Trampoline gymnasts to represent Hunter on the world stage Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook Up, up and away!HUNTER athletes are taking their dreams of success sky high, by preparing to soar up to eight metres into the air during the Trampoline Gymnastics WorldChampionshipsin Bulgaria.

National coach for Gymnastics Australia’s trampoline team and Belmont High physical education teacher Brett Austine left the country on Mondaywith Marks Point Public teacher Shaun Swadling and Blake Rutherford.

Mr Swadling and Mr Rutherford will participate in a four day training camp before competition begins on November 9.

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Belmont High year 10 student, Jessica Pickering, will leave next week to compete in the under 17’s section of the World Age Group Competition, also to be held in Bulgaria.

“I consider trampolining to be one of the toughest sports you could enter,” Mr Austine said.

“What you do once in diving you’ve got to do 10 times in a row without a break in trampolining.

“These athletes are training six days a week and are either full time students or working to chase their dreams and have an international career.”

Mr Swadling and Mr Rutherford will each perform two routines in the qualifying rounds, in the hope of making it through to the semi finals and the top eight for the final.

“They will be marked on time aflight, how accurately they keep to the middle of the trampoline, degree of difficulty and execution,” he said.

“They will have 60 seconds to start the first rotation and will then get 10 contacts with the mat and have to show 10 different skills.”

Jessica will also perform two routines in the qualifying round in the hoping of making it straight through to the final.

“All of her 10 moves are at least a double somersault with a half twist.”

Adelaide United are one of Melbourne Victory’s biggest rivals, but Victory boss Kevin Muscat will be forgiven this week for looking over the border at them for some inspiration.
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His side’s failure to beat Central Coast Mariners on Sunday night – Victory were lucky to escape from Gosford with a point – means last season’s grand finalists have made their worst start to an A-League campaign.

Muscat’s side is winless in four games and has drawn twice, giving it a miserly two points from a possible 12.

Already Victory are in danger of falling too far off pace-setting Melbourne City and defending champions Sydney.

City have 12 points, with four wins from four matches. Sydney have 10 points.

That’s where Adelaide United come in. In season 2015-16 Adelaide failed to win until December, nine rounds into the season. Yet by the end of that campaign the Reds had topped the table, hosted the grand final and wore their first champions crown.

Adelaide had taken three points out of a possible 24 and had a goal difference of minus 10 before they scraped a 1-0 win over Perth Glory on December 6, 2015.

After that they went on an extraordinary run where they lost only once more, won 13 other games and finished a point clear at the top ahead of Western Sydney.

That said, Muscat and the Victory faithful will be wanting something to happen quickly.

So far Victory have looked stodgy through the midfield and lacking in purpose going forward.

Had it not been for two inspirational actions from Dutch import Leroy George their season would have looked far worse.

His free kick to set up Besart Berisha’s opening header in Adelaide in a 2-2 draw was a perfect example of how to deliver a threatening set-piece, while his free kick from distance on Sunday night against the Mariners rescued a point for the visitors.

Muscat will point to the opening two games – home defeats by a single goal to Sydney and Melbourne City – and argue that his side was unlucky not to get something out of either fixture.

But things will get tougher for the Melbourne Cup eve fixture against Western Sydney, as Victory will be without some of their key players through suspension and international call-ups.

Kosta Barbarouses will be away with New Zealand for their World Cup play-off against Peru, while James Troisi will be absent with the Socceroos as they try to see off Honduras, their final obstacle to a place in Russia 2018.

Berisha is still suspended, having picked up a two-game ban for putting his hands on a match official in Adelaide.

The only silver lining is that Mark Milligan will be allowed to play in the November 6 match in Melbourne even though the Socceroos captain is suspended from the first leg of the tie against Honduras, which will be played in Central America on November 10.

Victory’s main problem, as Muscat identified in the wake of Sunday’s draw, is that that they are not imposing themselves on games enough.

The lack of continuity in the forward third, with Troisi, Milligan and Barbarouses on international duty, has meant Victory are not playing with the attacking cohesion they had in previous seasons.

“We started off very sloppy in possession of the ball, going backwards, taking the easy option instead of going forwards,” Muscat said after the Mariners draw.

“We have to be honest with ourselves. There are two reasons why you do that … you are not confident in yourself to pass the ball forward or the people in front of you are not moving.

“Our quality when it counted was just a little bit lacking, it was off.”

He is taking solace from the fact that Victory have at least picked up two points on the road in their last two games but knows that there should be a lot more to come from this squad.

It’s too early to talk of a crisis, as the Adelaide example of a few years ago shows. Poor starts can be overcome.

But Victory need to get their skates on if they want to be a significant player this season, or City and Sydney may well be too far ahead for Victory to entertain thoughts of a top two position.

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Beersheba: On the plains to the south-east of Be’er Sheba, a young boy’s donkey stands stubbornly in a field, as its rider whacks at its flanks.
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Behind him in a gully, a flock of camels wanders up the banks of a stream.

And in the distance, dust flies up in the wake of a horseman, galloping across the Negev desert, a tiny echo of a turning point in history.

One hundred years ago, this was the scene of an astonishing moment in the ANZAC story. It sits sandwiched between the coming-of-age tragedy of Gallipoli, and the grinding horror of the Western Front, and many only dimly remember the heroics of Beersheba, possibly the last great cavalry charge, probably Australia’s first great military victory.

Hamish Gibbons, lieutenant colonel in the New Zealand army, looks down at the plains and tries to picture how it was.

“The actual charge was quite an audacious plan,” he says. “It was not what the enemy would have thought anyone would have tried, not how the war had been fought.

“I can only imagine what would have been playing on the minds of the troops.”

The 800 light horsemen, 6km south-east of Beersheba, had ridden their Australian ‘Waler’ horses through the desert night to get into position for the charge. They would have been tired and dehydrated, and then faced a long wait for their do-or-die moment.

Their Anzac allies cleared the way, taking a Turkish machine gun emplacement on a hill that could have picked them off as they charged (this vital New Zealand contribution to Australia’s proud moment is often underplayed).

And then, mid-afternoon, they formed up and charged, first at a trot, then finally at a gallop as the Beersheba defenders woke too late to the threat, then melted away within hours in the face of the ferocious attack.

Through the machine gun fire and artillery to victory.

“It was very brave, very audacious, and ultimately successful,” says Lt-Col Gibbons. “Unlike the Western Front, they could fight the sort of battle that they wanted to fight.”

Historian Jonathan King is part of a recreation of that charge, a group of 100 men and women who wanted to honour the Anzacs by walking in their footsteps – or hoofprints.

“The whole point is to bring history to life,” said King, whose great-grandfather was among the soldiers in the original assault on the town.

“This great cavalry charge at Beersheba 100 years ago turned the tide of the war in Palestine, but very few Australians know about it. This was one of the greatest moments in Australian history and it should be a celebrated cornerstone of our culture and national identity.”

The victory also created the conditions for the foundation of the modern state of Israel – which the locals have not forgotten, King said.

King and his comrades have donned the full World War One uniform – “which I might say is really hot”, right down to the slouch hats with the emu plumes, and found local horses to play the part of the old Australian ones. They have followed the whole three-day track of the original regiment, which patiently circled the town to attack from the less-defended south.

“It is different now – we are coming in from the desert, so there hasn’t been a lot of development in a century,” says King. “But there’s the huge city of Be’er Sheva in the background.

“You’ve got to close your eyes, and in your mind just try and visualise what it would have been like.”

“We ignore the buildings and think that we’re doing what they would have loved us to do, the troopers, especially the 31 killed.”

The re-creation hasn’t been smooth sailing. The Israeli horses are frisky, and their riders not exactly battle-hardened. The 3-day journey through the desert has taken a toll.

On Tuesday afternoon, their moment will come, as part of a day of commemoration attended by the prime ministers of Australia and Israel.

“We are like the WW1 troopers thirsty, covered in dust, saddle sore and tired,” says King.

“But the morale is very high, we are all conscious that we are bringing history to life and honouring the troopers who made history with that great charge

“To me personally it will be spine-chilling.”

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Drugs seized from the Steel Street commercial premises.POLICE investigating a cannabis growing syndicate in Newcastle on Monday searched another home, this time in Beauford Street, Maryland.
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At 11.50am, officers executed another search warrant at the Beauford Street address. A number of items were located and seized for forensic examination.

​Four people havebeen charged and over 325 cannabis plants seized by officers attached to Strike Force Bungarn, set up totarget the hydroponic cultivation of cannabis in Newcastle.

Police raid house in cannabis investigation Lamps in one of the rooms of the house raided on October 30.

Inside one of the rooms of the house raided on October 30.

Lamps in one of the rooms of the house raided on October 30.

A police office with some of the drugs seized in last week’s raids.

A police office with some of the drugs seized in last week’s raids.

The scene of last week’s raid in Steel Street.

Equipment seized in last week’s raid in Steel Street.

The scene of last week’s raid in Steel Street.

The scene of last week’s raid in Steel Street.

TweetFacebookAt 6pm on October23, officers arrested three men, two aged 22 and 33, for drug possession following a random breath test on Glebe Road, Adamstown, police said.

Then about 2am on October 24, officers executed a search warrant at commercial premises on Steel Street, Newcastle West, where they allegedly located an elaborate hydroponic set-up, 325 cannabis plants and 66 kilograms of cannabis.

About 2.30pm on October25,a 44-year-old woman was arrested at a Kotara business where she was charged with knowingly direct activities of criminal group.

In Newcastle Local Court on Friday, police alleged Nga White, of Hunter Street, Newcastle, was the leader of a group comprising of predominantly Vietnamese men who laundered money and cultivated large quantities of cannabis while living in Australia illegally.

MagistrateRobert Stone granted strict bail with conditions including a $100,000 surety, that Ms Whitewas to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and not to go within one kilometre of an international departure point.

Beijing: An attack on Chinese school students in Canberra that saw one hospitalised could be a turning point in Chinese attitudes towards Australia, a major newspaper has editorialised.
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Two local teenagers have faced Children’s Court after the bashing at the Woden bus interchange last week, which has been widely reported by Chinese newspapers, radio and state media.

Lowy Institute director of East Asia programs Merriden Varrall said the incident “could certainly affect decision making” by safety conscious Chinese students considering studying in Australia.

A Chinese student who attended the same school as the victims told a Beijing newspaper that students are scared, because the day after the attack, they had been sworn at and pushed into a Chinese restaurant by a group of 20 to 30 Australian youths.

Global Times, a mass-circulating national newspaper focused on foreign policy, said the incident would prompt many Chinese people to feel Australia isn’t safe.

“If Australia does not take strong measures to eliminate the impact of this matter, this incident and the series of recent negative events and comments against Chinese in Australia will constitute a turning point, reshaping Chinese people’s foundation for understanding Australian society,” the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Monday.

The newspaper said “tough” talk on China by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, anti-Chinese posters at Australian universities, and “backstreet hooligans cursing ‘go back to China’ and beating our children” undermined Canberra’s message that Australia is friendly to China.

In a warning of a potential impact to Australia’s $21.8 billion international education market, the Global Times said Australia was not the only place that Chinese students could gain an education.

Another newspaper, Beijing Youth Daily interviewed Chinese student “Li Li”, a friend of the two students injured, who said they were attacked after being asked for cigarettes – which they didn’t have – by local youths.

The Chinese students did not fight back because their parents would be upset, and they were scared of being deported, he said.

“If we return now, we don’t have any diploma.”

Li Li said the Chinese school students were saddened by the names they are called in Australia.

“Some people say we are ‘stupid and rich’, ‘foreign worshippers’, and deserve to be beaten. In fact, many of our students are from ordinary families. The money is earned by our parents, one penny after another, and tuition fees are paid by ‘biting teeth’,” he told Beijing Youth Daily.

Li Li said he was fearful and ran away when he saw a young person in Canberra who was not in school uniform.

ACT Policing said it had stepped up patrols and “engaged with the Chinese community”.

Ms Varrall, who has previously taught in Chinese universities, said the Global Times editorial reflected that, “there is a changing view in China about the attitude to Australia”.

She said the recent controversy in Australia over Chinese university students had been noticed.

Chinese students consider the safety of the country they are going to when weighing up where to study overseas, and had previously considered Australia safer than Europe.

ACT education minister Yvette Barry said it was an “isolated incident – the ACT community welcomes international students”.

Linda Jakobson, the chief executive of think tank China Matters, said: “The Global Times attempts to connect dots that aren’t necessarily to be connected.

“An isolated incident of violence doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the challenges and problems on Australian university campuses.”

But she said if there were more incidents it would be cause for concern.

Australian Chinese online media reported that a WeChat group has been established to offer help to Chinese students who need transport around Canberra and want to avoid public transport.

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Australia’s Chief Medical Officer has stridently rejected claims a “budget” flu vaccine was partly responsible for this year’s horror flu season, as the academic quoted called the reports “inaccurate”.
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Professor Brendan Murphy called “utterly false” accusations that a cheaper flu vaccine was to blame for hundreds flu-related deaths among the elderly this year.

“I could not be clearer – I completely refute this false claim,” CMO Professor Murphy said of the reports first published in News Corp papers.

“I could not be clearer – I completely refute this false claim,” CMO Professor Murphy said of the reports first published in News Corp papers.

Immunisation Coalition chair Professor Paul Van Buynder – quoted in the article – on Tuesday distanced himself from the claims, saying: “Media reports referring to ‘cheap vaccines’ don’t accurately describe the situation of vaccine purchasing in Australia.”

“The vaccine purchased by the Australian government and used this year was the best available in Australia at the time, and remains so today,” Professor van Buynder said in a statement.

“While the vaccine was relatively ineffective in the elderly this year, we had no alternative vaccine available.”

The articles stated the Australian government could have brought in a vaccine four times stronger and $2 more expensive per dose than those currently on the National Immunisation Programme (NIP).

But the two pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the “enhanced” vaccines have also rubbished claims that the “cheaper” offering was partly to blame for the high flu rates, or that the Australian government could have supplied the newer alternatives.

Sanofi and Seqirus (formerly CSL) have not applied to register their vaccines with the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA), a mandatory step before vaccines can be considered for PBS listing and added to the immunisation program.

Infectious diseases expert at the University of Sydney, Professor Robert Booy, said the newer vaccines were more effective but their benefit this flu season would have been incremental.

US evidence suggested the vaccines were roughly 25 per cent more effective than those currently available in Australia, said Professor Booy, who is also head of clinical research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance in Australia.

“To be frank, an increase of 25 per cent on a vaccine that was 30 per cent effective this flu season is about 37 per cent effective. That’s the kind of improvement we’re talking about.

“No one is trying to save money here … we are using the best available vaccines in Australia,” he said.

Both government authorities and independent experts conceded this year’s vaccine was far less protective than they had hoped, offering as little as 20 to 30 per cent effectiveness among at risk groups including the elderly.

At the peak of the horrendous flu season, health minister Greg Hunt asked Professor Murphy to explore ways of strengthening Australia’s influenza protection, including holding talks with vaccine manufacturers about new and stronger vaccines.

Professor Murphy said evidence that over 65s had a weaker immune response to the vaccine only emerged “in the past year or so”.

“We’re working with the companies to see what fast-tracking process we can provide to deliver [the new vaccines], but that wasn’t even a consideration at the vaccine choice last year,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Both Sanofi and Seqirus indicated they were in the process of registering their vaccines for use in Australia, and were working with the Department of Health to expedite regulation.

Sanofi’s unavailable vaccine has four times the dose of the currently available vaccines, while Seqirus’ adjuvant vaccine contains an additional component that triggers a stronger immune response and creates more antibodies.

The manufacturers backed the CMO and influenza experts’ stance, stressing suggestions the high rate of influenza in Australia in 2017 are in part a result of the supply of “cheap” vaccine were incorrect.

“The 2017 flu vaccine supplied in Australia is the current standard of care globally for the prevention of influenza,” Sanofi said in its statement.

In a separate statement, Sequiris said they and other manufacturers “have not previously sought regulatory approval for sale of these vaccines in Australia and it would have been illegal and irresponsible for government to have attempted to offer them on the NIP”.

“The Minister for Health, [CMO, TGA] and Federal Department of Health have responded swiftly to this year’s severe influenza season, and Seqirus is working to expedite regulation of our enhanced vaccine” said Dr Lorna Meldrum, vice-president commercial operations.

The World Health Organisation independently monitors circulating influenza strains and advises vaccine manufacturers and public health authorities which strains should be included the next round of seasonal flu vaccines.

“They are the same vaccines that are available and used in the UK, US and other countries and the same vaccines available on the private market in Australia,” Professor Murphy said.

Professor Booy said it was “worrying” to see the currently available vaccines portrayed as “budget” options, warning misinformation could drive down vaccination rates.

He said the best way to protect high-risk groups was to increase the vaccination rate in healthy adults to reduce transmission.

“It behooves us to maximise vaccine uptake in the healthy adults who ae coming into contact with the elderly in aged care, residential care and hospitals,” he said.

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Somewhere in a freezer at a Melbourne fertility clinic, sits something that belongs to six-year-old Stella Davis.
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It was removed from her when she was a toddler, while she was undergoing intensive chemotherapy for a germ cell cancer that was refusing to go away.

The tissue sample, taken from one of Stella’s ovaries, is of no use to her now. And it might not be for decades to come, if ever.

But it represents hope.

There is a risk that Stella may not be able to have children of her own in the future, because of the multiple rounds of chemotherapy she had to endure after the discovery of a large tumour on her tail bone.

In response, doctors at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne offered her parents the option of preserving some of her ovarian tissue.

Stella’s mother Lara MacEwen said making the decision to preserve her daughter’s ovarian tissue was an easy one.

“I’m very realistic,” she said.

“We know that there isn’t a 100 per cent chance that it is going to work, but you have to be hopeful, and science and technology is progressing so fast.

“Who knows where we will be in 15 years or so?”

One might assume that any parent of a child in Stella’s situation would do all they could to help their child.

But the issue is more fraught than it appears, success with tissue from young children is unproven and could rely on technology that does not yet exist.

The topic has been recently investigated by University of Melbourne bioethicist Rosalind McDougall and her colleagues, who found that for many children the removal of reproductive tissue was ethically permissible, but not ethically required – which meant the decision was up to parents.

“Even though the surgery to collect the tissue is quite straightforward, the techniques of using the tissue are still being developed,” Dr McDougall said.

“[In cases where doctors believe] it is going to be medically safe for a child, it is appropriate to offer the procedure but because of the speculative nature of the future benefit we think it is justifiable for parents to go forward with the procedure – or decide not to.”

Although 80 per cent of paediatric cancer patients now survive their illness, 16 per cent of girls will be left infertile and treatment can also deplete boy’s sperm.

The Royal Children’s Hospital has, since 2013, been routinely offering the fertility preservation procedure for appropriate patients, with tissue samples taken from 100 girls and 40 boys.

These cases were guided by an ethical framework, which asks clinicians to consider questions such as whether the child has already received treatment that may have damaged the tissue, whether the procedure could delay cancer treatment and if parents realised that the procedure would not guarantee future fertility.

The process sees ovarian or testicular tissue taken from young cancer patients and frozen in a process of “cryopreserving”, in the hope that by the time the children are grown, medical technology will have advanced to allow the tissue to be used to create a baby.

In girls, it is thought the harvested tissue may be replanted when the patient is ready to have children.

Royal Children’s Hospital paediatric oncologist Professor Michael Sullivan said it was also conceivable that eggs could one day be recovered from the frozen ovarian tissue.

Professor Sullivan said that globally there had been at least 100 births using cryopreserved ovarian tissue, but only one report of a live birth from tissue that was removed before the girl hit puberty.

“That’s because tissue has only been stored for a relatively short time,” he said.

The technology is less advanced when it comes to boys. It is estimated that births relying on testicular tissue for sperm “may be decades away”.

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AFL great Luke Hodge says a line in the sand has been drawn following the three-match ban handed down to Richmond premiership defender Nathan Broad, suggesting that the next player to commit a similar offence to that of the Tiger deserves a considerably heftier penalty.
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Richmond – in combination with the AFL – suspended West Australian backman Broad for the first three matches of the 2018 home and away season for sending a photo of a topless woman wearing a premiership medal, taken on the night of Richmond’s grand final win. Broad did not have permission to send the photo of the woman, whose head was not in the image, although while the photo went viral no charges were laid following a Victoria Police investigation into the matter.

The league said it supported the length of the ban, but while Hodge didn’t say it had been overly lenient, he said players should learn from Broad’s mistake, or else incur the AFL’s wrath.

“People, and players especially, they’ve got to be smarter and respect ladies better than that,” Hodge told ABC radio on Monday as he promoted his newly-released book The General.

“[Broad] probably didn’t realise what social media, iPhones can do these days.

“If you send it out on social media, it can go anywhere, the same as a picture message.

“Next time that happens, I hope the AFL comes down a lot harder than this one. I think it’s a massive learning curve for him as a young person, and hopefully he’s better for it in the future.”

Triple-premiership captain and dual Norm Smith medallist Hodge, who has come out of a short-lived retirement to join the Brisbane Lions after a storied 16 season career at Hawthorn, described the situation as a “test case.”

“Hopefully this is a learning curve for not only him, but all the other players who are going to do something silly like that,” he said.

“I obviously feel for the young lady, and hopefully she hasn’t been affected too much by it. Obviously I’m glad that her name hasn’t been put out.

“But I’m tipping that now that this has obviously been the test case, if anyone’s ever silly enough to do this again, then it’s going to be a lot bigger whack, and I think that’s very deserved.”

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the league wouldn’t tolerate this sort of behaviour.

“This is a serious reminder about the responsibility each individual holds in their respectful treatment of the people around them,” Dillon said.

“These unacceptable actions will not be tolerated in the AFL, and our 18 clubs will continue to work to drive cultural change about respectful and responsible behaviour.”

Broad, 24, was plucked by the Tigers as a mature-age recruit from WAFL club Swan Districts deep in the 2015 draft. He played just two senior games in 2016 before missing the early part of this year through injury, but won back his spot towards the end of the year to play 10 games including all three of Richmond’s finals.

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The Australian Taxation Office is aware investigative journalists are scrutinising the clients of Bermuda-based law firm Appleby, and are bracing themselves for what may be a second Panama Papers-style leak.
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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has approached the firm with allegations of wrongdoing, which the firm strongly denies. The firm admitted that some client data had been stolen in a cyber attack last year.

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, which includes major government agencies including the Australian Taxation Office, has since July 2015 raised more than $400 million in liabilities from 614 audits and reviews and collected more than $164 million in cash collections.

In the past financial year, it raised more than $258 million in liabilities and collected $126 million in cash.

One of the taskforce’s most high-profile investigations into the first Panama Papers leaks – 11.5 million documents were leaked from law firm Mossack Fonseca – identified 1200 Australians of interest.

The ATO told Senate Estimates it raised about $50 million worth of liabilities from this investigation, and a further $40 million worth of income would now being counted.

About 600 of those had already either come forward through the ATO’s 2014 tax amnesty known as Project Do It.

The ATO has previously told Fairfax Media that Australian tax advisers and their wealthy clients with links to the Panama Papers may be hit with criminal charges.

Deputy Commissioner Mark Konza told Senate Estimates he was aware of media reports indicating another big leak was coming.

“We have been aware of an issue regarding this firm,” he said. “We understand that it’s in regard to services provided by that law firm to taxpayers.

“… From the bare details that we have, that it might be similar to the Panama Papers where tax structuring has been exposed.”

In 2016-17, the ATO also took part in a joint international investigation into Swiss banking relationship managers, who are alleged to have actively promoted and facilitated tax evasion in Australia.

Its annual report said it had “identified a number of Australians that require further examination in respect of offshore activities”.

The ATO’s private groups and wealthy Australians programs (including high-wealth individuals, trusts and promoters) had more than 520 taxpayers under audit or review. This work raised $834 million in liabilities and $466 million in cash collections in 2016-17.

It also noted that the government’s Phoenix Taskforce, which included the ATO, was moving against illegal phoenix behaviour.

It said its campaign to make the community aware of the problem via media and social media promotions had resulted in a 24 per cent increase in referrals to the Tax Evasion Referral Centre compared with last year, which could lead to future compliance action.

In 2016-17, there had been 680 reviews and audits, resulting in liabilities of $326.8 million and cash collections of $133 million.

Follow Nassim Khadem on Facebook and Twitter.

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The teenager bashed unconscious at a Halloween party on Sydney’s north shore has woken from a coma and is talking to his family.
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The 16-year-old had been left fighting for his life with critical head injuries after being punched to the ground outside a Gladesville party on Saturday night.

Emergency services were called to the Ganora Street home just before 11.30pm following reports that a teenager was unconscious and suffering head injuries.

Detectives had been told an altercation took place between a group of youths outside the home before the teen was punched, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head.

Police attended the Gladesville home on Saturday night. Photo: Supplied/Channel 9

The teen was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition and was still fighting for his life on Sunday.

But his family said in a statement on Monday that the teen had shown significant signs of improvement.

“We are pleased to announce that our son is now out of a coma and talking,” the statement read.

“As you can imagine, this has been an emotional time for our family and we request the media respect our privacy so that we are able to focus our efforts on being there for our son and help him during this time.

“A big thank you also to the NSW Police Force who are investigating this matter. And to our family, friends and work colleagues who have supported us during this difficult time.”

The party of about 60 teenagers had turned nasty after a number of people, believed to have already been kicked out of another party, turned up uninvited.

A group of young men had fled the scene before police arrived however some of the visitorsremained outside the house as a crime scene was set up.

Halloween masks and beer bottles lay strewn across nature strips and the suburban road as police attempted to calm the situation.

Senior police later made a public appeal for witnesses to come forward.

Ryde detectives continued to interview partygoers on Monday in an attempt to find out what caused the melee and who was responsible for the punch.

It was still unclear on Monday whether the injured man was an invited guest at the Halloween party being hosted by a teenage girl.

The brawl also prompted police to warn would-be party hosts to have adequate supervision.

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The five federal politicians disqualified over their citizenship status collected close to $9 million in taxpayer-funded salaries they were not entitled to.
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Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce accounts for $2.8 million of that money and his former Nationals deputy Fiona Nash $2.6 million. Both first entered parliament in 2005 and have benefited from ministerial bonuses since 2013.

Former Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were paid $1.8 million and $1.3 million respectively, and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts collected about $266,000 between the 2016 election and Friday’s High Court verdict.

All up, they collected a total of $8,769,509 in base salary and ministerial bonuses. The figure – based on an analysis of MP pay rates and positions held over the last 13 years – does not include committee bonuses or any allowances.

It also does not include any staff or office costs.

And it comes on top of the price tag of the High Court case itself, which has been estimated to have cost taxpayers up to $3 million given the Commonwealth picked up the tab for half a dozen of the nation’s top silks and their teams.

However none of the five were eligible for the generous parliamentary defined benefits scheme pension because all were elected after 2004.

All five MPs were booted out of Parliament after the court ruled them ineligible because of their dual citizenship. Mr Joyce and Mr Ludlam had New Zealand citizenships, Ms Nash and Mr Roberts British and Ms Waters Canadian.

While the verdict only related to their eligibility at the time of last year’s election, all five inherited their dual citizenship status at birth – meaning all were in fact illegitimately elected for the entirety of their federal political careers.

While the Turnbull government could pursue repayment – at least for the roughly $1.3 million paid out since July 2016 – it is unlikely to do so.

While the Department of Finance is likely to write to the dumped MPs with a bill for salaries, allowances, superannuation and staff payments, they can easily apply to the government for a waiver.

Former Family First senator Bob Day did just that earlier this year after he was disqualified for contravening pecuniary interest elements of the constitution.

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan agreed to the waiver, saying it was “consistent with the outcome in previous similar cases”. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframeTT’);

That approach would only be likely to change if evidence emerged that an MP had deliberately or knowingly defrauded the taxpayer.

Asked on Monday whether the MPs should pay back any money, acting Prime Minister Julie Bishop said: “That would be a matter of advice from the Department of Finance and that would be a matter for the Finance Minister.”

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HANG TIME: Newcastle Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard wins a header during the 1-all draw against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollHow many times have you heard a match described as “a game of two halves”?
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Well that old chestnut certainly got a workout at the Jets v Wanderers clash on Sunday, and in the media appraisals post game.

The Wanderers, playing their third game in eight days, were sharper, crisperand more fluent in the opening stanza, and went to the break comfortable, rather than dominant leaders.

The half-time discussion in the stands centred around disrupting the Wanderers flow, the Jets playing forward earlier, asking some questions of the Wanderers’ defence, and a general lift in intensity.

Knowledgeable pundit Andy Harper concurred on Fox Sports coverageand, perhaps more importantly, Jets coach Ernie Merrick saw things in a similar light.

Did the Jets lift? Did the Wanderers drop away? A combination of both?

Did the introduction of Joey Champness turn things around? You’d have to say it did, though to be fair the Wanderers did miss Kearyn Baccus’s midfield authority after he succumbed to illness.

All of that may have contributed to a change in fortunes, but there is no doubt that goals change momentum and matches more than any other factor.

After Dimi Petratos followed up the rebound from Roy O’Donovan’s snapshot, and restored scoreboard parity, there really looked likely to be only one winner.

The Jets started to go around a tiring Wanderers side, particular joy to be found down the visitors left-hand side, where RaúlLlorente at left back was hampered by a cork, picked up in the first half.

In the enda draw was probably a pretty fair reflection of the game. Both sides were perhaps left feeling a tinge of disappointment, but both were pleased to maintain their unbeaten starts to the season.

Given the circumstances of the weekend prior, the injury to Ronny Vargasand the psychological and physical toll that may have taken, and the pedigree of the Wanderers, a draw for the Jets is certainly no disaster.

They will be very eager to provide the fans with a home victory, however, as it has been nearly 12 months since that has happened at McDonald Jones Stadium.

No better time to do that, you might think, than with a home fixture this Saturday night in prime time, against a Wellington Phoenix side whogave up a 3-0lead against Brisbane at home last weekend.

This fixture, however, has traditionally proven to be a bit of a banana-skin game for the Jets, and not one to be complacent about at all, this time around. The two sides played each other in pre-season at Edgeworth not so long ago, and though I am wary of trial form, there were lessons to be learned.

The Jets looked in total control for most of that encounter, but Wellington had a 15-minute period, just after Ben Kantarovski departed his defensive midfield role where they ran amok, with a lively Roy Krishna to the fore.

Jets coach Merrick of course knows all about the qualities of the Fijian flyer, Michael McGlinchey and company, from his time at the Phoenix , and I am sure will be stressing the need for maximum effort and application.

It’s a hackneyed observation, but there really aren’t any easy games in the A league. Just ask Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat at the moment.

Last season’s runners-up are struggling, with two points from four games, but you’d fancy they will pick up the pace when World Cup qualifying commitments, and Besart Berisha’s suspension, end.

Last season’s record-breaking champions Sydney FC have started the season very professionally, winning three of four games, and coming from 0-2 down in the derby, to share the points with the Wanderers.

Surely they will finish top two again?

If I’m honest, I think they are close to a moral to win the premiers plate, but I may know more about that after Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with the high-flying Melbourne City side.

English coach Warren Joycehas the sky-blue side of Melbourne ticking over nicely, and dare we write it, showing more discipline and desire than has been the case in previous seasons.

They clash at AAMI Park, and your columnist will be there in person,beforemy annual pilgrimage to Derby Day at Flemington, which coincides most handily with what should be a terrific contest.

Having told “Windy”, who had taken the $2.88 about the Wanderers on Sunday, to have a saving bet on the draw at $4.33, not three minutes before the Jets equalised, my confidence is back in a big way (although he ignored my suggestion completely).

So dear friends, and discerning readers, let me give you some advice, not likely to be approved at the Noel Whitaker School of wealth accumulation.

You can currently find odds of $1.90 about Sydney FC to win the minor premiership. Do so now, before Friday (you can always back up at a better price if City beat them), sit back and relax, and almost double your ample investment by May.

If in the unlikely event of a Graham Arnold-coached team losing its way, you will still be right in the running till season’s end, and able to save your stake if necessary.

Money for jam really. All thanks and gratuities can be forwarded to me care of the Herald, and please remember, always gamble responsibly.

Slater & Gordon Chairman John Skippen leaves the company’s AGM in Melbourne. Photo by Jesse Marlow. . Slater & Gordon CEO Andrew Grech talks to investors after the company’s AGM in Melbourne. Photo by Jesse Marlow. .
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Slater and Gordon’s long-suffering shareholders will be nearly wiped out in the company’s rescue plan and many will be left with parcels of shares so small they cannot be sold on market.

The dire fate of Slater and Gordon’s shareholders was laid bare in more than 1000 pages of documents filed to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.

But despite shareholders facing near wipe out, the deal is a better option than placing the company in administration where the shares will be worth zero, according to an independent expert’s report on the deal by KPMG.

The rescue plan will salvage Slater and Gordon’s Australian business.

The recapitalisation comes after two horror years during which the company has teetered on the brink of insolvency after a $1.3 billion deal in the UK blew up.

After the rescue, current shareholders will only hold 5 per cent of the company’s shares.

Slater and Gordon’s senior lenders led by America’s Anchorage Capital Group will hold the other 95 per cent.

The shares that were once worth $2.8 billion were trading at 6.8 cents on Monday equating to a market capitalisation of $24.2 million.

The rescue plan values Slater and Gordon’s shares at between 0.3 cents or 1.1 cents each, meaning the 351.4 million shares currently on issue will be worth between $1.05 million and $3.87 million.

This compares to the $15.5 million in fees Slater and Gordon’s legal and financial advisers will receive for completing the deal.

About 6.5 billion shares will be issued to the hedge funds holding Slater and Gordon’s $1 billion-plus debt pile. Shares will then be consolidated on 1 for 100 basis.

In return, the hedge funds will forgive swathes of Slater and Gordon’s debts. The lighter debt load will free up the company’s balance sheet which is currently weighed down by finance repayments.

Slater and Gordon chairman John Skippen apologised to shareholders over the deal.

“Regrettably the interests of existing shareholders will be significantly diluted and I and the board are sorry for this,” Mr Skippen.

Slater and Gordon’s former managing director, Andrew Grech, and current executives Hayden Stephens and Ken Fowlie will be impacted by the recapitalisation, with all holding shares in the company. Mr Skippen also owns 100,000 shares and will be diluted through the process.

The recapitalisation will mean that many of Slater and Gordon’s existing shareholders will be left with parcels of shares valued at below $500, making them unmarketable.

Slater and Gordon says it may consider a buyback of these unmarketable parcels after the recapitalisation of the company.

The documents also revealed that Slater and Gordon plans to hive off its deeply troubled UK business into a new entity. The separation of the UK and Australian businesses will insulate Slater and Gordon’s middling local results from the earnings losses in the UK.

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Jakarta: One of the daughters of Indonesia’s first president has called for the US to apologise after the release of a “top secret” document from 1975 that reveals the CIA considered assassinating Sukarno during the Cold War.
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The document – a summary of an investigation into CIA involvement in plans to assassinate foreign leaders – was among 2800 previously classified files related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy that were released last week.

It details CIA attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and says the CIA also considered killing Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba and Indonesian president Sukarno.

“America should not only apologise to Indonesia, America should apologise to all the countries they disturbed, if they will admit to it,” Sukarno’s daughter Sukmawati Sukarnoputri told Fairfax Media. “They never want to admit to it, especially the CIA.”

The newly declassified document reveals the degree to which the US was prepared to intervene in other nations’ affairs during the Cold War.

It said Richard Bissell, who was CIA Deputy Director of Plans at the time, testified there had been discussion within the CIA of the “possibility of an attempt on the life of President Sukarno of Indonesia”.

The plotting “progressed as far as the identification of an asset who it was felt might be recruited for this purpose”.

Bissell testified that the assassination plan “was never perfected to the point where it seemed feasible”.

He stressed the CIA had “absolutely nothing” to do with the death of Sukarno in 1970, when his health deteriorated after being put under house arrest.

Ms Sukmawati claimed the CIA had been responsible for riots, revolts and coups in Asia, Africa and Latin America because the US was opposed to the Non-Aligned Movement of nations, of which Sukarno was a founding member.

Ho Chi Minh, then president of North Vietnam, chats with Sukarno in Indonesia in 1959. Photo: AP

The founding members believed that developing countries should not help either the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War.

“Sukarno was warned by his friends before the (launch of the) Non-Aligned Movement: ‘Be careful, the US will launch a coup against any state leader who is not pro the US’,” Ms Sukmawati said.

She said her father’s foreign policy had not been “pro-US” because he was opposed to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

PhD scholar Donald Greenlees said this was not the first time documents had been released relating to CIA plans to assassinate Sukarno.

“I would like to know the identity of the CIA ‘asset’. I assume that is buried in a file somewhere,” he said.

Mr Greenlees said there were assassination attempts against Sukarno. “Sukarno was a divisive figure. He had enemies at home. But it remains unclear whether the assassination attempts were simply coincidence, whether people cultivated by the CIA acted alone, or whether some in the CIA were entrepreneurial.”

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Kate McGregor said the US had been concerned at the time about Sukarno’s increasingly radical policies including his campaign against Malaysia, turn to China and support for the Indonesian Communist Party, the PKI.

She said the then president had increasing visibility and influence as an anti-imperialist icon across Asia and Africa who was not afraid to challenge ongoing economic and cultural imperialism.

At the time the West believed there was a real threat that Indonesia would fall to the communists.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Sukarno in 1960. Photo: Fairfax Media

Professor of Asian history at the Australian National University, Robert Cribb, says the CIA and US State Department had been obsessed with Sukarno and the potential damage he could do to their interests in South-east Asia.

“What we are seeing is a little bit more evidence that the CIA was closer to planning an assassination,” Professor Cribb said. “There doesn’t seem to be evidence of a definite plot but there is serious discussion of an assassination.”

The JFK documents are the second batch of newly declassified documents that shed fascinating light on the Cold War period in Indonesia.

Earlier this month the National Security Archive in the US published newly declassified documents from the US Embassy in Jakarta from 1964 to 1968 that revealed the US government’s knowledge and support of a campaign of mass murder against the PKI.

One cable cites as its source a “reliable Australian journalist”, who is understood to be Frank Palmos.

It suggests US officials were well aware that alleged PKI supporters and members being arrested or killed in an army-led campaign of repression and mass murder had no role in – or even knowledge of – an abortive coup in which six army generals were murdered.

Another cable cites the observations of anthropologist James Fox – now a professor at the Australian National University – who was living on Rote island in East Nusa Tenggara at the time and reported the execution of “between 40 and 50 local Rote communists plus another 30 communists” from the neighbouring island of Sawu.

Professor Cribb said it is fascinating every time previously classified documents are released.

“Next year I will be teaching a course called ‘Lies, Conspiracy and Propaganda’ and this will be a very good bit of material for that course.”

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Brumbies second-rower Blake Enever was on a coffee run before an NRC match on Sunday when he missed a phone call from an unknown number.
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“I thought it was maybe one of the guys asking for a coffee,” Enever said. “I called him back, he missed it, but then straight away [he] called back and said: ‘It’s Michael Cheika, mate, do you want to come on the spring tour?'”

Enever, a 26-year-old, 200-centimetre forward with just three Super Rugby starts this year, went into shock.

And when he ran out onto T G Millner Field for the Canberra Vikings against the Greater Sydney Rams, he decided to keep the best news of his career a secret from teammates.

After the game, which the Vikings won 35-22, he passed on the good news and began telling those closest to him that he would be travelling to the UK for the first time.

“It’s awesome news and I was so stoked to hear that,” Enever said. “It’s an opportunity for myself.

“It was a bit of a surprise. I still had to try and stay focused as much as I could. In the back of my mind I was really excited to get into camp today [Monday]. I tried not to go into my shell. At the back of my mind I wanted to play well and try and flow into the camp as well as possible.

“I called my fiancee and she was pretty stoked and then tried to keep it a bit quiet until after the game. I had a few mates in the team that were stoked after the game. I didn’t want to tell them before, otherwise it could have rattled them a little bit. Everyone has been happy for me.”

Once he got the news, Enever had to spring into action, knowing the Wallabies were flying to Japan within 48 hours.

“I caught the bus back to Canberra on Sunday and I got home at 11.30pm, packed, [was] in bed by midnight,” he said. “Then I was up at 4.30am for a 6.10am flight. That was all fine. It was a big day today.”

Enever went on a schoolboy tour to Japan in 2008 and played for Australia at the 2011 Junior World Championship in Italy but has never been to Wales, England or Scotland where the Wallabies will play Tests in November.

Cheika has liked a number of Enever’s traits and after a Super Rugby quarter-final, then-Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told Enever he was made of the right stuff to one day become a Wallaby.

“It’s a dream to be able to be a part of the Wallabies squad,” Enever said. “I wasn’t expecting it but I’m really stoked to get the call.

“I’m sure I’m not going over there for a holiday but a day here and there would be good to get your mind off rugby for a bit.

“He [Cheika] has explained a few roles he wants me to take on in the lineout but moving forward hopefully he’ll drip-feed them into me because it’s been a pretty big day so far. He’ll have a few things I’ll need to work on and offer to the squad.

“There’s a fair bit of knowledge that I’ve got to try and knuckle down on in the first couple of days and from then on it’s just refining them and getting myself the best opportunity to be picked.”

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There is yet to be any interest in delisted former Western Bulldogs forward Stewart Crameri ahead of the first delisted free agency signing period, which opens on Wednesday.
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Crameri, 29, who moved to the Bulldogs from Essendon for the start of the 2014 season, has played 99 games since making his AFL debut in 2010.

The mobile yet strong marking forward has battled persistent hip injuries recently and spent 2016 on the sidelines thanks to a suspension received for his part in the Essendon supplements saga.

Fairfax Media understands no clubs have signalled their interest in Crameri at this stage.

He would likely have moved back to Essendon in the trade period had they not secured Jake Stringer from the Bulldogs.

Geelong had been interested in Crameri but don’t have a spot on their list for him. The Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns are also understood to not be in the running for Crameri.

He has been training throughout the off season and is willing to take any opportunity that might come his way, including as a rookie draft selection.

Meanwhile, delisted Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung is more confident of finding a new home for 2018.

It is understood he has been contacted by clubs and, like Crameri, is happy to take his chance as a delisted free agency signing or as a rookie.

Hartung, 22, has played 63 game since making his debut in 2014. He has played 36 of those games in the past two seasons but coach Alastair Clarkson is understood to have finally run out of patience with the Dandenong Stingrays product.

Hartung was infamously dropped for Hawthorn’s 2015 grand final drubbing of West Coast after he played in the preliminary final and 19 other games for the season.

Taylor Hunt, who was delisted by Richmond last week (after being delisted by Geelong at the end of 2014) is understood not to be hopeful of his AFL career continuing into 2018.

Hunt studied to be a carpenter while he was at Richmond and will likely play VFL or local football in the immediate future.

Between November 1 and November 8, clubs can sign delisted free agents. They can do so again between November 10-17 and November 25-26. Final lists have to be lodged for the 2018 season on November 29.

If delisted free agents miss out on being signed in those periods they can also be picked up in the pre-season or rookie drafts, which take place on November 27.

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Steven Lowy’s bid to deliver a new Congress structure that is vehemently opposed by A-League clubs and the players union, the PFA, has been dealt a body blow by Victorian soccer officials.
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Local soccer chiefs have refused to bend under pressure from the embattled FFA chairman and will not support Lowy’s proposals at an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress, due to be held on Wednesday.

Lowy was understood to be planning to fly to Melbourne on Monday to lobby his case with Victorian officials, but hours before the scheduled meeting, FFV chairman Kimon Taliadoros sent Lowy a letter making it clear he would not be persuaded to side with FFA and seven other state federations.

In the letter obtained by AAP, he indicated the congress changes on the table fall “significantly short of satisfying” the wishes of stakeholders and FIFA’s mandate for more democratic governance.

Taliadoros subsequently urged Lowy to withdraw FFA’s notice for the EGM, notify FIFA and “immediately return to negotiations with the stakeholders” as time ticks down to the November 30 deadline.

One key Lowy antagonist, Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin, had earlier described the decision to hold an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress – which elects the FFA board and determines how the game is run in this country – as “a final cynical act” that, he argues, will destroy the board’s credibility and mandate.

Lowy is understood to have the support of most of soccer’s state federation bosses save for NSW, which has sided with the A-League clubs, and now Victoria, which had looked to be the “swing seat” among the state representatives.

The FFA chairman needs at least eight of the 10 votes at Wednesday’s EGM in order to carry his proposals for the new Congress, which would then be made up of nine state votes, four for the clubs, one for Professional Footballers Australia and one for the women’s game.

The clubs and PFA want a 9-5-1-1 model featuring one extra vote for the clubs, a small but crucial difference that would ensure the nine states no longer have majority power to elect FFA’s board.

All this manoeuvring is going on with the shadow of FIFA intervention hanging over the local game.

The sport’s governing body has the power to take over the running of the game here if it believes changes to the Congress are not broad enough to reflect all interests in the game.

The legal and procedural dispute has been brewing for months and is coming to a head.

The A-League clubs have decided to shelve plans to sue the FFA, although they have warned Lowy repeatedly there could be severe consequences if they and the players do not get more say in the decision-making process.

Days before FFA called the EGM earlier this month, incensed clubs wrote to Lowy threatening to seek an injunction to have the meeting – described by Griffin as an “abuse of power” – ruled illegal.

But in another charged letter to Lowy on Saturday, Griffin indicated the clubs would leave the legalities in the hands of FIFA.

“Noting that the FFA is one of only a handful of FIFA member associations structured as a corporation, part of our considerations is the apparent current focus of the FFA board on the Australian Corporations Act over the obligations of the FFA as an association member of FIFA,” the letter read.

“Those obligations to FIFA are clearly manifested in the consistent instructions the FFA board has received from FIFA with regard to governance reform over the last year, and indeed in the seven years prior to that.

“We do not wish to act in any way that might undermine FIFA’s authority in this matter and therefore will not take legal action at this juncture.”

A “commensurate” response would follow should the FFA push through its preferred model, the A-League clubs have said.

Both the clubs and PFA have accused FFA of attempting to remain as the game’s “dominant” or “pre-eminent” stakeholder.

Even if pushed through, the ultimate decision lies with FIFA, which has made it clear reforms must be agreed to by all stakeholders – identified by the world governing body as the states, clubs and PFA.

A resolution must be struck by November 30 or FIFA will remove Lowy and his board and install a normalisation committee to run Australian soccer.

with AAP

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

You’ve saved. Scrimped. Worked hard. Missed overseas trips, delicious and expensive breakfasts and music festivals … all in the pursuit of saving a deposit for your first home.
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After all that you’ve managed to save $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 – a huge effort! But, unfortunately, you’re still barely half way to where you want to be.

Despite house prices gains in major cities beginning to stall, the damage is done – a first home buyer is likely looking at laying out around $500,000 or more. If the full 20 per cent deposit is still the goal, that means coming up with $100,000.

How, then, can a hopeful first home buyer put their existing savings to work for them while they continue to save?

The methods outlined below focus on investing for income, rather than growth, so would theoretically boost an ongoing savings plan, rather than replace the task altogether.

It’s always best to speak with a financial adviser or planner before embarking on an investment strategy, and remember that, in all forms of investing, past performance is not a good indicator of the future.

That said, here are five ways young people could invest for income to put toward a first home deposit. 1. Term deposit

This is extremely popular territory for young savers. As far as risk goes, there’s pretty much zero. The bank will tell you in advance what your return will be, and you know exactly when you’ll be able to re-evaluate your investment.

The cost of that peace of mind, however, is large. Thanks to a global plunge in official interest rates, one-year term deposit rates in Australia have dropped to a record low of 2.25 per cent on average. It’s an easy-to-understand and safe way to store your savings but, unless official interest rates start rising fast, will provide almost no income. After a year, your hard-earned $30,000 will only bring in an extra $675. If you roll it over for five years, you’ll have a total of $33,530.

“The yields on these investments will move over time and, since the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the trend has been down,” according to AMP Capital chief economist and head of investment strategy Shane Oliver.

“There are lots of alternatives to bank deposits for income,” Dr Oliver said. 2. Shares (S&P/ASX 200)

Shares are inherently volatile. A 10 per cent drop in the value of an equity or sector is not that uncommon, according to market experts. That’s why a couple of things are widely agreed on – diversity is a good idea, short-term or leveraged trading comes with heightened risk, and emotions are best left out of it.

That said, the ASX 200 is heading for 6500 points by the end of next year, according to one market strategist – Credit Suisse’s Hasan Tevfik – which marks an almost 10 per cent gain from current levels and 15 per cent total return.

“We don’t think bull market is over,” Mr Tevfik told Domain.

“One of the attractions for the Aussie market is that it is the highest yielding market in the world, but it’s also the highest yielding asset in Australia at around 4 per cent, pre-franking.”

He’s talking about the whole index of 200 companies, which can offer a false sense of optimism for retail investors planning on picking a handful of stocks and hoping for the best.

That’s why equities ring alarm bells for so many – individual stocks can be heartbreakers, and, while volatility has dropped in recent years, a fall is often lurking in the shadows.

But, with a total yield of around 6 per cent (including franking credits) $30,000 would become $40,146 over five years.

A quick word on franking credits

This is where everybody’s eyes glaze over. Franking credits, or “dividend imputation”, is tricking you into ignoring it by having the world’s most boring name. It’s actually a brilliant feature of Australian stocks and can add to your income. Click here to find out more about franking credits, but, in a nutshell, Australian companies pass them onto the shareholders, who can then use them to reduce their tax burden. Paying less tax (or, if you’re on a low marginal tax rate, even scoring a refund) is as good as earning more. 3. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Rather than picking a handful of shares yourself and crossing your fingers, ETFs allow investors to track the performance of an entire index or asset class at once.

An ETF manager packages tradeable funds, which follow an index or commodity, or bundle stocks aimed at following a certain sector, like healthcare or even cyber security. And, as with all investing, the focus is usually slanted either towards growth or income.

“There’s always going to be a trade-off, you can’t have it both ways,” BetaShares spokesperson, Ilan Israelstam, told Domain.

But some of the ETFs group high-yield stocks together at the expense of overall capital growth. So, unlike a bank term deposit, you’ll receive more income during the investment but the overall value of it might not track any higher – in fact, it might drop.

“An example of that would be our Equity Yield Maximizer Fund – that owns the top 20 ASX stocks and uses an options strategy, basically, to give you a higher income,” Mr Israelstam said.

“It has been delivering about a 9 per cent yield. But, of course, the capital return is lower than what you’d expect from the market.”

Younger income-hungry investor might want think about bringing in some growth to their portfolio, according to the fund manager.

If a 9 per cent return is maintained for five years, and dividends are reinvested, then $30,000 could become $46,158. 4. Fractional property investing

For those hell-bent on using property as an investment, but lack the capital – meet fractional property investing. Funds like BrickX and DomaCom offer the opportunity to gain diversified exposure to the housing market while lowering the bar for entry.

DomaCom is a managed investment scheme which uses a crowdfunding campaign process to pool property investors together. The investors then contribute as much as they want towards the purchase of a property and receive “shares” in return. Investors can buy and sell their shares to other investors.

BrickX, similarly, buys a property in advance and then offers 10,000 shares, or “bricks”, in that property, which are sold individually to investors.

Both offer distribution to investors from rental income in line with their number of shares. 5. Superannuation

The proposed first home Super Scheme offers the chance to temporarily tack your savings onto your super and be taxed at a lower rate than usual.

Announced in the May budget but still to be fully legislated, individuals can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their super account, according to the federal government plan. These contributions and earnings would then be taxed at 15 per cent and can be withdrawn only for a first-house deposit. Withdrawals will be taxed at marginal tax rates minus a 30 per cent offset.

The scheme was meant to come into effect on July 1 of this year but has been delayed.

Finally, why have we been talking about investing for income rather than growth? Because for many, buying a house remains a short-to-medium-term goal.

Plenty of analysts and asset managers will tell young investors to take advantage of their age and go for growth, which means taking riskier investment options. They can “weather the storms” better than older investors who’ll need their money sooner for retirement.

But if the goal remains buying a house, then young investors don’t have all that much time either.

It could be that all they want is to do better than the 2.25 per cent bank rate for a few years while they continue their savings plan. That’s why first home buyers should be looking around for options where their risk remains relatively low but their return is better than they would get with a bank.

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