Archive for June, 2019

June 7th, 2019

Melbourne City confident David Villa will return after trip to New York

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Melbourne City football chiefs are confident that Spanish superstar David Villa will return to Australia after a short break in New York and could play until after Christmas, when the A-League goes into recess for the Asian Cup in early January.
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That would enable the club’s high-profile guest player to take part not only in this weekend’s round-three derby clash with Melbourne Victory, but the pre-Christmas blockbuster at AAMI Park – a City home game – on December 20.

Under the terms of the loan deal with his employer, New York City FC, Villa can play up to 10 games with Melbourne City. The period during which he is available to the club began at the A-League kick-off, but he doesn’t have to play consecutive matches.

Club sources said on Tuesday City coaching staff knew Villa would want to return to New York at some point during his stay to see his wife and three young children, all aged under six, and to help them settle into their new home base.

Villa is set to play against Melbourne Victory this weekend and in the round-four game against Adelaide United on October 31. He will then return to New York for an unspecified period.

While it is possible he may decide not to come back to Australia at all, City officials think that’s unlikely as he needs to train, keep fit and match sharp for the start of the Major League Soccer season in March. His new teammates all come together for pre-season on January 24.

Melbourne City officials are banking on the fact that Villa would rather come back here and train in a football environment with a group and play in competitive games than run laps or work out in a gym alone.

While Villa is expected to do promotional work for New York City while he returns, there is a possibility he could bring his family back to Australia for an extended holiday while he sees out the terms of his guest-player deal. That, City hope, might see him stay until the Boxing Day home game with Perth Glory.

City has an away game at Suncorp against Brisbane Roar on November 8 and then entertain Central Coast and Sydney FC on November 16 and 22nd, respectively, before travelling to Wellington the following weekend.

He will definitely miss the Roar clash, but City staff would dearly love to have him for the two home games that follow that trip north, even if they’re not concerned about him missing the trip to New Zealand.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying: “We are incredibly fortunate to have David as a member of our squad for the first part of the Hyundai A-League 2014-15 season.

“We would obviously want a player of his calibre to represent the club in as many games of the guest allowance as possible between now and the commencement of MLS pre-season training in January.

“The precise number of Hyundai A-League games that David will play will be determined by the best interests of the player and his now New York-based family and the prioritisation of the requirements of both New York City FC and Melbourne City FC.

“That means that his playing and training schedule will be the product of all of those factors and subject to ongoing assessment.”

At his first press conference in Australia early in October, Villa made it clear there was no guarantee he would stay for the first 10 weeks of the season, saying it was up to New York City and Melbourne City to work out the details of his schedule. Both clubs are owned by English Premier League champion Manchester City.

Villa was pivotal in City’s first two games of the season – against Sydney FC and Newcastle – scoring draw-saving goals in both games. In fact, it looked as though he may have been the team’s only route to goal in those fixtures.

David Williams has only just come back into the starting line-up, but he’s a striker who can be hot and cold, while Mate Dugandzic is not a regular goalscorer. Premier League title-winner Damien Duff is a tremendous attacking talent, but he’s better known as a creator than a finisher. James Brown is young and not a guaranteed starter.

Another former Premier League player, Robert Koren, would ease the burden – he was on target 45 times in 277 games between 2007 and 2014 for Premier League clubs West Bromwich Albion and Hull City while they were in England’s top two divisions.

But the former Slovenian captain is injured, has missed the first two games of the season, and will miss the derby this weekend.

If City’s confidence is misplaced and the Spanish World Cup winner does not return, thousands of supporters who bought memberships on the back of Villa’s arrival will be entitled to feel aggrieved.

The statement released by City on Tuesday said it now had 10,000 members. Its crowd on Sunday for the visit of Newcastle Jets – rarely one of the league’s big drawcards – was 15,000, far in excess of its usual home gates, bar games against Melbourne Victory.

It is impossible to think that Villa’s presence in the line-up did not account for a significant proportion of that crowd.

June 7th, 2019

James Packer’s Japan casino plans hit delay

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James Packer’s plans to get Crown into the Japanese market could be delayed as the country’s parliament, the Diet, mulls the proposed liberalisation of gambling rules. James Packer’s plans to get Crown into the Japanese market could be delayed as the country’s parliament, the Diet, mulls the proposed liberalisation of gambling rules.
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James Packer’s plans to get Crown into the Japanese market could be delayed as the country’s parliament, the Diet, mulls the proposed liberalisation of gambling rules.

James Packer’s plans to get Crown into the Japanese market could be delayed as the country’s parliament, the Diet, mulls the proposed liberalisation of gambling rules.

A senior official in the coalition government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said a plan to open up the country’s casino market to entrepreneurs like James Packer has been delayed again.

Keiichi Ishii, policy chief of Komeito, the junior partner in Abe’s coalition government, told Reuters that the Japanese parliament was unlikely to have enough time to pass legislation through the Diet in the current Autumn session, which ends on November 30.

“The hurdle is quite high for both lower and upper houses to enact it,” Mr Ishii told the news agency.

Mr Ishii said some members of the Komeito party also had concerns about the societal effects of gambling, according to Reuters.

The delay is a blow for Mr Abe, who wants the country to have a casino operating before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympic Games.

It is also a concern for Mr Packer’s Melco Crown and other international casino operators like Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts and Genting, which have ambitions to build gambling and entertainment complexes in the country.

Melco Crown, which is the Hong Kong-listed joint venture held by Crown Resorts and Lawrence Ho, has said it will spend up to $US5 billion in Japan if it was to win the right to develop a casino.

Analysts have suggested if Japan legalised casinos a $US15 billion market could be created.

Mr Packer told Crown’s annual general meeting last week that through the company’s investment with Melco Crown “we will continue to explore the opportunities that may arise in Japan, should the country decide to develop integrated resorts to compete for tourists on the world stage”.

Crown’s executive vice-president, strategy and design, Todd Nisbet met Osaka governor Ichiro Matsui in July to discuss the prefectures plans for a casino.

Mr Packer travelled to Japan with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and other business leaders in April.

Support from Mr Ishii’s Komeito party is seen as crucial for the bill since Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party does not have a majority on its own in the Upper House, Reuters said.

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June 7th, 2019

We don’t mourn Gough Whitlam, we mourn ourselves

Comments Off on We don’t mourn Gough Whitlam, we mourn ourselves, 杭州桑拿, by admin.

Gough Whitlam helped change Australia’s view to be more outward-looking. Gough Whitlam helped change Australia’s view to be more outward-looking.
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Gough Whitlam helped change Australia’s view to be more outward-looking.

Gough Whitlam helped change Australia’s view to be more outward-looking.

Live: Follow our rolling coverageGough Whitlam deadGough Whitlam’s life and timesGough Whitlam’s memorable quotes

The tributes for Gough Whitlam flooding mainstream and social media seem to be getting two things a little wrong, one economic, one a matter of personal perspective about death.

As these are business pages, the economic should be dealt with first. It was done so easily and briefly in two tweets by AMP chief economist, Shane Oliver:

(1) Very sad news of Gough Whitlams death. 1972-75 was not great for macro econ mgt – but which country was? It was a bad time everywhere.. — Shane Oliver (@ShaneOliverAMP) October 20, 2014

It didn’t help Whitlam that it took him two-and-a-half of his three years to get a decent Cabinet together, by which stage it was politically too late.

And he deserves credit for his intent in slashing tariffs by 25 per cent – it was of course the right thing to do, but its speed and timing left it open to being called a mistake.

On the personal side, commiserations for everyone who is saddened by Gough’s death – but there is a touch of the irrational about it.

It’s wonderful and warm and human, but still a little irrational. He was 98.

He had done all and more that a man might reasonably think possible to do.

His contribution had been huge and the years were reducing him. And even Gough had suggested that even Gough might not be immortal. To recall a phrase, it was time.

So why does his inevitable and any-day-now-for-the-past-several-years death strike such a chord?

June 7th, 2019

China’s pursuit of corrupt officials takes Australia into uncharted waters

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In its worldwide pursuit of corrupt officials who have absconded with billions in illicit funds, China is, increasingly loudly, asking foreign governments for help.
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To considerable fanfare in the Chinese state media, “Operation Fox Hunt”, launched in July, has already seen 128 economic fugitives repatriated, mostly from a clutch of African and South-East Asian countries which have extradition agreements with – and increasing economic reliance on – China.

But China’s focus is squarely trained on where most of the money has gone – the United States, Canada and Australia – where a lack of an extradition agreement along with strong human rights protections can make for ideal safe havens for the corrupt and persecuted alike. (Even without an extradition treaty, the Attorney-General can decide to hand over suspects under the UN Convention for Corruption.)

To what extent, then, should the Abbott government cooperate? It is no secret that Western governments have traditionally been reluctant to give up suspected criminals because of concerns that torture is used to extract confessions, and that Chinese courts, which are controlled by the government, have a 99 per cent conviction rate. China also administers the death penalty.

This is where China’s Ministry of Public Security, in instigating the pioneering joint operation with the Australian Federal Police, has side-stepped the diplomatic minefield by going after the money first.

Via a mutual assistance treaty, the AFP is able to seize and repatriate funds the Chinese have identified on face value as being illegally taken out of the country. It expects to do so for the first time within weeks, after agreeing a “priority list” of suspects with the Chinese, including some which have been red-flagged by Interpol.

This prevents, at least immediately, a repeat of the case of Lai Changxing, once China’s most-wanted fugitive, who attempted to claim refugee status in Canada after fleeing there with his family in 1999, saying allegations of him running a multi-billion dollar embezzlement scheme was politically motivated, and that he faced torture or execution if sent home. He was deported in 2011, and jailed for life.

While the AFP is confident that the cases presented to them are genuine, they concede they are not privy to any information Chinese police hold on the political background or party links of their suspects. The concern is that as requests for seizure of assets grow, grey areas may increasingly emerge.

From an Australian perspective, projecting a hard line is vital in deterring prospective Chinese economic fugitives. And maintaining the integrity of investment flows is especially important given the overwhelming popularity of Australia’s significant investor visa schemes among Chinese applicants. Importantly, the perception among many Australians is that the influx of capital linked to these schemes is driving up real estate prices.

An extradition treaty being returned to the table is not out of the question.

One actually does exist between the two countries, signed in 2007 under the Howard government, but it was never ratified after Kevin Rudd emerged victorious in the federal election later that year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s Department said implementation of the treaty “is subject to ongoing consideration”.

June 7th, 2019

Ausgrid to offshore IT jobs

Comments Off on Ausgrid to offshore IT jobs, 杭州桑拿, by admin.

Ausgrid has flagged outsourcing its IT workers Photo: Louise Kennerley Publicly owned electricity distribution business Ausgrid is proposing to send 37 IT jobs offshore as unions step up a campaign to protect their workers’  job security.
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The United Services Union said Ausgrid management believes it can save $8.5 million a year by outsourcing the jobs to an overseas company.

The company has flagged the loss of jobs and the use of an overseas contractor to provide IT services.

A spokesman for Ausgrid said it is reviewing the delivery of services in its Information and Communications Technology division as part of a “business-wide restructure to reduce non-essential operating costs”.

“This includes 37 roles in the area of development and technical support,” the spokesman said. “The review includes discussion with unions and staff about the merits of these roles being outsourced to the external market. Ausgrid would expect any external provider to maintain a local presence.

“It’s not unusual for an organisation to test the external market to benchmark the efficient cost of delivering services.”

Ausgrid employs more than 270 staff in its Information and Communications Technology division. This includes labour hire and senior contract roles.

The spokesman said it is important for Ausgrid to “reduce costs in a responsible way so we can keep electricity prices as low as possible for our customers, helping to keep average price increases over the next five years to below CPI”.

“We also remain steadfast in our commitment to no forced redundancies,” he said.

The development comes as negotiations begin for a new enterprise agreement for Ausgrid.

Unions are fighting for the inclusion of job protection clauses that would prevent the offshoring of jobs, restrict the outsourcing of work, and protect staff from forced redundancies.

USU energy manager Scott McNamara said an internal review had found $2 million could be saved while retaining the services within the company, and $3.5 million could be saved by outsourcing the services to an Australian company.

“Ausgrid employees are deeply concerned by the potential loss of jobs and outsourcing of essential support services,” Mr McNamara said.

“For the sake of a few million dollars, Ausgrid management want to send the jobs of 37 loyal staff.

“Not only will they lose the experience and skills of these loyal staff, but service standards will likely drop as work is carried out by external companies in other parts of the world.”

Mr McNamara said the move would not help consumers.

“Networks NSW is driving cost cutting across the business, fattening up the network businesses for NSW Premier Mike Baird’s power privatisation,” he said.

“If electricity network companies are already looking to cut jobs and send positions overseas, it’s no wonder that staff fear massive job cuts from privatisation, which is what happened in Victoria when an overseas buyer took control of the electricity network.”