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  • Audit necessary to find the funding fair go

    2019 - 09.27

    AUSTRALIA is supposed to be the land of the fair go.

    We’re supposed to be the nation that values, above all else, the idea that we’re mates, we’re equal, and when it comes to sharing our communal wealth around, fairness is the foundation principle on which that happens.

    Which is why the Federal Government’s $940 million community development grants program and the distribution of funds to communities across the country does not stand up well to scrutiny.

    A search of the 538 funded projects that appear on a list administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development shows that rather than being a nation of equals, we’re more a nation of winners and losers. The winners are marginal seats where the Coalition campaigned hard for votes at elections in 2013 and 2016.

    The losers are electorates like Hunter, Shortland and Newcastle, where Labor candidates were expected to win and the Coalition didn’t put much effort into election campaign promises.

    There is no other way of looking at the allocation of community development grants to neighbouring regions like the Hunter and the Central Coast since 2014.

    The largest grant to the Hunter is $110,000. The total amount allocated to the region in the past three years is $305,000.

    The Central Coast, on the other hand, where the Coalition campaigned very hard for the marginal seats of Dobell and Robertson in 2013 and 2016, received more than $12 million over the same period.

    So far this year, in the wake of election promises made in 2016 before the Federal election the Coalition barely won,the Central Coast has seen work start on nearly $4 million in projects. The Hunter has seen two projects funded, for $160,000 –a skate park and sports facilities.

    Labor’s regional spokesperson Stephen Jones has asked Australian Auditor-General Grant Hehir to audit the program, based on similar funding imbalances in seats across the country.

    Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon agrees. While no politician is keen to be seen as the one who would begrudge any community Federal funding, Ms Claydon is also aware that one of the quickest ways to erode public trust in the political process is for people to see proof that politics takes precedence over community need.

    An audit is timely and necessary.

    Issue: 38,590.

    Tomlinson warns Adelaide not to push their luck with Greene

    2019 - 09.27

    Giants defender Adam Tomlinson has warned Crows players and supporters who plan to target Toby Greene in Thursday’s qualifying final that they do so at their peril, with GWS set to adopt a siege mentality at a hostile Adelaide Oval against the minor premier.

    Greene has been a magnet for opposition niggle and fan abuse this season, particularly in the latter stages of the year after jumper punching Alex Rance, and being reported for booting Western Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus in the face while reeling in a handball.

    And while he’s missed four matches through suspension, Greene’s misdemeanours haven’t affected his on-field performance and his 41 goals in 16 games is easily his most efficient season to date.

    Adelaide’s defenders and their vocal supporters are expected to throw plenty of aggression Greene’s way, but Tomlinson said that would be unwise.

    “If I’m in the crowd, I’m the opposition, I’m not going to poke and prod Toby Greene because if anything it just revs him up even more and he plays even better,” Tomlinson said.

    “Tobes is tremendous with the way he handles himself on and off the field, and the way he’s able to turn some heckling into motivation. A lot of the other boys might consume them but Toby’s been great with the way he’s gone about his year.

    “Against the Bulldogs he was able to take a massive mark after being reported.

    “Things maybe haven’t gone his way but you just can’t commend him enough about how he’s been able to come back and play some really great footy.”

    Greene copped two weeks for striking Caleb Daniel in the mouth in round six, but has long maintained he was attempting a spoil.

    He was pushed over the edge in round 18 against Richmond after Rance knocked Steve Johnson to the ground, with Greene running over and dishing out a retaliation that earned him another fortnight on the sidelines.

    Greene’s response on that occasion demonstrated the siege mentality the club formed in its early years where it managed just three wins in its first two years at AFL level.

    “You take extra care of your mates, you’ve been through everything, you see someone getting into one of your mates and the first urge you have is go over there and stick up for them,” Tomlinson said.

    “That culture that the club’s built on is massive for us. We do have extra care and it is special what we’ve got up here.

    “It was tough early but we were forced to stick together, and that’s what made us so close.”

    The Giants land in Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon, desperate to overturn the 56-point thumping they suffered against the Crows in round one.

    They suffered a similar fate in the final round this year, beaten away against Geelong by 44 points.

    “It’s not the way you want to finish off the season heading into a finals series but what an opportunity it is to go to Adelaide and play against Adelaide on a Thursday night in front of what’s going to be a packed house,” Tomlinson said.

    “We’re going to be the underdogs, there’s going to be a lot of Adelaide Crows supporters and it’s a perfect chance for us to prove and show that we can take it up to the teams at their home ground, despite what’s gone on in the last 23 rounds of football. It wasn’t a great way we started the season and finished it.”

    Meanwhile, the Giants have received a timely boost on the eve of their second finals campaign with forward Daniel Lloyd and ruckman Dawson Simpson re-signing with the club.

    Lloyd has inked a two-year extension that keeps him in charcoal and orange until the end of 2019, while Simpson has committed himself for another season.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美容学校.

    Why Hong Kong is one of the world’s greatest cities to visit by ship

    2019 - 09.27


    With its superb combination of natural setting and harbour-side skyscrapers, few ports provide such a grand entrance as Hong Kong.

    You’d expect a city whose entire history as a freewheeling trading port has depended on the sea to offer a grand entrance. Hong Kong certainly won’t disappoint. Cruise ships navigate scattered offshore islands before sliding into Victoria Harbour and a dazzling vista of soaring skyscrapers tangled with neon signs and backed by lush forest-draped hills. Ferries, barges and ships crowd the waterway, and you can feel the urban throb from your vantage-point on deck.

    Hong Kong’s main cruising hub Ocean Terminal, is right in the middle of the action on the tip of energetic Kowloon, eyeballing glittering Central across the narrow harbour. Yet even Hong Kong’s second terminal offers a dramatic spot for ships to tie up. Old Hong Kong hands will recognise the name: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has taken over the site of the former airport. If you haven’t had enough startling city views from your ship, clamber onto the terminal’s landscaped decks for more. BARGAIN HUNTING

    While you’re in Hong Kong, whether before or after your cruise, or on a shore excursion, you’ll discover a city dense with cultural attractions, museums and great street food and restaurants, as well as shopping galore. Both cruise terminals alone are shop filled; Ocean Terminal has two adjacent malls.

    Electronic bargains and department-store variety tempt on Nathan Road nearby. Further into Kowloon, street markets overflow with blouses, handbags, watches and homeware. There are also eye-catching markets devoted to jade, goldfish and songbirds in little pockets of traditional Chinese culture amid the concrete.

    For antique stores offering rosewood furniture, porcelain and jade, head to Hollywood Road across the harbour in Central. Then visit nearby Man Mo Temple, always smoky with incense and buzzing with visitors. This is always a stop on Hong Kong highlight tours offered by cruise companies. SHORE THING

    Getting to Central means riding the Star Ferry, one of the world’s most brilliant short rides, allowing you an alternative, commuter-eye view of the city. Don’t miss the rack-railway ride up The Peak either for another perspective on Hong Kong’s skyscraper-jammed harbour. Take the loop around The Peak via bamboo-lined Harlech and Lugard Roads for one of Hong Kong’s most scenic – yet relatively overlooked – walks. As the path turns towards Central, a mind-boggling view over your ship in the harbour below is revealed.

    Consider joining an evening tour up The Peak for the neon-glittering night view, often combined with the Symphony of Lights on the harbour. The world’s largest permanent sound-and-light show combines laser beams with LED lights on skyscraper facades.

    Hong Kong provides an energetic explosion of Asian urban life, but it has its quieter side too. The contrast is exhilarating. Take the time to visit parks and offshore islands and you’ll discover a more contemplative side of the city. Hong Kong Park features a teahouse, orchid conservatories and an excellent walk-through aviary within sight of Central’s office towers. Alternatively, a shore excursion to Stanley brings you to a laidback beachside suburb with a colourful market and great seafood restaurants.

    Lantau Island – which you might visit for Disneyland Resort if you have children – has remote beaches, kilometres of walking tracks through whispering forests of pine and azalea, and an ornate dragon-topped monastery at Po Lin whose giant Buddha gazes over the South China Sea. Among other shore excursions that provide a delightful alternative look at Hong Kong is one to the mainland New Territories to see family shrines, clan houses, a scholar’s mansion and preserved wetlands in an area that remains surprisingly green. CRUISE CENTRAL

    Hong Kong is region’s leading cruise hub, with easy access by air, and it sits in the middle of the world’s fastest-growing cruise destination. Many cruise itineraries visit Hong Kong on pan-Asian voyages that might also take in Shanghai, Busan in Korea and various ports in Japan and the Philippines, where a highlight is Puerto Princesa, a national park featuring caves and an underground river.

    Hong Kong to Singapore cruises explore Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Alternatively, concentrate on Vietnam with round-trip cruises out of Hong Kong that take in busy port cities such as Ho Chi Minh, laidback coastal town Nha Trang and the natural wonders of Halong Bay.

    Even when you’re in port in Hong Kong, you have the chance to explore elsewhere. Most cruise lines have full-day tours to Macau, the former Portuguese colony turned epicentre of nightlife, gambling and Las Vegas-style entertainment. Some provide overnight tours to Beijing and the Great Wall, or to Xian to see the terracotta warriors.

    This article brought to you by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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    Cathay Pacific is a five-star airline, renowned for its outstanding service and modern fleet. Their philosophy of a Life Well Travelled is at the heart of everything they do; from its award-winning lounges to inspired inflight dining, the airline consistently enhances their product and services to deliver an unparalleled travel experience.

    Out of Australia, Cathay Pacific has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns. All flights provide excellent connections to over 170 destinations worldwide via their hub in Hong Kong. All Australian flights offer three classes of travel – Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class.

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    Caroline was made redundant two days before going on maternity leave

    2019 - 09.27

    Making a pregnant employee redundant has been found to be unlawful because it was done two days before she was due to start maternity leave.

    The Federal Circuit Court heard that Caroline Power discovered she was pregnant two years after she began working for gas and welding company BOC. Her parental leave was approved to start on November 6, 2015, but her employment was terminated on November 4.

    She was one of eight employees nationally to be made redundant as a result of a business restructure.

    The court found there was a genuine business case for Ms Power’s redundancy, but it was unlawful because it was brought forward due to her workplace right to take parental leave.

    Sydney lawyer Kerryn Tredwell, a partner at Hall and Wilcox, said there was a “lesson for employers” that the timing of a decision to dismiss an employee in similar circumstances was “crucial”.

    While it was not unlawful to make a pregnant employee redundant, Ms Tredwell said an employer should seek advice to minimise risks and ensure an employee was not disadvantaged as a result of being pregnant or exercising a workplace right to take parental leave.

    Eight redundancies were to take effect on November 12, 2015, but because Ms Power would have to come back from maternity leave, she was dismissed two days before she took leave.

    Federal Circuit Court Judge Salvatore Vasta said while he found there was a business case for Ms Power’s redundancy, it was a redundancy that should have been made on November 12, 2015. Ms Power was not given the benefit of return to work protections under the Fair Work Act or safeguards under the company’s redundancy policy, because the policy was not applied.

    “The bringing forward of the date of redundancy is adverse action,” Judge Vasta said.

    If the redundancy had been carried out on November 12, Ms Power would have been protected by the Fair Work Act’s return to work guarantee.

    “I am pleased with the decision. It’s been a long and stressful ordeal so I am happy to finally have some closure,” Ms Power told Fairfax Media.

    Ms Tredwell said the employer failed to convince the court that it brought the date forward with Ms Power’s best interests in mind.

    “As a result of the decision to bring forward the termination date, Ms [Power] lost her right to parental leave (including a portion of company paid leave) and the return to work guarantee,” she said.

    Ms Tredwell said there was no legal prohibition to making someone redundant when they were pregnant or when they were on maternity leave.

    “That can be done lawfully, but real care needs to be taken,” she said.

    “It all comes down to what is the reason for this decision. If any part of the reason is the pregnancy or the parental leave or the carer’s responsibilities, then that’s when discriminatory considerations arise.”

    The burden of proof fell on BOC to prove that no part of its decision to make Ms Power redundant was connected with her parental leave or pregnancy.

    “The evidence from the company was that the reason for bringing forward her retrenchment was because she was going on parental leave. They made a mistake bringing it forward,” Ms Tredwell said.

    “If they had left it and made her redundant with everybody else the following week, then provided they could prove there was no suitable alternative job for her, they could have done it lawfully. It was really that timing error that let them down.”

    Judge Vasta adjourned the matter for an assessment of damages and potential penalties against the company. Ms Tredwell said this hearing is listed for September 18.

    BOC declined to comment.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美容学校.

    Trump and Turnbull on what to do with the creep with the haircut

    2019 - 09.27

    Turnbull: Good to hear from you Mr President.

    Trump: Don’t Mr President me! I’ve been watching a video of you at that press gallery ball! Bad, Malcolm. You know I don’t understand the Austrian language, but my personal translator says she thinks you were making jokes at my expense. Is that true, pal?

    Turnbull: It was no more than a spot of congenial jocularity, Mr President.

    Trump: He’s talking Austrian again! Olga, are you listening to this? What’d he say?

    (Muffled voice)

    Trump: These Russian girls, Mal. Translate anything. You oughta get one. Vladmir lends ’em out. Now, I’m calling you about the overseas thing.

    Turnbull: Which overseas thing would that be, Mr President?

    Trump: The creep with the haircut and the missiles. Bad. Really bad.

    Turnbull: Kim Jong-un?

    Trump: Olga, he’s talking foreign again. What’d he say? (Muffled voice) Exactly. The creep with the haircut. We’ve gotta whack him. How many nukes you got down there, Mal?

    Turnbull: We’re not actually nuclear capable, Mr President. There’s always Pine Gap, of course. We wouldn’t stand in your way if you were to activate its, err, shared facilities in the interests of enhanced intelligence.

    Trump: Hold on (muffled voices). My military chiefs tell me we can do whatever we like with that Pine Gap place and you’ll never know the difference. You ever read my book, Art of the Deal? You need nukes if you’re gonna try to do a deal with me. Dumb. Dumb.

    Turnbull: What exactly do you have in mind concerning North Korea, Mr President?

    Trump: Fire and fury like the world has never seen!

    Turnbull: Yes. I heard that. A few weeks ago now.

    Trump: It’ll be massive! If the fire and fury tweets don’t work, we’ll stop doing any business with any country that trades with the haircut place. It’ll be the best end to trade you’ve ever seen.

    Turnbull: You’ll stop trading with China, Mr President? Is that wise? Walmart will have empty shelves.

    Trump: I’ll build a great big wall right around China’s borders. It’ll be the best wall in history. Beautiful.

    Turnbull: I think they’ve had one of those for some time. History suggests it didn’t work all that well.

    Trump: This is the worst phone call I’ve ever had since the last one I had with you, Malcolm. Angela Merkel was even better. She didn’t try to offload any of her refugees on me. At least the creep with the haircut’s got nukes. Get me Putin on the other line, Olga. I need a friend. Second thoughts, scrub that. Vlad’s been acting strange lately.

    Turnbull: Mr President, I’m not sure we’ve got to the point of your call.

    Trump: What about that French guy? The Canadian? No? You’re right. Pretty boys. Anyone in Europe, Olga? No? South America? South Korea? What, they’re upset about my tweets calling them pussies? New Zealand? The socialists are on the rise there? How did that happen?

    Turnbull: Hello, hello???

    Trump: I know. Get my great, great close friends in here. I love friends, Olga. Sean Spicer’s always got a nice message. What? He’s gone? Reince Preibus. Weird name, good guy. Seriously? How about Scaramucci. Yeah, the Mooch. Old friend. Oh. Steve Bannon? Been with me from the start. Get him. Really? Gone, too?

    Turnbull: Mr President?

    Trump: Call the family together, Olga. Olga? Hello?

    Turnbull: Mr President, we were talking about the Korean Peninsula.

    Trump: It gets really lonely at the top, sometimes, Malcolm. No one’s reliable. You’d know how it feels. No one understands.

    Everyone’s gone. I’m left here alone with this suitcase with some weird codes and a button in it, Malcolm. Wonder what happens if you???..

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    ASX ekes out gains with one eye on N Korea

    2019 - 09.27

    Newcastle Port Waratah, Pollution, Energy, Power, greenhouse, gasses, power, coal, electricity, steam, train, transport, imports, exports. AUSTRALIAN . RESOURCES. SPECIALX SPECIALX 00076789 SPECIALX 00076789 genericAFR. AFR USE FIRST PLEASE. MINING AFR FIRST USE!!!!!PHOTOGRAPH BY NIC WALKER.Investors kept a wary eye on developments in North Korea as they pushed the market slightly higher on Tuesday, after a relatively upbeat message from the Reserve Bank of Australia and more solid economic data helped steady nerves.

    North Korea’s testing of a nuclear device on Sunday has heightened geopolitical tensions in the region, with the United States envoy to the United Nations saying that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was “begging for war” and amid reports the rogue state is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile before Saturday.

    “How to price catastrophe?” NAB economist David de Garis said, nodding to the challenges for markets. “It’s certainly not as if the risk has gone away.”

    Against that background and with Wall Street closed on Monday night for the Labor Day holiday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index wallowed, ending the day up 4 points at 5706.

    The ASX lost ground early and spent the rest of the session recovering from that morning low as the major banks turned opening losses in modest gains by the close.

    Despite the lingering geopolitical concerns, the overall market mood was relatively calm through the day and a no-change decision on interest rates from the RBA in the afternoon reinforced that steady tone. Another upbeat set of economic data, this time on trade and government spending over the June quarter, provided a temporary boost to the dollar and helped buoy the mood.

    The central bank kept its key cash rate at 1.5 per cent for the thirteenth straight month, explaining a no-change stance is best to foster “sustainable growth in the economy” and to achieve its inflation target over time.

    “Despite rising geopolitical tensions, monetary policy is at least one source of certainty. We don’t see the RBA moving the cash rate for another 6 months,” said Aberdeen Standard Investments head of Australian macro, David Choi.

    Miners once again propped up the market, with investors continuing to reward the sector after a generally well-received earnings season. BHP advanced 0.5 per cent, South32 added 1.3 per cent, while Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining gained 0.7 per cent.

    “The sector is in the best shape we have seen from a balance sheet perspective, with a large part of our coverage either net cash or close to ungeared. This means capital management is likely to stay on the agenda,” said JPMorgan analysts, who expect the sector to continue to grind higher in the short term.

    Among the major banks, CBA and Westpac climbed 0.2 per cent and NAB 0.3 percent, while ANZ fell 0.2 per cent. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank dropped 3.3 per cent as it traded without the right to its most recently announced dividend. Stock watchBeach Energy

    Sifting back through reporting season, Credit Suisse analysts highlighted Beach Energy as a standout in what was “a good reporting season all around” for the ASX-listed oil and gas producers. “What sets Beach aside, for us, and is perhaps not being fully appreciated in both ours and the market’s valuation, is that it generates material free cash flows whilst replacing reserves,” they wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday, reiterating their “outperform” rating on the stock. “Valuing the exploration upside is hard, but if Beach deliver for the next two years – and, frankly, given the nature of their exploration success this looks low risk – there is plenty more upside on the table than our modelled valuation,” they wrote. Beach shares jumped 3 per cent on Tuesday to 68??. MoversThe Aussie

    Economists upgraded their forecasts for Wednesday’s June quarter GDP figure after the ABS revealed better-than-expected net exports and government spending figures for the June quarter. The Australian dollar jumped US0.3 cents to US79.8 cents on the release before quickly retracing most of its gains, and was unmoved by the RBA decision to hold rates steady. It fetched US79.6 cents in late Tuesday trade. “North Korean headlines and a lingering risk-off tone appear to have tempered the initial reaction” of the Aussie to the economic data, RBC Capital said. The safety trade

    The yen and gold strengthened for a second day after North Korea was said to be preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile before Saturday, spurring demand for safer assets which could last through to the weekend, NAB currency strategist Ray Attrill said. Japan’s currency strengthened 0.3 per cent against the greenback to 109.4 yen per US dollar, while gold climbed 0.2 per cent to $US1336 per ounce. Investors were less keen on Japanese and Korean stocks, driving the respective benchmarks down 0.8 per cent and 0.1 per cent in late Tuesday trade. South Korea’s economy

    While investors in South Korea have shrugged off threats of war for years, limited but potentially telling signs of economic harm are starting to show this time as Kim Jong Un rattles nerves around the world. The government in Seoul still forecasts gross domestic product to expand by a healthy 3 per cent this year, yet damage to tourism is clear, a surge in consumer confidence may be waning and policy makers have warned that geopolitical tension isn’t going away anytime soon. Chinese services

    China’s services sector expanded at a faster clip in August as new business orders picked up, a private business survey showed on Tuesday, pointing to renewed strength in a key part of the world’s second-largest economy. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.7 in August – the highest reading in three months – from 51.5 in July. A reading above 50 indicates growth, and any lower than that signals contraction.

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    $200,000 claimed on work credit card; $4000 paid back

    2019 - 09.27

    The NSW branch of the RSL has not been tracking how public donations such as to its iconic November Poppy Day appeal have been spent and extensively breached its legal requirements for financial disclosures as a charity, a public inquiry heard on Tuesday.

    In an explosive opening statement to the first day of a state government inquiry into the veteran’s charity, counsel assisting, Anthony Cheshire, SC, argued the RSL’s accounting systems had extensive irregularities and that the organisation did not act on concerns about large claims for work expenses from its long-serving former president.

    “The donating public needs to have confidence that any organisation ??? manages its finances properly and applies donations ??? to their charitable purposes,” Mr Cheshire said. “There are real questions as to whether this was the case”.

    The NSW branch of the RSL was thrown into turmoil after Fairfax Media exposed financial irregularities in the organisation last year. The government’s inquiry followed exposes such as the withdrawal of more than $200,000 in cash on corporate credit cards by former state president Don Rowe and the payment of $2.5 million in “consulting fees” to directors of its nursing home charity.

    Mr Rowe, the former president of the NSW RSL, stood aside after a decade of service in late 2014, something the RSL publicly maintained was due to ill-health.

    But the inquiry heard the day before his resignation concerns were raised about the fact that his recent credit card statements showed “large sums” were being paid for mobile phone accounts other than his own.

    “Did Mr Rowe resign voluntarily due to ill health, or was it because he was given an ultimatum ??? to resign or have an audit of his expenses?” Mr Cheshire asked. “At no time during Mr Rowe’s 11-year tenure as state president ??? was any expense ??? questioned with him at least not until the day of his resignation in November 2014”.

    Mr Rowe was ultimately asked to repay $4000 in expenses after an accountant hired by the RSL briefed its state council that their system for accounting for expenses “had failed Mr Rowe as much as he had failed the system”.

    The inquiry also heard of possible breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act in the RSL’s accounting for and disclosure of its charitable appeals, including not accounting their profits and losses, or lodging mandatory reports with the NSW Minister.

    “It appeared not to be possible to identify or ascertain how the proceeds of any particular [charitable] appeal were expended,” Mr Cheshire said, referring to a forensic audit undertaken by Ernst and Young as part of the inquiry.

    Auditors found that the proceeds for fundraising were not kept in separate accounts, as required by law.

    Accounting problems and conflict-of-interest issues extended to RSL Lifecare, the organisation’s nursing home operation.

    About 10 RSL LifeCare directors, including top NSW bureaucrat Jim Longley, shared in about $2.3 million in “consulting fees”, with amounts going to each director reaching up to $35,000 and $55,000 per annum.

    RSL LifeCare directors voted on resolutions relating to their own fees, raising questions about whether directors breached conflict of interest provisions of the Act, the inquiry heard.

    State law forbids directors of charities receiving any form of remuneration without the express permission of the Fair Trading Minister. A preliminary audit by forensic firm KordaMentha earlier found no evidence such permission had been given.

    RSL LifeCare maintains the payments were legitimate reimbursements for work performed in addition to directors’ duties.

    But Mr Cheshire said questions remained about the nature of those duties and that some directors, when raising invoices consulting work requested they not be paid via an ABN because the work was done “as a private recreational pursuit or hobby” or by someone “not carrying on an enterprise in Australia”.

    RSL LifeCare, which receives donations from RSL sub-branches and women’s auxiliaries, generated a net profit of $42 million last year.

    The entire NSW RSL state council stood aside following media reports about irregularities and the organisation, under a new president, James Brown, suspended its fundraising operations in August.

    The inquiry, being led by former Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin, continues on Thursday.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美容学校.

    After the fairytale, Bulldogs have plenty to think about

    2019 - 09.27


    2017 RECORD: 11-11

    POSITION: 10th


    The Dogs had hoped their fairytale premiership last year would have been the start of a dynasty, at least giving Bob Murphy a chance this year to taste glory. It wasn’t to be. They began the season in good shape, winning five of their first seven, but the campaign soon fell apart, losing six of their next eight. Four straight wins would follow but the margin for error was too thin, and three losses to end the season would ensue. Jason Johannisen was targeted by opponents and struggled with this for weeks; Travis Cloke, his future again uncertain, and Tom Boyd had mental health issues, while Tory Dickson, Jake Stringer and Stewart Crameri could not get going. Marcus Bontempelli was solid without being consistently brilliant. Jack Macrae and Luke Dahlhaus found plenty of the ball but hardnut Tom Liberatore, off contract next year, was also among those to struggle. The Dogs slipped from sixth to 16th in clearances. There has been industry speculation of tension in their recruiting and list department.

    GRADE: C


    RETIREMENTS/DELISTINGS: Bob Murphy, Matthew Boyd

    KEY DRAFT PICKS: 9, 26,


    Like many footy fans, I was waiting for the Dogs to hit top gear. However, because of injury, form and dealing with the added attention opposition put into their key personnel, they missed the chance to defend their premiership. A summer of home truths and the chance to attack next season with typical Bulldog spirit lays ahead.


    Is it another forward? Is it outside run through the middle of the ground? No – the first area of help should be in defence. Premiership defender Joel Hamling left last year to join Fremantle, Marcus Adams was injured this year and played only 10 games, while Murphy and Matthew Boyd have retired. Opponents terrorised Johannisen every week and when his run was curbed, the Dogs were slowed. There is much to debate. They may need to go after another key defender because they were torched late in the year by power forwards. Or do they trust Zaine Cordy and Fletcher Roberts and hope Marcus Adams gets his body right? They could send Jordan Roughead back to defence, leaving Tom Campbell and Boyd as the ruck combination.


    I’ve decided they need another rebounding defender and Jackson Thurlow from the Cats fits the bill. He is a fantastic kick, is composed and athletic. He would help fill the void left by Murphy and Boyd across half-back and would suit the Dogs’ rebounding style. Thurlow may be after greater opportunity. The arrival at Geelong of Zach Tuohy, the impressive form of Jed Bews, and Jake Kolodjashnij showing he can play half-back and wing have meant Thurlow has struggled for a game. He has managed only 39 matches in his first five seasons, although he played the last four games of the home-and-away season.


    “It has been a muddling year for us. (At) 11-11, we halve the year – it’s not what we set our sights on. Our consistency over four quarters hasn’t been good enough. We’ll need to be stronger in every area next year to be a formidable group. We haven’t been able to beat the best teams, so we’re in the pack, but I’m really optimistic that we can drag ourselves up into that [top] eight area next year.”

    – with Jon Pierik

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美容学校.

    And that is indeed a Viking wedding, in Katoomba

    2019 - 09.27

    And that is indeed a Viking wedding, in Katoomba The procession: the bride and groom arrived to the sounds of Bruremarsj Fra Valsoyfjord, a song sung at Nordic weddings.

    TweetFacebook Viking wedding along Katoomba’s main streetWedding of Freya and Michael in Katoomba Saturday, September 2. Photos: Rebecca ReahIt’s not everyday you see a pack of Vikings making their way along Katoomba Street, but that’s exactly what happened in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

    A Viking bridal procession was held in Katoombaon Saturday, complete with aNorwegian choir, shield men with maidens in hand and a colourful bride and groom.

    The spring wedding occurred at Kingsford Smith Park between teacher Freya Baska and her childhood sweetheart, builder Michael Telford, both 29.

    ”My mother is Norwegian and handcrafted all the wedding party’s attire according to Viking tradition,” Ms Baskasaid.

    “My partner and I do Viking reenacting; we are part of the crafting guild. It has cultural significance to both of us as we both have northern European ancestors. We are enthusiastically bringing our friends into the circle of Viking madness.”

    The pair were in “the same class from kindy to late high school at a Steiner School” and are in the process of renovating an old Katoomba miner’s cottage they bought last year.

    Some 100 guests celebrated and later enjoyed a reception at the couple’s home where “European/ Viking wholesome food” was on the menu.

    “It was such an honour to bring the Katoomba folk into our Spring Viking wedding,” Ms Baska said.

    “People stopped in their cars to take photos [and]business owners stood outside to wave us through. The hop on/hop off bus was full of very excited tourists,” she said.

    Blue Mountains Gazette

    Playing The Money a reminder of life’s curve balls

    2019 - 09.27

    Have you ever sat through a long meeting only to wind up putting off the decision until next time? Whether it’s a meeting at work, or the P&C at your kids’ school, collective decision making can be hard.

    I was reminded of this on Sunday night when I took part in a show game called The Money, brought to Australia by live-performance company Kaleider. It’s toured all over the world – from the UK Houses of Parliament to Tianjin’s Grand Theatre in China.

    I was one of 20 “players” – 11 women and nine men – charged with making a unanimous decision on what to do with $500 in cash sitting on the table before us within an hour. The catch? The decision had to be unanimous and it could all change in an instant, because there was also an audience full of “silent witnesses” who could pay $20 to become players at any time.

    This is what happened:

    We gathered outside the Utzon Room in the Sydney Opera House just before 6pm. Women dressed like flight attendants – matching dark suits with mini-scarves knotted at the collarbone – solemnly ushered us into the room, laid down a few housekeeping rules and started a timer.

    One of my fellow players counted the money and another read the rules. We couldn’t give the money to charity, or split it among ourselves. We were challenged that our role was to be “visionary”. If we didn’t all sign a pro forma agreement within 60 minutes then the money would roll over to the next group of people to decide.

    We looked around the table and smiled, wondering how to begin. Soon the ideas started flowing. We discussed unanimously agreeing to abiding by majority rules or playing a game and letting the winner decide but some people felt this would circumvent the rule about unanimity.

    One player suggested we fund his friend’s project to create Christmas packs for homeless people. Another suggested we help two young children who recently lost their dad to suicide.

    We wondered if this would break the rule about not giving to charity. Did that mean a registered charity or any charitable act? We asked the adjudicators to clarify; they said they’d let us know at the end.

    Many of us didn’t want to risk it. Another idea was a random act of kindness – buying dinner at Bennelong for one of the tourists milling around Circular Quay perhaps.

    Some people felt were lacking vision. For a while it seemed we might throw a party and one of the players, a jazz musician, would round up the entertainment. Then a silent witness joined the game and suggested we try to grow it through investment.

    Eventually we settled on forming a trust to buy the crypto-currency Bitcoin and then later giving the proceeds to charity once the decision was ours to make. Despite the possibility of a Bitcoin bubble, we were attracted to the idea of “double or nothing” without literally going to the casino. It also had the advantage of being easy to follow through and verify.

    The lawyer drafted up the pro forma and we started signing. A young guy joined us from the audience, threw his arms in the air and declared, “I’m part of a trust!”

    But then another silent witness joined, with five minutes to go. “I want you to give the money to me to buy a Nintendo Switch and if you don’t agree, I’m going to veto everything else.” He added that he was frustrated we’d taken an hour to basically defer our decision.

    We called his bluff, he wouldn’t budge and the game was over. The money would be rolled over to the next game, somewhere in Europe in 2018.

    So what did I learn?

    First, having a deadline helps. We made our decision after 55 minutes of discussion because we didn’t want to lose it. If we’d had another hour, we would have spent more time talking, though possibly with a different outcome. Sometimes the right decision is more important than a quick one, but not always. When the stakes are low, put a time limit on it!

    Second, you don’t always need someone to chair a meeting. Our group had very little trouble with people talking over each other. That’s not always the case – creator Seth Honnor, in an interview with the British Council, says he watched a game in Italy where every single person around the table was talking at once.

    Third, don’t be too risk averse or “pure”. We didn’t do ourselves any favours by taking the strictest possible interpretation of “charity”.

    Apparently in China the players took the opposite approach. “They really pushed at the very edges of the rules, and it was really fun and quite challenging for us to hold it,” Honner says.

    Fourth, most people want to work well with others … but there will always be people who want to make trouble. This is why democratic decisions require a majority rather than unanimous agreement.

    Fifth, the exercise was a thought-provoking reminder that money is not just money, it’s also a tool.

    For those who came with the mindset of doing the most amount of good with the money, the outcome was intensely frustrating. At drinks afterwards, we learnt the players in the previous game agreed within 20 minutes to give the money to one of the players to buy Woolworths vouchers and distribute them to homeless people.

    But although they were quicker with their decision, I suspect the Nintendo Switch guy was planning his move all along. They just got lucky that he wrecked our game not theirs.

    For those, like me, who came to see how a group of people come to a decision, it was a fitting end. Life is like that – you think you’ve achieved something, then there’s a curve ball.

    PS: If you’re interested in the project to help homeless people, there’s a fundraising campaign on Chuffed.

    Caitlin Fitzsimmons is the Money editor and a Fairfax columnist. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美容学校.