Monthly Archives: February 2019

Man, 24, dies after snake bite in backyard

Tragic passing: The 24-year-old was rushed to Tamworth hospital on Wednesday night but died a short time later.A TAMWORTH man has died in hospital after being bitten by a what is believed to be a brown snake.
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The 24-year-old passed away in Tamworth hospital late on Wednesday night, despite the frantic efforts of emergency staff to save him.

It is understoodthe man was bitten by the snake in the backyard of a Cole Rd home in West Tamworth, shortly before 10pmas he tried to move the snake away from a family pet.

He was rushed to Tamworth hospital by family, but passed away within an hour of the bite.

The shock passingwill now be referred to the coroner, who will rule on the official cause of death.

On Thursday, Tamworth police were unable to comment on the matter but said a report was being prepared for the coroner.

A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health declined to comment on any admission and said it was a police matter.

The death of the man has shocked the local community, as well as friends and colleagues, and cameas the New England North West swelteredthrough another day of temperatures above 35 degrees.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick, one of the group’s reptile handlers, said he was very saddened to hear of the young man’s death in Tamworth.

Deadly: The Easter brown snake. File photo

The local branch had had about 20 call-outs to snake sightings this warm season.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrickThe Leader.

Mr McGoldrick said Eastern brown snakes were the most frequently sighted, but red-bellied black snakes and yellow-faced whip snakes were also pretty common.

He said if someone came across a snake, they should stand still until it moves away, call WIRES on 1300 094 737 and, if possible, keep an eye on it.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick

“Snakes aren’t out to get us, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about snakes,”he said.

“They aren’t an aggressive animal, they’re just defensive.”

Mr McGoldrick said that, in the event of a bite, it was important to stay calm, use a compression bandage, stay still and call Triple-0.

It’s believed there havebeen fewer than 40 deaths from snake bitesin Australia since 2000, with the brown snake considered to be one of the deadliest in the country.

Northern Daily Leader

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Foreign buyers dropping out of property race, data shows

Soaring demand from foreign buyers of local property has dropped significantly in recent months as both Australian and Chinese policy-makers bear down on investor appetite.
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Foreign buyers will account for 18.1 per cent of residential sales in NSW in the three months to March 2018, down from 23.6 per cent in the same period a year ago, the latest ANZ and Property Council quarterly research found.

In Melbourne, foreign buyers are expected to cover 21 per cent of residential property purchases in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 25.2 per cent a year ago, according to the report. Queensland, meanwhile, saw a sharp fall to 13.8 per cent from 20.4 per cent in the same period last year.

Chinese buyers accounted for as much 87 per cent of foreign property investment in NSW between January and June 2017, according to Credit Suisse research, dwarfing activity from buyers originating from any other country.

“The share of property being sold to foreign buyers does look like it has dropped off, especially in the last couple of months,” ANZ senior economist Daniel Gradwell said.

“You can probably attribute that to the stamp duty surcharges across places like NSW and Victoria and additional tightening to regulation and the availability of funding.”

Recent policy changes in NSW now see foreign investors charged 8 per cent of the purchase price in stamp duty, double the previous level, among other changes, while Victoria has introduced a vacancy tax on empty properties.

Chinese policy-makers have also continued to tighten the rules on offshore investing, further dampening demand.

“It’s taken a while for the tighter capital controls in China to flow through but I think we’re starting to see the impact of that now and, combined with the domestic policies, it is starting to squeeze some of that demand out of the market,” Mr Gradwell said.

But experts say the drop in foreign purchases is coming off such a high base that there’s no immediate danger of a substantial shift in market dynamics.

“[Foreign buyers] are still sitting at around 20 per cent of new homes, so still a pretty significant player in the market,” Mr Gradwell added.

“It’s not like they’re falling off a cliff – there’s definitely still demand out there from foreign buyers and, equally, still demand to lend to them from within Australia.”

Weakening demand from Chinese investors is indeed slipping from all-time highs, according to international Chinese property platform Juwai, but the decline is to be expected.

“It seems that many observers think it’s either historic highs or historic lows, but in fact we believe it’s going to be somewhere in between,” senior spokesman Dave Platter told Domain.

“We’ve seen strong inquiries throughout the year ??? lower than 2016, but that’s to be expected because that was the highest year ever recorded – particularly the second half of the year.”

Other states also saw falling foreign demand in the residential space, but less severe in most cases than NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Foreign buyers accounted for 11.6 per cent of new homes in South Australia, down from 15.6 per cent in the March quarter of 2017, while Western Australia posted 9.1 per cent of purchases as being from foreign buyers, down from 11.4 per cent in the same period last year.

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Fifth seed top ranked player in Canberra Challenger semis

The Canberra Challenger Nicolas Jarry Vs Maxime Janvier 2018 8th of January. Maxime Janvier in action. Photo: Dion GeorgopoulosCanberra Challenger fifth seed V??ctor Estrella Burgos is the unlikely highest ranked player heading into the semi-finals after a day of upsets at the Lyneham Tennis Centre on Thursday.
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The 37-year-old from the Dominican Republic progressed after taking down former world No. 18 Florian Mayer in the a battle of the veterans on centre court.

Burgos edged out the 34-year-old in a first set tiebreak before the Mayer blitzed the second set without dropping a game but the German dropped the deciding set 6-3 to crash out of the tournament.

The task doesn’t get any easier for Burgos who now faces seventh seed and former world No. 23 Andreas Seppi in the final four on Friday.

Seppi dispatched third seed Guillermo Garc??a-L??pez in straight sets 6-3 6-4 as the Spaniard struggled to deal with the clinical power of the Italian giant-slayer.

Seppi is once again taking red-hot form into the Australian Open where he has claimed the scalps of Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios in the past three years.

In the other quarterfinal matches it was sixth seed Marton Fucsovics who ended the dream run of French young gun Hugo Grenier with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 win.

The Hungarian will battle Frenchman Maxime Janvier for a spot in the final after his impressive campaign continued with a win over countryman Elliot Benchetrit 6-4 6-2.

In the doubles number one seed Hans Podlipnik-Castillo and Andrei Vasilevski progressed to the final after ousting Geoffrey Blancaneaux and Benchetrit 7-6 6-3.

They’ll face either Zhe Li and Yosuke Watanuki or Jonathan Erlich and Divij Sharan for a place in the decider.


Friday: Play begins 11am at Lyneham National Tennis Centre. Free entry.

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Hayes plan has Nomothaj peaking for Magic Millions

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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David Hayes knows history is against him but he also knows what he has got in Snitzel filly Nomothaj heading into Saturday’s Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast.

The winner of the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes at her only start in October, Nomothaj arrives at the Magic Millions having beaten favourite Sunlight, and is on the fresh side by design.

“No horse has won it first-up but not many have tried,” Hayes said. “Once we won that race at Flemington, it was the plan to be here for her next start.

“We have designed her program to make sure she can go on into the autumn because she is a high-quality filly that is only going to get better and might step out in trip a bit.

“She tried to throw it away at Flemington by stargazing when she hit the front and we knew she would be better with blinkers, so we had those up our sleeve for the Magic Millions.”

Hayes kept Nomothaj in work at Euroa before completing her Magic Millions preparation at his Randwick stable.

“We took her to Sydney and gave her her first trial without the blinkers just to get her ready for a race simulation in her second trial,” Hayes said.

“When we put the blinkers on her the other day, she just raced away from them. It was as good as having a run and exactly what we thought would happen.”

While Sunlight is the $4 favourite at Ladbrokes, Nomothaj is a $10 chance, even though she had 1-1/4 lengths to spare on her at Flemington.

“I can’t believe the price. I think we should be much closer in the betting to Sunlight. She deserved to be favourite on what she has done since but I think they are forgetting we beat her,” Hayes said.

Meanwhile, Ballarat trainer Matt Cumani is waiting for Anthemoessa to arrive on the Gold Coast for Saturday’s Magic Millions Classic after being bumped off planes from Melbourne for the past couple of days.

“We have been told she will get here on Thursday night with a couple of other horses. It is not ideal,” Cumani said.

Anthemoessa has to be within 200km of the Gold Coast track by noon on Friday or she will be scratched by stewards.

The Magic Millions Classic field were inspected by Racing Queensland vets on Thursday, with Quackerjack and first emergency Paquirri facing a second inspection to prove their fitness on Friday.

Magic Millions Guineas favourite Pierata also will be inspected on Friday after being judged to be short in his action by vets on Thursday. The Greg Hickman-trained three-year-old is a $2.60 favourite and is racing for $500,000 on top of the $1.2 million first prize on Saturday.

“He is ready to go but vets didn’t like something,” Hickman said. “I was a bit nervous because you don’t race for that sort of money every day and this has just made it worse.”

Meanwhile, American Jon Kelly paid a sale-topping $2 million for an I Am Invincible colt out of the Morphettville Guineas winner Tai Tai Tess on Friday, which he described as the standout of the sales.

“It was an easy choice but I didn’t want to pay that much – we were on budget at one point,” Kelly said. “It’s delightful to see a horse with everything, he has a real presence.”

The ultimate racing form guide with free tips, live odds and alerts for all racing.

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Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

All United Nations members have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, but due to partisan politics, bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
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By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.Not to mention the compounding effect of global warming through changing rainfall patterns and glaciers drying up, as in Bolivia.

Here at home, we have our own water problems with states unable to agree nor uphold agreements in place for the great Murray Darling Basin water system. Some of the ingenious solutions to bring clean water to the world at affordable prices are worth your support.

The Australian NFP Skyjuice Foundation’s SkyHydrant uses low maintenance, long life ultrafiltration technology to provide safe clean water for less than $1 per person per year.The South African “Hippo Water Roller Project” established in 1994 has delivered 50,000 Hippo Water Rollers across 20 countries. The Hippo Water Roller, developed in response to the unique needs of rural women and children across Africa forced to carry water, usually on their heads, to their homes, carries 90 litres of water inside a rolling wheel which is pushed or pulled with its handle. Another magical invention that makes pure water from the water vapour in the air is the WaterSeer of Vici Labs, worth a story in itself.

Have a family picnic at Grahamstown Dam or Chichester Dam, and read “When The Rivers Run Dry Water: The Defining Crisis of the Twenty First Century” by Fred Pearce, written in 2006.

Professor Tim Roberts, Director Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle. Continue reading

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