Jun 20

Mullaloo Beach reopened after injured seal sparked shark fears

A 30-kilogram seal has made its way back into the water after fears it had suffered a shark bite led to the closure of Mullaloo Beach.
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Officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife monitored the injured bull seal throughout Sunday until the animal returned to the ocean, a spokesperson said on Monday.

Rangers sectioned off an area around the seal and waited with it until the late afternoon, when it returned to the ocean.

Surf Life Saving WA reported the adult male seal may have been bitten by a shark, and a helicopter patrol was carried out but no sightings were made.

Shark warning in Scarborough

Further south, Scarborough beachgoers have been warned to look out for sharks, after monitoring equipment washed ashore on Saturday.

Tagged sharks in the area will not be identified by the monitoring network until it is fixed.

A buoy receiver used to alert authorities of nearby tagged sharks, broke free of its station off Scarborough Beach and was found on Peasholm Dog Beach.

The Department of Fisheries said staff members had begun plans to re-install the monitor in its normal location.

The tagged shark monitors are part of a range of shark hazard mitigation strategies in place.

Members of the public should report shark sightings to water police on 9442 8600.

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Jun 20

Castrol EDGE Man of the Series

Each week, Fairfax rugby writers will vote for the best-performing Wallabies players of the Rugby Championship round. Three, two and one points will be awarded by each panellist, with the points being tallied to determine the Wallabies player of the series. The Herald will print running totals each week. The winner will be awarded the Castrol Edge Wallabies Strongest Performer trophy.
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Points after round five:

Michael Hooper 75Christian Lealiifano 28Israel Folau 25Scott Fardy 19Will Genia 19Adam Ashley-Cooper 17Stephen Moore 17James O’Connor 15Nic White 12Quade Cooper 9Robert Simmons 9Tevita Kuridrani 7Ben Mowen 6Ben McCalman 4James Slipper 4James Horwill 3Matt Toomua 1

Panellists: Georgina Robinson, Paul Cully, Stephen Samuelson, Chris Dutton, Spiro Zavos, Matthew Burke, Peter FitzSimons, Rupert Guinness, Phil Lutton.

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Jun 20

Seven scoops the ratings pool with Matthew Ames’ heart-warming tale of survival

Sunday Night … Amputee Matthew Ames with his wife Diane, and their three sons and young daughter. Water therapy .. Matt Ames frequently exercises in the pool.
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Becoming the bionic man

A special episode of Channel Seven’s flagship current affairs program, Sunday Night — devoted entirely to a man who had both arms and legs surgically removed — drew more than 2.12 million viewers nationally.

It was the second most-watch program last night behind Seven’s The X Factor, which had 2.35 million viewers – and well ahead of arch-rival 60 Minutes on Nine, which had 1.32 million. (Figures reflect combined metropolitan and regional audiences.)

The Sunday Night episode, titled ‘Bionic Dad’ and presented by veteran reporter Mike Willesee, told the story of Matthew Ames, his wife Diane and their four children.

Twenty years after Matthew and Diane fell in love at university, he came down with what he thought was a bout of “man flu”. But his agony intensified and after visiting four different doctors, who each sent him back to bed, his family took him to hospital.

He was diagnosed with toxic shock from Streptococcus A – a normally harmless bacteria that can turn fatal if it gets into the bloodstream – and was soon in a coma. Doctors amputated Matthew’s left arm but the infection continued to spread.

It was then the specialists forced Diane to make a grim choice. They gave her husband a tiny one per cent chance of survival – but they had to remove his three remaining limbs to give him that chance. Diane did not hesitate to consent, but took their children to the hospital to say goodbye to their father before his extremely risky operation.

Incredibly, Matthew survived, emerging from the coma to find he had no arms or legs.

The program showed that although the bond between Matthew and his family has deepened, his battle is far from over. Because he was not injured at work or in a traffic accident, he has fallen through the cracks of the disability support system. In order to feed himself and go to the toilet without assistance, he needs prosthetics that cost more than $500,000, for which a fund has been established.

The story of the Ames family’s courage has helped Seven dominate the top three ratings slots of the night, with its 6pm news bulletin taking third place with 1.85 million viewers.

Nine claimed the next three spots with its 6pm bulletin at No. 4 (1.66 million); Australia’s Got Talent at No. 5 (1.49 million); and 60 Minutes at No. 6.

US crime comedy-drama Bones took seventh place for Seven with 1.27 million.

At No. 8 was ABC1’s 7pm news bulletin with 1.23 million and its documentary series Supersized Earth took the ninth spot with 1.1 million.

Channel Ten had one program in the top 10: the second episode of US sitcom Modern Family at No. 10 with 1.07 million.

The top-rating morning program was Weekend Sunrise on Seven with an audience of 358,000 in the five major capital cities, while Weekend Today on Nine had 272,000. (All figures from this point are for the five capital cities only as full regional ratings are not yet available.)

ABC’s political program Insiders had a combined audience of 312,000 in its various slots while Ten’s The Bolt Report had 204,000.

The top-rating digital channel program was Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom on ABC2 with 250,000.

Overall, the Seven network had a 36.3 per cent share of the audience, followed by Nine on 25.5 per cent and Ten on 19 per cent. The ABC channels claimed 14.5 per cent and the SBS channels had 4.8 per cent.

The top-rating individual channel was Seven with a 28.2 per cent share, followed by Nine on 20 per cent, Ten on 13.4 per cent, ABC1 on 10.7 per cent and SBS One on 4.1 per cent.

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Jun 20

Ellen moves on from her $11m farm

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Photo: Reuters. Ellen DeGeneres and Melbourne-born Portia de Rossi, have sold their California getaway for $US10.85 million ($11.65 million).
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The property as having eight private cottages, a tennis court, an art barn, yoga pavilion, stables, dressage area and a windmill.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her actor wife, Melbourne-born Portia de Rossi, have sold their California getaway for $US10.85 million ($11.65 million). The equestrian estate, Hidden Valley Farm, was bought by the couple in 2009 for $US8.5 million, a year after they were married at their Beverley Hills home.

Marketing by Sotheby’s pitched the 10.5-hectare property as having eight private cottages, a tennis court, an art barn, yoga pavilion, stables, dressage area and a windmill.

The couple put it up for sale in 2011 for $US16.5 million, but after nine months it was taken off the market, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It was relisted in June for $US11 million, which was upped to $US12.995 million in July. It was reported sold last week. In August, the couple sold a Beverly Hills two-bedroom penthouse for $US843,000.

The couple have bought a Santa Barbara estate for $US26.5 million.

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Jun 20

Students fill in for paramedics on Sunshine Coast

University students have been forced to fill in for Sunshine Coast paramedics due to financial cutbacks, potentially putting patients’ lives at risk.
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On Saturday night, trainee paramedics from the University of the Sunshine Coast were asked to man crews out of the Coolum and Maroochydore stations, according to the United Voice Union.

Student paramedics are not allowed to practise on patients and it is unknown if those involved had undergone advanced driver training.

The union described the situation as “fraught with danger” and unfair on patients, paramedics and students.

The students were asked to cover after two officers could not fill their shifts due to illness.

Read more at The Sunshine Coast Daily

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Jun 20

Man, dog and ute roll down embankment

A man and his dog have escaped death after the ute they were travelling in lost control and rolled down an embankment at the weekend.
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Tweed Police Inspector Jim Kain said the car was travelling south on Tweed Valley Way, to Murwillumbah when the crash happened.

“He failed to navigate a right hand bend near Green Hills Caravan park,” he said.

“The car crashed head on with a three and slid down an embankment.”

Murwillumbah NSW Fire and Rescue captain Greg Hayes said the embankment was two metres high.

Read more at The Tweed Daily News

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Jun 20

Fast tracking new Tweed police station to save money

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest hopes the new Tweed Heads police station and local court plans progress quickly to save taxpayer dollars.
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On Tuesday morning, My Daily News broke the story that a development application for the new Wharf St precinct had been lodged with Tweed Shire Council.

The plans showed a three-storey building with an underground car park.

Mr Provest told the Daily News he expected to hear if the station would go ahead soon.

“I would say we will hear the decision within three months,” he said.

Read more at The Tweed Daily News

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Jun 20

Work starts on Cleveland ambo station 

RECONSTRUCTION work is due to start this week on the Cleveland Ambulance Station in Wellington Street, nearly three yearsafter it was gutted by fire in one of the worst arson attacks in Redland City.
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The Cleveland ambulance building was extensively damaged and three newly purchased ambulance vehicles destroyed. The total cost of replacing the building will be $4.3 million.

The station was relocated to nearby Enterprise Street in Cleveland, where it will remain until the new building is complete.

After the fire, Cleveland MP Mark Robinson vowed to ensure the station would be rebuilt as soon as possible.

This week he said reconstruction works were on track. The contract for the work was awarded to Nairn Constructions and completion is due in June 2014.

A 23-year-old Wellington Point woman was charged with entering with intent, two counts of arson, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and possession of house-breaking tools after the fire ripped through the five-vehicle station in the early hours of Wednesday, October 27, 2010.

The matter was listed for mention in Brisbane District Court on Friday and was listed again for mention on November 11.

The burned Cleveland Ambulance Station on Wellington Street. Photo: Chris McCormack

The burned Cleveland Ambulance Station on Wellington Street. Photo: Chris McCormack

The burned Cleveland Ambulance Station on Wellington Street. Photo: Chris McCormack

The burned Cleveland Ambulance Station on Wellington Street. Photo: Chris McCormack

Demolition works started on the site after the fire in 2010. Photos: Chris McCormack

Demolition works started on the site after the fire in 2010. Photos: Chris McCormack

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Jun 20

Council backs Chewton pool

A request for operational funding for the Chewton Swimming Pool was given the green light at the Mount Alexander Shire Council meeting last Tuesday night.
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Councillor Christine Henderson put forward a notice of motion requesting funds to provide ongoing support to Chewton Pool Incorporated for the operation of the pool.

In 2011, the council resolved to allocate $25,000 a year to support the operation of the pool. That funding agreement expires in 2014. In order to renew its appointment as a Committee of Management with the DSE, now known as the Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI), Chewton Pool Inc. needs to demonstrate that it has ongoing support from the council.

In her report, Cr Henderson said that the current funding arrangement between Chewton Pool Inc. and the council falls substantially below the actual running costs associated with operating the pool. The motion proposed for the council to continue to provide funding and that funding levels be increased to $35,000 for 2013-2014, to $38,000 for 2014-2015, to $40,000 for 2015-2016 and for $40,000 again for 2016-2017.

Cr Henderson’s motion noted that the pool has proved to be popular, with over 7000 people using it in the recent swimming season. Also noted was that implicit in the funding proposal was the expectation that Chewton Pool Inc. is successful in extending the term of its agreement or forming a new agreement with DEPI until at least the end of the 2017 swimming season, and if not, that funding will cease after the 2013-2014 financial year.

During question time, the president of Chewton Pool Inc., Fritz Hammersley, spoke in support of Cr Henderson’s motion.

“I think it is an excellent proposal and I speak on behalf of everyone on the committee,” Mr Hammersley said.

Councillor Jess Howard questioned locking in funding amounts on an agreement between DEPI and Chewton Pool Inc. when future costs may be unknown.

“I do want to support this motion but I have grave concerns about committing funds into the future,” Cr Howard said.

Councillor Sharon Telford commented that this was something the council had been considering for some months and was not something that was being taken lightly.

Councillor Tim Barber said that the Chewton community taking over operation of the pool had saved the council “quite a bit of money, especially considering the capital improvements that have been undertaken”.

“I feel that we should take that into consideration,” Cr Barber said.Cr Henderson said she was anticipating that DEPI would again commit to three years of funding as they had previously done.The motion was carried with a unanimous vote from all seven councillors.

Mount Alexander Shire councillor, Christine Henderson (centre) with Chewton Pool Inc. committee member, Gerard Oldman (and Biscuit the pooch), treasurer Bronwyn Dawson, president Fritz Hammersley and his son Dashielle, committee member Helen McGeachin and secretary Damian Mason at the Chewton Pool.

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Jun 20

Lachie Malloy awarded Lions best and fairest

MDFL – Lachie Malloy has been named Rhodes Plumbing Great Western Lions best and fairest for 2013.
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Malloy played every game this year, booted 20 goals and received five Mininera and District Football League best on ground nominations.

He was a stand out in the midfield, provided great leadership throughout the season and was a much-deserved winner of the award.

Defender and previous Lions best and fairest winner, Robert Garley took home the senior runner up best and fairest honours.

Onballer Jayson Smith received the Great Western reserves best and fairest for season 2013.

In his first season with the club, the hard running midfielder showed superb skills and led the way with his attack on the ball.

Smith just edged out Lions ruckman Craig Cooper for the top honours.

It was a successful season for all involved with the Great Western reserves, who claimed their maiden MDFL premiership against Wickliffe Lake Bolac.

Defender Adam Bullock received the senior coach’s award, while fellow defender Clint Slorach picked up the most consistent award.

Despite missing four games this season, Lee Ann Moana managed to take out the A grade Great Western netball vote count with Georgia Notting claiming the runner up spoils.

Moana was also runner up in the League vote count for 2013.

Emma Leggett took home the B grade netball best and fairest from Mollie Simpson, while C grade was shared between Kate Ramsdell and Emma Fiscalini.

Bianca Beasley finished runner up behind the winning C grade pair.

Great Western Lions’ senior best and fairest Lachie Malloy.

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