Monthly Archives: April 2019

Australian national security officials have denied that classified plans of ASIO’s new headquarters were stolen by Chinese hackers, and say the opposition was told this in a security briefing.

According to security officials familiar with the matter, cyber intrusions were attempted against contractors on the ASIO headquarters building project. The attacks are understood to have taken place in 2009-10. The malware employed in these efforts targeted building drawings and schematics.

But the attempted hacking was ”not successful” in obtaining sensitive classified information. ”This was one of many attempts to obtain sensitive Australian government information, most likely by Chinese intelligence services, but there was no compromise,” one security official said.

On Monday the ABC’s Four Corners program quoted anonymous informants as saying Chinese hackers targeted a contracting firm working on the ASIO building and stole ”the blueprints, not just of the overall building but also of the communications cabling and server locations, of the floor plans, and the security systems”.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Four Corners, which canvassed several alleged cyber security breaches, included ”unsubstantiated allegations” and ”inaccurate reports”.

After a classified briefing by ASIO on Tuesday evening, shadow attorney-general George Brandis accused Ms Gillard of making a ”false” claim about the Four Corners report.

”She dismissed the allegations … as being incorrect and inaccurate, and that statement is wrong,” he said.

An ABC spokesman said Four Corners ”strongly stands by the accuracy of the story but the source is strictly confidential”.

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Directors of mining services companies again took a big hand on the spending front, accounting for about 21 per cent of turnover.

The chairman and two other directors of Boart Longyear bought shares in the global drilling concern at around 66¢ to 71¢.

The company recently said the downturn in capital and exploration spending had reduced the demand for drilling services.

It said that current year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be at the lower end of a range of analysts’ forecasts, which in April ranged from $199 million to $271 million.

The stock has halved since mid-April.

Chairwoman Barbara Jeremiah told the annual meeting last month that more than $70 million in costs had been extracted from the business since the middle of 2012.

Elsewhere, Wang Xiao Bin added to recent director-buying of WorleyParsons scrip, while two directors of Resource Equipment were buyers of heavily discounted scrip.

Elsewhere, a director of buoyancy products outfit Matrix Composites & Engineering, added to his stake.

This has been a very costly conveyance for punters since early 2011 when the shares hit $10 or thereabouts amid much hoopla.

Matrix lost nearly $26 million last year – a far cry from what various experts were tipping. For example, book-flogger and Buffett disciple Roger Montgomery was at one stage tipping earnings of 51¢ a share.

In the latest December half, the group made just $586,760 pre-tax on $82 million of sales.

Among sellers, two folk from Xero dominated proceedings. The accounting software concern is valued by the market at $1.3 billion and has yet to make a zack. The group released a bullish investor briefing this week.

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TAB Results for Friday, 31 May 


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Hunter coal towns disappearing

Camberwell church to be deconsecrated

HUNTER coal trains do not produce more dust than other trains, a second round of coal wagon dust emissions has found.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation yesterday published the results of the testing conducted at Raymond Terrace Drive in Metford from November 30 2012 to January 2013.

It found loaded coal trains passing through the site did not have a stronger association with elevated particulate matter concentrations than other trains.

It did, however, reveal that average concentrations of total suspended particles and particulate matter associated with unloaded and loaded coal trains were higher compared to no trains.

Environment Protection Authority chairman and chief executive Barry Buffier said: “The EPA will not consider imposing additional requirements on industry, such as covering of coal loads, unless clear evidence becomes available which demonstrates the need for further studies or measures to control coal dust emissions from loaded coal trains.”

However, Coal Terminal Action Group spokesman James Whelan said the study did not address community concerns.

“The Environment Protection Authority instructed the ARTC to monitor particle pollution because community members wanted to know how much coal dust we’re being exposed to and how to control it, not because we wanted to know if there’s a difference between coal trains, freight trains and passenger trains,” Dr Whelan said.

The group will start fund-raising on Monday for a second coal dust study to monitor particle pollution.

YOUTH SUPPORT: Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson, MTV’s Kate Peck, headspace Youth Reference Group’s Brittany Szlezak and Silverchair’s Chris Joannou at the headspace opening yesterday. Picture: Marina Neil YOUTH SUPPORT: Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson, MTV’s Kate Peck, headspace Youth Reference Group’s Brittany Szlezak and Silverchair’s Chris Joannou at the headspace opening yesterday. Picture: Marina Neil

YOUNG people in Newcastle can get help for problems ranging from bullying to anxiety now that the mental health headspace centre in Hunter Street has opened.

Silverchair’s Chris Joannou, Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson and MTV’s Kate Peck, Paul Mac and Blue Juice’s Jake Stone came together as the Rock N Ride Crew on Fridayto mark the opening.

The centre, at 582 Hunter Street, is the second headspace to open in the region and follows the success of the Maitland office.

It was opened under a $200 million federal government program to open 90 new headspace centres around the country.

Newcastle manager Andrew Steele said there had been a growing demand for youth mental health services in Newcastle.

“Newcastle is fairly typical, many young people are presenting with mental health needs around anxiety and depression.”

“Certainly things like bullying have an impact on young people,” he said.

Newcastle headspace will offer services for an estimated 80,000 young people aged between 12 and 25 in the area.

Its work will include counselling, health and sexual health advice, education and employment information, and alcohol and other drug services.

The staff will include an occupational therapist, psychologists, social and youth workers, youth charity representatives and a general practitioner.