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National Preventive Health Strategy must include it


A new strategy aimed at improving the health of Australians must include the impacts of climate change, according to 30 prominent health groups.

Experts say the impact of climate change is being ignored despite predictions that it will lead to 85 deaths per 100,000 people globally per year by the end of the century – more than are currently killed by all infectious diseases across the world.

Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Fiona Armstrong said climate change would see thousands more Australians suffer from infectious and cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illness, heat stress, mental illness, violence, food insecurity, poor water quality and poorer nutrition.

“If the government chooses to ignore the health impacts of climate change, they are refusing to prevent that,” she said.

The Federal Government is currently developing the National Preventive Health Strategy to identify areas of focus for the next 10 years that will improve the health of Australians and to address the complex causes of things like obesity, reducing tobacco use, or improving mental health.

It aims to looks at factors such as access to green space, nutritious food supply, sanitation, supportive community networks and how cultural influences can contribute to better outcomes.

But health groups, including three groups that are part of the expert steering committee advising the government on the strategy, have released a joint statement today criticising the failure of the consultation paper to mention climate change, or include it as part of its six focus areas.

The Public Health Association of Australia, Consumers Health Forum of Australia and the Australian College of Nursing are all now going public with their concerns.

“As with unhealthy food, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and alcohol, it is critical that the role of vested interests in relation to climate change is identified as undermining efforts to prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing,” the statement says.

It notes that climate change can impact impact people’s health in many ways.

This includes the impacts of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods and bushfires, which pose a direct threat to people’s lives.

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But there are also other indirect impacts. Worsening air quality from smoke can create health risks, and there can also be impacts due to changes in temperature, risks to food safety and drinking water quality, and effects on mental health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated 250,000 extra deaths a year are expected to be caused by climate change between 2030 and 2050.

This includes 38,000 extra deaths from heat stress as well as deaths from diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition.

Elderly people in particular are susceptible to high temperatures, which can cause deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Floods can contaminate freshwater supplies, heighten the risk of waterborne diseases, and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes. They can also disrupt the delivery of medical and health services.

Ms Armstrong said climate change was the biggest threat to health this century.

“The National Preventive Health Strategy must tackle climate change to protect and promote health. If we don’t, everything else risks being done for nought,” she said.

Other groups that have signed the statement include Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

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“A National Preventive Health Strategy that is fit for purpose in the 21st century must address climate change – or it will fail in its objectives,” the statement says.

“Preventing deaths, illnesses and injuries associated with climate change requires leadership from governments to tackle the root causes of climate change, support the health sector and the health professions to build climate resilience, and ensure the community is well informed and capable of taking health protective actions.”

A University of Melbourne study released this month found the annual economic damage of climate change in Australia, could be similar to the annual cost of the coronavirus pandemic by 2038.

Climate change is estimated to cost the Australian economy at least $1.89 trillion over the next 30 years if current emissions policies are maintained.

Health Minister Greg Hunt announced in June 2019 the government would develop the 10-year strategy and it is due to be completed by March 2021.

The consultation paper will set out what the strategy will aim to achieve and how it could be done. Rather than focusing on specific diseases, the strategy will focus on system wide, evidence-based approaches to reducing poor health.

The strategy’s consultation paper is open for feedback until September 28.

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2





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Australian News

Matildas national away kit not available for fans in women’s sizes



Female Matildas fans have been left disappointed after the team confirmed its national team’s away kit would not be available for purchase in women’s sizes until 2022.

A post from the Matildas’ Twitter account on Friday replied to a number of fans requesting the Australian women’s soccer team’s green away jersey.

“Unfortunately, the new national teams away kit will not be available in women’s sizes,” the post read.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and can assure supporters that this will be rectified for the next kit release due in 2022.”

The tweet prompted dozens of irate replies from fans who wanted the issue rectified as soon as possible, not almost two years later.

Among those unhappy with the decision was Matildas player Elise Kellond-Knight, who tweeted the lack of women’s sizes was “a fairly significant problem”.

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Another person who took issue with the oversight, London-based neuropsychologist Bonnie-Kate Dewar, said not being able to buy a women’s kit for Australia’s “most-loved team” was “not acceptable”.

“I’m tired of my soccer-mad daughter seeing that it’s all about the men’s teams that the women have to wait,” she wrote.

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Deborah Hennessy tweeted: “Why when we are trying to increase the support leading up to the women’s World Cup would someone make a stupid decision like this?”

A post on the Matildas Twitter account did confirm youth sizes would be available “soon”.

Men were also offended with one Twitter user, Matt Bradley, posting: “This is bull****. Just put an order in at the least.”

The Matildas yellow home jersey is available in women’s sizes for purchase online.

In June, Australia was named as the host of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A Football Federation Australia spokesman said the organisation would not comment further “at the moment”.



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Qld premier set to come under fire at National Cabinet over ‘double standard’ at borders


The Queensland border bubble has been extended to allow boarding school students to return home, as the state records no new cases.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday added Moree to the list of postcodes Queensland border residents can freely travel to, saying she wanted students to be allowed to return home for school holidays.

It also comes after the mayor of Moree slammed Ms Palaszczuk as “cruel and heartless” after Mungindi’s single supermarket was destroyed.

As a result, if residents wanted to travel to their closest supermarket in Moree, they would have to quarantine for 14 days, prohibiting them from accessing medical care in Queensland.

“We hope this will be great news for families to ensure their boarding school students can be home for school holidays,” she said.

The state’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said she had no concerns about potential spread from Moree.

“I am very confident Moree is a safe place to add into our border zone,” she said.

“For a number of reasons we have made this decision … but the most important reason of all is that it’s safe for us to do that.

“This could change, but at this point in time NSW has control of their outbreak, but the risk is the virus can travel to other parts.”

It comes as a specialist unit becomes operational today, designed to assist northern NSW families navigate border measures to access urgent and emergency medical care.

“We want to make sure if people in northern NSW need specialist appointments, we have a dedicated unit that will be there for them,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We have a team of 80 people working on exemptions … we are working in the best interest of families.”

Dr Young said in the past week, 900 residents northern NSW residents had been treated in Queensland hospitals.

“We are continuing to provide essential and emergency healthcare to people who live in northern NSW, we have always done that and that has not changed,” she said.

It comes as Ms Palaszczuk is set to come under fire at today’s National Cabinet over border measures that allowed 400 AFL contingents to lap up luxury while medical and compassionate exemptions are denied.

Dr Young’s strict border measures, enforced by Ms Palaszczuk, are set to be targeted at today’s National Cabinet meeting, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison expected to announce a new hotspot traffic light system that would guide states on who to allow in.

Mr Morrison has previously called for more compassion and consistency over border measures, and has told states borders need to be open by Christmas so “families can be reunited”.

Ms Palaszczuk has repeatedly reaffirmed she had ultimate say in what happened at the borders, and that her main priority was “keeping Queenslanders safe”.

A visibly teary premier on Friday said she refused to be intimidated, and that her ultimate responsibility was keeping Queenslanders safe.

“I get up every day and I rely on the best health advice to look after this state,” she said.

“I think it’s a bit disingenuous for this heightened criticism coming from a whole lot of levels when my fundamental concern is to look after Queenslanders.

“There is a high risk when there is an outbreak of it going into aged care homes… I do not want to see what happened in NSW and Victoria to happen here.”

Dr Young said the trigger for Queensland to re-open its borders with NSW would not be pulled until the state had had no community transmission of COVID-19 for 28 days.

“The one standard my team work to is to keep Queenslanders safe,” she said.

Yesterday the state recorded two new cases, including one who worked at an aged care home, an hour southwest of Brisbane, for two days.

Dr Young said the risk to residents was very low because the staff member did not have contact with residents at Karinya Place at Laidley.

The two new cases are known to each other and have been linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre/Queensland Correction Services Academy cluster, which has grown to 30 people.

This week, Ms Palaszczuk said she felt “very comfortable” with the containment of the current cluster.

A new COVID-19 pop-up fever clinic has been set up at the popular tourist location Airlie Beach, after viral fragments of COVID-19 were found in sewage.

Dr Young said there was no cause for alarm, but told anyone with any symptoms to go and get tested.



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Local News - Victoria

Time to admit our national shame


The furnace of Phil Cleary’s rage grows brighter as the monstrous injustice suffered by his sister dims from public memory. The former footballer and federal politician believes that until we publicly acknowledge how the justice system failed Vicki and hundreds of other female murder victims, we will never truly move to a position of fairness.

On average, a woman is killed every week by a partner or former partner somewhere in Australia.

This means about 1700 women have lost their lives since Vicki was killed – more than three times the casualty toll from the Vietnam War (521) and 10 times the deaths from Australia’s most lethal natural disaster, the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires (173).

Killer Peter Keogh.

Killer Peter Keogh.

Vicki’s killer, Peter Keogh, was acquitted of murder and found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation.

He would serve less than four years’ jail. Four years for taking a life. Let me make it clear, Keogh was guilty of premeditated murder and the manslaughter defence was barbaric, baseless and brutal. Back then, an accused could make an unsworn statement from the dock and avoid cross-examination. Keogh took the opportunity to tell a pack of lies that resulted in the jury getting it wrong.

Here are the facts.

Vicki was 22 and Keogh 35 in 1987, when they bought a house in Broadford. Eventually, she saw no future with the brooding, controlling and malevolent Keogh and moved out.

In a story repeated daily somewhere in Australia, Keogh refused to accept his partner’s right to control her own life and started stalking her.

Vicki went to court for a restraining order but, dispirited by the apathetic response, left without one.

She worked at a Coburg kindergarten where workmates noticed she was scared. When Keogh turned up and became threatening, they understood why.

Vicki Cleary.

Vicki Cleary.

Brothers Phil and Perry separately offered to talk to Keogh, to gently explain the relationship was over and he should move on. Vicki declined, blurting out to Phil: “He wouldn’t hurt me, don’t worry – there’s no problem.”

The reason she didn’t want help was that Keogh had told her that if any of her three brothers turned up, he would “iron bar” their knees.

At 7am on August 26, 1987, Keogh went to the kindergarten in Cameron Street– more than an hour before Vicki was due at work.

He was dressed in bright-yellow overalls, a peaked cap and blue jacket identical to the railway repair team that often worked on the tracks a few metres away.

He was armed with a large hunting-type knife, a Stanley knife, pliers, masking tape and rubber gloves. He would later say he planned to vandalise her car but lost control when she swore at him.

When she pulled up, he instantly attacked her inside the car, then dragged her out, stabbing her four times before leaving her fatally wounded in the gutter.

As brother Phil says: “Despite being ambushed by a man brandishing a large knife, Vicki refused to cower or give up on life. For a good three minutes, she fought Keogh off as he tried to kill her. Severely wounded, her face cut and her liver punctured by knife wounds, she refused to be subdued. ‘Please don’t let me die,’ she told the ambulance officer who comforted her.”

Despite evidence of months of harassment, testimony from a witness that Keogh had said if Vicki tried to get half the house “I’ll neck her”, the fact he arrived armed, ambushed her, stabbed her repeatedly, calmly walked away and discarded the murder weapon, the offender was portrayed as the victim at the trial.

He told the jury: “I have always loved Vicki.”

The classic definition of provocation was at one time an act that would “cause in any reasonable person a sudden and temporary loss of self-control rendering the accused … not master of his mind”.

Keogh’s was not a split-second act. It was months in the making.

For the Cleary family, the trial was a nightmare where the victim was somehow blamed for her own death. Phil recalls: “As Mum [Lorna] said many times, it was like having Vicki murdered again.”

He recalls the stunned Clearys standing outside the court. “I will never forget our mother accidentally walking into the path of the jurors after the verdict on Valentine’s Day 1989 and saying: ‘She was just a girl, do you known what you’ve done? You’ve let a murderer go free’.”

That, and a more forceful comment from Phil, had them banned from the court when Keogh was sentenced. The victim’s family banned from the day of reckoning? Are you kidding?

The maximum penalty allowable was 20 years.

Phil Cleary and mother Lorna outside the Supreme Court in 2010.

Phil Cleary and mother Lorna outside the Supreme Court in 2010.

Keogh was sentenced to eight years with a minimum of six. He was released on July 18, 1991. He’d served three years and 11 months.

No one in authority thought the sentence was so unjust it was worth appealing. Vicki, apparently, wasn’t worth it.

Keogh was no honest citizen whose actions were out of character. His criminal history showed a violent, vicious bully with no redeeming features.

He was 12 when charged with indecent assault. Still a teenager, he was shot in both knees when he attacked a policeman with a knife. He beat a man with a billiard cue and dragged a woman into a car park to bash her head repeatedly into a wall.

In 1974, he tricked a nine-year-old girl into his Richmond home, threatening to “smash her face inside out”, then sexually assaulted her.

Keogh was not a man who killed because he momentarily lost control, he killed because he had permanently lost control of Vicki Cleary, who in his mind was a mere possession.

‘It destroyed mum’s life’

Lorna and Ron Cleary had seven children, four boys (one died in infancy) and three girls. Married for nearly 60 years, they died a few months apart in 2011.

Lorna’s private papers showed her lifelong pain. In a letter to her daughter 21 years after she was killed, she wrote: “My Darling Vicki I think of you often, always with tears in my eyes and wonder why it had to be. Life has been very hard for me to carry on and be normal and the strain of it all gets to me … You did not deserve to die the way you did, Mummy.”

Phil says: “It destroyed Mum’s life.”

In 2005, the government closed the provocation loophole used by rats like Keogh to justify their murderous actions. (Keogh killed himself in 2001 when about to be charged with setting fire to an ex-girlfriend’s house.)

It was a perversion of the provocation law that allowed men to fabricate a defence their dead victims could not refute.

James Ramage strangled his separated wife, Julie, with his bare hands in their nice Balwyn house in 2003 when she refused to move back to the family home.

His disingenuous defence was that he lost control when she said, “you don’t get it, do you? I’m over you. I should have left you 10 years ago”, adding that he was repulsive and her new boyfriend was a superior lover.

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The statement defies common sense. Years of brutality left her terrified, which meant she only met him in public places and was tricked into the fatal private meeting where there were no witnesses. Her crime was to try and claim back her life from a possessive oaf.

In 2015, police introduced the Family Violence Command, with units operating around the state. The courts have been revamped and domestic violence networks set up.

Yet the murders continue. Police deal with a family violence victim every six minutes, and more than 50 per cent of police time is devoted to this one crime.

Women face more danger from a partner or former partner than from any other offender. They are at most risk when they try to break free, when their tormentors fear losing control.

It is women like Vicki Cleary who suffer because they have the temerity to want to live peacefully in a civilised society.

Phil Cleary paying tribute to his slain sister Vicki in Coburg in 2018.

Phil Cleary paying tribute to his slain sister Vicki in Coburg in 2018.

“Vicki should be seen as a heroine. How hard would it be for the state to say sorry to Vicki and all the other victims?” her brother asks.

“The truth is Vicki Cleary and the women taken won’t be liberated until we formalise a Sorry Day. We’ve said sorry to the Stolen Generations and to children brutalised in institutions. It’s now time to say sorry to warrior women like Vicki Cleary, women who cast aside male coercion and control in the search of freedom and equality.”

Phil Cleary, equality advocate and former politician, you’ve got my vote.

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National cabinet documents might not be available to state hotel inquiry


Sources familiar with the establishment of the Victorian inquiry believe it may need to access records of discussions that took place at the May 27 national cabinet meeting in order to get a full understanding of state responsibilities for quarantine and what role the Australian Defence Force was to play.

That meeting of national cabinet was where hotel quarantine arrangements were put in place.

A fierce political row erupted this week between Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds over the issue of ADF assistance for the quarantine program across several Melbourne hotels.

Infection control breaches at two Melbourne quarantine hotels have been blamed for the second wave of COVID-19 spreading into the Victorian community in late March through hotel staff and contract security guards.

Cabinet confidentiality provisions at both state and Federal levels protect records of discussions between ministers or documents prepared for cabinet submission from disclosure through Freedom of Information or other forms of inquiry.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet recently invoked those provisions in response to an FOI request from South Australian Senator Rex Patrick for minutes and other information from national cabinet meetings.

Asked about national cabinet confidentiality on Friday, Mr Andrews said: “The absolutely frank answer is, I don’t know what rules would be applied. A national cabinet … is essentially as I understand it … a subcommittee of the federal cabinet in terms of its legal status.

Daniel Andrews on Thursday.

Daniel Andrews on Thursday.Credit:Darrian Traynor

“I need to get some legal advice on that … but those documents are not owned by us … they’re part of a national process. That’ll be something that the chair of national cabinet [Mr Morrison] might have a view on.”

Monash University constitutional law expert Luke Beck said the Commonwealth’s contention that secrecy provisions could be applied to a committee consisting of the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders was “very uncertain”.

Associate Professor Beck said state and territory leaders were accountable to their own parliaments, and he predicted that an attempt to assert cabinet confidentiality over their meetings would likely lead to legal challenges that could go all the way to the High Court.

“Cabinets exist by tradition and convention. The status of this national cabinet is a really interesting and tricky legal question,” he said.

Senator Patrick has foreshadowed a legal challenge to the government’s position on national cabinet and access to information, arguing it does not meet the definition of a properly constituted cabinet.

While he stressed he supported the normal conventions around the confidentiality of policy deliberations by ministers and documents specifically created to inform cabinet, it was a stretch to apply it to national cabinet.

“The PM is trying to expand the umbrella under which secrecy applies. My firm view is that the national cabinet is not a cabinet for the purposes of the FOI Act,” Senator Patrick said.

A spokesman for the Victorian hotel quarantine inquiry said the board of inquiry had the power to provide written notices to demand the production of documents or attendance notice to give evidence as a witness. Any individual or agency planning on not complying with a request must provide a “reasonable excuse” that the public interest in keeping information secret outweighs the public benefit from its disclosure.

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Victorian government departments that have been asked to cooperate with the inquiry have engaged independent legal advice from Melbourne’s top tier firms.

If an individual or department claims public interest immunity over documents sought by the inquiry, Judge Coate has the ability to ask the Supreme Court of Victoria to intervene and rule on the admissibility of the material.

Asked if he intended to assert cabinet confidentiality over any Victorian documents, Mr Andrews said he expected Ms Coate to be given all documents she believed necessary.

“She should have the fullest picture of what’s got going on so that she can give us the answers that we all need,” he said

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Australian coronavirus conspiracy theorists plan protests declare ‘national sovereignty’


Coronavirus conspiracy theorists are planning a “stand for Victoria” freedom march to be held in major cities across Australia on Saturday.

Posts in a Facebook group with a following of nearly 33,000 people reveal plans to gather en-masse at local Anzac memorial sites at noon across Australia’s capital cities, except Melbourne which is subject to stage four coronavirus restrictions.

One member of the group posted a 15-minute video this week on social media calling on followers to “get together for every single Victorian”.

In the video, viewed more than 81,000 times, the conspiracy theorist also calls on Australians to stand outside their homes and “burn your mask, breathe and declare your national sovereignty”.

It comes a week after two men planning a protest where hundreds of people were set to “fill up the streets” and defy Melbourne’s lockdown last weekend were arrested and charged with incitement.

Police seized mobile phones and a computer while executing the search warrants.

A 41-year-old man from Mooroolbark and a 41-year-old Chirnside Park man will front court early next year.

Current advice from the Australian Department of Health prohibits large public gatherings and social occasions due to the risk of COVID-19.

Melbourne police have previously warned of a “dangerous” rise in people resisting lockdown measures and called for an end to the “sovereign citizen” movement.

Earlier this month Victoria’s Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said Victoria Police had seen an “emergence” of “concerning groups of people who classify themselves as ‘sovereign citizens’”.

“On at least four occasions in the last week we’ve had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details,” he said.

Police have been contacted for comment.



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‘Agonising day’ as national death toll passes 300


Australia’s chief medical officer has described Victoria’s situation as “agonising” despite the state’s welcome drop in new infections.

Professor Michael Kidd said Monday’s 19 deaths in Victoria was the single deadliest figure in one day across the state and the country, bringing the country’s death toll to 313.

“Only 10 days ago the number of people who died passed 200 and now its passed 300,” he said.

“This is an agonising day for the family members of those 19 people who have lost a loved one today.”

Prof Kidd said the recent decrease of coronavirus cases in Victoria was a positive sign, but warned it was “too early” to be certain about a further drop.

“We need to follow the numbers very closely over the coming week,” he said.

“While it’s heartening to see the declining number of cases being reported each day from Victoria, and we have seen that over the past five days, while we still have hundreds of cases being reported each day, we will continue to have people admitted to hospital and people becoming gravely unwell. And sadly some of those people will die,” he said.

In the past 24 hours, Victoria has recorded 322 new infections, while there were 14 cases in New South Wales and one in Queensland.

A total of 664 Australians are in hospital, an increase of five since yesterday, with 54 in intensive care and 39 hooked up to ventilators.

More than 4.9 million tests have been carried out across the country, with more than 12,000 having reportedly recovered from the deadly disease.

Prof Kidd warned health authorities were “very concerned” about the growing number of healthcare and aged-care workers becoming infected.

“It is important people have access to the personal protective equipment they need to do their job safely and it is important they also have the access to support from colleagues to ensure they are using the personal protective equipment appropriately,” he said.

The Victorian government will rollout an emotional advertising campaign to get residents to comply with the stage four lockdown.

The new ads unveiled on Monday tell the confronting stories of people who caught the virus, including a middle-aged mother who thought she would die.



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Canberra marks 40 years since ice hockey debut in the national capital


It is 40 years this week since the coolest of sporting pursuits — ice hockey — found a warm welcome in the national capital.

In August 1980, with a home nearly ready to go on a $1 million ice rink development in Phillip, support for an ACT league peaked.

With the backing of the High Commission of Canada and the Finnish Association of Canberra, former A-grade Melbourne player John Slater led a committee tasked with recruiting teams.

When player registrations opened five months later, three were formed: a mix of seasoned players and keen amateurs who made up the Polar Bears, the Grizzlies, and the Knights.

By 1982, playing for the under 13 Grizzlies was Stephanie Wheaton, aged nine and the only girl skating in the Canberra league.

Junior ice hockey squad in Canberra 1984.
The ACT Ice Hockey Association’s national under 13 team for the Presidents Cup in Perth, 1984. Steph Boxall (Wheaton) is in the back row, second right.(Supplied: Steve Clyde-Smith)

These days Stephanie is known as Steph Boxall, a founding member of Australia’s first national women’s team, and captain at its first international qualifying event.

A regular at the Phillip pool as a child, she remembers the rink being built next door, and even resenting how it took over the “nice, big, open grassy areas”.

Her father undertook the building’s engineering inspection, where he saw a sign recruiting skaters, but “my parents wouldn’t allow me to play ice hockey,” Boxall said.

“I had a go at figure skating, but it wasn’t really for me. I was a bit of a tomboy.

Her parents relented in a decision that would be later vindicated by Boxall’s induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2019, the first Australian woman to achieve the honour.

Indoor winter sports facility
The Canberra Brave season opener in April 2015 was held at the Phillip ice rink, also known as the ‘Brave Cave’.(Supplied: Sean O’Connor)

‘Love of the game’ spans generation

Steve Clyde-Smith coached a young Boxall “way back in the day” when he also skated for the senior Grizzlies.

“Some of the kids in that team are still playing today, which is really quite exciting in that, you know, I’ve instilled the love of the game,” he said.

“But my interest goes way back further than that. My father played ice hockey in Melbourne for the Tigers in the late 1940s and ’50s.”

Clyde-Smith ice-skated at the Canberra Showground’s Paradice rink before it was destroyed by fire in June 1979.

“I knocked myself out at that rink,” he recalled, adding with a laugh: “That’s why I went into ice hockey, with all the associated padding.”

Fire affected sports facility in northside Canberra, 1970
An image of the interior of the Paradice rink at the Canberra Showground, destroyed by fire in June 1979.(The Canberra Times / Trove)

Clyde-Smith still plays ice hockey, and these days is a teammate of Boxall’s in the Canberra Senators, the over-35 masters.

He also refereed for more than 30 years, internationally as well as the national league in which the Canberra Brave now play.

He said he was proud at how far the sport had come in Canberra since 1980, up against more traditionally Australian pastimes.

“It has come full circle and [is] a great enjoyment from that perspective,” he said.

“That [Phillip] facility is used all year round.”

Men's ice hockey team in Canberra 1983
Steve Clyde-Smith (back row, fourth left) in the Grizzlies’ Senior B team in 1983.(Supplied: Steve Clyde-Smith)

Canberra still a ‘strong base’ for ice hockey

There are now 4,700 registered ice hockey players in Australia, but Boxall says it is “still a fringe sport, and it always will remain that way”.

“It’s not accessible to everyone, even in Canberra,” she said.

She credits the strong community set up in those early years as part of the reason she fell in love with the sport, and why it still exists in the ACT today.

“They created, like, an instantaneous rivalry between the three clubs,” she said.

“That’s how I saw it evolve: Finland versus Canada versus the rest of us.

Georgie Wudrick playing Ice Hockey with the Canberra Brave
Canada’s Georgie Wudrick played with the Canberra Brave.(Supplied: Paul Furness Photography)

Indeed, the Canberra Brave won the national league in 2018 against the Sydney Bears, and the Phillip rink — dubbed the Brave Cave — was due to host the season opener this year.

That was delayed — as was the whole season — by COVID-19, but both Clyde-Smith and Boxall choose to see the positive.

“It’s just like a long off-season, but this is a good opportunity,” Boxall said.

“The ice rink is getting little improvements and done up, and it’s sort of a silver lining on everything that’s happening.”



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Hunter Valley ‘filly of a generation’ breaks record at Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale


A three-time Group One-winning mare has set a new record at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast, selling for $4.2 million.

Bidding for Sunlight, offered by the NSW Hunter Valley’s Widden Stud, opened at $ 1 million and didn’t take long to surpass ‘Listen Here’s’ all-time Magic Millions record of $3.4 million.

The mare also soared over the $3.85 million Southern Hemisphere record for a race filly or mare sold at a public auction.

“She was heavily marketed all over the world,” Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said.

“We regarded her has the best mare we ever had the opportunity to offer.

Lot 92 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale horse, Unforgotten
COVID-19 restrictions saw Magic Millions offer online bidding for the first time, Unforgotten was purchased by a Chinese buyer for $2.75-million.(Supplied: Magic Millions)

‘Unbelievable’ mare will return to the Hunter

Sunlight, sired by Zoustar and out of Solar Charged, will now return to the Hunter Valley after being purchased by Coolmore Stud at Jerrys Plains, just half an hour from her former home at Widden Stud.

The mare and was among three seven-figure purchases for Tom Magnier’s Hunter Valley operation, and he said he was “very lucky” to have made the winning bid on Sunlight.

“She is a filly of a generation, and we are very lucky to have got her.

“There were a lot of good people involved in her, and there were a lot of people around the world who had their eyes on her, so to take her back to Coolmore in the Hunter Valley is exciting.”

Mr Bowditch said Hunter Valley studs were active as vendors and buyers on day one of the three-day sale.

“Coolmore were very significant in the market yesterday, and they stand some of the worlds best stallions in the Hunter Valley,” he said.

“Having the likes of Justify which Sunlight will visit, and American Pharaoh — two of the only triple-crown winners of all time, here in Australia.

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Sale results ‘unbelievable’ given COVID-19 conditions

More than $24 million will exchange hands after day one of the National Broodmare Sale, with the Magic Millions team thrilled with the 83 per cent clearance rate.

Of the 117 horses sold, the average price was $206,714, helped by more than four mares surpassing the $1 million mark.

“In these times, obviously the sale was put back two months to work with the restrictions provided and to achieve results like we did yesterday was quite phenomenal,” Mr Bowditch said.

For the first time, buyers could bid online, and Mr Bowditch said the online bidders added a lot more depth to the sale.

“So it just shows you wherever you are in the world if you’ve got a thirst for quality bloodstock it can still happen.”

The sale continues today with broodmares offered from 10am.



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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at National Press Club


Growth will underpin the next phase of the Federal Government’s economic plan as it tries to steer the nation out of the coronavirus storm.

The move follows a Budget update confirming Australia is in a recession, and the fight against the health and economic crisis has plunged the balance sheet into the worst deficit since World War II.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will on Friday outline the task ahead as the domestic and international economy recovers from the pandemic.

In a speech at the National Press Club, Mr Frydenberg will say he will continue to make adjustments to the economic plan to match the circumstances.

“The initial phase of our plan was focused on preparing our health system for this crisis, saving jobs and protecting the economy,” he will say.

“In the next phase of this crisis, our focus will shift to enabling growth.

“Unlike past recessions, monetary policy is constrained and will do much less of the heavy lifting.”

Mr Frydenberg has made it clear that industrial relations changes that increased flexibility for businesses on JobKeeper should continue, saying it will play a key role in the recovery.

Additional reform is already under way with five committees investigating IR policy proposals that the Government could implement through the budgetary process in October.

Earlier this month, Mr Frydenberg said the Government was considering bringing forward staged income tax cuts, which are scheduled for 2022 and 2024 and will lead to one big tax bracket between $45,000 and $200,000.

“This time, while we will continue to provide fiscal support through the crisis, sustainable growth will only come from creating the most dynamic and flexible economy we possibly can,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“This is what our JobMaker plan is all about,” he said of a $2 billion training program for job seekers and school leavers.

Mr Frydenberg will also remind Australians that COVID-19 is striking many economies with even more devastating consequences.

“Global working hours lost for the June quarter, according to the International Labour Organisation, are equivalent to the loss of 480 million full-time jobs,” he will say.

“The OECD is forecasting a contraction of 6 per cent in global growth this calendar year.

“This is equivalent to a reduction in activity of around $12 trillion and around 60 times the size of the contraction that occurred in the GFC.”

However, an interest-rate cut from the Reserve Bank similar to during the GFC is off the cards due to rates already at record lows.

A strong flow of migrants to support growth during that time is also not an option due to international travel bans.

Opposition finance spokesman Jim Chalmers on Friday told ABC RN that Labor would consider supporting income tax cuts.

“If the Government has an intention to bring forward income tax cuts we need to see what they are actually proposing,” he said.

Mr Chalmers has long been demanding the Government release a jobs plan to let the 240,000 Australians expected to lose their job come Christmas know what they are doing to fix it.

Mr Frydenberg maintains that new measures will be introduced in the Budget on October 6.



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