Perry looks for better fortune with Conchita

Newcastle trainer Paul Perry is counting on a change of Melbourne luck for his stable when Conchita contests the listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

STAKING A CLAIM: The Paul Perry-trained Conchita winning at Randwick this time two years ago. Picture: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛

The four-year-old mare was less than a length second to Modern Wonder at Moonee Valley two weeks ago when first-up over 955m.A winner at Moonee Valley this time last year, Conchita will be chasing her first black-type victory in the last onCaulfield Cup day.

Perry was hopeful ofConchita going one better than last time out.

“She didn’t have a lot of luck the other night,” Perry said.“She probably got back further than you would think. She rattled home but was probably just notquick enough. She was probably unlucky to get beat andI think she’ll run well.”

Conchita, from barrier five with Beau Mertens aboard, was a $10 chance with TAB Fixed Odds.

Perry believed Conchita would improve second up in a spring campaign which is likely to takein mares stakes races at Flemington.

Meanwhile, Perry said Caulfield Guineas pair Perast and The Mission were likely to be spelled.

Perast was fifth in the $2 million Guineas last Saturday and The Mission faded to 12thafter a trouble run out wide from an outside gate.

“Perast has come home and they are probably both finished up,” Perry said.“The Mission is still there but we’ll just see how he goes over the next week or so. He might run again. We’ll see how he freshens up. There’s a couple of races down there for him.

“He had no hope in the [Guineas].He was everywhere and copped a bit of interference. Perast’s runwas nice and he too copped a fair bit of interference.”

At Randwick, Conchita’s half-sister Red Braids makes her city debut for Perry in the 1600m benchmark 75 handicap after three consecutive wins acrossPort Macquarie and Tuncurry.Perry also has Petrossian in the last, a 1200m benchmark 88.

On Friday, Perry won with Don Pellegrino at Taree, where Newcastle trainer Kris Lees dominated with a hat-trick.

Hermosa Reward, Nais Ko and Sarajevo saluted for Lees, who will chase a black-type trifecta across two states on Saturday.

Zestful will contest the group 3 Nivison (1200m) and Admiral Jello was second favourite for the listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick. Danish Twist was the $4.40 top pick for the group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

AAP reports: One-time Caulfield Cup favourite Admire Deus is in a stable condition in a Ballarat veterinary clinic ahead of surgery on his injured leg.

The Japanese horse imported by Hunter syndicators Australian Bloodstocksuffered the career-ending ligament injury in trackwork at Warrnambool on Tuesday.

Trainer Darren Weir said the vets hoped to operate on Admire Deus early next week.

“They’ve got him stable and at this stagethe plan is to operate on Monday morning,” Weir told RSN927.”There are some positive signs anyway.”

Mount Pleasant fights off court challenge from the mine next door

MOUNT Pleasant coal mine owner MACH Energy has seen off one court challenge by the neighbouring Bengalla mine, but other action is still on foot in the Land and Environment Court.

The Brisbane-based MACH Energy bought the long-approved but unbuilt Muswellbrook mine from Rio Tinto last year for $220 million.

It is seeking permission from the Department of Planning to vary the terms of its approval to allow it to operate until 2026, six years beyond its current limit of 2020.

It is also seeking toextend the size of an overburden dumping area –known as the Eastern out of pit emplacement –by 67 hectares.

Read more: Mount Pleasant mine fights off “lapsed consent” claim

Although opposition from horse studs and those opposed to coal was always expected, a challenge from Bengalla –40 per cent owned byRio Tinto until last year –came as something of a surprise.

Part of the dispute involves a proposed Mount Pleasant rail loop proposed on land for which Bengalla has the mining rights from 40 metres below the surface.

MACH Energy says it always knew the rail loop may have to be moved. In aResponse to Submissions document, recently posted on the Department of Planningwebsite, it says “the construction, operation and ultimate relocation of this infrastructure” is addressed both in a condition of consent and in a Master Cooperation Agreement signed between Bengalla and Rio Tinto, which MACH says was part of its purchase.

In a Land and Environment Court case heard over two days in July and September, Bengalla alleged that MACH was in breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act because it had not “consulted” with Bengalla “prior to carrying out development on the site”.

MACH Energy denied Bengalla’s claim, and issued subpoenas to Bengalla seeking a range of documents that the court said were in relation to Bengalla’s claim to have not been consulted.

Despite Bengalla’s contention that the demand for documents was “a fishing expedition”,the court broadly dismissed Bengalla’s case, although MACH accepted a confidentiality agreement over the documents and some changes to what Bengalla needs to produce.

Further court action between the parties is under way with the matter listed for return of subpoenas on October 27.

In its response to submissions, MACH said that three-quarters of the 241 people objecting to the mine were employees of Bengalla.

In a recentnewsletterto Muswellbrook residents, MACH managing director Scott Winter said that “despite ongoing attempts to stop our work, construction is processing as planned. He said coal extraction would start in the coming months.

‘Deceptive act’: NAB vows ‘consequences’ for staff shortcut

National Australia Bank has revealed new details about its problems with staff falsely witnessing key documents, telling an inquiry the issue had occurred 2000 times and there would be “consequences” for those involved.

Appearing before the government’s banking inquiry in Canberra on Friday, NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn said 343 staff had come forward relating to the problem, which was revealed by BusinessDay in May.

The issue relates to the witnessing of declarations on forms that authorise who gets a client’s superannuation if they die.

It was NAB’s policy to have two witnesses, but in November last year the bank detected that some of these forms were being signed with only one witness present.

There were 275,000 such forms across the bank, Mr Thorburn said, and since earlier this year it had been reviewing its practices in this area.

Mr Thorburn said the bank would in the next month finish an investigation into the issue, which would lead to “consequences” for staff and managers involved.

Facing questions from several members of the inquiry, chaired by Liberal MP David Coleman, Mr Thorburn agreed it was “absolutely” a significant breach of the bank’s own policies, but not a breach of the law.

“We are taking this seriously because we’re doing a full investigation and it will be completed shortly, and there will be consequences for people,” Mr Thorburn said before the House of Representatives economics committee.

Mr Coleman put it to Mr Thorburn that the issue was a serious one that could not be presented as an accident by staff: “You can’t accidentally pretend to witness a document. That’s a deceptive act, and it happened 2000 times,” Mr Coleman said.

Mr Thorburn acknowledged the serious nature of the breaches, but added that customers had not been harmed by the issue, nor had bank staff stood to gain from the behaviour. He indicated the trustee would also honour the falsely witnessed forms.

It was in part a “convenience” issue for customers, he said, rather than a reflection of poor culture across the bank driven by an excessive focus on sales.

Mr Thorburn was also asked by Labor’s MP Matt Thistlethwaite why he didn’t reveal the issue when he appeared before the committee in March, to which he replied it would have been “risky” to speak publicly about an incomplete investigation.

Given NAB detected the issue last November, he was also asked why it did not report it to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission until May. Mr Thorburn said the bank needed a “complete picture” before going to the regulator.

Mr Thorburn, who appeared alongside chief operating officer Antony Cahill, was also quizzed about the bank’s move to hike interest rates on interest-only mortgages earlier this year, ATM cash deposit limits, foreign exchange costs and credit card interest rates.

Mr Cahill said that from next month, NAB was cutting how much it charged customers for foreign exchange transactions, saying the new system would be “significantly cheaper for customers and more transparent”.

He also reiterated the view of other senior bankers that the number of ATMs across Australia was likely to decline, amid talks among the banks about merging their machines into a “utility.”

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

When Canberra dodged the Harvey bullet

31 October 2012. Ron Cerebona Story. Canberra Times photo by Rohan Thomson. The Canberra International Film Festival’s Nicole Mitchell and Simon Weaving.rt121031CIFF-4548.jpgThe reasons now disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein did not show up to an event honouring him in Canberra in 2013 are “total bullshit”, according to one local film identity.

The ACT Government also confirmed on Friday it lost $125,000 in funding towards the cancelled three-day event when Weinstein failed to turn up.

The sensational no-show of Weinstein four years ago – supposedly due to a dicky knee – is being chewed over again as the powerful producer now faces allegations of sexual harassment and rape in a case of the casting couch writ large.

Weinstein was chosen by the board of the Canberra International Film Festival to be the subject of its first Body of Work event in which he and his films would be honoured in a glamorous finale to the Centenary of Canberra celebrations in 2013.

The producer cancelled at the last minute in a move which almost brought the film festival to its financial knees.

Former CIFF artistic director Simon Weaving, the brother of actor Hugo Weaving and father of rising star Samara Weaving, said this week he resigned from the festival in late 2012 – when Weinstein had been locked in as the guest – partly due to his concerns about the financial risks around Body of Work.

He also held grave concerns about the festival honouring Weinstein, saying the heavyweight producer “was known in the industry as not a pleasant person”, the event was likely to be an exercise in sycophancy at a considerable financial cost to a relatively small arts organisation and Weinstein, in any case, was more a businessman than true artist.

“I’ve never been a fan of him for Body of Work because he doesn’t have a body of work, he’s a producer and a wheeler and dealer and well known for screwing over screenwriters and filmmakers and forcing people to change their films,” Weaving told The Canberra Times this week.

“For me, the celebration of a Body of Work is somebody who as an artist created a body of work. So I never saw the fit with Harvey Weinstein.”

Weinstein was to be feted at a gala ball at Parliament House, costing $440 a head, as he was presented with the inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Fellowship for championing Australian film.

But two days before his expected arrival in Canberra in November, 2013, Weinstein pulled the pin.

He claimed to be following doctor’s orders not to fly to Australia and risk a blood clot after injuring his knee.

Some have now suggested Canberra dodged a bullet in 2013 given the litany of complaints which have been raised in recent weeks against Weinstein, who, in response to at least some of the allegations, has denied he engaged in “non-consensual sex”.

“I remember telling people at the time that his reputation in the industry was well known,” Weaving said.

“He was the only person I’d heard industry people regularly use the c-word to describe.”

Weaving said then Body of Work director Nicole Mitchell had initially pushed hard for director and actor Clint Eastwood to be honoured in the first Body of Work but the octogenarian did not want to fly so far.

Weaving had suggested someone Australian like Picnic at Hanging Rock director Peter Weir.

It was later that the board settled on Weinstein.

Weaving says the excuses around Weinstein’s failure to show in 2013 were also “total bullshit”.

“I don’t think he had any real intention of coming. I don’t think he gave a toss, to be honest. The Harvey Weinstein Christmas party was on the same weekend in LA and must have been planned months in advance,” he said.

“He was in New York attending the opening of a film. He said he couldn’t fly. He flew to LA for the Christmas party the same weekend he was meant to be in Canberra.

“I just think he thought it was a fun thing to do and in the end he couldn’t be bothered flying to Australia. I just think he didn’t give a damn about it.”

The ACT Government was due to contribute $137,500 to Body of Work honouring Weinstein so that the Centenary of Canberra could sponsor the event and be closely aligned to it.

A budget item from the time read: “The inaugural Body of Work honours Harvey Weinstein. Conversations, talks, panel discussions, Q&As and film screenings were held in multiple locations across Canberra to pay homage to Harvey’s leadership of independent cinema. The Centenary of Canberra received logo recognition, Foundation Partner status, invitations to key events and speaking opportunities”.

A spokesman for Chief Minister Andrew Barr said on Friday that the government paid $125,000 towards the Weinstein event, ultimately not paying the final $12,500 when Body of Work conference was cancelled.

The spokeswoman said none of the money was recouped by the government.

Sources have said that Weinstein, who was not paid any money, did donate $50,000 to cover some of the costs associated with the cancelled event but that went to ticket holders before the government.

Weaving resigned from the film festival board in late 2012, almost a year before Weinstein was to visit Canberra.

His resignation letter in 2012 detailed concerns that Body of Work would be a foolhardy financial venture, “with no risk-minimisation mechanisms in place”.

In his letter, Weaving wrote: “The last budget tabled for the 3-day event shows that it will incur expenditure in excess of half a million dollars. Apart from the Centenary funding of $150,000 it is not clear how this activity will be funded (other than ‘sponsorship’ – which totals $375,000).

“I don’t know about anyone else, but this really concerns me. I think the poor governance situation has meant that the committee has never fully analysed the fundamental business proposition of this activity, considered the appropriateness of its cost structure, nor rigorously challenged the risks associated with it.

“It has never been articulated who/what size the audience is for this event, or who the sponsors are, and I am deeply concerned that the core business, and the organisation’s accumulated reserves and membership fees are at risk”.

Weaving’s fears were realised in 2014 – after Weinstein’s no-show and the scramble to refund tickets and recover lost funds – when the Canberra International Film Festival made a loss of $50,000 and was almost cancelled in 2015.

“Everything I predicted in my resignation letter happened. It was just a travesty really,” Weaving said.

“I am just thankful there are people who have resurrected the festival in recent years, Alice Taylor in particular, who have tried really hard to put it back on track.”

Weaving said his 25-year-old actress daughter Samara had thankfully never been subjected to Hollywood’s casting couch.

“We talk about it a lot. And same with my brother,” he said.

“And, yeah, I’ve talked to Sam – ‘Does that stuff ever happen?’. And it never happens to her. I think she’s got good support systems with her manager and her agent and that’s really important to have. You just never set up a meeting in a hotel, you just never do that.”

Four years down the track, Weaving said it was foresight not hindsight that sounded the alarm bells around the whole Canberra debacle of Body of Work and Harvey Weinstein.

“It was a very sad affair which I think was avoidable,” he said.

“Maybe we can breathe a sigh of relief it didn’t happen.”

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

Elsternwick, ready for time in the spotlight ahead of The Block auctions

Elsternwick has never been a suburb to fight for attention. Quietly gentrified rather than flash, it’s the kind of place that goes about its business with a minimum of fuss.

Elsternwick, in short, is the kind of suburb that flies underneath the radar. It’s tucked away on the “other” side of the Nepean Highway from its more attention-seeking neighbours St Kilda, Elwood and Brighton. Yet it’s easy to see why the Elsternwick neighbourhood is a coveted address. The wide, tree-lined streets featureperiod family homes spanning a broad array of build history, from Victorian through to the present day (they find a particularly sweet spot with the gabled architecture of the Edwardians). And for those accustomed to the inner-ring squeeze, block size can also be agreeably large.

Its most recognised landmark is Rippon Lea Estate, an elaborate mansion and gardens constructed in 1868 for businessman Frederick Sargood and now run by the National Trust of Victoria, complete with a cafe and guided tours. The name Elsternwick derives from the home of prominent 19th-century pastoralist and politician Charles Ebden and his home, Elster. Previously known as Red Bluff, the village that grew up around it followed Anglo-Saxon tradition to become known as Elsternwick.

Its other great cultural calling card was the ABC studios – otherwise known as “the dream factory” – on Gordon Street, where everything from Bellbird and Countdown to Kath & Kim and Mad As Hell was produced. The site has only recently been mothballed, with all staff now based at Southbank. Related: What fans of The Block can expect in ElsternwickRelated: Fans rush to Elsternwick for The Block open dayRelated: See inside The Block houses for sale

The neighbourhood nonetheless boasts a vibrant community life that centres on the traditional shopping strips of Glen Huntly and Glen Eira Road, where it’s still possible to find old-fashioned businesses such as the local butcher, including a kosher butcher serving the area’s sizeable Jewish population.

In the ultimate pulse-taking of Melbourne real estate, the 2017 season of Channel Nine’s The Block was filmed on Regent Street, not far from Rippon Lea. The 2989-square metre block, within walking distance to Elsternwick train station, was earlier saved from a three-storey development planned by the Yesodei HaTorah school. Community outcry had involved the ‘hood’s high-profile residents including Kate Ceberano and Gina Riley. But where that reality show goes (previous suburbs include South Melbourne, Albert Park, Prahran, South Yarra and Port Melbourne), Melbourne’s interest inevitably follows. It looks like Elsternwick is well and truly ready for its close-up. 14 Hartington StreetPhoto: Simon Modra

$1.35 million-$1,485,000 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 car space

This freestanding three-bedroom Victorian home has been renovated with a central modern bathroom, a deep garden allotment with al fresco entertaining and a beautifully equipped kitchen.

Auction: 11am, October 21Agent:Biggin & Scott, Angelos Stefanis 0402 232 399 and Bill Stavrakis 0418 327 622 6/24 Charles StreetPhoto: Urban Angles

$400,000-$440,000 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 car space

Directly opposite Elsternwick’s well-established Harleston Park, this one bedroom apartment is located on the top floor of a boutique block of six and boasts plenty of storage space, including an attic accessed by retractable ladder.

Auction: 2.30pm, October 29Agent:Gary Peer & Associates, Jodie English 0427 577 688

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