Wangi RSL jetty to be shut

DISREPAIR: Wangi RSL Club Treasurer Ross Ahrens standing on the jetty that will be closed on June 1 until further notice because of its dilapidated condition. Picture: Max Mason-HubersFACING a massive replacement bill and delays to possible funding, Wangi RSL is having to closeits heavily used but dilapidated jetty.
Nanjing Night Net

The main part of the jetty, which has beena boating mainstayin Wangi Bay, will be closed off from June 1.

Wangi RSL’s Treasurer, Ross Ahrens, said the main jetty was falling into disrepair and was becoming “a big liability”.

“We just don’t have a choice,” he said of the closure.

The club intends to spend about $20,000 on repairing a smaller finger wharf that comes off the main jetty, so that small boats, such as craft fromthe neighbouring Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club, still havea facility to access the shore.

The RSL club has begun distributing a letter to jetty users advising the main jetty would be closed until further notice.

“The period of closure to allow for repairs to be undertaken is presently unknown due to the preliminary cost estimates being prohibitive,” the letter states.

But Mr Ahrens said the main jetty was beyond repair and would have to be replaced. He has estimated that would cost between $1 million to $1.1 million to build a new jetty.

To fund that work, the club has been looking at a number of options.

One avenue has been to apply for a State Government grant through Roads and Maritime Services. Mr Ahrens said the club had been told by RMS there would be a delay in reviewing applications.

Another funding option is for the club to sell the land the sailing club occupies. The sailing club has a 99-year “peppercorn” lease with the RSL. The sailing club has indicated it would be keen to buy the land, and Mr Ahrens said “negotiations had been progressing along that track”.

The sailing club is renowned for having been the home of Olympic gold medal sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and it has hosted many national regattas and competitions.

The Wangi RSL jetty has been a Lake Macquarie landmarkfor about half a century, with yachts and powerboats berthing there to access the shore.

As a result, the closure of the main jetty is expected to have a flow-on effect through the Wangi community.

The Operations Manager of Wangi RSL, Angela Sanders, said the closure would hit the club’s business but also many others in the local shopping strip.

“It will affect the community of Wangi Wangi because we all prosper fromthe wharf,” Angela Sanders said. “It’s going to be detrimental to everybody’s business.”

Ms Sanders believed the loss of the jetty would also affect Wangi as a tourist destination,particularly during public holidays, such as Australia Day,when the facility was popular with boats.

Read More

Senator locks in tour of red zone

THE HEAD of the Turnbull government’s contamination taskforce will visit the Williamtown ‘red zone’ next Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

-Meryl Swanson, Member for Paterson

Senator James McGrathconfirmed the visit in a meeting with Paterson MP Meryl Swanson on Wednesday morning.

It comes after the federal budgetset aside $12.5 million over four yearsfor a health study into the effects of the firefighting chemicals that have polluted land around the Williamtown RAAF base.

A class actionis currently underway over the poly- andperfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals and the budget papers acknowledged the national fallout was an “unquantifiable” liability.

Ms Swanson was “encouraged” by news of the visit.It was also a “minor victory”, she said, to see the federal government acknowledge that PFAS was an issue affecting the national budget bottom line.

“I look forward to introducing the Senator to people in my community who are understandably angry and anxious about the contamination of their properties and their bodies with these chemicals that have leached from the RAAF base,” she said.

“The budget included $26.5 million in health and research measures, which was good, but did not address the issues of economic loss; aside from saying it was a “liability” for the government.

“I am hoping Senator McGrath’s visit will expedite a solution for people who want to get out.”

Residents of the red zone welcomed the visit, saying it was an opportunity for Senator McGrath to witness the toll thescandal has taken on the ground.

“We hope that he leaves fully understanding the impact on the community and is proactive with moving forward in assessing our needs,”Rhianna Gorfine from the Williamtown and Surrounds Residents’ Action Group said.

Senator McGrath’s office could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Read More

The NRL has a drug problem, but there is a bigger one

Bloody hell.
Nanjing Night Net

Can we Fairfax journalists not turn our back for five minutes, I mean five minutes, without rugby league going completely batshit CRAZY? I mean, we engage in just a little bit of light industrial action between friends, which sees us down tools for a week, and while we were gone – to believe the headlines, the talkback callers, the public hand-wringing – the whole bloody lot of them have turned into druggies!

I’m talking NRL players, representative players, officials, chairmen of clubs! It is everywhere, I tell you, and destroying the league. Druggies are as common as Colombian headphones!

In response to all the damaging headlines, the lead stories, people such as Peter Sterling and Mal Meninga want zero tolerance, while NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has given grave warnings as to the dangers of cocaine, and the fact that if you take cocaine and the like, the game has no place for you.

I get all that. And I equally accept that cocaine is illegal,and very bad for your health. I say, too, quite seriously, to any teenagers now on the edge of the drugs world: have a good look around you, at those who take drugs regularly and those who abstain. Spot the difference? There is no question that the best option is to stay away from drugs entirely.

But there is one thing I don’t get. In terms of demonstrable damage done to NRL people – executives, officials, players, fans – does cocaine even BEGIN to compare to the damage done by that other well-known drug called alcohol?

I mean, do we, or do we not, every freaking week in the NRL see alcohol-fuelled atrocities that include: domestic violence, sexual assault, violent assault, dog-molesting, car accidents, verbal abuse, marital and familial breakdown, being photographed drinking your own urine, and so on and so forth, on and on into the ever etcetera.

And cocaine-fuelled atrocities? Well, there was that time that … actually, no, that was alcohol. Ah, but what about the time that … no, sorry, that was alcohol, too. Ah, but who can forget when … no, you’re right, that was alcohol, too.

And yes, of course, it is not to say there aren’t plenty of atrocities with cocaine at their base. But I ask you this as a serious question. If you were running the NRL’s famed Atrocities Generator somewhere in the industrial zone out Botany way, and you had the choice of throwing cocaine or alcohol into the fuel tank to get it up to maximum power, which one would you dinkum throw in, alcohol or cocaine, and …?

And so let us pause for a moment so the commentators can trot out their obvious line: “But alcohol is legal, you dickhead!”

Thanks, Scoop. You hold the front page, and I’ll put the coffee on. I think we’re going to pull an all-nighter.

Of course alcohol is legal, while cocaine isn’t, but so what?

The NRL, we are constantly told, is a business. And business folk like to talk about “outcomes”.

And, legal or not, nothing changes the fact that in terms of outcomes, the drug doing the most damage, by a factor of 1000, is alcohol, and the NRL knows it. We all know it. (And I’m not wagging a moralising finger here, by the way – for I have spilt more grog than you’ve drunk. I say it as a simple statement of fact.)

So if the NRL is really serious about limiting the damage done to their people, their “brand”, then the obvious first step is to stop taking all alcohol sponsorship.


Otherwise it is the equivalent of Rome burning and the NRL sending their fire trucks to one tiny back street called Cocaine, while sending tankers of fuel everywhere else, to make the flames go higher still.

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

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

Read More

Budget 2017: ‘Slap in the face’ budget puts Cross River Rail start date under cloud

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is not a fan of the federal budget, describing it as a “slap in the face to Queensland”.
Nanjing Night Net

Unhappy about the lack of specific funding for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, Ms Palaszczuk said the budget cast doubt on whether work on the project would start this year, as hoped.

Instead, the government would have to vie with other projects for a slice of a $10 billion National Rail Program.

“It means we have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk described Cross River Rail as the “number one infrastructure project” in Australia and Queensland.

But Ms Palaszczuk and Treasurer Curtis Pitt were vague on whether the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project would get funding in the Queensland budget, to be handed down next month.

“We’re still working on the budget … it is going to be a jobs budget,” she said.

The Premier described the federal budget as “good … if you live south of the border but it’s not a good budget for Queensland”.

“I’m very concerned that Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have failed to put any money at all on the table for Cross River Rail,” she said.

“I’m angry.”

Federal Treasurer Mr Morrison defended the exclusion of the proposed Cross River Rail tunnel from the budget, saying the Queensland government hadn’t proved it should be funded.

Mr Pitt said he was “bitterly disappointed about what has come from Scott Morrison’s second budget”.

“Quite frankly, we have a project which is ready to go but we do require federal contributions and recognition that this isn’t just a major public transport infrastructure project, it is a city-shaping project for Brisbane,” he said.

“And those things all mean that we should get some federal funding and it should be coming as quickly as possible.”

But Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, with the LNP, was much more glowing in his appraisal of the budget.

“I think even Malcolm Turnbull’s harshest critics would be hard-pressed to say that this budget doesn’t deliver and doesn’t deliver for Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.

“This is a budget that is fair, it’s fair on every level.

“It’s honest and it is pragmatic and importantly it delivers here in Queensland.”

Mr Nicholls pointed to funding for the Bruce Highway, Gonski, NDIS, pensioner concession cards and the $8.4 billion inland rail project.

He called on the state government to release the business case for Cross River Rail.

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

Read More

Tim Connell: Seven Days in League

Nanjing Night Net

CASH ME OUTSIDE: David Gower prompted a Joey double-take by declaring “I just really f—ing hope we get the cash”.

LIKE a child dragged to an acclaimed family drama crying “I don’t want to see it if it’sgoodfor me”, here we are inRep Round, a wholesome breatherfromthe corruption andtawdriness of the NRL.

Instead ofclubsit’snations, nation-states andclass divides (City versus Country)we’ll cheerthis weekend, a bit like medieval times. And there’s a touchof Henry VIII as Seven Days flicks ontheFooty Show, wherea lady is compelled totearfullydistanceherself from some rich married bloke. In the foul taverns of social media, the serfs gossip and leer.

Later, at Sydney’s Ivy, police issueKiwi Test non-starterShaunKenny-Dowall with a field court attendance notice for“possessing a prohibited drug”.

You get the feeling SKD would leap ata sanction likeRaiderJosh Papalii’s one-match ban for drink-driving. But it’s drugs, and he won’t. It’sthe world we live in.

In more bad news, the Roosterscentre hadbeenlinked withamove toNewcastle. Two hours north, Knights coach Nathan Brown joltsawake. This happens a lot; he can’t explain it.


LONG GONE: By the time Scott Morrison delivered the budget, Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor were well out of Canberra. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

It’s easy to bag the Anzac Test, a frequentno-contest that could as easily be held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and bejust as unremarked upon;after this year, it’s still easy.

Still, in 80 minutes in Canberrawelearn a bit. The Kangaroos: clinical. The Kiwis: clinically depressing. Trent Merrin: not batting Merrins by being selected, but notnotbatting Merrins either.

The players disappear into the cold anonymity of the Canberra nightand, as the Kiwis’ Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor start to wind down, what could go wrong?


Oh sure, dwell on thenegativesof Bromwich and Proctor being accused of taking an illicit substance withmore notes than a PhD. Seven Days is telling you, itain’t all bad.

Like, neither is expected to face charges.

Andin Proctor’s corner is Graham Annesley, his Gold Coast club boss and the former NSW minister for sport and recreation, with acreative take on how the lads wound up witha little recreation of their own.

Annesley demandsanswers from Kiwi team managementafter the playersstayout in the capitaluntil 5am, and accusesthem of keeping too long a leash.

“They are employees of NRL clubs and we loan them to representative teams and we expect them to be supervised while they’re away from the club environment,” he says.

Right. You mayremember AnnesleysackingHunter Venuesovera kind-of-tiny $2 million blowout onHunter Stadium’s $78 million western grandstand. He’s clearly mellowed since, more of a live-and-let-live guy.

In Campbelltown, the nations that are mad keen for rugby league plus England put on a Test triple-header.

Papua New Guinea beats the Cook Islands, Tonga pips Fiji and the Poms are too strong for Samoa. It’s all good fun, but Seven Days feels pressure to write something misty-eyed about thisbeing the game’s beating heart. It’s not. The game’s heart isbunged up from ciggiesand lives in Brisbane.Let’s just enjoy thisas a diverse spectacle that doesn’t have to be more than it is, like WOMADelaide. It’s aniche interest, people. Embrace the niche.


BETTER TIMES: Country Origin coach Laurie Daley with Jarrod Mullen in 2012. City-Country has been scrapped and Mullen’s career appears over. Picture: Matt King

Mudgee looks nice. This isthe main take-outfrom the final City versus Country, a former Bluesaudition that slowly becamea weekend outwestwith Freddy in his trackies.

It’s also a rep reward for KnightsNathan Ross andPauli Pauli, who line up for City. Their teammate David Gower scoresand, to Nine’s Andrew Johns, explains what itmeans to him.

“It’s the highlight of my career to date. I just really f—ing hope we get the cash.”

City does get the cash, but Gower spoils hispotentialmortgage ad sloganby tweeting, “I’m REAAAAALLLYYY glad we got the cash! [grinning emoji]”.


‘Allo, ‘Allo!The French, overnight, haverejected a presidentialcandidateof the far-right andyour average NRL fan’s worldview to elect centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Having dealt with one lot of thugs,the new leader issilentaboutthe only rugby league footage currently doing the rounds globally (no,not Peter Wallace scooting out of dummy-half).

St Esteve player Hedi Ouedjdi is banned for life forking-hittingreferee Benjamin Casty (who’d sent him off),the brother of Catalans skipper Remi Casty.

“The player not only undermined the physical integrity of a referee,” says a French league spokesman,“but also tainted the image of a sport that had not experienced such a reprehensible act.”

Should someonetell him about Hoppa?


Seven Days just twigged that Cronulla chairmanDamian Keogh, up on“possession”charges, isthatDamian Keogh.

We remember him with the Sydney Kings in the ‘90s, when the Violet Crumblegave away masses of tickets.


Will Hopoate’s contract is up, and he still won’tplay on Sundays.

A day of the weekend without any NRL;maybe he’s onto something. Seven Days is refreshedbythis Rep Round. Now. Wasthat a SuperCoachnotification?

Read More

Where first home buyers stand now – all the help and hits

In one of those worst-kept budget secrets, the government threw almost everything at the housing affordability crisis on Tuesday night. And it might just work. Not least because it feels like house price growth in some areas is already slowing.
Nanjing Night Net

The headline news from the budget is the proposed new First Home Super Saver Scheme. Laudably resisting the temptation to allow people to raid their actual super for a home, this scheme would instead let them save explicitly into it for property – with similar tax perks.

So aspiring property owners would pay not their marginal rate but just the 15 per cent super contribution tax. They would be able to save $30,000 or $15,000 a year – each – so a couple can amass double (note this is subject to the overall annual concessional contributions limit, which includes the 9.5 per cent employers pay, of $25,000 a year).

This money will grow at the 90-day bank bill rate plus 3 per cent, which is a nice boost on what you can get in a traditional savings account. On withdrawal, this money will be taxed at the relevant marginal rate minus 30 per cent. You can calculate to how much greater your deposit can grow here.

The Super Saver is a nice demand-side mechanism that, unlike grants and giveaways, should not directly inflate prices. It’s also a better, more familiar proposition that Labor’s previous and unpopular former First Home Saver Accounts.

But there’s no point, literally, super-charging Australians’ deposits if they remain a futile chase for rampaging prices.

So it’s with some relief to investors, often blamed for the rises, that largely they have been spared from a crackdown. Negative gearing stays with some small tweaks (you can forget the “inspection” trip to the Gold Coast and kiss goodbye to some depreciation items unless you actually bought them). Capital gains tax (CGT) concessions too are safe.

But it’s a different story for overseas investors, where there’s a deliberate campaign to cull.

?? The main residence exemption from CGT will disappear entirely for non- or temporary residents – effective immediately (although they can claim the exemption on existing properties until June 30, 2019).

?? Foreign ownership in new developments will be restricted to 50 per cent.

To boost the availability of rental accommodation, future foreign owners will also incur a $5000 “ghost tax” if they leave a property vacant for six or more months in a year. Meanwhile, local investors who offer cheaper rents to tenants on low to moderate incomes could qualify for extra CGT concessions, from 50 to 60 per cent (a registered community housing provider must manage the property for at least three years).

How to get more housing stock for sale though, the big issue for house prices? Australians 65 and over are going to be encouraged to downsize by the ability to shelter $300,000 – again, each person in a couple – within tax advantaged super (but note this would be fully assessed for pension purposes). There’s talk this could release 50,000 homes onto the market.

The government is also releasing surplus defence land on the outskirts of Melbourne, for 6000 new homes, and Commonwealth land in Western Sydney.

Of course, this is all on top of the concerted regulatory crackdown on investors and on interest-only loans to owner occupiers. The average amount lent for property, across investors and owner occupiers, began ticking down two months ago and now stands at levels of a year ago: $353,700.

It’s early days and there’s a lot of talk the government has not gone far enough to fix housing affordability. But containing property prices is a delicate issue. Two out of three voters already own one.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a commentator and educator who presents her Smart Money Start, fun financial literacy incursion, in high schools around Australia. Follow Nicole on Facebook. iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#pez_iframe’); var frame = document.getElementById(“pez_iframe”);

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

Read More

Uncle given extra jail time for bashing baby nephew

The uncle claimed the baby was injured after he “playfully threw him in the air”.
Nanjing Night Net

Andrew John Nolan also said Bobby Webber was hurt when the seven-month-old was playing with a mobile phone and dropped it on his face.

Then Nolan said Bobby must have been hurt by an unknown intruder. “I did not do this to Bobby and whoever did this I hope you find them before I do,” Nolan told police.

The cabinet maker, then 32, was babysitting his nephew in September 2014 in a house on the NSW Central Coast while the child’s parents were away on their honeymoon.

Another relative found Bobby tucked under a sheet in his cot, limp, and sobbing in his sleep, with red marks on his forehead covered in butter, a bite mark on his hand, and redness around his groin.

Nolan said he put butter on the child’s head after he hurt himself with a mobile phone, and had given him a dose of the antihistamine Phenergan??? to settle him.

In fact, Bobby had suffered a fractured skull, brain damage, bruised ribs and limbs, and fractures to both ankles. He also suffered haemorrhages in his eyes, usually seen after cases of violent shaking, or high-impact incidents such as car crashes, or falls from great heights.

The child was left with permanent life-threatening conditions, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy and a movement disorder, and is visually impaired.

Eventually Nolan pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but a NSW District Court judge did not accept his account that he simply put his foot on the boy’s back, slapped him, and dropped him into his cot..

He was sentenced last year to at least 8?? years’ jail, with a maximum of 12?? years.

The Crown appealed against the sentence, arguing the judge should have considered the attack to be in the worst category of offending, and that the sentence was “manifestly inadequate”.

On Wednesday, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal found it was open for the trial judge to find the attack was in the “high range” of offending, rather than the worst case.

But the appeal panel agreed the sentence was not adequate, and added three years to Nolan’s non-parole period.

Justice Derek Price said Nolan “intentionally and with considerable force inflicted life threatening injuries upon Bobby, a defenceless seven-month-old”.

“The child’s prospects of enjoyment of life have been destroyed,” Justice Price said.

“The [original] sentence falls well short of adequately reflecting the gravity of the offence, the need for general deterrence and the denunciation of the respondent’s conduct.

“Serious physical abuse of infants is abhorred by the community and general deterrence is of great importance in sentencing such offenders.”

Justice Price also said: “Public confidence in the justice system would not be served by allowing a manifestly inadequate sentence to stand.”

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton and Justice Clifton Hoeben??? agreed with Justice Price’s findings.

Nolan’s maximum term is now 15 years and three months. He will be eligible for parole in April 2026.

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

Read More

Spurs Mills repays Popovich’s faith with big game

San Antonio point guard Patty Mills has repaid the faith of coach Gregg Popovich after starring in the Spurs’ crucial game five victory against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

Mills hit what would have been a game-winning three-pointer in regulation but the basket was ruled out after the 28-year-old Canberran was just beaten by the shot clock.

The Spurs rallied to win 110-107 in the series go-ahead game, with Mills clocking an epic 43 minutes and 20 points, including a clutch three-pointer with just two minutes remaining to keep the Spurs in touching distance.

Mills made five baskets from down town and was just as strong on defence as he contained Rockets superstar James Harden and made a crucial defensive play in the dying seconds.

“I was just trying to keep the boys in good spirits … let them know whatever the case was, we’ve still got this,” Mills told reporters after the game.

“It was a gutsy win and everyone that came on the court made an impact. That’s huge … it’s trust and everyone stepped up.”

Asked what Mills provided in his first career play-off start, he said: “Just passion to start with. We let an opportunity slip in game four so first it was passion and letting everyone know how hungry I am and we are to win this series.”

San Antonio clinched victory thanks to a veteran Manu Ginobili and MVP-chance Kawhi Leonard, but it was Mills who showed his class with the game on the line.

With veteran point guard Tony Parker ruled of the season with a leg injury in game two, Mills was promoted to Spurs’ starting point guard for the first time in the series for the crucial home game.

He showed his scoring class and plenty of defensive hussle to help the Spurs get a massive win.

Popovich kept Mills on the bench and started rookie Dejounte Murray for games three and four but went with the Australian Boomers’ gun in game five and the decision paid dividends.

Popovich praised Mills’ scoring power and performance, while acknowledging the game could have gone either way at the death.

“Patty did tonight what he’s done for us the entire time he’s been here and given the circumstances we just wanted to start out better offensively and not get in a hole against these guys, because if you get behind you’ve got big problems,” Popovich said.

“Everybody pulled together and really played some good defence. The competitiveness was just off the charts, we’re obviously thrilled with the victory [because] we would have really been in a hole and either team could have won the team down the stretch.”

The Spurs now lead the Rockets 3-2 in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series and can punch their ticket to the Western Conference final with a win in Houston on Friday morning.

“The one percenters were huge in the fourth quarter and overtime. But we’re not smiling, we know it’s one win and we’ve got to go to Houston, we’re expecting them to bring out their guns,” Mills said.

“This is the play-offs and everyone always finds another juice tank … We’ve got one more to get.”

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

Read More

Zane stays on as Merrick’s assistant

Zane stays on as Merrick’s assistant RIGHT-HAND MAN: Clayton Zane coaching the first team last month after Mark Jones’ sacking. Picture: Simone De Peak
Nanjing Night Net

TweetFacebookAssistant coach Clayton Zane hopes the Jets will give new manager Ernie Merrick time to rebuild the club rather than look for a “quick fix”.

The 39-year-old former Socceroo has been told he will stay on as Merrick’s assistant with the senior team, a position he has filled since head coach Scott Miller and deputy Luca Trani were dismissed in September.

Zane joined the club in 2011 as women’s coach, took over the youth team in 2012 then was appointed interim head coach after Gary van Egmond’s sacking in 2014.

He resumed the assistant’s job under Phil Stubbins before being shown the door with two other coaches and five players in early 2015 in the dying embers of Nathan Tinkler’s regime.

He returned to the Jets that year as youth coach and has been juggling that role with the A-League assistant’s job for the past eight months.

Zane’s roller-coaster ride at the Jets reflects the club’s tumultuous recent history, whose latest chapter was the sacking of Mark Jones after his sidefinished with the wooden spoon last month.

Zane saidhe hoped Merrick’s appointment would herald a new era of stability at the club.

“I was upset to see Mark Jones leave the club because I enjoyed working with him and I learned from him,” he said. “I think he was working towards something, and the A-League doesn’t give coaches a lot of time to get things right. I could see where he wanted to take the club.

“Partly getting judged on results also comes back to other people’s failures as well, because it adds more pressure to the next person who steps into that job.

“I’d love to see the Jets have a coach for four or five years and really get the chance to put their spin on things and develop the club from the bottom up.”

Zane was head coach when the Jets flogged Merrick’s understrength Wellington side 5-0 at Hunter Stadium in 2014, but that does not seem to have counted against him this week.

“The feedback I’ve receivedis that Ernie is happy . . . to work alongside me,” Zane said. “Ernie’s said he’s happy to inherit the staff. For me it was just a waiting game to see if he wanted to go down that path.”

Zane said he expected the 64-year-old Scotsman to bring a calm and “calculated”approach to the club.

“I know he’s an educated man, and through his experience he doesn’t react on the basis of one loss.

“He looks to me like he’s pretty methodical with how he approaches things, and he has a plan and he sticks to the plan. He’s not fazed by a run of one or two losses. He knows that, if he keeps going through the process, he’ll get to the solution he wants.”

Zane, a former Newcastle and Anderlecht striker, said Merrick’s experience in the A-League gave him a “massive advantage” over other prospective coaches from overseas due to the scouting responsibilities that came with the job at the Jets.

“The resources of the club effectively hand that job straight back to the head coach, and it’s a time-consuming job. And that’s where I think having someone with experience of the league is very important.

“He picks up that list of off-contract A-League players, and how that looks for one coach, it may look different to another coach. Someone might see a gem in there that they know they can work with. Another coach may not see that who’s not from the area.

“Most punters and coaches can see a decent player, but quite often there’s an expense attached to that that the owner has to be willing to back, so that’ll be interesting how he works with Martin [Lee] to secure those two or three players that can make the difference.”

Read More

Dave Hughes roasts Seven boss … and is told not to turn up for show

Radio host and comedian Dave Hughes has denied there were “crossed wires” about being shunned from a Seven Network game show after roasting chief executive Tim Worner at the Logies, but says he has since spoken to Mr Worner who did welcome him to join the show.
Nanjing Night Net

“I’ve also had contact with the CEO of Channel Seven, Tim Worner … I’ve had a big week… Have they banned me? What has gone on today?” Hughes discussed with Kiis FM co-host Kate Langbroek.

He explained that after some umming and ahhing about whether he would go on Seven’s new game show – ironically called Behave Yourself – which filmed on Sunday, he agreed last Wednesday and was told by his agent that it was booked.

“I thought Channel Seven execs have a sense of humour, good on them,” he said on air.

“But then I get a call back that it will have to go up the line if Channel Seven senior executives will have me on.”

He reiterated that his comments that he was pulled off the show were true, and said that Mr Worner has since contacted him saying, “I didn’t know anything about it and I want to have you on Channel Seven”.

Behave Yourself features Australian comedians and television personalities taking part in a quiz show alongside embarrassing challenges. It will begin on television screens in the coming weeks.

Hughes was due to film an episode for the upcoming panel-style show over the weekend, but was told at the last minute he wouldn’t be needed and Langbroek replaced him.

During his opening monologue at the Logies, Hughes ruffled feathers at Seven when he brought up the affair between Worner and Amber Harrison.

“Channel Seven were working on a pilot of The Wrong Girl, that was starring their CEO Tim Worner,” he said. “That was more a reality show. He picked the wrong girl to mess with.”

After the crowd laughed and winced in equal measure, Hughes added: “I’ve never worked on Channel Seven and I probably never will.”

Hughesy told Kiis FM listeners: “If you do a joke it has got to be funny and I thought I had come up with one… A lot of people in that room were from Channel Seven and they were all clapping.”

Seven firmly denied Hughes was turned away from Behave Yourself because of the Logies gag – or any gag, for that matter.

A spokesman said it was merely a scheduling error and the network would be happy to host the popular radio personality “anytime”.

“We’ve been trying to get Dave on Channel Seven for years, and that door remains wide open,” he said.

Hughes was reluctant to speak directly to Fairfax Media.

Either way, it’s safe to say the comedian will be sure to call Seven’s bluff and milk any opportunities that now come his way.

“I’m happy to go on [Seven’s] Sunrise in the morning,” he joked.

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

Read More