How Ryan Messenger’s death has set a legal precedent in worker’s compensation

Ryan MessengerRyan Messenger was newly married at the age of 25 when he died after being trapped under a heavy earth moving excavator at Karuah’s Hunter Quarries.
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After medical experts showed he did not die instantly and had survived at least nine minutes after the excavator toppled over him in September 2014, his wife Alexandra, who was widowed at the age of 23, will receive compensation for his workplace injury in addition to a death benefit.

David Jonesfrom Carroll and O’Dea Lawyers said the Supreme Court decided that Mr Messenger had suffered a permanent impairment which gave rise to an entitlement to workers compensation, even though his death followed shortly afterwards. He said it was his death which then gave rise to the separate entitlement to compensation.

Mr Jones said the decision could potentially open the way for other similar claims.

“This case will change the way that workers compensation and work place injury anddeath matters are dealt with in NSW, and opens the door to an additionalcompensation payment in such cases,” he said.


Ryan’s mum speaks‘Deepest sympathies’ after quarry deathMr Jones said NSW government changes to Workers Compensation law had made it difficult to make claims for permanent impairment after 2002. He said the ability to claim for a workplace injury as well as death benefits had been unclear.

“This case has enormous implications for workers’ compensation in the state as it recognises a separate entitlement to compensation for an injury where deathfollows within a short time frame,” MrJones said.

Mr Jones said the court decision meant that where death is not instant, even if it follows not long afterwards, then compensation is payable for both the injuryand death.

“This was the case for injuries prior to 2002; however, the introduction of Permanent Impairment Guidelines for post 1 January 2002 injuries cast some doubt upon the ability to recover for both injury and death,” he said.

“Following amendments to the Workers Compensation Scheme in August 2015 theadditional impairment is now worth a maximum payment of $598,560 incompensation. This is in addition to the current death benefit of $781,900 and this isone reason why the case now has considerable significance.”

Mr Jones said thecouple had been married for a short time and had boughttheir first home before the accident.

“The tragedy of her husband’s death was not something his widow wanted to bemeaningless and she sought to gain recognition of the injury he suffered beforedying,” he said.

Mr Jones said the Supreme Court of NSW had upheld an earlier decision awarding the widow compensation for the injury. The matter was being appealed in the Court of Appeal of New South Wales.

A spokesman for the NSW Government said: “The matter is on appeal with the NSW Court of Appeal and it would be inappropriate to comment on matters before the courts.”

Fairfax Media contacted the employer’s lawyers but did not receive a response.

Climber dies, others rescued on US peak

One climber has died and others have spent hours stranded on Oregon’s tallest peak.A climber has fallen to his death and others have had to be rescued after conditions turned treacherous on Oregon’s tallest peak.
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At least seven people had been climbing near Mount Hood’s peak when man fell more than 300m, the Clackamas County sheriff’s office says.

“One of the guys slipped,” said climber Quinn Talley, who had been descending after reaching the summit on Tuesday morning.

“At first he was just sliding and right before he disappeared, he started cartwheeling.”

Talley, who said he has climbed the mountain about 20 times and has never seen worse conditions, said he tried to reach the man but the ice was too dangerous.

KOIN-TV reported that video taken from a helicopter showed other climbers performing CPR on the man before he was flown by a National Guard helicopter to a Portland hospital, where he was declared dead.

Two groups of climbers spent much of the day stranded high on the slopes but slowly made their way down the 3353m mountain, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

A group of four people, which included a climber who had been hurt and was having difficulty walking, were assisted by rescuers.

A group of three other people descended on their own.

Mount Hood, a peak notorious for loose ice and rocks in warm weather, is a popular climbing site that has seen dozens of accidents and fatalities.

The sun has been out this week and the temperature was near freezing at the spot where the climber fell, said Russell Gubele of Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.

“This is the kind of weather conditions and the time of year where you often get falling ice, falling rocks and problems,” Gubele said.

Sydney ferry becomes Valentine’s love boat

Ray Windle and Jennifer Tucker celebrate their marriage on board the Manly ferry.A pair of loved-up ferry workers are among 17 couples who charted a course for married-life aboard a Sydney harbour ferry on Valentine’s Day.
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Ray Windle, 49, and Jennifer Tucker, 50, who have almost 30 years’ service with NSW Ferries between them, dived in when the opportunity to tie the knot on board the Manly ferry sailed their way.

“I’ve got my sea legs, I’m on the harbour every day and it’s amazing, so I thought why not get married here,” Ms Tucker told reporters.

The couple, who also got engaged onboard the Manly ferry on New Year’s Eve under the light of Sydney’s fireworks, were married in front of family, friends and commuters aboard the Collaroy ferry.

Mr Windle said the ceremony “fitted like a glove” and it was a “perfect day”.

“We’re on the most beautiful harbour in the world, we’re on the iconic Manly ferry and I’ve got a beautiful wife now,” Mr Windle said.

The ‘love-boat’ ferry, bedecked with ribbons and bows, set sail from Circular Quay to Manly throughout Wednesday.

Valentine’s Day was the busiest of the year for Births Deaths and Marriages NSW.

Along with Mr Windle and Ms Tucker, celebrants married 81 couples, including 10 ceremonies for same-sex couples, in NSW at six locations.

BDM registrar Amanda Ianna said marrying couples on a moving boat in a pair of heels wasn’t without its challenges but she understood why so many chose the ferry for their nuptials.

“Why not get married with one of the most iconic places in the country in the background of your wedding,” Ms Ianna said.

However, the celebrant joked some of the couples and guests probably should have caught a ferry to Circular Quay.

“The first couple almost didn’t make it, they were caught in traffic,” Ms Ianna said.

“We counting down the minutes and when they finally got here they realised their best man wasn’t on board either – he was also stuck in traffic.”

“They were pulling out the plank as he was jumping on board.”

Billy Clay pleads guilty to ‘one punch’ assault of former pro surfer Jake Sylvester

GUILTY: Former professional surfer Jake Sylvester suffered a fractured skull in a ‘one punch’ attack outside a Newcastle West hotel last year. Inset: Billy Patrick Clay pleaded guilty on Wednesday. A MAYFIELD man has pleaded guilty to the ‘one punch’ assault of former professional surfer Jake Sylvester during a night out in Newcastle West during Surfest last year.
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Billy Patrick Clay, 23, punched Mr Sylvester, the two-time Surfest Pro Junior champion,in the head outside The Family Hotel on February 24, “immediately” knocking him unconscious and forcing him to the ground where he struck the back of his head on the roadway, fracturing his skull.

Clay had pleaded not guilty to reckless grievous bodily harm and was due to face a hearing in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Clay, who was represented by solicitor Cameron Duncan,will be sentenced in April and faces the maximum of five years in jail.

Mr Sylvester and Clay were both with separate groups of friends at The Family Hotel in Hunter Street on the night of February 24, according to a statement of police facts.

But between 11pm and 11.30pm, the hotel’s operations manager noticed Mr Sylvester on the dance floor smoking and thought he looked intoxicated.

Mr Sylvester was kicked out the front door of the hotel and became involved in an argument with security, police facts state.

Around the same time Clay and his friends left the hotel and the group became involved in a “scuffle” with Mr Sylvester.

The group of about six “swarmed” around Mr Sylvester and there was pushing and shoving and Mr Sylvester was pulled onto the road.

The group scattered except for one man holding onto Mr Sylvester’s shirt.

Clay can be seen on CCTV footage walking away from the group and watching the pair before, “without provocation or warning”he rushes towards Mr Sylvester and punches him once in the face, police facts state.

The punch knocked Mr Sylvester unconscious and he fell back and struck his head on the roadway.

The group of men walked away and witnesses came to Mr Sylvester’s side and began first aid while waiting for an ambulance.

Mr Sylvester, who was bleeding from a wound to the back of his head and had bruising around his right eye, was taken to John Hunter Hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered a fractured skull, a subdural haemorrhage to his brain, a cerebral contusion and a laceration to the back of his head.

He has since made a recovery.

Clay handed himself into police two days after the attack after reading about the severity of Mr Sylvester’s injuries on social media.

Flanagan Jnr pushing Townsend at Sharks

Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend admits he’s under pressure to hold his spot this NRL season.Chad Townsend is feeling the heat and it isn’t just the stifling summer breeze that’s been blowing over The Shire.
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The premiership-winning Cronulla half admits his beloved No.7 jersey is genuinely under threat this NRL season with Kyle Flanagan expected to make his mark.

Flanagan, the son of coach Shane, will get the chance to press his claims during Saturday’s trial against Manly and has been earmarked to make his NRL debut in 2018.

Townsend admits he is being challenged for his jersey and is under pressure.

“In our whole squad we’ve got depth in all positions which has been great all summer,” Townsend said.

“We had a successful 20s team and a lot of those guys will come up and train with us fulltime, which has really added some spice in our scrimmage sessions.

“Sometimes team two has probably got the better of us, which has been good. It’s always good when you’ve got depth in key positions.”

Flanagan scored 20 tries and kicked 140 goals for the Sharks under-20s last year to smash the National Youth Competition scoring record with 360 from 26 games.

The 19-year-old is seen as the club’s long-term playmaker and along with ex-Newcastle half Trent Hodkinson is pushing Townsend for his position.

The challenge has lit a fire under Townsend and he has set a number of personal bests in the gym.

“I always focus on what I can control, which is turning up to training and training hard on the field and hard in the gym,” Townsend said.

“I’ve been working hard on the weights and trying to improve in that area.

“I’ve been able to PB I think six of my lifts this off-season. That’s an area I’m extremely proud of.”

Event group grilled on WA terror security

Facial recognition cameras have been considered at Perth’s Optus Stadium, an inquiry has been told.Visitors to Perth’s new Optus Stadium could be monitored by the same hi-tech facial recognition cameras used during the Sydney Ashes cricket Test, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.
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VenuesWest, which manages some of WA’s biggest entertainment venues, considered using facial recognition technology at the stadium as part of a broader security plan to protect event-goers from a possible terror attack.

“We have the technical capability to do that at Optus Stadium, it would just take some software and a few little changes,” chief executive David Etherton told the inquiry on Wednesday.

He said other major venues also had the CCTV infrastructure for the technology.

Mr Etherton went on the defensive when inquiry members, including chair Peter Katsambanis, criticised the lack of oversight for the agency’s terrorism response plans.

“There seems to be a ‘leave it to the experts and she’ll be right’ attitude,” Mr Katsambanis said.

VenuesWest has an emergency management response plan, which guides security and other employees on their response to terror-related incidents, including their communication with WA police and emergency services.

Inquiry members were visibly bemused when Mr Etherton said VenuesWest’s plans were not shared with parliament or cabinet.

“How does VenuesWest assure the government of the day they’ve got things under control in that respect if they don’t see that security plan?” MP Zak Kirkup asked.

Mr Etherton questioned whether there was anyone in cabinet with the expertise capable of assessing a counter-terrorism security plan.

The City of Perth also fronted the inquiry and highlighted several areas in the CBD where security remains a concern, including at major intersections and Perth Arena.

City of Perth director of community and commercial services Rebecca Moore said the city had been very lucky.

“We’re aware we actually operate under a lower threat than places like Sydney and Melbourne,” Ms Moore said.

The local government authority has installed bollards in the main malls and monitored areas where crowds were likely to gather.

However, City of Perth chief executive Martin Mileham said the threat of an attack had little impact on visitor numbers.

He said more people avoided the city due to day-to-day anti-social behaviour than the threat of terrorism.

The Community Development and Justice Standing Committee will conduct further hearings over the coming weeks and is expected to deliver its report in November.

NSW festival to celebrate the 80s mullet

The mullet hairstyle arguably epitomised toughness and sexuality in the 1980s (file).A Hunter Valley town, which some claim is the n home of the mullet hairstyle, will host a festival to celebrate the cut which arguably epitomised toughness and sexuality in the 1980s.
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The inaugural Mullet Fest in Kurri Kurri will centre around a competition to award the best mullet in five categories – every day, grubby, ranga, ladies and junior mullet and publican.

After the winner in each category is announced, the person with the “best mullet of them all” will be crowned, hairdresser and festival host Laura Hawkins told AAP on Wednesday.

Ms Hawkins – whose husband boasts a razor-shaved “skullet” – argues the humble mining town of Kurri can lay claim to be the home of the mullet Down Under.

“The mullet scene is very strong here,” she said.

“We’ve already had 50 entries. There’s such a variety: there are the hardcore, tough mullets, but also the coiffed, well-cared-for kind.”

The global origins of short on top, long at the back hairstyle go back at least as far as the Roman empire.

The style became popularly known as the “mullet” following the release of the Beastie Boys’ 1994 song Mullet Head according to the Macquarie Dictionary.

Kurri Kurri’s football club, the Bulldogs, has boasted plenty of wild mullets in recent seasons and Ms Hawkins wants to show the hairstyle deeply rooted in Kurri.

But she needs more red-heads and ladies to enter the competition.

“I see plenty of lady mullets walking around town but I know they’re not signed up,” she said.

“I think they’re a bit shyer than the proud male mullet.”

Entrants will be judged on their haircut, overall presentation and stage presence.

The festival will be held at the Chelmsford Hotel on February 24 with entries closing on Thursday.

Barnaby Joyce said you shouldn’t look for saints in Federal Parliament

IT was 9.01am onNovember 14, 2013, when Barnaby Joyce –the newly elected Member for New England –rose to his feet in Federal Parliament and gave aneloquent speech about why he was there and what he was hoping to achieve.
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He had spent the previous eight years as a Senator representing Queensland and was an old political hand, so he started talking about saints.

“Politics is represented by good people on both sides of the chamber,” Joyce said, but “these people are not required to be saints”.

“If you are looking for saints you are looking in the wrong building, because you will have little luck around here. Politicians are not here to save your soul; they are here to look after your country,” he said, in words that would come back to haunt him a little more than four years later.

Barnaby Joyce slots neatly into the role of larrikin political leader of a type that has featured in n politics for more than a century. He has a brain, he can talk tough, he doesn’t turn a hair at becoming a global laughing stock over a Hollywood actor’s fluffy dogs, and he revels in being the politically incorrect bloke in the room.

But a larrikin–defined as a person with “apparent disregard for convention” –can come to grief in a conservative political party like the Nationals, where tradition, stability andthe championing of family asbedrock of the nation can struggle to accommodate a leader straying too far from the perceived straight and narrow.

There are aspects of the Joyce scandal that should remain private. But Barnaby Joyce campaigned to win his seat while strongly denying limited media questions about his marriage and the rumoured affair with a young staffer.In a conservative seat where nearly half the population voted against same sex marriage, and where Joyce strongly opposed same sex marriage because he believed marriagewas between a man and a woman, his affair was not just a private matter, particularly after his younger partner became pregnant.

In his maiden speech Joyce said the most important thing for a politician was to “always stay in touch with those whose beliefs gave you the chance to represent them” and to the families who “patiently deal with” the job that has “taken you away from them”.

Joyce’s trouble is that he disrespected voters and his family. His party’s trouble is whether it’s willing to stand up for the principles it says it holds dear.

Issue: 38,724.

Darling Downs farmers delighted with Acland decision

The controversial stage three of the Acland Mine will no longer go ahead. Darling Downs’ farmersexpressed delight and relief that the Queensland Government’s Environment and Science Department knocked back the approval of the environment authority for New Acland Coal mine’s controversial Stage 3 coal expansion.
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The Land Court last year – in an historic 99-day hearing – recommended against the coal mine expansion into agricultural land, including because of its possible impacts on groundwater supplies.

After the hearing the Environment and Science Department invited New Acland Coal to submit new water modelling, once again plunging farmers’ lives and livelihoods into uncertainty.

Local farmers Sid and Merilyn Plant and their daughter, Tanya have been battling the mine for more than a decade.

“It has been such a battle and so much work and stress for so long. The evidence was on our side but it’s still a massive relief that the department has now formally agreed with the Land Court decision,” Dr Tanya Plant said.

“The earlier stages of the mine supposedly had strict conditions but these weren’t effective. We were really frightened about the impacts and what we’d have to live with if the department had approved the expansion of the mine even with conditions.”

The Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Anthony Lynham will make the ultimate decision whether or not to grant the mining licence.

Dr Plant said she hoped that today’s decision would finally be the end of this battle and any risk of the proposed stage 3 expansion progressing and that they could move on with their lives free from this terrible stress.

Mr Plant said approval for the mine expansion would be “totally contrary to actions we need to take to counter climate change”

“It was a massive blow for the Environment Department to go outside the usual process and allow the mine to present new material to the Government, that couldn’t be tested in court, after Land Court’s decision last year,” Mr Plant said.

“The department let us down spectacularly but common sense has prevailed and we hope we can finally just get on with our lives and livelihoods.”

An expert witness at the Land Court case, Professor John Quiggin -a research Economist at the University of Queensland- said was being left behind with the switch from coal to renewable energy.

“The Minister’s decision to accept the recommendation of the Land Court and prevent expansion of the Acland coal mine is welcome news,” Professor Quiggin said.

“The concerns of the local community, reflected in the Court’s decision, have been validated. needs an orderly plan to deal with the global transition towards a decarbonised electricity supply, which will inevitably involve the closure of coal mines. Preventing the establishment of new mines and large-scale expansions like that proposed for Acland is an important first step.”

Queensland Country Life

Shootout fans fire up

FISH OF THE WEEK: Brock Jones is the Jarvis Walker tacklebox and Tsunami lure pack winner for this handy mahi mahi hooked off Swansea this week.The biggest gamefishing tournament in Australasia – the 2018 Garmin Billfish Shootout – boasting over $250,000 in cash and prizes, is on this weekend in Nelson Bay.
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Hosted by Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fishing Club (NPSGFC), over 160 boats and upwards of 700 anglers will converge on the bay, lured in part by the $100,000 on offer for the biggest blue marlin caught weighing over 236kg.

The Shootout also offers $12.5k for champion boat tag and release, $12.5k for biggest marlin over 150kg, $!2.5k for biggest shark over 350kg, and $5k for champion boat tag and release under eight metres, as well as a swag of cash and prizes in a plethora of other categories.

“There’s plenty of money in the pool and it’s definitely an attraction for competitors,” NPSGFC president Peter Simpson said. “We’ve got boats coming from Queensland, Victoria and the best of the best in NSW.”

Conditions have been promising, with solid reports of marlin hovering around the Carpark last weekend.

“They will have to head out wider and a bit further north to get a blue I would think,” Peter said. “We’re still waiting on a good inshore bite of blacks but we’ve had a bit of a sniff from up the coast that they may be on the way.

“Weather forecasts for the weekend are favourable, so fingers crossed.”

A real highlight of the Shootoutis the $100,000 on offer for any blue marlin weighing more than 236kg.

Organisers looked back over the years at what size fish had been caught during the Shootout to get a bit of an average about what would be achievable without being easy.

“It had to be a worthy fish for the $100,000 and the opportunity is definitely there,” Peter said. “It widens the appeal to anglers who see a genuine chance to get return on their commitment.”

The Garmin Billfish Shootout is the second of the annual Hunter gamefishing tournaments, following on fromtheBigfish Bonanza, hosted byLake Macquarie GFC last weekend.

Nextweekend,Port Stephens will be buzzing again with the 2018 NSWGFA Interclub State Championships, or Interclub as it is known, hosted by NSW Game Fishing Association from February 22-25.And then theEast Coast Classic, hosted by Newcastle GFC, will be held March 10-11.

“The Shootout is a great way for anglers to warm up for Interclub,” Peter said. “Many base themselves here at the Bay for the tournamentsand it’s a fantastic cash injection for the local economy.”

The Shootoutpresentation will be held on Sunday night at West Diggers, with special guest, new mayor of Port Stephens Ryan Palmer.

For more information about the Garmin Billfish Shootout, visitwww.npsgfc苏州夜总会招聘.

Bigfish successOver 65 marlin were tagged during the Bigfish Bonanza Game Fishing tournament hosted by Lake Macquarie GFC last weekend.

“The majority were blacks and stripes with a few blues thrown in,” club president Gary Russell reported.

“It was a fantastic weekend with great weather and stacks of fish.”

Champion tag and release boat was Sea Baby IV, owned by Phil McCloy and skippered by Chris Jolly, making it back to back titles,

Chris’ son Reece Rhys took out champion junior angler tag and release with 71,029 points.

Brian Bessoff claimed champion male angler tag and release, while Karen Collins took the ladies crown.Oscar Fleet took out small fry champion tag and release.

Rampage, from Broken Bay, owned by Reilly Page and skippered by Ian Balleish, won the capture division with a triple point score that included a whaler, marlin and two yellowfin tuna.

Reece Woodforth, on Accelerate, claimed champion male capture with a 460.5kg tiger shark, which has him knocking on the 1000lb club door with a claim.

Bec Webber took Lady capture and Colin Frith saluted in junior.

“The $10,000 bounty prize for a blue marlin over 250kg didn’t go off because a 250kg fish didn’t get caught,” Gary said. “The biggest blue for the weekend was a 175.5kg caught by Gavin Kelly on Screamin’ Hoff.

“The shark bounty didn’t go off either because there weren’t enough entries, although Reece Woodforth’s 460.5kg tiger would certainly have won the money.

“There was a lot of fish out there and it was an unreal tournament. The two tuna Rampage got weighed57.5kg and 61kg.”

Gary reports the scientists who attended were over the moon with the data they collected and will be back next year.

“They were taking eye specimens, looking for parasites and specimens,” Gary said. “It was a good club opportunity to work with them in researchwhich is being shared worldwide.”

For full results, go to www.lmgfc苏州夜总会招聘.au.

Super catchFish of the Week winner Brock Jones’ dad Gary had a decent run this week, helping his son land a nice mahi mahi, and also tag and releasing a 100kg marlin about 60km off Swansea.