Commonwealth Bank’s money laundering compliance scandal threatens to cost the lender its position as the country’s top-rated banking stock as investors try to value the hit to its brand.
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Ahead of a prudential inquiry into the country’s biggest lender, some analysts predict CBA will lose its position as a market darling, pointing to examples where other banks’ shares have lagged rivals after suffering a big hit to their reputations.

As well as being the country’s biggest bank, CBA has long fetched a premium on the sharemarket because of its financial strength and industry-leading profitability.

This higher rating of CBA is reflected in the stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, a key measure for valuing shares.

However, bank watchers are now questioning whether this premium will be eroded by the potential costs, management changes and distraction created by the allegations from Austrac that it repeatedly breached anti-money laundering laws.

In a note to clients, Morningstar analyst David Ellis said CBA’s premium to its peers had been “all but extinguished” since the Austrac allegations broke earlier this month.

He said CBA’s P/E multiple had fallen from close to 14 times to about 13 times, only marginally ahead of rival banks Westpac, ANZ Bank and National Bank.

Since Austrac filed its claim against CBA on August 3, the bank’s share price has fallen about 10 per cent, compared with a fall of about 2.6 per cent in the ASX 200 banks index.

While CBA shares did go ex-dividend during this period, lowering the share price, they have still lagged rivals significantly after accounting for this fact.

CBA lost its crown as the nation’s biggest company by market capitalisation on Tuesday as its shares slid another 1.2 per cent to $75.73. BHP, which has been boosted by a rally in global metals prices, wrested back the title with a market cap of $135.8 billion compared with CBA’s $131.2 billion.

Regal Funds Management portfolio manager Omkar Joshi predicted CBA shares would lag those of rival banks over the next six to 12 months, as a result of the Austrac allegations and the n Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) public inquiry into the lending giant’s culture, governance and accountability frameworks.

“They’ve de-rated a little bit. There will be more of that going forward, they are still trading at a premium to peers,” he said.

Although the APRA inquiry may have little impact on the bank’s profits, Mr Joshi said investors would be wary towards the stock and invest in other banks instead while there was uncertainty over the potential fine facing CBA, management changes and other consequences of APRA’s inquiry.

“If you want to own a major bank, you look at all four of them, and CBA is the one that sticks out as having plenty of unresolved issues,” Mr Joshi said.

Credit Suisse analysts led by Jarrod Martin said CBA’s premium to rival lenders had narrowed and could fall further, based on what has occurred with other crisis-hit banks.

The analysts pointed to the experience of National Bank, which went from being the country’s top bank in the late 1990s to a serial laggard, after several failed expansions overseas and a currency options trading losses scandal in 2003-04.

The report said NAB shares had fetched a premium to rivals in the 1990s, but this turned into a significant discount that was still reflected in the pricing of NAB shares today.

While CBA shares were still fetching a premium, the analysts said the Austrac scandal had the potential to strip CBA of its market darling status, given it had had “more than its fair share of conduct related matters” in recent years.

“This could be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ for CBA, potentially bringing about a substantial and sustained stock de-rating,” say the analysts, who have a “neutral” rating on the stock.

Other investors point out that the Austrac allegations, while very serious, are unlikely to affect its day-to-day operations taking deposits and writing loans.

The bank also has a solid base of retail shareholders who value the bank’s high dividends, and some question the extent to which these shareholders will be more reluctant to invest in CBA in response to the Austrac scandal.


is a nation scared. Scared to fully stake out its own flag. Scared to install an n as head of state. Nervous even about bringing into the daylight a more complete account of its own creation.
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This is at odds with our strongly internalised ruggedness myth. And it is even more inconsistent with the legendary “fair go”.

The selfless courage made sacred on the Western Front, Gallipoli, Changi and Long Tan, is strangely absent at the official level. And the giant-slaying competitiveness that has seen ns punching above their weight in global sports – literally, in the cases of Lionel Rose and Anthony Mundine – went missing on the offer of republican sovereignty.

A federation drawn from the twin brutalities of penal expulsion of an unwanted underclass and the murderous acquisition of an occupied continent remains huddled, reluctant to disavow the benevolent empire myth at the heart of these crimes.

Yet so riven is the domestic discourse that no issue, certainly not a pointed outbreak of the long-running left-versus-right history wars, can be treated on its merits. Rather, these arguments must be seen as proxies for control – new, more pointed projectiles to be hurled in anger in a contemporary battle putting polemics ahead of people. Fallacy before fact.

History is written by the winners. The erection of statues to great men (invariably) is the standard way of commemorating those victories. Which is why internal uprisings, and invading forces alike, make tearing them down a priority. We’ve seen it from the rise and fall of Nazi Germany and Eastern Europe, to Iraq and, most recently, in the American south.

The latter has re-energised a simmering argument here over the statues of Captain Cook, and governors Phillip and Macquarie et al. Some want the statues torn down. Conservatives want them left as is. Neither seems tenable any longer.

This could be a defining challenge for Malcolm Turnbull.

The middle course involves leaving them in place, along with the inclusion of a second plaque explaining the existence, murder, and dispossession of the first peoples.

Assuming the main facts are settled, such an approach should be uncontroversial. It is not, as fuming right-wing critics claim, a “Stalinist” rewriting of history but, rather, the more complete writing of what actually happened.

Turnbull and Bill Shorten have been the voices of civilisation on Indigenous relations. Both have been at their best when acknowledging past wrongs and official denials. Both strongly favour constitutional recognition.

The statues question is simultaneously as symbolic and as substantial as the sculptures themselves. Failure to take reasonable steps to correct these official commemorations would render them officially wrong, while exposing the joint commitment to constitutional recognition as tissue-thin. Mere words.

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MOVING: Aden Gardner, right, has played mostly in Edgeworth’s 20 years side this season after featuring 19 times in first grade in 2016. Picture: Marina NeilValentine do not expect American imports Jalon Brown and Alec Faulkner to return but the clubhassecured Edgeworth’s Aden Gardner for 2018.
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Phoenix coach Darren Sills was hoping to overcome visa issues to retain Brown and Faulkner, who were key players in his side’srise to finals contenders this season,but said on Tuesday“I’d be surprised if they stayed” in .

Sills is talking to a friend of the pair, an attacking player,about making the trip next year to Valentine, who have signed midfielder Gardner but lost Daniel Minors (Broadmeadow) and Alex Tserepas.

** New Lake Macquarie coach Nick Webb has added Charlestown goalkeeper Nathan Archbold andAdamstown pair Harry Lane andCameron Holzheimer to his 2018 roster.

Archbold replaces Benn Kelly, who will join Adamstown, where Webb was coach for the second half of this year.

** Referee Stephen Laurie has enjoyed a rapid rise tothe top job for Saturday’s NPL grand finals.

Laurie, whorefereed last year’s second-division decider, will control the first-grade clash between Jaffas and Edgeworth at McDonald Jones Stadium from 7pm.NNSWF is encouraging people to save money bybuying tickets online before Saturday at Ticketmaster.

** An NPL coach has caused a stir with comments that were later deleted from a Northern NSW Football website review.

The comments, which included “there is no coach in the league I haven’t out-coached one-on-one”, set phones buzzing with texted screenshots of the quotes.

** Maitland are confident of working through visa requirements and retaining English import Josh Dutton-Black for next year.

The Magpies have kept the core of their squad and added Alex Read, Mat and Andrew Swan, James Thompson and Zac Thomas from rival NPL clubs.


Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore is throwing hisweight behindALP mayoral candidate Loretta Baker as his preferred successor.
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In an unprecedented moveCr Blackmore, who will not seek re-election at the September 9 local government poll, has made a video touting Cr Baker as “an ideal choice” to take over the mayoral reins.

In the 30-second video he said Cr Bakerworks hard in the community and in her role with health and believes she would have the ideal demeanor to be the city’s first female mayor.

Cr Baker said she and the mayorhave worked well togetherover the past 10years.

Cr Loretta Baker.

“There are times when we’ve disagreed on things, that’s to be expected, but we’ve always had a very constructive relationship based on delivering what’s best for Maitland,” Cr Baker said.

“After 20 years in the job, Peter Blackmore knows what it takes to be mayor.He has led a stable and successful council, and that’s what I’ll deliver as mayor as well.

“My vision is for a stronger, safer, fairer and more prosperous Maitland, and I’m very grateful for Peter’s support and encouragement,” she said.

Cr Blackmore said Maitland isin the fortunate position inthat any of hisformer deputieswould makesuitable mayors, but Cr Baker had attributes that strongly suited her to the job.“But any of the councillors who have served as my deputy would do the job well,” Cr Blackmore said.

Cr Blackmore, former Liberal Member for Maitland,disagreed that his endorsement was unusual and said who better than the incumbent mayor to have a view on his replacement.

Asked if he will votefor Cr Baker, the mayor said he would keep that to himself.

“Aperson’s vote is a private right but whoever becomes mayor, I would wish them the enjoymentI have experienced and the pride I have in council, itsstaffand the community. We havefemale State andFederal members so perhaps a first female mayor could also be considered should the electors decide,” he said.


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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


Victoria Towers, 36-38 Victoria street, Burwood. Property records show Phillip Doueihi purchased a two bedroom apartment at 36-38 Victoria Street, Burwood for $700,000 on May 28, 2015.Burwood, Sydney. 29th August, 2017. Photo: Kate GeraghtyBurwood Liberal councillor Tony Doueihi did not declare an interest and voted to approve extra apartments in a $26 million development in which his son had recently purchased a unit when it came before a state government planning panel on which he sits.
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Cr Doueihi also voted when the matter came before Burwood council, despite rules stating councillors must leave the chamber if they or a relative have a pecuniary interest.

Property records show Phillip Doueihi purchased a two-bedroom apartment at 36-38 Victoria Street, Burwood for $700,000 on May 28, 2015.

Despite this, Cr Doueihi did not declare an interest when a development application to add additional floor space came before the Sydney East Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Cr Doueihi, along with panel members John Roseth, David Furlong and ALP Burwood councillor George Mannah approved the application on July 14, which added 11 units to the building.

Burwood council had recommended approval.

At a Burwood council meeting on July 27, Cr Doueihi put forward a motion that the council enter into a voluntary planning agreement with the developer, P and N Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

Voluntary planning agreements allow developers extra floor space in return for a financial contribution to the council for community facilities. Minutes show Cr Doueihi did not declare an interest.

Records show stamp duty was paid on the transfer of ownership of the apartment to Mr Doueihi on January 11, 2016. Separate records state settlement occurred on February 11.

The NSW Local Government Act states that a pecuniary interest is one where there is “a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person”.

It says such an interest extends to a councillor’s “spouse or de facto partner or a relative of the person, or a partner or employer of the person”.

Councillors are required to disclose a pecuniary interest at a council meeting “as soon as practicable” and leave the chamber during discussion and voting on the matter.

The same rules apply to members of a Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Cr Doueihi, who is standing on the Liberal ticket for Strathfield council at the September 9 local government elections, did not respond to repeated phone calls, texts and detailed questions.

Phillip Doueihi is travelling overseas and Fairfax Media was unable to contact him via his business partner.

The owner of P and N Group Holdings, Peter Sleiman, said it was “news to me” that Cr Doueihi had participated in approvals of the development application after his son had purchased his unit.

Mr Sleiman said he had “no particular dealings” with Cr Doueihi about the purchase of the unit.

Mr Sleiman said he “knows of” Cr Doueihi. “He’s Lebanese, I see him at Mass,” he said.

However he insisted: “There were no favours” over the development, which was first approved in 2012.

“If someone was doing me a favour, they didn’t because [the development approval process] nearly killed me,” he said.

“That’s how long it took”.


The Good Universities Guide ranked the University of Wollongong at number eight for overall experience. Picture: Adam McLeanThe universities that are the hardest to get into may not be delivering the best experience or employment outcomes for their students, new research shows.
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Students at the University of NSW, Sydney University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Western have some of the highest entrance scores in , according to this year’sGood Universities Guide.

However, none of these universities are in the guide’s top 10 for staff qualifications or overall experience, which measures engagement, resources, skills development, support and teaching quality.

All four scored below the national average for overall experience and nationally, UNSW, Sydney and UWA ranked among the bottom seven in this category.

The guide, which is compiled annually, ranked Bond University at number one for overall experience, followed by Notre Dame and Edith Cowan University.

Among NSW universities, the University of New England was ranked at number seven, followed by the University of Wollongong, n Catholic University and the University of Newcastle.

Only UNSW was ranked in the top 10 for full-time employment outcomes with 76.4 per cent of its students finding jobs within four months of graduating.

Some 70.4 per cent of Sydney graduates find full-time employment within four months. This falls to about 65 per cent at UWA and 63.6 per cent at Melbourne University.

In comparison, about 84 per cent of students at the best university for employment outcomes, Charles Sturt University, find full-time work within four months of leaving. About 55 per cent of students at Flinders University, ranked lowest in this area, find full-time jobs within four months.

The four universities are also falling behind in students’ starting salaries, with only UWA ranked in the top 10 for median graduate incomes.

Its graduates earn about $60,900 after leaving university, while UNSW graduates earn $60,000, Sydney University graduates earn $56,000 and University of Melbourne students earn about $53,500.

Chris Lester, chief executive of the Good Universities Group, which compiles the guide, said the most in-demand universities are lagging in these areas partly because of the high proportion of their students who are school leavers, rather than mature-age students.

“Now, people [coming to university] straight out of school are finding it difficult to get a job,” Mr Lester said.

He said starting salaries are also linked to the proportion of mature-age students as well as “the mix of courses that universities are offering and the mix of students they have”.

However, Mr Lester said that a number of the universities delivering the best graduate outcomes also offer specific programs and internships “that are definitely helping students get jobs when they finish”.

“The University of Wollongong is one of the big standouts in the way they’ve moved, and some of the things they say they’re doing is trying to make sure that someone’s not just a number, and having differentiated programs for different students,” Mr Lester said.

Chris Lester, chief executive of the Good Universities Group

Mr Lester said that universities’ high entry scores and high demand are at least partially linked to reputation rather than quality.

“Parents have a big part to play in relation to where students go and when they came out of university 20 or 30 years ago, [things] were very different,” Mr Lester said.

“Parents need to be very mindful of the changing landscape. Younger universities are trying different things now.”

The University of Sydney and UNSW were contacted for comment.


Some Foxtel Now customers experienced issues watching the Game of Thrones season finale on Monday night. Photo: HBOIt was billed as Game of Thrones’ longest episode to date, but for some people, season seven’s finale was much longer than anticipated.
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Foxtel customers have complained of buffering issues while watching the season seven finale of HBO’s fantasy blockbuster on Monday night.

With nowhere else to let off steam, frustrated Game of Thrones fans turned to Twitter and Facebook to complain about the quality of Foxtel Now.

“Awesome work doubling the length of the episode,” one person wrote. “I got to enjoy it for almost two hours instead of 80 minutes! Please don’t try this again, I hate the glitchy, skippy aesthetic.”

Another person said their attempt to watch the episode was an “epic failure”.

“Will be cancelling my subscription today,” he wrote.

On Tuesday morning, Foxtel began apologising to miffed customers and informing them the issue had been fixed. The company said high demand caused issues for people using its apps.

It wasn’t the first time the pay TV provider had to apologise to furious Game of Thrones buffs. Last month, season seven’s premiere resulted in widespread issues for Foxtel customers due to unprecedented demand.

Monday night saw even more strain on Foxtel’s services, with a record-smashing 887,000 people tuning in to watch The Dragon and the Wolf – 60,000 more than the season premiere.

Streaming issues, however, appeared to not be as widespread this time around due to the measures put in place by Foxtel engineers after the July fiasco.

Foxtel has been contacted for further comment.