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Line call: final decision looms on corridor rezoning

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September 26, 2019 by admin

The rezoning of the former heavy rail corridor goes before Newcastle council for a final decision on Tuesday night. Picture: Simone De Peak NEWCASTLE COUNCIL will deliver afinal verdict on the state government’s plan to rezone the former heavy rail corridor on Tuesday, at its last meeting before the Christmas recess.
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If the council gives the rezoning the tick, it will clear the path for residential and commercial development, open space and tourism uses along a stretch of the corridor between Worth Place and Watt Street.

Council’s interim chief executiveJeremy Bathhailed Tuesday’sdecision a“turning point” for the city.

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Newcastle council votes to back rezoning of heavy rail corridorNewcastle city councillors vote to retain corridor’s public transport zoningRezoning of rail corridor shelved by Newcastle councilRezone plan for rail corridor open for public comment“It ends what has been a very divisive debate in the community,” he said.“Developers and ratepayers need to know that there is planning certainty and that is what will come out of Tuesday’s decision, whichever way it goes.”

Newcastle council gave a tentative green light to the rezoning last year, before it received gateway approval from the state government.

Howeveritssmooth passage through City Hall is likely tobe tested by the results of community consultation –carried out in September and October –which indicatespublic opinion remains sharply divided over the fate of the land.

According to a staffreport to betabled at the meeting,394 submissions and 137 form letters objected to the rezoning, while226 submissions and46 form letterswere in favour ofit.

A further 44 submissions did not clearly state a position.

But the results of a telephone survey commissioned by the council in November have been obtained by theNewcastle Herald,showing starkly different results.

The survey of 955 residents, by ReachTEL, saw 57.5 per cent of people support mixed-use development, university or recreational uses of the old corridor, while 34.7 per cent supported maintaining it for rail.

The survey indicated people aged 18 to 34 were most likely to support the redevelopment of the corridor.

People aged 51 to 65 were most likely to oppose it, while men tended to feel more strongly about the issue generally than women.

Several councillors were laying low over the weekend. Independent Kath Elliott said she was still formulating a view on the rezoning.

Deputy Mayor Declan Clausen (Labor) said it was up to councillors to make individual decisions, but he was pleased about additional benefits the council had been able to negotiate with the state government.

The telephone survey results, supplied by Newcastle City Council.

These included “hard commitments on affordable housing, appropriate public green space and a detailed transport masterplan.”

Activists mobilised, calling on the councillors to hold fire on the rezoning.

“Before any rezoning occurs, we need to be sure that we have the capacity to cater for the future transport needs of the city,” said Ron Brown, a transport engineer and spokesperson for Keep Rail on the Corridor (KROC).

Resident Barbara Ferris alleged 137 handwritten objections had been “misrepresented”as form letters and not counted amongsubmissions. She labelled it“appalling” aduplicated submission supporting the rezoning– which she deemed to be a form letter –was published 80 times.

Of the 394 objecting submissions, 248 supported leaving the current zoning in place so that rail could be reinstated in the future.

Many of the objections opposedthe light rail route, arguing it should follow the existing corridor rather than Hunter Street.42 objections suggested leaving the entire corridor as open space.

Other concerns hinged on parking, traffic congestion, the over-development of the city, creating a visible barrier to the harbour and the overshadowing of Hunter Street.

The telephone survey results, supplied by Newcastle City Council.

Staff emphasized many of thoseconcerns were not within council’s control.

“They relate to decisions that have previously been made by the NSW Government in relation to terminating of the heavy rail and the light rail currently being constructed,” the report said.

A letter written by Transport Minister Andrew Constancehasbeen circulated among councillors, in which he reiteratesthe land is no longer required for transport.

Supporting submissions argued the rezoning would“dramatically” improveconnectivity, reuniting the city withthe working harbour.

Other benefits were bringingpeople back to the CBD, improvingtourism and supportingthe creation of jobs, education, housing and a high quality public domain.

There was “excitement” about the development of the university precinct and Market Street lawn.

“Council received positive comments on the changes happening to the city, since the closure of the heavy rail in 2014,” the report said.

How a deal with Murdoch could make or break media’s most famous empire

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September 26, 2019 by admin

A blockbuster, $US60 billion deal that could dramatically reshape the global entertainment business – with major implications for Australia’s media landscape – could be announced this week.
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Disney, the storied media and theme parks giant, was last week widely believed to be closing in on a deal to acquire assets from 21st Century Fox, the TV and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

That’s according to myriad well sourced reports emanating from the US business and trade press (including the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal).

Of course, in these situations, there is no guarantee a deal will be agreed and announced, let alone approved by regulators and shareholders. And other parties such as Comcast and Verizon have also been linked with the process.

Disney did not respond to an emailed request for comment for this article, while a spokesperson for Fox declined to comment.

Here in Australia, most of the discussion about this tantalizing, potential transaction has centred on what it means for the Murdochs.

That is understandable, since Rupert is one of the most successful and powerful business figures this nation has produced, and what his sons and heirs end up doing (one of them might join Disney now) has been a topic of conjecture for years

Yet there is another aspect to this strongly rumoured transaction that is getting less attention – and it might ultimately be much more significant.

It would finally put a company, and not just any company – one of the most iconic media and entertainment companies in history – in a position to take on Netflix, and maybe even win.

“This would lay down the gauntlet for the rest of the industry… with basically all smaller players looking much more exposed,” Macquarie analysts wrote last week.


Disney, made famous by a cartoon mouse and its epynomous theme parks, probably controls the greatest collection of media assets in the world.

But like almost everyone else in media, it is facing stiff challenges from changes in consumer behaviour, as the internet destroys legacy business models.

Consumers are quitting pay TV (or not subscribing in the first place), and a slump at the box office suggests they aren’t keen on going to cinemas as much as they used to either.

“Disney is not moving quickly and decisively,” BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, a critic of the company, wrote last week.

“Most of Disney’s content creation is tied to legacy, inflexible business models. Disney movies go to theaters exclusively, 90 days later they enter home entertainment and several months later end up on Netflix.”

Over the past two years, Disney shares have gone slightly backwards, while Netflix shares have gained 60 per cent.

Earlier this year, Disney announced plans to fight back. It said it will pull its content from Netflix in 2019, and launch a direct to consumer streaming service of its own.

It has already made one significant acquisition to further that aim.

Earlier this year, it paid $US1.6 billion to lift its stake in BAMtech, the backend streaming provider for (Disney controlled) 24-hour sports network ESPN, pro-wrestling company WWE, Major League Baseball and many others, to 75 per cent.

As things stand, Disney has signalled it wants to position its streaming service as a cheaper alternative to Netflix.

Greenfield thinks that is a mistake.

He thinks it should fully embrace the internet, and include all of its best brands and content on the service, including ESPN, the dominant sports channel in the US.

“Disney needs to swing big if it hopes to reposition its business model to align with where the consumer is going” he says.

A mega-deal with Fox, which would leave Disney with a truly ridiculous portfolio of content, might give the company reason to rethink its approach.

As US pop culure website the The Ringer last week pointed out, through a deal with Fox, Disney would re-unite two of Hollywood’smost popular and lucrative entertainment franchises (Marvel’s action heroes, and Star Wars) under one roof.

The streaming landscape, which in Australia includes Netflix, Stan (part owned by Fairfax Media, which publishes this column) and Amazon, is starting to look crowded.

With the infrastucure and content in place, Disney has the chance to build something very compelling.

Going all out would be a bold and risky move – destroying (declining) pay TV revenue – but it might be necessary.

In any case, all of this may be trivial in comparison to the bigger picture.

Disney has an enviable track record with big deals. But so would the people sitting on the other side of the table.

Without knowing the (potential) deal structure, it is too early to know whether this really does signal the Murdoch family’s retreat from the entertainment business – possibly due to family dynamics, possibly due to concerns about the internet.

But it would definitely illustrate Disney’s desire to double down on it.

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

Opals coach urges Rachel Jarry to put health first

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September 26, 2019 by admin

Australian Opals coach Sandy Brondello has urged Canberra Capitals star Rachel Jarry to put her health first and avoid rushing a return to basketball.
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Jarry’s seventh career concussion saw her stretchered from the venue and taken to hospital during Canberra’s drought-breaking WNBL win over the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday night.

Play was halted for almost 20 minutes as paramedics were called, and Jarry will now spend a few days in Melbourne with family before returning to Canberra to be assessed by AIS medical staff.

The 26-year-old concedes she won’t play again this season as she prepares for a possible six-month stint on the sidelines which would rub her out of Commonwealth Games contention.

But Jarry says she felt much better on Sunday morning, taking the chance to reach out to everyone that had her in their thoughts.

“Thanks for all the concern and well wishes. I’m alright, I’m in good hands with the doctors and everything so I’ll be fine,” Jarry said.

Jarry will have extensive neuropyschological testing at the end of the season to monitor concussion symptoms.

The 26-year-old told The Canberra Times in November the lack of knowledge about the long-term effects of concussion is “worrying” but she had no plans to change her hard-nosed style.

Brondello says Jarry’s “body on the line” approach is “just the way she plays” but the Opals mentor has implored the Capitals forward to ease into the recovery process.

“With anyone, their health is the most important thing,” Brondello said.

“Coming back from injuries or coming back from a hit in the head – I know she had a recent concussion too – that’s the most important thing, your overall wellbeing.

“I think everyone – her club, her coaches, the Opals, Basketball Australia – they’re all concerned about the individual and making sure they come back at the right time.

“You don’t want to risk anything with your health so hopefully Rachel is doing okay. She will take her time, there’s no rush. She needs to do what the doctors tell her and then feel comfortable out there.”

The WNBL concussion policy was approved by the Australian Basketballers Association and requests any concussion must be reported, and any player must be cleared by an official club doctor before returning to training or play.

Brondello says she has seen “a few, but not many” concussions during her time in basketball and she was very surprised to learn Jarry has suffered seven.

“It just shows what a competitor she is. She’s not afraid of the contact and it really is unfortunate,” Brondello said.

“Everywhere has concussion protocols, it’s no different to the WNBA. There’s a few but not many, but it does still happen.

“They say it’s a non-contact sport but it really is, it’s a very physical sport and it’s how it’s played. It’s incidental contact and it’s just unfortunate, it’s through the nature of the game with the aggressiveness that there is.

“No one ever wants to see that. It’s talked about a lot in the NFL in America and I’m sure it’s talked about in other sports here too.

“It does happen, it’s such a serious thing so you have to make sure the player is healthy and everything is fine before they get back to doing anything.”

The loss of the WNBA and WNBL champion is a cruel blow for a struggling Capitals outfit, albeit one that got a much-needed confidence boost with a stunning win on Saturday.

Jarry’s absence opens the door for Chevannah Paalvast to play extended minutes in the final five games of the year, beginning against Bendigo on Thursday night.


Thursday: Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium, 7pm.

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

Finalists announced in Hunter Hero search

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October 13, 2019 by admin

FINALISTS: Who will be this year’s Hunter Hero? These are the men and women who go above and beyond for their communities.
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THROUGHOUT the year, we have heard the stories of Hunter people going above and beyond for their communities.

Now it’s time to give a big round of applause to the finalists for this year’s Hunter Water Hunter Hero award, who were determined through an online poll.

The winner will be selected by the judging panel, which includesNewcastle police commanderSuperintendentBrett Greentree, Hunter parliamentary secretary Scot MacDonald, Paterson MP Meryl Swanson, Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser, Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer, Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon andHunter Waterexecutive manager of customer strategy and retailVictor Prasad.

The winner will be announced at the Newcastle Herald-Newcastle Permanent Carols by Candlelight at King Edward Park on Friday.

The finalists includeAlessandra Adamand Kobe Benton, the founders of Merewether Beach Clean, a volunteer movement that promotes a healthy and clean Merewether beach.

There’s alsoJoeandBelinda Carusowho founded the Joshua Caruso Foundation after the tragic death of their son.

Frank Hockingis making a difference to people’s lives by helping break down social stigmas surrounding depressionwith the Black Dog Ride.

Lauren O’Brienis showing the world that music can heal even the most difficult of wounds as the founder of The D Majors choir.

Toby Kableis on a mission to make sure everyone feels needed and wanted through the All Ability Sports Coaching –a sporting organisation geared towards supporting people with an intellectual disability.

MusicianPhil Mahoneyis one of thebiggest contributors in Newcastle’s fundraising scene and was instrumental in seeing Calvary Mater hospital come to life.

John Clearyshowed extraordinary bravery when he spoke out against theAnglican Church for its handling of child sexual abuse.

Former prisonerGary Brownis giving back to the community –and seeking redemption – through his regular marathon runs.

Gary Mitchellis honouring our fallen soldiers by working to put a name to the unmarked graves at Sandgate Cemetery.

Wendy Ratcliffis giving kids a second chance to learn through the WEA Hunter Foundation.

Mel Steinerhas taken theHeaven Can Wait Sailing Regatta from strength to strength, raising vital funds for the Cancer Council.

As a long-term volunteer for the Calvary Mater Auxiliary, Margaret Dougherty has become one of the hospital’s most familiar faces.

Passionate wildlife rescuerRochelle Woodhas given thousands of animals in the Hunter a fighting chance at life.

W-League: City find form, Victory rekindle finals hopes

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October 13, 2019 by admin

Melbourne City’s W-League team moved into the top four with a 2-1 win over Canberra United on a weekend when Melbourne Victory’s women also ignited their finals charge with a 4-0 drubbing of Adelaide United.
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Ashley Hatch, City’s on-loan American international, has already made a big impression this season, and got on the scoresheet last week for the first time in her side’s draw with Adelaide.

She almost replicated the effort early in the opening half against Canberra after picking up a pass from Aivi Luik, but drove just wide of Haley Kopmeyer’s right-hand post with the Canberra goalkeeper at full stretch and beaten.

Luik, who has rejoined City after a spell in Norway, was drafted back into the starting line-up in a holding midfield position as coach Patrick Kisnorbo looked for his team to make amends for last week’s disappointing draw.

City stalwart Jess Fishlock put the hosts in front in the 19th minute with a trademark strike from distance. The Welsh midfielder robbed Canberra defender Toni Pressley, played a quick one-two with Kyah Simon and then hit a shot from outside the penalty area which Kopmeyer could not get near.

The hosts were beginning to get on top of the game at this point, but Canberra got back on level terms when they were gifted an equaliser by City’s Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

The normally reliable City shot stopper looked to start an attack with a pass out from the back but completely lost her range; instead of finding team-mate Alanna Kennedy, she passed straight to Canberra forward Michelle Heyman, who needed little invitation to fire home.

Williams partially made amends in the 33rd minute when she dived to her left to smother a shot from a Canberra corner, while at the other end Hatch had a chance to restore City’s lead when she was played through by Fishlock.

Although the American outpaced the Canberra defence she could only shoot straight at Kopmeyer.

City defender Rebekah Stott then tried her luck from distance after a pass from Fishlock, but fired wide.

Rhali Dobson went close for City shortly following the restart with a driving run, but her shot just flashed past the Canberra post. Kopmeyer kept her team in the game with another good save from a Fishlock effort shortly after.

Simon volleyed wide from a Yukari Kinga pass, and it seemed only a matter of time before the hosts got the lead their possession merited.

They did, but they had to wait until 10 minutes from time to get their noses in front with another goal from Fishlock. The midfielder, who doubles up as an assistant coach, started and finished a move, assisted by Kinga, then shot past Kopmeyer from inside the penalty area.

??? It w as a red letter day for Melbourne Victory star striker Natasha Dowie on Saturday as the England international became the club’s all-time leading W-League goalscorer after netting twice in a comprehensive 4-0 defeat of Adelaide United.

The double brought her career total for Victory to 16, two clear of previous record holder Caitlin Friend, and means she has now scored five so far this season.

Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins was full of praise for Dowie’s efforts

“She’s great to work with. She lives and breathes goals.

“She wants to shoot, it’s all she wants to do in training – shooting exercises. She wants to score goals and I think she’s a key to our success this year, making sure we can get delivery into her.

“If we’re going to be getting ourselves into the finals, there’s got to be more of the way we went about things today,” Hopkins said after the win.

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

‘Don’t speak out’: franchise giant RFG warns against complaining publicly

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October 13, 2019 by admin

Wayne Hong a franchisee who owns the Michel’s Pattiserie store in Knox Shopping Centre. He bought into the system in 2009 at $450k and he is bleeding money. 6th December 2017. The Age Fairfaxmedia News Picture by JOE ARMAORetail Food Group, the franchisor of iconic brands including Brumby’s, Donut King and Gloria Jean’s, has issued a warning to store owners not to air their complaints in public or risk breaching their franchise agreement.
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The memo was sent to store owners across the country on Saturday in response to a Fairfax Media investigation that revealed hundreds of stores were going to the wall as a result of a brutal business model.

One franchisee, Wayne Hong, described life as an RFG franchisee as akin to slavery.

“They treat us like dogs,” he said.

Numerous franchisees claim the company spies on them and charge crippling costs, including franchise fees, which is driving the stable of brands to the ground in its quest for fatter profits.

Since the story broke at the weekend, more than 100 franchisees have come forward, describing life inside the RFG machine. Marriage breakups, retirement savings torched and bankruptcy are some of the stories being shared.

One NSW-based Michel’s Patisserie franchisee told Fairfax Media: “I feel relief, something stuck in my chest for a long time and now the truth is let out.”

A Crust franchisee wrote in to say: “I lost my house, my superannuation and my savings after having to put my business, a Crust Gourmet Pizza Store, into liquidation in January 2017. I now live on the aged pension.”

RFG chief executive Andre Nell told franchisees in the weekend memo that RFG would look at increasing support to franchisees.

“We acknowledge that we can improve the support we provide to each of you and are committed to making this happen,” Mr Nell said.

He also acknowledged the challenges they faced.

“We fully appreciate that each of you operate within a challenging and evolving retail market, particularly those of you who operate within the shopping centre environment.”

He said he would keep the franchisees updated on an “action plan”.

But he also warned franchisees against speaking out.

“Whilst we remain committed to working with any franchisee to resolve any concerns, queries or challenges they may have, our policy is not to publicly comment on specific Franchise Partner circumstances,” he said.

RFG has appointed accountants at Deloitte to conduct a “business-wide” review of its domestic franchise operations, including Donut King, Gloria Jean’s, Brumby’s Michel’s, Crust Gourmet Pizza and Pizza Capers, to ensure its business model was “appropriate for a retail market which remains challenging, particularly for shopping centre tenants”, said Mr Nell. It is expected to take two years.

The Deloitte review will also look to address whether RFG’s franchisees were underpaying staff.

Fairfax Media’s investigation has uncovered systemic wage fraud as franchisees do whatever it takes to make ends meet. This includes the use of sham employment contracts, the underpayment of overseas workers hired on holiday visas and underpayment of teenagers.

The series has also delved into the business history of the man who listed RFG on the ASX: Tony Alford.

In his letter to franchisees, Mr Nell also reminded franchisees of their obligations under Australian employment law.

“For some time now we have regularly engaged with you in relation to these matters and taken many proactive steps to better inform, support and educate you in relation to your employment obligations,” Mr Nell said.

“We’ve also supported these measures with a monitoring and supervisory framework that many of you will already have had experience with, and which Deloitte is evaluating as part of the business-wide review noted above,” he said.

Franchisees were sent a separate letter detailing the company’s media protocols.

“We’ve all invested in our brands, and consequently, have a stake in their success,” the media protocol says.

“Accordingly, at RFG, we provide you with support in the event you are contacted by the media or a third party seeking information about your business, brand or franchise relationship.

“For these reasons, your Franchise Agreement requires that you obtain Franchisor approval before answering any questions asked by the media or third parties in relation to the matters noted above.”

Do you know more? Contact Adele Ferguson or Sarah Danckert

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

Writing was on the wall for Wanderers before historic loss

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October 13, 2019 by admin

Josep Gombau won’t say how long, only that it will take some time for Western Sydney Wanderers to start delivering his brand of football. After overseeing the Wanderers’ heaviest league defeat in their history and at the hands of their fiercest rivals, the newly appointed coach is finding that patience is already wearing thin.
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Fairfax Media understands the 5-0 defeat against Sydney FC has not gone down well with the club’s hierarchy, who have made it clear they will not tolerate such embarrassment as a mere hiccup on the path towards a new playing style.

It is not just the demoralising result that has infuriated them, but also the insipid nature of the performance. When the board appointed Gombau, it accepted there would be a long-term transition towards a more attacking philosophy. But, after just four games, it is understood questions are already being asked of Gombau’s approach and doubts have been raised about how the leadership within the team has responded to him.

Questions have been raised about the formation Gombau deployed on Saturday night in the derby. He handed two teenagers, Keanu Baccus and Lachlan Scott, their first starts of the season. The latter hadn’t played a minute all season and was selected ahead of experienced forward Brendon Santalab. The selection of Baccus forced his brother Kearyn from his regular role as a holding midfielder to an unaccustomed attacking position. Right back Josh Risdon was deployed as a winger, while Spanish left back Raul Llorente was dropped for Jack Clisby, despite having played every minute of the season previously.

The result of such drastic changes was the ensuing chaos. Directionless in attack, disorganised in defence. Compounding that, there was a toothless mentality that has never before been associated with the Wanderers. After the match, Gombau issued a mea culpa, taking full responsibility for the defeat and justifying his selection choices by saying he had picked those who had adapted best to his philosophy.

“I am at training and I make a team that I think can do the best job and follow what I am asking to do,” Gombau said. “We will put the style, the players will follow the style ??? that’s all.”

But there are hints the problems are deeper. In a curt interview after the match, Western Sydney’s captain Robbie Cornthwaite gave a blunt indication of his anger, showing little regard for Gombau’s long-term project.

“It’s just not good enough. It’s five-nil, what do you think?” he said.

The frustrations began some time ago, before Gombau’s appointment. After rebuilding his squad, hand-picking players to his own liking over a gruelling 18-week pre-season, Tony Popovic shocked the team by departing on the eve of the season. For all the brave public face that the Wanderers showed, it shattered several players. Popovic’s replacement was a stark contrast to the outgoing coach. Overcoming Popovic’s departure was one thing, but adapting to a completely new style, new system, new man-management approach and new playing philosophy was another.

Immediately, Gombau tore up the foundations he had inherited and set about rebuilding the club’s ethos and playing style. Those close to the club suggest the winning mentality took a back seat to style. After Popovic listed the season’s objective to win the A-League double, Gombau introduced himself to the players by telling them to focus on the new process while aiming just to make the top six this season. It began a potential crisis of identity for a club whose short history was steeped in success and slight on style.

Results did not follow, nor have the performances in his first four games. The Wanderers have scored just once, lost three and are yet to win. Players publicly complained over being bombarded with new information that was confusing and coming at the cost of results. They have been overloaded with tactical information and a set of rules, including never to make a square pass. It’s part of Gombau’s adherence to a strict style that has delivered him success in the past.

“The players are trying to do what the coach is asking they do,” Gombau said. “I am watching things that are improvements in the way we want to play.”

However, he finds himself preaching this mantra to a team filled with workhorses and winners. Thus far, it’s yet to have an impact, particularly on the Australian players. It’s understood his post-match speech after the derby provided little comfort to a squad dejected and reeling from an historic defeat. Gombau didn’t share their anger. Rather, he reassured players it was all just part of a process Speaking after the game, one first-team player told Fairfax Media that Gombau’s patience was not being reflected by the entire squad.

“He says it’s a process and it takes time but as players, we don’t look at it like we have time,” he said. “A process at our club? I don’t know if it works. We’re about fighting and working hard.”

In his first season with Kitchee in Hong Kong, Gombau started slowly before winning the league in his second and third seasons with the club. At Adelaide United, he went eight games early in the season without a win before scraping into the finals, while the following year he won the FFA Cup and finished third in the league. He is a coach who nurtures players, replacing one who is meticulous, strict and demanding. In his past jobs, he won the players’ complete loyalty but only over time.

Time, however, is what he could be short of at Western Sydney. The patience from fans is already all but gone. The patience from the board is waning quickly, too, while the players want results now, not performances for tomorrow. The trust in Gombau isn’t gone yet, but, just four weeks in, he is being forced to learn the hardest way that the Wanderers culture is one of substance.

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

Reach out to help fight loneliness: Red Cross launches new campaign

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October 13, 2019 by admin

When his wife of 45 years died, Ken Wilson found himself suddenly alone. For the first time in many years, the 82-year-old had to get used to living on his own.
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Injuries including a torn tendon in his shoulder, left the Croydon Hills grandfather-of-three housebound.

“When you’ve been married for so long and you’ve had somebody, to then to be on your own, to have to adjust, it’s very difficult,” Mr Wilson said.

“Family and friends are wonderful, but still, I guess, I’m a people’s person and I like people around me, but having to adjust to living in a home on your own is a little hard.”

According to a new Australian Red Cross survey, one in four of Australians – or 5.6 million people – are lonely almost all of the time or on a regular basis.

Thirty four per cent said they were lonely due to the death of a loved one and 31 per cent experienced loneliness after moving away from friends and family.

It showed men aged 55 years and over were most likely to feel lonely after a divorce or separation.

But women aged more than 55 years were significantly more likely to chat to a friend or family member to help counteract loneliness.

Losing a job was a significantly higher loneliness trigger for men aged between 35 to 54 years. Women aged 18 to 34 were most likely to feel lonely after the birth of a child.

The Australian Red Cross has launched the Season of Belonging campaign, calling on Australians to reach out to each other to prevent loneliness.

Australian Red Cross chief executive Judy Slatyer said nobody should be alone and isolated at Christmas.

“Loneliness doesn’t have to be a constant part of so many lives,” Ms Slatyer said.

“All it takes is for one person to reach out and brighten up a person’s life with one of our easy steps.

“Even a simple phone call or an invitation to Christmas dinner can make the world of difference to someone who is isolated.”

The organisation lists five ways to stop loneliness: meet your neighbours; volunteer; say hello to someone new in your neighbourhood; check on someone who may be in trouble; be kind on social media.

When the loneliness got too much for Mr Wilson, he called the Red Cross for help.

Soon after, he was introduced to a volunteer, Chris Ueda, 21, who visits once a week.

“I have an iPad and Chris has helped me quite a lot because I’m only a beginner … but then in return I’ve shown him a lot of tips in the woodwork trade,” Mr Wilson said.

“Probably sometimes without realising it we can let ourselves get into a rut … and not realise that ‘oh, but I used to do this.’ By just having a casual chat to Chris and finding out that he was interested in woodwork, we went out into the garage and it rejuvenated me, it’s got me interested again.

“Most of my friends and the rest of my family were older people … but … I want to think young … and I guess meeting Chris has been good because he is younger and that keeps you going.”

Be part of the Season of Belonging or make a donation at redcross.org419论坛/act or by phoning 1800 733 276 (RED CROSS).

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

Chapple begins new gig perfectly

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September 26, 2019 by admin

Mitch Chapple. Picture: HRNSWMITCH Chapple is still months away from returning to driving from a broken wrist, but the Louth Park 20-year-old is happy to focus on his new training career.
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And for good reason.In his first two weeks as a trainer, Chapple has had three starters for three winners, including a double at Newcastle on Saturday night.

Burning Ambition and Derringer won, with Michael Formosa and Leigh Sutton driving respectively, to maintain Chapple’s perfect record.Burning Ambition, which has been trained by Chapple’s father, Guy, gave Mitch his first winner six days earlier at Maitland.

He made a promising start to his driving career but he has been out since a fall at home “shattered” his wrist, which required surgery.

“I broke my wrist about a month ago, so I thought I’d focus on the training until it heals up,” Chapple said.“Then I might have a drive every now and again, but I’m quite happy to focus on the training side of it.

“I’ve always wanted to do it.Dad’s been pretty successful as a trainer so I thought I’d give it a crack, and hopefully I’m as good as him.”

Chapple said Burning Ambition will head to Menangle next Saturday night, while Derringer willrace in heats of the Inter City Pace at Maitland on December 23.

Formosa completed a winning double when driving home the Ray Harkness-trained Eyes On Beers in the last.

Maitland reinsman Dan Morgan started the meeting with a double aboard La Patata and Dreaming Big.

Sixers win Sydney derby honours as women showcase power hitting

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September 26, 2019 by admin

The Sydney Sixers cruised to a second win of the weekend on Sunday, stamping themselves as the team to beat again this summer with a six-wicket win over crosstown rivals the Thunder.
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Following up Saturday’s crushing win over the Melbourne Stars, the reigning WBBL champions restricted the Thunder to 6-142 before chasing down the total in the 19th over before 4812 fans at North Sydney Oval.

Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy set the tone early after missing out on Saturday, blasting four boundaries off Stafanie Taylor’s opening over and setting the Sixers well on their way.

By the time she holed out for 49 on the straight boundary, the result was just about in the bag.

Saturday’s centurion Ashleigh Gardner took over from Healy, not quite as lethally as when she destroyed the Stars attack the day before, but effectively enough all the same.

She finished on 47 from 35 balls, paving the way for Sara McGlashan to hit the winning runs.

It capped a sparkling opening weekend of WBBL that produced a staggering 2023 runs across the opening six matches, and included two centurions in Gardner and Adelaide Striker Suzie Bates.

“Everyone’s just backing themselves a little bit more now,” Healy said.

“Girls are clearing the boundary with ease and just batting really freely, which is really exciting. There was a lot of wickets as well, so there was actually some really good bowling.

“Most of the girls playing in this Big Bash are professional cricketers now. They can spend the time that they probably didn’t have previously working in the gym, working on their fitness or working on their batting or their bowling.”

All-rounder Ellyse Perry registered a rare failure with the bat, run out by Alex Blackwell at mid-on for 12 after unsuccessfully taking on the Thunder captain’s deadly accurate arm.

Perry still contributed though, taking 2-15 off her opening overs a day after hitting a six that thudded into an unsuspecting fan’s face. The boy was taken to hospital on Saturday but discharged later that night, and Perry spoke with him on the phone on Sunday morning.

Just which WBBL team is capable of stopping this Sixers juggernaut remains to be seen.

Granted it’s very early in the season, but this side is even more powerful than the one that beat Perth in last summer’s final.

Outside of the Australian trio of Healy, Gardner and Perry, they are also served by South African pair Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne, and New Zealand veteran McGlashan.

Last year’s leading wicket-taker and Australian representative Sarah Aley is back for another season. So strong is the Sixers’ line up, Irish star Kim Garth, an injury replacement for Lauren Cheatle, is running the drinks.

The Thunder will likely bounce back. They are stacked with batting power themselves, but only Alex Blackwell (58) caused any serious damage on this occasion.

“Not enough runs,” Blackwell said after her side’s loss.

“I thought Perry and Aley bowled really well in the middle there, [they are] outstanding players who I enjoy captaining when I get the chance for [the NSW] Breakers. No surprises that they’re key players in this Sixers line-up.”

Meanwhile, English import Nat Sciver helped steer the Perth Scorchers to a season-opening win over the Brisbane Heat.

Sciver blasted three sixes in her knock of 84 off 46 balls to help Perth post a lofty 6-188. The Heat fell 18 runs short in reply, despite an unbeaten 87 by Australian all-rounder Delissa Kimmince.

“Really pleased to probably score as many runs as I did in the first two seasons in the one game,” Sciver said.

“The longer you bat on it, the easier it becomes. I managed to capitalise on a few bad balls and create a few boundary balls. I managed to get a few out of the middle and lucky when you get it through the in-field here it races away.”

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

Lakes swoop to sign Edwards

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September 26, 2019 by admin

Former NRL forward Joel Edwards is confident Lakes United have the roster and the coach to become a premiership force next season after confirming he will play with the Seagulls in 2018.
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Edwards knocked back offers from Maitland and Kurri to link with Lakes on a one year deal that includes employment in the mining industry. It will alsosee him re-unite with his former coach Todd Edwards.

“Obviously, the package Lakes offered played a part but I’m also looking forward to playing under Todd again,”Edwards said.

“”I played under him in the junior Knights and at Cessnock the year Wyong beat us in the grandfinal so he knowswhat it’s allabout.

“He is putting together a pretty strong roster with some young guys there I’m looking forward to playing alongside so I’m looking forward to next season.”

Edwards, who featuredin 107 NRL games for the Knights, Canberra and Wests Tigers in the past eight years, sayshe still hasn’t completely given up hope of playing at NRL or English Super League level.

“I’ve got some things in the contract that if something did come up, they would let me go but it’s probably unlikely,”he said.

Edwards will spearhead a Seagulls pack that will also include former Wests Tigers Under 20’shooker Daniel Peck.

Peck will have big shoes to fill in 2018 with the youngster set to replace departed skipper Chris Adams.

Under-siege England may be split by factions, says Pietersen

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September 26, 2019 by admin

England are imploding after the latest in a series of alcohol-related incidents but Kevin Pietersen has climbed into the tourists for other failings, accusing Alastair Cook of looking uninterested, batsmen of making out that the Australian attack “is the scariest bowling they’ve ever faced” and suggesting there may be a factional split in Joe Root’s touring party.
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At 2-0 down in the Ashes series and with England Lions squad member Ben Duckett having caused a new wave of controversy by throwing a beer over the head of James Anderson in a Perth bar, England are in proper eat-their-own mode.

Pietersen is at the front of the queue. He says the surprise decision by captain Root to bowl first after winning the toss in Adelaide may not have had the support of all his players.

“I have heard there are rumours that a couple of people didn’t want to bowl first in Adelaide. If a couple of people didn’t want to bowl and Root’s made that decision and they’ve lost, yeah there are certain factions that can happen in dressing rooms when that happens,” said Pietersen, who on the weekend labelled the Duckett episode a “f****** embarrassment” on Twitter.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. I think Perth is going to be a fascinating Test match – to see if the wheels are going to come off or not.” What the hell is happening in English Cricket?!?! Strauss????? It’s becoming a f*****g embarrassment! KP (@KP24) December 9, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.