Monthly Archives: July 2018

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‘I’m just hearing nothing’: A mother’s desperate search for Olivia Campbell

Be the first to know. Sign up for our breaking news alertManchester explosion: What we know so farLive coverage: Fatalities at Manchester Arena
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As other parents receive the worst news imaginable, Charlotte Campbell is being tortured by silence.

Her daughter Olivia has not answered her phone since a deadly bomb ripped through the foyer of Manchester Arena where the 15-year-old had just watched one of her favourite pop stars, Ariana Grande, perform.

The 15-year-old schoolgirl was at the concert with her best friend Adam.

Like other parents desperate to find their children in the wake of the blast which has claimed at least 22 lives and injured 59 people, Ms Campbell took to social media to plead for information.

“Anyone seen my daughter Olivia Campbell #manchester,” she wrote.

In the photo was her smiling daughter, with flowers in her hair.

“It’s the most horrible feeling ever, to know that your daughter’s there and you can’t find her and you don’t know if she’s dead or alive,” a tearful Ms Campbell told US news network CNN, in tears.

“I don’t know how people can do this to innocent children.

“They’re both great fans of her [Ariana]. It was a treat for Adam’s birthday. And my daughter’s been quite poorly lately and Adam asked her to go as a treat for her as well.

“They’ve done nothing but talk about it, get excited for it, buying new clothes for it, you know like normal teenage children, really.

“They were going to see one of their favourite artists and it’s ended in absolute carnage.”

Ms Campbell said she last spoke to her daughter about 8.30pm, shortly before Grande took to the stage.

“She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go,” Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

She said Olivia’s friend Adam had been found in hospital, but there was still no sign of her daughter.

“She was with her friend, Adam. Adam was found about half an hour ago – he’s in hospital – but Olivia’s not been found yet,” the mother said.

“I’m at home phoning everybody: hospitals, police, the centres that the children have been put in. Her dad’s actually in Manchester looking for her.

“I’ve got friends looking for her. I’ve got people I don’t even know looking for her, people messaging me, saying we’ve got her photo, looking for her, we’ll get in contact if we see her.

“I’m just hearing nothing. Her phone’s dead.” Manchester terror attack: Earlier we spoke to a parent looking for her missing 15-year-old daughter Olivia Campbell ??? heartbreaking pic.twitter南京夜网/r0OuKguXhZ??? Good Morning Britain (@GMB) May 23, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Corden’s message to Manchester: ‘We’ll hold our little ones tighter’

The 38-year-old British host of the Late, Late Show with James Corden delivered an emotional message to the people of Manchester upon learning news of the explosion at the Ariana Grande concert after his show.
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At the time of issuing his message from the CBS studios in Los Angeles, London-born James Corden did not know details about the suicide bomb attack, which has killed 22 people, including children, and injured 59, but he guessed as much.

“It shocks me every time we hear this sort of news that attacks like this can happen, but especially when there will be so many children at this concert tonight,” he told his United States audience.

James Corden delivered an emotional message upon learning news of the explosion at the Ariana Grande concert. Photo: YouTube

“Many of you won’t have been to Manchester but you will definitely of heard of it. It’s famous all over the world for so many wonderful things; great football teams – Man City, Man United – it’s famous for incredible music – Oasis and Joy Division – it was the birthplace of the leader of the suffragettes, it’s the home of the inventer or the first computer, it’s a place full of comedy, curries and character.

“But when I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there and I’m telling you a more tight-knit group of people you’ll be hard pressed to find; strong, proud, caring people with community at its core and if it was even possible, the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening.”

Corden could not have known but a striking symbol has emerged on social media among young Grande fans wishing to show solidarity with those affected in Manchester.

Grande’s friend Hailee Steinfield??? tweeted an image of a black ribbon topped with a pair of Grande’s signature black ears (she has performed in cat and bunny ears) against a pink background. pic.twitter南京夜网/YM0fVkWVIn??? Hailee Steinfeld (@HaileeSteinfeld) May 23, 2017 Photo: Larry Busacca

Manchester rock icon Liam Gallagher, of Oasis fame, has tweeted his devastation in light of the news in his home town. In total shock and absolutely devastated about what’s gone down in MANCHESTER sending Love and Light to all the family’s involved LG x??? Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) May 23, 2017Our hearts go out to the victims and their families affected #WeStandTogether#Manchesterpic.twitter南京夜网/bmK5mklA2d??? Joy Division (@joydivision) May 23, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Council approves east housing plan

Maitland councillor Peter Garnham.Maitland council has approved 24 single-storey housing units for a site in Thompson Street, East Maitland despite an eleventh hour plea from residents for the application to be reassessed.
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Coucillors were unanimous in their decision at Tuesday night’s meeting, some sayingthe development ticked all the boxes.

One of the site owners Hilton Grugeon addressed the meeting and said it was amazing how people who lived in multi-housing developments suddenly sawa similar planas an invasion of privacy and an over development.

“They say it’s not in keeping with the locality but straight over the fence is another multi-dwelling site,” he said.

Cr Peter Garnham moved council approve the development because it complied with all regulations.

He said it was not an over development of the site and that in fact Mr Grugeon could have applied for a 30-unit development comprising some two-storey dwellings.

Cr Arch Humphery said thesetypes of developments were much needed in the community.

But residents who spoke in public access said they had concerns about traffic, privacy and sewerage, all issues the meeting was told had been addressed by council planners.

Resident Joanne Barden said councillors needed to take into account the impact the development would have on residents.

Another residentRhonda Bartlett said residents were not against development in general but appealed for a deferral so councillors could hear residents’ concerns.

She said the development would not blend in with the surrounding community, would be in close proximity to existing homes and would createtraffic and pedestrian problems.

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A good financial year for super fund members is almost a certainty

shd travel february 2 money saving tips – text by michael gebickiAustralian money in jar, over white background. One hundred dollar bills.Photo: iStockmoney; australian; jar; money jar; australian money; cash; dollars; australian dollars; currency; foreign; savings; saving; folded; isolated; white; white background; notes; business; glass; finance; financial; banking; save; deposit; bottle; container; investment; success; retirement; concept; close-up; closeup; dollars; green
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Double-digit returns for super funds remain on the cards this financial year, despite global sharemarkets likely to be negative over May.

It’s likely to a stronger performance than many were expecting so far this financial year with positive returns for eight of 10 months for which there are returns so far.

Figures from superannuation researcher, Chant West, show a median return of 10.1 per cent for the 10 months of the financial year to April 30.

The return is for “growth” investment options. They have between 61 and 80 per cent of the money in growth assets, such as shares and property, and are the category of investment option that most people have their money in.

Chant West director, Warren Chant, says it is “almost certain that they’ll finish the year in the black for the eighth consecutive time – and quite possibly in the double digits”.

He says the federal budget has been well received, despite some contentious measures like the levy on the five major banks.

Chant says, the Reserve Bank keeping interest rates at a record low is good for investment markets, noting the Reserve Bank cited an improving global economy as one of the reasons for keeping rates on hold..

The Reserve Bank appears to have had two potential drivers for either lifting or lowering rates that cancelled each other out.

While there are early signs that heat is starting to come out of the Sydney and Melbourne property markets, the Reserve Bank will not have wanted to lower the cash rate and risk re-fuelling the price boom.

On the other hand, weak wages growth and low inflation are arguments against a rate rise.

Retail funds, those run by the banks and insurers, edged out not-for-profit industry funds in April, returning 1.6 per cent versus 1.4 per cent for industry funds.

Of course, it’s the returns over the long term that matter.

Industry funds continue to outpace their retail rivals over the longer term with an annual average compound return of 5.4 per cent a year against 4.6 per cent for retail funds over the 10 years to April 30, 2017.

As I have written before, this comparison is going to become less relevant to more people over time.

That’s because most of the retail super funds have switched their “default” members, those who don’t make a choice of who runs their super, to a “lifestage” option.

Anyone born in the 1970s will be grouped with others born in the ’70s and those in the ’80s and so on.

They decrease the investment risk, every so often, as the fund members age.

Standard balanced options, which are the default options of almost all industry funds, have a fairly static asset allocation that is the same for everyone in the investment option. Their returns are easy to compare.

As the asset allocations of lifestage options are dynamic, I can’t see how it can be known if these options are any good.

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Bringing back the dingo can help the hunter feral fox become the hunted

Reintroducing dingoes to areas from where humans have removed them could help control the feral red fox that hunts native animals such as the bilby and wallaby.
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That’s the finding of an international study led by Thomas Newsome from Deakin University.

“Our research is the first to look at the effect of dingo distribution and abundance on fox numbers,” said Dr Newsome, who is based at the University of Sydney’s desert ecology research group.

Dr Newsome said foxes and cats were blamed for the extinction of at least 20 native mammals in Australia since European settlement.

A Department of Agriculture spokesman said the total annual cost of foxes to Australia’s environment and economy is estimated to be $227.5 million.

Dingoes don’t pose the same risk to threatened species, as the smaller mammals have developed anti-predator strategies to co-exist with dingoes,” he said.

Even so, Dr Newsome said reintroducing dingoes near small populations of threatened mammals would need to be carefully controlled.

The study, published on Tuesday in Nature Communications, looked at the role apex predators play in controlling the population of “mesopredators”, upon which they prey.

As well as studying the impact of dingoes on red foxes in Queensland, the study examined the relationship between the grey wolf and coyote in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the grey wolf and jackal in Bulgaria and Serbia.

The findings of the study suggest optimum suppression of the smaller predators occurs when the apex predator is able to exist at high densities over large areas.

“This research shows that apex predators like dingoes and wolves need large, continuous territories in order to effectively control the balance of their ecosystems,” Dr Newsome said.

He said dingoes ideally need a contiguous territory of hundreds of thousands of square kilometres for their positive impact to be maximised.

“While a range of 200 to 300 kilometres across is ideal, at smaller scales there is still an impact on feral species, such as foxes and cats,” he said.

A co-author of the study, Mike Letnic from the University of NSW, said: “These results demonstrate that patterns we have seen in Australia across very large scales also apply in Europe and Canada.”

The data used in the study is from bounty counts from when the Queensland government paid for the culling of dingoes and red foxes.

Dr Newsome said that while the data was from the 1950s, the scale provided the best basis to develop their findings.

“More recent studies of dingoes at a local scale support these results,” he said. He also said that given their correlation with findings in Canada and Europe they have confidence in the outcome of the study.

Of course, reintroducing dingoes to parts of Queensland and NSW from where they have been removed would bring them into contact with grazing lands.

Dr Newsome said if policymakers were to consider reintroducing dingoes, as has been trialled in parts of Victoria, it would have to be at large enough scales for it to have a strong impact.

“We would have to accept occasional stock losses,” Dr Newsome said. “Humans need a greater tolerance of apex predators if we want to enjoy the environmental benefits they can provide.”

He told Fairfax Media that some modelling showed dingoes would have a net economic benefit in cattle grazing areas by suppressing kangaroo numbers, improving grass feed.

Dr Newsome suggested alternative strategies could be used in sheep country, including the use of companion and guardian animals such as maremma sheepdogs, alpacas and donkeys.

A spokeswoman for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage said consideration of any proposal to reintroduce dingoes would require extensive consultation with landholders and other stakeholders concerning impacts and benefits.

A federal Department of Environment spokesmansaid: “A number of research projects are considering the interactions between dingoes and foxes and feral cats. These projects will help inform where and when it may be appropriate to consider reintroductions of dingoes.”

The National Farmers Federation did not wish to comment on the study.

A recent video that has been widely shared on social media showed how the reintroduction of wolves in a US national park had a widespread positive effect on its ecosystem.

Dr Newsome said that video, How Wolves Change Rivers, was a good layperson’s overview of the impact apex predators can have when reintroduced to an ecosystem.

“When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park it helped shift the area back into relative balance,” he said.

For the study Dr Newsome worked with ecologists at Oregon State University, the University of Washington, the University of Belgrade, the University of Tasmania, the University of Ljubljana, UNSW, and the University of Forestry, Sofia.

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Survey says most first-home buyers won’t look outside their own suburb

Brisbane’s south side could be a goldmineAdults still living with their parents should pay boardI shouldn’t have to give up fun to leave home
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For Keira and Steve Tunnah, saving for their first home was a harrowing experience.

“You can still have your occasional smashed avo but you have to be really ruthless with yourself,” Mrs Tunnah said. “It’s just a matter of budgeting.”

“For us, the way we did it was live with one salary and save the rest.”

For the couple, it took them six long years of sacrifice to get together the cash to put down a deposit on what was to be their new home. The pair were living in a townhouse while the house was being built and were excited to see their years of hard work pay off. “We’ve been working on it for so long, I can’t wait for it to come to fruition,” Mrs Tunnah said. “I can’t wait to have a big kitchen.”

The Tunnahs were living in Griffin, just a few kilometres over from Mango Hill where their new home was being built ??? and for the hard-working young couple, buying outside of their chosen area wasn’t an option.

They’re not alone. A survey commissioned by iBuildNew, a online service that connects buyers with builders or developers selling new homes, found a staggering 60 per cent of Queensland first-home buyers are not willing to compromise on location.

iBuildNew CEO Daniel Peterson said first-home buyers need to think outside the box when it comes to suburbs and cited the fringes of a city where new developments were cropping up as a good option.

“If you’re trying to get a first home, and you’re only looking at inner suburbs and established properties, you’re missing an opportunity in the outer suburbs and new builds,” he said.

Only 28 per cent of those surveyed were prepared to buy a brand new home. The rest had their sights set on established homes, which Mr Peterson said disadvantaged those looking to enter the housing market.

He suggested first home buyers needed to compromise on location to get a foot on the ladder.

“I think they have to. If they’re serious about getting into the market, they just have to think about it realistically,” Mr Paterson said. “Just lifting their eyes a little bit, is how I’d describe it.

“The majority of first home buyers live in inner metro suburbs where the median prices are the highest.”

The survey also found 90 per cent of Queensland first-home buyers thought $600,000 and under was an “affordable” price. Domain group’s March State of the Market report showed Brisbane’s median house price was well within that figure, at $533,000. Mr Peterson said getting together a deposit for as much would be a hard ask for some buyers.

“If you’re trying to buy inner Brisbane suburbs and established properties, you’re looking at around the $700,000 mark,” he said. “You might get away with a $70,000 deposit, but it’s more likely going to be $140,000.”

First Home Buyers Australia director Daniel Cohen said that while buying in Brisbane’s fringe suburbs could sometimes be a good idea, it shouldn’t be considered a one-stop-shop for housing affordability.

He said buyers can rush into purchasing on the outskirts of a city, without considering if it’s the right option for them.

“It’s an option they should be considering but they need to consider the risks,” Mr Cohen said. “They need to ask: ‘what’s going on in the suburb? Why is it cheap?’.”

“If they’re buying on the outskirts with the hope of getting into an inner city suburb sooner, that won’t always be true.”

Mr Cohen said it was best for first home buyers to do their research and seek advice from a fee-for-service advisor.

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Dean Yarnton reported ‘lunatic’ wife after ‘murder plot’

Dean Yarnton woke up in the passenger seat of his ute, heard the hissing of a gas bottle, felt his socks wet with petrol, and called triple zero to report a “lunatic” was after him, a court has heard.
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During the call in the early hours of February 1, 2015, the emergency operator asked Mr Yarnton who he was talking about.

“My wife,” Mr Yarnton said “Or ex f—ing wife”.

Mr Yarnton’s wife of 23 years, Sharon Yarnton, is on trial charged with attempting to cause an explosion or fire with the intent to murder him at Picnic Point, and his triple zero calls were played in the NSW District Court on Tuesday.

Monique Hayes, 25, and Fady Houda, 24, face the same charge, prosecutors alleging they were part of the plot.

All three have pleaded not guilty.

The court has been told there was animosity between the Yarntons, both prison guards, after Ms Yarnton found out her husband was having an affair with a colleague.

Mr Yarnton told court he and his wife were planning to divorce in early 2015, and were living together at Menai while their house was on the market.

On the night of January 31, 2015, Ms Yarnton, convinced him to have a final dinner “as the awesome foursome” with a pair of old friends.

After drinks, dinner, and playing the pokies at Merrylands bowling club, Ms Yarnton asked if he wanted a drink.

“She insisted on buying the last beer of the night, just for a final goodbye,” Mr Yarnton said.

Mr Yarnton said he noticed something unusual about the drink.

“I took a sip of the beer and it tasted really funny, it was really powdery on the tip of my lip.”

He said Ms Yarnton went to the bar to get another beer, but that also tasted strange and he began to feel drowsy.

“It was a feeling I haven’t had before, where I was continually yawning.”

Mr Yarnton said he fell asleep as Ms Yarnton drove home, and then woke up alone in the ute.

“[I remember] waking up in a dark place with a gas bottle blaring away in me ear, and no one to be seen.

“I jumped out of the car, my socks were automatically very wet and [there was] the strong smell of fuel.”

He saw a car driving away, and immediately called his wife.

“I said ‘What the f— is going on here?’ She said, ‘I’ve shit myself, I’m in the bush cleaning myself up. I said ‘Bullshit’.”

Mr Yarnton said his wife emerged from the bush and he pushed her against the car, before calling police.

About two weeks after the incident Mr Yarnton found a notebook in the boot of Ms Yarnton’s car with a list of things including “garbage bags”, “old sheet”, “get rope ready”, “tie knots”, “SMS to both” “before the day get the keys, take them to Mr Minit”.

The trial continues before Judge Paul Lakatos.

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‘As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed’: Piccoli

Former NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has called for a commission of inquiry into the way Catholic schools spend public money, saying as a practising Catholic he is “deeply disappointed” with their lack of transparency.
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Mr Piccoli, who was replaced by Rob Stokes in a cabinet reshuffle in January, said even when he was responsible for approving $500 million in annual funding for Catholic schools in NSW, he had no idea how the money was spent.

He said the NSW Catholic Education Commission submitted a signed one-page form which unlocked $500 million.

“There is no transparency back to government about how Catholic schools spend half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money, there is just a one-page form and we have no idea how that money is then distributed,” Mr Piccoli said.

Federal and state governments fund Catholic schools on a needs basis but hand the money to education commissions in each state in a lump sum, which is then distributed to schools.

Mr Piccoli said a commission of inquiry was needed to uncover how public money was being spent in Catholic schools.

His comments come as it was revealed that Catholic education authorities are short-changing needy schools to help keep fees low at schools in wealthy areas in Sydney.

“We fought very hard for needs-based funding but I am very disappointed that schools in greatest need in regional NSW are being short-changed to fund schools in more affluent areas of Sydney,” Mr Piccoli said.

“As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed because I expected as a Christian organisation, the Catholic schools would provide the money to the schools and children who need it the most.”

Mr Piccoli released figures which showed that last year, MacKillop College in Bathurst received $836,844 less than its federal government allocation, and St John’s College in Dubbo received $493,823 less than its allocation.

In comparison, Sacred Heart Catholic School in Pymble received $412,528 more than its allocation and St Fiacre’s Catholic Primary School in Leichhardt received $301,763 above its allocation.

“I think Catholic parents in regional and rural NSW would be outraged when they see how funding is distributed to wealthy schools in Sydney’s northern and eastern suburbs,” Mr Piccoli said.

The executive director of Catholic education in the Parramatta diocese, Greg Whitby, said the lack of clarity around the federal government’s new funding model had left parents very anxious about possible fee rises.

The National Catholic Education Commission has estimated fees could increase by up to $6000 at some schools.

Mr Whitby disputed claims that some schools were running large surpluses at the expense of others.

“That is simply not true. Every year, we set aside funds to build new schools in areas of high demand,” Mr Whitby said.

“While we are grateful for the small amount of government money we receive to build new schools, we have to meet the costs of land purchase as well as building and development costs. A single secondary school costs more than $50 million. We also need to renovate and renew existing schools.”

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CA may block out-of-contract Aussies from overseas gigs

Cricket Australia could stand in the way of disgruntled Test cricketers who seek to play in other competitions around the world. Whether they choose to is another matter.
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CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association remain at an impasse in their pay dispute, and CA has made it clear that if there is no agreement by the end of June, the players will fall out of contract and go unpaid. Test vice-captain David Warner has said he and his teammates might play instead in lucrative domestic T20 competitions in England, the West Indies or South Africa.

Technically, even when uncontracted, they would need “no objection” certificates from CA to play elsewhere. These were introduced by the ICC in 2009 to protect international cricket as the pioneering Indian Premier League began to gather strength and other T20 competitions emerged. Under ICC rules, a “no objection” certificate’s terms can be as broad as any board wants.

To date, CA has not discussed using this device, hoping for an amicable settlement. The ACA remains quietly sure it would be unenforceable anyway, as a flagrant restraint of trade.

“We don’t believe that players who are uncontracted can be legally restricted in their movement by the regulations and we think that attempts to do this are likely to be open to legal challenge in most countries,” said Tony Irish, chairman of FICA, the federation of player bodies. “FICA, players associations and players themselves have never agreed to these restrictions and it is patently unfair to prevent a player from moving to a market where he is valued especially where he isn’t even employed in the other market.”

Generally, boards issue “no objection” certificates when asked. In 2010, the West Indies board refused to authorise three disaffected players, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who wanted leave to play in the Big Bash League. When FICA threatened legal action, the West Indies board relented. Last year, Pollard initially was refused a certificate to play in South Africa, but later was released.

Those all were forseeable circumstances. These are new. Most likely, CA will figure it has enough of a fight on its hands without wanting to widen it. But as long as both sides maintain their hard and intractable positions, nothing can be ruled out.

Apart from domestic competitions, there are as-yet-unformed rogue competitions, or even series arranged by the players themselves, as mooted on Monday by player agent Neil Maxwell. These, plainly, would not be subject to any ICC regulation.

“We have indicated to the ICC, and the boards that we engage with that once a better international structure _ including competition structures for Test ODI and T20 formats _ are in place we would be open to discussing an appropriate global player regulatory system which protects both the players and the game, and gets the balance right,” said Irish.”In the current structure, however, we are opposed to blatant restriction on player movement.”

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Business and tech qualifications best for the future

Time was, all you needed to sell surfboards successfully was a shopfront near the beach, a good blond mullet and some wave-riding cred. But Justin Tang is of a new breed. The chief technology officer of Disrupt Sports, which sells custom surfboards, skateboards, snow boards and yoga mats, has a masters in software engineering. He can’t ride a wave but he can make a back-end order system sing.
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People like him are busting out of the information and communications technology industry to perform vital roles across a full range of businesses, from retail and finance to agriculture, construction and mining, according to a new report by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Computer Society.

A “digital boom” has created 40,000 ICT jobs in Australia in the last two years alone, but there’s even greater growth ahead for the “broader” ICT workforce as tech skills spread to a wider range of jobs, the Australia’s Digital Pulse report says. Tech-intensive jobs outside the ICT industry are expected to grow at a rate of 2 per cent a year up to 2022, more than a third faster that the rate of general jobs growth. That’s another 236,700 jobs on top of an additional 81,000 ICT roles forecast for the next six years.

“The stars and the moon are aligned” for ICT to become one of the key drivers of the economy, says Anthony Wong, president of the Australian Computer Society.

“There is just huge demand for tech talent and its across industries,” says Nick O’Donnell, LinkedIn director of public policy and government affairs, Australia and the Pacific. Analysis of 2016 LinkedIn data for the report found that the top skills employers hiring new ICT workers demanded included broader business skills like project management, customer service and strategic planning, as well as technical skills such as web programming and cloud computing.

“You can’t just graduate with a computer science degree (any more), you’re going to need to see a balance of broader business skills,” Mr O’Donnell says. The combination of ICT and business skills has become an ideal set of qualifications for future jobs.

“We are looking at a pervasive application of tech across lots of new areas we have never canvassed before,” says Mr Wong.

“Those skills are going to be deployed across a wide range of industries from manufacturing to health care, to use of robots and drones in industrial applications, to using smart devices in smart homes,” he says.

Mr Tang of Disrupt Sports aims to fully automate the back office system, so that any “tedious” work such as logging orders is done by software, leaving managers and other staff free for more “rewarding” tasks such as hiring and finding new customers.

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