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Fukushima workers check tanks for leaks

Written on August 12, 2019 at 17:33, by

Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are scrambling to check 300 tanks storing highly radioactive water, after one sprang a leak that is feared to have seeped into the Pacific.

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About 300 tonnes of toxic liquid was believed to have escaped from one of the tanks that hold water used to cool the broken reactors, while operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) warned some of it might have flowed into the ocean.

“We are hurriedly checking if some 300 tanks of the same type holding contaminated water have the same leak problem,” a TEPCO spokesman said.

“We have finished pumping out water from the troubled tank, while we have continued removing the soil soaked by the water,” he said.

Spokesman Tsuyoshi Numajiri said on Wednesday that traces of radioactivity were detected in a drainage stream.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that part of the contaminated water flowed into the sea,” he said.

On Wednesday, nuclear regulators said the leak represented a level-three “serious incident” on the UN’s seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), which measures radiation accidents.

The alert was raised from level one, which indicates an “anomaly”.

It is the most serious single event since the plant was declared to be in a “state of cold shutdown” – effectively indicating it was under control at the end of 2011.

The quake and tsunami-sparked meltdowns at the plant in March of that year were ultimately declared to be level seven on the INES scale. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 is the only other incident to have been given the most serious ranking.

TEPCO has said puddles of water near the tank were so toxic that anyone exposed to them would receive the same amount of radiation in an hour that a nuclear plant worker in Japan is allowed to receive in five years.

The utility did not have a water-level gauge on the 1000-tonne tank, which experts say would have made it a lot more difficult to detect the problem.

Thursday’s safety checks on 300 tanks came after Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) chairman Shunichi Tanaka on Wednesday voiced concern that there could be similar leaks from other containers.

“We must carefully deal with the problem on the assumption that if one tank springs a leak the same thing can happen at other tanks,” he said.

The company – which faces huge clean-up and compensation costs – has struggled to cope with the disaster.

More than two years after the meltdowns, it continues to be beset by difficulties, chief among which is how it should handle the vast amounts of water used to cool the broken reactors.

Around 1000 tanks of varying sizes have been installed at the site to contain it, but experts warn this can only be a temporary fix.

A series of problems, and delays in announcing them to the public, have added to the impression that the huge utility is not on top of the clean-up.

TEPCO in July admitted for the first time that radioactive groundwater had been leaking outside the plant.

This month it started pumping it out to reduce leakage into the Pacific.

The problems have led the Japanese government and the NRA to say they would become more directly involved in the operation at Fukushima.

While no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the radiation released by the meltdowns, large areas around the plant had to be evacuated.

Tens of thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes, with scientists warning some areas may have to be abandoned.

Russia vows no discrimination at Olympics

Written on August 12, 2019 at 17:33, by

Russian authorities have given “strong” assurances that gay and lesbian competitors at next year’s Winter Olympics will not face discrimination, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge said Friday during a visit to the United Nations.

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Gay rights activists have led calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Games in protest at Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law.

The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, punishes the dissemination of information about homosexuality to minors.

Activists say it can be used for a broad crackdown against gays — fuelling fears participants at the Winter Olympics could be targeted.

However, Rogge said Friday that Russian officials had assured Olympics organisers athletes would not be affected.

“We have received new and strong assurances, both verbally and in writing, that there will not be any discrimination against participants at the Sochi Games,” Rogge told reporters.

“We are reassured by the fact that the Russian Federation accepts and respects the Olympic Charter,” he added.

Under the legislation signed by Putin, foreigners can be fined up to 100,000 rubles (about $A3,346.91), detained for up to 15 days or expelled from the country.

Rogge meanwhile said he expects the climax of the race to host the 2020 Olympics next month to come down to just a handful of votes.

The IOC membership will gather in Buenos Aires for a September 7 meeting to choose the 2020 hosts from a shortlist of Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul.

“The three cities are very close to each other,” Rogge said. “(It) will not be not easy to determine the winner.

“The ultimate choice will be a matter of a difference of two or three votes, no more than that.”

Rogge was joined by tennis’s world number one Novak Djokovic at the UN on Friday as the general assembly agreed to launch the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6 next year.

Medich moves to suppress evidence

Written on August 12, 2019 at 17:33, by

Property tycoon Ron Medich is attempting to suppress evidence of a number of witnesses in his committal hearing for the shooting murder of businessman Michael McGurk.

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Medich, dressed in a navy suit and pink and blue striped tie, appeared calm as the hearing began at Central Local Court on Tuesday.

His co-accused, 23-year-old Christopher Estephan, sat in the dock wearing a grey suit.

Estephan’s mother was in the gallery.

During the first day of the hearing – in which no evidence was called – Medich’s barrister Winston Terracini SC made an application for an interim non-publication order on the evidence of a number of “civilian witnesses” and that of co-offenders Lucky Gattellari, Haissam Safetli and Senad Kaminic.

Mr Terracini said there had been an enormous amount of publicity surrounding the case and “some factual and other reporting nonsense”.

“We don’t want reporting on these matters before the primary witness (Gattellari) gets into the witness box,” he said.

Once the trio have given evidence, Mr Terracini said the order could be lifted and “the media can publish anything they see fit”.

Magistrate Jan Stevenson said she was reluctant to grant the non-publication order in the interests of justice and because of the amount of material already in the public domain.

It would mean no evidence could be reported for at least the first two to three weeks of the hearing, now set down for four to six weeks.

The hearing will decide whether the pair should stand trial for the murder of Mr McGurk, who was shot outside his Cremorne home in 2009.

The crown alleges 65-year-old Medich enlisted the help of one-time boxing champion Gattellari to carry out the contract killing on Mr McGurk after their business relationship began deteriorating in late 2008 and they became embroiled in several legal disputes.

Gattellari then allegedly recruited Kaminic, Safetli and Estephan to assist in the hit.

Safetli, who has pleaded guilty to murdering Mr McGurk, alleges he and Estephan went to the businessman’s home on September 3, 2009.

Upon seeing Mr McGurk drive home, he alleges the then 19-year-old Estephan grabbed a modified rifle, walked up to the businessman’s Mercedes and shot him at close range.

But Estephan alleges he thought they were going for a drive and it was the 47-year-old who fired the gun.

Ms Stevenson adjourned the matter until August 13, when media outlets are set to challenge the application.

Of the five men charged in relation to the killing, only Estephan and Medich are facing committal.

Gattellari and Kaminic were sentenced earlier this year for their part in the murder, while Safetli is due to be sentenced this week.

Djokovic, Nadal advance to Montreal semi-final showdown

Written on August 12, 2019 at 17:33, by

Djokovic, the world number one, was flawless in a 6-1 6-2 demolition of French seventh seed Richard Gasquet while Nadal was equally emphatic in a straight sets win over Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic.

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Serbia’s Djokovic and Spaniard Nadal will face off for the 36th time after the 11th seed Milos Raonic and local wildcard Vasek Pospisil compete in an all-Canadian semi-final.

Djokovic was imperious against Gasquet as he produced his best performance since returning from a month off after losing the Wimbledon final.

Unleashing his full repertoire of big serves, crushing ground strokes and plenty of touch, Djokovic barely raised a sweat as Gasquet was emphatically dispatched in just 52 minutes.

The crowd then got more entertainment when Djokovic returned to the centre court for what has become his customary celebration dance as the stadium roared its approval.

“It’s a great feeling when you’re playing this well and you beat a quality player like Gasquet,” Djokovic told reporters.

“I’m going to try to memorise what I’ve done today and how I felt and hopefully take it on the court tomorrow … same kind of feeling.”

Nadal was always in control of his quarter-final against a fatigued Matosevic, who had come through two qualifying matches on top of his three main draw victories.

The 12-time grand slam champion never looked like being seriously challenged under the lights and he let rip with a procession of thundering forehand winners on the way to a 6-2 6-4 victory which booked his place in another Masters series semi-final against Djokovic.

“It is always exciting to play against Novak in a great tournament, a Masters 1000,” Nadal said in a courtside interview. “It will be a great match and I’ll try my best as I always do.”

LOCAL FLAVOUR

Local favourite Milos Raonic held his nerve to beat Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in a thrilling quarter-final to join fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the semi-finals.

Raonic, the world number 13, kept his cool in front of a parochial home crowd as he overcame Gulbis 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 in a two and a half hour showdown.

With the crowd willing him on and jeering Gulbis’ every shot, Raonic claimed the first set tiebreak, before his opponent forced a deciding third set through a brilliant display of shot making.

Gulbis kept swinging in the decider but Raonic’s serve got him out of some difficult spots and when his opponent wobbled, Raonic pounced to seal victory and set up a meeting with Pospisil.

“It’s a great thing, it means a lot, not just to us but to Canadian tennis,” Raonic said.

“But at the same time, it’s another tennis match. That doesn’t change.”

Pospisil won through after Russia’s former world number three Nikolay Davydenko, who had showed signs this week of a return to form, retired while trailling 3-0 in the first set of their quarter-final.

The 71st ranked Pospisil had already beaten American John Isner and Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych this week in three sets so was happy to finally have a lighter workout.

“Even in those three games, I was really trying to catch my breath,” a tired Pospisil said.

“I felt like I had a bit of sore legs … so it (quick win) came at a great time.”

Andy Murray’s singles campaign may have ended prematurely but the Wimbledon champion and partner Colin Fleming have won through to the doubles semi-finals.

They defeated the fifth seeded Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer to set up a match against the top ranked Mike and Bob Bryan.

(Editing by Julian Linden/Greg Stutchbury)

Socceroos celebrate destination Rio

Written on August 12, 2019 at 17:33, by

Australia sealed its place in world football’s showpiece event with a tense 1-nil victory over Iraq.

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The crowd of over 80,000 fans at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium had to wait until the 83rd minute for match-winner, courtesy of a headed goal from substitute striker Josh Kennedy.

 

Attila Mosonyi reports.

 

Large crowds greeted the Socceroos at Sydney’s harbour foreshore to congratulate them on securing a spot in their third successive World Cup finals.

 

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop led the victory celebrations at Circular Quay by emphasising the significance of the Socceroos’ achievement.

 

“This is the thing that other countries want to be part of. This is important for Australian football. This is important for Australian sport. This is important for our nation. I want to congratulate our team, they have put in courageous performance on the field and just as importantly they have conducted themselves with pride and humility off the field.”

 

Head coach Holger Osieck has thanked the crowd for their support and promised more to come from his team in Brazil.

 

“I’m very happy for all you guys for your great support and that we could make it to the World Cup. And we will make you proud, for sure!”

 

It’s been a long and tough qualifying campaign for the Socceroos and it all came down to the final 10 minutes of their last Group B match against Iraq.

 

Australia controlled possession from start to finish, but was unable to convert its opportunities.

 

Time and time again, the Socceroos failed to convert and the stoic Iraqi defence held on until half-time.

 

But back again after the break, Robbie Kruse volleyed the ball into the back of the net in the 65th minute.

 

Celebration quickly turned to frustration as the referee disallowed the goal because of a foul.

 

Amid a flurry of substitutions, Coach Osieck brought on Josh Kennedy, replacing prolific goal-scorer Tim Cahill, who was visibly angry with the decision.

 

The substitution turned out to be a master-stoke when Kennedy’s clinical 83rd-minute header sent the crowd wild.

 

Here’s how it was called on SBS Radio.

 

“Josh Kennedy has scored. Delirium at Stadium Australia. Australia have one foot in the World Cup of 2014. Josh Kennedy, expertly with the head. And it’s Australia 1, Iraq nil.”

 

It was Kennedy’s first match for Australia in over a year, and speaking with SBS after the match, he couldn’t hide his delight.

 

“It’s amazing feeling. I guess the boss has been waiting to use me in the last game, so I think it was meant to be, yeah an amazing moment for me and for the boys, it’s a great feeling.”

 

Socceroos captain Lucas Neill is one of four Socceroos players – alongside Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer – who have qualified for their third World Cup.

 

The veteran defender has admitted to SBS that it’s been an emotional qualification campaign.

 

“Relief, overwhelmed, really proud. It’s been a very hard campaign. Six months ago it was looking a little bit iffy, but we stuck together, we played some really good football in the last three games and now we get to realise a dream and that dream is that we are going to another world cup, my third and this is just great for the nation.”

Prince may still reign at Broncos

Written on July 11, 2019 at 13:28, by

Rather than give Scott Prince a tap on the shoulder, Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has provided the veteran pivot a pat on the back ahead of the 2014 NRL season.

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Prince appeared on borrowed time at Brisbane after reports claimed the 33-year-old was told he was not guaranteed NRL action next year and had contemplated retirement.

Once speculation emerged that unsettled star Anthony Milford could be slotted in as Broncos five-eighth next year if released by Canberra, Prince looked like a dead man walking.

But Griffin seemed bemused by the claims on Thursday, saying Prince would decide when his time was up after helping inspire Brisbane to a four-game unbeaten run that has kept their NRL finals hopes alive.

Asked if Prince had turned it around since being told he may not be in the NRL mix next year, Griffin said: “It would be a good motivator if they get told that.

“You guys are writing the stuff that you hear.

“Scott Prince is playing some good football.

“It’s a credit to him over the last month he has been able to lift.”

Asked if Prince could be wearing the No.6 jersey again next year, Griffin said: “He could be, yeah.

“He’s doing a good job. He’s obviously coming toward the end of his career, (but) when that is will be up to him.”

Rather than sweat on Milford’s availability, Griffin said he liked what he saw from Prince in a new-look halves pairing with Ben Hunt.

“It has been a challenge for him but his defensive game is getting better each week,” Griffin said of Prince.

“And when a guy like him gets confidence out of that the rest of his game gets better.

“That’s why we brought him here, in the important games to be at his best.”

And Friday night’s clash at Penrith doesn’t get much more important.

The 10th-placed Broncos have moved to within one point of the top eight with three rounds left but must keep winning to scrape in.

One slip-up would also spell the end for 12th-placed Penrith, who snapped a three-game losing run with a shock 28-24 last round win away to the Warriors.

Griffin said the battle of the halves would be crucial in the crunch clash but hinted the jury was still out on his young halfback Hunt.

“He’s been patchy,” he said.

“Over his four games he has has shown some real brilliance but also faded out of games at times, but he understands that.

“There’s another level he needs to find to really stamp himself as a top No.7.”

Migrants hard-hit by affordable housing shortage

Written on July 11, 2019 at 13:28, by

It’s long been regarded as the Australian dream to own your own home.

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But new research has found, despite interest rates being at historic lows, growing numbers of Australians are giving up on that dream and renting instead.

 

And that is particularly true for many newly-arrived migrants, international students and refugees.

 

Michael Kenny reports.

 

The National Housing Supply Council says it is growing increasingly concerned over a shortage of affordable housing in Australia.

 

A new report from the federal policy advisory body says this is being particularly felt by would-be property buyers with low or insecure incomes, including newly-arrived migrants, refugees and many Indigenous Australians.

 

The Supply Council believes high property prices are forcing growing numbers of Australians to give up on getting a loan and instead compete in an increasingly unaffordable rental market.

 

The housing lobby group National Shelter says the federal government has made some progress in addressing the problem by investing 20 billion dollars in affordable housing over the past five years.

 

However the group’s chairman, Adrian Pisarski, believes some disadvantaged groups, like refugees, are still struggling to access affordable housing.

 

“We are seeing increasing rates of homelessness amongst those communities and what happens then is that people might find themselves some crisis accommodation and there is really just nowhere to move to once they are in that circumstance. It is becoming increasingly difficult for anyone on a low income. But people who are recent arrivals, or if they’ve come from countries that don’t have similar legal situations to the one we do in terms of tenancy law, they will also struggle as well.”

 

The National Housing Supply Council says their data show many newly-arrived migrants and refugees are renting, rather than purchase a home.

 

A study released last year from the Australian National University’s Demographic and Social Research Institute, showed 85 per cent of recent arrivals were renters.

 

The institute’s senior research fellow, Professor Siew Ean Khoo, says many recent arrivals are living in over-crowded rented accommodation and this is particularly true for many international students.

 

However Professor Khoo says the institute’s research shows many migrants and refugees are shifting from renting to purchasing a home around five years after they arrive in Australia.

 

“There are quite a lot of differences across the different categories of migrants, depending upon when they arrive actually. Those who are more recent arrivals tend to be renting and those who come here as permanent migrants and who have been in Australia a few years, they tend to become home-owners.”

 

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia says high housing costs are forcing many newly-arrrived migrants and refugees to live in outlying suburbs in capital cities where land and house prices tend to be less expensive.

 

However FECCA chairman Pino Migliorino says many new migrants then see a lot of their incomes eroded in commuting costs as their jobs tend to be located more in the centre of the big cities.

 

Mr Migliorino says many refugees particularly struggle to access affordable accommodation because they are more likely to be on much lower incomes than other Australians.

 

“The amounts that they’re actually allowed to spend on accommodation are limited and therefore quite often they have to live in a group together. We have had a lot of recent refugees, particularly single men who are coming here as irregular maritime arrivals who have been granted refugee visas. They’re keen to get their families here – that’s why they came. And the situation is that they thn end up grouping themselves with others in the same situation in households.”

 

Mr Migliorino says many refugees are then forced to live in overcrowded accommodation.

 

He says they may have a poorer understanding of Australian tenancy laws which can leave them at greater risk of exploitation by unscrupulous landlords and real estate agents.

 

The housing lobby group, National Shelter, says this highlights the need for more public information on tenant’s rights in community languages.

 

National Shelter’s Adrian Pisarski says more effort is also needed to help many Indigenous Australians access affordable housing, both in remote and urban parts of the country.

 

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience the worse disadvantage in housing terms in Australia and very often live in over-crowded situations, particularly in remote communities, but also in urban areas.”

 

Mr Pisarski says he believes the federal government should use its upcoming budget in May to create a one-billion-dollar Affordable Housing Growth fund.

 

He also supports calls from the developers’ lobby group, the Urban Development Institute of Australia, for more effective local government approval processes to help speed up the process of building new homes.

 

The Institute has also raised concerns over the lack of available land set aside to construct new homes, especially in big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

 

Mr Pisarski says unless all levels of government act now, there is a real danger of rising homelessness among low-income Australians.

 

“It’s not really a choice. It really needs to be done because if they don’t do it, those costs will appear somewhere else. We’re really at a point where increasing numbers of people will become homeless and once people become homeless, it is both far more expensive to address that and far more difficult for them to return to a normal way of living than if we prevented it in the first place.”

 

 

Buckman storms into 1500m final

Written on July 11, 2019 at 13:28, by

New Australian middle distance sensation Zoe Buckman is hungry for a 1500m medal at the world athletics championships.

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And having qualified fastest for Thursday night’s final, smashing her personal best along the way, she is suddenly in just the sort of form to satisfy that appetite.

Buckman, 24, got the tactics just right in the opening semi-final, sitting in second spot for much of the race and then sprinting down the inside to claim the win when an opportunity presented itself in the final straight.

By setting a PB of four minutes 4.82 seconds and becoming the first Australian woman to qualify for a 1500m final at a world championships, Buckman has already matched the two targets she set herself before arriving in Moscow.

Now it’s time to dream bigger.

“Honestly coming in I didn’t think I was capable of medals,” she said.

“My aim was just to get to the final and with what I have done the last few races I can see that I am capable of that.

“I have a fighting chance, and I have the kick down.

” … my expectations are the only thing that matter and they are quite high and I am hungry to medal.”

Buckman developed her racing skills while at university in Oregon before returning home to Melbourne to train under Nic Bideau.

“Nic teaches me how to be competitive and think big,” said Buckman, who has made steady improvements over the last couple of years before taking a giant leap forward in Moscow.

“I was a bit more tense in that race than in the heat because it just means so much to me to make the final and I was up against a harder bunch so I had to try and stay relaxed in the early stages of the race.

“Once I got through I told myself to just keep running hard right to the line and not just hang out for fourth place.”

Kenyan Faith Kipyegon was second, one hundredth of a second behind Buckman.

Abeba Aregawi of Sweden won the slower second semi in 4:05.66.

In other Australian action on day four, Julian Wruck threw well below his best to finish 11th in the men’s discus.

Wruck – who set his personal best of 68.16m in California in June – could do no better than 62.40m on Sunday to miss the halfway cut in the final.

Germany’s Robert Harting continued his modern-day domination of the event, claiming a third straight world title with a best throw of 69.11m to go with his London Olympics triumph.

Piotr Malachowski of Poland was second with 68.36m and Gerd Kanter of Estonia was third with 65.19m.

Australian duo Lauren Boden and Tristan Thomas were both eliminated in the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles.

Boden was second-last in her semi in 55.75 seconds, with Czech Zuzana Hejnova clocking the fastest qualifying time of 53.52 heading into Thursday night’s final.

Thomas didn’t fare any better in the men’s semis, where he was also seventh in his race in 49.91.

Ancelotti keeps mum on Bale move to Real Madrid

Written on July 11, 2019 at 13:28, by

Bale’s move to the Spanish capital has been widely flagged in Spanish and British media and is said to be worth 99 million euros ($133 million), eclipsing the price of around 95 million Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

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Photographs of Bale in the Spanish holiday resort of Marbella appeared in local media on Sunday, prompting speculation he will be presented at Real’s Bernabeu stadium on Tuesday or Wednesday.

At a news conference on Sunday previewing Monday’s La Liga game at Granada, Ancelotti was asked where Bale might fit into his team.

The Italian laughed and said he had not thought about it as he had “other problems at the moment”.

“I understand it’s a very interesting issue for everyone but I can’t say anything because he is not a Real Madrid player right now,” he added. “I am sorry but I can’t reply.”

Quizzed later by British journalists, he said there were two reasons why he did not want to discuss the issue publicly.

“First of all because Gareth Bale is not a Real Madrid player at this moment,” Ancelotti said.

“The second because I need to have respect for my players and we are focused on our game tomorrow.”

He said he did not know if Bale would be the final addition to Real’s squad before the transfer window shuts.

“I need to have respect for the Spanish journalists who every day ask me this and I didn’t answer,” Ancelotti said. “So for you it’s the same I don’t want to answer.”

Ancelotti also responded to criticism from Barcelona’s new coach Gerardo Martino about Bale’s price tag.

Martino told a news conference on Saturday spending that amount of money on a soccer player would be “out of place in the current economic climate” and “a lack of respect to the world in general”.

“They were words I didn’t understand,” Ancelotti said.

“He (Martino) has not been here for long and he still doesn’t understand how European football works.

“He also doesn’t understand his own club because Barcelona has spent money on some very important players.

“I don’t want to talk about this but I think his words were a little strange.”

Champions Barca will be without the injured Lionel Messi when they play their second league match of the campaign at Malaga later on Sunday. ($1 = 0.7461 euros)

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Force re-sign hooker Heath Tessmann

Written on July 11, 2019 at 13:28, by

Western Force hooker Heath Tessmann says he’s confident the franchise is heading in the right direction after re-signing for a further two Super Rugby seasons.

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Tessmann notched 10 caps off the bench for the Rebels before being axed at the end of last year.

The 29-year-old came over to Perth in the hope of snaring a deal with the Force, and went on to play 13 games last year in a breakout campaign for himself.

Tessmann finished in the top-five of the Force Player of the Year award, and hopes to build on his game next season as the franchise attempts to earn a maiden finals berth.

“A lot of the technical work I’ve been doing with Foles (coach Michael Foley) has been very beneficial for my game,” Tessmann said.

“And it’s been exciting to see us improving across a number of key areas as a team this season.

“It’s exciting to be a part of a team on the up.

“We definitely turned the corner this year and the recruitment for next season will only continue that development.

“With a number of guys like Benny McCalman, Hugh McMeniman and Wykesy also re-signing this year, we’ve got a core group of players that played together this season and will continue to develop together over the next few years.”

The Force, who finished 13th last season with just four wins and a draw, have bolstered their forward pack with the signings of South African pair Wilhelm Steenkamp and Chris Heiberg.

Foley said he had been pleased with the forward pack he has been able to assemble.

“We’re developing a forward pack that is not only skilled in the set piece but also has the ability to have an impact in the open – and Heath fits that bill,” Foley said.