BALLARAT Miners have called on two South East Australian Basketball League legends to lead the club to new heights.
Bendigo Braves great David Flint has been appointed to the vacant head coach role, with Miners champion Eric Hayes locked in as his assistant.
The Miners had been on the hunt for a replacement for Guy Molloy, who resigned from the top job in December last year. Flint is their man.
“It’s a privilege that (the Miners) have the faith in me to get things done, and I have no question that things can get done around here,” Flint said after meeting the players at training last night.
“It’s great to get back with a club that has so much rich history, and they are, to me, throughout the years SEABL has been going, by far the most successful club.”
Flint said it was a huge plus to have Hayes on board.
“I love the way he played and I know he and I can work very closely together,” he said.
The 50-year-old arrives in Ballarat boasting an outstanding career as a coach and player with the Miners’ arch-rival. He is Bendigo’s all-time leader in games played, rebounds, blocks, assists and steals, and led the Braves to their first championship in 1988 as a playing coach.
Flint’s impact on the SEABL is just as great, having been selected in the Team of the Decade for 1980-89 as a player and 1990-99 as the head coach. Flint has six years’ coaching experience at the Australian Junior National Championships, including three as head coach of the under-18 men’s team, in which several Miners have played.
Hayes’ name is synonymous with Ballarat basketball.
He is the all-time leader for SEABL games played, and holds the same record at the Miners, where he is a leader for points, assists and steals.
Hayes sits in the SEABL top 10 for points, assists, rebounds and steals, and was inducted into the 2000s Team of the Decade.
“There is no doubt I have a desire to coach the Miners at some stage, however right now the timing is not right for me or my family,” Hayes said.
“When David asked me to be involved as an assistant I jumped at it, as I have so much respect for what he has achieved and thought what better way for me to further my coaching career with this great club.
“I will fully support him where I can.”
Ballarat Miners new assistant coach Eric Hayes and new head coach David Flint.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
SYDNEY trains may be terminated at Broadmeadow rather than Wickham under state government plans to cut the Newcastle rail line.
When Planning Minister Brad Hazzard announced the Wickham terminus plan in December, it was generally assumed that all trains currently running to Newcastle would then end at Wickham.
But speculation about the Sydney service has been triggered by government artwork showing the Wickham interchange as more suited to four-car trains than the eight cars usually used on the Sydney service.
And reports to the government have said the extra rail traffic generated by a Wickham interchange would probably require the permanent closure of the level crossing at Beaumont Street, Hamilton.
The extra rail traffic would come from empty trains, which are presently kept on the Newcastle line, having to go back to Broadmeadow for stabling.
One way to avoid this traffic would be to end the Sydney services at Broadmeadow.
But while this would ease pressure on the Beaumont Street gates it would force Maitland line passengers to catch another train, between Hamilton and Broadmeadow, to reach the Sydney service.
Concerns about such issues led the Newcastle Herald to contact the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, last week, to ask about rumours that the Sydney trains would terminate at Broadmeadow.
They passed the questions to Planning Minister Brad Hazzard, who sent them to the Hunter Development Corporation.
Corporation chief executive Bob Hawes acknowledged the reports raising concerns about Beaumont Street – and the even closer Railway Street, Wickham, level crossing – but said final decisions would be made once planning for the Wickham terminus was under way.
The same applied to whether the Sydney service would start and finish from Broadmeadow.
‘‘Such matters are operational detail which will be resolved through the scoping study phase in consultation with Transport for NSW,’’ Mr Hawes said.
He said a ‘‘multi-agency steering group’’ would be put together in the coming weeks to implement the decision announced by Mr Hazzard in December.
‘‘I can honestly say I haven’t seen anything to indicate a departure from the starting point of the announcement, which is services terminating at Wickham,’’ Mr Hawes said.
‘‘But that’s a general planning position and from here on in there will be an interesting and complicated matrix of issues to be worked through.
‘‘It’s a bit like the Hunter Highway. An announcement was made and a line drawn on a map but the eventual outcome was somewhat different.”
What the change could mean:
MAITLAND-SYDNEY: Change trains at Hamilton for Broadmeadow, change at Broadmeadow for Sydney.
MAITLAND-NEWCASTLE: Terminate at Wickham.
NEWCASTLE-SYDNEY: Start at Wickham, change at Broadmeadow for Sydney.
BENDIGO Braves legend David Flint is the new coach of arch-rival the Ballarat Miners.
Flint spent more than 15 years with the Braves, where he helped develop arguably the most fierce rivalry in the SEABL.
Last night, Flint, who coached the Braves to their first SEABL title in 1988, donned a Miners polo top for the first time.
“It was a hard decision, but it just feels right for me to get back into coaching at SEABL level,’’ Flint said last night after he put his new team through his first training session.
“I love the Bendigo Braves… the club was such a big part of my life for a long time.
“I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Braves and I want the club to be successful.
“But right now I have a new challenge and I’m very comfortable with my decision.”
From the late 1980s until the end of the 2002 season, Flint was the face of the Bendigo Braves.
He was named the Braves’ greatest player by the Bendigo Advertiser at the club’s 25-year anniversary in 2010.
Flint holds club records in games played (318), rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.
Overall, he coached the Braves 343 times with an imposing winning percentage of 63 per cent.
In the past decade Flint has coached Braves junior squads and was the head coach of Victoria Country under-18 squads.
He will continue to work with the Bendigo YMCA and will commute to Ballarat.
“I love my role with the YMCA and if I didn’t think I could do both jobs justice, I wouldn’t be coaching,’’ he said.
Flint signed a two-year deal with Ballarat where he will have the services of former Miners star Eric Hayes as his assistant.
The Braves and Miners clash on April 3 in Ballarat and an inaugural Anzac Day game in Bendigo on April 25.
Braves coach Ben Harvey welcomed Flint’s signing with the Miners.
“I wish Dave all the best with Ballarat,’’ Harvey, who played under Flint in 2001 and 2002, said.
“It’s great to see him coaching in the SEABL again.”
Eric Hayes and David Flint.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
STORM damage to Stockton’s famous sand dunes is worse than first thought, with authorities now moving to install expensive sand fencing in northern parts of the bight to encourage the repair of severely eroded banks.
The news is a blow to the park’s managers who had hoped to soon reopen sections of the dunes to campers and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts.
Users of the park have grown increasingly frustrated with restrictions on access and camping in the area, but it now seems certain that those areas will remain off limits for some time.
That frustration was displayed at a rally held last weekend which attracted an estimated 5000 four-wheel-drive enthusiasts who called for an end to access restrictions in the region’s national parks, and in particular Stockton sand dunes.
See the Herald’s coverage of Saturday’s Unlock Australia rally here, includinga picture gallery, news report and video.
National Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday confirmed that an anticipated natural recovery of the storm-damaged dunes was either not happening, or happening much slower than expected.
NPWS ranger Tony Demamiel said sand fencing would be installed in some northern sections of the bight. Such fencing involves the laying of timber and other biodegradable materials in areas where high seas have breached the frontal dunes and flooded camping areas and four-wheel-drive tracks behind. While water has mostly drained from those areas, the danger of high seas re-entering remains, he said.
The material, erected in a mesh pattern, is designed to catch blowing sand and gradually rebuild the dunes.
‘‘We’ll have to trial the fencing in small sections and monitor the dune recovery,’’ Mr Demamiel said.
‘‘It won’t further restrict public access, but existing restrictions will have to remain in place.’’
The initial breaches in the dunes were caused by vehicles travelling from the beach and into camping areas behind, he said. Those breaches were worsened by recent high seas.
Four-wheel-drive clubs and recreational users of the dunes have flooded the Newcastle Herald with complaints about the restrictions in recent weeks.
NPWS said most of the fencing and gates referred to by park users had been erected by or for private landholders.
Worimi Land Council and Boral own several large slices of the bight which are used for commercial purposes or fenced to protect important Aboriginal sites.
Draft plan gathers pace as stakeholders squabble
A DRAFT plan of management for Stockton sand dunes is likely to be hastened following increased tensions between park managers and recreational park users.
In the pipeline for almost two years, the plan is being prepared by a board of management that comprises members of all stakeholder groups, including Worimi Land Council, four-wheel-drive clubs and commercial tour operators.
‘‘Everyone knows the park is in danger of being loved to death,’’ National Parks and Wildlife Service’s senior ranger Leanne Ellis said.
‘‘This plan will enable the park to be managed so that it can be protected, but also meet the demands of people who want to use it.’’
Ms Ellis said the recent spotlight on the area could speed up preparations of the draft plan.
‘‘We’re really pleased that so many people are interested in protecting and using the park,’’ she said.
OFF LIMITS: Wes Whitworth with his father Ken at a fenced-off section of the Stockton sand dunes. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
The public will be able to comment and make formal submissions when the draft plan goes on public exhibition.
BORDERLINE Speedway was treated to a thrilling duel between South Australian Matt Egel and American Travis Rilat as the pair went head to head for race honours in the Lucas Oils Tyson Perez Memorial which was presented by GT Bobcat on Saturday night.
Threatening dark cloud blanketed the sky as the 34 strong field prepared for the third running of the memorial event which coincided with the sixth round of the Mainline Dynalog Dynamometers All Stars Series.
Once again Borderline attracted some of the best 360ci drivers in Australia, including defending champion Egel, Rilat, Troy Little, Tim Van Ginneken and Matt Reed who stepped down from his regular 410ci ride to step into the #49 QP Lubricants Eagle, owned by Ken Hutchins.
Egel made his intentions clear from the outset, claiming the Oval Express Time Trials quicktime before blitzing the field in the opening heat of the night in his Tony Bartlett owned and prepared Bartlett Auto Care #75 Cool Chassis.
Not to be outdone, Rilat showed he had not only made the long journey to honour his late friend, but to also claim honours, charging through the field in his ESP #29 XXX machine to be hot on Egel’s tail.
Venturing over the border, Warrnambool regular Van Ginnekin won the second heat, while it was the Metro Holden #14 J&J of young gun Brendan Quinn which greeted the chequered flag in the third.
The clouds could only be held off for so long with light rain eventually falling just as the fourth heat arrived, throwing a spanner in the works for many teams as the racing surface changed for the remainder of the evening.
Officials worked to get the track back to a suitable condition, and it was South Australian Shane Hendry who guided his SA Kerbing #43 XXX home ahead of Reed.
Rain continued to fall which placed some rough patches in the track, forcing drivers to reassess their strategies around the oval circuit.
Shannon Barry took heat four from Egel, while Rilat claimed victory in the fifth heat.
Although a number of accidents marred the final round of heats, they eventually came to a close with Brad Foster claiming victory in the sixth and final heat.
With time ticking on, organisers had to cancel the shoot out which saw the B-Main conducted on a freshly prepared circuit.
Needing a top six finish to transfer into the feature race, it was Jack Lee leading home Mount Gambier’s Karl Enderl in his Western United Financial Services #11 Cool Chassis, followed by Tony Moule, Bill Fraser, Phil Lock and Mark Caruso.
Following their strong performances leading up to the 31 lap decider, Egel and Rilat occupied the front row for the main event, and they did not allow the rest of the field a chance at glory.
Egel led every lap of the race, holding off the advances of Rilat who made several attempts that almost paid off to snatch the lead.
In what was an emotional race for both drivers, Egel and Rilat finished first and second with Reed making a mammoth charge from 12th position to claim third.
Chad Ely, Sam Putland, Little, Chris Solomon, Moule, Hendry and Enderl rounded out the top 10.
SPECIAL WIN: Matt Egel claimed back-to-back victories in the sixth round of the Mainline Dynalog Dynamometers All Stars Series which coupled as the Lucas Oils Tyson Perez Memorial at Borderline Speedway on Saturday night
GOING THE DISTANCE: American Travis Rilat ventured to Australia to race in the memorial event that honours his late friend Tyson Perez, finishing second
Bendigo’s men’s and women’s water polo teams hope to rule the pool when the Victorian Country Championships comes to the Bendigo Aquatic Centre this weekend.
Bendigo hasn’t won a title since the mid-1990s and will have to overcome the might of the Ovens and Murray, Bairnsdale, Geelong, Albury and Wodonga teams to break its drought.
Eight men’s team will shoot for the title, with Bendigo boasting several quality additions to its squad which didn’t make the semi-finals last year.
“Paul McKenzie brings some experience, speed and skill to the team as a forward with a strong accurate shot,” Bendigo Water Polo Association president Bruce Pridham said.
“Jason Greene brings extensive water polo experience to the team and will fit-in in a support role.”
Pridham will come off the bench for Bendigo, which has a splash of youth and experience in the 13-player team.
“Ian Symons fronts up again for his 25th year of country championships, or around that,” Pridham said.
“He’s in good nick for an old bloke, he’s a utility. Ian’s 53 or 52 and he’s as fit as ever.
“There’s a real focus on youth this year in the Bendigo team with Tim Carew, Nick Swan, David Symons and Dan Carew sure to make their presence felt in the pool.
“It’s expected the Ovens and Murray will dominate the weekend. The Wodonga Pool Pirates are looking to reclaim the title after dropping to Northside in 2012.”
Four women’s teams will compete for the title, with Bendigo’s women in training since December.
“The Bendigo women’s team is looking strong, again with a focus on youth,” Pridham said.
“Lily Pridham is hoping for a good tournament after state representation in the under-14s last month.
“We’ve also got the Reade sisters returning to Bendigo after Camille had a stint in Sydney first grade and represented the Australian Defence Forces in the Australian Championships.
“Her sister Jacinta is also back. There’s a number of Bendigo juniors playing their first year in the senior competition – Laura McCulloch, Keely Scarce, Hannah Dobell and Olivia Arandt.
Bendigo are hoping for a top-two place, but the (Albury) Sharks are current water polo championships and will be hard to beat.”
Teams will play four games, with the top-two teams after the rounds playing-off in the final.
“The Aquatic Centre is still open to the public, we welcome people to come down and view the sport at this high level,” Pridham said.
“There’s a number of Victorian and Australian players in action across the weekend.”
Bendigo was made host of Saturday and Sunday’s championships in December after the Wodonga pool wasn’t ready in time.
Bendigo last hosted the championships in 2011 and more than 200 players are expected to be in action this weekend. Matches begin at 8.30am on Saturday, with the last game to finish about 3.30pm on Sunday.
Amelia Marshall and Mairaed Dullard.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.
A REGIONAL civic leader has welcomed news the State Government will employ an industry advocate to ensure work from major government projects flows to local contractors.
Grant District Council chief executive officer Trevor Smart – whose council pushed for local contractors to benefit from the $23m Mount Gambier Prison expansion – said opportunities should be given to contractors from the region given the downturn in some sections of the economy.
His comments come as the State Government undertakes a cluster of new major projects in the Mount Gambier area, including the $27m redevelopment of the Mount Gambier Hospital and the $3.5m new ambulance station.
Mr Smart yesterday described the government announcement as positive given the multi-million-dollar new government projects underway in Mount Gambier.
He said nearly 60pc of the work at the Mount Gambier Prison had been undertaken by local contractors and the trend should continue for other government projects.
“We are still to get the final figure for the Mount Gambier Prison expansion, but that is a great outcome,” Mr Smart said.
He said there had been a major push from regional areas to ensure local communities benefited economically from major government projects.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the move was a response to an increase in the value of contracts being awarded to interstate companies at the expense of local businesses.
“Investing in good, well-paid, secure jobs for South Australians is at the heart of our economic policy,” Mr Weatherill said.
“We want to ensure that South Australia achieves the maximum economic benefit from the $3.8b of contracts let annually by the State Government and that local companies are given every opportunity to win these contracts.”
He said the industry participation advocate would review the impediments companies faced and work with South Australian business and industry associations to increase the number of companies able to meet tender requirements.
Mr Weatherill said the advocate would also work with the procurement board to ensure its policies and practices were not disadvantaging local business.
“The role also will involve liaising with the Commonwealth and other state governments to investigate changes to national and state procurement procedures that reduce impediments local businesses face in winning tenders interstate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Tom Kenyon said the move aimed to strengthen requirements for proponents of major projects to provide full, fair and reasonable opportunities for suppliers to compete for work.
Primary Industries and Regions SA chief executive Ian Nightingale has been appointed to the new position.
“Mr Nightingale brings a wealth of experience to this key position through his senior position with PIRSA and as inaugural chief executive of the Department of Planning and Local Government, where he led the reforms of the state’s planning system,” Mr Kenyon said.
“We’re seeing a period of unprecedented opportunity in South Australia with the State Government investing more than $9b in capital projects over the next four years.”
The advocate will work closely and consult with business, industry, government departments, employer representative groups and unions
MAJOR SPIN-OFFS: Grant District Mayor Richard Sage stands in front of the new cell block at the Mount Gambier Prison. Around 60pc of contract work for the $23m expansion has flowed to South East companies. Picture: ANELIA BLACKIE
RISING Jet Josh Brillante knows the defensive midfield role vacated by ex-captain Jobe Wheelhouse must be earned.
Filling in during Wheelhouse’s injury woes and fellow midfield marshal Ruben Zadkovich’s suspensions, Brillante has started 10 of his 14 games for the Jets since leaving Gold Coast United.
Wheelhouse’s departure from the club last week handed Brillante his first appearance as a first-choice midfielder in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sydney.
‘‘It’s a good opportunity for me to play in the midfield and try and do well for the team and hopefully make a mark in the finals,’’ Brillante told the Newcastle Herald.
But the recruitment of the experienced Zenon Caravella from Adelaide and with youngsters Jacob Pepper and Mitch Oxborrow desperate for an opportunity, the Bundaberg product knows he must keep performing.
Asked if Wheelhouse’s departure made him feel more secure in the side, Brillante said: ‘‘I don’t think it’s like that at all.
‘‘I’ve still got to work hard as there’s other boys who play in the midfield that are doing well at the moment, so I just want to concentrate hard and play well and keep earning my spot.’’
Brillante and his teammates struggled at times on Saturday to deal with the craft of Alessandro Del Piero.
Playing out from the back also proved problematic.
The Sky Blues’ goals came directly from Jets turnovers in their own half.
‘‘It wasn’t the best game and the weather made it difficult for us, but we’ll take the one point and look forward to the future and next week’s game,’’ Brillante said.
‘‘We want to try and play our game and play out from the back, so sometimes that’s going to happen.
‘‘It was raining and wet and then it went sunny and then starting raining again, so it made it very difficult.’’
WORKHORSE: Josh Brillante knows he cannot rest on his laurels. Picture: Simone De Peak
DETAILS of the State Government’s research initiative to drive new high-value products for the $1b regional timber industry were unveiled late yesterday to civic leaders and revealed possible opportunities for the South East, such as biodiesel and green chemical production.
Elected members from across the region gathered for the briefing at the Main Corner in Mount Gambier to learn details of the study being undertaken by researchers from Finland.
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a world leader in translating wood fibre research into tangible business opportunities.
The centre is also globally connected to major international cellulose fibre players and investors.
While details of the study were not announced until late yesterday, it is understood green energy and biochemicals were among the opportunities being explored.
Other opportunities include sophisticated modules for the construction sector, along with bioplastics.
The initiative – driven by the State Government – follows one of the most turbulent chapters in the South East timber industry, with job losses across the sector.
With the region’s timber industry reliant on the cyclical housing structural timber market, it is hoped the research will kickstart new value adding for the region’s sprawling plantation estate.
Professor Goran Roos, from the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Council, said the timber industry could no longer survive in the long-term by undertaking low value-adding activities and needed to explore higher-valued products.
He said the study aimed to provide timber firms with information and knowledge so they could make decisions about their future.
Prof Roos said the team working on the study had already visited around 25 timber firms across the region.
While explaining not all firms had come on board, he said the team had been able to “talk through the issues” with many participating companies.
Prof Roos said there were many opportunities possible for the region’s timber sector, particularly biodiesel, because of the region’s large plantation base.
Meanwhile, Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast chief executive officer Mike Ryan said the research initiative was a key action identified from the economic forum held in Mount Gambier last year.
He said the project was also a need identified in the Limestone Coast Economic Diversification report.
“It is something the RDA is very pleased and happy with,” Mr Ryan said.
He said it was critical the regional timber sector tapped into new opportunities.
“We can’t keep on with what we have been doing,” Mr Ryan said.
“We need new value-adding opportunities to set the timber industry up for the future.”
Mr Ryan said staff from the Finnish research centre had been liaising with regional businesses on the initiative.
Key speakers at yesterday’s briefing included Prof Roos, and Dr John Kettle, from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
The Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy is providing project support for the study.
It is understood regional timber industry leaders have already been briefed on the study.
EXPERTS: Scientist Toni Ahlquist and international business development manager Dr John Kettle, both from the research centre in Finland, stand behind Professor Goran Roos outside the Main Corner before yesterday’s key meeting with civic leaders. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO
Bendigo beach volleyballer Saran O’Connor is steeling herself for a big step-up in competition when she takes on some of Australia’s best female players this weekend.
The 19-year-old and team-mate Marta Slawuta – a former Polish national indoor player – have been accepted into the 24-team field for round four of the Renault National Beach Volleyball Series at St Kilda Beach.
“It’s very exciting,” O’Connor said of her series debut.
“I was a bit concerned our entry wouldn’t get accepted because St Kilda’s round is the most popular on the national tour – everyone wants to come and play in Melbourne.
“It clashes with St Kilda Festival, so there’s always heaps of people around, a great atmosphere and vibe, so it’s just been the favourite for athletes to compete at.
“The national tour beach series in Australia is the qualifying for our top elite teams for the world tour, it’s got some very, very solid players on it.
“Ultimately we would love to get through to the top 16. We’ve got pool matches on Friday and from that the top 16 go through to Saturday and play elimination.
“We’d love to at least win one of our pool matches and be competitive in the other one to push us through to the top 16.”
O’Connor and Slawuta have only been playing together for a month and will face some battle-hardened teams on Friday.
For O’Connor, who only switched to the beach from indoor volleyball 12 months ago, it’s another chance to learn from top-quality opposition.
“I’ll be learning from how the more experienced players play, learning their different styles of game and mentality on the court,” she said.
“It’s a mental game, it’s a matter of how much do you want it, how much are you going to work for it and how well do you cope with the pressure.”
Last month, O’Connor partnered with Geelong’s Laura Wallace to finish fifth in the under-23s division at the junior nationals at South Melbourne Beach.
“We had a really solid week, had ups and downs but ultimately we were really, really happy with our results,” O’Connor said.
“We beat two out of the three other Victorian teams during our round robin matches, so that was really positive.”
O’Connor is waiting to hear if she has a partner in order to compete at the next round of the national beach series in South Australia next weekend.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.