Monthly Archives: July 2019

  • Shark nets: Ballina surfers back in water after confidence-boosting six-month trial


    Ballina surfers back after net trial Cooper Allen, 17 at the time of shark bite last September, is back in the surf. Photo: Supplied
    SuZhou Night Recruitment

    Wounds on Cooper Allen’s leg after being bitten by a shark at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina in September. Photo: Channel 7 via Twitter

    A shark is caught and tagged by DPI staff. Photo: DPI

    A shark is caught and tagged by DPI staff. Photo: DPI

    TweetFacebookFrom above and belowEfforts to reassure the public are multi-pronged. During the NSW summer school holidays alone, helicopters clocked up about 93,000 km between Eden in the state’s south and Tweed Heads.

    The crews spotted 525 potentially dangerous sharks, with about a third of them swimming near bathing areas, prompting 78 water evacuations, DPI said.

    Drone surveillance was also stepped up in the north and other regions such as Redhead, near Lake Macquarie, and Kiama. These devices picked up 46 shark sightings – more than half at Redhead alone – prompting eight evacuations but also a successful rescue of two swimmers swept out to sea at Kiama.

    However, the value of the shark nets remains a sore spot with scientists stating privately that it is impossible to know whether their presence made any significant reduction in shark-bite risk – other than to kill some of the animals they caught.

    A shark is caught and tagged by DPI staff. Photo: DPI

    So far the nets near Ballina have caught six so-called target sharks – whites, bulls or tigers – three of which were released alive after tagging. Another nine “potentially dangerous” sharks were caught, with only one surviving.

    Other by-catch remains an issue, with 172 non-target animals including dolphins snarled in the nets, with 71 dying before crews arrived to release them during their once-daily visits.

    Smart drumlines, which hone in only on target sharks, are viewed as relatively successful, catching 17 sharks with all but one released alive. Two grey nurse sharks were also caught and survived, DPI said.

    For Cooper Allen, though, it’s a case of “what happens, happens”, and he just surfs when the waves are good, net or not.

    Now fully recovered physically – save for a numb region around his thigh – the damage is mostly mental.

    “I’m just always going to be on edge,” he says, adding he tries to keep his legs “in the air” when out on the board. “You’re never going to get it out of your head.”

    Reading More >>

  • $1.4 billion regional rail revival for Victorian trains


    Regionaltrain lines will get a $1.45 billion fundingboost as the Andrews government moves to shore up its support across country Victoria ahead of next year’s state election.
    SuZhou Night Recruitment

    With suburban level crossing removals and the Melbourne Metro Rail Project firmly underway, regional transport will be a centrepiece of Tuesday’s state budget – and every rail line will benefit from a revamp.

    The long-awaited cash splash will be unveiled by Premier Daniel Andrews and Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan on Sunday. It includes:

    A $435 million upgrade on the the Gippsland Line, which the government says will improve the reliability of services and createmore than 400 jobs, with aprojectofficeinthe Latrobe Valley.More than $200 million for major upgrades in the Barwon South West region, including $100 million to allow the Warrnambool line to run more services.A $110 million investment into the first stage of a newSurf Coast Rail Project, paving the way for the duplication of tracks between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds and a future line to Torquay.$91 million to run faster and more reliable trains for passengers in Bendigo and Echuca.$39 million for stage 2 of the Ballarat Line Upgrade, to improve services in Ararat and Maryborough.”This is the next stage of our regional rail revival – because regional Victorians deserve public transport they can count on,” Mr Andrews said.

    The $1.45 billion investment will be funded under the federal government’s asset recycling scheme, which gives the states 15 per cent bonuses for selling private assets – in Victoria’s case, the Port of Melbourne.

    But in order for the projects to proceed as planned, the Commonwealth must give Victoria its full entitlement or pave the way for yet another state-federal stoush.

    On the train to Warragul to announce $1.4 billion Regional Rail Revival package, including $435m for Gippsland Line pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/kUNryDvtm0

    — Jacinta Allan (@JacintaAllanMP) April 29, 2017And Labor forgets Western Vic exists yet again. Remember when you vote how little interest Labor has in our region. #thisislabor#springsthttps://t苏州夜场招聘/PQipqsA1iD

    — Emma Kealy MP (@EmmaKealyMP) April 29, 2017

    Also from July, new passenger vehicles will start being charged the same duty rates as used passenger vehicles, rising from $6.40 per $200 of the market value to $8.40 per $200. New cars will therefore become more expensive: for instance, the stamp duty on a Toyota Corolla valued at $23,500 will increase by about $230.

    And from 2019, property valuations will occur annually – a move the opposition says will ensure rates and land tax rates will rise every 12 months.

    Liberal spokesman Michael O’Brien accused Mr Andrews of breaking his pre-election promise not to increase or introduce any new taxes, and warned that the changes would add to cost of living pressures already felt by families.

    “Under Daniel Andrews the only thing rising faster than the crime rate is the tax rate,” he said.

    But Treasurer Tim Pallas disagreed, saying: “These changes are fair and equitable and will help ensure the government continues to deliver the roads, schools, and services that matter to Victorians.”

    Reading More >>

  • Super Netball: Vixens VS Lightningphotos


    Vixens VS Lightning | photos TweetFacebookSuper Netball, round 10: Melbourne Vixens 71(Kumwenda40, Philip 31)d Sunshine Coast Lightning 59(Bassett 41, Wood 18) at Margaret Court Arena.Match MVP:Mwai Kumwenda
    SuZhou Night Recruitment

    For all the disquiet surroundingthe entry of privately-owned teams to the newSuper Netball competition, the noise being made by the Melbourne Vixens continues to silence all those who had questioned the readiness of the proud establishment-owned club. After 10 rounds, the Vixens have skipped a game clear. They arepremiership favourites. Go on. Say it loudly.

    The Vixens’ seventh consecutive win came 70-59 in the table-topping clash with the Sunshine Coast Lightning at Margaret Court Arena on Saturday night, their second score of 70 or above reversing the six-goal away result in two. Boasting identical 7-1-1 records, less that one percentage point had separated the two leading teams coming in; Melbourne departs witha two-point buffer that the Giants can close to one on Sunday.

    Coach Simone McKinnis rated the performance the best of her team’s season. “For that consistency across the game, at a high standard, I think that’s as good as we’ve done,” she said. “The quality of play I thought was really good from start to finish. [Against]a really good opponent. I’m really pleased, and just very proud of them.”

    In what the statisticians had billed as the highest-scoring team in the competition against the stingiest on defence, the Vixens started exceptionally well, a 20-goal first quarter both slick and sure. The38-goal first half was their most prolific so far, Lightning coach Noeline Taurua having used nine of her 10 players eight minutes into the second term, but an eight-goal deficit soon after was never cut to less than four for the balance of the game.

    Malawian sensation Mwai Kumwenda finishing with a perfect 40 from 40 shooting record as her partner Tegan Philip nailed 30 of 33 to continue a collaboration without peer in their first season together.

    Liz Watson (26 goal assists) and Kate Moloney again excelled in the midcourt, and circle defenders Jo Weston and Emily Mannix kept Diamonds pair Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood to a manageable total with the help of Chloe Watson and others exerting pressure from further up the court in a team defensive effort the coach considered much-improved.

    While former Vixens Geva Mentor and Kelsey Browne were wearing their new colours, the off-seasonrecruiting decisions endorsed by McKinnis are looking wiser by the week. Her faith in talented young circle duo of Jo Weston and Emily Mannix is being rewarded, while the shuffled midcourt has lost little for the departure of playmaker Madi Robinson.

    The importance of Kumwenda and Philip has also been criticial to the Vixens’ success, considering the attacking challenges of a 2016 season in which their scoring duties had been split between the inconsistent Karyn Bailey and rookies Alice Teague-Neeld and Emma Ryde after Philip was ruptured her ACL just weeks before the opening round.

    In contrast, the Kumwenda-Philip partnership has thrived since setting the tone on opening night against the Magpies, marvellously accurate while sharing the load and a growing understanding. Philip has never played better, or been more confident on the shot; Kumwenda is the wildcard, her tricks, flair and elevation providing an air of athletic unpredictability that even the likes of Mentor struggle to stop.

    “There’s two shooters there, quality, that can shoot, that are tough, want the ball, want to put it up,” saidMcKinnis, who saidKumwendahad brought fierce competitiveness to the team. “I love that, and you wouldn’t know it, but she gets so nervous before a game and I’m just ‘oh, MJ, you’re just brilliant’. She’s just naturally so competitive, she loves the team, we all love her and it’s just been really special having her in the group.”

    Rarely more so than on Saturday, as finals loom, but are not discussed, amid smiles, big ones, and obvious satisfaction from McKinnis and co. “We’ve spoken in terms of consolidating our position; we spoke before the game, it’s like ‘hey, we’ve won six games in a row, why not seven?’, because the opportunity’s there and we quite enjoy being on top,” shesaid.

    “But in terms of the finals, it’s not that we purposely don’t think about it, we’re just thinking about each game … But they do have that belief and that has been there right from the word go.”

    Reading More >>

  • Sydney FC secures thumping win over Perth Glory in A-League semi-final


    Sydney FC books grand final ticket | Photos Sydney FC celebrate victory after the A-League semi-final at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
    SuZhou Night Recruitment

    Rhyan Grant, Brandon O’Neill, Joshua Brillante, Filip Holosko and Alex Brosque of Sydney FC celebrate Joshua Brillante scoring a goal on Saturday night. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Perth players surround referee Peter Green after a video referee decision during the A-League semi-final on Saturday night. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Sydney FC celebrates after Joshua Brillante scored their team’s first goal during the A-League semi-final against Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Andy Keogh (left) and goalkeeper Liam Reddy (right) of the Glory react and Alex Brosque and Jordy Buijs of Sydney FC watch on as referee Peter Green calls for a video referral for a goal decision. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Filip Holosko of Sydney FC celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the A-League semi-final against the Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Diego Castro, Joel Chianese, Dino Djulbic and Rostyn Griffiths of the Glory argue with referee Peter Green after a Sydney FC goal. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Bobo of Sydney FC falls as he competes for the ball with Richard Garcia of the Glory. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Danny Vukovic of Sydney FC celebrates after Joshua Brillante scored their team’s first goal on Saturday night. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Perth Glory manager Kenny Lowe has words with Graham Arnold, coach of of Sydney FC, after a video referee decision during the A-League semi-final at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC appeals to the assistant referee after an off-side call during the A-League semifinal match at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Liam Reddy of the Glory fails to save a shot on goal by Bobo of Sydney FC, before the goal was disallowed on Saturday night. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Milos Ninkovic, Bobo, Jordy Buijs and Alex Brosque of Sydney FC argue with referee Peter Green. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Rhyan Grant of Sydney FC and Andy Keogh of the Glory compete for the ball in front of goal. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Jordy Buijs of Sydney FC scores a goal as Glory goalkeeper Luke Reddy watches on at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Andy Keogh of the Glory looks dejected after a missed chance. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Gett.y Images

    Bobo of Sydney FC competes for the ball against Dino Djulbic of the Glory. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Bernie Ibini of Sydney FC competes for the ball against Lucian Goian of the Glory during the match at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    Rhyan Grant of Sydney FC and Andy Keogh of the Glory compete for the ball in front of goal. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Filip Holosko of Sydney FC scores his team’s third goal during the A-League semi-final against Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    TweetFacebookMATCH REPORT | All the talking points from tonight’s @ALeague semi-final clash at @AllianzStadium – https://t苏州夜场招聘/QfK1ZcN7Ke#SydneyIsSkyBluepic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/bgazLgwdDB

    — Sydney FC (@SydneyFC) April 29, 2017Take a bow, Joshua Brillante! This is an absolute screamer. 🎥: @FOXFOOTBALL#SYDvPER#ALFinalspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/WwyugYUtgz

    — Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) April 29, 2017A very happy bunch. #ALFinalspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/KbYwpiCOBu

    — Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) April 29, 2017

    In the second semi-final, Melbourne Victory will host Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

    The Victory will start as favourite after finishing the regular season in second position.

    Reading More >>

  • Super Rugby: Waratahs run down Reds


    Tahs run down Reds TweetFacebookDaryl Gibson may not have to vacate his chair for Alan Jones just yet.
    SuZhou Night Recruitment

    For the seventh time in a row, the Waratahs have won the interstate clash with the Queensland Reds, this time in an ill-tempered affair at Suncorp Stadium.

    It may well have kick-started their season, at long last.

    Bernard Foley kicked his team to victory. With the Reds smashed 16-5 on the penalty count, Foley (19 points) made them pay, booting four of his six penalties in the second to add to a pair of conversions.

    The Reds scored four tries to two, but they lost Izzy Perese on the stroke of half-time when he was shown a yellow card. Poor discipline would be the flavour of the evening, although the officials were roundly booed off the field by the 18,781-strong crowd.

    Bad sports up north? Not really, because the night had a decent, old-school feel from the start. It was an entertaining match, spiteful at times, before eventually being bogged down by the whistle. The code needed some emotion and finally got some.

    George Smith was immense for the Reds, as was Michael Hooper for the Tahs. After the debacle against the Kings, he needed to lead from the front and did so, producing a number of match-turning plays that proved crucial in the wash-up.

    Karmichael Hunt ended the night limping but was involved in everything. With Israel Folau well contained again, there are more than a few suggesting he should strongly be considered for Wallaby fullback.

    The Waratahs certainly started like they meant business. They won a penalty in almost record time, attacked the Reds line with crisp passing and strong running lines and should have been ahead 3-0 if not for a surprise penalty miss from Foley. It was his only blemish.

    A mistake from Rob Horne would gift the Reds quality ball in an even better spot. Scott Higginbotham would brush off Hooper at the ruck and scoop it inside for Hunt, who was untouched to set up a 7-0 lead.

    The Reds were opening up the Tahs with worrying ease, offloading in the tackle and starting to put NSW on the back foot. The Waratahs needed to find and they did with some spirited attack of their own.

    Passes started sticking and they went 70 metres, side to side, before Nick Phipps lunged at the line and claimed the try as he burrowed through tackles, locking the scores at 7-7 after 20 minutes.

    The Reds sparked back into action as Lukhan Tui thundered over, backing up Hunt who was once again instrumental.

    Quade Cooper’s miss left it at 12-7 but he made up soon after, pouncing on the intercept, running 50 metres then putting the left-foot grubber in for Perese, who finished for the 19-7 lead after 32 minutes.

    A Foley penalty reduced the deficit to nine but the visitors needed more than the occasional penalty to get them back in the mix. Stand up Hooper, who came up with huge plays at both ends to put the Tahs right back in the hunt.

    His turnover on Samu Kerevi might have stopped a try, before he ran a sensational line to score under the posts. And when Perese was given a yellow card on the stroke of half-time for attacking the man in the air, the tide began to turn.

    Queensland’s 19-17 quickly turned into a 20-19 lead for NSW as Foley bagged an early penalty, only for Stephen Moore to score his first try since returning to the Reds (his last was in 2006) when the home side powered over with the rolling maul.

    By now, the penalty count was hugely worry for Queensland, with the tally at 11-4 to NSW as the Waratahs did their utmost to respond. Foley found his range from 40m out to make it 26-23 as the Reds struggled to stay on the right side of the referee.

    Again, Foley would strike. With their 15th penalty of the night, the Tahs playmaker levelled scores at 26 to set up a nail-biting final eight minutes of play. And with their 16th, Foley would nail the coffin shut.

    Reading More >>