Identity of teacher on child porn charges suppressed to prevent embarrassment to school

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A man has pleaded guilty to five child pornography offences Photo: FacebookA Sydney judge has suppressed the name of a Catholic primary school teacher who has pleaded guilty to child pornography offences to “limit the embarrassment and distress” of the school.

In the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, a 59-year-old man admitted to accessing, transmitting and possessing thousands of images and videos of child abuse material.

The court heard between 2011 and 2014 the man used the internet to download child porn for his “sexual gratification”.

At the time of his arrest in September 2014, the man was a teacher and e-learning co-ordinator at a Catholic primary school in Sydney’s south-west.

Following pleas of guilty to one count of transmitting, one count of accessing and three counts of possessing child abuse material, Judge Chris Craigie made a non-publication order on the man’s name following an application by the Commonwealth DPP.

Judge Craigie said the order was intended “to limit the embarrassment and distress to the students who might be identified by way of the school or schools being identified”.

He said the order is “intended to protect innocent persons” at the school.

There is no suggestion any students from the school were featured in the child abuse material.

Judge Craigie said: “There is no relevant nexus between his occupation and his offences before the court”.

He also suppressed the name of any schools the man had previously taught at.

Character references were tendered, including one from the parish priest at the man’s local church.

Police found “a number of computers with extensive images of young children in various sexual poses” at his home including 1514 images and videos on an external hard drive, 452 images on a USB flash drive and 188 on his MacBook.

Between 23 and 27 September, the man uploaded five or six child pornography images to a website at the request of a person he was chatting to online.

The website was being monitored by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States.

NCMEC staff had determined that the material had been uploaded from an Internet Protocol address in and referred the matter to n authorities.

The NSW Police’s Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began an investigation to determine who was responsible for uploading the material and raided the man’s Sydney home.

The court heard that the man expects to be sentenced to a jail term. Judge Craigie ordered the man undergo a pre-sentence assessment by Community Corrections.

He will remain on bail until the hearing resumes on December 14.

Melco’s Lawrence Ho says Macau may reverse gambling restrictions on budget woes

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Hopeful: Melco’s Lawrence Ho (second from left) with his wife Sharen Lo, James Packer and his girlfriend Mariah Carey at the opening ceremony for the Studio City casino on Tuesday. Photo: Kin CheungJames Packer’s business partner Lawrence Ho believes the Macau government will wind back policies restricting gambling as the Chinese territory looks to reverse a crippling budget deficit.

Following a corruption crackdown by Beijing in the past 18 months Macau’s government has hinted at a range of additional measures, such as a smoking ban that could hurt casino operators, including Mr Packer’s Crown Resorts, in the world’s biggest gambling hub.

Yet with gaming revenue falling by more than a third in the past year, the Macau government’s once-booming budget surplus faces slipping to an annual deficit.

Mr Ho, chief executive of Melco Crown Entertainment, said talk of more restrictive policies from the Macau government had started to ease.

“I think even the Macanese government has kicked in their austerity measures and realised that gaming revenue and gaming tax is responsible for 80 per cent of their government budget,” Mr Ho said. “And they might run at a budget deficit next year, which 10 years ago would have been impossible to think of.” Change in attitude

Mr Ho, who with Mr Packer opened Melco’s $4 billion Studio City casino in Macau on Tuesday, said a proposed smoking ban might be reversed.

“I think they are looking at the whole environment quite differently,” he said. “If you asked them on January 1 about the smoking ban, it was no question. Now they are saying, ‘Well, so long as it doesn’t hurt’ … there could be a change in attitude.”

Macau’s market relies heavily on Chinese gamblers, many of whom enjoy a nicotine fix. About 30 per cent of Chinese adults smoke, including 53 per cent of men, data from the World Health Organisation shows.

The Melco chief, son of Macau gaming king Stanley Ho, said the local government was realising the damage quick policy changes could make to the casino industry.

“If you go back to January 1 this year, everyone was still hopeful for a quick recovery and the fact the gaming industry was like this bulletproof industry – the idea you could throw grenades at it and it was going to be fine,” he said. “But I think their attitude has changed throughout this process.”

Gaming revenue fell by 37 per cent in October in Macau, the only Chinese jurisdiction where gambling is legal, as China’s high rollers steered clear of the market as an anti-graft drive hit home. More supportive measures

The dramatic slowdown has spurred talk in recent weeks that more supportive measures will be introduced. In early October Li Gang, director of the Chinese government’s local liaison office in Macau, said Beijing would “support Macau’s economy in all aspects”.

DS Kim, an analyst at JPMorgan, said government support could include tweaking visa rules and processes to encourage more tourist visits.

Melco, 34 per cent owned by Mr Packer’s Crown Resorts, has targeted a mass market offering with Studio City, which it hopes will allow it to sidestep some of the fallout from the drop in VIP revenue, which accounts for less than 10 per cent of Melco’s earnings.

Mr Packer said Macau’s casino market would revive in the next few years.

“There’s a lot of China that hasn’t really been allowed or encouraged to come to Macau,” he said. “This year is painful but with time and patience it is all going to come back – especially on the mass side.”

The reporter travelled to Macau as a guest of Crown Resorts. 

Halo 5: Guardians review

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Your Spartan soldier is much more agile in Halo 5, and levels are laid out differently because of it. Photo: 343 Industries There are always four players in Halo 5’s campaign, which also impacts the levels. For example during a firefight one of the team might mantle up to a high vantage point for sniping while a partner charges through an old vent to flank the enemy from the side. Photo: 343 Industries

The Prometheans continue to be less interesting enemies than the Covenant or the Flood, but they’ve been given a tune up. Knights now require more strategy to fight and human-like Soldiers have been introduced. Photo: 343 Industries

The world of Halo 5 is gorgeous, just as expected given the jump to Xbox One. Photo: 343 Industries

The Master Chief returns in Halo 5, but he’s a supporting character. Photo: 343 Industries

Vehicular play is as great as ever, and the REQ system in Warzone means you can grab one in multiplayer whenever you can afford it. Photo: 343 Industries

Attacking an enemy-held base in Warzone, which plays out like Halo meets MOBA. Photo: 343 Industries

Grab a power weapon at a REQ station and wreak some havoc. Photo: 343 Industries

After popularising the console shooter and almost single-handedly moving the genre (and the whole of the casual video game space) online, Halo is a game from which, fairly or not, we expect big things.

With Halo 5: Guardians, the series continues to break new ground with smart new gameplay additions, a campaign that all but demands you play with friends online and new modes inspired by the latest in e-sports and multiplayer battle arenas. It’s an impressive, impeccable game, although the continued evolution is sure to be divisive among those who think Halo peaked in 2007. Gameplay

The biggest change to the game in Halo 5 has to do with how your Spartan gets around. You can now climb up ledges that are just a little too high to jump to. You hit extra hard when sprinting; dodge in any direction, even in mid-air; aim down any weapons’ sights; engage thrusters to keep you level while aiming, even if you step off a ledge; thrust down from a height to crush enemies.

The collection of weapons and vehicles featured in Halo 5 is probably the strongest of the entire series, with a mix of rebalanced classics and all new fare. As ever, any opportunity to jump in a Warthog or tank when you’re playing co-operatively with friends is an absolute joy.

Speaking of which, a change specific to the campaign is that the player is never alone. Taking a little inspiration from Destiny, the entire story mode is designed for four players at once (online only, no splitscreen).

New gameplay mechanics sprout from this change as well, for example you can mark and point out enemies or areas for your teammates’ attention, and if you die there’s a chance your friends could come over and revive you just in time. When playing alone you’ll get three AI-controlled teammates, who are great at reviving you and assisting in vehicles but god awful at any more advanced tactics (routing enemies that need to be hit from behind is a recurring pain).

The levels in both campaign and multiplayer are designed differently as a result of all these changes. Though not as sprawling as they were in the past, the arenas of battle are much more vertical and completely filled with hidden paths and alternate routes.

Sections of the campaign even branch off entirely, offering different routes through levels for each team member.

The new direction does come at a price, as the solitary, surprising, open story mode of the original games is now unequivocally gone, and in its place a more directed, linear experience geared toward squad-based tactical combat rather than awe. Hence those hoping for a solo space-faring adventure of the like seen in the original game, Halo 2 or Halo 3 might be disappointed (luckily the campaigns of those games are readily available on Xbox One via Halo: The Master Chief Collection). The story

Disappointingly, the story told in Halo 5’s campaign is not all it’s been cracked up to be.

The game introduces new protagonist Agent Locke, a government attack dog who the pre-launch marketing showed hunting down (and in one case killing) series mainstay the Master Chief, who had apparently gone rogue.

By halfway through Halo 5’s campaign however, it’s clear the game’s telling an entirely different story.

Without spoiling too much, Chief and Locke are barely adversarial, the actions and motivations of each are clear and simple, and Locke himself is functionally the same blank vessel for the player to inhabit as Chief always has been, following orders and being glib.

Meanwhile the game suffers from the same issue as Halo 4, where the massive scope of the narrative universe compared to the limited scope of the actual story being told leads the player to feel mostly inconsequential, and the biggest, most awe-inspiring or world-changing events are visual spectacles only. Some of that space frontier magic of the original trilogy is just missing, and while some of this is doubtless due to the new focus on team-based play it’s still a bit of a let down.

After the halfway mark the story picks up and hits some interesting notes around the alien race know as the Sangheili (or Elites) and the fate of Master Chief’s erstwhile companion Cortana, but in the end the hunt for the Master Chief feels like a delay tactic for the actual story, which kicks off near the end of the game and will presumably continue in Halo 6. Multiplayer

Where the campaign was enjoyable with a tinge of disappointment — and old man “it’s new so I hate it” feelings — multiplayer is all positive, largely because it contains a brand new, modern direction as well as more traditional modes.

“Warzone” injects a touch of the MOBA into the old favourite Big Team Battle, with 24 players on two teams capturing bases while fighting each other and AI-controlled enemies.

It’s a very different flow than shooter fans may be used to, but importantly it provides opportunities for players of all skill levels to contribute in a positive way, and takes the emphasis off hide-and-headshot. Matches can be won either by completing objectives to earn 1000 points or by forcing your way into the enemy’s base, so the game is rarely one-sided.

The most fun aspect of Warzone is the REQ system. Players earn REQ over time and cash it in for weapons and vehicles. Cashing yours in right away for a rocket launcher might help you take a base or complete an objective, but being frugal will net you a tank by the end of the game to crush your way to victory.

It also means experienced players can no longer run directly to the most powerful weapons and vehicles on the map, and gives everyone a chance to be that Banshee-flying badass.

Arena mode is classic Halo as we all know it, a mix of 4v4 modes like capture the flag and Slayer (deathmatch). It’s a great example of fixing something that ain’t broke, although the new Spartan abilities keep things interesting and fresh. Should I get it?

Halo 5 continues the series trajectory to a T. The gameplay mechanics and shooting continue to improve, while the campaign has made its biggest jump yet towards forcing cooperative play. The story has become more narrow and less relevant as a result, which will be a good or bad trade-off depending on your perspective. For multiplayer shooter fans it’s a no-brainer, this is the best Halo’s ever been.

Halo 5 is out now on Xbox One at an RRP of $99.95. It’s classified M.

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Rugby World Cup final 2015: Why the Wallabies can – and can’t – win against the All Blacks

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RWC Schedule: When is the Rugby World Cup final?Full coverage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Five reasons the Wallabies can win the World Cup final…

1.David Pocock

We realise almost every Wallaby listicle will start with something to do with Pocock but sometimes you just can’t tip away from the favourite.

The breakdown mauler has been beyond superb at the World Cup and might just be the best player in the sport at the moment.

With him firing in the contest, the Wallabies are a chance against any team in the world, including the mighty All Blacks.

2.Cheika’s mad science

Nobody can quite put their finger on what was missing from the Wallabies in their previous incarnations.

Michael Cheika probably can’t either – ‘I wasn’t there’ – as he often points out.

Whatever it was, Cheika has magic fairy dust by the kilogram. His stewardship of the team over the past 12 months has turned them from high school nerds into one of the big men on campus.

Who’s to say he can’t take them all the way on the weekend.

Cheika roll: Wallabies coach has ‘plenty of magic dust’. Photo: Getty Images

3. Nothing to lose

The Wallabies have already over-achieved. Hey, they could have probably hit the French Riviera after knocking out England.

Instead, they enter the final with their rivals the raging favourites and carrying the lofty expectations of a rugby-obsessed nation.

That’s not to say the Wallabies won’t be crushed if they don’t win. It’s just that they go in on the crest of a feel-good wave, rather than with a millstone around their necks.

Did the Wallabies overachieve by knocking out England and Wales? Photo: Getty Images

4. Bernard Foley

If Quade Cooper was Maverick, then Foley is Iceman.

The two playmakers have their various strengths but in Foley the Wallabies have found a clinical finisher who doesn’t blink when the game is on the line.

His final-minute penalty against the Scots was just the vote of confidence he needed to ensure he steps up with swagger if the All Blacks are there for the taking.

Ice-cold: Bernard Foley boots the winning penalty against Scotland at the death. Photo: Getty Images

5. This isn’t Eden Park

A team of Marvel superheroes would struggle to roll the All Blacks in Auckland. But Twickenham is a long way from Eden Park.

Plenty of teams step onto the field against New Zealand already having tasted mental defeat.

The Wallabies could have fallen into that category if it wasn’t for a 27-19 win over the arch-enemy at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Cheika rotated his side for the drubbing in the second leg of the Bledisloe but none of the Wallabies will see the ABs as an unassailable obstacle.

New Zealand’s All Blacks react after their Bledisloe Cup rugby match loss to the Wallabies in Sydney. Photo: Reuters

And five reasons why they can’t…

1. The All Blacks are as good as they appear

Forget, for a moment, the endless hype and in-flight safety videos and the wall-to-wall, infuriating corporate blackout that goes hand-in-hand with New Zealand rugby.

When you strip it back to basics, the All Blacks are as good as their PR machine and then some.

They have only dropped a solitary game in the past year (so have the Wallabies, mind you) and start deserved favourites to win their second RWC in succession. 

Forget the hype, the All Blacks are as good as they appear. Photo: youtube杭州龙凤论坛m/airnewzealand

2. Emotional exits

The Kiwis will have no bigger motivation than to send off favourites sons Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu, Tony Woodcock, Conrad Smith and Keven Mealamu in the finest of style.

The ‘Retiring Six’ have been the very heart and soul of the modern era of All Blacks dominance and you can bet their team-mates will do anything to get them over the line.

Final hurrah: Ma’a Nonu. Photo: Getty Images

3. McCaw-thyisim

If you’ve never been to New Zealand, it’s difficult to explain the popularity of their great flanker.

‘Popularity’ may be selling it a touch short. It’s closer to a cult that has managed to radicalise almost every citizen, who fail to believe their fearless leader can do any wrong.

He has a similar influence on the park and for all of the jibes about him pushing the rules, the AB’s seven remains a masterful leader that can seem to will his team over the line, even if they have a rare off day.

Cult of personality: Richie McCaw. Photo: Mike Hewitt

4. No more nerves

It was fun while it lasted, you know that line about the All Blacks being World Cup chokers. Sure, they’d won the first one but that didn’t count.

Then they spoiled the fun and went and won the last one, before going on to dominate the global game for the next four years.

The bad news for the Wallabies is that plenty of faces from 2011 are going to be back on deck again. They know how to get the job done, while for the Wallabies it’s uncharted waters.

The All Blacks on their way to semi-final defeat against the Wallabies at the 2003 World Cup. Photo: Craig Golding

5. Killer instinct

If the All Blacks are in games, they win games. They looked down and out against the Springboks in The Rugby Championship before finishing over the top of them in Johannesburg, before grinding out the toughest of wins against the same opponents in the semi-final.

They let one slip against the Wallabies in Sydney but given their record and recent form, that might simply be an exception that proves the rule. There’s no better side under pressure in the world.  

Best under pressure: Jesse Kriel is consoled by Sonny Bill Williams at the end of the All Blacks v Springboks semi. Photo: Shaun Botterill

New Zealand holds rates, but warns on currency

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Governor Wheeler: strong currency smothering much-needed inflation.New Zealand’s central bank on Thursday held its official cash rate (OCR) at 2.75 per cent, but cautioned that continued strength in the local currency could force its hand again in coming months.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler said in a statement that solid growth in services and construction had helped offset the impact of weak dairy prices to make a fourth interest rate cut this year unwarranted.

However, he warned that the strength of the New Zealand dollar, a heavily-traded currency given to wild gyrations in times of market unease, could smother much needed imported inflation, at a time when the consumer price index (CPI) was languishing below the 1 per cent to 3 per cent target.

The kiwi responded with an immediate 1 per cent plunge, before settling around US71.14¢, compared with US71.58¢ before the central bank’s decision. The currency is also at a five and a half month high against the n dollar and edging toward parity once again, driven recently by improving dairy prices.

“Annual CPI inflation is expected to return well within the target range by early 2016, as the effects of earlier petrol price falls drop out of the CPI calculation and in response to the fall in the exchange rate since April,” said Mr Wheeler.

“However, the exchange rate has been moving higher since September, which could, if sustained, dampen tradeables sector activity and medium-term inflation.

“This would require a lower interest rate path than would otherwise be the case.

“To ensure that future average CPI inflation settles near the middle of the target range, some further reduction in the OCR seems likely,” Wheeler said.

Thursday’s decision to hold rates was widely expected.

However, results of the latest Bloomberg survey of economists point to another cut, to 2.5 per cent, in December.

“Today’s decision by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to leave interest rates at 2.75 per cent is just a pause in a loosening cycle that we believe will end with rates falling to 2 per cent,” said Capital Economics’ chief economist for and New Zealand Paul Dales.

“And the news that the RBNZ is not happy with the recent strengthening in the New Zealand dollar lends some support to our view that the dollar could yet weaken to US60¢ this year and US55¢ next year,” he said.

New Zealanders are chasing double-digit yields in some stocks as its official cash rates sits at a record low 2.75 per cent.

The global equities rally in October has extended to the land of the long white cloud, sending the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index through the 6000 mark for the first time on Tuesday.

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson murder: Accused refused bail in Maitland

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Karlie Pearce-Stevenson (left) and Khandalyce. ToddlerKhandalycePearce was killed not long after the death of her motherKarliePearce-Stevenson, whose body was dumped in the Belanglo State Forest in 2008, police believe.

Daniel James Holdom, 41,has appeared in court charged with the murder of MsPearce-Stevenson.

Holdom was charged overnight with killing Ms Pearce-Stevenson almost two years before her bones were found in the forest south of Sydney.

It isunderstood police were able to trace Holdom’s mobile phone as being in the Belanglo State Forest at the time Ms Pearce-Stevenson was killed.

NSW Homicide Squad commanderDetectiveSuperintendent Mick Willing said police believedKhandalycewas killed after her mother.

“But we are trying to establish the exact timing,” he told reporters on Thursday.

No charges have been laid over Khandalyce’s death.

Police will allege Ms Pearce-Stevenson was murdered between December14 and 15,2008.

“She sustained certain injuries to her body but I can’t go further intothoseinjuries as investigations are ongoing,” Superintendent Willing said.

It is understood that, while the mother and daughter both suffered violent deaths, their injuries were different,

Police have not revealed how Holdom and Ms Pearce-Stevenson knew each other.

However, it is understood Holdom had ties in the ACT.Ms Pearce-Stevenson was last seen in Charnwood, an outer suburb of Canberra, in 2008.

Holdom appeared via audio visual link from Cessnock Correctional Centre, wearing prison greens, on Thursday morning.

His Legal Aid solicitor, Peter Cleaves, told magistrate John Chicken that his client did not wish to appear in court in any form – not even by video link.

But Mr Chicken refused the request.

“Given the nature of the charge I think it’s appropriate that he appear by AVL,” he said.

“It’s not like he is being brought in and paraded.”

Holdom was formally refused bail, although Mr Cleaves did not apply for it on his behalf.

The matter was adjourned to Sydney’s Central Local Court, where Holdom has been ordered to appear via audio visual link, on November 12.

Make and take recipes from the Special Delivery cookbook by Annabel Crabb

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In Annabel Crabb’s accidental second career as the host of political cooking show Kitchen Cabinet, she negotiates her way into the homes of n politicians, bringing dessert – the internationally recognised culinary code for “I come in peace”.

Now, in Special Delivery, Crabb has teamed up with her best friend from childhood, fellow food tragic and Kitchen Cabinet recipe consultant Wendy Sharpe, to bring you recipes for those knockout desserts as well as tons more ideas for soups, salads, pastries, breads and other treats ideally suited to make and take to those you love. The following is a selection. Passionfruit curd

Makes about 700g

This recipe makes a fair amount of passionfruit curd. It will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge, and will find its way onto pancakes, tarts and croissants, in between sponge cakes and biscuits, or even into a pavlova with whipped cream. I took just such a passionfruit pavlova to former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s house once. He wasn’t much for sweets, as it turned out, but his daughter Jessica loved the curd so much I discreetly left her the jar. If you know someone who feels the same way, a jar of this would be the perfect gift for them.

110g castor sugar 4 whole eggs 2 egg yolks 125g unsalted butter, cubed pulp from 8 passionfruit, strained juice of ½ lemon

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk the sugar, eggs and egg yolks together until pale.

Now whisk in the butter, cube by cube, and keep whisking over the heat: the butter will melt and the mixture will gradually thicken to a nice, custardy texture.

Finally, whisk in the passionfruit pulp and lemon juice and wait for the curd to thicken up again, then immediately transfer it to a bowl (if using straightaway) or sterilised jars (see page 32), covering the surface with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin as it cools.

TO TRANSPORT: Spoon the curd into small screw-top jars, giving them a bonnet of muslin (cheesecloth) tied with string, if you like. Pop in your basket and away you go. Remind the recipient to keep their jar of curd in the fridge, and to eat it within two weeks. Pantry challenge gratin

Serves 4

In the weeks before my partner Jeremy and I moved back to from London, we enforced the “pantry challenge”, whereby every meal had to be cooked using something in the cupboard, so we could run our pantry reserves down to nix.

For no good reason I can think of, I had at some stage bought a five-kilo bag of quinoa, so that went into tuna patties and some sort of quinoa sushi, to which I’m afraid Wendy was repeatedly subjected. Anyway, there’s no quinoa at all in this recipe, but it does mostly use things you might have lurking in your cupboard.

Great for when friends drop in, as they say – or, more saliently, very good for whipping up and sticking in a basket for baking on-site in the home of another. This gratin is very rich, so we’ve sized it as a side dish. It goes well with many things; some Puy-style lentils or a crisp green salad is a good idea too.

1 leek, well washed and outer green leaves discarded, finely chopped olive oil, for frying a little white wine or water, if needed 175g  cooked cannellini beans 75g  creme fraiche or sour cream 2½ tablespoons cream 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 1 x 335g  jar white asparagus, drained 30g coarse fresh breadcrumbs 50g  finely grated parmesan 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 160C. In a frying pan over low to medium heat, fry the leek in the smallest amount of oil, adding a little white wine or water if it starts to stick. When the leek has wilted a bit, take the pan off the heat and mix in the beans. Mix the two creams with the mustard until smooth.

Take a shallow baking dish about 20 x 15 cm and spread about a tablespoon of the cream mixture over the base. Lay the asparagus spears on top, spoon over the leek and bean mixture, then pour over the rest of the cream mixture.

Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley, then sprinkle over the gratin. (Just by the by, I recommend having a secret stash of this gratin topping in the freezer, ready to sprinkle at a minute’s notice – it is also good on lasagne and other baked pasta dishes.) Bake your gratin for about 25 minutes, or until it is crispy, with bubbling cream underneath.

TO TRANSPORT: Par-bake the gratin for about 15 minutes and leave to cool prior to transporting, then finish cooking at your destination, just before serving. Blueberry and orange cake with lady grey syrup

In our little bit of the Adelaide Plains, shearing was one of those times of year – like harvest – where, all of a sudden, everyone was incredibly busy round the clock. Country kitchens sprang into action, producing hot meals, sandwiches, tins and tins of biscuits and wicker trays of cake. The recipients, uniform in their blue singlets, would dispatch the treats in between gulps of crazy-strong, overly sugared tea. I don’t think those sheds ever saw lady grey tea, or ricotta for that matter, but this cake pays tribute to the spirit of those countless tea breaks and the women who catered them. It even got the nod from Bill Heffernan (a celebrated bushie and tough nut) and minister/aviatrix Sussan Ley.

Makes 1 x 20 cm cake

250g ricotta 150g unsalted butter, softened 125g caster sugar finely grated zest of 3 oranges 3 eggs, separated 25g almond meal 100g plain flour, plus extra for sprinkling 2 teaspoons baking powder dash of milk, if needed 100g blueberries, fresh or frozenLady grey syrup

3 lady grey tea bags 170ml boiling water 165g caster sugar juice of ½ orange

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm spring-form or loose-based cake tin and line with a circle of baking paper. Tip the ricotta into a fine sieve set over a bowl to drain while you make a start on the cake.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then beat in the zest, followed by the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the ricotta and whisk again – the mixture should be quite fluffy. Fold in the almond meal, then sift in the flour and baking powder, mixing to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to medium peaks. Take a critical look at the consistency of your cake mixture: if it seems too stiff, to gently accommodate the whisked egg whites, stir in a dash of milk to loosen it. Now carefully fold in the egg whites.

Put your blueberries in a bowl and sprinkle with a scant teaspoon of flour (this will help to stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).

Pour half the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle over all except a few of the blueberries, avoiding the very edges so the finished cake will have solid walls. Add the rest of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries, using your finger to push them a little way into the batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. It can be tricky to tell when this cake is cooked in the middle. Because it’s so moist, a knife will come out clean three to four  minutes before it is actually cooked, so give it a little extra time in the oven after this, until it has a golden, slightly crisp crust.

Meanwhile, forge your strong three-bag brew in the boiling water. After 5 minutes, transfer the tea to a small saucepan with the sugar and orange juice. Bring to the boil, then let it bubble away for 5 minutes to make a thin syrup. Leave to cool until just warm, then transfer to a serving jug. Cut the cake into slices, then pour over the syrup when serving.

TO TRANSPORT: Carry your cake in an airtight container, with the jar of syrup riding shotgun.

Is the ATO treating independent contractors too harshly? IGT wants to find out

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Ali Noroozi, Inspector General of Taxation, has launched a review into the n Taxation Office’s handling of determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor. Photo: Louie DouvisThe Inspector-General of Taxation has launched a new review to ensure that the nation’s small businesses and independent contractors are not being unfairly targeted by the n Taxation Office.

Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi’s review will also examine the effectiveness of ATO actions to address so-called “phoenix activities” – businesses that collapse one day with a pile of debts then rise from the ashes with the same assets and customers to avoid their bills.

The Coalition government, when it took office after Tony Abbott’s election victory, promised that it would wind back the harsh treatment of contractors who it believed were being unfairly targeted under the former Labor government.

But lobby groups have argued that has not happened. In March, the ATO said it would step up targeting independent contractors suspected of dodging their tax obligations through a data matching program.

Mr Noroozi said there were concerns over the ATO’s approach when it comes to employers’ compliance with taxation and superannuation obligations. These concerns included “difficulty and uncertainty in determining” whether workers were actually employees or independent contractors.

“Unexpected multi-year liabilities may arise for employers as a result of an audit, or otherwise genuine employees may be left without an avenue to pursue their unpaid entitlements,” Mr Noroozi said.

This may have led to a recent increase in the number of n Business Number applications rejected by the ATO, he said. While the tax office knocked back 13,696 ARN applications in 2008-09, that number rose to 50,358 in 2013-14. The peak was 59,885 in 2012-13.

There was also a lack of ATO feedback to employees who reported potential employer non-compliance with their superannuation guarantee obligations. In the past five financial years, the ATO has raised a total of $2.97 billion in unpaid superannuation guarantee liabilities and collected a total of $1.59 billion. Compliance costs

“Further liabilities may remain undetected as the ATO relies more on employee notifications than proactive risk-based audits,” Mr Noroozi said. He also warned of “unnecessary compliance costs” for employers caused by the ATO through onerous information requests, director penalty notices that are issued in inappropriate circumstances, and an unwillingness to discuss issues and practical solutions.

Mr Noroozi said ATO data showed 846,500 employers collected half the total tax revenue of $419.26 billion in the 2013-14 financial year (which includes pay as you go withholding from salaries and the superannuation guarantee charge, or SCG).

Employers paid $79.19 billion into employees’ superannuation funds in the 2014-15 financial year.

The federal government had recently finished consultation on proposed legislation to “simplify and reduce the harshness that may result from imposition of interest and penalties with respect to SGC”.

It has also set up an an Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum to share intelligence and implement cross-agency strategies to reduce and deter businesses from phoenix activity.

“Employers play a vital role in the economy, including collecting taxes from their employees and paying their entitlements,” Mr Noroozi said.

“It is important to provide them with as much support as possible with these obligations so that their main focus continues to be on their core commercial goals.”

Young Conservationist of the Year Amelia Telford calls for the energy revolution ahead of Paris climate conference

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Amelia Telford, a Bundjalung woman from Tweed Heads, who is the Young Conservationist of the Year Award. Photo: James BrickwoodIn 2013, Amelia Telford approached then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd while dressed up as Nemo to ask him “how he was going to protect my home, as a clown fish in the Great Barrier Reef”.

This year the 21-year-old has another message for the Prime Minister, though this time it’s for Malcolm Turnbull, and she’s talking about much more than the reef.

“People who have the power of decision making [must be] thinking about the impacts their decisions have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, specifically around approving new fossil fuel projects and how our communities are being devastated,” she said.

“We need to get the energy revolution started.”

A Bundjalung woman from Tweed Heads, Ms Telford was named the n Geographic Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year on Wednesday.

Ms Telford is a member of the n Youth Climate Coalition and founder and director of Seed, a network of young Aboriginal people fighting for climate justice.

With little more than a month until the United Nations Paris climate conference, Ms Telford and her colleagues have all eyes on the government.

“It’s really disappointing to see such a lack of ambition in what we are taking to Paris,” she said.

“It’s embarrassing for , because we are one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world and we have the science and technology available to actually be powered by renewable energy, but there are other countries doing so much better than we are.”

Ms Telford has been involved with the n Youth Climate Coalition since she was in high school, a movement of more than 100,000 young people.

Her own brainchild, Seed, is a group she founded in July last year, after realising indigenous young people lacked a platform through which to voice their views on climate change.

“There is an amazing history of Aboriginal resistance in this country…we have been the first scientists, the first people to defend our climate and to protect our land, so there is so much we can learn in the activist space from our people.”

She said it was vital to create a dialogue for indigenous people because they are on the front line of the impacts of climate change.

“[Look at] sea level rises in the Torres Strait, drought and bushfires. There has been so much going on with generations of people standing up for our land, but there has not necessarily been a network to connect us across ,” she said.

As ‘s political landscape shifts, Ms Telford said she encourages the government to be as ambitious as they can when it comes to climate policy, but that “we haven’t seen anything yet.”

“The people of want to see action. So if that means starting the transition ourselves by getting solar panels on the roofs of high schools and hospitals, showing the government what true leadership looks like and leaving them with no choice but to follow, I guess that’s the path we will have to go down, and already have.”

Cessnock Jail inmate Daniel Holdom charged with ‘Angel’s’ murder

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Karlie Pearce-Stevenson murder accused in Maitland court | PHOTOS, UPDATED Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and daughter Khandalyce, whose bodies were found in different states, five years apart. Photo: NSW Police

The suitcase found with the body of a child at Wynarka. Photo: South Police.

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and daughter Khandalyce, whose bodies were found in different states, five years apart. Photo: NSW Police

NSW and SA murder investigation press conference ,victims Karlie jade Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce Kiara Pearce missing since 2006.

The clothing found in the suitcase with the little girl’s bones in Wynarka Photo: South Police

Officers from the Task Force, Murray Mallee Local Service Area and State Tactical Response Group door-knocked the townships of Karoonda on August 4 in a bid to find more evidence.

Mounted police search terrain along the Karoonda Highway and Kulde Road, between Wynarka and Tailem Bend, on August 24.

A police officer looks at the map of Karoonda Highway and Kulde Road, between Wynarka and Tailem Bend, where mounted police officers searched on August 24.

The crime scene where a little girl’s remains were found in a suitcase at Wynarka, South . Photo: Murray Valley Standard

Officer in charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, announced that investigators believe the little girl could have died up to eight years ago – potentially making her aged 10-12 if she was alive today.

The jacket found with the body of the girl found in Wynarka.

Police believe a body found on the Karoonda Highway, near Wynarka, is a child aged between two and seven.

Emergency services and volunteers on the scene near Wynarka, South , on July 16, 2015.

The media setting up outside Maitland court house. PHOTO: Nick Bielby

Onlookers outside Maitland court house. PHOTO: Nick Bielby

Outside Maitland court house. PHOTO: Perry Duffin



Daniel James Holdom has appeared in court charged with the murder of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson. Bail wasformally refused. The case has been adjourned toCentral Local Court in Sydney on November 12.

Man charged with murder over death of #KarliePearceStevenson didn’t apply for bail but was formally refused bail @MaitlandMercury#angel

— Nick Bielby (@nickbielby) October 28, 2015Man charged over death of #KarliePearceStevenson will appear at #Maitland court by AVL despite asking not to appear @MaitlandMercury#angel

— Nick Bielby (@nickbielby) October 28, 2015LIVE on #Periscope: Police addressed the public following the charge of a man over allegedly murdering Karlie Pearc… https://t杭州龙凤论坛/eYTzjgkrAm

— NSW Police (@nswpolice) October 28, 20159.10AM

Media are yet to find out if the man charged with the alleged murder ofKarlie Pearce-Stevenson will appear in person in court, or by video link.

#Maitland court where man charged over death of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson is expected to appear @MaitlandMercurypic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/CdK3N5lig2

— Nick Bielby (@nickbielby) October 28, 2015Man charged with murder over death of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson overnight to face #Maitland court this morning @MaitlandMercury

— Nick Bielby (@nickbielby) October 28, 2015BACKGROUNDThe arrest comes five years after Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s remains were found in the Belanglo State Forrest, south of Sydney.

Her identity remained a mystery until earlier this month when police linked her DNA to that of a child’s body found dumped in a suitcase on the side of a highway at Wynarka in South in July this year.

Police last week made public Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s identity and the fact that the child in the suitcase was her daughter, Khandalyce.

Detectives have said they believe the pair were killed at different times and at different locations in December 2008.

Police suspect people involved in the murder of mother and daughter also hijacked the pair’s identities after killing them and raked in about $90,000 across multiple states and territories.

Earlier this monthSouth n Police released dashboard camera vision of the Karoonda Highway, near Wynarka, where thefaded suitcase was found.


How UOW’s Dr Susan Hayes assisted in police search for ‘Angel’

Girl in suitcase: mother Karlie Pearce-Stevenson’s identity used to rake in $90,000

Girl in suitcase: Detectives identify a main suspect in killings of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and daughter Khandalyce

Girl in suitcase the daughter of woman found in Belanglo forest, police say

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