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Josh Torley is working towards a top 10 placing in the City2Surf event. Photo: Graham TidyJosh Torley was six-years-old when he started running – but it wasn’t for the love of the sport.
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“When I was younger I had really bad balance,” Josh, now 17, said. “My dad suggested I try running and it really helped.”

Hailing from Canberra, he has won many rural and national titles. Josh’s eyes are set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but his next challenge is August’s Sun-Herald City2Surf, presented by Westpac. Hoping to secure a top 10 spot, the runner is ready for the notorious Heartbreak Hill.

“I feeling a bit more confident than last time. I know the course a bit better which is always good,” Josh said.

“Before the race I will probably be doing more work so I am ready for the hills.”

The key to Josh’s success goes back to a technique he used as an unbalanced youngster.

“I use to run with my mouth shut so I just breathed through my nose, which in a way has helped me with my lung capacity,” he said.

Despite his athletic aspirations, Josh says he lives like a normal teenager. But he does have one weakness.

“I am trying to cut out the doughnuts,” he said. “Now that I get a bit better I have to watch a bit of what I eat.”

Annabel McDermott, also 17, says running is time-consuming and she has to sacrifice time with her friends and playing other sports. But her passion for the sport means it is worth the effort.

“I love to run and if I can keep enjoying it as much as I do now I’d be very content,” Annabel said.

She will represent Australia at the World Junior Championships in Poland just weeks before the City2Surf. The young athlete’s goal is to beat her City2Surf record.

“Being selected in the junior Australian team has certainly inspired me to continue to improve my performances.”

Annabel started running when she was 13. So what’s her hot tip for Heartbreak Hill? Don’t look at your watch.

“I try to find a rhythm going up the hill and never look at my watch as my km [kilometre] pace is always so much slower and it can be disheartening when you’re already in so much pain.”

The Sun-Herald City2Surf will be held in Sydney on August 14.

Register online at: 梧桐夜网city2surf南京夜网419论坛

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

Was this Roger Federer’s Wimbledon farewell?Graf equalled, can Williams overtake Court?Williams sisters win doubles final
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London: Serena Williams’ year-long, frustrating, emotional and at-times tormented wait for the 22nd grand slam singles title that would tie Steffi Graf’s Open era record is over, at last. The American great earned a seventh Wimbledon crown and avenged her Australian Open loss to Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 in a quality women’s final.

The most imposing shot in women’s tennis was the difference between two exceptional competitors, whose previous meeting on an occasion of similar importance lasted the full three sets at Melbourne Park in January. In this one, on a windy centre court at the All England Club, Williams hit 13 aces, won 38 of 43 points when the first ball thundered safely in, and faced a single break point.

Having flung herself on her back after a final forehand volley winner, Williams raised two fingers on each hand in the direction of her player box. One message: No.22. Only Australian Margaret Court, a guest in the Royal Box, now lies ahead, her all-time mark of 24 the next milestone to pursue.

Williams’ emotions were a mix of elation at winning Wimbledon title No.7 and the excitement of equalling Graf. “Trying so hard to get there, finally being able to match history, which is pretty awesome,” the 34-year-old said after an 80-minute match decided, and dominated, by her incomparable serve.

There was also relief, undoubtedly, for Williams was honest enough to admit to some sleepless nights since her shock US Open loss to Roberta Vinci last September, and in two losing slam finals since. “Coming so close. Feeling it, not being able to quite get there,” she said. “My goal is to win always at least a slam a year. It was getting down to the pressure.

“This tournament I came in with just a different mind frame and mindset. In Melbourne I thought I played well, but honestly Angelique played great, she played better. She just played really good tennis. So I knew that going into this one, I just needed to keep calm, be confident, just play the tennis that I’ve been playing for well over a decade.”

New York was crushing. Melbourne and Paris – where she lost the final to Garbine Muguruza – disappointing. “I’ve just felt a lot of pressure, I guess. I put a lot of that pressure on myself. Obviously had some really tough losses.

“But if you look at the big picture, I was just thinking about, you know, getting to three finals, grand slam finals. In the past eight grand slams, I don’t know how many finals I’ve been in. It’s pretty impressive.

“I had to start looking at positives, not focusing on that one loss per tournament which really isn’t bad, and for anyone else on this tour would be completely happy about it. Once I started focusing more on the positives, I realised that I’m pretty good. Then I started playing a little better.”

Williams admitted it had been a challenge not to focus on Graf’s record, having lost in one major semi as she chased the calendar year grand slam, and then two finals in 2016.

“It’s been incredibly difficult not to think about it. I had a couple of tries this year. I lost to two great opponents, one actually being Angelique,” Williams said during the presentation of the Venus Rosewater Dish. “It makes the victory even sweeter to know how hard I worked for it.”

There is no longer any space for engraving on the original plate, so it is just as well that the Williams family name had already appeared 11 times. S Williams will be the first name on the additional part of the trophy, and it is hard on current form to imagine that will be the last.

Kerber was far from overawed or outclassed on her Wimbledon finals debut, sharing with Williams some excellent, desperate rallies, a warm hug at the net and obvious mutual respect. Kerber played some wonderful tennis, and lost her own serve only once each set, but that was enough.

Having battled through four deuces and two break points to hold her opening service game to rousing applause, the German fourth seed blinked unexpectedly at 5-6. With just three unforced errors on the efficent Kerber stats sheet as she served to force a tiebreak, consecutive groundstroke misses at 15-15 hurt her badly.

She saved the first when, not for the first time, her opponent unsuccessfully deployed a drop shot that was easily run down by one of the best movers in the game. Not so on the second, when a Williams cross court forehand helped her close out a 47-minute opener 7-5. The top seed’s reaction showed how important that was.

”Kerber played really good,” said Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou. “But she’s human. It’s difficult to hold your serve when you’re so much under pressure because you feel you can’t break the opponent. So at a certain point you have to do one or two mistakes, and Serena did the job.

“The match was really tough. She’s very difficult to manipulate on the tennis court, because she reads the game so well, because she has a good answer to almost  all the problems that you can give. That’s one thing. The second thing is she’s a bit predictable. Otherwise, we would be in trouble. Even so, when  Serena serves like that, it’s difficult for anyone.”

Kerber did not earn her first – her only – break point, until the seventh game of the second set. But then came two thunderous aces. Naturally. One wide, 188kmh. Bang. Another down the middle at 199kmh. From 40-15, Kerber was broken in the following game, having led 40-15, two backhand errors contributing to the break. All that was left was for Williams to serve out the championship Emphatically. Of course.

“It was her time, this was her moment, you could sense the focus the whole two weeks,” said former great Chris Evert. “The way she just went about her business, you could feel that she was ready for this.”

Williams was due to finish a triumphant Saturday contesting the doubles final with her sister Venus. Job unfinished, still.

So, too for Kerber, but for different reasons. The 28-year-old insisted she enjoyed the experience of her first slam finals loss, and would “never forget the feeling” of duelling with Williams on Wimbledon’s centre court. Due to return to No.2 on the rankings on Monday, the tenacious left-hander rebounded after a first-round loss at Roland Garros in her first major since winning one, satisfied that she knows how to get to finals, at least, and determined for more.

“I think I played what I could today,” she said, declaring the Williams serve, on grass, as the only difference between this contest and the one in Australia. Just too good. “I can just say, I mean, Serena was serving unbelievable today. At the end I was trying everything, but she deserved it today. She really played an unbelievable match. I think we both play on a really high level. I try everything.

“I know I have the game, all the experience to win a few more grand slams,” said Kerber. “Of course, Wimbledon is a really special tournament, but I know how to get here, and I will hope that I will get one day the chance to play another final here.”

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An artist impression of “long tunnel” option chosen by the government as part of its Western Distributor project. Photo: suppliedA three-kilometre twin tunnel will be built beneath Yarraville in Melbourne’s inner west as Premier Daniel Andrews moves to avoid a community backlash over his flagship road project.
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After months of considering different designs, the state government is set to unveil its preferred tunnel option for the Western Distributor, a $5.5 billion project that aims to create an alternative river crossing to the West Gate Bridge, reduce truck congestion and cut travel times to the CBD by 20 minutes.

Instead of building a shorter tunnel – which residents feared would be too close to houses and result in a loss of open space near Stony Creek – the chosen option includes a longer four-lane tunnel under Yarraville, starting at the West Gate Freeway and coming to the surface at industrial land near the Maribyrnong River.

New on-and-off ramps for trucks will also connect the West Gate Freeway with Hyde Street in Yarraville, but the final design will not contain any flyovers and will be built as close as possible to the existing West Gate Freeway – in line with what the community wanted.

“We’re building Melbourne’s long-overdue second river crossing – a true alternative to the West Gate Bridge that will slash congestion so Victorians can spend less time stuck in traffic on the M1,” Mr Andrews said. “The Western Distributor will create 5600 jobs, fully funded as part of our historic investment in transport infrastructure. The time for talk is over – we are getting these projects done.”

The reference design will be unveiled on Sunday, with the hope of allaying community concerns about the project. Last year, tolling company Transurban – which has partnered with the government to deliver the Western Distributor – enraged residents after quietly announcing it was moving a proposed tunnel portal to within 100 metres of their homes.

In a bid to avert a public relations disaster, the government announced a detailed consultation process, giving locals a greater say over the length and location of the tunnels.

The government argues that the longer tunnel option will not change the project’s overall price tag and is more in line with the community’s needs because it protects local parkland and minimises the loss of open space.

“We’ve listened to the local community and we’ve worked to ensure their views are reflected in the reference design of the project,” said roads minister Luke Donnellan.

In addition to the tunnel under Yarraville, the Western Distributor project also includes extra lanes on the West Gate, a bridge over the Maribyrnong River and an elevated road above Footscray Road.

However, Maribyrnong Truck Action Group secretary Martin Wurt said MTAG would only support the project if trucks were permanently banned from residential streets such as Somerville Road, Francis Street and Buckley Street.

“Unless they put truck bans in, we’re just going to see trucks avoiding the toll road, particularly if the tolls are costing more,” he said.

Greens MP Colleen Hartland, who represents the western suburbs in the upper house, agreed that a truck restriction was needed if the government was to achieve its aim of removing 6000 trucks from local streets.

“All options have faults, but unless the government commits to a ban on inner west streets this will fail residents,” she said.

The tunnel has been now been provided to three short-listed construction consortiums bidding for the project, who will use it to develop their more detailed and costed plans. The contract will be awarded in late 2017 with construction to start soon after.

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Stan Grant said a treaty could occur in a unifying way, as it had in New Zealand. Photo: Elesa Kurtz Stan Grant said recognition with a treaty would help fill the “hole” he feels where his country should be. Photo: Rohan Thomson
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Prominent Indigenous journalist Stan Grant has used Constitution Day to push for a treaty with the first Australians, saying it could end the tensions of torn allegiances.

Speaking at the National Archives of Australia on Saturday, Grant said the tension was obvious when he held one of the original copies of the Constitution this week and thought about the nearby petition of the Northern Territory Larrakia people which asked for a treaty like the maoris had been given in New Zealand.

“When I held that Constitution I felt great reverence, but when I looked upon the Larrakia petition, I felt that I belonged,” he said. “There is a hole in me where my country should be.”

Grant is a member of the Referendum Council, a government body looking into how best to recognise Indigenous Australians through a change to the Constitution.

His calls came as Cape York Institute constitutional researcher Shireen Morris said a referendum should create an Indigenous advisory body which the federal government would have to consult before actions such as the Howard-era Intervention.

Ms Morris, an Australian-born lawyer with Indian background, said Australia’s first people had been given less of a fair go than migrant Indians and they continued to feel discriminated against.

Her proposed advisory body – which, unlike past representative commissions, would be constitutionally protected – would guarantee Indigenous Australians had a say when laws were made about them. It would have no legal power but put a high degree of moral and public pressure on governments to deliver better laws, she said. She also backed the call for a treaty.

Grant said treaties were simply agreements, and there were already 17,000 agreements in place between Indigenous peoples and the multiple layers of government and business.

“[A treaty] would give us certainty, peace, and for me it will mean that the tension I feel as an Indigenous person in Australia would potentially be laid to rest, the tension between the torn allegiance, first, to who I am and my people, and to my country that we still struggle when it comes to the acknowledgment of our rights,” he said.

Constitution Day is marked on July 9, the day in 1900 when Queen Victoria signed her assent to the act that created the Commonwealth of Australia. The Larrakia petition was handed to Queen Elizabeth II in 1972.

Grant, a former CNN reporter, now hosts SBS’s National Indigenous TV (NITV) channel.

His speech where he declared racism was “killing the Australian dream” went viral on social media earlier this year.

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Malcolm Turnbull is through by the skin of his teeth – but he must learn lessons from the experience. Photo: Christopher PearceLatest from Federal Election 2016Peter Martin: Three simple tweaks to tell the budget truth
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When the other side is using a sledgehammer on you, you have to pull one out and start swinging yourself, Malcolm Turnbull was told.

The exasperated advice came as members of the Australian Republican Movement’s inner-sanctum watched their cause falter ahead of the referendum in 1999.

The problem, they diagnosed, was common-or-garden politics in which Turnbull had seemed strangely reluctant.

Left-leaning populists, such as the former independent MP Phil Cleary and the late Clem Jones, were splintering the pro-republic vote with their direct-election alternative.

It was manna from heaven for monarchist leaders Tony Abbott and the then prime minister John Howard, who warned people against leaving it to politicians, fully aware that the direct electionists were doing their work for them.

Turnbull was urged to slam Cleary et al as wreckers and to hack into the senior Liberal hypocrites applying the wedge, even as they took the pay cheques as politicians themselves.

But he was unenthusiastic and, as chair and a major funder of the campaign, he had extra sway. Despite the committee’s inclusion of people with extensive direct political experience, Turnbull gave the impression it was his way or the highway.

“He wanted to stay above the fray,” said an insider from the time.

“We were fighting with one arm behind our backs, because Malcolm insisted on a level of intellectual argument … we couldn’t mention the royal family, we were getting slammed,” revealed another.

The similarities with his election campaign just run – albeit nearly 18 years later – are plain. Not least the unhappy process of starting out and going steadily backwards. And more specifically, his reluctance to properly head off a badly exaggerated Medicare scare campaign.

Liberals grumble that the “Mediscare” campaign nearly killed them. Yet the more important question looking forward is why Turnbull’s campaign was caught off-guard, and why it was so half-hearted once the allegation had emerged.

In any event, his descent started well before Mediscare.

Much has been written about how (and why) the Turnbull juggernaut hit the ground dithering after Christmas, thus managing to wipe out an extraordinary 56/44 two-party-preferred lead from November to be 50/50 by April.

It is hard to know whether to blame his shambolic “thought-bubble” policy processes that saw a bigger GST, negative gearing excesses, and state income taxing powers, come and go (all the political pain for naff-all fiscal gain), or the steady disappearance of Turnbull himself, as voters thought they knew him.

More likely it was a combination of both expressed in a general sense that Turnbull had become unclear about what he stood for personally, and more instrumentally, what he wanted to do right now.

Even the election, its timing and form became an unnecessarily drawn-out affair with weeks of speculation over moving the budget date, rescheduling the tax white paper (would it be before the budget or in it?), the Senate voting reforms, and the double dissolution.

Eventually, the budget did get moved to facilitate the election and the do-or-die voting reforms did get passed if only to be immediately neutralised by the double dissolution. Politically, it was a mess, and the sense of chaos was hardly assuaged by a crazy-brave eight-week campaign in which the dull-as-ditchwater budget would ensure no exciting policy announcements would be made throughout its extended duration.

Within the campaign itself, the reluctance to get down and dirty – re-emerged.

The Liberal campaign continued to underestimate the sensitivity of voters to rising medical costs in the suburbs, and failed miserably to understand the credibility deficit it carried with voters on trust generally and Medicare in particular.

Both of these stemmed from the 2014 budget, which Tony Abbott continues to defend even now as “visionary” and as the right fiscal formula despite its blatantly broken promises.

Three lessons.

First, to the extent that this was Abbott’s post-coup booby trap, it was Turnbull’s responsibility to locate it and defuse it ahead of time. He didn’t.

Second, as an Ebiquity analysis of all election advertising done by the major parties shows, the Liberal campaign compounded this failure. Labor’s advertising focused on “out-of-touch Malcolm” and the Medicare claim, with 75 per cent of its ads being negative in tone. The Coalition went 55 per cent positive and, while Labor ran a negative ad on day one (May 9), the Coalition waited another month to June 7, to unleash its “same old Labor” attack ad.

Hardly agile.

Third, as Turnbull showed in the republican push, he prefers his own advice to that of others – a fact painfully evident on election night also.

To his credit, Turnbull at least has acknowledged the first problem, noting the Coalition’s past behaviour on health assisted the Labor claim regarding Medicare.

His prospects in a difficult Parliament will turn on his success in addressing the other two: playing politics as hard as his now emboldened opponents, and, at least pretending to suffer fools gladly.

Mark Kenny is chief political correspondent.

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

Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos has said the Liberals are philosophically committed to performance pay for public servants Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry was denied a bonus in 2007 when his speech criticising water policy was leaked. Photo: Sasha Woolley
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Australia’s top public servants have refused for almost three years a directive to pay themselves bonuses.

As Malcolm Turnbull prepares to form government, a Fairfax survey shows the bureaucracy brushed aside a Coalition promise made during the previous election campaign: to pay officials bonuses based on how much “red tape” they cut.

The pledge remains Coalition policy, though Liberal ministers would not discuss it this week.

But the Australian Public Service’s 20 largest workplaces effectively ignored it: each confirmed they don’t give executives the extra payments.

One official who works on remuneration said the policy was “bizarre … and impossible to implement. It was never going to happen,” adding it would be easy to game the scheme.

Before the 2013 election, the Coalition said it would “link remuneration of senior executive service public servants, including future pay increases and bonuses, to quantified and proven reductions in red and green tape”.

It met resistance almost immediately. In his first brief to the Abbott government, then public service commissioner Stephen Sedgwick warned of “practical challenges in implementing” the plan.

Yet ministers went on to write to all agency heads, telling them to set up the bonus system.

Bonus pay has become a partisan issue in the past decade.

Senior Liberals, including Arthur Sinodinos and Eric Abetz, have argued in favour of financial incentives for government staff, saying they help get the best out of them.

Seven in 10 senior federal bureaucrats received bonuses under the Howard government. The average payments in 2007 was $9900 for the lowest level (SES band 1) and $19,600 for SES band 3 staff.

However, Kevin Rudd abolished performance pay for department heads after he won office in 2007, saying it persuaded bureaucrats to say what ministers wanted to hear rather than what needed to be said.

Labor also began to wind back bonuses for SES staff. By the end of 2014, only one in eight senior officers were still receiving them.

Campbell Newman’s conservative government in Queensland also introduced bonuses for agency heads, but Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk axed them almost immediately after taking office.

She said she valued public servants’ expertise “but I also think our most senior public servants are paid well enough that they don’t need generous bonuses on top of their salary”.

Labor’s federal employment spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, said this week the bonuses that never happened were “just another Liberal Party policy which seeks to deliver more to the haves at the expense of the have-nots”.

“The biggest issue confronting the public service isn’t bonuses to senior executives,” he said.

“It’s the massive number of workers who have had their pay frozen for three years and working conditions attacked because of the Liberal Party’s unfair bargaining framework.”

Asked why the bureaucracy had refused to implement bonus pay, the Public Service Commission said agencies had “considerable flexibility to manage their senior executive remuneration arrangements, within the boundaries of government policy”.

“For a number of senior executives, the success of deregulation initiatives would be a factor in their performance management and assessment arrangements,” a spokeswoman said.

All of the agencies surveyed said they had implemented the “cutting red tape” agenda, and many said they assessed senior staff’s commitment to deregulation in their annual performance appraisals. But each refused to pay bonuses.

Former department head Allan Hawke, who served under the Howard government, was a fierce critic of its performance bonuses, saying they were “at odds with public service culture, ignore the complexity of how the public service actually works [and are] bad for morale and teamwork”.

He said this week: “Bonuses are not the issue. What’s important is to have performance agreements that help to deliver the results required and development of each person towards realising their potential.”

One incident that encouraged Labor to ditch bonuses was the treatment of then Treasury secretary Ken Henry, who was denied a bonus in 2007. It was widely reported to be a punishment for criticising the Howard government’s water policy in a speech to staff, which was later leaked to the media.

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

Supernatural fiction with Colin Steele
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SMOKE. By Dan Vyleta. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. $29.99.

Smoke has echoes of Charles Dickens, Philip Pullman and J. K. Rowling in its settings and characterisation. In an alternate Victorian England, people’s “sins” are measured by the amount of smoke that physically issues from their bodies. The rural rich pay to become “pure” and largely smoke-free, whereas the poor and uneducated live in a profusion of smoke in the cities. Boarding school friends Thomas and Charlie combine with young aristocratic Livia to uncover the truth behind their world’s dark smoking mirrors. Smoke is an intriguing and complex novel, only marred by too many subplots.

HEX. By Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Hodder and Stoughton. $32.99.

Bestselling Dutch author Thomas Olde Heuvelt originally set Hex in his native Netherlands. For the English translation, however, the location is changed to the Hudson Valley town of Black Spring. Hex begins with the tragic story of Katherine van Wyler, sentenced to death for witchcraft in 1664. Her ghostly presence has quarantined the small town’s residents ever since from the outside world. But when teenagers post videos of Katherine on the internet, ancient supernatural evil is unleashed, as well as the town’s internal conflict. Hex is an unrelenting, yet compelling, supernatural horror story.

VIGIL. By Angela Slatter. Jo Fletcher. $32.99.

Australian author Angela Slatter has won numerous Australian and international awards for her short stories. Vigil, her debut novel, the first of the Verity Fassbinder trilogy, is located in an alternate Brisbane. Verity is half human and half Weyrd. Her dead father was a “kinderfresser”, a man who killed children for bizarre reasons. Private investigator Verity atones for her father’s crimes by maintaining the balance between humanity and the Weyrd. But when more children go missing, the acerbic Verity has to tackle many issues, including dark angels, a golem and an evil Weyrd. Vigil is a rich paranormal dark fantasy.

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

Topdrops

Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014, $28-$30. Photo: Supplied Bit o’Heaven Think Outside the Circle Chardonnay 2016, $20. Photo: Supplied
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Pizzini King Valley Nonna Gisella Sangiovese 2015, $21.50. Photo: Catherine Sutherland

Bit o’ Heaven Think Outside the Circle Chardonnay 2016, $20

This wine comes from Brian Mullany’s Bit o’ Heaven vineyard in the Hilltops district, near Young, NSW. Mullany tends the vineyard, but sends the grapes to Cumulus Wines, Orange, for winemaking. The blend comprises 90 per cent chardonnay and 5 per cent each of viognier and muscadelle. The viognier component, though small, plays a big role in the wine’s texture and flavour. What would otherwise be a good, full-bodied, fresh young chardonnay, gains exotic apricot-like viognier varietal flavour and a slippery, smooth texture.

Pizzini King Valley Nonna Gisella Sangiovese 2015, $21.50

Fred Pizzini released his first sangiovese in 1996. Twenty years later, the family produces a range of wines from the variety along with many other Italian-inspired wines. Winemaking includes cold maceration ahead of a hot fermentation – a combination that captures rich, bright fruit flavours and introduces more savoury characters to the wine. The wine has a light to medium colour and a mouth-watering, medium-bodied palate suggestive of plums, with a light dusting of herbs and fine tannins drying out the finish.

Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014, $28.50-$30

Variations in growing season temperatures largely account for the diversity of Australian shiraz styles. The big influences on temperature (including intra-day variations) are latitude, altitude and proximity (or not) to large bodies of water, especially the sea. Broadly, cooler areas produce more fragrant, spicy, lighter bodied wines than warmer ones. On that spectrum, McLaren Vale occupies its own special place, reflecting its warm climate, tempered by the cooling influence of St Vincent’s Gulf on its western boundary. The 2014 provides ripe, full drinking, with cherry-like fruit flavour and the Vale’s distinctive savoury tannins.

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ONE-POT CHICKEN WITH SPRING VEGETABLES
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Serves 4

1.5-1.6kg chicken

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp runny honey

1 tsp lemon juice

300g baby new potatoes, scrubbed and any larger ones halved

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

200g baby carrots

300ml hot chicken stock

300ml white wine

100g frozen peas

2 tbsp tarragon leaves

Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the chicken into a large, shallow ovenproof dish or skillet. Drizzle over the olive oil, honey and lemon juice and season. Roast for 30 minutes until lightly golden brown, then add the potatoes, onion, garlic and carrots and toss to coat with the olive oil, honey and lemon in the dish around the chicken,.

Pour the stock and wine over the vegetables, then put the dish back in the oven for a further 45 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through and the vegetables are tender (you might need to cover the chicken with foil if it is getting too brown). Add the peas and cook for a final five minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with tarragon before serving.

APRICOT, PECAN, RAISIN AND CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Makes 20 cookies

100g unsalted butter, softened

100g light soft brown sugar

1 large egg

150g porridge oats

75g self-raising flour, sifted

A pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

50g dried apricots, roughly chopped

50g raisins

25g pecans, roughly chopped

100g dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4 and line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Cream the butter with the sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, then add the egg and beat again. Fold in the remaining ingredients until well incorporated.

Shape the cookie dough into 20 balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, well-spaced apart, and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden but still slightly soft in the middle. Leave to cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Suitable for freezing once baked

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Bush Heritage Australia has forfeited the inheritance of a 350-acre property near Bega and lost numerous donors as they face backlash from a planned kangaroo cull at Scottsdale​ Reserve, south of Canberra.
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Regular supporters of the non-profit organisation have pulled donations following reports of a cull, with one referring to the organisation as “hopeless frauds”.

Bush Heritage aims to “conserve biodiversity” at properties either purchased or donated across Australia.

However, the Australian Society for Kangaroos unveiled a practice of culling which has left supporters feeling lied to.

“I’ve cancelled my donation forever,” one email read, in correspondence with ASK.

“If so-called saviours of the bush can’t do it without this slaughter they shouldn’t be doing it. Hopeless frauds.”

Another person emailed ASK to say they would no longer be leaving their “precious” property to Bush Heritage in their Will.

“Following what seems to be a constant stream of horror stories [including] secretive native animal culling, we have now changed our Wills by omitting any reference to Bush Heritage,” the email reads.

Bill Taylor, of Bywong, said he was a contributor to the non-profit for a number of years, before “pulling the plug” when the organisation didn’t respond to questions about kangaroo culling he raised in reference to their annual report.

In response to the protests, Bush Heritage Australia has cancelled the kangaroo cull, which was approved by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Science and research manager at Bush Heritage Australia, Jim Radford, said kangaroo culls had been undertaken at the Scottsdale Reserve in the past, however the planned cull was called off due to, in part, concerns for public safety.

He said one the main concerns was “unauthorised access onto the site”.

“We didn’t have any direct evidence of that and we weren’t approached directly but we considered there was a risk,” he said.

He said Bush Heritage had a range of ways to manage the kangaroo population, but as a last resort they turned to culling the macropods.

“Under certain circumstances we do need to reduce the pressure applied by an excessive number of kangaroos,” he said.

The Scottsdale Reserve is home to a variety of flora and fauna classed as vulnerable or critically endangered, including the Rosenberg’s monitor and Yellow-box grassy woodland.

Mr Radford said the kangaroo population in the grasslands at Scottsdale Reserve was at more than twice the recommended level for maintaining ecologically sustainable populations.

“I think there is a great misunderstanding out there,” Dr Radford said.

“In some landscapes there are hugely elevate and unsustainable numbers of roos.

“We aim to maintain a healthy, resilient kangaroo population but there comes a point where their a risk to their own welfare from starvation stress. But to be honest our primary concern is the other species that are potentially impacted.”

He said there would not be a kangaroo cull undertaken in the “foreseeable future” at Scottsdale Reserve.

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