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Australian Open is already spruiking highlights

Up-and-comer Thanasi Kokkinakis says Nick Kyrgios yelling and smashing racquets is good for tennis.

When players showed anger on court it made matches more entertaining to watch, he said.

The 19-year-old was at the launch of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday morning, where organisers announced that retiring Australian tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt would be awarded a wildcard entry to the tournament and that prizemoney would increase by 10 per cent to $44 million.

The Open aims to expand its presence in 2016, holding a free festival at Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square.

Kokkinakis was inadvertently drawn into a minor tennis scandal earlier this year, when fellow Australian player and long-time friend Kyrgios sledged opponent Stan Wawrinka, making a sexually suggestive remark about  Kokkinakis and Wawrinka’s partner Donna Vekic.

Asked whether the attention paid to the behaviour of players was taking away from young Australians’ achievements, Kokkinakis said tennis should be entertaining.

“People want to watch you, and I don’t think they mind that stuff to be honest, even though it makes headlines it makes it fun for the fans to watch,” he said.

“I think it doesn’t really hurt the game too much.”

Kyrgios was in trouble again recently for swearing in China and hitting a ball into the roof of a Japanese stadium, but Kokkinakis said when they spoke it was just to catch up, not to discuss his friend’s code violations.

“I’ve been watching him the last couple of matches and he seems to be playing well, and he’s probably a bit more switched on than I’ve seen him before, which is good,” he said.

“He’s not just going to change completely and he’s not going to just not get frustrated, so I think he’s toning it down a little bit.

“The fans love watching him play, if he yells, if he breaks racquets, the fans love watching that so I think it’s good for the game.”

In the style of the recent grand final festival, held in the gardens outside the MCG this year, the Australian Open’s latest add-on will offer the public a chance to have a hit of tennis and will show matches on the big screen.

The cost will be covered by Tennis Australia and event sponsors, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.

Tiley made it clear he was not impressed by Kyrgios’ recent violations, but said he had seen improvements.

“We all want to have a player up there like Nick that we’re proud of, and we’ll get there.”

Rafael Nadal and Rod Laver were guests on Tuesday at the “symbolic” Shanghai launch of the Open,  held simultaneously with the function in Melbourne.

Nadal plans to tread a familiar path to next year’s Australian Open, while carrying renewed optimism that a return to past glories is within closer reach.

The 14-time major winner, who has slipped to No.7 in the world rankings after failing to win a grand slam title this season for the first time in a decade, reached the Japan Open final last week to continue what has been a more positive finish to a difficult year.

The Spaniard, who received a first-round bye at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, claims to be injury-free despite requiring treatment on a foot complaint during his finals loss to top seed Novak Djokovic in Tokyo. .    “I will have probably the same schedule as every year before the tournament starts, and obviously the Australian Open is the first very big event of the year and I want to be ready for it again,” said Nadal, the 2009 champion at Melbourne Park.

“During this season I have been improving in terms of level of tennis – it’s true that sometimes the results have been not the ones that I wanted, but I had a very tough first six months of the year and I feel that this second part of the year I am playing better, I am enjoying more the tennis in general, I have the control of my emotions again and that is so important for me, and I am working so hard.

“So I really believe that I am working the right way to try to start the next year [in] good shape.”

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AFL trade period 2015: Scott Selwood to undergo surgery on Wednesday

Scott Selwood arrived at Simonds Stadium on Tuesday, but it won’t be until January that he takes to Simonds Stadium and joins in training with the rest of the Geelong list.

Selwood, 25, became a Cat on Monday after West Coast failed to match Geelong’s bid for Selwood, who had been a restricted free agent after eight years at the Eagles. Yet on Wednesday he will go under the knife, requiring further surgery on the ankle that has troubled him for much of the past two seasons.

The midfielder said that he wasn’t entirely sure how the surgery would pan out, as what is done will be dependent on what is found once the ankle is assessed, but he confirmed a reconstruction was likely.

It was his injury troubles that Selwood claimed had been his focus for most of 2015, with a call to request a move to Geelong made “only recently”.

“I’d sort of been focused on the season and trying to get my ankle right,” Selwood said alongside a beaming Cats coach Chris Scott on Tuesday.

“As it was we couldn’t really get the ankle right so it sort of dragged out the decision making process as well.”

The Eagles were furious with the AFL’s decision to hand them only a second-round pick – No. 37 overall – as compensation for their vice-captain, but Selwood was playing a straight bat about the matter. “I’d love for them to be compensated fairly, whatever that is, but I don’t understand the whole process, so I can’t really get involved.”

Scott was glad to have another player in the middle of his career join the club, after the club landed Patrick Dangerfield, also on Monday.

“We’ve obviously watched Scott closely for a number of years due to his association with Joel, but not only that, we’ve really admired the way he’s gone about his business with West Coast,” the coach said.

“The last couple of years have been really tough for Scott with injury, but we know he’s really driven to move past and contribute to our team as best he can.

“With Scott’s age profile as well, we think that’s a really positive thing, not only for our existing leaders but also for our emerging players as well.”

Selwood was also thrilled to be joining the club at which two of his brothers (captain Joel and administrator Troy) work. “It was quite freaky. I was driving in with my brother and I sort of said ‘I had butterflies.’

“I feel like I’ve been drafted again for the first time. I feel like a little kid at Christmas, it’s a great feeling.”

The surgery means, though, that he will only train after Christmas.

“Probably right to train early in the new year.”

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The gesture that reflects what Wallabies captain Stephen Moore is about

Top bloke: Wallabies captain Stephen Moore will play his 100th Test in the World Cup quarter-final against Scotland. Photo: Chris HydeWallabies captain Stephen Moore and teammate Matt Giteau will become Test centurions in Australia’s World Cup quarter-final against Scotland on Monday morning (AEDT). A lot more will be said and written about both in the coming days. But with regards to Moore, 32, who played his first Test against Samoa in Sydney in June 2005, we learned of this story from the 2010 spring tour that truly reflects his character – and that of the Wallabies. After the captain’s run for the Test against England at Twickenham on November 13, the team’s former media unit producer for 14 years and 185 Tests, Anthony George, received a call with news that his father Neville had died. After the Test and midweek game against Munster, George returned for the funeral in Brisbane. He missed the Test against Italy on November 20, but was back for the Test against France at Stade de France in Paris on November 27. Before the match, George was on the field filming the Rocky Elsom-captained Wallabies as they warmed-up and returned to the locker room to switch into game kit. Unbeknown to him, the Wallabies leadership group, led by Nathan Sharpe and Moore, had decided, with the approval of coach Robbie Deans, to wear black arm bands in memory of George’s father – something he only learned of after they ran out for the game when a bench player told him. George was understandably taken aback by the moving gesture; but even then was still unaware of what was to come after the Wallabies ran away 59-16 winners. Back in the locker room amid the fanfare of celebration, one by one the Australian players came up to George and hugged him … the last of whom was Moore who in a quiet moment away from the mayhem gave him his Wallabies Test jersey.

The jersey Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore gave to Anthony George. Photo: supplied

What’s in a name

The Wallabies quarter-final against Scotland presents prop Scott Sio with a unique opportunity 24 years after the rugby god’s decided his name, reports our man in London, Chris Dutton. Sio’s dad David was part of Manu Samoa’s 1991 World Cup team which made the quarter-final against Scotland. Had Samoa won, David was going to name his son Manu. If they lost, he was going to name him Scott. Now Sio has a chance at family revenge. He has been instrumental in making the Wallabies’ scrum a weapon. “Realising the importance of one to eight in the scrum has been huge for us. Knowing that we’re going to get the most out of each other has been great so far,” Sio said. “In the past, people looked at scrums and thought, ‘Awww, scrum sessions’ but we really enjoy it now. “He’s [scrum coach Mario Ledesma] brought a great vibe to the unit session as a whole and everyone’s buying into it.”

What’s doing Wallabies

Training before a day-off on Thursday, so probably the last chance to press for selection. But barring injury concerns, this far into the World Cup coach Michael Cheika probably has an idea of what that line-up will be.

Making news

‘Rugby World Cup to rethink man of match awards,’ – From … although some may ask if any thought was put into the voting system to start with.

‘Sayonara or see you in Japan? Which of England’s Rugby World Cup flops will make it to the 2019 tournament?’ – With the World Cup quarter-finals without England, the host team continues to be pulled through the coals in

They said it

“When we look at concussion, which has been a huge area of priority for us as a sport, we are actually seeing a tracking of less than the average for international Test rugby. We think we are making some progress in these areas,” World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper in irishtimes苏州美甲美睫培训学校 on a World Cup trend we hope remains.

What to watch

Sunday: Quarter-finals: South Africa v Wales – London (2am AEDT), New Zealand v France – Cardiff (6am AEDT), Ireland v Argentina – Cardiff (11pm AEDT)

Monday: Quarter-final: Australia v Scotland – London (2am AEDT)

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Uber takes swipe at Queensland government over a lack of dialogue

Uber’s general manager in Australia, David Rohrsheim, has given up on meeting with senior Queensland government political leaders. Photo: Louise KennerleyUber has given up hope of meeting with Queensland government political leaders since the Palaszczuk government announced its review into the ride-sharing industry.

Uber Australia and New Zealand general manager David Rohrsheim told a business lunch in Brisbane on Tuesday the government needed to embrace new technology if it was to remain competitive.

Mr Rohrsheim said the company had discovered through Right to Information legislation that Queensland Transport staff had devoted 6000 hours on “enforcement activities” targeting Uber drivers.

“But no-one in that department has found one hour to come down to the Uber office to ask us ‘what are your safety procedures’?,” he told the audience.

“So if safety was their top priority, why hasn’t that meeting happened?

“When they do come to our office, they will find out that every single driver hold a Queensland government commercial driver accreditation, they’ll find that every vehicle’s been inspected by a third party, they’ll find there’s insurance in place and they’ll find there’s GPS traffic on every trip.

“But that meeting hasn’t happened.”

After the lunch, Mr Rohrsheim said he had given up on meeting with senior politicians in Queensland following the Palaszczuk government’s announcement of a review into the ride-sharing industry.

Instead, he expected Uber to liaise with the review team.

That review was not due to come back with recommendations until August 2016, which Mr Rohrsheim said was simply too long.

“Across Australia, we’ve seen reviews started and finished in the ACT and almost finished in New South Wales and, just last week, the Queensland government announced the beginning of their review with no plan to complete that before August 2016,” he said.

“In our opinion, that’s just far too long for Queensland to wait. That’ll be more than two years since we launched our service.

“If you want to have a reputation as supporting innovation and being open to new business, start-ups can’t afford to wait two years for a response from the government.

“So I’m up here certainly calling on the government to expedite that review, come down to our office and have a look at what we do.

“I think they’d be very satisfied with our procedures.”

Mr Rohrsheim said there were about 4000 Uber drivers active in Queensland.

“This took one year for the team to build and it’s a huge opportunity if the state says ‘yes’,” he said.

That would be a firm ‘no’ if Katter’s Australian Party had its way.

The KAP’s two Queensland MPs have proposed legislation that would see Uber drivers, who could already be fined under existing legislation, penalised through demerit points.

Predictably, that had the support of the Taxi Council of Queensland.

“Uber are an illegal taxi service, and are spawning copycats across Queensland,” TCQ chief executive Benjamin Wash said last month.

“Right now anyone, anywhere can start to drive their private cars and transport the public and the government is letting it happen.

“This will become a nightmare.

“We’ve already seen assaults with no camera evidence by Uber drivers across Australia, and without enforcement of regulations nothing will be able to stop any sexual predator or person with the wrong motives starting their own illegal taxi service.”

Last week, two taxi drivers faced court charged with assaulting Uber drivers on Brisbane streets.

Mr Rohrsheim said the alleged assaults on Uber drivers were “rare, unusual and very disappointing”.

“I’m happy to say that there were more Uber partners out on the road this weekend (following the assaults) than there was last weekend,” he said.

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Baby rhino born at Australia Zoo

Caballe watching over her new son at Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Photo: Ben Beaden Caballe has given birth to her sixth baby – a healthy 45 kilograms, sure on his feet, and reportedly thriving.

The newest addition to Australia Zoo is a Southern White Rhino who arrived about 6am on Sunday after a two-hour labour, capping off a 17-month pregnancy.

It’s the fourth Southern White Rhino born at the zoo in as many years.

And he is the sixth calf for Caballe, 21, who was born in South Africa’s Kruger National Park before becoming a resident of Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand from 1999 to July 2010.

She was pregnant when she arrived at Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in August 2010.

Australia Zoo’s Head Keeper for “‘Africa” Manu Ludden said the new arrival was doing well.

“We are so happy to announce the birth of another healthy baby rhinoceros. The calf weighs approximately 45kg and is doing extremely well. He’s big and strong and is already suckling very well!” she said in a statement.

“Caballe is an amazing mother, she’s very attentive and protective of her new baby boy.”   Woo-hoo! We are so excited and proud to welcome a brand new baby white #rhino to the #AustraliaZoo family! This gorgeous boy was born on Sunday morning around 6am to mum Caballe. Both mum and calf are well and are spending time together bonding behind the scenes. What a little beauty!A video posted by Australia Zoo (@australiazoo) on Oct 12, 2015 at 7:59pm PDT

Southern White Rhinos were believed to be extinct in the late 19th century until less than 100 were discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa in 1895, according to the World Wildlife Fund..

This subspecies was now classified as “near threatened”, with more than 20,000 animals found in protected areas and private game reserves.

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North Queensland MP Rob Pyne to allege fraud, bullying in local government

Labor MP Rob Pyne. Photo: Chris HydeLabor MP Rob Pyne will demand an inquiry into local government in Queensland, alleging fraud, bullying, nepotism and toxic environments are running rife.

Mr Pyne, a former Cairns Councillor, will use parliamentary privilege to table “explosive allegations” against the Tablelands Regional Council, where residents are to face a 30 per cent rate rise in the 2017/18 year, which Mr Pyne said had been brought to him residents.

Mr Pyne said he had also received complaints regarding other councils and believed a widespread inquiry into local government in Queensland was over due.

“As a result of a number of issues which have been brought to my office by constituents concerning the maladministration and allegedly illegal conduct within their local councils [I am calling for this inquiry],” Mr Pyne said on Tuesday.

“I’ve made a number of appointments to speak to Jackie Trad [Local Government Minister] and I am sure I will speak with her very soon,” he said.

“Cairns is a long way away, and I am confident I will be talking to Jackie very soon and I am confident of a fair hearing.”

Mr Pyne said he believed the current complaints system was a failure.

“The first thing that will happen when people complain to the CCC will be the matter will be referred back to the CEO of the relevant council, that is obviously wrong on a number of levels,” he said.

“The other thing is the whistleblower protections are actually quite unsatisfactory, because what you’ll find is matters will go back to the local council to the CEO, and people won’t be dismissed for raising their concerns – but it just happens a few weeks later they are dismissed for completely different reasons.”

Mr Pyne believed the local government changes introduced by the LNP to allow councils more autonomy had contributed to the problem.

Tablelands Resident and farmer Lyn O’Connor said there was “deep division” within her local government, which had led to serious problems, while fellow resident Jason Ward said concerned citizens were seeking to “stop the harm” across the board.

Mrs O’Connor said an inquiry was needed to “pull apart all the causal effects”, but a spokesperson for Ms Trad said there were other steps as outlined in the Local Government Act.

“It is understood that the complainants have previously provided information to the Department of Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning (DLGIP) regarding the administration of local governments,” she said in a statement.

“We are advised the issues raised were investigated by the Department and found to be unsubstantiated.

“The complainants have previously been advised that if they have further evidence then there are appropriate avenues for progressing their complaints depending on the nature of the allegations – this includes investigation by DLGIP, referral to the CCC, or Queensland Ombudsman.

“Our office understands that the complainant has not yet provided any further evidence to the department or to the Deputy Premier’s office.

“If there are new allegations they should be provided to DLGIP for investigation or referral to another agency.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association of Queensland said they could not comment without knowing the allegations.

But Mr Pyne said he believed it was time to take a stand.

“This call for a judicial inquiry is not merely based on evidence that has been brought to me in my short time as an MP, but the likelihood that much more material will come forward if any inquiry is set up and witnesses feel safe to testify,” he said.

“I am more than confident it is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg’.”

With Cameron Atfield

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Phone reception flickers to life in City Loop as telcos conduct final tests

Mobile phone coverage in the City Loop will soon be a reality. Photo: Craig AbrahamThe long wait could soon be over for commuters frustrated by one of Melbourne’s worst blackspots, as mobile phone reception in the City Loop flickers to life.

It is understood the major telecommunications companies switched on their services for testing in the City Loop on Monday night, with a formal announcement expected from the state government later this week.

Some mobile phone users reported strong 4G reception in Melbourne’s train tunnels on Tuesday, as telcos work to extend coverage underground after a series of false starts.

Plans for mobile phone services through the City Loop have been delayed multiple times due to complications over possible interference with train radios. The most recent schedule was for the service to be ready by November.

VicTrack, the government body leading the project, said on Tuesday that telecommunications companies were undertaking final tests on the service before switching on the network.

Spokesman Jason Murray was not able to provide a solid date for when the service would be fully available, however he said an announcement could be expected soon.

“This is the last round of testing so what they picking are up is the telecommunications companies optimising their mobile phone service,” he said.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan would also not be drawn on when the much-awaited mobile phone network upgrade would go live:

“Mobile carriers are carrying out testing of the system, which is why passengers may receive mobile coverage in the loop,” she said.

Melbourne is well behind other cities when it comes to phone reception underground, however the New York Subway and London Tube have also grappled with the issue.

The project first stalled in December last year after the previous Napthine government promised to have a 3G phone service working underground by the end of 2014, with 4G ready by 2015.

It was delayed for a second time earlier this year, as VicTrack blamed issues with radios communicating with Metro and a lack of access to the City Loop to install the required infrastructure.

Optus is leading the consortium of telcos piping phone coverage through the City Loop, however a spokesman would not comment on the project, saying it was best to speak with VicTrack. I HAVE 4G IN THE CITY LOOP TUNNEL! Thank you for finally catching up with technology, #Melbourne— Leith Marshall (@LeithMarshall) October 13, [email protected] I notice I had 4G coverage through the Melbourne city loop. Has it been turned on for testing? Or is official turn on imminent?— Rocco Dimase (@resadude) October 12, 2015I have 4G in the city loop.. first time ever. testing, testing @VodafoneAU— Andrew Collins (@AndyCollinsSP) October 13, 2015Not losing phone coverage in the city loop is an absolute game changer for Melbourne. #nostoppingusnow— Riley Brettell (@RBrettell13) October 13, 2015Strong mobile signal Richmond-Parliament (Caulfield Loop). On and off over recent months. Assume still testing. pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/JAnS6pOLnz— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) October 12, [email protected] Hi Daniel, mobile carriers are currently undertaking final testing in the loop— VicTrack (@VicTrack_Vic) October 13, 2015I just got full 4G coverage in Melbourne city Loop. Has this been turned on for all? Go #vodafone— Rajesh Vasa (@rvasa) October 12, 2015

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Police force grapples with mental health and guns

John Silvester: The emotional toll of policing

A veteran police officer charged with murder had an extensive history of psychiatric problems, which has raised further concerns about Victoria Police’s handling of mental illness and its policies surrounding access to firearms.

The suicide of another police officer on Monday, who is also understood to have suffered from mental illness yet was armed with a service revolver, is expected to intensify pressure on Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton to act.

Force command has been accused of being slow to react to the increasingly erratic behaviour of several officers, who were deemed fit to work and permitted to carry firearms.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the force had strict policies to the ability of members to carry personal firearms which take into account, health, wellbeing and welfare issues.

“Members are monitored very closely in relation to carrying a firearm. We are not complacent and continually review these policies to ensure they remain robust, and we look for opportunities to improve,” the spokeswoman said.

Senior Constable Tim Baker, 44, is understood to have suffered serious mental health issues for almost a decade before he killed Vlado Micetic during a routine intercept in Windsor in 2013. He was charged with one count of murder last week, after shooting Mr Micetic three times in the chest and claiming he acted in self-defence.

Mr Baker took extended leave on several occasions because of his illness, and was only allowed to resume work after approval from a Victoria Police psychiatrist.

But less than a year before the shooting, it is believed Mr Baker was involved in a serious altercation with another officer during Operational Safety Tactics and Training that should have set off alarms, according to colleagues of the accused man.

During firearms training, an instructor placed a hand on Mr Baker to assist with his stance. According to a source, Mr Baker responded: “take your hands off me or I’ll f…ing kill you”.

Two former colleagues have expressed serious concern that Mr Baker was subsequently issued with a gun and permitted to work alone.

“He should not have been operational and he definitely should not have been working by himself. It’s a failure of the department and Tim’s supervisors, they’re the ones who should also be held accountable for this tragedy,” said a former colleague.

Another officer, who worked briefly with Mr Baker, said his mental health issues were widely known and he had received professional help.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles refused to discuss Mr Baker’s case, but said more than 200 officers had gone on sick leave over the past year because of depression and post-traumatic stress.

As Victoria Police force grapples with the issue of mental health and an entrenched history of “suffering in silence”, Mr Iddles urged more members to seek help when they were unable to cope with the demands of the job.

The state coroner is presently investigating at least four police suicides, including the death of an information technology specialist at the Victoria Police Centre in June, who did not carry a weapon as part of his daily duties, but was issued with a gun by the transit safety division.

The man shot himself at a Rosanna primary school, where his estranged partner is believed to have worked.

A senior police officer said the man should never have been given the weapon .

“The force hasn’t always been great at dealing with (the) mental health or stability of its people. Obviously the job’s stressful and people handle it different ways, and there’s definitely some coppers who shouldn’t have guns.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the force had appointed Deakin University to assist with a workplace analysis, while also undertaking an internal review of the welfare work and support it provides to officers.

“The Chief Commissioner has commissioned an external review to look at what more Victoria Police can do to best manage the issues surrounding mental health to ensure that going forward we deal with these issues in the best way possible,” the spokeswoman said.

For any help contact:

Lifeline 131 114

beyondblue 1300 224 636

SuicideLine 1300 651 251

MensLine 1300 789 978

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New CBD skyscraper rules ‘stunned’ Asian investors

Planning Minister Richard Wynne. Photo: Paul JeffersAsian investors in Melbourne’s central business district have been “stunned” by new rules restricting skyscraper density in the city centre, a planning consultancy that works extensively with overseas firms building apartment towers has warned.

Urbis director Sarah Horsfield said the new rules risked putting “a handbrake on investment”.

Ms Horsfield told a Property Council breakfast that the introduction of the one-year interim rules last month had hurt the confidence “of a lot of our Asian investor clients who have been quite frankly stunned that the rules of the game can be so fundamentally changed overnight without any prior warning”.

But the government insists that billions of investment dollars are expected to flow into the CBD.

The measures impose mandatory height limits for an initial one-year period and require more space between buildings and shadow and wind controls.

The measures dictate that highrise buildings in the CBD can only go above set, lower height limits if they make trade-offs with contributions to public open space or other community facilities.

City real estate agents CBRE, which has been successful in marketing scores of CBD properties to Asian investors, said there had “been a major shift in terms of confidence from developers coming to Melbourne from Malaysia, Singapore and China since the election of the Andrews government” because former planning minister Matthew Guy signed off on so many high-rise apartment projects.

“Victoria needs to be very aware of how many of these groups are now looking to deploy capital to both New South Wales and Queensland. It’s real and they are a major threat to Victoria’s competitiveness and future prosperity,” said CBRE’s Mark Wizel.

However, Planning Minister Minister Richard Wynne said this year he had approved more than $3.7 billion worth of construction around the inner city, including 6000 apartments and 1550 hotel rooms.

He said it was his responsibility to ensure investment improved the city rather than creating “dark, windy streets”.

“What sort of a city does not have a plan for how it will grow?” he said. “Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong are among the major cities which have a plan for growth with far stricter conditions than what I have introduced.”

The interim controls apply to the Hoddle Grid, which covers the CBD and Southbank.

Mr Wynne said he could also use his discretion to approve applications that “give something back to the community”, such as open space or a child care centre.

The government will conduct consultation on the measures early next year before they are fully implemented.

Property Council Victorian deputy executive director Asher Judah said the property industry generally agreed that rules governing development in the CBD needed to be “refreshed”. However, he said the latest measures had eroded the confidence of investors.

“The interim measures have undermined investor confidence and have raised question marks over the values of some properties in the city, particularly along Flinders Street,” he said.

Mr Judah said Asian investors may have been rattled by the combination of the cancellation of the East West Link contract, a new foreign investors’ tax and the latest interim measures.

He said those particular conditions did not exist in other cities, including Sydney and Brisbane.

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Bendigo junior cyclists impress in state school road finals

Bendigo cyclists performed strongly in Sunday’s Victorian Schools Cycling Championship Road State Finals in the Bendigo central business district.

Students from across Victoria converged on Bendigo for the final leg of the 2015 series.

RISING STAR: Belinda Bailey dominated the under-11 female race. Picture: DION JELBART PHOTOGRAPHY

Five Bendigo riders – Dylan McKenna, Jagan Woods, Angus Gill, Belinda Bailey and Sam Buckell –won gold medals in the criterium event.

Creek Street College’sBelinda Bailey started the gold medal haul with victory in the female under-11 race.

THRILLER: Jagan Woods, far right, holds off his rivals to win the under-17 final. Picture: DION JELBART PHOTOGRAPHY

Camp Hill’s Angus Hill followed suit in the male under-11 race.

TOP CLASS: Sam Buckell cruises to the line to win the under-15 final. Picture: DION JELBART PHOTOGRAPHY

Young gun Sam Buckell reaffirmed his status as one of the most promising junior riders in Victoria by winning the under-15 male final.

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Angus Gill celebrates his under-11 victory. Picture: DION JELBART PHOTOGRAPHY

Buckell, from Bendigo South East College,won a sprint to the finish line in the 20 minutes plus two laps event.

Girton Grammar’s Jagan Woods won a thrilling under-17 male final in a bunch finish.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College’s Dylan McKenna rounded out the event with a strong victory in the male under-19 final.

SPEEDSTER: Dylan McKenna, left, wins the under-19 state final. Picture: DION JELBART PHOTOGRAPHY

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