Monthly Archives: May 2019

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Failure of abortion bill exposes an ugly truth

FAILURE: “The bill’s result does not reflect community expectations”, the author argues. It’s 2017 and a dead NSW citizen has greater bodily autonomy than a living uterus-owning NSW citizen.A bill came before the NSW Legislative Council this month to remove abortion from the Crimes Act, enact safe access zones around abortion clinics, and to requiredoctors to disclose conscientious objection and refer patients onto those who do not have such an objection.The bill failed, with 64 per cent of our representatives voting against it. Not oneLiberal or National party member votedfor the bill.
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A vote against this bill effectively says our legislators believe from conception the government should have greater rights over the human organ of the uterus than the uterus owner.Yet we live in a society where a dead person has the right not to donate perfectly good organs that could preserve an actual human life.

Yes, common law has provided an avenue for abortion by allowing termination if the woman concedes she is mentally, physically, or economically unfit. Not that she has bodily autonomy.

The bill’s result does not reflect community expectations. The Medical Journal of Australia says“a majority of Australians support laws that enable women to access abortion services after 24 weeks’ gestation”.The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes 2003 found “81 per cent of those surveyed believed a woman should have the right to choose whether or not she has an abortion” with “77 per centof those who identify as religious also supporting a woman’s right to choose”.

A major objection to the bill was a lack of regulation for late-term abortions, but only 0.7 per cent of abortions that now take place are after 20 weeks, and there is no evidence of more late-term abortions in ACT where a similar practice has been in place since 2002.Failing to find any science to support the objection, a lack of external regulation on other medical procedures, and the fact numerous studies have proven safe and legal abortions reduce late-term pregnancy terminations, one must concluded the lack of regulation issue is grounded in religious morals.Others claim the vote failed due to the gender construct within parliament, but, by gender, the vote was very similar with only 44 per cent of female and 31 per cent of male representatives voting for the bill.I would suggest the disproportional religious representation in our parliament crosses genders.

It was even argued that a doctor being made to disclose conscientious objection and refer patients onto those who do not have such an objection, was a breach of a doctor’s right to religious freedom.On what planet is this rational? If my doctor doesn’t believe in blood transfusions (yes this is a religious belief) can they just bypass telling me I need one? I don’t think so.

Both Labor and Liberal claimed MLC Mehreen Faruqi was using the bill for political purpose. And of this, I’m extremely confident. Faruqi has used the system and backed the parliament into telling the public their truth on female bodily autonomy. The truth that they believe abortion is a criminal matter. Their argument against the bill was grounded in religious belief, which leads one to believe either they’re overly religious or religious organisations have disproportional influence within their parties.

Either way, they are completely out of step with the people they represent, even the majority of religious ones. However, I understand their anger, no one likes to be made to speak their truth when it’s this ugly.

Disclosure: I’m an atheist and I have a uterus.

Jacqueline Haines is a social entrepreneur who champions sexual and reproductive health and rights

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What’s on this weekend

What’s on this weekend Japanese Wallpaper
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Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2

TweetFacebookSATURDAYThe World’s Biggest Car Boot Sale 8am to 2pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow. Collectable, antique, original, vintage, second handandnew items for sale; entertainment; special guests; food and drink stalls. On-site parking $5.

SwanFest 10am to 4pm, Swansea Channel foreshore next to Swansea RSL. Displays, market and food stalls, Hunter Valley wine tasting, entertainment, fun activities and more. Entry is free.

French Film Festival Saturday and Sunday, Tower Cinemas, Newcastle. Organised by the Alliance Francaise de Newcastle.

Port To Port Race 2017 Saturday and Sunday. Fun and challenging for mountain bike riders of all abilities, taking in thescenery of Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter region.

Hunter Valley Caravan, 2017 Camping, 4WD, Fish and Boat ShowSaturday and Sunday,9am to 4pm, Maitland Showground.Cost adults $17; aged pensioners $12; children up to 16 years free if accompanied by an adult.

T-Shirt Upcycling2pm to 5pm, The Canopy, 107 Northlakes Drive, Cameron Park. Fun workshop run by Upcycle Newcastlewhere you’ll learn how to turn a T-shirt into yarn, make an adult’s top and a child’s pair of pants. Upcycle Newcastle is a project of Transition Newcastle focusing on the creative re-use of everyday items to decrease consumption of new materials and reduce waste.

Create Your Own Scent 1pm to 3pm, Newcastle Art Gallery. Learn how perfumes are made, the stories behind them, and gain insight into precious ingredients sourced from all over the globe. Cost $120, bookings required.

Variety Bash Newcastle 2017 The cars return from a week-long tripto Bar Beach carpark between 8am and 1pm.Variety – The Children’s Charity offerspractical equipment, programs and experiences to help children in need live life to the fullest.

Cheese and Port Fire Side Tasting 4.30pm to 6.30pm, Tintilla Estate, Pokolbin.A fireside tasting of fortified wines, local cheese and a light supper. Bookings essential on 6574 7093 or [email protected]南京夜网419论坛. Cost is $30 per person.

HeartKids Trivia Night 6pm, Charlestown Bowling Club.Raising funds for children and their families affected by congenital heart disease.

SUNDAYMaitland River Run 2017 9am,The Levee and River Bank, High Street, Maitland.Open to novice and elite competitors.

Free Art Sundays 11am to 1pm, Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Free, family-friendly art activities inspired by the exhibitions on display.

A Taste of Wollombi11am to 4pm, Wollombi Village.Fresh produce and market stalls, wine tasting, live music and more.

Hunter Region Bridal Expo 10am to 2pm,Club Maitland City, 14 Arthur Street, Rutherford. Entry $5. All proceeds donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Where Pigs Fly Open Day 11am to 3pm, Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary, Laguna.Meet the rescue animal residents and hear their stories.

Dog Day Afternoon at The Family Hotel Newcastle 1.30pm to 4.30pm. The Family Hotel invites dogs as well as their owners to come along and if you don’t have a dog, Hunter Animal Rescue will have plenty of puppies for you to cuddle. Food and drink specials all afternoon.

Lemon Jam 10am to 4pm, Lemon Tree Passage.A free, all ages, monthly music event held on the waterfront withmarkets, kids’ activities, raffles, a playground and an enclosed sea swimming pool.

High Tea With Friends 12pm, Novotel Newcastle. Presented by Friends With Dignity.

SAVE THE DATEPopular pre-loved clothing event Raid My Wardrobe is at Newcastle PCYC, Broadmeadow, on Sunday, June 4 from 10am to 1pm. Grab a bargain and donate your bra to the Uplift Project, which sends bras to women in need in Fiji.To date Raid My Wardrobe has collected more than 4000 brasplus swimwear, crop tops and new underwear.Entry $5 at door.

MARKETSSwansea Markets Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Quinn Park, Galgabba Street, Swansea.

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Tighes Hill TAFE.

Port Stephens Market Saturday, 9am to 1pm,Port Stephens Church of Christ, Nelson Bay Road, Salt Ash.

Hunter Street Organic Food MarketSaturday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle.

Hamilton Clocktower MarketsSaturday, 8am to 2pm, James Street Plaza, Hamilton.

Handmade in the Hunter Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin.

Hunter Wine Country MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin.

Newcastle City Farmers MarketSunday, 7am to 2pm, Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.

Adamstown Lions MarketSunday,8am to noon,corner Glebe and Brunker roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle & Hunter Vietnam Veterans Inc. Market Sunday, 7am to 1pm, Wickham Park, Islington.

ARTS & CULTURENewcastle Museum One Million Stars (new exhibition); Remembering the Pasha Storm (including VR display); Shadows of Sacrifice; A Ticket To Paradise?

Cessnock Regional Art GalleryLocal Artist Uncovered: works by Marc Brabander. Until July 2.

Newcastle Art Gallery Abstraction: Celebrating Australian Abstract Women Artists. Until July 23. Magic Mike, ends Sunday.

Cooks Hill GalleriesLifting the Darkness –The Emergence of Light, by Ken Strong.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryDavid Capra: Teena’s Bathtime; Vanessa Turton:Welcome to WOOF WOOF, all end Sunday.Lionel’s Place: Lionel Lindsay from the MRAG Collection. Until April 8, 2018.Jim Anderson: Lampoon, An Historical Art Trajectory 1970-2017; Locust Jones: Back to the Dark Ages; Who Was Les Darcy?Until June 18.Frank Murri: The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi; Colonial Afterlives: A Salamanca Arts Centre Exhibition.Until July 23.

Old Fire Shed GalleryIt’s New Art 2017. Until December 18.

Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryScanlines. Until June 25. Water: This Precious Liquid. Until July 2.CLICK: Schools in Focus. Until June 25.

Wallsend District LibraryNikon-Walkley Press Photography Exhibition. Ends Sunday.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts CentreEbb & Flow: Untethered Fibre Artists;The Lady & the Unicorn: Arthur Boyd & Peter Porter;Creature: Max Watters Collection. Until July 2.

Timeless TextilesThe Breath of Felt; Lumpy. Until June 4.

The Lock-UpJamie North: Slidings; Sally Bourke: Brutal. Until June 11.

CStudios Art GalleryDouble Vision –Land and Sea. Paintings by Peter Erson Smith and Kay McFarlane Smith. Ends Saturday. Also, works by Christelle Grey andPhil Stallard.

Art Systems WickhamTattoo ARI Project: Dan Arnold, Ash Dosen, Cristyn Franks, Braden Gill, Ruth Hughes, Jeramy Lewandowski, James Matthews, Lisa Stratigos, Danny Giles. Ends Sunday.

Gallery 139AMBEDO: Julia Flanagan, Matthew Tome. Until June 4.

Alchemy Art Gallery Maggie Hall. Until June 4.

Newcastle Studio Potters & Back to Back Galleries IlluminArty, by Linda Gibbins and Emilie Tseronis. Until June 11.

Watt Space Student GalleryWhat IS Art? Until June 4.

Front Room Galleryat Newcastle Art SchoolDiploma of Visual Arts 2017. Until June 2.

THEATREThe Piano DiariesComposer, singer and actor Joanna Weinberg looks through song at the role pianos have played in her life since her childhood inSouth Africa. The Royal Exchange, Newcastle. Saturday, at 8pm.

The 7 Stages of GrievingFunny, sad and relevant look at Aboriginal history and their hopes for reconciliation with white Australia; written by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, and featuring Chenoa Deemal. Queensland Theatre & Grin and Tonic Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. Nightly from Tuesday to Saturday, June 3, at 8pm, plusJune 1 at 11am and June 3 at 2pm.

Two to TangoBright double bill:Last Tango in Little Grimley, in which a small town theatre faced with closure decides to stage a sex comedy; andHaiku, moving play with a mother revealing that her autistic daughter voices Japanese-style poetry. DAPA, at DAPA Theatre, Hamilton. Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm.

VelvetMarcia Hines leads a musical cast as it looks through disco, dance, music and circus at the problems of people in a nightclub. Organised Pandemonium and Strut & Fret, in the Aurora Spiegeltent, Civic Park, until June 4: Tuesday to Friday, at 7.30pm, Saturday at 5pm and 8pm, Sunday at 3pm and 6pm.

MUSIC5 Sawyers Sunday, The New Cool.

Adamstown Uniting ChurchSunday,Newcastle City Choir, Waratah Male Voice Choir,Under Construction Choir.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Duplexity.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, Arcane.

Bar On The Hill Saturday, Live On The Lawn ft. Japanese Wallpaper, Ali Barter, Gretta Ray, The Treehouse Children, Split Feed.

Japanese Wallpaper

Bar Petite Saturday, Kenny Jewell.

Battlesticks Bar Saturday,Wesley’s Edge.Sunday,Little Cents.

Beach HotelSunday, D-Love.

Belmont 16sSaturday, Matt Semmens, Tre Soul. Sunday, John Noble.

Belmont HotelSaturday, Pat Vs Cat.

Belmont SportiesSaturday, Outerphase.Sunday,Ben Woodham.

Belmore HotelSaturday, State FX.

Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Alias. Sunday, Be Bop A Lula.

Blackbutt HotelSaturday, Angel Gear.

The Bradford Saturday, Sass & The Boss. Sunday, Arna Georgia.

Burwood InnSaturday, DJ Tone.

Cambridge HotelSaturday, CRAZE ft Luude, Junkie Kid. Sunday, Altai, E4444e, Southern End.

Cardiff RSL ClubSaturday, Something For Nothing –Foo Fighters Tribute.

Catho PubSaturday, John Larder.Sunday, Steve Edmonds Band.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday, Pete Gelzinnis.

Central HotelStroudSaturday, Greg Bryce.

Cessnock LeaguesSaturday, Solid Gold Party.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Damien.

Civic TheatreSaturday, Doug Anthony All-Stars.

Clarendon Hotel Saturday, Matt McLaren.

Club KotaraSaturday, Daniel Arvidson.

Club LemonTree Saturday, Robbie T.

Colliery InnSaturday, Brazillian Brothers Duo.

Commercial Hotel Morpeth Saturday, Iguana.

The CommonsSaturday, Guiltrip, Aurora Borealis.

Country Club Hotel Shoal BaySaturday,Late Eclipse, E-low.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Roxy. Sunday, Greg Bryce.

Criterion Hotel WestonSaturday, Shivoo. Sunday, Jammitt.

Customs House Saturday, Dave Owen. Sunday, Jason Bone.

Denman HotelSunday, Lennie Live.

Dora Creek Workers ClubSunday, Bonny Rai.

Duke Of Wellington Saturday, The Way.

East Maitland Bowling Club Saturday,Project XI.Sunday,Andrew G.

The EdwardsSaturday, Tim Rogers.

Exchange HotelSaturday, Big Night Out.

FinnegansSaturday, Steve Zappa.

FogHorn Brewhouse Saturday, Vanishing Shapes.

Gallipoli Legion Club Saturday, Vortex.

Gateshead TavernSunday, Voodoo Punch.

George Tavern Saturday, The Fedz.

Grand Junction Hotel Sunday, Muzzy Pep.

Great Northern Hotel TeralbaSaturday, Max Jackson.

Greenroof HotelSaturday, Jason Bone.

Gunyah HotelSaturday, The Remedy. Sunday, Jade Holland Band.

​Hamilton Station HotelSaturday, Landon E River, The Cities, STFU, Hack The Mainframe. Sunday, Jen Buxton.

Harrigan’s Pokolbin Saturday, Tim Pringle, Overload. Sunday, Jamie Martens.

Honeysuckle Hotel Sunday, Matt McLaren. Sunday, KR Duo.

Hotel DelanySaturday, Loose Bazooka.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Wanted Dead Or Alive –Bon Jovi Show.

The Junction HotelSaturday, Tom Buckley.

Kahibah Sports ClubSaturday, 2GoodReasons.

Kent HotelSaturday, X&Y. Sunday, Soundscape.

Lake Macquarie Performing Arts CentreSunday, Waratah Brass Band.

Lake Macquarie Yacht ClubSunday, Dai Pritchard.

Lakeside Village TavernSaturday, Viagro.

Lambton Park Hotel Saturday,Crawfish Stew.

Lass O’Gowrie Saturday,Unfit for Human Consumption,The Main Guy & The Other Guys,Huckleberry & The Happy Hour Band,Rum Corps,The Sunny Mechanic.

Lizotte’s Saturday, Dire Straits –Greatest Hits Tribute. Sunday, Lisa Hannigan.

Lochinvar HotelSaturday, James Naldo.

Lucky Hotel Saturday, CrocQ.

Mark HotelSaturday, Mark Wells Duo.Sunday, Loko.

Mary EllenSaturday, Phase III. Sunday, Jerome.

Mavericks On The Bay Saturday, Pistol Pete. Sunday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Mavericks On Darby Saturday, Dean Kyrwood.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend DiggersSaturday,Misbehave.Sunday, Sue &Mikey.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, Jim Overend.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday, Reg Sinclair.

Neath HotelSaturday, Gasoline Halos.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Phonic.

Newcastle DiggersSunday, Kelly Hope.

Newcastle Jockey ClubSaturday, Bonny Rai.

Northern Star HotelSaturday,Pap N That.

Pedens CessnockSaturday, Sunday’s Record.

Pippis At The PointSaturday, The New Cool. Sunday, Lauren Arms.

The Pourhouse Saturday, Kristy James.

Premier HotelSaturday, Witchery. Sunday, The V-Dubs.

Prince of Wales Hotel Saturday, Little Cents.

Queens Wharf HotelSaturday, Mick Jones, Sue & Mikey. Sunday, The Years.

Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Mick Jones.

Royal Federal HotelBranxton Saturday, Evergreen.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Acoustic Mayhem.

Royal Motor Yacht Club TorontoSunday, Jacinta.

Rutherford HotelSaturday, Brendan Murphy.

Seabreeze HotelSaturday, Gen-X.Sunday,Loren Ryan.

Shenanigans at the ImperialSaturday,Holly Mae.Sunday,Robbie Long.

Shortland HotelSaturday, Mike Vee.

South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Darren Gould.

Stag and Hunter HotelSaturday, Mick Hart.

Star HotelSunday, Bruce Mathiske’s Guitar Lounge.

Stockton Bowling Club Saturday, Steve Edmonds Band.

Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Jumpin Jukebox.

Sunnyside TavernSaturday, Mark Grant.

Swansea HotelSaturday, Troy Kemp. Sunday, Phil McKnight.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday, Back Beat.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, Rendezvous.

Tea Gardens HotelSaturday, Kevin O’Hara.

Tilligerry RSLSaturday, Jim Overend.

Toronto Diggers Saturday, Ash Mountain.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, Chad Shuttleworth. Sunday, Dave Owen.

Town Hall HotelSaturday, Tim Pringle.

Victoria Hotel HintonSaturday, Boney Rivers. Sunday, Zane Penn.

Wangi Wangi RSLClub Sunday, Robbie Urquhart.

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Dynamite.

Warners Bay HotelSaturday, All Access 80s.

Westfield KotaraSaturday, Jessica Cain.

Weston WorkersSaturday, The Sun Rockets.

Wests New LambtonSaturday, Rock Factor. Sunday, The Bootleg Beach Boys.

Wickham Park HotelSaturday,Grant Walmsley Freebird Duo,The Years.Sunday,Mick Standen,Voodoo Express.

MOVIESA Dog’s Purpose(PG) A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.

Alien: Covenant(MA 15+) The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination.

Baywatch(M)Follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon as he butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

Belle & Sebastian The Adventure Continues(PG) Set at the close of the Second World War, Sebastian,10,and ready for an action-packed search in the Alps for his friend Angelia who has gone missing after a plane crash. (Event, Newcastle)

Denial(PG)Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel. (Regal)

Disney Jr at the Movies: Mickey and the Roadster Racers(G) Mickey Mouse and his pals racearound the globe.

Don’t Tell(M)The story of a young woman who fought back after enduring sexual abuse at a prestigious private school.

Escape From New York(M)In 1997, when the USpresident crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him. (Event, Newcastle)

Get Out(MA) A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.

Going In Style(M)Three senior citizens in their 70s decide to rob a bank.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2(M)The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together.

From The Land Of The Moon(MA) In 1950s France, Gabrielle is a passionate, free-spirited woman who is in a loveless marriage and falls for another man when she is sent away to the Alps to treat her kidney stones. (Event, Newcastle)

Heal The Living(MA) An young surferis taken to hospital braindead. He is kept alive by machines. His parents must quickly make a difficult decision about possible organ donation. (Event, Newcastle)

I Am Heath Ledger(M)The documentary provides an intimate look at Heath Ledger through the lens of his own camera as he films and often performs in his own personal journey. (Event, Newcastle)

John Wick: Chapter 2(MA)After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword(M)Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

Loving(PG)The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision. (Regal)

Manchester By The Sea(M)A depressed uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies. (Regal)

Penny Pincher(M)A stingy man who saves all his money finds out he has daughter, which turns out to be a very expensive discovery. (Event, Newcastle)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales(M) Capt. Jack Sparrow feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle.

Rosalie Blum(M)A hairdresser meets a mysterious and lonely woman and becomes obsessed with learning all about her past. (Regal)

Sachin(PG)A tale of a small boy with dreams and his journey to becoming the god of cricket and the most celebrated sportsperson in his country. (Event, Newcastle)

Snatched(MA 15+)A young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise.

The Midwife(PG)A midwife gets unexpected news from her father’s old mistress. (Event, Newcastle)

The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One(MA)Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, an unlikely pair race against an impending global crisis and are confronted by the monsters that live inside us all.

The Sense Of An Ending(M)A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life.

The Shack(M)After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.

Their Finest(M)A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg. (Lake Cinema)

Viceroy’s House(PG)Lord Mountbattenis tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence.

Whiteley(M) A visual journey into the life and legacy of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists.

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Dud public servants paid to go away: audit report

Dud public servants are being given taxpayer-funded golden handshakes or generous early retirements because departments do not want to deal properly with under-performers, a new government audit has found.
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A long-anticipated Australian National Audit Office report on so-called “performance management” processes for public servants found between 14 and 30 per cent of employees in some of Canberra’s biggest government departments believed their bosses dealt effectively with under-performing colleagues, with significant areas of improvement identified.

A long-standing frustration for many public servants, the audit considered performance management processes in a range of departments and agencies, including the Australian Tax Office, the departments of the Attorney-General, Veterans’ Affairs, Social Services, Industry, Innovation and Science, Agriculture, IP Australia and Canberra’s National Film and Sound Archive.

Social Services had the highest number of staff found to be “less than effective” between 2012-13 and 205-16, with 338 employees or 3.06 per cent for the period. Among that group 19.2 per cent had been rated less than effective more than once.

The Attorney-General’s department had 176 staff identified for performance management in the period, 2.73 per cent of its total workforce. Veterans’ Affairs had 149 staff in the category, of which 10 per cent had been rated less than effective more than once.

Agriculture and Water Resources had 173 staff found to be under-performing, or 0.92 per cent of its workforce, of which 18.5 per cent were repeat poor performers. The Tax Office had 408 staff in the category, or 0.67 per cent of its workforce, with 7.6 per cent rated ineffective more than once.

The report said performance gaps could be difficult to identify for some of the types of work commonly done within the public service, including in areas of policy development and research. It said some staff took sick leave during performance management processes.

“It is not uncommon for employees undergoing under-performance processes to access certified sick leave as either an avoidance technique or because undergoing the procedure itself can exacerbate underlying medical conditions (particularly mental health conditions) or create stress-related conditions,” the report said.

“From the manager’s and agency’s perspective this results in a drawn-out, complex process with difficult judgements to be made about how to best to progress the case.”

Dealing with dud public servants isn’t a new challenge for government.

A 1920 royal commission report held by the National Archives found “manifestly incompetent” bureaucrats who had been hanging around for years were next to impossible to dislodge from their jobs, labelling them “decent duffers”.

The report, tabled in Parliament this week, warned some public servants identified for performance management took advantage of official processes, “including making allegations of bullying and harassment against their manager”.

“Under-performance is generally not effectively dealt with in performance management processes, including during the probation period in most agencies, and structured under-performance processes have been infrequently used.”

Senior managers had often avoided addressing staff under-performance because of a lack of incentives, support and their own capability.

Despite being common across the public service, the report said probation periods were generally not used “to robustly test the suitability of newly appointed employees”, other than at the ATO and the Film and Sound Archive.

The report said the causes of under-performance included personal problems, physical and mental health issues, misconduct including minor absenteeism or behavioural issues, ineffective training and recruitment processes that fail to identify candidates with the capabilities for the job.

“Most agencies could streamline their underperformance procedures to remove repetition and prescription while still ensuring procedural fairness, although provisions in three agencies’ enterprise agreements restrict flexibility in this regard.

“In addition, some agency procedures contain requirements that are in excess of those required by legislation or regulation for senior executive service or non-ongoing employees. Not all agencies have transparent procedures for their senior executive service employees, and probation procedures could be improved in all eight agencies,” the report said.

Former employment minister Eric Abetz said slack public servants were wasting taxpayer funds and departmental bosses needed to take action.

“Taxpayers expect the public service to be lean, efficient and focused on delivery – not to allow for professional slackers who have turned underperformance into a victimhood industry at huge expense to the taxpayer,” the Liberal senator said.

“Instead of this ‘job for life’ mentality that exists in many APS agencies, the public service should be refocused to become outcomes based and see underperformers managed more effectively – including a preparedness to let staff go.” iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_301″);

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Placebo prescribed for Newcastle

BACK: English alternative legends Placebo will perform Nancy Boy and Pure Morning on their upcoming tour.GOTH-rock innovatorsPlacebo are coming to Newcastle in September and have vowedto perform their most iconic material.
Nanjing Night Net

Seven Australian dates have been added to their 20-year anniversary world tour, which began last year to mark the release of their self-titled debut album in 1996.

The Newcastle Entertainment Centre will host the duo of frontman Brian Molko andbassistStefan Olsdal on Tuesday, September 12.

Placebo – Pure MorningPlacebo last performed in Australia at the 2014 Soundwave Festival and for several sideshows, but September’s concertswill be the English band’s first full national tour since 2006.

“Let’sjust say there will be songs in the set that I’ve sworn never to play again,” Molko said.

“I think it’s time that we purposefully acknowledged what a lot of Placebo fans really want to hear. They’ve been very patient with us since we rarely play our most commercially successful material.

“A 20-year anniversary tour seems like the right time to do so. That’s our intention. This tour is very much for the fans and a chance for us to revisit a lot of our early material.

“So, if you want to see us play songs like PureMorningand NancyBoywhich we haven’t played in almost ten years and may not play again, then you’d better come along to these shows.”

Last year was the first time since 2009 that Placebo had performed Pure Morning live.

The glam rock-infused Nancy Boy was Placebo’s break-out single and kick-started their androgynousimage.

Placebo – Every You Every MeTheir second album Without You I’m Nothing in 1998 made Placebo one of the world’s biggest acts as it spawned the alternative classics Pure Morning and Every You Every Me. The latter becoming an international hit through its appearance on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack.

Placebo continued to release popular and influential albums in Black Market Music (2000) and Sleeping With Ghosts (2003) that included the songs Special K and The Bitter End respectively.

Tickets for Newcastle’s September 12 show go on pre-sale for Telstra customers on Friday from 12pm. General sale begins next Monday from midday.