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Cricket ground looks pretty in pink for Test

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Glenn McGrath at the Jane McGrath Foundation charity tea at the Sydney Cricket Ground.SYDNEY – Who would have thought the Sydney Cricket Ground would look pretty in pink in its 100th Test match?
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Glenn McGrath posed the question, and the obvious answer was: certainly not the colonials who gathered on an old army rifle range for the first Sydney Test match in 1882.

Pink was hardly the colour of choice for tight-lipped gentlemen of the Victorian era but it looked mandatory for both genders on day three of the second Test between Australia and India.

For the fourth year running everyone involved in the game – from players and administrators to staff, media and spectators – turned the SCG into a sea of pink to raise money to battle breast cancer.

”The response just blows me away,” McGrath, who lost his first wife Jane to breast cancer and has since been the public face of the Jane McGrath Foundation, said.

”I’m still trying to convince myself that only real men wear pink,” he said. ”But the idea seems to be catching on.”

That was an understatement. The bulk of spectators were wearing pink, and Michael Clarke wielded a pink-handled bat in front of pink stumps on a ground where the sponsor’s on-field logos were pink.

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

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Newcastle pubs push to change rules

A RENEWED push is under way to wind back the tough trading restrictions on Newcastle pubs.
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Hoteliers are claiming the controversial conditions – which include earlier closing times, a lockout and alcohol service measures – have largely failed and are unfair on venues that do the right thing.

But police representatives warn any changes would bring a return of violence to the streets.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen plans to convene a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of the landmark Liquor Administration Board decision of 2008.

The move has angered the Police Association of NSW, which said Mr Owen should stop ‘‘taking advice from publicans and start listening to local police’’.

The city has five venues on the state government’s most recent ‘‘name and shame’’ list of violent venues: MJ Finnegans, Fannys, the Cambridge Hotel, the Queens Wharf Brewery, and the King Street Hotel.

But the conditions on Newcastle pubs are already more stringent Hoteliers push to change rules than those that apply to all the state’s ‘‘violent venues’’.

The government’s new three-strikes policy is set to begin in January, which would entail altering a hotel’s licence conditions, cancelling or suspending licences for up to 12 months after three offences have been recorded.

The Australian Hotels Association NSW branch has questioned the layers of rules and whether Newcastle conditions should be abandoned in favour of the three-strikes approach. It has urged more be done to tackle problems such as poor transport in the city.

Conditions imposed separately on Hamilton pubs are being reviewed, with a decision on whether to make the restrictions permanent due in February.

The Newcastle Herald can reveal Hunter New England Health has cautioned authorities in a submission not to relax the Hamilton conditions, to avoid alcohol harm in the community.

A Newcastle-Hamilton precinct liquor accord established under the former Labor government to help tackle late-night problems has effectively collapsed, with no meetings held for several months.

Mr Owen said he would take advice from stakeholders on the situation, and was ‘‘not taking sides’’.

He said the ‘‘idiocy of some serial offenders’’ was ruining it for other venues and that a blanket approach may be detracting from the late-night experience of the city for responsible patrons.

He said the three-strikes policy would target repeat offenders.

‘‘My issue is that everybody’s bunched in together,’’ Mr Owen said. ‘‘Are we achieving the aim of what we want, which is less violence in pubs?’’

It is understood the head of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing Elizabeth Tydd recently visited the city in relation to the issue.

Police Association president Scott Weber said the restrictions on city-centre hotels had led to a 37per cent reduction in alcohol-related assaults and the government would be caving in to liquor industry interests if they were wound back.

‘‘We will see an increase in glassings, bashings, sexual assault and anti-social behaviour if the Newcastle initiative is weakened,’’ Mr Weber said.

Anti-violence campaigner Tony Brown, who represented about 150 residents in the complaint process that sparked the Newcastle decision, said it was ‘‘incomprehensible how any government for the people could seriously contemplate undoing such a ‘world’s best’ achievement’’.

AHA NSW director of regulations John Green said the fact the city still had five venues on the violent list showed that ‘‘the claimed success is actually a failure and the severe restrictions should be abandoned”.

AHA Newcastle and Hunter president Rolly de With said the Newcastle and Hamilton conditions should be replaced when the new three-strikes policy came into effect.

An Office of Liquor spokesman said it had not received any requests to review the conditions on venues in the CBD.

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Fans realise prettyboy is pretty good

SYDNEY – Aussies don’t much care for pretty boy captains.
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They prefer their national cricket teams to be led by square-jawed men with hard heads and harder hearts.

Michael Clarke has suffered from perceptions that he is of the former species.

Flashy sports cars in his younger days may not have helped.

The same could be said of his engagement to a well-known model and the fact he was groomed for the captaincy from such a young age.

Many thought he had been given an armchair ride to the second highest office in the land, notwithstanding all the hard graft he put in since his boyhood in Sydney’s unfashionable western suburbs.

If Clarke changes these perceptions, the Sydney Test of 2012 will go down as the turning point.

It’s amazing what a difference a few hundred runs can make – 329 not out, to be precise.

Fans love success.

Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Mark Taylor gave it to them by the bucketload, Waugh going one better by insisting on the “mental disintegration” of opponents as well.

But success isn’t a prerequisite for veneration, as a doughty Allan Border showed.

“Captain grumpy” proved, too, that it’s OK to let your displeasure be known. As long as you’re fair dinkum.

Clarke hasn’t been the most popular figure in the dressing room, as his heated bust-up with Simon Katich attests.

Don Bradman wasn’t universally popular in the sheds, either, but his untouchability as a performer made that irrelevant.

Perhaps Clarke is taking a lesson from that.

He said earning the public’s respect was all he ever wanted.

“If people dislike me that’s life, that’s the way it is,” he said.

“The most important thing for me, especially being Australian captain, is you want your home fans to respect you.”

Clarke said Ponting had taught him how important it was for a captain to “stand up on the field and lead from the front”.

In other words, to score runs.

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

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Break the code and share in $80,000

The Examiner’s advertising consultant Marion Hudson and Country Club Casino gaming marketing manager Shayne Wicks. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSONSOME say you don’t get anything in life for free – but that’s definitely not the case with The Examiner’s latest Codebreaker promotion.
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In conjunction with Country Club Tasmania, The Examiner is giving away a total prize package worth $80,000.

All you have to do is pick up a copy of tomorrow’s paper, find your double-chance Codebreaker game card, and take it to Country Club Tasmania by next Friday where they will crack the code.

There are 6106 prizes to be won instantly including 4000 $5 cash prize, 2000 $10 cash prizes, 100 $50 and 6 $1000 cash prizes.

As a second chance, all cards will go into a $6000 cash draw that will be announced at the Country Club Tasmania Watergarden next Friday between 7pm and 9pm.

Winners must be present to win their second chance draw prize and if winners are Federal Rewards Club members they will receive an additional $1000 cash bonus.

Country Club Tasmania gaming marketing manager Shayne Wicks said that this was the second year the promotion had been held and because of its success last year the prize pool had been doubled.

“It’s a unique way of entering and it’s a fun way of winning,” he said.

The Codebreaker promotion will run again on Saturday January 21.

More details are available at the Federal Rewards Club desk at Country Club Tasmania or by phoning 6335 5747.

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

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Unfinished business: Evergreen Bedsy keen to cap career in fitting manner

SUPERSTAR: Danny Buderus trains with the Knights.TO fully comprehend how much it means to Danny Buderus to be back at the Newcastle Knights, you have to understand how much he loved his time in Leeds.
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Some Aussie expats, including Willie Mason by all accounts, fail to settle abroad and can’t wait to catch the first flight home.

Buderus and his young family enjoyed every minute.

He played in big games at famous stadiums like Wembley, Old Trafford and Elland Road, in front of adoring crowds singing his name.

He won a Super League grand final and even enjoyed a taste of an Origin-like atmosphere, captaining the inaugural International Exiles side against the English national team.

He embraced the Yorkshire culture and hospitality, did his share of sightseeing in Europe, and made friends to last a lifetime.

With another year to run on his contract with the Rhinos, the easy option would have been to play out his career at Headingley, where he was treated like royalty.

But content as he was, deep down inside Buderus felt he had unfinished business.

When he left Newcastle at the end of 2008, his arm in a sling as he nursed a torn biceps, it was not on his terms.

As he subsequently revealed in his 2009 autobiography, the main reason the champion hooker parted company with the Knights was his relationship, or lack thereof, with then coach Brian Smith.

Even though Smith was sacked less than a year after Buderus’s exit, the former Newcastle, NSW and Australian skipper assumed his days in the NRL were done.

‘‘Without a doubt, the way things were going, with my mindset especially, I was probably thinking I’d have a couple of years with Leeds,’’ he said.

‘‘But I got out of the bubble of Newcastle, into the big wide, world of being overseas, and I appreciated it and never took anything for granted.

‘‘But the NRL, you watch it from afar, and I’m very privileged to be back in that competition again and I’m looking forward to pulling that jumper I love so much back on, hopefully in a team all the community is proud of.’’

A 220-game stalwart for the Knights, Buderus will be 34 by the time next season kicks off.

But if a permanent, beaming smile is any indication of enthusiasm, his birth certificate should be declared null and void.

‘‘To be honest with you, I’ve blanked all that negativity in my mind about my age,’’ he said.

‘‘I think that’s the thing to do. ‘‘I’m happy to be out here challenging myself against the young guys … you have to take precautions and train hard, and that nullifies your age and hopefully you can play as well as the young guys.’’

During Smith’s tenure at Newcastle, Buderus and fellow veterans Steve Simpson and Adam MacDougall were regularly excused from the hardest pre-season yakka.

Smith’s logic was that he did not want to put unnecessary miles on the odometers of vintage Rolls Royces.

But under new coach Wayne Bennett and high-performance manager Jeremy Hickmans, Buderus said there were no such exemptions, and he did not want any.

‘‘Everyone’s treated the same, and that’s the way it should be,’’ he said.

While his teammates have unanimously labelled this the most gruelling pre-season of their careers, Buderus has been relishing the workload.

‘‘The body’s a bit sore, but that’s to be expected,’’ Buderus said.

‘‘I’m really enjoying it. Everything’s got a purpose.

‘‘Training’s hard but specific. You know the reasons why you’re doing it.

‘‘That makes it rewarding and also enjoyable.’’

He sympathises with his former teammates back in Leeds who are ‘‘doing a lot of running up and down on the fake turf’’.

A premiership winner at Newcastle in 2001, Buderus enjoyed a farewell lap of honour with the Rhinos after their 32-16 win against St Helens in October.

Only a select group of players have won the ultimate prize in both hemispheres.

And rugby league’s premier historian, David Middleton, said Harry Bath – Balmain (1946-47), Warrington (1953-54 and 1954-55) and St George (1957-59) – was the lone player he could establish to have secured premierships in Australia before and after titles in England.

But if Buderus has an opportunity to put his name alongside Bath’s in the code’s folklore, he has also been around long enough to realise no trophies are presented before a season has even kicked off.

‘‘You hear a bit around the traps about expectations, but there’s a lot of work before we can even be considered title contenders,’’ he said.

‘‘This group aren’t even thinking along those lines.

‘‘There’s a lot of young guys there and everyone’s got to have their heads on and not let any of those outside influences affect them.

‘‘It’s going to be a tough season. Where there’s expectation, there’s pressure.’’

You get the impression Danny Buderus wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Dutchy plays mind games

QUESTION: Matt Nash and Ben KennedyJETS coach Gary van Egmond has left Sydney FC guessing by declining to name his goalkeeper for tonight’s showdown at Ausgrid Stadium.
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Van Egmond has been weighing up the relative merits of Ben Kennedy and Matthew Nash and was expected to announce his decision after yesterday’s final training session.

But the cagey tactician instead deferred any selection confirmations until he submits his team sheet tonight.

He said he had not discussed the matter with Kennedy nor Nash and wanted to broach the subject with them first, rather than in the media.

But when asked if he was also hoping to leave Sydney in the dark, van Egmond replied: ‘‘It’s a little bit that way, too.’’

Van Egmond was hopeful his subterfuge would undermine Sydney’s pre-match video analysis.

‘‘For their set pieces and things like that, it can actually annoy them a little bit … you’ve got to take every advantage you can,’’ he said.

Kennedy and Nash have alternated in goal for the past two seasons, usually after one or the other has been injured.

Kennedy started the first seven matches of this campaign.

He seemed to have established himself as the first-choice gloveman, but he was concussed playing against Brisbane last month and Nash has occupied the hot seat for the past three games.

But van Egmond said on Thursday that Nash had been inconvenienced at training by a knee injury, which could indicate Kennedy has won a recall.

Van Egmond also declined to reveal which player from his provisional 16-man squad would be omitted today.

‘‘We’ll name the 15 tomorrow, mainly because if someone gets sick or whatever,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got the 16 and we’ll see how they are in the morning before we make that decision.’’

The pre-match mind games, however, appear to be mutual.

Van Egmond said he was wary about which strike force Sydney would deploy tonight, amid speculation during the week that Mark Bridge and Terry Antonis could be late inclusions.

Bridge has missed two games with a back problem, while 18-year-old Antonis has been rested after his recent Olyroos commitments.

‘‘I think they’re being just as cagey,’’ van Egmond said.

But yesterday it appeared neither Bridge nor Antonis would play and Sydney would field the same starting team.

Van Egmond said regardless of who lined up for Sydney, they had enough strikepower to worry any team.

‘‘They’ve obviously got some key players in their team – Nicky Carle, Brett Emerton, Mark Bridge and these players are obviously very, very good players in this league,’’ he said.

‘‘They’ve definitely got some weapons that can hurt you on a given day.’’

The Jets, who have won four from five at home this season, are eager to bounce back from last week’s lacklustre 2-0 loss to arch rivals Central Coast.

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Demand from Asia boosting exports

David O’ByrneRISING demand from China, Indonesia and Taiwan has contributed to Tasmania’s export trade figures holding up, according to Economic Development Minister David O’Byrne.
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According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday, Tasmania recorded international merchandise exports worth $3.2 billion over the year to November 2011.

“Over the past quarter we’ve seen renewed signs of strength, with exports up 9.5 per cent compared to the same period last year,” Mr O’Byrne said.

That was a good result, especially considering the high Australian dollar.

“The state’s strongest-performing commodities have been in metallic ores, dairy products and specialist vehicles,” he said.

Mr O’Byrne was confident that the state’s economy would continue to recover this year.

Nationally the ABS data showed that the trade balance in November was much the same as in October, narrowing marginally by $38 million in seasonally adjusted terms to $1.380 billion.

Neither imports nor exports of goods and services were changed significantly in the month.

But for the first two months of the December quarter, the level of exports was up only fractionally by 0.3 per cent, while imports were 2.9 per cent higher.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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