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Tennis star loses temper and smacks own father with racquet at the ATP Cup in Brisbane, & more in News in 5.

1. Tennis star loses temper and smacks own father with racquet at the ATP Cup in Brisbane.

Aussie Nick Kyrgios has kept his cool to outlast a hot-tempered Stefanos Tsitsipas and seal victory for Australia in their ATP Cup clash with Greece in Brisbane on Tuesday night.

World No.30 Kyrgios returned from injury to claim a 7-6 (9-7) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) win in more than two-and-a-half hours at Pat Rafter Arena that was marred by an extraordinary meltdown by Tsitsipas.

After dropping the first set, the 21-year-old world No.6 slammed his racquet into the bench, accidentally clipping his father and Greece captain Apostolos Tsitsipas on the forearm.

His unimpressed dad walked away briefly before Tsitsipas’s mother Julia emerged from the crowd to stand behind the bench and give her son a dressing down for his behaviour.

It appeared to have little effect with Tsitsipas then receiving a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct early in the second set when he smashed a ball into his unfortunate bench, this time just missing his dad.

That was enough for his father, who relocated behind the court-side bench for the rest of the match as Tsitsipas’ mum returned to give her son another spray.

“It happened accidentally. I didn’t mean to do it and straight away forgot about it and moved on from there,” Tsitsipas said.

“I wasn’t aiming to do that, so it went out of control, unfortunately.”

All eyes were on Kyrgios to see if he would be on his best behaviour after starting the year with a suspended 16-match ban hanging over his head.

But the former world No.13 looked like a choirboy compared to the hot tempered Tsitsipas on Tuesday night.

Not that Kyrgios was judging his Greek opponent.

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“I didn’t see it (incident). I don’t think he meant it as well. I don’t think you should be giving it too much attention or looking too far into it, to be honest,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ve done some stupid things as well in the heat of the moment, so it was obviously an accident.”

Kyrgios held his nerve to give Australia an unbeatable 2-0 lead, ensuring the hosts went through the ATP Cup round robin stages undefeated with three straight victories to top Group F.

They are set to play Great Britain in a quarter-final in Sydney on Thursday.

2. NSW volunteer firefighter farewelled in Sydney.

One-year-old Charlotte wore her dad’s large white helmet on her small head during the volunteer firefighter’s funeral where she and other mourners were told Andrew O’Dwyer died a hero.

Mr O’Dwyer, 36, was killed in mid-December when his NSW Rural Fire Service fire truck rolled while battling the large Green Wattle Creek blaze southwest of Sydney.

RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons choked up as he spoke directly to young Charlotte on Tuesday at Our Lady of Victories church in Horsley Park.

“You need to know that your dad was a selfless man, he was a special man, and he only left us because he was a hero,” Mr Fitzsimmons told the congregation.

The toddler – who was wearing a white dress with silver sandals and had her hair in pigtails – at one stage touched her father’s casket before wandering up to the pulpit.

Volunteer Geoffrey Keaton, 32, who was killed in the same crash, was remembered at a separate service last week.

Hundreds of family, friends and RFS members filled the Horsley Park church on Tuesday not far from where Mr O’Dwyer’s brigade is based in Sydney’s west.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott and NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller were among the mourners.

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RFS volunteers and representatives from other emergency service agencies formed a guard of honour as Mr O’Dwyer’s casket was carried into the church.

Some saluted. Others placed their hands on their heart.

Church bells tolled as Mr Fitzsimmons presented commendations for extraordinary service and bravery to Mr O’Dwyer’s partner, Melissa, who also joined the local brigade in 2015.

“There are no words that can adequately describe our sorrow, our respect, our regard, for the loss of Andrew,” the commissioner said.

The commissoner pinned Mr O’Dwyer’s service medal on Charlotte’s dress and then his white RFS helmet was placed on the toddler’s head where it remained.

Errol O’Dwyer said farewelling his son was one of the hardest things he’d ever done. He described Andrew as a free spirit who lived in the moment.

His greatest achievement came “with the birth of his daughter Charlotte – the apple of her father’s eye,” Errol said.

“You will live in our hearts forever. Although my heart is broken you have made me very proud.”

Horsley Park captain Darren Nation said Mr O’Dwyer’s love for the fire brigade was “as thick as the blood that ran through his veins”.

He loved his wife and his daughter and “everything that he did, he did for them,” Mr Nation said.

“I am grateful that Andrew’s memory will live on in his daughter”.

Mrs O’Dwyer walked behind her husband’s casket – draped in an RFS flag – as it was carried out of the church after the service.

As mourners converged to greet the family, Charlotte cried.

Mr Morrison, who attended with wife Jenny, gave a long hug to her mother.

3. ‘Put science before politics’: Hazard reduction burning debate continues.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge says while there have been limits on hazard reduction, the complex bushfire problem won’t be solved by burning “every part of bush in NSW”.

Devastating bushfires have sparked debate on whether there has been enough hazard reduction, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this week saying it was a “constant refrain as I have been on the ground”.

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NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean, meanwhile, told Nine Newspapers that the season’s unprecedented conditions showed more hazard reduction burns were needed.

“While national parks completed more than 75 per cent of the hazard reduction burning in NSW over the past four years, climate change is increasing the risk and we need to respond to that,” Mr Kean said on Monday.

He said hazard reduction burning wasn’t a silver bullet, and a review would consider fire management issues after the bushfire season.

Mr Shoebridge on Tuesday said there had clearly been limits on hazard reduction because of “a tight season” and a lack of resources.

“This won’t be solved by setting fire to every part of bush in NSW,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“This will be resolved by careful policy, by proper resourcing and by people putting the science before the politics.”

Environmental consultant Noel Preece said more strategic hazard reduction was needed in all bushland.

“It’s everybody’s responsibility who’s on country and the community’s responsibility to fund those resources to be able to get that work done,” Dr Preece told AAP.

He said national parks staff numbers had declined and “you have to have people on the ground to be able to burn”.

But Dr Preece said hazard reduction was not the panacea or only solution, and a rethink was needed on things like “planning, where houses go, where people live”.

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC chief executive Richard Thornton said the hazard reduction issue was more complex “that just simple pointing fingers and saying there could have been more”.

A lot of other factors came into the mix, Dr Thornton said.

“It’s actually quite hard to actually prescribed burning done when you need to get it done – particularly with climate change now as well, the windows for safely achieving what you want to achieve is closing,” he told AAP.

He said hazard reduction was just one critical tool in the fire management arsenal and Australia would always get big blazes.

“It’s just a matter of how do we mitigate the consequences and make them a bit more manageable,” he said.

4. Northern Territory braces for first cyclone of the season.

The first tropical cyclone of the current wet season to affect the Northern Territory is expected to develop this week and cross the coast by Friday.

A Tropical Cyclone Watch has been declared between Cape Don in the Coburg Peninsula east of Darwin and further east to Gove where a tropical low sits.

It is expected to track towards the NT coast over the next three days and then intensify to form Tropical Cyclone Claudia in the early hours of Thursday.

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The human populations most at risk from Wednesday are the indigenous communities of Maningrida and Goulburn Island but cyclone movements are unpredictable and other remote towns could be in danger.

“The weather impacts from this cyclone system will be dangerous and we are expecting gale force winds in the region of 90km/h that could be sustained over a great deal of hours from Friday,” Bureau of Meteorology acting NT manager Jude Scott said.

“It will continue to bring heavy rain and lashing winds to most parts of the Northern Territory.”

The north coast is likely to experience the highest rainfall with three-day totals of 200-300mm, with isolated falls up to 500mm in the hardest hit places.

Rain will be welcome in many areas such as Darwin following well below average rainfall this season but there will be risks of storm surges and flooding.

Claudia is expected to intensify to a category two strength tropical cyclone, well below the most severe category five, but can still involve destructive wind gusts up to 164km/h and cause damage to houses, trees, caravans and crops and power failure.

NT Police assistant commissioner Michael Hebb urged people in affected areas to prepare for the cyclone.

“Know where your shelters are in whatever community you are in, have an emergency cyclone kit,” he said.

“You may need to plan for a cyclone kit of up to 72 hours that is able to sustain you … should a cyclone impact your region area it could be some time before you get assistance.”

5. ‘We must work together”: Aboriginal Victorians offer bushfire plans.

Aboriginal Victorians want to be involved in bushfire management, as raging blazes scorch more than one million hectares of land.

The state’s First Peoples put a call-out on Tuesday to Victorians to work together to understand the effects of climate change and roll out their management strategies.

“We must work together with all Victorians to ensure country management is sensitive and practicable,” Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council chairperson Rodney Carter said.

“Together we can understand the devastating effects of climate change and implement country management strategies that will help heal our fire and drought-ravaged land.”

Indigenous people should participate in managing their cultural heritage, including change and development in the landscape, given their ancestors’ expertise, he said.

Traditional owners have strategies, after launching a fire plan in May 2018, ready to go and they could participate in land management under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, he said.

Featured image: Twitter/ATP Media and Prime Video Sport.

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