Top 10 Bond lairs featured in Spectre and other James Bond film classics

Posted on by

miami Photo: Fontainebleau miami Photo: Fontainebleau
Shanghai night field

miami Photo: Fontainebleau

 

Put the action back into your life with a visit to one of these swanky Bond lairs. 1) Das Central, Sölden, Austria

Not only did Bond director Sam Mendes stay in this luxurious alpine retreat during the filming of Spectre, but several scenes were shot in the property’s gourmet mountain restaurant, Ice Q. Located in a dramatic 65-kilometre-long valley lined with soaring 3000-metre peaks, the resort provides access to some of the finest skiing in Austria. See central-soelden上海龙凤论坛m. 2) Peninsula, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s oldest hotel made an appearance in the 1974 Bond classic The Man with the Golden Gun when Scaramanga’s mistress, Andrea Anders, was collected by one of its trademark ‘Peninsula Green’ Rolls-Royce Phantoms. Still the benchmark for Hong Kong luxury digs, this legendary property has seven restaurants, two bars and a lavish 1100-square-metre spa. See hongkong.peninsula上海龙凤论坛m. 3) Four Seasons Canary Wharf, London

Stay at the Four Seasons Canary Wharf and you’ll have access to the same 20-metre rooftop infinity pool that Daniel Craig swam in during Skyfall. The luxury 10-storey property offers panoramic views of the Thames from its riverside location in Canary Wharf plus convenient access to London’s hip and happening East End. See fourseasons上海龙凤论坛m/canarywharf/4) Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire, UK

The normally low-risk game of golf took on a new edge when Sean Connery played Auric Goldfinger and his deadly bowler hat-throwing caddy Oddjob. The match took place on the 27-hole championship golf course at Stoke Park, a five-star hotel and country club near Windsor, England. Don’t worry if you’re not a golfer, the property also boasts three restaurants, 13 tennis courts and a decadent spa. See stokepark上海龙凤论坛m. 5) Spitbank Fort, The Solent, UK

A truly Bond-worthy lair, this island fort near Portsmouth was built to protect the harbour from attack from Napoleon III. Now transformed into a luxury hotel, the property has everything an aspiring secret agent could desire, including nine bedrooms, a hot tub, a wine cave and a rooftop fire pit. After being transferred to the island by speed boat, guests are welcomed with a glass of champagne and enjoy sumptuous meals in the fort’s a la carte restaurant. See amazingvenues上海龙凤论坛.uk/venue/spitbank-fort. 6) One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas

This exclusive ocean-front resort featured heavily in the 2006 movie Casino Royale. Bond relieves villain Alex Dimitrios of an Aston Martin during a game of poker in the hotel’s library and then – just to really rub it in – lures his girlfriend, Solange, back to his villa. Once a private estate, this elegant colonial retreat features an 18-hole golf course, a Balinese-style spa and cuisine overseen by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. See oceanclub.oneandonlyresorts上海龙凤论坛m. 7) Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy

Precisely four minutes by private launch from St Mark’s Square, this stunning luxury hotel enjoys unrivalled views of the lagoon and Doge’s Palace from its location on the tip of Giudecca Island. Bond fans will recognise it as the place Daniel Craig moored his yacht before embarking on a high-speed chase through the city in Casino Royale. You may prefer to relax with a cocktail around the hotel’s Olympic-sized swimming pool – it’s the only one in Venice. See belmond上海龙凤论坛m/hotel-cipriani-venice. 8) The Fleming Villa, Jamaica

Ian Fleming wrote all the James Bond novels at this idyllic Jamaican hideaway. Now part of the exclusive GoldenEye resort, the three-bedroom villa has its own private beach, pool and gardens plus two self-contained cottages. Ideal for budding novelists, it comes with a dedicated butler, housekeeper and cook, so there’s no excuse for not finishing that best-seller. See theflemingvilla上海龙凤论坛m. 9) Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India

This spectacular resort, located on an island in Lake Pichola, doubled as Octopussy’s impenetrable ‘floating palace’ in the eponymous 1983 Bond movie starring Roger Moore. While Moore had to swim over disguised as a crocodile, access nowadays is a little easier with a dedicated luxury transfer. Originally built as an 18th-century pleasure palace for Maharana Jagat Singh II, this decadent retreat is now one of India’s finest hotels – a lavish montage of marble columns, domed turrets and delicate fretwork screens. See tajhotels上海龙凤论坛m. 10) Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, USA

Designed by acclaimed architect Morris Lapidus, this iconic 1950s beachfront resort played a starring role in the 1963 classic Goldfinger. Not only does Bond receive a poolside massage in the film’s opening scene, but it’s where Jill Masterton meets an expensive demise after being painted entirely in gold by Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob. Today, the nine-hectare resort remains one of Miami’s finest, with four signature restaurants, a two-storey spa and direct access to a pristine section of beach. See fontainebleau上海龙凤论坛m.

need2know: ASX poised to rally

Posted on by

Local shares are set to open higher, following Wall Street which was lifted by gains in financial stocks and Apple.
Shanghai night field

What you need2know

SPI futures up 37pts to 5343

AUD at 70.96 US cents, 85.88 Japanese yen, 65.01 Euro cents and 46.49 British pence

On Wall St, late, S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +1%, Nasdaq 0.9%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +1.2%, FTSE +1.1%, CAC +0.9%, DAX +1.3%

Spot gold down $US9.88 or 0.9pc to $US1157.00/ounce

Brent crude up $US2.10 or 4.5% to $US48.91/barrel

Iron ore slumps 3% to $US49.95/ tonne

What’s on today

HIA new home sales, trade price index, Newcrest AGM in Melbourne; New Zealand rate decision.

Stocks in focus

Morgan Stanley has an “overweight” on Fortescue Metals Group after a site tour. “If we assume 90 per cent price realisation, FMG C1 cash costs and sustaining capex maintained at $US15 a tonne and $US2 a tonne from FY16 to FY20, respectively, with our base-case currency assumptions, we estimate the required headline iron ore price for FMG to repay all its debt when it falls due to be about $US47 a dry metric tonne.This implies capacity for both debt reduction and capital returns at current prices.”

Health and aged-care stocks: RSL Care and RDNS will merge into a single organisation to respond to changes in the market through scale and joint capabilities. Together the two organisations will become one of ‘s largest not-for-profit providers. In April this year, Generation Healthcare REIT (GHC) bought a portfolio of aged care properties, including three from RSL Care. The sector includes companies such as Japara, Regis and Estia.

Deutsche Bank has a “hold” on Sonic Healthcare and a target price at $20.

Currencies

The Aussie extended its slide overnight after the US Federal Reserve signalled it may lift rates at its next meeting in December. The dollar had already been under pressure from soft inflation data, which lifted expectations the RBA will cut rates again, as early as next week.

Even with a slower pace of recent job gains, “labour market indicators, on balance, show that underutilisation of labour resources has diminished since early this year,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington.

The Fed removed a line from September’s statement saying that global economic and financial developments “may restrain economic activity somewhat,” saying Wednesday only that the central bank is monitoring the international situation. The committee also added a reference to the possibility of increasing the rate “at its next meeting” based on “realised and expected” progress in reaching goals.

“The Fed is clearly signalling that the default plan is to raise rates in December,” said Dean Maki, chief economist at Point72 Asset Management in Stamford, Connecticut. “It signals that something needs to prevent them from hiking in December rather than that something needs to happen for them to raise.”

Commodities

Iron ore sank back below $US50 a metric ton on speculation that a global glut will persist as China’s leading mills group said local steel demand was contracting at an unprecedented pace and supplies from the biggest miners were expected to climb. Ore with 62 per cent content delivered to Qingdao fell 3 per cent to $US49.95 a dry ton on Wednesday, the lowest price since July 9, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd.

‘s biggest iron ore miners should expect a 20 per cent fall in Chinese steel consumption over the next 15 years, according to the country’s official forecaster.

Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange slumped to $US1460 a tonne in early trade, its lowest since June 2009. It later recovered to close at $US1484 for a slender 0.5 per cent gain on Tuesday’s close. “Aluminium’s fundamentals are extremely challenging, we haven’t seen anyone really seriously cutting back production,” Macquarie analyst Vivienne Lloyd said. “Problem is they are all waiting for someone else to do the decent thing.”

United States

US stocks are higher in late trade on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but left the door open to tightening monetary policy at its next meeting in December.  S&P financials, which benefit from higher rates, added to gains following the statement and were last up 2 per cent, on track for their best day in two weeks.

Gains in Apple’s shares, up 3.5 per cent at $US118.62, helped to support indexes, a day after its reported stronger-than-expected results.

Rite-Aid retreated after surging 43 per cent yesterday before an official announcement that Walgreen Boots Alliance will buy the drugstore chain.

Activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a “large stake” in American International Group and urged the company to spin off its life and mortgage insurance units into public companies to shed the US government’s “too-big-to-fail” tag.

Europe

European stocks rose, buoyed by a rebound in energy companies, as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting for indications of the trajectory of US borrowing costs. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.1 per cent at 4.33pm in London. All 19 industry groups rose, with oil-and-gas companies leading gains and snapping a three-day decline. The benchmark index has climbed 8.1 per cent in October, rebounding from a quarterly rout and set for its best monthly gain since 2009.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell added 1.4 per cent or more as oil rose from a two-month low after industry data showed declines in US fuel inventories and crude stockpiles at the nation’s biggest storage hub. Saipem rallied 11 per cent after Eni agreed to sell a stake in the company to Fondo Strategico Italiano. Eni rose 2.2 per cent.

Deutsche Bank said it plans to suspend dividends for two years as co-chief executive John Cryan seeks to improve returns. The bank plans to recommend the payment of common-share dividends commencing from fiscal year 2017. The bank targets a common equity Tier 1 ratio of at least 12.5 per cent from the end of 2018.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.2 per cent to close at 5335.2 while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 0.2 per cent to 5374.4.

The banks, overall, weighed heavily on the market with ANZ down 0.6 per cent to $28.75 and Commonwealth Bank down 0.1 per cent to $77.64. Westpac lifted 0.5 per cent to $31.93, but NAB sank 2.1 per cent to $31.72 despite lifting its full-year cash profit to $5.84 billion and announcing details of the upcoming float of Clydesdale Bank in the UK and the sale of 80 per cent of its life insurance business to Nippon Life of Japan.

5th AACTA Awards: the full list of nominees

Posted on by

Judy Davis, Sarah Snook and Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker. Ten nominations … Mad Max: Fury Road.
Shanghai night field

Joel Jackson in Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door.

Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron among AACTA nomineesWho was snubbed at the AACTA nominations?Movie session timesFull movies coverage

The nominations for the fifth n Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards are dominated in film by The Dressmaker (with 12 nods), Mad Max: Fury Road (with 11) and Last Cab To Darwin (with eight).

In television, the Seven network’s Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door leads the way (with 10 nods) from Foxtel Showcase’s Deadline Gallipoli and the ABC’s The Secret River (with eight) and Redfern Now (with seven).

The full list of nominations is … FEATURE FILM

Best Film Presented By Presto The Dressmaker – Sue MaslinHolding The Man – Kylie Du FresneLast Cab To Darwin – Greg Duffy, Lisa Duff, Jeremy SimsMad Max: Fury Road – Doug Mitchell, Pj Voeten, George MillerPaper Planes – Robert Connolly, Maggie Miles, Liz Kearne

Best Direction Presented By Hyundai GenesisThe Dressmaker – Jocelyn MoorhouseHolding The Man – Neil ArmfieldLast Cab To Darwin – Jeremy SimsMad Max: Fury Road – George Miller

Best Original ScreenplayCut Snake – Blake AyshfordKill Me Three Times – James McFarlandMad Max: Fury Road – George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico LathourisPaper Planes – Robert Connolly, Steve Worland

Best Adapted ScreenplayHolding The Man – Tommy MurphyLast Cab To Darwin – Reg Cribb, Jeremy SimsRuben Guthrie – Brendan Cowell

Best CinematographyThe Dressmaker – Donald M. McAlpine ACS, ASCLast Cab To Darwin – Steve Arnold ACSMad Max: Fury Road – John Seale ASC, ACSOddball – Damian Wyvill ACS

Best EditingCut Snake – Andy CannyThe Dressmaker – Jill Bilcock ACE, ASEHolding The Man – Dany Cooper ASEMad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel

Best SoundThe Dressmaker – Andrew Ramage, Glenn Newnham, Chris Goodes Cas, David Williams, Mario Vaccaro, Alex FrancisMad Max: Fury Road – Ben Osmo, David White, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, Wayne Pashley, Mark ManginiPaper Planes – Chris Goodes CAS, James Ashton, Emma Bortignon, Trevor HopePartisan – Robert Mackenzie, Dane Cody

Best Original Music ScoreThe Dressmaker – David HirschfelderMad Max: Fury Road – Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XLPaper Planes – Nigel WestlakePartisan – Daniel Lopatin

Best Production DesignCut Snake – Jo FordThe Dressmaker – Roger FordMad Max: Fury Road – Colin GibsonPartisan – Steven Jones-Evans APDG, Sarah Cyngler

Best Costume DesignCut Snake – Cappi IrelandThe Dressmaker – Marion Boyce, Margot WilsonMad Max: Fury Road – Jenny BeavanPartisan – Maria Pattison, Sarah Cyngler

Best Lead ActorPatrick Brammall – Ruben GuthrieMichael Caton – Last Cab To DarwinRyan Corr – Holding The ManSullivan Stapleton – Cut Snake

Best Lead ActressRobyn Butler – Now Add HoneyNingali Lawford-Wolf – Last Cab To DarwinCharlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury RoadKate Winslet – The Dressmaker

Best Supporting ActorMark Coles Smith – Last Cab To DarwinAlex Dimitriades – Ruben GuthrieAnthony LaPaglia – Holding The ManHugo Weaving – The Dressmaker

Best Supporting ActressJudy Davis – The DressmakerEmma Hamilton – Last Cab To DarwinDeborah Mailman – Paper PlanesSarah Snook – The Dressmaker

Best Visual Effects Or AnimationAvengers: Age Of Ultron – Christopher Townsend, Ryan Stafford, Paul Butterworth, Matt EstelaMad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Holly Radcliffe, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams, Tom Wood, Fiona CrawfordPan – Chas Jarrett, Dan Barrow, Mark Holt, Marc Varisco, Alana NewellTed 2 – Glenn Melenhorst, Ineke MajoorTELEVISION

Best Children’s TV SeriesLittle Lunch – Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope (ABC3)The New Adventures Of Figaro Pho – Daniel Fill, Frank Verheggen, Luke Jurevicius (ABC3)Nowhere Boys Series 2 – Beth Frey (ABC3)Ready For This – Darren Dale, Miranda Dear, Joanna Werner (ABC3)

Best TV Comedy SeriesDanger 5 Series 2 – Kate Croser, Dario Russo (SBS)Sammy J & Randy In Ricketts Lane – Donna Andrews, Stu Connolly – ABCShaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell – Shaun Micallef, Peter Beck – ABCUtopia – Michael Hirsh, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch – ABC

Best Light Entertainment TV SeriesDirty Laundry Live – Tarni James, Peter Lawler, Rachel Millar, Richard Kelly (ABC)Judith Lucy Is All Woman – Anna Bateman, Judith Lucy (ABC)Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery – Damian Davis, Polly Connolly, Nick Murray (ABC)The Weekly With Charlie Pickering – Charlie Pickering, Kevin Whyte, Chris Walker, Frank Bruzzese (ABC)

Best Reality TV SeriesMasterchef – Margaret Bashfield, Marty Benson, Tim Toni, Rob Wallace (Network Ten)My Kitchen Rules 6 – Rikkie Proost, Evan Wilkes, Matt Apps (Seven Network)Real Housewives Of Melbourne Season 2 – Kylie Washington, Lisa Potasz, Virginia Hodgson (Foxtel Arena)The Voice – Richard Rietveld (Nine Network)The X Factor – Digby Mitchell (Seven Network)

Best TV Drama SeriesGlitch – Tony Ayres, Louise Fox, Ewan Burnett (ABC)Love Child Series 2 – Tom Hoffie (Nine Network)Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 3 – Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox (ABC)Wentworth Series 3 – Jo Porter, Amanda Crittenden (Foxtel Soho)

Best Telefeature Or Mini SeriesBanished – Sita Williams, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jamie Laurenson, Brett Popplewell (Foxtel BBC First)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door – Kerrie Mainwaring, Rory Callaghan (Seven Network)The Principal – Ian Collie (SBS)The Secret River – Stephen Luby (ABC)

Best Direction In A TV Drama Or ComedyBanished Episode 7 – Jeffrey Walker (Foxtel BBC First)Deadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Michael Rymer (Foxtel Showcase)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 2 – Shawn Seet (Seven Network)The Principal Episode 1 – Kriv Stenders (SBS)

Best Direction In A TV Light Entertainment Or Reality SeriesHipsters Episode 1 – What Is A Hipster? – Seth Larney (SBS2)Judith Lucy Is All Woman Episode 2 – Hanky Panky – Anna Bateman (ABC)Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery Episode 7- Waleed Aly – Damian Davis (ABC)Kitchen Cabinet Episode 7 – Clive Palmer – Stamatia Maroupas (ABC)

Best Screenplay In TVDeadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Jacquelin Perske, Shaun Grant (Foxtel Showcase)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 2 – Michael Miller (Seven Network)The Principal Episode 1 – Kristen Dunphy (SBS)Utopia Episode 1 – A Fresh Start – Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch (ABC)

Best Lead Actor In A TV DramaWayne Blair – Redfern Now – Promise Me (ABC)Joel Jackson – Deadline Gallipoli (Foxtel Showcase)Joel Jackson – Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door (Seven Network)Oliver Jackson-Cohen – The Secret River (ABC)

Best Lead Actress In A TV DramaDeborah Mailman – Redfern Now – Promise Me (ABC)Pamela Rabe – Wentworth Series 3 (Foxtel Soho)Peta Sergeant – House Of Hancock (Nine Network)Sarah Snook – The Secret River (ABC)

Best Guest Or Supporting Actor In A TV DramaJohn Bach – Gallipoli Episode 6 – If Only … (Nine Network)Ky Baldwin – Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 (Seven Network)Lachy Hulme – The Secret River Part 1 (ABC)Rahel Romahn – The Principal Episode 2 (SBS)

Best Guest Or Supporting Actress In A TV DramaHarriet Dyer – Love Child Series 2 Episode 3 (Nine Network)Rarriwuy Hick – Redfern Now – Promise Me (ABC)Hannah Monson – Glitch Episode 4 (ABC)Sigrid Thornton – Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 (Seven Network)

Best Performance In A TV ComedyNathan Lovejoy – Sammy J & Randy In Ricketts Lane (ABC)Celia Pacquola – Utopia (ABC)Randy – Sammy J & Randy In Ricketts Lane (ABC)Emily Taheny – Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (ABC)

Best Cinematography In TVBanished Episode 6 – Martin Mcgrath ACS (Foxtel BBC First)Deadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Geoffrey Hall ACS (Foxtel Showcase)Redfern Now – Promise Me – Mark Wareham ACS (ABC)The Secret River Part 1 – Bruce Young (ABC)

Best Editing In TVDeadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Martin Connor, Dany Cooper ASE (Foxtel Showcase)Little Lunch Episode 5 – The Top Of The Fireman’s Pole – Annabelle Johnson (ABC3)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 – Deborah Peart ASE (Seven Network)Redfern Now – Promise Me – Nicholas Holmes ASE (ABC)

Best Sound In TVBanished Episode 6 – Paul Brincat, Gary Desmond, Dan Johnson (Foxtel BBC First)Deadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Des Kenneally, Robert Mackenzie (Foxtel Showcase))Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 – Grant Shepherd, Ashley Irwin, Ian Neilson, Ben Anderson, Nigel Croydon, Robert Sullivan (Seven Network)Redfern Now – Promise Me – Rainier Davenport, Ian McLoughlin CAS, Wes Chew, Tom Herdman, Annie Breslin, Blair Slater (ABC)

Best Original Music Score In TVDeadline Gallipoli Part 1 – David Bridie (Foxtel Showcase)Glitch Episode 4 – Cornel Wilczek (ABC)Redfern Now – Promise Me – Antony Partos (ABC)The Secret River Part 1 – Burkhard Dallwitz (ABC)

Best Production Design In TVBanished Episode 6 – Claire Kenny (Foxtel BBC First)Deadline Gallipoli Part 1 – Pete Baxter (Foxtel Showcase)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 – Tim Ferrier (Seven Network)The Secret River Part 1 – Herbert Pinter (ABC)

Best Costume Design In TVHouse Of Hancock Part 1 – Shareen Beringer (Nine Network)Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 3, Episode 1 – Death Defying Feats – Marion Boyce (ABC)Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door Episode 1 – Jenny Miles (Seven Network)The Secret River Part 1 – Edie Kurzer (ABC)SHORT FILM

Best Short AnimationErnie Biscuit – Adam ElliotThe Meek – Laura DimaIo, Joe BrummThe Orchestra – Mikey Hill, Melanie BruntThe Story Of Percival Pilts – John Lewis, Janette Goodey

Best Short Fiction FilmFlat Daddy – Annie Kinnane, Matt HolcombKarroyul – Kelrick Martin, Jaclyn Hewer, Melissa KellyNulla Nulla – Dylan River, Tanith Glynn-MaloneyReg Makes Contact – Corrie Chen, Jiao Chen, Raquelle DavidDOCUMENTARY

Best Feature Length DocumentaryGayby Baby – Charlotte MarsOnly The Dead – Patrick Mcdonald, Michael WareSherpa – Bridget Ikin, John SmithsonThat Sugar Film – Nick Batzias, Damon GameauWomen He’s Undressed – Damien Parer, Gillian Armstrong

Best Documentary Television Program Presented By Foxtel MoviesBetween A Frock And A Hard Place – Jo-anne Mcgowan (ABC)The Cambodian Space Project – Not Easy Rock’n’roll – Richard Kuipers (ABC)The Killing Season – Deborah Masters, Sarah Ferguson (ABC)Prison Songs – Harry Bardwell, Kelrick Martin (SBS)

Best Direction In A DocumentaryThe Killing Season Episode 2 – Great Moral Challenge (2009-2010) – Deborah Masters (ABC)Only The Dead – Bill Guttentag, Michael WarePrison Songs – Kelrick Martin (SBS)Uranium – Twisting The Dragon’s Tail Episode 1 – The Rock That Became A Bomb – Wain Fimeri, Steve Westh (SBS)

Best Cinematography In A DocumentaryThe Killing Season Episode 2 – Great Moral Challenge (2009-2010) – Louie Eroglu ACS (ABC)Life On The Reef Episode 1 – Nick Robinson, Luke Peterson, Jon Shaw (ABC)Prison Songs – Torstein Dyrting ACS (SBS)Sherpa – Renan Ozturk, Hugh Miller, Ken Sauls

Best Editing In A DocumentaryThe Cambodian Space Project – Not Easy Rock’n’roll – Andrea Lang ASE (ABC)The Killing Season Episode 2 – Great Moral Challenge (2009-2010) – Lile Judickas (ABC)Only The Dead – Jane MoranSherpa – Christian Gazal

Best Sound In A DocumentaryThe Cambodian Space Project – Not Easy Rock’n’roll – Keith Thomas (ABC)Life On The Reef Episode 1 – Caspar Mazzotti, Craig Beckett, Dan Miau, Terry Meehan (ABC)Only The Dead – Steve Burgess, Leah Katz, Andy Wright, Chris Goodes CASPrison Songs – Glenn Martin, Kim Lord (SBS)

Best Original Music Score In A DocumentaryOnly The Dead – Michael YezerksiPrison Songs – Shellie Morris, Casey Bennetto, Tim Cole (SBS)Sherpa – Antony PartosUranium – Twisting The Dragon’s Tail Episode 1 – The Rock That Became A Bomb – Dale Cornelius (SBS)

Herald Breakfast – October 29 2015

Posted on by

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught these shots on Newcastle harbour on Wednesday.Beachwatch:Once again it will be partly cloudy with onshore winds so a very similar day to Wednesdayif you’re heading beachside.The wind will be east to south-east with the swell from the south-east around 1.5 to twometres.Wave conditions will be a bit lumpy but a few breaks will be surfable.
Shanghai night field

Weather: Partly cloudy in Newcastle (22 degrees), Maitland (25 degrees) and Scone (26 degrees).

Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.

Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught these shots on Newcastle harbour on Wednesday.

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught these shots on Newcastle harbour on Wednesday.

Murder arrest in cold case of Elizabeth Dixon’s murder:EXCLUSIVESHE was a Northern Irish lass who fell in love with and stayed, living a simple existence as a squash-loving secretary with a happy-go-lucky disposition and a close circle of friends.

Man charged in Cessnock with murder of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson:The man, a 41-year-old inmate at Cessnock jail,was being interviewed by detectives at Cessnock police station on Wednesday night and was then charged with her alleged murder.

Sacked GM flags legal action: POLLMr Gouldthorp was dumped from his $350,000-a-year job on Tuesday night just two years into a five-year contract, but he confirmed on Wednesday that he had alerted the lawyers and would be pursuing further action.

We pay for council’s puerile politicsCOMMENT WELL, those councillors sure know how to pull off a decent murder in the dead of night.

‘Gentleman’s agreement’ for Hunter River fishers:FRUSTRATION with the lack of federal government assistance has forced Hunter River fishermen to try negotiate their own agreement to ensure each operator receives an income.

Show day would cost $500,000: chamber: HUNTER Business Chamber has upped the ante in its war with Newcastle council over plans for a public holiday to coincide with next year’s Newcastle Show.

Please don’t let that be what I think it isTOPICSAll we can say is spare a thought for poor Jennifer Govan from Maryville who purchased this steaming hot bird from Waratah Coles on Tuesday with the obvious and fairly reasonable intention of eating it.

Closer ties for Maitland, Newcastle:HUNTER Hitmen captain Matt Trappel has called for more representative cricket to be played between Newcastle and Maitland after the success of Sunday’s maiden Regional Bash match.

The puzzling prevalence of ‘back burner’ relationships

Posted on by

Social media means access.”People use computers to keep romantic prospects waiting in the wings.”
Shanghai night field

It’s an uncomfortable truth that is bound to touch a nerve in even the most committed among us.

A male friend recently expressed his concern about his girlfriend’s contact with an ex. Well, multiple exes actually.

She was adamant it was innocent – they were mates. He was convinced they were back burners – that she was keeping the door ajar for a future fling, should their relationship falter.

Whether his fears are warranted or not, it is not uncommon to have a “back burner” relationship.

They are not the domain of singles either, according to recent research.

A back burner, to be clear, is not someone who we think is cute or who comes to mind occasionally.

Rather, they are, the study explains, “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication, in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement”.

We will always, in a long-term relationship, find others attractive, but I choose not to chase the fire.

It is not worth the confusion or potential chaos for a bit of an ego boost.

I’m not sure how can we know the true potential of anything if we are not totally committed to it and if I’m exploring other options, I figure I’m not into someone enough to be with them in the first place.

But this is not how many people feel.

Keeping our options open is tempting, especially when we’re not fully invested, we hit a rough patch in our relationship, fear rejection or are afraid to fall too deeply. It can simply be that we think there might be a better offer out there, we want to have our cake and eat it too or we just like the attention.

Some of these reasons might explain why the researchers made an unusual finding.

Theoretically, if we’re madly in love, we shut down back burners, right? Not necessarily.

There is, they found, “no relationship found between back burners and commitment or investment”.

The 374 participants in the study answered questions about how many back burners they had, how they interacted, whether they were in a relationship and how in love they were, if they had a partner.

Mostly, those with back burners communicated via texts (45 per cent) and Facebook (37 per cent).

Some spoke over the phone, emailed or were in contact via Skype.

“I think back burner relationships are something we’ve always had – the little black book has been around for a long time – they are just more accessible now” says Val Holden, of Relationships , adding, “it’s technology that’s brought it to the place it is.”

It’s easy to “like” something and relatively harmless – or at the very least ambiguous – to check in with people on Facebook. It keeps our options open without too much risk.

“There’s a big difference between a ‘like’ or chat on Facebook and dinner/drinks,” says Holden, who notes that “likes” or the odd message are not always signs of a ‘back burner’.

“It may be quite innocent,” she says, “someone might read more into a ‘like’ than is meant … things can be misinterpreted.”

This is why there are no hard and fast rules about what is or isn’t OK and what does and does not cross a line.

It’s murky territory – and, of course, platonic friendships do exist between the sexes and even between exes. The researchers are looking to refine their understanding of what constitutes a back burner more. If we’re in touch with someone once in a blue moon, is that still a back burner? What if our back burner ends up in a relationship etcetera?

Holden says it is about getting to know each other and communicating to figure out what we’re both OK with.

“Every relationship and every person is different,” Holden says. “It’s something you need to talk about. What’s appropriate within your relationship and what’s acceptable to your relationship.”

This assumes we are being honest with our partners. And, of equal importance, it is about getting to know and be honest with ourselves too, so that the truths of what we want, who we’re with and are in a relationship with are ones we “like”. Otherwise, it’s probably worth putting it on the back burner.

Can a monster TV role lure Lady Gaga away from singing?

Posted on by

Lady Gaga as The Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel.She’s long been known as Mother Monster to her legion of fans, so it came as little surprise when singer Lady Gaga showed up in the latest season of American Horror Story, playing a lead – and very scary – character.
Shanghai night field

Gaga, AKA Stefani Germanotta, stars in season five of the successful horror franchise as The Countess, a 115-year-old woman with a rare blood disorder she calls haemophilia, but the rest of the world would call vampirism.

The countess is one of a troupe of resident demons, ghouls and oddball staff who seem to inhabit The Hotel Cortez for one reason only – to prey upon anyone stupid enough to try to check in.

In the role, Gaga gets to slink along in a series of outrageous outfits, keeps a lover (played by White Collar’s and Magic Mike’s Matt Bomer) captive for her amusement and drags others into her bed for either fun or food as the whim takes her

And yes, it’s every bit as much fun as it sounds, she said.

“I’m happier than I’ve ever been now,” Gaga said in an interview with E! news before the new season began, “because the people that I work with really, really care that my life is different and really, really work to make sure that I feel as normal as possible — so that I can have a great time and just be a normal girl, and just be a woman for (series creator and executive producer) Ryan (Murphy) on film, or you know… [laughs] a hemophiliac.”

Since the season premiered in America, reaction to Gaga’s character has been almost universally positive, with rumours of an Emmy nomination growing.

Variety said her role brought new life to the franchise: “Whatever the shortcomings (of American Horror Story), the extraordinarily well-timed addition of Gaga to the mix should render any naysaying moot, practically speaking, establishing this as a sort-of event that plenty of people will feel obligated to check out (or in),” their reviewer raved.

“Viewed that way, Gaga’s primary role is to help bait the hook, at one point describing the hotel to an outsider by purring, ‘Maybe this place is special’.”

Ryan Murphy was so impressed with her performance that at this year’s Emmy’s a month before the series aired, he called Gaga “one of the great professional joys in my life”.

“She has been such a team player, the cast and crew are obsessed with her,” he said,

“Her performance is amazing. She’s a great actress.”

Then on the day the new season premiered he tweeted: “Lady Gaga is so brilliant in AHS season five that yesterday I officially asked her to join season 6. Say yes @ladygaga!”

All that before a sixth season was even confirmed.

Whether this means the singer will put her stage persona on hold to pursue other parts remains to be seen, but the role does mark a return to acting for Gaga, who studied at New York University’s Tisch School For The Arts, performed in musical theatre and even had a small, uncredited role in The Sopranos as a teenager.

“I’m new to acting in a lot of ways,” she told E!, “But also, I’m not, because I studied it for over 10 years…

“I’ve always been someone that was interested in the arts…I have all this training in these other areas so [with American Horror Story: Hotel), I was like, ‘I’m just going to go to set and I’m going to know my lines perfectly, but not too perfectly that I can’t keep it loose and live in it. And I’m going to really read the f–k out of these scripts, over and over and over, 10 times each at least.”

American Horror Story: Hotel, Eleven, Monday, 9.30pm

2015 AACTA Awards: Oscar winners Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron among nominees

Posted on by

Nominated: Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker. Ryan Corr and Michael Caton are both up for best actor in the feature film categories at the AACTA Awards. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Shanghai night field

Warrior: Charlize Theron (second from right) in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Who was snubbed in AACTA nominations?Full list of AACTA nomineesMovie session timesFull movies coverage

In the year that n films bounced back, Oscar winners Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron are among the nominees for the country’s main film and television awards.

Winslet is up for best actress for her role as an internationally successful designer returning home in The Dressmaker, which leads the field at the n Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards with 12 nominations.

Her main rival is Theron, who played a one-armed warrior in the hit action film Mad Max: Fury Road, which has 11 nominations.

Both films are vying for best film with the moving euthanasia drama Last Cab to Darwin (eight nominations), gay romance Holding the Man (six nominations) and family drama Paper Planes (five nominations).

The nominations are announced on the day The Dressmaker opens in cinemas, joining a line-up of n releases that looks like taking a record $70 millon at the box office this year.

Winslet and Theron are up for best actress against two considerably less well-known nominees – Ningali Lawford-Wolf, who was the lover of a dying man in Last Cab to Darwin, and Robyn Butler, who was a harried aunt who took in a troublesome niece in the yet-to-be-released comedy Now Add Honey.

The role that revived Michael Caton’s career, playing a dying taxi driver in Last Cab to Darwin, has delivered the 72-year-old the chance to win the country’s top acting award for the first time.

When he was nominated for The Castle at what were then known as the n Film Institute Awards in 1997, Caton lost to Richard Roxburgh for Doing Time for Patsy Cline.

“It was the role of a lifetime really,” he said of Last Cab to Darwin. “Your age sometimes sends you to the peripherals but this one had you slap bang in the centre of it.”

With Tom Hardy missing a best actor nomination for playing Mad Max in Fury Road, Caton is up against Ryan Corr, who was a gay playwright and activist in Holding the Man, Patrick Brammall, who played an advertising executive trying to give up alcohol in Ruben Guthrie, and Sullivan Stapleton, who was a dangerous ex-con in the crime drama Cut Snake.

Corr, who has been filming Mel Gibson’s World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge in Sydney, said playing Tim Conigrave in Holding The Man was a “profound personal and professional experience”.

“People are very thankful that this story is being told and feeling that it does honour to the memory of their loved ones and friends that were lost during the AIDS crisis,” he said. “It’s more than just telling a story on a superficial level. It means a lot to a lot of people.”

The award for best director sees two former winners, Fury Road’s George Miller and The Dressmaker’s Jocelyn Moorhouse, up against two directors with theatre backgrounds – Holding The Man’s Neil Armfield and Last Cab to Darwin’s Jeremy Sims.

Judy Davis, a six-time winner at the AFI and AACTA awards, has another nomination for best supporting actress for The Dressmaker.

She is up against newcomer Emma Hamilton (Last Cab to Darwin), Deborah Mailman (Paper Planes) and Sarah Snook (also for The Dressmaker).

Hugo Weaving has another nomination for The Dressmaker in the best supporting actor category, alongside Mark Coles Smith (Last Cab to Darwin), Alex Dimitriades (Ruben Guthrie) and Anthony LaPaglia (Holding the Man).

In television, the Seven network’s music drama Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door has dominated with 10 nominations followed by Foxtel Showcase’s World War I drama Deadline Gallipoli and the ABC historical drama The Secret River – both with eight.

The nominations are a triumph for rising star Joel Jackson, who is nominated twice for best lead actor in a TV drama. He played real life characters in both roles – singer Peter Allen and war correspondent Charles Bean.

Also getting dual nominations at the fifth AACTA awards are Deborah Mailman and Sarah Snook, who add to their recognition in the film categories with nods for best lead actress in a TV drama for Redfern Now and The Secret River respectively.

Two ABC shows are up for best drama series – Glitch and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – against Nine’s Love Child and Foxtel Soho’s Wentworth.

The two leading contenders in the TV categories, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door and The Secret River, are nominated alongside The Principal (SBS) and Banished (Foxtel BBC First) for best telefeature or mini-series.

While The Bachelor and Bachelorette have grabbed more headlines over the past year, the contenders for best reality TV series are MasterChef (Ten), My Kitchen Rules (Seven), Real Housewives of Melbourne (Foxtel Arena), The Voice (Nine) and The X Factor (Seven).

The ABC has all four nominees for best light entertainment series – Dirty Laundry Live, Judith Lucy Is All Woman, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.

Best TV comedy series is also dominated by the ABC, with Shaun Micallef’sMad As Hell, Utopia and Sammy J & Randy In Ricketts Lane up against SBS’ Danger 5.

As well as her own best actress film nomination, Upper Middle Bogan’s Robyn Butler also has a producing nod for best children’s TV series with husband Wayne Hope for Little Lunch (ABC3).

It is up against three other shows on ABC 3 – The New Adventures of Figaro Pho, Nowhere Boys and Ready For This.

The AACTA craft awards will be presented at a dinner in Sydney on November 30, with the main awards on December 9.

Full list of AACTA nominees

Short Cuts: Awards snubs for Kidman, Hardy and Lee, Chinan screenwriter takes up Oscars controversy

Posted on by

Missed out: Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes in Strangerland. Missed a deserved nomination: Abbey Lee with Patrick Brammall in Reuben Guthrie.
Shanghai night field

Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron nominated for AACTAs​Full list of AACTA nomineesMovie session timesFull movies coverageAwards snubs for Hardy, Kidman and Lee

Just as the nominations for n Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards are a triumph for rising star Joel Jackson – with dual best actor nominations for the TV dramas Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door and Deadline Gallipoli – there are some striking snubs for big-name actors in n films.

Nicole Kidman missed a nomination for her intense performance as the troubled mother of two missing children in the outback drama Strangerland. Although Charlize Theron received a best actress nod for playing a one-armed warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road – and has to be favourite to win – there was no recognition for Tom Hardy, who did a lot with few words as Max.

French star Vincent Cassel also missed out for his charismatic turn in the little-seen drama Partisan, which he took over late when Oscar Isaac withdrew.

Although there were other big name actors in contending films, there were no expectations that Simon Pegg would be nominated for the comic thriller Kill Me Three Times orJacki Weaver for Last Cab to Darwin.

The unluckiest omission has to be Abbey Lee, who impressed as a supermodel with a conscience in Ruben Guthrie. Like Craig Stott, who went from schoolboy star footballer to emaciated AIDS victim in Holding the Man, she deserved recognition for a key performance.

And the 12 nominations for The Dressmaker could not be more timely. They come on the day director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s comic drama opens on 384 screens – 284 cinemas – around the country.n screenwriter backs director in Oscars drama

n screenwriter John Collee has backed French director Jean-Jacques Annaud in the controversy over the Academy Awards eligibility of the historical drama Wolf Totem.

The French-Chinese co-production was replaced as China’s official entry for best foreign language film when the academy decreed it not Chinese enough, stating that films have to be “largely in the hands” of filmmakers from the nominating country.

An upset Annaud, who won a foreign-language Oscar with Ivory Coast submission Black and White in Colour in 1977, told The Hollywood Reporter that the decision was confusing and arbitrary.

“American movies are made by global talent but they are still American movies,” he said. “Why is it that foreign language movies are treated differently?”

The historical drama is an adaption of Chinese writer Jiang Rong’s bestseller about a Beijing youth who adopts a wolf cub in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution. It has been a hit in China, taking more than $US100 million ($138 million), but has no n release date at this stage.

For Annaud, it is “a movie in Chinese with Chinese actors, with a Chinese story from a Chinese bestseller” despite having a French director, cinematographer and editor and an American composer.

Collee, whose movies include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Happy Feet, tells Short Cuts he wrote a final script at the request of the Hong Kong cast, who wanted a screenwriter whose first language was English. Earlier drafts were written by Chinese screenwriter Lu Wei and Annaud with his writing partner Alain Godard.

Collee insists that Wolf Totem is “a Chinese story made with Chinese cast, Chinese special effects, Chinese everything”.

“It’s a story of inner Mongolia and those relatively disenfranchised communities aren’t going to tell their stories except through the agency of western filmmakers,” he says. “There has to be some kind of transition process where key creatives take their skills and collaborate with these remote communities in order to tell their stories.

“If it’s done well then it remains effectively their stories and their experience. And Wolf Totem is a true story of the Cultural Revolution so it’s very authentic to that place and the time in which it is set.”

Collee also questions the replacement of Wolf Totem at the Oscars with the Chinese comedy Go Away Mr Tumour.

“The film that’s eligible is a kind of a copy of a western film in its style and content,” Collee says. “If cultural integrity counts for anything, maybe that should be part of the judgement process on whether it qualifies.”Mad Max in Oscars frame

Edgar Wright, the English director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, has thrown his support behind Mad Max: Fury Road being recognised at the Oscars.

A new member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he has tweeted about his affection for director George Miller’s hit movie, saying he did not even need a voting form.

“Put me down for Fury Road in all categories,” he wrote. “Even documentary.”Martian still tops chart

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi drama The Martian has stayed on top of the n box office for an impressive four weekends now, taking another $2.2 million to reach $20.9 million.

And the near $US400 million the movie has taken around the world is a timely nudge for the NSW government during negotiations to bring his next movie, another Alien instalment, to Sydney’s Fox Studios.

When Scott visited for the premiere of Black Hawk Down in 2001, he told this columnist he had decided to pick up the pace and direct more often. Up to that point, he had shot 13 movies in 24 years including such classics as Alien, Bladerunner, Thelma and Louise and Gladiator.

Since then, the legendary British filmmaker has directed another 10 movies in 14 years. And The Martian looks like his biggest hit in this period as it closes in on Prometheus’ $US403 million.

Scott has publicly said he wants to shoot in Sydney so with federal government support locked in, it seems like a case of negotiating additional funding from the state government.

Once that happens, it will be a big year for international movies with the new Alien joining Thor: Ragnorak and Kong: Skull Island, which will shoot in Queensland. And no doubt the value of the n dollar and willingness of the federal government to top up the 16.5 per cent location offset will interest other Hollywood producers.Bridge of Spies does well, too

On another relatively quiet weekend in cinemas outside of The Martian, Steven Spielberg’s latest collaboration with Tom Hanks, the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, opened solidly with $1.76 million.

The n cross-cultural rom-com Alex and Eve had a soft opening with $88,000 in 32 cinemas, reaching $124,000 including previews. While it has not worked in suburban multiplexes, it has reportedly done well in art-house cinemas.

The family comedy Oddball has reached an impressive $10.1 million. And despite festival acclaim, the surreal comedy The Lobster from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos took just $66,000 in eight cinemas.Emo crowdfunding campaign closing

It’s down to begging. The producers of Emo the Musical are in the final few days of a crowdfunding campaign to turn their 2013 short into a feature film.

Writer-director Neil Triffett and producer Lee Matthews have been seeking $40,000 to add to Screen funding announced last month. And with three days to go, they had pledges for more than $26,000.

The film is described as a story about a holy war between Satan-loving Goths and happy-clappy Christians at an n high school – “think Romeo + Juliet without the suicide ending”.

Matthews has described the crowdfunding campaign as strategic: “It’s a way of helping us fill the gap but more importantly it’s a way of building an audience, and hopefully a loyal following.”Designs on The Dressmaker

The striking look of The Dressmaker will be the subject of two behind-the-scenes sessions over the next fortnight.

At Melbourne’s Docklands Studio, production designer Roger Ford, art director Lucinda Thomson and set decorator Lisa Thompson will discuss the design of director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s comic drama on November 11.

And the dressmaker behind The Dressmaker, costume designer Margot Wilson, will introduce a session at Sydney’s Palace’s Verona Cinema this Friday.Festival entries open

It seems like it finished only five minutes ago but entries have opened for next year’s Sydney Film Festival. After a successful year both critically and commercially, the festival is inviting submissions for feature films, documentaries and short films. It also has a new board member, media entrepreneur Deanne Weir, who is also deputy chair of Screen .

Twitter @gmaddox

Pink ball makes for ‘boring’ cricket, says Victorian bowler John Hastings

Posted on by

The pink ball being used in day-night first-class matches makes for “boring” cricket, according to Victorian fast bowler John Hastings.
Shanghai night field

Hastings took two for 36 from 25 overs to be the pick of the Bushrangers’ bowler on the first day of their Sheffield Shield season opener against Queensland at the MCG, but said that the pink ball — used ahead of next month’s inaugural day-night Test match — made the bowlers’ work hard.

He confirmed that Victorian captain Matthew Wade had requested that the umpires replace the ball as it lost colour and hardness before a new ball was taken after 80 overs.

But despite Wade’s approach, brought about in part by the fact that some Bushrangers fieldsmen were struggling to see the fading pink ball, umpires Phil Gillespie and Geoff Joshua refused an early switch.

A 164-run partnership between Bulls Scott Henry (141) and Marnus Labuschagne (67) was only ended as Victoria took the new ball at the mandated 80-over mark, with both batsmen departing soon after the change. Queensland ended the day at 4/298.

Despite believing that the pink ball had improved since its use last season, Hastings remained unconvinced. “The ball doesn’t move off the straight, it’s tough work. All you’ve got to do is set straight fields. It’s a quite boring brand of cricket when you do have that pink ball,” he said after the day’s play.

“It’s getting better. It’s certainly better than the first few pink-ball games that we’ve played. But I still think there’s a fair bit of work to do. The main issue for me is the hardness of the ball. It just doesn’t stack up to the red ball. I think maybe if we changed the ball at around 50, 55 overs and get a new one, or a semi-new one, it might be a better contest towards the end.

“The discolouration was a little bit of a factor tonight, but not more so than it has been in the past.”

Hastings explained what had transpired when Wade approached the umpires inside the final 10 overs before the new ball was to become available. “We were, we definitely were [asking for a change]. We thought there was just a bit of discolouration there. We wouldn’t have minded if it was the same for both teams.

“As it turned out we just bowled spinners and [medium-pacer] Marcus Stoinis bowled a few towards the end there.

“I don’t know whether they’ve had a directive not to change the ball or whether they should change the ball, I don’t know, but it would have been handy for us if they had have.

“Some of the fielders square of the wicket couldn’t really see it that well, so we were just saying, ‘can we get it changed?'”

But Hastings added that he had not personally suffered any problems in trying to see the ball in the field and that the ball did briefly reverse swing

“It wasn’t consistent, but it did actually swing a little bit reverse.”

Ex-NSW opener Henry, who starred on debut for his new state did not have any issues with the ball.

“I thought it was fine the whole time,” he said.

Henry said, however, that batting at night against a new ball at night was always a challenge.

“Under lights, with a new ball, whether it’s white or pink it’s always difficult to adjust. Obviously coming from the day time conditions to night time, it’s always going to be difficult.”

Pools, cash payments and a big tax bill: Salim Mehajer faces liquidator

Posted on by

Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer was questioned about mystery payments to a pool company. Photo: Nick Moir Salim Mehajer sued over onyx staircaseMehajer ‘right hand man’ admits forging documents
Shanghai night field

“You’ve given me a brain freeze. I can’t recall,” said Salim​ Mehajer​.

It was his second day in the Federal Court witness box and things were not going swimmingly for the deputy mayor of Auburn. His close friend and “right hand man” had already dropped a bombshell by admitting he forged documents given to the liquidator appointed to Cr Mehajer’s failed company SM Project Developments.

Now Cr Mehajer was being grilled about mystery payments to a pool company and a hefty unpaid tax bill.

SM Project Developments, co-owned by Cr Mehajer and his business partner Minh​ Hua, was forced into liquidation by the Tax Office in January 2013 over $837,000 in unpaid tax and penalties.

While the tax debt was owing, SM had been making payments to a pool company – despite none of its properties having a pool – and handing over thousands in cash, including to Cr Mehajer’s wife Aysha​. The liquidator is now attempting to claw back almost $700,000 from the men in the Supreme Court, alleging they entered into “unreasonable” transactions.

Mr Hua, a former Auburn councillor who is the brother-in-law and business partner of Auburn mayor Le “Lily” Lam, told a Federal Court liquidator’s examination last year he had “no involvement” in the day-to-day running of the company. He also didn’t have a pool.

“I trust Salim. He handle everything,” he said.

As for the swimming pool at Cr Mehajer’s lavish pile in Lidcombe, the deputy mayor and property developer assured the hearing it was completed “well and truly after this period”.

Pressed about an $81,000 payment to Premier Pools in 2012, Cr Mehajer said the company also made pumps for stormwater pits –  but he couldn’t point to any pump that might have been bought. He suggested the money could have been given to a subcontractor “in lieu of” a payment that was due. It was, however, “impossible to say” which one.

The company also made tens of thousands of dollars in “personal loans”, including $2500 to Cr Mehajer’s wife Aysha.

“Let me suggest to you that what you did was you treated this account as your own personal cash account,” the barrister for the liquidator, David Stack, said.

“Incorrect,” Cr Mehajer replied. But when the subject turned to tax and whether Cr Mehajer knew the company had to pay its bill by August 13, 2012, he said Mr Stack had given him “brain freeze”.

“What do you mean I’ve given you a brain freeze?” Mr Stack demanded.

“My brain is not functioning and operating very well now,” the then 28-year-old replied.

The tax bill was a “surprise”, he said, and while he intended to pay, the company’s accountant had advised them not to do so at that point.

“We were more so let down by the accountant. To have a for sale sign in front of our property was really heart-touching,” he said.

Ahmad​ Yaseen​, the company’s former general manager, admitted to forging documents from a string of SM “creditors”. He denied Cr Mehajer asked him to do so and said the councillor was “upset” when he found out.

Mr Yaseen, who said it was right “to an extent” to describe him as Cr Mehajer’s “right hand man”, said the purpose of the forged documents was to ensure genuine creditors were paid by the liquidator. He denied it was “intended …that those moneys would be funnelled back” to companies linked to his friend.

Cr Mehajer insisted he was “absolutely not” responsible for the forgeries. Asked why he didn’t tell the liquidator when he realised the documents were fake, he said he wanted to get legal advice “from the get-go” and the liquidator refused to speak to him.

with Leesha McKenny

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10