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  1. Carr garaged as Labor team unveiled

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    September 18, 2019 by admin

    Former foreign minister Bob Carr is expected to resign within days, after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten unveiled a shadow frontbench without the former NSW premier.

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    Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek will take on the foreign affairs and international aid portfolio in a Labor frontbench that combines experienced hands with some of the party’s rising stars.

    Mr Shorten said he had spoken with Senator Carr last week, but declined to comment further.

    “I can’t add anything more to what he’s said on the record,” the opposition leader said.

    Senator Carr was recruited by former prime minister Julia Gillard 18 months ago to fill a vacancy triggered by the retirement of minister Mark Arbib.

    The NSW Labor administrative committee is expected to elect former lower house MP Deb O’Neill to fill the casual vacancy, which will then require the endorsement of a joint sitting of both houses of the NSW state parliament.

    Ms O’Neill could be endorsed in time for the first post-election sitting of the federal parliament on November 12.

    Senator Carr, who has kept a low profile for the past month, was re-elected at the September election for a six-year term starting on July 1 next year and will technically need to resign both the current term and the next.

    Mr Shorten described his new team as “energetic and diverse”, with women comprising almost half the frontbench.

    Chris Bowen has retained the treasury portfolio, saying he has “unfinished business”.

    But former finance minister Penny Wong has moved to trade and investment and Tony Burke, the opposition’s manager of business, has been appointed finance spokesman.

    Deputy Senate leader and former communications minister Stephen Conroy takes on defence.

    Leadership runner-up Anthony Albanese kept his preferred role as transport and infrastructure spokesman, adding tourism to his responsibilities.

    Mr Shorten added science and small business to his duties in a bid to make both areas a focus for Labor over the term.

    Among the more significant promotions were Catherine King (health), Shayne Neumann (indigenous) and Andrew Leigh (assistant treasury).

    In the wake of former minister Nicola Roxon describing Kevin Rudd as a “bastard” ousted in an act of “political bastardry”, Mr Shorten called for an end to disparaging comments.

    “The Labor party needs to focus on the future,” he said.

    “We’ve got a great and energetic team, it reflects values and diversity and experience.”

    One of the priorities for the shadow cabinet, which meets in Canberra on Monday afternoon, will be Labor’s stance on coalition legislation to abolish the carbon tax.

    Mr Shorten said Labor would stick to the principle of an internationally-linked price on carbon as the best way to address climate change.

    “We don’t change our views, we are not a weather vane on climate change,” he said.

    “In terms of our specific policies, we will work on them in the lead up to the next election.”

    Labor went to the election having promised to “terminate” the carbon tax and bring in an emissions trading scheme from July 1, 2014.

    Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson criticised the appointment of South Australian senator Don Farrell as his shadow counterpart, who will also have responsibility on the Labor side for the centenary of ANZAC in 2015.

    Senator Farrell lost his seat at the recent federal election, so his term expires at the end of June – a year before the centenary’s celebration.

    “The appointment of Senator Farrell … is an extraordinary decision which is more about political convenience than competence and conviction,” Senator Ronaldson said in a statement.

    “Australia’s veterans deserve better than this.”


  2. Australia need to rediscover fighting spirit: Postecoglou

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    September 18, 2019 by admin

     

    In a strongly-worded newspaper column that will be seen as a manifesto for turning the national team around before next year’s World Cup finals, Postecoglou said a whole new approach was required both inside and outside the squad.

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    Successive 6-0 defeats in friendlies against Brazil and France resulted in German Holger Osieck being summarily dismissed as coach in Paris last weekend and prompted a wave of soul-searching in the local media.

    “The fallout from two heavy defeats and national coach Holger Osieck losing his job has ignited some desperately needed and long overdue passion inside and outside the camp,” Postecoglou wrote in Friday’s Sydney Morning Herald

    “The reason we are in this position is that we have lost sight of what our national team represents and what its role in our game is,” the 48-year-old added.

    “I have always believed that language is a very powerful tool and for a long time the language that we hear about the Socceroos has methodically stripped away any form of honour and prestige that a national team should represent.

    “First and foremost the team belongs to the country itself and its fans. It does not belong to any coach, player or administrator. Any representation within the team and management should be seen as privilege not a right.

    “For a long time the Socceroos have stood for courage and competitive nature in the face of adversity.

    “But sadly this is no longer the case. What has happened over the past six or seven years is that self-interest, self-preservation and survival mechanisms have ensured that we no longer see ourselves as true Australian sportsmen.

    “I have found it frustrating and infuriating to continually hear that we are not that good. That our expectations are too high. That we can’t compete with the big countries.

    “The sporting public don’t want to hear that we must accept our fate. The national team is there to sell hope, not to dampen dreams.”

    Postecoglou, the coach of A-League side Melbourne Victory, firmed as the favourite to succeed Osieck on Thursday when he said Football Federation Australia (FFA) had approached his club about his availability.

    FFA chairman Frank Lowy said on Tuesday that an Australian would be appointed to the job and that Postecoglou was one of three candidates with Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic.

    (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)


  3. ‘Populist’ reporting costs Hinch $100,000

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    September 18, 2019 by admin

    Derryn Hinch expected to be thrown back in jail for his latest contempt of court.

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    Instead he walked away with a $100,000 fine and a scathing character assessment in which he was labelled self-opinionated and grossly irresponsible.

    Victorian Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye opted not to jail Hinch, but slammed the veteran broadcaster for what he described as a calculated attempt to undermine the justice system.

    It is Hinch’s sixth conviction for contempt of court or related offences, a record which Justice Kaye said was disgraceful.

    Hinch admits the huge fine will “hurt like hell” and apologised for offending the court, but has vowed to continue campaigning against sex offenders, this time legally.

    Hinch was found guilty of contempt for breaching a suppression order made by Justice Geoffrey Nettle, when he published details on his blog about Adrian Ernest Bayley, including that he was on bail and parole when he murdered Melbourne woman Jill Meagher.

    Justice Kaye said while he accepted the 69-year-old regretted what he had done, it was only because he found himself in very serious trouble and Hinch was not genuinely remorseful.

    “Your conduct was grossly irresponsible,” Justice Kaye told Hinch.

    “Although you thought you knew better than Justice Nettle, clearly you did not.

    “You were not aware of critical facts.

    “At your age and with your experience you should have been setting an example of responsible journalism.

    “It might be tempting, but wrong, to endeavour to be populist by breaking the law.

    “There are many responsible, sensible journalists who are able to achieve the same ends by remaining within the confines of the law.

    “It is well nigh time you learnt to do so also.”

    Hinch had apologised to the court for his offending.

    Justice Kaye accepted that would have been a difficult step for such a “self-opinionated person” who “finds it very difficult to publicly acknowledge that anything you have done is wrong”.

    But he said Hinch’s comments to the media about being a “whipping boy” and “scapegoat” were unsubstantiated and demonstrated his lack of remorse.

    Hinch said his apology had been legitimate.

    “I made a sincere apology to the court, I was in contempt of court, I committed an offence, contempt of court, that offended the court and for that I am sorry,” he told reporters outside court on Friday.

    He promised to continue to campaigning for transparency in the Victorian legal system regarding sex offenders, a cause he has previously been jailed for.

    “I have to find legal ways that I can continue campaigning the way that I have,” he said.

    When asked if he still regarded himself as a scapegoat, Hinch replied: “I wouldn’t use the word scapegoat because it’s too expensive.”

    Justice Kaye convicted Hinch of contempt of court and ordered him to pay the $100,000 within 90 days or face a 50-day stint in jail.

    The court heard the former newspaper editor had a net value of $1.18 million and an annual income of $212,000.


  4. Discarded Cats find new AFL homes

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    September 18, 2019 by admin

    Geelong premiership castaways Paul Chapman and James Podsiadly were thrown AFL lifelines as decorated Nick Dal Santo quit St Kilda on the busiest day yet of the trade period.

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    Chapman joined Essendon and Podsiadly agreed to move to the Adelaide Crows, both on two-year deals.

    The pair, both aged 32, were delisted by Geelong at season’s end, their moves coming as the AFL’s trade period clicked into high gear on Friday after idling for week.

    Dal Santo left the Saints for North Melbourne, ruckman Shane Mumford’s move from Sydney to Greater Western Sydney was ratified, Melbourne gave the Giants a coveted draft pick in return for precocious talent Dom Tyson and Adelaide traded Bernie Vince to the Demons.

    Melbourne traded their prized second pick at November’s national draft to GWS in return for Tyson, a highly rated 20-year-old midfielder originally selected at No.3 in the 2011 draft.

    The Demons also traded their draft picks 20 and 72 in return for Dyson and the Giants’ picks nine and 53.

    “We have been able to bring in a class midfielder in Tyson, and improve our second draft selection,” Melbourne’s football manager Josh Mahoney said in a statement.

    Adelaide sent their 2009 club champion Vince to the Demons for draft pick 23, while ex-Geelong stalwart Chapman signed a two-year contract to re-unite with his former coach Mark Thompson at Essendon in a free agency deal.

    And his former teammate Podsiadly will also re-unite with a former assistant coach, agreeing to a two-year contract with the Brenton Sanderson-coached Crows.

    Chapman and Podsiadly will extend their careers until they’re 34, with Podsiadly adamant he had plenty of top-level footy remaining.

    “From a physical and mental point of view, I’m in great shape and very motivated,” he said in a statement.

    The Giants on Friday also received ex-Swan ruckman Mumford for pick 35, while St Kilda’s Dal Santo ended months of speculation about his future by joining the Kangaroos as a restricted free agent.

    The 29-year-old signed a three-year deal with North, with St Kilda expecting a second-round draft pick for the three-time All Australian.

    “We are thrilled to have finally landed him,” North’s general manager of list and player personnel Cameron Joyce said.

    The AFL also released compensation draft picks for free agents, with Collingwood getting selection 11 for Dale Thomas, who transferred to Carlton.

    Hawthorn received pick 19 for losing megastar Lance Franklin to Sydney while Melbourne were handed pick 23 for Fremantle-bound Colin Sylvia. The Demons immediately gave up that selection for Adelaide’s Vince.

    The Saints were given pick 25 for Dal Santo while Carlton received nothing, deemed to have broken even with the arrival of Thomas and the loss of Eddie Betts to the Crows.


  5. Lorenzo in last stand against Marquez charge

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    September 18, 2019 by admin

    Victory for Honda rider Marquez at Phillip Island’s picturesque seaside circuit combined with anything worse than second place for Lorenzo will make the 20-year-old the youngest world champion with two races to spare.

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    Title-holder Lorenzo, however, fancies his chances on an exhilarating track where the Yamaha rider has been quick, if not victorious, in five premier class appearances.

    Two-time world champion Casey Stoner shut out all contenders with a record reign of six straight wins at his home grand prix, but Lorenzo came closest last year and in 2010.

    The Spaniard’s watchful runner-up finish was enough for him to seal his second MotoGP title last year, and with Stoner retired, the affable Spaniard might have believed he was on the brink of a sustained period of dominance.

    Enter 20-year-old Marquez, whose impact in his first season has raised comparisons with the brash arrival of Italian great Valentino Rossi over a decade ago.

    Despite pressure building at the business end of the season, Marquez has shown ice in his veins, and struck a psychological blow against Lorenzo by passing the 26-year-old with 11 laps remaining at Sepang last week.

    Content to take the points, Marquez sat back to finish second and allow team mate Dani Pedrosa the win in Malaysia, setting up what could be a decisive battle with Lorenzo Down Under.

    A defiant Lorenzo said he would fight for the title to the end this week and laid a good marker on Friday by topping the time sheets in free practice, while Marquez and Pedrosa both had stumbles in brilliant sunshine at Phillip Island.

    Lorenzo’s fastest lap of one minute 28.961 seconds in the second session was 0.294 seconds better than Marquez’s quickest on new tarmac laid at the circuit.

    “I feel that here we are much more competitive than in Malaysia,” Lorenzo said.

    “In general, every step we make with the bike works so little by little we have improved and been faster.”

    Marquez came off just six minutes into the second session when his back wheel slipped. He appeared to land heavily but returned to the pits and emerged 20 minutes later for another run.

    Pedrosa, who posted the fourth fastest lap behind Alvaro Bautista, went off the track at turn two during the second session with a loose engine mounting bolt.

    Marquez will be out to take pole position for the ninth time this season in Saturday’s qualifying.

    (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)