Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Swans expect Tippett to be fit for must-win final

Finals draw in a nutshell for Swans and Giants
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Sydney is confident Kurt Tippett will be fit for the Swans’ first final after re-injuring his troublesome ankle against Carlton.

The ruckman had scans on the weekend and if results come back as expected, the Swans believe Tippett will take his place in the side to face Essendon.

The Dons, wooden-spooners last year, booked their place in the eight after overcoming Fremantle, while Richmond’s comfortable win over St Kilda send the Swans back to sixth position.

Tippett hurt his ankle in the first term but returned to play out the second and third quarters. He sat out the final term as a precaution once it became clear the Swans had the game won.

The injury is to the same ankle he hurt in round two and which, along with a hip issue, contributed to a run of poor form. But the big man has made a strong impression since returning to the side three weeks.

The Swans also believe Callum Sinclair will be available. With Sam Naismith also fit, this leaves the club with a selection dilemma in the ruck.

Dan Hannebery and Tom Papley are expected to come back, which means the Swans will be at full strength heading into the most important month of the season.

The Swans are the form side of the competition but their slow start to the year means they will have to win the flag the hard way.

“Certainly after six rounds you’d take where we are now, that’s for sure,” veteran defender Nick Smith said.

“It’s well done, big sigh of relief but we’ve got to get going again because nothing’s been really achieved for us yet.

“Well done to us for getting here, but it doesn’t mean much. We need to refocus and get ready to come out in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Superstar forward Lance Franklin stole the headlines with 10 goals in an ominous sign for rival defenders.

“He is an absolute freak, it’s unbelievable to be out there and see it first-hand,” Smith said.

“He’s just a freak how quick he is, how big he is, he’s just an absolute gun.

“We’ve got to be a little bit careful not to always kick it [to Buddy] but when he’s in the form he is today, it seems like you kick it anywhere near him and he’ll end up kicking a goal. It’s a bit of a balance, but the form he’s in today you just want to get it to him.”

The Swans were far too good for the Blues but were given a run for their money in the second term.

“We started all right, we could’ve kicked a bit straighter. To their credit they kept plugging away. We took the foot off the gas a little bit in the second,” Smith said.

“They’re a good team when they play the way they want to, and we let them do that in the second quarter but then we got back to what we wanted to do in the third and the score looks after itself when we do that.”

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

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‘More discerning’: Wary Sydney buyers opt out of auctions

More than 30 per cent of auction properties in Sydney failed to sell at the weekend as wary buyers opted not to compete for second-tier houses and apartments.
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B and C-grade properties (unrenovated, on main roads, near commercial and industrial sites) almost always do well in a boom market. But experts say Sydney is returning to a “normal” market in which real estate transactions are being driven by traditional factors such as a demand for larger family accommodation or a need to downsize, rather than straight-up property speculation.

The big spin-off from these changed market conditions is that the second-best properties aren’t selling nearly as well as they did late last year.

Some agents selling “move straight in” renovated homes above $2.8 million also say properties are now more likely to sell for a price within their price guide, and the market is seeing fewer tearaway results compared to 10 months ago.

For the second week in a row, Sydney’s auction clearance rate fell below 70 per cent. The Domain Group posted a clearance rate for Saturday of 67.9 per cent per cent from 675 scheduled auctions.

The result – the lowest clearance rate recorded on a non-holiday weekend in Sydney since April last year – suggests that this year’s spring market, which kicks off next Saturday, will be more buyer-friendly than the 2016 and 2015 spring markets.

112 Cardigan Street, Stanmore, sold for $3,075,000 on Saturday.

Of course, much will depend on the parts of city that property punters target. Home prices in in-demand areas in the inner suburbs, such as the east, the inner-west and the lower north shore, are relatively bullet-proof compared to the prices being paid in more fickle markets, especially in the mid and outer western suburbs. Related: Rundown Clovelly home sells for $3.4mRelated: Click here for Saturday’s auction resultsRelated: Click here for the Market Snapshot

Real Estate Institute of NSW president John Cunningham said gaps were appearing in the market, particularly around properties that didn’t tick all the boxes for buyers.

“In booming conditions, everything goes well,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether a property is on a main road, hanging off the side of a cliff or in a gully. Those properties normally would have trouble selling and now we are finding that the days on market for those sorts of properties is starting to extend out. It is definitely affecting their prices.”

Mr Cunningham, a Balgowlah and Manly-based agent, said agents were seeing a trend where only those auction properties that had multiple positive attributes attracted five or more bidders.

“When a market changes, you see the urgency go out of buyers,” he said. “They just don’t grab anything because the market is racing away, they become more discerning and I would definitely call this a more discerning market.”

Sydney has experienced five years of fairly constant house price growth. Little wonder that a veritable platoon of market watchers is now pointing to a change.

For example, the national valuations company Herron Todd White, earlier this month ranked Sydney as “starting to decline” in the national property clock it publishes monthly. By contrast, Melbourne’s market was ranked as “approaching the peak of the market”.

The most expensive property sold on Saturday was 1503/61 Macquarie Street, Sydney, which went for $7,110,000.

Some observers think it’s wrong to read too much into any differences between A-grade and lesser-light properties, particularly when it comes to high land-value real estate in the inner areas.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said while there were different demand drivers for particular property types, such as semi-detached terraces and bigger houses, the inner ring remained largely bullet-proof.

“There is not so much differentiation between the inner suburban properties in Sydney that you can start classing them because they all have a line of buyers behind them,” he said.

But Dr Wilson said the inner west market had been a little softer in recent weeks.

On Saturday, Cobden & Hayson auctioned a renovated and extended five-bedroom period home at 112 Cardigan Street, Stanmore, which last sold in 2012 for $938,000.

32 Colbran Avenue, Kenthurst, sold for $4 million on Saturday.

Although the property was eventually bought by a family for $3,075,000, the auction was a slow-moving affair.

Selling agent Jonathan Hammond said the house was quoted at $2.95 million to $3.2 million and there were three registered bidders.

“We struggled to get it off the mark,” he said. “There was a vendor bid at $3 million and that was rescinded. Then we had a buyer who came in with $2.9 million and then we negotiated to $3,075,000 after the auction. But, in terms of per square metre land prices in Stanmore, the price paid was a great result.”

Top sales reported at the weekend included a five-bedroom home at 32 Shadforth Street, Mosman. It was sold for $5,675,000 by Simeon Manners, while a six-bedroom house at 32 Colbran Avenue, Kenthurst, was sold by Lumby Hampson for $4 million.

32 Shadforth Street, Mosman, sold for $5,675,000 on Saturday.

The most expensive property reported sold at auction was a three-bedroom unit at 1503/61-69 Macquarie Street, Sydney. It fetched $7.11 million at an auction conducted by Morton Circular Quay.

Dr Wilson said Sydney was experiencing a clear disparity in regional results with inner suburban areas doing much better than the middle and outer suburbs.

The lower north shore was the best performing region at the weekend with an upbeat clearance rate of 81 per cent. It was followed by the upper north shore with a 75.5 per cent clearance rate, the city and east with 72.2 per cent, the inner west with 71.9 per cent, the northern beaches with 70.8 per cent, the central coast with 66.7 per cent, and the west with 65.9 per cent.

Canterbury Bankstown was a significantly better performer at the weekend with clearances at 60.5 per cent. The north-west had a clearance rate of 58.8 per cent, the south had 55.2 per cent and the south-west trailed the market with a clearance rate of 50 per cent.

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

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Shoulder injury leaves Daniel Saifiti in doubt for World Cup

WOUNDED: Daniel Saifiti braved the pain barrier against Canberra. Picture: Jonathan CarrollKNIGHTS prop Daniel Saifiti is in danger of missing the World Cup after suffering a partially dislocated shoulder in Friday night’s 46-28 loss in Canberra.
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DOUBT: English import Joe Wardle will need to overcome an ankle injury to play against Cronulla.

Saifiti is awaiting the result of scans and hopes to play in Sunday’s final-round clash with Cronulla at McDonald Jones Stadium, but Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has admitted there is a chance the 21-year-old will require surgery.

If so, that would almost certainly cost him the chance to represent Fiji at the World Cup.

Daniel and twin brother Jacob have both represented Fiji in mid-yearPacific Tests and were shaping as key figures for the Bati in theend-of-season tournament.

GONE: Korbin Sims won’t play again this season after fracturing his arm in Thursday’s loss to Parramatta.

In another body blow for the Fijians, who made the semi-finals at the 2013 World Cup, Brisbane’s Korbin Sims appears unlikely to be available after suffering a fractured arm in Thursday’s loss to Parramatta.

Fiji have a host of quality outside backs at their disposal –including Suliasi Vunivalu, Akuila Uate, Waqa Blake, Kevin Naiqama and possibly Jarryd Hayne –but are light-on for NRL-standard forwards.

In the likely absence of Sims and Daniel Saifiti, they will be relying heavily on Jacob Saifiti and Roosters duo Kane Evans andEloni Vunakece.

Knights officials will be desperately hoping that if Saifiti does need surgery, it is not a full shoulder reconstruction, which would probably mean his entire pre-season was spent in recovery-and-rehabilitation mode.

Knights coach Nathan Brown said Saifiti “gave a good account of himself’’ when he insisted on playing through the pain barrier against Canberra.

“They’re starting to learn that there is injured, and there is hurt,’’ Brown said.

“There’s two different things and some of them are starting to learn that.”

Saifiti has played in 21 games for Newcastle this season and will be a contender for their player-of-the-year award, along with Dane Gagai, Sione Mata’utia and Mitch Barnett.

But Brown said he is still a work in progress.

“Diet, training, sacrifices,’’ were the areas Brown identified. “He’s improved on where he was, but to get to the level we want him to get to –and more importantly to get to the level of player he should get to over his career –he’s still got some areas that he needs to work hard at.”

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Australia Council arts grants could be more efficient: audit

100910 SMH Domain Photo Steven Siewert.Tony Grybowski in the foyer of the Wroxton Apartment building in Elizabeth Bay/ Rushcutters Bay that was originally covered on carpet over the floors and walls.The wood paneling and Terrazzo floors have been restored. SPECIAL SS100910 Tony Grybowski, the new Australia Council for the Arts chief executive officer.
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An audit of grants by the respected Australia Council has found more efficient processes are needed at the arts funding and advisory body, while new metrics for administration should be created.

The Australian National Audit Office probe published last week considered more than $173 million in grants programs awarded by the council in 2015-16, representing 88 per cent of its $197.6 million in total expenses.

A federal government entity, the council exists to fund the creation and presentation of new art that is accessible to audiences across Australia and overseas.

Auditor-General Grant Hehir said benchmarking of the council’s activities against comparative organisations indicated administration of its grants to Australian artists and arts organisations could be improved.

The report said the council had not established metrics to inform itself, federal Parliament and the public about how efficient its distribution of funding was, had not measured changes in output over time and had not used key data to improve internal review processes.

It found the average cost for the Australia Council to administer the grants program was $0.04 for each $1 of grant funding, and the cost to administer each application received was $1359.

The average cost to administer the grants program was found to be 33 per cent above the average costs for a group of similar organisations.

Results for three of its five programs were lower than the average cost for the eight other programs considered, while the average cost across the five Australia Council programs was 46 per cent higher than the average cost of the other grants programs.

“It is unclear if the Australia Council has become more efficient over time,” the report said.

“The Australia Council has not established grant administration metrics to support the measurement and benchmarking of its efficiency in administering grant funding – one of the key mechanisms for delivery of its statutory functions.

“Benchmarking conducted by the ANAO indicates that the efficiency of the Australia Council’s administration of the grants program, and its component grants programs, varies across the measures calculated.”

In 2015, then arts minister George Brandis said the Australia Council was perceived as a “closed shop” for established artists, with an “iron wall that you’re either inside or outside”.

He controversially diverted nearly $105 million to a new program controlled by federal bureaucrats, sparking outcry from advocates who protested cuts to funding and possible political interference.

His successor, Mitch Fifield, axed the Catalyst program and returned funding to the council.

The report called for more formal risk assessment processes, greater focus to the efficiency of grants administration, as well as routine benchmarking and evaluation.

The council agreed to the recommendations in principle but disputed the benchmarking against other organisations as an appropriate comparative measure.

“Throughout the design and implementation of the grants program, the Australia Council and its board have worked assiduously to achieve high standards of efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of arts funding,” the council said in response to the report.

“Efficiencies have already been realised through a significant reduction in the number of grants categories, development of streamlined funding criteria and eligibility requirements, and a decrease in staffing levels for the grants program, despite increases in the quantum of grants funds under administration.”

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