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‘You can beat’ Amazon, says powerful Aussie tech investor

The most powerful and celebrated Aussie investor in Silicon Valley says fears of Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce are overblown.


Jeremy Liew, who was propelled into the top echelon of US startup investors earlier this year when his early bet on Snapchat paid off spectacularly, told Fairfax Media over coffee in San Francisco this week that Jeff Bezos’ $US500 billion ($628 billion) plus e-commerce giant should not be seen as invincible.

“The narrative of you can’t compete with Amazon, it just looks like it is wrong,” he said.

His comment comes as Amazon prepares to finally launch an online retail offering in Australia, as soon as this month. The Seattle-based internet conglomerate, which has had a presence in Australia via its web services business for years, is holding a seller summit in Sydney next Monday.

Despite Amazon’s perceived dominance of online retail, Liew points out that in recent years there have been a string of successful e-commerce companies in the US and Europe that have either listed on stockmarkets or been acquired for billion-dollar prices.

These include Chewy, a petfood delivery firm acquired by brick and mortar rival PetSmart for $US3.5 billion, subscription razor blade business DollarShave, which was acquired by Unilever for $US1 billion, and Zalando, a German online electronics retailer whose market cap has nearly doubled since listing.

” It turns out that most of them competed with Amazon,” says Liew. “If you look at the data, it looks like you can compete with Amazon and you can beat them.”

The companies that are able to survive and even do better than Amazon online tend to be “digitally native vertical brands” – brands that design, make and sell their own products (rather than other vendors’ products) and control the entire customer experience.

This will provide little comfort for big box retailers facing the Amazon threat, but it could be more encouraging for the array of promising, if yet ultimately unproven e-commerce startups emerging from Australia.

“Look, Amazon is an amazing company, [but] even the most amazing company can only do three of four things at the same time well,” he says.

Born in Singapore, Liew grew up in Perth, where his parents still reside, and attended Duncraig Senior High School in the west coast city.

He graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra with degrees in linguistics and pure mathematics and started his career at consulting firm McKinsey in Sydney. A dual citizen of Australia and the US, Liew retains a distinctly Australian accent and still considers himself an Aussie. Winning streak

Liew has been on quite the winning streak lately. Another of his portfolio companies, Bonobos, a men’s retail clothing startup, was recently acquired by retail giant Walmart for $US310 million, and he has been a prominent bull for bitcoin, the crypto-currency which has been surging in value.

But he remains most famous for being the first investor in Snapchat, the millennial ephemeral messaging service which successfully went public in March, but has struggled since then.

After fortuitously tracking down founder Evan Spiegel on Facebook after a tip from a colleague, Liew invested $US485,000 of Lightspeed’s capital into Snapchat. By the time of its IPO , his firm’s stake in the business was worth about $US2 billion.

Shares in Snap, the parent of Snapchat, tumbled by more than 15 per cent on Wednesday in the US, wiping billions off its market value after the company reported weaker than expected quarterly revenue and user growth.

Spiegel, the company’s CEO (who happens to be married to Australian model Miranda Kerr) said Snapchat would be redesigned to make it less confusing to new users. ‘Earn it every day’

Lightspeed still holds some Snap shares and for his part, Liew says he is still confident in the company’s potential.

“I think really highly of the management team, I think they are terrific,” he said, describing the product as “extraordinary”.

Despite his recent stellar run, he says he won’t be taking his foot off the pedal any time soon.

“You have got to go out an earn it every day,” he said. “You can’t rest on your laurels. I’ve got to go out and meet a new bunch of entrepreneurs today because…hopefully five or eight years from now some of those companies will be worth something.”

???”You’ve still got to go and do the work.”

The writer’s trip to California was funded by a ACS/National Press Club journalism award.

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

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Remembrance Day 2017 in the Hunterphotos, video

Remembrance Day services 2017 Pictures: Simone De Peak


Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Pictures: Simone De Peak

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Remembrance Day Dungog 2016

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Singleton’s Remembrance Day service took place at Burdekin Park

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day in Maitland

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day 2016 in Muswellbrook

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Remembrance Day in Scone

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

Crowds turn out for Remembrance Day across Port Stephens

TweetFacebook Remembrance Day in the Hunter +49MORE GALLERIES

facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsRSL Sub-Branches around the countrywill commemorate the sacrifices made by service men and women this Saturday,Remembrance Day.

SERVICES ACROSS THE HUNTERBOOLAROO/SPEERS POINT 10.35am at Speers Point cenotaph. Light refreshemnts after.

BRANXTON 10.45am start. Combined service at Branxton Rotunda.

CARDIFF 10am start at memorial in front of Cardiff RSL, Macquarie Road. Light refreshments to follow.

CESSNOCK 10.45 am for 11am start. Service at the war memorial in the TAFE grounds.

DUNGOG 10.30am gather in car park, 10.40 start. 100 Lord Street Dungog, Dungog Memorial RSL Club

KEARSLEY 10.30am start at Kearsley Community Hall.

KURRI KURRI 10.45am start at Rotary Park, one minute’s silence at 11am. Guest speaker: Col Maybury. Refreshments to follow at Kurri Kurri Bowling Club.

LAMBTON 10.45am start at Lambton Bowling club, Karoola Rd, Lambton.

MAITLAND Main cenotaph in Maitland Park at 10.35am

MEREWETHER 10.50am at Gregson Park, Hamilton

MERRIWA 10.40am at the cenotaph. Plaque memorial in RSL Memorial Gardens 11.45am

NEWCASTLE 11am start, Civic Park, Newcastle

PELICAN 10.45am Service commences Pelican RSL Memorial Park, Soldiers Road and Piriwell St.

REDHEAD 11am at War Memorial site, Redhead

SCONE 10.30am start at cenotpah near Scone Memorial Swimming Pool

SHORTLAND 10.45am Memorial Gardens next to hall, Marten St/ Conmurra Cct, Shortland.

SINGLETON 10.30am at Burdekin Park

SWANSEA 11:00am, War Memorial in front of Swansea RSL, Chalmers Street, Swansea

TANILBA BAY 10.45am start. Tilligerry RSL Sports Club Cenotaph, Lemon Tree Passage Road.

TORONTO 10.30 for 10.45am start. Goffet Park, Toronto.

WESTON 10.45am start Memorial Park, 56 Cessnock Rd, Weston. Light refreshments in the hall afterwards.

RYHOPE 4.40pm. Crematorium, 405 Cessnock Road, Ryhope

Do you have a service to add to the list? Email [email protected]广州桑拿广州桑拿论坛

MORE ON REMEMBRANCE DAYWorldWar II veteran John Fenwick speaks of importance of Remembrance DayRoad to Remembrance: Australians suffer on Western Front

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Polota-Nau signs for Leicester Tigers

Cardiff: Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has been lost from Super Rugby after signing a multi-year deal with UK Premiership side Leicester Tigers.


The aftershocks of cutting a Super Rugby team are now being felt, with Polota-Nau deciding against playing in Australia after his Western Force franchise was folded by Rugby Australia (formerly Australian Rugby Union).

Polota-Nau, who has played 79 Tests for his country, will still be eligible to play for the Wallabies, however, given he has met the required 60-Test threshold.

The 32-year-old will be the only overseas-based player within the Wallabies squad now that Will Genia is returning to Super Rugby for a stint with the Melbourne Rebels.

Offers from a number of Super Rugby clubs clearly were not enticing enough to secure Polota-Nau’s signature which is a shame given he has been one of Australia’s best forwards this year.

Polota-Nau has signed a 2??year deal with Leicester that will begin in December and he will link up with former Wallabies teammate Matt Toomua.

“I’m really looking forward to experiencing what northern hemisphere rugby is about,” Polota-Nau said in a statement. “To be privileged to do it with one of the most prestigious clubs of the English Premiership, Leicester Tigers, I believe that not only can I further my game individually, but they have the capacity to add plenty more trophies to their illustrious cabinet and history.

“I do hope that I can contribute to what I think is a very good start to their season and campaign. It will be interesting playing against some of the squad players in the November internationals but I’m very keen to switch thinking caps and get a taste of the challenges ahead.”

Just last week, before Australia’s match against Japan, Polota-Nau insisted he wasn’t sure where he would end up.

“I haven’t had any offers,” Polota-Nau said. “There were some offers from overseas but I think I missed out on the window there because obviously I was hanging on to the Force announcement, which came late, so I will just have to wait and see.”

However, it is understood Polota-Nau was, in fact, offered contracts by multiple Australian clubs.

Although Polota-Nau will take his services to the northern hemisphere, he is still very much within Michael Cheika’s plans for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

With Stephen Moore retiring from Test rugby at the end of the month, Polota-Nau and youngster Jordan Uelese look set to be the men to lead Australia to rugby’s next centrepiece event.

Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor, a former Wallaby and Queensland Reds co-coach, said: “Taf is a fierce player with a huge amount of experience in Super Rugby and at Test level. Now he is keen to experience rugby in the northern hemisphere and we’re delighted that he has chosen to come to Tigers. We think he will add a lot to a very competitive group of quality front-rowers here.”

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

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Looking for gold: What betting on horses can teach us

I spent the early part of this week involved with horses. Mind you it was nothing to do with the Melbourne Cup, although I “dips me lid” to Rekindling and his/her connections.


My involvement with horses concerned the great heritage of the working horse, rather than the racing nags.

You see, I have a little place in the mountains where the famous 1982 movie The Man From Snowy River was filmed.

In fact, my near neighbour, Jack Lovick really was right in the middle of it. Jack is the legendary horseman who bought all of his horses together for the movie.

He also taught Tom Burlinson as Jim Craig how to ride for that incredible scene when the Man from the Snowy charges down an impossibly steep mountainside to capture the brumbies and take them home.

The movie put our little town of Merrijig on the map, as it did its investors. The $3 million production grossed $17 million at the box office.

But as an infamous Governor General once slurred at the presentation of the cup at the great Melbourne race ” it’s all about the horse” and indeed it is.

Humans love horses and whenever I have international visitors to my shack by the Delatite River I always get Charlie Lovick to ride a team of stock horses through the river waving the Australian Flag. The visitors love the feeling of being part of a living history, and they are.

One guest Stephane Martin, the great Director of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, reckoned he preferred watching Charlie pounding through the river bed than the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

And then there was the memorable visit of Sir Andrew Davis, Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and formerly of the BBC Proms.

As our man from Snowy river plunged into the water I told Andrew that it was tradition to feed the horse an apple. Charlie’s great quarter horse Dobbin, knew how to play the game.

We gave Andrew the apple and told him to grip it between his teeth and explained that the only way the now 16-year-old Dobbin would eat it would be him chomping it directly from Andrew’s mouth.

“Cripes,” says Louise, “Couldn’t you have got a foot-long carrot for the poor chap to offer?”

But Andrew came away smiling and with photos to send home showing how the mountain men of down under feed their animals.

And of course, there was lots of feeding of all kinds going on out at Flemington Race Course on Tuesday. I had years of firsthand experience when our company used to have a marquee for the entire spring carnival.

Many secrets were revealed over the champers and chicken sandwiches. Being a nondrinker, I usually found that the business reconnaissance steadily improved as the champagne dwindled.

But my best memory was hosting actor Willem Dafoe after his appearances in the 2001 Melbourne Festival. As a New Yorker, he expected a heavy mafia presence and no women.

His mood changed as he moved through a very friendly and heavily female crowd to place a bet while the whole crowd was whispering in bubbly breaths “I know that face” until one woman shrieked “Its Willem” and charged at him as if he was the finishing line.

But back to the Man from Snowy River for a moment. It’s a complicated story of love, adventure and doing the right thing.

Kirk Douglas was here playing the dual roles of Harrison and Spur, two brothers in love with the beautiful Matilda; the mother of Jessica, played by Sigrid Thornton. Matilda declared that out of the two men vying for her love she would marry the first to make his fortune. Spur went looking for gold and Harrison bet his life savings on a horse race. Harrison became rich overnight when the horse won, and he went back to win Matilda.

It seems that betting on horse races has been in our blood right from the beginning. So has looking for gold. My fascination with horses continues and as our political and business environment swirls around like dust kicked up by a herd of wild brumbies, I think of the lessons that the equines can teach us.

Like never stand behind a horse, because it has a kick you’ll never forget. And make sure you clean up after yourself, because what horses leave behind is messy.

Sadly, I think the events of this week in Canberra should have had someone walking behind with a shovel. There’s been far too much of it left on the ground.

And finally, as Charlie Lovick says, “never change horses mid-stream”.

But looking for gold and betting on a horse are still part of our Australian character – and let’s hope it is forever.

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

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APEC summit: Turnbull announces trade agreement with Peru

Danang, Vietnam: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a new trade agreement with Peru, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, shortly after arriving at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese coastal city of Danang.


As tensions escalate with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten over the citizenship crisis at home, Mr Turnbull turned to trade, saying he will be urging 20 other APEC member countries to embrace trade and turn their backs on protectionism.

“The region cannot close the door to the flow of goods, services, capital and ideas,” he said.

Malcolm Turnbull arrived in Vietnam for the APEC summit as the dual citizenship fiasco continues to simmer at home. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

US President Donald Trump is scheduled to make a speech at the summit late on Friday. It will be carefully examined for clues as to how his “America first” mantra, which has included rolling back trade deals, will guide US engagement in Pacific Rim countries.

Mr Turnbull told reporters a revival of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by 11 countries, including Australia, would bring together economies with a collective GDP of about $10 trillion, despite Mr Trump abandoning the agreement days after taking office.

“Free trade means more jobs, more prosperity in Australia,” he said. “That’s why we back it so strongly.”

But talks on the TPP on the sidelines of APEC have reached a critical point with prospects for an agreement here uncertain.

“We’ve got more work to do but we are inching closer to an agreement so I remain very hopeful,” Australia’s Trade Minister Steven Ciobo told reporters.

Japan has been lobbying hard for a quick agreement but Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia appear less enthusiastic to hurry.

The Peru agreement, negotiated over only five months, will generate more exports, including for farmers who have been effectively shut out of the Peru market.

It will eliminate 99 per cent of tariffs facing those that export to the country.

There will be immediate duty free access for Australian sheep, kangaroo meat, most wine and most horticulture products, including wheat.

Mr Ciobo said that concluding the agreement at APEC sends an important message to the world that “Australia embraces trade because we know it creates jobs and drives economic growth”.

“The agreement levels the playing field for Aussie farmers,” he said, adding that beef farmers will have tariff-free access within five years, putting them on a par with US beef farmers.

Peru’s GDP is similar to that of Vietnam and its population is similar to Malaysia.

Arriving in Danang, reporters asked Mr Turnbull if he will try to wrestle to the ground some kind of agreement with Mr Shorten over the citizenship crisis while on a five-day trip to Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“Well, multi-tasking is the occupational objective of prime ministers,” he said.

Mr Shorten has sought an agreement from Mr Turnbull that there should be no partisan referrals of MPs to the High Court.

“I will be very clear about this – we will refer to the High Court anybody, whether they are on the government side, the Labor side or the crossbenches, if there are substantial grounds to believe they are not in compliance with the Constitution,” Mr Turnbull said.

“To ask me to do anything else is quite unworthy.”

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

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INXS house at Cottage Point up for grabs

At Cottage Point, INXS House – built by the former owner and INXS rock star Andrew Farriss – is for sale for between $6.8 million and $7.4 million.


Farriss commissioned acclaimed architect Luigi Rosselli to design the striking waterfront residence after he bought the property in 1988 for $510,000.

Completed in 1991, Farriss sold it in 1996 for $1.715 million to retired CSR executive Peter Bowen and his wife Julianne, and the Bowens onsold it in 1999 for $2.3 million to pharma-biotech company EDB Group director Stephen Ell.

Ell has listed it with McGrath’s Michael Coombs. Acclaimed architect Luigi Rosselli designed the home. Photo: Supplied

Meanwhile the former manager of INXS Gary Grant and his partner, actor and ceramicist Joy Smithers, scored a bullish $1.3 million for their Botany home before this week’s scheduled auction through George Faris, of The Sydney Property Agency.

Records show the couple have bought another home with “redevelopment potential” on nearby William Street for $1.54 million. Tamarama record to be wreckedCraig and Kate Smith have spent $12.5 million on this Tamarama home. Photo: Supplied

Travelogic founder Craig Smith and his wife Kate have bought a $12.5 million knock-down-rebuild at Tamarama. Related: No mansions bought by foreigners this yearRelated: Mad Max actor cashes in on $1.3m saleRelated: Lowy buys beachfront neighbour for $14.2m

The purchase through McGrath’s Simon Exleton set a suburb high when it exchanged in July – topping the $11 million high of 2008 set by Built chairman Marco Rossi and his partner Stephanie Stokes – but that record won’t hold long. The property purchase has set a suburb record, but that record may not last long. Photo: Supplied

Fashion-industry veteran Robby Ingham and his wife Sarah are expected to pocket close to $13 million when DJ Annie Conley takes possession of their recently sold beachfront reserve residence later this year.

Meanwhile, given the rebuild plans for the Smith’s new home – which last traded in 1991 for $640,000 – they are expected to remain in their Bronte home. For now. White House deal sewn upThis Paddington landmark was bought by plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson and his wife Katherine. Photo: Katherine Lu

Thanks to a caveat lodged on title this week, plastic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson and his wife Katherine are revealed as the $5.3 million buyers of the Paddington home of radio presenter Phillip Adams.

Known as the White House in its latest campaign by Louisa Jackson of Langulin, the sale makes the Hodgkinsons the third owners of the home built in 1987 for adman John Nankervis. Hodgkinson and his wife Katherine paid $5.3 million for the property. Photo: Katherine Lu

The Hodgkinsons are best known for their $10 million sale a year ago of the Queen Anne property, Newstead, in Darling Point to the National Breast Cancer Foundation chief Professor Sarah Hosking.

Adams paid $960,000 for the Peter Stronach-designed residence with George Freedman interiors in 1990. Beauty pays off handsomelyIrene Falcone is looking to sell her Balgowlah Heights digs. Photo: James Brickwood

Irene Falcone and her husband police Senior Sergeant Tim Fairservice have done well from the natural beauty game in recent years, and have stepped up their real estate portfolio accordingly.

Falcone founded her online retailer Nourished Life in 2012 with $100 and has grown it into a company with an annual revenue of more than $20 million. Falcone and her husband police Senior Sergeant Tim Fairservice bought the property only last year. Photo: Supplied

Cue the sale of the Balgowlah Heights home they bought last year for $2.45 million to up-grade to a $7.1 million Clontarf house.

An auction on November 25 has been set for the couple’s former home in Balgowlah Heights through Kingsley Looker of Clarke & Humel. Mulhams on move from VaucluseClare and David Mulham are selling their Vaucluse residence through Sotheby’s International. Photo: Supplied

Expect to pay double digits for the Vaucluse home of David and Clare Mulham, of the Rich List Roche family.

A marketing campaign was kicked off this week by James McCowan and Michael Pallier of Sotheby’s International and reveals a renovation of recent years with Morrocan and African influences since the daughter of Bill and Imelda Roche bought it in 2008 for $9.6 million. Morrocan and African influences can be observed throughout the property. Photo: Supplied

The Coolong Road residence was previously owned by Ailsa and Patrick Crammond, managing director of Southern Cross Financial Advisers, who bought it in 1998 for $2.525 million from international arbitration lawyer Doug Jones, AO.

The listing coincides with talk from Bondi the couple are heading to the beach.

Still with the who’s who to the property’s paper trail, Jones bought the 880 square metre property in 1993 for $1.4 million from royal blueblood, the Hon John Dawson-Damer, who was selling up to move to the $6.15 million Rose Bay mansion he bought from Perth property tycoon John Bond. Paddington weekender soldJames Allsop AO has pocketed $2.235 million for his Paddington terrace. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Chief Justice of the Federal Court James Allsop, OA, has sold his Paddington terrace for $2.235 million.

Records show Di Grundy, of Bresic Whitney, had a $2.1 million bottom line when it was listed last month, raising the guide shortly before it sold.

The Underwood Street terrace was a weekender of sorts for the Melbourne-based legal luminary, who bought it three years ago for $1.48 million from Anne McWilliam, of the McWilliam wine family. Bondi pad listedDarryl Harford has listed his Bondi penthouse for $3.6 million. Photo: Supplied

Ipac Securities co-founder Darryl Harford, calls Tuscany home nowadays, prompting the sale of his Bondi penthouse for $3.6 million.

The three-bedroom house on oceanfront reserve was bought by in 1999 for $890,000 from Powerbox Australia managing director Marc Rutty and his wife Helen, granddaughter of Sir Sydney Snow.

Goodyer Real Estate’s Rosalia Marasco has set a December 5 auction.

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

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Labor MP Justine Keay concedes High Court referral is ‘probably the only step’

A Labor politician embroiled in the national citizenship crisis has released documents in an effort to clear her name, but concedes being referred to the High Court may be “the only step” left to resolve the uncertainty.


There have been doubts about the eligibility of Justine Keay, the Labor MP for the Tasmanian seat of Braddon, for several weeks but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull upped the ante on Wednesday by suggesting she may have to resign.

Ms Keay, who was a British citizen on the night of the election, is relying on the steps she took to renounce her dual citizenship to make her eligible for Parliament.

Labor MP Justine Keay during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In February 2016, the Labor Party’s legal division notified Ms Keay of the required steps to be eligible as a candidate – but it was not until the election was called in May she began the renunciation process.

The emotional MP teared-up when explaining why it took three months to renounce her British connection.

“I delayed it – it’s one of those things with the citizenship I knew I could never get it back,” she said.

“If I don’t get elected I can’t get my citizenship back and for me, it was a very personal thing.

“I try not to be upset about it but – it was that last tangible connection with my dad.”

She acknowledged the renunciation could have been done earlier, and the delay had created the cloud hanging over her head.

The date of Ms Keay’s renunciation took effect from July 11 – more than a week after the July 2 federal election, and well past the June 9 deadline by which candidates must declare to electoral authorities they are not dual citizens.

Despite taking steps to renounce her citizenship prior to the election, Ms Keay’s political opponents have seized on the confirmation she was British on election night.

“What’s frustrating is I have done everything possible and I have taken the constitutional requirements that I have very very seriously – you’ve got people like Barnaby Joyce and like Stephen Parry, possible Jacqui Lambie who have not even asked the question,” she said.

After the resignation of Mr Parry last week Ms Keay again sought legal advice about her own situation.

On Wednesday, Ray Finkelstein QC and Susan Gory advised she was eligible to sit as a member of the House of Representatives.

Ms Keay said there was no reason for her case to be tested in the High Court – but acknowledged it may be the only way to determine her fate.

“I would be incredibly confident of getting through that process,” she said.

“Part of me sort of thinks – that probably is the only step to really put an end to all this and completely clarify it.”

She was cautious about using the nation’s highest court as a testing ground and instead hoped universal disclosure in Parliament would finalise the fiasco.

“For me to go to the High Court and say, can you just test my case, but I have no grounds for you do so, is pretty stupid,” she said.

“Should the government decide to act in a partisan way and do that, that’s for them to determine.

“If they want to try to take out me on the way through their crisis – so be it, I’ll deal with that.”

Mr Turnbull on Thursday threatened to break with longstanding precedent and use the government’s slim majority to refer any Labor MPs under a citizenship cloud to the High Court.

The Coalition has until now staunchly insisted that any High Court referrals must be made by an MP’s own party, as part of a bid to prevent an outbreak of partisan referrals.

The government believes three Labor MPs – Ms Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson – have questions to answer about their citizenship status at the time of the 2016 election.

Each considered at threat because they had not received confirmation of their renunciation until after they nominated as candidates in June last year.

Lower house crossbencher Rebekha Sharkie is also believed to be in a similar situation.

– The Examiner

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ING to scrap international ATM fees

The fight over ATM fees is expanding overseas, with ING Australia offering fee-free withdrawals from every ATM in the world to customers who conduct their main banking business with the digital bank.


The move comes as banks face pressure to roll back unpopular fees, while ING is seeking to bulk up its share of the market by targeting regular overseas travellers or shoppers at foreign websites.

As well as scrapping ATM fees internationally, it will also remove international purchase fees from its credit and debit cards – which were previously 2 per cent of the purchase price.

To qualify for the offer, customers will need to deposit at least $1000 a month into the account, and make at least five card purchases each month.

It is a response to growing demand for overseas purchases, and part of a strategy by the lender to win over more customers who use ING for their main transaction account.

The Dutch-owned bank has recently moved into credit cards and insurance, from its roots in savings products and loans, and the transaction account is highly valued by banks because it allows banks to sell other products.

“We are seeing some significant changes in customer behaviour,” head of retail banking Melanie Evans said.

“We’ve got one in three Australians leaving the country each year to travel internationally, we’ve got almost half of ING customers shopping online from their living rooms.”

Managing director of payments consulting firm The Initiatives Group, Lance Blockley, said it typically cost banks $1 to $2 when a customer withdrew money from an ATM overseas.

“Depending on the number of their cardholders accessing overseas ATMs, it could be a reasonable expense, but a very good marketing move,” he said.

The removal of ATM fees has also come at a time when customers are turning away from cash – ING said overseas withdrawals by its customers fell 12 per cent last year.

At the same time, however, foreign digital transactions are growing strongly. The bank’s average customer’s overseas spending has lifted by 17 per cent in the past three years.

“There’s nothing worse than coming home from a holiday or potentially doing your shopping for Christmas, and seeing not just the transaction move out of your bank account, but the 2 per cent fee come through after that,” Ms Evans said.

Ms Evans said the bank would not profit from the exchange rate offered for transactions made on the card.

The move will also help ING keep a key point of difference. Since 2009, it has offered fee-free ATM withdrawals across all cash machines in Australia by refunding the fees banks charged customers of other institutions for making withdrawals.

After the big four banks recently abolished their ATM fees for customers of other banks, most customers have far more access to fee-free ATMs. ING will also have saved money because it no longer needs to reimburse customers for the fee.

Even so, Ms Evans said the recent changes by banks to remove ATM fees affected only about 40 per cent of the ATMs in Australia.

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

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Paul Mercurio recalls Strictly Ballroom through stills

Film stills from the exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits at the National Portrait GalleryCandy – Abbie Cornish as Candy and Heath Ledger as Dan on the Gravitron by Hugh HartshorneSupplied to Garry Maddox for his story My Brilliant Career – Sam Neill and Judy Davis on set with Director Gillian Armstrong by David KynochFilm stills from the exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery


.Film stills from the exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits at the National Portrait GalleryDead Calm – Nicole Kidman as Rae Ingram holding a spear gun by Jim Sheldon

.Film stills from the exhibition Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits at the National Portrait GalleryMuriel’s Wedding – Toni Collette as Muriel trying on a wedding dress by Robert McFarlane

Twenty-five years after Strictly Ballroom became a hit, Paul Mercurio still gets asked to recreate moments from the film.

He was in a butcher shop in Melbourne – appropriately named Char Char Char – when a customer asked him for a “twirl” this week. She was so delighted when he complied that she bought some of the mustard and chutney he sells to supplement his income outside films, TV shows and cook books.

But while proud of Strictly Ballroom, Mercurio, at 54, had mixed feelings seeing an iconic photograph from the film in a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

“It’s shocking,” he said. “People keep showing me photos of me 26 years ago, when I was a fair bit lighter and had more hair.”

The exhibition, Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits, features 275 stills from more than a century of Australian film, assembled over three years with the National Film and Sound Archive.

They include such instantly recognisable faces as Nicole Kidman (Dead Calm), Heath Ledger (Two Hands and Candy), Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding), Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Geoffrey Rush (Shine).

But there are also striking portraits of supporting actors, including Lewis Fitz-Gerald in Breaker Morant and Isabel Lucas in The Water Diviner, and stars from decades ago such as Shirley Ann Richards (Lovers and Luggers), Daphne Campbell (The Overlanders) and Alma Lee (The Silence Of Dean Maitland).

It’s an exhibition that raises the question of how well a photograph taken to promote a film can also be a revealing portrait.

Co-curator Jennifer Coombes said the best stills were an interesting blurring of fiction and reality that captured both the spirit of a character and a film.

“Sometimes they’re capturing the actors between takes,” she said. “Or even a group of actors who never appear in the same scene but appear in the poster.”

For Mercurio, the Strictly Ballroom image with Tara Morice in the exhibition captures a moment that will resonate with fans of the film.

“You remember where you were when you saw it or the people you were with or what was going on in your life,” he said. “It sparks off a lot of different memories.

“Whether it’s pictures of The Castle or Moulin Rouge or Ned Kelly, they open up memories and feelings.”

Even after all these years, Mercurio said someone will still tell him most weeks how much Strictly Ballroom has meant to them. Often Baz Luhrmann’s warm-hearted comedy about a rebellious dancer helped them through a tough time or inspired them to dance.

But there is one moment from the film that Mercurio might stop recreating.

While judging a charity dance competition at Coffs Harbour last month, he tried a trademark knee slide across an unforgiving floor. The result: lost skin and a sore knee.

“I probably slid about three inches but, with all my years of training, I hit the position, held it and everyone applauded,” Mercurio said. “Then I got up as if nothing had happened and limped to the lectern.”

Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra until March next year.

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

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[email protected]: ASX set to finish week on dour note

The information of stocks that lost in prices are displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg MARKETS. 7 JUNE 2011. AFR PIC BY PETER BRAIG. STOCK EXCHANGE, SYDNEY, STOCKS. GENERIC PIC. ASX. STOCKMARKET. MARKET.


Stock information is displayed on an electronic board inside the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd., in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, July 24, 2015. The Australian dollar slumped last week as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, aggravating the impact of declines in copper and iron ore prices. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

Finally some signs of life in the market. At a certain point, low volatility becomes more burden than boon as there is no return for taking on the risk normally associated with navigating the market. That said, global equities steered lower through Thursday’s session with a measurable escalation of intensity through the US session – quite the contrast to the tepid celebration of Dow’s and company’s climb on the one year anniversary of the US election. Whether short-term trader or long-term investor, seeing the VIX Volatility Index rise back above 10 should be a welcome development. This popular ‘fear’ measure has closed below 10 on 42 different occasions this year. For context, it has only dropped below that low extreme 9 other times in its history and then only during holiday conditions. When there is an assumption of no return, no enthusiasm and no consequence; something is wrong. The long and short of it

1. Wall Street: Following the course of retreat carved out by the Nikkei 225, DAX and FTSE 100 before it, US equity indexes opened Thursday with a gap down. In fact, the S&P 500 posted its fifth largest bearish gap on the open for the year. In turn, that index would further stretch through its low to hit the support on a channel that has served as the most recent, two-month stretch of its bullish run. Yet, before bears grow too confident and disengaged bulls pull the plug in a panic, we have yet to see any meaningful breaks. There are still only 4 days over the past 12 month period that have registered a more-than 1 percent daily decline – one of the most inactive yet bullish periods on record. All rides come to an end, but that doesn’t mean it has to be today.

2. US Tax Policy: The US share markets got a jolt on initial US news of a corporate tax delay. A report surfaced overnight that Senate tax writers are proposing delaying a US corporate tax cut until 2019. The US S&P 500 fell with a specific emphasis on technology shares leading to the largest drop in 2-months. The move lower in equities on the priced to perfection market that we touched on yesterday potentially unravelling saw US Treasuries run higher while the US Dollar dropped.

Recently, investors heard optimism from US corporations in their quarterly earnings report on the potential income boosts from tax reform so pushing out the tax cuts is not something the market wanted to see. US President Trump recently expressed confidence in a tax plan being released by US Thanksgiving (November 23), but it appears that a holiday miracle is not in store this year and stocks may take this dose of political reality as a reason to sell and take profits. The major US markets of the Dow, SPX500, and NASDAQ are up 18.6%, 15.15%, and 25.1% respectively, so it remains too early to get negative despite the largest drop for the latter two markets since late August.

3. ASX: The four-day streak higher for AS51 shares will have to earn its fifth straight rise. At the open, the 6,000 level is expected to hold, but the overnight leads show the ASX 200 down 33 points to 6010 with an overnight fair value low of 6000. Yesterday’s close brought the index to a 52-week high with the 0.55% gain or +33.16 points to 6049.43. Internally, the AS51 was supported by real estate and IT leading the charge higher and only energy acting as a laggard. BHP looks set to open slightly lower with Vale’s US-listing following suit.

The most impressive global equity move overnight was difficult to spot if you only looked at closing prices. After trading at the highest level since 1992, the Nikkei fell 3.5%, and a clear catalyst was absent. Over the last two months, the Nikkei has been a bull market benchmark and was 2% higher in the session before the sudden drop and close at -0.2%. Naturally, traders will wonder if this will kick off further warning signs of valuations, but the positive data trends on a global level make this unlikely for now. Any aftershocks could make it difficult for the ASX 200 to hold above 6,000 for long.

4. Looking ahead: There is relatively little on the global economic docket to leverage any serious promise of forging a new trend from the languid capital markets. However, the tide will rise again starting next week. Looking out past the weekend there is a range of events and data that can spur sentiment and rate speculation. However, the most prominent theme has to be the wave of scheduled speeches by members of the largest central banks. In particular, all traders should keep an eye on the panel at the ECB Conference Tuesday that will have Fed Chair Yellen, ECB President Draghi, BoE Governor Carney and BoJ Governor Kuroda in attendance. Messing with the calibration of global stimulus growth can be seriour threat to the low-yield market advance we’ve experienced. Recognition that this firefighters are out of water should another financial crisis flare up could be even more problematic.

5. Bitcoin volatility remains, trend sidelined: News yesterday that Bitcoin would avoid the Segwit2x hard fork was hailed as a win for normalcy in the fledgling cryptocurrency market???but that hasn’t translated into lift to the high-flying asset. It has been the standard case that status quo is used as fuel to sustain and even accelerate trends (Chinese growth, European elections) while unquantifiable change cuts them short (Brexit). That isn’t the case here. Following the temporary setbacks with events like the one that created Bitcoin Cash, it seemed there was an interest in seeing this change go through as some form of ‘dividend’ event. It’s failure was therefore met with disappointment. Bulls shouldn’t fear though as the CBOE’s and CME’s push to introduce regulated futures and ETF products based on Bitcoin will bolster the market’s legitimacy. The question then becomes: is this as attractive a market to traders if it is in the world of ‘normal’ markets?

6. The Australian Dollar: Aussie Dollar continues to oscillate but is becoming more attractive to bargain hunters. Despite the low volatility, traders can look to the options market to see the AUD/USD one-year risk-reversal has recently touched a nine-year high on the session showing that traders do not want to pay for out of the money downside protection too aggressively. While the AU-US sovereign bill spread continues to tighten with the 3-month bill narrowing within 50bps and longer out on the curve, there remains a fear that a steadily hiking US Federal Reserve will erase the longer-term AU debt yield premium.

After a 5% drop from the September high, AUD/USD is seen as resilient despite the low volatility. Traders should not forget the seasonal factors at play though that has seen the AUD fall in 7 of the last 10 Decembers while 1-month implied volatility has ended the month of November higher in each November in the last four years. Caveat emptor.

7. Commodities: The promise for new trends in commodities has been intense at certain points, this past week, but conviction seems as elusive here as it has been in the financial markets. US-based WTI crude had every opportunity to turn the corner on its year of congression following last week’s break above $55 and the strong follow through effort Monday, but the move has since proven spent. The initial charge had dubious connections to US inventory figures or OPEC headlines, so scrambling for support in these venues now would likely come up short. Meanwhile, gold’s more modest break above $1,285 has inspired no such flush of initial volatility, so the slow turn in a wide wedge makes no promise of quick profits. Inflation, risk or anti-currency – gold doesn’t rise for free.

8. Market watch:

SPI futures -0.5%, down 31 points, to 6049.5 points

AUD +0.04% to US76.83??

On Wall St: Dow Jones -0.6%, S&P 500 -0.7%, Nasdaq -1%

In Europe: Stoxx 50 -1.2%, FTSE 100 – 0.6%, CAC 40 -1.2%, DAX -1.5%

Spot gold +0.4% to $US1286.75 an ounce

Brent crude +0.8% to $US63.97 a barrel

Iron ore +0.1% to $US62.32 a tonne

LME aluminium -0.8% to $US2,093 a tonne

LME copper -0.7% to $US6,808 a tonne

This column was produced in commercial partnership between Fairfax Media and IG

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

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