Australian soccer in limbo as we await word from FIFA

Australian soccer remains in limbo as the embattled FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board await word from FIFA as to their fate following the loss of a crucial vote at the annual general meeting last week.
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The A-League clubs, who are his chief opponents, are more determined than ever to create the conditions for an independent A-League, where they could capture more of the revenues generated by the competition to underwrite what have largely been loss-making investments for the past decade.

From their point of view, FIFA appointing a “normalisation committee” – an independent group of outsiders who would run the game in place of Lowy and his board, who would be sacked – is the policy most likely to deliver them their preferred outcome. For them, the sooner the FIFA decision makers act, the better.

But at no stage has Lowy indicated that he will surrender easily.

It is in his interests to convince FIFA that he and the board are still reaching out to the dissident factions to try to reach a consensus over the issues that divide them – even if the clubs show little sign of wanting to work with him in the future.

It is understood that earlier this week, despite the effective vote of no confidence last Thursday, Lowy wrote to the clubs seeking to re-open discussions on the new operating model for the A-League.

This was a concept that the FFA board and its chairman had floated earlier this year before relations between he and the clubs broke down so badly.

On the surface this looks like an olive branch, but the anti-Lowy brigade see it as an exercise designed merely to convince FIFA that he is still working hard and should therefore be allowed more time.

This is a difficult case for the game’s governing body. It was they who earlier in the year gave the FFA board a deadline of November 30 to sort out the problems associated with the Congress.

The board has failed to do that – in fact, for years now the board has failed to comply with FIFA’s demands that it broaden the representative base of its Congress, while it has also ignored the recommendations of previous federal government-sanctioned reports to set up an independent A-League.

Now FIFA must decide whether to use the broadsword of the normalisation committee, which would pave the way for a clean slate, or the rapier of some other approach to try and find a solution that could involve all parties but simultaneously end the increasingly bitter enmity.

Trying to square the circle might be an easier task given the breakdown in relations and the bad blood that now exists.

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

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‘It’s madness’: two different red zone maps in two weeks

The Department of Defence has unveiled its own mapof Williamtown’s contamination ‘red zone’, which appears to contradict a new mapreleased by the NSW environmental watchdog just a fortnight ago.
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Residents were astonishedas the map was presented to the media in Williamtown onTuesday, to coincide with the release of two final reportsinto the contamination crisis, including an updated Human Health Risk Assessment.

During a press conference, a technical expertargued that both Defence and the NSW Environment Protection Authoritywere on the same page, despite their differingmaps.

“There’s consistent advice and findings,” said Amanda Lee, a technical director for Defence contractor AECOM.

However stark differences are evidentin the maps, with different borders, colour-coding, numbers of segmentsand sets of precautionary guidelines for residents.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington slammed the release of the new mapas “madness”.

“It’s like the maps are a visual representation of the dysfunction between the state and the Feds,” she said.

Defence’s map divides the contaminated area into four colour-coded “risk zones”, with separate sets of precautionary guidelines for each zone.

The NSW EPA map hasthree “management areas” and two sets of precautionary guidelines for residents.

Representative of the Williamtown and Surrounds Residents Action Group Rhianna Gorfine described the situation as like being in an episode of satirical television comedy ‘Utopia’.

Defence representatives are due to front a community meetingat 5.30pm.

UPDATE 7.30PM –Footage from the community meeting

Cabbage Tree Road resident, Kim-Leeanne King speaks up at a Defence and EPA community meeting this evening. #williamtown#[email protected]@carriefellnerpic.twitter南京夜网/0wXEgvG8AV

— Marina Neil (@MarinasMarina) December 5, 2017

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High auction volume reaffirms November as biggest month for property in ACT

November has been reaffirmed as the biggest month for property in the ACT, with the highest monthly volume of auctions for the year.
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Last month, there were 509 auctions in the Canberra region, significantly higher than October’s 314.

The November clearance rate was lower than previous months at 65.9 per cent. However, Allhomes Data Scientist Dr Nicola Powell attributed this to the higher volume of auctions.

“We had such a high level of scheduled auctions that it impacted the overall clearance rate, but even though they have been lower than previous months they are still tracking rather robustly,” Dr Powell said.

CoreLogic’s latest monthly figures, released on Friday, show Canberra as the capital city with the biggest monthly property price increase, 0.9 per cent.

Dr Powell said the high number of auctions was the result of Canberra’s strong market.

“When you have a strong market the method to sell is via auction because you have a level playing field for buyers who are out there,” she said.

“Selling by auction is something that is really ingrained in the Sydney market, but it’s only been part of the way we sell here in Canberra in recent years.” Related: With Christmas just around the corner, Canberra’s property market is slowingRelated: Selling your home in the summer Canberra marketRelated: What are the chances of my Canberra home passing in?

Historically, November is the month for the highest number of new listings for all capital cities.

Last month, 1443 houses were on the market in the ACT and 1248 units. This is a slight increase on November 2016, when 1356 houses and 1186 units were on the market.

“In terms of November we do see sellers wanting to secure that sale before the Christmas shutdown and buyers obviously want to get into their home before the new year,” Dr Powell said.

Auctions almost come to a halt in January. In the first month of 2017 there were only 20 residential auctions in the ACT.

“For people that have to sell in January, there’s a lower level of auctions, so there’s less competition and that’s a great thing for a seller going to market,” Dr Powell said.

“A lot of buyers in the market will be taking holidays at that time of the year, which is why traditionally we don’t see a lot of vendors going to market at that particular time.”

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

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Pork with a festive twist

THE DISH UNIQUE: A different take on a Sunday or Christmas day roast. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography
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Salt Baked PorkBelly, Savoy Cabbage, Apple and Ginger Sauce

CHEF’S TIPSDouble the apple sauce recipe and refrigerate for your morning toast and crumpets.

Troy Rhoades-Brown and Mitchell Beswick of Muse Restaurant. Picture: Nicole Butler Photography

INGREDIENTS1.4kg pork belly, skin on (the best quality you can source)

1 savoy cabbage, cut into 8 wedges, core attached

100ml vegetable oil

1 bunch of shallots to finish

Apple and ginger sauce

4 granny smith apples, peeled, core removed

Juice of 1 lemon

100g sugar

60g ginger, sliced into 6 pieces

2 star anise


100g butter


100ml soy sauce

220mlShaoxing rice wine

1 knob of ginger, sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced finely

250g table salt

METHODApple sauce

1. Place apple, lemon juice, butter, sugar, ginger, star anise and water in a sauce pan and cook covered on a low heat for 20 minutes. Remove ginger and star anise. Blitz mixture in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Pork belly

1.Marinate the pork belly in a large tray or container overnight in your fridge. Make sure when placing the pork into the marinade that the pork skin is facing up and that the marinade does not touch the skin. Do not cover the pork belly, as leaving the skin exposed will allow it to dry out overnight.

2.Place pork belly onto a roasting rack on an oven tray, with 2cm of water underneath the rack. Cover the pork skin with 250g of table salt and place in a pre-heated oven at 140 degC for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

3.Rub the cabbage wedges with vegetable oil and season.

4.Remove the salt crust from the pork belly, turn the oven up to 240 degC, add the cabbage to the tray and continue to cook until the pork belly skin is completely crisp and crackled, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

5.Remove and rest the pork belly for 20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile turn down the oven to 150 deg C and cook the cabbage for a further 15 minutes.

6.Serve with 1 bunch of sliced shallots.

THE RESTAURANTMuse Restaurant is located at the Hungerford Hill winery in Pokolbin, NSW. The restaurant is family owned and run by Megan and Troy Rhoades-Brown.The Muse recipe series was created by Rhoades-Brown and head chef Mitchell Beswick.

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MP shocked by daughter’s gay relationship

Andrew Wallace MP. Photo: AAPAndrew Wallace was shocked to discover his daughter was gay.
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The Queensland Liberal backbencher is a committed Catholic who goes to church most Sundays and even joined a monastery as a teenager.

“About three years ago our daughter told my wife and I that she was attracted to women – that she had a girlfriend,” Mr Wallace told parliament on Tuesday, during debate on legalising same-sex marriage.

“My wife and I were shocked. Probably more me than my wife. I didn’t know what to say.”

Mr Wallace believed the Catholic teaching that marriage was between a man and a woman.

“Homosexuality went against what I had been taught to believe for many years. How could this be happening? How could this be happening to me, to our family?,” he asked.

His daughter Caroline struggled with mental illness and eating disorders throughout her teenage years.

She had boyfriends growing up, but told her father “it never felt quite right” and she felt she could not tell her parents because she thought they would not approve.

“She said she had always secretly been attracted to women and I’m sure this internal conflict would have, in some part, at least exacerbated her mental state,” Mr Wallace told parliament.

Caroline is now in a much healthier and happier place.

“She has a terrific job and a wonderful partner who our family love very much.”

Caroline offered her father a poignant parallel during their initial discussion that proved to be an epiphany for him.

“She said, ‘Dad, in the years to come, my generation will look back and judge your generation about how you deal with the issue of homosexuality’,” he told MPs.

“In the same way your generation considered your parents’ generation in the way they dealt with our indigenous people.”

Labor frontbencher Linda Burney choked back tears while explaining she supported marriage equality, saying her 33-year-old son Binni, who died in October, was gay.

“I have seen first-hand the confusion, anxiety and pain that many of our young people experience struggling with their sexuality,” she said.

Labor MP Cathy O’Toole’s daughter Louise knew quite early on that she was gay, but did not act on her feelings until her early 20s out of fear. She struggled with depression and anxiety throughout her teens.

Next year, Louise will marry her partner Cat.

“As a mother, all I have ever wanted for all of my children is for them to be happy, to belong, and to be accepted them for who they are,” Ms O’Toole told parliament.

Mr Wallace will support same-sex marriage but wants to see greater religious protections in the bill.

Nationals MP Andrew Broad, an opponent of same-sex marriage, will vote in favour of the legislation in line with his western Victorian electorate but also wants to see greater religious protections.

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