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Australia: Qantas, ScoMo cop grand old roasts before Swans collapse

Sydney beat Magpies in AFL prelim thriller

  Sydney beat Magpies in AFL prelim thriller Sydney have won through to the AFL grand final with a desperate one-point preliminary final win over Collingwood at the SCG. © Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS Sydney have held off a late surge from Collingwood to win their way into the AFL grand final. In front of a heaving capacity crowd of 45,608, the Swans rushed through a Collingwood behind in the last few seconds to secure the 14.11 (95) to 14.10 (94) win. They will play Geelong in a grand final for the first time next Saturday at the MCG.

There are no cheap seats at an AFL grand final, but just look at the spot $4.5 billion buys you.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton compared the AFL to politics and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to an umpire. © Marta Pascal Juanola Opposition Leader Peter Dutton compared the AFL to politics and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to an umpire.

Seven boss Kerry Stokes and News Corp co-chair Lachlan Murdoch got prime position either side of AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan to watch the game, after Stokes' Channel Seven and the Murdochs' Foxtel recently agreed to pay the big bucks in return for seven years of AFL TV rights.

CBD does feel, though, that Seven's commentary team could have been a teeny bit more gracious to Murdoch. When the cameras picked up the trio, the men behind the microphones gushed about their own boss, Stokes, while if Murdoch jnr got a mention at all, it was decidedly muted.

Air New Zealand belittles Qantas as Kiwi airline opens long-haul flight from Auckland to New York

  Air New Zealand belittles Qantas as Kiwi airline opens long-haul flight from Auckland to New York A long-haul flight by Air New Zealand will take passengers from Auckland to New York City - and the Kiwi airline has made sure their Australian rival, Qantas, know they've been beat.The long-haul flight, which commenced take-off at Auckland Airport on Saturday, takes just over 16 hours to reach John F Kennedy International Airport.

Maybe they were afraid of legal action from the increasingly litigious heir apparent.

Murdoch and wife Sarah arrived late and left early.

With what passes for Qantas service and reliability right now, and the happy couple's habit of getting around in a News Corp private jet these days, we wonder if they eschewed commercial back to Sydney?

McLachlan's moguls

Unlike the truly dismal Sydney Swans, Gillon McLachlan had a huge day on Saturday, including an address to the AFL Commission grand final luncheon in the Olympic Room at the MCG before the game, which was packed with sporting, business and political heavy hitters including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, News Corp co-chair Lachlan Murdoch and Seven boss Kerry Stokes.

Qantas delays AFL stars Jeff Brown, Robin Bishop and Richard Goyder on preliminary final day

  Qantas delays AFL stars Jeff Brown, Robin Bishop and Richard Goyder on preliminary final day Three AFL big wigs almost didn't make Saturday's preliminary final because their Qantas flights were delayed because of an 'unusual smell' and baggage issue.A flight from Melbourne to Sydney was forced to turn around to meet fire crews and paramedics on Saturday morning after the smell was reported inside its cabin.

McLachlan had some kind words for the fellow chief executives in attendance, assuring them "the world hasn't ended because they are not as good as Alan Joyce by the length of a straight", channelling the league's chairman, Richard Goyder - with his Qantas chair's hat on - and his fulsome backing recently of the carrier's under-fire boss.

The flak didn't end there, with McLachlan noting he was "less good" than Joyce and that chairing the AFL Commission was a "thankless task", rather like "chairing Qantas".

When it came to his media partners, McLachlan very much stuck to the script. Stokes was thanked early and often for his part in securing the $4.5 billion rights deal with Seven and Foxtel. As was his son Ryan, who doesn't even like the media. As were Murdoch lieutenant Siobhan McKenna and Foxtel boss Patrick Delany for "wading out into the deep water". McKenna did the deal but it will be Delany who has to make it back to shore by recouping all those costs in Kayo subscriptions over the next seven years.

Stars who were rejected from 'Saturday Night Live'

  Stars who were rejected from 'Saturday Night Live' Just landing an audition at ‘Saturday Night Live’ is a feat, but getting an actual role on the late-night sketch comedy series is even harder. That’s why even some of the biggest comedians and actors out there have a history of being rejected by the show. We’re talking A-listers with now-extensive filmographies, some of whom have even been invited back to host the show years after they found fame on a different road. Click through to see which stars were rejected by casting directors of ‘SNL,’ and witness the proof that rejection can be an important step in a fruitful career.

Zinger box

Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton were forced to spend plenty of time together, with both addressing North Melbourne's traditional grand final breakfast before another encounter at the AFL luncheon.

Aside from Albanese's well-documented "stop the boats" gag, the PM swung a boot at his predecessor Scott Morrison for secretly swearing himself into several ministries.

"I'm really worried that when I was away last week in London, Richard Marles was the acting prime minister, so I'm worried he has sworn himself in as the minister to the Cats and approved yet another renovation of Kardinia Park," he said, in reference to his Geelong die-hard deputy.

Dutton, meanwhile, used his speech to compare the AFL to politics, and the speaker of the House of Representatives to an umpire.

"He tries to speak his decision but gives a lot of free kicks to the other mob," he told the audience.

"The teals are a bit like Greater Western Sydney, a cashed-up motley crew with a few extra draft picks but most of us are still wondering how on earth they got into the competition.

Flying blind: Qantas and Jetstar limp from one doomed survival plan to another

  Flying blind: Qantas and Jetstar limp from one doomed survival plan to another The airlines' ageing fleet, their worsening relationship with staff and the loss of trust and loyalty from their customers have left them reeling.Quite aside from the airlines’ deteriorating relationship with its staff and customers, the fresh flood of cancellations from busy offshore destinations in the middle of the school holidays has exposed the Qantas Group’s small and ageing fleet. There is a range of emerging problems with the composite material on the long-haul 787s.

"The Coalition, on the other hand, is a bit like watching the Brisbane Lions. A merge of convenience back in the day, three consecutive premierships in recent history but couldn't back it up with a fourth."

Dutton also reminded attendees about a gaffe by former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull before the AFL grand final in 2008.

When Turnbull was asked what footy team he barracked for, he responded saying the Sydney Roosters.

"So there's hopefulness," he said.

Ever the Sydneysider, Albanese predicted the Swans would take home the premiership by two goals.

Dutton, a Brisbane Lions supporter, sided with Marles, tipping the Cats.

"Our friendship, of course, has been tested in recent times because not only did he win the election, he took my job as defence minister. But I'm siding with Richard today," he said.

Loved-up Levido

It's been a harder year for Isaac Levido OBE, the Lynton Crosby protege and now London-based master of the political dark arts widely credited with helping deliver Scott Morrison's 2019 miracle, and Boris Johnson's own landslide victory just months later.

Drafted in to Coalition HQ for the May election, and brought back to 10 Downing St earlier this year to help Johnson shrug off the scandals that engulfed his prime ministership, it looked like Levido's Midas touch had been lost, as neither man's political future could be saved.

But politics isn't everything, and in better news, Levido recently got hitched to fellow Crosby Textor alum and former Johnson aide Mimi Randolph.

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Lost bags not due to outsourcing: Qantas .
Lost baggage, flight cancellations and delays to travellers were not caused by the outsourcing of staff, Qantas claims.The carrier, which retrenched almost 2000 ground crew workers in 2020, lost billions of dollars due to the pandemic which decimated the aviation sector.

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