Re-energised Armidale Show tries to lure new crowds and university students

Armidale Show Society president Kelso Looker. Photo: Dannielle Maguire.WHETHER it’s carving up a pumpkin or carving it up on the dance floor, this weekend’s Armidale Show is catering to everybody’s interests.
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After swearing in the youngest president in the state, the Show Society has re-energised the event and is hoping to bring in new crowds.

“We want to get the college students involved; they’re part of our town too,” Armidale and New England Show Society president Kelso Looker, pictured, said.

Bull rides, tug-o-war competitions and a demolition derby are all on offer.

Mr Looker was glad to see the licensed bar brought back to the event.

“Having a bar allows old mates to catch up – the bar was always the social hub,” he said.

“Everyone has a drink they enjoy whether they be farmers or lectures or college students and it means people can come together and make new friends.”

Show goers are encouraged to slip on their dancing shoes, or at least make sure their boots are fit for toe tapping.

“There will be tunes,” Mr Looker said.

“Your dance floor is where you put your feet.”

Gates open at 7am today and tomorrow, with festivities kicking on until 10pm on both nights.

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The Guy Walter Stakes – the race the trainers want to win

Emotional day: Peter Snowden would like nothing more than to win the Guy Walter Stakes with Mahara. Photo: Geoff Jones Emotional day: Peter Snowden would like nothing more than to win the Guy Walter Stakes with Mahara. Photo: Geoff Jones
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Emotional day: Peter Snowden would like nothing more than to win the Guy Walter Stakes with Mahara. Photo: Geoff Jones

Emotional day: Peter Snowden would like nothing more than to win the Guy Walter Stakes with Mahara. Photo: Geoff Jones

It has become the race trainers want to win simply because of who it honours.

The Guy Walter Stakes might only be a group 3, but it could be the most emotional race held during Warwick Farm’s autumn meeting. The name change from the Wiggle has made it special.

“No one remembers who Wiggle was, everyone knows Guy Walter and everyone wants to win it,” Joe Pride said. “He was a man that thought more about other people than himself and he has done so much for so many.”

Walter died of a heart attack last year and left a hole in the training ranks that can’t be filled. It is his mentoring that is perhaps most missed.

“When I was starting out Guy had a treble in the city one Saturday, I went to the track the next day and he was the first trainer I saw,” Pride related. “He said to me well done on the winner at Kembla yesterday and wanted to talk about it. He was aware of everyone and their achievements. It was never about Guy, that was just what he was like.”

Chintz will be Pride’s chance to lift the Guy Walter and he summed his chances up: “She probably needs it wet.”

John Thompson is another with an outsider in the race in Danesiri, and he has his own reasons for wanting to win it. “I grew up next door to Guy and saw him every day as [a] kid,” Thompson said. “When I went for my trainer’s licence, he was one of my three references.

“Dad and my father-in-law gave me the standard one page but Guy’s letter was three pages, hand written, telling them how good I was going to be. When they changed the name [of the race] I didn’t have a mare that I thought would be in it. Then I got Danesiri and it was the first race I wrote down for her. She has black type form and it would be a race I want to win.”

There are several classy mares in the Guy Walter led by group 1 winner Cosmic Endeavour, Dear Demi and Arabian Gold.

David Vandyke, who prepares Arabian Gold, said the Walter influence will be seen in her preparation. “I used to watch what Guy did with his horses, in particular Streama and Appearance, and learn. I would clock them and look at the preparations,” Vandyke said. “I would like to think we had similar styles and this mare [Arabian Gold] is like those good ones of Guy’s in a sense.

“He was always patient and got the best out of them. Arabian Gold has been like that and I think this is the best she has come back and if she could win this race it would be perfect in a sense because Guy has had an influence on her without knowing it.”

Dear Demi is also starting her autumn program for long-time Warwick Farm trainer Clarry Conners, who was Walter’s neighbour. “He was a friend or someone who you could just talk to about things. We were great mates and it was a shock what happened,” Conners said. “I couldn’t think of a better thing than winning the inaugural Guy Walter Stakes.”

There is, of course, improvement left in Dear Demi, a group 1-winning stayer, but Jim Cassidy believes she is ready for a big preparation. “She is probably a little bit gross but that’s her,” Conners said. “Jimmy said she feels better than ever. He thinks she is going great, I think she’s going good. I haven’t screwed her down for this but she can win.”

The final word on Walter has to go to Peter Snowden, who will saddle Mahara, which started her career in his mate’s Warwick Farm stable. “He was always there for me and to get a mare like her after his death came with a responsibility,” Snowden said.

“She arrived in great order, which was a mark of Guy’s horses and we have been able to win a couple of races, including one at black-type level. I thought her first run was very good and the 1400 metres is the right trip for her. It would be great if she could for me personally but also for Wendy [Walter’s wife] because of the link she has with him.”

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Quinn steals the show with hat-trick

Quinn Hennock was very proud of taking a hat-trick in last week’s Under 10s junior cricket. subAn unbeaten 37 from Michael McGrath and 33 from Billy Porter set Porters up for a 16 run victory Forbes Green in Under 17s.
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Jackson Glasheen bowled well to claim three wickets.

Corey Hurford made a good 35 for Forbes Green.

In the other Under 17s match, an excellent half century by Macaulays’ Matt Job led his team to a good 45 run victory over Forbes Blue.

Isaac Vale made valuable runs for Forbes while Josh Duffy and Jack Ford bowled well to claim three wickets each.

Harry Dawson’s 32 and an unbeaten 27 from Koby Johnstone helped Hawkes score a 53 run win over Forbes Green in the Under 14 competition.

Forbes Blue scored a 50 run win over Cartys thanks to a solid 27 not out by Corey McDean.

Darcy Cusack bowled well for Cartys to claim two wickets.

Nic and James Mackenzie led from the front with the bat in Mackenzies’ win over Peak Hill.

Dylan Hamilton bowled well for Peak Hill, claiming three wickets.

Harry Bayliss was the stand-out batsmen in Bayliss’ win over Johns in the Under 12 competition.

Zayne Ehsman and Brodie Clarke bowled well for Johns.

Forbes Blue enjoyed a big win over Forbes Green in their Under 12 local derby.

Luke McDean had a good game, scoring 35 and snaring a wicket.

Geordie Duncan and Stewart Kapeen helped Duncans post a big total in their Under 10s match against Jones.

Charlie Oraha and Connor Batt bowled well for Jones while Harry Jones was the pick of the batsmen.

Quinn Hennock was outstanding for Skinners in their match against McMaughs.

Quinn scored 16 runs before claiming four wickets, three of which were in a hat-trick.

Ryan Dunford top scored for Skinners while Dustin James did the same for McMaughs.

Ryan capped a good match, claiming three wickets.

Scores were as follows:

Under 17s

Porters 9/132 (Michael McGrath 37no, Billy Porter 33, Mihran Sarkissian 20no, Brodie Gavin-Rossiter 1/6, Jordie Brett 1/12, best fielder – Jarrod McDean)

defeated Forbes Green 10/116 (Corey Hurford 35, Harry Callaghan 29, Jackson Glasheen 3/17, Nick Strudwick 2/8, best fielders – Billy Porter and Will Moore).

Macaulays 4/111 (Matt Job 54, James Ward 16, Hayden Page 2/10, Joe Dukes 1/10, best fielders – Blake Myers and Stuart Kennedy) defeated Forbes Blue 9/66 (Isaac Vale 39, Cameron Smith 7, Josh Duffy 3/2, Jack Ford 3/5, best fielder – Jack Matthews).

Under 14s

Hawkes 7/119 (Harry Dawson 32, Koby Johnstone 27no, B. Ryan 2/7, best fielder – T. Hurford)

defeated Forbes Green 10/66 (Dan O’Brien 10, J. Eyre 9, Harry Dawson 3/6, Brad Burrell 1/3, best fielder – Harry Dawson).

Forbes Blue 7/107 (Corey McDean 27no, Jade Page 19no, Darcy Cusack 2/7, Lachlan Buesnell 0/5, best fielder – Lachlan Buesnell)

defeated Cartys 2/57 (Jonah Ruzgas 16no, Luke Knowles 6, Harrison Leadbitter 1/4, Tom Toohey 1/1, best fielder – Corey McDean).

Mackenzies 5/153 (Nic Mackenzie 41no, James Mackenzie 28no, Mitch Wright 14no, Dylan Hamilton 3/11, Victor Wilson 1/6)

defeated Peak Hill 7/53 (Jack Bendeich 9, David Hayward 6, Mitch Wright 2/6, Russell Bicket 1/4, Josh Drabsch 1/5).

This was a sound match played in good spirit.

Congratulations to the Peak Hill team who proved themselves to be great ambassadors for their town.

Special note needs to be mentioned of the Peak Hill players who went to the trouble of thanking the Mackenzies team scorer Mrs Lisa Bicket for her efforts.

Mrs Bicket certainly appreciated this kind gesture.

Under 12s

Bayliss 2/75 (Harry Bayliss 18no, Hunter Hawke 12no, Zayne Ehsman 1/10, Brodie Clarke 1/12, best fielder – Will Duffy)

defeated Johns 7/62 (Harrison McGregor 7no, Will Duffy 9no, Hunter Hawke 1/3, Jacob Chambers 1/4, best fielder – Calvin Matthews).

Forbes Blue 6/140 (Luke McDean 35, Angus Duff 29, Noah Girot-Serplet 2/8, Henry Hodges 1/6, best fielder – Tyler Nicholson)

defeated Forbes Green 4/55 (Henry Hodges 10, Tallis Hurford 3, Luke McDean 1/2, Stuart Gordon 1/4, best fielder – Isaac Sly).

Dunns had the bye.

Under 10s

Duncans 170 (Geordie Duncan 24, Stewart Kapeen 22, Brayden Chapple 13, Joe Monk 12, Charlie Oraha 1/8, Connor Batt 1/5, best fielder – Charlie Oraha)

defeated Jones 125 (Harry Jones 14, Charlie Oraha 10, Darcy Dawson 2/12, Charlie Dawson 1/7, best fielder – Darcy Dawson).

Skinners 175 (Ryan Dunford 32, Joseph Tanswell 26, Quinn Hennock 16, Charlie Summerhayes 14, Jack Skinner 13, Tom Searl 3/15, best fielder – Meghan Searl)

defeated McMaughs 95 (Dustin James 17, Tom Searl 15, Quinn Hennock 4/16, Ryan Dunford 3/8, Joseph Tanswell 2/4, best fielder – Charlie Summerhayes).

POINT SCORE

Under 17s – Porters 34, Forbes Green 30, Macaulay’s 25, Forbes Blue 18.

Under 14s – Hawkes 26, Mackenzie’s 25, Carty’s 22, Forbes Blue 22, Forbes Green 16.

Under 12s – Bayliss 33, Johns 28, Forbes Blue 20, Dunn’s 17, Forbes Green 13.

DRAW

Draw for this weekend is as follows:

Friday (5.45pm)

Under 17s – Macaulays v Forbes Green at Northparkes Oval.

Saturday (8.45am)

Under 17s – Forbes Blue v Porters at Grinstead Oval, Forbes.

Under 14s – Cartys v Hawkes at Woodward Oval; Forbes Blue v Mackenzies at Halpins Flat, Forbes; Forbes Green have the bye.

Under 12s – Forbes Green v Johns at Botanical Gardens, Forbes; Forbes Blue v Dunns at Keast 2; Bayliss have the bye.

Under 10s – Jones v Forbes Blue at Armstrong Park; Skinners v Forbes Green at Keast 1; Duncans v McMaughs at Holy Family School.

All players from Porters, Mackenzies and Johns need to meet their coach at the Church Street bus stop at 8am on Saturday to arrange transport to and from matches in Forbes.

If any player is unable to play, it is important they let their coach know so they can organise possible replacements.

End of season

With only three more weeks of junior cricket scheduled for 2014/15 players, parents and supporters should note the following end of season schedule.

Under 17s – Friday, March 6, semi-final second v third at Northparkes Oval; Friday, March 13, grand final first v winner of the semi-final, at Northparkes Oval.

The premiership presentation ceremony will follow the grand final.

Under 14s – Saturday, March 7, semi-finals first v fourth, second v third; Saturday, March 14, grand final between semi-final winners at Northparkes Oval.

Under 12s – Saturday, March 7, semi-finals first v fourth, second v third; Saturday, March 14, grand final between semi-final winners at Keast 2.

Under 10s will see an extension of normal weekly games.

All games being played on March 14 are to start at 8.30am sharp. Players will need to be there no later than 8.15am.

Presentation

The annual presentation ceremony for junior cricket will be held at Northparkes Oval at 11.45am to 12.15pm on Saturday, March 14.

Managers and coaches of all teams need to return kits, scorebooks and balls to the executive of PDJCA at the junior cricket storage shed at Northparkes Oval on Saturday, March 14.

Return of Trophies

It is important that the 2013/14 recipients of the following perpetual trophies return them to Hon Secretary of PDJCA Greg Morrissey by Saturday, March 7 – Kevin Klein Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship and Achievement Under 16s; Peter Chambers Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship and Achievement Under 14s; Joy Skinner Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship and Achievement Under 12s; Nic Fisher Memorial Trophy for Enthusiasm and Improvement Under 12s.

REPRESENTATIVE

Parkes under 12 representative team played host to Young at Woodward Oval last Sunday in the semi-final of the Lachlan Cricket Council Inter-town competition.

Young emerged as very convincing winners of the match.

The fact that Young’s fielders took every catch that came their way played a big role in leading to their win.

Batting first Parkes were never able to get on top of a keen Young bowling attack that was backed up by the smart fielding.

Parkes batsmen Ryan Dunn 28 (2 fours) and Koby Johnstone 13 (2 fours) both fell to smart catches after they appeared to be set for big scores.

Zayne Ehsman (11) was the only other Parkes player to reach double figures as they were all out for 84 in 28.3 overs.

In reply, Young’s opening batsmen Ben Schofield 48no (6 fours) and Bevan Foxall 14 benefitted from several dropped catches by Parkes fielders.

Despite some keen efforts by the home team, Young cruised to victory to go on to play Cowra in next weekend’s final.

Players and parents should be very grateful to Grant and Glenn for their unstinting support and influence throughout the season.

PDJCA thanks umpires Trevor Chatman and Greg Morrissey for officiating the semi-final.

Parkes Sports Council staff deserve special mention for presenting such an immaculately prepared pitch and venue at Woodward Oval.

Scores were as follows:

Parkes 10/84 In 28.3 overs (Ryan Dunn 28, Koby Johnstone 13, Zayne Ehsman 11, Corey Lucas 3/11 off 5.3 overs, Matt Cannelis 3/14 off 6 overs, Sam Corkhill 2/12 off 5 overs, Lachlan Pratt 2/4 off 3 overs)

lost to Young 1/88 (Ben Schofield 48no, Bevan Foxall 14, Matt Cannelis 16no).

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Goulburn has cheapest petrol in regional Aust

GOULBURN boasts the cheapest unleaded petrol in regional Australia.
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But fill up now because the honeymoon won’t last, industry insiders say.

A combination of generous fuel gate terminal prices, strong local competition and low operating costs culminated in an average unleaded price of 108.4 cents a litre on Tuesday morning.

Number crunchers at fuel watchdog Motor Mouth say that figure’s the lowest in regional Australia – and far cheaper than much of the fuel sold in metropolitan centres.

Only drivers in Adelaide had access to cheaper unleaded petrol, with some outlets in the South Australian capital opening bowsers at 95 cents a litre.

As of Tuesday, Goulburn fuel suppliers were selling unleaded petrol at least 11 cents a litre cheaper than offered at the terminal gates in Sydney.

It’s that fact that has industry experts predicting a rise in prices across Goulburn.

Some suppliers had already lifted their prices by as much as nine cents a litre by Wednesday afternoon.

Even so, Southern Tablelands motorists are enjoying a purple patch.

A public affairs spokesman for Motor Mouth explained the equation behind fuel prices.

“A lot of it’s to do with the number of petrol stations in Goulburn compared with the population of the city,” the spokesman explained.

“If Goulburn is over-pumped, then you might get lower prices.

“Of course, it could just be the opposite to a perfect storm: you might be in a perfect sunshine.

You’ve got good competition and good stock right now. That could change.”

One factor unlikely to affect bowser prices is freight costs.

Caltex, Australia’s largest fuel supplier, delivers its stock to Goulburn by truck, not rail.

Cost of freight, therefore, is consistent with other major highway stopovers.

“Goulburn’s big enough to have its own demand and market, and it’s big enough to have through-traffic,” Caltex Australia’s communication adviser Sam Collyer explained.

“It’s on the way to Canberra and on the way to Sydney.”

While Mr Collyer conceded the affordable price of fuel was a “good news story”, he advised motorists to keep a level head.

Mr Collyer says regional providers take longer to both rise and drop their prices than their metropolitan cousins.

“It’s really dependant on local competition,” he said.

“Prices can be affected by local competition, operating costs and fuel gate prices.

“People always notice when Sydney prices go down quickly and theirs don’t, but they never complain when city prices rise and country prices don’t.”

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Snowden’s juvenile maidens could develop Golden Slipper gleam

Peter Snowden might be taking a couple of maiden two-year-olds to the races on Saturday but there is every chance he could come away with a Blue Diamond and a pair of Golden Slipper contenders. Pride Of Dubai has arrived safely in Melbourne for the Blue Diamond, where he is a second pick in betting behind the unbeaten filly Fontiton. “She has been the benchmark right the way through,” Snowden said. “But Pride Of Dubai has just kept improving, that trip down there [for the Prelude] really helped him and I thought the run was very good.” Pride Of Dubai just failed to gun down Of The Brave in the Prelude. “He is the type of horse that is going to enjoy the pressure of a group 1 and we were very happy with his work on Tuesday,” Snowden said. Wolf Cry is another juvenile that is yet to win but has logged Breeders Plate and Lonhro Plate placings. He steps out in a trip that is more to his liking in the Skyline Stakes. “He got home late in both his runs and the 1200 metres will certainly be to his advantage. We have always thought that 1200 and beyond would be his best trip. This is a nice race for him.”
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EXCITEMENT TIME

Red Excitement has won his past five heading into Saturday’s Liverpool City Cup but it is a barrier trial since his latest win in the Chester Manifold Stakes which catches the attention. He won by 13-1/4 lengths from He’s Your Man, Midsummer Sun and Sweynesse at Rosehill on February 3. “He was a race-fit horse against a couple of horses having soft trials,” jockey Brenton Avdulla explained. “We didn’t go that quick. He went along but not that fast to win by such a big space.” Red Excitement ran 33.88 seconds for the final 600m and built through every section. “It was a good hitout and he is still a little under the radar. He is [in] the right race again on the weekend.”

ALLISON’S EMBRACE

Chris Waller has the favourite for the Sweet Embrace Stakes in Always Allison but she will need to win on Saturday and pay $150,000 to run the Golden Slipper. A midweek win saw Always Allison added to Slipper markets but Waller is not pumping up his filly. “She has always shown us a bit but this is still her first preparation. It is about winning on Saturday, not about the next start,” Waller said. “The Golden Slipper winner won’t have any problem getting into the Golden Slipper, they tend to show themselves well before the race. She will either get there or she won’t. There is no pressure on her from us. If she doesn’t we are sure she will be a really good three-year-old.”

JAPANESE ARRIVE

The Japanese raiders arrived in Sydney on Wednesday and are settling into their new home at Canterbury. To The World, which was named Japan’s best three-year-old last year, leads a strong contingent for The Championships which includes, World Ace, Tosen Stardom and Real Impact. They were restricted to walking in the bullring at Canterbury on Thursday but are expected to step on the track by the weekend.

ADELAIDE GALLOP

Sydney punters will get their first live raceday look at Cox Plate winner Adelaide when he has an exhibition gallop with Royal Descent at Warwick Farm on Saturday. Chris Waller has taken over the preparation from Aidan O’Brien, with the target of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes before possibly returning to Europe. Meanwhile Waller has made an investment in Warwick Farm, completing the purchase the Guy Walter’s former stables this week. “It is something I’m looking to the future with and I will probably just rent the stables out for now,” Waller said.

PROTOCOL PLAN

The Paul Perry stable has the Sydney Cup as a goal for Ghost Protocol because it is a stayer that “needs two miles”. “We are keeping him ticking over for that. But he has found a good race over 2400m on Saturday,” foreman Shannon Perry said. “Last start he was coming hard at the end and I know sound funny to say it, because he has been up for a long time, but he needed that hitout.”

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Bega Pool business relay a family fun night out

Bega Pool’s Business House Relay might not be as packed or quirky as it used to be, but will still be a fun family night out says organiser Phil Harris.
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Harris said the annual event, which once hosted 78 teams and ran past midnight, had dwindled over previous years, but will still play host to up to 20 teams tomorrow.

And if you haven’t entered yet, you still can.

“Entries are open right up until the time,” Harris said.

“The first swim is what you are timed on so it’s no drama to show up on the night.

“Everyone has a bit of fun and comes to strut their stuff.”

Harris said over its history the night had attracted some spectacular costumes and spectacles.

“It’s not quite as involved as it used to be – we used to have people come as the East German swimming team.

“We would have these big blokes come all in costume.

“One year four guys did the entire lap under the water.”

Another time, when the finals could run until after midnight, two young swimmers had to be woken up to compete.

“We had to go and get two kids out of bed because they made the final,” Harris said with a laugh.

“Their mums were still there and had to go get them for the final, but they won it.”

The very first Bega event ran by Harris welcomed 16 teams, but wrapped up in just over one hour.

“We had bought all this meet for the barbecue, but it was all over and no one was there to eat it,” Harris said with a laugh.

Now, the yearly swim includes age sprints and a chocolate wheel and people are around to enjoy a feed from the barbecue.

Harris said tomorrow’s swim ensures a fun night out for everyone who attends.

Entry is just $2 or $5 for a family.

Depending on the number of entries, both the age swims and relay include heats, a semi-final and final.

Teams for the relay are made up of four people, but Harris is welcoming single or small group entries.

“If anyone has two or three they can get in touch with us – there are always people who would like a swim, but don’t have a team,” he said.

“We are happy to put them together and make up the numbers.”

The event is normally a major fundraiser for the Bega Amateur Swimming Club, but this year the proceeds will be given to the Britton Dunning Memorial Fund.

“Jacqui’s mother-in-law is a life member of the club so the committee decided to donate the proceeds to that worthy cause,” Harris said.

Events will run at the Bega Pool from 5pm tomorrow.

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Rex restores air services to Bamaga

Regional Express will fly to the remote community of Bamaga. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland Regional Express has announced it will introduce a Cairns-Bamaga service. Photo: Jim Rice
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The Australian mainland’s northernmost town will once again have regular passenger air services from next month, with Regional Express announcing it would introduce a Cairns-Bamaga route from March 30.

Bamaga was one of six remote Queensland communities left without regular services when Cairns-based airline Skytrans collapsed last month.

The airline’s collapse was blamed, in part, on the falling Australian dollar and the Newman government’s decision to award Regional Express, commonly known as Rex, with the subsidised “milk run” routes ahead of Skytrans.

Regional airline West Wing Aviation has filled in much of the breach, but Bamaga was not among its destinations.

Rex Queensland state manager Steve Jones said the airline had worked with the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council to restore services to the community on the tip of Cape York.

Mr Jones said air links to communities such as Bamaga were vital for their survival.

“People often aren’t flying just to visit Aunt Flo for her 40th birthday party, no disrespect to Aunty Flo, but people travel for compelling reasons,” he said.

“They travel largely to get back down to the major coastal regional centres of Cairns or Townsville to get to major medical facilities, kids coming in and out of school and, from a freight perspective, there are no regular road freight operations north of Weipa in Cape York at any time of the year.

“Certainly, in summer (the wet season), there’s nothing north of Cairns basically.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Northern Peninsula Area mayor Bernard Charlie.

“NPARC is focused on developing a long-term future for our people and building tourism and other investment in our region,” he said.

“Having a nationally recognised provider flying into NPA is an important step in our journey to further develop our economy and improve economic outcomes for the region.”

Mr Jones said he was still confident of expanding Rex’s reach in far north Queensland, despite some hurdles last month.

“We’re still open to discuss providing services to the other communities in Cape York if they feel the Rex model and product would suit them,” he said.

“We’ve been in discussions with the Peninsula Area council for quite some time now and we’ve both agreed that … what Cape York really needs most is assurance of long-term sustainability.

“I think Rex can provide that.”

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Sweet mixed bag of brief plays

COOL THREADS: Creative director Alex Robson said the production Favourite Shorts would be more colourful than these pants. THE event is called Favourite Shorts, but it has nothing to do with casual leg coverings.
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Creative director Alex Robson said Favourite Shorts will be a smorgasbord of short plays, with the wide range of genres sure to appeal to all theatrical tastes.

“It’s 16 plays, 16 directors and over two dozen actors,” Robson said. “Basically it’s a mixed bag of theatrical lollies.”

The play has been popular in the past, but it has special significance for the Armidale Drama and Musical Society.

With the passing of University of New England’s beloved drama lecturer Andrew McCue on February 18, his play is set to bring out emotions when it features in the short production festival. Robson said the coincidence is a fitting tribute for the much-loved theatre figure.

“It just so happened that one our directors had chosen one his plays,” he said.

“He thought all copies of the play had been, so when one of our directors got in contact with him, he was blown away.

“It’s one of his last surviving plays. The story follows Barbie dolls, the role of God and sex… it’s indicative of Andrew’s cheeky spirit.

“It is quite devastating to our town, as we lost Sue Fell and Andrew McCue in such a short amount of time.”

The shows will be staged at The ‘Stro for the first time ever.

“We did have it at The Armidale Club, but since it closed down we had to relocate [to the] ’Stro,” Robson said.

Favourite Shorts will be held on March 20 and 21, and on March 27 and 28. Tickets are available at www.adms.org.au.

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County Court judges warn on baseline sentences

County Court judges are warning baseline sentences will stretch resources.County Court judges warn that baseline sentences will lengthen criminal trials and increase the number of criminal appeals, putting more pressure on the court’s stretched funds.
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Chief Judge Michael Rozenes said that the law on baseline sentences could undo many of its improvements to the way the court performs “that we have worked so hard to achieve in recent years.”

“The new sentencing regime will likely add substantial complexity to the sentencing process, increasing the length of matters and the incidence of appeals. It will also change the case mix, adding to delay,” he said in the court’s latest annual report.

Lawyers are likely to ask Attorney-General Martin Pakula to reverse the law on baseline sentences, which were opposed by the Victorian Bar Association and the Law Institute of Victoria and are viewed as an unnecessary limitation on judges’ discretion.

Baseline sentences were introduced into law last year, prescribing median and maximum punishments for a range of crimes including murder and commercial drug trafficking. They were designed to lengthen average prison terms for offenders, with former attorney-general Robert Clark saying courts had previously imposed “appallingly inadequate” average sentences.

Judge Mark Taft, who heads the court’s criminal jurisdiction, said that requiring judges to determine sentences according to an overall median was a “constraint” that “will add substantial complexity to the sentencing process, will be productive of delay, additional cost and heightened prospects of appeal”.

Baseline sentences would increase growing pressure “on the court’s already stretched judicial resources”. The same number of judges were now required to sit on more criminal trials, which were getting longer because they involved a greater amount of evidence which was also growing more complex, he said.

The average trial length grew about 12 days last year, and the impact of the state inquiry into child abuse and the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on the court was still to be felt.

The court needed more judges and staff “to ensure these trials are conducted efficiently and within a reasonable time of persons being charged”.

Mr Pakula has said the Andrews government will assess the impact of the Coalition’s sentencing changes in coming months “and [is] carefully assessing whether additional reform is needed”.

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Russell returns to Porsche Carrera Cup racing Video

David Russell makes returns to full-time Porsche Carrera Cup racing in Finance Ezi Racing Porsche 991 GT3 . Photo supplied Russell will drive the Finance Ezi Racing Porsche 991 GT3 in the series – his first full-time Porsche Carrera Cup season since he last competed in this highly competitive championship in 2008.arrera Cup season since he last competed in this highly competitive championship in 2008.Redland City motor racing driver David Russell makes returns to full-time Porsche Carrera Cup racing at this weekend’s Clipsal 500 event in Adelaide.
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Russell will drive the Finance Ezi Racing Porsche 991 GT3 in the series – his first full-time Porsche Carrera Cup season since he last competed in this highly competitive championship in 2008.

He has since earned a reputation as one of the fastest and most versatile racing drivers in the country, having competed successfully in several local and international GT races, alongside his five-year tenure with Nissan Motorsport / Kelly Racing as endurance race co-driver to both Rick and Todd Kelly.

The 32-year-old Birkdale resident is excited to be returning to the Carrera Cup after his superb cameo performances in the series last season at Bathurst and Surfers Paradise. His outstanding performances earned him a race victory, two podiums and several fastest race laps at two of the nation’s most challenging circuits.

“It is fantastic to be back in the Carrera Cup championship and to be in a position to have a real tilt at the title with Finance Ezi Racing.

“ I took some heat over how aggressively I was competing at Bathurst and the Gold Coast last season – that was just a taste of what can be expected from me once the red lights go out at the Clipsal 500,” Russell said.

Russell has already gained significant race mileage this season having set the fastest lap time of practice, the second fastest qualifying lap and a 7th place finish at the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

His qualifying lap time of 2:03.1751s in the JBS Lamborghini LP600 was the fastest lap time ever set by an Australian driver at Mount Panorama. He will also be competing in selected international Sportscar events along with the three V8 Supercar season of endurance races during 2015.

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