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Optus responds to a post on its Facebook page regarding advertisements in Arabic. Photo: Facebook Comments on the Optus Facebook page,and the company’s responses. Photo: Facebook
Nanjing Night Net

Optus customers have urged the company to put its Arabic signs back up in defiance of a storm of criticism on social media.

On Tuesday, the company removed a new advertisement written in Arabic from Casula Mall in Sydney’s south-west after staff were allegedly threatened following the Paris attacks.

An example of the criticism on Facebook read: “What’s with the Optus, Casula shopping centre advertisement board, not one word or English on it?

“Very poor taste considering the weekends events. Your advertisement people would be looking for new jobs if I was running the show!”

An Optus spokeswoman said on Tuesday: “Yesterday, following a threat to our store staff, we made the decision to remove some materials that were published in Arabic.

“The safety and security of our staff is paramount.”

Optus said the posters translated in English as: “We speak your language. Come to one of these Optus stores and chat to us in Arabic.”

On Wednesday, customers took to Facebook to commend the company for its inclusive advertising, urging it to reinstate the signs at Casula Mall.

“Thank you for supporting diversity,” Liz wrote.

“Please put your ads back up. Everyone should always feel safe and excepted [sic] and your ads promoted that idea.”

Others recalled Australia’s history of immigration as one of the reasons for its success.

“I’m sorry your staff had to face the wrath of bogans who are content to act like those they despise,” Michelle wrote.

“This is Australia we have a very long history of migrants helping to build our nation to be the secular haven we are today. Keep up the good work guys.”

Some commended the telco’s social media team for their measured response to comments on Tuesday.

“Well done Optus for valuing the language skills of your staff and our multicultural society. Well done especially for respectfully and strongly explaining your approach to those who out of ignorance felt scared and alienated by the multilingual posters,” Ingrid wrote.

“Taking the time to explain rather than give in to fear is what is needed to help us move forward on these issues.”

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the company said: “Optus’ customers and staff come from a range of backgrounds and speak many different languages.

“In some communities, we actively promote the bilingual skills of our front-line staff. We recognise that sometimes customers find it easier to understand the detail of a phone plan when it’s explained in their first language.”

Optus has been contacted for comment on whether it plans to reinstall the ads at Casula Mall.

A spokeswoman said on Tuesday the posters would continue to appear in other shopping centres around Sydney.

Mariam Veiszadeh, the president of Islamophobia Register Australia which reported the Facebook posts, told Fairfax Media on Tuesday: “The outcry over these ads is over the top and disappointing.

“We need to safeguard our socially cohesive and multicultural society against these misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic faith.”

With Saffron Howden

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Home loan volumes have recovered after the big banks jacked up rates, NAB’s finance chief says. Photo: Louise KennerleyNational Australia Bank is confident about the prospects for corporate and mortgage lending despite the nation’s slowing economy and recent signs that property prices may fall. Home lending has “kicked back again” after the recent increase in mortgage rates, NAB’s Chief Financial Officer Craig Drummond said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. At the same time, record-low interest rates and a falling currency have helped sectors of the economy such as tourism, education and health care, stimulating demand for business loans,  “We are very relaxed about the medium-term outlook for Australia,” Mr Drummond said. “The Australian economy has solid growth rates underpinned by a competitive currency, access to strongish growth of the Asian region and very pristine credit quality.” Mortgage demand
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Demand for home loans faltered only briefly after Australia’s big banks last month announced the first mortgage-rate increase in five years, Mr Drummond said. The big four have jacked up home loan rates blaming the cost of holding more regulatory capital as regulators imposed tougher standards to cool the housing market.

NAB said on October 23 it would raise its standard variable home loan interest rate by 17 basis points to 5.6 per cent from November 12.

“After the rate rise, we saw a few quieter weeks, but now volumes have kicked back up again,” Mr Drummond said. “They are not perceptibly lower than where they were a year ago.”

Still, there are signs that the large increases in house prices in Sydney and Melbourne are starting to cool. The proportion of successful home auctions in Sydney dropped to the lowest since March 2013 last week, as buyers balked at a 47 per cent rise in dwelling values in the three years to October 31. Economists from Macquarie Group to Bank of America Merrill Lynch have forecast a decline in prices over the next two years. ‘Distractions’ removed

Meanwhile, consumer and business confidence has improved as a result of the weaker Aussie dollar and greater political certainty after Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister in September, Mr Drummond said. NAB has seen an “uptick” in corporate credit demand since the change of power, he added.

NAB last month revealed rising competition for business customers had forced it to cut interest rates on company loans, crunching its profit margins.

Taking away the “distractions” of its overseas markets, the bank is now free to focus on loans to businesses and home owners in Australia and New Zealand, the finance chief said.

Mr Drummond and chief executive Andrew Thorburn have led NAB’s push to exit underperforming assets overseas and focus on markets closer to home. The lender has sold its US businesses and is in the process of spinning off its UK unit.

The Australian economy has expanded below the 30-year average annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent for six of the past seven years, as the mining investment boom ended and China’s economy slowed, prompting the RBA to drop rates to a record low. On the other hand, the 32 per cent drop in the Aussie dollar since the start of 2013 has helped exporters and firms in tourism, health care and education, which benefit from more foreign visitors. Business credit expanded at 6.3 per cent in September from a year earlier, the fastest pace in almost seven years, central bank data show. Bloomberg

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Optus responds to a post on its Facebook page regarding advertisements in Arabic. Photo: FacebookOptus customers have urged the company to put its Arabic signs back up in defiance ofa stormof racist tirades on social media.
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On Tuesday thecompanyremoved a new advertisement written in ArabicfromCasula Mall in Sydney’s south-west after staff were allegedly threatenedfollowing the Paris attacks.

Optus said the posters translated in English as: “We speak your language. Come to one of these Optus stores and chat to us in Arabic.”

Comments on the Optus Facebook page,and the company’s responses. Photo: Facebook

“What’s with the Optus, Casula shopping centre advertisement board, not one word or English on it?” read a post on Facebook. “Very poor taste considering the weekends events. Your advertisement people would be looking for new jobs if I was running the show!”

“Yesterday, following a threat to our store staff, we made the decision to remove some materials that were published in Arabic,” an Optus spokeswoman said.”The safety and security of our staff is paramount.”

Customers took to Facebookon Wednesday to commend the company for its inclusive advertising, urging them to reinstatethe signs at Casulashopping centre in Sydney’s south-west.

“Thank you for supporting diversity,” wrote Liz. “Please put your ads back up. Everyone should always feel safe and excepted [sic] and your ads promoted that idea.”

Others recalled Australia’s history of immigration as one of the reasons for its success.

“I’m sorry your staff had to face thewrath of bogans who are content to act like those they despise,” Michellewrote.

“This is Australia we have a very long history of migrants helping to build our nation to be the secular haven we are today. Keep up the good work guys.”

Some commended the telco’s social media team for their measured response to comments on Tuesday.

“Well done Optus for valuing the language skills of your staff and our multicultural society. Well done especially for respectfully and strongly explaining your approach to those who out of ignorance felt scared and alienated by the multilingual posters,” Ingridwrote.

“Taking the time to explain rather than give in to fear is what is needed to help us move forward on these issues.”

On Tuesday, aspokeswoman for the company said:”Optus’ customers and staff come from a range of backgrounds and speak many different languages.

“In some communities, we actively promote the bilingual skills of our front-line staff. We recognise that sometimes customers find it easier to understand the detail of a phone plan when it’s explained in their first language.”

Optus has been contacted for comment on whether it plans to reinstall the posters at CasulaMall.

A spokeswoman said on Tuesday the posters would continue to appear in other shopping centres around Sydney.

MariamVeiszadeh, the president ofIslamophobiaRegister Australia which reported the Facebook posts, told Fairfax Media: “The outcry over these ads is over the top and disappointing. We need to safeguard our socially cohesive and multicultural society against these misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic faith.”

With Saffron Howden

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

TRIPLES: Judy Underwood, Marie Williams and Helen Magor.
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Earlier this season, BHAS ladies won the regional Southern Flinders’ tripleschampionship.

The BHAS team with Helen Magor as Skipper, Marie Williams as second andJudy Underwood as Lead, were successful in the Finals of the triples, held atthe Laura Bowling Greens.

To attain their success they had to play against Crystal Brook, PortGermein andLaura, and emerge successfully against these teams, to become the SouthernFlinders Regional Triples Champions.

Congratulations, Ladies.

On the 1st April 2016 they will have to play the successful teams from the Gulfregion and the Northern Flinders.

Should they be successful against these tworegions they will become Champions of Champions.

Good Luck, ladies!

In other BHAS news, round six of the North Western Saturday Pennant competition saw an unexpected huge win by Port Germeinover BHAS in Division 1.

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HAPPY CAMPERS: John Carlton and Chris Penketh park their caravan at Wilks Park in North Wagga. The issue of the free camping site has ignited opinion.Smoking ban in ashesWHAT a cop-out! The Wagga City Council has rejected the very sensible and very necessary move to ban smoking in the city’s main street.
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Whether we like it or not, all of us non-smokers will have to put up with the stinking, nauseating fumes every time we venture into the city centre.

It is perfectly obvious that the majority of councillors care more about the right of people to smoke than they do about the rights of the vast majority of the population to enjoy smoke-free, healthy atmospheres.

Wagga had the opportunity to lead the way on this issue (which will eventually be implemented) but sadly has wimped out and will wait for state and/or federal legislation. Poor show.

Peter MatthewsWaggaNomads not freeloadersAFTER reading your editorial on November 2 about Wilks Park, which labelled Grey Nomads “freeloaders”,I feel that some facts or truth should be told.

There are in excess of 500,000 caravans and campervans registered in Australiaand grey nomads spend on average $150 at each town they stay in or visit.

Grey nomads do stay in caravan parks but the prices that some caravan parks charge are prohibitive for some who are on a limited pension, courtesy of our government.I feel offended that your journalist would write regurgitated rubbish about the the grey nomad lifestyle.

I myself served 33 years in the Royal Australian Navy and along with my wife, we pay our way at every town, village and city that we visit.We are far from freeloaders on any community.

Maybe your journalist would prefer allgrey nomads keep on driving,bypass Wagga and spend their money further up the road.

Ross AytonWorrigeeRelease report nowTHE ratepayers and residents of Wagga are still waiting for Wagga City Council to release the unredacted external auditor’s report into the failed $2.5 million Douglas Aviation loan and all the information relating to the Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RiFL) Hub.

Jeff StienWaggaThieves have no honourI SINCERELY hope the person who broke into my home as I slept in the early hours of November 3 really needed the money they stole.

Take car everyone and lock everything.

I am left with a loss nearing $1000.

As a pensioner who had the money on hand to pay my green slip, home contents and rego check, I’ve had to find extra money to pay these accounts.

Add to this the inconvenience of in replacing cards needed to function.

Thanks to you my financial position is far from good.

The upside of the day was the efficient attention and assistance given by attending police, St George Bank, NRMA, Centrelink and the RMS.

My sincere thanks to all.

It was very much appreciated at a most worrying and stressful time.

Being Melbourne Cup Day when I was broken into, my money (if I have any left) is on the police catching up with you sooner rather than later.

Name withheld by requestWheel turns for cyclistsMAYBE if allroad users were encouraged to believe they were really bad at it, rather than the best at it ever in the history of the world that they obviously currently do, they might devote more care and attention to the task and stop banging into each other.

David TylerWaggaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jack Perrin from Port Fairy at St John’s Anglican Church, Port Fairy Strawberry Fete.With the strawberryseason in full swing and the last Sunday in November looming, that can mean only one thing,it’sStrawberryFetetime again.
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The popular Anglican ParishStrawberryFetehas been running since 1905 andwill be held at St. John’s Churchon Sunday,November 29.

This family day out has been a favourite with residents and visitors.

Highlights include aroving clown who will distribute lucky spot prizes,a jumping castle and face painting.

This year’s event includes music byViv Fry’s Old Time Band,Tai chi group, SES and lace makingdisplays as well as a variety of stalls.

Items for sale includehome made cakes, plants, books, cards, trash and treasure,jewellery, cosmetics and crafts.

CateringincludesPortland strawberries,home made jam,Devonshire tea and more.From10.30am

St John’s Anglican Church Port Fairy Strawberry Fete. Clown Rachel Mahony playing bubbles with the children in 2014.

Members of the Harden Murrumburrah Twin Towns Rodeo Committee. Amber Leitner, Zak Leitner, Kristy Brown, Marcus Ashton, Ben Coster, Angla Leitner and Gus Shea.Small towns are often the same when it comes to committee membership.
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They rely on a small number of older members of the community year in and year out to keep the community events alive.

A group of young people in Harden Murrumburrah are bucking this trend.

They have taken it upon themselves to deliver their town, the region and the rodeo community another event.

The Harden Murrumburrah Twin Towns Rodeo committee formed in 2014 and set themselves the target of re-establishing the towns defunct rodeo.

What started as an idea at a party, turned in to a committee and provided the direction and focus needed to deliver the event.

The rodeo has had a ten year hiatus, however the same families are now involved via the next generation.

Several committee members such as Secretary, Kristy Brown (Leitner) now have young families themselves and remember what it was like when they went to the rodeo as children.

“We had a great time going to the local rodeo as kids and we wanted our children to experience the fun,” Kristy said.

“A town like Harden Murrumburrah has a great sense of community and we just needed to harness that feeling and turn it into action.”

The committee has held fundraisers, attracted sponsorship and engaged the local Shire Council to bring the town and the region a landmark event.

“Most of us haven’t been on many committees before and we are all around the late 20s early 30’s mark, so we have learnt quickly how to get the job done.”

The Twin Towns Rodeo has managed to raise approximately $25,000 over the last 12 months through team penning events, raffles, sponsorship and old fashioned hard work.

President Marcus Ashton has used his welding skills and love for the sport to make new gates for the arena.

The Harden Fuel Supplies Twin Town Rodeo will be held at the Harden Racecourse this Saturday November 21 commencing at 9am, with the grand opening at 1pm.

Ticket prices are adults $15, under 18’s $5, under 6’s- free and a family or four is $35.

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Following the community meeting held on August 25, 2015, Boorowa Council has commenced the process of submitting a Development Application to open a Waste Transfer Station at Frogmore landfill site, which will replace the village tip, similar to the one recently commissioned at Rugby.
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“The current planning process is to close the tip by Christmas 2015 weather permitting to enable Council staff to commence the decommissioning and remediation of the landfill site and undertake development of the Waste Transfer Station (WTS) in its place.

“This will enable greater compliance with NSW Environmental Protection Authority legislative requirements,” Council’s General Manager, Anthony McMahon, said.

In the interim the current bins located inside the tip entrance will remain accessible to the community until the WTS is completed. The process is expected to be finished by the end of February 2016, weather permitting.

Council have been successful in securing up to 70% funding from the NSW Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy to remediate the old tip and establish the new waste transfer station that will see waste transferred to the Boorowa Landfill site.

Council encourages all users and/or those impacted by the proposed facility to view the development application either online or at the Council Counter, and to provide written feedback.

Should you have any questions, or require any information regarding this project more information can be obtained by contacting Council’s Special Projects Officer, Ms Leanne Leihn, on 02 6380 2000 or email [email protected]论坛

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A postal van has been attacked.A mail van has been robbed in a coordinated but mysterious armed theft, with police still puzzling over what has actually been stolen.
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The van’s delivery driver was attacked in Mill Park yesterday by a woman, who held a knife to his throat, threatened to kill him and demanded his keys.

She took the keys and drove off in the van, followed by a man in a red Commodore.

A passerby then came across the pair rummaging through the stolen van’s mail cargo in Layton Court, Mill Park. On being disturbed the pair promptly fled in the Commodore.

Police are still trying to figure out what was actually stolen. The delivery driver was not injured in the attack.

Police have issued a photo of a Commodore similar to the one used in the attack.

An image of a red Commodore similar to the one allegedly used in the robbery. Photo: Victoria Police

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SMOOTH SAILING: Killarney teen Nancie Schipper is launching her album Haunted House on Sunday, but said she might focus on studies for a few years before doing a follow-up.NOT every musician gets Shane Howard andBill Chambers to play on their debut album.
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But that’s the level of attention 15-year-old Killarney singer-songwriter Nancie Schipper is getting.

Howard and Chambers are just two of the talented musos she called on to play on Haunted House; the liner notes read like a veritable who’s who of south-west musicians –Heidi Gass, Mark Halliwell, Tom Richardson, Cooper Lower, Matt Hewson, Pete Birdand Marcia Howard are among the names playing on the album.

Schipper met Bill Chambersat a Kasey Chambers concert, and the country music patriarch called Schipper a few days laterand said he’d like to do some guitarwork on a couple of songs.

As for Howard, he was happy to addguitar to an acoustic cover of his own song Solid Rock.

“My dad always used to play Solid Rock on the record player and I hated it for a years but I listened to it again one day and I thought ‘I can make an acoustic cover of that’,” Schipper said.

“I liked it so much I thought it should be on the album. I showed Shane the guide vocals as we started recording and he said he could do some guitarwork on it.”

Recorded over 12 months at Bird’s Yelp Studios in Warrnambool, Haunted Housewas made under the watchful eye of multi-instrumentalist Gass, who Schipper calleda great mentor.

“She’s a really great musician,” Schipper said.

“I’ve been having lessons with her for nearly eight years –before I started I couldn’t even sing in tune.

“The big thing she taught me (in the studio) was that if you’re not happy with it (then and there), chances are you’re not going to be happy it in 10 years, so it’s better to go back and redo it.”

Gass plays about 10 instruments on the album and helped shape many of the songs, which Schipper wrote over the past couple of years.

Schipper will make head to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January to play with Bill Chambers, but in the meantime she will be playing plenty of gigs around the south-west, including a full band launch on Sunday at Highline Bar & Lounge in Warrnambool from 2pm.

Kayla Dwyer and Cooper Lower will support Schipper.