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Barrels of talent: Fanning, Gilmore lead charge from Snapper Rocks

OAHU: Of all the surfers at all the beaches on Earth, both world champions come from the same wave … Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.”Crazy, huh?” Stephanie Gilmore said while joining Mick Fanning’s celebrations near Sunset Beach.”I guess the waves are consistently good, it’s a really healthy lifestyle up there, everyone is friends. There’s so much history with guys like Bugs [Wayne Bartholomew] who got it all started. You see guys like Mick grow up and become professionals and it makes you think you could do the same. Everyone out at Snapper is pushing themselves higher and higher. It can be like one big heat with hundreds of people in it. All those qualities you need in professional surfing, you get it at Snapper.”On her memories of Fanning and world No.2 Joel Parkinson on the Superbank, Gilmore added: ”Mick was always so fast out there when I was growing up, he could fit in more manoeuvres than anyone else. Joel, behind the rock at Snapper, he just had this intuition about the wave, he’d pull into barrels just before he was about to get slammed on the rock. He just had this magic behind the rock that a lot of others didn’t.”Fanning and Gilmore stood in the back yard of a crowded house, wrapped themselves in Australian flags, grabbed Fanning’s world championship trophy and laughed at Mark Occhilupo’s description of Coolangatta as ”the friggin’ Hollywood of surfing”. Fanning and Gilmore are entering the pantheon of Australia’s surfing greats even if they’re too modest to talk about it. Fanning’s two world titles match the dual triumphs of the revered Tom Carroll in the 1980s. He’s within reach of Mark Richards’s four-peat from 1979-1982. Gilmore is such a staggering talent, with three world titles at the age of 21, that she’s on track to do the unthinkable by matching Kelly Slater’s nine world crowns.”Snapper and Cooly is a really close-knit community,” Fanning said. ”They don’t care if you’re the world champion or the biggest bum living in the gutter across the road. People are straight-up and that’s the way it should be. I remember seeing Steph when she started coming through. People used to write me off because I’d try to tell them how good she was going to be. What better person than her to be a world champion? She’s the best ambassador that surfing could have, for guys or girls. She’s just a beautiful person.”The Billabong Pipeline Masters is expected to resume on Tuesday. Parkinson leads the Vans Triple Crown ratings while Dean Morrison, Taj Burrow and Bede Durbidge are in the quarter-finals at Pipe.”We’re not finished,” Fanning said. ”I’ve won, Parko is going to win the Triple Crown and Dingo [Morrison] is going to win Pipe.”Morrison’s breeding ground? Snapper Rocks.
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CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Dubbo figure tipped to join Infrastructure NSW

Dubbo’s influence on the corridors of power could soon be boosted by the appointment of a local figure to a body which is being tasked with driving NSW’s recovery.
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At the weekend former state Premier Nick Greiner was named as chairman of NSW Infrastructure.

Mr Greiner, 64, will report directly to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell as he advises on a promised $5 billion worth of road, rail, hospital and port projects.

In the lead-up to the election the Coalition pledged 30 per cent of the infrastructure fund to projects in the bush.

The government is expected to announce its regional appointment to Infrastructure NSW’s board in the next few days.

While Dubbo MP Troy Grant would not reveal any names he confirmed the person had close links to Dubbo.

“I couldn’t be more delighted with the appointment,” he said.

Mr Grant said the Dubbo electorate had “such an important role to play” in the state’s recovery that it was vital the seat was “at the centre of a lot of investment”.

“The thing about Infrastructure NSW is it will have a regional representative on that board,” he said.

The body will have the job of prioritising infrastructure projects worth more than $100 million as well as deciding how they are funded and overseeing their delivery.

Mr Grant said Dubbo Base Hospital’s redevelopment would not be overseen or prioritised by the body because the project had already been committed to.

“That’s how I understand it,” he said.

Despite having pledged $50 million to the hospital’s redevelopment the government has not announced a start date for the project.

The redevelopment is only one of several infrastructure projects badly needed in Dubbo.

Last year an independent report pointed out Dubbo City Council had an infrastructure backlog of $25 million.

As a transport hub along the Newell Highway there is also concern with how the city will cope with the nation’s growing freight task expected to double by 2020.

Infrastructure NSW will prepare a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy (SIS) to provide a long-term plan for large-scale projects.

It will also design detailed five-year infrastructure plans to be funded in the Budget’s forward estimates.

Mr Grant backed the appointment of Mr Greiner who he said had a “a wealth of experience” delivering large projects in and out of government.

“He understands the issues in NSW,” Mr Grant said.

Mr Greiner’s appointment has already come under question with some commentators saying it will lead to accusations that Infrastructure NSW is a political body.

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Ex-Bega doctor faces 52 more charges

Former doctor Graeme Reeves appeared in court today, facing 52 more charges in regard to sexual assault, bodily harm and fraud offences.
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The new charges, which involve as many as 21 incidents, date back to 1989.

The previous set of more of than 100 charges Mr Reeves faces were all related to offences allegedly committed between 2001 and 2003.

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Three tries a charm for play-reader Rennick

Nyngan under-18s fullback Declan Hoare (1) runs into the defence of Macquarie prop Leroy Toomey. The young Raiders started their Group 11 premiership defence grinding out a 26-16 win over the Tigers. Hoare was later a start in first grade scoring three tries.MACQUARIE RAIDERS 30
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(Zac Rennick 3, Jade Williams, Shannon Ireland tries, Patrick Jackson 4, Jeremy Smith goals)

NYNGAN TIGERS 14

(Declan Hoare 3 tries, Claude Gordon goal)

Three tries by Macquarie lock Zac Rennick was a senior football career highlight as the Raiders started their Tooheys New Group 11 campaign with a convincing 30-14 victory over Nyngan Tigers at Apex Oval.

Surprisingly only a moderate crowd was on hand to see the Raiders do most of their best work in the first half and lead 24-8.

The feature in those first 40 minutes was the backing-up of Rennick who gave probably one of his most outstanding displays.

“The last time I got three tries was in junior league,” he beamed after the game on Saturday night.

Rennick’s reading of the play could not have been better. First up he charged onto a dummy half pass from Perry Meredith; then his captain-coach Jade Williams did the lead-up work for try

two; and then he kept his best for last.

Again it was Williams who turned the Nyngan defence around with a chip that was gathered by fullback Steve Ryan who found Rennick on his inside to take the final pass.

Raiders’ kicker Pat Jackson appreciated the fact that Rennick scored all his tries under the posts giving him the easiest of conversions.

In that first half Williams also bagged a try, but the Tigers also provided some wonderful attacking football.

They led 4-0 after flying teenage winger Declan Hoare raced onto a well-judged chip from five-eighth Claude Gordon.

It was the same scenario 30 minutes later. Same kick from Gordon, same determination from Hoare.

Adding to his night’s work, Hoare completed his hat-trick 12 minutes from full-time and again it was his blistering pace that gave the Raiders’ defence no chance down the right hand side flank.

Williams, who spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after a series of penalties awarded by referee Willie Barnes, was happy enough with the effort.

“It’s always nice to start the season with a win. Our defence held up nicely and we were able to match them in that regard but there’s still some work to do,” he said.

“I thought young Perry Meredith was a standout in his first grade debut while Ben Josephs and Moses Manu in the forwards also stood up.”

After trailing by 16 in the first half, Nyngan played some good football but without reward in the final stanza.

They failed to capitalise on a series of penalties for different infringements in that period but in defence also stood up superbly with the Raiders restricted to just one try by Shannon Ireland four minutes from the end.

“It was a pity that we let them get away in the first half,” Nyngan coach Col Wright said.

“We made a few wrong options and pushed passes but they dug deep in the second half, so we’ll take that away and hope to build on that.”

Wright praised the work of half back and captain Derek Knight, his hooker Luke Matheson and of course Declan Hoare.

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Police alert as Maccas lip kisser strikes again

The suspect caught on closed circuit television at a McDonald’s restaurant.December 15, 2009 – 1:27PM
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Police have released CCTV footage of a man responsible for two aggravated indecent assaults in Sydney on Saturday.

A man who targets restaurants and kisses young children on the lips struck again today, say police.

A nine-year-old girl was kissed on the lips by a man at a McDonald’s restaurant on the Olympic Highway in Cowra about 8.30am today.

He was described as aged about 50 and wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt and long dark grey pants.

The suspect caught on closed circuit television at a McDonald’s restaurant.

He left the restaurant in a small white car with yellow and black number plates, police said.

The description of the car is similar to one driven by a man who kissed a four-year-old boy at a McDonald’s restaurant in Drummoyne then handed him a lollipop about 8.30pm on Saturday.

The same man kissed an 11-year-old boy on the mouth before touching him inappropriately while in the men’s toilets of a McDonald’s restaurant at Sylvania about 10.20pm on the same day.

The second offence occurred while the boy’s mother and sister were in the female toilets.

The man warned the boy not to tell anyone what he had done, then ran from the restaurant, police said.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman, Amy Lawrence, said the man’s description had been circulated among its NSW restaurants, and staff had been directed to contact police should they spot him.

Police said the man was about 170 centimetres tall, wore a blue shirt and pants and carried a shoulder bag.

Chief Inspector Glen Fitzgerald of Burwood police said: “This was a very brazen attack while the restaurant was full of a lot of people.”

Anyone with information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

– with Georgina Robinson

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Hospital food ‘not up to scratch’

The Australian Medical Association’s call for more nutritious food for public hospital patients has been backed by a doctor at Orange who says poorer quality food slows the healing process.
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Orange Base Hospital’s Dr Fran Gearon’s call to improve food standards for patients comes as the NSW Health Department claims to be providing better meals.

While food is cooked fresh at Dubbo Base Hospital, it is shipped in by private contractors at Orange.

“Orange, Blayney, Bathurst, Cowra, Canowindra, Molong and Parkes order food, such as pre-cooked food, from state contractors, and prepare the food on site. They are not pre-packaged meals,” a NSW Health spokesman said.

“All other sites cook fresh on site. There are no pre-packaged meals provided to patients across the Western NSW Local Health Network.”

Dr Gearon is a rehabilitation doctor who treats mainly geriatric patients and is a member of the Australian Medical Association.

She argued the food situation at Orange was delaying patient recovery.

“I think there is a real problem particularly for our older patients,” she said.

“We need to make it as palatable as possible for them to get the nutrition they need and at the moment serving food … on plastic plates, in plastic mugs and with plastic cutlery, it doesn’t look very appealing.

“It is also packaged in such a way that’s very difficult for anybody with a disability or elderly people with poor vision and poor dexterity to actually get in to it.”

While not all meals at Orange were bad, Dr Gearon said it was “pivotal” that the quality of all food at the hospital was “very high”.

“It slows down everything. If the person is not getting nutrition then their healing process is delayed,” she said.

Dr Gearon said it was NSW Health’s responsibility to ensure the food was improved and presented in a more appealing way.

“They are the ones that have decreed we have this cook-chilled business, central administration, central distribution, central preparation of meals,” she said.

NSW Health said it had developed “new nutritional standards for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.

The department would not provide menus or nutritional information about meals at Dubbo Hospital to the Daily Liberal.

The new standards would identify “the types and amounts of food that patients should receive to achieve the best health outcomes”, a spokesman said.

“NSW Health is working to standardise food packaging to ensure our meals are easy to access particularly for aged, frail and very unwell patients,” he said.

Hospital staff is there to assist patients with their meals.

Foods are purchased from suppliers and assembled and prepared in hospital kitchens by our staff.

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Blair’s Iraq testimony to be public

LONDON: Britain’s official inquiry into the Iraq war has said Tony Blair’s testimony would be ”very much in public” after claims that key parts of the former prime minister’s evidence would be given in secret.Officials said most of the questioning of the former prime minister, including on ”regime change”, would be in public. But queries about intelligence reports would be in private.The opposition Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, warned it would be ”wholly unacceptable” if Mr Blair gave any evidence behind closed doors unless it would compromise national security.The Independent on Sunday said Mr Blair’s meetings with the former US president George Bush and crucial details of the decision-making would be dealt with in secret.Mr Blair’s admission that Britain would have backed the war even if he knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction has sparked outrage and calls for his prosecution for war crimes.Mr Blair, who supported the US-led invasion in 2003, told the BBC on Sunday that he would ”still have thought it right to remove” the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, as he was a threat to the region.Lawyers representing the deposed Iraqi leadership said they would seek to prosecute Mr Blair following his remarks. One newspaper commentator said it was a ”game-changing admission” for the inquiry.Guardian News & Media, Agence France-Presse
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Changes to Peak Hill traffic conditions

Newell Highway motorists will experience changed traffic conditions north of Peak Hill due to safety work being carried out.
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The work will involve installing left turning lanes and road widening at four points along the highway and will result in a safer road with lower ongoing maintenance costs.

Work will begin on Monday and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

During work traffic will be reduced to one lane along the Newell Highway north of Peak Hill between 7am and 6pm on weekdays and 7am and 4pm on Saturdays.

Outside of these hours the speed limit will remain at 40km/h until work is completed.

Access to O’Learys Lane and Kittos Bridge Road from the Newell Highway will be closed to traffic from May 2 for seven weeks and access to Gospers Lane from the highway will be closed during that time.

Local detours will be in place for all traffic with signs in place.

The RTA advises motorists to be aware of roadwork, to slow down and take care.

Roadwork speed limits are enforceable.

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Kurds protest over ban of political party

ANKARA: Kurds have battled Turkish police with rocks and firebombs in protest against a decision to shut down a pro-Kurdish political party on charges of ties to militants.The party’s MPs said they will boycott parliament.More than 80 people were detained over the weekend at demonstrations protesting Friday’s decision by Turkey’s highest court to disband the Democratic Society Party because of alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).The party was banned a day after the PKK claimed responsibility for killing seven soldiers in an ambush in central Turkey, which outraged the country.The ban has cast uncertainty over Government efforts to grant Kurds greater rights in a bid to end a conflict with the rebels who seek autonomy.On Sunday, police in riot gear fired tear and pepper gas to disperse Kurdish protesters in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, home to businesses and fashionable shops, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.Police also prevented some residents, wielding knives, from trying to attack the protesters, the agency said.Three people were reported injured by stones and plastic bullets in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir after police broke up a protest there, Anatolia said.On Saturday, a crowd pelted an armoured police bus with stones as firebombs hit two other armoured vehicles in the town of Yuksekova, close to the borders with Iraq and Iran, Dogan news agency video showed.In neighbouring Hakkari city, a mob attempted to lynch two police officers but were prevented by local Kurdish politicians, Anatolia said. Police detained about a dozen protesters, the area’s governor said.Protests took place elsewhere in the region and the cities of Ankara and Izmir, Anatolia said.The PKK has fought for Kurdish autonomy from the Turkish state since 1984.AP
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Primitive man in the wild to go on show

Hayden Fowler’s new exhibit opens today. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEA world premiere will take place at Western Plains Cultural Centre today when a new exhibition by contemporary artist Hayden Fowler is unveiled.
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‘The Long Forgetting’ is a three channel video work exploring the modern and the primitive, with figures trapped in a stylised cave acting out rituals of hidden, or perhaps forgotten, meaning.

The official opening of the exhibition will take place at 2pm when curator Kent Buchanan will interview Hayden about his work and practice.

Born in New Zealand, Hayden is based in Sydney. He holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of New South Wales college of fine arts as well as an earlier degree in biology.

Hayden researched and produced ‘The Long Forgetting’ during a year of study in Germany.

He underwent genetic testing to identify his own Palaeolithic culture of origin and visited a number of relevant cave sites across Spain, France and Germany.

“The project explores western pre-civilisation tribal culture and deals with the placement of human beings in the context of nature,’’ Hayden said.

“Western Plains Cultural Centre is a great place to show it.’’

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