Festival fires up the west

Sydney Festival■ Archie Roach
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Archie Roach is celebrated as one of Australia’s most gifted artists. Since his 1990 debut he has released more albums and toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg and Patti Smith. At the festival, Roach will perform songs from his new album Into The Bloodstream and will be accompanied by a 13-piece music ensemble and a 10-voice Gospel choir. Date: Australia Day, at The Parade Ground at Old King’s. Cost: Free.

■ Briefs

A disorderly line-up of Australia’s finest performers and mischief-makers in a circus-infused variety show for the not-so-faint- hearted. Date: From January 18 to 27 at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, in Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta. Cost: $40.

■ Lah-Lah

Lovable characters Buzz the Bandleader, Lola the dancing double bass, Tom Tom the drums, Mister Saxophone and Squeezy Sneezy the accordion join their ring leader Lah-Lah in a musical spectacular that kids will love. Date: Australia Day, January 26, from 7pm, at The Parade Ground at Old King’s. Cost: Free.

■ Leah Flanagan

Leah Flanagan will sing a collection of songs from her latest album Midnight Muses. The album was inspire by poet Sam Wagan Watson’s award-winning work Smoke Encrypted Whispers. Date: January 20 at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent. Cost: $30.

■ Lianne La Havas

Londoner Lianne La Havas will perform her neo soul teamed with folk-pop hits which feature off her Mercury Prize-nominated album, Is Your Love Big Enough?. Date: January 22 and January 23, at 7pm, at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent.

Cost: $35.

■ The New Mendicants

Norman Blake and Joe Pernice, who make up The New Mendicants will have you in awe when they perform new material.

Date: January 26 at 7pm and 27 at 5pm, at Salon Perdu Spiegeltent. Cost: $35.

■ Parra Opening Party

The heart of Parramatta will be transformed into an extravaganza. Bring the kids and enjoy an afternoon of music and activities in and around Riverside Theatres. Explore The Megaphone Project along Church Street; listen to a symphony of car stereos by composer Matthew Timmis in Car-Cophony and visit Prince Alfred Park. Date: January 19.

Cost: Free.

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Past graces and haunts historical sites in district

Elizabeth Farm Norine Collins and Trevor Patrick at Hambledon Cottage, Rosehill. Picture: Gene Ramirez
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St Bartholomews Church, Prospect. The church contains the tomb of explorer, William Lawson. Picture: Peter Rae

Elizabeth Farm

WESTERN Sydney is home to many historical sites for residents and tourists to enjoy its heritage, arts and culture in buildings and open spaces.

A great place to start is the Blacktown Arts Centre and the Visitor Information and Heritage Centre in Flushcombe Road.

People are directed to the Alroy Tavern at Rooty Hill Road, Plumpton; the Battle of Vinegar Hill Monument at Windsor Road, Rouse Hill, the Blacksmith Shed at Nurragingy Reserve in Doonside; Minchinbury Place at Great Western Highway in Minchinbury; Prospect Reservoir, Rouse Hill House and Farm in Rouse Hill; St Bartholomew’s Church at Prospect, The Manse at Mt Druitt; and The Royal Cricketers Arms Inn at Prospect.

One of the historical highlights is a hair-raising ghost tour on New Year’s Eve at Blacktown’s historic Saint Bartholomew’s Church from 6pm. A guide will take people through St Bartholomew’s Church graveyard which is home to the graves of many early settlers, most famously William Lawson, one of the first group of Europeans to cross the Blue Mountains, and Thomas Willmot, the first shire president of Blacktown.

The night starts at 6pm and costs $35 a person. Dinner at the church is at 6.30pm, followed by the ghost tour and to finish just before the fireworks at midnight to welcome in the new year.

You can spend a beautiful night out at St Bartholomew’s, and if it’s a clear night, you may see the spectacular fireworks display over Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.

Ghost tours are conducted by The Guides of St Bartholomew’s. Bookings are essential. For more information or bookings contact 9839 6000.

The best introduction to Parramatta’s heritage sites and stories is at the Heritage Centre at 346A Church Street Parramatta.

You will find information about area’s history explained through photos, stories and artefacts. There is a local studies library, a gallery space, activities, workshops, and a visitor information centre providing maps, guide books and advice.

■Experiment Farm Cottage stands on the site of the first land grant in Australia, made in 1789 by Governor Phillip to James Ruse.

■Elizabeth Farm is a rare example of an early Australian colonial bungalow built in 1793 for John and Elizabeth Macarthur, pioneers of the Australian wool industry.

■Hambledon Cottage was built by John Macarthur in 1824 as a second house on his Elizabeth Farm Estate.

Its many early occupants include Sir Edward Macarthur, Archdeacon Thomas Hobbes Scott and Dr Matthew Anderson.

■Step back 190 years in time, to when Governor Lachlan Macquarie was governor and visit historic Lancer Barracks . Lancer Barracks has been home to the 1/15th Royal NSW Lancers for well over 100 years, giving rise to their nickname, he Parramatta Lancers

The Lancers is Australia’s oldest surviving and most decorated regiment.

For more information, call 9635 8149, during business hours or 0416 026 816 after hours .

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Ferry ride secret’s out

Great family outing: Brett Dunne (right) and partner Julie Sloan take their boys Clancy (front) and Sam on a tour of the Parramatta River. Picture: Gene RamirezWORD is starting to spread with tourists that a ride on the Parramatta Ferry is one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets.
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Until recently tourist guide books ignored the Parramatta River service in favour of more popular ferry journeys to Manly or Balmain.

But attitudes towards the Parramatta River are changing thanks to a big clean-up and tourist numbers are growing with people wanting to cross the city in a more leisurely manner.

One family keen to get off the beaten track was Cobar couple Brett Dunne and his partner Julie Sloan.

The pair took their children to Sydney for the first time in December with their youngest son Sam needing an operation at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Following the advice of a hospital nurse Mr Dunne decided to take a different route on their way back to city.

“It’s a great way to see the city and get away from the busy roads and train lines,” Mr Dunne said.

“Coming from country NSW we enjoy a bit of water because we’re so used to seeing fields of red dirt.”

Hopping on at Parramatta Charles Street interchange, the Dunne family lapped up the warm boating weather on their one and a half hour journey to Circular Quay.

Mr Dunne said the ferry let his family escape the busy crowded streets and sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge for some essential tourist photos.

“I drive a road-train back home and my partner is a full-time waitress so it’s nice to relax and unwind a bit,” Mr Dunne said. “My boys Sam and Clancy seem to like it.”

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Multitude of laws for amateurs

JIM ANDRE of Esperance writes:
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I WAS living nearly 70klms east of Esperance a whileback when my brother and his mate came out to visit. We are all snorkellers andlicensed as amateurs to take abalone and we went down to the Duke of Orleans Bayand each got our legalbag limit of Roes abalone. We then returned to myhouse at Condingup with all the legal requirements fulfilled concerning sizes,bag limit, licences numbers and dates etc.

I asked my brother if he was going to give someabalone to our elderly parents who cannot get abalone for themselves and whoenjoy eating them. But they had a party coming up and needed all they hadcaught. So I asked my brother who was driving the 70km back to town anyway, totake my abalone into town and drop them off at our parents’ place for me. Allthe details of my licence were on the little plastic bag, the quantity, sizeand everything was all legitimate and legal. On the way to town the FisheriesDepartment had a roadblock, stopped and searched my brother’s car and informedhim he was in breach of the law as the twowere only allowed to have oneday’s bag limit eachin their possession. My brother explained the factsof the matter and asked the fisheries officer to ring me for confirmation. Thefisheries officer saidfisheries do not take into account anything exceptthe letter of the law and it is not flexible or negotiable no matter what thecircumstances are. The really stupid part is, if therewas another personin the car with them, even unlicenced or a little child,then there wouldbe no offence. The fisheries officer said if your brother wants to give yourparents a feed of freshabalone then he had to make the 140klm round tripin his car to deliver them. Fisheries gave my brother a $250 on the spot finefor the 300gm of abalone because he owned the car they were in.

Feeling there was no justice or fairness my brotherexercised his right to plead his case in court, to which the magistratefollowed the fisheries line: the law is the law, no exceptions, no mitigatingcircumstances. Then – can you even believe this – the magistrate trebled thefine to $750. Yes, this happens in Australia! The magistrate fined my brother$500-00 for exercising his right to plead his case in court! It is disgraceful.

The government catch cry is fish for the future toconserve the fish stocks. The cost of an amateur abalonelicence has beenincreased by 20 per cent every year since its introduction. The amateur take ofabalone has been reduced steadily to rock bottom where at the absolute maximum,thetake of greenlips could not be more than 3.5 tonnes a yearinthis zone. The amateur season has been reducedfrom 12 months to 7 months.In the time since amateur licences were introducedthe professional abaloneseason remainsopen for12 months. Each professionallicencequota has been increased by the government by 1.2 tonnes per licence, 6licences =a 7.2 tonne increase, more than double the total amateur catch!

The government has made the multitude of laws foramateurs so complex they have set them up to fail and they have turned their law enforcers into tax collectorsto maximise their financial intake from the amateur fisherman.

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Esperance Tennis Club Junior Pennants

The final round of the Esperance Tennis Club SummerJunior Pennant competition concluded on Saturday 15thDecember :
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A Grade – Grand Final

The Grand Final in the A grade competition saw theWarriors take on Aero Storm.

At the completion of play the match was tied at threesets all. The eventual winning team ‘Warriors’ was determined by a games countback in what was a very close and competitive match.

Singles Results

Warriors defeated Aero Storm 3-3

A1 Jackson Parker lost to Lachlan Adamson6-7

A2 Luke Greatrex lost to Matt Rogers7-8

A3 Lachlan Hallam defeated Claudia Parker 6-0

A4 Michael Piercey defeated James Dwyer 6-0

B Grade – Grand Final

In what was another closely contested grand final inthe B grade competition Aero Storm managed to combine in the final two doublesgames to take out the match over a very competitive unit the ‘Warriors’.

Singles Results

Aero Storm defeated the Warriors 5-3

B1 Jordon Marold defeated Angus Macmillan 4-1

B2 Sophie Hallam defeated Gerard Newman 4-0

B3 Toby Leckie lost to Harry Stead 1-4

B4 Tahlia Inkster drew with Tyler Berry 2-2

After the conclusion of the season all the juniorpennants players attended their trophy presentations for the respective winningteams and the winners and runner up of each division.

Once the formalities had been completed the club had asurprise visit from the man in red with all the players lining up for theiropportunity to accept a gift from Father Xmas.

All the children in attendance also had theopportunity to play in the junior section of the ‘Bay of Isles Computers ‘ShootOut’ competition.

In what was a frantic match play situation (with thecommentary to match!) where each player had to win the only point on offer inorder to stay in the competition.

Congratulations to the eventual winners who wereConner Berry in the ‘A’ division and James Gray in the ‘B’ division.

A huge thanks to Paul and Lee of ‘Bay of IslesComputers’ for their contribution and support of the Esperance Tennis Club inwhat was a fantastic conclusion to the days’ events for the junior brigade.

In closing I would like to thank all the helpers andsupporters of the junior pennants competition in what has been a pleasure tocoordinate each and every Saturday morning.

To all the players , what a wonderful group of kids,hope you all have a great Xmas with your families, travel safe and we will seeyou all back first term 9

th

Feb 2013!

Bay of Isles ‘Shootout’ competition Junior Winners –Photo 3

In order left to right:

Head Coach Jani Kroyerr

B Division Winner – James Gray

B Division R/Up – Vincent Newman

A Division Winner – Conner Berry

A Division R/Up – James Clarke

The Esperance Tennis Club junior brigade attending the Xmas festivities

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Junior Basketball results ~ Round 5

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Friday Night Results

Girl’s A Grade

Pearls 38 b Opals 14. KHarding, A Capelli(P), E Davis, K Scheer(O)

Diamonds 26 b TDS 20. C Smith,C McIntyre(T), K Harland, M Clark(D)

Emeralds 22 b Rubies 19. BWickstein, N Collins(R), J Saunders, O Keevil(E)

Boy’s A Grade

Crows 36 b Falcons 22. SFranzone, M Spencer(F), S Nelson J Harris(C)

Hawks 33 b Vultures 15. TWyatt, D Bridge(H), B Staunton, C Burke(V)

Eagles 44 b Swans 35. B White,L Graham(e), R Keevil, L Kipling(S)

Girl’s Roxy

Sharks 41 b Harlequins 27. CMcIntyre, D Major(S), C Tate, C Smith(H)

Dolphins 34 b Marlins 27. LBarlow, K Pickering(D), K Witham, E Vickers(M)

Boy’s Nike

Taipans 40 b Anacondas 24. J Muntz,L Cary(A), C Wyatt, L Ocallaghan(T)

Pythons 27 b Cobras 21. IBuckley, L Cruttenden(C), B Ainsworth, B Zanotti(P)

Vipers 32 b Dugites 20. RDann, R Kelly(V), J Beasley, J Adams(D)

Boys Asics

TDS 32 b Tigers 24. T Edwards,T Hallam(T), J Buckley, A Barter(tds)

Jaguars 22 b Pumas 20. SDavis, C Smart(J), S Poole, D Hampel(P)

Lions 21 b Panthers 19. KNeil, C Stewart(L), D Harris, J Rowe(P)

Girls Billabong

Tds 28 b Lorikeets 16. RTaylor, C Morier(L), B Bonney, G Beasley(T)

Stirlings v Quails. Y Austen,A Bell(Q), L Cook, T Kuss(S)

Robins 32 b Ravens 18. J Bonney,S Rose(Ro), I Greasley, S Walker(Ra)

Boys Gatorade

Kings 32 b Knights 29. ZMurray, A Barter (Ki), T MacKenzie, JKennedy(K)

Barons 37 b Dukes 21. AEdwards, T McDonald (B), R Flood, J Marshall (D)

Girls Twilight

Typhoon 52 b Hurricanes 19. ZLiddlelow, Y Austen(T), L Cook, B Bonney(H)

Twisters 22 b Cyclones 15. KJohnson, Ruby Connor(T), R Major, H Boxer(C)

Monday Night Results

Boys Powerade

Torpedoes 40 b Rockets 26. BCastillo, J Marshall(T), M Williams, K Garvey(R)

Bombers 41 b Bullets 17. BHawkey, C Kennedy(Bo), J Fitzpatrick, J Gibson(Bu)

Girls Bluehaven

Meteors 32 b Comets 5, Ilewis, K Shearer(M), C Rowe, M Rhodes(C)

Galaxies 28 b Stars 8. KBuckley, O Withers(G), H Sladen, K Bishop(S)

Boys Converse

BMW’s 17 b Monaros 12. Joseivwright, T Hotker(B), B Murray, V Castillo(M)

Ferraris 18 b Mustangs 14

Porsches 14 b Corvettes 13. SConnor, H Staer(P), A Clark, M Ayers(C)

Girls Vans

Beetles 32 B Crickets 15. T Neil,C Foster(B), C Shearer, E Stevens(C)

Mozzies 24 B Dragonflies 4. SVarea, T Adams(M), J Major, D McMahon(D)

CountryweekBasketball starts on Friday the 8th February 2013 with U/16& U/18 Boys & U/18 Girls.

Boys 16s& Girls 18s will be in division 2 and the Boys 18s will be playing in theChampionship division.

It is areminder to all parents of players there are still positions that need to befilled to enable the teams to go away. If anyone

requiresinformation on Countryweek or can be a scorer or umpire on any of theseweekends please contact Nicole on 0428889663.

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Anglican Community School awards

ESPERANCEAnglican Community School student talents were acknowledged at the school’scelebration and awards night on Thursday, December 13.
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School teacherIain Clark said the school community could proudly look back on what has been abusy and creative year, not least the consolidation of the school’s enrolmentnumbers and the completion of the stage two buildings.

“We eagerlyanticipate the continued growth of our school with up to 50 new studentsenrolling in Year 8 for 2013,” he said.

Whole schoolaward winners were named as: Female Sportsperson of the Year – Amanda Bell,Male Sportsperson of the Year – Sam Curtis, Most Consistent Band Member – Michael Rushton, Workplace LearningAchievement Award – Sofia Freebairn, Goldsworthy House Spirit Award – RowanSeton, Harris House Spirit Award – Steven Ainsworth and Wood House Spirit Award- Kyle Catling.

Mr Clarkcongratulated all students on their efforts and achievements throughout the2012 school year.

“We look forwardto sharing an exciting 2013 school year with you,” he said.

A YEAR of success: From back – Nathaniel Furniss (Year 8 Mathematics), Cathryn Brown (Year 9 SOSE, Science, Multimedia, English, EACS Spirit Award, Year 9 Academic Award), Sam Curtis (Year 9 Maths, Health and Phys Ed, Male Sportsperson of the Year), Sophia Freebairn (Workplace Learning), Lucy Gardiner (Year 8 English Award) and Elizabeth Saltmarsh (Year 8 CRAVE). Front Row – Kira Warner (Year 9 Japanese), Nicole Collins (Modern History and Phys Ed Studies), Chloe Freebairn (Year 9 Visual Arts) and Inaya Stone (Year 8 SOSE, Using Wood and Year 8 Academic Award).

JULIE-Ann Ross and Sarah Barr were among those commended for their efforts at the awards evening.

YEAR 9 students Cathryn Brown and Sam Curtis hold up their awards from the graduation night.

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York gym equipment getting good work out 

YORK Recreation Centre’s new gym equipment is getting gooduse from some enthusiastic locals keen for a healthier lifestyle.
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They have enrolled in York’s Swap It, Don’t Stop It program and are aiming to learn some small,simple swaps to their daily routines that can make a big difference to theirlong-term health.

Some have joined a nutrition workshop where Northam Hospitalhealth promotion officer Sarah Dixon explains healthy eating habits atWednesday evening classes, held between 6.30 and 8.30pm until mid-December.

Sarah will explain how to eat healthily on a budget, how tointerpret food labels, how to make modifications to recipes as well asproviding a chance to prepare and share a healthy meal.

Others have signed up for gym circuit sessions led byexperienced personal trainer and youth development worker Lyn Kay.

Ms Kay said the York Recreation and Convention Centre’s newgym equipment had everything the participants needed to get fit.

“It’s got all the basic things you need – it’s great,” shesaid.

“I always do a variety of exercise and incorporate thingslike boxing, walking around the oval, circuit sessions and working withweights.”

Ms Kay said the age of participants ranged from about 20 to70 and she took into account their varying levels of fitness.

“I have them in different lines so I could work with themdifferently yet keep them all together,” she said.

Ms Kay’s 12-week program is split into six weeks of eveningsand six weeks of morning classes.

The night sessions started in October and finished early lastmonth.

Currently, the classes run from 6.30am to 7.30am.

They are free of charge and Ms Kay said there was plenty ofroom for more participants before classes finish today.

The classes have become so popular with the mature-agedparticipants Ms Kay said she had been asked to run a monthly class for seniorsfrom Quairading and York.

Both the nutrition and exercise programs are part of anational Swap It, Don’t Stop Itcampaign, funded by the Australian Government and administered by the HeartFoundation.

The campaign was launched in March last year with the aim ofproviding Australians with the tools and understanding to make simple swaps toimprove their health.

Its primary target group is adults, particularly those withchildren.

Heart Foundation senior project officer Lisa Wheatley saidthe Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaignencouraged people to consider small swaps involving nutrition and physicalactivity.

These could be incorporated into daily life and would havethe potential to help reduce the risk factors of chronic disease, she said.

Ms Kay’s exercise ‘swap it’ tips include swapping a casualstroll for a brisk walk.

“I explain it has to be a brisk walk to get your heart rateup,” she said. “And walk for at least half an hour.”

Another tip is to considering walking when only a shortjourney is involved.

“It’s so easy to jump into your car but you might only needto go 100 metres down the road,” she noted.

“Or take the bike. I’m encouraging kids to get on their bikesmore.”

Sarah Dixon said good nutrition ‘swap it’ advice includedswapping a pie at lunchtime for a sandwich.

“Or swapping full-fat milk for low-fat milk, swapping to wholemeal pasta and swapping fruit juice for fresh fruit,” she added.

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Surplus swansong leaves Labor in stormy waters

Throw out the bad news before Christmas. Hope that nobody notices. Who cares about a surplus anyway?
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The economists have been saying it doesn’t matter, indeed that we would have been better off if the government had not locked itself into it.

But Wayne Swan’s ditching of the promise that the government first made in 2010 – in the budget when Kevin Rudd was still prime minister and the government expected to reap lots of loot from a robust mining tax – is a difficult and humiliating backflip.

It is a broken promise of the first order. True, in its October budget update and ever since, the government has put some qualification around its pledge. The $1.1 billion surplus was so thin there was always the risk it could not be produced.

A recent survey of economists found hardly any thought it would be delivered and of the rest, the expectation was for a deficit of $5 billion to $20 billion – still a hefty turnaround from last financial year’s deficit of nearly $44 billion.

Despite some recent softening-up for a possible change, the surplus promise is so long-standing and so often reiterated over the years that the impact of having to walk away from it is politically huge.

The opposition can crow. It has said all along that the government would never deliver a surplus and, if Labor loses the election, that (probably) will be true.

Swan cracked hardy. ”If the worst thing that people say is we got the economics right again but fell short on the politics, well I just say, so be it”, he said. He knows things don’t work like that. This is not an economic problem for the government – it is a political one. It goes to trust and credibility. Trust, or lack of it, is Gillard’s underlying vulnerability – notably, when it comes to policy, since she broke her word on the carbon tax.

There are so many quotes to throw back at the government. On December 7 Gillard said: ”Our last economic update had us at trend growth and that’s why the last economic update had us with a surplus. We are still determined to deliver the surplus.”

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese is looking particularly red-faced. On Sky on Sunday he was asked: ”If you had to walk through a door and your life depended on it, is the government going to deliver a surplus or is it going to fall into a small deficit in May?” He was unequivocal: ”Well, the government’s going to deliver a surplus. That’s our policy. That’s what we’ve been working towards.”

The broken promise on a surplus is rather different in nature from the ”no carbon tax” one – circumstances have changed – but they can easily be bundled together.

Tony Abbott was quick to link them: ”You just can’t trust this government to manage the economy. You just can’t trust this government to tell the truth.”

At his news conference, Swan was awkwardly reminded that in 2008 he had talked about a ”temporary” deficit, and there had been a deficit ever since. For good reasons, certainly, but words and pledges come back to haunt politicians.

Swan insists the government is doing fine in managing the economy. He says spending restraint will continue. It’s just that it would be counterproductive, threatening jobs, to try to fill what has become – on the latest figures released on Thursday – an even larger gaping revenue hole. ”In just four months, we’ve already seen the full hit to revenue that we were expecting for the whole year,” Swan said.

It is interesting the government decided to cut its losses now, rather than wait for more figures in the new year. Stephen Koukoulas, of Market Economics, a former economic adviser to Gillard, looking at the latest numbers before Swan’s announcement, judged that it remained ”a close-run thing whether the budget will be in small surplus or small deficit for 2012-13”. (Swan’s phrasing was equivocal – he said it was ”unlikely” there will be a surplus.)

If the government had decided to hang on and hope, it would have had to work like fury over Christmas to make savage cuts. It was running out of time to achieve results quickly enough. The nightmare scenario would have been for it to announce a round of unpopular savings, only to later find it had to admit it still couldn’t achieve a surplus.

One problem Swan will have is containing expectations that the way is now open for more spending. Without the discipline of the surplus target, all sorts of groups will be making demands. There will be pressure from the welfare lobby to give those on the dole a better deal, from the foreign aid lobby to restore the money diverted this week to spending on asylum seekers. Swan is adamant the government remains tough on the expenditure side.

But, of course, there will be big spending promises in the May budget, coming not long before the election. The government has said it will give firm commitments to the billions of dollars needed for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski school funding. Swan insists these will be financed by changing priorities – in other words, there will be savings.

Every promise broken makes people more suspicious of future promises. When the government outlines the funding for the NDIS and Gonski, critics will question whether these promises will be delivered.

Both sides of politics know the debate over who will be the more responsible economic manager is vital, and this was reinforced by this week’sAge-Nielsen poll. Asked to choose the issue most important in how they would vote, 35 per cent selected the economy. There was quite a partisan difference; the economy was chosen by 27 per cent of Labor voters and 51 per cent of Coalition supporters. But in an election where the Labor government would survive only if it won seats in net terms, it must try to attract Coalition voters on their core issue.

”The economy” is significantly higher in people’s priorities than just before the 2007 election, when 25 per cent named it as their top issue. The current Nielsen poll did show a decline in those believing a 2012-13 surplus should be a high priority, falling from 53 per cent to a still high 49 per cent. Forty-five per cent said it was a low priority.

In moving to reposition itself from promising a surplus to convincing people that another deficit is the only responsible course, the government will be relying heavily on the weight of the experts who are saying this is the right thing to do.

The advocacy from the economists is something that the opposition will have to grapple with. At the moment Abbott is not changing his position that a Coalition government would deliver surpluses across its first-term budgets. But that is a holding position, based on the latest budget figures, and Abbott is calling on the government to release revised numbers ASAP.

The Coalition position will have to be driven by the new figures. It would be foolish to lock itself in if the numbers indicate an uncertain future. It too needs to present election promises, and does not want to have such a slash-and-burn approach that voters are frightened away.

For the Coalition, Thursday was all upside, surfing on the government’s problems. But with the budget goal posts shifted and an election fast approaching, a lot of attention will inevitably be on the opposition. It has to remember that while the politics are playing for it on this issue, it would quickly become vulnerable if it appeared to be getting the economics wrong.

Sudanese student begins medical career at C.Y. O’Connor Institute

GARANGKutin Duop recently completed his Certificate IV in preparation for entry intoEnrolled Nursing online and graduated from C Y O’Connor Institute this month.
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MrDuop was born in Sudan and he and his family fled the country due to the civilwar.

MrDuop was born while his family were fleeing Sudan to live in Kenya.

Helived for 10 years in a refugee camp on the Sudanese-Kenyan border in a housewith one big room where 15 people slept on a dirt floor.

Duringhis stay at the camp, Mr Duop was fortunate to have access to medical help,water from a well and access to primary education.

Foodwas provided by aid agencies and was, at times, in short supply.

Sometimesthey would have only one meal a day, which consisted of rice or maize andrarely meat.

MrDuop migrated to Western Australia in 2006 and his initial impression ofAustralia was that it had lots of bright lights and he felt safe.

Oncehis family had settled in, he enrolled in secondary schooling at South CoastBaptist College in Waikiki.

Whilecompleting his secondary schooling, he realised he wanted to become a doctorand one day return to Sudan to help his community.

Forthis reason, he decided to commence his journey by enrolling in a CertificateIV in Preparation for entry into Enrolled Nursing at C Y O’Connor Institute.

MrDuop never met his institute lecturer, Shona Andrews, face-to-face until hegraduated from the course, although he exchanged regular emails with Ms Andrewsas part of his learning experience.

Hevisited the Northam campus of the Institute for a special award ceremony at theinvitation of the managing director, John Scott, who became aware of theexceptional circumstances in which Mr Duop had grown up and his determinationto succeed as a doctor.

MrDuop was presented with a framed certificate and a medical literature book toassist with his career in the medical profession.

Hehas applied for entry into the biomedical sciences program at MurdochUniversity, using his Certificate IV as a pathway qualification.

“Ihave every confidence that Garang will succeed in his lifelong ambition tobecome a doctor,” Mr Scott said.

C Y O’Connor Institute managing director John Scott, left, congratulates Sudanese student Kutin Duop, second left, on his achievement. With them are a friend of Mr Duop and C Y O’Connor Institute chairwoman Eileen O’Connell.

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Boxing Day to provide feast for keen punters

Dawson Park will be full of activity over the holiday period. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE Castlereagh Grey will be out to repeat his impressive debut win when he competes at Wellington on Boxing Day. Photo: JANIAN McMILLAN (www.racingphotography南京夜网.au)
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THE gap between the close of TAB trade on Christmas Eve and the reopening on Boxing Day is the largest in the entire year, with nothing to bet on for a whole 38 hours or so.

But punters in the central west get a chance to make up for it on Boxing Day, with gallops, greyhounds and harness racing all on the menu.

Quite simply, if you like the racers, chasers or pacers you will be catered for.

Wellington’s annual non-TAB gallop meeting will kick off proceedings, with the first of five events scheduled to leave the gates at 2.15pm.

A little more than an hour later greyhound action will kick off at Dawson Park with a 10-race program starting at 3.38pm.

If that isn’t enough, when the greyhounds are done you can head down to the Dubbo Showground for a five-race program of harness racing, with the first set down for 7.45pm and the last for 10.15pm.

Boxing Day isn’t the only big day for racing in the region, with plenty of greyhound and galloping action over the whole holiday period.

Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club will host meetings on December 30, January 3, January 10 and January 16 while a plethora of race meetings.

Macquarie Picnics will be held at Trangie on December 29, Warren will host a TAB meeting the following day before Gilgandra’s two-day carnival starts on New Year’s Day.

The club will then hold its cup meeting on January 6, with the feature event carrying $27,000 in prize money.

With that in mind, let’s try to find a few winners.

At Wellington on Boxing Day the Bruce Parker-trained Castlereagh Grey will be hard to beat based on its debut win at Warren by more than five lengths.

It goes around in the Jarrod Wykes Electrical Class 1 Handicap (1100m).

At Dubbo dogs, Miss Charlyn should be hard to beat from box six in the Elite State @ Stud Stakes (318m) while later in the meeting Vicki Knows Best gets her chance to add a second win the her resume in the Caretakers Appreciation Stakes (318m).

Finally at the showground, look for the Amanda O’Neill-trained Rattlen Ranji to be hard to beat in the opening race while Sunofbula gets his chance in the Oamps Dubbo Pace (2120m).

Despite being a veteran, he is rated an R12 C8 pacer while the next best, Karinya Mat, is rated an R3 C3. Nathan Carroll takes the drive on Sunofbula, which is trained by his father Mick Carroll.

Central West connections will be eyeing off some of the $250,000 prize money on offer in the Inglis Nursery Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm today.

Wellington-based Bell River Thoroughbreds, operated by Andrew Ferguson, will have first-starter Sunshine Royale in the event while Mudgee trainer Jeff Brasch will saddle up Nuclear Snip, to be ridden by Greg Ryan.

Both horses go into the race with barrier trial wins under their belts, with Nuclear Snip scoring over 800m at Narromine and Sunshine Royale over 805m at Warwick Farm.

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

Ladies’ Bowls

Thursday 13th : The ladies played for vouchers sponsored by West End Beauty,Dempster Hair & Beauty and Miarhetts.Winner was M. Rance, runner-up M Smart, 3rd J Graham.
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Friday 7th: 15 players for Scroungers. Bluey Klinberg and Eric Donaldson tiedwith 42 points followed by Bill Gurney with 39points..

Tues 11th: South Coast Food Services Scroungershad their Christmas dinner with 28 players. Lyn Waldock won with Syd Lapworth runner up. All players sat down to a fantastic Christmasdinner prepared by Marg and Alan Boyle, Bev Hourn, Billie Denison, Shirley Roeand Barb Deslanders. These ladiesgave up their bowls to work in the kitchen. Well done.

Wed 12th: 41 players for Wednesday Scroungerswith a few new faces coming to the fore.10 players won all games. BGurney plus 12 was outright winner, J Craig plus 11, J Folvig and P Eardleyplus 10, W Rodgers, D Fiegert plus 9, E Donaldson plus 8, M Rand plus 6, PBirch and R Piercey plus 5.

Fri 14th: A Small field with R Major once againthe winner with 43, Runner up N Brown on 40.

Sat 15th Pennants: Both Esperance ladies and men travelled to Scaddan for thisgame and Scaddan are hard to beat on their home ground and once again were winners. Skipper J Paterson 31 defeated M Rance14. A tight game with both skipshaving to come up with some brilliant shots. Especially the last shot of the game delivered by Judy whichgave the Scaddan ladies the aggregate by one shot. Skipper June Mincham was in control of their games with somegreat draw bowls. Shirlene Ellisonwas continually having to attack with her bowls. Great to watch.

The West Beach men were working hard to hold Scaddan atbay. Skipper J Treleven defeated TEllison 23-19. Skips R Majordefeated P Rule 25-22. Skip FStone defeated B Rodgers 20-18 and P Lewis defeated L Spencer. A lot of tactics were tried to upsetthe home teams with the Rule and Rodgers game veryclose. In a crucial game Lomax andStone put in 2 great bowls to seal the game for Scaddan. Scaddan winning the day and the aggregate

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

Airport upgrade now open

“WHILE buildings don’tdefine community, they are a reflection of the community,” Shire of Esperancepresident Mal Heasman said at the official opening of the Esperance Airport onFriday.
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Mr Heasman unveiled aplaque which to commemorate the $2.5 million upgrade of the Esperance terminal,a project which has been underway since September 2011.

The Regional AirportsDevelopment Scheme through the Royalties for Regions program paid $1.126million, while the government put in a contribution of $320,000 for theterminal extensions.

Construction began inApril this year, with the full terminal opening on October 28.

Internally, more spacehas been made available for the screening point, the sterile lounge and thecheck baggage screening equipment, together with more space for the baggagearrival carousel.

Member for Eyre, DrGraham Jacobs said the funding promoted the development of a facility that is“truly good and great” for the town.

“As the state memberthere are still some issues we need to work through in improving schedules anddeveloping airfares at affordable prices,” he said.

“For us, that is a majorchallenge, but we need to achieve that to improve the commercial components ofEsperance and the people who visit.”

Mr Heasman said ifairfares were better priced, Skywest would have bigger load factors.

“But Skywest argue theother side: The load factor isn’t high enough to justify the reduced prices,”he said.

Mr Heasman said he feltit would be good to have a three-month trial whereby the prices were reduced tosee the impact on load factors and said he would like to approach Skywest onthese terms.

“We should try toencourage it over a tourist period where there is some inducement to see if alower airfare regime would increase the load substantially,” he said.

SHIRE of Esperance president Mal Heasman, Member for Mining and Pastoral Wendy Duncan and Member for Eyre Dr Graham Jacobs at the official opening of the Esperance Airport on Friday.

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