Crows expect Talia, Mackay to face Bombers

Adelaide expect key defender Daniel Talia and winger David Mackay to overcome niggling injuries and play against Essendon in Saturday night’s AFL game.

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Talia (groin) and Mackay (corked thigh) were in some doubt but completed training on Thursday, Crows coach Don Pyke says.

“Both travelled well so we expect they’ll both be available for selection,” Pyke told reporters.

Ladder leaders Adelaide travel to meet the Bombers with a six-point buffer at the top of the table.

However, Pyke ruled out resting players in the run to the finals.

“We are probably not entering that space,” he said.

“I’m probably more a believer of continuing on, if guys are in good form, keeping them playing good footy.

“(Resting players) isn’t something have thought about significantly, to be honest.

“Where we sit on the ladder, we want to maintain that position.

“We have given ourselves an opportunity to go into the finals in a really strong position.

“And that, for us, starts with another four points in Saturday night.

“From there, I think players want to play.

“The reality of the system at the moment is there is a bye between the last game and the first final.

“If we start getting too cute and over-manage it … it’s sometimes hard to get back and going or it takes a bit of time.

“And certainly this is not the time of year where I want to experiment too much.”

Pyke was braced for an attacking onslaught from a Bombers outfit playing for the first time since club stalwart Jobe Watson announced he will retire at season’s end.

“A fantastic career, it’s always sad when you see great players bow out,” Pyke said of Watson.

“But I think Essendon would want to perform well for Essendon and we’re they are at in the season as well as for Jobe.

“But we have got a lot to play for as well.”

Anti-corruption laws: PM attacks Bill Shorten’s union past

The prime minister says the opposition leader would have spent time behind bars if new laws passed by the senate last night had been in effect when Bill Shorten was a union leader.

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He has reignited his attack on Mr Shorten’s trade union past after claiming the legislative win without Labor’s support.

“Bill Shorten has been defending tooth and nail, corruption and secrecy, defending big unions and union officials doing dodgy deals with employers at the expense of the workers,” the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

“Like the puppet that he is, he has gone in there, sending his senators there to vote against legislation which does no more than require employers and unions to act honestly.”

Labor demands apology for “grubby” attack

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has slammed the comments as unbecoming and called for the prime minister to apologise.

“This was a desperate, shrill and grubby attack,” he told reporters in Canberra.

The bill was passed in the upper house with help from the senate crossbench.

It makes it a criminal offence to allow payments between employers and unions that do not benefit employees but rather encourage union officials to act improperly.

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“Employers and unions who are negotiating enterprise agreements must now disclose to the relevant workers, prior to voting on the agreement, any benefits that are being exchanged between the employer and the union,” Employment Minister Michaelia Cash told reporters in Canberra.

“If you’re doing the right thing, you should be able to tell the workers exactly what you are doing.”

Labor believes the legislation is flawed.

“This bill subjects people to serious penalties for conduct that is not corrupt, dishonest or improper,” Labor senator Doug Cameron said.

“Nowhere else in the corporate and professional world does this apply,” he said.

The legislation follows a recommendation from the Heydon Royal Commission into union corruption where Mr Shorten was required to give evidence about his time as national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.

There were no adverse findings against him.

Man in pub argument before Vic fatal crash

A young driver involved in a high-speed crash that killed a teenage high school student and her mother had been in a “heated discussion” at a pub before the collision, police say.

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Year 8 student Xinyu Yuan and her mother Ma Li Dai were leaving parent-teacher interviews at Lighthouse Christian College in Cranbourne East when their car was hit by an oncoming Commodore on Wednesday night.

Both died instantly.

Crash investigators are examining whether speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, but have been told the Commodore was seen overtaking a number of vehicles on the highway before the crash.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Tim Hansen said investigators are looking at whether a “heated discussion” at a nearby pub may have impacted the driver’s state of mind.

“We all have relationship issues – that doesn’t then justify us getting into our car and driving like a hoon down the road and endangering the lives of others,” he told reporters on Thursday.

The 26-year-old driver, from Devon Meadows, was taken to hospital suffering serious injuries.

Crash investigators conducted skid tests outside the school gates on Thursday morning, driving a vehicle at high speed before coming to a screeching halt.

Tests were made firstly with anti-lock brakes and then without, the latter sending the car skidding further with smoke coming off the tyres.

The stretch of highway outside the school has cars roaring past at 100km/h and Lighthouse Christian College principal Jacob Mathews says he’s been asking authorities to lower the speed limit near the school for years.

“We have asked for an 80km/h zone here, there are 80km/h zones both south and north of us,” Mr Mathews told 3AW on Thursday.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan offered his sympathy after the crash and said the section of highway will be further investigated.

VicRoads reviewed the road in 2016 and the 100km/h speed limit was found to be appropriate after the modification of a nearby intersection.

But the road authority on Thursday said it will “will look at what can be done to improve safety for drivers exiting the school’s driveway” once the police investigation is complete.

The school is supporting the victims’ family.

“We are all family here. We are a small community. We are all Christians. We all go to church together,” Mr Mathews said.

“She will be sadly missed by all students as well as the teachers.”

School excursions and NAPLAN testing set for Thursday were cancelled.

Origin Energy to take $1.2bn hit on gas

Origin Energy has flagged a second-half $1.

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2 billion hit to its full-year results, largely relating to an impairment in its Australia Pacific LNG interest.

APLNG – a three-way venture Origin shares with ConocoPhillips and Chinese state-owned energy giant Sinopec – is facing an impairment charge thanks mainly to a fall in future oil price assumptions.

Origin, which is responsible for the operation of the APLNG gas fields and main gas transmission pipeline, expects to swallow an $815 million post-tax writedown to reflect its 37.5 per cent share in the $26 billion Queensland gas project.

Royal Bank of Canada analyst Ben Wilson said the writedown takes into account a range of assumptions – oil price, AUD/USD exchange rates, discount rates and costs – made on the value of APLNG.

“The non-cash impairments are not a surprise, with the book value of the assets running ahead of valuations mainly due to Origin’s higher oil price deck and lower long-term Australian dollar assumptions,” Mr Wilson said.

According to RBC, the main change in the APLNG assumptions behind the impairment was a reduction in forecast oil price from US$71 a barrel to US$67 from 2022.

Origin also expects a A$357 million post-tax impairment of its A$1.5 billion Lattice Energy assets – comprising stakes in Cooper Basin, Otway, BassGas and Kupe gas fields – which are in the process of being spun off.

Mr Wilson said the impairment consists primarily of a further six months of ongoing IPO transaction costs, consultant fees and other spin-out costs including stamp duty.

Following the company’s $1.03 billion APLNG impairment taken in the first-half, the total APLNG impairments recognised by Origin this year are up to A$1.85 billion.

At 1527 AEST, shares in Origin were down 1.6 per cent, or 12 cents, at $7.03.

Blogger jailed for naming women accused of affairs with Seven boss

A unrepentant blogger has been jailed for four months after “enthusiastically” defying orders banning the naming of two women accused of having affairs with Seven West Media boss Tim Worner.

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NSW self-described journalist Shane Dowling “remains ferociously committed to the righteousness of his conduct”, seeing himself as a “fierce proponent of free speech”, said Justice Ian Harrison in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

“Even if on one view Mr Dowling’s enthusiasm for the cause as he perceives it borders on obsession, Mr Dowling is nonetheless to my observation a man of some intelligence who doubtless appreciates the proper legal foundation for his contempt.”

He was found guilty in March of contempt of court after he breached orders that he remove the names of the women from his website and stop republishing the allegations made in legal documents by Amber Harrison.

Ms Harrison, whose court battle over her affair with Mr Worner ended last month, had alleged the two Seven on-screen identities also had sexual relationships with him.

The women, who have been given the pseudonyms Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, have denied the claims, and their names are suppressed by the court before proposed defamation proceedings.

Dowling’s conduct in repeatedly publishing the names and failing to remove existing posts was “intentional, wilful and deliberate”, the judge said.

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“Mr Dowling was bound to obey the orders of the court.

“He is not entitled to choose not to do so, whether because he asserted a belief that the orders ought not to have been made, or for any other reason.”

Dowling, who previously has been found guilty of contempt in another matter, was not represented at the hearings before Justice Harrison and provided no information about his motivation, background or personal circumstances.

In written submissions, he said “If I was jailed I have no doubt I would be correctly classified by social media users as a political prisoner”.

The proceedings were “a national scandal” and he’d done nothing more than “any journalist does every day around the country” in naming people referred to in tendered legal documents.

“This matter is a huge free speech, political communication and public interest matter,” he wrote.

But the judge said he had done more than journalists do on a daily basis, with his contempt arising not from the fact that he named the women in the first place but from his disobeying orders to take their names down and his continued re-publication of them.