Concern over wine takeover

100 years ago WORRY: Twenty five years ago, Sunraysia wine grape growers were concerned that the acquisition of Lindeman (Holdings) Ltd by Penfolds, could send them “to the wall”. Penfolds announced the takeover the day after setting prices for this year’s fruit, with across-the-board reductions for some varieties of more than 50 per cent.
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MILESTONE: The Shire of Mildura celebrated its 75th birthday 50 years ago.

NEW YEAR’S EVE: Passed off quietly. Towards midnight after the wind and the dust storm eased, everything was perfectly calm and serene in a bright moonlight. It was thus, under happy circumstances, that the New Year was ushered in. Quite a crowd assembled at Deakin Avenue towards the eventful hour, which number was considerably increased when the Olympia audience was let go a few minutes to 12 o’clock. The band, under Conductor Duggan, rendered Patriotic and National airs frequently interspersed with “Tipperary” while the onlookers joined in chorus singing. When 12 o’clock struck, the town whistle sounded a lengthy blast, guns were fired and the inevitable “bung bung” made noisy explosions. (6.1.1915)

THROUGH THE CANAL: On one of the most perfect of nights, the first of the Australian troopships entered the Suez Canal. The moon was one day off the fill, on the eastern side the mysterious desert. The outline of a few tents far ahead against the steep irregular canal banks would give the first warning that we were approaching a post. A few whoops from the forecastle would break the stillness – a coo-ee or the best imitation of a coo-ee that some of our heroes could compass. The first steamer we passed was a P&O steamer – carrying a number of British passengers, I believe, to India. When the passengers realised – probably from the coo-ees of our men – that this was the first of the Australian transports on its way to the war, the people came pouring up on deck and the excitement can only be described as tremendous. (9.1.1915)

EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS: A Berlin telegram states that the first exchanges of permanently incapacitated prisoners was made at Geneva this month. (9.1.1915)

75 years agoNURSES MAY MARRY: Nurses who marry on active service would automatically leave the nursing staff, said Matron Kearey, of the NSW Army Nursing Service, today. It was stipulated that nurses should be single when enlisted but they were free to marry and were not bound to any period of service. (4.1.1940)

BLOOD TESTS FOR SECOND AIF: The Army Medical Corps is classifying the blood of every member of the Second AIF to ensure rapid and efficient transfusions if needed during field operations, said the Minister for the Army (Mr Street) today. On New Year’s Day alone, blood samples were taken from 2000 members of the AIF at Ingleburn. (4.1.1940)

BRADMAN OUT FIRST BALL: Brisbane: In a brilliant Shield cricket debut, Stackpoole, a medium-paced bowler, took several valuable wickets, and staggered players and spectators by dismissing Don Bradman with the first ball he sent down to the South Australian captain.(8.1.1940)

50 years agoTOURISTS MAKE BUMPER SEASON: Mildura tourist centre and the RACV office have been besieged by tourists wanting information ranging from local tours to drinking hours. Between the tourist office and the RACV nearly 1000 inquiries are handled each day during the holiday season. Mildura Tourist Officer (Mr E Simm) said yesterday that he had never known Mildura to be so busy during the Christmas-New Year holiday break. (5.1.1965)

LOVE OF CRICKET: In Mildura Country Week cricket yesterday, sports giant Ron Shea spent 24 long overs bowling unchanged to take 7/54. After a shower and a noggin or two Ron murmured: “I don’t feel very weary but I’m sure there must be easier ways to enjoy myself.” Schoolteacher John Groves’ brother Roy arrived in Mildura from West Australia, the brothers not having met for 11 years, but John’s day was at the disposal of Mildura Combine and Roy spent the day watching the game. As John said last night: “Eleven years ago the positions were reversed and I spent a day watching Roy play cricket in WA. Now, the poor fellow only plays bowls.” (6.1.1965)

MILDURA SHIRE’S 75TH BIRTHDAY: Seventy-five years ago tomorrow, the Shire of Mildura was created with an annual value of £20,436 and this has now grown to £1,454,133. The Shire Council will give £500 to Mildura Homes for the Aged to mark the occasion and this is exactly double the annual salary of the first Shire secretary, engineer-rate collector (Mr W F Sheridan). In its 75-year history the council has had only six Shire Secretaries. The present shire secretary, Mr A. Doug Harvey, has been with council for 23 years and secretary since 1946. (9.1.1965)

25 years agoHOTTEST DAY IN 50 YEARS: Mildura sweltered yesterday – the mercury peaked at 46.9 degrees Celsius (116F) at 1.10pm, the highest temperature recorded since the Bureau of Meteorology established an office at Mildura Airport in 1946. The highest temperature recorded in Mildura this century was 50.8 degrees on January 6, 1906. Under the air conditioner was the place to be, and district manager of the SEC, Mr Don Price, reported a 26 per cent increase in power useage by noon yesterday. (4.1.1990)

ABORIGINAL WOMEN’S ART: Natalie Greenwood is just as at home in the harsh Australian outback as she is in the city. The 27-year-old feels just as comfortable working in South America, Africa, India or Great Britain but has taken up the challenge in her own country of promoting the art and cultural activities of Aboriginals, particularly women. She visited Sunraysia this week to promote the touring exhibition “Women’s Dreaming”, which offers Aboriginal women artists the opportunity to develop their own enterprise independent of government restrictions. (9.1.1990)

LINDEMANS TAKEOVER CONCERNS GROWERS: Sunraysia wine grape growers are concerned that the acquisition of Lindeman (Holdings) Ltd by Penfolds, announced yesterday, could send growers to the wall. Penfolds announced the takeover the day after setting prices for this year’s fruit, with across-the-board reductions for some varieties of more than 50 per cent. (10.1.1990)

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Wednesday’s Sunraysia Daily 07/01/2015.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Magic Millions mixes high heels and thongs

Horses race on the beach before the Magic Millions Barrier Draw. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images Rachael Finch, Zara Phillips, Francesca Cumani and Katie Page-Harvey watch the horses race on the beach before the Magic Millions Barrier Draw. Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images
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It’s horses on the beach, it must be the Magic Millions.

Boardies next to chinos, high heels next to thongs, the trademark racing polo shirts next to singlets and bare chests.

In Surfers Paradise this eclectic mix is nothing new, but in few places can a racing event bring together such a group of people on a Tuesday morning, from heavy-hitting racing identities to local residents on their way to a daily swim.

In a teal beachside VIP marquee, owners and celebrities nibble on breakfast snacks before moving to the sand to watch six thoroughbreds race along the beach.

Onlookers and media alike flock to Magic Millions patron and English royal Zara Phillips, back at the carnival after the birth of her son.

Owners wear straw cowboy hats and carry giant cards with their horse’s colours and names ready to wade through the crowd and draw their barrier.

The showmanship of it all fits the location, which is postcard perfect after an ominous-looking morning.

A marble and a Perspex block with a numbered place and a starting position in Saturday’s carnival prompted cheers or gasps, depending on the numbers pulled out.

The Magic Millions has grown in stature in recent years and most notably shows an increased female presence, with Phillips as patron, Channel 7’s Francesca Cumani playing a key role in the coverage of the week-long event and an incentive for women to part-own horses, with bonuses of up to $500,000 for a first-four finish.

One of the world’s top thoroughbred trainers, Criquette Head-Maarek is visiting the Gold Coast for the first time.

Head-Maarek has a long and decorated association with horse training, the third generation of her family to train a winner of prestigious French race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a two-time winner of the event in her own right.

There are plenty of comparisons to be drawn between Head-Maarek and Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse, who has a horse in Saturday’s two-year-old main event, but their ties go well beyond their roles as female pioneers in racing.

“In the old days, my dad used to bring jockeys from Australia into France and my brother, one of the best jockeys in France (Freddy Head), he came and worked for Tommy Smith, Gai Waterhouse’s father, for a year,” she said.

Head-Maarek says Australia is only beginning its journey to include more women in racing but prizes like the Magic Millions placing incentives were moves in the right direction.

“I think it’s a good way to do it to have clubs just for women or women owners,” she said.

“In our country we’ve got quite a few but here it’s still quite new.”

It wasn’t a great morning for Waterhouse, whose horse Carriages drew barrier 21 but the odds of Les Ross-trained Frequendly have shortened after it drew barrier four.

Perignon part-owner Sylvana Surace is embarking on her first Magic Millions foray.

“It’s amazing. There’s nothing like it,” she said.

“There’s no better occasion. We’re over the moon, super excited, all of the above.”

With the first sales of the Magic Millions kicking off on Wednesday, Head-Maarek said buyers should be looking at the way the horses move.

“I like a horse who walks well,” she said.

“That’s what I like very much. A deep girth, good shoulders, a strong behind and if the engine is there, well, you’ve got a runner.”

The feature race of the carnival, the $2 million Magic Millions two-year-old classic will be run at 3.25pm on Saturday January 10.

Barrier numbers for the two-year-old classic:

1 – Claudia Jean 2 – Flamenco Girl (emergency) 3 – Le Chef 4 – Frequendly 5 – Wicked Intent 6 – Single Gaze 7 – Zoutenant 8 – Wicked Investment (emergency) 9 – Racy 10 – Saga of the Storm 11 – Perignon 12 – Right of Way (emergency) 13 – Star of Night (emergency) 14 – Real Good (emergency) 15 – Madotti 16 – Flamenco Girl 17 – Pepperano 18 – Surf Seeker 19 – Miss Idyllic 20 – Old Trieste 21 – Carriages

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Tim Nicholls lobbies Canberra for ‘fair’ share of GST

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls says it would be “unfair” for the Queensland government to be “penalised” by any changes to the Mining Assessment aspect of the GST carve up. Photo: Glenn HuntWhat about Queensland? It isn’t fair.
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The state gives up its mining royalties, now it wants its share.

It is not quite Moving Pictures, but Treasurer Tim Nicholls has written to his federal counterpart urging caution in regards to the GST methodology review following intense lobbying from Western Australia about how GST receipts are calculated.

That state has suffered from a downturn in the iron ore price, which has equated to a drop in royalty payments, but its change in circumstances is unlikely to be considered in the annual GST carve-up, because of a three year lag in how payments are worked out.

Mr Nicholls said many jurisdictions were in the same position and it would be “unfair” for the Queensland government to be “penalised” by any changes to the Mining Assessment aspect of the GST carve up.

“The Queensland government should be recognised for its disciplined and responsible financial management, which has allowed it to start repairing the deficits and debt left by the previous Labor government, despite the major write-downs from mining royalties,” he said.

Western Australia sees about 38 cents from every dollar it pays in GST returned. It wants that figure to jump to at least 75 cents. Queensland receives about $1.08, while Victoria sees 88 cents come back and NSW receives 98 cents come back.

Mr Hockey wrote to the Commonwealth Grants Commission just before Christmas, asking it to consider amending the way GST receipts were worked out and to specifically consider Western Australia’s position, given its changed mining royalties circumstances.

But any more money for Western Australia would mean less money for the other states.

Mr Nicholls now wants to make sure that Queensland is not forgotten in any shake up.

“…A number of states have been severely affected by falls in commodity prices, resulting in major reductions in revenue from mining royalties,” he said in his letter to Mr Hockey.

“In particular, the downturn in coal prices has had a major impact on Queensland’s budget. Between 2012-13 and 2015-16, revenue write-downs from all royalties have so far amounted to $4.9 billion.

“New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory have all made revenue write-downs.

“Given that a number of states and the Northern Territory are affected, it is essential that any proposed changes to the Mining Assessment are universally applied to all jurisdictions.”

Mr Nicholls also said it was “essential” that the states had the opportunity to review any proposed changes to the Mining Assessment and the GST distribution formula, before it becomes fact.

“I will be meeting with Mr Hockey in coming weeks to discuss these issues,” he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had said that “the GST won’t change – full stop, end of story” in 2013, but has since hinted the Coalition was open to making amendments, as part of its tax reform agenda.

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It’s a bumper season

Merimbula has been busier than usual say local businesses.Tourists bring huge boost for local economyIt may have been bumper to bumper down Market Street, but it’s also been a bumper holiday season for many local businesses reporting very healthy figures for the period. There have been reports of the season starting earlier than in the previous couple of years and also of demand extending throughout January.
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Lyndall Whyman from Fisk & Nagle, Merimbula reported “unusually strong demand” for holiday accommodation in the eight to 10 days leading up to Christmas as well as the very high bookings over the Christmas/New Year week and into mid-January. Lyndall said she had a waiting and enquiry list of over 40 for that week, adding that there is also a lot of interest extending toward the end of the month.

Kevin Gerathy, from Merimbula Beach Cabins, agreed that visitors arrived earlier this year and attributed this, at least in part, to a promotional campaign run in September by Sapphire Coast Tourism and Merimbula Tourism which targeted regional Victoria, Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra.

He too reported strong bookings for the remainder of the month, as did Laurie O’Shea from Pambula Beach Discovery Holiday Park, where they are fielding many more enquiries than usual for vacancies at the park. Laurie also agreed with the consensus that the pre-Christmas demand was up on last year. Laurie said that he has been able to employ an extra 25 staff from the local area to cope with the increased workload over the season.

Manager of the Merimbula Visitor Information centre, Kristie Tsakiris said while visitors through the door in early December were slower than on previous years, from December 22 they began to rise. Ms Tsakiris said the centre has been making more effective use of online tools and had streamlined the information and accommodation booking services.

Retailers have also noticed the increase in visitor numbers with Woolworths Tura Beach manager, Paul Harrison, reporting an eight per cent improvement on last year’s trading figures, adding that he had needed to put on extra staff to cope with the demand.

And if you’ve tried to get a seat at your favourite cafe around town, you may have had to wait a while. Poppy’s cafe owner, Louise Brand, said trade was up by around 20 per cent on the previous year.

“Absolutely flat out!” is how Louise described the past four weeks at the popular cafe.

Amanda Dwyer, a manager at Merimbula McDonald’s said they are a little up on last year, taking into account that since a new store opened in Bega last Easter, their trading figures have been lower all year.

Merimbula Marina’s Jessica Millar said that visitor numbers and fishing have both been very good lately, coinciding with some great weather which has kept patrons happy. Jessica reported that on Monday, January 5, the smallest boy on the morning’s fishing trip caught the biggest fish, a 61cm snapper.

Merimbula Chamber of Commerce president, Donella Roberts said the increased business around town was great for local jobs.

“With another strong season employers will be more confident about putting on extra staff,” she said.

Ms Roberts said she was also very pleased with the enthusiastic take up by businesses and shoppers alike for the Why Leave Town Merimbula gift cards. Ms Roberts said the promotion had exceeded their expectations with more than $20,000 loaded onto cards purchased in the two weeks before Christmas.

“That is money that will stay in the local economy,” she said.

The gift cards are available year-round from over 80 local businesses.

See traffic comments Your say page 6.

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Minecraft creator Markus Persson betters Beyonce to buy Beverly Hills mansion

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall. 1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.
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1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

1181 N. Hillcrest Rd. Beverly Hills. Photo: Ben Becall.

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Fast4 making a racket

FAST4 tennis – four games, four points, four rules.
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LAUNCH: Mark Philippoussis.

Much like Twenty20 revolutionised cricket, the shortened Fast4 is set to take the tennis world by storm when it gets launched internationally in Sydney and Melbourne on January 12 and 14 respectively, and Orange Indoor Tennis Centre manager Chris Besgrove can’t wait.

“Anything that helps our game is alright by me,” he said.

“It’s all happened very suddenly, but I think anything they do like this is a good thing for tennis, and it’s about time they did something like this.

“They’ve got Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal and Mark Philippoussis on board to launch it. It’s great.”

An adapted version of traditional tennis, Fast4 was designed to provide a less-time consuming version of the sport for those who can’t participate in the longer, traditional form of the game.

Traditional games of tennis normally last between 30 minutes and four hours for women, or between one and seven hours for men – depending on how competitive the match may be.

The longest games for each sex have been six hours and 31 minutes, and 11 hours and five minutes respectively.

A five set game of Fast4 however, will rarely last longer than 75 minutes with sets likely to take between 12 and 15 minutes to complete.

“If people enjoy it, and the content then we’ll definitely do something here in Orange,” Besgrove explained.

“People can play it in their lunch breaks, so it’s much more available.”

Much like the fallout from Twenty20 cricket, the worry of traditionalists condemning the sport remains likely.

“And they’ll be a pain in the back side really,” Besgrove said.

“The grand slams and big tournaments won’t be affected, traditional tennis will still be there. This is just a way to improve the sport, and appeal to more people.”

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Hey presto, lots of fun on offer

THERE are many exciting children’s activities on offer at Upper Hunter facilities this school holidays.
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A highlight is the return of JD’s World of Magic this week.

International award-winning magician Joel Howlett will perform at Scone library at 10.30am today before heading to Murrurundi library for a 1pm show.

He will be at Merriwa library tomorrow from 1pm.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to the Upper Hunter for shows during the January school holidays,” Joel said.

“I have a brand new show that is guaranteed to be lots of fun for all ages.

“It will include a rabbit, audience participation and more fun than you could wave a wand at.”

Merriwa library will have story time and craft from 11am on Tuesdays – January 13, 20 and 27.

For more information or to book a place, contact 6521 7007.

Aberdeen library will make butterfly mobiles at10.30am on Tuesday, January 13; and, barnyard animal masks at 2.30pm on Friday, January 23.

For more information or to book phone 6540 1303.

Cassilis library will show participants how to make picture frames at 2.30pm on Friday, January 16.

For more information or to register contact 6376 1295.

Murrurundi library will host story time and craft from 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January 8 to 22.

You can also learn belly dancing at 2pm on Thursday, January 15.

To book a place at one of these events phone 6540 1363.

Scone library will have lots of action including wooden rockets craft at10.30am on Monday, January 12; pirate craft and party at 11.30am on Wednesday, January 14; Chinese hats craft at 10.30am on Monday, January 19; the Summer Reading Club presentation, prizes and party at 11.30am on Wednesday, January 21; and Australia Day craft and games at 10.30am on Friday, January 23.

To register for a Scone event contact 6540 1183.

There is no cost to attend these events, however, bookings are essential.

The activities are limited to school-aged children unless accompanied by a carer.

If your child is more interested in running around there is a range of local sporting options available too.

Scone Tennis Courts will host an open day from 9am to noon today followed by a family evening from 5.30pm.

There will be three on three basketball at Scone Basketball Stadium from 9am to 12pm on Tuesday, January 20.

To register for a family game of T-Ball, contact [email protected] by January 19.

The game will be on Wednesday, January 21, from 5.30pm, and costs $40 for a team of eight.

For information about Youth Centre activities, SOOSH Vacation Care and other resources, visit www.upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

In Muswellbrook, head on down to Muswellbrook Marketplace where the shopping centre boasts a fantastic array of holiday activities.

For more details, and times, see the advertisement on this page.

There is also plenty happening at Muswellbrook and Denman libraries.

Everything from the Summer Reading Club to dressing up as your favourite character is on offer.

Registrations for the reading club opened on Monday and prizes are available so don’t waste any time signing up.

The libraries also host random activities including ping pong tournaments, board games and video games, spot Dr Seuss games, portrait painting and much more.

For those who are a fan of Mr Darcy, the library will host a Jane Austen High Tea Party tomorrow from 3pm to 4.30pm.

The afternoon will include trivia games, reading and listening to quotes from Jane Austen’s work, and a chance to dress up as your favourite character.

For more information on these events or other things on offer, contact Muswellbrook library on 6543 1913 or Denman library on 6547 2485.

CLEVER: International award-winning magician Joel Howlett will visit Upper Hunter libraries these school holidays.

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Plenty of Riverina support behind Single Gaze in the Magic Millions

EXCITING TIMES: Canberra trainer Nick Olive with the Gundagai-owned and Harden-bred Single Gaze that will contest the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on Saturday at Gold Coast. Picture: The Canberra TimesRACING
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THERE will be a distinct Riverina flavour to the connections of one runner in Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at Gold Coast.

Gundagai men David Tout and Martin Hay own 50 per cent of Single Gaze, an $8.00 chance in the big race.

Adding to the Riverina connection is that Single Gaze was bred by Jamie Middleton at Redbank North at Harden, who has also retained a share in the exciting filly.

Canberra trainer Nick Olive prepares Single Gaze and come Saturday they will take on the might of Australia’s biggest stables for the first prize cheque of $1,140,000.

Hay will travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday and said it is a huge thrill just to have a runner in the race.

“I think Magic Millions sold 3000 yearlings last year so the odds just to get a starter in the race are incredibly high, let alone we think he is a real live chance,” Hay said.

“We’re really excited.”

Single Gaze came out and won a 2YO Handicap at Rosehill on debut at the big price of $81.

She then went to the $200,000 Magic Millions 2YO Classic at Wyong and ran a close third despite being wide the entire trip.

The Gold Coast feature will be her third race start.

Tout has group one experience when another horse he part owned, Just Mambo, ran seventh behind Miss Finland in the 2006 Golden Slipper, among many big races he contested during his career.

Tout is unable to make it to the Gold Coast but is excited to again have a runner in one of Australia’s biggest races.

“It’s a massive thrill, especially with Nick, a good local trainer,” Tout said.

“Nick only bought one horse at Magic Millions (last year), which is a pretty good effort, and he’s been raving about it ever since.

“I think she’ll be very competitive, I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t run in the top three.”

Former Gundagai footballer and apprentice jockey, Billy Owen, is a foreman for Olive.

He has travelled the filly to Gold Coast.

Hay said that adds to the special moment.

“Billy’s done all the work with her and that’s an exciting part for us as well,” Hay said.

“Billy’s an integral part of the town.”

Single Gaze drew barrier six at Tuesday’s draw and will be ridden by Damien Oliver.

Single Gaze’s success has been part of a good run Tout and Hay, who also race Art Thou Ready.

Art Thou Ready won three good races at Wagga and Albury this campaign and will return for the Gold Cup carnival in coming months.

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Usual operation at Burra

Country Health SA has refuted claims by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation that staffing levels at the Burra Hospital will be reduced orservices downgraded.
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A flyer distributed in December by the ANMF (SA Branch) said members had voted to take industrial action to stop Country Health SA reducing registered and enrolled nurse staffing levels at the hospital.

“There has been no change to staffing levels at Burra Hospital,” Yorke and Northern Regional Director Roger Kirchner said in a statement issued to the Northern Argus.

Country Health SA is working with hospital staff and the ANMF to look at the possibility of employing nurse assistants to work specifically in aged care support at the site, and has also undertaken to meet with hospital staff and the ANMF on a weekly basis to work through the proposed structure changes.

“Nurse assistants are common across Country Health SA and the introduction of these roles will provide a wider range of employment options at Burra Hospital,” Mr Kirchner said.

Under the current ANMF Agreement, Country Health SA is required to have two fully qualified nurses on staff per shift and this will be maintained at all times.

Mr Kirchner said there would be no impact to acute and emergency services as a result of this proposal.

The ANMF yesterday confirmed that there had not been any industrial action over the matter and that changes to staffing at Burra Hospital have not yet occurred.

“Burra is an essential community hospital that provides both acute and aged care, and the current nursing staffing levels and the mix of nursing staff ensures the best and safest care for all patients presenting to the hospital for treatment.

“Moves to reduce the number and mix of nursing staff is of deep concern to the nurses at Burra, who are passionate about providing the best care for patients attending this community hospital.

“We are pleased that this move has been halted pending further consultation, and remain committed to engaging this process to ensure the community continues to have access to the best quality care possible,” Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars, ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary said.

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Timely windfall

UPPER Hunter Shire Council has welcomed a $200,500 windfall.
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NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water Kevin Humphries said the state government would provide council with the money to help meet the costs incurred by council of new infrastructure required to maintain the town water supply at Murrurundi during February’s water supply emergency.

He added the government will also offer $47,517 to meet the water carting costs incurred by council.

“In February 2014, Murrurundi suffered a severe algae outbreak due to prolonged drought conditions that effectively crippled the town’s water supply,” Mr Humphries said.

“Council was concerned about the potential health risks from the algae and alerted the community not to drink the water and provided bottled drinking water to the residents as a stop-gap measure.

“Council also constructed emergency works at significant costs to maintain the water supply and also began carting water from Scone to ensure a continued supply for Murrurundi during this period.

“This funding highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to ensuring communities across the state have access to a sustainable and secure water supply.”

Upper Hunter Shire mayor Michael Johnsen praised the NSW Government for helping meet the costs borne by council during the water supply emergency.

“The extensive emergency provisions undertaken by council came at a significant cost and depleted funds that were set aside for future water improvements,” he said.

“This funding from the NSW Government will be of great assistance to council in enabling us to undertake further water infrastructure works in the future.”

Cr Johnsen said council was also actively pursuing opportunities to improve the Murrurundi water supply infrastructure further in 2015, including having applied for funding under the NSW Government’s Water Security for Regions program to build a pipeline from Scone to Murrurundi.

“I have put the case for a Murrurundi pipeline strongly to Minister Humphries, most recently late last month,” he said.

“Wallabadah has received such assistance and Murrurundi is equally deserving.”

GOOD NEWS: Upper Hunter Shire mayor Michael Johnsen and director of infrastructure services Alan Fletcher inspect Murrurundi’s main water storage dam, which could become a back-up system under plans for improved water supply infrastructure.

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Rest in peace: Former Bathurst priest Harry Quigley dies, aged 82

VALE: Much-loved former Bathurst priest Father Harry Quigley.
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LONG-SERVING Bathurst priest Father Henry (Harry) Quigley died on Monday night following a lengthy illness.

He was 82.

Irish-born Father Harry was educated at Colehill Primary School in County Longford and completed his secondary schooling at St Mel’s College, Longford before attending All Hallows’ College in Dublin.

He was ordained as a priest on June 16, 1957 and soon after left for Australia, arriving in Bathurst on November 27, 1957.

Father Harry served as a parish priest across the Bathurst diocese for more than five decades in Bathurst, Mudgee, Orange, Coonabarabran, Coolah,

Kandos, Cowra, Bowenfels, Oberon, South Dubbo and Coonamble.

His last appointment was as Parish Priest of the Assumption Church in West Bathurst.

A funeral for Father Harry will be held in the Bathurst Cathedral of St Michael and St John from 2pm on Monday, January 12.

Light refreshments will be served at the Parish Centre after burial at Maranatha Lawn Cemetery.

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Centre welcomes new exhibitions

MUSWELLBROOK Regional Arts Centre will welcome the New Year with two new exhibitions this week.
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Moving House by Susan and Peter O’Doherty, and Coal Miners by Christine Pike are the latest displays set to captivate local art fans.

Husband and wife team Susan and Peter O’Doherty’s Moving House was inspired by their roaming childhoods and presents a nostalgic look at houses and the objects that filled them during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

“This is an exhibition about memory, identity and the transitory nature of modern life,” arts centre manager Brad Franks said.

There are no people in the pair’s display, which complements nicely with Christine Pike’s human interest collection.

Coal Miners is sponsored by the NSW Minerals Council and shares the simple but unique life of miners in their element.

It also articulates the diversity of roles in the industry from working underground to the vast world of an open cut.

“With the current focus on mining in the Hunter Valley a topic of much discussion Australia wide, Christine presents the human face of mining with the depth of observation that only a superbly expressive artist can bring to bear,” Mr Franks said.

A new selection of works from the Max Watters Collection will also open with the two exhibitions this Friday at 6pm.

The centre is located on the New England Highway at the corner of Bridge and Market streets, Muswellbrook.

For more information contact Brad on 6549 3768 or at [email protected]

GENIUS: A collection by artist Peter O’Doherty and his wife Susan will be opening at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre this Friday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hope for the future -a premiership victory

MISSING IN ACTION: Ex-Services will miss Rachel Pengilly’s talents in 2015, Pengilly is moving away for university.DESPITE missing the 2014 women’s Premier League Hockey finals Ex-Services have one simple goal ahead of the 2015 season.
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“It’s always our aim to at least make the semi-finals, but this year we want the premiership,” Ex-Services star, and NSW over 40s representative Mel Hope said.

Ex-Services finished seventh last year 16 points adrift of fifth place, but if you ask Hope, the numbers don’t tell the full story of her side’s frustrating 2014 season.

“We have a point to prove this year, we didn’t finish last year the way we wanted to,” Hope fired.

“We are a solid unit, and we work so well together it just didn’t come off a lot of the time.”

Hope said her side struggled to finish plays in 2014, leaving chances behind and ultimately costing themselves several points. Ex-Services lost five games by one goal in 2014, and drew three more thanks to missed opportunities.

“A lot of games in 2014 could easily have gone our way,” she explained.

“Our general field play overall was of an exceptional standard, we just struggled finding the back of the net.

“So I guess the focus in 2015 is finishing the play.”

Ex-Services will have to complete their title bid without stars Ali Baker, who has decided to step down from Premier League Hockey, and Rachel Pengilly, who is moving away for university.

However, speedster Kate Butcherine is set to make her return from knee surgery, dramatically boosting Ex-Services’ pace and nous through the middle of the field.

“Other than that everyone is back on board,” Hope said.

“Mitch Kennewell and Darryn Majoram are coaching again, and we’ll vote for our captain when we start training soon.

“But I think we’re all really excited to see Kate back, and working with her sister Haley.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.