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18 Aug

Top cop’s warning on high-speed pursuits

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NSW’s top cop says it’s important to have a debate about police pursuits but has warned that restricting them would give criminals a green light.
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Police Commissioner Mick Fuller’s comments come after Bert Vieira – the husband of Sydney woman Gai Vieira whose Mercedes was T-boned by a speeding police car – promised to dedicate his life to ending high-speed pursuits in the state.

The commissioner on Friday warned the move wouldn’t be without serious consequences.

“If you’re at home alone and someone’s breaking into your house and you call triple-zero you don’t care about policy and you don’t care about red tape – you want the police to get there quickly and safely to protect you,” Mr Fuller told reporters in Sydney.

“There’s a price to pay for public safety but it’s important we continue to debate police tactics versus public safety.”

Mr Fuller said figures showed banning or restricting high-speed pursuits worked to help criminals.

“We’ve seen it in other states, we’ve seen it in London in terms of their robbery rates once pursuits were stopped, they went up exponentially.”

The Vieira family is planning on pursuing civil action against NSW Police as they fight to have high-speed pursuits of minor offenders banned in the state.

Ms Vieira remains in a coma more than three weeks after she was hit by a highway patrol car travelling at 124 km/h in a 70 zone without flashing lights or sirens.

The officer at the time was allegedly chasing a driver using their mobile phone.

The 40-year-old senior constable on Thursday was issued with a court attendance notice for dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. He’s due to face court in mid-November.

Mr Vieira says the risk of harm to the community when police chase minor offenders at speed outweighs the benefit of making an immediate arrest.

“I drive to work every day in this city, people are always on their phones, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee in their cars, what happens if you chase them all?” he’s previously told AAP.

“My life is lying in a coma. I don’t think it’s worth it.”

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18 Aug

Banking inquiry is no free political kick

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Scott Morrison needs to juggle taking tough action against the banks while not harming the economy.There are political pitfalls stemming from how the coalition and Labor respond to the banking royal commission’s interim report.
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Voters have been shocked by the litany of failures by banks, insurers and super funds and will no doubt celebrate action against dodgy executives and salespeople.

They may also lift the Liberal-National coalition’s stocks for taking tough action against the worst wrongdoers, pushing them closer to retaining office.

But there is a risk too-tough action could cut off the flow of credit and undermine institutions which are central to business, delivering a blow to the n economy and risking jobs and investment.

As past federal elections have proven, a strong economy which is seen to be delivering the services and infrastructure voters demand tends to favour the incumbent party.

Good economic managers are rewarded.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have strong reasons to ensure they take up the royal commission’s findings, but don’t go so far as to damage the very financial system on which all ns depend.

As if voters aren’t already disgruntled with the political class, imagine if they suddenly had to wait longer for housing loans to be approved or rejected, couldn’t get access to a credit card or faced higher insurance premiums?

Similarly with Labor, any over-reach or demonisation of the financial sector might play well with some voters.

But coming into government for the first time since 2013 would be a difficult juggle with businesses unable to access to finance, debt-laden families under pressure and young couples pushed even further away from the dream of owning a home.

It could also see more low-income earners look elsewhere for finance, such as the virulently corrupt pay-day lenders Labor so passionately wants to stamp out.

The gap between the haves and have-nots would widen.

Kicking the bankers to death might be an easy thing for short-sighted politicians to do, but it has ramifications.

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18 Aug

Thelaunches digital subscriptions

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FRESH COPY: Subscription packages will arrive for theherald成都夜总会招聘.au on Tuesday. The first 30 days online is free for subscribers, who can choose to pay monthly or take out an annual subscription and receive a 20 per cent discount.FROM Tuesday online readers of the Newcastle Herald will get access to a digital replica of the daily newspaper when they subscribe for full website access at theherald成都夜总会招聘.au.
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As announced on September 21, the Heraldis launching local news subscription packages for unlimited access to its website.

Readers can sign up and pay at theherald成都夜总会招聘.aufrom Tuesday.

Subscribers will get all of the local news, sport and community information from Newcastle and the Hunter produced by the Herald’s journalists, plus the latest in national news, sport and lifestyle advice, for only $3.75 a week.

The first 30 days of website access is free for subscribers, who can choose to pay monthly or take out an annual subscription and receive a 20 per cent discount.

Subscriptions include access to a digital replica of the Herald allowing every page of the newspaper to be read on a tablet or desktop. The Standard Digital Print Edition will be available daily and is accessed via the website homepage for reading while you are online.

For existing e-Edition subscribers accessing the Premium Digital Print Edition, with its app access, download, offline reading and other interactive functions, there is no change to their service or current subscription package.

The printed version of the Herald will continue to be published and distributed Monday to Saturday.

Visitors to theherald成都夜总会招聘.au from Tuesday will be able to read five articles a month for free before they are invited to subscribe for unlimited website access.

Some website content will remain open to all visitors, including classified advertisements, such as birth and funeral notices, and recommended articles featuring local businesses and sponsored content.

Website visitors can also sign up to have a free newsletter emailed regularly to their inbox, making it easier to browse the latest headlines and see what’s making news in the Hunter.

“By subscribing to theherald成都夜总会招聘.au you will be supporting the Herald to continue its mission to deliver local journalism that connects, informs, entertains and shapes our community,” editor Heath Harrison said.

Visit theherald成都夜总会招聘.au on Tuesday for more information about how to subscribe.

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18 Aug

With maturity comes empathy, and rightly so, argues Jeff Corbett

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ONE of the amusements of caravan parks is watching the caravanners who’ve just arrived as they try to reverse onto their site. It’s called schadenfreude, which is a German word meaning the greatest fun since you saw someone trip face first into a muddy puddle.
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Even those caravanners who provided more fun than most when they arrived in the previous few days will spark up when the shiny new four-wheel-drive with the shiny new caravan trundles through the park looking for site 34. When the wife gets out and goes to the back of the caravan we know this is going to be good, because seldom is her right and left his right and left and this way is almost always that way.

As the pitch of her voice climbs so that it can be heard over several park blocks so does the level of our glee, which is why I insist my wife stay in the vehicle until the caravan is in its right place.

We feel cheated when we’re deprived of the sound by a wife using a mobile phone or a walkie-talkie to talk to hubby, and when the caravan is reversed successfully at first attempt without flapping arms and raised voices we’re more than disappointed. Schadenfreude, or pleasure in others’ misfortune, becomes displeasure in others’ success. A fluke, we’ll tell ourselves, which is why when I fluke it I am very careful to walk and talk as though getting it right first time is the usual outcome.

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A month or so ago my wife and I tried not to watch, or be seen to be watching, a couple about our age trying to reverse their camping trailer onto a site at a caravan park halfway up the Queensland coast. Each time he had another go the trailer ended up further off their site, and after 10 minutes and a bit of loud anguish the wife climbed behind the wheel, which was just as much fun. By this time more than 20 people were watching, standing in small groups, alerted by the roaring motor and the shrill cries.

Go over and offer to reverse it for them, my wife said, but no, if there had been a point when an offer of help would be appreciated it was, I sensed, long gone. Eventually they left the camper trailer where it was, unhitched their vehicle and tried to recover their dignity.

Later we met them and sat together in the camp kitchen to eat, with no mention of the reversing debacle, and we learnt something that everyone who’d relished their difficulties that afternoon should know. The husband, who worked part time as an engineer, had a progressive illness that left him weary after exertion, and so they limited their driving distances to fewer than 100km. That weariness explained his reversing confusion a few hours earlier.

I’ve noticed over the past few years that when caravanners arrive in the late afternoon, probably tired after a long drive, men of retirement age may seem anxious and a little confused as they go about the business of setting up the van. I’ve seen them raise the wrong side when levelling the caravan, and I just might have done this myself just once or twice. At this time the reversing of the caravan provides the entertainment, and there is no doubt that the hapless old bloke is aware of that.

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It’s cruel, this schadenfreude. I suppose we find the shortcomings of others reassuring, especially if those shortcomings are more pronounced than our own. Maybe we see ourselves as superior when we’ve avoided the misfortune that afflicts others, when someone else cannot do something we can do or as well as we can.

I have found that as I’ve matured so has my empathy, with the result that I am much less likely to find amusement in others’ misfortune. I still do, occasionally, but if I am amused by a caravanner’s reversing woes it is only momentarily until I give myself a virtual crack over the back of the head.

Gangster deaths lift my schadenfreude to rare levels. What a terrible waste of life! Wouldn’t hurt a fly! Criminals, car thieves among them, who come to grief on the job. Tsk tsk tsk. Politicians I don’t like who lose the election, and I wonder if there is not a generous slurp of schadenfreude in winning.

I mean, isn’t the celebration that accompanies a football team’s victory, for example, as much about winning as it is about the other team losing? The other team was defeated, beaten, smashed, and there is always shame in that. Maybe that losers’ shame is the winners’ pleasure.

And surely schadenfreude explains why Funniest Home Videos and other filmed-misadventure shows are strangely compulsive viewing. Why else would we thrill to a skater slamming into a post or a trampolining dad crashing to the ground? The canned laughter is relentless.

The cruel delight we found as children in the misfortune, frailties and differences of other children persists for many more decades than it should.

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18 Aug

Nobbys dawn service host Ken Fayle awarded RSL lifetime honour

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President of the City of Newcastle RSL sub branch Ken Fayle will receive a certificate of life membership at a special presentation on Monday, October 8.
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LEGACY: President of the City of Newcastle RSL sub branch and Vietnam War veteran Ken Fayle will receive a top RSL honour next week. Picture: Marina Neil

A familiar face to those who attend the city’s Anzac and Remembrance Day services, Ken Fayle has been a continuous member of the branch for 39 years and hassat on its executive committee for 18.

Mr Fayle’s contribution to the RSL goes far deeper than his role hosting Newcastle’sdawn service, saidclose friend andsub branchvice-president StephenFinney.

“I am the one who nominated him simply because he deserves recognition for what he’s done and what he continues to do,” Mr Finney said.

“He’s thetype of person whorolls his sleeves up and gets into it.

“He’s not after the recognition but he deserves it.And he’s bloody gettingit.”

WELL ATTENDED: The Nobbys dawn service earlier this year. Picture: Simone De Peak

Mr Finney attributes the growth of the crowd at the Nobbys Anzac dawn servicefrom 1500 peopleto 55,000 people over two decadesto Mr Fayle’s work.

“It’s the quality of the servicehe organises. We have audiovisuals and live music: the army band andchoirs,” Mr Finney said.

“It’s a very professionally-run service and Ken’s responsible for that.”

Mr Fayle saidthe increase in the service’s attendance has beenone of his proudest achievements while serving the RSL,as well as being asked to become atrustee of the Newcastle Memorial Walk.

“It’san amazing piece of infrastructure. To say I had a weebit to do with that is just great,” he said.

Receiving alife membership isalso a matter of legacy, he said.

“Probably the proudest thing is that I am athird-generation life member.

“My grandfather was a light horseman and was made a life member at the Coogee Randwick sub branch.My father [Tom Fayle]received a life membership having a lot to do withrejuvenating the City of Newcastlesub-branch after the earthquake.

“I don’t know if there’s many third-generation life members out there.”

Mr Fayle credits the volunteer service of his wife Paulineas his inspiration for getting involved in the RSL.

“I realised how important being a volunteer was.

“If you take something out of the community,youput something back in.

“Whilst I could havedone a number of things I decided I would focuson the RSLand I’m glad I have.”

Mr Fayle hostedhis last Anzac dawn service earlier this year and plans to step back from his role as president in2021.

Mr Faylesaid he hopes to continue hiswork on the executive committee to provide supportto younger members.

“I’d hate to tell him to stop!” Mr Finney said.

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