Apr 19

John Hopoate in trouble again after punch

Former NRL player John Hopoate is in trouble again for punching a player in a park footy match.Former rugby league bad boy John Hopoate has landed himself in hot water again, sent off in a park football match for punching.

Hopoate, whose NRL career was filled with drama, is expected to be charged by the NSW Rugby League over the incident which occurred while playing for Narraweena against Forestville in Manly’s A-Grade competition on Saturday.

Playing in his first game of the season, Hopoate lasted just minutes before he was sent from the field for throwing a punch in his side’s 26-24 win.

After coming off the bench, Hopoate was penalised for a high tackle in his first involvement, and a scuffle ensued.

Following that, Hopoate was sent off for making contact with a punch, before he was involved in another verbal altercation off the field.

Another player was also sin-binned for throwing the ball at a Narraweena player in the altercation.

“We are confident the judiciary committee will deal with the issue appropriately,” a spokeswoman for the NSW Rugby League told AAP.

Hopoate has previous charges in the A-Grade competition, including attracting headlines in 2011 when he was also sent off for a punch during a fight while playing for Manly Cove.

John Hopoate is expected to be charged by the NSWRL. Photo: Fox Sports

Hopoate has since admitted to Fox Sports he acted like an “idiot” in Saturday’s match.

“I carried on like an idiot and got sent off, that’s it … It’s the story of my life,” Hopoate said.

“I said I’d bash him on the field but what’s wrong with that?”

The 44-year-old played for both NSW and Australia throughout his 13-year, 209-game NRL career for Manly and the Wests Tigers, however that was largely overshadowed by an NRL record 45 weeks of suspensions.

He was most famously banned for 12 games for poking opponents up the backside during tackles while playing at the Tigers in 2001.

His career was ended in 2004 while playing for Manly after getting a 17-match suspension for a high kamikaze-style tackle on Cronulla opponent Keith Galloway.

He was also convicted and fined after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an incident in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2010.

Australian Associated Press

Apr 19

Double honours for brave Thai cave heroes

Richard Harris and Craig Challen are receiving a rare double honour to acknowledge their bravery.The Adelaide anaesthetist Richard Harris and retired Perth vet Craig Challen are receiving a rare double honour – the Star of Courage and the Medal of the Order of Australia.

The Star of Courage, the second highest Australian Bravery Decoration, recognises their courage in helping free the 12 boys and their soccer coach.

They join an elite group of 162 Australians who have received the honour.

They also receive the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for the specialist roles they played in the rescue mission.

OAMs are usually only awarded on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday.

BRAVERY MEDAL AND OAM RECIPIENTS* Royal Australian Navy clearance diving team specialist liaison officer Chief Petty Officer Troy Eather and six Australian Federal Police officers are also being awarded double honours for their work in the hazardous rescue mission.

* The AFP officers are: Senior Constable Justin John Bateman, Leading Senior Constable Kelly Craig Boers, Detective Leading Senior Constable Benjamin Walter Cox, First Constable Matthew Peter Fitzgerald, Acting Station Sergeant Robert Michael James, and Detective Leading Senior Constable Christopher John Markcrow.

* The AFP special response group officers arrived at the cave on June 30, three days after the Thai government sought help to free the soccer team.

* They and Chief Petty Officer Troy Eather were positioned throughout the cave to help move the boys through its chambers, while facing the threat of flooding, falling debris, poor air quality and other hazards.

Australian Associated Press

Apr 19

NSW Farmers delegates want land clearing laws tweaked, final approve native veg maps before they are enforced

The Association’s Tenterfield Branch will move a motion at its annual conference in Sydney that the yet-to-be-released Office of Environment and Heritage satellite property mapping be stripped of regulatory force unless farmers get to check it off. NATIVE vegetation mapping has been a long time coming –but NSW Farmers delegates have calledfor government to hold it back even longer if landholders don’t get final say on itsaccuracy.

Also passed duringtoday’sannual conference was for maximum land clearing fines to be reduced ‘to reflect the size of the entity, economic impact on the entity, and environmental impact’, and for family trust companies to not be lumped in as a ‘corporation’ and therefore face heavier fines.

Farmers delegates at Luna Park also voted forOffice of Environment and Heritage to deal with illegal clearing under a retrospective permission process before proceeding with legal action, while there will be a push for prosecutors to wear the onus of proof in cases of alleged illegal clearing –not the landholder.

Moree branch delegates also moved that prosecutionsbe unable to be brought if thealleged illegal clearing incident occurred more than two years ago.

“If you’re accused of murder, you have more rights than if you are accused of knocking some trees down,” said Moree delegate Stuart Gall.

No mucking about at @NSWFarmers conference 2018. First motion is against release of native vegetation maps unless landowner agrees they are correct #nswpol#agchatozpic.twitter南京夜网/DG4bRkcDF9

— Alex Druce (@AlexDruuuce) July 23, 2018‘Highly inaccurate’The Association has previously slammed sample mapping given to members as highly inaccurate and posing a significant risk to farmers.

“Mapping on my property can’t tell the difference between a eucalyptus tree canopy and a bit of bracken fern with blackberries growing out of it,” said Native veg working group chairman Mitchell Clapham.

Rob Anderson, Moree, said: “I don’t think a lot of people realise how bad these maps are. They are appalling. I have had the dubious privilege of seeing mine. There is some land that was first farmed in 1967.

“As well as being regulated, it’s got a pink line through it that is meant to be sensitive land because of a creek.

“I’m not even sure where the stream is?”

Currently, landholders can interact with thenative vegetation reforms through self-assessment and Local Land Services direction for lower-end clearing.

Also in the Native Vegetation space at annual conference is a call for government to remove impractical retention requirements for invasive native species, and land on a slope greater that 18 degrees.

Also in the Native Vegetation space at annual conference is a call for government to remove impractical retention requirements for invasive native species, and land on a slope greater that 18 degrees.

Last monthgreen groups launched a second round of legal action against the reforms, hoping fora repeat of March’s embarrassing admission by government it had notproperly signed off on new land clearing codes.

That action ended in government reinstalling the code hours later, reassuring farmers they would not be prosecuted for legal works during the invalid law period.

The team leading the new legal case against government has rejected any suggestion this freshcourt action is an expensive public show.

NSW Farmers say it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Earlier this month The Guardian reported that complaints to a NSW land clearing hotline had increased by from an average of 45.2 complaints a month under the old laws to 59 complaints in August 2017,61 in October 2017 and 56 in November 2017.

However, The Guardian noted: “Complaints to the hotline are only a pointer. They are not proof of increased clearing and could be affected by other factors such as increased publicity of the new laws. The land clearing reported may also not be illegal.”

The Land

Apr 19

A-League: Jets midfielder Wayne Brown heads home in pursuit of regular game time

OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIndustrious midfielder Wayne Brown will return to England after he was granted a release from the final year of his contract with the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday.

Brown, 30, joined the Jets in 2016, from Finland, and made 42 appearances for the club in a variety of roles.

The former Fulham playmaker’sdecision to depart was due to family –his eldest son is ready tostartschool in England in September – and the likelihood of limited opportunities to play this season.

The Jets have added Matthew Ridenton to their playmaker stocks. Ben Kantarovski and Steven Ugarkovic were the preferred midfield duo last season.

Brown made 20 appearances last season but only 11 as a starter.

“Wayne has been a terrific player for this club,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said. “Every time we used him last year he did a really good job, especially with the injuries we had to Ronny Vargas and Ben Kantarovski. But he is really looking for a regular game and the competition here is tough. We have signed Matt Ridenton, Steve Ugarkovic was outstanding last year, Ben Kantarovski, Dimi Petratos, Ronny Vargas and Nick Cowburn–it is a tough midfield to get into.He opted to move on and we have allowed him to do that. He has been a great servant forthis club and has been very good with the young players.”

I would like to thank the @[email protected]@NewcastleJetsFC for having me the last 2 years, it’s been a pleasure. Newcastle will always be special to me, a town where my 2nd child was born. There wasn’t a game I didn’t give 100% for the 🔵🔴 #hometime#familyfirst#jets #10 pic.twitter南京夜网/66oBuPK6u2

— Wayne Brown (@Waynebrown2121) July 24, 2018

Brown said farewellto his teammates on Tuesday and had nothing but good words to say about his time in Australia.

“The club and the lads have been fantastic but the time’s right to go,” he said.

The release includesa partial payout of his contract.

READ MORE: Newcastle Jets news

Apr 19

Ricciardo closing in on F1 re-signing

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is fifth in the drivers’ standings after 11 races in 2018.Australian Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo could re-sign with Red Bull as soon as this week.

The 29-year-old had been linked with a move to Mercedes or Ferrari earlier in the year but it’s now all but certain Ricciardo will re-commit to the team he’s been with since 2014.

Red Bull’s F1 boss Christian Horner says Ricciardo’s signing is imminent now that reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is locked in at Mercedes until the end of 2020.

Horner is hopeful a deal will get done before the series breaks for a month after this weekend’s Hungarian GP, which would see Ricciardo continue with teammate Max Verstappen.

“I think now that Lewis Hamilton’s announcement has been made you’ll see everything run pretty quickly,” Horner told Motorsport南京夜网.

“We’re aiming to have things finalised by the summer break. It will be good to go into the break with everything sorted.

“We’ve got two great drivers, and they both contribute exceptionally well to the team. We’re very keen to retain the same line-up for the future.”

It’s likely Ricciardo will sign a two-year contract, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas committed to Mercedes until the end of 2020

“I think with all the changes I wouldn’t want to go too long-term,” Ricciardo told Motorsport南京夜网

“Three’s a lot. Maybe I’m on a beach somewhere in three.”

Ricciardo is coming off a disastrous outing at the German GP last weekend, as he was one of five drivers who failed to finish the race.

He sits fifth in the championship standings, one point ahead of Verstappen, who managed to claim fourth place in Germany.

Hamilton claimed a stunning victory after starting from 14th on the grid to open up a 17-point advantage over Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in the series.

Australian Associated Press