Archive for May, 2019 | Monthly archive page

Dangerous dad abandons baby to bash mate: video

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Shocking video footage of an intoxicatedfather leaving hisnine-month-old son unattendedto chase after his mateand knock him unconscious has been aired in a Wollongong court.
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The man, who cannot be named, left the child unrestrained in a pram precariously close to stairs atThirroul Railway Station on the evening ofDecember 27, 2014,to runafter the victim following an argument between the pair.

The footage shows the father throw a series of punches at his friend, the second of which appears to knock the man out cold,causing him to slump to the ground.

The father goes back to his son, however returns to hisunconscious friend’s side when another manarrives.

He then rolls the victim over and tries to wake him, at one stage taking the man’swallet and goingthrough it, all while the child remains alone at the other end of the station overpass.

Dangerous dad abandons baby to bash mate: video The footage shows the father throw a series of punches at his friend, the second of which appears to knock the man out cold, causing him to slump to the ground.

The footage shows the father throw a series of punches at his friend, the second of which appears to knock the man out cold, causing him to slump to the ground.

The father returns to the pram at the other end of the footbridge.

The father returns to the pram at the other end of the footbridge.

The father goes back to his son, however returns to his unconscious friend’s side when another man arrives.

The father goes back to his son, however returns to his unconscious friend’s side when another man arrives.

He then rolls the victim over and tries to wake him, at one stage taking the man’s wallet and going through it, all while the child remains alone at the other end of the station overpass.

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Labor’s Lynda Voltz calls for answers over Jamie Clements investigation

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Lynda Voltz has criticised an investigation by NSW parliament into sexual harassment claims against former NSW ALP boss Jamie Clements.Labor MLC Lynda Voltz has criticised an investigation by NSW parliament into sexual harassment claims against former NSW ALP boss Jamie Clements that found there was “insufficient evidence” to substantiate the allegations.
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Ms Voltz is a former military policewoman who investigated sexual harassment and assault allegations in the Australian Defence Force during the 1980s and ’90s.

She questioned why the investigation finding was based on “the balance of probabilities” as outlined in a letter to Mr Clements last October.

Fairfax Media revealed the confidential findings after Mr Clements resigned as general secretary following allegations he tried to kiss a staff member, Stefanie Jones, in a parliament house office last year.

Mr Clements was never charged and denies the claims, which were the subject of an apprehended violence order application brought by police last year.

Police withdrew the application and Mr Clements, without admissions, agreed to stay away from Ms Jones for 12 months.

But Mr Clements quit after federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called for a report and opposition leader Luke Foley urged him to resign.

The letter says parliament’s investigator found “insufficient corroborating evidence, on the balance of probabilities, to substantiate the allegations”.

It also found Ms Jones “exhibited a genuine level of anxiety regarding her interactions [with Mr Clements].”

But Ms Voltz said: “If this is the bar we are going to set for women wanting to make a complaint of sexual harassment there will be a lot of women discouraged from coming forward”.

This was particularly the case “if they know the offender is going to receive a document that will end up in the media.”

Ms Voltz has written to the Clerk of the Legislative Council, David Blunt, requesting an explanation.

“It’s about how they reached their conclusion, why the letter was sent and how victims will feel in the future about coming forward to make a complaint,” she said.

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Western Sydney Wanderers request safe standing for RBB in new stadium submission

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Loud and active: The Wanderers want to have standing room only for the RBB. Photo: Jonathan CarrollWestern Sydney Wanderers are pushing to make their new home in Parramatta the first stadium in Australia to have a dedicated standing end for active supporters, but must first reach an agreement with NRL club Parramatta Eels.
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By 2019, the new 30,000 capacity stadium in Parramatta could become the envy of all A-League clubs by including two permanent standing bays for the Wanderers’ vocal supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc.

In their submission for the new stadium, the Wanderers requested up to 1000 safe standing seats to be installed to accommodate their passionate fans in a major step in Australian venues catering for football’s needs.

Both major tenants entered their requests for features as plans enter the consultative stage of the design process before construction is due to begin following the end of the NRL home and away season in September.

“Our goal is to be playing out of a world-class football stadium in 2019,” Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas said.

“We have put forward a comprehensive submission and we are engaged in regular consultation on this project to ensure that our members and fans get a venue that we hope will exceed their expectations.”

Under the Wanderers proposal, removable seats, or those that can be securely stored inside metal frames, would be installed in the new northern end of the stadium, allowing active fans to be more mobile and active in the stands.

The concept follows practices popular in Argentina, continental Europe and particularly in Germany, where rails give football fans the freedom to support in a more traditional style while preventing crushing or stampedes.

The most likely form of safe standing seating will be the German-style “rail seating” that allows seats to be bolted away for standing areas and easily installed for seating.

The Wanderers trialled these seats sporadically through the northern end at Pirtek Stadium. The club is amid discussions with Parramatta Eels to allay concerns that such a format could obstruct sight for viewers sitting down for rugby league games.

“As part of our submission, a proposed safe standing area in the north end has been included. With the design and architectural development of stadiums around the world we believe this can be achieved and look forward to seeing it become a part of the new design and a first in Australia,” Tsatsimas said.

“Flexibility is key to this occurring and we hope the consultation and design will accommodate the needs a multi-use venue requires for one of its key tenants.”

Parramatta Eels are very supportive of the concept but will not accept any seating plan that would restrict the view of patrons who prefer to sit down.

Both ends behind the goals of the current Pirtek Stadium are ticketed as family ends by the Eels, whose initial plans are likely to retain the same designated areas in the new stadium.

“Our focus is ensuring that our members and fans receive the best possible game day experience in Australia through the $100 million redevelopment of the Parramatta Leagues club precinct and the new state of the art facilities at Parramatta Stadium,” Eels chief executive John Boulous said.

“Discussions regarding design and seating plans are at an early stage and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure it reflects the multi-purpose intent of the facility.”

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Masters faces property upheaval

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Woolworths decided it could not continue to sustain ongoing losses after a performance review of the home improvement chain. Photo: Glenn HuntElizabeth Knight: Masters an epic fail for WoolworthsWhat went wrong at Masters?Woolworths to close or sell Masters and Home Timber and HardwareThousands of jobs in jeopardy
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The decision by Woolworths to exit its hardware business, Masters, could result in significant property costs through the ending of leases and closure of its 63 stores.

The group owns about 60 per cent of the sites across the country and leases the remainder.

According to property agents, the well-located suburban stores such as in Toorak Road, Melbourne, would be easily released to other hardware chains, such as Mitre 10, while rival Bunnings is said to be already targeting at least nine Masters sites in NSW and Victoria.

The average store is about 13,000 square metres.

Chris Parry, director of large format retail for CBRE says demand will be high for the well-located sites.

“The NSW market is undersupplied and this will provide the opportunity for other specialty large format retailers of Masters choose to vacate the stores,” Mr Parry said.

Other agents said Masters downfall was by targeting female shoppers to be a point of difference from Bunnings, “where the tradies shop”.

Total sales for the last year were $1.9 billion and Woolworths opened 11 new Masters sites across the country. It has been focussed on expanding in NSW with new sites in Chullora and Northmead in Sydney’s expanding western suburbs.

One said the chain’s demise would be negative for consumers as they would lose confidence in the business, but it would provide opportunity for other chains to enter the market as the stores become available.

A Woolworths spokesman said: “Masters is committed to doing the right thing by our landlords and developers and we will be dealing with sites where construction is planned or underway on a case-by-case basis”.

One agent commented that the property sector had seen how the closure might flow through stores with the demise of Dick Smith.

“We have seen these situations in the past and in general, well-located stores will be snapped up,” the agent said.

But he said there are expectations that Woolworths will suffer some losses from breaking leases. Most retail leases are for five years with an option to extend a further five years.

According to Woolworths chairman, Gordon Cairns, while it will endeavour to move quickly, the process from here will take several months and the business will continue to trade normally through this period.

“Our recent review of our operating performance indicates it will take many years for Masters to become profitable. We have determined we cannot continue to sustain ongoing losses from this business,” Woolworths said.

Hardware and do-it-yourself home maintenance have been a battleground for the major retailers as they scramble to get a foothold into the booming housing market, as well as find the right location.

Bunnings was the the first to snare as many sites as possible and has been on a spending spree for development-grade land for many years.

Like its food and fashion retail counterparts, the group has sold some warehouses and leased them back, and used the cash for future expansion.

But as the penchant has risen for home repairs and renovations, thanks to many television shows, led by the popular Kevin McCloud’s​ Grand Designs, more market players have arrived.

Land grabs are now the main game for Woolworths’ Masters Home Improvement and Wesfarmers’ Bunnings, the two biggest in the sector.

Masters has been the main sponsor of Channel Seven’s House Rules, and, while there is increasing awareness of the brand on the back of the deal, the translation to sales and the cost of sponsoring the program is unclear, say brokers at Macquarie.

Part of the growth cycle of the hardware business was the takeover of the suburban hardware store, but as the demand for tools and paint has grown, so has the size of the stores.

The potential demise of Masters also comes as Wesfarmers has made a conditional offer to acquire Homebase, one of the brands operated by Home Retail Group in the UK.

According to Deutsche Bank, due diligence reportedly began in October 2015, and is now complete. Wesfarmers states that transaction documentation is advanced and in the process of being finalised, but there is no certainty the offer will lead to an agreed transaction. If successful, this would represent Wesfarmers’ foray into the UK home improvement market.

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Chris Lynn hopes national T20 return is the start of much bigger things

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Big hit: Chris Lynn has been in hot form for the Brisbane Heat in the BBL. Photo: Michael DodgeLike David Warner before him, Chris Lynn wants to leverage his success in the shortest form of the game and translate it to the longest, stressing once again his desire to eventually force his way into the Australian Test side.
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While George Bailey may have been the hard-luck story of the squad to play India in three T20 internationals, Lynn was given the most deserved of opportunities after demolishing Big Bash attacks for the Brisbane Heat.

He made 378 runs in eight appearances, averaging 54 at a strike rate of 173 to become the hottest T20 bat in the country, at one stage whacking a powerless Ben Hilfenhaus for five sixes in an over.

His ball striking has been cleaner than Jordan Spieth and he wants to ensure he translates BBL domination into runs against the touring Indians, starting in Adelaide on Australia Day.

If selected, he will add to the pair of T20s for Australia he played back in January 2014 against England and try and punch his ticket for the World Twenty20 in India in March.

“It’s just good to be given an opportunity in the green and gold again,” said Lynn, who has enjoyed a season of good health after a few years racked by injury.

“Now it’s all about taking that opportunity. I’m in decent form so hopefully I can carry this momentum into these three games.

“I want to make up for lost time. I don’t think I’ve played a full season for the past three or four years. I’m just happy to be able to hit the ground running and stay on the park.”

Since he scored a century in just his second Sheffield Shield game at the age of 19, Lynn has set his sights on a baggy green. Injury deprived him of significant stretches of red-ball cricket but the door may have creaked open via T20.

The template may be Warner, who began life as a short-game slogger before grasping every chance thrown his way as he became one of the most dominant opening bats in Test cricket.

“Test cricket is number one, there’s no doubt about that. You get that question all the time… it will be for the rest of my career,” Lynn said.

“He [Warner] takes every opportunity he gets. Just because you score runs in one form of the game, it can still translate to another version.

“I’d love to [play Tests]. Maybe I’ve been pigeon-holed a little bit but that’s because I’ve played more T20 cricket. My body hasn’t allowed me to play as much red-ball cricket as I’d like the last couple of years. I’d love to play all three formats.”

The niggling doubt over Lynn is a perceived weakness against slow bowling, a point raised by Kevin Pietersen, who suggested he wouldn’t be convinced on Lynn until he is crushing spin on sub-continental decks.

But the 25-year-old Queenslander, despite confessing to a lack of experience in India, said he had plans and training regimes in place to ensure he was as prepared as possible to perform should he head to the World  Twenty20.

“I’ve been to India a couple of times. But I haven’t played a hell of a lot of cricket over there. If I get picked, we’ll find out, won’t we? I’ve got a game plan towards spin bowling that I’m comfortable with,” Lynn said. “And teams still bowl at least 10 overs of pace.”

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