Eagles pick up their first away win in 2021



AFL: The West Coast Eagles ahve picked up their first victory away from Western Australia after cruising to a 38-point win over Hawthorn.

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A community for mothers navigating parenting.




The Singing Mums group in Brisbane has been gathering weekly for about five years, creating a community for mothers navigating parenting.

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Success hangs in the balance of one vintage wine for Darling Downs producers



Twisted Gum winery owner Michelle Coelli the challenges of 2020 had her entire team concerned – all the pressure for a successful season lay on their Vintage 2021.What they produced was nothing short of a miracle. The weather was against them, COVID-19 hit, buds were flowering too early, and when drought-breaking rain arrived and overcast conditions cast a shadow over crops, growth was slowed to a halt. The pressure was on with previous vintages impacted by bushfires and our worst ever recorded drought, coinciding with a massive spike in demand for local wines.With all the odds stacked against them, the team at Twisted Gum, and other wineries across the Darling Downs were able to create a Vintage 2021 drop that will be remembered for the ages. Mrs Coelli said they were initially concerns for the crop due to some heavy wind during flowering, but those concerns faded quickly. “We shouldn’t have worried, as 2021 has seen our second highest yielding vintage ever, and the quality is outstanding,” she said. Ridgemill Estate owner Martin Cooper said a spot of frost hit two of their crops hard, but the results defied expectation. “That black frost hit our Tempranillo and Saperavi hard, but we’re pleasantly surprised with the vintage, particularly our Shiraz which looks to be the best we’ve seen from this vineyard,” he said. While marginally less pressure on the next drop, Vintage 2022 looks to be successful thanks to a late bout of rain that will kick the new growing season in Spring. 2021 is predicted to be a stellar year for Granite Belt whites, and the early reds such as Tempranillo, Pinotage and Barbera.

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NRL live: North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos, score, result, stream, teams, video, SuperCoach, how to watch, Kyle Feldt


Kyle Feldt’s acrobatic try-scoring opened the evening’s Queensland derby between the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday with the game poised at 6-6.

The winger reached out through a pile of Brisbane defenders to touch down just six minutes into the contest.

Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? > Get your 14-day free trial now & start streaming instantly >

“It’s quite unbelievable that he put that down. He’s very dangerous when he’s close to the tryline,” said Fox League’s Greg Alexander.

Round 9

MATCH CENTRE: Cowboys vs Broncos teams, SuperCoach scores, videos, updates

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There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful for the potential Brisbane 2032 Olympics


In the maelstrom, energy, and angst of late 70s London punk a maverick emerged.

Ian Dury was 35 — an old man and seasoned musician in a sea of angry young things — but the punks adopted him as one of their own. After all, he’d been wearing an earring razor blade long before Johnny Rotten had ripped his first T-shirt.

He fused rock ‘n’ roll, funk, ska, reggae, and old-time music hall with the punk ethos of creative self-expression and out popped some of the best songs of the late 70s.

While London was burning and anarchy was in the UK, Dury and his band, The Blockheads, were taking a different road.

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In his Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3, to the backing of a particularly funky un-punk groove, he rolled off an eclectic list of reasons to get up and going each day.

Among them were: Buddy Holly, the Hammersmith Palais, porridge, the Bolshoi Ballet, the juice of a carrot, a little drop of claret, motorbikes, sex, John Coltrane, curing smallpox, yellow socks, Salvador Dali, phoning a friend, prostitutes, Dominica Camels, and on it went.

All very well, you say, but what’s Ian Dury got to do with this week’s announcement that Brisbane has all but won the right to host the 2032 Olympic Games?

Tenuous, I’ll grant you. But as I was strolling down the street the morning it was announced that Brisbane had been announced as the IOC’s preferred candidate city, I foresaw all the options for cynicism that would surely get thrown up.

Suddenly Ian Dury and Reasons to be Cheerful popped into my head the way songs will.

Sure, the Olympic Games have become the very symbol of overblown excess in the sporting world.

Olympic cities build grand stadiums that soon fall into ruin as budgets go into deficit of billions of dollars.

The International Olympic Committee fat cats have a jolly old time while the homeless are shuffled off the streets.

Bread and circuses, that sort of thing.

It’s all fair, proven, correct.

The IOC only has itself to blame for creating a system that saw potential cities throwing good money after bad in order to get the Olympic nod, with the baked-in potential of corruption leaving a legacy of sporting white elephants as necessary collateral — think Athens, Rio and Pyeongchang among many others.

The IOC has reformed the system of bidding, and while it remains to be seen whether the 2032 Olympics will actually be cost-neutral as promised, at least there is a recognition that the over-spending and overbuilding days are gone.

And so, in the spirit of Ian Dury, here are some reasons to be cheerful about the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane:

Reason number 1: Legacy infrastructure

The Olympics have a new model based on the idea that cities should not build new venues unless they have an ongoing life.

The Sydney Olympic cauldron from the 2000 Games with the flame lit outside the Homebush stadium in 2020.
Homebush has become a thriving community following Sydney’s 2000 Olympics(

AAP: Dean Lewins

)

For years it looked like the Sydney Olympic precinct at Homebush would become the white elephant that so many predicted after the 2000 Games. But go there now and you’ll find a thriving work, retail and residential community. Not only is Olympic Park home to many of Australia and New South Wales’ leading sporting institutions, it’s also home to Sydney’s largest stadium and others that regularly host elite sporting contests.

Tens of thousands live and work in the area and on the weekends, the surrounding parklands hum with people having a picnic, riding a bike, exploring the wetlands, or using the sporting facilities like the Olympic pool. If Brisbane does have to build new infrastructure, it’s mandated that it has to be done with a view to a long and useful life.

Reason number 2: Brisbane is a beautiful city and it’s particularly lovely in September

Brisbane sign at South Bank in Brisbane inner-city.
Brisbane is beautiful one day, perfect the next.(

ABC News: Brian Hurst

)

Reason number 3: Large multi-sport events are fun

If you were at Sydney in 2000, you know what I’m talking about. The people who fled the city out of fear and loathing regretted it when everyone who stayed told them what a good time they’d missed out on. The Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 was a hoot as was the 2018 edition on the Gold Coast.

It may be short lived, but for a couple of weeks the community can come together to enjoy a rare collective experience of goodwill. When it’s done well, the public transport works, every night’s a party and barring that bastard COVID still lurking, you’ll get to meet people from all over the world.

Reason number 4: Watching elite sport is brilliant

Emma Snowsill wins Olympic triathlon
Watching Australians win overseas is fun. It’s even better at home.(

Reuters

)

It doesn’t matter if it’s Cathy Freeman winning gold in Sydney or the crème de la crème of Polish European Handball, the Olympic Games provide an opportunity to see the best of the very best do their thing — often for free — and that’s just a buzz.

Reason number 5: A home Olympic games is a massive drawcard for Australian athletes who long to compete in front of friends and family

If the AOC and the member sports get it right, the Olympic Games can provide an incentive for hundreds of thousands of young Australians to engage in sport. Right now, there’s an eight-year-old girl practicing her front-side airs at the local skate park, who will go on to compete at the Brisbane Games.

Australia has learnt its lesson from Rio when the focus was on winning above else. The Olympic Games were created on the idea of participation. That notion has become outdated in a world of doping and unequal access to coaching and training, where rich nations have a massive advantage over poorer ones. It will ever be thus.

The Australian women's Olympic basketball team holding up their silver medals.
The Opals were buoyed by home support in Sydney.(

Supplied: Basketball Australia

)

But the goal of competing and doing your best is still something worth aspiring to and if that encourages people to get active, what’s not to love?

Call me naive, call me foolish. You may be right.

But just for the moment, I’m going to ignore the cynicism that so easily bubbles to the surface and instead find the reasons to be cheerful.

Reason number 6: An Olympic Games in Brisbane might just be okay

Australia's Cathy Freeman (C) waves to the crowd from the medal winners podium at the Sydney Olympic Games, September 25, 2000.
Sydney 2000 worked out pretty well, didn’t it?(

Reuters: Jeremy Lampen

)

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WHO approves China’s COVID vaccine



The UN health agency signed off on the two-dose vaccine, which is already being deployed in dozens of countries around the world.

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‘We have made Australia an ideal destination’ once borders open



2GB Radio Host Luke Grant says in keeping things so safe in this country, “we have made Australia an ideal destination for the rest of the world” for when borders open.

“I don’t know what country – when they try and entice people from around the world – can actually say come here – it’s pretty safe,” he said.

“We can’t stay closed forever, of course.”

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Free-to-air and streaming ‘can coexist’: Ten



Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice president of the Australian arm of ViacomCBS, which owns Network Ten, said on Wednesday that while her organisation boasts a “phenomenal pipeline of content” for its yet-to-be-launched subscription service Paramount+, the shift into the streaming market will not come at the expense of free-to-air offerings.There is still a “water-cooler” audience that wants to “watch content today, they don’t want to watch it tomorrow”, she said.“Linear content is very curated — you come home from work, you watch the news, you watch MasterChef … then you might go and see what’s on your streaming service,” Ms McGarvey told The Australian.“And I think (streaming services) are an incredibly valuable, additive platform.“But for the next while — midterm, certainly — I think audiences will watch things on both platforms.”Paramount+, which will offer a range of drama, film, children’s television and documentary content from the ViacomCBS library, as well as locally made shows, will launch in Australia on August 11.Ms McGarvey said that while the TV industry is increasingly drawing more of its revenue from the subscription market, the advertising dollar remains the lifeblood of commercial networks. “There are two ways people pay for content — they pay you with their time and watch your advertising, and they pay you with money by subscribing. People like to do both,” she said.“At this point, the advertising revenue is still material for any (media) business in Australia, but increasingly the subscription revenue is becoming more valuable.”Monthly subscriptions to Paramount+ start at $8.99 per month, with subscriptions to rival streaming services Binge and Stan similarly priced.It also emerged on Thursday that a broadcast deal between Network Ten and regional player Southern Cross Austereo is “proceeding well”.The two companies are looking to sign an affiliation agreement, after Nine announced in March that it was ending its relationship with Southern Cross, and was instead entering an agreement with WIN. In an update announced to the Macquarie Australia Conference, Southern Cross said its advertising revenues were better than expected.The company said its third-quarter advertising revenues were down 4.3 per cent — a healthy result, given previous guidance of a fall of between 6 and 8 per cent.Non-revenue related costs for this financial year are predicted to be between $250m and $255m, ahead of guidance of between $255m and $260m, Southern Cross said.

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Labor slams minister over Qld wind farm


The federal government has vetoed a $370 million green energy project in far north Queensland despite its potential to deliver hundreds of jobs and cheaper energy.

The Kaban Wind Farm and accompanying grid augmentation was expected to generate 250 jobs in the region and deliver more affordable power to households and businesses.

It was claimed the project would deliver power price savings of $461 million over 30 years.

The proposed energy hub to be based 80km west of Cairns was green-lit by the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility in December 2020.

But Minister for Northern Australia Keith Pitt exercised his ministerial powers and vetoed the project because it was “inconsistent with the objectives and policies of the Commonwealth government”.

Mr Pitt used powers granted to him under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility legislation, set up in 2016 by then-Northern Australia minister Josh Frydenberg.

At the time Mr Frydenberg told parliament the ministerial powers could only be used in relation to projects “contrary to the national interest”.

Mr Pitt reportedly told the head of the NAIF in March he was not convinced the project would result in lower energy prices.

The veto decision was attacked by Labor’s climate spokesman Chris Bowen, who accused the government of killing off the project because it was against their “non-existent energy policy”.

“North Queensland should be getting 250 new energy jobs and cheaper power bills, but they’ve been hung out to dry,” he said on Thursday.

“Queensland has the resources and the workers to continue to power the country and the world, but a government that is leaving them behind.”

Opposition Northern Australia spokesman Murray Watt said the NAIF had been struggling to fund projects for more than five years.

“The NAIF has been notoriously slow at getting money out to projects since it was announced six years ago,” he said.

“Now that it finds a project to fund, the minister secretly knocks it off.

“This government’s ideological obsession against renewables is costing jobs and lower power prices.

“They are holding regional Queensland back.”

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London and Brussels agree EU ambassador status post-Brexit


The European Union’s ambassador to the UK will have full diplomatic status, London and Brussels said Wednesday, after months of wrangling post-Brexit.

“The EU ambassador will have a status consistent with heads of missions of states,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a joint statement.

Originally published as London and Brussels agree EU ambassador status post-Brexit

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