Independent senator John Madigan has suggested that HECS debts should be frozen for five years for primary caregivers. Photo: Alex EllinghausenA key crossbench senator has raised a five-year freeze on student debts for mothers who have graduated from university as a bargaining chip in negotiations over the government’s proposed higher education changes.
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Education Minister Christopher Pyne is continuing to negotiate with the Senate crossbenchers in the hope of striking a deal on his reform package, which includes allowing universities to charge as much as they want for a degree.

A Fairfax Media Ipsos poll, conducted between Thursday and Saturday last week, found 64 per cent of voters oppose deregulating university fees.

Independent Victorian Senator John Madigan, whose vote on the reforms could be crucial, said: “I’m concerned about the effects of higher HECS debts on women who graduate and have children.

“I’ve suggested that HECS debts should be frozen for five years for primary caregivers. Debts continuing to accrue interest while people are out of the workforce will have a nobbling effect on families with young children.”

Mr Madigan welcomed signals from Mr Pyne that he will abandon plans to peg student debts to the long-term government bond rate, rather than inflation, but said the government should go further.

Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon praised Mr Madigan’s proposal as the type of “lateral thinking” that will be needed to strike a deal on university reform.

Senators Madigan and Xenophon told Fairfax Media they have serious concerns about fee deregulation but intense lobbying from the university sector has convinced them the current funding system is unsustainable. With Labor and the Greens opposed to fee deregulation, the government will need the support of six of the eight Senate crossbenchers to pass its reforms.

“Universities have been hit by funding cuts from both sides. They are starved of cash and need to be more viable,” Senator Xenophon said.

“I can see why they want fee deregulation but I am wary of unintended consequences.

“I don’t want to see the Americanisation of our universities where people are reluctant to take on lots of debt.”

Asked about negotiations with Mr Pyne, Senator Xenophon said: “He is as frustrating and enigmatic as he was when I lectured him at the University of South Australia 25 years ago.”

Senator Xenophon said the government had gone about reform in an “awful” way by announcing a complicated set of reforms in the May budget.

Senator Madigan said: “I’m very reticent on fee deregulation at this point of time. I don’t want to see families saddled with debts that will be higher than Ayers Rock to climb over.

“What the government is putting forward I wouldn’t accept – there would need to be a lot more safeguards put in place for me to consider supporting it.”

Mr Madigan, from Ballarat, said he was particularly concerned about the impact of the government’s policies on regional universities.

But he acknowledged that “no legislation is perfect” and he is open to a package that “ticks most of the boxes”.

“There is no doubt that something has to be done but it has to be done in a considered manner,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Pyne said the package “represents essential reform that will expand opportunity for students and ensure our universities are sustainable and competitive internationally into the future.

As the Government has indicated on many occasions, this will inevitably involve negotiations with the cross benches as the Coalition does not have a majority in the Senate.”

Mr Pyne said on the weekend he was prepared to negotiate into the new year to strike a deal on higher education reform.

“Timelines can always be shifted and I’m not going to be hidebound by timing schedules,” Mr Pyne said. “What I want is an outcome for students and universities. That is a more important result than [meeting] timelines and schedules.”

Clive Palmer and Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie have said the party will oppose fee deregulation. But previous PUP backflips on climate policy, financial planning laws and the mining tax have fuelled government hopes that the party could do a deal on higher education.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Senator Xenophon lectured Mr Pyne at the University of Adelaide 25 years ago. The lectures were in fact at what is now known as the University of South Australia.

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Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX
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Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX

Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX

He might not have the star clout of his nephew the Duke of Cambridge and his glamorous wife, Catherine, but His Royal Highness Prince Edward’s arrival in Sydney marks the beginning of a five-day tour during which  he will meet more than 1000 young people and 1200 volunteers  throughout the country.

The Earl of Wessex is in NSW to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia. Flying the flag for his 93-year-old father, Prince Philip, the earl met Premier Mike Baird on Monday, after visiting the Prince Edward Yacht Club at Point Piper. An afternoon reception at Parliament House was also attended by  Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres.

On Tuesday, he will visit the Art Gallery of NSW before meeting Duke of Edinburgh Award participants from eight inner west schools at Ashfield Boys High School. About 22,000 young Australians are enrolled on the scheme, the largest youth development program in the world.

A trivia event at the Powerhouse Museum rounds off the Sydney leg of the prince’s tour, which takes him on to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

The Queen’s youngest child is not accompanied on the trip, the second by the British royal household to Australia this year, by his wife Sophie the Countess of Wessex, or their children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

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Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFull coverage: Melbourne Cup 2014Melbourne Cup sweep
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Bookmakers across the country have vowed to take on Admire Rakti as punters rallied behind the Japanese star, which could still relinquish Melbourne Cup favouritism to Lloyd Williams’ Fawkner.

Tomoyuki Umeda’s Caulfield Cup hero brought to life an otherwise pedestrian call of the card at the traditional Cup eve bash on Monday after $6.50 was bet about the top pick.

Most odds-makers are expecting him to be a similar quote by jump time, while support for Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner is gathering momentum.

This year’s Melbourne Cup appears to be one of the most open in recent memory.

“Admire Rakti is our worst result, but there has been a massive move for Fawkner in the last 24 hours and the money is coming from the right places,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “Fawkner is still $8, but if the money keeps coming he could be favourite.”

The Fawkner following had one big-time supporter at the call of the card, Sean Bartholomew knocking back a wager to win $1 million on the Australian-bred grey.

Bartholomew eventually accepted a smaller investment to win $250,000 at odds of $9.

While there was money for Willing Foe, suggesting some believe Godolphin can break its Cup curse, punters patiently waited for Admire Rakti to be the last of the 24 runners shopped.

Mark Sampieri was knocked off his stand after offering luxurious odds before he passed the baton to Warren Woodcock, who also could not keep pace writing tickets.

Robbie Waterhouse was next to hold the call, accepting the largest single bet of the day when one punter had $50,000 on Admire Rakti at $6.

Quizzed on whether he thought Admire Rakti would be so well backed, Waterhouse said: “No, I didn’t actually. I’m happy to bet against him and I was surprised he was so well supported.

“The other surprising thing about the call is it was nearly all cash. I would think [Admire Rakti’s] price will still be around $6 on race day.”

It is a similar quote to what other online bookmakers are prepared to offer, BetEasy’s Matt Tripp suggesting they will band together to take on Admire Rakti.

BetEasy took a wager of $40,000 on the seven-year-old, which is attempting to set a modern day weight-carrying record in the Cup and also become the first horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne cups double since 2001.

“I think I will bet around the $6 or $6.50 mark [until jump time] and I reckon the bookmakers will all want to take him on,” Tripp said. “I think the money will come for Fawkner and Signoff and there’s been good money for Protectionist so far.”

Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown said despite continued interest in Admire Rakti he would not be surprised if one of several horses started favourite by jump time.

“It will just depend which one the money comes for,” he said. “At the moment our losers are Fawkner, Admire Rakti, Lucia Valentina and Signoff, but it’s that sort of race.”

Added Glenn Munsie of Tab南京夜网.au: “For us overall Admire Rakti is a million-dollar loser, especially after the Caulfield Cup. The doubles are just killing us. There have been a couple of good pushes in the last couple of days, particularly Who Shot Thebarman and Fawkner.”

There were few other fireworks inside the Crown Palladium for the call of the card.

Tom Waterhouse snapped up the $31 about Willing Foe, asking bookmaker Anthony Doughty to risk a $500,000 payout. Doughty eventually stood to part with $250,000 to Waterhouse.

The best-supported outsider was Seismos, one wager a $2000 by $1500 each-way bet on Marco Botti’s import at $101. A couple of $1000 each-way bets were also taken before his price was wound into $81.

There were nibbles for some of Chris Waller’s long shots, including a single bet to win $151,000 on Opinion ($71) and another to win $100,000 on Who Shot Thebarman.

Darren Weir’s Lexus Stakes winner Signoff was friendless at $7.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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GROWTH: Developer Lester Hewitt at the new Icely Estate yesterday as the pouring of the kerb and guttering enters its final stage. Photo: BRIAN WOOD 102214lesterEGLINTON is teetering on the verge of a massive growth spurt.
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The once tiny village on the outskirts of Bathurst is earmarked as the next big thing in the region when it comes to residential growth.

It’s all part of Bathurst Regional Council’s vision for the future of suburbia as part of its Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

Two major residential projects are on the drawing board, and when completed it is anticipated 144 lots will be created to help cater for the projected population growth in coming years.

The NSW Department of Planning predicts Bathurst will have more than 50,000 people living in the region by 2031.

Developer Lester Hewitt from Hynash was at the new Icely Estate off Cox Lane yesterday supervising the pouring of the 1150 linear metres of kerb and guttering before the blocks finally hit the market early in the new year.

For months his team have been working on the 16.5-hectare greenfield site. The first release will see 36 lots come online, and depending on demand there will be a total of 92 lots created.

Just down the road another well-known developer, Bruce Hackett, is planning a 52-lot subdivision on about 10 hectares of land between Hobson Close and Hamilton Street.

Mr Hewitt said yesterday there has been a tremendous amount of work completed at Icely Estate.

“But looking at it, you wouldn’t know it,” he said. “All the underground infrastructure is in and that includes power, NBN and gas. We are doing the kerb and guttering as we speak and the 1.5km of cycleway which wraps around the entire estate is also in the throws of being put in.

“A lot of people wouldn’t realise it, but the land here is quite undulating which is not typically what you think about Eglinton.

“We’ve worked on changing some of the hillier topography to make it more builder friendly. There’s a minimum lot size stipulated by council of 900 square metres, while council has also ensured there is a minimum 50-metre green belt buffer zone around the estate.”

Mr Hewitt said he anticipates the lots will sell from between $150,000 and $168,000.

Richard Denyer from Bathurst Regional Council’s department of environmental, planning and building services said the development at Eglinton was being driven by an ever increasing demand for residential building blocks.

“Studies completed some years ago by council identified Eglinton as a growth area,” he said. “It all fits in perfectly with the latest population growth predictions.”

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LIFE CHANGER: Nerralie Boulton says weight loss surgery should be available to all Australians, after it enabled her to lose 50 kilograms. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1103lapband2UNDERGOING weight-loss surgery has completely changed Nerralie Boulton’s life and she supports calls for it to be available in the public health system.
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Since her surgery, Mrs Boulton has shed 50 kilograms but did not enter into the surgery without extensive research and consultation with her doctor.

“I have battled with my weight all my life,” she said.

“My mother took me to the doctor when I was 11 because I already had a weight problem.”

Mrs Boulton says making weight-loss surgery available under Medicare would change people’s lives.

Over the year she has tried several diets, but nothing worked.

“Having surgery is not something you take lightly as you have to be disciplined about what you eat,” she said.

“For example, I can’t eat meat or bread and the temptation to eat chocolate or ice cream is always there because it goes down so easily, but I never want to go back to a size 24 after dropping down to a size 14.”

Her love of travel with her husband David became the catalyst for Mrs Bolton’s decision.

“I felt as though I was always the one holding everybody up. Now when we travel my life is different in every way possible,” she said.

“Its wonderful to be able to go into a clothing shop and buy clothes that fit me well.”

Mrs Boulton believes the size of meals consumed by Australians has grown exponentially over the last few decades, contributing to the obesity epidemic in Australia.

“I enjoy going out to dinner, but when you see what some people eat in a restaurant their meals are absolutely enormous,” she said.

Mrs Boulton is not the only one in her family to benefit from bariatric banding surgery.

“Our daughter has also experienced the same challenges in her life that I have, as unfortunately she inherited my genes,” she said.

“It has proved to be an enormous boost to her self esteem.

“We were able to fund our surgery privately but there are many Australians who are simply not in that position and need help.”

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Golf
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A SUCCESSFUL ladies golf season closed with a Canadian Foursomes competition followed by a presentation dinner.

The night started with a photo presentation to life member Coralie Giblett and a delicious meal prepared by Kean & Co Catering was enjoyed between presentations of annual awards.

Wendy Richards won the Judy Beresford Putting Competition and Shirley Smyth and Grace Snooke won the Ferret Competition with seven each.

End of season: Grace Snooke with Wendy Richards.

The Fitzgeralds Hotel Most Consistant Award was won by Vera Sheen who also took out the Hannagan Hearth House Jess Errington Perpetual Trophy for the best four of six stableford rounds.

Angie Leeson won the Stewarts Savemor Pharmacy award for the best four rounds of stroke.

Eclectic Trophies donated by Dunnings Fuel, Retravision and Dallimore Choices Flooring were won by Snooke, Sheen, Smyth and Les Mcpherson.

Presentation: Vera Sheen and Coralie Giblett.

This year’s gross champion Snooke and runner-up Angie Leeson were presented with their awards, sponsored by Peter and Wendy Richards at Northam and Districts Glass Service.

Nett winner Leeson and runner-up Sheen were presented with their awards, donated by Coralie Giblett and Avon Valley Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The evening concluded with a speech by captain Wendy Richards, thanking grounds staff, sponsors and all ladies for their help during the year before handing over the position to incoming captain Marge Haddrill.

The group is now looking forward to next season.

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A MAJOR review of the research literature on no-till farming has found that it reduces crop yields by about 5 per cent.
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But the review, published in the international journal Nature, concluded that under certain conditions, no-till farming farming practised in combination with stubble retention and crop rotation can produce equivalent or even greater yields than conventional farming.

Agriculture researchers from the US, China and Europe collaborated in a meta-analysis – a comprehensive review of 621 research papers – of the productivity limits of conservation techniques.

One of its most significant conclusions of the study, titled Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture, is that combining no-till farming with stubble retention and crop rotation is particularly beneficial in dry regions, where grain crops are grown with natural rainfall.

These three strategies have become almost standard practice in the Victorian Mallee, and dryland farming regions across the Australian wheat belt, where they have helped to achieve a substantial reduction in wind erosion from bare paddocks.

The study did not consider other benefits of no-till agriculture, but said it clearly provided environmental and social benefits.

The authors suggested that the success of no-till farming in dryland regions could become an important strategy for climate-change adaptation in regions that are likely to become drier because of global warming.

But the authors warned of the need for caution if conservation farming is extended into regions subjected to a drying climate regime.

They said it is likely to be difficult to implement the supporting practices of stubble retention and crop rotation in resource-poor regions dominated by farmers with small holdings.

In those circumstances, they say, there is a risk that the shift to zero-till farming, in the absence of the other techniques, will result in yield losses.

They nominated sub-Saharan Africa and eastern Asia as regions where a shift to no-till farming alone, might actually reduce yields.

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Classic Nicholas Sparks style in The Best of Me | REVIEW The Best of Me follows the same style as other Nicholas Sparks-inspired films including Dear John, The Last Song and The Notebook.
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The Best of Me follows the same style as other Nicholas Sparks-inspired films including Dear John, The Last Song and The Notebook.

The Best of Me follows the same style as other Nicholas Sparks-inspired films including Dear John, The Last Song and The Notebook.

The Best of Me follows the same style as other Nicholas Sparks-inspired films including Dear John, The Last Song and The Notebook.

TweetFacebookThe Best of Me

Rated: M

Two out of five

Now showing

IF NICHOLAS Sparks was a breakfast condiment there’s no doubt he would be honey; and he would be laid on thick.

In the realm of schmaltzy, syrupy chick-flicks, no one stands greater than Sparks, who has made a franchise out of reducing women to swooning tears thanks to Dear John, The Last Song and what was that other one? Ah, everyone’s favourite – The Notebook.

Sparks’ latest foray into the world of ‘leave ‘em howling’ romance movies is The Best Of Me.

The Best Of Me trailerAnd you’ll never guess, but it’s a timeless love story featuring quintessential Sparks-isms including a lake, a beautiful old building, a kissing-in-the-rain scene andof course, a devastatingly handsome male lead in James Marsden who plays Dawson.

Michelle Monaghan takes on the role of Amandaand together the pair create plenty of genre-defining moments sure to leave audiences faint.

In classic Sparks style, the tale begins in the past with teenaged lovers navigating the early 1990s like they’d never heard of Nirvana or Pearl Jam.

Fast-forward through the usual trials and tribulations star-crossed lovers are expected to overcome in this brand of romance film – boy from the wrong side of the tracks with a troubled home life meets with rich girl’s family’s disapproval coupled with unexpected and devastating trauma – and we’re back in the present.

For Dawson and Amanda the present sees them brought back together after being torn apart 20 years earlier.

Will they fall back in love with each other?

Did they ever really fall out of love?

Will they get covered in leeches in that murky and muddy lake?

Of course not; this is text-book romance.

The only thing missing is a shirtless Ryan Gosling and a dessert wine.

And originality.

But, if you loved The Notebook, and you’re big on formulaic film scripts, The Best Of Me is for you.

When I say it’s heart-warming –at least –you’ll know exactly what I mean by the end.

Take tissues.

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Two Mallee farming families are among the public faces of a campaign to bring more skilled professionals to north west Victoria.
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Success: Kiambra Stock Feeds co-owner Jeff Dalton produces premium grade bagged lucerne chaff that is highly prized by racing stables and pony clubbers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Swan Hill-based business Dodgshun Medlin has launched a new-look website, a new suite of integrated services and announced a drive to recruit 50 new team members at its offices across regional Australia.

Among the clients featured in the campaign are father and son grain growers Garry and Anthony Bibby, of Berriwillock, and Jeff and Gae Dalton, who produce premium grade bagged lucerne chaff at Pental Island, east of Swan Hill.

Dodgshun Medlin Managing Partner Ian Dodgshun said the company was expanding to meet rapid growth in demand for its financial, business development, wealth improvement and agronomic services across the Victorian and SA Mallee – and much further afield.

He said it was time to convince many more highly skilled professionals to make their next career move with Dodgshun Medlin.

“We have a commitment to regional Australia,” he said.

“Relationships are everything, and that’s part of the uniqueness of living in the country.

“We don’t ever view people as just ‘a client’.

“They’re people we enjoy working with and want to see succeed.

“We believe in country people and support local communities and we want to build up a workforce of both newly qualified and experienced professionals who will help us continue to deliver services of the highest standard.

“We need everyone from senior tax advisors and agronomists to support staff who make our team and clients feel valued.

“We also want these people to become part of the community and contribute.

“To do this we must accept the challenge of being bolder and more willing to openly share our story and some of the great success stories we have helped our clients achieve.”

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Dr Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, global co-ordinator of the ICCA Consortium Association.More than 300 Aboriginal and indigenous peoples from five continents will gather in the heart of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area next week for an event about conserving nature and culture.
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The three-day Gathering in The Gully will be held in The Gully in Katoomba between November 10-11 in the lead up to the 6th World Parks Congress in Sydney.

The Gully is a declared Aboriginal Place that is co-managed by The Gully Traditional Owners and Blue Mountains council.

Organised by the International ICCA Consortium (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories), the event will bring together people from 43 countries including Canada, the Philippines, Iran, Senegal, Bolivia, Taiwan, Madagascar and Australia.

Dr Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, global coordinator of the ICCA Consortium Association – one of the co-sponsors – said: “Indigenous peoples and local communities play an invaluable role in conserving nature and culture. This Gathering is about bringing them together from five continents to connect, share experiences and learn from one another.”

The consortium is an international association dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition of and support to Indigenous peoples globally. The event is supported by the traditional owners. The community is invited to to attend the traditional dance and corroboree at The Gully on Monday November 11 from 7 to 9pm.

“We look forward to sharing this truly global cultural experience with the Blue Mountains community,” said Dr Borrini-Feyerabend.

Details: National Parks and Wildlife Service 4784 7300.

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OPINION:Telstra has plenty to answer for at Tooraweenah
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The town of Tooraweenah has effectively been operating on a credit system for the past week after losing access to phone lines and EFTPOS facilities.

Last Monday phone lines dropped and have intermittently worked since, with residents noticing they were more likely to return when the temperature cooled down.

The town, which is 100 kilometres north of Dubbo and has an approximate population of 100, has no bank and relies upon the EFTPOS facilities at the handful of businesses to access money.

Store owners were forced to operate using cash only after EFTPOS systems went offline and also had to make do without phones or internet.

Mobile phone coverage is extremely limited in the area, especially with Telstra.

“Nobody is happy. This is the talk of the town at the moment. There is only about 100 residents in the town but then you have all the farmers across the district and contractors who are harvesting,” Tooraweenah resident Ross Pollock said.

“Mobile reception around the town is patchy.

“If you stand in some places you will get some service but move away and you lose it.

“Everyone in town is running tabs. The service station and the pub are without EFTPOS and now most people have used up their cash.

“The businesses in town are now showing goodwill and now have to hope that everyone settles up.”

Proprietor of Tooraweenah Trading Co Lester Thurston said the worst part of no phones had been the uncertainty about whether or not they had been working.

“There’s a loss of trade for businesses. I had people who were trying to call me and all they were getting was a busy signal.

“Telstra say they can divert calls but we don’t get mobile reception here. I went away for the weekend and there is a viewing platform on the side of the road as you leave town, I had one bar of service on Friday when I left, and I had four bars when I came back. It varies that much.

“I am concerned that if there is a medical emergency in town, it could be a serious problem.”

Tooraweenah Caravan Park owner Sarah Hill said she had begun reporting the issue to Telstra last Monday and received a number of conflicting responses from Telstra representatives.

“We had a storm here on Friday night and it brought a power line down in the caravan park. The power was out so the mobile phone antenna wasn’t working and we had no landline, so I had to drive around town until I found someone with an Optus phone to report the issue,” Ms Hill said.

“That’s a pretty serious issue.”

A spokesperson for Telstra said they were aware of an issue between 2.30pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday and the problem had been rectified now.

“A hardware issue caused a loss of fixed line services for our customers in and around Tooraweenah,” the spokesperson said.

“Our technicians replaced the faulty hardware and services are now restored.

“Telstra apologises for any inconvenience to its customers.”

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Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFull coverage: Melbourne Cup 2014Melbourne Cup sweep
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Andreas Wohler, the man considered the best hope of wresting the Melbourne Cup out of the iron-clad grip of the Japanese, remains bullish about Protectionist’s chances despite expressing his dismay at early markets for the race.

Much of Wohler’s enthusiasm stems from globetrotting jockey Ryan Moore, who will return to Australia to shoot for Australia’s most cherished sporting trophy 10 days after stealing away with the Cox Plate.

“I know from last year when he rode our horse Novellist, he’s a very committed and very experienced jockey,” Wohler said.

“He has ridden everywhere and had great success, which is why I was very lucky to have him booked quite early. He was quite keen in the end to ride him, which was a good sign.”

Moore rode at Santa Anita’s Breeders Cup meeting on the weekend before jetting back into Melbourne on Monday.

Wohler has also been doing a fair amount of flying himself, landing in Australia to watch Protectionist’s eye-catching fourth in the Herbert Power at Caulfield three weeks ago.

Bookmakers immediately juggled Melbourne Cup markets installing the five-year-old as favourite for the race.

That baton has long been passed to Admire Rakti after his storming Caulfield Cup win, but the one-time favouritism tag certainly bemused Wohler.

“When I went back to the airport after the race on the way to the airport I got the message to say he was second favourite or favourite and I couldn’t believe it,” Wohler said. “He finished fourth in a group 2 and he’s favourite for the Melbourne Cup? I couldn’t believe that.

“But I was quite happy with the way he ran. He hit a flat spot and it’s a different type of racing here.

“They start quite quickly and then they slow down and then they start to quicken again from the five furlong and he was off the bridle, then he quickened up again and finished off the race really well. That’s what impressed me most.”

The Melbourne Cup has been a regular jaunt for the English, Irish and French over the years, but no German-trained horse has ever won the race.

Wohler has previously brought horses to Australia for the Cox Plate with Silvano running fourth to Northerly in 2001, while Paolini ran 10th in the weight-for-age championship three years later.

And he admitted a lead-up run in Australia was critical to his planning and that of Australian Bloodstock, which purchased the horse to fulfil a Melbourne Cup ambition.

“Every time [travelling to Australia] you learn and even now we’re learning,” he said. “You know what is needed in preparation for going into quarantine and that’s why we always said we wanted to come earlier and have a prep race for him.

“[The Melbourne Cup] always has big attention because it is a very big race on the world stage. Now it gets even more attention because a German horse is right in the race.”

Protectionist is the least experienced horse in the Melbourne Cup field, boasting just nine starts, including a win in the Prix Kergorlay over 3000 metres in August, a typical lead-up race for the international raiders.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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Kelly captivates with warm, uplifting stories | photos Cathy Kelly Literary lunch.Photo by Chris McCormack
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Harriet Manasa, of Indooroopilly, and Jeni Wellington, of Bardon.

Renee Thake, of Capalaba, and Cathy Nguyen, of Tarragindi, at the Grand View literary lunch.

Karen Moore, of Thorneside, and Claire Grace, of Hawthorne.

Donna Schneiders, of Redland Bay, and Marian Davey, of Victoria Point.

Christina and Kate Mason, of Palmwoods.

Bev Ruskey, of Killarney, Meredith Tracey and Jodie Daley, of Wellington Point. Photos by Chris McCormack

TweetFacebookIt Started with Paris, when she was guest author at the Grand View Hotel on Friday.

At the top of the Eiffel Tower, a young man proposes to his girlfriend, cheered on by delighted tourists.

Kelly weaves a delightful tale spinning out from this once-in-a-lifetime moment, drawing together a terrific cast of characters with stories of their own.

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