Collingwood offload Treloar in AFL trade

Collingwood’s salary cap squeeze claimed four victims in the final hours of the AFL trade period, headlined by star midfielder Adam Treloar’s move to the Western Bulldogs.

Treloar landed at the Whitten Oval after his deal was processed right on the Thursday night deadline.

It ends a messy split between Collingwood and the 27-year-old, who was told to look for other clubs despite being happy and contracted with the Magpies.

North Melbourne picked up goalsneak Jaidyn Stephenson, who was traded to Arden St along with fellow Magpies youngster Atu Bosenavulagi.

The 2018 Rising Star winner, Stephenson said he was “hurt” by the way he was pushed out the door and claimed he was left in the dark about a potential move until ringing Magpies coach Nathan Buckley.

Stephenson was the standout first-year player in the AFL in 2018, playing in all 26 games, and signed a contract extension earlier in 2020.

Contracted Collingwood wingman Tom Phillips was snapped up by Hawthorn in a bargain-basement deal, with the Hawks only giving up pick 65.

Port Adelaide secured injury-plagued Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia, who was adamant on returning home to South Australia for the second year in a row.

Earlier, Melbourne snared North Melbourne forward Ben Brown in a cut-price deal when trades were able to be officially lodged from 3pm on Thursday.

The Kangaroos and Demons agreed on a deal that sent Brown, pick 28 and the Kangaroos’ fourth-round draft pick to the Demons in exchange for picks 26 and 33 and a future fourth-rounder (tied to Brisbane).

Brown, 27, booted 287 goals in 130 games at North Melbourne but form and injury limited him to eight goals in just nine appearances this year.

After the Brown trade, St Kilda completed a deal for contracted Richmond youngster Jack Higgins.

Brisbane defender Alex Witherden headed to West Coast with the Lions netting a third-round and a future third-round selection in return.

Source link

Tasmanian council to offload hotspot visitor centres despite easing coronavirus crisis

Tasmania’s Glamorgan Spring Bay Council (GSBC) is to divest itself of its three visitor centres as it struggles with ongoing financial issues that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to stop running the centres at Bicheno, Triabunna and Swansea has been described by the state’s peak tourism body as a “confidence blow” that “essentially throws the industry under the bus”.

The state’s coronavirus restrictions are slowing easing, with tourism one of the worst hit industries now trying to begin recovery, as the state continued with no new COVID-19 cases for 12 days in a row on Wednesday night, remaining at 226.

The east coast council, which takes in Maria Island, Swansea and the Freycinet Peninsula, is a hot spot for the state’s tourism industry.

The Council has been battling with a number of financial issues. A recent independent report found it had no long-term financial plan, asset-management plan or current annual plan.

Coronavirus has only made the situation worse, with the Council losing a significant amount of income as costs increase, and with a rates freeze in place for the 2020/21 financial year as part of a statewide council agreement.

On Tuesday, it voted to borrow another $1.5 million it described in meeting agenda documents as “for general operational purposes” because its cash position has been, and will continue to be, “severely compromised”.

As part of a move to get the budget back on track and rectify the issues in the independent report, the Council has completed a 10-year strategic plan, which includes reprioritising its spending to focus on “vital infrastructure” and “providing essential core services”, leading to the decision to divest itself of the visitor information centres in Bicheno, Triabunna and Swansea.

It’s estimated the divestment will save the Council about $360,000 per year, with the funds to be directed back into core functions.

“We are determined to lift our game as a council in terms of financial management, asset management and ensuring that we provide the essential services expected by our ratepayers, residents and the Tasmanian Government,” Mayor Debbie Wisby said in a statement.

“This means making some hard decisions.

“The information centres and the people who work there have provided valuable service over the years.

“However, with more and more visitors moving to online information and booking services, the Council believes it is no longer a strategic use of its limited funds.”

Ten council staff members will be affected by the decision to close the centres, but the Council said it was investigating other job opportunities.

‘Unfortunate’ decision in tourism-dependent economy

The Tourism Industry Council’s chief executive, Luke Martin, said it was disappointing, but offered opportunity.

“It’s really unfortunate in the fifth-most tourism-dependent economy in the country, in our hour of need, that the council would think that tourism is not a core business for them,” he said.

He said he was hoping the private sector could step in.

“On the east coast, it’s a bit of an opportunity for a reassessment about where these business centres play a role, how many and where should they be located,” he said.

“It’s just unfortunate that the Council has made such a blunt decision like this.

One of those investments is a $6 million pipeline for salmon giant Tassal, a project the Council ran out of money to finish.

Due to contractual obligations, it was forced to borrow another $761,000 to see it to completion.

The project was voted through with former Mayor Michael Kent at the helm, and Cr Wisby, who never supported it, has been left with the clean-up.

The savings from cutting ties with the three visitor centres will also help to offset the costs of coronavirus, numerous staff payouts, and a $500,000 flood bill from April this year.

Source link