Prince Philip is standing down from Royal public engagements

Prince Philip to stand down from Royal duties | Photos Staff have been told Prince Phillip will stand down from royal duties in Autumn this year.

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, smiles after unveiling a plaque at the end of his visit to Richmond Adult Community College in Richmond on June 8, 2015 in London, England. Prince Philip, officially opened and was shown round the new art, drama and dance facilities at the further education college which offers up to 2,000 courses. (Photo by Matt Dunham – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth during the launch of The Queen’s Baton Relay for the XXI Commonwealth Games being held on the Gold Coast in 2018 at Buckingham Palace on March 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen and Prince Philip arrive in Hobart in 1988 to visit Governor of Tasmania Sir Phillip Bennett. Picture Neil Richardson

The Queen and Prince Philip pass from Davey Street into Molle Street during the Royal progress through Hobart in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh tour Wagga on February 13, 1954.

SUNDAY BEST: State Dockyard workers, left, meet the Queen in their thongs.

Member for Dubbo Garry Peacocke with Queen Elizabeth in 1992.

Mrs Margaret McNaughton, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Lord Mayor of Newcastle Ald John McNaugton on steps of Newcastle City Hall. Queens visit Newcastle May 7 1988

Prince Phillip pensivley studies a painting at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery in March 1977. Picture by Allan Jolly

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

11-3-1977 Queen Elizabeth II farewelled by Ken Booth as she gets ready to board the Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

Royal visit 7-5-1988 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip Paula Healey of Adamstown and 2nd Kotara Guides presents posy to Queen Elizabeth II at Customs House

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Priness Anne Civic Park

10-4-1970 CIVIC PARK Prince Phillip talking to Lyn Bell, swimmer at Civic Park

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Princess Anne arive at the wharf to board the Britannia leaving Newcastle after their visit

Queen Elizabeth II At ISC Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970

Queen Elizabeth II with crowd in Civic Park Newcastle March 1977. This picture shows Anabelle’s reaction when she thought the Queen had passed her by. Annabelle Traill, 4, with flowers

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II State Dockyard

Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970

Perth: March 27 1954 – Queen with Lord Mayor of Perth James Murray

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II leaving Queen Elizabth II, Prince Phillip and Princess Anne Arive at the Wharf to board the royal yacht Britannia leaving Newcastle after their visit

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Dubbo, 1992.

Princess Anne in Civic Park Newcastle Royal Visit 10-4-1970

Queen Elizabeth opening ISC Queen Elizabet at the offical openeing of the International Sports Centre

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II ISC After offically opening the International Sports Centre

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at the State Dockyard

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II Prince Phillip at Newcastle Airport

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Prince Phillip greetings at Town Hall

Queen Elizabeth II Civic Park Newcastle March 1977

Princess Anne walks onto the podium at the State Dockyard in April 1970.

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II at the State Dockyard

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II leaving Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and Princess Diana wave from the royal yach Britannia ready to leave Newcastle after their visit.

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Prince Phillip greeting people at Newcastle Town Hall

The president of Port Stephens Shire Council, Cr Freeman, escorts the Queen past the crowd after her arrival at Williamtown RAAF BAse Queen Elizabeth II vist to Newcastle March 1977 Photo taken by John Herrett 11-3-1977

The Queen being farewelled by the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, MR Ken Booth, as she prepares to board the Royal Yacht Britannia. Queen Elizabeth II in Newcastle NSW March 1977 Royal Visit

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Princess Anne Civic Park Archival Revival

Preparations for the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954 out the front of the Newcastle Post Ofice

Ceremonial arches under construction prior to the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954.

Hunter Street, Newcastle sporting decorations for the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954

Decorations on the Klosters showroom for the Queen’s visit in 1954.

The Queen’s 1954 Hunter Street procession as seen from the old post office.

Newcastle City Hall ahead of the Queen’s visit in February 1954.

Decorations on the Colonial Mutual Life building in Hunter Street Newcastle, during the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Tamworth in 1977.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Dubbo, 1992.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Dubbo, 1992.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Dubbo, 1992.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh tour Wagga on February 13, 1954. Picture: Tom Lennon Collection, CSU Regional Archives

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Dubbo, 1992.

Queen Elizabeth II and Premier Nick Greiner, Dubbo, 1992.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh tour Wagga on February 13, 1954

Perth State War Memorial: March 27, 1954: The Queen plants a tree.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh tour Wagga on February 13, 1954. Picture: Tom Lennon Collection, CSU Regional Archives

TweetFacebook Prince Philip in regional Australia +83MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappQueen’s staff called to emergency meetingPrince Philip will retire from royal duties,an emergency meeting of Royal Household staff have been told at Buckingham Palace.

The decision was made by Prince Philip himself and is supported by the Queen, a palace spokesman said.

Prince Philip turns 96 next month.

Prince Philipwill honor allengagements until August, and the Queen will continue to carry out her duties following Prince Philip’s retirement.

It is understood the duties performed by the royal one he stands down will nowbe shared byPrince Charles, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,and Prince Harry

Prince Philip is stepping down from public engagements.

— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) May 4, 2017

The Queen’s royal staff werereportedly called from across the UK to an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace during the early morning.

The news, from “sources”,sent the internet into meltdown as the monarch’s aides and team members from as far as Balmoral in Scotland to her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk and Windsor Castle head to the city residence.

The BBC reportedthe meeting was not believed to be a cause for concernand such meetings happened about once a year.

According to the Daily Mail, the staff were addressed by the most senior officer of the royal household, Lord Chamberlain, and the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.

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Rise to the full moon

Jason“One For” Nunn, from Fishermans Warehouse at Marks Point, reckons that if you can’t catch a fish this weekend, you should take up golf.

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FISH OF THE WEEK: Scott Grimshaw wins the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack for this mighty 10.8kg, 74cm silver drummer speared off Newcastle.

The May full moon approaches, the last of the summer species are still active and the first of the winter breeds are starting to turn up –it’s a great time to have a crack.

“People have got to realise, winter is about to hit, so now is the time to get out of the house and wet a line, there’s so much diversity about,” Jason said

Inshore fishing has been running hot this week with a stack of trag, very good flathead and some nice reds lurking on the back of local reefs.

Tailor have increased in presence offshore as well as a mountainof small kingfish.

They’ve joined a mass migration of juvenile jew offshore –all milling about in anticipation of travelling fish.

“There is a lot of mullet, bream and luderick on the move, and from a jewfish and kingfish perspective it’s time to feed,” Jason said.

“I see these big aggregations of small jew and kings as an endorsement to recent changes in bag and size limits.

“It’s giving fish that might have been taken the chance to spawn a couple of times at least, and no one can object to that because in years to come we’re all going to benefit.

”Forty years ago those big schools of jew would have been made up of fish weighing 20kg each.

“Hopefully those times can come again.”

Teeming tailorLake Macquarie is alive with tailor, but Jason’s tip is be prepared to move.

“There is a lot of bait about but anglers are finding fish are varying in size and number from spot to spot.

“Location of bait, as always is the key. Feeding beneath these schools are going to be lots of flathead.”

An interesting fact going slightly unnoticed amongst all the fanfare about jew, mullet and tailor has been the encouraging numbers of whiting and bream.

Mullet strips have been working a treat on the bream.

A noticeable absentee has been the salmon.

In years gone by, the lake has been thick with fish cakes by now.

“I’m putting that down to the relatively decent weather we’ve been having,” Jason said.

“It’s usually the bad weather that forces them in but it’s been pretty calm.”

Meanwhile, the crabs are going off. Big muddies and blue swimmers in abundance, as the mating cycle cools down and the males move out for a feed.

Big overnighterThe Northern Zone Game Fishing Association, made up of local clubs from Newcastle, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie are holding the time-honoured Norther Zone Overnight competition this weekend.

An annual event that culminates around the full moon of May each year, the NZO affords keen club anglers a two-day window to fish for bragging rights and competition points in their respective club pointscores.

“With Mothers Day next weekend and this possibly being the last opportunity to have a decent fish out wide this season, they’ve opted to hold it,” Jason said.

“The forecast is improving for the weekend, with Saturday looking very good and a weakish southerly come Sunday. With reports of a bit of broadbill action off Sydney through the week, I’m tipping a few lightbulbs will be going off about having a crack.”

Conditions are favourable out on the Shelf with water temp still up around 23 degrees and current slightly eased.

“We’ve seen a few marlin poking about, a sprinkling of stripes and mahi mahi to keep people interested,” Jason said.

“There was a bit of marlin action off the bay last weekend, so with a few boats on the water, this weekend will be a good indication if the season is going to continue on into May and June.”

So-so seasonOverall, Jason said it hadn’t been the greatest game season thus far, although there have been a few definite patterns.

“It’s certainly been one of the better blue marlin seasons,” Jason said.

“However, the striped marlin season has been one of the worst.

“Temps have been too high and the current has tended to push the stripes down south around Bermagui this year.

“Until we see a change in water temp and ocean movement we won’t see a change up here.”

There have been some notable blue marlin catches this season but they do present a bigger challenge in terms of fishing and resources.

“Some people prefer stripes because they’re a bit easier to catch, they tend to turn up in numbers and you don’t have to travel so wide to get them,” Jason said.

Similarly, it hasn’t been such a good black marlin season either.

“You can’t really blame the current on that one,” Jason said.

“It didn’t matter where you were up and down the coast, they just never turned up.”

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Newcastle Juggers to represent region at Champions League Basketball national finals

SHOT: Newcastle Juggers squad Jesse Brackey, Michael Smith, Joseph Wright, Padraigh Hickey and Christian Cramp. Picture: Josh CallinanIt started off as a way to scorefree beer.

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And while that goal hasn’t entirelywavered, this group of Newcastle basketballers now havea shot at going international and playing in Mongolia.

University quartet Jesse Brackey, Michael Smith, Joseph Wright and Padraigh Hickey will combine forces in a national 3-on-3 finals series in Melbourne on Sunday with the winning squadprogressing overseaslater this year.

The Newcastle Juggers, named after their International House mascot Juggernaut the kangaroo, will attempt to claim the inaugural Champions League Basketball (CLB)title in Australia and represent the country before eventually makingthe lucrative world tour.

And the team, which has won all 11 qualifiers so far, only formed about three weeks ago.

“We all hang out together in the common room, known as the green room, to watch basketball at International House,” Hickey said.

“And tobe completely honest, we just wanted some free beer. So we had a go at the uniqualifiers and now we’re going to Melbourne. It’s a lot bigger than any of usexpected.”

They won all five matches at the University of Newcastle trial last month and backed it up with another six victories at Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Sunday.

It means the Juggers now represent Newcastle at the next stage of competition against sides fromHobart, Darwin and Townsville, which may include former NBL and NBA player Luke Schenscher.

Christian Cramp owns the rights to CLB in Newcastle and said his young chargers, aged 21 and under, had a genuine opportunity to clinch the silverware.

“We’re excited because we think they’ve got a real goodshot, and based on the ratings we’re ranked second,” Cramp said.

“We’ve got range, height, speed and youth –these guys have a good crack.”

Cramp said he was confident the competition itself and revised style of basketballwould continue to grow popularity in Australia.

“We found there was a big need for a 3-on-3 format and interest in the fast-paced game,” he said.

“It’s big in Europe and Asia, but not so much here or the US, but Ice Cube has just started something with retired NBA players.”

Games last 10 minutes and are played half-court.

Smith and Brackeyare exchange students from the US while Hickey and Wright have arrived in the Hunter from Mudgee and Port Macquarie respectively.

Their degrees rangebetween architecture engineering, finance, music production and journalism.

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Flashback Friday: Royals in the Hunterphotos

Royals in the Hunter | photos Royal visit Newcastle 11-3-1977 Queen Elizabeth II civic Park

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“Excuse me, could I talk to you for a moment?” Mrs V Thomas said. So the Queen stopped in Civic Park in March 1977 to exchange a few words with the woman who spun the wool and knitted a shawl for the birth of the Queen’s first son, Prince Charles.

SUNDAY BEST: State Dockyard workers, left, meet the Queen in their thongs.

Mrs Margaret McNaughton, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Lord Mayor of Newcastle Ald John McNaugton on steps of Newcastle City Hall. Queens visit Newcastle May 7 1988

Prince Phillip pensivley studies a painting at the Newcastle Region Art Gallery in March 1977. Picture by Allan Jolly

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

11-3-1977 Queen Elizabeth II farewelled by Ken Booth as she gets ready to board the Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

Royal visit 7-5-1988 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip Paula Healey of Adamstown and 2nd Kotara Guides presents posy to Queen Elizabeth II at Customs House

Priness Anne Civic Park Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Priness Anne Civic Park

10-4-1970 CIVIC PARK Prince Phillip talking to Lyn Bell, swimmer at Civic Park

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Princess Anne arive at the wharf to board the Britannia leaving Newcastle after their visit

Queen Elizabeth II At ISC Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970

10-4-1970 Newcastle Princess Anne Civic Park

Queen Elizabeth II with crowd in Civic Park Newcastle March 1977. This picture shows Anabelle’s reaction when she thought the Queen had passed her by. Annabelle Traill, 4, with flowers

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II State Dockyard

Queen Elizabeth II and Lord Mayor Royal visit Newcastle 10-4-1970

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II leaving Queen Elizabth II, Prince Phillip and Princess Anne Arive at the Wharf to board the royal yacht Britannia leaving Newcastle after their visit

Princess Anne in Civic Park Newcastle Royal Visit 10-4-1970

Queen Elizabeth opening ISC Queen Elizabet at the offical openeing of the International Sports Centre

Queen Elizabeth II ISC After offically opening the International Sports Centre

14-3-1977 Annabelle proudly shows the picture of her meeting the Queen to her classmates today.

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at the State Dockyard

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II Prince Phillip at Newcastle Airport

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Prince Phillip greetings at Town Hall

Queen Elizabeth II Civic Park Newcastle March 1977

Princess Anne walks onto the podium at the State Dockyard in April 1970.

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II at the State Dockyard

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Queen Elizabeth II leaving Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and Princess Diana wave from the royal yach Britannia ready to leave Newcastle after their visit.

A little girl presents a posy to the Queen during the meet-the-people walk through Civic Park. Photo by Allan Jolly

Royal visit 10-4-1970 Prince Phillip greeting people at Newcastle Town Hall

The president of Port Stephens Shire Council, Cr Freeman, escorts the Queen past the crowd after her arrival at Williamtown RAAF BAse Queen Elizabeth II vist to Newcastle March 1977 Photo taken by John Herrett 11-3-1977

The Queen being farewelled by the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, MR Ken Booth, as she prepares to board the Royal Yacht Britannia. Queen Elizabeth II in Newcastle NSW March 1977 Royal Visit

Royal Tour Newcastle 10-4-1970 Princess Anne Civic Park Archival Revival

Preparations for the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954 out the front of the Newcastle Post Ofice

Ceremonial arches under construction prior to the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954.

Hunter Street, Newcastle sporting decorations for the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954

Decorations on the old Newcastle Police Station in Hunter Street, for the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954

Decorations on the Klosters showroom for the Queen’s visit in 1954.

The Queen’s 1954 Hunter Street procession as seen from the old post office.

Newcastle City Hall ahead of the Queen’s visit in February 1954.

Decorations on the Colonial Mutual Life building in Hunter Street Newcastle, during the Royal Tour by Queen Elizabeth the second in February 1954.

TweetFacebook Royals in Newcastle +75MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappRoyal visit of 1954The royal family arecertainly no strangers to the Hunter, as this pictorial dig through the archive proves.

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Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya jets out of Thailand days before trial

Bangkok: Immigration records show the heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune flew out of Thailand on his private plane two days before he was due to face deadly hit-and-run charges he has avoided for almost five years.

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Thai police have finally issued an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya and notified the international police agency Interpol he is wanted on charges of causing death by reckless driving.

The case has focused attention on the impunity enjoyed by some of Thailand’s rich and well-connected who are able to avoid or delay justice in the military-run country.

Since Mr Vorayuth’s black Ferrari allegedly slammed into a motorcycle policeman shortly before dawn on September 3, 2012, dragging the body along a Bangkok street before speeding away, he has failed to show-up in courts as the statutes of limitations ran out on key charges.

His lawyers claimed he was variously unwell or busy dealing with business overseas.

But the Associated Press, perusing more than 120 social media postings by his friends and family, found that since the accident Mr Vorayuth has flown around the world on Red Bull jets, cheered his family’s Formula One racing team, stayed at luxury resorts and dined at fine restaurants.

His family, half-owners of the Red Bull empire, has an estimated wealth of more than US20 billion ($27 billion).

Airport authorities in Singapore say Mr Vorayuth arrived in the city-state before failing to show-up for his latest court listing last week, which Thai authorities said was his last chance to come forward voluntarily.

Thailand’s immigration chief Nathorn Phrosunthorn told reporters Mr Vorayuth was free to leave the country because no arrest warrant had been issued for him at the time.

There is no extradition treaty before Singapore and Thailand.

Mr Vorayuth, who was 27 at the time of the accident, faces a possible 10-year sentence for reckless driving if he is convicted before the statute of limitations expires on the charge in 2027.

A charge of failing to help a crash victim expires on September 3.

Charges of speeding and reckless driving causing damage have already been dropped because their one-year statute of limitations expired.

Thailand’s social media has been flooded with comments sceptical that justice will be served in the case.

Initially Mr Vorayuth turned himself in, his father posted bail US$15,000 bail and he went home.

His lawyers subsequently said he left the scene of the accident because he wanted to tell his father what has happened.

A blood test showing he was over the legal limit was because he was “rattled” after the accident so he drank to “relieve his tenseness,” his lawyers said.

The then police commissioner promised integrity in the case, saying “we will not let this police officer die without justice. Believe me.”

But Chris Baker, a British historian who with his Thai wife Pasuk Phongpaichit has written extensively about inequality, wealth and power in Thailand, said he wasn’t surprised Mr Vorayuth hasn’t been prosecuted.

“There is most certainly a culture of impunity here that big people, which means roughly people with power and money, expect to get away with a certain amount of wrongdoing,” he said.

“This happens so often, so constantly, it is clearly part of the working culture.”

Thailand has one of the world’s highest rates of road fatalities which the military that seized power in a 2014 coup has vowed to reduce through enforcement of new laws.

with agencies

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Women and girls targets not met in Australia’s foreign aid spending

Australia’s foreign aid program missed a key strategic target for spending to empower women and girls overseas, despite 70 per cent of mandated federal government goals being met in the 2015-16 financial year.

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A new Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report published on Wednesday showed the key priority of more than 80 per cent of aid spending and investments going towards helping effectively address gender issues was narrowly missed, reaching 78 per cent.

The outcome total was the same as in the 2014-15 financial year, with targeted spending in education and heath the highest sectors and growing.

The department said it would need to focus more on supporting investments in the agriculture, fisheries and water sector, which was the lowest in the overall women and girls empowerment category, despite improvement in 2014-15.

“An increasing proportion of investments in this sector involve partnerships with private sector entities whose awareness of and ability to address gender inequalities in agriculture, fisheries and water still need strengthening,” the report said.

Targets on increasing consolidation were met, while progress on getting so-called aid for trade investments to 20 per cent of the aid budget by 2020 was considered on track.

Tuesday’s federal budget comes as overall development assistance spending by the Turnbull government is at an eight-year low, with planned increases by 2020 still lower than during the Rudd and Gillard governments, more than a decade earlier.

Under the Coalition, Australia’s $3.83 billion official development assistance budget for 2016-17 was closest to spending levels in 2009-10, totalling $3.86 billion.

After more than $240 million in cuts this financial year, aid groups hope Scott Morrison’s second budget won’t bring further reductions.

Current budget commitments over the four-year forward estimates period had been set to peak at $4.1 billion, meaning Australia could spend less on foreign aid in 2020 than it did in 2010-11, when the total reached $4.3 billion.

In last year’s budget, planned spending for 2017-18 was slated to grow to $3.9 billion, before reaching $4.01 billion in 2018-19.

On existing spending, more than 90 per cent of Australia’s foreign aid commitments go to countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including more than $558 million to Papua New Guinea, $365 million to Indonesia and $162 million to the Solomon Islands.

The new report found Australia’s aid was meeting targets in areas including promoting prosperity, engaging with the private sector overseas, reducing poverty and focusing on the Indo-Pacific region.

In 2015-16, three quarters of all development assistance spending by the department went through the most common types of partner organisations: 41 per cent through multilateral organisations, 20 per cent through commercial partners and 11 per cent through non-government organisations.

Data on whether Australian aid was achieving value for money found 86 per cent of investments were rated as satisfactory for efficiency and 87 per cent were rated satisfactory for effectiveness, down from 90 per cent in 2011-12.

The report said fraud and anti-corruption strategies were in place for all major country and regional programs receiving Australian aid dollars.

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Inside Running: Nathan Ross takes a closer look at a representative rugby league debut

Nathan Ross

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Going into City camp has been like going back to school.

There’s all the nerves and excitement that come with your first day in a new place.

Not really knowing what to expect but still wanting to make a good impression.

And of course, outside the all-important tuckshop menu,there’s the people and trying to find a few friends along the way.

Even the structures aresomewhat similar between the realm of representative rugby league and the old school yard.

Take our coach Brad Fittler as the principal. While it might be hard to imagine the jovial “Freddy” as the taskmaster, he lays down the law with rules and regulations for the class to follow.

Then you’ve got the support staff like Tony Butterfield and Paul Sironen, defensive coach and manager respectively, who become the teachers for different subjects providing direction in particular learning areas.

Paul Gallen is our school captain. An inspirational figure leading from the front,sharing his knowledge with peers and giving the squad someone to look up to.

Chad Townsend, Clint Gutherson and those who have been there before act as prefects in helping to guide usmore inexperienced students like Nathan Cleary, Josh Addo-Carrand Knights teammate Pauli Pauliaround the playground.

And who could forget the uniform. Brand new, straight out of the packet and modelled with an inescapable Kindergarten-style grin.

The week in camp has presented a range of group activities from visualisation to yoga and training to dinners.

Now we’re on excursion inMudgee, visiting a few other schools and preparing for the final exam with ourCountry counterparts at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium on Sunday.

That test culminates a lifetime of experience for me, including juniors with the Coogee Randwick Wombats and a Newcastle Rugby League grand final with the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs in 2013.

It also marks a piece of history, being the last fixture of its type, which makes you want to pass with flying colours even more.

Thenthere’s thechance of gaining a scholarshipto another, more exclusive, type of school called State of Origin later this month.

STRETCH: Newcastle Knights pair Nathan Ross and Pauli Pauli undergo a yoga session with the City squad as part this week’s Origin camp. Picture: Getty Images

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Homeless housing project delayed as residents take fight to VCAT

Family stumps up $4m to tackle homelessnessThe changing face of Footscray

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Plans to build almost 60 new units to house the homeless in Footscray and Maidstone have been delayed as a group of residents take their fight against the project to VCAT.

City of Maribyrnong councillors last week granted unanimous planning approval for the final three of the nine Ballarat Road sites slated by Launch Housing to house 57 new relocatable homes.

Launch chief executive Tony Keenan said everything was in place to proceed with the $5 million project, but the service would wait on the outcome of the VCAT appeal.

“We are very happy that the councillors unanimously supported the council recommendation, and have been contacted by a number of residents who are supportive of this project,” he told the Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Star Weekly.

“We are very confident the planning applications meet all the guidelines. There have been a small minority of residents who have been opposed and we have taken on board any legitimate planning concerns.”

Resident Katherine Gow told last week’s council meeting the entire planning process should be restarted as Launch had created a false impression of a partnership with the council by using the council’s logo on its advertising material.

Mayor Catherine Cumming conceded the use of the logo was unfortunate but assured objectors the decision to support the project has been made on purely planning grounds.

Mr Keenan told Star Weekly he rejected suggestions made by opponents that the housing was of poor quality and would lead to the stigmatisation of residents.

“It’s designed by an award-winning architect and we have listened to all the issues that have been raised,” he said.

“I think people haven’t taken the time to understand that it’s not temporary housing; it’s relocatable but it will be there for as long as we have the land.

“When you are doing any housing project for people who are poor and struggling, it brings out this opposition, but I’m surprised to find it in Footscray.”

Mr Keenan said Launch was keen to start building the units and will use the project as a model for under-used land across Victoria.

“It’s a very important pilot, we have a housing crisis in this city and initiatives like this are taking place around the world.”

Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Star Weekly

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Water and first aid available in the wake of ADFA bus crash: Defence

Multiple injuries in Windellama bus roll-over Photo: Goulburn PostThe Defence Department says appropriate water and first aid supplies were on hand in the aftermath of a 2015 bus crash in which three recruits were seriously injured, contradicting a scathing report which highlighted challenges at the remote accident site.

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A review of the crash at Windellama, about 50km south-east of Goulburn, in November 2015 found Australian Defence Force Academy recruits were travelling without mass first aid supplies, adequate shade systems, satellite phones or bottled water, with a passing property owner the only person able to raise the alarm.

Three passengers were seriously injured in the crash and had to be airlifted to Canberra and Sydney while nine others were taken by road to Goulburn. The cadets and midshipmen were returning from a training exercise at HMAS Creswell at Jervis Bay.

An official review of the crash and emergency response by the Defence Department, released under freedom of information this week, showed the injured were initially treated with optional first aid kits carried by some of the cadets and passersby, while no full passenger manifest had been prepared for the four-bus convoy.

It said there was no water carried on the buses available to the passengers, only optional first aid kits were available and mobile phone coverage was severely limited.

A Defence spokeswoman said on Thursday the majority of the officer cadets and midshipmen involved in the crash had since graduated from the academy, while some of the most seriously injured were advancing well in recovery and rehabilitation while continuing study.

“There were appropriate first aid supplies and water available at the time of the accident, which were used to provide assistance to the injured at the scene while waiting for emergency service response,” the spokeswoman said.

“Defence carried out reviews into the accident and the resulting recommendations are being considered. Defence is committed to ensuring that planning processes and control measures are improved as a result.

“ADFA staff, officer cadets and midshipmen reacted promptly at the scene and eight were formally recognised by Defence for their outstanding actions.”

A nearby property owner, an Air Force warrant officer, called 000 about four minutes after the crash and a passing registered nurse and State Emergency Service volunteer helped administer first aid.

The bus driver has pleaded not guilty to charges of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and will face court in Sydney in October.

The report’s seven recommendations included calls for first aid kits, water, adequate shade provisions and passenger manifests to be carried during future Defence exercises, as well as for more effective command and control measures to be in place.

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Parkinson’s conference to draw world experts to Newcastle from May 5 to 7.

Life-changer: Lawrie Gray’s plans for the future took an abrupt turn following a Parkinson’s diagnosis. He is one of about 87,000 Australians living with the disease, for which there is no cure. Picture: Marina Neil.LAWRIE Gray was working as a crown prosecutor in Newcastle when he started to become forgetful, stress-prone and anxious.

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But it was not until he developed a tremor in his right hand sixyears later that he was diagnosed withParkinson’s disease, changing the course of his life forever.

Parkinson’s on the agenda TweetFacebook Living in the shadow of Parkinson’s disease Lawrie Gray, of Adamstown Heights, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011. Pictures: Marina Neil.+4Lawrie Gray, of Adamstown Heights, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011. Pictures: Marina Neil.MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentComments“Whatever visions I had of the broad sunny upland of retirement are quite different now,” he said.

“I’d imagined myself to be involved in community things, particularly conservation and environmental issues, and found myself involved in the Parkinson’s world instead.”

The Adamstown Heights resident, now 68, is the president of the Newcastle Parkinson’s Support Group.

“When the diagnostics came, it was a relief really, because there was a number of years there that I was coming apart and not knowing what the cause was,” Mr Gray said.

He hoped an international conference, endorsedby the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, to be held in Newcastle this weekend would help to raise awareness of the disease.

More than 200 delegates, including the world’s leading clinical authorities on Parkinson’s, are expected toattendthe eventat Wests Cityfrom May 5 to 7to discuss diagnosis, advances and treatment. Itwillmark200 years since the publication of James Parkinson’s An Essay on Shaking Palsy,and willbegin with a public forum on Friday.

Mr Gray said the conferencebeing held in Newcastle was a reflection of the peer recognition heldfor the work of Hunter specialists like Dr Jeff Blackie at John Hunter Hospital and Dr C Padmakumar, of the Rankin Park Centre.

“It’s raising awareness, but also highlighting how significant the Hunter area Parkinson’s programs are that it would happen here rather than in Sydney,” he said.

Some days with Parkinson’s were better than others, Mr Gray added, but stressful situations triggered his tremor.

“It doesn’t need to be much, it can be as simple as meeting new people or walking into a room of strangers,” he said. “I have some facial masking and it’s not easy to tell –if I’m having an off day –whether I’m happy or unhappy. It’s hard for people to discern any emotion at all.

“Kids pick up on that really quickly and steer clear of it.

“One grandchild in particular is a bit edgy about Pop – she knows there is something wrong.”

Dr Padmakumar, the chairman of the Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute– which has organised the conference,said research into Parkinson’s was ongoing, with new medications for the non-motor symptoms of the disease showing promise.

“A cure, though, is still awaited,” he said.

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