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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Newcastle teenager dies after reports of assault at Lambton Pool

A teenage boy has died and an investigation is under way after an incident at Lambton Swimming Pool on Tuesday afternoon.
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The boy, 17, died in John Hunter Hospital after he was apparently restrained by bystanders following an alleged assault on an employee of the swimming centre.

A parent told the Newcastle Herald the pool was in lockdown for several hours.

Police were called to the Lane 4 Aquatics centre on Durham Road swim centre shortly after 5pm, responding to reports an employee of the pool had been assaulted.

According to a statement, witnesses restrained the 17-year-old before police arrived.

The boy was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

He died in hospital, police said.

The extent of the boy’s injuries were not known with police refusing to comment any further on Tuesday night.

However, a parent told the Herald someone jumped in the pool and disrupted swimming lessons.

“Obviously people were coming from everywhere trying to help,” the parent said.

“I went to pick up the kids and the pool was all in lockdown. We had to wait while they took the kids out the back of the pool.”

Authorities launched a critical incident investigation, which is standard when a member of the public dies in the course of a police operation.

In a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday night, Lambton Pool said it would be closed indefinitely.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances the Lambton Swimming Pool will be closed for an undetermined short period of time,” the post said.

“We appreciate the patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We will update everyone as soon as possible.

Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or nsw.crimestoppers苏州夜总会招聘.au/

Newcastle Herald with Andrew Taylor

Hunt hopes Wallabies have learnt from Bledisloe capitulation

Karmichael Hunt is hopeful the Wallabies will be better prepared this time around to prevent a rampaging All Blacks team coming over the top of them like they did in Dunedin during their last outing.
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A 76th-minute try to Kurtley Beale at Forsyth Barr Stadium put the Wallabies in the box seat to knock off the All Blacks for the first time in 16 years on New Zealand soil.

However, a try two minutes later from Beauden Barrett sealed a 35-29 victory for the All Blacks in a match that will serve as a painful memory for the ns.

Hunt wasn’t there in August due to an ankle injury but is optimistic the group can repel a late All Blacks attack if they happen to be leading in the dying stages of Saturday’s match at Suncorp Stadium.

“As a player you would definitely hope they would learn from that last couple of minutes in New Zealand,” Hunt said. “If that does come to the point where we are ahead with 10 minutes to go, or five minutes to go, I definitely hope the boys understand what is required against the All Blacks. They can snatch it right at the death. We hope we’ve learnt.

“The All Blacks seem to find spots of weaknesses all throughout the field. You have to be on your guard right across the field.”

The sense of occasion will be big for the Wallabies and particularly so for Hunt who is looking increasingly likely to earn a spot on the bench in what would be his first match against New Zealand.

In his rugby league days, Hunt featured for the Kangaroos against New Zealand a total of six times from 2006 to 2008, with the last game being a loss in a World Cup final.

Coach Michael Cheika names his team on Thursday and Hunt said there was little point trying to guess whether he would get another shot in a gold jersey.

“The one thing I’ve learnt about Cheik is not to count your chickens too early, who knows where he’ll play me or if he’ll play me,” Hunt said. “I was pretty sore yesterday [after an NRC game]. As a 30-year-old I don’t bounce back as quick like Samu [Kerevi] who was running around top speed yesterday [Monday].”

Hunt revealed he almost reinjured his ankle on Sunday during an NRC match for Brisbane City.

“The ankle got twisted under me, similar to what happened in New Zealand in the last round when I tore my [syndesmosis],” Hunt said. “To be able to pull up quite fine soon afterwards was definitely a pleasing moment for me. I was a little bit scared.”

Meanwhile, scrum coach Mario Ledesma has hinted Stephen Moore will get a chance to play his final Test in in front of a home crowd in Brisbane before retiring at the end of the year.

“We haven’t given the team out but it’s his last game here in against the All Blacks,” Ledesma said. “I cannot imagine a better [way to] finish in and he really deserves it.

“He’s been serving the country and the gold jersey for a long, long, time now and to be 34 after 124 Tests and being still an important part of a Wallabies [team], is a huge, huge achievement. We will do everything to give him a good farewell.”

Lambton pool death: boy, 17, dies in hospital after incident at swim centre

Lambton pool tragedy: boy may have sustained head injuries INCIDENT: A 17-year-old died at Lambton Pool on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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INCIDENT: A 17-year-old died at Lambton Pool on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TRAGIC: The scene at the Lambton Swimming Pool on Tuesday night after an incident which resulted in the death of a teenage boy.

INCIDENT: A 17-year-old died at Lambton Pool on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

INCIDENT: A 17-year-old died at Lambton Pool on Tuesday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldunderstands.

The boy, 17, was in the company of a carer at the pool when the incident occurred.

The teenager was restrained by several bystanders after an alleged assault on an employee of the pool.

The boy later died in John Hunter Hospital.

The Heraldunderstandsthe boy sustained self-inflicted head injuries before bystanders stepped in.

“The boy began causing harm to himself and the surrounding property,” a Newcastle City Council spokesman said.

“His carer, with the assistance of passers-by, restrained the boy to prevent him doing further harm to himself.

“During the incident the boy had a medical episode and subsequently required CPR.

“Emergency services attended the scenehowever he was unable to be resuscitated.

“We express our deepest sympathies to the family.”

Police were called to the Lane 4 Aquatics centre on Durham Road shortly after 5pm, responding to reports an employee of the pool had been assaulted.

According to a police statement, witnesses restrained the 17-year-old before police arrived at the scene.

The boy was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

He died in hospital, police said.

Policerefused to comment any further on the extent of the boy’s injuries on Tuesday night.

However, a parent told theHeraldsomeone jumped in the pool and disrupted swimming lessons.

The pool was in lockdown for several hours.

“Obviously people were coming from everywhere trying to help,” the parent said.

“I went to pick up the kids and the pool was all in lockdown.We had to wait while they took the kids out the back of the pool.”

Authorities launched a critical incident investigation, which is standard when a member of the public dies in the course of a police operation.

In a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday night, Lambtonpool said it would be closed for a short period of time.

However, in another post, the pool announced it would reopen on Wednesday morning, describing the incident as a “tragic day”.

“Our condolences go out to the families involved. We appreciate there is a lot of speculation however it is important to remember it was a tragic day for all involved,” the post said.

“Thank you everyone for your support.”

Northern Region commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, will address the media shortly before noon.

The pool is owned by the council but its operation is outsourced to Lane 4.

‘Come clean’: minister takes aim at retail lobby group

A NSW minister has launched an extraordinary attack on a key national retailers’ association, accusing it of secrecy and demanding it “come clean” about which companies it is being paid by to lobby the government.
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The attack by better regulation minister Matt Kean coincides with legislation due to pass NSW parliament on Wednesday forcing retailers to set the expiry of gift cards to at least three years, up from the present one year for most.

NSW Fair Trading estimates consumers are losing about $60 million a year due to expired gift cards.

The move has been condemned by the n Retailers Association, whose executive director Russell Zimmerman warned it “places an unnecessary regulatory burden and significant additional administrative costs” on businesses.

But Mr Kean told Fairfax Media his efforts to consult directly with retailers represented by Mr Zimmerman’s association had been thwarted as the department had been unable to find out who they are.

Mr Kean said Mr Zimmerman “is effectively a lobbyist”.

“There are important disclosure obligations for lobbyists, but the secretive n Retailers Association won’t tell anyone who it works on behalf of, or who pays its fees,” he said.

In NSW, lobbyists who are acting on behalf of a third party must register their details, including the names of who they are lobbying on behalf, with the NSW Electoral Commission.

However, executives employed by a company who lobby government do not.

As a minister, Mr Kean is required to regularly publish details of who he meets with and the issues that are discussed.

“As a minister, I have to remain open and accountable and Russell should be the same,” he said.

Mr Kean called on Mr Zimmerman to “come clean and tell consumers who you work for so they know which businesses want to pocket their cash instead of extending expiry dates on gift cards.”

In an apparent message to individual retailers effected by the change, he added: “You don’t need a lobbyist or Russell to see me. My door is always open, especially to people or businesses who want to put consumers first.

Mr Zimmerman said the association had never published its membership because of the concern that suppliers to the industry would go directly to them instead of through the ARA.

He added there was nothing to stop Mr Kean from calling retailers to consult, whether they are an ARA member or not as “it’s not just the membership we are concerned about. It’s the industry we are concerned about”.

Mr Zimmerman said he wished Mr Kean had been willing to call for submissions on the issue that would raise jurisdictional issues for national retailers and seriously consider a code of conduct.

“He has been far from helpful on this,” he said.

ACT minister hits out at federal renewables decision

The federal government’s plan to scrap renewable energy subsidies and mandate coal and gas targets shows its leadership has “succumbed to the climate deniers on the backbench”, an ACT minister says.
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ACT Greens climate change minister Shane Rattenbury made the comment in the wake of the federal Cabinet’s and Coalition party room approving the official position on Tuesday.

The change in federal policy comes in the face of the Commonwealth’s own Chief Scientist Alan Finkel recommending the government mandate a low emissions target, the only recommendation the government has ignored.

However, the federal government has argued its new proposal, which includes requiring energy retailers to meet greenhouse gas emissions standards, may help drive power prices down.

Mr Rattenbury said the switch was clear evidence that the “federal government has succumbed to the climate deniers on the backbench” in a move that would reinforce the role of coal and gas “at a time when we need to be transitioning to renewable energy”.

“Every other country in the world is not putting requirements on coal and gas, they’re putting requirements on renewables and our federal govt is going in completely the opposite direction,” he said.

“It’s devastating to see the clean energy target dropped; the Finkel report identified 50 recommendations, the federal government adopted 49 and left the most substantive one behind.

“All the other recommendations are important but this is the core of transitioning more quickly, more efficiently to the renewable energy future we need.”

Mr Rattenbury also rejected “flawed arguments” that cheaper energy prices would result, saying that the ACT’s 20-year renewable contracts allowed for certainty and predictability.

“If you invest carefully, use good energy targets and put battery storage in place to deal with those peaks then you can have a very cost effective renewable energy system,” he said.