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Shane van Gisbergen wins thrilling Bathurst 1000 ahead of Cameron Waters


Holden driver Shane van Gisbergen has won his first Bathurst 1000, holding off Ford’s Cameron Waters in a tight finish at Mount Panorama.

Two late safety cars compressed the field in the closing stages, making the final stages of the 161-lap, 1000km race a dramatic 18km shootout.

However New Zealand’s Van Gisbergen was good enough to keep distance between himself and the chasing pack to claim victory by just 0.8663 of a second, going one better than his second-place finishes in 2016 and 2019.

His co-driver, Garth Tander, secured his fourth win in the 161-lap race, after taking out the 2000, 2009 and 2011 editions.

Chaz Mostert finished in third spot for Holden to round out the podium, ahead of Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin in the Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustangs.

Jamie Whincup provided the first drama of the race when he went wide with too much pace at turn three and slammed his Holden into the wall, bringing out the day’s first safety car on lap 33, ending his and veteran Craig Lowndes’ race prematurely.

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By that time, Waters had overtaken early leader McLaughlin and set an imposing pace to distance himself from McLaughlin’s co-driver, Tim Slade.

The pack was compressed again after Jordan Boys spun and slammed his Cub Cadet Mowers Holden into the wall on lap 52 for the day’s second safety car, but the race really spiced up when the promised rain began to fall on the mountain on lap 53, just after the safety car was brought in.

Van Gisbergen rose to the occasion in the slippery conditions, scything his way to the front of the pack as the rest of the field struggled for grip during the brief shower.

Van Gisbergen and Tander led from that point onwards, never relinquishing their position during the tense, tactical middle period of the race and its dramatic, high-paced conclusion.

Waters and van Gisbergen were well clear out front and duelling for first place with an exemplary display of faultless, high-pressure driving until two crashes forced the safety car to come out with nine laps to go.

Jack Smith from SCT Motor Sports skidded into a sand trap, and almost simultaneously Bryce Fullwood’s Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Holden locked up and slammed into a couple of walls at the top of the mountain.

The race resumed with six laps to go, but soon after Zane Goddard barrelled into another wall and was left stranded on the track with three working wheels, prompting another safety car and a dramatic finish.

All through the tension, van Gisbergen kept his cool and masterfully drove away from his rivals to claim his maiden Peter Brock trophy.

Relive the drama in our live blog.

Live updates

By Simon Smale

Shane van Gisbergen wins Bathurst 1000

            

               

We’ll wrap up the live coverage here for now.

                

Thank you so much for joining me over the course of the day, it has been a pleasure to bring you all the action from Mount Panorama.

              

Fantastic performance from all the leading drivers, it’s too easy to forget that this was the ONLY endurance race of the season, at one of the hardest circuits in motorsport.

                    

Shane van Gisbergen has come so close before, no closer than last year, but this time he excelled and drove away from a field that was pushing to the very extreme of their limits, lap after lap of faultless driving.

           

I hope you enjoyed the coverage and we’ll catch you again next time.  

               

               

By Simon Smale

‘So special to win here’: Shane van Gisbergen

                  

               

Shane van Gisbergen was all smiles on the podium, and understandably so.

            

He said he had serious doubts as to whether he would ever get a chance to win the race after coming close the last couple of years.

               

“So special to win here. Got close so may times and then you just begin to doubt, especially in those last few laps, you start to think what is going to go wrong?

            

“But the car ran faultless all day and got better and better.”

Audience comment by bob gibson

congratulation holden team good to see you go out on a blaze of glory

Audience comment by Peter

By Simon Smale

I’ve never driven so hard: Chaz Mostert            

                

Chaz Mostert has been interviewed on the podium, where the Ford driver acknowledged that he had never had to push so hard.

            

“I haven’t [ever driven so hard],” Mostert said on the podium. 

               

“That felt like wildfires at the end. Congratulations to these guys behind me. They did a fantastic job all day and put entertainment on for everyone around the country.

             

“A big thank you to our whole team here and also in Melbourne. It has been a hard year and to all the Holden fans thank you for supporting us this year and we will see what happens next year.

By Simon Smale

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Bathurst 1000 race highlights.

By Simon Smale

The caption says it all.

By Simon Smale

Scott McLaughlin wins the Supercar Championship

               

           

This was confirmed last race, but Scott McLaughlin has been awarded the Supercars Championship trophy after what might be the last time he races in Supercars.

                   

“Congratulations to Shane and 888 racing for their win today. They made it happen today.

               

“It has been an amazing year. I think the comradarie between the teams.

                

“Obviously last year was pretty full on, tit-for-tat, then this year … everyone knows how hard it has been for everyone and there has been a lot of good hard racing, the best racing we have had.

           

“We didn’t have a turnaround to come back and fix the cars. Credit to the Victorian teams for the sacrifices they gave for us, their families, the sport, the volunteers

By Simon Smale

‘I didn’t need that last safety car’ Garth Tander

            

           

Garth Tander, who is now a four-time winner of Bathurst, has also had a chat with the TV team.

                   

“It was OK until two to go and the last restart, didn’t need that one,” Tander said. 

               

“Awesome job Shane, the way he managed the last three stints, amazing, very impressive.

               

“This will take a little while to sink in, it’s been such a strange year and sitting on the couch for six months and then firing up and being on the road for five weeks to do the race, really special one and I’ll sit back and enjoy it.”

Audience comment by Gaia

Great work on the blog today Simon. Nail-biter of a finish! I did try to send some more rain across to the races, but it fizzled out on the way there.

Audience comment by Jk

Brilliant! Great way to end the Holden brand.

Audience comment by Ritchie McC

Audience comment by Han

Been either going to or watching Bathurst since 1963. Fabulous memories and added another one today. Thanks Simon (wan-Kenobi).

By Simon Smale

‘I wish my mum and dad were here’: Shane van Gisbergen

               

             

Here is Shane van Gisbergen, the 62nd winner of Bathurst.

               

“Just awesome, van Gisbergen said.

           

“The last few laps were tough with the safety car, but the team did a faultless job and thanks to the guys, we had a great car and great way to send out Holden and thanks to Garth Tander, he did an awesome job.

           

“I wish my mum and dad were here.

           

“Each time [Cameron Waters] got close through turn two, with good grip and I knew I’d be OK. The last stints were just qualifying, just awesome.

                

“[It was a] real track position race, super hard to pass when the rain came.

         

“I was a bit slow at the start and got going and that got us to the front and we never left there. Awesome day.”

         

He said he was looking forward to getting back to New Zealand on Tuesday to celebrate.

Audience comment by Graeme

Great way to say goodbye holden

By Simon Smale

Celebration time for Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander

By Simon Smale

Thanks Simon, exciting blog, can I just ask, what time is Dan going to be on?

-Sorry, couldn’t resist.

           

No Dan, but we’ll hear from Shane van Gisbergen very shortly I’d expect. 

Audience comment by David (in Japan)

I’ve been kept updated all day thanks to your great commentary – much appreciated

Audience comment by at

By Simon Smale

Bathurst 1000 final results

                

             

                



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Dad Shane pays tribute to beautiful and caring son


The dad of an autistic teen with dreams of joining the air force and becoming a police officer who was found dead after a two-day search in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges has given an emotional tribute to his beautiful son.

William Wall, 14, went missing after he left his Launching Place home to go for a 15-minute walk about 6.45am on Tuesday but was tragically found dead about 34 hours later.

His disappearance sparked a massive search effort across a 10km radius of dense bushland east of Melbourne between Launching Place and Warburton, with police confirming the teenager was found about 1km from home on Wednesday afternoon.

William’s dad Shane Wall gave an emotional tribute to his “beautiful and caring son” on Thursday morning.

“I wish I had better news regarding our beautiful and caring son and brother William Wall, unfortunately he is no longer with us,” Mr Wall posted on Facebook.

“We don’t know how to begin to thank everyone who searched and supported us in the last 48 hours.

“The list is endless. We are so fortunate to live in an amazing and supportive community.”

Mr Wall told reporters on Wednesday his son had aspirations of becoming a Victoria Police or Australian Federal Police officer and joining the air force.

He said William loved dogs and exercise, was very energetic and athletic.

“He loves exercise, 15 minutes to an hour, it’s not unheard of, he’s a decent-sized kid, very energetic, athletic,” Mr Wall said.

“He’s a kid that sticks to himself, does all his school work, so this (his disappearance) is really out of the ordinary.”

William was found just before 5pm on Wednesday off residential Victoria St in Yarra Junction.

“His death is not being treated as suspicious, and police will prepare a report for the coroner,” police said in a statement.

Friends took to social media to share their grief and pass on their condolences to Mr Wall and William’s family, which includes two older brothers, Harrison, 18, and Jake, 21, and sister Sophie, 10.

“I’ve got no words, we are thinking of you all, and will treasure the memories of Wil as a little boy,” Maria Niksic posted.

Michael Hartigan said Mr Wall had been an “amazing pillar of strength” over the past two days.

“I can’t even comprehend what you are all going through. All of our love to your family, take care brother,” he posted.

Tony Carden said Mr Wall was one of the “most dedicated dads” he knew.

“My heart breaks for you and your family,” he said.

“This is the cruellest blow to one of the most dedicated dads I know. Know that Will and you are loved by many.

“I wish you and your family all the very best in drawing on your great strength to move forward.”

Colleague Andrew McCathie said it was “hard to describe the sense of immense sadness and despair … our hearts go out to you”.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also passed on his condolences at his daily media briefing.

“On behalf of all Victorians I would like to send our love and support, our condolences and best wishes to the family of William Wall,” he said.

“This is a terrible tragedy and one that has touched every single Victorian.

“To every member of William’s family we say how sad we are, we’re sharing your grief, your loss and any support that we can provide to you we stand ready to do that.”

Mr Andrews also paid tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who searched for William and stepped up when they were called on.

jack.paynter@news.com.au



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Victoria Police officials Shane Patton, Graham Ashton to appear, Victoria case average continues to decline


That prompted moves by Ms Spiteri, through senior jobs department executive Claire Febey, to establish another hotel – the Rydges, as the place where people diagnosed with COVID-19 would be sent.

As is now well know, the Rydges became the source of the vast bulk of Victoria’s second wave of infections.

“I do not know who decided Rydges Carlton would be the best option to be designated the COVID-19 positive hotel,” Ms Spiteri’s statement reads.

On April 7, the state’s Public Health Commander said the use of a single hotel “reduces the low (but material) risk that as a result of detaining well individuals in a hotel they could acquire COVID-19 from the hotel environment,” Ms Spiteri’s statement to the inquiry says.

“I understand the first use of Rydges Carlton was from 12 April 2020 to accommodate passengers returning from Uruguay who had been on the Greg Mortimer ship, the majority of whom were or had been COVID-19 positive.”

After they left the hotel, the Rydges received any other quarantine detainee found positive in any of the other hotels.

Ms Spiteri said special arrangements were put in place, including that passengers were transported in a maxi-taxi from the airport, taxi drivers were told to wear PPE when driving, people were taken straight to their rooms, their luggage cleaned, and all guests were required to wear masks when they were outside the room.

The controls were appropriate and adequate, she said in her statement.

“I understand that infection prevention and control experts were involved in the initial set up and opening of Rydges Carlton, and on 14 April 2020, the department contracted Infection Prevention Australia to provide advice and on-site guidance on infection prevention and control at Rydges Carlton,” her statement says.

“In my opinion, the infection control measures in place at the Rydges Carlton when it was a designated ‘hot hotel’ were appropriate.”



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Shane Tuck’s father Michael urges men to talk about their mental health after former Richmond player’s death


Shane Tuck’s father Michael Tuck has spoken about his son’s death and the “issues” he faced throughout his life.

In an interview with the Herald Sun, Michael Tuck said his son “kept it all in”, and urged others to speak up and share their mental health problems.

“He was a big, strong kid and he just had a few issues and he couldn’t get rid of them and that was the only way out,” Mr Tuck said.

“[Shane] was bit like that — he kept it all in because he was a tough, strong man.

“It’s not a weakness, it’s just to express yourself with honesty and don’t try to cover up things.

“He didn’t mean anything by it, he just couldn’t admit he had a real bad problem.”

Shane Tuck’s death at 38 years old came as a shock to former teammates and football fans across the country.

He belonged to a famous AFL family, with his father Michael a legend of the Hawthorn Football Club, with whom he won seven premierships, including four as captain.

His brother Travis also played for the Hawks, and he was a cousin of Geelong superstar Gary Ablett Junior and nephew to Cats great Gary Ablett Senior.

Former teammate Jack Riewoldt said the entire Richmond squad — currently together in a hub in Queensland — was banding together to deal with the grief.

“There’s a handful of us that played with Tucky and admired him and loved him as a mate and as a player, but it’s impacted our staff as well,” Riewoldt told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Tuesday night.

“Our medical staff spent a lot of time with Tucky. Any footballer can attest that the hub of an AFL club is the medical room, and he was so funny and just always spent time in there.

“Guys used to love winding him up, but he was just a character.

“It’s been a day of phone calls and reminiscing. I’ve been chatting a lot of ex-teammates just about how they’re dealing with it.

“A lot of my ex-teammates are involved in other football clubs and we’re all sort of spread around Australia.

“But just to share a memory and a moment and a phone call and even a story, just about how much we loved Tucky — it’s part of the grieving process that we’re all going through at the moment.”

A Richmond AFL player tries to kick the ball with left foot with a Tigers teammate and Port Adelaide opponent next to him.
Shane Tuck played 173 games for Richmond between 2004 and 2013.(AAP: Joe Castro)



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Shane Tuck, former Richmond AFL footballer, dies aged 38


Former Richmond AFL player Shane Tuck has died, aged 38.

Tuck played 173 senior matches for the Tigers between 2004 and 2013.

He belonged to a famous AFL family, with his father Michael a legend of the Hawthorn Football Club, with whom he won seven premierships, including four as captain.

His brother Travis also played for the Hawks and he was a cousin of Geelong superstar Gary Ablett Junior and nephew to Cats great Gary Ablett Senior.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gales paid tribute to Tuck, who died this morning.

“We’re incredibly saddened by the news of Shane’s passing, he will be missed enormously by everyone,” Gale said in a statement.

“We send our deepest condolences to Shane’s family and loved ones — his wife Kat, children Will and Ava, parents Michael and Fay, and the extended Tuck family.

“Shane was a warrior on the field, giving everything to the team each week, and a humble, fun-loving person off the field.”

A Carlton AFL player attempts to handball while kneeling and under pressure from a Richmond opponent at the MCG.
Tuck (right) was renowned for his defence during his AFL career.(AAP: Martin Philbey)

Hawthorn also extended its condolences to the Tuck family.

Richmond premiership player and former teammate, Jack Riewoldt, described Tuck as an inspiring character.

“You always walked taller when you had Shane Tuck playing next to you,” Riewoldt told SEN radio.

“There are plenty of stories about Tucky and a lot of funny ones.

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Retired Richmond and GWS player Brett Deledio paid respect to his former teammate.

“Rest in Peace Great Man!” he tweeted.

“One of the hardest at it I’ve played with.”

Terry Wallace, who coached Tuck at the Tigers between 2005 and 2009, said he was an outstanding representative of the club.

“He was just a very lovable person and one of the great characters around that football club at the time,” Wallace told SEN radio.

“He was not the best player you’ve ever seen but he was the epitome of honesty and the epitome of what people should love about their footy clubs.”

Tuck, described by Richmond as a “hard-nosed midfielder”, was a life member of the Tigers.

He kicked 74 goals for the Tigers during his AFL career.

Shane and Michael Tuck sit third on the list of most AFL/VFL matches played by a father-and-son combination, with 599 appearances.

The Tigers will pay tribute to Tuck by wearing black armbands at Friday night’s match against GWS at Giants Stadium.

West Coast and Carlton were among the AFL clubs to pay tribute to Tuck on social media.

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Dr Shane Oliver, AMP Capital’s Chief Economist and Head of Investment Strategy and Economics, answers your questions


A leading Australian economist has revealed that the recession might already be over.

Answering readers’ questions in News Corp Australia Network’s Ask The Expert Q&A, Dr Shane Oliver said he believed the low point of the recession came in April.

However, he said this would not be confirmed until the September quarter GDP data comes out in early December

Dr Oliver, AMP Capital’s Chief Economist and Head of Investment Strategy and Economics, was answering a reader’s question about how long he thought the recession would last and what would happen to property prices.

“I think the recession is already over with the low point being the most intense period of the COVID shutdown in April,” Dr Oliver replied.

“Since then we a have seen an easing in the lockdown and the economy has started to recover – evident in more people in shops, cafes, going away on the long weekend, etc. But because the focus is on quarterly GDP data, June quarter GDP will still be down on the March quarter very sharply and the recovery won’t become evident till the September quarter GDP data. “That said many Australian’s won’t fell a full recovery for a while yet because the unemployment rate will take several years to fall back to the 5 per cent level we saw earlier this year. In fact with the end of JobKeeper and enhanced JobSeeker in September it may get worse in October before it gets better. But at least with the economy starting to grow again unemployment should be falling later this year.”

It has been almost 30 years since Australia’s last recession, so there would be plenty of Australians out there who have been wondering what to expect since Federal Treasurer confirmed earlier this month that the nation was now in the midst of a recession.

However this is not tipped to be a ‘typical’ recession, with Australia expected to rally faster than it did in the 1991 recession.

Writing in AMP Capital’s Insights Hub a week ago, Dr Oliver said while going into a recession was ‘bad news’ there were some things worth noting that ‘might make it easier to bear’.

“Australia has been battling through a calamitous start to 2020 so far. We kicked off the year with devastating bushfires, which were already detracting from growth in the first quarter. February saw the beginning of COVID-19 disruptions to the local economy, starting with travel bans and moving to a lockdown from mid March which meant some sectors – like retail, tourism and hospitality – had to grind to a halt,” he wrote.

“This accounts for negative growth in the March quarter, and the worst is yet to come in the June quarter results, meaning Australia is likely in its first recession since 1991, when Bob Hawke was prime minister and Paul Keating was treasurer. Many Australians weren’t even born then, and for those who were, it’s been nearly 29 years of growth since.”

Dr Oliver said this was not an average recession, which was typically preceded by a boom. As inflation rises, the central bank tries to control it with higher interest rates, and this results in a bust.

“The situation preceding this recession was almost the opposite – growth was low, interest rates were at record lows,” Dr Oliver wrote.

“Because most of the economic damage has been caused by a disruption in the form of the coronavirus shutdown, and we haven’t had the classic build up of excesses you’d normally see before a recession, we should be able to restart the economy a bit faster than we did in 1991.”

Here is some of what else Dr Oliver had to say in the Q&A:

Q. How long do you think the recession will last and what will happen to property prices?

A. I think the recession is already over with the low point being the most intense period of the COVID shutdown in April. Since then we a have seen an easing in the lockdown and the economy has started to recover – evident in more people in shops, cafes, going away on the long weekend, etc. But because the focus is on quarterly GDP data, June quarter GDP will still be down on the March quarter very sharply and the recovery won’t become evident till the September quarter GDP data. That said many Australian’s won’t fell a full recovery for a while yet because the unemployment rate will take several years to fall back to the 5 per cent level we saw earlier this year. In fact with the end of JobKeeper and enhanced JobSeeker in September it may get worse in October before it gets better. But at least with the economy starting to grow again unemployment should be falling later this year. Property prices lag the economy a bit and we see them having five to 10 per cent downside ahead for Australian capital cities, and around 10 per cent downside in Sydney reflecting the ending of JobKeeper and the bank payment holiday later this year and the collapse in immigration.

Q. My grandkids have been asking a lot of questions about the recession. They don’t remember the GFC either (they were only toddlers). How do I explain it to them so they understand but don’t get scared?

A. Since the last recession ended nearly 29 years ago there are many of Australians who have not seen one. Basically a recession is a period where the economy goes backwards – there are less jobs, less spending in the shops, more shop closures, less home building, less cars on the road, people having cheaper holidays. Most people keep their jobs but they feel uncertain because they usually know someone who has lost their job or had their hours cut back. This recession is a bit different in that it was not caused by a boom that went too far and had to be snuffed out by higher interest rates. Rather it was caused by the need to shutdown much of the economy to stop the spread of spread of COVID. And the government moved quickly to help protect businesses, jobs and incomes through the shutdown whereas normally in recessions governments are slower to respond. So with the shutdown now easing and people starting to spend again the worst of the recession is likely now behind us. I reckon April was the low point and so we should see a gradual recovery going forward. The other thing to note about recession is that they are usually brief, we do recover and they through up opportunities for savvy investors who can see bargains – cheap shares, cheap business and eventually cheaper housing.

Q. What do you see happening to interest rates? I have been looking to buy my first home. I have a stable job but wondered whether a recession means interest rates are going to rise?

A. Interest rates are going to stay low for a long time. The RBA does not want to cut its official cash rate (which anchors most bank mortgage rates in Australia) because it sees no value in taking rates negative and nor do I (negative rates didn’t work in Japan or Europe). In the meantime the COVID shutdown driven recession means it can’t raise rates and with unemployment likely to take a long time to come back down again (meaning ongoing low inflation and wages growth) probably won’t be able to raise rates for at least the next three years. So that will mean at least three years with the official cash rate stuck at 0.25 per cent and hence very low mortgage rates for some time to come. It will be a good time to use the saving on rates to pay down debt faster than otherwise if you buy that first home.

Q. We were thinking of selling our house this spring. Should we wait, put it on the market now or just abandon the plan altogether. Do you think it is currently a buyers’ or sellers’ market?

A. I think it’s more of a buyers’ market. Listings are now picking up again and may rise further after JobKeeper and the bank payment holiday end at the end of September. At the same time immigration is basically stopped which has slashed underlying demand for housing by around 80,000 dwelling across Australia. This points to more downwards pressure on house prices into next year and we expect falls of around five to 10 per cent for capital cities with Sydney around -10 per cent. So things may be a bit weaker later this year.

Q. What do you see happening on the stock market over the next few months. Is it a good time to invest (I have just been made redundant and got a payout and am considering what to do with the money)? What sort of shares are better than others at the moment?

A. Australian shares fell 36.5 per cent to their March low. But after a 35 per cent rally from its 23 March low to its high on Tuesday, the Australian share market was a bit extended and due for a pause or correction. So too with global markets (the US had rallied 44 per cent). This correction may now be underway with worries about a second wave of COVID cases in some US states. However, assuming coronavirus does not get out of control again (and I think we have done a very good job of controlling it in Australia) then this is likely to be just a correction and the rising trend will resume sometime in the months ahead as the economy continues to recover and interest rates remain low. Right now the market is still down 18 per cent or so from its all time high and generally speaking recessions are a good time to invest in shares and other assets that then benefit from the eventual recovery. Of course there are no guarantees as to what the share market will and timing this is always hard though so averaging in over several months makes some sense. I can only make general comments though – the best approach may be to seek out a financial planner for specific advice as to your best approach.

Q. How long do you think the recession will last and what will happen to property prices?

A. I think the recession is already over with the low point being the most intense period of the COVID shutdown in April. Since then we a have seen an easing in the lockdown and the economy has started to recover – evident in more people in shops, cafes, going away on the long weekend, etc. But because the focus is on quarterly GDP data, June quarter GDP will still be down on the March quarter very sharply and the recovery won’t become evident till the September quarter GDP data. That said many Australian’s won’t fell a full recovery for a while yet because the unemployment rate will take several years to fall back to the five per cent level we saw earlier this year. In fact with the end of JobKeeper and enhanced JobSeeker in September it may get worse in October before it gets better. But at least with the economy starting to grow again unemployment should be falling later this year. Property prices lag the economy a bit and we see them having five to 10 per cent downside ahead for Australian capital cities, and around 10 per cent downside in Sydney reflecting the ending of JobKeeper and the bank payment holiday later this year and the collapse in immigration.

You can read more answers in the comments below



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The beef between Shane Warne and Steve Waugh refuses to die


Right now, your first response if someone’s behaviour is a bit ratty would be to blame lockdown.

Boredom and anxiety have their effect. But your friend and mine Shane Warne doesn’t need to be bored to have a pop at his former national captain Steve Waugh.

It’s a hobby as enduring as any of Warne’s better-known pastimes.

We’ve all heard the impressively mundane origin story of Warne missing one Test match in a career that spanned 145.

Waugh dropped Warne in the West Indies in 1999 when the spinner had a busted shoulder.

Australia won the Test and drew the series, and that’s the end of the tale.

The only new point of interest anymore is how much older the story is than last time you heard it.

Twenty years now? Even Odysseus didn’t stay salty for that long.

It’s not clear whether Warne is still annoyed or whether his reaction has become habit, smoothed into the grooves of his existence.

But when the name comes up he can’t help himself diminishing Waugh.

Shane Warne holding a microphone during Nine cricket coverage
Warne has a habit of leaving Waugh down the list of his top players.(AAP, Darren England)

Retired stars can turn a happy income whenever they put their name on a fantasy team or a top list of players, and Warne has always made a point of leaving Waugh way down the list: a player who made nearly 11,000 Test runs, passed Don Bradman’s 55-year-old Australian record for most centuries, and captained Warne’s team to a record streak of 16 wins.

It became such a routine that last March, when Warne rattled off a best XI of his former teammates on social media, his inclusion of Waugh became a sports news story.

Reporters analysed the significance. Was there an entente cordiale in the offing?

Waugh doesn’t have the social media bug and doesn’t say much back, mostly keeping to his original intention of a life away from cricket and the spotlight.

Both players were examples of class on the field; you might detect some divergence since.

This week Cricinfo posted a curiosity stat that Waugh was involved in the most run-outs in international cricket.

Video archivist Rob Moody was inspired to spend a mad 24 hours cutting together a compilation of all 73 times that Waugh’s batting partner was run out.

Moody is all about the fun and the love of the game. But he unwittingly nudged Warne’s pot-shot reflex.

Portrait of former Test captain Steve Waugh
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh mostly stays out of the spotlight.(Facebook: Steve Waugh)

The usual angle of criticism is that Waugh was selfish as a player, though without much detail to back that up.

The concept of Waugh running out batting partners presented a perfect match.

Warne put up multiple social media posts with the stats and the video, repeating his line about “the most selfish player I ever played with”.

Except the video didn’t reflect that, not if you actually watched it.

About 50 of the 73 seem to be run-outs of Mark Waugh, which we can put down to some weird twin X-Files thing.

Of the rest, there’s a good chunk of brilliant fielding and a lot of gambling on the throw in the death overs of one-day matches.

Well under half of them look to be Waugh’s fault, and there are only a few genuine barbeques.

For a player with 548 innings for Australia, second only to Ricky Ponting, having big numbers in any dismissal category is mostly just a matter of volume.

The other way in which Waugh is accused of selfishness is not shielding tailenders from the bowling.

The cynic’s view is that a specialist batsman does this to boost his batting average.

For Waugh, though, it was a strategy decision.

If you’re a specialist bat partnered with a No. 11, there are two options.

Face most of the bowling and refuse singles while trying to hit boundaries, to boost the score quickly while you can. Or, take every run on offer.

shane warne speaks as steve waugh watches out of focus
Shane Warne has called Steve Waugh the most selfish player he’s played with.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

The panic impulse is to swing for the pickets.

But aside from the occasional innings, a batsman going feral might add a couple of boundaries, but is soon dismissed.

Catchers are back on the fence, so trying to clear them is risky, and you trade power for control.

On the other hand, with the field back for the specialist batsman, there are free runs on offer in ones or twos.

If the tailender can see out the over or find a run somewhere, the specialist has their next chance to score.

When this starts to work it has two effects.

One, the tailender feels more confident by being trusted with a job to do.

They’re more likely to play responsibly, not try a wild shot, and be less hesitant in their defence.

Two, the bowling team very quickly starts to get irritated.

There’s nothing worse than having one or two wickets to fall, wanting it to be over, thinking about what might happen when you bat, or when you get inside for a rest, then being made to stay out there by some bunny who just won’t get out.

So the effect of gradually scoring over a longer period of time is more beneficial than scoring quickly for shorter, at least in Test cricket.

Every extra over tires the bowlers, distracts the fielders, and saps morale.

Putting on 30 runs in 20 overs is most often more valuable to the batting side than 40 runs in five overs.

Waugh’s theory worked. Trusting his lower-order colleagues got him and the team better results more often.

Steve Waugh running with his bat
Steve Waugh run-out statistics don’t tell the whole story.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

The proof is plentiful in his record. It’s easy to generalise, but it often doesn’t stack up against the detail.

His breakthrough Ashes of 1989 had glorious returns.

At Lord’s he put on 66 with Merv Hughes, 50 with Trevor Hohns, and 130 with Geoff Lawson, taking Australia from a first-innings deficit to an unassailable lead.

He added 147 at Headingley with Hughes, and 51 with Hohns at Old Trafford.

Hughes was a favourite partner: they also put on 48 against Sri Lanka in Brisbane, and 53 in Auckland.

So was Paul Reiffel: they twice teamed up in Adelaide for 73 against South Africa and 117 against Sri Lanka, as well as 73 in Kingston on the 1995 West Indies tour, and 70 at Old Trafford in the 1997 Ashes.

Ashes stands were a speciality: 98 with Paul Taylor at the SCG in 1987, 58 with Jo Angel in Perth in 1995, and the 88 with famous rabbit Stuart MacGill in the Boxing Day Test of 1998.

Against other countries there was the 53 with Tony Dodemaide in Lahore, 114 with Damien Fleming in Australia’s only ever Test at Harare, 81 with Jason Gillespie in the 2000 Boxing Day Test, a fighting 44 with Craig McDermott in Johannesburg 1994, and 53 with Colin Miller at St John’s on that fateful West Indies trip in 1999.

Waugh’s magnum opus spanned the 133 with Gillespie and the 43 with Glenn McGrath after Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick at Eden Gardens in 2001.

Those partnerships should have been match-winning, had VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid not pulled out the greatest turnaround in living memory after following on.

Oh, and there were the partnerships that Waugh put on with Warne himself.

The unbeaten 142 at the Gabba against New Zealand in 1993, the useful 45 in Rawalpindi 1994, the defining 88 at Old Trafford in 1997, the 48 at Kingston before the split in 1999, the 108 at Adelaide against India when Warne dropped Fleming’s hat-trick, even the grind of adding 40 against Pakistan in Sharjah in the 50-degree heat.

But you know — there’s a lot that happened in Warne’s long and fulfilling Test career.

It’s not surprising that he’s forgotten some of it, even if there are other moments that he seems set on remembering forever.



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NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons takes on new virus role


NSW Rural Fire Services boss Shane Fitzsimmons will head a new agency to help the state recover from recent challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the establishment of Resilience NSW at a briefing this morning.

The agency will be devoted to “world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery”, after the state endured a summer of drought, bushfires, flooding and now a COVID-19 outbreak.

“Given (Mr Fitzsimmons’) skills and the level of respect he has in the community and given his understanding of what it takes to recover from a major disaster, the NSW Government is very pleased to announce that Commissioner Fitzsimmons has accepted to take on the responsibility of being our Commissioner for NSW Resilience.”

She added that it was “a new agency that will ensure now and into the future New South Wales is prepared but also is able to respond and recover through major crises be it COVID, be it cybersecurity, be it a whole range of things we could not foreshadow.”

Mr Fitzsimmons, 51, has been widely praised for his leadership during the horror bushfire season just ended.

He joined the RFS in 1985 and held a number of senior roles until his appointment as commissioner in 2008.

RELATED: Australia approaching 6000 virus cases

“We know NSW has had a tough couple of month, in fact the fire season was horrific,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“One of the true heroes of NSW remains commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and, with an eye to recovery, I wanted to firstly thank and acknowledge him for his decade-long service in the RFS.

“His leadership, the way in which he pulled NSW through those difficult times was outstanding.”

Ms Berejiklian also acknowledged the hard times ahead.

“Who would have thought in 2020 NSW would be facing a pandemic? We don’t know the challenges of the future but what I do know is that NSW through Resilience NSW will be able to focus on preparing and recovering from anything that comes our way now and into the future,” she said.

“It is really important for us to have a whole-of-government approach and I really want to thank Commissioner Fitzsimmons for accepting this new role within the public service, which he will commence in a month.

“He will wind up his duties in the RFS over the next month and commence heading up the new agency in New South Wales in a month’s time.”

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller also paid tribute to Mr Fitzsimmons and thanked him for his leadership “not just over the last fire season but nearly 13 years at the helm”.

“In his new role it will be a great pleasure to work with him in the great challenge of recoveries,” he said.



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Shane Warne auctions off baggy green for bushfire relief, joins sport stars raising funds


Updated

January 07, 2020 09:04:27

Shane Warne has joined Australia’s bushfire fundraising drive, putting his prized baggy green up for auction.

Key points:

  • Cricket fans and memorabilia collectors have until Friday night to put in a winning bid for Shane Warne’s baggy green
  • Warne is among a host of Australian sports stars past and present to announce bushfire fundraising measures
  • A number of cricketers are donating money based on how many sixes they hit or wickets they claim in the Big Bash

Cricket fans have a chance to bid on Warne’s Test cap until Friday night, with all proceeds to be donated to the Australian Red Cross to help those affected by fires around the country.

The item would rank among the most valuable mementos from the decorated career of Australia’s all-time leading wicket-taker.

Sir Donald Bradman’s baggy green sold for approximately $420,000 in 2003.

Bidding for Warne’s cap, which will come with an autographed certificate of authenticity, hit $200,000 a tick over an hour after opening.

At 7:30am AEDT, the bidding was as high as $315,500 for the cap.

Warne, who joins Ash Barty, Daniel Ricciardo and many others on a long list of high-profile members of Australia’s sporting community to announce fundraising measures, suggested it was the least he could do.

“The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief,” Warne said.

“The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all. Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died.

“Some of the images we’re seeing are absolutely horrific.”

Collingwood star Dayne Beams also announced on Monday he was putting his 2010 AFL premiership medal up for auction to raise funds for bushfire victims.

Barty is donating all her prizemoney from this year’s Brisbane International to help bushfire victims, while Ricciardo is auctioning a race suit from the Australian Grand Prix.

A stack of cricketers are donating sums of money based on how many sixes they hit or wickets they claim in this summer’s Big Bash League.

Australia’s Test attack pledged $1,000 per wicket in the SCG Test.

Packer makes pledge, Celeste Barber’s fundraiser passes $40 million

An online fundraiser launched by Australian comedian Celeste Barber has now passed the $40 million mark for bushfire victims and firefighters.

Meanwhile, billionaire businessman James Packer and his family have upped their donation to firefighters to $5 million, having originally pledged $1 million in November.

Mr Packer had pledged the $1 million to help the NSW Rural Fire Service, and has now promised an additional $4 million to help firefighters in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.

“Australians are digging deep to support each other in these tough times. It’s truly inspiring,” Mr Packer said.

“My family and Crown are eager to do more and the best way we can help, is to significantly increase our donation.”

The ABC’s Red Cross bushfire appeal raised $13.3 million between New Year’s Eve and January 4.

AAP

Topics:

cricket,

sport,

fires,

disasters-and-accidents,

australia

First posted

January 07, 2020 07:59:08





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