SLIDE: University batsman Michael Radnidge steals a run against Belmont during the Tom Locker Cup final last season. The NDCA has cut one-day cricket from 50 overs to 40 this summer. Picture: Jonathan Carroll Newcastle District Cricket Association has cut one-day games to 40 overs a side but left first-grade two-day cricket untouched after a review of playing formats.

In a letter to clubs on Tuesday, the NDCA said two-day games in first grade would continue to start at 11am and comprise 90 overs a day.

A competition review committee had proposed aligning first grade with second grade, which plays 80-over days starting at noon. The move was designed to makethe game more attractive for players with families.

But, after consulting clubs, the NDCA opted to leave first grade as a longer format while cutting Tom Locker Cup one-dayersfrom 50 overs to 40 with a midday start, rather than 10am.

“There was a desire and passion from some clubs and individuals to maintain the status quo, so we’ll leave as is with ongoing reviews,”NDCA chairman Paul Marjoribanks said.

“We want to see matches going deep into the second day. Is the standard still there to play 180-over cricket? At this stage we said, ‘Yes, there is.’”

One of the goals of the review was to cut the amount of compulsory Sunday cricket, which is reflected in a decision to separate the Twenty20 competition from the first-grade points ladder this summer, although T20 points willcount towards the club championship.

The association has also changed the rules for first-grade two-day games which lose the entire first day to rain. These washouts used to revert to a 50-over one-day match in the second week but will now become a continuation of the two-day gameover 90 overs.

The NDCA has also introduced a final for second grade in one-day cricket, mirroring the first-grade Tom Locker final.

It has also flagged talking points for future seasons, including phasing out one-day cricket entirelyand adding an optional fifth grade.

“Phasing out one-day cricket was left-field from the committee,” Marjoribanks said.“A lot of our rep programs are one-day based these days, and a lot of the junior carnivals are one-day cricket for the guys going down that pathway, so it’s not something we’re looking at in the short-term.”

BAD DIVE: The air war was not just deadly above the trenches facing opponents, controlling the new machines required great skill. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony​Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for August 27 – September 2, 1917.

ON THE YPRES LINEField-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the British Commandant on the West Front, reports:“On the Ypres battle front we slightly advanced our line south-eastward of Saint Jeanshoek.There has been considerable enemy artillery fire in the neighbourhood of Lens and Ypres.”A previous communique stated: “The enemy artillery is active near Nieuport. The weather is wet and stormy.”

AUSTRALIAN ARTILLERYFrom C.E.W. Bean, n Official Correspondent.

The n artillery is still engaged in the thick of the Ypres battle. Two days’ heavy rain has plunged the whole battlefield into thick red clay and mud.Almost every morning some German aeroplane escapes the vigilance of our air scouts and hurries low over the mud-field like a skate over the sea-bottom. The visit is followed by attempts to obliterate batteries.In this long fight one main set-off to the tremendous strain and almost overpowering work is the knowledge that in the air and on the ground the enemy certainly gets more than he gives. The strain on the Germans must now be appallingly heavy.Other n units involved in the great fight at Ypres previously not mentioned have been n clearing hospitals. These came under shellfire both during the Ypres battle and Messines, and were also bombed by aeroplanes. The nurses behaved with the utmost gallantry, staying in the wards and even placing basins on the patients’ heads instead of the steel helmets. They bitterly resented when ordered to leave the wards.Five n nurses have now been given Military Medals. Medical officers, though a bomb killed one and blew seven nurses’ tents to rags, continued to work as if this heavy additional strain was non-existent.

AUSTRALIAN AIRMENBy C.E.W. Bean, n Official Correspondent.

The officers of the n Flying Corps have been for a considerable time past in France, gaining experience with the Royal Flying Corps.There were several in action in the great battle on July 31st. At least one of these was actually leading his patrol within a fortnight of his first appointment. Another was so bitten with excitement flying low behind the German lines, that he, with a fellow-n of the Royal Flying Corps, flew day after day low over the German area, along German roads, until the Germans wounded him. Another within the first few days had a shell through both planes and the elevator control shot away by a German machine. Despite this, by cleverly working his engine, he managed to safely reach the aerodrome. The first to be brought down was in a fight between seven British planes and 25 German ones, eight miles behind the German lines. It was a glorious fight, for all the rest got back after bringing down seven German planes. The magnificent fliers of the British Flying Corps tell us that they find the n airmen always ready and eager for any adventure, and extraordinarily self-reliant in carrying it out.

FIELD FORCE FUNDThe committee would be glad to receive small tins, suitable for filling with cigarettes and sweets, as goods of these kinds cannot be sent abroad except in tins. Empty jam jars and bottles will also be acceptable for the street stall. As large quantities of warm clothing will be needed for the troops this winter, a special appeal is being made for mittens, which should not be of the glove variety.

CHARLESTOWNThere was a large attendance at the Institute hall on Saturday to give Privates Bell and Haddow a send-off. Mr A.W. Garratt, who presided, congratulated the men on their decision to join the forces of the Empire and her Allies. MrT. Oswald and MrDann, of Newcastle, also spoke in appreciation of the men who were going to do their bit for their country, and trusted they would return speedily to their families and friends. MrGarratt presented each soldier with a gold ring suitably inscribed from the Patriotic Committee. Privates Bell and Haddow responded, thanking the speakers for the kind things said concerning them, and the committee for the valuable and suitable presents. MrJ. Haddow also expressed his thanks for the kind expressions toward his son. One son was now in hospital abroad, having done his bit until compelled to give up. He trusted that the whole of the soldiers would soon return home.

WARATAHMrsP. Crebert, of Church Street, Mayfield, has been informed by the military authorities that her son, Private Percy Crebert, is on his way home from the front, and will shortly arrive in . Mrs Crebert has another son also serving at the front.

MrsA. W. Buchanan has received a notification from the military authorities, stating that her son, Private Roy C. Buchanan, is returning home. Private A. Buchanan, another son of MrsBuchanan, is expected to reach home very shortly.

NEW LAMBTONThe following is a letter received by Mrs. F. Brogden in reference to her son, Private Frederick Brogden, who fell on active service, from the chaplain of the Battalion: “I wish to express to you on behalf of the officers and men of the battalion their very sincere sympathy with you in the death of your fine young son, an honoured member of the battalion. You will doubtless have heard that he fell in action on the 31st May last. His body was committed to its last resting place by me on the morning of the following day in the little military cemetery known as Charing Cross, near Ploegsteert Wood. His grave will be marked and kept in order and the battalion intends to erect a suitable memorial over it, of which a photograph may be sent to you later. We know that your cup of sorrow will be full, as you think of the boy who will not return. But may we also hope that your sorrow may be relieved by a feeling of pride that your son played his part nobly and well, and when he fell it was at the post of duty.”

NEWCASTLE RECRUITINGAt the Newcastle recruiting depot on Friday five volunteers were accepted and three rejected. Among those accepted was Private E. Ley, D.C.M., late of the Inniskillings, who won his distinction in the historic retreat from Mons.

A recruiting meeting was held later in front of the Newcastle Post-office when addresses were delivered by Sergeants Benson, M.M, Townsend and Lewis, Sapper Geoghan, and Private Ley, D.C.M.

LATE SERGEANT HILLIERAn enlarged framed photograph of the late Sergeant W. Hillier, who was killed in action in December, was last night presented to the parents of the deceased soldier, by some of his comrades of “Newcastle’s Own” Battalion.

Quartermaster-sergeant Morrison, in handing over the picture, said that their late comrade had given his life for King and country. They had been drawn together in camp, and their relations continued to the last to be of the most cordial character. “The men of the battalion deeply regretted Sergeant Hillier’s death, and had taken this means of’ showing in some tangible form their appreciation of a fine comrade, and a gallant man. Corporal C. A. Clarke, in endorsing these remarks, extended on behalf of Corporal J. Thorpe and Private Ryan, his sympathy with the parents and family of the late sergeant in the loss they had sustained.

In accepting the gift on behalf of his family and himself, Mr Hillier said the expressions of regard and good feeling had softened a great deal the blow that had fallen on them. Their boy’s comrades had shown their appreciation in a touching manner, and the life-like photograph would be long cherished by the family. He was naturally proud of the part his son had taken in the great war, and could assure those who had fought with him that their sympathy and presentation touched the hearts of Mrs. Hillier and himself very much. Major Sneddon had personally tendered his sympathy, as others had done, and the widely-expressed esteem was something they would ever remember.

LATE PRIVATE THOMPSONThe following letter has been received by the parents, Mr and MrsThompson, Little Gipp Street, of the late Private M. Thompson, who was killed in action on May 17, from the chaplain of the battalion:“I wish to express to you on behalf of the officers and men of the battalion their sincerest sympathy with you in the loss of your fine young son, Private M. Thompson,” of this battalion. You will before this have been advised of his death in action on May 17th last. It occurred during a German raid on our trenches during the night, which, thanks to the sturdy resistance of our boys, was completely defeated and though the artillery fire was heavy our casualties were comparatively light, but among those who fell was your boy, shot through the chest, death supervening very soon after. We laid his body to rest in the little military cemetery known as Xavier Farm, in Southern Belgium; The grave will be kept in order, and a memorial cross erected by the battalion, and a photograph be sent to you later.”

LATE PRIVATE H. PEASEMr and MrsJ. Pease, of Young Road, Lambton, have received the following letter from Private Maurice Gray, now on active service, relating the facts of the death of their son, Private H. (Dooley) Pease, who was killed in action:- “It is with deepest sympathy I write you these few lines about your brave son, Private H. Pease who was killed in action on the night of May 19, 1917. Although I was in the same company, I was not on the spot when he was killed. The last I saw of him was at tea time on the eve of his death, when Harry left for the trenches, when he gave his life for those he loved. He was a brave lad, well-liked by his comrades and officers, always willing and devoted to duty, and although your loss is greatest, I can assure you he will be missed by his comrades, to whom he was so attached. He was buried on the 1st of June, 1917, and prayers were read by the minister belonging to his church at the graveside. All that could possibly be done by those in charge was done, but he died the day after being wounded. He suffered very little pain. He was happy in this world; let us hope God will be good, and that he will be happy in the next. Always think of him as one who fell while fighting for his friends, “For greater love hath no man than he that lays down his life for his friends.” I know your loss will be hard to bear, but try and be brave, in the thought that he was no shirker, but gave up all for those he loved, and died a noble death while doing his duty.”

ENLISTMENTSJames Adair, Newcastle; Edwin Anderson, West Maitland; Stanley Bowden, Carrington; Thomas Chapman, Muswellbrook; William Keith Chapman, Singleton; David Hunt, Stanford Merthyr; Emile Ley, Newcastle; Frederick Lewis Morgan, Newcastle; Frederick Rees, Minmi; Edward August Roberts, Mayfield; William Smith, Waratah; Edward Allen Tremain, West Maitland.

DEATHSPte Alexander McArthur Lambert, Wickham; Pte William Lynch, Cessnock.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter Valley-based military historian. Follow David’s research at facebook苏州夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 2 December 2015. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThere is a $2.85 billion-a-year shortfall in what employers should be paying their employees in super.

For the first time, the Tax Office has estimated the shortfall by comparing what employers should be paying with how much actually ends up in the super funds of their employees.

The estimate comes after a report by the Senate inquiry into unpaid super, released in May 2017, found the Tax Office’s approach to unpaid super to be “inadequate” and “problematic”.

Half of the inquiry’s recommendations were aimed at improving the Tax Office’s monitoring and compliance efforts.

The Tax Office estimates the compulsory super gap to be 5.2 per cent, or $2.85 billion, of the total estimated $54.78 billion that employers were required to pay in 2014-15.

Employers are legally required to pay 9.5 per cent in superannuation to every employee over the age of 18 earning more than $450, gross, a month.

Research released earlier this year by Phil Gallagher, a special adviser at Industry Super , the umbrella group for industry super funds, showed the underpayment and non-payment of super varies greatly across the country.

The research fund the federal electorate of Sydney, held by Labor’s Tanya Plibersek, had more than 37,000 people who are not receiving their super entitlements – either non-payment and underpayment of compulsory super.

That made the seat the worst in the country, ranked as a percentage of the electorate for non-payment or underpayment of super.

The seats of Fowler and Werriwa in Sydney’s south-west had more than one in three people not receiving their correct super guarantee entitlement.

Mallee was the only Victorian seat in the top 10 of the worst federal seats for underpayment or non-payment of super.

“Superannuation has a vital role in providing for people’s retirement and any non-payment is of concern,” ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said.

“We encourage people to report instances of non-payment to us and we respond to every one of the approximately 20,000 reports of possible non-payment of the super guarantee from employees or former employees we receive each year.

“In addition to following up all reports of unpaid super guarantee, we are increasing our proactive super guarantee case work by one-third this financial year,” Mr O’Halloran said.

Industry Super has criticised the Tax Office for not doing more to ensure that employers meet their legal obligations.

It has estimated the amount of unpaid super at $5.6 billion – twice that of the Tax Office.

Industry Super said the problem with relying on employee complaints is many employees are reluctant to involve the Tax Office to investigate their employer because they don’t want to jeopardise their jobs.

‘s big banks are expecting to face a royal commission some time in this or the next term of government, if momentum is maintained.
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The banks reached this conclusion some months ago, and the argument for an official probe into such an economically and socially crucial sector has only grown since then, with the latest revelations of egregious malpractice by the Commonwealth Bank sparking an unprecedented public inquiry by one of the industry’s regulators, the n Prudential Regulation Authority, into its culture, governance and accountability.

This and other fallout, including the announcement of the chief executive’s departure, from the CBA’s alleged failure on more than 50,000 occasions to report deposits that might have involved money laundering by organised criminals and terrorists, has caused investors to cut the company’s shares significantly in recent days, toppling CBA from the perch of ‘s biggest company.

This lack of investor confidence is mirrored by declining trust in the banks in the broader community. That will not be restored by APRA’s investigation into CBA, although that is welcome. APRA and corporate watchdog the n Securities and Investments Commission have been reasonably criticised for an insufficiently robust response to the scandals.

Although royal commissions are costly and lengthy, the well-documented weight of evidence against the banks has become compelling. Their argument that malfeasance, fraud, forgery, inappropriate commissions, prudential failure, collusion, cheating life insurance policyholders and other transgressions are the result of “a few bad apples” long ceased to have credibility.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has turned on CBA, citing a dozen compliance issues, as well as failures by the board and management to meet public expectations that the culture will be cleaned up. In a highly unusual intervention, Reserve Bank governor Dr Philip Lowe in recent days attacked the banks – not just CBA – for a flawed culture and for being unduly driven by short-term profit. ASIC chief Greg Medcraft said he was “a little stunned” that CBA neglected to mention to him the alleged breaches of anti-money laundering rules. ASIC is now investigating whether the bank and its board breached the Corporations Act in their handling of the scandal.

These moves by ASIC and APRA can be seen as insufficient and belated. Given the importance of confidence in the financial sector, a royal commission is justified. The banks know it. But the buck stops in Canberra. A note from the editor – Subscribers can get Age editor Alex Lavelle’s exclusive weekly newsletter delivered to their inbox by signing up here: www.theage苏州夜总会招聘.au/editornote

Victory: Players rush to Darren Albert after he scored the winning try.ReporterBrett Keeble covered the Knights for 24 years for the Newcastle Herald. That included their unforgettable last-gasp victory over unbackable favourites Manly-Warringah in the 1997 n Rugby League grand final, the unhinged excitement in the build-up to the game, and the euphoriathat followed.
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Rising to the momentWHAT seemed at the time like the worst possible preparation for the biggest game of their lives ultimately provided their greatest source of strength.

The Newcastle Knights had qualified for their first grand final in just their 10th season – against reigning premiers and nemesis Manly, no less – and had barely a moment to themselves.

Andrew “Joey” Johns, their best player, spent most of the week in hospital nursing three broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Paul “Chief” Harragon, their inspirational skipper, was struggling with a strained hamstring.

Every day was spent signing autographs, posing for photographs, attending sponsors’ and supporters’ functions, answering questions from fans, reporters and well-wishers – all while being swept along in a rising, raging red-and-blue torrent.

Matthew Johns recalls a meal and a meeting with senior players including his brother Andrew, Paul Harragon, veteran prop Tony Butterfield, coach Malcolm Reilly, and club officials about four weeks before the finals, at which they dared to dream the impossible dream.

“’Chief’ was always big on why,” Johns told Weekender in the lead-up to the 1997 grand final team’s 20-year reunion celebrations – a private lunch on Saturday then as guests of honour at the Knights’ last home game of the season against Cronulla on Sunday. (A complete list of where those players are now is on Page 7.)

“The players were talking about the town and the people and how much it would lift the town, because there were so many raw emotions at the time with BHP closing, the Rio Tinto miners’ strike, the Super League war and so on.

“We wanted to do it for the town, and I remember one of the board members sort of chuckled a little bit and rolled his eyes and he said, ‘Don’t worry about the town, boys, just do it for yourselves’.

“But we walked away from that and said, ‘No, that’s not enough’. For us, it was about the team, but it was about the town. To play for the Knights that year, it really was a noble cause.

“When grand final week came around, Mal threw a few options at us. One of those was to go into camp, but at our first training session after we beat Norths, we had a talk and agreed to stay and enjoy the week.

“We had a lot of commitments but the biggest thing was we had all these people genuinely patting us on the back, grabbing us, and saying, ‘Just f ––– ing beat these blokes’, so for us, that fed us.

“These days, coaches would say it saps energy, but it was the opposite for us. Everywhere we went to we were met by people who were just desperate for us to win.

“That gave us a clear indication of why we were doing it, so the important factor for us what that it was bigger than ourselves.”

DAYS OF THEIR LIVESTHERE was more than a hint of destiny in the spring air in Newcastle and the Coalfields.

The scent was obviously undetectable on Sydney’s northern beaches, or anywhere south of the Hawkesbury it seemed.

After all, Manly had won their previous 11 meetings against the Knights. Why should a Bob Fulton-coached team full of representative superstars playing in a third straight n Rugby League grand final be worried about these upstart underdogs from Newcastle?

But hey, this was “Our Town, Our Team”, and these sons of coalminers and blue-collar battlers were determined to give their citizens the 200th birthday celebration they never had.

“Timing is everything. That’s why it was so good,” Harragon said.

“We were down and out, we were reeling from all those job losses with BHP closing, the Super League war, it was our Bicentenary and we’d had nothing to celebrate, so all that collective cause just magnified the situation.”

Harragon said the players took every event in their stride.

“First off, it took a day or two to come to grips with being in a grand final. As far as winning it, there was no expectation or pressure because we were just going, ‘Wow, we’re here’,” Harragon said.

“So it wasn’t until the back end of that week, and leaving for Sydney on the bus on that Saturday morning before the game, that we realised this was bigger than the game and bigger than all of us.

“There was a bit of magic happening, and it wasn’t a burden hanging around our neck. This was uplifting; it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something great for all these people.

“This was a chance for us to represent the region, and stand up in front of the whole of and say, ‘Look at us’. By being there all week, we absorbed all that, we carried it with us into the game, and it made a big difference.”

Centre Mark Hughes, just a skinny kid from Kurri Kurri at the time, felt bulletproof.

“I couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else but Newcastle,” Hughes said.

“It was so uplifting to see the red and blue everywhere, and it really did make you feel stronger and better than you actually were.

“The underlying confidence you get from that, I look back now and think, ‘I was only 20. How was I feeling so strong and confident in that situation?’ but you knew you just had the whole town behind you, and an amazing group of senior rugby league players around you.”

The players travelled by bus to Sydney on Wednesday afternoon to prepare for the grand final breakfast at the Regent Hotel on Thursday. It was a taste of things to come.

“The bus trip before the breakfast, people were already lining the streets to wish us well as we left Marathon Stadium,” Cessnock-born utility forward Bill Peden said.

“It was then that we knew it was more about our town than just sport. It was about community pride and we had an obligation to give everything we had for our families and friends and our community. At that time, I just felt lucky and proud to live where we live.”

On Saturday, players made their way to Marathon Stadium for their last ride to Sydney as also-rans.

“There were probably a thousand people in the carpark to see us off, then thousands more lined up all the way along Newcastle Road and the link road out to the freeway,” said foundation forward Marc Glanville, who was about to play his 188th and final game for the club.

“Older blokes like myself, Chief, Butts, ‘Crowey’ (Stephen Crowe) were all quite emotional, because you could see on our faces how important it was for us to win. We had always imagined what it would be like if we made a grand final, then what it would be like if we could win it.”

Glanville broke down again at a team meeting in Harragon’s room at their Coogee hotel that night, convincing every player there that no matter what, the Knights could not, would not, lose.


THE rugby league world knew Andrew Johns was hurting.

As Novocastrians painted the town red and blue, their influential playmaker was in Lake Macquarie Private Hospital attached to a tube to keep his punctured lung inflated. Johns would need a miracle to play in the grand final, and Knights fans held their breath, praying for Joey’s bung lung.

Back-page banner headlines suggesting “HE COULD DIE” – a doctor’s warning if Johns played – only added to the drama.

Thriving on the theatre of it all, Johns crawled out of bed and on to the field for the team’s final training session, joined them on the bus to Sydney the day before the game, played through the pain, set up the winning try, and was last man standing after weeks of celebrations.

That included stage-diving and crowd-surfing as The Screaming Jets entertained a packed Civic Park after the tickertape parade and City Hall civic reception two days after the grand final.

Harragon’s gammy hammy was kept under tighter wraps.

“I had a bit of trouble with it that week but I was managing it and it certainly wasn’t going to keep me out,” Harragon said.

“I could have had one of my legs missing and I still would have played.”


IT started with brutality and ended with brilliance.

Unable to run flat out, urged on by his coach’s gentle reminder that “you don’t get sent off in grand finals”, Harragon was like a wrecking-ball in the opening 15 minutes. Undeterred by the penalties he conceded, he launched himself into anyone wearing a Manly jersey.

“Those first five minutes when ‘Chief’ was going mad is still my favourite part of the grand final,” Matthew Johns said in Harragon’s 1999 autobiography One Perfect Day.

Despite Newcastle’s physical dominance in the middle, Manly’s experience and class on the edges were obvious as the Sea Eagles scored two early tries to lead 10-0 after 25 minutes.

Newcastle’s most experienced outside back, fullback Robbie O’Davis, finally gave Knights fans something to cheer about in the 34th minute. After a scrum win deep in Manly territory, O’Davis danced past Toovey and Terry Hill to touch down.

Sea Eagles fullback Shannon Nevin snatched back momentum with a converted try in the shadows of half-time to stretch Manly’s lead to 16-8 at the break, but the favourites would not score again.

O’Davis, the Churchill Medallist, stepped, propped, bobbed, weaved then stretched out to score next to the posts just six minutes from full-time, and Andrew Johns converted to tie the scores at 16-all.


The noise inside the stadium had become deafening. Manly were out on their feet and, though they survived a couple of failed field-goal attempts, were powerless to stop what was coming.


As the final seconds ticked towards the inevitability of extra time, Andrew Johns darted out of dummy-half down the blind side, dummied outside to Hughes, then passed inside to Darren Albert.

The speedster from Scone sprinted away to score the try that gave him – and a community crying out for a shot of self-esteem – something to dine out on for the rest of their days.

“Senior players like Chief, Tony Butterfield, Marc Glanville, they lived and breathed the Knights since 1988, so to be there and to share it with blokes like that was so special,” Hughes said.

“There was no panic and there was an amazing sense of self-belief throughout that whole week, and then again during the game no matter what the situation, so it was like it was meant to be.

“Somehow the rugby league gods smiled on us, everything fell into place at the one time, and the ‘Scone Thoroughbred’ galloped over the line with a couple of seconds to go.

“You couldn’t write a script to beat that.”


EXHAUSTED and elated, the players, staff and a select few significant others on board the team’s Sid Fogg’s charter coach enjoyed a private party for the first 80 kilometres of their trip home.

They were given a glimpse of what was to come when the bus slowed down approaching Gosford.

“Back in those days, there used to be those roundabouts at Gosford, and that was the halfway mark coming back from Sydney,” Matthew Johns recalled.

“We got to those and the bus driver told us to look out the window, because there were people having a party in the middle of the Gosford roundabout. All the way home, there were people having parties on the sides of the road and in the roundabouts, then by Wallsend, we’d slowed to a crawl.”

It was there where Andrew Johns practised his surfing skills atop a police patrol car.

“I’ll go on the record to say Andrew was on the cop car. I was on the cop car trying to get Andrew off the cop car,” Matthew laughed.

“As the bus got to the centre of Newcastle, there were masses of people – tens of thousands out on King Street in front of the Workers Club – so the bus was going so slow, there were blokes jumping out of the trees on top of the bus.

“The top of the bus was smashed but it wasn’t vandalism, it was just mass hysteria. Everyone was just so happy and there was so much goodwill.”

Players spent “Mad” Monday on another bus stopping at as many suburban pubs and watering holes as they could get to, then on Tuesday it was a tickertape parade in open-top cars through streets crammed with smiling people. They started at Stockland Jesmond and finished on the balcony of City Hall in front of a sea of Hunter punters packed into Civic Park and King Street.

“I spoke to blokes that had been around at the end of wars and they said they’d never seen anything the likes of this, so I think it was the biggest celebration our town has ever had,” Harragon said.

Matthew Johns, who now lives on Sydney’s northern beaches but forever considers himself a Novocastrian, said every person in every pub had a celebratory story to share.

“One bloke said he didn’t know what to do when we won,” Johns said.

“He said, ‘I just started screaming, then I went into my garage and sat behind the wheel of my car and hit the horn for five minutes’. In Cessnock’s main street, the fire brigade went up and down with the siren on.

“There’s just a special bond between the club, the town and the people. Craig Johnston said in his book about Liverpool, about how important the 12th man – the Kop – was to them out on the pitch, and it was the same for the Knights that year. They just gave us that incredible momentum.

“You still see it now. There’s such goodwill for the Newcastle Knights in Sydney, and I think it’s got a lot to do with that time back in 1997, because on that day, every person in n sport wished they were a Knights supporter.”


Until his early 20s, James* had no idea the internet existed.
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It was only after he escaped from North Korea that he learnt about Google and Facebook.

“It’s so fantastic, whatever I type, there is a result,” James, 25, said. “My new hobby in South Korea was searching YouTube and I saw the videos and [I’d go], ‘oh, what is that?’

“We can use computers in North Korea; there was a PC room but there was no internet.”

James is one of five North Korean students who arrived in Sydney last month to begin an intensive 30-week English course under the University of Technology Sydney’s UTS:INSEARCH language program.

He is currently studying mechanical engineering at a university in South Korea and wants to work on developing sustainable energy sources after he graduates.

Besides the internet, James said having time to himself also helped him realise what he wants to do.

“[At first] I was so nervous about free time, because in North Korea we had no free time,” James said.

“After class, we [had to] work for the government. Since you were 10 years -old, you were carrying sand, maintaining the roads, building an apartment.”

James said he would now be in the North Korean military if he had stayed in the country.

“You have to do 10 years of military service,” he said. “I would have lost my 20s, it would be terrible.”

Ann*, 25, who escaped from North Korea in her early teens, said she would also most likely be in the military if she had stayed.

Instead, she is completing a degree in international trade in South Korea and wants to work for the United Nations World Food Program.

Growing up in a small town during the North Korean famine of the 1990s, Ann said that one of her favourite memories was of a team from the UN delivering food and supplies to her school.

“My family was suffering from hunger and I always worried about meals,” she said of the famine that began when she was four.

“When I was nine or 10, they provided some candy and cookies and a yellow pencil with an eraser on the back. I still remember the taste of the cookies and the shape of the pencil.

“And I remember all the people had smiles on their faces. We were gathered together exchanging cookies for pencils.

“I don’t remember all the details but the impact [of that] was huge.”

Ann said that she now wants to “work all around the world” helping other people in need and she has been given advice that learning English is one of the most important things she can do to get to the UN.

She said she still can’t believe she is in Sydney.

“[We only knew about ] because we learnt in science that kangaroos only live in ,” Ann said. “Sometimes when I wake up I pinch myself.

All five students are in under a fully funded scholarship program for North Korean defectors that is running for the second time.

UTS’s director of the masters of not-for-profit and community management program, Bronwen Dalton, said the scholarships are important for improving the lives of people who have left North Korea.

“There’s very high unemployment among North Koreans living in South Korea because they often don’t have the skills that translate to success in a capitalist economy,” Dr Dalton said.

“In South Korea, they expect you to speak English and be a global citizen and of course, North Koreans have had no opportunity to do either. We’re just trying to get these young leaders to get good jobs and show there’s hope for the rest of them.”

Dr Dalton said meeting North Koreans can help ns get a better understanding of the country.

“It’s a window into the humanity that’s behind all this politics and by actually getting to meet these students, we can think more deeply about the consequences of demonising the whole country all the time,” she said.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the students and their families.

Giants firebrand Toby Greene has vowed to keep playing his natural game despite a growing reputation as the AFL’s bad boy, but said he’s learned harsh lessons this season about what’s acceptable on the field.
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Speaking for the first time since he was fined for booting Western Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus in the face this month, Greene stressed he would not be changing his style on the eve of the club’s second AFL finals appearance.

The Giants’ travel to face minor premiers Adelaide next weekend in a bid to make their second-straight preliminary final.

Greene escaped with a fine from the match review panel after the Dahlhaus incident, avoiding a third suspension for the year when his raised boot struck the Bulldogs livewire in the face as Greene reeled in a handball.

“I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the Dahlhaus thing, if your eyes are on the footy, I thought you’re entitled to do what you want to protect yourself, that was my thoughts on it,” Greene said.

“Obviously it copped a lot of media speculation. That’s a natural reaction of mine to protect myself when I go for marks, that’s all I thought it was.

“It’s unfortunate that he got hit in the head but I obviously didn’t mean to kick him in the head.

“I can’t guarantee in my next marking contest I won’t protect myself with my knee. That’s just how I play footy and from what I’m aware of you’re allowed to do it.”

The Dahlhaus incident was the latest in a chequered season for Greene, who has been named in the AFL’s 40-man All n shortlist.

In round six against the Bulldogs he copped two weeks for striking Caleb Daniel in the mouth and was suspended for another fortnight in round 18 after a jumper punch on Richmond’s Alex Rance.

Greene hoped the Rance incident, where he sought out the Richmond fullback who moments earlier had given away a free kick for flooring Steve Johnson, was the turning point of his on-field discipline.

“I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I don’t think my actual playing footy, I don’t need to change anything,” Greene said.

“The Rance thing was just stupid and that was probably a line in the sand, hopefully. You just can’t do anything off the ball these days.

“In the back of my mind I’m a lot more aware of it. If people are going to come after me and niggle me, it’s about just being cool, you can’t really do anything these days so there’s no real point.

“That’s just footy. If you’ve got a defender playing on you it’s all part of it.”

Greene has become a punching bag for opposition fans this year and was the subject of frequent heckling from the Geelong crowd in Saturday’s 44-point loss to the Cats.

He was also heavily targeted at Etihad Stadium two weeks prior against the Bulldogs, particularly after the Dahlhaus incident.

“The Cats crowd were all right, I actually didn’t notice it too much compared to the Bulldogs game,” Greene said.

“It’s all part of it, that’s footy, it is what it is. I’ve got a few notes to myself that keep me checked in. I guess you feed off the noise but I don’t take anything in that gets said.”

Jakarta: Malcolm Turnbull’s desire for a “high quality” free trade agreement with Indonesia will confront Jakarta’s protectionist impulses, with chief negotiator Deddy Saleh saying his country was shooting for a “good quality” agreement instead.
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“High quality” free trade was different to “good quality”, Mr Deddy explained to Fairfax Media, because, “A ‘high quality’ agreement suggests opening the markets fully”.

Mr Deddy told Fairfax Media that Jakarta questioned the purpose of opening its markets to n exports if it disrupted Indonesia’s domestic industries, saying “the biggest hurdle is the level of ambition”.

“I’m saying the agreement must be mutually beneficial. So that is where the negotiation lies right now. We are negotiating the ‘good’ (versus) the ‘high’ quality agreement.”

The two countries have two more negotiating rounds before a deadline they have set for themselves of signing an agreement by the end of the year.

But on a number of matters – including ‘s education exports and Indonesian nurses coming to work in – negotiations are still underway.

“In order to complete the negotiations we must compromise because our mandate as negotiating teams is to complete it by the end of this year,” Mr Deddy said. “So it takes mutual understanding.”

Asked if he was optimistic a deal would be reached in the time frame, Mr Deddy said: “I have always been optimistic as long as each country understands the situation”.

Indonesia is deeply suspicious of “neo liberal” policies, and the country’s political agenda is geared towards encouraging domestic production, with self-sufficiency goals for a number of key commodities including beef, sugar, rice and soybeans.

Mr Deddy said it was the right of every country to open or not to open its market.

He said there were sensitivities on both sides. For example, he said wanted 100 per cent access to the education sector in Indonesia, which was not permitted under existing policies.

The n Department of Education and Training said that, despite the great demand for education and training in Indonesia, barriers remained to expanding n education exports to Indonesia.

“Unlike in Singapore and Malaysia, no n higher education provider is able to operate a standalone campus in Indonesia,” it said in a submission to an n parliamentary inquiry into the trade relationship.

“n education and training providers face a host of barriers in prohibitive laws and regulations that undermine the value proposition of investing in Indonesia to deliver their services.”

Meanwhile, Mr Deddy said Indonesia wanted to send nurses to but it was difficult for them to meet the very high standards of English required. “So we are still talking about issues like these.”

The Indonesia- Business Partnership Group said Indonesian stakeholders believed that qualifications required to enter the n services market were unfair.

“For instance, Indonesian nurses find it difficult to practise in because of the stringent requirements which must be met,” it said in a submission.

The group also said Indonesian graduates from n universities had voiced concerns about the difficulties of obtaining post-graduation work experience or job opportunities.

In February Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said both countries’ leaders had committed to “intensify our efforts to achieve a high quality Indonesia- Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA)”, as the trade deal is called.

However analysts have warned that hopes of a meaningful agreement should be treated with caution given the protectionist political climate in Indonesia.

“Expanded n trade and and investment with Indonesia is limited by market access, unequal treatment for foreign and domestic service providers and market issues stemming from extensive state intervention in the economy,” Lowy Institute research fellow Matthew Busch told Fairfax Media.

“Restrictions are widely dispersed through the Indonesian legal and regulatory framework and will not be banished via a single international agreement – even one that applies an innovative approach.

“Indonesia is not an active trade negotiating country and so there could well be a sluggish or limited local response for behind the border commitments.”

However Mr Busch said that because the bilateral relationship is important and and Indonesia are “forever” neighbours, it may still be in ‘s interest to go through with a deal and lend “neighbourly assistance” with economic cooperation activities that do not come at great economic cost.

“But we should perhaps tamp down expectations of what IA-CEPA will immediately deliver for our trade and investment.”

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As Lance Franklin racked up 10 goals in Sydney’s thumping win over Carlton on the weekend, this year’s 22nd and final AFL Rising Star nomination Will Hayward picked off his third hat-trick of the season.
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Statistically it was one of Hayward’s quietest games as he managed only three touches in a remarkably efficient performance, but the AFL had seen enough already this year to nominate Hayward as one of its star youngsters after a superb debut season.

The 18-year-old has played 17 games after being taken with pick 21 in last year’s draft, kicking 22 goals alongside Coleman medallist Franklin who Hayward credits as a major influence in his transition to the AFL.

“He’s always there getting around me if I kick a goal, it’s really good and he gives me a lot of confidence,” Hayward said.

“It was very special to witness that, you don’t get to run out on the SCG and witness Bud kick 10 every week so it was pretty special.

“He’s been huge along with everyone else in the forward group and Brett Kirk, the forwards coach, they teach me endless things and I learn something new every training session and every day I’m here.”

Teammate Tom Papley has anointed Hayward as coach John Longmire’s “teacher’s pet”, and it’s easy to see why he’s forged such a reputation.

He kicked three goals in just his second game, the Swans’ one-point loss to Collingwood in round three, and has failed to kick a major in only five matches.

Hayward has played in 10 of the Swans’ 14 wins, and has forced his way into the best 22 while many of his more experienced teammates have been unable to do so after Sydney’s playing list has returned to full health.

“At the start there was that stage where we were struggling a bit and had a few players out,” Hayward said.

“There was just that stage where we went back to doing the basics well and we got a few of our key players back and it all turned around from there.

“Given from how we’ve started they [the fans] have been huge, the crowds at our home games have been getting bigger and bigger the support we have had from our crowds has been really good.

“I always knew how big a club it was, even as an Adelaide boy I knew it was such a successful club and so rich in history and I was stoked when my name was read out by them on draft night.”

Hayward is Sydney’s second Rising Star nomination, following Lewis Melican’s superb showing in the round-18 win over St Kilda.

Swans youngster Callum Mills won last year’s Rising Star, and has been one of Sydney’s most consistent performers again in 2017 having played every game.

The Swans host Essendon on Saturday week in an elimination final at the SCG.

News of a fresh North Korean missile test early Tuesday morning sent traders scurrying for safe-haven assets such as gold and bonds and sent sharemarkets around the region tumbling as investors lost their appetite for risk.
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The S&P/ASX 200 had been set for a cautiously upbeat start before the fresh provocation from the rogue state, but instead sank like a stone at the open and failed to recover from there amid heavy selling in the biggest, most liquid blue-chip names. The benchmark measure ended the session down 41 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5669, wiping out the year’s gains in the process. Close to three quarters of the top 200 names ended the session in the red.

While markets reacted swiftly as news broke that North Korea had fired a missile over Japan for the first time since 2009, with gold, bonds and the yen bid quickly higher, “the initial knee jerk risk off move was relatively shallow and short-lived,” RBC Capital Markets head of Asia currency strategy Sue Trinh said.

“All things considered, the market reaction to this latest development has been impressive for its muted tone.”

“It is a sad indictment that markets have become increasingly desensitised to otherwise disturbing events, but you can’t really blame them; the buy the dip investment strategy has paid off and will carry on doing so – until it doesn’t.”

The n dollar pushed as high as US79.73?? on Monday night, with traders speculating that the currency was set to make another assault on US80??, only for the Aussie to drop close to US79?? as the news about North Korea’s missile launch hit news wires. The Aussie recovered over the session to fetch US79.3?? in late Tuesday trade.

That sanguine attitude was less obvious on the ASX, which threatened to make a decisive break below its recent multi-month trading range. The big banks weighed heaviest on the bourse, with CBA dropping 1.2 per cent, and Westpac, NAB and ANZ losing a uniform 1.3 per cent. Macquarie was hit particularly hard, shedding 2.1per cent.

Gold miners were a rare bright spot, with the sector adding 2.6 per cent as the stocks traced the yellow metal’s price higher. Newcrest Mining climbed 2.2 per cent. Iron ore miner Fortescue also managed to lift, by 1.4 per cent, while Rio Tinto added 0.2 per cent and South32 finished flat.

Amid the geopolitical drama, the final days of earnings season produced some well received profit updates. Among the highlights was vitamins business Blackmores, which jumped 7.5 per cent, Downer EDI, which moved up 2 per cent, and Caltex, which gained a more modest 0.9 per cent.

New Zealand telco Chorus slumped for a second day on a trio of broker downgrades, bringing its losses since it reported on Monday to a hefty 13 per cent. Stock watchAltium

Shares in Altium surged 12 per cent to $9.50 on Tuesday to approach after the engineering software firm the previous evening reported an annual net profit of $28.1 million, up 22 per cent from the prior year. Revenues climbed 18 per cent to $111 million, around 3 per cent ahead of consensus forecasts. The company’s management reiterated their goal of reaching $200 million in revenue by the 2020 financial year. A final dividend of 12 cents was declared. It was a “strong” result, Credit Suisse analysts said, who maintained their “outperform” rating on the stock despite noting the shares are “not inexpensive”. “However, this should be viewed in the context of [over] 20 per cent earnings per share growth and multiple areas of incremental upside,” they said. Movers’Chump change’

CBA shares dropped a further 1.2 per cent to $75.73 on Tuesday with the bank still under a cloud from the allegations of money laundering that emerged earlier this month. The scandal has wiped more than $13 billion off the lender’s market value this month, meaning CBA has lost its crown as the ASX’s biggest company by market capitalisation, ousted by miner BHP Billiton. Credit Suisse analysts described CBA’s share price slide as a switch “from market darling to chump change”. South Korea

South Korea’s stock market declined as much as 1.6 per cent on Tuesday, while the won weakened 0.4 per cent after North Korea’s missile launch. South Korean “investment risk” is rising as Pyongyang escalates tensions, Huh Nam Kwon, chief executive officer at Shinyoung Asset Management said. The issue could start affecting the Kospi’s fundamentals, he said. “Uncertainties are rising, it’s hard to predict what will happen next.” The KOSPI hit a record high in July and is up 16 per cent this year. TV stocks

Media names with television interests came under pressure Tuesday as investors digested Monday’s surprise news that US company CBS planned to but embattled Ten Network Holdings. Seven West Media slumped 5.1 per cent on Tuesday while Nine Entertainment lost 2.9 per cent. “While the CBS takeover proposal still needs to be signed off by the regulator and creditors, it is very difficult to see any positives for key competitors, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media,” Credit Suisse analysts concluded. Gold

Gold was, as ever, one of the primary beneficiaries of heightened risk aversion among investors on Tuesday, as the precious metal pushed 0.7 per cent higher over the session to $US1317 an ounce. The yellow metal is trading at its highest point for 2017, extending the year’s gains to 15 per cent. It’s not all about investors seeking shelter in an uncertain world. Weakness in the greenback, in which gold is priced, has added extra lustre to the yellow metal: Bloomberg’s US dollar spot index is at its lowest since January of 2015 and is off almost 10 per cent in 2017.

Moving on: James Sneddon and daughter Charlotte. He is selling Das Hund Haus to support his physiotherapist fiancee Pip Cave’s business and develop his online sexual health clinic Stigma Health. Picture: Marina NeilTHE Newcastle owner of a bar being raffled for sale has sold more than five times his goal number of vouchers for the controversial campaign, which will reach its climax on Thursday.
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Owner of German-themed bar and restaurant Das Hund Haus at Hamilton, James Sneddon, secured a permit from Liquor and Gaming NSW to hold a trade promotion to sell $25 two-for-one-meal vouchers, which gives buyers five free entries into a lottery to win the business plus $30,000 cash.

He aimed in April to sell 2000 vouchers, but has since reached 11,000 – and counting. Only 700 have been redeemed for meals.

“It’s been a terrific outcome,” Mr Sneddon said.

“It was the ultimate entrepreneur journey –I took a leap of faith because I had a hunch. I was not quite sure how it would go, but I’m pretty relieved. We had people buying vouchers from 20 countries. We also had mums come in and call their kids overseas, saying ‘You’re going to win this –I want you to come home’.”

Mr Sneddon will cease selling vouchers at 5pm Thursday, before hosting a $40 per head function where the new owner will be announced at 8pm. He said two justices of the peace and a Liquor & Gaming NSW representative wouldbe present for the draw, which involves uploading a file of voucher holders’ names to website random苏州模特佳丽招聘, which will select the winner.

The Newcastle Herald reported in April Mr Sneddon had decided to sell the business by raffle after n couple Doug and Sally Beitz raffledtheir island resort. “I was not even thinking about it for my venue, but when I decided to sell I realised the traditional method didn’t have certainty.” Mr Sneddon said he listed the business – which he estimated was valued at between $150,000 and $225,000 –for $200,000 earlier this year, but was unable to reach a deal.

He said it was being raffled with 33months left on the lease, no debts, less than 20 litres of alcohol and an offer to train new staff. The liquor licence will be transferred to the new owner.

Mr Sneddon said as well as national media attention, including a Sunrise appearance that boosted his voucher sales from around 5500 to 11,000 in three weeks, he has also received hurtful criticism.“People need to think outside the box a bit more,” he said. “I had the word ‘scam’ thrown my way every day. That word to me is equivalent to the worst four-letter words out there. It really cut to the bone. Some people are downright abusive. I’m looking after my family and my next venture is about helping people, so I’m not motivated by greed. I’ve been 100 per cent transparent. But there’s been overwhelmingly positive messages too.

“I’m feeling excited, but ready for it to be finished.”

A spokesman for Liquor&GamingNSW said it was “monitoring the promotion including the running of the draw to ensure it complies with the Lotteries and Art Unions Act”.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn announcing the full year resultsPhoto Pat Scala , Melbourne , AFRThursday the 17th of August 2017 .Qantas is the star performer of the “mum and dad” stocks this profit reporting season with its declaration of its second-highest ever profit.
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Its share price had soared to about $5.30 at the end of July from about $3.20 a year earlier. After its profit result of last week, the flying kangaroo’s share price jumped to more than $5.60.

Add the dividends and that’s a total return for Qantas shareholders of more than 73 per cent – far and away the best performing of the widely held stocks.

Other highlights from the reporting season from among the stocks favoured by small investors include another record profit for the Commonwealth Bank.

A low point was Telstra’s announcement that it would cut futures dividends for its more than one million shareholders by up to 30 per cent.

Craig James, the chief economist at CommSec, says while dividends remain in vogue it has been apparent for the last few reporting periods that there is a re-assessment by companies about just blindly paying a dividend at all costs.

James created the Mums and Dads Index in 1999 to reflect the stocks mostly widely held by small shareholders – including Telstra, CBA, Woolworths, Qantas, AMP, Tabcorp, Suncorp, IAG and Wesfarmers. Since the creation of the index, it has under-performed the broader market.

However, as these stocks generally pay higher dividends their returns have been less volatile.

n shares, including dividends, returned 6.6 per cent for the year to July 31, 2017 while a portfolio of the nine equally weighted stocks favoured by small investors returned 5.9 per cent.

That is a better relative performance than for the year to January 2017, when the market returned 11.6 per cent and the Mums and Dads Index produced a return of only 0.9 per cent.

Chris Batchelor, independent market commentator, says to get growth in their portfolios, small investors should be adding a bit of exposure to stocks outside of the household names.

“Many investors are attracted to these stocks because of the high levels of franked dividends, but ultimately it’s the combination of dividends and share price growth that determines an investor’s total return,” he says.

Batchelor says small investors typically have no or little exposure to resources, technology, infrastructure and real estate sectors, among others.

The score cardQantas

Result: For the year to June 30, 2017, profit was $852 million, down 17 per cent from 2016, when it received a windfall from the sale of its Sydney Airport domestic terminal.

Positives: It’s Qantas’ second-highest profit; beaten only by the previous year’s profit. Qantas continues to enjoy earnings growth from domestic flights and its loyalty business.

Negatives: Qantas’ international division reduced its profit margin on international routes, contributing to a 36 per cent fall in earnings before interest and tax to $327 million.

Key point: Discounting for international airfares continues to be a challenge for the airline’s international business

Dividend: Announced a $373 million on-market share buyback and declared a dividend of 7?? a share taking the total dividend for the year to 14??. Woolworths

Result: Woolworths reported a 3.6 per cent drop in underlying profit from continuing operations for the year to June 25 to $1.422 billion from $1.476 billion last year.

Positives: Total sales at Woolies and its retail offshoots grew 3.7 per cent to $55.5 billion over the year.

Negatives: Losses at Big W increased from $14.9 million in 2016 to $150 million, with total sales falling 5.8 per cent.

Key point: Same-store supermarket sales grew 3.6 per cent during the year, outpacing the sales growth of rival Coles.

Dividend: A final dividend of 50?? per share to take total dividend for the year to 84??, a 9.1 per cent increase on the prior year. Commonwealth bank

Result: ‘s biggest bank pulled off another full-year record profit of almost $10 billion, almost 5 per cent for the year to June 30 compared to the previous year.

Positives: The bank just keeps making record profits, with a consistently good performances across its divisions.

Negatives: Allegations have been made that ‘s biggest bank breached laws to combat money laundering. The banking regulator is to conduct a public inquiry into “organisational and cultural” issues at the bank.

Key point: The bank will look to sell its life insurance business in and New Zealand in a deal which could be worth up to $5 billion.

Dividend: A final dividend of $2.30 per share, giving a full-year dividend of $4.29. IAG

Result: Net profit after tax increased almost 50 per cent to $929 million, helped by stronger investment income, higher insurance prices and releases from reserves.

Positives: IAG has done well for its shareholders for the year to July 31, 2017 with its share price at about $5.70, about a dollar higher than a year ago.

Negatives: The company’s outlook for reported insurance profit margins left some analysts underwhelmed.

Key Point: It’s expecting claim costs to rise.

Dividend: IAG will pay a fully-franked final dividend of 20?? a share, taking its full-year dividend to 33?? a share. Suncorp

Result: Full-year cash profit of $1.075 billion, an increase of 3.6 per cent on the previous financial year.

Positives: Strong performance of its insurance arm.

Negatives: Despite the lift in profit, the result fell short of market expectations. Banking and wealth earnings were subdued.

Dividend: An increase in final dividend by 2?? to 40?? a share to takes full-year dividend 73??, up 7 per cent on last year. AMP

Result: A fall for six months to June 30 of about 15 per cent to $445 million, compared to the previous corresponding period.

Positives: Underlying profit was $533 million for the half year; almost 4 per cent higher than the earlier corresponding period’s $513 million.

Negatives: Some analysts questioned whether AMP could make better use of the capital released in the life insurance business rather than returning the capital to shareholders.

Key Point: Will complete a reinsurance program for its life insurance business by year-end that would release $1 billion in capital and protect it from spikes in claims.

Dividend: AMP will pay a 14.5?? a share dividend for the half-year, an increase on 14??. Telstra

Result: Full-year profit in the year to June fell by about a third to $3.9 billion. However, that was mainly due to a $1.8 billion windfall gain in the prior year from the sale of Chinese car web site Autohome.

Positives: Without the Autohome sale, comparable earnings were up 1.1 per cent at $3.87 billion.

Negatives: Telstra said it will cut future dividends by up to 30 per cent.

Key point: Telstra is challenged by stronger competition.

Dividend: Telstra will pay a final dividend of 15.5?? to take the full year dividend to 31??. Tabcorp

Profit: Tabcorp reported a full-year net loss of $20.8 million because of costs related to its proposed merger with Tatts, legal battles and expenses at its new British business.

Positives: Though a loss, the gaming company reported a 2 per cent lift in revenue to $2.23 billion for the 12 months to June 30.

Negatives: The gaming giant was hit by $199.7 million in costs, including, among others, costs for its acquisition of gaming tech firm Intecq and proposed takeover of Tatts.

Key point: The main worry is the uncertainty surrounding the proposed merger with Tatts.

Dividend: A final dividend of 12.5?? will be paid, taking its full-year distribution to 25??. Wesfarmers

Result: The conglomerate reported a net profit after tax for the 12 months to June 30 of $2.87 billion, up from $2.25 billion a year earlier, excluding impairments against Target and its coal assets in 2016.

Positives: Its industrials division did well, mostly as a result of higher coal prices. Kmart’s earnings grew 17.7 per cent to $553 million with a 7.5 per cent lift in sales.

Negatives: Coles earnings fell 13 per cent as it tripled it further discounted prices and improved customer service.

Key point: Target again ran into the red, reporting a $10 million loss.

Dividend: Final dividend $1.20, bringing the full-year dividend to $2.23, almost 20 per cent above the prior year.

It’s a fair bet that those making most contributions to super are still workers, especially the over-50s.
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Figures from SuperChoice, which administers super contributions between employers and employees, show just how tight the link is between voluntary contributions and age.

SuperChoice analysed its data on super payments and broke the data down for salary sacrifice contributions by age cohort for the five years to June 30, 2016.

What the data reveals is the extent to which younger workers generally don’t contribute and how little is contributed by those younger workers who do.

Those in their 60s who salary sacrificed, sacrificed about $12,000 on average, a year, while those in their 20s sacrificed $2300.

For the age cohorts in-between, it is as expected with the amount increasing with age.

SuperChoice figures show 13 per cent of fund members in their 50s made salary sacrifice contributions to their super, while almost 17 per cent of those in their 60s salary sacrificed.

Less than 3 per cent of 30-somethings made salary sacrifice contributions and only one in 100 of those their 20s made contributions.

Research by the Association of Superannuation Funds of (ASFA) shows those younger than 29 reckon they will need $625,000, on average, for a comfortable retirement, while those aged 60 years expect they will need nearly $1 million.

There are all sorts of estimates of how much is needed, ranging up to $2 million for a professional couple who are used to a more expensive lifestyle.

As I have written, actuary Milliman has analysed real-world expenditure data of more than 300,000 n retirees, which shows those aged 65 to 69 spend a median of $31,068 a person each year.

Milliman estimates that to fund this expenditure with 75 per cent certainty would require a super balance of about $130,000 invested in a balanced superannuation investment option.

This figure takes into account the substantial contribution of the age pension, set at a maximum of $20,745 a year, including the energy supplement, which funds a substantial portion of most retirees’ spending.

As Milliman alluded to in a recent article, the problem is that people are likely to become disengaged when confronted with a big number, as they lose all hope of achieving it.

“This isn’t to say that $130,000 should be a goal – it shows that even small differences in savings can have a hugely positive impact on members’ actual retirement lifestyles,” Milliman says in the article.

You would want more, as it’s 75 per cent certainly of funding expenditure, based on the history of markets.

And those renting in retirement are likely to need a lot more, especially those living in our most expensive cities.

But it is more of a realistic target. It makes saving for retirement more of a molehill to be climbed than a mountain to be scaled.

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