- Port Stephens surfers, surf life savers rescue five swimmers from near drowning at Birubi Beach on New Year’s Day
- A-League: Topor-Stanley focused on Jets win rather than 250 milestone
- Soft start to 2018 for ASX
- Double trouble: Brumbies twins to add backyard battle spice to selection
- The pub with no roof: storm rips through north coast
Monthly Archives: July 2019
The personnel changes at Western Sydney Wanderers have continued under the reign of new coach Josep Gombau after Japanese winger Jumpei Kusukami and midfielder Jacob Melling agree to leave the club immediately.
The departure of Kusukami comes 17 hours after he snubbed a handshake from Gombau when substituted late in the Wanderers’ 2-1 win over over Melbourne City on Monday night.
The 30-year-old came on in the 10th minute as a replacement for injured marquee Alvaro Cejudo but in an unusual circumstance, didn’t finish the match despite starting as a substitute. He was withdrawn in the 85th minute and replaced by striker Brendon Santalab.
Kusukami was visibly unhappy with the decision and appeared to brush a handshake from his coach in a curt exchange on the sideline.
It is understood both Kusukami has accepted an immediate end to his tenure with the Wanderers, having received offers to play elsewhere prior to Monday’s match against Melbourne. Kusukami leaves after making 38 appearances for the Wanderers over the past two seasons, scoring four goals. His departure means there are no Asian players in the A-League.
Twenty-two year-old midfielder Melling ends his two seasons with the Wanderers in a spell plagued by injury. It is understood Melling sought a mutual termination of his contract having accepted a deal to sign with Central Coast Mariners, set to be completed by the end of the week.
The departures of Kusukami and Melling follow former assistant coach Hayden Foxe as key figures who have left the club in little over a week.
The Wanderers are understood to be planning to use the departure of Kusukami as an opportunity to add another foreign player to their roster in the January transfer window.
Meanwhile, Gombau says he won’t deviate from his project to change the club’s football philosophy mid-season, despite making some minor tweaks on players’ advice to help snap their poor run of form.
The newly appointed Wanderers coach bought himself more time after Western Sydney fought hard to clinch a narrow 2-1 win over Melbourne City on Monday night to seal his first home win since taking charge of the club in early November.
“I don’t feel this pressure, I am very clear with what I would like to do and that’s the way I like to work,” Gombau said. “For me, at the end it’s my job. Every single coach has pressure. Every game is an exam … For me, it doesn’t change my mentality, it doesn’t change anything. I believe in one certain way to do the things, and I do the things like this but no pressure.”
Adhering to the process is the priority for Gombau who was pleased with the movement of his team on Monday night and says the target is to finish inside the top six.
“This year we need to be competitive, we have to try and finish in the top six to make the finals and after that everything can happen,” Gombau said.
Striker Oriol Riera played a pivotal role in guiding the Wanderers to a victory, scoring an equaliser before setting up the eventual winner. A determined performance from the Spanish marquee pleased fans demanding more commitment from the players and says the players spoke with coaches about tweaking their style of play, including returning to a more disciplined structure in defence.
“I think that we changed many things … the way the players and the staff think this way we’ll be very successful for us – more compact, more intensity in the fights, one v one, those moments,” Riera said. “I think today with this performance, we were very good on the field and most importantly, we must maintain this. That’s the most important.”
A VICTORIANgrain grower believes more needs to be done to make vehicles safer for farm use, after his new ute sparked three spot fires on his property.
Michael Sudholz said he was shocked after his new Ford Ranger started the fires on his property near Natimuk, in Victoria’s west, just before Christmas.
It comes afterFord announced more than 59,000 vehicles across were being recalled after a defect was discovered that could lead to fire.
“We were driving through the wheat stubble and the exhaust started three spot fires –you wouldn’t expect that from a 2017 ute,” Mr Sudholz said.
“We lost 100 acres of wheat, my son burnt his arm and our header driver burnt his fingers.
“We didn’t lose any machinery though, which was lucky.”
Mr Sudholz said he bought two new Ford Rangers last year, one in March and one in June, specifically for farm use.
He said he was lucky the fire didn’t do more damage.
“It wasn’t a bad day –it wasn’t windy at all, but if it was, it could have been a real disaster,” he said.
“We were very lucky to get away with the damage we had.
“The fire went through one paddock and into another –it was heading towards Natimuk and easily could have ended up there.
“It took out 100 acres in less than 20 minutes –we had six people in the paddock and machinery worth $2 million, it could have been muchworse.”
Read more:‘Deadly’ recalled airbags replaced with same faulty product
Mr Sudholz said he received an email from Ford about the recall the day after the fires.
“We had no information before that,” he said.
“It was a surpriseto find out that the ute started the fire and since then, I’ve heard of two other farmers in the district having the same problem.”
Mr Sudholz said more needed to be done to make vehicles safer.
“We buy these vehicles because we need to use them in dry conditions,” he said.
“Now many more utes are being fitted with new exhausts, so we could have a problem with other makes of vehicles.
“The government needs to look at these things –we need to be able to operate our vehicles in dry conditions.
“I’dnever had a fire start from a diesel ute in mylife.”
Ford Rangers sold between July 12, 2016and December 7, 2017 are affected by the recall.
The recall was made because of a defect that can cause vegetation to become stuck under the vehicle near the exhaust system, when it is driven over long grass.
Ford will write to owners of affected vehicles.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek during a joint press conference with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten where they announced the shadow ministry, at Parliament House in Canberra on Saturday 23 July 2016. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe Turnbull government has ruled out holding a plebiscite or postal survey before the next election on ns’ preferred model for becoming a Republic even if Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends during the current parliament.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed on Tuesday there would be no such vote during this parliamentary term even if there is a change of British monarch, despite Mr Turnbull saying the day before that an end to the Queen’s reign would be the obvious moment at which the republic issue becomes “live again”.
Mr Turnbull had on Monday suggested that a postal survey similar to that which decided the same-sex marriage debate might be used to guide how the nation evolves from a monarchy to a republic, including how a president is chosen.
The swift walk-back prompted acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek to dismiss Mr Turnbull’s remarks as a “thought bubble” and to suggest he was bowing to conservative elements in his party.
“It looks like nothing’s changed in 2018 – just more thought bubbles from Malcolm Turnbull that barely last 24 hours. Overruled by the right wing of his party again,” she said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott, a diehard monarchist, told The n on Tuesday that Mr Turnbull seemed to be “jumping on the Keating bandwagon” by raising the plebiscite – referring to former prime minister Paul Keating’s attack on current political leaders for failing to keep the republic issue on the agenda.
Mr Turnbull said should the Queen’s reign end during his prime ministership and the republic debate be revived, “the first thing you would need to do is have an honest, open discussion about how a president would be elected”.
“It may be that a plebiscite, maybe even a postal survey, given the success of the marriage postal survey, could be one way to deal with that,” he said.
The British press seized on the comments, including The Mirror which declared Prince Charles’ future role as ‘s king has been thrown into doubt.
Ms Plibersek demanded Mr Turnbull clarify the government’s position on the republic issue.
“Let’s have a real discussion about this. What is the government actually proposing? What is the government’s position on this? There isn’t one, there’s a thought bubble,” she said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in July pledged to give ns a vote on whether to become a republic during the first term of a future Labor government.
ns would be asked to answer “Yes” or “No” to the question: “Do you support an n republic with an n head of state?”
“Perhaps the government could join us in putting that simple question to the people,” Ms Plibersek said on Tuesday.
“Labor supports becoming a republic and we are happy to work with the government on whatever proposition they have for advancing this objective.”
Labor is yet to determine if a postal survey is the best way to test public views on the issue.
Under Labor’s plan, if ns voted for a republic then work would be done to decide on the best model.
Mr Turnbull said if a postal survey or plebiscite were to be held, voters should be asked whether an n president would be chosen by Parliament or directly elected by the people.
Ms Plibersek questioned why voters would be asked about the best model for appointing an n head of state without first determining if there was majority support for a republic.
Mr Turnbull’s comments came in response to criticism by former Prime Minister Paul Keating who questioned the commitment of the Prime Minister, ‘s most prominent republican, of transitioning to an n head of state.
n Republic Movement chair Peter FitzSimons said Mr Turnbull should “commit to a national vote on an n republic during the next Parliament”.
“The leaders on both sides of politics clearly want this to happen. Now it’s not a question of if, but how,” he said.
The model of seaplane that crashed and killed six people on New Year’s Eve is generally reliable, according to a transport safety official leading the investigation.
But investigators do not know if the plane had the stall warning system recommended by Canadian authorities after the same model crashed and killed another British family in 2015.
The Sydney Seaplanes aircraft plunged into Jerusalem Bay north of Sydney, killing British chief executive Richard Cousins, 58, his sons Edward, 23, and William, 25, his fiance Emma Bowden, 48, her daughter Heather, 11, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44.
The plane remains largely intact beneath 13 metres of water.
ATSB Executive Director of Transport Safety, Nat Nagy speaks on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: AAP
“The aircraft took off in a north-easterly direction, followed by a turn to the north-east, then a subsequent right hand turn prior to impact,” Nat Nagy, an executive director of the n Transport Safety Bureau, said.
The 1964 aircraft then sank and settled on the bottom of the river in an “inverted, slightly nosedown altitude”, Mr Nagy continued. He could not confirm that the plane nose-dived before hitting the water.
Authorities hoped to have recovered the plane by the end of the week. They may attempt to float it to the surface with internal airbags, pull it up with a crane, or both.
Three investigators from the ATSB are working to piece together the plane’s brief, final flight, looking at factors from pilot history to maintenance to components.
In 2015, a plane of the same kind, a DHC-2 Beaver, crashed in Quebec, Canada, killing six on board. The Canadian Transport Safety Bureau recommended in September that all such planes be fitted with mandatory stall warning systems.
Mr Nagy said he did not know if the Sydney Seaplanes aircraft had this system but “we haven’t seen any systemic issues with this aircraft”.
Asked whether the model was reliable, he said “an aircraft that’s been used this long in this many operations, I would say yes”.
The safety bureau is appealing for witnesses to come forward, especially those who have video footage of the flight.
Investigators will try to recover any footage taken on the flight from mobile phones or body-cameras, before finishing a preliminary report within a month.
SENATOR Derryn Hinch has backed calls by consumer health groups for a total ban on pelvic mesh devices in after a grim prediction following the suicide of a Queensland mesh victim.
“This suicide is the one we know about. There will be others,” Senator Hinch said after hearing sometimes shocking evidence from women mesh victims in 2017 at a Senate inquiry he campaigned to establish. A final report will be made public in February.
“There must be 15,000-20,000 n women affected by the mesh scandal and to see those women leaning on the walls, crouching on floors, unable to sit and in obvious pain at the inquiry hearings, was truly shocking,” he said.
“What we heard at the Senate inquiry I think is just the tip of the iceberg. I think all mesh should be banned. It was hearing from women about the desperate situations they’ve been left in that hit me, about how seriousit all is.
“Women have been exploited, they’ve been abused.Doctors have profited by this. They’ve made money out of it and I think it’s a bloody disgrace.
“If this was a male problem, if this was something to do with the penis or prostate cancer, it would have been fixed 15 years ago.”
Read more: Doctor left ‘aghast’ by sex recommendations for women
Senator Hinch said authorities including n medical device regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, would be pursued after the Senate inquiry final report.
“I’ve still got my powder dry on the TGA but what it did wasapprovevarious meshes because they were sort of just like the ones that had already been approved, without requiring evidence of safety. That’s nowayto run a medical watchdog authority,” Senator Hinch said.
Primary school teacher Alison Blake, 64,was implanted with a prolapse mesh device in October, 2013 and suffered severe and immediate complications including disabling pain. Asuccession of further surgical procedures to remove the mesh and deal with the complications was unsuccessful.
In a final letter to her only childin June, 2015, Mrs Blake wrote: “I cannot bear the thought of leaving you but the emotional torment and physical pain I’m going through are just too much.”
“I simply cannot bear to be lying on a couch for months on end and to have to rely on catheters, enemas, Temazepam, pain killers and be a burden to my family and friends.”
She died on June 26, 2015. Her daughter, Leesa Tolhurst, said her mother gave up hope after a final visit to a doctor she thought would be able to offer her some relief.
“She’d gone to the doctor hoping that perhaps something could be done. She was hysterical when she came here and said there was nothing left. I just tried to comfort her. I remember her as she drove away from my house, there was just a look in her eyes,”Mrs Tolhurst said.
Senator Hinch criticised the response of health departments across the country to the desperate situation many women are in because of mesh surgery.
He supported women who have been pushing for an American doctor who has completely removed hundreds of different pelvic meshes to be sponsored to , after many women were advised by n doctors that their meshes could not be removed.
“Women want full mesh removal. They don’t want partial removal which is what n doctors seem to be offering. I back the women 1000 per cent. I want to try to get him out here now,” Senator Hinch said.
Suffer in Silence is a Newcastle Herald investigation spearheaded by journalist Joanne McCarthy read more