Archive for August, 2018

Corcoran’s bitten off more than he can chew: Rushton


BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 12: Boxer Jeff Horn poses for a photo on January 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Fairfax Media) *** Local Caption *** Jeff HornJeff Horn’s camp has laughed off claims by challenger Gary Corcoran that the Australian intentionally headbutted Manny Pacquiao on his way to winning the WBO welterweight title in July.
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Ahead of Wednesday’s showdown in Brisbane between the pair, Corcoran threatened to bite Horn should he cop a headbutt during the title fight.

But Horn’s coach, Glenn Rushton, said his star pupil had never committed an intentional foul in a boxing ring, dismissing Corcoran’s suggestion as unfounded.

“He’s already taken on a mouthful as it is with this fight, and to bite him would be biting off more than he can chew, I can tell you,” Rushton said.

“One thing I know for Jeff is he’s never, ever intentionally committed a foul on anyone – he doesn’t ever try to do anything wrong. Just in the heat of the battle, sometimes these things happen.

“When you look at the [Pacquiao] fight, Jeff came off it worse. He had a cut right above his eye in round two and I was treating that all the way through the fight just to add another dimension.

“You’ve got someone like Manny Pacquiao who moves his head a lot, they’re both very quick on their feet, they both move their heads a lot, they’re both coming in fast, it’s going to happen. You’ve got a shorter guy, he’s a southpaw as well, which also complicates things when their front feet clash, he’s shorter, he’s lifting his head up into Jeff’s.”

Contrary to Corcoran’s assertion, Rushton has warned Horn many times about how crucial it is to avoid head contact in the ring.

“When you headbutt you never know who’s going to come off with the most damage,” Rushton said. “We do everything to try and keep the heads apart.

“I always say to Jeff be really careful when you’re in close, just be really mindful of headbutts, be careful, tie them up tight. It’s one of the reasons why you clinch tight because you just don’t want any movement where the head can go bang and hit into yours.”

Corcoran is Horn’s first opponent since he dethroned the highly fancied Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane.

Camp Horn granted the Filipino great a rematch, but he unexpectedly pulled out of the fight, which has allowed Corcoran a shot at the title.

Brisbane local Horn has been battling to get his weight down in time for the fight and was still seven kilograms too heavy earlier this week, but Rushton said that wouldn’t be an issue.

“The weight’s been a little bit higher than I would like, we have had to certainly work with that and try and get that right, but he’s getting to where he needs to be now – he’s not that far off,” Rushton said.

“He did blow out a little bit. He doesn’t normally blow out as much as he did. He raided that Nutella cabinet after the last fight and I think he couldn’t find the lock to put back on it for a while.

“That was of concern, but eventually we’ve got that bolted back up. He seems to now be tracking in the right direction. You can see with Jeff in his face when he’s a little bit overweight, he’s just a bit puffy in the face.

“I said to Jeff the most important thing in this fight is make sure we’re really fit. He [Corcoran] is like a tank and that tank will just roll over the top of you if you’re not fit enough, it’ll crumple you up and just spit you out the other end.

“He’s young, he’s strong, he’s fit, he’s tall, he’s a big guy, he’s hungry, he comes from a tough upbringing. We like the tough guys, we enjoy them. Certainly, he’s going to bring a lot of energy, he’s going to come forward, he’s going to throw an awful lot of punches.”

Horn is facing a mandatory title defence against superstar American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas in April, should he down Corcoran.

There is also talk of an all-Australian clash with Anthony Mundine, who is considering hanging up his boxing gloves at the end of next year.

“We’d consider it if the Australian public wanted to see it,” Rushton said of a potential clash with The Man.

“I think it would be a changing of the guard. Mundine’s been a very popular figure for a very long time in Australian boxing and we’re certainly keen to show that we can beat all of these guys.”

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Perry rushes to check after six hits young fan in the head


Superstar cricketer Ellyse Perry rushed from the pitch to check if a young boy who was hit in the head by one of her shots was OK, as the Sydney Sixers pummelled the Melbourne Stars in a game where WBBL records tumbled.
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Perry smashed one of the last deliveries of the innings down the ground to the left of the side screen, but unusually, quickly ran after her shot.

As her batting partner Dane van Niekerk and some of the Stars fielders began to follow Perry to the North Sydney Oval fence, it became clear a fan had been hit with the ball.

The incident happened as the Sixers scored a WBBL and BBL record total and batter Ashleigh Gardner scored the fastest century and highest individual total (114) in WBBL history.

The fan, a child no older than 10, could be seen lying on his back with a member of one of the team’s first aid staff holding an ice pack to his forehead.

An ambulance was called and the boy was conscious. Someone who witnessed the incident said the ball flew over the fence, deflected onto a wooden chair and then struck the boy in the forehead.

“Paramedics were called who assessed him and made the decision to transport him to hospital for further observation,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.

He could be seen walking and is understood to be in decent condition but will still be monitored. During the innings break Perry went to the boy to check on his condition and then gave him her hat.

“It’s never nice to see someone get hit in the head … I really hope he is OK. He seemed like a tough cookie. I caught sight of it when it landed; it hit the concrete and kicked up,” Perry said.

“My immediate reaction was to go and make sure he was OK.” The person on the fence is Ellyse Perry, who hit a massive six that may have injured someone, and who was THE FIRST PERSON TO RUN ALL THE WAY OVER AND CHECK EVERYBODY IS OK #Legend#WBBL03pic.twitter南京夜网/OW9At0bwnC??? Anthony Sharwood (@antsharwood) December 9, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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City’s McCormack doesn’t care where the goals come from … as long as they come


By nature, strikers are greedy. Single-minded, selfish and desperate to score goals. They don’t mind when they come, how they come or from what part of the pitch.
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Just as long as they come.

Ross McCormack, Melbourne City’s on-loan forward,had big shoes to fill when he landed just before the season opener against Brisbane Roar in early October as an injury replacement for the club’s leading scorer, Bruno Fornaroli.

In the absence of Tim Cahill – who has now left, but at the time was not available because of international commitments – the responsibility for scoring was thrust on McCormack’s shoulders. So far he is delivering.

The 31-year-old has netted six goals in eight appearances for City, putting him among the early season leaders in the race for the Golden Boot.

But the strangest thing is that none of them have come from open play. Not a single header, not a drive from outside the area, not a tap-in from close range, not a blistering shot on the end of a dribble.

No, all of McCormack’s goals have come from dead ball situations – free kicks or penalties.

It speaks of excellent technique in the case of free kicks, all of which have been from distance, and steely nerves in the case of penalties, where all the pressure is on the taker and none on the keeper.

But if anyone thought that McCormack might be beginning to have some doubts about himself as a result of failing to score from any free-flowing moves, they should think again. He is quite unperturbed.

“If you analyse the games, it’s only the Western Sydney game that I have had a couple of chances from open play. Apart from that … I have not had much at all,” he says.

“I don’t really mind to be honest whether I score from a free kick, a penalty, a tap-in or a wonder strike. They are all goals, they all help the team.

“I would like to get a few from open play, but if I was to finish top goal scorer and not score one from open play I can’t see anyone complaining.”

His expertise with free kicks has been evident, and it’s a skill he says he has always possessed, right from the time he started out at Rangers in his native Glasgow, through moves down south to Cardiff, Leeds, Fulham and then, most controversially Aston Villa, before he landed in Melbourne.

“I have always scored a few free kicks. The season before I signed for Villa, for Fulham I probably got four or five. It’s nice that they are going in for me here. I am not too fussed whether it’s open play or set piece.”

McCormack would not be here if things had worked out for him at Villa. But he fell out of favour with manager Steve Bruce after a big-money move to the former European champions, now playing in the second tier of the English game.

A well-publicised fallout over a missed training session put him further on the outer, and when the chance came to move to the Manchester City affiliate in Australia he took it.

The alternative was rotting in the reserves and training with the youth team in Birmingham – a waste of a talented player and not the sort of situation what would lead him to find a transfer to another club.

The only downside is the absence from his two young sons, Layton (aged six) and Lawson (aged two) who are with their mother in London, where the family is based.

He misses his sons, but everything else in his Australian adventure – including the quality of the games – has been good. “I have thoroughly enjoyed it, the only difficult part is the kids back home in London. Apart from that it’s been excellent. The boys have been good, the staff have been good. We have not done too badly in the games, we are third in the league so far and looking to kick on.”

But Christmas alone on the other side of the world will, he admits, be a challenge.

“I will have to see them on Face Time. I have got two slots, day and night, that I can speak to them, so I call them at 7pm at night here, which is 8am in the morning, before they go to school, and then between 5.30am and 6am in the morning here, which is half six, seven o’clock at night back there. That’s just before they go to bed, when they have had their dinner and calmed down,” McCormack says.

“It is difficult. The oldest just turned six on Sunday last, so I missed his birthday. I knew it was going to be hard. The kids are at school and nursery, their mum couldn’t really take them out of school to bring them here.

“I won’t see them over Christmas. Just Face Time, which is sad … it will be difficult. But this is something I had to do. If I didn’t come here I would have been sitting at Aston Villa training with the kids.”

McCormack can stay on his current deal until Fornaroli is fit and can resume match play.

Unless things change, the former Scottish international expects to be here until the end of January.

“I am going back after the game on January 25th, I think. As it stands, I think the club are looking to see if they can get me to stay on; whether that’s possible or not I don’t know.

“Bruno will be back as well. I am here as an injury replacement, so when he comes back I am no longer a replacement. But I knew that when I came here with my eyes open, looking to take it all on.”

McCormack, who scored goals at a rate of one in just under every three games in the Championship at Cardiff, Fulham and Leeds, is impressed with what he has seen so far in the A-League.

“The standard here gets a rough ride in the UK. When I was coming here people were saying to me that I would average a goal a game. But it’s not that easy, there are some good teams in the league,” he says.

“For me personally I think the only thing that’s wrong is they don’t play enough games and there’s not enough teams in the league.

“Even 12 teams, play them three times, that’s 33 games. That would make it a little bit better but whether that happens in the future I am not sure. That’s the only downside in the league for me. The quality has been good, the grounds you play in are nice.”

McCormack is complimentary also about several of his teammates and opponents.

“Here at City I think Daniel Arzani [a youth team striker] has got something. I think he will go far when he gets his chance, he just needs to take it,” he says.

“David Carney at Sydney is good every time I have seen him. He’s pretty understated. Everything there, all you read is all about Milos Ninkovic and Bobo, but every time I see him [Carney] he plays well.

“Leroy George at the Victory, any time I watch him he has a good game. There’s been a few others, I just forget their names,” he adds with a smile.

McCormack confesses to some surprise at the number of people in the Australian game he knew of or knew when he arrived here.

Melbourne Victory centre-back Rhys Williams had been a regular Championship opponent when he was at Middlesbrough, while the Rangers connection is also strong Down Under.

It was at the Glasgow giants that he began his journey as a seven-year-old, when he went into the academy system at Ibrox. “Craig Moore [Rangers and former Australia captain] was there, but I was a little bit young when he was in the first team. We didn’t really see the first-teamers much … the youth department is nowhere near the first team department at Rangers.”

Kevin Muscat, the Victory captain, Bob Malcolm and Charlie Miller (both of whom played at Brisbane Roar) and former Central Coast Mariners and Socceroo stalwart Tony Vidmar, who has just started as an assistant coach at City, all had stints at Rangers.

“I always remember his [Vidmar’s] goal in Europe, he scored against Parma, it was a big goal for Rangers in Europe at that time. I played with Rhys’ younger brother Ryan at Fulham, he’s at Rotherham now starting to get his career back on track.

“My first season at Motherwell it was me and Scott McDonald [another former Socceroo striker]. I was only there two seasons. He left in the summer to go to Celtic at the end of my first season … there are that many people who have come out here. You don’t realise until you sit down and talk to people.

“It’s the kind of place where you could end your career well.”

Whether McCormack stays or goes – and whether his wages, the salary cap, marquee status and his family circumstances would allow that is a moot point – he has made an impression in a short time.

If City gets awarded a free kick or a penalty on Sunday against the Mariners, there will only be one man stepping up to take it.

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Jimmy Spithill wants Australia back in the America’s Cup


America’s Cup skipper Jimmy Spithill of the Oracle Team USA. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos America’s Cup skipper Jimmy Spithill of the Oracle Team USA. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos
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Two-time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill says he’d love to see Australia back competing in the world’s most famous sailing race after a 21-year hiatus.

Spithill skippered one of greatest comebacks in America’s Cup history when he led Oracle Team USA back from the brink to clinch victory in the final race of the famous San Francisco edition in 2013.

The 38-year-old was in the capital as the guest speaker at a sold out Canberra Yacht Club dinner, which was raising money for the charity Buoyed Up on Wednesday.

Spithill captained a young crew when Australia last contested the America’s Cup in 2000 and the Sydneysider wants to see the green and gold sails back in the water for the next race in 2021.

“I’d love to see an Australian team in the America’s Cup, if you look around the teams over the past few campaigns, you see Aussies littered throughout all of them,” Spithill said.

“We’re so associated with the water in Australia and I think the fact that the next one in is in New Zealand it wouldn’t be surprising at all [to see an Australian team].

“All the guys involved in that 2000 program have gone onto some pretty successful careers… I was very young and it was a real barebone campaign but it was a lot of fun… I honestly don’t know what my plans are right now, just keeping my options open.”

Reigning Sydney to Hobart winner Anthony Bell is widely expected to lead an Australian campaign to a berth at the next America’s Cup.

Bell steered Perpetual Loyal to a new race record after romping into Hobart last summer and Spithill backed the millionaire accountant to lead a successful America’s Cup tilt.

“He’s been pretty successful in a lot of his campaigns, certainly in the offshore world, they broke the Sydney to Hobart race record and I know he’s raised a lot of money for charity,” Spithill said.

“I know Anthony a little bit and he’s a really good bloke but I don’t know any of his plans, I’m kind of waiting to see where all the cards fall, there are a few different projects outside of the America’s Cup that I’m pretty interested in.

“Everyone in the sailing world is waiting on the final class rule, which is what the boat design is and that will come out in March next year, so before you commit to any sort of project or program you really need to know where the goal posts are.”

Two-time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill led Australia’s last race in 2001. Photo: Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Spithill will race in this year’s Sydney to Hobart aboard Comanche, which won the title two years ago and finished second behind Wild Oats in 2014.

“We weren’t here last year but the year before we won and this will be our third Hobart race, it’s a great team and great line up and should be an awesome race if the weather plays its part,” Spithill said.

“The beauty of this race is there is a number of supermaxis that all have their strengths in different conditions and in the Hobart race you typically get a bit of everything at times, so it should be another really good one this year.”

Buoyed Up assists underprivileged children who are dealing with life challenges by building resilience and teamwork through sailing.

Spithill is also an ambassador for the Invictus Games and said it was important to give back.

“The Buoyed Up program is about giving kids who come from tough backgrounds or low socioeconomic areas and exposing them to sailing,” Spithill said.

“The great thing about sailing is kids can show a lot of bravado on the land, you play soccer or rugby, but the sideline is always right there.

“The beauty of sailing is once you leave the beach you’re on your own and that’s what’s great for young kids, even if all they do is go out and come back that’s a huge achievement and it teaches them to work in a team and gives them self confidence.

“People think of sailing as an elitist sport but I can tell you I’ve been successful in the game and I didn’t come from an elitist background and a lot of my teammates didn’t either.

“Funnily enough a lot of us have come through programs like this and it’s all about giving access to kids who may not necessarily have the means to join a sailing club and own a boat.”

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The moment that broke Canberra boxer Ben Dencio’s heart


Canberra boxer Ben Dencio still remembers the moment his world was turned upside down.
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It was a phone call at 9:48am on October 18, telling him one of his closest friends had passed away aged just 24.

It was with a heavy heart Dencio improved his professional record to 5-1 when he beat Pakpoom Hammarach (14-22) at Capital Fight Show 13 at the Hellenic Club in Woden on Friday night.

The night was about more than boxing for Dencio, the NSW super featherweight champion who is slowly forcing his way into Australian title contention.

“This one is close to my heart,” Dencio said.

“My mate Jack Darmody, he had a heart transplant when he was two. He was one of the youngest people ever to get a heart transplant.

“He was the little engine that could. He got dealt a horrible hand and at two, he needed a heart transplant straight away. He got that heart transplant and kicked on.

“Then at about seven, he got cancer – hodgkin’s lymphoma – and beat that. At seven, he’d already had a heart transplant and he’d got cancer.”

The heart disease was cardiomyopathy – which means the heart is unable to pump an adequate supply of blood around the body.

So many hoped Darmody had overcome the horrible hand he had been dealt, but the heart disease eventually returned.

“On the 18th of October, at 9:48 in the morning, I got a phone call that changed my life,” Dencio said.

“It started off from someone I hadn’t spoken to in a little while. I knew Jack was sick but I didn’t expect this news. I said ‘hey Ben, how are you doing?’ He said ‘I’ve got some bad news for you’.

“The first thing that popped into my head was ‘Jack is in Sydney, and Jack is in trouble’. That’s not what happened. Ben said ‘Jack’s passed away’, and my world crumbled.

“I’d give anything, I would give up boxing in a heartbeat, I’d give up all the fun toys, the cars and all that sort of stuff, just to have Jack back, no question.”

An emotional Dencio took the chance to call on members of the crowd to sign up to become organ donors, leaving the ring to a rousing applause from the crowd.

He wasn’t asking anyone to sign up because he wanted something from them – all he wanted was to make sure the next person that gets that phone call doesn’t receive the same horrible news.

“All it means is that if you sign this sheet, that phone call that I received on the 18th of October at 9:48 in the morning, could have been ‘Jack’s got another heart’ rather than ‘Jack’s died’,” Dencio said.

“I’ve signed it. If we can save one life, this night is better than boxing and bigger than boxing. I’m going to try and take this opportunity to do something bigger than boxing.”

Dencio captured the hearts of his hometown crowd before settling in to watch fellow Canberra product Beau Hartas (3-0) claim the NSW middleweight championship.

Fan-favourite Hartas was at his scintillating best as he picked apart Lui Guivalu (1-4) to claim the state middlweight crown with an early stoppage.

Steve Lovett (17-2) won what could be his last fight in Canberra via unanimous decision in an eight-round spectacle against Steve Moxon (5-5).

Lovett is looking to relaunch his path to light heavyweight title contention in the United States under the guidance of the legendary Ronnie Shields, with a purist’s dream bout the perfect way to sign off down under.

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Keeper blunder helps seal Sydney FC win in W-League derby


Sydney FC’s women have claimed the early bragging rights from the Sydney derby after clinching a commanding win over Western Sydney Wanderers in the first W-League match played at ANZ Stadium.
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A double for striker Remy Siemsen and a goal from Lisa De Vanna in a moment Western Sydney Wanderers’ goalkeeper Jada Whyman would rather forget completed the 3-1 win for the Sky Blues, who never looked like stumbling in the derby.

The win kept Sydney’s hopes of reaching the W-League finals firmly alive after moving back into the top four while the Wanderers’ chances of playing knockout football lengthened significantly as they slumped to equal last.

From start to finish, the Sky Blues outplayed their local rivals, who provided little resistance to Sydney FC’s dominance in possession. Lead by the metronome in the middle of the park, Teresa Polias, Sydney made light work of the Wanderers’ back line and created enough chances to have inflicted a heavier defeat.

They began their onslaught early and should have opened the scoring in the first few minutes. A defence-splitting through ball put De Vanna through on goal and the opener appeared certain to score when she easily rounded Whyman. However, the Matildas captain couldn’t apply the simplest of touches to give Sydney the lead after a sensational last-gasp intervention from Wanderers defender Ellie Brush.

The Sky Blues didn’t have to wait long to carve open another chance on goal. With Teresa Polias operating as the central pivot, the nimble midfielder played De Vanna through on goal inside the box. The veteran striker unleashed a fierce, left-foot drive into the corner of the net but a superb diving save from Whyman denied De Vanna once more. From the follow-up, Siemsen calmly slotted the loose ball into an empty net to give Sydney the lead.

Two minutes later, Siemsen doubled her tally with a powerful shot to make it 2-0 in the 24th minute.

The Wanderers struggled to test Sydney FC’s goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe but should have clawed themselves back into the contest when Erica Halloway appeared to have been fouled inside the box, only for their penalty claims to be waved away.

Western Sydney would eventually get their chance from the spot late in the first half when Lo’eau LaBonta’s drive was handled inside the box en-route to goal. Captain Ellie Brush rattled the roof of the net with a calm, yet powerful shot down the middle to make it 2-1 before the break.

Despite cushioning the blow with that late penalty, the Wanderers never managed to threaten Sydney FC further after the restart. A cagey opening to the second half provided few chances until just after the hour mark where a calamitous error restored the visitors’ comfortable lead.

Seemingly free from pressure, Wanderers goalkeeper Whyman was haphazard with the ball at her feet and after a lengthy delay in clearing, she was tackled in possession by De Vanna. The Matildas star made no mistake in rubbing salt into the wounds of the young shot stopper by calmly finishing to extend Sydney FC’s lead to 3-1.

Whyman went some way to making amends for her early blunder immediately after, holding firm to save a two-on-one opportunity to keep the hosts’ slim chance of a comeback alive.

However, that save made no difference to the result as the Wanderers slumped to their fourth loss of the season.

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Over my dead body: Report labels government death plan ‘disrespectful’


The NSW government’s solution to a looming shortfall of burial plots has been described as “disrespectful” by respondents to an internal government study.
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The August 2016 study – by Woolcott Research and commissioned by the NSW Department of Industry – delved into attitudes towards interment and death, specifically looking at the level of knowledge around “renewable rights”.

Renewable rights offer families the option to use a burial site for a renewable tenure of 25-years to a maximum of 99 years.

It is hoped the introduction of a renewable rights option would free up space in Sydney’s overcrowded cemeteries by allowing for a higher turnover of plots, as well as offering a cheaper alternative to “perpetual rights” where remains are left undisturbed forever.

But respondents to the study, the findings of which are being fed into a consumer guide, found the idea of renewable rights distasteful.

“I’m shocked by that, that’s so disrespectful of the person,” said one respondent.

“We never disturb anyone – that’s their final resting place,” said another.

According to the report, spontaneous reactions from interviewees were “largely negative”. Responses to a survey on the subject did include some positive comments, but “overall though, these initial top of mind reactions were largely neutral to negative.”

“Most qualitative participants expressed a degree of concern because they had assumed that once you bury someone, they are there forever,” the report stated.

“It follows that hearing of the option of renewable rights was a very big surprise to most.”

Respondents were also worried their own loved ones might be “dug up” at a later date under a renewable-rights system, with many remarking that they were “shocked,” “horrified” or “appalled” by the idea. Others likened it to losing a sense of history, mentioning that they occasionally enjoyed wandering through graveyards.

“To them the idea of seemingly ‘deleting’ a part of history was considered sad,” the report stated.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Industry said further consultation with Crown cemetery operators and concerned religious groups has taken place since the release of the Woolcott report in 2016.

She said renewable interment was just one initiative proposed to address cemetery land capacity shortages.

The NSW government is counting on the public warming to the idea of renewable rights with annual deaths in NSW predicted to double, from 2011 rates, in 34 years. If there is no change to cremation and burial rates, cemetery capacity in greater Sydney will be exhausted as early as 2051.

And if cremation rates fall, capacity is predicted to be exhausted much sooner.

Around half of all burials in NSW are conducted by local councils and a third are conducted by crown trusts. The remainder are mostly conducted by private operators.

There are 851 working cemeteries in NSW, but only two – Waverley and Kemps Creek cemeteries – which offer a renewable-rights option. Land suitable for new graveyards is scarce, and existing graveyard sites are under pressure from expanding metropolitan centres.

Graham Boyd, chief executive of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust has been investigating ways to increase the lifespan of the cemeteries under his care.

He said one option was to reuse historic burial plots, some of which may have enough room to accommodate a second body from the same family.

“At Woronora Cemetery we have 23,000 burial [plots] which have the potential for a second internment, because we have operating since 1895,” he said.

The NSW government released a “Better Regulation Statement” earlier this month proposing reforms which would allow crown trusts to offer a renewable-rights option.

The document included concerns the looming shortfall of plots may lead to a land grab for prize burial sites.

The Woolcott report also provided a window into the cultural and religious sensibilities of different ethnic groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants said there was a tradition for the deceased to be returned to the area or community from where they originated.

Buddhists, however, believed the spirit left body to be reborn and “therefore the idea of having family members visit a grave site or cemetery was said to be less important”.

Chinese and Vietnamese participants told researchers there was a special time in the lunisolar calendar called “Ching Ming” when friends and relatives visited cemeteries to offer gifts.

Muslim participants said it was considered very important to be able to visit their loved ones after death at a cemetery.

Participants who did not follow a particular religion still felt they would, nevertheless, like a religious-style ceremony.

“This was likened to wanting to get married in a church, even if the couple are not religious,” the report stated.

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Alleged ‘group leaders’ of cocaine syndicate arrested


Five ringleaders of an alleged drug syndicate that supplied “hundreds” of people across Sydney with cocaine will face court, following a series of arrests on Friday in Sydney’s north.
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Police arrested four men and one woman on Friday in Ryde, following a 10-month investigation into the “large-scale” cocaine supply network across Sydney.

The group used an unknown number of “runners” to supply cocaine to “hundreds of customers” across the Sydney region, police allege.

However, no drugs were seized during the arrests on Friday.

The five that were arrested are understood to be the “group leaders”, with three charged with directing the criminal group.

Police arrested a 43-year-old man at Ryde Police Station about 8.30am on Friday.

Shortly after, a house on nearby Porter Street was searched, where a 27-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy were also arrested.

The three were charged with directing a criminal group, dealing with proceeds of crime, and various offences relating to cocaine supply. The 43-year-old and the 27-year-old woman were also charged with possessing a firearm and explosives.

Two other men, aged 22 and 29, were arrested later on Friday and charged with participating in a criminal group, and various supply offences.

The arrests followed a lengthy operation by Strike Force Mirimar, formed in February this year to investigate large-scale cocaine supply in Sydney.

Since March, police had allegedly seized a semi-automatic pistol, explosives, ammunition and cash related to the alleged drug syndicate.

Police said more related arrests are “possible” as their investigation into the group continues.

The recent arrests come just a week after police arrested more than 30 people in Sydney’s CBD allegedly running a “dial-a-dealer” cocaine service, but at this stage it is unclear whether the two groups are connected.

Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace, Commander of the Criminal Groups Squad, described the group as “sophisticated”, but warned that any others involved would also face charges.

“This syndicate was a sophisticated and highly organised group but like all criminal groups, their time came to an end,” she said.

“Drug supply and use have absolutely devastating effects on the community and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure groups like these are stopped.”

All five were refused bail, and were due to appear in court on Saturday.

The teenager will appear in Children’s Court, while the others were to attend Parramatta Bail Court.

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Former TV presenter’s Bardon home sells for almost $1 million


For former television presenter and media personality Annette Allison it was hard to say goodbye to her treasured Bardon family home.
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“I had a lot of angst at various times about if I was going to sell it or if I was going to move back,” said Ms Allison, who is now based in Victoria.

“Because it is a large house, I think it’s deserving of a family home. I think that’s the way to look at it.”

However as soon as she put the Eastment Street home on the market, Ms Allison was ready to sell. The old brick house was in need of some updating to bring it back on trend but it had the bones of a good house, with a view of Brisbane’s inner west.

“It’s got a beautiful north-north east aspect at the back, so you look out to the Paddington water tower in that direction,” selling agent and auctioneer Andrew Degn said. “It’s in walking distance to the Rainworth school, so it’s a nice easy lifestyle.”

It attracted spirited bidding. Mr Degn took the first bid at $800,000 and the price climbed quickly from there. From $975,000 the price increased in $1000 bids until the hammer fell at $982,000.

The home sold to a family that had been looking for a new home for most of the year.

Ms Alison, who is now a public affairs manager for Royal Flying Doctors’ Service, said she was very happy with the result.

“I’ve just met the new owners, they’re devine and they’re just going to love being in the new house,” Ms Allison said after the auction. “It’s been a beautiful family home for a long time and I’ve had some great times, some great memories, some great parties.

“When you have a family home I think it’s very important you pass it on to a family. To someone who can appreciate it.” Related: The no-nos of Christmas gift-givingRelated: A guide to growing your own cocktail ingredientsRelated: The best swimming pools around Australia

It was a short and sharp auction earlier on Saturday, at an Annerly house just a few hundred metres from Ipswich Road.

The peace and quiet of a dead-end street, was interrupted by the cries of auctioneer Justin Marsden as he called the auction for 17 Kintore Street.

But he wasn’t calling long. Less than ten minutes from the word go, he had the three-bedroom Queenslander sold to two sisters.

Mr Marsden said it was great bidding. “It was exceptional. There was a late registration. It was unbelievable, [the bidders] were here to buy and it was good to see.”

The auction opened with a bid of $580,000, but went straight to $650,000 with the next. From there it wasn’t long until the price cracked $700,000, eventually selling for $735,000.

The result was a 25 per cent increase on the $587,500, that records show the vendors paid for it in 2013.

“It just shows the strength of this inner city market in Brisbane,” Mr Marsden said. “In the last five years maybe, it’s definitely received a lot of attention.”

Selling agent Geoff Sellars said the home had attracted plenty of attention, with about half a dozen registered bidders.

“It’s really nicely landscaped at the front and that sort of thing has really helped,” he said. “It’s a professional couples type of house. It’s low maintenance, good yard.

“It fits our demographic well, they’re not keen to have a lot of maintenance.”

Mr Marsden said it didn’t need much work done either.

“It’s one of those houses where you move the furniture in and you don’t have to do anything about it. Which is probably why it was so popular.”

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‘It was bedlam’: First-home buyer beats investors with single bid


A first-home buyer swooped in at the last minute to beat investors circling a Marrickville home up for auction on Saturday.
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The three-bedroom property at 62 Pile Street, was one of 783 Sydney homes scheduled to go under the hammer.

By Saturday evening Domain Group had collected 429 auction results and put the clearance rate at 58.2 per cent – the market’s lowest result since December 2015.

It was a short but sweet auction for the deceased estate, on the market for the first time in about 50 years.

A young family kicked off the bidding at $1.2 million mere seconds after auctioneer Damien Cooley called for an opening offer.

An investor, who was also one of the beneficiaries of the estate, quickly hit back with an offer of $1.23 million and the bidding took off.

At $1.28 million a family, buying a first investment property for their daughter, joined in, and another owner occupier was hot on their heels.

The two parties took the bidding up to $1,351,000 – after which the first-home buyer jumped in with his first and final bid of $1.36 million, at which the home sold.

“I was always planning on coming in at the end,” said first-home buyer Luke Hamilton. “I’ve missed out a few auctions, so I wanted to hold back.”

The purchase end months of house hunting for the 31-year-old who is currently renting in Newtown.

“I was looking earlier this year but it was bedlam, people were just going crazy at auctions,” he said. “As [the market] started to take a turn, I started looking again.”

He plans to move into the home and possibly renovate down the track.

The 317-square-metre block sold for $10,000 above reserve, through Alex Mastoris and Anthony Ross of Cobden & Hayson.

Mr Mastoris said the result was on expectations and noted there had been a little resistance from several bidders to push the price higher due to the money they expected to spend giving it a refresh.

Auctioneer Damien Cooley was surprised by how quickly bidding for the Federation home got underway.

“At a lot of auctions where we’ve got four or five bidders, it’s becoming really challenging to get that opening bid,” Mr Cooley said. “It went for a fair price, it’s not a huge price, but it’s not a bargain.”

It was one of three of his seven scheduled auctions that actually went ahead on Saturday, with the other four homes either being withdrawn or selling prior.

With almost half of the homes that went to auction in November passing in, according to Domain Group data, Mr Cooley said it was clear buyers were fatigued.

“I think the break over Christmas will be good and the market will come back refreshed,” he said. “But I think [in terms of clearance rates] we’ll see much of the same as what we’re seeing now.”

There was little sign of buyer fatigue at a West Ryde auction on Saturday, where 36 people registered to bid on another tightly-held deceased estate.

Bidding on the 809-square-metre block with duplex potential, opened at $1.55 million – $50,000 above the $1.5 million reserve.

While there was a mix of owner-occupiers and developers in the crowd, it came down to a race between two developers -the only bidders left standing after the price hit $2 million.

It was a developer from Eastwood that nabbed the three-bedroom home at 23 Reserve Street for $2.06 million – $560,000 above reserve.

“[The result] was well above expectations, especially in the current market,” said selling agent Bruce Ignatiou of LJ Hooker West Pennant Hills/Cherrybrook.

“Often lately you only get one or a handful of bidders on a property, to have 36, I was a bit overwhelmed.”

He said the result was made all the more special by the fact that the proceeds would go to numerous charities.

Another hot auction in Eastgardens, saw a four-bedroom home on a 531-square-metre block sell for $190,000 above reserve.

Five of nine registered bidders competed for the deceased estate at 21 Mathewson Street, which sold for $1.77 million through Natalie Vega of LJ Hooker Randwick.

The home was snapped up by a first-home buyer, with the help of her parents. Elsewhere in Sydney:

37 Cliff Road, Northwood. Photo: Supplied.

SOLD $2.46 million Northwood 37 Cliff Road 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 car space

It was a bittersweet moment for the family of late Australian artist Lloyd Rees, when their long-term family home sold on Saturday. Bidding on the Italianate villa-style house, designed by Rees, started at $2 million and went up at a slow and steady pace as two of six registered bidders made offers. The home was snapped up, $40,000 above reserve, by a couple from the inner west who are expecting their first child. It sold through Brent Courtney of McGrath Lane Cove. Rees bought the property for ??300 in 1934, and lived there with his wife Marjory until 1986.

31 Wharf Road Birchgrove.Photo: Supplied.

SOLD $7,225,000 Birchgrove 31 Wharf Road 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 car space

Four bidders went head to head for this waterfront home on the market for the first time in more than 20 years. A buyer’s agent kicked off the bidding at $6,175,000, which then jumped to $6.2 million and continue upwards at a steady pace. It was only towards the end of the auction that larger $50,000 bid increments were made, as the aspiring buyers tried to knock out the competition. The home sold through Lynsey Kemp of Belle Property Balmain, to a family from the north shore. Records show it last traded for $2,025,000 in 1997.

4 Woodstock Street Botany. Photo: Supplied.

SOLD $1,755,000 Botany ???4 Woodstock Street 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car spaces

Two families battled for this tightly-held home with a granny flat. The auction kicked off with a bid of $1.6 million, and went up in $20,000 jumps before slowing after the $1.7 million mark. The home sold for $20,000 above reserve to a young family from Mascot, who have parents coming to live with them. Selling agent Jamie Van Le of Century 21 Eastern Beaches Maroubra said the granny flat had been a big drawcard for multi-generational households. The home last sold for $195,000 in 1990.

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