and sport. Patience required with an elderly gent regularly wandering the aisle, clutching seatbacks, inadvertently changing people’s channels. Not sure about the squarish earphones. Who has square ears? In-seat satellite phone and power, 20MB of free Wi-Fi, useful for emails.

    SERVICE

    The charming check-in person goes out of her way to switch my seat from window to aisle due to a hip injury. Polite onboard staff do their best. A flustered steward tries to soothe an irate nearby gentleman about his food choice running out. “It’s in the fine print,” he offers desperately. It can’t be easy serving people on planes.

    FOOD

    Emirates’ food is good. I enjoy my chicken korma with sauteed veg and parsley pulao even though, like the gentleman, I would have preferred the extinct Persian-style braised lamb. Love the hot-smoked salmon, potato and mustard appetiser. Unlike Qantas, Emirates thankfully still offers cheese and biscuits and a decent roll with butter. The metal cutlery brings tears of joy. Oh, how we cling to civilisation in cattle class. They’ve run out of Coke here in Siberia but the South n shiraz is perfectly acceptable. Breakfast is a choice of cheese omelette with chicken chipolata, spinach and potatoes or scrambled eggs with smoked baked beans, spinach and mushrooms (nice).

    ONE MORE THING

    Excellent trip updates from captain and crew and terrific take-off and landing vision from the outside cameras.

    THE VERDICT

    The roomier seats mean I get five hours’ sleep, my goal in economy. The ability to rest is critical, so it’s four stars for this flight, assisted by the lovely constellation ceiling.

    Tested by Alison Stewart who flew as a guest of Emirates.

    OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE: 4

    Continue reading Flight Test: Emirates
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    Signed, sealed and delivered: ‘We did it’ Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP
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    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official.

    Wife and wife: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson walked down the aisle together.

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson got married, officially, in front of family and friends at an intimate ceremony at 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, at 8am on Tuesday. They were one of three same sex couples to tie the knot at the venue that day.

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    It’s time: Rebecca Hickson gets ready to walk down the aisle. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson were married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Officiated by celebrant Monty King. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official.

    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official.

    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official.

    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official. Sarah hugs mother, Sue, and grandmother, Betty, after the ceremony at 8am on January 9.

    Love: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull make it official. Sarah hugs grandmother, Betty, after the ceremony at 8am on January 9.

    TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald they wanted tosettheir relationship, andcommitment to one another,in stone.

    “We wanted to be a part of history, and to be one of the first couples in to be married under the new Marriage Act,” she said.

    A host of photographers, hair and make up artists, stylists, videographers, the venue and the celebrants all donated their time and services for the three same sex ceremonies held at 48 Watt Street on Tuesday.

    Continue reading Same sex marriage ceremonies take place in the Hunter a month after legislation changes
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    MERCURY. NEWS. Accused Illawarra Sports High teacher Despina Haise leaves Wollongong courthouse on Monday . 8 January 2018 . Picture: Sylvia Liber.An Illawarra Sports High teacher accused of assaulting a student has been cleared of any wrongdoing, with the case dismissed in court on Monday morning.
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    Despina Haise, a teacher for more than 30 years, welcomed the decision outside Wollongong Local Court.

    “It’s [been] very distressing for me,” she said.

    “I’m definitely relieved. It’s been a long, long haul and it’s taken its toll.”

    Police charged Haise with common assault after a student claimed the music teacher had grabbed her around the throat while directing her and a friend away from an out-of-bounds area of the school grounds on May 27, 2016.

    Under cross examination the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied she was exaggerating when she described Haise grabbing her jacket with one hand and her bare throat with the other.

    “She pinned me against the wall and said ‘what are you girls doing’,” the teen told the court on day one of Haise’s hearing, in August.

    But the girl’s friend had ultimately failed to corroborate her account, Haise’s lawyer, Miranda Moody, noted as the hearing resumed on Monday.

    “[The friend] says Ms Haise pulled the complainant by the jacket to stop her moving. She agreed that … they were being disobedient. She never, when it was directly put to her, saw Ms Haise hold the complainant up against the wall with a hand around her throat,” she said, urging Magistrate Chris McRobert to dismiss the charge.

    “She would be an extremely reliable witness, given her proximity to the situation.”

    Magistrate McRobert found the “small force” Haise exerted on the girl, by pulling her jacket, may partially account for a red mark later seen on the girl’s neck/chest area.

    “I would suspect at least some of the force was exerted by (the girl) herself pulling against or resisting the actions of the teacher, he said.

    The magistrate said Haise had ultimately acted within her rights as a teacher.

    “To my mind it is important for teachers to demonstrate that there are consequences for breaching the rules,” he said.

    “Ms Haise was entitled to stop [the girl] to speak to her about her breach of the school disciplinary rules and she did so by taking the only course effectively available to her, that is, taking hold of [her] clothing – not her person. I’m not satisfied for a minute that there was any direct contact with her skin. Taking hold of her clothing was the only way she could stop her because [the girl] had continued to walk away.

    “Whilst with the wisdom of hindsight things might have handled differently or better, I’m of the view that Ms Haise was acting within the lawful rights of a teacher to discipline students at the school at which she is employed both as a teacher and to enforce school rules.

    “To my mind her actions at worst might be seen as ill-advised, but I’m not of the view that they amount to an assault.”

    Outside court, Haise said she intended to continue teaching.

    Illawarra Mercury

    Continue reading ‘Very distressing’: Teacher cleared of assaulting student
     
  • admin 16:13 on 12/17/2018  

    THE ROUTE
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    SQ 452 Singapore to Male

    THE LOYALTY SCHEME

    KrisFlyer (Star Alliance)

    THE PLANE

    Airbus A330-300

    CLASS

    Economy, seat 32C

    DURATION

    Four hours, 25 minutes. The flight is one-hour late departing.

    FREQUENCY

    Singapore Airlines operates twice daily flights from Singapore to Male (one with its regional carrier SilkAir).

    THE SEAT

    I’m in the second row of economy on a side aisle seat (configuration 2-4-2). It’s quite a change from my connecting Melbourne-Singapore flight, where I was seated in the very last row of a Boeing 777-300ER, although this did afford a little extra sideways leg room as the rear side row had only two seats, instead of the usual three. This flight’s seat is conveniently located right near the exit and I am one of the first passengers off the plane and speed through immigration. It’s also at the opposite end to the bathroom, so there’s little foot traffic and no inadvertent bumping from fellow passengers during the flight.

    BAGGAGE

    30kg of checked luggage and 7kg of carry on. The flight is relatively full but overhead storage space doesn’t seem to be an issue.

    COMFORT

    Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. The seat pocket is wide with four compartments, including a shallow mini-pocket perfect for storing phones and other pesky little essentials that are easily buried and left behind. The tray table folds in half, which is handy for holding a drink and snacks without poking you in the rib cage, and there’s a slide-open mirror on the underside, though best not to use it at the end of a flight when your body clock says it’s 5am and the angle makes for ghastly viewing. There’s also a separate drink holder that pops out from the seat in front and is useful at meal service when the tray table becomes a wasteland of utensils and serving accoutrements. The seat width is 47cm, with a pitch of 81cm. When reclined, my knees jar into the seat in front (I’m almost 1.8-metres tall), and the adjustable headrest wings do a poor job of supporting my lolling head.

    SERVICE

    Doesn’t skip a beat. Just before take-off I find myself glaring down the aisle in a fatigue-induced stare and an attentive hostie catches my eye and hurries over to see if I need anything. Drinks (not just water) are served within 10 minutes of the seatbelt sign going off and are offered frequently and always with a smile.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    The KrisWorld entertainment system is loaded with 294 movies, 688 television shows and 850 CDs. It’s delivered through a large headrest screen and a push-out remote (always fun getting these back in their handset). The newer planes have touch screens and inflight Wi-Fi, but not this one. There is, however, an AV port, iPod jack, USB and power outlet. The movie selection is reasonable, if a little light on good new releases. I watch Miss Sloane (action movies just don’t cut it on small screen), but what I really want is some sleep.

    FOOD

    The dinner service is very edible, even yummy by airline standards. My entree of Cajun spiced chicken salad is crisp and fresh and followed by a main of Malay chicken curry and rice. The curry has a delicious hit of heat, and I even detect a bite of cardamom and am impressed with the authentic Asian flavours. The bread roll is too sweet and would be better served warm, while the coconut-gula Melaka cake is light and not too sweet. Dinner is washed down with a nondescript glass of wine whose variety doesn’t get any more specific than “red”. My cup of tea is hot and strong. A first.

    ONE MORE THING

    If you’re on a honeymoon and, let’s face it, the Maldives is that kind of place, Singapore Airlines provides surprise cake and champagne mid-flight. It’s a nice gesture for newlyweds.

    THE LAST WORD

    Singapore Airlines is certainly one of the better economy offerings, and provides the most direct route to the Maldives from ‘s east coast. Great, attentive service but the decor was a little tired. An explanation from the flight deck about the late departure would have been appreciated.

    4 out of 5

    The writer travelled with assistance from Singapore Airlines.

    Continue reading FlightTest: Singapore Airlines
     
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