April, 2020

Melbourne City looking the goods, but need to beat top teams

Michael Cockerill: Why Melbourne City is failing to succeed in the A-League
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Fourteen goals in three games, their first clean sheet of the season and a leap up to third spot on the ladder as they approach Saturday night’s Melbourne derby in red hot form.

Record-breaking Melbourne City are starting to look like the real deal and beginning to answer their critics – and there have been plenty queuing up to hammer the club for its lack of success and big-name signings in the season and a half since it was acquired by one of the world’s richest soccer businesses, City Football Group.

Experience teaches us not to get too far ahead of ourselves where this club is concerned, even if it has now set an A-League record by becoming the first club to score four goals in three consecutive matches. Not just yet, anyway, as their coach John Van ‘t Schip acknowledged after the 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

He knows that tougher tests await and that his side is still far from the finished article.

City may be looking the goods, but they have yet to prove themselves by beating one of the other top teams in the competition.

So far this season City have played Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne Victory, Sydney and Brisbane once apiece, and managed only two draws, both away from home in Sydney and Brisbane.

Until they start to beat those sort of sides there will be doubters, given City’s reputation for inconsistency.

But there is no doubt that Van ‘t Schip is starting to find the right blend and the players are beginning to play to the pattern he wants – pressing and defending from the front and moving the ball with pace. They have also discovered a mental strength that they only used to show intermittently.

The Dutch coach had billed Sunday’s trip to Newcastle as an examination of where his team really stood following two easy 5-1 wins. Those victories had come against cellar dwellers Central Coast and Perth Glory, and the trip to the Hunter Valley was expected to provide a much sterner test.

City passed it with flying colours, not only slamming home four goals but keeping their opponents scoreless for the first time this season.

Van ‘t Schip, who a month ago looked to be the next best thing to a dead man walking after an horrific home loss to the Wanderers, now looks an inspirational figure who has his team playing exactly how he wants.

City have taken 10 points out of a possible 12 in the four games that have followed that 0-3 reverse against Western Sydney, and only the league leaders are in a hotter vein of form.

More prosaically, City are getting their act together because the long injury run which dogged them through the first six weeks of the campaign is starting to ease off.

In recent weeks Socceroo full back Ivan Franjic has returned to action, giving City drive and penetration down the right flank, and Harry Novillo, the mercurial French forward, has also been fit enough to start games.

Marquee player Robert Koren, whose two seasons with the City Group have been plagued by setbacks, came back into the squad for the win over the Jets and he can add experience and guile in the forward third should he stay fit.

Still, there do remain injury concerns. Socceroo left back Michael Zullo is still not available, veteran Irish centre back Aaron Hughes has only played a half of soccer in his time at the club, Corey Gameiro is out for the season and on Sunday young centre half Connor Chapman limped off in the first half with a knee injury.

Their key player is Aaron Mooy, who is continuing to show that he is the best player in the competition right now, his two-goal haul against the Jets merely icing the cake on another masterful midfield display.

Bruno Fornaroli, too, is proving the buy of the season. The Uruguayan has hit the ground running in Australia and is showing the sort of talent that brought him spells in the top flight in his native Uruguay, Argentina, Italy’s Serie A and in Spain.

City officials have said that the transfer and scouting report on Fornaroli was the best they have had on a potential acquisition. If that is the sort of due diligence they can expect now they are becoming firmly embedded into the Manchester City-owned group’s scouting system then that augurs well for their future.

The Uruguayan is not big, but he is quick of mind and nimble of foot, capable of bringing his teammates into the game or finishing sharply himself.

With Novillo, Fornaroli and Mooy marauding in the forward third City have a strike force as good as the best in the league.

The club has taken plenty of stick since the City takeover in January 2014, because it hasn’t signed big name marquee players nor built its crowd base to rival cross-city rivals Victory, the A-League champions.

City did bring in the best-credentialed player to play in the A-League, David Villa, for a guest stint, but botched that horrifically and the Spaniard was gone after four games. Strike one against them there.

But they were denied by the FFA and the other A-League clubs when they wanted to bring in former Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard, who was keen to play in Australia before joining up with New York City. In the end Lampard played the season in the EPL for Manchester City, but there is no doubt that had the club been allowed to bring him in he would have been a huge drawcard.

Crowds have been down this season for City, but they have for almost everyone else too: the FFA’s lack of marketing for the competition is a sore point with every A-League club, particularly as the game’s governing body is supposed to be boosting the competition as it negotiates a new TV deal.

City officials point out that just because they have a rich owner it doesn’t mean they have unlimited capital at their disposal.

The club has to work within budget. It cannot simply tear up player contracts, pay them out and then replace them with someone else. And, it will point to the fact that it has invested heavily in a new high quality training headquarters as evidence of the City Football Group’s commitment to its Australian franchise.

City know that the best way to answer the critics is to keep on winning games: next Saturday night’s clash against Victory is a perfect chance to make another statement.

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ANZ tips RBA to leave 2% cash rate until May

House construction and the wealth effect good for now, but will start to fade, says ANZ Photo: Louie DouvisANZ Bank became on Monday the latest forecaster to adjust its expectations for more cash rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia, citing the stronger-than-expected jobs market and recent lift in business confidence.
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The bank, which has been among the most bearish of the domestic lenders when it comes to the Australian economy, said it now expected cuts of 0.25 per cent in May and August, later than its previous call of February and May. This would leave the cash rate at 1.5 per cent.

The latest adjustment to its outlook follows a surprising surge in new jobs in November, which left the official unemployment rate at 5.8 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in October.

Business and consumer confidence have also enjoyed a boost from the replacement of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister in September.

ANZ is the last of the big four lenders forecasting further easing from the RBA, although a few global investment houses have not ruled out more cuts.  Housing and dollar drag

However, co-head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said on Monday some of the current drivers of economic growth, including house construction and the related wealth effect on consumers, would not fade as quickly as believed earlier.

“The recent run of positive data on the labour market and business surveys precludes the RBA from moving as early as February, as originally anticipated,” Ms Emmett said.

“But the key arguments that we identified as supporting the case for rate cuts remain valid,” she said.

“In particular, slower growth in the housing sector, less stimulus from the depreciating Australian dollar, and sub-par global growth will all contribute to slowing economic growth in Australia in 2016.”

The housing slowdown would not only hit activity in construction and related businesses as demand softened, “but prices are coming off as well and that has an impact on consumer spending”, she said.

Among the foreign investment houses still expecting cuts in 2016, Nomura backed off a little recently on its call for a February cut, to 1.75 per cent, citing the jobs surprise. However, like ANZ, it remains cautious on key growth drivers, the state of China, and on the possible market upheaval if, as expected, the US Federal Reserve lifts interest rates this week for the first time in almost a decade.

“We have flagged risks to the timing of our February rate cut call and must now acknowledge that this has risen,” the bank’s rate strategist for Australia Andrew Ticehurst wrote last week.

“However, while acknowledging this release, and more mixed domestic activity indicators, we remain mindful that other parts of the global economy are underwhelming.

“We also believe that the risk of serious market dislocation, perhaps after a Fed lift-off, is relatively high.”  Investment remains weak

UBS also noted on Monday that despite positive signs for the economy, investment remained weak, income was under pressure and export prices continued to flag.

“Consumer spending and job security have strengthened, and housing construction activity remains buoyant,” economist Scott Haslem said.

“But for every silver lining, Australia almost invariably faces a cloud.

“Leaning against solid growth in consumer and housing is an 11 per cent fall in capital expenditure that shunts domestic growth to just 0.5 per cent year-on-year,” he said.

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GrainCorp to spend $30m on Canadian venture

GrainCorp chief executive Mark Palmquist says a key part of the company’s value proposition is the ability to source grain from multiple locations across the globe. Photo: Arsineh HouspianGraincorp will spend more than $30 million to help shield itself from Australia’s extreme weather and its effect on production.
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The company, Australia’s biggest agribusiness, has partnered with Japan’s Zen-Noh Grain Corporation to establish a joint venture in Canada aimed at strengthening their North American grain marketing business.

Graincorp will spend $C30 million ($30.4 million) to help fund the project’s construction and commissioning, which is scheduled for the end of FY18.

The 50:50 joint venture will raise another $C60 million from financial institutions for the project, which will be based in Calgary and operate grain receival sites across Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Graincorp chief executive Mark Palmquist said he expected initial receivals to be modest before ramping up in the years following commissioning.

“Initially it’s not going to have much of an impact but as we go further over the years and get the facilities built up, it should be pretty dramatic,” Mr Palmquist said.

The venture will complement Graincorp’s existing Canadian operations, including the Canadian Malting Company and its marketing office at Calgary.

“We have got two container loading facilities… so this just integrates our supply chain at a deeper level,” Mr Palmquist said.

Construction is expected to begin in FY16. The venture will increase GrainCorp’s capacity to export grain to Japan, elsewhere in Asia and other markets such as the Middle East.

Morgans Analyst Belinda Moore said the project was part of GrainCorp’s well promoted strategy.

“It’s about getting bigger in grain marketing and having a greater geographic diversification so you can supply your customers all year round, so you’re not purely an east coast [of Australia] story,” Ms Moore said. Greater relevance

“It’s all about becoming relevant to the end customer.”

Mr Palmquist said the Canadian project would give customers more variety, particularly in flour and malt markets.

“On the wheat side, we have customers who are continuously looking to produce certain flours. Sometimes it can be the high protein wheat you can get out of Canada or it can also be the durum, which would supplement the durum we are shipping out of Australia,” he said.

This year’s Australian wheat crop looks set to be another below average year, on par with 2014.

But Mr Palmquist said the result was pleasing considering it’s an El Nino season, which is associated with hotter and drier weather over spring and summer.

“We are getting through harvest, we are just about done. Our receival numbers are sitting at just over 7 million tonnes right now,” he said.

“All things considered, we actually feel pretty good in terms of crop size. Quality actually ended up better than we anticipated.”

A heat wave in the first week of October, however, knocked some crops, which were at the point of flowering and resulted in smaller grain sizes, known as screenings.

“You are seeing a big variability in the crop. You don’t have to travel too many kilometres to see a big difference in yield, and quality difference in terms of protein levels,” Mr Palmquist said.

“But that hot weather in early October really was a negative situation because otherwise things were looking pretty good.”

Zen-Noh president John Williams said the partnership with GrainCorp would help boost supply to its customers in Japan and elsewhere in Asia.

“This is a good opportunity to grow our business in Canada with a trusted partner,” Mr Williams said.

“It allows us to strengthen further our ability to supply our customers in Japan and Asia and we look forward to a bright future for the joint venture.”

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Kim Williams falls from favour as next ABC managing director

Former News Corp Australia chief Kim Williams is not expected to be named the new ABC managing director. SBS managing director Michael Ebeid emerged as an early favourite for the ABC top job. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Former News Corp Australia boss Kim Williams is expected to be overlooked as the replacement for departing ABC managing director Mark Scott after dividing the broadcaster’s board.

Fairfax Media also understands that SBS managing director Michael Ebeid is not favoured to replace Mr Scott when his second five-year term expires in July.

Mr Williams and Mr Ebeid were both shortlisted for the role after a global search by corporate headhunter Egon Zehnder.

The prospect of Mr Williams leading the ABC has attracted much attention because of his controversial tenure at News Corp Australia and his past criticisms of the ABC. He is also close friends with the ABC chairman Jim Spigelman.

Mr Williams was interviewed for the role, but was viewed by several directors as too polarising a figure to lead the organisation.

His tenure at News Corp Australia lasted less than two years after he got offside with key editors and eventually Rupert Murdoch, who felt he was moving too quickly to transform the company.

He has previously criticised the ABC’s “endless capacity for self-congratulation”, said it breaks little news and accused it of dumbing down its content.

The ABC board met last week to discuss Mr Scott’s replacement and hopes to have a replacement announced by the end of the year. A final decision has not been made but is said to be imminent.

The board has been keen to appoint a woman to the role as the first female managing director in ABC history.

Mr Scott has been removing himself from recent board discussions concerning his replacement.

The Australian last week reported that Jay Hunt, chief creative officer of British public broadcaster Channel 4, was the frontrunner to succeed Mr Scott. But Fairfax Media understands Ms Hunt was not shortlisted for the role and will not replace Mr Scott.

Mr Scott has repeatedly noted that he was not named in any reports before he was appointed to the role in 2006, fuelling a belief within the ABC that a surprise candidate will emerge as his successor.

The ABC has applied to the Remuneration Tribunal – the independent body that sets pay rates for politicians and top public servants – for a salary increase for the next managing director, arguing the current salary is not enough to keep pace with the private sector.

Consultancy work commissioned by the ABC found Mr Scott’s current salary is 30 to 40 per cent below market standards, and should be lifted to attract talented recruits from the private sector.

Mr Scott was paid a total salary of $823,613 in 2013-14. A 40 per cent pay increase would lift his successor’s total salary to around $1.2 million.

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Sunrise hosts caught gossiping about Burt Reynolds in horrific interview

Samantha Armytage and David Koch were left horrified after Burt Reynolds heard them gossiping about his drug use. Photo: Sunrise Reynolds looked angry and said he didn’t know what they were talking about. Photo: Sunrise
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Armytage and Koch were unable to compose themselves after realising Reynolds was listening. Photo: Sunrise

Burt Reynolds: Charlie Sheen ‘deserves’ HIVSunrise boss dismisses Karl Stefanovic

Burt Reynolds’ interview on Sunrise on Monday was nothing short of a total trainwreck.

Hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch were left dumbstruck after the 79-year-old actor inappropriately cracked onto Armytage, but things got even worse when they were caught gossiping about him.

On the promotional circuit for his new book, Reynolds suggested the glamorous television host pay him a visit.

“I’d like to show you the rest of my house, darling,” the Deliverance star said to fits of uncomfortable laughter from Armytage and Koch.

After the awkward segment, Koch suggested the actor had been high on drugs during the live cross.

“He kept touching his nose all the time. That was a bit of a giveaway I thought,” Koch said.

But Reynolds was still on the line and could hear everything the Sunrise hosts were saying.

A horrified Armytage tried to shush Koch, who didn’t get the hint and kept gossiping about the Boogie Nights actor while producers could be heard laughing in the background.

“What?” Koch asked.

“Oh no. He’s still there. Oh God,” Armytage replied in hushed tones as producers cut to a very unimpressed-looking Reynolds.

“I’m still here,” the exasperated actor said. “I don’t know what they’re talking about but they’re having a bloody good time.”

“Burt, why are you still there?” Armytage asked as Koch failed to maintain his composure.

“He’s waiting for your itinerary to Florida,” Koch joked.

Earlier this month, Reynolds was slammed as “ignorant” for suggesting on UK television that Charlie Sheen deserved his HIV positive status due to his lifestyle.

The Golden Globe-winning actor is best known for starring in 1970s and 80s films such as Smokey and the Bandit and Stroker Ace.

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John Bannon: a quiet giant of politics

Former state premier John Bannon at the wedding of Mike Rann and Sasha Carruozzo in the Botanic gardens Adelaide, in 2006. Photo: David Mariuz Bob Hawke plants the first of a promised one billion trees, with ACT chief minister Rosemary Follett, and the premiers of Victoria, NSW and SA – John Cain, Nick Greiner and John Bannon in 1989. Photo: Joe Sabljak
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Former South Australian premier John Bannon dead

JOHN BANNON: 1943-2015

Even now when I’m grinding out the kilometres in Canberra, I often rely on something John Bannon once confided about distance training. He said when your body wants to stop, you can always go a bit further, and you will be glad you made that choice.

To most people this prosaic observation might seem unremarkable but it stayed with me because it is just so true – any runner knows it. It’s the reward for pain – immediate, if also, entirely private.

I’ll never be in his league, but the fact is, I probably only run these days because of the example Bannon set when he was South Australia’s decade-long premier and treasurer combined. If he could find time, I figured, who couldn’t?

Long before there was a full calendar of well-organised fun runs teaming with bucket-listers and fashionable fluoro-narcissists, the understated Bannon was a runner, out privately pounding the miles, enduring the solitude of the road, and doubtless, using the private time to contemplate.

That Bannon was able to run 28 Adelaide marathons – 11 of them under 3 hours – between 1979 and 2006, is nothing short of astounding. But boasting about this colossal achievement was simply beyond his ken.

Running, however, provides a metaphor for Bannon’s career – a life lived in public yet one which seemed extraordinarily private. And a life of discipline, fitness, and moderation, which was nonetheless betrayed by a cancer – just as his own integrity and hard work as moderniser and champion of the state had been betrayed by some second-rate spivs and cowboys.

The uber-successful premier was shy – a rarity in politics. An introvert in an extrovert’s game. A gifted writer and advocate, his political achievements still came more from actions than from words.

The guts he showed to keep running, even when he was ill, came from the same place as the chutzpah he showed to take the leadership of the state ALP in 1979, corralling its roiling factions to achieve an amazing victory in 1982. Amazingly, it ensured David Tonkin’s Liberals got just one term in office after Don Dunstan had departed before ceding another whole decade to Labor.

In office, Bannon professionalised government, elevated talent, modernised the public service, and energised a state that despite its reputation as a social and artistic laboratory, was falling behind as its manufacturing base faltered. He made the state believe it could mix it nationally and even internationally.

His success in attracting the formula one grand prix might look passe from this distance, given Melbourne’s current ownership, but it was horizon-changing for 1985 Adelaide, even if it summoned up a rising damp of eastern-suburbs NIMBYs and naysayers.

Bannon however forged ahead, using the event and several major projects, including the Olympic Dam uranium mine, to redescribe the state’s economic parameters.

It was the cruellest of ironies then that the State Bank collapse did more to define his government than anything positive. As other writers have noted, if this was a failure of Bannon’s leadership, it was one born of trust. The state had been punching above its weight division with the government-owned bank being a big part of that. Treasury coffers had been swelled by its investments.

But when it turned out the bank’s incompetent management had overreached, it was Bannon who got the blame – and who accepted it with dignified equanimity. There was no suggestion of corruption, nor personal gain.

Yet, for a premier who had overturned processes of public administration, attacked feather-bedding, and made professionalism his hallmark, it was a body-blow.

Bannon was actually a giant in Australian politics – a man of unimpeachable ethics, prodigious intelligence, and enormous personal discipline. It’s just he never said so.

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A boom of ideas should be good

Malcolm Turnbull wants more Australian businesses to risk failing. He said so in his ‘Ideas Boom’announcement last week. Here’s why I mostly agree with him, and also, some advice on how to make sure you don’t fail.
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“Innovation is our future”, spouted the PM in his $1.1 billion policy announcement. “The big gear shift here is a cultural one” he stated and he wants to “inspire Australians to be innovative”. What comes with innovation is the risk of failure and many of the components of the PM’s package are about encouraging risk.

I have long thought, and many agree that for some reason we link our self image and reputation to succeeding at everything. I believe our ego and pride stop us from being adventurous. If we can change our culture to be more OK with failure then more of us will have a go and more will succeed

I fully support the PM’s encouragement of more businesses taking risks, but at the same time I don’t agree that what we want is an ideas boom. I don’t think we have an ideas problem. What we have is a ‘good ideas problem’.According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 per cent of small businesses fail within the first three years of starting. Understanding why they fail is important in making sure that you don’t.

A report by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on corporate insolvency found that 44 per cent of businesses suffered poor strategic management. In my experience, another major reason for small business failure is that there wasn’t the demand for the product or services that the business was trying to supply. In other words, small business failure can be put down to bad ideas and poor leadership.

So before you rush in and take our PM’s advice and happily risk failure, here are two recommendations that may increase your chances of success. Firstly, make sure your idea for your start up is a good idea. Research the problem that your idea will solve. Establish that there is a sustainable market for it.Secondly, ensure that you have the management and leadership skills to support your business success. Not everyone does, so before you rush in, get the skills you need or get good advice.

Let’s hope that the next big thing is a ‘good ideas boom’.

Greg Mowbray is a leadership speaker, author, mentor and consultant. He is the author of Road Rules for Leadership. [email protected]南京夜网

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When Star Wars first landed in Newcastle

WHEN the late film and theatre critic Allan Watkins reviewed Star Wars in The Newcastle Morning Herald in 1977, he hailed the much-anticipated science-fiction movie as “derring-do from take-off to touch-down”.
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Star Wars opened in Newcastle on December 15, 1977, seven months after its US debut smashed box office records.

The film played at the former Hoyts Royal Twin, on Hunter Street in Newcastle West, for a remarkable five months.

At that time movie tickets cost $3.50 and choc-tops were 90 cents.

Other school holidays films opening in Newcastle cinemas that week included Disney’s third love bug comedy, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, canine caper sequel For The Love of Benji, and the Terence Hill Bud Spencer slapstick buddy flick Crime Busters.

Smokey and the Bandit and Don’s Party were also screening, and Lambton’s Skyline Drive-In was showing The Godfather.

Writing in the Herald on December 16, 1977, Watkins described the plot of Star Wars as “lacking” but praised the “eye-filling” spectacle of writer-director George Lucas’s extravagant “boy’s own heroica”.

When Star Wars first landed in Newcastle TweetFacebookStar Wars was “the ultimate in movie escapism” that would in years to come be “regarded as a classic, in much the same way as The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca”.

What are your earliest Star Wars memories? Let us know in the comments or email your story to [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

It goes without saying that the reception two decades later for the first of Lucas’s three Star Wars prequels, 1999’s The Phantom Menace, was much cooler, with then Herald critic (and confessed Star Wars fan) James Joyce bemoaning the “colour-by-numbers sci-fi blockbuster” and its “weak script”, “emotionless dialogue” and the cast’s constant “struggle to bring human heart to the mechanical spectacle”.

Here’s the Herald’s full review of the original Star Wars from 1977:

Star Wars lavish, spectacularSTAR WARS


Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guiness

Review by Allan Watkins

IN concept Star Wars is a blockbuster of a movie that unites the hardware of contemporary space adventure with fantasies of sword and sorcery.

Add imaginative special effects possibly unequalled in motion picture science fiction, a couple of comic prattling robots, a black-garbed warlord bent on destruction, stormtroopers and blockade runners, a boyish hero, a virtuous and brash young princess, interplanetary war in the air, the eventual triumph of good over evil and the universe stage is set for a film of lavish and extravagant proportions.

Youngsters will enjoy the light sabre sword-play, the weird humanimals and the eye-filling sequences of spacecraft flung about the galaxy, not to forget the mechanical comedians.

Their elders will find more to Star Wars than its veneer of action and spectacle.

For those who can remember there are fantasy send-ups of TV’s Dr Who and Flash Gordon cartoons and in a futuristic context, Laurel and Hardy, Errol Flynn in his acrobatic prime, Saturday matinee serials, Sam Katzman corn and classical bits and pieces resurrected from generations past of movie-making.

Do not expect a space odyssey, philosophy or scientific claptrap from this one. Set in “a galaxy far, far away . . .”, the film is boy’s own heroica and derring-do from take-off to touchdown.

There is the young hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) out to save Carrie Fisher’s pudding of a Princess Leia captured by the masked and evil Darth Vader, Harrison Ford’s swashbuckling mercenary (the liveliest performance of all) and his ape-like assistant, and Alec Guiness and Peter Cushing as goodie and baddie respectively.

The intrepid rescue party is assisted by two robots, Artoo-Detoo and See-Threepio, whose testy conversations and friendship endure both knocks and short-circuits to provide the chucklesome humour.

Impressive are director George Lucas’s innovative touches, the size and scope of the production and the captivating photography.

One thing lacking in Star Wars, however, is involvement in the plot and the players. Despite its visual and tongue-in-cheek originality and the enthusiastic, if low-key, playing by members of the cast, the film seldom grabs at the viewer.

Still, it is all clean and wholesome fun and, whether the film grabs or simply touches the mind and eye as entertainment, on that undemanding level it is a film to be seen and appreciated for its energy and technical skills.

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‘City of colour:’ Lord Mayor Clover Moore unveils New Year’s Eve plans for Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge will be the star of the 2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations with new lighting, fireworks and technology. Photo: City of Sydney Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore unveils the plans for the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Photo: Steven Siewert
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A projection on the harbour bridge planned for New Year’s Eve. Photo: City of Sydney

Some of the team behind Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations; City of Sydney’s Aneurin Coffey, Cr Moore, fireworks director Fortunato Foti and Imagination agency director Heath Campanaro. Photo: Steven Siewert

The view from the east of lights on the bridge planned for this year’s event. Photo: City of Sydney

The City of Sydney says the Harbour Bridge will be lit up like never before in this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced on Monday that the theme for this year’s display would be “city of colour”, a tribute to Sydney’s “vibrance” and “diversity”.

Cr Moore announced that both sides of the harbour bridge’s pylons will be illuminated by fireworks for the first time in this year’s display, which the city says will be the largest ever.

“Sydney has some of the world’s most recognisable architecture and a stunning natural harbour [… and] the world’s most exciting creative talent,” said Cr Moore. “This year we’ve combined all three”.

The bridge itself will serve as the launching point for 2,400 fireworks this year. A total of 100,000 will be set-off through the evening.

The bridge fireworks will be designed by Sydney artists Romance Was Born and Province Studios.

Fireworks in the shape of wattles, fig leaves, whales and kangaroos will feature in the 9pm display. Its “flora and fauna” theme will mark the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the centenary of Taronga Zoo.

“It’s been our most complicated brief yet,” said Fortunato Foti, the long-time director of the fireworks display.

A record crowd of an about two million people watched the fireworks from the harbour in 2013.

But last year’s crowd was as little as half that number, a drop that some attributed to lingering fears of terrorism in the wake of the Martin Place siege.

Details: sydneynewyearseve南京夜网

2015 New Year’s Eve in Sydney  

6pm and 8pm air displays above Sydney Harbour

Flying ace Matt Hall performs thrilling aerial displays above the harbour.

6.50pm Fire-tug water display on Sydney Harbour

A tug boat blasts tonnes of water into the sky across the harbour from The Rocks to Fort Denison.

8.40pm Welcome to Country and first glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge effects and pylon projections

As night falls, one of this year’s most spectacular – and moving – Sydney Harbour Bridge effects will begin: a special Welcome to Country ceremony from Rhoda Roberts.

9pm family fireworks

An eight-minute fireworks spectacular with a specially designed soundtrack for young children. This year’s display features flora and fauna-shaped fireworks as a tribute to the 200th year of the Royal Botanic Gardens and 100 years of Taronga Zoo.

The winning display from this year’s ABC ‘Design Your Own Firework’ competition will also be unveiled.

9.15pm Harbour of Light Parade

Up to 50 illuminated vessels parade around the harbour, outlined with white rope lights.

Midnight fireworks

A stunning 12-minute display with fireworks erupting from over and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, from seven barges in the harbour and from all four western sails of the Sydney Opera House. This year’s celebration features the biggest-ever display on the Harbour Bridge – an additional 2,400 effects – including never-before-seen fireworks.

Source: City of Sydney

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Hunter shines at Schools Blues ceremony

This year has been remarkable for the Hunter’s talented sportspeople in primary and secondarycompetitions.The achievements were recognised at a regional and state-wide level.At the recent NSW Combined High Schools Blues Ceremony 12 Hunter students were recognised with State Blues while Keenan Marsden, of Warners Bay, walked away with the major boy’s award – the Val Lembit Trophy while Kelcee Byrnes, of Lambton was presented with the Sydney Markets Award for theOutstanding Girl in Year 11 or below.
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On the regional stage Kelcee was named as the Hunter Sportswoman of the Year with the boys’ award going to Merewether High’s Harry Johnson-Holmes.Harry also left the stage with the top award – The Merv Cotterill Memorial Trophy.Across the region, 38 individual primary students were presented with awards while at the secondarypresentation 70 students were honoured.On the sporting fields Hunter teams excelled particularly in NSW CHS competitions such asdiving, girls cricket, girls football, lawn bowls, rugby union, trampoline sports while the boys’ water polo team won their competition for the third successive year.In primary championships Hunter teams were runners up in girl’s football and netball.

A highlight for primary students was the selection of threeHunter boys in the 10-man NSW golf team that competed at the School Sport Australia Championships held at Newcastle Golf Club with Jacob Dundasfrom Barnsleynamed captain.The year also provided students with the opportunity to compete at the Pacific School Games inAdelaide.A highlight was Lara McSpadden from Swansea being name in the Australian girls’ basketball merit teamafter NSW won the title. Lara will next year move to the AIS.

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