Wallabies warrior McCabe’s 250 metre chance to ignite flame

Pat McCabe still remembers the moment his Commonwealth Games aspirations were shattered.
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The former ACT Brumbies and Wallabies warrior was only weeks away from flying to India in 2010 when his knee twisted awkwardly and his n sevens medal bid was over before it started.

But blister loom as the only thing capably of ruining a second chance to taste Commonwealth Games almost a decade later.

McCabe will be unveiled on Wednesday as a ‘batonbearer’ for the Queen’s relay before the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.

The 29-year-old, who had to prematurely retire three years ago after breaking his neck three times, is part of a long list of athletes and community figures to carry the baton in January.

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne will join NBL Hall of Famer Cal Bruton, swimming great Petria Thomas and Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith are also part of the Canberra leg of the relay.

McCabe walked away from rugby in 2014 to avoid the risk of further injury and now works as a lawyer at MinterEllison.

“MinterEllison are the official lawyers for the Commonwealth Games, so carrying the baton or doing something with one of the contracts is the closest I’ll get,” McCabe laughed.

“It was disappointing in 2010 to miss out, I hurt my knee in a club game … I knew straight away as I limped off that it was the end of the Commonwealth Games for me.

“But this is something that’s great to be a part of and it’s only a 250 metre run, so I’m hoping it’s reasonably flat or downhill.”

“For ns competing at the Commonwealth Games next year … it’s going to be an incredible experience for them.”

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszcuk will reveal a lost of 3800 ns who were selected via a community nominations program to carry the baton on a 100-day journey around .

“The batonbearers recognise the achievements and aspirations of ns from all walks of life, from ambitious 10-year-olds to humble volunteers and well-known ns from a variety of field,” Palaszcuk said.

For McCabe, it will help scratch the competitive itch that occasional nags at the back of his mind.

McCabe completed his first marathon earlier this year and plays social touch on Monday nights, but he admits he misses the camaraderie of professional sport.

McCabe was regarded as one of the toughest Wallabies to play the game, continually putting his body on the line for and the Brumbies.

But he retired after breaking his neck a third time knowing how lucky he was to walk away with a normal life.

That will be reinforced with partner Tammy expected to give birth to twins just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games baton relay.

“I do think about it, but I think about how fortunate I was to enjoy that journey,” McCabe said.

“To look back with fond memories about time with the team and the tough times of injuries … this is another chance to be reminded once upon a time I enjoyed a cool journey of playing sport.

“I feel I can look back and feel like I got the absolute most out of the limited potential I had. I don’t think I left any stone unturned … I had some awesome experiences I never, ever thought would happen.

“So I’m content, but I do miss it. Not the game or crowds, just the mateship. Now I’ve got to see if I can get through 250 metres.”

Ablett to give up six-figure sum for Cats

Gary Ablett has put his hand into his own pocket, forgoing a six-figure sum of money due to him from the Gold Coast in order to accommodate the Suns and his own wish to end his playing career with Geelong.
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In a bid to push through a complex deal with the Cats, Ablett and his manager Liam Pickering told Gold Coast bosses several weeks ago that the champion player would ensure the Suns be repaid the estimated $300,000 from his front-ended contract.

The Ablett camp indicated that because the dual Brownlow medallist was walking out on the final year of that contract, the money due to the Suns would be repaid even if it meant Ablett waiving a big chunk of his Geelong wage next season. The prevailing view is that the Cats and Ablett will together compensate the Suns.

Put simply, were Darcy Lang, for example, to agree to be traded to the Gold Coast, Ablett would take a significant pay cut next season for that money to be forwarded to Lang.

Even before the death late last week of Ablett’s elder sister Natasha, Pickering had made it clear to Geelong and Gold Coast that the player was prepared to relinquish a significant amount of money to ensure his return to Simonds Stadium. Gold Coast asked the question of the Ablett camp at the end of September.

While the Cats have struggled to identify a player prepared to move to the Gold Coast to effect a trade and help solve the financial repayment, Lang remains in the mix. The Suns’ new coach Stuart Dew spoke with the 21-year-old from Colac on Tuesday in a meeting that buoyed the club’s hope of an Ablett deal.

Ablett was also contracted to the AFL for next season as an ambassador at the expansion club. He has also indicated to the Cats he is prepared to relinquish that wage if Geelong cannot compensate it. This would ensure the AFL could potentially target another Gold Coast player using the money earmarked for Ablett.

Last month AFL chief Gillon McLachlan indicated the league would be prepared to help fund co-captain Tom Lynch in a bid to retain him at the struggling Suns. The AFL has also come under scrutiny for awarding the Cats an unusually high compensation pick (19) for Steven Motlop. Ultimately the Gold Coast would accept that pick for Ablett if a trade cannot be achieved.

Although both Geelong and Gold Coast have insisted the Abletts’ recent family tragedy would not impact upon negotiations, the sad circumstances that have befallen the 33-year-old now mean that both parties will ensure his return to Geelong.

The complexities behind the deal include the fact of Ablett’s heavily front-ended contract with the Suns, worth about $2.5 million over three years, which led to Ablett earning about $2 million of that amount over 2016 and 2017. Added to that was his ambassadorial wage paid by the AFL, which Geelong was not prepared to cover in 2018.

While all parties are now clear that Ablett is prepared to take a major financial hit to return home, Gold Coast are still striving to achieve a deal that involves a player – a deal that would have Geelong contributing about $300,000 of that player’s wage over the coming seasons, with a big part of that money contributed by Ablett.

Wallabies tap one-Test prop as scrum coach replacement

One-Test prop Dan Palmer is poised to become the Wallabies’ scrum coach on the spring tour just three years after retiring from professional rugby and dropping 20 kilograms from his front-row frame.
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Fairfax Media can reveal former Brumbies prop Palmer has joined the Wallabies camp on the Gold Coast in advance of the third Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old is in line to replace outgoing set-piece mentor Mario Ledesma, who has signed a deal to become head coach of the Jaguares, Argentina’s Super Rugby team.

Palmer made his Test debut for in 2012 but retired from rugby two years later, citing a lack of passion for the game and persistent foot injuries as the reasons for prematurely ending his career.

He dropped 20 kilograms from his 117-kilogram playing weight and started studying at the n National University.

Palmer has maintained a passion for scrums at the Brumbies and is highly regarded in n rugby as a set-piece guru.

It is understood Palmer will work with the Wallabies on a part-time basis in coming weeks and will miss part of the spring tour to Japan and Europe while he completes university commitments in Canberra.

Palmer flew to the Gold Coast on Tuesday and had his first training session with the Wallabies at Cbus Super Stadium after being contacted by coach Michael Cheika a number of weeks ago.

He was spotted chatting to Ledesma as well as a number of players, notably ones he has worked with at the Brumbies, such as Rory Arnold.

Due to his tight schedule, Palmer flew back to Canberra on Tuesday evening.

He is expected to join the Wallabies for at least the last two matches of the spring tour in England and Scotland.

Palmer’s appointment shows how highly Cheika rates him and although no decision has been made on whether the young coach will be kept on in a full-time capacity, it is understood he is Cheika’s No.1 pick.

Cheika said last week he had spoken with Palmer, former Queensland Reds coach Nick Stiles and Western Force forwards mentor Joe Barakat about filling Ledesma’s shoes.

“Dan’s got state commitments,” Cheika said. “I’d be naive to not look straight at our coaches at the next level … to try and work out what the best mix might be.”

Palmer quit rugby when he was 26 after a season in France and just two years after playing his one Test against Scotland.

“Retiring from professional rugby is not a decision I made lightly,” Palmer said at the time. “Although ongoing injuries were a part, I would say they were not the primary reasons I made the call to stop playing.

“My passion for playing the game just isn’t where it used to be and I’m not prepared to dedicate such a large portion of my time to something I was beginning to not enjoy.”

Former Argentina hooker Ledesma will leave n rugby after the third Bledisloe Cup match to move home for the first time in 18 years, but he said he wasn’t thinking about anything else aside from the game on the weekend.

“To be fair [I am] pretty focused on the job and that’s not a cliche, but that’s the way it is, especially playing [the All Blacks],” Ledesma said. “If we were playing, no offence, Romania, it would be different, but I have to keep focus because it’s a big game and we really think we have a chance of taking this one.”

Ledesma conceded there were tears in the sheds after ‘s win in Mendoza when he informed the playing group of his decision to walk away from the Wallabies.

“There was a lot of talk after the game, apparently, so Cheik felt it was the right thing to do to tell the players first before it came out in the press,” Ledesma said. “I assumed I was doing it the next day, but it came as a surprise. It was the right thing to do and I’m kind of emotional, so there was a lot of tears and crying – yeah, pretty embarrassing – but at this point, I do it so often, I’m cool with it. There was a lot of emotion and real emotion. Again, not sadness, just emotion because of all the things we shared together.”

Investors pay premium for government-leased buildings

MARKET WRAP
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SALES

Rosebud

Investors are paying a premium for government-leased buildings. An office occupied by Centrelink and Medicare has sold for $4,415,000 on a tight yield of 5.67 per cent. Both leases on the property were recently renewed prompting strong interest from offshore and local investors, Burgess Rawson’s Shaun Venables, Alex Shum and Ming Xuan Li said. It was snapped up by an interstate Asian buyer.

Mornington

Demand for suburban retail assets is high. A shop at 185 Main Street has sold for $2.2 million on a city-like yield of 3.86 per cent at a hotly contested Teska Carson auction. A crowd of 70 watched four bidders push the price well beyond the vendor’s reserve, George Takis, Michael Taylor and Fergus Evans said. It had a near-new lease to tenant Riot Art & Craft for $85,000 per annum.

Malvern

A classic double-fronted freehold shop in Malvern sold under the hammer for $3.02 million, on a crisp 2.68 per cent yield. It was first time in more than 50 years the two neighbouring shops on one title, leased to Allpress Antiques and the Milton Wine Shop, were offered. Fitzroys’ Chris Kombi, James Lockwood and Jordan Ceppi handled the campaign for 1425-1427 Malvern Road, which sold for $420,000 above reserve.

Elsternwick

Another shop at 476 Glen Huntly Road showed the hefty appetite of buyers, selling for $1.5 million on a sharp 3.7 per cent yield. The two-storey venue, leased to popular Russian restaurant Nevsky, went for $200,000 above reserve at auction after competition between five bidders, Fitzroys Mark Talbot and Chris Kombi said.

Richmond

A Melbourne based investor has paid $1.15 million on a 3.48 per cent yield for a two-level, 146-square-metre, Victorian terrace building in a deal brokered by Teska Carson’s Fergus Evans and Tom Maule. The property at 410 Church Street is leased to a skin and laser clinic on a two-year term with a two-year option for net annual rental of $44,995 plus GST.

East Melbourne

Health professionals are pushing up the values of consulting suites. Suite 515 at 100 Victoria Parade sold for $595,000 to an owner-occupier, demonstrating a 30 per cent increase in prices in the building over the past two years, Morley Commercial’s Jonathan Lu said. Mr Lu has sold eight suites in the building in the past 12 months.

Nunawading

A highly exposed single-level office at 183-185 Springvale Road has sold at auction for $1.67 million on a yield of 3.77 per cent. The deal for the 402 sq m office, on 555 sq m of land, was negotiated by JLL’s Tom Ryan and Peter Sprekos.

Airport West

Five bidders competing at the auction of an old brick warehouse at 18 Earl Street pushed the price to $960,500, CVA’s Tom Gleeson and Anthony Carbone said. The 545 sq m building is leased to Superstone Premium Automotive Parts for $41,643 a year on a two-year lease.

Bayswater

A vacant showroom in the Bayswater Activity Centre has sold for $1.6 million. The investor was attracted to the 340 sq m former bank building at 743 Mountain Highway due to potential growth in the area and significant government investment in the precinct, JLL’s Tom Ryan and Marcus Quinn said.

Sunshine West

A new free-standing office warehouse at Unit 4, 61- 69 North View Road sold to an owner-occupier for $1.19 million, Leo Mancino of CVA said.

LEASES

Bentleigh

Sportsgirl will open a store in Centre Road. Fitzroys’ Mark Talbot said Sussan Retail Group will set up Sportsgirl at 440 Centre Road on a five-year lease at $80,000 per annum. SRG has other franchises, Sussan and Suzanne Grae, on the strip. Other recent Centre Road tenants include food truck operator Mr Burger opening a concept store at 416 Centre Road and estate agents Hocking Stuart taking 379 Centre Road, both at rents of $80,000 per annum.

Melbourne

Skincare clinic Scolicare has leased a ground-floor property at 492 St Kilda Road for $290 per sq m on a 2+3 year lease. The deal was struck with a 7.5 per cent incentive. Monash University has taken level two of the same building on a one-year lease at $260 per sq m and Kosch Fertilizer signed up for the same rate on a five-year lease on level four. “Vacancy in this building has lowered from 16 to 6 per cent within months,” Lemon Baxter’s Jay Pavey said.

Kew East

Refurbished suites at 1401 Burke Road’s Kew Corporate Centre have resulted in the building being fully occupied by smaller tenants. JLL’s Tim Sugar said landlord Devitt Nominees refitted commercial offices as well as open-plan suites with kitchenettes and toilets. New tenants include Thomas More Centre (Christian publications), Best Practice Program and TNT Property Group. JLL also secured The Lab Gaming Mechanics in Suite 3 at 830 High Street on a three-year term.

Dandenong South

Complete Truck Bodies has leased a 1135 sq m office warehouse with 934 sq m of hardstand area at Pellicano’s M2 Estate. Complete Trucks signed a five-year lease at net annual rental of $120,000 for 110-112 National Drive. “There was high demand for leasing in the estate,” Knight Frank’s George Linn said.

Thornbury

Gray Johnson’s Matt Hoath and Scott Ashby negotiated a quick changeover of tenants at an industrial building at 329 Darebin Road, minimising lost income for the building’s owner. Building finishes specialist Alternative Surfaces took a four-year lease with a further four-year option at starting rent of $90,000 net.

Collingwood

Denmark-based tapware manufacturer Vola will set up its wholesale showroom at 94 Wellington Street. Vola leased a 110 sq m showroom for $38,000 a year plus GST and outgoings on a five-year lease, Gorman Commercial’s Dean Alexander said.

MOVERS

Charter Keck Cramer has appointed Glenn Lampard in the newly created role of strategic research principal – commercial. Mr Lampard will focus on enhancing the group’s research and supporting the valuations team. Mr Lampard was previously at Urbis, Savills, Knight Frank and CBRE.

Submissions to [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

Labor premiers savage Turnbull’s energy plan

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his tour of the Snowy Hydro Tumut 2 power station during his visit to the Snowy Mountains region to give an update on Snowy Hydro 2.0, on Monday 28 August 2017. POOL Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe Turnbull government faces an uphill battle getting states to sign up to its new energy plan, as Labor premiers savage it as a capitulation to Tony Abbott and victory for the coal industry.
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The government will need all the national electricity market states – NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South , Tasmania and the ACT – to agree to its national energy guarantee to implement it.

The plan to force energy companies to meet mandated standards of reliability and emissions reduction will require changes to national electricity law, which is state-based legislation that sets the rules for the market.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg briefed his state counterparts on the policy over the phone on Tuesday ahead of a face-to-face COAG meeting planned for late November. But initial reactions were not positive.???

South n Premier Jay Weatherill slammed the plan, and said it proved Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was incapable of standing up to his party’s right wing and the fossil fuel sector.

“The Prime Minister is powerless, the Prime Minister is impotent,” he said. “This is a complete victory for the coal industry.”

Mr Weatherill indicated he was still weighing “going it alone” on a more robust, state-based clean energy target, something the Commonwealth has warned against because it would further fragment the electricity market.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was also scathing, taunting Mr Turnbull and describing him as Tony Abbott’s spokesman.

“The Prime Minister needs to stand up,” he said. “I’d settle for him pretending to be a leader but he’s not even doing that. The fact that he’s prepared to let Tony Abbott junk Alan Finkel’s work, it’s unspeakable, it’s appalling.”

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio was even more strident, saying the “backward plan” put thousands of jobs at risk and shattered investor confidence.

“His modelling is dodgy and his claims about reducing power prices can’t be believed,” she said.

“There has been no consultation with the states and we continue to learn about the policy via media leaks. We will closely consider our next steps after receiving the detail that this announcement is sorely lacking.”

If one or more of the states baulk at the plan, the federal government can seek a workaround in the Federal Parliament. But it believes that, while the states will make lots of noise about the plan in the coming days, they are ultimately likely to support it.

The conservative NSW government has been more receptive to the plan, saying it was a strong supporter of electricity market reform.

“We welcome the proposal by the federal government to provide greater certainty for investment by integrating climate and energy policy,” a spokesperson for Energy Minister Don Harwin said. “We are currently reviewing the proposal.”

n Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren endorsed the policy but said COAG agreement would be critical.

“Without that we won’t achieve policy stability and we will continue to see the investment uncertainty that has occurred over the past decade in the energy sector,” he warned.

Mr Turnbull indicated he might convene a special COAG meeting to discuss the plan with state leaders.

– With Peter Hannam

Is ‘bug-gate’ security guard back working with the All Blacks?

Security consultant Adrian Gard appears to have returned to work for the All Blacks.
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Gard, who became embroiled in the “bug-gate” saga in Sydney last year when he discovered a listening device in a chair inside the All Blacks’ meeting room in their hotel in Sydney, was spotted at the team’s training in Brisbane on Tuesday. Newshub showed footage of him wearing an earpiece and in discussion with a team staff member.

The All Blacks will meet the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

After an investigation by NSW police Gard was charged with making up claims that he found the listening device.

However, he was found not guilty during at Downing Centre Court by Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson, who said there was not enough evidence in the circumstantial case to convict Gard of making a false representation resulting in a police investigation.

Gard was found guilty of operating as a security consultant without the proper licence. He was placed on a one-year good behaviour bond.

Gard claimed he found the bug on August 15, and the magistrate said it was possible someone else had planted it.

The trial coincided with the same week when the All Blacks were in Sydney to prepare for their first Bledisloe Cup match against the Wallabies.

On the morning of the All Blacks’ captain’s run on the Friday before the game, Kieran Read provided a character reference for Gard by telephone from his hotel room.

Read said he did it because he considered Gard to be a “mate”.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen also provided a reference, as did Kangaroos rugby league coach Mal Meninga.

Following the trial, NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew told media he could not see any reason why Gard couldn’t work for the All Blacks again but said that decision was up to manager Darren Shand.

Comment has been sought from the All Blacks camp.

TOPICS: Newcastle’s slice of the Commonwealth Games as Queen’s baton relay participants named

ANNOUNCEMENT: Kurt Fearnley at Buckingham Palace earlier this year. Picture: AAP
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“MATE, don’t call it a torch, you’ll get dragged over hot coals for doing that,” was how three-time Paralympic gold medallist Kurt Fearnley opened his interview,as Topics recoiled, embarrassed by our Commonwealth Games faux pas.

Turns out it’s not a torch at all, it’s a baton. And it’s serious business that involves a message penned by the Queen herself.

Twenty-four Hunter people have been bestowed the high honour of carrying the baton through the region, as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next year.

Among the lucky batonbearers areFearnley and other sportspeople including ex-Knight Alex McKinnon, wheelchair athlete Christie Dawes, swimmer Maddi Elliott and surfer Jade Wheatley.

The baton relay took off from Buckingham Palace in March and is currently in Malaysia.

It will visit 15 Commonwealth nationsbefore arriving in on Christmas Eve. From there, it will embark on a 100-day journey, visiting 83 towns and cities, ahead of landing in the Gold Coast in time for the April opening ceremony.

HUGE HONOUR: Christie Dawes is among the Hunter’s batonbearers.

Fearnley said it was “awesome” to bring a slice of the Games to Newcastle.

“I’ve been racing for 20 years and next year on the Gold Coast looks like it will be my last competition for ,” he said.

“It’s all just part of building for that moment. If I getto share a bit of Commonwealth Games with Newcastle, that’s great.”

Paralympian Christie Dawes is due to give birth around the time the relay arrives on n shores.

She’s hoping the baby holds off a few days so she can take part in the “huge honour”.

“It’s not something to be scoffed at,” she said. “How many times do you get to carry the batonfor a major event? It’s a huge honour.”

The baton is designed to capture the “boundless energy” of the Gold Coast and is a symbol of the coastal city’s past, present and future.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the batonbearer’s were“a great reflection of ”.

GAMES: Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie with the baton.

“The batonbearers recognise the achievements and aspirations of ns from all walks of life, from ambitious 10-year-olds to humble volunteers and well-known ns from a variety of fields,” she said.

“Collectively, our batonbearers will take more than a million steps through every state and territory, sharing the excitement of GC2018 with regional and remote communities.”

The Games take place between April 4 and 15 next year. More than 70 nations and territories will be represented.

A Queen’s message inside the baton will be read out at the opening ceremony.

Hunter’s batonbearersBrett Austine, Marks PointChristie Dawes, MerewetherJye Dinsdale, Caves BeachMaddi Elliott, Gillieston HeightsKurt Fearnley, HamiltonSusanna Gourlay, Newcastle EastMatthew Gray, Boat HarbourCarole Hooper, New LambtonIan Ingle, MuswellbrookPhill Johnson, AdamstownPeter Kilborn, MirrabookaMichelle Lawson, ThorntonAlex McKinnon, LambtonJessica Norris, BurleighJessica Pickering, BelmontBob Porter, Arcadia ValeLaurenceRoddick, Bar BeachCharlie Sanders, MetfordDiana Santleben, MarylandSean Scanlon, Hamilton EastMichael Thoroughgood, TeralbaSheena Tierney, The HillPeter Watts, RedheadJadeWheatley, Garden Suburb

‘I am appalled’: HSC students told to apologise to Indigenous poet

Students have been told to apologise to an award-winning Indigenous writer by the head of the government agency that administers the HSC.
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David de Carvalho, the chief executive of the NSW Education Standards Authority, condemned the treatment of Ellen van Neerven who was subjected to abusive comments and messages from students who had sat the English exam.

“I am appalled by the abuse of the author,” Mr de Carvalho told Fairfax Media. “This is a completely inappropriate response and I hope those involved see fit to apologise to Ms van Neerven.”

HSC students sitting the English exam were asked to analyse the poem Mango by Ellen van Neerven. Photo: Susan Wyndham

The controversy was sparked after students sitting the HSC English exam on Monday were asked to analyse Ms van Neerven’s poem Mango – one of three unseen texts included in section 1 of English Paper 1.

Students were asked to “explain how the poet conveys the delight of discovery”.

The exam question and poem was the subject of lively debate on Facebook and HSC discussion groups, but some students directed vulgar and abusive comments at Ms van Neerven.

“In all honesty there wasn’t much to analyse cos (sic) it reads like a 4 year wrote it,” wrote one student.

Another post compared the author, whose first book, Heat and Light won a number of prizes including a NSW Premiers’ Literary Award, to a monkey at a typewriter.

Mr de Carvalho’s intervention came as students defended a message on social media comparing Ms van Neerven to a monkey as not racist, but “an extremely unfortunate coincidence”.

Students also expressed concern about retribution from exam markers following messages posted on social media from a person claiming to be an assessor.

A NESA spokeswoman declined to comment on the threats of retribution against students: “NESA is unable to disclose the identity of HSC markers due to privacy reasons.

“The exam papers do not identify individual students or their schools”.

More than 5500 HSC markers will assess exams across NSW. NESA publicly advertises for HSC markers each year.

She said the integrity of the HSC English exam had not been impacted by the controversy.

Warner: My Root altercation ‘a lot less’ serious than Stokes footage

As British police launch a new appeal for witnesses to a fight that threatens the Ashes campaign of Ben Stokes, David Warner has emphasised the vast gulf between the incident with the England all-rounder and the one that led to him being suspended for two Tests four years ago.
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When news of Stokes’ involvement in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub broke last month it immediately revived memories of the infamous night out in Birmingham in the lead-up to the 2013 Ashes when Warner’s so-called glancing blow on Joe Root landed him in trouble.

However, the subsequent release of confronting video footage showing Stokes pursuing a man and punching him to the ground revealed that the 26-year-old’s behaviour was in a very different category to that of Warner at the Walkabout bar.

The n batsman had taken offence to Root’s wearing of a party wig on his chin, thinking the Englishman was mocking South African batsman Hashim Amla, and Cricket came down hard on Warner when then coach Mickey Arthur learnt of the clash in the days afterwards. He was made to front a news conference in London, then sent off to Africa for a brief stint with an A squad there and banned from the first two Ashes Tests of that English summer.

Based on that punishment there are many that believe that had Stokes been an n player he would already have been sacked from the Ashes and had his contract torn up. As it stands, England have placed him on an indefinite suspension pending the outcome of a police investigation, but his central contract has been renewed.

“I did do my time,” said Warner, noting that the seriousness of his indiscretion four years ago “was a lot less than what we’ve seen on that footage, that’s for sure.”

Warner added: “It’s up to them what they want to do, how they punish him. First of all it’s up to the police obviously with their investigation findings to see what happens there.

“I think everyone in the world is waiting to see what happens there and what the outcome is.”

Warner, 30, has previously labelled his run-in with Root and what followed it as a major turning point for him. At that stage of his career he appeared to be a magnet for controversy, having only a month before been fined by CA for a tirade against two journalists after seeing his photo used next to a newspaper article delving into the seedy underbelly of the Indian Premier League.

“I had to deal with the situation that I was dealt with,” said the Test vice-captain of his Ashes ban four years ago. “Does Cricket regret that or not? I don’t know. I just copped it on the chin and moved forward.

“One thing they didn’t have was video footage. I’d still like to know where that is.

“That’s the different story in mine. There was no police investigation … nobody saw any footage of it. I don’t know if they even asked for footage. Everyone can only say what they heard, not what they saw.”

While Stokes remains highly unlikely to figure in the Ashes, the ns are preparing for the possibility that he could make it here.

“From our point of view, we’ve got to come ready to play, if he is or isn’t there,” Warner said. “I’ll just play it by ear as the police investigate.”

There’s a new favourite for the Caulfield Cup

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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Craig Williams went from thinking he would ride the Caulfield Cup favourite to having to live on “salad and fish for the week” to switch to Amelie’s Star after a dramatic Tuesday, which ended with the barrier draw.

The draw has Aidan O’Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer a firm favourite in betting for Saturday’s $3.1 million staying test. But the day started with ruling favourite Admire Deus rupturing all the ligaments in a leg in his final gallop at Warrnambool and finished with Johannes Vermeer drawing perfectly in barrier two to go from a $7 chance in the morning to favourite.

Jockey Ben Melham’s confidence would have had to grow with the draw and punters followed with the Irish stayer firming from $5.50 to a $4.60 Sportsbet favourite following the good gate.

“I came here and wasn’t fussed about where I drew because I’m on a horse in good form that is ready to back-up well,” Melham said. “That [gate two] just makes it a little better and everything is working perfectly.”

The same could not be said for Darren Weir who was shattered by losing Admire Deus but will still have Humidor and Amelie’s Star in the first lines of betting after drawing gate seven and 13.

“I have had better days,” Weir said. “It was pretty gut-wrenching and me and my staff were pretty emotional.

“The staff become pretty attached to these horses. It was very upsetting for all involved.

“It is a very unusual injury; when I got to the vet he said he hadn’t seen one of these in a few years.”

Williams, a two-time Caulfield Cup winning jockey, was to have ridden Admire Deus and was swapped on to Amelie’s Star, replacing Michael Dee, after the traumatic morning.

“The owners wanted to use Craig once he was available. Micky Dee was only booked at 8pm on Monday night, so it wasn’t like he had been on the horse the whole preparation,” Weir said. “We are trying to make the best of the situation.”

Williams was happy to pick up the last start Bart Cummings winner Amelie’s Star after the heart-breaking situation with Admire Deus.

“You feel for everyone involved with the horse,” Williams said. “It is really one of the lows of racing but I was fortunate to pick up the ride on the mare.

“She is in good form but it is just a sticky gate for her. I really wanted to draw between one and five so she could have got the soft run she had last time.

“She will probably have to do a bit more work from that gate but she is right in the race.”

Williams should be able to get down to the 51 kilograms by Saturday, despite the short notice.”I could not have done 50 kilograms but it will be salad and fish for the week and I should get down to the weight,” he said.

Weir was happy with gate seven for $6 chance Humidor.

“We should be able to be in the first half of the field from that gate and get his chance,” Weir said.

Murray Baker is hoping for rain for Jon Snow and Bonneval after his n Derby winner and n drew gates six and 14.

“Any rain will help both of them. In is the past week I have probably turned around from thinking Bonneval is my best chance to thinking Jon Snow is now,” Baker said.

“He just has the right draw to get a good run. It doesn’t really worry me with Bonneval because she is going to get back and she will be charging to the line.”

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