Skinner takes out Ballarat District championship

Victory: Ballarat District Golf Incorporated women’s champions Gai Skinner (A-grade), Heather Davidson (B-grade) and Faye Butcher (C-grade). GAI Skinner is the 2015 Ballarat District Golf Incorporated open women’s scratch champion.
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Skinner carded a round of 82 at her home track at Midlands Golf Club on Monday for a two-shot victory over Buninyong’s Helen Pascoe.

The result caps off a big fortnight for Skinner, who was also part of Midlands’ victorious division one pennant championship over Hepburn Springs.

In other results, Heather Davidson (also Midlands) shot 92 for the B-grade scratch title over Skipton’s Glenis Keilar, while Faye Butcher beat Ballarat counterpart Heather Brauman by two shots for the C-grade

title.

The event was well received by golfers around the district, who contested the titles in perfect conditions.

BALLARAT DISTRICT GOLF INCORPORATED WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

OPEN

Scratch: G Skinner 82, H Pascoe 84

Handicap: A Leeson 72, P Bandy 73

Veteran’s: G Skinner 82

Champion of champions: H Pascoe 84

Putting: B Huntley 28

Teams: H Pascoe, H McSparron, V Lund (Buninyong) 239

B-GRADE

Scratch: H Davidson 92, G Keilar 94

Handicap: J Carpenter 71, V Bennett 73, J Guest 74 on countback, A Cunnington

Veteran’s: J Carpenter 71

Putting: B Oliver 30 on countback, K Buckland

Teams: G Keilar, M Ellis, H Mason (Skipton) 229

C-GRADE

Scratch: F Butcher 103, H Brauman 105

Handicap: P Hodge 72, B Krunic 74

Veteran’s: P Hodge 72 on countback, F Butcher

Putting: L Smyth 31

Teams: J Fairhurst, V Cole, V Hackett (Midlands) 241

Nearest the pin: A grade 16th, B Smith; B grade 11th, V Bennett; C grade 3rd, F Butcher

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Sovereigns’ last chance

ONE more chance – this is all Sovereigns have left in Victorian Netball League’s championship division this season.
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Final round action against Southern Saints will cap off a whirlwind eight months since the club was formed and plans are already well under way to bolster the squad in the off-season.

ACU Sovereigns will play 19/under finals in their inaugural season but for championship division, this is the final round.

Sovereigns assistant coach Kate McMahon said the team was particularly driven to sign off strong against what will be a championship division finals contender.

“We haven’t quite reached our own expectations for what we can achieve this season,” McMahon said.

“We want to win this last match of our season and have smiles on faces of all the girls as we exit the stadium.

“…We know we’re better than the results and generally need to prove to ourselves we can do it.”

Preparations have been interrupted with an ankle injury to goal defence Sanonu Robertson early in the week.

McMahon said while Robertson was unlikely to line up, Sovereigns were confident they had the depth in the versatile Laura McDonald and Ash Bradley to fill that role.

Sovereigns captain Cynna Kydd is expected to play a full game after training strong this week.

Kydd was a late withdrawal with general soreness in the warm-up last round.

The experienced goaler will be a welcome inclusion with Sovereigns yet to receive word if they will have access to Melbourne Vixens shooter for this match.

This year’s VNL season was particularly condensed to fit in clear ahead of the Netball World Cup in August.

For Sovereigns, this has meant blooding a band of new players to state league level while trying to gel combinations and build a completely new club.

McMahon said the increased speed and intensity of the VNL had taken a toll on most bodies – but they were ready for one final match.

In the 19/unders, Sovereigns will meet Saints on court two as a lead-in to their first final, also against Saints and on court two next week.

This is a chance for Sovereigns to really finetune their combinations and test plays before meeting the Saints again.

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Tough clash for weakened Rush

Trouble: Rush’s Bronte Clark aggravated a knee injury on Saturday night. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE
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YOUTH League Miners and Rush have returned to the drawing board this week after both failed to collect a win in Big V Basketball.

For the Rush, the highly anticipated match-up against Knox was always going to be a challenge, but with a less than full-strength roster it was going to be a tough ask.

While the MARS Minerdome scoreboard recorded an eight-point loss, further bad news came for the Rush camp when talented young tall Claire Blower aggravated a knee injury and failed to finish Saturday night’s game.

Without one of their key players, Rush was undersized but didn’t go down without a fight, hustling to lead the rebound count for the game.

The girls headed off on Sunday to face the red hot Dandenong Rangers in a clash that showed true Ballarat character.

Severely under-manned against a strong Rangers team, younger members of the squad such as Jessica Tempany and Izzy Fraser supported Bronte Clark, who finished with a team-high 17 points to keep the margin to 21.

Youth League Miners also experienced a tough double-header falling to Blackburn on Saturday night in a high-scoring affair.

Giving up 116 points is always going to be a tough ask to outscore and the Miners simply didn’t have enough firepower to chase the monster total down.

Tristan Fisher and Leo Viitala starred for the next generation of Miners having combined for 48 while Sam Short picked up game most valuable player honours for a solid all round performance.

The Miners also gave up 100 points on the defensive end when they were comprehensively beaten by Sunbury, 100-52 on Sunday.

They will hit the road this weekend to face Altona, before returning to the Minerdome on May 30 when they face Keysborough at 8pm.

Youth League Rush will also scramble in the bus as they take on Bullen before also returning on May 30 when Kilsyth makes its way to town.

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BIG V YOUTH LEAGUE

CHAMPIONSHIP WOMEN

KNOX 14 33 42 61

BALLARAT 11 22 34 53

Ballarat points: Eliza Roughead 15, Bronte Clark 13 (2 three-pointers), Claire Constable 10 (2), Isabel Fraser 6 (1), Taylah Wynne 5, Margaret Baker 2, Claire Blower 2.

REBOUNDS – Knox 31, Ballarat 39 (Roughead 15, Constable 7)

ASSISTS – Knox 8, Ballarat 5

STEALS – Knox 22, Ballarat 5

TURNOVERS – Knox 11, Ballarat 35

BLOCKS – Knox 4, Ballarat 2

SHOOTING – field goals, Knox 23/73 (31.5%), Ballarat 16/50 (32.0%); three-pointers, Knox 5/20 (25.0%), Ballarat 5/17 (29.4%); free throws, Knox 10/21 (47.6%), Ballarat 16/18 (88.9%).

DANDENONG 18 37 60 78

BALLARAT 7 31 43 57

Ballarat points: Bronte Clark 17 (2 three-pointers), Jessica Tempany 15 (3), Claire Constable 9 (3), Eliza Roughead 9, Isabel Fraser 7 (1).

REBOUNDS – Dandenong 55, Ballarat 39 (Rougfhead 11, Clark 7)

ASSISTS – Dandenong 16, Ballarat 8

STEALS – Dandenong 7, Ballarat 8

TURNOVERS – Dandenong 16, Ballarat 12

BLOCKS – Dandenong 5, Ballarat 4

SHOOTING – field goals, Dandenong 32/75 (42.7%), Ballarat 20/75 (26.7%); three-pointers, Dandenong 5/19 (26.3%), Ballarat 9/28 (32.1%); free throws, Dandenong 9/15 (60.0%), Ballarat 8/17 (47.1%).

CONFERENCE LADDER: Melbourne 142.28 percentage points, 100.00 winning percentage; Dandenong 134.45, 100.00; Ballarat 101.96, 58.33; Eltham 100.13, 46.15; Ringwood 89.43, 36.36; Waverley 74.44, 28.57; Kilsyth 79.86, 27.27; Bendigo 87.82, 25.00.

NEXT GAME: Bulleen v Ballarat, Saturday 7pm

LEAGUE ONE MEN

BLACKBURN 25 54 88 116

BALLARAT 22 48 65 90

Ballarat points: Leo Viitala 26 (4 three-pointers), Tristan Fisher 22 (4), Sam Short 16 (2), Damon Tilley 8 (2), James Reeves 8 (2), Ross Weightman 4, James Hallett 2, James West 2, Zachary Pell 2.

REBOUNDS – Blackburn 51, Ballarat 38 (Viitala 8, Short 6, Weightman 6)

ASSISTS – Blackburn 26, Ballarat 18 (Short 5)

STEALS – Blackburn 6, Ballarat 7

TURNOVERS – Blackburn 13, Ballarat 16

BLOCKS – Blackburn 4, Ballarat 5

SHOOTING – field goals, Blackburn 47/88 (53.4%), Ballarat 36/84 (42.9%); three-pointers, Blackburn 10/25 (40.0%), Ballarat 14/28 (50.0%); free throws, Blackburn 12/23 (52.2%), Ballarat 4/6 (66.7%).

SUNBURY 32 58 83 100

BALLARAT 13 28 41 52

Ballarat points: James Reeves 21 (3 three-pointers), Anthony Bedggood 10, Leo Viitala 7, Malachi Harvey 5, Zachary Pell 3, Damon Tilley 2, James West 2, Ross Weightman 2.

REBOUNDS – Sunbury 48, Ballarat 45 (Weightman 10, Viitala 7, Harvey 7)

ASSISTS – Sunbury 26, Ballarat 9

STEALS – Sunbury 18, Ballarat 6

TURNOVERS – 10, Ballarat 22

BLOCKS – Sunbury 8, Ballarat 1

SHOOTING – field goals, Sunbury 39/79 (49.4%), Ballarat 20/71 (28.2%); three-pointers, Sunbury 6/19 (31.6%), Ballarat 3/16 (18.8%); free throws, Sunbury 16/28 (57.1%), Ballarat 9/19 (47.4%).

LADDER: Blackburn 121.39 percentage points, 83.33 winning percentage; Sunbury 115.95 , 75.00; Whittlesea 113.79 72.73; Coburg 101.56 66.67; Altona 102.89, 58.33; Bendigo 99.87, 50.00; Hume City 94.59, 50.00; Werribee 94.92, 46.15; Camberwell 99.36, 36.36; Geelong 90.75, 23.08; Ballarat 83.72, 23.08; Keysborough 91.10, 11.11.

NEXT GAME: Altona v Ballarat, Sunday 3pm

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Buninyong Senior Citizens Club celebrates 40th anniversary

Celebration: Buninyong Senior Citizens Club vice-president Jan Antosiewicz and life member Vic Bradley celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary.PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORDABOUT 50 senior citizens gathered to celebrate a 40th anniversary on Tuesday.
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Like any other party the event had a cake, food and musician to provide entertainment.

However, the celebrations focused not on a person, but the anniversary of the Buninyong Senior Citizens Club.

The club’s vice-president Jan Antosiewicz said the event provided an outing for members from a number of senior citizens clubs across Ballarat.

“It is a great way of making friendships, a lot of these people have been together for a very long time and they look forward to catching up every Tuesday, they have weekly lunches every Tuesday,” she said.

Ballarat MP Catherine King was also present for the celebrations.

Ms Antosiewicz said the group meets at the Buninyong Town Hall once a week but often participates in other events such as bingo or carpet bowls.

“This year there has been a number of younger people come in and help with the executive positions because some of the other people have been getting older,” she said.

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Cannabis  laws  under  review

Seeking feedback: Victorian Law Reform Commissioner Dr Ian Freckelton. PICTURE: KATE HEALYOVER the counter access to cannabis was one of many topics discussed at Ballarat’s first public consultation to review medicinal cannabis laws.
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The Victorian Law Reform Commission held its second of eight regional public consultations on Monday.

Commissioner Dr Ian Freckelton QC led the discussions at Ballarat Town Hall, with about 20 locals providing feedback.

The public consultations follow the government’s recommendation for VLRC to review and report on options for legislative change to allow people to be treated with medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances.

An issues paper was released in March, with the public asked to respond by April 20.

More than 70 submissions were received by the commission.

Issues surrounding the sale of medicinal cannabis over the counter were also discussed.

One participant, who cannot be named for confidentiality reasons, said the laws needed to consider those who used medicinal cannabis for pain relief. “Do we leave them in that excruciating pain … if we have a method of treating them?” he asked.

The commission will travel across the state seeking feedback on the laws.

It will visit Bendigo, Mildura, Wodonga, Shepparton, Bairnsdale and Morwell between May 19 and June 23.

The state government recently announced medicinal cannabis trials in Victoria, asking the Victorian Law Reform Commission to advise on legalising medicinal cannabis.

The commission has been asked to report to the Attorney General by August 3.

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Budding engineers take up design challenge

Sure to work: Loreto College students Emily Tabb and Imogen Noone work on their hovercraft. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE
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FUTURE engineers tried to out-design, out-build and out-smart each other at Federation University on Tuesday.

The Ballarat Science and Engineering Challenge brings to-

gether seven schools in competition, but the real goal is to get students interested in the nuts and bolts behind their creations.

Challenge organiser Peter Fullagar said it allowed them to try out science theory outside of the classroom.

“(The challenge) allows them explore the reasonings behind what they’re learning,” he said.

The year 10 student teams built bridges, rail lines, an off-roader for a mission to Mars and a hovercraft, among other things.

Loreto students working on a hovercraft said the day was all about confidence.

“We haven’t tested it fully yet, but you’ve got to believe it’ll work,” said Imogen Noone.

Superior Systems mechanical engineer Susannah Balson said she was inspired by similar tinkering.

“This is exactly the type of stuff I did as kid … that made me want to be an engineer,” she said.

FedUni volunteers also helped guide the students, and Rotary Club of Wendouree also provided lunch.

Ballarat Grammar won on the day, but Mr Fullagar said Phoenix College was the big improver from last year, moving to second place.

The winners will go on to the state Science and Engineering Challenge in August.

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We must face up to terrible events of past:  King

Catherine KingBallarat is bracing for weeks of horrific stories from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse, but the city’s leaders are saying it is truth of these terrible events that we must face up to.
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FULL COVERAGE.

The city looks set to be front and centre of the commission for the next three weeks and much of what will be heard will shock many in the community.

Ballarat MP Catherine King said the city needed to hear and understand the stories if the community was going to address the many issues connected to the years of abuse.

“We will see stories on the national news that no one would like to see about any place that you call home, but if we are going to grow from these experiences then we have to hear it and help people to move on,” she said.

“It is hard to not hear that testimony and not be incredibly saddened, there were these beautiful boys and young girls who were placed in positions where their families should have been able to trust the people to look after them and do the best by them.

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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Pell involved in advisory group

Proceedings: Commissioner Andrew Murray, Justice Peter McClellan and Justice Jennifer Coate sitting in Ballarat, while Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC makes her opening address.GERALD Ridsdale was continually moved around the Ballarat diocese due to abuse complaints, according to the Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
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FULL COVERAGE.

In her opening address on Tuesday, Gail Furness said Ridsdale was relocated several times by the College of Consultors – a group of priests advising former bishop Ronald Mulkearns and which included now Cardinal George Pell.

“Several of the consultors had been present at meetings of, or were members of the College of Consultors

on each occasion in the past when Ridsdale had been moved,” Ms Furness said.

Minutes show Pell was present at a meeting when Ridsdale was moved from Mortlake after several complaints of inappropriate behaviour with young boys.

“The minutes do not disclose what the bishop said about why it became necessary (to move Ridsdale),” Ms Furness said.

“However … it is expected that there will be evidence that Bishop Mulkearns knew it was because Ridsdale had abused boys in Mortlake and that he had offended in this manner in 1975.

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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Disgraced priests to give evidence during Ballarat hearing

Proceedings: Commissioner Andrew Murray, Justice Peter McClellan and Justice Jennifer Coate sitting in Ballarat, while Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC makes her opening address.DISGRACED priest Gerald Ridsdale will give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse during its first hearing in Ballarat.
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FULL COVERAGE.

Ridsdale will appear via video link from jail while fellow convicted priest Paul Ryan’s evidence previously given to a private hearing will also be tendered.

In his opening address, Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan said the priests’ testimonies would play an important role in the commission’s investigation.

“The evidence will not be directly concerned with the circumstances of their offences,” Justice McClellan said. “That has already been dealt with by the court.

“However, the evidence has an important part to play in the Royal Commission coming to understand why both ordained members of the Catholic Church became abusers and how the church responded to allegations of their abuse.”

A tough day for #Ballarat. If you need help, call @beyondblue | 1300 22 4636 Or @LifelineAust | 13 11 14 or CASA Ballarat 1800 806 292

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Australian Crime Commission: organised criminals linked to money laundering through terrorist groups

Australian Crime Commission chief executive officer Chris Dawson would not name the groups linked to money laundering.Organised criminals are using terrorist groups to launder money, the Australian Crime Commission has revealed.
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ACC chief executive officer Chris Dawson would not name the groups linked to money laundering, but said the threat was part of a growing trend towards more sophisticated methods of “cleaning” cash earned through organised crime.

This includes organised crime groups, particularly those involved in drug trafficking, approaching specific money laundering operations, as opposed to dealing with the profits themselves.

These professional laundering outfits then use various means, including casino gambling and currency trading, to “legitimise” cash.

The ACC organised crime in Australia 2015 report will be released on Wednesday.

As more details emerge of Australians who travel overseas to join conflicts, the report hints at increasing knowledge of the links between national crime and international jihadi groups.

“The problem of Australians going abroad to fight is an emerging area of complexity for this country.

“As counter-terrorism efforts throughout Australia are enhanced, the linkages between terrorism and the broader organised crime and volume crime environments are being identified.

“These linkages include, but are not limited to, Australians who finance terrorist activities, Australians who leave Australia to support terrorist causes, and who may return to Australia with the intent of inflicting harm on the Australian community, or may be recruited by organised crime groups seeking the specialist skill sets they developed in foreign conflicts.”

Mr Dawson said Australian and international authorities were working to prosecute those using terrorist groups for money laundering.

“We have established connections between international controllers and terrorist groups.

“There is a definite connection that has been established and that’s subject of quite a lot of operational activity.”

The report forecasts an increase in organised crime groups trying to using legitimate business to establish a facade for their offending.

The ACC outlines an investigation into a syndicate that established companies in the mining and resources sector and used coercion to take control of existing companies.

Once the syndicate controlled significant shareholdings, they started aggressive capital-raising and marketing campaigns.

The syndicate employed geologists and company research firms to inflate the potential of their projects and release “buy” recommendations to investors.

As the share price inflated, a global network of brokers was employed to sell syndicate members’ shareholdings.

Mr Dawson said investigations into the scam were ongoing and involved all sectors, not just the mining industry.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the spread of technology had broadened the scope of organised crime groups.

“They are violent predators who profit from the misery of drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, the illicit firearms trade, and are even suspected of financing terrorism.

“Sophisticated criminal syndicates both here and abroad have quickly embraced technology – ripping off Australians with online scams, identity fraud, credit card fraud and the exchange of illicit items such as firearms and drugs on the darknet.”

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