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Archive for October, 2018

City begin global search for Fornaroli injury replacement

Saturday, 13 October, 2018

Melbourne City have already begun the international search to find an injury replacement for star striker Bruno Fornaroli, the club’s top goalscorer for the past two seasons.
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And given their high profile connection with owners Manchester City, the options are plentiful.

The Melbourne side could look to tap into the City squad for an on-loan replacement or search for another forward who is out of favour at their club and might be interested in securing regular game time over the next four months.

City’s scouting network is global – it delivered Fornaroli to them two seasons ago – and new coach Warren Joyce and his management team will also be able to tap into their expertise.

Fornaroli, City’s marquee player, is expected to be out of action until at least the new year having suffered a fractured ankle in City’s 3-2 FFA Cup win over Sydney Hakoah on Tuesday night.

His loss is a major blow to the City Football Group-owned club given his goalscoring record. In his first season in the A-League, Fornaroli scored 28 goals in the Cup and League, while in his second he netted 20 in the two competitions.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has rung the changes at the Etihad and in the last days of the transfer window City is reported to be moving on several players.

While Melbourne would no doubt love to have access to the likes of City’s out-of-favour Ivory Coast frontman Wilfried Bony as a short term signing he is thought far more likely to rejoin Swansea City, the Premier League club at which he made his name in England. He has also been linked to a surprise loan move to Italian club Hellas Verona as well as with Spartak Moscow, Marseille and Valencia.

Still, Melbourne City’s financial firepower and the fact that any short-term signing would fall under Fornaroli’s marquee status so his wage would not be counted under the salary cap, certainly gives them plenty of potential targets.

Given that Fornaroli – who will have surgery next week when the swelling goes down – is expected to return in January, any well-credentialled overseas signing who comes as a short term replacement could then look to move on from his parent club in the European January transfer window.

He would, if he played regularly in the A-League, maintain his fitness and be match fit for any new employer should he be able to secure a transfer then.

A move to Australia might look left field, but for some it might be a more tempting prospect than playing low intensity soccer in the reserves in front of paltry crowds through a European winter.

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

Goodbye to Dubai: Qantas shifts London stopovers

Saturday, 13 October, 2018

Qantas is dropping Dubai from its network and will instead have its Europe-bound aircraft stop over in Singapore, in a major shake-up that repositions it towards the booming Asian market.
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The airline said on Thursday it would reroute its daily Sydney – London A380 service to fly via Singapore instead of Dubai from March 2018. That service will replace one of its two daily Sydney – Singapore A330 flights.

Qantas had already announced its Melbourne – London service will fly non-stop to Europe out of Perth on its new Dreamliners starting in March, meaning the airline will not have any flights to Dubai.

Flights to Singapore from Melbourne are also being ramped up as part of the overhaul, with Qantas’ daily service upgraded from a 235-seat A330 to a 484-seat A380 and its thrice weekly A330 service increased to a daily service.

Melbourne passengers will have the option to transfer in Singapore onto a flight to London as an alternative to the 17-hour leg out of Perth.

Qantas codeshare partner Emirates will continue to fly 77 weekly services to its base in Dubai, connecting to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which passengers will be able to book through Qantas.

The two airlines said on Thursday they would apply to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for a five-year extension to their alliance deal.

Qantas said it no longer needed to fly its own aircraft to Dubai as most of its passengers flew only to London and passengers flying elsewhere in Europe already flew their entire journey on Emirates.

“That means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia,” chief executive Alan Joyce said.

Australia’s biggest airline last said last week it was looking to do away with stop-overs en route to London all together, and had challenged manufacturers Airbus and Boeing to produce aircraft it could fly non-stop to the UK by 2022.

Qantas said the changes announced on Thursday would deliver it net benefits of more than $80 million a year from 2019.

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

‘Stretched ourselves thin’: Ardent takes stock in US after hurricane hit

Saturday, 13 October, 2018

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 12: Ardent Leisure CEO Simon Kelly on June 12, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ben Rushton/Fairfax Media)Dreamworld theme park owner Ardent Leisure has flagged a more “measured” approach to the next phase of its US expansion as its entertainment centres in Houston took a hit from Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated parts of Texas.
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Ardent, the first Australian company to be directly impacted by the hurricane, described the closure of five centres as a “short-term” business interruption.

But chief executive Simon Kelly said the company’s immediate focus was on nursing the business through its recovery.

Main Event operates 38 centres across the US, offering a range of games from ten pin bowling to paint ball and laser tag under one roof.

Its five centres in the immediate Houston area have been closed since the hurricane struck the coast on August 26 and sustained varying degrees of damage.

Mr Kelly said the level of damage was being assessed but the process was being hampered by access and utility issues.

“We have insurance, so from a financial point of view it has no impact. But the welfare of our staff is a priority and we are working with them to ensure their safety,” Mr Kelly said.

Ardent expected three of the centres to re-open within seven days, while the fourth was likely to be delayed by a month or two. The fifth centre had sustained more extensive damage and it was not known when it would reopen. Growth sector

Main Event has been identified by Ardent as the growth sector of the business.

“We have a portfolio of 38 centres across 14 North American states, which is just scratching the surface. But Main Event is a significant business as it represents two-thirds of our earnings. But at the moment, we are extremely committed to nursing the business through the recovery phase and supporting our staff and workers there,” Mr Kelly said.

He added that the next phase of growth in the US would be more “measured”.

“The long-term strategy for Ardent is the Main Event business in the US. But we ran it hard, probably too hard, and stretched ourselves thin in terms of capability and on-the-ground operations,” Mr Kelly said.

“We must be disciplined in the rollout to make sure we have the systems and operations in place in an optimal way.” Tough year

The hurricane caps off a tough year for Ardent, which also reported an audited full-year loss of $62.6 million on Thursday, compared with a $42.4 million profit for the 2016 year.

As reported earlier this month when its released its unaudited figures, the result was significantly impacted by the Dreamworld tragedy, where four people died on the Thunder River Rapids ride last October, and the park’s subsequent shutdown for 45 days.

The loss includes $94.9 million in charges relating to a property, plant and equipment write-down, a goodwill impairment and incident costs associated with the Dreamworld tragedy. Restoring value

Mr Kelly said the result reflected the challenged trading environment experienced by Dreamworld following its re-opening, with its theme parks division reporting a core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation loss of $3.4 million, compared with a $34.7 million profit the previous year.

“Our focus is on nursing Dreamworld back to what it was a year ago and unlocking the surplus land at the park,” Mr Kelly said.

“We think it will take two years, but we are confident of restoring the value. I’m not sure how much the 2018 Commonwealth Games will impact the park with tourism, but it will certainly put the Gold Coast on the map.”

The negative impact of the Dreamworld tragedy was partially offset by a $45 million gain on the sale of its health club and marinas divisions. Shareholder battle

The latest blow from Hurricane Harvey comes as Ardent prepares to battle aggressive shareholder Ariadne on Monday in Sydney.

Ariadne, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the Ardent register, has called an extraordinary meeting in a bid to get its two directors, Gary Weiss and Brad Richmond, appointed to the Ardent board. Ariadne had initially wanted four appointments but has since wound back its claim to two.

It has been a long and, at times, bitter campaign and Ardent directors have advised shareholders to vote against all Ariadne’s resolutions.

Mr Kelly declined to comment on the meeting or any possible outcome.

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

Barossa man wins world cider award

Saturday, 13 October, 2018

Barossa man wins world cider award TweetFacebook Cider wins world awardSidewood Estate operations manager Michael Redman, Williamstown, shares his cider success. Photos: Carla Wiese-Smith.Chances are, the refreshing pear cider you enjoy after work or on a weekend could beproduced by none other than South Australian-based Michael Redman.
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The winery operations manager and cidermaker at Sidewood Estate in the Adelaide Hills has recently been awarded best dry style perry (pear cider)at the 2017 World Cider Awards in London.

It’s beenhandpicked –like its fruit – from 25 other pearciders across the world, including five Australian.

Sidewood’s apple cider also took out a gold medal in the same awards –not bad for a winery which just happens to make cider, too.

“Wefirst and foremost make wine,” Mr Redman said.“We are a 1000-tonne winery and we are just in the process of putting in a bottling line.

“I basically look after all the wine and cider from grape to bottle.”

The juicy, dessert style pears aresourcedfrom Drury’s Orchard at Inglewood, which Mr Redman saidmakes themideal for Sidewood’sperry (the correct term for pear cider).

And while he may be Redman by name, headmitsto being more of a white wine man and less of a perryman, something he believeshelped him to win the award.

“I don’t actually like ciderso it’s very easy to make it the same flavour each time.”

Williamstown cidermaker Michael Redman has ‘crushed’ the opposition in the World Cider Awards. Photo: Carla Wiese-Smith.

As for the award, Mr Redman said the success and hard work behind the award hasn’t yet kicked in.

“I really haven’t had bloody time to think about it,” he laughed.

“A work colleague said to me it’s better than winning the Brownlow and I said, you are probably right.”

Sidewood has another connection to football, as the wine partner of Port Adelaide Football Club.

“We’ve got the real ‘pear’ of Port right here!”

Mr Redman’s role as operations manager meansfrom February to May he is busy with the winery side of the business, but come November/December he’sknee deep in pears.

“This was a particularly long vintage so we are still trying to catch up,” he said.

So how did the man from Gloucester, NSWbecome part of the Barossa scene?

He’s quick totell you it was a series of jobs which led him here, including working as achef, in a newsagent and forthe family timber mill company.

He moved to SA in 2013,with his first vintage done and dustedin 2014.

Mr Redman says he is definitely here to stay –he’s played 50-plus A and B grade games for Tanunda Hockey Club, and can’t wait to notch up his 100th.

And when it comes to the final product,Mr Redman says if he sees people out and about drinking his efforts –Sidewood cider is on tap at Stein’s Taphouse in Nuri – he’s more than happy to let them know.

“I’m certainly not backwards in coming forwards,” he laughed.

Barossa Herald

Dominant across multiple divisions

Saturday, 13 October, 2018

STARS: MBA NSW vice-president Simon Pilcher with John Melvin, Josh Sheather and Matthew Cook of North.
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A swag of awards across individual and company categories, including the coveted Commercial Builder of the Year crown, confirmed North Construction and Building’s premier status in the local industry.

Apart from the prestigious Commercial Builder of the Year honour, North also won thePublic Buildings $6million-$12million, Aged Care/Medium Density Developments, Interior and Shop Fitouts over $500,000 and Best Use of Bricks categories.

On top of that, North employees Mitchell Earl and Nicole Redmond took out the Commercial Apprentice of Year, and the Women in Building Recognition awards respectively.

“Our success at the Newcastle MBA awards is something our business can be proud of and celebrate,” North director Matthew Cook said.

“Getting this recognition from the peak building industry body in our region supports our claims of consistency, quality and professionalism in every project undertaken regardless of size, challenge or project team involved.

“We are grateful to our staff and the many subcontractors who contribute so much to achieving this success.”

Mr Cook said the individual awards won on the evening are fantastic recognition among peers and the industry for both Nicole Redmond and Mitchell Earl.

“For our business, it shows the depth of talent we have and is testament to the support and training focus that underpins our business culture,” he said.

North has been in operation for 30 years and has grown steadily to become the largest locally owned and operated commercial building company in the region.

With a new head office at Tuggerah, their projects are primarily in the Newcastle, Central Coast and Greater Hunter regions and span the aged care, health, education and general commercial sectors.

“North has established long-term relationships with numerous subcontractors and our permanent workforce of direct employees ensures a stable construction team on each project from start to finish,” Mr Cook said.