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Yarra Ranges in back-to-back seaside volleyball title bidPhotos

Yarra Ranges in back-to-back seaside volleyball title bid | Photos Austral player Kystal Lacopetta returns the ball as teammate Hannah Berman watches. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE
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Austral player Hannah Berman spikes the ball watched by her teammate Sheena Peters in the women’s honours game. Pictures: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Renagades vs Austral in the Warrnambool Seaside Volleyball Tournament at Warrnambool Stadium. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

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Century caps Pomborneit cricket skipper’s new baby joy

Pomborneit captain David Murphy. 140310AS44
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POMBORNEIT skipper David Murphy will never forget his fourth division one ton.

The opening batsman blasted an unbeaten 154 in South West Cricket’s final round on Saturday against Cobden, less than 27 hours after his wife Lauren had their third child, Angus, in Warrnambool on Friday afternoon.

A sleep-deprived Murphy revealed the couple’s second son was due on Saturday.

But after getting home from training on Thursday night, he had barely put his head on the pillow when Lauren started having contractions.

They went to the Camperdown hospital about 12.30am before being transferred to Warrnambool at 8am.

Angus was born at 1.20pm.

Murphy got back to Camperdown about 10pm, had a quick sleep, returned to Warrnambool on Saturday morning to pick up Lauren and Angus and take them back to Camperdown hospital.

He left the hospital about 11.30am and only arrived at Pomborneit less than 30 minutes before he was due to resume his innings on five.

A damp pitch prevented play for an hour, giving Murphy a chance to compose himself.

“The whole weekend is a bit of a blur,” the 32-year-old said yesterday.

He remembered bringing up his first century of the season with an outside edge through a vacant third slip area for two runs.

“The ground was so slow because of the rain,” he said.

“I had to do a fair bit of running. A lot were pulling up a few metres short of the boundary.”

He accelerated after reaching triple figures, scoring his last 40 runs off five overs as his side easily achieved its victory target of 194, finishing at 6-243 when stumps were drawn 90 minutes early.

Murphy had little time to reflect on his third century in two seasons, racing from the ground to the hospital before picking up his other two children, Miller and Pip.

“To say it was a big weekend would be an understatement,” he said.

The win wasn’t enough for fifth-placed Pomborneit to climb into the four, missing the finals after playing off in the grand final last season.

“After the year we’ve had, it was great to get a win for the boys who haven’t played a lot of division one cricket,” he said. “It’s been a long year.”

Murphy is keen to extend his career next season.

Cobden slipped from second to third on the ladder but it didn’t change its semi-final opponent. An eight-wicket haul by young paceman Joe Muir lifted Bookaar to second after a big win over Noorat. Muir finished with career-best figures of 8-34 from 19.5 overs as Noorat was dismissed for 90, well short of Bookaar’s 203.

Heytesbury Rebels climbed to fifth on the ladder after an outright win over bottom side Simpson while the clash between top side Mortlake and fourth-placed Terang was a draw after no play was possible on Saturday.

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Man accused of biting police after pursuit

A manaccused of leading police on an elaborate pursuit through Wollongong, then biting two officers who tried to arrest him, has not applied for bail.
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Steven Lewis Mackay faced Port Kembla Local Court Saturday charged with 12 offences relating to the chase, which began Friday about 2pm at the intersection of Old Port Road and Darcy Road, Port Kembla.

Police travelled in an unmarked car to the intersection after a motorist reported a driver threatening and following their car.

They allegedly found Mackay, 30, of Cabramatta, at the wheel.

Police say a chase ensued but was soon terminated after Mackay accelerated to more than 100km/h and overtook a car on the wrong side of Old Port Road, while another car was coming at him.

The chase resumed at 2.51pm in Figtree, where Mackay is accused of crossing onto the wrong side of Thames Street and travelling at 140km/h on Robsons Road, where the speed limit is 50km/h.

According to documents tendered to the court, the pursuit continued into a dead-end near Irvine Street, where Mackay conducted a hand brake turn, mounted the curb and collided with the front section of the police car in a bid to evade officers.

Police further allege Mackay undertook a number of stationary cars at a red light on the Princes Highway exit of Memorial Drive, mounted the kerb and drove on the footpath.

“At this time of the afternoon it is by sheer luck that there were no school students on the footpath at that time as Wollongong and Keira High Schools are only metres away,” court documents state.

Mackay, who also used the surname Henry, allegedly ran multiple red lights at Fairy Meadow and narrowly avoided a collision with oncoming traffic several times.

The court heard Mackay drove into a Toyota Hilux on Blackett Street at North Wollongong before he fled on foot. A one-second burst of capsicum spray administered by one of the pursuing officers had no effect.

Mackay then allegedly entered a unit complex on Pleasant Avenue, pushed the male and female caretakers out of the way and stole their car keys.

He was charged with resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting police after he allegedly twice punched an officer in the face and bit his right shoulder blade, breaking the skin. He also allegedly bit a second officer before more police arrived and he was arrested.

Both officers required transport to Wollongong Hospital for treatment.

Mackay faces charges including reckless driving, aggravated break and enter, common assault, drive while disqualified.

He will re-appear at Port Kembla Local Court on April 22.

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Officers showed great bravery in line of fire

FLASHBACK: Former Premier Kristina Keneally (centre) met Senior Constables Caroline Tomek and Troy Simmons in the days after the 2009 bushfire. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 121009pfire8TWO Bathurst police officers who saved the lives of Bernie Schulte and his son Cameron after a bushfire ripped through their Vittoria property have been presented with bravery awards by Governor David Hurley.
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Senior Constable Troy Simmons and former Senior Constable Caroline Tomek were presented with high commendations during a ceremony at Government House in Sydney last Friday for showing great courage and composure in very hazardous conditions in 2009.

Mr Schulte, a retired police officer, sustained burns to over 80 per cent of his body after the fire front he was fighting turned on him, while his son sustained burns to almost 40 per cent of his body.

Senior constables Simmons and Tomek were led to the Schultes by Mr Schulte’s friend Steve Hill, and when they arrived things were grim.

They found Mr Schulte lying face down in a water trough suffering horrific injuries while Cameron, who also had serious burns to his body, was beside him trying to splash water on his dad to stop his skin from melting.

Even six years on, Ms Tomek, who has since left the police force, finds it very difficult to talk about that day. She said even attending the award ceremony was hard.

“It’s very hard for me to do this. The only reason why I went down there is for my dad,” Ms Tomek said. “I lost my dad, Lou, [to cancer] about a year ago, and he would have wanted me to do this, but it is very difficult for me to face.”

Recalling that terrible day, Ms Tomek said instinct just set in, and despite the gravity of what she and Senior Constable Simmons were faced with, they kept their wits about them.

“We just knew we had to get them out of there. The fire was coming at us so fast, there wasn’t any time,” she said.

The officers informed police radio of the situation and advised that they required a helicopter due to the nature of the victims’ injuries.

Ms Tomek kept up first aid while Senior Constable Simmons used his mobile phone GPS to assist the helicopter locate the scene.

A water bombing helicopter began to drop water on the fire, however the fire front began to flare up and police radio advised that the helicopter was unable to land due to smoke.

With Steve Hill’s refrigerated van nearby, Ms Tomek, Senior Constable Simmons and Mr Hill evacuated the Schultes to the van.

Mr Schulte’s injuries were so bad that his skin literally fell off his body as they moved him.

The helicopter landed in an adjoining paddock and the doctor was able to alight. However, the fire was now encroaching again and there was not time to load the patients, so Senior Constable Simmons made the decision to drive the vehicle from the location with the doctor and patients on board.

The helicopter was hovering while Ms Tomek drove the police vehicle, sounding the horn to get fire vehicles to move to enable the helicopter to land.

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Facts to be sought on mergers

LAUNCESTON’S neighbouring councils each had very different ideas on amalgamations yesterday after Mayor Albert van Zetten said he planned to write to adjoining mayors about the issue if a motion was passed at tomorrow’s council meeting.
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Albert van Zetten

‘‘It’s just to get the information, get the facts, and then if the information shows that there will be no benefit to amalgamations we’ve got nothing to worry about,’’ Alderman van Zetten said on Saturday.

Mayors, aldermen and councillors from across Northern Tasmania met with Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein last month to discuss the government’s plans for voluntary amalgamations and resource sharing.

Break O’Day Mayor Michael Tucker said that he could see real benefits to amalgamations and that high-density areas could be some of the first to amalgamate.

‘‘I think that voluntary amalgamations are a good thing as long are there are benefits back to the ratepayers,’’ Cr Tucker said. ‘‘I fully support resource sharing, and we are doing that at Break O’Day already.’’

Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said he would like to see some facts and figures that would give councils, and the community, an evidence-based idea of what amalgamations would look like.

‘‘I intend to bring a similar motion to council and do the same thing,’’ Cr Jarvis said.

‘‘I think it’s a good opportunity for councils for get some hard data to see what does work and what doesn’t work.’’

Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie said that in relation to local councils, bigger was not always better.

‘‘I think it’s important that we do talk with the view of trying to move local government into a more efficient area, rather than non-efficient,’’ Cr Downie said.

‘‘It’s probably more worthwhile to have discussions about how we can move the local government sector forward in efficiencies through resource sharing … a lot of councils are run very efficiently when you compare to other levels of government.’’

Meander Valley Mayor Craig Perkins said his council had looked at what Mr Gutwein had offered and was particularly interested in shared services rather than amalgamations.

‘‘We’re already a low-cost council in terms of our delivery … it would be see how they could reduce the cost to Meander Valley ratepayers,’’ Cr Perkins said.

West Tamar Mayor Christina Holmdahl said she was very supportive of these discussions taking place between councils.

‘‘The important thing is that we will maintain a level of service to our ratepayers without any massive increase to their rates,’’ she said.

George Town Mayor Bridget Archer could not be contacted for comment.

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Debate gives printed word strong future

The printed book is not doomed.
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That was the verdict of the inaugural Thirroul Readers and Writers Festival debate, which pitted a mix of educators and authors against one another.

The spirited debate capped off a successful weekend for the budding event, which attracted hundreds of amateur writers, avid readers and book lovers to Thirroul Community Centre’s doors.

The festival, conducted over three sessions on Saturday and Sunday, featured several talks with Illawarra authors, playwrights, journalists and academics, as well as a literary quiz and Q&A panel discussing citizen journalism.

Among the highlights was journalist Caroline Baum’s incisive interview with Illawarra author Shady Cosgrove about her recent book What the Ground Can’t Hold and Kiama author Noel Beddoe’s opening address.

“Noel Beddoe was a strong hit at the festival, he gave a charming opening address,” festival organiser, author and philosopher Dr Denise Russell said.

“It was a really inspiring talk and great for people who are starting to think about writing a novel, I think it gave them a lot of advice.” Dr Russell said she was delighted by the positive response the event received, including the number of offers from people to pitch-in next year. All profits from the weekend will go to the Indigenous Literary Foundation.

File picture

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Festival focuses on live music revival

Music: Greens candidate Mitchell Bresser and Damion Stirling from Sol studios at the Live on the Green event in McCabe Park, Wollongong.Picture: ADAM McLEANThe Illawarra Greens deviated from standard election time traditions of kissing babies and pressing flesh – they created a one-day music and arts festival to win over votes.
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Organised by Wollongong Greens candidate Mitchell Bresser, Live on the Green attracted hundreds to MacCabe park with local live music, art showcases and gourmet food.

The Saturday afternoon festival advocated for more arts and music opportunities in the Illawarra with a particular focus on reviving live music.

“We need more funding and support to create opportunities for the community to experience and participate in live music and art,” said Mr Bresser.

“I want to see more community art projects in areas like Port Kembla and Warrawong, which have been deprived of such opportunities.”

In line with his election platform, Mr Bresser urged the state government to free up funding for the arts and to streamline grant application processes.

“We are calling for a simplification of grant applications and greater coordination with state and local government, venues, musicians and police,” he said.

“The Wollongong Live Music Task Force, and submissions made to it, suggested some excellent ways to improve the local music industry. The state government can help implement some of these proposals,” Mr Bresser said.

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Smokin’ hot festival breaks all records

HOT STUFF: An entrant in the Autotek Autokana category shows off his precision driving while smoking his tyres behind the pits at Mount Panorama yesterday during the Bathurst Autofest. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030815cauto1RECORD entrant and crowd numbers, burnt rubber and heart-thumping action, yesterday had organisers boasting of the most successful Bathurst Autofest ever.
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The smell of burnt rubber hung thick in the air at Mount Panorama while car enthusiasts and families mingled among hot street cars and burn-out competitions at the annual event.

Burn-outs, go to whoa, super sprints, autokana and dyno challenges featured alongside show and shine events over the two days.

Now in its fourth year at Mount Panorama, Autofest Series operations manager Les Adams said it is the iconic race circuit that has led to the bumper entrants and crowd numbers.

“These guys and girls never get to use the venue like this at any other time,” he said.

“The highlight is that competitors have been able to use Pit Straight as the track.

“It’s been a big success. Numbers yesterday [Saturday] were huge – we had more than 10,000 people through the gate … it’s our best year ever at Bathurst.”

Among the record 512 entrants was Lithgow man Greg Nelson and his 2000 VT Holden.

Across the weekend he competed in the Kelso Tyres Burnout, BRockFM Heads Up Go to Whoa, Autotek Autokana and the more unusual TME Spear a Spud where competitors try to spear strategically placed potatoes as they race the circuit.

While the autokana may be a timed event to highlight a competitor’s driving ability and precision, many also take the chance to burn some rubber.

“It’s part of the fun, but the goal is to get as close as you can without hitting the barriers,” Mr Nelson said.

“It’s about keeping control of your car in a drifting action.”

Families are a big focus for Bathurst Autofest, according to Mr Adams, who said the alcohol-free aspect was essential in attracting those with children to attend.

“The future of the sport is the families and the kids,” he said.

“We’re not all a bunch of hoons, it’s the fastest growing motorsport in the country.”

Mr Adams said the Autofest Series is in its 22nd year nationally and they hope to continue their contract with Bathurst Regional Council into the future.

“We hope to be here for many years to come,” he said.

Visit www.westernadvocate南京夜网.au to check out more photos from the Bathurst Autofest.

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Canberra Raiders hold off Cronulla Sharks in spiteful round one battle

Jack Wighton was a relieved man after almost single handedly leading the Raiders to victory over Cronulla and then nearly blowing it when he was sinbinned for a flurry of punches on Sharks winger Sosaia Feki.
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Both players were sent to the sinbin for their 60th minute stoush as Canberra hung on the upset a disappointing Sharks outfit 24-20 at Remondis Stadium.

However, there is no doubt Wighton was the villian in the incident after being driven into the in-goal after fielding a kick and then reacting by punching Feki – an action that will be scrutinised by the match review committee on Monday along with a chicken wing tackle by Raiders lock Shaun Fensom on Andrew Fifitia.

Earlier, Wighton had been the outstanding player of the match and scored two first half tries as Canberra coach Ricky Stuart’s decision to move him to fullback appeared to be a masterstroke.

While much had been made over the summer about the Sharks new recruits but it was Canberra’s off-season signings who made the biggest impact in the first half, with former St Helens secondrower Sia Soliola, England hooker Josh Hodgson and Fiji winger Sisa Waqa all impressing in their official debuts for the Raiders.

In contrast, Michael Ennis knocked on one of the rare occasions the Sharks were near the Canberra line in the first half, Gerard Beale lost the ball in a trysaving tackle by Wighton and Waqa and Ben Barba failed to find touch from a penalty.

It was another Barba kick that led to Wighton’s 80 metre try after the ball went dead and the Raiders fullback raced to the 20-metre line for the tap re-start.

Catching the entire Cronulla side napping, Wighton raced through the defence and sprinted towards the goal posts to give skipper Jarrod Croker the easiest of conversion attempts.

The 27th minute try extended Canberra’s lead to 14-6 after halfback Mitch Cornish and Croker had combined to put Wighton over in the eighth minute and the newly appointed Canberra captain kicked a 20th minute penalty goal following a shoulder charge by Chris Heighington after Cornish had kicked the ball.

Heighington made amends when he put fellow secondrower Anthony Tupou over for Cronulla’s first try in the 24th minute but Wighton’s quick response appeared to take the wind out of the home team’s sails.

After being denied in the 36th minute when he was bumped into touch by Jordan Rapana, Sharks winger Sosaia Feki finished off a backline movement to score just four minutes into the second half after Wighton had fumbled a kick near his own line

But a handling error by Fifitia from the kick off gave Canberra the opportunity to strike back and they did when Rapana planted the ball in the corner in the 48th minute.

The momentum appeared to have turned when Barba put centre Ricky Luetelle over in the 54th minute and fullback Michael Gordon kicked a penalty goal four minutes later to level the scores at 18-all.

Wighton’s moment of madness enabled Gordon to land another penalty goal to put the Sharks ahead for the first time in the match but their lead was shortlived after Waqa scored from dummy half in the 65th minute following a knock on by Wade Graham from an Austin klick.

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ACT Brumbies ready for fired-up Queensland Reds intent on revenge

Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua takes on the line in the 47-3 win against the Queensland Reds in round one. The Brumbies face the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night.The ACT Brumbies are expecting a spiteful welcome to Brisbane, coach Stephen Larkham warning his side that the Queensland Reds will be intent on making amends for their round-one capitulation in Canberra.
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But Larkham isn’t prepared to engage in a war of words in the build-up to the bitter rivalry contest after the Reds took offence to his assessment after a 47-3 win in the first game of the season.

Larkham said the Reds were “not up to Super Rugby standard” as the Brumbies ran in six tries to kick-start their campaign.

Reds coach Richard Graham hit back and branded it as a “ridiculous comment”, with the reminder of the season opener certain to be used as motivation in the Queensland changerooms.

The Reds will be keen to forget about the woeful 44-point defeat, described as shambolic, in which former skipper James Horwill was given two yellow cards.

But Larkham is refusing to fall into the trap of expecting the same again, adamant that the Reds will be determined to reverse their round-one fortunes.

“It was taken out of context, but I’m sure they would agree that their performance wasn’t their usual Super Rugby performance [in round one], which is what I was alluding to,” Larkham said.

“If they need that for motivation, then go for it. We’ll find our own motivation this week.

“They’ve certainly turned it around. They’re definitely a different side, they’ve got more match fitness and they’re certainly not going to be a team beaten by 40 points again, they’ll be up for it.”

The Reds are on the bottom of the Australian conference with one win from their first four games after going down to the NSW Waratahs 23-5 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Brumbies are unbeaten against Australian opponents this year, beating the Reds, the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force, with a two-point loss to the Waikato Chiefs the only blemish on their record.

The next fortnight looms as a crucial period with matches against the Reds and the Waratahs giving them a chance to stake their claim for the Australian conference title.

Test flanker Scott Fardy has been cleared of a serious pectoral injury after having pain in his shoulder and arm in the 27-15 win against the Force last Friday night.

“I got a bump on my pec and just hit the nerve, but hopefully it just continues to improve,” Fardy said.

“These next two weeks are going to be incredibly tough for us. It’s going to be a big challenge for us and totally different than what happened in Canberra.”

The Brumbies are also set to be bolstered by David Pocock’s return to full training.

Pocock has played just six games since the start of the 2013 season following two knee reconstructions, and his comeback hit another hurdle when he injured his ankle against the Reds in round one.

The Brumbies will wait until later in the week before deciding if he will play against the Reds, or if they will give him an extra week to recover from the ankle syndesmosis injury.

The Brumbies have scored 13 tries in their four games this year, securing bonus points in three of their matches.

But more importantly they’ve conceded just four tries in the opening rounds and their defence has been the most impressive sign of their play.

“You get more comfortable when you defend together as a team,” Fardy said.

“The boys work hard and as long as our work rate is good, we cover each other which is important. We make mistakes in defence, but other guys make up for it.”

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