Top seeds shine in shire’s tennis showpiece

TOP seeds Jarryd Chaplin and Melissa Anderson lived up to their pre-South Coast Open hype and took out the men’s and women’s singles crowns respectively on Monday.Chaplin overcame third seed Nathan Lewis 7-6, 6-1 in the Open Men’s final after Anderson cruised past No 4 seed Gabrielle Hooker 6-1, 6-1 to win consecutive South Coast Open crowns.“I played some tennis I was really happy with, considering some tough conditions on the final day,” Chaplin said.The 20-year-old used his powerful serve to his advantage and he said the slick Hanging Rock courts worked in his favour.“My game is coming along really well, I’m happy with where it’s at and my serve was really effective this week,” he said.“The courts are really fast and so I was able to get a lot of free points off my serve.”Chaplin, who is based in America at the University of Tennessee, was the red-hot favourite in the lead-up to the four-day tournament but he insisted that added pressure didn’t play on his mind.“It’s a credit to the tournament how laid back they made it feel and that didn’t place any extra pressure on me,” he said.“There were a handful of guys that could’ve won the tournament and I knew that, so I had my work cut out for me from the start.”Of this tournament (his second appearance) at Hanging Rock, Chaplin said it was “a pleasure” to take part.“I thought the tournament had really good organisation and it was a pleasure to play in,” he said.In the women’s draw, Anderson made light work of most of her opponents although she insisted that some of her results didn’t do her competition justice.“It was a great result for me and it’s always such a great tournament to play,” she said.“The competition was definitely strong and I had some tough matches throughout.“I can’t say that the score lines in a couple of my matches reflected just how tough they were.”Eurobodalla players also got on the winners’ list.Batemans Bay Tennis Club members Sandra Smith and Linda Knight took out the C grade women’s doubles.Another tournament highlight came early on day two when 13-year-old Corey Greenwood saved four match points before winning against Ben Hayman in the A grade men’s draw.Click ‘play’ to check out this awesome rally in the open men’s semi-final!NoneNoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Letters to the Editor

Put students first!Public school teachers across NSW are currently fighting for the continued provision of a quality public education system. We believe that every student has the right to have access to a quality education regardless of race, geographical location or learning specialties.Public education has at its core the belief that education systems cannot be reduced to a marketplace of winners and losers.Public education is not for sale!Presently the O’Farrell Government is beginning to make changes to public education under a policy called Local Schools, Local Decisions.The government continues, through the Education Department, to implement this policy and related policies in haste, secrecy and without sincere negotiations or consultation with teachers, communities or parent groups.The government won’t guarantee that under Local Schools, Local Decisions your child’s learning conditions and teachers’ working conditions will be protected.It has been shown that when changes like this were made in Victoria and overseas that governments spent less on public schools, which has meant fewer teachers, bigger class sizes and less individual support for students.The government wants to give schools a local budget. This means it will be the amount of money, not the number of students, which will determine how many teachers, executives and support staff will be at schools. Forget the bogus philosophy and rhetoric from the government; this is purely an exercise in cost-cutting.As proud teachers in the public education system we believe that students must be put first and that all educational change needs to be centred on the educational needs of students. All children have the right to quality public education regardless of race, religion or social status.Public education is an investment in the well-being of our society, not an expense.Let’s all start “putting students first” and preserving the provision of public education in the state of NSW.Support your local school teachers when they take action to stop these changes and register your concerns by contacting our state MP.Julie Thompson, on behalf of the Batemans Bay Teachers AssociationThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Red tape strangling GP efforts

A Eurobodalla GP has taken the fight for more rural doctors to Canberra, telling a Senate committee “a morass of red tape” was preventing him recruiting desperately needed colleagues from overseas.Veteran Batemans Bay GP Dr David Rivett gave evidence last month to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee hearing into the supply of rural health services and medical professionals.The Batemans Bay Hospital VMO, who chairs the Australian Medical Association’s rural medical committee, said his own practice needed doctors.“Since I graduated I have practised in Batemans Bay,” he told the committee.“The population has grown from about 1700 to 17,000 and we now have five nursing homes. We are not pulling in new doctors, so people at the end of their working lives, like me, are being forced to work harder and harder, which is just not tenable.“I have been advertising for six months now for doctors and spent about $4000 on advertising and the only applicants who have been interested are people from Iran, India and others outside the country.”Several doctors have spoken out in recent months about the acute shortage of GPs in Batemans Bay, with patients waiting weeks for appointments.Yet Dr Rivett said securing “area-of-need” status to fast-track the appointment of an overseas doctor was not easy.“I am three doctors down in my practice,” he said.“I am trying to go through an ‘area-of-need’ process, which I can assure you is an absolute morass of red tape. I have been told I can apply for one doctor at most. You cannot get three ‘area of need’ positions, even though I need three people desperately.”Dr Rivett said older doctors were under increasing pressure to delay retirement.“All the doctors in my practice are over 60 and hanging on, wanting to get out and just slow down. But they feel they cannot do that, because they want to provide a community service.”Dr Rivett said action was needed now to attract young doctors.“It is a real crisis and it is getting worse, because thepeople with the experience … like me, are over 60 now. They are not going to be around for much longer. We need to get younger doctors into the loop now, while the older guys are still there to show them around. It has got to happen in a hurry, not in 10 years’ time. It will be all over then.”Dr Rivett said young people needed incentives to work in rural areas and should not be coerced or expected to work unsustainable hours.“The old days of dinosaurs like me trying to do everything at once and working crazy hours are long gone,” he said.“If we look back to that old model and say that it is going to happen again, we are losing the plot altogether.“We have to get robust systems in place to attract more doctors to go rural. We are not seeing incentives to get them there.“I do not know how many meetings I have been to about planning for rural health, and everybody listens and takes the attitude that it is all too hard, let’s just sweep it under the table and admit we can’t win. I think you have to have a damn good go.“I am very enthused that there is a Senate committee actually looking at this and hopefully going to bring forward some robust solutions.”The alternative was “more and more people getting flown out expensively”, Dr Rivett warned.“We have a helicopter just about every day now, sometimes several times a day.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

O’Farrell must commit to Kings Hwy

Shadow Special Minister of State and the former Member for Monaro Steve Whan has called on the O’Farrell Government to commit new funding of at least $12 million in this week’s Budget for the Kings Highway section between the top of the Clyde Mountain and Mongarlowe River.”Over the last few years, significant improvements have been made to sections of the Kings Highway between Queanbeyan and Braidwood. This has left the sectionbetween Mongarlowe River and the Clyde Mountain needing the most urgent new upgrade,” Mr Whan said.“This section of road has a 90km/h speed limit, no shoulders and is very high risk.“The roads authority has already undertaken design work on this section of the road and Eurobodalla Shire Council (who undertook some of the work) estimated the cost ofupgrade at approximately $12 million.“I have no doubt the Clyde Mountain and Mongarlowe River section of the Kings Highway should be the next to receive an upgrade.”Obviously we would also expect the normal maintenance work and the projects underway between Batemans Bay and Nelligen to be completed.”Over Labor’s last term in government, more than $42 million was spent on the Kings Highway. People in this region have a right to expect that this level of spending would at least be maintained, if not increased.“Last year’s $5.4 million allocation for the road by the O’Farrell Government was just not enough and this year we should see nearly three times that amount delivered for the highway.”Eurobodalla Shire Council has identified some $60 million worth of work it believes needs to be undertaken and the O’Farrell Government needs to ensure that this workis planned and budgeted for in a reasonable time frame.”The Kings Highway has seen a lot of work over recent years but there is still plenty to do and there are still far too many tragic accidents. I would emphasise though that even if all the work had been undertaken it, like any road, requires patience and respect from road users.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Kings Highway a target

Police will be out in force from today as Operation Stay Alert kicks off for the long weekend.Batemans Bay Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Angus Duncombe said the Kings Highway would be one of the priorities, following an operation police ran last weekend when they issued 12 traffic infringement notices within two hours.He said one driver was speeding at 146km/h in a 90 zone, and another four were driving at 130km/h in a 90 zone.Sgt Duncombe said driver impatience was still prevalent on the road.“One passenger said maybe we should be booking people who are driving too slow,” he said.“I can understand why he was in the passenger seat.”He also warned Eurobodalla drivers that officers from Sydney would help patrol the Kings and Princes Highways this weekend, while the local highway patrol officers would be out in force.“Obviously our focus is going to be on a highly visible presence right across the command,” he said.Operation Stay Alert began just after midnight this morning. It will continue until midnight Monday with double demerit points in force.Police will be watching for speeding, drink-driving and other offences, and drivers can expect to find RBTs and mobile radar cameras.During the 2011 June long weekend four people were killed on the roads across NSW, nearly 400 drivers were charged with drink driving, and 4460 were issued with infringement notices for speeding.Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said drivers should focus on the basics of slowing down and driving to the road conditions.“Police urge motorists to ‘stay alert’ and by this we mean making sure you focus on the road this weekend,” he said.“The best news I could have as a Deputy Commissioner is that not one life has been lost on our roads this long weekend.”He said drivers should focus on the simple tasks that were at the forefront of their minds when first getting their licence, such as taking care, slowing down, driving to the road conditions and leaving plenty of time to travel to their destination.“We can sometimes forget what the main focus is when driving. When we start out and get our licence we are alert to what is happening while driving, what the speed limit is; and, what the weather conditions are like,” he said.“This needs to be in the forefront of our minds with the increased number of cars on the roads over the long weekend.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Storm passes and clean-up begins

Mountainous seas, storm surges and gale force winds from this week’s extreme weather have left Eurobodalla home-owners, and the shire itself, facing costly damage bills.Among the financial costs will be repairs to the Batemans Bay waterfront after the storm surge combined with a high tide to pound the popular café promenade, washing away large chunks of the granite stone walkway.Wave buoys off Batemans Bay recorded swells reaching 10m on Tuesday night.After destructive gale force winds sent trees crashing onto homes and roads and left broken powerlines dangling, the extreme high tide that night caused erosion along many beachfronts and deposited sand across roadways.On Wednesday morning café owners and early morning joggers were confronted by the aftermath – a scene of ripped-up granite scattered across the promenade and wet sand washed up against walls.The council will now have to decide whether to repave with the granite stones along the waterfront or use asphalt.Eurobodalla council labourers took away the granite by the truckload and loose sections were removed with the aid of a shovel.The Innes Boat Shed café, that sits out over the Clyde River, was not damaged although water from the rough seas vented through the gaps in its floorboards. The experience left Ros and Steve Innes joking that they had their “very own blowholes”.Sections of earth on the grassed area beside the shed were washed way leaving large holes and the nearby rockwall holding the embankment in place was overtopped causing more erosion.The business couple was non-plussed by the big storm and the abnormal tides, saying that such rough conditions did occur at various times.“You could surf the swell that night past the boatshed,” Ros said. “A good thing it did not stay and was only overnight.”Long Beach foreshore was also badly eroded with its sand build up and foreshore now lost. Eurobodalla infrastructure services director Warren Sharpe said rockwalls at Caseys Beach also “copped a flogging”, with sections undermined.Mr Sharpe said the heavy rainfall and power failures had also caused sewage to spill at Hanging Rock and Malua Bay. This was being tested by Environment and Heritage with the council yet to receive a report on the issue although Mr Sharpe did not envisage it being too serious.The problem was caused when stormwater run-off entered the system and, with electricity lines down, council had to bring in generators to the pump stations.Scenes of a cleanup were underway at many coastal locations yesterday including Bodalla, Moruya Heads, South Durras, Lilli Pilli and Mossy Point.The storm made for a series of headaches for Moruya and Batemans SES crews clearing roads, council workers cleaning up, and Essential Energy, who were out in the rough conditions restoring power.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sally’s world title hopes dashed

SHREDDING: Sally Fitzgibbons of Gerroa takes to the waves with plenty of aggression during the early rounds of the Roxy Pro Biarritz, returning the highest scores of the competition. Photo Damien Poullenot, ASP/ AQUASHOT.AFTER being well positioned to challenge Stephanie Gilmore for the 2012 ASP Women’s World Title, Gerroa surfer Sally Fitzgibbons had her title hopes dashed on the weekend when she was eliminated in the quarter finals.Fitzgibbons was a standout performer in the early rounds of the Roxy Pro Biarritz in France, setting up a thrilling finale to the penultimate competition on the tour.With just the Nike US Open left in the tour, the situation was poised on a knife edge as small surf ensured lay days in competition.If Gilmore was to win the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Fitzgibbons needed to place second to send the ASP Women’s World Title Race to the Nike US Open.If Gilmore got second or better at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, the ASP Women’s World Title Race will go to the Nike US Open.If Gilmore got third at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Carissa Moore (Hawaii) and Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, would need to win in France to join the race along with Gilmore and Fitzgibbons. The race would then be decided at the US Open.However Fitzgibbons was eliminated in the quarter finals by Hawaiian Coco Ho, clearing the way for Gilmore to claim her fifth world crown.Gilmore still faced tough competition in the final in France from former Culburra Beach surfer and rising star on the ASP scene, 18-year-old Tyler Wright.Following the win Gilmore was having difficulty coming to grips with what had happened.“I woke up this morning and thought it wouldn’t happen today,” Gilmore said.“But as the day progressed, and things fell into place, I began to believe it could happen.“France is such a special place and having so many people on the beach watching us surf today is really emotional. I think I’m going to cry.”Gilmore set an ASP record by being the first surfer ever to win four titles from four attempts in 2007 to 2010, but fell back to ASP Women’s World number three in 2011.The weekend’s emotional win is a reassertion of her dominance as one of the greatest icons in women’s sports.“This year for me was all about improving my consistency and having fun with my surfing,” Gilmore said.“From when I started five years ago to where we are now, women’s surfing has improved so much.“It’s an honour to be back up top as these girls push me every day and are all incredible surfers.”The win puts the young natural-footer in an elite class of surfers to win five or more ASP World Titles, overtaking women’s records set by Freida Zamba (USA), Wendy Botha (Aus) and Lisa Andersen (USA).The only other two surfers in history to claim five or more titles are Kelly Slater (USA) and Layne Beachley (Aus).“I have an amazing support team between my family, friends, my shaper Darren Handley, my sponsors and all the people at Quiksilver,” Gilmore said.“To be able to do what we do and make a life out of surfing is a really blessed thing. Surfing is what motivates me to wake up each day and attempt to better myself.”Fellow finalist Wright put on an impressive display of surfing throughout the Roxy Pro Biarritz, besting Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, and Coco Ho, 19, en route to the finals.Unfortunately for Wright, her momentum didn’t transcend into the final bout against Gilmore, but the tour sophomore was happy with her performance nonetheless.“I feel pretty good,” Wright said.“I was so excited for Steph (Gilmore).She was ahead of me the whole time and with five minutes to go I was like, ‘you’ve done it!’“It’s incredible – she ripped the whole contest and didn’t lose one heat, she was shredding!”The result left the world total standings:1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 48,400 pts2. Sally  Fitzgibbons (AUS) 42,100 pts3. Carissa  Moore (HAW) 36,700 pts3. Tyler  Wright (AUS) 36,700 pts5. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 34,800 ptsThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Field goal plucks Magpies

BIG CLASH: Berry forward Rhys Neil and Eagles hooker Dean Gray come together as the two sides engage in a thrilling battle. Photo RICHARD WHITBY.South Coast Group 7Albion Park-Oak Flats 23Berry-Shoalhaven Headfs 22DESPITE the heartbreak of losing by a single point the Berry-Shoalhaven Heads Magpies must now consider themselves a good chance in this year’s finals series after running down Group 7 front runners Albion Park Oak Flats from a 22-4 first half deficit to level the ledger with 10 minutes on the clock.Unfortunately a mistake on halfway gave the Eagles possession and the chance to work their way into field-goal kicking range.Their single attempt gave them a one point lead which they carried all the way to the final siren.The Eagles caught the Magpies napping in the first half as they ran in four unanswered tries before Berry managed to get onto the score sheet.Trailing by 22-nil Jacob Dolan scored out wide for Berry to bring the score back to 22-4. Coulter missed the conversion.Berry emerged from the dressing room a different team in the second half and almost instantly set about closing the deficit.Chris McCarron was the first to beat the Albion Park defence and with Coulter on his way to three from three, the score closed to 22-10.Winger Daniel Gannon scored out wide to make it 22-14, and when Coulter added the extras Berry had its tails up at 22-16.Minutes later Josh Coulter again proved he is one of the most under rated players in the competition when he scored a great try to make the score 22-20.Absorbing the pressure, Coulter slotted the conversion between the uprights to lock the game up at 22-all, with just a handful of minutes remaining.With possession of the ball, and working their way downfield, Berry looked to be on their way to at least a great draw.Unfortunately a dropped ball on the fourth tackle allowed Albion Park to work its way into field goal range and its players made the single attempt count.With a 23-22 scoreline Berry threw everything it had at the Eagles in the dying minutes.One last chance came when Berry won a scrum feed within kicking distance. Unfortunately the full-time siren sounded before the scrum could pack down and Berry fans were left disappointed in the outcome but full of optimism for the remainder of the season.Following the match, Berry coach Adam Hayburn said the Magpies had their chances.“We are a bit disappointed, we had our chances, you can’t let a team like Albion Park get that far ahead in the first half,” he said.“We need to do better for the full 80 minutes if we are going to have any chance against Gerringong this weekend, the boys are keen for the match-up.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Kershaw keeps firing as Jets cement third

IN FORM: Ben Wellington was in great form for the Nowra Bomaderry Jets on Saturday night, setting up a try and scoring another.South Coast Group 7Nowra-Bomaderry 22Milton-Ulladulla 4THE Nowra Bomaderry Jets have cemented their place in the top three of this year’s VB South Coast Group 7 competition with a 22-4 victory over the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs at the Nowra Showground.For the second home game in a row the Jets attracted a healthy, yet somewhat cold, crowd to the floodlit Nowra Showground for a Saturday night game.The Jets led from the opening whistle to the full-time siren to set up a good run into the finals season with a number of key players ready to return to the side.As expected, Milton applied the pressure early and the opening 20 minutes turned into a midfield arm wrestle.Jets forward Ben Wellington was the first to make a break when he crashed through the Milton defensive line.An inside pass to Kurt Quinlan stretched the defence enough for Anthony Atkinson to be put into a gap and score just right of the posts, 4-nil. Centre Dwayne Bannon converted the try to take the Jets to a 6-nil lead.Milton bounced straight back, and for five consecutive sets of six tackles had the Jets pinned on their try line.Nowra Bomaderry refused to concede points and finally Milton was repelled empty handed.As the half time siren approached, Ben Wellington scored a much deserved try taking the score to 10-nil.Dwayne Bannon’s kick was well wide of the posts and at the half-time break the Jets led 10-nil.Following the half-time break Zac Kershaw stood up for his now customary blistering try.Quick thinking by Kurt Quinlan at dummy half spotted a gap down the blind-side. Kershaw followed Quinlan into the gap and, once the field opened up, Kershaw accepted to ball to run 30 metres and for a try, 14-nil.With Bannon relieved of kicking duties, the young Jets hooker Nathan Cox, stepped forward and made no mistake taking the home side to a 16-nil lead.Milton managed to post a try in the last 15 minutes when the fast footed Mitch Simington was too quick for a tiring Jets’ defence.Drawing the last defender, Simington passed out wide to John Dale to take the score to 16-4.Zac Kershaw claimed a double in the dying minutes of the match when a Kurt Quinlan grubber kick into the in-goal deflected off a Milton player’s legs and into the hands of Kershaw who grounded the ball to make it 20-4.Dale was again on target and at the final siren the Jets had claimed their seventh win of the season with 22-4 scoreline.Best three for the Jets were Zac Kershaw, Kurt Quinlan and Ben Wellington.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ageing population brings new challenges

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in 1901 just four per cent of the population was over the age of 65.Today, that figure is 14 per cent, and projections show by the year 2100 it will be 25 per cent.The 2011 census shows that this national trend is being played out even more dramatically in the Shoalhaven where we are increasingly top heavy in the older age brackets.And it’s not just due to better health care and increasing longevity. Here, we are gaining even more older residents through sea changers and retirees.Nationally, it’s acknowledged that the ageing population is creating enormous economic challenges, particularly in the light of recent financial turmoil which has decimated many people’s super and retirement funds.It’s also recognised that even for younger people, superannuation is likely to be inadequate to meet their needs when they retire.The South Coast has always been a mecca for retirees, but bad economic times will only increase the attractiveness of our area because it is simply more affordable to live here.The question is, will our services keep up with the demand?Some serious planning needs to take place now to make sure we have facilities in place to care for the elderly.It is to be hoped that these census figures and the challenges they pose might finally make our society realise the value of aged care workers and the job they do.It’s shameful that the people who look after our frail elderly, like the people who look after our children, are among the lowest paid workers.Unfortunately, this says something about the values of the society we live in.Earlier this year at the Shoalhaven Women’s Conference, health services advocate Gail O’Brien made the comment that every politician should be made to walk the corridors of an old people’s home for a day, to gain an appreciation of the work being done by carers.It’s time aged care was promoted to a more important status in our communities, and the very special people who look after our elderly fairly compensated for the work they do.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.