On the Pulse

On air support
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They say some great things can happen on radio, and STA FM is doing just that. The station launched ‘Radiothon’, a fundraising broadcast with the birds this morning. This 24-hour event is raising money through song requests, donations and a slam-bang auction all day tomorrow on the steps of Me and Mr Jones (M&MJ). All funds raised will be split 50/50 between the Inverell Operation Operating Room and the Inverell Prostate Support Group.

All items and gift vouchers for the auction have been donated from business houses across town, and can be seen in the window of the vacant shop beside Sapphire City Meats on Byron. Bidders can stop in to the STA FM table in front of M&MJ throughout the day for their chances.

Volunteers are also having a breakfast barbecue today and tomorrow from 8am with a tasty sausage sizzle. Tomorrow, local songbird Little Phoenix will perform requests to serenade breakfasters. This is a great chance to hear your favourite song, grab a bite to eat, and it all goes to two terrific causes to support our community.

Hang up on scams

Scammers trying to impersonate officers from the NSW Department of Finance have offered the unwary $7000, in attempts to gain personal information, including dates of birth.

Office of Finance and service chief executive officer Simon Smith has warned the public to hang up on scam calls and report incidents to Scamwatch on 1300 795 995.

“The NSW Office of State Revenue has received reports from concerned consumers about scammers who claim the fictitious finance department is a state and federal agency,” Mr Smith said.

“No government finance department will cold call offering money and asking for your personal details. The scammers offer to repay the money via cheque or payment into a bank account.”

“Scammers will try anything to take your money and identity, so if in doubt look up the contact number for any alleged government department and call them to see if you are in fact dealing with the real department. Don’t call any number a cold caller gives you, as that will be answered by another scammer.”

Mr Smith said scammers rely on you not checking out their legitimacy, and people should never give out their bank details or address over the phone to cold callers.

Not enough work

When On the Pulse gets bored, there’s nothing like a good dose of statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to clear out the cobwebs and sharpen the senses. So when their latest report on underemployment leapt out and startled the blazes out of On the Pulse it decided to learn all about it.

Apparently, underemployment is a key measure of spare capacity in the labour market; workers who would like a second job or more hours at their present job, in other words, and for anyone caught in this position it must be demoralising.

In the late-1970s and 1980s, the underemployment rate was a lot lower than the unemployment rate (about half as many underemployed people as unemployed people), today the number underemployed is significantly higher than the unemployed.

On the Pulse thought there could be no way it was underemployed, underappreciated and underpaid, yes, but definitely not underemployed.

However, On the Pulse then thought about how much some extra time each day to do the massive amount of work would help, and for a long while thought perhaps it was on the underemployed list after all.

Then it occurred to On the Pulse that it may even be ‘overemployed’. Was there even a category for that?

Crikey, things can get complicated when you think about them too much; might be time to get back to work. We get pretty busy around here, you know.

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Head shave aims to raise $2000

AT 11am on March 14 at Envious Hair, 11-year-old Max McFarlane will lose his hair as part of this year’s World’s Greatest Shave, which raises money for the Leukemia Foundation and will hopefully see Max raise $2000.
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FUNDRAISING: Max McFarlane hopes to raise $2000 before having his head shaved.

He has already raised about $800. Max said he wanted to participate in this year’s shave because so many people died from leukaemia and cancer each day.

“And I’m going to have to get a haircut some time, so I thought this would be a very good idea,” Max said. “I think it will be a very good step in finding a cure for it. So far I’ve got 40 per cent of (the funds).”

Max’s mother Ashley agreed her son was ‘on the ball’ with his fundraising.

“I only had to register him, that’s all” Ashley said.

“He’s been wanting to do it since last year, but he missed it last year. So he’s been waiting and waiting, and growing his hair since Christmas.

“He makes us very proud.”

Anyone who would like to support Max by making a donation to The Leukaemia Foundation and the World’s Greatest Shave they can go online to: http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/maxmcfarlane.

If anyone would like to join Max in shaving or colouring their hair, they can contact Ashley on 0427 227 660.

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Head of the Lake: Ballarat Clarendon College in profile

Head of the Lake: Ballarat Clarendon College in profile Breaking the drought: Cody Grant, Robert Corden-McKinley, Henry Woodward, Samuel Hayden and Benjamin Dowling.
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Good record: Georgie Jackson, Lucy Joyce, Julia Kittelty, Alice Coltman and Eliza Millen. PICTURES: ADAM TRAFFORD

TweetFacebookGirls’ squad:GEORGIE JACKSON


Stepping up to the firsts can be a daunting task, but for Jackson it comes with the familiarity of rowing with two other crew members from last year.

Jackson was victorious in the year 10 division one girls alongside Julia Kittetly and Alice Coltman last year.



The only member of the crew that did not row together last year. Joyce took out the seconds last year and now it is her time to defend the title as firsts captain.

“I’ve fitted in well, the girls have all been welcoming,” she said.



Like her fellow crew members, tasted victory in the lower divisions last year. Now it is time to step up and make it count in the main race.

“It’s both nerves and excitement at this time but we just have to overcome it and row to our best,” she said.



Cotlman believes having three crew members sticking together from last year can only serve as an advantage for College.

“We all know each other really well which I think helps,” she said. “It’s really exciting, it’s the most exciting week of the year.”



Millen describes herself as the bossiest and most chatty member of the crew – exactly what a cox should be.

“It’s all about trying to motivate the girls and making sure you are the loudest voice on the water,” she said.

Boys’ squad:CODY GRANT


In his first year rowing at Clarendon, Grant said he took up the sport after witnessing the atmosphere at Lake Wendouree last year.

Formerly a single sculler from Geelong, he is relishing the opportunity to row in a team with some of his closest friends.



Rowing is in Corden-McKinley’s blood. His father rowed in College’s firsts in 1968 and 1969 and went on to become national champion.

His mother rowed for Victoria. “I always wanted to follow in their footsteps,” he said.



Even though it is his first year in the firsts crew, Woodward still uses previous defeats in lower divisions as motivation.

“We’ve put in so much work this year,” he said. “I use other races that we haven’t won as motivation, definitely.”



The only returning member from last year’s crew, Hayden this year takes on the responsibility of captaining the boat.

“We don’t want it to be the case like last year where we just go down so we have worked that much harder,” he said.



Dowling last year watched his sister, Ellie, take out the girls’ title as cox. Now he feels it is his time to claim some glory.

“I’m just ready to get out there on the day and do everything I can to help the boys over the line,” he said.

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Bulls v Sharks

Highlanders v RedsForce v HurricanesCheetahs v BluesChiefs v CrusadersRebels v BrumbiesLions v Stormers
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Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, Sunday 2.05am (AEST) Last meeting: Round 6 2014 – Bulls 23-19, Loftus Versfeld StadiumHead-to-head:  Played 22 Bulls 12 Sharks 9 drawn 1In Pretoria:  Played 11 Bulls 6 Sharks 4 drawn 1Referee:  Jaco van Heerden (RSA)TV: Live, FoxSports 502Ladbrokes: Bulls $1.91, Sharks $1.91 BetEasy: Bulls $1.95, Sharks $1.85

AAP writes: The Sharks got their season rolling last week with a win over the Lions, while the Bulls should’ve done likewise, but inexplicably failed to properly ground a late match-winning try. They’ll be extremely keen to ensure they don’t start their season with three straight losses at Loftus Versfeld. The last time they lost two in a row at Loftus was in 2008, and you’d have to go as far back as 2002 to find a time when they lost three in a row. And the bad news for them is that there is few, if any, teams with a better record than the Sharks in Pretoria.


SHARKS: SP Marais, Odwa Ndungane, Waylon Murray, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Patrick Lambie. Cobus Reinaach, Ryan Kankowski, Renaldo Bothma, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Dale Chadwick. Reserves: Kyle Cooper, Thomas du Toit, Lourens Adriaanse, Marco Wentzel, Jean Deysek, Conrad Hoffmann, Fred Zeilinga/Lionel Cronje, Jack Wilson

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NSW state election 2015: Greens environment policy would halt Whitehaven mine, shooting in national parks

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell
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Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Mine in the Leard State Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

Leard forest is a ‘key hot spot for national biodiversity’ says NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi. Photo: Ben Rushton

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

Clear-felling of the Leard Forest. Photo: Dean Sewell

More election coverage

The Greens would immediately halt clearing of the Leard State Forest – a key battleground for open-cut coal mines – and restore Environment as a standalone department.

The party’s environment policies also include restoring the ban on shooting by amateurs in national parks and re-allocating $19 million funds to combating invasive species. Also on the Greens’ election is restoring full protection to the state’s marine sanctuaries.

“The Leard State Forest is a key hot spot for national biodiversity with old-growth forests, dozens of threatened species and critically endangered ecological communities,” said Mehreen Faruqi, the Greens spokeswoman for the environment, and a candidate for the Legislative Council. “It is not too late to protect them for future generations but we must act now.”

Whitehaven Coal resumed clearing land at its Maules Creek mine in the Leard State Forest this month despite regular efforts by protesters to halt operations.

Andy Paine, a spokesman for the Leard Forest Alliance, welcomed the Greens’ position, noting that Whitehaven had cleared about one-quarter of the 8000 hectares of woodlands it planned to remove. “There’s potential to stop a lot clearing now,” he said.

Dr Faruqi said it was the Greens’ position to phase out coal mines, to be replaced with 100 per cent renewable energy, but the Maules Creek mine was a high priority: “There needs to be an independent process of reviewing and investigating how a mine with such huge ecological impacts was approved in the first place.”

Fairfax Media sought comment from Whitehaven, whose mine has the backing of the Coalition and Labor.

The Greens would legislate to ensure there was no compensation payable to the fossil fuel exploration and mining industry. “Investors have been aware of the huge environmental risks of mining coal and coal seam gas and the potential impact of addressing climate change on their industry for many decades,” Dr Faruqi said.

The party would also halt Santos’s plans for coal seam gas exploration in the Pilliga state forest.

Out of the top 100 achievements recently listed by the Baird government, only three environmental issues made the rankings, she said, adding “the number of environmental failures of the government, however, would fill a whole book”.

Environment in the Baird government is a junior ministry to Planning, a subordinate role that the Greens would reverse to put environmental protection, climate change and ecologically sustainable development “front and centre” in government decision-making, Dr Faruqi said.

“If the Baird-O’Farrell government can establish a standalone [Environment Protection Authority] due to unacceptable pollution incidents, then why not a stronger standalone national parks defender, given the growing pressures from hunters, loggers and graziers to access these precious areas?” said Keith Muir of the Colong Foundation.

The Greens would also make transparent the process of identifying high-conservation areas for priority protection in the national park estates.

One priority would be to ensure protection of the Gardens of Stone Stage 2 region of the Blue Mountains near Lithgow. The area is known for its hidden canyons and spectacular stone formations, and has been threatened by coal-mine development.

Kate Smolski, chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council, said that while the Greens had set the benchmark for nature conservation, the election platform “does not respond fully to all the threats nature faces in NSW”.

“What we need is a comprehensive environmental program that includes reform of the planning and mining approvals system, and strong policies to protect water and wildlife,” Ms Smolski said.

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Faulty electrical cabling in 40,000 homes may start failing next year

Only a tiny fraction of potentially dangerous electrical cabling fitted in households across Australia has been replaced in the six months since a national recall was announced.
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The cabling does not comply with ageing requirements because it has poor quality plastic coating that could become prematurely brittle if exposed to heat, potentially causing electric shock or sparking a fire. Although, there have not yet been any reports of the cables failing, experts say safety problems may start to arise from 2016.

The latest figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reveal Infinity and Olsent-branded cabling has been removed from fewer than 150 of the estimated 40,000 affected homes and businesses. And 16 of the 27 companies that sold the Chinese-made cabling between May 2010 and August 2013 have not started replacing the faulty wiring.

“It’s terrible. We are really concerned about the progress,” the ACCC’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, said. “But we do believe it’s about to ramp up. We’ve been contacting the suppliers that put the recall in place every month and pushing them.”

Ms Rickard said consumers also had a vital role to play in identifying whether the cabling was used at their property, and urged them to contact their electrician or building contractor.

“It’s really important we get the message to consumers because we know that a whole lot of electricians who used it have just got no idea where they put it,” she said.

Just 0.4 per cent of the 4000 kilometres of defective cabling had been replaced by the end of January after two recalls were announced last year when testing found the product failed to meet safety standards.

The cables were imported by Infinity Cable Co, which has gone into liquidation, and sold to major hardware stores and smaller suppliers in all states and territories except the Northern Territory.

It was used for electrical wiring in new and old homes, air-conditioning units and power points and was fitted in an estimated 40,000 buildings nationwide. In Victoria, it was sold in 2012 and 2013 through Masters, Home Timber and Hardware, Plants Plus, Thrifty-Link Hardware, Mitre 10, Go Electrical and six smaller retailers.

Home and business owners who recently had wiring installed at their property are urged to contact their builder or a licensed electrical contractor to arrange an inspection to confirm if Infinity cabling was used. If Infinity cable was supplied, the cable supplier will arrange for an inspection and remediation free of charge. Infinity cabling located in roof spaces, under flooring or close to a heat source will need to be replaced.

The ACCC, which is co-ordinating the national response in conjunction with state regulators,  will release updated figures next month. The Infinity Cable regulatory taskforce of electrical, building and consumer law regulators will then meet and discuss progress to date and the implications of that progress when the data has been gathered.

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Julie Bishop admits role with Triggs was discussed

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Pressure mounting: Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop during a division in question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Triggs denies she sought another job

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has undermined the government’s stance that there had been no inducement to Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs to leave her job, confirming an international posting for Ms Triggs had been the subject of discussions.

The revelation has raised fresh questions about the government’s handling of the Human Rights Commission’s presidency, and brought forward claims that the government had misled parliament over the affair.

Ms Bishop’s statement in a fiery question time fuels opposition claims Ms Triggs was enticed to resign ahead of the release of a report critical of government policy of keeping children in immigration detention.

The continuing furore over Professor Triggs came amid reports of further backbench rumblings about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership, including a Channel 7 report that backbenchers had approached Mr Turnbull and were calling on senior ministers to bring on a leadership spill.

On Thursday afternoon Sky News tweeted that government sources were suggesting Professor Triggs had wanted to be “looked after” if she quit the commission. However, in a statement to Fairfax Media, Professor Triggs said she “categorically denies any suggestion that the issue of a job offer and resignation came at [my] instigation”. Professor Triggs told the Senate hearing this week she considered the offer made to her a “disgraceful proposition”.

After three days of scrutiny, Ms Bishop conceded on Thursday that an “international” role was in fact discussed with Professor Triggs in early February, during a meeting in her office with the secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Chris Moraitis. However, it is unclear how specific the discussion was, and which side raised the international option.

The February 3 meeting was the same one in which Professor Triggs was told – according to her version of events – that the Attorney-General George Brandis had lost confidence in her and wanted her to consider her position.

Under questioning earlier in the week, the legally trained Professor Triggs had stopped short of categorising the alternative posting as an “inducement”.    Offering an inducement carries a five-year jail term.

Ms Bishop’s concession came after Labor highlighted the inconsistency of Mr Moraitis telling a Senate committee that a specific role was discussed, while the Ms Bishop and Mr Abbott maintained to parliament that no resignation was sought, and no inducement had been offered.

The Bishop admission appeared to contradict repeated denials by both Mr Abbott and Ms Bishop that any offer of any other role was made to the Human Rights Commission president.

The government has strenuously denied “inducing” Ms Triggs to fall on her sword despite its criticisms of her impartiality.

“I repeat, the president of the Human Rights Commission has not been asked to resign,” Mr Abbott again told question time on Thursday.

“No inducement has been offered as the president herself has declared to Senate estimates, but Madam Speaker, the government has lost confidence in her – we have lost confidence in the president.”

Under sustained opposition attack on Thursday, Ms Bishop said, “There was no job offer made to the president of the Human Rights Commission”.

“There was no request for her to resign and there was no inducement offered,” she told Parliament.

“A role was raised that related to international affairs, the details of which … as the secretary of the Attorney-General’s department said in Senate estimates, it was a sensitive matter that he did not wish to give details of in Senate estimates so I don’t give details of it.”

Asked the difference between a specific role and a job offer, Ms Bishop suggested it may not have been the government’s idea anyway.

“There is a world of difference, Madam Speaker, it depends on who raised the issue of a role and no specific job offer was made” she said.

The Australian Human Rights Commission report, The Forgotten Children, was tabled on the February 11, sparking a furious response by the Abbott government which believes it has unfairly targetted the Coalition rather than Labor.

Mr Abbott told Parliament the government had lost confidence in Professor Triggs’ conduct because she had informally discussed undertaking her review with “Labor ministers” in early 2013, shortly after commencing her five-year statutory term, but had held off for fear of the review being caught up in politics of an election year.

Liberals believe that was a thin justification for a biased decision to shield Labor from criticism and direct the blame for detaining the children of asylum seekers on the incoming Coalition government.

The government argues it has dramatically reduced the number of minors detained by stopping the boats, after Labor locked up nearly 2000 over its time in office.

The parliamentary scrutiny has exposed Ms Bishop – as the minister representing the Attorney-General in the House of Representatives – to fierce criticism for the combative actions of Mr Abbott and Mr Brandis after both men launched politically motivated attacks on Professor Triggs’ performance.

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Critics whip me now, for Fifty Shades has won a fan

Fifty shades of power: For Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), love is a battlefield. Flight of fantasy: Christian Grey is certainly a projection of a certain romantic stereotype.
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More on Fifty Shades of GreyMore Big Picture columnsMovie session timesFull movies coverage

I saw Fifty Shades of Grey last week and I liked it. May God forgive me. I should be taken out and flogged – which would at least be appropriate.

Given the worldwide controversy, denunciations from feminists (a number of whom admit they haven’t seen it), campaigns on social media and general hubbub, buying a ticket felt a bit like letting the side down. I expected a piece of trash; five more lashes to me for prejudging it.

The movie I saw was sober and thematically rich. I didn’t find it that erotic, but I’ll admit to a little swooning. British director Sam(antha) Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Man) has ensured that it is gorgeously photographed, with sensuous lighting and delicate close-ups. A beautiful young woman, played by Dakota Johnson, enters a dangerous relationship with a rich man (Jamie Dornan), who’s somewhere between a model and a psychopath. Some of the criticisms are fair, but misleading. Yes, it does conflate the tropes of romantic fiction – the heroine who falls for a stranger who’s worth $2 billion and flies a helicopter – with an abusive relationship, but surely that’s the point? If the film is about anything, it is about consent and coercion, in its many forms. Fifty shades of power, in fact.

Anastasia Steele is attracted to someone she wouldn’t normally go near. Christian Grey is a little older, vastly experienced in sexual matters and incapable of love – all of which he makes clear at the start. She is about 21, a virgin, smart as a whip and fully capable of looking after herself – no victim. I haven’t read the books but I’m guessing that a lot of the readers connect with this depiction of a modern woman struggling with the tension between doing what’s good for you and taking what you desire.

Ana resists him, but her heart says “this is the one”. He pushes her away, saying ‘I’m not the man for you”. Yet he can’t stay away from her either. At every step, he warns her of his exotic tastes, his inability to do “romance”. He even shows her his “play room” before they get past kissing. He also showers her with expensive gifts and tries to control her life, most of which she finds troubling. She won’t be bought. Diamonds are not this girl’s best friend.

Ana has to choose what kind of pleasures she will accept. Christian makes that very clear when he insists on a kind of sexual contract. They go through it, item by item, in an erotically charged and funny “business meeting”, where she rules things in or out. Fisting of any sort? “Not under any circumstances,” she says. “What are butt plugs?” she asks. Her innocence attracts him; his experience attracts her. Not one second of the film is coerced. Each act is consensual – which is not to say that Ana finds it all to her liking. She walks out a couple of times, but keeps coming back – just like Bella in Twilight, which is the origin of the idea for E.L. James’ best-selling novel.

It started as a piece of fan fiction, with bondage and discipline instead of vampirism. James wisely took the girl’s age up to 21, the age of consent. Christian’s outlaw sexual tastes give the story tension. Bella risked her life to love Edward; so far Ana has just risked a sore bum and major damage to her heart.

E.L. James brings this back to a real issue. Ana falls for a man who can’t love; he won’t even let her touch him. Christian’s problem isn’t really his need to dominate – it’s his fear of love (apart from the fact that he’s a prize control freak and a genuine arsehole). That’s where the story hits every girl and woman with something she already knows: men are cowards about commitment.

Most of the feminist criticisms appear to my reading to be based on the way the books (and now the film) make all of this so pretty. It’s an abusive relationship dressed up to look like something desirable. Well yeah, otherwise Ana would never have to make hard choices. He’s grooming an innocent; he’s a classic abuser. Yes and she sees it. Implicit in that criticism is a belief that the women going to see the film (in the millions) can’t see that for themselves, and can’t defend themselves from this insidious confusion.

I don’t mean to be rude, but that’s what the censors among us always say about movies from which they want to protect us. You and I may be smart enough to see the irony/artistic worth/subtle messages of this or that film – take your pick, from Pasolini to Catherine Breillat – but it’s the young ones who are at risk.

I think what some of these critiques are saying is they don’t like the way the movie normalises porn for women, which is not the intent of the movie I saw. Pornography has a completely different aim and a lot of it is demeaning for both sexes. Fifty Shades dares to say that sex, even of an exotic sort, can be a lot of fun, and so far, the series is about where Ana draws the line. She says no several times, and Christian stops what he is doing immediately.

No really does mean no in this movie. I thought that was a message we had all agreed upon.

Twitter: @ptbyrnes



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Carlton Blues train in MandurahPHOTOS

Carlton Blues train in Mandurah | PHOTOS Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.
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Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

Carlton Blues trained in Mandurah.

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Narrabri combo makes it a family affair at Tamworth

NARRABRI combo Chris and Peter Shepherdson celebrated a winning treble at Tamworth Paceway yesterday.
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Sam Ison and Pirates Pearl swashbuckle their way home to win yesterday’s Northern Inland Credit Union Competitive Stakes.Photo: Barry Smith 260215BSE07

Chris drove drove Big Riddle, I Want Candy and Rockstar Ruler to victory for his uncle, Peter Shepherdson, who trains all three in a family effort.

Shepherdson was also celebrating the win of Big Riddle in the TAB南京夜网.au pace (1609m).

Chris Shepherdson also had a win away from the track recently when he and wife Elizabeth welcomed six pound 3 ounce Cohen Robert Shepherdson into the world.

“They are both fit and healthy,” Chris Shepherdson said of the mother and son combo.

“I hope he continues to bring me luck.”

Big Riddle led into the straight with race favourite Rosie O’Rourke and Geraldene Shannon becoming entangled on the turn and Peter Missen almost falling from the gig behind the favourite.

“I’m not saying we would have won it but Big Riddle was travelling and we would have gone close.

“He still had a bit left and Rosie had had a hard run. We’ll take that though.”

Then followed I Want Candy and Rockstar Ruler to make it a special day.

It was also a good day for two of the three Ison brothers when Tommy won the first race and older brother Sam the second.

Tommy drove Diamondsnstones for Inverell owner-trainer William Miller to win the Peter Jackson Bookmaker Pace (1609m) before Sam combined to win the Northern Inland Credit Union Competitive Stakes (1980m) for owners Rod and Dianne Hazell with four-year-old mare Pirates Pearl.

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