Katie Richardson’s first day free of tiara

Katie Richardson places the Miss World Australia crown on her successor, Canberra’s Sophie Lavers. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOAfter handing over the Miss World Australia tiara to her successor at Star City on Wednesday night, Albion Park’s Katie Richardson was more than happy to kick off her heels yesterday – she’d only been wearing them for four days straight.Canberra beauty Sophie Lavers will now carry the Miss World mantle for the next year, while Ms Richardson spent her first day free of the ambassadorship enjoying a long breakfast with her family after staying up to party most of the night. SLIDESHOW: Miss World Australia 2009 is crowned”I went back to my (hotel) suite with most of my family and we had a party and I got to bed about 3am,” she said. “I also spent about two hours just talking to people at the (Star City) ballroom.”It was fabulous, I had so many lovely comments and such nice feedback from everyone and I was brought to tears many times by such kind comments and it was really lovely.” Ms Richardson glammed it up on the night, wearing two show-stopping dresses: a yellow, one-shouldered satin floor-length frock from North Beach Boutique and a purple, high-necked Grecian style gown that was custom designed for her by Michael Challita.Placing the tiara on her successor’s head was memorable in more ways than one.”It was exciting except the tiara didn’t fit, it was too big,” Ms Richardson said.”I had to balance it on her head and because she is a classical ballerina she could stand very straight, so she was good, she didn’t let it fall off.”I was really proud of them all and willing to give advice because I kind of took on the role of mother hen … which took my mind off any disappointment that could have come.”
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Original Tumbleweed line-up calls truce for Homebake

Tumbleweed are reuniting to play at Homebake.Ground-breaking Wollongong band Tumbleweed are about to play their first shows in almost a decade.The original line-up of the Australian grunge pioneers – singer Richie Lewis, guitarists Lenny Curley and Paul Hausmeister, bassist Jay Curley and drummer Steve O’Brien – will perform at Homebake in Sydney on December 5.One of the biggest bands ever to come from Wollongong, it supported US grunge heroes Nirvana on their only Australian tour, signed to a US record label when its members were barely out of high school and released indie classics like Stoned, Daddy Long Legs and Sundial. PROFILE: Taking a tumble with iconic band Tumbleweed Last Illawarra band standing opens Play Day But infighting and the acrimony created by the sacking of Hausmeister and O’Brien and, later, Jay Curley seemed likely to forever quash the idea of a reunion.It appears an Illawarra Mercury Weekender retrospective about the band published last November may have been partially responsible for the re-formation.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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BRIEFS

Query over cash
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for rail project

CANBERRA – More questions have been raised about the federal regional partnerships programme after it was revealed that the Government gave $660,000 to a now-defunct rail project in a marginal Liberal seat. Opposition regional development spokesman Kelvin Thomson said the grant to the Beaudesert Shire Railway Support Group was used in a vain attempt to get the project out of receivership.

The tourist railway project, in the Queensland electorate of Forde, ceased operating three months ago and is the subject of court action by creditors.

A Senate inquiry is looking into independent MP Tony Windsor’s claim that funding under the programme was made conditional on political considerations.

Palm Island calm ahead of funeral

PALM ISLAND – The smell of the Palm Island riot still lingered in the community’s main streets yesterday on the eve of Cameron Doomadgee’s funeral.

Two weeks ago, large plumes of smoke billowed from the north Queensland island following a riot sparked by news that Mr Doomadgee had suffered broken ribs and a ruptured liver in a scuffle when he died on November 19 in the island’s police station.

But the only signs yesterday of the events of November 26 in which the police station, court house and officer-in-charge’s house were burnt was the lingering smell of ash in the main streets.

Mr Doomadgee’s dying mother Doris, 67, told relatives her only wish was to see her son laid to rest.

The second youngest of nine children, his death has become the catalyst for nationwide protests calling for an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.

Nolan family art feud ends in High Court

MELBOURNE – A bitter and costly family feud between the widow of famed Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan and his adopted daughter ground to a halt in the High Court yesterday.

Nolan’s widow, Mary, Lady Nolan, 78, was declared the winner of the legal tussle when the court refused to grant leave to appeal to Jinx Nolan against a ruling over the ownership of three Nolan paintings worth $1 million.

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Crown St restaurateur disarms knife-wielding attacker

Turkish Delights in Crown St. Turkish restaurant owner Aydemir Gungor (left) had more on the menu than patrons bargained for on Wednesday. Pictures: KIRK GILMOUR
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A Wollongong restaurateur dished up an unexpected floor show when he successfully disarmed a would-be robber in between cooking for a busy crowd.Aydemir Gungor, who owns Turkish Delights in Crown St, risked injury by whisking a 20cm knife from the man’s hand in front of about 15 stunned diners on Wednesday night.To make an eventful night even more dramatic, a nearby table of patrons then rushed to Mr Gungor’s aid and elbowed the offender out the door into the arms of police who were patrolling nearby.”The customers who helped out are regulars who just got up from the table and got rid of this guy before things got too out of hand,” Mr Gungor said. It was a busy but uneventful night until the man burst in at 8.30pm.”He made some obscene threats and demanded I pay him $500 every week in return for I don’t know what,” Mr Gungor said. “If it had been a normal robbery I would have just handed over the money but his demands didn’t make sense.”Mr Gungor said he became fearful when the man started to unzip his black jacket.”I figured out he was going to pull something out like a gun or a knife.”When I saw the knife I just made a grab for it and got it off him.”He said 17 years of night work had made him street smart.”You learn to read all types of people by their body language but nothing has ever happened like this before.”He said he was worried but more so for the people around him.”Everybody was great – they all co-operated with police and seemed happy to give witness statements. When it was over everything went back to normal, and the guys who helped me stayed on until late.”Mr Gungor said yesterday he had put the incident out of his head. “I haven’t really given it much thought today … it’s business as usual.”A 36-year-old Carrs Park man appeared in Wollongong Local Court charged with demand money with menaces and armed with intent to commit an indictable offence. He was refused bail to appear on video link on August 13.

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No slacking off for Dragons in finals

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Dan Hunt promises he and his team-mates will maintain their intensity during the NRL finals. Picture: ROBERT PEETSt George Illawarra prop Dan Hunt has revealed the players have formed a pact not to die wondering in this year’s NRL finals series.Having based their season on the rock-solid defence which was again on show in Sunday’s victory over the Warriors, Hunt said the Dragons have already discussed a determination to maintain the intensity during the play-offs.While the Dragons recent history is littered with big-game disappointment, Hunt said team-mates did not want to let their opportunity slip this time.”We just don’t want to let our mates down,” he said.”And that means always turning up on the inside (in defence), working that extra bit harder and it has obviously paid off.”They didn’t get across the line – Darius (Boyd) did that great try-saver – but everyone is just doing their job and we’re going great.”Fullback Boyd made a stunning try-saving tackle last weekend to deny the Warriors during a period where the New Zealanders had a glut of possession on the Dragons line.As a result of St George Illawarra continually repelling the Warriors advances, they took an 18-4 lead into half-time before running away with a 29-4 victory.The Dragons are presented with a golden opportunity to prove their premiership credentials in the finals-type atmosphere against the Storm at Kogarah tomorrow night.A minor premiership this season would be the first step in erasing the memories of the Dragons 1999 grand final loss to Melbourne, or the 2005 and 2006 preliminary final losses. Former Illawarra Steelers coach Graham Murray, who took North Queensland and the Roosters to grand finals in 2005 and 2000 respectively, said the Dragons’ simple game plan will help them cope with the play-off pressure.Murray believes St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett is the master of handling big games.”From a coaching point of view, leaving the players in their positions this year has reaped huge rewards for them,” Murray said.”He didn’t mess with their positions or structure. “A lot of coaches have been guilty of that – I’ve been guilty of that.”But he hasn’t wavered one bit and he would be pleased with where they are at.”In the past they’ve often been worried about using their superstar backline before creating a forward platform or trying to come up with something special to win games.”But Wayne has come with a simple philosophy and it’s something each and every player believes in, which makes a big difference to a team.” Full coverage of The St George Illawarra Dragons
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Launceston Show pleas ready soon

URGENCY: Steven HernykMr Hernyk said that by the end of the week, he would have submissions in to the State and federal governments and the Launceston City Council for funding and support to pay off the Royal Agricultural and Pastoral Society’s $200,000 debt and place the society on a viable financial footing so that the 133-year-old show could continue.
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This needed to happen before the next creditors’ meeting in early January, when a decision would be made on whether to liquidate the troubled operation.

The show society directors called in Mr Hernyk as administrator nearly a fortnight ago to take over in an attempt to save the historic Northern show and set it up for the future.

He said that after he had talked with all levels of government and examined the business of the society, it was clear that the agricultural event had missed out on the promised initial infrastructure funding that would have kept it viable at Inveresk.

“The show society was in financial difficulty before it left Elphin because harness racing had left the site and that revenue had dried up,” Mr Hernyk said.

“One of the options presented to it was to sell Elphin and be part of the Better Cities programme.”

Under the Federal Government-funded Better Cities programme, the show society’s Elphin site was to be sold to make way for the Newstead College development and the residential sub-division that now exists. The society was to be part of the redevelopment of the old Northern railyards at Inveresk.

Mr Hernyk said he had written agreement from 1998 that the society would receive $1.7 million to build the infrastructure needed at Inveresk to run the annual Launceston Show.

“For whatever reason, that money was never forthcoming,” he said.

Instead, the society has spent from $20,000 to $80,000 each year providing power, toilets, temporary fencing, lighting and other basic facilities before financing each year’s event.

“No other show in Australia has those initial annual costs,” Mr Hernyk said.

Despite this, the show had made a profit every year except one since the move to Inveresk.

Mr Hernyk wants an immediate injection of funds from the State Government to pay off the debt and support from both the Launceston City Council and the Federal Government to provide the sustainability to maintain the show as an ongoing event.

He has received written confirmation this week from the Showman’s Guild that it will pull out of Tasmania if Launceston – the State’s biggest show – doesn’t continue.

The society is not bankrupt and creditors would be paid 100 cents in the dollar if it was wound up, Mr Hernyk said.

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The Ashes: No more singing at Edgbaston in Test

The scoreboard said it all after Australia fell just short of England’s total in the Edgbaston Test during the 2005 Ashes series.Most Australian cricket fans can remember sitting in front of the telly willing a victory against all odds on the second Sunday of August in 2005. But Edgbaston itself, filled with partygoers, had more morbid air by the time Michael Kasprowicz was given out to end one of the greatest Test matches.It was a remarkable experience from the time I heard Glenn McGrath was injured outside the ground on the Thursday morning until the Barmy Army burst into “You’re not singing anymore” minutes after England had levelled the Ashes at 1-all. The four days had provided the ebb and flow that only Test cricket can provide and almost the perfect ending for Australia. DAY ONE The drama began before a ball was bowled with McGrath doing his ankle and Ricky Ponting winning the toss and bowling. Why he did that I still don’t know.England got off to a great start, making 100 before losing their first wicket, with Marcus Trescothick belting his way to 90. England slumped to 4-187 after an Australian fightback. And then it was the Kevin Pietersen (71) and Andrew Flintoff Show, as they made the ugliest 68 in Test history including six fours and five sixes.The first day finished with the English tail wagging, taking their total to 407. DAY TWO Tight security, a problem for the whole Test, meant I missed Matt Hayden’s early dismissal.Edgbaston, which holds only 22,000, has a reputation for having the loudest crowd in England, one which was in full voice as Australia were bowled out for 308 – 99 short of the home side’s first-innings score.The crowd rubbed it in by singing “God Save Your Queen”, seemingly every five minutes. A Shane Warne special got rid of Strauss and there was hope for Australia, though it had lost every session on the first two days. DAY THREE The third morning belonged to Australia as Brett Lee silenced the crowd by ripping through the top order and Warne followed up, eventually taking six wickets.He missed a hat-trick when England were 9-138, allowing Flintoff to explode. He finished on 73 after some huge hitting and England had 182 and a 281 lead.It was a total that was enough to scare but surely not enough to win – especially when we were 0-47.Enter Flintoff. Langer and Ponting were gone in one over.Edgbaston rocked for the afternoon session, which finished with the wicket of Michael Clarke, bowled for 30, and Australia 8-175. DAY FOUR The Poms are great winners and the stands were full well before play started on Sunday. With 107 runs needed on the fourth morning, the walk to the ground was more of a funeral march for the Aussie fans. “It would be great if we can hang on for an hour and give them a scare,” said one of the fans. “That would be great,” I replied with all the enthusiasm of a boxer behind on the cards and facing the final round.The Fanatics started the countdown from ball one and soon it was “99 to go, 99 to go,” which was no good for one of the guys in front of me dressed as a convict.He had taken England to win without a run being scored in a sweep run by 20 men dressed in black and white. Believing in the impossible is hard but supporting your country is easy, and at the end of each over, myself and other Australians in the crowd got to their feet to show support for Warne and Brett Lee’s (43 not out) efforts.Warne stood on his stumps to make it 9-220, and a feeling of relief came over the ground. But as the target went below 50, then 30 and 20, my convict mates started with “I can’t believe we are going to lose.”Every run was a dagger as it got into single figures. But then Steve Harmison got one to rear and it appeared to come off the glove of poor old Kasper, who made 20.Bedlam. England by two runs. I bowed my head. I had believed but reality had caught up with me.”What’s the matter, mate?” The broad English accent didn’t help my humour as one of the convicts gloated.It was then the Fanatics turned to cop some humble pie. “You’re not singing anymore,” came the chant.
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Corrimal CBD revitalisation revs up

A pedestrian link has been proposed for Memorial Park. Picture: ROBERT PEET An artist’s impression of the six-storey Corrimal development.
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A six-storey retail and residential development would be encouraged in Corrimal’s town centre under a revitalisation strategy due to go on public exhibition.The strategy has taken Wollongong City Council two years to prepare and will go before administrators tonight for a decision on whether it should go on exhibition for public feedback.The key recommendation is for more intensive development in the existing town centre, between Short and Collins streets.Should six-storey buildings be allowed in Corrimal’s town centre? Post a comment belowCorrimal Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Peter Leiner had not yet seen the draft strategy, but was glad to hear of progress after two years.”We as a chamber would like to see things happening up and down the main street,” he said.”We would like to see those areas around Underwood St and the Coles centre developed.”Building height limits in the Corrimal town centre were reduced from 20m to 15m in the draft Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (LEP) adopted in May.But the revitalisation strategy still recommends buildings of up to 20m, or six storeys, be allowed.Ground and first floors would be designed for retail and commercial use, with residential levels above.If the revitalisation strategy is adopted, the LEP would need to be amended to reflect the increased height limits.The strategy does not support the alternative option to extend the town centre north and south along the Princes Hwy.That option would have maintained building heights of three to four storeys, but there were concerns the town centre would move away from the Princes Hwy and Railway St intersection and would not be pedestrian friendly.Under the preferred strategy, Corrimal Memorial Park will be dissected by a new road linking Wilga St to Railway St. An extension to Short St could also encroach into Ziems Park to link to Hall and Gilbert streets.Stockland’s hopes of extending its existing shopping centre to the south would be ruled out. Instead, the retail giant would be encouraged to extend to the east.Developing the vacant Underwood St car park is supported with buildings to front Underwood, Russell and Railway streets and the Princes Hwy. Car parking would be concealed within the block, while the strategy proposes a pedestrian link to Corrimal Memorial Park.Valad Group has submitted a development application for the site, which is yet to be decided.Mr Leiner was interested to see what the public had to say on the revitalisation.”We are all for anything that will boost Corrimal and make it the hub of the northern suburbs.”

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Taggers hit Bellambi surf club

Wollongong City Council’s Michael Callender inspects graffiti yesterday at the Bellambi surf club hit by taggers just days after news of plans to put murals there. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOBellambi Surf Life Saving Club has been plastered with fresh graffiti just days after plans were unveiled to revive the building with murals painted by schoolchildren.On Saturday, the Mercury reported Aboriginal artist Kevin Butler had spent three weeks working with children at Bellambi Public School to create eight mural boards for the surf club’s walls.But by Tuesday afternoon, vandals had again left their mark on the building.Wollongong City Council spends thousands of dollars each year removing graffiti from the building – a vandalism hot spot.RELATED COVERAGE ————————————- Woonona playground moved because of hoons Balgownie Public School attacked by vandals Two weeks of destruction across the Illawarra ————————————————————“It’s extremely disappointing to see that the Bellambi surf club has been hit once again by vandals,” a council spokeswoman said yesterday. The council had inspected the site and contacted police about the incident.The mural boards, each 2.4m high and 1.2m wide, are expected to be on the walls within weeks. It is hoped they will deter vandals from using the surf club walls as a blank canvas and instil community pride in the building.”The murals were designed and painted by students to reduce the amount of graffiti occurring on the building and give back some ownership to the children, families and residents in Bellambi,” the council spokeswoman said.The council’s director of community, cultural and library services, Illana Halliday, last week described the mural project as “a great initiative that not only helps prevent graffiti, but teaches younger children about the cost of graffiti to the community”.
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Teen cries as mum jailed

A Bolwarra Heights mother of two will spend Christmas behind bars for stealing electronics to fund her drug habit.
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A teenage boy wept in the public gallery as Kim Bush was taken into custody yesterday after pleading guilty to six counts of possession of a prescribed restricted substance, larceny and possession of suspected stolen goods.

Bush’s solicitor said that since his client was diagnosed with depression seven years ago she had self medicated with restricted substances while taking medication prescribed by her doctors.

Bush, 39, was found in possession of six different types of prescription drugs and stolen goods when police raided her Paterson Road home in January this year.

Court documents said she told police: “I don’t know what they are really, it’s just where I keep my pills”.

She said the pills were to help her sleep and she didn’t have a prescription.

Police found two iPods, one Bush said she’d had for several years the other she could not explain how it came into her possession.

Two GPS devices, three cameras, keys and a wristwatch still in the packaging were found at the home along with two bicycles.

The court heard Bush told probation and parole officers in a pre-sentence assessment that she was happy with her lifestyle as it was.

Her solicitor conceded his client had served jail time for similar offences. Her first conviction was in 1996 for introducing a syringe into a prison, seven years later in 2003 she was jailed for larceny and again in 2005 and 2008.

“Ms Bush has made depressingly regular appearances before this court in relation to offences of dishonesty – offences that relate to a drug dependent lifestyle,” magistrate John Chicken said.

“Unless you turn your life around you’ll spend continuing periods in

custody.”

Bush was jailed three months for possession of suspected stolen goods and will be placed on an 18-month good behaviour bond for the six drugs charges when she is released on February 4.

A Bolwarra Heights mother of two will spend Christmas behind bars for stealing electronics to fund her drug habit.

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Price ready to fire up Dragons attack

Dragons coach Steve Price is adamant he has everything he needs in his playing roster to be a force in the NRL next year.
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Dragons coach Steve Price.

The club has chased a number of playing targets in recent months, most notably Cooper Cronk, Michael Jennings and 2011 UK Super League man of steel Rangi Chase.

However, in each case St George Illawarra have failed to land the key signings, leaving a number of questions over player combinations for next year following the retirement of captain Ben Hornby and lock Dean Young.

Unveiling new signings Gerard Beale and Tyson Frizell as they returned to pre-season training yesterday, Price declared the Dragons should not be underestimated, despite missing out on the 2012 finals series.

“I’m really comfortable with the playing roster at the moment,” Price said.

“We’ve got Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien and Kyle Stanley in the halves and Josh Drinkwater from Manly in NYC.

“And we’ve got a great hooker in Mitch Rein and Cameron King is going to be putting pressure on him also.

“I’m very happy with the playing roster we’ve got.”

Price admits attack will be his top priority after scoring the least amount of points of any team in the competition this year.

But in the wake of Hornby’s and Young’s exit, as well as the departure of Beau Scott to Newcastle, it presents an opportunity for Price to find new ways to damage his opponents on the scoreboard.

“There’s definitely a need to improve our offence,” he said.

“We’re certainly aware of that, but there’s certain structures we’re going to be applying ourself in the pre-season. It’s going to be very basic, but, come the first trial, everyone is going to be fully aware of what’s expected of them.”

Price said he had no pre-conceived plans about who will replace Hornby in the No 7 jersey.

A section of the Dragons’ hierarchy has discussed the prospect of using the cash available in their salary cap to chase Queensland and Australia playmaker Johnathan Thurston next year.

They are also monitoring Craig Bellamy’s situation at Melbourne, but, after taking over from Wayne Bennett last year, Price said he was more comfortable in the Dragons’ hot seat the second time around.

“There’s always high expectations of our footy club and I expected nothing less,” he said.

“I have high expectations of myself, but, in saying that, I feel like I’m a lot more confident in my second year and I’m just looking forward to getting this pre-season right.”

Stanley is on the comeback trail from injury, but Price claimed the versatile young playmaker was on track to be available for their trial games in February.

Price said he was close to making a decision who will replace Hornby as captain, with second-rower Ben Creagh a likely candidate.

“I haven’t made a set call on who will be captain within our footy club,” Price said.

“There’s a number of candidates there and I’ll make that call in the next couple of weeks and go from there.

“Benny Creagh has been outstanding, he’s been in our leadership group for a number of years now and Nathan Fien and also Matty Cooper. So I’ll make that decision over the next couple of weeks and go from there.”

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Boss happy with Kelinni in Melbourne Cup

A few days ago, Glen Boss didn’t have a Melbourne Cup ride.
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He had harried and hustled connections of those who had already secured a spot in the 24-horse field.

None wanted to throw Makybe Diva’s pilot, the man who steered the great mare to three straight Melbourne Cup wins, a chance.

Now he is convinced Kelinni, who won through to the Melbourne Cup in the Lexus Stakes, the great race’s last chance saloon, will loom to win at some stage in today’s $6 million race.

“I’m pretty confident that at some stage he’ll be called a winner,” Boss told The Mercury. “Whether he’s got that class or the killer punch to put them away I don’t know. He’s got the turn of foot, but whether he’s got the class or the killer punch we won’t find out until the day.”

What Boss is sure about is the fact Chris Waller, who only gave Boss the nod on Saturday afternoon, has his best chance to date to win the Cup.

Jockey Glen Boss. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

All because the Irish-bred import somehow escaped penalty from Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter following his Lexus win.

Kelinni will carry just 51kg in the Cup – eight kilograms less than topweight and defending champion Dunaden.

“He’s got no weight and he didn’t get rehandicapped which I was so rapt about,” Boss said, who took over the mount from Kelinni’s regular heavyweight rider, Nash Rawiller.

“He’s in the race and I didn’t want them to give him any more weight. He’s got 51 [kilograms] and now with the spread from top to bottom it gives him a realistic chance.”

Sidelined through injury following a freak trackwork accident aboard ill-fated Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily last spring, Boss returned to his peak with the help of Cox Plate hero Ocean Park.

He said now it was time for multiple Sydney premiership-winning trainer Waller to take his turn to scale a Group 1 mountain.

Not that he expects there to be a dry eye at Flemington if that’s the case.

“For Chris Waller and his team that is around him it will be an amazing day,” Boss said. “He’s just rapt to be here with a realistic chance at the moment.

“I’m sure you’ll see him go right off [if Kelinni wins]. If he goes off there will be a sea of fake tan running down the straight because everyone will get it.”

Kelinni was last night listed a $21 shot.

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Businesses call for RBA to drop interest rate

Economic figures released ahead of the central bank’s monthly board meeting have failed to deliver a clear-cut case for an interest rate cut, but business believes a further reduction is needed now.
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Financial markets are priced for a less-than a 50 per cent chance of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) making another 25 basis point reduction that would take the cash rate to 3 per cent, following up on the cut in October.

But most economists expect the central bank to keep up the tradition of altering the cash rate on Melbourne Cup Day for a seventh straight year, and what would take the cash rate to the trough seen during the 2008-09 global financial crisis (GFC).

Acting Treasurer Penny Wong wouldn’t speculate on decisions taken by the independent RBA.

“But the government’s fiscal discipline has given the RBA maximum room to cut interest rates if they think it’s appropriate to do so,” Senator Wong, who is finance minister, said.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) director of economics and industry policy Greg Evans believes business needs another rate cut now.

“If not tomorrow, certainly December,” he said.

“The economy could well stall if the Reserve Bank decides to leave rate cuts until what would be February next year.”

The RBA does not hold a board meeting in January.

The ACCI business expectations survey for the September quarter, released yesterday, showed conditions continuing to deteriorate.

The business conditions index was 43.6 points, down from 44.4 in the previous quarter and staying below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction.

More worrying was a fall in the expected economic performance index to 41.1 points, from 43.1.

“There seems to be an ingrained pessimism in Australian business,” Mr Evans said.

Weak business sentiment has hit demand for workers with the ANZ job advertisement survey falling for a seventh month in a row in October, plunging by 4.6 per cent.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said the figures “continue to show a pretty disappointing picture of the Australian economy”.

AAP

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