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Light on defence, Rams fall behind

Dubbo’s Monique Wilson pursues Central Coast’s Steph Perch during their clash at the Woolshed on Sunday. Photo: JOSH HEARDLess than 24 hours after their unbeaten start to the 2011 Waratah League season ended, the Dubbo Rams womens side bounced back with a strong performance against Central Coast Crusaders.
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Missing key personnel the Rams were no match for a very strong Queanbeyan Yowies on Saturday night, going down 63-39.

The visitors jumped the blocks early and with some impressive shooting found themselves with an early 20-9 lead.

At the main break that lead was extended to 19 points, helped mainly by excellent outside shooting which included six three-pointers.

However the Rams rallied and were able to go with the Yowies for much of the second half, eventually losing by 24 points.

Claire Hargreaves had 15 points for the Rams and Melissa Lee added 10 however it was the depth of the Queanbeyan side which really told in the end, with all 12 of their players getting on the scoreboard.

On Sunday the Rams met Central Coast Crusaders and they regrouped well to score a hard-fought 55-48 win in front of their home fans.

The Crusaders were coming off a win against Bathurst the previous night and despite going with the Rams early, had no answers in the second half.

Again defence was a feature of this game with the Crusaders holding a one point 35-34 lead at three quarter time but it was the Rams who gained control in the final period to run out strong 55-48 winners.

Caitlin Colliver (15 points), Claire Hargreaves (13) and Melissa Lee (13) again shared the scoring but it was the strong defence of the team, particularly Monique Wilson, Rebecca Rattey and Sue Davidson that ensured a win for the girls.

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Gore issues warning over record melting of the Arctic ice cap

COPENHAGEN: Al Gore has warned delegates at the climate change summit that record melting of polar and Himalayan ice could deprive more than 1 billion people of access to clean water.Adding to an avalanche of bad scientific news over the past two years, the former US vice-president cited new research showing that the Arctic ice cap may have shrunk to record low levels last year.New computer modelling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the northern hemisphere summer as early as 2014, Mr Gore said.This new projection, following several years of dramatic retreat by polar sea ice, suggests that the ice cap may be close to vanishing in the summer months much sooner than the year 2030, as was forecast by a US Government agency eight months ago. But Mr Gore’s office later qualified that claim, saying that ice would be expected to survive in island channels and other locations.A leading NASA ice scientist, Jay Zwally, said last year that the Arctic could be essentially ice-free within ”five to less than 10 years”.Mr Gore joined Scandinavian officials and scientists to present two new reports updating fast-moving developments in Antarctica and the Arctic.One report, on the Greenland ice sheet, was issued by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an expert group formed by eight Arctic governments, including the US.The other, commissioned by Mr Gore and the Norwegian Government, was compiled by the Norwegian Polar Institute on the status of ice melt worldwide.”There are more than a billion people on the planet who get more than half of their drinking water – many of them all of their drinking water – from the seasonal melting of snow melt and glacier ice,” Mr Gore said.AP, AFP
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G77 plays game of chicken as time runs out

COPENHAGEN: As the climate conference moved towards its climax, with Prince Charles and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, preparing to speak on the urgency of acting on climate change, inside and outside the giant meeting hall proceedings ground to a halt.With just days left until the deal is supposed to be sealed, there are deeply worrying signs that this will be not be crunch time but cop-out time.Penny Wong and her team of negotiators are clearly frustrated. The walk-out by the G77 nations, led by Sudan but acting as proxy for the big players China, India and Brazil, came to symbolise the game of chicken being played out here. In retaliation, Australia’s negotiators, backed by the European Union and Japan, briefly shut down discussion of rich country targets to cut emissions.For millions around the world watching these talks, the tactics on all sides are difficult to understand. On the one hand, the ministers are proselytising on the threat posed by climate change. Yet inside the meetings the big players are not budging.Australia, the US, Europe and Japan insist the problem lies with China, India and Brazil, and their allies in Africa. These countries will not take on verifiable targets to curb their soaring emissions in a legal treaty, they say. Without this, any cuts by the rich countries will be overwhelmed.The response from China and the G77 is blunt. Rich countries have come to Copenhagen with targets to cut their emissions well below what was promised in Bali and what is needed by science, and with little real money on the table for the long-term battle on climate change.Squashed in between the big players are the poorest and most vulnerable countries, the small island states such as the Maldives and African nations such as Rwanda that are facing catastrophic consequences with even two degrees of warming. These nations have the big powers lobbying them to line up on one side or the other.After testing the limits of brinkmanship on Monday, all sides took a collective deep breath. The European Union Minister of the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, emerged to tell reporters that ”we are really prepared to really discuss all issues in the negotiations”. Wong said Australia was not trying to kill Kyoto. But still, all the developed countries insist they want a deal that brings the big polluters in the developing world into a separate binding treaty and are determined not to sign up to ambitious targets without big movement from China, India and Brazil.With this stand-off continuing, just how much the 120 leaders can do when they arrive is limited. The proposed agreement is still riddled with ”brackets” – spaces left for the contentious details to be inserted.As Marcelo Furtado, the Greenpeace observer from Brazil put it, ”They are still bracketing Mother Earth.”
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Peckham’s pack impress with style, enthusiasm

Dubbo Rams captain-coach Nathan Peckham believes his side has set a standard for 2011 with strong performances in their weekend double-header against Maitland and Cessnock.
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While they finished the weekend with a win and a loss, it was the style of play and enthusiasm that impressed Peckham.

On Saturday the Rams met Maitland and, while they lost 55-45, it was only small things that let us down.

“We were competitive for the whole match and we were

only down by two points early in the fourth quarter,” Peckham said.

“I thought we let them get to the free-throw line a bit too much and those easy points were the difference in the end.

“But it was an improvement on what we had done the previous week and it transferred into Sunday which was good.”

Damien Reid scored 12 points on Saturday for the Rams, with Marty Roberts adding eight in his first game back from junior representative duties.

Peckham was impressed with Roberts’ performances over the weekend after throwing him into the starting point guard role.

“Marty was very mature on the court. I threw a challenge out there for him and he responded by scoring eight and 10 points and his ball distribution was good as well.”

On Sunday the Rams met an under-strength Cessnock Cobras side, with the coach keen to see his side rack up a big win.

They delivered with an impressive 98-58 victory, led by 26 points from guard Jordan Morrow.

“Our defence really won the match for us because we employed a full-court press and when you do that, you really sort out the good teams from the

not-so-good teams,” Peckham said.

“They were under-strength and we were able to steal a lot of ball from them because they couldn’t handle our defensive pressure.”

Aside from Roberts, Reid and Morrow the Rams were also well-served by Mick Townsend and John Swan, who took

himself off the golf course to play his first matches for the Dubbo side.

“Swanny played a lot of basketball before he found his niche in golf,” Peckham said.

“He bought a lot of enthusiasm and voice to the team and that really spread and our communication was great.”

The Rams will now have a week off before they travel to Sydney for a double-header against Hornsby and Hawkesbury on May 14-15.

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Easter helps Hart hop to victory on the green

ABOVE: Harry Hart putts on for his massive 26 points in Tuesday’s veteran’s stableford event.Harry Hart had so many chocolate Easter eggs they gave him the energy to score a massive 26 points (with a wipe) and record a victory in Tuesday’s stableford round at the Dubbo Golf Club.
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Ross Graham nailed second spot with a very handy 25 points with John Wilson rounding out the podium placing with a tidy 23.

Barry Cooper, playing in the final group, literally brought home the NTP card with his 131cm tee shot on the 11th. Vouchers in the field of 55 went to 19 after a countback.

Terry Sloggett made the most of getting a shot back and returned a very handy 22 points in Wednesday’s round on the 10-18 layout.

Peter Phillips was next best with 21 points, while ball comp winners cut off at 18 points in the field of 31 starters.

Peter Heywood will remember last Friday as his “pot of gold” day. He managed to win the Craig Mears sponsored monthly trophy, was runner-up in the Horizons monthly pointscore and took out the Friday 4BBB with partner Clem Long with 28 points.

Heywood will now be spending the next three months in Nelson Bay holidaying and counting his cash.

Meanwhile, Friday’s 4BBB witnessed some excellent scoring with Brian Crispin and Col Yates (27) picking up second place with the duo of Barry Cooper and Paul Nolan securing third spot in a three-way countback on 25.

Cooper also knocked off the NTP on the 5th, his second for the week.

Congratulations also to Michael Logan who was awarded the Horizons Village monthly point score golf shirt after returning several impressive wins during the month.

And finally, Greg Vane returned to the clubhouse on Saturday with a very healthy 24 points to take the major trophy from fast finishing Rob Atkins, Peter Phillips and Gerry Dawson who tied on 23. With 31 players in the field vouchers cut out at 19 points.

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Cries of ‘C’mon Aussie’ stir yobbo pride

IT IS drizzling and 5 degrees outside and we’re riding the metro to Copenhagen’s Bella Centre, the site of the summit on climate change. With two inflatable green-and-gold kangaroos under our arms, we are starting to wonder what we’re doing here.Getting up before dawn (which in Denmark is 8am), we thought we could pick up a pen and cardboard in time to arrive for the opening session of the day, placards in hand.Wrong! We are strangers in a strange land, and in this country there are no newsagents and everything seems to open at 10am or later. Two hours and no stationery shops later, we make do with cardboard salvaged from outside a Legoland megastore and textas from a toy shop.We arrive at the conference centre slightly frazzled and seriously behind schedule. Despite this, we find ourselves almost alone in protesting outside as delegates and observers join the 100-metre queue to enter the building.Taking a deep breath of frosty air, we overcome mild embarrassment to launch into our first round of “C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon”. Spurred on by a few cheers from the queue, we sing with more gusto. In fact, it’s starting to feel a bit like we’re at the footy.We start interspersing the singing with a few shouts of “C’mon Australia, get a real target”.The yobbo pride is infectious, and you can pick the Aussies in the queue by their laconic smiles. The non-Australians are bemused, and we are constantly asked “what is KRudd?”, followed by the horrified question: “Is 5 per cent really your country’s target? What a joke!”We are asked who we are representing, and receive baffled looks as we explain we aren’t from any organisation, but are here off our own bat as concerned Australians.We are here to deliver a message to our government that its current climate policy is a global embarrassment.We are four young Australian friends hailing from Gladesville, the Blue Mountains, Glenorie and Kangaroo Valley, who would otherwise be spending our holidays on the beach and chilling at music festivals. This summer, we feel it’s more important to have what small effect we can on the negotiations that will decide our future.Inside the conference, the coal lobby is whispering in our delegation’s ears so it’s left to us to stand outside in the freezing cold singing “c’mon Kevin, c’mon”.Mithra Cox is an Australian who has travelled independently to Copenhagen.
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Brill back on side with Demons

Dubbo Demons captain-coach Kim Woodman is hopeful of having midfielder Rohan Brill back in the fold this week as the side endeavours to claim its first win of the 2011 Reliance Petroleum Cup.
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The Demons let a couple of chances slip in a 16.13-109 to 10.10-70 loss against the Young Saints at Burrangong Oval, Young, last Saturday.

The 39-point result wasn’t a true indication of the gulf between the two sides, with the home side dominating the third quarter and setting up a match-winning lead.

For the Demons, powerful full forward Greg Richter booted five goals while youngsters Jackson Mawbey and Mitch Haley were among the other goalkickers.

Former captain-coach Terry Lyons also made a welcome return from injury, playing in a backline that contained a number of young players.

Woodman faces a tough task to get his side up for this Saturday’s clash against Cowra but said he is hopeful Brill would be available for selection. “Rohan is our best and fairest from last season and he is one of our more experienced midfielders,” Woodman said.

“He has had a back injury and hopefully will be back this week. If it’s not this week it should be the week after so that will be a boost for us.

“On the weekend our midfield was pretty good. We were able to get the ball inside our forward 50 a lot better and that shows with ‘Richo’ kicking five goals.

“We were probably let down by our crumbing but we had about five juniors playing first grade and a couple of other guys making their debut.”

While Brill’s anticipated return will help the Demons, they will be missing Tom Quilter and Doug North for the foreseeable future.

North has gone to Queensland for the birth of a child while Quilter is expected to be out long term with a dislocated clavicle.

“Tom is looking at six to eight weeks on the sideline so we won’t have him for a while which is a shame,” Woodman said.

“He’s one of the crumbing players we could use right now so its not good to be missing him. Doug is one of our better midfielders but he has a baby coming so hopefully he will be back in a couple of weeks.

“In the meantime we will continue to give the young guys a go in first grade and reward them for the work they are putting in.”

YOUNG SAINTS 16.13-109 (Lloyd Kimber 4, Robert Harrington 4, Rence Cummins 3, Craig Turner 3, Geoff Harmer, Fred Cummins goals) def DUBBO DEMONS 10.10-70 (Greg Richter 5, Brendan Ford, Jackson Mawby, John Card, Mich Haley, Stephen Howlett goals)

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Advocates report death threats

DEATH threats emailed to Australian climate-change advocates in Copenhagen have been forwarded to police.Members of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which includes high school students worried about climate change, have been threatened with torture and lynching when they return from the summit, apparently for calling for deeper greenhouse gas emissions cuts.It comes as the FBI investigates death threats made to two British climate scientists whose correspondence was stolen from the archives of the University of East Anglia.Australian climate scientists have also told the Herald they have received intimidating emails and letters in recent weeks.One email sent to Anna Rose, the co-director of the youth climate group, threatened graphic violence and ended with ”you won’t be going home”.”We hope that these aren’t serious threats but it did shake us,” Ms Rose said.”The scariest part of us getting this threat is that it’s not isolated. Speaking to others across the globe working on climate change – scientists, advocates and journalists – it seems these kinds of threats have intensified in the last few weeks.”Another letter from an Australian email account, sent to Ms Rose’s co-director, Amanda McKenzie, referred to killing and torturing children and said Ms McKenzie would ”burn in hell”. That letter also referred to the stolen email scandal at East Anglia University.Ms Rose and Ms McKenzie, jointly named Young Environmentalist of the Year this year by the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, are in Copenhagen leading a group of about 40 young Australians and Pacific islanders.The emails have been forwarded to the Australian Federal Police and state police.Andy Pitman, a climate researcher at the University of NSW, who is also a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said he had also received threats via email, including ominous messages referring to where he lives.”I’ve got no evidence to suggest this is an orchestrated campaign,” Professor Pitman said.”I think there are two groups of people – the sceptics group which truly believes we are wrong about the science and they’re very upset about it, and then there’s a separate branch which can be abusive.”Professor David Karoly, of Melbourne University, a leading climate scientist and IPCC author, has also received intimidating messages. Professor Karoly has recently been the subject of a formal complaint of academic misconduct for saying there is no credible peer-reviewed research that overturns the theory of human-induced climate change.
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Parliament time finally arrives for Grant

MP Troy Grant will be sworn into Parliament today. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSDubbo MP Troy Grant will be officially sworn in to NSW’s 55th Parliament today.
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Known as the bear pit, the state parliament will welcome 51 Liberals, 18 Nationals, 20 Labor members, three Independents and one Green into its Macquarie Street den.

For his first day in parliament the former police inspector has been placed in charge of his Nationals colleagues while they are in the chamber.

Mr Grant was elected as Dubbo MP over after the sitting member Dawn Fardell with a demolishing primary vote of 60 per cent in the March 26 poll. Since his election Mr Grant has met with five ministers while learning the ropes of his new role.

The new MP has said he is aware of the task he faces in living up to the Coalition’s

promises regarding the electorate.

Last week Mr Grant met with Education Minister Adrian Piccoli about the review of the Dubbo College structure.

“We have commenced that review and I have accepted an invitation to the P and C’s next meeting,” he said.

Mr Grant also met with Roads Minister Duncan Gay last Thursday in Sydney.

The couple discussed the pledges the Coalition made about more overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway and increasing the speed limit to 110 km/h.

“He’s working on that now to have a timetable for that and the overtaking lanes to occur,” he said.

“We also discussed funding of the Tracker Riley Cycleway.”

Mr Grant will be joined by his wife and their two children at the swearing in ceremony.

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‘Falcon’ to drop in: Big names in Bourke to watch Outback Challenge

Talented youngsters from the entire western region of NSW will converge on Bourke tomorrow to show their skills in front of some of the game’s biggest names.
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Mario Fenech, Hazem El Masri and David Peachey will travel to the town to oversee the Outback Challenge round robin tournament aimed at children from years 3-6.

In recent years the tournament, with the help of the Australian Rugby League (ARL) has grown in stature and this year 14 teams of boys and six girls squads will compete for the title, which was last year won by Goodooga.

South Dubbo Primary finished runners-up last year and they will again be sending a team to compete against schools from Bourke, Cobar, Warren, Walgett, Gulargambone, Nyngan and Brewarrina.

There is also a team of Bourke Distance Education Centre students who are from large regional properties and have never played together.

Fenech, who is one of the ARL’s ‘One Community’ ambassadors, yesterday told the Daily Liberal how proud he is to see the event growing.

“I’ve been there a couple of times now and the thing about the carnival is that these kids just want to play rugby league,” Fenech said.

“They come from so far away, I think the area is about 600km apart for some of them, to play football and it’s their only chance to play this great game.

“Rugby league does a lot for the community, it really represents the whole community and myself and Hazem and ‘Peach’ are lucky to be involved with bringing this carnival to Bourke.”

After enjoying a career which included 274 club matches with South Sydney, North Sydney and South Queensland, as well as two State of Origin appearances for NSW, Fenech is now entrenched within the NRL and in the media.

He said a film crew from Channel 9’s The Footy Show will also be travelling to Bourke for the tournament.

“A crew will be coming out and we will be covering the carnival and it will be good to show everyone who loves rugby league what these kids face,” he said.

“The good thing is the media – your paper and The Footy Show included – are giving these events publicity and letting people know they are on.

“There is a lot of talented kids in some of these places and they don’t get much of a chance and I am just so proud to be able to bring rugby league to them.”

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