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Bob Carr says retrospective change to the ICAC Act should be considered

Former NSW premier Bob Carr, who would like to see a more robust ICAC process. Photo: Ryan Osland “Consider this with a cool head”: NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: Louise Kennerley
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Former NSW Labor premier Bob Carr says “everything should be considered”, including retrospective legislation, to ensure the Independent Commission Against Corruption retains “robust powers”, after a devastating High Court ruling on the scope of its powers.

The ICAC says the four-to-one majority decision of the court imperils some of its most high-profile investigations as well as past convictions flowing from some of its inquiries.

Mr Carr said the people of NSW “want a strong ICAC that has got robust powers when it comes to investigating corruption of the governmental political process”.

“I think we’re all looking to both sides of politics to shake this judgment out and work out what amendments are required,” he said.

“Everything should be considered, even including the prospect of fixing it up retrospectively, if that is required for ICAC to proceed with the cases that have generated the headlines.”

The ICAC has urged Premier Mike Baird to consider retrospective laws to reverse the High Court decision, which found that the watchdog did not have the power to investigate Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC.

The commission warned that the decision would “severely restrict” its ability to report on recent inquiries into Obeid-linked company Australian Water Holdings and Liberal Party fundraising.

Mr Baird said on Tuesday that he would meet ICAC Commissioner Megan Latham when she returned from leave on April 27.

He said the government wanted a “strong ICAC” but it would “consider this with a cool head”.

The ICAC has long operated on the basis that it could investigate allegations that a private citizen misled a public official in a way that could have led to a different outcome.

A 2005 review of the ICAC Act, conducted by Bruce McClintock, SC, recommended the Carr government consider a minor amendment to the laws to clarify its power to investigate such cases, which it termed “indirect corruption”.

Mr McClintock said that had the amendment had been made, “there can be no doubt that ICAC would have been entitled to investigate the allegation against Margaret Cunneen and the result of the case would have been different”.

Asked if he had concerns about the ICAC’s powers while premier, Mr Carr said: “I can’t remember it ever coming up as a concern.”

Mr McClintock did not comment on the desirability of changing the act now, saying there was force in the arguments on both sides.

But he did say: “My personal opinion is that ICAC should not have commenced the Cunneen investigation.”

He said this had “nothing to do with the question of power” but there was a separate requirement – inserted in the ICAC Act on his recommendation – that the commission focus “as far as practicable” on serious or systemic corruption.

“There is no way that what was alleged against Margaret could satisfy that test of serious and systemic corruption, and so ICAC should not have taken up the reference,” he said.

“If there were evidence of the commission of a criminal offence, it should have been left to [the NSW police].”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

DEXUS Property raises $450m to buy assets

DEXUS Property Group is tapping its investors for $450 million to buy a large office and retail complex in Brisbane from owners the Future Fund and Stockland.
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The Waterfront Place, which is said to also include the adjoining Eagle Street Pier, is valued at about $630 million and was put on the block last year.

DEXUS will undertake the deal with an unnamed capital in a 50-50 split.

Once completed it will be the biggest deal this year in the commercial real estate sector and expand the DEXUS footprint along the eastern seaboard.

Brokers also said some cash could be set aside if DEXUS looks to participate in any purchase of the Investa platform being offered by Morgan Stanley.

A range of potential buyers are in the data room for the Investa business, and a successful bidder could look to sell assets, which would be attractive to all the office-focussed real estate investment trusts.

In the notice after the close of trade, DEXUS said it will use the cash to also help keep the group’s gearing at its “optimum” 30 to 40 per cent level. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are the advisors and underwriters to the institutional raising, which will be a book build between $7.32 to $7.55 a security.

DEXUS chief executive, Darren Steinberg, said the group continues to identify value enhancing investment opportunities.

“This equity raising is intended to give DEXUS the flexibility to pursue these opportunities, while at the same time ensuring gearing remains at the lower ene of its target range of between 30 to 40 per cent,” Mr Steinberg said.

“The opportunities include interests in prime grade CBD office properties, at various stages of consideration. All of the opportunities are in line with DEXUS‟s strategy, and one of them is an office property in exclusive due diligence with a capital partner on a 50/50 basis”

Analysts said the property was expected to be Waterfront Place.

Mr Steinberg added that DEXUS believes that each of the opportunities identified, has the capacity if concluded, to enhance the quality of the portfolio and deliver superior risk–adjusted returns to investors. Until invested, the proceeds of the equity raising will be used to repay debt.

He said the equity raising is estimated to add about 3¢ to DEXUS‟s net tangible asset per security of $6.47, as at December 31, 2014.

Including the impact of the equity raising, DEXUS reaffirms its 2015 financial year guidance of funds from operation per security of 59.48¢ and distribution per security of 41.04¢, being a 9.3 per cent growth on 2014.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Veterans groups use Anzac centenary to fire up over pension reforms

RSL president Rear Admiral Ken Doolan.FOI request knocked back
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott is under fire from groups representing military pensioners and war widows who say the government’s proposed changes to veterans’ payments threaten the quality of life and dignity in retirement of nearly 300,000 people who sacrificed for Australia.

Mr Abbott, who is en route to Turkey for the Anzac centenary at Gallipoli, met with the leadership of the RSL last month but refused to back down on a decision to index payments to the rate of inflation rather than wages.

Veterans groups have been working behind the scenes since the budget but recent meetings between the Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen & Women (known as TPI), the Defence Force Welfare Association and the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations resolved to increase the pressure to coincide with Anzac Day and as Treasurer Joe Hockey finalises his second budget.

“It’s all very well to commemorate the fallen – and we support the centenary commemorations – but we have to fully support the living as well,” TPI national vice-president Pat McCabe told Fairfax Media.

The TPI wrote to Mr Abbott this week, reminding him of the words of Prime Minister Billy Hughes who said in 1917: “We say to them, ‘You go and fight and when you come back we will look after your welfare’ … we have entered into a bargain with the soldier, and we must keep it!”

“It’s that bargain they have broken,” Ms McCabe said.

In its letter, TPI also pointed to comments by members of the Howard Government in 2007 when they boasted of a decision based on “fairness” in switching indexation of disability pensions, including veterans’ pensions, from CPI to the generally higher rate of average male weekly earnings.

At the time, then veteran’s affairs minister, Bruce Billson, called it a “more rational and equitable method of indexation”.

The “fairer” indexation remained in place until the first Hockey budget when veterans’ payments were put in the same basket as general welfare and the aged pension to be indexed with CPI from 2017.

At the same time, the Abbott government honoured a pre-election pledge to index retirement benefits for military superannuants from CPI to wages.

“The government has delivered its election indexation promise to military superannuants and their families, which the former government failed to deliver,” a spokesman for Mr Abbott said.

“We will continue to talk with all Parliamentarians, including crossbench senators, in good faith in order to make pensions sustainable and available to all who need it, and to fix the debt and deficit mess created by Labor.”

The decision to move superannuants on to the wage indexation at the same time as knocking veterans’ pensions down to inflation has baffled RSL president Rear Admiral Ken Doolan.

In his latest newsletter, he said the legislation for existing military superannuants “explicitly acknowledged that indexing by the CPI was unfair”.

“Logic dictates that if this was unfair so too is the change to indexing by CPI from 1 July 2017 to the service and aged pension, income support supplement, disability pension, war widow(er) pension and equivalent MRCA payments. The RSL calls on the government to redress this inconsistency in policy by revoking the changes due to take effect on 1 July 2017,” he told members.

In its 2015 pre-budget submission, the RSL said: “The budget measure will have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the veteran community whose only source of income is the service pension. To qualify for the service pension, veterans must have had qualifying service, which by its definition implies that the veteran faced danger from the enemy and was prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice.”

Ms McCabe said veterans’ payments were a form of compensation under law that acknowledges sacrifice, not welfare.

The change is expected to save $65.1 million in 2017 but the cumulative effect will erode the value of veterans’ pensions by more each year as time goes on. Legislation to facilitate the change has been introduced in the House of Representatives but is yet to be tested in a hostile Senate.

Government sources said the past two pension increases were higher because CPI was higher than wages.

Follow us on Twitter  Australian Politics – FairfaxThe original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Has mindfulness become the domain of the self-satisfied set?

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly. No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.
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No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

No judgment: Seeing the present moment, clearly.

When did mindfulness become a wank word?

New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan reckons it happened when it became the technique du jour of Fortune 500 executives and wealthy entrepreneurs who are into cold-pressed juices and wax lyrical about the benefits of yoga and meditation to soothe their frazzled minds.

“Maybe the word ‘mindfulness’ is like the Prius emblem; a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement,” Heffernan writes.

“If so, not deploying mindfulness – taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails – makes you look sort of backward or classless. Like driving a Hummer.”

Oh the horror of the Hummer.

Mindfulness was never meant to be a pursuit purely of the affluent.

The word was originally coined in the 1880s by British scholar Thomas William Rhys Davids. It is a loose translation of the Pali word sati.

In English, sati comes from the root “to remember”. Not to remember the past, but to “remember” and be attentive to the present.

Thankfully, this is an absolutely free and indiscriminate practice.

Even 100 years later, when American professor of medicine emeritus Jon Kabat-Zinn popularised the term – adopting it in an attempt to distance meditation from its Buddhist, religious roots – it was still largely a practice of poor hippies and explorative fringe dwellers.

But then, mindfulness went mainstream.

Time’s “Mindful Revolution” cover in February last year made a splash around the world.

“We’re in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness, and a growing body of evidence suggests it has clear benefits,” the feature’s author writes.

It is indeed the growing body of evidence that has attracted the affluent set as people try to find an edge and endurance in an increasingly stressed,  competitive culture.

Mindfulness, research has shown, isn’t just an incredibly effective form of stress release.

A new study, published in the Lancet, has found mindfulness to be as effective at treating depression as pills.

It boosts our immune systems, enhances our relationships, changes our brains, fights obesity and improves memory and attention span as well as making us more compassionate.

It has also become, like the rest of wellness, expensive and sometimes smug and even self-absorbed.

In January, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kabat-Zinn led executives and 1 per centers in a mindfulness meditation, Heffernan wrote. 

Many mindfulness and meditation courses in Sydney cost more than $1000 for a weekend of training.

The trendy word has also come to encompass parenting and eating. There is now even “mindful” flying.

“Mindful fracking: Could that be next?” wonders Heffernan, with the heavy hand of cynicism. 

“Putting a neuroscience halo around a byword for both uppers (‘productivity’) and downers (‘relaxation’) – to ensure a more compliant workforce and a more prosperous C-suite – also seems twisted.

“No one word, however shiny, however intriguingly Eastern, however bolstered by science, can ever fix the human condition.”

This may well be true.

Heffernan’s concern is that the commercialisation of mindfulness has “muddied” its meaning and become about escape rather than “remembering”.

The irony is that the commercialisation of mindfulness has made it elitist and diluted its meaning, but also has made it more accessible to the masses, Sydney meditation guru Tim Brown says.

“Yes, we are seeing the commercialisation of it,” Brown admits.

“When something moves from isolated to a collective, it allows more people to appreciate it and address it.”

Commercialised and a buzzword it may be, but Brown disagrees that it has become about escapism or elitism. On the contrary.

“It is born out of a desire to be engaged,” he says, noting that engagement does not mean “frenetic vigilance”.

“Trying to become more present by thinking about trying to be more present does not make you present,” he points out.

Learning to be attentive and “remember” the moment we are in is not about fixing, so much as enhancing the human condition.

“The greatest joys in life are often not from experiencing different places, people and things, but familiar places, people and things through new eyes,” Brown says, “and this is where mindfulness comes in.”

This practice does not come pre-packaged and sold at a premium. It’s free for anyone who cares to pay attention.

You can do that in your Prius or your Hummer.

“The most prevalent experience is becoming aware of how mindless you are and how many impulses you have to distract or entertain yourself, to fix or change what is happening so that you don’t have to tolerate this moment the way it actually is,” Kabat-Zinn said recently.

“The idea that it’s ‘just focusing on me’, that it is narcissistic, that’s a complete misunderstanding. Just stopping [to think] is a radical act of sanity and love, and not just love for yourself.

“To drop into being means to recognise your interconnectedness with all life, and with being itself. Your very nature is being part of larger and larger spheres of wholeness.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

John Tapp, race-calling legend, to retire after 50 years in the media

Back in the day: A young John Tapp (left) with Ken Howard and Ray Warren at Randwick. Photo: Fairfax archive Back in the day: A young John Tapp (left) with Ken Howard and Ray Warren at Randwick. Photo: Fairfax archive
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Back in the day: A young John Tapp (left) with Ken Howard and Ray Warren at Randwick. Photo: Fairfax archive

Back in the day: A young John Tapp (left) with Ken Howard and Ray Warren at Randwick. Photo: Fairfax archive

The voice of racing, John Tapp, has announced he will finish his full-time media career, which has spanned 50 years, in June.

The 73-year-old wants to enjoy life away from the microphone, concentrating on his small team of harness horses and spending time with grandchildren and wife Ann.

After finishing his race-calling career in 1998, Tapp has continued to work at Sky Racing but told In The Gig viewers of his decision on Tuesday night.

“It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be to say goodbye because 50 years went before my eyes,” Tapp said. “It seemed the right time to call it a day because I started full-time at 2GB on June 21, 1965.

“The last In The Gig for this season is on June 15 and that seems almost perfect timing to me. I have been thinking about it for a while and didn’t want to be the bloke around 50 years and eight months. It was nice round number.

“I got to live my passion and talk about it on many different frontiers and there are other things to do now.”

Tapp’s career moved across the broadcasting spectrums starting in radio where he was understudy to his hero Ken Howard before becoming Sydney’s No. 1 caller.

He moved to television at Channel Nine and finished at Sky Channel. Tapp has become an advocate for harness racing.

However he will be remembered by most punters as the caller of the greats of the turf and lists the 12th Man parody of him as among his fondest memories.

“It was done by a genius in Billy Birmingham and I was immensely privileged that he thought to include me,” Tapp said. “You don’t set out to be a part of those things.

“It is great to look back on my career, which started with calling my first race, a midweek at Canterbury on December 16, 1964. I still remember that and it took another six months to get a full-time job. “It was what I always wanted to do and I was lucky to be able to do it for so long.” Tapp named Kingston Town as the best horse he had seen.

“There are so many special moments but I think the best horse I have seen was Kingston Town. He had the sweetest action and had the same exhilarating acceleration from five furlongs [1000m] to two miles. He was just exciting,” Tapp said.

Meanwhile, Australian Turf Club racecourse manager Lindsay Murphy remained confident Wednesday’s Canterbury meeting would go ahead despite the big wet. The track copped more than 150mm in the past a couple of days but was still raceable on Tuesday.

“It is phenomenal at dealing with rain like this, and it was [rated a] heavy-9 when we walked [on Tuesday afternoon] and, provided the forecast is right, I think we will race,” Murphy said.

“Randwick has had just over 100ml and the forecast for later in the week looks good, so we should be right for Saturday.”

Racing NSW stewards will inspect Newcastle on Wednesday morning, where large sections of the rail had been blown down, to decide if Thursday meeting will be called off.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Melbourne mother forced into poverty after son was diagnosed with severe autism

Single mother Deborah Frith with her four-year-old son Jacob. Photo: Jason SouthDeborah Frith stood in line with her toddler at the church-run food relief centre, waiting to collect the much-needed supplies she couldn’t afford: nappies, canned vegetables, milk.
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The single mother had just moved back to Melbourne from interstate after her three-year-old son, Jacob, was diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As his full-time carer Ms Frith had already given up her career as a kinesiologist and deferred the master’s in psychology she planned on studying. Then came the costs of her son’s therapy and medicine.

“To not be able to feed your child … it’s heart-wrenching,” she said.

Eights months since they arrived in Melbourne, Ms Frith and her son still live in emergency accommodation – a one-bedroom apartment in South Yarra. The government welfare payments they survive on total about $650 a week, making the private rental market out of reach.

“We haven’t had a home since [we moved],” she said. “We’re tier one priority but we still can’t be housed and it’s looking like it could take years.”

New research by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia has found up to 1.5 million Australians – between 4 and 6 per cent of the population – live in poverty and have “little to no hope” of improving their situation.

People who drop out of school, those aged over 65 or with long-term health problems or a disability, people living in a jobless household and Indigenous Australians are at higher risk.

Ms Frith, who grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, said she never expected to find herself in cramped public housing and struggling to afford to buy meat and fresh vegetables.

She struggles to find enough money to run her car, which she needs to take Jacob to up to nine specialist appointments a week, including a pediatrician, speech therapist and occupational therapist.

“I feel like I’m living in a depression,” she said. “After bills are paid we have about $20 to $30 a day for food, medicine, petrol. Coming up towards our payment days we’re scraping by to get the basics – that’s the struggle. There’s not a day where I don’t worry how we’re going to survive. And the only reason we’re in this situation is because a few things stacked up and I found myself here.”

Ms Frith said many other people she had met in recent months were also struggling to pay for food, accommodation and transport.

“People who wouldn’t have been in this situation in the past are facing poverty,” she said.  ”The cost of living has gone up so much and rental prices just aren’t viable. My resilience is running bare … this has really pushed me to my absolute limit. I feel frustrated and really let down by the system.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

RBA minutes cut short sharemarket rise

Both the RBA minutes released on Tuesday and governor Glenn Stevens in a recent speech dampened investors’ rate cut expectations. Photo: Glenn HuntAustralian shares bounced back into positive territory on Tuesday thanks to strong leads from overseas, but the midday release of the Reserve Bank’s April minutes dampened sentiment.
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The Dow Jones was up 1.2 per cent overnight, enough to push the All Ordinaries up 0.6 per cent to 5844.0 and the ASX 200 up 0.7 per cent to 5872.3.

However, the release of the Reserve Bank’s April minutes in mid-morning halted the steady rise in the bourse. Households’ response to easy monetary policy was “unusually uncertain”, said the bank, which said it saw an advantage in waiting for more economic data before deciding on further rate reductions.

“The bottom line on the April decision is that officials wanted more time to assess how the economy was tracking and responding to the February rate cut,” JP Morgan economist Stephen Walters said.

“There still is anxiousness about the exuberance in Sydney’s housing market, where home auction clearance rates are at record highs, and prices are rising at close to 3 per cent per month.”

The minutes were a drag on market sentiment, Morgans private client adviser Alistair McCorquodale said.

“It’s showing the continuing conundrum that the Reserve Bank have around the dollar and interest rates,” he said. “But the banks have held up pretty well and after a little bit of softness over the last couple of days, we’ve bounced back.”

Among the banks, Commonwealth Bank climbed 0.5 per cent to $91.78, ANZ lifted 0.3 per cent to $35.76, National Australia Bank gained 0.6 per cent to $38.58 and Westpac finished flat at $38.79.

Rio Tinto jumped 1.5 per cent to $55.50 despite revealing a surprise 12 per cent fall in iron ore exports, according to a set of March quarter results that were weaker than analysts had hoped.

Fellow mining giant BHP also had a good day, surging 2.6 per cent to $30.60.

Logistics giant Brambles fell 2.4 per cent to $11.04 after reaffirming its full-year profit guidance, despite slower-than-expected sales growth from its pallets business.

Brambles chief executive Tom Gorman says the company remains on track to record an underlying profit of between $1.37 billion and $1.40 billion for 2014-15, which is up 13 per cent on last year.

Leighton Holdings lifted 0.6 per cent to $20.28 after announcing it was on track to deliver net profit of up to $520 million in 2015 as it revealed plans to create a more “competitive” business.

Leighton, which is asking investors to vote on changing the company’s name to “Cimic” at its annual general meeting, said it planned to introduce simplified business processes and outsource non-core functions such as IT and travel.

Copper miner OZ Minerals shares soared 6.1 per cent to $4.13 following Monday’s strategy update, in which it revealed it would expand its horizons into base metals such as lead, tin, nickel and zinc.

Cochlear’s shares were 1.3 per cent higher at $88.79 after the hearing implants maker said a US District Court has entered judgment in a patent infringement lawsuit against the company and its US subsidiary. Cochlear said the court previously overturned $175 million in damages awarded by the jury, ordering a new trial on damages for infringement of the remaining patent claim.

Medical technology provider Compumedics’ shares were up 10 per cent to 22¢ after announcing a three-year distribution contract worth $2.2 million for supplying neurological monitoring systems in China.

Gold mining group Millennium Minerals shares rise lifted 11.5 per cent to 3¢ after reaffirming its full-year production outlook and saying it expects continued improvement in operating costs.

Atlas Iron, which is shutting its iron ore mines due to low prices, asked Australian securities regulators to keep trading in its shares halted for three more weeks as it awaits the outcome of a company-wide review.

Its shares closed at 12¢, showing a near-uninterrupted decline since mid-2011 from over $4.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Chef’s cookbook spreads message

Paul West at River Cottage, a farm outside Central Tilba on the NSW South Coast.HE once called the Hunter Valley home, however Paul West has found his calling on a farm on the far south coast of NSW in the Australian River Cottage.
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The River Cottage Australia host will be back in his old stomping ground to launch his cookbook in Newcastle on Friday and for a Mother’s Day lunch at Vines Restaurant at Hollydene Estate, Jerrys Plains.

West has worked as chef at the likes of the top-rated Melbourne restaurant Vue de Monde, been a WWOOFer (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) in orchards and worked in wholesale markets and at retail fruiterers.

But two years ago he was chosen as host of long-running British TV series local edition River Cottage Australia.

Now he lives and works on a 10-hectare farm outside Central Tilba, on the NSW South Coast. Following in the footsteps of British host Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Paul encourages viewers to eat and, if possible, grow local, seasonal, organic and environmentally sustainable food.

Together, Hugh and Paul have mapped out a sustainable future for the Australian farm but, with Hugh handing over the baton, it’s now up to Paul to continue the work on the old dairy farm and in spreading the River Cottage message around the country.

Not only has Paul hosted three series of River Cottage Australia, but he’s also produced a cookbook sharing the delicious dishes he’s been creating on the farm. The book includes more than 120 recipes, such as pumpkin scones, roasted octopus salad, pig on a spit, borlotti bean broth, raw courgette salad and warm curd cake with honey rhubarb.

It also features a preface by Hugh and a selection of his recipes throughout the book and beautiful photography by Mark Chew.

Catch him on Friday at The Edwards for the book’s launch or treat mum to a Mother’s Day lunch at Hollydene Estate, Jerrys Plains, with the chef, TV host and author.

The lunch includes the chance to meet Paul, have the book signed, and a six-course tapas menu (kids’ menu also available) at Vines Restaurant at Hollydene Estate, 3483 Golden Highway, Jerrys Plains. Lunch is served from noon to 3pm. Tickets $60 a person on 6576 4007.

Paul West is launching the The River Cottage Australia Cookbook at The Edwards, Newcastle West, on Friday. The event will include hearing from Paul about his passion for food, farming and sustainable living, and book signing. The Edwards’ Ian Towse and Paul will also team up in the kitchen to prepare a lamb and a pig, cooked, carved and served by them. Catch Paul at The Edwards on Friday from 4.30pm. Free entry. Visit: theedwards整形美容医院m.au.

Anzac second only to Christmas as a community event despite changes

Commemorating Anzac Day with a dawn service could be a thing of the past, with new research showing more than half of Australians will opt to spend the day with friends or family.
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A survey by family history website Ancestry found 58 per cent of Australians are not traditionally commemorating the day, but 64 per cent still claim it is “a day to remember”.

However, Australian social analyst David Chalke said the other 42 per cent of the population commemorating the day traditionally is “phenomenal”.

“Can you imagine any other thing you’d get 40 per cent of the population to do something for?” he said.

Mr Chalke drew attention to the resurgence of “secular public communion”, which was evident in the Martin Place siege memorial, and during the rise of the “Je suis Charlie” slogan.

Mr Chalke said Australians were making Anzac Day more personal by honouring names they recognised at smaller, local memorials, rather than attending large, city sites.

He anticipates 300 to 400 people will pay tribute to the 48 names honoured at his local memorial, an increase of about 100 on last year’s attendance.

Additional coverage, due to the Anzac centenary, has piqued the interest of Australians and provided them with a better understanding of what the day is about, according to Mr Chalke.

He predicts interest roused by the centenary will be sustained in future years, as Australians continue to recognise “the pioneers’ spirit”.

He said the day is Australia’s “foundation legend”.

“It is the story of us,” he said.

“Anzac Day is the second most important day, after Christmas.

“It’s part of us, and we need to treasure it.”

Until Sunday, April 26, Ancestry整形美容医院m.au has opened up 12 million WWI records for Australians to search, free of charge, for their own WWI descendants. Visit www.ancestry整形美容医院m.au/anzac100.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

4D printing is cooler than 3D printing, and why that means the end of IKEA flatpacks

Professor Marc in het Panhuis holds a 4D printed valve that can change shape. Photo: Paul Jones Professor Marc in het Panhuis holds a 4D printed valve that can change shape. Photo: Paul Jones
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Professor Marc in het Panhuis holds a 4D printed valve that can change shape. Photo: Paul Jones

Professor Marc in het Panhuis holds a 4D printed valve that can change shape. Photo: Paul Jones

Just as you got used to the idea that toys, homewares, even guns can be built with 3D printers, the next phase is upon us. Researchers, including Australians, are already building objects with 4D printing, where time becomes the fourth dimension.

“4D printing is in essence 3D printed structures that can change their shape over time,” said inventor and engineer Marc in het Panhuis​. “They’re like transformers,” he says.

And their applications will be limitless. Imagine medical devices that can transform their shape inside the body, water pipes that expand or contract depending on water demand and self-assembling furniture.

Professor in het Panhuis’ team at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, located at the University of Wollongong, have just built an autonomous valve that opens in warm water and closes in cold water.

The valve is made out of four types of hard or soft hydrogels – networks of polymers – fabricated at the same time using a 3D printer.

Inside the valve’s structure a series of actuators respond to hot or cold water to open and close the valve.

While the valve’s shape change is activated by water, other 4D printed devices transform by shaking, magnets or changes in temperature.

“It’s a widely expanding field,” Professor in het Panhuis said.

“You can buy jewellery that’s 3D printed and changes shape when you put it on,” he said.

US inventor Skylar Tibbits, who runs MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and coined the term 4D printing, is exploring 4D printing to manufacture furniture that can build itself.

“Rather than receiving a flat-pack and getting your screwdriver out, what he’s postulating is what if you just add a bit of water to it and it assembles itself,” Professor in het Panhuis said.

While its early days, the group are more advanced in their designs of pipes that can change their capacity, expanding and contracting when water demands increase or drop off.

The military is another industry interested in objects that can change shape or self destruct, Mission Impossible style.

“When armies are on the battlefield they leave a lot of electronics behind. What if you could make 3D printed electronics that [once the soldiers leave] undergo transient behaviour once they become too hot, or too cold, or too wet so they completely disappear so the enemy can’t use any of your materials,” Professor in het Panhuis said.

In 2012 DARPA researchers created implantable medical device that could deliver anti-microbial treatment to a wound site but would dissolve when no longer needed.

The electronic devices were made of ultra-thin silicon, magnesium and silk that could dissolve in the body, reducing the risk of a secondary site infection.  

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.