Perth dump 36ers to reclaim second spot

Posted on 12/17/2018

Wildcats and 36ers players confront each other in an ugly brawl during the match at Perth Arena.The NBL finals must be getting close.

The Perth Wildcats rediscovered their best form to demolish the Adelaide 36ers 111-90 in a fiery contest at the Perth Arena on Friday night that ended in a brawl, including both benches.

Some shoddy treatment by 36ers Brendan Teys on Wildcats development player Lochlan Cummings, when he made his first NBL basket with less than a second left on the clock, was not well received.

When the smoke cleared, Cats Lucas Walker and Dexter Kernich-Drew, plus Teys and his teammate Shannon Shorter, were ejected from the game.

After trailing by one point in a high-scoring opening half, the Cats dominated the second to run away with an incredible 21-point win.

They kept Adelaide to just nine points in the third term to go into the last with a 17-point lead.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said he knew his side was in with a chance when they were so close at half-time.

“To come in one points down at the half was pretty darn good considering how many points we gave them,” he said.

“We knew if we stayed together we’d be in with a good show.

“That third quarter was some of the best defence I think we’ve played. To hold a team like that nine points, it certainly changed the game, especially being down 12 points early.”

Concerns that the reigning champions had dropped away are now gone after consecutive victories over top four teams.They beat New Zealand last weekend.

A win in the return bout against the 36ers in Adelaide on Sunday would go a long way to them earning the home-court advantage in the first round of the finals.

After climbing to second on the ladder on the back of seven straight wins, the 36ers now drop to third after consecutive losses.

Despite leading 61-60 at half-time, 36ers coach Joey Wright said he knew they were in trouble giving up that many points to the home side.

“You can’t give up 60 points on the road and expect to win – that’s not going to happen,” he said.

“Perth is notorious for third term scores. It’s about 1130pm at home for us in the third quarter and we fell asleep.

“I have been coaching down here for 15 years. If you’re not ready for the third quarter, you’re in trouble.”

Despite a slow start Adelaide had gained full momentum by quarter-time and with Mitch Creek dropping nine points, led by eight.

If not for some sharp shooting by Perth’s Jesse Wagstaff in the second, Adelaide would have led by more than one point at the main break.

He dropped 11 points for the quarter and finished with a game-high 25, equalled by Bryce Cotton.

What worked for the 36ers in the opening half didn’t in the second. They had eight assists in the first quarter and finished the game with 10.

Nathan Sobey top-scored for Adelaide with 18 points. While Shorter, who has averaged 16.75 points over the past eight games, was kept to just nine, as was Daniel Johnson.

Perth also dominated the boards, 40-33, with Jean-Pierre Tokoto pulling in 10 rebounds in a double-double performance.

Costa gets more time in the garden

Posted on 12/17/2018

Gardening host Costa Georgiadis has returned with a longer show in a new timeslot.Costa Georgiadis is returning to screens across the country in a new, hour-long version of Gardening .

Expanded from its previous half-hour format, Georgiadis is excited by what the longer show allows him to do.

“It gives us that chance to dive a little bit deeper into the storytelling but it also gives us a chance to have a regular segment like ‘what to do in your part of the country’,” he said.

“That’s a big thing for everyone gardening because someone in Brisbane isn’t planting or operating the same method that someone in Hobart is operating.”

There’s a new timeslot too, from a Saturday evening to Friday at 7.30pm.

Georgiadis hopes this will bring new viewers, although he’s already starting to see a younger crowd become hooked.

“It has traditionally had an older demographic but where we’re really working hard and getting headway is through social media, through the internet and through our website,” he said.

“The Gardening website is the most visited website in the ABC and over the last five years we’ve been building Facebook, Instagram and hooking in this younger audience.

“This year we plan to continue to cut our stories and put them out into social media and on YouTube and iView and that way this younger audience who probably don’t even own a television are getting into succulents and bonsai and natives and growing their own food.”

A huge part of the fresh engagement, Georgiadis says, has been the different food and lifestyle movements people are embracing.

“They have access to more information and they’re concerned about where their food is coming from and what’s in it.

“Our real mission is to say, ‘You don’t need a massive garden, you can do it on a rooftop or a balcony or a courtyard or go to a community garden’.”

*Gardening airs on Friday at 7.30pm (AEDT) on ABC

Robot makes coffee at new cafe in Tokyo

Posted on 12/17/2018

Robot barista “Sawyer” will make you a coffee and entertain you as well in Henn-na Cafe in Tokyo.Japan has a new robot cafe where customers can enjoy coffee brewed and served by a robot barista.

The robot named Sawyer debuted this week at Henn-na Cafe in Tokyo’s downtown business and shopping district of Shibuya. The shop’s name in Japanese means “strange cafe”.

The single-armed robot scans a ticket purchased from a vending machine and greets the customer.

“Would you care for a delicious coffee?” the barista, with a screen showing a pair of cartoon eyes, asks in a flat tone. “I can make one better than human beings around here.”

It grinds the coffee beans, fills a filter and pours hot water over a paper cup for up to five people at once. A cup of brewed coffee costs 320 yen ($A3.65) and takes a few minutes.

Sawyer can also operate an automated machine for six other hot drinks including cappuccino, hot chocolate and green tea latte.

Customers, many of them young men, took photos with their smartphones while they waited in line.

The cafe operator, travel agency H.I.S. Co, says robots can increase productivity while also entertaining customers.

“An essential point is to increase productivity,” said Masataka Tamaki, general manager of corporate planning at H.I.S. He said only one person needs to oversee the robot cafe, compared to several people needed at a regular coffee shop, so it can serve better quality coffee at a reasonable price.

Tamaki says it’s not just about efficiency. “We want the robot to entertain customers so it’s not like buying coffee at a vending machine,” he said.

Takeshi Yamamoto, a 68-year-old restaurant employee who works in the neighbourhood, said his first experience with the robot cafe was very enjoyable and his robot-made coffee was delicious.

“It’s quite rich, and tastes very good,” Yamamoto said, as he took a sip. “You can get machine-made coffee at convenience stores, too, and it’s actually good. But here, I had great fun.”

David Hogg trial hears character evidence and summing up

Posted on 04/25/2020

CHARACTER WITNESSES: Sally Pilgrim and her daughter, Tasmin Pilgrim, after giving testimony on Monday to the character of Lifestyle Solutions founder Davoid Hogg. THREE character witnesses giving evidence on Monday at the District Court trial of Lifestyle Solutions founder David Hogg spoke of a man with “very high personal and professional ethics” and “great integrity” who put “others before himself”.

As the court heard last week, Mr Hogg is charged with one count of sexual intercourse without consent, which allegedly took place in July 1988 when he was a 35-year-oldmarried Baptist minister and the complainant was a 16-year-old schoolgirl who had been in his care that day.

The defence accepts that the two went for a drive that Friday evening but says that Mr Hogg did not touch her in any way.

hFOURTH DAY: David Hogg, right, and his lawyer, Hugo Aston, leaving Downing Centre courts on Monday after the resumption of Mr Hogg’s trial on Monday.

In summing up on Monday afternoon, defence barrister Mark Dennis said it was open to the jury to find that the complainant had told “a red hot lie” about what had happened in the vehicle. He said the accused, Mr Hogg, “doesn’t have to prove anything at all”.

Monday’s first witness, clinical psychologist Thomas Sibbald, said he met Mr Hogg about 27 years ago when Mr Hogg’s organisation was bidding to run some group homes, and he was working for the disability department.

He said Mr Hogg had “very high personal and professional ethics”.

Teacher Sally Pilgrim said Mr Hogg was a family friend and a person of “great integrity in everything”: he had taken her daughter alone for driving lessons.

The daughter, Tasmin Pilgrim, said he put others before himself and was the most generous person she’d ever met.

In summing the Crown case, the prosecutor went through a list of matters that were not in dispute, which included the complainant telling a school friend –Jamie Parker, now the Greens state MP for Balmain –who told his mother, who complained to the school.

The prosecutor said that the school later contacted the church but the school never interviewed the complainant and the church “swept it under the carpet”.

He referred to a poem the complainant had written soon after the alleged assault, that included the lines: “I’m still 16, and only then by a month . . . where in the Bible does it say this is right” and “deceived by a title, never again”.

Mr Dennis said there was only the complainant’sword about when it was written, adding that“a lie told more than once does not become the truth”.

He said “somebody is not telling the truth” about Mr Hogg being at the school because “he was not at the school”.

“I would suggest her evidence is a red hot lie, a red hot lie,” Mr Dennis said.

The jury is likely to start deliberating on Tuesday.

Question time in federal parliament

Posted on 04/25/2020

Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during House of Representatives Question Time on Monday.QUESTION TIME IN FEDERAL PARLIAMENT


* Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he spent his summer break helping unload steel for the new inland rail project.

* Thousands of ns families are already saving hundreds of dollars off their energy bills thanks to the government dressing down electricity retailers last year, according to the prime minister.

* The government’s second priority in Defence – after building force capability – is to use the heft of that $200 billion military build-up to create jobs in manufacturing and advanced technology.


* The largest annual jobs growth on record – 403,000 new jobs, three-quarters full-time – occurred under the coalition’s watch in 2017 and we continue to deliver economic leadership.


* Last year company profits increased 20 per cent while average wages grew just two per cent – yet the government wants to give the top end of town a $65 billion tax cut.


“Manual labour, they think, is a Mexican bandit.” – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s assessment of the working class credentials of Labor MPs.

“They don’t have an economic plan to grow the economy; they just have an envy plan to dice it up and spread it around in accordance with their own prejudices.” – Treasurer Scott Morrison on the economic credentials of same.

“Isn’t it time, prime minister, to stand up for refugees, equality and a safe climate by bringing a bit of Bernie (Sanders) to Batman and electing the Greens member Alex Bhathal?” – Greens MP Adam Bandt does a bit of spruiking for the woman he hopes will join him on the crossbenches after a by-election.

“People in Sydney are not looking for the prime minister’s harbour views – they just want to be able to afford their first home.” – Emma Husar, Labor MP for Lindsay.


@karenlsweeney: Adam Bandt’s getting booed from both sides on his first question of 2018. Speaker interjects and says he can’t hear the question. “It wasn’t a good one anyway,” someone tells him.

Wayne Swan – @SwannyQLD: Turnbull lectures the nation on the virtues of manual labour, but his only exposure to shovel-ready projects involved a silver spoon #auspol #qt

@workmanalice: Highlight of #SenateQT – Mathias Cormann bringing back the Wibble Wobble.

Hunter couple Jack and Violet Hill celebrate 75th wedding anniversary

Posted on 04/25/2020

Our magical milestone: Hunter couple celebrates 75 years of love Enduring love: Jack and Violet Hill said when they asked the minister to marry them, he answered “You poor fools!” Picture: Simone De Peak

Enduring love: Jack and Violet Hill on February 6, 1943, outside the steps of the Adamstown Methodist Church, which is now Adamstown Uniting Church. From left, Jack’s brother Lawrence Hill, Jack Hill, Violet Hill and Violet’s sister Alice McLean.

Enduring love: Jack and Violet Hill said when they asked the minister to marry them, he answered “You poor fools!” Picture: Simone De Peak

Enduring love: Jack and Violet Hill said when they asked the minister to marry them, he answered “You poor fools!” Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookI Love You Truly to present to her on vinyl.

He was “ecstatic” to take leave from his base at Fort Scratchley for their wedding at Adamstown Methodist Church,before they honeymoonedin Sydney.

Mr Hill transferred to the RAAF and was based at Rathmines.

The couple bought their first home in Cessnock, where they welcomed children Joy Humphris and Allan, before relocating to Buttaba in 1968.

Mr Hill retrained as an electrician and later oversaw safety in mines.

They’ve only been apart on a handful of nights.

“I didn’t like it,” he said. “We want to be together all the time, or we miss each other. She’s part of me now.”

Mrs Hill credited their long marriage to being good listeners.

“Everything that happens you’ve got to share –you grow closer because you know what each other is talking about.

“You’ve got to talk things over [if you argue] and everything comes right.”

The Hills havefour grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

READ MORE:A florist’s life 48 hours beforeValentine’s Day

Julian Wilson taking no-risk approach to return from shoulder injury

Posted on 04/25/2020

GROUNDED: Sunshine Coast surfer Julian Wilson in action at the Portugal Pro CT event at Supertubos Beach last October. Picture: EPA/CARLOS BARROSOWorld No.3 Julian Wilson is feeling no pressure to return from injury suffered in his new “second home” of Newcastle intime for the championship tour opener at Snapper Rocks next month.

And the 29-year-old believes missing the event would not hurt his chances of again featuring in the world title race.

Julian Wilson wearing the Hurley pink boardshorts.

For the past decade, the Coolum surfer has used the first major event of the season to raise awareness and funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation through wearing pink boardshorts or usinga pink board.

His mother, Nola, has twice beaten breast cancer and Wilsonhas helped raise more than $100,000 to continue the wider battle.

Wilson, though, is in doubt for the March 11-22 Gold Coast Pro and potentially the other n legs, at Bells Beach and Margaret River, after hurting his shoulder in a mountain bike fall at Glenrock State Conservation Area in Highfields last Friday week.

He rupturedhis AC joint and was unsure if he would be fitfor Snapper Rocks.

“I’m going to try, I’ll definitely be trying my best to compete there, but it just depends how my rehab goes,” Wilson said.“I’m going to have to take it week by week, but if I’m competing there, I’ll have the pink boardshorts and pink board to raise awareness around breast cancer.

“It’s the ninth year I’ve done the pink boardshorts and the total is getting healthy and it’s great to get the support.”

Wilson was injured while spendingfive weeks in the Hunter over the holiday season as he and wife, Newcastle model Ashley Osborne, prepare for the arrival of their first child.

Coming off his best year on the CT, Wilson was confident he could again challenge the likes of two-time champion John John Florence for the world title, despite the injury.In determining world title places, each surfer’sworst two performances of the season are not counted.

“I had one average result, at Margaret River, out of the leg last year, so I didn’t have a great start but obviously was still able to be well and truly in the world title race, so I’m not feeling an extreme pressure to be pushing the shoulder to be at Snapper,” he said. “I’ve just got to make sure I get it back to a healthy, strong position to go give the rest of the year a good crack.”

Wilson said the shoulder was improving but there was no time-framefor a return.

“I think it’s quite a common football and cycling injury,”he said.“Not too many people know what level it needs to be at to be able to surf, because of the movement you need, so I’ll have to see how it goes.But it’s improved. It’s settled down quite a bit and I’m not having to wear the sling as much.”

“You’re pretty reliant on that joint so I’m going to have to see how I go.”

Michael Bolton revels in his second act

Posted on 04/25/2020

American crooner and 90s icon Michael Bolton has announced he will tour in 2018.In a matter of months, will hit peak 90s nostalgia with not one, not two but three icons from the decade set to tour Down Under.

Celine Dion and Shania Twain, revealed they would be touring the country later this year and now their crooning-colleague, Michael Bolton, said he will also tour this year.

“My last tour of was in 2015 and I’m excited to be coming back in June,” Bolton told AAP.

Bolton made a name for himself with some very earnest ballads in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Said I Loved You… But I Lied and How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, accompanied by some equally sincere videos.

But the balladeer’s career has swerved off into a different direction more recently.

It began in 2011 when Bolton, who has chopped his once-signature flowing locks, made a comedy music video with Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island comedy troupe called Jack Sparrow. The sketch, made for US TV show Saturday Night Live, has since racked up nearly 180 million views on YouTube, much to Bolton’s surprise.

“That night at the afterparty, John Mayer came up to me and said, ‘tomorrow you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before’. Sure enough, the next morning I walked into the kitchen where my daughter was monitoring social media and said, ‘Dad, you’re not going to believe what’s happening’. The video had gone viral. A million views the first day and every next day until today we’re surpassing 175 million views,” Bolton said.

It led to some new opportunities for the singer, including last year’s Netflix Valentine’s Day special, and it’s also widened his appeal

“Ever since that video, I’ve had the pleasure of working with different teams of writers and producers on more comedy and of course, we reunited with The Lonely Island to create Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special which was awesome. I plan to never stop,” he said.

As far as he’s concerned, he’s always been a prankster to his friends and family but now the rest of the world finally gets to see this side to him.

Bolton made a flying visit to last week as part of the latest campaign for audiobook company Audible. He put his comedic talents to work, appearing in their latest ad using his song Said I Loved You But I Lied replacing the lyrics to “Said I read you but I lied”.

“The campaign brings back a lot of the themes of my classic music video, horses, eagles, and hilltops,” Bolton said.

“We nixed the fire but added a lizard. It was all very spontaneous and everyone just went all in.”

Geitz in shock Comm Games netball return

Posted on 04/25/2020

Laura Geitz has earned a shock recall to ‘s Commonwealth Games netball team.Laura Geitz’s joy has been tempered by Sharni Layton’s heartbreak with only room for one veteran defender in ‘s Commonwealth Games netball squad.

Geitz hasn’t played for since 2015 and missed the last Super Netball season to have her son Barney, while Layton was pulled from the side last year due to exhaustion.

Both former n captains were given last-minute chances to push their case for selection at a training camp last month but there was only space for Geitz when coach Lisa Alexander announced her side to defend their Games crown on the Gold Coast in April.

Midcourt star Madi Robinson was another surprise inclusion after the former vice-captain was cut before the Constellation Cup last year due to form.

“It was an enormously difficult selection, there’s no other way to say it,” Alexander said.

“What we have done is try to pick a team on form, on who is performing now. It’s been tough, as we have had so many great performers for us.”

Alexander warned that 30-year-old Geitz still had work to do to regain the form that made her one of the world’s best defenders.

“We didn’t have it in our minds even in January that she was going to make it to Comm Games, we just needed to see her out on court,” Alexander said.

“She understands that she’s got a way to go still to get her fitness back to being able to maintain that intensity for four quarters and mix in with our new group of defenders.”

Alexander said fellow goal-keeper Layton wasn’t quite ready for international netball again.

“We’re really happy with her progress …. she’s got a bit of work to do to continue her progress back to full-bore netball,” the coach said.

“She’s hasn’t played since Super netball and international netball is different.

“We’re looking forward to the future for her and she certainly will be in the mix for the 2019 World Cup.”

Alexander said the toughest selection decision came in the goal attack position, with Stephanie Wood and veteran Susan Pettitt preferred as partners to Caitlin Thwaites and captain Caitlin Bassett while Gretel Tippett and Tegan Philip were omitted.

Pettitt, 33, missed selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games after winning silver in 2006 and 2010.

“Susan Pettitt and Steph Wood did a magnificent job in that final Test against New Zealand and in the Constellation Cup as well and it’s all about performance and who can put those performances out at the time,” Alexander said.

“We have athletes in each area of the court who know what it takes to win a tournament at the highest level.”

Diamonds Games squad: Courtney Bruce, Laura Geitz, Susan Pettitt, Gabi Simpson, Stephanie Wood, Caitlin Bassett (capt), April Brandley, Kim Ravaillion, Madi Robinson, Caitlin Thwaites, Liz Watson, Jo Weston.

Board election won’t bite Bulldogs: Graham

Posted on 04/25/2020

James Graham was pushed out of Canterbury to make way for the arrival of Aaron Woods.Former Canterbury captain James Graham insists the Bulldogs have enough experience to ensure the turbulent board elections don’t interfere with their NRL pre-season.

Bulldogs football club members will vote on the future of the club at Sunday’s elections, after months of turbulent media coverage and recently reported legal action between current chairman Ray Dib’s supporters and Lynne Anderson’s reform ticket.

Graham was at times the face of the Bulldogs’ dramas in 2017, before he was eventually squeezed out of the club to St George Illawarra after salary cap pressure.

He also became well adept at dealing with dramas at Belmore, having regularly fronted the media alongside coach Des Hasler last year before he was sacked.

And while he is excited by the prospect of trying to impress during his first season at the Dragons, Graham insisted Canterbury’s off-field dramas wouldn’t be an issue for his ex- teammates when pressed on the matter on Monday.

“The boys there are too good, they know the drill,” Graham said.

“You have guys there like (new captain) Josh Jackson, Aiden Tolman, Josh Morris, they are going to focus the lads on doing the job on the field.

“Do you reckon guys like Jacko is going to let that interfere? Like you’re kidding me.”

Also working in Canterbury’s favour is the timing of the elections, according to Graham.

Sunday’s election will be held almost a week before Canterbury play their first trial against Canberra, and just shy of a month before their NRL opening-round clash with Melbourne in Perth on March 10.

“It’s in February before a ball has even been kicked,” Graham said.

“There are other people around the organisation as well who are going to be great at focus on the football.

“I can’t see it impacting things at all.”

Graham is into his fifth week of pre-season training in Wollongong, after having signed a three-year deal at the club.

Almost 400 games into his professional career after having run out for England, Great Britain, St Helens and Canterbury, the battle-hardened forward accepted the physical challenge of the contract but was confident he could be at his best for its duration.

“As it stands, yes,” the 32-year-old said.

“But I’m not naive enough to think that that might change, and I’m not naive enough to think that that might be the end either.

“You sign contracts because that’s what you’ve got to do.

“The focus is on this year. You can’t start looking too much further into the future.”

Regardless though, he said the passion that he’d become renowned for during his time at Canterbury wouldn’t change once he pulled on the Red V.

“When I’m playing I just like playing,” he said.

“The clubs and the country I’ve played for so far have really brought that out of me.”

Once upon a time, the phone book was useful

Posted on 04/25/2020

A few weeks ago, the latest edition of the local phone book lobbed on our front doorstep.

It was a bit smaller than it once was –back in the day it made a bloody great thump when it landed on your doorstep.

You could be inside with the door shut and you would still know the phone book had arrived.

Not so much any more. These days, you don’t know it’s been delivered until you walk out the door and find this tiny little book sitting on the porch.

For many people the phone book is now a great big anachronism.

No doubt the younger generations look at it with the same sense of confusion they have for cassettes, floppy discs and actual landline phones with rotary dials.

And so the phone book comes off the front doorstep and straight out the back door and into the recycling bin.

Which always strikes me as a little sad. Which is why I tend to hang onto them for a while before flinging them into the bin.

That’s because there was a time when the phone book really meant something.

For starters, it was an easy way to find out where someone lived because the phone books not only carried a person’s phone number but their address as well.

There was also a great sense of independence that came with getting your phone number listed for the first time –which only ever needed to happen when you moved out of your parents’ house and into your own place.

If you were moving into a share house, there may even have been an argument over who got to have their name in the book.

If you’d rung someone in the Yellow Pages and they were spectacularly unhelpful, you could cross out their name as a warning to other phone book users.

These days it seems they’re only good for weighing down the papers in your recycling bin –which is a bit of a shame.

SA solar network to create jobs: Premier

Posted on 04/25/2020

Jay Weatherill says installing Tesla batteries and solar panels in SA homes will create 500 jobs.The South n government’s plan to install solar panels and Tesla batteries in 50,000 homes will create hundreds of jobs, Premier Jay Weatherill says.

Mr Weatherill said about 250 jobs will be created from the installation of the panels and batteries and up to 260 more in the supply chain, as the government’s contract with Tesla requires local contractors be used.

The network of home solar systems, backed up by battery storage, would deliver the world’s largest “virtual power plant”, he said.

“The critical issue here is we are introducing a new generator into the system, a 250-megawatt generator, and the key to putting downward pressure on prices is new generation,” Mr Weatherill said.

“A large amount of power into the market at a time of peak demand, that has to lower energy prices because it shaves those summer peaks.”

He said independent analysis showed participants could expect their energy bills to be lowered by 30 per cent.

The $800 million project is being funded by a $2 million grant and $30 million loan to Tesla, with the company and other investors having to raise the rest of the funds.

Homeowners who have the systems installed won’t own the power they generate but will be able to buy it back from a designated retailer at a discounted rate.

The batteries will first be rolled out to a number of Housing Trust homes via an opt-in scheme and will later be offered to other households.

The premier said around 7000 people had already signed expressions of interest.

He said the government would release a market notice this week seeking a retailer to deliver the program.

The government also announced Tesla will establish a service hub in Adelaide’s south to monitor and service the batteries along with its other projects in the state.

Nation to become a ‘merchant of death’

Posted on 04/25/2020

THE government is going to pay us to build cluster bombs to maim the men, women and children of other countries!read the caption to a cartoon in theGuardian , and how appropriate it was, because that is what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his cronies are proposing.

TheSydney Morning Heraldreported that is set to become one of the world’s top 10 defence exporters under an ambitious $3.8 billiongovernment plan announced recently.

The new defence export strategy released by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week aims to put on par with majorarms-exporting countries like Britain, France and Germany within 10 years.

The plan will also put us on par with Israel, and so I wasn’t surprised to see Minister for Defence,Christopher Pyne, spruiking this proposal as he joined the Prime Minister’s line-up, for Mr Pyne has made many trips there.

Israel is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of military weaponry, both hardware and soft, all of which, according to the Israeli sales pitch, has been “battle tested”(in truth, we know that was in Palestinian Gaza and the West Bank).

If the big stuff only is counted, Israel ranks 10th in the world for arms exports, but if small arms, ammunition and electronic arms components are counted it would rank much, higher.

The government believes that the strategy will create new jobs and bolster ‘s shaky defence manufacturing industry, which struggles to sustain itself based on n Defence Force needs alone.

A big boost in exportswill insulate local manufacturers from the peaks and troughs – sometimes called the “valley of death” – of domestic demand.

“The centrepiece of the strategy will be a new financing facility that will make up to $3.8 billion available to n defence companies looking to sell overseas,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It will provide confidence to our defence industry to identify and pursue new export opportunities, knowing that when a deal stacks up and export finance is needed, it’ll be there,” hesaid.

But the government will also seek to boost exports in Europe, and the rapidly growing markets in Asia and the Middle East.

The government will spend a whopping $20 million a year to support the strategy:helping to identify export opportunities,making sure products are export-ready, and opening doors for n industry overseas.

A new n Defence Export Office will be established to implement the strategy, and annDefence Export Advocate will be appointed toco-ordinate with the industry, and state and territory governments.

Sadly, Labor said it supported defence industry manufacturing jobs and the best way to ensure the industry’s strength was by expanding its export capacity.

The number of jobs this $20 million will create is very questionable, and of course, could always be invested in less lethal industries.

As Richard Di Natale of the Greens said; “If Bill Shorten is truly committed to peace in the region, if he’s truly committed to clean energy technology, to health and education services, then (he should say)that the billions this government promises to waste on exporting this technology to the rest of the world needs to be spent on things that really matter.”