Malcolm Turnbull softens defence of superannuation changes as backdown looms

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas Defence Minister Senator David Johnston. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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PM Malcolm Turnbull welcomes HMAS Darwin home after seven months in the Persian Gulf. Photo: Michele Mossop

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has softened his rhetoric on the government’s proposed superannuation changes, potentially laying the groundwork for a backdown to soothe ongoing anger inside the Liberal Party.

Mr Turnbull has previously pledged no changes to the “ironclad” suite of proposals on high-end superannuation savings, which conservatives inside the party have criticised as retrospective and argued were a weakness during the election campaign.

The Prime Minister has now signalled that he is listening “very keenly” to the concerns inside his party amid reports that Treasurer Scott Morrison is considering various concessions.

“The reforms are important, but in the implementation and transition, there is work to be done. There always is with tax changes. They will go through the normal cabinet and party room process,” Mr Turnbull said on Sunday.

“We are listening very keenly, I am listening very keenly and carefully to concerns that have been raised by my colleagues, and of course by other people in the community as well.”

He said this consultation was always the case and “technical details” would continue to be addressed by the Treasurer.

Since the budget and intensifying after the Coalition’s underwhelming election performance, conservative MPs have said the superannuation proposals were damaging, in particular the $500,000 cap on non-concessional contributions, backdated to 2007.

Former defence minister David Johnston, who has been freely criticising various policies and the Coalition’s campaign strategy since being relegated to the vulnerable sixth spot on the WA Senate ticket, said the superannuation proposals were a “breach of trust” for which the government had paid a high price.

“Trust is something that politicians have very little of and we’ve burnt a lot of it in this campaign. Moving the goalposts and retrospectively adjudicating people’s entitlements is something that I think is repugnant to the way particularly people in Western Australia relate to Canberra,” Mr Johnston told Sky News.

“I think [Mr Turnbull] needs to reassess the situation,” he said, calling for the backdating of the $500,000 cap to be removed.

Labor’s financial services and superannuation spokesman Jim Chalmers said the Coalition had “made a mess of the changes from the very beginning”.

“The government is at war with itself over super and until that war is over it is impossible the Australian people to judge whether or not to support the original policy or any clean ups,” Dr Chalmers said.

News Corp reported on Sunday that Mr Morrison is contemplating backdowns on the cap, including exemptions for divorced couples, farming families and people who have inherited deceased estates.

The Prime Minister has previously ruled out changing the super policies, defending them as fair and laid out in the budget for all to see.

He has emphatically rejected that they are retrospective and last week said “all of our policies that we took to the election we will deliver”.

“Obviously we don’t have a majority in the Senate and plainly, as you know, there is always debate and sometimes compromise in this place but we took a very clear set of policies to the election, we campaigned on it very clearly, and that’s what we’ll be presenting,” he said last week.

In June: “I’ve made it clear there will be no changes to the policy. It’s set out in the budget and that is the government’s policy.”

Another proposal, dropping the annual limit of contributions taxed at the concessional rate of 15 per cent from $30,000 to $25,000 and from $35,000 to $25,000 for those over 50, has also drawn criticism.

MPs have argued these measures alienated the Liberal Party’s base, depleting their campaign volunteer ranks, scaring off donors and sending conservative voters to minor parties and independents.

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How Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation agenda failed to take flight

Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne and PM Malcolm Turnbull don mixed reality goggles at Saab in Adelaide on the campaign trail. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launches the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Former assistant innovation minister Wyatt Roy (right) – pictured with Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull – lost his seat Queensland seat. Photo: Andrew Meares

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched his government’s “innovation agenda” in December, it was with the kind of zeal he typically reserves for matters of technology, transport and transformation.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian business,” we were told, a variation on a theme he introduced when challenging for the Liberal leadership last September. “There have never been more opportunities on the horizon for Australians.”

The policy suite, including incentives for start-ups, research and collaboration, might have been worthy and necessary, but as a key plank in the Coalition’s re-election pitch, there is growing consensus it was a failure. The view inside and outside party ranks is that the PM’s excitement was not shared by voters, particularly in marginal suburban and regional seats.

Perhaps the disaffection was best summed up by Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who was first elected to the seat of Canning in Western Australian just days after Turnbull seized the prime ministership. “Canning isn’t going to be the next Silicon Valley,” he complained to his local newspaper the Mandurah Mail after the campaign. “A lot of what we were campaigning on nationally just wasn’t resonating with everyday Australians.”

Wyatt Roy, the assistant minister for innovation, who lost his Queensland seat, was in many ways the personification of the innovation agenda: youthful, agile, savvy. But he wasn’t convinced the strategy worked, either. He told the ABC’s 730 program the Coalition had lost “the ground game”, having failed to demonstrate to families why its economic agenda would enable their children and grandchildren to “grow up in a better world”.

Instead, Mr Turnbull spent much of his campaign time appearing at places of industry: advanced manufacturing centres, start-up hubs, steelworks.

“How awesome is this?” he began one enthusiastic press conference at a shipyard in Perth. It became a common refrain as the PM toured innovative workplaces across the country. And the motif went beyond technology and job creation. The Brexit vote showed the need for agility, the PM said. We were innovating in the NBN and city livability. Turnbull even described the Larrakia people’s negotiation of their native title claim as “innovative”.

Free-market think tanks, broadly supportive of the Coalition’s economic agenda, recoiled from this communications strategy.

“It turned into a cliche in the end,” says Darcy Allen, a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, who is writing a PhD on innovation economics. “The case for innovation should explain what innovation actually achieves for people – I didn’t really see that throughout the campaign.”

Allen says the link between innovation and the PM’s ubiquitous catchphrase “jobs and growth” was opaque at best. “People don’t respond to how innovation occurs,” he explains. “That’s not important to people. People actually have to feel what the change is – lower cost of technology, higher living standards. I would have been selling how technology drives down costs, which is a serious concern to many people.”

Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne is understood to be livid about the criticism being propelled by some colleagues. He tells Fairfax Media the Coalition’s win at the ballot box is an endorsement of its entire economic plan, and “research clearly outlines the innovation agenda was well received by Australians who recognised its importance in our economic future”. Anyone suggesting innovation should have been jettisoned from the forefront of the campaign is “out of touch”, he says.

Within the PM’s office, there is recognition that the message did not resonate in key parts of western Sydney, Tasmania and other regions. But there is also a view that the focus on innovation “worked” in so far as it was comfortable ground for the PM – it played to his strengths and he was clearly in his element on that topic.

A source close to the PM says the Coalition chose to take the high road when it came to its innovation pitch: laying bare the economic challenges facing Australia, but presenting a solution at the same time, to avoid scaring people.

It may have accidentally done the exact opposite. “People are always edgy about change,” says one Liberal MP. He observes that while policy wonks, politicians and journalists are largely at ease with free trade, foreign investment and economic change, the same cannot be said for most voters. “The arguments for those are taken for granted in Canberra. But in the community there’s a lot of angst about those things,” the MP says.

Where does that leave the ideas boom? Still in full swing, at least on paper. Grants are starting to flow, tax incentives for investors began on July 1 and government-funded “Landing Pads” for Australian entrepreneurs are opening in key overseas areas. Next week we will know if Pyne keeps the innovation portfolio and who, if anyone, will be his assistant minister. In any case, it is certain to remain a key plank in the Turnbull economic plan.

As Pyne tells Fairfax Media: “This is a long-term policy in which the government is trying to achieve a cultural change in thinking. This doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t instantly happen in nine months.”

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Aussie band Kid Zr0 signs with Loudmouth MusicVIDEO

OFF TO LA: Kid Zr0 features (from left) Kurri’s Bailey Graeber and Central Coast boys Jamie Bailey, Brandon Alexander, Lee Hackney and Jacob Richardson.It has been a whirlwind six months for up-and-coming Aussie band Kid Zr0.
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The band –whichfeatures Bailey Graeber(18)on drums, and Jamie Bailey (18), Brandon Alexander (15), Lee Hackney (18) and Jacob Richardson (17)–will head off to Los Angeles at the end of the month after signing with Loudmouth Music.

After their original drummer left the band, Graeber was brought in to thegroup inJanuary.

“Then it all pretty much exploded,” Graebersaid.

With a pop-punk sound that could be described as Blink 182 meets 5 Seconds of Summer, Kid Zr0 is building a steady fan base of ‘Zr0 Heroes’ from all over the globe.

They have even caught the attention of popsuperstar Pink, who shared their cover of her hitJust Like Firewith her 32 million Facebook followers.

Artist managersMichael Browning andBrent Jeffrey were impressed with their demo and soon took them on board.

“We knew weneeded to take a look at these guys, we liked what they were doing,”Jeffrey said.

Former AC/DC manager Browning, who signed INXS to his label Deluxe Records in the early 1980s, connected Kid Zr0 with Loudmouth Music –the label behind artists includingNatasha Bedingfield (Unwritten) and The Script.

Jeffrey said the boys have continued to live up to their expectations.

“The fact that they have been given an opportunity like this, they are more driven and work-orientated, and have beenputting all their energy into rehearsing and writing,” he said.

“They are starting to connect with a lot of kids internationally, and the response from the fans and the industry has been really positive.”

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Qandeel Baloch knew her critics would ‘keep on hating’ but she didn’t care

Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was allegedly murdered by her brother in an “honour killing”. Photo: Twitter @QandeelQuebeeShe was a social media star known as Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. But model and singer Qandeel Baloch used her fame for more than just self promotion, aiming to challenge the deeply conservative mindset of her Muslim nation.
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“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” she said, in one of her final Facebook posts. “I believe in equality. As … women we must stand up for ourselves…we must stand up for each other…we must stand up for justice.”

On Friday, Baloch described herself as an “inspiration to those ladies who are treated badly and dominated by the society” and said she knew her critics would “Keep On Hating … DAMN but Who Cares”.

Hours later she was dead, allegedly murdered by her brother in a so-called honour killing.

Baloch, 26, was a polarising figure in Pakistan and beyond. Her bold, often provocative, videos, photographs and comments went viral online, where she had more than 750,000 supporters on Facebook. While Baloch was praised by some for her independence and defiance of social expectations, others subjected her to death threats and frequent misogynistic abuse.I will fight for it. I will not give up. I will reach my goal. & absolutely nothing will stop me…. https://t上海龙凤419/fjDhN6Aa1B— Qandeel Baloch (@QandeelQuebee) July 14, 2016 On July 5, she wrote that she was “trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices… It’s time to bring a change because the world is changing. let’s open our minds and live in present.”

But the old practices – even, apparently, in her own family – were not changing fast enough. Baloch, who was born Fauzia Azeem, was killed in her family home in the city of Multan. Contrary to earlier reports that she was strangled, Nabila Ghazzanfar, a Punjab Police spokeswoman, told Al Jazeera the initial post-mortem showed Baloch’s nose and mouth had been pinned shut, blocking off her airways.

Baloch’s brother, Waseem Azeem, was arrested and confessed to the killing, Pakistani news channel ARY News reported on Sunday. Presented to the media by police, he said he was not ashamed.

“We are respected people of Baloch cast,” he reportedly said. “Qandeel’s videos making rounds on social media could not be tolerated, hence I solely decided to kill her. I am not ashamed of my conduct.”

Baloch’s death prompted tributes on social media, as well as anger and protests in Pakistan, reigniting the debate about “honour killings”. Almost 1100 women were killed in Pakistan last year by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families, according to the country’s independent Human Rights Commission. Such figures are widely thought to be “severe underestimates”, the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network says.

The chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won an Oscar this year for her documentary on honour killings, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, were among many who condemned the killing. #QandeelBaloch killed in an #honorkilling- how many women have to die before we pass the Anti Honor Killing Bill?— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) July 16, 2016

​#QandeelBaloch was a Pakistani woman and deserved the right to life. No ifs, no buts. Punjab government must hold murderer accountable.— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) July 16, 2016Honour killing of artist @QandeelQuebee celebrated by Pakistanis. #QandeelBaloch Via @i_k_bpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/Kp4VewWMhF— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 16, 2016   – with Reuters  

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Sydney barrister loses court battle over silk appointments

A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: James Davies A Sydney barrister has lost her legal battle against the Bar Association. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
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 It is a title coveted by barristers that has triggered court spats and attempted leadership coups.

Appointments to the prestigious rank of Senior Counsel – or silk – are made annually and are a reliable source of controversy among the NSW bar.

Days before applications close on July 29 for the latest round of appointments, the Federal Court has ruled on the latest stoush involving a barrister whose silken aspirations were thwarted.

Sydney barrister Mary Walker, who specialises in mediations, took the NSW Bar Association to court after her application for appointment as silk was knocked back last year.

The title is prized by barristers because it allows them to charge more for work and sets them apart from their peers as experts in their field.

Ms Walker sought a series of orders, including a declaration that, in dealing with her application, the association had acted in an “oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner”.

She also sought a declaration that the Bar Association protocol governing silk appointments – which applies to “practising advocates” – does not shut out barristers who work largely or solely as mediators rather than appearing in court as advocates.

Her legal battle followed a high-profile stoush in 2014 involving Sydney barrister David Smallbone.

He submitted his application for silk 12 minutes after the 5pm deadline and took the association to court after it was rejected for lateness. The Supreme Court dismissed his case.

Ms Walker applied for appointment as silk in 2014 but was told her application was not considered because it was “not within the protocol”.

She tried again last year and was told her application had been considered but knocked back.

In a meeting with the then Bar Association president, Jane Needham, SC, and silk selection committee member Michael Fordham, SC, Ms Walker asked if the association had determined the meaning of the term “practising advocate”.

Mr Fordham replied: “We had deferred any consideration of [that question] … until after your application was determined on the merits. Your application was not enough.”

Federal Court judge Anthony Besanko said the silk selection protocol was “in the nature of a policy document” and did not create legal rights and duties that could be ruled on by the court.

He noted silks were able to charge higher fees and the title was “a public identification of an ability to provide outstanding services”.

“No doubt disappointment, even great disappointment, attends the rejection of an application,” Justice Besanko said.

“Even so, it is not any economic interest or potential economic interest which is sufficient to justify the court’s intervention, particularly having regard to the nature of the protocol.”

He rejected Ms Walker’s argument that she had been treated in an oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory manner.

The title of Senior Counsel (SC) has led to a series of ructions among the NSW bar.

Tensions reached boiling point last year when a group of barristers, agitating for the return of the title of Queen’s Counsel (QC) for silks – last used in 1992 – tried to oust the existing Bar Association leadership team to advance their cause with the state government.

The move would require a change in legislation.

The Bar Association is expected to announce this year’s silk appointments on or by October 7.

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Western Suburbs score late try in 16-all draw with South Newcastle

Last-minute draw has ongoing ladder effects TweetFacebook Newcastle RL – Souths v Wests at Townson OvalPictures by Marina NeilA late try in the corner to Simon Williams saw Western Suburbs and South Newcastle split the competition points after a thrilling 16-all drawat Townson Oval on Sunday.
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Williams levelled proceedings with just 75 seconds left on the clock and thenWests halfback Jade Porter had the chance to steal a win with a sideline conversions after full-timebut his normally sweet left-foot strikewas unsuccessful for thefourth timethat afternoon.

Instead both sides shared the spoils and remain locked togetherin third position on the Newcastle Rugby League ladder with15 points –two shy of frontrunners Macquarie (17) and two in front of Kurri Kurri (13) with Lakes (16) and Cessnock (14) sitting either side.

This congestion was also created by other round 12 results. Macquarie’s hard-fought 20-14 victory over Central Newcastle at St John Oval on Sundaysaw them reclaim pole positionafter now second-placed Lakes were defeated by the in-form Bulldogs 18-12 at Kurri on Saturday. The Goannasretained fifth spot after accounting for Maitland10-6 at Cessnock on Saturday.

It means just four points, or two wins, separate the top six teams with four rounds remaining, which sets upa grandstand finish to the 2016 season.

EVEN: South Newcastle’s Brendan Simpson tackled by Western Suburbs pair Chris Knight and Peter Mannion on Sunday. Picture: Marina Neil.

Adding to the drama was a tight tussle between the Rosellas and Lionswith a try thegreatest margin at any point throughout the see-sawing encounter.

First-half tries to Joel Brown and Williams has the visitors ahead 8-4 at the break with Jarod Flanagan scoring in between for Souths.

The hosts then crossed and converted courtesy of William Heta for an advantage of two before Willis Alatiniput Wests back in front 12-10.

An effort by Sam Cookhad the Lions in sight of victory for the last 20 minutes but a second to Williams locked it all up.

“We split thepoints in the end but out on the field it felt like we had done enough to win, especially conceding that try right at the end,” Souths captain-coach Todd Hurrell said.

Wests mentor Steve Storrie thoughthis squad were fortunate.“We were lucky to get away with it in the end but at least we got something out of it,” he said.

Macquarie and Central were 10-all at half-time.

Steve Kidd

In other Newcastle Rugby Leaguenews, Steve Kidd will rejoin Cessnock as head coach next year after leading themto a grand final in 2014.

The former Kurri Kurri Bulldogs player was in charge of the Newcastle under-18 representative team this season and will take over from current Goannas mentor Dan Smailes.

LADDER:Macquarie 17; Lakes 16; South Newcastle, Western Suburbs 15; Cessnock 14; Kurri Kurri 13; Central Newcastle, Maitland 3.

In the meantime Kidd will completehis second yearas assistant at Central Newcastle and Butcher Boys captain-coach Rowan Kelly

”Congratulations to him, but we addressed the playing group about it and I don’t think we will hear about it again,” Kelly said. “We are still focussed on this job and finishing off this year.”

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Brumbies v Highlanders: Free pies and parking to help Super Rugby club’s finances

Finals bound: The Brumbies will play in the Super Rugby play-offs next week and early fans will celebrate with free pies and parking. Photo: Jay CronanThe ACT Brumbies are using free pies and parking to lure a big crowd for their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
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Brumbies interim chief executive Phil Thomson was unconcerned about recent poor crowds and was confident the magnitude of Friday’s game would help turn that around.

They had just 9830 turn up for their victory over the Queensland Reds on a freezing Canberra night two weeks ago and then 9387 watched their lacklustre win against the Western Force on Saturday.

Former Brumbies boss Michael Jones had predicted the Super Rugby club would make a $1 million profit this financial year, but his payout and lower-than-expected crowds led to chairman Robert Kennedy admitting they would likely record a loss instead.

But a good crowd against the Highlanders would help bolster their depleted coffers.

Thomson said it would also increase their chances of getting a home semi-final the following week.

If the Brumbies beat the Highlanders, they would then need results to go their way to host a semi.

Two of the teams that finished above them on the ladder — the Wellington Hurricanes, the Johannesburg Lions or the Cape Town Stormers — would need to lose for that to happen.

“The last two crowds after the June break have been down a little bit, but weather conditions have probably played into that a little. It’s been a lot colder,” Thomson said.

“But I think Canberra just needs to realise it’s an important game, it’s a quarter-final.

“If we win that game and results go our way we could have a home semi-final the following week, so we need to get as much support out there as possible for the team.

“We have to pay [the Highlanders] a set amount, obviously we’ve got our normal stadium costs that we have to pay for and we rely on getting people out to the ground to ensure it’s a financially viable option for us.

“That’s what we’re hoping for, to get as many people as we can … a good crowd will certainly help our financial situation this year.”

SANZAAR’s decision to schedule the game on Friday night, despite the Brumbies asking Super Rugby’s governing body for a Sunday afternoon game, has hurt the ACT club.

Because NRL club Canberra Raiders have a triple header at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, concerns about frost meant a 6pm kick-off was chosen for the Brumbies-Highlanders final, which could make it tough for some fans to get to the game after work.

Stadium officials feared the usual 7.40pm start time, combined with a potential frost, would make it impossible to get line markings and sponsors painted on the field before the Raiders’ under-20s start on Saturday at 10.40am.

Thomson said they would give a free meat pie to the first 2000 fans through the gate and were also offering free parking before 4.30pm. Some ticket prices have also been reduced.

He said they were trying to encourage fans to get their early to avoid getting caught in peak-hour traffic. ACTION is running free buses to the match.

“Even though it is Canberra and we don’t really have a massive peak hour like other major cities, those arterial roads leading into Canberra Stadium can get quite congested,” Thomson said.

“So really try and get out there early … there’ll be free parking out there up until 4.30pm.

“The stadium came up with [the free pies] … trying to make sure we’re working together to get a good crowd there. I’ll be in that first 2000, don’t worry about that.”

Season ticket holders have until Monday 11pm to buy their regular seats through Ticketek, then unsold seats go on sale to the general public on Wednesday at 9am.


Friday: ACT Brumbies v Otago Highlanders at Canberra Stadium, 6pm. Tickets available from Ticketek. Members on sale until Monday 11pm, general public on sale from Wednesday 9am.

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It’s not Pokémon, but Newcastle lads running hot with phone appvideo

IN a world suddenly splitinto those playing Pokémon Go and thebemused onlookers, a team ofNewcastlesoftwaredevelopersbelieve they’ve unleashed a pioneering phone fitnessappin the cutting-edge fieldof augmented reality.
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Fit for Battle–described by Newcastle design team Dream Well aspart workout, part “choose-your-own-adventure” novel –parachutes the user into a fight-or-flight epictold through their earphones and playable outdoors or on a treadmill.

The ideawon$50,000 forDream WellthroughHCF insurance’s Catalyst program, and developer Joel Turner said there were plans to followthe premiere“quest” with five more.

Websites such as the AppleApp Store are already crowded with downloadableaids for running, cycling, swimming and even yoga, but Mr Turner and co-developers Micah King, Chad Turner and Jason Phua said they wereconfident ablend of fitness and fantasy settheir creation apart.

“Most of the people who it resonates with are already trying to run, and the main response is that they love the story and the characters,” Mr Turner said.

“When you get immersed in the story you forget that you’re running.”

BIG IDEA: Newcastle designers Jason Phua, Micah King and Joel Turner won financial backing for their part-fantasy, part-fitness smart phone app, which occupies a similar niche of the app market to Pokemon Go. Fit for Battle parachutes the user into a fight-or-flight epic.

On the surface, the almost simultaneouslaunch ofPokémon Go seemed like terrible news for the Newcastle team.

Would the busyapp user already seeking a Squirtle at Surfhouse, a Diglett on Darby Street anda Bulbasaur at The Brewery have the time or inclination to embark on yet another quest?

“It’s a huge lift actually, because it has really elevated the space for us. We aren’t a game like them but we share the fact that we get people playing outside,” Mr Turner, who plays Pokémon Go every day,said.

“At first I was nervous about Pokémon Go entering the market in such a huge way, but we aren’t competing with them at all. If anything, the are opening up the market wider for us.”

Dream WelllaunchedFit for Battlelast month and picked up 2,200 subscribers or usersin the first week.

Once downloaded, the appprompts the runnerto pick up the pace by simulatinganaural worldteemingwithorcs, dragons and story-advancingpuzzles.

The smartphone’s in-built pedometer and GPStrack the user’s exertion levels andmimichigh intensity interval training, so thatshort bursts of speed are followed by brief recovery periods.

Mr Turner said the ideagrew from his boredom with running and the passiveness of just listening to music.

“I made this game because I actually hate running, and I used to do anything to distract myself; music, podcasts, audiobooks,” he said.

“Then I thought, ‘imagine if a game could sense how I’m running –how cool would that be?’”

TheDream Well collective, described by Mr Turner as “a massive big circus of cool, creative people”, utilised several voice artistsas well as the talents of Mr King, who composes scores for TV shows.

Fit for Battlecan be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and is available foriPhone and Android.

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Rio Olympics 2016: Lleyton Hewitt, Simon Gerrans withdraw from Australian team

Out: Lleyton Hewitt. Photo: Jesse Marlow Broken collarbone: SImon Gerrans. Photo: Rupert Guinness
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Australia’s Olympic hopes have received a double blow with cyclist Simon Gerrans officially ruled out of Rio with a broken collarbone and Lleyton Hewitt’s withdrawal as coach of the men’s tennis team for “personal reasons”.

Gerrans, considered a strong medal prospect in the road race event, underwent surgery over the weekend on a broken collarbone suffered in a crash at the Tour de France.

Facing a battle against time, the 36-year-old held out hopes of competing in Rio on the tricky, cobble-stoned course, but Australia Olympic Committee officials were informed on Sunday morning his attempt to ride at a third Olympics was now over.

Gerrans flew from France to Barcelona late last week and was operated on over the weekend.

After he woke up, he posted on Twitter an X-Ray of his collarbone, showing off the new screws in place. He tweeted: “My new hardware… The surgery went as well as we could hope. Now it’s time to put a plan in place.”My new hardware… The surgery went as well as we could hope. Now it’s time to put a plan in place. #tdf2016pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/cxJFy2XPwN— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) July 16, 2016

He later released a statement confirming his withdrawal.

“I am a proud Australian and as an athlete there is no greater honour than representing your country at the Olympic Games,” he said. “My goal at the Olympic Games was to get the best result possible for Australia. With my current injury my preparation would be seriously jeopardised, and so to my performance at the Games. For Australia to have the best chance to achieve the best result possible, I feel I should be replaced by one of the riders in the squad.”

The Orica-BikeExchange veteran crashed heavily during Stage 12 of the Tour. He kept on riding but was later forced to leave the race.

There was much hope Gerrans — renowned for being a tough competitor — would fight back and compete in Rio.

Cycling Australia chief executive Nick Green told Fairfax Media on Friday: “Before we have all the information on where Simon is at, he’s a member of the Olympic team. Unfortunately, he’s a member of the team with a broken collarbone.” That’s the end of my #tdf2016 I can’t find words to describe how disappointed I am. pic.twitter上海龙凤419m/DgsyxHRYpT— Simon Gerrans (@simongerrans) July 14, 2016

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Eventful seven months away for HMAS Darwin crew, including surfing in the Seychelles

Leading Seaman Daniel Colbert, of Jervis Bay, enjoyed a few days surfing while deployed on the HMAS Darwin. Photo: Michele Mossop Sailors enjoyed emotional reunions with family and friends after seven months at sea. Photo: Michele Mossop
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Able Seaman Jordan Shephard gets a wild greeting from cousin Claudia Bush,13 after disembarking from the HMAS Darwin. Photo: Michele Mossop

Heroin busts, an intercepted weapons smuggling operation, and some surfing in the Seychelles – the past seven months have been eventful for the crew of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin.

The guided-missile frigate docked at Sydney’s Garden Island on Sunday following a seven-month deployment to the Middle East and east Africa, welcomed by family, friends and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Leading Seaman Daniel Colbert from Jervis Bay said some of the sailors had brought surfboards from home for their days off when the ship docked in the Seychelles.

“We figured if the opportunity arose, we’d need [our surfboards] … so we took them,” he said.

“When we were in the Seychelles, we went and got some waves. We got three days straight of really perfect waves with no one else around.

“So it’s tough, but enjoyable at the same time.”

The ship and its crew of 229 returned to Sydney on Sunday morning to crowds of family and friends, as the lengthy deployment forming part of the government’s Operation MANITOU came to a close.

HMAS Darwin’s Commander ​Phillip Henry said the mission was successful, as it seized nearly a tonne of heroin and 2000 small arms weapons from smuggling operations.

“We did everything that was required of the mission,” Cdr Henry said.

“The Middle East by its nature can be a bit uncertain at times,” he said. “But we are well-trained and well-prepared, and the crew and the ship performed admirably.”

Able Seaman Jordan Shephard said she was overjoyed to return home after “by far probably the hardest” deployment she had ever completed, due to the death of a fellow crew member on board in June.

“We do this for a job all the time, so we’re trained for it,” she said. “But nothing beats coming home and seeing your family.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined the happy crowds to welcome and thank the crew members for their “professionalism, courage and dedication”.

Mr Turnbull said recent violence in France and Turkey were reminders of the crucial role played by the Australian Defence Force in protecting national security.

“The work that the Australian Navy does is absolutely critical in providing security for the world [and] providing security for Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It is a vital commitment and the professionalism and the courage and the dedication of the men and women of the Australian Defence Forces is critical in ensuring Australia remains safe,” he said.

The crew will have a month off to rest with their families, before returning for ship maintenance and service by October.

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