All My Friends: celebrating the songs and voice of Gregg Allman

Posted on 22/07/2018

GREGG Allman is one of rock’s most acclaimed and beloved icons, both as leader of the legendary Allman Brothers Band and for his superb solo recordings.
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This new double CD and single DVD set serves as the perfect tribute to the man and his songs.

Recorded live on January 10 this year at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, it features a multi-generational assortment of musicians from the worlds of rock, blues and country performing a swag of Allman staples.

Notable guest performers include Eric Church, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Zac Brown and Brantley Gilbert.

Also included is performances by Taj Mahal and Gregg’s one time former roommate Jackson Browne.

While each interpretation is masterful in delivery an obvious standout of the set is the current Allman Brothers Band lineup – with Gregg singing – running through Dreams and a scorching rendition of Whipping Post.

The album will be available locally on May 2 through Rounder Records.

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Rubbish provokes outrage

Posted on 22/07/2018

Filthy: Hamilton Road residents are sick of rubbish lining their street.FAIRFIELD residents are outraged with the amount of rubbish they say is regularly dumped on their street.
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Hamilton Road resident Andrew Nicholson said the most recent pile of rubbish had been on the footpath for more than a week before the council came to remove it.

He said this was a regular occurrence.

“To make matters worse, there seems to be a broken sewerage pipe, which leaks waste across the footpath and into the roadside gutter,” Mr Nicholson said.

“This is utterly unacceptable and a danger to human health. Why do people on Hamilton Road have to put up with constant barricades of rubbish or push their children in strollers into oncoming traffic to try and escape an open sewer leaking across the council footpath?”

A Fairfield council spokeswoman said action had been taken.

“The council has dealt with the sewer overflow issue and an emergency order was issued last Friday to the managing agent to have the lines repaired in the coming days,” she said. “The occupier made arrangements last Thursday with waste enforcement to have the rubbish removed off the footpath.”

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Coca-Cola Amatil plays down ratings downgrades

Posted on 22/07/2018

Soft drink bottler Coca-Cola Amatil has played down the impact of credit rating downgrades by ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s in the wake of Friday’s shock profit warning.
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CCA says the credit downgrades will have no impact on its interest costs or ability to refinance debt in the short to medium term.

The ratings agencies cut their credit ratings or downgraded the credit outlook for CCA after the bottler shocked investors on Friday by warning that June-half earnings were expected to fall by 15 per cent.

Moody’s long term A3 rating has been maintained, but the outlook has changed from stable to negative. Standard & Poor’s reduced its long-term rating from A- to BBB+ but affirmed CCA’s short-term rating at A-2.

CCA said on Tuesday it has maintained an investment grade credit rating with both agencies and the changes to its credit rating are not expected to have any short to medium term impact on the company.

CCA has pre-funded maturing debt for approximately two years. All of the debt maturing in 2014 and 2015 has already been refinanced with cash held on term deposits at margins above associated borrowing costs.

According to CCA’s annual report, the bottler had $3.1 billion of interest-bearing debt at the end of 2013 but cash on hand and short term deposits totalling $1.4 billion.

The report also showed that former chief executive Terry Davis, who stepped down in March, took a 53 per cent pay cut last year after CCA’s underlying earnings fell 10 per cent.

Mr Davis’s base pay rose from $2.3 million to $2.7 million, but he received no short term bonus (vs $2.42 million in 2012) and superannuation benefits on short term incentives fell from $947,562 to $338,351.

In addition, long term incentives were reversed by $99,282 (vs long term incentives worth $1.14 million in 2012) after performance hurdles were not achieved.

Mr Davis’s total remuneration fell from $7.9 million to $3.7 million.

None of CCA’s senior management team, with the exception of NZ managing director Barry O’Connell, received their short term bonus.

CCA’s new chief executive, Alison Watkins, has launched a broad-based strategic review and flagged a “step-change” in CCA’s fixed costs and productivity in the wake of the profit decline.

CCA has been unable to recover higher costs in Australia because of aggressive pricing in supermarkets and weaker sales in the higher-margin route trade.

Earnings in Indonesia are also expected to fall this year because of increased competition from new rivals such as Big Cola, rising labour and fuel costs and currency depreciation.

Broker CIMB says CCA could cut costs by more than $100 million a year by culling excess stock keeping units or SKUs, closing bottling plants and reducing its merchandise field force.

Brokers such as Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley believe CCA needs to cut prices to better compete against Schweppes, which bottles Pepsi, and come up with new products to satisfy changing consumer tastes.

Standard & Poor’s says CCA’s operating expertise should enable it to arrest the volume and earnings decline in its Australian business in the next two years.

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ICAC: Barry O’Farrell can’t recall $3000 bottle of Grange

Posted on 15/03/2019

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has flatly denied suggestions he wrote a letter supporting Australian Water Holdings (AWH) in exchange for Liberal Party donations.
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Nor can he recall receiving a bottle of vintage Grange wine, bought for $3000 by AWH and apparently couriered to his home just after the 2011 state election.

Mr O’Farrell was on Tuesday quizzed before the NSW corruption watchdog about a letter he wrote to then-AWH chief executive Nick Di Girolamo in late September 2010.

He agreed it was ‘‘broadly supportive’’ of the company’s push to secure a lucrative public-private partnership.

‘‘We can show you lots of money going into Liberal Party coffers which coincides with this letter of support. Did you know anything about that?’’ counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson, SC, asked Mr O’Farrell.

Barry O’Farrell with Nick Di Girolamo, right, at the Italian Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Gala Dinner. Photo: Supplied

‘‘No, the Liberal Party’s financial code requires members of parliament to be at arm’s length from fundraising,’’ Mr O’Farrell replied.

‘‘If your inference is that this letter was signed by me because of donations made by Australian Water Holdings then I reject it completely.’’

Mr Di Girolamo has told the Independent Commission against Corruption he bought Mr O’Farrell a bottle of Grange wine to express his congratulations on securing the premiership but denied using the gift to ‘‘butter Mr O’Farrell up’’.

The ICAC has heard the 1959 vintage bottle – aged since the year of Mr O’Farrell’s birth – was delivered to his home in Roseville, on Sydney’s north shore, on or around April 20, 2011.

But Mr O’Farrell said he never received it and that he may have been away on a family holiday to the Gold Coast for Easter when the bottle showed up.

‘‘It’s the Don Bradman of wine. Unforgettable,’’ Mr Watson said.‘‘Yes. If it had been received, I don’t believe I would have forgotten it,’’ Mr O’Farrell replied.

The gift was never declared on the premier’s pecuniary interests register and ICAC investigators have been unable to find a document from the courier company to show when it was dropped off.

But Mr Di Girolamo has told the inquiry he received a thank you call from the premier after sending the wine – and on Tuesday afternoon, Mr O’Farrell was shown a record of a 28-second telephone call from his mobile number to Mr Di Girolamo’s, made about 9.30pm on April 20, 2011.

‘‘I’ve no knowledge – I don’t know about this phone call,’’ Mr O’Farrell said.

‘‘What I do know is if I had received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange I would have known about it and I did not receive a bottle of Penfolds Grange.’’

How to ask for more money

Posted on 15/03/2019

Asking for a top-up on your loan doesn’t have to be a drama. Living the dream: Chloe Brandt and Zach Gadd
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If, like Oliver Twist, you would like some more, consider asking for a home loan top-up. It won’t have the dramatic turns of the Dickens classic. A top-up can either be an increase to your home-loan limit, or a separate account set up behind your home loan.

Chloe Brandt, 24, and her fiance, Zach Gadd, 27, took the top-up route this year. The couple bought their Sydney northern beaches house in late 2012, knowing they would eventually need some extra dollars to finish renovations.

“It was a bit of a dump,” says Brandt. “We did as much as we could without having to borrow anything.”

But by the end of 2013 they needed a fresh injection of funds to hire professionals to build decks and change the roof. “Our goal with the top-up was to get it to a point where we can then rent out another room and get an income from it.”

The house had risen in value by $120,000, so they had no trouble getting a $65,000 top-up. About $15,000 went into consolidating debt and the remainder into renovations.

Minor renovations are the most common reason people apply for a top-up, according to Dennis Mrljak, personal mortgage adviser at Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers.

Debt consolidation, school fees or a new car might also prompt people to go cap-in-hand to their lenders. Paying $300 a month via a mortgage is a lot more cashflow-friendly than the $800 a month you might pay for a five-year car loan.

Others, such as property investor Emilia Rossi, have a longer-term plan. “The main reason I topped up all of my three loans was to be able to use the equity I had in each property to then put towards the deposit for the next investment,” she says.

It is a strategy she will use again next month when she tops up her current loan to buy a fourth investment property.

So if a home loan top-up is sounding like a handy tool, what do you need to consider?

How much do you need? Most lenders put limits on top-ups. “Banks do get a bit nervous above $50,000,” says Mrljak. “The majority of them have $100,000 as a threshold and then you’ve got some lenders who almost have it uncapped, I guess, based on your equity and the affordability they will let you take it out for as much as you really need.”

Your lender will run the ruler over your current income and liabilities when you apply for a top-up and possibly require an updated property valuation. “It’s almost like applying for a loan from scratch with a lot of lenders,” says Mrljak.

How much equity do you have? “A lot of people are prevented from either refinancing or topping up because they might be staring down the barrel of $7000, $8000 or $10,000 of [lender’s] mortgage insurance,” says Mrljak. He suggests waiting 12 to 18 months before applying for a top-up, particularly if you bought a property with a deposit of 20 per cent or less.

Why do you want the top-up? Mrljak suggests thinking twice before consolidating debts or buying a car with your mortgage.

“If you are going to enhance the value of the property or you’re going to put it into another property or shares then it makes perfect sense. It’s a cheap way of getting your hands on that sort of money.

”But if you’re doing it to fund a big family holiday, it may not be the best idea to turn it into a 20-year loan and pay twice as much interest as you normally would.”

Unless you make extra repayments, the total interest can make topping up significantly more expensive in the long run. For example, a $30,000 personal loan over five years at 12 per cent will add up to about $10,000 in interest. A $30,000 top-up at 5 per cent over 20 years will result in interest charges of $17,500.

Beware of making a habit of topping up if you want to access equity for wealth-building strategies, Mrljak warns. “It can be quite easy to top-up your mortgage each time you feel you need extra money and this could eat away at your equity.”

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Fund managers trailing ASX in 2014

Posted on 15/03/2019

Markets have been tough to pick in 2014.Australian fund managers are slightly underperforming the broader market despite the economy slowly gaining traction, according to an investment survey.
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In the three months to March, funds tracker Mercer found the median Australian fund manager underperformed the ASX by 0.1 per cent.

Weak returns were across the market, according the survey, with the benchmark index rising a ‘‘modest’’ 0.2 per cent in March.

Although the fund managers generally underperformed, Mercer said in the past year they have delivered solid results, outperforming the broader market by 2.3 per cent.

This compares with positive results in the past three and five years, with fund managers outperforming the benchmark index by 1.5 and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Fund managers look set to deliver better returns later this year as the economy strengthens thanks to rising house prices and an improving domestic labour market, the Mercer survey found.

But gains will be limit, with a ‘‘significant slowing’’ in China and a brutal budget expected from federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, undermining growth.

Large caps only delivered a 0.3 per cent return in March, with mid caps rising 0.3 per cent and small caps dropping 1.2 per cent.

The worst performing sectors were materials and consumer staples, which were down 3.2 and 2.1 per cent respectively.

Index heavyweight BHP Billiton and rival Rio Tinto both slid 4.7 per cent, while Wesfarmers declined 3.8 per cent.

The best performing sectors were financials (+3.2 per cent), Telecom (+3.7 per cent) and information technology (+0.8 per cent). Leading stocks were CBA and Westpac, the returns of which rose 3.7 per cent, and ANZ, which gained 3.3 per cent.

Mercer said it retained a bias to risk assets. It said stock valuations were no longer expensive, but should be supported by ‘‘slowly strengthening’’ recovery in global GDP growth and corporate earnings.

‘‘In this environment, with the US Federal Reserve and some other central banks also continuing to map out exit strategies from highly expansionary monetary policies, we expect returns from fixed interest will struggle to keep abreast of inflation in the medium-term,’’ the survey authors said.

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John Howard praises Brian Harradine as a man of ‘great decency’

Posted on 15/03/2019

Former Tasmanian senator Brian Harradine. Photo: Mike Bowers Former Prime Minister John Howard Photo: Jeffrey Chan
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Brian Harradine with fellow independent senator Meg Lees in 2002. Photo: Andrew Taylor

Former Prime Minister John Howard has praised Brian Harradine, Australia’s longest-serving independent senator, as a man of “great decency” who made a lasting contribution to Australian public life.

In a letter of sympathy for Mr Harradine’s family, the former Liberal leader says the late senator was a tough political negotiator who occupied a “special place” in Australian politics for close to 30 years.

Mr Harradine died on Monday after a long illness, aged 79.

As an independent with the balance of power in the Senate, Mr Harradine played a key role in the early days of the the Howard government.

“In my discussions with Mr Harradine I was left in no doubt that he shared none of my enthusiasm for labour market deregulation or the introduction of the GST,” Mr Howard has written.

“When he famously said ‘I cannot’ in rejecting the central component of the 1998 tax reform plan, he disappointed, but did not surprise me.”

Mr Harradine played a significant role in the GST debate in 1999, causing panic within government ranks by suddenly announcing in the Senate that he could not support the controversial tax.

That decision forced the Howard government to turn to the Democrats’ leader Meg Lees for support.

Mr Howard also referred in his letter to Mr Harradine’s dramatic expulsion from the Labor Party in 1975 for claiming the ALP had links to the Communist movement.

“The former Secretary of the Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council remained loyal to what he saw as traditional Labor values. He never rejected the Labor Party; rather, it shunned him,” Mr Howard said.

“He went on to win the immense respect of many in the Liberal and National Parties for the consistency of his views as well as the integrity of his dealings as a senator during the years of the Howard government.”

Mr Harradine held the informal title “Father of the Senate” because he served longer, continuously, than his senate contemporaries, from 1975 to 2005.

At times he was extremely politically powerful, particularly in the mid-to-late 1990s, when his balance of power status meant the government needed his support to pass policies such as the Private Health Insurance Rebate in 1998.

Mr Howard says Mr Harradine negotiated honourably with his government while keeping a “proper eye” for the interests of Tasmanians, whom he represented.

“I record my gratitude for the support Brian Harradine gave to my government during the time that it was in office.”

“He respected the mandate it had been given by the Australian people, whilst remaining loyal to his fundamental beliefs. His support allowed us to do many good things for the people of Australia.”

“I extend my deep sympathies to Brian Harradine’s family on their great loss.”

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Western Sydney: Where your MP stands

Posted on 15/03/2019

Blaxland: Jason Clare (Safe ALP, 11.4%) Conditional support.
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“Sydney needs a second airport but it is critical it has a rail link not just road links. The airport should have a curfew. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the eastern suburbs and the north shore have a curfew then so should the west.”

Chifley: Ed Husic (Safe ALP, 10.5%) Opposed.

A 24-hour airport is “completely unacceptable for western Sydney residents who’ll be forced to contend with something the other side of town doesn’t”.

Fowler: Chris Hayes (Safe ALP, 16.8%) Opposed

“How can this be supported by the community if questions [on jobs, infrastructure and curfews] remain unanswered?”

Greenway: Michelle Rowland (Marginal ALP, 3%) Opposed unless conditions met.

“Significant road and public transport infrastructure needs to be built, which is tied in with local employment – and it cannot operate for 24 hours.”

Hughes: Craig Kelly (Safe Liberal, 10.7%) Support.

“I welcome the economic opportunities and infrastructure investment an airport for western Sydney will provide our region, and I would especially welcome the proposed Moorebank Intermodal’s relocation as part of an integrated freight and transport precinct at Badgerys Creek.”

Lindsay: Fiona Scott (Marginal Liberal, 3%) – Support conditional on roads and curfew.

“It’s about building the right roads and infrastructure and the roads absolutely have to come first.”

Macarthur: Russell Matheson (Safe Liberal, 11.4%) No reply.

Macquarie: Louise Markus (Liberal, 4.5%) No reply.

McMahon: Chris Bowen (ALP, 5.3%) Conditional.

“If there’s going to be a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, despite what the Deputy PM says, there must be a curfew and proper infrastructure for western Sydney.”

Mitchell: Alex Hawke (Safe Liberal, 22.1%) Conditional.

“If Kingsford Smith retains a curfew then this airport, Badgerys Creek, should also have a similar curfew.”

Reid: Craig Laundy (Marginal Liberal, 0.9%) Support.

“People often criticise governments for not making decisions beyond the electoral cycle. I applaud the Prime Minister for this decision, which will be a shot in the arm for the 1.3 million people expected to move into western Sydney over the next 20 years.”

Werriwa: Laurie Ferguson (Marginal ALP, 2.2%) Opposed.

“I have grave doubts about the applicability of studies that are decades old and lofty visions of infrastructure and jobs being promoted by the big end of town.”

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Warren Buffett’s not done yet

Posted on 15/02/2019

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be joining investors from all around the world who are making a pilgrimage to the US mid-western city of Omaha, Nebraska.
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I – and 40,000 other like-minded people – will file into a sports stadium to watch two octogenarians field questions from the audience for 5 hours. The two men in question are investing legends Warren Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger.

‘Buffett Has Lost It’… again…

There’s a reason we at The Motley Fool are fans of the man known as The Oracle of Omaha and the whip-smart Munger.

Buffett, who has compounded book value at his company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B), at an astonishing 19.7% per year for almost 50 years, is the greatest investor of our time, and likely of all time.

That doesn’t stop people forecasting his demise. I don’t know whether it’s some sort of tall poppy syndrome, or a form of self-interest that has pundits hoping to make a name for themselves by hoping to ‘predict’ Buffett’s decline and eventually being right.

What I do know is that every doubter for five decades has been wrong.

Brave or crazy?

I’ll give those pundits something, though… they’re brave. Warren Buffett has an astonishing track record. He’s managed to absolutely trounce the benchmark index by a long, long way during his career.

Of course, there’s brave and there’s ‘crazy brave’. Or maybe just crazy.

If you’re old enough — and have been investing long enough — you’ll remember the tech boom of the late 1990s. Even the humble former government telco Telstra (ASX: TLS) wasn’t immune. Its share price was hitched to the dot南京夜网 bandwagon, allowing the then-government to launch the second tranche of its privatisation at $7.40 in 1999!

Those were crazy times, and Warren Buffett was on the nose.

‘What’s Wrong, Warren?’

On December 27, 1999, The Wall Street Journal carried a story titled ‘What’s Wrong Warren?’, which neatly summed up investor sentiments of the time.

It started boldly:

“After more than 30 years of unrivalled investment success, Warren Buffett may be losing his magic touch.”

Oh dear…

It went on:

“To be blunt, Buffett, who turns 70 in 2000, is viewed by an increasing number of investors as too conservative, even passe. Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, may be the world’s greatest investor, but he hasn’t anticipated or capitalized on the boom in technology stocks in the past few years.”

Whoops.

My favourite was:

“Indeed, Buffett has even started taking flak on Internet message boards. One contributor called Berkshire a ‘middlebrow insurance company studded with a bizarre melange of assets, including candy stores, hamburger stands, jewellery shops, a shoemaker and a third-rate encyclopaedia company [the World Book].’”

The shares were around US$54,000 a piece. Today, even after the 5 or 6 ‘lost’ years of the GFC, Berkshire shares are, ahem, US$183,200.

Once bitten, twice… bitten!

So pundits learned their lesson, right? Wrong.

This headline was from 2008, on Reuters: Is Warren Buffett losing his touch?

Then this, in 2010, at Nasdaq南京夜网: Has Warren Buffett lost his mojo?

Now, in 2014, we have a Slate南京夜网 article asking: Should investors still have faith in Warren Buffett?

Buffett is fallible. He makes mistakes. Maybe — eventually — one of these pundits might be right. But try telling that to the people who baulked at Berkshire in 1999 and have regretted it ever since.

Yet there remain those who would have us simply give up on trying to mirror the Oracle of Omaha’s investment success.

Those in the ‘don’t bother’ camp seem to suggest that unless we can match Buffett’s record, we shouldn’t try. Which is, as you’d know, complete rubbish. Investing isn’t a ‘winner takes all’ event. This isn’t Survivor: Wall Street, where everyone else gets voted off the island.

Getting a Buffett-like return is the equivalent of batting like Bradman. So should Tendulkar, Ponting, Pietersen, Clarke et al have never bothered playing test cricket, because they couldn’t hold a candle to The Don? Of course not — such thinking is ridiculous. Well, it would be, if some commentators weren’t implying exactly that!

One well known commentator offered this opinion last week:

“There is no Warren Buffett Way for other investors, there is just picking stocks that go up in price and to do that you would be well advised to rely on yourself, just you, with your understanding, your time horizons, your risk profile and your expectations. Not Warren Buffett’s. Forget Warren. You are not Warren.”

Foolish takeaway

He’s entitled to that view. But if you’re not going to try to emulate Warren Buffett — the greatest living investor, who shares his investing advice freely to anyone who wants to listen — just where are you going to get your investing compass from?

From your broker, who makes money when you trade, not when you make money? From your financial advisor, who gets paid a chunk of your hard-earned, regardless of whether he or she makes money for you? From your cabbie? Your mate at a barbecue?

Warren Buffett isn’t the only investor worth paying attention to, or learning from. But in the absence of a better alternative, the guy with the 50-year track record beats the pants off anyone else I can think of! I can’t be Warren Buffett, but I can sure as heck try — and be better off as a result.

Attention: Foolish, dividend loving investors and BusinessDay readers alike who are looking for Australian investing ideas can click here to request a Motley Fool free report entitled Secure Your Future with 3 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks.

Scott Phillips is a Motley Fool investment advisor. He owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway and Telstra. You can follow Scott on Twitter @TMFGilla. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. We hope you’ve worked out that we’re only attempting to fulfil two of those aims today! This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691).

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Arowana lodges Intueri Education IPO prospectus

Posted on 15/02/2019

Arowana International managing director Kevin Chin says the company’s pure play education spin-off is poised for growth on the back international students demand and the move to online only study.
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The company lodged a prospectus on Tuesday for the initial public offering of Intueri Education Group, as flagged by Street Talk, which values the company between $NZ243 million and $NZ293 million ($224 million to $270 million).

Intueri will seek to raise up to $NZ234 million. About $NZ60 million will be used to buy the Quantum Education Group. Arowana, which has a market value of $142 million, will retain a 25 per cent stake in the education spin-off.

Intueri is the largest vocational training provider in New Zealand, with 5,950 students in 2013. It operates six private colleges that offer a range of courses including hairdressing, hospitality, fine arts and commercial diving. It also has a 50 per cent stake in Online Courses Australia, a digital-only provider of a range of vocational courses that had total enrolment of 2,182 in 2013.

Assuming the Quantum acquisition is completed and taking into account the OCA stake, Intueri is forecast to grow pro-forma revenue of $NZ76.9 million in 2014 to $NZ86.4 million in 2015 (12.4 per cent). Similarly, pro-forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is expected to rise 18.5 per cent from $NZ25.4 million in 2014 to $30.1 million in 2015.

Encouraging outlook

Mr Chin said the outlook for the education sector in Australia and New Zealand was promising, due to both countries being attractive to Asian students. “New Zealand, in particular, has always been an attractive market for education for safety and affordability reasons,” he said.

The move to flexible, online study would also drive growth in the sector, he said. But Mr Chin said he was not worried by the rise of free university subjects being offered as MOOCs – massive open, online courses – on websites such as Coursera.

Mr Chin said the MOOCs were too large and available to be taken seriously by employers. But he also added completion rates in some cases was as low as 10 per cent, which raised questions about the MOOCs’ quality. “The term massive is a misnomer,” he said.

He said the key to building value in the online education business is to ensure courses are relevant to employers. “We as Intueri, have to have a course that an employer will look at… and know it’s legitimate,” he said.

Arowana, which also has businesses in the events and diagnostics, made its first investment in the New Zealand private education sector in 2010, when it bought a college in Christchurch. The strategy was initially plagued with bad luck, given the city was struck by two earthquakes.

Mr Chin said Arowana would use some of the proceeds to move into primary and secondary education in Asia. “We’re not getting out of education.”

Intueri, which will be dual listed on the Australian and New Zealand exchanges, will compete with Navitas and Vocation, which have market values of $2.6 billion and $468 million respectively. Navitas shares have gained 43 per cent in the past year. Vocation shares have gained 19 per cent since they listed in December.

The company will undertake a bookbuild on May 6 and subject to Arowana shareholder approval, Intueri shares are expected to commence trading on May 23.

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Raiders welcome back Edwards

Posted on 15/02/2019

Joel Edwards will return to the NRL this weekend after mssing last week after several consecutive concussions.Canberra centre Jarrod Croker has launched a passionate defence of Jack Wighton’s displays at five-eighth, insisting he has been one of the Raiders’ best players, and a key factor in his own superb start to the season.
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Croker has been Canberra’s most dangerous player playing outside Wighton in its slow start to the year, and backed the 21-year-old when asked his opinion of his progress by coach Ricky Stuart on Monday.

Wighton moved from the centres to the no.6 jersey this season and is viewed as a long term prospect there by Stuart.

“Stick [Stuart] asked how I thought he was going and I said I’m enjoying having him there,” Croker said, who has scored five tries in six games this year.

“He’s got a long way to go and Jack knows that, but I think he’s been great for us and he’s given me plenty of good early ball.

“There’s no reason to panic. He’s showing some great signs already, so imagine what it will be like in the back end of the season and years to come.”

Croker was subject to criticism of his defence early in his career, but has developed into one of Canberra’s most pivotal players.

He urged Wighton to ignore the outside judgement and focus on continuing to improve against Melbourne at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

“I copped a lot early on in my career about defence, I thought it’s been pretty good this year and Jack has a lot to do with that,” he said.

“We all know Jack’s a strong defender and he gives me that confidence having him there beside me on that left edge.”

He said he’d be happy to counsel Wighton if he needs self-assurance.

“It [criticism] can get you down and it can get frustrating, but he has no right to be upset about his game this year,” he said.

“Anyone would struggle with confidence if you’re thrown into a position where you haven’t played any first grade games.

“He was probably doubting himself a bit at the start, but the way he’s played the first six weeks he’s got no reason to.”

Commentator and former Queensland Origin five-eighth Ben Ikin this week backed Canberra’s decision to persist with Wighton in the halves, despite Canberra’s disorganisation in attack in last week’s home loss to Newcastle.

“I agree with Benny saying it’s the subtlety of the position he has to learn, and the only way to learn is by playing,” Stuart said.

“It would be very easy to put him in another position but I’ve got to think about the end of the season, next season and the future for Jack Wighton going forward.

“We’re breaking down in attack on the back end of sets which we need to get better at, but his game on the weekend was strong and his kicking game was good.”

Stuart was adamant fullback Anthony Milford isn’t playing under duress, despite wearing heavy strapping on his left knee for the past two games.

He said the 19-year-old is nursing a minor medial strain.

“He’ll shake it off, I wouldn’t play him if there was a risk,” Stuart said.

The Raiders welcome back second rower Joel Edwards from concussion, who replaces Jarrad Kennedy in the only team change.

Melbourne is likely to be without centre Will Chambers after he was cited for a shoulder charge by the judiciary on Dragons fullback Josh Dugan in Monday night’s win at AAMI Park.

Chambers can accept a two match ban if he takes the early plea, but will risk three weeks if he fights the charge and loses.

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We got full-time call wrong: NRL

Posted on 15/02/2019

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Nanjing Night Net

Time out … the clock shows 80 minutes before Melbourne’s Young Tonumaipea plays the ball on the final play. Photo: FoxSports

The NRL on Tuesday announced it is investigating new procedures to prevent a repeat of the referees’ decision on Monday night that allowed the Melbourne Storm to score a match-winning try against the St George Illawarra Dragons after fulltime should have been called.

Referees’ boss Tony Archer said that a full review of Monday night’s finish using freeze frame technology showed that the playing of the ball by Storm winger Young Tonumaipea and the fulltime siren occurred almost simultaneously.

The NRL rules state that end of play is to be called “If time expires in either half when the ball is out of play or a player in possession has been tackled and the ball has not been played the referee shall immediately blow his whistle to terminate play”.

Replay of the final seconds of the match show that Tonumaipea had not placed his foot on the ball before the siren sounded, with the clock on the television broadcast expiring a few seconds before he was even tackled.

“The siren and the play the ball were all but simultaneous,” Archer said.

“But, technically, the siren sounded a split second before the Melbourne player ‘heeled’ the ball. So, in that sense, the referee’s call was wrong and the final play should not have proceeded.

“We were only able to work this out by going through the final moments of the game frame by frame so you can appreciate how difficult it would be for a referee to make a call with that degree of accuracy out in the middle.”

From the final play, the Storm then retained possession from a cross-field kick, keeping it alive until the ball eventually ended up back in the hands of Tonumaipea, who crossed in the corner to seal a controversial victory.

“We were courageous tonight but the footy gods weren’t on our side,” Dragons coach Steve Price said after the game.

The NRL’s Head of Football, Todd Greenberg, said they would looking at a number of options to prevent a repeat of the incident including linking the official time clock to that used by the television stations covering the game so fans have an accurate countdown to the final siren and the video referee and timekeeper may also give the on-field referees a verbal countdown through their earpieces during the final seconds of the game.

“This might help in some cases but I don’t think you can ever guarantee that the correct call will be made when the siren goes at virtually the same time as the play the ball,” Greenberg said.

It isn’t the first time the siren has caused controversy in the NRL this season.

Only a fortnight ago Tigers skipper Robbie Farah blew up at the match officials after Manly were allowed to score a try after the half-time siren had sounded.

That came a week after the Warriors were also allowed to play the ball after the siren in a game against the Tigers in Wellington, in which they also scored.

Farah said it wasn’t long before a blunder would cost a team two premiership points, which it did on Monday night.

“They can’t just keep coming up with those errors week in, week out,” Farah said in the post-match press conference after the win against Manly.

“They’ve got to be better. We were lucky today that it didn’t cost us but it’s going to cost a team a big game. It’s just not good enough, they just have got to be better. Not hearing it is not a good enough excuse.”

To rub salt into the wound of the gallant Dragons on Monday night, they played the final 90 seconds with 12 men.

Back-rower Joel Thompson had been taken from the field mid-way through the second half for a concussion test, and under the new NRL rules the Dragons are allowed a free interchange if Thompson was to return within 15 minutes.

However Thompson was unable to make it back on the field and the Dragons had used up all of their 10 interchanges.

It meant Thompson’s replacement had to be taken from the field with just over a minute remaining, which Price later described as “gut-wrenching”.

smh南京夜网.au with Michael Chammas and Michael Carayannis

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Demon Jack Trengove out for the season

Posted on 15/02/2019

Former Melbourne captain Jack Trengove will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot.
Nanjing Night Net

Scans have confirmed Trengove has suffered a fractured navicular bone. Trengove had been dropped to the VFL and reported soreness in the foot after the Casey Scorpions game at the weekend.

Scans on Monday confirmed the fracture of the navicular and he will now have surgery this week to repair the problem.

He will miss four months which will rule him out for the rest of the season but should see him return for the start of pre-season

“Jack’s attitude has been outstanding this year,particularly in recent weeks whilst playing in the VFL – and for this to happen to him is really unfortunate,” Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.

“He is a resilient character. At Melbourne, we’ve had two examples of players who have had this type of injury inColinGarland andJackGrimes and they both made full recoveries. We expect Jack to make a full recovery,and be available for day one of pre-season training.”

Trengove previously suffered a stress fracture in the foot in December 2012 an injury that cost him the pre-season and ensured that while he was back for the first game last year he was hampered throughout the season.

Trengove, who gave up the captaincy at the end of last season, was dropped after round two this year. He looked to be struggling to cover the ground, a fact that may be better explained now by the foot injury.

Former Melbourne captain Jack Trengove being chased by Collingwood’s Ben Sinclair at the MCG in Round 11 on June 10, 2013. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo. The Age.

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