Tennis player Brandon Walkin opens up on Nick Lindahl match-fixing scandal

Three and a half years after sending a text that would change his life forever, tennis player Brandon Walkin has spoken for first time about the match-fixing scandal which almost ruined his career.
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One of the rising stars of the Australian tennis scene, 22-year-old Walkin arrived in the capital this week for the ACT Claycourt International and said he simply wants his side of the story known so he can get on with the rest of his life.

“It’s upsetting to see my name in the paper saying I’m a disgrace to Australian sport, seeing that stuff is difficult. My parents want to see my name in the paper for the right reasons and I don’t like typing my name into google and seeing ‘Brandon is a match-fixer’,” Walkin told Fairfax Media.

Walkin became embroiled in a fix in September 2013 at a Futures tournament in Toowoomba, where he was asked to forward on a message to his friend Andrew Corbitt. The message told Corbitt that his opponent, Nick Lindahl, was willing to throw their first round match for a price.

Walkin was not offered any money for his role and said he did not want to be involved, but passed on the message anyway – something he now counts as one of his biggest regrets. Corbitt said he thought he could beat Lindahl anyway and after winning in straight sets reported Walkin’s approach to the match referee.

Lindahl, a 2006 Australian Open boys singles finalist with a career-high ranking world No.187, was convicted of orchestrating the attempted fix and fined $1000 in a Sydney court last year.

The Tennis Integrity Unit conducted its own investigation which saw Lindahl banned for seven years and fined $47,550.

In September last year, almost three years after the Toowoomba tournament, Walkin was informed he was being sanctioned for match-fixing, and after cooperating with authorities was handed a six-moth suspended sentence.

On the same day Walkin won his opening round doubles match at the Canberra Challenger in January, details of the incident emerged and the Queenslander felt the full wrath of the Australian public.

“My name got destroyed, my face was on the front page of the Australian and it’s disappointing when I think back to what actually happened and what is portrayed in the media,” Walkin said.

“I got phone call from a friend saying this is the situation and I relayed the message in a text, idiotically, like a teenager does, because I was too lazy to do the right thing. I said I don’t want to be involved in this but you’re free to do whatever you like,” Walkin said.

“In hindsight I think ‘well that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done’, but at the time I thought this doesn’t involve me so I don’t want to get involved. I didn’t realise just because it didn’t involve me didn’t mean I didn’t have to report it.”

Walkin described the ordeal as a steep learning curve and tough on his family and friends, but confirmed the tennis community has welcomed him back.

“Anyone who knows what happened is fine with me. Without a doubt I made a dumb mistake, as most teenagers do, but at no stage did I receive or ask for financial compensation and I’ve still been portrayed as a criminal,” Walkin said.

“As soon as they called me about it I said here is my phone, here is the message I sent. I gave a full interview and was willing to testify in court for the police.

“I was corporative because I realised I made a mistake and wanted to be as helpful as I could so my name wasn’t ruined for sending a text message, but it has been.

“I’ve been sitting back reflecting on it for a while now and I’ve reached a stage where I realise nothing can change what happened, I’m aware of the mistake I made and all I can do now is learn from it and move on.”

Walkin believes the incident has opened the eyes of other players and hopes his experience will serve as a warning to immediately report any approaches to fix matches.

“There’s information in place if you seek it out, but I think as Australians we’re all kind of big on betting, everyone checks the odds before their matches and everyone is throwing multi-bets on things like basketball,” Walkin said.

“Betting became this huge thing but now that everyone’s name has been dragged through the mud and everyone understands the implications of it, people know better and it’s dying down.”

Walkin admitted he considered walking away from the game during the saga, but said that feeling is one tennis players battle with on a daily basis.

“It didn’t make me want to quit any more than I’ve already thought about. Nobody has any money, that’s a bigger reason to quit tennis,” Walkin said.

“You travel a lot and don’t see your family very often and you stay in average hotels eating average food, they’re better reasons to quit than getting some bad publicity.

“I’m 22 and I’ve seen the world, life could be worse, but sometimes I wake up and think I could be finished uni by now and have a normal job with security. I guess the grass is always greener.”

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What Melbourne could look like in 2040

More than half the world’s population now lives in a city, and carbon emissions from them are estimated to be as high as 87 per cent. But if we did things differently, what would Australian cities look like in the year 2040?
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Melbourne University, University of NSW and Swinburne University researchers have attempted to model what four Australian cities – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth – would look like if a drastic attempt was made to slash pollution by 80 per cent.

The answer is: very different.

The researchers behind the report, to be released by Melbourne University on Wednesday, came up with four possible scenarios if such a big reduction in emissions were to happen. Clean-tech corporate living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A clean and efficient city where business is responsible for driving emission reductions. Carbon savings come from changing the energy production systems, increasing efficiency and a bigger service sector. But a downside might be the privatisation of many urban spaces people are accustomed to using, such as public parks, and an increase in homelessness and poverty. Planned regulated living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A city of planned order, with substantial intervention from government in planning through tighter regulations. Carbon savings would come from public investment in renewable energy storage, public production of biofuel, achieving more compact, interconnected cities and improving public transport. But the downside would be layers of new rules some would find oppressive. Networked entrepreneurial living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

Corporate interests have less influence, but the city lowers its emissions from more peer-to-peer trading and the use of things like transport, with the economy focused on local small business and freelancers working from home and public spaces. Downsides? High levels of consumption remain and there is a lack of security for many. Community balanced living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A city of low consumption that promotes a socially and environmentally meaningful life, with a focus on liveability, face-to-face social interactions and alternative enterprises like co-operatives. Less consumption would lead to less pollution – but the economy would see a massive reduction in infrastructure investment in areas like public transport.

The project has run since 2014, and has now worked with more than 200 experts in energy, the environment and planning. Influential figures to be consulted on the project include scientist Tim Flannery and Melbourne University urban policy professor Brendan Gleeson.

Professor Chris Ryan is the director of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab at Melbourne University. He said the project showed what could be worked towards and what should be avoided. Researchers could not predict the future, he said, “but we can design a future that we want, and with wide community engagement we can create pathways that could get us [there]”.

More than 30 experts will meet in Melbourne on Wednesday to discuss developing plans for low carbon cities in Australia.

You can read the report here.

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Fishers fined for illegal Mandurah crab haul

A number of fishers convicted of hauling in undersized crabs in Mandurah have been slapped with hefty fines, including a group of men who stashed their haul in a car boot.
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Five men jointly charged with a massive haul of undersized crabs – Biak Za Hmung, Pa Hniang Pa Uk, Van Biak Thong Sam Cin, Ni Ling Sarum and Ngun Hu Zaathang – did not appear in court on Tuesday, but sent in endorsed pleas of guilty to a charge each faced of being in possession of a totally protected fish.

The Mandurah Magistrates Court heard the men had been scooping for crabs in Coodanup on December 3, 2016, while Fisheries officers observed and photographed them from shore.

When the men returned to their vehicle about 9pm, officers conducted a search and found 183 blue manna crabs in the boot of their car.

Of these crabs, 182 were undersized, the smallest measuring just 88.9mm.

The minimum size for a legal crab catch is 127mm.

The crabs were seized and released by Fisheries officers.

Each offender was fined $9100 and ordered to each pay court costs of $188.

Also convicted of undersized crab catches in Mandurah court on Tuesday was a trio who between them caught 123 crabs measuring under the legal limit.

Edzel Cubangbang Aguilar, Winefredo Abucejo Riveral and Teddy Lavitoria Yalung pleaded guilty to the offences which were uncovered on January 11 at Boggy Bay, West Pinjarra.

Aguilar was fined $2250, Riveral now owes $1550, and Yalung was fined $2350.

All must pay court costs of $188.

And finally a Bunbury man caught with 55 undersized crabs was fined $2950 in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Shannon Collard was convicted on an endorsed guilty plea of the offence which happened at Island Point on December 9, 2016.

The court heard the smallest of Collard’s catch measured 97.8mm.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of $188.

– Mandurah Mail

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Inaction on quad safety is not an option

“DON’T blame thequad bike, it was clearly made as a single seater.”
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“What about horses? Ban them too because peopleget killed riding them.”

“And spoons make people fat.”

“Ban knives too then… this world is producing a society of irresponsible idiots.”

“Cars and two-wheeled motorbikes as well.”

“You are clearly insisting on ruining my life by encouraging this ridiculous campaign to ban quad bikes.”

The above comments – made onThe Land’s social media over the past week – tell us that quad bikes remain abeloved farm vehicle.Italso tells us people don’t like being told what they can do on their own property, with their own gear, in their own time.

But nothing can paper over the fact Australianscontinue to suffer tragic injuries while riding quad bikes, at an all-too-common rate.

More than 110 have diedwhile riding the vehicle between 2011 and now–with quads also very much over-represented infarm injury statistics. Each of those deaths rocks a circle of family, friends, and the wider farming community.

And we’re sure that if given the chance to improve safety and prevent a crash, thosetouched by a tragedy wouldadvise it.

Crucially, the bulk of quad incidents happenduringseemingly innocuous activities on private land–not while hooning on public roads or doing stunts.

Yes, there are many machines, animals, and infrastructure on farms that have thepotential to result in death and injury. But it seems common sense that you would look at ways to stop incidents if they kept occurring in fairly routine circumstances.

No doubt the argumentonthe safestway forwardwill continue.Will this mean stricter age, licensing, and education measures? Manufacturing changes? Better safety equipment? Promotion of safer alternatevehicles?

Whichever way, the continued loss of life means inaction is not an option.

Government and farm groups seem to recognise this –with the state’s quadsafety rebate doubled, training resources ramped up, and NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen highlighting an ambitious working group target to cut injuries to zero within five years.

We welcome continued debate on the issue of quad bike safety.Butthe preservation of human lifeneeds to be at the centre.

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Try Louth Bay for whiting

WHITING: Ryan Blakers with a popper-caught yellowfin.West CoastThere have been reports of good sized salmon on the beaches north of Coffin Bay all the way up to Ceduna this week.
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Salmon upto fourkilograms have been caught on metal lures and pilchard baits.

Venus Bay has been good for king george whiting behind the Island around the high tides.

Try early morning around the town reef for salmon to threekilogramsand king george whiting to 45cm.

Mt Camel has had varying reports for salmon. When they are there, they are in good numbers and size.

Try around the low tide as they are usually in a bit closer then.

Coffin BayAlmonta and Gunyah beaches have had varying reports.

Some days there are big schools of salmon to 80 centimetres, then other days, nothing.

Metal lures like the Samaki Torpedo in chrome or gold colours are working very well when casting into the wind.

Inside Coffins and at Farm Beach, the whiting have been averaging about 29.5 centimetres, so please ensure that you measure them before putting them on ice.

Offshore, Rocky Island continues to be the pick of the locations for tuna to 20 kilograms, samson and kingfish.

One lucky angler aboard Absolute Fishing Charters landed and released a kingfish that was measured at 170 centimetres and weighed (in a sling) at 45 kilograms.

When the wind allows, all of the common reef species are being caught around Sir Isaacs and further out.

Port LincolnIt seems that blue swimmer crabs and big shitties have taken over the local bays.

One is slightly more popular than the other, I will let you guess which one is which.

King george whiting in the local bays have been undersized with the odd fish to 38 centimetres being caught.

For better sized whiting, try the north end of Thistle Island or around Louth Bay.

Blue swimmer crabs to about onekilohave been caught in Proper, Porter, Louth and Boston Bays.

There have been a lot of reports of some very large shitties caught by whiting fishermen.

I would advise to use berley sparingly around Proper Bay at the moment and if you start to catch undesirable fish, pick up the anchor and move.

North Shields Jetty has been good for squid and big garfish.

Watch your squid jigs though, as we have had another report of a bronzie grabbing one and taking off with it.

Yellowfin whiting are showing up on the local beaches in good numbers.

Some of these fish are pushing 38 centimetres, which is a good size for yellowfin.

From the sounds of things, there has been another kingfish escape.

Locally there are small rat kings attacking baitfish everywhere between Tulka and Tumby Bay.

Keep your eyes open in the marina as that seems to be a favoured spot for them.

Offshore has seen the tuna fishing pick up and drop off like a yoyo.

Some days the tuna have been thick from around Low Rocks, then the next day you need to go out to the Cabbage Patch to see one.

Trolling small, deep diving lures and skirts in purple and bluehave been the best methods.

The tuna have been averaging 15-20 kilograms, but there have been fish to 40 kilogramsout at the Cabbage Patch.

Kingfish and samson fish have also been caught in similar areas on jigs and live squid.

Tumby BayThe jetty has been fishing well for garfish on gents and squid.

The foreshore beach has had some good schools of yellowfin whiting during the high tides.

Nippers or worms have been the best baits for the yellowfin.

The Group has been fishing well for squid, king george whiting, garfish and rugger snapper.

Most Islands and reefs are holding quality fish, so it is just the prevailing wind direction that dictates where you should fish.

Be careful with your berley though, as the large shitties are up around here too.

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