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Early bird tickets for Gypsy

Rhys Sheffield and Marni Stacpoole get into character. Indigo Whiting, as Baby Louise, and Emma McCready in a scene from Gypsy. The production features a large cast of children, teenagers and adults
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Rachel McCready rehearses her dance number for her role as Baby June in Ararat Musical Comedy Society�s production of Gypsy. Pictures: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT – Early bird tickets are now available for Ararat Musical Comedy Society’s production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable, but get in quick, because the early bird offer closes next Thursday.

A cast of 30 are busy rehearsing for the production which opens on Friday June 22 at the Ararat Performing Arts Centre.

In her debut as director, Suellen Blackie is encouraging Ararat audiences to get behind the hardworking cast and crew and head along to enjoy yet another fantastic production from the Society.

“Gypsy is a wonderful show that all the family will enjoy,” she said.

“We have a cast of children, teenagers and adults who have all been rehearsing hard over the past few months to ensure our audiences will once again enjoy a quality show.”

Gypsy follows the dreams and efforts of Rose (played by Leanne McCready), who raises her two daughters (Rachel McCready and Indigo Whiting, as the young girls and Maddie Dalgleish and Tamara Brand, as the older girls) to perform on stage.

Rose is the quintessential ‘stage mother’ and the story casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.

The musical contains many songs that became popular standards, including Small World, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Some People, Let Me Entertain You and Where Ever We Go, What Ever We do.

Gypsy will be staged on June 22, 23 (8pm), 24 (2pm), 29 and 30 (8pm).

Early bird tickets for May are adult $23, concession/child $20. In June tickets will be full priced at adult $25 and concession/child $22.

Book at the venue on 5352 2181 or go to www.trybooking南京夜网

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Evans Park needed

Evans Park project director Bill Clydesdale and developer Paul Thompson on site.ARARAT – The $7 million housing subdivision Evans Park is progressing well, with the developers expecting to release titles later this year.
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Evans Park is situated on the western outskirts of Ararat, with stage one of the three stage subdivision expected to have 34 housing titles, varying in size from 350 square metres to 800 m2, with the average block around 700m2. Prices will start from $63,500.

Currently services such as storm water, gas and electricity are being installed, which will be a priority over the next few weeks, followed by the road building process and landscaping.

Project manager Bill Clydesdale said it was hoped to finalise this work by mid August.

“This means that the construction’s complete, compliance is achieved through council, and from there obviously we hope to have titles available after a six to eight period after that,” Mr Clydesdale said.

“Things are progressing well.

“The project is utilising mainly local content and that’s been a real positive for the construction industry in Ararat and we wear that with a badge of honour as it’s been good for those guys.”

Mr Clydesdale said the marketing of the project had been on hold until these works were completed and potential buyers could see the layout of the development.

Evans Park will be flanked by natural reserve, which developer Paul Thompson said was a positive aspect of the project.

“The reserve will also flank stages two and three,” he said.

A wetland area will also be part of stage one.

“It has a function for retaining storm water from the development but the idea is to create a environment where frogs and the like can exist and filtrate the water. It’s actually a strong feature of the development when it comes to the aesthetics of the development,” Mr Clydesdale said.

“We’ve had environmental consultants assist us to put the correct plantings in there that encourages the natural eco system to exist there and that’s been a strong positive for the development.”

Mr Thompson said much of the planning is for the entire development over several years, with up to 700 trees to be planted.

For every tree that is cut down the developer needs to offset it with a number of new plantings.

“All the offset arrangements will be complied with,” Mr Thompson said.

“The tree plantings have taken place in the nature reserve – not off site, but as part of development.”

While the project is currently set out in three stages, there is the potential to break it down into smaller stages depending on demand.

A parcel of land, fronting the Western Highway and also part of the project, remains set aside for future development of a motel.

The project has been in the pipeline for close to nine years and Mr Thompson is excited about what it will bring to Ararat.

“This is a project that hasn’t happened in Ararat for a long time,” he said

“It’s fantastic, it will be a great place to live, for the betterment of residents of Ararat and to a nice high standard, allowing eight to 10 acres of public reserves, which will have walkways, bicycle tracks and public space.

“So as time goes on, from stage one to stage two, all that will be developed into a great family environment.”

Despite the Hopkins Correctional Centre expansion currently on hold after St Hilliers Ararat, a member of the consortium contracted to carry out the project, going into liquidation, Mr Clydesdale is still confident that a housing development is needed.

He believes the underlying demand for further housing can sustain the project but appreciates the effect the extra families moving to the Ararat area will eventually have on that demand.

Mr Clydesdale said the government is still committed to the prison and it will be completed and operational in the near future, so it still remains that there will be a potential influx of up to 100 families moving to Ararat.

He also said the talk around town about the project is still positive.

“If you go and talk to builders and the like, they’re continually saying to us that there is no suitable land available so there is quite a need for this sort of product,” he said.

“Ararat hasn’t seen a project like this before. In total it’s probably a seven million dollar development, it’s quite a large undertaking for the Ararat market, so it’s a big thing for the town, with 70 lots coming onto the market in one planned estate.

“It doesn’t happen often, so I think that’s positive.”

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All aboard for the first Ararat Heritage Festival

The inaugural Ararat Heritage Festival will be held this weekend, and Ararat’s museums have jumped aboard with the theme of ‘Ararat and the railways’. Preparing for the Heritage Festival are Ian Batty from the Ararat Genealogical Society, Bob Saunder, J Ward, Noel Grigg, Ararat Railway Heritage Museum and Trevor Gallahar, Langi Morgala Museum.ARARAT – Heritage attractions and groups will be opening their doors and inviting residents and visitors to enjoy their railway themed exhibits and events in a celebration this weekend.
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A wide range of events and activities will take place in museums, parks and heritage sites across the town, with activities on offer both tomorrow and Sunday to celebrate Ararat’s inaugural Heritage Festival.

The theme for the Heritage Festival is Ararat and the Railways, to highlight and explore the importance of the railway to the development of Ararat and to the lives of the people who lived here. The Ararat Genealogical Society will be running their ever popular cemetery walk, this time with a railway theme, on Saturday afternoon (see story below). A new exhibition, Rail Tales, Stories from the Ararat Railways, allows visitors to find out more about specific events and stories peculiar to Ararat and to the lives of the generations of Ararat railway workers.

Ararat’s heritage attractions including, J Ward, Langi Morgala Museum and the Ararat Railway Heritage Museum will conduct tours and hold exhibits all weekend with a railway theme, so a comprehensive picture of the influence of the railways to the town will be clearly evident.

As part of the family fun, the Grampians Vintage Vehicle Club and the local Vintage Engine group will hold displays on Elizabeth Park on Sunday from 10am – 3pm.

On Saturday night J Ward will conduct a night tour for brave souls!

For more details of the Ararat Heritage Festival, including listings and ticketing information, please visit or call the Ararat and Grampians Visitor Information Centre on 1800 657 158, or pick up a leaflet in your local museum.

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Guts earns Rats glory over rivals

Tom Cairns slipped this through for a goalWFL – The Ararat Rats’ gutsy win over arch rival Stawell has it knocking on the door of the Wimmera Football League’s top five.
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The Rats steadied and held off a late challenge in the dying minutes of Sunday’s battle to win by nine points, 15.9 (99) to 14.6 (90), in front of a large crowd at Alexandra Oval.

On two occasions in the final quarter the Warriors got within three points of the home side, however Ararat continued to rally, with young forward Zac Louder sealing the match with his fourth goal at the 26-minute mark.

The stirring win was even more impressive given the Rats were without Aaron Searle for most of the match, after the key forward was stretchered from the field with a knee injury late in the first quarter.

Coach Scott Turner said Searle looked set to continue his red hot form for another week before injury struck.

“He is a big loss for us and hopefully he won’t be out for too long,” he said.

“Obviously he has been in good form and he started off well today and kicked that goal early.”

Louder and Searle got the ball rolling for the Rats with two quick goals in the opening 10 minutes of the first quarter, which was played with high intensity.

Stawell then began to run the ball through the middle and hit back with two consecutive goals.

It was a free flowing quarter, with both sides moving the ball from end to end with pace.

Brendon Lovell and Luke Todd saw plenty of the action and created scoring opportunities with their penetrating kicks.

The Rats took an eight point lead into the first change, however Turner said the second half of the quarter was lacklustre from his team.

“The first 10 minutes the intensity was there, but I think Stawell responded well to that and had some good running players which were a bit unknown to us going in, so we probably didn’t give them that respect and accountability,” he said.

That intensity was lacking for much of the second quarter also and Ararat was doing just enough to match it with the Warriors.

Acting skipper Brad Harricks found himself further up the ground in a match up with Warriors’ forward Scott Nicholson and did well to continually force the ball forward, while in defence Nick Maddison was imposing as he ran and peeled off his opponents.

“‘Billy’ Maddison just controls the ball down in the backline for us and directs traffic. His experience is very valuable,” Turner said.

Despite having more inside-50s, the Rats were outscored by Stawell, which prompted Turner to demand his midfielders and defenders play tighter football.

“After halftime they got a bit of a spray and our accountability improved heaps after that,” he said.

“I said to the guys if they play accountable footy and know where their opponent is when they’ve got it, we can cause turnovers and when that happens we can get the ball and go forward.”

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Lovell added to Ararat’s five-point halftime lead with a goal in the opening seconds of the third quarter, while Jake Robinson moved into the centre and had an immediate influence.

The Rats’ pressure on their opponent was much higher in the second half of the match and as a result they were able to follow the coach’s instructions and create more turnovers, which kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Brett Dowie was moved to the forward line to fill the void left by Searle and slotted two handy goals, while Mick Fratin also bagged a double.

Stawell was disciplined and continued to respond whenever the Rats looked like breaking away, even hitting the lead at one stage during the third term, however Ararat showed its character to wrestle the lead back by three quarter time and didn’t allow the Warriors to get their noses in front for the remainder of the game.

“After halftime our footy was much better and we played more to our game style which suits us down here on our home ground,” Turner said.

“We got the ball inside-50 30 times, so the more opportunities you get going inside-50 the more chance you have to score goals.”

Turner said Jake Harman’s shutdown role on big man James Delahunty earned him best on ground honours, while Lovell, Todd and Robinson were also in the Rats’ top six.

The coach is now looking forward to a weekend off (due to interleague), which will hopefully give a few injured stars an extra week to recover.

“The break has come at a good time because the injuries are sort of taking a toll, but having said that we have numbers coming through (in the reserves) putting pressure on,” he said.

“This makes it three wins in a row now and it was probably better opposition today than the last couple of weeks, so we are definitely playing good footy in patches.

“Three good wins and we are now knocking on the door of the top five.”

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Lions pride: Great Western wins

MDFL – Great Western made a triumphant return to the winner’s list following a one point victory over Woorndoo Mortlake in the Mininera District Football League.
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The nailbiting victory was the club’s first in the MDFL and its first in senior football since August 2010.

Great Western Football and Netball Club secretary Danny Hoare was thrilled with his club’s maiden win in its new league.

“It was probably the best game for the year by both teams,” he said.

The Lions trailed the Tigers at every change.

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Great Western dug deep however in the last term and managed to hit the front. Woorndoo Mortlake regained the lead with three minutes to go, but a last-gasp goal was enough for the Lions to snare a one-point win, 12.10 (82) to 11.15 (81).

Lachie Green was again a stand out, providing a hard body at the contest and was named best on field.

Shannon Notting booted four goals and Tim Shalders contributed three with Rayne Salmon and Sam Cocks also looking impressive in the Lions’ win.

Hoare praised the effort of Great Western youngster Nic McCartney.

“He just played good footy onball and got the hard ball gets,” Mr Hoare said.

A great crowd stayed following the match and Hoare said it was great to sing the Lions club song for the first time this season.

It was Tim Shalders’ 150th game, which made the win even more special and Hoare thanked Woorndoo Mortlake for its participation in forming a guard of honour for Shalders prior to the game.

Hoare said the atmosphere at the Great Western Recreation Reserve was friendly, although the Tigers’ supporters would have been bitterly disappointed with the narrow loss.

Woorndoo Mortlake has been struggling at the bottom of the MDFL ladder for the past few years and are yet to win a match in 2012.

Gate attendance was on par with previous weeks and although it has been a tough season so far, Hoare said the Great Western Football Netball Club is sticking by their players.

“The players are really valued at the club and we’re really proud of the way they’ve stuck by us,” he said.

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Moyston Willaura suffered its first loss for the season against Penshurst in a hard-fought clash at Moyston.

Penshurst got off to the better start, kicking 6.3 in the opening term to the Pumas’ 2.2.

Moyston Willaura fought back in the second quarter to take a two-point buffer into the long break, but the lead see-sawed again the third term and ended up 19 points in the Bombers’ favour.

The Pumas refused to give up, outscoring their opponents in the last quarter, however they were unable to account for the deficit, falling short by 16 points, 14.9 (93) to 16.13 (109).

New recruit Brian Thomas was a clear standout for the Pumas, named in the best alongside the consistent John Vanderwaal (two) and key defender Nathan Stapleton.

Coach Daniel Guniane top scored with five goals, while Leo Bell, William Bell and Jeremy Cronin also had an impact.

The Bombers were best served by Luke Ferguson, Brandon Ross (one) and Tom Simson.

Despite the loss the Pumas retain third spot on the ladder, with the undefeated Bombers in second place, equal with ladder leader Tatyoon on points.

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Tatyoon key forward Ross Panther continued his red-hot form on Saturday, booting seven majors in the Hawks’ 89-point victory over Caramut, 19.16 (130) to 6.5 (41).

Tatyoon dominated the match from the outset, kicking 6.6 in the opening quarter while restricting the Swans to a lone behind.

Caramut managed to get a major on the board in the second term, but was never in with a chance as the Hawks showcased their class and ability across the ground.

Swans Benjamin Grinter, Adam Lehmann and Hans Gubbins continued to work hard throughout the encounter, but it was not enough to nullify the likes of Panther, Tim Barr and Cameron Gellie, who were among the Hawks’ best.

Sean McDougall (two), Tim McDougall and Tyler Cronin (one) made up Tatyoon’s top six players.

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The Ararat Eagles were no match for a rampaging SM&W Rovers at Mininera on the weekend.

The Eagles have hit a rough patch after a stellar start to the season and struggled to match it with the Bulldogs.

As predicted, Rovers’ key forward Lee Marshall (eight) and handy recruit Billie Leskosek (five) created a number of headaches for the Eagles, slotting 13 goals between them.

The side made light work of Ararat, which was restricted to six majors for the match.

Defenders Haydn McCrow and John Forbes continued their good form to be named best on ground for the Bulldogs alongside Tyler Mason (one), Steven Lodge (two), Tom Brady and Jaye Cahir (three).

It was not all doom and gloom for the Eagles, with youngster Tom Taurau judged best afield and captain Richard O’Connell and recruits James Dalkin and Nathan Wemyss providing solid contributions. Jamie Elder and Ash Leggett also stood tall.

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Wickliffe Lake Bolac continues to languish down the bottom of the ladder following a loss to fourth placed Glenthompson Dunkeld.

The Magpies were competitive early, holding their own against the swift Rams for the first half of the match.

Glenthompson Dunkend’s depth began to show through in the third quarter, however and it pulled away to claim a 33-point lead by the final change.

The Magpies continued to battle on in the last term but it was too little too late as the Rams ran out 64-point victors, 18.17 (125) to 9.7 (61).

Tristan Ritchie, Benjiman Johnson and Brad Keilar made the biggest impression for the losing side, with Aaron Stewart, Timothy Blake and Andrew Day also named among the Magpies’ top players.

Sam Brewer finished with six majors for the Rams, while Tyson Hogan (three) was judged the team’s best.

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In the final match of the round, Hawkesdale Macarthur proved too strong for Lismore Derrinallum, winning 16.11 (107) to 8.9 (57).

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