Cricket loses Sutherland … to study

It was a battle between cricket and football this year for Will Sutherland, but it seems study is a greater priority than either.
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Despite starring with 4-11 in a win against New South Wales last Sunday, the batting all-rounder has been left out of Victoria’s 14-man squad for the JLT one-day cup finals as he enters the home straight of his schooling, with the Scotch College Year 12 student’s VCE exams just around the corner.

Sutherland, who had been shaping as a likely first-round pick in this year’s AFL draft had he chosen to pursue a career in football, turns 18 later this month, with the son of Cricket chief James Sutherland hopeful of qualifying for a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne.

Not that Victoria don’t have quality players to fill the void. Internationals Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch return to the Bushrangers squad after featuring in ‘s tour of India, while Cameron White keeps his spot as he works his way back from an injury that kept him out towards the end of the preliminary stage.

Sam Harper and Blake Thomson join Sutherland in making way for the returning international trio.

Victoria face South in Thursday’s elimination final, with the winners to take on Western in Saturday’s decider. Both games are in Hobart.

Bushrangers coach Andrew McDonald was hopeful the returning stars could catapult his team to the final. “To welcome back guys of such high calibre as Finch, Maxwell and Christian at this stage of the tournament is a big win for us, and they’ll certainly add some depth to both our batting and bowling line-up,” McDonald said.

“The squad has been brilliant so far this tournament to get us to this point, and now hopefully with the return of our n representatives we can go a step further and qualify for the final.”

‘I’d be quite happy not to have textbooks in schools’:PM’s prize winner

Brett McKay, a science teacher who is going to receive the PM’s prize for excellence in science teaching in secondary schools?? is pictured at Kirrawee High School with students on 16 October, 2017. Photo: Brook MitchellIn the past three years, so many students have started choosing science subjects for their HSC that Kirrawee High School has run out of laboratories.
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The school, in Sydney’s south, is going to start bringing in “portable trolleys”, or mobile science labs, so that students in regular classrooms can keep doing experiments, head teacher of science Brett McKay said.

About 60 per cent of Kirrawee High’s year 12 students are about to sit at least one HSC science exam, and a slightly higher proportion of year 11 students are studying one or more science subjects, Mr McKay said.

However, the real surprise came when year 10 students recently made their HSC subject choices.

“About 140 kids [or 70 per cent of the cohort] are doing a science,” Mr McKay said.

“We were shocked when we saw that, there will be three extra classes next year.”

Mr McKay, 50, has been recognised for his work in inspiring students to pursue science as this year’s recipient of the Prime Minister’s prize for excellence in science teaching in secondary schools, presented in Canberra on Wednesday.

Mr McKay said he led the push to promote science subjects at the school when he was appointed head teacher about three years ago by bringing in an array of practical opportunities for students.

“We started by sending some girls to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor and they learnt that science wasn’t what they thought it was,” he said.

“When they came back we made them spokespeople for science. When students get that passion, they feed it on to others.

“And new activities mean students have got a buzz about them, and then the year below goes, ‘Oh yeah, we want to go to that’.”

Students from the school have also had the chance to work with CSIRO astronomers and control the Parkes radio telescope, and participate in competitions such as a recent forensics problem-solving challenge.

Science teachers have also started taking a more hands-on approach to teaching within the classroom.

“We’re making bionic hands out of straws and we use [toy] flying pigs to talk about circular motion,” Mr McKay said.

“We do experiments with things like ice, where you see if it melts faster on something cold or warm and then work out why it’s happening.

“By actually doing it they have the knowledge in a much more solid way and in the long term.”

He said his aim in bringing different programs to the school is to “give [students] as broad a range of opportunities as possible”.

“Their passion might not be what I’m passionate about … I’m constantly picking out different activities so students can follow the paths they’re interested in,” Mr McKay said.

His advice to other teachers is to “take [science] away from being an elitist subject”.

“It’s not about the textbook, it’s about what students are interested in,” Mr McKay said. “I’d be quite happy not to have textbooks in schools.”

Mr McKay decided to become a teacher after spending a year after university as an industrial chemist and said his favourite part of the job is “seeing [students’] faces light up when it clicks”.

He has been teaching at Kirrawee High for 20 years and also works with country schools to advise HSC science teachers.

Mr McKay has also been involved in providing feedback to the NSW Education Standards Authority ahead of the release of new HSC science syllabuses.

Former England opener slams ‘pathetic’ Warner comments

David Warner’s call to arms for his teammates to find their inner “hatred” of England this summer has been labelled “pathetic” and mocked by the Old Enemy.
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Former England vice-captain Marcus Trescothick led the attack on Warner, after the n vice-captain said he and his teammates needed “to delve and dig deep into yourself to get some sort of hatred” about the tourists.

This prompted Trescothick, a key figure in England’s 2005 Ashes series win, to attack ‘s dashing opener.

“It’s pathetic. To come out with those sort of comments is not needed,” he told the BBC.

“There’s always the hype that comes around before the Ashes, so I don’t think it’s something the [English] players will be drawn into.

“I think it will just be a good distraction, hopefully, for and they can get caught up in the war of words.”

Warner has been nicknamed The Reverend in recent years for having little to say to rivals on the field, but his comments this week have prompted a sharp response.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan even mocked Warner, using social media to declare: “Better get some Tanks and Machine Guns ready then …. What nonsense !!!?”

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott also took to social media to respond.

“They want to get [England] down, abuse & sledging, a war, that’s what it is to them not cricket. It’s a test of character for our lads,” Boycott wrote.

Kevin Pietersen, who has never been short of a word, has said pre-Ashes banter counts for little.

“The facts of the matter are, all pre-Ashes chat counts for f… all! All that counts is runs & wickets! You don’t walk out to bat or bowl thinking about a headline!” he said on Twitter.

Warner’s on-field antics drew the ire of Cricket chief James Sutherland in 2015, and he has since adopted a more cautious approach.

However, with desperate to regain cricket’s most famous prize, Warner wants this summer’s campaign to have an edge – in much the same manner as four years ago when then n captain Michael Clarke called on England paceman Jimmy Anderson to “get ready for a broken f—ing arm” at the Gabba. The tourists were crushed 5-0.

“I would like to see it like a bit of State of Origin. Let things just flow on and you deal with everything afterwards,” Warner said.

“Let a couple of penalties go and get on with it.”

He added this week: “I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure that when we’re out there, we’ve got a lot of energy, a lot of buzz, whether that’s being vocal or with my intent batting and in the field.”

The verbal warfare is set to be aimed particularly at England’s inexperienced batsmen Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon said it was clear who the tourists’ kingpins were, nominating skipper Joe Root and former captain Alastair Cook, and said it was important the younger batsmen were put under pressure early.

Turnbull plan would cut 6 per cent off power bills in best scenario

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten (right) is seen with site manager Glen Poynter during a visit to the Incitec Pivot industrial chemicals plant in Brisbane, Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Mr Shorten was in Brisbane to discuss the national energy crisis. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVINGEven the best energy policy will do little to reduce costs for consumers, experts have warned, as the Turnbull government resists pressure to substantiate claims its new policy will save ns $2 a week on power bills.
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In Parliament on Wednesday, Labor seized on suggestions the reduction could be closer to 50?? a week but Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg stood by the claim of an average $115-a-year saving between 2020 and 2030.

“The national energy guarantee is a credible, workable, pro-market policy that will deliver lower power prices for ns and involves no taxes, no subsidies and no emission trading schemes,” he said.

A report this week from the n Competition and Consumer Commission found a 63 per cent power price rise since 2007 had put consumers under “unacceptable pressure”.

Based on these figures, the Energy Security Board’s unreleased modelling on the $115 saving would cut 6 per cent off the average annual bill of $1691 by 2030.

Labor leader Bill Shorten urged the government to release the full report.

“They haven’t done their homework, they can’t back up their numbers and they’re only offering ns, in the best-case scenario, somewhere between 50?? and a little bit more each week in three years’ time,” he said.

But the director of Deakin University’s Centre for Energy, Samantha Hepburn, said even the most thorough review of policy settings would struggle to make a dent in prices for consumers.

“Transitioning to a lower emission intensive framework generates cost uncertainties,” Professor Hepburn said. “This is exacerbated by the gas position – gas affordability on the east coast is largely an issue of supply.”

She said that once the federal renewable energy target (RET) ends in 2020 the national energy guarantee (NEG) would allow retailers to choose the least expensive mix of generation to meet their emission obligations.

“It may not achieve the same levels or emission reduction or affordability [compared to the renewable energy target],” she said.

Energy Consumers welcomed the announcement but said thorough consultation was still needed.

The policy will rely on the market to encourage renewable energy uptake through technological advances and falling costs, while $66 billion in renewable subsidies to the sector will be scraped.

At the same time, the government will mandate a minimum amount of base-load energy be generated through sources such as coal and gas in an effort to keep prices down while preventing blackouts.

“It is time to move beyond acronyms and get on with the job because households and small businesses want these issues settled,” Energy Consumers chief executive Rosemary Sinclair said.

“There is no silver bullet here, there are instead several policy levers which will need to work together to provide more affordable and reliable power for consumers, while lowering emissions at least cost.”

The MGA Independent Retailers Association said the plan offered some hope to many retailers who had been looking down the barrel of closing their businesses.

“They simply cannot continue facing out-of-control energy bills and survive into the future,” he said.

“It may not be ideal and there may be alternatives. But at this point in time it is the only feasible solution we have been offered. We urge state governments and others that are bickering over the finer details of the plan to desist from arguing from an ideological perspective and to accept this is a plan that we can utilise to move forward.”

The country’s largest energy producer, AGL, will front a public hearing on Thursday and is expected to focus on the role of battery storage and solar in private homes in reducing costs “behind the meter,” according to a submission from its chief economist Tim Nelson.

It has begun briefing shareholders on its plans for life after its coal fired plant Liddell, which it had planned on shutting in 2022, but it is understood that plan is now under review to ensure it is consistent with the Energy Security Board’s recommendations.

The energy company has flagged batteries at Liddell power plant, an upgrade to Bayswater and a new gas operation in Newcastle on the mid-north coast of NSW as potential options to keep baseload power running in the event of a Liddell closure.

EDITORIAL: Corridor the city’s key planning decision

OF all of the aspects of the state government’s Revitalising Newcastle project, none is so central to the future of the city as that section of the former heavy rail corridor not needed for light rail.
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After years of bruising debate, the line is truncated at Wickham and work is soon to start on 2.7 kilometres of light rail to run along the corridor to Worth Place, before swinging out onto Hunter Street, and later Scott Street, for the duration of the journey.

The state government, which is funding the project, is adamant there will be development on certain sections of the corridor, which means that unless these future buildings are constructed leaving room for people to pass through beneath them, it will no longer be a corridor as such.

Still, the proposal to build on the corridor seems to have a majority of public opinion behind it, and while a vocal public transport lobby is still calling for the light rail to run its entire length along the corridor, there seems no chance of that happening this late in the piece.

Documents relating to the rezoning have been on display with Newcastle City Council since September 18, with submissions closing on Monday. The documents on display state that changes have been made to the original UrbanGrowth/Hunter Development Corporation proposal for the corridor. They say the number of apartments hasfallen from as many as 600 to between 100 and 150, and that land for commercial and retail use has been cut by 1000 square metres from the original 5000 square metres.

The documents say public recreation space is up by3200 square metres, withbuilding heights reduced in some places.

The peak developer lobby, the Property Council of , says it’s an “excellent proposal”, but it wants more density between Darby Street and Brown Street, and concessions for developers with heritage buildings facing Hunter Street and backing on to the corridor. It’s widely believed the light rail was moved on to Hunter Street to favour developers but the property council says it has longwanted to preserve most of the corridor for public use, and that large scale or high rise development along the corridor’s length is “simply not feasible, nor desirable”.

Even so –as noted above – it will only take one building to block the corridor to end its future utility. Which is why some scepticswant to see the light rail working properly before the corridor is sacrificed forever.

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