Monthly Archives: October 2018

Gazette Express: Wednesday, February 18


It is currently 20.4degrees in Richmond and it’s predicted to reach 31degrees.

Today will bepartly cloudy,patchy fog in the outer west early this morning. Mediumchance of showers.



Scheduled Road Works: Changes to street parking.

Freemans Reach to Wilberforce-Wilberforce RdbetweenFreemans Reach RdandKing Rd.

From Wednesday, February 11 toFridayFeb 27.

Scheduled lane closures for this week, fromSunday to Friday from 8pm to 5amboth directions affected.

Lane closures will be in place and traffic controllers will be on site.

Equipment may be parked on side streets during the day, making this parking unavailable to residents.

Scheduled Road Works:Construction of Cattai substation.

Cattai-Wisemans Ferry RdbetweenMitchell Park RdandO’briens Rd

From Wednesday,February 18 toWednesday,March 18.

Scheduled lane closures for this week fromMonday to Sunday, 9pm to 5am both directions affected.

Scheduled Road Works:Power pole upgrade.

Riverstone- Garfield Rd WestbetweenDenmark RdandLyndhurst St

FromWednesday,February 18 to ThursdayMarch 19.

Scheduled lane closures for this week fromMonday to Friday 10am to 3pm,both directions affected.

Saturday to Sunday from7am to 5pm,both directions affected.

Scheduled Road Works:Ferry maintenance.

SackvilleFerry-Sackville Ferry Rd

On Wednesday,March 4.

Scheduled road closures for this week on Wednesday12:30pm to 3pm,both directions closed.

Scheduled Road Works:

North Richmond-Bells Line of RoadbetweenCrooked LaneandYeomans Rd.

From Monday,February 16 to Friday,March 6.

Scheduled lane closures for this week fromSunday to Friday, 8pm to 5am both directions affected.

There will be alternating (stop/slow) traffic conditions in place.

Scheduled Road Works:

Marsden Park-Richmond RdatSouth St.

From Monday,January 5 toThursday, March5.

Motorists turning into South Street from Richmond Road will have a bay about 40 metres where they can wait and give way to traffic exiting South Street.

Motorists can continue on South Street once traffic exiting onto Richmond Road is cleared.

Scheduled Road Works: Widen a 1.1km section of road to build a new overtaking lane to improve traffic flow.

Kurrajong Heights-Bells Line of Road-4km west of Kurrajong Heights

From Monday,November 24 2014 toTuesday,June 30.


The western line leaving from Richmond and all inner city circle trains are currently running on time.

(City Rail)

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Chris Bowen struggles to name tax-free threshold during Alan Jones interview

Chris Bowen: admitted the interview was not his best performance. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen addresses the media during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 12 February 2014.Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax

Chris Bowen: admitted the interview was not his best performance. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Alan Jones pushed Chris Bowen to identify Australia’s tax-free threshold. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Chris Bowen: admitted the interview was not his best performance. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen addresses the media during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 12 February 2014.Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax

Chris Bowen: admitted the interview was not his best performance. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen addresses the media during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 12 February 2014.Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax

Federal opposition treasurer Chris Bowen has been accused of not knowing a key area of his portfolio after he was unable to identify Australia’s tax-free threshold during a live television interview on Tuesday night.

Repeatedly pressed by talkback host Alan Jones to outline Australia’s tax levels, Mr Bowen was unable to identify the $18,200 figure as Australia’s tax-free threshold.

In the fumbling interview on Sky News, Mr Bowen appeared visibly uncomfortable as Jones pressured him to prove his knowledge of Australia’s tax structure.

Asked by Jones at what point Australians pay “no tax at all”, Mr Bowen declined to nominate a figure.

“You get a tax-free threshold. You get a low income earners’ tax off-set,” Mr Bowen responded.

Not satisfied with the answer, Jones repeatedly asked: “What is it?”

Jones eventually gave the shadow treasurer the answer, before berating his credentials as would-be treasurer.

“This is a serious issue. The man wants to be the treasurer of Australia but he doesn’t know the tax thresholds.”

Jones persisted with the issue, asking the NSW MP to identify the percentage of tax paid in the next bracket.

Attempting to shut down the line of questioning, Mr Bowen said: “I’m not going to do a pop quiz with you, Alan.”

He then incorrectly nominated 15 per cent as his answer.

“We don’t pay 15, we pay 19 cents in the dollar,” Jones said.

Mr Bowen said he had been referring to the superannuation tax rate, which is 15 per cent.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Bowen conceded he made a “mistake” by not answering the question, but added that he “didn’t see it being as relevant to the conversation at hand.”

“[T]here was a bit of confusion between Mr Jones and I about whether he was talking about superannuation tax or personal income tax.”

“I should have appropriately answered the question last night and if Mr Jones wanted to have time going through the tax-free threshold I should have engaged in that.”

Mr Bowen then drew a comparison between his comments and the series of gaffes made by Treasurer Joe Hockey following last year’s budget.

“I tell you what you won’t get from me: statements that poor people don’t drive cars. You won’t get statements that a GP tax is just as equivalent to a middy of beer and packet of cigarettes. You won’t get statements about North Sydney doing it tough because they have high rates of bulk billing.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten conceded Mr Bowen had made a mistake but suggested it was the result of a late night interview at the end of a “long day”.

“Chris does know the tax free threshold of $18,200, he certainly at the end of a long day at 8.30 last night went into an interview with Alan Jones, I think that’s a sign of his commitment, I probably think of other things he could do on a Tuesday night at 8.30 than be interviewed by Alan Jones but he did,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

It follows a similar gaffe made by the new Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who couldn’t name the rate of the GST. The State Labor leader later blamed the mistake on not having enough coffee that morning.

“He’s made a mistake, he’s acknowledge that and when it comes to acknowledging mistakes when will Joe Hockey acknowledge their whole budget’s unfair?” Mr Shorten said.

When asked if he still had confidence in Mr Bowen as shadow treasurer, Mr Shorten responded “absolutely” and added “the person I don’t have confidence in is Joe Hockey”.

with Latika Bourke

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Prezi takes on Microsoft PowerPoint

Prezi’s head of international, Drew Banks, in Sydney. Photo: Fiona MorrisIf the hipper than hip TED talks phenomenon is about “ideas worth spreading”, then cloud presentation software Prezi has a ringing endorsement.

In 2009, Prezi became TED’s very first investment, and many TED speakers now use the software instead of Microsoft PowerPoint, which has otherwise dominated the space for more than 20 years.

It’s not just that it’s “not Microsoft” and therefore wields indie kudos – although for some, that is a drawcard.

For Drew Banks, Prezi’s head of international who visited Sydney from San Francisco this week, Prezi’s visual focus is better suited to the way we think in today’s internet-enabled world.

Rather than being restricted to a linear, slide-based model, a Prezi presentation begins with an overarching image or structure, and then zooms in on various details to tell the story. It allows for a more fluid and interactive way of communicating ideas.

“It’s about moving from textual communication and paginated communication to visual communication,” Mr Banks says.

“It’s very similar to what’s happening in digital journalism right now and using visual mechanisms to set the context.”

Prezi was born out of a need to solve a simple problem. Hungarian architect Adam Somlai-Fischer, beginning to make a name for himself for his presentations at architecture conferences, wanted to be able to zoom in and out of his designs, to clearly communicate both the big picture and the finer details to his audiences. He couldn’t find a decent tool to do this, so built the software himself.

It wasn’t a matter of reinventing the wheel so much as “freeing yourself from a conventional paradigm”, says Mr Banks.

“If you asked yourself the question, ‘How do I make slides better?’, you’re never going to come up with Prezi,” he says.

In the five years since its birth, Prezi has accumulated more than 50 million users worldwide, established a second office in San Francisco (the company was founded in Budapest) and closed two additional funding rounds worth tens of millions of dollars. It is now forging ahead with its global expansion.

In Australia, he says some 1 million people have signed up to the cloud platform. Corporate players using it include Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Rio Tinto and Australia Post.

Professional presentation trainers are servicing the demand from the corporate sector. Sydney’s Presentation Studio is software agnostic, but founder Emma Bannister says many clients approach the studio specifically asking for help with Prezi – by virtue of it not being PowerPoint.

“They love to be seen to be different,” Ms Bannister says.

But while smaller, forward-looking companies are likely to be drawn to Prezi’s freemium, cloud-based model, Ms Bannister says most of her big enterprise clients prefer to stick with what’s tried and true – PowerPoint – for everyday purposes at least.

“CEO presentations in Prezi can have that big impact for messaging, and they come to us for that, but for the day-to-day stuff at the moment for corporates it’s probably less appealing,” she says.

“It’s a very expensive thing for them to change, culturally.”

IBRS adviser Guy Cranswick says it’s a win for consumers to now have a strong alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint, and that the company will probably do “quite well”.

However, “of all the things Microsoft has to concern itself with, this isn’t one of them,” he says, as “lock-in” and the “network effect” are likely to hold Prezi back from stronger growth.

“[Microsoft PowerPoint] works nicely because every other user is equipped with the same software, knows how to use it, is trained and experienced, and therefore the barriers to usage and entry and expertise are relatively low,” Mr Cranswick says.

He notes that Prezi is based on Adobe Flash – making it reliant on a third-party software vendor – and it doesn’t include important accessibility features that PowerPoint does, such as reading text aloud.

“These sorts of things make it very difficult to penetrate further into the higher end of the enterprise,” Mr Cranswick says.

But that isn’t stopping Prezi’s Mr Banks from carefully laying the groundwork for the company’s international expansion, thanks to the most recent funding round from Spectrum Equity and Accel Partners – its largest yet at $US57 million.

“We’re not going to throw the biggest party in Silicon Valley – that’s not who we are – but we’ll look at scaling globally,” Mr Banks says.

That will involve getting the word out about Prezi, promoting superior Prezi presentations through the existing user network, and potentially installing regional sales and support representatives down the line.

Prezi has chosen Australia as the first release location for its Android apps, and has just released a consumer app called Nutshell. Not unlike the lovechild of Instagram and Vine, it allows users to tell visual stories by distilling three images into a simple video loop, using timelapse and with added text and animation.

While it’s a standalone app, Nutshell was designed to be used in Prezi presentations. Mr Banks sees it finding its feet in the consumer space before being adopted more widely by enterprises.

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Demand for local berries up as Hepatitis A class action lawsuit looms

Blueberry grower Paul Casey says demand for local product has shot up. Photo: Simon Schluter

Blood donors who ate berries told to contact Red Cross

A class action lawsuit is looming over the Hepatitis A food scare linked to imported frozen berries, with law firm Slater and Gordon encouraging anyone who ate the berries and developed the virus to come forward.

The firm said it had been contacted by “a number of people” who had contracted Hepatitis A after eating recalled frozen berries imported by Bairnsdale-based company Patties Foods.

“Manufacturers of goods, such as the frozen berries in question, have a number of stringent obligations towards consumers under Australian law, and among the most important of these is a clear requirement that any goods they produce must be free from safety defects,” said Slater and Gordon Principal Lawyer Julie Clayton.

“This means that the safety of goods must be of a standard that people generally are entitled to expect for a product of that nature – clearly, any food product contaminated with a virus like hepatitis A fails to meet this test,” she said.

In other developments on Tuesday relating to the Hepatitis A scare;

* Patties Foods added the Nanna’s 1kg frozen raspberries to the three other lines recalled at the weekend.

* Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey said the imported food scare was a “wake-up call” to Australian consumers.

* Australian berry growers said locally grown berries were grown under strict food standards, and urged consumers to buy Australian-grown produce.

* Nine cases of Hepatitis A have been linked to the consumption of berries from one kilogram packets of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries. A tenth case of Hepatitis A linked to imported frozen berries was confirmed in Queensland late on Tuesday, but health officials did not name the product consumed.

* The Red Cross said more than 110 blood donors have contacted it recently to report their consumption of Patties frozen berries products that have been recalled because of the scare.

Patties Foods said on Tuesday that because commercial food production laboratories in Australia were not equipped to test for hepatitis A, Nanna’s frozen berries had been sent to the United States and Italy for testing.

The Victorian Health Department advised Patties of the potential Hepatitis A link to its Nanna’s 1kg frozen mixed berries packets on Friday afternoon. Microbiological tests have yet to prove a link between the virus and the berries but tests in the US and Italy should establish if raspberries, supplied in China, are the cause. Test results are expected in two weeks.

Patties managing director and chief executive officer Steven Chaur said the common link between the products in all four recalled lines was the raspberries, which came from a supplier in China. “That was a very clear marker for us that the consistency with the two products is the raspberries,” he said.

“We don’t believe at this time that our other products – sourced from other facilities and other countries and other regions – are at risk. The common denominator here is raspberries and we believe that could be an area to further investigate,” he said.

Patties severed its links with the China supplier of those raspberries in November last year but Mr Chaur denied it was over health concerns and said it was to consolidate supply in China. He said testing for hepatitis A virus was “difficult”. No commercial food production testing facilities were equipped to test for viruses like hepatitis A in Australia, he said.

“We do test for markers (for hepatitis A) like e.coli which are generally associated with faecal matter. That is a pretty clear indicator if there is any concern,” Mr Chaur said.

He said E.coli levels results showed its frozen berries were within safe tolerance levels. “We had no reason to believe these products present a health risk,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australian growers have noticed a surge in demand for locally-grown berries. At The Big Berry farm in the Yarra Valley the phone has been “running hot” in recent days with people looking for locally-grown frozen berries, said grower Paul Casey.

Mr Casey attributed the interest to the imported berry scare. He reassured Australian berry lovers that they could be confident in the quality of locally-grown produce.

“It’s produced locally and we know it’s under Australian food standards,” Mr Casey said. The 72-year-old said his berries were regularly tested and his operation regularly audited.

“The phone’s been running hot in the last two or three days, people are looking for frozen berries that haven’t bought from me in the past. There’s been a dramatic surge in inquiries and purchasing of frozen berries. I’d like to see it continue,” he said.

Orders from one customer, he said, “have quadrupled in the last couple of days,” while new customers were also ringing, he said.

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It’s a long road, but Murray United will have a go

Murray United coach Mick Richards.

MICK Richards doesn’t live in fairyland.

He’s not talking up promotion, not even talking finals.

But Murray United’s senior coach has vowed his squad will be competitive when they take to the pitch against Box Hill on Saturday night in their first game of Victorian National Premier League soccer.

Richards said they would modify their game plan and start at least two who are eligible for lower age divisions — but they won’t park the bus.

Skipper will be forced to watch from the sidelines

Daniel breathes The Beautiful Game

“Five weeks ago when I took on this job we didn’t have one name signed,” he said.

“Now we have a football club.

“Most of the coaches at other NPL and NPL1 clubs are full of praise for where we are at and how we have pulled this together — initially some of them said I was mad taking this on at such a late stage.

“But at the end of the day if we lose our first six or seven games people aren’t going to remember where we were at inJanuary-February.

“We’ll play a balanced game on Saturday, probably weighted slightly towards defence and very different to the way we expect to play for the rest of the year.

“But you have to remember that last Sunday was the first time wehave had the full team together for a training session and now we have to taper off and get ready to play.

“It’s not ideal.”

Richards said his belief in the NPL and Murray United were fuelled by his own experiences.

“When I was a kid the choice was to either go to Melbourne or overseas to be recognised, there was no real pathway once you turned 16,” he said.

“But now as a 17, 18 or 19-year-old you are going to be playing premier league soccer where you can be seen, where you can be fast-tracked into the top tier of Australian soccer.

“When I took on the job I wanted it to be local and on Saturday we will start two young guys from the Border in an NPL1 game.

“It will be a great moment for them and more importantly for the game here in Albury-Wodonga — it’s what Murray United is all about.”

But Richards said it wouldn’t be a youth-only policy.

“I love playing kids, when I won the AWFA title at Melrose the team was mostly teenagers,” he said.

“But we have some of the senior players with bigger bodies and plenty of experience who have put their hand up and they deserve their chance at this level.

“We know we will draw on the younger guys in a long season, and particularly in games like the FFA Cup.

“We don’t really care how old you are or how good — it’s about attitude and a club culture, that you are willing to have a go.”

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