Question time in federal parliament

Scott Morrison says Labor’s failed border protection policies cost lives when it was in government.WHAT WE LEARNED

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* The immigration minister is prepared to brief MPs on the health of children on Nauru.

* The Ruddock report into religious freedom was never brought to cabinet between May 18 when it was received and when Scott Morrison assumed the prime ministership in August.

* 90 people have been charged as a result of counter-terrorism operations since September 2014 and 230 people in Australia are being investigated for providing support to individuals and groups in the Syria-Iraq conflict.

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTED TO SPIN

The government is delivering certainty and stability.

WHAT LABOR WANTED TO TALK ABOUT

When will the prime minister tell the voters of Wentworth why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer prime minister.

WHAT THEY SAID

“Does the Prime Minister honestly expect Australia to believe that an administrative error led to the government supporting a white supremacist slogan?” – Opposition frontbencher Tony Burke.

“Criticism of me and my office is a completely fair cop.” – Attorney-General Christian Porter in response.

“The failure, the failure, the failure, the failure, the failure and the failure that I lived through as the shadow immigration minister, while they just sat there and failed and the bodies piled up, is an absolute disgrace.” – Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointing to Labor’s former immigration ministers.

TWEETED

@Tony_Burke At 4:15pm today the Reps will vote on whether we can move and support this resolution: “the House rejects the resolution put to the Senate yesterday which included a white supremacist slogan that is also used by hate groups like the KKK.” The government plans to vote no. #auspol

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9 to 5: The Musical proves the hottest ticket in town

WORKING IT: A scene from 9 to 5, at front, Amanda Woolford and Sandy Aldred, and Cameron Moylan and Kylie Trigg (back).MALE characters are generally predominant in musicals, so it’s not surprising that 9 to 5:The Musical, which has women who work in the head office of a major internationalcompany as its central characters, has been a hit – with men as well as women.

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The musical, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2008, has songs with music and lyrics byDolly Parton. It is based on the popular 1980 film comedy 9 to 5, for which Parton, then inher early 20s, wrote the title song, as well as playing one of the three main women, who cometogether to try to improve their workplace situations.

Newcastle’s first production of 9 to 5: The Musical, which is beingstaged by Theatre on Brunker at St Stephen’s Hall in Adamstown from November 2 to 24,sold out three weeks before its opening. The show’s reputation also led to many peopleauditioning, with the cast including well regarded performers and rising young actors.

The show’s director, Drew Pittman, recommended it to Theatre on Brunker after seeing atelevised version of its Broadway production. He said that it will showcase the stage talentthat Newcastle has.

The three main characters are: Violet (played by Emily Price), a single mother, who is thecompany’s head secretary and administrative assistant to executive Franklin Hart Jr (JasonKing), a notorious chauvinist; Doralee (Megan Connelly), a young, sexy spitfire in Hart’soffice who shows that there is more to a woman than her looks; and Judy (Georgia Taylor),the new girl at the firm who has been deserted by her husband and initially feels insecure.

Emily Price sees Violet as a tough and no-nonsense person who feels undervalued. Doreleewas Dolly Parton’s role in the film and Megan Connelly finds her a bit like Parton by beingoutlandish at times. And while Dorelee has a steady, loving relationship at home, she isn’ttreated that way by the males in the office. Georgia Taylor views Judy as old-fashionedbecause she had stayed at home, doing everything for her husband until he left her, and isnow trying to find value in herself.

Other key roles in the large cast are played by Michelle Peterson, Beau Berghan, AaronChurchill, Jon Murphy, Kane Kaiser, Amanda Woolford, Brian Wark, Micaela Phillips, KylieTrigg, and Cameron Moylan. Musical direction is by Kieran Peter Norman and choreographyby Sandy Aldred and Silvia Flores.

9 to 5: The Musical has dinner-and-show performances on Friday and Saturday at 7pm, fromNovember 2 to 24 ($45), and show only matinees on Sundays, November 11 and 18 (tickets$22). Ring 4956 1263 to find out if there have been any booking cancellations.

THEATRE REVIEWThe Drowsy ChaperoneHigh Street Productions,The SPCC Theatre, Waratah.Ends Saturday.THIS show is subtitledA Musical Within a Comedy, and in this production it is certainly a very amusing and engaging mix of the two forms of theatre.

It begins with an old fellow, The Man in the Chair, gushingly explaining why he likes recordings of musical shows from his early life as he gets ready to listen to a vinyl recording of a 1928 production,The Drowsy Chaperone, and, while he talks, an elaborate set appears and then performers in colourful garb from that era.

The staging team, headed by director Robert Stuart, made this one of the most delightful musical comedies that I have seen. Theo Rule’s chair man is a treasure, with a scene in which he mistakenly puts on a recording of the second act of a very different musical, so that the performers come on stage in exotic clothes, having the audience laughing very loudly.

All the performances are splendid, with Rachelle Schmidt Adnum’s title character having a champagne glass in her hand for much of the time as the characters get ready for the marriage of an oil millionaire and an elegant showgirl.

Tyran Stig’s groom, Robert Martin, brings the house down when he has to skate blindfolded, and Zoe Walker’s bride, Janet, amusingly shows how being a stage star has led to a loss of reality.

The other leading players likewise make their larger-than-life characters decidedly over the top.

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Vic man jailed for death of dog walker

Mardi Trease hopes the drug driver responsible for her partner’s death is rehabilitated.A motorist who killed a man walking his dog while driving erratically under the influence of heroin, east of Melbourne, has been jailed for at least five years.

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Dillon Buckley, 27, caused the death of 58-year-old Guy Williams, seriously injured his partner Mardi Trease, 68, and injured their dog Jamie when he hit them from behind at Wandin East on December 9.

He had taken heroin 15 minutes earlier.

Witnesses variously observed Buckley driving erratically, cutting a corner, driving at high speed on gravel, driving half-off a bitumen road and appearing to travel sideways at times.

After crashing into his victims, Buckely slammed into a tree and his car flipped onto its roof.

He was seen trying to push the vehicle back onto its wheels and appeared to be alcohol-affected.

The County Court heard on Tuesday Buckley told a witness “I don’t care” when informed he’d hit two people and a dog.

He then fell asleep on the grass.

Mr Williams died at the scene, while Ms Trease was airlifted to hospital suffering two broken legs, a broken pelvis, a broken hand and humerus, a broken cheekbone and nose and a brain injury.

The keen horserider and bushwalker hadn’t ridden or gone hiking since the accident and was unable to work in her job as a vet surgeon for more than six months.

Judge Martine Marich accepted Buckley, who had previously pleaded guilty to culpable driving and negligently causing serious injury, was now remorseful for his “appalling” offending and its “devastating consequences”.

He was jailed for seven-and-a-half years with a minimum of five years before being eligible for parole.

Outside court, Ms Trease told reporters she thought the sentence was very reasonable.

“(Guy) was a lovely man who liked to be by himself or with me or his family but he just loved the bush and the birds,” she said.

She hoped Buckley would be rehabilitated into society after prison.

“I’m just hoping and I’m sure he will, that he’ll get better and that he won’t take drugs anymore and it sounds as though he’s got support,” Ms Trease said.

“Hopefully when he gets out of jail, he’ll lead a good life.”

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EDITORIAL: Opposition proposal to make health care environments safer is welcome

In an ideal world violence and acts of aggression would not be part of any health care environment.

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But in reality, hospitals,in particular emergency departments, are more likely to be places where psychological and emotionalstresses, often fuelled by alcohol andillicit substances, combine with disastrous consequences.

More often than not, those who bear the brunt of this behaviourare health care workers attempting to care for their attackers.

Hospital security has come a long way in recent decades from the days when there used to be little more than a security post at the main entrance.

Modern Australian hospitals usuallyemploymany security staff in varied roles around the clock.

Theyare supported by a network technology, primarily closed circuit cameras, to ensure that care can be provided in the best possible environment.

But like nurses and other areas of health care resourcing, there is always a case for more

Statistics released by the NSW Opposition show assaults in the state’s hospitals over the past five yearshave increased by 33 per cent to about 50 every month.

Therewere 36 assaults on staff, patients and families at Hunter hospitals in the year to June. In the 12 months prior, there were 20 assaults in hospitals across the region.

The Opposition has proposed employing anadditional 250 health security staff in its first term if elected next year.

Hospital security officers would be upgraded to “health security staff” with additional powers similar to special constables who can carry weapons such as pepper spray and batons.

Extra training would be provided tohealth security staff, including training inskills to defuse hostile situations.

It would also create a specialist secure hospitals unitto oversee the activity of new health security staff and conduct safety audits of the state’s hospitals, in particular emergency departments.

All of these proposals would help make our hospitals and health care environments safer.

Everyone who works or is a patient in a health care setting deserves to be treated with respect and feel they are safe.

Government resourcing needs to reflect this fundamental community expectation.

ISSUE: 39,033

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Australia’s most expensive fuel at McKinlay, North West Queensland

EXPENSIVE BUSINESS: This was the price of fuel at McKinlay on Sunday. Photo Mark SmithWelcome to McKinlay in North West Queensland, home of the most expensive fuel in Australia.

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Mark Smith stopped on Sundayat the town’s United Petrol outlet –which closed down last week leaving only the unmanned bowsers –and got a huge shock when he saw the fuel price on the bowser.

The price was a whopping 291.9c a litre and with no one manning the outlet there was no one to complain to and too bad if you didn’t have the fuel to go 80km south to Kynuna or 100km north to Cloncurry.

Mr Smith posted a photo of the bowser on Facebook with the comment “dearest fuel in Australia McKinlay Qld…price gouging at its finest…. 60 bux for 20Lof petrol.”

Mr Smith tagged the United Petroleum Facebook page and invited them to “please explain”.

So far the company has not responded to the post anddid not respond to the North West Star for comment.

However Debbie Wust from McKinlay’s Walkabout Hotel has an answer to the mystery.

Ms Wust said the price at the bowser is normally around $1.60 butthey have several flickering power outages in McKinlay lately.

“When that happens the bowser goes to the highest price,” Ms Wust said.

“And now that it is automated it stays that way until someone comes to reset it.”

Ms Wust said someone had to drive 200km from Mount Isa to reset the bowsers on Sunday.

“But the power flicked again this morning so it probably has reset again,” she said.

Ms Wust said since the outlet went unmanned UP have had to send someone down from Cloncurry to dip the bowsers to check if they are running down.

“We’ve had people come in to the pub complaining since they went unmanned, but we have to tell them we do know anything about it,” she said.

Mr Smith saidUnitedadvised him this was a pump issue and he would be refunded.

“However it still leaves God knows how many other travellers or locals that got fuel there overcharged,” he said.

READ ALSO: Memorial for former McKinlay police officer

The North West Star

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