It is just before midnight and an 18-year-old girl is sitting in the gutter after her high school formal after-party.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The end-of-year celebration at a house in Auburn in Sydney’s west has been shut down. The teen, from a Catholic school on the north shore, is eager for a lift home after several hours’ drinking.

A car, with a man in his 30s behind the wheel, pulls up beside her and sparks up conversation.

The teen will later tell police the next thing she recalls is being in the passenger seat of his car and feeling the overwhelming effects of alcohol as they weaved through the streets of western Sydney.

It was the beginning of a nightmare 24 hours for the school student, who was allegedly kept captive, sexually assaulted repeatedly by three men and forced to smoke drugs.

The scale of the allegations can be revealed after a statement of facts was tendered in Penrith Local Court, where the accused, Ali Imrak, 37, and Ruhi Dagdanasar, 45, made a failed attempt for bail last week.

Another man involved in the alleged sex attack hasn’t been identified.

Four separate videos showing the alleged sexual assaults at a house in Glenwood were played during the bail hearing with the crown alleging the victim was so intoxicated she was incapable of giving consent.

According to the fact sheet, after getting into the man’s car outside the after party, the victim was driven to a two-storey house where Imrak and Dagdanasar were.

Feeling uneasy, the teen sent her friend a text stating “can you come and get me. I am scared. I am at these weird druggo guys house”.

She was allegedly pressured into drinking alcohol before Dagdanasar put a pipe up to her mouth and told her to smoke the white substance inside.

Over the next few hours she was allegedly sexually assaulted by three men despite being dizzy and unable to stand.

At one point, Dagdanasar allegedly commented that the victim was drooling and unable to lift her head while one of the other men was allegedly having sex with her.

She passed out and woke up to someone forcing her to have oral sex. The teen was allegedly led up to a bathroom and undressed while the unidentified man stood watching her, stating “you’re so f—ing gorgeous”.

The teen was allegedly made to have sex but “continued to fall over due to her level of intoxication”, according to the facts.

“(The teen) yelled out in pain saying no,” the court documents state.

“At this point the unknown accused moved away grabbed his clothes and said ‘you’re really fucking annoying me, you’re so frustrating’.”

When the teen moved down stairs she was assaulted again, with the men allegedly taking turns to have sex with her with Imrak remarking “you love it”.

After a few hours, it was just the teen and Dagdanasar left at the house as the alleged victim started to feel the effects of alcohol wearing off.

It was 5pm on November 10 – hours after she was found sitting in the gutter – when the teen texted her sister: “I got raped, I am still here I need to leave”.

Trying to remain calm, the girl convinced Dagdanasar to let her leave, according to the facts.

Walking her to the door, Dagdanasar let the teen outside, telling her: “You’re always welcome back here babe.”

In the rain in the middle of the night, the teen walked through the streets following directions from her sister on the phone until police met up with her.

The victim was left with bruising to her legs and knees and a tear to her tongue from the force of the assaults.

She told police she felt she had no choice but to be at the house and was forced to take drugs so she was in a limp state.

The court was closed while Dagdanasar and Imrak, charged with sex assault and deprivation of liberty, made bail applications last week but both were refused.

Outside court lawyer Elias Tabchouri said he had been instructed to defend the charges.

  • Comments Off on Teen kept captive and sexually assaulted after high school formal: court

Foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the opening of the Kimberley Process in Perth on Monday May 1, 2017.?? Photo: Supplied continues to assist in international prosecutions where the death penalty is an option, while underpinning its bid for a seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council with a call to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Newly released figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, show the n Federal Police have assisted in nearly 130 foreign investigations involving more than 400 people since 2015, where a successful prosecution could potentially lead to a death sentence.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop lobbied for ‘s election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term in New York this week, and has stated the worldwide abolition of the death penalty is one of ‘s goals.

But the AFP continues to assist foreign investigations where the death penalty could be handed down, refusing to co-operate in only nine of 129 cases it has been asked for information.

AFP approval rates for international assistance, mostly involving drug crime, have been steady since 2010. In 2015, 92 per cent of requests were, rising to 96 per cent in 2016. No other information, such as the countries requesting the information, or the cases involved, was given.

has used its opposition to the death penalty – and a call for a global abolition of the punitive measure used in nearly 60 countries – as a key argument for its inclusion on the UN Human Rights Council.

But this year, the government quietly rejected recommendations from a parliamentary committee which would have banned the AFP from sharing drug crime information with other countries unless provided with assurances the death penalty would not be applied, prompting fears of a repeat of the Bali nine heroin plot which saw ns Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed after tip-offs to Indonesian authorities.

The committee recommended ministerial approval be required for “high-risk” cases and the AFP refuse co-operation on drug trafficking cases unless assurances that the death penalty would not be sought, both of which were rejected by the government.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s department said the government “has and will continue to seek suitable assurances in appropriate cases where it is clear that the death penalty is likely to be imposed”.

But Emily Howie of the Human Rights Law Centre said was sending mixed messages.

“Global abolition of the death penalty is meant to be a core objective of ‘s Human Rights Council bid,” she said.

“But whilst the Foreign Minister spouts the right language to delegates in New York, the reality is that every week the AFP continues to share information that puts peoples’ lives at risk. If really opposes the death penalty, it must do so not just through the speeches of our ministers but through the actions of all n departments and agencies.

“The fact remains that if the Bali nine case were to happen again tomorrow, there is nothing to stop the AFP from doing exactly the same thing.

“Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran learned from their mistakes, we owe it to them to learn from ours.”

Researcher Sarah Gill, who has studied ‘s response to the death penalty, said neither legislation, or the guidelines the AFP follow when asked for co-operation “present much of an obstacle to information sharing”.

“The question we need to ask is: are we serious about human rights or aren’t we? Capital punishment is a core human rights issue, and we ought to have a consistent approach, including in relation to law enforcement co-operation, if we think this really matters,” she said.

Under the guidelines, a senior AFP official can sign off on requests from overseas before detention, arrest, charge or conviction. After an individual has been arrested, detained, charged or convicted, requests for information must have ministerial approval.

Police-to-police assistance can include everything from providing personal information like dates or birth or criminal records to wider co-operation in investigations. Some of the data includes foreign citizens.

Philip Ruddock, who served as attorney-general in the Howard government and is now ‘s special human rights envoy, led calls for a ban on sharing information in prosecutions where the death penalty could be handed down as a sentence following the executions of Chan and Sukumaran in 2015.

The Coalition said those recommendations were impractical because foreign law enforcement partners could not provide such assurances and it would be “inappropriate” to undertakings from prosecutors.

It is believed there are 12 ns sitting on death rows across the world, mostly for drug crimes.

  • Comments Off on AFP helps death penalty nations, while China campaigns for end to death penalty as part of UN bid

Bayleigh McIntosh from Sydney’s east knows the risk if her child car restraint isn’t buckled snug and tight: “If you are in crash you will fall out a window,” the five-year-old said.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Properly secured and in the right child car seat for her age, a child like Bayleigh is the safest occupant in the car, said pediatric surgeon Susan Adams, director of surgery with The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Yet Dr Adams has treated children who were severely injured in “horrific preventable crashes” with broken necks, backs and internal injuries because of errors in how they were restrained.

Experts say the number of potentially fatal mistakes in how child restraints are fitted or installed hasn’t improved, becoming an “intractable problem” threatening the lives of children.

A 2010 study of 503 children from newborn to the age of 12 found half of all restraints had errors in how they were used. Some had up to seven errors each, ranging from failing to buckle the child in to slackness in the belts and sashes. Most often parents weren’t aware they had made a mistake.

Now, a new study has found the error rate is even worse, with nearly all parents struggling to understand manufacturers instructions and manuals.

Researchers from Neuroscience Research (NeuRA)watched as parents read manuals and then attempted to correctly fit and install a child-sized mannequin in a rear-facing restraint.

They found 90 per cent made at least one mistake. Many made several. Yet after many rounds of revisions using suggestions from parents, the level of errors dropped to 10 per cent.

“Everyone is seeing this intractable problem of incorrect use,” said Dr Julie Brown, a senior research fellow with NeuRA.

Researchers around the world were witnessing a similar level of mistakes.

“What we’ve been doing over past decades has made no difference to correct use,” Dr Brown said. “It’s a longstanding problem, and nothing has really changed.”

Nearly all n children now wear the right restraint for their age, following the introduction of national laws in 2009 and 2010. Car crashes remain a leading cause of death and disabling injuries among children, but the fatality rate for child passengers has dropped from 70 to 40 a year in recent years.

Since January, 11 children under 16 have died on NSW roads alone, including a young child who died when a car rolled over late on Friday in the Hunter Valley. In 2016, nearly 1000 NSW children under 16 – many passengers in vehicles – were seriously injured in collisions.

A properly-installed and fitted child restraint stops a child moving in a crash, by attaching them to the vehicle’s rigid structure. It ensures the force of an impact hits the strongest parts of the body more likely to recover, like bones, instead of internal organs and the brain which may never heal properly.

Mistakes occur in three ways:

In what could be music to the ears of anyone who has struggled to install a car seat, Dr Brown and her colleague Professor Lynne Bilston are asking parents for advice.

“Instead of a group of experts sitting around, we are actually talking to parents, and parents and consumers are driving the direction of our research,” Dr Brown said.

“We are trying to ensure information supplied with child restraints is comprehensible, and to improve restraint design so they’re actually difficult to use incorrectly,” Dr Brown said.

They are conducting three different projects: a naturalistic study where 700 families will have videos installed in their cars to see what really happens; focus groups asking parents for feedback; and laboratory studies that watch adults install car seats and then try to improve the design.

Professor Bilston said the research had shown it was possible to develop instructions and manuals that reduced dangerous mistakes. But sometimes it took seven iterations – for each type of restraint – before users could install them with 90 per cent accuracy.

“We keep going until they can be understood,” she said.

The key was breaking instructions into simple and numbered steps, and providing clear diagrams.

In focus groups of more than 40 women, users found images unrealistic and uninformative.

Others wanted prompts to remind others looking after children to do the right thing: “Have a big sign saying ‘fasten me tight.”

Another suggested linking warnings to specific risks such as “your child is going to have a punctured spleen or something if this [strap is twisted]”.

Dr Adams said the uptake of the new restraints had been good, but much more energy needed to be devoted to making them easier to use. “Parents want to do the right thing, but they need support to do that,” she said.

The impact of these crashes was “awful because it is so sudden. One day your life is going on in one direction, and if you had your time over you would do something different,” she said.

Bayleigh’s mother had taught her to sit still: “I don’t wiggle around!” she said. Older children may unbuckle restraints, or ask to sit in the front. The current recommendation is that children 12 and under should sit in the rear seat.

Lisa Keay from the George Institute for Global Health, said parents needed to introduce hard rules early and stick to them.

“You may think it is quite safe because you are just going down the street,” said Professor Keay, a deputy director of the Injury Division at The George Institute,

“But there is a risk always. Even a low speed crash can cause injury.

“You have to be inflexible: it is like you don’t let kids eat poisons.”

  • Comments Off on Intractable errors in child restraint use putting lives at risk

Boss Moanaroa PHOENIX Charlestown rose from almost certain defeat on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten record in the Newcastle Major League.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Phoenix were down 5-2 to Boomerangs atthe top of the ninth at Stevenson Park.Daniel Arms startedtherally with a two run-single before coming home on a wild pitch to tiethe game.

Sean Doudle, who coached Boomers last season, then shut down the boys from Mayfield in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to an extra inning.Phoenix added another three thanks to RBI singles to left field from Tristan Watts and Rob Fenwick in the 10thbefore Doudle used all his guile and experience to garner three straight groundouts and secure an 8-5 triumph. James Donoghue was superb on the mound for Boomers, allowing only two runs from five hits in eight innings.

The action was just as excitingsouth at Miller Field as Toronto also prevailed in extra innings, 7-6 over Belmont.Boss Moanaroa hit a two-run bomb in the top of the fifth to give Toronto a 4-0 lead.Belmont hit back as Matt Ireland’s fence-clearing blast brought home three in the bottom of the dig.Pat Maat handed the Tigers back the lead with a two-run homerin the top of the ninth, before Belmont responded with a brace of runs to send the game into overtime.

Kenny Judge hit a lead-off single to kick-start the 10thand came home thanks to a double from Dillan McMaster. Toronto declared soon after in an effort to secure the win before darkness descended. Power hitter Moanaroa became an unlikely hero on the mound for Tigers, striking out Belmont’s Chris Hook to clinch victory.

Belmont have the bye in round seven.Toronto face Boomerangs at Stevenson Park andPhoenix host White Sox on Sunday.

  • Comments Off on Phoenix Charlestown rise from the ashes against Boomerangs

North Melbourne is poised to launch a major play for explosive Tigers star Dustin Martin with a long-term contract offer worth more than $1 million a season in a deal that would tie him to the Kangaroos until at least the end of 2022.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

The North board has given the club the green light to table the offer of between five and six years to the 25-year-old who has told Richmond he will not make a decision on his future until the end of this season.

In an attempted recruiting raid reminiscent of decades past, the North Melbourne Martin offer marks the second audacious bid by the club in recent months following the $9 million nine-year play for young GWS Giant Josh Kelly.

Richmond has accepted it will need to pay Martin $1 million a season to retain him and has offered its star a five-year deal. The North offer will exceed that.

The Kangaroos are hopeful of luring Kelly and Martin to Arden Street next season saying their war chest remains one of the most generous in the competition following the forced retirements last year of Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito.

Martin’s manager Ralph Carr refused to confirm or deny whether North had yet officially made the offer although it is known he has held specific discussions with the Kangaroos football bosses. “I’m not going to answer that question,” Carr told Fairfax Media. “We will be making our decision at the end of the year and that’s final.”

Carr also angrily denied he had been shopping his No.1 client to rival clubs although he has spoken at the very least with North, the Giants and St Kilda and indicated those clubs should put forward their offers should they wish to remain in the market for Martin, Richmond’s reigning club champion and a Brownlow favourite.

St Kilda is also understood to have shown significant interest in Martin while the Giants have not.

The player manager has held talks with the Kangaroos whose board, now chaired by Ben Buckley, approved the parameters earlier this season for the Martin offer. North’s governance rules dictate that any offer of five years or more or exceeding a specific financial amount must be ratified by the club directors.

Richmond’s football boss Neil Balme said the club was in constant contact with Carr and added he was not aware of specific offers to Martin from rival clubs.

“We accept that this is the way it is and we completely understand it’s Dustin’s right to consider his future,” said Balme.

“We are in this situation due to free agency and we had no say in it but the AFL brought it in and it’s here. I personally don’t think it’s good for footy.”

The Tigers remain steadfast in their belief that Martin will remain at Richmond while the player himself has reportedly communicated to the club through his manager that he has delayed a decision on his future not only due to money but also because his ultimate call will also be based on his view regarding the club’s future.

North, like St Kilda and Carlton, are currently paying well below 100 per cent of the salary cap. That, along with the new pay deal that will inject more than $2 million into each club’s total player payments this year, has opened up the aggressive recruiting blitz.

  • Comments Off on It’s on: North launches mission for Martin

If you’ve ever been outshone by a colleague, teammate or sibling, you’ve got that in common with one third of the sniffer dogs trained by the federal police.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Officers at the National K9 Centre in Majura say a man’s best friend is also the best detector of hidden drugs, money and explosives.

But one in three of the hand-picked Labradors housed in Majura never become fluffy detectives.

AFP canine trainer Jayson Mesman said the selection process was akin to that of sports stars.

“Customs breed between 200 and 400 dogs a year. We only look at about 50 of those and about 70 per cent pass,” he said.

“It’s like athletes, everyone might be pretty fast but you’re going to have your standout players and champions.”

Those who don’t make the cut – or more bluntly, get fired – either return to the border force where they may be offered to other agencies to become detector dogs or get adopted out to members of the public.

So just how hard is it for a dog to become a four-legged Sherlock?

The AFP opened the sniffer dog facility at its Majura complex in 2007. Labradors are sourced from a number of places but mainly the border force, where they are bred and fostered out for about a year.

Many puppies are disqualified before even leaving the border force, as only those of the most sound temperament and intelligence, and with the keenest hunting instincts, are sent to Majura at 14 months old. They then undergo a 13-16-week intensive training course in detecting hidden drugs, cash, firearms, and bombs.

Once (and if) the fluffy agents graduate, they’re assigned a handler and sent to airports, seaports, cargo depots and international mail centres around the country. State and territory police also draw on them for search warrants and events such as music festivals.

But the tests are tough when the stakes are as high as public protection.

Mr Mesman pointed to a whiteboard outside a simulated house, one of three scenarios used for the dogs’ training. The whiteboard listed names of the 14 trainees in the current 13-week course. By week three, two had already been laid off.

One of the biggest challenges for both police and their dogs is the myriad of scents the canines are required to detect. Officers are constantly on the lookout for new drugs on the market and updates in technology, and the dogs must be trained to sniff out each new substance.

“Any trend that is happening, we are either ahead of it or not far behind,” Mr Mesman said.

“If there is a new drug coming in from overseas or domestically as a threat, we are working on that, and I guess that’s the power of the whole of the AFP, because we work across all the different areas to collate that information.”

Dogs are not addicted to drugs, despite what many people think, but to the game of hide-and-seek that underpins their training. They are taught to sit when they recognise the smell of the odour being tested, which had been fermented on a hidden toy. Each stage of the game becomes more difficult as trainers hide drugs among obstacles such as long grass or confusing household items. If the dog walks past a scent, they’re out.

Mr Mesman said the tough standard was why a third of the dogs don’t graduate, and why those who do never rarely it wrong in the real world.

However, the effectiveness of sniffer dogs has been called into question on several occasions, including when NSW figures revealed the proportion of searches where no drugs are found remained stubbornly high.

But handler and Senior Constable Craig Manning said he found that only inexperienced dogs made mistakes – and they were quick to learn from them.

“The dogs are definitely capable of some amazing things, and the more experience they have the better they are,” Mr Manning said.

“With drugs, the best dogs will find smaller amounts where as the majority of dogs will find bigger amounts. But the majority of times they should distinguish what they are and aren’t looking for.”

  • Comments Off on ‘Like sport stars’: How AFP sniffer dogs get scouted

The Department of Education is unaware of the number of child sex offenders attending WA schools with the figure potentially in the hundreds, according to children’s court data.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

In documents obtained by WAtoday through freedom of information laws, an urgent meeting attended by several ministers on March 27 revealed “it is likely there are offenders in schools unknown to the school or department administration and therefore no risk management or support is in place”.

Children’s Court of WA data showed 132 children aged between 10 and 17 were charged with sexual offences in 2015-16, with 10 children given custodial sentences for sex assaults that same financial year.

Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, nearly 600 children were charged with sexual assault and related offences, meaning hundreds of convicted children could be attending schools.

The revelation comes after angry parents demanded laws that effectively gag the state government from informing schools and parents about child sex offenders be changed to better protect the broader community.

It followed three separate incidents at two WA schools in recent months where three boys – one a convicted child rapist, and two accused child rapists – had quietly returned to school after their conviction or charges were laid.

One of the boys, 11, had his charges dropped on May 12 after a psychiatric report revealed he was not mentally fit to stand trial.

He had been supervised by two full-time staff at his school until February when parents discovered he had been accused of raping an eight-year-old boy at knife-point in December and forced the department of education’s hand to remove him.

File photo: iStock

Notes from the ministers’ meeting revealed the boy and his family had since been relocated by the Housing Authority after they received vigilante threats from community members.

“Provision of education has involved the student and his siblings being relocated, with the siblings being enrolled in another WA public school and the offender to be provided an education program at an engagement centre, separated from other students and under constant supervision,” it read.

Chaired by education minister Sue Ellery, the meeting also revealed another complex case of a child sex offender never previously reported.

It detailed the difficulty the state government faced to ensure a child’s statutory right to an education was upheld, while still protecting the broader community.

The boy, who was in detention at the time of the meeting, once released would require the location of his education be kept a secret and due to the “level of danger” he would be transferred to and from the education facility by police.

“Emergency planning if the site became known and was approached / entered by a community member” and “safety concerns for staff delivering his educational program” were highlighted during the meeting as highly problematic issues.

The case was described as being extremely resource intensive with the state government noting its capacity to provide the same level of planning for multiple similar cases was “very limited”.

Current laws which protect juvenile offenders’ identities mean a child is able to return to school following a serious sexual assault charge or conviction without an assessment or any clinical intervention.

The omission was deemed inappropriate during the ministers’ meeting, as it meant the risk the student presented to other students was not determined or discussed with teachers.

Alternative schooling options for child sex offenders in WA were described during the meeting as limited, mostly due to the intensive resources required to carry out individual teaching options.

The School of Isolated and Distance Education was touted as an option that would allow child sex offenders to be home-schooled, similar to students who live in remote areas of WA.

However many of the children convicted of sexual crimes do not have suitable supervision at home to carry out this option and instead would likely be required to attend a small specialised engagement centre or undergo individual tuition at a location where there are no other children.

In the instance of the 11-year-old boy who was charged with sexually assaulting an eight-year-old, the Perth Children’s Court had previously ordered he attend school as part of his bail conditions.

Meanwhile another 17-year-old boy who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy who attended the same school was sentenced to a 12 month intensive supervision order in February.

The order required he also attend school.

His victim has been accused of going on to sexually abuse a nine-year-old boy and is due to face court on Tuesday.

Both boys were removed from their school following a public outcry from parents after their offences and alleged offences became publicly known and parents kept their children home in protest.

“Predominantly the offenders (or alleged) have bail conditions that prevent them from having contact with other children except for when in school (where most children are all day),” the minister’s meeting notes revealed.

“Bail conditions applied to school-aged young people can compromise the safety of other children.

“Meeting those conditions in a manner that ensures the safety of other children can impose considerable strain on a school’s resources, most often requiring individual constant supervision.

“With older children, safety of staff is also a potential issue, particularly if the department is prevented from informing them.”

Ms Ellery, who inherited much of the public’s outcry on the school safety issue when she was sworn in as education minister in March, has vowed to improve the management of sex offenders at schools.

“The education department has been working with police, child protection, corrective services, and the attorney general to set up a new notification process,” she said.

“We will release our proposal and key recommendations soon.”

Keep our Communities Safe spokeswoman Georgie Elle said any changes to the notification process would not be enough to protect children from sex offenders.

“Nearly every parent I’ve spoken to feels like none of these people should be in schools,” she said.

“When the minister has a policy in place that says this is to minimise the risk, I guess parents feel like you acknowledge that there’s a risk, remove the risk, you shouldn’t have to manage the risk.

“How do you manage grooming?”

Ms Elle is advocating for alleged and convicted sex offenders to be educated away from the broader school population, claiming principals and teachers often weren’t equipped to deal with the issue.

During the ministers’ meeting, the state government conceded the situation was a catch 22, whereby parents expected to be informed about risks at their child’s school, but privacy and legal implications limited how much information could be shared.

“These issues are most effectively managed if the offender is not placed in a school or similar environment where other children attend,” the meeting notes read.

  • Comments Off on ‘Hundreds’ of child sex offenders remain under radar at WA schools

The Millner family regard Brickworks and Washington H. Soul Pattinson as family companies and their cross shareholdings in each amount to “ghost equity”, the Federal Court has heard.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

In the first day of the case before Justice Jagot in Sydney, it was suggested that a nil premium merger would unlock $454 million for shareholders of both companies.

Brickworks and Soul Patts, the court was told, also went to great lengths to block the nomination of an independent director, Robert Fraser, to the Soul Patts board in 2011 including attacking the performance of Perpetual’s funds.

Investor Perpetual backed Mr Fraser’s appointment but the nominee was ultimately unsuccessful.

Tony Bannon, SC, representing Perpetual, argued that the cross-shareholding structure was originally devised primarily to thwart a takeover bid. But it also gives the Millner family-led boards effective control in any general meeting, the court heard, at the expense of minority shareholder interests.

“We submit that the maintenance by these boards by use of that cross-shareholding to maintain the cross-shareholding which serves to entrench management’s position is not in the interests of shareholders generally,” Mr Bannon said. ‘Old school connections’

Current Soul Patts chairman Robert Millner is also the chairman of Brickworks; Brickworks and Soul Patts own roughly 40 per cent of each other’s equity.

Mr Millner, who has not sworn an affidavit, enlisted a plant at the Soul Patts AGM of 2011 to “populate the audience with old school connections”, it was heard.

“To suggest that management should not be subjected to the votes of shareholders almost expresses a fear of management if they are exposed to the general will of the meeting they may be removed,” Mr Bannon said.

He continued: “The key reason the cross-shareholding unravelling attempts have been blocked or resisted is the recognition the current board, Millner influenced as they are, will lose control.”

Mr Bannon reflected that the Millners would argue the cross-shareholding has worked well to date, and both companies have prospered. Historically it was akin to a “father knows best mentality”. Recruiting company

In the lead-up to the AGM of December 2, 2011, when Soul Patts shareholders were also asked to vote for the re-election of Michael Millner, David Fairfull and Thomas Millner to the board, the senior Mr Millner asked Bruce Bagley to stand up at the meeting and “say some things about the Fraser motion”.

Mr Millner also asked Mr Bagley to make some remarks about how the best way to find director talent was via a recruiting company. On November 24, Mr Bagley responded: “only too pleased” and “can you let me know the names of one or two recruiting companies you would use?” He also inquired as to whether he should “talk about Tom”, being Thomas Millner.

A public relations firm, Gavin Anderson, provided a media strategy that included closing part of the meeting to cameras so as not to reveal any potentially agitating expressions, Mr Bannon said, and Soul Patts’ insistence on attacking Perpetual’s track record was “playing the man and not the ball”.

But at one stage, there was an indication that Brickworks would vote its proxies in favour of Mr Fraser.

The court was told of an email from Alex Payne, Brickworks’s chief financial officer, responding to an inquiry around whether Brickworks would be voting in support.

“This is very, very confidential. You are correct though,” he is said to have responded.

“As it turns out you’ll see they didn’t vote for,” Mr Bannon said.

In October and November of that year, Perpetual’s then head of equities Matt Williams was communicating with Mr Millner with the intent to convince him to appoint Mr Fraser to improve governance. Public statements

Mr Millner was unmoved, it was argued, and apparently displeased with the public statements made by the fund manager. Mr Williams is expected to appear in court on Wednesday; he now works at Airlie Funds Management. Mr Williams had the support of other shareholders too.

Referring to the composition of the boards of the two companies, “Whether by blood or other connections, the connections with the Millners run deep”, Mr Bannon said.

One means to resolve that would see Brickworks and Soul Patts merge, and the cross-shareholdings cancelled. A nil premium merger would give ownership of the two companies back to the shareholders who are not the cross shareholders, and reduce the shares on issue of the merged company by 30 per cent, it was argued.

The combined assets would be worth $4.25 billion. Of the $454 million estimated to be unlocked, $143 million is attributed to Brickworks shareholders and $311 million to Soul Patts shareholders.

The case continues.

  • Comments Off on Millner family ties ‘run deep’ at Brickworks

The dramatic improvement in Joe Daniher’s goalkicking has come on the back of fanatical dedication to honing his skills, including a dawn training session at club headquarters on a day off.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Daniher’s outstanding past month – during which he has kicked 17 goals in five games – has upped his market value as he prepares to re-sign with the Bombers, a deal expected to follow the finalisation of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The athletic big man’s set shot goalkicking has long been a point of concern, with the issue rearing its head in the Dons’ round six loss to Melbourne, a game in which Daniher kicked 1.6. Following that game, Essendon coach John Worsfold refused to publicly chastise the emerging star, suggesting that Daniher was putting in the work at training to improve his area of weakness, as well as his ruckwork and marking.

In the three games since, Daniher, 23, has kicked a combined 13.2, including 5.0 in a dominant showing against West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Daniher’s commitment to improving his craft was highlighted by an episode last week, when Bombers players made visits to country Victoria. Despite the day being free of training commitments for players, the Dons have confirmed that Daniher, goal sneak Orazio Fantasia and midfielder Zach Merrett turned up to train at around 7am before the players departed for their visits.

“They came in early because that was the only time to do some extras on that day,” Essendon forwards coach Hayden Skipworth told Fairfax Media.

Skipworth has been working closely with Daniher and said his work ethic could not be questioned, with Daniher, Merrett, Fantasia and captain Dyson Heppell among those who were regularly going above and beyond on the track. However, Skipworth said he was trying to keep Daniher on an even keel.

“He’s working extremely hard on all aspects of his game. His vision long-term is to be a really accurate goalkicker,” Skipworth said.

“He’d do probably three or four goalkicking sessions on top of his normal training throughout the week.

“I’ve just trying to be really consistent with Joey as far as not going over the top. The thing that I’ve been working with him on is just focusing on the processes, not the outcomes. Goalkicking varies from week to week.”

The Bombers and Daniher’s agent Nigel Carmody have remained tight-lipped about contract negotiations, even though there is little doubt Daniher will remain at the club where his father, brother and three uncles all played. Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro told a Bombers podcast last month that new deals for several players – including Daniher, Darcy Parish and David Zaharakis – were likely to be signed only once the new CBA was in place.

There is a feeling in the Daniher camp that a long-term deal of up to five years would provide the forward certainty, but that a shorter-term contract would likely mean more money, especially if his form continues in its current trajectory. Some at Dons have privately acknowledged that Daniher’s recent form spike means they will probably end up paying more for his services.

Another player agent suggested on Monday that Daniher should be hoping for at least $2.6 million over a three-year deal, taking the view that Daniher had added $150,000 a year to his worth with his outstanding football over the past month.

Daniher has kicked 134 goals from 79 games since making his debut in 2013. In 2015 he worked closely with Essendon great Matthew Lloyd on his goalkicking, a partnership that was discontinued.

  • Comments Off on Daniher’s dawn work leading to dollars

Peter Wallace has been ruled out of the State of Origin series opener, clearing the way for fiery Titans hooker Nathan Peats to make his NSW debut in game one.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Wallace joined an extended NSW squad in Sydney on Monday morning and had scans and extensive medical treatment on an injured groin in a bid to prove his fitness.

Unfortunately for the veteran rake and for the Panthers, he now faces four to six weeks on the sidelines with a grade two adductor tear.

While Wallace will miss out on what would have been his first Origin match since 2009, it has opened the door for Peats to make his maiden Origin appearance ahead of incumbent Robbie Farah.

“He’s a guy that will fight for everything. He’s a guy that I’ve got a huge amount of respect for. I know he’s a professional and I know he prepares well,” Blues coach Laurie Daley said on Monday night.

“And you know what you’re going to get. Peatsy will get through a huge amount of work, he’ll be competitive, and he’ll give you everything he’s got.”

Peats is one of two debutants named in Blues coach Laurie Daley’s team for the clash against Queensland on May 31. Representative Jake Trbojevic also earned a spot on the bench.

Trbojevic made his Test debut for the Kangaroos in last year’s Four Nations tournament, forming a close relationship with fellow Blues forwards David Klemmer and Aaron Woods.

Sunday night’s call-up was a bitter-sweet moment for the Trbojevic family after younger brother Tom missed out on certain selection after picking up separate knee and ankle injuries just over a week ago.

Penrith’s Matt Moylan was called into the squad, which gathered in Sydney on Monday morning, as standby for the injured Josh Dugan.

However, the Cronulla-bound Dugan is expected to get the green light and take his place in the centres alongside Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne will make his return to the Origin arena after a two-year hiatus playing NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and rugby sevens for Fiji.

He is one of just five players – including Brett Morris, Boyd Cordner, Dugan and Woods – who featured in NSW’s rare series triumph under Daley back in 2014.

Hayne’s future will remain a topic of discussion throughout the Origin camp as he weighs up an option in his favour to remain at the Titans next season before deciding by the May 31 deadline, which coincides with the opening Origin game.

Morris, who has 12 Origin games to his name, returns to the Blues fold after missing last year’s series when a knee injury forced him out of most of the 2016 season.

At the start of the season, Morris was resigned to the fact his representative career was likely over, telling Fairfax Media he was comfortable with the likelihood that he wouldn’t wear the sky blue jersey again.

“That’s OK,” he said in February. “I feel I’ve had a pretty good rep career. So if it was to be that I never play rep footy again, I can hack that.”

Boyd Cordner is the new captain of the Blues following the retirement of Paul Gallen, getting the nod ahead of Woods and Josh Jackson.

James Tedesco hasn’t managed to recapture his old form in 2017 but Daley has placed his faith in the Tigers No.1 to do the job after an impressive maiden Origin series last year.

The Roosters-bound fullback will team up with Blake Ferguson and Morris as a back three combination to match up against Queensland’s Darius Boyd, Corey Oates and Dane Gagai.

The much-maligned Mitchell Pearce returns to the Origin arena after an off-field indiscretion cruelled his chances last season.

He will partner former premiership-winning Roosters halves partner James Maloney, who was one of the first players picked in Daley’s team weeks ago.

Woods, who overcame a hamstring injury to make his return for the Wests Tigers last week, has been given the all clear to play, despite just one game under his belt in the past month.

Controversial Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita retains his position in the Blues line-up, and James Tamou is the obvious omission.

Fifita has been called into the starting side alongside Woods, leaving David Klemmer and Trbojevic on the bench as part of a four-man front row rotation.

Jack Bird, who was impressive in his debut series last year, has pipped Matt Moylan for the utility position on the bench.

Moylan, Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean and St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin will travel with the team to camp in Kingscliff as part of an extended squad.


1. James Tedesco 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jarryd Hayne 5. Brett Morris 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Aaron Woods 9. Nathan Peats 10. Andrew Fifita 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Boyd Cordner (c) 13. Josh Jackson

14. David Klemmer 15. Wade Graham 16. Jake Trbojevic ???17. Jack Bird

  • Comments Off on Cordner in charge as Peats, Pearce get call for Origin opener

A man has tested positive to HIV at a Melbourne clinic while participating in a trial of PrEP, an antiretroviral drug credited with preventing the spread of the disease.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

This has sparked fears in the gay community about possible resistance to the medication – particularly after rumours about the strain circulated on social media over the weekend.

However, it is not yet known whether the man has contracted a drug-resistant strain, or if something else is to blame.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication taken daily by HIV negative people, and when taken every day PrEP has been shown to reduce HIV transmission by up to 99 per cent.

Globally, hundreds of thousands of people use PrEP and there have only ever been two confirmed cases of infection with a drug-resistant strain of the virus by someone taking the medication correctly.

Both of these were reported in 2016, one in Toronto and one in New York.

In Amsterdam earlier this year, there was a third case of PrEP failure in a man following the prescribed course, through transmission of a drug-sensitive HIV strain, however this is still being investigated.

There has never been a confirmed case of HIV resistant to PrEP in .

It’s understood just over a week ago, a male patient on the trial tested positive to HIV at a Melbourne clinic.

On Monday, a spokesman at The Alfred confirmed researchers were “reviewing the clinical details of a man who has tested positive to HIV while being a registered participant of the Victorian PrEPX study.”

Another Melbourne man, who also uses the antiretroviral drug, said the case highlighted that there was still a risk with PrEP, even if it was small.

“This is not a silver bullet. It makes the risk real,” the man, who has requested anonymity, said.

But he said would continue to use the medication because it remained “the most persistent way to combat HIV”.

Doherty Institute director and infectious diseases physician, University of Melbourne professor Sharon Lewin said all people who start HIV treatment have a test for their own resistance to the drug before they begin the medication.

She said once researchers at The Alfred have determined whether the man had been correctly and consistently taking PrEP, the HIV virus itself will be analysed for resistance.

“In cases of someone testing HIV positive while taking PrEP, we would first take a detailed history to understand how PrEP is being taken and potential exposures,” she said.

“We would then look at the genetic code of the virus as this can tell us whether it is a drug-resistant strain, or a non-resistant strain. We would also look quite closely at drug levels in blood and the immune response to the virus, when the anti-body test became positive.”

About 3000 Victorians have enrolled in the PrEPX research study, which is examining how PrEP could reduce the rate of new HIV infections in Victoria.

Experts estimate 10 – 15 per cent of gay men in Sydney and Melbourne were using PrEP by the beginning of 2017.

There are up to 600 Victorians on the study’s waiting list.

Professor Lewin said PrEP was extraordinarily effective and there was still an urgent need to expand access to PrEP nationally.

“We closely track circulating strains of drug resistant virus in the community,” she said.

“On average 10 per cent of new diagnoses of HIV in Victoria are with a strain of virus that has evidence of drug resistance.

“I don’t think there is any reason for alarm here. PrEP works and any rare cases of failure need to be investigated fully so we fully understand why this can very rarely happen.”

PrEP is not yet listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, but will be considered in July.

A generic version of the antiretroviral drug, known by the name Truvada, costs about $1200 a month to buy in , but can also be bought on the internet for less than $100.

  • Comments Off on Melbourne man tests positive to HIV while taking preventative drug

Hurricanes make national mark at Tokyo 2020 camp EXPOSURE: Jake Robinson was one of five Hunter Hurricanes juniors that took part in a Water Polo camp called Tokyo 2020 in Canberra this week. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
SuZhou Night Recruitment

Matt Humby

Mitch Robinson

Bailey Sheather (far right)

Kate Hughes

TweetFacebook Hunter Hurricanes at Tokyo 2020 campPictures by Max Mason-Hubers, Marina Neil and Jonathan CarrollIt may be another three years away but five Hunter Hurricanes juniors hada taste of the 2020 Olympics in Canberra this week.

The Robinson brothers, Jake and Mitch, Matt Humby, Bailey Sheather and Kate Hughes have just wrapped up a six-dayToward Tokyoidentification camp at the n Institute of Sport.

National senior water polo head coachesElvis Fatovic and Sakis Kehagias oversaw the event, which involved training sessions both in and out of the water before a mini tournament that finished on Monday.

It doubled as selection trials for n junior and youth squads contesting overseas tours and world championships later in 2017.

* AUSTRALIANschoolgirls representative Dakota Thomas will return home to Kilaben Bay with a silver medal from theDigicel Punjas International Secondary School Netball Challenge.

The goal keeper was part of the national under-15 squad that lost Friday’s final 40-28 to Aotearoa Maori in Fiji.

They beat Auckland Samoa 35-31 in the semi.

* ALSOheading overseas on a School Sport tour is Floraville’sKy Willott and Maitland Rams pair Brad Paterson and Wade Harry.

The national under-16 hockey squaddeparted for Europe late last week with warm-up matches scheduled for Belgium and The Netherlands before a four-nation tournament in Germany.

  • Comments Off on JUNIORS: Five Hunter Hurricanes attend Towards Tokyo water polo camp at Chinan Institute of Sport

Darius Boyd. Photo: Getty ImagesDarius Boyd has won the battle for the Maroons fullback spot with returning superstar Billy Slater missing selection completely after the Queensland squad was announced in Brisbane on Monday afternoon.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

In what was undoubtedly the most difficult call for the selection panel and coach Kevin Walters, Slater will be a spectator for game one despite some sparking form since returning to the Storm from a long-term shoulder injury.

Bill Slater. Photo: Getty Images

In his absence, Boyd has put a stranglehold on the fullback jumper and there was no compelling argument for him to be shifted from his favourite position. Slater played some wing early in his career but specialists Dane Gagai and Corey Oates have been preferred on the Queensland flanks.

With retirement on the horizon, Slater may well have played his final Origin but anything can happen during the series and he would be the first called up should injuries force any sort of backline reshuffle.

But as it stands, Boyd’s powerful returns from fullback and ultra-consistent form at all levels of the game made him a lock at the back for the first instalment of the 2017 series.

Meanwhile, Boyd’s Broncos team-mateAnthony Milford is set to make his State of Origin debut with Jonathan Thurston next to no chance of overcoming a shoulder injury. Milford has been named in the starting line-up with Thurston included as 18th man to give himevery opportunity to prove his fitness.

Johnathan Thurston. Photo: Getty Images

“I believe it’s very unlikely that he’ll [Thurston] play but we’ll give him the chance to prove his fitness throughout the week,” Walters said onSky Sports’ Big Sports Breakfast.

“I don’t think he’ll be fit enough with his shoulder. We’ve got to keep in mind that this is game one of a three-game series.”

Wayne Bennett said he wouldn’t release Milford to Queensland if he was no chance of playing in Origin I.

Should Thurston miss out as expected, a number of Queensland’s leading lights will be missing. Both Matt Scott and Greg Inglis are out with injury, although Cameron Smith seems to be playing as well as ever after he helped steer Melbourne to victory over Souths on Sunday night in Perth.

Justin O’Neill. Photo: Getty Images

Justin O’Neill has been the beneficiary of selection loyalty and had retainedhis place in the centres, while Dylan Napa is one of the new faces in the side as the Rooster gets set to step into the Origin arena.

2017 Queensland State of Origin squad:1. Darius Boyd

2. Corey Oates

3. Will Chambers

4. Justin O’Neill

5. Dane Gagai

6. Anthony Milford

7. Cooper Cronk

8. Dylan Napa

9. Cameron Smith (c)

10. Nate Myles

11. Josh Papalii

12. Matt Gillett

13. Josh McGuire

14. Michael Morgan

15. Sam Thaiday

16. Aidan Guerra

17. Jacob Lillyman

18. Johnathan Thurston

  • Comments Off on State of Origin 2017: Billy Slater not selected as Darius Boyd keeps fullback spot