09/16/19

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher turns to Kate Carnell on 2014 budget advice

Public service news: full coverageFederal budget 2014: full coverage
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As much as $150 million was ripped out of the bottom line of the ACT budget with the federal budget cuts on Tuesday, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said, giving the states and territories no choice but to consider an increase in the GST.

The cuts had created a “massive black hole” in the ACT budget, which would no longer be able to be signed off on Tuesday, she said. Revenue streams across the board would have to be downgraded, and spending priorities would have to be reconsidered.

Ms Gallagher said between 6500 and 8000 jobs would be ripped from the federal public service in Canberra, 3 per cent of the workforce, with flow-on impacts throughout the economy. Two thousand jobs would go from Canberra in the next 12 months, half the nationwide cuts.

“Our neighbours, our friends, people our kids go to school with, their job was taken last night,” she said, describing the budget as a “pretty nasty targeting of Canberra”.

It would force the states to look at a higher or broader GST. “We’ve had it forced upon us now. There’s no way of avoiding it because we can’t take responsibility for the black hole created by the Commonwealth if there is no revenue stream,” she said, while acknowledging the “disproportionate impacts” of increasing the GST or broadening the base.

Treasurer Andrew Barr said lower employment meant lower payroll tax. Slowing population growth meant less demand for housing, hitting rates revenue, stamp duty and land tax. Land sales were a large part of the Government income and would be hit by lower demand. More people out of work meant more people eligible for ACT government concessions and pressure on other services.

The ACT government would do what it could to buffer the impact, with no job cuts in the ACT public service, and more spending on capital works to create economic activity and jobs, but it was unlikely to be able to plug the gap, he said.

“It’s all very well for the Commonwealth to fix their bottom line. All they have done last night is pass the problem to states and territory and to each individual household,” he said.

Mr Barr is looking to significant borrowings to fund an ambitious capital works program to stimulate the Canberra economy, with everything from a new hospital to a new swimming pool, stadium and convention centre on the table as well as the Capital Metro rail project.

But former chief minister Kate Carnell, now chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, warned the government to “a be a bit careful” on borrowings, with limited options for raising money to repair a territory budget deep in the red other than higher land taxes and rates, which could discourage business and make the city uncompetitive. “Absolutely it’s good to have some infrastructure projects but, in the ACT,  you need to keep the debt low because there’s not a lot of ways of getting it back under control,” she said.

Ms Gallagher has sought a meeting with Ms Carnell, looking for ideas on how she weathered the recession sparked by John Howard’s unprecedented job and service cuts in Canberra in 1996, especially her incentive program for businesses to employ young people.

Ms Carnell said the answer was to mobilise the private sector. Commonwealth outsourcing meant big opportunities for local business, well placed to pick up the work.

“What happened last time was we had three consecutive quarters of negative growth, but within two years the ACT’s growth was among the fastest in Australia. Things turned around moderately quickly and, to some extent, that was because a lot of the outsourcing the government did was picked up by local businesses,” she said.

Ms Gallagher will also ask Prime Minister Tony Abbott for support, arguing that when other jurisdictions lose major sectors of their economy, they access federal rescue and support packages.

“If they’re going to wipe out 6500 jobs over the next four years … any other community would be given support as they transition. And why aren’t we?” she asked. “The city can’t just absorb those cuts in the public sector.”

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09/16/19

Public service budget winners and losers: where the axe will fall

Treasurer Joe Hockey. Federal budget 2014: Full coverageInteractive: Where will your tax dollars go?More than 70 agencies scrapped, consolidated
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Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget will try to reduce the government’s civilian workforce by 7336 full-time-equivalent jobs over the coming year, a staffing cut unmatched since the Howard government’s first term. This be partly offset by the recruitment of an extra 2744 full-time military personnel.

However, the cuts won’t affect all portfolios or agencies equally. Use the graphic below to explore the winners and losers. (Keep in mind these are only the cuts to take place in 2014-15.)

The breakdown is only available for the coming financial year, and the other 9000-plus public service job cuts forecast for coming years are not included.

Other winners and losersWINNERS

1. Medical research

Gets a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund

2. Small to medium businesses

1.5 per cent company tax cut and no parental leave levy

3. Construction firms

With $11 billion in infrastructure spending

4. School chaplains

$245 million over five years

5. Defence

Spending to rise to 2 per cent of GDP within a decade

6. Mothers

Paid Parental Leave Scheme to pay new mothers up to $50,000

7. Ballerinas

$1 million for ballet students’ boarding accommodationLOSERS

1. The sick

$7 fee increase for GP visits and cuts to hospital funding

2. University students

Face higher, deregulated fees

3. Foreign aid

Reduction in foreign aid budget of $7.9 billion over five years

4. High income earners

Deficit tax rise of 2 percentage points for people earning more than $180,000 a year

5. Public servants

16,500 job losses

6. Video gamers

Abolishing the Australian Interactive Games Fund, saving $10 million

7. Pensioners

Pension age rises to 70 from 2035 and concessions cut

8. Families

Cuts to Family Tax Benefit Part B

9. Young unemployed

Under 30s face a six-month wait for a reduced dole

10. Motorists

More expensive petrol with a fuel levy

11. Indigenous people

A $500 million cut to indigenous programs over five years

12. Local councils

Cuts of nearly $1 billion over four years

13. ABC and SBS

Cuts of $43.5 million and Australia Network abandoned

14. Politicians, senior public servants

One-year pay freeze, gold pass travel for ex-MPs wound back then abolished

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09/16/19

Solange and Jay-Z spotted shopping together while rumours continue

Best internet memes of the argumentSolange attacks Jay-Z in hotel liftWith reps for Jay-Z, Beyonce and Solange yet to comment, the speculation – and memes – continue.The three are going about their lives like nothing happened. For the most part.Solange has deleted all Instagram pictures of her sister, except for one, while Beyonce posted a prayer asking for help in navigating relationships that were a bad influence.But just days after Solange’s bust-up with Jay-Z, the singing sisters travelled to Costa Rica together for Kelly Rowland’s wedding. Jay and Bey were spotted putting on a united front at a basketball game together on Monday night, while TMZ is reporting that Solange and Jay-Z were spotted jewellery-shopping together in New York.”Our sources connected with the store say Jay and Solange were in Mr Flawless, where they were looking for women’s jewellery for around 20 minutes,” the site reports.”We’re told the pair showed no signs of strife, and looked at gems with Mr. Flawless himself. They looked, but tried nothing on. They left the store without buying anything.” The bizarre outburst last week remains a mystery, but that doesn’t stop the speculation or plethora of ”sources” from revealing what ”really happened” between Solange and Jay-Z.US magazine reports that Solange had a tantrum after Beyonce and Jay-Z tried to take her home following her alleged spat with designer Rachel Roy.New York Daily News, on the other hand, says the fight was sparked by a combination of factors. Their ”sources” say Solange was sullen after Jay-Z snapped at her for allowing her friends to get into the after party by dropping his name. ”Our source said Jay-Z soon got wind of it and snapped at Solange, saying ‘don’t use my name’,” Daily News writes.What started out as a small tiff then turned ugly in the lift when Jay decided to go to Rihanna’s after-party alone.Daily News reports a ”second source” as saying Solange ”seemed drunk and irritated … She said, ‘Why can’t you go home?’ and to Beyonce ‘Why does your husband need to go to the club right now?’.”When Jay-Z allegedly shot back, ”You’re one to talk,” the mother of one apparently became incensed. Meanwhile, the Mail Online says tension between the siblings-in-law had been simmering for some time because Jay-Z had failed to fulfil a promise to help promote Solange’s music career. Their source said: ”Solange’s album is coming out soon but there is no buzz about it, which is a bad sign within the industry.”Solange wants a major career like her sister and she’s tired of living in her shadow. She’s jealous. Jay-Z promised he would help take her to the next level but he never found the time to keep his word.”Adding to the motley mix of theories is RadarOnline, which has suggested that beneath the perfect facade of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s relationship, lies a history of fighting and infidelity.They report that Jay-Z publicly lost his cool with Beyonce back in 2013, right before her Super Bowl performance. Perhaps ”screaming fights” are standard within the family, Radar suggests and Solange simply overreacted.Understatements aside, Radar is happy to report that despite explosive exchanges not being unusual, Jay and Bey are loved up. ”By all accounts, the couple are happy together despite the drama: As Radar reported, they were even recently spotted dropping $6000 on gold-plated sex toys during a couple’s trip to Brooklyn sex shop Babeland,” the site says.While the cause may not be clear, the weapon used in the fight is. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the ‘killer’ stilettos that Solange was wearing when she kicked Jay-Z. They report Solange was wearing a four-inch pair of Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals in gold. You can pick up a pair yourself for just under $600.Fairfax Media
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09/16/19

Soa Palelei booked for UFC New Zealand

Soa Palelei, the powerful wrestler and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has been booked for his next fight as the UFC debuts in New Zealand. Perth MMA fighter Soa Palelei isn’t resting on his laurels following his win over Ruan Potts at UFC Fight Night: Brown v Silva on Sunday.
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The UFC heavyweight is on an 11-fight win-streak, with his last three wins all occuring by knockout at the highest level of competition, the UFC.

Just three days after his last knockout, the powerful wrestler and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt has been booked for his next fight as the UFC debuts in New Zealand, taking on highly-rated wrestler Jared Rosholt.

Palelei’s wrestling has been on display in his return to the UFC, with 90 per cent takedown accuracy and three consecutive knockouts from the mount.

However he will have a much harder time taking Rosholt down, with the former Oklahoma State University wrestler finishing fourth, third and second in three years in his National Collegiate Athletics Association wrestling division, the highest level of amateur wrestling.

The UFC is full of former NCAA stars, including current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, both who use their wrestling as an offensive and defensive weapon.

Rosholt (10-1) has had two consecutive decision victories in the UFC while Palelei (21-3) has never let any of his fights go to the judges’ scorecard.

The main event will see kiwi fighter James Te Huna drop to middleweight to take on former middleweight top contender Nate Marquardt, with fellow Australians Rob Whittaker, Richie Vaculik, Vic Grujic and Perth’s own Chris Indich also on the card.

Indich must win against Grujic to hang on to his UFC dream following a disappointing first-up loss to Richard Walsh.

UFC Fight Night: Te Huna v Marquardt will take place at Vector Arena in Auckland on June 28. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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09/16/19

Carlton’s Mitch Robinson accepts one-week ban

The tribunal was not required to convene this week after the last player charged, Carlton’s Mitch Robinson, accepted a one-match ban for striking.
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Robinson was the only player punished by the panel after the review of Monday night’s match between the Blues and St Kilda, with Robinson’s teammates Marc Murphy and Simon White spared possible rough-conduct charges.

The combative Blues player will miss the club’s next match, in round 10 at home to Adelaide, as punishment for striking the Saints’ Jack Newnes as the pair scuffled.

Robinson’s suspension was unusual, and arguably harsh, because it related to a blow he delivered while he was unsighted, because he had his guernsey pulled over his head by Newnes. He nevertheless accepted the grading of reckless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

The resulting two-match ban was cut to one and 68.75 carry-over points thanks to Robinson’s guilty plea.

Match review panel member Joel Bowden defended the grading applied to Robinson’s strike.

“Normally, behind the play, if you have inflicted a strike on someone it would be intentional, but in this case we see Mitch has his jumper pulled over his head. He still does lash out with a fist and collects Newnes quite forcefully,” he told the AFL website.

Bowden also said that while Robinson was helped by having been unsighted, due to the guernsey over his head, he insisted “that doesn’t make it OK”.

“You’re not allowed to swing a fist at someone you know is, most likely, in front of you considering you’re holding their jumper,” Bowden said.

MATCH REVIEW PANEL – RD 08 PENALTIES ACCEPTEDRoughead (Haw) rough conduct to McGlynn (Syd). One match and 64.06 carry-over points.Duffield (Fre) rough conduct to Wingard (PA). Reprimand and 70.31 carry-over points.Maguire (BL) tripping Daniher (Ess). One match and 30.31 carry-over points.Chapman (Ess) striking Zorko (BL). One match and 45.31 carry-over points.Jones (WB) rough conduct to Terlich (Melb). Two matches and 43.75 carry-over points.LeCras (WC) rough conduct to Hoskin-Elliott (GWS). One match and 26.56 carry-over points.Robinson (Carl) striking Newnes (StK). One match and 68.75 carry-over points.

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