Monthly Archives:April 2019

Court to decide on Gallagher citizenship ( admin posted on April 28th, 2019 )

Labor senator Katy Gallagher will learn her fate on Wednesday when the High Court hands down its decision in her citizenship case.
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However, the case could have wider implications for a swag of lower house MPs – and the numbers on the floor of federal parliament – if the court finds her disqualified to sit in parliament due to her dual citizenship.

Senator Gallagher, who represents the ACT, argues she took every possible step to renounce her British ties to ensure her eligibility to run for parliament.

Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue told the court in March it was clear Senator Gallagher had not complied with renunciation requirements and as a result her Senate seat should be vacated.

But her legal team says she took every action she could to sever citizenship by descent through her father and it was “incredibly uncertain” how long a person should have to wait for British officials to approve the decision.

Senior government figures have said if Senator Gallagher is disqualified, three Labor lower house MPs in similar dual citizenship situations – Justine Keay, Josh Wilson and Susan Lamb – should resign.

Labor last year sought, but failed to get, government approval for a job lot of MPs to be referred, including its own members as well as coalition MPs Julia Banks, Jason Falinski, Alex Hawke, Nola Marino and independent Rebekha Sharkie.

Some coalition members say the constitution needs to be changed to allow dual citizens to run for parliament, given Australia society’s multicultural nature.

WA Liberal senator Linda Reynolds, who is chairing an inquiry into section 44 of the constitution, is one member who says a referendum is needed.

But cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said he didn’t think it would succeed.

“But I’m personally not persuaded that the Australian people disagree with the proposition that a member of the federal parliament should be an Australian citizen only,” Senator Cormann told reporters in Canberra.

Australian Associated Press

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Snowden colt has win in sight ( admin posted on April 28th, 2019 )

Peter Snowden
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Champion Sydney trainer Peter Snowden is confident a huge drop in class will lead to his classy colt Sokudo breaking through for his first win at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.

The two-year-old will contest the 1400-metre maiden plate in which he is well weightedunder the set-weight conditions.

Sokudo has had five starts for three placings, two of which came at Randwick and Warwick Farm.

First up at Hawkesbury over 1300mon April 5, Sokudo went back to third-last in a field of 12before unwinding in the home straight to finish third, beaten less than two lengths. In his most recentstart, the colt took on a classy field in the Fernhill Handicap, a black-type race at Randwick on April 14. After racing in third-last position, Sokudo made up significant ground to finish three lengths behind the smart Futooh.

Saturday’s race is a massive drop in class and Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, told the Herald on Thursday that he expects a bold showing.

“This is a lovely race for him and realistically he wants a bit longer than 1400,but we have freshened him up since his last run three weeks ago,” he said.

“Sokudo is talented but he can be hot and cold. It is a huge drop in class from the Fernhill and he will love the big track.I expect Sokudo to race midfield and be very strong late. Mitchell Bell rode him at Hawkesbury so he knows the horse.”

He was even more confident of the prospects of his lightly raced three-year-old Expierroment in the 1400m maiden handicap.

The gelding carriesthe same colours as stablemate and Everest winnerRedzel and he hasn’t raced since he finished a close third behind the smart Amanito at Newcastle on December 3.

Expierroment has since had a recent barrier trial at Randwick.

“I really like this horse,” Snowden said. “He is a Saturday city class horse. I am not sure if I will send him to Newcastle. I have nominated Expierroment for Wednesday’s Canterbury meeting.”

Kris Lees will saddle up six runners at Newcastle on Saturday and the three-year-old filly Wisdom Treeis a standout in the 1200mmaiden plate.

The daughter of Australian champion sire Snitzelturned in an eye-catcher on debut at Wyong on April 19. She was taken back to last in a field of nine in the 1000m maiden and when called on at the 400m mark, she stormed home to be beaten less than 1 ½lengths.

The longer trip on the more spacious track should lead to victory for the filly. Of Lees’ other starters, Ten Carat (race 5), Juventus (race 7) and Greater Good (race 8) all have strong claims in their respective events.

Another Newcastle galloper, Flying Rose should end a frustrating run of minor placings when she steps out in the 1600mclass 2 handicap.

This preparation, the mare has been placed in four of her five starts. She has been placed in all of her Newcastle starts.

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Merewether Mackerels make splash into winter swimming season ( admin posted on April 28th, 2019 )

Brave: Phil Callender, diving while Don Platt, Bruce Watson, Andrew Bright and Alice Bright watch, said he once swam in water less than 14 degrees at Merewether. “You just can’t stay in – it’s painful.” Picture: Jonathan CarrollPHIL Callender’s Sunday morning ritualspanning four decades started with a simple question.
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Swimming in Merewether Ocean Baths –his “second home” –he met the late Stewart Hetherington, who asked if he wanted to join the Merewether Mackerels Winter Swimming Club.

“I said I’d think about it and 38 years later I’m still here!” he said.

Mr Callender is one of about 50 members agitating for the club’s swimmingseason to kick off on Sunday.

The City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band will march the cohortto the baths, where they will drop blocks of ice and compete in 50metre raceshandicapped to create an even playing field for the range of ages and abilities.

Race winners will earn a spot in the day’s final.

Club secretary Billie Holmes-Fairfull said while the water temperature was still moderate, it would plummet with the onset of winter to around 16degrees.

“At the start of the season some memberscomplain it’s too warm,” she said.

“As time goes on it will get too cold for some people, but not for us.

“We love the cold, it’s fantastic –the colder the better.

“We’re not allowed to say the F-word –freezing –or the C-word –cold on Sundays, or we get fined [by members].”

The clubstarted in 1972 and meetsevery Sunday from May to September, with registration starting at 8am for races from 8.30am.

Some members arrive a little early for some heart-starting sweet muscat, while for others the water –combined with the wind chill – does the trick.

“When you dive into icy water it wakes you up if you’ve had a big night the night before,” Ms Holmes-Fairfull said.

“It’s refreshing. The cold keeps you moving and is just a great way to wake up and start your morning.

“You could stay in bed but then you might not get up to 12 o’clock.

“This keeps you young.

“A lot of time if there’s big surf and we can’t put the lane ropes out we just jump in and have a swim.”

Mr Callender said it was “unbelievable” how “therapeutic” it was to swim in cold water.

“The hardest thing is getting in –gettingout youfeel ‘At least I’ve done it and got a reward for the effort’.

“After a while you just don’t think about it, you get in, do it, get out and carry on with the rest of your day.”

He walks or cycles to the bathswithout fail inrain, hail andshine “because you’re going to get wet anyway”.

Ms Holmes-Fairfull said the club keptits motto of ‘friendship, fun and fitness’ alive by taking turns to cook pots of post-race soup each week, travelling together to competitions and barbecues.

“There’s so much respect for our older members, including Alf Carpenter who is 101, from the younger members.

“It’s so nice to see kids 12 and up relatingto the older generation as well as being part of competing against them, it’s just fantastic.”

Mr Callender said the club was about camaraderie.

“You might not see them [the members] all summer, but you’re guaranteed to see them every winter.”

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May avoids London council election wipeout ( admin posted on April 28th, 2019 )

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has avoided a wipeout in London local elections and eked out gains in Brexit-supporting regions elsewhere, results show, denting the opposition Labour Party’s hopes of a big win.
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The elections are viewed as a gauge of public support for May as she faces a possible revolt in parliament over her strategy for leaving the European Union.

With two thirds of results declared, May had avoided the kind of widespread losses that would have weakened her authority over Conservative lawmakers ahead of key tests of her plans to take Britain out of the EU customs union as it quits the bloc.

Against a backdrop of heightened expectations for the Labour Party, the ballot also showed the limitations of its recent resurgence under veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

May’s party held on to control of Wandsworth council – a low-tax Conservative stronghold since the time of late prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The council had been one of Labour’s more ambitious targets in Thursday’s vote and one it campaigned heavily to win.

Voting decides more than 4400 council seats, determining the makeup of 150 local government authorities who are responsible for the day-to-day provision of public services.

They do not affect seats in parliament, where May has only a slim working majority thanks to a deal with a smaller party.

The Conservatives also held the symbolic council of Westminster, London’s political district, indicating that the final scale of losses in the capital would come in at the lower end of the predicted range.

Ruling parties typically suffer losses at local elections and opinion polls had predicted a bad night in London for the Conservatives after eight years in power. May is also negotiating an exit from the EU that 60 per cent of the capital rejected at the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Results elsewhere in London’s 32 boroughs showed the forecast swing to Labour in the capital had materialised, although not strongly enough to inflict the heavy losses that would pose a serious headache for May.

Outside London, the Conservatives regained control of councils in the pro-Brexit regions of Peterborough and Basildon, largely at the expense of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).

UKIP has suffered leadership issues and struggled for a new purpose since achieving its primary political aim at the 2016 Brexit referendum when Britons decided to leave the EU.

But May’s party lost control of the highly prized council in the Trafford area of the northern city of Manchester – its only foothold in an Labour-dominated important economic region where the Conservatives have spent years trying to win support.

Australian Associated Press

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Green Machine look to change reputation ( admin posted on April 28th, 2019 )

Canberra captain Jarrod Croker says defence will be crucial to any Raiders’ NRL resurgence.They may be known for their free attacking arsenal but Canberra hope to become synonymous with defence as they look to continue their NRL resurgence against Gold Coast on Saturday.
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Raiders captain Jarrod Croker believed they had set the benchmark in their last round 18-8 win over North Queensland – Canberra’s first triumph in Townsville since 2006.

Now Croker wants the Raiders to show the Titans just how much they had strengthened their defensive wall since their memorable last round clash in round one.

In the season opener the Titans came back from 18-0 down after 12 minutes and 24-12 at halftime to pip Canberra 30-28 with a last-minute Konrad Hurrell try.

“We haven’t looked back on it but we have come a long way (since),” Croker said.

“Defensively we have got stronger.

“I think the way we defended against the Cowboys … we have set that as a benchmark.

“Defensively we want to build on that effort last week, to bring that mindset.

“We showed (against Cowboys) that we are a pretty hard team to beat when we do.”

Canberra are known for being able to blow teams off the field with their backline firepower.

They have the NRL’s best red zone attack, scoring a try from every 8.6 tackles they have in their opponent’s 20m.

But Croker hoped Canberra soon earned a very different reputation.

“We certainly don’t train to be the side that scores the most points and doesn’t worry about defence – we want to be a good defensive side,” he said.

“You need good defence to win comps.”

Canberra are starting to learn how to win ugly.

Their past two victories have come from scoring 18 points.

It marks the first time they have won two matches in the same season with 18 points or less since 2006.

Canberra (11th; 3-5 record) have won three of their last four games after a horror 0-4 start.

Saturday’s clash looms as a State of Origin trial with Canberra wrecking ball Josh Papalii lining up against fellow Queensland lock hopeful Jai Arrow of Titans.

Papalii has regained form since being dropped to reserve grade a month ago, showing no sign of distraction as he decides his future.

Papalii has been linked to South Sydney and Cronulla as he mulls over a new three-year Raiders deal.

Blake Austin, Shannon Boyd, Dunamis Lui, Junior Paulo, Aidan Sezer and Sia Soliola are also off contract this year.

“The boys who are off contract have handled themselves well, they haven’t made it a distraction,” Croker said.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Since 2011 the Titans have won eight of 13 games against the Raiders

* The Titans are on a six-match losing streak outside of Queensland, with their last win in round 16 last season

* Titans backrower Will Matthews is in line to play his 100th NRL match, almost 10 years after making his debut in round 16, 2008

Australian Associated Press

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