Pony club celebrates massive milestone

Flying high: Annalise Duschka jumps at the Moora One Day Event. Duschka has represented Australia in pony club eventing. At a gallop: Michelle Seymour competes at the Royal Show for Central Midlands Pony Club in the Prince Phillip Mounted Games. Seymour trains with the state development squad for games.
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SEYMOUR

THIS Saturday the Central Midlands Riding and Pony Club is celebrating its 50th birthday.

This will be a time to thank past members and instructors for allowing this great youth movement to be available to our local riders.

Current members, from those on the leadline to those who have represented Australia, will demonstrate some of their riding skills from 9am to 11.30am.

Following this will be a parade of riders and ponies with commentary on our riders’ achievements.

Any members of the community are welcome to come watch the demonstration and look around the memorabilia on display in the club rooms.

A light lunch and birthday cake will follow for past and present members after the parade of riders.

The Central Midlands Riding and Pony Club was established in Moora in 1964, only three years after the Pony Club Association was formed in Western Australia.

Initially pony club days were held at the Moora Race Club, later moving to the current grounds at Moora Equestrian Park in 1977.

The original club rooms were built on 1981 providing a kitchen and toilet facilities.

During the floods the grounds suffered damage and loss of equipment, assistance was provided to establish a lovely new club rooms and arena in 2000.

The pony club has continued to meet regularly since its establishment with membership fluctuating between 15 and 60 riding members.

As some neighboring clubs closed Central Midlands has continued to thrive and currently has 38 riding members travelling up to 100 kilometres to Moora to attend rallies, riding clinics and competitions.

The pony club provides a wonderful opportunity for young riders to bring their ponies and learn riding skills as well as many useful skills in looking after their ponies.

The riders enjoy the camaraderie of the other members at rallies and in competitions.

Central Midlands Riding and Pony Club has produced many state representatives in show jumping, eventing and dressage competitions.

This is the last meeting of the pony club for this year but the club would welcome inquiries from any community members wanting to join the club next year.


Comparing Whitlam’s legacy to other governments

Willow Tree’s Neil Forscutt decided to check out what legacies Gough Whitlam left behind in his term as prime minister and compared them to some other Australian leaders’ achievements.
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Reminiscing about Edward Gough Whitlam, one is encouraged to look up his political history with the purpose in mind, to compare that government with those governments that followed.

Having done this, it is quite obvious that the Whitlam government’s decisions in many areas, including the universal health scheme, no- fault divorce and the national sewerage scheme, ranked in importance alongside John Curtin’s decision to bring the Australian Diggers back from the Middle East, to defend Australia from the Japanese invasion.

It is difficult to find more than two acts by any government that would rank equal in importance, as most that followed, changed things, rather than initiating anythinguseful.

One act of Parliament that ranks alongside Whitlam’s initiatives is, of course, The National Disability Insurance Scheme introduced by Julia Gillard and her government.

The other is the “compulsory superannuation scheme” introduced by Paul Keating.

The reason for the super move was to lessen the demand on the budget by retirees, but given that so many hands are getting an annual cut, it is doubtful that this scheme will fulfill its obligation any time soon.

Today we see many unnecessary people fighting against a modest and sensible reduction to their retirement entitlements.

This was the starting point for many Australian governments.

The first cab off the rank would be a review of their wages and entitlements – all done by an independent tribunal, of course.

The second move would be to create a list of what public assets they could sell to help pay for their own spending.

Keating sold the Commonwealth Bank and Peter Costello sold half of the gold we had in the vault – 167 tonnes at $306.00 an oz.

Most of the initiatives created by governments today get much headline space in the newspapers, but are not really of universal value.

They generally assist asmall, preferred section of thecommunity.

Anyone who cannot applaud Whitlam’s tenure as prime minister, is a diluted commentator in regard to advice on politics.

He was responsible for so much – supporting mothers’ benefits,

Aboriginal land rights, abolishing the White Australia policy, Trade Practices Act, protection for the Great Barrier Reef (now under threat again), Council for the Arts, Royal Style and Titles Act – just to list a very few.

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Letter: Ideal worth remembrance

Newcastle’s Remembrance Day ceremony.ONCE again we have a small school cowering to minority groups and receiving five minutes of fame.
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Carrington Public School has decided to ban prayers and hymns at this year’s Remembrance Day.

Reason, the school was overwhelmingly secular.

Has the school ever considered that the day is about our service people and their immense sacrifices in hellish circumstances, not some frustrated social engineers looking to make a personal stand and all the publicity that flows from that.

I would hazard a guess that in such dire times our Diggers sought comforts in a prayer or two, and who wouldn’t?

In recent times we have witnessed schools make arbitrary decisions from singing ‘‘baa baa rainbow sheep’’, to not being allowed to do cartwheels, no contact, and now this.

Seriously, we expect two things from our education staff, a good education and to remain safe and well.

Please do that and leave the life decisions to the parents.

Adam Hahn,

Newcastle


Explosives drama in Bookaar

A 50-metre exclusion zone was set up around a Bookaar house and officers from the Bomb Response Unit were called in from Melbourne to dispose of explosives.CAMPERDOWN police are makinginquiries after boxes of gelignite were located at a Gnotuk Road property on Tuesday.
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Senior Constable Tony Hassett said a sheriff attended to take possession of the property on Tuesday morning and when there found three firearms and boxes of Powergel containing about 20 sticks of explosives.

The sheriff contacted Camperdown police which led to a50-metre exclusion zone being set up around the house.

Officers from the Bomb Response Unit were called in from Melbourne to dispose of the items.

Senior Constable Hassett said the owner of the property was interstate.

The man aged in his late 40s or early 50s is a fencing contractor and licensed to use the explosives in the course of his employment.

It is expected the owner of the gelignite will be talked to by police and he could be charged with explosive-related offences.

Warrnambool detectives are carrying out further investigations.

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Gauge This lines up at Maitland for fourth week

Future Stars place getter Gauge This will run at Maitland Showground for the fourth straight week today.
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BEST BET: Gauge This, barely visible in the No.2 rug near the rail as it crosses the line for third place, will run at Maitland tonight.

The 21-month-old black dog will line up in the fourth event on the 10-race card for Greta-based ­trainer Walter Simmons.

Gauge This finished second last week over the same 400-metre distance after a 1-3 start to his career in the Future Stars series.

Gauge This won his Future Stars heat first up on October 23 in a time of 22.73 seconds before running third (22.63s) by a head and a neck respectively to Master Gee (22.61s) and Lord Licrick (22.62s) a week later in the final.

Today’s fifth grade race is worth $540 to the winner with Gauge This jumping from box three.

Maitland Greyhound Club sponsorship and promotions manager Fred Robertson said Gauge This (race four, number three) was his best bet of the day.

In other races Wallamba Buzz and Sir Redmond will be trying to make it three wins on the trot in sixthover 450m.

Two heats of the Maitland Mercury maiden series open the program today, masters events finish the card while a pair of 565m heats will also be held.

Race one jumps at 3.32pm.

Racing continues at Maitland tomorrow with another 10-event card.

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Sundowner focus on safety

Sundowner: Rural and remote women will be informed of farm health and safety measures during WMG Harvest Widow’s Sundowner.AS scores of farmers across the West Midlands busily prepare machinery and organise labour, spare a thought for the grain industry’s unsung heroes, the partners and wives of farmers.
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Local grower group, West Midlands Group (WMG) is hosting a Harvest Widow’s Sundowner on November 21 in recognition of the support women provide during harvest. The event will offer the region’s harvest widows time out from the farm and deliver timely education about farm safety in the home and around the property.

Silver Chain primary remote area nurse Jody Morton will ask the question, “farming is a healthy lifestyle: myth/fact?” and will touch on ways farming families can improve their health and safety and injury prevention options for incidents such as snakes bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

The tragic events associated with snake bites recently has prompted this warning ahead of summer.

Valerie Fowler, FEC will also give a short presentation on home safety for children and electricity.

WMG chief executive officer Anne Wilkins said the role women played in farming businesses such as farm health and safety was a key element in the success of the agricultural industry.

Often being a farmer’s wife is a lonely and thankless job so the WMG have developed a women’s committee to address the intrinsic issues that go with living and working in rural areas.

The presentations will be followed by a sumptuous array of canapes and drinks. There will also be free entertainment for the children and a sausage sizzle.


Protectionist to parade at Broadmeadow on Sunday

Punters from around the Hunter will have the chance to see Protectionist and the Melbourne Cup this weekend.
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NEW HOME: Protectionist with Jamie and Kellie Lovett.Picture by PERRY DUFFIN

The champion horse and the most famed trophy in Australian sport will be on display at Broadmeadow Racecourse on Sunday.

It will be run as part of a Newcastle Jockey Club [NJC] race meeting with a special function to mark the achievement of the Hunter-based owners, Belmont’s Jamie Lovett and Aberglasslyn’s Luke Murrell, from Australian Bloodstock.

“The NJC have been good enough to put on a function on behalf of the horse,” Lovett told the Mercury.

“We’re local boys and we’re very proud of the fact we are able to bring the cup to Newcastle.

“And obviously on Sunday it will be there for everyone to have a look at it, and the star of the show Protectionist will be paraded for the crowd.

“If you enjoy your horses he’s a ­magnificent horse to have a look at.

“It’s pretty special to be here in Newcastle to do that.”

WATCH THE VIDEO:Melbourne Cup champion Protectionist arrives in Hunter

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Warrnambool College girls fairytale dashed at final hurdle

BACK-TO-BACK matches proved a burden too big as Warrnambool College finished runner-up at School Sport Victoria’s (SSV) junior girls’ hockey finals.
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Warrnambool College lost its grand final to Melbourne’s Koonung Secondary College 3-0 at Footscray Hockey Centre yesterday.

The defeat delivered a disappointing end to a near-perfect day for the young side which featured a mix of years 7 and 8 students.

Warrnambool College opened with a 4-1 win against Brunswick Secondary College and backed up by beating Mildura’s Trinity Lutheran College, 4-1.

A narrow 2-1 win against the powerful Maribyrnong Secondary College, secured with two Kelsey Ratcliffe goals, clinched the grand final berth.

But the fairytale was not to be. Co-coach Lyn Lanman said Koonung had an extra hour of rest before the grand final which proved invaluable.

“We lost but I thought our kids played extraordinarily well. They (Koonung) had won all their games,” she said.

“Their first game was 12-0. I don’t know what the other games were but they won convincingly all day.

“Our kids did take it up to them. It was just fatigue in the end that they dropped away a bit.”

Lanman said Kelsey and Teri-Lynn Drummond led the scoring for the day. Full-back Jasmine Shears and goalkeeper Sam Jackway were also key contributors.

Naticia Varley also earned plaudits for her efforts in a variety of positions, depending on what tactics the coaches adopted.

“Whenever I needed to place someone in a different position, to create a change in strategy, she’d be the one who had to carry the load,” Lanman said.

She said the girls enjoyed playing hockey against girls their own age.

“In Warrnambool they’re often playing against older boys in mixed teams. They don’t get to shine as much,” she said.

The junior girls are one of three Warrnambool College sides chasing SSV hockey glory in the next fortnight. The intermediate boys are in action at Footscray today while the junior boys get their chance next Monday.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

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Turning up the heat on canola

UNSEASONABLY hot weather reduced the yield potential of many Western Australian canola crops this year, but research could help deliver varieties with better heat tolerance in the future.
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Recognising that canola is vulnerable to heat stress, particularly at flowering time, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is supporting canola heat tolerance research at The University of Western Australia (UWA).

The research started in 2013 and is part of the National Brassica Germplasm Improvement Program which aims to provide canola breeders with advanced genetic material, incorporating new or improved traits, so Australian growers have access to cultivars that allow them to compete effectively on world markets.

“WA canola crops particularly in the northern and eastern grain-belt – suffered from heat stress this season and this is likely to happen again in future seasons,” UWA Institute of Agriculture and School of Plant Biology researcher Sheng Chen said.

“The damaging heat stress occurred when the canola crops were at the early flowering stage.

“Severe heat stress during flowering reduces canola seed yield and affects seed quality and next year we should have sufficient data to quantify the effect of heat stress on canola seed yield and quality.”

Dr Chen and his colleagues are in the early stages of screening more than 100 internationally-sourced canola lines from places including Europe, China and India in a bid to identify lines with good heat tolerance.

“We hope to isolate lines that are more heat tolerant than existing Australian commercial lines and which can be used in Australian canola breeding programs in coming years,” he said.

The heat tolerance trials are taking place in ‘controlled environment rooms’ (CERs) and in the field.

In the CERs, the canola lines are being subjected to five different temperature combinations at flowering time, including high temperatures of 25 degrees, 32 degrees and 35 degrees.

Dr Chen said it was too early to determine which canola lines had superior heat tolerance, but independent research led by Wallace Cowling at the UWA Institute of Agriculture had identified some heat tolerant lines of Brassica rapa, an ancestor of canola grown as an oilseed or vegetable crop in some countries.

Professor Cowling said the research involving Brassica rapa had been conducted at UWA since 2008, and had been supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project scheme and industry partners since 2011.

“The goal has been to find heat tolerance genes in Brassica rapa, as these could easily be transferred into canola lines by plant breeders,” he said.


OPINION: Need to encourage innovation

NEWCASTLE’S mayor needs to have the integrity of a true independent to avoid the squalid politics involving the major parties and vested interests.
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As mayor I will encourage dialogue between innovative staff and empower action that bypasses the entrenched bureaucracy that I believe is limiting creativity.

Senior management spends large amounts of ratepayer revenue, and this can be freed up for productive investment by rationalising.

I will immediately donate $15,000 from the mayoral allowance to attach solar panels onto council workshops, once elected. The Hamilton North gasworks would be perfect for a networking solar power station.

My vision of Newcastle is as a self-sustaining energy producer, delivering revenues back to the community. At present corporate energy marketers profit by selling us expensive electricity after buying it cheaply. If the council provided this service to the community at a similar commission, rates could be lowered, with the potential for installing local generating capacity.

One of the council’s largest expenditures is machinery, operating at a fraction of its capacity. While 24/7 building and maintenance is unfeasible, shared rostering with neighbouring councils would better utilise equipment.

Coal’s days are numbered and the declining price is largely due to the rest of the world moving away the high costs associated with using old polluting technology.

Globally the focus is towards cheap, clean renewables, which are now providing most of the growth in the energy market. Still our region continues to squander billions on coal speculation that’s becoming unviable.

Oddly, instead of governments leading the transition to new job-creating technologies in 3D printing and biotechnology, financiers and politicians are programming our city and country to fail. As industries close, Australia’s productive capacity is redirected towards developing short-term speculative greed.

The people of the Hunter won’t accept the substandard infrastructure that has been secretly planned.

City revitalisation must be debated in a transparent forum and council’s compliance should not be dictated by developers or by people in Sydney.

Ugly high-rise apartment blocks planned to blight our uniquely beautiful city are a scandal, and vacant buildings all over need occupying now.

The empty BHP site would be a more appropriate place to build the ‘‘Shanghai of the south’’. Anything’s possible.

I believe the council has not been encouraging artists and creative people.

Newcastle Community Arts Centre is threatened with closure, and this is a grim step further, after the art gallery fiasco.

Rail infrastructure needs upgrading, not destroying. In other cities, rail lines are trenched below ground and apartments built above operating lines – these are considered desirable homes for commuters.

Providing internet on trains could lessen working hours, and rail speeds need to be increased by running drones along the rails in front of passenger trains to relay real time data to drivers.

How many bridges were built over the Hunter Expressway without a flyover for Stewart Avenue? The congestion between Parry Street and Honeysuckle Drive traffic lights is ridiculous.

Newcastle’s dilapidation has been made by Sydney’s state government showing nothing but total contempt for the people of Newcastle.

Rod Holding is a removalist who ran for the seat of Newcastle in the 2013 federal election. He will stand as an independent in the lord mayoral byelection in Newcastle this Saturday.

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