Archive for 2019

FFA dismisses approach for World Cup winning coach

Football Federation have dismissed an approach for Luiz Felipe Scolari to become the next Socceroos’ coach despite the Brazilian World Cup winning coach claiming they were interested in him.
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The FFA denied the Brazilian’s claims they spoke with Scolari about taking charge of the national team for the 2018 World Cup, with senior officials suggesting his claims have been fuelled by agents. But it’s understood Scolari is one of several candidates on their radar.

“There has been a high number of expressions received, some very high profile but we are just commencing our process now,” FFA’s head of national performance, Luke Casserly said.

The Brazilian announced his candidacy on Wednesday morning, saying that he would be interested in taking charge of after recently ending his three-season spell with Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande. Scolari says he was spoken to about the Socceroos job but would only be interested if it was for a longer term project beyond just the World Cup in June.

“I am one of the names they spoke with … to see if I was interested in taking them to the World Cup,” Scolari told Reuters on Tuesday.

“I don’t intend in just taking a team to the World Cup,” the former Chelsea manager said.

“I intend on leading a team with an organised project for one or two years. But I am interested.”

Fairfax Media understands the FFA has been bombarded by applications for the job and agents putting forward high-profile candidates. However, the organisation is yet to open discussions with any potential coaches. Its external advisory panel will make recommendations on who Ange Postecoglou’s replacement should be. A shortlist will be devised but it’s unlikely any appointment will be made until February.

The panel, which includes former Socceroos Mark Schwarzer, Mark Bresciano and Stan Lazaridis, met for the first time on Wednesday to begin devising the criteria for the next coach of .

There is no immediate rush to make an appointment with the Socceroos not scheduled to play again until a yet-to-be-confirmed friendly in mid-March.

At the top of the FFA’s wish list is 62-year-old Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose attacking style influenced Postecoglou and Matildas’ coach Alen Stajcic. Bielsa is a free agent after being sacked by Lille but is regarded as somewhat of a risky replacement given his volatile results with clubs and countries. Bielsa had successful stints with Chile and Athletic Bilbao but oversaw a disappointing spell while at Lille.

German coach Jurgen Klinsmann is another linked with the job and has close ties to Football Federation forged during his tenure as coach of USA between 2011 and 2016. Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold remains the frontrunner for the job and boldly declared his criteria of what the next coach of the national team should be judged upon at a press conference last week.

Italian Gianni De Biasi has been reportedly linked with , so too Iran coach Carlos Quieroz and former Saudi Arabia and Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk.



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Great summer reads

DOES the world need another telling of the tragic tale of doomed 19th century explorers Burke and Wills?Their ambitious venture was to try to cross the harsh n continent, from south to north, from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of more than 3000 kilometres in 1860-61.
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PETER FITZSIMONS: Burke & Wills, Hachette , $49.99.

I was of the generation who learned all about these famous heroic failures, Robert O’Hara Burke and surveyor William Wills, while at school too long ago now to remember.Then came the 1985 film starring Jack Thompson as the brave but tragically flawed Burke. It recorded disappointing box office returns. Maybe its lacklustre performance might have something to do with what a critic said at the time, something like: “I don ‘t think audiences want to see a film about two guys dying in the desert”.

That said, there are newer Aussie generations, plus newcomers to our shores, who have probably neverheard this tragic tale.

So, despite my initial misgivings, in the masterly hands of prolific n storyteller Peter FitzSimons, Burke & Wills proves to be a compelling narrative.

Burke & Wills is a sprawling saga, impressively researched and written in FitzSimons’ inimitable, idiosyncratic style. It’s a hefty 700 pages, well-illustrated and infused with enormous detail. The 19-member expedition was farewelled by 15,000 well-wishers but was weighed down with 20 tons of equipment on six wagons. Add to this 23 horses and 26 camels.O’Hara Burke was totally lacking in bush skills to lead such a bold expedition. Then came serious disputes, plus having to tackle the hostile environment. Later through bad timing, three of the final four expedition party died, left stranded in the wilderness with almost no supplies. FitzSimons reports that a grim, running joke in the prestigious Melbourne Club afterwards was that Burke was its only member “who ever died of thirst”.

CHRIS MASTERS: No Front Line, published by Allen & Unwin, $32.99.

Award-winning journalist Chris Masters reckons his latest book – set in war-torn Afghanistan – is as tough an investigation as he has ever undertaken.And despite its recent controversy on publication, time may well judge his book, No Front Line, as one of the most important ever penned about our special forces in combat zones.

The meticulously researched book tells what it’s like to be a member of the nation’s elite fighters whose work is often secret. Little wonder Masters’ extraordinary book took 10 years to write.

Rather than take a broad view of the Afghanistan war and the deeper politics involved, Masters, seeking truth and balance, gives us a forensic examination of the individual silent heroes at the pointy end of fighting missions.

Through extensive interviews, the author even managed tobecome the first and only reporter to be embedded with n Special Forces.

The recent book controversy concerns what’s been described as an unwarranted attack on some soldiers, although the book’s manuscript was read and vetted by the n Defence Force over sensitive issues like operational security and protecting identities.

n Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith, however, has criticised the book for the way it portrays the Special Air Service (SAS).He’s even described it as “un-n” and “bewildering” and certainly not an official SAS history.

His anger stems from the aftermath of a clandestine SAS mission back in 2006 when an Afghan teen suspected as working as an enemy Taliban “spotter”, and who threatened to expose the SAS patrol, was killed.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston, however, described the sudden and intense combat experience capturing the highs, the lows and courage of our n soldiers as making for a “remarkable book”. I wouldn’t disagree.

ROLAND PERRY: Monash & Chauvel, Allen & Unwin, $34.99.

There are two brilliant Aussie battlefield commanders from World War I who deserve greater acknowledgment today.Writer Roland Perry has come to the rescue with Monash & Chauvel.

Subtitled ‘How ’s two greatest generals changed the course of world history’, the book traces the emergence of both men who played a huge role in defeating the German and Turkish forces in the Great War (1914-1918).

Harry Chauvel led the 34,000 strong Desert Mounted Column whose efforts are largely remembered for the successful, almost suicidal, charge on the strategic town of Beersheba in October 1917 and then the final drive in 1918 to push the Turks out of the Middle East after a 400-year occupation

Chauvel was a British Empire man first and an n second. That changed when he took the war initiative by ignoring his British superiors.

The other outstanding general was John Monash who commanded n forces on the Western Front in 1918 and masterminded crucial battles. Considered an outsider because of his German Jewish heritage, he devised tactics to break the stalemate of brutal trench warfare, including successfully re-using the discredited strategy of ‘oversized mechanical slugs’ (tanks) and always giving his men adequate artillery support to save lives.

Monash and his warrior force of diggers, all volunteers, were the driving force in defeating the German Army, a fact the Germans themselves admitted, Perry writes.

Meanwhile, General Chauvel was overshadowed in the 1920s and 1930s by the writings of T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), followed by a brilliant, if romanticised 1962 movie based on the book which distorted events in the Middle East war of 1915 to 1919.In reality, Lawrence’s war was a valuable sideshow. Chauvel and his Anzac-dominated werethe main force behind the defeat of two Turkish armies in Palestine, Jordan and Syria.

A long, but fascinating account.



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Anchorage Marina upgrades unveiled at opening ceremony

A $3 million upgrade of the Anchorage Marina is now complete – and justin time for the busy summer holiday period.
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Twenty-two new berths have been created at the Corlette marina, specifically designed for large and luxury boats up to 66ft.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday morning, marina co-owner Greg Shandfrom Barana Group said the Anchorage tookadvantage of the winter months to push the upgrade’s completion through in time for the upcoming season.

New-look marina officially open | photos, video Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer with Anchorage marina owners Greg Shand and Allan Vidor cutting the ribbon.

Mel Turner from Moonshadow-TQC, Port Stephens councillor Glen Dunkley, mayor Ryan Palmer and Tomaree Business Chamber president Leah Anderson on board Moonshadow IV on Wednesday morning.

On board Moonshadow IV on Wednesday morning.

On board Moonshadow IV on Wednesday morning.

Moonshadow-TQC skipper James McArthur.

The Anchorage.

Mel Turner taking a photo of the new-look Anchorage Marina.

The new fuel station at the Anchorage Marina.

Docking the Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

Docking the Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

Departing the Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

Patrick Whetter, manager of Anchorage Marina.

Docking the Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

Docking the Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

The new-look Anchorage Marina.

Marina owner Greg Shand speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Moonshadow IV at the new-look Anchorage Marina.

Patrick Whetter, manager of Anchorage Marina, speaking with Mayor Ryan Palmer and councillor Glen Dunkley.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer speaking at Wednesday’s opening ceremony.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer with Anchorage marina owners Greg Shand and Allan Vidor cutting the ribbon. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Attendees of Wednesday’s opening ceremony.

Departing the marina.

Farewelling the Anchorage Marina from the Moonshadow IV.

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Rodney Lawrence sentenced for role in murder of Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon in Ashtonfield in 1982

Betty’ Dixon’s murder: Rodney Lawrence walks free from court QUESTIONS: From left: Rodney Lawrence heads into Newcastle Supreme Court on Wednesday. Danielle Martin (middle) and her mother Ann Martin (right) outside court after the sentence. And Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon.
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Rodney Lawrence walks out of Newcastle courthouse on Wednesday a free man after being sentenced for his role in the murder of Elizabeth Dixon. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

A file photograph of Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon and the scene of her murder.

GRIEVING: From left: Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon’s sister, Ann Martin, Siobhan Veitch, and Elizabeth Dixon’s niece, Danielle Martin, leaving Newcastle courthouse after the sentence. Danielle Martin said the family was “gutted”. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

GRIEVING: Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon’s sister, Ann Martin, outside Newcastle courthouse after the sentence on Wednesday. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

GRIEVING: Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon’s niece, Danielle Martin, leaving Newcastle courthouse after the sentence. Ms Martin said the family was “gutted”. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

TweetFacebook Rodney Lawrence walks out of Newcastle courthouse on Wednesday a free man after being sentenced for his role in the murder of Elizabeth Dixon. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP THE family of murder victim Elizabeth “Betty” Dixon say they are “gutted” that the man who kept her killer’s secret for more than 30 years has walked free from Newcastle Supreme Court.

And Danielle Martin, Ms Dixon’s niece, said the family are still desperate for answers about what happened to the popular Northern Irish lass – who was found tied up and brutally stabbed 27 times in her car at Ashtonfield on April 6, 1982–and remain “dubious” about the version Rodney Lawrence told his son and thendetectives after decades of silence.

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RODNEY LAWRENCE GUILTYFAMILY NEED ANSWERS“There are too many inconsistencies with the story,” Ms Martin said tearfully outside Newcastle courthouse on Wednesday.

“He hasn’t come clean at all with what’s happened.”

Lawrence walked out of courta free man on Wednesday after Justice Ian Harrison sentenced him to a maximum of two years and four months in jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months and five days –the period he hadspent on remand awaiting a murdertrial.

Last month, onthe first day of his trial, Lawrence pleaded guilty to the backup charge that he assisted the murderer after the fact and the prosecution dropped the murder charge.

Since breaking his silence, Lawrence has alwaysclaimed another man, who has since died, was responsible, and that the murderer put a knife to his throat, threatened him and made him help dispose of Ms Dixon’s body and her car in the bush.

But after the sentence on Wednesday, Ms Dixon’s family said they were still waiting forLawrence to “tell the truth”.

But Justice Harrison said he accepted Lawrence’s version that hewas“threatened or coerced” into helping dump Ms Dixon’s body.

Justice Harrison also said he was satisfied that following Lawrence’s guilty plea that“the long awaited truth has now been revealed”.

That truth, according to Lawrence, who was represented by Public Defender John Fitzgerald,was that he wasasleep in the back seat of the murderer’s car after drinking with him at the George and Dragon Hotel at Greenhills on the night of April 3, 1982.

He said the murderer, who cannot be identified,drove to a location where he said he was meeting someone.

But Lawrence said when the man returned to the car he woke him up and said he had“just killed someone”.

Lawrence claims he told him he“didn’t want anything to do with it”, but the murderer threatened him with a knife and told him he would kill him if he didn’t help out.

Lawrence claims they went to Ms Dixon’s unit where he saw her body. He then tied her hands and helped move her into the boot of her car.

When Lawrence asked why he killed Ms Dixon, the man replied:“Because she called me an old man.“No one calls me an old man.”

But there were anumber of troubling aspects to Lawrence’s version of events.

Firstly, a forensic pathologist who examined Ms Dixon’s body in 1982 opined that her hands were tied before her death.

Also, Ms Dixon’s sister, Ann Martin, told police she repeatedly went to Ms Dixon’s Metford unit during the time she was missing and found nothing was out of place.

Outside court on Wednesday, Danielle Martin,who was flanked by her mother, AnnMartin, said Lawrence was“just as guilty” as the killer.

“That part that he has played in this,” she said.

“It’s not just to apparently help somebody, which is dubious.

“He has kept going with that and he had 20 years before he even came good with his story, he had time to decide what he wanted to say.”

Justice Harrison saidMs Dixon’s family would have been“literally tormented” by the uncertainty of what happened to her.

But he said Lawrence had“undoubtedly carried the terrible burden of his special knowledge”, with thelonger he remained silent, the harder it would have become to divulge the truth.

He concluded that Lawrence’s 18 months and five days on remand was punishment enough for his decades of silenceand Lawrence walked free from court.

Ms Martin,said the family were“gutted” that Lawrence was sentenced to time already served.

“It was nowhere near long enough for what he actually admitted to doing,” Ms Martin said.

“We’ve just done everything that we can and there is nothing else we can do.

“A man that did a lot of things that were verywrong gets away scot-free.”



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Postcodes: Griffith, 2603

Established in 1927, with tree-lined streets and prestigious old-style brick homes, Griffith represents the quintessential Old Canberra suburb.
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Formerly named south Blandfordia, the inner-south suburb is home to several ACT heritage council listed areas including Griffith Oval, St Paul’s Church and the Whitley Houses.

While it is one of Canberra’s oldest suburbs, many Griffith homes have undergone refurbishments in recent years, adding a contemporary feel to the leafy suburb.

Griffith borders Manuka and Narrabundah. At the 2016 census it recorded a population of 4575.

The neighbourhood centres around the much-loved Griffith shops. This retail strip is home to a variety of dining options, both casual and fine dining, alongside your typical shops, and offers immense character. /**/

GRIFFITH STATS

Clearance rate: 67%

Median price houses: $1.495 million

Median price units: $493,000

Highest selling property in the past 12 months: $2.97 million, 16 Durville Crescent, November 25, 2017.

EAT

Aubergine

Duck breast, confit cumquat, roast pumpkin, and fermented daikon at Aubergine. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The jewel of the Griffith Shops crown, Aubergine is one of the ACT’s most renowned restaurants. It has won an array of accolades on both a national and local scale, and has been given two chef’s hats for seven consecutive years. The ever-changing degustation menu offers delectable seasonal food of high quality and stunning presentation. Our top pick off its current menu is the brown butter ice cream with almond praline and frozen lemon verbena milk – absolutely amazing!

Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant

Signature wall at Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

What sets Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant apart is the many posters adorning its walls with personalised messages and signatures, most of which belong to politicians who have called the venue their go-to for years. This unassuming restaurant is a favourite among pollies and locals alike, and upon eating the food you can see why. Make sure you try the Yummy Chicken, a classic dish that’s one of the chef’s specialities.

Rubicon

Rubicon restaurant’s twinkling fairy light ceiling. Photo: Karleen Minney

The perfect spot for a romantic date night or catch-up over dinner and wine with friends, Rubicon offers a warm and cosy atmosphere through its four small dining rooms and open terrace-style space. Both an a la carte and degustation menu is available showcasing contemporary n cuisine with a twist. If you choose the a la carte, make sure you accompany your meal with the kipfler potatoes in duck fat, serrano and mustard.

PLAY

M16 Artspace

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Bowen Place Crossing 2016 gouache by Christopher Oates, part of his exhibition on Infrastructure at the M16 Artspace last month. Photo: Supplied

An intimate gallery which also offers residencies to local artists, M16 Artspace is the perfect Saturday afternoon activity. The gallery is currently showing finalists from the annual M16 Drawing Prize which seeks to examine, challenge and open a dialogue concerning perceptions of what drawing can be. This runs until December 17. Related: Postcodes: Ainslie, 2602Related: Home of the week: An established oasis in GriffithRelated: Top three: Allhomes’ pick of open homes to see this weekend in Canberra

SHOP

Mountain Creek Wholefoods

Mountain Creek Wholefoods in Griffith is comfortable and unpretentious. Photo: Mountain Creek Wholefoods Facebook

Comfortable and unpretentious, Mountain Creek Wholefoods is a health food store offering a combination of whole food, vegan cosmetics, health and wellbeing books and vitamins. Each day there is a new selection of healthy freshly baked goods, which unlike most healthy snacks, actually taste naughty!

LIVE

2 Hayes Crescent

2 Hayes Crescent, Griffith. Photo: Peter Blackshaw Real Estate Manuka

Auction: December 16, 12pm

Agent: Mario Sanfrancesco, Peter Blackshaw Real Estate Manuka, 0412 488 027

EER: 2.5

Canberra’s iconic boundary hedges offer their fortunate owners unrivalled privacy and nowhere is this better expressed than in the leafy Griffith sanctuary of No. 2 Hayes Crescent.

Nestled behind thick foliage and the security of electronic gates is this wonderfully extended and renovated character home.

The cottage originally built in 1927 has been faithfully remodelled by its current owners to highest levels of contemporary living. Design by Peter Byfield, the home has not only delivered a warm and inviting family retreat, but it has also been recognised with a wealth of industry awards.

4 Jansz Crescent

4 Jansz Crescent, Griffith. Photo: Luton Properties Manuka

Auction: February 24, 10am

Agents: Richard and Sophie Luton, Luton Properties Manuka, 0418 697 844 & 0410 750 413.

EER: 4.0

Nestled within a canopy of oak trees and back reserve parkland and ovals, a property of distinction offers generous and flexible living for families.

The standout feature of this home is the indoor swimming pool area, with a spa, sauna and full bathroom. Cathedral ceilings frame a wall of glass looking out onto mature trees. It is fully heated, allowing year-round fun.

This Griffith home allows you to live a lifestyle of convenience, a very short walk from Manuka Village and Manuka Oval and then on to Lake Burley Griffin. An opportunity not to be missed.

33 Carstensz Street

33 Carstensz Street, Griffith. Photo: Belle Property Kingston

Price: By negotiation

Agents: Richard Davies & Louise Harget, Belle Property Kingston, 0414 517 658 & 0412 997 894

EER: 2.5

On a sought-after, tree-lined street, 33 Carstensz Street embraces a stunning fusion of period elegance with seamless contemporary living.

A statement of refined luxury with premium fixtures throughout, its expansive yet versatile floor plan has been tailored to suit a growing family’s need.

Lush and private gardens provide you with multiple spaces to entertain or relax while the kids play. This spectacular residence presents a remarkable lifestyle opportunity within one of Griffith’s most exclusive enclaves.



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A-League: Kantarovski notches game 150 for Newcastle Jets

Kanta sets sights on being a one-team man, as he notches 150 games with Newcastle Jets MILESTONE MAN: Home-grown midfielder Ben Kantarovski notched his 150th game for the Jets against Perth. Picture: AAP Images
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TweetFacebookBen Kantarovski is having a big campaign and is proud to be the first @NewcastleJetsFC player to notch 150 @ALeague games in his home town. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/baoy6t9xy2

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) December 13, 2017Dimi Petratos shows how it is done with a sublime chip… heating up at @NewcastleJetsFC training. @[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘/b6uvrvk5T1

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) December 13, 2017

The ball-winner put his resurgence down to a “combination of factors”.

“It is to do with the players around you and the environment you are in,” he said. “Itis very professional the way we have been working. Everything comes easier when you are fit.Chris Smith and our physio Justin have worked really hard, not just with myself but all the boys.”

Next for Kantarovski and the Jets is the visit by fellow big-improvers Adelaide United on Saturday.

“Hopefully we keep the ball and play some really attacking aggressive football in their half,” Kantarovski said. “Isiais is their main driving force. If we nullify him, it will make life a little easier for us. They have two players suspended and have some others who might be coming back from injury. We are aware of that but by the same token we are going to focus on our game.”

As a teenager Kantarovski, wholed the Young Socceroos to consecutive under-20 World Cups,was scouted by Bayern Munich and spent 10 days on trial with the German powerhouse.

Another overseas opportunity hasn’t arisen and ball-winner said “it is not at the forefront of my mind”.

“It is challenging playing in the A-League,” he said. “Each year the standard has improved. You see that with the quality of players we are attractingto the league. Each year there are new challenges. To go overseas would be a another challenge as well. I am playing good football here, we have assembled a good squad and everyone in the club is happy.”



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Broughton 4

TAGGED: A shearwater with a data logger attached to its leg, so that researchers can learn more about the birds’ habits. Picture: National Parks and Wildlife Serviceinto the darkness over the water – and down the cliff. For Callaghan and her colleagues know that the Gould’s petrel nests in crevices at the foot of the cliff.
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In 2009, after the pest eradication program, they heard a call from below. It was the sound of hope to Callaghan “Yes, it was amazing!”. Using a camera on a burrow scope, they saw a Gould’s petrel incubating an egg.

“We don’t know if they’re new arrivals because of the eradication program, or if they’ve been there a long time,” she says.

The ranger hopes the audio from the “love box” will entice the Gould’s petrel to come in and use the nesting boxes.

“This is just an attempt of helping them establish further,” Callaghan says. “It’s proven to work on Cabbage Tree Island [just to the south of here], so maybe Broughton Island can help expand the pairs.”

About 50 metres to the east along the precipice is another loudspeaker and a cluster of nine small boxes. This speaker plays the white-faced storm petrel’s call. Callaghan has been keenly checking the small boxes for any signs of bird life.

“So far all we’ve found is one feather, which is a promising sign,” she says. “Maybe it [the petrel] has had a sticky beak, we don’t know. It’s still a work in progress.”

“The ultimate goal is that they establish their own burrows, but hopefully this gives that a head-start.

“This is the first season, so we’ll seewhether to leave them here, or to move the boxes.”

Working near the artificial nesting boxes are Associate Professor Brian Wilson, a soil scientist from the University of New England, and Kirsten Drew, a PhD candidate studying the effects of using glyphosate herbicide on the island.

With the battle against weeds, Drewsays, the question of how the herbicide is used is “really significant in this environment”.

All these scientists and environmental officers are working together towards rehabilitating Broughton Island, including producing soil and vegetation maps.

“We’re trying to understand those links between the birds, soils and vegetation, and how that has changed the island,” says Brian Wilson.

DURING the trek back to the huts squatting along Esmeralda Cove, we deviate to scour a grassland area on the island’s eastern edge. Paul O’Keefe saw burrows the day before, and he thought they may have been created by white-faced storm petrels.

Yet after searching the slope, O’Keefe mutters, “No luck today”.

Susanne Callaghan smiles and replies, “We’ll find it.”

THE FUTURESUSANNE Callaghan’s belief that one day the petrels will return and nest on the island is driven by not just optimism but the changes she has already seen.

“Having the longevity to see the changes, it’s the best program I’ve ever been involved in,” she says. “We’ve kicked a massive goal for ecology on the island.”

Others who know and love the island have marvelled at the changes they’ve observedaround them.

“I’ve seen a real improvement in the bird life and the vegetation,” says John “Stinker” Clarke. “I’ve watched the bird life return. To me, it’s been a rebirth.”

As for the island’s future, Susanne Callaghan holds “very high” hopes. The key, she says, is finding “the balance between conservation and recreation”.

“We want people to visit the island, while meeting the needs of the unique ecosystem that it is,” Callaghan concludes.“It’s just about getting everything right.”

As we walk back through the grasslands, surrounded by a sea glistening like lapis lazuli, and looking over to the mainland so close in distance and yet so far in mood, you’re left feeling that Broughton Island and the seabirds it could help cradledeserve nothing less than getting everything right.

Ranger Susanne Callaghan



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Are we there yet? There’s one thing driving Bennelong voters mad

News SHD Prime Minister of Malcolm Turnbull speaking to the media in the Bennelong Electorate with John Alexander, Liberal for Bennelong before the bi-election next Saturday, Top Ryde Shopping Centre Saturday the 9th of December 2017 News SHD Picture by Fiona Morris Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Labor candidate for Bennelong Kristina Keneally visit St Charles Catholic Primary school in Ryde, Sydney, Tuesday, December 12, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
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John Alexander cut a lonely figure out the back of West Ryde shops, gazing upon the ugly concrete plaza on the first Saturday of the Bennelong byelection campaign. I thought we should say “Hi”.

Accompanied by my 12-year-old son, we asked Mr Alexander about an issue that bothered my child. Whether we agreed with his argument or not, it was a good start. We were going to talk about issues this campaign.

We were going to unearth some fresh ideas to solve the first-world problems so prevalent in our electorate. How would our children ever afford university and a house? Or even one of those? Why are children excluded from the local school because the catchments are so badly skewed? Will the NBN work when it eventually gets here? Will the overcrowded, late, half-cancelled buses get me home in time for dinner with my family? Ever? Can anyone afford to have two parents working when childcare costs are through the roof? Can they afford not to?

At worst, we would get promised a heap of good stuff as each party desperately tried to buy our vote. I would hear the magic words “working families” every day.

But something went horribly wrong on the way to the ballot box.

The next day, the first robopoll call came. It felt like a Labor push-poll as one of the questions asked: ‘Which issue are you most concerned about? Press 1 for cuts to this. Press 2 for cuts to that, and so on.”

Then came a robocall from Mr Alexander. Then another poll. After about five calls I lost count.

Instead of smart ideas and promises – save for a bus interchange and a new high school that both parties had previously promised in some guise at state level – we have had to suffer a campaign of each party endlessly criticising the other party or candidate. Every. Single. Day. And mostly at dinner time via robocalls. Never mind they are cannibalising state promises: the federal government holds the purse strings.

“You can’t trust Malcolm Turnbull with (insert talking point du jour here)”, repeats Labor candidate Kristina Keneally. A colleague reports she has had daily robocalls from Labor, all slamming Turnbull. Possibly this is unwise, as the first poll, despite it showing rising support for Keneally, also showed 59.7 per cent of Bennelong electors picked Mr Turnbull as preferred prime minister compared to just 40.3 for Bill Shorten.

“Don’t let Kristina Keneally do to Bennelong what she did to NSW,” repeats John Alexander’s mouthpiece for the day. Last week it was Premier Gladys Berejiklian on the robocall. On Tuesday it was Julie Bishop at a press conference. On Tuesday at 6.37pm, John Howard was on the robocall telling me something about stability or predictability. I was still on my bus. It was 48 minutes late. (By the way, if the Premier wants to ring me again, I want to talk about public transport, not Kristina Keneally.) (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook苏州夜场招聘/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Don’t let Kristina Keneally and Labor do to you what they did to NSW.Posted by NSW Liberal Party on Tuesday, 12 December 2017

LIVE from Epping Pre-poll with Doug Cameron, talking about the importance of TAFEPosted by Kristina Keneally on Sunday, 10 December 2017



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Paul McCartney’s amazing gesture

Newcastle girls get a golden ticket from Paul McCartney himself | PHOTOS, VIDEO Kristy Wetzel, Jade Green, Frances Dolan and Helen Gregory at the Paul McCartney gig.
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Helen Gregory, Frances Dolan, Jade Green and Kristy Wetzel at the Paul McCartney gig.

Paul McCartney at the Sydney gig.

TweetFacebookEcstatic Newcastle girls at the Paul McCartney gig. Frances Dolan, who was handed the tickets, added:“I was walking to the seats screaming. Thiswas not in my wildest dreams a possibility!”.

Another of the foursome, Helen Gregory, said:“When it happened, Jade and I were in tears. It was more than we couldhave ever imagined. We felt incredibly lucky”.

She also said on Facebook: “Thank you Sir Paul and your ticket fairy for picking us out of the thousands! This will always be such a surreal but cherished memory!”

Helen, a Newcastle Herald journalist, is a massive Beatles fan.

She’s visited Liverpool and Abbey Road in London.She even went to the Beatles Cirque duSoleil show in Las Vegas.

“I was doing all those things thinking I’d never getthe chance to see him [Paul McCartney] live,” she said.

Jade said the foursome had paid $120 each for their nosebleed tickets, butthe upgraded tickets were worth $2000 each.

Given that the crowd contained 25,000 people, Jade felt like she’d won the lotto.

“It was a golden ticket,” she said.

Helen said it was “way better than anything Willy Wonka could deliver”.

Turns out it wasSir Paul himself who organised this lovely gesture.

Apparently he reserved 24 ticketsin the front and second rows,dead centre to the stage, for random fans.

During the show, Paul was deliberately making eye contact with thislucky lot.

The four Newcastle girls responded, screaming his name in delight like teens at a Beatles gig in the 1960s.

We always preferred John over Paul. Now we might reconsider.

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Razor Sharp: The Monstar trainer Brett Cavanough looks for change in weather

SCONE trainer Brett Cavanough is always confident veteran sprinter The Monstar will run a good race.
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MUD RUNNER: The Monstar winning the 2016 Razor Sharp with Tommy Berry aboard. Picture: bradleyphotos苏州夜总会招聘.au

And, like in lastyear’s listed Razor Sharp (1200 metres), thatconfidence will rise with any rain at Randwick on Saturday.

The seven-year-old gelding won the race last year on a soft 7 and has since broken through only once in 10 starts despite ultra-consistent performances at group and listed level.

The Monstar claimed the listed June Stakes this year on a heavy 10 and has run top four seven times in his other nine starts.

Only light rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday but Cavanough was hopeful of more.

“He’s pretty effective on all going but he’s exceptional when it’s knee deep in mud,” Cavanough said.“A couple of his biggest wins have come inthe wet.Hewon the Razor Sharplast year in the wet when Tommy [Berry] was on him. He was going to sit three, four deep on him but pressed ahead and led.

“In the wet you can get away with that and he did that day. Ideally, we’d love an eastern suburb storm to turn up on Saturday.”

Rain or not, The Monstar has remained competitive on all surfaces and isback after a six-week break following his third on a good 3 at group 2 level at Flemington on Derby Day.

Cavanough said The Monstar was in similar shape to this time last year and he expected another strong effort.

“He’s had his runs spaced and obviously we’d love a wet track for him,” he said.

“But we haven’t jammed him every two or three weeks. He’s run top four his last eight runs so he’s in a bit of form.”

He believed the draw in gate two on Wednesday would help in a race that also features Zestful (barrier eight) and Petrossian (15) for Newcastle trainers Kris Lees and Paul Perry respectively.

“He’s a jump-and-run horse so the two gate parks him in the first three or four, whereas normally he’s got to come across and do a bit of work,” Cavanough said.

Also in acceptances for Randwick was the Perry-trained Ragged Rascal in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m). The Denman colt, which drew barrier 10,is the only race winner in the event.



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