Matt Le Nevez talks about life after Offspring

In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.
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In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.

In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.

So how has life been post Offspring?

I think I will always miss Offspring. It was such a pivotal show in my life, such an eclectic and amazing group of people to work with – I don’t know if I’ll ever experience that “lightning in a bottle” again, not only in the making of the series, but even the screening was quite extraordinary – but since my role ended I’ve been quite busy.

With?

Well, I’m living in Los Angeles but I came back to Australia and shot [the drama] Parer’s War, then did a bit more Offspring [for Nina’s dreams of Patrick] , then I shot Love Child about a year ago and went on to Tasmania for [upcoming Foxtel BBC Worldwide drama] The Kettering Incident, then on to Canada to shoot a couple of episodes of  [Christina Ricci’s drama project] The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, I just finished shooting a pilot in Chicago … so yeah I’ve been quite busy.

That’s an understatement!

Yeah and I’m almost ready to come back to Australia to shoot more Love Child. It’s been a crazy year or two but really exciting. Now I just can’t wait for Love Child to come out because this was quite a different show to what I’d done before, so quite challenging.

Your character in Love Child is very different to Dr Patrick, was that important to you?

It was, it was. I was always nervous about coming in to play somebody else’s boyfriend or love interest and when I spoke with [the producers] they had very similar views about where they wanted my character to go and how much energy they wanted him to have – which was good because as I said, Offspring was special. To follow up with something that was not as good or a bit weak [meant]  I was very wary of my next project. Clearly Parer’s War was something very different and this is too. The [Love Child] producers had some very clear ideas about what they wanted to introduce into the show to shake it up. They wanted to bring in someone who would have a different energy from not only the actors on board but also the time in which the series is set. They were looking at some of the pivotal people in Australia at the time and some of the things that were going on in the late ’60s to early ’70s and wanted a character who would represent that, in particular the Green Bans that were happening and move the story in that direction. There were young pivotal people who stood up (to protect) parks and buildings and my character is loosely based around that idea. It was a great opportunity and to be involved in a show like Love Child where the scripts are beautiful and telling an epic dramatic journey. And to work with those actors who create that energy. I’m very lucky.

After this we’ll see you in The Kettering Incident, which is different again.

This is a series that hasn’t been done in Australia before. Something very much influenced by the scandi-noir dramas like The Killing or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo films that resonated around the world, but done in an Australian way. I think what has been created is unique in the Australian landscape and I can’t wait for it to come out. The scripts are incredible, the landscape of Tasmania where we shot is a character stronger than any written on the page, it’s just… this is a beautiful, brave piece of television, an amazing project and I’m very grateful to be a part of it.

And you mentioned a new pilot?

Yeah I just shot a pilot in Chicago for a new series called Runner, a mystery, drama action story about a family that gets pulled into gun-running across the Mexcian/American border. Like every Australian actor that comes to the US to throw their hat in the ring you hope to get a gig out of an audition, then when you do you hope for it to be a good one, then when it is you hope for the pilot to get picked up… and I hope we get the chance to move to Chicago to continue filming in August!

Love Child, Nine, Tuesday, 8.40pm

Ageing population need not be a drain: thinktank

Australia’s demographic time-bomb in which an ever-growing proportion of older people rely on welfare in later life, is not inevitable and need not be the threat to prosperity widely predicted, according to a new study released on Thursday.
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The progressive policy think tank Per Capita has proposed a series of image-changing initiatives aimed at adding a fourth P of policy to the three Ps normally discussed in economy and budget deliberations about the future: population, participation, and productivity.

The body says declining taxation revenue as a result of population ageing is a constant feature of Australia’s economic debates which “feeds into the narrative presenting ageing as a threat and a burden on our society”.

Its report “Spaces for All Ages” aims to redress an ageist bias in discussion by focusing on policy development towards improved “economic participation by older Australians”.

Among its proposals are “a network of local jobs hubs” to place older Australians in jobs in their local community, to be called the SilverStart Employment Network.

“This is based on a model of jobs hubs rolled out in Japan over the last thirty years which has been successful in lifting mature-age labour force participation, with over 800,000 members across 1600 centres,”  Per Capita research fellow,  Emily Millane, said.

Also suggested is a public art prize focusing on ageing and participation, and an additional class in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards specifically for ‘older adult fiction’ as a counter-balance to the existing category of  young adult fiction.

The move to make the economy and society more grey-friendly would even extend to urban planning and aesthetics with an emphasis on “regenerating green spaces to create urban environments conducive to social participation by older Australians”.

“Green spaces like parks and gardens are identified in the World Health Organisation’s Age-Friendly Cities as one of eight elements of an age-friendly city,” Ms Millane said.

The report aims to kickstart a more sophisticated policy debate about longer more productive and engaged lives which are better for individuals, communities, and the broader economy.

It comes as the government prepares to unveil its second budget after proposing last year that pensions be indexed at a lower rate from 2017 prompting a widespread backlash from voters.

Follow us on Twitter  Australian Politics – Fairfax

‘Chill’ Virgili left out in cold by home club restructure

JAMES Virgili thought he had done enough to earn an extra year at the Jets.
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Before breaking his ankle when changing direction in a training game on January 27, the 22-year-old had strung together four consecutive starting appearances, beginning with a starring effort in the 2-1 round-11 win over Adelaide.

The injury ended a promising 2015 season for the home-grown winger, who had been in and out of the Jets line-up since becoming the then-youngest A-League player at 16 years and 180 days in January 2009.

On Tuesday afternoon, Virgili was devastated to find out it was not enough.

The 57-game Jet joined Taylor Regan, Sam Gallagher and trainee goalkeeper John Solari as players not offered new deals at Newcastle.

Virgili said he ‘‘was definitely hopeful’’ the club would extend his stay given his form before the season-ending injury.

‘‘I had a nice little run there of four starts and I thought I was playing pretty good during that period, then unfortunately my injury came,’’ Virgili said.

‘‘When it came I was hopeful, even though I didn’t get to play much this year, that the times I did play this season, I’d done enough to earn an extra year.’’

The Herald was told a frustrated Virgili fronted Jets coach Phil Stubbinsthree times in the second half of the season to ask for clarity on his future, given he could do no more on the field to push his claims.

The Herald understands he was given no indication before Tuesday that there was nothing on the table for him.

‘‘The last few months I have been trying to find out where my future was, but the meetings weren’t handled too well,’’ Virgili said. ‘‘But there’s not much I could do about that. I’ve just got to look forward now and hopefully move on to good things.’’

The former Australian under-17 and under-20 representative hopes to complete his radiography degree at the University of Newcastle next year but said he was ‘‘still hungry’’ to further his A-League career.

Asian club champions Western Sydney Wanderers are believed to be one of the ‘‘few clubs’’ Virgili said had shown early interest in him.

‘‘There hasn’t been any offers as yet,’’ Virgili said.

‘‘I’m hopeful out of the places who have shown a bit of interest that something will eventuate. Who knows, sometimes a change can be the best thing for you.’’

The South Wallsend junior was ‘‘obviously pretty disappointed’’ when finally told he was not in the Jets’ plans.

‘‘It was always my dream to play for the Jets, and I’m grateful for that opportunity and always will be.

‘‘It’s obviously tough. You can’t really beat playing for your home town and being at home with your family and friends watching. It definitely makes it extra disappointing.’’

Virgili is yet to score an A-League goal but has started in just 22 of his 57 appearances for Newcastle.

He said he obviously would have liked to score goals for the Jets but added that he was otherwise ‘‘quite happy with how I’ve performed during my time at the club’’.

He believed he had more to offer at A-League level if given regular game time.

‘‘It definitely plays on your mind a bit when you’re in and out of the team for so long,’’ he said. ‘‘But the times I was in the squad for a more than a few weeks, I thought at those times was when I played my best football and I was most consistent.’’

Bali 9 executions: Joko Widodo’s portrait taken down by National Portrait Gallery

Executed: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo: Bullit Marquez
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The gap left on the wall after National Portrait Gallery staff removed a portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Mary Jane Veloso still on death rowComment: Why Chan and Sukumaran never stood a chanceThe final journey of Bali nine duoAbbott government backflipped on death penalty directiveBali nine executions perfect: Indonesia AGThe great irony of a Bali boycott

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s portrait has been removed from the walls of the National Portrait Gallery to avoid being defaced  following the executions of Bali nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on Wednesday morning.

Australian photographer Adam Ferguson reacted with confusion when told by the gallery they would remove his portrait of Indonesia’s president from public display.

The portrait was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, and was set to be on display until June 8.

Ferguson, who shot the image as part of a cover shoot for Time magazine, said he would have preferred to see the work damaged than for it to be removed from the wall.

Speaking from Nepal, where he is covering the recent earthquake on assignment for Time, he said he had been contacted personally by gallery director Angus Trumble to inform him of the gallery’s decision.

“Angus wrote to me and called me in Nepal and explained his position, which was kind of generous of him,” he said.

He said while Mr Trumble had explained his concern that the work would be damaged, he thought the decision had been misguided.

“They don’t actually own it, I own it. They haven’t bought it off me, it’s not like it’s a high-value piece of work that they own,” he said.

“He did mention that until yesterday they were determined not to take it down unless someone tried to deface it, which seems like a stupid thing because I don’t think anyone in Australia would do that.”

He said he would have preferred the image had stayed on the wall as a statement in itself, even if it were to be damaged.

“I think anybody that misconstrued the issues of national law in a sovereign country with a picture of the leader of that country has a totally misguided comprehension of the story and what’s gone on. It seems to act in anger against the picture, it seems quite ridiculous,” he said.

Mr Trumble told Fairfax Media he had taken the pre-emptive action to remove the portrait temporarily, in the wake of the news of and public reaction to the executions.

“My feeling yesterday [Wednesday] morning was that in view of the circumstances and our operations, and my best assessment of the risk of damage to the work of art, it was necessary to remove it from public display,” he said.

“Also, I was swayed by the statements of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and of course the position of the Parliament  and the recall of our ambassador. So it’s a temporary measure.”

He said while there had not been any incident relating to the work and taking it down had been a preventive measure, he had a responsibility to protect all works in the gallery.

“My primary responsibility is the care of the works in our collection and the safety of our visitors,” he said.

It could’ve been me: Axl Rose’s heartfelt plea to Joko Widodo to spare lives of Bali 9 duo

“Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran

“Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

“Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Australian Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in Indonesia. Photo: Anta Kesuma

Joko Widodo may be a heavy metal fan, but the pleas of Guns ‘N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose were not enough to dissuade him from executing Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Rose penned a letter to the Indonesian president on April 27, begging him to grant clemency for the Bali Nine duo and Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, lest Indonesia become “the more offensive criminal”.

“Their crimes were now long ago, their hearts and minds forever changed by their crimes,” Rose wrote.

“To kill these men under these conditions of their profound and proven change for the better seems a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice.”

Veloso was ultimately granted a last-minute reprieve after her alleged drug-trafficking recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, surrendered at a police station in Manila, and Philippine President Benigno Aquino stepped up his lobbying of Mr Joko at a summit of south-east Asian leaders on Sunday.

But after the executions of Chan and Sukumaran proceeded as planned, Rose made his anger and disappointment known on Twitter.

1. It’s deeply troubling President Widodo ignoring International outcry went thru w/8 of the executions.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

2. Let’s pray Miss Veloso’s reprieve is permanent.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

3. Widodo’s refusal 2 postpone the executions until all legal challenges n’ investigations of corruption r resolved is inexcusable.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

4. 4 Widodo 2 b out of the country during his big statement refusing 2 take calls or read any last minute pleas 4 the condemned is cowardice— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

5. The People of Indonesia deserve better.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

Exactly what drew Rose to Chan and Sukumaran’s plight is unclear. In his original letter to Mr Joko, he wrote that he had no personal connection to the two men and had never met them – but he said their story had “touched me deeply”. He could have easily found himself in their position, he wrote.

Rose described a 2012 Guns ‘N’ Roses tour of Indonesia as “a very special and exciting experience”, and thanked Mr Joko for the hospitality. He said the band was “taken aback by the incredible warmth of the Indonesian fans”.

Rose may also have been hoping to capitalise on the president’s appreciation for heavy metal music. Mr Joko counts rockers Metallica, Megadeth, Lamb of God and Napalm Death among his favourite acts.

Chan and Sukumaran’s Indonesian lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, had previously reached out to Metallica on Twitter, asking the band to come to Indonesia to perform and make a plea to Mr Joko.

It did not appear that any of the president’s favoured bands had commented on the executions on their social media pages in recent weeks. But Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway also wrote a letter to Mr Joko pleading for mercy in January.

In his own letter, Rose said the two Australian men had been rehabilitated and that to persist with the executions would be “draconian justice” and a punishment that “no longer fits the original crime”.

“People make mistakes, sometimes big and horribly regrettable mistakes and sometimes more importantly people learn from their mistakes and make new choices, strive and succeed at true positive change,” the musician wrote.

He said granting clemency would have enabled Mr Joko “to show your country’s strength and allow the world to witness an extraordinary act of humanity and bravery”.

Mourners farewell Maitland flood victim Anne Jarmain

Hundreds remember Maitland flood victim Anne Jarmain A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookHUNDREDS of friends and family have farewelled 86 year-old great-grandmother Anne Jarmain, the Gillieston Heights woman who died in “tragic and unexpected” circumstances last Wednesday when her car was swept away in rising floodwater in Maitland.

Ms Jarmain’s funeral was held in Rutherford on Wednesday, only a few minutes’ drive from the stretch of road that claimed her life when her car became caught in the floodwaters that hit the region last week after days of heavy rain.

Members of Ms Jarmain’s family remembered a “modest, independent” woman who had cared for her husband, Jim, for several years after he suffered a stroke, and “was admired by everyone who knew her.

Anne Jarmain: A matriarch mourned. Picture: Supplied

Her love of sport, particularly cricket, was mentioned, and her frequent “cheeky” trips to Melbourne for the Cup.

Her grandchildren, Nicholas Jarmain and Leigh Jenkins, remembered her as the matriarch of their family, who hosted Sunday lunches that “brought our whole family together”.

Deb Smith, a friend from the Telarah Bowling Club where Ms Jarmain was a former president, spoke of a “fierce competitor” with a “love of live, a willingness to forgive, and a philosophy of two wrongs never make a right”.

She said that Ms Jarmain had mentioned only weeks before that she had “no regrets”.

Anne Jarmain was farewelled in Rutherford on Thursday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Mourners were asked to thank the men who had jumped in the water to save Ms Jarmain after her car was pulled away in the raging waters, as well as police, fire fighters and emergency service crews that helped during the floods, and the people who had lost loved ones in Dungog.

After the service, family members laid gerberas on Ms Jarmain’s coffin, a “reflection of her bright personality”, and outside released blue balloons into the sky.

Victor Harbor Mayor and deputy mayor called to resign

Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp and the council’s deputy mayor Bob Marshall have been called to resign.Calls for the mayor to resign and the deputy mayor to step down were two of the leading ingredients in a heated City of Victor Harbor council meeting on Monday, April 27.
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City of Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp was asked to resign his position in a question from the gallery from Mike McRae, who is a Victor Harbor ratepayer, commissioned officer of police, special justice and 2013 Victor Harbor citizen of the year.

During the meeting, friction between two councillors reached boiling point, as councillor Terry Andrews moved to revoke councillor Bob Marshall as deputy mayor.

Mr McRae’s resignation question stemmed from the actions of the mayor at the March 18 special council meeting.

“I asked the mayor to resign and him to apologise to Cr Marshall for the distress he has caused him after disallowing his motion at the special council meeting on March 18,” Mr McRae said.

At the special meeting, Cr Marshall moved a motion to defer the construction tender documents for the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre (FRAC) to allow further community consultation.

Mr Philp disallowed the motion and this has angered Mr McRae.

“The mayor did not have the authority to do that and it is my personal and professional belief the mayor broke elected members’ code of conduct,” Mr McRae said.

“This is why I asked for his resignation and for a direct apology to Cr Marshall because he was out of order.

“The mayor has been in his position for five years and if he didn’t know, he should have known the motion should have been allowed.”

Mr Philp’s response was for Mr McRae to take his concerns to the Ombudsman.

“Accordingly I am taking the mayor’s advice reporting the matter to the office of integrity,” he said.

Mr McRae lodged the report to the office of integrity on Wednesday, April 29.

The Times gave Mr Philp the opportunity to respond as part of this story, however he declined.

Councillor Andrews’ motion for the deputy mayor appointment of Cr Marshall at the November 24, 2014, council meeting be revoked was countered by Cr Marshall who requested documentary evidence supporting Cr Andrews’ allegations to be submitted at the May 25 council meeting.

In calling for Cr Marshall to be stripped of his deputy mayor role, Cr Andrews said the deputy mayor is not representing the best interest of council.

“I am concerned that Cr Marshall has engaged in disrespectful communications with fellow elected members, had demonstrated an unwillingness to support the democratic decisions of the council and is noted for non-attendance at many workshops and functions,” Cr Andrews said.

Cr Marshall was successful in moving the motion to be adjourned to the May council meeting.

“Councillor Andrews needs to produce documentary evidence of his allegations so elected members and the community can be informed of the facts,” Cr Marshall said.

“We can see the allegations at the May 25 meeting.”

Elected members voted unanimously to adjourn the issue until the May 25 meeting.

Source: The Times

Ballina aged-care nurse murder accused Megan Haines had ‘means, motive and opportunity’

Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.
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Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

An aged-care nurse accused of murdering two elderly patients just hours after discovering they had made complaints against her has been refused bail.

On Thursday Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Bellew said the circumstantial case against Megan Jean Haines was strong, despite a lack of forensic evidence linking her to the womens’ deaths.

During a bail application the court heard that at the start of her night shift on May 9, last year, Ms Haines, 47, was told two complaints had been made and a third was pending by three residents of St Andrew’s Village aged care home in Ballina, on the north coast.

In the morning on May 10, two of those residents – Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spencer, 77 – were found unconscious in their beds. Both women had advanced care directives against resuscitation and died in Ballina hospital.

The prosecution claims Ms Haines, who was the only nurse on duty and the only staff member with access to the medication stores that night, injected the women with insulin, causing fatal hypoglycaemia.

A third woman, Marjorie Patterson, 88, survived because she woke as Ms Haines allegedly tried to inject her with an unscheduled and unnecessary dose, the Crown says.

In applying for bail Ms Haines’s lawyer, Michael Blair, said the prosecution case was “just above speculative” as there is no forensic evidence linking Ms Haines to the crime.

“There are no witnesses, no CCTV, no swipe card records, no fingerprints, no DNA, no murder weapon, no insulin register,” he said.

“It is impossible to tell when the insulin was administered and how much.”

Mr Blair said Ms Haines immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 2001 and had no criminal record. Since her arrest her registration as a nurse has been suspended, meaning she has no chance of re-offending if granted bail.

He denied Ms Haines was motivated by financial gain.

“There is nothing to show the applicant was going to gain one cent from their deaths,” Mr Blair said.

In opposing bail, Crown prosecutor Rebecca Gray said Ms Haines had the “means, the motive and the opportunity” to murder the two women.

She had only recently regained her nursing registration and worked at the home for just two months when the director of nursing informed her of the three complaints.

Ms Darragh alleged Ms Haines refused to apply cream to her genital area, saying it was “disgusting”. Ms Spencer claimed in response to asking for assistance to the toilet, Ms Haines said, “just piss in your pants”.

Ms Patterson complained of rough handling.

“The only link between the deceased is they both made complaints about Ms Haines refusing to assist them that could not be explained away,” Ms Gray said.

“In the context of her tenuous employment and how serious these complaints would have been the Crown says she did have a significant motive.”

Three days after the deaths Ms Haines resigned from her job and moved from her home in Kingscliff to Seaspray, in Victoria.

In the time between the deaths and her arrest Ms Haines’ passport was seized. Ms Gray said Ms Haines made repeated attempts to have her passport returned and was heard via a covert telephone intercept telling a friend she wanted to live in Johannesburg.

But Mr Blair said Ms Haines kept police informed of her change of address and another telephone intercept recorded her saying her life was in Australia.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew​ said although Ms Haines was unlikely to face trial until mid next year, she had not satisfied the “show cause” provisions of the recently amended bail act.

“In light of the circumstances which the Crown on the evidence before be is able to establish I’m unable to accept the submission that the prosecution case should be regarded as a weak one,” he said.

Ms Haines remain in custody and will appear in Lismore Local Court in August.

Keeping the wolf from the door is difficult for father of four

FAMILY MAN: Michael Brown says finding a place to rent in Orange when you’re on a low income is tough. Photo: PHIL BLATCHSINGLE father of four Michael Brown admits his life is a jugging act.
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If he’s not scheduling his children’s homework, playtime and sleep he’s budgeting to ensure he’s got enough money left from his Centrelink payments to feed and house his family.

“There’s always food on the table,” he said.

“I always make sure they have enough fruit and vegetables but I can’t remember the last time I gave them lollies or ice-cream.”

Mr Brown isn’t surprised by the results of Anglicare’s latest study that shows affordable housing in Orange is hard to find.

He currently rents a large house close to Calare Public School and feels grateful to have it.

When he first started renting he was still living with his ex-fiancee and doubts he would have been considered as a tenant otherwise.

“I know if I had to move, as a single dad with four kids, a lot of agents would say no to me even though I’ve got a good rental record,” he said.

“I think because I’m a man a bit of sexism also comes into it, people think guys aren’t as tidy and neat as females.”

Mr Brown said he thinks most people would he shocked at how hard life is for low-income families.

“If I had four normal kids I’d be in trouble, but I’ve got four of the best behaved kids you could have,” he said.

Mr Brown’s children range in age from one to six, and despite seeing their mothers regularly, they spend the majority of their time with him.

“I’ve got a lot of systems in place and I’m regimented, I make sure I’ve got one-on-one time with each child.

“Time management is the biggest thing for me.”

According to Mr Brown the welfare of his children always comes first, and he’ll go without food himself to ensure they’re got what they need.

“I feel lucky I’ve got them.”

Mr Brown said he doesn’t rely on help from charities but was grateful Anglicare’s no interest loan helped him buy a new fridge when his old one broke down.

Source: Central Western Daily

Airbnb nightmare as couple’s home is trashed in Calgary

Star and Mark King in their trashed home. Photo: Screengrab, Calgary Herald video A screenshot of Star King’s Instagram account showing the damage to her home.
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A screenshot of Star King’s Instagram account showing the damage to her home.

A couple who rented out their house on popular accommodation site Airbnb returned to find it had been trashed, in what Canadian police described as a “drug-induced orgy”.

Mark and Star King said they were almost knocked over by the fumes when they walked into their home, in Sage Hill, north-west Calgary, after a weekend away.

They were then confronted with the extent of the destruction, which was devastating, the couple told the Calgary Herald.

Their furniture had been destroyed, smashed glass littered the floor, and piles of cigarette butts, food and rubbish were strewn throughout the house.

The toilet was flooded and mustard, mayonnaise and sauce were smeared across the walls and floors.

Cigarettes had been stubbed out on the alcohol-soaked furniture, while upstairs, the couple found bras, underwear and condoms lying around. Police said body fluids – including urine, semen and vomit – were found throughout the home.

Mrs King also found a chicken bone in one of her shoes.

“Chicken thighs in our shoes? It’s just unbelievable,” Mr King told Global News in Canada.

“The violation, the lies, the pretense of what it was for and then the complete disrespect.”

It will cost between $C50,000 and $C75,000 ($52,000 and $77,000) to fix the two-storey house, which the couple bought in 2010.

Mr King said he and his wife believed they were renting out the house to a man in his 40s who had contacted them through the short-term rental site. The man claimed that he and three other adults were visiting Calgary for a family wedding.

The Kings handed over their keys on Saturday and went to stay with Mr King’s parents, hoping to make a bit of extra money.

But, that night, the Kings’ neighbours reported that guests started arriving at the house, before a party bus pulled up and more guests piled out.

About 100 people crammed into the house, prompting numerous noise complaints to police during the weekend.

A neighbour contacted the Kings on Monday morning to ask if everything was all right, alerting them to the destruction in their home.

The Kings drove home to find the police were already there, responding to reports of a break-in.

“When we came in, one of the police said, ‘This isn’t a party, this was a drug-induced orgy,’ ” Mr King said.

The police had also told them a hazardous materials crew would have to enter the house before they could start cleaning up.

Constable Attila Horvath, from the Calgary Police Service, said he had “never seen anything like it” in his nine years of policing.

“You could see that there was significant damage to the house, especially in the living room,” he said.

“It was almost anger; I couldn’t believe that someone could do that in three days to another person’s home.”

Police said the man who rented the Kings’ house could face charges of mischief over $C5000.

Jakob Kerr, a spokesman for Airbnb, told the Calgary Herald that the organisation had a $US1 million ($1.25 million) host damage guarantee, and had offered the Kings cleaning services and accommodation while their house was fixed.

“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour and our team is working quickly to make this right,” he said.

“We have banned this guest from Airbnb, and our trust and safety team will offer its full assistance to law enforcement in any investigation of this incident. We have been in very close contact with these hosts and we are working quickly to reimburse them under our $1 million host guarantee, which covers a host’s property in the rare event of damages.

“Over 35 million guests have stayed on Airbnb, and property damage is extremely rare.”

Fairfax Media

Physicist Dr Gordon Troup on the science of brewing the perfect cup of coffee

Dr Gordon Troup is a researcher from Monash Uni who is on a quest to make the perfect coffee. Photo: Justin McManusSome people take their coffee so seriously it becomes a science. Eighty-three-year-old Gordon Troup is one of those people. But don’t call him a coffee snob. For him, it’s purely professional.
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The physicist from Monash University has spent 28 years studying the beloved bean in his quest to nail what makes the perfect cup of coffee.

His work begins early in the production process – long before the barista grinds the beans.

Using an electron paramagnetic resonance machine to study the free radicals and antioxidants contained in the intact beans, Dr Troup was able to analyse the chemical composition of the arabica bean during various stages of the roasting process.

With his Melbourne University collaborator Simon Drew, Dr Troup discovered a third family of free radicals in arabica coffee beans that hadn’t been previously identified. Unlike the other two groups, these free radicals survived the roasting process.

“That’s interesting because it tells us that there is something else going on here that is different,” he said.

Of the three families of free radicals in the coffee bean, one is present from germination but is destroyed in the early stages of roasting. The second is destroyed at medium temperatures during the roasting process while the third survives.

Dr Troup said the information, outlined a paper published in the journal Plos One this month, would benefit large and small-scale roasters who are ever-keen to understand the bean.

“It tells you something more about the chemical reactions that are going on and that helps in the roasting process because it means you have a full picture,” he said.

Dr Troup said wine and coffee shared similar chemicals and like wine, the flavour could be altered by blending different varieties. Arabica coffee is considered bitter and often blended with other varieties.

“But to do this, you first need an understanding of what is happening at a chemical level,” he said.

Dr Troup was one of the first scientists in the world to discover and isolate the free radicals in coffee in 1988.

Native to Ethiopia, the arabica coffee bean is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated.

The study was co-funded by Italian coffee roasting company Illycaffè, who approached Dr Troup in 2012 to conduct the research. Italian researchers Luciano Navarini and Furio Liverani were co-authors on the Plos One paper.   

Wycliff Palu, Jacques Potgieter reunite in NSW Waratahs blockbuster against Brumbies

The Waratahs are mustering their big guns to break a four-year drought in Canberra on Friday night.
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Damaging forwards Wycliff Palu and Jacques Potgieter will reunite in the NSW back row for the first time since round nine as the defending champions prepare to take on Australian conference leaders the Brumbies.

Palu played off the bench against the Rebels last week and Potgieter did the same against the Hurricanes the week prior, leaving them fresh for a pivotal match in the Waratahs’ campaign to make the finals.

They are the only two changes to the NSW starting line up, with coach Michael Cheika leaving the front row and back line unchanged from last week’s nail biter against Melbourne.

The Brumbies, meanwhile, have welcomed back Wallabies Ben Alexander and Sam Carter to the pack.

The Canberra side are still without Test halves Nic White and Matt Toomua, with Michael Dowsett and Christian Lealiifano reprising the combination for a second week.

Australian conference bragging rights are up for grabs in the clash, with seven rounds left in the regular season. The Brumbies are automatic qualifiers as the log stands now, while the Waratahs sit in seventh place, just outside the crucial top six. Crucially, they have a game in hand, while the Brumbies have a second bye in round 15.

Waratahs: Israel Folau, Peter Betham, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Jacques Potgieter, Dave Dennis (c), Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Res: Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Mitch Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Matt Carraro (one to be omitted).

Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Robbie Coleman, Joe Tomane, Christian Lealiifano, Michael Dowsett, Ita Vaea, David Pocock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Jordan Smiler, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore (c), JP Smith. Res: Josh Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa, Ruan Smith, Blake Enever, Jarrad Butler, Joe Powell, James Dargaville, Nigel Ah Wong. 

Matthew Gardiner turns to social media as AFP probes role in overseas conflict

Matthew Gardiner has taken to Twitter following his return to Australia. Photo: ABCSenior Labor figure leaves to fight against Islamic StateMatthew Gardiner arrested at Darwin airport
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Matthew Gardiner stunned his Labor Party colleagues around the country when he secretly disappeared from his Darwin home in January to fight against Islamic State.

Among his thousands of social media posts prior to January, there had never been a single mention of overseas conflicts or the Islamic State terror group.

He seemed more concerned with campaigning for union members, heckling the Northern Territory’s Liberal politicians and posting happy snaps of his three sons, aged between three and 11.

Since returning home earlier this month, the 43-year-old former president of the NT’s Labor party branch has remained silent due to the Australian Federal Police’s investigation into his involvement in overseas conflict.

However, his tweets have offered an insight into his new-found political views and his reasons for going to a war zone to allegedly support Kurdish groups proscribed by the Australian government as terrorist organisations.

He has been tweeting regularly since April, hinting that he travelled to Syria because he felt a moral obligation to help those being killed by Islamic State. Posts suggest he considered himself a hero or a warrior for doing so.

Among a series of motivational quotes he posted was one from Martin Luther King, Jr: pic.twitterm/EPnS2jb0Pu— Matthew Gardiner (@mjgardiner513) April 28, 2015

He references the duty to “stand between the innocent and harm” and “stand between [the] enemy and all that he loves or holds sacred”.

Mr Gardiner, a former soldier who says he served 10 years in the military, had no known links to Kurdistan but befriended a Kurdish woman on Facebook and de-friended most others shortly before he left. Unfortunately I’m still under AFP investigation for suspected terrorist activity for supporting YPG/ YPJ #4corners— Matthew Gardiner (@mjgardiner513) April 27, 2015

He appears to have returned to Australia a changed man, expressing his admiration for the Kurdish militia units, YPG and YPJ, and his frustration that Australians who want to fight with the Kurds are treated like criminals.

He said the Kurds are “fighting for their lives” and those who help them, like Australian ex-soldier Ashley Johnston, are “heroes”.

Another motivational quote he posted on Twitter said: “I’d rather live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep”.

In another, he posted: “Better it is to die in battle with honor, than to live in shame because you did not defend your people”. Australia is the only country in the world that has outlawed fighting with the YPG/ YPJ against Daesh #4corners— Matthew Gardiner (@mjgardiner513) April 27, 2015

Foreign incursion laws prevent Australians from supporting or participating in overseas conflicts, including the Kurds’ battle for autonomy within Syria and Islamic State’s battle in Syria and Iraq to establish a caliphate.

YPG and YPJ are considered part of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is classified by the Australian government as a terrorist organisation.

His tweets do not say that he fought with the group, only suggesting that he “supported” and “helped” them.

In response to an ABC program on Kurdish fighters, he tweeted:  Why is the law written so if an Australian helps the kurds they are treated as criminals? #4corners— Matthew Gardiner (@mjgardiner513) April 27, 2015

He said he would be the “test case” for whether Australians will be prosecuted for fighting back against Islamic State.

Mr Gardiner did not respond to Fairfax Media’s requests for comment.

He was suspended by the Labor Party when he left Australia and the AFP’s investigation is ongoing.