Monthly Archives: December 2018

The tool designed to protect against unscrupulous retirement villages

Prospective residents of retirement villages will be able to calculate the estimated costs of moving into a village before signing a contract, with the launch of a new online calculator by NSW Fair Trading on Tuesday.
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The tool is among a raft of reforms announced for the sector after a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and ABC’s Four Corners uncovered questionable practices by one of the biggest listed and most profitable retirement village operators, Aveo.

The investigation revealed business practices including gouging; a business model that profits from churning residents, safety issues, misleading marketing and advertising and confusing contracts, which often presented unexpected costs.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the online calculator would allow residents to “compare village prices and ultimately ensure they’re not getting ripped off by unscrupulous operators”.

“It can be overwhelming to assess retirement village costs due to a wide range of fees and charges that are often incurred at different times,” he said.

Mr Kean said the calculator would be supported by recent amendments to the Retirement Villages Regulation 2009, which includes a new standard for fees and charges.

A compliance blitz and an inquiry into the sector, headed by Kathryn Greiner, who recently conducted an internal review of the NSW Catholic school system, has begun.

The inquiry will include a number of community forums to be held around the state, seeking feedback from the public.

Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies said she was pleased to see new measures were working to protect residents from confusing contracts, hidden fees and unexpected costs.

“By putting the right protections in place we are safeguarding the financial and physical independence of older people in our communities,” she said.

The calculator will offer basic and detailed estimates for those who are only gathering information and those who have already obtained a village disclosure statement.

Community forum sessions will be held at the following locations:Hornsby RSL, 4 High Street, Hornsby – Tuesday October 3, 10am-12pmNewcastle Exhibition Centre, 309 King St, Newcastle West – Wednesday October 4, 10am-12pmWagga Wagga International Hotel, Cnr Lake Albert Rd & Sturt Hwy, Wagga – Tuesday October 10, 10am-12pmWollongong Diggers Club, 82 Church Street, Wollongong – Thursday October 12 – 10am-12pmSMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney – Tuesday October 17 – 10am-12pmBallina RSL, 1 Grant Street, Ballina – Wednesday October 18 – 10am-12pmPort Macquarie Golf Club, Ocean Drive, Port Macquarie – Thursday, October 19, 10am-12pm

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Tasmanian Matt Ogilvie shares hurricane Irma experience

Irma’s ferocity hits home DESTRUCTION: Tasmanian Matt Ogilvie and his wife, Terri, expect hurricane Irma to come within 50 kilometres of their apartment in Orlando, Florida. Pictures: supplied
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TweetFacebook Images from OrlandoPictures: Matt OgilvieWarning sirens blast through howling winds, trees areripped from the ground and coastal roads are being washed away:meet Hurricane Irma.

Tasmanian man Matt Ogilvie has described the destruction caused byIrma as it approachedhis normally quiet apartment in Orlando, Florida.

“There has been quite a few messages and pleas to evacuate if you live in certain homes and areas,” he said.

Originally from Burnie, Mr Ogilvie hasbeen living in Florida since 1997.

The eye of Irma was expected to hit 50 kilometres west of Winter Springs, which is where MrOgilvielives with his wife, Terri.

The couple chose not to evacuate.

Florida’s strict building codes gave Mr Ogilvie confidence his newly-built apartment was safe.

“There were so many people leaving the state that it was becoming problematic,” he said.

“Many people were running out of petrol and finding that petroleum stations did not have any.”

In preparation forthe hurricane the couple headed to the shops to stock-up on water and non-perishable items.

They were confronted with police manning stores to “keep things under control”.

Communicationfrom authorities and Florida Governor Rick Scott in the past week had been great, Mr Ogilvie said.

Governor Scott told US media power outages were expected acrossFlorida.

“We do have a lot of resources already in Orlando, so as it passesOrlando we will be able to get those trucks on the road …but it is going to take a while,” he said.

“That is why we’ve said all week [people need] three days of water and three days of food.

“We are going to do everything we can to help you, but we have to save everybody first.”

At midnight -about 2.30pm AEST-the Ogilvies lost power, forcing them to rely ontheir generator.

Mr Ogilvie said theylost power for about 12 hours during hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Matthew was the first category 5Atlantic hurricane to hit since hurricane Felix in 2007.

But he also acknowledged Irma’s force was far greater than Matthew.

“Matthew was predictable, but Irma seems to keep everyone guessing,” Mr Ogilvie said.

Irmabattered through South Floridacausing more than a million power outages.

Florida’s National Weather Service issued a flash flooding warningfor several parts of the state’s north-east.

Two days ago Irma was a category 5 hurricane with maximum wind speeds of 300km/h, but it hasbeen downgraded to a category 1.

The Examiner

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Everyone’s a winner if Tabcorp/Tatts deal sealed ahead of the Melbourne Cup

FAIRFAX. SPORT. GOLD COAST. HORSE RACINGMagic Millions horse racing at the Gold Coast Turf Club.Race 6 Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions 3YO Trophy winner 13 Tempest Tost with jockey Darren Gauchi (in pink cap).Picture by Paul Harris.Saturday 10 January 2009. MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 19: Tabcorp Chair Paula Dwyer and Tatts Group Chairman Harry Boon pose for a photo with David Hayes’ Oaks runner Harlow Gold on October 19, 2016 in Melbourne, . (Photo by Jesse Marlow/Fairfax Media)
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If all goes to plan, the long-awaited Tatts/Tabcorp merger will be consummated on November 1, just days before the Spring Racing Carnival’s big week kicks off with Derby Day on November 4.

And the good news is that there will be plenty of winners before any horse even enters the starter’s gate. And, as is often the case with corporate mergers of any size, you don’t necessarily lose just because you backed the wrong horse.

Only Tatts chairman, Harry Boon,will make the jump to the board of the merged entity. But not to worry, his fellow Tatts directors will each receive $92,500 “non-compete payment” on implementation day, according to the scheme booklet.

That will ensure they are restrained from setting up a multi billion dollar competitor in the 12 months following the merger.

Current Tatts CEO, Robbie Cooke, will also be unsaddled by the merger. But he will receive $2.091 million in lieu of notice, a share of his $2.091 million variable incentive payment for this year “at the discretion of the board”, plus long term performance rights.

Cooke is also in line to receive part of the retention bonus paid to senior staff to stick around despite the merger circus.

A retention pool of up to $20.5 million was approved by the Tatts board, and if all executives who were offered the “retention arrangements” gets paid out, it will cost the merged group $6.4 million to reward its loyal staff.

But this is chicken feed compared to what will be doled out to the hired help working on the merger.

Tatts helpers: Goldman Sachs, Clayton Utz, Grant Samuel, PwC Securities and KPMG will share in $70 million worth of fees if the merger is implemented, and $55 million worth of fees if it isn’t.

That’s only $1 million more than the merger bill that David Attenborough’s Tabcorp has incurred so far.

We don’t need to wonder who will get the lion’s share of this loot from the Tatts team. Grant Samuel’s fees are fixed at $1.85 million plus costs, and PwC’s costs so far have barely reached $1.1 million. So we’re guessing drinks are on Malcolm Turnbull’s former colleagues at Goldies. Debt Pack

You could never accuse former Post boss, Ahmed Fahour of lacking ambition.

With the Postie job now a distant memory Fahour has really ramped things up at the ASX-listed group he chairs, Pro-Pac.

On Monday it announced the acquisition of fellow packaging manufacturer IPG – from its executive team and private equity owners, Advent Partners – for $177.5 million. This is more than twice the market value of Pro-Pac.

“The opportunity to combine two very complementary businesses will deliver significant long-term value to Pro-Pac shareholders,” said Fahour who is still under water on the $4.3 million worth of shares he acquired in 2014 after joining the board.

Despite Fahour’s best intentions, the packaging group needs a little TLC.

Two profit downgrades this year left its share price trading at its lowest point since 2011.

???Not that Fahour will have any trouble convincing investors of the merits of this deal. His good mate, billionaire Raphael Geminder, owns 49 per cent of Pro-Pac, and CBD’s favourite corporate raider Gary Weiss is also a director.

Geminder has promised to support the $55 million equity raising at 34c a share, to help pay for the acquisition.

We can assume Geminder also supports the $70 million of additional debt – which will be needed to help pay the $117 million cash consideration for the acquisition – plus $60 million worth of shares.

It means that Pro-Pac’s net debt will rise 500 per cent to $85.5 million, which is more than the company was worth before the stock recommenced trading this morning.

Let’s just hope the IPG transaction, if approved by investors, doesn’t go the same way as Pro-Pac’s $6 million purchase of fresh meat packaging provider, Eco Food Pack (EFP). That adventure, which predates Fahour, ended in a nasty spat in the Supreme Court this year. Bubble trouble

You know the regulator’s attempts to tame the property bubble are starting to get traction when the man who topped the rich list last year – property developer Harry Triguboff – starts warning in the press that “ns could lose an enormous amount of wealth” from the downturn in apartment prices and calls for government intervention to stem the fallout.

Having ridden the residential property boom to the top of the wealth list, is Triguboff admitting he needs government support to stay there?

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Richmond’s form to result in 2018 fixture

Richmond will seek more Friday night games in their 2018 AFL fixture after the club played no home-and-away games in football’s marquee timeslot during a stunning top four regular season in 2017.
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The Tigers’ drubbing of Geelong in last week’s qualifying final was their first Friday night game of the year, compared to the Cats who enjoyed three home Friday night clashes plus another away Friday night contest in 2017.

Richmond had the highest total attendance of any AFL side in the 2017 home-and-away season attracting more than 705,000 people to its games at an average of 60,920 for its home fixtures. This was an increase of almost 20,000 to its 2016 average. That the Tigers did so without a single Friday night fixture is remarkable.

Fairfax Media understands the Tigers will seek more Friday night home fixtures and more Thursday night home games for 2018. Richmond had one home-and-one away Thursday night match in 2017. While Thursday nights are lucrative from a ratings and sponsorship standpoint, Friday nights are still more valuable to clubs in these markers.

The AFL confirmed Richmond would again open the season against Carlton on a Thursday night in 2018 (a Richmond home game) and would also again play in the Dreamtime at the ‘G match on a Saturday night (Essendon home match in 2018). It is unclear whether the Tigers will again play Melbourne on Anzac Day eve.

Richmond’s zero Friday night game tally for 2017 was less than clubs such as the Western Bulldogs (two home Friday night games), Collingwood (one), Geelong (three), North Melbourne (two), Port Adelaide (one), Sydney (three) and GWS (one).

Overall the Western Bulldogs had eight games either on a Friday or Thursday night in 2017 while Sydney had 10, St Kilda four, Hawthorn four, Geelong six and Adelaide six.

After the 2017 fixture was announced, AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said clubs who finished high on the ladder in 2016 were rewarded with more primetime games the next year.

“We want to bank on known form with teams that are going to turn up and provide a contest,” he said.

Richmond finished 2016 in 13th after a dismal season. They produced a stunning response in 2017 to finish third and advance to a first preliminary final since 2001 by beating Geelong on Friday night.

A team that was rewarded for their 2016 premiership, the Bulldogs, slid down the ladder in 2017, as did Hawthorn and North Melbourne.

The AFL “reward good performer” approach to the fixture was most ruthlessly seen in late 2015, when the league gave Carlton no Friday night games in their 2016 fixture. This was after Carlton played six Friday night games the previous season.

Richmond did not want to comment publicly on their potential 2017 fixture when contacted.

Speaking after the 2017 fixture was released, Tigers CEO Brendon Gale said the club was disappointed to miss out on Friday night games, but that he understood the AFL rewarding teams who has success in 2016.

“We are a big club with the third biggest membership in the league, and our games always rate well in that timeslot,” he said.

Richmond played three Friday night games in 2016 after finishing 2015 in fifth position on the ladder.

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20-hour, non-stop flights: Could this be the end of the stopover?

You used to have to stop six times to get from Sydney to London. When Qantas first introduced the “Kangaroo Route” in 1947, its Lockheed Constellation plane, carrying a grand total of 29 passengers, would depart Sydney and then stop in Darwin, Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo and Tripoli before eventually touching down in London.
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Two of those stops – Singapore and Cairo – were overnight stays, where passengers could sleep in a real bed and work off a little jet-lag. Then they’d all get back on the plane and off they’d go, over the horizon once again.

Sounds fun, to me. Sounds like it would have been an adventure, a shared experience with hardy souls. It also sounds completely different to modern-day air travel, to the facelessness of the contemporary flyer, to the squished seats and the rapid transits as millions of us make our way across the globe.

Many of those forced stopovers are a thing of the past, and it now appears that even the few surviving mini-breaks could soon become a quaint part of history, something our kids look back on and shake their heads and wonder how we all did it. The idea of a stopover could soon become obsolete.

See also: Non-stop flights to London aren’t without problems

Think about it. You can already easily fly to North America without stopping. Used to be that you’d have to call through Auckland, or Nadi, or Hawaii, but now you can go straight through. You can fly direct from the east coast of to Los Angeles, to Vancouver, to San Francisco, to Dallas, and now, with United Airlines’ announcement last week, to Houston without a stop.

Europe has always been the final frontier in this sense. It used to take six stops to get to London, but now you can do it with one. As of next year, however, Qantas will be flying direct from Perth to London via a 17-hour Dreamliner journey. The company also recently sent out a challenge to Airbus and Boeing to improve the range of their planes, allowing Qantas to fly direct from the east coast of to London and New York by 2022.

So what happens to the stopover? What happens to the couple of hours wandering around Changi, or the couple of days lounging by a pool in Hawaii? What happens to the overnight at a fancy hotel in Dubai, or the chance to go shopping in KL?

These breaks could soon become a thing of the past, stashed in aviation history next to smoking on planes and watching movies on one giant screen at the front of the cabin.

The question, however, is whether you really want that to happen. Do you want to spend 20 hours or more in a big metal tube in the sky? Do you want to have four airplane meals in a row? Do you want to get the whole thing over with in one hit, to board that one plane, stay on it for a full day and night and then be belched into your destination in a fog of jet-lag and boredom?

For the sake of expediency, I’m sure plenty of people will. However, I’m not sure it’s such a great way to go.

I love a stopover. I try to work them into my plans now wherever I can. I’m pretty sure I would make these detours even if I had the chance to avoid them.

See also: Qantas unveils new seats, new look for Dreamliners

It’s not just the break from flying either, though that’s definitely something to take into account. These are seriously long-haul journeys we’re talking about. The discomfort of Sydney to Europe non-stop is going to be intense. The jet-lag is going to be brutal.

What I like about a stopover, however, is that it adds something different to your journey. Say you’re flying to New York – add in a stopover, and suddenly you get to check out Texas, or spend a couple of days in Hawaii, or even call through Fiji. If you’re going to Europe, you suddenly have the chance to spend a few days in Asia, to eat street food in Bangkok, or go shopping in Hong Kong, or wander the old souks in Dubai.

That’s a small slice of a completely different part of the world, and it usually costs you very little to experience it. It’s like two holidays in one.

I wouldn’t want to pass up the chance to do that. If you have to get somewhere quickly, then sure, forgo the stopover, forgo the extra security check and the two hours of time-wasting and the getting off and getting back on again of the plane and just get to where you need to be. That sounds great.

For regular travellers, however, the loss of the stopover sounds like a shame. You don’t have to stop in six places, you don’t have to go through Darwin, Singapore, Karachi and so on – but it is nice to at least break up a long journey somewhere. I’m pretty sure I will always want to do that.

Are you happy that stopovers could be a thing of the past? Or would you prefer to take a break regardless? Where is your favourite stopover destination? Leave a comment below.

Email: [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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See also: Revealed: ns named this airline the best of the decade

See also: Dubai, you’re dumped: The London stopover Aussie travellers preferred to opt out ofLISTEN: Flight of Fancy – the Traveller苏州夜总会招聘.au podcast with Ben Groundwater

To subscribe to the Traveller苏州夜总会招聘.au podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.

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Adani’s mine is a black hole for brands

Winning a major new contract is normally cause for celebration, so it’s not every day the boss needs to justify a successful bid to their staff, especially at a global engineering and design firm like AECOM.
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That’s why you could sense the controversy when the company’s new and New Zealand managing director, Todd Battley, felt compelled to write a message to staff staff in June that started: “although there remains some very vocal opposition … I wanted you to hear directly from me about why we are working on this project.”

AECOM had just won the contract to design the rail line that would connect Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to a port on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

And it doesn’t get much more controversial than that. Adani’s proposed mine is a threat to the environment, reliant on over $1 billion in federal and state subsidies or loans and a competitor to other producing coal miners in NSW and Queensland. Adani itself has a record of channelling money through offshore tax havens.

But Adani needed a partner, especially after Korean steelmaker POSCO pulled up stumps on the rail project two years ago, taking with them the prospect of Korean government-backed debt finance.

Even though Battley insisted to staff “we all have the option to self-select out of a project without fear of any repercussions”, that somewhat misses the point. Even people who choose not to work on a project would still have to work at the company that does.

Engineering firms work hard to portray themselves as building a better world. They’re not just trying to convince the general public of their sustainability credentials. They’re showcasing themselves to engineers who want to take pride in their work. AECOM’s website home page is a parade of shiny, complex, large-scale and sustainable projects, the sort that anyone would be proud to be part of delivering.

The reality is of course a little less green than that, and companies will always tolerate some brown in their portfolio as long as the overall contribution is a positive one. Indeed, Battley explained how “a diverse and multidisciplinary organisation, AECOM works across the entire energy mix and we are making a significant contribution to facilitate that transition”.

But the Adani Carmichael coal mine is not just adding a little bit of dirty into a portfolio diverse and otherwise positive enough to soak it up. It is emblematic of all that is wrong with energy policy and politics in . It has its own catalogue of environmental, social and governance risks. It’s brand kryptonite for companies that get near it. It’s a black hole for sustainability credentials.

Over a dozen banks have realised that, moving to distance themselves from Galilee Basin coal export projects and remove any question of their potential support for Adani. And Downer EDI is also finding out the hard way, enduring protests at their sites and offices around after receiving a Letter of Award from Adani to build the mine.

Lend Lease recognised the reputational risks of expanding the Abbot Point port and increased coal exports through the Great Barrier Reef back in 2014, withdrawing from their plans to help build and finance the now scrapped Abbot Point X terminal.

What should be more important to AECOM, Adani’s coal mine poses a direct threat to much of AECOM’s previous – and potentially future – work.

AECOM knows a lot about climate change. In fact, it has worked with the City of Melbourne on a climate change resilience strategy, helped the n Defence Force’s coastal bases withstand sea level rise, and develop Sydney Airport and nearby Port Botany, both of which are highly exposed to physical climate impacts.

You have to wonder how easily AECOM can get away with taking the n Defence Force’s money for helping them shore up their coastal bases before helping to open up one of the world’s biggest untapped coal reserves. Or what the US Agency for International Development would make of AECOM, simultaneously implementing their “Pacific Islands: Building Resilience to Climate Change” project while helping Adani.

It’s clear that AECOM knew their sustainability credentials were at risk by getting involved with Adani or that explainer email from the boss would never have been necessary.

What remains to be seen is the impact that damaged sustainability credentials can have on AECOM’s ability to retain staff, customers and their social licence.

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Mum neglected baby

A woman (pictured at right) whose neglect of her baby was such that she was in effect starving the child has pleaded guilty.A Lavington baby was so severely malnourished by his drug-affected mother that he was left emaciated, his bones sticking out from under wrinkled skin.
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Tests on the 22-year-old woman after she, her baby and two other children were taken to Albury hospital showed she had both amphetamine and methamphetamine in her system.

Her baby weighed just 3.18 kilograms when admitted to the children’s ward in the early hours of March 5, barely above his birth weight almost four months earlier of 2.83 kilograms.

The mother, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court on Monday to a single domestic violence-related charge of fail to provide for child, cause danger of death.

But it will be several weeks before she finds out her fate, with magistrate Michael Crompton ordering a full pre-sentence report.

The woman, who now lives at West Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne, was supported in court by two women.

It was revealed there were no initial concerns for the baby in the weeks following his birth on November 10, 2016.

The child was cared for by his parents and his maternal grandmother and was soon receiving home visits by a community nurse.

The first visit when he was 12 days’old showed his weight had increased to 2.89 kilograms and by December 6, at four weeks, he was 3.24 kilograms. On December 14 the nurse weighed the boy again to find he was continuing to thrive, having hit the 3.4 kilogram mark.

It was the nurse’s final visit to the home, which she found to be clean and tidy. But on March 4, about 11.45pm, Albury police went to the Lavington home in response to a domestic violence report in which the boy’s mother was alleged to be the victim.

Police said in the house were the baby, his parents and his siblings –a 17-month-old boy and a seven-year-old girl.

“While there the officers observed the victim to appear very malnourished, seeing bones under his wrinkled skin and determined the child to be in immediate risk of harm,” they told the court.

The mother told police she was feeding the baby his bottle every four hours, each time putting three scoops of formula into 180 millilitresof water.

The officer searched for the formula tin, which showed that she instead should have been using six scoops per 180 millilitres.

By now the house was a mess, with dog faeces found in one bedroom.

A paediatrician commented that the baby –whose weight increased to 5.16 kilograms within a month of going into care –had initially shown “physical signs of serious malnutrition”, including muscle wastage and pressure sores.

The woman will be sentenced on October 23.

The Border Mail

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NRL Finals 2017: Did the Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles really have reason to complain?

Gripes: Shane Flanagan and Paul Gallen. Photo: AAPSharks coach Shane Flanagan felt compelled to take a dossier of “disgraceful” decisions to his post match press conference after his side’s week one finals exit.
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And Sea Eagles boss Trent Barrett was just as livid with the NRL Bunker after arguing two “unbelievable” calls cost his Manly their season.

But what does the tale of the tape say? We run the rule over the most contentious rulings in the Sharks’ shock loss to the Cowboys and the Sea Eagles’ defeat at the hands of the Panthers.

Sharks v Cowboys Incident 1: Cronulla’s Jayden Brailey pressures Cowboys kicker Michael Morgan. Photo: Fox Sports

38th min:Jayden Braileyapplies pressure to Michael Morgan on the last play and the ball is kicked into his hand as he tries to make a tackle, ricocheting into touch and the Cowboys are awarded a scrum feed.

Flanagan says:”Going into tackle a kicker, the kicker kicks the ball at him, he doesn’t play at it. Scrum, Cowboys feed.”

Video verdict:Brailey doesn’t make a legitimate attempt to charge down the kick, but referees have been consistent in similar instances when a defender’s hand comes into contact with the ball from a pass. Line ball call.

Incident 2: James Maloney professional foul. Photo: Fox Sports

40th min:James Maloney is sent to the sin bin for pulling back Ethan Lowe as he pursues a grubber into the in-goal.

Flanagan says:”When is James Maloney a professional foul? It’s not a professional foul, it’s a penalty, if that. Luke Lewis got run off the ball every time. Go and watch the video and see how many times he got knocked off the ball in the kick-chase. The touch judge is calling on the sports ears ‘Lachlan Coote offside’. So what’s first? Penalty to us.”

Video verdict:Coote is several metres behind the play andonside when Michael Morgan threads a kick into the in-goal. Maloney clearly impedes the attempt of Ethan Lowe to retrieve the ballby sticking his arm out to ensure the Cowboys forward can’t make a play at scoring a try. Good call.

Incident 3: Ricky Leutele tackled without ball. Photo: Fox Sports

53rd min:SosaiaFeki is dragged into touch by Kyle Feldt as Ricky Leutele looms up in support on the inside with Kane Linnettin close attention.

Flanagan says:”Sosaiai Feki goes down the sideline in a really important part of the game and goes to pass it to Ricky Leutele … and guess what, he got tackled without the ball.”

Video verdict:Leutele is tackled to the ground by Linnett without the ball, but Feki looks to have gone into touch beforehand and the centre appears in front of him in any case even if the pass was thrown. Good call.

Incident 4: Jason Taumalolo try. Photo: Fox Sports

63rd min:Jason Taumalolo wrestles four Sharks defenders over the line and claims a try after falling to the ground. It’s sent the video referee as a try and the call stands.

Flanagan says:”I couldn’t see where the ball was grounded but [the referee]makes a decision. The bunker, I understand, it was always going to come back as insufficient evidence to overrule. But I want to know where the referee got his evidence from in the first place.”

Video verdict:It is unclear on replays whether Taumalolo has got the ball down. Line-ball call.

Incident 5: Andrew Fifita knock-on. Photo: Fox Sports

75th min:Andrew Fifita stoops low to gather a grass-cutting Michael Morgan kick and is ruled to have knocked the ball on. The Cowboys level the game up in the next set with a penalty goal.

Flanagan says:”If anyone on this planet thinks Andrew Fifita knocked that ball on … it went through his legs, tunnel ball, through his legs.”

Video verdict:The ball touches Fifita’s hands and goes backwards through is legs. Bad call.

76th min:Matt Prior is penalised for dislodging the ball from Shaun Fensom in a tackle, paving the way for Ethan Lowe’s penalty to level the scores in the dying minutes.

Flanagan says: “Matt Prior [is]effecting a tackle. They say he pulls it out and [the Cowboys]kicka goal.”

Video verdict:Fensomappears to simply lose control, in similar fashion to how Cronulla’s Ricky Leutele receives a penalty in the first half when he drops the ball, a decision that precedes a Sharks try. Bad call.

80th min:Paul Gallenappeals for what would be a match-winning penalty in the last minute after being dragged down just inches short of the line. As he tries to get to his feet the ball pops loose, Scott Bolton’s hand ever so briefly coming into contact with the pill.

Flanagan says:”Trying to get up to play the ball and there is a bloke who pulls the ball out. But go down the other end of the field and Matt Prior, effecting a tackle, they say he pulls it out and he gives a goal.”

Video verdict:Bolton’s arms are wrapped around the ball in the ruck but Gallen appears to just let it go. Good call.

Sea Eagles v Panthers Incident 1: Dylan Walker offside from Blake Green kick. Photo: Fox Sports

48th min:Dylan Walker speeds through to ground a Blake Green kick, but the referees want to check he has two feet behind the kicker when the ball leaves the five-eighth’s boot. It’s sent to the bunker as a try.

Barrett says:”The on-field referee and the two touch judges thought he was [onside]. Yet the video ref was 100 per cent certain that he was in front.”

Video verdict:The tape suggests it’s extremely difficult to definitely say Walker was offside. Given the on-field ruling of try Manly can feel aggrieved. Dubious decision.

Incident 2: Tyrone Peachey try, no knock-on called. Photo: Fox Sports

74th min:Bryce Cartwright tries to dribblea kick into the in-goal close to the Sea Eagles’ line, but it deflects off Daly Cherry-Evans’ boot and into the torso of Tyrone Peacheywho swipes at the ball afterwards and then grounds it across the stripe. It’s sent to the video referee as a try.

Barrett says:”At 10-10, how you get an on-field decision when a player kicks it into one of our players, it ricochets off him into the Penrith player’s chest, off his hand … how they can say that they are 100 per cent confident that is a try is beyond me.”

Video verdict:Who knows? Having watched it countless times, it can’t be 100 per cent said Peachey definitely makes contact with the ball via his hand. Very hard to overturn.

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Newcastle youth Aidan Essex builds garage business in Slide Jam Longboards

Different type of board: Aidan Essex with one of his Slide Jam Longboard works in progress. Picture: Penelope GreenWITH his long, sun-bleached locks, Aidan Essex passes for just anothersurf and skate-mad Novocastrian youth.
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The difference is that when he’s not in the surf or on his skate board, the 17-year-old is slowly buildinghis home-grown business, Slide Jam Longboards.

To the uninitiated, longboards are skateboards that are longer than standard and built for tricks but above all speed that is best gained rolling down a hill.

Slide jam is the term skaters use for when they gather at a hill to see who can do the longest slide. The pastime can be informal but also competitive.

Aidan got the longboarding bug two years ago.

The problem was, he couldn’t find a longboard that he was completely satisfied with. He used second-hand boards because new longboards are costly because they are made in China, shipped to suppliers in the US then sold into .

So Aidan decided he might as well try his hand at making one.

Converting the 1880s-era outhouse in his parent’s city home and utilising their garage, Aidan assembled a make-shift hydraulic press and various bits ofmachinery to learn his craft.

Sourcing planks of Canadian maple, he glues nine layers of it together then slots it into the press. He then takes it out and leaves it to dry for a week or so before shaping it with a bansaw and putting truck holes in it to attach an axel and wheels.

“It’s really satisfying to do it,” he says, adding that he did a lot of research prior by talking to skate shops and those in carpentry.

It takes Aidan about two and a half hours to make each board, which he sells via his website.

His first board is the classic Blueberry Jam, the second prototype is dubbed Green Eggs and Jam –a smaller board designed for hard-wheel or technical skating, yet another niche skating market.He’s also got another prototype for a cruiser and is also making custom-made boards for the fussiest clients.

He’s slowly getting the Slide Jam brand out by givingsamples to a few respected Sydney riders but for now, money is not the prime motivator.

“I’m just keen for it to take off and get people riding boards made in and not China,” he says.

Aidan’s passion for his business is enabled at his school: he attends Cooks Hill Campus, an annex of Newcastle High thatuses the so-called Big Picture framework to allow students to follow their creative passions as part of their HSC.

He’s also got the full support of his parents, Greg and Debbie: “He is absolutely driven when he has a goal,” says his mum.

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Bookies banned from online sign-up ‘inducements’

AFR 11TH JUNE 2013 PHOTO BY Louise Kennerley -Israel Chamber of Commerce “NBN and the Digital Economy” with Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, speaking a the Major Business LuncheonAttractive sign-up offers tempting ns to either open online betting accounts or refer a friend to open one will be banned under a new agreement struck by the nation’s gambling ministers.
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Web-based wagering giants, including Sportsbet,CrownBet, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and and the Tom Waterhouse-led William Hill, will no longer be able to offer free bets, credits or other financial inducements to entice customers to join up and gamble through their services.

The agreement, reached at a recent meeting of gambling ministers, comes just weeks before the start of the Spring Racing Carnival, the biggest betting season on the calendar. It will be the last carnival where such offers can be used with implementation slated for June next year.

Restrictions on credit and “free bet” inducements will be included in a wave of new online gambling protection measures that will all be phased in over the coming months.

“Many ns enjoy a punt,” said federal Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, who chaired the meeting of ministers. “But we want to ensure there are reasonable protections in place and that individuals can have greater control over their gambling expenditure.”

Mr Tudge said limits on inducements were “sensible” and meant that “people aren’t encourage to spend more money when they may already be in trouble.”

Stephen Conroy, executive director of Responsible Wagering (RWA), the industry group representing many of the online bookmakers, has been working with the federal and state governments to build the new set of standards.

“We welcome, in particular, the decision by ministers to adopt RWA’s proposal to ban sign-up promotions,” Mr Conroy said after the meeting.

“This will ensure that ns are able to choose a preferred wagering operator free from any financial incentive.”

The development of the new consumer protection framework comes in response to a recent review conducted by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell.

Other major measures include a national “self-exclusion register”, set to be in operation by December next year, which will allow problem gamblers to ban themselves.

A voluntary pre-commitment scheme for online wagering will be implemented by next June, allowing gamblers to set “binding” despot limits, and a seven-day cooling-off period before limits can be increased again.

Mr Tudge said problem gambling in the online space was up to “three times higher” than other forms of gambling, and was exploding in popularity. About $1.4 billion was gambled online last year, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year, making it the fastest-growing form of gambling.

“Online gambling is growing faster than any other form of gambling and the incidences of problem gambling is higher,” he said.

“The gambling problems of the future will all come from the online space if we don’t put sensible protections in place now.”

Operators in the online wagering sector have been widely accepting of a series of concessions, and have been proactively involved in helping develop them, in a bid to improve their social licence and remain sustainable.

According to a summary of the recent ministers’ meeting, state and federal governments aim to release the national consumer protection framework by the year’s end.

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