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Archive for October, 2018

Peter and Janet Flann founded Greyhound Rescue, which rehabilitates greyhounds after their retirement from racing. Photo: Michele MossopWith as many as 13 greyhounds traipsing around their family home at any given time, Peter and Janet Flann pace their days, packed with vet visits and daily walks to the park.

But the dogs are often just temporary visitors as the retired couple rehabilitate the dogs for new lives outside the race track.

As the founders of not-for-profit organisation Greyhound Rescue, the couple have helped find new homes for more than a thousand greyhounds rescued from pounds, trainers, and breeders over the past decade.

But following the NSW government’s announcement of a ban on greyhound racing last week, the organisation has detected a jump in the need to relocate unwanted dogs.

Already the number of greyhounds being sent to pounds has increased, where the dogs often face euthanasia even when young and healthy, according to the couple.

Mr Flann said he is worried the ban will worsen strains on the rescue organisation, which relies upon public donations and fundraising.

“We always have been inundated with greyhounds – we currently have a list of about 20 trainers who are waiting to send their dogs to us,” he said. “But it’s probably going to get worse.”

“The important thing is that [the NSW government] has an action plan to help with the situation.”

Since the announcement, the organisation has been “flooded” with increased inquiries and adoption requests by the public.

But the process of adoption can be complicated, as the dogs often must be rehabilitated before they are ready for more mundane lives.

After rescue, the hounds are kept in the couple’s home, on their farm or in kennels and volunteers’ foster homes. Hosting numbers can reach 80 animals.

The organisation’s volunteers then gradually expose the greyhounds to smaller dogs, children, and cats to familiarise them with home life.

The couple said almost all greyhounds could be readied for family home life even where they had previously been treated cruelly or trained with live bait.

“We had one little [greyhound] who had done lots of races and had been very successful, so she might well have been live baited – we don’t actually know,” Mr Flann said.

“But she was as friendly as ever, and was good with young children, with cats, and with little dogs.”

But not all greyhounds will adjust to all situations so the organisation offers prospective owners dogs suited to their needs.

“We are very fussy about where they go,” Ms Flann said. “They will have to sleep indoors and be part of the family.”

Despite their reputation as racing dogs, most greyhounds prefer to lounge peacefully in the sun and require minimal exercise, are docile, rarely bark, and do not have “that doggy smell”.

“They are basically 70 km/h couch potatoes,” Mr Flann said. “They’re so personable and tactile. They just love company and people’s attention.”

Ms Flann said she cried with joy att the news of the Baird government’s ban on greyhound racing in the state.

“They don’t deserve the lives they are brought into. They don’t deserve to be treated like they are,” she said.

“Once you start working with greyhounds, that’s it. They’re so beautiful, you’re hooked.”

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Launceston walked the fine line on Saturday night and Tornadoescoach Reece Potterknowsit.

Not between victory and defeat, but to gain a critical head-to-head season edge over nemesis Kilsyth.

The top-of-the-tableconference clash saw the Tornadoes lead from start to finish to collect a convincing 81-71 home win over the Cobras.

“We put ourselves in a really good position and were able to finish out the game towin by the margin we needed to win by,” Potter said.

“We actually had to beat that team by 10 points or more to get the split over them for the rest of the season.So, really,we couldn’t have done it any tighter.”

In the event of equalnumber of wins over the course of the season, the spread betweenLaunceston and Kilsyth counts to gain home-court advantage in the finals series.

But the 10-point margin wasn’t nearlycomfortable enoughfor a nervy Potter during the final moments.

“I’ve been thinking about it all week and then we ended having a timeout.Mikaela (Ruef) got fouled and made the foul shots,” Potter said.

“We’ve now put ourselves in a spot to potentially to win ahome final, if we can take care of a few games for the rest of the season and results go our way.

“We’re a long way away from that,but it was good to get that result, which was basically a double win for us.”

The Tornadoes had seen their lead whittle down from15 points to eight inside 90 seconds, still with 1:25 left.

But the match was set up by a brilliant first quarter that stunned the 12-1 South conference leaders.

“I think the start set us up, no doubt,” Potter said.

“We shot a really good percentage and it was through discipline and execution.

“The girls spaced the floor well and executed againstsome of their defence they tried against us.”

The Torns finished the term up 32-18 on the back of a 18-6 end stretch.

The margin had blownout to 24 when the home side doubled the Cobras score.

Tayla Roberts starred with24 points,pulling down 16 rebounds thatincluded12 off the defensive boards.

TAYLA TIME: Launceston workhorse Tayla Roberts looks to shoot over Kilsyth’s Emily Fryers in Saturday night’s big battle at the Elphin Sports Centre. Picture: Neil Richardson

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Eels slapped with 12-points deduction and $1 million fineSemi Radradra faces six weeks on the sidelinesEXCLUSIVE: Eels star allegedly given cash in car park

Please, all NSW supporters, all rugby league fans, get to Homebush on Wednesday night and support our NSW State of Origin team.

Yes, I know the series is over. However, State of Origin still remains one of the major events on the Australian sporting calendar and deserves to be supported with a full house.

One would like to think that Blues fans will be there to support their team. We would also hope Queensland fans will be there to say goodbye to a couple of their outstanding long-term campaigners.

If the reports suggesting there will be a lot of vacant seats come Wednesday night are correct, I’m wondering as to the main reasons why this may be the case.

Is it because Queensland has already won the 2016 State of Origin shield? Is it because, for 11 seasons now, State of Origin has become something of a one-sided contest?

Are fans turning their backs on the NSW team out of frustration and disappointment?

If we promised you that NSW were going to win this match, would it be enough to get you to the game?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

I totally understand people seeing this game as a dead rubber. I can assure you, though, that anyone who has ever been involved in Origin in any capacity, will argue differently. Every game counts. Every game means something to the team and to the individual. These players will not play with any less passion, any less commitment, or any less courage. They deserve to be cheered, supported and thanked for their efforts when the full-time siren sounds.

Since Origin began back in 1980 there have been 16 so-called dead rubbers. How many have been won by the team leading the series 2-0? Seven. Queensland have won four, NSW three.

How many have been won by the team trailing the series 0-2? Nine. Queensland have won six, NSW three.

Twelve of these dead rubbers have been played in Queensland.

Queensland have won seven of these games. Two of them when leading the series 2-0. Five times they have won game three when trailing in the series 0-2. That’s an interesting statistic right there. Despite the fact the Maroons had already lost a series, they were determined not to be whitewashed 3-0 in front of their own fans. On five occasions they have finished the series with a win.

They call that pride. Don’t tell me every State of Origin game doesn’t matter to them.

Four of these dead rubbers have been played in Sydney.

NSW only managed to win one and lost three. Interestingly, when trailing in the series 0-2 coming into the final game in Sydney, the Blues are 0-2 when it comes to wins under these circumstances.

That’s right. Twice in Origin history, 1988 and 2010, Queensland have come to Sydney for game three already having wrapped up the series. Queensland have won both games.

When you compare that to Queensland’s game three record under the same circumstances, it goes to show that the NSW team and Blues fans still have a lot to learn about this Origin rivalry.

It’s a mindset. It comes down to why this contest first began. It’s just another small example of why Queensland owns State of Origin. Every now and then NSW is able to wrestle the shield away from them for a short period of time. It’s only ever a loan, though. The response from Queensland has always been to come back bigger and stronger.

I have often said that if Queensland won 30 series in a row, Origin would still mean everything to their players and their fans. Every time NSW wins two series in a row, people start complaining that State of Origin might be dead.

While Queenslanders can draw breath, State of Origin will never be dead. At this time, however, it is up to NSW to breathe new life into this interstate rivalry. The past 11 seasons have been demoralising for Blues fans. Well, certainly the last eight or nine series anyway. Queensland bouncing back with series victories in 2006 and 2007, after having not won a series since 2001, was seen as healthy for the game.

No one could have anticipated their decade of dominance. They have been brilliant. By the same token, there is no doubt NSW have contributed to this terrible losing streak.

What has been most frustrating for Blues fans, has been the constant denials and media campaigns to justify these awful results.

Take nothing away from Queensland. First and foremost they have become a champion team. Many will point to the fact that this team contains several champion players, who now rank alongside the greatest to have ever played our game. However, it’s from the Queensland philosophy of “team first” that these individuals have emerged and grown in stature.

Still, this State of Origin battle continues. NSW needs to bounce back. It needs to start on Wednesday night on our home ground here in Sydney.

What I do know is that we are finally starting to see some talented youngsters filter through into the Blues line-up. You may choose to agree or disagree with their selection, or the final make-up of this team. Possibly I disagree with a number of the selections, but we will discuss this more in a time. What’s important this week though, is that we have new players in this side who will not be dealing with the demons and scars of so many losses over the past decade. If they can find their way into the game and be allowed to impart their talents and skills to the best of their ability, hopefully they’ll have some influence over the final result.

James Tedesco is an exciting young talent. His style is more in line with successful NSW fullbacks of the past, such as Garry Jack, Tim Brasher and Anthony Minichiello. He is not really a playmaker. He is a brilliant ball runner. He is aggressive, fast and his first thought is to see himself bursting through the line. If he can support the right people in the right areas of the field, he will cause Queensland a lot of problems.

Experienced hand: James Maloney. Photo: Getty Images

James Maloney is not a recognised No.7. However, he has experience, he knows the game and he is more than capable of steering this side to victory. He needs to take ownership of the team. In his favour will be the fact he has played a lot of football with many of the other NSW players. Hopefully they fall in behind him and follow his lead.

Jack Bird has that bit of X-factor about him. He was like a breath of fresh air when he came onto the field in game two in Brisbane. It’s an enormous challenge at this stage of his career to now wear the No.6 jersey for the Blues. There is just something about him, though, that suggests he will not be overawed by the task. Let me say this much: he has certainly got Queensland’s attention. They know he is capable of something special.

As for the other Blues players? Well, they just need to do their jobs. If they can find a way to keep bringing our seven, six and one into the game, I’m confident NSW will win.

As I have said from before the series started, this Queensland team is ready to be beaten. There is nothing I have seen in the two matches to date that has made me change my mind. In fact, I am more convinced than ever. What I do know, however, is Queensland won’t beat themselves. Queensland are not going to hand it to them. NSW will have to come up with a way to beat them.

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The Boulia Camel races are an annual event. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland John Richardson has made a life of breeding and racing camels. Photo: thebigcamel苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

Racing camels decked out in coloured racing gear. Photo: thebigcamel苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

John Richardson has spent the better part of 30 years racing and breeding camels and knows a good haircut is the best way to stay on a bareback camel when it is going full pelt.

The 70-year-old has been breeding camels with his wife out at Yeppoon, central Queensland, ever since he bought his first two wild camels for the 1988 Great Australian Camel Race, an endurance racefrom Ayers Rock to the Gold Coast.

One of those camels won thatrace and, from then on, “The Camel Man” was hooked.

“When I heard about it in 1985, people said ‘Richo, this would be a great challenge for you’

“I don’t mind a good challenge, it wasn’t easy but we got through it.”

Camels wereintroduced to Australia in the nineteenth century for transport purposesand went on to form feral populations, which have spread across outback Queensland and across other states.

They are considered by the Queensland government to be a non-declared pest species.

After his win in 1988, the former horse trainer focused his attention onbreeding and training the “semi-trailers of the outback” that he said helped Australia’s development.

“They carted wool barrels and railway sleepers, they have done it tough,” he said.

“I was an amateur jockey and horse trainer from way back, I brought some of that with me.

“To prepare them right, it costs you a few dollars, got to put dollars in to get dollars back.

“You have to feed them right, something like you would a racehorse, but you don’t have to give them all those kinds of rich grains because that is not suited for their system.

“People come up and say they spit, bite, kick, but it’s like anything, you have to feed them right and then they treat you right.

“It’s a pretty clean run sport, there isno skulduggery, the boys all know the rules.

“The big trick, and everyone knows this,is to feed your animal right, train him right and you will be in with a chance.”

The Queensland man used to travel across the state racing his camels and said to get a good camelyou had find one that was slim andhad a “bit of leg about him”.

“They are pretty intelligent animals, you have to train them to go into the stall but they don’t take long to get going, especially if they are going with another camels,” he said.

“Camel racing is a family fun day, anything can happen, you have toexpect the unexpected but it’snot like horse racing, it is not a serious sort of thing.

“They have their own track marked out and go where they want to go, others are trained to (be) steered, some are larrikins, you just let them run, you don’t try and control them, just let them go, they know where they are going.”

Boulia, a town on the edge of the Simpson Desert, hasheld an annual camel race for the past20years and Mr Richardson said when he used to race camels bareback in Boulia’s1500km cup final, he knew just the haircut to give them.

“Out at Boulia they used to have bareback camel racing, they are quite easy to ride, you could imagine riding them bareback,” he said.

“I clipped a camel once way back in the early days of racing at Boulia, I clipped him like a racehorse and he just looked magic but I left a clump on the top of the hump.

“I told Shane the rider I had clipped him and he said, ‘Mate what am I going to hang onto?’ I said ‘I have left enough on there to get a grip on top, you just grab that hunk of fluff and go hard’, he won the race easy.”

Mr Richardson has long since hung up his racing boots andnow provides his camels for festivals and shows across Queensland.

“I have won many races myself but I am getting long in the tooth, it’s good to watch my boys race, I can still get up there now though,don’t get me wrong,” he said.

“If they don’t make a good racer, we just use them for show camels, the nice quiet fellas.

“Camel also have good meat, you would think you were eating beef.

“I have only ever had it the once, I don’t make a habit of eating it, I just tell my boys (the camels)if they play up they’ll end up on the table.”

The Boulia Camel Races kick off Thursday July 14 and run until Sunday July 17.

Stay informed. Like Brisbane Times on Facebook

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7000 hectares of mangrove trees have died back in the Gulf of Carpentaria sparking fears of far reaching repercussions. Photo: James Cook University A heavily affected section of the southern Gulf. Photo: James Cook University

A 700 kilometre stretch of mangrove shoreline in the southern reaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria has died, sparking fears of deeper implications for the ecosystem.

The dieback encompasses about 7000 hectares of land and was the result of the El Nino conditions that affected the region during the warmer months.

James Cook University Professor Norm Duke said that was about the extent of their ‘hard data’ around the problem ranging from Kurumba in Queensland to the Roper River in the Northern Territory.

“We know from the remote sensing we have in the area that the dieback occurred late November, December last year,” Professor Duke said.

“That was the end of an unusually long dry period, that is probably the major contributing factor, the change of climate such that there was virtually no wet season last year.

“It’s been so severe in many locations that the whole of the shoreline fringe of mangrove has been killed or at least defoliated.

“The question is, how much if any will recover?”

That question may go unanswered if research funding to send scientists to the area is not forthcoming.

“Everything that’s happening at the moment is happening without funding, everything is being done by people as individuals, this is not driven by government agenda or contract.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to need a proper injection of funding to get to the bottom of what’s going on and to properly check the repercussions.”

Professor Duke said the remoteness of the the damaged area was a huge inhibitor to solving the problem and shining light on what should be ‘international news’.

“If 700 kilometres of shoreline had been affected in such a way on the east coast of Australia, this would be international news, it’s a major event in a habitats response to an adjustment in climate.

“There would be a lot of people or industry hoping they weren’t to blame for it if it happened around a port area.”

The death of 7000 hectares of mangrove trees is a large event, but it may be just the beginning of a chain of events caused by the rotting of the trees’ roots.

“One of the mangroves roles is that they prevent erosion of mud banks and as they’ve died, a lot of the sediment is going to be released and make the water dirtier and that will kill seagrass and coral.

“If it involves seagrass then the implications extend much more broadly, you’re talking about turtles and dugongs, but we don’t know for sure.

“One report from indigenous rangers in the area on the Northern Territory side at least, there was lots of dead seagrass floating up that has never done that before – it needs to be checked.

“There could be other repercussions on other habitats that we have even less of an idea of.”

The little help Professor Duke and his researcher have received has been pivotal in what he has been able to study.

“I’ve been talking to the rangers who are observing locally what’s going on, they’re telling me they’ve seen lots of dead leaves and the shellfish living under the trees are now dying or dead.

“All this is anecdotal at that level and we don’t have data from scientific or industry types about what is happening there.

“We don’t have any hard data, but the observations and the expectations are that there are effects.”

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