NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller blocked from joining Australian Rugby League Commission


The Herald also revealed he had personally signed off on a recommendation to stop a former officer from serving on the board of the Cronulla Sharks in 2015, claiming the role was an “extraordinary to high risk” for the NSW Police Force.

But V’landys remains intent on ridding the game of its bad boy image, which resulted in the introduction of the no-fault stand-down rule two years ago and a hardware giant walking away from a sponsorship deal in recent months.

We’re trying to address it because the marketplace is telling us if we don’t it’s going to have an affect on us

Peter V’landys

“Out of every negative there’s a positive and the positive here is we’ve got the message out there that the one per cent that do the wrong thing are on notice,” V’landys said.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the players are fantastic. If I call one and say there’s a kid doing it tough in hospital, within minutes they’re there. It is the one per cent that let everyone else down.

“Like it or not there’s a perception in the marketplace that rugby players are bad. We’re trying to protect the one per cent by making them think before they do anything. We’re trying to address it because the marketplace is telling us if we don’t it’s going to have an affect on us – and I’m serious about addressing it.

“Even though we weren’t able to get Mick Fuller it’s not going to affect the determination to get it fixed.”

Peter V’landys was on the verge of a coup to get NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller to join the ARLC.Credit:SMH

As debate raged over Fuller’s candidature, several NRL club chairpersons spoken to by the Herald on Sunday confirmed they supported his appointment. But within hours V’landys’ coup had been scuppered.

The NRL said in a statement it “respects and understands the NSW government’s advice on the matter”.

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The vacant ARLC role won’t be filled before the AGM with a Queensland bloc pushing former Howard and Turnbull government minister Mal Brough as a contender.

V’landys is believed to be wanting a candidate with either a marketing or regulatory background, hence his pursuit of Fuller, who came with the recommendation of Phil Gould.

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NBA: James Harden reported to be joining Brooklyn Nets as they beat New York Knicks


James Harden joined the Houston Rockets in October 2012

The Brooklyn Nets fought back to beat the New York Knicks 116-109 on a night they reportedly signed James Harden.

US reportsexternal-link say Harden, NBA top scorer for the past three seasons, has left the Houston Rockets after nine years.

The 31-year-old was asked to miss Rockets training on Wednesday, having said that they were not good enough to be title contenders after Tuesday’s defeat at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kevin Durant scored 26 points in the Nets’ win over the Knicks.

Star forward Durant, a former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate of Harden, led seven Nets players in double figures as they moved sixth in the Eastern Conference on seven wins and six defeats.

The deal for Harden – which has been reported in the US but not confirmed – is said to be part of a huge trade that also involves the Indians Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As part of the trade, Houston would receive guard Victor Oladipo from the Pacers, guard Dante Exum from the Cavaliers and forward Rodions Kurucs of the Nets.

The Rockets would also get three first-round draft picks from the Nets, one unprotected 2022 first-round pick from the Cavaliers – via the Milwaukee Bucks – and the right to swap four first-round picks with the Nets.

After Tuesday’s defeat against the Lakers, 31-year-old Harden – the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 – said Houston were “not even close, honestly” to the league’s top competition.

James and Lakers win away (again)

LeBron James attempts a lay up
LeBron James was again influential for the Los Angeles Lakers

Elsewhere in the Western Conference on Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his 20th career triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the visiting Milwaukee Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 110-101.

The win leaves the Bucks second behind Boston Celtics in the west, while the Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference leaders, were helped by 26 points from LeBron James in a 128-99 win at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The success means the Lakers have won their opening seven away matches in a season for the first time in their history. They remain favourites to win the NBA title this season and have now trailed for just 11 seconds in total during their last three games.

The Los Angeles Clippers moved second in the Western Conference as Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds, in a 111-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Luka Doncic collected 34 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a fourth win in a row as they proved too strong for the Charlotte Hornets, their hosts, in a 104-93 victory.

The Mavericks sit sixth in the West, a place behind the Portland Trailblazers, who won 132-126 at the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.

Damian Lillard notched 40 points and 13 assists for Portland as they overhauled a 19-point third-quarter deficit to record a fourth win in a row and elsewhere, the Memphis Grizzlies earned a 118-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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More recent Victorian politicians blocked from joining historic $100,000-a-year pension scheme


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The pension, available to MPs who served at least two terms, ranged from annual payments of $84,000 to $126,000, depending on how long the member served and what parliamentary positions they held.

The scheme was scrapped under the Bracks government in 2004 and MPs elected since then receive superannuation payments from the government, in the same way as other public servants, but do not receive pension payments. A 2013 review found it would cost between $6 million and $7 million a year to reopen the so-called “defined benefits” program.

Seventeen veteran politicians, including Premier Daniel Andrews, will be eligible for the pre-2004 pension when they leave politics, but approximately 110 more recent members are ineligible. About 200 former MPs currently draw the pension.

A group of Labor MPs made a submission to the remuneration tribunal on behalf of the Labor caucus, noting that more junior members were worse off. “Reopening the [pension scheme] and allowing current MPs who missed the opportunity to join to buy-back in would certainly remove a remuneration package difference that has effectively created two classes of current MP,” they said.

Labor upper house MP Cesar Melhem, one of three MPs who drafted the submission, said he was unsurprised by the tribunal’s decision and believed it would have been inappropriate to financially reward MPs during a recession.

But Mr Melhem said it was important politicians were paid enough to entice individuals with skills that could earn them high incomes in the private sector, but said politics should not be a “gravy train”.

Upper house MP Cesar Melhem, one of three members who drafted the Labor submission.Credit:Jason South

“People who enter politics because they want a pension, I’m sorry, but that’s not the right approach,” he said, adding that some younger MPs found it difficult to secure employment after short stints in politics.

The Labor members also called on the tribunal to increase separation payments for MPs who leave Parliament after one or two terms. Victorian politicians currently receive between three and six months’ salary if they lose their seat.

The tribunal dismissed the urgings of MPs, but found some politicians who served one or two terms could leave parliament with meagre retirement incomes. The tribunal recommended no changes to MP retirement schemes, but called for increased transitional assistance to help members find employment.

Victorian Parliamentary Former Members Association president and former Labor MP Peter Loney said there was an incorrect perception that retired MPs on the legacy pension system “all lived happily on millions of dollars of super”.

Peter Loney pictured during his time in Parliament.

Peter Loney pictured during his time in Parliament.Credit:Jason South

“That perception people have is generally based on those on the highest pensions and that former MPs all walk into board positions or company jobs,” Mr Loney, a visitor at Deakin University specialising in government accountability, said.

“The ones who do that are a remarkably small percentage [and] what we’ve found is many members of parliament have great difficulty finding work of any type.”

Mr Loney said there was some merit in the argument made in a 2013 review into Victorian MPs superannuation that said increased remuneration reduced the risk of corruption because elected members were less likely to seek ways to boost their income.

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To illustrate the difference in the retirement models, the remuneration tribunal used the example of a hypothetical 43-year-old who went on to serve 12 years in parliament. This person would accumulate about $700,000 in superannuation under the current scheme compared with $1.1 million in the pre-2004 pension program. Under the pre-1996 scheme the MP would have been eligible receive as much as $2.96 million.

Many public servants were on defined benefits schemes until the mid-1990s when the government closed them due to the high cost to the state. Some government employees, including certain judges, still have access to pensions when they retire.

The salary of Victorian backbenchers rose from $163,189 to $182,413 this year, while ministers and Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien received pay rises of 11.8 per cent, taking their pay packet to $352,057. The Premier received a $46,522 pay rise in July, making him the highest-paid state premier with a salary of $441,000.

Victorian politicians receive 15.5 per cent of their income as superannuation contributions, the highest of any jurisdiction in Australia, and will receive 16 per cent from next year.

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Apollo readies Japan private equity push, joining KKR and Carlyle


TOKYO — Headquartered in a skyscraper on New York’s 57th Street, otherwise known as Billionaires’ Row, alternative investment manager Apollo Global Management has amassed more than $400 billion in assets under management over its three decades.

Despite its status as a global private equity firm on a par with KKR and Carlyle, Apollo is a relatively unfamiliar name in Japan.

But this may be about to change. A year ago, under the leadership of CEO Leon Black, it hired 39-year-old Tetsuji Okamoto from Bain Capital. And he and his team have been actively visiting companies, scouring the country for potential targets.

It is widely seen to be making its first private equity investment in Japan soon, joining most of the rest of the industry in a market that has recently become a magnet for global money.

The recent interest owes to a wave of corporate reform in Japan, long seen as a laggard in governance.

Hitachi President Toshiaki Higashihara has said the company will “set a direction for restructuring our listed subsidiaries by the end of fiscal 2021.”

The number of publicly traded units owned by the industrial conglomerate has plunged since the global financial crisis, from 22 to just two. Of the three subsidiaries once seen as core units, only Hitachi Metals remains, and Hitachi is eyeing its sale as well.

Two former listed subsidiaries — power tool maker Hitachi Koki, now known as Koki Holdings, and Hitachi Kokusai Electric — were acquired by KKR.

KKR is headquartered just one floor below Apollo in the same Billionaires’ Row building on 9 W. 57th Street.


KKR co-founder Henry Kravis had made extended trips to Japan over the past few years, and even this year, as he sought opportunities to visit prospective companies until the last possible moment.

Henry Kravis, co-CEO of the firm, calls Japan a top priority, citing “green shoots” of change. Kravis himself has made extended trips to Japan over the past few years — and even this year, with the coronavirus raging, he sought opportunities to visit until the last possible moment.

The green shoots include a shift in attitudes toward corporate governance, particularly when it comes to parent-child listings — long a symbol of Japan’s lack of progress on this front.

Critics argue that such arrangements give the parent company the power to make decisions at the subsidiary that are in its own interest, to the detriment of minority shareholders. The decline in parent-child listings in recent years is evidence that Japanese business is coming around to the idea of focusing on corporate value.

The shift is taking place through not only sales like Hitachi’s, but also through deals to reclaim profits that had been allowed to flow to outside investors. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone’s takeover this year of wireless subsidiary NTT Docomo, the largest acquisition of 2020, is an example of the latter.

Docomo had slumped to last place among Japan’s big three mobile carriers in terms of revenue. With Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government ratcheting up pressure to cut wireless service rates, NTT President Jun Sawada opted for a 4 trillion yen ($38.7 billion) tender offer — a record for a Japanese company — to bring the subsidiary fully under NTT’s umbrella.

“If we focus on minority shareholders, discussion and decision-making will take more time,” he said.

Joseph Baratta, Blackstone Group’s global head of private equity, likens Japan to Germany in the 2000s. Under then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s administration, German businesses unwound networks of cross-shareholdings and big companies restructured operations. A similar period of reform is just getting underway in Japan.





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SA now has more active coronavirus cases than Victoria with a child joining tally



There are now more positive cases of coronavirus in South Australia than Victoria — but all of them are in hotel quarantine.

SA Health announced one new case in the state today, in a child in hotel quarantine with his or her family.

It brought the total active cases in South Australia to 17.

The child had recently arrived from overseas.

SA Health said the case posed “no public health risk”.

Victoria has 15 active cases but paused its hotel quarantine program while the state waits for a final report into faults in the system that were blamed for an outbreak in Melbourne.

The state recorded its seventh day with no cases today.

South Australia yesterday recorded another five new cases of COVID-19.

All of the cases involved returned overseas travellers who were in medi-hotels — one was a teenager, another was a man in his 20s, two were women in their 30s and one involved a man in his 40s.

Currently, only essential travellers, people permanently relocating, or school and university students returning home for summer holidays are allowed to enter South Australia from Victoria, along with people living within 70 kilometres of the border.

Earlier this week, Premier Steven Marshall said the SA Government would monitor conditions in Victoria with a view to fully opening the border within two weeks.

Anyone travelling from Victoria would still have to self-isolate for a fortnight on arrival but could do it at home.

There are 44 active cases in New South Wales, which has an open border with South Australia.



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All four members of ‘The Squad’ reelected to House, with more progressives joining


The four progressive congresswomen known as “The Squad” have all won reelection, cruising to a second term in the House of Representatives. 

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. will return to their seats in the U.S. Congress.

The lawmakers, all women of color, have galvanized Democrats’ left-wing flank and become influential progressive voices, but have also attracted the ire of President Trump, as well as some of the party’s more moderate members.

TRUMP CLAIMS VICTORY WITH MANY STATES STILL UNDECLARED, HINTS AT POSSIBLE SUPREME COURT CHALLENGE

“Our sisterhood is resilient,” Omar tweeted. 

None of the incumbents faced substantial electoral challenges, although Ocasio-Cortez’s opponent — Republican John Cummings, a former New York Police Department officer — raised more than $10 million, making the race the second most expensive House contest in the nation. (Ocasio-Cortez raked in more than $17 million).

“Serving NY-14 and fighting for working class families in congress has been the greatest honor, privilege & responsibility of my life,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday night. “Thank you to the Bronx & Queens for re-electing me to the House despite the millions spent against us, & trusting me to represent you once more.”

There is already speculation that Ocasio-Cortez, 31, may run for higher office in the coming years, a notion that she did not dispel during a recent interview. 

“I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like,” she told Vanity Fair. “I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life.” 

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The lawmakers will be joined by newly elected Democratic House members who were endorsed by the Justice Democrats, the group that recruited the “Squad” and helped bring them to victory in 2018.  

Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th Congressional District and Cori Bush in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District both won their races on Tuesday night. 

“I’m ready to get to work to disrupt the status quo and deliver for our families,” Bowman tweeted. “Hold me accountable. Push me and my colleagues. I’m going to need you in Congress with me. There’s so much work to do.”

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Joining Cats a head over heart call: Smith


New Geelong recruit Isaac Smith went with his head over his heart in deciding to leave Hawthorn for their fierce AFL rivals.

The triple-premiership winger joined the Cats as an unrestricted free agent on a two-year deal on Friday, with the Hawks receiving a third-round compensation pick (currently No.42) in return.

The opening day of free agency proved a busy one, with Brisbane officially lodging a contract offer for wantaway Bomber Joe Daniher and Carlton submitting the paperwork for GWS dasher Zac Williams.

Hawthorn were keen to keep Smith while Melbourne were also in the race for his services, but the 31-year-old was keen to finish his career at Geelong for lifestyle reasons.

“It’s been a very difficult decision, incredibly hard and (I) probably had a few sleepless nights over the last three or four nights to be honest,” Smith told reporters on Friday.

“The heart was certainly pulling me towards Hawthorn but in the end the head won and I’m up for a new challenge, a new journey and I’m very excited to be part of the Geelong Football Club.”

Smith played 210 games in brown and gold, including 20 games against fierce rivals Geelong.

He infamously missed a set shot after the siren in a two-point loss to the Cats in the 2016 qualifying final – then missed another seconds before the final siren in a three-point loss in 2017 – and joked he’d already won over Geelong fans as a result.

“To say, I wasn’t a Geelong fan is probably a little bit (of an understatement),” he said.

“Certainly coming up against them, there was a real dislike between the playing groups and the clubs, but the other thing was, there was a hell a lot of respect.

“… I guess I’ve already won them two games of footy – so I’m guessing the fans will be happy.”

The Cats also confirmed on Friday their intention to lodge a contract offer to GWS star Jeremy Cameron.

Brisbane submitted their offer for restricted free agent Daniher late on Friday afternoon and the Bombers have three days to decide whether they will match it and force a trade – a call expected to depend on whether Essendon secure a first-round draft pick as compensation.

GWS are unlikely to match Carlton’s lucrative long-term deal for restricted free agent Williams and are expected to receive a first-round compensation pick.

Fellow Giant Aidan Corr is set to head to North Melbourne after the Kangaroos lodged paperwork for the restricted free agent on Friday afternoon.

Earlier on Friday, Gold Coast secured Adelaide’s Rory Atkins as an unrestricted free agent.

Adelaide received an end-of-second-round draft pick as compensation.





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Bomber Daniher on verge of joining Lions


After more than a year of wanting out of Essendon, Joe Daniher’s exit from the Bombers is on the verge of being rubber-stamped.

The key forward is expected to become a Brisbane Lions player on Friday when the AFL’s free agency period begins.

The Lions are hoping their offer for the restricted free agent won’t be matched by Essendon and his transfer north will happen without a trade.

“All we can do is want to put the forms in. We’d like to think (Daniher) would get through without being challenged,” Lions football boss David Noble said.

The Bombers want a first-round compensation pick for the injury-hit Daniher, who has kicked 191 goals for the club in 108 games, but has played just 15 matches in the past three seasons.

Even if an early draft pick isn’t forthcoming, Essendon is considering cutting ties with the 26-year-old immediately and focusing their attention on other trades.

A father-son pick for the Bombers in 2012, Daniher requested a trade to the Sydney Swans last year while still contracted with Essendon, but a deal fell through.

Essendon shape as a key player in the free agency and trade periods, with dashing defender Adam Saad (Carlton) and forward Orazio Fantasia (Port Adelaide) also after new homes.

But the Bombers could save face by trading in Western Bulldogs premiership midfielder Josh Dunkley and Greater Western Sydney youngster Jye Caldwell.

Despite being contracted for another two years, Dunkley is eager to join the Bombers.

It shapes as one of the more complicated moves of the off-season, with the Dogs desperate to retain the 23-year-old who has played 78 games for the club.

The trade period doesn’t begin until next Wednesday, but Geelong’s move for star GWS forward Jeremy Cameron could officially kick off on Friday.

Last year’s Coleman medallist is adamant on joining the Cats after 171 games with the Giants.

But as a restricted free agent, the Giants are determined to match any deal Geelong puts to Cameron as they seek maximum compensation for a player who has led the club’s goal-kicking in all nine seasons since entering the AFL in 2012.





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AFL trades 2020: Free agency, problems, Jeremy Cameron to Geelong, system broken, best players joining best clubs, news


AFL commentators have questioned whether the free agency system is working as intended after another star player nominated a premiership contender as his preferred new home.

Jeremy Cameron’s decision to request a move from GWS to Geelong, just days before the latter plays in a Grand Final, is another mark against the idea of free agency as an equalisation tool.

In the past three years, Cameron has nominated Geelong, Joe Daniher has requested a move to Brisbane and Tom Lynch landed at Richmond – three clubs that made it to the 2020 preliminary final weekend.

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Speaking on Fox Footy’s AFL 360, co-host Gerard Whateley said the prospect of star players leaving mid-range or underperforming clubs for teams in premiership contention was always “an inherent risk”.



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Supercars news, Camaro joining, Scott McLaughlin, New Zealand, Mustangs, Holden vs Ford, start time, how to watch


As Australia’s great race is about to get underway, the inescapable winds of change have already hit the sport with the last big domino about to fall.

While Holden is owned by US behemoth General Motors and has been manufactured offshore since 2017, the announcement came down earlier this year that the iconic brand would cease to exist.

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The move in February, that the brand was going to be retired by 2021, shocked the Australian motorsport industry and was the death knell of the Ford vs Holden rivalry.

General Motors even went so far as to announce it would no longer make cars suitable for Australian roads, leaving right hand drive markets which is expected to cost the company “north of $US1 billion ($A1.5b)”.

While other manufacturers have been involved for various lengths of time in the sport, no rivalry comes close to the one Holden and Ford have built.

But that will end after next season with the Holden brands unveiling a new car.

After months of negotiations, the Camaro will join the grid for the 2022 season, after the Commodore’s final victory lap in 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome a brand new race car design to the track in 2022,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said when the car was announced.

“The cars will retain their signature V8 engine format to ensure they’re fast and loud, but will be ‘hybrid ready’ and more closely resemble the road cars they are based on.

“These are incredible looking race cars that give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies.

“The Gen3 project will support the longevity of Supercars by increasing relevance to our fans and partners, reducing operating costs, and making the racing even fiercer.”

While it’s a good compromise for the Camaro to take on the dominant Mustangs, social media has seen plenty of people commiserating over the end of the great Aussie racers.

Following the announcement of the Camaro coming in, one comment said: “Australian supercars where Kiwis dominate and we race American cars”.

In recent years in particular, this has been the case, with New Zealand’s Scott McLaughlin almost unbeatable with three straight championships, having just narrowly lost the 2017 title after melting down in the final race.

His teammate Fabian Coulthard is a British-born Kiwi as well, while Red Bull Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen is also a countryman and one of his fiercest rivals.

In fact, of the five New Zealanders on the grid, three are in the top seven ahead of Bathurst.

The iconic Falcon was retired after the 2018 Supercars season and replaced by the quintessentially American Mustang.

When the announcement came down that Holden would need to withdraw from the sport, Supercars legend Mark Skaife lamented the loss of the rivalry that had driven Australian motorsport for decades.

“The history of touring cars, going back 60 years, has been built on it (the Ford Vs Holden rivalry),” Skaife said.

“It becomes incumbent on us to seek more manufacturer involvement and reflect more the marketplace.

“If Holden is not here, in the best interests of local motorsport, we have to make sure that fans are still energised and want to come to events and watch it on TV.

“We can’t as a business have a policy of putting up the white flag because Holden have moved out of town.”

The namesake of Garry Rogers Motorsport, veteran team boss Garry Rogers, even called for the pool of manufacturers to be opened up.

“I think Supercars will survive but there is no doubt that the Ford vs Holden rivalry has been struggling,” Rogers said earlier in the year.

“If you go back to when Bathurst started we had all sorts of cars racing there, many different brands and types. We might probably move back to something like that.”



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