南京夜网 21/10/2018

Cooper on track for Dragons’ 2013 campaign

His mind is willing and his body is able – and that’s enough to convince Matt Cooper playing beyond 2013 is not out of the question.
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Having survived what Dragons players have described as the toughest pre-season in years, Cooper yesterday hinted that thoughts of joining fellow Red V stalwarts Ben Hornby and Dean Young in retirement were premature.

‘‘I had some surgery at the end of last year just to fix up minor injuries I had throughout [last] year,’’ 33-year-old Cooper said.

‘‘It’s been great and I’ve had a great pre-season.’’

Pressed on whether his body was capable of carrying him into 2014 and beyond, the veteran of seven Tests said: ‘‘At the moment, yeah it does. Ask me that question in June or July and I might have a different answer.

‘‘At the moment the body feels really good and I feel like I could play a couple more seasons. It’s too early to tell and obviously come mid-year I’m going to have to make that decision.’’

Cooper’s desire to ask for a contract extension if his often injury-plagued body allows would help offset the Dragons’ thinning experience stocks. St George Illawarra watched all-time games leader Hornby (273 games) and Young (209 games) hang up the boots last season, while the hard-nosed Beau Scott fled to Newcastle over summer.

Matt Cooper, centre, back at Dragons training last month. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

If he was to embark on a 15th season in the NRL, Cooper, a veteran of 235 appearances, would also have the chance to usurp Hornby’s record.

Cooper said the club had already unearthed several willing leaders in the absence of Hornby and Young.

‘‘There was a couple of years ago when Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett and Luke Bailey left,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘That was a bit of a change. This year with Dean and Ben going, there’s a new group of leaders stepping up.

‘‘The likes of Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale and Dan Hunt – players like those blokes have really stepped up this year and have turned into great leaders.’’

St George Illawarra will begin their 2013 campaign with a trial against North Queensland in Cairns next Saturday.

Cooper said he would take part in the Cowboys hit-out and the Charity Shield duel with Souths on February 22, matches crucial to a daunting month for the Dragons.

‘‘If you have a look at the draw we have a really tough opening few weeks. Round one against Melbourne in Melbourne is going to be a tough game and we’re looking to start the year with a couple of wins.’’

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

南京夜网 21/10/2018

Shenanigans keep going on

IT WAS just like old times. Despite the solace of a church service to get the parliamentary year started, the “love one another” Christian message was quickly lost when question time arrived a few hours later.
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The old combatants, with renewed vigour courtesy of an election date, were at it again.

Like a prize fight they exchanged blows, hoping for that knockout punch which never arrives.

With rumblings within the Labor ranks that the election could deliver the party one of its worst defeats, and only a day after the Prime Minister warned her caucus to be loyal or watch out, there was plenty to talk about.

With a fresh poll indicating the Coalition is in line for a momentous victory, no time was lost in the attempt to draw first blood.

The Coalition, armed with wads of paper documenting how many times Treasurer Wayne Swan had reiterated Labor’s pledge to deliver a budget surplus in the 2012-13 fiscal year, was wasting time trying to discredit the government.

The Gillard government will be judged on its own actions and the electorate is smart enough to know when a government has lost its way.

Kevin Rudd, the rejected leader with hope still on board, missed the caucus meeting but responded to reports yesterday that some Labor backbenchers were restless about Julia Gillard’s ability to lift the government’s fortunes from a quagmire of broken promises and unfulfilled policies.

“Have a long, cold shower,” was Mr Rudd’s response to speculation he might have another tilt at the Labor leadership.

But Kevin Rudd does not need to show any interest in Labor’s top job, because he knows, if the polls continue to show the party will be routed at the September 14 election, Julia Gillard’s grip on power will be significantly weakened.

If the crisis worsens and the outlook is bad enough, Labor will seek him out, some predict.

The reality, however, is that any change in leadership leading up to the election will not work in Labor’s favour.

It would confirm to the voting public that Labor has no real leadership and no ability to govern with authority.

Tony Abbott might not win the election – he may be delivered victory by a party in disarray. Time will tell.

In the meantime, the mean-spirited shenanigans which are part and parcel of parliamentary life will continue.

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

南京夜网 21/10/2018

Longer coal strike could cost $50m

THE Rail, Tram and Bus Union effectively declared war on train company Pacific National on Tuesdayby doubling Friday’s planned strike to 48hours.
Nanjing Night Net

If not settled by noon on Friday the strike could stop the movement of about 600,000 tonnes of coal worth about $50million.

Pacific National hauls about three-quarters of the Hunter’s coal but the two other operators could also be hit if stopped trains block access to the Newcastle and Port Kembla coal-loaders.

Pacific National director Dave Irwin said the company was not expecting the extra action, nor had the union explained its actions.

‘‘This is an uncontrolled escalation of the action on behalf of the [union]. We don’t understand the basis on which they have taken it.’’

The union’s Newcastle organiser, Steve Wright, defended the extended action saying the union had always intended to go for 48hours and was only required to give 72hours notice for each day’s action.

Pacific National and the union have been at loggerheads for more than a year over pay and conditions for about 800 employees including more than 400 drivers involved with Hunter and Gunnedah coal trains.

The company has cut its final three-year offer from 4per cent a year to 3per cent, making it well short of the union demand of 7per cent, 5per cent and 5per cent, with another 2per cent a year on top of that for a fuel efficiency bonus carried over from the previous agreement.

Mr Wright said the company reneged on the fuel offer and had not even fitted the monitors needed to measure the improvements.

But Mr Irwin said the bonus was not paid because the fuel bills were never cut, at least partly because rail congestion added to running costs.

Relations between the parties have deteriorated in recent days and Pacific National defended sending private investigators into its Newcastle and Port Kembla workplaces after company notices relating to the dispute were defaced with references to ‘‘scabs’’.

Mr Wright said the company was ‘‘going over the top’’ in reacting to things written on meal-room notice boards.

‘‘And they had the hide to write to the union asking for our support in investigating who wrote on them,’’ Mr Wright said.

But Mr Irwin said the ‘‘scabs’’ messages were ‘‘bullying and intimidation’’ and the company was determined to ‘‘protect those employees who have chosen not to take industrial action’’.

Train drivers contacted the Newcastle Herald on Tuesdayto say that Mr Irwin was refusing to meet their pay claims while his company’s annual report showed his remuneration rising 37per cent to more than $1million last year.

Mr Irwin confirmed the figures, but said the business had grown a lot in the past five years and it was not his job to justify his salary.

南京夜网 21/10/2018

Australians are improving when it comes to being safe in the sun

More Australians are keeping out of the sun and avoiding getting sunburnt than six years ago, according to the latest cancer council research released today.
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Research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health compared the results of the National Sun protection survey conducted in the summer of 2010-11 with surveys in 2006-07 and three years before. It found that the proportion of adults who wanted a tan fell from jl39 per cent in 2003-04 and 32 per cent in 2006-07 to 27 per cent in 2010-11.

Fewer reported getting sunburnt at the weekend – 18 per cent in 2003-04 compared with 13 per cent in 2010-11.

Similar changes were reported for adolescents with the proportion of young people wanting a tan falling from jl60 per cent in 2003-04 and 51 per cent in 2006-07 to 45 per cent in 2010-11.

Tasmanians followed the national trend with 40 per cent in 2003 liking the idea of a suntan, with only 30 per cent in 2006, and 28 per cent in 2010.

More than 80 per cent of Tasmanians surveyed in 2003 believed that if they protected themselves from the sun they could avoid skin cancer in 2003.

That figure dropped to 79 per cent in 2006 but lifted to 83 per cent in 2010.

There was a “very slight” decrease in the proportion of adults surveyed who stayed mostly in the shade during their main outdoor activity since the 2003-04 survey.

Cancer Council of Australia skin cancer committee chairman Terry Slevin said that, nationally, improved sun protection behaviour (wearing sunscreen and long-sleeve tops) was noted with adults over time, but improvement slowed in recent years.

“One in five adolescents and one in eight adults still report getting sunburnt so while attitudes towards tanning are improving we are still seeing people getting too much sun,” Mr Slevin said.

Launceston tradesman Aaron McBain works outside all day and exercises sun safety, slopping on sunscreen and seeking shade on his breaks. Picture: ZONA BLACK

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

南京夜网 21/10/2018

Enforcement of fair rules would be better

MY WIFE and I have been coming to Tamworth for the festival for 13 years.
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It has an exciting, throbbing, vibrant feel in Peel St, the variety of which never fails to amaze and entertain us.

This year was a bloody dreadful mess.

The reason given for the change was that it was too noisy.

The council-operated stage was the worst offender by far!

I asked the sound operator why they were so loud, with shrieking female singers echoing around the street.

He replied: “The lots behind us turn up, so we do.”

Is that not what started this argument in the first place – “turning up”?

The lots behind him, oh yeah!

One had a 15-watt amp, one was just a guitar and no amp and the other had a twin speaker PA of 50W.

They sat on the pavement totally overpowered and then left Peel St, very upset.

Also, what gives the organisers the right to exclude the oldies and the not-so-good who come every year?

Or the singers who are fundraisers for various charities but sing flat or off-key?

It doesn’t matter – they are all part of the character of the festival and deserve a fair go on Peel St.

At least they entertain and can go home and say “I sang in Tamworth”.

There is a very simple solution to the noise issue.

Get the council officers to properly implement the noise policy.

As in any job, three warnings and you are fired.

Three warnings, then: “You have been warned three times, now pack up and leave or you will be removed.”

Use the council golf carts to effect this.

No act that has travelled hundreds of kilometres will want that to happen.

Pre-warned of this rule and strong enforcement might just make the difference in the street.

We will be back next year, but please give the busking job back to whoever did it in previous years.

JOHN COUZENS

METUNG VIC

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