World rejoices as $5.4b Super League burns to the ground


The Super League is imploding and football fans couldn’t be happier.

Less than 48 hours after bragging about how it would save football, the breakaway group headed by 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs is in turmoil as teams pull out and bosses quit following a fiery backlash to their radical proposal.

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English Premier League teams Chelsea and Manchester City are withdrawing, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are reportedly considering following suit.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced he will resign at the end of the year and there are rumours Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is on the verge of doing the same.

There was widespread outrage to the announcement of the elite competition, which many viewed as spitting in the face of football’s traditional values as it rejected smaller clubs and did away completely with the concept of relegation.

It’s why the world can’t stop laughing as the Super League — which saw the original 12 teams sign up to share a pot of more than $5.4 billion — goes down in flames.

Gary Neville laughs last

Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville led the chorus of criticism on Monday, launching a scathing monologue on Sky Sports saying he was “disgusted” by the shock move and blasting the clubs involved — including his own beloved Red Devils.

The ex-defender turned pundit was laughing on Wednesday though as he shared a photo to Twitter of him toasting the Super League’s demise.

He also posted a gif of dominoes falling as he rejoiced in the chaos.

Manchester United’s share price has tanked since it announced it was going to be part of the breakaway competition — something angry fans were keen to mock on Twitter.

City star waves goodbye as Liverpool, Chelsea speak up

Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher poked fun at how quickly the Super League has fallen to pieces.

Plenty of current players were speaking out too. Liverpool stars including Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Trent Alexander-Arnold shared the same club post on social media, which read: “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position.

“Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional.”

It ended with the words of Liverpool’s famous anthem: “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Liverpool royalty Sir Kenny Dalglish added: “The last few days have been difficult for everyone who loves Liverpool Football Club and I really hope we do the right thing.”

City star Raheem Sterling was happy to see his side leave.

Chelsea icon John Terry praised fans who protested outside their home ground of Stamford Bridge ahead of a match against Brighton. On Instagram, he wrote: “Unbelievable from the supporters tonight. The fans have spoken, now Chelsea FC, do the right thing and be the first team to leave!”

Former long-time Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger expected the concept to fail. “I’m not surprised it didn’t last long. It ignored the basic principles of sporting merit,” he said.

“If you ignore that you kill the domestic leagues, so fans would never accept that.”

Boris goes bang

Even England Prime Minister Boris Johnson weighed in, taking to Twitter to encourage the rest of the clubs to follow Chelsea and Manchester City by pulling out.

“The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is — if confirmed — absolutely the right one and I commend them for it,” Johnson tweeted.

“I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead.”

Social media lights up

Social media had a field day with the news. UFC megastar Conor McGregor chimed in, taking a crack at Manchester United.

“Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?” he tweeted.

American football writer and podcaster Grant Wahl said: “Watching the Super League collapse in real time is one of the most enjoyable Twitter experiences I’ve ever had.”

Spanish side Sevilla FC and Dutch club Ajax certainly enjoyed watching the Super League burn to the ground, mocking the backflip as others joined in.

Football boss welcomes back City

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had earlier blasted the Super League “snakes” trying to ruin football, but welcomed back Manchester City after the club confirmed it was backtracking on plans to join the Super League.

“I am delighted to welcome #MCFC back to the European football family,” Ceferin said. “As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake but I never doubted they had the common sense to make that decision.”

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Tommy Raudonikis memorial updates: Rugby league legend honoured in service at Sydney Cricket Ground



A public memorial for the rugby league icon is underway at the SCG.

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NSW rugby league legend honoured in service at Sydney Cricket Ground


There have been countless tributes for the man known as ‘Tommy Terrific’ in the 12 days since he passed away.

The Herald’s Roy Masters – who was one of Raudonikis’ closest friends after coaching him at the Magpies – led the wave of tributes.

Tommy Raudonikis with Roy Masters and Phil Sigsworth during their adventures on the Kokoda Track in 2012.

“Finally, blood cancer conspired with 30 years of testicular cancer, a quadruple bypass, cancer of the neck and throat and enduring back and shoulder pain to do what gang tackles of British, French and New Zealand players could not,” Masters wrote.

Iconic Australian entrepreneur John Singleton echoed Masters’ sentiment.

“He’s the most unique character I’ve ever met. He was so positive,” Singleton said.

The Tigers paid tribute to Raudonikis by retiring the No. 7 jersey in all grades last weekend.

The Wests Tigers farewell Tommy Raudonikis.

The Wests Tigers farewell Tommy Raudonikis.Credit:Getty

ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys described Raudonikis as “one of a kind”. V’landys ensured Monday morning’s memorial would go ahead.

“Tommy was one of a kind. He was the people’s champion who reached the pinnacle of our game, it’s fitting the rugby league community will come together on Monday to pay tribute to one of the most popular players in the game’s history,” V’landys said.

“We have worked with Tommy’s family to ensure a Memorial that fittingly celebrates a legend of our game.”

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Threatened shorebird breeding ground stops construction of rock wall at beachside tip


A south-west Victorian council is requesting government permission to ignore environmental restrictions and build a rock wall on the breeding grounds of a threatened shorebird. 

Port Fairy’s disused tip has been causing the Moyne Shire Council headaches for decades since it closed in the 1970s.

The old tip contains rubbish, faeces, asbestos and medical waste from the town’s old hospital. 

When it was first commissioned it sat about 100 metres inland, but decades of coastal erosion have brought it within coastal dunes, to the point that rubbish has spilled out from the tip on multiple occasions in the years since.

The regional shire has a plan, and the funding, to protect the ocean from any more damage.

It wants to build a rock wall to dispel wave energy from the vulnerable site. 

However there’s a catch: the only time they can do it is when a vulnerable bird is breeding in the dunes in front of the tip site. 

The shire’s under increasing pressure to act fast and protect the site. 

Recent wild weather saw boulders from the town’s south beach strewn across low-lying roads, prompting renewed discussions within the town about the future of the old tip. 

The site avoided much of the damage caused by the storms, however a storm of another kind’s brewing in the seaside town.

Moyne Shire’s Director of Infrastructure and Environment, Trevor Greenberger, said he understood the community’s anxiety to protect the popular beachside spot. 

“The issue is that the construction period that we would like to build the rock walls is also in the hooded plovers nesting season,” Mr Greenberger said. 

“So we’re trying to work through those challenges of how we can construct the walls without impacting on the hooded plovers.”

Hooded Plovers are considered a threatened species in Victoria.

The birds lay their eggs in sand dunes along southern and eastern coasts of Australia, however their young often meet an early demise due to their vulnerability to other activities along beaches. 

Their hatching season is the only time the Moyne Shire can access the beach side tip site to build the wall, leaving the council between a rock and a hard place.  

“We’ve applied to the federal government for an exemption to the environmental considerations for the hooded plovers to allow the works to occur as soon as possible,” Mr Greenberger said.

“We’d love to be able to start work in October. We were actually ready October of last year but were held up because the approvals weren’t through at the time. 

“So whether it’s a protection of a threatened species or protection of the the sea not having rubbish spewing into it. That’s the considerations and challenges the government’s currently considering.” 

The Moyne Shire expects a response from the Commonwealth by the end of the month.

A spokesperson for federal Environment Minister Susan Ley said the minister was reviewing the request. 

“The Minister may only grant an exemption if she is satisfied that it is in the national interest for the Moyne Shire Council to proceed with the activities specified … without an approval under the Act,” the spokesperson said. 

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Ground penetrating radar used in search for burial site of Queensland Indigenous leader King Billy Turner


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains the name of a person who has died.

The device is a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) scanner and can reveal soil disturbances several metres below the surface.

Mr Thompson and Ms Schollum hope the technology will help confirm what they have long believed — that Yuggera man King Billy Turner was buried in Shapcott Park in the late 1800s.

Their belief is based on newspaper reports of oral recollections and traditional Indigenous burial practices, where scarred trees were often used to mark burial sites.

In the mid-to-late 1800s, the land around Shapcott Park, in the Ipswich suburb of Brassall, was farmland belonging to John Jacob Vogel.

Old newspaper reports and maps suggest this area on the farm was a hunting ground and the site of corroborees for local Yuggera people.

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City of Port Phillip council seeks middle ground in St Kilda live music venues’ battle with residents


Like many live music venues in St Kilda, Freddie Wimpole’s can get very loud at the weekend, and manager Miff Smith wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You don’t want to go to a rock’n’roll show and sit down and have a cup of tea,” she said.

But the inherent loud noise of rock gigs in an old building is causing headaches for the neighbours who live upstairs.

“We’ve been fighting relentlessly with local residents about the music, and being able to play music and being able to support that great creative community that St Kilda is,” Ms Smith said.

The venue has put in place measures to keep the noise down, including sound-proofing the ceiling, installing rubber blocks behind the speakers and installing limiters that cut out all sound if it goes above a certain level.

Now the local council is considering a plan that would designate areas like this as ‘live music precincts’, giving added protection to live music venues.

City of Port Phillip Mayor, Louise Crawford, said the plan would be the first of its kind in Victoria.

“This is really important,” she said.

“We want to look after residents but we also want to support live music venues, and getting that balance right is what we’re all about.”

Under the plan, the council would identify areas with a lot of live music venues, like Fitzroy Street or the Esplanade in St Kilda.

New residential developments in those areas would have to take account of the noise from venues when planning, by putting in place things like double-glazing.

“It’s about finding that sweet spot where music venues can survive and thrive in our neighbourhood, but also residents are protected,” Cr Crawford said.

A 2018 survey found Melbourne had more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world.

The council will vote on the plan in April.

But a similar plan has been in place in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley since 2006, where the onus is on developers to accommodate noise from nightclubs and music venues.

Music Victoria chief executive Simone Schinkel lived in an apartment in the Valley at the time, and said double-glazing on the windows meant she wasn’t disturbed.

“And it meant we could go downstairs and see all the live music in the world at our doorstep,” she said.

A recent review found the number of live music venues in Fortitude Valley increased by 40 per cent over the past decade.

Ms Schinkel said Victoria’s live music scene was still recovering from the pandemic, and the industry wanted to see more protections like this for venues.

“We do need that backing to say ‘we want you here! we want you back up and running!’,” she said.

“And this will create a really great environment in which music can thrive … again!”

Even though the plan could see developers footing the bill for works like double glazing, the Property Council of Australia largely supports it.

The council’s Victorian executive director, Danni Hunter, said the plan could be important to prevent neighbourhood stoushes, like the one at Freddie Wimpole’s, so long as it did not threaten housing supply.

“We can’t preference uses over each other, especially where new housing supply is so important to make sure these areas remain affordable,” she said.

But she said everyone benefited if live music thrived.

“Especially if the band’s good and the beer’s cold,” she said.

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Real enthusiasm for synthetic ground


A NEW multipurpose synthetic sports facility has been completed at Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve.

The facility is home to a new central cricket wicket, sportsfield lighting, fencing, safety netting, and line markings. The ground is accredited for use by three sporting codes – football, cricket, and Australian rules football.

The $2.85 million facility was jointly funded by the state government and Frankston Council.

Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny said “I am so excited to have been able to help deliver this project for clubs like the Carrum Downs Junior Football Club and the Carrum Downs Cricket Club.”

“The new synthetic pitch is a fantastic venue that will open up new opportunities for so many players at this wonderful local reserve,” she said. “I look forward to seeing more and more people get back into local sport.”

Frankston councillor David Asker said “the quality surface and sports lighting means this pitch will be used by several clubs and school groups for soccer, cricket and football during the day and evenings throughout the year.”

For more information on state government infrastructure grants visit www.sport.vic.gov.au

First published in the Frankston Times – 16 March 2021

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The trade-off: Developers can go up if we get a better deal on the ground


By Tony Moore

Four Brisbane developments are under the spotlight as City Hall assesses a trade-off: relaxing restrictions – including building heights – in return for developers improving public spaces on the ground.

The first two projects bookend the Merivale Bridge at South Brisbane and North Quay. The other two are a commercial development at 144 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, and the proposed $450 million refurbishment of central Toowong.

The developments have been dubbed the buildings that breathe.

Dubbed by Brisbane City Council as “the buildings that breathe”, planning committee chair Krista Adams says these projects will be evaluated closely.

“It is called performance outcomes. I think it is worth seeing if it’s worth some extra height,” Cr Adams says.

“Developers, as the owners of the buildings, realise that the more attractive it is at the ground plane, [the more] they bring the community on board, and they can sell their offices and their residential spaces because it’s a nice place to live.”

Under the rail line, South Brisbane’s Fish Lane has been transformed from a formerly industrial area.

Under the rail line, South Brisbane’s Fish Lane has been transformed from a formerly industrial area.Credit:Tony Moore

South Brisbane’s Fish Lane was a rundown, grubby alley until then-lord mayor Campbell Newman identified merit 12 years ago in investing $12.5 million to rejuvenate Brisbane’s laneways.

The trade-off allows state government and council land to have commercial use.

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Developers can go up if we get a better deal on the ground


The strip beneath the South Brisbane rail line has a new licensed cafe, more eateries, landscaped gardens and public art.

Sections of New York’s High Line have been repurposed as a park and walkway featuring public art.

It feels like a yet-to-be-fully-formed High Line – more than two kilometres of parkland created on a disused rail line in New York.

The trains still run in South Brisbane but both projects are in former industrial areas that have been gentrified with a mix of residential, commercial and cultural developments.

Office workers Nicole Leatherby and Michelle Connery enjoy the changed feel of the newer section of Fish Lane.

“It’s just a nice outdoor cafe in the middle of the city. It is now quite relaxing; it’s a nice green space in the middle of the city,” Ms Leatherby says.

Ms Connery says the designers transformed the concrete car park into an appealing space, which is now a popular nightspot. “I was a crazy plant lady during COVID. It is really making their concrete space green and ‘converted’. It is really lovely.”

Nicole Leatherby (left) and Michelle Connery (right) catch up for a coffee in Fish Lane.

Nicole Leatherby (left) and Michelle Connery (right) catch up for a coffee in Fish Lane.Credit:Tony Moore

Architect and Kiki cafe owner Luke Reimers says Brisbane is starting to develop its own design vernacular.

“It is a very warm, subtropical climate. So those ‘inside-outside’ aspects can be utilised very well,” he says.

“It should reinforce the way we live. Commercially, we are in sunlight 300 days of the year, so we should be using it.”

Across the Brisbane River, North Quay could soon see sweeping changes.

At 57 Coronation Drive, heritage home the Davidson’s Residence will be preserved as part of a development including two towers – one 30 storeys and the other 35 storeys.

The heritage-listed Davidson’s Residence will serve as a reception area for the North Quay serviced apartments. This view looks up from Coronation Drive.

The heritage-listed Davidson’s Residence will serve as a reception area for the North Quay serviced apartments. This view looks up from Coronation Drive.Credit: Supplied

The original home was built in 1868, became tired flats and then was renovated. Today, it is colourfully known as Brisbane’s Yellow Submarine Backpackers lodge.

In June 2020, the council approved the twin tower development, with a mix of residential units, services apartments, commercial offices, retail and entertainment.

The council insists the heritage property is protected by buffers between the Davidson’s Residence and towers. Under the new plan, 48 per cent of the ground floor is open and public space.

People will be able to walk “through” Quay Street to Coronation Drive.

The heritage-listed Davidson’s Residence on Quay Street at North Quay, where the Yellow Submarine Backpackers hostel is in 2021. It will be restored as a reception area for two 30-storey towers.

The heritage-listed Davidson’s Residence on Quay Street at North Quay, where the Yellow Submarine Backpackers hostel is in 2021. It will be restored as a reception area for two 30-storey towers.Credit:Tony Moore

The renovated house – no more Yellow Submarine – will become a reception area for the towers.

The developer, the Maple Development Group, has been allowed to take one tower to 35 storeys, despite the site being covered by the City Centre Neighbourhood Plan’s 20-storey height limit.

In nearby Toowong, privately owned State Development Corporation has proposed two towers – a 16-storey office block and a 25-storey apartment block, which is five storeys over the local plan.

The development will have a mix of shopping, retail and entertainment divided by internal courtyards and an open plaza.

The Sherwood Road entry to the proposed Toowong Town Centre development.

The Sherwood Road entry to the proposed Toowong Town Centre development.

At 144 Logan Road at Woolloongabba, the developer is building a 2000-square-metre privately owned park behind the “permeable” Logan Road frontage. The park will be large enough to host weekend markets.

More recently, developers Manly Properties have asked for two 26-storey towers on Montague Road near West End’s Davies Park – 14 storeys higher than the neighbourhood plan allows.

The developer originally asked the council to approve two 12-level buildings and three six-level buildings.

Two 26-storey apartment towers are proposed for West End’s Montague Road beside Davies Park.

Two 26-storey apartment towers are proposed for West End’s Montague Road beside Davies Park.

The community reportedly receives 4000 square metres of additional parkland beside Davies Park.

Cr Adams says developers applied for flexibility – although it was not always granted – and paid higher infrastructure charges.

“They get the higher GFA – gross floor area – and we get higher infrastructure charges as well,” she says.

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Elizabeth Handley represents Brisbane Residents United, a group that opposes overdevelopment, “not development”.

She doubts the effectiveness of the current planning system, saying little information was made public.

“If a particular project has so much merit, why not put them out to the public and then explain them?” Ms Handley says.

“If the quality is there, then people will respond to that.”

Ms Handley says she asked members at a recent Urban Development Institute of Australia meeting to name a recent Brisbane building that added to the city’s merit.

“None of them could name one,” she says.

“That tells me they have done performance-based planning, but there is no bloody performance.”

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Getting brassicas in the ground now will pay off in the cooler months


By GEOFF MIERS

With temperatures soon to drop conditions become ideal for planting a range of brassicas in the home vegetable garden. Planting soon will guarantee quality produce and excellent yields.

Amongst the most popular brassicas are cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli. Nutrient rich are these vegetables and can be prepared in a variety of ways to suit a diverse range of dishes.

While this week’s string of 40 degree days might not make ideal gardening, plant earlier here than you would if planting a garden in the southern states and your rewards will be much greater.

Cauliflower and brussels sprouts are long maturing crops, taking anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks to fully develop and produce. Planting late can lead to disappointment Sometimes if waiting well into Winter, they often don’t mature before Spring.

Planting cabbage and broccoli now will allow you to plant 2-3 crops over their growing season providing the home gardener with a continuous supply of produce over an extended period.

With all these brassicas if planted late they will not be maturing until August when the aphides will descend in their thousands, spoiling these vegetables. Planting early you will escape the aphides and often also the cabbage butterfly grubs. Additionally, your plants are less likely to bolt and go to seed.

All these crops are easy to grow with limited preparation and non-strenuous on-going maintenance.

This doesn’t mean you can be lazy as to grow healthy, juicy, sweet crops you need to meet their needs.

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts all require similar growing conditions. They love a good soil structure with lots of well rotted organic matter blended into the soil. A pre-planting fertiliser should also be blended into the soil prior to planting.

Well rotted cow manure broken down into fine particles or the organic Grow Better or Blood and Bone fertiliser will provide a good basis initially. Ideally fresh cow manure should be composted down prior to introducing into the garden or allowed to mature over many weeks prior to planting.

Over use of rich fresh manure is often resented by many vegetables and can cause stunted growth.

Proof can be found in the many times the home gardener has dug in a trailer load of manure to be disappointed with that seasons crop, only to be rewarded with an excellent second season crop later.   

Don’t be stingy with the water as they hate being stressed. As with most quick growing or large leafy plants these plants, all use considerable water.

Mulch around plants with a soft mulch such as pea straw or lucerne as this will limit water loss through evaporation, moderate soil temperatures and lessen weed growth. 

All these vegetable varieties appreciate regular side-dressing applications of a nitrogen fertiliser, it’s the nitrogen that promotes the leaf growth. A relatively new product on the market called Slow Release Nitrogen will provide long term nitrogen for your leafy crops and produces wonderful results quite quickly.

Using a water soluble liquid fertiliser such as Thrive or Aquasol, or, an organic liquid fertiliser like Seasol, Nitrosol or Charlie Carp or any of the other organic liquid fertilisers available weekly or fortnightly will stimulate strong healthy growth.

Regular feeding and watering as required will promote quick growth and lovely crisp sweet tasty heads.

Cabbages are very adaptable plants and can be grown over a long period. You can make successive plantings delivering a continuous supply over many months. Plant smaller cabbages 40-50cm apart while the larger growing varieties should be at least 60-70cm apart as they can grow to quite a large size.

Three plantings of broccoli, each planting 6 week apart will give you a continuous supply of produce. Unlike cabbage and cauliflower that only produce one head, broccoli once the main head has been harvested will continue to produce smaller but tasty side heads. Plant broccoli 45-60cm apart for best results.

Brussels sprouts take much longer to produce, harvesting generally occurring 4-5 months after planting.  It is thus critical that Brussels sprouts are planted early to ensure they fully fruit before the weather has warmed again.

Several customers claim the best time to harvest and eat brussel sprouts while they half size — they are then oh so sweet!

Cauliflower also take much longer to mature than cabbage and broccoli and need to be planted immediately. Depending on the variety they can take from 16 to 24 weeks to mature.

Cauliflower maturing seems to dependent on the time they are planted but also the weather. Even when planted early sometimes they seem to take forever to mature.

Sometimes planted in February or early March they can be mature ready for harvesting when the show rolls around.

All these vegetables can be sprayed with Dipel, the biological control, if grubs become a problem or can also be dusted with Derris Dust to deter grubs and aphides if they are a problem later in the season.

With Dipel, a very safe biological control that is only harmful to caterpillars and grubs, it needs to be applied every 12-14 days to keep the cabbage moth at bay.

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