ALP slams bushfire buyback exclusions

Jacinta Allan.THE state government’s bushfire land buyback scheme has been criticised for being ”too narrow” because it does not apply to some high-fire-risk areas such as Cockatoo and the Otways that were not hit by bushfires in 2009.
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More than 500 properties destroyed by the 2009 fires are expected to be eligible for the voluntary scheme, for which the government has made available $50 million.

But Labor frontbencher Jacinta Allan slammed the program, saying it exposed as ”a sham” the government’s commitment to implement all 67 recommendations from the Bushfires Royal Commission.

”This Baillieu government scheme is for people affected by the 2009 bushfires only,” she said. ”It has no regard for people who live in high-fire-risk areas in other parts of Victoria and the [ commission] recommendation was to implement this policy in high-fire-risk areas.”

The buyback plan excludes high-fire-risk areas such as Cockatoo, Mount Macedon, and the Otways, devastated in previous bushfires, she said.

Ms Allan said the scheme did not give any detail on what would happen to land acquired under the buyback. ”Who will manage it to keep the fire risk down? If DSE [Department of Sustainability and Environment] is to be responsible, what additional resources will they be given and when?”

Recommendation 46 of the Bushfires Royal Commission final report urged the state to ”implement a retreat and resettlement strategy for existing developments in areas of unacceptably high bushfire risk, including a scheme for non-compulsory acquisition by the state of land in these areas”.

In a discussion of ”high-risk areas” attached to the recommendation, the commission said the government should consider a range of factors including ”giving priority to acquiring land that is in an area of unacceptably high bushfire risk and on which dwellings were damaged or destroyed by the 2009 bushfires”.

When asked yesterday why the buyback did not apply to high-fire-risk areas that did not burn in 2009, Bushfire Response Minister Peter Ryan said: ”When you have regard to the provisions of recommendation 46, this scheme is appropriate.”

Mr Ryan said the rules of the buyback were ”not set in stone” and the $50 million would be increased if needed. He also denied the buyback rules were too stringent, adding that people whose houses were destroyed in 2009 and had since built in a different location could still qualify for the buyback on their burnt property.

Mr Ryan said if acquired land was left vacant it would have a ”minimal” impact on country communities. Acquired land left in public hands would have to be maintained by the DSE to an ”appropriate standard” to minimise bushfire risk, he said.

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More carbon support for dairy farmers: Fonterra

JOHN Doumani, managing director of Fonterra Australia New Zealand says that the unique electricity demands of dairy farmers need to be understood when it comes to carbon pricing and compensation.
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Speaking as the nation faces the introduction of a carbon tax and several related impacts on business, Mr Doumani said that his company is advocating for greater assistance for farmers to help them transition to low carbon technologies.

“The reality is that dairy farmers engage in energy intensive processing, so they should be eligible for funding to help them adapt.

“We have been talking to Government about the special needs of dairy farming and so far, they are very receptive of the message,” he said.

“The biggest likely impact of carbon pricing for dairy farmers will be electricity price increases. Electricity is a major input cost in dairy farming as energy intensive milk processing starts on the farm.

“We expect the Government’s carbon pricing will have a direct impact of about $3,000 per dairy farm per year on average in terms of increased electricity costs. Predicting this, we want to help our farmers identify ways to reduce electricity use on-farm today, in preparation for a carbon-priced tomorrow.”

Mr Doumani said that he and Fonterra as a company accept that a low carbon future is an inevitability – and a challenge that has to be faced.

“But it is also an opportunity to innovate, invest and drive for a more competitive future; with lower costs, improved market access and greater consumer confidence,” he said.

“We have initiated a series of programs to reduce our carbon emissions across our manufacturing operations, and now we are turning our attention to how we can help our farmer suppliers.”

Fonterra said that this week it had launched a guide to provide dairy farmers with practical advice on how to manage the electricity cost increases of carbon pricing.

It covers the key areas of on-farm electricity usage and invites farmers to do a self-assessment of their operations.

Mr Doumani said the guide is just the first piece in an overall program to help Fonterra’s dairy farmer suppliers in Australia prepare for a new low carbon economy.

“We have been engaging with our farmer suppliers here in Australia in conversations around sustainability. What they tell us is that they want to operate a sustainable business and they want to reduce their carbon emissions, especially in light of the additional costs that will be associated with the carbon pricing, but that they don’t know how to do it or fund it.

“What they want is independent advice from someone who really understands dairying to advise them on what technologies to employ. Farmers are telling us that they are wary of the “snake oil salesmen” knocking on their doors offering a whole range of dubious solutions. They are concerned about unproven technologies and capital costs necessary to implement change,” he said.

The guide includes a calculator to help farmers consider their likely electricity bill increases and a self-assessment tool so they can understand how their operation rates against best practice electricity usage.

In addition, practical energy saving advice is provided across seven key areas:

Hot water heating Milk cooling Vacuum pumps Water and effluent pumps Lighting Energy sourcing Cleaning systems Fonterra is also running information sessions for farmers and providing expertise to assist with on-farm assessments.

“We have listened to our farmers’ concerns and now we want to help them make informed decisions for their businesses,” concluded Mr Doumani.

Copies of the Fonterra guide; “What does a carbon price mean for you?” are available by calling the Fonterra Supplier Administration Centre on 1800 266 674.

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Resilient Merinos one step closer

Sheep CRC post-graduate student Gus Rose.BREEDING Merino sheep that can withstand harsh summers across southern Australia without losing weight is a step closer to reality.
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Such sheep could potentially reduce feed costs and the risks of running livestock in areas of high seasonal variability and boost ewe reproductive performance and lamb production.

Sheep Cooperative Research Centre (Sheep CRC) post-graduate student Gus Rose has found that Merino ewes can be bred to lose less weight during summer when there is poor feed and gain more weight during the spring flush.

“This is a step towards breeding sheep that are better adapted to Australian pasture conditions and that will be more tolerant of climate variations in the longer term,” he said.

Mr Rose’s four-year PhD project is investigating the genetic and economic value of sheep resilience to liveweight loss in summer and autumn. He is being supervised by a team of Sheep CRC researchers in Perth, WA, and Armidale, NSW.

The Sheep CRC is a collaboration of industry, government and the commercial sector and aims to increase the productivity and profitability of the industry via new technologies for adoption by both the meat and wool supply chains. It is supporting 31 doctorate and masters students as part of its postgraduate education and research program.

Mr Rose said the problem of sheep weight loss during summer affected most livestock enterprises in Mediterranean environments in Australia and overseas.

He said reducing weight loss without incurring high feed costs, especially for breeding ewes, would be a major plus for livestock producers right around the globe.

“It would also reduce the risks and costs of maintaining sheep in good condition during summer in more marginal areas with inconsistent rainfall,” he said.

“There may also be potential to run more sheep than normal in these areas and increase returns.”

Mr Rose is also working in collaboration with the Netherlands-based Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre at Wageningen University, where researchers are assessing the genetic robustness and fitness of cows.

“The Dutch have developed a good scientific knowledge about animal adaptation and it is a good fit for my research,” he said.

Mr Rose analysed five years of data from a sheep resource flock in Katanning, WA, to discover the heritability of variations in Merino weight loss and gain.

His findings were recently presented to the annual European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) convention, where he won the prestigious prize for best scientific poster in the genetics category from a field of 100 participants.

This convention targets young scientists from across the global animal science sector and his award earned him the right to chair a session at next year’s event.

Stage two of Mr Rose’s PhD project will investigate the genetic and economic links between sheep resilience to live weight changes and other important production traits, such as wool weight and reproductive performance.

He said this process would include surveying farmers across Australia to identify the main profit-driving traits for Merino enterprises in a wide range of geographic environments.

“Once we know that sheep can be genetically robust and resistant to summer weight loss during times of low feed availability, then we can start to work out the best breeding objectives to target other economically important traits in these flocks,” he said.

Mr Rose said including an economic analysis in his research was vital because it would allow farmers to scenario-plan their most profitable options.

“If we can identify the more resilient sheep to weight loss and gain, we need to know the potential advantages and trade-offs with other breeding traits and what impact these will have on farm business bottom lines,” he said.

“For example, if labour costs are included, resilience to summer weight loss might be highly valuable to farmers because it has potential to reduce labour requirements and potentially free-up more time for other enterprises, such as cropping. This allows the whole farm to operate more efficiently.”

Mr Rose said he hoped his research would help sheep breeders breed animals that better coped with the environment, allowing them to concentrate on other production traits to optimise profits.

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Winners chase bigger targets while Damian Lane makes it 10 winners in six days

The holidays are on the horizon, but there will be no downtime for several of Saturday’s Flemington winners who will chase  higher-status races over Christmas and the new year.
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Two who scored at Flemington — the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained  Tashbeeh and the new addition to Henry Dwyer’s Caulfield yard, Precious Gem — are likely to clash at Caulfield in the listed Lord Stakes, over 1800 metres, on Boxing Day.

A third, the Matthew Ellerton/Simon Zahra trained Durendal, is set to return to his home track on New Year’s Day to tackle one of the state’s oldest established sprints, the Standish Handicap.

Precious Gem was partnered by the reinvigorated Chris Symons, who is making up for lost time since his return from a long injury-enforced absence.

He came back with a winner on Ballarat Cup day on November 21 and has continued that good streak, culminating with his win on  the six-year-old mare, who was backed from $10 into $6.50.

The daughter of Econsul was trained by Gwenda Johnstone at Echuca, who won  five races with her,

but the owners wanted the mare to have a crack at city events and sent her to Dwyer.

“I am taking absolutely no credit for this win,” Dwyer said. “Gwenda and Mick  [Johnstone]  sent her down in the best condition you would ever want to see an older horse. She arrived glowing, we just tuned her up, gave her a couple of gallops and here we are today.”

Symons believes the change for the mare was as good as a rest, saying “It can really change things up, for humans as well as horses.”

Tashbeeh was a heavily backed favourite in the AVHPA Vic Trophy with the Hayes-Dabernig camp entrusting the stable’s three kilo-claiming apprentice Dylan Dunn with the ride.

Dunn didn’t disappoint on the $2.60 chance, producing him in the last 400 metres to score by three quarters of a length.

Dabernig said Tashbeeh, who had raced in Dubai earlier this year, could now be aimed at the listed contest at Caulfield.

“There’s the Lord Stakes over 1800 metres on Boxing Day. That could be an option now he is back in wining form,” he said.

“I don’t think we would go back to Dubai. He is a horse who could travel as he has a great constitution, but he didn’t look quite up to them when we took him there last time.”

There is no jockey riding in better form than Damian Lane at the moment, and landed his 10th winner in six days when he got home on the $3 favourite Durendal in the Western Health Foundation Handicap, following his treble   at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Durendal has now won three of his last four starts — his only defeat coming on Melbourne Cup day when he was fifth to  Malaguerra — and he too will be stepped up in class with the Standish Handicap down the Flemington straight his next target.

He is likely to get in with a light weight and now that he has proved himself on the track he could be a lively contender.

“He’s graduated from benchmark class and we will probably have a shot at the Standish with him,” Ellerton said.

“He was stakes placed in Brisbane earlier this year and he had a late start to the spring. He will stay down in the weights. He was just a ratings horse before today. Now he has won a Saturday handicap and will go into a group 3.”

Lane said: “He did it like a true professional. He handled it no problems, let down well when it counted. He’s proved he’s good enough to go down the straight to the Standish now.”

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Daniel McConnell wins national mountain bike series at Stromlo, Rebecca Henderson third

Canberra rider Daniel McConnell on his way to victory in the national mountain bike series at Stromlo on Saturday. Photo: Rohan ThomsonCanberra mountain biker Rebecca Henderson says riding with undiagnosed glandular fever was like “flogging a dead horse”, but she feels like she’s “human again” and building towards next year’s Olympic Games.
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Henderson finished third in the women’s cross country in round two of the national mountain bike series at Stromlo on Saturday, while fellow Canberran Daniel McConnell took out the men’s cross country.

It was Henderson’s first race after two months off following her diagnosis with glandular fever.

The 24-year-old had been racing and training with the undiagnosed illness for four months before blood tests finally found the reason behind the fatigue that prevented her from finishing the world championships.

Her goals for next year are top-10 finishes at the World Cup events, the world champs and the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.

That road back to full fitness and Rio began in her backyard at Stromlo where the women’s race was won by Jenni King, with Australian women’s road race champion Peta Mullens second.

“The mental aspect is very hard to deal with when you’re going out and getting flogged, and it’s just like flogging a dead horse, it’s very physically and emotionally draining,” Henderson said.

“But today it was really nice to be back out, even though I’m not at full fitness, it was good to be back out racing.

“I feel like I’m a human again … before I was sleeping 15 hours at night and now I’m back to the normal routine.”

McConnell was also trying to put a tough year behind him and begin building towards next year’s major events.

He said he struggled in 2015, managing just one World Cup podium – compared to the five podiums he climbed last year.

The 30-year-old said he was building up his fitness for when his season starts in April.

He said his Stromlo win was a good sign, although he had to do it the hard way following a mechanical problem with his chain with just two kilometres to go.

McConnell held a 40-second lead at the time, but was unable to pedal and had to roll and “scoot” to the finish line.

“Hopefully I can get [to Rio] in really good form. I think if I can do that there’s always the chance that I can be up towards the front, so that’s the plan,” McConnell said.

“But I’d just like to get back to riding at my best and hopefully if all goes to plan I can be right up there.”

The event will wrap up with the downhill races on Sunday from noon.

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Arrests as rival groups clash in Cronulla

People regarded as being anti-Islam protesters have been set uponby members ofa large anti-racism crowdnumberingin the hundreds that has gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots.
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The anti-racism protesters – including a vocal minoritycalledAntifa (anti-fascism)dressed in black with black face masks – have been abusing police, using megaphones.

Riot squad police have been forced to corral the anti-racism protesters at the southern end of Cronulla beach.

Certain anti-Islam protesters found themselves in the midst of theAntifamembers who proceeded to push and shove them and call them “f—ing fascists”.

One middle-aged woman draped in an Australian flag caught in the crowd was surrounded by 20 to 30Antifamembers who shouted at her to “take that fascist flag off now”.

Anti-fascist activists from the Antifa group confronted anti-Islam protesters in Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla. Photo: James Brickwood

A man in the crowd yelled “burn that flag and burn that woman”.

There were other chants of “police protect the fascist filth” and “Muslims are welcome, fascists are not.”

Police had made two arrests at the protests by 2pm.

A 58-year-old man from Warilla, south of Wollongong, was arrested for offensive behaviour and a25-year-old man from Seaforth was arrested for breaching the peace.

A police spokeswoman could not confirm whether the two men were part of the anti-Islam or anti-racism groups.

A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots. Photo: James Brickwood

In a volatile and confusing situation, members of the Antifa crowd were being instructed to “mob up”, running from one side of the park to the otherin an apparent effort to confuse police about their intentions.

An Antifa member told Fairfax Media: “I believe we have more to fear from the bosses and the state and the police than from different cultures.

Asked about their confrontational tactics, hesaid”peaceful confrontation is not going to work with these people. We

have tried that in the past. We will not tolerate any fascism in ourcountry.”

Antifa members carried red, black and white flags with the words Antifaschistische Aktion, the name ofa German anti-fascist organisation that reportedly has its roots in the German communist party in 1932, was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe.

A rally at Don Lucas Reserve in Cronulla, to commemorate the Riots. Photo: James Brickwood

Antifa Australia’s Facebook page has as its most recent post on November 17: “These deranged far-right scum want to damage society and bring everyone down. If the Authorities won’t stop hate speech, the leftist community will now need to implement their own authority via grassroots action.”

Police have provided the anti-racism crowd with free transport at the train station and asked them to leave Cronulla.

At the other end of the beach, acrowd of 120 anti-Islam protesterswere outnumbered by members of NSW Police, theRiot Squad and weekend joggers.

“I’m here to celebrate a free Australia and freedom of speech andto celebrate Australian culture with a halal-free barbecue of a pig ona spit,” said Nick Folkes, chairman of the anti-Islam Party forFreedom.

Folkes had announced plans to hold a rally at Cronulla but wasblocked by a Federal Court order on Friday. Holding the barbecue was”a compromise”, he said, confirming that he would not be addressingthe crowd but that he could talk to the media.

“Everyone in Australiashould have the right of assembly,” said Folkes, who claimed that thetyres on his car had been slashed overnight, “no doubt by the usefulidiots on the left”.

Pic: James Brickwood

The meeting was attended by Danny Nalliahand Rosalie Crestaniof the Rise Up Australia Party, Kim Vugaof the Love Australia orLeave It Party, and independentSergio Redegalli, who become knownfor his “Say No To The Burqa” murals in Newtown.

“I have studied Islam for the five years and I can tell youthat it is impossible to reform,” said Redegalli, who arrived early ina ute on the back of which was a large pig on a spit.

Nalliah addressed the crowd before an Australian flag,leading them in a chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”. He then denouncedmulticulturalism, the media, the United Nations (“United Nonsense”) andthe politically correct left.

He also described a trip to Saudi Arabiawhere he witnessed three beheadings.

He said he wanted to tell all Muslims that “If you are dyingin jihad you are not going to get your 72 virgins in heaven but 72 devilswho will torture you in hell.”

Some in the crowd voiced regret for the violence of 10 yearsago.

Others saw it differently. “What we are here for is tocommemorate those riots which came out of Islamic thuggery,” said a 17-year-old Toby, who had travelled from West Ryde. “If today doesend like that though, they’re going to need bullets to stop us.”

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Bjorn Baker finally gets hold of Lady Sniper and makes it count in Inglis Sprint

On target: Jason Collett and Lady Sniper (nearest to camera) storm home to take out the Inglis Sprint. Photo: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛It took him a couple of years longer than he would have hoped, but Bjorn Baker finally managed to get his hands on Lady Sniper. And didn’t he make it count.
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The underbidder on the filly when Queensland-based Craig Rounsefell from Boomer Bloodstock picked up the $20,000 unfashionably bred yearling, Baker was forced to wait until a stable change earlier this year was sought for Lady Sniper before she arrived at his Warwick Farm base.

“I received a ready-made filly this preparation and thankfully it’s worked out well,” Baker said after Lady Sniper mowed down $1.90 favourite Hellbent to win the $250,000 Inglis Sprint at Randwick on Saturday.

“She’s a lovely big horse and I guess it’s a credit to ‘Boomer’ [Rounsefell]. He bought her for $20,000 and you look at her now and I thought she was a standout in the ring today. I was pretty confident with the owners and I thought she would be right there.”

Kurt Goldman’s Hellbent ranged up to win under Blake Shinn, but Lady Sniper reacted to the urgings of an in-form Jason Collett to score by a neck. Stoker was a half-head back in third.

“I thought she would go well,” Baker said. “Normally the boys like these pin-up runs when they’re running on from back in the field. She missed the start by four lengths [last start] and she just peaked on her run. There was heaps of merit in her last run going into this.”

Lady Sniper’s win was a perfect exhibition of Collett’s flourishing summer, as he chalked up three winners for the day.

“She was unlucky last start, but I was quietly confident today she would match it,” Collett said. “I think she’s a nice filly going forward. She’s improved each start and I think she’s got the scope there to string a few more together.

“I take Hellbent as a benchmark. I think he’s a very good horse and she’s run them down. It’s going well and I’m enjoying it.”

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Australia v West Indies first cricket Test: Darren Lehmann says Shaun Marsh will be hard to drop

Enjoying the summer: Shaun Marsh is in a rich vein of form. Photo: Getty Images Australia v West Indies first cricket Test report
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Australian coach Darren Lehmann admits Shaun Marsh will be hard to drop as the hosts, having dispatched the West Indies inside three days, face the biggest dilemma of the series inside their own camp.

The opening night of the Big Bash League was dealt a blow on Saturday with the withdrawal of Australian captain Steve Smith with knee and hip soreness, robbing this week’s Sydney derby of a major drawcard.

After Australia’s battering of the West Indies well inside three days at Hobart, attention will now turn to the Twenty20 tournament, which features its own high-profile players from the Caribbean and begins on Thursday night when the Thunder host the Sixers at Spotless Stadium.

Australia, who announced the return of Usman Khawaja to the squad from the Boxing Day Test and the addition of Stephen O’Keefe for the third Test in Sydney, have released six players for the opening stages of the BBL but Smith is not among them.

The Test captain said he was in “no doubt” for the second match of the series against the West Indies starting on Boxing Day with aggravation of right knee pain and a minor strain in his right hip flexor. His absence, however, serves as a commercial and competitive setback for his franchise, the Sixers, who he was to have played the first two games of the season for prior to linking up with the national squad again in Melbourne.

“I think it’s just precautionary. I don’t think I’ll be able to go at 100 per cent, which is what you need to do in T20 cricket. I don’t want to do any further damage,” Smith said.

Elsewhere, Joe Burns (Brisbane Heat), Peter Nevill (Melbourne Renegades), Nathan Lyon (Sixers), Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Perth Scorchers) have been made available for the BBL opening rounds while the Test bowlers are as expected rested.

As for the make-up of the Australian side for Boxing Day, Lehmann said Khawaja, returning from a hamstring injury, would slot straight back into the XI if deemed fit after a pair of hundreds against New Zealand last month.

Who will accommodate him is the question. Shaun Marsh would be unlucky to drop out after making 182 but selectors may want to stick with Burns in an opening partnership with David Warner, particularly given the Queenslander himself made a century this summer against far stronger opposition in New Zealand. What appears certain is that Marsh won’t be heading back to the top of the order.

“I’ve said that for a while now I think [Marsh] is best suited at five,” Smith said. “He’s played some very good cricket at five. He did last summer as well. I was really impressed with the way he batted last week, he did well in tough conditions and tough circumstances, and again backing it up again this week with a big hundred. He’s batting really well.”

Lehmann said selectors had a series of options to sort through if Khawaja was fit, but in terms of personnel it will be a straight decision between Burns and Marsh.

“It’s hard to drop someone who makes 182,” Lehmann said on ABC radio. “You’re asking guys to come in and make runs and he actually came in as a replacement for Usman. The challenge for us for selectors is to try out and work out what the best six is They can all bat from one to six which is a pleasing thing for us.

“It’s going to be hard to change but if Usman is fit and he comes back in then we have to change. We’ll have to work out whether he opens, whether he bats three and Smith goes to four, whether Shaun Marsh stays in. It’s going to be a tight call.”

Australia squad for Melbourne Test: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith (c), Voges, S Marsh, M Marsh, Nevill, Siddle, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Lyon, Coulter-Nile. Australia squad for Sydney Test: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith (c), Voges, S Marsh, M Marsh, Nevill, Siddle, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Lyon, Coulter-Nile, O’Keefe.

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Danny O’Brien happy with racebook omen, Mark Zahra gets double

Trainer Danny O’Brien leaving an earlier hearing. Photo: Vince CaligiuriFlemington trainer Danny O’Brien has spent the week at the RAD board as one of the key figures in the long-running cobalt saga, so to simply step out on a race track in the summer sunshine to saddle up a handful of runners with live chances must have felt like a huge relief.
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Whatever his off-track travails, O’Brien has always presented as a cool character on course, and he was no different on Saturday when he welcomed back the lightly raced – and well-backed – Tyrannize, who scored comfortably under Ben Melham in the benchmark Lanec Handicap for three-year-olds at headquarters.

O”Brien joked that he knew his luck was in when he arrived at Flemington and picked up the race book which had a photograph of a horse carrying Rupert Legh’s navy blue with yellow lightning bolt colours on the front cover, so he was happy to take it as a positive omen for the son of O’Reilly’s prospects.

Punters agreed, the gelding being backed into a starting price of $7, having opened at $10.

“He’s the first horse we have had for Rupert, we have always had a good opinion of him even before this campaign. He’s two for two now as a gelding and we are starting to see some of that ability out on the track,” he said.

“I was very surprised at his price, I thought he would probably be near favourite on his earlier form. The bookies don’t always get it right, I thought he was a 3-1 or 4-1 chance, it looks like they have taken some of the odds that were on offer.”

Englishman Sam Pritchard-Gordon is one of a number of young trainers from the UK and Ireland now calling Australia home and he is steadily making a name for himself.

Having city winners always helps, and he did so with the progressive mare A Lotta Love, the $2.90 favourite, who took out the Lola and Trish’s Handicap in the hands of Mark Zahra. It was the first leg of a double the jockey completed aboard the front running Crimson Cape ($6.50) for the Robert Smerdon stable in the Plenary Group Handicap two hours later.

A Lotta Love’s win came with a sad postscript, however. One of the mare’s part owners, Tom Thring, died in Queensland last Wednesday, so his colleagues dedicated this triumph to their friend’s memory.

Russell Boyd, one of the winning owners, said : “He was just a very dear friend of ours. It was very emotional for me, and great for his family watching in Brisbane. it was very sudden. He had cancer and had complications. He was only 61. He was in a couple of horses with us, and he would have been in a lot more.”

Pat Carey and Rhys McLeod are a long-established combination and the Mornington-based pair struck early in the day when Shakesperean Lass defied a betting drift from $10 to $13 to take out the First Response Pharmacy Trophy over 1000 metres down the straight.

McLeod had the daughter of Written Tycoon well balanced and lying close to the pace all the way and she was good enough to score by a length-and-three-quarters from the topweight Tykiato.

Carey believes that now she has proved she can perform down the straight there will be other opportunities for the four-year-old as she works up from a low rating.

“Credit to Rhys, we took the visors off her and he gave her a great ride. She hit the line strongly. We have always had a good opinion of her, she has always displayed good ability.”

The Hawkes stable doesn’t often back up horses within seven days so punters who read the formguide ahead of the Western Health Adamo Cafe Cup might have taken the tip when they saddled up Longeron just six days after his disappointing effort at Traralgon last Sunday – especially as it was their only runner of the day.

Despite giving Patrick Moloney a torrid time the front-runner made every post a winning one to score as a $4.60 chance.

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Australia vs West Indies first cricket Test: Short course could whet appetite for leftover pies

The chairman of the national selection panel, in attempting to assign his own perspective to the day-night Test match, reckoned that Peter Nevill’s first innings top score of 66 was worth double, as was Shaun Marsh’s 49 in the second dig.
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Which made Nathan Lyon’s 34 surely Bradmanlike.

I guess you may as well double all the runs made, halve the wickets and triple the catches, a Test match revolution to rival Twenty20 cricket brought about not so much by a pink ball and floodlights but manipulation of the numbers.

Cricketers of any level can’t hide from their statistics. That is what the notion of averages is all about.

You take the easily made runs with the softening Kookaburra in perfect batting conditions along with runs not made when the Duke is talking up a swing melody.

Besides, the Adelaide Test was a very watchable, wicket-taking revelation compared with the previous two. I wonder will the next step be to divide the runs made by the Australian batsmen at Bellerive by the temperature on Friday, plus Jason Holder’s shoe size, minus Marlon Samuel’s boredom index.

The West Indian bowling was scary, not “bruising, break some bone scary”, not “every ball could get you out” scary but, as my old opening batsman John Dyson, used to say on those rare excursions onto flat pitches facing third-string bowlers, you were simply too scared to get out and miss the party.

Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh spent all day and night at the party, imbibing deeply with scarcely a hint of a hangover.

The selectors now have a peg to hang their persistent but oft-questioned choice of Marsh firmly on. He has made a big hundred and that is all that can be asked of him.

It is scarcely his fault if the attack needed a denominator to truly express the value of his score. Runs were being gifted to batsmen who had to peer into the distance to find most of the fieldsmen. There was no pressure from fieldsmen posted to block infield runs or force a stroke away from the orthodox and little threat from the actual deliveries.

Make no mistake: this was a very good batting surface and had the new wave of toss prohibitionists been in vogue or Jason Holder called differently the West Indies may have made a first day score themselves.

Not 438 though, and not for the loss of three wickets.

The value of Voges’ and Marsh’s runs was clear; they shared a significant partnership that put the Australian team in a strong position. The numerator stands by itself. The value of Darren Bravo and Kemar Roach’s partnership late on day two could be measured not simply by runs. As they negotiated their way through some testing seam and crafty spin with studied defences, play and misses and positive strokeplay the gate takers and caterers were urging a Windies resurgence.

At 6-116 after skipper Holder was seen off by umpire Marais Erasmus with a nod and a wink from the non-striker, a two-day Test was looking a strong possibility.

A weekend with no pie or hot dog sales would be disastrous for the local businesses, and another nail in the coffin of Bellerive as a Test venue.

The manner in which the top order folded, with the aid of a pitch just starting to give a tad of uneven bounce and Nathan Lyon a smidgen sideways to go with his ever-present extra vertical, was not up to Test standard, so in that respect it at least matched their bowling. Darren Bravo’s innings certainly was up to standard. He and Roach may not have saved the Test match but they saved their teammates from serious professional and personal embarrassment. They combined decent techniques and patience with some old-fashioned ticker and for a while Australia had to struggle. There was a lesson for some closer to the top of the order about care and respect for your wicket. The second innings was barely worth mentioning.

The talk from the Windies coaching staff trying to make an underdog believe they could perform beyond their limits worked for precious few.

The Australian attack may have been without their new leader in Mitchell Starc but this gave James Pattinson the opportunity to express the coach’s mantra with his pace. Maybe he tried a bit too hard on the second day, concentrating more on the radar readings than getting the fundamentals of line and length correct. Such is the impetuosity of youth, especially that which is put on bowling rations by those who think workloads rather than skill are the secret to making a champion.

His spell on the third morning was destructive. He followed the tenet of “length and line and you’ll be fine” and used that variation in bounce to full effect.

His speed was below his top but he made the batsmen play and they often missed.

The Pattinson-Josh Hazlewood opening combination followed by Peter Siddle bit relentlessly.

A rout inside three days reduces the workload delightfully; they now might have to eat all the leftover pies.

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Cronulla protests: what is the anti-fascist group Antifa?

Members of the anti-fascist Antifa group at Cronulla on Saturday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The Antifaschistische Aktion flag on Saturday.
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Anti-racism activists turn violent at Cronulla rally

Dressed in black, faces covered, members of Antifa are the self-appointed enemies of the far-right.

During the protests and counter-protests that marked the 10-year anniversary of the Cronulla riots on Saturday,  Antifa members carrying red, black and white flags emblazoned with the words Antifaschistische Aktion clashed with anti-Islam protesters.

A woman draped in an Australian flag was surrounded by 20 to 30 Antifa members who shouted at her to “take that fascist flag off now”.

Antifa, or anti-fascists, are a loose collection of socialists and anarchists, anti-racists and small-l liberals.

Antifaschistische Aktion is the name of a German anti-fascist organisation that reportedly has its roots in the German communist party in 1932, and was dissolved in 1933 by the Nazis and resurfaced in the 1980s in Europe as a response to resurgent right-wing groups.

Today the hard-left group is transnational, and part of hard-left common at the protests that usually mark G20 and other global leader summits in Europe.

In Australia members or self-professed members of the group have become an increasingly common sight at rallies organised to oppose the far-right protests held by groups like the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia.

Antifa Australia’s Facebook page has as its most recent post on November 17: “These deranged far-right scum want to damage society and bring everyone down. If the Authorities won’t stop hate speech, the leftist community will now need to implement their own authority via grassroots action.”

It describes itself as the “militant Left-Wing”, and in October wrote on Facebook that “a war … will break out in Cronulla when the far-right hold their rally”.

“We are one against the racists and their masters of the rich Australian ruling class,” the post read.

Antifa’s Wordpress website lists its goals as opposing fascism, as well as to “defend the working class and their organisations from fascist attack”.

In keeping with the groups historical links to socialism, it also paints itself as anti-capitalist.

Members of Antifa in Australia have deliberately remained anonymous.

That’s despite attempts by opposing groups to out some of its most outspoken Australian advocates such as Andy Fleming, a pseudonym used by a Melbourne-based anti-fascist who runs a blog called slackbastard that tracks the far-right movement.​

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Jewish leader condemns Camille Paglia for calling Taylor Swift a “Nazi Barbie”

Firebrand academic Camille Paglia slams Taylor Swift for ‘obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine’Jarryd Hayne apologises for ‘Jews killed Jesus’ tweets
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A leading Australian Jewish organisation has denounced American cultural critic Camille Paglia for calling Taylor Swift a “Nazi Barbie”, calling on her to apologise for the “absurd and offensive comparison of Swift to the Nazis”.

The chairman of B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abramovich, said Paglia demeaned and trivialised the suffering of the victims of Nazi Germany with her comments about Swift and social media posts about her celebrity friends.

In an essay in The Hollywood Reporter, Paglia contends that Swift’s “…twinkly persona is a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth”.

Paglia also suggested the singer should retire the “obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props.”

Dr Abramovich said Paglia’s references to Nazism and fascism were “obscene and insensitive”.

“While Paglia is entitled to her views about Taylor Swift’s music and performance, her absurd and offensive comparison of Swift to the Nazis, whose genocidal policies and actions resulted in the systematic persecution and slaughter of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust, betrays an ignorance of what really happened in Hitler’s Third Reich,” Dr Abramovich said.

“Such obscene and insensitive equations have no place in our cultural discourse and only serve to  demean and trivialise the memory and suffering of the victims.”

Dr Abramovich said the comparisons made by Paglia were not only historically inaccurate and extreme, but “they are also hurtful to Holocaust survivors, their families, as well as to those who fought bravely against the Nazis in World War II”.

“We call on The Hollywood Reporter to repudiate the article, and would urge Ms Paglia to apologise and to refrain from using such Holocaust imagery in the future.”

The ADC was founded in 1979 to fight anti-Semitism through educational programs that combat bigotry, prejudice and all forms of hatred.

Earlier this year, the ADC demanded former NRL player Jarryd Hayne apologise for suggesting Jewish people were responsible for killing Jesus.

Hayne, who now plays football in the United States, posted the offending comments on social media in July while in Sydney for the Hillsong annual conference. He later wrote an apology on social media, addressed to the Jewish community.

Dr Abramovich has also taken millionaire MP Clive Palmer to task for calling former Queensland premier Campbell Newman a Nazi.

In her essay, Paglia argues that Swift and other women in the entertainment business should forge productive friendships based around mentoring, exchanging advice and developing innovative projects.

​”Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history,” she writes. “With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.”

Paglia’s comments have received some support, but have been greeted with outrage by fans of Swift, who is touring Australia.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem once invoked the Third Reich in an attack on Paglia: “Her calling herself a feminist is sort of like a Nazi saying they’re not anti-Semitic.”

Paglia reportedly took umbrage at the references to Nazism but invoked the name of another genocidal killer, calling Steinem “the Stalin of feminism”.

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Helicopter called in to locate runaway horse at Kembla Grange

Early present: Blake Spriggs (white cap) and Sir John Hawkwood take out the Christmas Cup at Royal Randwick. Photo: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛 Lost and found: Arigold was located in dense scrubland at Kembla. Photo: Supplied
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Bemused racing officials were forced to charter a helicopter to find a horse that got loose before the start of a Kembla Grange race and became lost in dense bushland.

The Jason Coyle-trained Arigold dumped rider Mitchell Bell on the way to the barriers and managed to flee the track. It was eventually located in thick scrub near Mullet Creek, the waterway that runs alongside the course and adjacent to the Princes Highway.

“They needed a helicopter to find the horse and they eventually found it right next to the creek with its saddle still on,” said Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy, who was officiating at the Randwick meeting on Saturday.

Arigold’s scratching added to an already eventful race, which was slated to have just three starters. After Arigold’s withdrawal there were just two runners, Anthony Cummings’ Calm And Serene winning the match race against Chris Waller’s Katinka.

Collett to the fore

Jason Collett’s previous best haul of four winners in a day came at Dargaville in New Zealand, a track where they race only twice a year. But Cradle Me’s withering burst down the outside to win the listed Razor Sharp Handicap was enough to deliver Collett a quartet of winners – of sorts – at Randwick on Saturday.

“I didn’t think she could win as she was struggling to stay in touch with them, but she sprinted really well,” said Collett, who had earlier won on Rule The River, Lady Sniper and shared honours on Shutter Bug.

David Pfieffer’s mare led home a wall of horses, which included Aussies Love Sport finishing a long neck adrift in second and Boss Lane a half-length further back in third.

Many happy returns

David Vandyke’s first day back at work after a short holiday couldn’t have gone better as Sir John Hawkwood made Sydney Cup plans a little firmer with victory in the listed Christmas Cup at Randwick.

“I wasn’t sure where he was at going into today,” Vandyke said. “He had tightened up since his last start and I wasn’t sure if he had tightened up too much. I am still learning about him and I think the way we had him prepared today is the key to his future. I think the fact he turned for home and couldn’t get a run and came right back on the steel gave him the chance to let down.”

The Waratah Thoroughbreds project, which has already passed through the Craig Ritchie and Peter Moody yards, just found enough to down the grinding favourite Jiayuguan and Lucky Lucky Lucky.

Camera can’t split Shutter Bug

Jason Collett thought he had won, Kerrin McEvoy wasn’t sure and the judge? He decided to give it to them both. Keeping with the theme of the enthralling Highway Handicap series, Collett’s Shutter Bug and McEvoy’s Pera Pera fought out a rare dead heat at Randwick.

“I thought I had won,” Collett said. “We had the momentum and when I put the head down I knew we were half a stride out. I still thought I had it anyway, but when the number didn’t come up I thought, ‘oh no, this is not good’. It is not often they have a dead heat in the city.”

Goulburn trainer Danny Williams has been peppering the series since its October inception and had to settle for a shared win for his first success.

“Not a way to win a race, but I’m happy to do that,” he said. “It’s about time we got there. We’ve represented every one of them so far and we’ve had a few placings. It was just nice to win one, just a shame it was that way. But we’ll take it all the same.”

McEvoy, who offered a high five to Collett as they returned to scale, wasn’t as confident Pera Pera got his head down on the line.

“I wasn’t sure,” McEvoy said. “It was a brave run by him and he’s going to run well in one of these races in the near future.”

Clenton feels stewards’ wrath

Chief steward Ray Murrihy gave a stern rebuke to top apprentice Samantha Clenton over her ride on Bayview Emperor, just stopping short of issuing a running and handling charge.

Clenton rattled home from last on Jeremy Sylvester’s well-backed hope to finish sixth in the Highway Handicap, but Murrihy grilled her over a lack of vigour approaching the turn.

“You gave up on that horse and were half hearted around the turn,” Murrihy said. “You’re going through the motions. It seems to me when you get interested in the race, the horse gets interested in the race.”

Clenton argued she steadied the horse and went back to last in the middle stages when it was inclined to lay out, but had concerns with how it was travelling and didn’t predict Bayview Emperor would finish the race the way he did. Sylvester said he had no major problems with the ride and actually had $250 on the horse at $67 to win. The horse was backed from $51 into $14 on track.

Black-type races rule

Anthony Cummings is never one to die wondering with his horses over a trip, but Rule The River will be kept to sprinting trips for the forseeable future in a bid to earn valuable black type. Gosford’s Takeover Target Stakes in January – or even the Canterbury Classic on Boxing Day – loom as suitable options for Gerry Harvey’s mare.

“It’s a nice time of year for her and we’ve got a mare in form and we’ll be tackling black type next start,” said foreman Edward Cummings after Rule The River sped to victory from In A Wink and Karakuchi in the Randwick first.

“She’s just been a horse that has had to deal with the same issues we do growing up. It’s just taken her a bit longer than others. Just because she wasn’t around as a two- and three-year-old doesn’t mean she is any worse for wear. It was just a tactic we decided to employ and she’s reaping the benefits.”

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