Archive for June 2019

The ‘on-hold’ strategy is in contrast to its decision last month to cut rates, but already there are calls to cut again.

Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett, said the decision will come as a disappointment to mortgage borrowers and small businesses who had been hoping for a second interest rate cut.

‘‘Many areas of domestic demand are struggling at this time, with business investment as yet failing to respond to low rates, and unemployment continuing to drift upwards,’’ Mr Garrett said.

‘‘There had been hopes that the RBA would reduce interest rates today in order to provide additional support.’’

‘‘The RBA has strongly hinted that rates may be lowered in the months ahead. Interest rates should be cut again in April in order to dispel any uncertainty,’’ he said.

Mortgage broker network 1300HomeLoan managing director John Kolenda said a sluggish domestic economy and global economic factors are still expected to see the RBA take official interest rates further into unchartered waters in coming months, even taking the cash rate below two per cent for the first time.

‘‘Central banks around the world, most notably China, have been moving their official interest rates south and the RBA will probably have to follow suit,’’ he said.

‘‘Mining investment in Australia remains in retreat and other sectors have not picked up the slack so more is likely to be needed to reinvigorate the domestic economy.

Pop-up shops, craft beer and artisan cheese are some of the tasty ingredients you’ll find at this year’s Maitland Taste Festival.

In the spirit of quirky English pubs, Maitland City Council has converted an old shipping container into a makeshift bar called The Hunter and the Hare.

The bar will serve Morpeth Brewery & Beer Co brews and Hunter Belle Cheese.

Morpeth Brewery & Beer Co manager Jayse Tasker toasts thesuccess of the new pop-up shop that will be known as the makeshift bar The Hunter and the Hare at this weekend’s Taste Festival.

Taste will open The Levee precinct this weekend after nine months of construction.

Council events co-ordinator Adam Franks said Taste had been revamped to mark the occasion.

“The Hunter and the Hare fits perfectly with this year’s new look and feel for Maitland Taste, which will be set amongst pop-up stalls and eating spaces made from recycled and upcycled materials,” he said.

“We have worked very closely with Morpeth Brewery & Beer Co and Hunter Belle Cheese to make this happen, and I think it will be one of the most popular features over the two days.”

Morpeth Brewery & Beer Co manager Jayse Tasker said he was excited to join the Maitland Taste line-up, since he had enjoyed other council festivals like Bitter and Twisted.

“It’s an exciting concept and I think people will appreciate the chance to sit back, enjoy a cold beverage and match it with a selection of gourmet cheeses,” Mr Tasker said.

“Is there a better way to spend the weekend?”

The shipping container will have life after Maitland Taste.

The sides fold down to create a cafe-style dining area once tables are arranged in it.

Council will also use the shipping container as a ticket booth at the Burton Toyota Steamfest.

Maitland Taste runs from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

For a list of cooking demonstrations and musical gigs visit www.maitlandtaste苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

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BALLARAT parents face fee hikes of more than $1200 if federal government funding for a national kindergarten program is not renewed.

In September, the federal government revealed it would continue to subsidise the program for four-year-old children to have access to 15 hours of preschool until December this year.

At the time, assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley said the Commonwealth would commit $406 million to extend this arrangement for another year to give parents and preschools funding certainty for 2015.

Under the existing arrangement, 10 hours are funded by the Victorian government and five hours by the Commonwealth.

This week, the Municipal Association of Victoria renewed calls for the federal government to continue funding the program.

It came in the wake of the release of a Product Commission report into childcare and early childhood leaning, which found universal access to preschool in the year before a child starts primary school, was a key measure for ensuring successful learning and development in the early years.

City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson said he feared if federal funding was not continued, parents may be forced to cough up the shortfall or the program may become unviable.

“The obvious implication is that it will have to be subsidised from other areas or the impact will fall back on families,” Cr Hudson said.

He added fee hikes would be an imposition on all families, particularly marginalised members of the community. “Extra fees for anyone who has multiple children that are kinder or school aged knows it would only add increased pressure on the household wages,” Cr Hudson said.

The report recommended that federal government funding for early childhood education should be combined and directed toward three priority areas, including the kindergarten universal access program.

There are 26 kindergartens operating in the City of Ballarat, two of which are run by the council.

MAV’s chief executive Rob Spence said he was hopeful that the federal government would provide long-term funding certainty.

The federal government is is expected to respond to the report before the 2015 budget.

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The GFC, or global financial crisis, was caused by banks in the USA leveraging their deposits by over40 times, and of course, because they were not seers, they had no idea what was in store.

It is a fact that money only comes into existence through borrowing from a bank.

When this happens a borrower gets his money, yet no one has any less. This is because banks do not lend money, they create deposits.

Banks do not borrow money to lend.

There is no wholesale market of money that is a cost to a bank, that argument is simply a wank.

The $380 billion dollars “bail out facility” set up by the government for the benefit of the big banks is because, if just 5 per cent of customers stopped paying their mortgage obligations the banks will fall over.

Also at the rate of leveraging we are experiencing, we can know that the assets of the big banks are worth about 4 cents on the dollar.

While this may be shocking to some, it is knowledge that is easily available. Even a modest economics dictionary will give you heaps of knowledge.

Oh, by the way, banks cannot lend depositors money. It does not help to know that when you deposit money into a bank you become an unsecured creditor of that bank.

Finally, if the government started to borrow off the Reserve Bank of Australia a big chunk of public money would not be transferred into the private sector, as is now happening.

That alone should be a good thing.

Neil Forscutt

Willow Tree

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THE Gardens Greyhound Racing Club has a new chief executive after the resignation of Alan Williamson.

Tanya Hayes has replaced Williamson, who officially left the position late last week about eight months into a one-year contract.

The Herald was told members of The Gardens board approached Williamson seven months into his term about his ending his tenure early. The club’s board and Williamson agreed to a joint press release announcing his resignation late last week.

“We are thankful for Alan’s contribution to the club,” Gardens chairman Brett Lazzarini said in the statement.

“The club will continue with its transformation into a viable and successful club and member of the greyhound racing and local community.”

Williamson was the only paid executive of the club, which started in July last year after firm PPB Advisory won a tender from owner Greyhound Racing NSW to operate the Birmingham Gardens track.

Tim Coenraad and Oscar Forman hope Hawks management can resolve the crisis which has hit the club. Picture: KIRK GILMOURWorried Wollongong players are unlikely to sit by and wait on the club’s fate if rival NBL teams start making offers.

The Hawks were placed into voluntary administration on Monday and have 28 days to find a new major sponsor.

Players have received permission from management to speak to other clubs, though the free agency period doesn’t officially start until two weeks after the grand final series.

Forwards Tim Coenraad, Oscar Forman and Brad Hill were under contract for next season, while Rhys Martin, Tyson Demos and Larry Davidson are effectively free agents.

Even if the Hawks defy the odds and the club carries on next season, the playing roster will probably have to be built from scratch.

“I’d love to see the club get some more sponsorship and continue, but in those 28 days a lot of the guys will be thinking about their families and their livelihood, and they have to do what they have to do to keep playing,” 2014-15 club MVP Coenraad said.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and if you wait too long you might not be included. It’s definitely something you have to consider and you know you might have to make a decision if another team comes along, and it’s going to be a very hard decision.

“I’d love to stay in Wollongong. [Wife] Nelly and I have called it home for six years and we’ve got roots here. I don’t want to go anywhere. But you have to think about your welfare and the time that you get to play basketball, because we don’t get to do this for a very long time.”

Coenraad is counting on Wollongong companies to pitch in to help the Hawks survive.

“I’d like to get a call of action out to the Illawarra if you’re a big business, save your Hawks and put your hand up if you can,” he said.

“It’s devastating to think I might have to move away or possibly not even have a basketball career anymore. I want to try and keep the Hawks alive. For the time being we’re going to need businesses to put their hand up. If you can be involved, please do so.”

Martin has blossomed into one of the NBL’s top point guards and doesn’t want the Hawks to die. But he also doesn’t want to be a player without a team next season.

“From a playing group’s perspective, if you can get a job you take it,” he said.

“It’s pretty hard to run the risk of hanging around in the hope of Wollongong being back in. It might not even be resolved after the 28-day period. They might extend it to 45 days and it could be over for you if you try to wait it out.”

The Hawks have pulled through two well documented fights for survival over the past decade and Martin believes they can do it again.

“It’s a tough situation for everyone and [club owner] James [Spenceley] is trying to make a smart business move and keep this brand going, and what needs to happen is that local businesses need to get together,” he said.

“We’re not talking about the fish and chip shops. It’s the big local businesses, the guys who earn big bucks. If five of them get together and say, ‘hey, we love the Hawks, we love supporting an NBL team from Wollongong and we want to keep them around’, the club would survive.

“If they want to keep something going in this community, then they need to get behind it, because that’s really the only thing that’s going to save the club.”

Forman has just completed his fifth season with the Hawks and hopes he hasn’t played his final game in red and white.

“If this is the direction the club has to take to have a chance of surviving and coming out the other side, then I’m with it,” he said.

“I want to 100 per cent stay with the Hawks, but I don’t know if there’s going to be a Hawks. I love it here and I think there should be a basketball team here. If it’s not going to work, you have to deal with reality and move on or you’re starting to jeopardise your own future, but I’m going to try and stay positive that something will work out.”

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Wollongong Hawks American import Jahii Carson (right) has reportedly taken up an offer to play for Serbia club KK Metalac Valjevo. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHANHawks import Jahii Carson has wasted little time finding a new club, with reports he has signed with Serbian side KK Metalac Valjevo.

Carson, who was touted a possible NBA draftee 12 months ago, was a major disappointment for the Hawks and finished the season playing off the bench.

The former Arizona State point guard reportedly signed with KK Metalac Valjevo in the Adriatic Basketball Association, the top league in Serbia.

The Serbian season is well advanced with KK Metalac Valjevo having an 11-11 win/loss record and Carson signing for the rest of the season.

In 27 games with Wollongong, Carson averaged 14.5 points a game on 43 per cent shooting, but made only 15 three-pointers at 29 per cent for the season.

He averaged 2.4 assists per game, but was fourth in the league in turnovers, averaging 2.6 a game, and struggled as a playmaker or key scorer for the Hawks.

Wollongong are fighting for their survival after placing themselves in voluntary administration on Monday.

Skipper Oscar Forman along with Luke Nevill, Brad Hill and Tim Coenraad have Hawks contracts for next season.

The club’s free agents include Rhys Martin, Larry Davidson, Tyson Demos and Gary Ervin, while Adam Ballinger has retired.

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The state government has hit back at Labor’s education and health plans for the state after opposition spokeswoman for the Hunter Sonia Hornery said the measures would make a positive difference for the region’s families.

Opposition spokeswoman for the Hunter Sonia Hornery.

Ms Hornery said the opposition could fund its plan to improve education and health without leasing state-owned electricity assets.

She said the policies announced by opposition leader Luke Foley at Labor’s campaign launch on Sunday would benefit the Hunter.

“I’ll be campaigning on them right up to election day,” she said.

“Labor will improve the hospitals and schools that people rely on every day.

“We will hire new nurses and teachers and upgrade local facilities that are falling down – without privatising the electricity network.”

But Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian said the Baird government had already committed more than $1 billion to Hunter infrastructure.

She said the Hunter would also benefit from $600 million that the government had earmarked for regional schools and hospitals across the state.

“Labor did nothing in education for 16 years and their recent announcements merely back-in what this government is already delivering,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Hornery said Labor’s $1.3 billion investment to build and improve schools and TAFE facilities, on top of the existing capital works budget, would benefit the Hunter.

She said Labor had also earmarked $1.7 billion in additional hospital funding on top of the capital works budget.

At the weekend’s campaign launch, Labor announced that every new public school would include either childcare facilities or before and after school care and $9.5 million would be invested to train 200 specialist maths and science teachers for primary schools across NSW.

Ms Berejiklian said the government was delivering record funding for improved classrooms and better training for teachers.

She said Hunter schools had received more than $65 million from the government’s new funding model so far this year.

“In health, the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital for Maitland is a priority for this government,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The new Maitland Hospital will provide free public health services to public patients.”

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