Brush-off: Hunter One Nation Senator Brian Burston in his new Toronto office after a Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union attack against him over apprenticeships. Picture: Marina Neil.HUNTER One Nation Senator Brian Burston has dismissed a targeted union attack against him over apprenticeshipsas “Labor politics”, and warned of Senate disruption if the federal government does not act on One Nation’s apprenticeship policy.
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Mr Burston said a Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union campaign, that includesfull-page advertisements in the Newcastle Herald,flowed from One Nation’s support for the Turnbull Government’s n Building and Construction Commission legislation, but the timing appeared to be linked to polling showing strong support for the minor party in some areas.

The CFMEU alleges“One Nation Senator Brian Burston voted with Malcolm Turnbull to give us laws that will mean less apprenticeships on government jobs and even less jobs for our kids”, because of provisions in the new legislation allowing companies to employ foreign labour if n workers cannot be found, “includingthrough training”.

Mr Burston said the allegation was “quite insulting but I just laughed when I saw it”, and accused both major parties of greater damage to apprenticeships by gutting ’s traditional trade training colleges through privatisation and other policy changes.

A Federal Government document from 2016, Trends in Apprenticeships and Traineeships, found building trades had been less affectedby a dramatic drop in all forms of trainee arrangements since 2012, with the number of apprentice bricklayers, carpenters and joiners falling by 5 per cent, plumbers by 3 per cent and electricians by 10 per cent.

The only occupation to record a rise in apprenticeships was electronics and telecommunications trade workers, up by 27 per cent.

Mr Burston, a former NSW TAFE teacher for 10 years who started his working career as an apprentice boilermaker, said One Nation had been frustrated by the Turnbull Government’s failure to act on One Nation’sapprenticeship policy and wasconsidering tying support for the policy to support for the government’s Budget measures.

One Nation proposes federal subsidies of 75 per cent of an apprentice’s wage in the first year, 50 per cent in the second year and 25 per cent in the third, paid to employers.

“We would start with 500 places and let it go from there. We’re starting to put a bit of pressure on the government over it. They’ve been saying ‘Yes, yes, yes, we’re looking at it’ for a long time, but Pauline’s starting to get frustrated with them,” Mr Burston said.

”We may need to use our position in the Senate to apply pressure in some way, relating to Budget measures.”

Mr Burston revealed he was the architect of One Nation’s preference deal swap with the Liberal Partyin the Western n election which was criticised as contributing to the party’s significant drop in support during the campaign.

Mr Burston defended the deal as “the right thing” and said “in my view it was a success”.

A blanket preference deal would not be done again, although the Queensland Liberals continue to support seat by seat deals with One Nation.

Mr Burston backed beleaguered One Nation colleague Malcolm Roberts who is facing a strong challenge to his eligibility to stand for Federal Parliament over n citizenship.

“I’m not worried at this stage,” Mr Burston said.

He would not support same sex marriage if moves within the Federal Coalition lead to a conscience vote on the issue.

“I’d vote against same sex marriage. No doubt. I believe there should be a plebiscite but if it comes to a vote I think marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said.

“I think the government should just get on with it. Same sex marriage is just a social issue. It’s a distraction, a major distraction.”

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Hands on: Tristan Winner participated in one of the first Deadly Dads workshops before the arrival of baby Tombi. The program aims to empower and educate Aboriginal fathers and fathers-to-be. Picture: Simone De Peak.A HUNTER-based parenting program is using one-day workshops to educate and empower Aboriginal fathers-to-be in a bid to improve the health outcomes of the next generation.
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The Deadly Dads program beganafter survey results showedlower rates of breastfeeding among Aboriginal womenatdischarge from hospital, and that Aboriginal children hadhigher rates of avoidable hospitalisations.

Program facilitator Paul Douglas, one of only three male breastfeeding mentors in ,said Deadly Dads was still in the pilot stage, but they had so far shared practical parenting advice and information with 70 to 80 men.

“The word ‘deadly’ doesn’t mean lethal in this context. We’re not teaching them to kill people,” Mr Douglas laughed. “In the Aboriginal community, we use ‘deadly’ as another word for good.

“There is nothing out there like this course. We try to give useful tips, and teach the fundamentals about what being a father is all about…How to be actively involvedand supportive day-to-day.”

Mr Douglas said the program empowered men to take ownership of parenting issues, andtouched on health, safety and nutrition for both the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as the baby.

“We go into all of those key indicators that are recommended to help close some of the health gaps,” he said.

“Who would have ever thought that a group of men would be sitting around talking about breastfeeding?

“But it’s not just women’s business. It benefits the children, and when the blokes get involved, and they understand better, they can better support their partners.

“Likewith breastfeeding, there is the soreness, the stress that can come with it if the baby doesn’t latch on. If the husband knows too, they can help them out and support them through the tough times.”

Tristan Winner, of The Hill, said while nothing could ever fully prepare a person for parenthood, after participating in the Deadly Dads program, he felt a lot more confident ahead of the arrival of his son, Tombi, almost eight months ago.

“Theantenatal classes had a lot of practical stuff in them as well, but it was probably more geared towards the mums,” he said.

“I walked in to this and it was just blokes. We had a good laugh and a good time. It got a bit deep at times, but I walked out feeling a lot more ready than I had been. It was just one day session, designed for us.”

He would like to see the program continue and expand to other regions.

Mr Winner said he and his wife, Joan, were referred to the program through Birra Li, theAboriginal Maternal and Child Health Services.

Birra Lican be contacted on4016 4900.

“I think blokes need a reason to sit down and have a yarn about this stuff. No one really talks about whatthose first few weeks and months are like, it made me feel a bit more ready,” he said.

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Praise the Lord and pass the Cake Photo: Paul Dear
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Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

Photo: Paul Dear

TweetFacebookThe Revival Meetingis the name of their new album, but My Friend The Chocolate Cake were playing to the converted on Friday night.

If there were any non-believers at a packed Lizotte’s, they were soon swept away by the charisma of this tight outfit, who havebeen playing for 28 years.

Proceedings started low-key with just David Bridie and the band’s string section- Helen Mountfort (cello) and Hope Cstoros(violin) – introducing Poke Along Slowly. The three other Cakemembers –Greg Patten (drums), Andrew Richardson (guitar) and Dean Addison (double bass) –appeared,and things were kicked up a notch, with mostly new material mixed expertly with Cake favourites,I Got A Plan and It’s All In the Way.

The second half really belonged to the ‘Chocolate Cake Girls’,Mountfort and Cstoros, as their gorgeous arrangements set the pace, from oh-so-quiet to break-neck speed.

Bridie also charmed the socks off everyone with his observations on all manner of subjects,including Pauline Hanson, thegeneral populacebeing glued to their mobile phones andthe joys of PNG’s culture. Stori Rabaul,even sparked some righteous dance moves by the lanky frontman. He said later that his bandmates often cautioned him against having a jig, as he was a “shit dancer”.

Let’s say his efforts were akin to ‘dad dancing’, but delivered with such unbridled joy that it made you want to join in.

Unbridled Bridie was adorable.

There was also a hearty singalong to Easter Parade (audience’s line:“Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition”), in which Newcastle’s efforts were judged better than Coffs Harbour’s.

The night ended with the touchingencore,Jim’s Refrain, a tribute to Cake founding member Andrew Carswell, who passed away last year.

The Cake family then joined hands for a final bow,closing what was aninspiring, joyful, touching and deeply satisfying performance.

Hallelujah, all praise The Cake.

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Forward thinking: HunterNet chief executive officer Tony Cade. Picture: Simone de Peak. What was the landscape like in manufacturing when you took the helm of Hunternet in 2013?
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Industry was definitely in decline when I first returned to Newcastle to commence my role with HunterNet. Commodity prices had commenced to ‘free fall’ from September 2012 and mining houses had already commenced aggressive efficiency and cost improvement programs. The region’s ship building had already begun downsizing with the impending ‘valley of death’ arising from a lack of build and sustainment opportunities. Further, infrastructure development had slowed. It was clear one week into the role, the good times of years past had come to a close.

What were the challenges for manufacturers then?

The need to build new capabilities and capacity. Traditional markets had either shrunk or disappeared. The only hope to survive and position for growth for manywas to pursue ‘new’ niche market opportunities or supply chains.

And core challenges for HunterNet?

HunterNet also needed to take a long look at itself. Companies expected more than just networking opportunities. We needed to develop the capacity to directly add value to our member company’s bottom line and provide specialist business support platforms for their respective work forces.

Four years on, what have you done to support to your 200 members?

There have been many initiatives implemented. We have built on the network by facilitating open innovationprograms where several companies have collaborated to enter new markets. Our Project Directors are really niche business development consultants that focus on positioning Hunter and Central Coast companies in four industry focus areas spanning 13 national and global supply chains. They work ‘in’ companies BD departments. We have internationalised and, in partnership with Austrade, executed business development and familiarisation programs in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea. Providing optimal business support and professional development programs have assisted companies in developing their business and teams. Finally, despite many challenges we are further diversifying our Group Training Company and we are in the third year of delivering the Hunter’s Future Leaders Program.

What feedback are you getting from your members on current challenges?

We are receiving qualified feedback on improvements in business confidence. Whilst there are heightened levels of activity in the resources, infrastructure and defence sectors, there is also a recognition that a focus on innovation, efficiencies, and productivity is ‘business as normal’.

Advanced manufacturing is crucial to survival. How is the Hunter faring?

We are ‘batting above the average’. We have a range of companies that have invested in specialised equipment including industrial 3D printers. We have a relatively high number of ‘hidden champions’ that are building their business on the base of ‘world’s best’ technologies.

What are the growth areas and key opportunities for Hunter manufacturers?

Just based on the number of cranes on the skyline, infrastructure development and asset management has seen a huge increase in activity. Also, in the short to medium term we will see more sustainment packages released to support the JSFs (F35s) to be based at Williamtown, which will also contribute to industry attractiveness for the airport precinct. There is an increase in contracts from the resources and energy sector. Finally, we are seeing increased opportunities in some of the regions traditional manufacturing markets (for example, rail).

And the biggest threat?

Global competition. If you are producing ‘widgets’ you are unlikely to be able to compete with low labour cost countries unless you have invested in automation. The other big challenge is accessing the right target customers/companies and their decision makers to develop relationships. If the first contact you have with a prospective customer is in response to a tender/EOI, you have a very low prospect of success. This is a service provided by our Project Directors. Finally, the need to continuously value-add and differentiate product and service offerings.

How is the Group Training Company travelling?

It has had a tough four years. During the downturn, companies simply were not putting apprentices or trainees on. However, we are implementing a business diversification strategy and we have seen numbers more than double since late 2016.

Looking forward, what will challengeindustry?

There are many challenges but the fundamentals still apply. Understand your current capabilities. Be realistic about what markets you can pursue. Understand what is required (capital and time) to develop new capacities. Never underestimate the importance of relationships and collaboration. Understand that product and service improvement and development is a continuous part of business. Innovate and take calculated risks – it’s ok to fail – just fail quick and cheap. Havea meaningful, measurable strategic plan so you can change course if factors out of your control change the landscape. Be nimble.

Tony Cade

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ROLL UP ROLL UP: Club Maitland City’s Sports and Sponsorship Manager DJ Dilworth said preparation for this weekend’s event is huge.Maitland is set to roll out the full house signs as an estimated 600 lawn bowls enthusiasts flock to the city for the Grade 3 State Pennants finals.
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The event will be held over three days at Club Maitland City at Rutherford and at Lorn Park Bowls Sports and Recreation Club.

Club Maitland City’s Sports and Sponsorship Manager DJ Dilworth said the event is huge for the clubs involved and huge for the city from an economic point of view.

The Grade 3 State Pennant Finals will see 16 teams comprising about 250 players compete for the top honour in a round robin event.

Maitland City hosted the event several years ago and according to Dilworth clubs are only allowed to host them once every three years.

While the event is held over three days, Dilworth said visitors have allocated themselves a four-day stay at various locations across the city.

“Both our motels, Maitland City and The Old Maitland Inn, are fully booked and I’d say it’s pretty much the trend right across town,” he said.

Dilworth said the event has been months in the planning with the two clubs working closely together.

“We’ve been flat out for about four months to make sure everything runs smoothly over the weekend.

“We need an army of volunteers, about 20 from each club, to co-ordinate everything.

“We’ve ordered extra kegs, extra meals, extra sausages, extra staff.

“Our green keeping staff have put in a tremendous amount of work on the greens which look fantastic. So it’s a big thanks to them,” Dilworth said.

“This is certainly the biggest event we have held here at Club Maitland City.

“It’s a great wayto promote the club, put Maitland on the map and showcase what we have to people from Waggato Kempsey.”

Maitland City Council’sVisitor and City Economy Co-ordinator Martin Payne saidMaitland is a popular destination for sport events.

He said the city boastsmany facilities of regional and state quality and a range of accommodation options that can cater for over 1380 visitors.

“Events such as this are a perfect opportunity to showcase the city to a large audience, who may also return as a leisure visitor in the future,” Mr Payne said.

“Economic modelling suggests that an event of this size would have a direct economic benefit of $245,000 to the Maitland economy.”

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Katrina at the Henty Machinery Field Days in 2012. Her shock resignation announcement has attracted mixed reaction on social media. Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson has announced her shock resignationLabor’s Charlie Sheahan puts hand up for Katrina Hodgkinson’s seatCootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson’s shock resignation announcement from parliament has drawn mixed comments from her constituents on social media.
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The state member released a statement on Monday afternoon saying ‘she felt like it was time to move on to something new’ and would stand down at the end of August.

While some comments are supportive of Ms Hodgkinson’s decision, others have welcomed her decision to retire.

“No loss at all” Carl Erle commented on the Cowra Guardian,

“Why is a politician doing their jobs considered achievement? Did little more than what would be expected. Was nowhere to be seen when the cannery was sinking. And thanks for the bi election.” Marc McLeish wrote.

“Bye,bye….you did nothing for harden,” Karen Woodhead wrote on the Young Witness page.

“The way she handled the Council amalgamation of Gundagai with Cootamundra was brutal and certainly not in the best interests of Gundagai. To be in favour of Greyhound racing bodes poorly in my eyes… so much suffering in the interests of greed… Goodbye Katrina and good riddance!” Colleen Donovan commented on the Young Witness Facebook Page.

The cost of the by-election forced by Ms Hodgkinson’s resignation just 18 months from the next state election in 2019 has also drawn concerned comment from residents, some calling for Ms Hodgkinson to foot the bill unless she has a good reason for standing down.

“Why do people run for a term when there going to piss off before next election, they quit before end of term and get all the perks, we quit our jobs and fend for ourselves, wrong, unless they have to quit eg- health or family health issues fair enough but to seek another opportunity while still in term that’s crap, of to another election we go,” Adam Manwaring said on the Young Witness page.

Ms Hodgkinson has stood in office for the past 18-and-a-half years, representing the electorates of Burrinjuck and Cootamundra and not everyone was happy with her decision.

“Katrina has been a great member for Cootamundra,we will be sorry to lose her,” Beverley Oliver told the Daily Advertiser.

“I think she worked hard for our electorate it’s not always easy to keep everyone happy and I think if anyone wants to be critical step up to the plate and have a swing yourself for our community plenty of us do.” Stephen Howse commented on the Harden Murraumburrah Express Facebook page.

“This is so sad. Just when we get a good person in there who looked after the people, not themselves like most do,” Fran Houghtonsaid on the Cowra Guardian page.

Cowra Guardian

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BRIGHT FUTURE: The upgraded North Stockton boat ramp area, including a fish-cleaning pavilion and car and trailer park, on the bank of the Hunter River’s north arm. Picture: Jonathan Carroll TIME and tide have done much to shape the Stockton shoreline. But in recent months, it has been a team of workers giving amakeovertothe area around the North Stockton boat ramp.
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As well as workers, a group of politicians and officials trod the freshly laid turfand new bitumen car park to officially launch the upgrade on Tuesday.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the $850,000 projectwas funded by the state government and Newcastle City Council, and that the improvements would primarily benefit recreational boaties.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes described the work as “a fantastic community outcome” and said there was particular interest in the new fish-cleaning area.

A few hundred metres to the south, the Stockton boat harbour is still waiting for a similar revamp. A collection of commercial fishing boats and pleasure craft are berthed at old, rickety-looking finger wharves.

In January, the state government announced a $4.3 million refurbishment forthe boat harbour, but work isn’texpected to begin until February.

After the ceremony at the boat ramp, the Roads and Maritime Services’ acting operations manager in theHunter, Alex Hamilton, inspected the harbour and said the planned work was necessary “for safety, and for community expectations”.

“I think when the work is done, it will be a much better facility than what’s here now,” Mr Hamilton said.

Alex Delmoni is a Stockton resident and keeps a boat in the small harbour. He is also on the committee forits planned upgrade, which is expected toaccommodate 26 vessels. Mr Delmoni hopesthat as well as assuring the boat harbour’s future, the refurbishment will uncover some of the past.

He said a sandstone wall, almosta century old, that ran for kilometres along the Hunter River’s north armhad been all but buried. He assertedthe new works at the boat ramp had also covered some of the old wall.

“I’m very disappointed about that,” he said.

“I’m hoping they …dig out the wall and restore it [at the boat harbour]. It’sa historical feature, and it’s sad to see this little bit of history lost.”

History lies just below the surface around Stockton’s edges. Sailing ships used to berth along the shore, dumping their ballast.

“A lot of it was rubble that came from San Francisco after the [1906] earthquake there,” said local history researcher RonHaug.

Mr Haug said at the site of the revamped North Stockton boat ramp, the renowned boat-building family, the Towns, used to have a shed. The familyhad a business hiring rowboats to visitors. So alongStockton’s shores, the maritime past flows into the present.

HISTORY: Ships berthed at Stockton wharves in the early 1900s.

CHALLENGE: The part played by housing production is critical for sustainability.Affordable housing is a serious issue affecting both house buyers and renters. The fundamentals of the way we produce housing must change if affordability is to be redressed.
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The term sustainability is increasingly being used to describe positive and negative actions and behaviour of ns for their use of energy and attitudes in regard to waste and unwanted off-gases. A key role in sustainability is played by housing, where, while considerations of energy use are important, issues of sustainability also include cost (affordability) and time (productivity). Both these factors affect availability of suitable housing.

Sustainable development is defined by the United Nations as, “development which meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In particular this opinion seeks to address sustainability of housing in , or rather its characteristics of unsustainability. I was reminded recently by an expert who assesses energy use in buildings that housing does not use energy, it is the occupants who need to accept responsibility. However, there are also important issues for how houses are produced to enable efficient use of energy.

Research has found that housing accounts for 25 per cent of total global energy use. A Human Settlements report in 2001 found that while the population increased in between 1975 and 2001 by 35 per cent, the use of energy by the residential sector increased by 60 per cent. Further, housing produces 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. There is clear evidence that current construction methods are unable to mitigate these poor outcomes without innovation and change.

Building construction alone generates up to 30 per centof all wastes sent to land fill. Typically up to 30 per centof labour and materials for housing construction is wasted through reworking or changes during the works. Unfortunately, constraints for the average suburban house site prevent the waste from construction being separated into streams for recovery and recycling.

The cost of construction continues to rise, and worse, there is a high level of uncertainty as to the final cost, often higher than initial budgets. This is a serious situation for housing demonstrated by a measure of housing affordability, that being average cost compared with average annual wage. In in 1990 the ratio for average housing purchase price compared to average gross income was 3 to 1, in 2015 it was 5 to 1 (In Sydney it is 12:1). In a recent report, the cost of housing put sixth behind UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Hong Kong and Sweden. There are reasons why this unacceptable situation cannot change, a shortage of skilled trades is one of them, and reluctance by industry and consumers to consider non-traditional production of housing is another. For example, industries supplying cars and clothing have changed from a craft to a manufacturing industry thereby producing products that are readily available and affordable.

There is an opportunity for the community to help addressthe challenges outlined here by agreeing to a one-hour interview covering housing choice and sustainability. Preferred participants are those who are soon to make a new-build housing choice but have not yet made a final decision.

This research is being carried out through the University of Newcastle by Edward Duc as a candidate for a PhD. Prospective interviewees can offer to participate by emailing [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Hunter’s Wallaroos fly out for Women’s Rugby World Cup BIG CHALLENGE: Hunter Wallaroos, from left, Mollie Gray, Katrina Barker and Sarah Riordan in Sydney on Tuesday before flying to the world cup. Picture: ARU Media
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Mollie Gray on the sidelines for Maitland last month before playing her first game since knee surgery. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald from Sydney airport.“I did my ACL, MCL, PCL, meniscus, dislocated my kneecap, chewed up all the cartilage and tore my VMO [vastus medialis oblique] as well.I sort of did the whole thing.”

Sydney surgeon Dr David Broe, who also rebuilt Gray’s knee after she tore her MCL at the 2014 World Cup, used a hybrid LARS synthetic ligament and hamstring graft to repair the ACL.

“It was still risky. We knew that I would either have just enough time or just fall short.He’s only done that operation, with a hybrid, on myself and one other person.”

Gray then embarked on a rehabilitation program with Newcastle trainer Darren Coughlan before making a remarkable return to the field 10 days ago for the Blacks against Merewether Carlton.

“My trainer, a week after surgery, I was in his gym. If I was limping around the gym, he would yell at me, so I had to force myself to walk properly, which some people think is a little bit crazy, but there is always a method to his madness. We complement each other quite well. He forced me to get stuck in.

“I went up to Maitland on the 21stof July and I ended up playing for Maitland the last 20 minutes. That’s it. That’s all I’ve done.

“The [Wallaroos] forwards coach called me before the game and said, ‘I don’t care if you drop every ball. I don’t care if you miss every tackle. I just want you to get out there and make sure mentally you’re good to go.’I didn’t drop every ball, I didn’t miss every tackle. I think I actually went quite well.”

, ranked sixth in the world, have nevermade a world cup final and were crushed 53-10 by world champions England,44-17 byworld No.2 New Zealand and45-5 bythird-ranked Canada at a tournament in New Zealand this year.

They face another uphill battle this month as pool rivals Ireland (5) and France (4) are ranked higher. Only the three pool winners and one second-placed side progress to the semi-finals.

They meet Irelandat a sold-out UCB Bowl in Dublin on Thursday next week before facing France and world No.14 Japan.

Joining Gray on the plane are former Merewether Carlton fly-half or centre Sarah Riordan and University scrum-half Katrina Barker, who moved to Newcastle last year.

The Wallaroos squad of 28 is captained by Shannon Parry, one of two Rio Olympic sevens gold medallists in the party, along with Sharni Williams.

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Challenge: Hunter Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon is crowd-funding an legal bid to make the Turnbull government to make its coalition agreement public. Picture: Marina NeilLabor MP Joel Fitzgibbon is crowd-funding to pay for court action to force the Turnbull Government to release its Coalition agreement.
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Mr Fitzgibbon said details of the deal between the Liberal and National parties, which gave them the numbers to form government, should be made public.

It echoes calls from Opposition leader Bill Shorten in the wake of last year’s federal election.

The government has resisted releasing the latest agreement.

“[Prime Minister] Malcolm Turnbull only governs because of this deal he has done with the National Party,” Mr Fitzgibbonsaid.

“My view is nothing is more fundamental to our democracy than what is in that agreement and the n public have a right to see it.”

The Hunter MP is taking the matter tothe Federal Court for an appeal after the government rejected hisFreedom of Information request fora copy of the agreement.

“I asked for it and was refused so I took the usual path down Freedom of Information Act and was denied,” he said.

“I went to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but the government brought the lawyers in and frustrated the process and have now forced me into Federal Court.”

The action, so far, has been funded by the Labor Party and Mr Fitzgibbon personally.

He told Fairfax Media he had called for online donations so that members of the public could contribute to “the David and Goliath battle” if they wished.

“Malcolm Turnbull is spending tax payers’ money to defend this agreement without their consent,” he said.

“So what I’m giving people the opportunity to do is to voluntarily donate to even-up the ledger a bit.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the agreement could have details about key issues such as marriage equality, about which the public had a right to know. But he argued transparency was at the heart of the issue.

“In many senses it doesn’t matter what’s in the agreement,” he said.

“The key principle here is a deal has been done to allow Malcolm Turnbull to be the Prime Minister and for Barnaby Joyce to be the Deputy Prime Minster.

“I believe, in our Westminster system, people are entitled to know what is in that agreement.”

Mr Turnbull’s office did not respond to a Fairfax Media request for comment on the matter.

Nor did the office of Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

But Fairfax Media reported in July, 2016, that Mr Joyce said of the deal: “The first aspiration is the agreement remains confidential”.

The Federal Court will hear the matter on August 18.

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