Have your say on NBN wireless roll-out

SAY ON WIRELESS: Maitland people will be invited to have their say on which suburbs should have access to the NBN wireless network.Maitland residents will have a say about where the federal ­government’s high-speed fixed wireless internet should be rolled out next.

NBN Co has announced it will ask the public where it should install wireless NBN infrastructure in the Maitland, Cessnock, Port Stephens, Singleton and Dungog local government areas.

Public consultation will involve telephone surveys, letter box drops and plans for the infrastructure will go on exhibition through Maitland City Council.

While it is unknown which locations will benefit from the high-speed internet service, it is understood that NBN Co aims to have viable connections within 18 months.

NBN Co spokesman Tony Gibbs said the rollout was gathering momentum and would provide new social and economic opportunities to regional areas including the Hunter.

“Fast broadband helps give residents access to e-health services, distance education and entertainment on demand and we have seen examples of businesses demonstrating an increase in productivity, reduction of costs and access of new markets,” he said.

Council areas in the Snowy Mountains and southern inland regions have also been earmarked for public consultation.

The fixed wireless service is expected to be capable of download speeds up to 25 megabits a second.

An NBN Co statement said that its download speeds would not be affected by the number of people using a connection in a given area and would provide a consistent connection to nearby premises.

The wireless service would be another NBN presence in Maitland, with work to provide fibre-based internet in parts of East Maitland, Tenambit, Raworth and Morpeth.

Many residents across the Maitland region have been concerned about slow download speeds and a lack of ADSL and satellite internet service across the city.

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


Getting funky with jazz

JESS Browne and Anna Walsh have made music together for years and the pair is excited to put on a show for their local community.

Showtime: Jess Browne on flute and Anna Walsh with trumpet, both year 11, are looking forward to Red Hot Jazz evening. Picture: Louise Donges

The Red Cliffs Secondary College students are talented musicians and both will perform at the school’s Red Hot Jazz night on Friday.

The event, which is part of the Jazz, Food and Wine Festival, is now in its third year and has grown significantly since it began.

“Last year was quite an improvement because word got out and the number of people who turned out tripled,” Jess said.

Both girls expected more people to attend this year’s performance and they were doing their best to drive support.

“I am the current record holder in terms of tickets sold with 17,” Anna said.

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


Coalition MP Sarah Henderson breaks chamber rules with ‘extra strong, extra hot’ takeaway coffee

In hand: MP Sarah Henderson speaks to colleagues…with a cup of coffee in hand. Photo: Andrew Meares The culprit: The offending coffee cup, hidden behind Christopher Pyne’s feet. Photo: Andrew Meares

Admonished: Henderson departs with her takeaway flat white. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from Parliament

A Coalition MP was left sipping from the cup of remorse after she was caught handling a takeaway coffee in the House of Representatives.

As the Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson rushed into the chamber for a division on Wednesday, she forgot to leave her flat white behind.

As she held the cup, the former journalist and lawyer was unaware that she had contravened a rule clearly set out on page 159 of the sixth edition of the House of Representatives Practice.

“Refreshments (apart from water) may not be brought into, or consumed in, the Chamber,” it states.

Ms Henderson has the freedom to wear a tailored safari suit without a tie, to keep her hands in her pockets while she speaks and to discreetly read a newspaper – but a takeaway cup of coffee is a brew too far.

Labor MP Tony Burke quite frankly wasn’t going to let this erroneous breach slide.

He questioned Speaker Bronwyn Bishop about the rules regarding takeaway beverages and she in turn confirmed they were not allowed.

Lucky for Ms Henderson, her colleague Education Minister Christopher Pyne was available to conceal the cup behind his feet.

Ms Henderson said when the division was finished she was able to dash out and finish her “extra strong, extra hot” skim-milk coffee before returning for the next vote.

“There was a genuine oversight in entering the house with my coffee,” Ms Henderson said.

“I was very anxious to get in and vote on our red tape repeal today … I inadvertently carried my coffee in.”

Ms Henderson said she was at least glad her transgression had promoted the “very important small business” Aussies Cafe, which is inside Parliament House.

But perhaps the most infamous breach of the no food and drink rule, was when then Tasmanian MP Harry Quick brought apples into parliament in celebration of National Apple and Pear Day.

He placed a pink lady on the desk of each of his colleagues before Question Time, only to have them returned to his office by the Speaker. He then returned, with a single apple for himself.

“In defiance of what I specifically instructed, he chose to bring an apple into the chamber, and I have asked him, in a lenient act on the part of the Chair, to apologise. His failure to do so will leave me with no choice,” the perturbed speaker announced.

Mr Quick was suspended for 24 hours.

His non-compliance led to the introduction of a specific rule that: “a Member may not distribute apples to other Members in the Chamber”.

Other rules regarding the dress and conduct of members in the chamber include: “climbing over the seats is not fitting behaviour” and one who chooses to toss a piece of paper, must also retrieve it.

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


Bill Shorten backs Nova Peris despite rort allegations

Email leak: Nova Peris has had private emails leaked by NT News. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has backed Nova Peris despite the allegations. Photo: Alex Elinghausen

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says senator and former Olympic athlete Nova Peris has his full support, despite allegations she used taxpayers’ money to bring Olympic sprinter Ato Boldon to Australia for an extra-marital affair.

The allegations, published in the Northern Territory News, detail Boldon’s visit to Australia in 2010 leading up to the London Olympics.

Boldon has labelled the allegations ‘‘gross fabrications’’ and has threatened legal action over the article.

The newspaper claims to have obtained explicit email exchanges between Senator Peris, who at the time was an Athletics Australia ambassador and communication officer with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and Boldon, a four-time Olympic medal winner from Trinidad and Tobago.

Senator Peris personally selected Boldon for the 10-day ‘‘Jump Start to London’’ program, and  sought funding from Athletics Australia and other sources to bring him to Australia.

But the newspaper claims Senator Peris, who at the time was married to Australian sprinter Daniel Batman, exchanged emails with Boldon in which they discussed their impending affair.

‘‘Ato … tell me babe … what u want … Make a bit of money and spend time together … I will take time of [sic] from work to be with u,’’ Senator Peris wrote in the email exchange, according to the paper’s report.

In other emails, Senator Peris reportedly said she was getting the money for his trip through the ‘‘indigenous grants mob” and  he would not have to pay tax on his payment.

The exact amount of money Boldon received is unclear but in an email from mid-March in 2010, Senator Peris reportedly wrote  she had managed to round up $22,000 for him, on top of the money Athletics Australia paid, the newspaper says.

In a statement, Senator Peris said she ‘‘categorically rejects any wrongdoing’’.

‘‘During his trip Mr Boldon promoted athletics, attended and promoted specific events and conducted clinics for young indigenous athletes,’’ she said.

‘‘The highs and lows of my athletic career – and now political career – are public,’’ she said.

‘‘The highs and lows of my private life are matters for me and my family.’’

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described Senator Peris as a ‘‘great Australian’’ who had his full support.

‘‘Again, I think that Nova Peris is a very special person, an amazing Australian and she has my support,’’ he said.


Greens storm into semis with shock win

Bentleigh Greens pulled off a dramatic comeback to see off the challenge of Adelaide City in extra time and book themselves a semi final berth in the inaugural FFA Cup in an incident packed quarter final at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Wednesday night.

Adelaide looked to be heading towards the last four after Alex Rideout’s goal early in the second half, but Greens skipper Wayne Wallace lifted his team off the canvas and salvaged extra time when he levelled with an 88th minute header.

And Bentleigh winger Jamie De Abreu ensured it was a night of joy for the Greens and  misery for the South Australians when he struck the winner in the 103rd minute after cutting inside, creating space and firing past City goalkeeper Ryan Veitch.

It was a lively contest in front of a big – for the hosts – crowd of almost 2000 as both Bentleigh and Adelaide fashioned chances which on other nights might have hit the target.

The fans got full value for turning up on a midweek night, and they can now dream of even bigger things with a home semi final tie against A-League opposition. Adelaide United and Central Coast have already qualified for the last four, while Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory were due to kick off in WA after this game finished.

Adelaide’s pacy teenager Thomas Love accelerated towards goal in the opening minutes and looked threatening early, while City’s burly striker Anthony Costa made space well for himself by beating two defenders before firing over as the visitors made a positive start

Former Melbourne Victory man Luke Pilkington then went close for the hosts with a header from a Christian Cavallo corner as Bentleigh began to threaten.

Costa then tried his luck from an acute angle while at the other end Liam McCormiick shot when he might have been better employed cutting the ball back to one of his team-mates.

It was an entertaining, end to end affair with neither side able to stamp their authority over the other in the opening period.

Rideout got free down the right for City but no-one could get on to his cross, while Nick Budin shot wide for the visitors.

Bentleigh responded with a fine move involving Wallace and Luke O’Dea (who as a youth player was on the books of both Melbourne Victory and City) who set up De Abreu for a shot which was blocked on the line by City’s Paul Blefari.

City broke the deadlock shortly after the restart with a well worked move after skipper Matthew Halliday fed the ball forward to Costa. The striker then played in Shannon Day, wide on the left. His cross was met by Rideout, whose run left him unmarked and able to finish from close range.

Greens almost got the chance to level straight after the restart when De Abreu broke down the right but no-one could get on to his cross in front of the Adelaide goal.

The visitors looked the stronger of the teams, both of whom have had a difficult preparation because their respective National Premier Leagues finished weeks ago. City almost doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute when Joel Allwright unleashed a well struck drive which Greens goalkeeper Alastair Bray did well to get down low to and keep out.

McCormick blazed over more in hope than confidence as the clock ticked past the hour mark, De Abreu’s shot was then blocked and youngster Luke Gallo came agonisingly close to levelling with a long range effort that hit the bar. De Abreu then squandered a gilt edged chance to equalise when his shot tricked agonisingly past the far post. It looked costly _ until Wallace’s last gasp intervention.

With both sides lacking match practice tiredness became a major issue in extra time. Cavallo almost put the hosts in front with a wonderful free kick which beat the wall but crashed off the crossbar.

Halliday had the ball in the net for Adelaide but the effort was ruled out for offside. Both teams went at each other hammer and tongs and it seemed either a mistake or a moment of inspiration would decide the contest. De Abreu’s drive was enough to make the crucial difference, and Bentleigh can continue to dream of Cup glory.


GREG RAY: Just crumbs for Hunter

I GOT a bit excited there, for a moment.

I thought the state government had listened to my endless whining.

A story in The Sydney Morning Herald said the government wanted to shift some cultural spending out of the middle of Sydney.

The Powerhouse Museum, the report said, is apparently being encouraged to move to a regional location.

Parramatta. Sigh.

That just about sums it up, really. From the government’s point of view, going regional means a cab ride to Parramatta.

Hunter people will recall that Western Sydney is now officially a region, a development that suddenly occurred a couple of years ago when the government had an out-of-character brain snap and set aside some funds specifically for “regions”.

Somebody in the bureaucracy must have noticed that this concept came with a serious risk of dollars leaking out of Sydney, so the solution was to spot-rezone Sydney’s western suburbs as a region in their own right.

That instantly rescued millions of dollars that might otherwise have accidentally flowed to places other than Sydney.

In its desire to recognise that the heritage and culture of NSW doesn’t finish at central Sydney, the government is to be encouraged.

But, if its vision ends at Parramatta, then it only reinforces what I keep saying about the problem our present electoral system creates for everywhere in the state that isn’t Sydney.

What should happen, in my opinion, is that Newcastle Regional Museum ought to be pulled under the Powerhouse Museum umbrella and automatically get state funding every year. It should not have to depend on poor old Newcastle City Council and its hapless ratepayers.

Same with the Art Gallery, which has a fabulous collection languishing in inadequate accommodation. Our gallery ought to be funded directly by the state.

Same with our main library. Newcastle’s place in the evolution of Australian literature is very significant. You’ve heard of Lancelot Threlkeld’s incredible Australian Language – the codification of the Awabakal tongue, co-written with Aboriginal mentor Biraban. That’s a milestone work of Australian publishing, done here, in Newcastle.

How about the Skottowe Manuscript, the Macquarie Chest?

How about The Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux? The Adventures of Ralph Rashleigh?

If you haven’t heard of them, look them up. In any country with a fair dinkum electoral system, Newcastle’s cultural facilities would be generously funded by the state.

I wrote yesterday about the Bogey Hole, and how the government spent $350,000 bolting an unsightly steel monstrosity onto this amazing cliff-foot bathing place that the notorious commandant Morisset had convicts carve from the living rock for his personal use.

Our local National Trust people told me yesterday how they begged the government’s Heritage Branch people come to Newcastle to have a look at the Bogey Hole before they committed money to this mistake, but they couldn’t be bothered.

And now their scrap-metal is storm-damaged and they can’t be bothered fixing it.

Spare a thought for the hundreds of hard-working volunteers who turn up every week to put their valuable labour into the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae.

They never know from one year to the next whether they will get a single cent from the government, which throws money at Sydney Botanic Gardens without a quibble.

Newcastle’s first botanic gardens site was by the harbour. You can see it on old maps.

But BHP wanted the land, so that was that, with no replacement provided.

If you haven’t visited the gardens, you ought to. It’s a tribute to the sweat and vision of hundreds of Hunter people.

I admit the government has tipped in some dollars. Apparently they funnelled $50,000 via the Sydney Botanic Gardens in 1996 and that’s been somewhat grudgingly maintained until now (not indexed, you’ll notice).

The gardens people tell me they’re hoping for a breakthrough soon to guarantee some annual money, but I’m not holding my breath.

Unless we get electoral reform or a charter of budget equity in NSW, then I’m afraid Woolloomooloo will be gazetted a region before we get more than crumbs.


Charlestown import Callum Jackson thrown in Villawood, sent home over visa

Callum Jackson CHARLESTOWN cricket club’s English recruit Callum Jackson was refused entry to Australia and spent a night in Villawood Detention Centre before being sent home after a visa wrangle this week.

The 20-year-old Sussex wicketkeeper, pictured left, flew into Sydney Airport on Monday afternoon to begin his second summer with Charlestown in Newcastle district cricket.

But he was detained at the airport due to an incorrect visa.

Jackson was then transferred to Villawood Detention Centre, before he was released on Tuesday night to board a flight back to London.

It is understood Jackson had a tourist visa and was told he needed to return home to apply for a working visa.

Jackson was due to live with Newcastle cricket great Greg Arms, whose son Daniel plays for Charlestown.

‘‘As far as we know we’re expecting himto be back as soon as the visa is approved,’’ Arms said.

‘‘It’s just one of those things that there was an irregularity.’’

The Herald attempted to contact Jackson on Wednesday through social media, but he spent the majority of the day flying to London and had not replied at the time of publication.

The former England under-19 gloveman, who made his first-class debut for Sussex in a tour game against Australia on last year’s Ashes tour, was a revelation in his debut season for Charlestown.

He scored 484 runs at an average of 60.5 to finish dual winner of the Herald cricketer of the year award with Merewether’s former NSW Blues quick Mark Cameron.

Jackson’s return to Australia was delayed due to finger surgery in England four weeks ago.

Before the visa problems, Charlestown had hoped Jackson would play in their round-five game against Stockton-Raymond Terrace on November 8.

Charlestown president Chris Oliver was busy throughout Tuesday night attempting to sort through the visa impasse with Sussex and an immigration lawyer in London.

What happens next will hinge on the Englishman’s desire to return to Australia.

‘‘I’d say we’re 48 hours away on deciding if it’s tenable that he re-applies and comes back,’’ Oliver said.

‘‘At this stage we’re pessimistic about the outcome.’’


Auva’a could be on the move from Redfern

South Sydney centre Kirisome Auva’a is effectively a free agent after triggering a clause in his contract that allows him to test his market value.

Auva’a is one of the season’s most unlikely success stories, picking up a minimum-wage contract with the Rabbitohs after being deemed surplus to requirements at Cronulla. At one point Auva’a – who can bench press 150 kilograms – considered a career as a professional bodybuilder until the Rabbitohs offered him a lifeline.

Instead, he won a premiership in his rookie NRL year, scoring the match-clinching try in his side’s breakthrough grand final win against Canterbury. In the process he played his 21st NRL game, activating a clause in his Bunnies deal allowing him to exercise  his options if he made more than 20 first-grade appearances. The 22-year-old retains the right to see out his two-year deal at Redfern, which will guarantee him a pay increase but is still understood to be below his market worth.

“He’s really enjoyed his time at Souths and we do have another year there,” said Auva’a’s manager, Andrew Purcell. “The clause was put in to ensure he is paid his market value. We’ve fielded a little bit of interest. Souths have been great about the whole thing. They’re in a difficult situation and are doing their best to help the young fella out by upgrading him and keeping him.”

Auva’a was born in Samoa and had the opportunity to represent his country of birth, but instead pledged his allegiance to New Zealand. His omission from the Kiwis’ Four Nations squad was considered a surprise and prompted the nation’s former skipper, Hugh McGahan, to describe him as unlucky. Auva’a feared he would not ever get a look in when he signed for the Rabbitohs and was overlooked for the opening five rounds. However, he ended up scoring nine tries and averaging 105 run metres per game in an unforgettable start to his NRL career.

“When I didn’t get named in that round-one team I had a lot of head noise going on,” Auva’a said after his grand final heroics. “[Coach Michael Maguire said] ‘I believe in you, keep chipping at it and when you get a chance, don’t look back’. When I got my chance in round six, well it’s all history now.

“I’m speechless, I can’t put into words how I’m feeling. To win a ring in the first year along with the other rookies in our team is something special. It takes a lot of work, a lot of sacrifices and a lot of pain. And it’s all worth it when you get there.

“A lot of belief has been put into me by Madge and the coaching staff and you can’t let them down when they put that much faith in you. I tried to perform every week to keep my spot.”

Veteran three-quarter Lote Tuqiri is yet to decide whether to play on, while Souths will begin their premiership defence without Ben Te’o, Beau Champion, Apisai Koroisau and Nathan Merritt. The Rabbitohs will also be without chief financial controller Joe Kelly, who replaced David Perry as the boss at Manly.


Football won’t collaborate with AFL: Gallop

Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop has issued a blunt warning to new AFL chief executive, Gillon McLachlan: hands off the Western Sydney Wanderers.

The runaway success of the Wanderers – formed virtually overnight in 2012 and on a fraction of the GWS Giants’ mammoth budget – has been the source of amazement among those at AFL House, not least from the game’s highest office.

But instead of fighting the rival sport – currently in the midst of unprecedented growth – the AFL has instead held out the olive branch in the hope of joint growth in western Sydney.

However, Gallop told Fairfax Media that the suggestion the two codes could work together seemed implausible in the current environment.

“What would that [working with the AFL] entail? At the end of the day, we are in a competitive environment,” Gallop said. “We want people to choose our game to play and watch.

“Our popularity is booming and we are going to concentrate on our sport – and the business of our sport.”

Speaking at a western Sydney business lunch hosted by the Giants last Friday, which was attended by Wanderers’ chief executive John Tsatsimas, McLachlan said he liked the idea of the two clubs working together, hailing the Wanderers’ success as good for the Giants.

“I think it’s great for us. I think the success of the Wanderers is actually incredibly exciting for the Giants – a community binding behind one team,” he said. “I think if we can collaborate and partner with the Wanderers ongoing, I think that’d be fantastic. This is a very big market.

“I think seeing teams being successful out here is great for us and what we think we can achieve with the Giants.”

Apart from the Wanderers’ week-to-week success, the AFL remains envious of the popularity of the A-League Sydney derby, which has ascended into the pantheon of the nation’s must-attend sporting events.

Remarkably, of the seven times the Wanderers have played Sydney FC, six times the match has sold out.

Matches between the Giants and the Sydney Swans have never sold out; nor have they ever come close. While the Giants finally defeated their older brothers in round one this season, the relative disparity between the two teams has dented the credibility of the rivalry.

However, speaking at a school visit in Auburn Public School in Sydney’s west on Monday, McLachlan said the east-west rivalry would soon be replicated in the AFL.

“Some ask if we’re concerned about the success of the Western Sydney Wanderers. Quite the contrary – we are delighted by what they have achieved as it only further enhances Western Sydney’s status as one of the great sporting regions in Australia,” he said.

“I’ve also got no doubt that it won’t be long before the Giants’ rivalry with the Swans is akin to that between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers: clubs from the east and west fighting for bragging rights in front of packed stadiums across the city.”

Privately, the FFA is still fuming at the way the AFL has responded to its requests to find a suitable venue for the A-League grand final, should Melbourne Victory or Melbourne City – two of the favourites for this year’s title – win the rights to host the event.

The FFA is looking to secure either Etihad Stadium, which has already hosted three A-League grand finals, or the MCG. The date it is looking at is Sunday, May 17, which is later than usual because of the break for the Asian Cup in January.

However, the AFL claims Victory and the Docklands stadium management approached it in July about keeping May 10 free and says it was only alerted to the request for a change in dates a fortnight ago.

Should a suitable venue not be found in Victoria, and the opponent be from NSW, the Victory is even contemplating shifting the match to ANZ Stadium to capitalise on a blockbuster pay day.


Jets coach Phil Stubbins defends Mark Birighitti after Wellington setback

SUPPORT: Mark Birighitti.

JETS coach Phil Stubbins appears certain to back goalkeeper Mark Birighitti despite the likely availability of Ben Kennedy for Saturday’s clash with Perth at nib Stadium.

Birighitti has attracted criticism from fans after his unconvincing display in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Wellington.

The return of Kennedy, who has been cleared to resume flying after overcoming an ear infection that has ruled him out of Newcastle’s past two games, presents Stubbins with a selection dilemma.

Stubbins said Birighitti and Kennedy were ‘‘both great goalkeepers’’ and any A-League coach would be delighted to have two glovemen of their ability at his disposal.

While Newcastle’s squad will not be named until Thursday, Stubbins voiced his support for Birighitti and hinted that he would be retained.

‘‘I’m not going to discuss any player selections prior to the game, but the good thing is that we’ve got two very good goalkeepers and obviously it’s a bonus that Ben is back,’’ Stubbins said.

‘‘But Mark is an Australian international goalkeeper. He’s been someone that always gives his best for his club and his country.

‘‘He’s perhaps had a couple of moments [against Wellington] that he could have done slightly better with, but we all know how much potential Mark has. He’s 23 years of age and it’s a learning curve.

‘‘He shouldn’t be beating himself up over a mistake or something he could have done better.

‘‘That’s all part of the learning experience for a young goalkeeper.’’

Stubbins said it would be unfair to pin the blame for last week’s setback in New Zealand on individuals, declaring Newcastle were collectively below their best.

‘‘I’m not going to single any player out,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re a team.’’

While Birighitti seems likely to get a chance to redeem himself, Stubbins said he also had confidence in Kennedy, who has appeared in 91 A-League games but only six since Birighitti’s arrival three seasons ago.

‘‘I’ve got enormous faith in Ben and I want these goalkeepers to be fighting for the position,’’ he said.

‘‘Although they’ve got intense rivalry, and that’s a good thing, they’re still a team within a team.

‘‘We’ve got two goalkeepers there who most clubs would take in an instant.’’

Lowy flags expansion, Page 44


Norfolk Island leaders argue against rule by Canberra bureaucrats

More public service news

Federal bureaucrats in Canberra should not be left to run Norfolk Island, says the Speaker in Norfolk Island’s Legislative Assembly, David Buffett Mr Buffett said the federal government’s intention to abolish the island’s nine-person assembly was unprecedented in Australian history.

He said the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development had “at this stage not demonstrated the capacity” to run the island.

“The bureaucracy is grabbing the limelight,” he said.

Mr Buffett travelled to Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday with the island’s Chief Minister, Lisle Snell to lodge a petition of more than 740 signatures advocating the island’s residents have a say in how their 35 square kilometre home is governed.

The petition, signed by the island’s residents and descendants of the original settlers, called for a referendum or plebiscite before the island’s assembly was abolished.

Federal Territories Minister Jamie Briggs was coy last week about his plans for Norfolk, simply saying that “a range of options” were on the table.

Repealing the Norfolk Island Act 1979 and with it self-governance has been put on the agenda because of the island’s dire financial state, particularly following the global financial crisis.

Since 2010 Norfolk Island has not been raising enough taxes to pay for services for its 1670 residents and the island’s finances stay afloat on federal government subsidies of up to $8 million a year.

A quarter of the island’s population has left since the economic downturn and proposed changes would replace the existing 12 per cent GST on the island with Australia’s tax system.

Mr Buffett noted the Queensland Legislative Council voted itself out of existence 90 years ago to form that state’s unicameral Parliament but that it was not forced on the state.


Trainer Robert Smerdon hopes Politeness will be on best behaviour in Myer Classic

Enough pace: trainer Robert Smerdon is happy with Politeness heading towards Saturday’s Myer Classic. Photo: Anthony Johnson Enough pace: trainer Robert Smerdon is happy with Politeness heading towards Saturday’s Myer Classic. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Enough pace: trainer Robert Smerdon is happy with Politeness heading towards Saturday’s Myer Classic. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Enough pace: trainer Robert Smerdon is happy with Politeness heading towards Saturday’s Myer Classic. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing

A middle draw for Politeness in Saturday’s Myer Classic will give her the chance to run out a strong mile. Trainer Robert Smerdon had targeted the group 1 and had been pleased with her  progress until her fifth behind Sweet Idea in the Tristarc Stakes at Flemington. “They stopped and started and it didn’t suit her,” he said. “We have had this race in mind for the whole preparation and we are going to have her at her best on the day. She has only had the one go at a mile and over-raced, but there looks to be enough pace for her on Saturday.  We really understand her well now and she is a much better horse, so we’ve got some hope in her.”

Small fields alarm ATC Australian Turf Club racing manager Matt Rudolph has opened a review of Saturday field sizes in Sydney after  disappointing acceptances for Rosehill on Saturday. There were only 71 acceptors, already reduced by two with scratchings. “We are looking to find out why we can’t get runners on a Saturday,” Rudolph said. “The small field without each-way betting is costing us turnover and it is not a good sight.”  The news was better for Randwick on Melbourne Cup day with 172 nominations for the nine races, where prizemoney is $40,000 instead of Saturday’s $85,000.  “Everyone seems to want to have a runner on Melbourne Cup day, I’m not sure if that has an effect on the Saturday races but it is something we will look at,” Rudolph said.

Something special for KeysKen Keys added another success to his sensational spring when Bring Something won the Bendigo Cup on Wednesday. Keys will hunt his first group win with Rich Enuff in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Saturday, but Bring Something could be the horse to bring him back for the Melbourne Cup next year. “I don’t think I want spring to stop, it’s wonderful,” Keys said on TVN. “It’s crazy, we have got 18 [horses] in work and we are playing with the top end of the level.  We know it has to stop but it will be fun when it does. I think he can, with credibility, go to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and then that will be put away time and I think we have got an exciting horse to look forward to next year.” Bring Something grabbed Massiyn to win by a half-head with favourite Order Of The Sun almost two lengths away.

Messara gets a kick out of price Paul Messara wonders what price Scissor Kick would be in the Coolmore Stud Stakes if he had won five straight. The  colt was  one of the standouts of the early spring in Sydney and the $16 on offer at Ladbrokes  surprised his trainer. “I think he has the best form in the race,” Messara said. “Won three in a row then was wide all the way in the Golden Rose, before having no luck in the Stan Fox behind  Caulfield Guineas winner [Shooting To Win]. If he had won five on the trot, he would be favourite.”

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.


Bradman honours bowl over legends

Old foes: Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Photo: Cole BennettsThey are universally regarded as two of the greatest cricketers of all time but Sachin Tendulkar says when he and Shane Warne visited Sir Donald Bradman for his 90th birthday they were so daunted they couldn’t decide who should speak first.

“I remember Warnie was with me in the car and we were discussing who was going to ask the first question,” Tendulkar said on Wednesday night. “I said, ‘You are from Australia, so you should start’. And he was like, ‘No, you’re a batsman, so you can relate to him much better than what I can’.”

It turns out Warne was probably right. Test cricket’s world record run scorer was speaking in a visit back to what he declared his favourite ground, inducted alongside Steve Waugh as the latest Bradman Foundation honourees at a gala dinner at the SCG.

The Indian maestro scored three centuries in five Tests at the ground at an average of 157, none better than the unbeaten 241 in 2004 in what also happened to be Waugh’s final Test.

“The SCG is my favourite ground. I have always maintained that. It brings back all the memories,” Tendulkar said, speaking publicly in Australia for the first time in six years. “I was just outside in the car and I said it feels great to be back. It’s been a very social venue to me. Right back to 1991, which was the first time I played here.

“[It’s] just the feel of the ground. Whenever I walked in I felt I could go on and on batting. I just enjoyed the atmosphere, and the pavilion especially. It’s a fabulous pavilion with a lot of history. It is the heritage and the impact all the players have left on this ground. Performing against Australia always gave me a lot of satisfaction because I knew if you perform against the leading side that everyone takes notice of your performance. It is a different kind of satisfaction.”

Waugh, describing Tendulkar as “probably the modern-day Bradman”, was also honoured at a venue in which he enjoyed no shortage of highlights, in particular his final-ball ‘Perfect Day’ century against England in 2003. “It was one of those balls where it just came off the bat perfectly, it didn’t feel like I hit it hard, and all of a sudden it was like someone turned the volume up,” the former Australian captain said. “It was an amazing experience.”

It was Tendulkar who took the catch at the SCG a year later that spelled the end of Waugh’s Test batting career.

Tendulkar said there was a strong mutual admiration between him and Bradman when they met 16 years ago. “One thing was just to be able to meet the great man but also to know the funnier side of him,” Tendulkar said of their meeting at his Adelaide home in 1998. “I asked him a question: ‘what would you have averaged in today’s cricket?’ He thought about it and said ‘Maybe 70’. The natural reaction was ‘why only 70 and not 99?’ He said, ‘C’mon, that’s not bad for a 90-year-old man’.”

Twitter @ChrisBarrett_