‘Absolute war’ launched on cheap shots as Demon hit first


Calls from past AFL greats to stamp taunting out of the game appear to have been answered after Aaron vandenBerg cost Melbourne a shot at goal for shoving an Adelaide opponent while he was on the ground.

The moment occurred on the quarter-time siren of Wednesday night’s Demons-Crows clash after Jake Melksham had taken a mark against Fischer McAsey.

VandenBerg attempted to rub salt in the young Crows’ wound by pushing him in the back, but he was left with his egg on his face when the umpire ruled it a free kick, denying Melksham an opportunity to kick the Demons 10 points clear.

It mattered little in the end result as Melbourne piled on seven goals to one in the final term in a 51-point win, but it was a statement by the AFL after Richmond’s Tom Lynch avoided a free kick for shoving Alex Witherden in the back of the head on Tuesday night.

Lynch was subsequently fined $500 but it’s the embarrassment of costing your team a goal that promises to drive the eradication of a blight on the game Hawks great Dermott Brereton says has only crept in recently.

“It’s not something that’s been going on for years that we’re clamping down on,” Brereton said on Fox Footy.

“This has crept into the game. And we can talk about yesteryear, whether (it’s) better, worse, whatever. (But) players didn’t do it.

“There was a respect for players. You didn’t do stuff like that. This has crept into the game.

“There’s got to be a respect for your opposition that you don’t have to denigrate them to this level. Pay the free kick, and let’s stop this rot.”

EDDIE: AFL WAGING ‘ABSOLUTE WAR’

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the league’s footy boss Steven Hocking was waging “absolute war on this type of play”.

“The smart alec cheap shot – whether it’s a missed goal or a missed tackle or whatever, and it’s cost Melbourne a shot at goal,” McGuire said.

“This is what the AFL is wanting to stamp out. They think it is just absolutely no good whatsoever. They think that this is just a shocking look.”

Fellow Fox commentator David King said paying a free kick was the quickest way to stamp it out.

“You’re 3-5, you’re battling in this game,” he said of Melbourne. “You’re not flying. That goal is priceless.”

King added coaches could also have an impact. “The coaches say ‘hey, you just cost us a goal’ … I guarantee you through selection, and those sorts of things, they’ll correct it pretty quickly,” he said.

It comes after St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt called on players to take a united stand against it after Lynch’s blow to Witherden.

“I think it’s got to be down to the players as a fraternity to come together and get rid of that stuff that’s crept in,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.

“I don’t think it does anyone any favours. It doesn’t look good for Tom Lynch, it doesn’t look good for the game.”



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Worker hit by billiard ball while having lunch at RAA has compensation ruling overturned


A worker hit in the head by a billiard ball at one of South Australia’s largest insurers says she can no longer work and deserves compensation.

However, the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA) has stopped paying her, saying she has been cleared to go back to work as a motor claims officer.

It has won an order not to have to continue paying her.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal heard Susan Stoddard was hit with the ball on the left temple while she was eating lunch at the staff cafe at the RAA’s Mile End South headquarters on September 23, 2019.

“Ms Stoddard sustained an injury when she was struck by a billiard ball from a pool table in the cafe at the RAA premises,” a judgement by the tribunal states.

She made a claim immediately and was paid “interim payments” by the RAA while she was not working for the period of September 24 to December 7.

The RAA will not be required to continue payments, a tribunal has ruled.(ABC News)

After an examination by neurologist Tim Kleinig, the RAA advised Ms Stoddard on December 6 that his report found she had “a full capacity to work”.

It advised Ms Stoddard that it would accept her claim as injured from September 23 to November 21, but not from November 22 to December 7.

However, it would not seek to claw back the payments for the latter period.

Ms Stoddard appealed the decision and a tribunal commissioner told the RAA to continue to make payments to her.

Woman ‘unfit for work’

Ms Stoddard’s doctor based at SA Health’s Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre said Ms Stoddard was “unfit for work” and had “post-concussion syndrome”.

She continued to suffer from fatigue, sensory overload, memory impairment, dizziness and headaches, her doctor said, and would require treatment for at least three months.

The tribunal agreed with Ms Stoddard, at a January 23 hearing, that she should continue to receive payments until the matter was decided, but the RAA appealed and won in a decision handed down on Friday.

Tribunal president Steven Dolphin said the RAA’s move to discontinue payments was not officially a decision under the Return to Work Act, so the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to make the association continue to pay.

As interim payments, they did not mean the RAA was admitting liability in the case.

When contacted by the ABC, the RAA said it would not comment as the “matter is currently before the tribunal”.



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Banks’ deferred loans hit $274b as more borrowers pause payments


However, Victoria’s latest lockdown has worsened the outlook for banks, as it is expected to result in more job losses and businesses folding, pushing up bad debts.

In a sign of the pragmatic approach banks may take to customers in Victoria, ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott said the bank was open to being more flexible with customers if needed.

“We’re already going out to March, that’s what’s agreed with the regulator. I think it will be a watch and see. The good news here is both the banks, the regulators, everybody, has shown a willingness to flex with the reality,” Mr Elliott said in an interview with radio station 3AW in Melbourne.

“And look if that’s what’s needed to do, we’ll do it I guess.”

Mr Elliott argued the coronavirus lockdowns, while having a “dreadful” financial impact on some, could lift productivity in the longer-term by accelerating changes such as the shift towards digital commerce.

The $274 billion in deferred loans – about 10 per cent of all bank loans in the country – are a huge source of financial uncertainty for lenders, which have been contacting hundreds of thousands of customers in recent months.

Banks have reported that up to 20 per cent of borrowers have voluntarily resumed their payments, but how the remaining 80 per cent will fare remains unknown.

Commonwealth Bank will next week provide a much-anticipated update on its loan book when it delivers its full-year results, with chief executive Matt Comyn expected to outline how the deferral arrangements could be used to support Victorian clients.

APRA said the most noticeable change in its data was an increase in the value of loans exiting from deferral, which rose from $2 billion in May to $18 billion in June. APRA said the majority of these loans returned to performing status.

However, APRA’s figures also show the proportion of borrowers with deferred loans who were continuing to make full or partial repayment had fallen from 34 per cent in April to 20 per cent in May and June.

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Evans and Partners analyst Matthew Wilson said the extent of loan deferrals supported his forecast for banks’ bad debts to reach 1.5 per cent of gross loans, or $45 billion in cumulative losses. “However, the continued problems in Victoria create the risk that our current bad debt forecasts may be too optimistic,” Mr Wilson said.

UBS analyst Jonathan Mott also highlighted the risk to banks from businesses failing, saying official figures showed 24 per cent of firms accessing government support programs expected to close once the support ended. “While the upcoming reporting season should be robust and bank valuations are not stretched, the second wave outbreak in Victoria (and potentially NSW and Queenslad) is very concerning,” Mr Mott wrote in a note to clients.

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Victoria’s stage four coronavirus restrictions hit Melbourne businesses as Dan Andrews flags tougher fines and enforcement


Thousands of Melbourne businesses are reeling after being ordered to shut their doors from Thursday, as the Victorian Government prepares to unveil tougher policing measures to enforce the city’s stage four lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday the shutdown of businesses spanning retail, manufacturing, childcare and hairdressing would see 250,000 fewer Victorians out and about, helping to drive down levels of coronavirus transmission which were otherwise forecast to plateau until the end of the year.

Fitzroy hairdresser Sofia Basile said the six-week closure would be “devastating” and disagreed with the Victorian Government’s ruling that her business was not “essential”.

“I believe it’s an essential service, it is the feel-good factor, it’s part of grooming, it’s part of everyday life, so to take that away as an essential service, I think that it’s an incorrect move,” she said.

“A lot of my clients have actually come in and it’s been a real relief for them to actually have their hair done.

“It helps with your mental health, so I think taking away this completely is quite devastating and I do think that it will be crippling for a lot of businesses and they won’t recover.”

Sofia Basile puts foils into the hair of a customer in her salon, both of them wearing surgical masks.
Ms Basile said she had begun using masks at the beginning of the pandemic and believed the Government should have made them mandatory then to prevent the recent surge in infections.(ABC News)

She said she was hopeful that her business, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, would be able to recover with the support of her clients and staff.

“It’s hard you’ve worked all your life to build up an amazing brand and this is the devastation that we’re dealing with right now,” she said.

“So I think there’s been a lot of mistakes along the way and I do think that the Government’s got to help more, particularly with businesses.”

On Monday, the Premier announced businesses in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire which were already eligible for $5,000 support grants would receive an additional $5,000, in recognition of the lockdown’s extension.

Businesses in regional Victoria which will shut down under stage three restrictions on Thursday will be eligible for $5,000 grants.

Ms Basile said all support helped, but she and many other businesses had been waiting for weeks for the first round of grants, and the top-up payment of $5,000 was “too low” to get her through the next six weeks.

The Victorian Government said it had paid $5,000 grants to 12,600 businesses so far, worth $63 million in total.

It said it had also paid 215 businesses through its tourism support program and 77,600 businesses had been paid a total of $776 million in $10,000 grants through its original business support fund.

‘Many unanswered questions’ remain for builders, childcare workers

Builders and the construction union were poring over the details of the new restrictions for their industry on Monday night, which include a 75 per cent reduction in workers on large sites and no more than five workers on projects three storeys or under.

In a brief statement, Master Builders Association Victoria’s chief executive Rebecca Casson said there were “many unanswered questions” in the wake of the Government’s announcement.

Cranes on Melbourne buildings seen from West Melbourne
Major commercial construction projects can only have 25 per cent of their employees on the site compared to normal operations.(ABC News: Patrick Rocca)

“Despite the great work everyone in our industry has done to keep it safe, we understand the broader issues at play and we will continue to work with the Government and DHHS to ensure this scaling back is as brief as possible, and the effects to the Victorian economy are also minimised by being ready to go at full capacity when allowed,” she said.

A restriction limiting workers to only one site for the duration of the stage four lockdown could have a significant impact on tilers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and plasterers, who often work across multiple sites simultaneously.

Melbourne bricklayer and scaffolder Warwick Archer said while he was sometimes working on one site for up to a month at a time, that was not the case for many other tradespeople.

“These tradesmen that need to call around from site to site, various sites through the day, if that is the rule, that they are only allowed on one site, that is going to [have an impact],” he said.

He said household construction jobs had already been drying up since May as concern about community transmission grew.

“Particularly if the customer’s living onsite and close contact with other people coming and going, people get a little bit nervous about it,” he said.

Mr Archer, who is a member of the construction subcontracting alliance Subbies United, said he was also concerned some rogue builders who were failing to pay subcontractors had become emboldened by the chaos of the pandemic.

“[They are] using this as a time to get away with more than they would normally get away with due to the smokescreen of the pandemic,” he said.

Melbourne preschool and childcare centres will fall under similar restrictions to schools and will only be open to vulnerable children or children of “permitted workers” who cannot care for them at home.

“I know that will be incredibly challenging for a number of people who perhaps are working from home, but there’s simply no choice, we’ve all got to make a contribution to less movement, not more,” Mr Andrews said.

The Australian Childcare Alliance was on Monday night still digesting the details of the announcement, seeking to understand how many parents would fall into the category of “permitted workers”.

Tougher fines and more ADF personnel coming to enforce restrictions

The Premier has flagged “significant boosts” in penalties and enforcement directed at those who breach coronavirus restrictions, the details of which will be announced later today.

On Monday, he said he was grateful to the Prime Minister for his partnership in providing further Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to help the state “get this job done”.

ADF personnel walk alongside Victoria Police officers, all masked and gloved, at The Tan walking track.
ADF personnel have already been joining police on patrols to enforce restrictions in recent weeks.(AAP: Daniel Pockett)

All Victorians currently face $200 on-the-spot fines if they are out of their homes without a face covering, $1,652 fines for individuals who breach health directives and $9,913 fines for businesses.

More announcements are also expected this week about greater support for people living with family violence and mental health issues, as Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton recognised the toll the lockdown would have on Victorians.

“That’s why there’ll be further announcements in relation to that support, but these are inescapable realities, we have to limit our interactions with other people,” he said.



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UK weather forecast LIVE: Brits face hottest day of the year as mercury set to hit 35C in London



The UK is set to be hotter than Ibiza today with with temperatures predicted to reach 35C in London on what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.

Popular tourist spots on the continent including Ibiza, Lisbon and Berlin fall short of the UK high, where the mercury is expected to reach 32C, 31C, and 27C respectively.

The highest emperature recorded this month so far was 28.5C (83.3F) on July 17 at Heathrow Airport.

July was less sunny than usual. The UK has already surpassed the average monthly rainfall and only experienced two thirds (66 per cent) of the expected sunshine for an average July, a total of 113.4 hours, Met Office figures show.

Read our live updates below…

Live Updates



Remember to carry a bottle of water!

Woman fans herself on the tube (AFP)


Hampstead Heath this morning


Bournemouth beach is already busy


Swimmers enjoy the weather at Broadstairs, Kent

Swimmers at Joss Gap Bay (Reuters)


Londoners commute in sweltering hot conditions

The capital is already 27c (Jeremy Selwyn)


Sunrise over Kilvington Lakes this morning

It’s set to be a scorcher (PA)


Early morning swimmers practice their front crawl, as captured by The Evening Standard’s photographer Jeremy Selwyn

The lido was busy as the sun rose over Hyde Park (Jeremy Selwyn)


Swimmers at Hyde Park lido today

A Londoner takes an early morning dip (Jeremy Selwyn)


Even Wales will hit 30c today

Hot weather will be widespread across south eastern areas in Kent and Cambridgeshire, where temperatures will stay around 33-34C (93.2F).

Manchester is expected to peak at 32C (89.6F) and parts of Wales will also reach 30C (86F).

A spokesman for the Met added that popular south-coast destinations such as Devon, Cornwall will stay “fresher”, with temperatures peaking in the mid 20s, and sunseekers in Brighton will enjoy a pleasant 28C (82.4F) high.

But the good weather is expected to be short-lived and will not extend into the three-day “heatwave territory”.



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Adelaide United hit top form under Carl Vaert, beat Perth Glory 5-3 in A-League


A devastating four-target first-fifty percent blitz has propelled Adelaide United to a spectacular 5-3 get more than fellow A-League finals aspirants Perth Glory in Sydney.

Adelaide consolidated sixth spot, pulling 4 factors very clear of seventh-put Western United, who have played three game titles considerably less.

United moved stage on details with fifth-positioned Perth, who have a superior target distinction and have played just one activity significantly less than Adelaide.

Adelaide exploited some uncharacteristic sloppiness in Glory’s defensive perform as Perth conceded 5 in the A-League for the very first time in coach Tony Popovic’s tenure, slumping to successive losses.

The gain designed it seven details out of nine for Adelaide considering that the opposition restarted and Carl Veart took over as interim mentor just after Gertjan Verbeek returned to the Netherlands in April.

Just prior to the competition shutting down in late March, Adelaide missing 4 in a row, leaking 15 goals in that time.

“I consider the boys have been missing a bit of confidence before the break, we had been in a bit of a gap and we could not get out of it,”‘ explained Veart, who was then the assistant mentor.

Carl Vaert is temporarily in demand of Adelaide, but has seven points from a achievable nine so much.(ABC Picture: Brendan Esposito)

“Soon after the COVID break we arrived back and I actually emphasised to the players that I want them to delight in their soccer.

“It truly is about them making the most of and expressing them selves and I imagine we observed that tonight with some of the soccer they performed was wonderful.”

The Glory looked the livelier facet in the early levels, but their early capturing options have been both blocked or off target at Parramatta Stadium.

Adelaide missed a glorious likelihood to open up the scoring when Riley McGree experienced a penalty saved by Liam Reddy right after Jacob Tratt was judged to have fouled Ben Halloran.

It proved a brief reprieve for Perth, who by no means recovered right after conceding two plans in as many minutes.

Defender Michael Jacobsen activated the Adelaide intention avalanche with a header from a flawlessly shipped in-swinging corner from Taras Gomulka.

Lachlan Brook speedily included a next, sweeping in a move from the fantastic Kristian Opseth, who drew three defenders immediately after Adelaide punished Perth for shedding possession.

“It took us a small little bit to get into the activity and following we skipped the penalty, we lifted and we played some good soccer in that past 30 minutes of the 1st half,” Veart stated.

“That is what we’re on the lookout for and that’s what we’ve been asking for the gamers, to demonstrate that character and that fight.”

Glory briefly stemmed the tide with Kristain Popovic finishing well following trapping a Neil Kilkenny cross.

But 5 minutes afterwards Adelaide restored their two-aim advantage with Opseth heading into an empty internet immediately after an ineffective punch by Reddy from an additional Gomulka corner.

Adelaide scored a fourth on the stroke of fifty percent-time when Opseth released Ben Halloran, whose shot deflected off Osama Malik into the internet.

Glory created a optimistic start off to the second fifty percent but could not flip probabilities into ambitions.

Stefan Mauk, wearing red, takes the ball away from Kristian Popovic, wearing white
Adelaide gave Perth the run-all-around in a dominant to start with 50 %.(ABC Impression: Brendan Esposito)

Substitute Pacifique Niyongabire, the brother of Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba, created it 5-1 when he stepped past a defender and lashed the ball into the internet for his 1st A-League intention..

Perth pulled two goals back in the remaining phases.

Bruno Fornaroli netted in the 73rd minute and Juande place away a penalty 10 minutes later on after Ryan Kitto fouled substitute Jake Brimmer.

“We received punished for mistakes, we gave absent two ambitions from corners so it wasn’t defensively a great evening,” Tony Popovic reported.

“Our opponent punished us for the presents we gave them tonight.”

AAP/ABC



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Epping Gardens hit hard by COVID-19, staff stood down over ‘serious breach’


A memo sent to relatives of residents at a nursing home in Melbourne’s north reveals staff were stood down for an “extremely serious breach” amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases.

The memo, seen by news.com.au, was sent by management at the Epping Gardens aged care facility on Monday night where there have been 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths.

Management said police had to be called after it emerged that staff held a get-together on the property.

“A small number of staff chose to have a private function at Epping Gardens,” the memo reads.

“All staff members involved were stood down immediately when they were alerted. It is important to state that we did not endorse this activity, nor were we aware this was organised.

“We consider this to be an extremely serious breach of (manager) Heritage Care’s expectations.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

“We disclosed this information to the Department … and police as soon as we were informed.”

The memo also revealed that management “advocated for residents to be transferred to hospital” but “unfortunately this was opposed by the Department of Aged Care and Safety Commission”.

“This was not us abrogating our responsibilities,” the memo reads. “It is us wanting the best outcomes for our residents.”

ADF personnel have been sent in to help with the situation at aged care facilities across Melbourne, including Epping Gardens. Pictures showed military tents being erected outside the facility on Tuesday night.

Residents were being evacuated to hospitals throughout the day on Tuesday as family members struggled to get up-to-date information about loved ones.

Many were camped outside, demanding they get to see their relatives.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, commenting on the unfolding crisis at aged care homes in Melbourne, told reporters on Tuesday: “Some of the stories we’ve seen are unacceptable and I wouldn’t want my mum in some of those places.

“I would not let my mum be in some of these places. I just wouldn’t.

“But that’s not a decision I have to make at the moment because she’s living at home and she’s very happy to be at home.

“And if she’s watching this, she’ll be very angry that I’m even contemplating the notion of her going into residential aged care.”

There are 769 active cases linked to aged-care homes. A family member of an elderly man who died from COVID-19 at St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner – where there are more than 80 active cases – told news.com.au they have “no answers or clarity surrounding his death”.

“After having tested positive to COVID-19 on Monday … we were told he was showing no symptoms and was fine, even up until 10pm on Thursday night, two hours before he died,” the relative said.

“We bury him tomorrow, with no answers or clarity surrounding his death. We can’t even get a call back.”

The management of the situation in aged care has led to a bitter blame game between Mr Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Do you have a loved one in aged care in Victoria. Get in touch via email: rohan.smith1@news.com.au



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