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Monthly Archives: July 2019

Comments Off on Pay fight could mean series-by-series contracts for cricketers

Pay fight could mean series-by-series contracts for cricketers

Pay fight could mean series-by-series contracts for cricketers

ACA president Greg Dyer is going into bat for ‘s leading cricketers. Photo: Karen Steains’s top cricketers may have to contemplate signing temporary series-by-series contracts should they decide to spurn a new revenue model Cricket remains determined to introduce.
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Cricket and the n Cricketers Association remain at loggerheads during discussions over an updated memorandum of understanding, with the players still frustrated by CA’s refusal to hand over figures detailing the sport’s revenue platforms.

It’s understood CA is set to officially table their MOU offer within weeks, meaning the elite players will need to take a firm stand on whether they really do oppose their Sheffield Shield brethren being locked out of a proposed new revenue sharing model.

As it stands, the international players remain opposed to CA’s plan to have only CA-contracted players share in the percentage revenue model used since 1998. But what is dangling before them is the lucrative opportunity, according to CA’s initial submission, to “earn a higher share of financial returns instead of a lower share of revenue, as they earn in the current MOU”.

The average international retainer this season was $703,000, but skipper Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc pocket more than $2 million when their heightened retainers, tour and match fees and prizemoney are included.

The current MOU expires on June 30, just weeks after the revamped Champions Trophy is held in England.

‘s next series after that is the yet-to-be confirmed tour of Bangladesh from early August, where two Tests and three one-day internationals have been slated, pending safety and security clearance.

Should that tour be given the go ahead, one player source raised the question whether players would be prepared to boycott the trip should a pay offer be unacceptable. Such a move would hurt CA in terms of broadcast rights.

The Southern Stars could also have a major decision to make, given a World Cup in England will be held in July.

Another option would be for CA and the ACA to at least have an in-principle agreement on the fundamental planks of the new MOU, although this time the core plank – the set percentage model for players of all levels – is what is at stake.

In an opinion piece published by Fairfax Media on Tuesday, ACA president Greg Dyer wrote that all players were unified in ensuring domestic male players be included in the revenue-sharing model.

He said a new philosophy had emerged at CA: “A new language of ‘control’ in which increasingly the players seem to be regarded as cost centres or not generating enough return on investment.

“To view Sheffield Shield cricket and the players who play it, the traditional powerhouse of n cricket, in this manner is particularly grating.”

CA did not wish to respond publicly to Dyer’s comments. In its initial submission, CA said state men’s retainers have grown by more than 50 per cent in the past four years, averaging $234,000 this season.

“Maintaining a revenue share model that provides additional income beyond domestic men’s payments would compromise resource allocation to other areas of n cricket,” CA said.

Under CA’s plan, state-based players would be paid from a lump sum, with any major increase to be “driven” by Big Bash League payments.

CA will also need to deliver a satisfactory deal for women, with Dyer adamant they be included in a revenue-sharing model. CA says the pay and benefits for the Southern Stars players would “significantly increase” under its plan but has so far excluded them from sharing in a percentage model.

Comments Off on George Christensen will miss his whip now he’s quitting as Nationals whip

George Christensen will miss his whip now he’s quitting as Nationals whip

George Christensen will miss his whip now he’s quitting as Nationals whip

George Christensen pictured for Good Weekend. Photo: Andrew MearesGeorge has been loose in the top paddock for a while now.
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Free-range, you might call him.

That he’s been the very fellow, however, whose job was to round up oddballs just like him and give them a touch of the lash unless they fall into line apparently didn’t occur to anyone in The Nationals as peculiar.

Well, it wouldn’t, would it? Barnaby Joyce, after all, is the actual leader of The Nationals.

George Christensen is a bit special, of course.

No one else in Parliament, surely, wears a giant full-colour tattoo of the Madonna and Child on his giant upper arm (he got it at a place called Mad Monk Tattoo, no relation to an Abbott).

It seems unlikely anyone else on the backbench who once wanted to become a Catholic priest has converted to the Antiochian Orthodox Church because the Catholics aren’t conservative enough, either. But there it is.

You’d imagine George is going to miss his whip now that he’s quitting as whip.

You read that right.

He fairly rejoiced in carrying around an actual stockwhip during his period as whip of The Nationals, the job that required him to exert on his colleagues the sort of discipline that he would never impose upon himself.

When he posed with his whip for a profile by Matthew Knott in Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend late last year, the picture very nearly broke the internet.

Comedian Magda Szubanski tweeted that “I know what my next film role is! I will play George Christensen in bio-pic of his life as a closet S&M lesbian.” George chose that as his favourite response to the photo. True story.

This then, is the man who stands between Malcolm Turnbull holding government by a sliver and finding himself astride a hung Parliament.

Yes, indeed. The bloke with the Mad Monk Tattoo of the Madonna and Child and the stockwhip could bring down a government if he hoofed it out of the Queensland Liberal National Party and stood as an independent, like his fellow Trumpist Cory Bernardi, or worse, joined Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, which often seems to be his natural home.

But he says he’s going nowhere, and so does Barnaby.

You’d have to believe them.

George, if he quit this nervy-as-a-horse government, could never hope to gain more attention or be granted such wild privilege elsewhere.

He might behave as if he’s loose in the top paddock, but he’s perfectly content out there on the free range, even without a whip.

Comments Off on ‘I feel sorry for her’: China Post boss Ahmed Fahour slams Pauline Hanson over religion innuendo

‘I feel sorry for her’: China Post boss Ahmed Fahour slams Pauline Hanson over religion innuendo

‘I feel sorry for her’: China Post boss Ahmed Fahour slams Pauline Hanson over religion innuendo

Ahmed Fahour outgoing MD and CEO of Post appears before Senate estimates. Photo: Andrew MearesOutgoing Post managing director Ahmed Fahour has lashed out at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for her “ill-informed” and “hurtful” comments about his Islamic faith at his final appearance before Senate estimates hearings.
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Mr Fahour and Post chairman John Stanhope fielded many questions on Tuesday about Mr Fahour’s controversial $5.6 million salary and why Post tried to keep it secret.

Senator Hanson was one of the loudest critics of Mr Fahour’s salary and reacted gleefully to his announcement last week that he would resign, saying the news was “fantastic”.

“I’m still on the floor of Parliament, you’re unemployed, let’s hope you’re not going to get in the queues for employment,” she said in a Facebook message.

Ms Hanson later said: “I do have a problem with his religion if he’s actually a fundamentalist and follows the Koran to the letter, which I think denigrates women.”

Under questioning from Greens leader Richard Di Natale, Mr Fahour said Senator Hanson’s comments were “ill-informed” and that his faith was a private matter.

“I felt really sad for the Senator that she would descend to that level of commentary,” he said.

Mr Fahour, who was born in Lebanon, said her comments were “quite hurtful” to his wife and four children.

“We came here legitimately, we assimilated, and we love being in this country,” he said.

“I love this country so much.

“I feel sorry for Senator Hanson that she feels the need to say those things about someone whose 100 per cent objective is to do the right thing for the country . . . It’s with a very heavy heart I hear those comments and think how sad it is.”

Mr Fahour contrasted Senator Hanson with the other “honorable, decent and caring” senators from all parties who had questioned him over the years at Senate hearings.

Neither Ms Hanson nor any other One Nation senators have attended Tuesday’s hearings to ask questions of Mr Fahour.

When announcing his resignation last week, Mr Fahour took a swipe at Senator Hanson by saying Post was a considerably more complex business to run than a fish and chip shop.

Mr Stanhope admitted it was a mistake for Post not to disclose Mr Fahour’s salary for 2015 and 2016 – even though new rules implemented by the government allowed the company to keep it secret.

Post has now published a detailed breakdown of its executive pay on its website.

Mr Stanhope defended Mr Fahour’s salary although he acknowledged it was now “inconsistent with community expectations”.

“We need our salary packages to be commercially competitive to attract and retain talented people in a competitive, executive talent market,” he said.

Mr Stanhope said Post faced a “dilemma” because the salary of its chief executive will now be set by the independent Remuneration Tribunal.

Only time will tell if the salary is set at a high enough level to attract the talent the company needs, he said.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said he was not aware of Mr Fahour’s salary until it was revealed earlier this month, though he did know Mr Fahour was “well remunerated”.

Mr Stanhope said Malcolm Turnbull had raised concerns about Mr Fahour’s salary early in his tenure as communications minister and that he had explained why he felt the remuneration was appropriate.

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Comments Off on Man arrested on terror offences after raids in NSW town

Man arrested on terror offences after raids in NSW town

Man arrested on terror offences after raids in NSW town

The property in Young, NSW, being searched by the n Federal Police on Tuesday. Photo: Rebecca Hewson An AFP van at a property in Young where a man was arrested over foreign incursion offences. Photo: n Federal Police
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Police at the Young property. Photo: Nine News

Michael Keenan, Malcolm Turnbull and AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin address the media. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Turnbull said the arrest highlights the need for vigilance. Photo: Andrew Meares

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the alleged offence was “fairly sophisticated and well-planned”. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mr Zahab appears at Young court. Photo: Nine News

The extended family of an electrician who allegedly wanted to help the Islamic State with missile detection technology was already on the police radar for funding an arms racket linked to the terrorist group.

Haisem Zahab was arrested on Tuesday at his property in Young in NSW’s south-west, for allegedly attempting to research and design a laser warning device and missiles for IS over the internet.

The 42-year-old had been under investigation for 18 months as part of the n Federal Police’s Operation Marksburg.

The operation, focusing on the extended Zahab family, involved seizing $530,000 from the sale of a Condell Park home last year split into several accounts and travel debit cards belonging to four family members.

The home owner and Mr Zahab’s cousin, Hicham Zahab, didn’t fight the AFP’s proceeds of crime proceedings as he had fled to Syria with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. He is wanted by the Kuwaiti government for his suspected involvement in the Islamic State arms smuggling cell.

The AFP allege the money from the sale was going to be used to fund an Islamic State arms racket.

About half of the money from the sale was seized with the rest believed to have already been sent to the Middle East.

In its latest annual report, the AFP said Operation Marksburg was an investigation “into a family based in New South Wales that was suspected of travelling to Syria to become members of, and provide support to, Islamic State”

“At the start of the investigation it was identified that family members had access to a significant amount of funds in an n bank account and were suspected of using international travel cards and a computer consulting company based in the Middle East to remit funds out of for the use and benefit of Islamic State in Syria,” the report stated.

“These funds were acquired from the sale of their former family residence located in Sydney.”

Mr Zahab did not apply for bail when he appeared before Young Local Court on Tuesday afternoon and it was formally refused. He will face court in Parramatta on March 8.

He is charged with serious foreign incursion offences which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said Mr Zahab allegedly used the internet to research and design a laser warning device to help warn against incoming missiles used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq.

“We will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist ISIL’s efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities,” he said.

Mr Colvin said the alleged advice given by the “technically-trained” man was “fairly sophisticated and well-planned”.

“We will be alleging that the material that he was intending to provide to ISIL, the research he was doing, was credible,” he said.

Dozens of officers descended on his semi-rural property in Cherry Vale Place early on Tuesday morning to execute search warrants before he was arrested. It is alleged Mr Zahab acted alone and no further arrests are expected.

Some officers were seen to use metal detectors to search the ground at his home. Others dug into the ground with picks while a NSW Police officer from the dog squad stood nearby.

The electrician divided his time between Young and Sydney, where it is understood he had a business in the past that designed and installed solar panels.

Business records show the 42-year-old was the director of a company called Switch2Green, which was based in the Sydney suburb of Yagoona before it was de-registered in 2013.

Mr Zahab then registered another business, Oz Survival Gear, in November 2013. It sells knives, multi-tools and flashlights online from his home in Young. The AFP has arrested a man in NSW in relation to alleged terrorism offences. More details soon. #[email protected]— Michael Keenan MP (@MichaelKeenanMP) February 28, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the arrest of Mr Zahab highlighted a need for ns to remain vigilant.

“This highlights that terrorism, support for terrorist groups and Islamist extremism is not limited to our major cities,” he told a briefing at Parliament House in Canberra.

“This is yet another example of the excellent work the men and women of the n Federal Police and all our security agencies are doing in identifying and disrupting alleged assistance to ISIL.” with The Young Witness

Comments Off on Tempting weight for world champion sprinter Chautauqua

Tempting weight for world champion sprinter Chautauqua

Tempting weight for world champion sprinter Chautauqua

Dwayne Dunn aboard Chautauqua. Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty ImagesThe Racing Victoria handicapping department have given outstanding sprinter Chautauqua a weight in Saturday week’s $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap that could well help reignite the horse’s profile as the world’s finest sprinter.
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If connections choose to start Chautauqua in ‘s most revered sprinting handicap event, with his weight of 58 kilograms, it would be the grey’s third attempt at winning the 1200m group 1 sprint.

A decision on the sprinter’s future will be determined in the next 24 hours as the stable are also weighing up their options which include a start in Saturday’s group 1 Canterbury Stakes at weight-for-age at Randwick.

Managing part-owner Rupert Legh said that he expected a final decision some time on Tuesday after they digest the handicapper’s allotment of 58kg to Chautauqua.

Lee said that he felt the 58kg the horse was given was “fair” as it was the same weight the horse carried into third place last year, but admitted that they were tempted at a Canterbury Stakes start.

It would mean that if Chautauqua was to miss the Newmarket Handicap, he could possibly be pitted against the all-conquering Winx in the George Ryder Stakes in three weeks’ time.

A Newmarket victory has eluded Chautauqua who has run second and third in past races and would become only the fourth horse in the past 50 years to win the race carrying 58kg.

If Chautauqua can lump 58kg to victory in the group 1 sprint he joins the likes of Hay List, Black Caviar and Shaftesbury Avenue who are the only three horses in Newmarket history to win with such an impost.

Lightning Stakes winner Terravista will carry 56.5kg in the race but if Chautauqua does go to Sydney all weights will be raised 0.5kg as the Newmarket scale demands a minimum 57kg top weight.

One of the unlucky gallopers in the Lightning Stakes, Spieth, will carry 55kg, a 1.5kg advantage over Terravista from the Lightning Stakes.

RVL handicapper David Hagen maintained that Chautauqua had earned its place at the top of the weights considering his amazing wins on the Hong Kong Chairman’s Sprint, the TJ Smith Stakes and the 2016 Lightning Stakes.

“Chautauqua’s 2016 ranking as the world’s best sprinter naturally earns him his place at the top of the weights in a race that looks to be highly competitive with nine individual group 1 winners among the entries,” Hagen said.

“His (Chautauqua’s) record at the 1200m trip is just exceptional having won four group 1 races at the distance and he has never missed a place in eight starts down the Flemington straight. A repeat of any of his three group 1 wins last year would see him be the horse to beat again with a top weight of 58kg.”

And last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback will go into the race fresh after missing a start in the Lightning Stakes last month.

The Quarterback trialled convincingly on Monday at Cranbourne with the sprinter’s barrier certificate being renewed after he became cast in the stalls minutes prior to the Lightning Stakes.

The Quarterback will have to become the first horse since 1917 to win one of ‘s most famous sprint races first up from a spell.

Top line three-year-old Flying Artie, Extreme Choice and Star Turn make up an extremely smart group of young sprinters that could emulate Brazen Beau’s victory in 2015.

While Craig Williams will ride Star Turn it is expected that world-class jockey Joao Moreira will be in Melbourne to take the mount on Flying Artie.

“Three-year-old’s boast an imposing record in the Newmarket Handicap, having won nine of the last 20 editions of the race and this year’s crop looks to be up to the benchmark of recent years,” Hagen said.