A FORMER Mount Isa BMX star is making a name for himself as one of the strongest young riders in the country.
Nanjing Night Net

Colton Blyth, who now rides for the Maryborough BMX Club, travelled to New Zealand at the weekend to represent Australia in the under 7s class.

After two solid days on the track, Colton finished fifth in the semi-finals, meaning he didn’t make the final but still achieved a strong overall rank of 17th out of 36 riders.

His grandfather and Mount Isa resident Jim Polkinghorne couldn’t be prouder of the achievements six-year-old Colton has already recorded.

“I’m proud as punch of the young fella, and despite him being young, the family has high hopes for him,” Polkinghorne said.

“For a kid that young, he is very determined to succeed and knows what he has to do achieve his goals.”

Colton’s family moved to the coast in recent years to allow the sprocket rider a greater chance to improve his skills, by consistently riding against stronger competition.

The move allowed Colton to compete at September’s state titles in Brisbane, where he claimed a fourth, second and first after crashing on his first two runs, as well as competing in events at Gympie, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

It is because of these strong results that Colton is now ranked in the top sprocket riders in south-east Queensland.

“Colton has come a long way since he first started the sport with Tory Midgley, who was the president of the Mount Isa BMX Club back then,” Polkinghorne said. “None of this would have been possible without his encouragement and coaching.”

Colton has been so dominant in his own age group, that he has been competing in the under-8s division.

“Colton’s current coaches have very high hopes for him and think this New Zealand trip is only the start of something special,” Polkinghorne said.

“If he continues to work hard, there is no reason why he can’t go all the way to the top.”

SPEEDSTER: Colton Blyth is turning heads in the BMX world.

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


The best pitch wins at Innovation Campus

Social Status CEO Tim Hill and CTO Robert O’Farrell at the iAccelerate Pitch and Demo Day at the Innovation Campus. Picture: ROBERT PEETTwenty-somethingCEOs took the floor at the Innovation Campus on Wednesday as potential investors came to seek out the next big thing in start-up land.
Nanjing Night Net

Among the new ideas being pitched were an F1 motorsport game for mobile phones and Social Status, an app that compares the extent to which audiences engage with social media posts.

The app takes publicly available data from Facebook and other sources and aggregates it, so subscribers can easily compare how posts in social media are performing in terms of clicks, comments and shares.

The brainchild of 29-year-old ad agency alumni Tim Hill, it was intended for the marketing world.

“[Market researcher] Neilsen recently released statistics showing some markets are spending more on digital than TV advertising,” said Mr Hill, Social Status’ CEO.

“With all those ad dollars moving to social media, this kind of analytics tool can help businesses to really see the value.

Mr Hill’s pitch, at UOW’s iAccelerate Pitch and Demo Day, was aimed more at attracting skilled staff than dollars. Chief technical officer Robert O’Farrell is to date Social Status’ only other employee.

“[The pitch] is to help us move faster,” Mr Hill said. “In this space of social media there’s so much competition, there’s change all the time. If we could double our workforce . . . it would help us gain traction.”

The pitch event is the third run by iAccelerate, UOW’s business incubator and accelerator.

It drew potential investors from Artesian Capital Management, Tank Stream Ventures, M H Carnegie, OneVentures, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, KPMG, plus angel investors.

Seven entrepreneurs were chosen to present after a long process of whittling down the best ideas to come out of the incubator.

UOW Innovation Development senior manager Melissa Ryan said speaking spots were valued by new entrepreneurs.

“More than anything it’s about connections,” she said.

“Connections they would be unable to make on their own, or take months or years, are formed very quickly in this room.”

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


Tiny potoroo bounces back in Booderee

Forestry Corporations senior field ecologist Peter Kambouris with a long-nosed potoroo.After a lengthy absence, the tiny long-nosed potoroo returned to Jervis Bay’s Booderee National Park this week.
Nanjing Night Net

Fifteen potoroos were reintroduced into the park on Tuesday night, and a further eight were to be released on Wednesday night.

Parks Australia has been planning the reintroduction of potoroos to the area for 10 years, and worked with the Forestry Corporation of NSW on the project.

The potoroos were captured from state forests near Eden and were checked and released into Booderee on the same day to minimise any stress on the animals.

“After all the gloomy stories about the extinction of small mammals, we’re proud to be reversing the trend for this species.”

Parks Australia senior project officer Dr Nick Dexter said the release of the native species was made possible by Booderee’s extensive fox control program.

“After all the gloomy stories about the extinction of small mammals, we’re proud to be reversing the trend for this species,” Dr Dexter said.

“Small mammals are vulnerable to predators like the introduced red fox. Our intensive fox control program over the past 10 years has paid off ,” he said.

Over the next three years, up to 36 long-nosed potoroos will be reintroduced into Booderee National Park.

It is unclear when the long-nosed potoroo disappeared from the Jervis Bay region, although it is known they were present in the area for thousands of years before the introduction of foxes because of their abundant presence in Aboriginal middens dating back to historic times.

The potoroo is a member of the kangaroo family.

Adult long-nosed potoroos weigh up to 1.6kg.

Their fur is greyish brown on their backs and light brown on the belly.

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


Moyne councillor Jim Doukas critical of Macarthur wind farm report

A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the Moyne Shire Council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm.A DEFIANT Moyne Shire councillor angered his fellow councillors but delighted the wind farm critics during a heated exchange in the council chambers this week.
Nanjing Night Net

A large gallery of wind farm critics cheered on Jim Doukas when he criticised the council’s response to complaints about noise issues relating to the giant Macarthur wind farm.

Cr Doukas was the only councillor to oppose the passing of a report approving the council’s handling of the complaints.

Cr Doukas claimed the report was biased and weak and brought into question the council’s relationship with wind farm owner AGL.

“The report is so light on information and facts it seems like it is bias. Is AGL doing something for us we don’t know about, because it looks that way.”

This comment brought an indignant response from mayor James Purcell.

“I may have misheard your representation, it appeared you were insinuating that this council, the integrity of councillors, was at risk here,” Cr Purcell said.

“This council has the highest integrity of any council any where in the world,” the mayor said.

Cr Doukas denied he had questioned the integrity of his fellow councillors but remained strong in his attack of the report.

He said council should do the right thing by the community and revisit this issue by conducting another investigation to come up with an “unbiased” outcome.

“It is not treating the people being affected fairly and not treating the other residents of the Moyne Shire fairly, because it’s the rate money we are going to have to spend when it goes to court.

“It’s all very well for us to sit here and act tough because we have ratepayers’ money, but if we had to defend ourselves with our own money maybe we’d have a different outlook.”

Earlier in the meeting Macarthur resident Jan Hetherington addressed the councillors, warning them of dire consequences should they approve the report.

“It is the opinion of the residents you may put yourselves in a position where you may be held accountable under the Australian Criminal Act,” Ms Hetherington said.

“Of which you have been made fully aware and in which case you most probably will not be covered by Moyne Shire’s insurance policies.”

She labelled information from the council’s solicitors that noise from the wind farm is not substantial and unreasonable as “utter rubbish” and said council should be ashamed of itself if it accepts such a poorly presented report.

“Should you approve of this report and its totally wrong conclusion you, through your continual ignorance and seeming willingness to hide and ignore all the evidence of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, will be knowingly allowing ongoing torture in the form of sleep deprivation.”

Cr Ralph Leutton caused a stir in his address supporting the report when he put forward his own scenario to Cr Doukas’ suggestion that wind farms should be turned off at night time.

He asked Moyne CEO David Madden if he could turn off the waves crashing on the beach in Port Fairy at night if that noise was causing a lack of sleep for residents.

A member of the gallery injected loudly that she had not chosen to live next to wind farms and that councillors had no idea of what residents are going through.

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


Man, son injured as car hits tree near Tyrendarra

A man was airlifted to The Alfred while his 0son was also injured in the crash and was taken to hospital for treatment.A MAN was yesterday airlifted to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne with head and internal injuries after his vehicle ran off the Princes Highway west of Tyrendarra and hit a tree.
Nanjing Night Net

Leading Senior Constable Andrew Payne of Portland police said the man’s son was also injured in the crash and was taken to hospital for treatment.

An Ambulance Victoria spokesman said the man, who was aged in his forties, suffered facial, arm and neck injuries and was in a serious but stable condition.

The spokesman said the school-aged child suffered cuts and abrasions and was taken to Portland hospital in a stable condition.

Leading Senior Constable Payne said the father was believed to be from the south-west.

He said no other vehicle was involved in the accident and police were investigating whether the father suffered a medical condition before the crash.

The accident happened as the man was travelling east between the Tyrendarra-Ettrick and Mount Clay roads shortly before 2.30pm yesterday.

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


Warm welcome for new citizens

A CITIZENSHIP ceremony was held recently at the Mount Isa Civic Centre to welcome those who now call Australia home.
Nanjing Night Net

Mayor Tony McGrady presented 16 adults and two children with certificates welcoming them and their families to Mount Isa as citizens of Australia along with the 4.5 million before them who have successfully become citizens.

Mr McGrady welcomed the new citizens to Mount Isa.

“You have been approved for citizenship of the greatest nation on earth at a time when our world is searching desperately for peace,” he said.

“From this day, you will all walk as an Australian, proud of your nation, proud of its people and proud of the country which you now formally call home.”

Proud Australian citizen Brian Fox received his official citizenship certificate after moving to Australia in August 2010 from Castlebar, Ireland.

After travelling around New Zealand for six months and finally finding his way to Sydney where Mr Fox worked for just over three years, the 29 year old has made his way to Mount Isa.

Mr Fox said he had been in Mount Isa for three weeks and was proud to get his citizenship.

He is currently working at the Mount Isa Hospital as a physiotherapist.

“I moved to Australia on my own and have now moved to Mount Isa on my own,” said Mr Fox. “I wanted something different and I thought it would be nice to move.

“This is the real Australia, I am real proud to get my citizenship here.”

Rochelle Saumya Ram and husband Sachida Nand celebrated their citizenship together as a small family with their two young boys.

Ms Saumya Ram moved to the country from Fiji six years ago.

“We have been in Australia for six years and now have two sons born here in Mount Isa, one in 2011 and the other in 2013,” she said.

“I have my small family here, husband and kids and a small group of close friends – and that’s all the family I have in Australia.

“I miss the tropics but Mount Isa isn’t bad. By the look of it, we will be here for a while and I hope we get rain soon.”

Ms Saumya Ram currently works as a registered nurse in the Mount Isa Hospital while Mr Nand works as an aircraft engineer.

Sachida Nand, Mayor Tony McGrady, Rochelle Saumya Ram, and Yuvraj and Yajat Nand.

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


Blood lead levels in Isa children falling

SOME of Mount Isa’s infants will be over the mandatory blood lead notification level when it is halved to five micrograms a decilitre early next year.
Nanjing Night Net

But average blood lead levels have reduced in children less than five years since tests began in 2010.

If a child is higher than the notification level, doctors will consult with families and make environmental audits to determine the potential causes of lead exposure.

The current mandatory blood level notification is 10 micrograms which was reviewed after recommendations by Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young earlier this year.

The highest blood lead level tested at QML Mount Isa this year was 14.5. But in a secondary test, the child’s level was shown to be 9.5.

Ten of the 80 children tested at QML this year had a blood lead level over five micrograms.

Mount Isa Hospital has tested lead levels in infants since August.

Two of the 16 children up to September were over five micrograms, with the highest level being 5.4.

The average lead level of the 16 children was 2.6.

Health Department health protection executive director Associate Professor Sophie Dwyer said the proposed regulatory change to half the notification level was being drafted.

The focus of lead control in Australia was changing from small numbers of people with high exposure levels to larger numbers with lower levels.

“In a lead production environment like Mount Isa, that means changing emphasis,” she said.

Professor Dwyer said she was happy that routine screening for lead levels in children under five years was happening at Mount Isa Hospital.

“In this lead mining area, our new standard is that if a child has blood tests taken for another reason, they would normally be screened for lead as well, unless parents specifically request that their child not be tested,” Professor Dwyer said.

In 2010, QML Mount Isa tested 182 children, with the average blood lead level being 3.6.

The average blood lead level of 96 children tested in 2011 was 3.3.

In 2012 and 2013, the average blood lead level was 3.2.

QML tested 43 children in 2012 and 83 in 2013.

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


It’s Corey Henderson, live at St Brigid’s

BEFORE it was co-opted by the Christians to become what we now know as Halloween, October 31 was known in Gaelic as Oiche Shamhna the final harvest festival before the dark of winter.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s also the name that’s been given to tomorrow night’s Irish-themed night of music at St Brigid’s Hall in Crossley, which serves as both a fund-raiser for Peter’s Project and a celebration of a Warrnambool musician who has been literally living every day like it could be his last.

Twelve months ago, piper Corey Henderson was given 12 months to live, but has not taken the diagnosis of terminal cancer lying down.

Gig organiser Marty Ruane said Henderson has done more living since his diagnosis than most people do in a lifetime.

“He was given 12 months to live and that was 12 months ago and he’s still here,” Ruane said.

“We had a do for him 12 months ago to celebrate his life while we still could. Now 12 months has passed and he’s crossed the equator about 18 times this year and had the best year of his life.”

Henderson has spent what was expected to be his final year on earth travelling the globe visiting everywhere from Ireland to China, Africa to Paris, and plenty of places in between, as well as continuing to play gigs.

He joined Warrnambool Celtic group The Likely Celts at a recent gig at the WAG and is planning to play a tune or two with Adelaide’s Jack Brennan one of the best players of the uilleann pipes in Australia at tomorrow night’s fund-raiser.

Also on the bill will be Shane Howard & Band, Lex’s Shed, Paul Cullen, The Likely Celts, Hog Stompin’ Zydegators and the O’Shea Ryan Dancers.

Ruane said that aside from being a fund-raiser for Peter’s Project, the night was “another opportunity to have a rage with Corey while he’s still here”.

Oiche Shamhna kicks off from 7.30pm.

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


Premier to launch Warrnambool Aus Music Festival countdown

Premier Denis Napthine (left) will launch the Warrnambool Aus Music Festival, pictured with festival director Russ Goodear (right).THE year-long countdown to the inaugural Warrnambool Aus Music Festival begins with two events this week.
Nanjing Night Net

Premier Denis Napthine will officially start the clock ticking towards October 30, 2015, at a launch event tomorrow at noon, while a launch party celebrating Australian music will be held at The Loft tonight from 8pm.

Dr Napthine will be joined by Music Victoria chief executive Patrick Donovan at tomorrow’s event at the Lady Bay Resort.

Festival director Russ Goodear said that by linking in with the state government and Music Victoria, the aim was to give the Australian music-themed event national significance.

Mr Goodear said it will run from October 30 to November 1 next year, starting initially as “a small event (and growing into) a great Aus Music Festival” that will be held in the Lake Pertobe and foreshore area of Warrnambool, with a “fringe festival” held in the CBD and suitable Warrnambool venues.

“The goal is to create a regional Victorian cultural event,” he said.

“The vision is to create a vibrant ‘must attend’ Aus Music Festival, to attract people of all ages from across Australia who want to share and celebrate great Australian music.”

A local committee has been working behind the scenes for the past two years to ensure the event is sustainable, securing funding to draw up detailed business plans and a blueprint for growing the festival in the future.

Warrnambool musician Liam Gubbins — a member of young up-and-coming band Bonney Ranch — will be a guest performer at tomorrow’s launch.

Tonight’s launch party at The Loft will feature music from local music combo Goodear Schack O’Brien MLC, and new Warrnambool band Doctor Juzzy Jones.

Patrons are also encouraged to bring their favourite Aussie CDs to play through the night.

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


Records tumble for tough team

THE Tamworth region’s firefighters have cemented their reputation as some of the toughest in the state with two teams finishing in the top five at a major championship event while breaking records along the way.
Nanjing Night Net

HOT TO TROT: Tamworth fire fighter Phil Moore on the run during one of the events at the Kelso titles last weekend.

The team from Tamworth Fire and Rescue were still celebrating this week after they were placed second in the State Firefighting Championships held in Bathurst late last week.

The Kootingal/Moonbi Rural Fire Service brigade took home the title of fourth place and a composite team of two firefighters from Gunnedah placed 13th.

Having only been together for 18-months, the Tamworth team were overjoyed with the win and received some widespread praise from the judges.

“We’re a relatively new team to the championships and to come away winning second place at our first state championships is absolutely phenomenal,” team member Phil Moore said.

“The team thoroughly deserve it after all the effort they’ve put in with training.”

Mr Moore described the tournament as challenging with some highs and lows but it came with two broken records.

“We would win an event and then do a couple of not so good runs and would win one again.

“Overall we won four events and came second in two.

“One of our highlights was the urban pump booster valve and high rise bag event where we beat the state record by eight seconds.

“We didn’t just beat it, we absolutely annihilated it which was awesome – we were really happy with that one.

“On the last event of the day we also beat the state record in the urban pump suction event.”

The team was also awarded the GAAM trophy for attaining the highest aggregate points in all pump and collector events.

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