Former Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris moves in with parents while Ocean Reef home is being built


Mother’s Day is extra special this year for former Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris and her mum, Jo, who haven’t celebrated it together in eight years.

In fact, the model, along with fitness superstar husband Andrew Papadopoulos and cat Missy, have been making up for lost time, and since relocating from Sydney to Perth in December last year, have “claimed a wing” in her parent’s home.

“I definitely wanted to move back to Perth to settle. I want to raise a family here,” Renae said told PerthNow.

Renae and Andrew purchased land in Ocean Reef back in 2019, but progress has been slow — the slab has only just been poured — and they’ll be living with mum and dad, Steve, for longer than they initially planned.

“They were going to rent, then the move was delayed and then COVID hit and the rentals weren’t even possible,” Jo said.

“We made the offer (to move in). I had to check with her dad first…and he was fine with it so we put it to them. And they took a bit of convincing, they thought of it as a big ask.”

But the risk has paid off, only bringing them closer.

“I’m fine with it. It’s my parents, but I was thinking about Andrew. He’s loving it though, great meals cooked every night,” Renae said.

“I love every minute of it,” Jo added.

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WA woman charged over $3million meth haul


This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police

A 26-year-old woman has been charged with drug supply offences after the Western Australia National Anti-Gangs Squad seized three kilograms of methamphetamine she had allegedly collected from scrub in the Perth Hills.

NAGS investigators stopped the woman’s car in Stratton last Thursday evening (29 April 2021) and allegedly found several bags of a white substance – totalling approximately one kilogram of drugs – as well as two mobile phones.

Police then searched a Stratton home where the woman had been and allegedly found two kilograms of meth, approximately eight grams of cocaine, steroids, and drug paraphernalia.

The 26-year-old woman was charged with one count of attempted to possess methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, contrary to section 6 and 33(1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981.

She was refused police bail and briefly faced court on 30 April 2021. She has been remanded in custody to appear in court again today (7 May 2021).

WA NAGS includes members of the AFP and WA Police Force.

AFP Sergeant Chris Colley, from WA NAGS, said the police investigation has stopped meth from reaching our community that could have potentially been sold to 30,000 people in ‘street deals’, and prevented those involved in its distribution making a potential $3 million profit.

“Methamphetamine causes immense harm to those who use it and everyone who is in contact with them, and it is linked to other crimes including assaults and robberies,” Sergeant Colley said.

“We are working tirelessly to make life tough for anyone involved in the illicit drug trade and we are continuing to outsmart them, no matter how they try to conceal or move their drugs.”

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

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Australia’s first leak detection dog celebrates birthday


SYDNEY, May 6 (Xinhua) — An Australian dog with the rare and invaluable ability to sniff out leaky pipes has saved an estimated 880 million liters of water in one of the world’s driest regions.

Kep, officially the nation’s first leak detection dog, has discovered more than 90 non-visible leaks throughout water pipes in the state of Western Australia (WA).

As an “employee” of Water Corporation, Kep along with her handler Andrew Blair, have surveyed more than 900 km of water mains since 2018.

The duo works in rural and remote areas where there are long stretches of buried pipelines and where regular acoustic leak detection methods are less effective or cost prohibitive.

The springer spaniel, whose name is an Indigenous word meaning “Water,” was trained from a pup to sniff out the scent of chlorine in underground leaks which could be buried more than a meter deep.

In honour of Kep’s birthday a special lunch was held at the WA Parliament House on Thursday, hosted by Water Minister Dave Kelly.

“It’s incredible that Kep can sniff out a water leak buried deep underground and help save our precious water supplies,” Kelly said.

“For Water Corporation, the challenge is there are nearly 35,000 kilometers of water mains in Western Australia, that’s enough to stretch across the country eight and a half times.”

Following in Kep’s tracks, a few other talented Aussie canines are joining the elite leak detection ranks.

Joey, on the other side of the nation in the state of New South Wales (NSW), began similar work this year, and with about 40 leaks recorded per day, the cocker spaniel is being kept busy.

He has joined two other dogs, Winnie and Ziggy, at Sydney Water who have been tasked with the more odorous duty of sniffing out waste water.

They have been trained to alert Sydney Water inspectors about the illegal dumping of waste chemicals and can also detect waste water leaks in stormwater canals.

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Porter wants parts of ABC defence erased



Former attorney-general Christian Porter is seeking to strike out parts of the ABC’s defence in defamation proceedings concerning historical rape allegations.

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Ex-reality star Suzi Taylor gains freedom


A Brisbane magistrate has ordered that troubled reality television celebrity Suzi Taylor be released from custody after she pleaded guilty to a raft of petty offences.

The Penthouse covergirl renovated her way to fame on The Block before her celebrity unravelled as she became embroiled in a series of public scandals.

Last month, the District Court cleared Taylor on more serious extortion charges, deprivation of liberty, fraud and assault after she was accused of attacking a man at her apartment in October 2019.

But Taylor remained in custody on a raft of drug and driving offences, along with some 94 charges of breaching the conditions of her bail.

The court took almost half an hour to determine how many of the hundred-plus charges the reality star was still facing before legal proceedings could get underway.

Dozens of charges were dropped in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday at the outset, with the prosecutor offering no evidence on more than 70 offences.

Taylor, 50, whose real name is Suellen Jan Taylor, eventually pleaded guilty to almost 30 charges, including possessing small amounts of cocaine and cannabis.

She has already spent some 202 days in custody with more than a month in solitary confinement, the court was told.

The prosecution asked for Taylor to be given probation and a suspended sentence, insisting she showed a “blatant and persistent” disregard for the court.

However, Taylor’s lawyer Michael Gatenby described the remaining charges as “low level”, and her “downhill slide” stayed with the “outrageous” extortion claims that have since been dismissed.

Mr Gatenby said Taylor was also set up by Channel Nine while on bail in what he described as an “outrageous stitch-up” that led to assault charges for which she escaped punishment.

“My client was portrayed as a piece of trash,” Mr Gatenby said.

“She was vilified and crucified in an outrageous stitch-up, and all contributed … she has gone downhill rapidly.”

Taylor was convicted but not further punished on all charges as magistrate Stephen Courtney ordered her immediate release.

“Not meaning this in an insulting way, but your story is a sad one,” Mr Courtney said.

“There has been a real deterioration of your position and mental health.

“When one really drills down to it, while there are a lot of charges … the charges each and of themselves do not reach a high level of seriousness.”

Outside court, Mr Gatenby said it was a horrendous experience for a woman who had done nothing wrong and called for an inquiry.

“I think the should be an inquiry into the way the state treats people with mental illness,” he said.

“I don’t know how you would cope, sitting in a jail cell knowing you had done nothing wrong.

“A lot of people have a lot to answer for – I don’t know how her mental health has withstood this behaviour.”

Taylor will be released from custody on Thursday.

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Australian state launches scheme to boost aboriginal tourism


SYDNEY, April 4 (Xinhua) — The Australia state of Western Australian (WA) launched a scheme on Tuesday to promote aboriginal cultural tourism there.

The Tjina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan, includes a fund valued at 20 million Australian dollars (about 15.48 million U.S. dollars) to support Aboriginal people wanting to work in that sector and to bolster the untapped tourism potential of the scenically spectacular areas of the state such as the Dampier Peninsular in the Kimberly region.

The plan was developed by Tourism Western Australia and other government agencies with the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) and the Aboriginal tourism industry.

“There is incredible demand for Aboriginal experiences – the Tjina Plan will make sure people will get to have that experience they are looking for while they are travelling around WA,” said WA Tourism Minister David Templeman in launching the plan.

Research from Tourism WA shows more than 80 percent of visitors to WA want an Aboriginal experience, however, only about 17 percent have been able to do so up to now.

WAITOC earlier this year has helped secure a federal government commitment for a 40-million-Australian dollar (30.9-million-U.S. dollar) grant package as part of the Indigenous Tourism Fund.

WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor said the financial support presented a “welcome opportunity at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the tourism sector”.

“Aboriginal tourism opportunities in Western Australia have grown significantly over the past six years and it’s critical we find ways to keep them buoyant and expanding throughout the effects of this pandemic period,” Taylor said.

About 3 percent of Australia’s population has aboriginal heritage, who have been living on the continent for over 50,000 years. Australia’s aboriginal culture is defined by its connection to family, community and country.

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Car buyers may pay more amid shortage



Australians buying new cars have been warned sellers have the upper hand while a supply shortage continues.

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NT senator warns over Howard Springs staff


A federal government senator has cast doubt on Scott Morrison’s promise to expand the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine centre.

The prime minister has pledged to lift the capacity from 850 to 2000 beds this month in a move crucial to allowing repatriation flights from India to restart.

The NT government has recruited 160 of the 400 staff it needs to manage Howard Springs when it takes over from the federal AUSMAT team now in charge.

NT Nationals senator Sam McMahon believes the capacity “absolutely can’t” be lifted to 2000 beds because of the staffing shortage.

“It would be foolish to try and ramp up the facility to 2000 unless the required staff are there,” she told reporters in Darwin on Wednesday.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has warned Australians in India could die as a result of the flight pause, which he recommended was necessary to stop quarantine from being overwhelmed.

Senator McMahon said she had major concerns about transferring responsibility from the AUSMAT team to the NT government.

“It is an extremely well-managed and functioning facility under AUSMAT,” she said.

“But I have received assurances from the Northern Territory government and also from federal minister Greg Hunt that AUSMAT will remain involved as long as they are needed to be involved.”

There are 9000 Australians with 650 considered vulnerable trapped in an agonising wait for the government to lift the travel ban.

Mr Morrison expressed confidence in allowing the NT to take over Howard Springs during a visit to Darwin and surrounds last week.

“We wouldn’t have entered into those arrangements were our expert advisers and medical experts not comfortable,” he said.

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Former UCT mentor Kevin Foote named interim Rebels coach


The Melbourne Rebels have named their new coaching team structure following the announcement last Friday from head coach Dave Wessels that he was standing down.

Kevin Foote, who served as assistant coach under Wessels, will step into the role of interim head coach, commencing on Tuesday.

Foote has previous head coach experience in South Africa where he coached the UCT Ikeys to the 2011 Varsity Cup title. Alongside Wessels, he was also co-head coach of the Perth Spirit in Australia’s National Rugby Championship and has been with the Melbourne Rebels for four years.

Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said Foote’s appointment would provide some continuity in the programme, whilst bringing some fresh elements as well.

“Kevin is excited to have been given the opportunity to take on the interim head coach role and is looking forward to the Trans-Tasman series,” he told the Rebels’ official website.

“He is well respected and has a great relationship with the playing group and other staff.

“The board and management see this appointment as a natural progression in his time at the club and look forward to seeing him take on the new role with the high energy and professionalism that he is known for.”

Foote will also continue to lead the defence portfolio for the team and continue his leading role in culture and leadership across the team.

Foote was honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the team.

“It is a great honour and privilege to be offered the role of interim head coach for the remainder of the upcoming season,” he said. “I have big shoes to fill in following Dave’s departure and want to thank him for all his support, leadership and friendship over our years working together and look forward to building on the strong platform he has left at the club.

“We have a big job ahead of ourselves with the Trans-Tasman series starting in just two weeks and I am excited to work with the team and our staff to ensure we are ready to go come our first game against the Blues.”

In another change, the Rebels have also announced that assistant coach Shaun Berne will not be continuing in his role as attack coach and will be finishing up ahead of the Trans-Tasman series.

“Shaun is a great rugby man and we are forever grateful for his contribution to our club both on and off the field over the last four years,” said Stephenson. “During his time at the club, he helped us reach our first finals, and was also called into the Wallabies staff for the 2019 Rugby World Cup which was a terrific acknowledgement and reward for his experience and hard work at the Melbourne Rebels and throughout his coaching career.

“We wish him all the best for his next challenge and thank him for his commitment to the Rebels.”

With the departure of Berne and the support of Rugby Australia, Wallabies coaching staff will be working closely with the Melbourne Rebels in a short-term capacity.

Current Wallabies forwards coach and former British and Irish Lions and England player Geoff Parling remains as forwards coach while the highly experienced and regarded Will Markwick will continue as head of performance driving all aspects of athletic performance.

The Melbourne Rebels will also be making some high profile player retention signings in the next few weeks.

Source: News24

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