Archive for May, 2019

Melbourne Victory forward James Troisi targets Socceroos return

He may not have hit the target yet, but James Troisi has done everything but score for Melbourne Victory since returning to the starting line-up.
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Troisi, who has returned for a second stint at Victory following an unproductive year in China, has been one of the key men in Kevin Muscat’s team as it charged to second spot on the A-League ladder.

Victory trail runaway leaders Sydney FC by seven points, but if they win their game in hand against Wellington Phoenix they will close that to just four, and with more than half the season to go Troisi and his teammates will be confident they can overhaul the Sky Blues.

Victory have hit form in recent weeks, culminating in a thrilling derby win over Melbourne City on Saturday night, when Troisi was to the fore.

The 28-year-old was everywhere, playing in a traditional No.10 role just behind the front three.

Blessed with terrific touch and skill, Troisi is adept at setting up attacks, and he links well with Marco Rojas – the New Zealand winger who, like him, has returned to Victory for a second – and front man Besart Berisha.

If he can maintain this form and stay fit, there is no reason why the Adelaide-born forward cannot force his way back into Socceroos contention in the latter part of the World Cup qualifying campaign, which gets under way in March against Iraq, in an important game likely to be played in the Iranian capital Tehran.

Troisi is delighted with the form he is showing, agreeing he is approaching career-best levels, but he is reluctant to put Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou under selection pressure.

He scored the winning goal in the Asian Cup final in 2015, and would love to be part of the national team set-up again.

But he knows he has to keep performing at club level first.

“I copped a bad injury in the first game of the season … I am finding my feet now. I am very happy with my performance [since then],” he said on Tuesday.

“I haven’t spoken to Ange. The most important thing is what I am doing week in and week out.

“If I am performing, Ange is here, he is based in Melbourne, he is selecting A-League players. I have been a big part of what we have achieved … I will do what I have to on the pitch and let the rest take care of itself.”

He is loving his time back at Victory after disappointing spells in Saudi Arabia and China.

“It’s about playing consistently. I wasn’t able to do that in the last 12 months, but now I am fit, feeling good, happy and able to enjoy my football, and I definitely feel I am getting there.”

The win over City last weekend was, he said, a perfect Christmas present.

.”We should have been three or four goals up in the first half. The most important thing was we had to react to the league game and the cup game [two earlier defeats Victory had suffered at City’s hands]. We know who the biggest team in the A-League is and the biggest team in Melbourne is. We proved that.”

And that wait to get on the scoresheet? “That first goal is still to come, but the most important thing is the way I am playing, setting up a lot of goals and creating a lot of chances. I am sure my time will come.”

Police comb Guildford flat after girl, 2, critically injured in alleged bashing

A child’s high chair inside the Guildford granny flat. Photo: Rachel Olding Fingerprint dust can be seen in the flat’s bathroom. Photo: Rachel Olding
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The kitchen in the Guildford granny flat. Photo: Rachel Olding

Mohammed Khazma, in red hat, has been charged over the alleged bashing. Photo: Facebook

The living area inside the granny flat. Photo: Rachel Olding

Almost every inch of a western Sydney granny flat has been examined by police as they try to piece together how a man allegedly almost bashed a two-year-old girl to death on Monday.

Photos of the one-bedroom flat in Marian Street, Guildford, show all the walls, the bathroom sink, a washing machine, a shower and all the doors covered in fingerprint dust following the incident on Monday that police described as “difficult to comprehend”.

A child’s high-chair sits in the corner of the sparsely decorated apartment. Nappies and children’s clothing sit in a small pile behind the front door and the flat’s furniture consists of a bed with no blankets and two couches.

Landlord Said Yassine, who lives at the front of the property and allowed photos to be taken of the granny flat, said he rented the apartment to Mohammad Khazma just two weeks ago for $350 a week. Mr Khazma lived with the two-year-old girl and her mother, who he had met just weeks earlier.

The relationship between Mr Khazma, 23, and the baby and mother cannot be detailed for legal reasons.

Mr Yassine said he had no trouble with the trio until Sunday when he returned home to find police swarming.

Mr Khazma is charged with severely assaulting the child between 9.30am and 3pm on Monday. The mother was present and was able to intervene at some point and leave the granny flat with her daughter in her car.

Neighbours saw her running out of the driveway and crying about 3pm before speeding off in her silver sedan.

It’s understood she drove to a home belonging to the man’s relatives in McCredie Road, Guildford West, where neighbours heard her screaming, “You have killed my baby!”

Police were called and arrived at 3.30pm to find the girl unconscious and unresponsive in the car.

Officers from the Holroyd Local Area Command had to perform CPR until NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived and took her to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in a critical condition.

She remained in a critical condition in hospital on Tuesday morning.

Mr Khazma was found about an hour-and-a-half later in a park at Fairfield where he was arrested by a large number of officers.

He did not come up from the cells during a brief appearance in Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday. He did not apply for bail on the charge of reckless grievous bodily harm.

“It’s shocking,” said Rosehill Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Glen Parks. “It’s shocking for the community, it’s shocking for the police attending … It’s difficult to comprehend.”

He said police will be alleging Mr Khazma “seriously assaulted” the girl. Police have not ruled out further arrests.

“Whilst a male has been arrested, police are continuing their investigation,” he said.

Mr Khazma will return to court on January 12.

Oroton takes off at Sydney airport as Tiffany & Co seeks new home

The Tiffany & Co store at Castlereagh Street and Martin Place has to move following the sale of the property. Photo: Daniel MunozSydney city is set for a fresh round of retail musical chairs triggered by redevelopments and the construction of the Metro rail system from George Street to Martin Place and out to the international airport.
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One of the biggest moves is the luxe brand Tiffany & Co, which is seeking new digs in the central business district after the NSW government’s compulsory acquisition of 39 Martin Place to accommodate the Metro rail system.

While not confirmed, it is said that Tiffany & Co is looking at the retail component at 175 Pitt Street for its new three-storey flagship site. Alistair Palmer, the national director, retail services group , at CBRE, who advises Tiffany & Co, was unavailable for comment.

In a separate move, Tiffany & Co is opening a smaller store at Westfield Sydney.

It will be one of many moves by retailers in Sydney’s CBD in coming years as they jostle for space in the revamped George Street and also when the new owners of the David Jones Market Street store, Scentre Group and Cbus Property, take possession of the site and lease to new luxe tenants.

The $1 billion Wynyard train station and office project will also attract new retail labels, while UK department store Debenhams will see how its Melbourne store trades before seeking out a Sydney site.

Upmarket jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is opening its new site on the corner of Pitt and Market Street, while big brands are looking at a site in the MLC Centre on Castlereagh Street.

n lifestyle brand Oroton has expanded its operations with the opening of a new boutique at Sydney Airport’s T1 International terminal.

Oroton will offer a range of women’s and men’s leather goods, accessories, jewellery, travel essentials and apparel in its 114 square metre site. It will join Hermes, Tiffany & Co and  Emporio Armani, among others, with Gucci to launch next year.

Sydney Airport general manager retail Glyn Williams said he was “delighted to welcome the return of one of ‘s most-loved brands to T1”.

“It’s fantastic to see this iconic n brand at Sydney Airport again and we know passengers will enjoy the new Oroton experience, as we deliver a retail mix to suit our evolving passenger demographic,” Mr Williams said.

Oroton chief executive Mark Newman said Sydney Airport was the ideal location for its new boutique.

“We are thrilled to open our latest concept boutique at T1. Oroton is an n brand with a rich heritage, so it’s a natural fit to have a strong presence at ‘s gateway airport,” Mr Newman said.

The movements also reflect the busy retail sector which, according to Daniel Lees, director of research for Colliers International, is going to be even stronger in 2017.

He expects rents within shopping centres to grow over the coming 12 months, based on a mix of inflation-linked contractual increases and forecasts for increasing retail demand.

“Our outlook for further rental growth is supported by institutional commentary during the most recent reporting season, where landlords including Charter Hall Retail REIT, Mirvac, Shopping Centres , GPT and Vicinity Centres noticed positive releasing spreads in a range of 0.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent,” Mr Lees said.

“n shopping centre rents across all states and categories grew 0.62 per cent over the year to third quarter of 2016 and over the next 12 months to the same time in 2017, we expect this growth rate will increase to 2.14 per cent on average,” he said.

Seven West Media boss Tim Worner accused of using company funds to pursue affair with Amber Harrison

“This relationship finished some years ago and I apologised at the time, and am still trying to make amends”: Seven boss Tim Worner. Photo: Daniel Munoz Kerry Stokes, Chairman of Seven West Media (right) with CEO Tim Worner. Photo: Marco Del Grande
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When the affair began Amber Harrison, left, was the executive assistant to Nick Chan, right, the then chief executive of Seven West’s Pacific Magazines division. Photo: Supplied

 

Seven West Media boss Tim Worner has denied any suggestions he had multiple affairs within the organisation, amid allegations he used company funds to pursue a relationship with one female employee.

Amber Harrison was a 35-year-old executive assistant to magazine boss Nick Chan and Tim Worner, then 51, was the CEO of the Seven Network when they began an affair at the end of 2012.

According to legal documents in a failed mediation with Seven West earlier this year, Ms Harrison stated that Mr Worner had used “female employees and other women in the industry for his sexual gratification”.

The document details his relationships with other Seven employees including two high-profile stars and three other staff.

According to Ms Harrison, the breakdown of the relationship with one staff member became extremely public with “Mr Worner and Ms [name withheld] having verbal arguments in the office which were witnessed by senior and support staff”.

Ms Harrison said that the woman was suddenly promoted to a position on a top-rating show. This was a “significant and unusual career advancement”, she said.

However, Mr Worner’s lawyers sent a series of letters to Fairfax Media on Tuesday denying any sexual encounters with the women named by Ms Harrison.

She also claimed that the chairman of the Seven group, Kerry Stokes was apprised of the settlement negotiations with Ms Harrison two years ago.

While not detailing when Mr Stokes became aware of the issue, in a statement issued on Monday night Seven West said Mr Stokes “has always made clear to Mr Worner that the alleged conduct, even though a personal matter, was completely unacceptable”.

For his part, Mr Worner said he was “obviously filled with the deepest regret and shame” over the relationship.

Seven’s statement also rejected Ms Harrison’s allegations about affairs with others “including any allegation that other current or former employees have been paid off”.

Ms Harrison’s claims included that Mr Worner charged the company travel expenses when he came to her home for sex.

She also said that in 2014, Mr Worner asked Ms Harrison to come to the n Open tennis in Melbourne and that he was aware she put the cost of the flights, accommodation and room service on her corporate credit card.

On one occasion Mr Worner directed her to claim their hotel room as “accommodation for a VIP client”.

She said the pair’s use of cocaine during their sexual encounters occurred during work functions, “such as the Bells at Killcare conference in July 2013, which was hosted by Mr Worner to celebrate his promotion to CEO of Seven West”.

Seven West has declined to comment on Mr Worner’s cocaine use despite repeated requests for a formal comment on the allegation.

Instead the company has said that Ms Harrison’s allegations contained “wide-ranging inaccuracies and false statements”.

Ms Harrison has also suggested that she was hit with allegations of credit card fraud in order to force her out of the company.

She claimed that the expense issue claim could have been made against any number of senior male staff, including Mr Worner himself.

“However, there has been no similar scrutiny or duress applied by Seven Network to such male employees,” she said.

She said the allegation of unauthorised expenditure came after her relationship began to deteriorate. From the end of 2013 Ms Harrison had to work in the same building in Pyrmont as Mr Worner.

“Ms Harrison felt that Mr Worner was treating the relationship extremely casually, particularly given his tendency to ignore her in public, and this elevated her levels of distress,” she has alleged in a legal document.

On February 8, 2014 she texted Mr Worner saying: “I’m something that pops into your head to do when you are bored. Stop texting me. I’ll stop texting you. This is done.”

Mr Worner replied: “I want to f— you. Badly.”

Ms Harrison also detailed the attempts by Seven West to make her go away, including the head of human resources, Melanie Allibon, saying to her, “Do you really want to be that girl and have this all come out in public?… Monica Lewinsky has never recovered from her dalliance with Bill Clinton” and “You let a guy use you for sex for two years. That is what everyone is going to say about you if this gets out”.

The mediation between the parties failed earlier this year and Ms Harrison said the legal stoush with Seven has left her destitute.

“They wanted me frustrated by the legal process, unable to get to court, broken and penniless and they wanted to cover up the affair with Tim, and the cover up of Tim. How does one individual fight this massive company with unlimited resources?” she said.

Meanwhile, the n Shareholders’ Association called on Seven West’s board to start planning for Mr Worner’s exit from the top job next year, saying the controversy cannot be put to rest while he retains his position.

ASA director Stephen Mayne said the reputational damage to Seven West would not be fully resolved until the company has a new CEO and said the succession plan is “something they should progress in 2017”.

Seven West shares rose six per cent to 79.5 cents on Tuesday, recovering most of a price plunge suffered on Monday in the wake of the affair revelations.