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Helping fire victims

Food donation: Lesley Newman, Naomi Peters and Laurel Merrin. Picture: Craig Thomson.Young charities have come together and donated food for the victims of bushfires in the town of Uarbry.
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The Salvation Army, Hilltops Community Hub, Young Food Hall and others decided that the people of Uarbry would need non-perishable food amongst other items to help them get back on their collective feet again.

Hilltops Community Hub Manager Naomi Peters said she felt compelled to do something for her bush neighbours.

“Danielle and Brett Butterworth, who are volunteer’s at the Hilltops Community Hub had access to a number of helpful contacts and set about getting things in motion to donate a large quantity of non-perishable items,” she said.

“Assistance came from the Hilltops Hub alongside the Salvation Army, Laurel Merrin of the Young Food Hall and representatives of Argyle Community Housing and within hours Danielle and Brett had acquired 10 large boxes for delivery toCoolah.

“Danielle and Brett Butterworth met members of the Coolah Lions Club on Saturday, February 18 with that very special delivery from Young.

“It meant a lot to make this donation on behalf of the town of Young as hearing about and seeing photos coming from the area had hit really close to home especially for Danielle and Brett who lost everything when a flood went through their home at Murringo in 2009 and they are very grateful to give back to those in need.”

Young and Cootamundra Corps Salvation Army officer Lesley Newton said one phone call started the food drive.

“I received a phone call from Laurel Merrin at Young Food Hall who had a request from Young Hub to arrange for some non-perishable food for those who had been affected by the bushfires,” she said.

“When disasters like this happen it is a normal response, a desire to do something to help those who have lost all they have. It can be hard to know what to do, however, this is something practical. To have an opportunity like this, to be able to bless those we will never get to meet is a privilege.”

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Top ups are easy at Bathurst train station

ADDITION: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole and Rail Action Bathurst chair John Hollis with the Opal top up machine at Bathurst Railway Station. Photo: SUPPLIED 022017opal
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TRAVELLING between Bathurst and Sydney is now easier for customers with the roll out of Opal technology at the Bathurst Railway Station.

Bathurst rail customers can now take advantage of a recent addition to the station – an Opal top up machine.

The machine givespeople the ability to top up their Opal card or purchase an Opal Single Trip ticket.

Rail Action Bathurst chair John Hollis welcomed the new addition.

“The whole point of this is it’s a more professional facility,” he said.

Before this new addition, Mr Hollis said customers had no choice but to purchase their Opal top ups at a range of city centre shops in Bathurst.

He said people who travelled irregularly on the train were also restricted.

“There was no option in Bathurst to buy a single Opal ticket, anywhere in Bathurst,” Mr Hollissaid.

He said the lack of an Opal top up machine was inconvenient for many customers.

“Bathurst is a significant rail hub and it’s just a great facility. It makes it more attractive for people to travel to Bathurst,” Mr Hollis said.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said it was a part of the NSW Government’s commitment to improve customer options at major locations outside of the Sydney metropolitan area.

“Rail patronage figures show that on average, more than 14,000 people each year make the trip from Bathurst to Sydney,” he said.

“We also know that each month, around 1500 Central West rail customers commute to Bathurst as their entry point to the Sydney metropolitan system, so it makes sense to link them to this technology at this important transport hub.

Rail Action Bathurst chair John Hollis

“Opal is easy to use and extremely convenient for customers.

“There are a number of incentives based on frequency and time of travel.”

Opal provides ticketing services across the greater Sydney rail network as well as on ferries, light rail and more than 5000 buses across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and the Southern Highlands.

“Opal also makes negotiating the metropolitan system easier, with integration across all public transport modes and paper ticketing systems no longer in use,” Mr Toole said.

“The new machine at Bathurst will link people into all of these great benefits when using the Opal network.”

Top ups can also be purchased through the Opal Travel App or online at 梧桐夜网opal南京夜网419论坛.

Complaints: NBN phones dropping out

The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has caused headaches for several Wagga residents who have complained of poor communication, loss of phone connections and problems getting answers.
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For almost two months after the NBN was installed, Julie Morrison had phone calls drop out, forcing her to use her mobile phone to finish calls.

“We were cut off numerous times while having a conversation and sometimes we had no dial tone,” Mrs Morrison said.

“Deferring the connection to NBN until the glitches and problems have been ironed out is a good idea, I’m sorry we didn’t wait.”

Despite being touted as a passport to the digital millennium, less than half of Australian households have activated their connections to the new technology.

Recent research has shown 80 per cent of fixed broadband consumers are confused by the jargon around speedsoffered by retail service providers such as Telstraand Optus, but even less clear for elderly people was the requirement to switch to the NBN.

According to an NBN spokeswoman, homes and businesses have 18 months to make the transition after it becomes available to them before the existing phone network is decommissioned.

“Parts of Wagga will progressively start to disconnect the legacy networkfrom February 2018,” she said. “NBN also mails residents and businesses well in advance of the disconnection date to ensure they transfer their services over in time.”

However, Wagga resident Elizabeth Raulston said she was surprised to get a letter about her pending NBN connection.

Mrs Raulston has never owned a computer and thought there would be no need to switch to the NBN, but on January 23 her phone went dead.

“A week before I was cut off I got a letter about my NBN order, but I never placed an order,” she said.“It took three weeks of chasing around to get my phone connection back.”

Anyone experiencing problems with the NBN should contact their retailer, the spokeswoman said.

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TERRIBLE LOSS: Warwick Ranclaud’s passing will be keenly felt by the Spring Ridge community.A SPRING Ridge man, who tragically died frominjuries he sustained rushingto help put out a fire at Caroona Feedlot, has been described as a man who would “truly go out of his way to help people”.
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A hole has been left in the small Liverpool Plains community, as it struggles to deal with the news Warwick Ranclaud passed away in a Sydney hospital on Saturday.

Tributes are flowing for the 36-year-old contractor, who was well-known and liked around the Spring Ridge community.

David Cox spent time working withMr Ranclaud, anddescribed him as a “beautiful gentleman, who would give you the shirt off his back”.

“He would truly go out of this way to help people,” Mr Cox said.

“He will be very, very sorely missed, not only in Spring Ridge but everywhere he worked.”

Royal Hotel owner Tom Archer said Mr Ranclaudwas an “incredibly hard-working man” and a “talented mechanic”.

“There wasn’t a thing he couldn’t put his hand to and not fix,” Mr Archer said.

“He was a true all rounder–he could fix anything and drive anything.

“[Spring Ridge] is still in a state of shock, everybody trying to come to terms witha person of that age losing their life.

“He was just a bloke who was alwaystrying to help other people, that’swhat he did.”

On Thursday, Mr Ranclaud was working in a front-end loader at Caroona Feedlot,when a farm vehicle that was being used to assess grazing land sparked a fire at about 5.45pm.

Mr Ranclaudrushed over to help put out the blaze, butsuffered burns to 60 per cent of his body and was airlifted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.

JBS Australia, the owner of Caroona Feedlot, said the company’s focus was on supporting Mr Ranclaud’s family and the Caroona Feedlot team.

“Both are going through very difficult times,” a JBS Australia spokesperson said.

“It’s a tragedy andfrom a company perspective, we will continue to support family and team at Caroonathrough this difficult time.”

Fire investigators were deployed to the scene on Friday to investigate, and police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

WorkSafe NSW is investigating the incident and will look for any breaches of work health and safety laws in the lead up to the fire.

“SafeWork’s investigation remains ongoing,”a SafeWork NSW spokesperson said.

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

PepsiCo to boost paid parental leave from 12 to 16 weeks as government look to end ‘double dipping’

Food and drink giant PepsiCo will boost paid parental leave for employees in Australia and New Zealand from 12 to 16 weeks and double paid leave for carers from one to two weeks.
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The company says its parental leave policy puts it well above the average of 9.7 weeks.

The decision follows the company receiving recognition from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an employer of choice for three consecutive years.

The federal government last year introduced proposed legislation to tighten access to its paid parental leave scheme for parents who were also accessing paid leave from their employer, to prevent “double dipping”.

The proposed legislation, which is currently before the national Parliament, proposes a maximum of 20 weeks made up of employer and government-funded entitlements. This means PepsiCo employees would likely be entitled to four weeks of government entitlements at the national minimum wage from January next year, if the legislation is passed. Under existing arrangements, they will still be able to claim the 16 weeks from PepsiCo in addition to the full national benefits.

PepsiCo ANZ chief executive officer Robbert Rietbroek​ said it was important for the company to champion workplace diversity and inclusion.

“Allowing our employees more flexibility will ensure they can enjoy a more fulfilling work-life balance,” he said.

“Smart businesses recognise that we need to support our people because they underpin our success.

“We are committed to our working families, and want gender equality in the boardroom and throughout our ranks and one of the ways to do this is ensuring that women and men are supported and come back to work after they become parents.”

The new policy will be available to all PepsiCo employees, including those who are already on leave.

Rae Cooper, associate professor in work and organisational studies at the University of Sydney Business School, said “progressive employers” have been bolstering paid parental leave and carers leave entitlements for their employees.

“They have either done this through policy change or enterprise agreements,” she said. “However, these entitlements provided by employers will be undermined if the current proposals of the government in relation to paid parental leave are passed.”

Dr Cooper said the dual system of national pay and employers providing additional leave is how the Australian Productivity Commission intended the scheme to operate.

PepsiCo senior director of human resources, Shiona Watson, said about 70 per cent of the company’s sales leadership team were female.

Women also fill more than 60 per cent of the research and development team and 40 per cent of senior roles across PepsiCo in Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Watson said increasing paid parental and carers leave would help attract and retain good talent.

“This policy is the logical next step in our constant drive to create a workplace that celebrates diversity and meets the needs of individual employees,” she said.

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Sixty thousand dollars for sixty players: union plan to grow women’s soccer

Women’s soccer is set to receive a major boost on Tuesday when the players’ union releases a road map that envisages the top 60 players in the W-League being paid a minimum of $60,000 a year.
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Professional Footballers Australia has been working on its future development program for several months and has outlined many steps that must be put in place for the sport to grow.

The W-League is one of the higher standard women’s competitions in the world but in comparison to many other leagues the players are paid a pittance, and it lacks promotion and financial support.

Only Melbourne City, who have won back-to-back titles in the two seasons they have been in the league, have anything approaching a professional set-up although not all of their players are full-timers.

The rise of AFL Women’s, cricket’s Women’s Big Bash League and the rebranding of the netball competition, with the involvement of football clubs Collingwood, GWS Giants and Melbourne Storm, has put the focus on women’s sport.

The public has shown that it will watch women play at the highest level,  both at live events and on television, and that has put the onus on long-established women’s competitions like the Women’s National Basketball League and the W-League to lift their game.

Soccer is by far the highest participation sport in the country for children of both sexes under the age of 16, and the rise in the number of girls and young women playing in the past two decades has been impressive.

But this has yet to be reflected in funding of the game’s resources nor payments for the players. The minimum W-League wage is $2500 per year, while top Matildas players receive at least $42,000. They can top this up with extra payments from their W-League teams and overseas contracts. There are estimated to be 30 players in the W-League who earn $60,000 or more from all sources.

Despite those disincentives the Matildas are one of the top sides in the world and are regular qualifiers for the World Cup and the Olympic Football tournaments, while many of the leading Australian players have succeeded in establishing themselves in the professional leagues in the USA and Europe.

There are also fears that the greater publicity for the AFL women’s competition, and the kudos and promotional opportunities that may arise from being involved in that sport, could be a siren call for players of other sports, soccer included, to switch codes.

The PFA and the game’s rulers, the FFA, have always argued, however, that soccer, with its global links, offers more opportunity for athletic young women than a sport like footy does: the PFA report will seek to show why.

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Sydney slip gives Victory title sniff … if City do them a Friday night favour

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat settling into his seat at AAMI Park and barracking for Melbourne City?
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Don’t bet against it, particularly this Friday night when Victory’s cross-town rivals go head-to-head with league leaders Sydney FC.

Victory’s excellent performance in Gosford on Sunday, when goals from Besart Berisha, James Troisi and Berisha again in stoppage time gave Muscat’s men a 3-0 win, lifted them to within eight points of the Sky Blues.

The latter crashed for the first time this season going down 1-0 to their own city rivals, Western Sydney,  that loss giving the chasing pack the merest sniff that they might be able to close the gap.

Sydney has 47 points to Victory’s 39, with City third on 30, just ahead of Brisbane on goal difference, with Perth Glory two points back on 28, and  West Sydney, with 24,  rounding out the top six spots on the table.

Victory’s 3-0  scoreline didn’t flatter the visitors, who showed a spring in their step that was distinctly lacking just six days earlier when they had laboured to a goalless draw with Newcastle in the Hunter Valley.

City were themselves impressive when they flogged Wellington 5-1 on Saturday night in New Zealand and now that they have regained  their scoring touch they will fancy their chances of inflicting more misery on Sydney, a team they have yet to lose to this season  having drawn with them at the Olympic Stadium in December and beaten in the FFA Cup final in November.

“Not sure if I will be barracking for City but you would have to say they will give themselves a good chance of beating Sydney on Friday,” Muscat said  on Monday.

“If they take three points off them on the Friday and we beat Adelaide on the Saturday, then the gap is down to five.

“And the following week we go up there to play Sydney. Win that and the gap would be two points and anything might happen.”

There are, of course, a lot of ifs and buts in that scenario, but Sydney’s loss to the Wanderers and Victory’s recovery from its hiccup on Monday night at least provides some hope that there might be a final twist in the race for the Premier’s Plate.

Muscat was delighted with the effort of his team which could, had it taken all of its chances, had the game put to bed at the interval.

Instead it only  led through Berisha’s first-half goal and could not feel completely comfortable  until Troisi added a second.

The latter has been in good form all season and is now adding regular goals to the creativity he has shown in midfield.

Troisi was a member of the Socceroos Asian Cup-winning squad – he scored the extra time winner in the final – and is pressing hard for a recall to Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.

“It was a very good performance by us. The Mariners were in good form and were confident but I thought we took control early and played well,” Muscat said.

“I thought we were very good physically and in the way we maintained our shape and structure, and our mentality was right for this game. When you combine all those things you get a really good performance like this.

“Troisi was very good without the ball as well as with it, and he is now adding that consistency to his game. I think there is still improvement to come from him.”

Victory defender Jason Geria said the players were pleased to have put that lacklustre effort against the Jets behind them.

“Our main focus was improving on our performance last week … this was a very positive [result] going into this weekend.

“We needed Sydney to drop points, and we need to focus on ourselves, it’s a cliche but it’s the truth. Berisha is getting back into scoring goals, which we love,” he said of the team’s talismanic striker, whose Sunday afternoon brace brought his tally to 16 goals for the season after 20 rounds.

Muscat continues to be linked with the vacant job at stricken Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, who are also said to be targeting Craig Moore, his former Socceroo teammate and ex Rangers captain.

Muscat looked to deflect attention from  the speculation on Saturday when he straight-batted inquiries, insisting that he had not been contacted by the Glasgow club.

That did not, however, stop one of Scotland’s  biggest media outlets, the Daily Record, seizing on his comments to suggest that he had yet to rule himself out despite the fact that he was happy in Melbourne.

Geria, put on the spot about his coach’s abilities, was enthusiastic about the role Muscat has had on his career.

“For me he has been brilliant. He has really blossomed in that head coach role.”

Asked if he thought Muscat might go overseas at some point, Geria said: “He has all the qualities,” stressing, however,  that his boss would only go when it was the right time for him.

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

Angelina Jolie cries as she speaks about ‘difficult’ split from Brad Pitt

Angelina Jolie speaking to BBC World News’ Yalda Hakim in Cambodia. Photo: BBCThey went through a messy split and custody battle, but Angelina Jolie seems to be feeling more amicable towards her soon-to-be ex-husband, Brad Pitt.
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Speaking for the first time about their pending divorce to BBC World News’ Yalda Hakim in Cambodia, the actor, 41, was asked if she would like to comment about “an incident” that occurred in her marriage that led to their separation.

Promoting her fourth feature as director, First they killed my Father, she became emotional before responding: “I don’t want to say very much about that, except to say it was a very difficult time and…and we are a family and we will always be a family, and we will get through this time and hopefully be a stronger family for it.”

Pitt, 53, was investigated by the FBI over child abuse allegations involving their son, Maddox, that allegedly happened on a private plane, but he was later cleared.

The pair announced their shock split last September after 12 years together. They were married for two years. Jolie requested full custody, while Pitt requested joint custody of their six children: Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.

When asked how she was coping, the Oscar winner said she was focusing her efforts on their children and hinted their custody battle might be nearing an end.

“Many people find themselves in this situation. My family…we’ve all being through a difficult time,” she started out.

“My focus is my children, our children, and my focus is finding this way through and as I said we are and forever will be a family and so that is my, that is how I am coping.

“I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer.”

When she first wakes in the morning, Jolie said she just wants to “get through the day – it’s been a difficult few months”.

Elaborating further she gave a glimpse into life as a single mother taking care of six children.

“Right now I’m going through a moment when just everybody’s in my room. Two dogs, two hamsters and two children at the moment. It’s wonderful…But usually I just wake up trying to figure out who’s going to get dog out, who’s going to start the pancakes and did anybody brush their teeth,” she laughed again.

In five years’ time, she hopes her children (who will all be in their teens by then) will be away from the glare of the spotlight and enjoying the world.

“In five years’ time I would like to be travelling around the world visiting my children hoping that they’re just happy and doing really interesting things, and I imagine in many different parts of the world, and I’ll be supporting them.

“Everything I do I hope is that I represent something, and I represent the right things to my children, and give them the right sense of what they’re capable of, and the world as it should be seen. Not through the prism of Hollywood or through a certain kind of life, but really take them into the world, where they have a really good sense and become rounded people.”

Early last month, the estranged pair released a joint statement in which they agreed to seal all court documents pertaining to their divorce in order to protect their children.

“The parties and their counsel have signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues. The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification,” the statement read.

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Esperance’s pre-polling opens with confusion

Regular local Liberal volunteers Jo and Jean Starcevich with Nationals volunteers Henry Webb and Colin de Grussa.Liberaland Nationalvolunteerswere told to pack up camp and move back to the street front, after allegedly disturbing local detectives as pre-polling places opened on Monday.
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Regular local Liberal volunteers Jo and Jean Starcevich were handing out how to vote cards at the Esperance Court House’s pre-polling station, and were surprised when a local electoral officer told them and two Nationals volunteersto move on.

According to the Electoral Commission regulation, volunteers atpre-polling stations arerequired to maintain asix-metre boundary from the location where voters cast their ballots.

Ms Starcevich said at previous elections when the polling was held at the Court Housethey were allowed to stand inside the building –maintaining six metres from the ballot box rather than the building itself.

However, according to the volunteer, the local electoralofficer said this wasn’t the case.

Nationals volunteer and upper house candidate for the agricultural region Colin de Grussa saidit seemed each electoralofficerinterpreted rules surrounding localpolling stations differently.

Mr de Grussa said both him and Nationals volunteer Henry Webb had attended a briefing through theElectoral Commission earlier in the year and fully understood the ruling aroundproximity to the polling station.

He also stated thatother than campaign signs and banners for the candidates there was no indication the Court House was a pre-polling location.

The only sign the Electoral Commission had up was small, on the door of the Court House and was put up by Mr de Grussa.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said they understood there were concerns about noise affecting neighbouring tenancies.

“We also understand that campaign workers are still able to hand out ballot material and are doing so,” a spokesperson stated.

Esperance Police senior sergeant Richard Moore said no official move on notices were issuedto local volunteers and declined further comment on the matter.

More than 30 early voting centres are open throughout the state to meet elector demand, which is expected to be high.

A list of locations is available on the Electoral Commission’s website 梧桐夜网elections.wa.gov419论坛or for the Esperance region –located onthe map below.

Postal vote applications can also be lodged directly via the website, with application forms also available at local post offices.

Assistance for electors is available via the elections helpline 13 63 06.

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‘Know where your kids are’: Firebugs light up multiple Illawarra blazes

Hooka CreekFirebugs have lit up multiple sites across the Illawarra, prompting authorities to warnparents:“know where your children are”.
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Much of Berkeley was shrouded in smoke Monday afternoon, as fire burnt throughmore than an acre of scrub near Fred Finch Park, by Hooka Creek.

Fire and Rescue NSW werecalled to the siteabout 1.15pm.

With the fire in difficult-to-reach terrain,firefighters went in on foot and used pumped creek water to extinguish the blaze over several hours.

“We’ve had a lot of rain thelast week, so due to thetracks being too wet, we’re not going to take the risk of bogging a [tank],” Warrawong station officer Jason Harvey told the Mercury.

“Everything is very green in there, hence thefire isstatic and there’sno threat to property–it’s just in an awkward spot for firefighters.”

Though the cause of the blaze remainsunder investigation, reports of children in the area, and repeated previous call-outs leave firefighters in no doubt as to the question of arson.

“We do come into this area quite frequently,” Mr Harvey said. “It has good security, the gates are locked quite regularly, but children on their pushbikes and those walking still manage to get in here and start fires … I’d say weekly.

“During the school holidays, it’s daily. it ties up a lot of resources.

“It comes down to supervision, and knowing where your children are and what they’re doing. That could prevent resources like this from being tied up.”

A Thirroul tanker and a Warrawong pumper attended Monday afternoon’s blaze.

It followed a fire at the bottom of a cliff at Kendalls Beach, Kiama, Monday morning.Homes on Gwinganna Avenue were left briefly exposed before the fire was extinguished.

Another blaze –also believed to be the result of arson – drew firefighters to Robertson Street at Port Kemba for much of the day on Sunday.

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