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    Boy, 5, dies hours after being sent home from Sydney hospital


    2019 - 09.27

    A five-year-old boy has died less than 10 hours after being sent home from a Sydney emergency department.
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    The boy, from Wahroonga, had complained of a sore stomach on Wednesday night and ate very little before going to bed, The North Shore Times first reported.

    He woke up several times during the night in pain, his parents told police, before they took him to Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital with stomach pain on Thursday morning.

    After four hours at the hospital, the boy reportedly passed a stool and felt a little better, before he was sent home from the hospital about 7am. Doctors reportedly told his parents to monitor him.

    But the boy deteriorated rapidly and he was rushed to Sydney Adventist Hospital at 2.15pm, police confirmed. He died two hours later.

    NSW Police established a crime scene at the family’s home, but have now deemed the death not suspicious.

    The case has been referred to the coroner.

    A corporate communications officer said North Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD)could not comment while the case was before the coroner.

    NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has asked for a full report from the NSLHD about the boy’s death.

    “I can’t imagine how his family are feeling and I express my deepest sympathy to them,” Mr Hazzard said.

    “In addition to the review that the Local Health District and hospital will undertake, I anticipate that the circumstances will be investigated by the Coroner.”

    On Tuesday Labor health spokesperson Walt Secord called for an independent investigation into the resourcing of Hornsby Hospital and a proposed upgrade.

    “This is heartbreaking. It will be devastating and every parent’s nightmare. Put simply, this is a tragedy,” Mr Secord said.

    “Imagine going home after seeking medical attention and then it seems to go all wrong.

    “Hornsby Hospital was under enormous pressure and had more than 40,000 patients go through its emergency department every year,” he said.

    “Hornsby Hospital lurches from crisis to crisis. Doctors, nurses and allied health workers say they are working with one arm tied behind their backs due to the lack of the much-needed upgrade.”

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    ‘I maxed out my credit with $3500 of homewares in a manic episode’


    2019 - 09.27

    Melbourne street artist Akemi Ito* once maxed out a credit card in a single day buying $3500 of homewares online.
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    “Back then I could get credit cards,” he says of the time in the late 1990s. “Now my credit history is so appalling I can’t get credit cards.”

    As someone living with bipolar, the 39 year-old’s spending spree arose out of a manic episode. More recently, his manic episodes have led him down the path of borrowing from pay-day lenders charging a monthly interest rate of 34 per cent.

    His manic period might last about three months and is often followed by about five months of depression. While he’s reached championship levels in archery; put his electronics skills to work at Siemens; and initiated pop-up shows of his art in his life, it’s difficult to maintain regular employment. He now lives on a disability support pension.

    “At present I’ve managed to actually save a little money, which is pretty impressive, but I’m well aware that when the next manic phase starts that it will probably disappear fairly quickly and there’s not a lot I can do to stop it,” he says.

    As his experiences show, mental health challenges can make it difficult to manage money.

    SANE Australia psychiatrist and board director Dr Mark Cross says people might also give away their possessions during a manic episode. “I’ve got a couple of patients who in the past have saved and got stuff like laptops and then they just give them away from a sense of largesse and feeling fantastic.”

    That can have knock-on effects for those closest to them, in particular a spouse or partner.

    “It’s a very stressful time because they’ve got joint accounts or they come home to find that their possessions have been given away or they are getting letters weeks later saying their credit cards have been maxed-out or your money is being spent on hire purchase,” says Cross.

    Recurring depression can also impact someone’s ability to handle their financial affairs. Dr Stephen Carbone, research and evaluation leader, Beyond Blue, explains the low mood and loss of interest in usual activities associated with depression are usually accompanied by changes in thinking that make it harder to problem solve or tackle problems: “You often feel your concentration, your focus, your memory, your ability to do those higher-level tasks can be disrupted and those things are important in money management.”

    With one in four Australians expected to face a mental health issue in their lifetime, such challenges are not just experienced by a minority.

    In Britain, the not-for-profit Money and Mental Health Policy Institute this year shed further light on the impact on people’s money management skills based on an extensive review of peer-reviewed academic journal articles. For instance, it found someone with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder might struggle with short-term memory making it hard to remember PINs or the details of a conversation with a financial institution. Someone with borderline personality disorder or psychosis can find it difficult to compare options when selecting financial products.

    It has found people suffering from mental illness often give their PINs to carers placing their finances at potential risk. So it is advocating banks allow carers’ read-only access to accounts; notifications of specific activity on accounts; and authority to make certain decisions on some account transactions or decisions.

    Where people experience recurring mental illness it helps to weather-proof finances.

    “You can start taking more control,” says Cross. For those with bipolar this might take the form of an advance directive that puts in place a process or protocol that is triggered if you begin making erratic withdrawals or spending. “Then the person is protected and the family is protected as well.”

    In one case, he says, someone who is self-employed has agreed not to handle large contracts at that time.

    Technology can lend a helping hand too. This month SANE Australia began a three-month non-clinical trial of an app designed to detect the early onset of mania in 306 people living with bipolar. SANE Australia chief executive Jack Heath explains it passively monitors the way the individual uses their devices and alerts both the individual and, with their consent, a nominated loved one or mental health professional if it detects heightened activity that might be consistent with the onset of a period of mania.

    Carbone advises people experiencing depression to defer major decisions such as changing jobs or making substantial purchases.

    Automating bill payment might lighten the load when someone is prone to experiencing depression, as can being willing to ask a trusted family member or friend for practical help, he says. Seeking the advice of an accredited financial counsellor to plan a budget and tackle any accumulated debt can be another way to be better prepared. “A lot of utility companies and others can make arrangements for people who are experiencing financial distress because of a health condition, including a mental health condition,” he says.

    While income protection insurance could be seen as a way to safeguard earnings capacity, it might not provide the desired safety net. “Some insurance companies make it difficult for people with a history of mental health conditions to get adequate cover,” says Carbone. “They might either impose a higher premium for someone who has got a pre-existing mental health condition. They might put in some exclusions against that condition; they might do both or they might just reject the application altogether.”

    People with significant mental health difficulties might voluntarily place their financial affairs in the hands of the public trustee or guardian or have such arrangements imposed on them, says Carbone. However, he says, some of these simple steps can help prevent the need for such action: “You don’t want to get to that situation where you’re not ultimately going to be in charge of your own affairs…”

    * Akemi Ito is his street artist name. We’ve used this rather than his legal name by request.

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    What investors can learn from Australia’s sovereign wealth fund


    2019 - 09.27

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 16: Peter Costello, Chairman of the Australian Future Fund is seen speaking at the Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) National Conference at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne on May 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Peter CostelloAustralia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, has an enviable investment performance.
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    The fund, seeded from the sale of Telstra and government surpluses more than a decade ago, has produced an average annual compound return over that time of 7.9 per cent.

    By contrast, the balanced investment options – the options that most workers have their super with – returned less than 6 per cent.

    Though it might not seem that much, a difference of almost 2 percentage points is a big deal.

    One percentage point less in fees now could mean up to 20 per cent more in the super balance over 30 years, all other things being equal.

    That’s why I was interested to hear Peter Costello, the chairman of the Future Fund, say the fund could possibly start managing money on behalf of super funds.

    To be clear, Costello was talking about the possibility of managing a portion of a super fund’s money, not becoming a super fund itself.

    The Future Fund was established by the government to manage the money that will be used to pay for the unfunded pension liabilities of Commonwealth public servants. It will not have to pay out any money for at least another 10 years.

    Super funds have contributions into their funds, as well as withdrawals as members goes into retirement. Not having to manage flows into and out of the Future Fund allows it to take more risks and earn higher returns than super funds.

    But investors, and particularly those running their own super funds who still have many years before retirement, can get a few tips on asset allocation from the Future Fund.

    The first thing to notice is that the Future Fund holds about 20 per cent of its money in cash.

    That’s partly because of worries that once interest rates around the world start rising, asset prices are likely to fall.

    As the fund is taking quite a bit of risk with the rest of its portfolio, it has the cash component as a counter-balance.

    Although the Future Fund has 28 per cent of its money in shares, of that only 6 per cent is in Australian shares. The rest is in shares listed on overseas developed markets and emerging markets.

    The Future Fund has about 12 per cent in private equity, which can include risky start-ups, and 15 per cent in “alternative” assets – which are other than traditional assets.

    A DIY fund that is in the early part of the accumulation stage is like the Future Fund; there will likely be no drawdowns for years.

    Of course, it depends on the trustees’ tolerance for risk and expectations of retirement, but maybe they could be taking a bit more risk and enjoying returns closer to those earned by the Future Fund.

    It’s worth remembering that members of super funds don’t have to stay with their funds’ balanced options, they can invest in their funds’ single-sector options or combinations of them.

    Twitter: @jcollett_money

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    Consider pension hit before giving money to family


    2019 - 09.27

    My father is 93. He owns his home, worth $600,000, plus he has about $100,000 in cash and shares. He is considering giving one of his children, my brother, $50,000. Would this have any effect on his pension?
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    Once the gift was made $10,000 would cease to exist for Centrelink purposes, and the remaining $40,000 would be subject to the deprivation rules for the next five years and be subject to deeming. However, he should be receiving the full pension now because its assets are well under the threshold – therefore the gift should have no effect on his pension.

    There seems to be a difference between industry super funds and commercial ones in their charges for transferring, to an accumulation account, any excess over the $1.6 million pension cap. I have discovered that UniSuper will transfer such an excess to matching investment funds without additional charge. On the other hand, Colonial First State advises it will impose “buy/sell” spread fees of up 0.65 per cent of the amounts being transferred.

    Furthermore, neither fund offers facilities for nominating automatic monthly or other regular payments out of accumulation accounts to correspond with the pension payments. A separate request for payment must be made for each payment – accumulation accounts are for saving for a pension they say!

    You are correct that UniSuper does not apply buy/sell or any other transaction fees in this situation and does not offer automatic payments from an accumulation account. However, Colonial First State advises there are no buy/sell applied on those transfers, and regular monthly transfers can be set up. It may be worthwhile asking the person who supplied the information how they came by it.

    We have had an investment property since 1992 – purchase price $125,000 which will obviously attract capital gains tax when sold. Current market value is $690,000.

    I have no reason to sell it at the moment but will offload it closer to my 65th birthday, thereby depositing the net proceeds into super. Are there any benefits or reasons to sell earlier and are there any ways to reduce CGT in retirement?

    Just keep in mind that you cannot make after-tax contributions once your balance is $1.6 million in super – and deductible contributions are limited to $25,000 a person a year, and are subject to 15 per cent contributions tax.

    You can certainly reduce the impact of capital gains tax by making deductible contributions up to the $25,000 limit – but keep in mind that it includes employer contributions. Therefore, it makes sense to wait until you are not working if you believe you can benefit from this strategy.

    By 2023 you may be able to make five years’ worth of contributions, that is $125,000 less any contributions made in the previous five years. From July 2018, anyone with a superannuation balance of less than $500,000 will be able to access their unused concessional contributions caps to make additional concessional contributions, to be known as catch-up contributions. Remember only unused amounts accrued from July 2018 will count, and amounts carried forward that have not been used after five years will expire.

    Currently I own shares outright and have a home loan. It’s just occurred to me that I’d be better off if the equity in the shares was against the house (owner occupied), and the shares were treated as an investment, with interest tax deductible. Is it possible to refinance the shares with an investment loan to achieve this?

    If not, what about setting up finance so that future dividends are banked in the offset, with an equivalent amount effectively reinvested, but financed through the investment loan? Also, any new share purchases would be financed through the loan.

    For the interest on a loan to be tax deductible the purpose of that loan must be to buy income producing assets. Therefore, refinancing an unencumbered share portfolio would not qualify. One option is to sell the shares, pay the proceeds off the non-deductible home loan, and then borrow back to buy more shares. The only drawback with this strategy is possible capital gains tax. You could certainly bank all future dividends into the offset account, or the loan itself, and then borrow back for more shares. Just make sure you keep the investment loan strictly separate from the housing loan.

    I’m 40 years old and seriously thinking about a career change, what advice would you give to someone my age looking at moving into financial planning?

    There is a shortage of people in the financial planning industry and the services of financial planners will be increasingly needed as the population ages and the Baby Boomers retire. It is a wonderful industry and the best way to start is to get any sort of a job with a respected financial planning organisation. You could start as a client service officer, dealing with client queries, and then move to para-planning and finally advising. The company will recommend what study is required.

    Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: [email protected]苏州美甲美容学校419论坛.

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    Caps trio hope golden sparkle continues in WNBL season


    2019 - 09.27

    (from left) University of Canberra Capitals?????? players Keely Froling, Abbey Wehrung and Lauren Scherf have returned home after helping the Emerging Opals win gold at the World University Games in Taipei. Photo by Karleen Minney.A trio of Canberra Capitals rising stars hope a taste of international success can help propel them towards their goal of playing for the Australian Opals.
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    But junior teammates Abbey Wehrung, Lauren Scherf and Keely Froling will put WNBL domination first as they set their sights ending Canberra’s seven-year finals drought this season.

    A new-look Capitals roster took the first steps on their WNBL mission when they returned to training on Monday night.

    Wehrung, Scherf and Froling added a golden sparkle to the first session of the season after helping Australia win gold at the world university games in Taipei last week.

    It was the first step to their hopes of playing for the Opals in the coming years and the WNBL will give them a perfect opportunity to launch their bid for national selection.

    The Capitals have five players who are 21 years old or younger, and Wehrung, Scherf and Froling have been playing together since joining forces for the Australian under-17s team four years ago.

    “Any time you play for Australia is a step towards [the Opals], that’s always the main goal,” Scherf said.

    “Being young has its advantages. We [the Capitals] may not have much experience, but we’re young, energetic and love to play basketball.

    “Having fast guards and being able to work off each other’s energy is really going to rub off on the team.”

    Wehrung and Froling are University of Canberra students, while Scherf has just moved to the capital after starting her career in Melbourne.

    Capitals coach Paul Goriss will lean on their international experience and talent to help Canberra force its way back into championship contention for the first time since 2011.

    Wehrung had a breakout season last year, but her campaign was cut short by a cruel ankle injury.

    The 21-year-old guard will work with seven-time championship winner Nat Hurst to take her game to a new level this season.

    “Coming off my injury, it was nice to know my body can get through [playing] again and I played a fair bit [at the world university games],” Wehrung said.

    “Gold medals are pretty rare … so I think we’re going to bring a lot of confidence back after the tournament.

    “I felt pretty rusty in my first few games back but I think I got back into it pretty quickly. I’ve set a few goals, but it’s a process, I’ll take my role as it comes but I will try to lead.”

    The Capitals will play their first pre-season match against the Fujitsu Red Wave on September 15 before setting their sights on a clash against the Bendigo Spirit at the National Convention Centre on October 6.

    United States recruits Mistie Bass and Jordan Hooper are expected to arrive in Canberra in the coming weeks to bolster the squad, while former captain Marianna Tolo is training with the team before starting her stint in Europe.

    Froling enjoyed an impressive SEABL season with the Capitals Academy, and is hoping that form transfers to her push for more WNBL game time.

    “It was a massive confidence booster knowing you can play in that sort of environment at the [world university games],” Froling said.

    “Even in the lead up to the season, it helped getting some games under my belt. I think we’re going to get things together pretty quickly with the Capitals, it’s a good group.

    “I’ve been working really hard in the off-season, so hopefully I can get some more minutes this year and just play my game.”

    CANBERRA CAPITALS WNBL DRAW

    October 6: Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

    October 8: Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at National Convention Centre, 3pm

    October 13: Townsville Fire v Capitals at Townsville, 7pm.

    October 15: Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

    October 22: Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

    October 25: Adelaide Lightning v Capitals at Adelaide, 7pm.

    October 27: Capitals v Townsville Fire at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

    November 2: Sydney Flames v Capitals at Sydney, 7pm.

    November 4: Capitals v Sydney Flames at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

    November 11: Perth Lynx v Capitals at Perth, 9.30pm.

    November 18: Melbourne Boomers v Capitals at Melbourne, 3pm.

    November 25: Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at Melbourne, 5pm.

    November 30: Perth Lynx v Capitals at Perth, 9.30pm.

    December 2: Melbourne Boomers v Capitals at Melbourne, 7.30pm.

    December 7: Capitals v Sydney Flames at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

    December 9: Dandenong Rangers v Capitals at Dandenong, 7pm.

    December 14: Bendigo Spirit v Capitals at Bendigo, 7pm.

    December 17: Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

    December 21: Capitals v Townsville at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

    December 23: Dandenong Rangers v Capitals at Dandenong, 6.30pm.

    December 29: Capitals v Perth Lynx at National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

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    Audit necessary to find the funding fair go


    2019 - 09.27

    AUSTRALIA is supposed to be the land of the fair go.
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    We’re supposed to be the nation that values, above all else, the idea that we’re mates, we’re equal, and when it comes to sharing our communal wealth around, fairness is the foundation principle on which that happens.

    Which is why the Federal Government’s $940 million community development grants program and the distribution of funds to communities across the country does not stand up well to scrutiny.

    A search of the 538 funded projects that appear on a list administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development shows that rather than being a nation of equals, we’re more a nation of winners and losers. The winners are marginal seats where the Coalition campaigned hard for votes at elections in 2013 and 2016.

    The losers are electorates like Hunter, Shortland and Newcastle, where Labor candidates were expected to win and the Coalition didn’t put much effort into election campaign promises.

    There is no other way of looking at the allocation of community development grants to neighbouring regions like the Hunter and the Central Coast since 2014.

    The largest grant to the Hunter is $110,000. The total amount allocated to the region in the past three years is $305,000.

    The Central Coast, on the other hand, where the Coalition campaigned very hard for the marginal seats of Dobell and Robertson in 2013 and 2016, received more than $12 million over the same period.

    So far this year, in the wake of election promises made in 2016 before the Federal election the Coalition barely won,the Central Coast has seen work start on nearly $4 million in projects. The Hunter has seen two projects funded, for $160,000 –a skate park and sports facilities.

    Labor’s regional spokesperson Stephen Jones has asked Australian Auditor-General Grant Hehir to audit the program, based on similar funding imbalances in seats across the country.

    Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon agrees. While no politician is keen to be seen as the one who would begrudge any community Federal funding, Ms Claydon is also aware that one of the quickest ways to erode public trust in the political process is for people to see proof that politics takes precedence over community need.

    An audit is timely and necessary.

    Issue: 38,590.

    Tomlinson warns Adelaide not to push their luck with Greene


    2019 - 09.27

    Giants defender Adam Tomlinson has warned Crows players and supporters who plan to target Toby Greene in Thursday’s qualifying final that they do so at their peril, with GWS set to adopt a siege mentality at a hostile Adelaide Oval against the minor premier.
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    Greene has been a magnet for opposition niggle and fan abuse this season, particularly in the latter stages of the year after jumper punching Alex Rance, and being reported for booting Western Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus in the face while reeling in a handball.

    And while he’s missed four matches through suspension, Greene’s misdemeanours haven’t affected his on-field performance and his 41 goals in 16 games is easily his most efficient season to date.

    Adelaide’s defenders and their vocal supporters are expected to throw plenty of aggression Greene’s way, but Tomlinson said that would be unwise.

    “If I’m in the crowd, I’m the opposition, I’m not going to poke and prod Toby Greene because if anything it just revs him up even more and he plays even better,” Tomlinson said.

    “Tobes is tremendous with the way he handles himself on and off the field, and the way he’s able to turn some heckling into motivation. A lot of the other boys might consume them but Toby’s been great with the way he’s gone about his year.

    “Against the Bulldogs he was able to take a massive mark after being reported.

    “Things maybe haven’t gone his way but you just can’t commend him enough about how he’s been able to come back and play some really great footy.”

    Greene copped two weeks for striking Caleb Daniel in the mouth in round six, but has long maintained he was attempting a spoil.

    He was pushed over the edge in round 18 against Richmond after Rance knocked Steve Johnson to the ground, with Greene running over and dishing out a retaliation that earned him another fortnight on the sidelines.

    Greene’s response on that occasion demonstrated the siege mentality the club formed in its early years where it managed just three wins in its first two years at AFL level.

    “You take extra care of your mates, you’ve been through everything, you see someone getting into one of your mates and the first urge you have is go over there and stick up for them,” Tomlinson said.

    “That culture that the club’s built on is massive for us. We do have extra care and it is special what we’ve got up here.

    “It was tough early but we were forced to stick together, and that’s what made us so close.”

    The Giants land in Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon, desperate to overturn the 56-point thumping they suffered against the Crows in round one.

    They suffered a similar fate in the final round this year, beaten away against Geelong by 44 points.

    “It’s not the way you want to finish off the season heading into a finals series but what an opportunity it is to go to Adelaide and play against Adelaide on a Thursday night in front of what’s going to be a packed house,” Tomlinson said.

    “We’re going to be the underdogs, there’s going to be a lot of Adelaide Crows supporters and it’s a perfect chance for us to prove and show that we can take it up to the teams at their home ground, despite what’s gone on in the last 23 rounds of football. It wasn’t a great way we started the season and finished it.”

    Meanwhile, the Giants have received a timely boost on the eve of their second finals campaign with forward Daniel Lloyd and ruckman Dawson Simpson re-signing with the club.

    Lloyd has inked a two-year extension that keeps him in charcoal and orange until the end of 2019, while Simpson has committed himself for another season.

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    Why Hong Kong is one of the world’s greatest cities to visit by ship


    2019 - 09.27

    SPONSORED CONTENT
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    With its superb combination of natural setting and harbour-side skyscrapers, few ports provide such a grand entrance as Hong Kong.

    You’d expect a city whose entire history as a freewheeling trading port has depended on the sea to offer a grand entrance. Hong Kong certainly won’t disappoint. Cruise ships navigate scattered offshore islands before sliding into Victoria Harbour and a dazzling vista of soaring skyscrapers tangled with neon signs and backed by lush forest-draped hills. Ferries, barges and ships crowd the waterway, and you can feel the urban throb from your vantage-point on deck.

    Hong Kong’s main cruising hub Ocean Terminal, is right in the middle of the action on the tip of energetic Kowloon, eyeballing glittering Central across the narrow harbour. Yet even Hong Kong’s second terminal offers a dramatic spot for ships to tie up. Old Hong Kong hands will recognise the name: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has taken over the site of the former airport. If you haven’t had enough startling city views from your ship, clamber onto the terminal’s landscaped decks for more. BARGAIN HUNTING

    While you’re in Hong Kong, whether before or after your cruise, or on a shore excursion, you’ll discover a city dense with cultural attractions, museums and great street food and restaurants, as well as shopping galore. Both cruise terminals alone are shop filled; Ocean Terminal has two adjacent malls.

    Electronic bargains and department-store variety tempt on Nathan Road nearby. Further into Kowloon, street markets overflow with blouses, handbags, watches and homeware. There are also eye-catching markets devoted to jade, goldfish and songbirds in little pockets of traditional Chinese culture amid the concrete.

    For antique stores offering rosewood furniture, porcelain and jade, head to Hollywood Road across the harbour in Central. Then visit nearby Man Mo Temple, always smoky with incense and buzzing with visitors. This is always a stop on Hong Kong highlight tours offered by cruise companies. SHORE THING

    Getting to Central means riding the Star Ferry, one of the world’s most brilliant short rides, allowing you an alternative, commuter-eye view of the city. Don’t miss the rack-railway ride up The Peak either for another perspective on Hong Kong’s skyscraper-jammed harbour. Take the loop around The Peak via bamboo-lined Harlech and Lugard Roads for one of Hong Kong’s most scenic – yet relatively overlooked – walks. As the path turns towards Central, a mind-boggling view over your ship in the harbour below is revealed.

    Consider joining an evening tour up The Peak for the neon-glittering night view, often combined with the Symphony of Lights on the harbour. The world’s largest permanent sound-and-light show combines laser beams with LED lights on skyscraper facades.

    Hong Kong provides an energetic explosion of Asian urban life, but it has its quieter side too. The contrast is exhilarating. Take the time to visit parks and offshore islands and you’ll discover a more contemplative side of the city. Hong Kong Park features a teahouse, orchid conservatories and an excellent walk-through aviary within sight of Central’s office towers. Alternatively, a shore excursion to Stanley brings you to a laidback beachside suburb with a colourful market and great seafood restaurants.

    Lantau Island – which you might visit for Disneyland Resort if you have children – has remote beaches, kilometres of walking tracks through whispering forests of pine and azalea, and an ornate dragon-topped monastery at Po Lin whose giant Buddha gazes over the South China Sea. Among other shore excursions that provide a delightful alternative look at Hong Kong is one to the mainland New Territories to see family shrines, clan houses, a scholar’s mansion and preserved wetlands in an area that remains surprisingly green. CRUISE CENTRAL

    Hong Kong is region’s leading cruise hub, with easy access by air, and it sits in the middle of the world’s fastest-growing cruise destination. Many cruise itineraries visit Hong Kong on pan-Asian voyages that might also take in Shanghai, Busan in Korea and various ports in Japan and the Philippines, where a highlight is Puerto Princesa, a national park featuring caves and an underground river.

    Hong Kong to Singapore cruises explore Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Alternatively, concentrate on Vietnam with round-trip cruises out of Hong Kong that take in busy port cities such as Ho Chi Minh, laidback coastal town Nha Trang and the natural wonders of Halong Bay.

    Even when you’re in port in Hong Kong, you have the chance to explore elsewhere. Most cruise lines have full-day tours to Macau, the former Portuguese colony turned epicentre of nightlife, gambling and Las Vegas-style entertainment. Some provide overnight tours to Beijing and the Great Wall, or to Xian to see the terracotta warriors.

    This article brought to you by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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    Caroline was made redundant two days before going on maternity leave


    2019 - 09.27

    Making a pregnant employee redundant has been found to be unlawful because it was done two days before she was due to start maternity leave.
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    The Federal Circuit Court heard that Caroline Power discovered she was pregnant two years after she began working for gas and welding company BOC. Her parental leave was approved to start on November 6, 2015, but her employment was terminated on November 4.

    She was one of eight employees nationally to be made redundant as a result of a business restructure.

    The court found there was a genuine business case for Ms Power’s redundancy, but it was unlawful because it was brought forward due to her workplace right to take parental leave.

    Sydney lawyer Kerryn Tredwell, a partner at Hall and Wilcox, said there was a “lesson for employers” that the timing of a decision to dismiss an employee in similar circumstances was “crucial”.

    While it was not unlawful to make a pregnant employee redundant, Ms Tredwell said an employer should seek advice to minimise risks and ensure an employee was not disadvantaged as a result of being pregnant or exercising a workplace right to take parental leave.

    Eight redundancies were to take effect on November 12, 2015, but because Ms Power would have to come back from maternity leave, she was dismissed two days before she took leave.

    Federal Circuit Court Judge Salvatore Vasta said while he found there was a business case for Ms Power’s redundancy, it was a redundancy that should have been made on November 12, 2015. Ms Power was not given the benefit of return to work protections under the Fair Work Act or safeguards under the company’s redundancy policy, because the policy was not applied.

    “The bringing forward of the date of redundancy is adverse action,” Judge Vasta said.

    If the redundancy had been carried out on November 12, Ms Power would have been protected by the Fair Work Act’s return to work guarantee.

    “I am pleased with the decision. It’s been a long and stressful ordeal so I am happy to finally have some closure,” Ms Power told Fairfax Media.

    Ms Tredwell said the employer failed to convince the court that it brought the date forward with Ms Power’s best interests in mind.

    “As a result of the decision to bring forward the termination date, Ms [Power] lost her right to parental leave (including a portion of company paid leave) and the return to work guarantee,” she said.

    Ms Tredwell said there was no legal prohibition to making someone redundant when they were pregnant or when they were on maternity leave.

    “That can be done lawfully, but real care needs to be taken,” she said.

    “It all comes down to what is the reason for this decision. If any part of the reason is the pregnancy or the parental leave or the carer’s responsibilities, then that’s when discriminatory considerations arise.”

    The burden of proof fell on BOC to prove that no part of its decision to make Ms Power redundant was connected with her parental leave or pregnancy.

    “The evidence from the company was that the reason for bringing forward her retrenchment was because she was going on parental leave. They made a mistake bringing it forward,” Ms Tredwell said.

    “If they had left it and made her redundant with everybody else the following week, then provided they could prove there was no suitable alternative job for her, they could have done it lawfully. It was really that timing error that let them down.”

    Judge Vasta adjourned the matter for an assessment of damages and potential penalties against the company. Ms Tredwell said this hearing is listed for September 18.

    BOC declined to comment.

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    Trump and Turnbull on what to do with the creep with the haircut


    2019 - 09.27

    Turnbull: Good to hear from you Mr President.
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    Trump: Don’t Mr President me! I’ve been watching a video of you at that press gallery ball! Bad, Malcolm. You know I don’t understand the Austrian language, but my personal translator says she thinks you were making jokes at my expense. Is that true, pal?

    Turnbull: It was no more than a spot of congenial jocularity, Mr President.

    Trump: He’s talking Austrian again! Olga, are you listening to this? What’d he say?

    (Muffled voice)

    Trump: These Russian girls, Mal. Translate anything. You oughta get one. Vladmir lends ’em out. Now, I’m calling you about the overseas thing.

    Turnbull: Which overseas thing would that be, Mr President?

    Trump: The creep with the haircut and the missiles. Bad. Really bad.

    Turnbull: Kim Jong-un?

    Trump: Olga, he’s talking foreign again. What’d he say? (Muffled voice) Exactly. The creep with the haircut. We’ve gotta whack him. How many nukes you got down there, Mal?

    Turnbull: We’re not actually nuclear capable, Mr President. There’s always Pine Gap, of course. We wouldn’t stand in your way if you were to activate its, err, shared facilities in the interests of enhanced intelligence.

    Trump: Hold on (muffled voices). My military chiefs tell me we can do whatever we like with that Pine Gap place and you’ll never know the difference. You ever read my book, Art of the Deal? You need nukes if you’re gonna try to do a deal with me. Dumb. Dumb.

    Turnbull: What exactly do you have in mind concerning North Korea, Mr President?

    Trump: Fire and fury like the world has never seen!

    Turnbull: Yes. I heard that. A few weeks ago now.

    Trump: It’ll be massive! If the fire and fury tweets don’t work, we’ll stop doing any business with any country that trades with the haircut place. It’ll be the best end to trade you’ve ever seen.

    Turnbull: You’ll stop trading with China, Mr President? Is that wise? Walmart will have empty shelves.

    Trump: I’ll build a great big wall right around China’s borders. It’ll be the best wall in history. Beautiful.

    Turnbull: I think they’ve had one of those for some time. History suggests it didn’t work all that well.

    Trump: This is the worst phone call I’ve ever had since the last one I had with you, Malcolm. Angela Merkel was even better. She didn’t try to offload any of her refugees on me. At least the creep with the haircut’s got nukes. Get me Putin on the other line, Olga. I need a friend. Second thoughts, scrub that. Vlad’s been acting strange lately.

    Turnbull: Mr President, I’m not sure we’ve got to the point of your call.

    Trump: What about that French guy? The Canadian? No? You’re right. Pretty boys. Anyone in Europe, Olga? No? South America? South Korea? What, they’re upset about my tweets calling them pussies? New Zealand? The socialists are on the rise there? How did that happen?

    Turnbull: Hello, hello???

    Trump: I know. Get my great, great close friends in here. I love friends, Olga. Sean Spicer’s always got a nice message. What? He’s gone? Reince Preibus. Weird name, good guy. Seriously? How about Scaramucci. Yeah, the Mooch. Old friend. Oh. Steve Bannon? Been with me from the start. Get him. Really? Gone, too?

    Turnbull: Mr President?

    Trump: Call the family together, Olga. Olga? Hello?

    Turnbull: Mr President, we were talking about the Korean Peninsula.

    Trump: It gets really lonely at the top, sometimes, Malcolm. No one’s reliable. You’d know how it feels. No one understands.

    Everyone’s gone. I’m left here alone with this suitcase with some weird codes and a button in it, Malcolm. Wonder what happens if you???..

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