New-look Landmark fixture set for Peel region

The Peel Cavaliers’ 2014 colts premiership side.THE Peel Cavaliers’ Landmark Country Football Championships side will feel right at home over the 2016 carnival, with a total of 10 colts games being played in the region.

Five matches will be held at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Mandurah while a further five are set for Pinjarra’s Sir Ross McLarty Oval.

Peel Football League manager Geoff Hiller said the games presented a great opportunity for the league.

“It’s good to be able to showcase our ovals and have the boys play at home,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to the new-look carnival fixture.”

The fixture is a new-look schedule which was produced after debate was held throughout country football league’s about the carnival’s pre-existing country week format.

The 2016 Landmark Country Football Championships fixture. Photo: WA Football Commission.

The tournament will now be played across two weekends, one in June and another in July.

Peel’s first game will come in the form a four-quarter league match against reigning premiers and perennial powerhouses the South West Football League.

The match will be held at Hands Oval in Bunbury on Sunday, June 19.

The first games to be held in the Peel region will be on Friday, July 8 at Bendigo Bank Stadium, when Peel’s colts take on Great Southern and Regional Districts.

WA Country Football League general manager Joe Georgiades said the championship format had been changed to deliver several benefits to competing teams.

“Some of the key benefits of the changes include more involvement for country communities with games being played in the regions, ensuring the best players are available to represent their league and providing greater development opportunities,” he said.

“We want to deliver a memorable experience for everyone who participates in the Landmark Championships and are confident that these changes will help us deliver this objective.”

Peel Cavaliers teams for the Landmark Country Football Championship will be announced roughly a week before the tournament begins.

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Uber review: Green paper proposes public and personal transport combo

Taxis and rideshare services could connect commuters with buses and trains as part of a revamped transport network powered by a single payment option under a new transport plan. Photo: Supplied OPT review: Highlights of the industry Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Taxi licence revenues Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Licence distribution Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Licencing options Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: Driver screening Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

OPT review: universal service obligations Photo: Opportunities for Personal Trans

Taxis and rideshare services could connect commuters with buses and trains as part of a revamped transport network powered by a single payment option under a new transport plan.

The proposal would bring “previously unforeseen efficiencies and opportunities for industry” according to the group charged with reviewing the future of taxis and rideshare services such as Uber in Queensland.

The Opportunities for Personalised Transport Review Taskforce pushed the proposal in its industry green paper, released publicly on Friday.

Four ideas remained on the table for tackling the conflict between the established taxi industry and rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft and GoCatch.

The review proposed either a do-nothing approach, whole-of-state legalisation of rideshare with hailing and cab ranks restricted to taxis, SEQ-only legalisation or complete deregulation.

But taskforce chair Jim Varghese said the integration of personal and public transport would work no matter what option was chosen.

The idea is aimed at tackling the problem of the “first and last mile”, the distance a commuter has to travel to catch a bus, train or ferry.

“First and last mile issues must also be considered in an integrated passenger transport network, as it highlights that most commuter journeys do not begin at the train or bus stop,” the report read.

“The use of feeder personalised transport services is one solution to the first and last mile issue.

“By bridging the gap between public transport and the points where journeys start and end, combined with the use of a seamless payment option, it would improve integration across passenger transport modes.”

On Friday morning, the veteran public servant told ABC Radio taxis should also be able to access low volume bus routes, in conjunction with local government.

“Now the effect of that would be to increase utilisation of taxis … so the impact of this is that your income, your sustainable income actually goes up.”

Average taxi licence values in Brisbane, the most sought after market, have halved since Uber’s introduction in 2014, down to $260,000.

According to the task force, the majority of the state’s 3260 licence owners (68 per cent) are individuals, with about 210 owning multiple licences.

Mr Varghese said he had a lot of sympathy for those individual “mum and pop” owners.

The green paper leaves open several options for dealing with major concerns raised by both the taxi industry and advocates, such as taxi owner compensation, disability access and safety.

According to the task force, the majority of the state’s 3260 licence owners (68 per cent) are individuals, with about 210 owning multiple licences.

The review flagged a possible need to create an industry commission, to oversee the industry, promote the use of technology and implement the new regulatory framework.

Consultation will be open for three weeks, with public meetings in Brisbane, Mackay and Townsville.

Taxi Council Queensland said it would consider the review before it made a comment.

Uber urged the government to choose the right option for Queenslanders not “appease the incumbent industry”.

The RACQ recommended the option to legalise Uber throughout the whole state, leaving no limits for ride-sharing licences, removing fare regulation for booked cars, allowing extra fees for services such as wheelchair accessible taxis, and retaining maximum fares for hailed and cab rank taxis.

The taskforce noted all three legalisation options strongly met the reviews principles but the regulatory framework for the SEQ-only approach would not be suitable in the long term.

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Priest in jail after eight year fight

CATHOLIC priest David O’Hearn is in custody awaiting sentence after being found guilty of more than40 child sex offences against six victims after a fight that hasgone all the way to the High Court.

Convicted: Catholic priest David O’Hearn

A jury on Friday found him not guilty of three offences against one boy, after separate juries in 2015 and earlier this year found him guilty of 44 offences against six other boys, including sexual intercourse, indecent assault and inciting a minor to commit an indecent act.

The offences occurred in the Hunter while O’Hearn worked as a trainee priest and priest in parishes including Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Windale in the 1980s and 1990s. Victims ranged from nine to 13.

In a statement released late today Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright expressed “great shame that another member of the clergy has been guilty of crimes of this kind”.

Judge Richard Cogswell lifted an order on Friday preventing O’Hearn from being named as trials ran in Sydney over a number of years. In 2011O’Hearn sought leave to appeal to the High Court to have trials involving six victims heard separately. He was first stood down in May, 2008.

Bishop Wright confirmed O’Hearn had spent most of the past four years in jail.

“Investigating and establishing abuse can be extraordinarily complex and difficult, as is demonstrated by the eight years that the investigative and judicial phases of this case have taken up in our criminal justice system,” Bishop Wright said.

“I would like to acknowledge the NSW Police and in particular Detective Sergeant Faber for their dedication and commitment to bringing justice for the victims.

“The first allegations of child sexual assault against O’Hearn surfaced in 2008. The Diocese, through Zimmerman House, supported the victim to make a complaint to NSW Police in 2008, who then commenced their investigations.

“Over the following eight years the Diocese provided healing and support services to many of the men who came forward alleging abuse, as well as their families. That support will continue.”

Bishop Wright said the diocese had investigated unrelated, non-criminal allegations against O’Hearnin 1995 which were re-investigated twice in 2005 by independent investigators. In both cases the allegations were ‘not sustained’.

“The first thing I feel in this matter is, as always, deep, deep regret for the harm that has been done to the boys that O’Hearn abused and their families,” the bishop said.

“Nothing can make up for their pain and loss. All the men who have come forward have shown great courage and, I hope, will receive some element of healing and relief from knowing that they have been instrumental in seeing justice done.

“Secondly, I feel great shame that another member of the clergy has been guilty of crimes of this kind. I know that many of you too are shocked, pained and disillusioned when any priest is shown to have been so unfaithful to his calling.

“In this case in particular, many people believed implicitly in David O’Hearn and his professions of innocence, which makes the confusion and devastation that follow from the news of his convictions all the greater.

“David O’Hearn has now been the subject of some seven trials, including an appeal. In some cases, including this most recent trial he has been found not guilty, but as of now David O’Hearn has been convicted of about 40 offences against sixteenage boys, stretching back into the 1980’s.

“As the series of O’Hearn’s criminal trials has now apparently concluded, I will be making the required report on his convictions to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, which has jurisdiction over the question of his dismissal from the priesthood. I had previously set this process in train, and, with the trials concluded, it can now go forward.”

Zimmerman Services can be contacted on 4979 1390, Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm.

Ashgrove nets national awards

WINNERS: Ashgrove Cheese general manager Richard Bennett with the non-homogenised milk and cloth-aged cheddar, that won DIAA gold medals recently.ASHGROVE Cheese has netted a swag of national awards for its products at the recent Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) national awards.

The independent dairy producer from Elizabeth Town won gold medals for its non-homogenised milk and its cloth aged cheddar, to of the staples in the company’s stable.

The company also won a bag of silver medals, for its herb and garlic butter, salted butter, unsalted butter, vintage cheddar, bush pepper, rubicon red cheese, its light milk and its full cream milk.

Ashgrove general manager Richard Bennett said it was testament to the teams’ hard work in producing a quality product.

“It very much validates the great work that our team does,” he said.

Mr Bennett said the non-homogenised milk was a popular product in the Ashgrove arsenal because it wasn’t pasteurised, that meant it kept its creamy “old-school”flavour.

In addition, the cloth aged cheddar was handmade cheddar that was aged naturally and washed with oil once a week.

“We have a group of ladies who look after it, they call it their babies,” Mr Bennett said.

He said it was great Ashgrove had a passionate group of people creating its products.

Ashgrove is no stranger to the DIAA awards, having won several medals for other products in other years.

The factory will also hold a Biggest Morning Tea next week that is the first time in several years they had hold it to the public.

The morning tea will be held on May 24 from 10am and everyone is invited to attend.

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Colours for a bleak issue

ART has the power to change people and the world we live in.

Twenty-one Wynyard High School girls took this idea and gave it legs through a24 hour endurance art event to raise awareness and money to help solve the culturally engrained issue of family violence.

Putting pencil to paper from 10am on Friday, 21 girls shared the load working in 12 hour shifts.

Grade 9 student Emily Shires said that music and lollies were going to help the girls sustain their energy through the night.

“A lot of peer support will help,” she said.

Throughout the day, community groups dropped in to put pencil to paper and assist them in the ireffort.

“We had Boat Harbour Primary School in earlier,” Emily said.

“They filled up every single table and some of them left with colour on their faces which wasn’t the plan,” she said.

While the dollar figuressuggest the community is well and truly behind their cause, the show of faces over the 24 hour period was visible evidence that the community cares about the future of family violence.

Project producer Elspeth Blunt said that the key attributes she hoped the project would foster in the students were strength, resilience and confidencethat will catalyse change.

“When these girls learnt that the average age a child feels domestic violence first is two and a half they said ‘right lets bloody do something’,” she said.

“It is about subtly shiftingthe communities attitude for that huge cultural shift,” she said.

Friday night saw a score of personalities visit the colourathon site with musicians Lucky Oceans and Claire Anne Taylor performing at the event.

Project O, which is supported by Big hArt, is an Australian first.

Emily said her colouring mates were already complaining about sore fingers but they were determined to keep going.

“It is getting better as we go on,” she said.

Tired artistscould warm numb digits by the bonfire.

Colouringdesign templateswere created by artists George Rose, Nadia Hernandez and Nico Nicson.

“There is one that is really intricate and really difficult,” Emily said.

The project has surpassed the original goal of $6,000, having reached the $10,000 mark.

Money raised will go into local women’s shelters to provide play therapy for children who are experiencing family violence.

Selected pieces are being digitised and animated to create a music video to accompany a song which was written by the girls and Tasmanian artist Claire Anne Taylor.

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL: Emily Shires,14, is one of the girls behind the Project O Colourathon. Pictures: Cordell Richardson.

TIME OUT: Avalon Starick,16, Hazel Martin,18, and Ginger Rankin,16, support the cause and take some time out to colour in the sun.

OFF THE PITCH: Zak Marshall, Darcy Leno, Adam Wilson, Tyler Boon, Darcy Brazendale, Zac Smith and Shannon Vakes from the Wynyard Football Club.

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Fallout from milk price cuts to hit local economy hard

Cuts in milk payments to farmers are expected to have a severe economic impact on Gannawarra Shire in northern Victoria.The sudden collapse in milk prices could cost farmers up to $180,000, according to calculations from the dairy-rich north Victorian shire of Gannawarra.

The shire, which includes towns such as Kerang, said the economic fallout from the cut could cost up to $25 million in milk payments locally and wipe out 250 jobs in the region, with people spending less.

It estimated that  Murray Goulburn’s decision to slash the price it pays farmers for milk will threaten 110 dairy industry jobs and a further 143 in sectors including retail, transport and manufacturing.

Gannawarra Shire, which borders the Murray River, is home to about 140 dairy farms. Murray Goulburn takes milk from the overwhelming majority of them.

Fonterra – which announced a price cut in early May – is supplied by some local farmers. Dairy farmers believe that the number of local farmers supplying other processors would be less than 10.

Local mayor Lorraine Learmonth said the dairy industry was a vital part of the local economy and expressed concern that some businesses already seemed quieter after the price shock.

“Most of our small towns have been built on the prosperity of dairy farming over the years,” she said.

“Most of our communities shop in our local towns. And if the dairy farmers are all tightening their belts it will be felt across all our feed mills and our retailers, our vets, even down to our schools,” she said.

The figures showed how important the dairy industry was to rural Victoria, she said. “It’s the most important aspect of our local economy because what it does, it drives the retail sector in places like Cohuna and Leitchville. It also drives a lot of the manufacturing sector.”

Gary Wight, 43, milks 500 cows at Cohuna. Mr Wight, who supplies Murray Goulburn, said the price cut would slash his revenue by $220,000 to $250,000.

The price cuts would have a “devastating” impact on the local area, he said.

“We have to shut down spending wherever we can. I’ve put my weekend milkers off already. Anything that I don’t have to spend on, I won’t spend. I just can’t, I haven’t got it.

“It’s a double-edged sword, you sell your cows [and] then you lose your income. But you keep your cows and you’ve got to feed them, so then you’ve got to find the cost of feeding them. It’s just walking that line, where you’re trying to lose as little as you can,” he said.

“A lot of us don’t have a lot of choice. Just hopefully we can ride it out and the world price will improve…hopefully we can have a lower cost season and we’ll survive,” he said.

Mr Wight said farmers had been “begging” Murray Goulburn to tell them what milk payments would next financial year. He said he would make a loss in 2015-16.

In other developments, on Friday the Victorian Government announced a $1.5 million package to help farmers and affected communities, with a large part of the money to fund extra counselling services.

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

Cherish every moment with children

“Where is he? Where is he?”I whispered to myself as a looked around the playground.For a short moment, my world stopped.

I stood there frozen in my puddle of latte that fell from my startled grip.He was only just running along the bridgeand now he has vanished.

My throat held my breath captive, my pupils bulged into the size of goggles as I scanned the playground in search for a little red flanny.

“Where could he be?”

There is only a handful of children playing and somehow my child has evaded the head count.

I yell out “Harry,” with no response.I immediately start to panic.

I dart around the playground, not able to focus on one area for too long as the hour glass is filling.

“My heavily pregnant friend feels my panic and goes into action mode.

She hurls her child over her shoulder and starts racing around the park in my desperation.Neither of us can rationalise the fact that he probably couldn’t have made it to the duckpond.

My airways are strangled with the most sickening feeling.

The worst case scenarios were circling my head, what if he was taken?

What if he escaped the child lock of the park gate and went onto the road?

I lose all inhibition and work myself into an off the radar mode of panic.

I start to scream across the playground “HARRY, HARRY, HARRY!” I don’t even care how ridiculous I look or the amount of attention that I’m drawing, as parents are starting to look around in empathy.

As I’m screaming out my third “HARRRRRYYY!” out pokes a little head from behind a tree.

My son’s little face looks at me in complete surprise, oblivious to the height of my anxiety.

For a quick second, my world had fallen a part.

Ten minutes felt like a day. He was too busy making friends with some acorns and working through his own quest to find their beret hats to be any the wiser.

I’ve never been so happy to see that dirt riddled face.

He was more interested in introducing his acorn buddies to methan to indulge in any of the love I was giving him.

How quick things can happen, all because my son wanted to accessorisehis acorn.

This will be my last column, so thank you for letting me share my questionably appropriate stories.

As a first time mum, I like all mothers are nutting out the great conundrums of motherhood where anything that can go wrong, probably will, the struggle is real and totally worth it.

They say they grow up in the blink of an eye, and as we’ve discovered you can also lose them in a blink of an eye so watch your children and cherish every moment because the best life is #mumlyf.

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

Confederates up against it as in-form Bathurst Souths return to Orange


CONFEDERATES went within four minutes of scoring their first win of the women’s Premier League Hockey season last weekend against Parkes United, a feat they want to better on Saturday against Bathurst Souths at Orange Hockey Complex.

This time, they want those four competition points.

It won’t come easy though, with Souths desperate for a victory themselves to stay in touch with the top five.

Against an opponent who is yet to register a win this year, even with ‘Feds performance last week considered, Souths will start as unbackable favourites.

For Sue Watterson, the side’s manager, it’s games like this they simply cannot afford to miss out in.

“For us it is a case of trying to keep getting better as the weeks go by as well. With a new coach, a new style, and basically without ever having had all our players available, it has taken a while for us to start to play our best,” she said.

“And that might still be a while away yet, so these games are all about making sure we get full points and at least make sure we aren’t conceding too much ground to the teams above us.

“Hopefully towards the back end of the year where we have a big run of home games that starts to pay off, and we get all our frontline players back and in the side.”

Souths will be without two of their key figures today in Michelle Somers and Sarah Watterson, a factor ‘Feds will look to take advantage of.

Confederates host Souths from 3.50pm.

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

Setting the ewe up for the new horizon

PLAN AHEAD: NSW DPI Phil Graham says producers needed to benchmark and plan their breeding objectives to avoid flock extremities.SHEEP producers will be challenged on their breeding direction as attendees of LambEx 2016 debate whether the industry is producing the right ewe for the future.

Department ofPrimary Industry grazing technical specialist,Phil Graham, Yass, NSW, will addressthis challenge and askwhether the industry was heading in the right breeding directionfor the economic, social and environmental climate for 15 years from now.

Mr Graham saidthe forum would analyse the impact current breeding selections had on flocks.

“It is critical to consider what the appropriate ewe is for your enterprise in ten or fifteen years,” he said.

“Producers are making breeding decisions now when they buy rams about how they want him to influence their flock.They need to consider how their genetic selections nowwill set their production and breeding system up for the next decade.”

He said, discussion among breeders about the mature body weight of a composite ewe was one of many discussions which had brought the issue of long-term genetic planning to a head​.

Mr Graham will use GrassGro to predict the genetic development of NSW flocks’ wool, meat and milk production, based on current management decisions.

“Breeding is slow but if you’re going down the wrong path, you get a fair way down before you realise you need to turn around and go back,” Mr Grahamsaid.

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Industrial action threatens to stall government’s level crossing removals

Level crossing replacement works at Ormond Rail Station Photo: Paul Jeffers Work to remove the Mountain Highway level crossing in Bayswater Photo: Jason South

Hundreds of rail workers have voted to take four days of industrial action from next Friday, in a decision that threatens to shut down work on nine level crossing removal projects under way in Melbourne.

Three unions are in dispute with Metro Trains over a new workplace agreement for rail infrastructure workers, who are essential to the government’s pledge to remove 20 level crossings in this term.

The Electrical Trades Union, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and Professionals Australia have agreed to take four days of industrial action between May 27 and May 30. The action will stall projects that Metro Trains Melbourne is involved in.

More than 600 union members have agreed to the move, which is unlikely to affect commuters at this stage, but could disrupt the government’s timelines for its signature level crossing promise.

Construction is under way to remove nine level crossings on the Andrews government’s list of 50 that are due to go within eight years, and work on all these would have to stop while the industrial action takes place.

They include three crossings on the Frankston line, at North Road, McKinnon Road and Centre Road, where Metro and the government have announced a 37-day shutdown from late next month for major works.

Passengers will have to catch replacement buses between Moorabbin and Caulfield during this “construction blitz”, and the industrial dispute threatens to interfere with and potentially extend the 37-day shutdown if it has not been resolved by then.

Work at two crossings in St Albans, two in Bayswater and one each in Blackburn and Mitcham would also be delayed by next week’s four-day stoppage.

The projects have a combined cost of more than $1 billion.

The negotiations over a new enterprise bargaining agreement involve a different part of Metro’s workforce to those staff who went on strike last year and brought most of Melbourne’s public transport system to a halt.

But negotiations with the infrastructure division began at a similar time and have dragged on for about a year.

Metro was notified of the intention to take industrial action late on Thursday,  giving the company seven days to respond to the unions’ joint demands and avert project delays.

Metro staff who have voted to take action include track and signal maintainers, and safe-working staff essential for planned shutdowns, meaning construction could not proceed, even though many level crossing project workers are not Metro employees.

The Age understands Metro’s proposed changes to rosters and penalty rates, particularly involving increased night-time work, are a major point of dispute.

Luba Grigorovitch, the RTBU state secretary, said Metro’s claims would have a negative effect on workers’ pay and work-life balance.

“Infrastructure workers are the backbone of the network and keep the system running,” Ms Grigorovitch said.

Members feel they are being taken for a ride by Metro who have continuously failed to recognise the significant role their workforce has played in providing a safe network for commuters, 24-hour public transport and the delivery of key projects,” she said.

Metro’s Sammie Black said: “We have received notification of industrial action. We believe it is unnecessary on the basis that we have been bargaining in good faith and continue to do so.”

Ms Black said Metro had contingency plans in place to minimise impacts.

Jacinta Allan, the Minister for Public Transport, said the industrial action was “extremely disappointing and completely unnecessary”.

“Parties need to lock themselves in a room and sort this out, so we can keep removing level crossings, reducing congestion and saving lives,” Ms Allan said.

Spokespeople for the Electrical Trades Union and Professionals Australia were contacted for comment.

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