Sydney Bay Run flasher jailed for attacks

Andrew James Grant was just months away from becoming a dad when he hid behind trees alongside Sydney’s popular Bay Run and flashed female joggers while asking them for sex.

Grant’s business was failing, his finances were dire and he resented the joggers’ “privileged lifestyles”, Central Local Court heard.

“He essentially went into self-destruction mode,” Grant’s lawyer, Joseph Nashed, said on Wednesday when his 29-year-old client was jailed for at least eight months.

After multiple incidents, NSW Police started hunting for a man they said had “prominent front teeth”. He approached one woman back in February 2016 and six others in January and February 2018.

In his final attack, Grant blocked the path of a woman running alone, asked her if she was single and tried to grab her, before she ran towards some people walking their dogs who took a photo of him.

After Grant’s arrest in March, police allegedly found a rope, balaclava, gloves and a muzzle at his home.

The Freshwater man, who grew up in Perth, pleaded guilty in June to four counts of stalking and intimidation, two acts of indecency and one count of common assault.

Magistrate Beverley Schurr sentenced Grant to 17 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight months.

He’ll be placed on a three-year good behaviour bond when released, meaning he’ll be supervised and receive sexual assault counselling.

Ms Schurr backdated his sentence to his arrest on March 6 so the father-of-one will be eligible for parole in November.

The magistrate said most of the “targeted” offences were committed during the day when Grant hid behind trees near the Bay Run in Lilyfield before approaching sole female joggers.

“He felt they had a more privileged lifestyle … saying that he wanted to have intercourse with them and looking at them in a threatening way,” Ms Schurr said.

He twice exposed his penis, once late at night, she said.

Grant, who appeared via video link, said he was “ashamed and deeply remorseful” for imposing his “deluded thoughts” on innocent people.

He said he’d failed as a son, partner, father, member of the community and ultimately as a man.

“I understand my actions had a very negative impact and caused great distress – I am truly sorry,” Grant said.

He has since taken courses to help deal with his “urges and cravings”.

The police prosecutor argued Grant’s escalating offending demonstrated a “brazen” disregard for others.

“This is an area where women go to exercise, where families go,” Senior Sergeant Jamie Palmer said.

“He created an element of fear for the community.”

Mr Nashed said Grant had suffered serious childhood trauma. His biological father was convicted for stabbing his mother and a young Grant was holding his brother’s hand while crossing a road when his sibling was hit by a car and killed.

The court also heard Grant was fined in Western Australia in 2013 for committing acts of indecency in public.

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NAPLAN school test scores ‘on track’

Parents and teachers will be able to compare the standardised NAPLAN test results of students who took the exams online with those who used traditional pen and paper.

The national assessment body says its data analysts have confirmed the two data sets can be compared, following reports some state and territory education department bosses due to meet in Canberra on Wednesday have concerns.

One in five students in years three, five, seven and nine who took the standardised tests did so online in the first year of a three-year rollout of online testing.

“As this is the first year of online assessment extra attention has been given to reviewing the data and ensuring it is comparable with previous years and between online and paper test modes,” the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said on Wednesday.

Media reports suggest some education heads raised concerns at a meeting earlier this month about how the data would be released.

A number of options had been considered, including one combined public report, two separate reports or no report at all.

The authority also rejected suggestions there could be delays in releasing the results, confirming they’re “on track” to be released soon.

The transition to online testing has received mixed responses.

Labor’s education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek wants to see the rollout happening faster, saying it was astounding that in 2018 students were still sitting pen and paper tests.

“NAPLAN online, if delivered well, could give students, parents and teachers more accurate and timely information,” she said.

But the Australian Education Union boss Correna Haythorpe said it was a “disaster” and repeated the AEU’s earlier calls for online tests to be scrapped.

“NAPLAN online is fundamentally flawed and must not be implemented,” she said.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said it was disappointing the union was taking advantage of extra consultations designed to ensure the first year of online results were ready for public release.

“Australians should see through the scare campaign being peddled by the union as little more than cheap opportunism from those who have always opposed parents receiving transparent and accountable information on student and school performance,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The Turnbull government will always back parents and educators to get the information they need to help students reach their full potential in their education.”

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Drought bites 100 per cent of NSW

With all of NSW now impacted by drought and nearly a quarter of the state facing intense drought conditions, one farmer wants governments to acknowledge the role of climate change before it’s too late.

Department of Primary Industries data released on Wednesday shows almost 22 per cent of NSW is suffering intense drought, 40 per cent is in drought and nearly 38 per cent is drought-affected.

The combined drought indicator – which takes in rainfall, soil water, plant growth and long-term climate data – suggests no part of NSW is recovering despite some recent rains.

Less than 10 millimetres was recorded in the western, northwest and central areas of NSW over the past month and drier-than-normal conditions are forecast for the next three months across the majority of the state.

The federal government has announced $12,000 grants for each affected farming family while the NSW government has doubled its funding commitments with a total of $1 billion now available.

But cattle and sheep farmer Robert Lee says these are “short-term reactions”.

“They’re just reacting to a crisis and not acknowledging climate change is going to make this more common and severe,” Mr Lee told AAP on Wednesday.

“The reason all of this is happening is because of climate change.”

Mr Lee has been farming near Molong in the state’s central west for 32 years.

He says over that time the climate has certainly changed with winter and spring rainfall becoming less reliable.

Mr Lee, a member of Farmers for Climate Action, wants the federal and state governments to accept that reality and come up with a plan to help farmers adjust to a warming environment.

NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair accepts drier than normal conditions are expected for the rest of 2018.

“This is tough,” Mr Blair said in a statement on Wednesday.

“There isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities.”

The NSW Rural Fire Service says the state hasn’t been this dry for a long time.

“We have 48 fires burning right now and we’re seeing more fires pop up every day,” deputy commissioner Rob Rogers told ABC TV on Wednesday.

“That’s the concern with how dry it is – it doesn’t even need the heat of summer.”

New international research published this week warns that human-induced global warming of 2C could trigger environmental processes – or “feedbacks” – leading to an irreversible “hothouse” climate.

Lead researcher Will Steffen from the Australian National University said current global climate efforts were unlikely to help avoid the “very risky” situation and warned many parts of the planet could become uninhabitable for humans.

A “hothouse” climate could see ocean levels rise between 10 and 60 metres in the long-term.

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Bennett denies Panthers NRL approach

Coach Wayne Bennett says he has not been approached by Penrith but is keen to remain in Brisbane.Wayne Bennett firmly believes he still has a few good years left in him as an NRL coach – and his first preference is that they are spent in Brisbane, not Penrith.

Bennett denied suggestions he has been approached by the Panthers about their coaching vacancy following the shock sacking of Anthony Griffin on Monday.

He said he was “over” discussing his future, having been linked to a number of different clubs as speculation swirls about how long he will remain in the top job at the Broncos.

Bennett is contracted at Red Hill until the end of next season, but is clearly open to offers in 2020 and beyond if the Brisbane board decides against re-signing him – or sooner, in the event he is sacked.

“The way you guys (the media) are going at the moment, I’m coaching Penrith on Monday, the Broncos on Tuesday, Wests Tigers on Wednesday and probably the Titans on Thursday,” Bennett told reporters.

“I’ve only got one day off and that’s Fridays.

“No club’s made contact with me about what’s happened in the last 24-48 hours.”

Bennett, who turns 69 in January, said he was waiting for a decision from the Broncos board at the end of the season and would not entertain any hypotheticals until it is made.

“I’ll tell you again, I’m really over the coaching saga altogether,” he said.

“We made a decision here – we’ll make it in October. The board will make their decision. Let’s see where it all goes.

“I want to be at the Broncos, I want to continue to coach, everyone knows that.

“I feel I know how long I can go on for. And I’m not going to stay a year too long.

“I’m going to be like Billy Slater – I want to go out on top of my game.

“But it’s not now.”

Bennett said he felt sorry for Griffin in seeing him axed so close to the finals, having put Penrith in the mix for a potential top-four berth.

“Probably with four games to go, yeah, it’s a bit tough. But that’s their decision,” he said.

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Bolton advises North Korea to act on nukes

John Bolton says nobody needs more rhetoric when it comes to North Korean denuclearisation.White House national security adviser John Bolton says North Korea has not taken the necessary steps to denuclearise despite an agreement between Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in June.

Bolton, in an interview on Fox News, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was prepared to return to North Korea for another meeting with Kim.

“What we really need is not more rhetoric,” Bolton said. “What we need is performance from North Korea on denuclearisation.”

Kim and Trump promised to work to end North Korea’s weapons programs at their summit in Singapore, but the two countries have been struggling to reach a detailed accord to meet that goal.

Pyongyang’s state media has highlighted it has made goodwill gestures, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

It has urged Washington to take reciprocal steps including officially declaring an end to the war and dropping sanctions.

Satellite images from last Friday indicate North Korea has carried out additional activities to dismantle a key missile launch facility, the Washington-based 38 North think-tank said on Tuesday.

Photos from last Friday showed recent work at the Sohae station to tear down an engine test stand and remove fuel and oxidiser tanks from bunkers, though the possibility can’t be ruled out that the North might be trying to modify the stand for other purposes.

Bolton said the United States has lived up to the Singapore declaration that followed the June 12 summit.

“It’s just North Korea that has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearise,” Bolton said.

He said the relaxation of any sanctions was not under consideration.

Asked about the possibility of additional meetings, Bolton said Trump in a recent letter to Kim proposed sending Pompeo back to North Korea, and that Trump was ready to meet with Kim any time. The letter was handed to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho during the weekend.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has caused international tension for decades and the rhetoric and threats from Kim and Trump had been especially hostile before their June meeting.

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E4444e multiples electronica and nature to great effect

ORGANIC: Romy Church, aka e4444e, was influenced by Glenrock Reserve on his latest album Mr Dover and The Endless Rovers. Picture: LazyBonesWHEN Romy Church, aka e4444e, spotted agalah tea towel while working at the Lowlands Bowling Club, he knew he’d found his album cover. The slice of classic Australiana represented everything he wanted to achieve on Mr Dover and The Endless Rovers.

Church’s aim for the seven experimental tracks was to mimic the sounds of nature –in particular Glenrock Reserve –using electronic music.

“I wanted to have something that looks like Australiana, but looks out of place,” Church said. “I think that’s the feeling of the album. It’s natural, but it’s kind of alien.

“I like that it isn’t what you’d expect.”

Church is also taking the album launch to an unexpected venue.

Surry Hills’Golden Age Cinema will host the launch on September 15 and Church hopes to design a new video visual for the performance. Stay tuned for details on e4444e’s next Newcastle show.

HOLD THE SAUCEBodie – Tell HimYOU probably remember him as Mr Sauce, but Bodie Werleman has returned and rebranded himself as simply Bodie.

To celebrate the name change the reigningUniversity Of Newcastle band competition winner released his latest singleTell Himon Wednesday. It marks a shift towards a more soulful jazz direction.

Bodie launchesTell Himat Lizotte’s on October 3.

UKUELE STARSNEWKULELE Festival organisers have landed social media starsHonoka and Azita for its fourth edition on October 19 and 20.

The two Hawaiian teenagersHonoka Katayama andAzita Ganjali are virtuoso ukulele players and their performancevideos have attracted millions of streams on YouTube.

Veteran Canadian bluesman and ukulele playerManitoba Hal will also perform at the festival, alongsideUkastle Ukestra,Lucy Wise, The Loveys, The Ukulele Death Squad,Tyrone and Lesley,The Montgomery Brothers andCoconut Kids.

While the aforementioned artists will perform at ticketed events at Newcastle City Hall, there’s also a host of free performances held throughout the two-day family festival.

BRONX RETURNSLA punk kings The Bronx were in Australia last month for Splendour In The Grass and it turns out they loved us so much they’re heading back for a national tour in October.

The Cambridge Hotel will host theKnifeman and Heart Attack American band on October 23, with support from Melbourne band High Tension.

SWEET CRUMPETSTHOSE sexy Perth stoner-rockers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are also heading to Newcastle this spring.

The colourful four-piece are about to release their new single Social Candy and to celebrate they will kick-off their national tour at theCambridge Hotel on September 28.

SUBSONIC DROPSUBSONIC’S 10-year anniversary has been given a banging boost withBrazilian tech-house producers Victor Ruizand Alex Stein, New Yorktechno powerhouse Volvox andBelgianavant garde sound sculptorPeter Van Hoesen signing on for the Barrington Tops festival.

Check out the full line-up for the November 30 to December 2 party at Riverwood Downs at www.subsonicmusic南京夜网.au.

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Foemen gets Magntisz on fine-tuning his synth-ppop sound

IN TUNE: Brendy Cann, aka Foemen, has taken the lessons of his debut album into crafting his new EP Magntisz. Picture: Dan Lynch

BY his own admission, Newcastle’sBrendyCann has always been one to tinker and experiment with his music.

It is at the essence of his electro-indie project Foemen. That philosophy was apparent on Foemen’s debut albumDetritus City, released in 2016.

Inspired by overseas travel, the tracks contained elements of androgynous indie-rock, ’80s synth and electronica.

On Foemen’s latest EPMagntisz, all those influences remain.However, Cann and his Sydney producer Dave Hammer have amped up the ’80s synth and heavy vocal effects to accomplish amore stream-lined result.

“We had some techniques that we were really happy with and some vocal sounds and the type of instrumentation we wanted to use,” Cann said.

Foemen – Magnetic Form“Sometimeswhen we’ve recorded we’ve been a bitblasé about what we were going to use and whether we’d use a guitar or synthesizer or a real drum kit or drum machine.

“This time we had a pretty direct limitation of what we wanted to use. It was a lot easier and more fun. You can over experiment. That isprobably aproblem of mine I’ve got to get under control.”

Cann has been making music in Newcastle for more than a decade with post-punk band The Butcher and then new-wave electroact 1929indian and has previously supported The Preachers and Boo Seeka as Foemen.

However, this Friday Cann will be joined by drummer Mitch Redman tolaunchMagntiszin hislargest headline show at 48 Watt Street.

“I wanted to make it more special,” he said.“I’ve played a lot of different places over the years and it’s good to change it up and do something more interesting.”

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Equipment loans give smart businesses an edge

Imagine the places an equipment finance loan could take your business.This article is sponsored by LendingPro.

THE new financial year is well underway and as a new year leads to individual resolutions and goal setting, so too can a new financial year for businesses.

The tick over to July 1 can be a fresh start, a time of rejuvenation and renewed ambitions for the enterprise. A smart business will ask questions such as what opportunities do we want to unlock this year to bring in new customers and create growth? And, what will it take to do this?

As part of this reassessment many aspiring businesses will consider equipment loans as a way to take theirs to the next level.

Apply for an equipment finance loan now to make your plans for this next financial year a reality.

Fast, simple equipment finance, LendingPro can help you determine what sort of equipment loan can work for you.

Here are five reasons why equipment loans will work for your business:

Equipment loans free up cash to grow your business

Baker Craig wants to upgrade his ovens. With an equipment loan he doesn’t have to pull cash from other areas of the business or use his personal assets as security as the new equipment acts as security.

You can borrow up to 100 per cent

This means Craig can borrow 100 per cent of the equipment value and maintain his working capital at the same time.

Equipment loans work for businesses with existing loans or debts

Additional financing may be offered for equipment if you are unable to obtain more money through your banks.

They have lower rates from other loans

Based on risk assessment, rates start at 4.09 per cent.

There are a wide range of loans

Loans offered by LendingPro range run from $5,000 up to $10,000,000 to cover small equipment to large vehicles or machinery.

Find the LendingPro repayments calculator here

The calculator shows how for most applicants just $29 a day will getthat vital $50,000 piece of equipment working for them now.

To find out more simply visit lendingpro南京夜网.au or call 1300 998 555 to chat with a loans advisor.

This article is sponsored by LendingPro.

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Cleary not going yet as Tigers remain firm

Ivan Cleary isn’t going anywhere just yet, with the defiant Wests Tigers confident their unsettled coach will see out his contract at Concord.

Despite reports of an emergency board meeting to address Cleary’s expected release request to link with his son Nathan at Penrith, the Tigers are adopting a business-as-usual approach in the expectation that their coach will honour his three-year deal.

“Ivan has not asked for a release,” Wests Tigers chair Marina Go said.

“Even if he were seeking a release, we wouldn’t grant him a release. That position hasn’t changed.”

Cleary reportedly addressed his players on Wednesday morning, offering no guarantees he would be at the club next season, after Penrith sacked coach Anthony Griffin on Monday in the hope of luring Cleary back to the foot of the mountains.

Cleary was himself fired from the Panthers in 2015 but has made no secret of his desire to reunite with his son, NSW State of Origin halfback Nathan Cleary.

But, unless he digs his heels in and demands out of his contract, Cleary’s father-son coaching union will have to wait with the Tigers maintaining their hardline stance not to grant their coach a release.

Cleary remaining at the Tigers until at least the end of the 2020 season once again raises the prospect of Nathan linking with his father at Leichhardt – rather than Penrith, as widely assumed.

Should Cleary insist on a release, though, the Tigers would likely seek major compensation from the Panthers, possibly in the form of players.

For his part, Gould on Wednesday conceded he didn’t expect Cleary to join the Panthers in 2019 after the Tigers made their position to “fight tooth and nail” to keep their coach clear on Tuesday night.

“I could never see Wests Tigers releasing him from that deal,” Gould said on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

“To be honest, I don’t think Ivan would pursue (it) if the Wests Tigers felt that way.

“Ivan’s not the sort of person that’ll push the issue if that’s what the Wests Tigers say.”

Distancing himself from the discussions, Gould confirmed Panthers chairman Dave O’Neill had broached the topic of a possible return by Cleary during a recent meeting between the pair.

That discussion had prompted Cleary to sit down with Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe about his long-term future on Monday, where he revealed talking to Penrith.

“Dave innocently asked him, ‘would you ever come back to Panthers one day?’,” Gould said.

“As I understand it, that conversation escalated over the next couple of days to the point where on Friday, I was informed by Dave that Ivan was keen to go and have a talk to the Wests Tigers about his long-term future with a view towards one day returning to Panthers.”

Gould pinned Cleary’s decision to meet with the Tigers about a potential Panthers return as the catalyst for the sacking of Griffin, four weeks out from the NRL finals.

He said he had wanted Griffin to at least see out the remainder of this year but said he knew Cleary’s meeting with the Tigers would create a media storm.

“I said, ‘I can’t have Anthony coaching under those conditions. We need to tell him exactly what is going on’,” Gould said.

“So we had a meeting with the executives there and I was instructed to inform Anthony on Monday that his services will no longer be required for 2019 and beyond.”

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PM broke deal on euthanasia push: senator

Senator David Leyonhjelm is weighing up how to retaliate after accusing Malcolm Turnbull of breaking a deal on a bill to restore territories’ power to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

On Tuesday the Senate is set to debate legislation lifting the ban on NT and ACT controlling their own euthanasia laws.

The Liberal Democrats senator is adamant the prime minister promised to let his private member’s bill be debated in the lower house if it succeeded in the upper house.

However, Mr Turnbull insists no such deal was made.

He says the crossbench senator only asked the government to allow a vote on whether the issue could be debated in the Senate.

“We did not do that. The vote to bring it onto the notice paper was carried despite opposition from government members,” Mr Turnbull told ABC radio.

Senator Leyonhjelm says he took the prime minister’s word when he agreed to back re-establishing the construction industry watchdog in exchange for a debate and vote on his bill.

“It is very disappointing, but the issue is a long way from over,” Senator Leyonhjelm told AAP.

The government needs eight of 10 crossbench senators to get its legislation through the upper house.

Senator Leyonhjelm said crossbenchers had to be assured the government would uphold its side of the bargain.

“Knowing that it hasn’t stuck to its deal in this instance would be somewhat significant to many of the crossbench,” Senator Leyonhjelm told AAP.

“That will affect the government’s relationships in the Senate.”

Senator Leyonhjelm said he’d raised the personal guarantee with Mr Turnbull on multiple occasions only to be told it was a matter of timing.

“That was a reference to the fact he has a fairly fractious party room,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

There are fears within the coalition euthanasia debate could cause divisions similar to same-sex marriage last year.

The prime minister confirmed his upper house colleagues will have a conscience vote on the bill, but says he’ll have to consider if lower house MPs will be given the same freedom.

“If the vote came on, if I was a senator, I would be voting against it,” Mr Turnbull said.

Senator Leyonhjelm is confident he has at least 40 of the required 39 votes to pass the bill in the Senate.

It is understood Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and Labor senator Kristina Keneally are among a group of senators set to support it because they see it as an issue of territory rights.

The NT was the first jurisdiction to legalise voluntary euthanasia in 1995.

But the federal government overruled the territories’ rights with its own laws in 1997.

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