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Williamstown: Where history and modernism meet

Historic Williamstown is one of Melbourne’s oldest suburbs and its physical isolation protected its 19th-century roots until it became more connected to the rest of the city by the construction of the West Gate Bridge and the reinvigorated ferry and punt services along the Yarra River.
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From the city’s earliest white settlement, Williamstown was home to Melbourne’s ship captains, bay pilots, sailmakers, chandlers and it even hosted a naval dockyard – almost all things maritime or nautical have had a base in Wiliamstown.

Today, this maritime history remains obvious everywhere, from an 1870s customs house to a former lighthouse and this connection with the past continues in the suburb’s interesting housing. There is everything from grand mansions befitting successful merchants to small cottages which once housed wharf workers.

And, while Williamstown becomes pretty busy at the weekends, during the week it is a surprisingly tranquil suburb, with wide streets and an enormous amount of open space beside the water.

The most sought after, and expensive, housing is near the sea: Esplanade, The Strand, Osborne and Cole streets. Huge period houses, many of them Victorian weatherboards, sit on large blocks with sea views and several have recently topped $3 million.

Yet, modern Williamstown is throwing up new trophies for today’s captains of industry – The Strand, in particular, has undergone a flurry of building to produce some stunning contemporary houses. They offer beautiful views of cargo ships going up the Yarra – and all with a backdrop of the city and its lights.


74 Pasco Street

About $3.5 million

5 bed 3 bath 6 car

Auction: 2.30pm, April 1

Agent: Greg Hocking Elly Partners 8387 0000, Leigh Melbourne 0414 239 986

Built in 1893, this large double-storey house sits on a corner block of 1300 square metres. A renovation has added a large casual living room and kitchen at the back and this complements the formal, interconnected living and dining room.

See more at domain苏州夜总会招聘.au/2013421319

156 Melbourne Road

$1.38 million+

5 bed 3 bath 1 car

Auction: 1.30pm, April 1

Agent: RT Edgar 9399 9888, Joanne Royston 0402 996 622

A simple period facade gives little hint of the two-level extension behind. The front two bedrooms shield a huge open-plan living room and a main bedroom with en suite and walk-in wardrobe. Upstairs are two more bedrooms and a bathroom.

See more at domain苏州夜总会招聘.au/2013427844

Clearance rate 79.3 per cent

Median house price $1.31 million

Median unit price $600,000

Top five

Morris Street $3,300,000

Esplanade $3,140,000

Osborne Street $2,610,000

Pasco Street $2,485,000

Sandpiper Place $2,440,000

Hamilton Olympic lose Rhys Cooper to knee injury

MAJOR LOSS: Hamilton midfielder Rhys Cooper, right, in action against the Newcastle Jets Youth at Darling Street Oval last NPL season. Picture: Marina Neil
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HAMILTON were dealt a bitter blow in the wake of their second-half slide to Lambton Jaffas with news on Monday that attacking midfielder Rhys Cooper will miss up to six weeks with a knee injury.

Cooper, who scored with a great solo effort in the first half,limped off late in the 3-2 round-one loss on Sunday night at Darling Street Oval, where the hosts had led 2-0 at the break.

Olympic coach Michael Bolch said it was hoped Cooper had only a cork from a clash of knees but it was found to be a grade three medial ligament tear.

“He was flying at the moment as well so it’s going to be a big loss for us,” Bolch said.

Bolch said the likely return of skipper Kyle Hodges (ankle) and Andrew Swan (bruised foot) at the back for the away clash with Adamstown on Saturday night “gives us options” in replacing Cooper.

“Andrew can go to left back and Leo [Bertos] can push into midfield,” he said.“Daniel Bird was fresh on the bench on Sunday night, so he comes into contention, so there’s options there.”

There was no hiding, though, from the loss of Cooper.

“He’s one who I think has definitely got the ability to be playing at the next level, and he should probably be there now,” Bolch said

“For me, he’s the best No.10 in the comp. He glides past blokes and is one of those guys who runs as fast with the ball at his feet as he does when he hasn’t.

“He’s scored some really nice goals as well. He scored some great ones last year andhis one on the weekend was class, and he almost scored anotherfrom halfway.

“And he’s just turned 21.In my view, he’s in the top three players in the comp, he just needs to be given that chance.He’s one the Jets should be looking at.”

Hamilton were underdone for theclash onSunday after recent washed out trials but Bolch said his side “created enough in the first half” to put the result beyond doubt.

Last year Hamilton went through the regular season undefeated before bowing out to Broadmeadow in the semi-finals and Bolch could see the positive out of the early setback this year.

“With no undefeated tagwe’ll just get on with the job now, fly under the radar a bit and just keep improving,” he said. “If we can build on what we did in the first 45 minutes, we’ll be in four or five weeks where we need to be.”

Charlestown coach Shane Pryce was also reeling from defeatand an injury.

Midfield recruitCorey Atkinson hadbleeding behind his eye and spent Saturday night in hospital after copping a stray boot against his former club, Valentine, in a 2-1 loss at Lisle Carr Oval.

Pryce said Atkinson, who saw a specialist on Monday, would be out for at least two weeks.

Of the incident, Pryce said: “Therewas no intent from what I saw, it was just one of those things.”

The Blues were withoutJarryd Johnson andCameron Hughes, who wereat a wedding, while late goalscorer Rene Ferguson is recovering from illness and came off the bench.

Pryce said his side, who host Maitland on Sunday,were “a bit behind the eight-ball because we didn’t haveas many trial games as I wanted”.

“We get a couple back this week and just start again, it’s not the end of the world,” Pryce said.

“There’s no excuses. Valentine had more urgency and were hungrier than us, so credit it to them.”

‘Not a good move’: Property industry slams new stamp duty plan

Slugging foreign buyers with an even higher stamp duty levy and land tax would not improve housing affordability in NSW and may instead choke supply, according to the property industry.
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The warning comes as new figures show there were more overseas investors than first home-buyers entering the market in the September quarter last year, following the introduction of the foreign investor stamp duty surcharge.

But both sides of state politics appear to be moving towards imposing a higher surcharge on foreign buyers as housing affordability has become the barbecue stopper of 2017.

NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley announced on Tuesday that if elected Labor would lift the foreign investor stamp duty surcharge from 4 to 7 per cent and double the land tax surcharge to 1.5 per cent, in line with Victoria, “to make housing affordable in NSW”.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government was considering a similar move, but said “the jury was still out” on whether increasing the levy would improve housing affordability.

He said the Office of State Revenue data which suggested 11 per cent of buyers in the September quarter last year were foreigners was “concerning”.

“If that is at the expense of young people not being able to get into the property market, as a government we need to look at ways to ease that. It’s not a panacea to the housing affordability crisis. We’re working on a package of reforms to do that,” he said on 2GB radio.

Data released under freedom of information laws by the Office of State Revenue showed that in the three months from July last year, following the introduction of the foreign investor levy in NSW, foreign nationals counted for 11 per cent (2995) of residential property purchases in the state compared with 7.51 per cent to first home buyers.

It is the first time foreign buyer data has been available from the federal government’s National Register of Foreign Ownership of Land Titles, introduced last year amid an emotive debate about foreigners squeezing out local buyers.

The property industry slammed the move to increase the surcharge as ill-conceived, cynically populist and counter-productive.

Developer lobby group the Urban Taskforce said it would put the brakes on supply at a time when Sydney was still delivering new homes at below the Department of Planning’s target rate of 40,000 a year.

Chris Johnson from the group said “lifting the surcharge on foreign investors will obviously slow down to some extent that market which provides homes for renters in Sydney. Throttling down supply is not a good move.”

Glenn Byres from the Property Council said foreign investment funded large scale developments and boosted pre-sales.

“Adding more taxes to foreign investment would actually hurt supply, particular at a time when lending conditions are more stringent on offshore income,” he said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly said that boosting supply was the key government response to the housing affordability crisis.

Steven Mann from the Urban Development Institute of NSW said foreign buyers were an easy target.

“By targeting a group of people that are unable to vote our politicians are showing a predilection to winning votes rather than obtaining the best outcome for the greater good,” he said.

NSW Treasury calculations released in a call for papers after the 2016 budget showed that the government’s own modelling predicted foreign buyers would be discouraged from the NSW market by the 4 per cent foreign investor levy.

Treasury estimated a modest decrease of about $30 million a year in its stamp duty collection from foreign buyers for 2016-17 after the levy was imposed.

Labor pointed to this as evidence that increasing the surcharge would improve housing affordability.

Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park said it was “not a silver bullet” but committed Labor to putting revenue raised from the change directly into housing affordability measures including stamp duty relief, reducing charges, and bringing land or infrastructure forward.

In Victoria, the introduction of the 7 per cent levy had made no impact on foreign buyers, which have stayed at 2 per cent of the market for the past 18 months, according to a spokesman from the Victorian Premier’s office.

Mr Perrottet’s office confirmed the government was considering a range of other measures from lifting the foreign investor surcharge to taxing vacant properties and government equity buy-ins in preparing its package of housing affordability reforms ahead of the state budget in June.

Chinese formed the biggest group of foreign buyers (32.8 per cent of foreign transactions), followed by British buyers (11.4 per cent) and New Zealanders (11 per cent) in the July quarter, according to the OSR data.

DJ boyfriend of Sara Connor sentenced to six years over Bali cop death

Sarah Connor arrives at court in Denpasar, Bali. March 13, 2017. Photo Alan Putra Bali Photo: Alan PutraBali: David Taylor, the boyfriend of Byron Bay woman Sara Connor, has been sentenced to six years’ jail for the death of a Balinese police officer.
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Prosecutors had requested that the couple both serve eight years behind bars.

Ms Connor, who was tried separately, was sentenced to four years’ jail on the same charge of fatal group assault.

The bloodied corpse of Wayan Sudarsa, a member of Bali’s police force for 35 years, was found on Legian beach on August 17 last year with 42 wounds, including grisly head injuries.

The death was linked to Ms Connor, 46, after cards from her handbag, which she claimed had been stolen, were found at the crime scene.

Mr Taylor, a 34-year-old British DJ who was known as DJ Nutzo, confessed to bashing Mr Sudarsa with several weapons, including the officer’s binoculars, a mobile phone and a Bintang beer bottle, which smashed on impact.

However, he said it was Mr Sudarsa who had attacked him, and he had been acting in self-defence.

Mr Taylor and Ms Connor were both indicted on three alternative charges: murder, fatal group assault or assault leading to death.

The charges carry maximum sentences of 15, 12 and seven years respectively.

However, prosecutors later did not ask for the murder charge to be imposed, finding Taylor had no intention to kill the officer.

On Monday, Taylor was found guilty of the charge of fatal group assault. Taylor said he accepted the charge and thanked the judges. The seven months Taylor has already spent behind bars will be deducted from his six-year sentence.

In sentencing, the judge said Taylor had been polite in court, had never been jailed before and had apologised to the family of the victim.

Mr Taylor’s parents, John and Janet, had tears in their eyes as they tightly hugged Mr Taylor after the sentencing.

Afterwards outside court, Mr Taylor’s father said “at the end we are content with the sentence”.

“Concerning the tragic events of that night on Legian beach and the subsequent trial we are immensely saddened and our hearts go out to the widow of officer Sudarsa and to his family to whom we send our deepest condolences,” he said.

“However we do believe our son David feared for his own life that night and his actions reflect that.”

John Taylor’s voice quavered as he paid tribute to his son’s lawyer Haposan Sihombing and his team who “have provided guidance and support for our family and for our son right from the start and consistently through these very difficult months”.

John Taylor also thanked the British consular office for its support.

“We are indebted to many who have stood by us, prayed for us and supported us through this time particularly new friends here in Bali who we know will continue to support and visit our son through the years ahead,” Mr Taylor said.

Told of the verdict by Fairfax Media, Mr Sudarsa’s widow, Ketut Arsini, held back tears and with a shaky voice said: “What can I say, if that’s the best, I can’t say anything.”

“I don’t know the law, I don’t know legal matters, it’s up to the prosecutor, the law (judge)… if that’s what’s been decided, then I can’t really say anything.”

Prosecutor Ni Luh Oka Ariani said prosecutors would consider whether to appeal the sentence.

The fight between Taylor and the police officer started after Ms Connor’s handbag went missing while Taylor and Ms Connor – who had been lovers for four months and were having a romantic rendezvous in Bali – were kissing by the water’s edge.

Mr Sudarsa stated he was a police officer, but Mr Taylor believed this was a bogus claim, and began frisking him, accusing him of stealing the handbag.

“If he was a policeman, why didn’t he help me, why did he laugh at me?” he said in the Denpasar District Court.

Taylor testified that he had had three beers and shared an arak cocktail – made with Balinese spirits – over six hours. He denied he had felt aggressive, and said that on the night he had been happy at the prospect of the week ahead in Bali with his new lover. He later tested negative for drugs.

He said Mr Sudarsa had pushed him to the ground and punched him. At one point, he testified, Mr Sudarsa’s arm was on his throat.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was afraid I was going to die. I never experienced it before – I was really scared,” Taylor told a court hearing.

Both Taylor and Ms Connor testified that he had acted alone when he bashed the officer.

They said Ms Connor – whom they both claimed had earlier tried to break up the fight – had been searching for her bag at the time the fatal blows were inflicted.

Taylor insisted Mr Sudarsa, a married father of two, had still been alive when he left him on the beach.

However, he took the officer’s wallet and mobile phone from his body.

Ms Connor cut up his identity cards when the couple returned to their Kuta homestay Kubu Kauh Inn, after unsuccessfully trying to flag down a motorcycle taxi, purportedly to go to the police station.

She said she had cut up the cards to protect the police officer from identity theft, a claim the prosecution labelled “irrational”.

The following morning the couple went to Jimbaran, where they enjoyed two days of their holiday, having a swim and lunch at the beach, oblivious to the fact the police officer was dead.

Ms Connor testified that it was only when she switched on her phone to pay her car registration two days later that she received anxious messages from her friends. Her face was plastered all over the news after her cards had been found near the battered corpse of a police officer. Police were combing the resort island looking for them.

“After I received the phone call, we were both crying,” Ms Connor said. “That’s when I asked David, ‘Did you hit him with something?’ He told me yes,” Ms Connor said. “We were desperate.”

Panicked, they burnt the bloodied clothes they had been wearing on the night of Mr Sudarsa’s death and Taylor threw the officer’s mobile phone against a wall.

They then went to the n consulate, where police were waiting for them.

Much of what initially emerged about the couple’s claims of what occurred on the night of August 17 was bizarre, confused, contradictory and fluid.

Taylor initially claimed he had gone to help a man who was lying face down in the sand and was bitten on the finger, prompting his own lawyer to say he believed his client was hiding something and would reveal the “whole truth” soon.

However, he later won praise from prosecutors for being honest before the court, apologising to the victim’s family and expressing remorse.

Taylor wrote a letter to Mr Sudarsa’s widow, Ketut Arsini, in November, saying: “I really cannot believe that my terrible actions may have contributed to the taking of another life.”

However, Ms Arsini told Fairfax Media at the time she could not forgive the couple and said her husband of 31 years might have been saved if Ms Connor had sought help instead of returning to their Kuta homestay.

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Byron Bay woman gets four years’ jail over Bali policeman’s death

Sara Connor and David Taylor in Kerobokan jail on January 4, 2017. Photo: Alan PutraBali: Byron Bay woman Sara Connor has been found guilty of fatal group assault and jailed for four years over the death of a Bali police officer despite maintaining her innocence throughout a marathon four-month trial. The seven months Connor has already spent in jail will be deducted from her sentence.
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The verdict comes after her British DJ boyfriend David Taylor – who confessed to bashing Wayan Sudarsa but insisted he was acting in self-defence – was convicted of fatal group assault and sentenced to six years’ jail.

Mr Sudarsa, a Bali police officer for 35 years, was found dead in the sand on Legian beach with 42 wounds on August 17 last year.

In sentencing Connor, the judge said an aggravating factor was that Connor tried to get rid of evidence by cutting up the police officer’s cards. The judges did not accept Connor’s claim that she had destroyed the cards to protect the officer from identity theft, but found instead that she had acted out of guilt.

The judges also rejected Connor’s claim that she had been trying to separate her boyfriend and the police officer when she sat on the policeman’s stomach, finding instead that she was trying to prevent the victim from fighting back. The judges said what she had done had caused deep sorrow to Mr Sudarsa’s family. However mitigating factors included that Connor had two children and was separated from their father.

Both Connor and prosecutors have seven days to decide whether to appeal the sentence. Connor’s lawyer, Erwin Siregar, said he would advise his client to do so. Another of her lawyers, Robert Khuana, said her defence team still believed she should be freed. “We would suggest the appeal, because the truth will eventually, late maybe, but it will come out.” Mr Khuana said the victim died because of blunt force trauma, not of anything else. He said Connor put her arm around Mr Sudarsa’s neck, which didn’t kill the victim.

Prosecutors had requested that both serve eight years behind bars for the fatal group assault of the officer, even though the couple testified that Taylor had acted alone when he hit Mr Sudarsa with multiple weapons, including a Bintang beer bottle.

It is standard practice for prosecutors to appeal a sentence that is less than two thirds of what they requested.

When Fairfax Media told Mr Sudarsa’s widow, Ketut Arsini, of Taylor’s verdict, she held back tears and with a shaky voice said: “What can I say, if that’s the best, I can’t say anything.”

“I don’t know the law, I don’t know legal matters, it’s up to the prosecutor, the law (judge) if that’s what’s been decided, then I can’t really say anything.”

Later she was more composed. When hearing of Connor’s verdict she said she trusted the legal system.

“If it’s four years, then it’s the maximum she deserved,” she said.

Ms Arsini said she was content that the fact her husband was a police officer on duty had been taken into consideration by the judges.

However she disputed Connor and Taylor’s claims that Mr Sudarsa had attacked them first. “I don’t believe that, my late husband was a friendly person. He wouldn’t attack them.”

Mary Lockton, who once shared a flat with Connor in London, said the family and friends of Sara Connor were devastated by the verdict. “She has pleaded her innocence from the very beginning and we had been hoping that she would have been acquitted of all charges,” Ms Lockton said.

“The whole trial has been traumatic for the family especially Sara’s two boys. At least we have certainty now. We would appreciate that the media respect the privacy of the family at this time.”

Last month Connor said she was expecting the worst and had lost all hope of seeing her children grow up. The 46-year-old has frequently spoken of her anguish over being separated from her sons, aged nine and 11, who are living with their father in Byron Bay.

She loved her children “more than anything” and they missed her and were waiting for her, she said.

“If this is what God has planned for my life, to punish me so harshly and deprive my children of their mother, I hope He will give my children the strength to cope,” she said in an emotional last-ditch plea on February 28.

The community of Byron Bay has rallied around Connor, who ran a fresh pasta business and worked at the Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge, presenting a booklet with 78 testimonials to the court.

“I’ve been living with Sara and her kids for three years, she can be described as the purest and most amazing spirit I’ve ever met,” Oren Bresler wrote in one of the testimonials.

Connor had travelled to Bali on August 16 last year for a rendezvous with Taylor, a Briton known as DJ Nutzo, whom she had known for several years in Byron Bay but had only been romantically involved with for several months.

The couple had dinner and shared an arak cocktail made with Balinese spirits before heading to the beach outside the Pullman Hotel in Legian to have a beer and drink in the balmy night.

However the night began to go horribly wrong as they kissed by the water. Connor’s handbag went missing and the couple became convinced it had been stolen.

Taylor approached a man whom he was convinced had something to do with the missing handbag. The man, Mr Sudarsa, said he was a police officer. However Taylor accused him of being a fake cop and frisked him. Mr Sudarsa pushed Taylor and the two began brawling in the sand.

Connor insisted she tried to break up the fight and her only role in the altercation had been to try to protect the victim. She said she overbalanced and fell on the police officer, who bit her on the arm and thigh.

She testified that she then resumed the hunt for her missing handbag and was not present when the blows that would prove fatal were inflicted.

“I never knew the police officer was seriously hurt. I left ??? I never went back to the scene,” Connor, who is originally from Italy, told the court. She said Taylor had told her Mr Sudarsa had “passed out”. “English is not my first language. That for me could just mean tired.”

Taylor insisted Mr Sudarsa, a married father-of-two, had still been alive when he left him on the beach. However, he took the officer’s wallet and mobile phone from his body.

Connor testified that she wanted to go to the police station to report her stolen bag, but the ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver refused to take her because she had no money.

According to the ojek driver, he didn’t take her because she was covered in blood, and this triggered flashbacks of the Bali bombing.

“How different my life would have been if my bag was never stolen and the taxi driver had taken me to the police station that night,” Connor would later lament.

Instead, the couple bought cigarettes and returned to their Kuta homestay, Kubu Kauh Beach Inn, where Connor cut up the police officer’s cards.

She claimed she did so to protect the police officer from identity theft, a claim the prosecution labelled “irrational”.

The following morning the couple went to Jimbaran, where they enjoyed two days of their holiday, having a swim and lunch at the beach, oblivious to the fact the police officer was dead.

Connor testified that it was only when she switched on her phone to pay her car registration two days later that she received anxious messages from her friends. Her face was plastered all over the news after her cards had been found near the battered corpse of a police officer. Police were combing the resort island looking for them.

“After I received the phone call we were both crying,” Connor said. “That’s when I asked David: ‘Did you hit him with something?’ He told me yes,” Connor said. “We were desperate.”

Panicked, they burnt the bloodied clothes they had been wearing the night of Mr Sudarsa’s death and Taylor threw the officer’s mobile phone against a wall.

They then went to the n consulate, where police were waiting for them.

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Scottish leader calls for second independence referendum

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched a fresh push for independence, complaining she hit a brick wall trying to avoid her country being dragged down a “hard Brexit” path. However she will face stiff opposition from the UK government, with Prime Minister Theresa May accusing Ms Sturgeon of setting the country on a path for more “uncertainty and division”.
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On Monday Ms Sturgeon set out a plan for a vote on Scottish independence some time after autumn 2018, when she said the terms of the Brexit deal would be clear, but before the anticipated exit from the European Union in the spring of 2019.

The new vote – already dubbed ‘indyref2’ – would come just four years after nationalists lost the previous independence referendum, when 55 per cent of people voted to remain in the UK.

In 2014 Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond pledged the vote would be a “once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime” opportunity. Ms Sturgeon, then his deputy, echoed the line.

However Ms Sturgeon argued that the Brexit referendum last year had changed the political equation, and Scotland stood “at hugely important crossroads”.

“In 2014, we didn’t know the UK would vote to leave the EU – had we done so it is likely that some, perhaps on both sides, would have come to a different decision,” she said in a speech on Monday at Bute House, the first minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.

“The future of the UK looks very different today than it did two years ago.

“As a result of the Brexit vote we face a future, not just outside the EU, but also outside the world’s biggest single market.

“In addition, the collapse of the Labour Party means that we face a prolonged period of uninterrupted and unchecked Conservative government at Westminster.

“Some predict that the Tories could be in power now at Westminster until 2030 or beyond.”

She said Brexit would see powers return to Westminster which were currently wholly devolved to the Scottish parliament.

Ms Sturgeon said she had tried to explore a way Scotland could retain access to the European single market despite Brexit.

However, she said, “our efforts at compromise have instead been met with a brick wall of intransigence.

“UK membership of the single market was ruled out with no prior consultation with the Scottish Government or with the other devolved administrations – leaving us facing not just Brexit, but a hard Brexit.

“There has been talk of special deals for the car industry and others, but a point blank refusal to discuss in any meaningful way a differential approach for Scotland.”

Next week Ms Sturgeon will seek approval from the Scottish parliament – dominated by the nationalists – for her plan.

The British government will then have to agree to a new referendum.

Prime Minister May told the BBC the majority of the Scottish people didn’t want a second referendum, and accused the SNP of “tunnel vision” and “playing politics”.

“It sets Scotland on a course for more uncertainty and division,” she said.

Recent polls in Scotland show a majority are still against independence should there be another vote – but by a narrower margin than the end result in the 2014 referendum – and in the last year some polls showed a majority would vote ‘yes’.

In last year’s Brexit referendum Scotland voted 62 per cent to 38 per cent to Remain in the European Union, and polls show that more than a quarter of Scots who voted against independence in 2014 voted for Remain in 2016. It is these voters that the nationalists would seek to court for Indyref 2.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Ms Sturgeon’s proposal “offers Scotland the worst of all worlds” and was “utterly irresponsible”.

“Both No and Yes voters have been urging her to put this to one side – but because of her own rash decision to use Brexit in a bid to lever support for independence, she has ignored them completely,” she said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party opposed Scottish independence, and will oppose the vote in the Scottish parliament. However if the vote passed in Holyrood, Labour would not try to block a second referendum from Westminster.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said leaving the UK “would mean turbo-charged austerity for Scotland”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the Scottish National Party had “been determined to contrive a way to ignore their promise that 2014 was once in a generation”.

“There is no wide public support for a new and divisive referendum,” he said, saying the SNP’s policy risked leaving Scotland outside both the UK and the EU, as it would not automatically ‘inherit’ the UK’s EU membership.

In response to the announcement, on Twitter a Nicola Sturgeon ‘parody account’ posted a video compiling all the times Ms Sturgeon had previously described the 2014 referendum as a “once in a generation” and “once in a lifetime” opportunity for Scotland. This is the only comment I’m prepared to make today with respect to this morning’s announcement….#indyref2#ScotRefpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/sqRsyUv9P2??? Nicola Sturgeon ??????? (@NicolaSturgoen) March 13, 2017

The dilemmas facing Sara Connor

Bali: Sara Connor faces some difficult dilemmas in the days and weeks ahead in Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail.
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Her four-year sentence for the fatal group assault of Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa on August 17 last year, while only half as long as prosecutors demanded, is still a far cry from the resounding not guilty verdict she long appeared to expect.

The Byron Bay woman’s intuition would surely be to appeal the sentence in the High Court – her lawyers have indicated they will advise her to do just that – but there is a catch.

Appeals are unpredictable beasts in Indonesia.

Should Connor choose to appeal there is a risk higher courts will impose a tougher sentence.

Four of the Bali Nine heroin smugglers infamously – and unexpectedly – had their life sentences overturned in the Supreme Court and the death sentence imposed as a result of appeals.

Connor’s legal team has just seven days to make this dicey decision, although it is highly possible it will be taken out of her hands.

Prosecutors also have seven days to appeal and it is standard practice to do so when the sentence is less than two thirds of that requested by prosecutors.

But this is not Connor’s only agonising decision. In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media in early January, Connor, 46, revealed that despite desperately missing her two sons, aged nine and 11, she did not want them to come to Bali.

“I don’t think it is a good idea to see your mother behind bars,” she said at the time.

Now, staring down the barrel of more than three years behind bars (her sentence is minus the seven months she has already been incarcerated) she will no doubt be desperate to see her boys, whom she loves “more than anything”.

In one of 78 testimonials presented to the Denpasar District Court, Connor’s sister-in-law, Maree Westhoff, wrote about Connor’s sons staying with her, while their father and Connor’s ex-husband Anthony “Twig” Connor, went to Bali to support their mum.

“One night, whilst we were watching TV (one of the boys) turned to me and said: ‘Auntie Maree, while you were out (my brother) and I went upstairs and said some prayers for God to protect mum and bring her home’,” Ms Westhoff wrote.

“Twig” Connor was not in a state to talk after the sentencing on Monday night.

But Mary Lockton, with whom Connor once shared a flat in London, said in a statement that friends and family were devastated by the verdict. “She has pleaded her innocence from the very beginning and we had been hoping that she would have been acquitted of all charges,” Ms Lockton said.

“The whole trial has been traumatic for the family, especially Sara’s two boys. At least we have certainty now.”

Connor’s brother David was in court for the verdict, as was her loyal friend Ambra Bertoldi, who has steadfastly attended her court appearances in Bali and constantly brought her food, including tiramisu on her birthday.

Connor rushed out of the courtroom after the sentence and hid behind her trademark fan as prisoners were loaded into a prison van to be transported back to Kerobokan jail. David Taylor relieved by sentence

Her reaction was in stark contrast to that of her boyfriend, British DJ David Taylor, who appeared relieved when judges sentenced him to six years’ jail for the fatal group assault of Mr Sudarsa.

This is a light punishment given the maximum sentence for fatal group assault is 12 years’ jail in Indonesia and Taylor’s violence caused the death of an on-duty police officer.

“I accept the charges. Thank you,” he told the panel of judges.

Outside the court his father John Taylor, a minister, gave a dignified response, his voice cracking only when he spoke of his debt to “many who have stood by us, prayed for us and supported us through this time, particularly new friends here in Bali, who we know will continue to support and visit our son through the years ahead.”

“At the end we are content with the sentence,” John Taylor said.

The family was “immensely saddened” by the tragic events of that night on Legian Beach and “our hearts go out to the widow of Officer Sudarsa and to his family to whom we send our deepest condolences”.

“However,” John Taylor said firmly, “we do believe our son David feared for his own life that night and his actions reflect that.”

Taylor was candid during the trial about bashing Mr Sudarsa; first with the officer’s own binoculars, then a mobile phone, and finally a Bintang beer bottle – which smashed upon impact – but said he did so in self-defence.

However both he and Connor insisted that her role was only to try to break up the fight. It was an argument the judges did not buy. Connor’s defence fails

Judge Wayan Sukanila said Connor was not trying to separate Taylor and Mr Sudarsa when she sat on top of the police officer but was trying to help Taylor and prevent the victim from fighting back.

He was equally sceptical about her claims that she cut up Mr Sudarsa’s cards in order to protect him from identity theft, saying she instead acted out of guilt.

Connor was ultimately given a lesser sentence than Taylor despite prosecutors requesting parity on the grounds Connor had given “convoluted statements” to the court and did not admit her guilt.

The judges took into her account that her two sons “still needed her very much” and she was separated from their father. They also said she was polite during the trial, had no criminal record in Indonesia and had offered to make a donation to Mr Sudarsa’s widow, even though it was refused.

In a dramatic courtroom scene last December, Mr Sudarsa’s widow Ketut Arsini rebuffed Connor’s offer of a donation of 25 million rupiah (about $2500), saying “I don’t want a dime”.

When Fairfax Media told Ms Arsini of Taylor’s verdict, she held back tears and with a shaky voice said: “What can I say, if that’s the best, I can’t say anything.”

“I don’t know the law, I don’t know legal matters, it’s up to the prosecutor, the law if that’s what’s been decided, then I can’t really say anything,” the elementary school teacher said.

Later she was more composed. When hearing of Connor’s verdict she said she trusted the legal system.

“If it’s four years, then it’s the maximum she deserved,” she said.

Ms Arsini said she was content that the fact her husband was a police officer on duty had been taken into consideration by the judges.

However she disputed Connor and Taylor’s claims that Mr Sudarsa had attacked them first. “I don’t believe that, my late husband was a friendly person. He wouldn’t attack them.”

Taylor and Connor will also be eligible for remissions granted to prisoners in Indonesia on national holidays such as Christmas and Independence Day on August 17 – ironically the date Mr Sudarsa was killed.

– With Amilia Rosa

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Indyref 2: the least sought-after Scottish sequel since Trainspotting 2

Cue a whole lot of mock-outrage. How dare the Scottish Nationalists propose, again, that Scotland leave the UK? It’s not like the hint’s in the name or anything.
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Nevertheless, there is more than a little whiff of political opportunism in Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a timeline for Indyref 2, the least sought-after Scottish sequel since Trainspotting 2.

Barely two years ago she and Alex Salmond earnestly assured everyone that Indyref 1 was a once in a generation, nay once in a lifetime opportunity.

But now, more in sorrow than in anger, Sturgeon says she’s been forced to have another go because Number 10 is not listening to her over Brexit.

This, of course, is spin.

“She made me do it” has never been a sound excuse, on the playground or in politics.

There is no logic to the argument that Scotland must leave the UK before the UK leaves the EU. They could just as easily do it after. More easily, perhaps.

If Scotland could join the EU as an independent state in 2019, there’s no reason it couldn’t do it in 2020, or 2030, or never. If they can’t strike some hybrid deal to stay in the common market this year, there’s always next.

Yes, Scotland was one of the fiercest ‘Remain’ strongholds in the British Isles during the Brexit referendum. But the word ‘mandate’ is one of the most abused in the political vocabulary, and not even Sturgeon tried to pretend last year’s Brexit vote patterns gave her a mandate for Indyref 2.

The Scots have been burned once. Indyref 1 stirred up a lot of anger. There was some appalling bullying on social media. It divided families, towns and cities. And the result was fairly convincing. They may not want to go there again, just yet.

On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that the Scots shouldn’t be given a say if they want one.

Brexiteers, long-standing or recently converted, have been banging on for a year now about how wonderful and democratic a referendum is, and how the will of the people must be respected.

For them to turn around and deny the Scots a referendum, either through a refusal by Number Ten to even consider the option, or through a hostile vote in Westminster, would be a bold work of hypocrisy by direct democracy’s most fervent self-proclaimed fans.

Scotland voted to stay in a pre-Brexit UK, but post-Brexit UK will be a very, very different place, politically and economically. Indeed, one of the big issues in the 2014 referendum was whether Scotland would be part of the EU if it left the UK. Researchers were worried they’d lose their EU grants. Businesses fretted about years of economic uncertainty.

A big chunk of voters chose the UK because it represented the status quo – but it turned out this wasn’t an option. They may justifiably feel betrayed.

If Theresa May, or the Westminster parliament deny the will of the Scottish Parliament and refuse to allow a referendum, they’d stoke a fire of political and social unrest. Half of Scotland, roughly, is pro-independence, and they’re not likely to take “no, so shut up” as an option.

So there may well be an Indyref 2.

Would it succeed? It’s such an interesting question.

The case for independence has lost none of its major flaws. There’s even less oil under the North Sea than there was two years ago. Scotland leans, if anything, more heavily on subsidy from the south than before.

The argument that Scotland could join the EU with minimum fuss and maximum speed is made up of more parts wishful thinking than political, or legal evidence.

Europe is barely holding together at the moment. The east is pushing away from the west, the south from the north, and bits of the middle from each other.

The EU might not want Scotland: a case study in how nationalists get rewarded (the counter-argument, of course, is that Europe would dearly love a demonstration that nationalism and European federalism aren’t mutually incompatible).

Still Sturgeon has ammunition. There is a perception, not too far from the truth, that the political class currently in the ascendant in Westminster and Downing Street couldn’t actually give a toss about Scotland, because with Labour about as electable as the Monster Raving Loonies they don’t need to worry about anything north of York to stay in power for a generation.

The country’s social services are screaming with need but the Whitehall mantra is “crisis, cash, repeat” against a rising theme of austerity economics.

The gang of SNP MPs in Westminster are a rowdy, entertaining breath of fresh air, but their impact on the nation’s policies has so far been nil. Without the threat of an Indyref, Scotland has very little clout in London.

If Scottish voters are presented with a stark choice between Brussels and Westminster, they may well decide the Eurocrats are a much more congenial choice, a more benign overlord. Nicer. More socialist.

Sturgeon isn’t stupid. She knows all this.

There’s a theory that this is all a bluff. That she knows Indyref 2 will fail, but its very existence gives her a lever to jump on to win a better Brexit deal for Scotland.

But this is the stuff of conspiracy theories. There’s a simpler explanation.

She’s the leader of the Scottish National Party.

As long as the SNP rule in Scotland, and as long as the polls tell them they have a decent chance, they’ll keep trying for independence.

The hint’s in the name.

James Virgili, Luke Remington loom as bench weapons again

SHOCK WEAPON: Jaffas speedster Luke Remington. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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TWO of the most dangerous attacking players in the NPL could come off the bench again this weekend.

Luke Remington, the 2015 player of the year, came on at half-time with two-goal hero Pat Brown for Lambton Jaffas on Sunday and helped spark their 3-2 win from 2-0 down. Remington was a constant threat and set up Brown’s winner.

Broadmeadow’s James Virgili was another shock bench player. He came on in the second half in Magic’s 1-1 draw with Edgeworth.

Jaffas coach James Pascoe said Remington had missed their training block before Christmas because of a shoulder reconstruction. He then spenttwo weeksoverseas and played only 90 minutes of pre-season games.He said Remington coming off the bench “might be his role for a couple of weeks until he gets as sharp as he can be”.

Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich said Virgili had agroin strain late in pre-season which had limited his training and “we were worried if we put him out there, he’d fatigue and hurt it and we’d lose him long term.”

“We’ve also got four or five quality strikers and there will be that rotation with the line-up anyway.

“For James, he’s got nothing to worry about. It was just a precaution with his groin and he’ll be back turning it around in no time.”

Zadkovich, whose side host Weston on Saturday night,was pleased with the performance in his NPL debut as coach but disappointed Magic did not get the three points after Edgeworth lost defender Ayden Brice to a red card in the 49thminute.

“I think we should have won it in the end, especially playing against 10 men after we scored,” he said

“It’s probably the only thing we haven’t worked on in our longish pre-season, that kind of scenario.

“You see it a lotin football, where the team who loses a player lifts their intensity and the other side let it slip a bit and be complacent, and that was probably us a little bit.

“But I thought my boys did a great job, to go to the reigning premiers and grand final winners two years in a row first game and perform like that, I think that says a lot about where we are and where we’re headed.”

Pascoe was delighted with how his side responded in the second half after Hamilton “pressed us high in the first half” and “we got rattled a little bit”.

He said themessage at half-time was to stay calm and play their own game and he was confident they would “run over them”.

“For some reason we fell into the trap of playing Olympic’s game, a very direct game, in that first half,” Pascoe said.

“Lots of little clip balls into Griffo, lots of things other teams do well but we don’t.

“For us, it’s about getting the ball down and playing, overloading into certain areas and creating that man advantage.”

The Jaffas host Edgeworth on Saturday at Edden Oval from 2.30pm.

WineTwo boutique wineries turn 20John Lewis

STAYERS: Jorg and Jan Gartelmann – celebrating 20 years of winemakingIN coming weeks two of the Hunter’s most engaging boutique wine ventures – Gartelmann and Catherine Vale – will celebrate their 20thanniversaries.
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The charming Catherine Vale vineyard was created by school teachers Bill and Wendy Lawson on a citrus orchard and cropping property in Milbrodale Rd, Bulga.

While still living in Sydney, Bill and Wendy began planting a vineyard, trekking at weekends and holidays to tend the vines and to keep the resident kangaroos from eating the young shoots.

At the end of 1994 Bill, a popular sports master and Mr Chips figure at Knox College, and Wendy, a swimming teacher for special education students, took early retirement and moved to Bulga, initially into a couple of caravans.

They produced their first vintage in 1997 and over the years proved themselves producers of interesting, diverse boutique wines and active participants in the Broke-Fordwich community. Sadly, as the 2016 vintage began, Bill died at 78 from esophageal cancer, leaving Wendy to carry on the business with the help of family, friends and neighbours.

The Catherine Vale 20thvintage anniversary will be marked by a free lunch and tasting from noon on Sunday, March 26. People planning to attend are asked to RSVP on 02 6579 1334 [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au.

The Gartelmann operation in Lovedale Rd, Lovedale, owes its existence to Jorg Gartelmann suffering a heart attack, undergoing by-pass surgery and waking up one morning in 1996 deciding he wanted to own a vineyard rather than run a Sydney computer business.

He was backed by wife Jan, an lady imbued with a spirit of adventure that had taken her to live in Italy from 1974 to 1988 and to work in Milan for the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Jorg and Jan quit Sydney later in 1996 after buying part of the George Hunter Estate established by Sydney’s Summit Restaurant owner Oliver Shaul.Although Jorg’s and Jan’s previous wine experience was limited to quaffing off many a good bottle, they soon became in tune with the Hunter wine business.

The Gartelmanns’ first vintage was produced in 1997 and today the wines are made under contract by ace First Creek chief winemaker Liz Jackson from bought-in Hunter, Mudgee and Orange grapes scouted out by Jorg’s experienced eyes, nose and taste buds.

Jorg and Jan will celebrate their 20thvintage with a dinner on Saturday, April 22, to which they have invited family, friends and wine industry folk who have supported them over the years.