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Parramatta auto alley gets new life as $225m mixed precinct

Monday, 30 July, 2018

Parramatta is throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of Sydney after the green light was given to a $225 million mixed-use project to revamp the rundown former Auto Alley in Church Street.
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It is part of the $876 million South Quarter development by the Dyldam??? group which will add to the $6 billion-plus transformation of the Parramatta CBD.

Developer Dyldam bought the former Heartland Holden car yard site from the Turner family for $150 million in 2015 and the City West Joint Regional Planning Panel Parramatta approved the masterplan in 2016, with the development expected to coincide with the widening of Church Street, featuring new cycle lanes and tree planting.

It will be the amalgamation of three separate sites, 57, 63 and 83 Church Street to create the new southern gateway to Parramatta, comprising five residential and commercial buildings, featuring an international branded hotel and community park with artworks.

Designed by architects Allen Jack + Cottier, Turner and Oculus, the development is expected to activate the southern side of Parramatta City, an area often overlooked as the construction boom takes place in the centre of the city. There are 15 cranes on Parramatta’s skyline, according to the latest Rider Levett Bucknall??? crane index, compared to 13 in the commercial sector of central Sydney.

GPT recently unveiled a $230 million office tower. Charter Hall, Walker Corporation and the Scentre??? Group are also developing new towers in the area for tenants including KPMG, Western Sydney University and government departments.

In the latest office market report from the Property Council of Australia, for the first six months of 2017, there was a zero vacancy rate for A Grade office space in Parramatta and that the total vacancy rate for office space was 4.3 per cent. This compares to the 5.9 per cent vacancy rate in the Sydney CBD.

Fayad Fayad, chief operating officer of Dyldam, said there is strong interest from commercial tenants in the private and public sector “as we have state of the art office accommodation, a range of bars and restaurants, as well as retailers, including fresh grocers”.

“We expect to soon announce a major hotel chain will manage the hotel on site, located a short walk from the major transport links of Parramatta”, Mr Fayad said.

Given the demand for office space, Dyldam and GPT are building the properties without having locked in an anchor tenant.

According to Savills, to date the NSW government has pre-committed to more than 87,000 sq m of space with more than 5800 department jobs expected to move from the CBD. Pre-committing to 4 Parramatta Square, being developed by Walker Corporation, are the Department of Planning and Environment, the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. The move is set to occur in the first half of 2019.

Other commitments include the Department of Education at the Dexus development at 105 Phillip Street, for 25,500 sq m of A-grade office space, which is expected be delivered early next year.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Curious mix at Maitland

Monday, 30 July, 2018

HIGH-IMPACT: See Fiona Foley’s photographs at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
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MAITLAND Regional Art Gallery has at the moment six individual exhibitions, not including the long-running gift collection of Lionel Lindsay’s prints.

The current exhibitions all extend into October, apart from Derek Kreckler’s innovative photomedia finishing on Sunday.

Kreckler is formidably original, with a body of curious work extending back many years. In Maitland a wall-filling augmented video threatens to dump us in the surf, if not drown us. A blind Ned Kelly struggles through the scrub, with a witnessing kangaroo.

A family’s discarded newspapers are pulped and moulded into bricks for an imposing ziggurat in an elegy for lost trees.

Cyclists are filmed negotiating a tricky course. Refrigerators dangle from trees.

Clearly there are myriad issues, histories, techniques, jokes and intellectual inquiry.

Also downstairs is a corridor of high-impact photographs by indigenous artist Fiona Foley, who took this series of costumed Afro-American fellow students while on a residency in New York. Their pointed hoods are black, but they certainly reference the Ku Klux Klan. Their garments are made from bright African cloth. Their glittering eyes confront us uncomfortably. In the present context it is hard to see this powerful band not only as ironic comment on racism, but also invoking the terrorism nightmare. A splendid addition to the Maitland collection.

Upstairs Anne-Maree Hunter demonstrates that printmaking can expand in many dimensions. For years her classic etchings and lithographs have appeared in galleries and exhibitions. Here she stretches her range into sculptural projects, with inventively augmented old books, intricately folded new ones, updated songlines and miniature modelled landforms, (including Uluru), housed in precious jewellery boxes.

An overarching presence is the map, global or celestial, but also including Gregory’s Sydney street directory. There are maps as arbitrary patterning, editorial statement and built up in three dimensions. There are travel diaries and fashion statements, all meticulously fabricated.

In the adjoining room is a musical offering constructed by Sylvia Ray of resonant female body parts moulded in clay. There are many breasts, kneecaps, violin-shaped backs, lips, fingers, hands and pregnant bellies, all equipped with drumsticks to assault them with. The sounds are melodious and attractive, but does this apparently playful violence against women’s bodies challenge our feminist sensibilities? Perhaps we should be invited to jangle some male dangles?

Also at Maitland are two exhibitions keeping faith with the gallery’s commitment to its community. Works mainly on paper have been selected from high schools up into the Hunter Valley to reveal the diversity and power of classroom-based artmaking.

We anticipate vigorous originality from younger children, so it is good to see seriously creative artmaking from often-reticent teenagers. A congregation of small basic clay figures captures the uncanny power of the gaze just as the warehouse of similar figures, famously amassed by British superstar Antony Gormley, transfixed us several years ago at a Biennial.

In the upstairs corridor are watercolours and mixed media by Maitland artists Gaye Shields and Julie Hosking celebrating local scenes and simple pleasures.

REFINED MUSINGSTHE distinction between sewing and drawing is increasingly porous. Margaret Adams is one of many artists who use textile techniques for linear artmaking. Her exhibition at Timeless Textiles until September 10 demonstrates that she also has a refined feeling for texture in many small works evoking memories and musings.

Both Timeless Textiles and the Lock-Up next door have significant exhibitions scheduled for the coming months, with Timeless Textiles showing artists from New Zealand and the United States as well as a solo show in November for Judy Hooworth, a local textile artist with a distinguished international presence.

All these shows were programmed long before the nodule of galleries at the beach end of Hunter Street came to realise how close they would be to the Super Cars.

The main entrance to the racetrack will be directly outside their doors. Access and parking problems are already having a serious impact on visitor numbers.

The galleries will be closed on the race weekend. However, Anne Kempton is determined to continue both her exhibitions plus the regular workshops with Newcastle’s dedicated textile enthusiasts who will surely find ways and means of reaching the gallery.

‘Can’t be destroyed’: Heritage listing for caves puts a stopper in dam proposal

Monday, 30 July, 2018

The spectacular Cliefden Caves in central west NSW have been granted state heritage listing, almost certainly sparing them from a dam proposed for the region.
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The caves, located on private land about 60 kilometres south-west of Bathurst, are known for their Ordovician-era fossils dating back about 460 million years, said Graham Quint, director of advocacy for the NSW division of the National Trust of Australia. The listing covers about 1550 hectares.

Wednesday’s formal gazetting of the karst cave network on the state’s register means it has “the highest level of protection you can have in NSW – it can’t be destroyed”, Mr Quint said.

“The caves contain fossils which are recognised not only in NSW but internationally,” Gabrielle Upton, the environment minister, said. “It’s great to be able to acknowledge the caves’ significance with NSW heritage status.”

The Coalition government has been examining options for a dam in the area, with one proposed for the Cranky Rock area over the Belubula River nearby.

A spokesman for WaterNSW said it was “currently evaluating potential solutions aimed at improving water security in that region of central west NSW”.

“The environment and the significance of the caves have always been important considerations in any analysis of potential water security infrastructure options,” he said.

“It’s just a really silly area to build a dam,” Mr Quint said. “No one knows where the limestone ends up – so it’s probably not a good place to put [one].”

According to the government, the network includes more than 100 recorded caves, almost as many karst features, a rare thermal spring, and is home to 15 confirmed species of microbats.

“The fossils include the world’s oldest known in-situ brachiopod shell beds, some of the earliest-known rugose corals in the geological record, and [in the overlying Malongulli Formation] one of the most diverse deep-water sponge faunas ever recorded,” the Office of Environment and Heritage states. “Many genera and species of fossils are unique to the area.”

Harry Burkitt, secretary of the Save Cliefden Caves Association, described the listing on the NSW Heritage Register as “fantastic news” that would protect the natural treasure for future generations.”The community has been pushing for a heritage listing on the caves since the nomination was made by the National Trust in 2014, and we congratulate the minister and Heritage Council on their decision,” he said.

Nationals Party members in the region are likely to be less happy, after its state conference in May called for more dam construction in the state.

“Without dams, and conserving water, we have no future,” the Blayney Chronicle reported Max Swift of the Nationals party’s Forbes branch as saying in May. “So for God’s sake get on with it. Who cares about ‘this frog’ or ‘that bat’ and all this sort of rubbish that goes on.”

According to the National Trust, George Evans was the first European to find the caves in 1815, just two years after the first Blue Mountains crossings by colonial explorers.

A well-preserved skeleton of an aboriginal man, who apparently died by falling into a cave, has been dated at more than 7000 years old.

The networks also served as a hideout for bushrangers, including Ben Hall, who raided the Cliefden property in 1863.

“According to the locals at the time, Hall used these caves as a refuge from pursuing police, and knew one so well that ‘he ducked into it and emerged on the other side of the river, leaving the pursuing constables far behind!,'” the National Trust said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Early days but a poor start for new player

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

THE promises were big andthe hype came right from the top.
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When NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced in 2015 that Newcastle’s transport services would be privatised, in an Australia-first trial to have one company deliver all transport services, he said it was about “building tomorrow’s Newcastle: a new approach to transport”.

When Mr Constance and Premier Mike Baird in December, 2016 said Keolis Downer was the successful tenderer for the Newcastle Transport contract, they promised “massive service improvements for Newcastle commuters”.

“Newcastle Transport will guarantee better and more frequent public transport options, giving Novocastrians the world-class transport they deserve,” Mr Baird said.

He resigned as Premier one month later.

The French-Australian joint venture firm Keolis Downer took over in late June, and the reality of a privatised Newcastle Transport service has fallen well short of the hype.

Even worse, the company had barely turned a key in the ignition of its first privatised bus service before it was embroiled in the worst kind of controversy–the underpayment of possibly 70 staff for amounts of reportedly up to $600.

The dust had barely settled on that issue before there was criticism on a second front –the cancellation of possibly 170 services in the first six weeks of the contract.

Now a new controversy has erupted, on an old theme. At least a dozen bus drivers were underpaid on Wednesday night, including some by more than $500. This wasdespite Keolis Downer early last month saying employee pay was a “priority” issue.

There was no hype from Andrew Constance at the news, just a grim warning to the company.

“Keolis Downer needs to fix this. And fix it quick,” Mr Constance said.

It is only early days for the company, but it is concerning that with so much hype and build-up, Keolis Downer doesn’t seem to have hit the ground running to show the nay-sayers that privatisation on the one provider model can deliver better services. It picked the worst issue possible –employee pay –to drop the ball.

The NSW Government copped flak in 2012 when it privatised Sydney ferry servicesbutthe government has savedabout $100 million and services have improved. Keolis Downer needs to live up to the hype.

Issue: 38,586.

‘Most prejudiced’: Chinese react to US ambassador rumours

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

Beijing: Admiral Harry Harris has been described in China as the “most prejudiced” US military chief since World War II, following reports he could be appointed ambassador to Australia.
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Chinese military analysts said sending Admiral Harris, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, to Australia was an attempt by the US to pull Australia back into full support of the American Asia Pacific strategy, and get tougher on China.

The Global Times newspaper quoted Zhang Junshe, researcher with China Naval Research Institute, as saying Admiral Harris was “the most prejudiced and Cold War-minded chief of all US pacific commanders since WWII”.

Admiral Harris has publicly opposed China’s “increasing assertiveness” in the South China Sea, where he has been a proponent of freedom of navigation patrols by US vessels to challenge China’s territorial claims. Australia had declined invitations to join the US patrols.

Mr Zhang said the US Navy’s seventh fleet, under Admiral Harris’s command, has seen “continuous accidents”.

Shanghai-based The Paper said Admiral Harris had previously called for the US to increase its missile capacity against the People’s Liberation Army.

It comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, called for China to go beyond United Nations Security Council sanctions and cut off oil supplies to North Korea.

His comments came despite a fierce response from China’s Foreign Ministry a day earlier to US allies calling on China to “do more”.

China’s spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused countries calling for China to increase pressure on North Korea of “pointing fingers while stabbing in your back”.

On Sydney radio, Mr Turnbull said China should go further than its agreement to ban trade in iron ore, coal, seafood and new investment with North Korea, and cut off its oil pipeline.

“If you cut off their access to energy, their regime would struggle to survive. I think that is what China needs to do,” Mr Turnbull said.

It is believed the US, Japan and Britain will push for new UN sanctions on oil.

Chinese analysts have said Beijing would only cut the oil supply to sanction a North Korean nuclear test, which is Beijing’s red line.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua said on Thursday “its not a computer game. It’s a real situation, it directly bears on the people of the peninsula”.

After North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, the US renewed pressure on China to go further than the $US1.5billion ($1.9billion) in trade sanctions set to be imposed on North Korea from next week.

China’s Foreign Ministry snapped back, accusing the countries calling for China to exert more pressure of selectively implementing UN Security Council resolutions, by over-emphasising sanctions while overlooking peace talks.

“We have seen some with their own axe to grind, some pointing fingers while stabbing in your back, and some muddying the water to seek profits, or even risking getting burnt to gain what they want. They are the loudest when it comes to sanctions, but nowhere to be found when it comes to making efforts to promote peace talks,” she said.

???China was angered by the US recently imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies caught dealing with North Korea.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Pay dispute not to blame for loss: Warner

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

Dhaka: David Warner has rejected a suggestion Australia’s historic Test loss to Bangladesh can be attributed to a suboptimal preparation for the tour because of the prolonged pay dispute.
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While the Australian vice-captain made a fighting 112 in the second innings at the Shere Bangla Stadium – a knock he described as his best ever – it was to no avail as the tourists collapsed to lose by 20 runs to Test cricket’s ninth-ranked nation.

The defeat comes just weeks after Australia’s cricketers settled their longstanding impasse with Cricket Australia over a new memorandum of understanding, in which the Australian Cricketers’ Association successfully fought to retain a revenue-share model.

The negotiations between CA and the ACA took 10 months and dragged on past the June 30 deadline, meaning Australia’s cricketers were out of work for a month, leading to the cancellation of an Australia A tour to South Africa. The Bangladesh tour, and even the upcoming Ashes series, had also been in doubt. A resolution was reached in time for Australia’s players to take part in a pre-series camp in Darwin with the aim of getting players acclimatised for the conditions in the subcontinent.

Warner was arguably the most outspoken of Australia’s senior players during the pay dispute, having raised the prospect of an Ashes boycott in an explosive interview with Fairfax Media in May.

But speaking after the first Test, Warner shut down talk the MOU situation had affected the team’s performance. “I don’t think at all that the MOU stuff had anything to do with preparations or our mindset,” Warner said.

“We had a great time up in Darwin. The facilities are fantastic and they are exceptional hosts for us to come over.”

The ACA declined to comment about the team’s performance when contacted on Thursday.

Warner’s ton was his first Test century overseas since 2014, and his first in the subcontinent. It also came after he passed 50 just once during the four-Test series in India earlier this year. Given the context of the game and his record in the conditions, Warner agreed that he hadn’t played a better innings. “I would have to say, yeah. In a fourth innings in the subcontinent on a turning wicket,” he said.

“There are a lot of mental things that go through your head. You have got to overcome those. And with the conditions as well you have got to be fast on your feet and that’s why I spoke about energy in my legs. That’s the key to getting down the wicket, lunging forward and lunging back and not getting caught in between. There were a few times when I did get caught in between, but I managed to negate any dismissal.”

Warner said he had tinkered with his game plan for Asian condition “a lot” in recent years, and that he had struggled with self-doubt during last year’s tour of Sri Lanka, but that he had now found “rhythm” and would look to come down the wicket more. “I think that probably hit me in Sri Lanka. I just felt sometimes there I was just getting beaten all the time on the inside,” he said. “I was always getting lbw or if it was a little bit wider I would play it a little bit instead of playing the line. As anyone says, it takes time to get used to these conditions and hopefully my time has come now. That took probably longer than I expected, but I’ve got to keep taking the same mindset and playing each ball on its merit and using my feet with confidence.”

Warner added that there was plenty of “grit and determination” in Australia’s touring party, backing the underperforming members of the squad to turn their fortunes around. In particular Warner gave his support to Usman Khawaja, whose return to the Test XI yielded scores of just one and one. “For him, it has been a bit of a lay-off period for him. It is almost like he has to go back to working harder on the basic stuff because he has been out of that period for a long time,” Warner said.

“But he has worked so hard in the nets in Darwin. And he has done everything he possibly can to get back here. And it might take him this game to realise what it takes to actually start your innings, for one, and then move on with it. But, he had his game plan.”

Khawaja’s position in the team has already been called into question, with back-up batsman Hilton Cartwright an option to replace him for the second Test in Chittagong which begins on Monday. Bangladesh have named an unchanged squad for the Test.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Carpenter’s timber talents on show in clever Casey home

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

It’s no surprise that this beautifully crafted house in Casey is a carpenter’s own home; the attention to detail and the warm timber details throughout offer a point of difference and conceal hidden storage compartments.
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Jackson and Amber Roberts built the home and have lived here for six years. They welcomed their first child, Archer, 18 months ago and have another baby on the way.

Jackson describes it as “the perfect block”, with a north-facing view of the reserve.

“Getting that winter sun and the view was our main concern,” Jackson says. “When you sit in the lounge, the dining room or the alfresco area you can see out across the reserve.”

The galley kitchen features a walk-in pantry, while striking timber work above the island bench conceals plenty of extra storage space.

It overlooks the open-plan living area with polished hardwood floors and a seamless flow to the deck, which is Jackson’s favourite part of the home.

“It’s now sheltered and covered in an ornamental grape vine. The maple trees are now big and developed; it’s just a nice place to be.”

The deck is sheltered and covered in an ornamental grape vine. Photo: Supplied

The lower level also provides a peaceful retreat with an infrared sauna, lush green wall and timber features.

As a carpenter, Jackson is in need of a new project – a knockdown-rebuild in O’Connor – but he says the family-friendly street will be hard to leave behind.

“Every single house is young families – lots of people in their 20s and 30s with two kids under 10,” he says.

“On the weekend you’ll see 20 kids playing outside on the street, which you don’t see very often these days.”

Casey

7 ENFIELD STREET

PRICE GUIDE: $670,000+ EER: 4.5

AGENT: Christopher Dixon, McGrath Estate Agents Dickson, 0414 819 377 or 0417 407 249

AUCTION: Saturday, September 9, at 10.30am, on site

INSPECT: Saturday, 1.30pm-2pm

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Protect yourself in a frenzied property market

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

If auction bidding goes too high, keep your hand down. Photo: Michele MossopWhen a market is in trouble, people get scared and sell their shares or make a run on the bank. And when a market is hot, everyone wants to own the asset.
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But when things get really hot, you have fear and greed together – the desire for the asset and the fear of being the one who doesn’t own the asset.

It’s a frenzy and it’s happening right now in some parts of the real estate market.

Unfortunately, when emotions take over, the quality of decision-making can deteriorate. And when that happens, people become vulnerable to manipulative, high-pressure sales techniques.

This shows itself in property buyers paying too much and borrowing too much. It also manifests in seminars and sales events where you’re shown how easily you can join the frenzy ??? so long as you sign up right now.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself in a frenzied property market:

Understand your limits: Privately owned real estate is worth more in Australia than the share market. Yet it’s basically run by keen amateurs like you. Start by understanding the limits of your knowledge.

Don’t rush: A frenzy suits salespeople because they can appeal to greed and the fear. Don’t go for it. If an auction goes over your budget, keep your hand down. If you’re asked to sign something at an event, demand a cooling-off period. It’s your money – take control.

Declaration: If someone gives you advice, ask who is paying for it. If it’s unclear, there might be another agenda, that is not your agenda.

Hang up: Beware of cold calls. A property purchase should be part of your financial plan, over at least 10 years, not a reaction to a phone call.

Upside down: The deal you’re offered looks good. Now, examine the worst case scenario – you must always understand how much you can lose. This is your responsibility, no one else’s.

Research: Inform yourself before buying property. Sources such as the ABS and property research companies can help you cross-check claims about property values, forecast growth and rental returns. Talk to local real estate agents, conveyancers and property management companies – understand the area.

It’s a business: If someone markets an investment property, you must understand its business case: total costs, total returns, property market history etc. You can’t apply the emotions you have about a family home, to a property you rent out.

Qualifications: Who is selling to you? Are they members of a real estate institute? Are they licensed to provide credit and if they’re advising you, do they have an Australian Financial Services Licence? You can check at the ASIC website.

Marathon: Building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no safe way to get rich quick; slow and steady wins and property has always been a 10-year proposition.

Advice: If there are gaps in your knowledge, admit it and find an adviser with expertise, who you trust. Good advice is always a good investment.

And remember the golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

What you need to know about Prime7’s new reruns channel

Saturday, 13 July, 2019

Thank goodness the latest season of Game of Thrones finished this week.
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At least now viewers will have time in their crammed television viewing schedules to flick over to 7flix for reruns of Diff’rent Strokes. Or eight repeats of The Big Bang Theory back to back. Or “encore” episodes of Home & Away.

With free-to-air TV beset by falling audiences and advertising and besieged by ad-free, binge-friendly streaming services like Stan, Netflix and Foxtel Now, it seems almost quaint for regional broadcaster Prime7 to be turning on a new channel in 2017.

But at 6am on Sunday September 3, the Network Seven affiliate will flick the switch to 7flix on channel number 66 in its east coast markets in Victoria, NSW, the ACT and the Gold Coast.

7flix is the general entertainment channel launched by Seven in capital cities in February 2016.

Prime7 said at the time it would not carry the channel in its markets because adding 7flix to its vast terrestrial footprint was “technically challenging, takes time and requires substantial capital investment”.

“From a broadcast engineering perspective, regional broadcasters are far more complex businesses than metro operations, covering larger geographic areas with multiple signals that service a large number of local areas across regional Australia,” Prime7 said.

The decision proved particularly annoying to regional fans of long-running US hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy, which Seven had moved off its main channel – along with first-run episodes of several other US shows with small but devoted Aussie followings – specifically to lure audiences to 7flix.

Underscoring the absurdity of Australia’s anachronistic broadcasting regulations, broadband-blessed viewers in Prime7’s markets could still watch 7flix live-streamed via Sevens Plus7 online service, which offered some consolation to Grey’s fans desperate for their weekly dose of McDreamy doctors.

Now, 18 months after it began in metropolitan markets, Prime7 has finally relented and will tune in 7flix with its candy-coloured logo and “feel-good mix”.

The move – which Prime7 described as a “business decision” – is not surprising given that 7flix has proved a popular addition to Seven’s other offshoots, 7Two and 7mate, and helped keep the Kerry Stokes network in front of fierce rival Nine and its offshoots 9Go!, 9Gem and 9Life in the national TV ratings.

With Nine’s Australian Ninja Warrior-led ratings recovery in 2017 helping to boost the audiences of regional affiliate Southern Cross Austereo, going without the full suite of Seven’s digital channels seems to be no longer an option for Prime7.

So, what shows will 7flix screen on channel 66 from Sunday? How do you make sure you can see it? And will it really have reruns of Diff’rent Strokes? WHAT’S ON 7FLIX

Reruns: Yes, Diff’rent Strokes, the one-catchphrase ’80s comedy starring the late Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Harlem brothers Arnold and Willis Jackson adopted by a rich Park Avenue businessman, gets a spot in the 7flix line-up. As do the likes of Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Who’s The Boss and Married with Children.

Seinfeld, The Nanny and Scrubs also feature, along with repeats of a current comedy hit that simply does not get enough airplay on TV these days, The Big Bang Theory.

Seven has rerun rights to the goofy show’s first seven series (Nine retains the first-run episodes) and is milking it shamelessly: the Sheldon-filled 7flix schedule includes three Big Bang episodes before Sunday night’s replay of the 2011 comedy movie Bridesmaids and two Big Bang episodes straight after. On some nights 7flix has run as many as eight episodes of The Big Bang Theory back-to-back. The show also airs on 7mate.

Repeats of US dramas The Blacklist, Criminal Minds and Castle screen across the week, along with what is billed as a weekday afternoon “encore” of soapie Home & Away and replays of Seven’s other Aussie drama, 800 Words.

First-run series: As well as Grey’s Anatomy, Prime7 says 7flix has new episodes of such US series as How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, The Amazing Race and superhero action caper Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, as well as Saturday afternoon episodes of the animated Star Wars Rebels.

While Season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy is due to begin on US TV on September 28, Prime7 says it has “no indication” if the new episodes will be fast-tracked on 7flix. But repeat episodes from Season 10 appear in the program schedule from September 8.

Movies: Back-to-back family movies screen early on Friday and Saturday evenings, including replays of recent Disney, Pixar, Sony and Warner Bros favourites. Movie buffs may find vintage gems buried in the overnight offerings from the vault, such as 1933’s Son of Kong, 1941 detective drama The Gay Falcon and the 1945 war saga China Sky starring Randolph Scott and Anthony Quinn. HOW TO GET 7FLIX

The channel will appear in regional viewing areas of Victoria, northern and southern NSW, the ACT and Gold Coast on channel 66 at 6am on September 3 – beginning with a rerun of the Simon Reeve-hosted schoolkids quiz show It’s Academic.

Prime7 says the channel should automatically appear in the channel list of most televisions but some older sets may require re-tuning or upgrading to access 7flix.

The new channel uses MPEG-4 technology, which compresses video and ??requires less bandwidth to broadcast.

All major brands of TVs, set-top boxes and personal video recorders purchased since 2009, including devices bearing the Freeview logo, are generally MPEG-4 compatible. If your channels currently include horse-racing on Racing南京夜网’s channel 68 your TV should be able to show 7flix, which uses version 10 MPEG-4 technology.

Sets bought before 2009 may not support MPEG-4. If channel 66 does not automatically appear Prime7’s advice is to re-tune your TV. Most sets allow you to automatically re-scan channels using the TV menu. In many cases, channel 66 will appear after completing this process. Some TVs may require reset to factory defaults or a software upgrade.

If channel 66 appears in the channel list, but the picture is black and if there is no sound or only sound, your TV or set-top box may not support MPEG-4 (version 10) and you will need to purchase a set-top box or upgrade your TV.

Prime7 warns that some early-model set-top boxes provided by the federal government as part of the Household Assistance Scheme during Australia’s switch to digital TV may not be MPEG-4 or MPEG 4 (version 10) compatible.

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ASX ends ‘subdued’ earnings season

Saturday, 13 July, 2019

ASX. Afr. Generic. 110615. Pic by Michel O’Sullivan. Pic shows the new ASX at Bridge street, Sydney. Use for ASX, trade, shares, Stock Exchange, Commodities.
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The Australian sharemarket emerged from August reporting season deflated by a mildly disappointing month of profit results, and undermined by heavy losses in big names like Telstra and Commonwealth Bank.

Thursday’s solid gain of 45 points, or 0.8 per cent, in the S&P/ASX 200 index to 5715 managed to trim the month’s losses to only 6 points. Telstra’s 10.5 per cent share price plunge over the month, more or less what it lost on the day it announced a hefty cut to its dividend, and CBA’s 9.5 per cent fall amid ramping regulatory pressure around its money laundering compliance failures dragged on the bourse. Those losses were offset by strong monthly gains from the major miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining, while Wesfarmers also buoyed the market.

Morgan Stanley equity strategists branded results season overall “a subdued affair”. Aggregate growth in earnings per share for the top 200 “is on track to sink to circa 5 per cent with no meaningful growth pick-up expected in outer years,” they said.

It wasn’t all gloom, with energy stocks the best performing segment of the sharemarket over the month, adding 5 per cent after a litany of well received earnings results following a tough period for the sector. That outperformance was slightly tarnished on Thursday, as oil and gas stocks were the only corner of the market to slide.

“One of the themes that led into this results season was that was that the retail environment was very shaky and that discounting was a big part of that,” Pengana Capital fund manager Ed Prendergast said. “That’s been borne out definitely,” Mr Prendergast said, although “there were odd retailers like Adairs that did well in that environment anyway”.

“Also, there was the sense overall that the housing construction cycle is probably at the peak right now, and that was borne out by quite a few companies in their results commentary. It was a little bit state-specific obviously; West Australian companies are saying the complete opposite because their cycle has gone the other way.”

The contrasting fortunes of the sector were on display on Thursday, as accessories and clothing retailer Oroton Group surged 8.2 per cent after providing an upbeat assessment of trading over the past two months and confirmed that underlying earnings would come in at the top end of its guidance for its July 31 financial year.

In contrast, Harvey Norman plunged 7.5 per cent after revealing annual earnings that disappointed investors.

Citi analysts maintained their sell rating on the stock “ahead of a moderating housing cycle and the upcoming entry of Amazon”.

The Aussie dollar slipped below US79?? on Thursday despite data which showed business spending on new equipment plant and machinery rose for a second straight quarter, with a bigger-than-anticipated upgrade in future spending plans. The currency, which had threatened to break above US80?? this week, might have ignored this “impressive” lift in capex plans, but “the RBA won’t,” TD Securities currency strategist Annette Beacher said, pointing to the upbeat message the data sent about the trajectory of the local economy. Stock of the dayOrocobre

Orocobre shares were on a tear on Thursday, finishing the session 14.2 per cent higher at $3.86 after the lithium producer swung to a net profit and guided for higher production this financial year. Orocobre posted a net profit of $19.4m in the year to June 30, from a $22m net loss in the comparable period. It produced 11,862 tons of lithium carbonate at its Olaroz plant in Argentina and is forecasting output of 14,000 tons in FY18.Citi analysts said that, although the result was below their expectations “the key positive was signs of a recovery in pond inventory, which is required to underpin ramping up production towards capacity.” MoversHousing credit

Private sector credit figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia out today showed that total credit rose 0.5 per cent month on month in July for an annual increase of 5.3 per cent, compared to a month-on-month 0.6 per cent increase and annual increase of 5.4 per cent in June. Housing credit rose 0.5 per cent month on month and 6.6 per cent on an annual basis. Overall credit growth met market expectations, NAB economists said. “The pattern of growth was in keeping with recent trends of still moderate growth in housing credit, while business credit continues to record somewhat better growth,” they added. Gasoline

US gasoline futures prices hit $2 a gallon for the first time since July 2015 on Thursday after flooding from tropical storm Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of US refineries. Harvey has battered the US Gulf coast since last Friday. At least 4.4 million barrels per day of refining capacity is estimated to be offline, or almost a quarter of total US capacity. Goldman Sachs said it could take several months for all production to be brought back online. “The precedent of Rita-Katrina would suggests that 10 per cent of the … currently offline capacity could remain unavailable for several months,” the bank said. Euro

The common currency stalled at $US1.1879 on Thursday after dropping 0.7 per cent on Wednesday amid speculation the European Central Bank could step in to weaken the euro, which valued over two and-a-half year highs earlier this week. Analysts said traders are starting to speculate that ECB President Mario Draghi could be growing more concerned about the euro’s rise. The euro is up more than 13 per cent against the dollar this year and broke past the critical $1.20 level on Tuesday. The ECB Is set to hold a policy meeting next week. China PMIs

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 51.7 in August, up from the previous month’s 51.4 reading. Growth in China’s services sector slowed in August, hitting the lowest level since May 2016,. The official non-manufacturing PMI fell to 53.4, from 54.5 in July. The PMI readings suggest that industrial output defied a slowdown in the broader economy last month,” Capital Economics’ Julian Evans-Pritchard said. “We suspect that this is because higher prices are encouraging more rapid production of industrial metals.”

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‘Collapse of moral values’: Coke exec jailed for $860k slush fund

Saturday, 13 July, 2019

Within the headquarters of the vehicle leasing company Orix, the account that kept Coca-Cola Amatil’s corrupt fleet manager in the manner to which he was accustomed was known as the “Coke slush fund”.
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Bryan Pereira, 64, had engineered for himself a cushy source of extra cash by virtue of his control over the soft drink manufacturer’s $22 million vehicle supply contract.

His extracurricular income stream first manifested as a kickback system whereby he received a commission for each vehicle supplied by Orix to Coca-Cola Amatil.

Coca-Cola executive Bryan Pereira at his arrest in 2015. Photo: Nathan Patterson

According to court documents, this scheme netted Pereira $859,000 between 2003 and 2013.

But it later morphed into a more formal accounting system, whereby Orix withheld manufacture rebates from Coca-Cola Amatil for a variety of legitimate and illegitimate purposes, including “introducer fees” to be paid to Pereira.

It was officially known as the “CCA Marketing Account”, but colloquially as the “Coke slush fund”, and Pereira gave instructions to Orix staff on how it should be disbursed with the authorisation of their executives George Georgiou and John Carter, who was the chief executive at the time.

From 2006, Pereira used it to buy expensive gifts, international and domestic flights, accommodation, jewellery and adult entertainment – receiving $267,899 in personal benefits.

Finally in 2014 he set up a shelf company in the name of his accountant, which invoiced Orix for work supposedly completed under the description “inspection services” and bagged him $504,900 before he was arrested in March 2015.

Pereira was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Thursday to a prison term of six years with a non-parole period of four years, after receiving a 40 per cent discount on his sentence for pleading guilty, displaying remorse, having previously good character and being unlikely to reoffend.

Judge Mark Williams said the invoice system was elaborate, and the offences were aggravated by that fact that Pereira was in a position of trust.

He knew that the payments were unlawful and was motivated by greed.

“He can’t quite articulate why he had a complete collapse of moral values, but he admits it was greed,” Judge Williams said.

“He was angry and resentful at his work hours and he was exhausted, but he doesn’t put this forward as an excuse.”

An agreed statement of facts tendered to the court said Pereira had hatched the scheme with his former colleague Ray Ward in 2003, while Ward was acting as a consultant to Clinton’s Toyota.

The only Toyota vehicle suitable for the Coca-Cola Amatil fleet at the time was the Kluger, but it was more expensive than the Holden Commodore.

Ward worked on a new pricing deal that would make the Kluger comparable to the Commodore, and suggested to Pereira that it might be possible for them both to make some “extra money” out of it.

Under this scheme, the price Coca-Cola Amatil paid for the lease of each vehicle included the cost of a $1000 commission that Orix would pay to Clinton’s on delivery. Clinton’s would keep $250 and the remaining $750 was evenly split between Ward and Pereira.

Coca-Cola Amatil lost more than $3 million by virtue of these “introducer fees” between 2004 and 2015, according to the court documents.

Pereira also arranged through Mr Georgiou to receive a Mercedes Benz worth $180,000.

But the gravy train came to an end in 2015, after Pereira’s new boss became suspicious of his relationship with Mr Georgiou. Police from the NSW Fraud Squad conducted covert email and telephone surveillance, and arrested Pereira as he attended a meeting with Mr Georgiou at a North Sydney office in March 2015.

Mr Georgiou and Mr Carter will face court later this year on charges of receiving corrupt payments and money laundering.

A Coca-Cola Amatil spokesperson said in a statement that the company was “pleased this matter has finally been resolved.”

“We independently identified a gap in our auditing and oversight procedures in 2015, which led us to contact the police,” the spokesperson said.

“Since then we’ve introduced new, and much tougher, internal systems. The structures and circumstances that allowed this issue to occur are no longer in place.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Australian netball legend slams IOC for Olympics exclusion

Saturday, 13 July, 2019

Australian netball legend Norma Plummer has slammed the International Olympic Committee and said a lack of funding from national bodies is hurting the sport worldwide.
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The former Diamonds coach is now leading South Africa’s rise up the international rankings and delivered the Proteas best showing in 50 years against Australia on Wednesday.

South Africa are winless in 35 attempts against the Diamonds but after Plummer’s side went down by just six goals at the AIS Arena, the Proteas’ coach teed off.

Plummer said her squad compete with half the resources of Australia, New Zealand and England, who they are currently playing against in the Netball Quad Series.

“This series has been quite draining for South Africa, it’s 10 cents to the dollar and everybody is paying for themselves… and if it’s 10 cents to the dollar then what is it to the pound,” Plummer said.

“They’re paying 20 times more than Australia, England and New Zealand but they’re willing to put the money out because they want their team to get better and I take my hat off to that.

“You can have all the ice baths and sports science and everything but it all comes down to the athlete and their ability and skills and being able to do it day in day out.

“Its nice to have all that other stuff but these girls don’t have it, they’re just out there playing the game.”

Plummer then turned her attention to IOC and slammed the committee for failing to recognise netball as an Olympic sport.

“Netball should definitely be an Olympic sport, they have rock climbing now – you can’t tell me this isn’t a better spectacle – fairdinkum, I mean, seriously,” Plummer said.

“The Olympic Federation have said we’re a one gender sport and we haven’t got enough teams, yet in Commonwealth countries you’ve got almost 80 registered.

“You’ve got the four or five top teams but then it all just fades away because there’s no money put into the sport.”

Plummer said unless countries start investing more money into netball then some of the world’s best athletes will never become Olympians.

“Uganda has just started to emerge and I can tell you now if you went into those African countries and put money into them…. I tell you what, netball could be fantastic, but the governments don’t support them,” Plummer said.

“If we don’t have some of these other countries stand up and actually deliver some netball, we won’t make the Olympics because it’s always Australia, New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand, and in the end if the game is going to survive we’ve got to have other countries given an opportunity to really mix it.”

Plummer conceded tournament organisers face a tough task in appeasing all parties but said the Quad Series, which concludes in New Zealand on Saturday, must be revamped.

“This series has got to change, you can’t play one game here, one game there and have to fly overnight virtually,” Plummer said.

“We get up at 4am to get to the airport and then we’re told with all our luggage we might not even be able to get down to Invercargill in time to play our one game.

“It’d be better to have it in a central country and each nation can host it one year at a time.”

Meanwhile, Netball ACT are in talks with Giants Netball to bring Super Netball action back to Canberra next year following a near sell-out crowd on Wednesday night.

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Stay with Richmond, Dusty. It’s the right call

Saturday, 13 July, 2019

As much as Dustin Martin would look great in a North Melbourne guernsey next year, staying with Richmond is the right call.
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Not just for Martin, but also for the Roos who have already made the most important decision in their recent history by re-signing Brad Scott.

If Scott had been let go, or left for Gold Coast, I would have had big concerns about the immediate future of the club.

An untried coach with a young list could mean a long time in the footy wilderness, but with Scott at the helm until 2020 Roos fans should sleep safe in the knowledge they can rebound before too long.

They might not have the top-end talent of the Tigers, but we’ve seen at Punt Road how quickly things can change if you have the right people at the club and back youth.

Damien Hardwick added Toby Nankervis, Josh Caddy, and Dion Prestia in the trade period, made a few tweaks to the club’s game plan and unleashed his little men inside 50.

While North’s aggressive recruiting strategy is to be admired, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee success will come that much sooner.

Of course, Martin would be a fantastic addition to any midfield, not least for the Roos given they lack that sort of explosive power around the ball.

But signing him up at $1.5 million a season over seven years might not be the right move for the club long term, given how restrictive that could be for future recruiting.

The most consistent premiership sides in recent years have had much more conservative pay models.

Think Hawthorn and Geelong, who wouldn’t be paying anyone more than $1 million.

While the Cats recruited a genuine star in Patrick Dangerfield, that wasn’t about the money and he could have commanded much more elsewhere.

Sydney were also one of those teams before they signed Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin.

While they’re a decent chance of winning the flag this season, that move is yet to pay off and the Swans have had to sacrifice players such as Shane Mumford and Tom Mitchell.

Given how many senior players have departed Arden Street during the past 12 months, the Roos would certainly have a war chest.

You do have to spend your money on someone, so I don’t begrudge them being proactive.

As for Martin, the difference in the offers he’s received from North Melbourne and Richmond might work out to be very minor once his career is over.

On the surface, an extra $2 million over seven years is a lot of money. Martin would almost be earning the average wage for an AFL player on top of the $1.2 million per year the Tigers have on the table.

But as my colleague Caroline Wilson wrote only a few days ago, retiring as a one-club player can pay off financially in a big way, especially if you add a Brownlow Medal and even a premiership on top.

If Martin moved to North after winning the Brownlow his marketing capacity would be severely diminished. What Tigers fan would want to invest in someone who no longer plays for them?

Martin has a savvy manager in Ralph Carr who could easily turn a Brownlow into an extra $100,000 or even $200,000 through promotional material – if he stayed. Add a flag, and that price skyrockets even further.

The other thing that Martin has no doubt taken into account is just how difficult it can be to move clubs.

No matter how good or how experienced you are, walking in the doors of a new footy club can feel like your first day of high school.

You have to start again building relationships and forging trust, and for someone who seems more introverted like Martin that would be hard.

In Richmond, he has a club that has shown him enormous faith, which he has repaid on the field over the past few years.

The people at Tigerland know his habits and idiosyncrasies, and they know his family situation well, given Martin has been granted leave on a number of occasions.

I’m sure North would be just as accommodating, but at Punt Road those plans are already in place. It’s comfortable for him.

With $1.5 million a year hanging over your head, the pressure of expectation can also be a tough burden to carry.

As the main man in a young side, Martin would come in for much more attention. At the moment, he has great allies around the ball like Trent Cotchin, Prestia and others.

As if that’s not enough, the Tigers also have an opportunity that few other teams possess.

Having finished in the top four they’ll be playing in front of crowds of 80,000-plus for at least the next fortnight and possibly longer if they can reach that final week in September.

They have a genuine shot at the premiership this year, and you can’t put a price on success.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.