Featured Apple shares fall on ‘anaemic appetite’ for iPhone 8

Shares of Apple and some of its suppliers fell on signs that demand for the new iPhone 8 models isn’t as strong as anticipated while buyers await the release of the higher-end iPhone X.

The Taipei-based Economic Daily News reported on Thursday that Apple cut orders for its latest model, which went on sale last month, by more than 50 per cent. The newspaper didn’t identify its source or elaborate on what sort of orders had been pulled, or how it arrived at that number. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

AT&T ‘s customers upgraded 900,000 fewer handsets in the three months through September than a year earlier, it said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The trend hints at customers waiting for the flagship iPhone X to buy a new phone.

There’s a “more anaemic appetite for the iPhone 8 right now,” Joe Natale, chief executive officer of Canadian carrier Rogers Communications, said in a conference call on Thursday. “There’s lots of anticipation around the iPhone X and what it has to offer.”

Many analysts already expected that the iPhone 8 would be overshadowed by stronger demand for iPhone X, which is scheduled to be released next month. But investors are sensitive to any potential demand weakness for Apple products.

“It puts more pressure, more focus on the iPhone X, but that’s the Super Bowl event,” said Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights. “I view the iPhone 8 as really just a placeholder.”

Apple shares slid as much as 2.8 per cent to $US155.26. The stock had risen 38 per cent through Wednesday, and is close to a record high, buoyed largely by anticipation for the iPhone X. Shares in Pegatron, a contract assembler that gets almost 60 per cent of its revenue from Apple, fell as much as 2.7 per cent in Taipei trading. Other suppliers including Catcher Technology and AAC Technologies also declined.

Earlier reports have also flagged weak demand for the iPhone 8, though investors are mostly expecting a sales surge from the high-end iPhone X when it becomes available in the US on November 3. With its $US999 price tag, the iPhone X will do more to help boost Apple’s margins. The top-of-the-line model includes a facial recognition system that uses a 3-D scanner to unlock the handset, replacing the fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 8 and other earlier versions.

Apple forecast total sales of $US49 billion to $US52 billion in the three months through September, a projection investors understood to signal resilient iPhone demand that could also carry over into the December quarter, given the staggered phone release dates. Analysts see total sales in the holiday quarter jumping 10 per cent to $US87 billion.

“What’s lurking is a question of is this just people waiting for the X or is there weakness in overall demand?” said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities. “A demand problem is more of a fundamental issue.”

The Economic Daily said the lowered orders mean shipments of iPhone 8 models could come in at just 5 million to 6 million a month in November and December.

The newspaper also said Apple is grappling with production hiccups that could disrupt supply for the iPhone X. The issue isn’t difficulties securing supply of cutting-edge organic light-emitting diode screens or three-dimensional sensors, as reported earlier, but of glass panels, the newspaper said.


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Featured NZ MP Jian Yang worked in Australian Parliament

A New Zealand MP embroiled in a controversy over his past links to Chinese military intelligence worked as an intern with the Australian Senate’s committee on foreign affairs, defence and trade in the 1990s.

Documents released to The New Zealand Herald under freedom of information of laws show that Jian Yang, who has found himself at the centre of a controversy over Chinese influence abroad, worked at the powerful committee for two months after leaving China, where he was a lecturer at an intelligence-linked academy, the Luoyang Foreign Languages Institute.

Nationals MP Jian Yang at Chinese and Korean New Year festivities in the Auckland suburb of Northcote. Photo: Denise Piper

In his application for New Zealand residency in 1998, Mr Yang did not detail the sensitive nature of the institution he worked at, disclosing only employment with “Luoyang University”.

Before moving to New Zealand, Mr Yang spent time in Australia and attained master’s degree at the Australian National University in 1994. While undertaking a subsequent PhD, he was head of the university’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association, an organisation linked to the Chinese embassy.

“During September and November 1994, I worked as an intern in Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, the Australian Parliament,” he wrote in his residency application.

“I was asked to write a report on the extension of social and cultural ties between Australia and [the People’s Republic of] China.”

The revelations emerged as his National Party narrowly missed out on being returned to government, with NZ First striking a coalition agreement with Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party.

Mr Yang was a lecturer in political science at Auckland University before becoming a National Party MP in 2014.

The controversy was triggered by a joint investigation from the Financial Times and local outlet Newsroom, published in September, which reported that New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service had launched an investigation into his background.

Friday’s New Zealand revelations came the same week Canberra’s top intelligence agency ASIO warned of the “unprecedented” level of “harmful espionage and foreign interference” operations being carried out in Australia, which have sought to steal sensitive information and covertly influence debate.

Mr Yang acknowledged he had been involved in teaching English to Chinese spies, but has defended the level of detail he disclosed to the New Zealand government, saying the National Party was “fully aware” of his background before his nomination.

“Luoyang University was the partnership university of the Foreign Languages Institute,” Mr Yang told The New Zealand Herald on Thursday.

Releasing the information, Immigration New Zealand said: “We note that Mr Yang met all the requirements under the relevant legislation at the time of his residence application and no character concerns were identified at the time.”

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Featured How to get started with investment

Hi Nicole,

I’m 17 and about to graduate from school. I hope to study maths at university. I’m interested in investment and want to start earning compound investment returns as soon as I can. I am also interested in what you’ve been saying about exchange-traded funds and how they’re a good place to start if you have very little money. I work part-time in a service station and will be able to up my hours in the holidays. So far I’ve saved $1000 for schoolies and another $500 to start building my financial future. Depending on where I get accepted, I should be able to stay at home until I graduate. So how do I buy ETFs and start a portfolio?


Declan, I am loving your work ethic, time management skills and future focus. They are three things that augur well for real-world success.

And as I always say when I deliver my Smart Money Smart sessions in high schools: stay home and stash cash for the biggest financial opportunity you’ll ever have.

Now I’m assuming your savings are in a high-interest bank account. Be aware you may be automatically switched to the adult account when you turn 18, which might pay less.

Your age is an issue with investing too – you need to be 18 to open an online broking account in your own name.

But, given you are so close, that gives you a lovely window to build funds to invest. While you can trade with as little as $500, $1000 is a prudent minimum amount because mozo南京夜网419论坛 says you’ll pay as little as $9.90 per trade, which pushes the percentage cost to below 1 per cent.

That’s with amscot, and several other online outfits charge similarly.

But Commonwealth Bank’s broking service CommSec, which offers trading tutorials, market research and portfolio analysis tools, is now only $10 for a $1000 trade, at which point the cost jumps to $19.95 (you must settle your trades with a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account).

Either are dirt cheap compared with the hundreds of dollars old-school brokers charged ??? which has opened trading up to anyone keen like you.

Exchange traded funds are popular not just because they offer diversification for smaller investment amounts, but because you buy and sell them as easily as any share in an individual company. Big providers in Australia include BetaShares, iShares, State Street Global Advisers and Vanguard … and the specific funds you go with will depend on which markets and industries you like.

Just be sure to first take the interactive Investing Challenge on ASIC’s moneysmart南京夜网419论坛, which I am delighted to present, which quizzes and corrects your investment knowledge. Good luck!

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate: themoneymentorway南京夜网. You can write to her for help solving your money problem, or with a consumer question, at [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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Shares extend rally to two weeks, closing above 5900

Australian shares clinched a two-week rally with another advance on Friday, with the benchmark top 200 index closing over the final session above 5900 for the first time since May.
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In the week’s final session the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 10 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5907, while the All Ordinaries rose 8 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5968 and within a whisker of its post-GFC highs. The top 200 jumped 1.6 per cent over the five trading days, building on a 1.8 per cent gain in the prior week. Since the current rally kicked off on October 6, the benchmark measure has jumped close to 200 points, or 4.5 per cent.

In New Zealand markets, the Kiwi dollar wallowed on Friday after dropping by more than 2 per cent the night before after the shock news on Thursday evening that Labour’s Jacinda Ardern would become the Pacific nation’s next Prime Minister. The Kiwi dollar ended the week at 89.05??, while the NZX50 shook off early losses on Friday to end 5 points, or 0.1 per cent, higher to 8129.

Australian stocks started Friday’s session on a soggy note but turned around lunchtime in tandem with US stock futures. The gains followed the US Senate taking a significant step toward rewriting the tax code with the passage of a budget blueprint that would protect a $1.5 trillion tax cut from a Democratic filibuster.

The news hit the wires around 12.30pm Sydney time, and gave a solid 30-point boost to the ASX 200. The news also pushed the US dollar higher, taking the Aussie around half an American penny lower to US78.45 cents. A bounce in Chinese iron ore futures on Friday afternoon also helped buoy sentiment.

Over the week, utility stocks were the best performers by sector, up 3.9 per cent. They were closely followed by consumer staples, with a 2.2 per cent advance.

On Friday, standouts included Vocus Group, which jumped 6.8 per cent ahead of its investor day on Monday and Tassal Group, which rose 3.5 per cent. Flight Centre shares rose 3.5 per cent and Metcash jumped 2.7 per cent. Spark New Zealand was a big decliner, losing 3.2 per cent as investors reacted to the election result.

BHP shares added 0.5 per cent after chairman Ken MacKenzie made it clear that outspoken investors would not be allowed to hijack the company’s agenda.

Shares in homewares retailer Adairs fell 2.2 per cent after it was fined by the corporate regulator over failing to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations.

Lithium plays were lower after a recent strong run, with Galaxy losing 1.8 per cent and Orocobre trading down 3.2 per cent. The losses also came after the chairman of Chinese lithium powerhouse Tianqi Lithium Corporation, Jiang Weiping, overnight warned some lower quality producers will be “wiped out” over the next few years as new supply enters the market. Stock watchAPI

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries had a good week, rising 9.3 per cent after a 3.6 per cent jump on Friday following an upgrade to neutral at Credit Suisse. Earlier in the week, solid sales and margin growth in API’s pharmacy distribution business offset modest growth in the Priceline chain to lift bottom line net profit for the 12 months ending August 31 by 1.4 per cent to $52.4 million. Excluding one-off costs of $1.8 million incurred on due diligence for Laser Clinics Australia, underlying net profit rose 5.4 per cent to $54.2 million. That was in line with market forecasts and API’s revised 5 per cent guidance, which was downgraded from 10 per cent in August as retail conditions deteriorated. “It was a good result given the conditions,” said Blue Ocean Equities analyst Phil Pepe, as API shares rose 4.7 per cent to $1.65. Copper market abuse

Red Kite Management, the world’s largest metals hedge fund, is suing British bank Barclays for alleged market abuse in the copper market that it claims cost the firm at least $US850 million between 2010 and 2013. Red Kite alleges that Barclays allowed staff to share confidential information about its positions with the bank’s proprietary traders on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, according to court documents filed by the hedge fund in the UK High Court. Barclays traders used the knowledge about Red Kite’s positions to profit by placing opposing trades, the fund said in court documents filed in October 2016, but only recently made public. Barclays denied all the claims. The greenback

The US dollar rose on Friday, bolstered by increased optimism about the prospects for US tax reform. President Donald Trump’s drive to overhaul the tax code cleared a critical hurdle on Friday when the Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the timing and the exact kind of reforms that we will see, but it has given [it] a bit of momentum,” said Peter Dragicevich, currency strategist for Nomura in Singapore, referring to the approval of the budget blueprint by the US Senate. Japan elections

The US dollar rose 0.6 per cent on the day to 113.2 yen, having risen to as high as 113.315 yen at one point, its strongest level since October 6 ahead of elections in Japan on Sunday. A powerful typhoon is expected to bring yet more rain to an already sodden Japan at the weekend, potentially affecting the election turnout. A study of the last 15 elections by weather forecasting service Weather News, showed the highest turnouts have occurred in cloudy weather. Cold or rainy weather is associated with lower voting rates, but so is sunny weather, which may encourage voters to find other ways to spend their leisure time. Opinion polls show the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner are on track to take about 300 of the 465 seats up for grabs. Crown

Crown shares dropped 5.7 per cent over the week. Whistleblower allegations that Crown casino rigged pokie machines and let gamblers avoid money-laundering laws in Melbourne are being “evaluated” by the Australian Federal Police. The AFP confirmed on Friday that independent MP Andrew Wilkie had referred the case he outlined using parliamentary privilege earlier this week. The explosive claims include the casino giant modified machines to boost gambling losses, ignored drug use and domestic violence issues, and allowed gamblers to get around money laundering laws. Crown strongly denies the accusations.

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Hooper keen to see how much Wallabies have improved since Dunedin near-miss

Michael Hooper says the Wallabies’ heartbreaking loss in Dunedin against the All Blacks feels like an eternity ago, which is why he is keen to get a gauge on how far the team has progressed in the two months since.
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Since the 35-29 defeat across the ditch, Hooper’s Wallabies have come away with two wins against Argentina and two draws against South Africa.

With four Tests remaining after the weekend’s third and final Bledisloe Cup instalment, a win would be just reward for the progression the Wallabies say they are making after a forgettable 2016 where they won just six Tests from 15 starts.

“It [beating New Zealand] is the pinnacle for us at the moment,” Hooper said. “They’re the top team in the world, they’re the benchmark. They’re doing some really good, unique things on the field, so for us to beat them in front of a home crowd would be fantastic.

“That [Dunedin result] feels like an eternity ago. I’m really excited about testing ourselves again tomorrow against these guys. We’ve definitely done some good building over the last couple of weeks, which has put us in pretty good stead. You need to play these guys again. Our growth in the game has been particularly strong.”

Hooper paid tribute to Stephen Moore, who will play his last game on home soil at Suncorp Stadium off the bench in what will be his 30th outing against the All Blacks.

“He’s been really happy this week,” Hooper said. “He’s going to really enjoy tomorrow. Playing against these guys, [it is] a big Test match and it’s going to be fantastic for him. He’s been such a great person for this country, this jersey.

“For a lot of guys in this team, myself included, he is a really strong mentor and [I am] really excited to see what he is going to bring to the game because his form has been really, really strong off the bench.”

Wallabies No.6 Jack Dempsey will get his first start against the All Blacks and Hooper is buoyed by what his Waratahs teammate produced in his two starts in Bloemfontein and Mendoza.

“He’s a big, athletic guy who can do some really good things with ball in hand and in defence,” Hooper said. “He’s got some really good aggression and I think we need that against the All Blacks tomorrow [Saturday]. I’m excited for him. He’s been really kicking down the door to get in these games and I’m sure he’ll be fired up tomorrow.”

The Wallabies will don a special Indigenous jersey on Saturday and during the week Tim Horan suggested Kurtley Beale should lead Australia out onto the field.

Hooper said he hadn’t spoken to Beale about doing so and didn’t think that would happen but threw his support behind the jersey and the Australian Rugby Union’s initiative.

“[We are] extremely proud to be wearing this jersey tomorrow night,” Hooper said. “For certain guys within the team it carries a lot of excitement and a lot of pride and passion there.

“It’s always a massive privilege to wear the jersey and this one again is another special and unique opportunity to wear this beautiful jersey tomorrow in a big game at home in Suncorp, we’re all very proud to be in this situation.”

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Showing insight with leadership

EMBRACING: BAE has been a sponsor of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program since its inception. ON TOP OF THEIR PROCESS: Norriss Industries
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Excellence In Environmentally Responsible Manufacturing PracticesWINNER: Norris Industries CLEAN ACT: Norriss Industries has identified a range of environmental aspects associated with their manufacturing operation over which they have influence.

What the judges said:Norriss Industries has identified a range of environmental aspects associated with their manufacturing operation over which they have influence.

It is commendable that they have sought assistance through membership of and participation in industry programs such as the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program.Continuous efforts to reduce their manufacturing environmental footprint is evident, together with flow-on of benefits to their customers.

Excellence In People And Skills DevelopmentWINNER: BAE SystemsWhat the judges said:BAE has been a sponsor of the STEM program since its inception, providingcontext and relevance to STEM subjects as well as a clearly defined career path into the aerospace industry. Participants are given opportunities to undertakemeaningful work experience.

The positive exposure of stem subjects and STEM-based careers helps attract a wider range of young people to the industry, ensuring a skilled manufacturing workforce for BAE and the whole region.

Six places you have to visit in the Outback

There’s so much more to the Outback than just red dirt. So much of Australia is encompassed by this single term, this single idea – such a huge diversity of landscapes and wildlife, such an amazing range of landscapes, Indigenous cultures and history that you could spend a lifetime exploring this vast area and never grow bored.
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Many of Australia’s best Outback destinations lie well off the beaten track, in areas that are as rugged and remote as they are amazing. And all provide life-enriching experiences that are well worth the effort to discover. THE KIMBERLEY, WA

There’s something both romantic and exciting about tackling perhaps Australia’s most spectacular region of Outback scenery in a 4WD, getting up close and personal with this gorgeous landscape. The Gibb River Road, an Outback highway stretching from Broome to Kununurra, is a classic 4WD journey for any overland enthusiast, and it’s also the perfect introduction to the region, passing through many of the natural sights that make the Kimberley famous: the red-rock gorges, the deep rivers and pools and the majestic mountain ranges. There’s plenty more to discover once you get off that road, too, including the World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, the famous black and orange striped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range, stunning Cathedral Gorge, and tranquil waterhole at Bell Gorge.

DON’T MISS With APT, enjoy a breathtaking helicopter flight over Mitchell Falls, taking in the full majesty of this multi-tiered cascade from the air. THE KIMBERLEY COAST, WA

The Australian Outback doesn’t end where the ocean begins. In fact some of the country’s most memorable Outback experiences are only accessible via the waters of the Kimberley, along Western Australia’s rugged, spectacular northern coastline, and upon the rivers that flow through the region itself. There’s so much to discover in this area, so much that can only be reached by Small Ship: see the spectacular Montgomery Reef, which appears to emerge from the ocean as the tide recedes; discover Indigenous rock art that dates back some 20,000 years on Jar Island; gaze at the soaring red cliffs in Prince Frederick Harbour; and of course, see the incredible Horizontal Falls near Talbot Bay.

DON’T MISS At 80 metres high, King George Falls is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Western Australia, and you’ll have the chance to get up close to this spectacular sandstone cliff on board your Zodiac excursion vessel. CAPE YORK, QLD

Surely one of Australia’s most underappreciated areas of Outback wilderness sits at the very top of Northern Queensland: Cape York. This long finger of land is home to treasures both natural and man-made, to spectacular landscapes and unforgettable encounters with cultures that can seem so foreign, and yet are such an integral part of the fabric of Australia. On the Cape York peninsula you’ll visit Quinkan Country, said to be one of the top 10 Indigenous rock art sites in the world, a gem that is one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets. Cape York is also the home of the Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park, a wonderland of native Australian wildlife, where wallabies roam the woodlands, freshwater crocodiles fix beady eyes on passersby, and native birds rest among the eucalypts. Walk from Frangipani Beach to the Australian mainland’s most northerly point and take a photo at the iconic signpost. Above Cape York you’ll also find the Torres Strait Islands, once a base for pearling luggers, these days home to an Indigenous group with a unique culture.

DON’T MISS APT guests have the chance to explore the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, a stunning conservation area that is normally off-limits to the general public. MARALINGA, SA

Far into the South Australian desert, in an area marked only by red dirt and low shrubbery, lies one of Australia’s hidden secrets: Maralinga, the site where seven British nuclear weapons tests occurred during the 1950s. This area was off-limits to tourists until recently, and a tour of the facilities that still stand here provides a fascinating insight into what happened away from the prying eyes of the public so long ago. Maralinga has now been signed over to its traditional owners, the Maralinga Tjarutja people, and a tour with a local guide here is as much a journey into the area’s long Indigenous history as it is a recollection of that short but infamous era of nuclear weapons testing.

DON’T MISS The arrival into Maralinga for APT passengers is a spectacular one, as you enjoy a scenic flight from the town of Ceduna, over Fowlers Bay, past the iconic Nullarbor Roadhouse, before touching down in Maralinga. During the winter months (early June to early October), look out for Southern Right Whales at Head of Bight. CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK, QLD

Deep in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland lies a hidden gem, Carnarvon National Park, a spectacular area of sandstone cliffs and old-growth forest. The gorge and creek here are a window into Queensland’s distant past, with many plant and animal species that are relics from a time when Australia was a cooler, wetter place. The gorge at Carnarvon provides shade for a microclimate that’s perfect for spectacular fan palms, as well as cycads, ferns and flowering shrubs to thrive. There are also more than 173 species of birds to spot. Carnarvon boasts plenty of Indigenous history too, with several well preserved rock art sites protected by the overhanging gorge, as well as ochre stencils and rock engravings from tens of thousands of years ago.

DON’T MISS On the way into Carnarvon, stop off at the famed “Tree of Knowledge”, where the political movement that would spawn the Australian Labor Party was born. MUNGO NATIONAL PARK, NSW

If ever there was an example of the Outback having more to give than just open space, Mungo National Park is it. This isn’t just another landscape, but another planet – 120,000 hectares of starkly beautiful lunar scenery, an ancient site of petrified lakebeds and sand dunes that have been massaged and moulded by the elements for millennia. This World Heritage-listed area is interesting not just for its natural history, but for its human connections. Mungo National Park has great significance to the Ngiyaampaa, Mutthi Mutthi and Southern Paakantyi people, which you will learn about through the stories and knowledge of an expert guide.

DON’T MISS The remains of “Mungo Man”, the oldest human skeleton discovered in Australia – thought to be up to 68,000 years old – and “Mungo Woman”, the oldest ritually cremated remains ever found, were both uncovered in Mungo National Park, and the visitor centre has excellent exhibits dedicated to these remarkable finds. UNFORGETTABLE PERSON

John Kemp

Known to guests as Kempy, Sir John or The Godfather, John Kemp, started guiding when he was a spring chicken, revealing the delights of New Zealand’s Milford Track. Kempy has now been guiding for more than 13 years.

Now in his ninth season of showing off the highlights of north-west Australia’s vast Kimberley region, he says what he loves most is meeting so many interesting people. Over the years, he’s come to know the Kimberley’s colourful characters, all of whom have fascinating stories to tell.

This article was produced in association with APT.

Discover Australia’s unique Outback – from its incredible landscapes to its vast history, everything is taken care of on an unforgettable journey with APT. For more information visit kimberleywilderness南京夜网419论坛/traveller, call 1300 290 669 or contact your local travel agent.

‘Stressed’: residents still out of home a month after burst pipe

‘Stressed’: residents still out of home a month after burst pipe DISPLACED: Elermore Vale resident Nick Millward surveying the damage to his Taurus Street unit after it was devastated by a burst water main. Picture: Marina Neil
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IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

Hunter Water managing director Jim Bentley at the Elermore Vale flooding. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

IN A MESS: Elermore Vale townhouse complex devastated after water main rupture. Pictures: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldthey had become increasingly anxious in the wake of the September 22 burst, which sent a torrent of water into multiple units on Taurus Street, trapping some residents and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Hunter Water offered all who needed it temporary accommodation at no cost to residents.

However, according to correspondence seen by theHerald, that accommodation is due to expire on November 4, with residents told they would need to find alternate living arrangements.Residents were also given an initial9-day window to attain quotations for furniture claims over the value of $500.

Rent gap assistance–the cost of the new accommodation minus their original rent–would still be offered to residents.

BLOW-OUT: This unit succumbed to the water pressure. Picture: Marina Neil

However, traumatised residents said they felt the utility was“putting us under even more stress than we’re already experiencing”.

They said the utility’s request for residents to find new accommodation by November 4 was unrealistic.

“How can they expect us to do that in such a short time?” resident Nick Millward said.

“Even if we were to find a rental by that date, a lotof us have no furniture and there’s very few places that rent on a short-term basis.”

Other residents saidthey were still traumatised by the early-morning emergency.

At least one resident has sought professional help and children have struggled.

“It was very traumatic for us, and it still is for a lot of us,” one resident said.“I don’t think they [Hunter Water] understand how traumatising it was. They just need to understand that a bit better. None of this was our fault.”

ROUGH SLEEP: Residents were awoken by water lapping at their windows. Picture: Marina Neil

AfterHeraldinquiries on Friday, Hunter Water said it would make sure no one was left homeless.

“In terms of temporary accommodation, we want to help get people into their own, long term homes as soon as possible,” a spokesman said.“In the meantime however, we’re not going to allow a situation where a person has nowhere to stay.

“Hunter Water remains committed to supporting each individual affected by the Elermore Vale break in getting them back on their feet and to life as normal.”

A two-week extension was granted to allow residents to finalise claims.

“While it may be difficult providing these details, the sooner it happens, the sooner we can finalise claims and make ground on getting life back to normal for these residents,” hesaid.

‘Innovative’ energy policy no lifeline for coal, expert says

8th June 2017AFR GENERIC, solar, solar panels, green energy,Photo: Glenn Hunt .The design of the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee (NEG) is “innovative and elegant”, and could supply as large a share of renewable energy into the market as proposed by the Finkel Review, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says.

While cautioning that the scheme to impose minimum reliability and emission reduction goals on the electricity market remains “in the early stage of development”, the plan could result in 42 per cent of power being sourced from renewable energy by 2030, the energy consultancy said.

“It solves a whole bunch of problems in one package … in an incredibly elegant way,” Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF in Australia, told Fairfax Media.

“Those who think it is throwing a lifeline to coal are mistaken.”

BNEF’s comments come as the federal government gave the states and territories just one day to respond to the NEG modelling scenarios it has asked the Australian Energy Markets Commission to canvass.

The scenarios include testing impacts of a straight-line reduction of emissions from 2020 to 2030, and an “optimised non-linear” one that presumably allows for a ramping up for renewable energy towards the end of the period, according to the letter sent to state governments and seen by Fairfax Media.

Mr Bhagnagri said he was surprised the briefing notes given to the states on Tuesday had predicted only a 28-36 per cent share of renewables by 2030. Various groups have seized on this estimate to criticise the plan.

If there were losers in the scheme, it might be large-scale solar and wind energy projects, which might be limited to 4.8 gigawatts of new capacity from 2021-30 because rooftop solar could crowd them out, BNEF said.

Mr Bhavnagri weighed into the debate about whether the scheme would generate a price on emissions, saying “the scheme does implicitly create a carbon price”.

Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia’s Treasurer and Energy Minister, said the scheme was “a carbon price but does not bear its name”.

“There’s only one way to [meet the Paris climate goals] and that’s to restrict the emissions of carbon,” Mr Koutsantonis told a lunch in Sydney. “They’ve got a price signal in place to do that – that is a carbon price.” Model uncertainty

One notable aspect of the scenario modelling – sent to the states and territories for comment on Friday – was federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s request the Australian Energy Markets Commission should “assume a constant target post-2030” in its work.

“Does this mean that electricity emissions would flatline from 2030, or that demand for electricity would flatline?” Alan Pears, an energy expert with RMIT University asked.

“Does it mean that all scenarios should assume the same carbon budget to 2050?”

“The modelling should test whether the NEG can deliver on a 2-degree pathway,” Mr Bhavnagri said, referring to the upper limit of the Paris climate goal.

“This is a core sensitivity. For power sector policy to be credible and durable, it must have the capability of meeting that goal,” he said. “Many of the world’s largest corporations stress-test their portfolio’s for a 2-degree world. If BHP can do it for it’s shareholders, I think the Australian government should do it for the nation,”

Two ministers complained to Fairfax Media about the short time given to provide feedback.

“This is not a sign of a government that wants to genuinely engage on an important piece of work,” one of them said.

“[There’s] insufficient time for us to consider it properly and respond,” the minister said. “Very unimpressed.”

Dylan McConnell, a research fellow at Melbourne University, said the Energy Security Board was being asked to do a “monumental” amount of work within the three-week deadline set by Mr Frydenberg to provide results by November 13.

“It’s practically asking the Australian Energy Markets Commission to re-do the modelling in the Finkel Review,” Mr McConnell said, referring to the eight-month effort led by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

He noted that while Mr Frydenberg sought modelling of the impact of Snowy 2.0 – potentially a $4 billion project to increase pumped-storage in the Snowy Hydro scheme – to be included in the modelling, other measures were excluded from the minister’s request.

The government should also ask for modelling for the renewable energy targets of Victoria and Queensland, and South Australia’s energy plan, Mr McConnell said.

“Once again the Energy Minister [Mr Frydenberg] is dictating to the states even though, like everyone else, they are still waiting on the details for this plan,” Mark Butler, federal Labor’s climate spokesman, said.

“It’s not just Labor state premiers – the Hodgman government [in Tasmania] have said they are not convinced on Turnbull’s plan and need more details,” he said.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Mr Frydenberg.

with Cole Latimer

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

First home buyers, do you know what grants you’re entitled to?

SPREADING THE WORD: Holly Newbigging from Hore and Davies gave a seminar last week with ANZ on the new scheme for builders and buyers. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly Despite Wagga being ranked in the top 20 postcodes in NSW for taking up first homeowner benefits, agents say the market hasn’t lifted as much as expected following the sweetening of the scheme on July 1.

The new First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme giveseligible buyersexemptions on transfer duty on new and existing homes valued up to $650,000 and concessions on duty for new and existing homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

In the 2015/16 financial year 195 grants were paid for home buyers in Wagga totaling $1,640,609. Wagga remains 13thin the state for claiming thesegrants.

Shaun Lowry, director at Fitzpatricks Real Estate said while the market in general has picked up, the result was underwhelming.

“We thought it would have a bigger impact than it actually did,” he said.

However, hesaid there’s been a noticeable increase in out-of-town buyers.

“In the last 12 months, 60 per cent of our saleswere out 2650 area code,” he said.

“Abig part of that was investment and smaller part first home buyers from the city trying to get into the market.”

He believes soaring city prices have driven people to look to the country areas for their first home, which are now more visible than ever thanks to technology.

Holly Newbigging, licensed real estate agent from Hore and Davies said while they also thought the market would take off more, they have seen a significant boost to buyer activity on established homes as a result of the stamp duty saving.

“A lot of first home buyers cant afford $450,000 plusfor a brand new home so making that available on existing homes makes a huge difference,” she said.

She believes the scheme was likely pegged at the Sydney market where the median house price is currently $900,000 and near impossible to crack, compared to Wagga’s $340,000.

But, she said a lot of buyers and builders are ill informed about the benefits available to them now.

“I’dsay about 20 per cent of buyers aren’t aware there’sno stamp duty on established homes up to $650,000,” she said.

“It’s just about getting it out there more so they can start saving and know they’ve got help.”

She said within their agency, first home buyers tend to be local whereas good rental returns continue to drive a huge demand for investors coming in from Sydney.

Daily Advertiser, Wagga

Food, water, power to be cut at Manus Island centre as refugees forced to depart

Authorities are attempting to ward off a potentially violent crisis as the Manus Island detention centre closes, warning refugees their food, water and power will be cut on October 31.

Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers under Australia’s care have refused to leave the centre, whose closure has loomed since the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled the men’s ongoing detention illegal.

Alternative accommodation has been offered in the nearby town of Lorengau, but refugees fear clashes with local Manusians, and have largely refused to move.

Notices written in Persian given to some asylum seekers on Thursday – and translated by Fairfax Media – declare all services including food, sanitation and water will cease after October 31.

“All PNG government and Australian personnel will leave the regional processing centre. This site will be used by the PNG defence force,” the notices state. “If you decide to stay, you should know services will be terminated.”

Certified refugees can go to one of two alternative locations in Lorengau, or transfer to Nauru, and await the outcome of their applications for resettlement in the United States.

Asylum seekers not assessed to be refugees have been told they can go to a location called Hillside Haus but should make arrangements to leave PNG and go home.

Advocates fear an outbreak of violence as the October 31 closure deadline approaches, given rising tensions between refugees and Manusians, and the Good Friday clash between refugees and PNG soldiers.

Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee and journalist on Manus, said he and other asylum seekers were “very worried about the future and extremely scared by this situation”.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was not available on Friday and a spokeswoman referred questions to authorities in PNG. Mr Dutton had earlier told Sky News more refugees would soon be accepted by the US.

Asked about the issue in Parliament on Monday, cabinet minister Michaelia Cash – who represents Mr Dutton in the Senate – affirmed the centre would close on October 31 and “anybody will be removed by lawful means”.

The Australian government’s contractors, including International Health and Medical Services, will leave the island on that date, although the Guardian reported late on Friday that IHMS would remain on the island under contract of the PNG government.

Earlier this week, the United Nations said it was “profoundly troubled” by the situation on Manus Island and the imminent Australian withdrawal.

Its refugee agency, which sent a mission to PNG last month, noted “a lack of proper planning for the closure of existing facilities, insufficient consultation with the [PNG] community and the absence of long-term solutions for those not included in the relocation arrangement to the US”.

Those factors “increased an already critical risk of instability and harm”, the agency said.

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

A menage à multiples

ENCORE: Four cast members have reprised their roles as has the director for G and S Player Comedy Club’s farce Move Over Mrs Markham.THE title of the farcical comedy Move Over Mrs Markham is a punning reference to the situations innocent people find themselves in while those around them are trying to have illicit relationships.

Not that Mrs Markham can fully blame other people for what happens to her, as this popular play by two masters of the form, Ray Cooney and John Chapman, reveals.

Move Over Mrs Markham is being staged as a dinner show by Newcastle G and S Players Comedy Club at St Mathew’s Anglican Church Hall, Georgetown, opening on October 27.

The show’s director, Steve McLauchlan, said the company staged the comedy five years ago, and audiences and the staging team so enjoyed it that the company decided to do it again.

Indeed, the liking of the show by four of the cast members has them playing the same roles and Steve McLauchlan is again directing, as well as playing a role.

Writers Cooney and Chapman made their names as actors in farcical comedies, so they knew how to make such a show work,and this has been a hit since it was first staged in London in 1969. The G and S actors will appropriately be wearing bright 1970-style evening garb in most of the show.

The cast members repeating their roles are Geoff McLauchlan and Natalie Burg as Philip and Joanna Markham, in whose apartment the action takes place.

Peter Eyre is Henry Lodge, Philip’s partner in a company publishing children’s books, and Suellen Hall is a writer of such books who comes to see Philip while all sorts of romantic skulduggery is happening, wanting the company to take over printing her books because she is unhappy with her current publisher as “there is too much sex around” in the books they issue.

The other characters, played by Sean Hixon, Selina Elliot, Ann-Maree Day, Hilary Oliver and Steve McLauchlan, are friends and associates of the husband and wife who use their absence at a publishing function to have liaisons in their apartment, with confusion increasingly growing.

Philip and Joanna respectively and privately gave a key to the apartment to a person, and their housemaid also has a key, so unexpected encounters increase. Philip at one point finds a romantic note on the floor and thinks it was given to his wife by a lover, helping to boost the pandemonium.

Move Over Mrs Markham has performances on Friday and Saturday from October 27 to November 11, with a three-course dinner at 7pm followed by the show, for an all-inclusive $40 cost, and a 2pm $20 show-only Sunday matinee on November 5. Bookings: 0432 886 149.

CEOs to discuss free agency compo formula

The controversial secret formula used to determine compensation picks if a club loses a free agent will be discussed when AFL CEOs meet in November ahead of the 2017 national draft.

Clubs were shocked during the trade period when Geelong received the same compensation for losing Steven Motlop to Port Adelaide as the Brisbane Lions received for losing their former skipper Tom Rockliff.

Both clubs received a selection after the first round, with the Lions handed pick 18 for losing their two-time best and fairest Rockliff, 27, and the Cats given pick 19 for losing Motlop, 26, who was runner-up in the Cats best and fairest in 2015.

Both players signed four-year deals to continue their careers with Port.

The Lions took their concerns to the AFL on Wednesday with CEO Greg Swann and football manager David Noble seeking an explanation for how both clubs received an end-of-first-round compensation.

Noble has suggested that if a similar situation arose in the future then clubs which finish outside the top eight could receive compensation after selection 10 in the national draft, while clubs which finished the year inside the top eight might receive a selection after the first round.

“We don’t believe that there’s enough mechanisms or enough levels in there,” Noble told Trade Radio on Tuesday.

It is understood the Lions intend to put the issue on the agenda at the next AFL CEOs meeting.

Geelong eventually ended up using the selection 19 they received as compensation for losing Motlop in the trade with Gold Coast that enabled Gary Ablett to return to his former club.

The Cats traded out pick 19 and a future round-two selection for Ablett, pick 24 and a future round-four selection.

The compensation formula has been a closely guarded secret since the introduction of free agency with the AFLPA arguing compensation should be scrapped.

The AFL has to make a change to the free agency rules by October 31 with parties anticipating free agents will maintain their free agency status when they come out of contract even if they change clubs.

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