AFL 2021: Richmond COVID-19 breach before Port Adelaide loss, Jack Riewoldt

Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt has revealed players at the club were privately worried about getting busted over a COVID-19 protocol breach that went unreported last year.

Riewoldt and teammate Dylan Grimes have spoken of the situation publicly for the first time in a video series on YouTube where it was revealed Richmond’s Adelaide hotel may have exposed the entire team to a biosecurity protocol breach before the team’s loss to Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval in Round 11.

Richmond experienced one of the most turbulent seasons in recent memory with a series of off-field scandals, but it did nothing to stop the club powering to another premiership.

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Round 1

Richmond was last year issued with a series of wrist-slaps by the AFL, including a $100,000 fine for the Gold Coast strip club protocol breaches by Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones.

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Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Tips, Odds and Teams – BBL Big Bash 2021

Sydney Showground will play host to Sunday”s
Round 7 BBL Big Bash 2021 game between Sydney Thunder and
Adelaide Strikers. The game kicks off at 4:05 pm with Sydney Thunder heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Sydney Thunder vs.
Adelaide Strikers
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Sunday January 24, 2021 at 4:05 pm

Where: Sydney Showground

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match

Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Odds

Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Preview

It’s fair to say this one could go a long way to determining the makeup of the finals.

The Strikers currently sit one point ahead of the Thunder on the ladder in fourth, but they likely won’t hold particularly fond memories of this Sydney side.

The Thunder have won three of their last five against the Strikers, two of which have come at the Adelaide Oval.

If you’re chasing more than just the head-to-head value, don’t be afraid to bet on Alex Carey after he scored the season’s first century on Thursday night.

Carey has scored 229 career runs against this Thunder outfit, making him a good bet to multi up with a Thunder win.

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Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Tip

Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers Teams

Sydney Thunder squad
Callum Ferguson (c), Sam Billings (England), Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (England), Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Adam Milne (New Zealand), Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain

Adelaide Strikers squad
Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Danny Briggs (England), Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson (local replacement player), Spencer Johnson, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O’Connor, Matt Renshaw, Phil Salt (England), Liam Scott, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Daniel Worrall

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Emergency warning issued for bushfire in Adelaide Hills


January 24, 2021 18:31:49

South Australian authorities have issued an emergency warning for an uncontrolled bushfire in the Adelaide Hills.

Source: ABC News
Duration: 34sec




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Richmond COVID-19 breach before Port Adelaide loss, Jack Riewoldt

Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt has revealed players at the club were privately worried about getting busted over a COVID-19 protocol breach that went unreported last year.

Riewoldt and teammate Dylan Grimes have spoken of the situation publicly for the first time in a video series on YouTube where it was revealed Richmond’s Adelaide hotel may have exposed the entire team to a biosecurity protocol breach before the team’s loss to Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval in Round 11.

Richmond experienced one of the most turbulent seasons in recent memory with a series of off-field scandals, but it did nothing to stop the club powering to another premiership.

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Richmond was last year issued with a series of wrist-slaps by the AFL, including a $100,000 fine for the Gold Coast strip club protocol breaches by Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones.

Richmond were also busted when the wife of Trent Cotchin, Brooke Cotchin, broke the strict COVID-19 protocols by attending a beauty spa on the Gold Coast.

The list of breaches may have been even longer than first thought after Riewoldt’s surprising YouTube admission — which suggested the Tigers may have unwittingly broke the rules again just two weeks later when their hotel welcomed homeless visitors to stay at the same accommodation as part of the South Australian government’s emergency accommodation COVID-19 program.

“It (hotel) felt like a hospital which had been abandoned. It was really old and it was like, ‘This is weird’,” Grimes said.

“We came down from a meeting or a team walk or something and the hotel lobby was filled with homeless people.

“In Adelaide, if it gets above or below a certain temperature the hotel opens up as a homeless shelter.

“I don’t know how this never got out and the AFL have done an amazing job of covering this up (because) at this stage we were wearing masks coming out of the airport, to the airport, to the bus.

“We weren’t allowed to come into contact with anyone, but next thing you know we were crammed like sardines into a lift.

“We were like ‘How does this happen?’.

“We were so sterile for so long and now we are staying in a homeless shelter right before a game.”

He said the club was expecting the situation to play out as another headline-making drama – but nothing eventuated.

“We had just been done for the Brooke Cotchin thing, there was something else, and they (AFL) were all over us,” Grimes said.

“I was like ‘The AFL are going to cop it for this. Sit back and wait and watch the media roll in (because) Richmond was staying in a homeless shelter’ but crickets, (there was) nothing (about it).”

The Tigers have continued to make headlines off the field during their summer break with coach Damien Hardwick’s separation from his wife, Danielle.

Hardwick’s new relationship with an employee of the club was confirmed last month after reports the marriage breakdown “rocked staff within the club”.

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Australia Day/Invasion Day 2021 events guide for Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin

One of the most polarising dates on the Australian calendar is back, though this year the coronavirus pandemic could mean fewer crowds at events around the country.

January 26 marks Australia Day or Invasion Day, typically seen as a celebration of the nation or a day of sorrow for the colonisation of an ancient culture.

For many First Nations people, it is a day to mourn the past and galvanise the community to address ongoing systemic racial injustice.

For others, it’s a chance to spend time with family and friends at the beach or around barbeques.

However you plan to spend the day, these are some of the big events in the capital cities.


There’ll be no Australia Day parade in Melbourne this year due to fears of another coronavirus outbreak.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews cancelled the event and has urged residents to follow health advice to avoid gathering in large numbers.

Thousands of people lined the street for Melbourne’s annual Australia Day parade on January 26, 2022.(Supplied: Channel Seven)

Smaller events are happening around the city, starting early with a 5:00am start for the Invasion Day Dawn Service at King’s Domain Resting Place.

The Victorian NAIDOC Committee has requested that people register in advance to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

Later, an Invasion Day rally will be held on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne from 10:30am.

The organisers, the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, say they have a COVID safety plan in place with marshals to control attendees.

Elsewhere, the Share the Spirit Festival returns to Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens on January 26, bringing together artists, musicians and dancers to celebrate Aboriginal music and culture.

Australian of the Year, legendary singer Archie Roach, will be performing at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Gates will open for the free event at 12:00pm.

Archie Roach sings into a microphone
Archie Roach was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2020.(Supplied: ARIAs)


Events in Sydney will be smaller than in previous years due to limits on crowd sizes amid the pandemic.

Those up early can catch the raising of the Australian and Aboriginal flags on Sydney Harbour Bridge at 5:15am.

Circular Quay will be much quieter than usual. There will be no Ferrython, Harbour Parade or Tall Ships race this year due to the pandemic, although the annual Oz Day 10km Wheelchair Race starts at 9:00am at The Rocks.

Brydi Saul digs deep to keep going in a wheelchair race.
Brydi Saul in action at the Oz Day 10K wheelchair race on January 26, 2020.(Supplied: Karen Watson)

Other annual events will be broadcast live, including the Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony at the Opera House and fireworks over the harbour.

One of the biggest Invasion Day events is a planned march through the city starting at 9:00am at Djarrbarrgalli, or Sydney’s Domain.

Organisers say the demonstration is calling for “Australia Day” to be abolished and for “sovereignty, not constitutional recognition”.

The New South Wales Government has restricted protest gatherings to 500 people under current COVID-19 regulations.

But rally organiser and Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung and Dunghutti woman Elizabeth Jarrett said the community needed to “come together and fight back”, even if that breached health directives.

“Unlike COVID, the virus of colonial racism that came to these lands in 1788 cannot be defeated by self-isolation or quarantine,” she said.

A man holds a sign that says 'Always was.. Always will be Aboriginal Land.'
A protest sign at Hyde Park as part of last year’s Invasion Day march.(Getty: Don Arnold)


Perth would usually play host to the nation’s largest Australia Day fireworks display, but local coronavirus restrictions mean this year’s Skyworks won’t go ahead.

In its place, the City of Perth has planned a five-day festival, which includes a water projection show that tells the stories of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people. There’ll also be markets and live music performances.

The city has also planned a children’s carnival, motocross and BMX displays, and skydivers twirling through the sky with Australian flags, all in Langley Park.

In the Supreme Court Gardens, the annual Birak Concert will feature Aboriginal entertainment, food trucks and other activities.

An Invasion Day rally will be held in Forrest Place from 1:00pm, before the space transforms into the City of Perth’s food markets from 4:30pm.

The City of Fremantle, which made headlines when it attempted to move its Australia Day citizenship ceremonies to January 28 in 2016, will hold its One Day in Fremantle event today.

It will feature a smoking ceremony at Bathers Beach from 8:00am, before a community barbecue at the nearby Kidogo Arthouse.

Fireworks on the Swan River viewed from the South Perth foreshore.
Fireworks on the Swan River viewed from the South Perth foreshore. Date unknown.(Supplied: Unsplash/Sebastian Davenport-Handley)


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will kick off the Australia Day celebrations at a flag raising ceremony in Townsville at the Jezzine Barracks.

In less formal celebrations, Mackay locals will enjoy the unveiling of the Big Thongs while Sunshine Coast residents head to a beach parade at Buderim.

The traditional Australia Day egg-tossing championships will take place at Yeppoon along with the Capricornian Beach Games and the Bare Bottom Boat Regatta.

An Invasion Day rally and march will be held in Brisbane as well as Survival Day celebrations in Cairns.

A giant Aboriginal flag is carried by members of a large crowd as they walk across a bridge as part of a protest.
Last year crowds carried a huge flag at the Brisbane Invasion Day protest.(ABC News: Julie Hornsey)


South Australia is used to hosting more than 40,000 people in Adelaide’s Elder Park for Australia Day celebrations — but the day will look a little different this year.

The biggest events will be two free concerts featuring Birds of Tokyo and the Australian Girls Choir at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Tickets will be limited to 5,000 at separate two-and-a-half-hour shows.

Tickets for a Smoking Ceremony at Botanic Park at 8:00am have already been exhausted, but people will be able to attend the Adelaide Central Market for free cooking demonstrations and an art installation.

On the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Victor Harbor council will host a free barbecue and citizenship ceremony at Soldiers Memorial Garden from 8:00am.

Australia Day Council of SA CEO Jan Chorley said that was one of dozens of events being planned at local council level across the state.

“There’s a jam-packed program comprising 85 events put on across 64 councils,” Ms Chorley said.

Ms Chorley said the theme of “reflect, respect, celebrate” was particularly relevant this year, with emergency and first responders to be singled out for praise.

She said no councils had scrapped events because of a push to change the date, but said there was strong focus on ensuring events were inclusive.

“First Nations people have been integral in shaping the events that are taking place across the city of Adelaide,” Ms Chorley said.

“There’s a very strong understanding and commitment to making a day of meaning for all.”

Australia Day awards ceremony in Canberra
For some, Australia Day is a time to celebrate the nation and spend time with family and friends.(ABC News: 666 ABC Canberra, David Flannery)


Australia Day in Tasmania will be more subdued this year.

In the state’s north, dozens of small planes from around the country are expected to fly into The Vale, at the foot of Mount Roland near Claude Road for a charity fundraiser and barbeque.

On Tasmania’s west coast, the 123rd Mount Lyall Strahan picnic will be going ahead, with up to 1,000 people permitted to attend in line with the state’s coronavirus gathering restrictions.

Several councils around the state are also hosting Australia Day awards and citizenship ceremonies, along with smaller community celebrations.

Two Invasion Day rallies have also been planned in Tasmania, with one protest to be held on Parliament House lawns in Hobart, and another in Devonport in the state’s north-west. Both rallies begin at midday.

Protesters in an Invasion Day rally in Hobart.
Last year, large crowds turned out in Hobart for the Invasion Day protest.(ABC News: Katri Uibu)


The Territory’s largest running event, the annual Oz Run, is on again and is expected to attract up to 4,000 people.

Energetic locals can walk or run along the waterfront, or just turn up for the sausage sizzle.

Participants are encouraged to dress up.

A group of people in Darwin adorn Australia flag hats as they prepare to participate in the annual fun run
Runners are encouraged to have fun and dress up for the the Territory’s largest running event.(ABC News: Jacqueline Breen)

For those who prefer their action to be wheel-based, the annual Ute Run kicks off at 9:30am at Hidden Valley Race Track before winding through the northern suburbs streets and concluding at Noonamah.

The city’s largest Invasion Day/Survival Day event will be held at Civic Park at 10:00am, on Larrakia (Saltwater) country.


Australia Day events remain significantly pared back in the capital despite having no new infections for several weeks.

The main community event is The Great Aussie Picnic at the edge of Lake Burley Griffin where Daryl Braithwaite, among others, will perform.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the “re-imagined” Australia Day event “will ensure Canberrans have a COVID-safe acknowledgement of Australia Day”.

Each year Canberra also hosts the major citizenship event.

Twenty-five new Australians will be welcomed at Rond Terrace, in view of Parliament House.

A Survival Day march from the city to the lawns of Parliament has also been planned.

People waving Australia flags in Canberra to watch Australian citizenship ceremonies.
Citizenship ceremonies will go ahead on January 26, but on a smaller scale.(ABC New:)

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Djokovic requested Melbourne quarantine “instead of Adelaide”

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has revealed he requested to quarantine “with his team” in a Melbourne hotel “instead of Adelaide” ahead of his appearance at a Memorial Drive curtain-raiser to the Australian Open.

Djokovic is the headline act of a star-studded cast – which will now also feature world number one Ash Barty – that will warm up at the Drive on January 29, and is quarantining at the newly-opened Majestic M Suites Hotel in North Adelaide.

He made headlines this week after he lobbied tennis authorities on behalf of Open contestants quarantining in Melbourne, seeking improved conditions.

In a social media post last night, the men’s world number one player made an impassioned defence of his comments, saying his “good intentions” have been misconstrued by critics.

Djokovic insists he was not being “selfish, difficult and ungrateful” in speaking out about quarantine conditions for players ahead of the Australian Open, saying he had felt obliged to use his “hard-earned” privileges to make suggestions to tournament director Craig Tiley on how to improve conditions for players in Melbourne.

He also revealed he had earlier sought to avoid his less-onerous quarantine in Adelaide, a request that was refused because of “government regulations”.

“There were a few suggestions and ideas that I gathered from other players from our chat group and there was no harm intended to try and help,” he said of his requests to Tiley.

“I was aware that the chances were low that any of our suggestions would be accepted – just like my request to quarantine with my team in Melbourne instead of Adelaide was denied prior to our travel because of strict government regulations.

“Since I couldn’t be with other players in Melbourne, I made myself available to them.”

SA’s chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said she was not aware of Djokovic’s request.

“We were asked by the State Government to provide quarantine for this group of tennis players and we have done that,” she said today.

“My responsibility is to keep South Australians safe, and that’s really what my focus has been.”

She said SA Health “haven’t had any complaints whatsoever” from players quarantining locally, who are allowed out of their hotel accommodation to train at Memorial Drive under the supervision of nurses “looking for any breaches of PPE”.

“There certainly haven’t been any significant breaches that I’m aware of,” Spurrier said.

Djokovic serving at the 2013 Australian Open. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

In a long social media post, Djokovic, who has been criticised widely, wrote: “My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“I genuinely care about my fellow players and I also understand very well how the world is run and who gets bigger and better and why.

“I’ve earned my privileges the hard way and for that reason it is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture and good word mattered to me when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order.

“Hence I use my position of privilege to be of service as much as I can where and when needed.”

Regarding his suggestions to Tiley, Djokovic added: “In our email exchange I used an opportunity to brainstorm about potential improvements that could be made to the quarantine of players in Melbourne that were in full lockdown…

“I understand that organising international sporting events during a pandemic poses health risks to the local community and to the players themselves.

“Therefore, I would like to express my full gratitude to Tennis Australia, the Australian Government and local citizens for being willing to take this risk with us for the love of the game and the multiple opportunities it brings to the economy of the country and its people.

“We are honoured and we will all do our best to follow the guidelines and protocols put in place. We do hope that we will be able to nurture our bodies and be ready for the mental and physical endurance and strength tests that are ahead of us once the competition starts.

“Things in the media escalated and there was a general impression that the players (including myself) are ungrateful, weak and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine. I am very sorry that it has come that because I do know how grateful many are.

“We all came to Australia to compete. Not being able to train and prepare before the tournament starts is really not easy.

“None of us ever questioned 14 days of quarantine despite what is being said by media outlets.”

Ten people who have flown to Melbourne for the first grand slam of the year have tested positive for coronavirus, resulting in 72 players being confined to their rooms.

Meanwhile, SA Police have warned Adelaide media to stay away from the visiting tennis stars, after being “informed that various media outlets are attempting to speak directly to tennis players in hotel quarantine at the Majestic M Apartments in North Adelaide, by putting microphones to their balconies”.

In a release entitled “Media warned not to approach tennis players”, SAPOL reminded local outlets to adhere to COVID regulations, adding: “Any microphones that come within close proximity of anyone in quarantine will have to be decontaminated, and the person operating the microphone and people in their vicinity will likely be directed to undertake 14 days quarantine at their own cost.”

“If media representatives are on the roadway they will be asked to move for safety reasons, and if they do not comply, police will take action,” the missive warned.

-with AAP

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Adelaide go joint top of W-League after Holmes double sinks City

City got off to a bright start against the improving Reds and looked the team most likely to score, but the hot conditions – which required drinks breaks and a stop in play – did affect the shape of the game.

The contest was meandering but came alive after the drinks break when Dylan Holmes, driving through from midfield, gave the hosts the lead just after the half-hour mark.

The ball was played through to Holmes by Fiona Worts, and the Reds captain kept her cool, rounded Teagan Micah in the City goal and coolly slotted home from close range.

It was Holmes’ first W-League goal, and gave the Reds a real fillip, Worts going close herself in the 35th minute with a looping header which shaved the bar before going behind the goal.

But the goal and the near miss stung City into action.

Three minutes before the break Japanese international Chinatsu Kira looked as if she had found the top corner with a well placed free kick only to be denied by a flying save from Adelaide goalkeeper Sian Fryer-McLaren.

Rhali Dobson then over-ran a pass when she might have got a shot away before hitting the woodwork with an excellent volley from a Tyla Jay Vlanjic cross which looked to have beaten Fryer-McLaren.

But it was Adelaide who got on the scoreboard next, and it was once more the captain, Holmes, who did the damage. She won the ball in midfield, drove forward and then unleashed a low drive which beat Micah and crept inside the post.

Given their experience with McCormick, City were taking no further concussion chances and when Dobson took a hit to the head they were quick to replace her with Margot Robinne.

Fryer-McLaren saved from Kira as City piled on the pressure in the last 20 minutes to get back into the game. They grabbed a lifeline with three minutes of stoppage time remaining when Checker headed home Hollie Palmer’s free kick, but City could not get a leveller.

The win takes Adelaide to joint top spot on the ladder, along with Sydney, while Melbourne City stay in sixth position, outside a finals berth.

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University of Adelaide, UniSA merger proposal failed after uncertainty over name and leadership

Documents obtained by the ABC shed new light on secret but failed negotiations to merge South Australia’s two largest universities, showing top officials disagreed over what to name the institution and how to choose its leaders.

The proposal to amalgamate the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia (UniSA) was announced amid public fanfare in June 2018, but fell through without detailed explanation just months later.

“Ultimately, our universities were unable to reach agreement on the threshold issues and strategic risks,” the universities said in a joint statement at the time.

Supporters had argued a merger would be of “economic, social and cultural” benefit to the state — but critics warned of the potential for job cuts and a reduction in courses.

Now, the ABC has obtained dozens of private emails and text messages, exchanged by top University of Adelaide officials.

The university released the documents under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, following a ruling by the SA Ombudsman.

They show the question of what to name the merged institution — including where to place the word “Adelaide” in the title — was a key issue in the months before negotiations finally failed in October 2018.

UniSA’s City West campus is opposite the University of Adelaide medical building.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Much of the correspondence is redacted to protect commercial interests, so some of the reasons the talks failed may never become public.

Long-time merger advocate and former University of Adelaide Council member Chris Schacht said he believed “the only reason it didn’t happen is that … [they] could not agree which one of their vice-chancellors would become the vice-chancellor of the new institution”.

The documents do not prove whether leadership was the decisive issue that caused the talks to fail.

But they offer the clearest public account of the issues that threatened the deal and show top officials disagreed on it just days before negotiations collapsed.

What’s in a name?

On September 25, 2018 — three months into the talks and one month before they failed — University of Adelaide chief operating officer Bruce Lines and then-chancellor Kevin Scarce exchanged a series of text messages.

The universities had by then discussed what to name a merged university.

Bruce Lines: Kevin, did you agree “University of Adelaide, South Australia” or “Adelaide University of South Australia”. You mentioned the former. David referred to the latter. Both seem acceptable to me.

Kevin Scarce: Bruce my recollection was definitely University of Adelaide, South Australia. In terms of search engine is there a difference? Prefer to stick with what was agreed at the meeting.

Bruce Lines: Not sure, but I’ll look into it.

Kevin Scarce: Bruce, in terms of the branding exercise, let’s make sure this process is not designed to deliver another outcome.

Bruce Lines: Understood.

Mr Scarce’s then-deputy Catherine Branson texted him that afternoon, clarifying that the parties had in fact agreed to “Adelaide University of South Australia — AUSA”.

The following day, Mr Lines wrote to Mr Scarce with a draft email to be sent to University of Adelaide Council members, warning of an “apparent impasse reached with the University of South Australia Council on the critical threshold issues”.

A man with grey hair and a suit, with a purple tie, stands in front of a building with sandstone columns.
Then-chancellor and former governor Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce was a key player in the merger negotiations.(University of Adelaide)

On September 27, Mr Lines emailed a dozen senior University of Adelaide colleagues to say there was “now in-principle agreement on a name for the new university and on a process for appointing leadership — at least at a high level”.

In a separate email, Ms Branson suggested the two universities jointly commission legal advice on the subject of leadership.

She argued negotiations over choosing a vice-chancellor for the new university could go no further until the merger deal was effectively done.

“My present view is that it is virtually impossible for us to take the issue of the selection of the [vice-chancellor] without their (sic) being in existence an entity capable of entering into an employment contract,” she wrote.

Former minister wanted to ‘make a deal’

One week later, former SA Labor minister John Hill — a UniSA Council member — emailed Mr Scarce offering to “see if we can ‘make a deal’ — which we can put to our respective sides”.

The reply to that email is fully redacted.

On the afternoon of Monday, October 15, UniSA Chancellor Pauline Carr emailed her then-University of Adelaide counterpart.

A woman with short brown hair, in a bright red formal jacket, with arms crossed, smiling.
Pauline Carr was appointed chancellor of UniSA in August 2018, two months into the merger negotiations.(University of South Australia)

She asked Mr Scarce for changes to the agenda for an upcoming meeting between the two universities.

Mr Scarce responded by saying that Adelaide agreed there was “the need to discuss leadership issues … which is best achieved at the end of the meeting without the VCs [vice-chancellors]”.

His email reveals that at this late stage — seven days before negotiations failed — the universities were still not agreed on the subject of leadership.

Extract from an email sent between senior university staff in SA in 2018.
Extract from Mr Scarce’s email to UniSA chancellor Pauline Carr in 2018.(Supplied)

The following Monday, both university councils met separately to consider the fate of the merger.

Correspondence from Mr Scarce states it was UniSA that killed the talks.

That evening, he emailed the University of Adelaide’s external relations chief Inga Davis, with instructions on how to communicate with staff and students about the collapsed negotiations.

But in an email to University of Adelaide colleagues the following morning, Mr Scarce committed to keeping detailed reasons secret.

“Having acted in good faith throughout these negotiations, I intend to honour a working level agreement not to publically (sic) disclose detailed reasons why our merger discussions have concluded,” he said.

A building with a University of Adelaide sign on it with a taller one in the background
Mr Scarce said Adelaide University would honour an agreement to keep detailed reasons for the failed merger talks secret.(ABC News: Dean Faulkner)

Nonetheless, he wrote that UniSA had “elected not to proceed with discussions”.

By this stage, 24 hours after the crucial university council meetings, he wrote that he remained unaware as to why UniSA ended the negotiations.

Mr Scarce declined to comment for this story, but a spokesperson for the University of Adelaide said the merger “came to an end” when the UniSA Council “decided not to proceed further”.

But the spokesperson added that the university remained open to the possibility of a future merger.

“So far as leadership is concerned, the University of Adelaide’s position was that there should be a competitive process for the selection of the leader of a merged university, should that merger occur,” the spokesperson said.

“As our chancellor has previously said, the University of Adelaide remains open to considering the possibility of merger with one of its two sister institutions in the state, or to some other form of rationalisation of our state’s higher education sector.”

‘Swimming back to bite you’

In a statement to ABC News, UniSA vice-chancellor David Lloyd said the name and leadership issues were given “no greater weight than our consideration of the overall business case”.

“UniSA proposed a transparent, competitive mechanism to identify appropriate leadership as we believed this was clearly a key consideration for the future success of any proposed merged institution.

“My position on the merits of merger is a matter of public record.”

In a blog post published in August last year, Professor Lloyd considered both sides of the merger debate — and invoked the film Jaws.

“Mergers, it seems, are a bit like sharks, when you least expect it, they come swimming back to bite you,” he wrote on the university’s website.

He wrote that he “would welcome an opportunity to explore” future mergers, but that the the business case did not “stack up” in 2018.

Days after Professor Lloyd’s blog post, Catherine Branson — who replaced Mr Scarce as University of Adelaide chancellor earlier this year — reportedly said there was “possible merit” in reviving the merger talks.

A woman in a white collared shirt smiles
Chancellor Catherine Branson has reportedly said there may be merit in reviving merger talks.(Supplied: University of Adelaide)

Mr Scarce stepped down in May of this year, six months before the end of his tenure and less than 24 hours before then-vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen did the same.

It was later revealed Professor Rathjen had been under investigation by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) over alleged sexual harassment, which the ICAC later found he had committed.

Last month, the SA Labor Opposition promised to establish a commission on merging all three of the state’s major universities, including Flinders University, if it wins the 2022 election.

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas stopped short of suggesting a Labor government would force a merger on the universities, but blamed Liberal Premier Steven Marshall’s “lack of leadership” for the failure of past merger discussions.

But Premier Marshall dismissed the policy announcement, saying universities were “more than capable of sitting down and discussing mergers themselves”.

John Hill declined to comment for this story. ABC News also approached Bruce Lines, Catherine Branson and Pauline Carr for comment.

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Adelaide Oval hotel dog Charli’s canine attacker found and euthanased by council

A Staffordshire bull terrier cross that fatally mauled a puppy that was recruited to welcome guests to the new Adelaide Oval hotel has been euthanased, almost three months after the attack.

Charli, a 20-week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was killed in late October when it was attacked by another off-leash dog in the north-eastern Adelaide suburb of Hampstead Gardens.

The attack happened just a month after Charli starred in the opening of the Adelaide Oval hotel.

Authorities launched an appeal to find the dog responsible for the attack and its owners.

Witnesses had reported seeing a man, woman and child with a Staffordshire bull terrier cross with a dark coat and white markings that attacked the puppy.

The street in Hampstead Gardens where Charli was attacked.(ABC News: David Frearson)

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield today confirmed that investigators had found the dog and its owner in the Hampstead Gardens area.

“In serious dog attacks such as this one, community safety officers obtain a warrant to seize the dog involved, which occurred in this instance.

An extremely adorable brown and white Cavalier King Charles spaniel in a person's arms.
The dog that attacked Charli was deemed to be “unduly dangerous”.(Supplied: Adelaide Oval Hotel)

“Following the seizure of the dog and a full investigation, it was determined that the dog was unduly dangerous in accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

“As a result of this, a destruction order was issued and the dog was euthanased this week.”

While the dog has been put down, it is still not clear if its owner will face any penalties.

“Our first priority was the seizure of the offending dog and the outcome of the dog destruction order,” the council said.

“A decision has not yet been made about penalties for breaches of the act.”

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