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Deadly duel: it may be small but the redback spider conquers the dugite. Photo: Chris O’Keefe
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Deadly duel: it may be small but the redback spider conquers the dugite. Photo: Chris O’Keefe

Deadly duel: it may be small but the redback spider conquers the dugite. Photo: Chris O’Keefe

Deadly duel: it may be small but the redback spider conquers the dugite. Photo: Chris O’Keefe

Who’d have thought: it seems redback spiders taking down snakes is a thing.

Images of a redback spider stalking, striking and snaring a snake at a Gooroc farm shed in regional Victoria have created a stir but it seems the spider versus the snake is old news at one Casuarina workshop.

WAtoday南京夜网.au reader Chris O’Keefe took photographs of the deadly duo after finding a redback spider had spun a dugite into its web in the corner of his electrical workshop on Friday.

“It was huge,” Mr O’Keefe said of the redback.

“When I first saw it I thought it was some cable stuck in a web but when I saw the spider furiously running up and down it I had a closer look and discovered it was a dugite,” Mr O’Keefe said.

He said he was surprised to see photographs of a similar fight to the death scenario were taken only days apart but on the other side of the country.

“We thought maybe it was that time of the year for this type of thing,” he said.

Mr O’Keefe said he and his workmates were relieved they discovered the spider and its booty on the handle of the workshop fire extinguisher before any fire broke out.

“I think everyone deep down has a fear of spiders,” he said.

“I guess now we will have a greater fear of walking through a battle royale between two of Australia’s deadliest creatures. I will definitely keep an eye open at work from now on.” Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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European wasps can be deadly and thrive in the WA climateEuropean wasps continue to spread across Perth with the insects now covering an area that occupies most of the city’s metropolitan area.
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Marc Widmer, senior technical officer with the Department of Agriculture and Food, said the wasps have gained a strong hold on the city, from Joondalup to Bedfordale, from Fremantle to Midland.

He was in Banjup on Tuesday to remove another nest.

“It seems to be really widespread this year,” Mr Widmer said.

“Two years ago we found our first nest in Banjup, now we’ve found 12 in the last two months.”

Mr Widmer said 43 nests have been removed from Perth so far this year.

“And there’s still plenty of activity,” he said.

Mr Widmer said the reasons as to why so many wasps are appearing in Perth remain a mystery.

“We don’t know why: is it because a nest was missed and they matured and released queens,” he said.

“Or is there an industry nearby that’s bringing in heavily infested produce?”

The European wasp, or Vespula germanica, is considered the world’s worst social wasp and has the potential to become a greater pest in WA than anywhere in the world, according to the Department of Agriculture and Food.

It appears the wasp problem in WA may be the result of authorities in the eastern states letting their wasp populations get out of hand.

“As they’ve been left uncontrolled in the eastern states, they’re spreading,” Mr Widmer said.

“A larger area is now infested.”

Self proclaimed “wasp whisperer” Shannon Cash believes the wasp problem may be worse than many think.

He said he recently travelled to Quinninup, about 300 kms south of Perth, and while he was having a beer with mates at a local hotel, he noticed some wasps buzzing around that he thought were of the European strain.

When asked if he was sure if they were European wasps, Mr Cash replied: “Mate, I’m 100 per cent sure.”

Wasp whisperer Cash does have an eye for spotting the insects.

He managed to detect some wasps in Fremantle before their nest was removed in January, as revealed by Fairfax Media, and has since studied the insects after being provided with a wasp detection kit by Mr Widmer.

“I was alarmed when I saw them buzzing around a fence in Quindanning especially after our close encounter in Fremantle,” Mr Cash said.

“Clearly, the wasp problem is getting worse.”

Mr Widmer said he will investigate.

Anyone interested in helping to stop the wasps can contact the Pest and Diseases Information Service on 1800 084 881. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Andrew Chan, one of the Bali Nine duo at Kerobokan Prison on what his last day in Kerobokan Prison before he is transfered to Nusakambangan prison island. Photo: Kate Geraghty Myuran Sukumaran one of the Bali Nine duo (left) with Barrister Julian McMahon (right) at Kerobokan Prison on what is the last visit before he is transfered to Nusakambangan prison island for upcoming execution. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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Bali nine executions: spiritual advisers ready for final hoursLegal appeals irrelevant, say Indonesian officialsRobb shelves trade delegation to Indonesia

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be transferred to the execution island of Nusakambanganon on Wednesday, it has been announced.

Momock Bambang Samiarso, Bali’s chief prosecutor and the man in charge of the transfer, made the announcement after meeting with police, military and other officials.

The two Australians, reformed drug smugglers, are aware they will be moved, said Kerobokan prison governor Sudjonggo. He said the duo had given some of their belongings to other members of the Bali nine syndicate and Sukumaran had told them to “be careful”, or behave well, after he left.

The duo will be allowed to bring personal belongings with them, but their families will not be able to visit them on Wednesday, as preparations for the move will restrict access, Sudjonggo told Fairfax Media earlier.

A dismayed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was callous for the executions to proceed given the men’s rehabilitation.

“I will continue to contact counterpart ministers to press for a stay of execution,” she said.

Chan’s brother Michael and Sukumaran’s mother Raji visited the pair on Tuesday but left the penitentiary before news emerged of the timing of their transfer. Other family members are expected to come over from Australia soon. Families will be able to visit the two men on Nusakambangan.

As Sudjonggo spoke, they were being comforted by their lawyer, Julian McMahon.

The transfer will use two military transport planes, Mr Momock said. One will contain the Australians and their guards. The other will contain another contingent of security personnel.

He said the transfer would occur on Wednesday “siang”, or day. The phrase usually denotes a time between 10am and 3pm.

Speaking later, Mr Mocock told reporters to “standby from the morning”, meaning the transfer could happen even earlier.

The men are expected to be transported to Denpasar airport from the prison in armoured personnel vans, most likely the police’s Barracuda vehicles.

Chan and Sukumaran can expect to be executed soon after the transfer, with Indonesia’s attorney-general saying that the execution by firing squad of the two men and eight other drug felons will happen “ASAP”.

The men will be given 72 hours notice before they are killed. As well as their families, lawyers and a religious counsellor will be able to see them while on Nusakambangan, an island with a prison complex in Central Java.

Indonesian lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran have released a statement calling on the Attorney-General to refrain from executing the Australians or transferring them from Bali’s Kerobokan jail while legal action is underway.

The statement said the men had challenged the dismissal to their appeal in the Jakarta State Administrative Court on Monday.

Secondly, they had submitted a report to the Judicial Commission on February 13 alleging violations of judicial conduct and ethics.

This was based on information obtained by the men’s former lawyer, Muhammad Rifan, who alleged the judges who sentenced Chan and Sukumaran to death offered a lighter sentence in exchange for money.

“Indonesian criminal law basically guarantees the rights of convicts to defend their legal rights,” the statement said.

“Due to the ongoing legal recourse by Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan it would therefore be appropriate if the Attorney-General’s office respects such legal recourse by refraining from carrying out the execution of sentence against Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, including transferring them from Kerobokan prison to the prison at Nusakambangan.”

Indonesia’s attorney general Prasetyo said on Monday that legal appeals pending for Chan and Sukumaran would not have any impact on the executions. Because the drug smuggling duo had their clemency appeals rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, he said, these later appeals were irrelevant.

Lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran reacted angrily to the remarks, saying Mr Prasetyo was not respecting the rule of law in the country and would bring international condemnation upon Indonesia by rushing through the executions.

Mr Prasetyo revealed on Tuesday that prisons on Nusakambangan have requested that the Bali nine duo not spend too much time in isolation on the island.

Stating – as he did on Monday – that preparations were 95 per cent complete for the execution of 10 drug felons, Mr Prasetyo said an evaluation of the first batch of executions this year had shown there were things that needed to be improved.

The execution of six drug felons on January 18 was hampered by weather problems, journalists masquerading as fishermen to try and access the island and confusion over the religion of those condemned.

“We will immediately carry out the executions when the preparation is completed,”  Mr Prasetyo said on Tuesday. “The principle is that once they are there they should not wait too long in their cell.”

There were also still prisoners who needed to be transported from Madiun and Yogyakarta. “After the evacuation we will determine the time of the execution,” Mr Prasetyo said.

Meanwhile, fellow prisoner on death row, Filipino Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso had her request for a judicial review into her case adjourned until Wednesday.

The migrant worker was sentenced to death for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia from Malaysia in 2010.

Indonesia plans to kill 10 drug felons in a mass execution that will require 120 members of a combined firing squad, 12 for each victim.

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The Abbott government has failed to pass a controversial budget proposal to reduce research and development tax breaks for all companies by 1.5 per cent.
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The reduction in the rate was budgeted to provide a $620 million saving over four years but was voted down by Labor and the Greens on Monday night.

Opposition innovation spokesman Kim Carr said it was a “harsh, unfair and job-destroying measure [that] was based on a lie, and the Senate has rejected it accordingly”.

He said some of Australia’s biggest R&D investors – including companies such as Cochlear, CSL, Telstra and Caltex – had made it clear that constant tinkering with the tax break on R&D investment would cost jobs.

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt said the Senate’s rejection of the $620 million in cuts was a “big win for science and research and a big win for business”.

“The Parliament’s rejection of these cuts is a step towards stemming the bleeding [to innovation],” he said.

Tax experts have welcomed the move to ditch the 1.5 per cent reduction in the tax offset but slammed the decision to limit tax breaks for companies spending over $100 million on R&D, and back date the change to July 1 last year.

As Fairfax Media reported, thanks to a deal with the Palmer United Party (PUP) last month, up to 25 Australian companies including Telstra, BHP and Rio Tinto will only be able to claim tax breaks for R&D spending up to $100 million.

Anything above that amount will no longer be eligible. The cap will apply retrospectively.

PwC tax partner Sandra Boswell said it could result in high-tech investment shifting offshore.

“It could mean that projects could move to more favourable regimes in the region, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia,” she said. “They all have R&D incentive programs and they are increasing them, not putting caps on it.”

She said she hoped the upcoming tax white paper would consider new incentives encouraging companies to innovate.

KPMG head of R&D incentives David Gelb said any proposal to reduce the R&D rate again needed to be coupled with a reduction in the corporate tax rate.

He said the affect of the cap would mean that companies which have this level of R&D spending and engage with smaller companies, universities and research bodies to undertake work for them would no longer be able to do so.

“This engagement with the broader community will be significantly impaired,” he said.

MPR Group partner Brendan Brown said despite the cap, he was pleased that small to medium businesses would continue to get existing tax breaks on R&D spending.

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There are fears BHP will not renew its tugboat contract with Teekay.Port Hedland tugboat workers may give up some of the concessions they won just four months ago, amid fears tugboat operator Teekay may not have its contract to operate in the nation’s biggest iron ore port renewed by BHP Billiton later this year.
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Despite striking a new four-year workplace agreement in November, Teekay and the tugboat unions are back in negotiations over workplace conditions in a bid to help the company retain its contract beyond its expiry around September.

Teekay has written to unions informing them of an urgent need to reduce costs ahead of the expiry, with sources suggesting the tugboat operator may be the latest contractor to feel the force of BHP’s drive to reduce contracting costs.

BHP has recently invited Teekay and rival tugboat operators to tender for the contract, and sources have suggested BHP has given an outline of the terms under which it would ideally like to award the next contract.

There is a belief that BHP will favour bidders whose workforce is employed on an “even time roster”; such as where workers are rostered on for four weeks, then have four weeks off.

The tugboat workers were living under such an “even time” roster prior to November’s workplace deal, which gave them an extra four weeks of annual leave.

BHP has been pushing its entire contractor base for savings over the past three years in a bid to offset the impact of falling commodity prices, and has shown a willingness to change contractors in pursuit of savings and better results, as seen by the installation of mining contractor HSE on Queensland coal mines in place of Thiess and Leightons.

BHP sent a clear message to Teekay and the tug workers in December when it introduced a second tugboat contractor, Rivtow, to run four tugs at Port Hedland.

Teekay declined to comment on the sudden resumption of negotiations with the tugboat unions, while BHP confirmed Teekay’s contract would expire later this year.

“BHP Billiton has contracted Teekay Marine to provide towage services in the Port Hedland Port for more than ten years. BHP Billiton’s contract with Teekay will expire this year, and in anticipation of this, a competitive tender process is currently being conducted. Teekay Marine was invited to tender as part of this process,” said a spokesman for BHP.

BHP would not comment publicly on whether it had indicated the workplace terms it would like to see under the next contract.

Port Hedland is the epicentre of Australia’s iron ore export industry, and the tugboats are crucial to the operation of the port because the ships carrying the iron ore to Asia cannot enter or leave port without the assistance of tugs.

Australian Maritime Officers Union spokesman Robert Coombs, who represents one of the three classes of workers on the tugs, said tug workers may be willing to give up the extra annual leave if Teekay were successful in the tender.

“The best conditions are not worth anything if you don’t have a workplace,” he said.

“If Teekay wins the contract we may have to consider a variation [to the workplace deal struck in November].”

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, which represents a different class of tug workers, has indicated it is willing to negotiate with Teekay, and would potentially be willing to part with the extra annual leave entitlements won last year.

“We stand prepared to engage in discussions aimed at retaining your current business case in Port Hedland,” the union said in a letter to Teekay this week.

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The Reserve Bank fears the economy is even weaker than when it met one month ago.
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Tuesday’s board meeting considered new data released since its last meeting showing much lower than expected investment intentions for the third quarter of this year.

After the bank cut rates in February, it published a forecast for economic growth centred on 2.75 per cent for 2015-16.

The investment data casts doubt on that forecast and suggests it will be revised down when the bank updates it in May.

While deciding to keep its cash rate steady in March, the bank issued guidance that “further easing of policy may be appropriate over the period ahead”.

The guidance is understood to be the clearest about the future direction of interest rates for about two years.

The governor’s statement said “the available information suggests that growth is continuing at a below-trend pace, with domestic demand growth overall quite weak”.

The bank is concerned that in the past month investment has slipped more sharply than expected, unemployment has climbed to a 13-year high and that the December quarter economic growth figures (due on Wednesday) are likely to be weak.

Its forecasts already factor in a further rate cut by May. After digesting Tuesday’s statement, the futures market factored in a near certain rate cut by May followed by the certainty of another cut by November.

Those two cuts would take the bank’s cash rate from 2.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent.

Former Reserve Bank economist Paul Bloxham said Tuesday’s meeting was “a nail-biter”.

“In the days leading up to the decision, the market had been pricing a 50:50 chance of a cut, so it was a close call,” the HSBC economist said.

“The post-meeting statement was fairly short, downbeat, and continued to note that the Australian dollar was overvalued on most measures of fundamental value. Working in the other direction, the statement noted that dwelling prices continue to rise strongly in Sydney.”

The only things that could stand in the way of a further cut in interest rates in April or May would be inflated lending to real estate investors or a sharp drop in the dollar.

The bank was “working with other regulators to assess and contain risks that may arise from the housing market”.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has warned banks not to lower their standards for investment loans in order to chase business.

A sharp drop in the value of the dollar would boost the economy, making a further cut in interest rates less necessary.

The Australian dollar jumped more than half a cent after the Reserve Bank’s decision to leave interest rates on hold. It closed near US78¢.

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

Twitter: @1petermartin

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GAI WATERHOUSE has not had a win in the Newcastle Newmarket, but may be represented this year by Woodbine, part owned by Racing NSW chairman John Messara. THE time-honoured Newcastle Newmarket is the highlight of Newcastle Jockey Club’s autumn racing, and the 2015 $125,000 group 3 event on March 18 will be the 60th anniversary of the race.
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The legendary TJ Smith trained the first winner of the Newmarket, Seacraft, in 1955, and his daughter, Gai Waterhouse, has won the race three times, with Secret Savings (1997), Hey Pronto (2002) and Platinum Scissors (2004).

The closest Waterhouse has come to winning the Newmarket in the past decade was in 2013 when the talented Laser Hawk was beaten by a long head.

Waterhouse may be represented by four-year-old Woodbine, which is part-owned by Racing NSW chairman John Messara.

Woodbine has had only two runs from a spell and indicated he was close to a win when beaten three-quarters of a length at Rosehill recently.

The late Max Lees won the Newcastle Newmarket three times, and his son Kris will be chasing his first win in the group3 event on March 18.

Kris Lees got a good sight in last year’s Newmarket when his imported galloper Slow Pace flew home for third behind Mercir.

Lees is yet to decide on his Newmarket starters.

Chris Waller’s foreman, Liam Prior, said the stable expected to have runners in the Newmarket, but Waller is a week away from deciding on his nominations.

The $100,000 Provincial Championship Qualifier is also on the March 18 program

Thermomix demonstrator Lauren McKinnon puts a Thermomix to the test at a presentation at the field days. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWIMMERA FARMER
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A TRENDY cooking appliance made quick work of a traditionally tricky dish at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days this week.

Thermomix demonstrator Lauren McKinnon showed the crowd how easy it was to make a mushroom risotto with the multi-skilled device.

“It’s so hard to make but the Thermomix makes it so simple,” she said.

MEGA GALLERY: Day one at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Mrs McKinnon said the aim of the demonstration was to show people how versatile and handy the appliance was.

“People judge the Thermomix on the price tag,” she said.

A Thermomix costs about $2000.

Mrs McKinnon said one of the best features about the appliance was the recipe chip feature which displayed instructions on the Thermomix screen.

She said the interactive session was well received by the crowd.

“A lot of people were interested to see it,” she said.

More than 50 people attended the presentation.

Mrs McKinnon will hostThermomix presentations in the auditorium of the Country Gourmet Pavilion every day.

The final show is at 11.30am onThursday.

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Sussan LeyMILDURA GPs have welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to scrap its controversial Medicareco-p­ayment­ proposal.
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Health Minister Sussan Ley yesterday confirmed the government had “hit the pause button” on changes to the public healthcare system.

During Question Time in Parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott reiterated the hugely unpopular proposal to charge patients a $5 co-payment when they visited their GP was “dead, buried and cremated”.

Tristar Medical Group GP Afshan Shariff said the arrangement would have put an “unnecessary burden” on people who were already struggling to cover daily living expenses.

“For patients who come in on a regular basis, with chronic disease or disability, it was too much for them to pay every visit,” she said.

“I think most of GPs would be happy that’s been axed.

“I have some patients on Centrelink payments who are taking medication and can’t afford it – they say, ‘I can’t be taking it until my next (Centrelink) payment’.

“That is really sad to see. So if there was a co-payment, I fear they won’t even be coming to see us.”

The co-payment proposal was part of the government’s budget measures introduced last year to reduce the nation’s debt and deficit.

It was contested by the Opposition,­ the Greens and cross-benchers­ in the Senate, leading to the original $7 co-payment being reduced to $5.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Wednesday’s Sunraysia Daily 04/03/2015.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Updated: Bob Kotic with some of the new branding, which retains a modern interpretation of the Illawarra Flame Tree logo. Picture: GREG ELLISIllawarra Credit Union chief executive Bob Kotic launched a new brand identity on Sunday for the locally grown financial institution.
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The new look, designed with input from staff and members, is designed to confirm the credit union’s commitment to serving its members.

During the last 40 years Illawarra Credit Union has used the Illawarra Flame Tree as its logo and the new one is a modern interpretation supported by new visual identity and a new tagline of “Your money, your way”.

Mr Kotic said it highlighted the credit union’s dedication to serving its members, understanding their needs and providing competitive products.

“Our members are at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make,” he said.

The new look coincides with the introduction of new services.

An Android moneytree app has been launched following the success of the iPhone moneytree app in 2014.

A new member centre on the ground floor of the Wollongong head office building is the first of many being rolled out across the branch network.

Work is also under way on a new user-friendly website.

Forum speakers

First female premier of NSW Kristina Keneally and former politician Kathryn Greiner are among the speakers at the Illawarra Forum annual conference at The Pavilion in Kiama on March 10 and 11.

Illawarra Forum chief executive Nicky Sloan said the conference would look at success in the community services industry. Registrations are now open at trybooking南京夜网/GPNS.

Kristina Keneally

Zookeepers go wild

Images of Symbio Wildlife Park zookeepers mimicking animals continue to spread globally.

The #zookeepersasanimals photos on Facebook have now appeared in many daily newspapers in Europe.

Community grants

An information session on the IRT Foundation Community Grants program is being held at North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club on Monday.

It is open to community groups, charities and councils interested in applying for grants of up to $20,000 for initiatives that help build age-friendly communities in the Illawarra.

Applications are open until April 10.

IRT Foundation Committee chairperson Dr Lee Moerman, Wendy Harmer and IRT CEO Nieves Murray at the launch of the foundation at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach in late 2014. Picture by Greg Ellis.

Zonta picks leaders

The Zonta Club of Wollongong is hosting its Young Women In Public Affairs Award at Centro CBD on March 8 as part of International Women’s Day.

Zonta International District 24 Lieutenant-Governor Dr Janette Curtis said the finalists come from high schools.

Dr Curtis said Zonta looked for young women who were good students and had a commitment to their community.

“We also expect them to demonstrate how they currently do, or plan to, empower women financially, educationally or socially,” she said.

“For this award, it is about thinking outside of themselves and giving back to the community, whether that be their school community, their local community through charities or clubs, or internationally by active support of specific charities.”

Heather Stuart, Kate Martin, Jessica Sparks, Thea Stephenson and Sheldri Weston at the 2014 Zonta Club of Wollongong International Women’s Day afternoon tea at Diamond Offices. Picture by Greg Ellis.

Top shop once again

For the fourth year in a row The Good Guys Warrawong was recognised as the top furniture/electrical store for customer satisfaction by Roy Morgan Surveys in 2014.

Warrawong’s Michael Seaman said it was a great result for the whole team who made customer service its number one priority.

Power for Manus

Electro Power Equipment recently completed construction of a power station switch room at Unanderra for the Manus Island Detention Centre. John Arthur said the facility was designed and built at Unanderra, and after construction in Wollongong it was shipped by road to Brisbane before being transported by barge to Manus Island.

Motivational event

Kiama Council, Inspiring Women Kiama and Illawarra Business in Heels are hosting a motivational International Women’s Day lunch at the Pavilion from 12 noon on March 6.

Further information on 4232 0405.

Network expands

Former Wallaby and rugbybusinessnetwork南京夜网 (RBN) convener Adrian Skeggs is including Wollongong in the rollout of the network across Australia.

Events feature a key business leader presenting on a specific topic followed by a rugby personality talking about their transition from rugby to business.

The inaugural network meeting is at iC Central at the Wollongong Innovation Campus.

Guest speakers are former Hungry Jack’s Australia chief executive Tim Tighe and former Waratahs players Peter Palmer, Michael Hayes and Richard Tombs.

Tim Tighe

Lunch celebration

This Saturday VIEW Clubs of Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands are joining together to celebrate International Women’s Day together at the Chifley Hotel.

The lunch includes entertainment by Katherine Akele and a tribute to the Anzacs on the centenary year presented by TIGS year 12 student Tahlia Jackson. A year 12 Learning for Life student will also speak on the opportunities provided to her by The Smith Family Learning for Life program.

Katherine Akele. Picture by Greg Ellis.

The Keynote speaker this Saturday is NRMA deputy director Wendy Machin.

Breast workshop

Lagoon Seafood Restaurant is hosting and sponsoring a free BreastAware Australia education and empowerment workshop on March 10. Jonni Nicolaou is so passionate about BreastAware’s life-saving message she became a board member.

Reservations at breastawareworkshop.eventbrite南京夜网.

Sustainable growth

Applications close on March 9 for the next round of Economic Gardening starting on March 24.

It is a free service to help Illawarra businesses achieve increased profits and sustainable growth.Online applications at economicgardening南京夜网.au.


March4 – Pride of Emergency Services Awards launch in Sydney.

Warilla Business Chamber hosts a free networking event at Southern Youth Family Services in Warilla from 5pm to 7pm.

March 4 to 15 – International Women’s Day Exhibition called Women: Equality: Art: at Project Contemporary Artspace.

March 5 – Illawarra Credit Union launches its new brand in its new member centre.

March 5 to 30 – On Flinders Life Drawing and Painting Exhibition at Wollongong City Gallery.

March 6 – Kiama Council, Inspiring Women Kiama and Illawarra Business in Heels are hosting a motivational International Women’s Day lunch with guest speakers Melissa Browne and Dr Susan Ang at The Pavilion Kiama from 12pm to 2.30pm. Further information on 4232 0405.

March 6 to 8 – Kiama Jazz Blues Festival with more than 60 free gigs in 30 venues.

March 7 – VIEW Clubs of Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands will celebrate International Women’s Day together at the Chifley Hotel Wollongong.

March 8 – Zonta hosts its Young Women In Public Affairs Award as part of International Women’s Day activities with a lunch at CBD Centro.

March 9 – IRT Foundation Community Grants program will be held at North information session at Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club 2pm.

March 10 – The Illawarra Business Chamber is focusing on infrastructure needs for the region by hosting a local candidate debate from 11am at the ITeC in Coniston. Illawarra businesses are invited to come and hear what both major parties are doing to address the infrastructure backlog and the needs of regional businesses.

A free BreastAware Australia workshop at the Lagoon Seafood Restaurant from 5.45pm.

WorkCover NSW hosts a Safer Communities event at Jamberoo with a safety information sessions for local farmers, inspectors visiting businesses in the main street and workplace visits. Further information on 4428 6700.

iAccelerate welcomes and inducts its new residents following the completion of applications for the first intake of 2015.

After receiving a quality field of applications the new cohort of residents will soon be announced.

March 10 and 11 – Illawarra Forum annual conference at The Pavilion in Kiama with Kristina Keneally and Kathryn Greiner among the guest speakers.

March 10 and 11 – THE first female premier of NSW Kristina Keneally and former politician Kathryn Greiner are among the speakers at the Illawarra Forum annual conference at The Pavilion in Kiama.

March 11 – Better Health By Daniella opening party at Figtree. Further information at www.betterhealthbydaniela南京夜网.au.

CleverLINK presents a Bartercard information evening at Corrimal.

March 13 – The Northern Illawarra Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free coffee with the candidates at Helensburgh Tradies to ask small business candidates what they would do for small business.

Pulse 94.1fm Gala Night at Panorama House featuring Brittany Cairns from The Voice and Karl Faase as keynote speaker. Bookings on 4228 8941.

March 14 – A three hour cartooning workshop for primary school age children with a full lunch included is being held by Little Leonardo’s Art Studio in Shellharbour.

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