Australia set to swelter through heatwave, testing Tour Down Under and Australian Open heat policy
Temperatures are set to soar across Australia this week, with the mercury expected to exceed 45 degrees Celsius in parts of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast severe or extreme heatwave conditions for parts of central Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and southern Queensland into the week.
Low intensity heatwave conditions are also forecast across most of the country.
Temperatures are expected to hit 46C in the town of Menindee today, sparking fears of another mass fish kill, while the mercury is set to tip 40C in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith from Tuesday through to Friday.
Victoria’s north is set to swelter through a potentially record-breaking heatwave, with towns along the Murray River bracing for a run of days above 40C, including a forecast of 46C for communities between Mildura and Albury Wodonga on Wednesday.
Kmart sales take a hit during weak Christmas period for retailers
A Christmas spending spree failed to eventuate for Kmart, with the retailer seeing its sales deteriorate through late November and December, as analysts warn of a slow period for retailers more broadly.
The discount department store is usually an outperformer for WA conglomerate Wesfarmers, but comparable sales decline by 0.6 per cent over the first half of the financial year.
Wesfarmers says weak clothing sales, particularly in womenswear, and a decision to stop selling DVDs hurt Kmart’s performance during the key Christmas trading period.
Sales of everyday products also slowed compared to the same period in the previous year, when the retailer saw strong trading on the back of price cuts.
In a reversal of the usual pattern of Kmart offsetting weakness in Wesfarmers’ other chain, Target saw comparable sales increase by half a per cent during the period.
Robbie Williams accused of blasting 70s rock to taunt neighbour Jimmy Page in mansion reno row
A feud between pop star Robbie Williams and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has reportedly turned nasty, with the Take That star accused of blasting his neighbour with music by 70s rivals Black Sabbath in a row over building work at his Victorian mansion.
The musicians, who both live in Holland Park, west London, have been fighting a five-year battle over whether Williams can build a basement swimming pool in his home, the BBC reports.
Williams was granted conditional approval for the work in December last year but Page fears the excavation work will damage his heritage-listed 1875 mansion.
A letter sent by a complainant only known as “Johnny” to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, says Williams has been playing Page’s “rock arch rival bands Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Deep Purple” to annoy the guitarist.
“He obviously knows this upsets Mr Jimmy Page,” Johnny writes.
The letter also claims Williams has dressed up to imitate Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant by wearing a long wig and stuffing a pillow under his shirt in an attempt to mock Plant’s belly.
This is “embarrassing”, the letter continues, because “Mr Plant was remembered for performing with his shirt open on stage, and obviously he cannot perform in his current condition”.
A spokeswoman for Williams told London’s Telegraph newspaper the claims were “nonsense”.