Reynolds keen on new Souths NRL deal

With the NRL title safely locked away at Redfern, off-contract South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds wants to sort out his future with the club.

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The 24-year-old’s future was the source of much speculation during the Rabbitohs’ charge to their first premiership in 43 years.

He is due to come off contract at the end of 2015 and as a local junior, who grew up just blocks from the club’s spiritual home of Redfern Oval, Reynolds’ desire is to stay in red and green.

“We have put it off to concentrate on football, but I would like to get it sorted,” he said.

“I will leave that up to my manager. He has done a great job in the past and I’m sure he will again.

“It is a great club … I would love to stay.

“You only have to see how the fans have reacted to what we have done.

“It has touched so many lives. The fans are great here. To give back to them means a lot.”

With Souths’ victory celebrations in full swing, Reynolds’ manager Steve Gillis said he would sit down with Rabbitohs’ management over the next few weeks to nut out his client’s future.

“There is no timeframe on it at the moment,” Gillis told AAP.

“We want to let the boys enjoy the celebration.

“They have their (end of season) ball coming up. We will let it runs its course.

“Then we will sit down with them in the next two to three weeks.

“The preference is to stay at the club, that is the plan, we will see how it goes.”

Reynolds said he still found it hard to believe he had won a premiership with Souths.

“It was on the bucket list. It is going to be a great week, I just want to enjoy it,” he said.

RET deal to exclude aluminium industry

Federal Labor is considering doing a deal with the government to exclude the aluminium industry from the renewable energy target.

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Opposition leader Bill Shorten confirmed he is open to the idea of treating the sector as a “special case” given the amount of people it employs.

Mr Shorten said he had not reached a final decision but had been meeting with the Clean Energy Council, which reportedly backs the exemption.

“We’ve agreed to engage in discussions on the basis that the government doesn’t try and wreck the renewable energy target,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney.

The government is considering a review of the RET, which mandates that 20 per cent of all electricity comes from renewables by 2020.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously blamed the target for rising power prices in Australia.

The hand-picked panel’s review calls for the scheme to be amended by either closing the large-scale component to new investors like wind farms or by setting targets based on electricity demand.

Both ideas have riled the clean energy sector, which has warned the recommendations could gut future investment in renewables.

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne accused Labor of “browning down” the RET in a union-driven deal.

“You exempt the aluminium smelters and they’ll be using more energy from coal-fired generation – that is not a great outcome,” she said.

The Greens want to keep the RET in place as is.

The policy has doubled Australia’s renewable energy capacity but the review found it was a “high cost approach” to do so.

The Clean Energy Council has been contacted for comment.

MPavilion opens in Melbourne

(Transcript from SBS World News Radio)

Spending money on public art can be controversial, let alone when that structure will be torn down and replaced each year.

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But the City of Melbourne has defended its new cultural installation saying its more than just a pretty face.

Abby Dinham reports. 

(Click on the audio tab above to hear the full report)

It’s called the MPavilion.

Closed it resembles a square grey metal box, but the walls lift open and the roof panels rise to reveal the venue that will host events over the summer months.

The official opening was serenaded by the Dhungala Children’s Choir, performing a song composed for the event.

Indigenous soprano and director of the Short Black Opera Company Deborah Cheetham says her song connects the heritage of the site to its contemporary use.

“I wanted to connect what this space means to the city of Melbourne to the continuation of this being a meeting place. For the Boonwurrung people the Woiwurrung people the Kulin nations in general, this space that we celebrate today has been a space where knowledge has been transferred, culture has been lived and this is for something like 70,000 years and MPavilion is a continuation of that.”

The temporary structure will host art events in the Queen Victoria Gardens for four months, then it will be moved to a new location, while a new one is built in its place.

It’s inspired by London’s Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park.

But its architect Sean Godsell says this one has a distinctly Australian twist.

“I though it would be nice to bring a bit of the outback into the city and bring a shed, so it’s a sophisticated shed but it’s a shed and the shed on the Australian landscape that we see are still deeply imbeded in the Australian DNA.”

Mr Godsell says he drew inspiration for the design from a childhood toy.

“To build a building with an agenda to move it and to then rebuild it makes the whole thing a different kind of problem and a slightly more complicated one. So it made us think about prefabrication, about good ol’ Meccano how you can bolt things together and unbolt them.”

Every year for the next four years a new architect will be commissioned to designed the next temporary pavilion.

The old structure will be relocated for use somewhere else in the city.

The Lord Mayor’s office says the project cost $1.3 million over four years.

Controversy over the cost of public art flared earlier this year when Sydney unveiled plans for the $3.5 million Cloud Arch.

But Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says the MPavilion is more than an art installation.

“They are beautiful structures in themselves, they are contributions to art and design but they’re also activity hubs where people will come to enjoy themselves to listen to talks to see exhibitions to have meetings and that’s the importance of these pavilions.” 

The current MPavillion is open until February next year.

 

 

 

 

Typhoon Phanfone slams into Japan

Strong typhoon Phanfone has slammed into Japan, packing gusting winds and huge waves that swept three US military officials out to sea and brought travel chaos to a nation accustomed to dealing with nature’s fury.

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Winds of up to 180km/h whipped ashore as the typhoon made landfall in central Japan early in the morning, the meteorological agency said.

The storm whirled over Tokyo at around 11am (1200 AEST) and then headed northeast, dumping rain further up the coast of Honshu while its eye moved out over the Pacific Ocean.

Six people are already dead or missing, including the three US military officials, according to Japanese police and coast guards.

Typhoon Phanfone grounded more than 600 flights, and caused the cancellation of dozens of bullet train services.

It also forced Japanese authorities to suspend the search on a volcano for the bodies of those still missing more than a week after it erupted suddenly, claiming dozens of lives.

The leading edge of the storm brought a nasty commute to Tokyo’s morning rush hour, with hundreds of thousands of office workers caught up in the driving rain that lashed the streets.

Localised flooding was reported while television footage showed around 15 of the 20-metre high poles holding up the netting at a golf driving range had collapsed, crashing into houses in Chiba, east of Tokyo.

The weather agency warned that, even as the storm passed out to see, landslides and floods were still a risk in a country where a relatively wet summer brought numerous landslides, including in Hiroshima where more than 70 people died.

In the central Japanese prefecture of Shizuoka, more than 50,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes, while around 1.7 million others were advised to take refuge, local authorities said.

Sheens to scout new Kangaroos

Kokopo in Papua New Guinea will provide the unlikely launch pad for Australia’s next wave of rugby league Test footballers.

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An expanding injury list leaves Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens with little choice but to name an inexperienced squad for the Four Nations tournament on Monday.

That announcement will come a day after the Kokopo clash, where the PNG’s Kumuls host an Australian Prime Minister’s XIII featuring several players Sheens wants to assess for their readiness to face New Zealand in the Four Nations opener two weeks later.

“There’s a still a number of places up for grabs, based on this game,” said Sheens in Wellington on Tuesday.

“Those who have dropped out may struggle to make the side again. That’s the way it happens.”

Sheens will travel to PNG to gain greater insight into some players and watch coach Laurie Daley’s PM’s XIII in action.

“I want to get know a lot of these guys off the field so this whole week is part of a building process,” said Sheens.

The latest Kangaroos casualty is Cowboys prop Matt Scott who, Sheens says, was upset to confirm over the phone on Monday that he needs shoulder surgery.

It means Sheens’ five leading props – Scott, James Tamou, Andrew Fifita, Nate Myles and Paul Gallen – will all miss the tournament.

Versatile Josh Papalii has been handed a starting prop berth on Sunday alongside the established Aaron Woods while interchange props Brenton Lawrence and Josh McGuire have plenty to play for.

Sheens is also considering the front row merits of Dylan Napa, Jacob Lillyman and Bulldogs pair Aiden Tolman and Dave Klemmer, while Sam Thaiday could yet shift from the second row.

Sheens is wary of the challenge his pack faces in the Four Nations.

The Kiwis squad named on Tuesday is typically rugged, he says, while England boast arguably the toughest pack in the world, even without rugby union-bound Sam Burgess.

“We’re vulnerable in a couple of spots and we’re going to have to get it together very quick because we don’t have a lot of time,” Sheens said.

“It’s a long way between now and a final given some of the issues we’ve got.”

Seven of last year’s starting 13 from the World Cup final aren’t available, while Sheens can’t pick nine of the 17 players involved in the 30-18 defeat of New Zealand in Sydney in May.

Sheens says one silver lining is that a tournament is the ideal time to introduce new faces.

“But I think we are throwing in a few more young fellas than we anticipated and the senior players, in particular, will have to stand up big time.”