Young musicians join Riverina tour

Students from Young High School who will tour with the Riverina Combined Public Schools Band tour next week. IF you want to see some of Young’s best musicians on stage – then you can’t miss Riverina Combined Public Schools Band Tour which comes to Young next week.
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Ten students from Young High School and seven from Young Public School will be taking to the stage at Young Town Hall from 7pm Tuesday.

The students commence a weekend of intensive rehearsals at Sturt Public School Hall today, in preparation for a concert tour of Riverina from Monday, November 10 to Friday, November 14.

The tour will feature a large ensemble of 50 outstanding public school student musicians including 25 girls and 25 boys from 19 schools in regional towns and cities as far afield as Albury, Wagga, Orange, Mudgee, Hay, Dubbo and Narrabri.

The Young public school contingent is the largest representation of students from one town.

The Riverina students in this large ensemble were selected at the Riverina Music Camp in May.

In line with current policies, outstanding country music students from west of the Dividing Range have been invited to be part of the tour.

Many of the students in the band are members of the NSW Public Schools State Wind Ensembles that performed in the Opera House earlier this year.

These students are to perform together under the baton of conductor Di Hall, Arts Coordination Officer, Tamworth and coordinator of the State Wind Ensemble and West of the Divide Ensembles.

Coordinator of the Tour is Cheryl Walker, music teacher from Wagga Wagga High School. Cheryl also coordinated the annual Riverina Music Camp.

Students will also share their knowledge with younger students in band workshops.

Participating staff includes past Riverina students, now international performers, David Lockeridge and Bernard Lagana.

Entry to Tuesday night’s concernt is gold coin donation only.

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Weddin Community Native Nursery

The Weddin Community Native Nursery in East Street have a wide variety of Native plants and shrubs at very reasonable prices. Come along and see one of the friendly volunteer staff today for great service and advice regarding your planting this season.The AGM of the Nursery was held at TAFE on 31.10.14.Out going Chairperson of the Weddin Community Native Nursery, Gai Lander, presented a comprehensive report on the development of the Nursery since Oct 2012 when a group of volunteers who had completed Cert 111 in Conservation Land Management had formed a committee.
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The Weddin Landcare Steering Committee obtained funding for the construction of the fence, gravel, two shade houses, a watering system & a hot house, with volunteers providing the labour & maintenance.

An extensive seed collection is now housed on site & is constantly being added to by volunteer seed collectors.

Community support has been growing steadily as the public becomes aware of what is available. As well as purchasing plants in stock, landholders are taking advantage of the plant propagation program, where they can place orders for their particular requirements.

Gai wished the new committee every success in taking the Not For Profit enterprise to the next stage of its development.

In Treasurer Bill White’s report, he indicated that the WCNN had been able to meet all running costs & that the bank balance is healthy-largely due to the sale of approximately 12,000 plants.

Brian Johnson officiated at the election of Office Bearers for 2015:

Patron: Noel Cartwright, Chairperson: Jan Diprose, Vice Chair: Ted Franks, Treasurer: Bill White, Secretary: Di Franks

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Crowe Horwath battle tennis favourites

Round four of the Stawell Friday night tennis competition is shaping up to be an exciting battle with Crowe Horwath looking to upset the early favourites.
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Crowe Horwath will have the difficult match up against the unbeaten side, Stawell Toyota.

Crowe Horwath’s Aiden Jensz and Michael Cox have started the season in good form as has female teammate Courtney McIlvride. However, they will need a few more of their team members to improve if they are to have any chance of winning and bringing Stawell’s Toyota’s early dominance to an end.

A lot will be riding on the match, given they are on either scale of the ladder.

The result will most likely be determined by the number one men who could have either one of their combinations taking the court.

Joel Freeland makes Crowe Horwath a stronger side and if he meets Blair Hart it will be a game everyone will want to watch.

Cassidy Painting resumes after a week of rest, to battle it out with last week’s big improver Farrers Tyrepower.

Cassidy Painting dropped below Farrers Tyrepower on the ladder last week and will be keen to get that position back, but to do so they will need their younger males to have winning nights.

Riley Burke and Riley Graveson will need ample back up from the triple Js, Jemma Clarkson, Jill Faulkner and Jo Summers.

Farrers Tyrepower’s younger brigade will need to be on song to combat them, so David Simpkin, Ethan Blake, Narelle O’Shannessy, Ebony Summers and Caitlin Cooper will be given the task of claiming multiple sets against the tough opposition.

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Welsh coach Warren Gatland rubbishes suggestion Wallabies are ‘vulnerable’

CARDIFF: Wales coach Warren Gatland fears the Wallabies will thrive on recent controversies to make their spring tour a success, rubbishing the suggestion Australia is vulnerable.
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But Gatland promised that his side would “come in fully loaded” on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT) to try to land a psychological blow before the two teams meet in the World Cup next year.

Wales have been haunted by a horror losing streak against the Wallabies, which extends back to 2008 and the past nine Tests.

Making matters worse, Gatland has only beaten one of the southern hemisphere big three – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – just once in 25 matches as Welsh coach.

But while the locals in Cardiff hope the Wallabies will be off their game as they adjust to Michael Cheika’s style and recover from the Kurtley Beale drama, Gatland isn’t buying into the theory.

“You can’t underestimate the Wallabies, a lot of people have been talking about what’s happened with Kurtley Beale and those sorts of things,” Gatland said.

“Does that make them more vulnerable? With Australians it makes them stronger, they thrive on any adversity and criticism.

“We expect a really tough game on Saturday, we know what to expect and the guys are coming in fully loaded.”

New Zealand-born Gatland was Australia’s tormentor as British and Irish Lions coach last year, guiding the tourists to a 2-1 series win which ended Robbie Deans’ Wallabies tenure.

He almost took down Ewen McKenzie’s men in Cardiff a year ago, losing by just four points with the Wallabies holding on for a tight win.

The next Test at Millennium Stadium will be Gatland’s third encounter with the Wallabies under three different coaches in just 16 months.

So what does he expect from NSW Waratahs championship-winning mentor Cheika?

“I’ve got a massive amount of respect for what Michael has achieved,” Gatland said.

“He’s the only coach that’s ever won a European Cup and a Super Rugby title. What he did with Leinster was incredibly impressive and he turned NSW around in a pretty short time.

“By his own admission it will probably take a bit of time, but having seen him operate it won’t be that long. He plays a really positive brand of rugby and gets his point across succinctly.

“In 10 months time when they turn up for the World Cup they’ll be a real contender. Perhaps psychologically it could be important [to win now] … form gives you confidence but it’s not the over-riding factor.”

Gatland has previously described the World Cup next year as his team’s version of the Olympics.

Wales, Australia and England are grouped in the pool of death with at least one team to be bundled out of the tournament in the group stages.

Wales have won the European Six Nations tournament twice in the past three years.

To get his team ready, Gatland has upped the Welsh training load and have adopted cryogenic-style recovery to have them primed to end their Wallabies hoodoo.

They will also unleash back-line giant George North from the wing to outside centre to set up a mouth-watering clash with Tevita Kuridrani.

“It’s going to be a frenetic pace … We’ve really looked at a long-term plan, we’ve run things a little bit different in terms of looking at the camps as World Cup camps,” Gatland said.

“It’s something I think we’ve been pretty bold and courageous to do, you’ve got to have the confidence to do what we’re doing. To be honest, our whole focus for the next 12 months has to be getting out of our group at the World Cup.”

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Egyptian bus driver gets shock after using wife’s urine for drugs test

“Congratulations, you’re pregnant”: A male Egyptian bus driver was left flabbergasted. (File picture.) Photo: Wikimedia CommonsAn Egyptian bus driver was left flaggergasted after using his wife’s urine in a bid to avoid a mandatory drugs test, only to be told by officials: “Congratulations. You’re pregnant.”
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Employees from the General Transport Authority were asked to submit a urine sample for the drugs test.

The driver possibly knew he was going to return a positive reading, so he asked his wife to provide some of her urine.

On hearing the results of the test, he was shocked to find out his wife was pregnant,  the BBC reported, citing Egyptian news website Al-Yawm al-Sabi.

Tamer Amin, a presenter on Egyptian politics show Bottom Line, said officials asked the man to confirm the sample was his.

Amin said this made the whole encounter even more hilarious.

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Goldman calls the return of the ‘defensive bull market’

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks. The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.
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The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The rebound in the local sharemarket since mid-October has been driven once again by higher dividend-yielding stocks, largely the banks, while other sectors have failed to step up. It is what Goldman Sachs has labelled the return of the ‘defensive bull market’.

The financials sector surged 6.9 per cent in October as investors began to feel banks were looking a little less expensive after stocks – and the general market – flirted with a technical correction, which is defined as a drop of 10 per cent or more.

“Market concerns about a sooner-than-expected rise in US rates, the potential introduction of macro-prudential controls, and the risk of capital raisings have dissipated,” said Goldman Sachs head of portfolio strategy Matthew Ross.

“The sector is now only 1 per cent off recent highs, up 16.5 per cent for the year and back [to] trading at elevated multiples – 13.5 times [expected earnings], 9 per cent above the past 10-year average.”

He said underperformance in small caps, resources and energy further highlights the return of the “defensive bull market” – share gains driven by dividend-yielding companies with recurrent earnings rather than growth stocks.

Some defensive stocks Goldman Sachs remains positive about are Spark Infrastructure, Goodman Group, ANZ and Sydney Airport.

The broker also likes stocks with a high price-to-earnings ratio such as Seek, CSL, Aristocrat Leisure and ResMed.

Stocks with a neutral rating from Goldman with potential for declines include TPG Telecom, Ausnet Services, Ardent Leisure, M2, Amcor, Ramsay Health Care, Telstra, iiNet, Commonwealth Bank and APA Group.

As the Australian economy transitions away from the resources sector as its growth engine, the hope that another sector will be able to fill the gap is fading.

Analysts were not convinced companies will deliver a lot more earnings growth, judging by consensus forecasts, said Morgan Stanley analyst Chris Nicol.

“The reality is that the current single-digit growth profile [in earnings estimates for financial years 2015 to 2017] seems to fit the current trading and macro backdrop. A deterioration in conditions would only pressure earnings-per-share growth forecasts further,” Mr Nicol said.

But Mr Nicol said the appeal of Australia’s high dividend-yielding stocks would continue to provide a floor for the local sharemarket.

“While we see challenges to earnings growth, our base case does not forecast a decline in earnings. As such there will be some perceived stability in the quantum of dividends and cash yield,” Mr Nicol said.

“Yes, the prospect of rates rising, eventually, will pressure the yield trade within equities, but we continue to highlight that any shift will be a gradual unwind rather than a bubble-like unravel.”

Despite the recent jump in financial stocks, Morgan Stanley has retained its underweight recommendation on banks.

“Calling the ‘big switch’ out of banks has been a financial version of the boy who cried wolf for the last three to four years,” Mr Nicol said.

The Financial Services Inquiry and its impact, the end of access to cheap capital and challenges to dividend growth highlight there are some headwinds ahead for banks. Mr Nicol is forecasting return on equity in the big four will trend down after the Financial Services Inquiry reveals its findings.

Australia has an inflated cost base which companies can address slashing expenses to keep earnings growth ahead of sales growth, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Tim Baker.

“Australia likely has a more inflated cost base to address, compared to the US. Inefficiencies tend to creep in during the good times, as firms focus on meeting demand and defending market share, rather than internal efficiencies, And Australia’s expansion during 2003 to 2007 was a lot stronger than in the US,” Mr Baker said.

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Iron ore hits new five-year low

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones
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Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Iron ore has slumped to a fresh five-year low, despite steel mills in China reportedly cutting output in October as the supply glut continues to weigh on prices.

Overnight the price of iron ore, measured for immediate delivery to the Qingdao port in China, fell 1.4 per cent to $US75.38 per tonne. On Thursday, Dallian iron ore futures, fell 1.9 per cent.

Iron ore has now lost ground for five straight sessions and has slipped 5.3 per cent this week. The steel-making ingredient has fallen close to 45 per cent this year.

With demand remaining weak and Beijing attempting to reduce pollution ahead of this week, steel producers in China reportedly cut production.

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days.

“We expect Chinese steel production to reach 800 million tonnes in 2014 and 740 million tonnes in 2020 – a 7 per cent decline,” said Matthew Hodge, Morningstar’s head of basic materials and energy.

Inventories remain low on the consumer side, ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said, which begs the question whether or not orders are coming through on the books.

“The lack of activity is particularly low even for an event like this where you do get traders sitting on the sidelines, it seems excessively quiet which is a little bit worrying,” Mr Hynes said.

“It tends to suggest that demand is not there now, but certainly there is nothing coming through on forward order books as well, which would point to further weakness after the APEC meeting.”

The outlook from steel mills and property developers in China is still weak so any rebound is going to be very mild, Mr Hynes said.

“They [haven’t] suggested they are keen to re-stock or build any inventory into that normal high season period of demand that you get in November-December.”

Earlier in the week, The FT reported that a 170,000 tonne cargo of 62 per cent fines from Pilbara was offered at $US76.80 in China but received no bids.

The supply glut is not expected to subside, with the world’s three biggest miners, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale all expected to continue to flood the market with higher quality iron ore than their smaller rivals.

In the year-to-date, share prices in miners have suffered, but the larger firms, with lower costs of production have fared better.

BHP has slumped 11.1 per cent, Rio has fallen 12 per cent and Vale is down 37.9 per cent for the year.

Iron ore miner Fortescue has dropped 47.9 per cent, Mount Gibson is down 57.6 per cent, Arrium has lost 79.6 per cent and Atlas Iron has shed 80.4 per cent.

Morgan Stanley said this week that private iron ore traders in China expect oversupply will drive spot iron ore down further, to $US70 a tonne by the end of the year, and there is little upside to demand out of China. Iron ore financing in China also poses a big price risk.

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Mason ‘dumbfounded’ by Knights axing

Freed Willie: Mason, right, promises to bring toughness to Manly’s pack.Willie Mason cannot understand why he was tapped on the shoulder by incoming Newcastle coach Rick Stone, believing he was one of the best forwards at the club.
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The former Test prop was told he was not wanted by Stone for the next season after three years with the Knights. Despite turning 35 in April, Mason had no plans to call time on his NRL career.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I started laughing to myself, going ‘how can that happen when you’re one of the best forwards in the team?’. I just got picked in the Australian train-on squad but someone doesn’t want you? I would’ve been fine with it if someone said ‘we’re buying Sam Burgess and you have to move on’.

“I loved Newcastle and wanted to retire there. When you get told [you’re not wanted] you take a backward step and it makes you want to train and play harder.

“It was a bit disheartening because I’m a Newcastle boy and had such a good rapport with the fans. They loved me up there and they were shattered to see me go.

“That’s what happens in rugby league. I didn’t second guess myself. As soon as that door closed, about 10 other doors opened.”

One of those was Manly, where Mason has signed a one-year deal that will give the club some much-needed experience up front. The departure of veterans Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Jason King left Manly with an inexperienced pack.

The Sea Eagles will be Mason’s fifth NRL club since he made his debut for the Bulldogs in 2000. He will return to a Sydney club for the first time since leaving the Roosters at the end of 2009.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better club if I wanted to,” Mason said. “I wanted to stay in Sydney and go to a good club.”

Mason joins Feleti Mateo, Siosaia Vave and Zane Tetevano as additions to the Sea Eagles forward pack.

Hooker Matt Ballin said Mason would help fill the void left by the departure of some of the club’s longest serving players.

“He has great leadership skills,” Ballin said. “He has been around for 15 years and brings knowledge about football. His enthusiasm on and off the field will be great around the club.

“The major thing [he’ll add] is the experience which we need. We’ve lost some really key players in the last two or three years, especially in the front-row. There are some great qualities he’ll bring to the club.”

Mason has not ruled out playing beyond next year, but first he will need to get through pre-season training, which begins on Monday.

“You play these young bulls trying to kill the old bloke,” Mason said. “With no shoulder charges or fights, you’re not worried about the physicality of the game. Personally if you go one on one with a prop it’s fair and tough. There’s no cheap shots.

“They see a target on my head and I enjoy it. You wouldn’t have any for training [if you didn’t enjoy it] because you cruise through.

“With Wayne [Bennett] his training sessions were so intense. He put so much onus on me as a leader to pretty much be that guy to maintain the energy. If the boys were feeling down he would try and get me to get going and help the other guys.”

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Top spot up for grabs in cricket

FOUR rounds into the Grampians Cricket Association season, every team has been beaten and officials are excited to see an even competition.
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Youth Club youngster Jarrod Illig in action.

For many seasons it has been Swifts/Great Western and Tatyoon battling for top spot and right now it is there for the taking.

Youth Club will look to bounce back when they take on Chalambar, after suffering their first loss for the season last week.

The Clubbers would have been disappointed with their performance last weekend, being dismissed after 23 overs.

Apart from Steve LeGassick’s 10 runs at the top of the order and Angus Barham’s 12 at the tail, Youth Club did little with the bat scoring just 51 runs.

Peter Barnett continues to show he was a worthy recruit as he was the best of the bowlers taking 2/26 on what was a difficult day for the bowlers.

Chalambar are still looking for their first win in the competition after their best chance went begging against Pomonal.

It was a low scoring affair between the two bottom placed teams and Chalambar would want to respond better this week.

Their top order is yet to make a substantial amount of runs and against Youth Club’s bowling attack, it could be the same story all over again.

Swifts/Great Western will take on Aradale, who are coming back from the bye.

The Swifts/Great Western bowling attack was led by Marc Brilliant last week at Central Park. Brilliant created carnage on his way to a six wicket haul and Tom Eckel also bowled well in his limited overs taking 2/7.

Aradale batsmen will have the difficult task of facing these bowlers when their confidence is sky high.

It is not just their bowlers who seem on top, but batsman Travis Nicholson has also found form after his knock of 77 not out.

Nicholson missed the first game of the season and then took two games to settle, but once he finds the middle of the bat, he is genuinely consistent when it comes to putting runs on the board.

Matt Stasse is arguably Aradale’s most exciting player with both bat and ball and will be important for Aradale if they are to be competitive.

Pomonal scored their first win last weekend and will take confidence into their clash with Tatyoon.

Tatyoon lost to Buangor in convincing fashion last weekend, proving they can be beaten by anyone in the competition.

Tatyoon will no doubt come out firing after their recent performance.

Pomonal’s skipper Lee Oliver will give Adnan Rasheed plentyof opportunity to take wickets after he delivered the goods in their win. Rasheed took 5/13 to be Pomonal’s best.

Buangor, who hold down top spot at present, have the bye this round.

Tomorrow’s draw:


Chalambar v Youth Club (Alexandra Oval – T McKinnis)

Swifts/Great Western v Aradale (Central Park – P Harris)

Pomonal v Tatyoon (Pomonal – D Hey)


Swifts/Great Western v Pomonal (Great Western – G Miller)

St Andrews v Halls Gap (A Farish)

Rhymney/Moyston v Navarre (Alexandra Oval Sunday – A Farish)


Willaura v Chalambar (Willaura)

Youth Club v Navarre (North Park)

Aradale v Pomonal (Aradale)

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Will Carter set for national athletics stage

STAWELL’S Will Carter will take his place on the national stage when he runs in two events at the School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships to be held in Penguin, Tasmania.
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Stawell sprinter Will Carter in action.

It has been a great performance by Carter following a selection process, to make the final team of 120. The team comprises students from all over Victoria.

The Stawell Primary School student competed in a series of competitions conducted by School Sport Victoria, including district, division and regional championships to qualify for the state championships, where he later gained selection in the School Sport Victoria State Team.

Carter will feature in the 100 metres individual sprint as well as the 4×100 metre relay.

While running hasn’t always been a focus for Carter, he did participatein Little Aths at a young age before branching off into the team sport arena.

Carter played soccer, cricket, basketball and football where he recently played in the winning under 14 premiership team at Swifts.

He started back at Little Aths last year and is competing again this season and loving the new track.

Carter’s father Greg has been his coach and takes him for training a couple of times a week at North Park.

The pair, above anything else, have worked on Carter’s technique which has made a huge difference in his running and most importantly his times.

Greg himself was a good runner in his day, having competed at the NSW High School state level.

Short distances are where Carter feels comfortable, which led to him competing at the Stawell Gift this year in the Little Aths races.

While he just missed out on the final in the 100 metres, he did make the cut in the 400 metre event where he ran a good race.

Carter is currently in grade six and is off to Marian College in Ararat next year.

The national championships are being held in Penguin, Tasmania between November 27 and December 2.

Many past School Sport Victoria Track and Field team members have gone on to compete at national and international competitions including Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

The Stawell community is hopeful that Will Carter and his Victorian teammates can achieve their personal goals at a national level and that he may be representing Australia in the years to come.

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