Tabcorp shares slump despite profit result

TABCORP shares slumped yesterday despite a solid full-year result as the market took issue with the company’s earnings outlook.
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Tabcorp reported a net profit of $340 million in the year to June 30, down from $534.8 million in 2010-11, but the prior year included earnings from the casino business, which was demerged in June last year.

Based on continuing operations the net profit was 12.7 per cent higher than the $301.6 million reported last year driven by strong earnings growth and lower interest expenses following the demerger.

But Tabcorp shares slumped as much as 5 per cent during trading yesterday after the company flagged higher costs and lower-than-expected earnings from Victorian wagering business.

The termination of Tabcorp’s poker machine licence in Victoria next week will leave it with $17 million of corporate and IT costs to be allocated across the continuing business and higher racefield product fees. Tabcorp also warned that the terms of its new wagering licence in Victoria are ”significantly different” to the current licence, which expires next week.

If the new licence had applied to the Victorian wagering business this year its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) would have been $150.2 million not the $229 million reported. ”The company has guided to pro forma wagering earnings of $150 million, which compares to our FY14 forecast of $190 million,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Wilson.

The company was also keeping quiet on its plans to recover the $687 million it is owed in compensation as a result of its poker machine licence being cancelled next week.

Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said the company is ”looking at all options” but has not made a decision ahead of August 23 when the payment is due.

Tabcorp will lose its biggest profit engine with the loss of its pokie duopoly in Victoria but is looking to offset the loss with its new Keno licence in Victoria and the poker machine services business TGS.

The latter is on track to record underlying earnings of $55 million per annum based on the 8500 poker machines it has signed up.

In 2011-12, Tabcorp’s online wagering operations generated $2.16 billion in turnover, growing by 14.5 per cent compared to the prior year.

Fixed odds revenues were the highlight, growing by 41.5 per cent to $321.4 million. Totalisator revenues continued to decline as the market shifted to fixed odds betting where the profit margins are lower and Tabcorp faces strong competition from new entrants.

The company declared a final dividend of 11¢ a share full franked and said it targeted a dividend payout ratio of 80 per cent of net profit excluding the expected $47 million write-off of Victorian gaming goodwill in the current half year. Tabcorp shares closed 3.3 per cent lower, down 11¢, at $3.20.

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Not upwardly mobile, Telstra holds the line

THERE are not too many analysts with a buy recommendation on Telstra. Of late, there have been plenty downgrading it to hold or even sell. At the $4 level at which the company has been trading, this is no surprise.
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Telstra needed to pull a rabbit out of a hat yesterday to justify a ”buy” tag. It didn’t.

It produced earnings that were a bit shy of analysts’ expectations given the second half was a bit weaker than the first. The share price dipped 8¢ to $3.89 in response.

It’s not that Telstra has done anything wrong. It is still performing well, churning out cash, and sucking up handouts from the government to compensate it for the building of NBN infrastructure.

But the strong growth in mobiles it has experienced over the past couple of years will start to taper off in 2013. Telstra still expects to increase its subscriber numbers but not at the same rate.

It will look to offset this by increasing prices, but has to manage this process carefully to avoid the previous mistakes of overpricing and losing market share.

The game is not up in mobiles, but having now reached 60 per cent market share there is a limit to the pace of growth.

There are some brighter spots in the pipeline in other Telstra businesses areas, such as Network Application Services, which provides communications solutions to large organisations.

The Hong Kong-based CSL put in a good performance, as did the global connectivity business. But in absolute terms they are small, relative to mobiles.

And then there are the troublesome businesses.

Sensis – better known as the Yellow Pages directories business – continued to go backwards, with print revenue falling 22 per cent and margins slipping by 9 percentage points.

The headwinds from the decline in revenue from the fixed copper network continue.

The latest numbers (although not provided by Telstra) say 14 per cent of households no longer have fixed line connections. The trend will continue and more likely than not it will accelerate.

As is always the case with Telstra, the emerging technologies are required to offset those in decline. In 2012, the company managed to post a modest rise in revenue of 1.1 per cent, and an equally modest improvement in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 0.8 per cent – both of which were inside guidance.

The company’s outlook statement paints a fairly similar outcome for 2013 – low single-digit income and EBITDA growth.

One of the reasons these forecasts can be relied on is the stellar job Telstra is doing in managing its cost base, and we should expect to see more of this in 2013.

While these results are not the sort to generally excite the market, there are a series of other factors weighing in to Telstra’s share price performance, which this year alone has risen 16 per cent – more than 2½ times the rest of the market.

Its a combination of a flight to yield and reliability.

And this is scarce commodity at the moment.

There will be other companies reporting bigger improvements in 2012 earnings, but none have quantified a near-guaranteed dividend.

Given the rise in Telstra’s share price, the yield isn’t as attractive as it was a year ago but it certainly not bad at just over 7 per cent.

The other solid bit of information is that the government will drip-feed billions into Telstra’s coffers in upcoming years – $420 million was received in 2012.

While analysts now take the view that on financial fundamentals Telstra is fully priced, the trouble for investors is that there are few solid options out there in the market.

Punters can make a bet and buy plenty of what appear to be cheap stocks trading on low price earnings multiples, but they run the risk that earnings won’t improve or may even slide and dividends will fall.

With commodity prices falling, investors have been bailing out of the big stocks such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

There are myriad cyclical stocks, but most have risks associated with the broader economic environment.

Telstra is far less sensitive to the vagaries of consumer sentiment, although mobile revenue from the small business segment did suffer in 2012.

But where is the next growth driver?

There is no real suggestion from management that Telstra will spend up big on acquisitions.

Rather, it appears to be placing its bets (and $500 million of capital expenditure this year) on its new 4G mobile network. Right now this reaches only 40 per cent of the market.

But increasing capex is not always as popular with shareholders as it is with management.

While investors were not really expecting any capital management announcements yesterday, nor an increase in dividends, either one would have offset any earnings disappointments and resulted in Telstra’s share price ticking up even further.

The author owns Telstra shares.

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Changes from the waste up hit stumbling block

IT IS shaping up as this year’s most toxic board scrap over the remnants of a listed hazardous waste company.
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Dolomatrix wasted no time yesterday announcing that its 19.9 per cent shareholder of only two weeks, Roger Collison, had been appointed as its new managing director – and announcing plans to transform itself from a toxic waste concern into listed investment company.

Logical, one would think, given the state of financial markets. Dolomatrix cited Collison’s ”skills and experience as a funds manager”. But not all Dolomatrix shareholders appear to agree. The head of Brisbane fund manager Trojan Equity, Troy Harry, has lobbed a requisition of meeting seeking the removal of Collison and his appointment to the board with former Dolomatrix director Greg Soghomonian and Wilson Asset Management director James Chirnside.

Harry, like Collison, snapped up his 13 per cent stake after Dolomatrix paid a 35¢-a-share capital return to its shareholders after offloading its waste management business. Wilson has a 10 per cent stake, and the Soghomonian-chaired Weston Aluminium a 13.5 per cent stake.Banking ranking

RESERVE Bank assistant governor Guy Debelle provided some comfort yesterday to patriotic sports fans unhappy about Australia’s ranking on the Olympic gold medal tally, especially when compared with Team Great Britain. ”Australian banks are also benefiting from the fact that they look good compared with other banks in the world,” Debelle assured a Senate inquiry into the banking sector in Sydney yesterday. ”The risk premium on Australian banks is nowhere near as high as the risk premium on some Spanish banks.” He went further: ”We’ll get some back for the Olympics here … it’s true for UK banks too. The UK banks’ risk premiums are much higher at the moment than Australian banks.”Soft touch?

ASCIANO managing director John Mullen seems to be a softer touch when its comes to negotiating the pay rates of other chief executives, as opposed to the stevedore workers on his company’s docks.

Four months after Asciano ended its 20-month standoff with the maritime union by signing a new enterprise bargaining agreement, Telstra disclosed yesterday that its remuneration committee had approved an 8.7 per cent lift in the annual fixed pay of its chief executive, David Thodey, to $2.65 million from October.

This is on top of the 6 per cent fixed-pay rise Thodey received last October. Telstra, whose remuneration committee is chaired by Mullen, said Thodey’s fixed-pay increase would take him to the ”ASX 20 CEO market median”. Telstra said it would also seek shareholder approval for a lift in its non-executive fee pool from $3 million to $3.5 million. It disclosed that Thodey’s total pay increased from $5.1 million to $7.7 million in the year to

June 30. Telstra also disclosed that its former chief financial officer, John Stanhope, was paid a $745,000 termination benefit and secured a $600,000 12-month consulting deal ”to ensure a seamless transition on NBN-related matters”.Gray area

SIRTEX Medical has joined the list of ”first-strikers” to try to placate its shareholders before this annual meeting season, averting having a ”second strike” recorded against its remuneration report.

This would have forced its directors to automatically stand for re-election.

But the cancer treatment company’s issuing of a ”remuneration update” yesterday might struggle to avert another 25 per cent or above vote against its pay report, given the current board’s toxic relations with Sirtex’s former chairman and 17 per cent shareholder, Bruce Gray.

Sirtex provided a lengthy five-page explanation on how it had increased the ”difficulty of achieving the vesting conditions” of the performance rights granted to executives and so on. Sirtex’s remuneration committee chairman, John Eady, argued that his board had ”improved the company’s remuneration structure while enforcing its values and culture”.

But it remains doubtful Sirtex will win over one key shareholder, despite its shares hitting a 30-month high this week and tripling since Gray was dumped as chairman in August 2006.

Gray, at last year’s annual meeting, voted against all the resolutions put before shareholders.

After being dumped as chairman in 2006, Gray failed in his bid to have Eady, Grant Boyce and Sirtex chairman Richard Hill dumped from the board.

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Worker unfairly sacked after taking stray kitten, rules Fair Work

A cleaner who was sacked after taking a kitten from a cleaning job – and giving it to a friend who refused to return it – was unfairly dismissed, Fair Work Australia has found.
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Judith Montague was working as a cleaner for Chadvic Cleaning Services at the YMCA’s student accommodation in Carlton, and had received two written warnings for unrelated conduct matters before being fired by owner Chaminda Fernando on February 21 this year.

Fair Work Australia Commissioner John Lewin yesterday said that while Mr Fernando had valid reason to take action over Ms Montague’s conduct, he had failed to follow aspects of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code and ordered the cleaning company owner to pay $3940 to her.

The dismissal was ‘‘harsh, unjust and unreasonable’’ and a warning should have been given on that matter first, Mr Lewin said.

The dismissal came after Ms Montague found a kitten, which Melbourne City Council officers had been trying to rescue from a drain. Ms Montague, who has four cats of her own, had spoken of the situation in passing to a friend, who had offered to adopt the kitten if it escaped the drain.

Fair Work Australia yesterday heard there was a group of about 30 stray cats living at the site, which residents and the council kept an eye on. Staff of the cleaning company had been verbally warned not to pat or feed the cats.

However Ms Montague said she understood from council welfare officers that she or her friend could keep the kitten if it escaped the drain. Mr Fernando argued that the council first wanted to check the health of the kitten before it could be rehoused and that no official authorisation had been given.

Ms Montague said she at first thought nothing of handing the kitten to her friend, until a workmate suggested she call her boss to let him know.

‘‘I did say to Chaminda that I’ve given it to my girlfriend but I’d give her a phone call and see if she’d return it,’’ she said.

Ms Montague said at first Mr Fernando ‘‘laughed about it so I didn’t see I had done anything wrong’’.He denied this. ‘‘I did not laugh. It wasn’t a laughing matter for me. It was really serious,’’ he said.

Several phone calls later Mr Fernando rang his employee, saying the YMCA were very unhappy and would ban her from their sites, and that they wanted the kitten returned.

‘‘I asked him how much trouble I was in, he said a lot of trouble,’’ she said.

‘‘I called my girlfriend. I asked her would she give the kitten back, she said no she wouldn’t. She said under no circumstances would she give it back.’’

Worried about her job, Ms Montague rang Mr Fernando and asked if she was being terminated.

He admitted it was a heated moment. ‘‘I was a bit upset and then Judith asked me if she was being fired and I said ‘yes’.’’

Fair Work Australia heard he offered Ms Montague two weeks’ pay in lieu of notice, but later agreed without argument to five. Ms Montague said she had barely worked since and her prospects of regular income were precarious.

Mr Fernando’s barrister, Gerard McKeown, said his client’s business made very little profit after paying its staff and ran ‘‘on the smell of an oily rag’’.

Mr McKeown said his client had tried to help Ms Montague by offering generous entitlements after dismissing her and suggesting she write on her termination later that she resigned, rather than she was fired.

‘‘You have a situation where the employer was not being hard-nosed, he was trying to assist the applicant,’’ Mr McKeown said.

”We’re talking about a series of events. It’s not as if Mr Fernando’s walked in and snapped his fingers and said ‘you’re out of here’.”

Mr Fernando, who started as a cleaner himself, admitted he was initially naive when it came to some aspects of running a small business.

‘‘For me to run as a professional business I probably didn’t have much time to work out warning systems and stuff like that and it was at a time when I was trying to start up the business,’’ he said.

Fair Work Australia heard Ms Montague received one written warning for asking a YMCA to carry out photocopying for her, and another for taking too many days off work and letting her employer know too late.

But Ms Montague said she had provided doctor’s certificates for her sick days. She had been unable to attend work on some days because her employer paid her late and she didn’t have the money to pay for public transport to get to work.

When asked why there was no paper trail of complaints – excluding the two warnings – Mr Fernando told Fair Work Australia: ‘‘It was my mistake sir, I didn’t think about it. I thought everyone would listen and it [any problems] would just go away.’’

Commissioner Lewin said an absence of a human relations department at the small cleaning business – which had 11 staff at the time – had had a negative impact in the case. In deciding costs, he said he was not satisfied, due to previous written complaints, that Ms Montague would have gone on to long-term employment with the company.

Ms Montague told Fair Work Australia that it was the first time she had ever been fired. Mr Fernando declined to comment after the ruling.

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British PM laughs off French suspicions of cheating

SUSPICIONS about Great Britain’s dominance at the Olympic velodrome has moved British Prime Minister David Cameron to defend the team that collected seven of a possible ten gold medals on the track and one on the road.
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During the six-day competition at the velodrome France’s sprint coach Florian Rousseau, in an interview with Fairfax, denied rumours that the French camp believed the British cyclists were being assisted by something in their wheels. On the same night, Frenchman Gregory Bauge questioned British sprinter Jason Kenny directly about how he – and the British team broadly – had progressed so far ahead of their opponents.

While Bauge did not make allegations in that pair’s extraordinary, and in moments awkward press conference after Kenny beat the French champion in the men’s sprint, his series of questions were evidence of how mystified cycling rivals of the British team felt during the Olympic competition.

With scrutiny of Britain’s cycling performance intensifying in France, Prime Minister Cameron relayed on Thursday how one French media outlet “virtually accused us of cheating”.

France’s L’Equipe newspaper reported the day before that 72 per cent of voters in a poll of around 50,000 thought that British cyclists were “tainted by cheating”.

“I think that it’s unfair to think that just because someone wins you have to doubt it. The first reaction should be to say, ‘well done, congratulations’,” Prime Minister Cameron said.

“I understand that for France, which is a great cycling nation, that it must be a bit hard to take but we have really done well and I’m sure that if France had won we would have been happy for you.

“We’ve got a system that seems to be delivering. It’s driving the French mad.

“I did an interview with French television yesterday and they virtually accused us of cheating. I think they found the Union Jacks on the Champs Elysee a bit hard to take.”

Britain’s dominance of the track cycling at the Games – which equalled the team’s seven-gold medal haul on the track in Beijing four years ago – followed Bradley Wiggins’ history victory at the Tour de France. Wiggins also won the Olympic time trial.

Head of British cycling David Brailsford, who along with former Australian coach Shane Sutton is considered a mastermind behind the national program, has explained in recent days how the team fastidiously sought to gain even the most minute of advantages in all areas of the sport. The rationale, according to Brailsford, is that many small gains will combine to make a discernible difference. Elite British cyclists in the national program are even taught to wash their hands properly so they minimise their chance of contracting illness.

France’s track cycling performance director, Isabelle Gautheron, raised the prospect that the British team was using “magic wheels” during the Olympic competition that they quickly hid away after each race. Brailsford responded with a dismissive joke, telling L’Equipe that the British were using “special round wheels”.

France was not alone in scratching its head after the competition. Australian cycling chief Kevin Tabotta made no accusations but could not explain why the British were in a league of their own. Tabotta said it was the challenge of the Australian team to raise the bar and, in the next Olympic cycle, nut out how to beat them rather than join them.

Australian chef de mission Nick Green said yesterday that he was “absolutely” satisfied that Britain’s wins in cycling were fair and square.

“The British team was a superbly prepared team,” he said, “and they deserve all the accolades they get.”

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Lurid details of Heywood murder emerge as accused rolls over

The detained Politburo member Bo Xilai may face criminal charges after his wife informed on “the crimes of others” in order to soften her own murder sentence.
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The sensational proceedings in court today will further animate what is already a fraught leadership transition, scheduled to begin later this year.

Lawyers for Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, and her family retainer Zhang Xiaojun, today accepted the prosecution’s case that she murdered a British friend, Neil Heywood.

The defence lawyers accepted lurid details of how Gu, with Zhang as an accomplice, lured Heywood from Beijing to a hotel in the Chongqing hills where they personally poured poison into his mouth.

“Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun did not offer any objections to the charges of intentional homicide,” said the vice president of the Hefei Intermediate People’s Court, Tang Yigan, in a press conference tonight.

And Mr Tang revealed the potentially explosive information that Gu was seeking a lighter sentence in return for providing evidence against unnamed others.

“Gu Kailai’s lawyer said the defendant was exemplary in informing on the crimes of others,” he said in a prepared statement after the case.

Bo Xilai has been detained at an unknown location for unspecified “serious” violations of party discipline.

His detention in March followed sensational testimony from his former police chief – given to both American diplomats and Chinese officials – that he was implicated in financial crimes and had obstructed the investigation into the Heywood murder.

Mr Tang’s two-page statement said Gu was the leader in killing Heywood, and Zhang an accomplice.

But it devoted substantial space to detail Gu and Zhang’s plea for leniency, citing their lawyers’ claim that Gu was motivated to defend the “personal safety” of her son, Bo Guagua, after an economic dispute; that Heywood was partially responsible for his own murder, and that she had diminished personal control at the time of the murder.

The pair met Heywood in room 1605 of their Chongqing hotel and proceeded to ply Heywood with alcohol and tea, said Mr Tang.

Heywood vomited and requested water, at which time Zhang took the opportunity to provide Gu with the pre-prepared poison, he said.

“She poured prepared poison into Heywood’s mouth, causing his death,” said Mr Tang.

The trial, which began and finished today, was efficient even by the standards of Gu, herself a lawyer, who once wrote of the superiority of the Chinese criminal justice system.

Gu and Zhang are certain to be convicted but appear likely to avoid death sentences.

Mr Tang said the verdict and sentences would be handed down at a later date.

The case appears to open the door to Bo facing economic or abuse of power charges.

Bo’s downfall has intensified the factional, ideological and personal jockeying ahead of the 18th Party Congress later this year.

Mr Bo forged vast networks within the party, particularly among fellow “princeling” children of revolutionary leaders, and remains as popular among large sections of ordinary people as he is reviled by many lawyers and liberal intellectuals.

Today two protestors were detained outside the Hefei court in eastern Anhui province after telling foreign reporters that both Bo and Gu had been framed.

Bo had seemed likely to rise close to the summit of Chinese politics when he was toppled by an improbable series of events, beginning with his wife murdering his close associate Heywood in November.

News did not leak from Chongqing until February, when Bo’s former police chief and right-hand man, Wang Lijun, fled to a US consulate with evidence reportedly including a slice of Heywood’s heart.

The spokesman tonight said “physical” evidence had been presented in court.

In March, Bo gave a defiant press conference, where he warned against going down “the capitalist road”, which prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to respond with warnings about a repeat of the orchestrated chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

Bo was sacked from his position in charge of Chongqing municipality the following day and then “suspended” from his Politburo position in April, but no new official information about Bo’s position has been released since.

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Aussie crew wins gold in men’s K4 1000m

Inconsolable in Beijing, jubilant in London.
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As stories of Olympic redemption go, this is up there with the best of them.

And so was Australia’s performance in the K4 1000m final yesterday, winning by half a boat length to claim gold, the nation’s sixth for the Games, ahead of Hungary and Slovakia.

For Dave and Tate Smith — no relation — victory was the sweetest.

Dave was left a blubbering mess after the 2008 crew, hot favourites to win, failed to make the final.

He was a picture of devastation.

But the smile on his face 150m from the finish line at Eton Dorney told the story.

Smith looked across at his rivals, knowing none of them were surging enough to threaten in the closing stages, and the grin emerged.

They had even had to overcome a false start, before steeling themselves to make a bold opening to the race and were never headed.

Gold was theirs.

“A few years and memories have been erased,” Smith said.

“It was never really in the back of my mind worrying about it.

“It’s good to prove to the world we are the best in the world and Beijing was just a once off, I’m a better paddler than I was there.”

Smith could barely describe the feeling when he knew victory was assured.

“It’s numbing, I don’t know what to say,” he said.

Australia has won gold in the K1 1000m through Clint Robinson in Barcelona and in the K1 500m via Ken Wallace in Beijing, while the nation’s only success in the K4 1000m was in 1992, when they won bronze.

In Beijing, the team had numerous problems in preparation, the two Smiths and Tony Schumacher clashing with Robinson over concerns about the boat design, as well as issues travelling to the Chinese venue which left them physically and emotionally drained.

When they bowed out before the final, Smith was a wreck.

In London, they had executed to the minute, training in Hungary in the lead up before flying in two days before competition started and lodging in a house nearby.

Nothing would stop him, Tate, Stewart or Clear.

It turned the tables on Germany, the crew they finished second behind at last year’s world titles.

“Always when you finish second the year before, you’re a bit more hungry obviously,” Smith said.

“We’ve improved our last 250 of the race and that showed there, we ended up with the win.”

It also denied Zoltan Kammerer, of Hungary, a fourth Olympic gold medal.

Smith said they quickly regathered their composure after the false start.

“It was a bit nerve racking,” he said.

“Everyone was trying to work out who had made the false start and it was the Hungarians, it’s a bit more relaxing after hear that (it’s not you).

“But the first 250 (metres) we weren’t out in front as far as we usually were.

“We got to 500 in front and we could feel it.

“Our last 300 where we kicked, none of the crews came through, so about the 200 we knew we had the gold, we just had to hold on.

“Unfortunately once we got to 150 to go all of us started tightening up and started losing all our rhythm, but just had enough board speed to go over the line for the gold.”

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Damning video shows officers assaulting prisoner

A NSW magistrate has released damning security footage that reveals three police officers violently assaulting a young man following his arrest in Ballina, on the NSW north coast.
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The graphic video, recorded on closed circuit television cameras at Ballina police station, can be published by the Herald after lawyers for the three officers confirmed they would not contest its release.

The trio, who are on restricted duties at Ballina, have today been spared a referral to the Supreme Court for lying under oath about their actions.

However, in announcing that decision, magistrate David Heilpern said the Police Integrity Commission had launched a full corruption investigation into the incident.

Ballina Local Court had previously heard the case of Corey Barker, who allegedly threw a plastic bottle at police and then resisted arrest during an altercation on January 14 last year.

When Mr Barker was taken to the local police station, officers claimed he yelled and was disruptive in the dock, prompting them to move him to the rear cells.

The officers said that, when they tried to move the 22-year-old, he allegedly assaulted a senior constable, David Hill, punching him in the face and flailing his arms around in a bid to break free.

Senior Constable Hill said video tapes of the incident were damaged and could not be used.

However, when the damaged tapes were obtained by the police prosecutor and repaired during Mr Barker’s assault hearing, they showed there was no assault.

In fact, it appeared the situation was the complete opposite.

The video shows another police officer, Senior Constable Ryan Eckersley, kicking Mr Barker in the head region while he was on the ground, and a third officer, Lee Walmsley, kneeing him in the side.

In a judgment handed down last month, Mr Heilpern said: “It was crystal clear that the defendant at no time punched Senior Constable Hill in the nose as described.”

He found senior constables Hill and Eckersley had colluded before giving evidence to the court, and that the former had then lied under oath in an effort to cover it up.

Mr Heilpern said the incident had “debased the administration of justice”.

“It is hard to imagine a clearer example of bad faith than initiating proceedings on the basis of an allegation of an assault that simply did not occur,” he said.

He said the damage to the CCTV footage was “suspicious”.

“It beggars belief that the video just happened to be unavailable for that incident. The problem is not recorded in the [police] register, despite Senior Constable Hill saying that it was.”

The magistrate found that, even when shown the footage, the officer “refused to accept that what was depicted was what had occurred”.

“It was as though there were two parallel universes in court: the imaginary one of Senior Constable Hill, and the real one that the rest of us – including the prosecutor – could see,” the magistrate said.

Senior Constable Eckersley continued to claim he had not kicked Mr Barker in the head.

Mr Barker was left handcuffed for more than an hour.

The case was thrown out in February, and in early July Mr Heilpern ordered police to pay $30,000 to cover Mr Barker’s legal costs.

A spokeswoman for the PIC told the Herald: “The commission is giving the complaint serious consideration.”

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Round 20 AFL teams

WEST COAST v GEELONG, MCG, 8.30pm, Friday 10 August
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WEST COAST

B: Waters Glass McKenzieHB: Hurn Schofield A SelwoodC: Masten Priddis GaffHF: Hill Darling HamsF: Shuey Lynch CoxFoll: Naitanui S Selwood KerrI/C: Embley Swift McGinnity BrennanEmg: Brown Dalziell StrijkIn: Embley Glass BrennanOut: Butler Brown Sheppard

GEELONG

B: Guthrie Lonergan ScarlettHB: Enright Taylor T HuntC: Motlop Johnson MackieHF: Bartel Podsiadly ChristensenF: Chapman Hawkins Stokes Foll: Stephenson Selwood DuncanI/C: Sheringham Simpkin Walker MurdochEmg: Wojcinski Brown SchroderIn: Simpkin Guthrie MurdochOut: Hunt (quad) Kelly (groin) Smedts (calf)

ST KILDA V MELBOURNE, MCG,1.45pm, Saturday 11 August

ST KILDA

B: Geary Gwilt SimpkinHB: Dempster Fisher GilbertC: Ray Hayes GoddardHF: Saad Riewoldt Dal SantoF: Milne Koschitzke DunnellFoll: McEvoy Armitage MontagnaI/C: Gram Jones Steven WilkesEmg: Cripps Ledger PoloIn: WilkesOut: Polo

MELBOURNE

B: McDonald Sellar MacDonaldHB: Garland Frawley DunnC: Blease Moloney TrengoveHF: Bail Rivers JettaF: Sylvia Green HoweFoll: Spencer Grimes JonesI/C: Strauss McKenzie Tapscott MagnerEmg: Bate Gysberts EvansIn: Jetta MckenzieOut: Morton (shoulder) Gysberts

ADELAIDE v FREMANTLE, AAMI Stadium, 2.10pm, Saturday 4 August

ADELAIDE

B: Shaw Rutten DoughtyHB: Johncock Talia ReillyC: Vince Thompson van Berlo HF: Sloane Walker WrightF: Petrenko Tippett CallinanFoll: Jacobs Dangerfield DouglasI/C: Mackay Riley Smith JenkinsEmg: Knights Tambling JohnstonIn: Mackay TippettOut: Porplyzia Tambling

FREMANTLE

B: McPhee Dawson SilvagniHB: Suban Johnson SpurrC: Mzungu Crowley DuffieldHF: Hill Bradley PearceF: Mayne Pavlich BallantyneFoll: Griffin Fyfe de BoerI/C: Ibbotson Mundy Walters BarlowEmg: Roberton Neale SutcliffeIn: Silvagni SubanOut: McPharlin (suspension) Roberton

GOLD COAST v GWS, Metricon Stadium, 4.40pm, Saturday 11 August

GOLD COAST

B: Hine May McKenzieHB: Stanley Warnock HarbrowC: Swallow Ablett ShawHF: Allen Lynch MateraF: Patrick Brennan BrownFoll: Dixon Horsley BennellI/C: Weller Caddy Taylor A HallEmg: Magin Hickey McQualterIn: Stanley May Horsley Taylor Hall AllenOut: Smith (ankle) Hunt (shoulder) Russell (shoulder) Rischitelli (knee) Day (foot) Prestia (hamstring)new: Jackson Allen (Morningside)

GWS

B: Hampton Davis Edwards HB: Buntine Cornes KennedyC: Hoskin-Elliott Treloar BuggHF: Townsend Cameron GoldsF: Folau Phillips SmithFoll: Giles Coniglio MilesI/C: Darley Scully Tomlinson PowerEmg: Clifton Hombsch WilsonIn: Darley Edwards Folau Golds Phillips TomlinsonOut: Ward (groin) Patton (shoulder) Greene (groin) Adams (back) Frost (hip) BroganNew: Tim Golds (Oakleigh Chargers)

SYDNEY v COLLINGWOOD, ANZ Stadium, 7.40pm, Saturday 11 August

SYDNEY

B: Shaw Grundy JohnsonHB: Malceski Richards MattnerC: Smith Goodes JettaHF: Hanneberry Roberts-Thompson McVeighF: McGlynn O’Keefe MumfordFoll: Pyke Kennedy JackI/C: Bird Dennis-Lane Everitt ParkerEmg: Gordon Spangher ArmstrongIn: Everitt Out: Bolton

COLLINGWOOD

B: Brown O’Brien TarrantHB: Toovey Reid MaxwellC: Blair Fasolo WellinghamHF: Shaw Dawes PendleburyF: Sidebottom Cloke ThomasFoll: Jolly Sinclair BeamsI/C: Didak Clarke Seedsman ElliottEmg: Rounds Young YagmoorIn: Didak Clarke TarrantOut: Swan (club suspension) Goldsack (ankle) Young

CARLTON v BRISBANE, Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm, Saturday 11 August

CARLTON

B: McInnes Watson YarranHB: O’Keefe White TuohyC: Scotland Gibbs SimpsonHF: Walker Waite RobinsonF: Betts Casboult GarlettFoll: Kreuzer Murphy CarazzoI/C: Armfield McLean Curnow BellEmg: Thornton Ellard CollinsIn: Walker Robinson O’Keefe WatsonOut: Jamison (hamstring) Joseph Davies Collins

BRISBANE

B: Harwood Merrett WrigleyHB: Patfull Maguire AdcockC: Hanley Rich LesterHF: Zorko Brown PolkinghorneF: Green Lisle BanfieldFoll: Hudson Black RainesI/C: Redden Rockliff Beams BewickEmg: Karnezis Yeo CrispIn: Maguire Beams Lester BewickOut: Drummond (soreness) Karnezis Crisp Yeo

HAWTHORN v PORT ADELAIDE, Aurora Stadium, 1.10pm, Sunday 12 August

HAWTHORN

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

PORT ADELAIDE

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

RICHMOND v WESTERN BULLDOGS, MCG, 3.15pm, Sunday 12 August

RICHMOND

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

ESSENDON v NORTH MELBOURNE, Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm, Sunday 12 August

ESSENDON

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: HB:   C: HF: F: Foll: I/C: Emg: In: Out:

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

Parents’ shock at move to wind up Islamic school

A clothing company that supplies school uniforms has applied to wind up Malek Fahd Islamic School in Sydney because of its alleged failure to pay debts of $286,303.
Nanjing Night Net

Duboke, trading as Oz Fashions, made the application, which will be heard by the Federal Court on August 17.

Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that Duboke and Malek Fahd’s parent company, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, share the same business address at 932 Bourke Street, Waterloo.

Court documents allege that Malek Fahd has failed to pay 11 invoices dating from January 18 to February 14 this year.

The application was made on July 19, which was 11 days before the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, wrote to the school asking it to repay $9 million in state government funding.

Mr Piccoli said the school had breached funding requirements, which prevented it operating for profit. He said the school was transferring money to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils without receiving any services in return.

In his letter to school principal Dr Intaj Ali, Mr Piccoli said he had instructed the NSW Department of Education and Communities to terminate the school’s funding.

He also wrote to the Association of Independent Schools of NSW to terminate its National Partnership funding. The school receives more than $1 million in annual funding for disadvantaged students through the five-year national partnership agreement between state and federal governments.

Mr Piccoli said that, for the school’s state government funding to be reinstated, it would need to provide credible evidence that services were being provided in return for the money being transferred to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

“I continue to have serious concerns about other financial transactions at the school, including the systemic lack of record keeping and documentation,” he said.

Mr Piccoli also wrote to the federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, saying that he had referred the matter to police and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The federal Department of Education commissioned an independent audit of the school last December to find whether it was spending its public funding on the education of students.

Mr Garrett has said that definitions of what it meant for a school to be operating for profit needed to be tightened.

He has said that while the vast majority of non-government schools are doing the right thing with taxpayers’ money, vigilance was needed to ensure public funding was being properly spent.

In a statement, Dr Ali said he disputed Mr Piccoli’s findings that the school was operating for profit and he intended to challenge the decision to terminate the school’s funding.

“The school will take the appropriate steps to have this decision reviewed and is confident that ultimately the correct outcome will be achieved,” he said. “Malek Fahd wishes to reassure all parents, students, staff and the wider community that its focus remains on the delivery of quality education for our students and it will continue to work with both the NSW and the federal Education Departments.”

The Herald was unable to contact Dr Ali for comment today.

The Herald also sought comment from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils which declined to comment and Duboke’s solicitor Marc Ryckmans, who did not return calls.

Adam Shepard has been appointed to act as liquidator to Malek Fahd if it is made insolvent.

The school has a history of excluding year 11 and 12 students who are not high performers. The Herald revealed some of its past students were forced to complete HSC subjects at TAFE because they were not achieving high marks in those subjects.

Dominic Bossi writes: Malek Fahd Islamic School has become one of the leaders in Islamic education in Australia and its reputation has convinced families to relocate interstate so their children can attend. Its potential closure has now shocked parents of pupils who have made significant sacrifices for their children’s schooling and has left families with few viable alternatives.

“I actually wouldn’t know where to go. I moved from the Gold Coast for this school. That was the only thing that was sending me back to Sydney because I wanted my kids to have a good education. When I got a spot here, I ran back [to Sydney],” Said Diane, a parent of a year 1 student.

“This school isn’t just about religion, it’s about what they’re teaching them and what us parents teach their children. I can’t even express what I feel, and what I would feel if this school closes down. I probably would [leave Sydney].”

While there are other Islamic schools in Sydney, most parents said they were proud of the balance between religious and academic education offered at Malek Fahd and would not be satisfied to relocate their children.

“My older one is doing medicine now and she got 99.6 per cent from this school. Its [potential closure is] really saddening for me,” Seema Mahmood said. “I’m really satisfied with the performance of this school, religious as well as academic. I don’t know; it’s really shocking. I’m really shocked. It’s a big worry for me now if it’s closing.”

Many parents were not aware of the issues facing the school and some were only told by their children this week.

However, despite the troubles, some parents will continue to support the school if it challenges the government’s decision.

“Obviously any money that is funded into the school, you want it to go the kids. If money has gone to buy kids new computers or new desks, then I want that money going to the school and not anyone else,” said Abir, who has sent three of her children to Malek Fahd.

“But we’re not going to sit here and judge and assume things. Everyone has a right to a trial and prove themselves innocent and, being of the Muslim faith, it teaches you that you can’t really assume things, you have to give people a chance.”

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