Why a clucky Kyle Sandilands will have to wait for a baby

When it comes to Kyle Sandilands, no topic is ever off-limits, even his plans to have a baby with his girlfriend of six years, Imogen Anthony.
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“I’m going to give Imogen a baby soon,” he said on-air two weeks ago. And, last month, during a discussion with his KIIS 1065 radio co-host Jackie “O” Henderson about his relaxed approach to birth control, he added: “I don’t care, if a baby comes it comes.”

Earlier this year, a sometimes gruff Sandilands showed off his more sensitive side when he opened up about his anguish at not being able to give his late father, Peter, grandchildren.

“I was thinking in the shower this morning … I was regretting not being able to give him a grandchild,” Sandilands said.

But while the shock jock, 45, is feeling clucky, the model and social media influencer, 26, has other ideas.

“He’s got to let me ripen a little bit more. I’m still in my prime,” she laughed, when speaking to Fairfax Media.

“Give me a couple of more years. I’m only 26, you know?

“We’ve been together for a long time, so it is due. But we are just taking our time. We are not really into rushing things. We’re chilled.”

When it comes to marriage for the pair, who live together on a seven acre farm in Ingleside in Northern Sydney, Anthony has the same laid-back attitude.

“Babe, when it happens, it’ll happen. We talk about it, absolutely but we are just waiting. We don’t need all of the titles,” she said.

Asked if she has the rock already picked out just in case he gets on bended knee, she laughed, “we talk, he suggests, and that’s about it”. Kyle nurses @KylyClarke’s youngest Kelsey Lee #CUTE #KJshow #KIIS1065A post shared by Kyle and Jackie O (@kyleandjackieo) on Apr 5, 2016 at 4:10pm PDT

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STD tests, critique a stranger: The Bachelor’s casting process

Excitement is building over season five of The Bachelor with Matty Johnson landing the starring role after he was left heartbroken by Georgia Love last year, but how are his potential suitors chosen?
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To become one of 22 women battling it out on national television for the affection of a man you have never met before, there are a few hoops producers will have you jump through first.

During a casting call for last season’s show with Richie Strahan, bachelorettes on their quest for true love took part in certain games, such as standing in a circle and critiquing each other; debating contentious topics, such as religion; and battling it out for a rose left in the centre of a room.

Those who made it through to the reality show then have to undertake a mandatory medical test, including one for sexually transmitted diseases. A spokesperson for the producers, Warner Bros, described the checks to Fairfax Media as a “duty of care”.

Last year’s “villain” Keira Maguire, 30, who was such a hit for Network Ten that she was asked back to star on this year’s I’m a Celebrity ??? Get Me Out of Here, also told Fairfax Media about the “shoe game”.

“We all had to take our shoes off and you had to guess whose shoes belonged to who and you had to describe their personality when you picked up the shoes,” Maguire explained.

She denied that it sounded a bit Mean Girls, explaining: “At the end of the day it is up to you what you do and say.”

However, Maguire was “mortified” about some parts of the casting process, particularly the chase for the single red rose.

“I stood back and was like, ‘what the hell? This is absolutely ridiculous.’ I literally wasn’t participating,” she laughed.

It was that non-compliance that she says landed her a spot in the final line-up.

“I just stood there with a look across my face as the other women ran to the rose ??? The producers have positions marked out and they thought, ‘We got our villain,'” Maguire laughed.

But she was surprised by some who were turned away.

“You are looking at all of these beautiful girls coming through and you think, ‘they will have to make it,’ and they don’t get through. It’s more about personality and what you will be like on TV,” she said.

Thousands of applications are submitted each year and its the producers’ job to ensure they have the right mixture of romance as well as entertainment Warner Bros explained the techniques used helped highlight someone’s character.

“Casting for The Bachelor aims to see how people express themselves and if they have the ability to describe how they feel, something that is instrumental to finding love with the Bachelor,” a spokesperson added to Fairfax Media.

“Auditions are voluntary and participants are encouraged to speak up if they are interested in the reasoning behind an activity.”

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US and China agree tensions on Korean Peninsula are at a ‘rather dangerous level’

Beijing: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has appeared with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to say the two countries share the view that tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached “a rather dangerous level”.
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Speaking to the media after a meeting in Beijing on Saturday, Mr Tillerson said the US and China would work together to bring North Korea to “make a course correction and move away from the development of nuclear weapons”.

“We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level, and we’ve committed ourselves to doing everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out,” Mr Tillerson said.

Mr Wang agreed, but also had some advice for his American counterpart.

“No matter what happens, we have to stay committed to diplomatic means as a way to seek peaceful settlement,” he said.

“We hope all parties, including our friends from the United States, could size up the situation in a cool-headed and comprehensive fashion, and arrive at a wise decision.”

Mr Tillerson and Mr Wang both tried to strike a positive tone, repeating the mantra that US-China relations were founded on the principles of avoiding conflict and confrontation, and promoting mutual respect and “win-win cooperation.”

That’s a far cry from the sort of language US President Donald Trump employed on the campaign trail.

Mr Wang called their talks “candid, pragmatic and productive,” while Mr Tillerson talked about a “constructive and results-oriented relationship.”

The Secretary of State also talked of a trading relationship that is “fair and pays dividends both ways,” made a glancing reference to their maritime disputes and said his country would continue to “advocate for universal human rights and religious freedom.”

The two men also said they were working toward a face-to-face meeting between Mr Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping to build on a cordial telephone conversation between the pair in February.

“We do look forward to this future opportunity for the two leaders to meet,” Mr Tillerson said at the beginning of a meeting with State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks Mr Wang as China’s top diplomat.

“The better they know one another the stronger will be our bilateral relations as well, because they can provide direction and guidance to both of our governments on how we can work more closely together to strengthen this very important relationship,” Mr Tillerson said.

The comments from Mr Tillerson were more moderate than his warning a day earlier in South Korea that “all options are on the table” to deal with North Korea, and that the US would take military action if needed.

Mr Wang had last week likened the US and North Korea to two accelerating trains heading for a collision with neither willing to give way. Mr Tillerson meets China’s President Xi Jinping on Sunday.

China has said a return to negotiations with North Korea could occur if the US and South Korea agreed to abandon military drills in the region, and North Korea agreed to halt its rogue missile development.

But the proposal had been swiftly rejected by the White House, which is said to be considering secondary sanctions against Chinese companies that trade with North Korea.

US President Donald Trump tweeted before Mr Tillerson’s arrival in Asia that China did nothing to help to stop North Korea. North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years. China has done little to help!??? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 17 March 2017

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Editorial: Reason for hope in prolonged gallery saga

IT WAS almost six years ago when former Newcastle MP Tim Owen said, in his first speech to parliament, that he wanted to secure funding for the expansion of the city’sart gallery.
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Don Harwin

“While Newcastle is known around the country for our great sportsmen and women and industrial pursuits, it has produced some outstanding artists of all ilks,” Mr Owen told the parliament in 2011.

“I do not believe enough attention or money has been invested into harnessing the talents of our creative men and women.

“The time has come for this to change.”

Though Mr Owen was able to make good on some of his other priorities during his short stint in parliament, the art gallery was not one of them.

Instead, the gallery’s redevelopment –or lack of –has become, like the figs and the rail line,another contested narrative in Newcastle’s recent history.

Depending on where you stand, you might blame the state government for refusing to come through with the $7 million in funding required to make the project a reality back in 2013.

You might blame the previous councilfor reportedly getting its sums wrong on the actual cost of the project.

You might blame former lord mayor Jeff McCloy for using money set aside for the project to pay down the council’s debt.

Or you might blame the former federal Labor government for pullingthe $7 million it promised forthe project and spending it on the Glendale Interchange.

Or you might blame no one, and instead use new Arts Minister Don Harwin’s comment that he’s interested in hearing the council’s plan for the proposal as a reason for hope.

As Cathy Tate, who has probably done more than anyone to push for the redevelopment, said in 2015, “all that is in the past”.

“I want to start talking about how it can be done and not about why it didn’t happen,” Ms Tate said at the time.

Indeed. And the truth is that there is no reason that it cannot.

The state government has more than enough left in its cultural infrastructure fund to pay for the project, and a new minister who is at least receptive to the idea.

All that we need now is a council –and a city –that can prosecute the case for why some of the money should be spent here. As Mr Owen said, it is time for the prospect’s of the city’s arts community to change.

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Cloke impact will be visible, says Beveridge

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Travis Cloke looms as a key figure in the Western Bulldogs’ premiership defence, with coach Luke Beveridge adamant he won’t be the same player he was at Collingwood.

Beveridge is bullish about the future of the big-name recruit, and believes he will be a key cog in developing the Dogs’ new-look forward line.

Cloke will make his Bulldogs debut on Friday night against his former side at the MCG, a ground where he has kicked more than 300 of his 441 career goals.

The decision to trade for Cloke has created debate in football circles as to whether he can fit into the Bulldogs’ fast-moving and evolving game plan.

But Beveridge says he’s not the same player who wore black and white stripes for the last 12 seasons.

“He will definitely be a different player at the Western Bulldogs because of the way we do things and our expectations of what his output looks like,” said Beveridge.

“I don’t think he changes us structurally, he’ll still fit into our plans we like to set up down there.

“He’ll just be one of the six down there and we’ll expect him to play well in all the phases, which he will.”

Cloke has impressed his new teammates with his professionalism on the training track, and his lean shape.

He may not have been able to get a game for a team that finished 12th, but he looks certain to be a key pillar in the forward line of the premiership team.

“He’ll get first run at it,” Beveridge said in relation to selection.

Throughout his career, Cloke has been particularly durable.

From his third year in league football – 2007 – all the way through to 2014, he has played at least 20 games in every season.

He played 17 in 2015 when soft tissue injuries began to worry him and then 13 last year in a season where Pies coach Nathan Buckley dropped him three times.

If Beveridge is able to get Cloke back playing his best football – when he was one of the game’s most intimidating and damaging forwards – then it will be more proof of his coaching prowess.

“He’s a new recruit who’s got a lot of good footy in him at this level. He’s only 29, he’s really fit and he is an endurance outfit and works extremely hard. He sets a fine example in any organisation,” said Beveridge.

“He will change us because I think there will be more opportunities through him.”

The Bulldogs have won three of their last four opening round matches, which included last year’s 65-point drubbing of Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.

For the Magpies, round one has provided some stinging memories in recent times, particularly last season, when they were humiliated by Sydney at the SCG to the tune of 80 points.

The loss came shortly after the entire club was rocked by a drug scandal.

In 2015, they scraped past Brisbane by 12 points, while in 2014 it was another heavy defeat when they were smashed by Fremantle by 70 points at Etihad Stadium. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_afl_tiles’);

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Parliament House abuzz with plan for new beehives

The lost tradition of beekeeping at the home of n federal politics is set to be restored as specialist beehives are added to the grounds of Canberra’s Parliament House.
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As part of efforts to tackle the decline of bee populations – crucial to ‘s food security, agriculture and environmental sustainability – three hives will be installed in bushland outside Parliament on Friday night.

Head parliamentary gardener Paul Janssens said the hives include an award-winning n-designed Flow Hive, complete with an in-built plastic honey extractor, which allows honey collections without disrupting the bees.

Coloured in House of Representatives eucalyptus green, Langstrogh and Top Bar hives will also be installed, with the project’s first honey harvest expected later this year.

Honey will later go on sale at the Parliament House shop.

The project, a collaboration between the Department of Parliamentary Services, the n National University Apiculture Society and engineering and project management firm Aurecon, follows the installation of beehives at the White House and parliaments in Western and Queensland.

In 1976, speaker Billy Snedden approved the first parliamentary beehives in what he thought was a prank.

Victorian MP William Yates, one of the few parliamentarians elected to the British House of Commons and ‘s Federal Parliament, asked Snedden for permission to install two hives in the House of Representatives garden on April 1.

Assuming it was an April Fool’s Day joke, Snedden said yes.

Yates’ honey soon became a popular Canberra souvenir and even helped smooth over a dispute with Gough Whitlam. Yates sent the Labor legend a jar of honey after a particularly heated exchange during a parliamentary debate.

On one occasion the MP for Holt failed to properly extinguish the contents of his bee smoker, setting off the fire alarm and filling the Prime Minister’s office with smoke.

Mr Janssens said bees remain important to Canberra’s environment.

“Without the pollinating power of bees, things like fruit, seeds and nuts can’t grow, which means we won’t see foods like potatoes, broad beans and tomatoes to coriander and chestnuts in Aussie households.”

Aurecon head beekeeper Cormac Farrell helped established the first hives at the firm’s Canberra office in 2013.

“What began as a fun sustainability initiative has grown into something that produces honey gifts for staff and clients, inspires sustainable design, and even created the name for our company intranet, Hive.

“We’re honoured to be supporting n Parliament House’s roll-out of this important initiative,” he said.

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Pia Miller’s ‘zealous level of control’ canvassed in new Elle profile

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Elle is the Elizabeth Warren of publishing.

For the April issue, on stands Monday, the fashion magazine has cast model and Home and Away star Pia Miller as the new cover girl. This type of soft coverage – a fashion feature and photo shoot is usually considered the Holy Grail for celebrities and their publicists – not so much for the 33-year-old.

In the lead-up to the new issue going to press, the actor, who first appeared on the long-running soap in 2015 and plays Katarina Chapman, showcased an unprecedented and “zealous level of control” for editors.

Nevertheless, they persisted.

“The shoot concept and this accompanying interview were more difficult to agree on than most international cover stars in this magazine’s history. From the earliest planning stages, she displayed a zealous level of control – one that extends across her career and the way she’s publicly perceived,” the accompanying feature reads.

“Her fierce protectiveness of her privacy and her family goes some way towards explaining why it was never a sure thing that Miller would appear in these pages.”

Miller, who is a mother of two boys – Lennox, 10, and Isaiah, 13 – refused to pose with her family for the fashion publication that has built a glowing reputation for showcasing inspiring women.

A male model was also a non-negotiable for the spread. A compromise was found when Home and Away co-star Luke Pegler was recruited for the feature.

According to Elle, two assistants accompanied her to the interview and then sat “patiently at a table nearby”.

Last year Woman’s Day referred to the Logie-nominated actor as “Princess Pia” in a double-page spread claiming her cast mates “can’t stand her”.

“She has one of the smallest acting portfolios on the show, but carries on like she’s a five-time Oscar winner,” an unnamed source told the magazine.

A Seven spokesperson quashed the claims, saying the report was “untrue”.

Miller is a successful anomaly in the world of TV and fashion. She has the kind of reach and engagement with her fans that executives crave from their charges.

Like Miranda Kerr before her, she won the Dolly Model Search competition when she was just 14 before venturing into acting and landing ambassador roles for big international brands like ghd.

She is a social media star with more than 570,000 fans on Instagram, 200,000 more than Home and Away’s official account.

Miller made headlines in 2015 for announcing she was separating from her husband, former AFL star Brad Miller, on the day of the code’s grand final.

Despite the couple living in different states for more than a year at the time, the Millers chose to announce their split just hours before bounce down at the MCG. He has since relocated from Melbourne to Sydney to co-parent their children.

Miller is now in a relationship with Tyson Mullane, the co-founder of Macamilk – a locally produced Macadamia milk.

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Zegna learns hard way about Chinan farming

When Italian luxury label Ermenegildo Zegna purchased a stake in the historic Achill Farm in Armidale, New South Wales, no one could have guessed how hard the subsequent three years would be.
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Zegna learnt the harsh truth about n farming. Its 6300-hectare property was hit by a debilitating drought, forcing a decision to “tighten the belts”, according to Chairman Paolo Zegna, and test every hope he and sixth-generation wool grower Charlie Coventry had for the property.

But it seems that things are finally taking a turn for the pair. Whether by providence or luck, Fairfax Media’s arrival at the property Saturday morning happened to coincide with the region’s single biggest rain event in four years.

“As farmers, this is really exciting for us,” says Coventry. “It’s really put a smile on our faces. Especially over the past four years, we have really been dogged sideways. What we started with in this joint venture has really been a challenge but we continued with our investment.”

While this may have prevented the farm from hitting the ground running, according to Zegna it did allow for three solid years of preparation and auditing of process.

“We started to buy new rams, better quality rams, to know what kind of wool we wanted to get for the property,” Zegna says. “We worked on the genetics, on the breeding, taking care of the welfare of the animal and increasing water reserves, a new paddock for cattle – all things which we believed would put us in a much better situation, when the drought ends.

Achill is home to 10,000 sheep (and 1000 cattle), and the property, which the Coventry family has been involved in since the town’s early beginnings, is now looking to become ground zero in the reinvigoration of the wool industry and finding new and improved methods of wool farming in .

“A small test,” Zegna says.

“A lovely jewel, hopefully, in the entire organisation of the company. It will be a place to improve our learning curve and experiment, grow better fibres. It’s to find the right mix of animals, particularly sheep, and always find the right wool.”

Currently, wool being produced at Achill is weighing about 16 microns, which, while still in the top ranges of wool quality in , is not quite fine enough to make it into the coveted top 10 of the annual Zegna Wool Awards (which were held in Melbourne on Friday) that earns a guaranteed spot within the Zegna storehouse of merino wool.

But aside from guaranteeing that Zegna would have local access to what the company declares is the best wool in the world, the decision to purchase Achill was to “close the circle” as it were.

“The idea was to become the only fashion company to become fully integrated from sheep to shop,” says Zegna.

Although Zegna points out that while Achill will supply some of the company’s demand, the intention was never for it to become a sole supplier. Demand for product is too high – overall consumption of Zegna products in wool is equivalent to half a million kilograms and at Achill the average yield is up to 20,000 kilos. But he hopes that, after seeing what he and Coventry do at Achill, their relationship could inspire other farmers and goad the improvement of n wool.

But will it be enough to reinvigorate the industry, which has seen an increasing number of farmers walk away from the land due to lack of funding, support or crippling environmental conditions?

“I think having Achill is more about being here in front of a lot of wool growers,” Zegna muses. “It is to show that through a careful management of the company, we can demonstrate that the industry is still viable and can be continued for generations. Many people were compelled to abandon [the industry] and we would like Achill to strike a balance where we can be an example to others.”

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Sydney braces for another soggy week as floods leave thousands stranded

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 16: Weather. A walker gets caught in a rain squall at Jubilee Park along Rozelle Bay in Glebe on March 16, 2017 in Sydney, . (Photo by Kirk Gilmour/Fairfax Media) Photo: Kirk GilmourSydney has sloshed through yet another wet weekend, with a total of 222 millimetres of rain soaking the city over the past 19 days – 16 of which were rainy.
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While the rain is expected to persist for the rest of the week, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gabrielle Woodhouse said the wet conditions were no cause for alarm.

“We start to see a lot of the weather patterns change [in March] and so this is where typically we start to see some wet months,” she said.

“You can start to see these sorts of troughs where we just have a lot of shower activity or the development of lows off the coast and they’re the ones that generally bring the widespread rainfall, with a really high rainfall total.”

At just over halfway through the month, March is poised to break rainfall records, inching closer to the 270 millimetres that fell across Sydney in 2012 – the wettest March in almost 30 years.

But it’s unlikely to beat the wettest March on record – a whopping 434.30 millimetres in 1892.

More than 2100 people have been left stranded by flooding, the NSW State Emergency Service said.

Up to 180 SES teams were on standby to help with the additional 124 callouts along the Mid North Coast on Sunday, bringing the total number of calls for assistance over the weekend to 3156.

“We’re expecting that [those stranded] will remain isolated for the next couple of days, depending on rainfall conditions,” SES spokeswoman Kerrie Langendam said.

“However, 15 to 40 millimetres [is still] expected from as low as the Illawarra up until the Queensland border.”

Flood warnings were issued for rivers and creeks across the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Central Coast, with an evacuation order put in place for areas near the Bellinger River on Saturday evening. By Sunday afternoon, the area had been given the all clear. Heavy rainfall over NSW. Flood warnings current: Severn Orara Bellinger Nambucca Hastings Gloucester Manning & Colo https://t苏州夜场招聘/Ss766eSCrLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/FlwuSTfloK??? BOM New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) March 18, 2017

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Mark Ferguson and Seven News upset the locals in 6pm TV showdown

MERCURY. NEWS. Pic of Bruce Gordon owner of WIN TV with TV News prestenter Geoff Phillips. Picture: Sylvia Liber . 7 February, 2017 Photo: Sylvia LiberRegional broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo’s launch of localised Nine News bulletins against WIN News in Canberra and Wollongong appears to have split the local news viewing audience in both markets and delivered ratings wins to competitor Prime7.
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But the Nine affiliate insists it is satisfied with its news debut despite running third behind its commercial rivals in the 6pm timeslot.

The first survey period of the 2017 free-to-air TV ratings season shows WIN’s established half-hour weeknight news bulletin, presented from Wollongong by veteran anchorman Geoff Phillips, holding off its local news challenger in both cities.

But Prime7’s relay of the Mark Ferguson-hosted Seven News from Sydney is the winner at 6pm.

Southern Cross Austereo and feeder network Nine are halfway through the ambitious roll-out of 15 localised evening news bulletins for the ACT and regional viewers across southern NSW, country Victoria and Queensland.

Canberra and Wollongong were the first to receive local versions of Nine News – the first time in 15 years that billionaire Bruce Gordon’s WIN TV has faced direct commercial competition for local news viewers in those markets.

In Canberra over the month to March 11, WIN News averaged 15,378 viewers in the 6pm-6.30pm slot, beating the first half of the new localised Nine News (11,745) but narrowly beaten by the first half of Seven News (15,588).

The Prime7 program won the 6pm-7pm slot, averaging 15,377 viewers to WIN’s 13,397 and Nine’s 11,438.

The ABC’s 7pm Canberra bulletin remains the capital’s most-watched evening news by far, averaging 39,000 viewers.

In WIN’s hometown market of Wollongong, Seven News from Sydney won the 6pm-6.30pm timeslot with an average 34,939 viewers for Prime7, ahead of WIN News (27,644) and the first half of the localised Nine News (17,483).

Prime7 also won the 6pm-7pm hour, averaging 36,329 viewers a night, ahead of WIN (25,755) and Nine (18,258).

An hour format mixing local, state, national and international news and sport, the new ACT and regional NSW bulletins of Nine News are presented from Nine’s Sydney studios by Vanessa O’Hanlon, with weather presented by Gavin Morris from Nine’s NBN station in Newcastle.

In a media release that trumpeted its Canberra ratings victory over Nine without mentioning Prime7, WIN said its 30-minute news format of all-local content “consistently delivered a higher number of viewers across the four-week survey period compared to Nine’s recently introduced local bulletin”.

“ACT audiences have remained loyal to WIN News,” network news director Stella Lauri said.

But the localised versions of Nine News are already delivering audience gains for Southern Cross Austereo, according to its head of regional media Rick Lenarcic.

“It is still early days but in Canberra our audience between 6pm-6.30pm has increased by more than 20 per cent compared with the same period last year and by six per cent in Wollongong,” he said.

“It’s clear the news is already building our audiences.”

Despite running third in the 6pm news race and Prime7’s success with its cheaper relay of Seven News, Mr Lenarcic said adding locally focused content “enhances the overall brand” of Nine in regional markets.

Prime7, long-time affiliate of Kerry Stokes-owned Seven, hasn’t produced its own news bulletins for Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle since June 2001, when it axed locally produced evening news in favour of brief “updates” slotted into ad breaks.

It still airs five half-hour weeknight bulletins from its Canberra studios for the regions of Inland NSW, North Coast NSW, Central West, Wagga Wagga and Albury/Wodonga, as well as a half-hour national news tailored for regional areas.

Commenting on the ratings success of Seven News in the ACT and Wollongong, Prime7 head of news Paul Patrick said “clearly these markets prefer a national news bulletin”.

But Prime7 was committed to retaining its local news bulletins in regional NSW – despite the arrival of localised Nine News bulletins setting up a three-way fight for small local news audiences.

“Our local bulletins deliver exceptional results,” Mr Patrick said.

Last month, ahead of the Nine News launch in its NSW markets, Prime7 switched to dual newsreaders Madelaine Collignon and Kenny Heatley for its local bulletins.

From March 20, meteorologist Karl Lijnders joins to present a “more insightful” weather forecast.

WIN News, presented in NSW and the ACT by Phillips and Amy Duggan, moved to the 6pm timeslot – between Ten Eyewitness News First at Five and The Project – last July as part of WIN’s program supply deal with Network Ten.

That switch followed Nine’s dumping of WIN as its regional affiliate after almost 30 years to strike a five-year, $500 million programming tie-up with Southern Cross Austereo.

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Packer calls in $100m loan to Crown

Casino tycoon James Packer has an extra $100 million in his wallet after calling in a loan to his Crown Resorts empire.
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Mr Packer last week sold a million subordinated notes – a debt security – to Crown for $101.58 each, returning more than $101 million to his coffers. Crown and Mr Packer’s personal wealth vehicle Consolidated Press Holdings told the n Stock Exchange after the market closed on Friday.

Crown has issued the notes since 2012 with a face value of $100, suggesting Mr Packer made 1.5 per cent interest – or $1.5 million – on the loan.

Crown on Friday also delivered Mr Packer, a company director and its largest shareholder with 48 per cent of shares, a separate $489 million cash injection in the form of a 30?? dividend and a special 80?? payment from Crown’s sale of its Macau casinos stake.

Mr Packer had another $488 million pay day in August last year when he sold 4.8 per cent of the company, bringing his ownership to below 50 per cent.

Crown is trying to reduce its debt, which at December 31 last year stood at $1.76 billion, after launching a massive overhaul of its business that has seen it abandon global ambitions for a smaller operation focused on its casinos in Melbourne and Perth and its under-construction resort in Sydney’s Barangaroo.

The company has another $422 million in subordinated notes outstanding and intends to buy back as many as possible. Crown also plans to launch a $500 million buyback of ordinary shares as early as Monday, which if that target is reached, will represent a repurchase of almost 6 per cent of issued capital.

A spokesman for Mr Packer could not say on the weekend if he owned more of the debt notes or if he intended to cash them in.

Crown’s overhaul followed the arrest of 18 Crown staff members in China in October, of whom 14 remain behind bars accused of “gambling crimes”. Two months later Crown said it would sell its stake in its Macau casino joint venture Melco Crown and was canning plans to build a new casino in Las Vegas.

Crown’s half-year result released in February revealed that VIP gambling income, largely driven by Chinese visitors, was down more than 47 per cent in Melbourne and almost 39 per cent in Perth. That led to a 9.6 per cent profit slump for the half.

The company is also looking for savings in its marketing and sponsorship budget and has started cutting its workforce, starting at its Perth casino last month.

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Nelmes ‘concerned’ at Newcastle Supercars race management

UNHAPPY: Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes address a council meeting in 2015. Despite supporting the race, Cr Nelmes has been increasingly critical of the way the event is being managed by Destination NSW. PICTURE: Peter StoopTENSIONS over the running of the November Supercars race in Newcastle have ratcheted up another gear, with lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes telling NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall she doesn’t believe Destination NSW is doing a good enough job managing the event.
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In correspondence sentto Mr Marshall last week and seen by theNewcastle Herald,Cr Nelmes expressed the council’s “concerns regarding DNSW as the event organisers”, revealing that the two bodies have yet to sign a memorandum of understanding that was part of the council’s support for the race.

“I am still concerned that the management and organisation of the Newcastle 500 is not locally based and that the community consultation and stakeholder engagement has been carried alone by [the council],” she wrote.

Cr Nelmes enthusiastically backed the race when it was announced by Premier Mike Baird late last year, attending the launch of the event in Honeysuckle, but as opposition to the race from East End residents has ramped upthe lord mayor has become increasingly critical of Destination NSW’s role as organiser.

“Council is committed to ensuring that there is proper consultation with the community and key stakeholders to ensure their needs and concerns are resolved [or] managed in a timely manner,” she wrote.

“To date this has not occurred.”

While Mr Marshall has moved to blunt criticism of the consultation in the lead up to the event by announcing a “coordination office” to run the event, the government’s been criticised for notcreatinga legislated authority like the one that initially ran the race in Sydney.

“I acknowledge that the NSW government has a clear role to play in coordinating implementation of the event, including community engagement,” Mr Marshall said in a statement to the Herald.

“That is why I announced in February that Destination NSW would create a dedicated Newcastle 500 Coordination Office, to oversee all aspects of implementation ahead of the inaugural event in November, working closely with Supercars and Newcastle City Council.”

The Herald reported last week that the council had asked thestate government for an 11thhour route change so the track uses Shortland Esplanade instead of passing through the city’s historic East End.

The request was rejectedby Supercars, who saidit had been made too late.

But Cr Nelmessaid she was “concerned” moving the trackhad been ruled out, saying it was “contrary to the discussions” with Mr Marshall and Supercars boss James Warburton “in preceding weeks”.

Mr Marshall’s office told the Herald to “refer to the statement distributed by Supercars in regards to the Shortland Esplanade option”.

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Newcastle Knights under fire for Brendan Elliot incident

JUST weeks after former player James McManus launched legal action against Newcastle for their handling of a series of career-ending concussions, the club is again under scrutiny after an incident involving fullback Brendan Elliot in Saturday’s 24-18 loss to South Sydney.
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Compelling argument from @Peter_Fitz. I suspect @NRLKnights will be hearing more about this … pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/HNl28dw0HW

— Robert Dillon (@robertdillon174) March 19, 2017Sports Sunday show.

“Here is Newcastle, the same club that is being sued … [Elliot] is clearly, 100 per cent, absolutely, no doubt about it, motherless,’’ FitzSimons said. “He is concussed.”

FitzSimons then challenged NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg and the code’s chief medical officer, Dr Paul Bloomfield, to examine replays of the tackle.

“Look at that and tell us how is it that that guy was not removed from the field, even for a head-injury assessment,’’ FitzSimons said.

FitzSimons said Elliot was “clearly concussed, and then he gets concussed again, and was taken off”.

Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said he had not been contacted by the NRL about the incident.

INJURY: Sione Mata’utia is taken off for a head-injury assessment.

“The NRL have no raised any issue with the club regarding yesterday’s game,’’ Gidley said.

“If they ask for further details regarding the incident, we will provide all on-field/medical assessments.

“This is standard procedure with any incident the NRL opts to review.’’

An NRL spokesman said the incident“will be reviewed, along with a number of HIAs and head knocks over the course of the round.’’

Knights coach Nathan Brown was critical of the NRL’s concussion-replacement rules on Saturday, after losing both Elliot and Sione Mata’utia during the second half.

TheHeraldcontacted Brown on Sunday for a response to FitzSimons’ comments but received no reply.

On Saturday, when asked about Elliot’s condition, the coachsaid:“Well, he got cleared and…they don’t clear them too much these days.Doctors are too frightened to clear them.’’

Under the NRL’s concussion protocols, there is a“slow to stand” guideline, which usually prompts a head-injury assessment.

PAIN BARRIER: Nathan Ross played on despite an ankle injury midway through the first half.

Brown called on Saturday for the NRL to allow additional replacements to cater for concussed players.

“The game has got to address this, because obviously with legal cases coming up, doctors are more cautious, but we’re not addressing the bigger problem,’’ he said.

“The bigger problem is injured people being forced to stay on the field because we don’t have any players left.’’

Hunt was placed on report for the tackle on Elliot and was charged on Sunday with a grade-two reckless tackle, which carriesa minimum suspension of four games if he takes the early guilty plea.

If he contests the charge and is found guilty, he would be looking at a six-game ban.

Asked for his view on the incident, Brown replied:“I’ll leave that withthe referees and the judiciary…

“But if Brendan Elliott does have to leave the field because of that, and then the player does get suspended, who gets the benefit out of it?’’

Souths prop George Burgess also copped a grade-two striking charge for an incident involving Newcastle’s Mitch Barnett, which is likely to cost him two or three weeks out.

Rabbitohs winger Braidon Burns faces a grade-one shoulder charge –at least a week out –for a hit on Sione Mata’utia, while Newcastle prop Josh Starling can escape suspension if he pleads guilty to grade-one dangerous contact on Kyle Turner.

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