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  • admin 13:41 on 15/08/2019  

    A bureaucrat charged with monitoring the home insulation scheme’s rollout cannot recall what was specifically done to ensure installers were properly trained.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Simon Cox was seconded to the co-ordinator general’s office to oversee the home insulation program being devised by federal environment department staffers.

    Mr Cox told a royal commission into the troubled Rudd government scheme that while training was taken seriously, he couldn’t recall what was done to monitor its development.

    Under cross-examination by Counsel Assisting Keith Wilson, Mr Cox agreed training was a fundamental component of the program but said he could not remember what he did to follow it up with the department.

    “It’s still vague,” Mr Cox said of his recollection.

    But Mr Cox did say he had a general sense that he and another public servant were monitoring what the environment department was doing in regards to training.

    Mr Cox also told the inquiry on Tuesday that bureaucrats were relieved to learn that the National Code of Practice for the construction industry was not applicable to the home insulation scheme.

    It was good news, he said, because if the code applied then the program would have come to an “immediate halt”.

    This was because insulation providers would have been required to undergo checks to determine whether they complied with the code and union officials may have got involved.

    “It [the code] would have been an impediment in terms of timing,” Mr Cox told the inquiry.

    The royal commission before Ian Hanger QC continues.


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

    Continue reading Home insulation inquiry: Bureaucrat unsure if proper safety training procedures implemented
  • admin 13:41 on 15/08/2019  

    NSW captain Steve Smith says winning the Sheffield Shield caps a whirlwind 12 months, where he’s come from the international wilderness to be part of Australia’s Ashes clean sweep and a series win over South Africa.
    Nanjing Night Net

    NSW won its first shield title in six years at Manuka Oval on Tuesday, with Smith producing an unbeaten century.

    Western Australia was unable to produce a miracle, with NSW losing just one wicket in the 1½  sessions played before both teams agreed to end play early on the fifth and final day, with NSW 4-197.

    WA had no chance of getting a result, trailing by 464 runs.

    As the home side, NSW just needed a draw to win its first shield title since 2007-08. Moises Henriques was named man of the match for his 140 in the first innings that helped NSW post a dominant total of 447, before skittling WA for just 180.

    NSW resumed at 3-59 on Tuesday and Smith (103 not out) and Kurtis Patterson (52) brought up their half centuries before lunch.

    Patterson was caught by Jason Behrendorff at gully off the bowling of Marcus North almost immediately after bringing up his milestone.

    With an end in sight, Smith opened his shoulders against former Australian teammate Ashton Agar, smashing him straight down the ground for a couple of sixes.

    A century in a victorious shield final capped a stunning 12 months for Smith that began with his Test recall against India in March last year.

    He had spent two years out of the Test side, but has since established himself as an important cog in the middle order.

    “It’s very special,” he said. “It’s the first shield final I’ve been a part of and to captain it and to win the shield, it’s just been an amazing 12 months for me. The whole thing’s still a bit of a blur.

    “I’ve always dreamt of playing in a shield final with NSW and to win it and to be captain of the side, it’s a great thrill.”

    Smith credited Henriques for setting up the win with his first-innings ton, especially as the Blues were 6-189 shortly after he arrived at the crease.

    He also praised Josh Hazlewood’s 6-50, who was one of the few bowlers able to extract anything from the Manuka pitch.

    “It’s been an amazing journey so far, but to come back here with NSW, and especially with close mate Ryan Carters … and to bring the shield home, it’s been fantastic. It’s been an unbelievable season,” he said.

    WA captain Adam Voges was left feeling empty after his team was dominated for five days by the home side. But he praised the way his team toiled, even though the writing was on the wall going into the final day.

    He was confident it was in a strong position for the future with Justin Langer as coach.

    Voges said WA was at “rock bottom” when the former Australian opening batsman took over the reins, but had managed to turn the side around with his work ethic.

    And he also felt the emergence of Canberra quick Jason Behrendorff would stand the state in good stead.

    “I honestly think we’ve exceeded a few expectations,” he said. “With such a young squad that we’ve got, there’s some really positive signs for West Australian cricket.

    “Over the course of the next five years, hopefully we can become a real force.

    “I’ve been really excited by the development of [wicketkeeper] Sam Whiteman, Jason Behrendorff, and a few of our younger guys have come through as well. Hopefully we can keep our group together over the next few years and really challenge for some silverware.”

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

    Continue reading Smith caps whirlwind 12 months with title
  • admin 13:41 on 15/08/2019  

    Automotive Holdings will extend its car and truck dealerships and logistics business in two deals worth $184 million.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Perth-based company, which entered a trading halt on Tuesday, has struck a deal to buy Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways for $116 million and NSW car dealership Bradstreet Motor Group for $68 million.

    The Scott’s deal will be funded from $71 million cash, $15 million of AHG shares and $30 million of finance leases, the company said in a statement to the ASX.

    AHG managing director Bronte Howson said the acquisition would deliver $4 million a year in savings by the end of 2016 and make the company the biggest temperature controlled carrier in Australia.

    Sydney-based Scott’s is forecast to generate sales worth $237 million this year and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $25 million.

    The Bradstreet deal will lift AHG’s network to 169 franchises across 96 dealerships in Australia and New Zealand.

    Bradstreet’s dealerships are mainly in Newcastle and represent seven car makers: Toyota, Mazda, Holden, Nissan, Kia, Subaru and Great Wall.

    “This is a strategic addition to our NSW dealership network,” Mr Howson said. “The dealerships operate from well-maintained properties on long-term leases and require no significant capital expenditure.

    “They also complement our established Newcastle truck hub, giving AHG a very strong presence in the Newcastle region.”

    The Bradstreet deal will be funded in cash. Both acquisitions are subject to the completion of due diligence.

    AHG employs about 5000 people across Australia and New Zealand. Its shares closed flat on Monday at $3.60.

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

    Continue reading Automotive Holdings Group expands with $184m in truck and dealer buys
  • admin 13:41 on 15/08/2019  

    La Madre’s choc cherry buns. Photo: Supplied La Madre’s choc cherry buns. Photo: SUpplied
    Nanjing Night Net

    La Madre’s choc cherry buns. Photo: Supplied

    Burch and Purchese’s hot cross buns. Photo: Supplied

    Artisan bakers and confectioners are bringing out the big buns this Easter and putting their spin on the spice-laden, fruity bread synonymous with this time of year. While the bun police may frown upon choc chip and fruit-free offerings, if a bun fits into the bad-but-good category is it really such a crime?

    It takes a steely resolve to hold out until Good Friday for your first butter-slathered bun – especially when some supermarket chains start stocking them a week after Christmas. The Dictionary of Food explains that traditionally “cross buns” can be eaten on Good Friday without breaking the Lenten fast. Superstition also has it that buns baked on this day don’t go mouldy. To Christians, the cross symbolises Jesus’s crucifixion, however crossed buns can be traced back to ancient civilisations. Saxons honoured the goddess Eostre, whose name was transferred to Easter, according to The Oxford Companion to Food, and the ancient Egyptians and Greeks also scored baked religious offerings with a cross.

    Nowadays, it seems there’s no limit to bun experimentation, with Sydney publicans Mitchell Davis and Jamie Thomas duelling over hot cross bun burgers last Easter with their #hotcrosschallenge. Who knew a simple fruit bun could be so fun? Here are some inventive interpretations spotted in bakeries, supermarkets and patisseries this year:

    Hot cross doughnutsIn Melbourne, Tivoli Road Bakery’s hot cross doughnuts have reappeared. They’re available from the South Yarra bakery on weekends leading up to the holiday. Spices and orange-soaked currants, raisins and sultanas are added to a pastry cream filling. Baker Michael James says the dough itself is “freshened up” with lemon oil and zest, to replicate traditional peel pieces. Once filled, the plump doughy balls are rolled in cinnamon sugar for extra spice.

    Details: $4 each, available weekends, Tivoli Road Bakery, 3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra, 03 9041 4345, tivoliroad南京夜网.au

    Hot cross eclairs?In Sydney, Bondi sweet and savoury eclair patisserie La Maison de l’Eclair has developed an extravagantly decorated Easter egg themed eclair and they’re working on a bun/chocolate egg/eclair hybrid, said to include “cinnamon and apple with calvados, chocolate crunch and easter egg”. Stay tuned…

    Details: La Maison de l’Eclair, 91 Bondi Road, Sydney, 02 9386 1265, lamaisondeleclair南京夜网.au

    Hot cross bun smashThe Gelato Messina team is developing another Easter-themed gelato, likely to feature smashed hot cross buns and a spiced gelato base. The festive flavour will be in stores from Easter Thursday. Previous incarnations included the cheekily titled “Lick my buns”, a spiced egg custard gelato with buttered hot cross buns.

    Details: Various stores, see gelatomessina南京夜网

    Hot cross macs Albury-based patissier Geoffrey Michael’s dainty hot cross macs embody sugar and spice and all things nice. A plumped-up vanilla syrup-soaked raisin dots the centre, sandwiched with a spiced buttercream and encased in a cute criss-crossed shell.

    Details: $2.70 each, Geoffrey Michael Patissier, 669 Dean Street, Albury, 02 6021 6733, geoffreymichaelpatissier南京夜网.au

    Also try: Celebrity patissier Adriano Zumbo sells a seasonal hot cross “Zumbaron”. See adrianozumbo南京夜网 for locations in Sydney and Melbourne.

    Haigh’s hot cross bun chocolates

    These rich round balls of fruit, peel and spice-spiked chocolate fudge, covered in dark chocolate and drizzled with a white chocolate are an indulgent morsel for the chocoholic.

    Details: $2.95 each or $22.50 for six, see haighschocolates南京夜网.au for stockists and stores in South Australia, NSW and Victoria.

    La Madre choc cherry buns

    The Geelong-based bakery’s dark and dense sourdough buns evoke a Black Forest gateau. Studded with sour Persian cherries and dark Belgian chocolate, these buns are a grown-up choc-chip version. Splash with a dash of kirsch for a boozy hit.

    Details: $2.60 each or $15.90 for six, stockists include Thomas Dux, see lamadre南京夜网.au.


    Melbourne sweet purveyors Burch & Purchese are keeping it traditional. Darren Purchese concedes that the buns go against their usual “out of the box” approach. The plump yeasted buns’ signature is a thinned “cross” solution, painted on in artistic swipes. “It’s probably the only thing we sell in store that doesn’t have chocolate,” says Purchese.

    Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery bakes round hot cross loaves each Easter. The yeasted dough features spices and peel, and comes complete with a large cross and glaze. Try it for toast, with a diameter of about 15cm, you’ll get enough slices for three or four people.

    Details: Burch & Purchese, $3 each or $15 for six, Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, South Yarra, 03 9827 7060, burchandpurchese南京夜网

    Details: Bourke Street Bakery, $6.50, available at all Bourke Street Bakery outlets, see bourkestreetbakery南京夜网.

    Big brand buns

    Coles has brought in British chef Heston Blumenthal for their “hero” buns. Featuring a hint of native lemon myrtle, the uniformly circular buns are made with a buttery brioche dough.

    Brumby’s bakeries boast a white bread Nutella-centred bun. Bun purists will scoff, but the squat finger bun has a cross so surely it counts?

    Bakers Delight’s stable of chocolate chip stalwarts includes a mocha bun, promising more than 100 choc chips apiece.

    Traditionalist or adventure lover: what side of the hot cross bun fence do you fall? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’ve spotted any HCB’s with a twist this year, we’d love to hear about them too.

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

    Continue reading Delicious hot cross bun hacks
  • admin 13:41 on 15/08/2019  

    Joe Tripodi allegedly doctored a cabinet minute in 2010. Photo: Janie Barrett Eddie Obeid allegedly had a secret 30 per cent stake in AWH. Photo: Kate Geraghty
    Nanjing Night Net

    Former Premier Kristina Keneally’s office was warned it needed to “drive a stake through the heart” of a doctored cabinet minute supporting a proposal by the Obeid-linked company Australian Water Holdings, a corruption inquiry has heard.

    Tom Parry, then chairman of Sydney Water, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Tuesday he cautioned an adviser to Ms Keneally, Pat Garcia, that he would consider making a corruption complaint if the cabinet minute was approved.

    The commission is examining allegations that the family of corrupt former Labor minister Eddie Obeid had a secret 30 per cent stake in AWH.

    Mr Obeid’s political allies, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly, allegedly doctored a cabinet minute in 2010 so that it was “completely opposite” to the recommendations of experts from the Department of Premier and Cabinet to reject a proposal by AWH.

    The inquiry has heard that if the minute was accepted, the Obeid family stood to make up to $60 million.

    Mr Parry said the company was “a commercial albatross around our neck”.

    The premier’s department took steps to have the draft minute withdrawn around May 2010.

    Mr Kelly allegedly tried to bypass cabinet by submitting the minute to its powerful budget subcommittee, before re-submitting it to cabinet in August 2010.

    “I thought this had been killed off,” Mr Parry said he told Ms Keneally’s office when the minute re-emerged.

    “Obviously we need to put a stake through the heart.”

    Ms Keneally, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, subsequently advised Mr Kelly to withdraw the minute and not to resubmit it.

    Earlier, the barrister for Liberal heavyweight and former AWH chairman Arthur Sinodinos challenged the evidence of a key witness.

    Tony Bannon, SC, put it to former Sydney Water boss Kerry Schott that she did not warn Senator Sinodinos, after he joined the board of AWH, that the company “may have been dishonest”.

    Dr Schott conceded she may not have used the word “dishonest” but said she would have used another term conveying the “same meaning”.

    “It was a personal warning to Mr Sinodinos, who I thought very highly of,” Dr Schott said.

    “I hope I left him with the impression that there may be dishonest behaviour going on.”

    Dr Schott said she was “voicing a suspicion” based on the fact AWH was charging excessive costs to Sydney Water and stonewalling attempts by the public utility to inspect its books.

    Sydney Water had contracted AWH to manage the installation of water and sewerage infrastructure in the north-west and had agreed to cover its administration costs.

    The commission has previously heard it was secretly charging Sydney Water for millions of dollars, including for limousines, donations to the NSW Liberal Party and legal fees.

    Senator Sinodinos, who stepped down as Assistant Federal Treasurer last week, has denied any wrongdoing.

    Mr Bannon suggested on Tuesday that the meeting between Dr Schott and Senator Sinodinos may have taken place in early 2009, after he was appointed deputy chairman of AWH, rather than after November 2010, when he became chairman.

    Despite the warnings, Senator Sinodinos remained as chairman until November 2011.

    Mr Bannon asked why Sydney Water considered it “entirely appropriate” to do business with AWH when it believed the company could be dishonest. It had signed a fresh agreement with AWH in November 2008.

    “I had a contractual relationship … to continue to deal with Australian Water Holdings,” Dr Schott said.

    The inquiry heard that disgruntled AWH investor Rod De Aboitiz, a former chief financial officer of Rothschild Australia, will be recalled to be questioned by Mr Bannon.

    Mr De Aboitiz gave damaging evidence last week that he warned Senator Sinodinos in 2010 that the company was racking up millions in expenses, including donations to the Liberal Party.

    The lawyer for Mr De Aboitiz said it would cause his client “enormous stress” to return to the witness box but Commissioner Megan Latham ruled it was necessary.

    Senator Sinodinos has denied he was aware of the donations. He also maintains he was unaware of the Obeids’ alleged financial involvement.

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

    Continue reading Kristina Keneally’s office was warned about doctored cabinet minute, ICAC told
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