Mobsters Inc.

Big hitters: Paul McCarthy and Amanda Bishop. Photo: ABC TVFrom its opening frames, it is clear there is something very, very different about Ray Donovan (Showcase, Tuesday, 8.30pm). The writing is meticulous, but so is the writing on so many shows. As viewers, eating freely from a buffet that includes Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Dexter, brilliant writing is almost passe. It shouldn’t be, but in the midst of such an embarrassment of riches, it’s easy to be … meh.
Shanghai night field

Liev Schreiber – it’s pronounced Lee-ev, in case you were wondering – is Ray Donovan, a ”fixer” for the rich and famous in Los Angeles. And for a moment it looks like Ray Donovan – the show, not the man – might be another one of those almost intriguing but ultimately shallow wrapped-up-in-itself LA stories. Entourage, anyone?

But then we meet Ray Donovan – the man, not the show – and things start to get interesting. This is one deeply, deeply flawed guy. So flawed he makes Don Draper look like St Peter. His siblings, Terry (Eddie Marsan) and Bunchy (Dash Mihok), seem so impossibly damaged, each in their own way, that they wrap elder brother Ray in ever more intriguing layers of complexity.

And then, onto that, writer Ann Biderman drops Jon Voight as Mickey, Ray’s dad, whose return to the family has all the cold discomfort of a Mafia don’s final kiss. This is a family who will be forever altered by the sins of the father, and the resulting rage of the son.

In that sense, we might be looking at the first show to properly inherit the mantle of The Sopranos, the crime drama that is perhaps HBO’s greatest contribution to the genre, Sex and the City and crimes against fashion notwithstanding. Ray Donovan isn’t a pure crime show, however, and The Sopranos has left mighty big concrete shoes to fill.

Seemingly worlds away – change of continent, change of accent, change of genre, change of tone – is the ABC’s new foray into political satire, Wednesday Night Fever (ABC1, Wednesday, 9.30pm). Sketch comedy is the bastard child of sitcom, so this sits less easily on the national mantle.

The first episode was given a hasty rewrite at the 11th hour because of the tectonic shift in the political landscape, so much of the action was driven by Paul McCarthy as Kevin Rudd and Amanda Bishop as Julia Gillard. Both deliver accomplished studies of their targets.

Some of the impersonations were a little less entire, notably Kim Kardashian and Ruby Rose, but both are ripe targets for satire. Taking potshots at Shane Warne is lazier, and depends on a mostly outdated suite of characteristics. The parody of Clive Palmer seemed like much more fun.

”Downton Abbott” might have been the debut episode’s finest moment, or even the sight of Dave Eastgate pushed into leather pants and a decidedly

heavy-metal motif, had it all not been followed by a Julia Gillard rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, the anthem from the musical Les Miserables, performed by Bishop. ”But the factions come at night,” she warbled, ”with the Murdoch press behind them.”

Sketch is a perfidious genre. It is often criticised for only getting it half right, an assessment that often ignores the fact that even the very best sketch comedies only get it half right. French & Saunders and The Fast Show were on the money only half the time.

Ditto Fast Forward and The Naked Vicar Show, Australia’s top shelf of older sketch shows. What is clear, though, is that Australia’s political establishment has turned itself into a national joke. And anyone brave enough to kick it deserves a round of applause.

Ruth Ritchie is on leave.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/06/2019

Survey a harbinger of ‘major downswing’

Capital expenditure by Australian businesses could fall further than during the financial crisis amid an end to the commodity ”super cycle”, and as global corporate investment struggles to recover, an international survey has found.
Shanghai night field

Business investment in Australia, dominated by the mining sector, could slip by 12 per cent this year and more than 20 per cent next year, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said in a report. Such falls would reverse the 20 per cent of growth during the past two years.

”The estimated decline in spending, if realised, would be the worst capex growth figures for Australia in the 10-year period we have data for, exceeding the downturn that followed the global financial crisis,” S&P credit analyst Terry Chan said.

At the same time, global capital expenditure, which has been dependent on the energy and materials industries, appeared to be stalling before it had even started to recover, and looked to be weak over the next few years.

”Despite a modest post-financial crisis recovery, real-terms capital expenditure growth slowed in 2012 and is expected to turn negative in 2013. Early indications for 2014 are even more pessimistic, suggesting a 5 per cent contraction,” Mr Chan said.

The survey of 2000 firms around the world, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, came as China, Australia’s largest trading partner, warned of slower growth as the central government implemented sweeping economic reforms.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said economic growth of 6.5 per cent would not be a ”big problem”, adding he was confident of 7 per cent growth this year. The economic powerhouse is set to report its second-quarter GDP data on Monday. The S&P survey of 91 Chinese companies also forecast business investment on the mainland to slide by 4 per cent this year and 6 per cent in 2014.

Mr Chan said a fall in investment by Chinese firms was reflected in the country’s weaker first-quarter GDP figures. The slower growth could hit Australian exports to the country.

Business conditions and confidence have remained soft in Australia, with NAB’s monthly survey for June falling to a four-year low as trading, profits and employment conditions weakened.

A drop in capital expenditure would hit Australian banks, which have continued to experience subdued personal and business lending over the past few years.

Business credit rose by 0.1 per cent in May and 0.2 per cent in April, figures released by the Reserve Bank in late June showed. Business credit grew by 0.9 per cent over the year to May.

S&P said the dominance of the energy and materials sectors in total global capital expenditure had created a ”fair degree of dependency”. Business investment growth lifted just 2 per cent last year and could potentially decline by 2 per cent this year.

”Downward pressure on corporate capex in Australia is a troubling harbinger in this regard, with the scale of projected decline in 2013 [and] 2014 suggesting mining and commodity companies are anticipating a major downswing.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/06/2019

Search on to fill the shoes of NBN chief executive Quigley

NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley is calling it quits. The time is now right for a change, he says. Photo: Tamara VoninskiMalcolm Maiden: Quigley jumped – with a push
Shanghai night field

The hunt is on for a new chief executive to manage the construction of Australia’s biggest yet infrastructure project, with Mike Quigley retiring as head of the NBN Co.

The search comes as relations between the company rolling out the national broadband network and the alternative government fell to new lows, with opposition spokesman Malcolm Turnbull questioning the suitability of NBN Co’s chairwoman, Siobhan McKenna, for the role, and describing the company’s behaviour as ”unprecedented”.

After four years running the company building the $37 billion national broadband network, Mr Quigley said on Friday it was the ”right time” for a change in leadership.

Despite delays in the rollout and reports he had been pushed, Mr Quigley said it was his decision.

”I’ve frankly been in the company certainly as long as I had expected to,” he said. ”The process of handing over to a new incoming person – this is the right time in the phasing of the project.”

Mr Quigley came out of retirement for the job in 2009. But he also signalled that his replacement may have a different set of skills than his. With the start-up phase of the project now complete, the focus is on connecting millions thousands of homes with fibre cables, limiting delays, and handling challenges such as the recent asbestos scares.

The next chief would need experience at ”a company that builds and runs stuff”, Mr Quigley said, arguing the rollout phase was comparable to running a large factory because it involved doing the same things thousands of times.

”While telco experience would probably be helpful, given all the technology that in this stuff, it’s probably not essential,” he said.

Whoever gets the job, they will inherit a project that is running late and facing ferocious political scrutiny.

Ovum analyst David Kennedy said the company was 18 months behind the original corporate plan. A priority for the new boss would be reviewing several troubled contracts.

”If you look at [the 2010 corporate plan] as a benchmark they are way behind where they should be,” Mr Kennedy said.

The NBN board is now responsible for finding a replacement for Mr Quigley. With an election due and the Coalition planning to overhaul the project if elected, NBN did not say when it expected to make the appointment.

There have been reports Ms McKenna, a director of Lachlan Murdoch’s Illyria, had put her own name forward as a potential successor to Mr Quigley.

But Mr Turnbull argued she would be the wrong choice, saying there were ”real questions” about her capacity to chair this business. Mr Turnbull also said Ms McKenna had hired a lobbying firm at NBN expense to lobby the Coalition about her ”talents and achievements”.

”It’s certainly unprecedented,” he said of the move to hire lobbyists. ”I’ve never seen a government business enterprise managed in this sort of way, ever.” NBN did not respond to this claim in time for publication.

Mr Quigley has come under intense public scrutiny in his role, including having to defend his former role at Alcatel-Lucent, a company that was embroiled in a corruption scandal while he was a senior executive. Mr Quigley was never implicated in the scandal.

A former NBN Co chairman and Commonwealth Bank director, Harrison Young, described Mr Quigley as a ”terrific guy”, but would not make further comment because he had left the company four months ago.

It had previously been projected that the NBN would cost $36 billion, but Mr Quigley denied there had been a cost blowout on his watch.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/06/2019

Don’t be fooled by the jargon

Management language is deliberately opaque to give the impression the consultant is an expert possessing privileged knowledge. Photo: Tanya LakeFew attempts to destroy the English language have been as successful as the utterances of management consultants. To the inexperienced, a comment like: “We are actualising our key deliverables across a broad range of core competency scenarios with respect to synergising the key cost driver alignment as it relates to the human capital matrix analysis going forward” would lead to a number of conclusions:
Shanghai night field

■The medication isn’t working very well

■Perhaps James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake isn’t that impenetrable after all

■I bet it would make more sense if you said it backwards.

But this is to miss the point. Management language is deliberately opaque to give the impression the consultant is an expert possessing privileged knowledge. If you cannot understand what they are saying, they must be clever and worth the exorbitant fee.

There is an implied invitation to join a business “tribe”. Management jargon is the linguistic equivalent of tribal paint, the use of which marks a manager’s entrance into a privileged elite. The verbal nonsense is also a way of being coy about making difficult decisions. When sacking staff, for example, it is so much easier to depersonalise employees by calling them “human capital” or “knowledge resources” than thinking, feeling humans. It is no accident management jargon is a lexicon of things and objects. These definitions will improve your knowledge-base empowerment in respect of the key- data benchmarking uploads.

Cost cutting. A way for managers to pretend that failure is success.

Dehiring. The consequence of management’s dehumanity.

Deliverable. A bit like an outcome, only cuter.

Downsizing. An activity perfectly suited to the small of mind and heart.

Hot desking. For reasons that remain mysterious, desks are much more productive when they are hot.

Human resources. As a resource, human beings are mostly water. Water isn’t worth much.

Process. A word that means all and nothing, but mostly nothing. Managers believe a process is ipso facto a good thing, because then you are going somewhere until the timeline indicates that the process has run its course at which point you will need another process, or at least a process to identify a new process, in order to go forward. Ideally you’ll finish up with a deliverable or two (see deliverable).

David James is a former management editor for Business Review Weekly and editor of Management Today. He is author of the The Business Devil’s Dictionary.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/06/2019

The quiet persuader

Country campaigner: Tanya Cameron, president of the NSW Country Women’s Association. Photo: Nick MoirMrs Tanya Cameron, president of the NSW Country Women’s Association, pines for the horizon when she comes to Sydney. ”I can’t see the sunrise, I can’t see the sunset,” she says, ”and I miss that a lot.”
Shanghai night field

Cameron lives in Rowena, a ”very small village” in the state’s north-west, with three streets and perhaps 20 residents. They have a pub (the Village Inn), a post office, and a primary school with about 20 pupils, most of them from nearby properties.

There’s no public transport. The Greyhound doesn’t stop there any more, and the railway is freight-only. The closest medical centre is an hour’s drive east at Collarenebri (pop 478). The nearest good-sized town is Narrabri, 133 kilometres to the west of Rowena.

There are only ”two or three” children in the preschool, and two classes in the primary school. All of Cameron’s three children boarded at Toowoomba in their high school years. Her eldest son left Rowena at the end of year 5 because ”he had no one his age in the last couple of years of school, not even a girl”, Cameron says. ”When he knew he was going to be on his own in year 6, he asked if he could go away a year early. We always knew they’d have to go away – you psyche yourself into it – but it was very sad when I was filling in the form, putting his age down, putting down what year he was going into. I cried for about two hours.”

Cameron is in Potts Point for a state executive meeting of the NSW CWA. She has been president only since May, although she’d previously served on the executive for six years. The NSW branch has almost 10,000 members, the largest group of whom, says Cameron, are ”the over-60s and over-70s”. There are younger members, but they tend not to be its ”face”.

She is wearing her committee badge, on which she’s styled ”Mrs Tanya Cameron”. While in committee, executive members address each other as Mrs, Miss or Ms.

Are there many who call themselves ”Ms”?

”No,” Cameron says. ”We have a couple, but they’re certainly not in the majority. But, in the past – in my time, in the last 20 years – I would’ve been ‘Mrs Jeff Cameron’, not Mrs Tanya Cameron.”

Cameron seeks to gently modernise her organisation.

”During all of my time in the CWA, I’ve battled against the pace at which things happen,” she says. ”We’ve had an old-fashioned way of doing things. It’s taken a little while to move into the computer age. Everything’s emailed now, but we still have members who’d be lucky to have a fax.”

For Cameron, the importance of the CWA is its voice to government and the platform it offers to lobby for country people. She says the conditions of country life limit the kind of people who can live in places like Rowena. If you’re disabled or can’t drive, you simply can’t get around. Sixty years ago, life was different: the last NSW CWA president from the Barwon River area travelled the entire state by train in the 1950s.

Public transport is one campaigning issue for the organisation and, although they rarely attend demonstrations, members turned out for the Protect Our Land and Water Rally in Martin Place last year, to protest against coal-seam gas mining. Mostly, however, they try not to shout about things.

”We’ve made lots of progress in the past few years in modernising the association’s processes,” she says, ”but not necessarily our image or how we approach things, because sometimes that’s where the respect for CWA comes from – our sensible approach.” They make their points by using personal stories to show how policies affect people ”where we come from”.

But it’s not always easier for quiet people to attract attention.

”We’re not very good at telling people what we’ve done, what we do and how we do it,” Cameron says. ”A lot of people tell us how well respected we are, but it’s not always easy to get in to see politicians. Female politicians sometimes are easier, or if they’ve met with us before and know we’re not going to come in and harangue or harass them. A lot of our members think we should be a bit more vocal and a bit more out there. Traditionally, it’s not how we’ve operated and, hopefully, it’s served us well.

”But,” she admits, ”by the same token, nobody knows about us.”

We eat at Maggie’s, which is both a fine CWA name and a German restaurant in Kings Cross. Cameron has been here before, as it’s just around the corner from the CWA Residential Club, where members pay an astonishing $45 a night for the cheapest room. If Cameron were to dine out in Rowena, she would choose breaded lamb chops at the Village Inn, since it’s the only venue within 60 kilometres.

”It’s got a good atmosphere,” she says. ”We had a fund-raising event where people took in either their wool brands or their stock brands. We had a fire, and the walls are lined with timber, so those brands are now marked in the wall around the pub.”

The Cameron wool brand is two Cs – one large and one small – for Tanya’s husband’s grandfather, Colin Cameron, who bought their farm in 1925.

The walls at Maggie’s are decorated with Alpine tableaus, and a mounted stag’s head lends the room a hunting-lodge ambience which is belied by a rather incongruous counter-top Buddha. Nearly everything on the menu comes with spatzle or rosti, apart from the cabbage rolls ”like Mutti used to make”.

Cameron would like to order an entree as a main, but somehow ends up choosing the pork medallions with ham, cheese, pepper sauce, rosti and vegetables. I ask for the chicken schnitzel with gypsy sauce.

Cameron tells me she was born in Inverell and grew up around Moree.

”I remember the clear mornings – especially the spring mornings,” she says. ”And going to school at a little school in the middle of nowhere. The only thing there was the school building. There were properties around it, but you couldn’t see any houses.

”Because we lived out of town, we didn’t go to sport,” she says.

”It wasn’t an easy thing to go down the street and see friends, or go to a movie.”

She went to boarding school in Armidale, which she loved. ”I loved playing hockey. I loved everything. Even the food wasn’t that bad. I realised I’d been missing something perhaps without realising it – as in, having so many people around that you can choose friends.”

She left school to work as a motel receptionist, then took a job in Westpac in Narrabri, where she was working when she got together with her husband (whom she first met at a ”cordial party”, a bush dance in a woolshed). She moved onto his family property, where they run 200 to 300 head of cattle.

”Before the drought, we probably had 400 breeders. We’ve started building our numbers up but we don’t want to get too many. Conditions aren’t great. Things are drying up again.”

When my schnitzel arrives, it is at least as large as my face. And it’s shaped oddly like a map of Greater Germany, although I suspect this is coincidence rather than political design.

Cameron frets the servings are very large, ”particularly for a midday meal”.

She tells me her three children, aged from 22 and 27, have all moved back to Rowena and live together in their grandparents’ former home, 100 metres across the paddock from their parents. Cameron doesn’t do their washing, but she has them around for dinner every night when she’s at home.

”The stove in their kitchen is a bit dodgy,” she says, a little weakly – but she admits she likes to have the family together at the end of the day.

She does use the CWA’s famous recipe books but ”not all the time”.

”I’ve bought them for all of my children,” she says, ”and maybe they’ll cook out of them too.”

Once they get a stove.

The CWA continues to run its famous baking competitions, at local, state and national level. These are hard fought and tightly regulated. The Queensland CWA has introduced a ”packet-cake” category in its cookery competition, which has proved highly controversial. Even though it’s a Queensland state issue, the matter was raised at the NSW conference. While some members hold any cake to be a challenge, hard-line bake-from-scratch cooks are sceptical. For the record, Cameron believes there’s ”still a little bit of skill involved”.

We’ve been eating for about 15 minutes and Cameron has barely made an incursion into her food, while I, like the Red Army, have chopped my way from East Prussia to Upper Silesia.

”You’re doing very well,” she says.

That’s because I’m always hungry.

”I used to be,” she says. ”I actually had surgery to reduce the size of my stomach. So now I don’t eat very big servings at all.”

She had her stomach shrunk in 2010, and shed 30 kilograms. Previously, she was overweight, her cholesterol was rising, her knees were hurting and she had thyroid problems. Now she is fine, but she says she has always had issues with weight.

”Some of it’s just eating when you’re bored,” she says. ”Also, my dad was old school – ‘women don’t work on the farm’ – so we very rarely went out with him actually doing anything, whereas our kids have all grown up to drive tractors and muster stock, and my daughter’s as capable as the boys.”

The surgery itself wasn’t painful. She had ”a good cocktail of drugs and five days in hospital”, but it was a challenge to get used to eating again. She had to start on protein shakes, water and some juice, move on to thick soups, then salads and finally solid, cooked food. She has to be careful not to overeat. ”A mouthful of food can make the difference between being full and being really uncomfortable,” she says.

She looks down at her plate. ”I certainly wouldn’t eat all of this,” she says. ”In some respects, it’s a waste of money when you go out.”

In the end, although she says the food is ”beautiful”, she’s defeated by the serving size. At the counter, she urges me not tell the newspaper she couldn’t finish her lunch.

After all, nobody should order more food than they can eat. It’s not the CWA’s way.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/06/2019

The hunter, the hunted and unfinished business

For Detective Superintendent Michael Willing (pictured), the hunt for Malcolm Naden was personal. Photo: Steven Siewert Safely behind bars: Malcolm Naden. Photo: NSW Police Force
Shanghai night field

They are about the same age.

They grew up in the same town, went to the same school, mixed with the same people. They even have the same middle name.

But somewhere in the hot dust of Dubbo, Malcolm Naden and Michael Willing’s lives diverged.

One grew up to be the nation’s most wanted man – a murderer, a psychopath. The other grew up to be the boss of the Homicide Squad, who would help put the other behind bars for life.

For Detective Superintendent Willing, the Naden case wasn’t just about catching a killer. It was personal.

”I think the Naden story, it started in Dubbo and it finishes in Dubbo,” he says. ”That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. The sentence was here, in Sydney, but the family’s gone back there and there’s unfinished business for us.”

He’s referring to the part of this epic tale that still cuts a family, and indeed a town, to its core. Finding the remains of Naden’s first victim – Lateesha Nolan.

”My family house is less than one kilometre from 215 Bunglegumbie Road,” he said, the home from where Nolan disappeared and where, until recently, her children still steadfastly believed she would eventually return.

”As a kid, I rode my pushbike around there. That whole area, it’s where I grew up.”

Most people have heard of Malcolm John Naden by now, the bushland fugitive who evaded authorities for seven years in the wake of two merciless and terrifying killings. He lived rough, breaking into remote farmhouses to steal food and supplies, evading capture by disappearing into some of the state’s most rugged terrain.

But in January 2005 he was nobody. Then the Dubbo crime manager, Willing remembers a phone briefing on January 4, 2005, about the case of a devoted mother who had simply vanished. They quickly categorised it as a homicide, a view strengthened when her car was found abandoned.

Local detectives worked hard to piece together Nolan’s life, and why she would just ”disappear off the face of the earth”.

Police feared she had fallen foul of the nearby Gordon Estate, a public housing area of some 4000 largely Aboriginal inhabitants some of whom were responsible for extreme crime and social dysfunction across the town.

”For six months, no one told us about Malcolm Naden,” Willing says.

Then six months later, there was another call from a crime scene, to the boss.

”Mate, you better get down here. It’s the same spot where Lateesha was last seen,” said the concerned voice on the other end.

Kristy Scholes’ body was found in a bedroom of Jack and Florence Nolan’s home on Bunglegumbie Road. The family matriarch and patriarch were away in Sydney.

”The door had been locked on the inside, the window was open. A big pillow, with an Aztec print, was over her body,” Willing recalls.

”It was only [then] that someone said, ‘Oh that’s Malcolm’s room.’ The stories started to come out about this recluse. He’d been living there for some time and withdrawn into his shell, he wouldn’t come out of his room. Florence [Malcolm’s grandmother] would put food outside his room, he’d eat it, and he’d disappear out the window.”

So police had the disappearance of one mother, the strangulation murder of another, both connected through a ramshackle family – and an abattoir worker, who was missing from the crime scene.

Detectives and crime scene officers searched the home for three days and an even more disturbing picture began to emerge.

”Malcolm had been accused of an indecent assault some months earlier and had really withdrawn into his shell,” Willing says. ”Jack and Florence had steadfastly refused to believe it was true, and it really divided the family. In the roof we found peep holes, where quite clearly now Malcolm had been looking at the girls – Lateesha, Kristy and two other girls.”

Police had their prime suspect – but as police stepped up their efforts to find this black belt in martial arts who enjoyed fishing, he was mastering the art of disappearance.

They would later learn he hadn’t gone far by that stage, ”sleeping at the showground and the golf course” and ”ultimately ending up at the zoo.”

The town’s biggest tourist attraction is the Western Plains Zoo, and the sprawling grounds gave great cover for a man who didn’t want to be found. Before long, however, people began to report strange noises and things going missing in and around the five-star safari lodge.

One day, a cleaner came face-to-face with a man matching Naden’s description in a laundry. A week later security guards confronted a male in the bushes.

It was the first real ”proof of life”.

Food was disappearing, and there was a lingering smell of toast – now, Willing knows ”that’s a real Malcolm trait, even out in the bush”.

By Christmas 2005, it was time – the region commander Stuart Smith made the decision it was ”too risky” to leave him out there, so they decided to ”storm the joint”.

Unfortunately, Naden had foreseen it. ”He has since told us he was outside the confines of the zoo, he’d built a hole in the ground, lay in it, and then just disappeared. He’d gone,” Willing said.

Deflated, police had to go back to the drawing board. National media interest had publicised their searches, but now they were left fielding phone calls from far and wide as people supposedly spotted Naden.

Willing left Dubbo the following year, but he was never far from the investigation, either through friends in Dubbo or, later, during his work as staff officer to former Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens.

The families of Nolan and Scholes kept in touch too, and they spoke regularly of their fears that Naden would come back to find them.

Then in 2008, about 18 months after the zoo fiasco, Naden’s fingerprint was found at a break and enter site in Barrington Tops – about 350 kilometres east of Dubbo.

Once more, it was proof the fugitive was alive – and for the next three years, police from the western and northern regions tirelessly pursued leads and laid traps.

In late 2011, a bugged sleeping bag gave police their best chance of catching him.

Within a week, they had found his campsite – but Naden shot at police, seriously injuring an officer, and fled.

It was the catalyst for an intensive search, and for the next three months, up to 100 officers converged on the region, based out of a specially built command post in Nowendoc: state protection group officers dressed in camouflage and well armed, detectives, local police, PolAir, and covert operatives, while teams of analysts and intelligence experts worked on trying to pre-empt Naden’s movements.

Commander of Strike Force Durkin, then-northern region commander Carlene York, revealed that at least 30 homes in the area were comprehensively mapped, analysed, keys obtained and access assessed so that when Naden, already identified as a creature of habit, returned to a property, police would have a clear picture of what to expect if they went in.

”We were taking photos inside the houses to see if anything moved, so we were creating packages of information for properties,” she said.

Despite knowing they were still well in the hunt, at times the police task seemed insurmountable – and they now know, on occasions, he was just feet away from officers, secreted in dense undergrowth.

While the tactical support officers search was going on, Willing pushed the two officers in charge, detectives Ricky Hennessy and Paul Mangan, to ensure that when Naden was ultimately captured, a solid brief of evidence would ensure he wasn’t going anywhere.

”It’s personal for me – I am not going to be the commander in charge of this thing that loses it at court,” he said.

From the time Naden was taken into custody, Willing ordered nobody go near him except his two detectives, Hennessy and Mangan.

”They started building a rapport with him. They knew what we needed. They needed him to tell us where Lateesha was, and confess.

And they couldn’t have been given a more surprising gift.

On April 10, Hennessy and Mangan arrived at Supermax prison, where Naden gave them a hand-written note.

”It was a page and a half , where he confesses to the crimes. Line by line, it was on one line, ‘I murdered …’,” Willing said.

In the note, he had also drawn ”a bit of a mud-map” describing where he buried Lateesha.

”Malcolm, I think, he always was going to confess, he just had to come to terms with who he is. He’s a psychopath, a serial killer. There’s no empathy at all.”

He was even willing to be escorted to Butlers Falls, the area where he claims he disposed of Lateesha’s body. Sadly, a massive dig failed to find her. Two floods have been through there, and the landscape has changed.

Still, he was prepared to be video recorded preparing a staggering 25-page letter which he handed the officers a few months later.

”[It’s] just an amazing document to read. The handwriting is very neat, and in it he talks about both murders and he goes into length, three pages, describing what it was like to strangle Lateesha. Clearly he’s fantasising it as he writes it.”

He quotes Shakespeare, and the famous line from Unforgiven: ”It’s a hell of a thing to kill a man”.

Naden’s crimes were violent and disturbing, and he defiled his victims in the most chilling way.

For Willing, this last part of the story has been almost as hard as the first – especially witnessing this family he has known so long, trying to come to terms with the finality of knowing what really happened.

”While everyone was focusing on the capture of Naden, the real hurt and pain was going on out west,” he said.

After Naden’s sentencing, the policeman once more returned to Dubbo, spent time with the family and arranged counselling for them.

”It’s really hard. I went out to the river with [the girls’ mothers] Joan and Margaret, with the kids, talking about a memorial or something out there. For them it’s kind of finished but it’s not finished, the kids have got nowhere to go and [be with her].”

But it’s not finished for Willing yet either. He has never spoken to Naden and only ever been in the same room with him at court.

”You investigate homicides, lots of them, but this is just a strange story … It was important, I was lucky enough to have responsibility at the beginning, and responsibility at the end, to oversee good people all the way along.

”This journey, when I said in the beginning that it started in Dubbo and finished in Dubbo, it’s because that family’s gone back home and Lateesha’s out there somewhere, and I want to find her … I feel an obligation to do that.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Time for truth: how to face the end of a life lived well

Polglase Kylie Polglase with her mother Rosemary and her dog Toby. ”Everybody dies [yet] every time I talk about it, I am treated as if I am being negative.” Photo: Wolter Peeters
Shanghai night field

Even as a six-year-old, Kylie Polglase was comfortable talking about her own death from cystic fibrosis, a terminal lung condition.

”If I don’t do all this treatment, I will get sick and die,” she wrote in a picture book more than 20 years ago.

Now a frail 26-year-old, Ms Polglase, of Cherrybrook, is using her limited breath to convince others that talking about death – and creating an advance-care directive on how we want to die – should be a normal part of life.

This week she spoke at the launch of a plan by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner to make discussions about the quality of our deaths as common as those about the quality of our lives.

Making an advance-care plan should be like making a will, or deciding to become an organ donor, Ms Skinner said.

It is something we should talk about in healthy midlife or early in an illness with our families, friends, legal advisors, carers and medical practitioners, she said.

Ms Skinner’s mother, a nurse, made her children promise there ”would be no heroic interventions”.

Yet the government’s action plan finds many decisions about end-of-life care are made in a crisis, often resulting in unwanted and often unwarranted life-sustaining measures. It will include an education campaign to encourage doctors, lawyers and aged-care providers to discuss and suggest advanced-care directives, changes to ensure that advanced-care plans are incorporated in all health care records, and the introduction of a standard form to replace the many different ones being used.

Currently, those who do feel comfortable talking about their own deaths, including the chronically ill like Ms Polglase, are often treated as if they are crazy or suicidal.

”Everybody dies. It is not like I am different,” Ms Polglase said. ”Yet it is very weird that every time I talk about it, I am treated as if I am being negative or depressive or people say ‘Have you thought about talking to somebody about it?”’

Although she is an advocate for advance-care plans, she doesn’t yet have one of her own.

”I’ve recently had discussions about the decision I want to make and that’s been met with, ‘Have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist?’ It’s just very odd.”

Doctors tell her that she doesn’t need an advanced-care plan yet, and that she has plenty of options.

Ms Polglase is relatively well now. But the lungs she received in a double lung transplant are failing, she has had a stroke and lost the sight in one eye, and she suffers from conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, conditions that are most commonly associated with advanced age.

She’s outlived most of her friends who received new lungs, and has seen many awful deaths. ”All the losses I have witnessed have influenced my thoughts. It seems very rare that we get what we want at the end.”

When Ms Polglase got her new lungs, she also got asthma. ”My worst fear is that I will end up in intensive care, or in an ambulance, or in an emergency department room, and they’re going to resuscitate me or artificially keep me alive, and it will be against everything I want.”

She is now concentrating on improving the quality of her life, instead of the quantity. Before the transplant, Ms Polglase had never eaten yum cha, owned a dog or caught a bus to the city. Now she has.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Magpies beaming as star returns

Adelaide’s Nathan Van Berlo tackles Collingwood’s Dayne Beams. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoThe come-from-behind win against Adelaide would certainly have put a smile on Nathan Buckley’s face on Friday night, but the return of Dayne Beams would have had him positively beaming.
Shanghai night field

The importance of Beams’ long-awaited return from a quadriceps injury to the Pies’ flag chances can’t be overstated.

A fully fit Beams will be a key factor as the Pies look to build momentum into the finals, or even snare a top-four berth, and he showed exactly what the side had been missing during his long injury layoff with 25 possessions in the hard-fought, 27-point win against the Crows at the MCG.

The 23-year-old suffered the frustrating quad injury on the eve of the home-and-away season, but was initially thought set to miss two to four weeks.

But he re-injured the muscle at training in the lead-in to the round-four clash against Richmond and was put in cotton wool until finally proving his fitness with a best-on-ground, 26-disposal effort in the VFL last week.

Beams started on the bench – he would do so at the start of every term – and came on to the cheers of Collingwood fans at the four-minute mark, but looked understandably rusty early in his first AFL game of the season.

He didn’t get his first touch until the 13th minute, but then he was away. The reigning Copeland Trophy winner displayed his trademark run and carry and was soon trading handballs with running teammates and providing the linking run that has been missing as Buckley’s side struggled to recapture its early season form.

He had seven touches for the first quarter and even showed his delight at being back among the cut and thrust of the contest by being a willing participant in a bit of argy bargy after the first-quarter siren.

As the Pies worked into the game, so did Beams who looked increasingly assured with the ball in hand.

His class on his return to the fray was underscored by his disposal efficiency of 84 per cent, while he also had four clearances and laid four tackles.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Bumper harvest as producers celebrate best crop in a decade

The good oil: Gerard Healy, farm manager at Boundary Bend’s Boort estate in north-west Victoria, examines his trees. Photo: Luis Enrique AscuiPlenty of summer sun and hardly any autumn rain left the limbs of Margi Kirkby’s trees in Moree sagging with plump olives by harvest time in March.
Shanghai night field

Now, with each of her 95,000 trees cleaned of olives, Ms Kirkby, of Gwydir Grove in the state’s north-west, can safely proclaim 2013 a bumper year. Her groves yielded 170,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil, up 70 per cent on last year’s figure.

”This year was definitely good and last year was no doubt bad,” she said. ”The olives don’t like a wet harvest because the rain washes the flavour out. It was dry this time around.”

Stories of bountiful crops are being echoed by olive farmers across Australia, with NSW producers on track to hit 1.1 million litres of olive oil this month.

An unprecedented 19 million litres of olive oil is expected to be squeezed from this year’s national harvest, which ends this month, nearly double last year’s effort of 10.5 million litres, the Australian Olive Association said.

Rob McGavin, co-founder of Cobram Estate, Victoria’s leading olive oil producer, is celebrating bumper crops after two disastrous years of heavy rain and flooding, which at one point forced him to navigate groves spread across 6500 hectares in the Murray Valley in a rowboat.

This year’s crop is the best he has seen in a decade, both in size and quality, he said. ”We have enjoyed perfect sunny days and cool nights during the season, and amazing growing conditions for our olives.”

Mr McGavin, who is also a director of the Australian Olive Association, expects Victoria to lift its production from 5.5 million litres last year to 14 million litres, after seeing his trees bear twice as much fruit.

NSW is Cobram Estate’s biggest market, he said. ”Our olive oil is simply just from squeezing the fruit, just like a freshly squeezed orange juice,” he said.

”Olive oil should smell fresh, like cut grass. If it’s anything old like oil, like cheese, that’s bad. It should leave your mouth clean, not leave your mouth oily,” he said.

Steve Goodchild, owner of Pukara Estate in the Hunter Valley, labelled his harvest of 380 tonnes as ”average”. He began machine harvesting in mid to late April when the fruit became just over 20 per cent oil.

”Our fruit ripened early and there was no rain over harvest – it was great,” he said. ”Olives are quite prone to having an off and on year and this year the cycle is on the better side.

”The Hunter produces milder … less pungent oils. So, again, timing is crucial when managing the harvesting window.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

What to drink … with braises

Lamb shanks.UP TO $20
Shanghai night field

Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir 2012, $20While pinot noir is often the drink of choice with duck, it’s also incredibly versatile – brilliant with slow-cooked lamb shanks with Middle Eastern spices. The 2012 Hoddles Creek pinot noir will gain complexity over the next five years or so, while its acidity and restraint make for excellent drinking now. Subtle, with a pretty nose, fragrant with forest-floor, cherries and earthy notes that follow through on the palate. It’s medium-weighted, tangy, with fine tannins but plenty of depth. Let it breathe for a few hours and it will unfurl more detail. From Randall the Wine Merchants, Newtown.

UP TO $30

Lo Stesso Fiano 2012, $30Winemakers Georgia Roberts (wine rep by day) and Emily McNally (of Occam’s Razor and Jasper Hill) have collaborated for their second vintage, making fiano with fruit sourced from a well-known Heathcote vineyard, and it’s a beauty. This smells of creamed honey, stone fruit and ginger spice with Mediterranean herbs. While it’s quite a luscious full-bodied white, it’s not overripe or heavy as there’s fine acidity driving it. The palate is fantastic: creamy, slick, with loads of texture, incredibly moreish, with just the right savoury appeal. Drink with the Turkish braised eggplant dish, imam bayildi. From Rathdowne Cellars.


Comando G La Bruja Averia 2011, $38Love the name of this from three young producers who love garnacha, calling themselves Comando G, after a Japanese cartoon. Under that label they just make garnacha, with the top, rare and expensive Rumbo al Norte an astonishingly beautiful wine. Yet the ”village” La Bruja Averia is delicious, too. The fruit is sourced from vines aged for 30 to 50 years in the Caldalso do los Vidrios region of Madrid. It’s perfumed, floral, with cola and liquorice notes; savoury despite bright juicy fruit. Medium-bodied with fine tannins, it’s spot-on with braised oxtail. From City Wine Shop.


Thomas Wines Kiss Shiraz 2011, $60Kiss is one of Andrew Thomas’ individual vineyard wines and its flagship shiraz. It’s the Hunter Valley at its very best. There’s nothing heavy, overextracted or harsh about this shiraz, with its core of beautiful sweet fruit, and it smells of crushed red berries and rosemary. There’s spice and tangy good acidity melding with the plump, ripe tannins. Still tight, with an attractive herbal edge, but a poised shiraz with power underneath. Will age for another decade or enjoy now with braised beef cheeks. From thomaswines上海夜生活

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

杭州龙凤 22/05/2019

Legal drug hardest of all to kick, study finds

The synthetic drug ”bath salts” is more addictive than any other drug, including methamphetamine, a landmark study has found.
Shanghai night field

Use of the so-called legal high has skyrocketed in NSW in recent years, causing at least one death and prompting a state government inquiry and a raft of retail bans. But information on bath salts, which mimics the high of cocaine, is limited and much of the public and political focus has been on synthetic cannabis.

Results from a laboratory study by the Scripps Research Institute in California revealed that the drug can be up to 10 times more addictive than methamphetamine.

In the study, rats were capable of dosing themselves intravenously with either MDPV, often called bath salts, or methamphetamine simply by pressing a lever. Overall, the rats averaged about 60 lever presses for a dose of methamphetamine compared with an average 600 presses for a dose of MDPV.

The researchers concluded that MDPV posed a ”substantial threat for compulsive use that is potentially greater than that for methamphetamine”.

MDPV showed ”greater potency and efficacy than methamphetamine”, the study said. Despite the alarming findings, just four synthetic cocaine products are on the Department of Fair Trading’s list of 19 banned synthetic drugs. The rest are synthetic cannabis products.

A recent state government inquiry recommended outlawing eight ”families” of synthetic drugs but all were cannabinoids.

Makers of bath salts tweak their recipes to circumvent illegal drug classifications so the drug remains legal. However, Eros, the adult shop association that has campaigned in support of synthetic cannabis, will not touch bath salts.

An industry ”code of practice” drafted by Eros last month proposed allowing synthetic cannabis to be sold to adults with proper warnings but forbade selling bath salts.

”We are really down about those substances. They can be really dangerous,” Eros co-ordinator Robbie Swan said.

Last year, Central Coast truck driver Glenn Punch, 44, and his partner, Rachael Hickel, 42, went into a psychotic and paranoid fit after injecting bath salts, which Ms Hickel claims was sold as a herbal high in an adult shop. Mr Punch went into cardiac arrest and died.

Ms Hickel has since launched a campaign to ban the products.

Drug and Alcohol Research Training director Paul Dillon said little was known about bath salts or MDPV.

”We’re getting so many new substances coming onto the market and we just can’t respond fast enough,” he said. ”We are so 10 steps behind and simply banning things is ludicrous.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.