Ten Network Holdings chairman Hamish McLennan silent on Citi auction

Written by admin on 01/06/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Mulling it over: Ten Chairman Hamish McLennan. Photo: Peter Rae Ten Network Holdings remained tight-lipped at the opening of its annual meeting in Sydney about the auction for the company being run by its adviser Citi.

Opening the meeting, Ten’s executive chairman Hamish McLennan told investors at the Four Seasons Hotel that the company had “no further update” to its December 3 statement to the market.

In that statement, Ten confirmed it had received “non-binding, conditional proposals from a number of parties in relation to transactions which, if implemented, could result in a change of control of Ten or a refinancing of its existing debt facilities”.

A 23¢-a-share joint offer from US cable TV giant Discovery Communications and local pay TV monopoly Foxtel is the favourite bid to succeed (Ten has stressed it is quite possible no deal will eventuate).

However, Ten has also received offers from New York-based fund manager Anchorage Capital Group, United States-based acquisition vehicle Silver Eagle, and American television network turnaround specialist Saban Capital Group, which is being helped by Former Nine Network chief Jeff Browne and has offered less than Foxtel.

Mr McLennan, who succeeded Lachlan Murdoch as chairman this year when Mr Murdoch become co-chairman of his father’s News Corporation, will face questions from the company’s long-suffering shareholders about its poor financial performance and ratings.

He told the AGM the past 12 months had been “a difficult period” for many media companies, including Ten.

“Business and consumer confidence has been subdued and that has been reflected in most media advertising markets, which have been soft and characterised by short-term booking cycles,” he said.

“While the television advertising market remains ‘short’, we are expecting it to record marginal growth during 2014-15.”

Mr McLennan paid tribute to Mr Murdoch, who left the board in March, leading to Mr McLennan’s promotion from CEO to executive chairman.

“Lachlan remains one of our largest shareholders and, on behalf of the board, I would like to thank him for his contribution to the company and for his ongoing commitment,” said Mr McLennan.

He spelled out a series of programming and technology successes Ten had delivered during its last financial year and said Ten is forecasting a decline in television costs of 8 per cent (excluding selling costs but inclusive of one-off events) during the 2014-15 financial year.

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ACCC fights back over Air New Zealand, Garuda cartel decision

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air nz air nz

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The competition regulator is challenging a decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Air New Zealand and Garuda Indonesia for allegedly fixing freight charges over a five-year period.

Following legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 13 airlines including Qantas, Emirates and British Airways were fined almost $100 million in Australia for their part in an illegal global freight cartel.

But Air New Zealand and Garuda contested the lawsuit against them for alleged price fixing.

The ACCC had alleged that the two airlines contravened consumer protection laws by fixing the level of a range of surcharges for air cargo services between 2001 and 2006.

The Federal Court did conclude in a judgment in October that a number of price-fixing arrangements alleged by the ACCC were established in Australia.

However, the court dismissed the legal action because the cartel conduct did not take place in a “market in Australia” in which the two airlines were competing.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the appeal was solely focused on the court’s ruling that there was no “market in Australia”, and reiterated that the watchdog would always pursue action against companies that engaged in cartel conduct which harmed Australian businesses and consumers.

“For this reason, it is important that we seek clarity on whether the [Competition and Consumer] Act applies to the collusive arrangements identified by the court,” he said.

When the lawsuit was dismissed, Air New Zealand said the decision was important in aviation because international carriers needed clarity about the legal boundaries of the markets in which they operated.

The case against Air New Zealand and Garuda has been running since 2010.

The biggest scalp from the competition regulator’s investigation and subsequent legal pursuit of a long list of airlines has been Qantas, which was fined $20 million in 2008.

The amount of fines Qantas has copped worldwide totalled more than $105 million, which included $US61 million in the US in 2007 after it pleaded guilty to fixing air-cargo rates.

The global cartel originated in 1996, when at least 17 airlines introduced freight levies on air cargo to counter rising jet fuel costs.

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Jetstar to add direct link between Cairns and Bali

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Jetstar will offer direct flights between Bali and Cairns from March.Queensland will have a new direct link to Indonesia from March next year, when low-cost Qantas subsidiary Jetstar introduces a new route between Cairns and Bali.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said Denpasar would be the airline’s third international destination from Cairns.

“We know from airport research and our own bookings that there are plenty of Cairns travellers interested in a direct service to Bali,” he said.

“Bali is consistently rated as one of Cairns residents’ most popular unserved destinations and we know our low fares will appeal to families and groups of friends looking for a tropical getaway.”

Mr Hall said the direct flight to Denpasar would take about three hours in Jetstar’s 180-seat Airbus A320 single-class aircraft.

The new service would offer more than 50,000 seats a year between the two destinations, he said.

While the route was primarily aimed at the outbound market, Mr Hall said he expected international travellers in Bali to use Cairns as their first Australian port.

“Bali is a destination that draws people from all over the world and it’s likely we’ll see travellers take up the opportunity of these low fare flights across to Australia to kick-start their journey to the Great Barrier Reef and beyond,” he said.

Cairns Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said Wednesday’s announcement showed it was a “gateway to the Asia Pacific region”.

“The Bali flights will add to the existing network of direct international services available from Cairns and are yet another boost for the region following SilkAir’s recent announcement of direct services between Cairns and Singapore,” he said.

“…The new route will also provide an excellent connection for international holiday makers to travel from Bali to Cairns or vice versa.

“We anticipate this will be well utilised by the youth and adventure market.

“Indonesia is an emerging tourism market for Australia and the Bali-Cairns service will provide new opportunities for people in Indonesia to have direct access to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.”

The flights were scheduled to depart Cairns on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with return flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from March 31, 2015.

Jetstar has offered $99 one-way fares as a launch sale special.

Denpasar will join Guam, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Port Moresby, Rabaul and seasonal to Shanghai and Auckland. Singapore commences in May and of course the Bali flights in March.

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David Hayes’ Euroa stable Lindsay Park evacuated after fires

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One of Australia’s leading horse trainers David Hayes, his family and a number of volunteers remained on alert on Wednesday night at their vast Euroa training complex as fires from the north threatened.

After spending all of Tuesday night and early Wednesday patrolling the borders of the $14 million property known as Lindsay Park, the Hayes family again prepared for a night of worry and work.

“We went on alert at midday on Wednesday and as we get into the night that red alert remains. It’s worrying, terribly worrying, but it’s a matter of hoping that we are spared,” Hayes said.

Hayes has 125 racehorses in full work and another 80 spelling in paddocks across the property.

While the racehorses are not in danger at the moment, horses being spelled after the spring carnival are being moved around the farm to hopefully avoid spot fires or worse.

The Hall of Fame trainer said for the second time in 24 hours officials had told him stable staff must leave Lindsay Park, but he said  staff immediately volunteered to help save the farm and animals if  fire did engulf the property in north-east Victoria.

Hayes has spent millions of dollars building Lindsay Park with state-of-the-art facilities the envy of many racing farms.

Hayes established the Euroa facility after his family sold the original Lindsay Park property at Angaston, in South Australia.

The son of legendary trainer Colin Hayes has poured millions into Lindsay Park, with many of the Lindsay Park ideas reinvented at Euroa.

Hayes found Euroa attractive  because it is on the way to Sydney, which gives his large team the opportunity to race in the two main centres, Sydney and Melbourne.

Earlier Hayes said an evacuation order had been activated and staff were leaving the property.

“It’s the law, they’ve got to leave, but a few of the staff have stayed back purely as volunteers to help us watch over the livestock,” Hayes said.

“It’s a very worrying time. My wife and daughter, who are not hands-on horse people, drove around the entire property on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning looking for outbreaks. None of us have been to bed and then all of a sudden, from the north, came another real fire threat.

“We’re working as a family and as a team, but it’s been an extremely worrying time with these fires that close in so quickly,” he said.

Hayes’ property housed some of the most expensive horseflesh in Australasia. Hayes said he had 125 horses in full training, but their stabling arrangements have seen them largely away from the fire threat.

Hayes said his major concern was the horses being spelled.

“These are very, very expensive horses, but we did what most in racing would think was the unthinkable and let them all run in the one paddock as a herd. We had no choice, but they are such an amazing animal. We tied one of them to the back of a farm vehicle, and once we took off all the other horses instinctively followed. I have no doubt their instinct told them there was imminent danger and that we were there to help them overcome the threat of fires,” Hayes said.

Hayes only returned on Monday from Hong Kong, which staged its huge festival of racing last Sunday, to be confronted by the threat of bushfires. He had not at this stage transferred any of his Euroa team to his base at Flemington, he said.

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Millers Point government sell-off hits a snag

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Three state-owned terraces on Kent Street, Millers Point, passed in at auction on Monday night. Even with views of the harbour the terraces struggled to rouse buyer interest.

It is understood that the properties were being sold with an unregistered plan of subdivision.

Three state-owned terraces on Kent Street, Millers Point, passed in at auction on Monday night.

Even with views of the harbour the terraces struggled to rouse buyer interest.

It is understood that the properties were being sold with an unregistered plan of subdivision.

Three state-owned terraces on Kent Street, Millers Point, passed in at auction on Monday night.

Even with views of the harbour the terraces struggled to rouse buyer interest.

It is understood that the properties were being sold with an unregistered plan of subdivision.

Three state-owned terraces on Kent Street, Millers Point, passed in at auction on Monday night.

Even with views of the harbour the terraces struggled to rouse buyer interest.

It is understood that the properties were being sold with an unregistered plan of subdivision.

The state-government’s sell-off of public housing at Millers Point hit a snag on Tuesday night when all three properties on offer passed in at auction.

There were 11 potential buyers gathered in the Ray White auction room in Double Bay to compete for three heritage-listed terraces on Kent Street

Up until last night the government had no issue finding buyers for other Millers Point properties, some of which were so popular they sold for more than $1 million above the price guides.

The first property up for grabs on Tuesday evening was a three-bedroom terrace at 47 Kent Street. The three-level property with harbour views listed with Di Jones was previously scheduled for auction on Monday night but was postponed due to the siege in Martin Place.

After 10 minutes of silence an opening bid of $1.35 million was begrudgingly accepted by the auctioneer, followed by a $1.4 million bid, which was still $100,000 shy of the $1.5 million price guide. No vendor bid was exercised and the property passed in at $1.4 million.

When the next property at 43 Kent Street came up for auction one punter tried for a low-ball bid of $1.32 million, which was not accepted by the auctioneer. The terrace was recorded as passing in with no bids.

The terrace next door at 41 Kent Street faired no better – the auctioneer called three times for an opening bid of $1.4 million but buyers kept their hands down.

It is understood that the properties were being sold with an unregistered plan of subdivision, which effectively means buyers were bidding for a land title that did not exist yet.

Buyers were advised that “the Plan of Subdivision will be lodged for registration in the very near future and the Contract for Sale will most likely be a 42 day completion”.

A spokesman for Government Property NSW said that the sellings agents were continuing to negotiate with interested parties and added that he did “not believe the amended subdivision plan was a material influencer on the sale”.

Buyers will not be able to settle on the property until the subdivision is registered with Land and Property Information NSW.

The last three properties to be sold by the state government in Argyle Place also required subdivision. However, the state government managed to register those titles just days before the auction.

Millers Point: a community under the hammer

Following those successful auctions the Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton, put out a statement announcing the sale.

“There’s been a strong market response to the release of the government-owned properties in Millers Point with a total of $21.9 million raised so far from nine sales,” read the statement.

“The NSW Government is preceding with plans to sell the remaining 284 properties so funds can be reinvested back into the public housing system.”

No such statement was sent out following the unsuccessful auctions on Monday night.

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‘Immoral’ aid cuts see Australia hit a record low for generosity to world’s poor

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Treasurer Joe Hockey Treasurer Joe Hockey
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Treasurer Joe Hockey

Treasurer Joe Hockey

Global scrooge: Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget has slashed foreign aid by $3.7 billion. Photo: Andrew Meares

World Vision chief: Tim Costello says the aid cuts are “immoral”. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Australia has transformed into the global Scrooge just in time for Christmas, with spending on foreign aid set to plunge compared to other wealthy industrial countries.

An analysis of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s $3.7 billion cut to the aid budget announced on Monday – on top of the $7.6 billion cut in May – reveals that Australia’s generosity towards the world’s poor will fall to an all-time low.

Australia will soon devote a paltry 22¢ cents in every $100 of national income to foreign aid – less than half the amount spent by the Coalition government more than 40 years ago.

The scale of the aid cut has been largely overshadowed by the siege in Sydney in recent days but has nonetheless generated alarm in charity circles.

Aid groups have decided to rush forward a planned online campaign sponsored by the charity foundation of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates in the hope of shaming the government into reversing its decision.

World Vision chief Tim Costello has branded the government’s aid cuts “immoral” and warned Australians must question their values as a nation.

An analysis of Mr Hockey’s mini-budget by former AusAID chief economist Stephen Howes reveals the cuts to aid are the largest ever, reducing the budget by 33 per cent over four years.

“Cut any other government program by a third and there would be a huge outcry,” Professor Howes told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.

“Especially if it was something that affected the poor, there would be protests about fairness.”

But the aid cuts in May caused barely a ripple in terms of public anger.

Polls suggested slashing foreign aid was the most widely supported measure of a generally unpopular budget – even among Greens voters.

But aid groups hope to turn this attitude around, with a website and social media campaign under the hashtag #SaveAustralianAid to estimate the cost of the cuts vaccinations, education and maternal health in the region.

The government has defended the cuts as necessary to balance the budget and offset spending on defence and national security measures.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop directed blame toward Labor, saying the reduction in aid spending was a “direct consequence” of blocked budget measures in the Senate

But Professor Howes said a debate was needed about why the government had broken a promise to maintain aid spending, and why helping the poor now seems expendable.

In figures published on the DevPolicy commentary website Professor Howes has charted Australia’s spending on aid as a percentage of national income over the past four decades.

This measure is generally regarded as a more accurate reflection of a nation’s generosity and allows for comparisons with other countries.

The figures show under the McMahon conservative government in 1972 Australia spent 45¢ out of every $100 on aid, rising briefly to 47¢ under the Whitlam government before a mostly steady decline.

Aid spending reached a low point in 2000 before the Howard government began to ramp up the program in its final years in office – an expansion that dramatically increased under the Rudd/Gillard governments.

Both sides of politics had committed to a 50¢ out of every $100 target for aid spending until 2012 when Labor cut back on aid in a bid to achieve an overall budget surplus.

The aid program also came under heavy criticism for growing too quickly, contributing to multilateral funds such as the World Bank rather than programs in the immediate neighbourhood, and paying expensive consultants.

But the funds devoted to aid have fallen off a cliff since the Coalition took office and abolished the former stand-alone agency AusAID as one its first acts in office, merging the staff with the Foreign Affairs department.

Professor Howes said Australia will drop from 13th to 19th in the generosity stakes compared to other industrial nations.

But Ms Bishop said Australia will remain the 10th largest donor in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2015-16 and  deliver a program to reduce poverty and enhance stability in the region.

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World leaders show their support for Australia after Sydney siege

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US Secretary of State John Kerry says “our friends in Sydney are especially on our minds,” and has offered to assist Australia as investigations continue into the fatal siege in which two hostages were killed.
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Speaking in London, Mr Kerry said the United States’ own “face to face” experiences of “horrific violence” on home soil meant Americans could empathise with Australians.

“We know in a very personal way what our ally Australia is going through at this very moment. And we grieve with Australia and with the families of all those terrorised, injured, and killed,” he said.

Mr Kerry on Tuesday phoned Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was dining with the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Papua New Guinea at the time.

He said he told her United States stands ready to provide “whatever appropriate assistance we can as Australian authorities determine the facts of the case, assist the victims, and hold accountable anyone and everyone responsible for this act of terror”.

Ms Bishop told Fairfax Media that Mr Kerry expressed his “deepest sympathies to the victims and their families” and “solidarity with the Australian people as our nations stand against extremism and terrorism”.

Ms Bishop said she had also received calls and messages of support from foreign ministers around the globe.

Appearing at a Common’s committee hearing in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron began by paying tribute to the victims and the heroism of the two victims, Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson and lawyer Katrina Dawson, both of whom are reported to have saved fellow hostages lives with their actions.

“In Australia, tales of extraordinary bravery and sacrifice are now being told about what happened in that cafe. That is what we would expect from the people of that remarkable and great country,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with them,” Mr Cameron told MPs.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets that he had spoken to Prime MInister Tony Abbott also on Tuesday night. Had a telephone conversation with PM @TonyAbbottMHR on the hostage crisis in Sydney. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 16, 2014

He appeared to credit Mr Abbott’s “leadership” with resolving the hostage situation, which ended with police storming the Lindt cafe after gunfire was heard as hostages tried to escape as the gunman Man Haron Monis reportedly began to fall asleep. Appreciated PM @TonyAbbottMHR’s leadership that led to resolving of the crisis & release of the hostages, which included 2 Indians. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 16, 2014 We continue to monitor the situation in #Sydney closely. I’ve been in touch with @JulieBishopMP and expressed our thoughts and prayers. — John Baird (@Baird) December 15, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Russia’s rouble collapse to drag down Australian dollar

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The Russian rouble crisis has set off spectacular moves in currency markets and paved the way for a fresh four-year low for the Australian dollar as the rout in commodity prices proves unrelenting.
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In moves that will be greeted with relief at the Reserve Bank of Australia, the local currency fell below US82¢ to touch US81.66¢, its lowest level since June 2010, putting a US70¢-handle in sight before the end of this year. Australian 10-year bonds rallied, causing yields to fall to the lowest level since July 2012 at around 2.8 per cent.

The Russian currency has fallen around 15 per cent this week, defying an emergency rate hike from Russia’s central bank which raised interest rates to 17 per cent from 10.5 per cent. That failed to stabilise the rouble and the losses continued in trading on Tuesday night bringing emerging markets and commodity currencies down too.

The foreign exchange crisis in Russia follows a collapse in energy prices, hurting energy exporters which are refusing to cut their output to arrest the plunge. Oil is hovering around five-year lows, extending this year’s slide to more than 40 per cent. Other commodities were pummelled too including iron ore, down to $US68.58.

Stephen Halmarick, Colonial First State Global Asset Management’s head of investment markets research, said the turn in Russia’s economic fortunes highlight the risks to the global economy in 2015.

“These big moves in markets can have flow-on effects across the world. If you’re an energy exporter you’re going to face a much more difficult time in 2015. If you’re an energy importer your outlook is brighter,” he said. “The Russian economy was in a pretty fragile state before the oil price started falling given the sanctions. On top of that you’ve got a major collapse in their major commodity export.”

Mr Halmarick agreed there was no doubt the RBA would be encouraged by the weakness in the Australian dollar but it may end up negating the need for further easing next year. “As the RBA’s pointed out before, interest rates are actually declining. You’d have to imagine there’s another round of reductions in fixed rate lending coming,” he added.

Martin Whetton, ANZ’s senior rates strategist, predicted Australian commonwealth government bonds yields were headed towards 2 per cent. His bullish conviction was sealed by the events of the past few weeks including the commodity price rout, fragile emerging markets economies and investor flows. “If you have a risk-off event where [emerging markets] and high-yield and equities get torched because the Fed raises rates, well people go and buy bonds.”

He questioned the consensus view that Australian bond yields should go higher as global growth advances. Australian bonds were still in effect “the highest nail in the floorboard” because of their compelling yield relative to US and European bonds.

“The risk to investors is the melt-up,” Mr Whetton said, referring to investor positions.

Raiko Shareef, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank-owned BNZ in Wellington said the consequences of the rouble’s plunge would probably extend into next year. “The first order and probably the short term impact is on risk sentiment and investor sentiment, that will feed through as a mild negative on the Aussie dollar, risk sentiment being negative for equities and risk currencies such as Aussie and Kiwi.”

A further positive for the Australian economy was that the value of the local currency has declined on a trade-weighted basis too, previously the relief was limited to its US dollar value.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced on Wednesday, shrugging off the turmoil in fixed income and currencies. Equities added 0.2 per cent to 5161.9 points.

Mr Shareef said Russia’s response would be a subject of interest and investors will be occupied with “more geopolitical concerns about what Russia’s political leaders do now that their backs are against the wall”.

“Clearly some pretty desperate measures are needed to stem the rouble’s slide. Those are probably going to play out in 2015 rather than the near term,” he added.

The situation might influence volatility too, but the currency strategist observed that the energy price shock was a more dominant force in shaping volatility levels.

“Whippy price action is already happening and maybe some of it is due to the situation in Russia and just investor concern at the moment. More broadly it’s probably due to the plunge in the oil price, people are unsure as to where that bottoms out.”

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Quebec’s Cirque Alfonse’s Riverside debut

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Timber! combines circus with theatre, physical comedy, live traditional music, folklore and the tools of the lumberjack trade. There’ll be whip-cracking, wood-chucking, log-throwing and axe-juggling galore as Quebec’s Cirque Alfonse makes its Australian debut performance with Timber!
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Blending circus with theatre, dance, live traditional music and folklore, this lumberjack circus spectacular is all kinds of unexpected, Timber! will arrive on Riverside Theatres’ stage as part of Sydney Festival from January 9.

Performing thrilling tricks using metal saws and axes, and balancing acts on tree branches, the daredevil routines of the clan of acrobats and entertainers display their skill.

Hailing from the Canadian small town of Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, the energetic acrobatic troupe have drawn inspiration from their country roots to create this unique work.

In a spectacle of strength and agility, muscular bearded men heft chunks of tree trunk with each prop and piece of equipment being something authentic from the woods.

Incorporating three generations of acrobatic experience, the Timber! cast features the whole Alfonse family from 68-year-old Alain to his three-year-old grandson Arthur.

From the tangible scent of their timber props to the banjo-picking, bluegrass accompaniment, there’s a host of factors which make Timber! a joy for all ages.

Born from a desire to revive the childhood evenings of music and madness, the Alfonse family use the term “shebang” to describe more family orientated, intimate entertainment.

Cirque Alfonse was created in 2005 and soon after launched its first show La Brunante, backed by a team of professional acrobats graduated from the École nationale de cirque de Montréal, as well as a professional dancer, an ex-skiing champion and three talented and versatile musicians.

Since then, Cirque Alfonse have worked with some of the world’s most renowned contemporary circus companies including Cirque du Soleil, Cirkus Cirkor and Les 7 Doigts de la Main.

Timber! celebrates the world of a lumberjack family with skills as sharp as their sawblades.

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The wait is over for year 12s

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The wait is finally over for Roxby Downs year 12 students, with South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) results being released tomorrow.
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Students will be able to access their results via the SACE Board website at www.sace.sa.edu.au on Thursday, December 18.

In addition, envelopes containing SACE results will be loaded into an Australia Post truck today for delivery the following day (December 18).

Eligible students will also receive a second envelope containing a Tertiary Entrance Statement from the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) with information about their TAFE SA Selection Score and Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

SACE Board chief executive Dr Neil McGoran said receiving SACE results was an important landmark in each student’s education.

“Achieving the SACE signals the end of the high school journey for many students, but it is also the beginning of a new world of career and study opportunities for our State’s young people,” Dr McGoran said.

To access their results online, students will need their SACE Student Registration Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

If a student does not know their PIN they can request it be reset through the SACE website.

A SACE Results Enquiry Line will operate 8.30am-5pm from Thursday, December 18 to Wednesday, December 24 and again from Friday, January 2 2015.

A free call number for country students is also available on 1800 652 230.

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