Mossgreen Auctions in Woollahra, Sydney. 26th December 2017 Photo: Janie Barrett The 105-year old former Armadale Public Picture Theatre, with the insitu tenant, Mossgreen auction house,has sold for a speculated $10 million.
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The co-owner of high-profile art gallery and auction house Mossgreen says creditors will not be out of pocket after the shock news the company has gone into voluntary administration.

Paul Sumner, who is also chief executive and co-founder, said the move was due to debts following the company’s rapid expansion and the withdrawal of its key investor.

On December 21 Mossgreen, which has branches in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, thanked customers via its Facebook page for their 2017 support and announced its holiday office closure.

The next day, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced that administrators had been appointed for Mossgreen Pty Ltd.

The administrators are James White, Nicholas Martin and Andrew Sallway from corporate advisers BDO.

A BDO media release says they are undertaking “an urgent assessment of the business and will be exploring all options”.

The first meeting of creditors will be held in BDO’s Melbourne office on January 4.

Mossgreen was founded in Melbourne in 2004 by Mr Sumner and wife Amanda Swanson. Its significant recent growth was bankrolled by businessman Jack Gringlas.

In 2013, Mossgreen acquired coin, stamp and memorabilia experts Charles Leski Auctions and in 2015 acquired New Zealand auction house Webb’s.

In 2016, Mossgreen opened its first Sydney auction rooms and gallery, in the exclusive suburb of Woollahra.

But in July this year, Mr Sumner and Ms Swanson bought back Mr Gringlas’ share of the business. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_678″);

“Since then, we’ve been advised to take the [voluntary administration] course, as the best way to clear historical debt – associated with previous investors – out of the business, and restructure the company and move forward,” Mr Sumner said.

“We’ve probably grown a little bit fast considering that the market plateaued. I’ll be the first to say that that’s the case.

“What we’re doing now is the opposite. We’re restructuring, taking out some of the costs of our business, so that we are a much leaner, healthier business starting from the first of February.”

Mr Sumner said Mossgreen did not plan to close any outlets or lose staff, and creditors would be paid.

“Not one vendor or one buyer will lose one dollar in this process,” he said.

The first of Mossgreen’s 2018 auctions would proceed on February 5. Items held under consignment to sell or buy would not be lost to their owners.

Mr Sumner said all creditors had been informed of the administration.

“Mossgreen is a business that relies on trust, so when you do something like this, your reputation will be affected, by how you deal with your vendors and buyers.”

Mossgreen is known for its sale of single-owner collections such as British collector Frank Cohen’s 80 contemporary artworks valued at more than $5.8 million.

It handles auctions of Australian masters paintings including Russell Drysdale’s Grandma’s Sunday Walk, which sold for $2.4 million.

It also sells collectibles such as Dick Reynolds’ 1930s VFL Brownlow medals, and a 1969 Mini Cooper S car.

In an Australian Financial Review profile in 2016, Mr Sumner said Mossgreen’s turnover grew from about $10 million before the Leski merger to $39.6 million in 2015, with staff numbers jumping from eight to 55.

“We won’t continue at this pace; this is probably the last big growth spurt of our business,” he said at the time.

The-then AFR reporter, Katrina Strickland, put to Mr Sumner that such rapid expansion would spark inevitable questions about growing pains and digestion, but Mr Sumner replied that “the greatest risk in this business is not growing. Costs go up but the art market stays pretty flat. So you have to grow.”

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The head of the environmental watchdog has resigned after a year of intense scrutiny, in which he referred the body to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
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Barry Buffier, 71 – once described by Opposition Leader Luke Foley as “the most powerful public servant in NSW” – served as chairman and chief executive of the NSW Environment Protection Authority since 2012.

This year, a Fairfax Media investigation revealed significant problems with the way the EPA policed illegal asbestos dumpers and questionable policies around land contamination.

Asked about Mr Buffier’s main achievements on Monday, Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton referred to his “significant career in the public sector”, thanked him and wished him well in retirement.

In his time at the helm, the EPA introduced the Hey Tosser!anti-littering campaign, remediated lead contamination at Broken Hill and worked to reduce air pollution in the Upper Hunter region.

But Mr Buffier’s organisation has also faced prolonged criticism over forestry, pollution and waste problems.

Fairfax Media has exposed how authorities, including the EPA, struggle to deal with long-term asbestos dump sites, including some in Sydney backyards.

The EPA had also adopted a policy of not declaring significant contamination of residential land, for fear of hurting property prices.

An independent review – the third in four years – called that practice “sensible” where the contamination was properly managed, but faulted the EPA’s confusing, unwieldy guidelines.

In August, the ABC’s Four Corners program exposed the extent of interstate waste trafficking, as NSW operators truck waste to Queensland to avoid levies.

Mr Buffier then referred the authority to the ICAC because Four Corners “implied that the EPA had acted corruptly through inaction”.

He defended NSW anti-dumping laws as some of the strongest in the country but said the EPA needed community trust to do its job.

More recently, the authority was attacked for its handling of the new container deposit scheme that gives people 10?? per empty bottle.

Shooters and Fishers MP Phil Donato said people in rural areas were already paying more for beer and soft drink in costs passed on by suppliers but could not find any collection points nearby.

Mr Buffier, who holds a bachelor’s degree in rural science and a master’s in economics, joined the EPA after serving as director- general of the Primary Industry Department.

A parliamentary inquiry recommended in 2015 the EPA improve its governance by making sure one person did not occupy the chairman and chief executive roles at once but the government left Mr Buffier in both.

Ms Upton would not comment on whether the roles would be split.

The chairman of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, Don White, said: “The conservation movement has felt the EPA under Mr Buffier has at times identified more closely with the industries it regulates than the communities whose interests it is supposed to protect.”

But Professor White said “it is the government’s job to make the EPA work effectively by staffing and funding the organisation adequately”.

Macquarie University professor Mark Taylor said Mr Buffier “has left the EPA in much better shape”, leading its modernisation in challenging circumstances.

“However, there is still a significant amount of work to do as evidenced by the recent high-profile issues related to contaminated land management, asbestos and waste,” he said.

Mr Buffier’s departure comes after other recent changes to the top rungs of the EPA.

The former head of waste, Steve Beaman, shifted to become head of hazardous incidents and environmental health, swapping roles with Sarah Gardner, who has resigned to take up a New Zealand council position.

The EPA’s chief environmental regulator, Mark Gifford, was set to act in Mr Buffier’s place when he leaves on January 8.

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Samantha Bayly poses for a portrait holding her illustration of an Australian White Ibis (Bin Chicken), and wearing one her prints on a t-shirt. Samntha studies Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle and is one of two recipients of a new $10,000 scholarship inspired by the 19th century scientific illustrations of Harriet and Helena Scott. Samantha Bayly poses for a photograph surrounded by her work and wearing one her prints on a t-shirt. Samantha studies Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle and is one of two recipients of a new $10,000 scholarship inspired by the 19th century scientific illustrations of Harriet and Helena Scott.
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There is already a bee woman and a snake lady in her university course, but scientific illustrator, Samantha Bayly, 21, wants to be known as the ugly animal painter, depicting beasts that only “a mother could love”.

Drawing an ibis revealed that its plumage included beautiful shades of pink and greys that not everyone noticed.

“Everyone hates an ibis, they are boring, brown and usually smelly, and they don’t get much loving. They are misunderstood and so sad, hideous and in everyone’s bins, but that’s that because their real habitat is being destroyed. “

Ms Bayly and a fellow student Lucia Garces are the co-winners of the inaugural $10,000 Scientific Illustration Scholarship from the Australian Museum. It was awarded this month to commemorate the legacy of 19th century natural history illustrators Helena and Harriett Scott and encourage the next generation of scientific observation.

The two women have been undertaking a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration – described as the bridge between art and science – at the University of Newcastle.

For Ms Bayly, who grew up on five acres outside of Port Macquarie, the course was a natural fit. “I’ve always loved drawing what was in front of me as accurately I could. I would sit in my room, and draw that, and then sit in the lounge room, and draw that.”

Outside, she moved on to draw the family’s donkeys, Frida and Fabio, a Shetland horse, a miniature pony, rabbits, cows, dogs, birds and fishes.

Even in in the modern age of high resolution imaging and wildlife genomics, said scientific illustration was still an invaluable resource to the natural sciences, and a skill our scientists value highly in peers and collaborators, said Dr Rebecca Johnson, director of the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI),

“This scholarship is a fantastic recognition of Harriet and Helena Scott and the critical role they played in some of the earliest documentation of our NSW fauna,” said Dr Johnson.

Ms Bayly studies a few kilometres away from where the Scott sisters drew butterflies and insects in the wetlands near Ash Island, Newcastle. She found a field trip to the island where they drew 170 years ago to be “inspirational”.

She is now concentrating on finding the beauty in ugly animals, and using illustration to highlight why they are that way. Last year, she drew a California condor, a “hideous pink bald bird” which she loved because of its ugliness.

The Museum’s scholarship was open to men and women. While women were in the minority 170 years ago, they now dominate the course.

The Scotts were banned from studying at Sydney University because of their gender.

Around the same time, Elizabeth Gould – who illustrated 84 plates in the now famous Birds of Australia by her husband John – was also drawing furiously in between raising six children.

John Gould was known as the bird man of Australia, yet he was not an artist, said State Library of NSW curator Margot Riley.

During the Gould’s 12-year marriage, Elizabeth drew and lithographed 600 ornithological illustrations.

But her “exquisite work became almost totally eclipsed by the fame of her husband,” said Ms Riley. ” But John Gould was not an artist – though he designed the plates and carefully supervised their production, after Elizabeth’s death he would entrust this artistic work to others,” she said.

The State Library of NSW this month digitised a rare edition of the book, the prototype that was used to guide the army of artists used by Gould after Elizabeth died.

It is available online for the first time.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – December 22 .Tony Sutton, executive general manager stores, Myer poses for a photo in the Myer Melbourne store December 22 , 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor)Australians are expected to spend a record $2.4 billion on Boxing Day, but bricks-and-mortar retailers are reporting smaller crowds as online sellers including Amazon compete for shopping dollars.
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Spending in the post-Christmas season until January 15 would be the strongest seen to date in dollar terms, with a “fairly strong” increase of 2.9 per cent over last year’s shopping season, Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman predicted.

But many retailers had been hoping it would be 4.5 to 5 per cent, he said, to help offset higher energy costs.

Some of the rise in retail spending could be explained by population growth and increased prices, with a “little bit of an extra spend” from shoppers, he said. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram南京夜网/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

Many retailers achieve more than half their annual revenue over the December and January season, making it a critical trading period.

At 4.2 per cent, NSW is expected to have the strongest post-Christmas sales growth in the third year its shops have been able to trade on Boxing Day. Sales in Victoria are tipped to grow by 3.28 per cent.

Across the country, these sales are expected to total $17.9 billion nationally over the three-week period from Boxing Day onwards.

Despite this, some bricks-and-mortar retailers reported smaller crowds in the lead-up to Boxing Day, with the rise of online shopping taking its toll.

This is the first year Amazon has been available in Australia. It is offering Boxing Day discounts too, pitting it against traditional retailers.

The ARA and Roy Morgan expect the fastest growth category for sales in the post-Christmas weeks to be “other”, which includes online shopping, with a 4.02 per cent increase.

The second-strongest segment is tipped to be food. Department stores and apparel have the weakest growth outlook.

It is a particularly critical time of year for Myer Holdings, which had a “horror start” for sales at the beginning of the all-important Christmas season.

Myer executive general manager Tony Sutton said it was expecting 600,000 transactions, with crowds lining up in Melbourne from 2am on Tuesday.

“We hope it will outpace [2017] … It’s busier this time than last year,” Mr Sutton said.

Fiona MacKenzie, the general manager of Victorian shopping centre Chadstone, said there was an industrywide shift to food, entertainment and experiences in physical stores.

Annually, it had seen a 26 per cent increase in visitors, with November’s total visitor numbers up 4 per cent.

“We are expecting over 170,000 people to visit Chadstone on Boxing Day … It is our busiest day of the year in terms of foot traffic,” she said.

Michael Wall, the managing director of Sydney toystore Hobbyco, said trade had been busy before Christmas, but was quieter this year than in the past.

“We’re running 4 to 5 per cent lower than last year,” he said.

Hobbyco’s online presence now generates between 7 and 8 per cent of its total business revenue, but the store’s iPhone-controlled working model train window display remains popular with the crowds at the Queen Victoria Building.

Also making a visual splash in the QVB to attract customers and tourists was the Swarovski store, but assistant store manager Marie-Anne Moutrage was not certain it would beat last year’s sales.

“It hasn’t been as busy as last year, but we are optimistic,” she said.

“It’s so nerve-racking.”

Jason Aravanis, an analyst at market researcher IBISWorld, expects retail spending to stagnate, or even fall by up to 0.2 per cent, over the year, blaming less spending money, negative consumer sentiment and price discounting.

He said early signs indicated retailers would “struggle” to outperform, but food and liquor sellers would see growth.

“Consumers are tending to transition to cheaper online retailers, particularly as the entrance of Amazon into the market increases the awareness of online platforms.”

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Shoppers in the Myer department store for the Boxing Day sales in Sydney. Photo: AAP Image/Paul BravenAnother year, another Boxing Day sales “record”. If it wasn’t, we would really be in trouble.
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The $2.4 billion sales prediction from the Australian Retailers Association is in reality a measly improvement on the 2016 results, as is the $17.8 billion figure for the entire post-Christmas period.

After accounting for inflation and population growth, the extra 2.9 per cent, or $500 million, expected to flow into shops is actually a downgrade – despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian performing her best sales pitch in front of the cameras for a Boxing Day of “bumper trade”.

Much to the frustration of Treasurer Scott Morrison, Australians have not been spending enough in the lead-up to a period when many retailers expect to net up to half their annual revenue and keep 1.2 million people employed in the $310 billion sector.

This is not just a problem for shopkeepers, but also for Treasury’s tax receipts and the wider economy.

The fear of bill shock through rising energy prices, household debt and stagnant wage growth have all combined to make retail the underachiever of the Australian economy – and the retailers association knows it.

“All is calm, all is bright, Boxing Day sales a big delight,” its statement read on Tuesday.

In other words, move on, nothing to see here.

But the optimism masks the reality of Roy Morgan’s weakest forecast since at least 2014, where it predicted a 3.6 per cent rise, followed by a 4 per cent forecast in 2015 and 2.9 per cent increase in 2016.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman described the numbers as “fairly strong”, before adding an immediate caveat: “Talking to retailers, they’d been hoping it would be 4.5 to 5 per cent.”

In a sign of just how nervous some businesses have become, shoppers in Sydney’s Pitt Street reportedly queued from 3am to be the first in line – only to find there were no discounts in some stores this year.

Tellingly, the single biggest threat to retailers, the internet, is still classified as “other” on the association’s sales forecasts.

It has the highest rate of growth of any category at 4 per cent, but it is also the least likely to have its proceeds go into Australian hands or employ local workers. And we have yet to see the full “Amazon effect” on Australian shores.

The Treasurer will be hoping the Christmas splurge turns around the most recent household consumption growth figures of just 0.1 per cent, the weakest result since the 2008 global financial crisis.

But if the downbeat predictions behind the “record” headlines from a typically optimistic peak body are anything to go by, I doubt many would be holding out much hope.

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The Melbourne Cricket Ground’s new curator, Michael Salvatore, answered pre-match questions like a suspect waiting for his lawyer. How had his pitch preparation gone? Good. Was he happy with the grass cover? Yep. Did he expect the Test match to last five days? Yeah-nah, he said, breaking out into polysyllables.
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Salvatore’s MCG was indeed a yeah-nah kind of wicket. Nah, it failed to release the sparkle and truth of last week’s game at the WACA, or the ball movement of Adelaide by night. Nah, it produced the attritional, somewhat desperate cricket that has become the norm ever since the wicket square of the MCG became a drop-in centre.

But sometimes bad wickets can be good wickets in that they widen the differences of skill and technique, highlighting the light and the shade in the game. So yeah, Salvatore’s pitch allowed the best to shine, and yeah, it punished lesser mortals, and yeah, it produced a nice day of Boxing Day cricket, even if it was only nice in certain hands.

These stodgy wickets give the best a chance to show why they are the best, and David Warner and Steve Smith played the game at a different level. Warner’s century and Smith’s unbeaten 65 were not their prettiest innings, but they gained value by their contrast with the struggles happening at the other end.

Salvatore had promised to leave grass on the wicket, but had not specified whether it would be dead or alive. Seeing the golden carpet, Glenn Maxwell tweeted before a ball was bowled that Australia might not lose a wicket all day. Pride cometh before a fall (of wickets), and Warner very nearly skewed his second ball to gully. It might have been a road, but it soon turned out to be an uneven one. In a determined mood, Warner defended stoutly and took his off-side runs when they were on offer. His partner Cameron Bancroft struggled to adapt to the slow, spongy bounce and batted long enough to create a lasting impression, not entirely favourable. Before lunch, the pair put on a hundred, but four runs of every five were Warner’s, a fair measure of the difference between the wheat and the chaff.

When Bancroft’s place was taken by Usman Khawaja???, two games continued to be played: that of Warner, and that of the other guy. After lunch, Warner began spinning his bat in his hands as he watched his shots go to fielders, practising, grooving, but growing increasingly agitated. His weakness is the ball rising into his liver, and England had not bowled there enough. After lunch they made adaptations of their own, and Warner’s temporary nemesis was England’s debutant Tom Curran, a name to conjure with, for surfing fans at least. Curran cramped Warner between pull and jab, and between 99 and 100. With a rising delivery Curran suckered Warner into his get-out bunt to mid-on. Alas, Curran’s first Test wicket was a yeah-nah moment. Warner walked off, but a no-ball call produced a radical cutback. Cricket is a game of millimetres, no matter which end of the pitch. Warner came back, took a single, and celebrated with a big yeah to England’s collective nah. Within minutes we had seen all of the five stages of grieving: denial and anger (from Warner), bargaining (the third umpire), depression (England) and finally acceptance (the scoreboard).

Warner was soon gone for a timely 103, followed by Khawaja for a time-consuming 17. Their wickets fell to James Anderson and Stuart Broad. This was Broad’s first dismissal in 414 effortful deliveries from one end of Australia to the other. He had been greeted with the usual booing, though a press box wag remarked that those were just the England fans. Since Perth, both Broad and Anderson have begun bowling like the old dog on a walk who begins to pull on the leash when he knows he has turned for home. Their version of pulling on the leash is to bowl the length of the canny old pro, too short to be threatening but not short enough to cop a pasting. It has been conservative, time-serving bowling and has severely limited their captain’s options, throwing him back upon the ineffective Moeen Ali and the willing but workmanlike Curran and Chris Woakes.

England’s attack improved as they worked this wicket out, but their approach was professional rather than penetrative, and they were eventually blunted by the eternal Smith. Batting with a sore hand kept things interesting for the Australian captain, and as the afternoon wore on he was building another significant innings, as different in texture from Perth as Perth was from Brisbane. His ability to adjust between yeah and nah, between attack and caution, has become as remarkable as all his other abilities.

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The state government has cleared the way for the construction of about 20,000 new homes near six rail stations in Sydney’s south-west.
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Following a three-year consultation process, the Department of Planning and Environment this month finalised plans to rezone areas around train stations from Macquarie Fields to Macarthur on Sydney’s T8 or South rail line.

The most significant changes are set to occur around Macarthur and Campbelltown train stations. The department expects another 3600 dwellings to be built in the immediate vicinity of Campbelltown Station in the next 20 years, with more beyond that. The department is proposing clumps of high-density development to the north and south of Campbelltown Station, with no maximum building height.

Around Macarthur Station, the government is planning for 4650 new homes over the next 20 years. The plans are based around six storey residential-only apartment blocks, as well as larger mixed-used towers.

The station proposals, which will be given effect through planning decisions of Campbelltown City Council, are only part of a larger series of land-use changes in Sydney’s south-west.

The government has not finalised its plans for Glenfield Station. It is proposing to move Hurlstone Agricultural High School to the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, and use the large block of land the school is on for development.

And there is also no final plan yet for more land release further to Sydney’s south-west, in an area known as the Greater Macarthur Growth Area.

Both the Glenfield Station and Greater Macarthur proposals should be finished in 2018.

In relation to the land use changes near the other train stations, a deputy secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, Brendan Nelson, said in a statement that the proposals would maintain the character of the existing areas, while identifying new opportunities for homes, roads and community facilities.

“We want to revitalise these areas around key transport infrastructure and provide a range of housing choice so families and extended families can live close to one another and near jobs in the regional city of Campbelltown, and the proposed Western Sydney Airport,” Mr Nelson said.

Residents raised strong concerns about the lack of commuter car parking near the stations. In response, the Department said the proposals did not remove any commuter car parking spots, but nor did they add to the number of parking spots.

Over the next 20 years, the government expects about 300 new homes to be built adjacent to Macquarie Fields Station, 1000 new homes at Ingleburn, 350 at Minto, and 1000 at Leumeah. The plans, however, envisage more dwellings beyond 2036.

In a statement, the general manager of Campbelltown City Council, Lindy Deitz, said the revised plans would guide development so that rezonings could occur.

“The revised strategy will guide development in this key area now that rezoning can occur. This corridor provides the opportunity for about 20,000 new homes and 21,000 jobs over 20-30 years,” Ms Deitz said.

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FRUSTRATED: Melbourne City skipper Michael Jakobsen came off second best in a collision with Victory attacker Kosta Barbarouses. Picture: AAP ImagesMistakes are inevitable in football and Melbourne City captain Michael Jakobsen acknowledges they will always happen.
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What angers him is avoidable blunders;stupid mistakes borne from a lack of concentration orthoughtlessness.

And while he is happy to spend the festive season with Danish family friends who are visiting Australia,the memory of City’s past two matches – defeats to Sydney FC and in the Christmas derby to Melbourne Victory – meant it was notas merry a Christmas as it might have been.

Jakobsen includes himself in the criticism for those losses, with goals that all came from set pieces (one free kick and two penalties), saying that City players have to maintain focus for 90 minutes if they want to avoid making errors that have such a costly effect.

“We need to concentrate more, get back to basics and eliminate the silly errors otherwise we can forget about finishing high up the table,” he said.

City performed well against the Sydney in NSW, having taken a first-half leadonly to be undone by two goals just before the interval, one from a free kick, the other from a penalty.

Theylost to Victory in similar fashion, going down to a last-gasp spot kick converted by Mark Milligan after goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis upended the Socceroo midfielder. That the free kick – conceded in a dangerous position in the fourth minute of extra time – was given away by City annoyed Jakobsen.

“Mistakes are going to happen. It’s football. But these were silly mistakes. We spoke before the Sydney game and the Victory game about not giving away free kicks around the box and in the penalty area.”

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Joe Root was under fire before play but the England captain was able to end Boxing Day with his head held high after the tourists showed the fight he had wanted.
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Root had urged his men to believe there was still plenty to play for despite the Ashes already being conceded – and his fast bowlers responded on a challenging drop-in deck amid criticism of team selection.

At stumps, Australia were 3-244, with England hoping the second new ball – taken belatedly 12 minutes before stumps – can help to prevent Steve Smith (65 not out) from celebrating what would be his third century of the campaign.

After a rugged morning session for the tourists, where they conceded 102 runs off 28 overs, they rebuilt after lunch when spearhead James Anderson provided a canny piece of bowling from around the wicket to end David Warner’s innings on 103. Stuart Broad would later put the spotlight on Usman Khawaja by having him caught behind. Broad had been under pressure after his wicketless return in Perth where his pace and aggression had been down but he responded well.

“I don’t think we started very well. We didn’t adjust to the conditions of the pitch quick enough. When you bowl at someone like Warner who is one of the best players in the world on a pitch like that, if you don’t bowl to your best, he is going to hurt you,” Anderson said.

“We regrouped at lunch, decided it was a really slow pitch, dry and slow, so we thought (put) catchers in front and try and bowl straight.”

Anderson later took aim at the state of the deck, declaring it was not conducive for “exciting” cricket.

“You would think the 90,000 that turned up today don’t want to see 3-244. People want to see entertaining cricket, especially in an iconic Test match like the Boxing Day Test match at the MCG. People want to see exciting cricket.”

Debutant Tom Curran was impressive, for he was able to nudge 138 km/h with his effort ball, and attempted to unsettle his opponents with variation. He also endured a gut-wrenching moment when he had Warner caught off a mistimed bunt to mid-on when on 99, only for replays to show he had over-stepped the crease.

It did prove to be a rallying moment for the tourists, coming after former captain Michael Vaughan before play had questioned team selection, while Root had been under fire for his defensive field placings in the morning session after he had lost the toss for the first time.

Vaughan, a commentator on Britain’s BT Sports, declared there was too “safe” an attitude with selection and Root should have dropped Broad.

“I do think he’s missed a trick this week. England have lost nine out of 13 away from home over the last two years. They have gone pretty much with the same team. I would have changed it up,” he said.

“You get to that stage as a captain and as a leader where you have to send a message to the group. I personally wouldn’t have played Stuart Broad this week. As a leader that would have been my message to the group.

“He hasn’t bowled well enough in 2017 and he’s averaging over 40. That was an opportunity missed for Joe to send a message to the group. No one is safe but, at the moment in this England side, it is quite a safe environment.”

Vaughan also criticised the decision to retain spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali, who has been outbowled through the series by counterpart Nathan Lyon and offered little on Boxing Day.

“They have a spinner who is averaging 100 here and averages 60 in two years away from home and 32 with the bat. Yet he gets another opportunity. You have Mason Crane waiting in the wings. You have Mark Wood waiting in the wings,” he said.

“I would have changed it up a little bit more and that would have been my message as a captain to the team. I would have sent a shiver through the group with a couple of selection changes.”

Root’s defensive field placings were questioned by several Test greats, including former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who said they had been more “run-saving” than attacking.

Root employed men in the deep for Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the latter particularly questionable because he struggled for form in the morning session. He had only 19 to lunch, whereas Warner had thumped an unbeaten 83. Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody made his feelings clear on social media when a deep point was set for Warner.

“Deep cover point after 12 overs day 1 ??? really?” he said.

The tourists did rally after lunch and were able to make Warner sweat for more than 30 minutes in the 90s, with that pressure culminating in a mistimed shot when one short of three figures. However, Warner was saved by the video replay, and would celebrate his century in typical style with a jubilant leap. He would fall to a clever piece of bowling from Anderson, whose seaming delivery induced a thin edge from a defensive bunt.

There would be only 43 runs scored in the middle session as the tourists were able to choke their typically free-wheeling opponents with tight bowling on a deck that had slowed, while Root’s field placings appeared to make more sense. When Khawaja pushed forward and was caught behind after tea, England had turned the day into a grind and were back in the contest.

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The East Pointers: Tim Chaisson on fiddle, Koady Chaisson on banjo and Jake Charron on guitar in Newcastle in March 2017. Picture: Jim KellarLike a folkband of guerillas, the Canadian trio known as The East Pointers will touch down briefly in Newcastle on January 7, stir up a storm and be gone, most likely before nightfall.
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The East Pointers, who originally hail from Prince Edward Island in far north-eastern Canada, are currently playing their fifth tour of Australia. This weekend they are on stage at the Woodford Folk Festival where they are truly embedded. Fiddle playing vocalist Tim Chaisson was married at Woodford early on New Year’s Day two years ago. His banjo-picking cousin, Koady Chaisson, has partnered with Chloe Goodyear, a Queenslander who is also a programmer for the Woodford festival.

In between a hectic agenda from mid-November that has seen them play festivals at Mullimbimby and Queencliff, and headline shows in Darwin, Adelaide and Fremantle, the trio have played a set of shows as the onstage band for The Wiggles.

“I don’t know where it’s going,” Koady says. “It’s an absolute blast.”

The band tours 10 months a year, playing festivals throughout the world, always coming home to Nova Scotia in the northern summer for their favourite summer gig- the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival and music camp.

“At this point we are trying to make hay while the sun shines,” Koady says. “We really want to grow it as much as we can. We love what we do and want to do more.”

Read more:This was the review of the band’s last show in Newcastle

In September the band released its second album, What We Leave Behind, madein Nashville with the assistance of Canadian songwriter and producer Gordie Sampson. It includes songs written in Australia, namely the stunning 82 Fires, about being surrounded by fires while touring Tasmania in 2013.

The East Pointers are trendsetters in new trad folk music, mixing the old and the new with expert, versatile musicianship. Foremost, they wear their Canadian roots on their sleeve, encouraging crowds to get up and dance, and doing a few jigs on stage themselves. They played a memorial showto an enthusiastic nearly sold-out crowd at the Unorthodox Church of Groove in Hamilton in March.

The East Pointers play Lizotte’s on Sunday, January 7, at 1.30pm.Read More →