Archive for: ‘January 2019’

Labor wants live sheep export suspension

28/01/2019 Posted by admin

A former Liberal minister wants laws to ban live sheep exports after the death of 2,400 animals.Labor has called for live sheep exports to be suspended immediately pending the outcome of a review into the northern summer trade.

A veterinarian-led audit is due to hand down a final report by May 11, which the government says will be before the highest-risk months for extreme heat in the Middle East.

But Labor has demanded no new shipments before the findings are handed down.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten believes the review is unlikely to say the northern summer trade is sustainable, but will wait for the findings.

“Until that happens, northern summer shipments of sheep not already beyond the farmgate should be suspended,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.

It comes after former Liberal minister Sussan Ley pledged to next month introduce a private members’ bill to phase out live sheep exports to the Middle East.

Ms Ley, a former farmer from NSW, said it was “inherently impossible” to transport sheep to the Middle East during the northern summer in a humane way.

“I want to see this live sheep trade permanently cease,” she told Sky News on Thursday.

WA Labor backbencher Josh Wilson also broke ranks with his party on Thursday, saying he had a long-held view the trade should end.

“There are a lot of people across the parliament who when they look at the evidence around the long-haul live export of sheep recognise that this can’t continue,” Mr Wilson told Sky News.

But Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack rejected calls for a ban, citing the repercussion of the Gillard government’s “knee-jerk” decision to shut down the live cattle trade in 2011.

“I don’t believe that we should ban the trade holus-bolus,” he told the National Press Club.

Mr Shorten urged the Turnbull government to adopt Labor’s plan to appoint an independent inspector to oversee animal welfare in the industry.

That proposal has the support of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council.

“The community wants it, the industry needs it, and animals deserve it,” Mr Shorten said.

His deputy Tanya Plibersek would like to see live exports phased out over time, while opposition frontbencher Ed Husic believes Australia needs to “seriously consider” moving away from the trade.

ALEC voted in Brisbane on Wednesday to establish an independent inspector-general to observe the treatment of livestock onboard ships, ending years of opposition to the policy.

It comes after shocking footage emerged last week of sheep dying in inhumane conditions on a ship bound for the Middle East, sparking outrage.

The Greens and independent Derryn Hinch have been vocal supporters of a ban on live exports, while his fellow crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm has backed the industry to continue.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has announced the terms of reference for a separate review into the capabilities, investigative capacity and culture of his department.

The review, by former public servant Philip Moss, will also consider the idea of an independent inspector and is due to report by August 24.

Australian Associated Press

Popovic return to Wanderers unlikely

28/01/2019 Posted by admin

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Josep Gombau has been sacked by the A-League club.Western Sydney have all but ruled out a Tony Popovic return as they search for a new coach to restore the club as an A-League powerhouse.

With plenty of options abroad, local free agent Paul Okon also shapes as a candidate to reverse the deterioration during Josep Gombau’s ill-fated tenure.

The Wanderers sacked Gombau on Thursday, less than six months into his three-year contract, facing the critical decision of installing his successor.

Popovic’s return to Australia after his short-lived stint in Turkey has ignited speculation the highly successful foundation coach could turn prodigal son.

But it’s believed the board are unlikely to entertain re-hiring the man who walked out on the eve of the season and created uncertainty in the first place.

Although there is ample time to get this appointment right, it’s believed some European coaches are being looked at already .

Former Central Coast coach Okon is also on the lookout for a job after walking away from the Mariners.

The western Sydney-born former Socceroo would be a seamless fit with the club’s culture, one yearning for direction after a hugely disrupted season on and off the field.

Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas broke the news on Thursday morning to Gombau, four days after the Wanderers failed to make the finals in his first season in charge.

A short club statement said the call had been made “following a review of the season”, one in which Gombau was found to have repeatedly reneged on the overtures that won him the job in the first place.

They included his apparent desire to develop young players, as evidenced by his tenure as Olyroos boss, and his ability to instil his signature possession-based playing with the team he was given.

The shortfalls became apparent in the lack of youth players promoted to the first team and Gombau’s requests to sign further players, who’d been successful under his philosophy at Adelaide United, having already brought in Marcelo Carrusca.

A worrying drop-off in the squad’s overall fitness was also noted, a stark contrast to Popovic’s meticulous approach to sports science.

The erratic results – 10 losses, five draws and seven wins – sparked dressing-room discontent that led to the exit of captain Robbie Cornthwaite and featured falling outs with marquee striker Oriol Riera, Kearyn Baccus and Roly Bonevacia.

Ultimately, the club’s top brass were unconvinced of the Spaniard’s ability to mount a title challenge next season.

And if scraping into the finals would have saved him, Sunday’s muddled 3-2 defeat at home to the Reds was the nail in the coffin.

After that match, veteran striker Brendon Santalab foretold Gombau’s imminent departure, warning “something has to change” to re-examine the Wanderers’ identity and playing style.

Santalab is one of a clutch of players coming off contract and needing certainty over their future.

The Wanderers have also endured numerous off-season problems, including a suspended points penalty over flares set off by Red and Black Bloc members and the active supporter group’s subsequent decision to boycott the last games of the season.

Australian Associated Press

Trump could be wooed on a sweetened TPP

28/01/2019 Posted by admin

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has discussed the TPP with US President Donald Trump.US President Donald Trump continues to play hard to get on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, telling reporters he does not want to join the massive free trade pact with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and eight other nations.

But, in almost the same breath, dangled the prospect he could be wooed.

The author of The Art of the Deal, speaking at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, said he is only interested in signing up the US to the TPP if the other members sweetened the deal.

That seems unlikely.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP, but if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US I would do it,” Mr Trump told reporters after two days of talks with Mr Abe.

“I like bilateral deals.

“I think it’s better for our countries and better for our workers.”

Mr Trump had called the TPP a “rape of our country” before his 2016 election win and pulled the US out of the pact on his first work day in the White House.

Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Malaysia and Mexico moved ahead on the TPP without the US and in March had a formal signing ceremony for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP11.

US farmers, facing a major disadvantage against Australian competitors in key markets including Japan, and Republican members of Congress have pressured Mr Trump to take a second look at the TPP.

Mr Trump, also engaged in a potential trade war with China, floated the idea of the US rejoining the TPP on the eve of Mr Abe’s US visit.

The likelihood of that soured on Tuesday night – after the first day of talks with Mr Abe – when Mr Trump tweeted his disapproval of the TPP because of “too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work”.

The US and Japan will now actively seek a one-on-one free trade deal.

Mr Trump noted the US already has bilateral free trade agreements with Australia and five of the other TPP nations.

Mr Abe, a main architect of the TPP11 with Australia, on Wednesday emphasised Japan’s preference the US joined TPP.

“Our country’s position is TPP is the best for both of the countries and based on that position we shall be dealing with the talks,” Mr Abe said.

Japan has been targeted by Mr Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs.

The president suggested if the bilateral agreement went well the US would drop the tariffs.

“We’ll see what happens,” Mr Trump said.

Australian Associated Press

Catherine Britt warms up the Cold Cold Hearts

28/01/2019 Posted by admin

Catherine Britt warms up the Cold Cold Hearts TweetFacebookBoneshaker.

There’s been dark and frightening times, like her diagnosis and subsequent surgery and treatment for breast cancer in June 2015, a month after Boneshaker was released.

But there’s also been some of the happiest moments of her life, which haveincluded her marriage to husband James Beverley in October 2015 and then the arrival of their first child, Hank, last Christmas Eve.

On Thursday the 33-year-old four-time Golden Guitaraward-winner announced her return to music with new single Red Dirt, off her forthcoming seventh albumCatherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts, out on July 20.

Not surprisingly her life experiences over the past three years have shaped the theme of the record.

“A lot of the songs are about living every day like it’s your last and just enjoying it,” Britt says.

Catherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts – Red DirtThe banjo-driven bluegrass-flavoured Red Dirt describes Britt’s growing love for the Australian outback, influenced by her and Beverley’s experience of managing the iconic SilvertonHotel, west of Broken Hill, on a caretaker basis.

The video was filmed at the Silverton Hotel and featuresBritt pulling beers at the bar and her family drivingtheir caravan along the dusty red dirt roads.

Catherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts was recorded in her recently-built home studio in Mayfield East and features new bandmates Newcastle musician Michael Muchow and Brisbane’sAndy Toombs.

Britt says after Boneshaker she had no intention of recording in Nashville again and was searching for a more organic and homely experience.

“I thought of building the studio and doing it ourselves,” she says.

“I’ve always wanted to do one of those ‘artist and a band’ projects like Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and Emmylou Harris & The Hot Band.

“It’s still the artist but they have this band of mates behind them.

“When I was writing the album I was going back to when I was a kid and rediscovering that music that I grew up on.”

Catherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts perform at Lizotte’s on September 1.

Hanson returns from Afghanistan visit

28/01/2019 Posted by admin

One Nation’s Pauline Hanson is on her way home from Afghanistan where she visited Australian troops.Pauline Hanson is headed home after spending more than a week on the ground with Aussie troops in Afghanistan.

The One Nation leader posted a video about her time in the country, following a visit with colleague Brian Burston and Labor senator Kimberley Kitching.

“I wanted to experience what our Aussie soldiers go through in a war zone,” she said.

She said she will bring what she’s learnt back to the floor of parliament.

“I’ve got a lot to say over the next few weeks.”

Senator Hanson said the military do a fantastic job and she thanked those in Afghanistan for having her.

Before she left, she told The Australian she can see Australian soldiers being in the country for the long haul and it’s necessary that they are.

“You can see the changes that are happening in the country,” she said.

“One soldier came up to me and said, ‘Can you please tell the media and the people that we want to be here. This is the highlight of our careers. We’ve trained for this’.”

Australian Associated Press