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    Legacy Way named 2015 top project by infrastructure group

    2018 - 08.24

    The eastern portal to the Legacy Way tunnel in Kelvin Grove. Photo: SuppliedBrisbane’s Legacy Way has been named Australia’s most outstanding new infrastructure project of 2015 by a major construction lobby group.

    Infrastructure Partnerships Australia named the $1.5 billion tunnel as it’s 2015 “project of the year” on Wednesday night, with the Gold Coast’s Light Rail and Queensland’s Australia Pacific LNG project listed as finalists.

    The other finalist in the category was Sydney’s 11.4 kilometre South West Rail Link.

    An IPA spokeswoman said the award recognised a combination financial, advisory, contractor and government partnership excellence.

    “Legacy Way’s real legacy is that it has permanently changed Australia’s approach to tunnelling projects,” chief executive Brendan Lyon said.

    “Legacy Way has used world-leading tunnelling technologies that are now being applied to other projects across the East Coast, including the North West Rail Link in Sydney.”

    The tunnel, which connects Toowong and Kelvin Grove, was a pet project of former Brisbane lord mayor and Queensland premier Campbell Newman.

    It is set to open by the middle of the year and is being built by a consortium including Brisbane-based BMD, Italian company Ghella and Spanish business Acciona Infrastructure.

    The council predicts 24,000 motorists a day will use the road, however road operators Transurban (formerly Queensland Motorways) have predicted it could be as low as 16,700.

    About 42 per cent of residents in Brisbane’s western suburbs said they were likely to use the tunnel, according to a council-commissioned survey carried out by independent researchers Roy Morgan in 2014.

    Motorists are also yet to find out how high the tolls will be, although Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has said they could be as high as $5.

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    Tough talk on animal cruelty

    2018 - 08.24

    THE state’s $15 million greyhound industry is set for a major shake-up, with the government set to toughen its own animal cruelty laws.

    Animal inspectors will be given the power to search and enter properties to obtain evidence, after a review of animal cruelty provisions within the industry was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

    The review found 486 dogs were destroyed in the 2013-14 racing season, and a further 267 so far this season, with many never having a racing career.

    Racing Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he had already acted on some issues raised in the report, but would now make further amendments to animal cruelty laws before Parliament.

    ‘‘These amendments relate to the powers of animal welfare officers to enter, search and inspect premises and to collect evidence of an offence, and to better define aggravated cruelty,’’ Mr Rockliff said.

    Tasracing chief executive Elliot Forbes said the organisation would this year review the Greyhound Adoption Program, looking at funding and staffing levels.

    ‘‘Tasracing acknowledges that GAP provides an important service to the industry, however, this does not diminish the requirement that owners must take life-long responsibility for their dogs,’’ Dr Forbes said.

    The report said GAP had rehomed 62 dogs last year, and 53 this year.

    It recommended races be programmed specifically for mature-aged and less able dogs to reduce ‘‘wastage’’.

    The report also recommended that incentives to breed be properly balanced with responsible breeding and welfare considerations.

    Under the changes announced yesterday, Racing Services will now be housed within the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment rather than State Growth.

    ‘‘This will ensure Racing Services Tasmania, as the racing regulator, can leverage off the animal welfare and veterinary skills available within DPIPWE to achieve better animal welfare and integrity outcomes,’’ Mr Rockliff said.

    Mr Rockliff said the report would inform the parliamentary inquiry proposed by Denison Greens MHA Cassy O’Connor, which passed the House of Assembly last week.

    The report said no evidence of live baiting was found, but could not rule it out.

    ‘‘For this reason some controls are recommended for training facilities, particularly bullrings, so that there can be additional confidence in the welfare practices in the industry,’’ it said.

    Ms O’Connor said the report was a ‘‘good sign departments were taking the issue seriously’’ but there was a major task ahead.

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    Snowden may miss Penrith clash

    2018 - 08.24

    Kade SnowdenTHE Knights are bracing for the prospect of losing both starting props for their game against Penrith at Hunter Stadium on Saturday as Kade Snowdenis battling a painful corked thigh.

    Korbin Sims will miss home games against the Panthers and Dragons to serve a two-match suspension arising from two grade-one dangerous-throw charges in Newcastle’s 20-18 victory over Gold Coast at Robina on Sunday.

    Korbin Sims

    Snowden, voted players’ player against the Titans, has been named but could not train on Wednesday because of the injury and he instead received treatment.

    Knights coach Rick Stone chose veteran David Fa’alogo to replace Sims and added 23-year-old Paterika Vaivai to the bench for the game against the Panthers.

    Stone could have to dig deeper into the club’s pool of reserves if Snowden cannot participate in training on Friday, but he is confident his pack leader will play.

    NSW and Australian back-rower Beau Scott (ankle), playmaker Jarrod Mullen (neck) and international centre Joey Leilua (hand) are also being monitored by the club’s medical staff, though Mullen and Leilua trained on Wednesday and are considered likely to play.

    ‘‘A couple of those boys had a lighter day,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘Beau’s ankle is still a bit sore and he was off legs today, and obviously so was Kade Snowden. He’s got a bit of a cork there.

    ‘‘Mullo’s had some scans, and he’s got a few more to have, but I think he’s pretty clear.

    ‘‘He trained without doing contact today, but he looked like he’s moving around all right to play, and BJ’s hand has come down pretty good and he looks like he’s going to be all right.

    ‘‘There’s a few bumps and bruises there but, overall, I think everyone will take their place.’’

    Snowden was a colossus against the Titans, running 21 times for 171metres and making 35 tackles in 59 minutes in the middle.

    In the wins against the Warriors, Cowboys and Titans he has averaged 17 runs for 140metres and 34 tackles in 51 minutes, and tallied four offloads, three tackle breaks and a line break.

    Winger James McManus and his NSW Cup counterpart Chanel Mata’utia did not complete training on Wednesday after accidentally banging heads during a drill and spilling blood.

    Stone was confident McManus would take his place on the left wing but Mata’utia was being checked for a broken nose and is in doubt for the NSW Cup curtain-raiser on Saturday.

    ‘‘When you’re training, particularly in the middle of the week, you’ve got to have some intensity and quality in your session,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘We had a bit of a collision between James and young Chanel Mata’utia there, and there was a little bit of blood … but at the same time, to train on the edge and play with that sort of intensity and quality, you need to practise like that as well.

    Stone indicated utility Tyler Randell, one of five players named on the bench, could be the player to drop back to NSW Cup after being 18th man for the games against the Cowboys and Titans.

    Randell scored the go-ahead try and kicked a sideline conversion in the first half of Newcastle’s 24-14 victory over the Warriors three weeks ago, but Stone has preferred using skipper Kurt Gidley to give Adam Clydsdale a breather at dummy-half and introducing Sione Mata’utia off the bench to fill in for Gidley at fullback.

    ‘‘He’ll be right in the mix until Friday, until we make a decision on a few of those injured boys, but we probably do need to get him some footy if he doesn’t get a chance to play,’’ Stone said.

    ‘‘Obviously the rotation with Kurt and Sione at fullback, and Kurt and Clydsy at hooker, it’s worked OK for us.

    He said Randell had been patient after playing just one game.

    ‘‘He’s been a travelling reserve all the way up to Townsville and up to the Gold Coast, so he’s itching for some footy, and we’ll sort that out a little bit later in the week.’’

    Homes tarped up after hail

    2018 - 08.24

    THE State Emergency Service (SES) should finish tarping 85 houses around Narrabri today in the wake of Saturday’s supercell storm, described as one of the worst in the state’s history for hail.

    Moree Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) officer Michael Glasson said he’d been told by BoM NSW regional director Barry Hanstrum that it was “one of the worst severe storms ever seen in NSW … in terms of large hail”.

    Hail bigger than cricket balls wreaked havoc on summer crops, particularly cotton, in the final stages of development across the North West.

    But reports 30 per cent of the cotton and dryland crops had been destroyed in the lower Namoi were dismissed by Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers’ Association president Sean Boland as “crazy talk”.

    Cotton Seed Distributors extension and development agronomist Rob Eveleigh, at Wee Waa, estimated the damage for farmers at $6 million around the Narrabri area alone.

    “There are 500-600 hectares of cotton with varying degrees of damage within 20km of Narrabri,” Mr Eveleigh said.

    He’d heard reports of “softball-sized hail” from several farmers who said the stones had been equal in size to the largest hail ever recorded in the Narrabri district – 7.5cm in diameter.

    The hail also killed at least two horses and many birds near Narrabri, destroyed farmhouse roofs, sheds, chaser bins, augers and cars, and blew over centre-pivot irrigation equipment as wind gusts reached 76km/h.

    Moree experienced wind gusts of up to 94km/h.

    Hail also smashed cotton crops 35km east of Moree – and, although there was no hail in the town itself, there were callouts to three houses there, SES Namoi region controller Andrew Galvin said.

    At least six houses at Bingara were also smashed by hail, with two requiring SES assistance.

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    Region’s stars in running

    2018 - 08.24

    THE North West’s top sport stars are in the running to be labelled the best in the region at this weekend’s North Queensland Sport Star Awards.

    Mount Isa Athletic Club president and award nominee David Scott and club coach Ken Dickson show off their medals from the 2014 Pan Pacific Masters Games.

    Mount Isa athletes David Scott and young gun Denzil Perkins will head a group of 15 of the region’s best sports stars in line for the awards.

    Scott has enjoyed a standout period in the sport in recent times, with the man known as ‘‘Coach Awesome’’ last year awarded the Athletics North Queensland master athlete of the year for his performances throughout the 2014 season.

    Scott was selected from master athletes from the 34 ANQ clubs, which include an area from Rockhampton in the south, Cairns in the north and out to our very own Mount Isa in the west.

    Scott was one of the main drivers of the success of the Mount Isa Athletics club.

    He was also awarded the 2015 senior sports star of the year award at the Mount Isa Australia Day awards.

    Fellow Mount Isa athlete Denzil Perkins is one of the club’s star sprinters and is a major player in the junior sports star category.

    The 10-year-old recently returned from Tasmania where he competed at the Australian primary schools’ national track and field championships and emerged as the sixth fastest 10-year-old in the nation.

    Cloncurry has three nominees with women’s cricketer Katie McDonald, rodeo guru Colin Ferguson and cyclist and triathlete David Atkinson all nominated for awards.

    The North Queensland Sports Foundation runs the awards, which have reached the 25-year milestone since the first awards night was held in 1991, with world champion triathlete Brad Beven winning the senior award that year.

    The 2015 awards will be held at the Diggers Entertainment Centre in Hughenden, and will be hosted by the Flinders Shire Council in conjunction with the North Queensland Sports Foundation.

    In a total of four categories of awards (senior, junior, athlete with a disability and service to North Queensland sport), the North Queensland Sports Foundation has received a record total of 37 nominations.

    Acting president of the North Queensland Sports Foundation Pat Ernst is delighted with the high standard of nominees that have been received.

    “It is once again very pleasing that we have received a large number of nominees and in a varied range of sporting achievements,” Ernst said.

    The senior winner will receive $2000 and will also go on to represent North Queensland at the state awards in Brisbane later this year in December.

    The winner of the junior and athlete with a disability award will receive $1000.

    The award for Service to North Queensland Sport, which was initiated to honour the unsung hero, the person who tends to be the back bone of their sport, continues to be well supported by a large number of nominees.

    The winner of this category takes home a gift and commemorative jacket with a value in excess of $500.

    The awards this year will be hosted by Emma Cillekens from ABC North West, who will be joined by special guest Petro Civoniceva on March 28 in Hughenden.

    Tickets are $60, which includes pre-dinner drinks, dinner, and the awards show.

    These can be bought from Flinders Shire Council by contacting 47412900.

    Here is a full list of all nominees from the North West:


    Lawsen Ford (Flinders Shire) – Swimming, Rugby League, Athletics

    Caleb Henry (Richmond Shire) – Tennis

    Darcy Kersh (Charters Towers Region – Roping

    Clay Malone (McKinlay Shire) – Rugby Union, Team Roping

    Katie McDonald (Cloncurry Shire) – Cricket

    Denzil Perkins (Mount Isa City) – Athletics


    Jane Charuba (Flinders Shire) – Swimming

    Colin Ferguson (Cloncurry Shire) – Team Roping

    Craig O’Keeffe (Richmond Shire) – Golf

    David Scott (Mount Isa City) – Athletics

    Athlete With A Disability

    Raymond Abdy (Charter Towers Region) – Athletics

    Sky Isaac (Flinders Shire) – Equestrian

    Service to North Queensland Sport

    Damian Aspinall (Richmond Shire) – Junior Rugby League

    David Atkinson (Cloncurry Shire) – Cycling, Triathlon

    Alison Read (Flinders Shire) – Pony Club, Horse Sports

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