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Month: April 2018

Jumps fury over missing $130,000

Jumps fury over missing $130,000

THE jumps racing fraternity is outraged by Racing Victoria’s decision to strip $100,000 in prizemoney from two of the big races of the season following the abandonment of yesterday’s Warrnambool races.
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The two feature jumps races have been moved to Sportingbet Park on Wednesday but the $200,000 prizemoney has been halved.

RVL said that entries for both races would be reopened but that the race names of both events would change and that $50,000 would be cut from each race.

There had already been a hurdle programmed for Wednesday, worth $30,000, that will now not be run. That race will now be merged with the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle, which was abandoned yesterday along with the Thackeray Steeple.

Robert Smerdon, Victoria’s most successful jumping trainer, said the jumps community was ”baffled” by the reinstating of the races without the names or the prizemoney.

”In just 72 hours we have two flagship jumps races that have seen their prizemoney halved,” Smerdon said. ”In fact, with the hurdle being amalgamated they’ve saved $70,000 [on one race].

”Does that mean that if a Bendigo Cup had to be moved because of bad weather the prizemoney would be halved? I doubt it.”

RVL operations manager Paul Bloodworth defended the decision, maintaining that it was keeping faith with the jumps community.

”We will look at redistributing [the prizemoney] but we have created a hurdle and steeple so horses from yesterday will get a start. People should remember that yesterday in Victoria we lost both our meetings at Ballarat and Warrnambool. That means that there’s been no wagering in racing in this state yesterday,” Bloodworth said.

Racing industry people were also questioning why the $40,000 Winter Championship Plate, a key heat to the final next Saturday, was also not moved to Sportingbet Park on Wednesday.

The seven-race meeting at Warrnambool had to be abandoned after the track was waterlogged by a week of heavy rain.

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

Demon in hospital with bleeding lung

Demon in hospital with bleeding lung

SECOND-YEAR Melbourne player Tom McDonald was admitted to hospital here yesterday with bleeding on the lungs after a collision in the first quarter against the Brisbane Lions forced his immediate substitution.
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“He’s stabilised, he’s been able to speak to his parents,” coach Mark Neeld said last night. “He’ll stay in Brisbane for a while; he can’t fly with the team.

“Obviously our concern is [for] his long-term health. The reports coming back from the hospital say he’s going to be OK; he’ll be sore for a while and we’ll just monitor that.”

McDonald tweeted from his hospital bed: ”All good guys. Be back soon.”

Neeld refused to blame the loss of forwards Mitch Clark and Brad Green for his team’s 61-point loss to the Lions. “Injuries are part of the game, and there’s a few clubs going through that at the moment. It’s testing our depth and those types of things, but they certainly weren’t the reason why we got beaten,” he said.

But he conceded the Demons had been unable to make the most of its opportunities when they did win the ball. “We only went down in the clearances by one; we had a good result with contested possessions. We had a positive inside-50 count, so that indicates that we had enough of the footy.

“Fifty-four inside 50s for eight goals is an area we need to work on … A combination of us not using the footy as well as we would have liked, and Brisbane, they worked really hard and really well defensively. Their ability to capitalise on the turnovers that they caused was better than ours.”

Michael Voss looked almost shocked when told his side was only one game outside the eight. “The guys have done wonderfully to be able to work their way back into the competition,” he said. “We’ve put ourselves in that mix, and there’s a fairly large group that’s hovering around that area.

“I guess if there’s [a] carrot, then it’s dangling right out in front of us. If that’s what motivates the guys to do what they need to do on a daily basis, then good.

“It’s not something we’re focusing a hell of a lot of energy on, but we’ve certainly got to keep an eye on the bigger picture, and that’s where we sit at the moment.”

Captain Jonathan Brown was also circumspect. “Where we are in our stage of development, we’re not really thinking long-term. We’re just trying to improve,” he said. “But from where we were a month or five weeks ago, we’ve just tried to train as hard as we can.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to test ourselves this week against Sydney, and the boys are really looking forward to that challenge. We’ll go in with some good form.”

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

Speedy Roos might take catching

Speedy Roos might take catching

NORTH Melbourne supporters are used to having their faith tested on several levels, but even the most devout among them might not have given two bob for their immediate future only a month ago.
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That was after Hawthorn had pulled their team to bits down in Launceston.

The Roos were smashed by 115 points, sat 12th on the ladder, two games out of the eight, and were about to endure the resignation of chief executive Eugene Arocca and another round of public barbs and insults about not only their capacity as a team, but their AFL worth.

It’s fair to say things have changed more than a little since then. A scrappy subsequent win on the Gold Coast did little to change the popular view.

But the shooting down of pacesetter Adelaide last week raised eyebrows.

And last night’s impressive eclipse of St Kilda has completely changed the final-eight ball game.

While up to six teams are still jousting for this year’s last spot in the finals campaign, it is now the Kangaroos very much in the box seat for the berth, a game clear of five rivals and with as good if not better a run than any of them.

More than that, though, it is the way North Melbourne has recaptured its early-season run that should leave the chasing pack anxious indeed.

At their best, conspicuously absent pretty much ever since that much-vaunted round-three win over Geelong, the Roos are as damaging on the burst as any side. They were certainly too quick last night for St Kilda thanks to the leg speed of Daniel Wells and an accompanying army of runners.

Most don’t have nearly Wells’ toe, but as a group just continue to link up with great effect. Handball was again a feature last night, and North ended up with 44 more uncontested possessions than its opponent.

Quick, clean delivery to its forward targets makes life a hell of a lot easier for the likes of Drew Petrie and Lachie Hansen, who shared seven goals against the Saints. And for a second week in a row, this was a result achieved without a major contribution from Brent Harvey, significant in itself.

As is the Roos’ run home. While West Coast next weekend, even in Hobart, is a major challenge, North has a change to shore up its own spot and seriously dent the hopes of two rivals in Carlton and Richmond over the following fortnight. And of its remaining six games, it will start a clear favourite in four.

The Kangaroos have, literally, run themselves back into not only finals contention, but favouritism. And they might just take a bit of catching now.

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

Dogs hopeful over Murphy

Dogs hopeful over Murphy

WESTERN Bulldogs star Robert Murphy hopes his hamstring injury will keep him out for only one week, and midfielder ace Ryan Griffen is also under an injury cloud as the Dogs count the toll from Saturday night’s wipeout against Essendon.
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Murphy was substituted out of the 84-point loss to the Bombers with hamstring tightness after a long burst through the middle of the ground, but Murphy is confident scans scheduled for today will show no serious tear.

Griffen injured a calf in the loss at Etihad Stadium – the Dogs’ fourth in five games – and potentially leaves the club without three of its most experienced players — Murphy, Griffen and Daniel Giansiracusa (foot) for Sunday’s challenge against Fremantle in Perth.

”I pulled up a bit tight in the second quarter,” Murphy said yesterday on Channel Seven’s AFL Game Day.

”I went back out and it tightened up even further. I haven’t had a scan or anything, but I would think it’s on the lower end, hopefully just one week.”

Essendon forward Stewart Crameri was also substituted put of the game after injuring a calf in a marking contest in the first quarter and will be assessed during the week ahead of Saturday night’s test against St Kilda.

It appears increasingly unlikely that the Hawks will risk the injured hamstring of league-leading goal-kicker Lance Franklin in Sunday’s game against Greater Western Sydney, but captain Luke Hodge could return in the clash at the MCG.

Acting captain in place of Hodge, Hawks vice-captain Jordan Lewis, said Hodge was a chance to overcome his lingering knee injury and play his first game since round six.

”He has missed a lot of football this year so they are not going to rush him, but they may introduce him this week, which I am pretty confident that they will,” Lewis said on Channel Seven.

Franklin, who kicked four goals against the Blues on Friday, finished the match on the bench with hamstring tightness but scans have cleared him of structural damage and he will be monitored at training this week.

Giants veteran Luke Power has been cleared of broken ribs, but will still be in doubt for the Hawks clash after copping a heavy knock against Sydney on Saturday night.

The Giants are more concerned over a foot injury to youngster Dylan Shiel, which could be season-ending.

Richmond expects to be without forward Jake King for six weeks after he sustained a knee medial ligament injury against Adelaide on Saturday.

With aap

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

Crow to face music

Crow to face music

A PREVIOUS sling-tackle suspension this season could come back to haunt Adelaide’s Taylor Walker as the AFL match review panel assesses a similar incident involving the Crows’ rising star, who sits third in this year’s Coleman Medal race.
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Walker faces a potential ban for Saturday night’s showdown against Port Adelaide after dumping the head of Richmond’s Steven Morris into the AAMI Stadium turf in a tackle on Saturday.

The Crows forward, who kicked five goals against the Tigers to move his season tally to 37, was banned for two matches after a similar tackle on Geelong defender Harry Taylor in round seven.

While Taylor was concussed in that incident, Morris was seemingly unhurt by the tackle on Saturday, which may work in Walker’s favour.

But the two-match ban for the round-seven incident means Walker faces a 20 per cent penalty loading, plus carryover demerit points.

That means that even the lowest level rough conduct charge would carry a one-match suspension, even with a reduction for an early guilty plea.

If Walker was found to have acted recklessly rather than negligently, he would face at least a two-match ban.

Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said after Saturday’s match it was a ”fantastic tackle” and noted Morris bounced straight up and kept playing.

”I will have to wait and see a replay but I hope for the good of the game that (Walker’s) OK,” Sanderson said.

Hawthorn defender Brent Guerra also faces a likely suspension for a high bump on Carlton’s Eddie Betts on Friday night at the MCG.

Betts was bent over the ball when Guerra crashed into his head with the side of his body after going past the ball.

The panel might also assess a tripping incident involving Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett in Saturday’s loss to West Coast at Patersons Stadium.

The Brownlow medallist appeared to catch Eric Mackenzie with an extended leg as the Eagle tried to run past.

With aap

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

Demons exposed up forward

Demons exposed up forward

BRISBANE LIONS 6.1 9.6 13.11 18.14 (122) MELBOURNE 3.6 3.8 4.11 8.13 (61) GOALS Brisbane Lions: Brown 4, McGrath 3, Hanley 3, Green 2, Merrett, Zorko, Polec, Redden, Bewick, Black. Melbourne: Blease 2, Garland, Sylvia, Howe, McKenzie, Bate, Bail. BEST Brisbane Lions: Black, Redden, Hanley, Brown, Harwood, Rich, Rockliff. Melbourne: Sylvia, Martin, Howe, McKenzie. INJURIES Brisbane: McGrath (hamstring). Melbourne: McDonald (ribs). UMPIRES C Kamolins, J Mollison, M Jennings. CROWD 22,114, at Gabba.
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HOW do you define impotence? The Melbourne Football Club may not define the word, but it is certainly an example of it. An unkind remark, perhaps, but without Mitch Clark, rarely has a side looked so bereft of attacking options as the Demons did against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba yesterday.

The figures don’t lie. Melbourne all but broke even at the clearances and won the inside 50 count, going inside on 54 occasions to the Lions’ 50. But the Lions rebounded from defence 45 times to the Demons’ 31, and they moved it swiftly to the other end, scoring 32 times to 21.

It was a telling statistic, indicating that while Melbourne had opportunities, it had no valid forward target and was powerless to keep the ball locked in its scoring zone.

With no Clark, and no Brad Green or Liam Jurrah, either, coach Mark Neeld had no choice but to try to fill the void with Colin Garland, a capable defender, Jared Rivers (ditto) and Colin Sylvia, an unfulfilled talent again being asked to do too much.

It was hard to see the Demons kicking a winning score with that lot. Sam Blease – brought on early after Tom McDonald copped a knee in the ribs and went to hospital – kicked the Demons’ first and finished with two, to be Melbourne’s leading goalscorer. Only six other players joined him on the list.

It may be unfair to gaze, again, at the persecuted figure of Jack Watts. He’s been good in defence in recent weeks, but yesterday he was torn apart by Jonathan Brown – who had too much size and too much guile – and was quickly replaced by James Frawley. Watts might be more useful to the Demons if he were left to develop his game in the forward line.

The Lions, with their third win in four games, are looking better by the week. It was hard to recognise them even from the side that upset West Coast here in round 10, where they overused the ball and made their share of unforced errors. This was a quick, direct side playing with increasing confidence and skill.

It helped that they had targets to kick to. Jonathan Brown put in a vintage performance, kicking four goals from 24 possessions and 12 marks. And the development of Niall McKeever and Ryan Harwood, both excellent yesterday, has allowed Daniel Merrett and Ash McGrath to be released from defence.

McGrath put in another biting display before nicking a hamstring, kicking three goals, while Pearce Hanley also kicked three in a marvellous display of run, creativity and finishing. Prominent, again, were Jack Redden, Tom Rockliff and Daniel Rich, the Lions’ likely starting midfield for many years.

But the Lions would be especially glad to see veteran Simon Black back at the coalface. He played a classic centreman’s game and didn’t waste one of his 26 possessions.

He delivered the play of the day in the third quarter on the half-back flank. Taking possession, about to be beset by Demon defenders, Black simply stopped, side-stepped his flailing opponents, looked left and right as though about to cross a highway, then calmly spun onto his left and pinpointed a pass to McGrath in the centre.

It was the sort of move few players in the AFL could pull off and watching Black at his peerless best was a highlight of an otherwise predictable contest.

It puts the Lions on the edge of the eight, one of five teams with six wins. With a lowly percentage, they are still long odds for the finals, but many didn’t give them even a sniff of the action when season 2012 began.

KNOCKING AT THE DOOR

With this win, the Lions move to 12th on the ladder, with six wins and seven losses, ahead of Fremantle. They’re just a game outside the eight, but a poor percentage of just over 96 per cent means they have to continue their improvement and keep winning if they’re to have a hope of playing finals.

BLACK AND BROWN

The Lions’ old firm was up to their old tricks yesterday, with captain Jonathan Brown and Simon Black back to their best. Brown played his most imperious game in a long time, finishing with four goals and 10 marks, while Black played both inside and outside the packs to perfection.

OUCH!

Tom McDonald was an early casualty for Melbourne when he was cleaned up in a marking contest in the first quarter. Copping a knee to the ribs, he was taken to hospital after coughing up blood. He was replaced by the speedy Sam Blease, who was one of the Demons’ better contributors.

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

Clouds gather over Cats’ form

Clouds gather over Cats’ form

Slip up: Geelong’s Corey Enright tries in vain to gather the wet ball.GEELONG 3.4 6.8 9.10 14.15 (99) PORT ADELAIDE 2.3 2.7 6.9 8.13 (61) GOALS Geelong: Taylor 3, Selwood 2, Hawkins 2, Smedts, Enright, Horlin-Smith, Duncan, Johnson, Motlop, Lonergan. Port Adelaide: Westhoff 2, Lobbe 2, Ebert, Wingard, Pfeiffer, Cornes. BEST Geelong: Selwood, Kelly, Christensen, Bartel, Scarlett, Enright. Port Adelaide: Pearce, Logan, Broadbent, Cornes, Chaplin, McCarthy. UMPIRES S Stewart, S Grun, L Farmer. CROWD 13,736 at Skilled Stadium.
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AT 12.30pm yesterday it was almost dark at the stadium with various names within the bounds of the parklands area in central Geelong called Kardinia Park. Rain showers passed through and the fans stayed away, which was some occurrence for the stoic lot who follow Geelong. The 13,736 attendance was the lowest since 1991, one for diehards only.

But wet weather is Geelong’s balm – there may never have been a better wet track team – and it shaped as a day for an annihilation of a Port Adelaide side that had lost virtually its entire leadership group to injury. Even with Travis Boak, Jackson Trengove and Dom Cassisi available, Port is not an outstanding team, and the Cats had won 32 of their previous 33 games at home.

That the hammering did not happen is instructive. Geelong is just ticking over, outside the top four and providing a pale imitation of its 2007-11 teams. The Cats won by 38 points, but the Power was within four goals midway through the final quarter. The thunder in Chris Scott’s face at three-quarter-time, when he lambasted his players for slackness, told the tale.

Not that they are hiding it. ”It’s reflective of where we’re at,” said midfielder James Kelly. ”The competition’s evened out and we’re not the dominant side that we were in ’07 and ’08. It’s reflective of the competition, not us. We’ve got a lot of young guys. It’s not something we talk about it. We don’t think ‘we should have won by 100 points’. We’re still happy with the win and the four points.”

The Cats may yet find their mojo. Perhaps they will uncover it on the Gold Coast, where they headed last night. ”I woke up this morning and heard the rain and I was thinking ‘jeez I’m glad we’re heading up there tonight’,” said Kelly. ”We’ve got a couple of days to ourselves up there. We’ll have a bit of recovery and some sun. It’ll be nice.”

Port came with a strong game plan yesterday, put numbers around and behind the football, and slowed down Geelong. Combined with the slippery ball and surface, it became a game of rugby.

Grinding was required and the hard men stepped up. Mud runner Jimmy Bartel was brilliant early, then Joel Selwood jumped in. Kelly played as though it was a dry day. The younger Allen Christensen showed that he is learning quickly. Those four won loads of the football and Geelong wore down Port, albeit without the corresponding results on the scoreboard.

With James Podsiadly and Tom Hawkins well covered by Troy Chaplin and Alipate Carlile, the goals did not come easily. Ultimately it was Harry Taylor’s venturing from centre half-back to full-forward for three goals that provided the best finishing, although Scott still sees Taylor as a tall back, primarily.

Geelong keeps unearthing players and trying them. Yesterday it was a roadrunner from Adelaide, Jordan Murdoch, who impressed with his dash off half-back. ”We encouraged him during the week to back himself and use his pace,” said Kelly. ”He did that fantastically today.”

Scott had nine players with fewer than 50 games. So, in essence, the Cats are rebuilding and nurturing their list while trying to contend.

”The team’s changing and the list is changing,” said Scott. ”Our performance is going to waver a bit but we’re still pretty confident that our top level is pretty good.”

Kelly said it was contested football and defence that needed attention.

”The first half of the year we gave up a lot of easy goals to some sides, and gave up goals at crucial times. If we can get better defensively and get our hands on the ball a bit more it’s going to help a lot. We’ve got young guys who are going to improve and that will help as well,” he said.

FRESH BLOOD

Geelong unveiled another new player in 20-year-old Jordan Murdoch yesterday, a loping left-footer who can run and kick. Wearing’ Cam Mooney’s No. 21 guernsey, Murdoch had a chance to goal with his first kick in AFL football, early in the first quarter, but missed. Later he revealed a burst of speed (his 2.76 seconds for the 20-metre sprint made him the fastest at the draft combine last year) and a powerful left leg. Geelong has played eight first-gamers this season.

MUDLARKS

It was a good day for a duck at Kardinia Park, and also for James Kelly, Jimmy Bartel and Joel Selwood, all candidates to be the best wet-weather players in the competition. Bartel came out in long sleeves and had 10 disposals by quarter-time. Selwood’s two quick goals in the second quarter helped break open the game. Kelly just played as though it was dry.

LEADERSHIP VACUUM

Port Adelaide’s injury list is calamitous, and it mostly involves its senior men. In the absence of captain Dom Cassisi and virtually the entire leadership group yesterday, coach Matthew Primus nominated seven senior players to captain the team jointly.

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

Rail crossing frustrations rise as peak hour gridlocks suburbs

Rail crossing frustrations rise as peak hour gridlocks suburbs

Traders including Julie Scott (right) are fed up.THERE are more cars in Murrumbeena than ever before – but fewer shoppers, say traders.
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The one constant is the noisy level crossing that divides the suburb, with boom gates down for almost half of each peak hour as packed trains travel through.

Julie Scott, who works at the Bendigo Bank branch, has noticed a drop in the numbers of shoppers over the past three years and believes that people are simply not prepared to risk a long wait at the boom gates each time they go shopping.

But there is still one rush every day. ”We’ve got people banging on the door at five o’clock saying they’ve missed the bank because they’ve been waiting for the train to pass. It’s totally frustrating,” says Ms Scott.

The Murrumbeena crossing, on the Cranbourne, Dandenong and Pakenham train lines, is just one of about 190 level crossings across metropolitan Melbourne, a region that, according to VicRoads, increases its traffic volume on arterial roads by about 2 per cent every year.

Daniel Bowen, the Public Transport Users Association president, doubts there is another city in the world facing a level crossing problem on this scale. ”It is becoming a critical issue,” he says. ”A lot of suburbs in peak hour, it’s not uncommon to see boom gates closed for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Those trains that are moving through carry thousands of people, but at the same time you’ve got whole suburbs that are gridlocked, causing real problems.”

Murrumbeena topped the RACV’s 2010 poll of their least favourite stretches of road, and is expected to again feature prominently when a new survey is published in October.

For some, crossings are more than an inconvenience. Cherry Street, Werribee, is the site of three incidents in the past month, including the death of a 65-year-old woman whose car was hit by a freight train.

At Clayton, paramedics fear someone will die in an ambulance waiting at boom gates 500 metres from Monash Medical Centre. Monash Council has long campaigned for an underpass at Clayton, and mayor Stefanie Perri says she cannot fathom why successive governments have overlooked an obvious safety issue.

Documents obtained under freedom of information show that drivers reported 56 near-misses at crossings in the first half of 2011. The cost of upgrading all of Melbourne’s level crossings has been put as high as $30 billion.

RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones says the government must focus on upgrading 50 crossings over the next decade as a ”starting point, an absolute minimum”.

Mr Jones nominates the Dandenong rail corridor, where gates are down as often as 60 per cent of the peak-hour periods, as the priority.

‘‘We need a program in place that tackles all but the impossible ones,’’ he says.

But upgrading crossings is costly and politically sensitive, especially given projects do not always match the priority list.

The Baillieu government allocated $350 million this year to upgrade crossings at Mitcham and Springvale and has committed to planning works at other sites – including St Albans –  this term.

But it has not made plans beyond 2014 public. Transport Minister Terry Mulder declined to do an interview.The scale of the problem has advocates urging the government to adopt a long-term plan to eliminate crossings that are clotting Melbourne’s roads and putting people at risk.

Mr Bowen says a systematic approach, such as the one Sydney adopted in the 1960s, which eliminated all but a handful of level crossings – although Sydney’s undulations accommodate underpasses, tunnels and bridges – is a must for Melbourne, combined with better signalling systems, which would allow gates to rise more frequently.

The Committee for Melbourne says without a plan, delays across the network will cost the economy millions of dollars in lost productivity.

The committee has challenged private enterprise to offset the cost of upgrades by incorporating stations into retail developments, similar to the Box Hill project built in the 1980s.

Monash Council says a retail centre would make upgrading the Clayton crossing ‘‘budget neutral’’.

Committee for Melbourne acting chief executive Andrea Gaffney says it’s time to put politics aside and get innovative.

‘‘We can all relate to the problem but we need to use our creativity in terms of how we remove them in a commercially feasible way, both for the government and for the private sector,’’ she says.

Murrumbeena is on the list for planning, but a VicRoads report has advised an upgrade should also incorporate works at nearby Carnegie and Hughesdale stations.

Ms Scott has heard the talk before, but she and other traders want action.

‘‘It’s a brick wall type of thing,’’ she says.

‘‘They keep saying ‘We’re looking at it’. But there’s been nothing.’’

With MEX COOPER

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

High-speed car chase

High-speed car chase

A GROUP of men were chased by a gunman in a high-speed car pursuit across Melbourne’s south-east suburbs yesterday.
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Police said the group had been talking to another carload of friends when a man fired at their car in a car park near the South Melbourne Market about 4.30am. No one was injured.

Police said the car that was fired at, a black Holden Astra, then sped away. Detective Senior Constable Chris Sheen said the Astra was chased down the Monash Freeway by the gunman’s car and that both vehicles reached speeds of up to 170km/h. It appeared the pursuer turned around near Narre Warren, ending the chase.

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

SES staff will snub minister over pay

SES staff will snub minister over pay

STATE Emergency Service staff say they will refuse to attend any events with Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan after more than a year of failed negotiations with the government over pay and conditions.
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SES workers are paid less than their counterparts in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Country Fire Authority or Victoria Police. A senior operations officer with the CFA is paid about $117,000 a year – an equivalent SES worker gets close to $85,000.

SES staff also argue they get less leave, poorer superannuation and fewer rest days while working at incidents than all other emergency service workers. The government has offered SES workers a 3 per cent per year pay rise for three years, but staff say this is not enough.

Besides refusing to appear alongside Mr Ryan, staff have agreed to about 40 indefinite work bans they are now authorised to take by the industrial umpire.

The government’s long-running reluctance to budge on staff pay has been accompanied by a leaked memo, released by Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews last week, which shows the SES faces a $4.2 million funding cut over the next four years.

The move by SES workers follows a similar decision by teachers to ban Coalition MPs from schools as part of their industrial campaign.

Community and Public Sector Union state secretary Karen Batt said: ”if the minister seeks to have some sort of kudos by standing next to SES staff, they’re not prepared to do that any more.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Ryan said the government was disappointed by the decision.

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