Categories
Local News - Victoria

Mother launches court action over fallen sign on Tullamarine Freeway


CPB Contractors, which was responsible for the construction and installation of signage on the Tullamarine Freeway, is also accused of repeated negligence, including failing to adequately design, construct and install the signage, according to the writ.

Ms Lettieri suffered head and spinal injuries along with post-traumatic stress disorder from the crash, which she described at the time as “like a roller door slamming shut in front of me”.

Nella Lettieri's car was crushed by a falling road sign.

Nella Lettieri’s car was crushed by a falling road sign.Credit:Nine News

The Transport Accident Commission had recently issued Ms Lettieri with a serious injury certificate, according to her lawyer, John Karantzis from Carbone Lawyers.

“Our client continues to suffer from severe physical and psychological injuries as a result of this incident and we intend to hold those responsible for these injuries to account,” Mr Karantzis said.

The incident prompted an investigation by CPB Contractors, which is part of the multinational CIMIC Group, formerly known as Leighton Holdings.

The review found the sign collapsed because of a “progressive fatigue crack” due to the omission of a stiffener plate during the fabrication process.

CPB Contractors declined to comment on the legal proceedings when contacted by The Sunday Age on Thursday.

A Department of Transport spokeswoman said it had conducted a thorough audit of similar signs and was confident the Tullamarine Freeway accident was an isolated incident.

“As this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, we are unable to comment further,” the spokeswoman said.

Major Projects Victoria program director David Clements said it had undertaken an extensive review and site inspection of all overhead and roadside assets built by CPB Contractors as part of the CityLink Tulla Widening Project.

“These inspections did not identify any ongoing public safety concerns and we remain committed to working with government and industry to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Mr Clements said.

Start your day informed

Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in National

Loading



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Wests Tigers sign former South Sydney star James Roberts on two-year NRL contract



Former New South Wales State of Origin representative James Roberts will play for his fifth NRL club after signing a two-year deal with Wests Tigers.

Roberts links up with the Tigers after being given an early release from his South Sydney contract on compassionate grounds earlier this month.

The 27-year-old centre, who possesses blistering speed, had two stints at the Rabbitohs, while he has also played with Brisbane, Gold Coast and Penrith during his turbulent NRL career.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire said the club signed Roberts as it believed he could recapture the form that saw him take part in the Blues’ 2018 State of Origin series triumph.

“James is clearly an exceptional footballer who will add a lot to our side and I’m very pleased to see him continue his rugby league career with Wests Tigers,” Maguire said in a statement.

“I’ve worked closely with James before and know that he has a good team around him to help get back to the player that we know he can be.”

Roberts said the work the Tigers conduct with Indigenous communities was among the reasons he signed with the club.

“I’m also really impressed with the work Wests Tigers are doing in creating pathways for Aboriginal people and it’s something I’m really passionate about,” he said.

Roberts made his first grade debut for the Rabbitohs in 2011 as an 18-year-old.

He has scored 74 tries across 149 first grade matches and has represented the Indigenous All Stars alongside his three State of Origin appearances.

Roberts was named Dally M Centre of the Year in 2015 during his final season at the Titans.



Source link

Categories
Business

Government forces tech giants, media companies to sign NDAs


The code was initially devised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission at the request of Treasury following a year long inquiry, and is designed to force the internet giants to pay publishers for news content.

Tech giants have fiercely opposed the draft version of the code, with Facebook declaring that it would be forced to ban news in Australia if it became law, and Google threatening to quit Australia altogether.

The search advertising giant is expected to reiterate its concerns about the code in a blog post tomorrow, but that it is also prepared to make concessions.

The draft version would give digital platforms three months to strike deals to pay news organisations for their content before they would be forced to enter a binding “final offer” negotiation process. In the “final offer” process, an arbitrator would select one of the negotiating parties’ proposals – whichever it deems more reasonable.

It also requires Google and Facebook to provide data to media companies and advance notice of changes to their algorithms. The tech giants have objected to these requirements as unfair and unworkable. The internet giants have also argued that the draft code does not take into account the value of the referral traffic they send publishers.

But media companies have been pushing the government to urgently legislate the code to fight the tech giants’ market power and are concerned it is being delayed to accommodate their demands.

Loading

If a final version of the code is agreed following the final, confidential consultations with Treasury, the code could reach parliament in the last two sitting weeks of the year. Treasury was approached for comment.

ACCC chair Rod Sims handed his final policy advice to government in late October. While he originally told this masthead there would only be minor changes to the final version, industry sources have said that it could now be substantially different.

Mr Sims did not rule out winding back the “final offer” arbitration process in comments in October.



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Drop in cases a ‘good sign’ Brett Sutton says


The chief medical officer says Victoria is on a “downslope” of coronavirus cases as the state recorded 216 new infections overnight, the lowest daily figure in a month.

Professor Brett Sutton said Wednesdays were typically “spike days” for Victoria, but 216 new cases was a “good sign” that trend had been bucked.

“We are trending down and that is a very good sign,” he said.

“We‘re going in the right direction. Numbers will never fall fast enough for me. Community transmission is also trending down as we expect.”

Prof Sutton said cases were also stabilising in aged care and ICU.

“To be on a downslope is a very good sign – Victoria is doing well with a very challenging situation. This is very different from the first wave – we’ve had complex outbreaks in aged care, disability and other complex workplaces.”

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters all 12 deaths in the past 24 hours were linked to aged care.

Three men in their 70s, four women and one man in their 80s and three women and one man in their 90s died.

The state’s death toll is now at 363.

There are 2050 active cases in Victorian aged-care facilities, with 3337 infections in homes since January 1.

There are 675 Victorians in hospital and 45 in intensive care, while 1065 active cases have been detected in healthcare workers.

There has been an increase of 82 mystery cases overnight, taking that total to 3751.



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Women’s football squad surprise teammate with hearing impairment by learning their club song in sign language


The members of a Brisbane QAFLW team have secretly learnt to sign the club song in Auslan as a way to surprise a teammate with a hearing impairment after a recent win.

Yeronga South Brisbane Devils player Jamie Howell is profoundly deaf and plays in specially designed head gear and a cochlear implant.

“It’s a beautiful language and I thought, this is how we can really be that inclusive club,” team captain Mia Walsh told ABC Radio Brisbane.

Ms Walsh and Ms Howell both work at Deaf Services — Hear for Kids.

They bonded over a love of sport and before long Ms Howell joined Yeronga Devils.

“I know she was quite terrified about joining a team sport. This is her first major team sport,” Ms Walsh said.

“She’d only ever played one AFL game before, but I knew she’d be amazing at it.

“We brought her on down and we were right — she is fantastic.”

Women wearing black and AFL uniforms stand on an AFL field. One woman stands in the foreground smiling.
Ms Howell is profoundly deaf and plays with a cochlear implant.(ABC News: Stephen Cavenagh)

Ms Walsh said other members of the team started thinking about how they could better include and support Ms Howell.

“I spoke to one of the other players in the leadership group and said, ‘I’d really love us to try and learn some Auslan’,” she said.

With the help of an interpreter to translate the club’s song, the team used a video to learn to sign.

“And the next time we won a game, we would just belt our club song out with Auslan as well and surprise her.”

That is exactly what the team did.

Clearly touched, Ms Howell signed “thank you, thank you” to her teammates.

Auslan ‘shouldn’t just be for disasters’

Last summer’s bushfires and the global pandemic have resulted in Auslan interpreters becoming a common sight on TV screens at daily news conferences.

Ms Walsh said she would like to see interpreters at celebrations and events as well.

“It shouldn’t just be for disasters … maybe it’s something that could become a bit more mainstream,” she said.

Some events already include Auslan interpreters, but they are not yet commonplace.

“It’s so expressive and so physical,” Ms Walsh said.

She said the Yeronga club now hoped to teach the men’s and junior teams to sign as well.

“I think the kids would really get around it.”



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Brisbane AFLW squad surprise deaf teammate by learning their club song in sign language


The members of a Brisbane AFLW team have secretly learnt to sign the club song in Auslan as a way to surprise a deaf teammate after a recent win.

Yeronga South Brisbane Devils player Jamie Howell is profoundly deaf and plays in specially designed head gear and a cochlear implant.

“It’s a beautiful language and I thought, this is how we can really be that inclusive club,” team captain Mia Walsh told ABC Radio Brisbane.

Ms Walsh and Ms Howell both work at Deaf Services — Hear for Kids.

They bonded over a love of sport and before long Ms Howell joined Yeronga Devils.

“I know she was quite terrified about joining a team sport. This is her first major team sport,” Ms Walsh said.

“She’d only ever played one AFL game before, but I knew she’d be amazing at it.

“We brought her on down and we were right — she is fantastic.”

Women wearing black and AFL uniforms stand on an AFL field. One woman stands in the foreground smiling.
Ms Howell is profoundly deaf and plays with a cochlear implant.(ABC News: Stephen Cavenagh)

Ms Walsh said other members of the team started thinking about how they could better include and support Ms Howell.

“I spoke to one of the other players in the leadership group and said, ‘I’d really love us to try and learn some Auslan’,” she said.

With the help of an interpreter to translate the club’s song, the team used a video to learn to sign.

“And the next time we won a game, we would just belt our club song out with Auslan as well and surprise her.”

That is exactly what the team did.

Clearly touched, Ms Howell signed “thank you, thank you” to her teammates.

Auslan ‘shouldn’t just be for disasters’

Last summer’s bushfires and the global pandemic have resulted in Auslan interpreters becoming a common sight on TV screens at daily news conferences.

Ms Walsh said she would like to see interpreters at celebrations and events as well.

“It shouldn’t just be for disasters … maybe it’s something that could become a bit more mainstream,” she said.

Some events already include Auslan interpreters, but they are not yet commonplace.

“It’s so expressive and so physical,” Ms Walsh said.

She said the Yeronga club now hoped to teach the men’s and junior teams to sign as well.

“I think the kids would really get around it.”



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Melbourne Storm’s NRL dynasty showing no sign of crumbling during coronavirus crisis


Every NRL season since the dawn of Bellamy, we have posed the same question: What will stop the Melbourne Storm?

What would prompt the decline of a team that has, since coach Craig Bellamy’s appointment in 2003, played finals in all but their 2010 walk-of-shame season and contested nine of the past 15 grand finals?

It wasn’t the revelation of that infamous second set of contracts and the subsequent loss of stars such as Greg Inglis; it wasn’t the retirement of Billy Slater or the defection of Cooper Cronk; it has not been the ageing of Cameron Smith.

So we shrugged our shoulders and figured the only thing that would stop the Storm would be some kind of plague or pestilence.

Yet after consecutive backs-to-the-walls victories over last season’s grand finalists the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders, it is apparent the dislocation and distraction caused by COVID-19 are not causing this dynasty to crumble.

Naturally, the customary critics bemoaned a supposed Melbourne knock-on late in the pulsating victory over the Roosters; they begrudged the Storm’s good fortune when the Raiders lost star hooker Josh Hodgson to a serious knee injury and had another player controversially sin-binned.

“Bloody Melbourne Storm” is not just an indignant expression for some fans of rival NRL clubs. It is a way of life.

Even after those 17 years of sustained excellence, the penny hasn’t dropped for those who wilfully ignore the blindingly obvious — the Storm’s success is a triumph of impeccable preparation.

Cameron Smith and Craig Bellamy lift the premiership trophy in front of Storm fans
The Storm have become accustomed to success with Smith (left) and Craig Bellamy at the helm.(AAP: Mal Fairclough)

Not that even the Storm was fully prepared for COVID-19.

Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy recalls conversations with club doctor Jason Chan in January as news of the pandemic broke.

“It’s not like we knew what was going to happen,” Donaghy said.

Donaghy said the Storm hierarchy only had a “heightened sense of awareness” about the pandemic in early March. This prompted the club to charter flights for their first two matches in Sydney before the NRL had suggested the precaution.

Donaghy and outgoing Storm chairman Bart Campbell also took a case for pausing the competition to the NRL, arguing that “stopping and resetting” was the best way to go, while other clubs wanted to plough on.

About the same time, Smith was lambasted in the media for suggesting the NRL should be put on hold for “a couple of weeks”.

But Donaghy said the captain’s comments only reflected the mood at the club, something inevitably justified when the competition was shut down.

This lockdown period — between the now-long-forgotten match against Cronulla on March 21 and the glorious Peter V’landys-inspired return at AAMI Park on May 30 — represented the Storm’s next challenge.

If there is a cornerstone of the Storm’s enduring success, it is the merciless preseason regime Bellamy inflicts on his players. So there was obvious concern this advantage would be lost with players responsible for their own fitness for almost six weeks.

Craig Bellamy stands in a suit in the middle of a stadium with his hands in his pockets
Bellamy’s leadership has again come to the fore this season.(AAP: Julian Smith)

The Storm’s high performance manager, Lachlan Penfold, is well-regarded for his work with the Brisbane Lions, Sydney Roosters and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. His message was for players to be “ready to play at any point”.

When the team returned for a familiarisation day at AAMI Park in early May, Donaghy was impressed by the appearance of what he calls the “higher-risk players”.

“The guys who put on weight when they just look at food were in great shape,” Donaghy said.

Having kept in close contact with the Victorian Government, the Storm’s next piece of informed intuition was that an alternate training venue would be needed so that they could return to full-contact training at the same time as Sydney and Queensland-based clubs.

Albury was chosen ahead of several other border locations, which led to an infamous late-night fiasco when the council voted against them using a local ground, forcing them to strike a deal with a local Aussie rules club and relocate to the Lavington Sports Ground.

“We put that one in the first-world-problems bucket,” Donaghy said.

Within days, restrictions on contact training in Victoria were eased and the Storm returned to AAMI Park, where they hoped to play and train as happily ever after as you can in “unprecedented times”.

However, even as the first four matches after the Project Apollo “relaunch date” were played in relative normality despite the absence of fans, Donaghy said the club had already learned an important lesson.

“If you think you’re in control, don’t get too comfortable,” he said.

“Use the time to pause and consider the steps required to get you to the next space.”

‘Hope for the best and plan for the worst’

Consequently, the still-growing number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria in comparison with other states prompted Donaghy and his staff to initiate a teleconference with the NRL and its pandemic experts.

Fearing the worst, the Storm decided to fly to Sydney to prepare for the round-seven match against the expatriate Warriors on June 26 with the likelihood they would not return.

“No one said we had to go,” Donaghy said.

“There were only 11 new cases (in Victoria) that day. But after our discussions (with the NRL) you could see the way it was going. Borders were closing and we didn’t want to leave ourselves exposed.”

Players were told to pack their bags for a two or three-week stay. With the club subsequently diverted to their new home at the Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast, they have not been home since.

There are 55 players and staff and about 60 family members in camp. Given the vast majority of the Storm players hail from much warmer locations than Melbourne, the Queensland sunshine has been uplifting, even as further logistical problems such as schooling children emerge.

A Cronulla NRL players is tackled by two Melbourne Storm players.
The Storm will be based outside of Melbourne for some time.(AAP: Craig Golding)

Donaghy said the club remained hopeful of returning to Melbourne before the end of the season. But the players are well aware they could be in Queensland until late October if they go deep into the finals, as now seems likely.

“Hope for the best and plan for the worst is the way we’ve approached things,” Donaghy said.

The victories over the Roosters and Raiders were not perfectly executed. But they have been galvanising for a team now relying more than ever on an already close-knit club family.

“I think there is a lot of heart in this team and a lot of fight,” Bellamy said after the Raiders match.

“I don’t think we’re playing that good a footy with the ball but certainly our defence is really gritty and they are willing to work hard and for each other.”

The Storm will play three of its next four matches at their new home, Sunshine Coast Stadium. The 6,000 tickets for Friday evening’s fixture against the Gold Coast Titans are almost sold out, even though the quarantined club cannot stage promotional appearances.

In Melbourne, the Storm has had record TV viewing and social media engagement — even beyond the two weeks when it was the only game in town because the AFL had not yet restarted.

Donaghy does not pretend the Storm has seen every twist and turn that was coming. But, typically, lemons are being turned into lemonade.

“We think this will make us a better club,” he said.

Meanwhile, the rest of the competition puts a line through plague and pestilence and continues to wonder what will end the purple reign.



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Limestone Coast football league to launch after six SA clubs sign up


A 2020 football season for the Limestone Coast will go ahead, with six teams signing up to play in a combined “super” league.

Mundulla, Kybybolite, Kalangadoo, East Gambier, North Gambier and South Gambier have committed senior and reserve teams for the combined competition.

The Limestone Coast Football League formed after the recent cancellation of the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara, Mid South Eastern and Western Border football leagues.

Games will start on Saturday, July 18 and run for 11 weeks, with a three-week finals period.

The Limestone Coast Regional Football Council said it was a viable option for clubs now coronavirus restrictions had eased in South Australia.

A man in a suit stands in front of green shrubbery
Trevor Smart said having crowds and canteen functions made the league viable.(Supplied: Naracoorte Lucindale Council)

Chair Trevor Smart said it was a big turnaround from several months ago.

“Probably only three or four weeks ago, none of it seemed possible,” he said.

Mr Smart said easing restrictions had changed that.

“[It’s] a good opportunity for all the clubs, and a good opportunity for the region as well,” Mr Smart said.

Mr Smart said there was plenty of positive feedback to spark a 2020 season.

A sign listing entrance costs in front of a footy oval
The South Gambier Football Club is one of six clubs competing in the “super” league.(ABC South East SA: Selina Green)

“I think there’s a lot of excitement and interest in how the season will play out with teams represented across all three leagues, including last year’s three premiers,” he said.

“We’ve received some real positive feedback from clubs and the general public as well.

“Regional football and all sports are a huge part of our social fabric, so [people are looking forward to] just being able to get out there and interact with each other, catch up… just have a good chat and watch the football.”



Source link

Categories
Australian News

‘CCP’ coronavirus sign appears outside Chinese Embassy in Canberra


A sign has appeared outside the Chinese Embassy in Canberra urging people against calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus”.

The sign reads: “Let’s call it the CCP Virus, not the Chinese Virus”.

CCP stands for the Chinese Communist Party.

MORE: Follow our live coronavirus updates

MORE: Letter warns of Victoria’s coronavirus fail

US President Donald Trump has constantly referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus”, with many criticising the terms as racist.

The emergence of this sign comes after China’s state media claimed Australia is ramping up spying efforts against Beijing as diplomatic ties come under heavy pressure.

The Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times tabloid accused Australia of waging an intensifying espionage offensive through sending spies to China.

It also claimed Australia is instigating defections, spying on Chinese students and feeding “fake news” to the media to hype up theories about Chinese spying.

The story, which is based on an anonymous source from a Chinese law-enforcement agency, said Australia tried to install wire taps in the Chinese embassy in Canberra.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison avoided addressing the issue directly when asked about it.

“I wouldn’t be relying on Chinese state media for your sources for questions,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

The Global Times published photos of “spying materials” including a compass, a USB flash drive, a notebook, a mask, gloves and a map of Shanghai, said to have been seized from arrested Australian agents.

The state-owned newspaper warned Chinese agencies would take a harder line on Australian espionage operations.

-With AAP



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Hawks sign master coach Brian Goorjian to two-year deal


Brian Goorjian, the six-time championship winning coach with 735 NBL games to his name is moving to Wollongong to take the helm of the team formerly known as the Illawarra Hawks.

The appointment follows a period of tumult for the franchise, which was put into voluntary administration in May.

Last week the NBL announced a syndicate of new owners for the newly renamed team, now known simply as the Hawks.

For the last 11 years Goorjian has been coaching in China, following a final NBL season in 2009 that saw him win a championship with the South Dragons.

The most decorated coach in NBL history said times had changed since Larry Kestelman claimed ownership of the league.

“The NBL is a very tough, well-coached league and the margin for error is so minimal, which is a bit different from when I was in the league,” he said.

A young basketball player stands on the baseline with his arms outstretched.
While Lamelo Ball continues his journey towards the NBA, Brian Goorjian is looking to target promising young Australian players for his team.(Supplied: Illawarra Hawks)

Staff and players first priority

Goorjian said his first order of business would be to find staff capable of developing players and supporting a long-term future for the club.

“My number one thing is competent staff — guys I can trust and are competent in development,” he said.

“The second aspect is these guys [players] have been sitting off-contract without a club and I think there’s some terrific young talent on the roster.

He acknowledges the Hawks are returning with a slight disadvantage given the recent tumult that has beset the club.

During that time, other NBL clubs have been making player announcements before the free agency period begins, but Goorjian said he was focussed on the long-term.

“The goal of the organisation is foundation and to build a team that’ll be in the top four every year, and every now and then break through and win a championship,” he said.

“We’re coming from the bottom and getting into the market late, so we’ll throw some punches next season — but it’s going to be a build.”



Source link