‘I’ll f—ing smash you’: Truck driver’s tirade at cyclist caught on camera

The truck driver at the scene. Photo: Supplied The truck driver. Photo: Supplied
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A cyclist has filmed the terrifying moment a truck driver threaten to “smash” him shortly after allegedly trying to run him off the road.

The Yarraville man, who does not wish to be named, was riding two-abreast in light traffic on an overpass on Footscray Road, Footscray, about 9.30am on Saturday.

He claims the truck suddenly swerved within 30 centimetres of him.

“This truck came alarmingly close,” he said. “I got the biggest fright.”

The 43-year-old cyclist said he then rode up to the truck where it had stopped at a set of red lights and told the driver he had “nearly killed” him.

He admits he then “flipped the bird” at the driver.

The cyclist said the driver got out of his truck and threatened to “smash” him, while holding what appeared to be something that could be used as a weapon in his hand.

“Once I realised he was doing that, I was fearing for my safety and moved away,” he said.

The cyclist turned on a camera fitted onto his bike and circled back to get the truck’s number plate.

He can be heard on the video, since uploaded onto YouTube, yelling at the driver: “Why are you so angry? What have I done to you?”

The truck driver replies: “I’ll f—ing smash you, you f—ing c—.”

By this stage, about eight more cyclists from the riding group had caught up to them.

“You tried to run me off the road,” the cyclist says, as the driver charges towards him.

“I tried to cut you off? Nah b—s—,” the driver says.

Another cyclist, who dismounts his bike, tells the driver to “calm down mate”.

The driver, who was heading back towards his truck, then turns around and heads back saying “you better shut the f— up c—” as he rolls up his sleeves.

“Settle,” the second cyclist says. “You don’t want to go to court.”

The second cyclist then tells the driver to “get in your f—ing truck and f— off”, which further aggravates him.

“Do you want to make me shut up,” the driver says, with his fists clenched.

“Don’t say anything,” a third cyclist yells, before the driver gets in his truck and the cyclists ride away.

The cyclist reported the incident to Footscray police later that morning, bringing with him the footage, a pre-written statement, the truck’s number plate and phone numbers of witnesses on a USB stick.

However, he claims he was more upset with the response from police than at the actual incident.

He said the officer he spoke to refused to look at the USB and questioned why he didn’t call triple zero.

“I am really shocked,” he said.

“He had no interest in anything I presented. He just wanted to question the legitimacy of my report.”

After he complained, the cyclist made his report to a second officer.

Victoria Police has been contacted for comment.

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Coly’s netball results

In what was always going to be a tough game against the Leeton-Whitton Crows, the Coleambally under 13s side hasgone down fighting in Narrandera.
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Meeting the team that had gone undefeated throughout the season, it was always going to be a big ask for the junior Blues.

Coleamballystarted the game strongly, scoring early on in the piece.

Abbey Young looks to pass in the Coly Blues C Grade netball game against North Wagga

However, the Crows grew into the game and were able to show their skill and class and that proved just too much to defend against.

The girls put in 100 per cent effort all day but ultimately it was not quite enough as they fell 37-15.

The effort and determination showed by Sally Foster throughout the game and the final series as a whole saw her awarded the Junior Blues’best player.

The club thanked the girls and their coach Kate Jones for a great season of netball and also the supporters for their dedication and encouragement.

Moving on: The Coly A Reserve netball side have progress through to the preliminary final after defeating The Rock. Picture: Supplied

Meanwhile the A Reserve team have progressed to the preliminary final after a comfortable win over the Rock.

The Blues started the game,the stronger side and once they got on a roll there was no stopping them as they won the game 58-41.

The young defensive combination of Molly Young, Tessa Evans and Chloe Buchanan were outstanding in reading the play of the opposition which enabled the side to turn the ball over on many occasions and prevent The Rock from getting any sort of momentum in the game.

The girls showedthey will be hard to stop as they charge towards the grand final but before that they will be facing off against Charles Sturt University who fell to the Northern Jets 50-35 last time out.

The two sides have been evenly matched all year with the two meetings ending with a win to each team during the home and away season.

The winner of the match-up between the Blues and CSU will face the Jets in the season-deciding grand final.

The A reserve players thanked their dedicated supporters for all of the encouragement they have received so far this season.

The club extended its congratulations to coach Michelle Coldiston.The work put in by the coach and playershas been monumentaland the club wished them all the best as they push for a grand final appearance.

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Face it: there will be no free vote of marriage equality

Marriage equality could be years away if the plebiscite is blocked in the Senate. Photo: Luis AscuiHere’s how the story goes.
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Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team join forces to block the same-sex marriage plebiscite in the Senate.

Swayed by passionate lobbying from advocates, Malcolm Turnbull ditches the idea and opts for a free vote in Parliament. The Prime Minister is, after-all, a longstanding supporter of marriage equality. And he’s on the record opposing the plebiscite. Rather than defeated, he is unshackled. Deep down he’s happy it’s gone this way.

Allowed to vote according to their consciences, a same-sex marriage bill passes both houses of Parliament. There are tears of joy on the Senate floor; gay and lesbian couples around the country hit the streets to celebrate. Within days newspapers are filled with touching photos of the first gay and lesbian Australians to legally marry.

The only problem: it won’t happen this way. Almost certainly not. And anyone telling supporters of same-sex marriage otherwise is promoting a dangerous fantasy. A dream as empty as it is alluring.

A plebiscite may not be desirable and may not be fair. But it is the only realistic option for marriage equality in this term in Parliament.

To reject it means same-sex marriage is probably three years away, perhaps more. By the next election Labor will have a binding vote in favour of marriage equality, making it hard to convince the Coalition to support a free vote.

Notice how quiet Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi have been lately? Supposedly in favour of a plebiscite, they are delighted to see it on death row. A proposal designed to delay and divide is doing exactly that. By losing, they win.

Meanwhile, their colleagues who back same-sex marriage are arguing strongly for the plebiscite. Look at Warren Entsch, Christopher Pyne, Tim Wilson. All would prefer a free vote, but they know how their party works. They know that on this issue the Liberal Party truly is a broad church, with perspectives ranging from outright opposition to strident support.

The Labor figures who say Turnbull is hostage to the internal politics of his party on this issue are dead right. Internal politics matter.

When Malcolm Turnbull seized the prime ministership last September he signed a written agreement with the Nationals setting out the terms of the Coalition arrangement. Part of that deal was sticking with Tony Abbott’s plan for a plebiscite.

Turnbull then took the plebiscite to an election, promising Australians a say on the issue. And he won – albeit narrowly.

If Turnbull was to backflip on his policy and allow a free vote it would inflame the conservative wing of the party. So much so that Turnbull’s leadership itself could be at stake. Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen, Abbott and many more would argue that a fundamental election commitment had been broken. They wouldn’t be wrong.

Furthermore, a precedent would be set. Of Shorten staring down Turnbull. Of Turnbull buckling. You folded on same-sex marriage, Labor would taunt him, so why not on a banking royal commission or an emissions trading scheme?

And forget about enough brave Liberals crossing the floor to pass a Labor private member’s bill for marriage equality. The government controls which bills get voted on and not in the House of Representatives so the opportunity will never arise.

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby has argued persuasively that delaying same-sex marriage is a risk worth taking. He’s explained that a plebiscite is constitutionally unnecessary and could unleash a wave of hatred against gays and lesbians.

He also acknowledges that he has been in a committed gay relationship for over 40 years and he and his partner don’t know if they’d want to marry.

Other gay couples would dearly love to marry and are sick of waiting. Some would be willing to fight a plebiscite to do it.

It’s a grim choice but one that must be made. Dreams of a different world – a world where the internal politics of the party in power don’t matter – won’t make it go away.

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Great day to be on horseback

DRAFTING: Gina Carpenter was part of the team, along with daughter Hayley Carpenter and Emily Smith, that took out second place in the mixed division of the team penning.
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The weather was kind for the Tenterfield Team Penning Club as enthusiasts gathered at the Tenterfield Showground on Saturday for the club’sbiannual event.

While some clubs take the sport very seriouslywith the national titles to be determined in Glen Innes this weekend, locally it’s more a fun, family day out with lots of laughs as the teams of three riders attempt to impose some order on the cattle involved.

Ms Watson said the cattle were highly uncooperative on the day, presenting a challenge to the riders who had to pen up selected cattle in the team penning, and then ride again in the afternoon to encourage cattle through a gate in numeric order for the arena sorting.

In addition to local club members, riders came along from Inverell, Bangalow and Glen Innes to participate in the event, with the Inverell competitors figuring highly in the results. Due to the unruly cattle, only one team in the adult division –Inverell riders Russell Hamel, Sharon Hall and Virginia McCosker –managed to earn a time result, that being 1:18:57 to pen three head of cattle. (There’s a two-minute cutoff.)

Tenterfield riders, however, starred in the mixed division with the team comprising Laurie Stenzel and sisters Janika and Georgia Hollis taking out first place, penning a single animal in a time of 1:09:44.

Second place honours went to another local team comprising Gina Carpenter and daughter Hayley, along with Emily Smith.

In the adult division of arena sorting, Inverell trio Debbie McCowen, Col Mather and Greg Powell managed to sort all 10 head through the gate in the correct order in a time of 149.07 seconds. The same team also took out second place with one of their slightly-slower runs, again sorting 10 head but in a time of 159.56 seconds.

The Inverell team of John and Beth Cammileri and Russell Hamelalso claimed third place, penning seven head in two minutes even.

Prizes in the mixed division of the arena sorting came a bit closer to home, with Gary Jarret and offspring Abbie and James from Bangalow claiming first place, sorting 10 head in 144.53 seconds. The same Jarret children along with brother Tom took out second place, sorting seven head in two minutes.

The Tenterfield team of Emily Rhodes, Emily Smith and Sarah Watson was awarded third place, sorting five head in their two minutes.

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Finals netball approaches its conclusion

Rain threatened to put a dampener on the first weekend of finals netball but that didn’t stop the teams from showing up to Macquarie Park ready to play.
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Div 2 Port Combined. Played with 6 players. Still smiling after their 47-25 loss to Saints Boost. Amelia Humphries, Caitlin Dewbery, Olivia Koch, Emma Dennis, Abby Swarbrick, Abby Koch.

The 10Bdivision, playing first at 9:30am, had to endure the worst of the weather.

These girls produced some of the best netball of the day.

CH Manta Rays, who were undefeated all season, had to bring their A game against a red-hot PC Meteors side.

The low scoring game indicated the intense netball both teams played, with some great defence on show.

The Manta Rays held onto their unbeaten record with a tightly contested 10-9 win in the last 60 seconds, sending them straight to the grand final in twoweeks.

The PC Meteors side now play the Wauchope Willywags who defeated PC Gems 5-3 this weekend.

The 11A’salso had some close scorelines. With the rain clearing and the courts still a little wet, these girls played spirited semi-final netball.

PC Emeralds, who finished second on the competition ladder, held on to defeat top team, St Agnes Schools, 20-18. Saints now face Kookaburra’s who narrowly defeated S Boost 20-17.

Finals netball sees teams step up their training schedule as they look to claim a position in their grand finals.

There were some high scoring resultsand some one-sided scorelines. This wasn’t a reflection of the performances of the sides that lost, but more of the determination of the winning sides.

Division 1 saw a close battle throughout the season between PC Kryptonite and W Kingfishers, who finished 1 and 2 on the ladder.

Saturday’s semi-final was won by Kingfishers 59-49. Coach Donna Lewis said their training last week was a lot more intense, which translated to intensity on the court.

Kryptonite will take on St Agnes School, who accounted for Port Panthers RSL 60-32.

To all the teams that have made it through to finals week, good luck. Play hard, play fair.

To the teams that gracefully bowed out last weekend, congratulations on a great season. Come down to the courts on the weekend to support your friends and your club mates.

See you courtside.

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guyra A legacy grounded in history and tradition

Last week, we talked about the changing face of modern warfare, and how campaigns like the 22 push up challenge are helping to bring post traumatic stress disorder out of the closet and into the public conversation.
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Just recently Australia and Vietnam marked the 50thanniversary of the battle of Long Tan, which must have opened many old wounds for the soldiers who served inthat unpopular war.

Step back again, and we remember the soldiers returning from the two world wars, many of whom never spoke of their war experiences, even to their closest loved ones.

And today, men and women are returning from the middle east conflicts, to a world much more accepting of the terrible price they pay for their service.

But of course there are those who don’t return.

While our attitudes and treatment of returned soldiers is only now beginning to approach something resembling a fair and civilised response –there has been one constant in the care of the men, women and childrenleft behind after war.

That constant is Legacy.

Former Legacy Australia chairman, David Gray, said the organisation was born out of a heartfeltpromise to look after the “missus and the kids” made by diggers in WWI to their fallen mates.

This week is Legacy Week, which brings with us a reminder that the soldiers are not the only casualties of war.

Throughout history wives have been left widows and children left fatherless –they have madea very personal sacrifice and paid a high price.

Each year, Legacy assists more than 80,000 widows and 1,800 children and people with disabilities.

Australia has lost just over 100,000 service men and women in all conflicts with many, many more badly injured, both mentally and physically.

This iconic charitable organisation, with such strong grounding in history and tradition, is showing it can evolve to meet the needs of modern times.

Legacy is playing its own part in assisting soldiers affected by PTSD.

While there always seems to be fundraising going on for different causes, Legacy Week is one that just about everyone is happy to get behind.

So buy a badge, and support the work of this army of volunteers who have been there for our community since WW1.

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Canberra Vikings’ Joe Powell lays claim to Wallabies selection

Joe Powell is in dynamic form for the Canberra Vikings. Photo: QRU/SportographyCanberra Vikings youngster Joe Powell is emerging as a future Wallabies halfback following his electric start to the Nation Rugby Championship on Sunday.
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He was dynamic around the ruck against Queensland Country and controlled the ascendancy provided by his forward pack. Powell’s coach Wayne Southwell said his selection in the national side is “only an injury away”.

Powell was a shock inclusion in the 39-man Wallabies squad earlier this year and his age has him primed to take advantage of the World Cup cycle, with a number of his rivals playing overseas.

“[Will] Genia isn’t going to be around that much longer and certainly there is not much between the Australian group that are playing here domestically so he’s in the right age group,” said Southwell.

“Hopefully the [Vikings] forward pack can continue to lay some good foundations for him so he can show his wares in attack.”

Southwell said Powell has developed his game to be more than just an attacking halfback.

“We know what he can do in attack but it was pleasing to see some of his defensive work [on Sunday], which was very good. His organisational ability behind the back of the ruck will be critical in our games to come.

“Those little things that you don’t see off the ball are certainly adding to his game.”

Another emerging inside-back is Jordan Jackson-Hope, 20, who showed a devastating ability to score in loose play.

Southwell said Jackson-Hope’s combination with fellow centre Andrew Smith will go a long way to pushing the Vikings towards the title.

“Smithy’s a good influence on the outside and given a half chance he’s [Jackson-Hope] got the ability to make something happen.

“He was pretty solid out there. He made the most of every opportunity to take on a slower opponent, which is about being able to recognise those opportunities and he did a really good job.”

The Vikings piled on eight tries against Queensland Country, but the coach said it was the defensive side of their game that excited him.

“It’s OK to talk about something like line speed, but it’s another to actually do it.

“It had been a long day waiting to get out there and you can talk about it and talk about it, but the guys went out and executed it well.

“Our line speed cut down a lot of their opportunities early and the defensive line stuck hard in that first 10 minutes where we were in our own 22 for a long period of time.”

Southwell said James Dargaville is awaiting scan results on a shoulder injury.

“We’re hoping that it’s on the shorter range rather than the longer. If it is at the back of the shoulder it is probably a bit of a shorter turn around according to our medicos.”

The Vikings will take on NSW Country this Sunday at Viking Park. The visitors will be full of confidence having knocked off last year’s undefeated champions Brisbane City.

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Woman bailed on Tuesday to appear in court tomorrow

A HAMILTON woman facing​a ​string of criminal charges involving drugs, failing to appear on bail and driving matters will be back in court on Wednesday.
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Nadine Collier, 37, of Stevens Street, successfully applied for bail in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court​ on Tuesday​.

She has to appear in the Hamilton Magistrates Court at 9.30am Wednesday.

Solicitor Belinda Northey said her client did not appear in the Ararat Magistrates Court on August 22, a warrant was issued for her arrest and a $500 surety was put in place.

Ms Collier then handed herself in to Hamilton policeon Monday, was unable to come up with the​$500 ​surety and remanded in custody until Tuesday’s hearing.

Ms Northey said she understood that all charges were resolvable.

Magistrate Ron Saines said it was hoped that all criminal matters would proceed at Hamiltoncourt on Wednesday.

He warned Ms Collier she would not get bail again if she did not appear at court.

Police raised concerns about Ms Collier as she has​ failed to appear in court twice already this year.

Police allege that at 10am on August 23 officers raided a Hamilton home where Ms Collier was living​.

In a locked shed​they ​found two grams of ice in a red ceramic container as well as drug paraphernalia.

She is alleged to have made admissions to​ owning the drugsand has prior convictions for drugs, dishonesty and driving offences.

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SANZAAR stands by decision to not cite Owen Franks for alleged eye-gouge despite backlash

No charge: Owen Franks appears to gouge the eye of Kane Douglas.SANZAAR will not back down on the non-citing of All Blacks forward Owen Franks for an alleged eye-gouge on Kane Douglas despite a major backlash.
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And World Rugby does not have the power under their regulations to appeal the decision because the Rugby Championship is an independent tournament conducted by SANZAAR.

The game’s southern hemisphere governing body confirmed on Sunday morning, in the wake of the All Blacks’ 29-9 victory over the Wallabies, New Zealand tighthead Franks had no case to answer for what appeared to be deliberate contact with Douglas’ eye, which is prohibited under World Rugby laws.

However, after footage emerged of a new angle showing Franks attempting to put his hands near Douglas’ eyes, SANZAAR and World Rugby have copped a tidal wave of criticism on social media with some of the game’s greats questioning why Franks was not charged.

Irish rugby great Brian O’Driscoll led the chorus of criticism for Franks’ non-citing, labelling the decision a “farce”.

“This is an absolute sham @WorldRugby,” O’Driscoll tweeted to his 728,000 followers. “Makes a mockery of citing. If nothing comes of this it’s a farce.” This is an absolute sham @WorldRugby ???! Makes a mockery of citing. If nothing comes of this it’s a farce. https://t.co/sDr92ggzcU— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) August 28, 2016

World Rugby cannot appeal the decision because it is an independent tournament as determined by their council and unions.

SANZAAR, however, will not budge on its initial ruling, determined by a citing commissioner, that the Franks incident did not reach a red card threshold.

That is not to say the alleged eye-gouge did not warrant a yellow card or the bare minimum; a penalty.

Under SANZAAR procedures, it is not possible to appeal against a non-citing, meaning that even if new footage comes to light, the ruling from an independent commission will stand.

The only way that could change however, would be if Douglas was prepared to make a complaint if he felt he was eye-gouged.

This is not something Douglas plans on doing, but it does create a debate as to whether it is the player or the governing body’s responsibility to come forward, given the Wallabies second-rower will more than likely adhere to the “what happens on the field stays on the field” code among players.

While there has been no official word out of the Australian camp regarding the alleged eye-gouge, it is understood they did not refer the Franks incident to the citing commissioner because they felt it would almost certainly be picked up in the match review without their intervention.

Michael Cheika said after the Wellington Test: “They couldn’t miss it, it was pretty in the open. It’d be pretty hard for the match review to miss.”

Former Wallaby Michael Lynagh also expressed his bemusement an the non-citing, saying there was “no surprise” in a response to O’Driscoll’s tweet.

Meanwhile, another incident dominated headlines across the ditch on Monday with footage emerging of Wallabies back-up halfback Nick Phipps throwing outside centre Malakai Fekitoa’s left boot away.

While it is not uncommon for players to lose their boot, Phipps’ wind up and launching of the boot towards the Wallabies tryline was not appreciated by All Blacks fans.

According to World Rugby law 10.4(m): “A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.”

It was a number of these incidents during the Wellington clash that has left both camps seeing red.

That All Blacks hooker Dane Coles wasn’t sent off, be it for 10 minutes or the rest of the match, for a hit on an unsuspecting Scott Fardy at the bottom of a ruck, was a sore point for Cheika after the match.

“Fardy had been cracked on the skull and there was no yellow card for that,” Cheika said. “I don’t know whether one person’s head is worth more value than the other person’s head. That’s the way it’s rolling at the moment.”

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ARU waiting to hear from World Rugby about Hansen-Peyper pre-Bledisloe meeting

Calling for level playing field: Michael Cheika. Photo: Anthony Au-YeungThe ARU is still waiting to hear why All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and assistant referee Jaco Peyper met before the weekend’s Bledisloe Test, something it believes was not in keeping with the spirit of World Rugby regulations.
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Hansen has quashed claims he met with game two referee Romain Poite in the lead-up to his side’s Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies but admitted to having a meeting with Peyper, the man in charge for game one in Sydney.

Hansen claims he was asked by Peyper to the meeting, not the other way around, so he and scrum coach Mike Cron went along to discuss a number of things that came up from the All Blacks’ 42-8 thumping in game one.

The Wallabies have since made an official complaint to World Rugby, asking them to investigate whether any meetings were held between a referee and New Zealand coaching staff.

Michael Cheika is allowed to ask for a meeting but the fact Peyper, as it’s alleged by Hansen, called for the meeting, the ARU believe this is not completely within the spirit of World Rugby regulation 15.4.2.

The Australians believe there is little disparity between a head referee and an assistant, particularly if the assistant was in charge for the previous game.

The regulation states: “Any meeting with the referee involving participating Unions before any International Match, may only take place if a representative of both Unions involved in the Match is present, unless one of the Unions, having been offered the opportunity to attend a meeting with the referee elects not to do so, in which case the meeting may proceed with a representative of only one participating Union present.”

Because Peyper was the assistant referee for the upcoming fixture, it is understood that is why Hansen might not have a case to answer.

World Rugby has been contacted about the matter and will discuss before delivering a response to the ARU.

If it is proven Peyper went to the All Blacks, it is interesting why he did not offer the same meeting to the Australians, who suffered a 34-point loss, which was their biggest on home soil.

There is a perception if Cheika and Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma hypothetically met an assistant, without the All Blacks knowing, before a Test they went on to win and the offer was not extended to their opposition, they would face the same scrutiny as Hansen and Peyper.

There is no suggestion from the Wallabies a meeting with match officials would do anything to change the scoreline in Wellington in which the All Blacks clinched their 14th consecutive Bledisloe Cup.

“There’s a clear protocol around the referees liaison in the country where the match is being hosted,” Cheika said on Sunday. “We’re not saying it shouldn’t happen but we just want to go where the rule is. We gave it to them. They [World Rugby] will probably do nothing. Pretty clear they’re not interested in our comments on the issue, so we’ve reported it back there so we’ll see what they do. It’s just a footnote for us.”

Hansen said claims of a meeting with Poite were false and that he could not understand the issue with meeting Peyper.

“It’s quite sad that’s come out, isn’t it, because it’s not true,” Hansen said. “[I said] g’day to Romain in the morning, he stayed here at this hotel. But I did have a meeting with Jaco Peyper this week at his request. I’m a firm believer that we’re here to support the referees and help them. It’s a difficult game to ref so why wouldn’t you have the meeting?”

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Mandurah tiny superheros fight Muscular Dystrophy

Mandurah tiny superheros fight Muscular Dystrophy Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.
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Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Determination: Carers and Children at World of Kids in Halls Head dress as superheros to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

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Want to be a politician? Change your name to Andrew

Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie, (top right) is one of the MPs with the most common name in Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Government minister Christopher Pyne, the bearer of one of the most popular names in Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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New Labor MP Anne Aly – she is one of the five MPs with the name “Anne” in Parliament. Photo: Christopher Pearce

A man called Andrew, David, Steven, Anthony or Christopher is more likely to be sitting on the benches of federal Parliament than a woman despite women making up more than half of the population.

A new analysis of the incoming members of the 45th Parliament paints a stark picture of the gender and ethnic make-up of the lower and upper houses.

The most popular name for MPs is Andrew. There are eight MPs with the name Andrew or five per cent of all male MPs.

There are seven Davids and seven Stevens/Stephens.

Not even the most popular name among women MPs – Ann or Anne – is as popular as the fifth most popular man’s name.

There are six Anthonys and six Christophers but only five Annes.

Such are the low numbers of women in Parliament that there are only three other women’s names which feature more than three times – Susan/Sussan, Catherine/Katherine and Julie.

Researcher Hutch Hussein said looking at MPs’ names was a “useful barometer” of examining the diversity of Parliament.

Ms Hussein, a Labor Party feminist, said the results were “unsurprising” due to the lower numbers of Liberal Party women and showed the easiest “pathway” to politics was to be a white man.

When the new Parliament sits for the first time on Tuesday it will have five more women on its benches than the previous parliament.

The number of women in the House of Representatives has risen to 43 (29 per cent of lower house members) up from 40 (27 per cent) at the end of the 44th Parliament which was dissolved when the July election was called, research from the Parliamentary Library shows. The number of women in the Senate has increased by one to 30 senators (39 per cent of upper house members).

There are now two female Labor MPs for every one Coalition MP. The Labor Party has 42 female MPs while the number of women Liberal Party MPs dropped from 22 to 18. There are three female National Party MPs.

There are now more male MPs with the names Andrew, David, Steven, Christopher or Anthony than conservative women MPs.

The increased number of MPs from micro parties has seen an injection of new female faces including One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and two members of the Nick Xenophon Team, Rebekah Sharkie and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

Ms Hussein said her research also demonstrated the “Anglo stranglehold” with the names of MPs indicating that Parliament was still dominated by people from Anglo Saxon backgrounds.

Following the July 2 election the deputy leader of the National Party, Fiona Nash, said the party needed “to do better”.

“We do need to do more, there’s no doubt about that. Not very long ago the NSW Nationals put in place a target of 50–50 male and female representation by 2025, which I pushed very hard for. Personally, I don’t believe in quotas, but I do believe in having a commonsense target,” Senator Nash said.

Defence Minister Marise Payne was also critical.

“If there is a strategy, it’s clearly not working,” she said in July. “So we need to change that. We need to make sure that we are identifying strong female candidates early; we need to make sure we are encouraging them in the positives of political life. I think we can do much better; I am determined to do that.”

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Priest confronts Opposition Leader Bill Shorten over same-sex marriage

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is welcomed to the Ecumenical Service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament at the Church of St Andrew in Canberra. The same-sex marriage confrontation occurred after the ceremony. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the Ecumenical Service to mark the opening of the 45th Parliament. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Church of St Andrew in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been confronted by an Anglican priest over comments linking opponents of same-sex marriage to bigoted views and homophobia.

Canberra priest Ian Powell approached Mr Shorten after the traditional church service to mark the opening of Parliament on Tuesday, as Labor comes under pressure to support the Turnbull government’s planned plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

The Greens and Nick Xenophon’s party have confirmed they plan to block the required enabling legislation in the Senate, with Labor expected to announce its opposition when the government finalises its plans for a February vote.

Rector Powell took issue with comments Mr Shorten made during the election campaign, linking a fatal shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida with the plebiscite campaign, saying it could “give haters the chance to come out from under the rock”.

In front of a large media contingent, he approached Mr Shorten outside Canberra’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

“You described people who weren’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage as ‘haters who come out from under rocks’. Can I ask you not to speak like that? Because I know lots of people like that,” the Canberra priest told Mr Shorten.

“Please don’t speak like that about other Australians, so we can have a civil and tolerant discussion rather than the hate that’s been coming.”

In the unexpected encounter, the Labor leader responded, saying Rector Powell should quote him accurately.

“Please don’t hector me. Give me the chance to speak,” Mr Shorten said.

“First of all, people of faith can be opposed to marriage equality.

“People of faith can be opposed to marriage equality but some people who object to marriage equality do have homophobic attitudes.”

Mr Powell thanked Mr Shorten and the pair went their separate ways.

Opponents of the plebiscite are concerned campaigning could see hateful and homophobic speech, potentially damaging to gay and lesbian Australians and their families.

Rector Powell has been contacted for comment.

He has previously warned same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy or “plural marriage”, while linking it to adults who are “in love with children” or even those with “longings is to have sex with animals”.

Newly elected Liberal MP and former Human Rights commissioner Tim Wilson used an opinion piece on Tuesday to argue against efforts to block the plebiscite, calling on supporters of same-sex marriage to back a national vote.

Mr Wilson said upon hearing that the Coalition would pursue a plebiscite, rather than a Parliamentary vote, he “crawled into a ball in bed and cried” but was now convinced a plebiscite was the right way to make the case for the change.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown said this week the plebiscite option should be kept open if it is the only way of achieving same-sex marriage in the foreseeable future.

While the Greens have announced they will oppose any plebiscite, in an interview with The Conversation Mr Brown – the first openly gay member of federal parliament – warned against three more years of waiting for marriage equality.

“There’s so many arguments against a plebiscite, for Parliament getting on and doing the job,” the former senator said.

“Malcolm Turnbull – where are you? This is your own inclination. You should insist that there be a vote in the parliament and a free vote of your members and you should put your leadership on the line about it and get this over and done with. And the nation will be grateful to you if you do it,” he said.

“But if that’s not to be the case, we have to think again about leaving it … as the conservatives, the George Christensens of the world and the Christian lobby etc, want it: ‘Oh, let’s put it off in the hope that it’ll never happen’.”

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.