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Local shares are poised to open lower as oil extends its rout and investors were disappointed with the latest data from both Europe and the US.
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What you need2know:SPI futures down 40pts at 5382 on Saturday morningAUD at 82.06 US cents, 97.1 yen, 69.3 euro cents On Wall St, S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -1%, Nasdaq -0.7%In Europe, Stoxx 50 -2.9%, FTSE -1%, CAC -1.9%, DAX -1.9%Spot gold up $US14.46 or 1.2% to $US1223.25 an ounce on Friday in New YorkBrent oil down 85 US cents or 1.7% to $US50.11 per barrel on Friday in New YorkIron ore has dropped 0.3 per cent to $US71.18 a tonne

What’s on today

Australia housing finance, credit card and debit card lending, job ads.

Stocks to watch

Energy shares, iron ore producers.

Ben Potter banking analyst TS Lim has a “buy” on Commonwealth Bank and he’s increased his price target to $92.50 from $86.50.

CIMB has retained an “add” recommendation on Qantas and affirmed its previous price target of $3.50 a share.

Credit Suisse has increased its price target on Computershare to $13.60 from $12.60, and has raised it to “outperform” from “neutral”.

Currencies

CIMB has revised its outlook for the Australian dollar and now expects it to trade down to 77 US cents in the third quarter of this year, before rising to 84 US cents by the end of 2016.

Goldman Sachs has cut its long-term forecasts for the euro. It expects the single currency to slide to $US1.14 in three months, $US1.11 by June and $US1.08 by the end of 2015. It foresees euro parity with the greenback by the end of 2017.

Commodities

Global oil markets resumed their slide on Friday, with Brent and US crude hitting April 2009 lows and ending down for a seventh straight week.

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell by 61 last week, the most in a week since 1991, Baker Hughes reported. The rig count has fallen in 10 of the last 13 weeks, from a record high of 1609 in mid-October. The current count of 1421 in the week to January 9 is the lowest since February.

Oil analysis firm Wood Mackenzie said in a report on Friday that even at $US40 levels, less than 2 per cent of global crude production was at risk of making losses.

United States

US stocks fell on Friday following a two-day rally as December’s jobs report gave a mixed view of the economy, with financial shares leading the way lower.

All three major indexes posted slight losses for the week and fell back into negative territory for 2015.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 252,000 last month after an upwardly revised jump of 353,000 in November, the Labor Department said on Friday. The jobless rate fell 0.2 percentage point to a 6-1/2-year low of 5.6 per cent, but that was mainly because people left the labour force.

Europe

A slump in Spanish and Italian lenders sent European stocks down for a second week, the longest streak since October.

The European Central Bank is studying models for buying as much as 500 billion euros of investment-grade assets, reports said. The amount is far lower than some market participants have been expecting.

Banks were the biggest losers among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600, falling 3.2 per cent to their lowest level since September 2013. Spain’s Banco Santander shed 14 per cent.

German exports fell sharply in November and industrial output also declined. Later in the day, S&P affirmed the AAA rating it has for Germany.

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J.K. Rowling: “I’ll auto-excommunicate”. Photo: AP Photo/Lefteris PitarakisThe creator of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, has taken a scathing swipe at Rupert Murdoch over his call for all Muslims to be held responsible for violent extremists.
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The media mogul was widely criticised on social media after he tweeted on Saturday: “Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.” Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015Charlie Hebdo in Paris and has been retweeted almost 5000 times.

The 83-year-old later tweeted that there was “jihadist danger looming everywhere”, and blamed political correctness for causing denial and hypocrisy on the issue. Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015

The publicity-shy multimillionaire then tweeted: “The Spanish Inquisition was my fault, as is all Christian fundamentalist violence. Oh, and Jim Bakker.” Jim Bakker is a controversial American televangelist. . @dom209 The Spanish Inquisition was my fault, as is all Christian fundamentalist violence. Oh, and Jim Bakker. — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 11, [email protected] “they” as in most Muslims????? You can’t hold an entire religion of billions responsive for the actions of a few — beiruti brit (@BeirutiBrit) January 10, 2015 Maybe all Australians lovely but until we recognise and destroy the growing pus sore that is @rupertmurdoch we must be held accountable. — Adam Hills (@adamhillscomedy) January 10, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The festive season has come and gone for yet another year.
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I hope Santa was very kind to everyone and you all welcomed in 2015 in fine style.

The 12-Hole Wednesday Summer Competition began again on Wednesday December 31 after the little Christmas break.

Marg Hollow won with 23points (a new hip must be what we all need to play well) with Marie Cornish runner-up on 22pts.

The last game of 2014 was played on Wednesday December 17 which saw Carmen Cohen take home the Christmas turkey with 24points from Marie on 23pts.

Last Wednesday, many ladies must have decided their new year’s resolution was to get out and enjoy the earlier start of 8am for the summer months.

Thirteen turned up with 12 playing – Captain Sue Martin decided to be Marie, Lois Lang and Heather Peiper’s caddie for the morning due to stitches in her hand, but she assures us she will be back among the trees next week.

Congratulations girls on such a good roll-up with Marie winning on 25points from Carmen Cohen with 20pts.

Dates for the 2015 Calender

Wednesday February 25 – Committee Meeting after golf.

Sunday March 1 – Canteen at Vintage Fair.

Wednesday March 4 – Ladies Opening Day – “Bring a Friend” 9 Hole Fun Morning.

Annual General Meeting

The 2015 Golf Club has a number of new board members to take them forward for another 12months.

The board is:- Robert Baker (President), Gary Cusack (Vice President), Col Arnold (Treasurer), Rod Irwin (Captain), Alan Ritchie (Secretary/Manager) with Marie Cornish, Malcolm Payne, Normie Royal, along with two new members Pauline Potts and John Gersbach (who returns after a number of years away).

We know you will all do a great job promoting and looking after the club.

Robert thanked David Naveau for his many years of being an active board member and all that he has done for the club as well as wishing him and Leonie the very best for his future residence in Dubbo. Col Arnold and Ron Frappell were inducted in to the Life Members Club – two wonderful gentlemen who the Club and their families couldnt be more proud of. They have freely donated their time over many many years to assist the Club whether it is out on the course or doing the figures.

I will be back intwo weeks, so in the meantime enjoy your golf and no doubt watching the many Cricket and tennis matches being shown on TV at present.

Best of Wishes to you all for 2015

“Dimples”

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Repair job: South Penrith Veterinary Clinic has helped heal and re-release 300-400 injured turtles back into the wild after they have been injured or cracked their shells while crossing roads.Picture: Gary WarrickIF you spot a little creature with a cracked shell, possibly after narrowly escaping a car, South Penrith Veterinary Clinic is the place to take them.
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The clinic has taken in 300-400 turtles that were injured in the wild or while trying to cross roads in the Nepean area during the past few years.

Dr Robert Johnson, Robyn Jenkins and Jane Rossey help the reptiles heal and recover at the clinic before releasing them.

Ms Rossey is in charge of the work with the turtles.

“They come in from the wild; mainly they’re turtles that are hit by cars,” she said.

“Lots of them come from down near the river and other wet areas.”

Ms Rossey said during peak times like breeding season or when females layed eggs, the turtles tended to migrate, and that was when they were hit.

Members of the public from around the Nepean bring them into the clinic or WIRES refer them.

“Once they get to us we triage them and see whether we can restore them back to health or whether they need to be put to sleep,” Ms Rossey said.

The clinic works to repair the turtles’ shells, which are often cracked.

“We used a number of techniques,” Ms Rossey said.

“One is using wires, which is common, or we can use a dental resin to cover the cracks – that fills in the cracks and will make them waterproof.”

She said the shell of a turtle was a bit like human bone, meaning it often took six to eight weeks to heal.

The turtles are in the care of the clinic in a big tank for a couple of months.

On January 5 the clinic released eight turtles back into the wild, their biggest release so far.

While they do see cats and dogs, the clinic specialises in reptiles and unusual pets such as lizards, snakes and guinea pigs and is the veterinary clinic for Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Ms Rossey said data collected while treating the turtles was helpful.

“We take measurements and weights while they are in hospital,” she said. “The ones we are repairing are usually wild so we can compare their normal condition with pets in captivity.”

Ms Rossey believes most people try to look after small animals and that’s why they bring in the injured ones.

“We treat a lot of reptiles and people realised we treat a lot of turtles,” she said.

“We do it happily and all our time is given freely.”

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LOOKING for faster mobile download speeds?
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Major mobile phone providers are beginning to switch their towers to transmit on faster spectrums that have been freed up in the wake of television’s switch from analog to digital transmission, giving people access to much faster mobile phone data.

Telstra and Optus customers are now able to access the faster 4G network in the Mount Druitt and St Marys area.

The surrounding suburbs with access include North St Marys, Rooty Hill, Tregear, Whalan and Oxley Park.

Optus will switch on the service in Colyton, Erskine Park, St Clair, Dunheved and other suburbs from January 19 and possibly earlier.

A Telstra spokesman said customers with 4GX category-six devices would have typical download speeds of between two and 100 megabytes a second.

Customers with 4GX category-four devices can enjoy typical download speeds of between two and 75 megabytes a second.

Optus said the new 4G would also more successfully penetrate solid objects, meaning people sitting inside should get more reliable and faster mobile coverage.

Telstra Country Wide Sydney metropolitan general manager Andrew Bogg said customers in the new coverage areas with compatible devices would be able to pick up the signal instantly and enjoy the new network features.

“Customers are relying on mobile connectivity more than ever,” he said.

“The explosion in apps, shift towards mobile video consumption and use of mobiles for almost anything means demand for connectivity continues to grow strongly.”

He said people who didn’t have compatible phones would also experience increased speeds as the traditional 4G services would be freed up as 4GX phones migrated across.

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Bed shortage: Blacktown Hospital, currently under construction, has experienced “trolley block”. Picture: Natalie RobertsA BED shortage at Blacktown Hospital last week saw patient Matthew Lawrence experience a “bedless 24 hours” during his stay at the busy hospital.
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Mr Lawrence, a Blacktown resident and an employee of Fairfax Media, was admitted last Tuesday about 5pm with an infected leg and a high fever.

It was also the day after a Sydney Morning Herald report about lengthy delays throughout the hospital and ambulance network due to holiday bed closures.

Although his medical care from hospital staff was prompt and “faultless”, Mr Lawrence spent his overnight stay in a reclining chair in a makeshift bay alongside five other patients, instead of in a hospital bed, despite being deemed a category two case.

But the blame for the chaos rests not with frontline staff, he said, but with the Western Sydney Local Health District administration and Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

“They must be taken to task to ensure it never happens again,” Mr Lawrence said of the decision to reduce the number of beds over the holiday period.

“It’s caused a nightmare of a situation for the frontline staff.”

Stephen Pearce of the Australian Paramedics Association of NSW said members in Blacktown and across the state were being affected by “trolley block”, when patients brought into hospitals remained on stretchers due to a lack of beds.

“Paramedics aren’t available to respond to ongoing emergencies because they’re looking after the patient,” Mr Pearce said.

Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Danny O’Connor said a higher number of people than expected had presented to Blacktown’s emergency department during the holiday period.

“Our forecast in demand on our wards over the holiday period was based on historical activity, which allowed some staff to take leave,” Mr O’Connor said. “At no time during this busy period has any patient’s treatment been compromised.”

He said the hospital’s operations would “progressively return to normal capacity” over the next week.

On January 5, Health Minister Jillian Skinner said Blacktown Hospital had seen an “unusual spike” in demand.

“I’m advised the patient flow issue at Blacktown Hospital has been resolved,” Ms Skinner said last week.

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Emily Greenwood ended up with a $15,000 medical bill. Picture: EDWINA PICKLESIt was the week before Christmas and Emily Greenwood had just finished a celebratory dinner with friends.
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As the pedestrian light turned green on the corner of Addison and Enmore roads in Marrickville, Ms Greenwood took one step out onto the road.

Just as her foot hit the bitumen, a cyclist ran a red light and collided with her, leaving Ms Greenwood unconscious, fracturing her collarbone and knocking out several front teeth.

The 24-year-old nurse woke up hours later in hospital with stitches in her lip and swelling all over her body, along with the pain of an estimated $15,000 medical bill, mostly in dental fees.

Emily Greenwood in hospital. Picture supplied.

A police spokeswoman said the offender, a 34-year-old student, was expected to be charged with negligent driving. Should he be found guilty he could face a fine of $67 as well as court costs.

While she is seeking legal advice, Ms Greenwood does not hold out much hope of compensation.

“I am struggling with mounting medical bills as it is,” she said.

Like the vast majority of NSW cyclists, according to data from Bicycle NSW, the offender did not have third party or public liability insurance.

There nothing that protects us in this situation. I can’t possibly understand why they aren’t insured or registered,” said Ms Greenwood.

Ms Greenwood’s story is not unique.

In 2002, pedestrian Maria Galliano was run down by a cyclist as she walked on a shared path on the Iron Cove bridge.

Mrs Galliano suffered severe head and brain injuries as a result of the accident. The lack of compulsory third party insurance for cyclists meant that her family did not have a clear avenue of compensation. Ms Galliano required full time care for the rest of her life.

Ultimately, the only option for the family was to sue Leichardt Council and the RTA, who built the path. The matter was eventually settled out of court.

The city is grappling with ways to accommodate increasing numbers of people riding bicycles. On the Anzac Bridge alone, the number of cyclists has increased 57 per cent from 800 to over 1400 a day between 2008 and 2014, according to data from the RMS.

It is a similar tale across the CBD, with NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay telling Parliament last November that cycling trips in the city had doubled between 2010 and 2012.

Pressure has been mounting on the NSW government to institute a cyclist registration and insurance scheme.

In 2013, Christine Forster, a City of Sydney councillor and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s sister, wrote to Mr Gay.

She proposed a one-off registration and third party insurance fee be paid at the point of sale for each adult-sized bicycle.

Over a year later she remains passionately in favour of instituting such a scheme.

“This case clearly illustrates that there is a massive gap in the legislation,” said Ms Forster. “Cycling is a mode of transport, cyclists are road users and with that comes certain responsibilities.”

A Roads and Maritime Services inquiry in 2013 rejected Ms Forster’s suggestion after feedback from the Motor Accidents Authority.

They found it would discourage families from cycling by “further increasing the costs of owning a bicycle”.

NSW Roads minister, Duncan Gay, has considered a licensing scheme for cyclists in the past but has so far dismissed registration and insurance policies. He has not ruled out such a move in the future.

“In the coming months we will be getting cycling groups and communities around a table to discuss possible licensing options,” he told Fairfax Media.

Bicycle groups in NSW have long tried to encourage members to sign up for insurance.

“Human beings have an inherent ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude,” said Bicycle NSW spokeswoman, Sophie Bartho.

“We encourage all cyclists to take up insurance and to prioritise safety and obey the rules, especially at a time when a lot of people are getting their first or new bike.”

Chairman of the Australian Pedestrian’s council, HaroldScruby, called on the NSW government to implement compulsory third party insurance for cyclists.

“There must be some form of compulsory insurance, the RMS and the NSW government can no longer ignore it.”

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Members of the Bega Men’s Shed are celebrating the imminent opening on their purpose-built facilityTHE new purpose-built Bega Men’s Shed will be officially opened on Sunday.
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Member for Bega Andrew Constance will be the special guest at a ceremony from 1pm on the grounds of the Old Bega Hospital, South Bega.

A delighted Bega Men’s Shed president Eric Myers said it had been “a long haul” to get a shed up and running.

“At times I despaired that we would ever get to this point,” Mr Myers said.

“Now, after almost four years of frustrating delays, we can justify the support and financial assistance provided by Andrew and his government.

“We can also acknowledge the very generous financial and in-kind assistance provided by many local community groups, businesses and individuals.

“Thanks to their generosity we not only have a great shed, but also a great range of machinery to equip it.

“Everyone who assisted in this way will receive an invitation to attend the opening and a barbecue lunch, after which the shed will be open for public inspection.

“Since day one our aim has been to develop a facility where men can meet and enjoy each other’s company and also have access to a well-equipped workshop.

“When fully operational I am confident we will have fulfilled that aim,” he said.

“I know that a lot of men have been watching and waiting for this moment and at long last the waiting is almost over.

“However, we still have to complete the required disabled facilities and fit out the shed and would welcome their assistance.”

Mr Myers said the Bega Men’s Shed group would continue to meet each Thursday from 9am, but additional days can be introduced if required and approved by members.

For further information, contact Eric Meyers on 6492 0289 or 0437 724 385; or the secretary on 6492 0972, 0400 388 202, or email [email protected]

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Men’s Shed site secured (June 2012)Perseverance pays off (April 2013)Men’s Shed members say thanks: Video (May 2013)Development application lodged (October 2013)This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

PROGRESS towards a second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek is continuing, with the announcement of the start of work on an environmental impact statement on the project.
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The short time period for the public to comment was to have ended on December 18, but the federal Department of the Environment extended the date to December 22 to allow more time.

As a result of receiving 53 submissions, the department has now decided an EIS needs to be conducted before the airport can be approved.

Andrea Grieve, of the No Badgerys Creek Airport Inc group that has run protests in western Sydney from Penrith to St Marys and Blacktown, welcomed the EIS.

“We are pleased they are actually going to do an EIS,” she said.

“Hopefully they do actually follow through and not just do the bare minimum.”

A Department of the Environment spokeswoman said the EIS would cover all areas of concern.

“The process under national environmental law is rigorous and transparent, and provides opportunities for public consultation,” she said.

After the EIS is completed the environment minister will decide if the airport is approved or if conditions will be imposed on its approval.

Ms Grieve hopes the scope of the EIS is broad and is particularly concerned about measuring the impacts of the airport as well as the infrastructure surrounding it.

“We want to see it as impartial and not just looking at Badgerys Creek airport, but the new M9 corridor and freight rail and the impact of all that,” she said.

“There are concerns about the impact it will have when you bring it all together.”

Ms Grieves says she doesn’t want the economic boost of jobs to outweigh the health and pollution impact and said there were other ways to create new jobs in western Sydney.

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David Trist with the gifts he recieved from Japan after he sent a banner back there that he traded a packet of cigarettes for with a Japanese prisoner of war. Mayor Ross Fowler returned the banner in a moving ceremony at the Anamori Inari Shinto Shrine in Haneda Tokyo in which a vase, packet of “Peace” cigarettes & a tie pin were presented to the Penrith Council delegation to give to David.The story was also run in a major Japanese newspaper, in hope of finding the man who traded David the Banner. Picture: Gary Warrick.SIXTY-NINE years after swapping a tin of tobacco for a Japanese banner, David Trist has returned the banner to its rightful home and received a packet of cigarettes in return.
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Mr Trist, who lives in St Marys, is a World War II veteran and made the first swap with a Japanese soldier after the end of the war.

Penrith mayor Ross Fowler recently returned the banner to the Anamori Inari Shinto shrine in Tokyo where it was accepted by the priest.

“They haven’t got many of their worldly possessions from before the world war because of the damage,” Mr Trist said. “So I understand they appreciated getting it back.”

In return the priest gave Mr Trist a packet of Peace-brand cigarettes, a cut glass vase, a silk bag with a red fox symbol (a Shinto religious symbol), a tie clip with a chrysanthemum emblem and a copy of a local newspaper with an article about the exchange.

Mr Trist, 89, said he was happy the presentation was so well received.

“Comments were made about the relationship between the two countries — that was the main aim.

“Our countries have become good friends. We’re all human beings and I think we ought to recognise that it’s just as easy to be friends as it is to be enemies.”

Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported a priest at the shrine said: “This is a proof of friendship and peaceful relations between the two countries. We’ll carefully preserve it.”

The head priest of the shrine, Tsugio Yano, is asking members of the public for more information about why banners were being taken to war by Japanese soldiers.

As a non-smoker, Mr Trist doesn’t plan to smoke the cigarettesbut is grateful for the peaceful exchange and hopes people are made aware of the strong relationship Australia has with Japan.

After the war ended Mr Trist was in a working party that secured the return of Japanese soldiers back to Japan.

He found the banner while searching a soldier.

Mr Trist thought the banner was propaganda and it remained in his home for years before he had it translated and discovered the symbols were the name of a shrine.

“I’m glad we did the right thing by returning it,” Mr Trist said.

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■ Board Games @ Mount Druitt: An afternoon of fun with friends playing Uno Stacko, dominos, Scrabble, Trouble, chess or Twister for ages 9 to 12 only. Materials provided. Free (bookings essential). Children’s area, Our Library @ The Mount Druitt Hub, on Wednesday, January 14, 2pm to 3.30pm.
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■ Probus South Creek (St Marys): Want an active retirement? Enjoy outings? Attend our meetings on the third Wednesday of the month, 10.30am, St Marys RSL, Mamre Road. Details: Terry, 0428 231 305.

■ Probus Mount Druitt: For retirees with active minds who enjoy outings and speakers. Meets third Wednesday every month 10.30am at Rooty Hill RSL. Details: Tony, 0412 416 727 or Doug, 9628 3698.

■ Crochet club: Wednesdays 10am to noon. Cost: $5 (includes morning tea). Social morning for knitters or crocheters. Details: Creative Spirit Centre Minchinbury, creativespiritcentre 南京夜网.au.

■ Prostate Cancer Support: Meets third Monday each month, lecture room 1, Learning and Development Unit, Nepean Hospital, 6.30pm. Speakers.

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BLACKTOWN Council has reviewed and updated its existing Development Control Plan 2006.
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The draft Blacktown Development Control Plan 2015 is on exhibition until January 30 and open for public comment, after the council resolved to publicly exhibit the draft plan on November 19.

A development control plan (DCP) assists landowners and developers in designing proposed development and in preparing applications.

In summary, a local environmental plan defines what is permissible on land. A DCP describes how it should be developed, for example the number of car parking spaces or the amount of open space.

To view the draft DCP, visit blacktown.nsw.gov.au and follow the link to the “planning and development” section.

Written submissions should be titled DCP-14-810 and addressed to the general manager, Blacktown City Council, PO Box 63, Blacktown, NSW 2148 or emailed to [email protected]

Details: 9839 6000.

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Shannon Barber The best advice I’ve ever received: Life’s not about the mistakes you make, it’s about what you do afterwards.
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If I was down to my last $10 I’d spend it on: My boys.

My greatest fear is: Outliving my boys.

If I could have a super power it would be: The ability to be invisible.

My favourite phrase: “That’ll do. Donkey, that’ll do,” from Shrek.

If I could travel back in time I’d love to see: The view from the twin towers in New York City.

True love: When your partner just knows what you need!

My last meal would be: Garlic pizza.

My earliest memory: As a kid sliding down a hill on cardboard at Nan and Pop’s.

I wish I hadn’t: Had to have both knees reconstructed.

My biggest fashion faux pas: Wearing jeans so big I could fit two of me in them; the fashion of the ’90s: thanks, Criss Cross.

Hidden talent is: I can juggle (badly).

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