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Anna Meares retires from cycling

The most decorated cyclist in Australian Olympic history, two-time Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares, has announced her retirement from the sport.
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Meares, 33, enjoyed an international career spanning 15 years, which included four Olympic Games and six Olympic medals and saw her become the only individual Australian athlete to medal at four consecutive Games.

Meares also won 11 world titles, the most by a female cyclist. She won 35 national titles and five gold medals at Commonwealth Games.

“I am really proud of my longevity, also proud of the level of high consistency in my performances and results during my career,” Meares said in a statement released by Cycling Australia.

“It is hard to close this chapter, because it is a bloody big one, but I am really excited about the doors opening in to the next chapter of my life.”

Meares’ achievements are even more incredible in light of the life-threatening injuries she suffered in a race crash, including a fractures in her neck, just months out from the the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Meares said she would most like to be remembered for her “resilience and strength”.

“I am really proud I have stuck around for as long as I have and while some people think I have made it look easy, I had to work so hard to stay on top.

“And I have been challenged extensively throughout my career and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of those challenges.

“I feel that I have grown with each experience and they have left me a better athlete, a better person.”

Cycling Australia CEO, Nicholas Green OAM, paid tribute to Meares upon her announcement.

“Anna’s contribution to the sport of cycling is immeasurable, and whether on or off the bike, Anna exemplified the utmost professionalism and respect for the sport and her peers,” he said.

“Her results at the Olympic, world championship and Commonwealth level are second to none and is a tribute to her hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence.

“Also the resilience shown by Anna as she faced repeated challenges throughout her career epitomised her strength of character and truly inspired the nation.

“While the trademark Meares stare, speed, power and victories will be sorely missed in velodromes across Australia and throughout the world, Anna has left a legacy on the sport that will be felt for years to come.

“Quite simply, the world of cycling is stronger because of Anna Meares, not poorer because of her retirement.

“We wish Anna all the best and look forward to her remaining with the sport in Australia to nurture and mentor our next generation of cyclists.”

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Hat tip at tidy towns

STAND-OUT: Board member Narelle Edwards with daughter, Scout Gallagher, 2, at the Beechworth Food Co-op, which took out a Tidy Towns award. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG
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BEECHWORTH’Sstoryof recoveryafter its supermarketburned down has moved audience members to tearsat theKeep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns awards.

The town’s post-fire initiatives won the community government partnerships category at Saturday’sceremony at Horsham.

Tidy Towns committee member Iris Mannik said the year’s events in Beechworth had made an impact, particularly for groups hailing from large areaslike the Mornington Peninsula.

“I talkedabout how the shire would get the elderly ringing saying they couldn’tget their shopping without the Lions Club,” she said.

“I talked about how Beechworth plumbing moved out of their area–it wasbeyond what happened on the night.It touched people and they asked to hear more about it.”

Mrs Mannik said the Beechworth Food Co-op also claimed a category –environmental sustainability.

“It’ssupporting our local foods andour growers,” she said.

“The co-op has little footprint and is a whole food education program.

“Now too, because they’ve grown to be bigger than thoughtpossible, you don’t have to necessarily join as a member to get involved.

“The fact you can go to their seed bank, to me, is wonderful because we’re going to save our heritage goods.”

Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria chief executive Sabina Wills said the North East took out multiple accolades over hundreds of entries from across the state.

“I was particularly impressed with Indigo Shire’s entries this year,” she said.

“The Beechworth Food Co-Operative continues to stand out and we were also inspired by the communities involvement in assisting others when their supermarket was closed.”

“The Wooragee Primary School Bush Fire Recovery Program is a wonderful example of educating children on sustainability.”

Mrs Mannik said Wooragee Primary School was recognised for itsefforts to restore 97 hectaresof bush.

“Wooragee won the highly commended in that category and the most delightful thing happened –they won the lucky door prize,” she said.

“Rutherglen got the highly commended intheclean beach and waterway for the Rutherglen park project.

“I think we represented the Indigo Shire well.”

Horsham was named tidiest in Victoria for the second year in a row.

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Queensland carers working hours equivalent to three full-time jobs

Carers Queensland’s Quality of Life report highlighted the amount of strain unpaid carers are under, as National Carers Week kicked-off on Sunday. Photo: SUPPLIED ZZZAs National Carers Week kicked off on Sunday, a new report has revealed just how much of a challenge unpaid Queensland carers face every week.
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Carers Queensland’s Quality of Life report takes an annual snapshot of the lives of those caring for loved ones who have disabilities, illnesses, chronic conditions or who are frail aged.

Of the 494 respondents, 80 per cent of unpaid family carers said they were working more hours per week than an average full-time worker.

Almost half of unpaid Queensland carers said they worked 120 hours or more per week providing care for their loved one.

“I am astonished,” Carers Queensland President Jim Toohey said.

“I was in the meeting when the figures were first released, I asked staff to go back and check.

“There are carers out there, particularly those who have to attend to loved ones through the night, who are putting in hours equivalent to working three full-time jobs every week.

“This is why many carers are fatigued, burnt out, and quite simply at breaking point.”

Wynnum carer Kerry Singh has been caring for her son, 11-year-old Aidan, all his life after he was born with only half of a working heart.

Aidan has reduced exercise tolerance, can only walk short distances and has spent a significant portion of his life in a wheelchair.

Ms Singh used to care for her son 100-120 hours per week, however in the last few years the workload has eased to about 60 hours.

Ms Singh said there were gaps within the support network for Queensland’s unpaid carers, particularly for those in a similar position to her.

“To be honest for high-needs children there is enough resources and funding for those parents and carers,” she said.

“But for those who have needs, but not high needs, we slip through the cracks.

“We don’t qualify for any help or services and the only break I get is when both twins go to camp for three days once a year.”

Ms Singh said she used to take Aidan to hospital three times per week for blood tests and said the parking costs were “ridiculous”.

“We need more funding towards medicine, equipment and parking,” she said.

Unpaid carers are vital to Queensland and the entire country.

If all unpaid carers across Australia stopped fulfilling their caring role, it would cost the country $60.3 billion per year to replace those services.

“It’s clear that Australia counts on carers, so this National Carers Week we want to show carers just how much they count,” Mr Toohey said.

​”We always need to support those who receive the least, but contribute the most.”

National Carers Week 2016 in Australia is October 16-22.

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Man and boy, 9, rescued from burning car wreck at Yeoval

A man and his nine-year-old son had a lucky escape when a passing motorist dragged them out of their burning car wreck in the central west of NSW on Saturday.
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The driver and his young passenger were rescued only moments before the vehicle was engulfed by flames and destroyed.

NSW Police said the pair were driving in Yeoval, south of Dubbo, when their 4WD swerved off the road, hitting a tree and bursting into flames.

A passing motorist stopped and smashed a window of the burning car to rescue the boy from the front passenger seat before returning to rescue the driver, a 44-year-old man.

NSW Ambulance paramedics assisted the injured man and child at the scene before the pair was flown to Sydney for further treatment.

The child is recovering at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead while his father is at Westmead Hospital where he is in a stable condition.

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‘Constantly in my mind’: Michael Clarke reflects on Phillip Hughes

Michael Clarke and wife Kyly at Phillip Hughes’ funeral. Michael Clarke at Phillip Hughes’ funeral.
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Best mates: former Australian captain Michael Clarke and Phillip Hughes out in the middle together in 2013.

Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has revealed he did not have time to properly grieve for his mate Phillip Hughes and continues to think of him constantly two years after his death.

Writing in his new autobiography, Clarke admits he was under pressure to keep playing and did not pause to process Hughes’ sudden death and its impact on him.

“Nothing has been quite right since Hughesy,” he wrote in his book, My Story.

“I can see that now. I’ve gone through good moments at times, even such career highs as winning the World Cup and winning a Test match at Lord’s. But throughout it all, there was something not quite right with me, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was too obvious. Or too frightening to face. I never grieved.

“One minute I was at war with Cricket Australia, with the selectors and the high-performance manager, and the next minute the world came to an end. But then Hughesy’s funeral was behind us, CA was anxious to get the Test series with India going, and the world started spinning again.”

Clarke thought of Hughes as a younger brother and was a pallbearer at his funeral in December 2014.

Details about Hughes’ death were heard in a coronial inquiry in Sydney last week with findings to be handed down on November 4.

Clarke recalled the Australian team was under pressure to play the Adelaide Test match just days after saying goodbye to Hughes.

“Unanimously, we want to play the Adelaide Test match as a tribute to Hughesy and for his family, but the timing has to be right,” he wrote. “Eventually an agreement is struck to begin the match on 9 December, six days after the funeral. In retrospect, most of us would agree that it is still too soon.”

The former captain revealed he launched himself into training for the 2015 World Cup without stopping to grieve.

“Throughout all that, I never give myself time to grieve for my mate,” he wrote. “I’m thinking about Hughesy 24/7, but my mind hasn’t been able to stop and take it all in. I’m still half-expecting a text from him. His number is in my phone. He’s still there, in a corner of my mind.”

Clarke famously went on to steer Australia to a World Cup victory but recalled that throughout that time, “I have Hughesy constantly in my mind.”

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Melbourne weather: More than 1000 households lose power after strong winds rip through Victoria

Further strong wind gusts are expected over the central part of the state on Sunday morning.Power has been restored to nearly every home after damaging winds tore limbs off trees and sent them onto power lines east of Melbourne.
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AusNet Services had only around 50 customers affected by power outages as of 6.30pm, down from almost 1150 on Sunday morning.

Company spokesman Andrew Dillon said the worst-affected areas were Toolangi and Castella, north-east of Melbourne.

Each town had more than 100 people without electricity, mostly due to fallen tree limbs on power lines.

Have you got photos or video of the damage? Send them to [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

He said the number of people affected this weekend paled in comparison to a week ago, when about 70,000 Victorians had their electricity cut.High winds expected this weekend. Check out our ‘Preparing for storms’ info on our website https://t.co/rKa9hbuzbi— AusNet Services (@AusNetServices) October 14, 2016

Strong winds tore through the state around midnight. A State Emergency Service spokeswoman said 234 calls for help had been received from midday on Saturday.

She said almost 40 people called just after midnight, when wind gusts were peaking across the state.

The spokeswoman said Melbourne’s north-east was the hardest hit.

“The vast majority of calls were about trees down and traffic hazards,” she said. “Many of the areas affected were also hit last weekend, such as Emerald and Healesville.”

On Sunday the state government extended disaster assistance funding to people affected by storms and floods who live in Baw Baw, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Nillumbik, Whitehorse and Wyndham.

It brings the number of local councils affected by natural disasters this month to 48.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Scott Williams said Mount Hotham clocked the highest wind speed – 117km/h at 1.15am.

Melbourne Airport wasn’t too far behind, with wind speeds of 93 km/h recorded just after midnight.

“It seemed to be the windiest point of the night,” he said.Strongest gusts since midnight: 100km/h @ Mt William & Mt Hotham, 93km/h @ Melbourne Airport. Severe Weather Warning https://t.co/AuqopWpnuIpic.twitter南京夜网/LQ7ibQDNeT— BOM Victoria (@BOM_Vic) October 15, 2016

Northerly winds stuck around until early afternoon with rain forecast between 6pm and 9pm.

Despite the wind, Melburnians experienced the hottest October night in four years on Saturday.

Mr Williams said the mercury did not drop below 18.3 degrees.

“It wasn’t exceptionally warm in terms of long-term records, but we haven’t had anything above 14.1 degrees this month.

Sunday was forecast to reach a high of 24 degrees, with northerly winds turning west to north-westerly in the evening.

– with Steve Lillebuen

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Man fends off shark with garden broom off Port Fairy

Dan Hoey with the broom he used to fend off the shark. Photo: Rachael Hoey Mr Hoey’s boat was left with some battle scars after its run-in with the great white. Photo: Rachael Hoey
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Damage the shark inflicted to Mr Hoey’s engine. Photo: Rachael Hoey

A Port Fairy angler has managed to fend off a great white shark with an ordinary garden broom.

Dan Hoey was fishing for gummy sharks at Port Fairy with his brother and a client when an agitated 5.5-metre great white began circling their boat.

Mr Hoey’s wife, Rachael, said the trio had a pot full of bait under their aptly named 7.5 metre White Pointer boat that was most likely responsible for attracting the shark.

“It tried to take a chunk out of the motor, and it did actually leave some marks and scratches,” she said.

Worried the shark was going to damage the boat’s engine, Mr Hoey grabbed a humble garden broom and used it to jab at the creature.

He said “the beast” wouldn’t leave their boat alone.

“She nearly took a chunk out of my Yamaha motors, leaving a few small dents,” he said.

The shark wasn’t deterred, however, so after trying to shoo it away for almost 20 minutes, Mr Hoey pulled up the anchor and sped off.

He said the shark was heavily pregnant. “She looked to be on the verge of dropping her bundles of joy very soon,” he said.

Steve Norton, who was on the boat at the time, said that as he was filming last Thursday’s incident he was worried the shark was going to jump out of the water and into the boat.

“It was heading straight for me,” he said. “If I was in a tinny boat I would have been very worried because it was very aggressive.”

He said the trio could see the shoreline in the distance and were in waters about 30 metres deep.

Mrs Hoey said her husband frequently saw great whites, but nothing quite so big.

Mr Hoey has been a professional angler for more than 30 years. The couple own Salty Dog Charters, a chartered fishing business operating out of Port Fairy.

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Mersey members ‘unified’

A MEETING between four mayors on the North-West Coast and Health Minister Michael Ferguson has been hailed a success with representatives declaring they are unified in a bid to secure the Mersey Community Hospital’s future.
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After delays which saw the mayors’ scheduled October delegation to Canberra postponed, Mr Ferguson met with themayors of Devonport, Latrobe, Kentish and the Central Coast councils on Saturday.

The topic was the future of theMerseyCommunity Hospital and Mr Ferguson declared the meeting was “constructive”.

“I reconfirmed the Hodgman Government’s commitment to ensuring the hospital remains long into the future,” he said.

“I met with my federal counterpart Sussan Ley in Canberra last week, to argue our case and there remains an open dialogue to make sure we get the best deal for Tasmanians.

“The North West community deserves and expects all of its community leaders to continue to work together to ensure we get the best possible outcome for them.”

Mr Ferguson’s meeting with the mayors was designed to ensure both the state and local government was on the same page in their fight with the federal government.

“The Tasmanian Government is seeking a five-year funding commitment from the federal government to provide greater certainty for the whole health system – and we will fight tooth and nail to ensure they keep up their end of the bargain,” Mr Ferguson added.

“The Tasmanian Government has fought for the North West and theMerseyin the past, and will continue to do so.”

Latrobe mayor Peter Freshney echoed Mr Ferguson’s comments and said the meetingwent “very well”.

“We now expect there will be a delegation of mayors go to Canberra,” he said.

“We’re hoping to meet with the Federal Health Minister and possibly the Treasurer.”

Cr Freshney hoped the meetings would take place before November 30.

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Men’s shed helps Dorset

The Dorset Men’s Shed has worked on a number of projects for the community. Picture: FacebookA $1425 cheque for the North East Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is just one of many Dorset Community Men’s Shed projects assisting local businesses.
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Dorset Community Men’s Shed coordinator Mervyn Chilcott said a number of works were well underway, including display units for Bridestowe Lavender Estate, and animal nesting boxes for the upcoming Scottsdale Show.

“We give the Dorset community a lot of assistance in that ladies bring chairs in that are broken and we replace them.

“Or we make a specific cupboard or a set of drawers where they can’t buy it from the commercial shops, and they want a particular size.”

He said $1425 for the hospital was raised by collecting old paling fences, splitting them into sticks and selling them in seven kilogram boxes to a number of outlets.

“Some people just come in and want a piece of wood cut to a shape, or they want a sign made for their front gate.”

He said he was also helping with the development of signage for the Scottsdale Lion’s Club.

“The Lion’s Club are putting in an extension from the caravan park up to the Dorset Rail Trail, we routed the signs for that, ready to go up soon.”

Mr Chilcott said the shed had at least eight to 10 volunteers on a daily basis, and about 30 members in total.

“Aside from the woodwork, we run art lessons up here, headed by John Gibb, quite a prominent artist in the North East.”

“We’ve got a gallery here at the shed, that we make things and sell through the gallery.”

Mr Gibb said he started an Art Hub in order to develop a network of artists in the North East.

“Because I was a former art teacher, I wanted to get a bit of a community art hub going,” he said.

Mr Gibb said projects included acrylic paintings and pottery – with a focus on old buildings and perspective.

He said he runs an art class class each Thursday at 10am at the Art Hub on 2 Christopher Street in Scottsdale.

For more information on the shed, or getting involved in art classes, contact Mervyn from the Dorset Community Men’s Shed on 0417 542 152 or visit their Facebook page.

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Border warms to dad’s devotion to his Ruthie

Zoe and Stephen Neville have been overwhelmed by the Border community’s generosity in helping their little girl.
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About $42,000 was donated to the family for a 24-hour drum-off Mr Neville recently performed outside Albury’s Blackline Music.

The money means they can now pay for a specially modified van they got in April to transport seven-year-old Ruthie, who has cerebral palsy.

Caring for Ruthie means the Thurgoona couple cannot work full-time, so loan repayments aren’t possible.

To make it all happen, Mr Neville’s parents stepped in and got the loan and the van was then modified at a cost of $35,000 through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Nevilles, who also have a six-month-old boy, Art, would have been delighted to raise $10,000.

“For all of us as a little family unit and our extended family, the generosity just took our breath away,” Mrs Neville said.

Major donations included $2500 each from Bob Jane T-Marts in Albury and the Commercial Club, another benefactor provided $5000 and one anonymous donation of $1000 came in an envelope handed up to the stage.About $8000 went into donation tins.

“And then a little school friend of Ruthie watched Stephen play the drums,” Mrs Neville said.

“He got his wallet out and thought about it for a little while and then he put a couple of silver coins in.That to us is so special because no one told him to do that.”

The family paid special tribute to James Ross and thepeople at Blackline Music for organising everything from the stage to publicity, a council permit and food and drinks.

“I think Ruthie was just so blown away by the event itself and being able to go down the street and get out of her wheelchair,” Mrs Neville said.

“We could help her have a bit of a walk and a bit of a dance while Dad was playing the drums.

“I think she was just so proud of him.”

Mr Neville said it was “tricky”from 4am to 8am.

“I was really tired and feeling a bit sore in my shoulders. But what really helped me through that was there would have been at least 10 people there still from the local music community.”

Before they got the van, Mrs Neville saidit was too hard to leave the house.

“For akid like Ruthie who is so outgoing and loves to be around people it was just heartbreaking,” she said.

“Stephen is my hero. I was already head-over-heels in love with him before this happened and now I just have a new level of adoration and respect for him.

“I think he’s amazing.”

On the road: Ruthie Neville with with her mum, Zoe, her brother, Art, James Ross and her dad, Stephen Neville. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

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