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Canberran Cameron Hill eyes “massive” Grand Prix chance

Canberra driver Cameron Hill has his sights set on making the most of his “massive” chance at the n Grand Prix and climbing up the motorsport ladder.
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The 21-year-old has joined the Porsche Carrera Cup, following in the footsteps of Canberra legend Mark Webber, who won a World Endurance Championship with the motorsport powerhouse.

The support series will allow Hill to prove his worth at huge events like the n Grand Prix, Bathurst 1000 and the Adelaide 500, with the championship set to kick off in March.

Hill’s eyes were once locked on the Supercars championship but racing in the Carrera Cup series opens another avenue for his career.

“I’ve had my eyes on Porsche for the last two or three years, I’ve seen that as the next step for my career,” Hill said.

“Apart from having my heart set on Porsche a long time ago, this still stood out at the best place for me to showcase my talent in a prestigious class like Carrera Cup.

“It keeps my options open in the future to go overseas or stay here in . If an opportunity comes from racing Carrera Cup to jump into Supercars I’d seriously consider it and want to grab it with both hands.

“If I get the chance to go overseas through Porsche, that would also be an amazing experience as well. Carrera Cup would be the best place to keep all our options open while still furthering my career.

“It’s going to be good for my driving as well, to be driving such a purpose built race car like the Porsche, as well as getting further up the motorsport ladder in terms of corporate exposure and all sorts of things so it’s definitely a big step forward.”

Hill was cruelly denied the chance to win the Toyota 86 series due to a Mount Panorama mishap but he’s already put the disappointment behind him ahead of what looms as a two-year stint in a Porsche.

Seven pole positions and 13 race wins cements Hill as the most successful driver in the Toyota 86 category since its inception, with the series serving as a springboard to motorsport’s grand stage.

Hill will stay in Canberra to operate within his family-based team but he is already working overtime to garner support with the Carrera Cup “requiring almost four times the investment” of the Toyota 86 series.

“Obviously Mark [Webber] linked up with Porsche after his time in Formula One, but obviously still he had a lot of success with them with a world championship,” Hill said.

“It’s cool to see what the brand can do for drivers around the world, the most recent example is the young n Matt Campbell, who raced Carrera Cup, made an impact and he’s overseas racing for Porsche.

“If I can emulate that, it would be pretty cool. But if it opens doors here in that’s also something that I’m keeping my eye out for.

“There’s some really cool events we’re going to this year and it’s a really cool platform to be launching yourself from.”

The downsides of Downsizing

Matt Damon plays Paul Safranek and Jason Sudeikis plays Dave Johnson in Downsizing from Paramount Pictures. Photo: Paramount Pictures ROLF LASSG????RD plays Dr. Jorgen Asbj????rnsen and INGJERD EGEBERG plays Anne-Helene Asbj????rnsen in Downsizing from Paramount Pictures. Still from Downsizing.
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FILM DOWNSIZING (M) General release (135 minutes)

In Downsizing, director Alexander Payne comes up with a new breed of Lilliputian. Standing just short of 13cm, they’re “downsizers”: people who have elected to reduce themselves physically in the hope of enlarging their assets and raising their expectations.

The bonus is a licence to feel they’re doing their bit for the future of the planet by cutting down on their consumption of its resources.

The whole idea makes a great launching pad for a missile attack on an assortment of society’s ills, and Payne (Sideways, Election, About Schmidt) seems just the person to take it on. The strength of his movies has always lain in his ability to compress big themes into intimate stories, lit with sharp and sometimes poignant insights about the vagaries of human nature.

The audience at my screening certainly had high hopes; eager to be amused by the mere thought of people choosing to be shrunk to the dimensions of Barbie and Ken dolls just to improve their real estate prospects, they started laughing as soon as the titles stopped rolling.

Real estate is what it comes down to when Paul and Audrey Safranek??? (Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig) are first introduced to the idea of downsizing by an old friend of Paul’s, who startles everyone at their college reunion by appearing in his new, miniaturised form. Having made the change, he and his wife are now residents of Leisureland, a luxuriously appointed toy town where the Safraneks’ paltry savings could buy them a whole estate – complete with a mansion and broad expanses of green lawn.

After giving insufficient thought to it they take the plunge. Paul is full of optimism – until he wakes up in his new body to find that Audrey has lost her nerve at the last minute and gone home to Omaha.

The phone call in which Wiig delivers this piece of news is such a neat distillation of pure panic and deadpan comedy that you’re sorry to see the last of Audrey. And so is Paul.

From this point on, Paul’s life is transformed into a long, winding and increasingly unpredictable road as he becomes thoroughly acquainted with Leisureland’s downside. It, too, has its have-nots – and he’s now one of them.

He has a boring job and he’s left the mansion – which had become a prison without Audrey – for an apartment. Things are very dull until he gets to know his neighbour, Dusan, a conman and party boy who has put a lot of effort and cunning into making Leisureland work for him.

Played by Christoph Waltz, who is as funny as ever, Dusanhas a glittering eye for the main chance. He’s an ethics-free zone and finds great entertainment in Paul’s possession of a moral compass.

Paul’s horizons begins to expand in unexpected ways. He meets Dusan’s cleaner, Ngoc Lan (Hong Chau), who has been downsized against her will as punishment for her activities as a Vietnamese dissident. Paul and Ngoc Lan set about helping Leisureland’s immigrants, who have been exiled to a slum on the other side of a wall circling the town.

Berlin, Israel and Trump’s Mexican wall all come to mind. So do the dangers of Paul’s isolationism: neglect your responsibilities towards the rest of the world, the film is saying, and you become smaller in every way.

Finally, there’s the paradox at the hub of the whole downsizing concept – which is a product of socially conscious Norway. Conceived by a group of idealistic scientists who have proved their commitment by downsizing themselves, this supposed reform was supposed to downsize the world’s population over the course of 200 years. Instead, the concept is rapidly turning into an instrument of oppression.

It’s a plot bristling with so many metaphors that Payne can’t make up his mind about the best way to handle them, and it’s not long before the whole thing begins to lose tension and momentum. The Disney-esque aspects of the story soon faded, as did my audience’s initial urge to laugh.

Yet there are some droll moments – most of them supplied by Hong Chau, whose Vietnamese dissident is so stridently matter-of-fact in her acceptance of human tragedy that the mild-mannered Paul is mesmerised by her. And she’s no fatalist; along with her matter-of-factness comes a fierce urge to get on with the job of helping those who need it.

It’s a tantalising film – a picaresque tale packed with big ideas and original ways of looking at them. Yet Payne fails to find a rhythm for it, or a tone consistent enough to tie its disparate elements together.

I wanted very much to like Downsizing but ultimately, I found it a long, slow haul.

China and Indonesia fail to meet free-trade deal deadline

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the House of Representatives during a division, after Ciobo had missed an earlier division, at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 4 December 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen and Indonesia have conceded they will fail to pull off a free-trade deal this year despite repeated commitments from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Joko Widodo and other ministers.
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The failure to meet the end-of-year deadline is embarrassing for the n government, which had used the proposed free-trade deal – Indonesia’s first in almost a decade – to spruik the improving relationship between the two countries.

“I won’t sacrifice the quality of the agreement for speed. If it takes a little bit longer, so be it,” Trade Minister Steven Ciobo told Fairfax Media.

He said “great progress” had been made towards a “high-quality” Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. “But there’s still more work to do.”

Talks have foundered in a protectionist climate, with Indonesia expressing reluctance to fully open its markets if it harms local industries and legislative constraints to ‘s push to open university campuses in Indonesia.

The two countries have also been at loggerheads over alleged dumping of paper, with Indonesia filing a complaint against in the World Trade Organisation in the middle of negotiations

The economic relationship between Indonesia and is notoriously lacklustre given they are close neighbours, with successive n ministers describing it as “undercooked”.

In 2016, Indonesia was only ‘s 13th-largest trade partner, with a paltry 2.3 per cent share of total trade.

When President Jokowi visited Sydney in February, Mr Turnbull said the two leaders were “very committed to concluding a high-quality bilateral free-trade agreement ??? by the end of this year”.

“It’s a very strong friendship and it gets stronger all the time,” he said.

President Jokowi concurred: “We agreed that negotiation over the Indonesia- Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will be concluded in 2017 as Prime Minister Turnbull previously mentioned.”

After meeting in Jakarta in September, Indonesia and ‘s trade ministers bullishly predicted the 10th (and penultimate) round of negotiations in November could be the last.

“The meeting was so positive that we ??? the CEPA agreement can be signed by our two country’s leaders by the end of this year at the latest,” said Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita at the time.

But on December 20, Mr Lukita said: “We never said it will be completed by the end of 2017. In fact in the latest APEC meeting, Prime Minister Turnbull told President Jokowi that it would be completed by March.”

Mr Lukita said there were some “tough issues”. “I told [], you have to step back, because we have stepped back.”

He said 94 to 95 per cent of the agreement had been finalised, with just a few sticking points remaining.

“Actually they [] want to invest, they want more shares, but we only want to grant this much. It’s not stagnant, it’s merely about the numbers.”

Asked if this concerned the education sector, Mr Lukita replied: “Yeah, education.”

Mr Lukita said there would be another round of negotiations, the 12th, in the second week of January.

He joked that if the countries wanted to settle by March they should not let the n negotiating team go home before reaching agreement.

Indonesia Business Council president Noke Kiroyan said the delay was a “bit disappointing” but the end result was what was most important.

However, he warned the deal would need to be finalised in the beginning of next year or Indonesia would become preoccupied with the 2019 presidential elections.

“If we have it within a few months I think that’s still a good outcome,” he said.

Indonesia Business Council president Philip Turtle said it was “unfortunate” that the agreement would not be concluded this year.

“But any delay is a small price to pay for an agreement that will ultimately deliver benefits for many years to come,” he said. “Much better to get it right than rush it.”

Mr Turtle said the council had observed the goodwill and intent between the negotiating teams and remained hopeful that any remaining sticking points could be resolved soon.

Lowy Institute research fellow Matthew Busch has been critical of the “ill-advised rush to strike a trade deal” given the n government had framed it as a testament to the relationship.

“It will be undeniably awkward if IA-CEPA is too hard and must be rolled into next year,” he wrote in The Interpreter earlier this month.

Mr Busch told Fairfax Media it was sensible for and Indonesia to keep working towards the stated objective of a high-quality agreement.

“It was never going to be easy or quick to conclude with Indonesia what is a novel framework for trade and investment liberalisation,” he said.

“This is especially so because Indonesia is not an active trade negotiator and does not have a strong domestic constituency for reducing barriers for inbound goods, services, and investment.

“The desire to include investment, for example in education, only enhances the task, as barriers exist in law or regulation and cannot simply be ruled out with the stroke of a pen on the CEPA.”

The two countries have already announced (twice) that Indonesia will reduce tariffs on imported n raw sugar and will eliminate import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides under the deal.

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Thunder’s Ferguson racing clock to be fit

Callum Ferguson is in a race against time to debut for the Sydney Thunder on his domestic home ground against the Adelaide Strikers on Friday.
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New teammates have been picking Ferguson’s brain on the nuances of the Adelaide Oval wicket ahead of the Big Bash blockbuster, but the South n native is still yet to be given the all clear from a minor quadriceps injury sustained in a practice match last week.

He flew to Adelaide with the squad on Thursday before an evening net session, and will be closely monitored on Friday by team medical staff who will make the final call on his fitness.

The prized recruit missed Tuesday night’s narrow season-opening win over the cross-town Sixers where Arjun Nair hit a single off the final ball to hand the Thunder the narrowest of wins.

Ferguson would have batted at No.4, had he been fit for the contest, and would significantly bolster the squad as it chases a second-straight win to start the BBL season.

Fellow new recruit Mitchell McClenaghan said Ferguson had been a handy source of information ahead of the Strikers clash.

“Ferg said that the wicket’s usually pretty good,” the New Zealand fast bowler said.

“You usually know after the first over, the first couple of overs. That’s what we did well in this last game, we communicated well between us as bowlers quite well, we knew what deliveries to go to and which would be hardest to hit.”

McClenaghan took 2-25 on his Thunder debut, claiming the wicket of Englishman Jason Roy with just his second ball for the western-Sydney franchise.

It was a strong start for the 31-year-old former international, one of the best T20 fast bowlers in world cricket who took 19 wickets for the Mumbai Indians in their IPL-winning season this year.

He was unveiled as a Thunder signing in October, and was instantly taken by the quality of character throughout the squad.

“[They’re] good blokes on and off the field,” McClenaghan said.

“We’ve got a whole group of guys and there are no egos, that’s the most impressive thing. Everyone’s here for the right reasons, I think that’s important as well, and willing to engage with the community.

“We can go out and try and play for ourselves but when we go out and play for the fans, that’s the most important thing and realise there’s people out there who look up to us.

“We’ve got a lot to improve on and nobody’s got too high after that win. It was just one win and it was one tight win.

“That’s the most important thing that we ride the wave and stay pretty constant throughout.”

South Africa tour may cloud Twenty20 vision

‘s bid to emerge as a Twenty20 international force before the home world cup in 2020 could be tempered by another scheduling clash this summer.
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The underperforming n side is ranked seventh on the International Cricket Council’s T20 rankings, and has yet to claim a World Twenty20, making only one final in six attempts.

Cricket wants its men’s team to be ranked No.1 in all three formats of the sport, and heightened its focus on T20 this year when Mark Waugh and coach Darren Lehmann were named as specialist short-form selectors. A specialist Twenty20 coach has also been mooted.

However, could again be without a handful of its front-line players, particularly pacemen Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, in their next T20 series.

Once the Ashes is over, and England will clash in five one-dayers before New Zealand join both nations for a T20 tri-series in February, split between n and New Zealand shores. The T20 series begins in Sydney on February 3 and ends with the final in Auckland on February 21.

This means could again have two teams playing concurrently, because the bulk, if not all, of the Test squad is likely to leave on February 14 for South Africa.

will have a warm-up clash before the Test series opens in Durban on March 1, meaning selectors and national high-performance boss Pat Howard will have to determine the best preparation for players. The deliberations will involve whether to allow some to take part in the T20 campaign before heading to South Africa or initially to rest and head to South Africa.

Steve Smith could yet captain the T20 side through the tournament then fly immediately to South Africa, where he would still have about a week to rest and practise, but perhaps not play in the warm-up clash.

CA says the bowling loads of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins will be assessed once the Ashes is over. They are likely to be managed through the one-day series and then potentially put on ice before facing the Proteas, where four Tests will be held in little more than a month.

Their absence would dent ‘s hopes of defeating England and the Black Caps and lifting the T20 side up the rankings.

Sri Lanka prevailed 2-1 against an under-strength n T20 side in February when ‘s best players were in India preparing for the Test series there.

That there were two n sides playing simultaneously angered players, amid suggestions this was devaluing national selection. The player concerns came at a sensitive time in pay negotiations when relations with head office were starting to wane.

Howard said at the time all parties had to accept there could be a short crossover in the odd tour because of a tight FTP – a point the governing body again echoed on Thursday.

‘s last Twenty20 campaign, captained by Warner with Smith hurt, ended in a drawn series with India. The decider was washed out.

CA chief James Sutherland has made it clear he wants the team to play more T20s heading into the showpiece event in 2020.

“There will definitely be more [international] T20 cricket, but we’ll also be quite strategic about it in terms of scheduling matches to create experiences for the development of our team,” he said in October.

“One of the things we’ll be doing is thinking carefully about where we might put more emphasis on one-day cricket, say, leading into World Cups or the Champions Trophy. Then more emphasis on T20 cricket when we’re leading into a WT20 event.”

A week of film and costume to celebrate Aussie movies

‘Red Satin’ Dress designed by Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie worn by Nicole Kidman as Satine for the movie Moulin Rouge! 2001. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos
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Sequinned flapper dress worn by Marie Lorraine as Paula Marsh, the dress had been bought in paris in 1925 by her close school friend Kathleen Coen. Marie Lorraine borrowed the dress for the movie The Cheaters 1930. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

This delicate white dress was deisnged by Judith Dorsman worn by Anne-Louise Lambert as Miranda for the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock 1975. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

A Week of Film and Costume. National Film and Sound Archive, nfsa.gov.au/events/fashion-and-costume-week. Starstruck. National Portrait Gallery. starstruck.gov.au. Charges apply to most events. See websites for full details.

The National Film and Sound Archive has 2.8 million items in its collection including more than 380 costumes. A few of the latter, from some of the best-known n movies are on display are part of the Starstruck: n Movie Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, which is hosting the collection of film stills and costumes in partnership with the National Film and Sound Archive. It’s on until March 4 before going on a national tour.

From January 6 to 14 the National Film and Sound Archive is running Costume Week, a complementary season of events, including film screenings – many with introductions – and lectures programmed by the archive’s Cris Kennedy.

Seeing the clothes up close gives a three-dimensional, tangible reality to them and being able to compare them to blown-up stills from the movies in which they featured brings back fond memories of the scenes and movies in which they featured – funny, dramatic, romantic, musical or sometimes a combination.

You can see two of the eye-catching Oscar-winning costumes designed by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, : the unique thong dress worn by Hugo Weaving as drag queen Mitzi Del Bra that cost all of $17 to make and the green sequinned evening dress in which he danced in the desert.

“I’m always excited when walking around the collection and you see these beautiful iconic works like the amazing dresses from Priscilla – they’re so iconically m and just so tangible.”

While there are millions of items in the NFSA collection, he says, most of them are films locked away but these are things you can physically see and appreciate.

“They’re just so gorgeous.”

Another Oscar winner is the red satin dress worn by Nicole Kidman as Satine in Moulin Rouge! (2001) designed by Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie. A screening of the film on January 10 will be preceded by a discussion between NFSA curator Nathan Smith and film colourist Olivier Fontenay, whose credits include Lion, Tracks and Holding the Man, and on the work of the director of photography and the colourist in helping to bring the vision of the director to life.

Also on display is the white dress worn by Helen Morse as Sybylla in the My Brilliant Career (1979), designed by Oscar nominee Anna Senior, who in recent years has designed and coordinated costumes for a number of Canberra theatrical productions including this year’s Strictly Ballroom: the Musical from Canberra Philharmonic Society.

“There are 10 films and a couple of extra talks including a lecture by Canberra Times music critic Jenny Gall on archetypes in fashion, how costumes help create character,” Kennedy says. That will be on January 6.

On January 9, Senior will introduce a screening of another period film she worked on, the coming-of-age story The Getting of Wisdom (1977) based on the novel by Henry Handel Richardson.

The earliest of the costumes on display is one bought in Paris in 1925 and worn by Marie Lorraine. in The Cheaters (1929), a silent crime drama directed by Paulette McDonagh. A world premiere screening of screening of the restored version of the film at the NFSA on January 14 will be introduced by curator Tara Marynowsky. She will discuss the restoration of the film and the McDonagh sisters – Paulette, Phyllis and Isabella – who were pioneers in the early days of the n film industry. Kennedy says gender roles were not as rigidly defined then as they would later be and in those flourishing days of the n film industry the McDonaghs made several feature films and short documentaries until their film careers ended in the 1930s.

Kennedy says the film was originally silent but with the coming of sound some dialogue was recorded and a few cinemas played it as a semi-talkie. The archive has restored the silent version.

“For me, one of the most special items in the NFSA collection is the ‘Miranda’ dress from Picnic at Hanging Rock,” Kennedy says.

The white Victorian-style dress worn by Anne Lambert in the mysterious 1975 film, designed by Judith Dorsman, is also on show and Kennedy has paired the Peter Weir film, based on Joan Lindsay’s novel, with another literary adaptation, The Dressmaker (2015), on January 11. The latter had costumes designed by Margot Wilson and Marion Boyce

On January 8, Dorsman will introduce another film for which she designed the costumes, Caddie, (1976). It stars Helen Morse as a Sydney woman forced to work as a barmaid to support herself and her two children during the Depression after her husband walks out. Kennedy says he is sure the subject of Picnic at Hanging Rock will arise in that talk, too.

A period film of a different kind comes on January 13 with Dogs in Space (1986), set in the Melbourne punk scene in 1978.

“Director Richard Lowenstein and producer Glenys Rowe will be coming down for that,” Kennedy says.

“They’ll be talking about a range of topics including [star] Michael Hutchence and the atmosphere they created.”

Given the film was set in what was then the recent past, Kennedy reckons a lot of time was probably spent combing op shops to get the right clothes and materials to get the right 1970s look for the film.

At the National Portrait Gallery on January 12 at 3pm there will be a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s film Strictly Ballroom (1992), a film with some memorable costume designs especially for the ballroom dancers as well as colourful characters, quotable dialogue and some catchy songs. That night, Shall We Dance? features a “Tawdry Tales” after-dark tour of the exhibition from 5pm inspired by Baz Luhrmann with live ballroom dancing and a soundtrack to get your feet moving too.

Back at the NFSA, two other musicals are screening in the season, a restoration of Starstruck (1982), about two teenagers trying to break into the music industry, on January 6, and The Sapphires (2012), about the real-life Indigenous singing group, on January 7.

Also on from January 6 to 14 at the archive is another exhibition of clothing with a more serious theme. Dressing , the Museum of n Costume, has teamed up with vintage clothing sellers to present Women of Empire 1914-1919,an exhibition of vintage clothes worn by nurses, campaigners, doctors, and other women in World War I. There will be a jumble sale on January 14.

ASX fades after tax plan fatigue

Shares faded throughout Thursday, after investors took a breather following this week’s initial US tax cut euphoria.
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Industrial, utilities and bank shares were the biggest drags on the market while a bump in oil prices lifted the energy and mining names.

At the close, the S&P/ASX200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index each slumped 0.2 per cent to 6060.4 points and 6156.3 points, respectively.

Many traders believe a lot of the positivity surrounding the announcement had already been priced into the market and as such, now the legislation has been passed, it was a case of selling on the news.

“For , stronger US growth and the flow on globally is positive for export demand and commodity prices and in time this will eventually flow through to stronger n growth,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital.

However, we are unlikely to see a hike in interest rates anytime soon given the local economy is still lagging that of the United States’.

There was broadbased selling across the big four banks, and given they make up such a large part of the market, that weighed heavily on the entire bourse.

Commonwealth Bank of finished the day down 0.9 per cent to $79.81, ANZ was down 0.6 per cent to $28.89, National Bank slumped 0.9 per cent to $29.45 and Westpac was off 0.8 per cent to $31.18.

Oil held gains near its highest close in more than two weeks after stockpiles in the United States slipped.

The resource giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto finished the day up 1.4 per cent to $28.84 and up 0.9 per cent to $73.66.

Elsewhere in the market, Retail Food Group shares leapt 32.3 per cent to $2.15, with the company recouping some of the steep losses made since Fairfax Media revealed that many franchisees were struggling to survive under the company’s sharp business model, with about 200 stores currently up for sale.

RFG shocked investors on Tuesday by saying its “statutory” profit in the first-half would fall 34 per cent compared to the same period last year, to $22 million, with the news wiping $512 million from its market capitalisation, which fell from $804 million to $297 million.

AWE shares slumped 2.8 per cent to 85?? after the board recommended shareholders accept the 83?? takeover offer from Mineral Resources.

Pilbara Minerals shares fell 4.2 per cent to $1.14 after Citi downgraded the lithium miner to a “sell” citing valuation concerns.

Investors boosted BlueScope Steel shares up 4.3 per cent to $15.10 after the steel producer upgraded its full-year earnings guidance following the US tax reform announcement. Stock Watch: SKY and Space Global

Shares in this global communication infrastructure company jumped 28 per cent to 20?? on Thursday, after it signed a give-year binding network contract with African mobile payments start-up BeepTool worth around $US30 million. SKY and Space Global ran a pilot in October to test the nanosatellite system’s ability to handle financial transactions. Under the deal, BeepTool will buy “all the available communications bandwidth that is required by BeepTool to fill its commercial demand”. Sky and Space will use the BeepTool messaging app in its communications software. But the deal will only go ahead if a second field trial, on the original 3 Diamonds network, is successful. BeepTool will pay fixed payments for end user devices in advance, as well as a per usage rate for the service certain minimum usage commitment, and a security deposit covering advance services. Renewables target

is on target to meet its 2020 renewable energy target and can meet the ambitious mark of 50 per cent by 2030 if proposed projects go ahead, a report has found. November’s Renewable Energy Index report, produced by Green Energy Markets and left-wing lobbyists GetUp, finds there is almost 40,000 gigawatt hours a year worth of supply operating, under construction or under contract. That’s well above the government’s 2020 target of 30,000 GWh. If renewable projects under development are added, energy production could soar to 146,000 GWh a year by 2030 which would equate to 50 per cent of ‘s needs. US tax reform

The US Congress passed the biggest shake-up to the tax system in three decades, including slashing the corporate rate to 21 per cent, to deliver President Donald Trump the signature legislative achievement of his first year in power. Citi ???has upgraded its S&P 500 year end 2018 target to 2,800 and 25,000 for the Dow reflecting the expected impact of the US Tax reform. “While a number of our approaches suggest an even higher level for equities in 2018, sentiment indicators signal that caution is appropriate,” said Tobias Levkoich, US strategist at Citi. “We had assumed a 25 per cent tax rate in our 2018 S&P 500 forecasts but a drop to 21 per cent adds an incremental $8 to EPS.” New Zealand data

New Zealand’s economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter, sparking a rally in the local dollar, but downturns in some sectors pointed to a more muted outlook than the new government would like. Official figures out on Thursday showed a rebound in the construction sector drove gross domestic product up 0.6 per cent in the three months ending September, topping economists’ forecasts of 0.5 per cent, but falling well short of the revised 1 per cent hit the previous quarter. The announcement drove the New Zealand dollar up 0.5 per cent to US70.15??. Thursday’s GDP figures were the first since the centre-left Labour Party took office in October and suggest it may have to grapple with a slower economy next year. Gold

Gold prices have risen for a fourth straight session to reach a two-week high as US data showing solid home sales but a fall in mortgage applications pushed the dollar to a two-week low. Gains in bullion were limited, however, by a rise in US bond yields to nine- month highs after the Congress passed the country’s biggest tax overhaul in decades. A weaker US dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, which can stimulate demand, but higher Treasury yields reduce the appeal of non- yielding bullion. Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $US1267 an ounce at market close on Thursday, after rising to $US1,267.81, the highest since December 6.

New water minister commits to extra 450 gigalitres for Murray-Darling

The AgeNews26/01/2012photo Justin McManus.On the MurrayJunction of the Murray and Darling Rivers at Wentworth.Darling river bottom right(Tuckers Creek joins the Darling just before the junction) with the Murray River coming in from the bottom left of the picture. FILE PHOTO: Nationals MP David Littleproud has a beer with Nationals candidate for New England, Barnaby Joyce, at the Aero Club in Tamworth, the evening before the New England by-election, on Friday 1 December 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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‘s new Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, says he’s committed to a controversial addition of 450 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling, casting aside doubts about the plan strewn by his predecessor Barnaby Joyce.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, the first-term MP and now cabinet minister said he was confident the extra environmental flows could be achieved without economic damage to irrigators their and communities.

“We’ve made the decision to support the plan and that’s part of the plan,” Mr Littleproud said. “I don’t think anyone should say we’re going to blow up the building. We’ve got a plan, let’s work collaboratively to achieve that.”

The extended target would take to 3200 gigalitres the total amount of water returned from irrigated agriculture to the river system under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

But it is subject to a fierce battle between the basin states, with South adamant the extra water must be delivered, but the eastern states concerned about the effect on upstream communities.

A report by the independent Murray-Darling Basin Authority has already recommended the amount of water recovered from northern NSW and southern Queensland be reduced, because previous buybacks have smashed local economies and increased unemployment. That recommendation is now before the Senate.

Last year, Mr Joyce stunned South with a letter to the state’s water minister, Ian Hunter, in which he reneged on the Basin Plan and said he doubted the 450 gigalitres could be achieved without causing social and economic harm. The situation had reached an “unsolvable stalemate”, Mr Joyce said.

But Mr Littleproud, who has previously shared his predecessor’s scepticism, said he believed there were ways to “get the outcomes that everyone is looking for”.

“I’ve had buybacks in my electorate quite recently [and] social and economic impacts have basically been nullified,” he said. “I think there are ways through that.”

However, goodwill has not been forthcoming from all quarters. South n Labor premier Jay Weatherill welcomed Mr Littleproud to the job by dubbing his appointment “a big one-finger salute to South ” and accusing the Maraona MP of being in bed with the cotton growers in his vast Queensland electorate, which includes the mammoth Cubbie Station.

Mr Littleproud said he was unfazed by those “puerile comments” but indicated he was ready for a fight if necessary. “I’m prepared to swing if I don’t believe someone has done the right thing,” he told Fairfax Media.

State water ministers met on Tuesday while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was announcing his cabinet reshuffle, meaning there was no federal representation. NSW and Victoria again refused to commit to delivering the additional 450 gigalitres, with their respective water ministers accusing SA of “ransom” and “blackmail”.

Mr Hunter returned fire by suggesting NSW and Victoria had formed a “cabal” and were abandoning the agreement having taken what they wanted.

In Canberra on Thursday, thumbing through a stack of briefings on the dispute, Mr Littleproud called for calm.

“There’s always going to be some argy-bargy between the states, but the states need to recognise this is a national plan,” he said. “We all just need to take a deep breath.”

Federal Labor is insistent the 450 gigalitres must be delivered. “Trying to deliver half a plan means delivering no plan at all,” its water spokesman Tony Burke said this week.

Mind games or something else? City name McCormack in squad for derby clash

Ross McCormack’s either made a miraculous recovery, or Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is playing mind games with his opposite number Kevin Muscat and seeking to muddy the selection waters as much as possible ahead of kick-off in the Melbourne derby this weekend.
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Last Friday Melbourne City striker McCormack limped off the field in Sydney with what many feared to be a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury as City went down 3-1 to the league leaders.

On Thursday, just six days later, Joyce named the former Scottish international in his match-day party for the derby against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night – one of the most hotly contested fixtures of the season.

McCormack’s participation is highly unlikely – at least in the starting XI. The on-loan Aston Villa striker might not be anywhere near as badly injured as feared, but he certainly hasn’t trained with his teammates this week, having been restricted largely to rehab and gym work.

Still, it’s a measure of the club’s desperation, with so many of its front-line attacking players unavailable or gone, that Joyce is even prepared to make such a play.

Most likely youngsters Braedyn Crowley and Daniel Arzani will be given the chance to impress as strikers, although Joyce might want to have even a half-fit McCormack on the bench for an emergency. Or give that impression.

Veteran Neil Kilkenny, last season’s player of the year but a man who has been out of favour all season, has also been included in the preliminary squad for Saturday’s game as has young defender Connor Metcalfe and youngster Nathaniel Atkinson, who impressed so much on debut against Central Coast two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Westfield, the former Frank Lowy-controlled conglomerate, will no longer sponsor the FFA Cup but will continue to back the W-League, the FFA announced on Thursday.

Miguel Maestre’s secret ingredient for Christmas dinner

When it comes to Christmas dinner, Miguel Maestre says mushrooms are sure to please. Photo: supplied.
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Left Christmas dinner to the last minute and, even though the pressure to impress is building, you’re lost as to where to begin?

What’s more, do you struggle to cook the perfect turkey at the best of times? Or are you still tossing up whether or not to have a very n barbecue instead?

Well,according to celebrity chef Miguel Maestre the secret to the perfect festive feast is not in the choice of meat.

The n-Spanish chef says the secret ingredient to a perfect Christmas meal is mushrooms.

Aside from being the perfect addition to any barbecue –whether in a salad or grilled on skewers –he said the ingredient fits perfectly with a traditional Christmas meal as well.

Maestre said the high water content in the mushrooms means the turkey –a meat which easily dries out –stays succulent throughout the cooking process.

Read more:Make your table setting splendid this Christmas

“So what I do is in the food processor I get a massive amount of mushrooms, with a bit of thyme, garlic and a little bit of butter and what I do with my massive turkey is separate the skin a little bit from the breast, and then fill that up with the mushrooms and butter,” he said.

“And then for the stuffing I get chorizo, chickpeas and mushrooms.”

According to Miguel Maestre, there’s nothing more n than a summer BBQ with your mates.Photo: supplied.

The result? A “beautiful, black caramelised” turkey, which is sure to wow even the pickiest of in-laws.

“When you cut the slice, you can see how succulent and moist the turkey is because of the mushrooms both on the outside and on the inside,” Maestre said.

It sounds easy coming from a chef; of course he’s going to get the perfect turkey every time.

But the truth is, Christmases in the Maestre household donot simply feature food from the man himself.

The n Mushrooms ambassador said it’s all about the interactive dinner for him.

“It’s a great way to get everyone involved,” Maestre said.

“Instead of it being me being the only one cooking while everyone else is having a great time –which I’m sure happens in everyone’s household –I’ll prepare everything and then everyone helps out.

“So if I’m doing skewers for example, I’ll prepare them with the mushroom and chorizo, and then when you get there, everyone cooks their own.

“It’s almost like the food becomes the entertainment.”

Read more: Is this ’s most festive Christmas house?

Miguel’sSalad of Champignons Miguel’s Salad of Champignons for n Mushrooms. Photo: supplied.

INGREDIENTS

Portabella Mushrooms are great for grilling on the barbecue. Photo: supplied.

5 large Portabella Mushrooms1 sprig rosemaryOlive oilSalt and pepper2 head baby cos, washed, quartered on ice5 slices Serrano Ham50g haloumi diced, grilled2 soft boiled eggs (6 minutes) cut in quarters5 crispy croutonsHandful shaved parmesanDRESSING

200ml Light Greek yogurt1 tbsp olive oil1 tbsp grated parmesan1 small garlic clove, minced1 anchovy finely chopped (optional)1 splash Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper½ bunch chives finely choppedDIRECTIONS

The secret ingredient for Christmas dinnerhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/hU74HdTxzzWB78D7znDAb9/c6f7d58a-d8d8-44da-9f41-8200d08deb23.jpg/r0_145_1812_1169_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgAccording to celebrity chef Miguel Maestre the secret to the perfect festive feast is not in the choice of meat.life-style, mushrooms, miguel maestre, christmas dinner, christmas lunch, recipe, australian mushrooms2017-12-23T12:00:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5690976244001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5690976244001Video: n Mushrooms. Recipe:MiguelMaestre forn Mushrooms.

Miguel’s top Mushie tipsMushrooms are a natural seasoning, which means you don’t need to add lots of salt when you cook with themCooked mushrooms have a meaty, umami-rich quality that makes any dish taste like it has been simmering for hours.Boost your mincemeat with extra flavour and nutrition by adding some blended mushrooms.