January, 2019

Beyoncé breaks social media silence to criticise Trump on transgender rights

Beyonce showed off her baby bump in an Instagram post announcing her pregnancy on February 2, 2017. Photo: Instagram/beyonceBeyoncé has broken her social media silence post-iconic birth announcement, in an apparent denouncement of changes to US federal policy towards bathroom usage for transgender school students.
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The Formation singer, who made headlines earlier this month when she announced she was expecting twins, has directed her fans to support US LGBTQ school advocacy group, GLSEN.

​”LGBTQ students need to know we support them,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Friday to her 64 million followers. “Share your support to protect trans youth.”

Beyoncé posted a link to information about the group’s “100 Days of Kindness” action, a social media campaign which invites people to post messages of support to LGBTQ school students.

The singer’s post came a day after US President Donald Trump announced his team would revoke guidelines created by the Obama administration on the use of bathrooms by transgender students in the country’s public schools.

The guidelines, which threaten to withhold federal funding if schools do not allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as, were developed following a number of state cases sparked by the decision of a Colorado court to allow a six-year-old transgender girl to use the girls’ bathroom at her primary school in 2013.

Under Trump’s changes, the matter will return to the states, potentially to be determined by state courts on an instance-by-instance basis.

The singer was not alone in criticising the US President’s rollback of protections for transgender students using school bathrooms.

A number of celebrities took to social media to express their upset at the changes.

Orange is the New Black star and transgender actress Laverne Cox wrote on Instagram, “Trans people have a right to exist in public space with equal access.”   #protecttranskids #StandwithGavin Trans people have a right to exist in public space with equal access.#TransIsBeautiful #TransRightsAreHumanRights #translivesmatterA post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on Feb 23, 2017 at 6:24am PST

Others drew attention to organisations such as the ACLU and the US and Canada-wide Trans Lifeline, for their fans to support. We need to protect trans youth and stand up against this cruelty that hurts our kids. Support @Translifeline— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 22, 2017THIS IS EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION. @POTUS ACTS OUT OF FEAR AND HATRED OF EVERYTHING HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND. #RESISThttps://t.co/SG9UgSH7R1— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) February 23, 2017Listen. Those of us who believe in justice and dignity FOR ALL will not be silenced. We grow louder the more you try. #protecttranscitizenshttps://t.co/4wcGRACthB— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2017Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 23, 2017Trans friend, if you are struggling tonight, please reach out to @TrevorProject and @Translifeline. Equality for all! #ISTANDWITHGAVINpic.twitter南京夜网/bgipj0rmqg— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 23, 2017

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Lead paint and asbestos being handled by unskilled painters: industry

Get Qualified Australia offers a range of qualifications for the Skills Recognition and Recognition of Prior Learning scheme. Photo: Get Qualified Australia website Industry figures suggest the number of unskilled painters in NSW has grown since painting licensing laws changed in 2015. Photo: Julia Nicholls
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Australia’s peak professional body for the painting industry has expressed serious concerns about tradespeople who have been issued qualifications to handle toxic materials without the requisite training.

The National Institute of Painting and Decorating (NIPD) raised questions about the validity of painting qualifications issued by Get Qualified Australia, a vocational education provider, which was recently stripped of registration for three of its training organisations.

The education consultancy assists job seekers in obtaining qualifications to recognise prior learning in a range of industries, linking them with its own training organisations and others.

“I have spoken to at least three painters who obtained a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating [from GQA] and are not adequately qualified or competent,” said Daniel Wurm, managing director of (NIPD).

“It is a requirement that all painters who do a Certificate III in Painting are trained to identify and handle asbestos and lead paint, both of which are toxic and hazardous to the community.”

Mr Wurm said he had spoken with one painter on a 457 working visa who was granted recognition of prior learning, despite having limited experience.

“He had received no training and did not even know what lead paint was, or how to identify asbestos,” he said.

“This is a tremendous risk…how many painters got their certificates this way?” 

In a telephone call to Get Qualified, Mr Wurm inquired about whether he could obtain a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating, if he had no prior experience with lead paint or asbestos and “did not know” what they were.

Mr Wurm said he was told it would be no issue that he had not “dealt with lead paint” and that he would just need to “do a bit of online research…[to] get a bit of knowledge”.

A Get Qualified spokesman said it was seeking a review of its deregistration in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and did not wish to “comment publicly on matters which may come before the Tribunal.”

Get Qualified and its sole director Adam Wadi will next week appear in the Federal Court in an action brought by the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over alleged misleading and unconscionable conduct.

Mr Wurm said he was most concerned for tradespeople “who think they are qualified…if they haven’t been trained to identify asbestos, imagine what it’s doing to them.”

He said questionable qualifications would only increase the number of unskilled painters working in the industry, a figure he believes has grown since the NSW government relaxed painting licensing laws in 2015.

The changes, which industry bodies have criticised, removed licensing requirements for painting work on home interiors, including work under $5000.

It prompted a coalition between the peak bodies representing employers, contractors, trainers and accredited colleges in the industry; who said they had no say in the decision.

“We didn’t know they were going to make those changes, we were not consulted,” said Therese Lauriola, chief executive of the Master Painters Association NSW.

“There is a significant risk in having unlicensed painters working on properties that contain lead and asbestos. They think they can just sand it, drill it, cut it, because they have not had the training.”

Ms Lauriola said the association was equally concerned about registered training organisations issuing unwarranted qualifications.

“We call it ‘ticking and flicking’, those organisations who are giving people qualifications they really shouldn’t have,” she said. “It’s disastrous for the industry. People think they are getting qualified painters and in some instances they are not.”

Ms Lauriola suggested an additional “continuing professional development” course for painters, which could ensure they were qualified in all requisite areas.

A spokesman for the NSW Fair Trading said the Master Painters Association, and others, were given a lengthy period in which to contribute to the consultation process, however “no concerns were raised”.

“The reforms are intended to remove red tape that may unnecessarily stifle innovation and competition,” he said.

In the 12 months from January 2014, a total of 184 complaints were received about painting and decorating services generally.

Since January 2015 Fair Trading has received 113 complaints about painting and decorating work under the $5000 threshold. Interact with us on Facebook – Savvy ConsumerLatest consumer news

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John Singleton, Geoff Dixon call last drinks on Toxteth pub

Riversdale Group is selling the Toxteth Hotel in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe. Photo: supplied John Singleton and Geoff Dixon, along with Mark Carnegie, have built up the Australian Pub Fund over about six years. Photo: Wolter Peeters
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Business partners and long-time mates, Geoff Dixon and John Singleton, have sold the Toxteth pub to Mitchell Waugh’s Public House Management Group (PHMG) as part of their program to reinvest in new ventures.

The asset is within the Riversdale Group, under the Australian Pub Fund banner, which the two businessmen run with well-known investor Mark Carnegie.

Riversdale was founded by Paddy Coughlan and Rod “Ned” Kelly and bought the Toxteth, in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe for $10 million in early 2011.

PHMG paid about $21 million for the Toxteth.

The Australian Pub Fund (APF), founded by Mr Carnegie, ex-Qantas chief Mr Dixon and ad man and investor Mr Singleton, was built up over six years and was worth about $300 million, before some recent sales. They are also selling The Marlborough Hotel in Newtown.

The sale, the fourth for the group, follows the previously parked float when the IPO landscape shifted sideways in 2014, and had meant the group preferred to consolidate and focus on earnings as opposed to taking on new investors or substantially increasing the size of the portfolio as an ASX listing might have required.

Speaking on behalf of APF, Matthew Beach said the sale of the hotel met divestment criteria previously determined by the group.

“Fundamentally, the sale price achieved represented a material accretion of value when compared to the purchase price, and is consistent on a comparable yield basis to where we have been prepared to sell other hotel properties owned by the fund,” Mr Beach said.

Ray White Group’s Asia-Pacific director, Andrew Jolliffe, is advising on the sale and said the Toxteth was outside Sydney’s lock-out laws area, and had enjoyed a strong trading platform over the past two years.

PHMG also owns Sydney hotel properties including The Woollahra Hotel, Paddington’s Royal and Four in Hand hotels.

“Our philosophy is not complicated. We look for opportunities to acquire A-grade commercial property holdings in destinations underpinned by active patronage fundamentals; and whereby we can apply our deliberate hospitality strategies in order to grow revenue across all income streams,” Mr Waugh said.

“The purchase of this significant fringe CBD hotel asset is consistent with others made by the very well-credentialled PHMG; and the recent operational improvements made to other hotels recently bought for the stable, such as those made to Mosman’s Buena Vista, are patently available to the group again in respect of this acquisition,” Mr Jolliffe said.

“I believe the market conditions that have provided the fertile base for such prosperous activity will remain for the foreseeable future.

“The confluence of the historically low interest rate cycle, ready availability of senior debt, the low Australian dollar driving inbound revenues and the strength of weekly cash receipts when collectively distilled, render the opportunity to acquire A-grade hospitality property wholly compelling.”

Reflecting the demand for pubs, after 31 years the owners of the Anglers Rest Hotel, Jeff Watts and Mal McKellar, have decided to retire from pub life.

The hotel is near the Hawkesbury river and station.

The hotel is for sale through brokers Greg Haines of John Parsons hotels and John Malone of Central Consulting Sydney.

Mr Malone said the agents were expecting strong interest in the hotel as it had been managed by the same owners for a long period and was close to Sydney in the sought-after Central Coast corridor.

“With the demand for Sydney hotels being so strong, the Anglers Rest – being only 45 mins from Sydney and given the price range being sought – should interest a wide variety of potential buyers,” Mr Malone said.

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Augusta and Margaret River through your eyesPHOTOS

Augusta and Margaret River through your eyes | PHOTOS @myla_the_heeler Maybe if i stick my tongue out while i’m asleep, some food will magically appear in my dreams night night everyone #myla the #dreamy #blueheeler #heelergram #heelerclub #australiancattledog #cattledog #dog #dogs #puppy #puppies #instadog #instagram #instagood #puppydog #instapuppy #puppylove #cute #love #picoftheday #photooftheday #acd_feature #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram
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@peppybon Simply stunning evening for James Taylor. #leeuwinestate #leeuwinconcert #margaretriver #justanotherdayinwa #doingitinstyle

@natural_tiarni ‘The sunset, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it’ 梧桐夜网tiarni南京夜网419论坛

@christyisemo Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow. —Mark Manson

@idamikkonen

@ingrid.fjalestad #peacefulplaces

@bec_jenkins Beauty for days ☀️

@catrionamills Big Ass Rock

@anka_712 3 years ago

@l.postlethwaite Big sky over WA. Last year. Almost worth getting up at 4am to chase cows round a field for… #sky #westernaustralia

@meggbr0 Nearly walked right into this bad boy at work today … It’s web literally went from one row of vines to the other #straya #howgrape

@jonomenz Morning mist

@_yeonflower_ #20170222 #australia

@beckyyrad MARGARET RIVER – incredible scenery✨ #WA #travels #roadtrip #MargaretRiver #stunning #wanderlust #last #trip

@dan.m.yates Long, open road Heading out on a spontaneous solo road trip to the Margaret River region about 3 hours south of Perth! Needless to say, the drive was spectacular Margaret River, Perth . . . #perth #australia #westernaustralia #exploringaustralia #margaretriver #nature #park #openroads #instagood #googlepixel #shotbypixel #phonephotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #peaceful #relaxing #beauty #beautiful #travel #naturelovers #best #naturegram #followme #like #roadtrippin #driving #adventures #exploringtheglobe #nofilterneeded #nofilter

@strawny13 Dreaming of places I’d rather be, far away from Melbourne and the bad vibes #westernaustralia #travel #australia #westcoast

@pepper_chow I found another body of water! Yay! #waterdog #escapedagain #exploring #bestholiday #chowchow #chowchow

@nikala_cunningham Down South

@myla_the_heeler Just chilling in my clam shell pool with Hoki today #myla the (sometimes) #chilled #blueheeler #heeler #acd #australiancattledog #cattledog #acd_feature #heelergram #heelerclub #dog #dogs #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinstaworld #instadog #instagood #instagram #puppy #puppies #puppydog #puppylove #instapuppy #puppiesofinstagram #cute #love #heelerpuppy #heelernation

@davidhrovatin Dying at work after the weekend down south. ☀️ #westisbest

@nenworthy

@suecopsey1 #kookaburra sits in the old gum tree … #aussiebirds #aussiewildlife #margaretriverregion

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@opticelevation_ Canal rocks, Margaret River, WA #canalrocks#canal#rocks#clouds#australian#australia#westernaustralia#happy

@elsiebee64 The main street in the little town of Margaret River, at the heart of the famous region that shares its name in south-west Western Australia. #margaretriver #westaustralia #mainstreet #sleepytown

@kardigan_jones Spent the afternoon at the vet. Molly had a run in with a tiger snake. Lucky not bite to my favourite girl. #bordercollie #bordercollies #bordercolliesofinstagram #workingdogs #harvest #grapevines

@bernardofava

@moosethe_puppy i’m officially 3 months old!!!

@the_zesty_travellers The endangered short billed (Carnaby’s) black cockatoo stopping to smell the flowers. #wildlife #wildlife_perfection #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #nature_perfection #wildlife_supreme #naturephotography #australiangeographic #ig_australia #wildlifeplanet #eye_spy_birds #pocket_birds #bird_brilliance #your_best_birds #birds #birdsofaustralia #bestbirdshots #fridayfowl

@sianto2092 Trip the road … #Australia #DolananKeAussie #MargarethRiver #TripTheRoad #WesternAustralia #200217

@sinserene #view #bridge #pretty #scenic #blackbrewingco #brewery #lake #australia #travel #traveller #backpacker #margaretriver

@sinserene Margaret River, you’ve been a babe. #margaretriver #nocarbsbeforemargs #australia #backpacker #travel #traveller #australia #westernaustralia

@rizzo593 ..beautiful end to a great day #funfriendsandwine

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@theodore_the_cavalier Road trippin’ to Margaret river

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@jojiblossom

@jojiblossom

@anaisgg

@charlieedwardw Even in the rain my mom @carissasunshine and dad @toby_wearne walk me. They know I love an open path and lots of sniffs, and so do we Charlie. You bring us out in all the elements, and we love that! #happyboy #nature #sniffs #rainorshine #weimlove #weimaraner

@lyudon all about Margaret River ❤️️ #LyudonSurf at #Australia

@giuliozzii

@darcysymington what a view

@potoroo_land Be kind to animals, they are friends, not food! ❤ #kangaroolife

@bitterfunnylife Margaret River #bitterfunnylife #australia #margaretriver #wanderlust #lifewelltravelled #intenselyalive #travel #perth #travelblog #travelling #beachlover #ocean #oceanbreeze #runningaround

@enao.mala Always in summer ☉ #australia #wa #margaretriver #travel #traveler #summer #beach #indianocean #turquoise #love #f4f #l4l #folow4folow #folow #love #life #beauty

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Winx appears to have Chipping Norton at her mercy

In Sydney on Saturday, the all-conquering Winx will again go through the motions to secure yet another major race victory.
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At unbackable odds, Winx appears  to have the group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at her mercy, and will embark on an exercise gallop around Randwick to underline her dominance of world racing.

Shooting for three straight Cox Plates later in the year, Winx’s drawing power is also getting stronger with more than 6000 racing enthusiast’s getting to Randwick last Monday week, a working day in the Harbour City, to watch one of the world’s best race mares demolish the field in a group 1 event.

And with good weather at Randwick on Saturday the numbers are again sure to be strong.

Weight of numbers

Saturday’s meeting at Caulfield finds punters in an immediate quandary in races such as the Oakleigh Plate and Blue Diamond Stakes.

In both events it’s the case of the weight of numbers.  Australia’s two most accomplished stables have a number runners to sift through.

In the Blue Diamond Stakes, David Hayes has six runners and in the Oakleigh Plate, Darren Weir has four competitors.

While bookmakers lean to the Hayes’ family registering their ninth Blue Diamond Stakes success with Catchy, the lead-up performances of stablemate Tulip give that filly a compelling argument in Victoria’s most important two-year-old race.

In the Oakleigh Plate, Weir can find no fault with his veteran sprinter Flamberge, who is at the attractive odds of $16.00.

“He battled on well in the Lightning Stakes, he’s eaten well and was bouncing when he came off the track the other morning.

“His two runs in this time have been excellent,” Weir said.

Star turn

While Black Heart Bart is understandably all the rage in the group 1 Futurity Stakes, the former West Australian is poised to give the Weir stable another major race win.

And the stable also looks poised to win with the in-form Stratum Star in the Peter Young Stakes.

Stratum Star, one of the most improved horses in Australasia, will get the run of the race from gate three.

Silent progress

And those punters who burnt their fingers on the fast-finishing Silent Sedition two weeks ago at Caulfield should certainly follow up this week on the mare.

Silent Sedition was backed for a fortune but narrowly went down over 1200 metres but the extra 200 metres should be the telling difference.

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