Tesla says its batteries could fix Australia’s energy problems in 100 days

They are only starting to gain a foothold in the Australian market, but could batteries provide a near overnight solution to the energy woes that have hit South Australia and risk spreading east?
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At least one company believes so. In an elaborate launch in a former power substation in suburban Newport, in Melbourne’s west, Tesla Inc said its technology could provide a fix within 100 days.

The Californian company’s energy products vice-president Lyndon Rive said it could install up to 300 megawatt hours of grid-scale battery storage in that timeframe at a cost of about $66 million per 100 megawatt hours.

“If you had storage deployed during the blackout [in] South Australia you wouldn’t have had the blackout,” Mr Rive said.

It is understood the company believes the proposal would require a change in electricity market rules, but not a direct subsidy.

Tesla is not the first to make this sort of suggestion. Zen Energy, chaired by economist Ross Garnaut, last month said its proposal for a $100 million large-scale solar plant with battery storage could solve most of South Australia’s electricity problems if rules were changed to make it viable.

It comes amid heated political debate about how to ensure energy security and reliability, and to limit price rises while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Wholesale electricity prices have more than doubled across the national grid, largely due to sky-high gas prices and a policy vacuum that business groups say is preventing investment in power plants to replace ageing coal generators.

Meanwhile, South Australia has suffered blackouts in recent months following a huge growth in wind power driven by the national renewable energy target and the closure or mothballing of several coal and gas plants.

The blackouts have largely been caused by freak events and unplanned generation or transmission outages – on September 28 the state was hit be an extraordinary storm and there have been network operator mistakes – but have highlighted the need for flexible back-up as the grid is transformed.

Tesla expects a significant part of the answer to come from solar panels connected to home battery systems. About 6500 battery systems across all available brands were installed in households across Australia last year.

Mr Rive, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s cousin, said within a decade he expected all homes with solar to also have batteries.

Tesla’s latest lithium ion battery, the Powerwall 2, promises 14 kilowatt hours of storage for about $10,000 including installation. The new model is said to more than double the storage of the first Powerwall, and is 40 per cent smaller.

It can sit on the ground or be attached to a wall, and allows owners to store solar energy in the day to run their homes at night and to use it as back-up power should the grid go down.

Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said batteries would play a role at a household level, but was sceptical about larger-scale proposals.

“If Tesla think they can do that, what’s stopping them? Providing they aren’t asking the government for some sort of subsidy and want to risk their own money, fantastic,” he said.

Mr Wood said the electricity grid needed reliability and flexibility. That could potentially come from batteries, gas, pumped hydro storage, stronger connections between states and managing demand at peak times. The Turnbull government has earmarked pumped hydro, recently announcing $20 million in research funding.

He warned against putting too much faith in predictions about which energy technologies would prove viable, citing past hype about geothermal energy.

“The one thing you can say about technology forecasts is they’re all wrong. The only question is which are going to be less wrong and by how much,” he said.

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Ringarooma water on way

Kerrie Hales, of Ringarooma, with a glass of tap water. Picture: Paul ScamblerResidents at Ringarooma will have access to fully treated water by August, as the work on the region’s treatment plan progresses.
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TasWater’s $10.5 million Ringarooma Valley water scheme has placed about 30-kilometres of pipes ready to supply water to customers in Ringarooma, Legerwood, Branxholm and Derby and Winnaleah.

A spokesperson from TasWater said fully treated water is expected to be produced from the plant by the end of April but Boil Water alerts will still be in place for a further two months.

“Customers should notice an improvement in the taste and clarity of their water supply. Despite receiving fully treated water, the Boil Water alerts put in place by the Department of Health and Human Services will still need to be adhered to.”

The lifting of the Boil Water Alerts will be determined by DHHS after a period of testing of up to 12 weeks. The lifting of the alert is expected in August. The town has been on current Boil Water alerts for at least three years and residents vented their frustration about the delay to access to treated water on Wednesday.

The state government announced a plan this week to take over the local-government-run TasWater next year in a bid to rid the state of Do Not Consume and Boil Water alerts.

In addition the Opposition announced a bold plan to fix Launceston’s ageing water and sewerage infrastructure if it wins the state election next year. Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) president Doug Chipman deplored the actions of the government as “playing on the heartstrings of Tasmania for political purposes.”

“Ringarooma is one of five towns that will benefit from the new water treatment plant under construction along with Derby, Branxholm, Legerwood and Winnaleah,” he said.

”All those towns will be off boil water alerts by the end of August.Not only that, but by July 1, a further five communities on boil water alerts will be resolved – Avoca, Lady Barron, Mole Creek, Pioneer and Mountain River.”

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Milestone moment for Tigers veteran

MILESTONE: Sam Johnstone will play his 300th game for Burnie this weekend, pictured with his wife Karen and children Nathanael and Grace. Picture: Camron Slessor. Sam Johnstone is one of the most experienced basketball players on Coast and has always had the Burnie Tigers in his heart.
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The NWBU veteran will line-up for his 300th game for Burnie on Friday night since first donning the Tigers guernsey 17 years ago.

He said to be able to run on court for such a big milestone at a club he loves would be a special moment for himself and his family.

“I started playing in the men’s in the year 2000 and I’ve got some great memories here,” Johnstone said

“I’ve obviously seen a lot of coaches come through and a lot of turnover of players here which has been great to be able to play with so many people.

“Over the years it didn’t matter if the team was successful or not, you sort of just played for that camaraderie and the players you get to spend time with.”

Johnstone also has experience playing with Smithton where he spent three years as a player, one of those as coach as well.

He said while that time was great for his development, he always had the Tigers in the back of his mind.

“I was always drawn back to this stadium and I guess I’m a Burnie boy through and through.

“Other milestone games have come and gone before but this one is pretty special for me.

“To sit back and say you’ve played 300 games for the club you love is amazing.

“All the time and effort and being away from your family, there’s a lot that goes into it which that people don’t see.

“I suppose I went through some tough times with the club as well and the times when the club decided to go through a rebuild with younger teams.

“So it’s been nice to play the last three or four seasons and to be involved in the success as well.”

While admitting he still had plenty left to give on the court, Johnstone said coaching was something that definitely interested him for the future.

“I love helping out with coaching, I teach at Burnie High so I love my job there and I’m really passionate about helping young people andbasketball is no different.

“I don’t have to play big minutes anymore, I still enjoy being a player and even if I play zero minutes or get a decent chunk of the game, it’s something I enjoy just going through it with the boys.

“You’re still helping the young guys out on and off the court.

“Players like Emmitt Smith and Isaac Plant, I do a lot of training with those guys away from just the basketball and if I did stop right now that’s whatI’d miss the most.”

The Tigers face off against Ulverstone on Friday night and Johnstone said to mark his milestone game against traditional rivals would add to the occasion.

“It was pretty tough losing Brad [Simpson] in the final against them last year but we won’t make excuses.

“But it’s something that’s always been there since I was young, there’s always been a rivalry between Ulverstone and Burnie.

“On court it’s always a good battle with those guys and it will definitely be a good battle this week, I have no doubt.”

The Tigers take on Ulverstone at Burnie Stadium from 8.30pm on Friday night.

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Jets players welcome Jones’ passion

JETS midfielder Steven Ugarkovic says Newcastle’s playersappreciate the controversial show of support that has earned their coach a one-game suspension.
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FOCUSED: Jets midfielder Steve Ugarkovic remains confident Newcastle can qualify for the A-League play-offs. Picture: Getty Images

Newcastle mentor Mark Jones was ejected from the McDonald Jones Stadium pitch and banned for their next game after being found guilty of using offensive, insulting or abusive languagetowards a match official during Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Brisbane.

He will not be able to have any contact with the team from two hours before kick-off in their clash with Melbourne City on Saturday week.

Ugarkovic said it was “always good to see the coach stick up for the players”.

“Obviously that’s what you look for in a leader, on and off the field, players, captains and coaches,’’ he said.

“It was good to see.’’

Assistant coach Clayton Zane will take the reins against Melbourne City and Ugarkovic felt Jones’ absence on game day would have minimal impact.

“Obviously it’s a loss, not having him in the changing room, but the coaching staff, everyone involved they send the same message, so I don’t think it will be a massive loss,’’ he said.

“We’ve just got to focus on what he tells us during the week and take that onto the field.’’

Ugarkovic, voted Newcastle’s player of the month for February, said the Jets were still confident of making the finals.

They are currently eighth, three points behind sixth-placed Western Sydney, with five games to go.

Asked how many games Newcastle would need to win to reach the play-offs, Ugarkovic replied: “It doesn’t really matter we need to win.

“We’ve just got to go out there and try to win every game. That will get us into the top.’’

AAP reports: Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree says he was in disbelief when told of his inclusion in the Socceroos squad.

The 18-year-old was chosen in coach Ange Postecoglou’s 30-man squad for looming World Cup qualifiers after just 12 A-League appearances.

“I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to say,” McGree told reporters on Thursday.

“I didn’t really think it was true, to be honest.”

McGree started the season merely trying to get some meaningful A-League minutes.

But last-placed Adelaide United’s woes have gifted the versatile midfielder opportunities.

“Coming into the season, I thought that I would get maybe some minutes here and there,” he said.

“But due to some unfortunate circumstances of injuries and players leaving, I was thrown in at an earlier stage than I expected.”

Second Brisbane case of measles in two days sparks warning

A Brisbane man with the measles – the second confirmed case of the disease in the city in two days – was infectious as he visited several locations including the Brisbane Airport, health officials warned on Thursday.
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A Metro North Public Health Unit spokesperson said the Chermside man was believed to have moved extensively through Brisbane, as well as been on international and domestic flights while unknowingly infectious.

The man, in his 40s, is also the second person to have passed through Sydney in March while infected with measles.

He was in these locations between March 1 and March 6: Brisbane International Airport on March 1 and Brisbane domestic airport on March 3Virgin Flight VA43 from Brisbane to Denpasar, which departed Brisbane about 3.40pm and arrived about 8.30pm local time on March 1Virgin Flight VA70 from Denpasar to Sydney, which departed about 10.30pm local time on March 1 and arrived about 7.30am local time on March 3 Sydney International Airport and Sydney Domestic Airport on March 3Virgin Flight VA932 Sydney to Brisbane, departing 9am local time and arriving 9.30am local time on March 3Tempest Seafood Restaurant at Scarborough Boat Harbour on March 3North Brisbane Landscape and Garden Centre, Zillmere, on March 5Junction Road Family Practice in Clayfield on March 6 between 10am and 10.45amAnd Accident and Emergency at Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital, Chermside between 11am and 3.30pm on March 6.

Public Health physician Dr Mekala Srirajalingam said anyone who may have been at these locations about the same time and also developed measles-like symptoms in the next three weeks should stay home, and call their doctor for advice.

Dr Srirajalingam said it was important for anyone who needed to seek treatment for suspected measles to call the medical practice first and let them know so staff could ensure the infection was not spread.

“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Srirajalingam said.

“Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infectious person.”

Initial symptoms include fever, runny nose, red eyes, a moist cough and lethargy, followed a few days later by a red blotchy rash that usually starts on the face before spreading to the rest of the body.

Dr Srirajalingam said Metro North was also working with the different places the man had visited while infectious.

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National mountain bike champion Blair hitting the road for Oceania Champs

Jenny Blair should be racing in the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Toowoomba this weekend, but decided a babysitter is cheaper than a flight to Queensland.
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Instead the Canberran will compete in her back yard on Friday at the Oceania Road Championships, to be raced on the Cotter Uriarra loop.

Blair hails from Ireland where she won a national mountain bike cross-country marathon title, a feat she matched in Australia, and is looking forward to racing on a familiar route on Friday.

“I’m trying to get back to that elite fitness and I ride the loop twice a week so it’s very familiar. It’s called extras to the locals because it’s the extra loop after brunch on Saturday,” Blair said.

“However it’s three laps on Friday which is about 100km, so that’s a lot different to training over it once, but there’s no expectation on me and I’m just happy to get to the start line.

“There are some really good riders in strong teams and I’m riding by myself, so I just need to be smart and sometimes it’s just luck, other times you need the fitness to follow the moves.”

After giving birth last year, Blair is getting back into the competitive swing of things and said she simply couldn’t pass up racing in such a prestigious event so close to home.

“I’m a mountain biker but I still ride most mornings with the Canberra Cycling Club. I’m racing on Friday because it’s on my doorstep, that and and a babysitter is cheaper than flying to Toowoomba,” Blair said.

“My fitness is good considering I haven’t raced over the summer and that my 10-month-old dictates my training, but he comes along in the back seat sometimes.”

Women’s favourite is Lucy Kennedy took out the individual time trial on Thursday after negotiating a difficult course at Tidbinbilla National Park.

The 28-year-old National Capital Tour yellow jersey winner admitted she was surprised when drug testers told her they needed a sample.

“The drug testers came along and said ‘you’ve won, now come and get tested’, I guess that was my prize,” Kennedy laughed.

“It was a big surprise because I didn’t think I’d gone that well. It’s a hard course and it’s never a good feeling coming off, but I descended really well and I climbed well so it all just came together,” Kennedy said.

Sean Lake took out the men’s time trial on Thursday with the teams event to be raced on Saturday.

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Manildra to close Cootamundra plant

In devastating news for the Cootamundra community, Manildra Meat Company has today told workers they will be out of a job by the end of this month.
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In a meeting with workers, they announced the closure of Cootamundra’s meat processingplant with thefinal day of processing to be Friday,February 24.

Manildra Meat Company General Manager Jason Graham, who is based in Cootamundra, said the decision was extremely difficultand that the group’s main concern was the welfare and future employment opportunities of the employees affected by this decision.

Currently the plant employs150permanent and 70 casual staff.

“We cannot continue to maintain a viable business in the current industry environment, particularlygiven the record high livestock prices and the inability of our customers to absorb these price increases,” Mr Graham said.

In a statement to the media he stipulated that allemployees will be paid their full entitlements as defined in their employment agreements.

“We will be organising on-going on-site assistance for our employees in financial advice, job searchskills, resume assistance and counselling services.” Mr Graham said.

Additionally, he assured suppliers and producers that any outstandingfinancial obligations would be met.

General Manager Jason Graham with Plant Manager Chris Irvine last year.

The plant will not be sold as Manildra Meat Company commits to monitoring the reasons which have forced their closure for any change.

“We acknowledge that this decision will have a wider impact on the Cootamundra district and we will continue to assess the industry dynamics with the intention of processing again,” MrGraham said.

A small team ofemployees will continue to be based at the plant to maintain the significant assets.

Manildra purchased the processing plant from GM Scott in 2014with the purchase official on July 1 that year.

At the time,Manildra Meat Company Director of Business DevelopmentPeter Millard committed to expanding the beef line.

“We will support the team here to be the best it can be as a world-class facility,” Mr Millard said in the Cootamundra Herald in 2014.

Last December, they parted ways with Woolworths;traditionally a major client of the Cootamundra abattoir as Woolworths gave their contract for the processing of lamb to the meatworks in Junee.

Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson has commented on the closure describing it as “a great loss for the electorate and of course, for the some 220 full-time and casual staff at Cootamundra”.

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Hunter chair empty again with Cusack gone

FOR a government that had effectively cruised through its first term in office, the NSW Coalition government has made heavy weather of things in recent months. If the resignation of once popular premier Mike Baird was supposed to act as a circuit breaker to the Coalition’s fortunes, it has not proven to be the case.
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Gladys Berejiklian might have been the obvious replacement for Mr Baird, but she has had trouble marshaling her troops in the weeks since taking the top job. Under attack this week over a $550-million blowout in the Sydney light rail budget, Ms Berejiklian is now juggling another hand grenade, thanks to a vitriolic attack by experiencedupper house member Catherine Cusack, a Member of the Legislative Council since March 2003.

Unhappy with the makeup of Ms Berejiklian’s ministry, Ms Cusack let fly in a lengthyemail that seems to have quickly found its way to the media. How this happened is unclear, but Ms Cusack has now resigned her position as Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, stopping on the way out the door to “apologiseto all the people I have let down”.

Ms Cusack had only been in the Hunter job since February 1. So brief was her tenure that is practically impossible to appraise her performance in the role.But if Ms Cusack is concerned –as seems to be the case –about factional politics playing too great a role in the creation of the ministry –then maybe she should spare a thought for the person she replaced as the Hunter’s representative, Liberal Party MLC Scot MacDonald.

Mr MacDonald, who hails from Guyra, just north of Armidale, had been the Hunter’s parliamentary secretary since April 2015. Mr MacDonald had the Hunter bailiwick for one year and 9 months and in that time he showed himself to be a dedicated, hard-working and approachable representative for the region.

The dynamics of the situation make the job an important one. The Coalition may have lost the Hunter seats it gained in 2011, but the light rail project and the broader “Revitalising Newcastle” program amount to one of thebiggest government spending commitmentsthat Newcastle has ever seen. Labor – as an opposition will – is broadly opposed to everything the government does, even if there are benefits for the Hunter. In such a situation, the government needs acapable advocatein a region that is once again “tiger country” for the conservatives.

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Uber drivers will need to fork out $200 in annual licence fees

Uber drivers will be slugged more than $200 for an annual licence fee under suggested state reforms that even the ridesharer’s traditional rival – the taxi industry – has slammed.
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The fee was among a swag of changes announced by Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey ahead of the second stage of legislation due to be introduced to Queensland Parliament later this month.

But the latest reforms are far from popular – pleasing neither ridesharing company Uber nor the Taxi Council Queensland.

Taxi service licences and limousine licences and plates will be retained and a new annual licence fee of $237.26 will be introduced for ridebooking operators such as Uber.

Reflective signage will also be mandatory on the front and back of ridebooking services.

Security cameras must be operating in vehicles that are not pre-booked or services that take cash or payment during the journey. But this requirement would not affect Uber, which takes payment via a pre-registered credit card after the journey.

Driver fatigue must also be managed by companies and operators.

And all personalised transport vehicles will require an annual certificate of inspection and a new class of compulsory third party insurance – separate to taxis – has been created for ridebooking and limousines.

An Uber spokesman said the licence fee was “disappointing”.

“We’re disappointed to see the government propose new fees on everyday Queenslanders looking to access flexible work,” the spokesman said.

“The addition of vehicle licensing fees, which do not create any safety improvements or consumer benefits, is not in keeping with the stated aims of these reforms to open up competition, increase consumer choice and create new flexible work opportunities for Queenslanders.”

Fairfax Media asked Uber if it would absorb the cost of the annual licensing fee or whether it would be paid by individual drivers but the question was not answered.

There are about 10,000 Uber drivers in Queensland, which means the fee could instantly generate more than $2.73 million for the government.

Uber is still assessing the announcement, made on Thursday afternoon.

Taxi Council Queensland chief executive officer Benjamin Wash accused the government of doing nothing to level the playing field.

“This proposed legislation has been written to advantage rideshare operators – who have flouted the law and attempted to avoid tax and regulatory requirements – over law-abiding small business operators who make up Queensland’s taxi industry,” Mr Wash said.

“We will review the details of this draft legislation and make further comment soon.”

Taxi drivers and companies pay a variety of charges in Queensland.

The Queensland government will not release any new taxi service licences before 2018, but the cost to buy an existing taxi licence was about $200,000 at the end of 2016, according to a committee report.

The taxi and limousine “driver authorisation” annual fee is $140.65, plus new applications have a fee of $41.05.

There is also an operator accreditation fee of $171 a year for taxi or limousine services.

But the operator accreditation, licence renewal fees, taxi industry security levy and driver authorisation renewal fees were waived for 12 months as a result of changes in the industry.

Mr Bailey said the changes would create a fairer playing field for operators and increase safety and choice for customers.

The first stage included $60 million in transitional assistance payments – a one-off payment of $20,000 a licence, capped at two licences for taxis, and $10,000 per licence for limousine licence holders.

Eligible taxi and limousine holders and operators will receive an invitation from the Queensland Rural Adjustment Agency to apply for a slice of $26.7 million in industry hardship payments from April.

Eligible taxi licence owners and operators will receive a payment of up to $9000 per licence.

Limousine licence holders and operators will receive a payment of up to $4500.

Both payments would be shared 50/50 between owner and operator and be capped at 10 payments per registered entity.

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Cricket bat attacker jailed for three years: Long innings behind bars

A MAN who attacked a furniture rental business owner with a cricket bat when he came to sort out an outstanding bill has been sentenced to 3½ years’ prison.
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Justin Button, 30, will have to serve 20 months of the sentence before he is eligible for parole after leaving the victim with serious facial injuries in the attack.

Button last week pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury to the business owner.

The owner had gone to Button’s home about 9pm in January last year to try to reclaim furniture.

The County Court sitting in Mildura heard the dispute between the man and Button came to a head on January 10 last year, after Button fell behind in payments in late 2015.

The man, along with his debt collector, went to Button’s Merbein home about 1.30pm, but failed to resolve the issues.

About 8pm they exchanged text messages and “regrettably” the man and his debt collector decided to go back to Button’s home about 9pm.

When the man got out of the car he was attacked by two other, unknown, men.

Button then appeared and hit the owner to the head with a cricket bat, causing him to fall to the ground.

He was then struck several more times to the face before the man’s “debt collector” was able to drag him back into the car and drive him to hospital.

The man underwent several reconstructive surgeries and suffered vision problems.

Defence counsel Oliver Cain said Button had been exposed to family violence as a child and his schooling was “unsuccessful”.

The court heard he had abused drugs in the past but now only used cannabis.

Judge Michael Bourke said it was serious offending, but noted it was unfortunate the owner had gone to Button’s home at 9pm.

He said while he accepted Button might have felt threatened, his response was disproportionate.

Judge Bourke noted the assault had a considerable impact on the owner and his family.

He sentenced Button to 3½ years’ prison with a non-parole period of 20 months.

He said if not for Button’s plea of guilty, he would have sentenced him to six years, with a minimum of 3½ years’ prison.

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Wessels taps into Brumbies brainstrust to help Force

December 6 2011, sport, story by Lee Gaskin, picture by STUART WALMSLEY. The ACT Brumbies train at the club’s headquarters in Griffith, Canberra. Defence consultant Dave Wessels. Photo: Stuart WalmsleyDave Wessels was the odd man out when he arrived at the ACT Brumbies, but he said his time with World Cup winners and brilliant rugby minds set him on a path to coach the Western Force.
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Wessels will return to Canberra Stadium as the enemy on Friday night when he leads the top-of-the-Australian conference Force in a clash against the Brumbies.

South African-born Wessels moved to Australia six years ago to join the Brumbies as a defensive consultant to work alongside Jake White, Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher.

White and Larkham have both won World Cups while Fisher is regarded as one of the best forwards coaches in international rugby.

Wessels used his time wisely, picking the trio’s brains before being giving the job of leading the Force this year.

“The biggest thing I took out of being at the Brumbies was just being able to sit in a room with those three,” Wessels said.

“They are some of the best coaches going around so being in Canberra was like being at a university of rugby for me.

“I was very raw at the time so I really just tried hard not to be noticed too much. But I think it was a great experience for me and it’s had a big effect on my coaching.”

The Force have surprised many this year and beat the highly-rated Queensland Reds last weekend to score their first win at home in almost two years.

The Force haven’t won two games in a row anywhere since 2014.

It sets up a massive clash against the Brumbies, who have lost their first two matches for their worst start to a season since 1999.

The Brumbies have won the past six matches against the Force, but history will count for little as both teams rebuild after major changes in the off-season.

The Brumbies recruited Kyle Godwin and Chris Alcock from the Force, while Wessels stepped up as coach in Perth and convinced former ACT fullback Robbie Coleman to join him.

Perth junior Godwin and journeyman Alcock will both start against their old club while Coleman looms as a second-half X-factor from the Force’s bench.

Asked what Brumbies fans could expect from the Force, Wessels grinned: “Some surprises.

“Sometimes the Force has been guilty of playing to lose. We’ve talked as a group about playing to win.

“That means every now and then we’ll get bumped on our arse and we understand that. But ultimately we want to win and have people be proud of the team.”

The Brumbies haven’t lost three games in a row since 2011 and are desperate to turn around their form.

“The Force are going to be hard at the breakdown and we’re prepared for that,” said Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua.

“We’ve gone through the last couple of games and we’ve been so close, so our general game is OK. It’s just about the finer detail that we’ve lacked in some areas of the game.

“I think both [Alcock and Godwin] are eager to play this weekend, results haven’t gone our way so far, so we’re really excited for this weekend.”


The ACT Brumbies will turn to one of Canberra’s best female athletes for extra inspiration to chase their first win against the Force.

Canberra United star Michelle Heyman will be given coin-toss duties and deliver the game ball on to Canberra Stadium before kick-off to recognise her for winning the LGBTI sports personality of the year.

Brumbies chief executive Michael Thomson said: “It’s a great way to recognise another Canberra athlete and we are very happy she will be a part of our game day.”

Striker Heyman is a two-time W-League Golden Boot winner and played for the Australian Matildas at the Rio Olympic Games last year.


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Brumbies team: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. James Dargaville, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Jordan Smiler, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Ben Hyne, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 1. Ben Alexander. Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Tom Staniforth, 21. Lolo Fakaosilea, 22. De Wet Roos, 23. Andrew Smith.

Force team: 15. Dane Haylett-Petty, 14. Chance Peni, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Billy Meakes, 11. Luke Morahan, 10. Jono Lance, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 8. Richard Hardwick, 7. Kane Koteka, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Matt Philip, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 3. Tetera Faulkner, 2. Heath Tessmann, 1. Pek Cowan. Reserves: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Onehunga Havili Kaufusi, 20. Isi Naisarani, 21. Michael Ruru, 22. Ian Prior, 23. Robbie Coleman.

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Encouraging learning beyond class

Bright sparks: Waratah West Public School students show off their lava lamps in test tubes at the Children’s University Newcastle Passport Day. HUNTER students have been urged to think of learning as a passport to the world.
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More than 1000 students from 24 schools are participating in the burgeoning Children’s University Newcastle program, which encourages children between the ages of seven and 14 to participatein educational activities beyond the school curriculum.

Students are given passports, which are stamped every time they complete a validated activity with a registered organisationeither before or after school, during lunch or in the holidays. Thiscould include playing sport or an instrument, joining a dance group or drama class or visiting art galleries, museums and libraries.

Waratah West Public teacher Jane Chapman said the school hadfully subsidised the $10 fee forall 38 students from years three to six to participate.

“We were one of the inaugural schools last year and it opened up a world of future learning,” Ms Chapman said.

“They were really excited at having their passports stamped and it showed them that learning is not just isolated to school and does not have to be something done only between 9am and 3pm. Opportunities for valuable lessons happen everywhere and can include things you already do anyway.

“The link to the University of Newcastle [UON]is important in helping them see it as an option for everybody.”

Five UON students from different study areas visited the school on Thursday and took the students through five activities in two hours.

The activitieswere basedon origami, advertising, first aid, making a lava lampin a test tube and sound-activated robots.

Students who reach 30 hours of activities attend a graduation ceremony at the UON Great Hall in full academic dress in October.

The program has almost tripled in size from last year, when UON was one of only three universities in Australia offering the venture and recruited 300students from nine schools.

UON is also working withAllambi Care, Premier Youthworks, Settlement Services International, Wandiyali and Wesley Mission this year to offer the program to students in care.

Could you go without your phone if it meant getting a good night’s sleep?

File image.It turns out,more than half of surveyed people who were glued to their screens late into the evening – late night workers, web surfers, movie watchers or online gamers – reported more than two sleep problems.
Nanjing Night Net

The short-wavelength blue light from screens blocks the natural sleep hormone melatonin, which is produced by our brains to help us go to sleep and sleep well through the night.

“We believe that this association between before-bed screen time and having sleep problems is no co-incidence”,Australasian Sleep Association President Dr Maree Barnes said.

It’s why sleep specialistsare challenging Australians to enjoy one good night’s sleep to markWorld SleepDay on Friday, March 17.

Research shows adults should have 7-8 hours of sleep each night but studies indicate that a third of the population routinely fail to get enough.

Recent Sleep Health Foundation research found that 44 per cent of Australian adults are on the internet just before bed almost every night.

“That’s a concerning number of people delaying bedtime with devices that actually make good sleep harder to attain.”Sleep Health Foundation Chair and Sleep Psychologist, Professor Dorothy Bruck said.

“Night time screen use has also been shown to shift the body clock, making you more likely to rise in the morning feeling groggy and unrefreshed,” she said.

“That’s bad news for those wanting to wake up bright and alert for a busy day.”

The twospecialists say it is best to count back from when you need to get up, to work out when they need to go to bed to get the 7-8 hours of sleep that they need.

“Make sure you’re leaving yourself enough time to have that golden 7-8 hours of shut-eye,” Professor Bruck said.

“If it doesn’t add up, bring your bedtime forward. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.”

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