July, 2019

Conference system an option for AFLW

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is open to more tweaks for the AFLW competition in 2019.AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says the format for the expanded 2018 AFLW will be revealed in the next month, with a conference system among the options.
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The competition will grow to 10 teams next year with the addition of Geelong and North Melbourne.

“We’re working through that. Conference is an option; longer season is an option,” McLachlan said in Sydney on Wednesday.

“There’s three scenarios, We’ve had one good long conversation about it, some feedback and we’ll look to make an announcement over the next three or four weeks.”

AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking issued directives to the clubs after the first round of the competition to ease congestion and McLachlan didn’t rule out more tinkering with the rules.

“I think we’ll continue to look at the rules so we play the best possible brand of football for the athletes that are out there,” McLachlan said.

“Steve will look with the clubs about different rules we can have to spread the game.

“I know he raised it in the last pre-season about stoppages. Could you have forwards and backs in each of the 40 metre arcs, so that’s an example of something that could be done simply.

“No more lines, we could ease congestion and recognise the women’s AFLW is different to the men’s comp.”

McLachlan said the AFL couldn’t have been more pleased with the second AFLW season and that the standard of football had improved through the competition.

“We need to look at facilities and we’ll work in partnership with state governments I hope,” he said.

“We’re averaging 7-8,000 people, we need the right sized facilities and right amenities to deal with that.

“We’ll continue to work with our clubs to develop the players that are playing so there’s so much to do.

“But I think from where we were 18 months ago, we’ve come a really long way and I’m proud of all the clubs and all the female players.”

Australian Associated Press


Report slams NSW EPA over waste industry

NSW MP Penny Sharpe says a waste incinerator plant intended for Western Sydney must be scrapped.The NSW Environment Protection Authority is failing to crack down on illegal rubbish dumping, a parliamentary inquiry into waste management has found.
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The report, released on Wednesday, also found criminal elements had infiltrated the industry and it recommended the government not approve a controversial waste incinerator plant proposed for Sydney’s west.

Several stakeholders, including the state’s health department, raised “significant” concerns about air pollution over Next Generation’s proposed facility in Eastern Creek.

Labor MP and committee member Penny Sharpe said the government must now scrap plans for the incinerator which would burn up to 1.3 million tonnes of waste per year.

“The premier must stand up today and guarantee this incinerator will not go ahead,” Ms Sharpe said in a statement.

Christian Democrat Paul Green, chair of the inquiry committee, said he was “alarmed by the many pressing challenges facing this state” including a lack of waste management infrastructure.

Blacktown City Council urged the state government to take notice of the inquiry’s decision.

“In light of the recommendations and the overwhelming lack of support for the project in Western Sydney, Blacktown City Council calls on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to stop the Dial A Dump proposal to burn waste at Eastern Creek,” Mayor Stephen Bali said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Instead, invest more in encouraging recycling and the creation of a zero waste economy.”

The committee made 36 recommendations, including that the NSW EPA develop and implement a state-wide approach to ending the interstate transportation of waste.

It also recommended the state government introduce a “fit and proper person” test for proprietors and company directors to assess whether people may work in the waste industry.

The NSW EPA was also called upon to regularly publish up-to-date waste data.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said in a statement: “The government will consider all the recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry.”

Australian Associated Press


Knights’ Watson avoids shoulder surgery

Newcastle’s Connor Watson has avoided shoulder surgery and could be back as early as six weeks.Newcastle five-eighth Connor Watson has avoided shoulder surgery and could be back as early as six weeks time.
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The Knights playmaker has been diagnosed with a capsular injury and is expected to spend to six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

It’s welcome news for Nathan Brown’s NRL side after it was initially feared Watson would have to undergo surgery, which could have ruled him out for three months.

However, surgeons and the club’s medical staff decided the best option was to rehabilitate his shoulder.

The Knights are not short on options, with outstanding youngster Brock Lamb to take his place in the halves alongside Mitchell Pearce against St George Illawarra on Sunday.

Fullback Kalyn Ponga said he would attempt to get his hands on the ball more often with Watson absent.

“With the reshuffle of the team due to Connor’s injury, we’ll look to vary things and have different personnel in there,” Ponga said.

“I might shift around a bit.”

Australian Associated Press


Seven Days in League: What’s worse? Salary cap rorting or ball tampering?

THURSDAYINa marketing masterstroke, NRL officials schedule the Storm v Cows grand final rematch forthe same night as the AFL season-openerjust acrossthe road.
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This should settle once and for all the debate about which is the dominant code in the Mexican capital.

A crowd of 90,151 is announced at the MCG for the aerial ping-pong mob, while 12,866 turn out at AAMI Park.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Star Brisbane signing Jack Bird makes regular use of his free McDonald’s card. Picture: Jack Bird

If there had been no NRL game, those 12,866 may have been tempted to attend the AFL, resulting in a sell-out crowd of100,000-plus.

It’s a moral victory for the greatest game of all, and a reminder thatthe former AFL stronghold of Melbourne is now officially a rugby league town.

Great strategic move by the wise men in the corridors of power at the NRL.

FRIDAYTHE Maitland Maniac runs outside to howl at the moon and unleash a heartfelt rendition of Who Let The Dogs Out after Canterbury register their first win of the season, 20-18 against Penrith.

There is only one thing in the whole world the Maniac loves more than the Doggies, and that’s Australian cricket vice-captain David Warner.

As far as the Maniac is concerned, it’s only a matter of time before the hard-hitting left-hander is awarded Australia’s second cricketing knighthood, after Sir Donald Bradman.

Sir David Warner. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

SATURDAYPOOR old Ricky Stuart performs an uncanny impersonation of a blokewho has been bowled by an unplayable reverse-swinging yorker one run shy of his century after his Faiders suffer a 20-19 loss to the Warriors.

The result leaves the Green Machine winless after three rounds.

Looking at the glass half-full, they lost their first two games bytwo points apiece.

This time they have lost by just a field goal, so logically they have improved twofold in the space of a week.

At ANZ Stadium, a familiar face is back in action as Trent Hodkinson helps Cronulla to a 14-4 win against the Eels.

For a bloke whose knees are apparently shot to bits, Hodko seems to be getting around the field without too much inconvenience.

Meanwhile, as Seven Days flicks between the footy and the cricket, there seems to be some sort of ball-tampering drama unfoldingin Cape Town.

The look on Davey Warner’s face suggests he’s shocked and disgustedby the behaviour of those involved.

SUNDAYTHE press box at Allianz Stadium is abuzz with talk about the debaclein South Africa, afterAussie skipper Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft admit to“trying to gain an advantage” by changing the condition of the ball(akacheating).

The Australian Sports Commission is demanding Smith stand down as skipper, and even PM Malcolm Turnbull has a crack at laying the slipper in.

It’s looming as the second biggest sporting scandal of the day, superceded only by the price of tickets at Allianz Stadium.

I am reliably informed that for walk-up punters, a general-admission seat costs $39.

You’d think for that sort of coin, you would at least besitting undercover.

But then the heavens open and the majority of the 15,000 fans in attendancecop a drenching.

Fortunately most of them are Chooks supporters. It’s a long wayhome for the Novocastrian contingent after their team’s 38-8 defeat.

MONDAYI READ with interest that Brisbane’s star signing, Jack Bird, admits he is carrying “a bit of a gut”,which he blames on a penchant for chicken McNuggets.

“It doesn’t help when you get [free] Maccas’ cards here,” he tells Channel Seven.

It’s a fair point. Third-party sponsors are entitled to expect players to endorse their products, and Bird obviously takes such obligations seriously.

Mind you, I can’t help thinking the Knights have dodged a bullet here.

They offereda king’s ransom for Bird last year, and the last thing they need is a marquee player who is more a roll model than a role model.

Meanwhile, Manly are the latest club to be labelled salary-cap rortersafter copping a $750,000 fine from the governing body.

Rival fans are asking why theyhaven’t been stripped of competition points, like the Bulldogs (2002), Storm (2011) and Parramatta (2016).

The NRL explain that they’ve shown leniency because the Silvertailshave taken steps to ensure their player payments comply with stipulations.

It’s not much of a deterrent to any rival clubs who might be inclined to run the gauntlet. I mean, a rort is a rort. You can’t be half-pregnant. Deliberately breaching the salary cap is cheating … the NRL equivalent of ball-tampering.

TUESDAYTHE late, great Jack Gibson used to reckon there were two types of coaches:those who have been sacked, and those who are waiting to be sacked.

Former Knights boss Rick Stone again finds himself in the former category after parting company with English Super League club Huddersfield.

It’s probably not a bad time for Stoney to be leaving England. For some reason all the Poms want to talk about is the cricket.

WEDNESDAYIT hasn’t been a good week for former NRL stars in the courts.

Just days after ex-Kiwi Test star, Jarrod McCracken copsa $5000, two-year good behaviour bond for leaving the country while bankrupt, ex-Rooster Martin Kennedy pleads guilty to six charges ofsmuggling native turtles, lizards, fish, possums and even stingrays abroad.

He’s facing up to 10 years in the Big House.

He’s probably feeling sick in the guts. A bit like theMaitland Maniac after his idol, Davey Warner, issent home from South Africa in disgrace, along with Smith and Bancroft.


Class action against Powercor launched, damage bill could hit $40 million

The St Patrick’s Day fires’ damage bill could reach $40 million, says a lawyer handling a class action against Powercor.
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The lawsuit was lodged in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Wednesday.

Maddens Lawyers’ Brendan Pendergast said Andrew Francis, whose property was significantly damaged by the fires, had agreed to be named on the writ as the lead plaintiff.

“A proceeding has been issued in the Supreme Court by way of a class action,”Mr Pendergast said.

Gazette resident Elle Moyle in front of her brother’s burnt out house. Picture: Rob Gunstone

“The class will be by definition anyone who owned property that was impacted or damaged bythe fire. By description everyone who answers that definition is in the class. Down the track a bit further the court will give people who don’t wish to participate in the proceedings (an opportunity) to opt out. Typically with bushfire class actions very few people opt out because they are not atany risk in relation to cost.”

A Victoria police arson squad investigation found the fourmajor fires at Gazette, Terang, Garvoc and Camperdown started as a result of electrical assets. The latest figures show 26 homes,66 sheds,3766 livestock and 2050 kms of fencing were lost.

Woolsthorpe CFA members black out hot spots along Jelbarts Rd. Picture: Rob Gunstone

He said the class action would not have to wait for regulatory bodyEnergy Safe Victoria’sinvestigation report, which is currently being compiled.

“Itmay very well assist us, but it is not going to hold up the litigation,” he said.

“We see the case as being extremely strong. Here we have an asset being the pole as we understand has been in the ground for 50 years and for the past 20 years has had metal supports attached to it, which is something of a Band-aid means of addressing what was clearlya structurally compromised pole.

PHOTOS: Fires sweep through the south-west

“Ultimately with time that pole was going to fail. It’s perfectly serviceable on 95 per cent of the weather conditions, but we can reasonably expect in this harsh climate inAustralia to have hot, high wind days and our electrical distribution systems must be capable of remaining safe and serviceable on those days.”

Mr Pendergast said more than 40 people attended a meeting about the class action on Wednesday, along with experienced bushfire litigator Tim Tobin QC.

A house destroyed by bushfires near Ellingamite. Picture: Rob Gunstone

“We are aware of many other people who will be participating but weren’t able to be their for various reasons,” he said.

It’s understood the damages bill would be part of a larger compensation figure.

Mr Pendergast said the proceedings would shortly be served on Powercor.

“The matter will be bought before the court and it will make directions to carry it forward,” he said.

He said the people affected by the fires should be entitled to full compensation for their losses.

Mr Pendergast urged anyone affected by the fires to contact Maddens Lawyers and register that their property was impacted.

He has successfully led four class actions on behalf of the victims of Black Saturday in the south-west.

Under the settlement,Powercor was required to pay victims 100 per cent of the losses they incurred as a result of the fire.

Warrnambool Standard