Put your money where the kids are: MPs

MORE PLEASE: Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, with Tracy King, Port Stephens MP Kate Washington, and Samuel, at Cooks Hill Preschool. Picture: SuppliedONE in two community-based child care centres say their future looks somewhat toveryinsecure, while one in four say they are struggling to meet their community’s needs.
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The results from a funding survey conducted by the NSWCommunity Child Care Cooperative are concerning, advocates say.They are pushing for more financial support from all levels of governmentin the lead up to the federal election on July 2, and ahead of the NSW state budget on June 21.

NSW Opposition spokeswoman for Early Childhood Education and Port Stephens MP, Kate Washington, visited Cooks Hill Preschool on Friday with Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorpto discuss the impact of the upcoming budget on preschools across the Hunter.

Cooks Hill is one of many preschools that participated in the ‘Bigger Slice for Early Education campaign’ during the NSW election, calling on the NSW State Government to increase investment in early education, she said.

“Families want to see the Baird government take early education seriously, by allocating adequate funding for the sector in the upcoming budget, and – importantly – spending it,” Ms Washington said, referring to an underspend of previously allocated funding.“Due to the Baird government’s lack of investment in our kids, there are too many children in NSW missing out on preschool.”

NSWinvests less in early childhood education that any other state, $202 per child, compared to $357 in Victoria, $598 in Tasmaniaand $644 in South Australia.As a result, NSW parents pay the highest preschool fees in the country.

Jakarta Komodos: From orphanage to rugby union scrum

Coach Aaron Meadows (left) trains the Jakarta Komodos in Bogor, West Java. Photo: Jefri Tarigan Coach Stepher Barber (in pink) guides the Jakarta Komodos during a training session. Photo: Jefri Tarigan
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Herlina Bangun says: “In rugby, you use your legs, your hands, your mind and your eyes. You have to focus”. Photo: Jefri Tarigan

Universitas Negeri Jakarta rugby team during a training session before their match at Jagorawi Golf and Country club. Photo: Jefri Tarigan

The Jakarta Komodos before their match against the Universitas Negeri Jakarta. Photo: Jefri Tarigan

Jakarta: It’s an incongruous sight: a group of petite Indonesian women crouched in a rugby scrum.

The coaches of the Jakarta Komodos – Australian expats Aaron Meadows and Stephen Barber – are bellowing from the sidelines: “Run like the plague”, “get lower” and “go to ground”.

Most of the women in the team are from Mama Sayang Orphanage at Jonggol, south of Jakarta. Barber met some of them on Christmas Eve 2012, when they were singing carols at Aphrodite, a sports bar in South Jakarta.

Mama Sayang’s co-founder, Michael Hilliard, had approached Barber about activities for the girls at the orphanage; the boys, he said, had plenty of sporting opportunities but the girls were feeling left out. The last thing on his mind was rugby. But Barber – one of seven men who had a vision to include Indonesians in the game – offered to coach them. “I had reservations about the rough and tumble, I thought they may not like it,” Hilliard recalls. “But they took to it very well.”

Rugby was first introduced to Indonesia during the Dutch colonial era and was played by expats in the early 1900s until the outbreak of World War II. The game was resurrected in the early 1970s and by the mid-1980s there were four clubs, including one that reportedly played its home games on a US Navy ship. But the sport remained exclusively for expats, bar one year when an Indonesian drinks waiter from the ISCI Rugby Club toured to Hong Kong.

In May 2004 the sport was reinvigorated by Barber, or “Barbs” as everyone calls him, a geologist from Queensland, and the six others (three Australians, an Indonesian, a Briton and a New Zealander) who co-founded the Indonesian Rugby Football Union.

“I have been on a journey for the last 12 years. I have seen it all,” Barber says. “You only have to see [women’s rugby] – we started with just a small group of ladies three years ago and suddenly you have got eight clubs.”

Barber believes the inclusion of rugby sevens in this year’s Rio Olympics in Brazil is the “perfect tonic” the game needs to attract global appeal.

“Twelve years ago we would speak to Indonesian authorities and they would say: ‘What’s rugby?’ Now it’s an Olympic sport.”

Although the game is still minor in Indonesia – there are about 1000 adults, children and veterans players nationwide – Barber believes more people will play post-Olympics.

Herlina Bangun had never heard of rugby when she was a caroller at the Aphrodite. “My friends say: ‘Is that a fighting game’? I say: ‘No, it’s a sport’.”

Now a university student, Herlina is studying psychology and playing rugby. “When you play rugby, it’s not like a football, where you use your legs. In rugby, you use your legs, your hands, your mind and your eyes. You have to focus.”

Last month three of the players from Mama Sayang Orphanage were selected in the national women’s sevens rugby side to tour Singapore.

It’s a huge coup for the Jakarta Komodos, but Hilliard says the impact of rugby is felt in other ways too. “After they had been playing for some time, they learned how to function as a team. I could see the spillover effect. They were helping each other more and more interested in what others were doing. I think it is to do with the team spirit of rugby.”

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APT cruises: Europe’s six most famous castles and palaces worth visiting

Namedy Castle, Andernach, Germany. Liechtenstein City Palace, Vienna, Austria. Photo: Suzie Blake
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Wurzburg Residential Palace, Germany.

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Perhaps it’s because we’re raised on fairytales and movies featuring chivalrous knights that we find castles and palaces so appealing. Certainly, they remain travel’s greatest drawcards, grandly encapsulating centuries of ever-changing history, architecture and art. At the same time, they reflect the power, wealth and eccentricity of owners both past and present. The most famous castles and palaces of Europe draw in the biggest crowds, but the old continent has many more intimate offerings. Here are six must-visit regal residences. Namedy Castle, Andernach, Germany

WHY WE LOVE IT This once moated castle, surrounded by some of the finest scenery along the Rhine River, has had many illustrious owners and was acquired by the princes of Hohenzollern in 1908. It has an imposing elegance that blends a medieval core with late 19th-century residential additions, and succeeds admirably in combining history with a family home. The castle is also lively with concerts and other cultural events.

DON’T MISS The red-walled Knight’s Hall is splendid, especially the two statues of knights in full armour that stand on either side of the huge fireplace. The elegantly restored Hall of Mirrors has a gleaming parquet floor that will make you want to run and slide.

INSIDER TIP Both Namedy Castle and Majestic Imperator (right), a train that offers unsurpassed luxury in lavish imperial style, are among APT’s Royal Signature Experiences available exclusively on select APT Collection river cruises. Château De Cazeneuve, Aquitaine, France

WHY WE LOVE IT Once home to the kings of Navarre and later Henry IV of France, this medieval castle, a new APT Royal Signature Experience for 2017, sits in a splendid park overlooking gorges. Its moats, towers and irregular shape give it the appearance of a

castle from the age of chivalry. Now owned by the dukes of Albret, it retains the feel and heritage of a family home.

DON’T MISS Fine tapestries, a romantic bedroom in the Louis XVI style, a secret passageway and a walkway on the ramparts above the river allow you to indulge in knightly fantasies. Dozens of fine pieces of furniture are on display. Also impressive are the kitchens where servants toiled over huge brass pots. Peek into the cellars, where bottles of fine Bordeaux wines mature.

INSIDER TIP Save time to stray beyond the English-style gardens and into the 16 hectares of woodland, where you might spot deer and pheasants. Liechtenstein City Palace, Vienna, Austria

WHY WE LOVE IT This superb aristocratic residence, owned by the princely Family of Liechtenstein, is an architectural gem in a city not short of fine palaces. It recently opened to the public after extensive renovations and was the first baroque building of importance in Vienna, setting the standards for glorious stucco ceilings, ornate parquet floors and rich gold-leaf decoration.

DON’T MISS Despite the opulent rooms, the staircase is the place to linger: it’s one of the grandest baroque beauties in Austria. Artworks from the early 19th-century Biedermeier period are notable. Guides might also point out innovative 19th-century improvements such as an early intercom system and ducted heating.

INSIDER TIP Concert performances at Vienna’s magnificent City Palace are available as part of APT’s Royal Signature Experiences. Château De Grignan, Provence, France

WHY WE LOVE IT Since the 11th century this formidable fortress has loomed over the olive groves of Provence, 80 kilometres from Avignon. Grafted on during the Renaissance is a more comfortable residential château that provides a contrasting Jekyll-and-Hyde appeal. The castle is famous for its associations with the Marquise de Sévigné, whose letters are masterpieces of French literature.

DON’T MISS The castle’s furnishings are mostly French and Italian, with some splendid examples of cabinetry and porcelain. Spend time on the château’s large terraces, one of which is the church roof, for lovely views over the red-tiled village of Grignan and the surrounding countryside’s oak forests and lavender fields.

INSIDER TIP Approach on foot though the village’s narrow lanes and 15th-century houses for an atmospheric arrival at the castle, which impresses with its mighty bulk. Residenz, Würzburg, Germany

WHY WE LOVE IT For centuries tiny but rich Würzburg was ruled by powerful prince-archbishops with an extraordinary taste for excess, including ceilings swarming with bare-breasted ladies. Barely an inch of this vast baroque palace escapes lashings of gold leaf and frescoes: it’s both outrageous and one of Europe’s great architectural, 18th-century masterpieces.

DON’T MISS Though the baroque might not quite be to modern tastes, some of the bedrooms are exquisitely decorated, and the reconstructed Mirror Cabinet is a gem of rococo harmony. The Tiepolo fresco above the main staircase, depicting the four (known) continents of the world, is so gorgeous it will give you a crick in your neck.

INSIDER TIP Recover from the shock of the baroque in the palace’s more austere wine cellar, where on weekends you can indulge in a wine tasting. Majestic Imperator, Austria

WHY WE LOVE IT It’s Europe’s palace on rails. The opulent Majestic Imperator train is inspired by the original designs of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Sisi’s (Empress Elisabath of Austria’s) own royal train.

DON’T MISS You can spend a whole day aboard the Majestic Imperator, travelling through the stunning scenery of Austria and Germany with a stop in Salzburg. Along the way passengers aboard this special APT Royal Signature Experience can not only just enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres but also musical performances.

INSIDER TIP A small pipe which once belonged to Emperor Franz Joseph is on display inside a glass show case aboard the train. The pipe’s authenticity was confirmed by the Emperor’s personal valet, Eugen Ketterl, in 1916. UNFORGETTABLE PEOPLE

Princess Heide

When Munich girl Heide Hansen married Prince Godehard von Hohenzollern in 1970 she not only became part of an illustrious dynasty of Prussian and German princes, kings and emperors, but took on the immense task of living in Namedy Castle.

The 14th-century building was falling apart and almost windowless. The couple spent decades restoring it from the roof downwards, raising money by opening it to the public and staging musical events. Princess Heide deals with the massive challenge of maintaining an historic castle with straightforward practicality. She jokes that some visitors expect her to be wearing a tiara and ballgown, which isn’t her style; expect to spot the royal owner in pants and sensible shoes. Look out when at Namedy for her one indulgence, a collection of miniature porcelain shoes modelled on haute couture footwear. Princess Heide has a son Karl and a daughter Anna, who now helps with the running of the castle.

This article is produced in association with APT. Experience Europe like you’ve never imagined with APT. Only with APT can you board Australia’s most awarded, all-inclusive luxury Europe River Cruise. Where absolutely everything down to the last detail is taken care of. It truly is unforgettable. For more information visit 梧桐夜网aptouring南京夜网419论坛/traveller, call 1300 202 192 or contact your local travel agent.

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‘A win isn’t everything’: Craig Harvey Mechanical Repairs look to improve in Robin Hood derby

KEEP ON KEEPING ON: Lilly Porch has been a stand-out for Robin Hood Craig Harvey Mechanical so far this season. Photo: MEGAN FOSTER 0403MFnetball3
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NETBALL

ROBIN Hood Craig Harvey Mechanical remain winless through the opening three rounds of Orange Netball Association’s Toyota Cup competition and they’ve faced a steep learning curve so far in their first year of division one.

But they’ve had to play Vipers, KWS 1sts and Royal Hawks so far – all expected to be contenders – and crucially, for the most part, they’ve kept up with them.

In suffering 41-20, 40-32 and 56-40 losses, respectively, the young Craig Harvey Mechanical side has pushed their far more experienced counterparts, with youthful enthusiasm proving to be their best asset.

Club coach Cindy Gilchrist said if they can turn that into execution, there’s no reason they can’t be a force through the middle and back parts of the 2016 winter.

“They’ve just been so amazing so far,” she said.

“They’re young and they’re inexperienced, but we’ve seen that so far in each game. The other sides’ experience has shown and that’s why the scores have [blown out] a bit.

“But they’re getting better every week, emotionally, mentally and physically. Everyone at the club, including the other division one side, has been involved in their development into a division one team and we’re all very proud of what they’re doing, and excited to see what they’re capable of.”

Doing so in round four in Saturday will be far easier said than done though, considering they’re playing clubmates and reigning eight-time champions Robin Hood.

“All these girls train together so it might be tough for them to stay in the game mentally,” Gilchrist said.

“What the Craig Harvey Mechanical side will be focusing on is staying with Robin Hood and producing a good performance. That’s the focus most weeks, playing well before anything else.

“A win isn’t everything for this side (in the big scheme of things), it can be hard to accept that as a player but … the results will come.”

While the entire side has been strong all year, Gilchrist said she’ll be looking for big performances from Maddie Cole, Katie Harvey and Jodie Annis-Brown in particular on Saturday.

The Robin Hood derby kicks off at 3.50pm at Sir Neville Howse Stadium, finishing off a huge day of netball which includes the other Toyota Cup games where Vipers clash with Life Studio (1.10pm), OHS High A play KWS (2.30pm) and Life Studio Mid West Eyes take on Royal Hawks (2.30pm).

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Suburban beauty captured in time

At The Servo: A Peter Lankas painting titled Tex Girl. Newcastle artist Peter Lankas is a magician Why, you ask? Well,his work slows down and winds back time. This has to be a good thing in a fast-paced, panicked world.
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Take this depiction of a Caltex service station.It takes usinto the moment. We feel like we’re right there in those silent andsometimes peacefulmomentsof filling up at aservo.

“The girl filling up is called ‘Tex Girl’, as she is wearing cowboy boots,” Peter told Topics.

“The story extends to the Caltex sign, where only the C and TEX are lit up. She is off to see Tex her man. A narrative as such develops as the painting progresses. I do like my narrative.”

We’re quite fond of narrative, too. What’s the world without stories and images? And what’s Australia without art?

Newcastle artist Peter Lankas paints with a sense of nostalgia.

Ahn Wells, director of Gallery 139 in Beaumont Street in Hamilton, said Peter’s work “embodies the Australian consciousness”.

“He paints the suburbs and its inhabitants like documentary photographers recordthe changing nature of the world around them,” she said.

“His works are full of thecolour of the suburbs –thebrown/red brick houses, green lawns andbright blue skies under the full Australian heat.”

Also in his paintings areold cars, washing lines, streets, power poles and industrial Newcastle.He finds beauty in the banal.

Peter and fellow artists Dino Consalvo and Paul Maher will feature in a new exhibition that starts at The Depot Gallery in Waterloo on Tuesday.

The Peter Lankas painting titled Thinking of Dick Roughsey.

Ahn has organised the Sydney exhibition, titled “Gallery 139 presents Consalvo, Lankas, Maher”.

Peter’s star has been rising. He is exhibiting as a commended finalist in a national art prize, the Calleen Art Award for painting.

“By taking his work to a new audience in Sydney, I hope to see him further his art career and gain more exhibition opportunities,” Ahn said.

There’s a subtle irony and humour to Peter’s paintings.As an artist, he believes in maintaining “the playfulness and lightness of being a kid”.

It’s something he teaches his students at Newcastle Art School at TAFE in Hunter Street and in private classes.

“Art keeps you young at heart,” the 58-year-old said.

“I have to keep on reinventing and renewing things, so I keep on entertaining myself.

“There’s nothing worse than the angst-ridden artist who lives in misery and thinks it’s doom and gloom and all too difficult.”

The highest compliment was when someone tells him “I get up every morning and look at your picture and it transports me somewhere else”.

There’s an unmistakable Australian quality to his paintings.

“I wasn’t born in Australia, I was born in the Czech Republic,” he said.

“I didn’t come here until I was 11.I do feel like an outsider – perhaps outsiders tend not to take things for granted.”

He came to Newcastle in 2000.

“When you come from the outside or from somewhere else, it really does hit you there’s something unusual and in a way romantic about it.”

Miss PiggyHas anyone seen a pet pig?This question was posed on the Lost Pets Newcastle, Hunter Valley & Surrounds Facebook page.

“Miss Piggy escaped two days ago from our property in Limeburners Creek,roughly weighs 100+kg,” the post from Rachel Taylor saidlast week.

Miss Piggy was “much loved and very friendly”.

“I can only assume she is searching for a boyfriend,” Rachel said.

There was no word on whether Miss Piggy had been found.

Jetty second pick

Planning: Member for Eyre Dr Graham Jacobs said he was preparing questions to ask in parliament about funding for the jetty as it is a priority for the community.The Esperance Greater Sports Ground (EGSG) redevelopment has been prioritisedfor fundingover replacing the Tanker Jetty.
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Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the Esperance Shire Council had nominated theEGSG as the priority forNations Stronger Regions Project funding.

“Initially I had the jetty as a priority project but the feedback I got from the shire was that they weren’t actually shovel ready, they didn’t have a definitive proposal that I could take to the powers that be to get funding,” Mr Wilson said.

“We asked the Esperance community for their priorities and I had assumed that the community feedback was that the jetty was a priority.”

Shire of Esperance president Victoria Brown said there wasstatefunding available through the Goldfields Esperance Revitalisation Fund (GERF) and the shire hadsubmitted expressions of interest for EGSG, the waste management facility and the jetty replacement.

“We’d like to think that all three will get up, but we’d at the least like the indoor sports stadium to getits application onto the next phase,” Cr Brown said.

“If the indoor sports stadium gets state funding then that will put the jetty to the top of the list for federal funding.” Shesaid theEGSG wasprioritised asthe shirewas more advanced with the proposaland the design for the jetty was not complete.

“We always said when we’d done the designswe’d ask the community what they thought of the designs before we put the preferred design up for a business plan,” she said.

Member for Eyre Dr Graham Jacobs said EGSG redevelopment has been in the works for more than 15 years andhe believed there was still disagreement amongstakeholdersaround how the redevelopment would look.

“From the community’spoint of view I thinkthe jetty has more prominence, and there is a feeling that we’ve done so much good work on the waterfront, wouldn’t it be nice to finish off what we call stage fourby completing some form of platform,” he said.Dr Jacobs said as a state member he would need to organise a business plan to take to GERF.“If they can spend $15 million on heritage streetscape in Katanning, they can spend $15 million on our jetty,” he said.

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Wentworth council needs culture change

Sunraysia Daily has recently published two of my letters concerning the Wentworth shire and the council.
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I appreciate this because in country areas, without this option it is impossible to communicate with the community.

When I bring to the community’s notice the failure of the council to fulfill its obligations under the Local Government Act, I am highlighting the fact it is not acting in the best interests of its community.

Consequently, the community’s future is at stake because without consultation how can the council recognise its needs?

The council has two primary responsibilities to its citizens.

First is to sustain and improve the infrastructure and services of its community. Managers and staff are well trained to do this and usually do an excellent job.

Second is to show leadership in building the social fabric of the community.

The typical forms of engagement, in a democracy, are council meetings, public hearings, town meetings, town hall meetings, and any variety of speaking engagements and special events they attend.

There is nothing in the current structure of these gatherings, if they occur, that encourages the community to connect or be engaged.

At present, if the council does call a meeting, the community usually doesn’t show up, or if they do, they attend as critics and consumers.

For the shire to build a social fabric and create the context for a restorative community, the form in which the community is involved needs to change from a patriarchal consumer model to a partnership model that takes advantage of the energising power of the small group.

We must seek conversations where people turn up by invitation rather than mandate, and

experience an intimate and authentic relatedness.

Unfortunately, from my experience in dealings with this council, this will never happen while the present councillors remain in power. There must be a change in the culture of the council.

It is also interesting to note that in Friday’s Sunraysia Daily, it is reported the council passed the draft budget with little fanfare, which will be on public display for 28 days.

The general manager, Peter Kozlowski, announced the “ambitious” $40 million budget “was the biggest the council had ever put forward”.

This was achieved without having to waste time carrying out any community consultation.

Unlike the Mildura council, Wentworth has decided not to waste its time visiting towns in the shire to explain the budget.

Need I say any more?

Barrie Brady,

Wentworth

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Ban `unethical’ farmgate pay grab, lift $1 milk price says Dairy Connect

Retrospective cuts to farmer payments by major milk processors are “punitive and unethical” says Dairy Connect chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan.The dairy industry’s retrospective repayment impost hitting almost two thirds of Australia’s milk producers provides real grounds for dismantling the controversial $1 a litre supermarket milk price, says dairy advocacy body Dairy Connect.
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It also wants state governments to legislate to make it unlawful for processors to reclaim payments they have already made for milk collected.

Lifting the house brand milk price implemented by retailers in 2011 would allow a return to more equitable pricing for the whole supply chain said NSW-based Dairy Connect’s farmer group chairman Graham Forbes.

The dairy market badly needed stability and Dairy Connect would be actively advocating price stability, including during talks with federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, next week.

“The commercial relationship between processors and retailers needs to strengthen to add value to milk across the board,” Mr Forbes said.

“Dairy Connect will lobby concerned politicians, including Mr Joyce, in a bid to help facilitate amicable negotiations between processors and retailers to stop the farmgate price for milk being destroyed.”

Chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan said NSW, which had only just recovered from the crippling Tier Two milk pricing by milk companies, was not immune from the impact of Murray Goulburn (MG) and Fonterra’s southern Australian farmgate price cuts now shattering confidence across the sector.

Tier Two pricing effectivelyforced farmers to sell their contracted milk to processes for less than it cost to produce once their herd’s output exceeded Tier One volume limits which adjusted year to year.

Now retrospectivecuts to farmer payments by major milk processors were“punitive and unethical”, Mr Morgan said.

The companies involved should scrap their plans to recover funds already paid to producers earlier in the year.

Processors were reaching back in time to “financially clobber” farmers by calling in money already spent on their milk production enterprises on the back of continuing drought conditions in many regions.

“Any financial assistance to industry is welcome but the Coles’ offer of a new retail milk brand with a 20 cents a litre surcharge to go to some producers or the 50 cents a litre surcharge suggested by some farmers on all milk sales would be unsustainable,” he said.

“The real issue is supermarket pricing of drinking milk is unsustainable and these measures reflectthat reality.

“A long-term solution to realistic milk pricing is needed and all players should work together to develop a strategy for the future.”

Mr Morgan said while MG’s milk price collapse and the decision by Fonterra to cut its prices hit Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and southern NSW, there were serious concerns across the national dairy community.

“We’re actively behind the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Securities and Investment Commission reviews of these price cuts and the circumstances in which they occurred,” Mr Morgan said.

“We also applaud the call by Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers’ dairy chief for seeking a wide ranging review and reformation of existing arrangements that allow retrospective payment cuts.”

Average MG co-operative farmer members were reportedly facing repayment bills of about $120,000 for each business – a huge impost on the families and rural economies involved.

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Airport dispute may go to court

Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie. The Northern Midlands Council may pursue legal action in the Supreme Court against the owners of the Launceston Airport over a rates dispute.
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Avaluation of the airport and its tenants was commissioned by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development after the council began its “fair rates” campaign in November.

The valuation resulted in the airport makingan additional $63,868 payment, however the council sought further legal advice after the decision was handed down, citing a disparity in the new figure compared to the official figure given by the Tasmanian Valuer-General.

Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie said without urgent action the council could face a further loss of $285,000 rate income for the coming year, which would result in reduced services and delays to community projects.

“Council does not accept the department’s valuation on the basis that it does not accurately reflect all areas of the airport land subject to a rate equivalent payment, pursuant to the lease between the Commonwealth and the Australia Pacific Airports Corporation,” he said.

Cr Downie said pursuing the matter through the courts would be an “expensive process” which would be used as a last resort.

He said council was frustrated by the “apparent unwillingness” of the Commonwealth –as owners of the land –to take action.

In a statementthe Launceston Airport said ex-gratia rates payments had been made to the Northern Midlands Council every year since privatisation in 1998.

“It is disappointing that council has failed to accept the independent outcome and also the opportunity to work with Launceston Airport and address the matter together,” the statement said.

“Instead, Council continues to pursue a public campaign, including the display of repetitive signage in an attempt to bring the airport’s reputation into disrepute.

“The airport’s greater concern is the impression this negative campaign leaves in the minds of visitors to Tasmania and Northern Tasmania in particular.”

Cr Downie indicated the signs would remain in place for the immediate future.

The council is seeking urgent meetings with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Federal local government minister Paul Fletcher, Labortransport spokesman Anthony Albanese, and Tasmanian politicians.

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Chance to make Melbourne Cup start a reality

The uniqueness of Saturday’s Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington is certainly not lost on owners and trainers attempting to squeeze into this year’s Melbourne Cup.
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The Andrew Ramsden, named after a Melbourne Cup-winning owner, is a 3200-metre race of $200,000 and the winner passes  the balloting clause for Australia’s most important handicap in the spring

To achieve an easy run into the Melbourne Cup without the nightmare of chasing certain races to gain a start is a bonus for the winner of Saturday’s race.

In 1984, when the race was named the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes, the Lloyd Williams-owned What A Nuisance was successful and 15 months later took out the 1985 Melbourne Cup. However, success stories such as What A Nuisance’s are  few and far between.

In 2011, Niewot was successful in the Andrew Ramsden, but could finish only eighth in the Melbourne Cup that year. It wasn’t a total loss for connections, however,  as he was the first Australian-bred horse past the post in the Cup.

Trainer Tony McEvoy is one trainer mindful of the difficult task of winning over 3200 metres when he saddles up Lucky Lucky Lucky in the listed race.

McEvoy, who purchased the horse from Sydney businessman Gerry Harvey two-and-a-half years ago,  believes the last few hundred metres of the race could be the stumbling block.

“He’s had one run at the trip [when] Kerrin McEvoy rode him in the Adelaide Cup and it seemed obvious the horse couldn’t cope with the distance,” he said.

“Kerrin said to me that he was beginning to struggle on the turn into the straight, but that run is a while ago and he’s racing in good heart so I thought why not another try?”

Lucky Lucky Lucky strode away to win effortlessly at Flemington early this month over 2800 metres.

“That was a tough win and all of his form before that pointed to him having improved and worthy of a crack at a race like this,” McEvoy  said.

The Darren Weir-trained  Master Zephyr and  Robert Smerdon’s  Ungrateful Ellen will contest Saturday’s Port Adelaide Cup in preference to the Andrew Ramsden.

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