Effects of WWI lingered long in Australia

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿网

When Billy Hughes became Australia’s seventh prime minister six months after the landings at Anzac Cove, few outside the Commonwealth knew much of either him or the country he led.

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Australia, until then, had basked in unruffled security at the bottom of the world and the man who was to become known as the “Little Digger” had made only a limited impression at home, let alone abroad.

But by the conclusion of the First World War, Australia, due to a sacrifice by far the greatest per-capita of any Allied nation, was on the map.

And as the ensuing peace talks unfolded, Hughes established his presence on the international stage going blow-for-blow with British prime ministers, Japanese emperors and an American president who described him as a ‘pestiferous varmint’.

Hughes and his deputy prime minister Joseph Cook nevertheless became the first Australians to sign an international peace treaty when on June 28, 1919, they put their names to the document that dictated Germany’s post-war fate.

Hughes came to Australia’s top office at an unenviable moment.

At Gallipoli Australians were being killed and wounded in their thousands, worse was about to come on the Western Front and his predecessor Andrew Fisher had resigned due to the pressures of the war.

A complex and seemingly contradictory man, Hughes belonged to six different parties during a 51 year political career that began with his election to the first federal parliament in 1901 and ended with his death in 1952.

His dedication to the survival of the British Empire may have been understandable for a man born in Britain, but at the same time he was a staunch promoter of Australian national interests and a solid unionist.

Throughout the war, Hughes was torn between his devotion to the cause of Australia and the Empire, his Labor ideals and a determination to win the war at all costs. This test of his principles led to him leaving the Labor Party but not before he defied party policy in his push to introduce conscription to supplement the dreadful battlefield losses.

His government could have introduced the necessary legislation, but because it was contrary to Labor policy, Hughes decided to put the conscription issue to the people and in two divisive referendums it was defeated, firstly in 1916 and again in 1917.

A more successful, and less well-known, wartime endeavour was Hughes’ negotiation of the purchases by Britain of Australia’s and New Zealand’s, entire wool clip.

Under the supervision of the Central Wool Committee, the British government bought every bale of wool – 7.1 million of them, or about one billion kilograms – produced in Australia between 1916 and 1920. The British paid 160 million pounds for the wool, keeping alive an industry that carried the country.

But it was at the post-war peace talks that led to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles that Hughes rose above his relative obscurity to stand up, rightly and wrongly, for Australia.

Determined to resist pressure from Britain, the United States, Japan and other allied nations as they wrestled for power in the Pacific, Hughes made Australia’s case strongly and well.

And when US President Woodrow Wilson, whose country only entered the war a year before its end, questioned Hughes’ authority, as the leader of a mere five million people, to intervene in world affairs, Australia’s prime minister responded with scathing dignity.

“I speak for sixty thousand dead,” he told Wilson. “For how many do you speak?”

As well as seeking control of the former German territories of Samoa and New Guinea, Hughes insisted on the inclusion a “guilt” clause in the peace treaty requiring Germany to pay the full cost of the war to the Allies, not just compensation for the damage it caused.

Germany was eventually asked to pay 6.6 billion pounds from which Australia would receive an estimated 275 million pound war debt. The last instalment of that debt was duly paid in 2010.

As deserved as these demands may have seemed, the reparations and other severe conditions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, are credited with laying the foundation for the Second World War.

But Hughes’s fight to establish Australia’s security and independence in the Pacific was accompanied by his desire demonstrated during the peace talks to preserve the White Australia policy that had widespread support at home.

To many, Hughes’ attitude represented a new maturity for Australia. To others it demonstrated lingering and unnecessary ties with the world.

To the men he’d sent to war, however, he was a hero and on his return from the Paris peace talks returned soldiers hoisted their “Little Digger” onto shoulders and carried him down Sydney’s George St.

Australia’s official war historian Charles Bean wrote, perhaps prematurely, that the war left Australia with the impression of being at the forefront of human progress.

“In some, not unimportant, respects they had reason to,” Bean wrote.

“(It also) brought a new confidence into Australian national undertakings. Early in the war not a few Australians had watched with diffidence the departure of their force as an improvised contribution to the great armies of the Allies.

“That diffidence was a natural survival from the colonial days. The return of the A.I.F., its leaders covered with distinction, its ranks acclaimed overseas as one of the notable fighting forces of history, deeply, if insensibly, affected that outlook.”

But the end of the war also left Australia with an issue as trying as the conflict itself: taking care of the survivors, the war widows and their children.

The long-term cost of medical care and welfare benefits to returned soldiers and the dependants of those who didn’t return was on a scale never before encountered.

A peak of 283,322 war pensions were being paid in 1932.

By 1938, only a year before the Second World War commenced, 77,000 incapacitated soldiers and 180,000 dependants remained on pensions that by then had cost Australia nearly 148 million pounds. Their associated medical bills ran to another 8.5 million pounds.

The post-war period also saw the establishment of new political parties, trade unions assumed new power and communist paranoia developed.

And it also included the greatest economic upheaval the world has known – and it hit Australia harder than most.

Australia’s heavy dependence on primary exports meant Australia felt the Great Depression affected the country acutely. As an imperial dominion, Australia’s economy was intricately linked with that of Britain.

As well as trade, Australia was still dependent on industrial capital from Britain, so as the British economy slumped after WWI so did the Australian economy. Unemployment reached a record high in Australia of 29 per cent in 1932, one of the highest rates in the world.

It was a situation from which Australia never fully recovered before it again went to the aid of the old Empire.

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Thomson matters not closed

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The jailing of Craig Thomson does not put to bed the saga of the former union boss and federal Labor MP.

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The one-time national secretary of the Health Services Union was sentenced on Tuesday to three months in jail for spending union funds on prostitutes and personal expenses.

He will try to appeal the sentence and conviction in November.

Abbott government strategists are determined to keep the powderkeg of union corruption alight for as long as possible – preferably with a big bang just before the next election.

There are two angles being pursued.

The first is an inquiry by the powerful House of Representatives privileges committee into whether the former Labor MP misled parliament.

Thomson gave a comprehensive statement on May 21, 2012 in which he firmly denied any misuse of HSU money and railed against the media, enemies in the union movement and his coalition accusers for making false assertions.

Members of the privileges committee are now wading their way through the wealth of evidence before the courts to establish whether Thomson deliberately misled the House and committed a contempt of parliament.

If found guilty of contempt of parliament, Thomson could face up to a $5000 fine.

But as no Australian federal MP has ever faced such a penalty, the more likely scenario is a reprimand in writing or admonishment at the Bar of parliament by the speaker.

The second line of inquiry is a royal commission into union corruption, under former High Court justice Dyson Heydon.

The HSU is specifically named in the terms of reference for the inquiry, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott says will “shine a great big spotlight into the dark corners of our community”.

The first public hearing is due to be held on April 9, with a report going to the government by the end of the year.

It could be expected a number of incumbent and former HSU officials will front the inquiry, spilling the beans on what could be other allegations against Thomson and cohorts in the union.

Separate from government, the Fair Work Commission is prevented by law from pursuing a civil case relating to the matters on which Thomson has been convicted.

But the commission is taking legal advice on whether to seek civil penalties and other remedies in the Federal Court on matters that were uncovered during its investigations.

More significantly for Thomson’s own hip pocket, the HSU national executive has announced it will try to recover all of the former official’s unauthorised spending, including that not dealt with in the Melbourne court case.

Acting national secretary Chris Brown says this pursuit will be “vigorous and ongoing”.

Thomson is not fading from the headlines just yet.

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Ancelotti demands reaction to Clasico loss

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is determined that his side bounce back from their dramatic 4-3 Spanish league defeat to Barcelona when they travel to Sevilla this week.

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Los Blancos were knocked off top spot in La Liga by Atletico Madrid after losing for the first time in 31 games in all competitions.

Atletico lead due to their better head-to-head record against Real, whilst Barca are now right back in the hunt to retain their title as they are just a point behind the capital sides with nine games to go.

On paper, Real face the toughest task in midweek with all three sides in action on Wednesday as Barca and Atletico host Celta Vigo and Granada respectively.

And with that in mind, Ancelotti believes Real’s reaction against a Sevilla side that have won their last five league games could hold the key to the title race.

“I have said to the players that in general they played well (against Barcelona). They played with intensity and fought until the end,” he said.

“Now we need to forget this game and think about Wednesday, which could be the key game of the season.

“I have said many times that nothing will be decided until the last game of the season.

“We need to fight and react well. We have a very important game on Wednesday and we need an immediate reaction.”

Real will be without the suspended Sergio Ramos and Angel di Maria, so Raphael Varane and Isco are expected to start.

Atletico took advantage of Real’s defeat to move back to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom-placed Real Betis earlier on Sunday.

Los Rojiblancos now have the destiny of the league title in their own hands, although they do face a potentially decisive trip to Barcelona on the final day of the season.

Atletico captain Gabi, though, believes his side can finish off an amazing campaign in style.

“We believe a lot in this group as a team and we are working every day to be amongst the best,” he told the club’s website.

“We have nine finals left ahead of us and if we want to be on top we need to win all of them.”

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will be targeting a third consecutive hat-trick as Barca welcome Celta to the Camp Nou looking to move top for at least a couple of hours as both Atletico and Real kick-off later on Wednesday.

The Argentine became the all-time leading scorer in El Clasico at the weekend as he moved onto 21 goals from 27 games against Madrid and also took his tally for the season to 34 in as many games.

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Cheap overseas surgery a ‘risk’: Choice

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People considering surgery overseas should “do their homework” on a new private health fund service offering medical vetting and 12 months after-care for offshore cosmetic or dental work, consumer group Choice says.

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Health fund NIB plans to offer one-year “options package” covering patients who suffer a complication from medical procedures.

It plans to address concerns about offshore doctors and hospitals by vetting surgeons and facilities as part of a move into the $300 million a year burgeoning Australian medical tourism market.

The company says this will help consumers make informed decisions and has likened it to travel review site Tripadvisor.

But Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey urged consumers to “do their homework” before taking up the new offerings.

“NIB might try to vet the hospital, but when it comes to infection control there’s obviously still a risk,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

“Consumers need to know that these hospitals don’t operate in the same standards as hospitals in Australia.

“When you’re messing around with your health, it’s always good to be careful.”

However, he conceded consumers were “in a tough spot” given the high cost of medical care in Australia.

“As healthcare costs in Australia rise, the temptation is to look overseas to see if you can save some money,” he said.

Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the service could also end up putting more pressure on Medicare.

In some cases, follow up after surgery lasts longer than 12 months – particularly for knee and hip replacements.

“The decision to have surgery is a really important one and sometimes the right decision is not to have surgery at all,” he said.

NIB spokesman Matthew Neat said the fund accessed local plastic surgeons as well as qualified plastic surgeons and dentists in overseas facilities.

“We’ve made sure we’re only sending customers to facilities that pass our controls and (they’re) only getting operated on or treated by surgeons … who have gone through that credentialling process,” he told AAP.

The overseas facilities being used by NIB were in Thailand.

The fee-for-service product will be launched on Tuesday.

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Lego Movie is Aussie, says co-director

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The Lego Movie is essentially an Australian film.

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That’s according to Chris McKay, the man called in to co-direct The Lego Movie in Australia on behalf of co-writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Lord and Miller, known for Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, brought McKay onboard as animation co-director when they were making 21 Jump Street.

“They needed a co-director to come in and start working on the movie while they were doing 21 and ultimately 22 Jump Street,” McKay says.

So after starting work on the movie, he moved to Australia in September 2012 and hit the ground running with the animation and visual effects team at Animal Logic.

“I joke around a lot, but this is an Australian movie,” McKay says.

That’s because so much of it is Australian – “pretty much from the inception of the story all the way through animation, layout, lighting, modelling, surfacing, all the way to sound and the music, which was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh but played here by Australian musicians”.

He adds: “It’s rare to have everything to be all (from one place) for an animated movie, but like I said, this is basically an Australian production.”

Aside from the final week or so, when the movie was tweaked in Los Angeles, The Lego Movie was completely crafted and finished in Sydney at Animal Logic.

McKay says everyone on board The Lego Movie wanted to make sure their film wasn’t a sell-out.

Every day he would sit down and say, “Guys, we have two options: we can make a 90-minute toy commercial or we can make a really great movie.”

He says: “I think also being honest with people and going look, it’s the easiest thing in the world, we could just turn our brains off, and make something that’s really dumb.

“(But) I don’t like watching those movies, I don’t want to make those movies and I don’t think anybody here wanted to make those movies.”

The result is a film that’s won over children and adults alike, resulting in a staggering $US390 million ($A428.15 million) at the worldwide box office already. And it hasn’t even opened in Australia yet.

The film follows Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego minifigure, who is mistaken for the MasterBuilder who will save the universe from an evil tyrant (Will Ferrell).

The Lego Movie features an incredible voice cast, including Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman and Will Arnett (who plays Batman), and some of cinema’s most iconic characters.

“It was really exciting to have kind of a pop culture blender,” McKay says.

“Because it’s Lego, you can do a Who Framed Roger Rabbit kind of thing, where Gandalf and Dumbledore can be together, where Flash and Speed Racer can run through the background,” he says.

He hopes in the sequel, which Deadline recently announced McKay would direct, can do even more than that.

There’s no doubt McKay is a film buff. His tattoos reference Captain America, Halloween, Superman, Star Wars, Catwoman and Alfred Hitchcock, to name a few.

And McKay knows exactly who will be inked on him next – Unikitty. The new character, who was made for The Lego Movie, is quickly winning hearts.

“Who doesn’t love Unikitty?” McKay says.

“Unikitty’s my favourite character. One of my next tattoos is going to be Unikitty for sure.”

* The Lego Movie opens in Australian cinemas on April 3.

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Dementia risk link to mother’s diet

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A pregnant mother’s eating habits may influence her unborn child’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s, new research suggests.

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Scientists found that offspring of mice fed a high-fat diet were more likely as adults to experience impaired blood flow in the brain, a feature linked to the disease.

When the offspring were also fed a high-fat diet their brains became less able to rid themselves of harmful amyloid protein.

Accumulations of sticky beta amyloid protein in the brain are a key Alzheimer’s hallmark.

More work is needed but the study could have important implications for humans, the researchers believe.

Lead scientist Dr Cheryl Hawkes, from the University of Southampton, said: “Our preliminary findings suggest that mothers’ diets during pregnancy may have long-term effects on their children’s brains and vascular health.

“We still need to do more work to understand how our findings translate to humans, but we have known for some time that protecting mothers’ health during pregnancy can help lower the risk of health problems for their children.

“Our next step will be to investigate how our findings could relate to Alzheimer’s disease in people. We hope these results could provide a new lead for research to understand how to prevent the disease.”

The research was presented at the Alzheimer’s Research UK conference taking place in Oxford this week.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at the charity, which funded the study, said: “It’s important to remember that this research is in mice, but these results add to existing evidence suggesting that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life is affected by our health earlier in life.

“This study goes one step further by suggesting that what happens in the womb may also be important. We’re pleased to have funded this research, which has shed new light on the complex picture of Alzheimer’s risk,” Dr Karran said.

“Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease and it’s likely that our risk is affected by a number of different genetic and environmental factors.

“Research to understand these factors can help equip us to take steps to prevent the disease, but in the meantime, evidence suggests we can lower our risk by eating a healthy, balanced diet, doing regular exercise, not smoking and keeping our blood pressure and weight in check.”

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Focus on ourselves, warns Celtic’s Forster

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Celtic keeper Fraser Forster has warned his team-mates to focus on their own fixtures as the Glasgow giants close in on the Scottish Premiership title.

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The Parkhead club are just four points away from claiming their third successive league title after claiming a 3-0 win over St Mirren on Saturday.

Neil Lennon’s side will make the short trip across Glasgow to Firhill on Wednesday to take on Partick Thistle knowing victory could set up a championship clincher at home to Ross County three days later.

The Hoops could even secure the title at Firhill should Aberdeen, who are 24 points behind Celtic, fail to defeat Ross County on Tuesday.

However, Forster knows that Celtic just need to focus on their own fixtures, and the title will arrive in due course.

Celtic needed a late Amido Balde goal to secure victory on their previous visit to Thistle earlier this season and Forster expects a similarly tough fixture this time round.

“It’s a challenging place to play at as it’s a high ground and the playing surface is probably not the best in the league,” the one-cap England international said.

“But you have to earn the right to play. It will be important that we go out, win the battle and try and get the ball down to play football like we want to do.

“It was tough there earlier on in the season and they will be up for it but we will be expecting to go out and perform and play well.

“The last time they came to Celtic Park it was difficult and it will be the same again.

“They get the ball down and try and play football which is good, and that will benefit us as well. It should be a good match.”

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Inverness Caledonian Thistle will attempt to leapfrog Dundee United in fourth spot as the two sides meet at Tannadice.

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Anzac pysche differs for Aust and NZ

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Perceptions of the Anzac legend and psyche forged in battle differ on either side of the Tasman, and each country uses the legend for its own ends.

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That’s according to historians, who say Australian and New Zealand relations weren’t all that close until they fought the Turks at Gallipoli, when much was made of the Anzac ties that were created in battle.

“Gallipoli was a discovery of ourselves as a nation simply by comparing ourselves with the Australians, who we found while we had things in common with we were different,” New Zealand historian Chris Pugsley says.

Putting the two countries side by side was a pragmatic decision by the British on how to get the best out of two neighbouring nations.

“Right from the start it was a marriage of convenience,” Pugsley says.

“The reality is that Australia looks our way when it’s convenient and ignores us otherwise, and that’s been since time immemorial. It’s a big brother-little brother relationship, really.

“However, when they got on Gallipoli they found they could work and fight together.”

Pugsley says there are perceptible differences in the way the two countries look at Anzac Day. In New Zealand the parade is less important than the cenotaph service.

“While the form might be familiar, there’s a very different mood in both countries because it reflects what’s important,” he says.

“Anzac Day in Australia is not about Australians and New Zealanders. Anzac in Australia means Australian.”

Massey University historian Glyn Harper says that even while they trained together in Egypt before Gallipoli, New Zealand troops saw the Australians as being “loud, aggressive and always eager to drink, fight and gamble”, while Australians thought the Kiwis took themselves too seriously.

“I have to say that all of that was almost washed away by the service on Gallipoli.”

The Anzac psyche did start to emerge then, which Harper says was when both sets of soldiers realised they were quite similar; both would try to obtain their objective, endure the horrific conditions.

However, the Anzac psyche is hard to define.

“They know they have a difficult, dirty, dangerous job ahead of them. They are prepared to do it, there is a close bonding, mateship becomes everything to them, it is very hard to survive as an isolated soldier.”

The fighting qualities partly came from their rural backgrounds, Harper says.

“But it’s a little bit more than that. They also had some really hard, tough training, particularly in Egypt. They were reasonably well-led, particularly by their junior officers.

“Most of the New Zealanders were recruited on a regional basis. So all of the regiments and battalions and companies came from towns and communities that were local.

“There was this very powerful social pressure, that if you did let your teammates down everybody back home would know about it. That’s a hell of a pressure to cope with.”

Another historian, Ian McGibbon, says the Anzac spirit appeared to develop on its own, without any encouragement from senior officers.

The broad outline of Anzac legend was much the same in both countries, but McGibbon also says each country tends to focus on their own soldiers in the relationship.

McGibbon doesn’t believe the Anzac legend would have developed if the Anzacs had been sent to France, instead of Turkey.

“There were 57 divisions in France. We were both small cogs in the wheel over there, whereas in Gallipoli there were only three or four divisions so we stood out initially. We were a much bigger component of the whole campaign.

“In France we would probably would have been an Anzac army corps but I don’t think in those conditions we would have developed such a rapport.

“Partly because at Gallipoli we depended on each other, if one part of the line gave way the Anzac area would have been lost.”

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Girls Season 3 wraps in the US

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Girls creator Lena Dunham is thankful for the cruel messages she receives on Twitter.

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The 27-year-old actress created and stars in Girls, which is loved by many. But the show has also attracted swathes of criticism due to its candid subject matters and nudity.

She took to Twitter on Sunday to thank all her followers, and haters, after another season of Girls came to an end.

“Thank you so much to all who watch, don’t watch and send messages joyful and cruel re: @girlsHBO! We are thankful for the love and dialogue.” she wrote.

“We are truly humbled by the time people take to watch and discuss, and for the ways you enlighten us with your reactions and critiques.”

The season three finale of Girls aired in the US on Sunday night with production on season four to start later this week.

“Til’ next year! Back to tweeting about Scandal, dog health and how weird boyz are. (sic)” Dunham tweeted.

“Hey @girlsHBO crew, see you tomorrow at the FIRST production meeting of #season4 cc: @campsucks @JuddApatow” she added.

Dunham plays Hannah Horvath in Girls and has come under fire for her choice to go nude in several episodes.

During a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, Dunham shocked some viewers when she stripped off.

She caused a storm on the social networking site when she replied to the backlash with: “Please tell that to my uncle, mister. He’s been making me! (sic)”

She later apologised for the remark.

“I just made and deleted a not so great molestation joke. Sorry guys. I am really sleepy,” she wrote.

“SNL has a way bigger audience than our usual cozy girls audience, so I was seeing a rash of very different kinds of twitter rage.

“But I should know better, and do. Even naked girls get embarrassed.”

* Girls is shown in Australia on Foxtel channel Showcase.

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Car and trucking company set to expand

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Vehicle retailer and logistics company Automotive Holdings Group is set to expand with two acquisitions worth a total of $184 million.

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Automotive Holdings has struck a deal to acquire Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways, and agreed to a proposed purchase of NSW car dealership Bradstreet Motor Group.

The company said the addition of Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways would consolidate its position as the largest provider of refrigerated transport in Australia.

Its purchase of Bradstreet Motor Group would take its retail network to 169 franchises at 96 dealership locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Scott’s, based in Sydney, operates national refrigerated road and rail transport, plus local refrigerated transport and warehousing.

“The acquisition will expand AHG’s customer base and product expertise and will diversify AHG’s exposure to seasonal peaks in fresh produce, allowing for more efficient use of infrastructure across the year,” the company said in a statement.

The purchase price of about $116 million for Scott’s comprises $71 million in cash, $15 million of Automotive Holdings share, and the assumption of about $30 million of finance leases.

The proposed acquisition of Bradstreet Motor Group, which has 13 automotive dealerships in and around Newcastle, will cost $68 million in cash.

The deal remains subject to the completion of due diligence.

Automotive Holdings will fund the acquisitions from existing sources of cash and debt, plus the proceeds of a $115 million placement of new shares to institutional investors.

The company’s shares are in a trading halt at $3.60.

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