Legacy of Mawson `should be known’

Sir Douglas MawsonAUSTRALIANS should know more about the heroic efforts of Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson in cementing science at the centre of the icy continent’s future, the head of the Australian Antarctic Division says.
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Dr Tony Fleming left Hobart late yesterday on the icebreaker Aurora Australis bound for Commonwealth Bay to commemorate the centenary of Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

A commemorative party plans to lay a time capsule and raise the Australian flag near Mawson’s wooden huts at Cape Denison to mark his ground-breaking 1911-14 scientific and mapping expedition.

”I think he should be known by many people, he’s a true heroic figure and Antarctica is really important to Australia,” Dr Fleming said yesterday.

”From Australia’s point of view it’s about recognising our origins in Antarctica.”

Dr Fleming said Mawson, an Adelaide-based geologist with a passion for Antarctic exploration, was a key figure of the ”heroic age of exploration” and the only scientist to lead one of the great pioneering expeditions to the southern continent.

He said the biggest legacy of Mawson’s expedition was to ensure that science was at the centre of Antarctica’s future.

The commemorations planned for next week will include the reading of a message from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Her message will be in a time capsule that will also contain winning entries from Australian school children who wrote about what they saw as the future of Antarctica.

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FFA closes in on flare culprit

FOOTBALL Federation Australia officials have obtained an image of a man they believe may have information about last weekend’s flare-lighting incident at Gosford and hope Newcastle supporter group the Squadron will honour a promise to help identify him.
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After studying video footage of the unsavoury episode, which occurred during the Jets’ 2-0 loss to Central Coast last Saturday, FFA believes it is close to pinpointing the culprit.

And FFA’s head of corporate affairs and communications, Kyle Patterson, reiterated warnings yesterday that the person responsible for lighting the flare would face police prosecution and stiff sanctions from the game’s governing body, including a five-year ban from attending A-League matches.

Patterson said FFA was ‘‘absolutely fair-dinkum’’ about cracking down on anti-social conduct from fans attending matches.

‘‘We love the passion, we love the colour, we love the football culture that the A-League has, but we will not tolerate this type of behaviour,’’ Patterson said.

‘‘It’s not acceptable. It’s not negotiable.’’

Patterson said that for sanctions to have the desired effect ‘‘we have to apply them pretty rigorously’’.

He said the game’s governing body had noted comments in the Newcastle Herald yesterday from Squadron spokesman Tim Verschelden.

Verschelden has tried to distance the Squadron from any involvement in Saturday’s incident.

He said the people responsible for ugly scenes such as the flare-lighting and throwing rubbish at Mariners players were ‘‘ring-in blokes’’.

He told the Herald: ‘‘Us senior Squadron blokes will always help any authorities in anything around us.

‘‘We will always make sure we help find out who the culprits are that do these terrible things and make sure we get to the bottom of it.’’

It is understood Bluetongue Stadium management were trying to contact Squadron representatives yesterday to identify a person of interest.

‘‘We’ve got an image of a person who should be known to those people around him,’’ Patterson said.

‘‘It seems he’s celebrating the lighting of a flare.

‘‘If he didn’t do it, he probably knows who did.

‘‘We’re going to work through the process to identify that person, then we’re going to give the person the chance to co-operate with us and explain how the flare was in that proximity.

‘‘If the Squadron are good to their word, which we think they are, they will help us identify the perpetrator who lit that flare.’’

FFA and police have already taken a tough stance on spectator misbehaviour this season.

An Adelaide United fan was banned from Hindmarsh Stadium for lighting a flare after a 1-0 win against Melbourne Victory in October.

The 26-year-old was charged by police with acts to cause harm, possessing and igniting a flare, disorderly behaviour and throwing a missile.

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`Snobs’ lashed forSummernats blast

The Summernats 25 Citycruise along Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, attracted thousands of onlookers.CANBERRA – Summernats owner Andy Lopez has fired a broadside at the “snobs and bigots” who believe everyone who attends the controversial Canberra car festival must be a drunken, sexist hoon.
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And he’s received support from the top of the ACT government with Tourism Minister Andrew Barr declaring the “reformed” event proves Canberra isn’t just for the elite arts crowd.

Summernats 25 got underway yesterday with an orderly parade of 200 street machines down the capital city’s main thoroughfare.

Thousands of people crowded Northbourne Avenue’s footpaths to watch the chromed-up cars.

But as always much of the community debate and media coverage focused on the anti-social behaviour that has blighted previous events.

Mr Lopez was asked on radio if he was concerned Summernats was “sexist” because patrons have, infamously, yelled “show us your tits” at women.

He responded by declaring such behaviour wasn’t as prevalent as it once was.

Later in the day Mr Lopez turned his sights on those who pre-judged the event.

“I am tired of people being categorised because they go to the Summernats,” he said.

“If you categorised any other group of people by one characteristic you’d be called at best a snob or at worst a bigot.

“The Summernats (crowd) is a very broad group of people – it’s made up of Australians from all different demographics.”

Yesterday’s so-called “Citycruise” down Northbourne Avenue was the first time in 18 years that machines attending the country’s biggest car festival were let loose on public roads.

Summernats’ original Saturday afternoon “Supercruise” was scrapped after a number of events in the early 1990s ended in street riots.

The ACT government allowed cars back onto the city streets this year because Mr Lopez has cleaned up Summernats since buying the event in mid-2009.

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Old salt seasoned for Nobbys swim

TOUGH: Nobbys to Newcastle ocean swimmer Alan Metcalf. – Picture by Simone De PeakSTOCKTON’S Alan Metcalf joked during the week that he would not need to worry about sharks during the Nobbys to Newcastle Ocean Swim tomorrow because they would ‘‘spit me out for being too tough’’.
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The 63-year-old displayed his toughness in April when he set a world record for an open-water paddle on a surf rescue board by travelling 137 kilometres from the Sydney Opera House to Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf in seven days.

Tomorrow Metcalf will need to display similar grit in the 2km swim from Nobbys through reefs and ‘‘shark alley’’ to Newcastle beach.

The swim has been made more difficult for Metcalf due to a torn bicep he suffered in a surf carnival at Stockton a fortnight ago.

‘‘I’m really looking to Nobbys as it’s good clean water and it’s an area I haven’t really swum a lot,’’ Metcalf said.

‘‘The bicep isn’t too bad. It’s an old injury that has recurred, but I managed to get through a few swims this week.

‘‘I won’t be competitive. I’ll take my time and enjoy the swim for once.’’

Around 400 competitors are expected for the inaugural event organised by the Newcastle Surf Life Saving Club.

One of Newcastle’s biggest chances will be triathlete Kirsten Molloy, who finished third in the Melbourne Marathon in October.

Newcastle brother and sister duo Jarrod and Erin Killey would have been hot favourites but are overseas.

Olympic bronze medallist Justin Norris will fire the starter’s gun.

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Webber returning for Harker harvest

BRUTAL: Hamilton-Wickham all-rounder Sam Webber.THE last time Sam Webber played at Harker Oval the Hamilton-Wickham all-rounder played one of the most brutal innings ever seen in Newcastle district cricket.
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In what was the highest score in a 50-over match, Webber blasted 175 from 104 balls on November 19 against Western Suburbs, which included seven fours and an incredible 15 sixes.

Tomorrow Webber returns to the New Lambton ground for the opening Twenty20 game of the season against Wests.

The Rosellas can expect more fireworks if Webber is not dismissed early.

‘‘Ever since I’ve been at Hamwicks we’ve played aggressive cricket; tried to take wickets and score plenty of runs, whereas some other teams are a bit negative,’’ Webber said.

‘‘We’re always positive in our approach and we’ll take that into the T20. Everyone can hit sixes, so it should be good fun.’’

In recent seasons Webber have been a regular among the competition’s leading wicket-takers and he sits equal third this summer on 18 scalps.

But his batting heroics have ensured he is the leading run-scorer on 383 at an average of 76.60.

However, Merewether captain Simon Moore is only 51 runs behind and has played four less innings.

‘‘It’s surprising me as well. I’ve been coming in at the right time,’’ Webber said.

‘‘The boys at the top of the order have been doing the hard work and when the pitch is flat and the ball isn’t swinging I’ve come in.’’

Firstly Hamwicks will be eager to defend their 232 at Passmore Oval in the second week of the two-day match against Wallsend today.

The Tigers will resume at 0-16 and will be relying on their in-form batsmen Brett Jackson and Joe Curk to lead the chase.

Hamwicks welcome back quick Andrew Maher from NSW Country training to spearhead a quality attack.

A top two spot leading into the Christmas break is available to the winner.

At Cahill Oval in the top-of-the-table clash, Merewether will be hoping their Bush Blues stars Moore, Troy Goodwin, Kaine Harmsworth and Pat Darwen can rescue the side from a looming outright defeat to Belmont.

The Lions are 3-46 in the second innings, still two runs behind Belmont.

Wests (9-236) are in a dominant position at Cardiff Oval against the struggling Cardiff-Boolaroo. Stockton-Raymond Terrace (0-16) are still 33 runs behind Newcastle City at Lynn Oval in their second innings and will need a quality fightback to avoid an outright loss.

At No.1 Sportsground, Charlestown (5-200) lead Waratah-Mayfield by 101 runs and are likely to declare early in order to play for an outright win and Toronto (7-100) are chasing University’s 181 at Ron Hill Oval.

In other T20 games tomorrow, University open their campaign for a hat-trick of titles against Waratah at University Oval, Belmont host City at Cahill Oval, Stockton are home at Lynn Oval against Merewether, Wallsend play Cardiff at Wallsend Oval and Toronto face Charlestown at Ron Hill Oval.

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Rodionova awarded final wildcard in Hobart tournament

Anastasia RodionovaANASTASIA Rodionova has been awarded the final wildcard to the Moorilla Hobart International starting Sunday.
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The 29-year-old Victorian will contest the tournament in the main draw for the first time.

”I am very much looking forward to playing the tournament in Hobart,” she said.

”I was only expecting to start in qualies but to play in the main draw is even better.

”I’ll try to play my best and hope to do well in the lead-up to the Australian Open.”

In 2011, Rodionova was a quarter-finalist in Linz, she reached the third round at Roland Garros, the second round of four other WTA events and fell in round 1 at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

In April, she represented Australia in the Fed Cup against the Ukraine.

The last time Rodionova played in Hobart was in 2005 where she lost to Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) in the first round of qualifying.

After awarding a wildcard in late December to Australian Open 2012 playoff winner Ashleigh Barty, tournament director Mark Handley was pleased to invite another Australian tennis star to Hobart.

”It’s great to have another Australian player in the main draw of the Moorilla Hobart International,” he said.

”We hope she can use this tournament as a platform to perform well and kick start the new year.”

Moorilla Hobart International 2012 series packages and single sessions are on sale now with ticket prices starting from $9.90.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketek南京夜网.au or 1300 888 104.

For further tournament information visit www.hobartinternational南京夜网.au.

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Adamstown man arrested in interstate cannabis raids

POLICE have arrested a 40-year-old Adamstown man as part of an interstate cannabis trafficking operation.
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Newcastle detectives and the NSW State Crime Command were called in to assist with a South Australian police investigation titled Operation Ditch after it was revealed the cannabis was allegedly being transported into Newcastle.

Subsequent police searches in Adamstown allegedly found about 8kg of cannabis and more than $65,000 cash in a Bailey Street storage unit and at a home on Brunker Road.

The Drug Investigation Branch-led operation was established to target the movement of drugs between South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Raids across the three states in total netted about 30kg of cannabis, firearms, steroids, 88 cannabis plants and almost $500,000.

A 40-year-old Adamstown man was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with deemed supply of prohibited drug.

He was granted bail in Newcastle Local Court and will re-appear on January 18 next year.

Six other people were arrested in South Australia and Queensland and charged with numerous offences.

Further charges are expected, police said.

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Billions of bees hit the road

Australian Honey Products owner and beekeeper Lindsay Bourke.MORE than a billion bees have hit the road in Tasmania.
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The state’s 185 beekeepers have begun trucking about 17,000 hives to the North-West Coast, where bees will begin producing the world-famous leatherwood honey.

With up to 100,000 in each hive, that’s a lot of bees – about 1.7 billion.

Producers are making their annual migration to Tasmania’s rainforests, the only place the Eucryphia lucida, commonly known as leatherwood, is found.

The white flowers the leatherwood plant displays from January to April are responsible for a $4 million boutique industry.

”When the bees are ripening the moisture in the night they’re so noisy it sounds like you’re at the beach, with the roar of all the bees all flapping their wings,” Lindsay Bourke, president of the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association, said.

”We have such a short season that we have to have very strong hives to collect a lot of honey in a short period.”

In the coming weeks, Mr Bourke will make 24 trips, beginning each about 4am, to get all of his bees from Sheffield, near Devonport, to the forests around Savage River and Waratah.

”We build up (all year) for one good crop, which is the leatherwood,” he said.

”The leatherwood is the most reliable honey source that you can find in Australia.

”We can set our clock to it. We can go down on the same date every year.”

The beekeepers describe the honey’s taste as “like the wilderness” and its similarity in flavour to heather-produced varieties has customers in Europe, China and Japan willing to pay top dollar.

”We go way back into the rainforest where it’s pure and clean and you can say that the entire leatherwood crop would be the closest thing to organic honey you can get,” Mr Bourke said.

The honey’s long chain sugars help the body absorb nutrients, he said, and there are medicinal qualities for the broader Tasmanian economy too.

The first of the season’s leatherwood honey will appear in shops at the end of January.

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Alleged carjackers denied bail in Maitland court

A Ford found dumped yesterday near the end of the F3 Freeway.A QUEENSLAND couple has been refused bail in Maitland Local Court today charged with a raft of offences including a carjacking at Beresfield which left three people fearing for their lives and leading police on a two-hour pursuit through Maitland and the Coalfields.
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Article: Two-hour police pursuit

Amanda Kim Collins, 24, and Nathan Paton, 25, both of Queensland, led police across four NSW commands on a 163 kilometre pursuit before their allegedly stolen BMW was disabled by road spikes and they were arrested near Broke.

The pair, both handcuffed, appeared separately before Magistrate Col Elliott who adjourned the matters to Newcastle Local Court on February 15.

Police facts said the pair’s escapade started on Monday, December 12, following an alleged break-and-enter at Moorooka, Queensland, where a blue Ford Falcon sedan was stolen.

Police began tracking the vehicle’s movements after there was an alleged incident at the Caltex service station in Gloucester where petrol was not paid for.

The facts said Paton threatened the male driver of an Alpha Romeo and two female occupants of a BMW at Beresfield with what appeared to be a black pistol.

It is alleged he told the women to get out of their car before he and Collins fled in the vehicle and the police pursuit was initiated.

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Savage out for pivotal battle over third spot

Jason SavageBEAUTY Point will be without star allrounder Jason Savage for its important third versus fourth clash against Legana tomorrow when the Tasmanian Cricket League A-grade roster resumes for round 7 matches.
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Savage is unavailable because of work, leaving a hole in the Beauty Point line-up.

Savage leads the league’s allrounder statistics this season having scored 278 runs and taken 23 wickets.

He is the competition’s leading wicket-taker, heads the bowling averages, is second for aggregate runs and third in batting averages.

The two teams are equal on 22 points with the winner moving a game clear in third spot behind Trevallyn and Longford. Both had comfortable seven-wicket victories in the last round.

ACL takes on Longford at Brooks High with a revised line-up with former captain-coach Scott Bennett returning to the club as playing coach.

Longford went down to Trevallyn in the clash of the two top teams before the break, costing it top spot.

Captain-coach Brett Martin put the loss down to players being ”in Christmas mode” and said his side was keen to start the second part of the season with a win against ACL.

UNI-MOWBRAY will have a depleted side for its clash against Hadspen at University Oval.

Coach Jack Whelan said up to five players were unavailable, making the Tigers’ task of gaining a much-needed win more difficult.

Shane Evans, Damien Martin, Dave Barrett and Richard Austen will miss with Bill Eustace one of the likely promotions to fill the gaps.

DIGGERS face top-of-the-table Trevallyn at Riverside, looking to improve its batting performances after being dismissed for under 100 in its past two matches.

A-reserve batsman Shane Brown has been promoted with Zach Rodan unavailable.

Captain-coach Brent Kettle said his batsmen had to put more value on their wickets.

Trevallyn will have one change with Alby Letter coming in for the unavailable Dale McNulty

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