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Fireworks, a funhouse and a family-friendly event for New Year’s Eve in Newcastle

Fireworks, a funhouse and a family-friendly event for New Year’s Eve in Newcastle

ACTION: Maryville arts collective Studio One, which will be performing on New Year's Eve, at Queens Wharf on Friday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers A SEMI-CONSTRUCTED cardboard funhouse will be the centerpiece of Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve celebrations that will conclude with afireworks finale at the family-friendly time of 9pm.
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The giant funhouse has been designed to allow for public interaction, encouraging attendees to roll up their sleeves and unleash theirhome renovation skills.

Local artists will provide creative materials to help decorate the construction, which will be on the rejuvenated Market Street Lawn.

Fireworks will be launched from Griffiths Park at Stockton to allowfor viewingfrom all along the harbour's foreshore and will last for 15 minutes.

Live music consisting of legendary rockers Dragon, Bowie Unzipped and GW Freebird Blues will keep partygoers entertained on the foreshore, along with a string of food stalls on Wharf Road.

“Our New Year’s Eve event will see families celebrate with a hands-on creative collaboration for the whole community and a fantastic line-up of entertainment throughout the evening - before enjoying our fireworks display,”Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“I want to thank Port of Newcastle for partnering with the City to provide this safe and fun activation to celebrate the New Year.”

Port of Newcastle chief executiveCraig Carmody said the organisationwas proud to be part of the celebration for another year.

“Since our first shipment in 1799, the Port and the City have grown and prospered together,”he said.

“We are proud to partner with the City of Newcastle to deliver a celebration for the community that will mark the beginning of our 220th year of commercial shipping in the Port.”

Colourful costumes can be created on the night to take part in a musical parade,inflatable slides and jumping castles will be on offer, and Happy Senses returns with a VIP experience.

“Following positive feedback from last year’s event, we’re repeating the VIP Sensory Area, which provides a safe base from where registered participants can explore the whole event or simply relax and enjoy the music,” Cr Nelmes said.

Opinion || Encryption laws impact on human rights

Opinion || Encryption laws impact on human rights

In the last hour, of the last day of Federal Parliament this year, unprecedented encryption access laws were rammed through the Senate and became law.
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This occurred despite politicians knowing that serious problems still exist.

The measures are complex, seemingly targeted, and to the everyday person, possibly of little consequence.

But they are some of the most far-reaching laws of their type introduced in the world and should be taken seriously by all ns – they impact our most basic rights.

The Law Council of , the voice of the legal profession, supports the purpose of the laws to keep us safe from the horror of terror attacks. But we believe that in the rush to get the legislation enacted it has been poorly executed.

This could have serious unintended consequences and there is a real risk these laws could be used for purposes outside protecting our national security.

The legislation’s capabilities can be exercised in relation to any crime with a maximum penalty of three years’ jail or more – a low threshold that sets a very broad scope.

Before they passed, the Law Council submitted these laws should only apply to crimes carrying a seven-year plus maximum prison term and should be specific to particular crimes, such as terrorism and child exploitation offences.

In the current form, however, these laws could, in theory, be used to target people suspected of relatively minor offences, such as theft.

The encryption access bill gives our law enforcement and intelligences agencies unprecedented powers to exercise intrusive covert powers, accessing messages sent over encrypted messaging software and intercepting communications.

The need for a warrant is also potentially side-stepped, as law enforcement agencies now have the power to issue “technical assistance requests” or “voluntary assistance requests” to designated communications providers to access and decrypt an individual’s private information.

Further, individuals – such as IT experts – could be held and forced to provide compulsory assistance without the safeguards necessary for detention, including being able to contact a lawyer. There is also a stark lack of assurances for lawyers, with a failure to protect the integrity of legal professional privilege.

It is the Law Council’s firm view our law enforcement agencies should not be allowed to bypass the need to obtain a warrant when accessing information via encrypted or intercepted communications.

The n Government’s rushed and politicised encryption access legislation, as it stands, is not fit for purpose and poses a real risk to the rule of law.

Next year Parliament has the chance to immediately revisit these laws and ensure they get them right.

The consequences of not doing so can impact us all.

Morry Bailes, President, Law Council of

Not-for-profit Newcastle wellness centre Integrated Living helps seniors stay active

Not-for-profit Newcastle wellness centre Integrated Living helps seniors stay active

Staying active: Wickham residents Ken and Jocelyn Hullick exercise at Newcastle's "wellness" centre for seniors twice a week.
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A “wellness centre” for seniors in Newcastle is bringing exercise and health services together to help improve the lives of older people.

The centre, run by a not-for-profit organisation, overlooks Newcastle Harbour.

It includes a gym with digital exercise equipment, manufactured in Finland.

“The machines actually have seatbelts in case you reckon you’ll fall off,” Wickham’s Ken Hullick, 80, said.

The equipment also has software to monitor customised exercise programs for each user.Gym-goers at the centre are given a swipe-card that is used to adjust resistance settings on each piece of equipment. This helps users to maintain a personalised program, while monitoring improvements.

The gym is designed to help older people stay active. It’s also aimed at those who require exercise for rehabilitation.

The Integrated Living site has been dubbed “Newcastle’s first purpose-built wellness centre for seniors”.

It’s considered a place where older people can socialise, as well as exercising and accessing health services.

For example, the centre has just launched other services for improving memory, foot care, diabetes, massage and nutrition. There’s a focus on ways to improve and manage chronic conditions.

Mr Hullick attends the gym with his wife, Jocelyn, twice a week.

Ken Hullick.“As we get older, we become more sedentary and get less exercise, then we start a downhill spiral,” Mr Hullick said.

Going to the gym, doing cardio and resistance exercises, helps build confidence, he said.

“As you get older, you lose a bit of confidence. You tend to avoid doing things because you’re not too sure whether you’re up to it.

“If you build up your strength, you build up your awareness and confidence.”

Mrs Hullick, 74, said she’d “had a couple of falls”. After attending the gym for a few months, she’d “certainly noticed the difference in my strength”.

“I really needed to build up my strength. I am feeling much fitter and getting stronger.”

The gym overlooks the harbour through big glass windows in Wharf Road.

No one can see in, which is a relief to self-conscious types, but it’s not so good for those who like to show off their muscles.

Integrated Living chief executive Catherine Daley said staying mobile “plays an integral part in remaining independent and healthy as we age”.

“We have one lady who used to need a walking stick, now she is so confident in her mobility that she often leaves her walking stick behind.”

Sydney Kings’ Gaze has rebound conundrum

Sydney Kings’ Gaze has rebound conundrum

Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze wants his side to stop giving away so many offensive rebounds.Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze said he thinks his players may be relying too heavily on Andrew Bogut in defence and admits that he doesn't know what to do about it.
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The Kings have won four of their past five games despite giving up a massive advantage in offensive rebounds in each contest.

In those five games the Kings have conceded 86 offensive rebounds at an average of 17.2 per game and grabbed only 47 (at 9.4 per game) themselves.

"I basically conceded to the fellas that I feel a little helpless because I don't exactly know how to fix it," Gaze said after the Kings come-from-behind one-point win in Perth on Friday night.

"I know there are drills you can do; I know there are box out drills and we went through a big video session this week, exclusively on that particular area.

"It's not just our bigs. Boges leads the league in rebounds, he's doing an unbelievable job. But we're inconsistent in that area."

Gaze said the situation Sydney is in is similar to when he was playing with Mark Bradke at the Melbourne Tigers.

He said that guys like Bradke and Bogut pull down rebounds in defence so often that teammates can take them for granted.

Perth's Nick Kay (six offensive rebounds) and Angus Brandt (four) combined for two more offensive boards than the whole Sydney side on Friday night. Perth scored 25 second chance points to the Kings 11.

The Wildcats led for most of the game on the back of their 21 offensive rebounds to the Kings eight.

The Kings were able to pinch the win thanks to their 11 three-pointers, scored 55 per cent, including David Wear's, with just 11 seconds left on the clock.

Gaze is hoping not to have to rely on last minute long-shots to win in the future.

"There might be something in the players' psyche, that because we have that big presence in there we are going to be OK; we're not OK in that area and we have to fix it," he said.

"If we could just tidy up that part of our game, then we feel like we would have an advantage.

"When you don't do that, you need an unbelievable last play in order to get the win."



Lyon reinforces value in tight Perth spell

Lyon reinforces value in tight Perth spell

n bowler Nathan Lyon could be crucial in the second Test against India, Aaron Finch says.Nathan Lyon continues to be Mr Dependable for , tying down India's premier batsmen in a compelling session of Test cricket in Perth.
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The offspinner's battle with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara concluded with India 2-70 in their first innings, in reply to 's 326, at tea on day two.

Lyon's figures for the session - 10 overs, three maidens, 49 dot balls and 0-16 - reinforced his ability to tie down an end, giving Tim Paine the freedom to rotate quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

Arguably the only loose delivery Lyon sent down came in his final over when Kohli capitalised on the full-pitched ball and unleashed a trademark cover drive for four.

Kohli, who was unbeaten on 37 at tea on Saturday, had far greater success against Hazlewood, taking 13 runs from one of the metronomic paceman's overs.

While the pitch has been relatively tame on day two, the variable bounce on offer the previous day highlighted the key role Lyon could play later in the Test.

Having lost offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin to an abdominal strain, India face the prospect of batting last on a deteriorating pitch.

"I think the bounce that Nathan will get will be crucial on this wicket," opener Aaron Finch said.

"He talks about how much more effective he is when you do have that bounce because you can get guys caught on the crease; it brings in your bat-pad and your leg slip.

"No doubt he'll be excited by it."

Lyon also continued his much-improved batting form, compiling his fourth straight unbeaten score - a streak which includes knocks of 24 and 38 during the first Test in Adelaide.



Qld Cyclone Owen downgraded to low system

Qld Cyclone Owen downgraded to low system

The worst of the weather in north Queensland is over as ex-tropical Cyclone Owen moves to the east.The Owen cyclone system moving over Queensland's north has been downgraded to a tropical low but severe weather and flood warnings remain in place.
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The system weakened as it tracked south-easterly across the far north after crossing near remote Kowanyama as a category 3 cyclone early on Saturday, bringing winds of 120km/h.

Owen was downgraded to a category 2 system later in the morning and revised down again to a tropical low by 4pm.

Residents in inland areas of the far north are still facing wind gusts up to 85km/h and heavy rainfall.

Kowanyama escaped the brunt of the storm when it crossed to their south in the southeast part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

"Everything's still intact. I'm pretty happy," Kowanyama mayor Michael Yam told AAP.

"It was a bit scary when it was heading straight towards as a category 3, but everything's back to normal. I thought we'd get a bit more rain out of it.

"But we're always well prepared. My community takes it very seriously."

The now ex-cyclone system was moving at 21km/h towards more populated areas and was expected to reach Ingham and Innisfail early on Sunday before running parallel down the east coast over the next 24-48 hours.

Potentially damaging winds and flash flooding, with possible falls of 100-200mm within a six-hour period, continue to pose a risk.

"Please do not be complacent, particularly in that northeast tropics area where the rains will continue," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Katarina Carroll said.

"It's a heavily saturated area from the past week or so, and there may be flash flooding."

A severe weather warning was in place for the north tropical coast, tablelands, peninsula, northern goldfields and surrounding areas.

Residents were being warned to check with authorities before leaving shelters to "sight-see", with the risk of hazards including fallen trees, power lines, debris and structural damage to infrastructure.



Flash flooding in outer Melbourne

Flash flooding in outer Melbourne

More storms and flooding have hit parts of Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.Flash floods have caused havoc for some in Melbourne this afternoon, with flash flooding turning backyards, suburban streets and ponds into gushing rivers.
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A Christmas party at a Pakenham housing estate in the city's outer southeast was called off Saturday afternoon when heavy rainfall halted celebrations.

Organiser Samantha Thorpe said a little pond nearby became "like a raging river".

"It has never happened like this before."

Just as amazingly, Ms Thorpe said, within an hour of the deluge, the water had drained away and the sun was shining, as if it hadn't happened.

A general severe thunderstorm warning remains in place for most of the state - Central, East Gippsland, South West, North Central, West and South Gippsland, Wimmera, parts of the Mallee and Northern Country districts.

Thunderstorms lashing parts of Victoria have seen up to 13mm of rain fall every five minutes in the early hours of Saturday and a severe weather warning is also in place for parts of Victoria including Shepparton, Seymour, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Ballarat and Wangaratta.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the bad weather had been widespread.

"There weren't too many parts of the state that have been spared the impact of the weather event we've seen over the past 48 hours," he said on Saturday.

Bureau of Meteorology's Kevin Parkyn said intense storms and heavy rain were expected to continue in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and night.

He said the relatively rare weather conditions could bring flash flooding too.

In the 24 hours from 7am on Friday the SES received 693 requests for assistance across the state, with 123 of those calls from the Malvern area.

Most calls were about flooding or building damage.

Other areas badly affected included Bacchus Marsh, Port Phillip, Wyndham and Hobsons Bay.

The SES also took part in 25 rescues on Friday night - all people trapped in cars in floodwaters.

SES spokeswoman Susan Davie said it wasn't clear how those people got trapped, but said it would be a combination of some driving into flood water and others who would have got stuck in the flash flood.

"We just want to remind people to never drive through flood waters, it's hard to assess the depth of the water," she told AAP.



Fourth victim of Strasbourg attack dies

Fourth victim of Strasbourg attack dies

Strasbourg's cherished outdoor Christmas market draws more than 2 million visitors each year.A fourth person has died from their wounds following Tuesday's Strasbourg Christmas market shooting, the Paris prosecutor's office says.
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"The person had been fighting for their life," an official in the prosecutor's office said on Friday.

Gunman Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg on Thursday night after firing on police, ending a two-day manhunt that involved more than 700 members of the security forces.

The city's traditional Christmas market was reopened under heavy security on Friday.

Stall-holder Bernard Kuntz said the market was reopening just in time for struggling business owners.

"We were getting worried. Some of the guys have taken out loans to be here, and we've already lost two days," he said.

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said the attack was indisputably an act of terrorism.

Strasbourg's cherished Christmas market is a target full of religious symbolism, and the killings have evoked France's difficulties in integrating western Europe's largest Muslim minority and dealing with homegrown militants inspired by Islamic State.

Ries expressed relief that Chekatt had been killed and said everyone in Strasbourg, on eastern France's Rhine river border with Germany, felt the same.

French troops, who have been used to bolster national security since a wave of Islamic State-inspired attacks began in France in 2015, stood guard at the open-air market.

"I think it will help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal," Ries told reporters after the news that Chekatt had been killed.

"With the death of this terrorist ... citizens, like me, are relieved."

Islamic State claimed Chekatt as one of its soldiers, saying he carried out the operation in response to calls for citizens of coalition countries that are fighting the militant group.

IS provided no evidence for the claim and French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it "opportunistic".

"Nothing indicates that (Chekatt) was part of a network. There is nothing to suggest that he was being protected by such, but the investigation is not yet over," Castaner told Europe 1.

He described Chekatt as a long-time delinquent whose Islamic beliefs were radicalised during previous periods in prison.

Police were still interrogating seven associates on Friday, including Chekatt's parents, to determine whether he had accomplices.

France ramped up its security threat to its highest level after Chekatt struck late on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised an extra 1800 troops would be put on patrols with a special focus on Christmas markets.

The outdoor market in Strasbourg, centred around a towering Christmas Tree in Place Kleber, draws more than 2 million visitors each year.

Christmas markets have been a feature of the Alsatian city since the early 15th century.

The Strasbourg shooting was the latest in a succession of attacks linked to Islamist militancy in France going back to 2012.

Since January 2015, more than 240 people have been killed in attacks on French soil, most of them in 2015-16.



Roosters signing like homecoming: Crichton

Roosters signing like homecoming: Crichton

Angus Crichton likens his move from South Sydney to NRL premiers Sydney Roosters as a homecoming.Angus Crichton has a message for everyone accusing him of being a turncoat - he's been a Sydney Rooster all along and his arrival at Bondi Junction is nothing more than a homecoming.
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Crichton's decision to defect from South Sydney to the Roosters for the 2019 NRL season has again exposed the fault line along Anzac Parade and is sure to be featured in the next chapter of Russell Crowe's Book of Feuds.

But what the 22-year-old wants everyone to remember is that he has been an eastern suburbs' fan all his life and he has ticket stubs from two Roosters grand finals and an old picture with club great Brad Fittler to prove it.

"A lot of people say a lot of things but that's on them - that passion is what makes rugby league great," Crichton said.

"You have to take all those niggles with a grain of salt because that's what makes rugby league so emotional.

"I did grow up as a Rooster but, for a lot of Rabbitohs fans, that doesn't matter to them.

"Coming back into the Roosters' colours is something that I grew up as a kid wanting to do. I used to have a Roosters jersey hanging on my wall; I had a stuffed Rooster that I'd sleep with at night."

The former n schoolboys rugby union representative was a part of the Roosters' system - playing alongside Latrell Mitchell and Joey Manu in the Harold Matthews Cup - before joining the Rabbitohs in 2014.

Asked about pulling on the red, white and blue jumper for the first time in years, Crichton said: "It felt good and it felt right."

After undergoing off-season shoulder surgery, he plans to resume full-contact training after Christmas and be fit for the Roosters' round-one blockbuster against his old club.

Despite possessing impeccable manners and his commitment to working with outback Aboriginal communities, Crichton has in some quarters been pegged as being a lair due to his trademark mohawk haircut.

Some commentators have questioned how the NSW Origin back-rower will fit in at the Roosters, renowned as being the most-professional club in the league, under the watch of the straight-laced Trent Robinson.

However, Crichton responds to his critics with a laugh, saying he had met the club's board of directors and Robinson, with all urging him to be himself.

"I'm not sure why people have pictured (Robinson) like that but the first thing he said to me was 'people in this club, we let them be themselves and we let them do what they want to do and express themselves the way they want'," Crichton said.

"He's just supportive of you as a person and he's really good at building relationships. I'm not having a dig at you media people, but you can make a story out of next to nothing."



City boss tips tight Reds A-League tussle

City boss tips tight Reds A-League tussle

Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is expecting a tough A-League clash with Adelaide United.Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is forecasting a torrid tussle against Adelaide United in Sunday's A-League game.
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Joyce is wary of his Adelaide counterpart Marco Kurz's ability to recast the playing style of his team in what looms as a crucial early-season fixture at Coopers Stadium.

Kurz's fourth-placed Reds have banked 11 points this season, just one more than the fifth-placed City.

Adelaide's wretched stretch of injuries to frontmen has continued with attacker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos ruled out by a thigh injury.

Stamatelopoulos had been carrying Adelaide's frontline in the absence of first-choice strikers George Blackwood (broken collarbone) and Baba Diawara (knee).

But Joyce says the attacking absences merely make Adelaide harder to plan for.

"They have not really got an out-and-out centre-forward at the minute," Joyce said.

"They play in different ways.

"You know it's not going to be an easy game. They give every team that they play against a tough game."

City, again to be without out-of-favour striker Bruno Fornaroli, enter the clash with a fine recent record against the Reds, who haven't beaten Joyce's outfit in the past four meetings.

But Joyce said that record belied what had been typically tight encounters, apart from City's 5-0 romp against Adelaide early last season.

"We have had a lot of real battles with them," he said.

"We have tended to play them in a couple of pre-season friendlies; we have had them in (FFA) cup games so you know all about them.

"They're a well-organised side. They're coached by a really good coach ... they compete."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* City are winless in their past five games outside Melbourne, with four losses and one draw

* Adelaide have lost just once in their past 10 games at Coopers Stadium, banking four wins and five draws in that stretch

* City haven't lost to Adelaide in the past four meetings, keeping three clean sheets in those fixtures.



Tech propels education for NSW high school

Tech propels education for NSW high school

Callaghan College students are now performing better as they're more engaged through technology.For one high school in NSW mobile phones have become a core part of learning, and it's giggles that let teachers know if something's awry.
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In a recent speech Education Minister Dan Tehan called for a return of common sense to classrooms, saying there's a time and place for technology in classrooms.

For Callaghan College that time and place is becoming more frequent.

About 60 per cent of the Year Seven to 10 students use their mobile phones as part of the school's "bring your own device" policy, which is designed to ensure no student is left behind due to technology.

If a device can connect to the internet then it can be used for learning.

"The technology is the tool, but the teacher and the pedagogy of the teaching is still the most important thing," principal Paul Young told AAP.

"Otherwise kids will just cut and paste and they won't learn."

Parents had complained to the school about the sheer number of learning accounts and passwords their children had to remember, prompting Callaghan College to find a more suitable software.

The school was the first public school in the state to use Canvas, a software it has now been using for two years.

Teachers can upload their course content for both parents and students alike, even receiving text message alerts when adjustments are made to classes.

The school's Wi-Fi is supplied by the NSW Department of Education, leaving students unable to check social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube if they're connected to the network.

Gone are the days of students losing their assignments in their backpacks, which has led to more heightened engagement.

"It has a flow-on for those kids, if they can achieve something, then they may just try a little bit harder next time and then they start to improve," the school's head of learning Stacy Lambert says.

"The confidence and smiles on their faces at the end because they actually have achieved something and they can move forward."

Students are now performing better as they're more engaged through technology, Ms Lambert says.

Trevor Furness from Instructure, the tech company behind Canvas, admits some schools are hesitant about giving the green light to more technology.

"In order to be effective in implementing new tools and transforming the classroom, educators must focus on the bigger picture and have a clear value proposition for improving teaching and learning," he told AAP.

"Technology must be seen as an opportunity rather than a cost - the right tools, when harnessed correctly, presents schools with an opportunity to do things that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to do."

Ms Lambert says it's clear when students are using their phones for something else.

"They have their phones in their lap, they're looking down very very interested and they're giggling," she says.



Tax take helps drive budget surplus: Labor

Tax take helps drive budget surplus: Labor

'Now is the time for to be paying down debt," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says.ns can expect to spend the week ahead being reminded by the federal government of the budget surplus it expects to deliver in 2019/20, and the services it will be able to offer the nation because of it.
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The likely size of the long-awaited surplus will become clearer when Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hands down the his first budget update on Monday.

But federal Labor is eager to characterise the achievement - and other improvements to the budget bottom line expected in the statement - as a product of good luck.

"With the most benign global economic conditions in decades, now is the time for to be rebuilding the fiscal buffers and paying down debt," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said on Saturday.

"Despite the Liberals' rhetoric, recent budget improvements have been driven largely by a higher tax take."

The coalition begs to differ.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the update - known formally as the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook - will show the government is holding to its promise of better financial management.

"We promised to bring the budget back into surplus and that's exactly what we're doing," he told reporters in South this week.

Economists believe the surplus forecast for 2019/20 could be as high as $11 billion, on the back of bigger-than-expected tax revenues.

They are also predicting improvements for the current 2018/19 budget year.

Deloitte Access Economics expects the government will rake in an extra $9.2 billion in revenue in 2018/19 than it forecast in the May budget, leading to an underlying cash deficit of $4.9 billion for 2018/19, followed by a surplus of $4.2 billion the following year.

The government in May forecast a $14.5 billion deficit for 2018/19, followed by a $2.2 billion surplus in 2019/20.

The opposition is keen to note that amid that, debt has been growing.

However, Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said it looks like net debt may have peaked as a share of the economy in 2017/18 and is still at manageable levels

He's expecting the picture painted by Monday's figures will be positive.

"From a fiscal policy perspective, the government now has a little more room to move, a little more flexibility," he told AAP.



Trump knew hush payments wrong: Cohen

Trump knew hush payments wrong: Cohen

Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen (C) has spoken out for the first time since he was sentenced.US President Donald Trump directed the payment of hush money to two women shortly before the 2016 US presidential election and knew that doing so was wrong, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen says.
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"He directed me to make the payments. He directed me to become involved in these matters," Cohen told the ABC television program Good Morning America on Friday.

Cohen was referring to the $US150,000 ($A208,919) paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the $130,000 ($A181,063) paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Both women have said they had sexual relationships more than a decade ago with Trump, which the president and his representatives have denied.

Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer," was sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in New York to three years in prison.

He was sentenced for campaign finance law violations related to the payments and other crimes to which he pleaded guilty.

Asked if Trump knew the payments were wrong, Cohen said: "Of course."

He bristled at Trump's accusation that he was trying to embarrass the president and protect his own family.

"Here is the truth: The people of the United States of America, the people of the world don't believe what he's saying," Cohen said.

"The man doesn't tell the truth, and it's sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.

"I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty."

Trump has lashed out at Cohen as "weak" and accused him of lying.

The Republican president told Fox News on Thursday Cohen did only "low-level work" for him, mostly in public relations.

Cohen, in his first televised interview since he was sentenced, said Trump was worried about the potential impact on the election if voters learned about the two women's account of the alleged affairs.

Cohen said Trump told him to pay them to keep quiet.

The payments were made "about two weeks or so before the election", he said.

They followed the release of a recording of Trump boasting to celebrity interviewer Billy Bush years earlier about grabbing the genitals of women.

"So yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election," Cohen said in the interview, which was taped on Thursday.

He added that the payments were intended "to help him (Trump) and the campaign".

Trump's explanations of the payments have shifted over time. After earlier saying he knew nothing of the payments, Trump on Thursday said he never told Cohen to break the law.

Cohen on Wednesday was sentenced to prison for the payments to the women as well as separate crimes of tax evasion, misleading banks and lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russia.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley on Friday faulted the news media for "giving credence to a convicted criminal", and called Cohen "a self-admitted liar".