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Perry keen for more women’s Test cricket

Belinda Clark award-winner Ellyse Perry has called for more women’s Test cricket to be played.Star Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry has called for more women’s Tests and has urged some of the other leading cricket nations to get on board.
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Perry says the game needs to build on the success of the Women’s Big Bash League and international T20 matches and there is plenty of talent in the world outside of England who can play Test cricket.

“I certainly think there’s other countries in the world that are up to that standard and have been for a number of years … countries like New Zealand, South Africa and India, they’ve got to want to do it as well,” said the 27-year-old.

Speaking ahead of Australia’s three-match T20 series against New Zealand that begins at North Sydney Oval on September 29, Perry said more cricket at a professional level would help quicken the sport’s development.

“The best players in the world are playing consistently all year round,” she said. “Over the last 12 months, in particular with T20 cricket, the average total scores for teams has just gone through the roof and I think it’s a real marker for the next couple of years.”

That development was clear over the English summer which saw records smashed in women’s cricket with England posting a new international T20 high score of 3-250, eclipsing New Zealand’s record by 34 runs.

The Trans-Tasman series will give the women’s team much needed preparation before the World T20 tournament in November.

Perry smashed a double ton in the Test against England last year at North Sydney Oval and the venue is also a happy hunting ground for young gun Ash Gardner, who scored the fastest ton in the WBBL.

“The world T20’s not that far away … and being able to play New Zealand, which is one of the top T20 teams in the world is going to put us in good stead for that,” said Gardner.

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Malaysia ex-PM pleads not guilty to graft

Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges as the country’s new government looks for answers to how billions of dollars went missing from a state fund 1MDB during his term.
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Dressed in a grey suit, Najib appeared calm as three charges of money laundering were read out at the Kuala Lumpur high court on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail.

Najib has also pleaded not guilty to three charges for criminal breach of trust and one charge for abuse of power that were levelled against him last month.

The money laundering charges relate to electronic transfers amounting to 42 million ringgit ($A13 million) from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into Najib’s personal bank account.

The offence carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or five million ringgit, whichever is higher.

Najib was accompanied by his children as he arrived at the courthouse in a four-car motorcade. He left after the proceedings without speaking to the media.

“SRC, at the time of the so-called happening, was no longer a part of 1MDB. So it’s got nothing to do with 1MDB…,” Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told reporters outside the court.

SRC, created in 2011 by Najib’s government to pursue overseas investment in energy resources, was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

When asked if he thinks the case was a witch-hunt, Shafee said: “My client and I hope that’s not the case”.

High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said a decision on when the trial begins, and on a gag order issued last month to stop public discussion of the case, would be made on Friday.

The scandal at 1MDB fully erupted in 2015 after media reports that hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB were diverted to his personal accounts.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that those funds were donations from a Saudi royal, and that the bulk of them had been given back.

1MDB is being investigated by at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, over alleged money laundering and graft.

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Aust bid for 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle wants Australia to host the next women’s World Cup.Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle is confident of delivering a record-breaking women’s Rugby World Cup, if Australia wins hosting rights for the 2021 tournament.
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Castle has announced Newcastle and the Hunter region in NSW will host the tournament, if the bid is approved.

The bid will be submitted on Friday with the World Rugby Council expected to announce the successful applicant in November.

Castle anticipated a number of other nations would bid for the tournament,

Castle expected four or five other nations, including New Zealand, to bid for the the tournament, which has never been held in the southern hemisphere in the eight times it has been contested since 1991.

“We know our Kiwi friends over the ditch are putting a bid forward so it’s important to make sure we get out there, promote our bid and the professionalism and opportunity we have here in this market,” Castle said.

The bid is part of the NSW government’s 10 World Cups in 10 years strategy, with Sports Minister Stuart Ayres predicting it could potentially inject close to $23 million into his state’s economy.

Castle felt NSW and Australia’s track record in hosting major sports events would stand the bid in good stead.

“The confidence to raise the commercial support and governmental support is a really important part of our history,” Castle said.

“They (World Rugby) will have confidence that we are going to be able to deliver a successful tournament and really take the women’s World Cup to the next level.”

Matches would be played at Maitland No.1 Sportsground and Newcastle Sportsground No.2, which have a capacity of up to 6000.

The final would be held at the Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium.

‘With two boutique stadiums it will feel really full and the girls will have a great experience, regardless of what countries are playing,” Castle said.

“At the McDonald Jones Stadium we’ve got a chance of 40,000 people in there which would break the world record for a women’s rugby game.

“We want to make sure we draw the biggest crowd ever to watch a women’s World Cup final and hopefully to watch Australia play in that final.”

Castle said World Rugby had not committed to staging a women’s World Cup in the southern hemisphere but she was upbeat.

“They also understand the importance of making sure that the game develops right across the world, so I would expect that’s a huge advantage for us,” Castle said.

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Surfrider Foundation Australia puts Hunter beach on ‘endangered waves’ list

NIGHT VISION: Concept art showing how South Newcastle beach skate park will look at night. Surfrider Foundation Australia is placing South Newcastle on its national list of “endangered waves” over plans to build a skate bowl on the beach.
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A group of local surfers is waging a campaign against the skate bowl’s location after Newcastle City Council and the state government announced an $11 million plan to revamp Bathers Way at South Newcastle.

The surfers fear backwash from the concrete bowl, which juts out onto the sand, will ruin waves at high tide and be susceptible to storm damage.

The council said in June that coastal engineering experts had used 25 years of tidal data to ensure the structure would withstand storm swells andhad considered how it would affect sand and wave movement.

The South Newcastledevelopment also includes a skate park on the Bathers Way promenade, blue lighting, a kiosk, outdoor gym, shade shelters, a widened pathway,tiered seatingand indigenous art installations.

The state government is contributing $5 million to the project.

The Surfrider Foundation has joined the surfers’ crusade against the project infringing on the beach and is in the process of adding South Newcastle to its “endangered” list.

The other beaches on the list are Stockton, Bells, North Narrabeen, Sunshine Coast’s Double Island Point and Martha Lavinia on King Island in the Bass Strait.

Foundation board member Craig Macintyre said skaters were “kin” to surfers but the skate park should be contained to the Bathers Way promenade.

“Hard infrastructure on any beach is not the answer,” Mr Macintyre said.

The beach’s inclusion on the endangered list was based on local surfers’ concerns and not a technical assessment of the project.

Surfrider Foundation Australia puts Hunter beach on ‘endangered waves’ list South Newcastle beach skate park

The existing skate park at South Newcastle beach.

South Newcastle beach skate park

South Newcastle beach skate park

The existing skate park at South Newcastle beach.

South Newcastle surfers Mick Wilson, left, and Bernie Wilson are opposed to the skate park’s location. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook South Newcastle beach skate park The council is working on plans for the development before submitting them to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It hopes to start work on the project within a year and finish it in 2021.The OEH’s classification of the proposal will dictate whether it requires a development application.

Stockton is listed on the foundation’s online list of threatened surf breaks because beach erosion “has meant that for a majority of the year the waves are reduced to a shore-dump”.

Surfrider Foundation Australia is part of a worldwide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to protecting waves and beaches.

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Developers face fine over Vic Nylex site

The owners of Melbourne’s Nylex clock silos are facing hefty fines unless they clean up the site.A property development group which owns Melbourne’s historic Nylex clock silos site on the banks of the Yarra River has been given three weeks to carry out clean up works or face hefty fines.
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But Caydon Property Group said the threat of asbestos exposure to workers is among the reasons slowing progress at the site which is in line for a $1 billion overhaul.

The home of the well-known neon Nylex sign has been repeatedly vandalised over the past nine months, with fires in November and July causing significant damage to buildings.

The state government on Wednesday gave Caydon 21 days to take action or fines of up to $773,000 could be issued.

Failure to adequately secure the Nylex site is a breach of the Heritage Act which requires that the owner must not allow that place to fall into disrepair, Planning Minister Richard Wynne said.

A range of measures including fencing, signage, locks and security patrols are in place to secure the site, Caydon’s Jarrod Stratton said in a statement.

“The works suggested by Heritage Victoria cannot be undertaken without exposing workers to risk from asbestos and buildings damaged by fire, and we are keen to meet with Heritage Victoria to achieve a workable resolution to their concerns,” he said.

The site was established in the 1850s with the silos used to store malting grain used in beer production.

A proposed redevelopment, including residential apartments, is in the pipeline for the Cremorne address.

Mr Stratton said Caydon has been waiting more than 12 months for City of Yarra to endorse plans, allowing works at the site to begin.

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