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Archive for June, 2019

Bullets NBL nursery unveiled by Kerle

A pathway to the NBL for juniors has been unveiled by four-time championship-winning coach Brian Kerle in Brisbane.


But Kerle admits it remains to be seen whether a Brisbane consortium can do the same for the Bullets.

The Brian Kerle Basketballtek Academy will throw its doors open in May, offering 12-month programs for athletes preferably aged 17-21 in a bid to stop juniors being lost to rival sports such as AFL.

Kerle said, ideally, the academy could double as a nursery for the Bullets but did not want to make any promises about a NBL return.

Kerle has kept in regular contact with new NBL chairman Graham Wade and invited him to attend a Thursday night public meeting at the Pineapple Hotel where he hopes to rally support for a new Bullets bid.

Kerle said – in an ideal situation – the Bullets would end their seven-year exile from the league next season but did not want to string long-suffering fans along.

“Things are progressing,” said Kerle of the “Bring Back the Bullets” consortium.

“We are not promising to bring the Bullets back, but we will give it our best shot.

“We are exploring every avenue.”

Negotiations between the NBL and millionaire businessman Paul Bendat – the son of Perth Wildcats owner Jack, who was interested in funding Brisbane’s return to the national competition – fell through earlier this month.

But Kerle managed to organise a new consortium, a business plan and a budget which he hoped received more financial backers at Thursday night’s meeting.

“Our aim is the next season; they have been seven years out – one year is too long,” Kerle said.

“But it will take a huge effort – everyone has to get involved in this.

“People have been promised a lot in the last few years under different circumstances.

“One thing I don’t want people to hear is ‘Brian Kerle promises to get the Bullets back’.

“But we’ve got to get it together and get them in – the people here want it.”

Kerle said Queensland juniors were being lost to sports such as AFL during the Bullets’ NBL absence.

He hoped his academy would help turn that around.

“That’s the biggest problem. There is nowhere in southeast Queensland to aim for (as a junior basketballer),” Kerle said.

“There’s the (AFL’s) Lions and the Suns but there is nowhere to go if you want to play basketball.”

Outspoken opener David Warner has been on his best behaviour at the World Cup after getting into hot water over a series of spats with the Indian side during the test series over the New Year.


The fiery exchanges continued into the Tri-series and Warner was fined for asking India’s Rohit Sharma to “speak English” during a slanging match in a one-dayer at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in January.

“I heard Davy said he wasn’t going to get involved in all that stuff,” paceman Johnson told Fox TV on Tuesday.

“Someone’s got to do it and I might put my hand up. It’s part of the game and what happened the other day with Shane (Watson) and Wahab (Riaz) was exceptional.

“I thought it was great entertainment and I think you’re going to see more entertainment in this game.”

Watson had the last laugh on Pakistan paceman Wahab after their compelling duel in the quarter-finals last week when he helped steer Australia to victory. Both players were later fined.

Johnson has some history with India in the sledging stakes and made them pay for having the temerity to lampoon him after he went wicket-less in the first innings of the second test at the Gabba last December.

The 33-year-old slugged 88 off 93 balls to help rescue Australia’s first innings and then took three wickets in a dazzling spell of bowling and finished with figures of 4-61 as Australia won the match by four wickets.

“I love it. The more that comes my way, the better,” he said at the time.

As well as Warner, Indians Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli were fined for clashes during the test series.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is set to pitchfork Luke Lewis into a crucial playmaking role in Saturday’s clash with Gold to try to resuscitate the Sharks’ flagging NRL season.


Ben Barba will miss Saturday’s match against the fellow winless Gold Coast at Remondis Stadium through suspension, with Lewis set to play a frontline playmaking role.

Barba took the two-week holiday on Tuesday, resulting from two charges in the Sharks’ loss on Saturday to Melbourne.

Lewis enjoyed a solid return from a knee injury in the round-three fixture.

Back-rower Wade Graham was named at five-eighth on Tuesday, with Lewis set to spend time at pivot, a utility role he often revelled in at Penrith.

The Australian and NSW star is the type of game-breaking player the Sharks desperately need to help kickstart their season after demoralising losses to Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Former Norths Devils playmaker Todd Murphy spent some time at first receiver at Sharks training on Tuesday.

However, he is seen a similar type of playmaker to Sharks halfback Jeff Robson.

As a result, Flanagan is leaning towards using Lewis in a pivot role that he has had success in before with Penrith.

Lewis will likely start off the bench, before moving into the role, with Graham shifting to the backrow.

“More than anything, we just need a win,” said Sharks back-rower Chris Heighington, who will play his 250th NRL game on Saturday.

“We haven’t started the season as we hoped we would and our confidence has taken a bit of a hit.

“But we are still confident in the group that we do have and we just need a win to get things started for us this season.”

TPG Telecom has booked a solid lift in first half net profit and is keen to woo investors opposed to its $1.


4 billion bid for internet provider iiNet.

TPG chief financial officer Stephen Banfield insists that TPG’s offer is good for iiNet shareholders.

“We’re disappointed by the reaction of certain shareholders given our genuine belief that we’re proposing a great deal for iiNet shareholders,” Mr Banfield said on Tuesday.

“TPG has offered a full and fair value for iiNet.”

iiNet’s founder and former chief executive Michael Malone, who remains an iiNet shareholder, is among critics of the proposed takeover, claiming the iiNet board has run out of ideas.

Mr Banfield said TPG had only become aware of Mr Malone’s concerns late on Sunday.

“We’d be very happy to meet with Michael, who’s somebody we respect greatly,” he said.

iiNet admitted on Monday that it is concerned that the proposed takeover by low-cost rival TPG could hurt its customers and staff.

The company is facing a backlash from shareholders worried about the impact of the deal on iiNet’s one million customers and their level of service, and criticised management for a lack of information on the proposed takeover.

It has been recommended by iiNet’s board but requires the support of at least 75 per cent of iiNet shareholders, who will vote on the deal in June.

Meanwhile, a solid lift in first half profit has put TPG on track to increase its full year earnings by up to a third.

TPG upgraded its forecast for underlying earnings to rise to $480-$483 million, from $363.6 million in 2013/14.

It had previously forecast its earnings to rise to between $455 million and $460 million.

TPG also unveiled a first half net profit of $106.7 million, up 18 per cent from a year earlier.

Investors were impressed, with TPG’s shares up 31 cents, or 3.51 per cent, to $9.14.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas said TPG’s results were really solid, and the fact that the company had upgraded guidance was very positive.

The telco’s consumer division, which provides retail telecommunications services to residential and small business customers, lifted earnings by 16.9 per cent to $117.1 million, driven by its broadband subscriber base rising by 38,000 in the half year to January 31.

TPG’s home phone fixed line product grew from 477,000 subscribers to 535,000.

But mobile subscribers fell to 342,000 from 362,000 due to a price increase and a 3G-only product.

The group’s acquisition of AAPT in February 2014 helped TPG’s corporate division lift earnings by 84 per cent to $117.7 million. The corporate division provides services to corporate, government, and wholesale customers.


* First half net profit $106.7m, up 18pct from $90.1m

* Revenue of $627.3m, up 59pct from $394.5m

* Interim dividend of 5.5 cents a share, fully-franked, up from 4.5 cents

AAP tsc/gfr

It was a day of many firsts as Queensland’s 89 MPs were sworn into state parliament.


The morning started with the first indigenous minister and first female indigenous MP, Leeanne Enoch, being blessed by elders on the Speaker’s Green.

Ms Enoch then joined the government’s 43 MPs to file into the Legislative Assembly chamber.

The change inside was stark: Labor on the government side, bright-eyed and smiling; the Liberal National Party on the opposition benches, the old hands humbled as the new reality sunk in.

Many faces were unfamiliar while some – Kate Jones, Cameron Dick and Stirling Hinchliffe – triggered memories of parliaments past.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the first woman to form government from opposition, was first to take the oath.

The new premier then swore in her deputy, Jackie Trad, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt before the other 86 members were sworn in three at a time.

Among them was Rob Pyne, the first quadriplegic member of parliament in Australian history.

There was a feeling of friendship in the air – handshakes across the floor, jolly banter and bouts of laughter.

Former deputy premier Jeff Seeney seemed the only one to cut a sombre figure, if only for a brief moment.

One of the last men to be sworn in, Peter Wellington, was also nominated as the Speaker of Parliament – the first independent MP to take the role in more than a century.

It was easy to tell he was keen on the job when he almost broke with tradition by forgetting to feign reluctance to accept the post.

Instead, the beaming Mr Wellington escorted his nominator Ms Palaszczuk and seconder Ms Trad back to their own seats so he could get into his new one.

He pledged to fairly serve all Queenslanders in his new role.

“I owe no favours to vested interests, lobby groups or parties, and in this context I acknowledge the significance of my election to this office as only the second independent Speaker in Queensland’s history,” Mr Wellington told the House.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Mr Wellington and wished him all the very best in his dealings with both the government and the opposition.

“I know that you will deliberate on a fair basis at every opportunity,” she said.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg also wished Mr Wellington well.

“I congratulate you, we look forward to a rather unusual opportunity which can now operate in this parliament,” he said.

Tuesday started three days of pomp and ceremony, continuing with the opening of the 55th Parliament of Queensland on Wednesday.

But every politician is waiting patiently for Friday, the first question time, when they can really let rip for the first time.