Adelaide shake the Fever in Super Netball

Adelaide Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan hailed his side’s fearless fightback to mow down West Coast Fever 56-51 in their season-opening Super Netball clash at Priceline Stadium.

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After trailing by seven goals at three-quarter-time and still 46-50 in arrears with 7:59 on the clock, the Thunderbirds dominated late in Sunday’s match, with eight unanswered goals amid a 10-1 overall flurry.

“In the last quarter we just encouraged them to be fearless and go for it,” Ryan said.

“With that lack of hesitation and basic structure in defence things just fell into gear.

“They were very unified and very connected.

“It looked like we were dead and buried, seven goals down in the third term.

“All guts in the end to get across the line.”

With Kate Beveridge proving a handful in the shooting circle early, the visitors had their noses in front following a topsy-turvy, fast-paced first half.

The Fever led 16-14 at quarter-time and 29-27 after a goal-for-goal second stanza. They got the better of Adelaide again in the third period with skipper Nat Medhurst taking control and Courtney Bruce shining in defence.

The home side kept Beveridge largely under wraps after halftime when the hosts substituted Jamaican Malysha Kelly in for Fiona Themann at goal defence.

The injection of debutant Gia Abernethy sparked the Thunderbirds in the middle as the Fever lost their grip on the contest.

West Coast coach Stacey Marinkovich accused her charges of playing too much like individuals in the fourth term, veering away from the team ethos that served them well for the first three quarters.

“You’ve got to be able to keep to your game plan and we probably detoured away from that and put ourselves under more pressure than we needed to be,” she said.

“We started to try and do everything individually and didn’t stay to our structures.

“It’s certainly a valuable lesson.”

Alcohol, drugs and lesbianism: Arab Israeli film faces backlash

The culture clash in “Bar Bahar” starts off when Nur, a veiled and conservative Muslim, moves into a flat with two other Arab Israeli women and sees their drug-taking, party-going lives.

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But for its director, the real shock of the film, which opened last month in Israel, has been the controversy it has whipped up, even death threats on social media.

Maysaloun Hamoud, herself an Arab, always hoped her first feature film would hit hard.

In its two hours, the Galilee-born filmmaker, 35, tackles almost all the taboos of Arab Israeli society: drugs, alcohol, homosexuality.

Salma is rejected by her Christian family for being a lesbian, while Leila leaves her boyfriend when she discovers he is more conservative than he claims.

But above all, there is the story of Nur, a native of the conservative city of Umm al-Fahm – a stronghold of the Islamic Movement, close to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Conservative, and initially shocked by the attitude of her roommates, Nur and the other two become friends and allies.

She ultimately rebels against her family and traditions by leaving her religious fiancé Wissam after he rapes her, a scene shown on screen.

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The film has already been released in the United States, under the title “In Between”, and it won three prizes at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain last year.

US magazine Variety called it a “compelling” drama and The Hollywood Reporter trumpeted it as a “sparkling, taboo-breaking first feature”.

The film company has not released ticket sale numbers but Hamoud said there had been a lot of feedback, mostly positive but some less so.

The response from Umm al-Fahm has been particularly sharp.

The municipality issued a statement condemning a film as being “without the slightest element of truth” and barring it from being screened there. 

They insisted, however, that they were happy to support “meaningful” art, but did not reply to a request for an interview.

Hamoud as well as her actresses have received death threats.

“Those who speak ill of Umm al-Fahm dig their own grave,” said one. “You need a bullet in the head and another in the heart,” a second read, Hamoud told AFP.

“For me as an artist, a director and a screenwriter who is a part of this society, it is my right to tackle any issue I feel is important enough for me to talk about,” Hamoud said in a cafe near where she lives in Jaffa, a predominantly Arab district of Tel Aviv.

“For the audience, if they want to see it they are welcome and I will be very happy. But if you don’t want to, don’t go,” she added.

Her face is framed by short black hair and she has tattooed arms, including one with the title of the film in the colours of the Palestinian flag.

Her film, she said, brings to the screen issues usually “hidden” among Arab Israelis, such as lustful, youthful evenings where cannabis smoke billows among dancers.

Bar Bahar, literally meaning “land and sea” in Arabic, translates as “neither here, nor there” in Hebrew.

For its director it aims to be “the voice of a generation” of young Arab Israelis who feel trapped between cultures.

Making up around 18 percent of Israel’s population, the 1.4 million Arab Israelis are descended from Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel was established in 1948.

Many identify as Palestinian but feel torn between identities – saying they experience discrimination and racism living and working in major Israeli cities.

“I’m not exaggerating, every scene is realistic,” Hammoud insisted.

Shaden Kanboura stars as Nour in the film ‘Bar Bahar.’Supplied

‘Contradictions’

Hamoud chose to set the film in Tel Aviv, regarded the most tolerant and liberal city in Israel, to make a point that even there racism against Arabs is prevalent.

She wanted to show the girls’ “otherness” in the city.

“They discover that no matter how far they go from their towns and the traditions they came from, they are shocked that the place where they are (Tel Aviv) doesn’t accept them.”

Hamoud wants to make films that help society “face its contradictions in order to move forward”.

“No one should feel good after the movie, neither Israelis nor Palestinians in this society.”

Trump insists White House running ‘so smoothly’

Donald Trump employed a loud and muscular delivery – one which won over millions of voters on the campaign trail last year – to assure Americans he is fulfilling his promises to shrink government, rebuild the military, and repeal and replace health care reforms enacted by predecessor Barack Obama.

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“This will be change for the ages,” the new president told several thousand supporters in an airport hangar in Melbourne, a sun-bleached city on Florida’s Space Coast.

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But Trump was completing his first month in office with his administration under a cloud back in Washington, where lawmakers pledge to further investigate his possible pre-election ties to Russia, his national security advisor was forced to resign in disgrace, and a cabinet nominee withdrew amid controversy.

“The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly,” Trump stressed, before going on an extended rant about the US media.

“I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news,” Trump said. 

“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources… they just don’t want to report the truth,” he said.

“They’ve become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system.”

Trump, who relishes campaigning perhaps like no other US politician, arrived to a thunderous cheer when Air Force One, the presidential jet, rolled up to the hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. 

Aside from the fact that the billionaire businessman is now leader of the free world, the feel was extremely similar to that of a Trump campaign event from last year — from the speakers, to the recorded music, to the president’s brash, largely impromptu delivery.

“We’re going to start producing jobs like you’ve never seen before,” Trump said, highlighting how his pro-growth agenda has already led some US firms to commit to domestic investments.

He reiterated his pledge to crack down on terrorism, saying he has asked Defense Secretary James Mattis to draft a “plan to totally destroy ISIS,” the Islamic State extremist group.

“I’ve ordered decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said, drawing loud cheers.

At one point Trump broke security protocol by inviting a supporter to hop a barrier and join him onstage.

“I wouldn’t say that the Secret Service was thrilled with that,” he said.

 

Trump worried about ‘big monster’ Irma

President Donald Trump has called Hurricane Irma “some big monster” as it batters the Florida coast, saying he wants to go to the state very soon and praising emergency officials for their efforts to protect people.

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“The bad news is that this is some big monster,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Sunday, saying damage from the storm would be very costly.

“Right now, we are worried about lives, not cost,” Trump said after returning from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where he monitored the storm and met with his Cabinet.

The path of the storm, tracking the west coast of Florida, meant it might be less destructive than it would otherwise have been, Trump said, noting the next five or six hours would be critical.

“I hope there aren’t too many people in the path,” he said. “You don’t want to be in that path.”

Trump said the US Coast Guard had been heroic and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was doing a good job to help coordinate the response with states. He added, however: “I think the hard part is now beginning.”

Trump has offered the full resources of the federal government to Florida and the affected states, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters during a visit to FEMA’s Washington headquarters on Sunday.

“Wherever Hurricane Irma goes, we’ll be there first,” Pence said. “We’ll be there with resources and support, both to save lives and to help to recover and rebuild these states and these communities.”

On Sunday, Trump also issued a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, and expanded federal funds available to the US Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Irma, the White House said.

Trump owns a resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has often travelled during his presidency, as well as three golf courses in the state.

“We’re going to Florida very soon,” Trump said.

Taumalolo says he made Gal "eat his words"

Jason Taumalolo says North Queensland made Cronulla captain Paul Gallen “eat his words” in Sunday’s pulsating 15-14 elimination NRL final victory.

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Gallen accused the Cowboys of “crying poor” in the lead up to the match over their hefty injury toll – which included co-captains and Test stars Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.

But the Cowboys had the last laugh when halfback Michael Morgan slotted over a 15-metre field goal in extra time, to end the Sharks’ premiership defence.

And Taumalolo, who looks up to Gallen and his longevity in the game, didn’t hesitate to hit back with some tongue in cheek when reminded of the barbs after the match.

“That’s Gal trying to get under our skin but it obviously didn’t really get to the boys’ heads,” Taumalolo said.

“It was a great battle and I think we were fortunate enough to get that win and make Gal eat his words a bit.”

Taumalolo and Gallen were both pillars of strengths for their respective teams at Allianz Stadium.

In performances that befitted the recent battles between the pair, Gallen posted a team-high 191 metres and 48 tackles in the middle for the Sharks while Taumalolo chalked up 242 running metres and scored a second-half try.

“As a player, you want to play against the best and tonight was no different,” Taumalolo said.

“Running into them both (Gallen and Andrew Fifita) a few times in the game was pretty good. The adrenaline rush was pumping a bit when you’re caught up in a battle in the middle.

“I have nothing but respect for both players”

Taumalolo’s effort was his 11th 200-plus-metre game of the season, while two quick play-the-balls in the lead up to Morgan’s field goal helped ice the match and book the Cowboys a semi-final date with Parramatta next Saturday in Sydney.

But he admitted he still admired the performances Gallen was churning out at age 36 – the oldest of any player in the NRL.

Gallen re-signed with Cronulla until the end of next season earlier this year, but has shown no signs of letting up his workload any time soon.

And 24-year-old Taumalolo – who signed a record 10-year deal with North Queensland in March – said he could only hope he’d still be at a similar level come the end of his career.

“He’s still making us young boys look a bit stupid at times with the crazy stats,” he said.

“With his age he’s still making 200-odd metres and 40 something tackles.

“That’s just typical of Gal, the way he’s playing. He could play another five or six years, he’s just one of those ageless players and hopefully we’ll see him play for another few seasons.”

AGL boss in Canberra for power chat

The federal government will try again to convince AGL boss Andy Vesey to keep one of the energy company’s coal-fired power stations operating.

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Mr Vesey will be in Canberra on Monday for the meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

The government wants AGL to keep its Liddell power station in NSW online beyond 2022 – or sell it – after the energy market operator said it needed to stay open for the stability of the electricity system.

“The reality is AGL relies heavily on coal … AGL get about 85 per cent of their power generation from coal,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday.

Mr Vesey has previously said AGL is getting out of coal and Liddell would close in five years time when its operating life ends.

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The company said they had advised its closure in April 2015 to avoid the volatility created by the sudden exit from the National Electricity Market of other coal-fired power stations.

“Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need,” he tweeted last week.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accused Mr Turnbull of trying to shift the blame for the country’s energy problem.

“We are in the midst of an energy crisis and it’s inconceivable Malcolm Turnbull is refusing to pull the gas export control trigger,” he said in a statement.

Mr Shorten said Mr Turnbull’s government has had four years to come up with a solution and the buck stopped with him.

“If he doesn’t fix this crisis as he’s promised, Australians will have every right to blame Malcolm Turnbull for each and every blackout this summer.”

Same-sex marriage: Ad restrictions deal close as ABS prepares to post first ballot papers

With the High Court challenge to the survey now settled, the government and Labor are trying to agree on a series of rules for the campaign.

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin posting ballot papers from tomorrow.

The ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ campaigns will run another two months before the deadline for responses on November 7.

Labor’s shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the negotiations would continue on Monday, as parliament resumes for another sitting week.

“Labor has asked the government to include a provision that would ban vilification, hate speech,” Mr Dreyfus told ABC Radio on Monday morning.

“It looks at this stage like the government’s prepared to agree to that.”

“We haven’t yet hit on the final form of words.”

0:00 Thousands have rallied across Australia for marriage equality Share Thousands have rallied across Australia for marriage equality

The special bill for advertising restrictions is needed because the postal survey is not a formal election and falls outside the normal rules contained in the Electoral Act.

Besides anti-vilification rules, there will likely be authorisation provisions that will force advertisers to sign their name to ad material.

Anti-bribery and anti-fraud provisions are also expected, Mr Dreyfus said. 

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‘DO NOT shoot weapons at Irma’: Police urge Floridians not to fire guns at hurricane

As the deadly Hurricane Irma approached Florida, after ripping through the US Virgin Islands, more than 55,000 people have shown interest in a Facebook event titled “Shoot at Hurricane Irma”.

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The event description reads, “Yo so this goofy looking windy head*** named Irma said they pulling up on us, let’s show Irma that we shoot first”.

The Pasco Sheriff Office tweeted to warn people off even thinking about going outside in the treacherous weather to shoot at the hurricane.

To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/CV4Y9OJknv

— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) September 10, 2017

“To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects,’ the tweet read.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence also tweeted against shooting the hurricane.

⚠️ Unfortunately we must issue the following warning ⚠️ DO NOT SHOOT YOUR GUNS AT THE HURRICANE!!! 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/diS56jWInX

— CSGV (@CSGV) September 9, 2017

Creator, Ryon Edwards, said it was supposed to be a light-hearted event.

“A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event,’ he told the BBC.

“The response is a complete and total surprise to me.

“I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control.”

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0:00 Havana neighbourhoods underwater in Irma’s wake Share Havana neighbourhoods underwater in Irma’s wake

Hurricane Irma slowed to a Category Two storm after making its second landfall in Florida on Sunday, US forecasters said, warning it still had “dangerous” winds causing “life-threatening” storm surges.

At 5:00 pm (2100 GMT), the hurricane had top winds of 110 miles (177 kilometers) per hour — at the top end of the Category Two storm range — with the eye of the storm located just five miles (eight kilometers) north of Naples, the National Hurricane Center said.

“Dangerous storm surges expected immediately after the eye passage along the Florida West Coast,” the NHC said. “This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.”

It cautioned that although it was set to weaken further, Irma was expected to remain a hurricane at least through early Monday.

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-With AFP.

 

Hurricane Irma: Flock of flamingos guided to safety in deadly storm

Much of the state has yet to feel the full brunt of the storm as Irma barrelled across the Florida Keys on Sunday morning.

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As 6.5 million residents were told to evacuate Florida – a third of the state – incredible footage has emerged of a flock of flamingos being led to safety at Busch Gardens theme park.

More than 25 years on from the famous photo of Hurricane Andrew, showing a flock of flamingos huddled together in the Miami Metrozoo bathrooms, a new video shows birds in 2017 being led to a safety shelter.

Flamingos at Zoo Miami, are shown in a temporary enclosure in a hurricane resistant structure within the zoo, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 in Miami.AAP

A worker from the African-themed animal park can be seen leading the obedient flamingos along a corridor towards a safety shelter as Hurricane Irma was making landfall.

The wiry flamingos appear calm as they walk in a straight line down a corridor towards shelter, as part of a mass movement of animals towards safety.

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The crew at Busch Gardens is in charge of looking after 12,000 animals and moving 300 species.

Another photo showed flamingos at Miami Zoo huddled together in a shelter.Flamingos take refuge in a bathroom at Miami-Metro Zoo September 14, 1999 as tropical-storm force winds from Hurricane Floyd approached the Miami area.Hulton Archive

In 1992, a famous photo emerged from Hurrcane Andrew of flamingos grouped toether in a bathroom for two days.

The trend continued in 1998 with Caribbean flamingos sheltered in the men’s bathroom during Hurricane Georges and in 1999, during Hurriance Floyd.

0:00 Havana neighbourhoods underwater in Irma’s wake Share Havana neighbourhoods underwater in Irma’s wake

Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sunday with waves crashing over the seawall and high winds damaging homes and buildings.

The hurricane has since been downgraded to a Category 2, despite strong winds and heavy flooding.

Aussies and India to renew rivalry in ODIs

Steve Smith expects tensions between Australia and India will cool during the ODI series that starts on Sunday.

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Smith’s squad has landed in India, where they’ll contest five one-dayers and three Twenty20s before heading home to prepare for the Ashes.

Australia’s previous visit to the country was marred by a series of controversies, the bulk of which involved Smith and/or opposing captain Virat Kohli.

Smith expects a far less fiery contest than the Test series that unfolded in February and March.

“I think it’ll be played in good spirit,” Smith told reporters in Chennai, where his side will face a local XI on Tuesday in their only warm-up before the series starts in the same city.

“It’s always a hard-fought contest playing against India.”

Kohli remarked after India’s 2-1 Test series win over Smith’s side that he is no longer friends with Australian players and never will be.

The firebrand’s antics and words ensured he was a near-constant presence in the headlines earlier this year, but he struggled with the bat.

Kohli managed just 46 runs at an average of 9.2; the superstar has never logged a lower average in a Test series.

He has since returned to form, finishing a recent limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka with knocks of 82, 110no and 131.

“He is obviously a very good player and has a phenomenal ODI record,” Smith said.

“Hopefully we can keep him quiet as much as possible in this series.

“If we do that then hopefully it can go a long way in us having success on this tour.”

Coach Darren Lehmann has returned home, with David Saker to mentor the squad in India.

Smith, who captained Australia to a recent 1-1 drawn Test series in Bangladesh, rejected the notion another month on the subcontinent would hamper his side’s Ashes preparation.

“I don’t think there is a problem with that,” he said.

“I know before the last Ashes series (in Australia, 2013/14) there was a one-day series here as well.

“There is plenty of time when we get back home and play some Shield games also and get ready for the Ashes.”

Robots could replace teachers: UK academic

Inspirational teachers of the future will be intelligent machines rather than humans, according to a British university vice chancellor.

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Within 10 years a technological revolution will sweep aside old notions of education and change the world forever, Sir Anthony Seldon says.

The vice chancellor of the University of Buckingham believes school teachers will lose their traditional role and effectively become little more than classroom assistants.

They will remain on hand to set up equipment, help children when necessary and maintain discipline, he added.

However, the essential job of instilling knowledge into young minds will wholly be done by artificially intelligent (AI) computers.

Sir Anthony, a former master at Wellington College and political commentator who has written biographies of ex-prime ministers David Cameron, Tony Blair, John Major and Gordon Brown, said: “It certainly will change human life as we know it.

“It will open up the possibility of an Eton or Wellington education for all.

“Everyone can have the very best teacher and it’s completely personalised; the software you’re working with will be with you throughout your education journey.

“It can move at the speed of the learner.

“This is beyond anything that we’ve seen in the industrial revolution or since with any other new technology.

“These are adaptive machines that adapt to individuals.

“They will listen to the voices of the learners, read their faces and study them in the way gifted teachers study their students.

“We’re looking at screens which are listening to the voice of the student and reading the face of the student. Reading and comprehending.”

Sir Anthony outlined his vision in a talk at the British Science Festival which took place last week in Brighton.

Minister seeks to protect historic statues

A Turnbull government minister has moved to protect Captain Cook and other historic statues following a spate of vandalism.

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But political opponents have criticised what they see as a return to “history wars”.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has asked the Australian Heritage Council to recommend how to enhance protections for the historic monuments.

Captain Cook’s statue in Sydney was spray-painted with slogans including “change the date” after a renewed public debate about the appropriateness of January 26 as Australia’s national day.

“We shouldn’t be defacing our history,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday.

“When we saw those criminal acts on that Captain Cook statue, the prime minister was very quick off the blocks to condemn it and to remind everyone that we shouldn’t be seeking to rewrite our history.”

The heritage council is expected to give the government its recommendations early next year.

Labor frontbencher Doug Cameron said the government was trying to distract from issues families genuinely cared about.

“I would have thought Frydenberg would have had more important issues on his mind than that,” Senator Cameron told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

“Writing to anyone about statues I don’t think is an example of leadership.”

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson dismissed it as “just part of the government’s culture wars”.

“It’s part of a short-term strategy to make sure they don’t lose votes to the far right conservatives in this country like One Nation,” he told reporters.

Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm said Australians’ concern over historic statues appeared derived from similar debates in the US.

“It’s about history wars. Do we try to judge past deeds and past people by modern or contemporary standards?” he asked.

“It’s a bit of a sad reflection on our political immaturity that we can’t think of our own ideas on how to make a political statement.”

But Liberal senator James Paterson said the minister’s request of the heritage council made sense.

“They are part of our history. They are part of our heritage. These are nationally significant monuments and institutions and they should be protected too,” Senator Paterson said.

“We have Bill Shorten out there saying he’s going to chisel footnotes on every statue. That’s just impractical and silly.”

Stronger laws sought for super payments

The Nick Xenophon Team wants stronger laws to help millions of Australian workers claw back billion of dollars of unpaid superannuation from dodgy employers.

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NXT say there are at least 2.4 million workers who have been underpaid their super entitlements, totalling some $3.6 billion in retirement savings.

“If we don’t do something to make it easier for workers to find out that they haven’t been paid their full entitlements, and give them more power to stand up for their rights, that retirement rip-off is going to balloon out to $66 billion by 2024,” NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie says.

Ms Sharkie introduced a private bill into parliament on Monday aimed at assisting workers who feel they are being ripped off.

The suite of provisions includes giving employees a direct legal avenue to recover unpaid super, a more effective way of tracking whether contributions are being made and removing a loophole which allows salary-sacrifice contributions to be claimed as employer contributions.

The bill will remove an exemption that allows workers who are paid less than $450 in a month not to be paid a super contribution, while it also requires the taxation commissioner to conduct a review of employers’ compliance with their super obligations.

“All too often, the employer eventually winds up their business, and manages to avoid paying either most or the entirety of the outstanding amount of superannuation that they owe their employees,” NXT leader Nick Xenophon said.

Fellow crossbench MP Cathy McGowan backed the proposal, saying it addressed a serious problem.

She urged the government to allow the draft laws to be debated and voted on.

“Let’s do something about this,” she told parliament.