Origin is a special competition, from its unique nature fostered by a state duopoly on the NRL to the passion it ignites that is generally reserved for only the fiercest international sporting rivalries. There is no other event quite like it in the
'Origin is a special competition, from its unique nature fostered by a state duopoly on the NRL to the passion it ignites that is generally reserved for only the fiercest international sporting rivalries. There is no other event quite like it in the world and everything that can be done to protect it must be considered. After all, AFL had their own State of Origin series that petered out and died over time due to nervous clubs not willing to risk their players in what was seen as a pointless series. But for NRL fans and players, Origin is not pointless. In a sport with little international competition, Origin could almost be seen as a hotly contested, yearly World Cup between the two titans of the rugby league community. Both state teams would beat most international sides with ease but one crucial element would be missing in those hypothetical contests. Passion. Passion is the fuel Origin has survived and flourished on for decades. Passion is what made Josh Morris limp back on to the field after tearing his PCL to tackle Greg Inglis and help give NSW their first series victory in nine years. Passion is why Allan Langer answered Queensland’s SOS call to come back from England to fight for them one more time in 2001. Without this passion, the game will wither into a husk of its former self and surely die, as it did in the AFL. Unfortunately we can see a fleeting glimpse of this fading passion starting to occur with this Luke Keary situation. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) When the new Origin eligibility criteria were introduced in 2012, Luke Keary was ruled as a New South Welshman despite growing up in Queensland and idolising their players as any young Queensland fan is bound by state law to do. Naturally, there is some discomfort, then, that he is being forced to play for New South Wales and one can hardly blame him for that. In his mind he surely was a Queenslander – after all, he wrote to Todd Greenberg specifically asking whether his status could be changed. I sympathise with him and this stubbornness does show his passion for his original state. The problem comes now that Keary is well and truly in talks for Origin selection, and he seems content to play for the Blues. He has made a few feeble statements about how he is there for NSW “if they ever need me” and has been in and around the camp for a few years now, signaling his debut is imminent. But fans of Origin don’t want someone to have to play for their state. They want them to fight for every chance they get to put on their maroon or blue jersey. No doubt the rumored $30,000 payment per game is alluring to players even on Keary’s salary, but it can’t just be about the money in Origin or the fans will sense it and the money will dry up anyway. \t \t\tMore League\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tQueensland: If you want Keary so much, you can keep him\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tLessons that British rugby league never learn\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tBrisbane Broncos vs Canterbury Bulldogs: NRL live scores, blog\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tMark Coyne prepared to accept ARLC fate\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tHow the hell are the Sea Eagles contenders again?\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t \t\tLeague\t Now is the time, with recent talks firing up again about Queensland trying to poach Keary, for him to decide which direction to go in and stick with it with all his heart. If he really has had a change of heart then he should come out firing, throw all the speculation away and shout from the rooftops about how he bleeds blue. However, the fact that he hasn’t done this and allows rumors to keep swirling suggests he really does want to play for Queensland and is only begrudgingly putting on the opposition jersey. Luke, if you still feel yourself a Queenslander, then fight for that. Fight to play for them and take it to the highest authority you can. NSW fans might not like it but they will respect it and your home state will love you for it. It’s not the easy option but Origin isn’t about it being easy. If you are a Queenslander, then be a Queenslander. If you are a New South Welshman, then be a New South Welshman. The only thing Origin demands of you is to not be soft and, if you play for New South Wales despite still loving Queensland, then that is the soft way out and an unforgivable sin to both states.'
Koala overpopulation on Kangaroo Island cannot be fixed by shipping the animals to Queensland and NSW, experts say.
'Moving koalas would be unethical, inhumane and unlikely to succeed, Queensland Koala Expert Panel member Alistair Melzer said. “It’s not feasible,” he said. “It’s the wrong beast, and the wrong place.” Culling koalas has been recommended to State Parliament by the Natural Resources Committee. After 23 years of trying, non-lethal controls have failed to stop the population explosion and a cull was needed, the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management told the committee. Hundreds of readers responded to an Advertiser report on the cull , saying koalas should be sent to eastern states. Kangaroo Island has about 49,000 koalas, up from an estimated 5000 in the mid-1990s. More than 12,500 koalas have been sterilised at $350-$400 each. Some 3800 were moved to the South-East but koalas became stressed and the costly program suspended. Southern koalas would be unlikely to survive a move east, an Environment Department spokesperson said. Dr Melzer, of CQ University, agreed, saying: “There’s a whole suite of complications.” While technically the same species and possible to interbreed, northern and southern koalas are “fundamentally a different animal”, he said. Koalas from SA and Victoria were far larger, were unsuited to tropical conditions and ate different eucalypts. Joeys inherit food preferences via the mother’s gut flora and may not be able to adapt. Trials of relocating koalas have met with limited success. Koalas are territorial and a Queensland trial ended with a large proportion of animals killed by dogs or run over on roads, as they wandered on the ground trying to get home. Koalas stress when newcomers entered their territory. In a Victorian trial, a group of koalas free of chlamydia rapidly succumbed to the disease when moved to an area where others were carriers. “So those animals suffered as well,” Dr Melzer said. Loss of habit because of urbanisation is driving the collapse in South-East Queensland. In the regions, climate change effects such as increased drought, heatwaves and bushfires are the primary drivers following broadacre land clearing, Dr Melzer said. Koala, kangaroo cull Koalas in Queensland, NSW and the ACT have been listed as vulnerable since 2012. A senate committee was established into “Australia’s faunal extinction crisis” but lapsed after delivering an interim report in April. The report said there were an estimated 10 million koalas nationwide before European settlement. Non-government organisation the Australian Koala Foundation estimates there are fewer than 80,000 koalas nationwide and they are possibly as few as 43,000, based on volunteer sightings over three decades. “We do need to deal with both the decline and overabundance but moving the koalas is not a meaningful answer,” Dr Melzer said. Watch a koala and her baby use a watering station. Video: Courtesy of the University of Sydney'