Housewife’s taunt too close to home

ANNOYED: Jackie Gillies has stuck up for her hometown.
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THERE is a lot of yelling going on in The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

And while the housewives’ usual favourite topic of discussion is who is talking about who behind whose back, things crossed a lineduring Sunday night’sepisode.

Lydia Schiavello implied that Newcastlewas somehow inferior during a row with NovocastrianpsychicJackie Gillies.

“You’re from Newcastle!” Lydia barked, putting the emphasis on castle like a maniac.I mean the audacity.

Jackie, naturally, wasn’t having any of this.

She returned serve with a bit of her native tongue (she’s Croatian) that can’t be repeated here.

Let’s just say it put Lydia in her place.

Jackie followed it up on Tuesday by slamming Lydia’s attitude, calling her “pretentious”, “childish” and “uneducated socially”.

“I was really upset,” Jackie told Topics.

“Because I’m very protective of Newcastle.“I’m a proud Novocastrian.

“Lydia is quiet pretentious and has a ranking system depending on your social status, postcode and bank balance and I want nothing to do with that kind of person.

“I think what upset me the most is she knows nothing about Newcastle, but she was judging the entire city which is really childish.”

Under pressure from Twitter users,Lydia latertried to salvage some dignity by rattling off “BHP and the Knights” as making “marvelous” contributions to Australia.

We noticeshe left out Silverchair.


And what, has she not heard of Our Jen?

BACK WITH BELLS ON Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and three former mayoresses re-open the clock tower.

AFTER 18 months of silence, a familiar chime rang out over Newcastle on Tuesday morning. Eleven times.

Newcastle’s iconic clock tower was back and looking better than ever.

On International Women’s Day,Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and three former Lady Mayoresses –Margaret McNaughton, Wendy Heys and Cathy Tate – re-opened the historic tower after its $5 million restoration.

It got Topics thinking, how much work goes into something like that?

And wouldn’tyou know it, Newcastle City Council had the answers.

24,000 man hours,900 sandstone blocks,100 cubic metres of sandstone,80 tonnes of scaffolding and30 days for the blocks and features to be carved by hand.

The newly finished clock tower after its $5 million, 18 month restoration.

FUNNY FOLKS AT FOGHORNTOPICS firmly believes that stand-up comedy is an under-appreciatedart form.

It’s not easy writing original, punchy and funny material. It’s hard to get up in front of a room of strangers and put yourself out there. “No one is more judged, in civilised society, than a stand-up comedian,” Jerry Seinfeld once said.

“Every 12 seconds you’re rated.”

You often hear people who have done stand-updescribe it as the hardest, most-rewarding thing they have ever done.

Former Topics writer Tim Connell tried his hand at stand-up a few years ago.

Mad props.

There are a number of venuesin Newcastle, namelythe Oriental Hotel, that support homegrown stand-up comedy,butthey need the support of punters to make their effort worthwhile.

After a successful comedy night last year, Foghorn Brewhouse in King Street will again play host to three funny people on Wednesday night.

Internet sensation Neel Kolhatkar is returningahead of his gig at the Melbourne International Comedy Festivaland he will bring with him Marty Bright and Rowan Thambar. Tickets are $49 and include canapes and a main meal. Callthe brewhouse on (02) 4929 4721 or go online.


Sione waits in the wings

A KNEE injury to Knights winger Chanel Mata’utia has complicated Nathan Brown’splans to ease his younger brother Sione back into action through NSW Cup.
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Sione, who became Australia’s youngest-ever Test player in 2014, missed Newcastle’s 30-12 loss to Gold Coast on Sunday because of a one-game suspension.

He is eligible to return against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night but Brown said it was doubtful he would be immediately reinstated to Newcastle’s top team.

“More than likely not,’’Brown said.

“He’ll probably have a game in reserve grade, to get a game under his belt.’’

The injury to Chanel may prompt Brown to reassess rushing Sione in.

Chanel limped out of a tackle in the sixth minute against Gold Coast but stayed on the field for the full game.

Afterwards, however, he had his knee in a brace and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks withmedial-ligament damage.

Another possible candidate to replace Chanel, young flyer Jake Mamo, is also unavailable after injuring his ankle playing in the NSW Cup loss to South Sydney.

That would appear to limitBrown’s options toeither Sione or Nathan Ross as Pat Mata’utia’s partner on Newcastle’s left edge.

Brown indicated the five players who made their debuts against Gold Coast would all be retained.

“No one’s been given any guarantees,” Brown said.

“We just go week to week and obviously the way some of them performed [against Gold Coast] they’ll be playing again next week.’’

Souths have their own injury worries in halfback Adam Reynolds (jaw), back-rower John Sutton (pectoral) and skipper Greg Inglis (knee).

The Rabbitohs confirmed on Monday Sutton will be out for four months after he was injuredin Sunday’s42-10 thumping of Sydney Roosters, while Reynolds will undergo further scans before the full extent of his jaw injury is known.

Early indications are Reynolds could miss anywhere between six weeks and four months.Inglis said on Monday he had a knee problem that would be “assessed”.

RETURN: Sione Mata’utia

Luke Keary, who was suspended for round one, will come straight into the Souths side alongside Cody Walker in the halves on Saturday.

Inspirational Souths forward Sam Burgess said the Rabbitohs had enough depth to cover for any injuries.

“It is part and parcel of the game, as sad as it is that is why depth in squads is very important,” Burgess said.

“It gives other people a chance to come in and I’m sure they will do the job.”

Five-eighth Walker looked comfortable on his NRL debut, laying on an early try and combining well with Reynolds against the Roosters.

“He was good, Cody, and with the changes on the field, he just adapted,” Souths coach Michael Maguire said.

“It is just the practice he has shown throughout the season and it has shown on the field.”



Driver banned for life accused of fatal chase

FAMILY MAN: Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson with his son Patrick when he was only five months old. An appeal has been launched for his grieving family. Picture: Facebook.
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A PAROLEE disqualified from driving for life has been arrested over the pursuit which claimed the life of Port Stephens Sergeant Geoffrey Richardson.

The 34-year-old from Greta was expected to be charged on Monday night over twopursuits, including Saturday night’s chase which Sergeant Richardson was travelling to when his car left Allandale Road.

The suspect was arrested as he arrived for an appointmentat Maitland on Monday afternoon..

He was taken to Maitland Hospital after complaining of injuries when he allegedly resisted arrest.

It was expected that he will be charged over the twopursuits –Sunday morning’s as well as another one last week –and the resist arrest count.

It is unclear whether he could later face any chargesrelating to Sergeant Richardson’s death.

His arrest came as Commissioner Andrew Scipione launched an appeal for Sergeant Richardson’s devastated family, including his police officer wife Margaret and their two young children.

“We’ve had a chance to meet with about 70 officers from this local command that were involved, have been touch or known Sergeant Richardson,” Commissioner Scipione said.

“It’s a very sad day; a day in which to talk about the importance of what we do as police.

“There are people in there that are feeling numb.There are certainly people that are very emotional.

“We expect them to be going through and struggling with all these things as we move into the next phase. But I’ve got to say, they’re stoic.

“They’re police, they’re so matter of fact. They just get on with the job and at this stage they’re a credit to the organisation and I’m sure thesergeantwould have been very proud to have called them his friends.”

Sergeant Richardson was killed when the police car he was driving crashed into a tree at Allandale, in the Central Hunter Command,around 11.50pm on Saturday.

At the time, the sergeant had been driving to help officers who were engaged in a pursuit.

The former highway patrol officer was authorised to deploy road spikes and was racing to get ahead of the pursuit when he crashed.

The commissioner said Sergeant Richardson’s death had left an “enormous hole”.

“[He was a]wonderful policeman and an even better man,” he said.

“A man we should never forget. And the hole that he will leave,I don’t think we will ever be able to fill it.”

NSW Police Legacy has established an appeal to help support the sergeant’s family.

“This family, this young family will be doing it tough for many years to come,”Commissioner Scipione said.

“Every cent that is raised will go to them and making sure they have a future, a strong future which is exactly what the sergeant would have wanted.”

To donate go to:geoffreyrichardson.gofundraise南京夜网419论坛.


Lees eyeing Derby trial at Hawkesbury

NEWCASTLE trainer Kris Lees is leaning toward a Hawkesbury start on Tuesday for Australian Derby first acceptorAdmiral Jello.
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Kris Lees

Lees, who clinched his ninth group 1 win when Le Romain claimedthe $1 million Randwick Guineas on Saturday, has also accepted with Admiral Jello in a benchmark 67 handicap (1600 metres) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

But he indicated on Mondaythat he was likely to head to Hawkesbury with the colt and run in the class 1 handicap over the same distance.Itis clearly a bigjump from a restricted race to the $2 million Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 2, but Lees has already paid the $220 first acceptance feedue 12pm Tuesday.

“I’ve kept him in the Derby, but it’s now less than a month away,” Lees told Racing NSW onMonday. “Admiral Jello would need to perform really well tomorrow for us to consider taking it any further. He has trained on well since his good first-up run, and the 1600is definitely more to his liking.”

Lees did not raceAdmiral Jello untillast September when he easily won a maiden (1300m) at Hawkesbury. He came back and was doing his best work late when fourth to Northern Storm in a class 1 handicap (1350m) on the Beaumont track on February 18.

At Cessnock on Monday,jockey Daniel Langridge was injured in the mounting enclosure when his ride Golden Rulereared and struck him in the face beforerace seven.Langridge suffered a cut near his eye and was transported to hospital for treatment.

On the track, Wyongtrainer Brett Partelle won withPlanet Reality and Kamehameha, while Cessnock jockey Robert Thompsonkicked home Steve Farley’sCoutainville. Muswellbrook apprentice SamanthaClentonwon onValderon.


Public health risk from boom in black market pills, supplements peddled by organised crime

The unregistered Zhong Hua Niu Bian tablets, a fake erectile pill which contained the antibiotic chloramphenicol. Photo: TGAConfidential health department files warn of a growing public health risk from the boom in fake pills being peddled by organised crime gangs cashing in on the illegal medicine black market.
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A Fairfax Media investigation can reveal that police have uncovered links between bikie gangs and fake erectile drug suppliers.

But while the market is booming, regulators are talking about cutting back on the numbers of senior front-line investigators hunting out the trade.

With relatively light penalties for conviction compared to illicit drug dealing, organised crime groups are moving in on the counterfeit medicine business, providing supplements, including illegal peptides, to bodybuilders, unregistered weight loss supplements and fake sexual dysfunction pills.

There are fanciful claims about what many of these fake drugs do.

The “Amazon Tonic III” is a green liquid which promises to cure cancer, “Viagra 007”  is said to be a pill that will “keep sexual fatigue away thoroughly”. What they often bring with them is a serious health risk.

In one recent case, a Western Australian man needed an emergency liver transplant after taking a protein powder he bought online that was said to contain green tea extract and was marketed as an aid to  weight loss.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has promised an investigation into the matter, but a confidential memo obtained by Fairfax warns that its stretched resources are hindering its ability to make an impact on the sham drug business.

“There is an identified upward trend of matters involving counterfeit medicine and unregistered medicines posing a public health risk requiring thorough investigation,” the memo cautions. “In some matters … elements of organised criminal groups have been identified.”

Investigators claim outlaw motorcycle gangs supplied counterfeit tablets to a Sydney businessman who was caught selling the fake erectile pill “Rock Hard For Men”, which lab tests showed contained the prescription-only substance sildenafil.

TGA documents also warn that criminals are believed to be funnelling cash to terrorist groups from the sale of fake drugs and supplements.

Monash University adjunct associate professor Ken Harvey said the unregistered drugs being sold on the black market usually contain either no active ingredients or dangerous levels of prescription-only substances, such as antibiotics.

“The advice I give is never ever buy anything from the internet from outside Australia because there is such a high percentage of contaminated drugs,” he said. “You’re a fool if you do that.”

With Asia accounting for the biggest share of counterfeit medicine, according to the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, Dr Harvey said the number of unregistered drugs being seized were only the “tip of the iceberg” of what was coming in.

In particular, he said the TGA needed to be stronger in educating the public about the dangers of buying drugs online.

“Most people have no idea that there is a TGA, let alone what it does,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff in the complimentary medicine area, the supplements and vitamins where the system fails.”

While the TGA’s powers include prosecution in a criminal court, successful cases are relatively rare. The most recent court matter resulted in $2000 in fines and the confiscation of the imported counterfeit medicine.

An internal TGA memo says cases are often “complex and protected requiring extensive resource allocation” with a number of investigations held up through lack of manpower.

While a review prepared for the Health Department into the TGA’s regulatory arm conceded investigators face a heavy workload, it recommended that the number of senior staff be reduced as part of a restructure.

A TGA spokesperson said the Department of Health had accepted all of the recommendations put forward as part of the review of the regulatory arm.

The spokesperson said the number of staff in the unit would increase as part of the restructure, which will be implemented by May this year.

“The implementation of the review will not impact our ability to ensure compliance [and] to prosecute offenders where prosecution is warranted,” the spokesperson said.

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


Critics no more, Turkey’s Zaman newspaper now fawning over President Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey’s largest newspaper, fiercely critical of the government last week before it was seized by state administrators, has returned to news-stands, publishing flattering stories on President Tayyip Erdogan.
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The last edition before police raided the offices of Zaman about midnight on Friday boldly declared Turkey’s “Constitution suspended”.

But on Sunday, with state-controlled editors at the helm, the front page news was dominated by Mr Erdogan’s visit to a bridge being built across Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait. 1st edition of Turkish Zaman daily after govt takeover sees smiling Erdogan on front page https://t.co/vmZJoc9ttF— Robert B. Smith (@SmithVaureal) March 7, 2016

Sedat​ Mulayim​ from RMIT University’s School of Urban and Social Studies said the crackdown on liberal freedoms in Turkey had grown more severe.

“I remember when I lived under the military rule – in 1980 I was there – I think it is more serious now,” Mr Mulayim said.

Zaman, and its English-language counterpart publication, Today’s Zaman, are linked with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Mr Gulen was previously closely allied to Mr Erdogan, but the president has since accused Mr Gulen of terrorism and fomenting a coup after stories alleging corruption.

“The government says [the takeover of Zaman] is an independent investigation. No one really believes that,” said Mr Mulayim.

“They are using the prosecutor and the court system for their own purposes.” If one disagrees about claims or reports of a newspaper, he should counter them with facts, not by gagging journalism #Zaman— Martin Schulz (@MartinSchulz) March 5, 2016

Zaman also has a presence in Australia, with its Turkish-language online site on Monday reporting Australian media reaction to the takeover of the publication in Turkey.

Police used tear gas against crowds of protesters outside the newspaper offices in Istanbul over the weekend.

That story was not reported in the new state-run edition.

“In less than 48 hours, the new admin turned seized Zaman into a propaganda piece of the regime in Turkey,” said Sevgi Akarcesme, the editor-in chief of Today’s Zaman, on Twitter.

The European Union warned the crackdown on press freedom “jeopardises progress made by Turkey in other areas”, although many in Turkey have relinquished long-frustrated hopes of joining the economic union.

Critics have also accused the EU of soft-peddling on Mr Erdogan’s authoritarian drift, worried about co-operation over the large number of Syrian refugees in Turkey and travelling through the country.

“Europe needs him, and Europe knows that only he decides, he’s the decision-maker,” Mr Mulayim said.

Sunday’s edition of Zaman was a slim version of its previous self at just 12 pages and with sparse content.

The newspaper’s website was offline, with a message that read: “We will provide you, our readers, with a better quality and more objective service as soon as possible.”

With Reuters

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Star line-ups promised for ICC, but Euros, Copa America might take toll

Big gun: Raheem Sterling made his debut for Manchester City on Australian soil last year. Photo: Paul RovereIrrespective of the fall-out from the Stillitano meeting with the Premier League’s Big Five, fans looking to watch their European heroes at the MCG in the winter might be advised to wait until closer to the match day to see just how strong the squads are.
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The organisers are insisting that all clubs will bring with them a full list of players, and they certainly did last year when Raheem Sterling made his debut for Manchester City on Australian soil following his move from Liverpool, while the legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Francesco Totti were part of the Madrid and Roma squads, as was Gareth Bale (Real Madrid).

But this year’s version comes at an awkward time as the centenary Copa America (the South American national teams championship) is being staged in the US between June 3 and June 23 and the European football championships are being contested in France between June 10 and July 12.

Juventus will have a large contingent – the likes of Gigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonnucci – with the Italian national team at the Euros, while other Juve players like France star Paul Pogba, Spanish forward Alvaro Morata, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic and Swiss defender Stephan Lichsteiner are also likely to be on Euro duty. Paulo Dybala is expected to be part of Argentina’s Copa America squad.

It is a similar story with Spurs, where Harry Kane, Dele Ali, Eric Dier and Kyle Walker (England), Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertongen (Belgium) Ben Davies (Wales) and Kevin Wimmer (Austria) could all be in action at the Euros.

Where Atletico is concerned, men like Diego Godin (Uruguay), Koko (Spain) and Antoine Grizemann (France) might all be involved in off-season international competition.

All players are mandated to have a break during the summer, and the dates would allow most of them to arrive and play in Australia should their countries be eliminated early enough from the Euros.

It may depend on their level of tiredness and how many are injured as to whether they all turn up to play.

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Scriptwriters battle Screenrights for ‘tens of millions of dollars’ in royalties

Writer Tim Pye says he has received no royalty payments for various works, including Love Child starring Jessica Marais. Jan Sardi, writer of Shine. Photo: Steve Baccon
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Geoffrey Rush in Shine.

A simmering dispute over a share of what Australian screenwriters estimate is $56 million in royalty payments for films and television shows is set to go to the Federal Court.

The Australian Writers’ Guild and its Authorship Collecting Society are taking action against Screenrights, the non-profit organisation the federal government authorises to collect royalties in the film and television industry.

The claim is that Screenrights, which was established in 1990 to collect and distribute royalties paid by educational and other users, may have misdirected “possibly tens of millions of dollars” in royalties that should have gone to to writers in the past two decades.

The royalties include payments for educational copying and the retransmission of the free-to-air broadcast signal on pay TV.

Screenwriter Tim Pye, a former president of the guild, said he had received “not a cent” in royalties for writing such shows as Water Rats, Wildside, Lockie Leonard, House Husbands and Love Child in his 30-year career.

“The Australian Writers’ Guild is one of the founding members of Screenrights,” he said. “We helped set them up with the mandate to pay scriptwriters and other creatives in audio visual work according to the scheme of allocations.

“We trusted them to do that. But as the years ticked by and we realised we weren’t actually receiving any money – or not very much money, just trickles – we started asking questions about why that was.

“We would just be deflected with responses like ‘that money is not for you’ and ‘it’s far too complicated and we can’t give you any information about that’.”

Pye said that after years of being “stonewalled”, the guild decided the organisation was not fulfilling its statutory obligations and sought mediation to resolve the issue.

“They essentially said we’re happy to mediate with you but we’re not going to tell you anything about where the script portion of the secondary royalties has gone –​ we’re not going to tell you how much and we’re not going to [say] who it’s gone to.”

Pye did not want to speculate on where the payments –​ a share of an estimated $56 million collected in film and television script royalties –​ had gone to instead of screenwriters. But he estimated that just $350,000 had been paid in total to scriptwriters since Screenrights was formed.

“Somebody has been getting the money and it hasn’t been us,” he said.

Guild president Jan Sardi, who has written such films as Shine, The Notebook and Mao’s Last Dancer, said the case was about fairness.

“It’s about scriptwriters, who are at the very centre of our film and TV industry, being treated fairly and getting the royalties that they are rightfully entitled to.”

The chief executive of the Australian Directors Guild, Kingston Anderson, backed the guild’s case and said the country’s directors appear to have been paid a total of just $2000 in royalties by Screenrights in the past decade.

“There’s no transparency,” he said.

Anderson said Screenrights had been collecting retransmission royalties for directors since 2006.

“Where is all that money and why hasn’t it gone to directors? We’ve asked the question to them many times. They never answer.”

Seeking comment from Screenrights chief executive Simon Lake, Fairfax Media was referred to a publicist who issued a statement saying the organisation considered the litigation “unfortunate”.

“Screenrights pays the appropriate rights holders in accordance to Australian law and will defend the claims,” the statement said. “Screenrights continues to collect and pay royalties on behalf of its members.”

It later issued a further statement saying the organisation’s executive team believe it has “fulfilled its obligation to proactively pass on royalties to its members”.

“Over 99 per cent of educational royalties have been paid on the basis of a warranted claim.”

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Can Bruno Fornaroli become greatest striker in Australian club history?

​Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli’s season is now officially the best of any striker in the history of the A-League after bringing his tally to 20, surpassing Besart Berisha’s record of 19 goals.  His hat-trick against Sydney FC secured his place in the record books and all but locked up his claim to the golden boot. However, there still remains a chance for the Melbourne CIty striker to become the greatest of all-time in Australia. 
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Mr Popular: Bruno Fornaroli poses with a Melbourne City fan. Photo: Getty Images

Fornaroli requires 12 more goals to surpass Damien Mori’s record of 31 set in 1996. He has at least five games to do that, eight at most if City are to make the final from their current standing and although it seems a long shot, it takes a brave person to write off his chances.

Slow down, Filip 

​Sydney’s marquee is working hard, a little too hard. That much was evident midway through the 3-0 loss to Melbourne City with a soaked shirt reflecting his work rate. He was signed to score and provide but the Slovakian has committed more tackles than any other Sydney midfielder this season. His effort is admirable but as Sydney continue to search for a consistent attacking threat, perhaps it’s time for Holosko to shirk some defensive responsibilities and focus on the powerful attacking displays many hoped to see.

Reds marching on

The Spanish armada at Western Sydney stole the headlines at the start of the season but it’s the continuation of Adelaide’s that may clinch the Premiers’ Plate. Finally top of the table after their 14-game unbeaten streak, incredibly, the Reds were bottom of the league at the start of December. Their 4-0 dismantling of Wellington Phoenix sent out a warning to their rivals. It seems there’s no stopping Adelaide.

Red hot: Players celebrate the goal of Bruce Djite during the round 22 A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium. Photo: Hagen Hopkins

Why always me?

Jacq-Jacq-Jacques… woah. Suspended Sydney FC defender Jacques Faty sure knows how to play the victim card. The man who’s cost his club two penalties and last week received his marching orders for a clumsy challenge watched Melbourne City’s 3-0 win over the Sky Blues from home and the Frenchman was quick to hit social media suggesting other players are receiving kinder treatment from referees. Patrick Kisnorbo’s cynical foul resulted in a yellow and if you ask Faty, there’s a personal vendetta against him.  If its Faty for sure its red card #MCYvSYD— FATY doudou jacques (@JacquesFaty) March 5, 2016

How the mighty have fallen

Three years ago Central Coast Mariners were on the way to their maiden A-League title. Today, they are on track to becoming the worst performing A-League side of all time. A budget squad comprised mostly of youth players isn’t proving competitive and a lacklustre 2-0 loss at home to Melbourne Victory reinforced that. Unless they can win two of their last five games, they will be branded with that unwanted tag and sadly that doesn’t look promising. Cost cutting may have improved the club’s financial position but when was the last time fans flocked to a stadium to look at spreadsheets?

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Malcolm Turnbull takes time away from the chaos to ride the tram

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on a Melbourne tram between events on Monday. Photo: Jesse Marlow Mr Turnbull with tram driver Charmaine Augustus. Photo: Jesse Marlow
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Mr Turnbull with new Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Where better to retreat from the salacious rumours about your predecessor or questions about the gay marriage plebiscite and party disunity than to board a Melbourne tram at lunchtime.

Leaving the elite Athenaeum Club, the prime minister jumped on a crammed Collins Street tram, joking  that he didn’t need a myki while travelling in the city.

A few polite hellos were exchanged but the mood on the tram was typical for the lunchtime crush – quiet.

“Hope the inspectors check his ticket,” a burly bloke joked to his partner after spotting the PM and his minders.   Malcolm goes in for the double-handed tram hold. Who does that? #tramnewbiehttps://t.co/Mz11kwnBri— Jill Stark (@jillastark) March 7, 2016

Talking to other passengers, Mr Turnbull said he would be changing trams to meet new Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins ahead of International Women’s Day.

Malfies – selfies with Malcolm – were encouraged albeit at the insistence of the PM who was having cameras pointed at him by shy commuters.

Passengers boarding the tram didn’t interrupt their mobile catch-up. Sadly, nobody  dared ask him if he had a spare $4.5 billion to help pay for Melbourne Metro, given he’s so keen on public transport. The members of the press were banned from asking any questions.

Ms Augustus then took the controls of the tram for the cameras before Mr Turnbull disembarked in front of the waiting press.

But getting off the tram on Flemington Road is outside the free travel zone. It won’t raise the billions Victoria wants from him, but a $75 fine coughed up on the spot might help.

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


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