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A-League: Roy O’Donovan to the rescue as Newcastle Jets welcome talisman’s return

STRIKE POWER: Roy O’Donovan returns for the Jets this weekend after completing a 10-match suspension. Picture: Jonathan CarrollROY O’Donovan is not bitter.Nor does he hold anygrudges.Any self-pity is long gone.

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The Jets striker does,however, hope in the future “I will be treated with the same fairness as everyone else”.

Mostly,he wants to move on.

O’Donovan returns from a 10-matchsuspension –the second largest in A-League history –against the Central Coastin Gosford onSunday.

There have been moments, albeit fleeting, when the Irishman has regretted the high-foot challenge that connected with the cheek of Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas in the dying moments of the Jets’controversial 1-0 grand final defeat last season.

“In hindsight, maybe, I wish Ihadn’t gone for that ball,” O’Donovan told The Herald. “But that is probably not me to let a game fizzle out. Maybe, I have to be a bit more mindful now that there are consequences when I make a challenge and when somebody else makes a challenge.”

O’Donovanpleaded guilty in May to serious foul play, but insisted he was going for the ball when he collected Lawrence.

In handing down the initial finding, EthicsandDisciplinary Committee chairman JohnMarshallSC saidO’Donovan’s “flying kick”was ‘the most dangerous play which has ever come before the committee”.

The Jets appealed unsuccessfully against the severity of the sentence. Furious,O’Donovanslammed the judicial processand labelled the way in which he had been depicted “hystericaland ridiculous”.

Cloud nine: Roy to the rescue as Jets welcome talisman’s return TweetFacebook Roy O’Donovan high foot challenge Pictures: Jonathan Carroll+5Pictures: Jonathan CarrollMORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsSince then hehas been counting the weeks–the minutes–untilhis return.

“It has obviously been a difficult one to take,” he said. “As poor as the outcome was, I never meant to do that. Icouldn’t dream it up. It has gotten to the stage now where I am just looking forward to getting back on the pitch. And it’s not far away.

“It is important for me not to have any bitterness and hold any grudges. All I want to do isplayfootball, scoregoals and wingames. That has always been my drive in life since I was a young kid. That hasn’t changed.

“The lads here will tell you, I’m a good person, a good teammate and a good person to be around.The perception outside of this perimeter is maybe something different. I can’t change other people’s minds. I can only play my game and be who I am. I will continue doing that.”

Bayern Munich and Germany striker Thomas Muller was given a straight red card for a similar high-foot challenge onAjax starNicolas Tagliafico near halfwayin the European Champions League clashlast week.

Muller’sdisciplinary hearing is on January 10. Reports suggest he will receive a two-match suspension.

“I get messages from people all over the place saying I just saw a tackle, if that was you in , what would you have got?,” O’Donovan said.

UHHHHHHHHH!!! Hoy en día se quejan y simulan por cualquier foul los futbolistas. 🤣😅 TREMENDO PLANCHAZO @esmuellert_ 😱🤯 #UCL. pic.twitter成都桑拿论坛/9gbGc6QepE

— 100% FICHAJES DE FÚTBOL💰 (@FichajeGoleador) December 12, 2018

A misfiringJets outfit are certainly in need ofO’Donovan’s energy and strike power.

The 33-year-old scored nine goals in 15 appearances in his first season in Newcastle, which was interrupted by a serious groin injury.

“I have trained hard,” he said.“I thought the best thing for me to do was to stay task-orientated.There has been a little bit of feeling sorry for myself. Any sportsperson will tell you, you pick yourself up quick. Once the season started, Ihave got myself in the mindset that I have a set number of games, get myself fit andget my groin right from last year.

“Iam a very motivated person. I have a lot of drive. That is why Itry and keep up the young lads in that regard. That is what keeps you young, trying to compete. The club has been helping me get that extra bit of sharpness, extra bit of fitness so I am ready. I am feeling good.”

The fact O’Donovan’s return is against his former club, whom he scored five goals in two games against last season,has added to the theatre.

“It’s great for the media, a great story, a great script,” O’Donovan said.“If it was against the Lambton Jaffas over in a dog park, it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I just want to be out there playing football. I want to move on. I’m sick of hearing about it, talking about it and having to live through it.

“The beauty of me coming back now is that I’m an experienced player and my game is built around instinct and scoring goals. You don’t lose that over the space of 10 weeks. I’ll be fine.At the end of the day, I’m all about playing football. I’m not here to pump myself up, I’m here to be a good player and a good teammate. My job is to score goals and hopefully that starts soon.”

Hewson’s view: It’s dangerous to ‘spin’ the economy

Surprise surplus: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann hand down the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook for 2018-19 at Parliament House in Canberra this week. Picture: Mick TsikasOne of the most significant failings of the Howard government was the way itsquandered the significant budgetary benefits, the revenue windfall, of the resources boom.

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Rather than sock away some of the unexpected boost to government revenues that resulted from that boomin say a “Sovereign Wealth Fund”, to be drawn on in more difficult times, they spent it on tax cuts and wasteful spending such as the Baby Bonus. You might recall Treasurer Costello’s ill-conceived chant encouraging babies – One for Mum, One for Dad, and One for the Country.

Much of the subsequent blow-out in the budget deficit, post the boom, reflected the full year costs of these tax and spending initiatives, compounded somewhat by some subsequent initiatives of the Rudd/Gillard governments, leading Abbott to claim in 2013 that we faced a “budget emergency”.

As George Bernard Shaw observed, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history”.Or, as Churchill remarked, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

This is certainly the case when it comes to the presentMorrison government, as evidenced by their response this week to MYEFO – the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

MYEFO reported an unexpected surge in budget revenues, due to an unexpected increase in corporate and personal income tax receipts on the back of continued growth, strong corporate profits, and reduced unemployment, allowing Treasurer Frydenberg to announce a reduced budget deficit for 2018-19, and an increased budget surplus for 2019-2020.

Virtually as soon as the revenue windfall was announced the air filled with expectations/commitments of further tax cuts and new spending programs. It was quite clear that the Morrison government saw this as a significant “war chest” that they planned to use in an attempt to “buy” their way back into government – a very significant challenge if recent polls are correct suggesting that they could lose some 18-21 seats.

Unfortunately, there are strong reasons to believe that the recent revenue boost is unsustainable. The boost in company tax receipts is mostly due to fact that commodity prices have been stronger than conservatively predicted at the time of the last budget, such that the company tax system has been operating pretty much as a resource rent tax. With global, and particularly Chinese, growth now slowing, it is unlikely that this boost to company tax revenues will be sustained for long.

Similarly, our employment growth is slowing, and the economic forecasts underwriting the future revenue and surplus predictions are still quite optimistic, especially on growth and wages growth.

Beyond this, both sides of politics have made very significant spending commitments that run well into the 2020s, in education and health, defence, the NDIS, and infrastructure, all of which will need to be funded as the decade unfolds.

Our economic prospects are also exposed to the possibility of another global financial crisis, with key stock markets overvalued by most objective measures, important property market tensions, and several sizeable “anomalies” in the structure of bond and currency markets.

There are also real concerns about the likely impacts of the Trump/China “trade war”, about the US Fed’s interest rate intentions, about the likely economic consequences of BREXIT, and of a host of geo-political tensions that could unfold to further compound the economic prospects. These are all very significant risks, with significant possible consequences for our budgetary capabilities.

In these terms, the government’s attempt to “spin” the MYEFO data, to create a perception that it is all due to “good” economic management, rather than mostly luck, to confirm their reputation as “better economic managers”, may prove to be a high risk strategy in the run up to a May election.

Moreover, at a time where voters have generally lost faith in our politicians, in the two major parties, and in our political processes, the pressure is increasingly on them to be authentic, to offer a true and complete account of where we sit, of our challenges and opportunities, and to deliver sustainable policy outcomes.

Voters will not be impressed by more of the “old politics”, based on creating false hopes, and making undeliverable promises.

John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.

Ryan Callinan bows out after memorable day at Pipe Masters

Ryan Callinan bows out after memorable day at Pipe Masters GOING DEEP: Merewether’s Ryan Callinan finds the exit from a classic Pipeline ride on Monday at the iconic Hawaiian break. Picture: WSL/Cestari

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TweetFacebook Ryan Callinan at Pipeline WSL+3WSLMORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsUPDATE:Ryan Callinan bowed out in the round of 12 at the Pipe Masters in the first heat of finals day at the World Surf League finale on Tuesday (AEDT) in Hawaii.

In smaller Pipeline barrels than Monday, when Callinan posted the highest heat and wave scores of the day, the Merewether goofy-footer faced South African Jordy Smith and American Conner Coffin.

He sat last after narrowly failing to ride through several tighttubes andneeded a 5.4 inside the final six minutes when he found his mark.

Callinan kept his feet when clipped late coming out of a nice barrel to get 5.83 and go second to Coffin.

Smith, though, needed only a three and he finished the wave of the heat in the second-last minute to earn a 7.0 and go top, pushing Callinan to last.

Callinanhad priority in the last minute and needed only a3.6 but he ran out of time. Smith won with 11.5 from Coffin (9.43) and Callinan (7.93).

MONDAY: Ryan Callinan overcame nerves then the excitement of one of the best heats of his life on Monday (AEDT) to book his place on Pipe Masters finals day.

The Merewether goofy-footer, the trials winner, downed Avoca’s championship tour (CT) veteran Adrian Buchan in round two with the highest heat total – 16.84– and single wave score – 9.17 –of the World Surf League finale in barreling15-to-20 foot waves at Pipeline.

Callinan, who has already booked his return to the CT,posted the only nine-point rideof the daywhen standing tall inside a Pipeline monsterafter negotiating a steep takeoffwith just over six minutes left in the 40-minute man-on-man heat.

[email protected] gets a 9.17 and the highest wave score of the #BillabongPipeMasters thus far! 🔥.Watch live on https://t成都龙凤/Go1G6Cz5rM, https://t成都龙凤/ie0ZfNdmHw, or the free WSL app! #[email protected]@vanssurfpic.twitter成都桑拿论坛/pidaTqZfzW

— World Surf League (@wsl) December 16, 2018Congratulations to @ryancallinan on winning the Pipe Invitational! Both he and @benji_brand will advance into the #BillabongPipeMasters! 🔥..Tune in tomorrow at 7:30 am HST for the call to potentially start Round 1!..#[email protected]@vanssurfpic.twitter成都桑拿论坛/G48QCxtwR6

— World Surf League (@wsl) December 13, 2018

Callinan, a finalist as a wildcard at the France Pro,can potentially also qualify through the CT with a big result at Pipeline, which could open the door for ’s Ethan Ewing to gain a spot through the qualifying series.

Callinan’s friend and countryman Julian Wilson, who now calls Newcastle a second home,is chasing the world title against BrazilianGabriel Medina.

Down the fairway: Juniors at heart of it for Jack Newton as celebrity pro-am turns 40

DYNAMIC DUO: Jacki and Jack Newton have raised more than $6.3million with their annual celebrity pro-am tournament which turns 40 this year. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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JACK Newton would ratherwatch a juniorgolf tournament than the n Open nowadays.

Four of the game’s brightest prospects will be front and centre when the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic tees off at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley on Tuesday.

Harrison Crowe, Jye Pickin, Kim Grace and Belinda Gi are flag bearers for the Jack Newton Junior Golf foundation, which was founded in 1986 and has produced a conveyer belt of stars.

“TheJackNewtonJunior Golf Foundation is all about boysandgirls . . . it’s a great thrill to have them at the tournament,” said Newton, who won the n Open in 1979 and covered it as a commentator for more than25 years. “We probably have the strongest group of junior golfers in the country based largely around the financial results we have had from the celebrity classic.That has allowed us to develop our program in advancement fromthe other states.To be honest, I would rather watch a kids golf tournament than go and watch the n Open.”

“The Jack” as it is known turns 40 this year. The 36-hole tournament – the longest running celebrity pro-am in – has raised more the $6.3 million for junior golf and diabetes –causes close to Newton’s heart.

“When we started it at Noosa in 1979, I didn’t think it would last this long,” Newton said. “It’s got bigger and bigger and from that perspective, we are all pretty proud.Initially, we had a couple of pretty good celebrities at the tournament and it grew from there with people I knew.The message got passed on that it was a good couple of days.”

Golf: Juniors at heart of it for Jack as celebrity pro-am turns 40 TweetFacebook Jack Newton Celebrity Classic Pictures: Fairfax photographic library+7Pictures: Fairfax photographic libraryMORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappAs well as the leading professional golfers, most of whom have come through JNJG, the event attractssome of the country’biggest sporting namesas well as stars of the stage and screen.

Dawn Fraser, Wally Lewis, Rod Marsh, Craig Johnston, Dermott Brereton and Wendall Sailor headline the list of sportingroyalty this year.

“It’s great for the young golfers,” Newton said. “In some cases, they get an experience and they meet people they thought they would never meet. Blokes like Wally Lewiswho hasan incredible history. It’s great for those kids to learn it’s not just about golf, it’s about people.”

Comedians Jimeoin and Adam Spencer, actor Peter Phelps and musicians Wilbur Wilde andKram are among the entertainers.

Funandfrivolity has always been at the forefront of The Jack, features a gala dinner on Tuesday night.

“Everyone who has been there knows it is a fun time, bit of golf included, and terrific entertainment,” Newton said. “There is a school teacher who comes from way outin the boondocks in the bush and never misses. He is there every year. They get here and mix with everyone.That is one of the things that has made it successful. I have always pointed out when I usually speak on the Monday at the welcome barbeque, we won’t stand for any dickheads. We expect people to enjoy themselves but they can’t act the goose.”

Some of the stories, on and off the course, have become stuff of legends.

Tournament patron, former Prime Minister Bob Hawkeperformsa stirring rendition of Waltzing Matilda each year. Unfortunately Hawke won’t be in Cessnock this year.

“Ispoke to Bob about a week ago and he was not feeling the best,” Newton said.

“Early on, a lot of the entertainers would hang back a day andthey would put on a bit of a bash among themselves. They were some of the best nights we had.There are many stories like that.”

On the course, Ian Baker-Finch, Rodger Davis, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Wayne Riley, Peter O’Malley, Bob Shearerand Peter Senior have all shared the fairways with celebrities and amateurs of varying backgrounds and ability.

“I played with Peter Lonard one year and at the last hole he had a 10-foot putt to shoot 59,” Newton said. “It hit the biggest part of the hole and spun out.It was some of the best golf you will ever see. “

This year’s field includes former US PGA tour-winner Nathan Green, European tour-winnerAndrew Dodt,Dimi Papadatos, James Nitties and O’Malley.

Newton hopes to raise $150,000 this year aswell as awareness, especially around diabetes, which Newton has.

“Last year a young girl with type-one diabetes, who has to inject herself five times aday, got up on stage and went through her daily routine and it stunned the 350 people in the room,” Newton said. “It was goodfor the general public to hear those kind of stories.”

Like most things for the Newtons, the tournament is a family affair. Jack’s wife Jacki, along with tournament co-ordinator Judy Brady, does much of the leg work. Jack’s son Clint and daughter Kristie are also involved

“There is always a fair bit of work that goes into it,” Newton said. “I don’t do too much of it. It is basically the girls.Luckily we have support from a number high profile corporations.”

Not surprisingly, Newton expects two of the rising stars to perform this week.

“Harrison Crowe shot 10 under at Bonville (JNJG Champions Trophy). That is damngood playing,” he said. “I think he would have some chance. In the women,Belinda Gi will be hard to beat.”

Labor pledges better indigenous work plan

A Labor government will replace the Community Development Program and , Bill Shorten(R) says.Labor has promised to abolish a controversial work-for-the-dole scheme meant to help indigenous people in remote if it wins the next federal election.

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A Shorten government would scrap the Community Development Program and replace it, as part of the ALP’s new Reconciliation Action Plan unveiled at its national conference in Adelaide on Monday.

Labor’s assistant indigenous affairs spokesman Pat Dodson said the new scheme would create jobs, meet community needs, deliver meaningful training and economic development.

“The Community Development Program put in place by the current government in remote communities is discriminatory, punitive and ineffective,” Senator Dodson told delegates.

“The current government is not committed to ensuring that First Nations ns get fair treatment, equal wages, and job security.”

More than 80 per cent of participants in the CDP are indigenous, with the scheme dogged by concerns its participants are hit with repeated financial penalties and forced to work much longer hours than city-based job seekers.

Senator Dodson said Labor was committed to establishing a voice to parliament designed by indigenous people and enshrined in the constitution.

He said the reconciliation plan set out a significant challenge for the party to become the party of choice for indigenous people.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said he wanted to see more indigenous people in parliament and enrol to vote to make their issues a national priority.

“We want to deliver and make Labor a party of choice for the first ns, but we need to earn that right,” Mr Shorten said.

Linda Burney, who Mr Shorten confirmed would be a cabinet minister if Labor wins government, said the reconciliation plan would develop practical ideas for change.

“These goals have eluded us as a nation for more than two centuries. It is time for that to change – and Labor wants to lead this change,” she said.

ACTU president Michele O’Neil said the CDP had discriminated against people based on their skin colour and where they chose to live.

“This scheme is an appalling example of state-sanctioned racial discrimination and worker exploitation and will be a better place without it,” Ms O’Neil said.

Chinese government hits back at spying claims in China

Beijing: The Chinese government has hit back at a Fairfax/Four Corners investigation into its influence in .
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A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said the claims of spying and the Chinese government threatening students at n universities were “totally pointless” and refuted by China.

She urged n media to “make objective reporting” instead of “creating obstacles” to co-operation between the two countries.

Earlier, China’s nationalist newspaper, The Global Times, prominently reported the allegations by the Fairfax/Four Corners investigation.

The Global Times Chinese-language version, with a circulation of more than 2 million, detailed on page three the main claims of the joint investigation, and said Fairfax/Four Corners had alleged China’s attempts to increase its influence directly threatened ‘s sovereignty.

The Global Times linked the story to the weekend’s “negative comments on China” by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Shangri-La security forum in Singapore.

It labelled the Fairfax/Four Corners investigation the “heaviest bomb” in attempts to spread “China threat theories”.

Zhongshan University academic Yu Lei told the paper: “The fundamental cause is the US.”

Yu Lei told the Global Times the biggest shareholders in ‘s media are Americans, and the n military has close ties to America. In fact, the ABC is government-owned, and Fairfax Media is listed on the n Stock Exchange.

The Global Times report repeated comments made recently by former n Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson that was suffering from unprecedented levels of spying and that China had set up eyes in the Chinese community and effectively controlled Chinese-n media.

It also reported that Fairfax/Four Corners had alleged China threatened activists and was trying to influence n politics.

But the paper said a Chinese student surnamed Liu had said it was “all voluntary behaviour” for Chinese students to get up at 5am to welcome a visiting Chinese leader because they were proud of China’s economy.

The Global Times questioned why would “defame” its biggest trading partner.

On its website, the newspaper also published an opinion piece by an n researcher living in China, Callum Smith, who argued the spy claims against Chinese living in will “lead to unnecessary social division and widespread nationalist sentiment in “.

Mr Smith, 23, a former ANU student, said the Fairfax/Four Corners reports looked like “an inexplicable attack”, and quoted former prime minister Tony Abbott’s description of ‘s relationship with China as being guided by “fear and greed”.

Mr Smith expressed concern that around 100,000 Chinese students in “may be excluded”.

“Even if you do not consider the direct impact on society and individuals, this vicious speech and conservatism in the education and immigration industry will seriously affect the long-term economic interests of ,” he wrote.

The warning Chinans would receive in a London-style attack

Escape. Hide. Act. See/Tell.
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That’s the advice n police would disseminate to the public in the event of an attack similar to the Borough Market car and knife rampage.

A tweet from London’s Met Police on Saturday underscored the unprecedented sense of terror that has descended on the UK following three attacks in three months.

A far cry from the resolute “keep calm and carry on” response to terrorism nearly a decade ago, the message told Londoners to “RUN, HIDE, TELL”.

“RUN – to a place of safety. This is a better option than to surrender or negotiate. IF there’s nowhere to go, then … HIDE – Turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. TELL – the police by calling 999 when it is safe to do so.”

Similar advice has been formulated by n authorities to respond to armed offender situations.

A NSW Police spokesman said a condensed version would be disseminated in an unfolding incident similar to London. The advise says: Escape. Your priority action should be to remove yourself and any others in your area from close proximity to the offender, or areas that they have or may be able to access. Hide. If you don’t believe you can safely evacuate, or this may not be the best option, then you may need to consider sheltering in place.Act. Constantly re-assess the situation and your options based on the best available information.See/Tell: The more information you can pass on to police the better, but NEVER risk your own safety or that of others to gain it.

Victoria Police said they would assess the risk and give appropriate messages to the public depending on the incident.

The advice is usually “police are responding to an incident at this location, avoid the area, take shelter,” however, in the event of a terrorist attack, specific messaging will be crafted and may take into account the escape, hide, act and see/tell guidelines.

Several universities and places of mass gathering have also adopted their own guidelines for active shooter incidents.

The University of Sydney has adopted “run, hide, fight” while Macquarie University advises students to protect your own life, protect the life of your fellow student of staff member, alert others to danger, identify the safest escape route then call for help.

Victorian universities use “escape, see, tell, act” guidelines, where students and staff are urged to take cover from gunfire, take down information for police like the offender’s location and find places to hide if escape isn’t an option with mobile phones on silent.

As a last resort, people are also told to arm themselves with improvised weapons to defend themselves if they are found by the offenders.

London attack: Fears for Brisbane woman

There are fears for a young Brisbane woman who became separated from her friends on London Bridge during the weekend terror attack.
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Family and friends have made a social media plea to help find Sara Zelenak, 21, who has not answered her phone since the attack, despite calls and texts from worried friends and family.

Ms Zelenak became separated from her friends on the bridge when a van hit a number of pedestrians just after 10pm on Saturday (London time).

It is believed she may have dropped her phone while running from the scene of the attack.

Fairfax Media understands Ms Zelenak’s friends in London are working with authorities to try to find her.

The attackers fled on foot to Borough Market, where they began stabbing people. Four ns are “directly affected”, including Candice Hedge who was stabbed in the neck.

Ms Zelenak works as a nanny in London, and is known to call her mother in Brisbane every day.

A Facebook post written by a family friend titled “Missing from London Terror Attack” has been shared more than 500 times.

“Dear friends please can I ask you to share this post. My friend’s daughter, Sara Zelenak, was last seen on London Bridge and was witness to the terror attacks,” the post reads

“She got separated from her friends and has not been seen since. Her phone has rang with no reply and now the battery must have gone.

“She is n aged 21 with long blonde hair. She calls her mum daily. It’s been over 24 hours with no news from the consulate. We were hoping the 3rd n reported would be her, but it’s not.

“She is based in London. Please share with as many people as possible especially if you have friends down south. Thank you for your help.”

This Facebook post has since been removed.

In another post, on Monday evening, a friend said Ms Zelenak had not been heard from in more than 24 hours.

“This is my beautiful n friend Sara,” the post reads.

“She went missing after witnessing the attack on Saturday night, last seen on London Bridge. She got separated from her friend and we believe she dropped her phone in the chaos and now it is flat.

“The authorities have already been notified. If anyone has seen her or knows of her whereabouts please let me know. I know she did have quite a few Aussie friends in London so maybe you guys know something more.

“We all want to make sure she is safe and need to get her home to her family.”

Another of Ms Zeleank’s friends, Sam Hetherington, also posted a plea on social media on Monday evening.

“PLEASE SHARE!!

“My best mate Sara Zelenak hasn’t been in contact with her friends or family since terrorist attacks in London!

“If you or anyone is in London and sees this lovely face or knows any information on her whereabouts please message Julie Wallace or even myself to pass onto Julie so we know she is safe!”

Friends of Ms Zelenak’s family have created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the family to fly to London.

Seven innocent people were killed and 48 people hospitalised following the two terror attacks. The three attackers were shot dead by police.

Another family friend shared the post and wrote: “This is my friend’s daughter, I am good mates with Mark (her husband). Told Mark today you guys live in London and that you would help in any way you could (be it probably there isn’t a lot you can do).”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed on Monday that four ns were caught up in the attack. Two have been identified – Candice Hedge from Brisbane, and Darwin man Andrew Morrison. Both were hospitalised after the attack.

The remaining two ns are yet to be identified, however it is understood one of them is seriously injured and the other person unaccounted for.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was unable to comment on Ms Zelenak’s disappearance.

It is understood DFAT is providing consular assistance to all n families it has been made aware of who have been affected by the attacks.

Public servants urged to vote no to sickie rorts

Public servants at a large Canberra department are being urged to vote for a new workplace deal allowing their bosses to crack down on sickie rorts.
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The Agriculture Department will make n Public Service history this month as it embarks on an unprecedented fifth attempt to convince its employees to accept a new deal on pay and workplace conditions.

Agriculture’s 4100 public servants do not appear to be looking kindly upon the proposed deal and their main workplace union says the objections have little to do with sickies.

Top of the bosses’ agenda in the new proposal is their long-held desire to be able to force employees to provide medical evidence when they call-in sick.

Agriculture’s record on “unscheduled absence” is bad and getting worse.

The average departmental employee clocked up nearly 15 days, or three working weeks, in no-shows in the 2015-2016 financial year, even more than the previous year and way above the public service average, with four-fifths of the days-off put down to illness.

“Supporting evidence” is rarely required from Agriculture Department public servants taking sick leave.

It takes an intervention from departmental secretary Daryl Quinlivan to force the production of a sick note and even then the request for a medial certificate must be put in writing with reasons why documentation is required.

Mr Quinlivan made his feelings clear in early 2016, during a previous attempts to get a proposed enterprise agreement over the line, telling his workers he wanted to stop the “misuse” of personal leave.

There has been no direct appeal from the secretary this time, but the material distributed to staff encouraging a yes-vote goes straight to the point, stating that a medical certificate or other evidence would be required after eight no-shows in a year or three consecutive days.

The department’s pitch says the proposed agreement is “drafted jointly with [Community and Public Sector Union, [is] easier for you to read, includes conditions and entitlements and confirms consultation and representational rights.”

The proposed EA also offers a front-loaded 6 per cent pay rise, with all of it to be paid in the first 18 months of the three year deal.

But the CPSU is still urging its members to reject the deal “because despite the offer having improved since the fourth no-vote, the offer is still not as good as your current agreement and reduces your conditions and rights.”

The union cites the loss of a public holiday at Christmas-time, the removal of consultation rights on rostering and the end to a commitment to permanent jobs as the “usual basis” for working at the department among many other reasons to vote-no.

“It’s disappointing that in the recent round of staff meetings, when [departmental] management were seeking feedback, that they have failed to make a single improvement to their draft EA offer despite clear and consistent feedback from staff and the CPSU on the above issues,” the union recently told its members.

The ballot commences on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 and closes on Friday, 16 June 2017.

NRLKnights winger Nathan Ross ready for clash with Manly’s Akuila Uate

HANDFUL: Former Knights winger Akuila Uate has resurrected his career since joining Manly at the end of last season. Picture: Getty ImagesNATHAN Ross is tippingmutual respect –not rivalry –will bring out the best in both parties when he and former teammateAkuila Uate clash head-on at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.
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Uate played in 161 games for Newcastle, including 12 in the same team as Ross, scoring a club-record 110 tries before transferring to Manly at the end of last season.

If the Fijian flyer appeared a spent force when he left the Knights, he has revived his career in emphatic fashion at Brookvale, scoring seven tries in 11 games, including four in the round-nine thrashing of South Sydney.

Ross, meanwhile, has been just as impressive for Newcastle. He is their leading tryscorer, with seven in 10 games, and made his representative debut for City Origin last month.

Statistics suggest their individual showdown should be evenly matched.

Ross is averaging 149.4 metres per game in attack and has made six line breaks, 10 errors and missed six tackles.

Uate averages 112.6 metres and has made nine line breaks, eight errors and missed 11 tackles.

“I’m marking up against Aku, and I’ve done a lot of training against him in previous years …I’ve got a lot of respect for Aku and a lot of time for Aku,’’ Ross said.

“When I was coming through the ranks, he was very helpful with me, so I actually can’t wait to get out there and show him that it’s respectful competition.

“I’m going to do my best to get it over him, and show why I’m the No.5 here.’’

Ross said he doubted if there would be any wordsexchanged between the pair on the field.

NATHAN ROSS

“Not at all,’’ he said. “You won’t meet a more kind, humble person than Aku is.

“He’s a man of God, and very respectful of his peers and his family. There won’t be any banter. We’ll just let our football do the talking.’’

Uate holds aseven-kilogram weight advantageand Ross admitted he would be hard to stop if he was given room to wind up.

“He’s pretty hard to tackle,’’ he said. “He’s got that low centre of balance. I just have to fly in as hard as I can …and when I’ve got the ball cause him some dramas.’’

Asked who was quicker, Ross replied: “Over what distance? We’ll find out.’’

Ross was the only Newcastle player to carry the ball 100 metres or more in last week’s 40-12 loss to Melbourne but was disappointed after conceding two tries to the man he was marking, Suliasi Vunivalu.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with my performance, so I’ve got a lot of improvement this week,’’ Ross said.

Newcastle forward Sam Stone was unable to train on Monday because of illness.