Posties win parking battle against cafe patrons



Parking changes have been made in Lennox Head’s main street in an effort to address a “serious safety concern” near the post office.

Late last year Ballina Shire Council’s traffic committee heard concerns from the village’s postmaster, who wrote a letter complaining that a cafe patron had been repeatedly parking in the main zone area and obstructing deliveries.

>>> Posties vs cafe patron: Parking squabble now a serious safety concern

The postmaster made an “urgent request” for the parking zone to be changed to a loading zone, saying that a woman had been taking advantage of the quarter-hour parking to “make a point of parking there and going to a cafe”.

The woman had been asked to move on, but refused and threatened to contact police.

Tensions escalated over time and, in one incident, there was a confrontation which led to the woman jumping out in front of a passing police car.

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At the December traffic committee meeting, Ballina Shire Council voted to change the parking restrictions from a quarter-hour parking zone to a loading zone.

Two parking spaces immediately north of the proposed loading zone in Ballina Street will be changed to quarter-hour parking.



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Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies at 62 after battle with cancer


Sorenson was the first Marriott CEO whose name was not Marriott, and only the third to lead the company in its 93-year history.

Sorenson joined the company in 1996, leaving behind a partnership in a Washington law firm where he specialised in mergers and acquisitions. He rose to president and chief operating officer before he was named CEO in 2012.

After becoming Marriott’s top executive, he oversaw the $US13 billion ($16.8 billion) acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016. He pushed the international chain to become more sustainable while also trying to combat human trafficking. He advocated for gay rights and opposed President Donald Trump’s 2017 ban on travel from majority Muslim countries

Even at the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, when Marriott’s revenue plunged more than 70 per cent, Sorenson remained optimistic.

“The fact of the matter is, people love to travel. They love to travel for themselves personally and they love to travel for work,” Sorenson said din November. “It’s often the most interesting and it’s the place they’re going to learn the most.”

Tributes poured in Tuesday from business and civic leaders, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and US Representative Jamie Raskin. CNBC host Jim Cramer said in a Twitter post that Sorenson believed business was the greatest source for social change.

“He was a wonderful leader who led with empathy, integrity and authenticity,” General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra tweeted.

Sorenson oversaw oversaw the $US13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016 as he turned Marriott into the world’s biggest hotel brand.Credit:Bloomberg

Sorenson served on Microsoft’s board of directors as well as the board of directors for the Special Olympics.

When Sorenson stepped back from full-time duties this month, Marriott turned to two veteran executives, Stephanie Linnartz and Tony Capuano, to oversee day-to-day operations. They will continue in those roles until Marriott’s board names a new CEO, which is expected to happen within two weeks, the company said.

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Beau Ryan’s battle to put on weight in 2021


Beau Ryan, the former rugby league star and host of Amazing Race Australia, has a problem that many of us would love to grapple with — he needs to put on weight.

If that sounds frustrating to you, as you self-consciously drop your eyes down to your own waistline, then just wait for his reasoning.

The problem, you see, is that he’s “a bit too lean”.

Just filming the Amazing Race, let alone being a contestant, can be physically draining, as it turns out, and Ryan, 36, is determined to hit the gym to get back in shape. A slightly bigger shape.

“One of my goals for 2021 is to put on two kilograms,” Ryan explains.

“I lost weight on the race and it’s slowly coming back, but I’m still looking a bit too lean.

“I like weights. I lose weight quickly, which is torture if you’re a rugby league player trying to gain weight, so I’m all about gaining muscle mass.”

Ryan, who is almost as famous for his comedic stylings with his “Beau Knows” segment on The Footy Show as he was for his fleet-footed ability on the field with the Sharks and the Tigers, had a challenging year in 2020, as everyone did, but he says the time in isolation with his family taught him a few things, and left him determined to do things differently this year.

“The biggest lesson was that my son, Jesse, who’s three, isn’t built for isolation. Neither am I for that matter,” he laughs.

“In 2021, I want to get my family to spend more time outdoors. We are out in the fresh air quite a bit, but we want to spend more time outside.”

Focusing on healthy eating is something that’s always a priority in the Ryan household, unsurprisingly, and the must-haves in his fridge are not likely to include things like chocolate or ice cream.

“My son is addicted to those little Yakult drinks, my daughter, Remi, loves mango, my wife loves kombucha and I like natural yoghurt – oh, and sparkling water, our fridge is full of it,” he says.

“And we all love avocados. Just not when they’re $4 each, like they are now.”

BEAU RYAN ON …

Diet

“I eat a high protein and a high-fat diet. We burn a lot of calories in our house, especially trying to keep up with my son, Jesse.”

Mindfulness

“I like reading the Bible. It centres me.”

Morning routine

“I have a long black then I train. I can’t function until I have coffee. Some say I’m addicted. They would be right.”

Life advice

“Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.”

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Canberra Raiders drink-driving pair Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera face battle to return, says coach Ricky Stuart


“I’m disappointed with their choices, but it’s not my job to get a spot in this team – that’s their job,” Stuart told the Herald before he attended his Ricky Stuart Foundation annual lunch.

“The boys know how disappointed I am.

Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh.Credit:Getty

“They’re two key forwards and depending on what happens [with the NRL and courts] they’re going to have fight their way back into the team.

“All they’ve done is give someone else an opportunity now.”

Horsburgh returned a low-range reading and allegedly stopped drinking for nearly two hours before hopping behind the wheel. The NRL are likely to reach a decision before the season proper with his court date set for February 23.

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Harawira-Naera is not due to appear before a judge until March 25, making him eligible for selection the opening two rounds against Wests Tigers and Cronulla, but Stuart has made it known the Kiwi is little chance of being considered for selection.

Harawira-Naera was cut by the Bulldogs last year and deregistered by the NRL for his part in the Port Macquarie scandal, which was later overturned on appeal.

Papalii, meanwhile, has given Stuart plenty of reason to smile as he prepares for his first boxing bout against former Queensland forward Ben Hannant on Friday night.

To understand what Papalii’s first fight meant for his actual body, Raiders’ head of high performance Nigel Ashley-Jones revealed the game’s best prop had avoided entering Fat Club for the first time in his first-grade career.

Set a goal of returning to training at 120kg, Papalii was 118.2kg on day one of pre-season. Ashley-Jones added his 1000m shuttle target time of 4:03mins was beaten by ten seconds, while his DEXA scan, which helps measure skin folds, was set at 25 per cent, only for Papalii to return at 24.8 per cent.

Fighting fit ... Josh Papalii returned to pre-season training in supreme physical condition.

Fighting fit … Josh Papalii returned to pre-season training in supreme physical condition.
Credit:Canberra Raiders

“He can fight every off-season if he wants,” Stuart said.

“‘Papa’ has always been disciplined, he’s never a problem when it comes to doing work, but with the extra training with his boxing, he’s had no issues with his weight this time.

“Steve Babic is his boxing coach and he’s been communicating with our high-performance staff and we’re making sure his loads are right and we don’t burn him out.

“We’re working hand in hand so we have him in the best physical condition for his fight on Friday night, but more importantly so he’s in good shape when he resumes training with us on Monday.″⁣

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Papalii, who has chosen to enter the ring to a traditional Samoan song – he wants to dedicate the fight to his father, Patrick – told the Herald from Townsville on Thursday the preparations had not only done wonders for his fitness but freshened him mentally.

“A lot of people have spoken about my weight, but mentally I haven’t really thought about footy for the past nine weeks, my focus has been on boxing and learning things I’ve never learned before,” he said.

When asked who awaited him in the ring after Hannant, Papalii quipped: “Sticky”.

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Battle of the Aussies as Ash Barty takes on Daria Gavrilova in a ‘ripper’ match


Top seed Ash Barty hopes to continue her successful Australian Open run as she takes to Rod Laver Arena in the second round against fellow Aussie Daria Gavrilova.

In under half an hour Barty breezed through to take the first set, dropping just one game to her Fed Cup teammate. The World No. 1 leads 5-4 in the second set.

Gavrilova has appeared frustrated so far in the second set, yelling at herself and gesturing towards her coach. 

Commentator Sam Smith said there was a ‘strange’ atmosphere over centre court on Thursday afternoon for the battle of the Aussies. 

‘There’s a really strange sensation over Rod Laver Arena at the moment,’ Smith said.

‘No one really knows who to pull for.’

Barty, 24, took a year off from tennis in 2020 amid the pandemic, and instead spent time with her dogs and playing golf.

Gavrilova is still in the early stages of her own comeback from a year-long layoff with a crippling foot injury. Pictured at Melbourne Park on Thursday

Gavrilova is still in the early stages of her own comeback from a year-long layoff with a crippling foot injury. Pictured at Melbourne Park on Thursday

In under half an hour Barty has breezed through to take the first set, dropping just one game to her Fed Cup teammate

In under half an hour Barty has breezed through to take the first set, dropping just one game to her Fed Cup teammate

Barty on Wednesday said she was looking forward to getting on court against Gavrilova, predicting it would be a ‘ripper’.

‘It will be a challenge,’ Barty said. ‘I’ll enjoy it – I always enjoy testing myself against other Aussies.’

Gavrilova will be determined to eclipse Danka Kovinic, who won just 10 points in her second round 6-0 6-0 clash with Barty.

Barty, 24, took a year off from tennis in 2020 amid the pandemic, and instead spent time with her dogs and playing golf.

Her comeback has been one for the books, dropping just 10 points in her first round match against Danka Kovinic at Melbourne Park.  

The former world junior No.1 held the mantle as Australian No.1 for 17 weeks before relinquishing it to Barty in on October 23, 2017.

Barty holds great respect for the 26-year-old, and is wary of Gavrilova, particularly given her Russian-born rival used to have the world No.1’s coach Craig Tyzzer in her own corner.

Daria Gavrilova needed a wildcard into the Open, with her ranking having slumped to 387th in the world from a career-high 20th

Daria Gavrilova needed a wildcard into the Open, with her ranking having slumped to 387th in the world from a career-high 20th

Top seed Ash Barty (pictured) will be out to end another Australian's run when she takes on Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Open on Thursday afternoon

Top seed Ash Barty (pictured) will be out to end another Australian’s run when she takes on Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Open on Thursday afternoon

‘Obviously Dasha and I, we’ve been Fed Cup teammates for a long time now. We know each other well,’ Barty said.

‘Tyz obviously coached Dasha for a couple of years we spend a lot of time together.’ 

Gavrilova is still in the early stages of her own comeback from a year-long layoff with a crippling foot injury.

She needed a wildcard into the Open, with her ranking having slumped to 387th in the world from a career-high 20th.

Barty and Gavrilova lead a charge of seven Australians in singles action on Thursday including Thanasi Kokkinakis, Samantha Stosur, Alex de Minaur, Chris O’Connell and Alexei Popyrin.

Stosur, who on Tuesday enjoyed her first singles win at Melbourne Park since 2015, takes on American Jessica Pegula.

Barty said she was looking forward to getting on court against her Fed Cup teammate, predicting it would be a 'ripper'

Barty said she was looking forward to getting on court against her Fed Cup teammate, predicting it would be a ‘ripper’

Defending champion and fourth seed Sofia Kenin will meet Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi, who won the only previous match, on Margaret Court Arena, following Swiss 11th seed Belinda Bencic and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

Sixth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova and Danielle Collins are first up on Rod Laver Arena, followed by Barty and Gavrilova.

American 16-year-old Coco Gauff takes on the fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, a two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist

Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, continues his quest for a men’s record 21st major title with a second-round match against American Michael Mmoh in the night session.

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Concussion battle set to rule Melbourne Rebels star Dane Haylett-Petty out of season opener


It was Haylett-Petty’s fourth concussion during a game, but this one did not seem to go away. He’d been knocked out badly three years ago when he collided with Israel Folau’s hip, yet this knock was different, even if at times he has felt fine.

“It lingered, which I’d never experienced before,” he said. “One of the weeks I tried to ramp up the contact again but got headaches, so it was a couple of weeks of headaches and concussion symptoms. Then we decided to pull back. I was just struggling with the contact stuff. Every time I did contact, the symptoms came on again. We decided to call it a year and have the last couple of weeks off. Then things improved over the time off.”

Haylett-Petty showed up for pre-season training with the Rebels but it became clear that something still wasn’t quite right. He did fitness tests, started with some more running, but the headaches returned.

According to the Rebels captain, all medical advice suggests there is no major issues long term, however the uncertainty of a return date hasn’t been easy to deal with.

Dane Haylett-Petty is confident he will be back on the field sooner rather than later.

Dane Haylett-Petty is confident he will be back on the field sooner rather than later.Credit:Getty

“I’ve been to see three of the best doctors in Australia and apparently the world,” Haylett-Petty said. “The neurologist has basically said I have migraines, which has been triggered by the head knock but it could be triggered through stress or other reasons. That’s why he said to me he doesn’t think there is any implications long term. It’s about managing the migraines.

“I also know a couple of rugby players who have been through this thing. I have had chats to them about it and the great thing is they’re back playing and going well. It’s about getting back on top of it.

“At the moment we’re trialling a few different things. We’ve reduced my load, so that’s why I’ll definitely miss the start of the season. The tough thing with it is you just can’t exactly put a return date on it at this point. I suppose the advice was if I want to keep playing then it’s best to get on top of it now.

“The specialist basically said I will be fine, but he can’t tell me how long it’s going to take. It’s very person to person. He said people are fine a couple of weeks later and some guys take a lot longer.

“The worst thing is not having a timeline. Every other injury I have had I have worked to a timeline and a plan. The rest of the news has been pretty positive.”

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Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson and coach Dave Wessels have been highly supportive of Haylett-Petty through the uncertainty and both told the Herald they would not risk putting their star player back on the field too soon.

At the moment, Haylett-Petty is running and getting plenty of bike sessions in, with the hope that he can return to full contact with the doctor’s tick of approval.

As one of Australia’s highest paid players, Haylett-Petty’s motivation to pull on a gold jersey at rugby’s centrepiece event in a few years hasn’t been diminished.

“I told them I’d love to play three or four more years, play through to the next World Cup and their advice was it’s a long year of rugby … so the best thing is to pull back now, get on top of it and build from there,” Haylett-Petty said.

“Obviously desperate to get back for the Rebels and we’ve got a big year ahead, but it’s not worth my health and pushing through.”

The Rebels have a bye in round one of Super Rugby AU before travelling to Suncorp Stadium.

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How a remote West Bank village became the centre of a battle of wills


“We build it up and they tear it down,” said Waleed Abu al-Kbash as he stretched fencing between two posts. “Where am I supposed to go? I have a thousand head of sheep.”

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, but the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.

A battle of wills is under way in the occupied West Bank, where Israel has demolished the village of Khirbet Humsu three times in as many months.Credit:AP

Khirbet Humsu, perched on the rolling highlands above the Jordan Valley, is part of the 60 per cent of the West Bank known as Area C, which is under full Israeli military control as part of interim peace agreements from the 1990s.

Israel planned to annex the Jordan Valley and other parts of the occupied West Bank last year after getting a green light from the Trump administration, but it put annexation on hold as part of a US-brokered normalisation agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

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It still maintains complete control over the territory, leaving Bedouin communities like the one at Khirbet Humsu at constant risk of displacement. Shepherds who rely on seasonal rains and scattered springs are also at the mercy of an arbitrary cycle of demolition and rebuilding.

The first time Israel demolished Khirbet Humsu was in early November, as world attention was focused on the US election.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said Israeli forces demolished 18 tents and other structures that housed 74 people, including dozens of children. They also demolished livestock pens, storage sheds, cooking tents, solar panels, water containers and feeding troughs, and confiscated livestock feed, a vehicle and two tractors. The UN said it was the single largest demolition of its kind in the past decade.

Israeli forces returned on Monday and again on Wednesday, using bulldozers and heavy equipment to demolish structures that had been rebuilt and carting away others on large trucks.

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Most of the families have stayed in the area through each demolition, quickly setting up tents with the help of activists and aid workers after the soldiers leave.

Israel said in November that the structures were built without permission, which the Palestinians and rights groups say is almost never granted.

COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees civilian affairs in the West Bank, said it informed residents of Khirbet Humsu that the area is in a military firing range and reached an agreement with them to move the community to another area. It said residents voluntarily dismantled structures on Monday but then refused to move, leading the military to confiscate them.

Residents who spoke to the Associated Press were unaware of any agreement with the military.

Amit Gilutz, a spokesman for B’Tselem, said that even if there were an agreement, it would have been made under duress as Israel controls the area and can demolish at will. Either way, he says it amounts to forcible transfer, a war crime under international law.

The remote village of Khirbet Humsu in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

The remote village of Khirbet Humsu in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.Credit:AP

Gilutz said the displacement was a test for the new US administration. President Joe Biden has vowed to adopt a more even-handed approach to the conflict and hopes to revive peace talks. Gilutz said Israel would view the administration’s silence as a “green light.”

“This is not an isolated case,” he said, referring to other Bedouin communities across the West Bank where residents are unable to build and have little if any access to electricity or water because of Israeli restrictions.

“For the most part, Israel avoids actually loading people up on trucks and dumping them elsewhere,” he said. “Rather, what it does is it makes life impossible for these people so that they leave, as if by their own choice.”

The displacement has broader implications. Area C encompasses most of the agricultural land in the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, which the Palestinians say they would need to develop a viable, independent state. Rights groups say that by consolidating its grip on the land – with or without formal annexation – Israel puts a two-state solution even further out of reach.

Israeli leaders have long argued that the keeping the Jordan Valley is essential for protecting Israel’s narrow coastal heartland.

Nidal Abu al-Kbash, another member of the extended family in Khirbet Humsu, believes the military wants to clear them away so it can build settlements and training bases on the land, which is fertile and has a freshwater spring. He too was at work on Wednesday repairing fences.

“We have no alternative, he said. “We’re not leaving.”

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Budget telco Belong chief vows not to lift prices in battle with rivals


Ms Kotatko said increased competition would not result in a race to the bottom on prices.

“We’ve got a leading edge because we’ve got the quality of the network at a nice price point that many, many Australians can afford, not all but most can afford,” she said. “That’s going to be the new battleground. How do you differentiate beyond gigs and price? It’s the network offering and service offering.

“If anything we want to take what we’ve got today and we want to … embed more data in some of our plans given the market has moved, but actually really build on some of these really neat points of difference around gifting and banking, and sharing the way that you manage your total costs in a month by introducing other products that then extend the range of data devices like wearables or tablets. That’s really the new market need and we’ll design propositions to suit.”

Belong is considered the “growth engine” of Telstra. According to the telco’s 2019-2020 financial results, 154,000 of the 240,000 retail postpaid mobile services were Belong customers. In fixed mobile, Belong was responsible for 79,000 of 80,000 new customers. But with the introduction of Gomo and Felix, finding new customers could become tricky. Ms Kotatko said the telco is exploring several options to try and appease customers including exploring the data-only market in mobile.

Budget brands are typically favoured by young, metropolitan-based customers, but Ms Kotatko said there is now an opportunity to talk to people outside the cities.

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“When you start to look at customers who are looking for an affordable service, they do like that comfort of the Telstra network – there’s a big role for Belong to play there outside of the metro areas and into more regional parts of Australia. We’ve got the right combination of ingredients,” she said.

“It would be new ground for us. Our brand as a city is largely a metro brand, and we serve largely metro markets. Anything we do that moves into some other geographies and more regional geographies would need to be supported by a value proposition with a strong network position – a point of difference to the Telstra brand. We’re working through that at the moment.”

Ms Kotatko’s comments come as Telstra and its rivals ramp up efforts to roll out their 5G networks. A spectrum auction is expected to take place in April. The mmWave spectrum can be used to deliver lightning fast mobile and internet speeds. But Ms Kotatko said there were no plans to create 5G packages for Belong customers.

“There’s a lot of runway left in the 4G network,” she said. “Our Telstra colleagues are doing absolutely great guns on 5G and we’ll let them continue to lead the way for at least the next 12 to 18 months. We’ll always be in dialogue. It’s something that we don’t see a need for yet.”

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Tony Bennett’s Alzheimer’s battle revealed


The family of Tony Bennett has revealed that the legendary singer has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, breaking their silence on his condition four years after he was diagnosed.

His wife Susan told AARP Magazine in an interview published on Monday that the 94-year-old singer, whose first hit “Because of You” was released in 1951, had been losing his ability to make decisions.

In an effort to keep working, Bennett had been hiding his diagnosis, she said. Singing has helped him with the disease.

Bennett remains upbeat but his condition is increasingly deteriorating, his wife said.

“He would ask me, ‘What is Alzheimer’s?’ I would explain, but he wouldn’t get it,” his wife told AARP Magazine.

Gayatri Devi, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and author of “The Spectrum of Hope” about Alzheimer’s, diagnosed Bennett in 2016.

Devi has strongly encouraged Bennett’s family to keep him singing and performing for as long as he can enjoy it.

“It kept him on his toes and also stimulated his brain in a significant way,” Devi is quoted as telling AARP Magazine.

The progressive disease, the most common form of age-related dementia, causes a decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

It leaves its victims dependent on caregivers, although Bennett so far has been spared the disorientation that can sometimes prompt patients to wander from home or experience terror, rage or depression, AARP Magazine said.

“He might never develop these symptoms. But there was little doubt that the disease had progressed. Even his increasingly rare moments of clarity and awareness reveal the depths of his debility,” the magazine said.



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Battle set to erupt over Sydney Harbour’s priceless heritage assets


But the chair of the trust, Joseph Carrozzi, says such fears are unfounded. “We are just trying to enable [ourselves] to offer long-term leases for sites or buildings on the basis that that would encourage the private sector to fund reparation works rather than government” he said.

“I understand the community’s concerns about long leases, but my commitment to the community is, if we are looking at a proposal that has a lease of 30 or 40 years or longer, then we would never – and I can only speak for the board that I chair – … we would not enter into a long-term contract like that unless we took the community with us.”

The proposed amendments – which also place the trust on a permanent footing, one move which critics have welcomed – have been circulated by federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley’s department, following recommendations from a review of the trust last year.

A spokesperson for Ms Ley says she has met the HPG to “listen to their views” and has also held “constructive briefings” with the offices of federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and deputy, Richard Marles. The government aims to introduce the amendments in the autumn session of Federal Parliament.

Current provisions allow the trust to lease out suitable sites for up to 25 years, with any lease longer than that going before Parliament in a form which provides full detail and can be disallowed.

The new provisions would see the minister allowed to approve leases for between 25 and 35 years, while those over 35 years would be notified to Parliament but in a fashion, critics say, that delivers less transparency and scrutiny.

The changes come at a sensitive time for the trust which is seeking a chief executive following a decision by executive director Mary Darwell to step down at the end of February.

The trust was established by the Howard government in 2001 to take over former defence lands around the harbour and preserve them for “the benefit of present and future generations.” The heritage-rich sites include Cockatoo Island, Middle Head, the sanctuary at North Head, Georges Heights, the former submarine base at Neutral Bay, and sites at Woolwich and Vaucluse.

Mr Carrozzi says since last year’s review, the trust has begun working closely with the NSW government to “activate” Cockatoo Island, and make it “part of a broader story for the NSW tourism and visitor economy”, but that it was “early days” in terms of specific proposals.

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