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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TUESDAY’S Melbourne Cup holds extra significance for 23 Bendigo Advertiser readers.
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GREAT PRIZE: The two-year-old colt by Beautiful Crown.

Hundreds of readers entered the Win A Share In A Racehorse competition and 23 of those entrants were drawn out on Monday and given a horse in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

The person with the Melbourne Cup-winning horse earns a free five per cent share in a two-year-old colt by Beautiful Crown to be trained at Bendigo by Shane Fliedner.

The prize is valued at $3500 and includes training fees.

The 23 entrants with horses in the Melbourne Cup are:

1. Admire Rakti drawn by Jaylee Dixon of Eaglehawk.

2. Cavalryman drawn by Laighton Fitzpatrick of Maroochydore.

3. Fawkner drawn by Mathew Stokes-Logan of Jackass Flat.

4. Red Cadeaux drawn by John Parker of Kangaroo Flat.

5. Protectionist drawn by Zane Blackmore of Flora Hill.

6. Sea Moon – scratched.

7. Seismos – drawn by Ann Weightman of Kangaroo Flat.

8. Junoob – drawn by Rochelle Thompson of Lockwood South.

9. Royal Diamond – drawn by Mark Ryan of Junortoun.

10. Gatewood – drawn by David Manning of Bendigo.

11. Mutual Regard – drawn by Matt Ginnivan of Golden Square.

12. Who Shot TheBarman – drawn by Dillon Anderson of Strathfieldsaye.

13. Willing Foe – drawn by Nicholas Lowrie of Murrambeena.

14. My Ambivalent – drawn by Necia Mitchell of Marong.

15. Precedence – drawn by Chris Howgate of East Bendigo.

16. Brambles – drawn by Mark Terris of Bendigo.

17. Mr O’Ceirin – drawn by Oriel Gray of Kangaroo Flat.

18. Au Revoir – drawn by Peter Bennett of Eaglehawk.

19. Lidari – drawn by Belinda Urwin of Cal Gully.

20. Opinion – drawn by Julie Baird of Maiden Gully.

21. Araldo – drawn by Brooke Douglas of Staverton, Tasmania.

22. Lucia Valentina – drawn by Luke Thompson of Strathdale.

23. Unchain My Heart – drawn by Lorinda McKenzie of Huntly.

24. Signoff – drawn by Anthony Youla of Junortoun.

Good luck to everyone. The winner will be contacted by the Bendigo Advertiser after the race.

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Blackwood Marathon success carries into 36th year Paddlers come to the end of their leg at Jayes’ Bridge.
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Newest Hall of Fame recipient Ian T’Hart.

A German visitor enjoyed the day and found a baby kangaroo to fuss over.

Team “Cait and the boys Krank it up”: Peter Andrews, Mat Duncan, Kimberley Ranson and Scott Prest.

Out and about: Kris Miller and Nick Bush enjoy the afternoon ambience following the race.

Team “Old Docs”: super vets with a combined age of 277 years – Jim Sharp, Peter Bath, Tony Van Merwyk and Richard Lang relax after the race.

Team “3 Has Beens, 2 Would Be’s”: Paul Read, Rob McLoughlin, Rowen Langridge, Louie Luciani and Shane Read.

Ric Wheatley, Barry Shephard, John Awcock, Marty Wallace and Jim Taylor enjoying themselves after the event.

Stacey Applin and Alison Wheatley.

Dick Wittenoom and John Ranieri help out behind the scenes.

Tim Saunders and Megan Richards represent their team “Lifesports – Mr Bill”.

Team “Narrogin Juniors” – Bill Wiese, Sophie Potts, Brendan Pratt and Dan Wiese won the Under 18’s open competition.

Sarah and Tim Wiese won the individual Iron woman and Ironman competitions.

Team “Five Abreast” Super-vet ladies winners: Jo Pearson, Di Hollett, Rachel Jackson, Liz Corrigan & Lyn Whitney

Toby Ward and Tim Davies represent their team “Lifesports – The Kids” who won the Under 18’s non-equestrian.

Former Ironman champions Stephen Brown and Clive Choate talk tactics.

Rusty Ironman Trevor Neaves pushes through the rain during the cycle leg.

Stephen Brown and Lynne Choate at the cycle start.

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Tennis
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WITH the tennis season well under way socially and with junior coaching into its third week, a group of more serious players launched into the competitive pennants on Saturday.

Unfortunately, due to a short supply of able-bodied men, Northam was only able to field one pennants team this year but got off to a great start with a win against Beverley.

Northam hosted Beverley and although the play was tightly contested eventually won the day with 16-14 sets.

Team spirit: Northam Lawn Tennis Club’s pennants team for the 2014-15 season: Kirsten Arthur, Cathy North, Beverley Young, Dennis Saunders, Kellie Podmore, Astyn Temby, Reuben Thompson and Alan Smith.

It was a great team effort to take the win with special mention to Dennis Saunders who won five out of his six sets and to both Reuben Thompson and Beverley Young who won four out of their six sets.

Next week Northam takes on Cunderdin in Northam for the pennants trophy for 2014-15.

On the past two Sundays, social tennis has been well attended although with the blustery conditions this week hitting the ball was somewhat of its own challenge.

Players were also keen to get into the spirit of the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday with a cup sweep and afternoon tea.

Members of the club continue to support men’s health with the Movember challenge on once again.

Mid-week social tennis continues on Wednesdays and has been well supported.

The Northam women’s Double Day tournament takes place on November 12.

For further details please contact captain Jo Hill at SportsPower. For those wishing to play tennis at the Northam Lawn Tennis Club, social tennis is played on both Wednesday mornings from 9am and Sunday afternoons from 1.30pm.

New members receive a once-off half-price membership fee applying to singles, family and junior memberships. Contact the Northam Country Club for further details.

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Basketball
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ROUND two means everything in the basketball competition is back in full swing.

All junior and senior teams have been playing awesome basketball every week.

The committee has done a great job making everything run smoothly, as have the umpires.

A reminder to all parent and guardians, all junior players must have registration forms, medical forms, birth certificates, Kids Sport and fees sorted by round three or your child will not be allowed to take the court.

If they do play and none of these important forms are filled out, their team loses its points.

Results

Men

Kulbardie Red defeated Madcatz 36-25

Kulbardie white defeated York Jets 32-13

Goomalling defeated Kings 54-22

Thunder defeated Cunderdin 45-36

York Roos defeated Venom 52 -3

Feds defeated Northam power 51-35

Women

Burdiya defeated Madkittenz 48-16

Waalitj defeated York Rebels 22-8

Renegades defeated LOL 24-8

Thunderbirds defeated York Ladies 28-17

Boys 11

Thunder defeated York 14-12

Joeys defeated Rockets 41-0

Warriors defeated Destroyers 15-12

Boys 13

Arrows defeated Toodyay 6-4

Magic defeated Jetz 26-15

York jets defeated Tigers 26-24

Boys 16

Kulbardies defeated Toodyay 47-6

Toodyay defeated Sharpshooters 39-7

Girls 11

York Cats defeated Hotshots 32-4

Hawks defeated Tornadoes 60-6

Girls 13

Astros defeated Toodyay 44-0

Thunderbirds defeated Fireworks 22-10

Girls 16

York Stars defeated Toodyay 34-21

Steelers defeated Storm 68-4

Yorgas defeated Thunder 22-16

Tornadoes defeated York Cats 29-19

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THE Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band performed a concert at the Town Hall earlier this month entitled Northam Answers the Call.
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In the words of a local resident, “that was the best and most interesting and certainly the most emotional concert they had ever been to”.

In tune: The Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band perform at the Northam Town Hall on October 19 as part of the Northam Answers the Call concert.

The two directors of the band, Peter Hind and Phil Robertson, contrived to link all the pieces performed into a story which reflected both the glories and the tragedies of two World Wars.

The concert on October 19 featured in its first section music from the period of World War I.

This section also featured the Northam branch of Sing Australia who gave rousing renditions of some of the old trench songs of the period accompanied by the band.

The second section featured music of the 1920s and 30s followed by the third section featuring music from 1939-45.

Memorial: A wreath left at the concert.

Themes from films such as The Longest Day and The Dambusters provided the right atmosphere for the comments which interspersed the performances.

The final section was the dedication service.

Members of the audience paid their respects to the fallen by laying wreaths in front of the simple memorial which graced the front of the stage.

The band played a selection of appropriate music which included Sunset, The Water is Wide and a superb version of the hymn Abide With Me which featured the Last Post played as a counter melody to the hymn.

The audience was asked not to applaud and the concert finished on a fine point of reflection with the band sitting motionless with their heads bowed.

The Northam Shire Council was thanked for sponsoring the event and the audience for its enthusiastic support of the performers.

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NORTHAM Scout Group has invited anyone associated with scouting in Northam, past and present, to a centenary celebration and reunion.
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Scout leaders, section and committee members, Joeys, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers (Senior Scouts), Rovers, parents and families associated with scouting in Northam since 1914 are invited to a group reunion and centenary celebration to be held at Northam Recreation Centre on November 16, from 2pm-4pm.

The Scout Group will have memorabilia and a photo display on the day.

People are also encouraged to bring mementos and photos for display on the day.

The group will be sharing stories with afternoon tea.

The event is supported by the Shire of Northam.

Group leader Ms Abbott said some past members have started sharing their experiences and involvement with scouting in Northam and it is very exciting to be able to meet up with as many people as possible and remember their important contributions to young people in scouting.

“Past youth members are also looking forward to meeting up with past mates,” she said.

For more information, contact Amanda Abbott, Northam Scout Group, on 0409 206 607. To register your attendance visit northamscoutventenary. eventbrite. com.au.

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MALEBO Magic is the great local hope in today’s $8000 Sunraysia Daily Mallee Cup at Sandilong Park.
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Making magic: Colette Cooper with Malebo Magic yesterday. The Mildura trainer hopes her charge can be victorious in today’s Sunraysia Mallee Cup at Mildura’s Sandilong Park. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

The eight-year-old gelding is gunning for a second straight local win, following his triumph ain the Pooncarie Cup a month ago.

Trainer Colette Cooper said her horse was enjoying a rich vein of form and was optimistic conditions would favour him today.

“He’s fit and well and has had a bit of a let-up since he won at Pooncarie,” she said.

Seven of Malebo Magic’s 12 career wins have been over 1400 metres – today’s distance.

The horse will be ridden by Stawell jockey Marc Munday who has managed nine wins from 105 starts over the past 12 months.

Cooper, who has trained horses for 12 years, is aiming to replicate past Cup Day glories at Sandilong Park.

“I did win about four years ago,” she said.

“I think it helps local racing to have a local here so I’m hoping to get another win.”

Malebo Magic could face tough competition though, should the bookies’ favourite Empress Zakynthos make it out of the barriers.

The bay mare from the stables of Hamilton trainer Ron Daniel hasn’t run since a trial at Tatura in December last year.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday’s Sunraysia Daily 04/11/2014.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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READ THE STORY: No phone zone
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The area you are phoning has been disconnected – for most of a week.

You wouldn’t hear that in Sydney.

But the 100 residents of Tooraweenah, near Gilgandra, have been frustrated by repeated phone failures last week. They say their landline phones were cut off during daylight hours. Businesses could not use EFTPOS and people were running out of cash.

And, like vast chunks of the 250,000 square kilometres around it, Tooraweenah has poor, if any, mobile reception.

So, how do you phone Telstra to complain? You can’t. You also can’t eat if you can’t get cash to buy food or even buy petrol to drive to “civilisation” in a nearby town.

Telstra says there was one outage for 30 hours from Friday at 2.30pm because of a hardware fault, which has since been fixed.

It did not comment on claimed problems earlier in the week.

Residents say phones were failing intermittently for a week.

Lines dropped out as the days heated up and came back in cooler night air. Some claim they reported problems but saw no technicians or vans racing to help.

Whatever the cause, a situation like this would never be tolerated in the big city.

What if someone had a medical crisis or needed an ambulance, fire services, police?

The country shouldn’t have to tolerate it, either.

The government and all phone suppliers must ensure this never happens anywhere again.

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This tree was uprooted in The Hills during the weekend storm. Photo courtesy M Palmer-Burton, as posted on The Hills SES Facebook pageThe Hills SES was the third-busiest SES unit across Sydney Western Region on the weekend, receiving 140 storm job requests from Saturday, 2pm.
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The Hills SES controller, Evelyn Lester, said crews dealt with trees down on houses, blocked roads and damage to property caused by strong winds which at their peak reached 95 kmph at Balcombe Heights Estate, where her SES unit is based.

— Evelyn Lester‘‘Pizza it is, still in the dark”

— Shane SpringerNews shortly after 6pm.

She reminded residents to secure or put away loose items from yards and balconies, bring children and pets indoors and park cars under cover during storms.

They should also stay clear of fallen trees and power lines and damaged structures, she said.

For emergency assistance in floods and storms call the NSW SES on 132 500.

‘‘Follow the Hills SES Facebook pagefor regular updates during storms,’’ Ms Lestersaid.

■The NSW SES is divided into 17 regions based on major river systems.

■Sydney Western Region takes in The Hills, Auburn, Blacktown, Blue Mountains,Hawkesbury, Holroyd, Mount Druitt, Parramatta, and Penrith.

■Each region controller is responsible for the operational control of emergency flood and storm responses, including planning, training, operational support and other functions within their area of control.

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STUDENTS studying the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Muresk have had their learning experience boosted with laboratory sessions relating to their plant and animal courses.
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A key feature of the three-year degree being delivered in a partnership between Charles Sturt University and C Y O’Connor Institute is its practical, hands on approach to learning.

The classes in the laboratory have focused on factors affecting production levels in both animal and plant systems. During one session, students dissected the female reproductive tracts of sheep and pigs, identified the component parts and related them back to classroom theory about function and factors affecting reproductive efficiency.

Hands on: Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton with students Mitchell Hutton (Morawa) and David Storer (Meckering) during an animal reproduction laboratory practical at Muresk.

The laboratory work was followed by a practical session in the sheep yards where the students were given a pen of merino rams and asked to do a reproductive soundness examination on them.

Using these results in conjunction with data on wool production, quality and body size, the students had to identify animals to cull from the flock.

Lecturer, Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton, said the exercises in the laboratory and sheep yard, gave students a clearer picture of the parts of the reproductive system and an understanding of factors that affected efficient reproduction.

In their study of soil and plants, the students visited a local farm to look at formation, structure and classification of soils.

They also carried out tests to determine texture and pH and used the data to decide the usefulness of each soil type for agriculture.

Lecturer James Fisher said in the laboratory, students measured water infiltration rates in different soil types. In another experiment they measured water usage of plants under a range of conditions including different temperatures, moving and still air, light and dark.

The students are also observing various summer and winter crops growing in the glasshouse.

“I’d like to acknowledge the effort of members of the Higher Education Project team in re-equipping the laboratory and thank DAFWA, Ballard Seeds, WANTFA and Landmark for donating the seed used by students,” Dr Fisher said.

Enrolments for 2015 are now open. To apply online or download and print a form go to csu.edu.au/apply.

For further assistance contact Daisy Bulloch on 9622 6789 or email agri [email protected]

Hands on: Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton with students Mitchell Hutton (Morawa) and David Storer (Meckering) during an animal reproduction laboratory practical at Muresk.

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