EnergyAustralia officials at the Iona gas plant’s opening in 2008. The plant has also drawn interest from other suitors including Australian pipeline owner APA Group and fund manager QIC. Photo: Damian WhiteJemena, the energy distributor controlled by State Grid Corporation of China, is weighing a final bid for EnergyAustralia’s Iona gas storage plant. Jemena is looking for opportunities to expand its business and is examining the Iona facility, as well as other options in the energy industry, spokeswoman Rebecca Harrison said in an emailed response to questions. It had not yet decided whether to make a final offer, Harrison said. The gas storage plant, which may fetch more than $US720 million ($1 billion), has also drawn interest from other suitors including Australian pipeline owner APA Group and fund manager QIC, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Final bids are due around the end of next month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. EnergyAustralia’s owner, Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings, is selling assets and shifting attention to other markets after saying in February that it faced “extremely challenging” conditions in Australia. Lazard was advising it on the sale, the people said. Australia’s competition regulator has asked for comments on APA’s intention to buy Iona by August 26, and it is expected to decide by September 30 whether APA can proceed. Spokesmen for APA and QIC declined to comment. A spokeswoman for EnergyAustralia said the company is “pleased with the process to date”, declining to comment on specific bidders. The Iona plant in Victoria has storage capacity to supply up to 500 terajoules of gas a day, says EnergyAustralia’s website. The facility is used by energy companies to store gas during periods of low usage, which can then be distributed by pipeline to supply markets around Melbourne and Adelaide when demand is high. Jemena owns more than $9 billion of Australian gas, power and water distribution assets and supplies millions of homes and businesses, its website shows. State Grid, China’s largest power distributor, owns 60 per cent of the company and the rest is held by Singapore Power. The Chinese state-owned company is also weighing a joint bid with a Macquarie Group fund for NSW power transmission company TransGrid, people familiar with the matter said last month. Bloomberg

Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain

Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain

Australia’s national anthem is clear about this: our home is girt by sea. We’re a country of coastline – about 35,000 kilometres of it – and while you can drive parts of it and walk others, seeing it from water level in a kayak is incomparable.

There are countless kayaking opportunities across the country, both along the coast and in the rivers that vein the land, running from mild to wild and everything in between. Here are 10 of the best kayak trips. Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland

Australia’s largest island national park is a double-edged sword for kayakers. Paddle the inside Hinchinbrook Channel and you’d be croc bait, but paddle the outside coast and you have one of the country’s most spectacular sea-kayak trips.

The island is best known to bushwalkers because of the presence of the spectacular Thorsborne Trail, but I’ve hiked the trail and I’ve kayaked the island’s length, and the paddling wins hands-down. The island’s steep peaks rise behind palm-lined beaches, while turtles and even the occasional dugong surface regularly from the sea. All the while, beaches and camps give easy access to many of the Thorsborne​ Trail’s signature sights, such as Nina Peak and Zoe Falls.

Once you reach Hinchinbrook’s northern tip, it’s an island hop north – Goold​, Hudson, Coombe, Bedarra​, Dunk Islands – into Mission Beach.

World Expeditions and Coral Sea Kayaking run kayaking trips along Hinchinbrook Island.

Hinchinbrook Island

World Expeditions worldexpeditions杭州夜网m

Coral Sea Kayaking coralseakayaking杭州夜网m  Ngaro Sea Trail, Queensland

Though curiously listed as one of Queensland’s “Great Walks”, the Ngaro Sea Trail is a kayaking circuit through the Whitsunday Islands, linking a handful of short walking tracks. The complete trail loops around Whitsunday Island, but in reality you can make up the route yourself, picking and choosing islands, beaches and campsites depending on wind and ocean conditions. Walking trails along the way lead to expansive viewpoints at the likes of Whitsunday Cairn and Spion Kop (South Molle Island), and an Aboriginal rock-art site on Hook Island.

If you want to skip the long open-water crossing of the Whitsunday Passage, Salty Dog Sea Kayaking’s water taxi service can deliver you and your kayaks to a variety of island campsites.

Ngaro Sea Trail

Water taxi service saltydog杭州夜网  Ningaloo​ Reef, Western Australia

To many it might only be Australia’s other reef, but to a kayaker Ningaloo is Australia’s true great barrier reef. Along the shores of Cape Range National Park, this World Heritage-listed ribbon of coral runs close to land, creating lagoon-like conditions for paddling. Roll overboard into the azure sea and you can be snorkelling among coral bommies, reef sharks, loggerhead turtles and a marine rainbow of fish.

Capricorn Sea Kayaking runs a range of trips on the reef, from day paddles to five-day trips exploring a new section of reef each day.

Capricorn Sea Kayaking capricornseakayaking杭州夜网  Freycinet​ Peninsula, Tasmania

Let’s make this clear from the outset: you won’t see Wineglass Bay from a kayak when you paddle at Freycinet​. But once you’ve nosed around this peninsula’s other bays and beaches, you probably won’t care.

You can take the leisurely paddling path and join a three-hour kayak tour around Coles Bay, cutting across the foot of the Hazards mountains, or come for a night and kayak to a camp on Hazards Beach – from here you can walk across the isthmus to Wineglass Bay, after all. You might even want to settle in for a few days with an expedition trip to little-visited Schouten Island to camp among penguins and explore sea caves in your kayak.

Trips are operated by Freycinet​ Adventures.

Freycinet​ Adventures freycinetadventures杭州夜网   Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Paddle into a classic slice of outback scenery. The centrepiece of Nitmiluk​ National Park, Katherine Gorge is a series of 13 gorges chipped into the Arnhem Land escarpment, and is a place best seen from a canoe.

Nitmiluk​ Tours hires out canoes for half-day, full-day and overnight paddles into the gorge. A half-day of paddling will only get you into the first gorge, while a day in a canoe can take you into the second gorge, considered by many to be the most spectacular.

Paddlers prepared to camp can push through as far as the ninth gorge, though there are a series of portages – carrying your canoe over rock barriers between gorges – to negotiate.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission publishes a canoeing guide.

Nitmiluk​ Tours nitmiluktours杭州夜网

Canoeing guide  Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Few would dispute that Sydney is blessed with one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world, and while the multitude of water traffic on Port Jackson might be intimidating in a kayak, Middle Harbour is a paddling dream.

The waters in this harbour are more protected, making for typically gentle morning conditions. Sydney Harbour Kayaks runs four-hour “eco tours” that head under the Spit Bridge and through the narrowing harbour to the shores of Garigal​ National Park – luxury homes yielding to luxuriant bush – where tours glide ashore for morning tea before paddling back through Middle Harbour to Mosman.

Sydney Harbour Kayaks: sydneyharbourkayaks杭州夜网  Noosa River, Queensland

If glass-smooth waters are your thing, the Noosa River is your place. Begin in shallow Lake Cootharaba​, making the short crossing to the mouth of the river and then into Fig Tree Lake. If you’re lucky, the lilies here will be in bloom, providing a spectacular avenue of purple flowers.

From here the river contracts into the Narrows, where paperbark trees hang over the water and, at times, the river can be so still you feel as though you’re sitting on a mirror.

The river is lined with almost a dozen campsites, reaching almost to the headwaters (about 40 kilometres from Lake Cootharaba​), so paddle as near or far as you like. Kanu Kapers​ runs guided and self-guided trips.

Kanu Kapers kanukapersaustralia杭州夜网m  South West Tasmania

Draw a circle 100 kilometres around any capital city and you don’t expect a place like Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. As you launch your kayaks from beside the remote Melaleuca airstrip, deep inside Tasmania’s South West Wilderness, it’s like paddling off the grid, with a week of unknown water and coastline ahead.

Roaring 40s Kayaking runs expedition trips through Bathurst Harbour and out into Port Davey, camping on and exploring little-visited beaches. You might wander into the largest Aboriginal midden in Tasmania, paddle through the gorge once known as Hell’s Gates, or climb low peaks for a perspective on the waterways you’ve paddled.

If you fancy something a little shorter and more introductory there’s a three-day exploration trip into Bathurst Harbour, staying at a permanent camp.

Roaring 40s Kayaking roaring40skayaking杭州夜网  Port River, South Australia

Marine encounters are one of the true pleasures of kayaking. I’ve paddled beside reef sharks at Ningaloo, dugongs around Hinchinbrook Island and orcas​ in Canada, but in Adelaide’s Port River it’s all about the dolphins.

The river is part of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, and is home to about 40 bottlenose dolphins. From Garden Island, Adventure Kayaking SA operates three-hour tours (and has kayak hire), paddling among beautiful old-growth mangroves, observing dolphins and exploring Australia’s largest ship graveyard, which contains the hulks of around 40 vessels. All within 30 minutes’ drive of Adelaide’s CBD.

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary

Adventure Kayaking SA adventurekayak杭州夜网  Lawn Hill Gorge, Queensland

Far north Queensland’s Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is laced with walking trails leading to the waters of Lawn Hill Gorge, but when it’s this hot, wouldn’t you rather paddle there? Hire kayaks are available near the ranger station, from where it’s just a few minutes of paddling into the entrance of the upper gorge.

Cabbage palms line the banks, and turtles and freshwater crocodiles might be seen basking along the base of the cliffs. About a kilometre into the gorge, a barrier of rock blocks the creek, creating Injarri​ Falls. Here you can portage around the falls to continue through the gorge, but most will be content to tie up to the pier and swim a while before paddling back to the ranger station.

Boodjamulla​ (Lawn Hill) National Park

Westfield Corp runs the international business, which includes Westfield London.Westfield Corp, the international retail business run by Steven and Peter Lowy has reported a first-half profit of of $US465.9 million ($652 million), which was in line with the forecasts made when the group restructured and created Scentre Group last year.

Under the restructure, Westfield Corp runs the international business which owns Westfield London and Stratford City, in the UK, the newly-develped World Trade Centre in New York and Century City in Los Angeles, among others across North America. It is also developing a mall in Milan.

Funds From Operations (FFO) came in at $US380 million while the distribution for the six months ended 30 June 2015 was 12.55 cents per security, also in-line with forecast.

Westfield’s Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said the benefits of restructure can be seen in the progress being made on the $US11.4 billion development program.

“This year we expect to commence $US2.5 billion of projects, having already commenced $US1.6 billion of redevelopments to-date in 2015 including Century City in Los Angeles and UTC in San Diego, with the expansion at Westfield London expected to commence later this year.,” the co chief executives said.

“Our investment in the development program, which also comprises Westfield World Trade Centre in New York and Valley Fair in Silicon Valley, is expected to create significant long term value for securityholders.”

“The $US1.4 billion Westfield World Trade Centre is now fully leased and committed. This will be a spectacular shopping, dining, event and entertainment destination integrated into the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan.”

The project will showcase a diverse mix of over 100 domestic and international fashion, dining, beauty, entertainment and technology retailers as well as a “world class” food offering, led by Eataly​, an Italian group dining. The project is now expected to open in the first half of 2016.

The distribution for the six months to June 30 was 12.55¢ per security, also in-line with forecast.

The group reconfirms its FFO forecast for the 2015 year of 37.7¢ per security, including the impact of the $US925 million O’Connor joint venture in the US completed in February 2015, being growth of 4 per cent.

The distribution forecast for the 2015 year is also reconfirmed at 25.1¢ per security.

more to come

Local shares are poised to extend losses as a wave of late selling in the US drove the Dow and S&P 500 lower.

What you need2know

SPI futures down 47pts to 5080

AUD at 71.28 US cents, 84.79 Japanese yen, 62.09 Euro cents and 45.45 British pence

On Wall St, S&P 500 -1.3%, Dow -1.4%, Nasdaq -0.4%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +4.7%, FTSE +3.1%, CAC +4.1%, DAX +5%

Spot gold down $US14.23 or 1.2% to $US1140.88 an ounce

Brent crude up 16 US cents or 0.4% to $US42.85 a barrel

Iron ore adds 0.3% to $US53.45 per tonne

What’s on today

Australia construction work done, Remarks by Glenn Stevens, Reserve Bank of Australia governor, at the National Reform Summit, Sydney; US durable goods

Stocks in focus

Citi analysts continued to make more downgrades than upgrades to earnings in the past week of reporting. Resources have been impacted by lower commodity price forecasts as well, but downgrades have also continued to be prevalent for Industrials.

Earnings results are expected from companies including: BC Iron, Worley Parsons, APA Group, Westfield, Drillsearch, Seven Group Holdings


Commonwealth Bank’s Richard Grace forecasts that the AUD/USD exchange rate will remain more sensitive to commodity export prices than commodity export volumes. “The RBA have demonstrated they also remain more sensitive to changes in Australia’s real gross domestic income growth, than changes in Australia’s real GDP growth. The RBA have reduced interest rates to 2.0 per cent in response to the changes in these relative growth rates and the relationship between RBA movements and these relative growth rates is strong. The risk is further RBA interest rate cuts, with the market fully pricing a 25bpt rate cut by February 2016. Adding to easier financial conditions, the AUD/USD exchange rate has depreciated 35 per cent since mid 2011. We anticipate a further depreciation below 0.7000 in AUD/USD is coming.”


Copper for delivery in three months gained 2.3 per cent to $US5065 a metric ton ($US2.30 a pound) at 5.50pm on the London Metal Exchange. On Monday, prices touched $US4855, the lowest since July 2009. Copper for immediate delivery is trading at a $US33 premium to the metal for delivery in three months, the biggest spread since January 30.

A measure of oil-price fluctuations climbed Monday to the highest level since April. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Crude Oil Volatility Index closed at 50.11 Monday, signalling the largest price fluctuations since April 1. The gauge of hedging costs on the US Oil Fund, the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking WTI, is down 5 per cent Tuesday.

United States

A rebound that took the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 440 points disappeared as traders said trepidation over what will happen in China’s market made holding on to stocks too risky for most investors.

The 30-stock index slid 1.3 per cent to 15,665.77 at 4pm in New York, down 4 per cent from its highest point. The peak-to-trough retreat matched Monday’s selloff, when concern about global growth ignited the worst selloff in four years. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index went from up 2.9 per cent to down 1.4 per cent, with most of the selling concentrated in the final two hours of trading.

“We just saw a crazy evaporation of gains after being up the majority of the day,” said Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at Williams Capital Group LP. “People are nervous about the potential volatility that could erupt or resurface in the market. They’re not sure what’s going to happen overseas, and that uncertainty is winning out.”


European shares rose more than 4 per cent on Tuesday, their best one-day gain since late 2011, as a rate cut in China fuelled a recovery from a bruising 48-hour sell-off. Battered mining and technology stocks were among the big winners when China moved to support its stuttering economy and a plunging stock market that had sent shockwaves around the globe.

In London, Britain’s top share index rebounded after dropping to its lowest level since 2012 in the previous session. It had fallen for 10 straight days as concerns about China’s economy mounted.

The FTSE 350 mining sector was up 4 per cent from its lowest levels since 2009. Base metals rose modestly. Antofagasta was up 8.7 per cent, the top FTSE 100 riser. It said it was targeting savings of about $US160 million this year, and rebounded from its lowest levels in over six years. Glencore rallied as much as 8 per cent from all-time lows hit on Monday, and last traded 4.6 per cent higher. Matthew Tillett, senior UK equity fund manager at Allianz, said that the falls in mining stocks made them good sources of value, despite their exposure to volatility in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer. “(There is) more clear value out there than there was two or three months ago,” Tillett said.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index reached a nadir of 4928.3 shortly after opening but then performed, at its peak, an impressive 223 point turnaround – equivalent to a 4.5 per cent intraday rally. The index ended the day up 136 points at 5137.3 or 2.7 per cent, while the broader All Ordinaries index closed 130 points, or 2.6 per cent, higher at 5143.8.

In some ways, it was worse than Monday. Stock bulls looking for a respite from the worst declines since 2011 instead had to watch as a 442-point rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average vanished in the final hour. The tumble, stretching to 4 per cent from the day’s highest level, dashed hopes that China’s interest-rate cut would put a floor under US equities. Concern bubbled over as the day progressed that fresh stimulus in China wouldn’t be enough to prop up its stock market, where the Hangzhou Composite Index has lost 22 per cent in four days. “People don’t want to be holding stocks overnight,” said Peter Jankovskis, who helps oversee $US1.9 billion ($2.7 billion) as co-chief investment officer of Illinois-based OakBrook Investments. “There’s certainly a chance that the selloff could deepen. It all depends on what happens in the Chinese market tomorrow.” At its current level, down 9.3 per cent on the year to 1867.61, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is 1 per cent away from erasing its gains since the end of 2013. It’s also about 5 points above the lowest level of its last big tumble, 1862.49 from October 15. The measure has lost 11 per cent in five days, the fiercest bout of selling since the US was stripped of its AAA credit rating by S&P in August 2011. As an illustration of its downward momentum, the gauge is trading more than 10 per cent below its average price in the last 200 days, a level of depression it’s occupied only once since the bull market began. That was also in 2011, in the midst of a five-month swoon that erased 19 per cent from the index. Tuesday’s decline was the biggest reversal of a rally since October 29, 2008. “Just because the market is oversold doesn’t mean it can’t go lower,” said Paul Zemsky, head of multi-asset strategies at Voya Investment Management, which oversees $US218 billion. Zemsky predicted declines could persist until the S&P 500 gets to the lowest level reached Monday in futures tracking the gauge, which was 1830. “I’d say we’ll hold that low,” Zemsky said. “That’s a 1.5 per cent move from here. The market is in a near-term bottoming process and traders will turn to those technicals.” Confounding lossesLosses in equities are confounding some investors who say not enough has changed in the global economy since May to justify the velocity of the plunge. Reports in the US Tuesday showed consumer confidence rose to its second-highest level in eight years while new home sales climbed 5.4 per cent, the most in 2015. At the same time, the rout is occurring at a time of deteriorating market sentiment and stagnant earnings. Owners of mutual and exchange-traded funds yanked $US78.8 billion from US shares in the first seven months of 2015, more than in any full year since at least 1993. Profits reported by S&P 500 companies in the second quarter fell 2 per cent from a year ago and are projected to slip 5.5 per cent in the current period. “In all the years and the rallies I’ve seen, this one has the least [number] of people chasing the pullback right now,” said Scott Wren, the senior equity strategist who helps oversee $US1.4 trillion at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. “When you have these kind of dramatic sell-offs it takes some time to bottom — you test lows, you do it again and you form some kind of bottom. It’d be rare if the thing just bounced back.” Tuesday’s swoon dashed hopes that the previous day’s close would prove a line in the sand for bulls. It came as all but nine companies in the S&P 500 are trading below their 12-month price targets set by equity analysts and at a time when the average forecasts of Wall Street strategists would require a rally of 20 percent to achieve. On average, stocks in the S&P 500 were 23 per cent below analyst estimates on Monday, compared with a 12 per cent discount as of last week. “Can stocks fall further? Absolutely,” said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. Her firm manages about $US900 billion globally. “Historically, we see a 10 per cent pullback about once a year and it usually doesn’t stop at 10 per cent. That doesn’t say stocks are poorly valued, it says when fears take over we see sharp market moves.” Bloomberg News

Clade by James Bradley.

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.

Clade by James Bradley.

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.

Clade by James Bradley.

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.


No one plans it like this, but patterns leap out in any publishing season. Last year produced a disturbing number of Australian novels about domestic violence and child abuse, the best including Sofie Laguna’s Miles Franklin winner The Eye of the Sheep, and Sonya Hartnett’sGolden Boys, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and many others. Helen Garner’sThis House of Grief, also tackles the theme as true crime and last week won the Ned Kelly crime-writing award for non-fiction. This year looks like a year of dystopian literary novels. At least two Australian novels are inspired by climate change, Clade by James Bradley and The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau, both with covers showing the bees we are losing. Two others examine the state of male-female relationships in grim but wildly creative fables – The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood, coming out in October. It’s early to make predictions about next year’s literary awards but you will hear more about the powerhouse novels by women including Juchau and Wood, A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones, The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop, The Landing by Susan Johnson and – still to come – The Women’s Pages by Debra Adelaide, The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks and A Few Days in the Country, a short story collection by Elizabeth Harrower; plus debuts such as Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar and Rush Oh! by filmmaker Shirley Barrett.


Who has heard of Helen de Guerry Simpson, the Australian author of an acclaimed historical novel, Under Capricorn, that was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock? I’m sorry to say I hadn’t until I read the September fiction issue of Australian Book Review, in which 15 writers and critics name the “missing novels” they think should be better known. Debra Adelaide singles out Simpson’s 1932 novel Boomerang for its ironic voice and wry dramatisation of parochial life. Geraldine Brooks backs another book I don’t know – Thorskald​ by Tony Morphett, who is best known for television writing and young adult fiction. Brooks read his 1969 story of an Australian artist as a teenager but it is long out of print. Not only Australian books have faded: Rodney Hall wants to revive The House in Paris by British novelist Elizabeth Bowen; Andrea Goldsmith calls Of Human Bondage “perhaps the best novel of obsessive love ever written” though W. Somerset Maugham is out of fashion.


Something strange happened at the World Science Fiction Convention last weekend, when the prestigious Hugo Awards were announced and no award was given in five categories including best short story and best novella. Reports say the “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies”, groups of disaffected SF fans, had forced the Hugos to include on the voting ballot works that were popular with readers rather than just with “acceptable [left-wing] politics” or “the right publishing house”. Voters preferred to withhold awards. ​George R. R. Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, complained that rather than trying to take over the Hugos the Sad Puppies could start their own awardS “for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be”. Despite the schism, 12 awards were given and the best novel award went to Cixin Liu for The Three-Body Problem.

Studio 10 presenter Jessica Rowe. Photo: Damian Bennett Rowe hosts Studio 10 with Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand. Photo: Facebook

Former Nine presenter Jessica Rowe and former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire in happier times in 2006. Photo: Jon Reid

Jessica Rowe

Jessica Rowe slams Eddie McGuireSunday Life: Jessica Rowe won’t be kept down

Just weeks after accusing Eddie McGuire of making her life hell, Jessica Rowe has revealed the harrowing moment a drunken news director assaulted her at work.

The Studio 10 presenter described the alcohol-fuelled attack in her new memoir, Is This My Beautiful Life?, and revealed how she was discouraged by a television director from taking the matter further.

According to the excerpt published by The Daily Mail, the incident took place in an office corridor after the unnamed male colleague returned from a booze-fuelled lunch.

“He pressed his body against me but I managed to get away into one of the editing suites, where I rang one of the senior executives in tears,” the mother-of-two wrote.

“He counselled me and suggested that it wasn’t a big deal; I got the distinct impression I should keep my mouth shut if I wanted to stay working in that newsroom.

“I knew that working in the media could be tough and it wasn’t a career for the faint-hearted. I also understood how brutal it could be for women.

“Commercial television is still primarily run by men, and some of them have very outdated, sexist views.”

In her book Rowe did not mention in which newsroom the incident took place. Since starting her television career she has worked for Nine, Seven’s regional network Prime and Ten.

The revelation comes just weeks after the wife of Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton accused former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire of making her life hell while she was a presenter at the network.

The Studio 10 panel were discussing controversy surrounding McGuire’s use of the word “mussie” to describe muslim Victorian sports minister John Eren, when Rowe launched into a scathing attack on the Collingwood president.

The mother-of-two was dumped as a co-host on the Today Show in 2006 when McGuire was reported to have wanted to “bone” the presenter.

“Eddie McGuire has form,” Rowe said, “and I can talk very much from personal experience.

“The way he allegedly used language against me in the past and the way he has used language to describe Adam Goodes… It’s highly, highly inappropriate, and then to try and explain it away as ‘oh, that was a brain snap or a brain freeze’ – no, that’s not on.

“I think you have to realise that when you are in a particular position and you use language like that, you think about the context of the language and I think it is racist, I think it is offensive,” Rowe continued.

“If he is not smart enough, and I don’t think he is, to moderate his language depending on the sort of forum he is in, he had to take the flak for it.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of good to say about that man because he made my life hell.”

Michael Riley jnr: “The odds are not good”. Photo: Facebook Michael Riley jnr. Photo: Facebook

A star junior athlete is in a critical condition in the US after a killer parasite is believed to have swum up his nose while he was playing in a lake with his teammates.

Three times junior Olympian Michael Riley jnr, 14, was due to start high school on Monday but instead is fighting for his life at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston with his family keeping vigil.

“Coming from a lake you wouldn’t think he’s going to the doctor’s office and they tell you he has a couple of days to live,” his father Mike Riley told KTRK-TV.

On August 19, a week after he jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest, he woke up with a headache and fever,  the family’s website said, but doctors at a local clinic could not identify the problem.

Two days later, he was disoriented with an unbearable headache and neck pain.

The rare naegleria fowleri amoeba is found naturally around the world in warm fresh water such as creeks, dams, rivers and hot springs but has also been identified in poorly maintained chlorinated swimming pools, industrial run-offs and water heaters.

Australia is considered a world leader in risk management for the brain-eating amoeba following multiple deaths in four states in the 1970s and 1980s.

Drinking the parasite does not cause infection, but, if it enters via water up the nose, it can travel to the brain and result in death within a day to two weeks.

Symptoms start one to nine days after infection including headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, progressing to a stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status and hallucinations.

The disease of the central nervous system it causes, called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, is difficult to detect because it “progresses rapidly so that diagnosis is usually made after death” the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.

“He is in critical condition and every hour is a waiting game to determine if he will pull through,” says the family’s “Miracle4Michael” Facebook page, which places faith in God and prayer while acknowledging that “the odds are not good” and inviting donations to help with medical expenses.

In the US only three people out of 133 infected in the past 50 years have survived.

The first PAM infections were identified in Australia in 1965 followed by multiple deaths over the next two decades.

The infections were linked to piping water long distances overland, which resulted in heated water with low disinfectant levels.

Water systems in Western Australia and South Australia continue to monitor for the parasite and there have been no infections in Australia since the 1980s, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Hope for the boy is thought to rest on a drug called miltefosine, which has been used to treat parasitic infections in other countries  but is regarded as experimental in the US.

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop “People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop

 Super Rugby’s 2016 expansion is under threat because of Japan’s slow progress in recruiting players and a coach for a competitive team.

Japan are set to join an Argentina franchise and South African side the Southern Kings in making it an 18-team competition.

News Corp newspapers are reporting that contingency plans have been drawn up that involve running a 17-team format without Japan, or going to 16 teams with just the Argentinean side, which is progressing well in terms of recruitment and organisation. Another possibility raised was bringing in a late replacement for Japan to keep the 18-team structure.

The Japanese scenario unfolds as national coach, former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones, confirmed he would be stepping away from the scene over there.

He had been indicated as a possible coach of the Super Rugby side, but now seems destined to take charge of the Stormers franchise in Cape Town.

“The [Japan Rugby Football] Union are going to announce this afternoon that I will not be continuing after 2015,” Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted him as saying.

“That was always the case as my contract was until the end of the year, so all they are doing is stating the obvious.

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on. But that was just an administrative role not a coaching role. All I was doing was help get it set up.”

Officials from Sanzar toured Japan earlier this month and raised concerns that suggested a delay in the Asian stronghold’s entry could be a possibility.

It seems a power struggle between the wealthy company-based Japanese clubs and the Super Rugby ambitions are at the base of Japans problems.


Why women’s sport is big right now

Australians can finally cheer a national cricket team to Ashes victory, with the final match of the women’s series set to be broadcast on free-to-air TV.

The Southern Stars are well ahead of the English women, in contrast to the Australian men’s dismal showing in Britain that prompted the retirement of captain Michael Clarke and a national outcry.

The women’s Ashes is scored using a points system – four points are awarded for winning a Test match, two each for a one day or T20 victory.

The Australians lead the series 8-2, so England would need to win all three remaining T20 games to manage a draw.

The Nine Network’s free-to-air HD channel GEM will show the last match of the series on delay at 9pm on Monday, ahead of the men’s T20 match, which starts at midnight.

But that game may be just a victory lap for the Southern Stars if they come out on top on either early Thursday morning, Melbourne and Sydney time, or on Friday.

Nine Network’s head of sport Steve Crawley said captain Meg Lanning, allrounder Ellyse Perry and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy were world-class athletes and great entertainers.

“It’s exciting for the Nine Network to bring the Southern Stars’ talents into Australian households, to cap off what’s been a fantastic women’s Ashes series,” he said.

The commentary team will include a mix of people from the Nine Network and British channel Sky, with the final lineup still being finalised.

It has been a good year for Australian sportswomen.

National soccer team the Matildas became the first national side to make the quarter-finals at a World Cup.

Channel Seven broadcast a women’s AFL match earlier this month, the first time the female version of the sport had made it to live, free-to-air television, and it proved a ratings success.

But big differences remain between the pay and recognition offered to male and female Australian athletes in most sports.

Cricket Australia figures show the number of five- to 12-year-old girls playing cricket had grown 18 per cent in the past financial year, with a substantial increase in participation also evident among teenagers and adult women.

There were 525 traditional 11-a-side female club teams, 91 more than the year before.

CA  chief executive James Sutherland said he wanted to make cricket the most popular sport in the country amongst girls and women. He said he was glad Australians would get the chance to watch the talented women’s team play.

“They recently became the first ever national cricket team, male or female, to be ranked No.1 in all three formats at the same time, and have repeatedly risen to the big occasion winning the last four ICC world titles,” he said.