Month: January, 2019

‘Stars are aligning’ for Australia to build high speed rail, says international expert

An artist’s impression by Phil Belbin of the proposed VFT (Very Fast Train) in the 1980s. Photo: Comeng – A History of Commonwealth Engineering.An international expert in high speed rail says the “stars are aligning” for Australia to make a decision on building a line to link Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
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Torkel​ Patterson, vice-chairman of the International High Speed Rail Association, will tell a parliamentary committee in Canberra on Tuesday “it’s time” for Australia to act.

“Australia’s flirted with it for a long time, I think this is the time to make a decision on this,” he told Fairfax Media before his appearance before the House of Representatives standing committee on infrastructure, transport and cities.

Mr Patterson is also a director of the Central Japan Railway Company, operator of the iconic bullet train.

The committee is conducting an inquiry into value-capture mechanisms to sustainably fund transport infrastructure and is looking at international experiences with capturing the value of high speed rail infrastructure, and the impact of high speed rail on urban and regional development.

Committee chairman John Alexander said Japan has had great success with its network of high speed rail corridors over the last 60 years.

With more than 2,300 kilometres of rail track and more than 100 million people using Japan’s high speed rail each year, Australia could learn a lot about the technology behind it and its potential application, he said.

Former trade minister Andrew Robb said this week Australia should grab the opportunity of very low interest rates to build the very fast train now along the east coast.

Mr Patterson said he agreed with Mr Robb’s assessment, saying Japan had successfully used the strategy.

“In Japan, there’s definitely been land price increases, in anticipation [of high speed rail] and after the fact, substantial profit, over and above the normal growth,” he said.

“If you think about Australia’s future, it has been a successful economy based on resources but as you move to a more knowledge-based and services based-economy, the central focus of that is the south east quarter of Australia.

“Whereas in the past Melbourne and Sydney tried to compete with other, really being a competitive global economic nation is the future of Australia.

“Secondly, you have a need to spread the population between these two centres as the population grows and they’re all going to move to Sydney or Melbourne.

“The infrastructure can’t sustain that so you need to spend tens of billions of dollars improving that, such as adding new runways to the airports, or you do something different.

“Also, your countryside is withering as your cities are prospering.

“High speed rail allows a solution to that by connecting Sydney to Melbourne, within two to three hours [travel time] depending on the technology chosen, and you change the dynamic equation for the in-between region.

“Minister Robb said recently that the timing is right given the price [of money] around the world.”

Mr Patterson said he had been following the “ups and downs” of high speed rail in Australia, during the term of the Labor and Coalition Governments.

“I think now there is a lot of open mindedness at the federal level to pursue this so that’s why we’ve made the trip,” he said.

“If you do nothing, the cost of solving the infrastructure problems that the country will have as the population grows, will be greater than the cost now of doing something that would address these issues.

“Given that global interest rates are low or negative, I think it’s a good time to finance that as well.

“Australia is considered a safer haven, Australia is looking very competitive and strong and infrastructure is a good bet.

“People are going to keep coming to Australia, so I think the stars are aligning.”

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

Former Kings Cross drug king pin Bill Bayeh pleads guilty to hindering police

Bill Bayeh leaves Downing Centre courts on September 8, 2015. Photo: Daniel MunozFormer Kings Cross drug king pin Bill Bayeh was found with a piece of paper that appeared to refer to a large quantity of drugs, when he was searched by police last year, court documents reveal.
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On Tuesday Mr Bayeh pleaded guilty to one charge of hindering police over the February 2015 incident, allowing the full facts in the case to be revealed for the first time.

They show that the 56-year-old was sitting at the Five Burroughs Cafe in Potts Point about 7.45pm on February 12 last year when he was approach by police.

Following a series of convictions for commercial drug trafficking which saw him jailed for 15 years, Mr Bayeh was forbidden from entering Kings Cross unless it was for the specific purpose of attending his new business interest, the Love Machine strip club on Darlinghurst Road.

Believing Mr Bayeh was in breach of this condition, police took the 56-year-old aside and undertook a search.

The police facts reveal that, as they did so, Mr Bayeh removed a number of items from his clothing including a piece of paper which contained the words “1 litre to 3 litres” followed by a series of numbers which police said were “similar to a drug code”.

When asked about the words, Mr Bayeh “immediately grabbed hold of the piece of paper and commenced to tear it whilst putting it behind his back”.

“The accused was informed that he was under arrest for hindering police…[he] continued to tear up the piece of paper.”

Mr Bayeh was subsequently charged with resisting arrest and hindering police, declining to be interviewed.

The matter was due to proceed to hearing on Tuesday, but following last-minute discussions between the defence and the prosecution, Mr Bayeh pleaded guilty to one charge of hindering police.

A second charge of resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty was withdrawn.

The 56-year-old will return to court for sentencing on March 10.

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

Former footy star arrested over drugs

Former footy star arrested over drugs Retired Taree rugby league player and local businessman Dean Simpson being led away following his dramatic arrest by Manning-Great Lakes police. Picture: Carl Muxlow.
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Retired Taree rugby league player and local businessman Dean Simpson being led away following his dramatic arrest by Manning-Great Lakes police. Picture: Carl Muxlow.

White powder allegedly seized during the arrest of Dean Simpson. Picture: Carl Muxlow.

TweetFacebook Dramatic arrest of former Taree footballer and well-known businessman Dean SimpsonDEAN Simpson was the epitome of the country town success story.

Arrivingto playfor itsfooty team, the Taree City Bulls, the Manning Valley welcomed the former western Sydney high school student into its foldso quickly that he became the club’s captain-coach andrepresentedthem on the higher stages at Group 3 and North Coast level.

In retirement, Mr Simpson remained a respected and well-liked member of the broader community, continuing to build his haulage company while maintaining a reputation and stature within the Taree and Forster social scenes.

But the 41-year-oldnow stands accused of being one of the town’sdrug dealers, after a significant police operation swooped on the former hooker on Tuesday following an investigation dating back to at least November.

Operation Carpet detectives will allege Mr Simpson supplied methamphetamine, more commonly known as speed, at least70 timesbetween November 23 and his arrest.

They will also allege that he ran the drug operation, using an employee at the haulage drug company to help with other customers, as well as a mate who lived at nearby Diamond Beach.

When they arrested him not far from his business,D & N Haulage, investigators allegedly seized seven grams of thewhite powder, or a quarter of an ounce in the old scale.

Searchwarrants were then doneon his business, hisForster homeand another residence atDiamond Beach.

They allegedly found another four ounces of white powder at Diamond Beach, and later charged a 46-year-old mate of Mr Simpson’s with supplying an indictable quantity of speed, possessing a traffickable quantity and receiving stolen goods.

An employee of Mr Simpson’s was also charged with one count of drug supply, detectives alleging that the 25-year-old assisted in getting rid of the drug when his boss was not available.

Mr Simpson was taken to Taree police station where he was charged with eight counts, including one charge that alleges he made the 70 deals since November, and four counts ofsupplying an indictable amount of speed.

He was refused bail to appear in Forster Local Court on Wednesday.

Mr Simpsonmoved to Taree in 2004 to play with the Bulls before becoming their captain-coach.

He represented Group 3 and North Coast and came second in the Group 3 player of the year awards in 2003.

Manning-Great Lakes crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said the arrest wasa win for public tip-offs on drug activity.

“It’s the culmination of a number of months of hard work,”he said.


A FORMER prominent Taree footballer and well-known businessmanwas in police custody on Tuesday accused of running a significant drug dealing operation across the Manning.

Dean Simpson, who played representative rugby league while leading Taree City Bulls a decade ago, was dramatically arrested near his haulage business in town following a significant police investigation.

Manning-Great Lakes police will allege that Mr Simpson was dealing methamphetamine, commonly known as speed, between November and his arrest.

Police have allegedly seized a quantity of white powder during the arrest.

Search warrants were being conducted on his business,D & N Haulage,Mr Simpson’s home in Forster and another residence in Diamond Beach.

Mr Simpson was taken to Taree police station where he was expected to be charged with at least 70 counts, including supplying an indictable amount of speed.

The arrest and raids have been conducted as a part of Operation Carpet, an initiative by Manning-Great Lakes police which hastargeted illegal drug supply in Taree, Wingham and Forster since November.

The 41-year-old former hooker moved to Taree in 2004 to play with the Bulls before becoming their captain-coach.

He represented Group 3 and North Coast and came second in the Group 3 player of the year awards in 2003.

Mr Simpson remained a prominent figure in the community after his football retirement, and iswell-known in sporting, business and social circles.

Manning-Great Lakes crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said the arrest wasa sign that information from the public was being well-used in the fight against illicit drugs.-

“It’s the culmination of a number of months of hard work,” he said.

Is the Labor left losing ground in the Hunter?

LEFT BEHIND: Labor’s left faction MPs have dominated Hunter politics for decades, but the right is increasing its numbers in parliament. Picture: Simone De Peak
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Done deal: Fitzgibbon avoids rank and file preselection

THERE is no question that the federal redistribution that abolished the seat of Hunter hasdramatically reshaped politics in this region.

At itsmost basic, the difference is about the numbers. Instead of fiveseats made up by a majority of Hunter electors-Newcastle,Hunter, Charlton, Shortland and Paterson -we now have four.

It also means that residents in the northern parts of Port Stephens and Upper Huntertowns such asAberdeen and Scone will have to get used to being outlying territories in the National Party seats of Lyne and New England respectively.

But the change is about more than that.

The Hunter has always been a stronghold for Labor, and most of the battles for control are fought within its own ranksbetween the broad left and right factions.

Since at least the start of thiscentury though, with the exception of Jodi McKay’s stint asthe member for Newcastle, it’s theleft that has held most of the important positions in state and federal politics.

In federal parliament Sharon Claydon, Jill Hall and Pat Conroy are all from the left.

InMacquarie Street Sonia Hornery, Tim Crakanthorp, Jodie Harrison and Yasmin Catley are all with the left to varying degrees, while Clayton Barr is unaligned.

But beginning with the election in2015 ofJennyAitchison in Maitland and Kate Washington in Port Stephens, that influence has started totemper.

Ms Washington is a former member of the powerful administrative committee, and herelevation to the shadow ministry meansshe’s nowperhaps the most influential member in the Hunter.

And anyone who heardMsAitchison’s speechat Labor’s state conference last month knows there’sno love lost between her andthe“socialistleft”in Newcastle.

In Canberra things are changing too.

Until nowJoel Fitzgibbon has been the only Hunter MP fromthe party’sright, but the redistribution has made Paterson notionally Labor.

Bob Baldwin will be a difficult target, but the partyis sure to pour resources into a seat they think they can win.

The candidate in Paterson will almost certainly be from the right, and the emergence of Kurri Kurri resident andradio hostMeryl Swanson,who was once a staffer for Mr Fitzgibbon, has the member for Hunter’s fingerprints all over it.

That’s not all, though.

Mr Fitzgibbon’s new patchcovers territorydominated by the left, includingtwo council wardsin Lake Macquarie,the fourth wardin Newcastle, and the state seat of Wallsend.

Mr Fitzgibbon is among the most powerful Labor members of the right faction in this state, and evenif he doesn’t have time to worry aboutthe machinations of local branchpolitics, it giveshis alliesan organising foothold in the left’sown backyard.

The irony is that this is a deal stitched up by the left in Sydney to allowLinda Burney to move to the seat of Barton.

Gig Guide

Quirky: The Lady In The Van stars Alex Jennings as playwright Alan Bennett who develops an unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years. (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.
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Ensemble cast: Kate Winslet [pictured] stars in the heist thriller Triple 9 which opens in cinemas this week.

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 like Killer Queen, Liar, Keep Yourself Alive and Now I’m Here, as well as Bohemian 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.From the stunningly beautiful opening sequence over African vistas, to the hilarious escapades of Hakuna Matatawith Timon and Pumbaa, to the awe-inspiring moment when Simba takes his rightful place atop Pride Rock.

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. Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Her suitors are tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who sing the lilting duet Au fond du temple saint,which opera fans know and adore. (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.

THEATREA Way Back to Then Rachelle Schmidt Adnum and Dan Wilson draw on their experiences in taking a funny look in song and story at breaking life’s rules. Lizotte’s Newcastle, Lambton. Thursday and Friday, meals from 6pm, show at 7.30pm. 4956 2066.

The Addams Family Musical 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. Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, until March 19, plus Sunday, March 13, at 2pm, and Thursday, March 17, at 8pm. 4323 3233.

Hello, Stranger Newcastle’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. Friday and Saturday (final shows). 梧桐夜网papercutpresents南京夜网.

Punk Rock Seven 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. Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, then nightly from Wednesday until Saturday, March 12, at 8pm. 4929 1977.

Thunderbelly – The Musical Gangs 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. Friday and 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 Maiden A 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 2016 Young musical performers show their skills in a lively concert. Lake Macquarie Music Society, at Charlestown Uniting Church. Sunday, at 2pm. 4948 9898.

Evita Musical 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.