Hunter shares in top achievers

ALL SMILES: Merewether High School students Ellie Smith and Katie Fisher. – Picture by Phil HearneTHE Hunter fell just shy of having one of its students achieve the top university entrance score of 99.95, but there were plenty of high scorers in yesterday’s release of marks.
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Two Merewether High students Jacqueline Krynda and Ellie Smith are thought to have shared the Hunter’s top spot with Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks of 99.75.

St Clare’s High School Taree student Kristy Everett was close behind with 99.65.

They were followed by Hunter Valley Grammar student Nikolas Willmott with 99.60, St Paul’s Booragul student Brigette Holt with 99.55, Hunter Valley Grammar’s Harkiran Singh with 99.40, and St Francis Xavier’s College Hamilton student Georgia Pyne and Hunter Valley Grammar student Jake Parker both with 99.35.

Rounding out the 99s were St Paul’s Booragul student Sebastian Howe with 99.20, Hunter Valley Grammar students Robert O’Grady and Alanah Thornton both on 99.05 and Merewether student Katie Fisher on 99.

The top Hunter School of Performing Arts student was Natasha Lennard with 98.65. She also came third in the state in Society and Culture.

To view the Top Achievers in Course list, click here.

To view the All-round Achievers list, click here.

To view the list of Distinguished Achievers, click here.

Overall, it was a mix of state selective, grammar and Catholic schools with some of the best university entrance scores.

Entrance scores are not sent to schools and not all students publicise their achievements.

The release of ATARs yesterday was the end of a week of Higher School Certificate results.

At Merewether, Katie and Ellie plan to study medicine at university while it’s the law for Jacqueline.

Ellie said she was sitting at her computer at 9am yesterday when the results were uploaded.

‘‘I may have had a dance around my room a little bit,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m glad it’s over.’’

Katie said she had her alarm set for 9am.

‘‘There was no one home so I had a little party for myself,’’ she said.

‘‘I would have been happy with the HSC and ATAR being released at once. It was too much suspense.’’

For the pair, the next wait is for university offers in January.

Know someone who’s just completed their HSC? Send them your congratulations by commenting below.

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Blues welcome back ex-players

Adrian FinchLAUNCESTON Football Club looks set to regain the services of former NTFL premiership players Adam Derbyshire and Adrian Finch for the 2012 State League season.
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The reigning premier will resume pre-season training next week as the Blues builds towards a Foxtel Cup appearance at the end of March and the opening round of the new TSL season the week after.

Derbyshire is the club’s goalkicking record holder but has missed the past two State League seasons with business commitments. Finch played for the Blues in 2010 but took a year off last season with persistent back problems when the club won its first State League flag.

”Adrian and Adam are keen to go and it will be excellent for the club,” Launceston coach Anthony Taylor said. ”Adrian is fit and raring to go and Adam has missed two years of footy but has been training well and we’re looking forward to seeing how he goes.”

Taylor said a training run next Wednesday would mark the restart of pre-season training with sessions held Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from January 16.

”We’re looking forward to kicking off after Christmas and ramping up our preparations for the Foxtel Cup and the season proper,” he said.

The Foxtel Cup is a knockout competition involving clubs from the various state league competitions across Australia plus the AFL’s newest expansion side Greater Western Sydney.

Launceston and Burnie will represent Tasmania as last year’s State League premiers and runners-up.

”The Foxtel Cup is massive for the club,” Taylor said.

”We play Morningside in Queensland on March 31 and then start round 1 against North Launceston the week after that. It’s a great stepping stone into the season for us.

”It will be an eye-opener and they will be tough to beat but it will be a really good hitout for us and an opportunity for some of our quality young fellows to show their worth on the national stage.”

Taylor said the Blues had retained all members of its premiership side from last season.

”With the exception of (Derbyshire and Finch) we haven’t got many other new players but we are certainly on the lookout for any potential recruits,” he said.

”We’ve got 14 kids involved with the state academy in under 16 and Mariners and if we can get three or four of those playing senior football this year that’s as good as any recruits in my eyes.”

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Pay day for politicians

THE latest pay rises for federal politicians and senior public servants may have been sugar-coated with assurances of cuts to non-salary perks, but it’s unlikely they’ll taste sweet to the taxpayers who have to foot the bill.
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In the midst of all the stern talk about trimming back services to the public in order to keep the government on track for its much-vaunted budget surplus, a $2200-a-week pay rise for prime minister Julia Gillard might seem audacious.

Similarly, while the Coalition seldom lets a week go past in Parliament without moaning about the industrial relations system’s alleged “inflexibility” and onerous overprotectiveness of wage earners, an extra $1600-a-week in opposition leader Tony Abbott’s pocket could raise an eyebrow or two.

Even the lowly backbenchers will be taking home an additional $846 a week, which could easily prompt many ordinary Australians to wish they could have a chance at earning just the pay rise component of the politicians’ salaries.

Top public servants are sharing in the largesse, with the treasury secretary, for example, to receive a series of pay increases from the present $540,000 a year to $805,000 by mid-2014.

That mightn’t rankle much, if it weren’t for the perception that the increasing politicisation of the public service has resulted in some senior roles taken, not by long-term career public servants with a thorough grounding in their areas of responsibility, but by short-term contractors connected to the politicos by partisan or family relationship.

Much is being made of counterbalancing savings being made by the planned axing or trimming of some of the most notorious perks that politicians have been enjoying. The much-abused “gold pass”, is just one example.

Many taxpayers may question the bona fides of these cuts, when hundreds of past recipients will retain their entitlements, albeit with a reduction in the number of free trips they are allowed to make.

Most Australians will never be comfortable with politicians’ regular hefty pay rises unless some evidence begins to emerge – and none has, so far – that paying higher salaries attracts better candidates.

It’s just not fare

WHILE one government-funded independent tribunal recommends paying more money to politicians and senior public servants, another is advocating more increases in public transport fares.

The standard dance-step, where the Independent Prices and Remuneration Tribunal recommends a certain fare increase (up to 10.6 per cent) but the kindly state government approves a smaller one (5.4 per cent), is being performed by the Coalition just as neatly as its Labor predecessor ever did it.

In the Hunter, where motorists pay a registration levy to fund transport improvements in Sydney, where infrequent buses wind through time-consuming routes and passenger trains struggle to find spaces between coal trains, the fare rises are just another nail in public transport, driven by a distant and misguided hand.

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SA pair in the money with Guineas win

Moving Money (Clare Lindop) wins the Tasmanian Guineas at Mowbray last night. Picture: BILL HAYESTHE South Australian partnership of Leon Macdonald and Clare Lindop made another successful raid when they won the $90,000 Tasmanian Guineas at Mowbray last night.
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Their in-form three-year-old Moving Money led all the way to hold off local hopes Barysh Quest and Anelene.

Macdonald and Lindop are no strangers to Mowbray, having combined to win the Launceston Cup with Dakasha in 2005, and the trainer has also been successful with Umrum and Almost Never on previous visits.

“It’s good when a plan comes off and I want to thank Clare for a terrific ride,” Macdonald said.

The trainer said he had been convinced to come to Tasmania after Moving Money had won over 1250 metres at Morphettville carrying 58 kilograms.

“I thought he would be well suited coming to a race with set weights,” he said.

Macdonald said he would wait a few days before deciding on the future for Moving Money, but it was likely he would return home to South Australia for a break.

Lindop said that while Moving Money ($4.50) had only a head to spare over fast-finishing Barysh Quest ($11.20), she had always felt confident of victory.

Anelene ($3.70 favourite) made up good ground to finish a neck away third after being midfield in the early stages.

Lindop had the satisfaction of having her parents watching the race from the grandstand.

“They live near Hobart and made the trip up to watch,” she said.


Luckless filly Oxys Angel will now be aimed at some of the feature races over the Launceston Cup carnival after breaking her duck last night.

The three-year-old filly had been placed five times without winning before running in the Ron Evans Memorial Maiden-Class 1 Plate (1600m).

Oxys Angel is trained at Brighton by Terry Evans, who indicated the $30,000 Thousand Guineas on February 1 and the $100,000 Tasmanian Oaks were on the horizon for her.

Evans had considered running Oxys Angel in the $90,000 Betfair Tasmanian Guineas, but then decided a restricted race would be easier to win.

Evans said he was delighted to win a race named in honour of Hall of Fame jockey Ron Evans.

“When I was growing up I rode trackwork at Mowbray alongside Ron, Fred Riley and Kerry Bird,” he said.

Oxys Angel had Shuji Amano back in the saddle last night and he took a rails run before dashing to the lead 100m from home.

“Hopefully this will be the start of some big wins for her,” he said.


A subtle change of gear helped promising three-year-old Miswaki Call break through for his first win in the Jack Chambers Maiden Plate (1200m).

Longford trainer Troy Blacker explained that Miswaki Call had lacked confidence in his previous races and had originally tried blinkers to help the gelding do his best.

“I then decided to put winkers on instead and it seems to have worked,” he said.

Miswaki Call ($10.10) led all the way to hold off the fast-finishing Scoville ($2.70 favourite) by a length and Blacker is now eyeing a couple of three-year-old races for him over the Launceston Cup carnival.

Miswaki Call went through the 2010 Magic Millions Yearling Sales and after being passed in was sold at a secondary sale.

Blacker bought the son of Tough Speed for $7000 and the gelding is now raced by former Spreyton trainer Michael Sims and his wife Sally-Anne.

Sims is a builder by trade and said he found it difficult to combine his business with training horses and instead looked to Blacker to prepare Miswaki Call.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Pensioner fed up with Telstra

UNHAPPY: Monica Orman and her problem phone. – Picture by Ryan OslandA 72-YEAR-OLD cancer patient who has had two heart attacks has taken aim at Telstra after she got locked into a contract in an area where she cannot get coverage.
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Monica Orman said she bought a special Telstra explorer phone with mini aerial to get mobile phone reception at her holiday house at Lostock, north of Gresford.

She said Telstra assured her she would get coverage, but now she is paying $98 a month for no coverage.

It’s just one of a number of telecommunication hurdles Miss Orman, a pensioner, has faced while trying to set up communication.

Click on the phone graphic to find out what Herald readers had to say about mobile coverage in that area. Email [email protected]南京夜网.au to contribute.

She said that because she was only a permanent part-time resident of Lostock, the government refused her satellite television access, which would have enabled her to use online telephone service Skype.

She was also refused a landline because of the cost and she cannot afford a satellite phone.

Miss Orman has thyroid cancer and is an insulin-dependent diabetic and asthmatic who needs phone access. She recently upgraded to a special Telstra aerial but it only gave minimal reception and did not work in bad weather.

‘‘The aerial is so flimsy that a big storm will wreck it,’’ she said. ‘‘Telstra assured us that we would receive coverage. They failed.’’

Like many, she misunderstood Telstra’s claim of 99per cent coverage, which means its signal covers 99per cent of the population not 99per cent of Australia.

Dave Hooper, from Lostock Dam Caravan Park, said they struggled to get Telstra mobile phone reception but other providers offered none at all.

Telstra Countrywide Hunter manager Chris Cusack said Telstra maps did not advertise that they had coverage at Lostock and early investigations suggested the landline issues were related to property access, not Telstra. ‘‘We’re working with the customer to resolve their complaints,’’ he said.

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Hospital program cut a `false economy’

A GROUP fighting to save Launceston’s Hospital in the Home program plans to target Labor Bass MHR Geoff Lyons and Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne.
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The Launceston General Hospital will suspend the program on January 6 as part of drastic measures to save $28 million this financial year.

Sophie Hill, of Save It Tasmania, said she had contacted Mr Lyons after it was announced that the service would be axed in mid-December and was disappointed by Mr Lyons’s response.

The former LGH spokeswoman and surgical business manager forwarded the concerns on to Ms O’Byrne.

Yesterday, Mr Lyons said he had been involved in securing a federal government grant to get the program started in the mid-1990s but understood why it had to go.

“If you have got plenty of money, Hospital in the Home is nice,” Mr Lyons said.

“It’s an expensive way of looking after people. You don’t see too many GPs running their practice by making home visits.”

He said people still had access to a community nursing service.

However, supporters of the service say it saves money in the long run by keeping people out of hospital and frees up beds for other people.

Professor Sarah Breier, who founded the program, said it was a false economy.

“It’s a quick fix to save money, but it’s only going to end up costing more,” she said.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon declined to comment on the axeing of the Hospital in the Home program, but her spokesman said:

“The Gillard government is providing record funding to Tasmania for its health and hospital system and we remain concerned about the government’s decision to reduce the funding to health services in the state, the impact it will have on Tasmanians’ access to hospital care, and the potential effect this may have on health outcomes.”

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Wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley prepares for Sydney to Hobart

EXCITED: Kurt FearnleyWHEELCHAIR racing supremo Kurt Fearnley yesterday had his first experience of racing on a 100-footer maxi yacht in preparation for this year’s Sydney to Hobart.
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He promptly dubbed the experience ‘‘wild’’, and that was without even passing the heads of Sydney Harbour.

But the triple Paralympic gold medallist, whose other feats include climbing the 1504 steps of Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower and conquering the Kokoda Track, realises that yesterday’s Big Boat Challenge was only the entree for what is to be served up en route to Hobart.

Maxis dominated line honours yesterday amid gusts of up to 23knots. First was Mark Richards’s Wild Oats XI, two minutes and 51 seconds ahead of Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal, on which Fearnley is a crewmate, and almost eight minutes clear of Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing.

For Fearnley, the adrenalin rush began from the start off Shark Island when Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI were side by side.

‘‘It was close enough for me to board you guys at the start line,’’ Fearnley said, looking at Richards.

‘‘I was thinking about it. It was just wild, mate.’’

That was about as close as the two yachts got.

By the finish of the 14-nautical mile race off Farm Cove, it had become just another one-boat race.

Richards made mention of the ‘‘little tussle off the line’’ that Wild Oats XI had at the start with Investec Loyal and conceded the race ‘‘was a real challenge getting the big boats around the race track’’.

But it was soon clear that there was no stopping the defending Sydney to Hobart champions, especially after Investec Loyal had problems with its furling system.

Not that it marred Fearnley’s day out.

‘‘That wasn’t my mistake, so I was pretty happy with that,’’ he said. ‘‘It was good just to get there and be on the boat while it was angry; while it’s racing. You get in there, do your job.

‘‘I did everything that was asked of me and can’t wait until Boxing Day now.

‘‘I’ve been part of some pretty good teams with my trips – three Paralympics and even the team that crossed Kokoda, we were a real tight unit. Now I have hung around with the boys for the past few months and it’s good to be a part of.

‘‘The intensity on the boat – I love that. That’s why I chose to become an athlete.

‘‘When you are in front of 100,000 people in a stadium you have to make the right choice, be really on the game and contest right to the finish. ‘‘I can’t wait to be out there on Boxing Day and out there with another thousand yachts on that harbour.

‘‘It will be a little different to wheelchair racing. But then I have that instinct of competition, and you take it out on to the stage … that doesn’t change no matter what sport you do.’’

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Father and son build momentum for drag racing

Steve Badcock, of Hagley, and son Andrew, of Brisbane, with the drag bike that they are building. Picture: SCOTT GELSTONTASMANIA’S only Australian pro-stock motorcycle drag racing champion, Andrew Badcock, will this year again be part of the action.
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But the 2009-10 champion and 2010-11 runner-up will be wielding spanners rather than twisting the throttle in the 2011-12 season.

The pilot will be his father Steve, who runs a garage at Hagley and last raced drags in 2008 in the comp-bike class.

Steve said that he had started upgrading his 2008 bike to compete in the top-bike class, but was sidetracked when he started competing in historic road racing.

Plans to reinvent the Hagley-built bike went on the back burner.

“When team owner Trevor Birrel sold the bike Andrew rode at the end of the 2010-11 season, we decided to finish my project,” said Steve, who will again also contest the Tasmanian Motorcycle Club historic road racing championships in which he finished second last year.

Andrew said that the idea was to get the bike running as fast as they could for the final two rounds of the 2011-12 season at the nitro champs in Sydney on May 4-6 and the Winter Nationals in Brisbane in June.

“Dad did 7.6 seconds for the quarter mile at 278km/h when he last rode the bike and our aim is to get into the low sevens by the end of the season,” he said.

“It only had a standard crankshaft in it and we damaged a connecting rod which then put a hole in the crankcases.

“We’ve gone to a big after-market crankshaft now and it will take a lot more horsepower – we’ve also fitted different pistons and a race-pack data-logging system to record everything the bike does.

“Dad will do the last couple of races and then we’ll reassess our effort after that.

“We’ll add lots of gas – our aim is have the first six-second run by a nitrous-oxide assisted bike in Australia. But we’ll keep this motor as a spare, all set up and ready to bolt in if needed.”

The Badcocks hope to give the bike its first run in February or March at a regional race in Brisbane.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Converted warehouse has strong green credentials

THOUGHT: Upgrades have made the house even greener. – Picture by Natalie GronoMARYVILLE
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Address: 1/78 Lewis Street.

House: Weathertex and Colorbond on 366square metres.

Inspect: By appointment.

Agent: Andrew Walker, Street Real Estate, 0402009532.

A CONTEMPORARY residence within an original Maryville warehouse with some very deliberate ‘‘green’’ credentials, 1/78 Lewis Street is a tranquil hideaway overlooking Throsby Creek.

With the cycleway on the back boundary, it is a fantastic lifestyle property for a family, or professionals, looking for an elegant, upmarket home/office combination.

One of two unique residences in the converted warehouse, the hallmark of this three-level, 409-square-metre house is the fabulous light which spills through sympathetically-placed doors and windows.

The entrance next to the tandem garage leads down to the ground floor or up to the first floor, and is a private entry point.

The ground-floor level comprises the main bedroom with an ensuite and walk-in robe, a second bedroom with ensuite, a laundry, sunroom and a living area. The sunroom and living areas open onto a north-facing deck which wraps around the bedroom and leads to a covered breezeway and a tandem garage, which has stacker doors, allowing it to double as an entertaining area.

The second level has another bathroom, a kitchen, dining and living area, and a family room. Two decks give commanding water views.

The upper levels are made up of two open-plan zones which also have water views. The owners have the zones configured for a bedroom and an office, but they could be two bedrooms.

The levels are connected by a timber staircase which has been designed to show off the steel girders of the original warehouse.

A high sustainability rating was the deliberate focus of the owners. There is increased insulation thickness and double glazing, as well as ceiling fans throughout.

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Bowler’s dream run

James Pattinson dismisses Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar for 41 yesterday.JAMES Pattinson must think Test cricket is a walk in the park.
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It really isn’t supposed to yield such a rich harvest so quickly, certainly not for fast bowlers.

Speedsters are supposed to do all the heavy lifting.

They are meant to toil away to exhaustion under the midday sun, like Noel Coward’s mad dogs and Englishmen, drowning in their own sweat, their blistered feet swimming in blood in their size 16 boots, while classically educated Hooray Henries at the other end play graceful strokes and get the benefit of any doubts.

West Indian great Wes Hall once described his vocation as “99 per cent perspiration and 1 per cent inspiration”.

Try telling that to Pattinson.

His Test career is just 34 days old but already he has snared 24 wickets at a miserly average, bagged two five-wicket hauls, been named man of the match twice in three Tests and man of the series in his only completed series.

He must wonder what all the fuss is about.

He made his debut at the start of the summer, on December 1, and went on to take 14 wickets at 14 runs apiece in the two-Test series against New Zealand.

Boxing Day at the MCG didn’t faze him a bit; he took six wickets for 108 in the first Test against India.

He also scored 55 runs, giving every indication that he could prove to be a useful lower-order bat, if not an all-rounder.

He struck gold with just the third ball of the second Test at the SCG yesterday, having Gautam Gambhir caught at first slip for a duck.

He then tore through India’s top order, removing danger man Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman before capturing the biggest scalp of all, Sachin Tendulkar’s.

Pattinson, 21, had not even been born when Tendulkar played his first Test in 1989.

But he was not intimidated by the prospect of bowling to a god of the game, and one who was chasing a 100th international century at that.

He was inspired by it.

Tendulkar on 41 edged Pattinson on to his stumps while attempting a square drive and the Indians were in deep trouble at 6-124 after winning the toss and batting.

Pattinson finished with 4-43 off 14 overs, taking bowling honours yet again.

He admitted Tendulkar was unlucky to chop on a wide delivery, but said: “Getting Sachin out is something I will remember for my whole life.

“If you bowl enough balls in the right areas, you’re going to get batsmen out, no matter who they are.”

The 1.91 metre Victorian is yet to experience the empty feeling of going wicketless in a Test innings.

No doubt he is willing and capable of grinding out the back-breaking days of unrewarded slog that are supposed to be the fast bowler’s lot in life.

But they will remain alien to him if he keeps taking wickets at this rate.

That won’t happen, of course.

Those horrible days will come.

How he copes with them will determine how great he can aspire to be.

Cricket is like that.

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