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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has slammed a new TV advertisement by opponents of same-sex marriage as “total rubbish” licensed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The Coalition for Marriage’s debut TV ad, which Fairfax Media understands is due to air on commercial networks from Tuesday night, links marriage equality to sex education at schools.

It claims that in countries which have legalised same-sex marriage, “parents have lost their rights to choose”, and features an unidentified woman who says her son was told “he could wear a dress” to school.

A screenshot from the Coalition for Marriage’s new television advertisement. Photo: YouTube / Coalition for Marriage

The ad, which has been uploaded to YouTube and was authorised by Sophie York of the Marriage Alliance, does not directly address the question of whether same-sex couples should be able to marry.

But it features another unidentified woman who claims: “When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, this type of [school] program becomes widespread and compulsory.”

Mr Shorten, who opposed the postal survey and its plebiscite predecessor, told Fairfax Media the ad was “offensive and hurtful to LGBTI ns and their families”.

“This is exactly what was predicted when Malcolm Turnbull decided to waste $122 million on a postal survey. He gave the green light to this rubbish,” Mr Shorten said.

“This is not freedom of speech. This is freedom to hurt. I just want to tell LGBTI families that they are not on their own. Most people know this is total rubbish.”

The Labor leader nonetheless encouraged ns to participate in the postal survey and promised to “campaign hard” for a “yes” vote.

The ad also drew criticism from the executive director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, who labelled it “disgraceful and dishonest”.

“The people behind this ad know that the n people are for allowing all ns the right to marry, so they have resorted to misleading people, to pretend this is about something else,” he told Fairfax Media.

“Sadly, over the next few weeks, the n people will get used to this daily dose of red-herrings and lies, served up by a bucketful of cash. As the no side seek to divide ns, we will continue to seek to unite them.”

In a statement, Ms York said parents across “are speaking to each other about the impacts of radical LGBTIQ sex and gender education programs”.

She said parents had “a right to know how a change in the marriage law will affect what their kids are taught at school” because “the education departments won’t tell them”.

On the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Attorney-General George Brandis – a supporter of same-sex marriage – said any bill introduced under the Coalition would contain “very strong protections” for religious freedom.

But he warned against obfuscation of the issue by opponents of same-sex marriage.

“Let us remember what this plebiscite is about. It is about one question and one question only: should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry,” Senator Brandis said.

“That’s it, that is the only question the n people are being asked to decide.”

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The Canberra Vikings will be bolstered by the return of Wallabies scrumhalf Joe Powell, but a second-row battle will ignite the opening round of the National Rugby Championship.
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Wallabies rookie Izack Rodda is set to square off against the man he replaced in the Test squad, ACT Brumbies captain Sam Carter, when the Vikings play against Queensland Country on Saturday.

Powell, Rodda and Izaia Perese have been released from Wallabies camp and cleared to play in the first game of the NRC season.

Powell has played just 126 minutes of rugby in the past three months after being used sparingly since making his Wallabies debut against Fiji in June.

Rodda made his Test debut against New Zealand last weekend and the big Queensland lock beat Carter for a spot in the Wallabies training squad.

The individual battle will add spice to the clash at Viking Park as Carter fights to prove he deserves a spot in the n squad.

The Brumbies skipper was dropped despite a strong Super Rugby season, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika opting for Rodda, Rob Simmons, Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman.

Rodda, 21, is tipped as a star of the future and didn’t look out of place when he was thrown on to the field in an intense Bledisloe Cup clash last weekend.

Carter is expected to play the bulk of the NRC season if he isn’t recalled to the Wallabies squad, but the Brumbies will monitor his workload.

Powell will be a massive inclusion for the Vikings and will be keen to use the game to impress Cheika enough to earn his first Rugby Championship cap.

The Vikings will wear an ACT Kookaburras heritage jersey to connect with Canberra’s rugby community, while the junior finals will also be played at Viking Park this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies have re-signed back-rower Rob Valetini despite the 19-year-old not making his Super Rugby debut this season.

Valetini will use the NRC as his launching pad to Brumbies duties next year after impressing in his n under-20s campaign.

But the teenager will not be eligible to play for the Vikings against Queensland after being ruled out for 19 days following a concussion.

Valetini was given a mandatory 19-day stand-down time because of his age.

The 113 kilogram versatile flanker wants to learn off David Pocock next season and chase his dream of playing for after moving away from his family in Melbourne to link with the Brumbies.

“I am loving life at the Brumbies and I am happy that I have the opportunity to continue to learn my rugby at the club,” Valetini said.

“This last season has been very enjoyable and I have learnt a lot. Moving away from Melbourne was tricky at the start and I had to leave my family behind to chase my rugby dream. But I feel like I have exchanged one family for another.

“The Brumbies is a very close-knit group and they have made me feel very welcome. I have made some good friends during my time at the club and I feel I am improving as a player every day.

“The coaching staff here is first class and we have a great bunch of blokes in the squad and just being around the experienced guys means that I am learning new things and how to be a professional athlete.”

NRC ROUND ONE

Saturday: Canberra Vikings v Queensland Country at Viking Park, 3pm. Tickets available at the gate.


Dumped Wallaby Samu Kerevi is one of 12 players from the n squad who will be released by coach Michael Cheika for the opening round of the National Rugby Championship that kicks off this weekend.
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Kerevi, who had a game to forget against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney, will get a chance to find some form for Brisbane City in the NRC, should he be selected.

Second-rowers Kane Douglas and Adam Korczyk have been released for City, while recent Wallabies debutant Izack Rodda and Izaia Perese may get an opportunity for Queensland Country.

Joe Powell (Canberra Vikings), Tetera Faulkner, Curtis Rona and Billy Meakes, of Perth Spirit, and Marika Koroibete, Jordan Uelese and Lopeti Timani, of Melbourne Rising, have also been released from Wallabies duties to play for their NRC teams.

A similar-sized Wallabies squad will fly to Perth on Sunday for their next Test against South Africa at nib Stadium.

Meanwhile, Perth Spirit captain and Western Force representative Michael Ruru says it would be detrimental for the code in Western if they were to lose their NRC side.

With the axe hanging over the Force ahead of next week’s appeal in the NSW Supreme Court, people in the west are concerned Rugby WA may be stripped of its NRC franchise as well from next season.

“It’s still a bit up in the air,” Ruru said. “We’ll just have to roll with it and see what happens.

“It’d be detrimental to the game if it wasn’t there. You’ve got these young kids coming up, aspiring to be footy players and playing club rugby with aspirations to play NRC ??? so if there’s no NRC squad there’s no real point to play rugby in WA, other than socially, because there’s no aspiration to go higher.”

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver, who will leave his position in the next few months, said having an NRC team in the west was “absolutely” imperative.

“We really want to make sure that there is the appropriate player-development pathway in every corner of the country, including WA,” Pulver said. “My own personal view is a Perth NRC team is a very important part of that pathway.”

Pulver later joked that when he makes an appearance in Perth next week to watch the Wallabies, “I suspect a couple of Western Force fans might sidle up beside me, so I can look forward to that”.

NSW Country Eagles Paddy Ryan said it would be a shame if the Spirit, last year’s NRC champions, did not feature in the competition in years to come.

“If they weren’t to have a Super Rugby team and the decision were to be upheld, I think they should certainly have something for the NRC,” Ryan said. “They won it last year, they’ve always been strong. If you asked a few of them they would say their Super Rugby success for the Force came off the back of how close the Perth Spirit team was.”

Players from all nine NRC teams were present at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday morning for the launch of the tournament, which will see a Fijian side added for the first time.

“The boys can’t wait to get on the field,” said Fijian Drua halfback Seru Vularika. “People back home are very excited. They can’t wait for the boys to play at our home ground. We’re going to play the Fijian style of rugby with plenty of offloads.”

2017 NRC round one fixtures (all kick-off times local)

Saturday September 2: Brisbane City vs Fiji Airways Drua at Ballymore, Brisbane, 3pm

Saturday September 2: Canberra Vikings vs QLD Country at Viking Park, Canberra, 3pm

Sunday September 3: Sydney Rams vs NSW Country Eagles at TG Millner, Sydney, 3pm

Sunday September 3: Perth Spirit vs Melbourne Rising at McGillivray, Perth, 3pm


In the market for a brand new property? Whether your budget is big or small, here’s two of southeast Queensland’s best new developments:ONE Palm Beach
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Have you heard of ONE Palm Beach yet? One of two sister developments on the Gold Coast by Velocity Property (the other being the sold out ONE Burleigh Headland), it’s promising to be one of the more luxurious offerings along the highly-desirable Gold Coast beachfront.

Just like the old auctioneer saying goes, they aren’t making any more land ??? and absolute beachfront is rarer still. Only recently a block with a 1970s house in Hedges Avenue sold for $6.5 million, which just goes to show how much value people are placing on the Gold Coast.

If Velocity had put up garden variety apartments on the beach, they would have flown off the shelves by themselves. But what’s on offer at ONE Palm Beach is a little more than that.

The luxury apartments are two per level so that means less neighbours and more peace and quiet ??? if you can hear them over the sound of the ocean. The units also promise to be eco-friendly, offering powerwalls, solar glass panels and natural cooling methods to save on power bills and the environment.

That’s not to say the developer skimped on the luxury features??? there’s marble in the bathrooms, marble in the kitchens, which also feature Miele appliances and butler’s pantries.

Every apartment has an ocean view, from the wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows that take up as much space as possible. With three bedrooms in each apartment and anywhere from 170 to 250 square metres of space, downsizers won’t have to compromise much when making the move either.

Apart from the obvious beachfront location, Palm Beach is conveniently located near the Burleigh Village, which has seen a renaissance of cafes and restaurants in recent years.

If this the first time you’ve heard about ONE Palm Beach, you’d better get onto it quick. More than half of the apartments are sold already. Prices for the remaining units start at $2,195,000.

Click here for more details. Essence Estate, Cotswold Hills

On the other end of the spectrum, a brilliant opportunity to grab some land for a remarkably affordable price has come up, just outside of Toowoomba.

Essence Estate is a master planned community nine kilometres from Toowoomba’s CBD, with blocks starting from $149,900. Land sizes vary from 400 square metres to nearly 750, giving buyers plenty of land to build their perfect home.

Essence is very much a family-orientated development, with lots of emphasis placed on how family-friendly Toowoomba is. And it’s all true ??? the “Garden City” has graduated from being a “large country town” to a thriving regional centre, with lots of opportunities for families to establish themselves.

As a city, Toowoomba has incredible heritage and historically good infrastructure and education facilities. Now it’s beginning a journey towards becoming a commercial and retail hub.

The Wellcamp airport has provided a boost to the local economy and commercial developers are building a huge new shopping centre which will bring more jobs and options for locals.

Just a short drive in to Toowoomba takes you to those history rich attractions, such as the Empire Theatre and a variety of gardens, which presents plenty of opportunities to keep busy on the weekend.

As Toowoomba grows, more developments are beginning to spring up, giving buyers more of an opportunity to buy into the rapidly expanding regional city; Essence is one of the first to do so.

After you buy you have 18 months to build your home, which is subject to approval to covenant laws. That means that you can rest easy knowing Essence will keep the same look and feel for years to come, protecting the value of your home.

Interested buyers are encouraged to get in contact with Colliers International’s Brad Lipp. Click here to find his phone number and the listing on Domain.


The AFL Commission and league bosses could not reach a resolution on the expansion of the AFL Women’s competition at Tuesday’s day-long board talks in Geelong and have put off a decision on the distribution of new licences until grand final week.
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A robust two-hour debate broke up with chairman Richard Goyder and his commissioners instructing the AFL to do more work on the women’s format after refusing to ratify a range of recommendations put forward by Gillon McLachlan and his football lieutenant Andrew Dillon. Eight AFL clubs, including five provisional licence-holders, face a nervous wait of a further five weeks before learning whether their clubs will be handed licences in time for the 2019 season.

The hot favourites are Geelong, West Coast and a hybrid North Melbourne-Tasmanian team, with Richmond and St Kilda also determined to convince the commission their submissions are compelling. The Kangaroos had tentative plans to fly to Tasmania this week and hold a joint announcement with premier Will Hodgman had their push been successful, but that has been placed on hold.

Gold Coast, led by new boss Mark Evans, have also heavily lobbied to join Brisbane as the second Queensland team, while Essendon and Hawthorn – which did not bid last time – have put forward strong cases.

The disputes yesterday centred not only on the number of clubs and which clubs deserved licences but also the structure of the competition once the league increased and whether the competition would be played in two conferences from 2019.

There were a wide range of different views at the meeting with some commissioners and executives concerned at pushing forward too fast for talent to develop while others were strongly of the view that the AFL – having brought forward the launch of the national league by several years – should continue to maintain its ambitious expansionist strategy.

Tuesday’s talks marked the second time this season the commission has failed to accept a recommendation from its executive regarding the expansion of the AFLW. In May it instructed the AFL team to do more work on its proposal before capping the league at eight teams for another year.