Rats look back: 2005

Richard Tucker was Ararat’s leading goal kicker in season 2005. Tucker’s presence in the Rats forward line was one of the few positives in what was a tough year for the senior team. David Law joined the Ararat Rats as senior coach from the Victorian Amateur Football Association in 2005. Law put a high emphasis on giving the club�s junior talent a taste of senior football throughout the season.
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ARARAT – In the lead up to the announcement of the Ararat Football Club’s Team of the Decade The Ararat Advertiser continues its look at the period between 2001-2010.

It was a tough first year for Ararat’s new senior coach David Law in 2005, after he joined the club following a stint coaching the strong St Bernard’s under-19 side in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

Having had experience developing juniors during his coaching career, Law gave plenty of the Rats’ up and coming talent a taste of senior football in the Wimmera.

Ben Cashin, Shane Clarke, Mark Dadswell, Jake Harman and Matt Smith all made their debut during the season, while Alan Batchelor, Jarrod Searle and Tom Foster continued to make a name for themselves in the red and white.

Matt Jackson was one of the most experienced players in the team and was awarded the responsibility to captain the young Ararat outfit.

Despite a few close matches the Rats had to wait until round 12 for their first win of the season, where they upset top-five team Stawell by 23 points.

Ararat was on the end of some massive losses for much of the season and although it was able to upset the Warrack Eagles in the final round of the home and away season to claim a second victory for the year, the team was handed the unenviable title of wooden spooners.

Jackson was a blotter in the Rats’ senior best and fairest count, defeating runner-up Craig Cooper by 21 votes.

Richard Tucker topped the club’s goal-kicking tally with 28 goals from the 14 matches he played, which included a bag of eight against Minyip-Murtoa in round five.

There were some good signs for Law in the latter half of the season that suggested the Rats could be on the improve in 2006 with a big off season ahead.

The Ararat Football Club is holding a function at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, June 9 where it will announce the Team of the Decade. Tickets will need to be purchased prior to the night. For further information contact Murray Jensen on 0422 608 458.

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Community spirit will help Ararat survive prison crisis

“It’s not all doom and gloom,” ‘Nats’ McRoberts said.ARARAT – While the immediate flow on effect of the liquidation of St Hilliers Ararat, part of the consortium contracted to build the Hopkins Correctional Centre, will cause problems in the region, one local who worked for St Hilliers and has now lost his job believes most businesses will survive.
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While acknowledging that many people were owed money, ‘Nats’ McRoberts, who was one of the last 12 to lose their jobs at St Hilliers, informed of the news on Thursday morning, said that it wasn’t all bad news.

“Most people will survive and most businesses will survive, the community spirit here is pretty good, it was pretty good prior to them (prison project) coming, this (job) is the just the cream on the top for a lot of people,” Mr McRoberts said

“It’s not all doom and gloom.”

Mr McRobert said people had been quick to play the blame game.

“A lot of people seem to be pointing the finger at the unions which is not the case. Obviously it’s now there in black and white (in the newspapers) what has happened,” he said.

Mr McRoberts said a meeting was held in the week prior to the site closure with all union representatives.

“Every person who attended that meeting was guaranteed that their jobs were secure when the site opens back up again,” Mr McRoberts said.

“If they gain employment elsewhere, it’s all well and good, but they’ve got first option when it gets up again.

“There isn’t a lot of work locally at the moment trade wise, this is probably a good opportunity, while it was running, and when it does get going again, for blokes that are struggling for work that do have a trade to have something in concrete for 18 months or for however long it takes.”

A concretor by trade, Mr McRoberts said the opportunity to work on the prison project enabled him to work in his home town, after living and working away from Ararat and his family for some time.

“It was fantastic out there, for me, after being based in Melbourne and living away from home, and this was something at my back door and I grabbed it with both hands.

“We can all jump in the car and pack up and drive 4000km to Western Australia and earn the same sort of money, but it’s here in our back yard, so while it’s here and my family’s here I’m more than happy to be a part of what’s going on out there.”

However, Mr McRoberts is disappointed at the rumours which abound regarding the work site.

“It really got on my goat when something was twittered into the prison how there were blokes on a Saturday morning on $70 a hour standing up the main street drinking beer and having a barbecue at the Lions Club (Lions Club Saturday morning barbecue in Barkly Street),” he said

“Yes that did happen, but there was definitely no beer.

“With the barbecue, we used to have a barbecue at work on Saturday, well instead of doing this, we said ‘Why don’t we all go up to the Lions Club and support them’, so that was a decision made by us to go up there and support the Lions Club and try and put money back into the community.

“We thought we were doing the right thing but we got shot down for it, a few people got upset out at work, and I thought it was worth noting, because people don’t really understand how it works out there.”

Mr McRoberts said he wanted to clear up the rumours on behalf of the workers, because they had all contributed to the community since the prison construction began.

“It’s a good band of blokes that work out there and they are very generous, especially if they are living in the community or they aren’t based here but they’re living here while working here, there’s no shortage of hands going into pockets to contribute to whatever may come up.”

Some of these causes included fund raising for cancer sufferers Alana Jenkins and Jordan O’Riley, the Royal Children’s Hospital as well as sponsorship of sporting groups.

“I know everyone seems to look at the negatives but a fair few positives come out of the place, number one, a fair bit of employment that has been created for locals.

“I don’t think any trade out there could be faulted for their work, that side of things had been working fine.”

Mr McRoberts said 95 percent of the St Hilliers’ crew were locals.

Of the total workforce of 400 who have lost their jobs, Mr McRoberts believes around 200 hail from the Ararat, Stawell, Ballarat, Horsham and Bendigo areas, with 60 to 70 from the Ararat and Stawell area.

He acknowledged there will be a flow on effect to the whole town because of the amount of money owed to some of the contractors.

Many will look for employment elsewhere.

“They may have to, but most people will find their feet. There is always someone worse off than yourself, but you generally find your feet again, it’s not the be all to end all,” he said.

“We’ll be right I think.”

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Opposition slams Baillieu government over DPI closure

Ararat Rural City Council representatives Neil Manning, Cr Ian Wilson and Clyde Humphries meet with Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews (second from right) at the DPI offi ce, which is to close.ARARAT – Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews has slammed the state government’s decision to close the Ararat office of the Department of Primary Industries.
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Mr Andrews visited Ararat on Thursday to be briefed by members of Ararat Rural City Council and local business leaders about the effect the Baillieu Government’s decision would have on the local community.

The Opposition leader said despite the government offering to ‘relocate’ staff members to offices in Horsham or Hamilton, the closure is effectively forcing 12 people out of work.

“This office employs 12 people and they are not just workers in this community, they are part of the community,” he said.

“They are involved, they are the lifeblood of this community and this government, despite its claims that its cutbacks wouldn’t effect frontline services, this DPI office and six others are being closed.

“These jobs are being lost to this town, they will have to go to Hamilton or Horsham, they won’t be here spending their money in this community and making a contribution in this local town.

“That is not good for the community, it is a break of trust and we are here today to put as much pressure as we can on Mr Baillieu to urge him to reconsider his decision to rip these jobs out of this town.”

The Victorian Government has confirmed offices will also close in Birchip, Camperdown, Cobram, Kyneton, Ouyen and St Arnaud, while DPI staff based in Department of Sustainability and Environment offices in Alexandra, Broadford, Corryong, Edenhope, Heyfield, Mansfield, Orbost, Seymour, Swifts Creek, Traralgon and Wangaratta will be relocated to consolidated offices.

Some staff from Bairnsdale, Benalla, Geelong and Wodonga will also be relocated.

Mr Andrews refuted claims that closing offices and merging DPI departments would increase food production, economic activity, employment or growth in the state.

He said the agriculture industry in the Ararat region is expected to suffer most from the decision.

“It is no good taking away (these type of services), this community needs additional support,” Mr Andrews said.

“We have had 12 years of drought, fires, flood, all sorts of other challenges, things are not easy in regional Victoria.

“Rather than taking away, Mr Baillieu should be doing more for the good people of this community and regional communities right across the state.”

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Quality tennis on show

ARARAT – There were plenty of even sets and high quality tennis on show in last week’s Ararat City Tennis Club’s Wednesday night men’s winter competition.
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Carey Covers and Gasons went head-to-head in a tight battle, which saw the result determined by the final two sets of the night.

Carey Covers got the jump on its opposition in the opening sets, with Norm Woodhams and Ben Pietsch combining well.

Gason then squared the ledger by winning the next two sets, as Sam Gason and Matt Haddow started to hit their straps.

In the end Carey Covers proved the better team, claiming victory 4-29 to 2-25, with a strong performance in the closing two sets.

Mitre 10 enjoyed a solid win over Debbie Robb’s Hairdressing, although the side was challenged for much of the match.

Mitre 10’s Al Willis and Michael Hope faced Debbie Robb’s Rick Thomas and Ross McGregor in a tough opening set.

Strong serving by all players saw no breaks of serve and a seven-all tie.

Three of the next four sets went Mitre 10’s way, however Debbie Robb’s Hairdressing show plenty of winning potential.

Healthwise were unable to record a set victory in its clash with Eastick Homes, who went on to win the match 4-41 to 0-32.

It was a great night for Keenan Hurst and Brad Harricks, who showed off a combination of powerful ground strokes and clever ball placement.


Eastick Homes 4-41 def Healthwise 0-32

B Harricks, W Gason drew with L Preston, A Mann 7-7; D Rowe, K Hurst def T Warring, S Bohner 7-5; B Harricks, W Gason def L Preston, T Waring 7-6; D Rowe, K Hurst def A Mann, S Bohner 7-5; B Harricks, K Hurst def L Preston, S Bohner 8-4; W Gason, D Rowe drew with A Mann, T Waring 5-5.

Carey Covers 4-29 def Gasons 2-25

N Woodhams, B Pietsch def S Gason, M Haddow 8-4; M Verdon, P Forster def A Drosg, G Hurst 5-2; N Woodhams, M Verdon lost to S Gason, A Drosg 4-6; B Pietsch, P Forster lost to M Haddow, G Hurst 2-5; N Woodhams, P Forster def S Gason, G Hurst 6-5; B Pietsch, M Verdon def M Haddow, A Drosg 4-3.

Mitre 10 3-38 def Debbie Robb’s Hairdressing

A Willis, M Hope drew with R Thomas, R McGregor 7-7; J Lloyd, B Doery def A Cooper, D Holstron 9-3; A Willis, J Lloyd lost to R Thomas, A Cooper 5-7; M Hope, B Doery drew with R McGregor, D Holston 5-5; A Willis, B Doery def R Thomas, D Holstron 5-3; M Hope, J Lloyd def R McGregor, A Cooper 7-5.

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First tour a success

Chalambar Golf President Frank Vernon (left) and sponsor Ash Heard (right) congratulate men�s stableford winner Taine Pearse and men�s stroke winner Michael Harricks on their success in the inaugural Grampians Golf Tour.Picture: PETER PICKERING.REGION – One hundred and fifty rounds of golf were played on four courses over six days during the inaugural Grampians Golf Tour.
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The tour took place at Chalambar, Stawell, Hamilton and Horsham golf clubs over two weekends.

Visitors travelled from Darwin, Adelaide and Melbourne to participate in the tour, which also attracted golfers from the local region.

Golfers had the option of playing three or four courses, taking their best three scores.

Chalambar Golf Club manager, Tim Cronin said the organisers were pleased with the outcome.

“We’re really happy with the presentation of the tournament, which is what this first year was all about,”

“We’ve had some really good feedback from golfers and we’ll take that on board for next year.”

Cronin said now the clubs had established the foundation they would look at changes to next year’s format.

He said next year’s tour would most likely be held in February and that other variations on this year’s event would be discussed at an upcoming meeting.

Cronin said sponsorship for this year’s event was fantastic and that it received support from the councils involved along with Grampians Tourism.

The winners received a $1,200 voucher to use on a golf tour while the runners up received $600.

Chalambar Golf Club champion, Michael Harricks won the men’s stroke category with a nett score of 217, with Michael Watkins earning runner up honours with a nett score of 224.

Young gun Taine Pearse won the men’s stableford on 106 points ahead of Des Pickford on 105, while Ashley Mann (105) claimed victory in the ladies’ stableford over Anne Glenwright (98 points).

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