Crows aim to capitalise on AFL lessons

Staring down the barrel of a major upset AFL loss two months ago could pay massive dividends for Adelaide in their preliminary final against Geelong.


Crows coach Don Pyke said they learned invaluable lessons in round 19, rebounding from a 50-point deficit early in the third term against Collingwood at the MCG.

The clash ended in a draw thanks to a goal after the siren to Crows forward Mitch McGovern, who will miss the preliminary final because of hamstring soreness.

Adelaide came off a nine-day break for the Collingwood match and Pyke said it influenced how they had handled the 15-day gap between their qualifying final win over GWS and Friday night’s clash at Adelaide Oval.

The controversial pre-finals bye, which many want scrapped, means Adelaide have played only two games this month.

The bye was introduced last season and the two winning qualifying finals teams, Geelong and GWS, failed to make the grand final.

But Pyke says they are confident their preparations, including a brief trip last week to the Gold Coast, will bear fruit against Geelong.

“We sort of backed the group off (before Collingwood) and, to be honest, we didn’t come out and play anywhere near the level we had played the previous week,” Pyke said.

“So we’re mindful of that but, again, these are things we learn.

“As you go throughout the year, you don’t pull every right rein. You find at times you might have got something wrong.

“And again, we don’t know until tomorrow night but we’re very confident that the way we have trained in the following two weeks after the qualifying final put us in a good spot for tomorrow night.”

Pyke also said on Thursday that if the Crows won, McGovern would push for a grand-final recall.

The Crows regain vice-captain Rory Sloane (appendix) and lose defender Brodie Smith (knee reconstruction), with Andy Otten coming in for McGovern.

“It was a bridge too far for tomorrow night, but we remain hopeful,” Pyke said of McGovern.

“Should we progress, we’ll give him every chance.”

The Cats sprang a selection surprise, naming Nakia Cockatoo, and Tom Lonergan returns from last week’s illness.

They dropped James Parsons and Zach Guthrie.

A huge focus at the first bounce will be where Geelong start Patrick Dangerfield, given his best-afield performance at full-forward in last week’s semi-final win over Sydney.

Given Adelaide play a team defence, as opposed to Sydney’s man-on-man strategy, Dangerfield is much more likely to switch regularly between the midfield and attack.

The two teams will take poor recent preliminary final records into Friday night’s clash.

Since their last premiership in 1998, the Crows have lost four prelims, most recently in 2012.

Geelong won four out of five preliminary finals as they claimed three premierships between 2007-11.

But since then, they have fallen just short twice of the grand final.

Last year, Sydney bounced them with seven goals to nil in the first quarter of their preliminary final at the MCG

Australia’s first space centre launches in Adelaide

Australia’s first dedicated space centre has launched in Adelaide with Premier Jay Weatherill hoping to cash in on the nearly $4 billion-a-year national industry.


The South Australian Space Industry Centre will create jobs by allowing manufacturers to transition to the high-tech growth sector, Mr Weatherill says.

“Many people think space is about astronauts and rockets. It’s so much more than that. It has become part of our everyday lives from our daily weather forecasts to using our mobile phones,” he said.

The premier said the centre was a continuation of the state’s push towards technologically based industries, including billionaire Elon Musk’s lithium-ion battery farm north of Adelaide.

“As an industry, space is growing at more than three times the world annual GDP. The potential is enormous and opportunities abundant,” Mr Weatherill said.

Setting up a national space agency would more than double the 11,500 jobs already created by the industry within eight years, the premier said.

Last month, SA and the Australian Capital Territory joined forces to push for a dedicated space site.

The Northern Territory has since also joined.

Australia is one of a few developed countries without a national space agency, with New Zealand creating its own last year.

Federal Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos announced in July a review of Australia’s space industry capabilities and said a national agency would be under consideration.

Adelaide will host an international space congress next week, when tech entrepreneur Mr Musk is expected to update his plans for a mission to Mars.

Why is energy policy dividing the Coalition?

Mr Turnbull’s plans could be derailed – not by Labor or the Greens, but from his own backbench and in particular by former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.


Energy policy remains a thorny issue for the Coalition, and for this PM as he navigates the politics of his own party.

Sitting with like-minded panellists on Sky News, Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent a warning signal.

“It would be unconscionable – I underline that word, unconscionable – for a government that was originally elected promising to abolish the carbon tax and to end Labor’s climate obsessions to go further down this renewable path. I think the important thing is that the partyroom, if necessary, saves the government from itself.”

To the nods and agreements of his former Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin, and conservative commentator Alan Jones, Mr Abbott outlined his opposition to subsidising new wind and solar products, and insisted that the Clean Energy Target – a key recommendation of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel – should be dropped.

Mr Abbott went further, suggesting he would vote against Coalition government legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if incentives are given to renewable or clean energy sources, threatening the Coalition’s slim one-seat majority in the Lower House.

It piles pressure on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as he and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, work on developing their policy, and deciding whether the Clean Energy Target would be set below the Finkel review’s recommendation, or dropped entirely.

“It’s not an ideological issue. It’s not coal versus renewables or gas versus coal or wind versus solar. It’s all of the above. What we need is leadership on energy, which I am providing and my government is providing, which is based on engineering and economics. The days of ideology and idiocy, which is what we had from Labor, have left Australians paying far too much for their power and power system that is not as reliable as it ought to be.”

But such leadership as Malcolm Turnbull is hoping to provide on energy, has long been fraught with division within his own party room, despite his adamant denials.

“Everyone in the coalition, of which Mr Abbott is a member, are united on ensuring that Australians have affordable and reliable energy. We are all absolutely of one mind.”

Coalition frontbenchers, including Alan Tudge, appeared to back the Prime Minister but his remarks to the ABc revealed it may be semantics under debate.

“I’m very confident Minister Frydenberg will be able to negotiate sensible policy where all of us can agree upon it. But again, I re-emphasise, all of us are at one in ensuring energy must be affordable, and having some extraordinarily high and arbitrary rate in relation to clean energy will not achieve that outcome.”

But the difficulty for Mr Turnbull is that his fondness for renewable energy is well known.

Back in 2009, as Opposition leader, his support for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme contributed to his downfall.

The beneficiary at the time was none other than Mr Abbott, who in a party room leadership ballot toppled Mr Turnbull by one vote.

Coal-generated electricity then became a victorious battleground for Mr Abbott who centred his attacks on Labor’s carbon pricing mechanism, legislated by subsequent PM Julia Gillard.

Now Mr Abbott’s hoping this will again work in his favour.

Energy policy researcher, Dr Hugh Saddler from the Australian National University, outlines why this might be problematic for the energy sector.

“Some members of the governing parties are obsessively attached to hanging on to old superseded technologies, that is mainly technologies that make electricity by burning coal to make steam to drive steam turbines. That has two major defects: firstly it is much more emission-intensive than any other way of making electricity, and secondly it’s higher-cost than modern, lower-emission technology that is being taken up all around the world.”

But statewide power blackouts in South Australia last year, and the overall cost on households, have created great scepticism about shifting to a more prominent mix of solar and wind in Australia’s electricity generation.

Dr Saddler again:

“In many parts of Australia, they are somewhat complementary. Because of course solar has the best output towards the middle of the day, but there are many parts of Australia where it’s much windier at night than in the day, so to a significant degree they can be complementary. And there are some numerous new renewable electricity generation projects now being constructed, such as locations in North Queensland – none at present, but there’s an enormous quantity now being built and there are sites up there where the two are very complementary.”

While Mr Abbott has also found friends in the National party willing to follow his lead, Labor leader Bill Shorten is happy to highlight the division.

“He’s got to toughen up to Tony Abbott, stop standing in the way of good investment policy which will deliver reliable energy. And we need to start getting agreement on a clean energy target, and that is what the chief scientist has said. You know, if I have to pick in a beauty parade between Tony Abbott and the right wing of the Liberal party, or the chief scientist, my vote goes to the chief scientist and his fact-based efforts to ensure that we’ve got proper pricing for energy and sustainable energy into the future.”




NZ eases fuel rationing amid shortage

New Zealand is partially easing fuel rationing, a spokesman for the country’s oil industry says, a sign the five-day long fuel shortage that has caused air travel disruptions is subsiding.


More than 120 flights have been cancelled this week in Auckland after the single privately owned pipeline that carries jet fuel from a refinery to the city’s airport was damaged.

National carrier Air New Zealand said it expected flights to run as usual on Friday, with no cancellations for the first time since Sunday.

Airline fuel allocations would rise to 50 per cent, from 30 per cent, at midnight (0000 on Friday, or 2200 AEST), said Andrew McNaught, manager for Mobil New Zealand and a spokesman for the customers of the country’s only oil refinery operator, Refining NZ.

New Zealand’s government and oil industry have taken measures to try to contain the crisis, from fuel rationing to calling on the military to help truck in supplies of fuel, and have set up an industry-government group to handle the fallout.

A New Zealand navy vessel will ferry diesel fuel around the country as the government rushes to alleviate the shortage in the run-up to Saturday’s national election.

The ship would transport up to 4.8 million litres of diesel – equivalent to 150 tankers – to enable the oil industry to focus on providing jet fuel to Auckland airport, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins said on Thursday.

The measures were simply a stopgap until the pipe was repaired, which would take place by September 26, McNaught said.

The ordeal has become a headache for the ruling National Party, which is battling it out with the newly invigorated Labour Party to form the next government.

New campaign to rid sports broadcasts of alcohol ads

On the field of a sporting match, it’s always a fight.


But some fear watching alcohol commercials is stoking another battle: between young viewers and the bottle.

Michael Thorn, the chief executive of the Foundation for Alchohol Research and Education says exposing children in particular to alcohol commercials, will lead to issues in adulthood.

“It will increase the likelihood they will commence drinking earlier. and if they do commence drinking earlier they are more likely to suffer problems later in life.

The booze free sport campaign follows recent changes to the rules around gambling ads, which have seen restrictions placed around timing and content of gambling advertisements during sports broadcasts.

Campaigners believe the public has also had enough of alchohol commercials in cricket, N-R-L and A-F-L televised games.

Some residents of LaKemba in Sydney’s west say they have.

“I don’t think it should be publically advertised on TV”

“the kid is watching the adult trying and they are curious, they want to try anything.”

“they are really keen, like what is alcohol? what is that?”

Research by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education reveals that each year in Australia, 1 million kids are affected by carers who drink heavily,100,000 are severely impacted, and 10 000 kids with carers who drink are taken by child protection services.

Former Saint Kilda president Rod Butterss’ own struggle with alcoholism is one he says too many sports players share.

“Those problems often started at a very early age when they were just associating alcohol with their sporting heroes and then they come back into the system, and it’s not just the system it’s endemic across society.”

Millions of Australians are expected to tune in to the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, the latter here at Sydney’s Olympic Park. These broadcasts represent some of the most expensive advertising space in Australia, and they generate many millions of dollars.

Mr Thorn says the lost revenue from alcohol advertisers could be subsidised, with replacement sponsors sourced to generate revenue.

“We propose the establishment of a sponsorship replacement fund to relieve the immediate financial burden of winding back the sponsorship. This is something that was done when tobacco advertising was phased out in the 1990’s.”

Federal ministers are being lobbied to change laws.

In a statement, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told SBS Alcohol advertising on TV and radio is regulated through Codes of Practice enforced by ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

ACMA undertakes public consultation whenever these Codes are amended and ensures they reflect community standards.