Battle continues: public petition to reveal complainant

A PUBLIC petition is about to be launched, calling for Singleton Council general manager Lindy Hyam to reveal who made a $1million anonymous code of conduct complaint against former deputy mayor Paul Nichols.
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This follows a split decision by Singleton councillors at their last meeting of the year on Monday to take no action on the controversial Supreme Court dispute.

Councillors Tony McNamara, Val Scott and Hollee Diemar-Jenkins wanted the name revealed while John Martin, Godfrey Adamthwaite, Sue Moore, Ruth Rogers, Bob Keown, Gary Lowe and Tessa Capsanis did not.

Former councillor Alison Howlett addressed the meeting and called for Mrs Hyam to exercise her power to disclose the complainant’s identity in accordance with legal opinion she tabled.

Unsuccessful mayoral candidate Kylie Stibbard also addressed the meeting, calling for the name to be released as former councillors deserved to be cleared of the dispute’s potential residue.

The legal advice from solicitor, Alex Irving, who successfully represented Mr Nichols in the case, said there was no need for the council to apply to the Supreme Court to have a suppression order lifted as Mrs Hyam was legally entitled to reveal the name.

The complaint, made in May 2010, accused deputy mayor Cr Nichols of leaking confidential information.

He took Supreme Court action to address a lack of procedural fairness which resulted in the council’s code of conduct report being quashed and, ultimately, state government bureaucrats throwing the complaint out.

The suppression order was imposed at the request of council staff, on behalf of the council itself and Scott Greensill who had just resigned as the council’s general manager.

Mr Nichols said yesterday: “The cover-up continues.

“This is public money and someone should be accountable for what happened to it, if this happened in someone’s business the shareholders would want to know who was behind it, what actually happened and ensure it wasn’t repeated.”

A seven page report by business support director Anthony Egan recommended no further action as it appeared to him there would be no benefit in seeking to have the suppression lifted because, even if it was, the council would still be subject to provisions of the Public Interests Disclosure Act.

His report said the legal firm that represented the council in the case now declined to act on the suppression “due to potential conflicts of interest”.

Another legal firm also declined and a third firm provided opinion on which Mr Egan’s report was based.

The complainant refused to allow their name to be made public and the state government’s local government division chief Ross Woodward said he believed revealing the complainant’s name and chasing them for costs appeared to be aimed “to take detrimental action against that person”.

Mr Woodward was concerned it would also deter legitimate code of conduct complaints.

Cr McNamara said whistleblower protection should not apply to the anonymous complainant as they were not a whistleblower, they simply made unsupported allegations that were part of a costly political assassination that caused a lot of harm and embarrassment.

Cr Moore, who moved the no action motion, said the Singleton community was sick of the issue and its waste of money, and revealing the name could lead to reprisals and be in breach of the Public Interests Disclosure Act.

Singleton Council

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An international perspective

TOGETHER AGAIN: Emma Jalonen catches up with her Rotary Youth Exchange hosts from the Encounter Bay branch.ENCOUNTER BAY – The town might look a little different, but the feel of Victor Harbor is the same as it was five years ago, according to a Rotary exchange student.
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Emma Jalonen of Rauma, Finland was a Rotary Youth Exchange student in 2007/2008 and through the Encounter Bay branch, stayed with five host families for a year in the seaside town.

This month, she has come back to visit the people that looked after her.

“Most things haven’t changed… everything looks the same, but all the hosts have moved house,” she said.

“The vibe and feel of the town is the same.”

Victor Harbor High School, where she schooled during her tenure here, has changed a lot though.

“I was lost (when I was there), someone had to take me round everywhere. Now it’s all different (again),” Emma said.

But don’t think this seeming slow-moving pace isn’t welcomed.”I enjoyed a lot of things, for example the Australian barbecues,” Emma said.

“I’ve been trying to get back for years… it’s like coming back home after a long time.

“When I was here, I did feel very much at home, I liked the Aussie way of life a lot.”

The exchange project sees young people spend up to a year living with host families and attending school in a different country.

The students are shown a new way of living by their host families, learn a great deal about themselves, and sometimes a new language. Hosts enjoy the youth teaching them about their countries, cultures and ideas.

For more information about the Rotary Youth Exchange, visit rotary.org or call the Encounter Bay club on 8552 2765.

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‘Lollipop lady’ ends 32-year service

AFTER 32 years of early morning rises, Caringbah Public School’s much loved ‘‘lollipop lady’’ has hung up the fluoro vest.
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Quite a run considering the job was supposed to be only temporary.

Clare Ayers, 81, has retired as the school’s crossing supervisor.

‘‘I’ve told the children my legs are past their use-by-date,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve helped them cross, and their parents cross when they were kids.’’

She described the early days on the job like an ‘‘initiation’’.

‘‘I once saw a little girl, about two, sitting in the middle of the road. No one knew who she was or where she came from.

‘‘Turns out she lived two streets up, and she’d wandered over.

‘‘I remember also a lady nearly had a baby on my crossing. The ambulance came just in time.

‘‘Any time after that when I saw pregnant ladies about to cross, I thought, ‘oh no’.’’

Ms Ayers said she enjoyed ‘‘every minute’’ of holding up the stick. ‘‘It’s very important for schools to have crossing supervisors,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a very busy road. I’ve had to pull up a few mothers as they gasbag and don’t look at their little ones.

‘‘Over the years I’ve almost had heart attacks seeing some of them tearing out on the road.

‘‘But the children are a lovely, well-mannered lot.

‘‘I’ve been widowed twice, and my grandchildren aren’t nearby … I get a bit upset thinking about it.

‘‘But I’m looking forward to an extra hour in bed.’’

Principal Marcia Vallance said the school would miss Ms Ayer’s smile and friendly greeting.

‘‘Clare has been a integeral part of our school,’’ she said.

‘‘She has always been delightful and caring to the children and community, and always ensured the safety of our students, their families, visitors and staff.’

End of the road: Clare Ayers says goodbye to Jack Wilson, Charlotte Mackenzie and Rachael Stanley-Jones. Picture: Anna Warr

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Giving it up to travel the world

Is throwing it all in to chase a dream worth it? Probably.“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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Anecdotally it seems people are increasingly taking Mark Twain’s advice, giving everything up to travel the world. They’re quitting their job or abandoning their business, and packing their bags instead. Seeking what, exactly, they’re not sure. Happiness maybe. Freedom probably. But is the sacrifice worth it?

Some say it’s not. The blogosphere is packed with travellers exposing the ‘myths’ associated with spending a year or more abroad.

They write about the difficulties of finding temporary work overseas and of struggling to be rehired upon their return back home. They say too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing, and that boredom soon takes hold. And others confess how annoying it is to live out of a backpack, and how they miss their routine, their possessions, their friends.

Of course, the positive tales outnumber the negative ones. An Aussie guy who extols the benefits of pursuing your goals is Sebastian Terry.

When he was 27, the death of a mate made him realise the truth inherent in the mantra that ‘life is short’. So, he created a list of 100 things he wanted to do before he died and has been travelling the world ever since, ticking them off.

So far, among dozens of accomplishments, he has married a stranger in Las Vegas, visited an inmate on death row, and broken the world record for the most eggs crushed within 30 seconds using only his big toes.

“I’m certainly not here to say that you need to quit your job,” he tells me, “but don’t ever let fear hold you back from chasing a dream. Whether it’s travelling to the other side of the planet, jumping out of a plane with a parachute loosely strapped to your back, or indeed starting your own business, I’m yet to meet someone who’s regretted following their heart.”

That’s what Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner did when they were in their late 20s. They were nearing the stage when getting promoted, married, pregnant, and mortgaged were the expected next phases of life. And they weren’t too happy about it.

On a whim they left their boyfriends, quit their jobs, and walked away from their New York apartments, opting instead for a life of travel that took them to a dozen countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, India, south-east Asia and Australia. Their adventures over the space of a year are chronicled in The Lost Girls, their book and soon-to-be television series.

I asked Amanda Presser for any advice she has for others thinking of doing the same thing. “Never let your fears that the worst will happen — that you’ll be committing career suicide, that bosses and co-workers will judge you or that your clients abandon you or leave you — rule your decision to stay home, rather than pursuing your dream of long-term travel,” she says.

“No one we know (and we’ve literally spoken with hundreds of adventurers who’ve quit jobs in the legal, business, media and artistic professions) has ever been unable to return to the career they left behind … and in many cases, they’ve returned home with the skills and confidence they need to get an even better job in the same or a new industry.”

Robert Schrader is another intrepid adventurer. He’s the creator of Leave Your Daily Hell, a website that, as the name suggests, helps those desperately wanting to flee the nine-to-five grind for the wonders of globetrotting.

A few years ago, he was living in Texas – broke, unemployed, and with a growing credit card debt. Despite those circumstances, he left the United States and arrived in China to teach English. Since then, he’s continued travelling the world, visiting 50 countries across six continents.

He cautions people to be wary of prematurely leaving their job or business. “Unless you’ve just gotten an inheritance or plan to permanently roam the globe in poverty, you’re eventually going to need to get back into something that sustains you,” he tells me.

That is, unless you develop a “location-independent income” – usually done by setting up a website from which you can sell e-books, advertising, training, or other freelance services – that enables you to earn money irrespective of where you’re based.

Easier said than done, sure, but at least it’d make for a bold New Year’s resolution.

Have you quit your job or business to go travelling? Was it worth it? Leave a comment.

Follow James Adonis on Twitter  @jamesadonis

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Ashby to appeal Slipper sexual harassment ruling

James Ashby … will appeal decision.James Ashby will continue to pursue his sexual harassment case against former Federal Speaker Peter Slipper, declaring that he will take the matter to the workplace watchdog, Fair Work Australia, as well as appeal the recent Federal Court decision against him.
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A spokesman for Mr Ashby told reporters outside the Federal Court in Sydney an appeal against the court’s recent dismissal of the case would be lodged in mid-January.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Ashby as Mr Slipper’s former aide looked on, media spokesman Anthony McClellan said they were planning to lodge Mr Ashby’s case with Fair Work Australia on Friday afternoon so that “the whole evidence and that of the witnesses can be tested in open court”.

In January, they would lodge a separate appeal against the Federal Court’s recent decision that the sexual harassment case lodged in that court was an abuse of the judicial process designed to damage Mr Slipper’s reputation for personal and political gain.

Mr Ashby had claimed he was the target of ”unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome sexual comments and unwelcome suggestions of a sexual nature” while working as Mr Slipper’s aide and media adviser between January and March this year.

Mr McClellan said: “Contrary to some public perceptions, James Ashby’s sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper has not been heard in court and no judicial finding has been made as to whether James was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper.”

“The only matter that’s been heard over the past eight months was Mr Slipper’s abuse of process case.”

“Later today we are planning to file James Ashby’s sexual harassment case with Fair Work Australia, with the aim that the whole evidence and that of the witnesses can be tested in open court at the appropriate time. This is designed to preserve and protect James’s legal rights.”

Mr McClellan said that Harmers Workplace Lawyers, which was strongly criticised by Federal Court Justice Steven Rares as being part of the abuse of process, would continue to represent Mr Ashby.

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Most-read sport stories of 2012

The major sport story of the year was, of course, the 2012 London Olympics (see the top ten Olympic stories below) but outside the Games, stories on Lance Armstrong’s downfall, incredible goals and the Melbourne Cup were among the most clicked-on.
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10. Allegations against Bulldogs serious: ARL head

The Australian Rugby League Commission took seriously the alleged verbal abuse of television reporter Jayne Azzopardi during the Canterbury Bulldogs’ Mad Monday celebrations in October.

9. India stunned as people caught drinking on WACA pitch

In January, Indian team management and players were reportedly left stunned after viewing extraordinary footage of people apparently drinking, lying and walking on the WACA pitch only hours before the third Test was due to begin in Perth.

8. ‘Not just harmless fun’: Wozniacki accused of racism after Williams impression

Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki was accused of racism in December after stuffing her top and skirt with towels to impersonate fellow tennis player Serena Williams during a match in Brazil.

7. Sorry, but you owe us an apology

In a remarkable turn of events following from story #10, Jaycar Electronics boss Gary Johnston claimed the Bullldogs (of which Jaycar is a major sponsor) had uncovered no evidence that any players abused reporter Jayne Azzopardi with obscene comments captured by a Channel Nine camera and microphone while she was stationed outside Belmore Sports Ground following their grand final defeat to Melbourne, claiming Canterbury would seek an apology from Nine.

6. The goal that defied physics: Cisse wonder strike sinks Chelsea

Papiss Cisse scored an unbelievable goal for Newcastle in May.

5. Armstrong drops drugs fight: cycling legend to lose Tour de France titles

The world was shocked when US Anti-Doping Agency announced it would strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he declared he was finished fighting the drug charges.

4. Best goal ever? Ibrahimovic overhead kick stuns England

The stunning goal from Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

3. Sudden death shock: Robbie, 19, collapses watching television

Robert, grandson of Illawarra rugby league stalwart Bob Millward, died suddenly while watching television at his home in Leigh, Lancashire, in February.

2. Snaps of sozzled and sorry go global as Aussies drink the Cup dry

Images of Melbourne Cup racegoers falling onto the ground, planking among beer cans and swigging straight from champagne bottles were held up as an example of Australia’s ugly, booze-soaked culture by London tabloid The Daily Mail.

1. Live coverage: Melbourne Cup Day

Our comprehensive live coverage of horseracing’s day of days was the most popular sport story of 2012.

As for the Olympic Games, the following 10 stories were the most popular:

10. Revealed: the secret plan that dethroned Britain’s queen

Anna Meares’s triumphant win over Victoria Pendleton was no fluke – rather, it was a clinical execution of a fastidiously rehearsed ploy to exploit the weakness of her fiercest rival.

9. No sex sells for Lolo, the virgin queen of the hurdles

US hurdler Lolo Jones has been called the Anna Kournikova of athletics, for her profile until now had outstripped her achievements compared to her teammates.

8. ‘I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart’: controversy mars GB sprint gold

When British track cyclist Philip Hindes seemed to suggest he had deliberately crashed in the qualifying round of the men’s team sprint to ensure a restart after a poor start, very serious questions were raised over the legitimacy of the British victory which had delivered Chris Hoy’s fifth Olympic gold medal.

7. Pearson completes her Olympic dream with hurdles gold

Sally Pearson normally knows that she has won. Normally, she is metres in front when she crosses the line. This time, in the biggest race of her life, she didn’t know. She crossed the line with blank disbelief; she could not be sure if she had carried the weight of expectation over it to win a gold medal.

6. ‘The Aussies just raced negatively’: Cavendish takes aim after disappointing road race

British rider Mark Cavendish took aim at his Australian opponents after a disappointing performance in the Olympic men’s road race, accusing the Australian team of racing “negatively” and conspiring with the rest of the field to make sure Team GB didn’t win.

5. Jones not in London for a holiday, coach insists

Leisel Jones’ coach, Michael Bohl, vehemently rejected suggestions she was treating the Olympics as anything other than serious competition, and said she had been performing well in training and was in good condition to compete, after criticism she was not in the best shape and was treating London as a farewell tour.

4. Oh, Feck: German diver bombs – and gets nothing but a slap on the back for his efforts

It was one of those moments that made thousands of spectators wince. A reminder that diving is not just a graceful, majestic sport, but a dangerous one.

3. Thorpedo misses the medals as his TV look baffles the Brits

Ian Thorpe’s linguistic tics and choice of clothing left British viewers baffled after his surprise appearance on TV screens as a BBC commentator on the Olympics.

2. Not a fair crop: Olympic discard who outrode tycoon’s granddaughter

The selection of the two Oatleys for the Australian Olympic equestrian team – granddaughters of the billionaire Bob Oatley, a sponsor of grand prix events in dressage in Australia – exposed bitter tensions at the perceived influence of wealth and patronage in the sport.

1. Cyclists face off in battle of the thunder thighs

Forget about comparing height and weight, the only thing Olympic cyclists are interested in is how their tree-trunk thighs stack up against their competitors. New Zealand cyclist Greg Henderson posted a photo on Twitter at the start of the London Games, showing Germans Andre Greipel and Forstemann who dropped their pants to show their cycling weapons.

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Most-viewed photo galleries of 2012

10. Sandy leaves death and destruction in its wake
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There were many powerful images of the aftermath of the hurricane-turned-superstorm, which killed hundreds and affected millions when it bore down on the US east coast. The morning after, Americans woke to sights like this one.

Click on the image to view.

9. Photos1440 Challenge – Winners

A 24-year-old mechanical engineer who has been taking pictures for only two years won the Sydney Morning Herald’s Photos1440 Challenge with his three-piece submission that captured the hard work and physical exhaustion of gymnasts in training.

Click on the image to view.

8. Hurricane Sandy strikes US coast

Sandy makes a second appearance in the most popular galleries of the year. This collection of more than 80 images showed scenes of devastation from the US east coast, including the rare sights of empty New York City streets.

Click on the image to view.

7. Snapped: Readers’ travel pics

We asked for readers to send in their best travel photos – and the results were extraordinary.

Click on the image to view.

6. London 2012 opening ceremony

James Bond, Mr Bean, and industrial revolution, a music spectacular … and the Queen jumping out of a helicopter. Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the London Olympics was breathtaking.

Click on the image to view.

5. Melbourne Cup 2012: Birdcage and Fashion

Because the Cup is just as much about fashion as it is about the track…

Click on the image to view.

4. Golden Globes red carpet

Hollywood’s second-biggest awards night was our fifth most popular gallery.

Click on the image to view.

3. Brownlow Red Carpet 2012

Another local red carpet event makes the top ten list.

Click on the image to view.

2. What they wore – Oscars 2012 red carpet outfits

Undoubtedly the red carpet/Hollywood event of the year, the Oscars also proved very popular with readers, pushing this gallery to the #2 spot.

Click on Angelina and her infamous leg to view.

1. Goodbye London – Olympics closing ceremony

If there was one thing that could beat the Olympics opening ceremony for pure spectacle this year, it was … the closing ceremony.

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Most-read technology stories of 2012

The release of Apple’s iPhone 5 was one of the year’s top technology stories.Apple’s iPhone continued to remain one of the most popular Technology and Digital Life topics on smh南京夜网.au this year, but it was two science discoveries that captured attention the most.
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10. Facebook mistakes elbow for breast

The social network’s strict policy of banning ‘pornographic’ content was in the spotlight in November.

9. Real-life anime girl joins ‘human dolls’

The 19-year-old Ukrainian woman who has transformed herself into a real-life anime girl, with a daily ritual of painstakingly applying make-up to create a look that’s a spitting image of characters from Japanese cartoons or computer animation.

8. If you use Google, you may want to read this

In March, Google began to aggregate all the information it acquires about its users who are logged in to Google services into a single, unified pool of data.

7. Why I abandoned the iPhone

After several generations of loyalty to his mobile phone, the worm had turned on Apple, wrote tech columnist Charles Wright in July.

6. Fixing iPhone’s battery and data drain bugs

Users of the latest iPhone reported poor battery life on the new device. Deputy technology editor Ben Grubb offered tips to improve it.

5. Why Avis went overboard at 28 and ditched her $250,000 job

“I suppose I just woke up one day [in 2008] and said ‘I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to do to make me happy and successful and I’m not’, so I kind of went a bit overboard and just ditched my job, ditched my boyfriend and booked a ticket to Africa and went and lived in a rainforest.” Now Avis Mulhall is a tech entrepreneur in Sydney.

4. Confused? So was Kristen Neel

Kristen Neel, a teenager from Georgia in the US, gained Twitter infamy in Australia in a matter of hours on the night of the presidential election with one misguided tweet.

3. Apple unveils iPhone 5

September saw the biggest technology release of the year.

2. 2 million-year-old skeleton found in Cradle of Humankind

In July, South African scientists claimed to have uncovered the most complete skeleton yet of an ancient relative of man, hidden in a rock excavated from an archaeological site three years ago.

1. Where did it go? Scientists ‘undiscover’ Pacific island

The incredible story from November of the team of Australian scientists who found an island that didn’t exist.

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Most-read celebrity stories of 2012

It was another year of celebrity break-ups, pregnancies and affairs, but the biggest story of the year was the sudden death of Whitney Houston.
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The estranged niece of the head of the Church of Scientology warned Katie Holmes after her break-up with Tom Cruise in June that the organisation is “no place for an innocent child” like her daughter Suri.

Oscar-winner Russell Crowe split from his wife of nine years, Danielle Spencer, in October.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were forced to go public with the news that they were expecting much earlier than intended after the 30-year-old Duchess was admitted to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of severe morning sickness that is also associated with multiple births.

Bobbi Kristina, the 18-year-old daughter of Whitney Houston, was hospitalised suffering stress and anxiety after the death of her mother in February.

Lenny Ann Low meets radio’s (accidentally) controversial woman.

The headline says it all. With sealed divorce papers and only short, boring statements from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, gossip websites relied heavily on their secret “sources”, speculation and simple arithmetic to get to the bottom of the high-profile split.

Danielle Spencer’s formerTV dancing partner, Damian Whitewood, broke his silence on rumours he was somehow involved in Spencer’s October break-up with Russell Crowe, calling the rumours ‘crazy’.

A US soap star took his own life on his 47th birthday just hours after putting down his beloved pit bull, which was believed to be the target of an anti-dog campaign in his New York apartment building.

Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died at the age of 48 on February 11. At her peak, Houston had been the golden girl of the music industry, and from the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. Her death on the eve of the Grammys, at which she had been expected to appear, came as a shock to Hollywood, with celebrities from Mariah Carey to Quincy Jones to Rihanna paying tribute on Twitter.

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NYSE going for a $8 billion song

The Big Board just isn’t so big anymore.
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In a deal that highlights the dwindling stature of what was once a centrepiece of capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange is being sold to a little-known rival for $US8 billion ($7.66 billion) – $US3 billion ($2.87 billion) less than it would have fetched in a proposed takeover just last year.

The deal spurred on a rally in shares in the Australian Securities Exchange. They opened nearly 1 per cent higher at $31.42. 

The ASX last year was forced to abandon a US$8 billion merger with the Singapore Exchange after it was blocked by the Australian government which claimed the deal was not in the national interest.

The buyer is IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), a 12-year-old exchange headquartered in Atlanta that deals in investing contracts known as futures.

ICE said on Thursday that little would change for the trading floor at the corner of Wall and Broad streets, in Manhattan’s financial district.

But the clout of the two-centuries-old NYSE has gradually been eroded over decades by the relentless advance of technology and regulatory changes. Its importance today is mostly symbolic.

The NYSE dates to 1792, when 24 brokers and merchants traded stocks under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street. But today most trading doesn’t require face-to-face meeting at all. It’s done on computers that match thousands of orders a second.

Three decades ago, the floor of the New York exchange was full of bustling traders. Today, one of its largest booths belongs to the cable news channel CNBC, which broadcasts there for most of the business day.

The introduction of negotiated, rather than fixed, commissions for securities transactions, in May 1975, marked the start of a gradual decline in brokerage fees for traditional stock trading.

It also gave rise to so-called discount brokerages, like Charles Schwab, that offered to trade for customers at lower rates.

‘‘The cash equities business in America has effectively been obliterated,’’ said Thomas Caldwell, chairman of Caldwell Securities in Toronto and a shareholder in the New York exchange’s parent company, NYSE Euronext.

Caldwell said that the jewel of the deal is not the New York exchange but Liffe, a futures exchange founded in London, further underlining the growing importance of the futures markets.

While brokerage fees have declined, futures exchanges have retained profit margins, said James Angel, an associate professor in finance and an expert on stock exchanges at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Futures contracts are written by exchanges and must be bought and sold in the same place – as opposed to stocks, which can be bought and sold on any exchange, Angel said. That gives futures exchanges more pricing power.

Stock trading is a ‘‘dog-eat-dog business where the profit margin per share is measured not in pennies, not in tenths of pennies, but in hundredths of pennies,’’ said Angel, who also sits on the board of Direct Edge, a smaller stock exchange.

NYSE Euronext was formed in a 2007 merger when NYSE Group, parent company of the exchange, got together with Euronext, which owned stock exchanges in Europe.

It has been looking for a partner. Last year, ICE and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, which competes with the NYSE for stock listings, made an $US11 billion bid to buy NYSE Euronext. But that deal fell apart after regulators raised antitrust concerns.

Deutsche Boerse AG, a German company, made a bid for NYSE Euronext, but that was scuttled by European regulators.

ICE was established in May 2000. Its founding shareholders represented some of the world’s largest energy companies and financial institutions, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

Its stated mission was to transform the energy futures market by providing more transparency. The company has expanded through acquisitions during the last decade and went public – on the NYSE – in November 2005.

Analysts forecast that ICE’s revenue will reach $US1.4 billion this year, more than double the $US574 million it reported in 2007.

AP

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