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Experience beats youth

ARARAT – Experience triumphed over youth in the opening round of Ararat City Tennis Club’s Wednesday night men’s winter competition.
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The young Healthwise team seemed ready to take charge with its hard-hitting game, but Carey Covers survived to claim victory, 3-35 to 1-31.

Ben Pietsch drove strongly for the winning side and was active at the net, while Healthwise number three, Aaron Searle also impressed with powerful serves and drives.

Two draws were recorded in what turned out to be the closest match of the evening.

Tyrepower and Gasons showed plenty of promise for the season in their match, which was taken out by Tyrepower in a strong team effort, 5-39 to 1-25.

Michael Hope and Simon Barr led strongly, picking up a 7-3 win in the opening set, while Andy Kalluri also had a major impact and Phil Goudie won two of his three sets.

Alex Drosg and Mark Stevens teamed up to give Gasons its only set for the evening, defeating Goudie and Kalluri 8-4.

Eastick Homes had three players missing from its regular team as it suffered a 15-45 defeat at the hands of Retravision.

Rod Vearing did a mighty job to come in and play after a big day of crutching sheep, slipping into the number two spot for Eastick Homes, but Retravision was too strong in all aspects of the game and is now off to a good start for the season.

Results

Carey Covers 3-35 def Healthwise 1-31

R Thomas, B Pietsch def L Preston, T Waring 5-3; C McKenzie, I ruce drew with A Searle, L Bell 6-6; R Thomas, C McKenzie lost to L Preston, A Searle 6-8; B Pietsch, I Bruce def T Waring, L Bell 5-3; R Thomas, I Bruce drew with L Preston, L Bell 6-6; B Pietsch, C McKenzie def T Waring, A Searle 7-5.

Gasons 1-25 lost to Tyrepower 5-39

S Gason, M Haddow lost to M Hope, S Barr 3-7; A Drosg, M Stevens def P Goudie, A Kalluri 8-4; S Gason, A Drosg lost to M Hope, P Goudie 3-6; M Haddow, M Stevens lost to S Barr, A Kalluri 4-5; S Gason, M Stevens lost to M Hope, A Kalluri 4-9; M Haddow, A Drosg lost to S Barr, P Goudie 3-8.

Eastick Homes 0-15 lost to Retravision 5-42

B Harricks, R Vearing drew with M Connellan, J Lloyd 2-2; C Potter, T Pearse lost to M Verdon, W Jerram 1-10; B Harricks, C Potter lost to M Connellan, M Verdon 4-8; R Vearing, T Pearse lost to J Lloyd, W Jerram 3-10; B Harricks, T Pearse lost to M Connellan, W Jerram 3-6; R Vearing, C Potter lost to J Lloyd, M Verdon 2-6.

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Marian students to present tale of love doomed

Phoebe Brady works on the scenery for Marian College�s production of Romeo and Juliet. Picture: PETER PICKERINGARARAT – Drama students from Ararat’s Marian College will bring Shakespeare’s tale of love doomed to the stage next week.
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The students will perform one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Romeo and Juliet, the story of two star crossed lovers.

Two of Verona’s noble families, the Montagues and Capulets are feuding, and Romeo and Juliet, the children of these families, become involved in a passionate and hasty love affair, but are forced to keep their love hidden from their respective families, with tragic consequences.

The cast includes Romeo – Liam Kean, Juliet – Eliza Seres, Nurse – Corey Heard, Lord Capulet – Samuel McColl, Lady Capulet – Ashleigh Moorehouse, Tybalt – Maddalena Linton, Mercutio – Joshua Powell, Benvolio – Douglas Beckitt – Curwen, Lady Montague – Larnie Robson, Lord Montague – Ounie Witherow-Aitken, Friar Lawrence – Christopher Dempsey, Abram – Ounie Witherow-Aitken, Gregory – Courtney Batchelor, Sampson – Channelle Culling, Apothecary – Ounie Witherow-Aitken, Paris – Phoebe Brady, Prince – Emily Simpson, John – Courtney Batchelor.

Romeo and Juliet will be performed at the Marian College Hall next Thursday and Friday, May 17 and 18 at 7pm.

Contact the Marian College office for tickets, phone 5352 3861.

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Ararat Police hit the beat to increase presence

Constables Jason Brown and Kate Lipplegoes chat to Wilma McAdie while on patrol. Picture: PETER PICKERINGARARAT – Ararat Police will be hitting the beat, increasing their presence in the Ararat CBD.
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Acting Senior Sergeant, Rob Weppner said as a result of a community forum it was identified that there was a lack of police presence in and around the CBD and other popular community areas.

Ararat Police will now be seen out and about in the Ararat CBD, the North and South Right of Way, Alexandra Gardens, the Ararat Skate Park, Ararat Railway Station and V/Line trains.

As a result of the feedback Ararat Police have stepped up their presence in around these areas to provide a more visible police presence and to engage with the community, with more units tasked to patrol these areas.

“We want to recreate that friendly image of years past in the town,” Act Sen Sgt Weppner said.

“I believe that foot and other engaging police patrol activity is what our public really value.

“While foot patrol may not reduce crime, it reduces individuals’ fear of crime. Residents see their communities as safer and better places to live and are more satisfied with police services.”

Act Sen Sgt Weppner said he hoped the increased foot patrols will increase the community’s confidence in the service provided by police and the perception of safety.

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Ararat Farmers’ Market postponed to September

ARARAT – The Ararat Farmers’ Market, which was to be reintroduced this week, will now be postponed until September.
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Regional Farmers Markets Pty Ltd will conduct the market with the support of the Ararat Rural City Council, however, the organisers were unable to secure enough stalls this month to make the market viable.

The market will however kick off on September 9 at Elizabeth Park and will aim to have about 35 stalls offering a wonderful range of fresh local produce direct from the farmer/producer.

This will carry on the tradition of farmers markets reconnecting the community to the people who produce their food for their mutual benefit and enjoyment.

As with all their markets, Regional Farmers Markets will maintain their strict criteria for produce which can be sold at the market.

The range of produce available will include, when in season, vegetables, stone and berry fruits, apples, jams, chutneys, puddings, olive oil, honey, breads, free range eggs, meats, cheeses, preserves, pastries, pasta, cakes, relishes, sauces, teas boutique beer and wines, a hot breakfast, coffee and much, much more.

Anyone interested in becoming a stallholder is invited to contact Peter Arnold on 5664 0096 or 0439 364 760. or visit the Regional Farmers’ Market website www.rfm南京夜网.au

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New jail in Ararat hits cash hurdle

It is understood the 358-bed complex being built at Ararat is in financial trouble.VICTORIA’S stressed jails face added pressure with construction of the state’s newest prison falling more than a year behind schedule as the Baillieu government presses ahead with its tough-on-crime agenda.
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Documents obtained by The Saturday Age reveal the 358-bed complex being built at Ararat in western Victoria is in financial trouble, with builders unable to pay contractors this week.

The Saturday Age understands the $400 million project, a public-private partnership, may be more than $100 million short of capital and, without government intervention, in danger of collapse.

The jail, commissioned by the Brumby government in 2010, is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2012.

The project was a Labor response to rising imprisonment rates, an increase that is set to accelerate under Coalition policies to crack down on crime.

Building and maintaining the prison will cost Victorians more than $1.1 billion over 25 years.

A memo to contractors reveals the Aegis consortium, which includes project manager Bilfinger Berger, the Commonwealth Bank and builders St Hilliers and Hawkins, is in negotiations with the government over a rescue strategy for the project, which unions believe will now not be completed until Christmas 2014.

”The complexities around finalising the negotiation of the long-term solution have meant expected payment has been delayed,” the project’s commercial manager, Kelvin North, says in a memo to contractors.

”We have been advised Aegis are in discussion with the banks and the state agencies to urgently address the pending payments.”

Workers on site have told The Saturday Age that a key problem with the project has been the poor management by a joint venture between Sydney-based St Hilliers and New Zealand firm Hawkins.

When contacted yesterday, building industry unions said they were concerned that members would be out of pocket as a result of what they saw as mismanagement of the scheme by its builders and the government.

They confirmed that a major blow to the project was that doors and windows imported from China did not fit.

”Having doors which fit may be considered critical for a prison,” quipped construction union Victorian secretary Bill Oliver.

”The mismanagement stems from ignoring highly professional Victorian suppliers of components to the prison – for instance, glass and doors which have been sourced from China in an attempt to cut costs.”

Electrical Trades Union assistant secretary Troy Gray said the project was at least 18 months behind schedule and at risk.

He said unions had ”rolled their eyes” two years ago when it became clear that a ”second tier” Sydney-based builder, St Hilliers, would play a leading role in the project. ”A second-tier builder doing a major Victorian project is a recipe for disaster.”

A senior government insider last night confirmed the government had been asked to help bail out the scheme. But Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh, the Justice Department, and the main builder, Bilfinger Berger, all refused to comment last night.

The Coalition’s silence is in contrast to its strident condemnation of the beleaguered desalination project at Wonthaggi, another Brumby-era public-private partnership.

The Coalition’s vow to crack down on crime makes new prisons vital.

This week the government confirmed it will build a new $500 million-plus men’s prison at Ravenhall in Melbourne’s west, a plan originally revealed by The Age last year.

But that prison will not be ready until 2017 at the earliest, and Ararat is viewed as a crucial addition to the corrections system.

It is unclear how the government will ensure delivery of the Ararat project if the builders fail to secure the funds to complete it.

But The Saturday Age understands a rival builder, Multiplex, has already been consulted about the possibility of taking over construction.

Last night a senior government source would only acknowledge that a ”contingency” plan was in place.

In June last year, The Age highlighted concerns within the state bureaucracy about the Ararat project’s cost and the fairness of the tendering. ”This project was not value for money for taxpayers,” a government insider said.

Despite the comparatively high cost of the Ararat scheme, the Aegis bid was considerably lower than the losing bid by the Plenary group.

In November 2009, two consortiums, the Aegis and Plenary groups, submitted proposals for the project under the Partnerships Victoria program. Assessment of tenders was overseen by Corrections Victoria within the Justice Department.

Although the department denies it, The Saturday Age believes the initial proposals by both groups cost substantially more than the estimated cost of the project done as a traditional state project.

Confidential documents obtained by The Saturday Age showed the Plenary Group last year sought compensation from the government over unfair treatment and, in particular, late changes to the tendering process. Plenary believed the changes favoured competing bidder Aegis.

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Home builders’ grant: Going, going, gone

On the one hand you have Ararat Rural City Council touting the benefits of living in the Ararat region at the Regional Living Expo in Melbourne, and on the other you have the State Government slashing the First Home Owners’ Bonus, which will possibly prevent families moving to Ararat with the hope of building a new home.
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A buyer who buys their first home is eligible to receive the $7000 First Home Owners Grant to assist with the purchase, which at this stage will continue from July 1.

But it is the slashing of the State Government bonus for those building new homes in regional areas that will be felt the most – new homes built in regional areas will lose the $19,500 new home builders’ bonus, a huge loss in anyone’s books.

With land in new estates in Ararat now coming on the market, this is a huge blow.

It will now be difficult for first home buyers to build, they may instead have to purchase an established home.

This Budget decision will also have a flow on effect to Ararat’s building trade and to the land developers themselves, who have already invested their money and faith in Ararat.

The State Government’s Regional Living Expo was all about promoting regional living, but Ted Baillieu’s budget is all about destroying the great Australian dream

You have until June 30 to receive this bonus, so if you are thinking of building a new home in Ararat and want to take advantage of the grant, you had better get in quick

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Rats to get the job done

WFL – The Ararat Rats learnt the hard way last year not to underestimate the Horsham RSL Diggers and as a result will not be taking the Wimmera Football League’s perennial cellar dweller lightly tomorrow.
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The Diggers upstaged the Rats by eight points in round four in 2011, but Ararat coach Scott Turner is adamant the Rats will not concede defeat this time around.

Turner is confident his charges are in good enough form to get the job done at Alexandra Oval and to pick up the four points.

“We’re playing some good footy in patches but we’ve got to put three to four quarters of footy together, that’s what we’re striving to do,” Turner said.

Although he is not too sure how the Diggers will line up in 2012, Turner is expecting a relatively young side that will try to capitalise on the wide open spaces of Alexandra Oval.

The Rats have a good mix of youth and experience this year and Turner will call on his more experienced players, such as Dale Bligh and assistant coach Mick Fratin, to provide leadership – Particularly in his absence.

Turner is out for the season, if not for good, after dislocating his elbow during the Rats’ 90-point loss to Horsham Demons last weekend. He was taken to hospital during the match and will have his elbow checked out for nerve and ligament damage.

“It’s disappointing, but that’s life and that’s footy,” he said.

“It gives someone else the opportunity to help out.”

Turner said Ararat captain Alan Batchelor (ankle) and Luke Todd (soreness) might be returning from injury against the Diggers and that Jake Harman should also be available after missing the Demons’ clash.

Batchelor plays a key role in the Rats’ midfield, alongside Jake Williamson and Aaron Williams, which will need to be switched on tomorrow to nullify the likes of Diggers’ captain Justin Garth and Tory Chapple.

“We’re once again looking to our onball brigade to win the clearances and get it quickly down to our forward line,” Turner said.

Turner said he was pleased with the form of a number of his players, including Williamson and Brett Dowie, who is beginning to find his feet.

“Also Michael Wood, he’s young and enthusiastic, he’s been playing well and has given us good run off half back,” he said.

Ararat has been showing plenty of promise despite falling short of Minyip Murtoa and WFL powerhouse Horsham Demons in the opening two rounds and by all rights should chalk up its first win of the season tomorrow.

Giving the Rats further impetus to claim victory is the fact the team simply cannot afford to miss out on the four points, with tough rounds against Nhill at Davis Park and arch-rival Stawell to follow.

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Eagles out to continue unbeaten run

Hugh Matheson attempts to smother Jamie Elders kickMDFL – The undefeated Ararat Eagles will face their toughest challenge of the Mininera and District Football League season to date tomorrow when they travel to Hawkesdale to take on Hawkesdale Macarthur.
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Ararat coach Matt Stasse is confident his charges will perform well, but knows they can not underestimate the southern Eagles just because they are yet to win a game.

“They’re a good team, they’re well coached and we’re looking forward to a tough match,” Stasse said.

“I’m pretty confident because we’re playing some good footy. We’re winning in all grades – we haven’t lost a match across all grades of football and we’ve got plenty of depth – so there’s a good feeling around the club.”

Stasse is looking for a consistent, four quarter effort at Hawkesdale and has called on his backline to stand up to nullify the Eagles’ dangerous key forward.

“Brad Sholl is a good footballer and he’s been kicking half of their goals each week, ” Stasse said.

Stasse said he would be looking to players such as Nathan Wemyss and Richard O’Connell to show leadership in defence.

O’Connell will take over the role of centre half back from tough defender Scott Jackson, who will miss a few weeks due to a medial strain in his knee.

Jackson’s absensce will make room for Jarrod Alexander to make his way into the senior side and he will be given a chance to prove himself.

Ararat will also be counting on forwards Justin Coole, BJ Burton and Troy Jenkins to continue their good form.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Stasse said.

“It should be a good game and it will be a good test of where we’re at.”

r r r

The other match of the round will take place between SM&W Rovers and Glenthompson Dunkeld at Mininera.

The Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Moyston Willaura, while the Rams are coming off a 67-point drubbing of Caramut.

The Rams are quick and they are fit, with a good mix of age and experience and will give the Bulldogs a run for their money.

SM&W Rovers would have been disappointed with their showing against the Pumas, especially with their forward line failing to fire.

The Bulldogs will be counting on Lee Marshall, Billie Leskosek and Darren Fletcher to step up this week, along with regular standouts like John Forbes, Tim Cleeland and Hayden McCrow.

The clash could easily go either way, but if the Bulldogs can show what they are capable of they should come away with the four points.

r r r

Moyston Willaura will start favourite in its clash with Wickliffe Lake Bolac after getting the better of SM&W Rovers last week.

The Pumas emerged with a 38-point victory in what began as a relatively close encounter before Moyston Willaura kicked away in the last quarter to win.

The Magpies, on the other hand, fell agonisingly short of Lismore Derrinallum despite a late fight back and will be looking to regroup.

The Magpies’ list suffered heavy casualties in the off season, but all is not lost. Nic Willox, Joe Higgins and coach Brad Keilar are all playing well and Wickliffe Lake Bolac is not far away from its first win for the season.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is unlikely to be that day as the Pumas will be making the most of players like Josh Bywater, Callum Stevens and recruits Trent Fiscalini and Nathan Stapleton.

r r r

Great Western is in for another long day tomorrow when it plays host to ladder leader Tatyoon.

The Lions are still working to find their feet in the new competition – An exercise that will not be made any easier by the rampaging Hawks.

Tatyoon has recorded three extremely convincing wins over Wickliffe Lake Bolac, Lismore Derrinallum and Woorndoo Mortlake in the opening rounds and at the moment is treating the competition like a walk in the park.

With players like Damian Cameron and Aidan Bell on song, plenty of depth in the midfield and a host of forward options, the Lions will have their work cut out for them.

Ben O’Neill, Ben Newson and young ruckman Kyle Salmon have been in good form but a team effort will be required at Great Western Recreation Reserve.

Regardless of the outcome, the Lions should gain valuable experience going head-to-head with the slick Tatyoon outfit.

r r r

The final matches in round four this weekend will see Penshurst defeat Caramut and Lismore Derrinallum make light work of cellar dweller Woorndoo Mortlake at Woorndoo.

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Punters support Willaura Cup

Winners of the footballers and netballers ‘Furlong Dash’, Julia Boatman and Josh BywaterARARAT – More than a thousand punters made their way to NMIT Ararat Park on Sunday for the second running of the TM ‘Murray’ Slattery Willaura Cup.
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Last year’s cup was the first run in more than 50 years and the event has taken off in 2012, which Ararat Turf Club manager, Adam Atchison puts down to the support of residents from Willaura and district.

“We had great support from people from Willaura, Lake Bolac and all around that region. I’d like to thank them all for coming, it was a great day,” he said.

“A lot of the families involved had reunions on the weekend, so it’s great to be able to make this an annual event.”

Atchison said crowds were treated to a quality seven race program.

“It was a good day’s racing, the girls had a bit of a day out with Linda Meech riding a treble and Jacki (Beriman) winning the first race and Nikita (McLean) winning the actual cup,” he said.

McLean stormed home aboard Darwin in the TM ‘Murray’ Slattery Willaura Cup for Bendigo trainer Mark Jackson.

Atchison said the other racing highlight of the day involved people, rather than horses.

The inaugural footballers and netballers ‘Furlong Dash’ was a great success, with runners bursting out of the barriers and racing 200 metres down the home straight.

“It was great, all the footballers were joking before the start and keeping their chances pretty close to their chest. Josh Bywater played down his chances and then came out and blew them all away,” Atchison said.

While seven competitors lined up in the footballers’ dash, there were only two entries in the neballers’ race, which was taken out by Ararat netballer Julia Boatman, who made the semi finals of this year’s women’s gift at Stawell.

“A few of the girls were late scratchings after they heard Julia was running. Georgie (Eastick) didn’t want to run against Julia either but she did, she was a great sport,” Atchison said.

“Next year we might have to handicap Julia, have her run from about 10 metres behind the barrier or something!”

Atchison said the race was a great initiative and that it should be even bigger and better next year.

“We’d like to thank all our sponsors for their support and also the families and community members who got behind this event,” he said.

“I think the Willaura Lions Club raised about $1,600 from running the barbecue, which was great and Grampians Estate and Ararat Bakery did the rest of the catering, so it was good to be able to support local businesses.”

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Rats lose battle with Demons

Kate Bligh was best on court against the Demons.WNA – The Ararat Rats fell short of Horsham Demons in a thrilling A grade encounter at Alexandra Oval on Saturday.
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With the scores level at half time, the Demons pulled away in the last half to win by four goals, 44-40.

Joint coach Olivia West put Ararat’s loss down to errors rather than being outplayed.

“We had a fairly ordinary second half. We were two goals down at three quarter time and they came out and ended up four goals up in the last quarter,” she said.

“I’m not too disappointed with how we played. The last half was just a bit scrappy.”

West said she had identified a number of areas for her charges to work on and that the Rats were looking forward to coming up against the Demons again and hopefully reversing the result.

Kate Bligh was named best on court for the Rats for her efforts in wing attack.

“It was quite a physical match but Kate was strong and held her own,” West said.

West said Tahnee Waterston also stepped up from goal keeper into goal defence, swapping with Rebecca Skrabl after she injured her knee.

The Rats were without Kira Payne on Saturday due to her commitments with Ballarat Pride, but will welcome her back against Horsham RSL Diggers tomorrow.

“Hopefully we’ll bounce back from last week,” West said.

“We’ll go in with confidence, but we’re not taking any team lightly especially in the first round when we’re still getting used to the teams.”

B grade suffered a 40-goal loss to a slick Demons’ outfit, 25-65.

The Rats were outclassed for most of the game but did show glimpses of great play. Frank Butler (Norma Jeans) was named best on court for her strong defensive game.

Inaccuracy hurt Ararat’s goalies, and although the centre court players worked well, poor passing caused a number of turnovers.

The 17 and unders recorded a nailbiting one-goal victory, 41-40 in a high standard match.

Ararat was down by four goals heading into the last quarter but fought back to win.

The Rats’ attackers were cool under pressure, only missing five goals for the entire game. Goalies Mary Butler (Fish on Barkly) and Kira Stapleton (Ararat Bakery) were well supported by Brooke Williamson in wing attack, while Tiffany Boatman (Ararat Bakery) used her vertical jump to perfection.

Ararat’s 15 and under A contingent ran away with an eight-goal win, 44-36.

The Demons pushed the Rats all the way, getting within five goals in the last quarter before Ararat regrouped and pulled ahead.

Goal defender Justine May (coaches award) proved difficult for the Horsham goalies to get past, while Jacquie Scott (Subway) combined well with Georgia Fleming and Lucy Mills in the midcourt to move the ball cleanly into the ring. Lauren McCarthy (Ararat Bakery) stood tall and was accurate in goals.

Ararat’s 15 and under B division took to the court for the first time, coming away with an eight-goal victory, 29-21 in a strong team effort.

The Rats fought hard all day, with Alex Antonio running tirelessly up and down the court, providing plenty of drive, and Emily Borelli standing out wherever she was placed on the court.

Ararat’s 13 and unders met a strong Demons’ contingent, although the Rats served it up to them until half time.

The Rats began to tire in the second half, allowing Horsham to get on top and eventually claim the win, 26-16.

Alison Lewis shot extremely well and Chelsea Wilson also impressed with a number of intercepts.

First gamer Larni Cain defended well and rebounded throughout the match.

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