Exhibits weave as one

FASHIONS ALIGN: Penny Vine with a traditional kente cloth ceremonial dress, part of a Border exhibition that combines Australian and African garments. Picture: MARK JESSER

A WORLD of colour that embracestwo continents can be seen, for a few weeks, in a Border display.

Colour Me Beautifulaims to compare and contrast Australian fashions from the past century with the materials and design ofclothes from central Africa.

The latter is a region close to the hearts of Albury-Wodonga members of Organisation for the Development of the Socially Vulnerable, or ODASOV in its French origins.

Money raised through the entry fee will support an education project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Border group’s secretary Penny Vine said the organisation’s work in the war-ravaged countryincluded teaching children and offeringtraining or interest-free loans towomen looking to start businesses.

“They are interested in re-establishing and maintaining the social fabric of the community,” she said.

The exhibition now open at Creators Artspace includes items supplied from 150 Border and North East residents who came from central Africa as well as the Australian fashion collection of curator Rhonda Diffey, who is based in Wangaratta.

Dr Vine said the two strands of fashion wove together well.

“The love of colour is universal and the enjoyment of fashion and beauty is also universal,” she said.

“The interest in patterns is very much there.”

Exhibition items are grouped according to huerather than culture or era, with earthy tones, oranges, reds, greens, browns, blacks andbeige all mingled together.

“When you come into the room the colour is what strikes you,” Dr Vine said.

Among the Australian exhibits are dresses from the 1890s, riding habits from the Edwardian era and intricate 1920s garments sewn by hand.

“Even now, looking at the African gear you find that same attention to detail, done by people not by machines,” she said.

“One dress has got smocking on it, which would have come from the influence of the European women wearing their clothes a hundred years ago.

“We’ve got some amazing Nigerian shoes that are works of art in themselves, a combination of western high heels and Nigerian bling, just amazing to look at,” she said.

Colour Me Beautiful can be seen at Creators Artspace, Gateway Village, 10am to4pm until June 12.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Leeton girl’s voice shines over the rest

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS: Leeton’s 16-year-old Elli Gill took out the first ever Coro Idol recently. Picture: Supplied.

Griffith’s first ever Coro Idol couldn’t keep the prize in town, as Leeton’sElli Gill stole the show to claim the title.

She had to beat out dozens of competitors through her three rounds and when it came time for the grand final, she knew it would be a tight finish.

“Your competition was really really high,” Elli said.

“Everyone was up there and it was close competition the whole way through.

“I knew one of the ladies in the final as well and I was like ‘oh god’.”

Her song choices wowed both judges and audience alike.

“My first song was ‘Sugar pie honey bunch’ from The Sapphires and the second one was ‘Young and beautiful’ by Lana Del Rae.

“The first one was fun and they were both me in a way, they suited my tone and all that.

“The crowd was really good, a bit distracting but good.”

“Considering it was at a pub and there were pool tables all over the room.”

Event organiser Tracey Howard said the event was undoubtedly a success.

“The night was packed and they were treated to some great music,” she said.

“It was a very close contest which is a credit to all the talent we have in our region.”

She said it was likely the event would be up and running again in years to come a way to help musicians show off their talent.

Elli said she’d probably put her hand up to defend her crown.

“I’d like to say that I could (defend my crown),” she said.

“I’d still go in it and see how I go because there’ll be new competition as well.”

It wasn’t just the bragging rights that Elli got to take home.

For the win, she took home $1000.

She said the options were still open as to what she was going to spend the money on.

“It’s in the bank at the moment because I’m not too sure what I want to do with it,” she said.

“But I do want to use it towards singing stuff, just when and what still have to be figured out.”

Teresa Nardi and John Lolohea were the other two finalists.

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Multiculturalism at risk under Labor: PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has supported Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

PM writes: Truth is, Peter Dutton is rightKarl Stefanovic lashes Dutton’s ‘un-Australian’commentsMalcolm Turnbull backs ‘outstanding’ DuttonElection 2016 full coverage

Australia’s success as a high-migration, multicultural success story was based on strong border protection policies that would be at risk if Labor won the July 2 election, Malcolm Turnbull has warned.

The Prime Minister accused Labor leader Bill Shorten of not being committed to “strong borders” and warned that Labor and the Greens had to “face the natural consequences of the soft border policies they propose”.

These included the prospect of families drowning at sea, asylum seekers being placed in detention and an erosion of support for high levels of immigration and multiculturalism.

“Barely a day goes past when I don’t celebrate that we are the most successful and harmonious multicultural nation in the world. But we cannot be under any illusions about what our multicultural success is built upon,” Mr Turnbull has written in an opinion piece exclusively for Fairfax Media.

“Strong borders are the foundation of our high-immigration multicultural success. This is not a hypothetical proposition.

“We’ve seen elsewhere what happens when nations lose control of their borders and fail to invest in the integration of migrants who arrive.”

Mr Turnbull said this also happened in Australia under the previous Labor government “when a collapse of border security emboldened 50,000 individuals to entrust their lives to people smugglers”.

Mr Turnbull also defended Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who stood by his claim that refugees accepted under separate Labor and Greens commitments to a higher intake would be “taking Australian jobs” and “languish in unemployment queues”.

“I very strongly believe that the threat coming across our borders, when you look at what’s happened in Brussels and Paris, the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, this is a bigger issue at this election than it has ever been,” Mr Dutton said on commercial radio.

Labor and the Greens have accused the Coalition of ramping up debate on border protection to win votes, with Mr Shorten claiming Mr Turnbull is running a scare campaign based on “pathetic lies”.

Labor has also dismissed Mr Dutton’s claims that Labor planned to double the intake immediately, at a cost of $2.5 billion. It maintains its proposal would not ramp up refugee resettlement beyond the government’s own proposed intake until 2019-20, at an additional cost over the forward estimates of just $17.2 million.

Under Labor’s policy, it final target of 27,000 a year would not be reached for a decade, costing $1.87 billion over seven years, according to the figures.

The Greens propose increasing the intake to 50,000 next financial year but say their border protection policies would save $160 million over the next four years because billions of dollars would be saved by closing the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres and limiting onshore detention to 30 days.

Mr Turnbull claims divisions within Labor over the party’s support for turn-backs and offshore processing are driving the party towards a partnership with the Greens.

“But those who trade in gesture politics, who claim a monopoly on empathy, have to face the natural consequences of the soft border policies they propose,” he writes.

“There is nothing generous about policies that lead families to drown at sea. There is nothing humane about gestures that lead to young women, men and their children in detention.”

Labor has ruled out an alliance in government with the Greens and has vowed to move quickly to find third countries to resettle those who have been found to be refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

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Michael Atkins forced to testify in inquest over Matthew Leveson’s death

Michael Atkins and Matthew Leveson at the ARQ nightclub in the hours before Mr Leveson went missing in September 2007.LevesonAtkins.jpg Photo: Supplied Matthew Leveson’s parents, Faye and Mark Leveson, leave the NSW Coroner’s Court in Glebe on Friday. Photo: Janie Barrett

Almost seven years after Michael Atkins was acquitted of murdering his 20-year-old boyfriend, he will be compelled to give evidence for the first time, following a groundbreaking development in the NSW Coroner’s Court.

Confronted with circumstances she described as “exceptional and compelling”, Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott ruled on Friday she was “satisfied it is in the interest of justice” that Mr Atkins be compelled to take the stand at the inquest into Matthew Leveson’s death.

In a detailed and complex legal decision, Ms Truscott said her statutory duty to record findings as to Mr Leveson’s death would be frustrated if Mr Atkins did not give evidence.

She concluded he had “not given a full account of what he knows about what happened to Matthew” and was “likely to be able to give important evidence about the manner and cause of Matthew’s death”.

The decision means Mr Atkins, who was the last known person to see Mr Leveson alive, will endure five days of questioning under oath over his knowledge of Mr Leveson’s death when he takes the stand on October 31.

Mr Leveson, 20, was last seen leaving Sydney’s ARQ nightclub with Mr Atkins, then 44, about 2.11am on September 23, 2007.

Mr Atkins was charged with murder over Mr Leveson’s death in 2008, but exercised his right to silence during his 2009 Supreme Court trial.

He was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.

Though the coroner’s decision effectively brings to an end Mr Atkins’ resolute silence, his evidence will be under the protection of immunity, meaning it cannot be used against him in any future criminal proceeding, in accordance with s61 of the Coroner’s Act.

For the Leveson family, Friday’s decision was a hollow victory in their nine-year search for answers as to what happened to their son and where his body is located.

“This is what the system has forced us to do. We had to decide whether we wanted to bring Matt home or get a murder conviction,” Matthew’s father Mark Leveson said outside the courtroom.

“We’ve always said from the start we want to bring Matt home.”

In her published findings, Ms Truscott detailed the evidence connecting Mr Atkins to Mr Leveson’s death, including the fact that he was captured on CCTV footage purchasing a garden mattock and gaffer tape at a Bunnings Store about midday on September 23, about 10 hours after the couple left the nightclub.

When interviewed by police, he denied having gone to Bunnings.

Two days after he was reported missing, Mr Leveson’s car was found parked at Waratah Oval in Sutherland. Inside the car, police found a Bunnings Warehouse receipt, containing Mr Atkins’ fingerprint, for a mattock and gaffer tape, the inquest heard. A large speaker system had been removed from Mr Leveson’s car and was found in the couple’s garage by police.

Ms Truscott said there was “no alternative person of interest” but the prospect of Mr Atkins being tried again for murder was “extremely remote” as there had been no fresh and compelling evidence since his acquittal and the police investigation had been exhausted.

Among the challenges weighed by Ms Truscott was the possible damage to confidence in the justice system by shielding a witness from prosecution for murder, which was argued by Mr Atkins’ lawyer Claire Wasley.

Ms Wasley also submitted that any cross-examination of Mr Atkins which suggested he was responsible for Mr Leveson’s death would undermine the jury’s 2009 verdict of not guilty.

However, Ms Truscott ruled the inquest was not bound by the adversarial rules of a criminal trial and was “not concerned with whether Mr Atkins has committed a criminal offence”.

“It is finding of truth, in this inquest about the manner and cause of Matthew’s death and not the determination of the criminal guilt which is the task at hand,” she wrote in her decision.

Ms Truscott also dismissed the defence’s submission that Mr Atkins’ evidence would be unreliable because he had lied to police during the criminal investigation and had given his friends differing versions as to when he had last seen Mr Leveson leave their apartment in Cronulla.

She ruled the testimony would be given in vastly different circumstance this time, during which he would be under “oath or affirmation before a judicial officer in a courtroom” and with the protection of immunity.

The Leveson family are preparing to fight to ensure Mr Atkins makes it to the stand in October after Ms Wasley told the court her client would appeal against the decision to the NSW Supreme Court.

“Although they are macabre questions, we want to know why was Matt killed, where was he killed, how was he killed, where are his remains now,” Mark Leveson said.

“But the main objective is to bring Matt home, to say our goodbyes and to lay him to rest,” Faye Leveson added.

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WorkSafe issues notices for 112 Horsham infringements

Picture: FILE IMAGEWORKSAFE has issued more than 100 improvement notices toHorsham businesses after a series of inspections this month.

Authority inspectors visited more than 200 businesses in the city from May 9 to 13.

The group released the findings from its inspections on Thursday.

WorkSafe regional operations managerTrevor Butler said the authority issued 112 improvement notices for workplaces found to have risks or hazards that needed to be addressed.

“Additionally, there were 36 instances where an employer resolved the situation at the time of our visit,” he said.

“Our inspections revealed that slips, trips and falls remain an issue for some employers due to poor housekeeping, damaged or inappropriate ladders and a lack of safety railing on mezzanine levels.

“Our inspectors also saw machinery that was inadequately guarded or damaged and workplaces that had no register for chemicals.”

Mr Butler said complying with occupational health and safety laws must be an ongoing commitment for employers.

“The safest workplaces are those where employers and workers exchange information and ideas about risks to health and safety, and together come up with measures that can eliminate or reduce those risks,” he said.

WorkSafestatistics released in MarchshowHorsham had the most workplace injury claimsof any Wimmera municipalitylast year, with 81.

The inspections in May came after WorkSafe ran an information briefing for employers in the city in mid-April.

Both the session and the inspections were part of theSafeTowns program, which aims to improve health and safety in Victorian workplaces.

The briefing included information aboutsafety issuesand obligations, employees returning to work after injuries, workplace bullying, and dangerous goods handling.

Mr Butler said he was pleased about 50 employers took part.

“We had inspectors there to provide information and guidance on a number of practical topics such as identifying hazards in the workplace, the types of controls employers could implement to minimise risks to employees, and their return to work obligations,” he said.

“Our inspectors were also able to provide advice on issues such as poor manual handling, which is still the cause of almost 40 per cent of all workplace injuries.

“The session provided a really good opportunity for employers to speak one-on-one with our inspectors about health and safety in their workplaces.”

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AFP raid ALP offices in Melbourne

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told media in Sydney the raids were “an extraordinary development”. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull answers questions about the raids. Photo: Sky News

Up to ten plain-clothes officers raided a Brunswick house believed to be the home of a Labor staffer. Photo: Sky News

AFP officers outside the house. Photo: Sky News

Former communications minister, Labor senator Stephen Conroy is believed to be one of the people being raided. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Shadow finance spokesman Tony Burke said the raids were in relation to allegations about documents which revealed that the NBN was slower and more expensive under the Coalition than under Labor.

Dreyfus hits out at ‘extraordinary and unprecedented’ raids

The Australian Federal Police have raided Labor Party offices in Melbourne over the alleged leak of documents from the National Broadband Network.

In an explosive development in the middle of a federal election campaign, officers searched the Treasury Place office of former communications minister Stephen Conroy.

Shortly after 11pm, up to ten plain-clothes officers raided a Brunswick house believed to be the home of a Labor staffer.

Two staffers for Labor’s communications spokesman Jason Clare, one of whom is a former staffer to Senator Conroy, are believed to be targeted by the raids. One of the staffers is a key operative in Labor Party campaign headquarters.

Labor confirmed the raids on Thursday, with shadow finance spokesman Tony Burke saying they were in relation to allegations about documents which revealed that the NBN roll-out was slower and more expensive under the Coalition than under Labor.

Mr Burke said the revelations about the NBN had caused “immense damage” to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as former communications minister and questioned the timing of the raids.

It’s also understood that up to 20 NBN Co employees have been interviewed by the AFP over the leak.

Mr Turnbull said he couldn’t comment on the raids.

“It’s entirely a matter for the AFP,” he said. “As you know they operate entirely independently of the government so this is a matter for the AFP. The Labor Party know that as well as you and I do.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was “an extraordinary development” and related to Mr Turnbull’s embarrassment over NBN revelations.

“It relates to his embarrassment over the fact that there was a massive blow out of costs of billions and billions of dollars, and of course huge delays in the roll out of the NBN,” Mr Shorten said.

In a statement, the NBN Co confirmed it is assisting the Australian Federal Police with an “ongoing investigation”.

“As this investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment any further,” the statement said.

A story published by Fairfax Media in February that outlined the National Broadband Network was facing mounting delays and rising costs, based on documents marked “commercial in confidence” and “for official use only”, is believed to have triggered the raid.

The Coalition had pledged that its roll-out of the NBN would be more affordable and delivered faster than Labor’s NBN plan.

A government source said the NBN Co was responsible for referring the leak to federal police and distanced the Coalition from the raid.

“The first we heard about it was when the raids started to take place. By convention, the AFP chief has to call the Justice Minister when a politically sensitive raid takes place”.

“It is the case that those raids are happening,” Mr Burke told ABC’s 7.30.

“The thing that I also know with this, is during the life of this Parliament, on 23 different occasions we’ve asked about leaks from all parts of this government, right through to the national security committee of cabinet. The night before the budget government staffers were handing out cabinet in confidence documents around the press gallery.

“I know how many of those inquiries have resulted in police raids. I don’t know how many times they’ve been referred to the AFP.”

The Labor MP added that he was making no criticism of the federal police.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the government had a great deal of explaining to do.

Mr Dreyfus said that AFP guidelines recommended that police brief the government when searching parliamentarians and investigating politically sensitive matters.

He said the government should declare when it found out about the raids and whether it thought it appropriate for the AFP to conduct them during the election campaign.

He said Labor would defend any staffers and politicians involved in the investigation: “The ALP looks after its staff just as we look after our fellow parliamentarians.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann who also appeared on 7.30 said he was not aware of the raids and that the AFP was an “entirely independent organisation. It makes its own judgements on these things.”

“The AFP can confirm it is conducting operational activity in Melbourne this evening,” an AFP spokesperson said. “As this activity is related to an ongoing investigation, it is not appropriate to comment any further at this stage.”

with Larissa Ham, Latika Bourke, Michael Koziol

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Who is Tom Hiddleston, the bookies’ favourite to play the next James Bond?

Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel’s Thor. Tom Hiddleston in BBC’s The Night Manager, the screen adaptation of John le Carre’s novel.

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in Spectre.

Daniel Craig is ‘done’ playing BondWhich actors are the favourites for 007?Daniel Craig told to stop bashing Bond

He’s played a pilot, a vampire, a prince, a Marvel villain, and now he’s the red-hot favourite to play iconic British spy, James Bond.

If you hadn’t already heard of British actor Tom Hiddleston, that likely changed this week when Daily Mail reported that Daniel Craig had rejected $AU137 million to play Bond in another two films.

Around the same time, reports emerged that Hiddleston, 35, had been spotted meeting with James Bond director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli last week.

On Monday, UK betting house Coral suspended wagers on which actor would next play Bond when an influx of bets over the weekend tipped Hiddleston to replace Craig.

According to the UK Telegraph, a particularly large bet sent Hiddleston’s odds plummeting to 2-1.

“There is no smoke without fire, and following the big gamble on Tom Hiddleston in the last 24 hours, we’ve had no choice but to pull the plug on the market,” a Coral spokeswoman told the paper.

The Avengers actor had always been considered a long shot for the role, with big names Idris Elba and Homeland star Damian Lewis perceived frontrunners.

So who is Hiddleston?

The London-born actor has been slowly charting his path to Hollywood, starring in several BBC dramas before getting his big break in Marvel’s Thor in 2011.

Initially cast as Thor, it was later decided Hiddleston would be better as Thor’s antihero brother, Loki, alongside Aussie Chris Hemsworth.

Also in 2011, Hiddleston played novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and Captain Nicholls in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.

He returned to television for royal BBC series The Hollow Crown opposite Jeremy Irons and in 2013 starred as a vampire opposite Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive.

A number of film offers have flooded in since then, including for 2017 King Kong film, Kong: Skull Island, which will see Hiddleston star opposite Brie Larson.

But it’s the 2016 British miniseries The Night Manager, based on John La Carre’s spy novel of the same name, which has won the actor plaudits.

Starring opposite Hugh Laurie, Hiddleston plays a former British soldier and hotel manager who is drawn into the seedy inner circle of a British arms dealer.

So is Hiddleston playing Bond or isn’t he?

The actor has been incredibly coy about the role telling BBC last year it was “so unlikely and imaginary”. In an interview in March, he softened his stance and said he’d be ready for the role – if it were offered to him.

“I simply love the theme tune, the tropes and the mythology. I love the whole thing,” he told the Sunday Times. “If it ever came knocking, it would be an extraordinary opportunity.”

“I’m very aware of the physicality of the job. I would not take it lightly.”

It’s certainly a far cry from Craig’s comments during an interview with Time Out London in October when he said he’d rather “slash his wrists” than play Bond for a fourth time.

While reports Craig is leaving the franchise are yet to be confirmed, an announcement of his departure would come as little surprise.

Whoever replaces Craig, whether it be Hiddleston or Elba or the red-haired Lewis, you can bet they’ll appreciate the chance to play one of cinema’s most iconic characters.

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Peter Dutton was right on one thing – but not the real problem

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said refugees “would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that”. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Asylum seekers detained in Nauru protest this month against their treatment. Photo: Supplied

Full federal election coverageMore political +opinionDutton shows the Coalition has yielded to panic

At least Immigration Minister Peter Dutton highlighted one point this week: it costs a lot of money to bring people to Australia. He restricted his remarks to refugees but there’s a cost in bringing family-reunion and economic migrants to Australia, too.

The difference, however, is that we have a moral duty to help the world’s refugees but no moral duty to take economic migrants, who just like the idea of living and working in Australia.

One of the best indicators of these costs and duties can be found in Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook. The bank is well placed to measure wealth: Switzerland has topped the world’s national wealth table for every year of the databook’s five-year history.

The databook shows that Australia is a very wealthy country and with wealth more evenly distributed than in almost any other nation. In 2013, Australia’s average personal wealth was second only to Switzerland’s. We can and should do more to help the planet’s refugees.

So that’s the duty side. Now for the cost.

Since 2013 – in the term of this Coalition government, as it happens – little New Zealand crept up the wealth table and overtook Australia, with an average personal wealth of $US400,800 compared with Australia’s $US365,000. New Zealand is now second to Switzerland and Australia third.

New Zealand’s population (about 4.5 million) is growing at a rate of about 1 per cent a year, whereas Australia’s is closer to 2 per cent. New Zealand had zero net immigration in 2012, though it’s usually about 12,000 people a year. Australia’s net immigration runs between about 170,000 to 300,000 a year – up to four times New Zealand’s rate.

Our birth rate is higher, too. Increased population means less wealth per person.

Australia’s higher population growth may improve the wealth of some people in the property game, but overall it costs everyone else. Even with very high visa fees and sponsored immigration lowering the immediate cost to the government, the longer-term cost of immigration remains high.

As it happened, Dutton mentioned literacy, numeracy and Medicare – in other words, health and education. His remarks were directed at refugees, but are true of all immigrants. Extra schools, hospitals, roads and the like need to be built for them. As Dutton said: “So there would be huge cost and there’s no sense in sugar-coating that, that’s the scenario.” He was referring to the extra refugees that the Greens want to take but it’s equally true of all migrants who come to Australia.

Higher population also puts a strain on the environment.

The cost of high population growth is borne out by the fact that, even though Australia’s income per person has been higher than New Zealand’s in recent times, Australia has still fallen behind New Zealand for total wealth per person.

Dutton also mentioned jobs. He said of refugees: “These people would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that.” But to the extent that that’s true, it’s also true of all migrants.

Then Dutton got a bit jumbled because he said of refugees: “For many people, they won’t be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English … For many of them that would be unemployed, they would languish in unemployment queues.”

It’s an odd image: people in dole queues taking Australian jobs.

It’s also odd to draw a distinction between “Australian jobs” and jobs taken up in Australia by refugees. Surely, they are all Australian jobs. And in any event, to the extent that a job taken up by someone who arrives in Australia is one fewer job for a person already here, it’s true whether the arrival is a refugee or another sort of migrant.

All of Dutton’s arguments about costs and jobs with respect to refugees apply also to migrants in general, although refugees are initially more costly to government education and health services because they often come from places where education and health are poorso there is some catchingup to do.

But that said, refugees generally want to make a new home and get ahead like everyone else. And Australia is the place to do it. Australia has the lowest percentage of its people owning less than $US10,000 of wealth than any other country. It would be far cheaper to integrate refugees into the community than imprison them indefinitely on third-world islands.

We should recognise our duty to help more with the international refugee crisis.

We should drastically reduce the number of economic migrants we accept.

We should make an arrangement with Indonesia and other neighbours so that they take back any refugees who arrive in Australia through people smuggling, with no chance of them ever settling in Australia. In return, we would take as many or more people from among the refugees in those countries. And if there are no boat arrivals, we should concentrate on taking refugees from our region anyway.

That would wreck the people-smugglers’ business plan because refugees in Indonesia would know that any attempt to reach Australia by boat would mean permanent disbarment from Australia. That idea would compare poorly against the better option of waiting their turn in Indonesia with some hope of being resettled.

We should empty the prison camps on Manus Island and Nauru by bringing the occupants to Australia and accepting New Zealand’s offer to take some of them. After all, New Zealand can afford it now that it’s pipped Australia and taken second place on the world wealth table.

Alas, all this is so unlikely. Too many people with money and power profit from high immigration even if the great majority loses from it. And no one lost a vote playing the fear game and kicking refugees while they are down.


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Collingwood v Geelong: Pies take a conservative approach with Ben Sinclair

Collingwood have adopted a conservative approach with defender Ben Sinclair after he received a minor knock at training on Thursday.

Sinclair has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash against Geelong technically because of concussion, having not felt entirely well after the training mishap, although he did pass the subsequent concussion tests.

He has already missed two matches this season because of head knocks. The first concussion came against Melbourne in round four, and he was late withdrawal from the Anzac Day clash against Essendon.

Sinclair returned for the trip to Perth to face West Coast but took another hit to the head, although he was cleared to play out the game after a concussion test.

He sat out the following week’s loss to Carlton and returned last week for the trip to Brisbane.

The Pies said on Friday Sinclair had emerged unscathed from the big win over the Lions but had received a knock at training and was “shaken up”.

It’s been a frustrating start for the 2009 draftee, who was restricted to six matches last season because of hamstring injuries and a broken hand.

Sinclair has been replaced by tall defender Ben Reid, as the Pies seek to build on the momentum from their win at the Gabba.

Magpies director of football Neil Balme insisted on Friday there were no plans to trade Travis Cloke at the end of the season.

Cloke has played three matches in the VFL since he was axed from the senior side on the eve of the Anzac Day clash but his form continues to be a concern.

The power forward needs to find a way to regain his groove, for the Pies have turned to American import Mason Cox and the recalled Jesse White to play alongside Darcy Moore in recent weeks.

Cloke is contracted to the Pies until the end of next year but will take a heavy pay cut next season.

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Forbes farmers safe from cuts… for now

The recent controversy surrounding Murray Goulburn and its price revision on southern milk pool suppliers does not directly affect the NSW milk pool, which includes some dairy farmers in Forbes, but shock waves are rippling through the dairy industry.

A spokeswoman for Murray Goulburn, Nicole Devlin, said that this month’s announced price reduction applied only to southern milk pool suppliers, which covers the Riverina, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The NSW milk pool is protected by a price contract between Murray Goulburn and Coles to supply all NSW milk for its NSW supermarkets.

Ms Devlin said Murray Goulburn was aiming to recoup losses over the next three years through the milk pool and through the Milk Supply Support package.

“The previous management forecast strong sales in adult milk supply in China, but it became clear once the early April sales figures were released that that forecast was not achievable, and this led to the price revision,” she said.

“We have tried to spread the burden over three years,” she said, although she added that producers have taken “a bit of a hit this season”.

A new pricing structure will be announced on July 1, but Ms Devlin was not able to comment on what these priceswill reflect as it was still in the negotiation stage.

Murray Goulburn is still in the public spotlight as it now faces media, and social media scrutiny, on debts from the application of the retrospective price revision, the

resignation of company leaders and calls for more to go, and the call for involvement of ASIC.

In a letter to its suppliers (and published on its website) earlier this month, the Murray Goulburn (MG) board and management acknowledged the impact of the announcements on its suppliers, particularly as many were already dealing with poor seasonal conditions.

The MG letter told suppliers that it was also dealing with record low global dairy ingredient prices, and low market prices, but there was no question about its financial stability.

MGs revision concluded that the contracted price of $5.60 per kilogram milk solids for the final quarter of this financial year was no longer achievable, and announced a farmgate milk price of between $4.75 to $5.00 per kgms for the balance of this financial year, for a financial year farmgate milk price of $5.47kgms, to recover approximately $30 million.

The support package will ensure suppliers receive payments this financial year equivalent to $5.47kgms, with the package and its cash funding cost to be recovered by suppliers’ milk payments for up to three years, according to the Murray Goulburn website.

Cautious welcome of Coles dairy move

NSW Farmers Association has cautiously welcomed this week’s announcement by Coles to create an independent fund to support Murray Goulburn dairy suppliers who have suffered through the company’s step down.

NSW Farmers has been engaging with Coles’ Executive team on this issue and looks forward to future consultation.

“We welcome any leadership at the retail level that supports our southern dairy farmers during this difficult time,” chair of NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Rob McIntosh said.

“While this fund may go some way towards addressing the current crisis of price cuts and claw backs threatening the livelihoods of farmers; it is important to note that this is only one part of a wider conversation regarding the sustainability of the industry. Farmers need long term investment in proprietary brands as uptake of these products will enable processors to reinvest margins into research and development for new and existing products which will drive stronger farm gate returns,” he said.

“Not all consumers want to pay more for proprietary brands, but those who do have the thanks of farmers.

“As has been pointed out in this debate, milk is currently cheaper than bottled water and no one would give that a pass mark.

“Any price improvement in fresh milk is welcome and I hope that other retailers consider their position.

“More broadly, I would hope this current focus on milk prices provides a fresh opportunity for the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit to take a new look at a long standing problem.

“Dairy farmers in Australia work hard to produce local and fresh milk. It is important that the price they receive reflects the time and effort they put into that production.”

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