Monthly Archives: May 2019

Cherry-Evans dreams of succeeding Cronk

Daly Cherry-Evans is ready to try to walk in the footsteps of Cooper Cronk.As Daly Cherry-Evans gets set to renew his club rivalry with Cooper Cronk, he’s already dreaming of inheriting his Queensland Origin No.7 jersey.
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Manly halfback Cherry-Evans’ head-to-head battle with Cronk shapes as a mouth-watering subplot to Saturday’s trial against the Sydney Roosters at Gosford on the NSW central coast.

Not only will Cronk be turning out for his side for the first time, Cherry-Evans will have a chance out-point the man he hopes to succeed as the Maroons and Kangaroos playmaker.

While a ball has yet to be kicked in anger this NRL season, and Origin is still four months away, Cherry-Evans is making his representative ambitions known after being controversially overlooked in 2017.

“I want to play for Queensland again,” Cherry-Evans said.

“Hopefully I can improve on my season last year, I felt like last year was a great step towards trying to gain a spot in that side.

“If I can improve again on last season, I’m definitely putting myself in contention.

“I’m still super ambitious to get back there.”

With Cronk and Johnathan Thurston both retiring from representative football, there’s a vacuum in the Maroons’ halves – one which Cherry-Evans wants to fill.

The Sea Eagles 2011 premiership winner was snubbed by coach Kevin Walters for last year’s series decider, instead picking Melbourne’s Cameron Munster at five-eighth and Ben Hunt to fill the bench utility spot.

Munster and North Queensland’s Michael Morgan seem to have the inside running for the 2018 series, however Cherry-Evans isn’t giving up without a fight.

Asked if he revelled in facing off against Cronk, Cherry-Evans said: “I definitely indulge in those thoughts during the season. But not for a trial.”

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Paralysed by choice: on tofu and aged care

I do the grocery shopping in our family.It’s not easy: sometimes I can be found in a supermarket aisle confronted by the sheer choice in front of me.
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For example, take tofu (for my daughter).Which tofu? Organic?Silky?Chilli, teriyaki or plain? I am paralysed by choice, a situation often resolved by taking home different varieties.

Being paralysed by choice isn’t just a situation confronting fathers shopping for tofu. It also seems to be the plight of many older ns who are needing home care.

This February marks 12 months since the federal government gave older ns the choice of provider and complete portability of their government-subsidised “package”of care.

The philosophy is a great one:let older consumers choose what services they need and from whom.Let them change providers if they are not happy.The government has responded to the growing demand for home care by releasing 6000 more “higher care” packages.

And, yet, the queue of people waiting for home care is growing (more than 100,000 in September 2017).

Butironically, the number of ns actually receiving home care packagesdeclined in the first months of the new My Aged Care system.

Hang on:more supply but longer queues and fewer people receiving care!How?

The answer lies in the tyranny of choice:older ns are being assessed for home care in record numbers, but left on their own to choose where and how to access that care.

That might be great for the well-educated and those who can self-advocate. But pity the older ns living on their own who have dementia!They receive a snail mailletter telling them they have 56 days to decide on a provider. Best of luck and have a nice day.

Our research shows almost half of those who had been allocated a home care packagewhom we contacted had not decided on a provider. Why?

Were they merely carefully weighing up their options, not realising that if they didn’t choose within 56 days they would need to re-join the queue?

Barry Schwartz, in The Paradox of Choice, found while we think that more choice is going to produce greater well-being, often the opposite occurs. Rather, confronted by an array of options, consumers decide not to decide.

This resonates with UK research which found that “the choice discourse”, while resonating with contemporary neo-liberal thinking, often became decreasingly appropriate as people’s agency and capacity declined.

So, what should we do for the ever-growing queue of people who have been allocated a home care packagebut, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to decide on a provider?

Some consumer groups advocate that there should be “navigators”to help older ns get through the system. A good idea, but with 100,000 people in the queue these navigators will be quickly overwhelmed.

A simpler solution is how our superannuation system works:we are free to choose ourprovider but, if we don’t we have a fund allocated by our employer.Moreover, we can change funds at any time.

The same can work for older ns allocated a home care package. Confident and capable consumers can make their own choice.However, those who have failed to elect a provider within eight weeks would have their need for service provision referred to all accredited providers in the consumer’s location.

If consumers are unhappy with their initial provider they can always change providers.

After all, providing people with the home care they need shouldn’t be as hard as shopping for a daughter’s tofu.

Dr Stephen Judd is chief executive ofHammondCare, an independent Christian charity specialising in health and aged care.

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Letters to the editor Tuesday February 20 2018

BATTLEGROUND: Reader John Ure encourages people to visit The Drip in Goulburn River National Park where police ‘monitored’ a recent tour of the Upper Hunter.ITis indeed very disturbing that police were tasked with monitoring a bus tour to The Drip gorge earlier this month (“Questions for NSW government after police ‘monitor’ tour bus”, Herald 19/2). However I am willing to guarantee that this would not have been a decision by the local police commander, an observation supported by the presence of a highway patrol and a rescue squad vehicle in the photograph.I don’t believe the local commander would have authority to deploy the rescue squad.
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In my view this whole thing is a further indication of the steps the NSW government will take to discredit anybody opposed to coal mining and, while the government cannot direct police operational deployment, the relevant minister could “request” that the police take an interest in this harmless group. After all, it is now apparently government policy to lock up anybody who gets in the way of mining.

A few years ago I wrote a piece for the Herald extolling the beauty and grandeur of The Drip gorge.I again urge people to go up there, walk through this wonderful piece of nature, and make up their own minds about its value.Just don’t announce your intention online, oryou might inadvertently take more police away from their real work.

John Ure,Mount HuttonCART IS BEFORE THE HORSEAS a former hotelier,I find it hard to understand why the government and the police refuse to admit the solution to alcohol-related violence.In my view it’s certainlynot the current solution of punishing the vast majority of responsible people that go out and enjoy themselves, regardless of what time a venue closes, without causing trouble. It’s always the few, usually drug-affected, imbeciles that cause the trouble.

I thinkthe old system of barring offenders from all liquor and sporting outlets,including bottle shops, by law is the only way. Sensible penalties like six months for the first offence, a year for the second, five years third and then life, coupled with a progressive rate of fines for repeat offenders,makes the perpetrators pay the penalty for their own actions. The current laws are the same as fining every Holdencar owner for some idiot that gets caught speeding in one, or finingthe car dealer if you get caught.

Brian Crooks,SconeSILOS DO MORE THANSTOREWHILEspending time on the Honeysuckle foreshore I often enjoy the view of our industrial harbour, watching the incredible sight of enormous freight ships coming and going, while also thinking what a terrible eyesore the associated industry facilities areand how much better it would be without them. RecentlyI came across a project in regional Victoria, the Silo Art Trail.The project celebrates the rich history of the region and its small towns through an outdoor gallery of murals painted on old agricultural silos. This made me think, why couldn’t we have this in Newcastle? Instead of shaming the industry that is a key driver in our economy for its ugliness, why not embrace it with a similar project and make it something the whole city can enjoy byshowcasing local artists and attracting broad attention?

What a perfect canvas this could be, in a prominent location andvisible to all users of the city. It would be at the doorstep of arriving cruise ships, with the working harbour on one side and the emergingCBD on the other. Better yet, the company that partnered with the artists in Victoria is the same one that owns the silos in Carrington.

Dylan Mitchell,ValentineREFLECTIONS ON THECREEKREADING Scott Bevan’s special feature (“Flowing back to Throsby Creek”, Weekender 17/2)made me very proud on at least three levels.

The first was to remember the utter mess the creek was in when I spent my early undergraduate years nearby at the eminently forgettable Tighes Hill campus, as against what the creek is now.

Second was how wonderful it is to live in an area such as we do (I mean our beautiful twin cities, beaches and lake).Five years overseas taught me a lot about appreciating the beauty of our home.

And thirdly, I realised again how fortunate I am to belong to a club (The Gerund Club) which has Mr Bevan as its patron. That is both a privilege and an honour.

Donald Matthews,Fennell BayHIT BRAKES ON FUEL PRICESHAVINGworked for a large fuel wholesaler and retailer, I know that fuel wholesale prices increase by one or twocents at a time, not the 10, 20 or 30 cents we are seeing now.

The government cannot control what a free enterprise private company charges for a product, but I feel that they could legislate that the maximum increase cannot exceed fivecents in a 24-hour period.

This would allow the unsuspecting motorist to see an increase coming and fill up, as well asrulingout the shock increases. As decreases are in one or twocent increments, I believethis would be fair.

But will the state government do this? A $5 increase pertank equals50 centsmore GST and so on.It may be that the great state of Sydney is in need of more roads and sporting stadiums, so they need the extra GST generated?

Scott Sanders,TeralbaTHE WRONG HILL TO FIGHT ONIF people find the Sydney Football Stadium and the Olympic Stadium uncomfortable, it’s only for threeor fourhours maybe every threeweeks. If sports fans can’t hack that, then they aren’t real sports fans.

In days gone by people spent hoursshoulder to shoulder on barren hills. The atmosphere was great. If someone proposed the demolition of the SCG Members’ Stand because it looks old and outdated, they would be howled down!

It seems ourgovernment wants to leave a legacy. Demolishing and rebuilding two perfectly good venues rarely filled to capacity is not the way to do it. If they really do return a billion dollars each per annum, spend the money where it’s really needed. Common sense is really lacking on this issue.

Lee Craddock,Warners BayWE’RE STILL BANGING ONEXTREMELY interesting article by Phillip O’Neill (“Hearing not the only thing lost in the urban din”,Herald 19/2). It started me thinking of the excessive noise produced by many diverse machines, especially in the building industry. You would think that with new inventions, modern research and new digital technology, there would beat leastsome reduction in the huge noise produced by many types of machine.

Elaine Street,Merewether

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Qld cyberbully task force announced

Queensland has set up an anti cyber bullying task force following the death of teen Dolly Everett.Queensland’s newly established anti cyber-bullying task force has six months to report back with recommendations to tackle the issue, highlighted last month by the death of teenager Dolly Everett.
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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pushed to address the issue after the 14-year-old, who had been the face of an ad campaign for Akubra hats, took her own life after being bullied online.

The 14-member task force, announced on Monday, includes child psychologists, educators and academics, to be headed by journalist and author Madonna King.

Ms King said the task force would conduct community consultations before making its recommendations by the end of August.

“We’re hoping that the solution will come from the community, the parents we talk to, the kids we talk to, the community organisations, sporting organisations,” she told reporters.

Following the death of Dolly, a Northern Territory teen who was attending a Queensland boarding school, Ms Palaszczuk promised her government would work to put the search for answers on the national agenda.

State cabinet also met with the federal e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant on Monday, pledging to work with her office on the issue.

Ms Palaszczuk said it had been a productive meeting and they were urging the national e-commissioner to establish a “presence” in Queensland.

“What the national e-commissioner can do is actually impose fines of up to $18,000 a day on those social media areas such as Twitter or Facebook,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

Labor government MP and former high school principal Corrine McMillan will sit on the taskforce and a spot has been left open for an opposition MP.

The premier insists the body should be bipartisan and LNP spokeswoman Ros Bates reiterated the opposition’s commitment to supporting the process.

“As a mother of three children who all experienced bullying at some stage in their teenage years I am wholeheartedly in support, as are the LNP,” Ms Bates told reporters.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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