Jul 22

Laser offers new solution for pet woes

HEALING: Longford Veterinary Clinic’s Dr Martina McPeace uses the new laser treatment on Hugo. Picture: Zona Black
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Pet owners in Northern Tasmania now have easier access to a drug and surgery free treatment.

Longford Veterinary Clinic recently bought a $40,000 laser treatment machine, which the clinic’s Martina McPeace says is the only one of its kind in Northern Tasmania.

Dr McPeace said that in the first two weeks of having the machine, she had already been amazed by its effectiveness.

“I treated a cat with a bladder infection, and after one treatment it was back to normal,” Dr McPeace said.

“It’s really good for cats, because when they’re sore, they don’t want to be held.

“With this, you don’t need to hold them too much, like you would with a needle.”

The non-invasive treatment uses laser light to stimulate circulation and bloodflow beneath the skin.

Dr McPeace said the treatment did not replace conventional vetinerary care, but complemented it.

She said it showed a 30 to 50 per cent acceleration of wound healing,either self-sustained or post-surgery, as well as helping with back pain, inflammations, infections, and soft tissue trauma.

“It’s similar to photosynthesis in plants,” Dr McPeace said.

“The laser stimulates the area of interest, and helps to promote circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients.

“It improves the energy in the area. With that energy it speeds up the healing process.”

It’s a treatment that she was commonplace in the US, but was only just starting to creep into Australia.

Its other benefit is its pricepoint.

“People don’t have $2500 to spend on a surgery that may not work, but let’s give this a go at $37.50 a treatment and see if it helps,” Dr McPeace said.

She added that the recommended number of treatments was four.

“Until the laser arrived, animal owners in the North and North-West were forced to take their animals to Hobart for the treatment, an ordeal for many of the sick animals.”

Dr McPeace was required to undergo training and accreditation in order to practice with the laser.

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Jul 22

Newcastle’s celebrations for new year

NEW YEAR: The Honeysuckle precinct will again play host to Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, with a fireworks display at 9pm capping off the event.HONEYSUCKLE will again play host to Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve celebrations on Saturday night, with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes promising an “exciting” night.
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The city’s December 31st celebrations have become increasingly family focused since midnight fireworks were scrapped in 2013, and this year is no exception.

Listed among the entertainment between Worth Place and Harbour Square are roving performances from the cast of Shrek The Musical Junior,a “Splashdown Water Show” on the harbourbetween6.30pm and 7.30pm, and a “kids play zone” on the Newcastle Museum lawn from 5pm to 8.30pm.

Even the main performers at this year’s event are children, with the “family-friendly entertainment” on show at the Worth Place Park stage including six acts identified as Newcastle’s “future stars of rock”by former Screaming Jets drummer Craig Rosevear in a battle of the bands competition.

Five-piece act Throw Me To The Wolves –aged between 13 and 18 – will headline the night, with other acts playing acrossthree separate stages throughout the night

“The New Year’s Eve crowd at Honeysuckle are really going to enjoy these performances,”Cr Nelmes said.

“I can report that the fine tradition of producing great bands continues in Newcastle and we are thrilled at council to work with Craig Rosevear to promote local talent while putting on a great display of family-friendly music on New Year’s Eve.”

Elsewhere in the Hunter, Maitland’s riverbank will be lit up with a 9pmfireworks display to help farewell 2016and in Port Stephens the D’Albora Marina on the Nelson Bay foreshorewill again host fireworks and entertainment.

But, other than on the television, those still interested in a traditional latefireworks display though will find it tougher.

Bargoed House inSwansea will have two displays at 9pm and midnight, but as part of a private function.

For those travelling by public transport,Newcastle Buses will operateto a Saturday timetable on New Year’s Eve, with extra services between 4pm and 10pm.

Jul 22

Rising summer fire dangers

MELTED: The insides of the Toyota Prado owned by the Carr family after it went up in flames on Thursday afternoon in the heat. Photo: Fire and Rescue 387 Mudgee.Australian summers are always hot, but as it heats up, so too does the chance of fires in houses, cars or the countryside, and fires and dangers have been rampant in the Central West region over the New Year period.
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While many were celebrating the end of 2016 with parties and drinks, the Fire and Rescue crews from the region successfully protected a house under threat on December 31.

The fire occurred just south of Gulgong, where a grass fire led to a shed going up in flames, and Gulgong and Mudgee RFS crews were required to stop the blaze.

Volunteermembers were also able to control and extinguishthe majority of therunning grass fire before it could spread beyond the residence area.

“I truly cannot thank you all enough,” Melissa Thomas said on the Fire and Rescue NSW Station 312 Gulgong Facebook post.

“While dashing to the car with the kids and pets just to get to safety, I thought we were going to lose the house and everything for sure.”

“It’s a timely reminder for everyone to have a fire plan. You only have minutes to think about it, and we had ours in place and I’m so glad.”

Jess and Ryan Carr also found out just how dangerous the heatcan be when their family car, a Toyota Prado, went up in flames on December 29 in Mudgee.

“Right now we are thanking our lucky stars we are all safe and sound,” Ms. Carr commented on Facebook after the incident.

“Definitely wish we had a fire extinguisher with us. A good reminder that if it smells like smoke, it usually is, so get out”

“We had ourtwo little children with us, and another on the way, so once we stopped to check where the smoky smell was coming from and popped the bonnet and saw flames, there was no way we were hanging around near that car.”

No one was harmed in the car fire, with the family evacuating as soon as they smelled smoke.

ABLAZE: The Mortimer Street Mudgee fire before the Fire and Rescue Mudgee services were able to control the blaze. Photo: Fire and Rescue 387 Mudgee.

Later that night, another fire occurred onMortimer Street with the blaze requiring both the pumper and hazmat tankers from Mudgee, Gulgong and the Rural Fire Brigade.

According to reports from the Mudgee service, firefighters were able to contain the fire within the residence and stop the spread to neighbouring buildings.

The house however sustained major structural and smoke damage.

Fire and Rescue Mudgee andGulgong suggest havinga dry powder fire extinguisherin yourcar at all times and making sure you recognise the warning signs.

For house fires, the volunteer services remind residentstocheckfor anyfire hazards around the homeand to thoroughly know your Home Fire Escape Plan.

READY FOR ACTION: The RFS crew ready to protect the countryside and respond to any fire threats that might arise. Photo: Fire and Rescue 312 Gulgong.

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Jul 22

A positive future, according to our youth

The results of a survey of people aged 25 and under returned some rather surprising –and equallynot-so surprising results.
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What the Institute of Public Affairs “Growing Free:Survey of Young Australians” survey did show was a group of pretty level-headed, forward-thinking, socially aware adolescents and young adults who were concerned about their future, how they would afford a home and what they feared most in life.

But what was probably most encouraging was that 75 per centof the 1006 people aged between 16 and 25 from right across the country were very positive about their own future.

Almost 70 per cent said that they expect to have a better standard of living in a decades’ time, while almost 60 per cent believingAustralia has a positive future.

How refreshing is that?

But there were several indicators that perhaps indicated a lack of understanding or general naivety.

More than half of the respondents who were in the workforce said they supported a smaller government, fewer services and lower taxes.

Let’s forget about a smaller government for one second – it would be an interesting case study to learn exactlywhat services they believe Australia could do without, and what other services could potentially be cut with less tax dollars to pay for them.

Almost two-thirds said they would like to start their own business one day –also an encouraging response. Although morethan half had medium to strong feelings against capitalism.

Almost half (49 per cent) said they think the government should have the power to stop someone making offensive comments towards minorities –but then almost 40 per cent said anyone should be allowed to make offensive comments in public.

Many respondents felt strongly about social issues, human rights and climate change. However,more than three-quarters of those surveyedfelt moderately to extremely positive about Conservatism.

When it comes to listing their fears for the future, the top three answers were fairly evenly split between terrorism (28 per cent), climate change (24 per cent) and economic collapse (24 per cent).

That’s hardly a surprisingly result given what most of them are bombarded with across the mainstream media and pop culture.

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Jul 22

What’s on

Tuesday, January 3
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The LEGO models of Mount Panorama-Wahluu at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery are pretty spectacular.So if you’ve got some LEGO nuts at your place, bring them down for a look at the models. The gallery is open standard hours of 10am-5pm Tuesday-Thursday this week and 10am-3pm on Saturday.

Friday, January 6

Nominations are being accepted for Bathurst’s Australia Day awards for the Bathurst Regional community event of the year award and the Bathurst as a destination event of the year award.The events must have been staged in 2016. Winners from each category will receive a $1000 radio package with 2BS/B-Rock to be spent promoting the winner’s 2017 event.

Nominations must be received by council by 4.45pm on Friday, January 6, 2017. Forms are at梧桐夜网bathurst.nsw.gov419论坛 or can be collected from 2BS B-Rock.

Tuesday, January 10

School holiday activity: Kids at Pigs atPigments and Palettes in Russell Street for five to seven-year-olds from 9am-10.30am. Cost: $20. Contact Julie Foxall, 0428 344 035.

Sunday, January 15

Bug day at theAustralian Fossil and Mineral Museum at 224 Howick Street from 10am-noon. Bug, bugs and more bugs, including acreepy crawly live bug display with Travelbugs Mobile Mini-beasts.Kids will be free with a paying adult. Cost: adults $5. There will be kids’ activities all day.

Monday, January 16

School holiday activity: Sunshine and lollypops andpaper mandalas withFiona Howle for seven to 17 years atBathurst Library from 10.30am-12.30pm.Limit:20 spots. Cost:$10 per child.

Youth Drama Project at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centrefrom 10am-4pm from January 16-20. Suitable for 13 to 16 years These workshops will lead into a scripted performance at BMEC in April. This is a free event. Call 6333 6161.

Tuesday, January 17

Champagne book launch atBathurst Regional Art Gallery at 6pm for Two Lives, One Road. A Book of Drawings for the Love of Drawing by Lesley O’Shea andJoe Penn. It’s a free event.

School holiday activity: Totem Sculptures with Fiona atBathurst Regional Art Gallery from 10.30am-12.30pm for six to17 years. Cost: $10 per child. Call 6333 6555.

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Jul 22

The Big Picture competition: Readers’ top travel photos, December 30, 2016

Desite being renowned for the Medina of Fez, a fascinating labyrinth, and its unique cooking tool the Tagine, the quintessential Morocco scene is still a camel train being led by a Berber guide through the mighty Sahara desert. Photo: Adrian WhearYou can now upload your pictures to the competition through our new image uploader, which can be found here.
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Take a look at this week’s best travel photos sent in by readers for our Big Picture competition. Enter your best travel photos to win a $17,000 India river cruise

Traveller is proud to announce the sixth edition of The Big Picture competition for amateur photographers, in association with Fairfax Media’s photo club, Clique, run by the photographic departments of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The overall winner and a partner or friend will travel on a luxury, eight-day APT Spirit of India river cruise for two in a twin Signature suite, courtesy of APT valued at up to $14,390. The prize includes economy return airfares to Kolkata from the winner’s nearest Australian capital city, valued at up to $1500 a person. Trip highlights include a city tour of Kolkata, exploring its colonial heritage, including the bustling Dalhousie Square and St John’s Church, before heading to the nearby Mullik Ghat Flower Market.

The cruise along the lower Ganges includes stops at Kalna, known as the City of Temples, and a guided cycle-rickshaw tour, an excursion to the brass-working village of Matiari and a visit to the former French colony of Chandannagar.

For the full itinerary, click here. The competition runs until February 10, 2017.

HOW TO ENTER

Upload an unpublished image of a special moment from your travels taken in the past two years (at least 1MB and 300dpi in JPEG form).

You also need to tell us, in about 100 words, where and when the image was taken and what made it so memorable. Use the Clique uploader here.

The weekly deadline is noon Monday (AEST) and you can upload a maximum of two entries per week.

The competition closes on February 10, 2017. Click here for full terms and conditions.

IMPROVE YOUR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Traveller’s The Big Picture competition is part of Clique. So join Fairfax’s Clique photography club and we’ll help you become a better photographer — no matter what your skill level.

Clique members can win great prizes every month in the monthly challenge competitions. To join Clique, see smh南京夜网419论坛/clique or theage南京夜网419论坛/clique.

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Traveller’s Big Picture reader travel photo competition sponsors.

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Jul 22

ASX slips in final session as gold miners shine

After a tough few weeks and months, ASX-listed gold miners are enjoying some support in the final days of 2016. Photo: Ryan Stuart Gold price Photo: ASX
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ASX-listed gold miners rallied further on Friday morning after the precious metal notched up its fourth day of gains, its longest winning streak in over three months, but that wasn’t enough to offset losses elsewhere as the sharemarket started its final trading session of the year in the red.

Newcrest Mining advanced 3.7 per cent in early trade, while smaller peers Evolution Mining jumped 7.3 per cent and Northern Star Resources 6 per cent.

Gains in gold miners could only partially offset selling in heavyweight corners of the market such as banking, where ANZ, NAB, Westpac and CBA all dropped by between 0.6 and 0.9 per cent. The big diversified miners such as BHP and Rio Tinto also traded lower by 1.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively, while South32 shed 2 per cent and Fortescue 0.9 per cent as the iron ore price slipped a little on Thursday night to $US80.43/tonne.

With blue-chip names such as Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Macquarie, Telstra and AMP all trading in the red, the S&P/ASX 200 index is down 20 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 5680 points. Trading will close two hours early at 2:10pm, AEDT, on the ASX’s final trading session of the year.

Amid thin holiday trading and a dearth of corporate news, fund manager Hunter Hall International dropped 9 per cent to $2.95 on its return to trade as the company confirmed in a statement to the ASX the resignation of founder and chief executive and investment officer Peter Hall for “personal and family reasons”. Mr Hall will remain for another six months, the company said.

Gold investors finally have something to smile about after a difficult few months for the traditional safehaven asset, which has dropped by around 15 per cent over the past six months, with the bulk of those losses coming since the US election victory of Donald Trump on November 8.

But in recent days the yellow metal has managed to advance 2.6 per cent, adding 1 per cent overnight to last fetch $US1157.70/ounce as the greenback eased. In July it traded as high as $US1366.33/oz, and is still up a generous 9 per cent over 2016 to make it one of the better performing assets for the year despite its reversal of fortunes. The All Ordinaries gold mining index has done spectacularly – climbing by more than 50 per cent this year.

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Jul 22

Letters to the Editor

Passionate: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is passionate about a RepublicRepublic debateWhenever former ALP Prime Minister PJ Keating would find himself in electoral or poll difficulties he would raise the notion of an Australian republic together with changing our flag.
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25 years on and finding himself in electoral and poll difficulties Liberal Prime Minister Turnbull isn’t behaving any different.

Obviously never able to accept the result of the 1999 republican referendum rout we see Liberal Malcolm Turnbull and Labor Bill Shorten along with republican movement’s Peter Fitzsimons calling for “bi-partisanship” on this issue to force a republic onto the people of Australia as if the constitutional fix would be the panacea to our political problems.

Bi-partisanship has another meaning when used by the major parties, it means collusion.

The republic and the associated changes would be used by the major parties, big business and the corporate multi-nationals to impose their will upon the Australian people as if they don’t already have enough influence on political outcomes in Australia.

Two words the existing two-party preferred political paradigm hates are transparency and accountability.

The major parties do their utmost to deny Australians the opportunity to scrutinise them hence Freedom of Information legislation we are subjected to and decisions are made cabinet or commercial in confidence.

This is a way the major parties deny us transparency and accountability yet they are keen to impose that scrutiny on average Australians via the retention of your private information – metadata in accordance with the Governments Data Retention legislation which will eventually be made available to groups such as the insurance industry.The major parties won’t ban political donations and the industries that pay the major parties get what they want at our expense.

Nothing tweaks the interest of the major parties more than three big lobbyist groups – the real estate industry, insurance and banks and we are subject to their whims via legislation.It is no wonder the government avoids calls for a Royal Commission into the banking industry, the former preferring self-regulation over the benefits of the disinfecting qualities of sunlight.

Disenchanted Australian voters have had to carry the burden of economic recovery as evidence by the changes to pensions, family payments and cuts to Medicare, while big business, corporate multi-nationals and wealthy proceed with their major party bestowed privileges such as a corporation earning more than $100 million and not paying a dollar of tax to our ATO.

Former Prime Minister RJL Hawke has called on Australians to dump State governments to fix our problems, but, I believe any former or current politicians from the major parties are responsible for the mess we are in and so, their views can be treated with scepticism and the derision they deserve.

The problem for Australia is population growth via a policy of unrestricted migration, asset sales and disposals of monopoly assets as seen in NSW and other State’s, frequently sold to the political donors of major parties and probably the highest debt on Earth per capita.The major parties collude to sell Australia from underneath the next generation citing the benefits of foreign investment.

Later, those politicians get a job serving on the board of the foreign company or country they sold us out to.If the major parties are supposed to have the answers to deal with our problems, I would like the question rephrased because no answer is going to be found amongst the current mob leading this country!

Six years of ineptitude is enough! Yet, the major parties still wonder about the rise of the minor parties and independents. The only answer of the major parties to that threat is to thwart their rise at the ballot box via compulsory preferential voting and other voting tricks.

Mark Rodda

Tamworth

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Jul 22

‘Des for dollars’ raises concern

Taxi industry representatives have joined Justine Keay in calling for people not to get in the car with a ‘Des for Dollars’ driver due to public safety concerns.
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‘Desing for Dollars’ is when someone advertises their availability –usually on social media – to taxi a passenger.

It has been compared to Uber –but without regulations and checks.

Burnie taxi driver Phil Griffiths said there was a difference between people being sensible and ‘Desing for Dollars’.

”We’ve got no problems if a friend wants to pick up a friend and they give them some petrol money,” he said.

“The ‘Des for the Dollars’ issueis when people go out on social media to advertise and takefares from random people.”

Mr Griffiths said there were reports some people who were driving people around made up to $300 in one night.

“The impact on our business there is huge,” he added.

“As taxi drivers get paid commission on what fares they do –there’s your night’s pay gone.”

Taxi Combined general manager Maree Underwood had heard concerning stories about people who used ‘Des for Dollars’ drivers.

She said a few weeks ago one of her taxi drivers picked-up a young girl at 3am on Formby Road.

“He [the taxi driver] said to her this is a bit of an unusual place to be picking you up and she said I was in with a ‘Des driver’ and they got pulled over by the police and he didn’t have a driver’s licence,” Mrs Underwood said.

“When it’s a total stranger who’s going to take you home you don’t know if they’ve got a licence, if their car’s registered, it’s a big, big problem.”

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay slammed the “completely unregulated” ‘Des for Dollars’ industry.

“The biggest concern is the actualpublic safety issue around it and the impact it has on the taxi industry and the impact it has on jobs and on people doing the right thing in a regulated industry earning money for their families,” she said.

Mrs Keay said the unregulated industry also raised the issue of potential tax evasion if people were not declaring the income or using it as a second income stream.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a huge impact on the federal budget but certainly it’s people doing the wrong thing,” she said.

Mr Griffiths said ‘Desing for Dollars’ was different to Uber.

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Jul 22

Hunter Hall fields takeover offers after founder Peter Hall’s shock resignation

Peter Hall surprised the market this week resigning as chief investment officer at the firm that bears his name. Photo: Nic WalkerHard on the heels of founder Peter Hall’s sudden decision to quit as chief investment officer, investment firm Hunter Hall is fielding takeover offers from other fund management companies.
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Hunter Hall Investments, which is 44 per cent owned by Mr Hall, manages several listed and unlisted funds, including Hunter Hall Global Value, with more than $1 billion in assets under management.

Trading in its shares had been halted since December 28, following Mr Hall’s surprise decision to quit as the firm’s top stock picker, although he will continue as the chief executive.

When trading resumed on Friday, the prospect of a potential sale of the firm helped stem the extent of its share price decline, with the company’s shares down 4.6 per cent at $3.10 in afternoon trading. For its Global Value Fund, the shares eased 3 per cent to $1.21.5c, putting them at a slight discount to the net value of its assets of $1.23.99c, and prompting the firm to approve a share buyback of as much as 10 per cent of its stock to help put a floor under the shares.

In the wake of Mr Hall’s sudden resignation as chief investment officer, there have been several approaches to buy all or part of the company’s shares, Hunter Hall said. The statement comes amid concerns that the loss of Mr Hall could undermine confidence in the outlook for its funds, prompting investors to take their money elsewhere.

Among the interest parties for the company “are significant players in the investment management business with experience managing Australian and global funds,” the company explained. “The board is currently assessing all options to maximise value for shareholders and ensure the continued stewardship of our funds under management.”

The status of any negotiations that may be underway is unclear at this point.

After Mr Hall’s departure was announced, investment research firm Morningstar placed its rating of the group’s funds under review, citing the “very significant key man risk”.

“While portfolio management at Hunter Hall was not under the sole responsibility of Peter Hall, he remained a very significant key man risk,” Morningstar told clients on Wednesday. “We view his departure as a material change to the business and a risk for fund performance.”

The group’s funds have adopted a “fundamental value-based contrarian investment philosophy, with an ethical tilt”, Morningstar told clients.

In the wake of the global financial crisis, some of the groups funds suffered a sustained period of underperformance with a loss of funds under management as well as the loss of some key fund managers.

“While Hunter Hall is improving it still needs an extended period of stability and consistency, in the near term,” Morningstar said.

Mr Hall will continue as chief investment officer until the end of his six-month notice period in June unless agreed otherwise, the board said in its statement. It said it would update the market on the sale negotiations when it has more information.

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