Sticky

ALLIANCE: The Prime Minister has treated Senator Matt Canavan and deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce very differently in the citizenship furore, Mr Fitzgibbon argues. In my 21 years in the federal Parliament I’ve experienced some very interesting sitting weeks. For balance, many of them occurred during the 43rdParliament when Labor was in minority-government and Tony Abbott was making the most of every opportunity.
Nanjing Night Net

But I believe last week’s sitting takes the prize as the most bizarre.

Behind all the political battle lines lay some very serious issues. When the two Greens declared their dual citizenship they immediately left the Parliament.

The Prime Minister admonished them for their “sloppiness” and declared their departure the right thing to do.

But he was happy to embrace somewhat of a lower standard for the National Party’s Senator Matt Canavan.

He was asked to step-aside from his Cabinet post and declared he would not exercise his vote in the Senate until the High Court determined his fate.

For the time being, he remains in the Senate.

When Barnaby Joyce rose to his feet in the Parliament to declare he is a citizen of New Zealand, the Prime Minister adopted a different and lower standard.

Joyce was allowed to retain his roles as deputy Prime Minister and cabinet minister.No satisfactory explanation was given to explain the different treatment for Canavan and Joyce.

Of course, the difference can only be their respective parliamentary chambers.

Governments are made and unmade in the House of Representatives. It’s where the numbers matter most.

Subjecting Barnaby Joyce to the same standard as Matt Canavan would have cost the government a vote in the house where it has the barest of majorities, just 76 of the 150 seats.

After providing the Speaker the number is just 75 seats.

Allowing the number to fall to 74 seats poses an existential threat to the government, and the Prime Minister was not prepared to take that risk.

This political expediency puts the government’s political interests ahead of the national interest.

We already have somethingof a crisis of confidence and a lack of community trust in our political system and institutions. Allowing members who appear to be in breach of the Constitution to continue to exercise their vote threatens to undermine that trust further.

It is likely to be late October before the High Court rules on the validity of Barnaby Joyce’s election.

In the meantime, he plans to vote on a number of crucial bills which affect all of us. He should not.

I’m yet to speak with a constitutional lawyer who believes Joyce’s prospects in the Court are good.

Like Matt Canavan, he should not exercise his vote until the verdict is known.

Just when we thought the Parliamentary sitting week could not grow crazier, Pauline Hanson donned the burqa.

Senator Fiona Nash also declared herself a Scot.

Like her party head, the Nationals’ deputy leader has no intention of giving up her vote or her cabinet post.

And we wonder why people are shaking their heads!

Joel Fitzgibbon has been the federal member for Hunter since the 1996 election. He is Labor’s shadow minister for rural and regional Australia, spokesman for the country caucus and shadow minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry.Read More →

Sticky

Rome: An earthquake hit the tourist-packed holiday island of Ischia on Monday night, killing two people, injuring dozens and trapping three young brothers who survived for up to 16 hours before being rescued.
Nanjing Night Net

Tourists and residents on the island off the coast of Naples ran out onto the narrow streets after the quake wrecked a church and several buildings. Fearing aftershocks, many decided to leave the island early.

Rescuers found a baby boy called Pasquale in the wreckage and pulled him out alive in his nappy early on Tuesday, seven hours after the shock. There was a hush followed by loud applause.

Fire crews found his brothers Mattia and Ciro, aged seven and 11, stuck under a bed nearby. They kept talking to them and fed water to them through a tube.

“I promised them that after this was all over we would all go get a pizza together,” one emergency worker said on Italian television.

They freed Mattia late on Tuesday morning and later extracted Ciro more than 16 hours after the quake hit. The parents were safe because they were in another room.

They said Ciro had probably saved his brother’s life by shoving him under the bed when the quake struck.

“The rescuers were great. We really have to thank God for this miracle,” said the island’s bishop, Pietro Lagnese.

About six buildings in the town of Casamicciola, including a church, collapsed in the quake, which hit at 8:57pm local time on Monday. The walls of one were ripped open, exposing a kitchen with a table still set for dinner.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology put the magnitude at 4.0, revising it up from an initial 3.6, but both the U.S. Geological Survey and the European quake agency estimated it at 4.3.

It struck three days before the first anniversary of a major quake that killed nearly 300 people in central Italy, most of them in the town of Amatrice. Falling masonry

The director of the island’s hospital said two women were killed and about 40 injured. One of the victims was hit by falling masonry from the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio, the Civil Protection Department in Rome said.

The church was rebuilt after it, like most of Casamicciola, was destroyed by an earthquake that killed about 2,000 people in 1883.

Most of the damage was in the high part of the volcanic island. Hotels and residences on the coast did not appear to suffer serious damage but fire brigades were checking to see if they were still habitable.

The island has a year-round population of about 63,000, which swells to more than 200,000 in summer, with many people from the mainland owning holiday homes.

Civil Protection Department head Angelo Borrelli said about 2,600 people could not re-enter their homes, pending checks.

Helicopters and a ferry boat brought in more rescue workers from the mainland. Some civil protection squads were already on the island because of brushfires.

Three extra ferries were provided during the night for about 1,000 residents and tourists who wanted to leave. As daylight broke, dozens of people went to the island’s ports, having decided to end their vacations early.

Many who were due to take ferries from Naples on the mainland to start their vacations cancelled their plans, local officials said.

Ischia, about a one-hour ride from Naples, is popular with German tourists, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has stayed there often.

Reuters /**/

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

Sticky

Clear skies: Blackall-Tambo mayor Andrew Martin is looking forward to the day when, rather than searching for a signal, he can operate his business “in the cloud”.Residents of the Blackall-Tambo region are on the cusp of a technological shake-up its leaders say will be the envy of regional communities around Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

An exhaustive search by the region’s mayor for a communications solution to what he described as an “unreliable and expensive” satellite internet service has led to the announcement of a partnership with South Western Wireless for the provision of “superfast internet”.

“The fast backhaul offered by this idea would allow a company as big as BHP to set up here,” mayor Andrew Martin said. “It’s a blueprint for remote communities around the world to have the option of very fast internet.”

Although the bold project is not yet fully funded –it relies on a $500,000 grant from the federal Building Better Regions fund to become reality –Cr Martin is confident it will succeed.

“The applications are all intertwined, every level of government is aware of the other parts,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a fait accompli but it’s unusual for these sorts of things not to get full support.”

The Blackall-Tambo Regional Council committed $125,000 to the project in its 2017-18 budget, to be used in conjunction with $500,000 from the state government’s Building Our Regions fund.

The scheme uses optic fibre cableat Barcaldine, bypassing Telstra’s fibre running through both Blackall and Tambo, and 24‘point to point’ microwave towers to transmit a wireless signal equally around the region.

As well as internet packages, even the most remote resident will be able to choose whether to continue with existing landline services or move to Voice Over Internet Protocols, and possibly use their mobile phone via wifi hotspots.

The 20-year deal will be hosted and maintained by South Western Wireless at no cost to the council.

“For the first time, people living on properties will be waiting for technology to catch up,” Cr Martin said.

The offering doesn’t stop there –not only will government departments, especially emergency services, be offered use of the network for no charge, grey nomads will be able to pull into laybys in the region and access wifi hotspots.

Council’s existing infrastructure will be upgraded, including rebroadcast capability for digital television and radio, UHF repeaters, and even its telephony services.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach, described it as the BTRC Metro Area.

“Wifi hotspots and emergency telephones will be deployed at council’s roadside amenities stops to provide communications for travellers and monitoring of equipment at the sites using CCTV and other remote monitoring equipment.

South Western Wireless CEO, Geoff Peach

The scheme is an opt-in one, meaning people can choose to stay with their SkyMuster retail service provider or Telstra service but Mr Peach expected that 80 per cent of the shire’s residents would say they weren’t happy with their current service.

He is callingon organisations to offer services, based on the speeds and prices on offer.

As a vertically integrated organisation, it’s the subscriptions from users and companies with add-on services that South Western Wireless relieson for its profit.

“People on the network can have their telephones provided by us as well –it’s a whole of communications solution,” Geoff said.“People will be able to import their telephone number –everything is identical from the point of view of the subscriber.”

Geoff described South Western Wireless as the first company to bring in a facility that “deals with the needs of a whole region in one hit”.

“I think this will bring people back, and stop people from leaving,” he said.

Cr Martin has similar high hopes. He used the example of rural businesses not being able to use a custom-designed world-acclaimed accounting package on current internet systems, and shifting their businesses elsewhere.

“People are currently paying $90 a month for internet that’s sometimes unusable.”

Geoff expected they would start deploying infrastructure before the middle of August and hoped to have the first dozen of 24 towers in operation before Christmas.

Ongoing tower maintenance will be provided by South Western Wireless.

Two other councils have already asked for a similar deal for their communities.

Queensland Country Life

Read More →

Robbie Farah’s future is again at the crossroads after South Sydney began shopping the veteran hooker with a year still remaining on his contract.
Nanjing Night Net

Just a year after his tumultuous exit from Wests Tigers, Farah now finds himself on the outer at Redfern. The 33-year-old signed a two-year deal with Souths after his much-publicised fallout with then-Tigers coach Jason Taylor, but hasn’t been able to recapture his best form at the Rabbitohs.

Farah is one of the highest-paid players in the NRL, although his transfer hasn’t yet hit Souths in the hip pocket. In order to make his arrival possible, the Tigers paid $750,000 of his $950,000 contract for this season. However, there won’t be any subsidy next season and Souths are questioning his value going forward. While there are likely to be denials at Rabbitohs headquarters, several clubs have told Fairfax Media they have been approached about the prospect of taking Farah for next season.

Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe personally involved himself in the pitch to Farah to ensure he made the transition. However, his presence hasn’t been able to help lift South Sydney back into the finals, with the club sitting 11th ahead of Saturday’s clash with minor premiers Melbourne. After having a mortgage on the NSW No.9 jersey for the best part of a decade, he was overlooked this year, with Laurie Daley settling on Nathan Peats after injury cruelled Peter Wallace’s Origin comeback hopes.

Farah has been sharing the hooking duties with Damien Cook for Souths, with coach Michael Maguire alternating between the two in his starting side. Maguire has preferred Cook as the run-on rake in the past four matches, with the club winning the past three.

It remains to be seen whether Farah will be prepared to move on. He has shown he is prepared to dig his heels in when he wasn’t wanted at the Tigers, even when he was threatened with – and ultimately dropped to – reserve grade. Souths are hoping the current situation won’t become as ugly and protracted as that at the joint-venture outfit as they attempt to refresh a roster that has missed the finals for two straight years.

English clubs expressed interest in Farah during his final months at the Tigers and the Super League remains a viable option. However, NRL clubs will likely baulk at his asking price, even if the Rabbitohs pay some of his freight.

Despite Farah’s acrimonious departure from Wests Tigers, he could yet return to the club as he has an arrangement to take up an ambassadorial role once his playing career ends.

Farah was one of the players at the unveiling of Lebanon’s strip for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup at a press call at Zahli restaurant on Tuesday. but declined to take questions on anything other than Lebanon’s preparations for the tournament.

NRL players have contemplated boycotting the World Cup if their pay dispute isn’t resolved, but Farah is hopeful a resolution will be reached.

“I want to be involved in a World Cup, so hopefully it doesn’t get to a boycott, I’m looking forward to representing Lebanon,” Farah said. “I don’t think it will get to that, hopefully it doesn’t. I know both parties are working to a resolution and from all reports they are pretty close.

“If it does come to that, we’ll assess our options but hopefully it doesn’t.

“We are united, the RLPA is doing the best for us as a playing group and we’re doing our best to support them. We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”

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

Christchurch: Israel Folau has described the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup capitulation on Saturday as “quite shocking” and put his hand up for a number of bad defensive reads, despite being one of Australia’s best in attack.
Nanjing Night Net

In one of the most extraordinary halves of rugby seen on Australian shores, the Wallabies had few answers in defence to a rampaging All Blacks attacking outfit, who took a 40-6 lead into half-time.

Despite notching four unanswered tries in the last half-hour of play, the damage was irreparable for the Wallabies, who now have less than a week to turn things around before another showdown with world rugby’s premier side.

“It was quite shocking,” Folau told Fairfax Media. “It was frustrating to see the scoreline like that in the first half.

“Despite the scoreline going into half-time, I still felt like there was not much difference. It was really close, which is quite funny. The second half was a lot better. I thought we started off the game really well and had a few collapses defensively. We’ve had a review of the game and we’ll look to work on those things yesterday, today and through the rest of the week.”

Folau was caught out of position during the All Blacks’ second try, giving 20-year-old Rieko Ioane too much space on New Zealand’s left edge before he ran around and scored.

The Wallabies fullback has accepted responsibility for the miss but, to his credit, he scored a five-pointer himself in the 69th minute and set up a Tevita Kuridrani try with a clever offload while on the ground.

“Myself, I’ll put my hand up for a couple of mistakes and errors defensively,” Folau said. “[There were] a couple of poor reads and simple one-on-one tackles. We’ve identified that as a team and we’ll work as a team and try and fix that.

“There’s areas across the whole line we know we need to work on as quick as we can going into the game.”

Arguably the most recognisable and adored man in Australian rugby at the moment, Folau has implored fans to stick by the team through one of their toughest periods in recent memory.

“The effort throughout the training week and going out there on the paddock, it’s always there,” Folau said. “The result doesn’t show that, but for us players it’s hurting us as well.

“We just hope they [supporters] can stick around and continue to support us. It’s a big thing as a team to get that support from the public and fans and to keep pushing us through, especially for this challenging time.”

There is significant pressure on the Wallabies to give a better account of themselves in Dunedin on Saturday.

At the same time, the All Blacks are bitterly disappointed they conceded four tries in the second half, in a series of uncharacteristic concentration lapses.

No doubt the men in black will be seeking an 80-minute performance, but Folau has stressed the Wallabies need not be too tense heading into a game in which they are trying to save the Bledisloe Cup.

“We’ve got to start well but not take on that kind of pressure that is unnecessary,” Folau said. “If we can go out there relaxed and ready to play and knowing our roles, it’ll make our jobs easier. We’ll learn from that and continue to work on our game.

“Our mentality going out from the start of the game has to be the same.”

Folau said he relished the chance to again start alongside Wallabies No.12 Kurtley Beale, who after a slow introduction found his feet in the second half.

“I enjoyed playing with Kurtley and it’s great to see him back out there in the gold jersey,” Folau said. “I’ve been playing with him for a couple of years now and I feel really comfortable knowing the way he plays and what his role is for the team.

“We try and find opportunities in the game and just feed off each other. It’s something we try and work on during the week, so we’ll continue to do that.”

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

‘Wandin Valley Hospital’ for sale Scenes from A Country Practice, featuring the Wandin Valley Hospital.
Nanjing Night Net

Dr Terence Elliott (Shane Porteous) and matron Marta Kurtesz (Helen Scott) outside Wandin Valley Hospital.

The house now.

Nurse Judy Loveday (Wendy Strehlow) looks after her cousin Jo Loveday (Josephine Mitchell) who has contracted typhoid.

Dr. Terence Elliott (Shane Porteous) weds Director of Nursing Rosemary Prior (Maureen Edwards) n a 1987 episode.

Brendan Jones (Shane Withington) and Dr Simon Bowen (Grant Dodwell) in Wandin Valley Hospital.

Jo (Josephine Mitchell) and Shirley (Lorrae Desmond) protest over proposed closure of Wandin Valley Hospital in 1987.

Life without Molly begins for character Brendan Jones in this 1985 episode.

TweetFacebook Wandin Valley Hospital on the marketClare House at Oakville, better known as Wandin Valley Hospital in TV show A Country Practice, is up for auction next month.

The agents said it was only the eighth time in almost two centuries it has been on the market.

The house was a location shoot for the long-running Channel 7 series A Country Practice, from1981-1993, which at its height was said to have been watched by half Australia’s population.

Several buildings around Pitt Town including the Bird in Hand were used in filming, Molly’s house was at Maraylya, Windsor High was the local high school and the Country Practice clinicwas in North Street, Windsor.

Last year what was the Wandin Valley police station in Johnston Street, Pitt Town was sold too.

When the house sold a decade ago, it had been owned bythe O’Briens for nearly 30 years.

Gazette journalist Shannon Tonkin talked to Ron and Trish O’Brien at the time. Theysaid a man appeared on their doorstep in 1981 and said he was doing a story about nursing in the bush.

“In less than six weeks, we had film crews here,” Mrs O’Brien said.

“They only ever took footage of the outside of our house, but we had our fair share of actors and actresses on the property.They’d be here all day filming for hours, and when you saw it on TV there’d only be five or six seconds of our house, but it was great to see it on the screen.”

Mrs O’Brien said many visitors wanted to see ‘inside the Wandin Valley Hospital’.

“Contrary to popular belief, it never was a hospital, it’s always been a home, but we’d have plenty of people knocking at the door asking to see inside,” she said.

The actor who played the show’s character Brendan Jones, Shane Withington, came to Thompson Square in Windsor in December last year to support CAWB’s fight against the new Windsor Bridge plans.

Clare House was built of convict brick on Andrew Thompson’s estateafter whom Thompson Square is named, around 1828.

Now on one hectare of land, it also has a dressage arena and new stables with wash bay and kitchen and bathroom facilities. It’s listed with Hamish Rogers.

It will be auctionedon site at 11am onSaturday,September 30,unless sold before.

Hawkesbury Gazette

Read More →

Senator Eric AbetzTasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says the high level of drug dependency in Burnie makes it an ideal site for a radical newdrug-testing program.
Nanjing Night Net

The federal government from January wants to drug-test up to 5000 new welfare recipients and impose sanctions on those who return positive results.

The two-year trial is planned tostart in south-west Sydney and two other sites,yet to be decided upon.

Labor and the Greens have expressed opposition to the trials which means that the government will need to lobby crossbench senators hard.

An initial positive test means that a welfare recipient will have 80 per cent of their payment placed on a cashless welfare card for two years.

Another failed test would result in a referral for medical treatment.

Senator Abetz saidhe would write to Social Services Minister Christian Porter to see if the program could be rolled out in Tasmanian once the first trial was underway.

“There’s no sense of social justice, any sense of fairness or equity, in allowing people with drug problems to sit on welfare and not seek to help them off drugs and into work,” he said.

“Clearly there are a number of drug dependency issues in the North-West of Tasmania and I believe a pilot site would benefit the community to see if this programme can help Tasmanians come off drugs and find employment.

“Taxpayers want welfare to be a safety net and not a hammock.”

Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart said labelling certain groups as drug users did nothing to solve the underlying problems associated with poor levels of employment or high levels of substance abuse.

“We need to address the causes and not the symptoms,” he said.

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie said if welfare recipients and workers in the private sector had to be tested, so did politicians.

“These politicians are kidding themselves if they’re saying that drug problems begin and end in Western Sydney,” she said.

“If politicians are going to ask members of the public to be drug tested, it’s fair for the public to ask for politicians to submit to the same treatment.

“What’s there to hide?

“Shouldn’t the public have the same confidence in their elected representatives?”

The Examiner

Read More →

At a time when the NRL is desperate for every dollar it can get its hands on to keep clubs and stakeholders happy, how does the Rugby League Players Association’s threat to boycott the Dally M Medal ceremony punish the governing body?
Nanjing Night Net

Fairfax Media understands the NRL has budgeted $500,000 for the awards night at the Star on September 27, but they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank should the RLPA follow through with its mooted boycott.

What better way to stick it up Todd Greenberg and co than saving them the half-million they were planning on forking out for the players to celebrate their achievements over the season.

Who would this action actually punish? The 1000 fans from all clubs that have been invited to attend the night of nights?

Cameron Smith, the president of the players’ association, who is expected to be crowned the runaway winner of the award?

The game’s broadcaster, Fox Sports, whose $1 billion contribution to the sport over the next five years is the main reason why the players stand to receive a 52 per cent increase in pay by 2022?

The wives and girlfriends of the players, sponsors and corporate partners, who will miss out on attending the game’s night of nights?

The RLPA has done a fantastic job in negotiating the offer now on the table from the NRL. But nonsense about boycotting the Dally M, the captain’s call during the finals and World Cup just doesn’t reflect well on the players.

The sad part for the RLPA is there are people inside League Central who find the Dally M threat beneficial to their cause. The NRL is aware there is a chance the players pull the pin and are waiting before making arrangements, such as entertainment, that would leave them out of pocket.

Remember, the NRL recently had a $30 million loan application rejected and is still trying to work out how it is going to fund the clubs because of a cash flow issue. We’re tipping the $500,000 they never budgeted on would come in handy.

New dawn for Lolohea

Wests Tigers five-eighth Tuimoala Lolohea has admitted he “drowned his sorrows” in alcohol during his final months at the Warriors as a way to deal with frustrations over a lack of opportunity across the ditch.

Lolohea, who will shift to fullback next season to accommodate the arrival of Josh Reynolds at five-eighth, has shown glimpses of brilliance as he finds his feet at the Tigers.

The 22-year-old, who has shed six kilograms since linking with Ivan Cleary and the Wests Tigers mid season, has revealed the level of unhappiness during his last days at the Warriors where he was forced to play on the wing in NSW Cup. “I got to a point where I felt that just wasn’t me,” Lolohea said.

New dawn: Lolohea says he turned to alcohol at the Warriors, but hasn’t had to rely on it since joining the Tigers. Photo: Melissa Adams

“I had enough of playing on the wing. I never played on the wing growing up but they chucked me on the wing and first grade and had to stay there. I got the opportunity here to get more involved here and I feel like I’m playing some good footy.

“I was overweight. I was unhappy. I was struggling. Playing reserve grade on the wing probably didn’t help. I was off it a little bit. I’ve lost six kilograms since coming here and each week I’m feeling better on the field. In the first month at the Tigers I was struggling and my weight had a lot to do with it.”

He admitted he turned to alcohol to help him deal with the emotional rollercoaster while at the Warriors, but hasn’t had to rely on it since joining the Tigers.

“I was going through some pretty tough times back home. All the alcohol … all the little stuff it got to me,” Lolohea said. “I was drowning my sorrows in it to be honest. But I’ve been pretty good over here. The things I used to do back home, I don’t do over here. I’m fully focused on my footy here.”

Fittler’s challenge

We all know Brad Fittler lives life differently to most. So if you drive past him in the streets and hear some Arabic music blaring from his car, don’t be alarmed. The Lebanon coach has taken it upon himself to learn the national anthem of the team he will be coaching at this year’s rugby league world cup.

Not satisfied with learning the anthem himself, he’s ordered all his players, including Robbie Farah, Michael Lichaa, Tim Mannah and Mitchell Moses, to learn the anthem by the time the world cup rolls around at the end of October. “He’s told me he’s listening to the Lebanon national anthem in his car and learning that, so on game day he’s ready to go,” Lebanon assistant coach Luke Burt said. “I’m struggling, but he’s told me I have to learn it as well. I’ll keep working on it.”

Hopes pinned on Wallace

Peter Wallace is one tough player. Not that he needs to prove that after playing through the pain of a ruptured testicle during a State of Origin game. He had a pin inserted into his hand to repair a knuckle injury a week ago and his coach is expecting him to play this weekend against the Dragons in a match that will make or break Penrith’s top four hopes. “He’ll almost certainly play,” Anthony Griffin said. “He’s just one of those tough competitors. He’s very resilient. He’s got full strength back in his hand and as far as he is concerned he’s playing.”

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

Facebook’s global vice-president of tax and treasury Ted Price said the US company had been under Tax Office audit. Photo: APFour of the world’s largest companies have been under investigation by Australian tax authorities, amid new evidence from US executives about how Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are shifting money to offshore tax havens.
Nanjing Night Net

Appearing before a highly anticipated public hearing into corporate tax evasion, the executives endured questions about why so much of the revenue generated in Australia ultimately ended up booked elsewhere.

Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of worldwide tax, Daniel Goff, said some of the $1.8 billion revenue generated in Australia had been transferred to Microsoft’s regional headquarters in Singapore and Ireland to fund research and development.

He also revealed the global tech giant had reached a last-minute confidential settlement with the ATO ahead of the hearing – a development Australian Taxation Office commissioner Chris Jordan described as “awfully coincidental”.

Explaining the various audits, Mr Jordan told the inquiry that “enough was enough” and publicly accused multinational companies of shirking their obligations.

“We were fed up with those corporate taxpayers choosing to engage in behaviour amounting to gaming and stooging tactics to avoid their tax obligations,” he told the inquiry.

Facebook’s global vice-president of tax and treasury, Ted Price, confirmed the ATO was conducting an audit of the US-based company, covering “most of the years it had been in operation in Australia”.

Despite the social media giant’s predominantly online interface, Mr Price said advertisers had to meet face-to-face with Facebook in their offices in Sydney and Melbourne for advertising revenue to be booked in Australia for tax purposes.

The comments suggest the actual revenue figure from Australian advertising could be much larger than the sudden tenfold increase the company recorded after an ATO crackdown last year.

Facebook paid $3.4 million in tax last financial year after its revenue jumped from $33.5 million to $327 million over the space of just 12 months.

The chair of the committee, Chris Ketter, told Mr Price: “The average person in the street would look at that and say ‘Up until now you haven’t been reporting your true revenue in Australia’.”

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said Facebook’s claimed $327 million revenue was “not credible”.

Mr Price said prior to the introduction of Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law last year, Facebook’s Australian revenue would have been booked in Ireland, where the company tax rate is 12 per cent.

At a separate inquiry on Tuesday, Melbourne Business School professor Mark Ritson gave evidence that up to $6 billion in advertising revenue was being divided between Facebook and Google in Australia.

Google’s director of international tax, Damon Richardson, told the inquiry Google had placed its headquarters in tax havens Singapore, Ireland and Bermuda for several reasons.

In Ireland he said the company’s 6000 employees needed to “speak a multitude of languages to connect with advertisers across the European region”.

He said until this year the company’s Australian revenue had been booked through its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, but from now on all advertising from an Australian postal address would be taxed through Google Australia.

Google Australia made up 0.9 per cent of the company’s global profits, 0.4 per cent of Australian taxes and 0.3 per cent of global tax, Mr Richardson said.

Senator Ketter said the figures “seem misaligned”, given Australia made up to 2 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product.

“We believe that we’re paying the correct amount of tax,” said Mr Richardson.

“What happens outside in terms of the Irish structure has no impact on how much tax we pay in Australia.”

Apple Australia’s managing director, Tony King, said neither the introduction of the Diverted Profits Tax or the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law had caused the technology giant to change its business model.

The hearing was told Apple Australia’s cost of sales – the price it pays to purchase products from global Apple subsiduaries – is 50 per cent higher in Australia than the global average.

Apple’s yet-to-be released 2016 report will show company revenue of$7.5 billion, while earning a profit of $400 million in Australia during that time. That would put its income tax bill at $120 million – $30 million less in tax than it paid last year.

Mr Jordan appeared to suggest Apple had brough its practices up to date through its most recent audit.

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

The Walker brothers, Ipswich Jets coaches Ben and Shane, have put their hands up to replace Neil Henry in the belief they are capable of doing what no other coaches could – consistently get the best out of Jarryd Hayne.
Nanjing Night Net

The Walkers have emerged as the latest contenders for the head coaching role at the Titans as the fallout on the holiday strip continues.

Henry’s former assistants, Terry Matterson and Craig Hodges, will take over in an interim capacity for the remaining two rounds and will be considered if they apply for the role on a full-time basis.

Kevin Walters is the early front-runner for the vacant position, with reports out of Queensland on Tuesday indicating the Maroons coach was keen to replace Henry.

Others in the mix include Penrith reserve grade coach Garth Brennan, former Manly mentor Geoff Toovey and South Sydney assistant Anthony Seibold. Canterbury coach Des Hasler and South Sydney mentor Michael Maguire would also come under consideration if they parted ways with their current clubs.

The Walkers could be a left-field solution. Ben and Shane Walker have revolutionised the way rugby league is played in the Queensland Cup since taking over at the Jets. While most teams focus on completion rates, their emphasis is on time with the football in hand, with their homespun philosophy resulting in an attractive attacking style and a 2015 premiership.

The siblings recently engaged a manager and believe their methods are transferable to the Gold Coast.

“We’ve done a fair apprenticeship and we know we’re ready to take on an NRL role,” Shane Walker said.

“There’s a lot of potential there [at the Titans]. They haven’t won a comp, which is certainly what motivates us, winning comps. That’s why we do what we do.

“There is a really good roster too.”

One of the biggest challenges for the incoming Titans coach is managing Hayne. The enigmatic fullback fell out with Henry, who was the casualty when the relationship was damaged beyond repair.

Given Hayne is on $1.2 million next season, the Titans are stuck with him until his contract expires. However, the Walkers believe they can succeed where other coaches have failed.

“He’s a good player and I think we could get the best out of him,” Shane Walker said.

“In our time so far as coaches, I can say with my hand on my heart that there hasn’t been anyone we haven’t been able to get the best out of. I’m not saying we’re the sole reason but Benny Hunt came back to us well and truly out of form. In his week with us, we certainly returned him a much happier footballer who is playing well at the moment.

“Ben Hannant did his time and it was the same thing. We get the best out of people.”

The Walkers have made a successful transition from the playing to coaching ranks and believe they are ready for the next step. While some may view them as a potential risk at the highest level, the siblings don’t see it that way.

“For the guys who run the club, they are driven by commercial outcomes,” Shane Walker said.

“Our chairman relayed some stats that when the Jets play a Channel Nine game, there is a 27 per cent spike in viewers.

“People enjoy the way we play and being entertained. Commercially, I don’t think it would be a brave decision and football wise it would make sense.”

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

Australia’s largest chicken producer Inghams Group has emerged as the victor from last year’s supermarket chook war, crediting the price cutting with driving demand for its birds during its first year as a listed company.
Nanjing Night Net

Inghams’ chief executive Mick McMahon said Coles and Woolworths slashing the price of roast chickens from $11 to about $8 in close succession last year contributed to a 13 per cent jump in poultry volume sales in Australia. That beat its prospectus forecast by 4.3 per cent.

“It’s good for us from a volume point of view ??? we’re not investing in those lower prices – our customers [the supermarkets] are – and for us it drives higher volumes off the back of that investment,” Mr McMahon said.

“For us it works out positively, although it does cause a few challenges when you get rapid growth through the supply chain. It can give you a few headaches – but growth is better than the opposite.”

Mr McMahon said sales had also been helped by relatively high red meat prices that saw more shoppers turn to chicken, and strong demand from the fast food restaurants it supplies, which includes KFC and McDonald’s.

High feed prices had increased product costs but that was being passed on to customers during recent weeks, he said.

“We wouldn’t see too much change in the price points that the end consumer sees, but there will be some price inflation that flows through,” he said.

Mr McMahon said the high volume growth seen in 2017 would moderate and return to “historical” trends as it cycles pricing initiatives over this financial year.

Volume sales in New Zealand were about 0.3 per cent softer than forecast in its prospectus, and revenue was 2.8 per cent behind its forecast.

UBS analyst Ben Gilbert said Ingham’s cost-cutting this financial year looked likely to be offset by rising electricity costs, rising feed costs, and falling beef prices, which would attract shoppers over chicken.

Mr Gilbert said predicted earnings would fall between 2 and 5 per cent and cut his valuation from $3.75 to $3.70 with a buy rating.

Statutory net profit was $59.1 million, up 134 per cent on 2016, and up 22.8 per cent to $102 million on a pro forma basis.

Ingham’s declared a fully franked final dividend of 9.5?? per share to be paid on October 4, bringing its total 2017 dividend to 12.1??.

Shares, which listed on the ASX in November at $3.22, closed down 4 per cent on Tuesday at $3.36.

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

Stevie Johnson may be fit and available for a potential last game at Simonds Stadium, but he is no guarantee to come in to the Giants team to take on the Cats in a critical top-four game.
Nanjing Night Net

Johnson is still to be cleared fit to play after his troublesome knee, but with an understanding of a venue that is difficult for visiting teams, the former Cats star would be a logical selection. But who goes out to fit him in is the issue.

Matt de Boer has played well and applies defensive pressure. The other alternative is Devon Smith.

Rory Lobb is likely to be fit, which puts pressure on Harry Himmelberg to keep his spot.

The Cats will certainly welcome back Tom Hawkins after suspension.

Geelong football manager Steve Hocking said Rhys Stanley and Mark Blicavs would be tested later in the week and were both reasonable chances to be fit.

Essendon’s former captain Jobe Watson is almost certain to play against Fremantle on Sunday. The Bombers must win to stay in the eight but against lowly Fremantle that would seem likely.

Josh Green has a suspected fractured foot and will not play again this year. Travis Colyer is likely to come in for him. Jake Long would have been in the mix to come into the side but he was suspended for three matches in the VFL.

For Melbourne, co-captain Jack Viney has recovered slower than expected but he will be assessed and push to play this week against Collingwood in a game the Demons must win to stay in the eight. The bye the week after this last round will be a consideration for managing his foot.

“Jack’s probably been a little bit slower than we thought he’d be,” Melbourne’s high-performance manager David Misson told Melbourne TV. “He had a little bit of soreness after not having a long time [on the sidelines] after his initial surgery.

“He’s been loading that foot up with those games that he’s played, so he’s improving every day. As [coach] Simon Goodwin’s been saying, we’re taking it day-by-day and we’ve been encouraged by how much he’s improved in the last couple of days, but we’ll assess him later in the week.”

Demons ruckman Jake Spencer is a chance to play weekend after missing the past two matches in the VFL with an abdominal injury.

“Jake is looking really good,” Misson said.

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

The Australian Rugby Union has rejected an offer of around $50 million from billionaire mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest to save the code and look after the financial burden of the Western Force.
Nanjing Night Net

Forrest, who first pledged support for the Western Force after the club’s last match against the NSW Waratahs in July, was flanked by former ARU director Geoff Stooke and West Australia’s first homegrown Wallaby, John Wellborn at the meeting. The trio met with ARU chairman Cameron Clyne, deputy chairman Brett Robinson as well as director and former Wallabies captain John Eales.

During a three-hour meeting in Adelaide, Forrest told the ARU there would be no financial risk to the game’s governing body if the Force were able to continue in Super Rugby.

Fairfax Media has been told Forrest put an offer of around to $50million on the table to the ARU to help them out of financial trouble.

When contacted, the ARU said it would not comment on the dollar figure put forward by Forrest.

The ARU, however, is in a difficult predicament given it has already told SANZAAR it will cut a team from Super Rugby next season. With the Melbourne Rebels’ license in the hands of the Victorian Rugby Union, meaning the ARU has no constitutional right to axe them, the Force were named earlier in the month as the team in the firing line.

The ARU rejected Forrest’s offer at the meeting and made it clear they were committed to cutting the Force.

“We had a long discussion with Andrew today and have provided in detail the position of the ARU and the factors that have led to our decision to discontinue the Western Force Super Rugby licence,” said Clyne.

“We were genuinely appreciative of Andrew’s generous offer to back the Western Force and Australian Rugby, however, given the position we are in we are unable to work towards retaining five teams in Super Rugby.”

Although disappointed, Forrest said he was pleased the ARU outlined its commitment to working with the Force to develop a new international competition based in Western Australia.

During the Force’s supporter rally last Sunday, Forrest had thrown up a curve ball by saying he would start his own Asian rugby competition, headed by the Force, if the Supreme Court appeal failed. Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry said the idea had merit.

“This is a really exciting concept and picks up on some interesting rugby we’re seeing in Asia,” Sinderberry said.

“Certainly Twiggy’s vision is one we’d be very excited to understand. It’s an embryonic idea, but one worth exploring. There’s a number of cities and countries in Asia that do play rugby at the moment and are looking at ways to develop their own programs. So we think it would be very well received.”

RugbyWA will find out on Wednesday whether their appeal against the ARU’s decision to axe the Force will be heard in the NSW Supreme Court. If not – or if the appeal fails – the Force will be left with no other choice but to explore playing elsewhere.

With AAP

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