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  • admin 17:57 on 14/09/2018  

    A ballot to limit numbers at next year’s Anzac Day centenary dawn service at Gallipoli may not head off mayhem, a leading war historian and battlefields tour operator has warned.
    Nanjing Night Net

    He says thousands could still turn up without an admission pass. More than 42,000 Australians have applied for the free passes in a ballot conducted by the government, but only 8000 will be granted.

    As well as the Australian allocation, 2000 places will go to New Zealanders and 500 to VIPs. The results of the ballot may be announced at the end of the month.

    ”The issue that no one is discussing is what will happen with the thousands of people who come along anyway,” said Mat McLachlan.

    ”The government is saying that if you don’t have a pass don’t come to the service, but I believe the backpacker market, from London in particular, will come over.

    ”The service is on a Saturday, and they’ll just fly across with a few days’ notice. This will create a massive overflow.

    ”Gallipoli is difficult to get to and they just can’t be turned away. The government will have to provide toilets, shelter, food and water. Otherwise we’ll end up with thousands of people sitting in the cold along the side of the road.”

    Mr McLachlan said interest in Gallipoli and battlefield tours had been booming, largely fuelled by backpackers touring Europe.

    He said he started Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours in 2007 with just 35 people and now takes 2000 annually.

    He said the centenary service had attracted unprecedented interest.

    But there is only enough space at North Beach, where the service is held, for about 10,500 people, and a cap has been settled between the Australian, New Zealand and Turkish governments.

    The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has been advising people without a pass not to head for the service, and has plans for a social media campaign aimed at backpackers in Europe, who may try to make last-minute plans to go.

    ”There will be no overflow site for those without an attendance pass,” a spokesman said.”

    More than 98 per cent of visitors who attend the services, do so as part of an organised tour due to the remote location of the commemorative sites.

    ”DVA has an ongoing close working relationship with tour operators in Australia and Europe to ensure they are advising all current and potential customers of ballot arrangements,” the department spokesman said.

    Despite the restricted numbers, Mr McLachlan said a lot of tour companies were doing Anzac trips.

    ”They will be of various quality,” he said. ”A lot of them are doing two-week loops of Turkey with just two days at Gallipoli. But with the crowds and the security, what can you expect to see in two days? There will be 300 buses on the road, it will be slow going.”

    Cruise ships are also muscling in for the 2015 centenary service. The founder of Captain’s Choice, Phil Asker, said there would be up to 12,000 people on ships off Anzac Cove. ”We were overwhelmed with the interest,” Mr Asker said.

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

    Continue reading Gallipoli service ‘mayhem’ warning
     
  • admin 17:57 on 14/09/2018  

    Tony Abbott is keen to keep the Christmas party tradition going. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Tony Abbott.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Tony Abbott might be taking to the public service with his sharpest set of pruning shears but has vowed to pay for grog and soft drinks for senior bureaucrats in his department every Christmas.

    The Prime Minister has boasted of the $20,238 Christmas party he hosted for Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet staff and has even lashed his predecessors as Grinches by saying he was surprised a festive season bash for hard-working public servants at the department was not held regularly under the former government.

    “As a consequence, the Prime Minister has established a new tradition of a special Christmas function that includes not only senior public servants in (the department) but also their spouses and children,” read a response from the Prime Minister.

    The response was given to the Senate via Eric Abetz following a question on notice from Penny Wong.

    Mr Abbott, who marked his first hours in office by sacking three department heads, hosted 319 people at the December 8 party at the Prime Minister’s courtyard at Parliament House.

    The alcohol bill was just $3726, the cost of soft drinks $1139 and decorative lighting $52, while marquee hire set the taxpayer back $1242 and the food bill hit $13,130.

    “The Prime Minister is very conscious of the demands that political life places on families: both for the politician but also senior public servants,” the response said.

    “The Prime Minister felt that it was important that there was a Christmas function held to thank senior public servants in his department for their efforts over the year and that their families be invited in recognition of the sacrifices they make.

    “Also, the Prime Minister was constrained by the cost of available catering services in Parliament House, but endeavoured to keep costs at a reasonable level.”

    He super-sized his department with amalgamations when he came into power and going into the new year it had 2467 employees, according to a government spokesman.

    Mr Abbott also held a function in December for Australian Public Service agency heads, the diplomatic corps and senior parliamentary staff in the same courtyard the following day.

    A total of 386 people turned up to that one and the biggest cost was food at $17,100, followed by $3,680 of alcohol, $1260 for catering staff and $1,222 worth of soft drinks.

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

    Continue reading PM takes the axe to public service – but holds onto Christmas parties
     
  • admin 17:57 on 14/09/2018  

    Surprisingly fresh: Titanfall is out now for Xbox One and PC. It’s also coming soon to Xbox 360.Titanfall couldn’t possibly live up to expectations.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The first game from a new studio formed by the creators of Call of Duty. A game Microsoft hopes will set Xbox One apart from PS4. A game that’s already won countless awards. A game that millions of gamers hope can revive a stale genre.

    Yet while Titanfall doesn’t break any significant new ground as a multiplayer shooter, it is brilliant fun and feels surprisingly fresh.

    You control a nimble pilot who can use a jetpack to leap high into the air, scamper along walls and cause mayhem with weapons like shotguns, sniper rifles and submachine guns.

    But it’s when leaping into a hulking armoured Titan robot that you can cause maximum damage and have a real blast.

    Available to all players when a timer reaches zero, the Titans can unleash chain guns and deadly rockets on hapless foes. Yet they are not unstoppable juggernauts – their massive size makes them vulnerable.

    Novices might find themselves all-too quickly ejecting their pilot before the Titan falls.

    Fortunately, racking up kills can help you summon another Titan sooner rather than later.

    And players don’t have to leap into the cockpit, they can instead command their mechanical monster to protect them, hitching a ride and leaping off again whenever prudent.

    The 15 well-designed maps are thrilling playgrounds, providing equal opportunity for parkour specialists to zip across locations with spectacular gymnastics, for snipers to crouch in seclusion and pick off prey, and for nefarious types to lay cunning traps. Meanwhile, the Titans must fight in more open spaces.

    The well-balanced battles feature up to 12 players plus AI-controlled cannon fodder, and modes include capture the flag, team deathmatch, domination and Last Titan Standing.

    A campaign that links online battles was a good idea but isn’t successful given the nondescript story proceeds regardless of victory or defeat.

    What have you been playing lately?

    – Jason Hill

    Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason

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

    Continue reading Titanfall: Massive fun
     
  • admin 17:57 on 14/09/2018  

    Childcare operator G8 Education has swopped on 91 centres owned by failed sharemarket hopeful Sterling Early Education, agreeing to pay $228 million in a transaction that increases its number of student places by almost a third to 27,995.
    Nanjing Night Net

    A proposed float of childcare roll-up Sterling was pulled just over one week ago by Macquarie Capital after it failed to raise $200 million from institutional investors. Fund managers baulked at earnings forecasts, which had been revised down just prior to a book build.

    The latest acquisition comes just over a month after G8 Education spent $105 million on 63 new centres and marks a period of enhanced corporate activity in the fragmented sector.

    There are about 6,000 centres in Australia and more than 80 per cent are owned by independent operators.

    The 91 centres will contribute annualised earnings before interest and tax of $39.4 million in the 2015 financial year, G8 Education said on Monday.

    The company said the purchase price, which includes cash of $215 million and a further $10.5 million subject to earnings targets being met, represents 5.79 times anticipated EBIT for the 12 months ending December 31 2015.

    The price is more expensive than its previously stated guideline of not paying more than 4-times EBIT for new centres.

    The company described the newly purchased centres as “premium”. They include 76 long day centres and 15 centres for outside school hours care.

    G8 Education will fund the cash component of the deal through cash and debt.

    The company entered a trading on Monday morning. In the past year the childcare operator’s share price has climbed 137 per cent and closed at $4.76 on Friday.

    More to come

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

    Continue reading G8 Education to buy 91 centres for $228m
     
  • admin 17:57 on 14/09/2018  

    What a second week and a whirlwind of results. The second week of footy saw the reigning premiers starting the year with four points and new Saints’ coach Alan Richardson winning his first AFL game as a senior coach.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Right

    Essendon under Bomber Thompson appear back on the right track with Jobe Watson (153), Dyson Heppell (150) and Brendon Goddard (119) all scoring prolifically in the 39-point victory over North Melbourne, while new recruit Paul Chapman also made his presence known with four goals.

    Joel Selwood showed almost no signs of the pre-season injury to his hamstring on Thursday night, in a performance (132) he encapsulated what it meant to be a great AFL captain.

    The work of Steve Johnson (121) through the midfield and Jimmy Bartel (99) in his 250th forward kicking four crucial goals, kept Chris Scott grinning and the Cats purring along at the start of season 2014.

    wRong

    For North Melbourne it was a night to forget with no players breaking the 100 point mark, with Aaron Mullett (97) the highest and yet far from impressive. There isn’t much North can take out of the game.

    Luke McDonald (53) had a reasonable debut aside from kicking a clanger in the first quarter which gifted Paul Chapman an early goal and set the tone for North’s night. Aaron Black (1 goal) and Drew Petrie (0 goals) could have warmed the bench and were barely noticeable.

    It was also a week to forget for Dogs’ coach Brendan McCartney as his side was thumped by 11 goals. Youngsters Mitch Wallis (59) and Tom Liberatore (84) struggled to have any impact on the game, and second-year key forward Jake Stringer (38) failed to fire, kicking just one behind late in the game.

    Ridiculous

    There was no premiership hangover for the Hawks, with an emphatic victory over a determined Brisbane side. Justin Leppitsch will be happy with the attitude of the Lions, but it was a hard day for them at Aurora stadium. Jarryd Roughead (98 points) and Luke Breust (110 points) kicked five goals each for the Hawks.

    If you want to see a man put in 100 per cent then Nick Riewoldt (125) is not your man – his work rate was above and beyond that, to the point where the star forward nearly had to take the kick-in late in the Saints’ win over the Demons.

    Clinton Jones was freed from his normal tagging role and put in a memorable performance, with 39 disposals (141 points) in the absence of Jack Steven, Leigh Montagna and Lenny Hayes. Luke Dunstan (106) had a debut to rival that of Jaeger O’Meara with 7 tackles and 21 disposals.

    However it was Demons co-captain Nathan Jones (147) who put on a show with 100+ points to his name at three-quarter time. He put in a ridiculous one-man effort, trying desperately to drag his team over the line.

    Regrettable

    The AFL’s scheduling. We would have loved to have seen round two completed by now and have more scope on players to watch and how the kids are progressing, alas, we only have one round and five games this week to cover.

    Jesse Hogan will be absent from the Melbourne line-up for some time it seems, and the Demons sorely missed his hulking presence up forward on Saturday. Look for this kid in the future as he has had a year at VFL level to get ready for AFL football and will make an impact early.

    Bob Murphy (97) has been a stalwart for the Bulldogs over the years, but the Eagles were way too strong on Sunday. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t get the win in his 250th game.

    Article supplied by Footy Prophet – football analysis and opinion with a fantasy focus. Be a part of the game.

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

    Continue reading The Four Rs of the week: round one, part two
     
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