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Share the Anzac spirit

STIRRING: Essendon run onto the MCG on Anzac Day last year. Picture: Wayne TaylorCARLTON coach Mick Malthouse wants every AFL player to have the chance to play on Anzac Day.

Malthouse will be involved in an Anzac Day clash this year for the first time since 2011, when St Kilda host the Blues in Wellington.

It will be the third time the Saints have played in New Zealand to mark the day.

Malthouse coached Collingwood from 2000-11 and was a staunch supporter of the Magpies’ annual match against Essendon at the MCG, the biggest game outside the finals.

Saints coach Alan Richardson played for the Magpies in the first Anzac Day match 20 years ago.

Anzac Day is on a Saturday this year and the AFL has scheduled five matches to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

But most AFL players go through their careers without playing on the day.

“The disappointing thing with football, and this will cause a little bit of controversy, is that Alan has played in it, I’ve coached in it and played on Anzac Day – it was a fluke of nature, way back,” he said.

“But not every player will have that opportunity.

“It is the grandest day in Australian history. It is a great opportunity to experience that feeling when you play or coach or be part of it. It should never be regarded as just a right . . . it’s a real privilege.”

Speaking at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance on Thursday, Malthouse also hoped the St Kilda-Carlton game could become an annual Anzac Day fixture.

The two clubs will honour St Kilda player Claude Crowl and Carlton’s Fen McDonald.

The pair made their VFL debuts in the same 1911 match and were both understood to have died in the initial April 25 landing at Gallipoli.

“It’s quite incredible and humbling to think that 100 years ago to the day when we play our game in NZ, those two young men and many others were killed at Gallipoli,” Richardson said.

“They were just 22 and 23 years of age, which is the average age of an AFL player.”

Malthouse has always tried to make his players more aware of the significance of Anzac Day. AAP

George Bailey: Australian players ‘do not agree’ with Jonathan Agnew’s comments on Phillip Hughes

Diplomatic: George Bailey kept it short and sweet on Thursday. Photo: Brendan EspositoA diplomatic George Bailey says Australia do not agree with comments about their on-field conduct made by English commentator Jonathan Agnew, who maintains that an opportunity has been missed to curb abuse and sledging following Phillip Hughes’ death.

The BBC caller and former England cricketer on Thursday sought to clarify the remarks made in an interview with Radio Times penning a column explaining his rationale. 

He had said initially that he had Michael Clarke’s eulogy from Hughes’ funeral “tucked away ready to throw at the Australians”, indicating they had failed to properly honour their late teammate’s spirit by continuing with their aggressive tactics in the Test series against India. There was not the same inflammatory tone in Agnew’s subsequent explanation, but he did not retreat from his general position.

Bailey, who will lead Australia at the World Cup if Clarke does not make his injury deadline, was reluctant to fire back at Agnew on Thursday. The stand-in captain said simply: “We don’t agree with his comments.” And when asked whether the Australians had been upset by them, he added: “No. He is entitled to his opinion.”

Privately, though, many in Australian cricket from players to the administration were angered.

There is disappointment at what has been received as a judgment made from the other side of the world that seemingly showed little appreciation for how raw Hughes’ death seven weeks ago remains, particularly with his former teammates. There is also bemusement at the focus on Australia’s behaviour when their rivals in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series had more players reported by the ICC over the succession of flash points throughout the summer.

Agnew, for his part, claimed his argument had not been presented appropriately, but made no apology for bemoaning the continuation of what he regards as unnecessary confrontations.  “I wish to clear up any misunderstanding from my recent comments regarding sledging,” Agnew wrote in his column for the BBC website.

“These were picked up and presented out of context from an interview I gave to a non-sports magazine. I accept that, presented as such, they look clumsy and in need of explanation. The first thing I need to make clear is that my remarks are not critical of Michael Clarke, Australia’s captain. In fact, I have absolute admiration for his powerful and emotional speech at Phillip Hughes’ funeral, both in its presentation and content.”

Agnew referenced Clarke’s clash with James Anderson during the first Ashes Test last summer, in which the Australian captain warned him as he prepared to face Mitchell Johnson: “Get ready for a broken f***en arm”. He did not mention that Clarke’s barb had been made after Anderson threatened to punch Bailey in the face.

“Would Clarke feel as comfortable saying that now as he did then? I wonder what the eavesdropping television commentators might say now. Is this not the time, therefore, for the game to take a long, hard look at itself?” Agnew wrote.

“In his outstanding tribute to Hughes, Clarke talked about the spirit of cricket that binds us all together. He spoke of Hughes’ spirit being a custodian of the sport we love. We must listen to it, we must cherish it, we must learn from it,” he said.

“Clarke appeared to be acknowledging that cricket might be played differently from now on: more respectfully, at least. That was how it was interpreted by those who wish to see an end to on-field abuse.

“Hence my comments regarding the recent Test series between Australia and India. The verbal abuse, the posturing, the unnecessary gesturing appeared to be every bit as bad as ever. I am not interested in who started it or who was responsible (Clarke missed most of the series so he is hardly to blame]) The fact is that nothing changed, and that is disappointing.”

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

GPs welcome backflip

IN a win for patients and general practitioners across the country, the government yesterday overturned its plans to cut Medicare rebates due to start on Monday.

Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley made the announcement following a week of uproar over the move that would have seen the rebate for consultations lasting less than 10 minutes drop from $37.05 to $16.95.

However, Ms Ley said the government would still make changes.

“I will be undertaking wide ranging consultation on the ground with doctors and the community across the country in order to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reforms,” Minister Ley said.

Mildura-based general practitioner Dr Mehdi Sanati said he was “very pleased” and appreciated that the government recognised the changes to Medicare were “not helpful for patients or the general health care system”.

But Ms Ley said she was still committed to another rebate cut that would see all non-concession patients charged a $5 co-payment beginning July 1.

She said doing nothing was not an option, and Medicare would not be sustainable if changes weren’t made.

Dr Mehdi Sanati believed GPs provided patients with a very high standard of practice, and the government should be investing in GPs, rather than targeting them.

“I’m hoping that this co-payment won’t happen,” he said.

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Etheridge sets sights on podium at Aussie under-21 speedway title

Buttai’s Jye Etheridge has fast-tracked his speedway development this year and has firmly set his sights on a podium finish at Saturday night’s Australian Under-21 Solo Speedway Title at Kurri Kurri.

Buttai’s Jye Etheridge has a strong chance at the Australian Under-21 Speedway Solo title.

Etheridge and Pelaw Main’s Josh Pickering are among 16 riders in the qualifying event on Friday night for the 12 unseeded spots in the final.

Reigning under-21 Aussie champion Max Fricke, NSW senior and NSW under-21 cham­pion Brady Kurtz, Jack Holder and Jake Allen have all been seeded.

Only Kurtz didn’t take part in the recent Australian senior title series, preferring to ­concentrate on the under-21 title.

While Etheridge didn’t take part in the Aussie series, he has had a sensational start to the season, beating Newcastle’s international riders Jason Doyle and Sam Masters, who finished one and two in the national senior title along the way.

“It was a massive confidence boost to beat Doyly and Sam and Josh Grajczonek at the Phil Crump Invitational,” he said.

“I want to follow Jason Doyle’s footsteps.

“I’m good mates with both of them[(Doyle and Masters]. They give me a hand with a few things around the pits.”

On paper, part-time rider Etheridge faces a tough battle to overcome professionals Fricke and Kurtz, who both ride in the UK leagues.

“Top four is where I want to be and I’ve got a good chance,” Etheridge said.

Jye Etheridge is advancing along the road to a professional career in speedway.

“Starts will be everything. Once I’ve got the start I’m just as quick as anyone on the track.

“The professional guys are racing three times a week. I’m racing twice a month.

“That amount of racing gives you a real advantage in the reaction times at the start.”

Etheridge plans to go professional in 2016 after he has finished his apprenticeship.

“I’ll be going over (to the UK) in June this year to have a few rides and sort out a professional deal for 2016.

“I want to finish my last year as a fitter machiner before I commit myself fully.”

Etheridge admits it will be a long year waiting to make the move but he was committing all his efforts into making the move to the professional ranks.

“I’m living with mum and dad and got a room out the shed,” he said.

“When I open the door I’m in my workshop.

“I’m eating, training, sleeping doing everything I can to make racing my job.”

But it’s not a cheap venture, Etheridge said riders needed two bikes and there was little change frokm $40,000 to run them each season.

“The stock bike cost $10,000 each and when you fit them out with all the GP material it’s at least $16,000,” he said.

All Action Motorsports sponsor my tyres and Heffernan (speedway motor parts supplier) have been helping me outa bit.

“But the majority of the money needed comes from me and my family.”

The Australian Under-21 Solo Speedway Championship is at Kurri Kurri Speedway, Loxford, on Saturday. Gates open at 1pm, practice at 4pm and racing from 7pm.

The qualify series is on Friday with practice from 4pm and racing from 7pm.

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

Hunters shot down

FIELD and Game Australia (FGA) says it is disappointed with the State Government’s decision to reduce the daily bag limit allowed by duck shooters this hunting season.

Victoria’s controversial duck hunting season opens on March 21 and will run until­ June 8.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced on Wednesday the reduction in the daily bag limit due to a reduction in game duck numbers, breeding and waterfowl habitat caused by recent dry weather conditionsacross eastern Australia.

The daily bag limit will be reduced by half for every day of the season, except the first day when it will remain at 10 birds per day.

“Anyone wishing to take part in the 2015 duck season must have passed a Waterfowl Identification Test to demonstrate they can correctlyidentify which species are allowed to be hunted,” she said.

“Hunters are reminded to act safely and responsibly at all times while enjoying their hunting.”

FGA chairman Bill Paterson said the announcement was a blow to hunters.

“Hopefully the reduced bag limits will not impact on expenditure by hunters in regional Victoria, which has been estimated to be $439 million per year in a 2013 DEPI study,” he said.

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS) has also criticised the decision, wanting the government to take it further

Campaign director Laurie Levy described the reduced limits as “a small token thrown in by the Labor Party”.

According to Mr Levy, there shouldn’t be a season at all, as native water bird numbers were down by 60 per cent across eastern Australia.

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

Mike Young arrives to fix Australian fielding but he’s no lucky charm

Stars: Meg Lanning and Cathryn Fitzpatrick. Photo: Brendan EspositoMike Young has come in from the cold – about seven degrees below zero, to be exact – to sharpen up Australia’s fielding, having been involved in two previous World Cup triumphs. But whatever you do, don’t call him their “lucky charm”. Called upon from his home in the American Midwest by Darren Lehmann, the former baseballer was on the Australian staff in 2003 and 2007, and will work closely with the team’s fielding coach Greg Blewett over the next two months. There’s a perception that whenever Australia are shoddy in the field they call upon Young to wave his magic wand, but the man himself doesn’t agree with that argument. “I have a problem with people calling me a lucky charm. This is professional sport,” he said. “I’m not a horse shoe. They don’t need a lucky charm. They’re good enough. I’m here to impart any little bit I can to help Blewie. That’s my job, to help Blewie.” He followed the criticism of Australia’s fielding in the Test series against India and is fiercely defensive of the players. “I was in America. I followed it and I read some things and I take offence to some of those things because there is a lot of factors,” Young said. “Nobody on this planet respects how hard it is to catch a cricket ball than me because I didn’t play.”

Play stopped by a plane delay

England stepped back onto the SCG on Thursday afternoon for the first time since their forgettable last summer here, but not quite as early as they would have liked. The old enemy’s flight to Sydney from Canberra was cancelled, delaying their arrival for training before Friday’s first match of the triangular series. Eoin Morgan’s men were able to catch another flight, but some of the support staff weren’t as fortunate, with eight members of the contingent instead having to hit the road.

Women with an eagle eye

There’s been an extra couple of members of the Australian squad this week – and we’re not talking about standby fast bowlers Gurinder Sandhu and Kane Richardson. Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning and coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick have been in camp and at training with the men’s team in Sydney. Lanning won’t be batting against England on Friday, but hopes the exercise can assist the all-conquering women’s national team continue to do what they do best.  “It’s just about me and Cath being here to observe what the men’s team do,” Lanning said. “Obviously it’s slightly different because they’re full-time, but it’s just about picking up different ideas and seeing if we can perhaps use some of theirs to better our preparations.”

Hang on a second, sport

We’re pretty sure they didn’t have a clue who he was, but Mitch Marsh became the focus of intense interest from an Asian Cup broadcast crew outside the Australian team’s city hotel this week. Marsh was being interviewed by a few newspaper journos when a television reporter from one of the visiting nations came across the scene and immediately set up with his back to the allrounder and began a piece-to-camera. When he was asked what he was doing by a Cricket Australia staffer, the energetic journo and his cameraman went and grabbed the next best thing – an interview with the reporter who was there from Channel 9.

Man in the middle’s milestone

A milestone on the Sydney club scene this weekend with Darren Goodger becoming only the ninth person to ever umpire 200 first-grade matches when he adjudicates on the one-dayer between North Sydney and Manly at North Sydney Oval. We wonder if Doug Bollinger might send him a card. It was Goodger, on debut, who stuck the finger up during a domestic one-dayer in 2004 when Bollinger claimed a hat-trick for NSW despite South Australia’s Callum Ferguson being hit on the pads well outside the line of off stump. A decade or so on, Goodger now oversees the training and education of young umpires in NSW and is one of the most respected figures in the umpiring community.

Special function

In the media we are often guilty of borrowing from the theatre of war to describe sport. Australia is going into battle for the Ashes … Mitchell Johnson is the chief destroyer etc. The reality, obviously, is that they’re worlds apart. They will come together in a way, though, with a dinner to be held in the Members Dining Room at the Melbourne Cricket Club on February 6 in support of the Special Air Service Resources Fund. The guest speaker is John Howard and among those attending will be Dennis Lillee. And if the former PM isn’t your cup of tea then getting your hands on the private collection of cricket memorabilia owned by former Cricket Australia director David Williams might be. A “pictorial and autographic record of Australian touring teams to England from 1878 to 1948” it will be auctioned off in full, with the money going to SAS soldiers who have been disabled or families of those who’ve been killed. There’s no shortage of functions and dinners during the course of a cricket summer but we can’t think of a better reason to wine and dine than this one.

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

iAccelerate successes continue

Moving forward: James Moore and his wife Georgia Moore demonstrate the ZestDesk prototype at iAccelerate. Picture: GREG ELLISResidentsof the iAccelerate hub kicked plenty of goals in 2014.

ZestDesk, BeerMogul Games, GeoInteractive, Festoon, Stretch & Glow Yoga, Joindup and Social Status all made plenty of ground in the second half of the year while applications opened for the 2015 intake.

The newest iAccelerate resident companies are OurFamilyHeirlooms, ModFab, Me3D, AquaHydrex and Resispecifier.

Among the highlights of 2014 occurred when ZestDesk raised more than $70,000 in pre-sales with a successful Kickstarter campaign in November.

James Moore said that was a major step towards ZestDesk’s goal of having more than 100,000 people standing and working more healthily by 2018.

Meanwhile, coinciding with Formula Legend’s first birthday, BeerMogul Games developed Formula Scroller.

It is described by its founder Nathan Harper as a a fun tap game for F1 fans to enjoy.

He said it was free and available on iOS and Android.

GeoInteractive conducted its first pilot project with a mineshaft inspection report producing a detailed historical condition of the mineshaft.

The ability to do such work is expected to help with the task of routine inspections by introducing a methodology for change detection in mines.

Online furniture and homeware destination Festoon was signed on as a supplier by iAccelerate.

And within one month of launching in September, Stretch & Glow Yoga achieved a conversion rate of 30 per cent when it attracted more than 12,000 views and 400 sign-ups to the freemium product “7 Days to a Better Birth”.

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

Let’s get ready to rock

TICKETS are selling fast for this Sunday’s River Rockfest.

LOCAL TALENT: Red Cliffs’ Jett Charman will open the River Rockfest this Sunday with Mildura’s Todd Griffiths.Picture: Louise Donges

The soundshell at Nowingi Place will come alive from 4pm with local performers Todd Griffiths and Jett Charman warming up the stage forrock fans.

The inaugural event boasts a stellar line-up with some of the country’s legendary rock artists including the Hoodoo Gurus, Diesel, Daryl Braithwaite and Boom Crash Opera.

Tickets cost $84.99 and are available at The Cider Tree, Mildura Arts Centre or at the gate.

The event has a fully licensed area and is open to all ages, with entry for children under 12 free.

Gates will open at 3.30pm followed by: Local support, 4pm-4:30pm; Boom Crash Opera, 5pm-5:45pm; Daryl Braithwaite, 6:15pm-7:15pm; Diesel, 7:45pm-8:45pm; Hoodoo Gurus, 9:15pm-10:30pm.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 16/01/2015.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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

Time to end roads conflictopinion

Growing conflict between cyclists and motorists seems inevitable unless both road users acknowledge things must change.

Cycling tourism is on the increase, as is the popularity generally of cycling, and vehicle registration continues to steadily climb in Tasmania.

Chris Pippos

This means more bikes and cars on our roads – more potential conflict, road incidents and crashes.

Meanwhile, the general cultural mindset among Tasmanian motorists, unlike parts of the world where cyclists are deemed as road user equals, remains unchanged.

That is, many cyclists are an annoyance, largely unaccountable and do irritable things like ride two or three cyclists wide from the road’s edge.

There must be a cultural shift among motorists that cyclists have an equal right to use the road. This should be reflected in the justice system when a motorist causes death or serious injury to a cyclist.

It shouldn’t require a legislated minimum one metre passing law, which would be near impossible to enforce.

In return, cyclists should accept it’s time to seriously consider a recommendation recently made by the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council for bicycles (perhaps just those ridden by adult cyclists on public roads) to be registered and fitted with identification plates.

By accepting such a move, cyclists would quash the frequent criticism made by irate motorists that they are not identifiable and therefore not accountable for their actions.

The registration fee could be next to nothing given bicycles, unlike cars and trucks, cause no impact on the road requiring maintenance.

Such identification would go a long way to elevating cyclists to an equal status on our roads.

Cyclists would no doubt protest against registration, using a number of equally valid arguments, including the infrequency with which cyclists flout the law and the general health benefits of cycling.

I’d counter this by saying the status quo doesn’t appear to be an option. Ratepayers and taxpayers can only fund so many bike lanes and bike paths.

There have been too many serious, including fatal incidents in Tasmania over recent years.

And if the cycling fraternity thinks it will get sentencing justice after one of its own gets killed because of reckless or negligent driving, think again.

Sadly, an education campaign probably isn’t going to be pro-active enough, so it’s time to canvass all the options.

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

Shiralee crowded house: not a lot to like, say residents

LAST CHANCE TO COMMENT: Shiralee Road residents Garry and Lesley Smith are worried about the impact of high-density housing on their property in an amended plan for the Shiralee development in south Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0115subdivide1AN Orange couple is calling for the Orange City Council to reject amended plans for the proposed Shiralee development amid concerns of high-density housing on their doorstep.

Public submissions for the amended development plan close on Monday and Shiralee Road residents Garry and Lesley Smith are urging others to send submissions to the council.

The couple have lived on their south Orange property since 2001 and said they had always accepted the land around them would be developed and had gone on public record with their acceptance of plans for the Shiralee development in May.

However, Mrs Smith said there were radical changes in the amendment released in September that were centred around their property at the southern edge of the development.

“It’s a bit like David and Goliath sometimes,” Mrs Smith said.

“The major [issue] is the lot size in the area around us, the lot sizes have got smaller so the possible housing density has increased.”

She said in May the area around their home had been earmarked for lots of about 700 square metres with a few compact lots of 200 square metres. However, she said in the September plan the area was dominated by 400 to 200 square metre lots.

“Overall it’s been an increase of 50 per cent more density from 206 to 317 [properties],” she said.

The Smiths were also concerned about the fate of dams neighbouring their property.

“Next door to us there’s a couple of dams that have bird life on them,” Mrs Smith said. “That area was set aside as public open space and it’s still mostly public open space, but there’s possible provision for a row of compact houses on it.

“That area was also marked for a possible soccer field because it has been identified as an area of medium biodiversity.”

Orange City Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the deadline for community comments on the Shiralee LEP amendment was Monday.

“All community responses will be carefully considered as this important matter is dealt with,” he said.

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