How a twist of fate leads can result in sweet success


Every successful businessperson can tell you the decision that helped them turn the corner. For me, that moment came at a time when I was almost ready to turn my back on the business in which I’d invested years of emotion, time, and money. I established my company Twisted Healthy Treats 11 years ago after my husband and I came back home to Australia to start our family. We’d lived in England for 13 years and I had a wonderful job as a global project manager for the investment banking industry. I had a great job and I loved it but, as wonderful as it was, I never had a deep passion about what I was doing.

For as long as I can remember, what I really wanted to do was run a
business of my own. My father was, and still is, a serial entrepreneur and
businessman. When I was growing up, business was always part of my life. We’d
sit down at the dinner table and dad would talk to mum about what had happened
in business that day. From that, sprang my dream of having something like that
of my own.

We’d been back in Australia for about 18 months when one day I wanted to
get my daughter a treat on a hot summer afternoon. She was just a toddler and I
wanted something delicious, but I also wanted something healthy, too. I very
clearly remember walking down the aisle in the supermarket to the freezer aisle
and looking in vain for something I could give.

It was at that moment that I realised there was quite a wide space in
the Australian market for a product that could fit that bill, a healthy, zero
sugar, nutritious treat that kids, and maybe adults, would love. I’d seen
products like that in the United States when we’d been there on holiday. My
university degree is in food technology and at that moment I felt that the
strands of my life had finally started to come together. This was my business
idea and I set out to make it a reality.

I developed our first product, the twisted Healthy Treat yogurt. Our
business model was based on the Boost Juice concept pioneered by another
successful entrepreneur Janine Allis, who I admire greatly. I wanted to emulate
her success and I established a network of stores across the country.

But it wasn’t a success. I lost lots of money. Some stores were making
money, but others were losing money, a lot of money. The silver lining in that
for us was that we noticed that lots of customers liked to take the products
home to eat later as a dessert.

That gave us the idea for our first important transition in the
business. We converted a room behind our store in Bondi beach to a cold room
where we started to make the yogurt ourselves. It was basic but it passed all
the requirements for NSW Food and other authorities and we were able to make up
tubs of yogurt in the back of the shop. From that we began supplying the Harris
Farm chain of grocery stores across Sydney, giving the business a springboard
to another new direction.

As I said earlier, my inspiration for Twisted health treats came from a visit to the supermarket aisle. My best advice to other businesspeople would be to build a business you believe in and are passionate about.

Wellness has always been a part of our focus but at the same time I’m
not a mother who says you can’t have treats, or you can’t have chocolate, or
you can’t have ice cream. I’m someone who believes in balance. And it is fun to
share a frozen treat with your kids. But I also believe that you should be able
to do that without taking a toll on your health. And that is the reason I am in
business.

Cass Spies, Founder, Twisted Healthy Treats





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Wallabies lose control of their own fate


The Wallabies are praying for a long-shot draw between New Zealand and Argentina as their best hope of staying in the Tri Nations title race after blowing it big time once again.

Just when it appeared they had one hand on the trophy, the Wallabies let it slip in a 15-15 stalemate with the Pumas that has put Argentina in the box seat to snare some elusive silverware of their own.

The Wallabies conceded three penalties in the final 25 minutes before No.10 Reece Hodge pushed his own shot wide that would have clinched victory for Australia at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Newcastle continues to be a graveyard for Australian teams – the Wallabies slumped to a shock defeat to Scotland in 2012 in Michael Hooper’s Test debut, while the captain’s NSW Waratahs suffered a diabolical Super Rugby loss to the lowly Sunwolves last year at the venue.

But this latest setback could prove the most costly of all.

The Wallabies are no longer the masters of their own destiny, with the winners of Saturday night’s All Blacks-Pumas clash in Newcastle to emerge from a three-way tie in the competition and claim the lead heading into the final round.

Unless, of course, there’s another twist in a tournament that continued to throw up surprises.

First, the Wallabies rebounded from their biggest-ever loss to New Zealand with a 24-22 win over the All Blacks a week later.

Then, the Pumas scored their first-ever victory over three-time world champions New Zealand, before backing that up to split the points with the Wallabies.

When it was suggested that another Pumas win over the All Blacks might be the best result for the Wallabies, who face the South Americans in the final game of the tournament, halfback Nic White offered up a more unlikely but even better become.

“Maybe if they draw? Isn’t that a great result? A draw would be alright,” White said.

He wasn’t wrong.

A draw would leave the Wallabies needing to beat the Pumas in their return bout in Sydney in two weeks to be assured of winning their first silverware since the 2015 Rugby Championship.

“There will be plenty of motivation there alone to put things right,” White said.

“It’s been an interesting year.

“We’d love to send it out on a high so hopefully it’s all there for us going into that last game and the carrot is there that we go out there;we learn from this and put on an absolute cracker and you guys will forget about what’s happened here.”

In reality, the Pumas and All Blacks now have control of the Wallabies’ fate.

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma, though, is refusing to get ahead of himself, knowing a bonus-point win for the All Blacks on Saturday will dash his side’s title hopes.

“Look, we’re going to recover and think very carefully about how we’re moving forward,” Ledesma said, citing fatigue in the squad as the Pumas’ biggest concern.

“For sure, there’s going to be changes because there’s injuries.

“We need a freshen up.”





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Australia says stranded sailors’ fate in hands of shipping company


The Australian government says the fate of two dozen Indian sailors stranded for five months at a Chinese port with 170,000 tonnes of Australian coal is a matter for the companies involved.

The future of the 23 crew members stuck on board the Jag Anand ship is now hanging on negotiations between Chinese authorities, the Indian government and Australian miners after a five month deadlock.

Family members of the sailors say medications and supplies are running out after the coking coal from Gladstone Port in Queensland was rejected by Chinese authorities at a port in northern China om June 13. The 290-metre long ship has not moved since.

Coal exports to China have been restricted. Credit:Max Mason-Hubers

The company that owns the vessel, India’s Great Eastern Shipping, said it had tried to redirect the ship to Japan but this had been rejected by the ship’s coal suppliers, while China has refused to allow the crew ashore due to coronavirus restrictions.



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Germany is moving back into lockdown, but it hasn’t suffered the same fate as Europe


Europe is in the grip of a surging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But with France, Germany and England moving into lockdown, its hold on the continent — as per the first wave in March-April — is again highly variegated.

Based on the seven day average to November 1, new cases in Germany are trending up and have risen to almost 15,000 per day.

But that is similar to Holland, with a population some five times smaller, and less than Belgium, with a population about eight times smaller.

At the end of last week, daily case numbers reached almost 19,000 in Germany — in France, that figure was almost 50,000.

As with the first wave, Germany — which was praised for increasing intensive care beds prior to the pandemic — is again taking patients from other European states.

With France, Germany and England moving into lockdown, its hold on the continent — as per the first wave in March-April — is again highly variegated.(Reuters: Annegret Hilse)

Counter outbreaks quickly

Since the pandemic began, the broad-based response of government and local authorities in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany — Europe’s most populous nation — has been to meet energetically the needs of the sick; test, trace and isolate; and to spend big to protect the health system and wider economy.

Most recently, the strategy has been to quickly counter local outbreaks, in places like meat works or the Berchtesgaden area of Bavaria.

Police officers patrol, after residents of the Berchtesgadener Land district of Bavaria will not be able to leave their homes.
Police officers patrol a district of Bavaria, where residents are not able to leave their homes without a valid reason.(Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)

With characteristic modesty, the German authorities have continued to say that Germany is “no island” — that the situation here can’t be viewed as separate from the rest of Europe. But at this stage, the figures are clear.

With a population of 83 million, Germany — bordered by hard-hit Italy, France and Belgium — has suffered almost 10,500 deaths.

Italy, with a population of 60 million, and France, with a population of 67 million are, respectively, about 39,000 and 37,000 deaths.

A man wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks at Trocadero plaza near Eiffel Tower in Paris.
France, with a population of 67 million, has suffered 37,000 deaths.(AP: Michel Euler)

Italy and France have both suffered a greater number of fatalities throughout the pandemic than Germany. On the economy, the contraction in Germany and Scandinavia will be less severe than in the south, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) predictions.

The question, of course, is why?

Coordinated systems

Germany and the Scandinavians — save Sweden, a separate case — started testing and contact-tracing early.

For months already, cafés, bars and restaurants in Bavaria, one of the worst-affected states, have required full written contact details from customers: name, address, phone number, email and arrival time via digital apps or old-fashioned pen and paper.

A coordinated federal system of governance, which leaves a great deal of discretion to the states, enables agile local decision-making — albeit, with inevitable moments of confusion — in a country where institutions are still fundamentally trusted and apolitical.

The pandemic has mobilised a return to big government in Europe and an end to heavy-handed austerity (with good riddance), at least for the time being.

But those countries with health systems and their public finances in decent shape pre-corona — in a sense anticipating the emergency — have better resisted both the health and economic crises since.

At the start of 2020 Germany’s surplus was 13.5 billion euros with public debt at about 58 per cent of GDP. The IMF predicts Germany’s will be more than 75 per cent in 2021; France’s will have gone from almost 100 per cent to 120 per cent.

This rather confirms the German view of government as being about shoring up the national budget and public finances in good times, in preparation for the bad. Ensure as best as possible the health and security of the population and control external borders, which doesn’t mean their closure or even a restrictive immigration policy.

The pandemic has made evident that hospitals need foreign workers to be properly staffed.

Locked tables and chairs of a restaurant stand in front of Brandenburg gate during the country's month-long COVID-19 lockdown.
Surveys show that the majority of Germans are in favour of current restrictions, or believe that they should be tougher.(Reuters: Hannibal Hanschke)

Trust is high and rules are followed

Watching from Munich, the fracas over masks elsewhere in Europe — not to say the US — has looked blackly comical.

They’ve been obligatory on public transport and restaurants here for months. Counter-mask demonstrations have occurred, but they have been small.

Surveys show that the majority of Germans are in favour of current restrictions, or believe that they should be tougher.



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Giro d’Italia rider Fernando Gaviria tests positive to coronavirus, as race faces uncertain fate


Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria has become the latest cyclist to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus as the race heads toward an uncertain conclusion this weekend.

A staff member for Team AG2R La Mondiale was the only other positive out of 492 tests carried out on Sunday and Monday to coincide with the race’s second rest day, organisers RCS Sport said.

The race is scheduled to end on Sunday in Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region, which is putting in place a nightly curfew beginning on Thursday because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in an area already hit hard during the first wave of infections.

Two other stages in the final week of the race are also slated to ride through Lombardy.

Race director Mauro Vegni has said from the start that the race’s greatest achievement would be reaching the finish in Milan.

The three-week event was already rescheduled from its usual slot in May because of the pandemic.

Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates said the rider “was immediately isolated following the test result and is feeling well and is completely asymptomatic”.

The team noted that Gaviria also had COVID-19 in March.

Gaviria has won five stages at the Giro during his career — four in 2017 and one in 2019, plus two stages at the 2018 Tour de France.

Overall contenders Simon Yates and Steven Kruijswijk had already been withdrawn from the race after testing positive, as had Australian standout Michael Matthews.

Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team and Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma team withdrew their entire squads last week following a series of positive results from the first rest day.

Team Emirates said all of its other riders and staff came back negative in the latest round of exams. The team added that its medical staff was “monitoring the situation closely and doing all they can to ensure that we can proceed safely”.

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Italy added another 10,874 confirmed coronavirus infections to its official toll on Tuesday.

The Government has implemented new restrictions to curb nightlife and socialising in hopes of slowing the resurging outbreak.

Another 89 people died, bringing Italy’s official COVID-19 death toll to 36,705, the second highest in Europe after Britain.

A face-mask wearing cyclist in a pink jersey sprays champagne after a Giro d'Italia stage.
João Almeida still holds the leader’s pink jersey with five days left in the Giro d’Italia.(AP/LaPresse: Marco Alpozzi)

Portuguese rider João Almeida leads the race by 17 seconds ahead of Dutch rival Wilco Kelderman.

Team Bahrain-McLaren’s Jan Tratnik earned his first stage victory in a Grand Tour by winning the 16th stage, beating Australian rider Ben O’Connor by seven seconds at the end of the hilly 229 kilometre route from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli.

Neither of them had ever won a stage in a Grand Tour and both entered the final stretch together.

However, it was Tratnik who crossed the line first, with his arms outstretched and tears streaming down his face. O’Connor — riding for NTT Pro Cycling — thumped the handlebars in frustration.

AP/ABC



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EU lawmakers set to vote on fate of ‘veggie burgers’ – POLITICO


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European parliamentarians are set to vote next week on legislation that could take “veggie burgers” off the shelf.

The European Parliament is considering two amendments that would prohibit the use of meat and dairy-related names for plant-based foods, which would also include terms like “vegan sausage” or “yogurt-style.” These amendments fall under one of the three files that make up the mammoth Common Agricultural Policy reform, specifically covering how products can be marketed.

The meat and dairy industries argue that using such terms is misleading to customers. The push to ban terms like veggie burgers, which have existed for decades, comes as the alternative meat market is growing more mainstream. It also comes at the time when the European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy is promoting healthier and more sustainable foods, another potential threat to the meat and dairy sectors.

So far, MEPs seem divided on the topic of restricting food terms, with no clear majority for or against the measures. It’s also very likely that lawmakers will end up voting on more “compromise” amendments on the issue.

The plant-based food industry argues the amendments on the table won’t help the EU transition toward a more healthy and sustainable food system envisaged under the Farm to Fork strategy, which says explicitly that “moving to a more plant-based diet with less red and processed meat … will reduce not only risks of life-threatening diseases, but also the environmental impact of the food system.”

One of the proposed amendments says that “the meat-related terms and names that are currently used for meat and meat cuts shall be reserved exclusively for edible parts of the animals.” The amendment adds that designations such as “steak,” “sausage,” “escalope,” “burger” and “hamburger” should be “reserved exclusively for products containing meat.”

A similar law was passed in France earlier this year.

Plant-based food companies and consumer groups are fighting to convince MEPs not to approve such measures, which would require product name changes across the Continent.

“Banning common terms like ‘veggie burger’ is a patronizing move that threatens to cause confusion where none exists, as companies would be forced to use unfamiliar terms to describe their products,” said Elena Walden, a policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, a lobby group representing the alternative meat sector.

“This drastic change to existing law is unnecessary. People aren’t buying veggie burgers by mistake. They’re buying them because they recognize the benefits of these products for their health, the environment and animal welfare,” she added.

According to a survey conducted by consumer organization BEUC in 2019 on respondents from from 11 EU countries, the majority of Europeans aren’t concerned about the “meaty” denominations used by plant-based products — 42.4 percent believe these names should be permitted provided that the products are clearly labelled as vegetarian, 26.2 percent do not see any problem at all with using such names,  while only around 20 percent do have a problem with the practice.

“The use of culinary ‘meaty’ names on plant-based foods … makes it easier for consumers to know how to integrate these products within a meal, and as such should not be banned,” BEUC said in a letter to MEPs.

But this is not the view of many European farmers. Last week, several farming associations launched a campaign called “Ceci n’est pas un steak,” meaning “this is not a steak” — a reference to Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte’s famous painting of a pipe. The campaign urges lawmakers to pass the amendment.

“We believe that it is in the interest of the consumers to know if certain denominations contain meat,” said Pekka Pesonen, head of the Brussels-based Copa-Cogeca farming lobby. “In fact, it would be unfair competition to bring new products — being exclusively plant-based — to the meat specific names.”

“If the purpose is to promote plant-based products, why should this be done at the expense, tradition and work done by other product categories?” he added, stressing that he doubts that promoting “ultra-processed chemical products” is really in consumers’ interest.

Spilt milk

The second amendment concerns a similar issue, but for the dairy sector.

EU law already bans the use of dairy terms like “milk,” “cheese” or “butter” for vegan products that don’t come from animal milk (barring some exceptions). That means “almond milk” isn’t allowed, but “almond beverage” would be.

The amendment in question goes even further, seeking to prohibit names like “yogurt style” or “cheese substitute,” as well as more descriptive terms like “creamy.”

“The current plant-based food descriptions are functional and inform consumers, whereas passing amendment 171 … would cause profound confusion,” said Jasmijn de Boo, vice president of campaign group ProVeg.

“There are countless existing references to foods’ textures, consistency, function, flavor or origin, such as ‘peanut butter’ or ‘cream crackers.’ It would be beyond laughable if all these products and food preparations had to be renamed just to protect dairy milk,” de Boo added.

She said the new law could even prevent companies from stating that their products “contain half the amount of fat of a dairy product,” or cause “lower carbon emissions than cheese.”

“The effect will be truly disproportionate and could plunge the entire plant-based food sector into chaos,” de Boo said.

But Pesonen from the farmers’ lobby Copa-Cogeca said that thanks to the current regulations, “consumers know exactly what butter, milk or cream would stand for.”

“We all know what margarine stands for. And it is not butter or plant-fat butter,” he said. “And this requirement certainly has not stopped plant-based products from developing their market shares.”





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How South Sydney Rabbitohs missed out on Penrith Panthers youngster Jarome Luai in twist of fate that benefited Cody Walker


“Mark Ellison has loved Jarome’s footy and backed it up with a few calls: ‘Can we get Luai?’

“Richo and Mark probably rang me about five or six times combined. Richo was really hot to trot.”

Penrith, however, knew Luai was a keeper. When Mather raised Souths’ interest with former Panthers supremo Phil Gould, the message was clear: Don’t even entertain the thought of going elsewhere, we have big plans for him.

And so it has come to pass. Luai has turned into every bit the player the Panthers and Rabbitohs predicted he would become. The livewire five-eighth has brought out the best in not only himself but great mate and halves partner Nathan Cleary, who is widely tipped to take out the Dally M Medal.

Things have also worked out for Walker. A late bloomer who only made his NRL debut at the age of 26, Walker has been making up for lost time. His sublime form during the past six weeks has shot him back into State of Origin calculations.

It appears Walker’s past and future are inextricably linked to the Penrith halves. Walker made his Blues debut alongside Cleary and will face him and Luai on the weekend with a view to reuniting with the Penrith halfback at Origin level.

The Rabbitohs wanted Jahrome Luai (main), but staying at Penrith has worked out for him and his opposite number, Cody Walker (inset).Credit:NRL Photos, Getty

Luai cheekily suggested this week that it was time for the younger Panthers halves to show up their more season counterparts.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Walker said with a grin when told about the comments. “I’m not into personal battles, it’s just about us going out there and doing the job. If we focus on one individual, the other side of the field will hurt you.

“We understand that they’ve got strike all over the park. Jarome Luai is in career-best form. He’s had a fantastic year and you’ve also got Stephen Crichton on that left edge, on the other side [Liam] Martin and Brent Naden and Nathan Cleary.

“If you focus on one particular area of their attack or their game, you miss out on stopping the other guys in their team.”

Walker is also acutely aware what Cleary is capable of.

“He’s obviously got a great kicking game, he’s got great energy,” Walker said. “He’s a great defender, he’s been a great leader of their side this year. He’s playing on the ball more than he has in previous years, that’s a big indicator to us where the ball is going to go.

“Off the field, he’s a great guy. I roomed with him in Origin. I only played one game with him – I don’t really know his game inside out, but he’s a great player. He’s had a fantastic year.”

So too has Luai, who never saw himself playing anywhere but at the foot of the mountains.

“The boy just loves the Penrith badge and I knew he didn’t want to be anywhere else,” Mather said.

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“Jarome was very patient when James Maloney was there, he took on everything in the right way.

“Not once did he ever say he wanted to look elsewhere ever. He was very patient.

“He understood the process he had to go through to get to where he is now.”

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Coronavirus Australia live updates September 23: Victoria to learn lockdown fate on Sunday as state records 15 new cases and five deaths; Easing of SA border restrictions depends on crucial case numbers; Australia ‘playing vaccine roulette’; Boris Johnson tells Britons new measures will save lives


Mr Andrews has confirmed he will be making announcements on the easing of restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne on Sunday.

The eased restrictions could come into place midnight on Sunday or midnight on Monday.

The premier admitted he was looking at further easing of restrictions but would not provide details of what the additional relaxing of the rules could be.

“I’m not in a position give you the full list of what we’re looking at. We don’t want to do something that might seem quite small but could present a significant challenge to us in a couple of weeks’ time,” he said.

He said the city’s drop in virus cases was a “positive trend”.

“The band we’re chasing is 30 to 50 and right now we are in fact, better than that, just under 30,” he said.

“The key point is we’ve still got a few days to go and we’ve got to refine things and make sure that we’re confident that the numbers we’re getting is an accurate reflection of how much virus is out there. But these numbers are a positive trend. The trend is with us, the strategy is working.”



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Bulldogs’ AFL finals fate in own hands


Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir says the chance to end the Western Bulldogs’ finals hopes won’t be a motivating factor in Sunday’s AFL clash at Cazaly’s Stadium.

The Bulldogs will slip to ninth if Melbourne beat Essendon on Saturday.

If that occurs, the Bulldogs will need to at least draw with Fremantle to secure a finals berth.

The Dockers (7-9) are already out of finals contention but bringing a team down with them won’t be a motivating factor.

“No, we haven’t spoken about that at all. We’ve spoken about the motivation of playing for the jumper,” Longmuir said.

“I don’t necessarily believe in those external motivators, I don’t think they last too long.

“I think you’ll gain more benefit out of the internal motivators of focusing inwards. We’ve done that this week.”

Longmuir said Sunday’s match would be like an elimination final for the Bulldogs, and he’s preparing for them to come out firing.

But the Dockers are also desperate for victory to make further gains in what is turning into a winning culture.

Fremantle have won five of their past eight games to announce themselves as a team on the rise.

The hot form of youngsters Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra, and Brennan Cox bodes well for the future.

Fremantle have beaten finals-bound teams St Kilda and Collingwood, and they almost toppled Brisbane in round two.

Longmuir feels his team could have done some damage if they had sneaked into the finals this year.

“We’ve beaten some teams in the eight, we’ve been competitive against sides above us,” Longmuir said.

“I think our form is really competitive at the moment. We’ve improved week in, week out.

“I’d like to think if we had made it, we could have ruffled some feathers.”

The Bulldogs are expected to recall fit-again defender Easton Wood, while the Dockers are weighing up whether to include Griffin Logue, who hasn’t played since injuring his toe in round five.

Longmuir said first-year midfielder Serong, who has averaged 16.2 disposals and 3.5 clearances per game this year while also tagging some of the competition’s best players, should win the Rising Star award.





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D-Day for Rio Tinto boss as board meets to decide his fate


So intense is the pressure, directors are now said to be turning on each other: pointing fingers across the board table at fellow directors that they considered had misread the magnitude of the crisis and the response it required, according to British media reports.

Shareholders, including AustralianSuper, Hesta, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and a group of large UK investors have made it abundantly clear that Rio’s first attempt at contrition – cutting a total $7 million from the bonuses of three key executives including Jacques – was a sentence way too light to reflect appropriate accountability.

The internal investigation undertaken by the board that absolved everyone of any serious blame or “commission” over a period of nine years was poorly greeted by shareholders, the traditional owners and the broader community.

The Juukan Gorge fiasco was characterised as a series of mishaps, miscommunication, misallocation of human resources and mistaken reporting lines. All perfectly legal, but the entire episode would better have been described as a monumental governance disaster.

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And it doesn’t matter than the senior executives in the firing line were not aware of the significance of the Juukan Gorge. As the company’s corporate leaders, they are accountable.

(Former Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer and its chairman Lindsay Maxsted were not aware of the money transfers linked to child sex exploitation, but they were held accountable and lost their jobs over it.)

Meanwhile, the Senate inquiry underway to examine what went wrong and whether the laws protecting Indigenous sites and artefacts are fit for purpose is serving to further expose Rio’s blunders and provide oxygen to Rio’s growing number of detractors.

So, it comes as no surprise that from inside the Rio bunker everyone has gone to ground. They are not commenting on suggestions that the others in the firing line are Rio’s head of iron ore Chris Salisbury and corporate affairs boss Simone Niven.

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Shareholders have also made a case for changes at board level and, in particular, they are keen to see additional Australian directors appointed to what is predominantly an international line-up.

Whether Rio chooses to announce any board transition this week or whether it quietly seeks to churn directors over the next couple of years remains to be seen.

The bottom line is that shareholders will probably consider Jacques a large enough scalp – or at least enough to go on with.

To try anything less would be a mistake. The sore will continue to weep and the potential damage to the company and its directors will be greater.

One large shareholder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they now believe that Thompson understands the gravity of the Juukan blast.

Having projected, for months, that the incident was a problem confined to its ongoing relationship with the traditional owners, Rio now understands the magnitude of its governance mistake.

There is a view among some shareholders that the board’s weighing to international rather than Australian directors has exacerbated the problem.

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