Archive for October, 2019

Smith hits the deck in fiery net session with Starc

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has given another indication of what he has in store for England by leaving Test captain Steve Smith on his backside during a robust net session at the SCG on Friday.


Top-order stars Smith and Warner were stepping up their Ashes preparations by facing NSW and Australian trio Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins at Blues training.

Starc this week created history by claiming two hat tricks in the one match, wreaking havoc on the Western Australian tail to seal an outright victory at Hurstville Oval.

The left-armer demonstrated on Friday he is just as difficult to handle for the world’s best batsmen as well.

Smith is certainly in that category but he twice lost balance getting out of the way of Starc thunderbolts, on one occasion being left on his backside.

The captain and and his deputy, Warner, were taking on the three Test quicks during a 30-minute net session, with Smith and Starc trading barbs throughout.

“That’s what they’re always like. They’re always into each other. Patty and I just do our thing. But it’s pretty easy to fire Starcy up, so I think Smithy takes it on,” Hazlewood said.

“It’s always good fun and they’re obviously two world-class players, so it keeps you on your toes,” Hazlewood said. “You want to make sure you get everything out of the session. There is no real ‘go through the motions’ when you’re bowling at those two guys.”

Hazlewood is joining Starc and Cummins in sitting out NSW’s final Sheffield Shield match before the Ashes in Queensland next week, with the trio to instead train along with Jackson Bird of Tasmania at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has confirmed that Western Australian fast bowler and Ashes hopeful Nathan Coulter-Nile is out for at least a month with a flare up to his back condition.

Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris said: “Nathan experienced some pain in his back following the two-day tour match against England last week.

“Subsequent scans have revealed an early stage aggravation of his old stress fracture.

“Whilst this is a setback, the good news is that it has been picked up early so we are only considering a short break from bowling while we monitor him.

“We expect he will have further scans over the next month which will determine when he can return to bowling.” iFrameResize({checkOrigin:false},’#ashes-squad-selector-2017′);var frame = document.getElementById(“ashes-squad-selector-2017”);

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Handscomb confident of handling Ashes heat

Ashes novice Peter Handscomb has declared he is ready technically to adjust to the challenge that will come from England’s pace spearheads in this month’s series opener.


James Anderson and Stuart Broad will again be the key to the tourists’ Ashes hopes, and for good reason – they are England’s all-time leading wicket-takers with a combined 894 scalps.

Handscomb has enjoyed a fine year since his elevation to the Test side last summer, thumping 743 runs at 53.07 with his home-spun technique.

The Victorian captain has gradually found form through the opening rounds of the Sheffield Shield, scratching out nine and 34 in the loss to the Bulls in Queensland before rebounding with 43 and 58 in the draw with South Australia.

Heading into the final round of Shield action before the Ashes squad is announced next Friday, Handscomb said he was keen for a long innings, with the Bushrangers to host Tasmania from Monday, but declared he had adjusted to the local conditions after a year largely spent on the subcontinent.

“I want a big score every time I go out to bat,” Handscomb said on Friday.

“It would be good to have that bit more time out in the middle, get used to scoring big runs again … but everything is feeling right, balance feels good and my feet are moving, which is the main thing.

“I had to make the transition there back from subcontinent, back to white ball and back to red ball in Australia. I tinkered with a few things and made sure I got back to my technique and started doing what I need.”

Handscomb has little experience with Anderson and Broad, which could work in his favour for the tourists may have to adjust on the hop if Australia’s No.5 takes control early in his innings.

“I faced Broad in a one-dayer over in England county cricket and I faced five balls from Anderson in a county game and he tore his groin. I haven’t had much against them but am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“I am trying not to worry too much about it, to be perfectly honest. I think they are two more bowlers.

“Obviously, they are very, very good but we are in our home conditions and we feel pretty good over here.

“If you just back your own game plan, go out there and give it a good crack, I think we will be OK.”

However, the English pair will believe they can find a crack in Handscomb’s technique, which has him hold his bat above his shoulders and often stand as deep in the crease as possible to the quicks to give him more time to pick up their line and length.

“But also I have found by doing that, they try and drag me forward and by doing that they have to try and pitch the ball up there and sometimes it comes out a little bit floated,” Handscomb said last summer.

He has always insisted he can shift his weight between his front and back foots, so he doesn’t find himself trapped in front of the stumps.

Fellow Victorian Glenn Maxwell and Tasmania captain Matthew Wade will also hope for an extensive innings from Monday.

Both are fighting for Test inclusion, with Wade under pressure to remain as gloveman, having failed four times with the bat through two Shield matches, making one and six against Western Australia, and nine and 17 against Queensland.

Wade, who returned home to Tasmania this season after almost a decade with Victoria, has passed 50 only once in 16 Test innings since he was recalled last summer.

Handscomb said he had been surprised by the lack of Shield runs from his good friend who is fighting Peter Nevill and Alex Carey – each of whom scored more than 590 Shield runs last summer – for an Ashes berth.

“I have been surprised with Matty because I know how well he can bat,” Handscomb said.

“Obviously, he is under the microscope a little bit so every little thing he seems to do wrong gets intensified a bit which is a bit of a shame because he does do so much right as well.

“Hopefully, for his sake, he can focus on that a little bit and try and get away from the negatives.”

It hasn’t been lost on players that form in previous years may not count for much, with selectors – and the media – eying those who have made early runs this season.

However, Hilton Cartwright, the second-leading Shield run-scorer last summer, is firmly in the frame for Ashes selection, while Jake Lehmann, ninth last summer, has put himself into the conversation with a century and 93 against the Bushrangers this week.

Jake Lehmann has delivered massive recent scores in Shield cricket. Photo: AAP

“Jake is obviously a very, very good player so in the critical games or where they [selectors] are asking people to stand up, there is that bit of pressure and he basically went out there and made two hundreds,” Handscomb said.

“That’s a positive sign. But there have been guys who have been scoring runs for three or four years. Ultimately, you want someone who is going consistently and if they are only going to be judged on these three games as opposed to what they have done through their career that can be tough.”

Former Test batsmen Ed Cowan and George Bailey, who recorded the most and third-most Shield runs last summer respectively, are no longer in the Test frame.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Next City Vanguard Conference wraps up with new ideas for Newcastle icons

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Emily Davies O’Sullivan, with other members of her winning team, was impressed with the quality of ideas from international delegates at the Next City Vanguard Conference. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIF these urban planners had their way, the former Newcastlepost office would become a high-rise hotel and Wharf Roadclosed for more parkland.


The Next City Vanguard Conference wrapped up on Friday, after spending a week studying the Revitalising Newcastle program and offering their thoughts on how to advance the city.

The delegates –who came from North America, New Zealand and other Australian cities –were given a tour of the former post office and former Newcastle rail station and challenged to come up with new uses for the historic buildings.

Chris Rowlands, a strategic planner with Bendigo council, said he was “blown away” by the dilapidated state of the old post office.

He was part of the winning team who proposed turning the post office into a multi-storey hotel.

The team’s concept proposed building on top of the existing building to make the cost of restoring the rundown icon financially viable.

“There is so much opportunity with that site,” Mr Rowlands said.

“We came up with the concept of the multi-storey hotel, obviously respecting the building’s heritage, but also finding new uses for the first and second floors.

“We were thinking there’s potential for a restaurant or bar, but also community space in the basement.

“It has a big basement that could one day become a meeting space, exhibition space or performance space.”

Rachel Cogger, of Sydney, an Tyler Caine, of New York City, with the rest of their team on Newcastle beach. They had the winning entry for the former Newcastle railway station. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Other controversial ideas were proposed for the former Newcastle railway station and surrounding area.

Tyler Caine, an architect from New York, said his team’s winning entry included a proposal to close Wharf Road and turn it into parkland.

He said his team wanted the station to become “a place for community”.

“The proposal included three main interior uses for the building: a cultural heritage centre, a space for artists and the last was food,” Mr Caine said.

“We wanted to capitalise on what seems to be a very budding food culture in Newcastle.”

Rachel Cogger, who formerly lived in Newcastle, acknowledged her team’s idea would ruffle feathers.

“I don’t know how it would go down on November 25 [Supercars],” she laughed.

“But it’s all about creating that connection to the harbour. It builds onon all the community consultation that’s been done over the past decade.

“It’s not just about creating a crazy idea.”

Emily Davies O’Sullivan, another Newcastle delegate, said the conference was an insight into an “outsider’s perspective” of the city.

“Being a Novocastrian, you almost have your blinkers on,” she said.

“You’ve heard all the arguments beforeand you get used to them, so it’s great to have another perspective on the future of the city.”

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The secret life of Newcastle accountant Ray Walker who stole $10m from clients who considered him a friend

FRAUDSTER: Newcastle accountant Ray Walker gained the trust of dozens of his clients over decades and stole $10 million from them.


FROM the beginning, there was nothing particularly clever about Ray Walker’s fraud.

It was a simple Ponzi scheme, where early investors were paid bogus profits with the money put in by later ones.

At last count, Walker’s 70 known creditors were more than $10 million out of pocket.

Walker’s victims, the majority from the Hunter, are mostly ageing retirees and pensioners, middle-class people who saved a lifetime to build nest eggs and superannuation funds, only to have it stolen by a man many described as a friend.

As a trusted accountant who knew his victims for decades, Walker was a most convincing financial fraudster, which made him all the more dangerous.

The father of three and grandfather of seven ownedalong-running Newcastle accountancy firmthat gave him contacts and credibility.

His membership to the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants gave him professional respectability. For some, his “Christian credentials” did the rest.

Like Don Boehm, many of the people who invested with Walker met him through the Seventh Day Adventist Churchat Cooranbong.

Some were old school and family friends,others usedWalker as their accountant for decades, they thought of him as “trustworthy”, “reliable” and “a good bloke”.

One extended Lake Macquariefamily is owedmore than $1.3 million collectively. Mr Boehm, who considers himself “one of the lucky ones”, has lost$135,000.

UNHAPPY: Jim Todhunter, who lost $200,000 in a Carrington property scam run by dodgy Newcastle accountant Ray Walker, wants to know how the $10 million that Walker stole from 70 victims could simply disappear. Picture: Marina Neil

“The level of betrayal is unbelievable,” he said. “He ripped people off for decades and everyonethought he was a top fella.”

All the while Walker kept charge of his victims’ financial records, assuring them their money wassafe in “pooled investment funds” held at major banks or in “blue-chip” real estate deals.

As simple as Walker’s scam was, tracing the missing millions has been anything but easy.

Two and a half years after Walker’s suicide from a stab wound to the heart in his $1.3 million beachfront holiday unit at Soldier’s Point, his corporate undertaker is still sifting through the wreckage.

No one is yet to know where all the money went. A four-day public examination into Walker’s financial affairswill be held in Sydney’s Federal Court next year.

Witnesses, including Walker’s son Brett, who is also an accountant and worked alongside his father for more than 25 years, will face a public grilling.

Walker’s widowJennifer, lawyer daughter Sarahand his longtime personal assistant Gayle Wheatley will also be questioned under oath.

Rob Brook, of Newcastle Legal, who represents 30 of Walker’s victims described the case as “heart breaking”.

He said Walker’s clients had “every right” to trust him. He was their accountant.

“Ray could look these people in the face, people he’d known for a lifetime in some cases, and just barefaced lie to them,” he said.

“He did it over and over and over again without flinching.”

Walker’s suicide was precipitated by a bruising nine-page legalletter from Mr Brook sent inJuly 2015 demanding thereturn of an elderly client’sretirement funds of more than $650,000.

The point of the detailed letter was clear. Walker wasfacing fraud charges and jail time if Mr Brook’s client, described as a “patient, conservative and non-greedy investor”, did not get her money back.

There is no doubt from the contents of the letter, which was copied to Walker’sson Brett, that Mr Brook had the goods on Ray Walker.

His house of cards was on the verge of collapse and Walkertook his own life 10 days later.

While no one besides Walker knows what wasfact and fiction in the financial schemes he peddled – the harm done by his deception is all too real. Lives have been destroyed.

Newcastle’s cruellest con manhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/donna.page%40fairfaxmedia广州桑拿广州桑拿论坛/b408f055-d00c-4096-a920-3f24bdb1897a.jpg/r0_92_720_499_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgHow accountant Ray Walker stole $10 million from clients who called him a friend.news, local-news, 2017-11-11T06:00:00+11:00https://players.brightcove.net/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5641384369001https://players.brightcove.net/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5641384369001Jim Todhunter who lost $200,000 after investing with his longtime accountant Ray Walker.Couples, some happily married, found themselves facing separation. Families have been torn apart with guilt and anguish. Husbands and wives, parents and children blamed each other and themselves for being conned. The sting was exceptionally harsh in many cases where trusting investors urged their family and friends also to put their money with Walker.

Investors were promised returns of up to eight per cent. To this end Walkersent out “annual investment statements”.

The reality was, of course, that it was a giant Ponzi scheme. A percentage of the investors asked for, and received, interest cheques.

The rest were persuaded by Walker to roll over their money. He spent millions on a failed Adelaide property development, used some to make interest payments to keep the scamrunning and the rest simply disappeared.

Lake Macquarie carpenter Richard Galloway invested more than $300,000, his entire retirement savings, in a “pooled investment” fund that Walker said would receive a higher interest rate on deposit with one of the big banks.

But after being diagnosed with an asbestos disease in 2014, Mr Galloway went to Walker and asked to withdraw his money. The 59-year-old wanted to take some holidays with his wife while his health was good.

“Rayleaned back in his chair and said with my health the way it was we had to have the money somewhere safe,” Mr Galloway said. “He told us we shouldn’t move it, that it was safe with him.”

The Galloways now face having tosell thefamily home.

Mary and Jim Todhunter, ofHamilton South, lost $200,000. Like others they invested in one of Walker’s “blue-chip” commercial property investments,the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Carrington,promising annual returns of 5.2 per cent.

Mr Todhunter, a Newcastle taxi owner-driver, invested $100,000 from his super and another $100,000 on behalf of his daughter who has autism.

Brett and Renee Walker

“It was money left to my daughter from her grandfather,” he said. “I went to Ray who had been my accountant for 31 years and asked him where is somewhere I can put thiswhere it will get some interest for the future.

“Walker told me he knew just the thing.”

Walker’s victims arehopingthat bankruptcy trustee Ray Tolcher, a forensic accountant, tasked with sifting through 80 boxes of files cantrace the money trail.

They are demanding answers from the Walker family, especially Brett who declined to be interviewed. Father and son were in partnership in the accounting firm until a 2008 restructure saw them working from the same office but as separate legal entities.

A key maninsurance policythe pair hadin place meant thatafter Ray Walker’s suicide hisestate was paid more than $700,000 andBrett took Ray’s clients. He went on to establish Active Accounting Group.

Angry creditors have written letters to Walker’s wife of more than 40 years, Jennifer, pointing out that “your children and their partners hold very substantial property holdings, numerous companies and large shareholdings in companies”.

One letter reads:“Right at this moment we are driving around in a 1994 vehicle that breaks down, we are sitting on a 35-year-old lounge and trying to sleep on a 25-year-old mattress, we do not go out for meals, the movies or entertain as we cannot afford it.”

It goes on to statethat“Ray was referred to as ‘the banker’ when Ray and his children were together at house auctions buying investment properties”.

Mrs Walker, who held property assets in her name, told creditors she had little knowledge of her husband’s business and knew nothing of the fraud.

Ray Walker in Cooranbong in1963.

Brett Walker’s wife Renee, a dietitian,has a significant property portfolio. But nodoubt thefamily’s biggest single asset is about $4 million worth of shares in Newcastle founded sports-betting company, TopBetta.

RBW Nominees, a company formerly run by Ray Walker, then Brett Walker until he resigned as director in 2013 when hewas replaced by Renee,wasin late 2015 the largest shareholder in TopBetta. Creditors want to know where the money to invest in TopBetta came from.

“We want to see proof that none of the money that was invested with Ray and disappeared, made its way into any other projects owned by the Walker family,” Mr Todhunter said.

Brett Walker toldFairfax Mediahe was “cooperating” with the court-appointed trustee’s investigation and it was not appropriate to discuss the matter further.

He previously toldThe Australiannewspaper that he knew nothing about the fraud and did not benefit from it. He saidhe had proof that no money from investors crossed over to his family.

Mr Tolcher said he had found no evidence that fundsfrom creditors had made their way to Brett Walker orhis family.

Of the files he received from theestate, Mr Tolcher said “they weren’t very well organised” and he didn’t know if they were complete.

“If anyone can help us recover funds for creditors I’d be very happy to hear from them,” he said.

Since his death it has emerged thatRay Walker weathered several investigations by regulatory authorities, thatBrett Walk said he knew nothing about.

In the early 1990sthe Company Auditors and Liquidators Board cancelled Ray Walker’sregistration as an auditor and hewas also banned from managing a corporation for five years in 1991.

Peter Hicks, a retired chartered accountant, toldThe Australianhe had raised concerns about Walker in the late 1980s as an official liquidator of a building supplies company on the petition of the ATO.

Police issued search warrants and identifiedWalker was laundering money with cash payments to miners.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants issued a formal reprimand of Walker.

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Roy O’Donovan flying high but keeping feet on the ground for Adelaide clashvideo

Roy O’Donovan hasscored the second-most goals ever across the first five rounds ofan A-League season, was just named PFA player of the month and has an enviable record againstAdelaide.


MAKING A NOISE: Newcastle striker Roy O’Donovan celebrates a first-half goal against Wellington Phoenix at McDonald Jones Stadium last Saturday. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

The Jets striker is flying, but the former Mariner believes he and unbeaten Newcastle willhave their feet firmly on the ground against Adelaide on Saturday at Coopers Stadium.

O’Donovan has seven goals in five games to lead the A-League scoring from Sydney’sBobô and Wanderers’Oriol Riera on four.The start is second to only Shane Smeltz’s 2009-10 Gold Coast record of eight goals in the opening five rounds.

If he can continue the form, O’Donovan could joinJoel Griffiths (2007-08) and Adam Taggart (2013-14) as A-League Golden Boot winners at Newcastle,and surpass their totals. Griffiths and Taggart finished their award-winning seasons with 12 and 16 goals respectively.

O’Donovan was named Professional Footballers Australia’s player of the month for October on Friday but the Irishman was not looking ahead at more potential plaudits.

O’Donovan’s A-League goal of the year“For me, football is not about individual awards,” O’Donovan said.

“It’s a team game and if the team does well, I do well. We just each all have our own individual job, we’re all cogs that all fit.

“So far, so good, but to be honest with you, long-term goals like that, they don’t come into play untilprobably at the finals.”

O’Donovan scored twice in the third-placed Jets’ 3-0 domination of Wellington last week and,if history is any guide, the 32-year-old will likely add to his tally against sixth-placed Adelaide, who are on five points, sixbehind Newcastle.

O’Donovan scored four times, including the 2015-16 A-League goal of the year,in four games against Adelaide while at the Mariners.

“I don’t think that means much,” he said of his success against the Reds.

“I think scoring against any team means the same thing,but it’s one of those quirks where I seem to have a decent record against them.

“But I like playing at that stadium. It’s a proper football stadium and they’ve got a very loud crowd, close to the pitch. Theymakeit difficult to play there but that’s what you want, a proper challenge, and they are a decent team as well.”

The Jets,whoare expected to field an unchanged side,have easily the best attacking record in the league, with 13 goals scored, but they lost 1-0 toAdelaide in their round of 32 FFA Cup clash this season.

Newcastle play heavyweights Sydney away, Victory at home and Melbourne City away after the Adelaide trip but O’Donovan was not looking past the Reds.

“They all pose us very difficult challengesbut, for me, Adelaide is the very difficult one because they’ve been probably the most effective team since they’ve had the new manager come in this year,” he said.

“They are in the FFA Cup final and they got a solid start to the league, obviously with the away win against Brisbanea standout so far.

“It will be difficult. Obviously they beat us in the FFA Cup.It will be a tough game for us.”

O’Donovanprofited from Newcastle’s high-pressing strategy in defence against Wellington but he expected Adelaide to match the Jets’intensity.

“We’re a very fit team and I think that showed last week, but therewill be a different test against Adelaide because I think they are a very fit team as well,” O’Donovan said.

“We played against them in the FFA Cup and I’ve watched them a few times this year and the last 20 minutes of games they arevery strong.

“Again, I think it’sanotherreal test for us tomorrow, but everything right now is positive. But we need to notget carried away with ourselves and make sure we do the business tomorrow.”

O’Donovan believed thebest form of defence was attack for Newcastleon the road after their impressive display up front against Phoenix at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“We’ve worked a lot on that from pre-season,” he said of their attacking flow.

“Obviouslythese things take time to click and that’s to do with players, the manager’s style of play and just getting to know each other really.

“But it’s starting to get better.I thought the week before against Wanderers in the second half it was also really good, so we’re heading in the right direction.

“You’re looking at us,hopefully coming towards Christmas, thatwe’ll be a team that’s really peaking.”

“We’re in a good spot right now but we need to keep focused and take every game with it’s own challenges and merits.”

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