Cycling New Zealand’s Great Taste Trail

Horsing around: Happy horse poo for sale at the side of the road en route to Motueka. Photo: Rob McFarland Horsing around: Happy horse poo for sale at the side of the road en route to Motueka. Photo: Rob McFarland
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Horsing around: Happy horse poo for sale at the side of the road en route to Motueka. Photo: Rob McFarland

Horsing around: Happy horse poo for sale at the side of the road en route to Motueka. Photo: Rob McFarland

“That’s not a hill, it’s a wrinkle,” says John with trademark understatement as we survey the ominous incline ahead. The rest of the group have sensibly chosen to remain in the van and start today’s ride at the summit. I, fuelled by male bravado and three Weet-Bix, have decided to keep him company, blissfully unaware that next month he heads to France to cycle 2000 kilometres of the Tour de France route.

I quickly realise trying to keep up is futile so instead relax and enjoy the view. We’re cycling along a quiet country back road, through the sort of idyllic rural scene that dominates much of New Zealand’s South Island. Rolling pastures dotted with sheep, weather-beaten wooden sheds with rusted iron roofs and an impressive backdrop of undulating hills in shifting shades of green.

We collect the rest of the group and continue on tranquil country lanes to the village of Wakefield, where Evan has laid out an extravagant morning tea of fruit, shortbread, tea and plunger coffee. We all tuck in heartily even though it’s less than two hours since we ate breakfast and there’s still lunch at a winery, afternoon tea and a hearty dinner to come. I suppose there’s not much point in cycling the Great Taste Trail if you’re not going to taste.

New Zealand’s cycle network has grown rapidly over the last few years, fuelled by government investment and the success of the original cycling prodigy, the Otago Central Rail Trail. There are now 23 routes that are classified as Great Rides, predominantly off-road trails that showcase the best of the country’s landscape, environment, culture and heritage. The Great Taste Trail is one of the most recent, a 175-kilometre loop around the top of the South Island that passes through Nelson.

The route focuses on the abundance of fresh produce and wineries in the region so unless you have monk-like restraint you’ll be consuming more calories than you expend.

Our five-day trip started in Christchurch where we were kitted out at PureTrail’s depot with comfortable 27-speed hybrid bikes, helmets, panniers and sexy fluorescent high-vis vests. This departure is slightly unusual because there are only four of us, compared to the normal 10-14 guests, and we have two guides rather than one (Evan is in training).

Bikes safely loaded on the trailer, we leave Christchurch, heading north and then west over the scenic Lewis Pass to Saint Arnaud, an alpine village on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. After a spot of sightseeing and a gentle 16-kilometre orientation ride, it’s back to the more pressing issue of eating. Clinker Cafe may not sound like the most salubrious of dining spots but the braised pork belly in apple cider I have for dinner is not only excellent, it’s enormous. “Heartland portions,” explains John.

Fast forward a day and our convoy of four leaves Wakefield full of coffee and shortbread and heads towards lunch. It’s easy, delightful riding – a mixture of roadside paths, quiet back roads and gravel tracks that meander past vineyards and skirt orchards bursting with apples, berries and kiwifruit. On one section we cycle along a riverbank through fragrant bursts of fennel and flickering clouds of butterflies.

Lunch is at Waimea Estates, a family-run winery where our not-very-hard-work is rewarded with generous bowls of plump, creamy, Chardonnay-steamed green lipped mussels in a sun-drenched courtyard overlooking the vines.

We’re only eight kilometres from Nelson so this afternoon’s ride is a gentle 30-minute cruise along a dedicated bike path next to the Waimea Estuary. We arrive at our accommodation, the charming mews-style Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco at 1:30pm, leaving us plenty of time to explore.

In an effort to work up an appetite for what I know will be another heartland-sized dinner, I eschew Nelson’s museums and boutiques in favour of a walk along the Maitai River to the Botanical Reserve. After a mildly strenuous climb up Botanical Hill, I arrive at what is allegedly the geographic centre of New Zealand. I later discover that several places claim this accolade but either way the 360-degree views over the harbour and the rolling hills of the surrounding national parks are sensational. And I’m pretty sure I’ve burned off a mussel.

That evening we reconvene in the garden of the pub opposite our hotel and over a sunset glass of sav blanc our merry band of six gets to know each other. Husband and wife Gerry and Penny live in Newcastle and are cycling converts after doing the Otago Central Rail Trail with PureTrails last year. Margaret is from the Gold Coast and is clearly a PureTrails fan given this is her sixth trip with them. Guides John and Evan are both diehard, shorts-in-any-weather Cantabrians and expert exponents of the region’s trademark dry sarcasm. The South Island is the “mainland” and John confesses he’ll “barrack for anyone over Auckland”.

We retire inside for dinner where I feast on a tender Angus steak washed down with a glass of Roaring Meg pinot noir. Given PureTrails also covers the cost of a dessert, it seems rude not to sample the lemon cheesecake with cream and lemon sherbet. In the distance I hear my cycling shorts crying in protest.

While superlative food and wine are the trip’s main attraction, the scenery comes a close second. The next day we cycle back along the estuary, passing through a protected wetland before crossing onto Rabbit Island for morning tea by a deserted white sand beach. A winding pine tree-lined track leads us to a tiny cove where a ferry takes us and our bikes across an inlet to the buzzy township of Mapua for lunch.

Subsequent days deliver similarly beguiling landscapes – an early morning cycle along the Motueka River, the sun filtering through the haze of a freshly limed field; vast fields of hops, their carefully trained branches resembling dancers around a maypole; orchards full of berries swathed in dew-soaked nets.

We spend two nights at the comfortable Equestrian Lodge Motel in Motueka, cycling in the mornings and sightseeing in the afternoons. Excursions include a scenic cruise from Kaiteriteri that skirts the bays and furrows of the Abel Tasman National Park and a visit to the Riwaka Resurgence, a sacred Maori site where the Riwaka River emerges from a network of caves underneath Takaka Hill.

On our final day we head back inland to complete the loop. The trail here is still being completed so John and Evan improvise with a 13-kilometre ride along a quiet valley flanked by fields of curious cows. It’s knuckle-numbingly cold when we start at 8:30am and a brisk headwind (or a “gentle cooling breeze” according to John) drags tears from our eyes. After 40 minutes we’re all happy to jump back in the van and begin the long trek back to Christchurch.

The cycling portion of the trip may be over but the tasting part isn’t. Our last lunch is a fitting finale, a lazy feast of tapas-style shared plates washed down with crisp glasses of riesling at Forrest Estate Wines’ stylish cellar door in Marlborough.

FIVE MORE GREAT NZ RIDES

OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL

The original “Great Ride”, this 150-kilometre route through Central Otago follows a disused railway line. The perfect introduction to a multi-day cycling trip.

TE ARA AHI

Starting at Rotorua, this 66-kilometre trail passes through a thermal wonderland of steaming vents, bubbling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Expect rare flora and fauna and a rich vein of Maori folklore.

QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK

This 70-kilometre off-road track through the heart of the Marlborough Sounds offers pristine wilderness, spectacular views and thigh-burning ascents.

ALPS 2 OCEAN

The longest continuous cycle trail in New Zealand, this 300-kilometre jaunt starts from the country’s highest mountain, Mount Cook, and finishes in the coastal town of Oamaru. The best bit? It’s all downhill.

MOUNTAINS TO SEA

Beginning in the otherworldly Tongariro National Park, this four to six day route uses bike trails, public roads and a jetboat to deliver riders to the coast at Wanganui.

For a complete list of NZ’s Great Rides, see nzcycletrail杭州龙凤419m.

TRIP NOTES

The writer travelled as a guest of PureTrails and Air New Zealand.

MORE INFORMATION

newzealand杭州龙凤419m.

GETTING THERE

Air New Zealand flies direct from Sydney and Melbourne to Christchurch. Phone 13 24 76; see airnewzealand杭州龙凤419m.au.

SEE + DO

PureTrails offers regular departures of its guided five-day Great Taste Trail cycle trip between October and April, from $1400 including accommodation, meals and excursions. See puretrailsnewzealand杭州龙凤419.nz.

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RSL Clubs could be the next victim of Sydney property boom

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media
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Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

South Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

Hurstville RSL Club in Hurstville Photo: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media

The RSL Club used to be part of the social fabric, a place to go for a special occasion or a cheap meal when mum or dad couldn’t be bothered cooking or for a few quick drinks after work.

Many are now fighting for their financial futures due to a combination of falling patronage, outdated facilities, demographic changes and competition from modern alternative entertainment options.

But where many see an outdated and tired business model and board members heavy with age property developers see large, well-located freehold sites, ideal for residential redevelopment.

Take the current saga surrounding South Hurstville RSL and Hurstville RSL.

South Hurstville RSL is a financially strong club with an upward trajectory.

Hurstville RSL on the other hand been in the red for the past few years, with growing losses, declining revenues and dwindling net assets.

As a result, both have voted in favour of an amalgamation . However those decisions are being challenged by a group called “The Friends of Hurstville”, who prefer a plan for a mixed use redevelopment being put forward by property developer Will McDonald of Skye Pacific Properties Pty Ltd.

Mr McDonald  leads a consortium that includes Parkview Constructions and Dickson Rothschild Architects.

The chairman of the pro-development Friends of Hurstville group, Ed Mason, said a meeting held at Hursville RSL on August 10 (to vote on the decision to amalgamate) was a “farce” and that some members of Chinese background were unhappy.

When asked specifically about the vote, Mr Mason couldn’t confirm any actual numbers as he is not a member of Hurstville RSL. He was issued a membership card when he applied but said he then had his application refused at the board level.

Mr Mason did confirm there were about 120 people, all of which he said wanted to vote at the meeting, at a lunch meeting of the Friends of Hurstville group which was paid for by the property group led by Mr McDonald.

Hurstville RSL general manager Rod Bell, and the CEO of South Hurstville RSL, Simon Mikkelsen, refute Mr Mason’s and Mr McDonald’s claims and say that all votes have been conducted correctly and have been validated by a separate NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) investigation.

“Everything has been done by the book to allow both clubs’ members’ wishes to proceed,” Mr Mikkelsen said.

Mr Bell said Hurstville RSL has looked over and rejected a number of property development proposals submitted for their site because the board considered they did not have the members’ best interests at heart and risked rendering the RSL insolvent.

“Our only and best chance of surviving as a community club is by joining with South Hurstville RSL,” Mr Bell said. “Club members should realise that if the developer gets control of this club it will be closed for up to two years and may never reopen.”

The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has adjourned their decision on the amalgamation to assess the claims made by the warring factions. Mr Bell feels this gives the development proposal an unfair advantage.

“We now need the Minister Troy Grant to instruct ILGA to support the wishes of both clubs’ real members and not a bunch that are more than happy to see another RSL disappear in this Anzac centenary year,” he said.

The ILGA said it deferred its decision on December 17 “so it could receive further detailed submissions about claims it received questioning whether the correct steps had been followed in the merger process”.

A final decision is expected by March.

Two highly publicised  property development deals where financially stricken clubs have been “rescued”  by property developers are the proposed Balmain / Rozelle Village development deal and the Souths on Chalmers development deal.

Souths on Chalmers was put into administration and then closed, with significant debts, and Balmain Leagues have borrowed millions for lead time costs (to continue operating at a temporary venue) and still have no formal resolution.

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More to be caught in tax net on surging Sydney land values

More property investors will be caught in the property tax net with the resurgent Sydney property market pushing up residential land values at a double-digit pace in the wake of historically low interest rates and the revived NSW economy.
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Land values across the state rose 11.2 per cent in 2014, which was led by a strong 13.1 per cent rise in residential land values, according to data released on Friday by the NSW Valuer General.

Willoughby, Bankstown and Hornsby led the gains in residential land values across Sydney, with Mosman, Camden and Ryde witnessing the lowest rise in values among Sydney council areas.

The eastern suburbs regained the crown from the lower north shore as the area with the most expensive median land values in the state, with median residential land values in Woollahra, which takes in Double Bay, Point Piper and Vaucluse, reaching $1.4 million, eclipsing Mosman’s median of $1.39 million.

“The past 12 months has seen a significant increase in large parts of the market – particularly the middle ring,” said the NSW Valuer General,  Simon Gilkes.

“There were not the large increases at the high end of the market and in the outer areas, but rather the inner west and areas close to transport, such as Chatswood and the Hills district, partly due to the new rail link.”

Low interest rates has brought both owner occupiers and investors into the market, he said.

The values are based primarily on property sales data, with more than 43,000 sales assessed.

The year was market by a “ripple out effect” from gains in the inner ring of the city’s suburbs, he said.

Median land values in areas such as Leichhardt and Marrickville continued to rise strongly – up 17.4 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively – but this was outpaced by gains a little further out such as Canterbury – up 21.4 per cent – and Bankstown (up 29.4 per cent).

The updated valuation data will have a direct effect in broadening the land tax net, where it is applicable, and is also used by councils when assessing rate variations, Mr Gilkes said. At the top end of the market, the rise in land values have been more restrained which is due in part to the already high level of prices in those areas.

“The increases were not as strong in the highly valued suburbs since fewer people may have been able to raise the money needed” to buy into these suburbs, Mr Gilkes said.

Slavko Romic, the principal of Elders Double Bay, said the new year has started where last year finished.

“It’s been strong since the start of the new year. Inquiries are running at peak levels, and we’re not alone with other agents reporting the same level of activity,” he said.

“There is not a lot of stock available, so over-demand and under-supply, along with low interest rates, is keeping interest high.”

A year ago, only Mosman and Woollahra had land values of more than $1 million. Now, they have been joined by Willoughby, Manly, Hunters Hill and Waverley, with North Sydney and Lane Cove just falling short of this figure.

The updated valuation data are used by about one third of councils each year when revising rates. This year, Blacktown, Liverpool, Ku-ring-gai, the Hills, Maitland and Leichhardt will use the updated data when setting rates.

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‘His face was hilarious’: Nicole Kidman responds after awkward Jimmy Fallon clip goes viral

Nicole Kidman has spoken up about her disastrous first date with US talk show host Jimmy Fallon two days after its on-air revelation.
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The clip of their amusingly awkward interview soon went viral, clocking up more than 14 million views on YouTube.

Speaking to Fallon on Tonight Show, Kidman revealed how Fallon had a shot with her 10 years ago when she went to his apartment for a date.

But he spectacularly blew it by wearing sweat pants and a baseball cap, putting a video game on and serving her old Chinese food retrieved from his refrigerator.

In his defence, Fallon said he had no idea their meeting had any romantic element. “You mean I dated Nicole Kidman?” he asked her.

The revelation left Fallon red-faced and flustered, retiring to the couch at one point for “therapy”.

Two days after the episode aired, Kidman told Access Hollywood she was surprised at how the pair misjudged the event.

“I can’t believe that two people can so mis-read the same situation,” she said.

Kidman said Fallon and his crew had no idea of her intention to let the old cat out of the bag, and they did not edit anything out of the show.

“I kinda just went in there going, ‘Oh, I don’t know, they were like asking me about Paddington and Nashville and stuff like that in the pre-interview and I didn’t mention this for anything. I was just, like, I think I’ll just bring this up because there we go,” she said.

“His face was hilarious. I was there. I watched him. He didn’t edit anything out.”

“It was fun. I’m so glad Jimmy was so good-natured about it. He was laughing, but I think he was pretty shocked.”

Kidman’s husband Keith Urban may also have been caught by surprise when the date was unveiled on air. Kidman said Urban was aware of the encounter between the two, but not the finer details.

“He knew the story because we watch Fallon… I don’t think he knew it in that detail,” Kidman said.

This is likely to be Kidman’s last word on the failed date with Fallon. Kidman has vowed to not speak more on the issue, referring herself in third person on one occasion.

“This is like, we’re done, no more, please. I need to shut up. Nicole needs to shut up. Please do not lure me back into the Fallon trap,” she told Access Hollywood.

As for Fallon, not long after the interview aired he tweeted “I am so embarrassed”.

with Michael Idato

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Health: Making real connections

Nurse Susan Power likes developing connections with her patients. Nurse Susan Power likes developing connections with her patients.
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Nurse Susan Power likes developing connections with her patients.

Nurse Susan Power says one part of continued care nursing she particularly enjoys is having regular contact with patients on extended hospital stays. This type of contact enables her to develop relationships with patients that are deeper than they would be in other nursing environments, she says.

“It’s not exciting like the emergency department and you’re not seeing new life every day like you are in the maternity ward, but there’s this whole other aspect where you’re looking at someone’s ongoing care and how you’re going to manage that.”

Power has been appointed nurse unit manager at Box Hill Hospital’s new 32-bed continuing care ward, which is slated to open mid to late February. Part of her responsibility is to oversee the development of the nursing culture in the new ward to help ensure patients receive the best care.

She participates in clinical work and patient interaction, managing the financial needs of the ward and taking care of its HR capacity through the recruitment and management of staff.

“The new role will be different in that we’re establishing a ward that hasn’t been occupied by any patients or staff previously,” says Power. “It’s a rare opportunity to be able to build a ward from the ground up.”

Power is a hospital-trained nurse. She has a bachelor of nursing conversion degree and a graduate certificate in health administration. She completed the graduate certificate at RMIT in 1999 to facilitate her transition into management roles requiring health services administration skills.

“I’ve found with nursing that many opportunities present themselves and it’s good to be able to grasp them,” says Power.

Box Hill Hospital’s continuing ward is on a recruitment drive for more staff in areas such as nursing, medical and allied health.

One of Powers’ first priorities is to source the nursing team.

“We’re looking at getting registered nurses and enrolled nurses into positions that are both part time and full time,” she says. “We’ll be looking at actively recruiting people who may have experience in acute or rehab-type nursing. Or they may come from a different field. We’re willing to interview people if they are interested.”

Having a significant hand in opening a new hospital ward is daunting in some respects, says Power, but she’s optimistic she can make a positive impact in the next 12 months.

“A good career outcome would be other people sourcing me out to say, ‘You’ve opened up a new ward and put together a whole profile of staff that are cohesive. What can you do to help us do the same for our new ward?’ That would be a good outcome if I’m looked at by my peers or colleagues as a resource to help them in a similar situation.”

Job vacancies: easternhealth杭州龙凤419.au 

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Man hit by four-wheel drive in Redfern

The victim was pinned to the speed camera pole in Redfern, witnesses say. Photo: James Brechney The victim was pinned to the speed camera pole in Redfern, witnesses say. Photo: James Brechney
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The P-plate driver appeared to lose control of the Mercedes Benz when he drove onto the footpath. Photo: James Brechney

The victim was pinned to the speed camera pole in Redfern, witnesses say. Photo: James Brechney

The victim was pinned to the speed camera pole in Redfern, witnesses say. Photo: James Brechney

A man is fighting for his life after being hit by a four-wheel drive in Redfern.

Witnesses say the man was standing on the footpath near the intersection of Redfern and George streets when the incident occurred just before midday on Saturday.

A witness said the P-plate driver appeared to lose control of the Mercedes-Benz four-wheel drive, and drove onto the footpath, pinning the man to a speed-camera pole.

One witness said the victim’s arm and leg seemed to “rip open” and that “there was blood everywhere”.

Emergency services rushed the man to hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

Police said he was being treated for injuries to his lower right leg.

The P-plate driver was also taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It is not yet known whether alcohol was a factor, however the driver underwent blood and urine tests.

Police said the driver was cooperating with inquires. The incident will be investigated by the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.  REDFERN: Redfern St is closed eastbound between George St & Pitt St after a car and pedestrian accident. Exercise caution — Live Traffic Sydney (@LiveTrafficSyd) January 10, 2015

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Now is the time for some thoughtful thinking

Get your thinking caps on.
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Get your thinking caps on.

Get your thinking caps on.

Get your thinking caps on.

BENIGN TO FIVE

Hello returning Benign to Fivers — it’s lovely to have you back. For those new to the column, you’ve joined at just the right time. Since 2012, these words have been universally acknowledged as career advice haute cuisine, but 2015 will be hauter than haut.

Why? Because my new year resolution was to become a thought leader. And I’ve already achieved it. (I got my accreditation from the Society for the Promotion of Integrated Thought Leadership in the mail yesterday).

How? That’s a very good question and, as a thought leader, it is my solemn duty to answer as condescendingly as possible.

There are two questions you need to answer before you begin the rigorous process of becoming a Fully Accredited Thought Leader:

1. Have you ever thought? (This is the hurdle into which many aspiring inspirers plough head first, never regaining their balance to finish the race. Keep in mind that “No I haven’t” is a thought.)

2. Are you a leader? (Don’t forget that, today, you are widely considered to be a leader if you have a loud voice, enjoy talking over people or have ever said “I’m a leader”.) Once you’ve defied death making it through that horrifying gauntlet you come to the practical examination. It involves months, and often years (although in my case, days), of intensive tweeting and LinkedIn posting. The more earnest and self-evident the message, the more likely you are to gain the attention and favour of The Society.

But be warned: being a daily inspiration to billions can be a thankless task. Sometimes, though, you just have to make a sacrifice for the good of humanity.

Jonathan Rivett leads thoughts at haught杭州龙凤419m.au 

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The prince and the president: Ali’s plans to replace Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA

It’s hard to cast a member of the Jordanian royal family, given the power, wealth, prestige and influence such a position holds, as a latter-day David.
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But even Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, the son of a Middle Eastern king, might appear small before  the entrenched political power of Sepp Blatter, the Goliath of global football politics.

Yet the 39-year-old prince, a former student at the UK’s elite army officer academy Sandhurst, has shown the backbone that the Old Testament upstart did when confronting his powerful adversary.

Prince Ali has put himself forward as a candidate to replace the 78-year-old Swiss as president when FIFA elections take place in May on a ticket of reform, transparency and honesty – all words that increasingly ring hollow when applied to football’s global governing body.

Blatter, a master manipulator and one of the shrewdest appliers of the art of realpolitik in the sporting world, appeared set to ride out the storms of controversy which have broken following corruption allegations and a litany of other criticisms relating to the way FIFA has conducted its affairs in the past decade – specifically following the organisation’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The septuagenarian had gone back on his word – he had earlier promised not to stand for a fifth term as FIFA president – and, with the absence of a challenger of substance, he looked set to continue his reign for another four years.

Prince Ali is still an outsider, but, after announcing his candidacy at the start of the year, he will now embark on a footballing diplomatic offensive, talking, listening, persuading and absorbing messages from supporters and those he must convert if he is to have any chance of pulling off an upset win when the decision over the FIFA presidency is taken in five months time.

The prince is in Australia at the moment for the opening of the Asian Cup, where his nation, Jordan, is in a group comprising Japan, Palestine and Iraq.

While he is here for the football, he is also here for the politicking – and he spoke on Saturday to a round table of Australian and overseas media outlining the simple themes behind his message for change.

A long time Arsenal supporter, the father of two acknowledges that it is an uphill struggle. Earlier this week, senior figures from the Asian Football Confederation, headed by Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, pledged their support for Blatter, saying they had already committed their vote to the much-pilloried figurehead of football and would not be going back on their word.

Still, Prince Ali looked unconcerned on Saturday when he said he was putting himself forward because it was time for a major change in the way the game was run and administered.

FIFA needed more transparency, he said, and should be an organisation with nothing to hide. He has already called for the Garcia report to be made public – something FIFA is unwilling to do in full – and says a raft of changes are needed to pull the organisation into the 21st century.

“I think that there is a consensus from a number of people in the football world that we need to make a positive change to evolve the organisation and have an opportunity to develop in an appropriate way. I am willing to do this [challenge Blatter] to help progress the sport in the proper way.

“I know its a very big challenge [but] I have total faith in the football world. In the coming months I am looking to sit down and talk to all our member associations and listen to them first.

“I am not coming here to dictate, but I have programs I want to implement. There’s a lot more we can do to develop the sport.”

The prince says that he is not seeking to take charge for the long term, seeing himself as a circuit-breaker to facilitate root-and-branch change in an organisation that has become ossified and tainted by the allegations of sleaze and corruption which have dogged it in the Blatter era.

“I think that anyone who is a stakeholder in the game needs to feel confident in FIFA … I want to bring back confidence, I am looking to make a real change. That’s why I am putting my hat in the ring.

“I honestly think we can make that change in a proper and appropriate way. Reform is crucial.

“At the end of the day we should have nothing to hide.

“FIFA as an organisation tends to be a bit secretive. We should be open and happy and confident to be engaged with everyone. We have to bring the administration of the sport into the current time we live in.”

Prince Ali’s candidature has been seen as a front for interests in the background, senior European figures who want Blatter gone but are not prepared to challenge themselves.

He says that he is acting on his own behalf.

“This sport is for the world, I am my own man. I have had a lot of encouragement from many people round the world who care about the sport. I am not worrying about the numbers. I have total faith in them [FIFA Congress members] that they are decent people who will vote for the future of football. This is a matter for the entire world.

“We have to really focus on restoring people’s confidence in the organisation. I will never make promises that I can’t deliver on.”

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Moises Henriques happy to lead Sydney Sixers from the front in Big Bash League

In the aftermath of his team’s dramatic super-over loss to the Melbourne Stars at the MCG last Monday night, Sydney Sixers skipper Moises Henriques gave an insight into why he was being hailed as a natural-born leader when some of his players wanted to say “sorry” for the defeat.
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Both teams finished their 20 overs tied on 150 runs but the Stars, guided by James Faulkner and his blazing bat, ensured victory when he helped to blast 19 runs off his team’s super-over.

When some of his players attempted to apologise for a rash shot, a misfield or a poor delivery that may otherwise have changed the outcome, Henriques – who’d observed the secrets of good leadership from watching Brad Haddin, Stuart Clark, Simon Katich, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and coach Trevor Bayliss – cut them short.

“I owed them just as much as a sorry,” he said. “Everyone in the team can look back and say ‘maybe if I’d done this I might’ve saved us a run’ but there was no point. I think it’s better we learn and move on to the next game.”

Henriques, a few weeks short of his 28th birthday, was identified as a rare talent when he was only 16 and Cricket NSW paid for a taxi to transport him to and from the SCG to train with the state squad.

While he developed into a Test player last year when he made his debut against India, his traits as a leader for NSW and the Sixers are making a mighty impression.

He guided NSW to its pre-Christmas Sheffield Shield match victory over Queensland, regarded by many as one of the most inspiring in the Blues’ history, because his players needed to overcome the despair of having played the game  when Phillip Hughes was struck by a bouncer and passed away two days later just weeks earlier.

The all-rounder took the initiative to change a match that appeared destined to end in a draw into an emotion-charged triumph after fast bowler Sean Abbott captured 6-14 to clinch victory by an innings and 80 runs.

“I don’t think it brought anything out of me,” Henriques said of the way he treated his players before and during the Queensland match. “I just did what I thought was best for the team and best for each and every individual in the team.

“I didn’t want to put pressure on anyone to play [because it was thought some players weren’t mentally up to it after the Hughes tragedy]. I just wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable with their own decision.

“Nic [Maddinson] is one of my closest friends and he opted not to play and, to be fair, Cricket NSW backed that and they made it easy for me to communicate to the players there was absolutely no pressure on them.

“The first three days were affected by rain, Queensland were hurt by a couple of injuries and by the fourth day the game seemed to floating away to a non-event. But when I batted I realised it wasn’t an easy wicket.

“There was a bit of reverse swing, the wicket was starting to play some tricks. James Hopes had just bowled 30-35 overs for Queensland, the venom was out of his bowling for obvious reasons.

“If they had’ve had a few more fit quicks we wouldn’t have reached the total we did – we led by 110 – but I said on the last day I’d be very disappointed if we don’t walk away with a win here.”

It was an inspired call and while history notes his players responded to it Henriques said his leadership –  which will be tested again on Sunday night when the Sixers play the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba – was something he was still refining.

“You need to stay on an even keel with your emotions,” he said of captaincy.  “When I feel my emotions are starting to go I quickly calm myself down and say ‘OK, let’s slow down and take a few deep breaths’. It’s important not to get too excited about the good times and not too down about the bad.

“We have an eclectic bunch of guys at the Sixers, we have scholars and guys at the other end of the scale. Yet, we all mix well and none are judgmental of the others because we accept each other for who we are.  Despite the personalities no one is judgmental, we accept everyone for their individuality and that’s important.

“I’d hope the boys would say I’m fairly relaxed. I don’t smile too much, I’ve never smiled much on the field, but off the field I’m happy, and I want the players to be happy. Trevor Bayliss and I want a happy and enjoyable environment … it’s the culture we want because happy cricketers are usually successful cricketers.”

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Cricket World Cup: Who our experts would pick for Australia

The 15-man squads our Fairfax Media writers would name for the upcoming World Cup.
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CHLOE SALTAU

George Bailey

Cameron Boyce

Michael Clarke

Pat Cummins

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Josh Hazlewood

Ryan Harris

Mitchell Johnson

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

GREG BAUM

George Bailey

Jackson Bird

Cameron Boyce

Pat Cummins

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Ryan Harris

Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Marsh

Shaun Marsh

Craig Simmons

Steve Smith

Matthew Wade

David Warner

Shane Watson

JESSE HOGAN

George Bailey

Pat Cummins

Xavier Doherty

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Ryan Harris

Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Marsh

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

Cameron White

DEAN JONES

George Bailey

Michael Clarke

Pat Cummins

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Ryan Harris

Mitchell Johnson

Nathan Lyon

Mitchell Marsh

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

CHRIS BARRETT

George Bailey

Pat Cummins

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Ryan Harris

Mitchell Johnson

Nathan Lyon

Shaun Marsh

Mitchell Marsh

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

MALCOLM KNOX

George Bailey

Cameron Boyce

Michael Clarke

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Ryan Harris

Josh Hazlewood

Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Marsh

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

ANDREW WU

George Bailey

Michael Clarke

Pat Cummins

James Faulkner

Aaron Finch

Brad Haddin

Ryan Harris

Josh Hazlewood

Mitchell Johnson

Glenn Maxwell

Steve Smith

Mitchell Starc

David Warner

Shane Watson

Adam Zampa

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Iconic ice cream maker Dairy Bell to shut factory and stores

Inside Dairy Bell East Malvern: staff member Emma Bell makes a milkshake. Photo: Paul Jeffers Customers Laura Karklins and Oliver Francis enjoy what may be their last Dairy Bell milkshake. Photo: Paul Jeffers
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Lorraine and Graham Browne eat one last Dairy Bell ice cream. Photo: Paul Jeffers

It was a humble empire founded on summer days and sticky fingers.

But Dairy Bell will remain as only a memory for generations who grew up on the company’s ice cream after it announced an end to its 45 years of business.

The Melbourne company will stop production at its Malvern East and Sydney factories on February 27, with its five stores to then close whenever the ice cream runs out.

“There’s always a time to hold it and a time to fold it,” said owner Andre Razums, who co-founded the company in 1970.

Mr Razums said he was “very proud” of his business, which at one point had 20 stores across Australia.

“We’ve got a lot of satisfied customers and there are a lot of people who came to us as a child and now they’re mums themselves and they’re bringing their children in,” he said.

Tell us about your favourite memories of Dairy Bell ice creams in the comments below.

Despite the popularity, Mr Razums said it was not viable to continue churning out ice cream while paying high penalty wages and in the face of falling profits.

“We can’t sell $3 ice cream when the hand that scoops that bit of ice cream is getting paid $30 an hour,” he said.

On Saturday there was a steady stream of customers at Dairy Bells’ flagship store and factory in Malvern East, where the words “Australian Owned” are proudly printed on the building’s side.

Loyal customers Lorraine and Graham Browne first visited the store 36 years ago as a treat for their children and have been regulars ever since.

“We usually go into the casino on a Saturday, and on the way back out we usually stop in for an ice cream,” Mrs Browne said, while making short work of a double-scoop cone of mango and honeycomb.

The couple, both 69, are such fans they bought Mr Browne’s mother an ice cream cake from the shop for her 100th birthday recently.

“You can’t beat this ice cream – especially for the price,” Mr Browne said.

Another customer, Laura Karklins, was knocking back a “blue heaven” milkshake Saturday and was devastated to hear part of her childhood would soon be no more.

“Me and my mum came here after language classes every weekend for seven years,” the 22-year-old said.

“It’s really good ice cream and the milkshakes are frothy but not too filling … I’m quite sad now.”

Dairy Bell is fully solvent and all creditors would be paid when it closed, Mr Razums said.

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Cairns funeralpictures, photos

Cairns funeral | pictures, photos QUEENSLAND: Tributes laid at a temporary memorial shrine in a park next to where eight children that were killed in Cairns. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.
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QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Tribute at Murray Street, Cairns near where eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Tributes laid at a temporary memorial shrine in a park next to where eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Murray Street where eight children were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Tributes laid at a temporary memorial shrine in a park next to where eight children that were killed in Cairns. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Cairns Cemetery where preparations for the funeral for eight children will be held that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: Tribute at Murray Street, Cairns near where eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Images.

QUEENSLAND: People arrive for the ”Keriba Omasker” memorial at the Cairns Convention Centre ahead of the funeral for eight children that were killed in Cairns on January 10, 2015 in Cairns, Australia. Four boys and four girls were found allegedly stabbed to death in a house in Cairns on December 19, 2014. The bodies will be laid to rest together at Martyn Place Cemetery. Picture: Getty Imgaes.

TweetFacebookThousands of people have filed into the Cairns Convention Centre for a public memorial service for eight children found dead in their home in December.

Two words summed up the heavy weight on the hearts of mourners gatheredin the far north Queensland city: Keriba Omasker.

The Torres Strait Islander term means “our children” in the Erub dialect of the four girls and four boys who were found dead in the Murray Street, Manoora, home on December 19.

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Great White fear closes beaches- poll

Great White fear closes beaches- poll Authorities continue to seek out the shark near Newcastle’s beaches. Pic: Darren Pateman
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Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Beaches remain closed on Saturday after a Shark sighting. Picture: Marina Neill

Lifeguards on the hunt for the Shark. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Credit: Nicholas Tonks

TweetFacebookAlmost immediately, another shark was seen about 50metres from boardriders directly off Merewether suggesting a second animal was in the vicinity.

The shark alarm sounded and the beaches cleared, prompting some to head down for a look.

It included budding Merewether photographer Nic Tonks, 14, who took a spectacular frame of a fin near a jetski rider.

‘‘I was looking through the camera at the jetski and took a couple of shots, it wasn’t until I looked at them that I saw the fin,’’ Nic said.

Mr Woodcock said those on board the jetskis and rubber duckies followed the shark as it cruised towards the breakers and a few hundred metres further out.

When those on the beach used a two-way to ask what species of shark it was, the answer first came back: ‘‘A big one’’.

Mr Woodcock said he then watched as the shark came to the surface next to a jetski and rolled its massive frame as though it was almost eyeballing the visitor.

It appeared longer than the jetski and the sled it was towing.

‘‘It obviously wasn’t too worried about the boats,’’ Mr Woodcock said.

‘‘[One of the jetski riders] lifted his legs up, he has been doing this a long time so you knew it was a big shark.’’

Merewether, Dixon Park and Bar beaches remained closed all weekend while a sighting off Nobbys on Sunday closed that stretch of sand and Stockton for several hours.

NEWCASTLE beach has re-opened after the second shark sighting in two days, but most of the city’s beaches remained closed at 4pm.

Despite opening on Sunday morning, Nobbys and Stockton were forced to close again shortly after midday when a shark stretching more than four metres was spotted at Nobbys’ northern end.

It followed lifesaver patrols of the city’s coastline throughout the day after a sighting off Newcastle on Saturday shut down the city’s beaches.

Hey nippers families, Newcastle beaches still closed after yesterday’s shark sighting. #StayInBed

— Lee Upton (@lee_upton) January 10, 2015Lifeguards spotted a five-metre Great White around 1pm on Saturday and promptly pulled swimmers from the water.

The entire coastline was closed after asecond alarm, at Newcastle beach, sounded about 4.30pm.

Early reports indicated the shark may have had a pup with it.

UPDATE: Beaches from Bar Beach to Merewether will not reopen on Saturday, after a Great White Shark was spotted by lifeguards.

The shark alarm sounded around 1pm on Saturday, with beachgoers streaming from the water.

Lifeguards on a Jet Ski confirmed the sighting and made the decision to close all beaches in the area.

The shark is believed to be about fivemetres in length.

Lifeguards will continue to monitor the movements of the shark, and may be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, if it is available.

Beaches will not reopen on Saturday and may remain closed for Sunday morning, if the Shark remains in the area.

Merewether Ocean Baths will remain open for those looking to hit the water.

DIXON PARK and Merewether Beach have been shut after a Great White Shark was spottedon Saturday afternoon.

Beachgoers came streaming out of the water, after theshark alarm sounded around 1pm, after lifeguards made the discovery.

Lifeguards are currently tracking the shark and monitoring its movements, andthe beaches will remain closed until further notice.

More to come.

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