Andrew – Michmutters

Kalyn Ponga kicked out of toilet cubicle, video, Newcastle Knights, investigation, Kurt Mann

Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga looks set to be stripped of the captaincy after a video emerged of him being kicked out of a toilet cubicle with teammate Kurt Mann.

The video came to light on Monday morning, sparking Ponga’s dad, Andre to claim the 24-year-old was “sick in the toilet and his mate went in to help him” while out celebrating “an exciting house purchase.”

Although, Fox League’s James Hooper suggested that wasn’t the real story, telling NRL 360: “You might have to get Pinocchio out again, we aren’t believing that fairytale are we?”

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Newly signed football manager Peter Parr will front the media on Tuesday and News Corp Journalist Phil Rothfield believes it could be the end of Ponga’s reign as captain.

“I think it’s a really, really bad look and I know the Knights are really concerned about the PR side of it and the culture side of it,” he told NRL 360.

“Do you know how serious I think it is, I think he will be stripped of the captaincy over this.”

Ponga was announced as co-captain alongside Jayden Brailey in February, however with the latter missing for a lot of the season Ponga carried the responsibility himself for the first 16 rounds.

Hooper agreed that “it’s a bad scene” and urged the Knights to come down hard on Ponga given prop David Klemmer was stood down for an on-field incident involving a trainer.

“If he’s had concussions, commonsense tells you he should be (on an alcohol ban), certainly Kurt Mann (who is injured) is supposed to be on an alcohol ban,” he said.

Put asked to leave toilet cubicle | 00:16

“They tore strips off David Klemmer for swearing at a trainer on the field, I’d argue that this is far more detrimental in terms of negative headlines for the club and if they’re fair dinkum they’ll read the Riot Act tomorrow morning , Peter Parr will front the media and he will say ‘enough is enough, this is the line in the sand moment, we’re not going to tolerate this sort of jibber anymore.’

“Off the back of that I think both of them are going to have to be issued breach notices and fines. Because if they’re going to breach David Klemmer and fine him for something that was trivial on the field with a trainer, you can’t cop this.”


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However Paul Kent fears stripping the captaincy could have the opposite effect and believes the club should “demand” Put “lifts his standards.”

“I would say to him ‘you’re the only guy at this club that can lead us out of trouble and we’ve paid you the money you deserve, you’re a senior player and an Origin start…’ and I would oblige him to start leading them out of the woods,” he said.

“If you’re going to spend that money on a player you’ve got to get a return out of him. The way to get the best out of Kalyn is not to banish him, not to sack him from the captaincy.

“I’m not excusing it, I would bring him in and give him the Riot Act but I’d say to him ‘you’re the guy mate’ and I would demand that he starts lifting his standards and he takes his teammates with him.

“If he’s got any sense of decency inside of him as a player from a football point of view he will respond to that.”

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Braith Anasta agreed.

“As much as he’s taken the mickey, this guy holds the key to success… you’ve got to get this blokes in your hip pocket,” he said.

“Kick him in the ass but say ‘this is it mate, this is your last chance.’ They should do some in-house stuff over the next 24 hours, teach him a lesson, scare the you know what out of him and go ‘c’mon mate.’

“If you just sack him as captain you start to lose your key player.”



NRL: Former Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden returning to club in new role


Andrew McFadden will return to the club he has once coached. Photo / Photosport

Former Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden is returning to the club.

The 44-year-old will take on the new role as general manager of recruitment, development and pathways.

His arrival will coincide with the departure of current football general manager Craig Hodges, who is leaving to pursue coaching opportunities in Australia.

McFadden has extensive background with the Warriors.

He arrived as an assistant coach to Matthew Elliott in 2013, then took on the top job when Elliott was sacked early in the 2014 season.

McFadden was in charge of the first grade team for three seasons – at a time that was successful by current standards – before he stepped down before the 2017 season.

But he stayed on as assistant to Stephen Kearney for two years, before moving to his current role with Canberra, working under Ricky Stuart for the past four seasons.

I have helped the Raiders reach the 2019 grand final and the preliminary final a year later.

McFadden also has an association with incoming Warriors head coach Andrew Webster. Webster was an assistant coach under McFadden at Mt Smart in 2015 and 2016.

“He has a great affinity with the club and with New Zealand,” said Warriors chief executive Cameron George. “He’s driven now to step away from coaching at NRL level and step into the critical area of ​​recruitment, development and pathways.

“We’ve invested heavily in development and pathways while being based in Australia for the last three years and we have even bigger plans in this space with our full football operation coming back to New Zealand from next season. Part of his role will be to identify and mentor young coaches in our system.”

Hodges had a close association with former coach Nathan Brown and was always unlikely to be a long-term prospect at the Warriors after Brown left the club.

“He has wonderful qualities and has made a fantastic contribution but he still has a strong desire to coach so unfortunately, with no position here, he is looking for opportunities in Australia,” said George.



ACT budget 2022: Winners and losers

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has released the details of his 11th budget as Treasurer — his third since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Here are some of the ways the budget may affect you and Canberra.

Winner: Home owners

An illustration of a house with a Hill's Hoist washing line beside it.

Hang on: don’t rising interest rates make home owners with mortgages losers?

Maybe, but the ACT government doesn’t have much to say about interest rates.

It does set household rates bills, though. And, while these will still increase, this year’s rate rises for Canberrans who own homes will be much gentler than in recent years.

The average bill is set to increase by 2.5 per cent — or $111 per year — in 2022-23.

That’s well below inflation and comes after a decade in which rates typically rose by 6 to 7 per cent a year.

Loser: Unit owners

An illustration of skyscrapers in the city.

Canberrans who own units and townhouses face much steeper rate rises than owners of houses.

The average bill for these properties will increase by 9.9 per cent — or $67 per year — in 2022-23.

These owners had been spared some of the very large hikes that house owners had borne in previous years.

But as the value of units and townhouses rises, their owners’ taxes will increase, too.


Illustration of pile of coins increasing in height

If you looked at Canberra’s economic indicators and nothing else, you might well conclude: “The pandemic must be over.”

The ACT economy is hurtling along, fueled by a relatively fast-growing population. The federal government has played a big part, employing more staff and consultants.

State final demand (the size of the economy) grew by 3.2 per cent last year after accounting for inflation. Residents and businesses are spending significantly more than they were.

And while rising electricity prices are weighing down other jurisdictions, the ACT has been largely spared due to its long-term renewable energy contracts.

All this has left the ACT budget hundreds of millions of dollars better off than was expected a year ago.

But, can it last?

Winner: Workers

An illustration of a man with a builders hat in front of a brick wall.

Make hay, Canberra workers: now, more than any other time in living memory, is the moment to ask for a pay rise or find a new job.

Treasury officials note there are consistently more job vacancies in the ACT than there are workers. They also expect new employment opportunities to continue to outpace population growth.

This hasn’t yet contributed to real pay rises; inflation is hitting everyone.

But salaries are already rising in Canberra, mostly in the private sector. The Albanese government has also ditched the 2 per cent a year ceiling on public servants’ pay rises.

Wage growth is forecast to reach about 3.5 per cent within a year, while inflation is expected to drop well below that.

Neutral: Employers

Illustration of person at desk writing

Job vacancies in Canberra are at record highs and under-employment is at a record low, and that’s not great news for employers.

The budget papers cite the lack of skilled workers as a significant risk to the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have also led to shortages of a range of materials.

Nonetheless, consumer confidence in Canberra is high. Household spending and business investment are buoyant, too.

The current shortages are a challenge to businesses, but the ACT has more than its share of market opportunities to make up for that.

Neutral: Homebuyers

Illustration of piggy bank and money notes on ground.

The ACT is continuing to phase out stamp duty in favor of land taxes, which will make housing cheaper than it would otherwise be.

Stamp duty will fall this coming year for properties priced below $1.5 million.

The budget also details plans for 30,000 extra dwellings in Canberra over the next five years.

Nonetheless, that’s what’s needed to house the ACT’s growing population.

There’s no quick fix — at least, not in this budget — for the ongoing crisis in housing affordability and rental availability.

Winner: Schools

An illustration of a school hat on top of a pile of books.

Canberra is growing quickly, and the city needs either new or expanded schools to cope with the influx, particularly in northside suburbs.

This budget confirms funding for a new early childhood and primary school in Whitlam, as well as a new high school in Taylor.

Majura Primary, in Watson, and Margaret Hendry School, also in Taylor, will be expanded to take on more students.

The government has also set aside money to install shades, improve ventilation and hire more cleaners for schools across Canberra.

Loser: Gambling

It’s about getting a little harder to make a profit from gambling.

The ACT’s betting operations tax — paid by casinos and businesses that run pokies, lotteries or betting games — is rising from 15 to 20 per cent.

The government says the increase will improve both the economy and Canberrans’ wellbeing.

Winner: Recycling

Illustration of 3 arrows going around in a circle

It’ll cost 1.75 per cent more to dump household, business or industrial waste at the tip.

That’s on top of the usual increase that’s part of the government’s indexation for fees and charges.

Tip fees had been frozen during the pandemic, but the government says it wants people to try to recycle more and reduce their waste.

Loser: Fossil fuels

Illustration of pollution in the form of smoke

The ACT already buys enough renewable electricity to cover 100 per cent of what it uses.

The government is now focused on cutting fossil fuels used for heating and transport.

Government offices that use gas will switch to electricity, and poorer Canberrans will be funded to replace gas appliances and install insulation.

Canberra’s gas and diesel buses will be replaced, gradually, with electric ones.

This budget also begins to fund incentives for electric vehicles, such as free registration and exemption from stamp duty.

Last year, 5 per cent of new motor vehicles in the ACT were electric. The government wants that to be as high as 90 per cent by 2030.

Neutral: Healthcare

An illustration of a hospital bed.

Healthcare is the giant of every ACT budget, accounting for about 30 cents of every dollar spent.

This budget significantly increases health spending — mostly for the expansion of the Canberra Hospital and to buy new clinical equipment.

However, many of the ACT’s ongoing healthcare problems stem not from a lack of facilities but from the perennial challenge of recruiting skilled staff.

That problem will continue to hang over the health system, and will likely worsen as a result of the ACT’s tight labor market.

Winner: Visitors

Line drawing of people waiting for airplane.

The borders have reopened, which means the battle for tourists is on.

The ACT government is bolstering two annual drawcards — Floriade and Enlighten — to attract interstate visitors.

Money has also been set aside to help secure blockbuster art exhibitions.

The budget continues to fund the redevelopment and expansion of the Canberra Theater Centre, though that will take years to complete.