Critism a ‘conspiracy’ says Kalmadi

In an interview with CNN India, Kalmadi was questioned about the constant criticism of the New Delhi Games over claims of corruption within the organising committee, the massive delays in construction and substandard building work.


When asked whether the criticism was a conspiracy from western countries who could not accept that India could organise a successful Games, Kalmadi agreed.

“Definitely, that’s part of it,” he said.

Pressed further on whether the western countries had conducted a conspiracy to damage India’s reputation in the world, he said “I don’t want to say to much but we’ll talk after the Games are over.”

Before the Games open on Sunday, they have been blighted not only by terrorism threats and a dengue fever plague, but construction deadlines which have been missed by months, a footbridge at the main stadium collapsing last week and filthy, unsafe and incomplete apartments at the athletes village.

But, as chairman of the Games organising committee, Kalmadi said he never thought of resigning during the controversy, even when he was caught up in accusations of corruption in the issuing of contracts for Games work.

“Never, never, my team of 4000 people is working day and night to make this a great games and I have the full support of the government,” he said.

He said he wants an inquiry held after the Games to clear his name of all accusations.

And while he accepts the blame for the delays in construction and the chaos of the athletes village, he is still confident the Games will succeed.

“I will take the blame but I don’t listen to much … but when the Games are over, I hope I get the credit,” he said.

He also said Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper should also take some responsibility for the failures in preparation rather than just blame the Indian government and the organising committee.

“Mike Hooper has been in Delhi for the past four years and he should have known what was happening, there’s no point blaming the government,” he said.

“Definitely, he could have done much more, I could have done much more.”

Moneghetti stokes international rivalry

The pressure will be on British teams to perform at the Delhi Commonwealth Games with the 2012 London Olympics looming, says Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti.


Australia are backing up from their most successful Games’ medals haul – 221 in Melbourne, including 84 gold.

And they would be forgiven for being confident of going close again after sending the biggest away Games team to Delhi – 378 athletes.

But asked if there was pressure on Australia to provide a strong showing ahead of the London Games, Moneghetti said: “No – but I am sure England are very conscious of that.

“It’s not something the Australian team is concerned about. “I think they (England) are pushing up the rivalry more than us, that’s what England like to do.

“And they have got the home games (in 2012) so the pressure is on the British teams I think.”

England combined with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as Great Britain to finish ahead of Australia on the medal tally in Beijing – it marked the first time they had achieved the feat at an Olympics since 1988.

Despite finishing a distant second in Melbourne with 36 gold, England are still expected to threaten Australia’s dominance in Delhi as they count down to hosting the Olympics.

And Moneghetti played up the underdog role in the looming battle, throwing doubt on whether Australia would repeat their Melbourne heroics in India.

“It is going to be difficult to match that, obviously it was a home games,” he said.

“The set up here is different and the sports have changed – triathlon and basketball are not on the program and there is the introduction of archery, wrestling and tennis.”

Rampant Opals thrash Greece

The Greeks had shown some decent form in fighting losses against the United States and France in the opening round, but put in a dreadful effort against a rampant Australian side keen to stamp their authority on the tournament.


Lauren Jackson was back to her usual self after a slow start to the tournament, finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Liz Cambage also found plenty of space against the undersized Greeks to add 20 points and six boards of her own.

Zoi Dimitrakou and Styliani Kaltsidou led the way with 10 points each for the disappointing Greek side.

Two of coach Carrie Graf’s pre-match messages were to dominate the boards and to stifle Greek captain Evanthia Maltsi, who entered the game averaging a tournament-high 23.3 points.

And the Opals responded by holding Maltsi to just nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and totally dominating a lopsided rebound count 58-22.

The starting group of Jackson, Cambage, Penny Taylor, Belinda Snell and Kristi Harrower also had extended court time together as they warm-up for some tough games ahead, including Wednesday’s clash with the United States.

“For us it’s still about building momentum in the tournament,” Graf said afterwards.

“But it was good to get our core starting group playing a chunk of minutes together.

“We also had a big focus on trying to limit Maltsi and I think we did a good job with that.”

Australia made a breathtaking start, suffocating Greece when they were in possession and sticking perfectly to their game plan to vault to a 25-5 lead seven minutes into the first quarter.

It seemed Australia were going to ring up a cricket score, but Greece’s reserves managed to drag them back into the contest, producing a 10-2 run to end the opening term trailing 27-15.

It was only a temporary respite, however, with the Opals immediately re-asserting their dominance with another outstanding start to the second quarter.

With Jackson heavily involved, Australia outscored the Europeans 15-3 to surge ahead and reach halftime leading 56-24.

From there the outcome was a formality, with the Opals eventually producing their highest score of the tournament and achieving the goal of holding Greece under 60 points.

“For us it was definitely a difficult game from the beginning,” Kaltsidou said.

“We played against one of the best teams in the world. It was the first time we’ve had that kind of experience.

“We tried but we knew it would be very, very hard for us.

“Now we want to win the game against Canada (on Tuesday).”

Australia next play France at 6pm on Tuesday (0200 AEST Wed).

Strauss open to an Aussie coaching England

Andrew Strauss insists appointing an Australian coach of England is an entirely feasible option for this summer’s Ashes.


Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, currently in charge of Yorkshire whom he led to the English County Championship title last year, has emerged as a leading contender to succeed the sacked Peter Moores.

New England and Wales Cricket Board director Strauss described Gillespie as “one of the candidates” during a marathon round of interviews at Lord’s on Tuesday.

Strauss also confirmed no way back for Kevin Pietersen, citing a “massive trust issue” for various reasons which still linger as a result of the controversial batsman’s previous difficulties with both his former captain and his employers.

As for the identity of the new coach, Strauss hopes to make an appointment in time for the start of the Ashes in July and he sees Australian birth as no impediment.

“We’ve had Australian support staff – David Saker as bowling coach, Troy Cooley in the past,” he said.

“When people are in the team environment, they’re professional.”

The difference with Gillespie, of course, is that as well as being born in Sydney he also took 259 wickets in 71 Tests for his country, including in five Ashes series.

Durham captain Paul Collingwood, who coached Scotland in the recent World Cup, has been mooted as one possible home-grown alternative.

But, speaking after his county completed a six-wicket Championship win over Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, he told the Independent: “It would have to be a ridiculous offer, something I couldn’t turn down.

“If I keep taking wickets and scoring runs and keep enjoying it and bringing some good youngsters through here at Durham, it is going to be a hard thing to give up.”

Pietersen hit back at Strauss and the ECB in his column for the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday night, accusing them too of an abuse of trust.

On Wednesday, on Twitter, he borrowed from a post sent previously by his Surrey team-mate Kumar Sangakkara – implying confusion at how Strauss could tell him he cannot be trusted to play yet also offer him an advisory role with England’s limited-overs team.

Pietersen, who turned down that invitation, tweeted: “Morning all, after a pretty bad day yesterday, I’ve given it a lot of thought overnight. I’m applying for the coaching job! #StraussLogic”

Liberatore re-signs with AFL’s Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs’ strong start to the year has been given a vote of confidence by 2014 best and fairest winner Tom Liberatore, who has re-signed with the AFL club until at least 2018.


The 22-year-old’s 2015 season ended before it began after he suffered a major knee injury during the NAB challenge in February.

But the emerging midfielder was happy with what he had seen from the seventh-placed Bulldogs and was pleased to extend his deal.

“It means a lot to me and obviously a great time for the club and yeah it’s good to be around a good group of young players and moving forward in the right way,” Liberatore told the team’s website.

“With a lot of young players re-signing it shows that the morale of the group is in a good spot, the chemistry with everyone’s very positive and the way that the boys get along as a group reflects our performance on the field I think.”

Liberatore joins Jake Stringer, Jackson Macrae, Easton Wood, Luke Dahlhaus and Jordan Roughead in recommitting to the Bulldogs this year.

He says the rehab for his knee injury is going well and he has been spending a lot of time around the VFL setup, trying to gain a further insight in to game management and the tactical side of football.

Western Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said Liberatore’s re-signing was great news for the club.

“Tom is an incredibly talented young player and is such a crucial part of our midfield and team in general,” McCartney said.

“Tom is universally liked and respected around the club and we look forward to having him back in the team next season.”

Liberatore has played 77 AFL games for Western Bulldogs after being taken as a father-son selection in the 2010 draft.

Pietersen jokes he’s applying for Eng job

Kevin Pietersen joked on Twitter that he had applied for the England coaching job on Wednesday, a day after being sidelined by new director of cricket Andrew Strauss.


“Morning all, after a pretty bad day yesterday I’ve given it a lot of thought overnight,” Pietersen wrote to his 2.56 million followers.

“I’m applying for the coaching job! #StraussLogic”

Strauss revealed on Tuesday that Pietersen, 34, will not be selected for England in the immediate future, citing a “massive trust issue” between him and the South Africa-born batsman.

England are currently without a coach following the dismissal of Peter Moores last weekend.

Pietersen, England’s leading all-time run-scorer across all formats, was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last year following a 5-0 Ashes whitewash defeat in Australia.

But after new ECB chairman Colin Graves opened the door to a recall by suggesting that he could force his way back into the team by playing county cricket, Pietersen signed for his former team Surrey.

He completed an innings of 355 not out for Surrey against Leicestershire on Monday, his maiden first-class triple century, only to be told later that day by Strauss that he was not part of England’s plans.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph published on Wednesday, Pietersen wrote: “I am absolutely devastated that it looks like my hopes of an England recall have been brought to a close, especially given everything that has been said and asked of me.

“They have used the word ‘trust’ to justify not selecting me, well, trust is a two-way thing. I couldn’t believe just half an hour after I had my meeting, the result of it was on the internet and on the BBC airwaves.

“Now I certainly didn’t tell anybody, so who did? They say they don’t trust me, but how can anybody trust them?”

Pietersen also revealed that Strauss, his former England teammate, had offered him a role as an advisor on one-day cricket, which he rejected.

The batsman missed the start of the final day of Surrey’s County Championship match against Leicestershire on Wednesday in order to have a scan on a calf injury, but a Surrey spokesperson said it was only precautionary.

Pietersen is due to fly to India on Friday to join up with his Indian Premier League team Sunrisers Hyderabad.

‘Mad Max’ returns three decades on

When director George Miller returned to his dystopian “Mad Max” franchise after 30 years for “Fury Road,” he wanted to find a visceral way to immerse the audience in his surreal, saturated post-apocalyptic world.


“It felt like going back to something we had done in the past,” Miller told Reuters. “I wanted to make a movie almost like visual rock and roll or opera that just sweeps you up into the screen.”

SBS MOVIES: From Beyonce to Burning Man: The cultural copycats of ‘Mad Max’

The 70-year-old director also wanted to put a powerful woman on the Mad Max map, with Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” premiering in Australia tonight, follows Furiosa on a mission to rescue a group of beautiful women imprisoned by warlord Immortan Joe.

Lone warrior Max Rockatansky, played by Tom Hardy, is captured by Immortan Joe’s War Boys and finds himself thrown into Furiosa’s plan.    

Furiosa provides the biggest progression in Miller’s world:a hardened female counterpart to Max in a society that reduces women to being “breeders” to the warlord.

“I don’t think a lot of filmmakers really truly have an interest to want to understand what women represent not only in the post apocalyptic world, but the world today,” said Theron, who shaved her hair off to play the warrior.

The new film plays out mostly through a constantly moving car chase across the Australian wastelands. Advances in movie-making technology allow Miller to place cameras in positions that give viewers an adrenaline rush by immersing them in the action.

The director said “Fury Road” is “uniquely familiar” to his first “Mad Max” film trilogy released between 1979 and 1985.

Those movies, which starred Mel Gibson, were also set in a world fueled by fire, rage and war.

Humble beginnings  

The Mad Max franchise is considered one of Australia’s best pop culture exports. 

Film critic, Craig Matheison said the orginal Mad Max  “easily stands as one of the most influential cinematic works in the medium’s modern history.”

The 1979 original was the start of a star career for Oscar winning director George Miller. It also launched the career of Mel Gibson, the original Mad Max who was 23 at the time. 

The original low-budget film cost around $350,000 to make yet earned around $100m at the international box office. It spawned the release of a further two successful movies in the 80s. 

The second installment in 1981 was Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The budget for this film was reportedly 10 times its predecessor. 

Mad Max 2 is currently ranked the number one Australian film on review aggregator RottenTomatoes广西桑拿,.

The third film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released in 1985. 

The script of the first film was originally a comic book concept, with no dialogue. 

“One of the ideas that drove the first Mad Max was Alfred Hitchcock’s notion about making films that can be watched anywhere in the world without subtitles,”  Miller said. 

Mad Max: Fury Road to closes Sydney’s Cahill Expressway

A post-apocalyptic procession of tricked-out desert vehicles has caused a three-hour shut-down of Sydney’s busy Cahill Expressway.

SYDNEY CBD: Traffic’s returned to normal after earlier closure of the #CahillExp from #SydneyHarbourBridge to Conservatorium Rd for filming.

— Live Traffic Sydney (@LiveTrafficSyd) May 13, 2015

The colourful demonstration was publicising the latest instalment in the Mad Max movie franchise.

The road between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music was closed between 10am and 1pm as vehicles from the action blockbuster roared into the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

Heavy traffic conditions are expected in the Sydney CBD around Macquarie Street, with buses delayed on Castlereagh, George and Elizabeth streets.

 Currently at 98% on the Tomatometer, looks like #MadMaxFuryRoad is one to see! pic.twitter广西桑拿,/YpexLDRf8o

— Superhero Of Steel (@SuperheroSteel) May 13, 2015

The film is on it’s way to rank among the three highest-grossing Australian films of all time. 

So far, critics like what they’ve seen. 

The creator of the original Mad Max trilogy has whipped up a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem that makes Furious 7 look like Curious George. – Michael Philips, Chicago Tribine

The fourth instalment of George Miller’s punky post-apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ saga feels like a tornado tearing through a tea party. In an age of weightless movie spectacles, here’s a movie that feels like it was made by kidnapping $150 million of studio money, fleeing with it to the Namibian desert, and sending footage back to Hollywood like the amputated body parts of a ransomed hostage – David Ehrlich for Time Out

Imagine a movie where Tom Hardy is the point of calm. Max’s re-enfranchisement is a triumph of barking-mad imagination, jaw-dropping action, crackpot humour, and acting in the face of a hurricane – Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine Top rated Australian films on Rotten Tomatoes Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior – 100%Breaker Morant – 100%Mad Max: Fury Road – 98%Animal Kingdom – 96%Picnic at Hanging Rock – 94%The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – 93%The Piano – 90%Crocodile Dundee – 89%Gallipoli – 88%Shine – 90%Mad Max – 88%Rabbit Proof Fence – 88%  Replacing Gibson

Tom Hardy said he did not try to fill Gibson’s “Mad Max” shoes.

Instead, he sought to further Miller’s vision of the tormented Max, who spends half the film muzzled by his captors and is haunted throughout by visions of his dead family.

“This is George’s world and he’s pushing the boundaries and endeavoring to grow it and develop more the world of the postapocalyptic landscape that it’s set in,” he said.

Tahiti FA director Temarii banned for eight years by FIFA

“The adjudicatory chamber has determined that Mr Temarii’s conduct violated FIFA code of ethics articles on.


.. general rules of conduct, loyalty, confidentiality, conflicts of interest and offering and accepting gifts…,” said FIFA’s ethics committee in a statement.

Temarii, the general director of Tahiti’s FA, was suspended from all football activity for one year in 2010 following an investigation into allegations he offered to sell his vote in the World Cup hosting contest to undercover newspaper reporters.

Nigeria’s Amos Adamu, a fellow FIFA executive committee member, was banned for three years in the same case.

FIFA’s ethics committee said Temarii then accepted “an amount of 305,640 euros from Mr Mohamed bin Hammam, who was then a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the AFC President, to cover the costs of his legal expenses in the context of an appeal.”

“Temarii received the money in January 2011 following a meeting with Mr Bin Hammam in November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur,” added the statement.

Temarii, who was also president of the Oceania Football Confederation at the time, lost his appeal.

Qatari Bin Hammam, another FIFA executive committee member, was initially banned by soccer’s world governing body for bribery ahead of the 2011 FIFA presidential elections in which he was standing against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

Bin Hammam eventually overturned the verdict after a lengthy court process only to be suspended following a review of AFC accounts by FIFA who accused him of repeated violations of the ethics code during 2008-2011.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Dozens feared dead in Philippine factory fire

A fire at a Philippine rubber slipper factory killed 31 workers on Wednesday and dozens were missing and feared dead, government and fire officials said.


Ariel Barayuga, head of bureau of fire protection, said investigators were trying to determine the cause of fire in the capital, Manila, that trapped workers at the two-storey factory building of Kentex Manufacturing Inc, which makes flip-flops and slippers.

A fireman who gave his name as Soriano said 31 bodies had been found, adding most of the victims had died of suffocation.

“There could be more buried under debris,” he said.

“There was someone who was welding at the main entrance and suddenly there was an explosion. It was really fast.

” He said there were flammable materials and chemicals that helped spread the flames. About 200 to 300 people worked in the factory, according to Veato Ang, the factory owner.

“It just broke out and people started running,” he said. Thirty-nine workers had been accounted for, but 65 were reported missing and feared dead. Portions of the wall and roof on the second floor also collapsed and hit some of the workers.

“I have been informed that 65 people could not be located and might be inside that building,” Mayor Rex Gatchalian told journalists.

“I was told no one survived inside, but I am still hoping some of those trapped were able to escape the building safely.” About 150 people died in the worst fire in Manila which broke out at a popular disco in 1996.

“We were all confused because almost everybody was panicking,” Jun Panalo, a worker who jumped from the second floor, told reporters.

“I jumped out, and then someone followed me. I jumped through the fire. My hair was burned.” (Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Dallaglio says exiles should not expect England call

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has established eligibility rules for international call-ups, meaning those not playing in England will be barred except “in extraordinary circumstances”

Stuart Lancaster names his 45-man squad for the tournament later this month, with many trumpeting the talents of France-based duo Steffon Armitage, who won the European Champions Cup with Toulon, and Clermont Auvergne full back Nick Abendanon.


Dallaglio, however, says any relaxation of the rules could undermine all of Lancaster’s hard work in creating a united dressing room after the cracks that appeared at the 2011 World Cup under previous coach Martin Johnson.

“From my point of view I honestly don’t believe the best place for an England international rugby player is down in the south of France,” Dallaglio, 42, said on Wednesday at the Daily Telegraph Business of Sport event in London.

“I think the players that went (abroad) did so because they were not good enough to get in the England team, although maybe they are now playing at the level of rugby where it is good enough. But I think it’s very clear, the best players should play in this country.

“If Steffon Armitage really wanted to play for England, then I’m sure if he went to the owner of Toulon and said, ‘Look, I’m really passionate about playing for England – would you mind if you release me from my contract? I’d like to go and join Bath or Northampton or Wasps or Harlequins, or any of those clubs’

“I’m sure he would do that because he’s a man who’s driven by passion, whether it’s for his club or for his country.”

“They are the right rules and I don’t think they should be broken.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Patrick to F1? Haas not ruling it out

“If the right sponsor came along, then anything is possible,” the California-based businessman told Reuters when asked whether the world’s best-known female racer might make a sensational switch from ovals.


Even as he spoke, on a visit to the grand prix paddock in Spain last weekend, his F1 team principal Guenther Steiner grimaced.

“Don’t put anything in that Danica is coming to F1,” laughed the Austrian, mindful of all the stories written since Haas Formula One confirmed they would be making their grand prix debut in 2016.

“We’ve been down that path last year,” agreed Haas, who nonetheless left no doubt that his Stewart-Haas NASCAR driver would be given serious consideration if the deal was right and she wanted to do it.

Formula One has not had a woman driver start a race in nearly 40 years and Patrick, who nearly tested for Honda in 2008, has been through the rumour mill many times already.

“We don’t want to sit there and say no to anything but the probabilities… obviously when she’s in NASCAR, it’s very difficult to participate in F1,” said Haas of the 33-year-old who in 2013 became the first woman to take pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500.

Recent events may make it easier, however.


Patrick’s long-term backer, internet domain name service GoDaddy Inc, announced last month they were leaving NASCAR at the end of the year and that has left her future in doubt although Haas sounded positive on that score.

“Danica Patrick is highly marketable and if anything we’re very lucky that GoDaddy is giving us enough time to find a sponsor that she’ll fit with, because she can sell anything,” he said.

“She has as much attention at the race track as any of the drivers so she’s a very valuable person.”

Haas F1 will be the first American-based team in Formula One since 1986 and will compete with Ferrari engines in a close tie-up with the Italian team.

They have already secured a European base in central England, buying the old Marussia factory in Banbury, and are making steady progress even if no driver announcement is expected for months.

“We kind of have to wait until mid-summer and really see who’s available. Obviously Formula One cars are a little unique; you probably have to have someone with relative experience of driving these cars,” said Haas.

“It would be a home run to put an American driver in an American Formula One team, but it takes a lot of alignment of the stars for that to happen.”


Haas said the team had acquired no equipment from auctions of the failed Caterham and Marussia teams, other than the latter’s super-computer, preferring instead to buy big ticket items such as trailers new.

He added that the team had about 90 employees with another 50 or 60 to be hired, and would reflect the ‘premium brand’ of his machine automation business.

“Right now we’re in that slow period of just kind of building things, putting things together,” said the 62-year-old.

“Our goal is to actually show that you can survive in F1 without the drama that some of the other teams go through. I think, from everything that I’ve seen, we’re going to be fine,” he added.

Haas said he was aiming to make the most of “NASCAR efficiencies”, buying in technology from different companies rather than doing it the traditional F1 way.

“We really don’t have any urgent need for sponsors but we’d certainly like to have some. But our goal is we’re going racing, whether we’re sponsored or not,” he added.

With the prospect of adding a Formula One schedule to the time needed to run his business and attend NASCAR races, Haas could be short of sleep next year but he laughed that off.

“I have no idea how I’m going to make all this work,” he smiled. “It is fun, might as well do it before you’re dead.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

‘Tony’s tradies’ key to budget win

The Abbott government is banking on “Tony’s tradies” to fire up the economy and give it a smoother post-budget ride than a year ago.


Labor says the budget is all about the government positioning itself for an early election. “

They haven’t done it for life in the 2020s,” Opposition Leader leader Bill Shorten told Sky News on Wednesday.

“They’ve done this budget to save Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s job, they haven’t done it to look at jobs of other Australians.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey insists an early election never featured in the government’s pre-budget calculations, while Prime Minister Tony Abbott says an election will be held “mid-next year”.

“We want to fire up Australian business,” Mr Hockey told the Nine Network.

“We want to take advantage of the massive growth opportunities that are going to come our way with the growth in Asia over the next few years.”

Mr Abbott said small business was the engine room of the economy and that’s why it was the big winner in the budget, joking on Sky News that they may be called “Tony’s tradies”.

“In the end, this budget is about jobs, growth and opportunity, that’s why we have focused our tax cuts on small business.”

Last year the government cut the carbon and mining taxes and this year it was the tax rate for small business that was being cut by 1.5 per cent, Mr Abbott said.

Small businesses will also be able to immediately write-off assets worth up to $20,000.

In an interview Sky New journalist David Speers asked the Prime Minister about about the small business package, which he said “seems to be particularly targeted at tradies.” 

“We had Howard’s battlers. Are these going to be Abbott’s tradies?” he asked. 

The Prime Minister jokingly responded with a better term –  “Tony’s tradies”.

“I want to encourage them to have a go; I think it’s in our DNA to want to have a go,” Mr Abbott said.

“We all love giving people a fair go, it’s only because most of us have a go that all of us can get the fair go that every Australian deserves.”

Whether or not “Tony’s Tradies” will fire up the economy, it has at least fired up reactions on Twitter.  

A budget put down by a gov out of ideas on how to stimulate the economy #TonysTradies #auspol #budget2015

— Comrade Jatan (@nickjatan) May 13, 2015Which daughter needs a reno Tony? #tonystradies #qt #auspol

— Shannon Martin (@auspawned) May 13, 2015Who actually coined the term #TonysTradies and Did Tony Abbott say it himself?

— Petra Campbell (@PetraAu) May 13, 2015Tony’s Tradies get around Mosman in Mercedes-Benz utes. #TonysTradies pic.twitter广西桑拿,/hAj8wLbBLd

— Andrew Rollason (@rollo75) May 13, 2015to bad #tonystradies are a dying breed since funding for training is disappearing. @TonyAbbottMHR #auspol

— Whosawhatnow (@Pounce64) May 13, 2015

The government has dismissed concerns small business will rort the new tax breaks.

“People aren’t going to spend money on their business if it’s not going to make them a dollar,” Mr Hockey told ABC radio when asked if he was worried people would claim plasma TVs and office couches.

Mr Abbott warned there would be “a lot of angry small business people” if the opposition and crossbenchers blocked the small business package in the Senate.

“Surely every member of this parliament wants to create jobs, every member of this parliament wants to give small business a fair go so that they can have a go for the benefit of everyone,” he told the Seven Network.

Zimbabwe’s Whatmore confident of successful Pakistan tour

Zimbabwe will be the first country to tour Pakistan since a gun attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 left seven players injured and six policemen plus two civilians dead.


The team leave on Sunday to play two T20 matches, starting on May 22, and a three-match one-day International series that begins four days later.

“I’m fully behind the tour and I believe it’s going to be a tremendous success,” Sri Lankan-born Whatmore, who coached Pakistan for two years from 2012, told Reuters via telephone from Harare.

“I understand others feel differently, but I would never put anybody else in an unsafe environment. I understand the significance of this tour to Pakistan and I’m very happy to go.

“To have a full member nation play international cricket in Lahore and the state of Punjab is hugely important for Pakistan and transcends cricket.”

A delegation including Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Alistair Campbell travelled to Lahore last week and was satisfied with the security measures to be put in place by local authorities.

The Zimbabwe squad announced on Tuesday sees the return of a number of experienced players.

Aggressive middle-order batsman Charles Coventry returns after four years away from the team, having turned down the opportunity to participate at the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup.

Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer quit cricket for golf last year but is now back with ball in hand having failed to further his career with the clubs, while there is a first selection for batting all-rounder Roy Kaia.


“All these boys have been brought in because of their performances. Kaia was the top run scorer in the domestic Pro50 competition and had an average of 70,” Whatmore said.

“Coventry is back specifically for the T20 team and has been playing really well, and Graeme Cremer can be a big value add and has settled in beautifully.”

This will be a first tour without stalwart batsman Brendan Taylor, who retired from international cricket after the 50-over World Cup earlier this year.

Whatmore is concerned about who can fill his boots.

“It’s a huge blow to lose him… a huge blow. It’s difficult to cover for someone like that in a short space of time, but we can only try the best we can.”

The tour to Pakistan will be a first for Whatmore since he signed a new four-year contract to coach Zimbabwe after his short-term deal lapsed at the end of the World Cup.

He is excited by the potential he sees in Zimbabwe cricket and his short-term target is to help improve their ODI ranking.

“I really think it’s a challenge, a different type of challenge to most places,” the former Australia batsman said.

“Zimbabwe are ranked at number 11 in ODI cricket and that is unacceptable and something that has to change.

“But there is real potential here to move ahead, I would not have signed on if I did not believe that. But it is something that needs time.”

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)