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Mack on the verge of international cricket dream after round-one ton



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ACT Meteors player Katie Mack has been selected to play in the Cricket XI to play against the n women’s team as an Ashes warm up. Photo by Karleen Minney.Katie Mack’s dream start to the WNCL season could launch her international ambitions after the ACT Meteors batter was called into a Cricket XI.
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Mack was named in an invitational side on Tuesday to play in warm-up matches when England arrives to ramp up preparations for the women’s Ashes.

Mack scored an unbeaten 113 off 125 balls on Sunday and it didn’t take long for selectors to reward her effort, calling her later in the night to offer her a stepping stone chance for her career.

The 24-year-old will play against England in two practice matches in Brisbane on October 16 and 18 before the Ashes series begins on October 22.

It will be an opportunity for Mack to show she’s ready to step up to international cricket after smashing the Queensland bowling attack at Manuka Oval.

“It was a good day on Sunday, but it was a bit unexpected because I didn’t even know these [Cricket XI] games were on,” Mack said.

“But now it’s quite exciting and I’m ready to play. I just want to test myself out … it’s always good to get more games.

“For women, there’s a lack of one-day games we get to play so this is going to add to that and will test out what I’ve been working on at a higher level.

“Playing against England, if you perform, it could lead to anywhere. But I think about that every game I play.”

Mack tinkered with her batting technique in the off-season and she got immediate results in the opening WNCL games.

She led the Meteors to an unbeaten weekend to start the season, but the team will have to wait six weeks for the next round of the WNCL competition.

Meteors recruit and South Africa captain Dane Van Niekerk has no doubt Mack will settle into international cricket after getting a front-row seat to her century.

“The potential and work ethic is there [for Mack], that’s the big thing for international cricket,” said Van Niekerk, the No. 3 ranked all-rounder in the world.

“You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard it won’t take you anywhere.

“[Mack’s] fitness stood out. She ran me into the ground when I was down the other end. It’s small things like that make a champion. No doubt she will score a lot more runs.”

Cricket ACT is hoping to sell out two women’s Ashes games at Manuka Oval on November 19 and 21.

Van Niekerk wants to use the extended WNCL break to help her get back to peak fitness after battling injuries after her women’s World Cup campaign.

“We want to get cricket fit at the moment,” Van Niekerk said.

“I tore my quad and had a stress fracture in my foot. I had a six-week break, but now it’s just getting back into it 100 per cent. We came here to learn more about our game.”

REVIEWSThe Vicar of Dibley; Love’s Labour’s Lost



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The Vicar of DibleyTHEATRE REVIEWSThe Vicar of DibleyDAPA, at DAPA Theatre, HamiltonEnds October 21MY wife and I didn’t see The Vicar of Dibley television series, but the laughter and applause of audience members at this stage adaptation showed they had. We found it amusing, and at home I downloaded a couple of episodes we saw onstage. I was impressed by how the British adaptive writers and the DAPA actors and stage team recreated the characters and settings and the nature of the comedy.
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Leanne Mueller is a delight as the title character, Rev Geraldine Grainger, who is here one of the first women to become a vicar in 1990s England, with her appointment initially upsetting a staid rural community. While she is determined not to be pushed to one side by the parish church council because of her sexuality, she is very much a person of modern times, demanding that a planned week of local radio programming must contain songs by rock performers including The Carpenters, and, while initially not being prepared to take part in colourful Easter functions, joining others in wearing a bunny suit.

Mark Spencer (who also directed) is the pompous and intolerant millionaire head of the church parish council, David Horton, who is only willing to do good deals when they benefit him. A divorce that relegated him to caring for his young son has made him very demanding of the now adult Hugo (Michael Nolan), who is attracted to the female verger, Alice Tinker (Claire Thomas), but tries to keep his affection hidden from his father. The interactions between Hugo and Alice, who is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, raise smiles, as does Alice’s incomprehension of Geraldine’s amusing and pointed jokes.

Cathy Maughan, as Letitia Cropley, a caring woman who provides the snacks for the parish council meetings, has a rather eccentric creativity, with the pancakes she makes including ingredients such as liver and her putting pineapple pieces among the flowers in church decorations. Brian Lowe repeatedly raises laughs with his Jim Trott’s stuttering “no, no, no, no . . .”, even when he agrees with what is being said; Colin Campbell’s pedantic and eccentric parish council clerk, Frank Pickle, is amusingly dithering; and David Murray’s farmer, Owen Newitt, makes the man’s lack of hygiene and recurring bowel problems raise broad smiles. Mark Spencer’s direction ensures that the action transfers swiftly between three venues in and around the Dibley church.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s LostNewcastle Theatre Company, at NTC Theatre, LambtonEnds October 21THIS adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy by a Sydney theatre company head, Damien Ryan, is certainly a crowd-pleaser in Newcastle director Richard Murray’s production. The large cast is engaging, clad in colourful Victorian garb, as a new young king of Navarre, who has sworn off women for three years while he studies, forces his three offsiders to comply with his decision.

A French princess who arrives to discuss a border issue and her trio of ladies in waiting are understandably unhappy about being banished to a tent in a paddock, so that the men won’t be tempted to break their vows. But the women amusingly show themselves to be more adept than the men at getting what they want, something that wasn’t often seen on stage in Shakespeare’s day.

Adaptor Damien Ryan’s transformation of one of the king’s men into a woman who disguises herself as a man because she is unhappy about the way women are pushed to one side is a relevant change at this time, especially as the disguised girl and one of the princess’s attendants are attracted to each other. Ryan’s changes also include the use of several classic songs to make comments on the characters and their situations.

Derek Fisher’s initially stern King Ferdinand has to put up with the sceptical remarks and mockery of Hadrian Le Goff’s assistant Biron, with Nicholas Watson’s less adept Dumain clearly pleased when he can take Biron down a peg or two. And Gabriella Chamberlain’s Longaville, the woman in disguise, has even more skill in putting Biron in his place. The initially unhappy and largely silent French women – Tegan Gow’s Princess Margot, Madeline Valentinis’ Rosaline, Annalie Hamilton’s Katherine, and Maddy Lardner’s Maria – have a wit the men don’t expect, amusingly besting them when wearing clownish masks, with the king and his helpers dressed as Russians in thick coats, but so inept that their identities are evident.

The other colourful characters include: a laugh-raising Spanish braggart, Don Armado (Michael Blaxland), whose dandy nature is reflected in his elaborate attire; Moth (Millie Chorlton), his quick-witted page; Jaquenetta (Marjorie Butcher), a bluntly worded country wench who is pursued by Don Armado and others; Costard (Stephanie MacDonald), a voracious court attendant; Holofernes (John Franks), a teacher who is snooty about his ability to tellingly use language; Lady Nathalia (Fiona Morrison), the local curate who ignores people when they note that her statements are incorrect; and Constable A. Dull (Renee Thomas), a constable who bluntly tells people he can’t understand them when they use high-faluting language.

Socceroos shock as Ange Postecoglou drops Aaron Mooy



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Tactical shift: Aaron Mooy has been moved to the bench. Photo: AAPSocceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has made the shock decision to drop Aaron Mooy from the starting lineup for ‘s World Cup Qualifier against Syria on Tuesday night.
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The only outfield player playing regularly in the English Premier League will start from the bench as part of a tactical reshuffle from Postecoglou.

It’s understood the Huddersfield Town midfielder had a very brief conversation with Postecoglou immediately after training on Monday where he was told that he was not in the starting team.

He will likely be replaced by Massimo Luongo or Jackson Irvine as one of the holding midfielders alongside captain Mark Milligan.

Tom Rogic is set to come into the starting team to play behind the striker which will likely be Tim Cahill.

Matt Leckie is set to drop from his forward role to right wing.

Postecoglou praised Rogic earlier this week.

“International football is tricky sometimes,” Postecoglou said. “It does come down to moments, and he’s [Rogic] certainly the kind of player who, in a key moment, can produce something special.

“From our perspective that’s a good weapon to have.”

Rogic’s thumping strike for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League against Ross County last month, which he added to in the Old Firm derby, is an encouraging indication the Canberra native could be the X-factor to help save ‘s World Cup fortunes.

“Tom has been pretty significant for us in recent times,” Postecoglou said. “He’s contributed with goals or assists and he’s maturing in the right way.

“From an international standpoint, it’s only really been in the last sort of 12 months that he’s come into more prominence.

“I expect him to become a more and more important player.”

with AAP

‘No excuses’: Capitals brace for road-trip hell to Townsville and back



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UC Capitals Vs Jayco Dandenong at Southern Cross Club stadium Tuggeranong. Capitals coach Paul Goriss. Photo Elesa KurtzThe Canberra Capitals will have to beat two WNBL title favourites and a hectic travel schedule to stamp themselves as genuine championship contenders this weekend.
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The Capitals will spend more time in airports and on planes than they do on the court this week when they travel 5000 kilometres for two games.

The first is a clash against the Townsville Fire in far-north Queensland on Friday night before backing up against the Melbourne Boomers in Canberra a day later.

It’s part of a hectic 14-hour travel schedule as the Capitals face their first road-trip test of a reformatted WNBL season full of double-header weekends and more travel.

It means while the Capitals are flying back home, the Boomers will already be in Canberra planning their hit-and-run mission at the National Convention Centre on Sunday.

“With the league being so short, it’s what every team has to do,” said Capitals vice-captain Kate Gaze.

“We just have to get used to it, deal with it and get on with it. It’s a great challenge for us.

“If we can beat that challenge on the road and when we travel, it will beneficial at the end of the year. It’s a brand new league this year … we’re all trying to be professional and if this is what we have to do, bring it on.”

The Capitals started their campaign with back to back wins against the Bendigo Spirit and Adelaide Lightning last weekend.

But the Fire and Boomers loom as a massive early-season test given they’re regarded as the championship favourites.

The Fire boast veteran Suzy Batkovic while the Boomers have recruited 203 centimetre star Elizabeth Cambage.

Batkovic and Cambage are set for a showdown with Canberra’s United States import, Mistie Bass.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss has adjusted his side’s training schedule to accommodate for time on the road, with the team to leave Canberra at midday on Thursday and return at 5pm on Saturday.

“We’ve got to take the mindset that there are no excuses,” Goriss said.

“Everyone is going to have to deal with the travel schedule and back to back games. It’s not ideal going up to Townsville for a game and having to come back because it such a long way to go.

“But to me there are no excuses, we march on. Our depth is one of our strengths this season, that will help with recovery time. I’m happy to throw any body out there at any point of the game.

“We’ve outscored both of our opponents so far this season with ‘depth points’ from the bench, which highlights the depth we have.”


Friday: Townsville Fire v Canberra Capitals at Townsville Stadium, 8pm.

Sunday: Canberra Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at National Convention Centre, 3pm.

Ambitious plans to revamp popular Jam Factory



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The popular, but rundown, Jam Factory restaurant and entertainment precinct in Melbourne’s South Yarra will be gutted and rebuilt as a glitzy 15-storey, $1.25 billion retail and office complex under ambitious plans put forward by owner Newmark Capital.
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The landmark site on Chapel Street near the corner of Toorak Road will be transformed into a network of laneways with shops and restaurants on the lower levels, a central public square, and seven individual office buildings housing up to 5000 workers.

The new centre’s open, central public plaza will wrap around the historic factory chimney, now enclosed by the Jam Factory building.

It will cost $450 million to construct and be finished by 2020 if Newmark’s plans get a tick of approval from local Stonnington council and residents.

South Yarra’s Forrest Hill precinct nearby has been the centre of an apartment development boom over the past decade, but other projects along Chapel Street have proved more controversial drawing opposition from local residents.

The Jam Factory became a drawcard for film buffs in the 1990s when it was revamped to include a Village Roadshow multiplex, a feature that will also be key in the new complex.

Despite multiple attempts from different owners to reshape it, the centre languished with some tenants moving out.

The most recent departure was British retail giant Topshop which opened its first n store – covering 1300 square metres – in the Jam Factory in 2011.

Newmark project director Jonathan Bradhurst said the Jam Factory’s latest revamp, the most ambitious to date, was deliberately focused on providing offices rather than more residential towers.

“What is missing here are places for people to work close to where they live,” he said.

The Jam Factory’s current configuration was “compromised”.

“We’re the only ones who have proposed a complete transformation and rebuild. We will be making a place that is suited and focused on the 21st century with knowledge workers, people who live here and shop here,” he said.

About 50,000 square metres of office space spread across seven different sized buildings with floor plates up to 4000 sq m in size are planned for the site.

A similar size space will be devoted to shops and restaurants on the lower levels while the basement will have fresh food outlets and a supermarket connected to a 1300 space carpark.

The new design was attracting potential tenants. “We already have interest from some of the bigger players,” Mr Bradhurst said.

The size of the site, nearly two hectares, will allow development and construction to be contained onsite and not spill over onto Chapel Street.

Newmark Capital, a property fund run by Simon Morris and ex-Hawthorn AFL legend Chris Langford, last year purchased the Como Centre on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street in a $236.5 million deal.

The smaller Como complex includes offices, shops, a hotel and car park.

The Block 2017: View the five Elsternwick houses for sale by auction



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46C Regent Street, Elsternwick – The Block 2017, Ronnie and Georgia’s houseAfter three months on site, and several weeks watching themselves on TV – and finding out if loves or hates them, the slog of The Block is about to end for five couples.
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For these couples, the work has all been for one day: auction day, now just a matter of weeks away. Each of the five houses will go under the hammer at the end of the month, with agents guiding price expectations of $2.4 million to $2.64 million.

And for all the anguish of styling cushions, early morning painting sessions and choices about architraves – not to mention the constant bickering between couples – auction day is the only day that really counts. Here’s a look inside the houses, and an inside word from Domain’s Alice Stolz, who has awarded a weekly $5000 prize to the best team:

Photo: Hocking Stuart46A Regent Street, Elsternwick

Team: Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker

Selling agency:Hocking Stuart Caulfield

Agents: Todd Newton and Sophie LaForest

Photo: Hocking Stuart

???Stolz says: The highlight here is obviously the outdoor area that integrates seamlessly with the interior. The house also has terrific on-trend features like that amazing pod path and an extremely open-plan living area. There are touches of impracticality but the house is in that sweet spot where it’s ideal for DINKS (a double income, no kids couple).

Photo: Noel Jones Real Estate46B Regent Street, Elsternwick

Team: Mark “Sticks” Croker and Clint “Wombat” Price

Selling agency:Noel Jones Doncaster

Agents:Daniel D’Assisi and David Fileccia

Photo: Noel Jones Real Estate

???Stolz says: This is a fantastic blank canvas. With creme de la creme craftsmanship, it has a little bit of a bachelor pad feel, and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t love a bit of that in their life? It’s super fun with all its quirks: the climbing wall in the kids’ room, a TV coming from the roof and the James Bond-style drinks cabinet. The boys have put their signature on the house and it’s safe, but not too safe.

Photo: Biggin & Scott46C Regent Street, Elsternwick

Team: Georgia and Ronnie Caceres

Selling agency:Biggin & Scott Elsternwick

Agents:Daniel Ashton, Angelos Stefanis and Bill Stavrakis


Photo: Biggin & Scott

Stolz says: Uber stylish and uber sexy, this is a house with grown-up glamour and decadence. It has a wonderful sense of luxury and is completely on trend – but I don’t think it will date. It’s like living in a beautiful hotel and with that sense of opulence, you could forget your reality pretty easily here. You really need to see the house and you’re able to feel these two at every turn; it has a bit of spunk in the way that others don’t. It’s anchored and they know what they’ve been doing.

Photo: The Agency46D Regent Street, Elsternwick

Team: Hannah and Clint Amos

Selling agency:The Agency Victoria

Agents:Sam Babalis and Peter Kakos


Photo: The Agency

Stolz says: This is a really lovely, pretty and elegant house for the area. It’s light-filled and has spots of panache every now and then, particularly the wallpaper choices and the beautiful sitting room. The bathroom, aka the disaster from hell, has delivered great results and there’s that hallway with privacy. They have made mistakes but they’ve really done well to fix everything.

Photo: Gary Peer & Associates46E Regent Street, Elsternwick

Team: Sarah and Jason Price

Selling agency:Gary Peer & Associates

Agents:Jeremy Rosens and Daniel Micmacher

Photo: Gary Peer & Associates

Stolz says: This place has the most amazing hallways with beautiful proportions. It’s the most-family friendly home The Block has seen. It has a true sanctuary for parents, amazing bedrooms for children with that Jack and Jill bathroom. With hydronic heating and a beautiful fireplace, it’s practical and liveable. This is a house for families.

St Mary’s Gateshead buys Lake Macquarie Council land it has maintained since the 1980s for $150,000



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Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser.A Gateshead school has agreed to spend $150,000 to buya parcel of Lake Macquarie Council land it has maintained since the 1980s, after the council said it discovered the school was using the site.
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The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will buy about 1600 square metres of land that the council says St Mary’s High School has been using as part of its sporting fields. While the diocese says the triangular shape of the land meant it was unsuitable for sports, a spokesman saidthe fact that it bordered the school“might create the impression that it is part of the field”.

A council report released this week called for councillors to go ahead with the sale.

The land, wedged between Kennedy Creek and the school grounds, was dedicated to council in 1966 as a public reserve bythe Department of Housing.

“It came to council’s attention that part of council’s land …was being utilised by St Mary’s High School, Gateshead as part of their sporting field,” the council report noted.

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said council found the school was using the block as a result of rezoning a piece of the diocese’s adjoining land at Birkwood Close in 2013. She said selling the land was council’s preferred option because its location between adrainage channeland the school made it inaccessible.

“The parcel of land has been reclassified to allow a sale to occur and the parties have agreed on a price,” Cr Fraser said.

“A report recommending the sale was endorsed by the Corporate Services Committee [on Monday]and will be considered at the Ordinary Council meeting on October 23. Following that meeting, council will provide contracts to the church to finalise the sale.”

The diocese spokesman told the Heraldthat the school had mowed, clearedand maintained the block of land since the 1980s to keep the area free of snakes and safe for students.

“There is also a Landcare partnership between the school and the Lake Macquarie Council which has been in place since around 2006,” he said. “As part of this Landcare partnership, the school has planted hundreds of trees and native shrubson this block of land and – together with council – continued to maintain this block of land.”

The diocesan spokesman said the sale would allow the school to run a stormwater drain through to Kennedy Creek.

EDITORIAL: Offshore gas a possible addition to energy mix



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IT was late 2010 when a Western n based explorer, Advent Energy, brought a test rig to the waters off Newcastle to drill for gas or oil.
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Documents produced by Advent and an associated company, Asset Energy, said that other energy companies, including Santos, had looked at the area since the early 1990s, with sea-floor“pock marks” and“surface oil and gas seeps” regarded as likely indicators of sizeable resources below the seabed

Advent’s intentionscreated controversy at the time. Professional fishers and environmentalists were concerned about the impact on the sea floor. But as it turned out, the drilling was unable to locate any hydrocarbons despite bullish predictions beforehand that the offshore coast between Newcastle and Sydney could be a new Bass Strait.

Despite theearlier setback, Asset Energy is again looking to explore within its state government exploration zone, using seismic testing that is usually regarded as a precursor to physical drilling.

Concerns are again being raised, with the NSW Greens citing a University of Queensland study to say that the noise from seismic testing would interfere with whale migration.

The company, for its part, says its procedures are appropriate.

Given the massive reserves of coal under the Hunter Valley and parts of the Central Coast, it would hardly surprise if reservoirs of gas were found offshore.

At this stage of ’s energy debate, the potential for gas or oil production close to the NSW east coast raises some interesting questions.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is pushing hard for NSW and Victoria to lift their bans on onshore gas production. While Victoria has reserves of conventional or reservoir gas, NSW would be reliant on coal-seam gas, which generally means fracking to maintain adequate supply.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made it clear her government has no intention to reverse its position on coal-seam gas, but if is to start de-carbonising its power grid by closing coal-fired power stations, it will need gas from somewhere –and in substantially larger quantities than is used at present –to balance the grid against the uncertainties of wind and sun.

While we are not there yet, it could come down to an argument over a lesser of two evils: fracking at Narrabri or drilling off the Newcastle coast.

Issue: 38,620.

Government accused of insulting ‘robo-debt’ recipients in inquiry response



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Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge visited the Channel Operations Facility in his department in Canberra on Wednesday 5 April 2017. Photo: Andrew Meares
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 29: Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge on April 29, 2016 in Sydney, . (Photo by Kirk Gilmour/Fairfax Media)

The Turnbull government has rejected findings of a Senate inquiry into its controversial “robo-debt” system for welfare payments, refusing to suspend data matching and defending procedural fairness in the recovery of payments.

Responding to a June report which slammed the process of issuing debt notices to thousands of ns based on matching and averaging of income records held by Centrelink and the Tax Office, the government said some third parties’ complaints had been “aimed solely at scoring political points”.

The inquiry said debts calculated by averaging of income across a 12-month period should be reassessed, with the system redesigned and effective risk assessment process put in place.

It said the program had caused a “profoundly negative impact on the lives of thousands of ns” and was responsible for trauma suffered by innocent welfare recipients required to prove they did not owe money demanded by Centrelink.

In April, a Commonwealth Ombudsman report found Centrelink’s demands on former welfare recipients were neither “reasonable” nor ‘fair”.

On Tuesday, the government said there was no evidence to support the recommendation that the online system should be put on hold.

“The government’s clear position, supported by the independent Commonwealth Ombudsman report, is that it is appropriate to ask people for information when there are differences between their income details held by the Department of Human Services and other third parties such as the n Taxation Office,” it said.

“This principle has been in place under successive governments and has not changed.

“Welfare payment recipients have a responsibility to provide the most current information to maintain eligibility.

“The n government will continue to invest in digital technologies to make government services simpler, faster and more efficient, making it easier for the public to work and interact with government.”

It said the Department of Human Services was in the process of writing to all recipients of debt notices from the online system to remind them of their review rights.

The department was seeking to call recipients who had been referred to debt collection agencies.

The government said it took seriously use of individuals’ private information and income reviews were only used when recipients failed to provide the information needed to calculate their fortnightly income.

Controversy about debt demands has dogged the government since late 2016, despite Human Services Minister Alan Tudge maintaining the system was working effectively.

Greens community services spokeswoman Senator Rachel Siewert said the response was grossly inadequate and showed contempt for recipients of debt notices.

“It is frankly insulting to the people who gave evidence at the inquiry to be referred to in this response as third parties looking to score political points,” she said.

“The comments that the chair’s report relied on evidence that was inaccurate is insulting to those who gave evidence.

“The people who gave evidence at the inquiry were vulnerable people, whose data had been automatically matched without oversight, people who had been harassed by debt collectors days before Christmas, people living below the poverty line wrongly told they only had a number of weeks to pay back thousands of dollars.

“This inquiry was about the lives of vulnerable ns,” she said.

Senator Siewert rubbished government suggestions recipients had been given a reasonable opportunity to provide information and explain any discrepancies.

“Is it reasonable to ask people who have worked sporadically over ten years, moved countless times and escaped domestic violence to provide pay slips from a job they had five years ago for three months?”

Last month the government admitted it issued robo-debt recovery notices to 20,000 welfare recipients who were later found to owe less or even nothing.

Everest: Kris Lees pleased with draw and final hit-out of Clearly Innocent



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COOL DOWN: Mal Ollerton takes Clearly Innocent for a swim at Horseshoe Beach on Tuesday after his last piece of trackwork. Picture: Lees RacingKris Lees believes Clearly Innocent would appreciate a slightly longer race, but the Newcastle trainer hasno concerns about the draw or preparations of his runner forthe $10 million The Everest (1200m).
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Clearly Innocent, one of the last confirmedto fill a slot in the world richest race on turf, was drawn in six of 12 for Saturday’s inaugural edition at Randwick on Tuesday.

Lees was not at the draw on Sydney Harbour, and slot-ownerDamion Flower, ofJadesyke Racing, did the honours for Clearly Innocent, which will be ridden by Hugh Bowman on Saturday.

“I don’t get too flustered either way with barrier draws because a lot can happen once the gates open,” Lees said. “But if you said ‘pick a barrier’, I would have said ‘somewhere in the middle’.

“The ones drawn inside, they’ll push forward and you’ll get a nice trail. It looks all right for him.

“He’s going to get the race run to suit and, to be fair to him, he probably wants a touch further. In a perfect world, for this horse, I’d like it 1300, 1400 metres, but it is what it is, and we’re pretty happy with where he’s at.”

Mal Ollerton gave Clearly Innocent his final piece of trackwork on Tuesday morning over the course proper at Newcastle and Lees was pleased with what he saw.

“He had his final gallop this morning and he’s as good as he can be,” he said.“He worked over 800 metres but he was quite strong at the end of his work and he looks well.”

Clearly Innocent was third in the group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) first-up on September 30 at Randwick and the fast finish was enough to convince Flower to confirm the six-year-old Cressfield Stud gelding as his pick.

Flower had been negotiating with Lees and Cressfield Stud boss Bruce Neill for two months.

“The team, they are very happy with the horse, especially Kris Lees,” Flower told Sky Racing at the barrier draw.

“He was out giving him a walk and a dip this morning. Bruce and Hughie are quite confident. We were looking for a mid-barrier and we got barrier six.

“I had him earmarked out in early August. I got a really good promotional video from Bruce Neill himself and I’ve just been waiting for him to come back, and just seeing him in the Premiere sort of hit its mark for me.”

Clearly Innocent drifted from $11 to $13 with TAB Fixed Odds after the draw.

Lees said his Everest star was likely to be one of only two or three runners on Saturday’s Randwick program.

He said Sense Of Occasion may run in the $500,000 Craven Plate andYulong Xingsheng would feature in the Reginald Allen Quality “but the rest probably won’t run”.

He said Admiral Jello would not race in the St Leger Stakes andCraven Plate nominationSound Proposition would be saved for the Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day.

The Everestalso featuresHunter connections inother runners,including $4.60 favourite She Will Reign,Chautauqua ($6), Brave Smash ($31) and Houtzen ($26).

Hunter syndication company n Bloodstock brought Brave Smash from Japan with The Everest in mind and co-director Jamie Lovett drew barrier nine on Tuesday. The Darren Weir-trained Brave Smash will wear blinkers on Saturday.

“[Weir] has sortofbeensaying for a month or so that he’s a blinker horse so I guess we’rejustfronting up on Saturday excited to see him run up to his best,” Lovett said on Sky Racing.

“We think he’s best will put him into the race. Obviously he’s got his knockers but that’s racing.”

“He’s run time overseas and even the day at Caulfield he ran behind Vega Magic, he did run time, so we’re going there with a fair bit of confidence and we’re very excited to be in the event.”