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The Chinese owners of the Port of Newcastle say they don’t want Macquarie Bank involved

THE Chinese owners of a half-stake in the Port of Newcastle have weighed in to a corporate stoush involving the Australian arm by saying they do not want financial giant Macquarie Bank involved with the port.
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As reported by Fairfax Walkley winner Adele Ferguson, the ructions involve The Infrastructure Fund, a multi-billion dollar fund owned by a group of large superannuation funds, which has stakes in various businesses, including its half-share in the Port of Newcastle.

Although The Infrastructure Fund is the ultimateowner, the NSW government’s original announcements about the privatisation described the Australian owner as Hastings Fund Management. But Hastings was actuallythe “external manager” of The Infrastructure Fund. The fund’strustee was a company called Gardior, chaired by Queensland businessman Bob Lette.

READ MORE:What’s in a name? Questions over port ownership

The Infrastructure Fund dumped Hastings last year and Macquarie was one of two companies shortlisted to replace it. On April 27, Mr Lette was dumped as Gardor chairman after questioning Macquarie’s suitability, saying there were potential conflicts of interest if it was appointed.

China Merchants set out its concerns in a letter dated the same day,saying Macquarie’s appointment would “create an obstacle” to its proposal to establish a container terminal in Newcastle. China Merchants also said Macquarie’s presence could “materially affect” the port’s efforts in having competition laws amended. Macquarie declined to comment. Port of Newcastle management played down what was happening, saying: “This is a shareholder issue which has no impact on the [operations of] the Port of Newcastle.”

It said The Infrastructure Fund and China Merchants Group had a financial investment in an organisation managed “with decades of experience”.

Dive deeperWhy Sydney is taking another look at a Newcastle container terminal planTwo operators show interest in running a Newcastle terminalOn the Port of Newcastle and its competition laws

Keep cold out and heat in

Luxaflex Duette shades provide more insulation than any other window covering on the market with six layers of fabric creating five insulating air pockets. There are many wonderful things about Australia. Unfortunately the traditional home design isn’t one of them when it comes to energy efficiency.
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A passive solar design which makes the most of the sun’s heat in winter but blocks it out in summer, is ideal but if you’re stuck with what you’ve got, then here’s how to keep the cold out of your home and keep your power bills to a minimum.

The easiest step is to weather sealyour home – prevent air from leaking in or out though gaps and cracks.

“According to Sustainable Living Guide,weather proofing your house is important as draughts can account for up to 25 per cent of heat loss from a home in winter,” Peter Doyle, National Business Manager, Cowdroy Australia said.

Places to target are the jambs, faces or edges of doors and windows. You can get seals to eliminating draughts, dust, rain, light and sound, and you can also a gap filler to use around door architraves and along skirting boards.

Or you can go all out and install the right windows, doors and furnishings.

“Windows are one of the most critical elements that contribute to the temperature inside the home,” Christine Evans, Marketing Director at Stegbar said, recommending double glazing.

“The sealed air (or gas filled) gap between the two panes of glass acts as an added layer of insulation. This extra insulation lessens your reliance on heaters, ultimately reducing your energy bills and improving your home’s energy rating.”

Stegbar’s high performance glazing options can help to increase thermal performance, reducing the amount of heat escaping through the windows in winter.

If your budget doesn’t extendto replacing your windows, then look at your window furnishings.

“Insulation is key to maintaining room temperatures, and a few small changes can help your home be more energy efficient and keep bills down,” Jenny Brown, National Marketing Manager for Luxaflex Window Fashions said.

As well as preventing heat from escaping, insulating window coverings can help regulate the warmer temperatures of the day.

“During the day, your windows let in more radiant energy than gets out; sunlight can enter through the glass, but the window is opaque to the infrared radiation trying to escape,” she said, adding that closing the blinds at dusk is ideal.

You can also buy doors which incorporate sealed frames, such asCorinthian Doors’ Enviroseal.

Athina Solomou, Director of Marketing at Corinthian Doors believes that doors and frames shouldn’t be an afterthought from a design and energy efficiency view.

“Drafts from around doors can account for a quarter of heating and cooling bills, so it’s worth spending the extra money on solid doors and frames which seal effectively.”

Qld RL fans to decide on Maroons statue

The Qld premier wants nominations for the next Maroons legend to be immortalised at Suncorp Stadium.Cameron Smith could become the next Queensland rugby league great to be immortalised with a bronze statue at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
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Smith is among the leading contenders after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called for league fans to nominate the next player to be immortalised alongside Wally Lewis, Arthur Beetson, Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer.

Ms Palaszczuk paid tribute to the long-time Queensland and Australian Test skipper, who announced his representative retirement on Tuesday after a record 42 Origin games.

“This is a blow for us, but if Origin’s taught us anything, just when all looks lost there’s always another Queenslander to step into the gap and take the ball up to the try line,” she told parliament on Wednesday.

“On behalf of our state and this House, the fans and the families who love their rugby league, well done Cameron Smith, you did us proud.”

Ms Palaszczuk suggested the likes of Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Allan Langer all deserved to join the “hall of fame” outside the Maroons’ spiritual home.

“Perhaps it should be all three. What about all three? Tell us what you think and we’ll get the ball rolling,” she added.

Australian Associated Press

AFL to appeal decisions against Curnows

The AFL had been at pains to underline the message that touching an umpire is unacceptable before the tribunal let Carlton’s Curnow boys off with a fine.
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So it surprised few when league football boss Steve Hocking decided to appeal the penalties handed down before Wednesday’s midday deadline.

The bar for intentionally touching a whistleblower seemed to have been set at a one-game ban when Geelong’s Tom Hawkins accepted his punishment just over a week ago.

Confidence that the message was being upheld by the tribunal wavered when Gold Coast’s Steven May was fined rather than suspended on Monday night.

And when both Charlie and Ed Curnow successfully argued their charges from intentional down to careless contact and were each fined $1000 on Tuesday night, the league deemed it had to act.

The AFL appealed the verdicts on two key grounds.

The first is that no tribunal acting reasonably could have come to those decisions having regard to the evidence before it.

Secondly, that the sanctions imposed were manifestly inadequate.

The appeals will be heard at 3pm AEST on Thursday.

The May decision was not appealed after careful examination.

His incident did appear to differ slightly from those of Hawkins and the Curnows, who reached out and made contact with their hands.

Just hours before May successfully dodged a ban on Monday evening, AFL match review officer Michael Christian made his position on umpire contact clear.

“We have got to be really vigilant, especially in stop-play situations,” Christian said.

“I think the message is clear that you cannot make contact with umpires.”

It is just the second occasion in history that the AFL has appealed a tribunal verdict.

The first came last year when then football boss Simon Lethlean appealed a two game ban handed to Richmond’s Bachar Houli for striking Carlton’s Jed Lamb.

That penalty was increased to four matches on appeal.

Hawkins took a one-game ban in a plea bargain-style deal after he was threatened with a two-match suspension for touching an umpire during the Cats’ round-seven win over GWS.

The Curnow brothers made almost identical cases to the tribunal.

Charlie touched umpire Matt Stevic and Ed made contact with umpire Nathan Williamson during the match against the Bombers.

In similar statements submitted into evidence, both umpires said they didn’t say anything at the time contact was made, neither felt threatened or had any issues with what had occurred.

Having cooperated with the tribunal with regard to Hawkins’ ban, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said the subsequent fines handed out would have dismayed the Cats.

“If I was Geelong I’d be bleeding … absolutely bleeding,” Buckley told SEN.

“Hawkins handled himself so well, I thought the club handled it well.

“You’d be scratching your head wondering, ‘Why be so gracious when it’s not actually supported or followed through?'”

Australian Associated Press

Acupuncture fruitless for IVF birth: study

Acupuncture doesn’t help women undergoing IVF treatment to have a baby, a study has found.Acupuncture doesn’t help women undergoing IVF to have a baby, a landmark study has found.
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But the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) rejects suggestions the industry promotes false hope for women desperate to have a baby, saying the therapy still has many physical and psycho-social benefits.

A study of 848 women across 16 IVF centres in Australia and New Zealand between 2011 to 2015 found no difference in birth rates in women who received regular acupuncture, compared to those who received ‘sham’ acupuncture.

The sham treatment involved placing a non-invasive needle with a blunt tip away from true acupuncture points.

There was a 0.5 per cent difference in the rate of women who received acupuncture and had a live birth or births (18.3 per cent, or 74 women) compared to those given the fake alternative (17.8 per cent, or 72 women).

“These findings do not support the use of acupuncture to improve the rate of live births among women undergoing IVF,” the authors concluded.

“The likelihood of a live birth was not statistically different between the two groups after adjusting for age, number of previous IVF cycles, and participating IVF centre.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday.

AACMA President Waveny Holland questioned the efficacy of the study, claiming the use of sham acupuncture as the control was misleading because it suggests that it’s ‘fake’.

While not as powerful, sham acupuncture still works the same way as traditional acupuncture by stimulating acupressure points, Ms Holland said.

“They’ve actually designed a very specific, particular needle that doesn’t penetrate the skin but they still put it on acupuncture points creating acupressure, which means it’s still stimulating the (acupressure) point.

Ms Holland says you don’t always need a needle to penetrate the skin to provide benefit.

“I treat a lot of children and we don’t necessarily needle them all the time but we will do acupressure which is pushing on the points just like a sham acupuncture would be doing,” said Ms Holland.

“Acupuncture itself is very powerful and strong and it has been shown to actually increase blood flow to the endometrial lining of the uterus and therefore create a better lining for the placenta to grow and flourish,” she said.

It is also great for reducing stress among women going through IVF, added Ms Holland, who is also a trained mid-wife.

“It’s very good for calming the mind,” she said

UNSW Professor Michael Chapman, study co-author and president of the Fertility Society of Australia, agrees and said these benefits would be reported on in a future paper.

“Feeling relaxed and reporting relief from stress and women feeling good about themselves is to be welcomed for women as they undergo an IVF cycle,” said Professor Chapman.

Australian Associated Press

Freeman-Quay enjoys change up for Souths

DETERMINATION: South Newcastle recruit Tori Freeman-Quay playing for Monaro against the Rebels in last year’s under-23 NSW Country Championships final at St John Oval. Picture: Jonathan CarrollUp until the last week or so,Tori Freeman-Quay thought he’d escaped the cold, harsh winters of the nation’s capital.
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But despite the chill factor recently experienced across the Hunter region duringthe season’s first snow fall on top of the Barringtons, the South Newcastle recruit has enjoyed the change of scenery north of Canberra.

“I’ve been enjoying it heaps, especially this time of year because it’s starting to get fresh downthere,” Freeman-Quay said.“I was keen to get out of that winter.”

The Lions were just as welcoming of Freeman-Quay’s arrival for this campaign, via a NSW Cup deal inked with the Newcastle Knights.

Not only having lost USrepresentative Matt Shipway(Wests), Rebels prop RomanFepuleai (Lakes) and premiership-winning hooker Liam Higgins (Queensland Cup)from last year’s forward pack, but also following on from Freeman-Quay being named 2017 Country Rugby League player of the year.

“It was pretty surprising when that happened, but it was a real privilege to win that,” the former West Belconnen player said.

“There’s some big names that have taken that out.”

The prestigious honour role features former NRL players such asMickCronin (1974), Steve Walters (1987) and more recently Chris Adams (2014, 2016).

Freeman-Quay picked up the award last year after leading Monaro to victory in the inaugural under-23 NSW Country Championship final, playing against Newcastle at St John Oval, before helping the selected boys from the bush upset Scotland in a World Cup warm-upmatch at Ballina.

Now the Shortland-based 24-year-old plumber is working towards following in those famous footsteps, having last month started three times in the second-rowfor the Knights’ reserve-grade side.

“Obviously it’s another step above in terms of quality and it’s a lot quicker,” he said.

“But I’ve been really enjoying it and hopefully I can get back up there soon.”

Freeman-Quay dropped back the past fortnight and has rejoined Souths in the Newcastle Rugby League competition. The Lions’ improvement has beenno coincidence, narrowly beaten on the bell by title holders Macquarie at Toronto before cracking their first win of the season against Wests at home on Sunday.

“It’s always good to get the two points,” the former Raiders under-18 representative and Forbes boarding school studentsaid.“We gave it away a little bit against the Scorpsso it was good to come out and get the win against Wests.”

Souths have the weekend off and he’s been named 18thman for the Knights ahead of Sunday’s NSW Cup-clash with Canterbury at North Sydney Oval.

READ MORE:Wests uncharacteristically slow out of the blocks in 2018

RELATED:First XII players left dancing in the dark by full-time

Freeman-Quay, whoattended Red Bend Catholic College, has enjoyed being mentored at the Lions by former NRL front-rower Ben Cross.

“He [Cross] is a good person to have as coach,” he said.

“He’s got a lot of experience in the NRL, especially being down in Melbourne for a bit of his career. So there’s alot of knowledge and me being another forward that’s pretty handy.”

The respect is mutual from Cross.

“He [Freeman-Quay] is a team-minded player, willing to do what’s asked of his role,” Cross said.

“He has a defensive mentality and is apowerful, skillful ball runner.”

IT system causes SA blood test delays

South Australians may be waiting a little longer than usual for their blood test results.A new pathology IT system has caused delays in blood test results across South Australia’s health network, prompting concerns for patient care.
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SA Health said the delays largely stem from complex data entry requirements with the new Enterprise Pathology Laboratory Information System.

Deputy chief executive Don Frater said a task force would review the test delays and 30 extra staff would be hired to bring wait times down to normal levels.

“We know timely test results are essential in providing prompt and appropriate care for patients, and these delays have the potential to impact the level of care being provided,” Mr Frater said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Following feedback from clinicians, the task force will also review the reporting format for the test results and if any errors have occurred as a result.

“In the interim, all urgent tests are being prioritised and an action plan has been developed by SA Pathology to improve the timeliness of pathology test results for doctors.”

Mr Frater expected wait times to return to normal in the coming weeks.

Australian Associated Press

Meghan Markle: From actress to royalty

Already known for supporting a variety of causes, Meghan Markle is used to championing charities.WHO IS MEGHAN MARKLE?BORN:Rachel Meghan Markle was born in Los Angeles on August 4, 1981. It’s unclear when or why Markle started going by her middle name.
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– Mum is Doria Ragland, an African-American social worker and yoga instructor.

– Dad is Emmy Award winner Thomas Markle, a lighting director who has Dutch and Irish heritage.

– They met in the late 70s when Markle was a lighting director on a TV soap and Ragland was working as a temp at the studio. They split when Meghan was six.


– Meghan has two older half-siblings, Samantha Grant and Thomas Markle Junior, who were born when Thomas Markle was with his first wife Roslyn.

– Grant, 52, is a former actress and model, who lives in Florida and has multiple sclerosis. She reportedly hasn’t spoken to Meghan since 2008.


– Two rescue dogs, Bogart, a labrador/shepherd cross, and Guy, a beagle.


– The Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and the Immaculate Heart High School, a private Catholic school for girls in LA.

– Graduated in 2003 from the Northwestern University School of Communication, Illinois, where she studied theatre and international relations.


– In September 2011, Meghan married movie producer and manager Trevor Engelson in Jamaica after a seven-year romance. The couple divorced in August 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.


– Cooking, writing, travel, yoga, politics, social issues.


– Best known as Rachel Zane in US TV drama Suits.

– Markle got her break on US soap General Hospital in 2002.

– Minor TV roles followed on shows including CSI New York, Knight Rider, 90210, and Without A Trace.

– Her movie credits include British thriller Anti-Social and the comedy romance Random Encounters.

– Before breaking into acting, Markle worked as a freelance calligrapher.

– She also ran a lifestyle blog, The Tig, as a “hub for the discerning palate – those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty”, but brought it to a close in April 2017 as things began getting serious with Harry.


– Markle is a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, an ambassador for UN Women, and an advocate for gender equality.

– She told Vanity Fair her social awareness began during the Los Angeles riots sparked by the police beating of Rodney King, in 1991.

– As an 11-year-old she was also enraged by a TV ad suggesting women belong in the kitchen washing up.

Australian Associated Press

Spending up before EOFY?

This article is sponsored by LendingPro
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The June 30 end of financial year deadline looms large on small business calendars as a reminder to spend, spend, spend in thehope of claiming extra deductions.

However, there’s little sense in spending your surplus cash just for the sake of a tax deduction if it fails to bring in revenue or grow your business, and as a result leaves you in a bad cash flow position.

There are three steps to making your deductions more productive for your business now, and in the long-run.

The end of financial year, June 30 deadline looms large on small business calendars as a reminder to spend, spend, spend.

Know the numbersLimiting yourself to purchasing necessary equipment that will help you run more efficiently, expand your customer base or develop new offerings is money well spent towards generating new revenue.

Understand government schemesThe Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme means you can instantly claim deductions for depreciating assets worth up to $20,000.

Use equipment finance to claim further tax deductions on interest payments while building equity in a business assetThis is particularly useful if you want to take advantage of the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme but don’t have the cash to invest in small or large-scale equipment. Financing equipment and vehicles also helps maintain working capital in the business. So how could this work for you?

Using equipment finance to generate revenue and claim tax deductions

“The great thing about vehicle and equipment finance is that the equipment acts as security for the loan,” advises James Watson, director at LendingPro.

“This means you can borrow 100 per centof the equipment value and maintain your working capital at the same time. This also makes applying easy and funding fast.

Being able to access the right equipment for your business, without being limited by how much spare cash you have, means you are able to unlock new opportunities and bring in more customers to create growth”.

Financing equipment also means you can take advantage of staged tax deductions. Not only can you utilise government schemes, but claim deductions on the interest payments you make on the loan too.

Mr Watson outlines another added bonus:“In addition to creating opportunities and taking advantage of tax deductions, any equipment you purchase is considered a business asset and can therefore help you gain funding in the future for further growth.”

To give you an idea of how you could make equipment finance work for you, let’s look atAmy’s business.

Amy’s restaurantAmy owns an established restaurant and is looking to upgrade her point-of-sale and ordering system.

With the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme, Amy is able to serve customers faster and communicate with the kitchen more easily, so her business generates more revenue and grows.

Instead of pulling cash from other areas of the business, or using her personal assets as security, she opts for an equipment loan where the new equipment acts as security.

This way, Amy is able to take advantage of the Instant Asset Write-Off Scheme, deduct depreciation and claim the interest payments over the life of the loan. She is also able to serve customers faster and communicate with the kitchen more easily, so her business generates more revenue andgrows.

There are many uses for equipment loans including:Vehicles and fleetsFactory or commercial machinerySpecialist equipment, including the medical and hospital sectorsEquipment and trade toolsConstruction and mining equipmentGeneral office equipment including computers, printers and phonesTechnology, including servers, laser cutters and 3D printersHospitality equipment such as appliances and kitchen toolsRetail tools such as point-of-sale equipment and CCTV camerasWhere to goGetting fast, simple equipment finance is easy when you use LendingPro. The team of experienced finance brokers will walk you through the application process,simply visitlendingpro南京夜网.auor call 1300 998 555 to chat with a loans advisor.

The information in this article is of a generalised nature, it is important that you obtain individual tax advice for your own small business.

This article is sponsored byLendingPro

A guide to Meghan Markle’s family

Meghan Markle with her mother Doria Radlan at the Invictus Games in Toronto last year.Meghan Markle’s family have been under intense media scrutiny since she announced her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017.
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Her relatives are in many ways unlikely in-laws for Britain’s royal family: Markle’s parents are divorced, her half-siblings opinionated, and her father once declared bankruptcy.

HERE IS A LOOK AT THE WINDSORS’ NEW IN-LAWS:MARKLE’S FATHERThomas Markle married Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in 1979. They split when Meghan was six years old.

He stayed in contact with his daughter, although their relationship was sometimes troubled. Nevertheless, in a 2016 Instagram post on Father’s Day, she wrote “[t]o this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world”.

Today, Thomas Markle leads a quiet life in Rosarito, on Mexico’s Pacific coast. He won $750,000 in the lottery in 1990, but later declared bankruptcy.

He has been the figure of much gossiping in the British press, with tabloids recently snapping him getting fitted for a suit at a backstreet tailor’s near his Rosarito home.

Following the embarrassing photos, he withdrew from the wedding and now won’t be walking his daughter down the aisle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Prince Harry is reportedly still to meet his future father-in-law.

MARKLE’S MOTHERMarkle is thought to be much closer with her mother, who raised her as a single parent.

Last year, Markle told Glamour magazine, “We can just have so much fun together, and yet I’ll still find so much solace in her support”.

In a 2014 post in her now-defunct blog The Tig, Markle affectionately described her mother: “Dreadlocks. Nose ring. Yoga instructor. Social worker. Free spirit.”

Ragland is a social worker and is reportedly still working with drug addicts in Los Angeles, despite being in the spotlight since the engagement, according to the Daily Mail.

In the week leading up to the nuptials, Ragland will to spend time with Harry’s family, including his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Harry has already met Ragland several times. In the first sit-down interview with him and Markle, the prince told the BBC: “Her mum’s amazing!”

MARKLE’S HALF-SISTERMarkle’s relationship with her half-sister, Samantha Grant, has also generated a lot of media attention, in part due to Grant’s controversial statements.

In the past, she has suggested that Markle could do more to financially support their father, telling Australian TV show A Current Affair that “Honestly, what she could spend in a weekend would greatly help Dad”.

In 2016, Grant told Britain’s The Sun that Markle was motivated by “social climbing”.

Grant lives in Florida and, like Markle, was also in acting and television, although with less success. She now plans to write a book, entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

It is unclear whether she will be a guest at the wedding next week.

MARKLE’S HALF-BROTHERThomas Markle Jr is also reportedly still waiting for an invite – although it seems unlikely after he wrote a scathing letter published last week in celebrity gossip magazine In Touch.

According to the report, he described the upcoming nuptials as “the biggest mistake in royal wedding history”. Addressing Harry, he added, “Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you”, adding that she is a “jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage”.

MARKLE’S EX-HUSBANDMarkle was married to Hollywood producer Trevor Engelson for less than two years, before they divorced in 2013.

He is planning an untitled comedy about a man whose wife leaves him for a British prince, with Fox having commissioned a pilot episode, according to entertainment news site Deadline. The project claims to be fictional.

Australian Associated Press