Writs issued for July 28 by-elections

The starting gun’s been fired for five federal by-elections, with Labor staring down the barrel of two potential seat losses.

Parliamentary Speaker Tony Smith issued the writs on Friday for by-elections to be held in the seats of Perth and Fremantle (WA), Braddon (Tasmania), Mayo (SA) and Longman (Queensland) on July 28.

Four of the by-elections were triggered by MPs facing dual citizenship questions, while Labor’s Tim Hammond retired in the seat of Perth for family reasons.

Former Nick Xenophon Team representative Rebekha Sharkie will recontest her seat of Mayo for the Centre Alliance, but faces a tough challenge from the Liberals’ Georgina Downer, the daughter of former Howard government minister Alexander Downer.

Labor won’t face Liberal contestants in Perth and Fremantle.

However, the Liberals are in with a shot to unseat Susan Lamb in Longman and Justine Keay in Braddon.

In both seats, the Liberal campaign machine is targeting Labor leader Bill Shorten’s personal unpopularity with voters and the fact that the federal opposition acted so slowly against its MPs who had citizenship doubts.

Former federal Liberal MP Brett Whiteley is running in Braddon, while ex-state MP Trevor Ruthenberg is making a tilt for Longman.

However, Labor has been campaigning heavily on its personal income tax cuts plan, higher spending on health and education and stemming the impact of penalty rate cuts which take effect on July 1.

History also favours Labor, as federal by-elections tend to swing against the government by a factor of about four per cent and only five of 151 by-elections had resulted in opposition seats being lost.

Electoral rolls will close on June 22.

Nominations will close on July 5 with the declaration of nominations a day later.

Australian Associated Press

Lifestyles Solutions founder David Hogg jailed, but appeal pending

JAILED: David Hogg, pictured earlier in his trial, was sentenced on Friday to two years and four months jail with a non-parole period of 12 months. His legal team intends to appeal.LIFESTYLESolutions founder David BenedictHogg has been jailed for two years and four months with a non-parole period of a year for the sexual assault of a school girl in his care in 1988.

His victim, Helen McMaugh–who was year 11 Carlingford High School student Helen Cassis on work experience with Mr Hogg at the time–wept as the sentence was handed out by Judge Antony Townsend at theDowning Centre court complex in Sydney on Friday afternoon.

“I think it’s an appropriate sentence and I am relieved it is over,” Ms McMaugh said outside the court.

But minutes later, Hogg’s solicitor Hugo Aston said he would be lodging an“all grounds appeal” within 28 days and that his client strongly maintained his innocence.

As previously reported, Hogg was convicted of the digital sexual assault of Ms McMaugh in a vehicle parked under the Harbour Bridge on the night of July 29, 1988.

Hogg had been the school counsellor, had officiated, as a Baptist minister, at the wedding of her sister, and had been looking after Ms McMaugh as one of two pupils with him for a week of work experience in the juvenile justice system, which was central to his work with the church.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Townsend said it was all too common for“people in positions of trust to breach that trust”, with the result often being‘long term harm”.

Despite submissions from the defence that jail would have a serious impact on Hogg’s health because of his age and the depression that had overtaken him since he was charged, Judge Townsend said the only appropriate penalty was a full-time prison sentence.

He said the maximum term for Hogg’s crimewas eight years but he was required to take sentencing practices at the time of the offence into account.

On the assault itself, Judge Townsend found that Hogg had subjected Ms McMaugh to a“short” but“serious” digital penetration. While the assault was not“aggravated” it was“well considered and not spontaneous”. He was in a position of trust with Ms McMaugh, who was only just past her 16thbirthday, and the age difference between them was “relatively significant”. Mr Hogg was 35 years old minister at the time of the assault, and had been married since the age of 23.

Judge Townsend said that whileit was not a child-sex case because Ms McMaugh had turned 16, it was Hogg’s “good character” that gave him access to her through the school work experience program.

Describing the effect of the assault on Ms McMaugh, the judge said she found intimacy and kissing difficult despite a happy marriage. As a younger woman, she had turned to drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism but had turned her life around and completed a business degree in 2011.

Judge Townsend noted that Hogg maintained his innocence, and said he had displayed “no remorse or contrition”. He agreed that Hogg was at a “low risk” of re-offending. He accepted that Hogg had developed an “adjustment disorder” as a result of his being arrested, charged and convicted, and noted the concerns of a psychologist who said jail would be more onerous for Hogg because of his age and his depressive illness.

RELIEVED: Helen McMaugh on Friday before David Hogg’s sentence was handed down.


November 2015: Lifestyle Solutions founder David Hogg warns on Stockton Centre closure

June 2016: ‘Visionary’David Hogg departsLifestyle Solutions

December 2016: Former disability group head charged with sexual assault

March 2017: Lifestyle Solutions part of Four Corners expose

February1, 2018: Hogg pleads not guilty as trial begins

February 2: School rang church over student ‘violation’

February 3: Hogg tells jury ‘no assault’ took place

February 7: Judge sums up in Hogg trial

February 8: Jury still to reach verdict

February 9: Jury deliberates for another day

February 10: Jury returns ‘guilty’ verdict

April 5: Sentencing hearing begins

May 12: Hogg ‘worried’ about prison

June 6: Complaints after Hogg invited to disability group for ‘farewell lunch’

Mbye moving early from Bulldogs to Tigers

Moses Mbye will be fondly farewelled from Belmore on Saturday but his early exit could mean Canterbury end up keeping Aaron Woods, with Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan revealing negotiations for the front-rower have stalled.

After more than a fortnight of speculation, the Bulldogs confirmed Mbye would play his final NRL game for the club against Gold Coast before joining the Wests Tigers.

The Dogs’ No.1 recently signed a four-year contract with the joint venture from next season, but both clubs have agreed to the early switch before the June 30 transfer deadline, contingent on Mbye passing a medical at Concord on Monday.

Should he sustain an injury against the Titans it’s understood a contractual clause will keep him at the Bulldogs for the remainder of 2018.

“It’s his last game tomorrow and both parties have agreed to it so it’s a fitting farewell for him here in Belmore,” Bulldogs coach Dean Pay said on Friday.

“He’s been a fantastic player for the club. He’s a great person, and it’s sad to see him go.”

It’s a coup for Ivan Cleary’s Tigers side, who need a full-time fullback for their finals tilt.

Pay said Mbye, who joined the Bulldogs in 2014, planned to speak with the playing group on Friday as he got his head around the premature move.

Only two days ago the 24-year-old revealed his preference to see out the current season and leave Belmore without burning any bridges.

It leaves Pay with the choice of moving Will Hopoate to fullback for the rest of the season or bringing in a younger player.

Mbye’s move has ramifications for prop Woods, at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Bulldogs and Cronulla, who want him on board before June 30.

The former NSW and Australian representative has been heavily linked to the Sharks but the departure of Mbye, who had two more years to run on his heavily back-ended contract, has substantially eased the Bulldogs’ salary cap squeeze.

“Woodsy is still contracted here, that’s where it stands,” Pay said.

Flanagan on Friday said the Bulldogs had left him in the dark and the “ball’s in their court”.

“We put our offer in. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I haven’t heard anything for two weeks,” Flanagan said.

Meanwhile, Pay has shut down talk the club would force decorated playmaker Kieran Foran into medical retirement.

Twelves hours after chief executive Andrew Hill denied the Bulldogs wanted to move the injury-prone premiership-winning halfback, Pay reiterated there had been no discussions within the club or with the NRL.

Australian Associated Press

Cold weekend could create perfect snow conditions for Barrington Tops

Cold weekend could create perfect snow conditions for Barrington Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Rob Balint

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

Picture: Todd Smith

TweetFacebook Snow at Barrington Tops in May 2018Did you take a photo of the snow? Send your pictures to [email protected]老域名出售,南京桑拿, to have them included in our gallery.Winter is forecast to hit with a vengeance as temperatures across the Hunter dropto single digits over the weekend and snow is expected for Barrington Tops.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting partly cloudy and windy conditionson Friday and Saturday with overnight temperatures to fall between four and eight degrees.

A cold front to the southwest of the state will continue moving east with a series of cold fronts to follow over the coming days.

This means overnight temperatures will fall to between two and seven degrees and daytime temperatures will sit between nine and 18degrees.

Related content: Barrington Tops snow in 2017

These windy and cold conditionscould create the perfect environment for a dusting of snow on Barrington Tops. At this stage it looks like snow could hit on Tuesday, but if rain comes in, snow chasers could be left disappointed.

A marinewind warning is expected to remain in place throughout the weekend for the Hunter’s coastline.

The end of the ice-cold temperatures could come onMonday. Ahigh pressure system is expected to move over the Bight, extending a ridge over the state’s west, halting the run of cold front activity over the state.

Think it is cold now? More than 50 years ago parts of Cessnock received some 16 centimetresof snowfall during arguably the Hunter’s harshest winter. Read more about it here.

Brynley Hill and his sisters Megan (now Swinton) and Amanda (now Daley) play in the snowfields of Quorrobolong on July 18, 1965.

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How Bert won over the Socceroos

The Socceroos are the third national team to be coached by Bert van Marwijk.The Socceroos gathered together in freezing Oslo in March, shivering and nervous about what the future might hold.

They were heading to a World Cup in just a few months but the coach that steered them to Russia had gone.

Out went Ange Postecoglou, and in his place came Bert van Marwijk – a third Dutchman to oversee Australia’s World Cup campaign in four tournaments.

It wasn’t that the Socceroos were wedded to Postecoglou.

Everyone knew the shifting sands of modern-day football, where coaches and players move on or are moved on with alarming regularity.

It’s that Postecoglou placed national pride – along with exacting standards – at the centre of his heart-on-the-sleeve coaching tenure.

So the Socceroos had plenty of questions.

What did this Dutch bloke know about Australian football?

Did he care?

Was the 65-year-old out to pick up one last pay cheque on the way to retirement?

What followed only added to the doubts.

On a wintry Norwegian night, Australia suffered their worst loss in recent memory, a 4-1 drubbing to a team that hadn’t reached a World Cup in two decades.

“The first camp when he came in, and after the game, you could say we were a little bit unsure,” Tomi Juric told AAP.

Van Marwijk sensed it.

He also saw it in the performance, and said so.

“Right from the get-go when he addressed us then, and it’s been a common theme since then, it’s been not having anyone in camp who has doubts about what we will achieve,” goalkeeper Mat Ryan said.

“All it takes is one little distraction or one little doubt from somebody and it can affect our preparations or our plans, what we want to achieve.”

So the Socceroos began to believe once more.

Without disrespecting Postecoglou’s ways, the Dutchman set about dismantling his approach and instilling his own.

They would play without a rigid adherence to possession but with a focus on space, containing opponents and then breaking lines.

And they would lighten up.

Socceroos stalwart Mark Milligan said the penny dropped in the days after leaving Norway for another friendly in London, when the players realised the trust that van Marwijk was giving them.

“We felt it in the couple of days leading into that Colombia game,” Milligan said.

“He gave us a lot of information before the Norway game and the way we operated under Ange was that we had to take everything very literally.

“Bert gives us a lot of information but also gives us the freedom to express that in the way that we want.

“Our structure has to be good but within that we can play and make decisions … you could see the boys started to really understand his way of thinking and what he really expected of us then.”

A somewhat fortuitous 0-0 draw later, the Socceroos began to believe.

Two months later, Australia’s national team re-grouped in Turkey for a hot weather training camp with a different mindset to the previous camp.

“The atmosphere came to a good point. Things are going well. Much better than the previous camp. We know him better and he knows us better,” Juric said.

“Things have lightened up and we’re comfortable. We joke around a bit more, all of us in general.”

Daniel Arzani, blooded into the national team by van Marwijk, echoed the feelings from other Socceroos in praising the Dutchman’s directness.

“Some coaches say one thing and mean something else but not Bert. He’s very clear with what he wants. That’s what I like about him,” he said.

“There’s no middle ground. I think that’s great.

“Coaches confuse players sometimes. He doesn’t.

“He’s very experienced and has got very experienced people working with him as well.”

With two decades of coaching behind him, van Marwijk felt an understanding had grown.

“They don’t have to tell me. I have a feeling that they are feeling well,” he told AAP.

“They are more open than the first few days.

“I met them in Norway. They were so disciplined. I don’t like that much discipline.

“My feeling is there was no space for being yourself and making your own decisions.

“Now there’s more discipline but there’s also space for them to laugh.”

It helped that van Marwijk had some experience dealing with Australians.

During his tenure at Dutch club Feyenoord, he counted a Socceroos ace as one of his own.

“I am learning all the things I’d already heard before about your country,” he said.

“I knew it a little from working with Brett Emerton.

“Maybe he was a good example. He worked very hard.

“A good football player. He never let anyone down and was never complaining.”

With lines of trust established, the Socceroos threw themselves into training in Antalya, undertaking double sessions day after day to prepare for Russia.

Friendly victories over the Czech Republic and Hungary followed, growing confidence and belief.

It may not be enough to save Australia from defeat against heavyweights France on Saturday in Kazan, when the Socceroos begin their World Cup campaign.

But this Dutchman could yet be bestowed the greatest of Australian honours, like his countryman and predecessor Guus Hiddink, and end the tournament with the tag “Aussie Bert”.

Australian Associated Press

BasketballNewcastle Hunters will be missing several key players for their top-of-the-table showdown with Hills Hornets.

NEWCASTLE Hunters will be missing several key players for their top-of-the-table showdown with Waratah Basketball League championship men’s leaders Hills Hornets at Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

Apart from trying to leapfrog the league-leading Hornets (11-2) on the ladder, the second-placed Hunters (10-2) will be celebrating their fourth annual charity night.

The Newcastle men’s and women’s teams will wear one-off rainbow-striped uniforms and raise funds for their 2018 charity night partners, the John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

“Charity night is always a special night on the calendar every season, and I know all the boys look forward to this game,” Hunters coach Darren Nichols said.

“This year we’re raising funds and awareness for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, so it’s a great cause and we encourage all our supporters to come along to the game and support us and support one of the Hunter region’s most important organisations.”

Newcastle will be without injured trio Steve Davis, Jon Howe and Jakob Dorricott, and veterans Ben Hawkesley and Michael Wilson are also unavailable, but Nichols still has a core group including imports Austin Thornton and Sharif Watson, captain Josh Morgan, and young guns Jacob Foy and Ryan Beisty.

Thornton was nursing a foot injury and did not play when the Hornets won 93-74 at Hills on April 15, and Beisty had not joined the team. Newcastle have won five straight since then to surge to second.

“We have a few injuries that we’re dealing with and Hills have a star-studded line-up. They should be in top spot with the roster they have,” Nichols said.

“But having said that, we have improved since then so there won’t be a repeat of that performance against them down there.

“It would be great to get into the top position, and we expect we’ll have to play them again later in the season, so psychologically, we need a good performance against them going into the play-offs.”

Fourth-placed Newcastle (7-3) will ride a six-game winning streak going into the women’s game against eighth-placed Hills (1-9) at 5pm on Saturday. That stretch of success includes an 80-42 thumping of the Hornets, who are coached by former Hunters women’s coach Paul Lyth.

Newcastle women’s coach Shannon Seebohm wants his team to play with more patience and poise than they showed in their last-start 54-40 victory over Sydney Comets a fortnight ago, when they committed 27 turnovers and shot at 35 per centfrom the field.

“That was a bit of a wake-up call for our group,” Seebohm said. “After six straight wins we are looking to continue working towards a finals berth so we don’t want any complacency creeping in at this stage of the season.”

NEW LOOK: Alison Ebzery, and Sharif Watson model their charity night strip.

Foes of Nicaragua’s president go on strike

Much of Nicaragua has been shut down during a national strike after nearly two months of protests.Thousands of shopkeepers and businessmen in Nicaragua have heeded calls for a national strike by foes of President Daniel Ortega, shutting down much of the country after nearly two months of deadly protests urging his ouster.

Streets were deserted in cities and towns on Thursday as banks and supermarkets, service stations and corner stores were closed.

Few people ventured out during the 24-hour stoppage.

Police officers with assault rifles lined the largely empty main streets of the capital, Managua.

The strike, organised by university students, farmers and business owners, was the latest tactic by a loose national alliance formed to dislodge the president.

Ortega’s attempt to push through welfare cuts in April kicked off the bloodiest confrontations since a civil war ended in 1990.

The government of the former Marxist guerilla and leader of the Sandinista rebel movement quickly dropped the planned welfare cuts.

But the crackdown on protesters has sparked his biggest crisis since his second stint as president began in 2007.

Nearly 150 have been killed and hundreds injured in eight weeks of clashes between pro-Ortega forces and protesters armed with rocks, slings and homemade mortars.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected as “biased” the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ condemnation a day earlier of ongoing state-sanctioned repression.

The commission released a scathing preliminary report in late May criticising “grave violations of human rights” during a government crackdown.

Ortega’s administration has said protesters are vandals trying to destabilise his government and undermine democracy.

A new round of talks between the government and civil society representatives were scheduled for Friday.

Australian Associated Press

North Korea sanctions stay for now: Pompeo

Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearisation, Mike Pompeo says.Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearisation, the US secretary of state says, apparently contradicting the North’s view that the process agreed at this week’s summit would be phased and reciprocal.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a joint statement after their meeting in Singapore this week that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, while Trump “committed to provide security guarantees”.

Trump later told a news conference he would end joint US-South Korean military exercises.

“President Trump has been incredibly clear about the sequencing of denuclearisation and relief from the sanctions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after meeting South Korea’s president and Japan’s foreign minister in Seoul.

“We are going to get complete denuclearisation. Only then will there be relief from the sanctions,” he said.

North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Kim and Trump had recognised the principle of “step-by-step and simultaneous action” to achieve peace and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

The summit statement provided no details on when North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons program or how the dismantling might be verified.

Sceptics of how much the meeting achieved pointed to the North Korean leadership’s long-held view that nuclear weapons are a bulwark against what it fears are US plans to overthrow it and unite the Korean peninsula.

However, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the world, through the summit, had escaped the threat of war, echoing Trump’s upbeat assessment of his meeting with Kim.

Pompeo insisted North Korea was committed to giving up its nuclear arsenal but said it would “be a process, not an easy one”.

Kim understood getting rid of his nuclear arsenal needed to be done quickly and there would only be relief from stringent UN sanctions on North Korea after its “complete denuclearisation”, Pompeo said.

Also on Thursday, North and South Korea held their first military talks in more than a decade.

Australian Associated Press

Tribunal overturns decision Hunter wine tour operator not of good repute after failed killing

A TRAVEL agent jailed forhiring a supposed hit man to kill an ex-girlfriend’s new lover is now a fit and proper person to hold a Hunter Valley wine tourdriver’s licence, a tribunal has ruled.

Michael Stockdale, 67, was jailed in 2002 for a minimum three years and nine months after soliciting an undercover police officer, posing as a hit man, to kill the new partner of a woman he was infatuated with, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal said.

He offered $5000 for the murder but was arrested after a friend he approached to do the killing contacted police.

Stockdale appealed to the tribunal after Roads and Maritime Services in January rejected his application to drive a Hunter Valley wine tour bus, saying hiscriminal conviction “reflects negatively on your moral integrity and character”.

But tribunal member Professor Geoffrey Walker accepted Stockdale was deeply remorseful for the offence which “brought shame and humiliation on himself and, more importantly, on his family”.

“He had endeavoured over the past 13 years to attempt to lead a life which, in some measure, tries to ameliorate his appalling conduct,” Professor Walker said.

“The role of the criminal law and society is not only to punish, but to rehabilitate. He believes that by being denied a driver authority, he is continuing to be punished for events that occurred some 17 years ago and, in circumstances where he had already served a significant custodial sentence.”

A psychological assessment of Stockdale found it was not likely to commit criminal offences of any kind in the future.

“In his favour was the fact that he continues to enjoy the support of his wife, he does not have a prior criminal history and he has prospects for future employment,” the assessment said.

Professor Walker overturned the RMS decision. Stockdale is approved to hold a licence to conduct wine tours, but cannot drive children under 18 years.