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Archive for September, 2018

14 September
Comments Off on Holliday grabs chance to boost Roos at home

Holliday grabs chance to boost Roos at home

DESIRE: Lake Macquarie junior Brendan Holliday (right) has returned home to Walters Park this season for the first time since 2014 after the fly-half played two years with Shute Shield club North Sydney. Picture: Simone De PeakBrendan Holliday knows the feeling.
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Only last season the 31-year-old Lake Macquarie product was part of a magical run with North Sydney, 13 straight wins in fact en route to claiming the club’s first Shute Shield since 1975.

The versatile back mainly played a “bit-part role off the bench” in the first XV and missed the grand final squadafter the return of a few Super Rugby representatives, but the28-15 victory over favourites Sydney University and that Saturday afternoon at North Sydney Ovalwon’t be forgotten any time soon.

“It was good to be around, that atmosphere at the end there was pretty crazy,” Holliday said.

“I don’t think too many peopleexpected them [North Sydney] to win it, orto go on that massive streak. It was a good environment to be involved with.”

Now, after thelatest two years plying his trade down in the state capital,Holliday has returned home to Walters Park and with premiership aspirations in mind.

“One of the bigreasons why I wanted to come back was tohopefully win a premiership at Lake Macquarie,” he said.

“It hasn’t been done before and it’s probably thething that drives me to go back there now.”

And he can already see the difference in the Roos squad compared to previous stints, including their last semi-final appearance in 2012 and back when he first started playing seniors at the club.

“It’s the best shape we’ve been in for a long time,” the Lake Macquarie fly-halfsaid.

“Just with the personnel and the work ethic at training, so I’m pretty confident it will be a good year.”

According to the one-time West Harbour playmaker those signs were evident in Saturday’s season opener, pulling away towards the end for a 39-15 triumph over visiting Singleton, but more inperformance than result.

“The thing that probably stood out to me washow we finished the game,” he said.

“In thepast Lake Macquarie would havefallen off towards the last 20 minutes, but the fact we finished on top was an indication of thepre-season work the guys have done.”

Out of the currentRoos group Holliday said he wasmost impressed with second-rower Junior Osasa, hooker Barcelona Lupematasila, outside centre Kitone Toaono Junior Ng Lam, fullback Calleb Gerrard and winger Jordan Leota.

“It’s probably the most evenly balanced team we’ve had in my time at the club,” the No.10said.

Holliday, a spray painterwho shifted from the Central Coast to Fletcher around Christmas time, will enjoyEaster off along with the rest of the competition before Lake Macquarie meetfellow first round winners University away on April 22.

14 September
Comments Off on Turning the other cheek to shamers

Turning the other cheek to shamers

INDEPENDENT WOMAN: Zoe K funded her album It’s Just What I Like working three jobs, which included dog walking. Picture: Paul Armour.ZOE K has a message for the critics wanting to shame her for expressing her sexuality: “My body is my vehicle and I’m going to drive it until it breaks down or runs out of petrol.”
Nanjing Night Net

The Newcastle soul diva has copped criticism since promotional shots for her long-awaited second album It’s Just What I Like appeared online. The photographs are cheeky –literally and figuratively –but delivered with the endearingsense of humour Zoe Klemenczuk is renown for.

Zoe KPool.

“It’s that age old thing, instead of telling women to cover up and be more demure in how they express themselves, why can’t we just tell men or the perpetrators whoput them down, and sometimes it’s women too, to respect people,” Zoe says.

Zoe is a strong and fiercely independent woman. That’s clear in the lyrics onIt’s Just What I Like and inthe record’s creation.

COVER GIRL: Zoe K has copped criticism for proudly using her sexuality to express herself.

Without any support from a label, the former Maitland Grossman High student funded the album through working three jobs –waitressing, working in a retro furniture shop and dog walking.

“When it’s released I can not only look back and say I’ve released an album, but I made it happen,” she says.“You have to be a realist, and I was, and if I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity I hadto work three jobs and I did.

“It does make you pretty proud because of that whole working hard part.”

She also travelled between New Orleans and Melbourne, using her gift of the gabto network with some of the US’s finest jazz musicians. This led to Trombone Shorty’s Michael Ballard (bass), Terence Houston (drummer), Raja Kassis (guitar) and Mister Goldfinger (keyboard solo on Put It Down) working on her album.

The album was recorded in Melbourne and New Orleans, except the trackGlad I Stayed, co-written with Newcastle musician Shane Landry. It was recorded by Robbie Long in Newcastle’sFunky Lizard Studios.

Zoe wrote the songs over a six-year period, following the release of her self-titled debut album in 2011 with her former backing band the Shadow Katz.

Zoe K – April BlueIt’s Just What I Like is an infusion of non-traditionaljazz, blues and indiesoul. One minute Zoe is crooninglike Amy Winehouse on Yes, I’m Leaving and then she’s rocking out on the Motown-styled Wedding Ring.

Throughout Zoe expresses her struggles with love, but with equal shades of melancholy, defiance and humour.

“I don’t know, is it jazz, is it soul, is it crass, is it sad girl music,” Zoe says.

“Lyrically I thought alot of the songs are sad girl songs, but alot of the feedback I get from my shows is it’s relatable. I don’t muck around with too many fancy metaphors. I say how it is.”

One song Zoe certainly doesn’t leave anything tointerpretationis Walls (For The Ladies) featuring vocals from New Orleans’ Nika Revader.

The track is a provocativeand direct declaration of Zoe’s sexual desire. It’s so honest she initially balked inincluding the song on the album.

“I had a moment of insecurity,what if people think I’m some crass-talking banshee?” she laughs.“I then had a realisation, that that’s who I am. So I guess you can’t win them all. The song is about empowerment, so why would I care?

“Everything about a woman in sex is about a hoor a man treating her bad andI don’t entirely agree with that narrative, so I’m going to try and change it.”

It’s Just What I Like is released on Saturday through zoekofficial南京夜网. Zoe K willlaunchthe albumat Islington’sSmall Ballroom on May 6.

14 September
Comments Off on Schapelle Corby prepares for deportation to Australia

Schapelle Corby prepares for deportation to Australia

Thirteen years after she was caught smuggling cannabis into Bali in her boogie board bag, Schapelle Corby must be able to taste freedom.
Nanjing Night Net

Corby, who was arrested at Denpasar airport in October 2004 after getting off a flight from Brisbane, has just weeks left of her parole before her deportation to Australia.

Her Balinese parole officer, Ketut Sukiati, revealed on Tuesday that the former Gold Coast beauty therapy student was not expected to report to her again before her deportation to Australia on May 27.

“We expect her to be busy this month because of her preparation to go home next month, so I am not expecting her to report this month,” Ms Ketut said.

Corby was released on parole in February 2014 after serving nine years behind bars in Kerobokan jail, but was required to stay in Indonesia until 2017 to finish her sentence.

She was hounded by the media after her release, with her brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha begging for her to be given space.

However she has managed to live quietly in Kuta over the past few years, ignoring the paparazzi who sporadically snap her jogging along the beach or buying groceries.

“Last time she came for a report she said she wants to go home of course,” Ms Ketut said.

“She looked normal when she said it, not too excited or anything. She was relaxed whenever she had to come in and report if there were no media. If she saw a journalist, she changed. If there was no one she was friendly, fine, she will greet everybody, smile, she will say good morning to every staff member. But if there is media around, her face changed, she closed off.”

Ms Ketut said she had asked Corby, 39, why the media kept chasing her. “Why is she special?” she asked journalists outside her office.

Asked about Corby’s relationship with Indonesian Ben Panangian, Ms Ketut said Corby had said she did not have a boyfriend.

“We don’t speak English much, she speaks some Indonesian, but we don’t speak English so communication is limited,” Ms Ketut said.

“She’s not a very open person … we have to talk to her slowly to get her to open up to us, so we can guide her [during her parole].”

On May 27, Corby will go to the parole office for the final time before being taken to the airport.

The head of Bali’s Ngurah Rai immigration office, Ari Budijanto, said standard procedure was for a prisoner about to be deported to be taken to an immigration office while awaiting their flight.

Asked if the media would be allowed to stay with her as Channel Seven did following Corby’s release from prison, Mr Ari said under immigration rules she would be required to be alone.

“She will have to show her face when we match her up with identification papers, other than that she can cover her face all she wants,” he said. “We just need to ID her.”

Shortly after Corby’s release from jail in 2014, the Indonesian government said it was evaluating whether Corby’s parole conditions had been violated by an interview her sister Mercedes gave to an Australian television network.

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

14 September
Comments Off on Tax on some Australian families second highest in developed world

Tax on some Australian families second highest in developed world

The tax on an Australian family earning $82,000 a year has risen to the second highest rate in the developed world, figures from the OECD show.
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Australia’s tax level now trails only Denmark’s for a single-income family earning $82,000 a year with two children, according to the report.

Average families with two children and one parent earning up to $82,000 and another earning $54,000 face the highest tax levels in a decade, and the fourth highest among 36 other economies in the developed world, at 22.1 per cent.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has favoured corporate tax cuts instead of personal income tax cuts ahead of the May budget, arguing cutting the corporate tax rate for companies worth up to $50 million would flow into increased productivity and higher wages for workers.

“As we can afford to reduce personal income taxes, we will,” he said in an address to the National Press Club in February.

The Turnbull government adjusted the tax bands in the 2016 budget to prevent bracket creep, with half a million Australians potentially falling into the second highest tax bracket, putting billions of dollars in wages at risk.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report into taxing of wages, to be released on Wednesday, found the average tax on a family earning $82,000 a year dropped from 25.6 per cent in 2000 to 21 per cent in 2008, before rising to its current level of 24.3 per cent under the Labor and Coalition governments.

Relief for families hitting the decade-high tax rate will come for those with children in childcare this year, after the Turnbull government pushed through changes to funding following a two-year stalemate, and tied them to $8 billion worth of savings in family tax benefits.

The changes will mean a family earning $80,000 with two children in childcare will be up to $3400 a year better off.

As a compromise, those receiving family payments who don’t have children in childcare will have their family benefits frozen below the rate of inflation for two years under a deal struck with the Senate crossbench. Families earning more than $350,000 were also banned from accessing childcare subsidies under the deal.

Pension changes initiated by the Howard government have resulted in single-parent families who rely on welfare being up to $6000 worse off over the past decade, according to research by the Australian National University Centre for Social Research and Methods

The OECD report found that for a single person with below-average earnings of about $54,000 a year, Australia had the fourth highest tax in the developed world, below Denmark, Belgium and Iceland.

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

14 September
Comments Off on Most super funds with less than $2b not viable

Most super funds with less than $2b not viable

GENERIC superannuation, portfolio, golden egg, nest egg, invest, fund manager, self funded retiree, retirement, save. #133669 AFR FIRST USE ONLY PLEASE!!!SUPER AFR 100830 MELB PIC BY JESSICA SHAPIRO Photo: Jessica ShapiroSize does matter when it comes to super funds. Smaller funds don’t have the scale to keep their costs low and are not as able to take advantage of as many investment opportunities as big funds.
Nanjing Night Net

The benefits of scale have been studied by the financial authorities and their general view is that having smaller funds merge with large funds can lead to better returns for fund members.

However, there are exceptions. Actuaries Rice Warner say the advances in ever-cheaper administration technology mean many smaller funds can have administration fees that are fair.

However, it is in the areas of investments, business strategy and member engagement where a of lack of scale can be a problem.

How small is too small? In Rice Warner’s opinion, $2 billion is the minimum size.

Rice Warner says funds with more than $2 billion have lower fees than smaller funds and the fee differential increases the larger the fund is.

The researcher says some commentators argue the $2 billion threshold should be higher.

However, many smaller funds have a niche position in the market. The funds may well provide a specialist service or satisfy a particular need to members, Rice Warner says.

The smaller retail funds, those run by the banks and insurers, which are owed by shareholders, are not going to merge with competitors.

So the owners may sell them off if they remain unsuccessful or unprofitable, Rice Warner says.

However, the not-for-profit funds, which includes industry funds, will need to merge if they are unsustainable on their own, the researcher says.

Of the 139 not-for-profit funds, 71 have less than $1 billion and another 21 have less than $2 billion.

“If we regard $2 billion as a minimum size, that means two-thirds of these funds are not viable,” Rice Warner says.

Default investment options are for those who do not choose who manages their super, which is most people.

And default investment options have to be MySuper compliant, which means they have consumer protections such as low fees.

Adam Gee, the chief executive of SuperRatings, says there is no doubt that the default investment options of the biggest funds tend to perform best; though there are exceptions.

Of the 10-best returning funds of the past 10 years, all have more than $4 billion, with most having more than $10 billion.

They are all not-for-profit funds. They include industry fund Australian Super, which has merged with several smaller industry funds over the years, and has more than $100 billion.

Other top performers include industry funds CareSuper, with more than $12 billion, and Hostplus, with $20 billion.

Top performers also include other not-for-profits such as the $18 billion Telstra corporate fund for the telco’s employees, former employees and their families and UniSuper, the fund for the university and research sector, which has almost $60 billion.

Gee says large funds can invest large slabs of money into investments, like infrastructure, that have done particularly well for industry funds.

There are, however, some “pretty poorly-performing” small industry funds, he says.

Follow John Collett on Twitter.

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