Woman critically injured as car crashes onto footpath, hits pram in Chatswood

A woman has been critically injured after a car mounted the footpath and struck her in Chatswood. Photo: TNV A woman has been critically injured after a car mounted the footpath and struck her in Chatswood. Photo: TNV
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A woman walking along a footpath on Sydney’s north shore has been struck by an out-of-control car and critically injured, police say.

Police said the Toyota sedan was travelling along Victoria Avenue near Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre in Chatswood just before 8.30am on Friday when it left the road.

It first struck a pram, before hitting the woman who was walking nearby along the footpath.

The vehicle then crashed into a pole, hit a motorbike and flipped onto its side, coming to rest on the footpath outside a Chinese restaurant.

Remarkably, the child in the pram was not injured but has been taken to a medical centre for precautionary checks.

The injured woman has no connection to the child, police said.

NSW Ambulance paramedics and CareFlight’s medical team treated the woman, aged in her early 30s, for head injuries before taking her to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.

A witness, Oubie Elrish, was on Victoria Avenue getting coffee with his brother when the crash occurred in front of him.

“All we know is that he [the driver] mounted that curb, lady was walking that way, [the car] collected her, collected the second lady,” Mr Elrish said.

“The second lady was alright, but the first lady was all bloodied and bruised. It wasn’t a good sight.

“We just had her in our arms, and she wasn’t too well.”

He said it was “very lucky” only one person was injured, given how busy the shopping strip usually is.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said police had been told that the child in the pram was not injured and was taken by family to a medical centre to be checked as a precaution.

“Police are yet to confirm the child’s age or sex,” the spokeswoman said.

Police are understood to be investigating whether the 67-year-old male driver of the vehicle suffered a medical episode before crashing.

The driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries. He was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing, police said. Pedestrian knocked over by a car at Chatswood which has veered off the road and onto the footpath @9NewsSydpic.twitter南京夜网/Ywn7agFQh3— Laura Tunstall (@LauraTunstall9) February 23, 2017

Police from North Shore Local Area Command and the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit are at the crash scene and have closed Victoria Avenue in both directions between Neridah and Archer streets.

“Motorists are strongly advised to delay travel or avoid the area where possible,” police said. \n”,colour:”green”, title:”Crash”, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap2017124103323);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

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Oscars 2017: How Brad Pitt went from Hollywood hunk to movie mogul

David Oyewolo as Martin Luther King in Selma. Pitt starred in baseball movie Moneyball.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave, for which Pitt won an Oscar as producer.

If you want to dazzle your friends on Monday with your depth of Oscar-related trivia, you might casually mention that Brad Pitt has been nominated for six Academy Awards, with one win so far. But if you really want to impress them, you’ll need to remember the role for which he collected that little gold man.

Was it as the teeth-tapping madman Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys, for which he was nominated as best supporting actor in 1996? Or as a man who lives his life in reverse in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (best actor 2009)? Or maybe as the number-crunching baseball team manager Billy Beane in Moneyball (best actor again, 2012)?

Actually, it was none of those.

Brad Pitt’s sole Oscar win has come in the role for which he has garnered least notice to date – as a movie producer.

When 12 Years a Slave collected the best picture Oscar in 2014, Pitt was one of the five producers who took home a statuette (the best picture award is given to the producers, not the director, of the film). His co-winners were Steve McQueen, who also directed, independent producer Anthony Katagas, and Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, the co-presidents of Plan B, Pitt’s production company.

This year, his Plan B will be among the contenders again, with Moonlight up for eight Academy Awards, including best picture.

It is the fourth year straight the company has had a best picture nominee, after 12 Years… (2014), Selma (2015) and The Big Short (2016). In a relatively short space of time, it has emerged as a major-minor player, racking up receipts (global box office of more than $US2.1 billion), favourable notices, and award nominations, an uncommon trifecta in the movie business.

Pitt launched Plan B in 2001 with his then wife Jennifer Aniston and Hollywood executive Brad Grey. Grey exited soon after, when he was appointed top dog at Paramount (a job from which he has just been dumped, following a $US450 million loss for the studio last financial year).

When he and Aniston divorced, Pitt assumed sole ownership of the company, which had been around in name since 1996, passing through a few sets of hands before reaching the glamour couple.

The first film produced by Plan B was Troy, in 2004. It gave us the memorable sight of Pitt in a leather skirt, and was a reasonable success in commercial terms (taking about $US500 million worldwide, on a budget of $US175 million), but the sword-and-sandals epic gave little indication of the direction Plan B would head in years to come.

It didn’t take long for this boutique production house to start mixing it with the big boys. In 2006, the firm produced Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, which won four Oscars the following February, including best picture (including, finally, a best director award for Scorsese, who had been nominated and overlooked five times before that).

Pitt is listed in the movie’s credits as one of that film’s four producers. But only one of them, Englishman Graham King, received an Oscar.

That was down to the Academy’s guidelines on who is eligible, which state in part: “The nominees will be those three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions.” The rules are rubbery, though. Producing teams can sometimes be treated as a single producer, and producers ruled out can appeal, and sometimes be ruled back in.

At any rate, the Academy ruled in the case of The Departed that neither Pitt nor Grey was eligible. Nor will Pitt be invited onto the winners’ podium should Moonlight win best picture next week – the nominated producers are Plan B’s Gardner and Kleiner and independent producer Adele Romanski, who initiated the project with writer-director Barry Jenkins in 2013.

But while Gardner and Kleiner are clearly the driving forces in Plan B, Pitt isn’t just a nominal producer. There are films on which he takes an executive producer credit – a sure sign that his involvement isn’t very hands-on – but on plenty of Plan B’s titles he is credited as one of a small number of producers. Indeed, on some of the company’s forthcoming pictures (many of which will undoubtedly fall by the wayside) he is the only credited producer.

Hollywood is of course full of producers, some of whom might never have even been on a movie set. On Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, for instance, 23 people get a producer credit of some stripe (Pitt is one of seven listed as a producer proper).

The Producers Guild of America draws a distinction between those who have merely traded cash for cache or been cogs in a machine and those who have been genuinely instrumental in getting a film conceived, financed and/or distributed. The Academy largely follows suit when it comes to Oscar eligibility. It hasn’t entirely stopped the stampede to the stage on awards night, but it has at least cut down on the work of those who engrave the names on the statuettes.

At 53, it seems Pitt is easing himself into a future where he will inevitably seem less viable as a leading man. He has 42 producer credits on imdb南京夜网. On about half of those he is listed as a producer – one of the people who actually make the thing happen – rather than an executive producer (someone who makes sure they make it happen, usually on behalf of a studio or other financial backer).

True, he also appears in many of the films he has a producer credit on, but it’s often no more than a cameo or small role – just enough to help make the project more appealing to those who will bankroll, distribute or screen it.

It’s a smart way to leverage on-screen appeal to build an off-screen business, but ultimately Plan B will have to outgrow its owner’s star power if it is to go the distance. And that’s where projects such as Moonlight and the Netflix TV series The OA matter so much. Their success owes nothing to Pitt onscreen.

Indeed, it’s highly likely that at some point Plan B will become Pitt’s plan A. Maybe that is already starting to happen.

The company has four films slated for release in the near future; Pitt is a producer of two, an EP of the other two, and appears in only one of them, War Machine, a satire about the military campaign in Afghanistan directed by Australian David Michod (Animal Kingdom).

Since 2010, Pitt has acted in 10 movies and produced 10. He has also produced two TV series. There have been big-budget blockbusters such as World War Z (with a sequel in the works, allegedly to be directed by David Fincher) and Fury, as well as quirky smaller films such as Moneyball and Kick-Ass.

And of course there have been the critical darlings.

To date, Plan B has notched up 36 Oscar nominations since its first (for costume design), in 2005, for Troy. It has won nine, and if the predictions hold true, Moonlight looks set to add to that tally come Monday.

Whether that happens of not, it’s fair to say Pitt’s plan B is working out just fine. For now at least, successful producer is a role he appears to have nailed. Plan B at the Oscars

Troy 1 nomination, 2005. No producer credit for Pitt

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1 nomination, 2006. No producer credit for Pitt

The Departed 5 nominations, 4 wins, 2007. No Oscar for Pitt, despite being one of four credited producers

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 2 nominations, 2008. Pitt was one of five producers

The Tree of Life 3 nominations, 2012. Pitt was one of six named producers

12 Years a Slave 9 nominations, 3 wins, 2014. Pitt was one of five eligible producers

Selma 2 nominations, 1 win, 2015. No producer credit for Pitt

The Big Short 5 nominations, 1 win, 2016. Pitt was one of four producers

Moonlight 8 nominations 2017. No producer credit for Pitt

Karl Quinn is on Facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on Twitter @karlkwin

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Civil war as Abbott lights up against Turnbull and Shorten sits back

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull on the day of the Liberal leadership spill, in September 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Tony Abbott listens to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressing the party room at Parliament House in November. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Burwood, Sydney on Friday. Photo: Janie Barrett

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull depart at the end of Question Time, just before a leadership spill was call, at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 14 September 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

An uncivil war has broken out in the federal parliamentary Liberal Party, within the government of Australia.

Exaggeration? A livid Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t seem to think so, judging by his demeanour.

And there’s no exaggerating the anger of moderates Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, and even Abbott’s old mate and right wing fellow traveller, Mathias Cormann.

The normally reserved, ultra-cautious, philosophically conservative Finance Minister, who stuck with Tony Abbott to the bitter end, has angrily cut the tag.

Admitting to being “flabbergasted”, Cormann described Abbott’s extraordinary interview on Sky News on Thursday evening as “completely unacceptable”. And he went on, branding it deliberately unhelpful, hypocritical, and plain wrong.

‘He’s not helping our cause, he’s not helping our country, he’s not helping himself, much of what he says is either wrong or inconsistent with what he did,’ Cormann responded via the same network on Friday morning.

Shades of 2012 when Wayne Swan, Nicola Roxon, Tony Burke et al, went on breakfast TV to reveal what they really thought about Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. We know where that all led.

Abbott of course, had promised not to become a wrecker – a now explosively broken pledge to add to those he shattered while at the helm of a government unparalleled for its dogma, its ludicrous inconsistencies (remember its gold-plated paid parental leave scheme), and its political tin ear.

Now, wounded and unpredictable, Abbott has obviously concluded he has nothing left to lose. In this guise he is an existential threat to the unity of the Coalition, its leadership, and its capacity to maintain public confidence.

Displaying a selective memory and no hint of responsibility for a government that slipped into negative territory quicker than any in polling history, Abbott accuses Turnbull’s government of being “Labor light” and of drifting to defeat.

Actually, that “defeat” had been a virtual certainty under his leadership. And yet his prescription is be more like me.

The right is fracturing and it is doing it live on television. Its main institutional pillar, the Liberal Party, is riven with divisions. Abbott remains inside the tent where his presence portends catastrophic disunity. Others hold the same view and could wreak further havoc.

Just weeks ago Cory Bernardi legged it, taking his Senate sinecure with him while claiming the true conservative mantle. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation nips at the Coalition’s right flank, sending Nationals into paroxysms.

Danger abounds. Bernardi says Abbott still believes he can return. Right wingers who agree, grumble that Turnbull is still planning to revive gay marriage reforms and warn this would be the trigger. A pall of hate and suspicion has replaced the sunny optimism that accompanied Turnbull’s arrival.

And a baying right wing media facilitates all of this, virtue signalling a “true” conservatism while delivering nothing but unproductive anger and of course, an electoral windfall to Bill Shorten.

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Abbott calls it; Turnbull won’t be provoked. Not half . . .

Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s unspoken sixth point in his plan is that he must be returned as gang leader. Photo: Stefan PostlesIf the Liberal Party were a schoolyard – and really, it is, isn’t it? – there’d be excitable kids rushing about, yelling that oldest of rallying cries: “Fight, fight, fight.”
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Here’s Tony Abbott squaring off with his five-point plan for victory, neglecting only to shout the as-yet unspoken sixth, which is that he must be returned as gang leader.

And here’s Malcolm Turnbull drawing a new line with his toe, a metre back from the one he drew before, and muttering “I won’t be provoked.”

Which sounds like a fellow whose alert level has just moved from agitated to adrenally disturbed.

Meanwhile, Christopher Pyne is dancing around, throwing shadow jabs and getting himself in a frightful lather of excitement. How dare Abbott, who Christopher once adored, nettle Malcolm, who Christopher has really, really come to cherish since the Adelaide $50 billion subs thing?

Lurking in the shadows, Eric Abetz and Kevin Andrews, the geriatrics from grade 13, are almost weeing themselves at the prospect that their champion bruiser might actually step across that line. Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison shift nervously, fearful that something could actually come of this madness and Abbott could beat them to the prize.

Abbott, once so scatter-brained he chose Prince Philip of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl??cksburg as his knight defender, has clearly been working on his timing.

Pauline Hanson has been seeding ever-spreading broad-acre paddocks with a new anti-immigration strain. Jump on that tractor and call it a housing policy. Tick.

Turnbull and his own ministers have been questioning renewable energy and talking up coal in fear of increased energy costs. Get on that message and soup it up. Tick.

The Human Rights Commission? Its only remaining friends are lefties. Elite bullies who don’t like freedom of speech, even if it’s only to call little kids names. This is 2017, the year of Trump. Malcolm doesn’t much like the commission any more, so he can’t argue. Scrap it. Tick.

The Senate. Enough said. Drives people crazy. Been useful driving Malcolm crazy, of course, but wouldn’t want that to continue under a sensible new leader. Reform it, whatever that means. Tick.

Oh, yes. And STOP THE SPENDING. Makes no actual sense, but you know, three-word slogans. They work. Tick.

A five-point plan. With a sixth to come.

“I won’t be provoked,” says Malcolm. Not half. He’s already been provoked. Better sharpen the toe to draw another line.

Problem is, every kid knows that once a challenge is made in a schoolyard, there’s no stepping away from it. You can hear the chant growing, and Bill Shorten’s voice is joining in, loud with delight.

“Fight, fight, fight.”

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In a time of hot, angry air, simple pleasures rule

Punch and Judy came out to play. Photo: Damian White Trip back in time: Brianna, 14, and Colby, 15, Wilksch get ready for a ride on Andrew Duyvestyn’s reproduction coach. Photo: Katrina Lovell
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Mason Galpin, of Penola, won the supreme exhibit with his limousin cow at the Tyrendarra Show. Photo: Katrina Lovell

I attended a country show a couple of weeks ago.

It was one of those shows where chooks are awarded ribbons and there are tables groaning with scones and fruit cakes and creations with fancy icing and cooks eyeing off the competition; where shining horses prance about a show ring which doubles for a footy oval in winter and triples as a cricket ground in summer; and where you can still find a pavilion for a sit-down luncheon served by the good ladies of the district.

Burly blokes in singlets hefted pitchforks and hurled wheat bags stuffed with three and a half kilograms of oaten hay, their faces getting redder as they laboured to lob their sheaves over a bar that rose higher and higher during the heat of the day.

This was the 100th annual Tyrendarra Pastoral and Agricultural Show, or it would have been if they hadn’t called it off in 1942 and 1943 because just about all the men in that far-west Victorian district had trooped off to war.

It is lore that a member of my father’s family has been at every one of these shows since they began. With my dad gone, I was left to carry on the observance, accompanied by a daughter. I remembered my childhood when grandparents took me along and laid out a picnic in front of the highland dancing stage.

Family is a big thing at country shows – this year cousins cleaned up the first prizes in the produce section with their artistic arrangements of fruit and vegetables, won plaudits for their flowers and an aunt got a ribbon for her chutney.

There were no sideshow alley whirly rides.

There was, however, an old-time Punch and Judy puppet booth, and little kids squealed at it goggle-eyed as if TV and video games had never been invented.

Yes, and there was a wombat that escaped its enclosure, causing much leaping and carry-on as it hurtled among the feet of show-goers.

And I kept running into people I hadn’t seen for years and swapping stories about our lives and those of our families.

The sun shone and the rest of the world seemed a long way away.

If that day at the show put me in mind of the infinite worth of simple pleasures, the idea was reinforced a couple of days ago when I opened up my Facebook account.

There is something of a dread in this process these days, where rants about Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson, Jacqui??? Lambie or Yassmin??? Abdel-Magied are becoming about as common as the daily requirement to send some old or new friend a birthday wish.

A distant friend posted that “I’m getting a bit tired of Facebook. It’s all about news stories and they are all a bit the same – plus I’ve read them already. I want to know what’s going on in my friends’ lives.”

It was as if she had opened a gate to a crowd that had been milling outside, starved.

Messages of the small, lovely things of life poured in. From everywhere.

“My homegrown tomatoes,” someone wrote along with a photo of a bowl of the fruit. “I’m just so proud I had to share it with you.”

“Here’s my daughter in a bag,” wrote another, supplying a picture of a baby peering out from a little cloth playpen.

“I am writing a book while looking after a friend’s chickens and huge fruit and vegie garden and pondering a shift to the mountains and wondering if I will ever work full-time again,” offered another.

And there was the woman who wrote that she had just received a phone call “that made my heart squeeze”.

“Doctor phoned to let me know that Gracie girl does not have a torn ligament in her knee, nor any other nasties and will now be free to dominate at softball in a week or so.”

“I’m in the Solomon Islands meeting award-winning local cocoa farmers who are now teaching others to improve their growing and processing techniques to access global markets, benefiting entire communities” revealed some fellow. “Inspiring.” And a photographer announced she was on location in Germany, working on an exhibition to be called “Walking in Wiesbaden”.

There was a little tale of a christening (the baby wore “her great-great aunt’s christening dress which is 100+ years old”), of a broken wrist just as a house was being prepared for sale, of children born and kitchens renovated, of a son who confessed to being surprised at how easy it was to live without a phone after losing his in a mugging, of a grandmother who had just been married (with photo), and the news from someone else that “oh, and I cooked a chook the other night”.

On and on went the small stories of lives being lived.”My son caught a bus from an unfamiliar suburb to another unfamiliar suburb all by himself (if you don’t count a few frantic text messages),” informed a mother, with an update: “HOME AT LAST.”

And this: “Well, I went to the Kangaroo Valley Show on Saturday”, accompanied by an amusing picture of a blow-up shark jumping castle.

In a time that seems often to have surrendered to the shouted insult and where antagonists insist we take a side, it is worth knowing that much of it is wasted breath, and that true value resides in the small, universal and often unspoken things: simple pleasures.

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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

@jose_perez_perianez

@aurelie.rbt La tête dans les nuages #clouds #nuages #sky #skyporn #ciel #chill #chilling

@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

@_rebeccaholt_ Weekend views #campingcrew #camping #downsouth #secretspot #downbytheriver #weekend #weekendwarriors #funtimes #summertime #summer

@theodore_the_cavalier Road trippin’ to Margaret river

@awonderling Breath Taking.

@brittojjj Sweet Baby James

@thewanderingflame Good morning! #travel #travelblogger #travelphotography #welivetoexplore #traveltheworld #wanderlust #travelgram #tourist #instatravel #travelgram #instatravelling #instavacation #trip #traveltheworld #getaway #instago #travelpics #wanderer #travellinggram #travels #australia #perth #perthisok @perthisok #westisbest #thisisWA #westernaustralia

@honey_thelabrador Coffee stop! #dogsofinstagram #labradors_ #yellowlab #labradorretriever #labradorpuppy #labrador #instadog #instapuppy #lovedogs #yellowlaboftheday #talesofalab #justlabradors #dog_features #worldoflabs #puppyoftheday #dogstagram #dogphotography #dogsofaustralia #JustLabradors #dogs_of_instagram #love #puppy_tales #mydogiscutest #labradorofficial #dailybarker #dogsofinstaworld #labradoroftheday #fab_labs_ #labs_of_insta #snapwagdogs

@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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