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‘Petiquette’ campaign to encourage responsible pet ownership

A NEW campaign has been launched for Inverell dog and cat lovers to increase awareness of pet etiquette or ‘petiquette’.

The initiative aims to stem the amount of roaming pets on Inverell streets and to prompt residents to become responsible pet owners.

The campaign is being led by Inverell Shire Council, thanks to funding secured from the

NSW government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Program and comes on the back of a highly successful subsidised microchipping, vaccination and desexing program

delivered to more than one hundred pensioners and residents on low incomes.

The program involved a partnership between Council, Inverell Vet Clinic, Gowrie Vet Clinic and the volunteers of Inverell RSPCA sub-branch.

Under the petiquette campaign, council has released an information card, outlining the basics of responsible pet ownership.

Tips include such as picking up after your pet, walking your dog on a leash, making sure pet dogs do not roam and ensuring cats are inside at night.

The flip side of the card also allows residents to let neighbours know if their pet has been causing a nuisance in the neighbourhood.

Mayor Paul Harmon indicated the concept has been implemented elsewhere in Australia with favourable results.

“Many residents may not realise their pet dog is straying or perhaps barking excessively while they’re out,” Cr Harmon said.

“The card provides a simple means of letting owners know, so they can take action.”

Those using the card can remain anonymous.

“Lack of responsible pet ownership can greatly reduce the quality of life for neighbours and increase neighbourhood tension, so if we can nip things in the bud, it helps everyone concerned,” Cr Harmon said.

Copies of the petiquette postcards will be distributed to Inverell residences shortly.

The postcards will also be available at the council administration centre and Inverell Library.

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Letters to the Editor

Poor tasteLAST Friday, February26I was driving into Horsham from Dimboola when I spotteda large group of teenagers crossing at the lights near May Park.

Most of the students were wearing lookalike combat army uniforms and carrying very large guns (no doubt toys).

Apparently the young people were going to the school swimming sports.

I feel it was poor taste and the parents and school should have put a stop to it.

Perhaps these students and their families should sit down and watch what is going on in many countries less fortunate then us.

There are other better ways to have fun. Never fool around with any type of gun.

I was quite shocked to see this happening in the Wimmera.



Medicare will vanishI COMMEND William McIlwain (Mail-Times, February29),for his very frank and honestletterconcerning aged care.

The major political parties, including the Nationals, have let go of aged care.Nursing homes are struggling to exist in country Victoria and noone seems to care.

These issues come up every election.Don’t forget the Nationals have occupied the Wimmera-Mallee seats for many many years and still spend their time canning the governmentin office, instead of doing the job of fixing the massive problem.

Aged care is not the only concern either.At present, thefederal governmentis gutting Medicare so that it can be privatised.

Under proposed changes, seriously sick people would have topay for blood tests and other oncologyprocedures.

If the people want to keep and preserve Medicare and ensure aged care is taken care of, we must shake the members of parliament representing this area.

The only way things will get done is to stop this electorate being a safe seat.

The health budget has been cut down terribly. Horsham’s hospital is sadly overworkedby the dedicated doctors, surgeons and highly-skilled nurses.

It services every other town in the Wimmera.Isn’t that enough to wake up the National Party representatives who have been in office for years?

Aged care and Medicare in the country should be a major election issue.

State or federal,we will have nothing and privatisation will take over.Our wonderful Medicare system will vanish.



Issue oflegalityI WOULDlike to comment on Cr Heather Phillips’ Mayoral Matters column (Mail-Times, February 24).

Cr Phillips states the Local Government Act is being reviewed.

I wonder ifcouncillors have read and understood the Constitution of Australia?

Cr Phillips states ‘we are the third tier of government’. If Cr Phillips’ statement is trueit should be reflected somewhere.

There is no such thing as a ‘third tier of government’in Australia.

I would like to point out to Cr Phillips thatthe referendum to recognise local government in the constitutionon September 3, 1988, was not carried.

Cr Phillips goes on to say councillors are not company board members, yet local councils arean entity, operating as a business with an ABN number.

Businesses are not entitled to levy taxes of any kind, yet local councils levy taxes in a form they call rates.

The power of taxation is vested exclusively with the federal government, so declared in the Australian Constitution.

Furthermore, John Howard, Peter Costello and Michael Carmody all stated before the introduction of the GST that‘local government council rates will attract no GST because council rates are a tax and we cannot tax a tax’.Can Cr Phillips explain how it is that rates are not a tax, seeing the government of the day clearly stated council rates are a tax?My point is, why review the local government act in its current formwhile there are serious constitutional problems based on local government legality?



Small business strugglingI WOULDlike to respond to Peter Schmidt’s comments (Mail-Times,February 29),regarding the closing of businesses.

I work in a small business of just two employees (my manager and I). I only work 20 hours per weekand have just been told that these hours may have to be cut.

I am now a single mother to two boys, with a mortgage and bills to pay, so really cannot afford to lose any hours.

Sadly, I blame internet shopping and email for this happening.

People do not realise that because of internet shopping they are killing smaller businesses.

People think that the convenience of internet shopping is easier as it gets delivered to their door, without thinking about what it is doing to the small business. We are more than willing to order stock in for people(within reason), but they don’t seem to want to wait – even if it’s only for a week.

They don’t realise that it doesn’t really work out any cheaper for them, as they then have to pay postage as well.

I have had numerous customers saying to me ‘don’t you ever close’, but without the customer support, small business don’t really have much chance.So, I ask people tosupport their local small businesses.

The majority of us will go above and beyond to help you and keep you coming back. If this internet shopping doesn’t stop, sadly, more of us will lose our jobs. We cannot stay open if we aren’t making money.



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BHRC attracts new owners to industry

The Bendigo Harness Racing Club has launched a new initiative to attract central Victorians to harness racing ownership.

Pacers Bendigo is a syndicate formed by the club to race a two-year-old filly trained by experienced Junortoun trainer Gary Donaldson.

Experienced syndicate manager and long-time harness racing owner Alan Prentice has beenappointed to manage the registered syndicate.

The aim is to offer affordable fragmented ownership to people who may nothave thought that racing a share of a harness racing horse was possible.

Shares in the syndicate cost $500 for 12 months.More than 66 per cent of theshares sold have been purchased by first time harness racing owners.

The two-year-old filly has been in work for Donaldson andshe made an appearance atthe track at Lord’s Raceway during the recent Bendigo Cup meeting.

The filly will be named at Thursday night’s Bendigo Harness Racing Club meeting.

Thesyndicate is also investigating the possibility of leasing an older horse fromNew Zealand that may currently be racing.

“You’ll no doubt forgesome fantastic friendships along your journey of racehorse ownership – sharingwins and losses alike at the track and gaining valuable industry insightstogether as an ownership group,” Prentice said.

Anyone who is interested in being part of thePacers Bendigo Syndicate can contactAlan Prentice on 0423 777934.

Thursday night’s BHRC meeting is highlighted by the heats of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed series.

The first of nine races is at 6.30pm.

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Defence silent on calls

WILLIAMTOWN residents are angry –and the Department of Defence is silent –after Defence lawyers approached at least two businesses in the water contamination red zone and allegedly asked one business owner if she was planning to sue the department.
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Residents rallied behind the businesswoman, who did not want to be identified because her business hasbeen seriously affected by the Williamtown RAAF Base contamination scandal, after she was phoned without warning by Defence two weeks ago and asked for a meeting several days later.

The woman, who hadonly just returned to work after months tackling a severe and debilitating conditionand was still heavily medicated, said she was mystified why Defence contacted her “out of the blue” because she had not taken part in any community action after the contamination scandal became public in September.

Object: Williamtown residents (from left) Brian and Julie Curry, Mel Marshall, Julie Bailey and Rhianna and Cain Gorfine are angry with Defence. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

She was concerned after two of the three Defence personnel identified themselves as Defence lawyers and notes were taken of the meeting. She wasconfused about why she would have been asked “So you’re not going to sue us?”, after Defence earlier advised her no fire fighting foam contaminants were found in bores and dams on her property.

The woman said she did not have a lawyer with her, despite Defence telling her in the initial phone call thatshe could have a lawyer.

“I had no reason to think I needed legal representation, but now l’m thinking, what the hell is going on?” the businesswoman said.

The businesswoman raised a serious noise complaint with Defence about four or five years ago after an incident involving jet noise.

A second businesswoman in the red zone confirmed she had also received an unexpected phone call from Defence, and met with Defence lawyers two weeks ago who asked questions about her business.

Williamtown and Surrounds Residents’ Action Group,which is considering a class action against the Department of Defence over the impact of the contamination scandal, responded angrily to the Defence move.

“Defence should not be approaching people out of the blue and arriving with lawyers,” spokeswoman Rhianna Gorfine said.

Defence has not responded to questions sent one week ago, or acknowledged questions sent by text message to one of the Defence lawyers involved.

University is adapting fine arts to support its students

For decades, The University of Newcastle (UON) has been graduating students from a diverse range of creative disciplines including music, creative writing, performing arts, fine art, communication, design and natural history illustration. We have graduated many artists who have gone on to contribute to the creative vitality of our region.
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We are fortunate to live and work in a region that has been such a significant creative hub, across theatre, all forms of visual art, music and cultural festivals, and more recently as a centre of design, audio-visual production and new media. Hunter communities are strong supporters of the creative arts and industries, adding vibrancy to our region’s social, cultural and economic landscape, and contributing to our sense of wellbeing and social inclusion.

OPPORTUNITY: Hunter communities are strong supporters of the creative arts, adding vibrancy to our region’s social, cultural and economic landscape. Picture: Marina Neil

Creative industries are often micro businesses or small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that focus on local markets, but can also develop into powerful economic clusters, helping to drive economic growth. As our region transitions from a resources-based economy, the creative industries can be significant players in developing a new identity and leveraging the unique position of Newcastle and the Hunter in Australia’s contemporary visual, performing and creative arts scene.

The key trends in creative arts education are toward graduates that are creative and visionary but are also adaptable and skilled across the spectrum of creative professions. Creative people today want both artistic and financial freedom. Many desire to turn their creative ideas into experiences, products and services that add to our lives in meaningful ways.

As a result, the University has launched a strategy to ensure that future generations of students across the creative sectors graduate with the skills they need to succeed in the new innovation-based economy.

From 2017, UON will be offering new degrees in the creative industries at Bachelor and Masters level. As part of this journey of reinvention, Fine Art will now be taught from within the Bachelor of Creative Industries, which will open up a range of options for students that are in demand.

Our new degrees will offer students the choice to specialise in a chosen field of individual creative interest, such as visual art, performing arts, music, design, IT or communication and media, or the option of study across this wide range of disciplines. This choice of breadth or depth will be built around a core of critical courses in entrepreneurship, business skills, digital capabilities and social innovation, all within the creative context, and designed to help our students succeed in their chosen field.

Unlike any other degrees previously offered in this area, students will now have the opportunity to develop professional networks, work with a range of stakeholders and audiences, and develop sought-after skills for future employment and entrepreneurial possibilities.

Whether students pursue a solo artistic career, or aspire to be part of a start-up, or aim to work for an established corporation, the range of skills delivered by our new degrees will allow them to sustainably shape their own future and their social and cultural environments.

The University is proud to lead this creative industries enterprise by offering a unique combination of education, research and innovation activity that will build on our community’s creative heritage.

Professor John Germov,Pro Vice-Chancellor,Faculty of Education and Arts

‘Problem’ emerges in plan to enlist Margaret Cunneen in Eddie Obeid’s ICAC battle

Eddie Obeid outside the Supreme Court in Darlinghurst in February. Photo: Edwina Pickles.Cunneen may be enlisted in Obeid’s ICAC battle
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A “problem” has emerged in Eddie Obeid’s plan to enlist controversial Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen in his lawsuit against the corruption watchdog, the Supreme Court has heard.

Mr Obeid, 72, and three of the former NSW Labor minister’s five sons are suing the ICAC for damages over the watchdog’s pursuit of the family in an inquiry into a lucrative coal deal.

The Supreme Court heard last year that one of the witnesses the Obeids may seek to call is Ms Cunneen, SC, who successfully challenged the watchdog’s power to investigate her over allegations of perverting the course of justice.

Her evidence could be relevant to whether the ICAC had a tendency to “knowingly ignore the law in the execution of search warrants”, the Obeids’ barrister, Robert Newlinds, SC, told the court in December.

Justice David Davies said at the time it was “somewhat unusual” for tendency evidence to be raised in a civil rather than criminal case.

Neil Williams, SC, who is acting for two ICAC investigators who are being sued as part of the case, told the court on Tuesday there was a question about whether “tendency evidence was admissible at all” and it might need to be “agitated at some point”.

“The witness statement of Ms Cunneen is the one that particularly concerns my clients,” he said.

“If she has refused to sign an affidavit this should be made clear to the court.”

A witness statement sets out the oral evidence a party in a court case intends to elicit from a witness in the box.

Court rules provide that witness statements should be “signed by the intended witness unless the signature of the witness cannot be procured or the court orders otherwise”.

“Is Ms Cunneen still the problem in terms of the signing?” Justice Davies asked on Tuesday.

“I think so,” Mr Newlinds said.

But Mr Newlinds said he understood Ms Cunneen had said “yes, she’ll come [and give evidence] if subpoenaed”.

He agreed her evidence was “tendency evidence if anything” and said a decision had not yet been made “about whether we go down that path”.

The Obeids allege the ICAC falsely claimed to have obtained damning evidence against them during a raid on the family’s Birkenhead Point offices. The watchdog has denied the claim.

Allegations the commission failed to comply with search warrant procedures in the ill-fated Cunneen inquiry have also been made. ICAC Inspector David Levine, QC, said in a report in December that the agency had unlawfully seized the mobile phones of Ms Cunneen and others.

The watchdog’s head, former Supreme Court judge Megan Latham, has said the report is “so fundamentally flawed” it should be withdrawn or rejected.

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Sydney FC v Guangzhou Evergrande – The Lowdown

One to watch: Guangzhou striker Jackson Martinez will attract plenty of attention. Photo: James AlcockAsian Champions League, Group Stage: Sydney FC v Guangzhou Evergrande
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Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 8pm AET

TV Broadcast: Live on Fox Sports

Odds: Sydney FC $4.33, Guangzhou Evergrande $1.75, Draw $3.60 (Ladbrokes)

Twitter: #SYDvGUA


Sydney FC (4-2-3-1): Janjetovic; Grant, Jurman, Anderson, Ryall; Dimitrijevic, Tavares; Carney, Ninkovic, Hoole; Smeltz.

Guangzhou Evergrande (4-2-3-1): Cheng: Li, Kim, Feng, Zhang; Paulinho, Zheng; Rong, Goulart, Zheng; Martinez


1. David Carney (Sydney FC)

Scored a magnificent equaliser for the Sky Blues against Melbourne Victory last weekend but then foolishly picked up a yellow card, ruling him out of this weekend’s clash with Melbourne City. He can make up for his domestic absence by running amok here.

2. Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande)

Stop the presses: Martinez is the most important signing in the history of Asian football – and certainly the most expensive. At $65 million, that transfer puts China behind only England, Spain, Italy and France as the nations with the most expensive transfer fees. Will he score his first competitive goal for the club in Sydney?

3. Shane Smeltz (Sydney FC)

Led the line without luck last week in Tokyo against Urawa and with Matt Simon and Alex Brosque both injured, will almost certainly do so again. It’s been a lean year for the Kiwi forward but he’ll get ample opportunities in the coming weeks to prove he’s still capable at this level.

4. Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)

Didn’t set the world on fire as expected at Tottenham Hotspur and when there was an opening for the Brazilian to leave, Guangzhou pounced. He produced a brilliant first season in China and should control the midfield from the opening whistle.

5. Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney FC)

Managed to restrict the Victory to just a solitary goal and that should give him some confidence after a difficult run between the posts. He’ll know Guangzhou’s attack will be out to make his night as busy as possible.


Richardo Goulart (Guangzhou Evergrande) v Mickael Tavares (Sydney FC)

Arnold has lost faith with Tavares of late but with Guangzhou’s brilliant foreign attackers in a class of their own, the Senegalese holding midfielder probably has to come in. Goulart is a freakish No.10, scoring 19 goals in 27 league games last year. He was Brazilian league player of the year in 2014. Enough said.


Graham Arnold (Sydney FC)

Arnold loves nothing more than sharing the dugout with the biggest names in the game – testing his own strategies and beliefs. His Sydney side meets Guangzhou having gone winless in six A-League games and having been defeated in their last ACL game. If nothing else, it would be a memorable night to stop the rot.

Luiz Felipe Scolari (Guangzhou Evergrande)

Call him what you like – Phil Scolari, Big Phil or Filipao – the 67-year-old is known worldwide as one of the game’s most charismatic figures. He’s a World Cup-winning coach who has worked in nations as diverse as England, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal and Uzbekistan. After guiding Brazil to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, he’s won the league and ACL double last year with Guangzhou.

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Iran’s voters back nuclear deal and their president despite roadblocks

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to media after casting his vote in Tehran, Iran, on Friday. Photo: Handout/AP Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his ballot in Tehran, Iran, on Friday. Photo: Handout/AP
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Ultraconservative Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful Guardian Council, Iran’s top electoral oversight body, was re-elected. Photo: AP/File

Vote heralds most crucial choice in 30 years

Washington: The Iranian parliament is not a repository of great power. Yet in terms of the signal sent to the country’s powerbrokers and to the world, the votes cast by millions at the weekend amounted to a political thunderclap – in going to the polls, Iranians didn’t get substantive change, but that they said they wanted change was substantive.

The ranks of the hardliners who controlled the national parliament were slashed dramatically – down from 112 to 68. It was reformists and so-called moderate-conservative factions that walked away with control – between them, they captured 158 seats in the 290-seat parliament, which included a clean sweep of all 30 seats representing the capital.

The elections – for the parliament and separately for Assembly of Experts, which appoints Iran’s Supreme Leader – were seen as a referendum on reformist President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in 2013; and on a deal that he championed, by which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for the lifting of Western economic sanctions.

Nearly every hardline candidate who voiced criticism of the nuclear deal was defeated.

In the 88-strong Assembly of Experts, the coalition of reformists and moderate conservatives that won out in the parliament captured almost two-thirds of the seats.

Rouhani will face less criticism in the new parliament and he will probably be more cordial to the West. But power in Iran continues to rest with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the religious and security establishment.

And while it is they who make the big decisions on foreign and economic, social and religious policy, the February 26 votes are an expression of the people’s will that might inform their decision-making in the face of calls by Rouhani for greater liberalisation.

Khamenei is an arch-critic of the US – and in his only public comment on the elections, he praised the 60-plus per cent voter turnout, not the outcome.

But despite his harsh rhetoric, some analysts insist that Khamenei is conscious of Iranian public opinion and that, at age 76 and in poor health, he is concerned about a legacy that would be greater than having merely preserved the Islamic Revolution – hence his support for the nuclear deal and the economic benefits it might bring.

Rouhani, on the other hand, faces re-election in 2017. And in pushing for reforms that might please voters, he runs the risk of a backlash from vested interests – be they the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which reputedly controls as much as two-thirds of the economy, or the religious hardliners who justify their own existence by insisting on conservative social policies.

“This election can be a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic,” according to an editorial in the reformist newspaper Mardom-Salari. “The biggest achievement of this election is the return of reformists to the ruling system … so they won’t be called seditionists or infiltrators anymore.”

Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the conservative, Khamenei-aligned Kayhan newspaper, claimed that the reformists were attempting to create “an illusion of victory”.

Quoted by Reuters, he said: “The structure of Iran’s ruling system is such that no political faction can change the main policies rooted in its core principles.”

In the circumstances of politics Iran-style, the election outcome was remarkable. Hardliners and revolution diehards used their grip on the levers of non-parliamentary power to thwart voices for change – thousands of reformist election candidates were disqualified by an unelected Guardian Council; activists were detained; opposition campaigns were ignored by powerful state media outlets; and rallies and other political events were curtailed.

But in a matter of days, what could be described as the more centrist forces on the very narrow and conservative Iranian political spectrum turned to social media and word of mouth to get Iranians to coalesce behind a slate of candidates, dubbed “the list of hope”, of whom they knew very little.

When the bulk of would-be reformist candidates were excluded, the reformists were obliged to fall back on little-known second and third-tier reformists and on a carefully selected crop of conservatives, variously described as “moderate”, “pragmatic” and “centrist”, who they believed would be prepared to work with them on some – if not all – issues.

Shervin Malekzadeh, a visiting professor at Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, saw irony in the vote.

“Iran is becoming more democratic in spite of itself,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

“If the line against radicalism holds, as it already appears to have held … the story of these elections will be of how, in one of the great ironies of Iran’s post-revolutionary political development, the intransigence of the Guardian Council helped provide the necessary basis for the formation of a more tolerant and pluralist politics in Iran.”

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Cory Bernardi to be sent to United Nations

Off to New York: Senator Cory Bernardi at the joint partyroom meeting in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex EllinghausenControversial Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who has called the United Nations an “unelected and unaccountable body”, will represent Australia during a three-month secondment with the global organisation.

Senator Bernardi will be joined in the bipartisan annual delegation by Tasmanian Labor senator Lisa Singh. The trip usually commences in early September.

While in New York, the parliamentary delegates will work with the established Australian Mission to the United Nations, and attend meetings, speaking engagements and other official functions.

Senator Bernardi is a longstanding critic of the UN. In a 2010 speech to the Senate, he lamented that the then-Labor government’s climate change agenda was “outsourcing aspects of our national sovereignty to unaccountable foreign organisations like the United Nations”.

He also remarked that Labor’s policy “would have seen billions of dollars of Australian taxpayer funds disappear into that fiscal black hole of bureaucracy known as the United Nations.”

And as recently as 2014 he again reflected on Labor’s climate policy giving power to “unelected officials in the United Nations”.

It is understood Senator Bernardi was selected for the secondment by his Senate colleagues. Asked about the selection process, a representative from Chief Government Whip David Bushby’s office said: “Sorry, we don’t provide that information.”

Senator Bernardi said he was delighted to have been chosen for the delegation by his colleagues.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to assist in Australia’s representations to the United Nations and to learn more about the purpose, inner workings and effectiveness of the UN,” he said.

“Experiences such as this broaden the knowledge of any parliamentarian fortunate enough to participate.”

Director of the International and Parliamentary Relations Office, Russell Chafer, said the aim of the annual visit was to “maintain strong connections between the Australian Parliament and the United Nations”.

Last year, Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan was joined on the plum posting by former Labor treasurer and deputy prime minister Wayne Swan. It was reported that the costs associated with the secondments, including airfares, accommodation and transport, exceeded $120,000.

In 2011, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo – then a Liberal backbencher – refused to pay an $8000 hotel bill while on the same secondment. The Department of Finance also declined to settle the tab, which was eventually picked up by Australian consular officials in New York amid a diplomatic fracas.

The outspoken Senator Bernardi, who last week was branded a “homophobe” by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, has been leading the push within the government against same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program for LGBTI teenagers.

In 2012, he was forced to resign as Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary after comments suggesting same-sex marriage would pave the way to legalised bestiality.

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‘The responsible thing’: Malcolm Turnbull defends Safe Schools review

“We respect every member of this House”: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares Tony Abbott during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Coalition MP George Christensen, a prominent critic of Safe Schools, on Tuesday Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Tony Abbott calls for abolition of Safe Schools program

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended his decision to order a review into the controversial Safe Schools anti-bullying program, saying it was the “responsible thing” to do and showed the government “standing up for children”.

Mr Turnbull was quizzed about the review during question time on Tuesday, when Greens MP Adam Bandt asked if he had given in to “bigots”.

“Is your commitment to socially progressive values so skin deep that you will put young people’s welfare at risk and throw a successful anti-bullying campaign under a bus, just because the bigots in the conservative brotherhood tell you to?”

Speaker Tony Smith ruled the last part of the question out of order.

Mr Turnbull responded that MPs on both sides of the Parliament had “raised concerns” about the content of the program, which is aimed at addressing the bullying of LGBTI students.

While acknowledging that claims about the program’s teachings are disputed, the Prime Minister said the MPs raising them deserve respect.

“We respect every member of this House because they represent … Australians. They represent a constituency.”

Mr Turnbull argued that asking Education Minister Simon Birmingham to organise a review “is the responsible thing that any Prime Minister, any government should do”.

Mr Turnbull called for a review of the $8 million federally-funded program last week, after a group of Coalition MPs raised concerns about the Safe Schools program in a meeting of government MPs.

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi said school children are “prematurely sexualised” by the program, while Queensland MP George Christensen later likened the program to “paedophile grooming” – claiming it recommended pornographic content, sex shops and sex clubs to school children.

On Tuesday, former prime minister Tony Abbott joined in the criticism, describing the program as “social engineering”, while calling for its remaining funds to be scrapped.

Labor strongly supports the Safe Schools program, but conservative Labor backbencher Joe Bullock has described it as “terrible”.

The independent review is headed up by University of Western Australian emeritus professor of education Bill Louden and is due to report back by March 11.

Mr Turnbull told Parliament on Tuesday it would be made public.

“We will be able to judge the merit of the criticisms and what, if any steps should be taken consequent [to] the review.

“That is taking children’s rights seriously, it’s taking bullying seriously.

“It’s standing up for children.”

The Safe Schools program was initiated by the previous Labor government but was not launched until 2014 under the Abbott government.

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong expressed surprise that it had become such a divisive political issue.

“I didn’t think people would have such an issue with their children being taught acceptance and tolerance.

“The extent to which the hard right will go to perpetuate their views and frankly their prejudices I think has been a sight to behold,” Senator Wong told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

“Can you imagine if you were a 15 year old boy who was struggling with who he is, how this debate would be playing?”

Last week, a spokeswoman for the Safe Schools Coalition said it “does not link to or recommend any pornographic web content, sex shops, adult online communities, or sex clubs on its website or in any of its materials”.

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PM Malcolm Turnbull disappoints East Timor on talks on maritime boundary

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says talks with East Timor should take place only within the context of the broader bilateral relationship and alongside ‘other issues’. Photo: Andrew MearesPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offered to hold “frank and open” discussions with East Timor about the unresolved maritime boundary between the two countries but stopped short of the fledgling state’s request for formal and discrete talks to settle the impasse.

​East Timor’s prime minister Rui Araujo wrote to Mr Turnbull on February 1 asking that the two leaders meet to discuss a permanent maritime boundary in the Timor Sea, rich in oil and gas.

Dr Araujo told Mr Turnbull that the current arrangement, where the two countries share oil and gas revenue in a joint development area, does not reflect East Timor’s entitlements under international law.

As a result, East Timor believes it has lost some $US5 billion in royalties and tax revenue since independence, enough to fund its entire budget for three years..

East Timor asserts the vast majority of the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea – worth about $40 billion in royalties and tax alone – would lie in its territory if the sea borders in the Timor Sea reflected the norms of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a contention Australia rejects.

In his response to Dr Araujo, Mr Turnbull highlighted the importance of the relationship and said there was a genuine need for “frank and open” discussions about the border.

However, he said those talks should take place only within the context of the broader bilateral relationship and alongside “other issues”.

The government’s position falls well short of the pledge last month by Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Tanya Plibersek that Labor would negotiate a new boundary in “good faith” and submit the dispute to the international adjudication if bilateral talks failed to produce a result.

Further deflating hopes in Dili, Mr Turnbull also said Australia’s long-held position was to support the treaty arrangements that underpin the current resource sharing in Timor Sea and were negotiated in “good faith” and “consistent with international law”.

East Timor takes a different view in light of the revelations that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents – operating undercover as aid workers – inserted listening devices into the wall cavity of East Timor’s government office during treaty negotiations in 2004.

East Timor has restarted international arbitration in the Hague to press its claim that  the eavesdropping should render the Timor Sea Treaty void on the grounds it wasn’t negotiated in good faith, as required under the Vienna Convention.

It is a development that Mr Turnbull is believed to have told Dr Araujo was a “disappointment”.

Even so, the voiding of the treaty would not require Australia to negotiate a new arrangement, let alone a permanent maritime boundary.

In 2002, just before East Timor became independent, Australia withdrew from the dispute-settling authority of UNCLOS, meaning East Timor can’t go to the UN for a determination on the boundary.

With Mr Turnbull calling on the various claimants in the South China Sea to settle their disputes according to international law and to ratify UNCLOS, Australia’s position on East Timor undercuts its wider diplomatic authority, critics argue.

The Philippines has taken China to a tribunal under UNCLOS over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea and Mr Turnbull has said he was “looking forward” to the outcome.

But China says it won’t recognise the tribunal’s verdict and its foreign minister Wang Yi noted the inconsistency of Australia’s position at a joint press conference with foreign minister Julie Bishop last month.

“We issued a declaration excluding China from being subjected to the compulsory [UNCLOS] settlement measures,” Mr Wang said.

“Let me also point out that China is not the only country that has issued such declarations. Altogether there are 30 to 40 countries around the world that have issued similar declarations and Australia is also one of them.”

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

MP raises a stink on refinery

Disconnected: Truegain Pty Ltd, trading as Australian Waste Oil Refineries at Rutherford, should be the subject of a full environmental audit after contaminated water discharges to the Hunter Water sewer network, Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison has told the government. THE NSW Government must conduct a formal environmental audit of the waste oil refinery that has discharged contaminated sewage into the sewer network, and been the subject of penalties and fines for years, said Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison.

She has written to Environment Minister Mark Speakman requesting the urgent audit of Australian Waste Oil Refineries at Rutherford after meeting with him last week following Hunter Water’s unprecedented step of disconnecting the refinery from its network.

This followed inspections and fines by the NSW Environment Protection Authority in early February and tests by Hunter Water of “suspicious” foam that confirmed waste with extremely high perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) levels was being discharged into the sewer network.

Inher letter requesting the environmental audit Ms Aitchison said the refinery, also known as Truegain Pty Ltd, had been the subject of 18 fines in the past, and “that’s 18 fines too many”.

“The government has the power to suspend the EPA licence under extreme circumstances, and I am sure the community would agree the high number of previous breaches, in conjunction with this latest extremely serious incident, are extreme circumstances,” Ms Aitchison wrote.

The government’s response to what has become known as the “Rutherford stink” –industrial smells that have dogged the area for years –had been inadequate, she said.

“If thegovernment had acted on the Rutherford stink then we mightn’t have had the sewer discharge.”

Weekend Planner

SATURDAYThe Reluctant Jillaroo – Book LaunchThe localqueen of teen booksKaz Delaney will celebrate the release of her new rural romance for teen readers,The Reluctant Jillaroo, with a launch at Cardiff Library from 2pm to 3pm.Bookings are essential on4954 8575.

The Newcastle Regional Show is on again this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday from 9am, get along to Newcastle Showgrounds tocheck out traditions such as the competitions and displays, as well as the animals, amusements and showbags. Gates open 9am on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $18/$10/$12 at the gate. Parking costs $5.

Cyclone Winston AppealGood Day Bread for Life will distribute tinned food, clothes, water and stationery items to schools and other basic items to the cyclone-affected people in Fiji. Bringdonations to the Sunsupermaket, Garnett Road, East Maitland from 9.30am to 6pm.There will be a drop zone at 87 Radford Street, Heddon Greta for manchester, bedding, pillows and stationery.

Detonation 6Local Boxers fightfor World Boxing Association titles.Kyron “The Hitman” Dryden will be defending his title, Richard Smith will be fighting Scott Edwards in a local Grudge match, RockyJerkic and Tyson Lantrywill be involved in the event.Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm. Tickets are$50.

SUNDAYThe Triathlon FestivalThe Sparke Helmore NBN Triathlon and Newcastle Foreshore Triathlons, traditionally both staged in late summer around the harbour and beaches of Newcastle, have joined forces to bringall the events into the one weekend. The combined events are expected to attract more than 3000 competitors and 10,000 spectators and raise money for Hunter Medical Research Institute. Visitsparkenbntriathlon南京夜网419论坛for more information.

Newcastle Fabric DestashThere will be loads of stalls selling fabric, scraps and crafting supplies atNew Lambton Community Centre from1.30pm to 4pm.

Clean Up Australia DayLake Macquarie City Council and Newcastle City Councilis encouraging the community, schools and local businesses to lend a hand to help keep our city looking picture perfect. Participants should wear a hat, sunscreen and a pair of gloves when cleaning up on the day. Visitcleanupaustraliaday.org419论坛to join a local clean up site.

Endless SummerCharlestown Swim Centre is hosting this event where visitors can come and relax on the lawn, enjoy live music and tackle the aquatic floats from 10am to 4pm. Free entry for the first 100 people aged 12-24 years. Otherwise, entry costs $3.50.

Still LifeTutor Susan Ryman hosts observational drawing classesusing soft pastels, charcoal and ink at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery from 10.30am to 4pm.Costs $50. Bookings and enclosed shoes essential. BYO lunch and snacks. Book on49658260.

Walka Mini RailwayWalka Water Works, Maitland, hosts a miniature railway from 11am, weather permitting. Costs $3 per person. Covered footwear is required.

Richmond Vale RailwayMuseumStep back in time at the volunteer-run museum on Leggetts Drive. The first train leaves around 10.30am, the last train leaves at 3pm. Artefacts, maps and photos to view. Tickets $16 adults, $7.50 children five to 15, under-5s free;richmondvalerailwaymuseum.org.

Morpeth MotoramaThis is agathering for all motoring enthusiasts in the beautiful grounds of Closebourne House from 10am to 2pm. There will be trade stalls, food, coffee, entertainment and children’s activities, as well as the Show‘n’ Shine.

MARKETSMonthly Markets @ The WillowsSaturday, Warners Bay Uniting Church, 342 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay, from 8am to 2pm.

Handmade in the Hunter MarketsSaturday, Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin, 9am to 3pm.

Olive Tree MarketsSaturday, Civic Park, Newcastle, 9am to 3pm.

Maitland MarketsSunday,Maitland Showground,8am to2pm.

Newcastle City Farmers’ MarketSunday, Speers Point Park, 8am to 1pm.

MUSIC5 SawyersSaturday, DJ Sean Andrews. Sunday, DJ Perry Carter, AK Morris.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Duplexity. Sunday, Mick Jones.

Argyle HouseSaturday, Hayden James.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, The Way.

Bar 121Saturday, The Years.

Bar PetiteSaturday, Junior & Luana. Sunday, Kylie Jane.

Bay HotelSaturday, Kristen Lane Duo. Sunday, Katrina Burgoyne.

Beach Hotel Sunday, The Cassettes.

Beachcomber HotelSaturday, Outerphase. Sunday, Alex Toole.

Bellbird Workers ClubSaturday, The Klassics.

Belmont 16 FootersSaturday, The Big Bang Quartet, Kellie Cain. Sunday, Rich & Famous.

Belmore HotelMaitlandSaturday, Formula.

Belmore Hotel SconeSaturday, Schmoo.

Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Cruisers.

Bimbadgen WinerySaturday, A Day On The Green feat. Hoodoo Gurus, Violent Femmes, Sunnyboys, Died Pretty, Ratcat.

Blackbutt HotelSaturday, Angel Gear.

The BradfordSaturday, Shivoo. Sunday, Acoustic Mayhem.

Cardiff RSL ClubSaturday, Uptown.

Carrington PlaceSaturday, The Royal Key.

Catho PubSaturday, David J Bull. Sunday, Four To The Floor.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday, Anyerin Drury.

Central HotelStroudSaturday,Darren Rolling Keys.

Cessnock Rugby League Supporters ClubSaturday, The Levymen.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Dr. Love.

Clarendon HotelSaturday,Pistol Pete.

Club AzzurriSunday, Latinova.

Club Lemon TreeSaturday,Kevin O’Hara.

Colliery InnSaturday, Pete Sneddon.

Commercial Hotel MorpethSaturday, The Royals.

Country Club Hotel Shoal Bay Saturday, Kim, Tres Hombres. Sunday, Frets With Benefits.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSunday, Ben Travis.

Criterion Hotel SingletonSaturday, Defaced.

Criterion Hotel WestonSaturday, The Zillers.

Crown & Anchor HotelSaturday,Jackson Cassidy.

Customs House HotelSaturday, Matteo Verde. Sunday, Bel Enks.

D’Albora Marina Nelson BaySaturday, Chris Phillips. Sunday, Damien.

Delany HotelSaturday, Alias.

Duke Of WellingtonSaturday, Daniel Arvidson.

East Maitland Bowling ClubSaturday, Purple Rain. Sunday, John Hume.

Edgeworth TavernSunday, Emile.

Ellalong HotelSaturday, Rock Oz.

Exchange HotelSaturday, Hornet.

Foghorn BrewhouseSaturday, The Alchemists. Sunday, Gleny Rae Virus and the Bluegrass Playboys.

Gallipoli Legion ClubSaturday, Yes Commissioner, Pow Wow.

Gateshead TavernSunday, Leeroy’s Duo.

George Tavern GreenhillsSaturday, The Remedy.

Great Northern HotelSaturday, Aligned Vision feat. Hellquist, Fabio Leal.

Grain StoreSaturday, Tim Rossington. Sunday, JJ King.

Grand Junction HotelSaturday, Truckstop Honeymoon. Sunday, Blues Bombers.

Gunyah HotelSaturday,GenX. Sunday, Matt McLaren.

Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday,Modern History.

Honeysuckle HotelSaturday, StateFX. Sunday, Aqwa, Crocq Duo.

Hotel JesmondSaturday, Overload Duo. Sunday, Michael Mills.

Iron Horse InnSaturday, The Jungle Kings.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Pete Gelzinnis. Sunday, Jackson Halliday.

The Junction HotelSaturday, Rogue Lane. Sunday, Sunday Republic.

Junction InnRaymond TerraceSunday, TK.

King Street HotelSaturday, Rave Radio, Yogi, Carson Dodd, DJ Lowblow, Dr Laverty, Fuel, Surian, Hayden Shepherd, Pureblonde. Sunday, Any Given Sunday.

Kotara Bowling ClubSaturday, Zane Penn Duo.

Kurri HotelSaturday, Siren.

Lakeside Village TavernSaturday, The V Dubs.

Lass O’GowrieSaturday, Le Pie, Chicanery, The Sufferjets.

Lizotte’s NewcastleSunday, Colin Hay.

Mark HotelSaturday, Loko. Sunday, Milestones.

Mary EllenSaturday, 4 Letter Word. Sunday, Zane Penn.

Mavericks On The BaySaturday,Bobby C.Sunday, Howard Shearman.

Merewether SurfhouseSunday, Jerome.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, Aaron Hood.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday,Twinsanity.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Deuce. Sunday, Jake Folbigg.

Northern Star Hotel Saturday, Nicko.

Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander BaySunday, Lauren Arms.

Olive Tree Market – Civic ParkSaturday, India, Holly & Campbell, James Bennett, The Bean Project, Shanteya & Jo, Byren.

Pippis At The Point Saturday,Dream Catchers. Sunday, Mike Horbacz.

The Pourhouse MaitlandSaturday, Lennie Live.

Premier HotelSaturday, James Paul. Sunday, Shivoo.

Prince Of Wales Saturday, Phonic Duo. Sunday, Mike Horbacz, DJ Surian.

Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday, Kylie Jane,Perry Carter. Sunday, Jerome,Matt Meler, AK Morris.

Racecourse Hotel Wallsend Saturday, Michael Mills.

Railway Hotel CessnockSaturday, Ben Woodham.

Rathmines Bowling ClubSunday, Mark Lee.

Royal Crown Hotel DudleySaturday, Jake Folbigg. Sunday, Big On Tangents.

Royal Federal Hotel Saturday, Counterpart.

Royal Hotel DenmanSaturday, Full Throttle.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Brazillian Brothers Duo.

Royal Inn Waratah Saturday,Mick Jones.

Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto Sunday, Kelly Hope.

Seabreeze Hotel Saturday, Kadence.

Seven Seas Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Wesley’s Edge.

The Small Ballroom Saturday, Saskwatch, Cub Sport.

Soldiers Point Bowling Club Saturday, Back Beat.

Stag & Hunter Hotel Saturday,The Fumes.

Star HotelSaturday, The Sue & Mikey Show.

Swansea HotelSaturday, Mardy Leith.

Swansea RSL ClubSaturday, Gibbo and Co.

Sydney Junction Hotel Saturday, Hummingbirds.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tea Gardens Hotel Motel Saturday, Karen O’Shea.

Teralba Bowling Club Saturday, Back Beat.

Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Tiali.

Wangi District Workers Club Sunday, Arley Black.

Wangi Hotel Sunday, Tiali.

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Overtone.

Warners Bay Hotel Saturday, Eye On You, Able DJs.

Westfield Kotara – The Rooftop Saturday, Jessica Cain. Sunday, Bobby C.

Wests Leagues Club New Lambton Marble Bar: Saturday, Talk of the Town.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, Ball and Biscuit Band, Phase III. Sunday, Rachel Rachel, Floyd Vincent and The Temple Dogs.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Kaylah Anne.

MOVIES13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi(MA15+) An American Ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

45 Years(M) As their 45th wedding anniversary approaches, a woman learns that her husband was once engaged to someone else.

Brooklyn(M) In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries.

Carol(M) Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Channo Kamli Yaar Di (M)Punjabi film directed by Pankaj Batra and starring Neeru Bajwa and Binnu Dhillon, the story follows theemotional journey of a very common Punjabi girl who goes toCanada to find her missing husband, Jeet. (Tower Cinemas).

Daddy’s Home(PG) Daddy’s Home follows a mild-mannered radio executive (Will Ferrell) who strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father (Mark Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.

Deadpool(MA15+) Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

Gods of Egypt(M) A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt.

Goosebumps(PG) A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.

Grimsby(MA15+)A new assignment forces a top spy to team up with his football hooligan brother.Stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher, Penélope Cruz and Rebel Wilson. (Advance screenings at Kotara and Glendale)

Hail, Caesar!(PG) In the Coen brothers’ latest big screen flick, a Hollywood fixer in the 1950’s works to keep the studio’s stars in line. Stars Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and George Clooney.

How To Be Single(M) New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking a match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Queen A Night In Bohemia(CTC) Filmed live on Christmas Eve 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and bringing to a climax the most eventful and exciting year so far in the band’s career, this ground-breaking concert was transmitted live on BBC Two’s Old Grey Whistle Test and captured the band firing on all cylinders as they performed breakthrough hits likeKiller Queen, Liar, Keep Yourself AliveandNow I’m Here, as well as the now monumental classicBohemian Rhapsody. (Kotara)

Ride Along 2(M) As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer.

Risen(M) Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer.

Room(M) A modern-day story about the boundless love between mother and child; young Jack knows nothing of the world except for the single room in which he was born and raised.

Spotlight(M) The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Suffragette(M) In early 20th-century Britain, the growing suffragette movement forever changes the life of working wife and mother Maud Watts.

The Boy & The Beast(CTC) The latest feature film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda. (Avoca)

The Belier Family(M) In the Bélier family, everyone is deaf, except dutiful 16-year-old Paula. She acts as an indispensible interpreter for her parents and younger brother. (Avoca, Tower Cinemas)

The Commitments(M) A feel-good musical celebration made in 1991 about an Irish band whose goal is to bring 1960s soul music to working-class Dublin. (Regal)

The Danish Girl(M) Inspired by the true story of Danish artists Lili Elbe and her wife Gerda, this tender portrait of a marriage asks: what do you do when someone you love wants to change?

The Finest Hours(PG) In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel.

The Good Dinosaur(PG) After a traumatic event unsettles a lively Apatosaurus named Arlo, he sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way – a human boy.

The Lady in the Van(M) A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her car that’s parked in his driveway. Stars Maggie Smith, Dominic Cooper and James Corden.

The Lion King(G) Embark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba, a lion cub who cannot wait to be king, searches for his destiny in the great Circle of Life.

The Met Opera: Les Pecheurs De Perles(E)Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing set in the Far East returns to the Met stage for the first time in 100 years. (Tower Cinemas)

​The Revenant(M) A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

Three Wise Cousins(PG) Adam is a 22 year old New Zealand born Samoan guy who falls in love with a girl called Mary. On a ‘chance’ encounter he learns that Mary only wants to go out with a ‘real island guy’ – not a plastic one. Adam seeks the advice and guidence of his two cousins to get rid of his ‘plastic’ ways and impress Mary, he’ll have to travel to Samoa and have his cousins teach him how to be a real island guy. (Kotara)

Triple 9(MA15+)A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town. Stars Norman Reedus, Kate Winslet and Teresa Palmer.

Trumbo(M) The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he’s blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist.

Zoolander 2(M) In 2001 Derek Zoolander was the world’s top male supermodel. Fifteen years later, Derek, Hansel and Mugatu are back. Stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

THEATREThe Addams FamilyMusical comedy that looks at members of the family from the popular TV series trying to keep secrets from each other. Gosford Musical Society, at Laycock Street Community Theatre, Gosford. Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, until March 19, plus Sunday, March 13, at 2pm, and Thursday, March 17, at 8pm. 4323 3233.

Hello, StrangerNewcastle’s Paper Cut Collective talked to people about their meetings with strangers and put the experiences into this amusing and sometimes scary show. Audience joins bus at Civic Station at 7.30pm to go to an undisclosed Newcastle CBD venue. Saturday (final show). 梧桐夜网papercutpresents南京夜网.

Punk RockSeven high-achieving students preparing for exams in a school library increasingly are involved in bullying and romance; comedy-drama by Simon Stephens. Stooged Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse. Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, then nightly from Wednesday until Saturday, March 12, at 8pm. 4929 1977.

Thunderbelly – The MusicalGangs and brothel keepers compete in the 1920s to be powerful in Sydney; tongue-in-cheek musical by Newcastle’s Maureen O’Brien based on real events. Maureen O’Brien Productions, at Merewether Uniting Church Hall. Saturday at 8pm, until March 19, plus Saturday matinees March 12 and 19 at 2.30pm; dinner option at Saturday evening shows. 梧桐夜网ticketebo南京夜网419论坛/thunderbelly.

MaynardaramaComedian Maynard looks this month at the Spice Girls; which was the best? The Royal Exchange, Newcastle. Saturday, at 8pm. 4929 4969.

Death and the MaidenA woman tortured by a doctor while a political prisoner believes she recognises his voice when a stranger visits her husband; tense drama by Ariel Dorfman.Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm, then Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, until March 19, plus 2pm Saturday matinee March 12. 4952 4958.

Raise the Roof – The Young Champions of 2016Young musical performers show their skills in a lively concert. Lake Macquarie Music Society, at Charlestown Uniting Church. Sunday, at 2pm. 4948 9898.

EvitaMusical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice looking at the colourful life of Eva Peron, the popular wife of an Argentine president. The National Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Opens Wednesday and plays nightly to Saturday, March 12, at 8pm, plus 2pm Saturday matinee. 4929 1977.

ARTArt Systems WickhamBeach To Barrington –works by Mark Kempton and Bridget Whitehead, ends Sunday.

Cooks Hill GalleriesMazgaon Musings by Ben Kenning, ends Sunday.

CstudiosRos Elkin –The Gift of Nature;Hunter Women Artists – Jenni Gander, Chris Finch andAnnie Palmer;Chris Byrnes Photography, opens Saturday and continues until March 27.

Curve GalleryFlight Path, until March 12.

Gallery139The Bounds of Photography, until March 12.

Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryImpressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier, until March 13; Paris/Hunter, until March 13.

The Lock UpNight Flowers by Damien Frost, until March 13.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryMangroves of Australia: Living on the Edge byDeirdre Bean, untilMay 29;Una Rey: The Reaming Room, untilApril 3;Stephen Bird: Bastard Son of Royal Doulton, untilApril 3;Extinct and Endangered – When Nature Calls University of Newcastle staff and students, untilMay 29;Highlights from the MRAG Collection 1957-2015, until May 29;Salvatore Zofrea – from the MRAG Collection, until May 29;Woven Worlds: 10 years of ‘en plein air’ tapestries byCresside Collette, until May 29;Shaun Tan’s the Lost Thing: From Book to Film, until April 24.

Nanshe Studio GalleryThe Birds, ends Saturday.

Newcastle Art GalleryJohn Peart: Homage, until May 1; Just Draw, until May 1; A Dirty Business:Devine, Styan and Tilley, until May 15.

Newcastle Art SpaceGallery1: Hidden – Works of a Recluse;Gallery2: No Distance Left to Run, until March 20.

Timeless Textiles GalleryThe Art of Imperfection, until March 12.

University GalleryFrom Earth ToSpirit, until March 26.

Watt Space GalleryGallery 1:The Expanded Print; Gallery2: Wildlife illustrations byApril Collison and Tallulah Cunningham; Gallery 3: Tiny People byAmy Hamilton; Digital photographs byMark Mason, untilMarch 20.