September, 2018

Shock bronze for our synchronised divers

Shock bronze: Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney surprised everyone, including themselves, with a bronze medal in the 3m synchronised diving. Photo: Clive RoseFive minutes after the big screen at Rio’s Aquatic Centre flashed up Australia’s surprise bronze medal in the 3 metre springboard synchronised team diving, Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney stood shaking and shivering in the briefing room, ahead of the imminent medal ceremony.
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Smith, a dual Olympian, could think only of her make-up.

Handing me her mascara, she asked, “Could you unscrew this? My hands are shaking so much.”

Then she uttered the word so over-used by athletes, it has lost meaning: “This is unreal.”

But not on her younger, more talented Olympic debutant team mate who explained, “It’s not like real life.”

True. Real life does not usually place you among the also rans and suddenly propel you into fame and history.

Neither had any idea whether Australia had ever medalled at an Olympic Games in a team diving event.

“Maybe we have on the ten metre platform, but not recently,” Smith said.

A composed Keeney was able to retrieve her thoughts as she entered the pair’s final and fifth dive of the eight nation competition.

“I was feeling pretty relaxed. We were not really diving on our game. We were out there just enjoying it. I was thinking about fifth place.”

The pair outpointed Canada and Malaysia on the last dive to rocket to third.

China’s duo of Tingmao Shi and Minxia Wu were almost guaranteed of the gold medal after the fourth round.

The disciplined, expressionless pair allowed themselves a high five before bowing to the crowd.

The Italian pair were confident they had won a silver medal after they climbed from the pool midway through the final round, embracing and hugging their coaches.

The concentration required is immense. The sound of police sirens, loud music and unruly hand clapping compete with minds which must focus on technical dives, such as a forward two and a half somersault with twist and pike.

From last to third: The Australian pair were in last place after the first round. Photo: Clive Rose

If the name of this event is synchronised team diving, the slim, lithe bodies of the Chinese pair do literally move through the air and enter the water as one.

They don’t so much enter the water, they slip beneath its surface, after performing feats in the air which would humiliate an acrobat.

Their entry into the water is whisper quiet, compared to the splash of others.

Water bubbles to the surface after their dual entry, in a contained circle, whereas the wash from the last placed Brazilians seemed to cascade across the pool.

The Australians were last after the second round; sixth after round two and fifth after round four.

Their final dive put them into medal contention with a total of 299.19, with only Canada left to dive. But their score of 47.28 wasn’t enough to push the Aussies off the podium.

“We thought our last dive wasn’t that good,” said Keeney. “I fell pretty far forward.

“I think I’ve grown alot as a diver.”

She will also compete in the individual events, saying, “I’m really looking forward to getting into the water again.”

[View the story “FairfaxRegional/rio-games-2016-aussies-in-focus” on Storify]

Curry Merry Muster rodeo, CloncurryPhotos

Saturday saw a great day of rodeo funin Cloncurry. The North West Star was there to capture the action.
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Photos: Derek Barry.

Curry Merry Muster rodeo, Cloncurry | Photos It was a great weekend in the Curry for the Merry Muster.

A big crowd from all parts attended.

Rebecca Van Houten in the barrels.

Makayla Saunders.

Jaimi Downing.

Liz Cook.

Elley Hulls.

Eventual barrels winner Stephanie Gard.

Sisters Kerry Kenny (Injune) and Maureen James (Cloncurry) enjoy the day.

Wendy Christie from Dalgonally in the barrels.

Rebecca Luxford.

Veronica Luxford.

Shianne O’Donoghue-Kent.

Stephanie Gard gets for prize for winning the barrels from Cr Vicky Campbell, Cloncurry Merry Muster Queen Kate Taylor and Miss Rodeo Australia Katy Scott.

Tyler Kenny and Clay Caben get ready for the breakaway event.

Normanton’s Colin Fry in the saddle broncs.

Jordan Iker from Alton Downs.

Tristan Braden considers his saddle bronc ride after dismounting.

Cameron Southern is focussed during his saddle bronc ride.

Gavin Fry of Normanton.

Cody Melver.

Tyler Chong of Cloncurry

Clay Kunde of Cloncurry.

Jack England.

Clay Caban in the junior breakaway roping.

Maddix Lovett of Taroom.

Cloncurry’s own Maisy Hetherington.

Tyler Kenny gets set to rope.

Kiwi Paki Wimeera in the junior steers,.

Curry’s own Darcy Harrison-Douglas stayed up for the eight seconds in the junior steers.

Mount Isa cowboy Donovan Rutherford.

Braden Dollard hangs on.

Jack Woodall.

Ezekiel Douglas.

John Degoumois.

Lyn and Max Gore came from Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast to soak up the action.

Perry Harrison (Urandangi), Perry Bell (Doomadgee) and Jack Winsper (Kowanyama)

Theresa Jones (Melbourne) and Jane Penfold (Toowoomba).

Jasmine Diffey in the barrels.

Tess Storman (Cloncurry).

Sam and Holly Robertson, Tiffany Leeson came down from Isa.

Roma’s Teal Ayers in the junior barrels.

Olivia Webb races for home.

Young Cade Ferguson did Cloncurry proud.

Kelly-Jo Litchfield.

Possibly the youngest competitor, Heidi Middleton was a darling of the crowd.

Brandee Ferguson.

Barrels winner Ali Gard receives her buckle.

Team roping.

Curry’s Col Ferguson in the team roping.

Bridie Ferguson and Colt Ferguson in the team roping.

Donovan Rutherford in the bull ride.

Brodie Howell hangs on.

Cody Gibbons.

Jack Woodall.

Patricia Lawlor and Davinia Passi were locals enjoying the day.

The Dagwood Dogs and chips went down well for Sally Hannah and Melinda Holmes of Cloncurry.

Census officials at the Muster: Dana Ingram, Sue Sarmardin and Leanne Kun Sund.

The McIntyre kids had a ball: Jack, Angus, Emily and Ava.

Never a dull moment when MC Keith Douglas was around.

Brodie Adams in the bareback broncs.

Tristan Braden is barely visible on his bareback bronc.

Katy Scott with bronc winner Tristan Braden.

Katy Scott with second division bulls winner Lawson Nobbs.

Lawson Nobbs and Donovan Rutherford.

Brandee Ferguson in the junior breakaway roping.

Shayne Land.

Lane Currie.

Cohran Remfrey.

Heath O’Keeffe.

Warwick cowboy Lachlan Miller in the saddle bronc.

Phillip Harrison of Normanton.

Lockyer Valley’s Jack Capewell.

Sam Turnbull comes off his mount.

Eddie Campbell has a rough landing.

As does Kimba Fien.

Kolt Ferguson.

Team roping action.

Braden Breiner.

Sally Mallay.

The Fergusons team up, Col and son Colt.

Katy Scott and saddle broncs winner Lachlan Miller.

Jack Winsper in the junior steers.

Cohran Remfrey comes off.

The big screen put romance in the camera during a break.

Jordan Iker shows how the rope and tie should be done.

Luke Chaplin in the saddle bronc.

Brodie Pendergast about to take a tumble.

John McNamee.

Jack Woodall wins one of the bull ride categories.

Anna McPhee in the Ladies Breakaway Roping.

Kym Ash.

Bethany Clark (Canada) and Bianca Von Oppell (South Africa).

Winton’s Mavryn Remfrey in the team roping.

Chris McPhee.

Jordan Iker wins rope and tie.

Blake Hallam and Ben Smith win the team roping.

Lachlan Miller hangs on the saddle bronc.

Saddle bronc rider about to hit the dirt.

Clayton Brayden wins saddle bronc buckle with Katy Scott, Miss Rodeo Australia.

Elise Mulcahy, Sam Douglas, Jessica Ash, James Dudley and Jonathan Hartley, all from Isa. James tries out Jonathan’s impressive fur coat.

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Racers are set to star

FOUR Goondiwindi teamsacross four very different classes will test theirmettle against some of the best off-roadracers in Australia on the weekend.
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Goondiwindi locals are all set to star at this weekend’s Goondiwindi 400.

Joe Bulmer and Wayne Bell have entered thethe Pro buggy class, the highest powered of the buggy classes. Joe has been a regular at the Goondiwindi track for countless years and his Chev LS2 V8 powered #36 Jimco is definitely an outright podium contender.

Brothers Jamie and Symon Knight are hot contenders in the Extreme 2WD class; their immaculately presented Chev Trophy Truck #439, also sporting a Chev LS2 V8 power plant is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.The All G Racing Team is a family affair with Dad Mick Phillips in the driver’s seat of the Toyota 20 Value Blacktop powered Alumi Craft and Mum Lisa and siblings Sam and Michaella sharing the navigating duties with 13 year-old Rebecca waiting impatiently to turn 14 so she too can hop in the navigator’s seat. With recent changes to their suspension of the #242 Super 1650, the All G team islooking for a strong finish.

The Goondiwindi track runs through 14 properties, including that managed by Steven and Rae Donpon. After many years of helping with recovery and checkpoints, Steven decided to step into his own Extreme 4WD Mitsubishi Ute #868 with daughter Tanya in the co-driver’s seat.

More than 60 off-road racing teams will converge on Goondiwindi for the annual running of the Albins ARB Goondiwindi 400.Run 20km out of town off the Cunningham Highway, (turn left at Kerimbulla Lane and follow the signs) the infamous melon-holed track is on the bucket list of the diehard offroader. Teams will travel from North Queensland to Tasmania.

The off-road vehicles will be on displayon Fridaynight at the showgrounds from4pm to 9pm.With cars ranging from $5,000 to $350,000 there’s something to suiteeveryone’s budget.

Saturdaykicks off with the prologue from10:30followed by the Goondiwindi Tyres Service Top 10 Shoot Out.Saturdayafternoon,2pm,sees the field take to the track for a one lap sprint through the 80km course. Sunday’s action gets underway at8am.

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Take it to the next level? Not for the next 20 years, at least

TROUBLED WATERS: Can the substantial cost of raising the Gordon Edgell Bridge really be justified when the river rises over it so infrequently?COUNCILLOR Michael Coote must have the election cycle confused.He must think there is an election coming up -well, maybe a mayoral election on the assumption that no decision on Bathurst’s merger with Oberonis handed down by the Land andEnvironment Court in the next four weeks.
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How else can you explainhim spruiking the need to raise the Gordon Edgell Bridge or build dual lanes to Kelso and Eglinton just because the city incurred two days of inconvenience due to the flooding of the Gordon Edgell Bridge (or the George StreetFalls Bridge before it was renamed in 2006)?

Simply, the city won’t need dual lanes via Eglinton Road or Hereford Street for at least 20 years,so forget that brain snap, Cr Coote.And the suggestion to raise the Gordon Edgell Bridge so it is “no longer a low level bridge” is simply uneconomical.

I think Cr Coote has forgotten that the Raglan Creek in full flood cuts Hereford Street between Ashwood Park and the levy onGilmour Street end.So not only would the Gordon Edgell Bridge need to be raised 10 metres above its existing level -costing millions, if not tens of millions -but the full length of Hereford Street across the floodplain would also need to be raised 1.5 to twometres, I assume, with viaducts to ensure the road access was maintained during floodevents – which, honestly, occurinfrequently.

The chances ofgetting approval for this project from the water authorities are “none and Buckley’s”.

So what’s the alternative?Maybe the long-overdueEleven Mile Drivereconstruction could be expedited, raising the height of the culvert crossing at Saltram Creek, if needed, to ensure access from Kelso is maintained at all times when the Gordon Edgell Bridge is flooded. I’d suggest that’s asignificantly cheaper alternative.

Or, to play the devil’s advocate, maybe Kelso residents could pay a toll along Hereford Street to fund Cr Coote’s fanciful, headline-grabbing thought bubble.

Deviation design worksSTILL on water, I was surprised that the $1 millionRaglan Creek deviation, which was created a few years agoto channel large volumes of water away from the normal watercourse of the Raglan Creek during major storm events across the Great Western Highway at Learmonth Park, sprang into action last Wednesday after 30 to40 millimetres of rain.

I appreciate last week’s rainwas the “icing on the cake” on top of the saturated ground, with every millimetre running, but the best news is it appears our engineers got the design right, with no sign of flooding on the Great Western Highway.

Considering the bedlam created when the highway to Kelso closed after storm flooding at the Raglan Creek, the high investment to create the deviation channel appears to have paid for itself on its first use.Hats off to council’s engineering department.

Thumbs upRAGLAN Creek deviation channel working how it was intended last week, preventing the Sydney Road at Learmonth Park flooding.

Thumbs downCR Coote calling for the Gordon Edgell Bridge level to be raised just because Kelso residents were inconvenienced twice in a fortnight due to flooding.That’s twice in a few years – hardly a major inconvenience with an available alternative via Eglinton.

– LACHLAN SULLIVANThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Phone call

NSW Farmers has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of a market study into telecommunications.
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NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen said the inquiry represented a timely opportunity to resolve long term issues such as lack of competition in regional mobile markets and how to deliver improved coverage and quality of service at an affordable price.

“For too long, people in the bush have been forced to put up with limited coverage, poor service and a lack of competitive pressure,” Mr Schoen said.

“The roll out of the NBN should provide a level playing field for landline and internet services.

“But the current lack of competition for regional mobile services remains a handbrake.

“Worryingly, the roll out of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, whilst increasing coverage, may actually be adding to competition issues in the long term.

“It’s time to start a robust and open conversation about ideas such as the wholesaling of mobile networks and roaming – especially when public funding has gone towards mobile towers.

“Public funding should equal public access to services from telecommunications infrastructure,” said Mr Schoen.

At the same time as increasing competition, it is also vital that regulation of the industry reflects the 21stcentury.

That’s why NSW Farmers is pushing for a reformed Universal Service Obligation (USO) that puts in place a transparent, minimum standard for voice and data (internet).

“A USO on voice and data is common sense. If you are going to spend $56 billion to connect the NBN to every home in Australia, why wouldn’t you put in place a minimum standard for its performance?”, concluded Mr Schoen.


The Coonamble Shire Council won an award for its annual report during Local Government Week last week.

It wonan RH Dougherty Award for councils with populations less than 30,000 in the category forReporting to your Community

The awards are designed toencourage and recognise best-practice communication by councils to their local communities.

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