AFP raid ALP offices in Melbourne

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told media in Sydney the raids were “an extraordinary development”. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull answers questions about the raids. Photo: Sky News
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Up to ten plain-clothes officers raided a Brunswick house believed to be the home of a Labor staffer. Photo: Sky News

AFP officers outside the house. Photo: Sky News

Former communications minister, Labor senator Stephen Conroy is believed to be one of the people being raided. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Shadow finance spokesman Tony Burke said the raids were in relation to allegations about documents which revealed that the NBN was slower and more expensive under the Coalition than under Labor.

Dreyfus hits out at ‘extraordinary and unprecedented’ raids

The Australian Federal Police have raided Labor Party offices in Melbourne over the alleged leak of documents from the National Broadband Network.

In an explosive development in the middle of a federal election campaign, officers searched the Treasury Place office of former communications minister Stephen Conroy.

Shortly after 11pm, up to ten plain-clothes officers raided a Brunswick house believed to be the home of a Labor staffer.

Two staffers for Labor’s communications spokesman Jason Clare, one of whom is a former staffer to Senator Conroy, are believed to be targeted by the raids. One of the staffers is a key operative in Labor Party campaign headquarters.

Labor confirmed the raids on Thursday, with shadow finance spokesman Tony Burke saying they were in relation to allegations about documents which revealed that the NBN roll-out was slower and more expensive under the Coalition than under Labor.

Mr Burke said the revelations about the NBN had caused “immense damage” to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as former communications minister and questioned the timing of the raids.

It’s also understood that up to 20 NBN Co employees have been interviewed by the AFP over the leak.

Mr Turnbull said he couldn’t comment on the raids.

“It’s entirely a matter for the AFP,” he said. “As you know they operate entirely independently of the government so this is a matter for the AFP. The Labor Party know that as well as you and I do.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was “an extraordinary development” and related to Mr Turnbull’s embarrassment over NBN revelations.

“It relates to his embarrassment over the fact that there was a massive blow out of costs of billions and billions of dollars, and of course huge delays in the roll out of the NBN,” Mr Shorten said.

In a statement, the NBN Co confirmed it is assisting the Australian Federal Police with an “ongoing investigation”.

“As this investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment any further,” the statement said.

A story published by Fairfax Media in February that outlined the National Broadband Network was facing mounting delays and rising costs, based on documents marked “commercial in confidence” and “for official use only”, is believed to have triggered the raid.

The Coalition had pledged that its roll-out of the NBN would be more affordable and delivered faster than Labor’s NBN plan.

A government source said the NBN Co was responsible for referring the leak to federal police and distanced the Coalition from the raid.

“The first we heard about it was when the raids started to take place. By convention, the AFP chief has to call the Justice Minister when a politically sensitive raid takes place”.

“It is the case that those raids are happening,” Mr Burke told ABC’s 7.30.

“The thing that I also know with this, is during the life of this Parliament, on 23 different occasions we’ve asked about leaks from all parts of this government, right through to the national security committee of cabinet. The night before the budget government staffers were handing out cabinet in confidence documents around the press gallery.

“I know how many of those inquiries have resulted in police raids. I don’t know how many times they’ve been referred to the AFP.”

The Labor MP added that he was making no criticism of the federal police.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the government had a great deal of explaining to do.

Mr Dreyfus said that AFP guidelines recommended that police brief the government when searching parliamentarians and investigating politically sensitive matters.

He said the government should declare when it found out about the raids and whether it thought it appropriate for the AFP to conduct them during the election campaign.

He said Labor would defend any staffers and politicians involved in the investigation: “The ALP looks after its staff just as we look after our fellow parliamentarians.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann who also appeared on 7.30 said he was not aware of the raids and that the AFP was an “entirely independent organisation. It makes its own judgements on these things.”

“The AFP can confirm it is conducting operational activity in Melbourne this evening,” an AFP spokesperson said. “As this activity is related to an ongoing investigation, it is not appropriate to comment any further at this stage.”

with Larissa Ham, Latika Bourke, Michael Koziol

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Who is Tom Hiddleston, the bookies’ favourite to play the next James Bond?

Hiddleston as Loki in Marvel’s Thor. Tom Hiddleston in BBC’s The Night Manager, the screen adaptation of John le Carre’s novel.
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Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in Spectre.

Daniel Craig is ‘done’ playing BondWhich actors are the favourites for 007?Daniel Craig told to stop bashing Bond

He’s played a pilot, a vampire, a prince, a Marvel villain, and now he’s the red-hot favourite to play iconic British spy, James Bond.

If you hadn’t already heard of British actor Tom Hiddleston, that likely changed this week when Daily Mail reported that Daniel Craig had rejected $AU137 million to play Bond in another two films.

Around the same time, reports emerged that Hiddleston, 35, had been spotted meeting with James Bond director Sam Mendes and producer Barbara Broccoli last week.

On Monday, UK betting house Coral suspended wagers on which actor would next play Bond when an influx of bets over the weekend tipped Hiddleston to replace Craig.

According to the UK Telegraph, a particularly large bet sent Hiddleston’s odds plummeting to 2-1.

“There is no smoke without fire, and following the big gamble on Tom Hiddleston in the last 24 hours, we’ve had no choice but to pull the plug on the market,” a Coral spokeswoman told the paper.

The Avengers actor had always been considered a long shot for the role, with big names Idris Elba and Homeland star Damian Lewis perceived frontrunners.

So who is Hiddleston?

The London-born actor has been slowly charting his path to Hollywood, starring in several BBC dramas before getting his big break in Marvel’s Thor in 2011.

Initially cast as Thor, it was later decided Hiddleston would be better as Thor’s antihero brother, Loki, alongside Aussie Chris Hemsworth.

Also in 2011, Hiddleston played novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and Captain Nicholls in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.

He returned to television for royal BBC series The Hollow Crown opposite Jeremy Irons and in 2013 starred as a vampire opposite Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive.

A number of film offers have flooded in since then, including for 2017 King Kong film, Kong: Skull Island, which will see Hiddleston star opposite Brie Larson.

But it’s the 2016 British miniseries The Night Manager, based on John La Carre’s spy novel of the same name, which has won the actor plaudits.

Starring opposite Hugh Laurie, Hiddleston plays a former British soldier and hotel manager who is drawn into the seedy inner circle of a British arms dealer.

So is Hiddleston playing Bond or isn’t he?

The actor has been incredibly coy about the role telling BBC last year it was “so unlikely and imaginary”. In an interview in March, he softened his stance and said he’d be ready for the role – if it were offered to him.

“I simply love the theme tune, the tropes and the mythology. I love the whole thing,” he told the Sunday Times. “If it ever came knocking, it would be an extraordinary opportunity.”

“I’m very aware of the physicality of the job. I would not take it lightly.”

It’s certainly a far cry from Craig’s comments during an interview with Time Out London in October when he said he’d rather “slash his wrists” than play Bond for a fourth time.

While reports Craig is leaving the franchise are yet to be confirmed, an announcement of his departure would come as little surprise.

Whoever replaces Craig, whether it be Hiddleston or Elba or the red-haired Lewis, you can bet they’ll appreciate the chance to play one of cinema’s most iconic characters.

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Peter Dutton was right on one thing – but not the real problem

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said refugees “would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that”. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Asylum seekers detained in Nauru protest this month against their treatment. Photo: Supplied
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Full federal election coverageMore political +opinionDutton shows the Coalition has yielded to panic

At least Immigration Minister Peter Dutton highlighted one point this week: it costs a lot of money to bring people to Australia. He restricted his remarks to refugees but there’s a cost in bringing family-reunion and economic migrants to Australia, too.

The difference, however, is that we have a moral duty to help the world’s refugees but no moral duty to take economic migrants, who just like the idea of living and working in Australia.

One of the best indicators of these costs and duties can be found in Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook. The bank is well placed to measure wealth: Switzerland has topped the world’s national wealth table for every year of the databook’s five-year history.

The databook shows that Australia is a very wealthy country and with wealth more evenly distributed than in almost any other nation. In 2013, Australia’s average personal wealth was second only to Switzerland’s. We can and should do more to help the planet’s refugees.

So that’s the duty side. Now for the cost.

Since 2013 – in the term of this Coalition government, as it happens – little New Zealand crept up the wealth table and overtook Australia, with an average personal wealth of $US400,800 compared with Australia’s $US365,000. New Zealand is now second to Switzerland and Australia third.

New Zealand’s population (about 4.5 million) is growing at a rate of about 1 per cent a year, whereas Australia’s is closer to 2 per cent. New Zealand had zero net immigration in 2012, though it’s usually about 12,000 people a year. Australia’s net immigration runs between about 170,000 to 300,000 a year – up to four times New Zealand’s rate.

Our birth rate is higher, too. Increased population means less wealth per person.

Australia’s higher population growth may improve the wealth of some people in the property game, but overall it costs everyone else. Even with very high visa fees and sponsored immigration lowering the immediate cost to the government, the longer-term cost of immigration remains high.

As it happened, Dutton mentioned literacy, numeracy and Medicare – in other words, health and education. His remarks were directed at refugees, but are true of all immigrants. Extra schools, hospitals, roads and the like need to be built for them. As Dutton said: “So there would be huge cost and there’s no sense in sugar-coating that, that’s the scenario.” He was referring to the extra refugees that the Greens want to take but it’s equally true of all migrants who come to Australia.

Higher population also puts a strain on the environment.

The cost of high population growth is borne out by the fact that, even though Australia’s income per person has been higher than New Zealand’s in recent times, Australia has still fallen behind New Zealand for total wealth per person.

Dutton also mentioned jobs. He said of refugees: “These people would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that.” But to the extent that that’s true, it’s also true of all migrants.

Then Dutton got a bit jumbled because he said of refugees: “For many people, they won’t be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English … For many of them that would be unemployed, they would languish in unemployment queues.”

It’s an odd image: people in dole queues taking Australian jobs.

It’s also odd to draw a distinction between “Australian jobs” and jobs taken up in Australia by refugees. Surely, they are all Australian jobs. And in any event, to the extent that a job taken up by someone who arrives in Australia is one fewer job for a person already here, it’s true whether the arrival is a refugee or another sort of migrant.

All of Dutton’s arguments about costs and jobs with respect to refugees apply also to migrants in general, although refugees are initially more costly to government education and health services because they often come from places where education and health are poorso there is some catchingup to do.

But that said, refugees generally want to make a new home and get ahead like everyone else. And Australia is the place to do it. Australia has the lowest percentage of its people owning less than $US10,000 of wealth than any other country. It would be far cheaper to integrate refugees into the community than imprison them indefinitely on third-world islands.

We should recognise our duty to help more with the international refugee crisis.

We should drastically reduce the number of economic migrants we accept.

We should make an arrangement with Indonesia and other neighbours so that they take back any refugees who arrive in Australia through people smuggling, with no chance of them ever settling in Australia. In return, we would take as many or more people from among the refugees in those countries. And if there are no boat arrivals, we should concentrate on taking refugees from our region anyway.

That would wreck the people-smugglers’ business plan because refugees in Indonesia would know that any attempt to reach Australia by boat would mean permanent disbarment from Australia. That idea would compare poorly against the better option of waiting their turn in Indonesia with some hope of being resettled.

We should empty the prison camps on Manus Island and Nauru by bringing the occupants to Australia and accepting New Zealand’s offer to take some of them. After all, New Zealand can afford it now that it’s pipped Australia and taken second place on the world wealth table.

Alas, all this is so unlikely. Too many people with money and power profit from high immigration even if the great majority loses from it. And no one lost a vote playing the fear game and kicking refugees while they are down.

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Collingwood v Geelong: Pies take a conservative approach with Ben Sinclair

Collingwood have adopted a conservative approach with defender Ben Sinclair after he received a minor knock at training on Thursday.
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Sinclair has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash against Geelong technically because of concussion, having not felt entirely well after the training mishap, although he did pass the subsequent concussion tests.

He has already missed two matches this season because of head knocks. The first concussion came against Melbourne in round four, and he was late withdrawal from the Anzac Day clash against Essendon.

Sinclair returned for the trip to Perth to face West Coast but took another hit to the head, although he was cleared to play out the game after a concussion test.

He sat out the following week’s loss to Carlton and returned last week for the trip to Brisbane.

The Pies said on Friday Sinclair had emerged unscathed from the big win over the Lions but had received a knock at training and was “shaken up”.

It’s been a frustrating start for the 2009 draftee, who was restricted to six matches last season because of hamstring injuries and a broken hand.

Sinclair has been replaced by tall defender Ben Reid, as the Pies seek to build on the momentum from their win at the Gabba.

Magpies director of football Neil Balme insisted on Friday there were no plans to trade Travis Cloke at the end of the season.

Cloke has played three matches in the VFL since he was axed from the senior side on the eve of the Anzac Day clash but his form continues to be a concern.

The power forward needs to find a way to regain his groove, for the Pies have turned to American import Mason Cox and the recalled Jesse White to play alongside Darcy Moore in recent weeks.

Cloke is contracted to the Pies until the end of next year but will take a heavy pay cut next season.

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Forbes farmers safe from cuts… for now

The recent controversy surrounding Murray Goulburn and its price revision on southern milk pool suppliers does not directly affect the NSW milk pool, which includes some dairy farmers in Forbes, but shock waves are rippling through the dairy industry.
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A spokeswoman for Murray Goulburn, Nicole Devlin, said that this month’s announced price reduction applied only to southern milk pool suppliers, which covers the Riverina, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The NSW milk pool is protected by a price contract between Murray Goulburn and Coles to supply all NSW milk for its NSW supermarkets.

Ms Devlin said Murray Goulburn was aiming to recoup losses over the next three years through the milk pool and through the Milk Supply Support package.

“The previous management forecast strong sales in adult milk supply in China, but it became clear once the early April sales figures were released that that forecast was not achievable, and this led to the price revision,” she said.

“We have tried to spread the burden over three years,” she said, although she added that producers have taken “a bit of a hit this season”.

A new pricing structure will be announced on July 1, but Ms Devlin was not able to comment on what these priceswill reflect as it was still in the negotiation stage.

Murray Goulburn is still in the public spotlight as it now faces media, and social media scrutiny, on debts from the application of the retrospective price revision, the

resignation of company leaders and calls for more to go, and the call for involvement of ASIC.

In a letter to its suppliers (and published on its website) earlier this month, the Murray Goulburn (MG) board and management acknowledged the impact of the announcements on its suppliers, particularly as many were already dealing with poor seasonal conditions.

The MG letter told suppliers that it was also dealing with record low global dairy ingredient prices, and low market prices, but there was no question about its financial stability.

MGs revision concluded that the contracted price of $5.60 per kilogram milk solids for the final quarter of this financial year was no longer achievable, and announced a farmgate milk price of between $4.75 to $5.00 per kgms for the balance of this financial year, for a financial year farmgate milk price of $5.47kgms, to recover approximately $30 million.

The support package will ensure suppliers receive payments this financial year equivalent to $5.47kgms, with the package and its cash funding cost to be recovered by suppliers’ milk payments for up to three years, according to the Murray Goulburn website.

Cautious welcome of Coles dairy move

NSW Farmers Association has cautiously welcomed this week’s announcement by Coles to create an independent fund to support Murray Goulburn dairy suppliers who have suffered through the company’s step down.

NSW Farmers has been engaging with Coles’ Executive team on this issue and looks forward to future consultation.

“We welcome any leadership at the retail level that supports our southern dairy farmers during this difficult time,” chair of NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Rob McIntosh said.

“While this fund may go some way towards addressing the current crisis of price cuts and claw backs threatening the livelihoods of farmers; it is important to note that this is only one part of a wider conversation regarding the sustainability of the industry. Farmers need long term investment in proprietary brands as uptake of these products will enable processors to reinvest margins into research and development for new and existing products which will drive stronger farm gate returns,” he said.

“Not all consumers want to pay more for proprietary brands, but those who do have the thanks of farmers.

“As has been pointed out in this debate, milk is currently cheaper than bottled water and no one would give that a pass mark.

“Any price improvement in fresh milk is welcome and I hope that other retailers consider their position.

“More broadly, I would hope this current focus on milk prices provides a fresh opportunity for the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit to take a new look at a long standing problem.

“Dairy farmers in Australia work hard to produce local and fresh milk. It is important that the price they receive reflects the time and effort they put into that production.”

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Labor hits out at ‘unprecedented’ AFP raids

Mark Dreyfus: The raids are “extraordinary and unprecedented events”. Photo: ABC Lateline Up to ten plain-clothes officers raided a Brunswick house believed to be the home of a Labor staffer. Photo: Sky News
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The federal shadow attorney-general has labelled the raids of Labor Party offices by the Australian Federal Police “unprecedented and extraordinary” in the middle of an election campaign and said the government has serious questions to answer about the matter.

In an interview with ABC’s Lateline on Thursday evening, as news of the raids was still coming to light, Mark Dreyfus said he was shocked to learn of the events in the second week of a federal election campaign.

“These are extraordinary and unprecedented events and the government has a great deal of explaining to do,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“I cannot think of any precedent for this occurring before … It’s a concern of course because we have a proud record in Australia of non-politicised security agencies.”

On Thursday, AFP officers searched the office of former communications minister Stephen Conroy, while later, two staffers of current communications spokesman Jason Clare were also set to be targeted, Fairfax Media reported. Labor says the raids are in relation to leaks about time delays and cost blowouts of the National Broadband Network (NBN) under the Coalition.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly distanced himself and the Coalition from Thursday’s events, saying the AFP were operating entirely independently from the government.

“It’s entirely a matter for the AFP,” he said earlier. “As you know they operate entirely independently of the government so this is a matter for the AFP. The Labor Party know that as well as you and I do.”

Lateline host Tony Jones said he had received information that the government was only informed of the raids as they were happening, and the AFP said they were acting at the behest of the NBN, not the government. The host asked Mr Dreyfus whether he was suggesting that the AFP was acting in a political way or at the behest of the government.

“I am not saying that, Tony,” My Dreyfus said. “I am saying that all Australians are right to be concerned about the appearance of a raid being conducted on a Labor senator’s office and on the – potentially on the homes of Labor staffers in the second week of a campaign and because of the subject matter of these raids.”

“There’s guidelines that govern the way in which the Australian Federal Police is to carry out searches relating to parliamentarians and also guidelines relating to how the Australian Federal Police is to conduct itself in relation to political – politically sensitive matters.”

“They require that the government be briefed. We are in caretaker mode now. That should require that there be proper full-briefing of the opposition.”

Mr Dreyfus also appeared to question whether there was a double standard at play in the raids, saying there had been “more than 20 serious national security-related leaks under this Abbott-Turnbull Government and not one of them has resulted in an AFP investigation, still less raids conducted in this manner.”

The shadow attorney-general said Labor would be defending any staffers as they would parliamentarians in any criminal matters arising from the raids.

NBN Co confirmed to Fairfax Media on Thursday it was assisting the AFP with an “ongoing investigation”.

with James Massola

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Game watch

I WONDER if liking a game makes its flaws that much more apparent.
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Stellaris gives you control of an empire as it explores the galaxy.

I am having a hard time deciding if the fact that I’m really enjoying Stellaris makes its faults stick out or if it really is just a game that is excellent in concept and design but lacking in content and gameplay.

Stallaris is a hybrid of 4X and grand strategy games from the creators of the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis series.

You take the role of an interstellar species that has just discovered faster-than-light travel, as they expand across the stars, meeting new allies and threats.

It’s aimed at being more friendly to newcomers to the grand strategy genre while also providing enough depth for Paradox Interactive’s fans, and for the most part it succeeds.

However, AI and user interface issues, as well as a particularly dull mid-game, hold it back from being some sort of genre-breaking masterpiece.

However, I’m not that worried.

Paradox has already addressed many fans’ concerns, saying that a lot more content will be coming in free updates, which will coincide with DLC releases.

While some companies exploit people’s desire for more content in their game with superfluous DLC, Paradox is known for providing exceptional support for its games.

Crusader Kings II has 11 rich DLC packs, all reasonably priced and a myriad of smaller content packs.

If Paradox’s support for Stellaris is anything like it was for Crusader Kings II, then in a matter of months I’m sure we’ll see a very good game become a great game.

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Kieran Foran slots seamlessly back in at Parramatta Eels: Michael Jennings

All smiles: Kieran Foran is back at training. Photo: Benjamin Tranter “To see him today at training, he looks upbeat and positive.” Photo: Benjamin Tranter
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Kieran Foran is back at Eels training and according to teammate Michael Jennings, it’s as though he never left.

Foran has been given the green light to return to the NRL after a stint in a Queensland rehabilitation centre, allowed to train on Friday and play on Monday before he returns to continue receiving the treatment and support.

While he hasn’t trained with the team for three weeks, Jennings insists the Eels skipper hasn’t missed a beat and looks in a positive mind frame despite battling through some personal issues. “It was good to see him. He just slotted in at ease and trained just like he was there the other day,” Jennings said of Foran. “It’s good to have him back. All the boys are upbeat about it and everyone is pretty positive at the moment. We haven’t really sat down as a team and talked about it; individually he has spoken to everyone and seems fine so far.

“I spoke to him this morning, we had a coffee with a few of the boys and his head is in the right place. To see him today at training, he looks upbeat and positive. The only thing we can do is be there for him. Him being around the boys and this positive environment is good for him.”

The Eels take on the Melbourne Storm at home on Monday night, just a few hours after Blues coach Laurie Daley announces his team for game one.

While Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was critical of the Australian team announcement, which he believes affected the performance of his players earlier this month, Jennings says a likely Origin selection won’t be weighing on his mind during the game

“Yeah it will be a bit weird. If you make the team you find out on Monday or before the game,” Jennings said. “You don’t really think about injuries, you just go out and play the game. If it happens, it happens. You really can’t control that. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. You don’t go into games thinking about injuries or trying to save yourself. I think some players, being their debut, to actually make the Kangaroos squad you wouldn’t want to get yourself injured because it’s a real honour to play for your country. You would be a bit reserved, I’d say, but personally I wouldn’t do that.”

The biggest talking point out of Parramatta this week has been about the defection of Jarryd Hayne from the NFL to Fijian rugby sevens.

Eels winger Semi Radradra represented Fiji in sevens at a young age and has backed his former teammate’s decision to try his hand at a new sport, confident he can handle the transition. “I was pretty happy about his decision. I know Haynesy is a very talented player and hopefully he gets picked for the team,” Radradra said. “To have him in the team, the boys will be happy. Hopefully he brings something new. It’s going to be tough for him, but I know Haynesy he loves the game and hopefully he gets picked. Fiji sevens is very hard, everyone wants to play.

“But if there’s a spot for him, they’ll like him. He’ll bring something new for the boys. Haynesy suits any game. He’s played rugby league, went to NFL and wants to play sevens. It doesn’t matter. He’s a good talented kid.”

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Huge boost for harness club

Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, meets with Ararat Rural City councillor Gary Hull to discuss an upgrade to the Ararat Harness Racing Club. Picture: MICHELLE DE’LISLE
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ARARAT Harness Racing Club has received a record grantfollowing anannouncement made byMinister for Racing, Martin Pakula,

Mr Pakula visited the club on Friday where he announced theVictorian RacingIndustryFund (VRIF) will contribute $24,000 towards new asphalt in the racing stalls.

The difference to the project, estimated to be worth a over$48,000 in total, will be split byArarat Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria.

Mr Pakula saidasphalting the stalls will mean a better race-day experience, particularly for the participants.

“It will mean less dust, but also means the club has to use less water,” he said.

“It’s a great fund (VRIF). It means we can return money into the racing industry, for infrastructure, for race-day attraction and for projects such as this.

“It’s great to be out here. It’s good to have a tour and see the money’s going to be put to good use.”

Ararat Harness Racing Club secretary, Michele Berry, said asphalting the stalls will make it easier for the club to clean as well as reducing the amount of dust.

“It will also improve the facilities that we have here,” Ms Berry said.

“It’s very good for the clubindeed.”

The club was notified early in 2016it had been successful in its grant application. Works on the stalls are expected to start in early June, and will take three weeks to be completed.

“For our racing calendar next year, everything will be a lot cleaner and easier,” Ms Berry said.

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