Landmark or eyesore? Queen’s Wharf Tower demolition exposes mixed views in Newcastle

Tower demolition call exposes mixed views LANDMARK OR EYESORE: An aerial photograph from 1991 showing Queen’s Wharf, which won an architectural award three years earlier. The wharf’s observation tower will be dismantled in the middle of next year.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

FADING: Mist shrouds the tower as a kayaker paddles by on Newcastle harbour.

FIRST DRAFT: An early model of the Queen’s Wharf design by Newcastle architect Kevin Snell.

MOVING FORWARD: A race car drives past the Queen’s Wharf Tower on Saturday during the Newcastle 500. Picture: Simone De Peak

CLEARING THE AIR: An artist’s rendering of how the wharf would look without the tower. Picture: Newcastle City Council

Before and after images of Queen’s Wharf with and without the tower. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council

An artist’s rendering of how the tower-less wharf could look. Image courtesy of Newcastle City Council

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that the 40-metre observation tower would come down in the middle of next year after the council received a forecast maintenance bill of $1.6 million for the next four years, including $1.2 million to repaint it.

The news prompted a flood of memes, ribald jokes, poetry and even a rap song on social media as the city celebrated and mourned the loss of the phallus-shaped structure.

One Facebook follower suggested the city could celebrate the same-sex marriage “yes” vote by retaining the tower and erecting another one next to it.

A Herald online poll suggested the community was divided over the issue as 54per cent called for the tower to be retained and 46 per cent wanted it gone.

But lawmakers on different sides of politics said the time was right for the tower to be levelled.

Cr John MackenzieHerald readerscommented online that the tower was an “eyesore”, smelled like a toilet and was rarely used.

Others argued it was part of Newcastle’s culture and offered excellent views of the city and water.

Another suggested removing the building’s bulbous top to make it less evocative.

Bali volcano: Major eruption possible

Indonesian authorities are preparing to evacuate residents by force as Bali’s Mount Agung volcano threatens to erupt and ash-laden skies left hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in limbo.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The number of affected visitors on Wednesday totalled 120,000 as experts warned earlier that a major eruption was “imminent” and authorities closed Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport until Thursday morning.

Increased activity detected inside Mount Agung overnight suggests an eruption is likely, with volcanic rocks the size of fists reported at villages four kilometres from the summit on Tuesday afternoon.

Volcanic ash has also been detected up to seven kilometres in the skies above the summit of Mount Agung which is 72 kilometres from the popular holiday destination of Kuta.

The code red warning for air travel was downgraded, however, to orange – the second highest level – after initially being issued on Monday.

Indonesian authorities said they were preparing to evacuate some 60,000 residents by force after more than 100,000 residents within a 10-kilometre exclusion zone were ordered to evacuate on Monday.

Only 40,000 Balinese in the exclusion zone have heeded warnings.

Increased seismic activity was detected at the volcano overnight following reports on Tuesday evening of a 30-minute tremor inside the crater after a series of small eruptions that began last week.

Thousands of travellers, including many on schoolies trips, remain stranded in Bali with all flights in and out of Ngurah Rai International Airport grounded until further notice.

Victorian schoolies Jesse Williams and Connor Harvey said they were worried about not being able to come home but wouldn’t let the volcano spoil their holiday plans.

“We’re a bit worry about the volcano erupting, about our flight back, not about our safety here,” Harvey said.

“We’re fine here. We’re just gonna hang around Kuta, Seminyak.”

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin advised passengers on Wednesday that all flights were cancelled for the day.

Ash from the volcano has blanketed the airport as well as local roads and buildings. Fifteen assembly points have been prepared around Bali in the event of a major eruption.

Mount Agung towers over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3000 metres and last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1000 people and razing several villages.

Bali, famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracted nearly five million visitors last year but business has slumped in areas around the volcano since September when Agung’s volcanic tremors began to increase.

Many stranded n travellers say they are running out of funds and are missing important events back home.

One Perth family said they were missing their daughter’s primary school graduation and had spent hours at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday waiting for answers.

“Our Air Asia flight to Perth been cancelled today so we’ve been on the line close to three hours now. Ella just graduated from Year 6, so we’re trying to get to that.” Due to the significant volcanic ash and current weather conditions, Denpasar Airport is currently closed. As a result we have cancelled all flights between Bali and today and Thursday 30 November. More info is available on our Travel Alerts page. https://t苏州夜场招聘/LD8rC5LZdZ??? Virgin (@Virgin) November 28, 2017

Hunter Catholic staff to stop work over right to arbitration

HUNTER Catholic teachers and support staff will stop work for four hours next week, vowing to fight for their right to arbitration even if it means missing out on backpay of up to $2250before Christmas.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

NSW and ACT Independent Education Union branch assistant secretary Mark Northam saidmembersfrom 51 of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s 57 schools were expected toparticipate in the protected industrial action. “In a sense this has become a history-making dispute,” Mr Northam said.”No Catholic employer has ever put to votea non union endorsed agreement. This situation is due to their failure to get around a table and negotiate an outcome.”

Mr Northam said membersfrom most schools would stop work for four hours from the commencement of duties on Monday. They will attend meetings at Mayfield Bowling Club and Aberdeen Bowling Club. Membersfrom St Pius X Adamstown, St Peter’s Maitland, St Therese’s New Lambton, St Joseph’s Merriwa andSt Paul’s Gateshead will stop work on Tuesday. Membersfrom Holy NameForster will stop work on Wednesday.

Director of Schools Michael Slattery said he was “disappointed” about the action,but assured parents all children at affected schools will be supervised.

As previously reported, the IEU andCatholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) started negotiating late last year over a new three year enterprise agreement to start in 2017.

The IEU wanted a clause that allowed staff to seek arbitration in the Fair Work Commission over disputes.

The CCER has said there is no need to include arbitration in the agreement. It said the current process in place for the past seven years has resolved every dispute andis consistent with the Fair Work Act.”Iffor some reason it does stop working throughout the life of the new enterprise agreement, the CSO will be happy to work with the union to find ways to improve it,” Mr Slattery said. He encouraged staff to vote yes on the proposed agreement in its current formon December 5 and leavethe IEU and CCER to continue negotiations on the arbitration clause in 2018. “This way staff at Catholic schools can receive the financial benefit of the negotiated 2.5 per centincrease in remuneration and their back pay as soon as possible. The 11 dioceses have decided that we will not wait until the Fair Work Commission formally approves the enterprise agreement before we process pay increases, as this could take an extended period of time.”

Mr Northam saidmembers were “incited by what’s been offered to them and [the idea] that you can resolve a dispute by putting money into people’s hands or pockets”.

NRL: Newcastle Knights incorporate ‘yin’ yoga into pre-season training routinephotos

Knights stretching limits with yoga BEND AND STRETCH: Newcastle Knights players, including Nathan Ross, Jamie Buhrer and Daniel Saifiti, doing yoga at Balance City on Wednesday morning as part of pre-season training. Picture: Simone De Peak
SuZhou Night Recruitment

FLEXIBLE: Knights recruit Jacob Lillyman. Picture: Simone De Peak

POISE: Premiership-winner Slade Griffin. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebook“It means there’s a different voice delivering messages that we try to get across every week, trying to teach them how to stretch on top of our own techniques at training.

“I also like the discipline of yoga… not taking short cuts.

“This hopefully translates into other areas of their work and helps them to become more professional in their overall approach.”

Kenny-Dowall, who travelled to the “home of yoga” in the Indian Himalayan regionduring the off-season, was grateful for theWednesday morning addition having previously sought itout individually in a bid to continue his professional rugby league career.

“I tried to incorporate it [yoga] in my programs outside of the training I was doing and have probably done it for the last five years,” Kenny-Dowall said.

“I took it upon myself because I had a few injuries at the time and was looking for alternative methods to prolong my career.

“I really found yoga gave me a mental focus as well as a physical balance and realignment.

“I recently went over there [to India] and did a few classes and learned a lot off some masters which was a really good experience.

“So it’s amazing that Tony [Ayoub] and the Knights’ performance staff have been able to incorporate it into our training because it’s not another thing we have to doand it’salready helping the boys along.”

Danny Buderus Medal recipientBarnett, recovering from recentshoulder surgery, haslessexperience with yoga butwithin a month noticed the difference.

“I struggle a lot more with the old yoga because of my flexibility, but it has improved over the last four weeks,” Barnettsaid.

Meanwhile, the Knights are expected to announceon Thursdaythat they will play an NRL trial game at the redeveloped Maitland Sportsground in February.

SIGNINGS: Knights say room for Pearce and Lamb

NO SHOW: Cessnock recruit Carter misses court appearance

JAG: West Newcastle swoop on former internationalFrank Paul Nu’uausala

QUICK SINGLES: Triple headers part of revamped T20 program in Newcastle

RUNS: Wallsend’s Jacob Montgomery playing T20 last season. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTRIPLEheaders will be part of the revamped T20 program in Newcastle this summer.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

With the official launch imminent for the new competition, no longer featuringpremiership points, district clubs have been informed of the proposed format.

There aretwo pools of six teams with five preliminary rounds set acrossJanuary and February. This includesa mid-week match and two lots of back-to-back-to-back Sunday fixtures with three sides at one venue. Semi-finals and the decider will be played on the same day.

ROUND 8 FIXTURES: Wests v Cardiff, City v Toronto, Merewether v Wallsend, Hamwicks v Charlestown, Belmont v Waratah, University v Stockton.

* MASTERScompetition returned last week with a tie recorded between old rivals Charlestown (9-136) and Belmont (8-136).

The two clubs dominated first grade proceedings in Newcastlefor more than a decade from 1980-1981 and they sparked memories of those fierce battles at Kahibah Oval on Wednesday afternoon.

Hamwicks, Merewether, City and Toronto were the other first-round winners of the five-week competition.

* STREAKERS stole the show for a while at Wallsend Oval on Saturday.

A few young men dumped their bikes andstripped bare before running across the ground as the Tigers held on to defeat Stockton.

* JED Dickson will captain Charlestown in their upcoming round-eight encounter away against Hamwicks with regular leader Steve Mace unavailable.

* NEWCASTLE representative skipper Mark Littlewood not only returned home with the NSW Country Championships trophy after Sunday’s victory but also the Mark Curry Medal for player of the final after top scoring with 59.

More women, less alcohol needed at Sydney Uni’s colleges

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 04: St Paul’s College at Sydney University where Stuart Kelly was bullied on August 4, 2016 in Sydney, . (Photo by Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media)Elizabeth Broderick launched her report into Cultural Renewal at the University of Sydney Residential Colleges, this is an extract of her speech.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

It is never an easy task to hold the mirror up, to have a close look at the culture of the organisation we lead, and at times, to face issues that can be confronting But in my experience of examining organisational culture, those organisations that do precisely this are the ones that continue to evolve and, remain relevant and dynamic.

In commissioning this independent review the colleges invited me to shine a light on all aspects of college culture, the good and the bad.

My team and I have connected with many hundreds of college students. Far from being uninterested in this work, students have been enthusiastic about contributing to the project with one student stating:

“I want college to be a place where everyone can have a positive time, like myself. If we need to change parts of the culture to make sure this happens, then I am all for it??? We need to be a place for everyone.”

I acknowledge that on occasion students recounted distressing experiences. I want to thank all of those students who participated – and, in particular, those courageous students who shared their stories with my team. The report is much richer and more powerful because of your contributions.

I am not surprised by what I found in the colleges. Having studied many organisations over the past decade, those aspects of the culture that do require strengthening are the ones I would have expected.minimise the findings. Rather the findings should be a lever for strong action, action that needs to be taken, as a matter of priority.

I will take you through some of the key findings, but first a word on the methodology.

My team and I spoke to over 630 students and recent alumni during the project. In total we spoke to 42 per cent of current students in discussion groups and in individual interviews. We surveyed over a thousand students, representing a 69 per cent response rate.

This research has provided us with strong representative data. We also undertook extensive reviews of local and international best practice and this best practice forms the basis for our recommendations.

Turning to the findings now. Our research found that for most college students most of the time, their experience is positive and rewarding. This was an overwhelming finding, drawn from both our survey data and the qualitative data.

Students spoke of the strong academic support, pastoral care, access to extra-curricular activities and the establishment of firm friendships – all features of college life that enriched their overall university experience.

Our data shows that of students surveyed, 86 per cent felt a sense of belonging at their college. This strong sense of belonging also featured in many of the discussions with students across all of the colleges.

In addition to this, 89 per cent of students felt supported by peers and staff. Students told us:

“I feel safe, included and truly believe that college has not only helped me excel in academia but also learn social skills and gain friendships for life.”

Though there is strong positive data, some students also identified challenges with college life.

Students spoke to us of a so-called “big drinking culture” at college.

Forty-nine per cent of college students believed that alcohol helped them to socialise and make friends – an important element of fitting in. A further 15 per cent believed that there was too much focus on drinking at college. 13 per cent experienced pressure to drink alcohol when they didn’t want to. Female students were significantly more likely to report experiencing this (15 per cent) than male students (9 per cent).

In relation to issues concerning safety, 19 per cent of students reported experiencing bullying or intimidation, pressure to participate in activities that were humiliating or intimidating to them or another student, or hazing. 50 per cent of students said they had witnessed these behaviours.

A quarter, 25 per cent of women and 6 per cent of men reported experiencing sexual harassment since commencing at college. 46 per cent said the harassment occurred either at their college residence or grounds while 44 per cent said the sexual harassment occurred at a different University of Sydney College residence or grounds. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators were male.

Six per cent of women and 1 per cent of men reported that they had experienced actual or attempted sexual assault. In 95 per cent of the incidents and in all the incidents reported by women, the alleged offender was male.

The data is compelling. As I mentioned earlier, Overwhelmingly students’ stated that they felt they belonged in college and felt supported by both staff and peers. But for some, college life is challenging. It can be isolating, and on occasion it can be unsafe.

Our evidence found that for women in particular, the college experience can be quite different to that of their male peers. This was evident across many data points, including experiencing ‘exclusion or isolation’, pressure to drink alcohol, sexist remarks, the pressure to have sex or hook up to fit in, experiences of sexual harassment and of sexual assault.

Turning now to the recommendations – I make 23. Many build on the promising strategies under way at the colleges.

Each recommendation is intended to ensure a safe and supportive environment, for all students.

A cohesive and collaborative intercollegiate community will have a united response to culture. For this reason the recommendations are common across all colleges.

Courageous leadership from college councils, staff and student leaders lie at the heart of our recommendationsAll three tiers of leadership should therefore actively own and champion the recommendations. With this objective in mind we propose that the leaders develop and deliver a clear and strong written statement (signed by all) that articulates the importance of cultural renewal, its benefit to individual students and the college more broadly.This message should also unequivocally state the college’s zero-tolerance to any unacceptable behaviours and attitudes.

On student leadership, there is a set of recommendations that give greater capacity for the election of, not just the most popular students, but those student leaders who visibly demonstrate the best leadership qualities , including a visible commitment to an inclusive and respectful college culture.

Our analysis shows that women are largely under-represented in student leadership roles. Over the last five years only four women have held the position of senior student or house president in co-ed colleges compared to 16 men. The research is now unequivocal – leadership teams that are gender diverse, result in better decision making and outcomes.

The students from co-ed colleges made it clear to us that they wanted to see more women in their leadership teams, which historically has not been the case. As one student told us:

“If males just keep on getting elected, good women students will leave. They will feel they don’t have a voice.”

On ensuring the wider university campus is inclusive for all students – college and non-college students alike – we make specific recommendations to the University of Sydney. Our data found that around 51 per cent of college students felt stigmatised on the broader university campus because they attend college. There was a sense that they did not belong on the campus.

We therefore propose that the university’s code of conduct prohibit negative or unacceptable comments, attitudes or behaviours from other non-college university students and university staff towards college students and staff. We also recommend the creation of shared learning spaces within the colleges where college and non-college students can come together.

Alcohol featured prominently in our discussions and in the survey. The evidence from numerous research studies is clear – excessive alcohol consumption creates risk – risk to oneself and risk to others. Strong action to minimise any risk is therefore imperative.

So in relation to alcohol we make strong recommendations grounded in best practice approaches of harm minimisation, that seek to reform its demand and supply. We recommend one common alcohol policy across all colleges. This will limit an individual’s ability to “alcohol shop” as all College bars will operate in the same manner.

In relation to the operation of bars and events we recommend that the liquor licence is held by, and the bar is managed by a qualified external provider and that the use of student club fees for the purchase of alcohol be prohibited.

In relation to safety we recommend that the college’s policies on bullying and harassment should explicitly include provisions that strictly prohibit hazing or any other behaviours that compromise students’ physical or psychological safety and wellbeing. Swift action should be taken in relation to those who breach this policy.

In relation to sexual misconduct we recommend that each college, and the University of Sydney develop with an expert, a stand alone policy. The policy should articulate a zero tolerance approach to sexual misconduct, a commitment to trauma informed victim/survivor support and strong action against those who breach the policy.

A stand alone policy sends a clear message to all students of the college’s position on sexual misconduct. It also signals to survivors that all incidents and reports are taken seriously and in so doing, contributes to the creation of a safer reporting environment.

Linked to these recommendations is a call for colleges – particularly those which are co-ed – to eradicate all elements of a hyper-masculine culture – one where male sport for instance, is celebrated over female sport and a “boys will be boys attitude” can be perpetuated. Where such culture exists negative attitudes and behaviours, particularly in relation to women, can be heightened.

Cultural change does not happen overnight. In institutions that have deep-seated traditions and customs it can take time. The cultural renewal process has built significant momentum and I am optimistic that the residential colleges at the University of Sydney are on a strong path of evolution. This report serves as a record that the colleges are genuinely committed to ensuring the creation of environments where all students can thrive. It demonstrates a readiness by each institution to take further bold action to strengthen culture.

I am also encouraged by the fact that the university and all college heads and chairs have accepted my recommendations and have begun the process of implementation. Implementing the changes described in my reports will position the colleges and the University of Sydney as leaders among n and international colleges and universities.

There is also a strong appetite for cultural reform from the students. Student contributions have been vital to the formulation of our recommendations. Constructive discussions on the findings and recommendations have been held with the cohort of 2018 student leaders. These student leaders will be important ambassadors of cultural reform. As one student stated:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed [college] and my attendance here has been a highlight of my life so far, and because of this, I’m in strong support of making changes that could make the experience even better for upcoming generations.”

I look forward to following the progress of each college as they continue on the path of cultural reform towards the creation of inclusive environments where every student feels supported, respected and safe.

Newcastle District Cricket Association: Charlestown’s Glenn Winsor recovers for Under-19 National Championships with Under-17 Cricket China XI

SHOT: Charlestown first grade all-rounder Glenn Winsor, in his third season travelling from Singleton to play at the Newcastle club, will represent the Cricket XI at the Under-19 National Championships. Picture: Marina NeilGlenn Winsor’sset to become a lifeguard at his hometown Singleton Pool.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

But a start date has been put on hold for the Hunter-bred 17-year-old, who has continuous cricket commitments up until Christmas.

The Charlestown first grade all-rounder will represent the Under-17 Cricket XI at the Under-19 National Championships in Tasmania from Monday and then follows up with Newcastle’s under-18 squad at the NSW Country Colts Championships in Tamworth later next month.

“I had the [job] interview today, but I can’t work all December because I’m away so hopefully I start in January,” the former PCH player said.

It will be a busy period for theright-arm paceman and right-hand batsman, but it almost didn’t eventuate.

Winsor player struggled with stress fractures in his lower back for nine months and heonlyreturned to the field in late September.

Rehabilitation work on his core, including yoga and stretching, helped him recover, prepare and then participate in the Under-17 National Championships with ACT-NSW Country.

Performances at the tournament, including 209 runs at an average of 41.8 and nine wickets at 19 apiece,led to his selection in the n under 17s squad.

“I wasn’t really sure [how I’d go] because they were my first games back and I’d beenout for nine months withstress fractures,” Winsor said.

“[When I was out] It was stiff and sore through the day, but not anything heaps painful unless you start running around.

“I knew I’d be able to play again, but I wasn’t sure if I could bowl that quick again. It’s beengood [so far] andback to normal.”

Winsor will line up alongside fellow Hunter junior Will Fort (Norths –Maitland) at the upcoming 12-day competition and against players almost two years his senior including Newcastle star Jason Sangha, who is set toskipper the Under-19 ACT-NSW Country side.

“I’m pretty keen to play,” he said.

“I think the bowlers will be quicker and the batters will be better. They will all know how to play the game.”

Winsor departswith the team on Friday before meeting Victoria Metro at Hobart’s New Town Oval a few days later. Round games follow against Tasmania, Western , ACT-NSW Country and South . Play-offs take place betweenDecember 12 and 15.

The colts carnival, with four of his Charlestown clubmates,then goes from December 18 to 21.

In his third season at the fourth-placed Magpies, he will now missback-to-back two-day encounters.

“We’ve got a good young side and we’ve been starting to play well,” the former Singleton High School student said.

One quarter of home owners said to welcome price fall

A quarter of n home owners are now “happy to see house prices fall”, with more now expecting to benefit from weaker property values than further gains.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

A “surprising” 37 per cent of ns want lower house prices, according to a survey of 1500 ns by ME Bank, including 24 per cent who own a home and 20 per cent with an investment property.

The overall result, however, was split, with 38 per cent of people keen to see prices keep rising.

When asked why they want house prices to fall, an overwhelming 97 per cent of homeowners responded “to help address the housing affordability issue”.

The responses can be taken as a sure sign house prices have reached heights many think are unfair, according to ME Bank’s general manager of home loans Patrick Nolan.

“Traditionally ns fall into two camps when it comes to property prices: owners, who want them to rise, and non-owners, who want them to fall,” Mr Nolan said.

“But with high prices disrupting the dream of home ownership and the benefits that brings, views are changing.”

Most tellingly, according to the researchers, the survey indicates more ns would benefit from property prices falling than rising – 28 per cent indicated they’d benefit by selling if prices continued to rise, compared to 47 per cent who said they’d benefit by buying if property prices fell.

The survey, carried out this month, also shows any adjustment to prices could create shockwaves, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they were reliant on future house price gains to achieve life or financial goals – 10 per cent are completely reliant.

Younger ns appear more reliant on future house price gains, with a slim majority of Millennials (25-39 year olds) responding that they were “reliant”, compared with 30 per cent of Baby Boomers (55-74 year olds).

The bulk of those wanting house prices to continue rising are property owners, with 49 per cent of home owners and 55 per cent of investors still looking for gains.

The report comes as an increasing number of property analysts and economists call the top of the n capital city house price boom, especially UBS economists, who announced the boom is “officially over” this month.

“There is now a persistent and sharp slowdown unfolding,” economists George Tharenou and Carlos Cacho wrote to clients. The investment bank said the price falls would end 55 years of unprecedented growth that has seen home values soar by more than 6500 per cent.

Paper tiger: Why banks don’t need to fear an inquiry

Head for the hills – the nightmare scenario that our banks have long feared may be about to come to pass.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Laws to start an official inquiry into the industry could clear the House of Representatives next week after a second member of the federal Coalition sided with opposition politicians seeking a probe.

Executives of the big four banks have endured balance sheet levies, fines and Senate grillings in their hopes of averting such an outcome. Now, all that may be in vain.

Their share prices tell a different story. Westpac, National Bank, ANZ Bank and the Commonwealth Bank all edged down, but none by more than a percentage point. Hardly the reaction of an industry in jeopardy. How to explain the divergence?

One reason is that n Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, for all their powers and pomp, tend to be paper tigers.

Despite dozens of investigations carried out over the years and millions of column inches dedicated to their proceedings, it’s remarkably hard to find evidence of lasting policy effects.

After the Cole commission into the construction industry reported in 2003, the government struggled for years to pass related legislation in the absence of opposition support. The over-representation of indigenous ns in prison has been rising for decades, despite that factor being named as one of the central issues of a 1991 commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Inquiries into an insulation-subsidy program and trade-union corruption set up by the current government in 2013 were treated by the opposition as politicised star chambers.

While a commission will probably divulge embarrassing details and chew up executives’ time, it’s hard to argue real political change will result. Ultimately, only shifts that receive sufficient bipartisan support make it through Parliament.

That applies in the case of a putative banking commission, too. Banks have a job on their hands to clean up the fast-and-loose internal cultures that have led to scandals around interest-rate rigging and money laundering, but the elephant in the room of any inquiry will be the role that successive governments and regulators have played in creating the conditions that cause many ns to resent their banking system.

Here are a few things that would go some way to improving public trust: Endowing regulators with the enforcement powers and willpower to punish banks that step out of line — but that looks like emerging anyway as a result of a separate Treasury report last month;Taking the edge off the spiralling cost of housing in the big cities — but that too appears to already be in train, thanks to a building boom that’s causing rents to grow at the slowest pace in several decades;Clamping down on some of the loose lending practices that have historically turned tight housing supply into spectacular rises in house prices — but that shift began some years ago after the RBA’s perverse opposition to macroprudential regulation started to soften;Reversing the economic divide between the haves and have-nots in the property market — but there’s still a bitter dispute between the government and opposition over whether to end policies like the roughly $2 billion a year investor subsidy via “negative gearing.”

These changes won’t be sufficient on their own — but they’ll go a lot further toward improving the conduct of banks and the confidence of customers than special balance-sheet levies or public hearings.

Our banking system, for all its faults, is reasonably competitive, and its flaws are ones that governments and regulators have allowed to develop.

As such, public distrust in banks is best understood as a symptom of public distrust in the economy and governance as a whole. Only when the latter improves will the former be able to recover.

Bloomberg

Photos: Qantas opens its first lounge at London’s Heathrow

Hanging out at Heathrow Airport has probably never featured on your London bucket list. But that may change thanks to the first dedicated Qantas London Lounge.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

This swanky new Terminal 3 retreat is a boon for those travelling on the airline’s twice-daily “kangaroo route” services, and also for the direct Perth-London stretch beginning next March.

Unveiling the 230-seat, Wi-Fi-connected lounge, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce described it as “a bit of English and a bit of n, too” and that’s reflected in everything from the decor to food and drink.

Overlooking the airfield, there’s a smart-casual lower-floor dining room, with a staircase winding up to a spacious top floor that has the air of a hip hotel bar, not least when you’re at its circular, marble-topped bar, beneath a brass chandelier, sipping cocktails to jazzy background tunes. There are fabric chairs and leather sofas for chilling out, secluded workstations with printer facilities, and six dazzling shower suites with Aurora Spa amenities.

Flatscreen TVs show UK and n news and weather. You can order flat whites and select gins, beers and wines from both countries. There’s tea and scones, hot and cold buffets (including the likes of smoked salmon with kale and quinoa salad), and a la carte offerings such as salt and pepper squid with green chilli sauce – a popular signature dish that you may have enjoyed in other Qantas lounges around the world.

Open daily 8am-8.30pm, the lounge is available to Qantas customers travelling in First and Business and Qantas Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and their guests. Also eligible are oneworld Emerald and Sapphire customers, Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold customers and Qantas Club members and their guests. See qantas苏州夜总会招聘

See also: A 17-hour long haul? How Qantas’ Dreamliner seats stack up

See also: Qantas jumbo jet takes off for Antarctica