Caitlyn Jenner accuses Jimmy Kimmel of being transphobic for calling her ‘Trump in a wig’ and slams lack of outrage from the LGBTQ community 

Caitlyn Jenner has accused Jimmy Kimmel of transphobia after the comedian called her ‘Donald Trump in a wig’ during Thursday’s broadcast of his ABC late-night show. 

Jenner – who is currently running to become the next Republican governor of California – took to Twitter on Friday slamming the funnyman and noting the relative silence from the LGBTQ community in the wake of the remark. 

‘Last night @jimmykimmel called me Donald Trump with a wig. He obviously believes that trans women are simply men with wigs on. Where is the outrage from the left or LGBT community?’ Jenner wrote. 

‘Being WOKE must be optional if you are a Democrat,’ she added. 

On Thursday night, Kimmel mocked Jenner’s political aspirations during the opening monologue of his show. 

‘She’s just trying to get attention,’ he quipped. ‘Caitlyn Jenner has a better chance of being the next Batman than she does governor of California. She knows little to nothing about anything, really.’ 

Some Twitter users lashed out at Kimmel, calling him a ‘bigot’ and ‘transphobic’. 

One wrote: ‘I cannot stand her [Jenner] and I understand the root of that comparison, but it’s transphobic to compare her to a man in a wig. Pretty gross joke’. 

However, Kimmel’s controversial joke didn’t garner much backlash – prompting Jenner to accuse the left of double standards and claiming Kimmel has been protected. 

In a subsequent stream of tweets shared on Friday, she pointed out several politically incorrect jokes and skits that Kimmel had made during his comedy career. 

‘Speaking of @jimmykimmel he also received a pass from the WOKE on his use of black face and racist actions. Hypocrite,’ he wrote. 

He shared a screenshot showing Kimmel in black face during a Saturday Night Live skit in 2000. 

Jenner also accused Kimmel of harassment, sharing an old clip from his program The Man Show in which he asked women to touch his pants and guess what was inside of them.  

‘Also @jimmykimmel  got a pass from the WOKE while he asked women to fondle him in public. His treatment of women is wrong. Disgusting. Vile,’ Jenner raged. 

Jenner added yet another tweet, saying Kimmel had been protected after making racist jokes.  

‘Sad that @jimmykimmel has contributed to #AAPIHate . Is there any group he won’t attack? Jimmy, it’s time to #StopAsianHate,’ she wrote. 

She subsequently posted a screenshot from an LA Times article about backlash Kimmel had procured in 2013 after his ABC show aired a clip of a child saying ‘kill everyone in China’. 

ABC apologized for that remark at the time. Kimmel has apologized for wearing blackface. 

After Jenner shared her stream of tweets, some chose to side with Kimmel, claiming he was more of an advocate for the LGBTQ community. 

‘You turned your back on the LGBTQ and Trans community long ago. You sat by and watched Trump strip away their rights and DID NOTHING. Kimmel was kind…you are Trump in a BAD wig ~Signed and unapologetic ally,’ one wrote. 

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AFL’s Eagles must address lack of consistency

No discussion of the prospects of any AFL team beyond Victoria is thorough if it doesn’t pay attention to the travel factor – especially the two teams out of Western Australia, whose fortnightly plane trips of usually four hours or more over a period of time become a sizeable challenge.

That’s something rarely given enough consideration by “eastern staters”, as people from Perth are inclined to refer to anyone living the other side of the Nullarbor Plain.

Few teams in domestic sporting competitions around the world have to make as long a trips as regularly as do West Coast and Fremantle.

It makes the Eagles’ sustained success, seven grand final appearances and four AFL premierships over 35 years, a pretty remarkable effort.

But it’s taken a toll on the length of the careers of some of the club’s greatest players over that time.

It’s taken a toll on some Eagles’ line-ups which were good enough but unable to win flags.

And, at times like these, you can’t help but also wonder if it continues to take a toll on the psyche of an entire club.

While Fremantle is in the same boat, it has only once – in 2013 – threatened in premiership terms.

West Coast’s record in recent times makes it a particularly pertinent case study.

Adam Simpson, in his eighth season as coach of the Eagles, has an impressive record: 111 wins, 60 losses, one draw and a winning percentage of nearly 65; West Coast playing finals in each of the last six seasons.

The Eagles have won more than 77 per cent of home games at Subiaco and then Optus Stadium under his watch.

Their away strike rate of just over 50 per cent, given the extent of the travel imposition, is at worst fair.

But even winning a premiership in 2018, a year in which West Coast managed to win eight of 11 games outside Western Australia, doesn’t seem to have made the Eagles any more adept at handling “the road”.

Indeed, their record away from home since the premiership has got steadily worse.

That 8-3 road record (a 72 per cent strike rate) from 2018 became 6-5 (54 per cent) in 2019.

Last year when, thanks to COVID, West Coast played eight of its 10 games away from Perth against an opponent also from a state different to the game venue, it still went only 50-50. And this season, the record is just one victory in five attempts.

At the same time, West Coast has become harder to beat at home.

Since the 2018 premiership, the Eagles have won 22 of 27 games at Optus Stadium.

So, in five seasons leading up to the 2018 premiership under Simpson, West Coast went at a winning percentage of 65 per cent for home games and 53 per cent away.

Since the flag, it’s been 81 per cent at home and 46 per cent away.

Given that the Eagles have had arguably just as strong a list since the premiership year, I suspect those numbers suggest that, increasingly for West Coast, it’s about mindset.

This is a side which knows its capabilities, and has experienced the ultimate playing to its peak.

It knows it has a substantial advantage playing an interstate team at home and is likely to win far more of those games.

Counting the away clash with Fremantle, that’s a dozen games in which the Eagles will almost inevitably start a warm favourite.

Win even three-quarters of them, and they know they need just four wins from the other 10 away to be reasonably confident of playing finals.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they can pick and choose when to have a serious crack, but it does mean losing the most difficult of those away assignments, like Geelong at Geelong, for example, isn’t really the end of the world.

And that’s certainly what it looked like in Round 6 at the Cattery, when the Eagles were belted by 97 points, conceding a run of 13 consecutive Geelong goals, and 19 of 20 after a decent first quarter.

It’s a theory which also sits comfortably with West Coast’s repeated fade-outs this season; the Eagles conceding 71 points more in final terms than they’ve scored and their over-reliance on an admittedly very efficient forward set-up.

The latter factor certainly was pivotal to the Eagles’ five-goal lead on Essendon early last Saturday night, despite the Bombers having their share of the football as well.

It was when the Dons’ harder edge began to be converted on the scoreboard West Coast found itself in big trouble.

And when that starts happening at home as well as away, that’s cause for major concern.

The Eagles found an extra gear when they won that famous 2018 grand final – in fact right through that finals series, winning the hard ball categories they had usually been beaten throughout that season.

That level of hardness hasn’t been found consistently since.

That deficiency is telling against the very best sides in the AFL, among which on the score of talent alone West Coast should be perceived.

And while it remains absent, maybe too many Eagles luxuriating in what remains a substantial edge in their own backyard, things aren’t likely to improve when they step on to another aeroplane.

This story Rohan Connolly: AFL’s West Coast Eagles must address lack of consistency
first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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Britain’s trade deals lack transparency

CABINET SPLITS always excite Westminster. So it proved after the Financial Times reported a bust-up between Liz Truss, the trade secretary, and George Eustice, the environment secretary, over a planned free-trade deal with Australia. At issue was Ms Truss’s desire to offer Australian beef-producers unlimited tariff- and quota-free access to the British market, upsetting Mr Eustice’s farmers. Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said such an agreement would throw British family farms “under a bus”. Boris Johnson eventually came down on Ms Truss’s side after invoking the free-trade heritage of another Conservative prime minister, Robert Peel.

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The prime minister is right to have done so. Brexit has created an opportunity to escape the European Union’s costly system of farm protection and to strike more adventurous trade deals with third countries. The Australians insisted on far more generous access for beef and lamb as the price of any agreement. And, as Ms Truss asked rhetorically: if Britain cannot strike a free-trade deal with an old friend like Australia, who can it do deals with?

For all the noisy opposition of farmers (especially in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) the quantities involved are small. Ms Truss’s trade department estimates that the entire deal with Australia would add a maximum of just 0.02% to GDP in the long term. Last year Britain imported some 560 tonnes of beef and veal from Australia. Were that number to rise tenfold, as Australian producers hope, it would still be less than 3% of more than 200,000 tonnes imported from the EU each year. Ms Truss also promises a 15-year transition before tariffs and quotas are lifted in full. A more justifiable fear for British farmers, suggests Sam Lowe of the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank, is that the deal becomes a model for bigger future ones with Latin America and the United States. Yet such deals are far off and could be debated on their merits.

The argument has revealed the absence of a trade strategy. Brexiteers say they want free trade everywhere. Yet they remain shtum about the barriers erected with Britain’s biggest trading partner, the EU. Almost all the trade deals done by Ms Truss so far have been rollovers of those formerly in place through Britain’s EU membership. Australia would be the first significant new one. But why is the focus of such deals so much on farming (or in some cases fish), which are tiny shares of a GDP that is 80% composed of services? How is Britain going to lead the charge towards greater liberalisation of services trade around the world?

Indeed, argues David Henig of ECIPE, a think-tank focused on trade, it seems as if the only post-Brexit strategy is to sign free-trade deals as quickly as possible. That fosters a sense of desperation, which puts Britain in a weak bargaining position against some of the world’s toughest negotiators. The latest deal appears to be of greater benefit to Australia than it is to Britain. Just wait for the battle that is likely with the Americans, who take no prisoners in trade talks.

That points to another concern over the deal: the lack of transparency in negotiating it. Public support for free trade is often fragile, because producers who lose out shout louder than consumers who gain. Protests from special interests, greens and others have often sunk free-trade negotiations, ranging from Seattle in 1999 through Doha in 2008 to a planned transatlantic trade and investment partnership in 2016. Yet the British government conducts its negotiations, including those affecting controversial food-safety standards, largely in secret. Parliamentary scrutiny is allowed only after trade deals are signed.

The risk of this triggering a popular backlash against freer trade is all the greater because of the government’s reputation. Ms Batters’s adverse reaction to the Australian trade deal was so strong partly because she claims that Mr Johnson promised he would die rather than sell farmers down the river in order to secure trade deals. She is not the first, and will not be the last, to discover that the prime minister has a habit of making promises that he does not intend to keep.

For more coverage of matters relating to Brexit, visit our Brexit hub

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “Trussed but verify”

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NRL’s Magic Round doesn’t look magical with injuries, lack of fan opportunities and the draw

When the NRL announced the inclusion of Magic Round in 2019, it was an overwhelming feeling of excitement, but this year there doesn’t seem to be much magic in the air.

Injuries, minimal fan engagement and an unfavourable draw have given us little to look forward to as Brisbane welcomes all 16 NRL clubs back this weekend after the festival-like occasion was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

Is it still Magic Round without magicians?

Knights star full-back Kalyn Ponga is the latest big name to be ruled out after suffering a groin injury in the lead up — he joins his playmaker Mitchell Pearce on the sideline.

The Storm will be without big three Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Brandon Smith, while the Eels will take the field with no Dylan Brown, who is sitting out with suspension.

We won’t see Sharks half-back Shaun Johnson as he’s still at least another week away from returning from a minor hamstring injury — and Broncos enforcer David Fifita, who was named on Tuesday, has received a two-match suspension after failing to have his grade-two high tackle charge downgraded at the judiciary.

The other big names who we won’t be seeing magic from are: Ash Taylor, Addin Fonua-Blake, Cameron Murray, Sam Verrills, Zac Lomax, Joseph Tapine, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jordan Rapana, Ryan Sutton, Kurt Capewell, Paul Momirovski, Kotoni Staggs, Jesse Ramien, James Roberts, Jeremy Marshall-King, Josh Jackson and Lachlan Lewis.

The Knights will miss Ponga's flair and finesse against the Wests Tigers on Friday.
The Knights will miss Ponga’s flair and finesse against the Wests Tigers on Friday.(

AAP: Darren Pateman


However, the NRL is making a conscious effort to keep players on the pitch, ironically by threatening to send off anyone who makes direct contact with an opponent’s head.

The decision comes after a total of 14 players were charged last week — the most on record at the NRL, dating back to 1999 — while the number of players charged for contact with the head or neck was up 700 per cent over the opening six rounds compared with the 2017 season.

Fan engagement not so engaging for clubs

In its inaugural year, Magic Round gave players the opportunity to visit 25 schools and junior rugby league clubs in the week leading up to the event.

Two coaching and refereeing education events were also delivered by current NRL club coaching staff, with more than 100 junior rugby league coaches attending.

COVID-19 is to blame for the lack of fan engagement activities taking place but that doesn’t mean the NRL haven’t tried to improvise. 

The NRL is hoping to maximise opportunities for supporters this weekend by conducting joint press conferences in the forecourt of the stadium precinct in front of fans.

In an email sent to club CEOs last week, the league also stated fans would be allowed to submit questions, with the best two or three asked by an MC.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out as South Sydney have already made their feelings known that they want nothing to do with this new concept, with Wayne Bennett adamant he won’t be participating. 

A man with grey hair looking pensive.
Will Bennett show up to the press conferences?(

AAP: Joel Carrett


A better draw could have sparked more excitement


The biggest game we have to look forward to over the weekend is the final match on Sunday between the Panthers and the Titans, which really isn’t all that exciting for the neutral.

It’s understandable why clubs don’t want to host their home blockbusters and derby matches at Magic Round due to the financial loss but imagine how much more enthusiasm there would be ahead of this weekend if there were blockbuster matches to look forward to.

The fact that the NRL is not bringing any spectacle to the round with any big clashes is only hurting its growth.

The English Super League’s ‘Magic Weekend’, which the NRL based their model off, had a similar debate in the few years after its commencement in 2007, as to how the event can sustain more success. 

Considering enhancing fan engagement was not a possibility this year due to COVID-19, adding some big rivalry clashes could have rugby league lovers anticipating its start.

Magic Round Draw

Friday 14th May

Wests Tigers vs Knights, 6pm

Sea Eagles vs Broncos, 8.05pm

Saturday 15th May 

Bulldogs vs Raiders, 3pm

Sharks vs Rabbitohs, 5.30pm

Roosters vs Cowboys, 7.45pm

Sunday 16th May

Warriors vs Eels, 1.50pm

Storm vs Dragons, 4.05pm

Titans vs Panthers, 6.25pm

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Queensland slams lack of road and transport funding

The Palaszczuk government has unleashed on Canberra for failing to give Queensland its fair share in the federal budget, demanding more funding for roads and transport infrastructure as the state’s population rapidly grows.

Sunshine State Treasurer Cameron Dick said the previously reported $1.6bn allocated to Queensland for roads and rail pales in comparison to the $3bn expected to be given to both NSW and Victoria, and $2.6bn to South Australia “for a single road tunnel”.

State migration added 30,000 residents to Queensland last year, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics, compared to population losses of 19,000 and 13,000 in NSW and Victoria respectively.

Mr Dick said the sharp rise had placed pressure on housing, hospitals, roads and schools, and demanded Prime Minister Scott Morrison “end his rotten rip-off of Queensland” in the federal budget.

“South Australia had net interstate migration last year of just 98 people,” he told Queensland parliament on Tuesday morning.

“Why on earth do 98 people need a $2.6 billion road tunnel? I’ll tell you why, it’s called the federal Liberal electorate of Boothby with its razor-thin margin of 1.38 per cent.

“Meanwhile, lazy federal LNP members in Queensland on fat margins get nothing for our state.”

Mr Dick said the federal government had offered no financial support for the Cross River Rail major transport project while investing in inferior projects interstate.

“When we had a route, we had a business case, we had every expert in the country screaming that it was needed,” he told parliament.

“Yet Melbourne got $5 billion for an airport rail line, when there wasn’t even a map setting out where it would go.

“Sydney got $5.3 billion for a brand new airport.

“And let’s not forget Geelong, which got $2 billion for fast rail and a brand new $50 million hospital, funded by the federal LNP.”

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Embalming is vital in the funeral industry, but a lack of skilled practitioners is causing concern

Deanne Edwards spends a lot of time with dead people.

“It’s such a fascinating world,” Ms Edwards said.

“That’s my utmost thought the whole time.” 

After nearly a decade of working as a funeral director, she became an embalmer to help bring comfort to loved ones as they grieve.

Embalming is a procedure to sanitise, restore and preserve a body after death.

Ms Edwards has noticed a lack of embalmers in South Australia.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


Ms Edwards was privately trained by a South Australian master embalmer and is hoping to one day become a qualified trainer.

After taking up the practice, she noticed there was a lack of embalmers in South Australia.

“There are just too many people who have retired, and not enough people to train new people or continue the practice as they get older,” she said.

A woman in red hair handles surgical equipment in a dimly lit room
Deanne Edwards said she had experienced the impact of a lack of embalmers in South Australia firsthand.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


“There has been a situation where I have needed someone that has more qualifications than myself, but they’re not available.”

She said advances in refrigeration technologies and an increase in cremation had impacted the age-old trade.

But despite that, Ms Edwards said more people in the industry needed to take up embalming.

Training blocks need addressing

Australian Institute of Embalming board member Ian Warren said South Australia lacked embalmers.

“There is not a shortage of people interested in wanting to do the course … we would have two or three enquiries a week,” Mr Warren said.

“The issue is that you really need to be working in the funeral industry, and then working for a company that does embalm and has a qualified embalmer who’s happy to take on students and be their mentor.”

Bottles of surgical chemicals sit on a table next to a white and blue towel
Embalming is often required if a body needs to be sent overseas for burial or if there is a long delay between the death and interment.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


He said some students may be required to complete up to 50 embalmed bodies with their mentor before they are allowed to work by themselves.

Mr Warren is also a chief tutor at Mortuary and Funeral Educators, which is one of two registered training organisations in the industry.

“We have not had any students [in Adelaide] for at least seven years, so there is a bit of an issue that’s probably unique to Adelaide.”

A man wearing a blue suit, tie, white shirt and glasses sits with hands folded looking at camera in a dimly lit room
SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association president David Lawlor.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall


The president of the SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association, David Lawlor, said embalming was still a key part of the industry.

“If someone is being repatriated overseas they would need to be embalmed,” he said.

“Or if there is a delay between the death and the funeral taking place then there would be a need to embalm the body.”

He agreed there wasn’t a huge uptake of new trainees in South Australia, but didn’t believe there was a shortage of embalmers.

“I think at the moment we’re OK but in the future, we need more students to come through as embalmers retire.”

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Healthcare inquiry accused of lack of transparency at regional NSW hearings

A New South Wales parliamentary inquiry into access to health services is under fire for limiting public access to regional hearings. 

An Upper House committee is examining the challenges people face in seeking medical care in remote, rural and regional areas.

It is holding 10 hearings in regional communities to hear directly from some of the 700 individuals, councils and organisations who lodged submissions. 

But none of these forums will be live streamed, meaning only those who can attend in person will be able to listen to and watch the proceedings.

Media coverage will also be hampered because some of the hearings are in isolated communities. 

“The problem that we’re experiencing is tyranny of distance and that’s why people have had less than happy healthcare outcomes.”

Thirty people were listed to give evidence at the first two hearings in Deniliquin and Cobar.

Members of the public also attended but many others were unable to do so because of their health and the travel distance to the two towns. 

“I’m disappointed because there was a lot of people who for one reason or another who couldn’t make it into Cobar that day,” said Mr Stingemore.

He said he felt let down at the lack of a live stream.

“The word doesn’t get out and therefore it (is like it) didn’t happen.”

The State Opposition says it is pushing for Parliament to ensure the remaining regional hearings are broadcast online. 

“I’ll continue to have discussions with the secretariat to try and see whether there is capacity,” said the opposition’s health spokesman, Ryan Park. 

The Upper House committee is chaired by Labor MP Greg Donnelly, but Mr Park said it was not up to the head of the inquiry to decide whether live streaming was available. 

“We don’t control the Parliament of NSW (but) we will do our best to convey our concerns.”

Shine Lawyers is representing patients in western NSW in medical negligence actions that relate to a lack of resources, and doctors and people waiting too long for treatment. 

Shine’s national medical law practice leader, Clare Eves, said the limited access to the inquiry was not good enough. 

“The failure to live stream public hearings in Deniliquin and Cobar does a disservice to the people of regional New South Wales,” she said.

“The vital role of the media has also been restricted with increasingly under-resourced news outlets mostly unable to report on the harrowing stories being shared.
“This has the effect, deliberate or otherwise, of keeping out of the headlines the unacceptable shortcomings in the provision of health services to the regions.”

The Upper House committee’s three government MPs told the ABC that individual committees do not manage their own budgets or broadcasting .

The ABC has contacted the president of the Legislative Council who is responsible for these matters. 

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No jobs, lack of diversity among the challenges in this seaside town where trains only go one way


“The last thing you want is to be at the end of a transport route,” local businessman Banson Wong tells the ABC.

“You want to be at the midpoint of a transport route, because then you get traffic from both directions.”

For many Melburnians, the “gateway to the Mornington Peninsula” is a convenient pit stop on weekend drives, or the place to get off the train before journeying on south.

But for locals, Frankston isn’t just a pit stop — it’s home. 

And its inadvertent designation as the peninsula’s transit lounge has had long-lasting effects on the neighbourhood and community that live there day in, day out.

For every 100 residents in Frankston City, there exists as few as 31 employment opportunities, according to data from the Committee for Greater Frankston. 

More than 60 per cent of Frankston City’s working residents travel outside of the municipality to work, with about a third travelling to Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Mornington Peninsula.

It means local businesses in the city aren’t getting a lot of foot traffic during business hours, slowing local job growth.

Access to work is compounded by the city’s distance from Melbourne and the inconvenience of commuting: it’s about an hour by train from Frankston to Melbourne, while most of Greater Melbourne’s jobs are more than 45 minutes away by car.

Nearly 70 per cent of Frankston residents commute to work by car with only 7 per cent taking public transport — 7.7 per cent higher and 4.5 per cent lower than the national figures respectively. 

But the Committee for Greater Frankston, a politically independent local think-tank, says extending the train line through to Baxter, 7 kilometres south of Frankston, would make travel far easier.

They maintain it would transform public transport across the peninsula, provide greater access to jobs, and help ease Frankston city’s undesirable role as a congested, commuter car park.

Committee member Upali DeSilva believes that extending the metro line would also encourage people from outside Frankston to consider working and even residing in the area.

While there’s been widespread support for the project — including significant federal funding and recognition as a top infrastructure priority by Infrastructure Minister and Flinders MP Greg Hunt — the delays in its execution have frustrated supporters of the initiative. 

Both Mr Wong and Mr DeSilva note Monash University’s Peninsula campus and the expansion of Frankston Hospital — set to be completed by the end of 2024 — as having strong potential for attracting residents and working professionals.

“The hospital is expanding, so that will certainly bring professional people too, so it does have that mix of professional people coming here … [it] will encourage the restaurants and cafes to open,” Mr DeSilva says.

But Professor Peter McDonald, a demographer at the University of Melbourne, sees Frankston’s current lack of public transport infrastructure and job opportunities as an ongoing disincentive for families and businesses to want to move into the area.

“If you’re working in some kind of business, which [operates Melbourne-wide], it’s not a convenient place to be located.”

Frankston locals hope that by creating more close-to-home job opportunities, the demand for goods and services might increase, making the area more attractive for small businesses. 

Some say the lack of cultural diversity in the neighbourhood makes it hard for them to run their businesses.

Ginseng Asian restaurant owner David Chau says he has to travel to Springvale to stock up on ingredients.

“For instance, Chinese soy sauce, both dark mushroom and light, are just not available. Noodles as well — thin and flat rice noodles, wheat noodles with different textures — I can’t get those in a Frankston supermarket.

“It’s a lot easier to buy stock that I need in [surrounding] markets or in Springvale.”

Having lived in the culturally diverse suburb of Box Hill, in Melbourne’s east, Mr Wong emphasises the importance of catering to a wide spectrum of communities. 

“People like to move into a suburb where they feel comfortable,” Mr Wong says. 

For former Frankston local of 10 years Jessica D’cruze, the feeling of being cut off from the rest of Greater Melbourne eventually drove her away. 

Initially settling in Carlton after migrating to Australia from India in 2001, Jessica’s family abruptly packed up and left for Frankston after the restaurant her father worked for closed its Melbourne store.

“So whatever decisions are made for you, you go with it.”

As a young student and aspiring artist, Ms D’cruze felt she was unable to pursue the life she wanted in Frankston — she spent a few years in the UK before returning to the inner suburbs of Melbourne.

“It wasn’t until I left [for] a different country, and then came back, that I realised just how isolating Frankston was, in a different way — in terms of how I saw no-one like me,” Ms D’cruze says.

“There are memories of us, me and dad [struggling] to hunt down the kind of spices we wanted to have and the kind of fish we wanted.

But for Banson Wong, who has lived in Frankston for 15 years after moving from the “leafy eastern suburbs”,  the end of the train line is now his preferred home.

“Once you establish yourself in an area, you find out where the local shopping is, you get used to the scenery, the roads, the local people,” Mr Wong says.

Sibling business partners Qing Zou and her younger brother Qiang have run the Food Star Chinese buffet in Frankston for 21 years.

Qiang was quick to develop a deep attachment to the Frankston area.

“[During] the pandemic, customers with seniors’ discounts would say: ‘No, we want to pay the full price. We want to support you.’ It was very moving.”

Ms Zou adds: “The air here is clean and we’re by the sea. I love to fish these days.”

Professor McDonald believes that Frankston’s real estate industry could do more to market the suburb as the “Australian dream” to new Australian migrants.

“You know, owning your own house on a quarter-acre block with a backyard and a barbecue … to buy that kind of housing [migrant families] like to buy a nice new big house.” 

Professor McDonald suggests that Frankston North’s older properties provide a more affordable option for migrant families to get their foot in the “dream” door.

Qing Zou says that Frankston’s seaside location initially drew her to the area and that it was there she discovered her love for fishing. 

“I think it’s the environment that attracts them [immigrant families] to come here,” Ms Zou says.

“You have a lot of people from South-East Asia [moving in]. I find that there are a lot of Filipino [families] here [now].”

But despite local optimism and lingering opportunities, many lament that the city of Frankston remains up against some challenges.

According to Mr Desilva, more than 100 buildings, offices and shops stand empty in the Frankston CBD.

“I think the council needs to encourage developers to [build more] and encourage people to come into the [Frankston] CBD to live and to work here,” Mr DeSilva says.

He says the lack of residents in the CBD means the streets are empty in the late evening.

The absence of people, Mr DeSilva says, lends itself to a sense of insecurity among locals.

“I think there’s a perception that Frankston has this, you know, high crime rate, but I think when you compare to other places, it’s not anything excessive … we [need to] open up some of these empty buildings and invite people [in].

For settled local Banson Wong, Frankston’s education and healthcare industries are a sure way to attract and retain residents. 

“If we can build on our current strengths, and develop those as core activities where Frankston has a special advantage, then that can create other opportunities.”

Read the story in Chinese: 相关中文文章

Note: Data from the Committee for Greater Frankston was aggregated using a mix of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Public Transport Victoria, local studies, and the Grattan Institute.

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Lack of capital holding SMEs back from realising their full post-pandemic potential

New research shows that while Australian SMEs feel confident about the future and are eager to make the most of the growing consumer demand online, their financial recovery remains at risk due to lack of cashflow and difficulty accessing business finance.

According to the 2021 PayPal Working Capital research, 54 per cent of Australian SMEs experienced loss over the past year, with the greatest impacts felt due to COVID-19 (77 per cent), lack of foot traffic (32 per cent) and lack of online presence (26 per cent).

Despite these challenges, the report noted that 21 per cent managed to break even, 20 per cent experienced some growth, and five per cent experienced significant growth. The 25 per cent of SMEs who managed to grow through the pandemic’s peak in Australia cited higher demand (35 per cent), growth in customer base (36 per cent) and consumer preference for local goods and services (26 per cent) as major growth drivers.

“Australian small businesses have faced a tough year, with many unexpected challenges thrown at them due to COVID-19, Eli Nana, Manager at PayPal Working Capital Australia, said. “Despite the difficult environment, it’s encouraging to see our local businesses head down the road to recovery, particularly with growth driven by Aussies wanting to support local.”

Many Australian SMEs say that cashflow (48 per cent) is one of the greatest challenges facing their business. In addition, 49 per cent stated that their experience in getting business loans ranged from difficult to extremely difficult and only 38 per cent managed to receive positive feedback on their application. Meanwhile, only 10 per cent found it easy or very easy to access financing.

“After the rollercoaster year that Australian small=business owners have just experienced, it’s no surprise that they’re prioritising flexible repayments for business financing,” Nana said.

“While we all hope the next 12 months will be far more stable and predictable than the past 12, it’s clear that businesses will continue to value finance solutions that can adjust to changing business realities in real time, and that can be accessed quickly and easily when they’re needed to help seize sudden opportunities or overcome unexpected challenges.”

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Government sets goal to inoculate all Australians by the end of the year as Labor slams lack of vaccine deals

Trade Minister Dan Tehan says the government is aiming to have all Australians vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 jab by the end of the year as he is set to travel to Europe on Wednesday “to ensure supply of the vaccine”.

The Morrison government is aiming to have all Australians inoculated with at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

But Trade Minister Dan Tehan says the world is still under the cloud of a pandemic and things can quickly change.

Last week the government’s vaccine program suffered a major set-back after health authorities recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to people above 50 due to the risk of blood clotting.

It was the vaccine the government was relying heavily on, but it has since secured an additional 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses that will be shipped from abroad later in the year.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan

“That is definitely the aim, that is the goal we have set trying to have all Australians have a dose by the end of the year,” Mr Tehan told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had originally planned to have all Australians vaccinated by October.

“When you are dealing with a pandemic, there is a lot of unknowns and you have just got to make sure you set your goals and are prepared to adjust those as things occur,” Mr Tehan said.

‘Vaccine diplomacy’ trip

The minister is about to embark on a “vaccine diplomacy” trip to Europe from Wednesday.

He will speak with the European Union and his ministerial counterparts in France, Germany and Brussels.

“I will also be meeting the director-general of the World Trade Organization to talk about what we can do to ensure supply of the vaccine, not only for Australia but globally,” Mr Tehan said.

Pacific nations will soon have shots of coronavirus vaccine manufactured in Australia to distribute, with the Morrison government promising to export 10,000 doses a week.

The government says it’s going to put its domestically produced AstraZeneca product to good use in neighbouring countries, starting with hard-hit Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will also begin to receive doses in the coming weeks.

In a joint statement, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja said: “Our region’s health security and economic recovery is intertwined with our own.”

The new advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine has forced a temporary halt to vaccinations on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and in the Torres Strait, where the northernmost island is just a few kilometres, or a short dinghy trip, from COVID-hit PNG.

People in those northern reaches who’ve had a first AstraZeneca jab with no adverse effects have been advised to go ahead with the second follow-up jab.

But the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service says it has no surety around plans for the over-50s, who are the majority of the region’s population.

“We are yet to receive information from the Commonwealth as to how and when the necessary doses of Pfizer might be delivered to regions such as ours in order to comply with the new vaccination recommendations,” the service said on the weekend.

‘Bad situation made far, far worse’

Shadow Minister for Health, Mark Butler expressed concern over the small number of vaccine deals Australia holds.

“What we were saying well back into last year was not simply based on our thoughts, but the expert advice that best practice was to have five or six deals on the table to ensure there were backups in the system,” Mr Butler told ABC’s Insiders Program.

“We are now in a very difficult situation, Australia was already way behind schedule in the vaccine rollout, not in the top 100 nations in the world.

“And a bad situation has been made far, far worse by these unforeseen events around the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Mark Butler is the Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing.

Mark Butler is the Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing.

Department of Health Secretary, Professor Brendan Murphy has previously defended the government’s stance, saying they had decided to go with Pfizer over Moderna because of the company’s “capacity to deliver.” 

But Mr Butler says “as many options [as possible] should have been on the table.”

“I don’t think anyone has suggested that we should have gone with Moderna instead of Pfizer,” Shadow Minister Butler said.

“But what you see in the UK and in Europe, [is] that they are going with both.

“Moderna will be delivering 20 million vaccines to the UK, highly effective, state-of-the-art vaccine.”

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