APVMA resignations causing ‘significant pressures’ on remaining staff

An unexpected surge in staff resignations at the national pesticides authority is putting “significant pressures” on those remaining ahead of its forced move to Armidale.
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The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority predicts its approvals of new products will slow during the relocation, when more staff are expected to leave, others prepare the agency for the move, and new recruits are trained.

“The APVMA is experiencing higher than expected staff departures,” it said.

Twenty regulatory scientists and an additional 28 staff members, with 204 years’ service between them, left the agency between July and February.

The APVMA told a Senate inquiry into the relocation, a signature policy of Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, a list of risks related to the move included the potential to make “inappropriate decisions” resulting in “significant harm, loss or liability”.

Staff wellbeing, financial sustainability and its ability to deliver on obligations under government legislation were also potentially at risk.

“The pressures on staff resulting from staff departures is also significant,” the APVMA told the Senate committee.

Unfinished assessments, covering new products and permits, grew by 150 to 1,300 at the end of December compared to the same month in 2015, and the number of overdue applications also climbed.

The APVMA is looking at graduate programs, employment agencies, digital connection of remote employees, and contractors to fill gaps expected after the relocation.

New recruits had signalled they were willing to relocate to the northern NSW town, the APVMA said.

It’s drawing on a pool of 200 applicants from a recruitment round late last year to fill multiple vacancies across the agency.

When Mr Joyce wrote to APVMA chief executive Kareena Arthy flagging the move in 2015, she replied she was unable to support the proposal at that time “due to the magnitude of expected losses of expertise and experience”, the agency told the Senate inquiry.

A spokesman for Mr Joyce said the agency was failing to meet recommended processing timeframes from Canberra.

“Why would anyone fight to preserve a model that currently isn’t meeting required legislated timeframes?”, he said.

Staff surveys in 2015 and 2016 showed less than 10 scientists were willing to uproot from Canberra to Armidale.

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Comment: Why Giants should lose rich recruiting zone

The AFL Commission will surely end months of procrastination over the next 24 hours and finally correct the flawed favouritism it bestowed upon its youngest club by handing it a virtual Australian rules grass-roots recruiting zone.
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The border town of Albury and its immediate Murray River surrounds can no longer be considered a NSW development academy for Greater Western Sydney despite that club’s valiant attempts to retain it.

This is not alone a case of rival club sour grapes over Albury’s Caulfield Grammar protege Will Setterfield, the Giants soon-to-be-unveiled No.5 national draft pick, nor his near neighbour and next year’s high draft prospect Charlie Spargo, who boards at Melbourne Grammar.

The breakdown of where players were drafted from last year

Because in this instance the clubs have every right to their disenchantment when a virtual Victorian region with a TAC club down the road is double-handed as a development academy. Albury, not the entire Riverina, is the issue. And it muddies the water for every other northern club working to pioneer the national code in foreign territory. Not to mention yet again raising the question of the maligned and henpecked father-son rule.

This is not the so-called football battle ground of Sydney’s west we are talking about. And despite the success of the GWS academy – which produced seven drafted players (plus three rookies) compared with three home-grown South Australians – no player apart from Israel Folau has yet come to the club from that true west battleground.

And the commission should say no to the Giants’ compromise solution, which has already been rejected by virtually every other club in the competition.

That compromise would see Sydney, which has drafted just three top 20 players over 16 years from its heavily staffed and funded NSW academy, forced to potentially sacrifice local talent altogether should it finish in the top four or even the top eight.

The AFL has a strange relationship with its youngest club. The Giants are flourishing and on every measure have outperformed the Gold Coast, albeit after the competition relaxed its list-establishment rules for GWS. The Giants strongly reject any suggestion of a master-servant relationship with head office and have in recent times successfully taken on the AFL.

And head office resents the suggestion it has buckled under pressure from its 18th club. But that’s what it did when club chief – and former senior AFL executive – David Matthews refused to deal with Gillon McLachlan on the Lachie Whitfield penalties and ultimately achieved a small but significant victory.

If there is a pattern in both battles it is that the AFL has taken too long to act. No amount of defence from the league can justify why it took so long to move on Whitfield given it had received advice on the case several months before it became public.

And the academy debate has waged through all of last season and should have been ruled upon around the time of the draft. Jarrod Brander, another key-position draft prospect, has been the subject of an AFL investigation over his dual home addresses of Wentworth and Mildura since last July and still the league has failed to reach a verdict.

Brander and Spargo, who the club insists is determined to become a Giant, have started their year 12 studies still in the dark about their football futures and in less than a fortnight will line up for their GWS Academy in the under-18 championships. Or not, depending on the AFL verdict.

If as expected the boundaries are redrawn the Giants will request a stay of execution until after the 2017 draft and probably have a case given the AFL delays. All of which will further enrage their opponents given the talent at stake. Either way there will be disenchantment.

The so-called influential Victorian bloc can be whingers at times and the Swans are occasionally guilty of an over-inflated sense of entitlement but on this issue they have the backing of the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast along with all four of the West and South Australian clubs. The time for murky compromises has passed when one clear and decisive act will solve the problem.

It is simply not right to hand what is essentially a grass-roots region on the Victorian border to one club simply because the town sits on the NSW side.

GWS, as ever, have fought the good fight but in this case the club looks certain to lose and so should it. However, this is a call the AFL should have made long ago.

2016 National Draft – 77 players chosen

Victoria – 44

Western Australia – 12

NSW – 9

(Seven from GWS academy zone, including the Riverina: Will Setterfield, Harry Perryman, Isaac Cumming, Lachie Tiziani, Kobe Much to Essendon, Harrison Macreadie to Carlton, Ryan Garwaite to Richmond *)

Queensland – 6

(Give from Gold Coast and Brisbane Lions academy zones: Jack Bowes and Brad Scheer to Gold Coast, Declan Watson and Josh Williams to Nth Melb, Jacob Allison to Brisbane Lions)

South Australia – 3

Northern Territory – 3

Tasmania – 0

* Plus rookies Zach Sproule (to Giants), Sam Fisher (to Sydney) and Max Lynch (to Collingwood)

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Wagga leaders back Scobie Breasley statue

The plaque dedicating the Scobie Breasley mounting yard at the Wagga racetrack.
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A CALL for the great jockey Scobie Breasley to be be immortalised in his home town in the form of a statue looks like a winner with community and sporting leaders.

Highly-respected cricket coach Warren Smith this week called for a statue of Breasley, who died in 2006, to be erected in Bolton Park.

“He’s the most successful sportsman to ever come from Wagga,” Mr Smith said.

Breasley rode five Caulfield Cup winners and tallied two English Derbies and a Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe among his 3251 wins.

Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, was the last journalist tointerview Breasley, in 2001.

“He said to me: ‘You’re from Wagga, you must be okay’,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said he supported the statue idea.

“When I was on the MTC (Murrumbidgee Turf Club) committee with Barney Hymes we talked informally about it,” Mr McCormack said.

“I think it should be at the MTC, Scobie rode there a few times at cup carnivals.”

Mr McCormack also bought into the debate whether Breasley was Wagga’s greatest sportsperson.

“That is a question and half,” Mr McCormack said.

“As a sportsman on the international stage he probably was.”

Mayor Greg Conkey also thinks the statue idea is a winner, but believes it should be placed in a more publicly accessible location.

“Because of his profile, I think it would be better placed in a more central location than the MTC,” Councillor Conkey said.

“I think Bolton Park is an ideal spot, or somewhere along the main street even.

“We already have some statues down the main street.

“It’s a place where everyone can enjoy it.

“The MTC is fine, but I think a more prominent spot would be better suited.”

As for funding, Cr Conkey is open to the idea of it being paid for out of council’s public art fund, but said it was something that needed to be considered by the community.

MTC chief executive, Scott Sanbrook, said the Wagga racetrack’s mounting yard was named in honour ofScobie Breasley in April, 2013, but he thought his organisation would consider hosting a statue if the idea had the support of the city.

“It would be a terrific way to honour such a wonderful Wagga ambassador,” Mr Sanbrook said.

Scobie Breasley was inducted into the Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame in 1998.

He was born in Wagga in 1914 and left the city as a 14-year-old to ride as an apprentice in Melbourne.

Sadly, he did not ride a Melbourne Cup winner.

In 16 attempts the best he finished was second, in 1933 andin 1946.

He landed more than 2000 winners in England.

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‘I was the world’s most hated man’: Fifita

Andrew Fifita has opened up about how close he came to walking away from rugby league, describing himself as “the world’s most hated man” during his tumultuous premiership season.
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Fifita experienced the ultimate rollercoaster ride in 2016, controversially missing out on Clive Churchill medal honours and a Kangaroos call-up despite his grand final heroics. The Cronulla prop has long been a controversy magnet, but the fallout from his support of one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge prompted him to consider defecting to rugby.

At a time when his teammates were basking in the afterglow of the club’s maiden grand final victory, Fifita felt a reviled figure as his future was left in the hands of others.

“I was the world’s most hated man,” Fifita said. “But at the end of the day I walked away with a ring and a premiership to my name. That’s the main thing. We got through it. And as soon as the grand final happened, we got right away from the game, which was the best thing for my family and I.”

The NRL, in consultation with the police, took several months to determine a suitable punishment for Fifita. While in limbo, the 27-year-old gave serious consideration to walking away from rugby league altogether.

“Rugby is always there. I played rugby pretty much my whole life, except these last seven years where I’ve been in rugby league,” said Fifita, who is studying for a diploma in mental health with a view to helping others with off-field issues.

“It’s always an option. At the end of the day, you just wait for who will be the next guy in the headlines … I waited for it to pass me by.

“Things were thrown up and I was willing to take them, but then again, I really wanted the [World] Club Challenge, and the next year and the chance to go back-to-back.

“We’re reigning premiers and I really wanted to defend that. That was the main thing in my head, and that’s what I wanted the most.”

Fifita’s brother David, a former Sharks teammate, played a key role in convincing Fifita there was more to achieve in the NRL.

“David kept saying, ‘I want you to stick it out, you don’t play a game like that in the grand final and then come out of it and walk away from the game’,” Fifita said.

“It was a good game to walk away from because you absolutely killed it. In saying that you move forward.”

Asked if he fell out of love with the game, Fifita said: “Not really. I was in the same situation the year before.

“I felt down the year before because I put pressure on myself, I wasn’t able to play the last six games, and my first game back was a semi-final.

“To happen again like that, going into next year, I didn’t want to lose. It lifted my game to another level, playing with expectation.

“We got the job done.”

Fifita was banned from Australian selection for last year’s Four Nation campaign, but coach Mal Meninga has indicated he will be welcomed back to the fold should his form warrant selection.

“If we go back to where we were [at Cronulla] and if I keep playing footy how it is at the moment, the sky is the limit,” Fifita said.

“I really want to go back-to-back in both things – in winning a grand final and winning a World Cup.

“I was there in 2013, I know the feeling of what it is to win a World Cup.

“I want to be a world champion again and hopefully my footy can do the talking. I haven’t been talking to the media a lot lately, I just want to focus on my footy.

“I want to be back in those teams, that’s another goal of mine to be back there. I got the Origin one back and it’s just about good footy to keep it.”

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Wagga leaders back Scobie Breasley statue

The plaque dedicating the Scobie Breasley mounting yard at the Wagga racetrack.
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A CALL for the great jockey Scobie Breasley to be be immortalised in his home town in the form of a statue looks like a winner with community and sporting leaders.

Highly-respected cricket coach Warren Smith this week called for a statue of Beasley, who died in 2006, to be erected in Bolton Park.

“He’s the most successful sportsman to ever come from Wagga,” Mr Smith said.

Beasley rode five Caulfield Cup winners and tallied two English Derbies and a Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe among his 3251 wins.

Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, was the last journalist tointerview Beasley, in 2001.

“He said to me: ‘You’re from Wagga, you must be okay’,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack said he supported the statue idea.

“When I was on the MTC (Murrumbidgee Turf Club) committee with Barney Hymes we talked informally about it,” Mr McCormack said.

“I think it should be at the MTC, Scobie rode there a few times at cup carnivals.”

Mr McCormack also bought into the debate whether Beasley was Wagga’s greatest sportsperson.

“That is a question and half,” Mr McCormack said.

“As a sportsman on the international stage he probably was.”

Mayor Greg Conkey also thinks the statue idea is a winner, but believes it should be placed in a more publicly accessible location.

“Because of his profile, I think it would be better placed in a more central location than the MTC,” Councillor Conkey said.

“I think Bolton Park is an ideal spot, or somewhere along the main street even.

“We already have some statues down the main street.

“It’s a place where everyone can enjoy it.

“The MTC is fine, but I think a more prominent spot would be better suited.”

As for funding, Cr Conkey is open to the idea of it being paid for out of council’s public art fund, but said it was something that needed to be considered by the community.

MTC chief executive, Scott Sanbrook, said the Wagga racetrack’s mounting yard was named in honour ofScobie Breasley in April, 2013,, but he thought his organisation would consider hosting a statue if the idea had the support of the city.

“It would be a terrific way to honour such a wonderful Wagga ambassador,” Mr Sanbrook said.

Scobie Breasley was inducted into the Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame in 1998.

He was born in Wagga in 1914 and left the city as a 14-year-old to ride as an apprentice in Melbourne.

Sadly, he did not ride a Melbourne Cup winner.

In 16 attempts the best he finished was second, in 1933 andin 1946.

He landed more than 2000 winners in England.

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Tennis player Brandon Walkin opens up on Nick Lindahl match-fixing scandal

Three and a half years after sending a text that would change his life forever, tennis player Brandon Walkin has spoken for first time about the match-fixing scandal which almost ruined his career.
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One of the rising stars of the Australian tennis scene, 22-year-old Walkin arrived in the capital this week for the ACT Claycourt International and said he simply wants his side of the story known so he can get on with the rest of his life.

“It’s upsetting to see my name in the paper saying I’m a disgrace to Australian sport, seeing that stuff is difficult. My parents want to see my name in the paper for the right reasons and I don’t like typing my name into google and seeing ‘Brandon is a match-fixer’,” Walkin told Fairfax Media.

Walkin became embroiled in a fix in September 2013 at a Futures tournament in Toowoomba, where he was asked to forward on a message to his friend Andrew Corbitt. The message told Corbitt that his opponent, Nick Lindahl, was willing to throw their first round match for a price.

Walkin was not offered any money for his role and said he did not want to be involved, but passed on the message anyway – something he now counts as one of his biggest regrets. Corbitt said he thought he could beat Lindahl anyway and after winning in straight sets reported Walkin’s approach to the match referee.

Lindahl, a 2006 Australian Open boys singles finalist with a career-high ranking world No.187, was convicted of orchestrating the attempted fix and fined $1000 in a Sydney court last year.

The Tennis Integrity Unit conducted its own investigation which saw Lindahl banned for seven years and fined $47,550.

In September last year, almost three years after the Toowoomba tournament, Walkin was informed he was being sanctioned for match-fixing, and after cooperating with authorities was handed a six-moth suspended sentence.

On the same day Walkin won his opening round doubles match at the Canberra Challenger in January, details of the incident emerged and the Queenslander felt the full wrath of the Australian public.

“My name got destroyed, my face was on the front page of the Australian and it’s disappointing when I think back to what actually happened and what is portrayed in the media,” Walkin said.

“I got phone call from a friend saying this is the situation and I relayed the message in a text, idiotically, like a teenager does, because I was too lazy to do the right thing. I said I don’t want to be involved in this but you’re free to do whatever you like,” Walkin said.

“In hindsight I think ‘well that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done’, but at the time I thought this doesn’t involve me so I don’t want to get involved. I didn’t realise just because it didn’t involve me didn’t mean I didn’t have to report it.”

Walkin described the ordeal as a steep learning curve and tough on his family and friends, but confirmed the tennis community has welcomed him back.

“Anyone who knows what happened is fine with me. Without a doubt I made a dumb mistake, as most teenagers do, but at no stage did I receive or ask for financial compensation and I’ve still been portrayed as a criminal,” Walkin said.

“As soon as they called me about it I said here is my phone, here is the message I sent. I gave a full interview and was willing to testify in court for the police.

“I was corporative because I realised I made a mistake and wanted to be as helpful as I could so my name wasn’t ruined for sending a text message, but it has been.

“I’ve been sitting back reflecting on it for a while now and I’ve reached a stage where I realise nothing can change what happened, I’m aware of the mistake I made and all I can do now is learn from it and move on.”

Walkin believes the incident has opened the eyes of other players and hopes his experience will serve as a warning to immediately report any approaches to fix matches.

“There’s information in place if you seek it out, but I think as Australians we’re all kind of big on betting, everyone checks the odds before their matches and everyone is throwing multi-bets on things like basketball,” Walkin said.

“Betting became this huge thing but now that everyone’s name has been dragged through the mud and everyone understands the implications of it, people know better and it’s dying down.”

Walkin admitted he considered walking away from the game during the saga, but said that feeling is one tennis players battle with on a daily basis.

“It didn’t make me want to quit any more than I’ve already thought about. Nobody has any money, that’s a bigger reason to quit tennis,” Walkin said.

“You travel a lot and don’t see your family very often and you stay in average hotels eating average food, they’re better reasons to quit than getting some bad publicity.

“I’m 22 and I’ve seen the world, life could be worse, but sometimes I wake up and think I could be finished uni by now and have a normal job with security. I guess the grass is always greener.”

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What Melbourne could look like in 2040

More than half the world’s population now lives in a city, and carbon emissions from them are estimated to be as high as 87 per cent. But if we did things differently, what would Australian cities look like in the year 2040?
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Melbourne University, University of NSW and Swinburne University researchers have attempted to model what four Australian cities – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth – would look like if a drastic attempt was made to slash pollution by 80 per cent.

The answer is: very different.

The researchers behind the report, to be released by Melbourne University on Wednesday, came up with four possible scenarios if such a big reduction in emissions were to happen. Clean-tech corporate living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A clean and efficient city where business is responsible for driving emission reductions. Carbon savings come from changing the energy production systems, increasing efficiency and a bigger service sector. But a downside might be the privatisation of many urban spaces people are accustomed to using, such as public parks, and an increase in homelessness and poverty. Planned regulated living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A city of planned order, with substantial intervention from government in planning through tighter regulations. Carbon savings would come from public investment in renewable energy storage, public production of biofuel, achieving more compact, interconnected cities and improving public transport. But the downside would be layers of new rules some would find oppressive. Networked entrepreneurial living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

Corporate interests have less influence, but the city lowers its emissions from more peer-to-peer trading and the use of things like transport, with the economy focused on local small business and freelancers working from home and public spaces. Downsides? High levels of consumption remain and there is a lack of security for many. Community balanced living

Artist’s: Impression supplied by Melbourne University

A city of low consumption that promotes a socially and environmentally meaningful life, with a focus on liveability, face-to-face social interactions and alternative enterprises like co-operatives. Less consumption would lead to less pollution – but the economy would see a massive reduction in infrastructure investment in areas like public transport.

The project has run since 2014, and has now worked with more than 200 experts in energy, the environment and planning. Influential figures to be consulted on the project include scientist Tim Flannery and Melbourne University urban policy professor Brendan Gleeson.

Professor Chris Ryan is the director of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab at Melbourne University. He said the project showed what could be worked towards and what should be avoided. Researchers could not predict the future, he said, “but we can design a future that we want, and with wide community engagement we can create pathways that could get us [there]”.

More than 30 experts will meet in Melbourne on Wednesday to discuss developing plans for low carbon cities in Australia.

You can read the report here.

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Fishers fined for illegal Mandurah crab haul

A number of fishers convicted of hauling in undersized crabs in Mandurah have been slapped with hefty fines, including a group of men who stashed their haul in a car boot.
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Five men jointly charged with a massive haul of undersized crabs – Biak Za Hmung, Pa Hniang Pa Uk, Van Biak Thong Sam Cin, Ni Ling Sarum and Ngun Hu Zaathang – did not appear in court on Tuesday, but sent in endorsed pleas of guilty to a charge each faced of being in possession of a totally protected fish.

The Mandurah Magistrates Court heard the men had been scooping for crabs in Coodanup on December 3, 2016, while Fisheries officers observed and photographed them from shore.

When the men returned to their vehicle about 9pm, officers conducted a search and found 183 blue manna crabs in the boot of their car.

Of these crabs, 182 were undersized, the smallest measuring just 88.9mm.

The minimum size for a legal crab catch is 127mm.

The crabs were seized and released by Fisheries officers.

Each offender was fined $9100 and ordered to each pay court costs of $188.

Also convicted of undersized crab catches in Mandurah court on Tuesday was a trio who between them caught 123 crabs measuring under the legal limit.

Edzel Cubangbang Aguilar, Winefredo Abucejo Riveral and Teddy Lavitoria Yalung pleaded guilty to the offences which were uncovered on January 11 at Boggy Bay, West Pinjarra.

Aguilar was fined $2250, Riveral now owes $1550, and Yalung was fined $2350.

All must pay court costs of $188.

And finally a Bunbury man caught with 55 undersized crabs was fined $2950 in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Shannon Collard was convicted on an endorsed guilty plea of the offence which happened at Island Point on December 9, 2016.

The court heard the smallest of Collard’s catch measured 97.8mm.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of $188.

– Mandurah Mail

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Inaction on quad safety is not an option

“DON’T blame thequad bike, it was clearly made as a single seater.”
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“What about horses? Ban them too because peopleget killed riding them.”

“And spoons make people fat.”

“Ban knives too then… this world is producing a society of irresponsible idiots.”

“Cars and two-wheeled motorbikes as well.”

“You are clearly insisting on ruining my life by encouraging this ridiculous campaign to ban quad bikes.”

The above comments – made onThe Land’s social media over the past week – tell us that quad bikes remain abeloved farm vehicle.Italso tells us people don’t like being told what they can do on their own property, with their own gear, in their own time.

But nothing can paper over the fact Australianscontinue to suffer tragic injuries while riding quad bikes, at an all-too-common rate.

More than 110 have diedwhile riding the vehicle between 2011 and now–with quads also very much over-represented infarm injury statistics. Each of those deaths rocks a circle of family, friends, and the wider farming community.

And we’re sure that if given the chance to improve safety and prevent a crash, thosetouched by a tragedy wouldadvise it.

Crucially, the bulk of quad incidents happenduringseemingly innocuous activities on private land–not while hooning on public roads or doing stunts.

Yes, there are many machines, animals, and infrastructure on farms that have thepotential to result in death and injury. But it seems common sense that you would look at ways to stop incidents if they kept occurring in fairly routine circumstances.

No doubt the argumentonthe safestway forwardwill continue.Will this mean stricter age, licensing, and education measures? Manufacturing changes? Better safety equipment? Promotion of safer alternatevehicles?

Whichever way, the continued loss of life means inaction is not an option.

Government and farm groups seem to recognise this –with the state’s quadsafety rebate doubled, training resources ramped up, and NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen highlighting an ambitious working group target to cut injuries to zero within five years.

We welcome continued debate on the issue of quad bike safety.Butthe preservation of human lifeneeds to be at the centre.

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Try Louth Bay for whiting

WHITING: Ryan Blakers with a popper-caught yellowfin.West CoastThere have been reports of good sized salmon on the beaches north of Coffin Bay all the way up to Ceduna this week.
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Salmon upto fourkilograms have been caught on metal lures and pilchard baits.

Venus Bay has been good for king george whiting behind the Island around the high tides.

Try early morning around the town reef for salmon to threekilogramsand king george whiting to 45cm.

Mt Camel has had varying reports for salmon. When they are there, they are in good numbers and size.

Try around the low tide as they are usually in a bit closer then.

Coffin BayAlmonta and Gunyah beaches have had varying reports.

Some days there are big schools of salmon to 80 centimetres, then other days, nothing.

Metal lures like the Samaki Torpedo in chrome or gold colours are working very well when casting into the wind.

Inside Coffins and at Farm Beach, the whiting have been averaging about 29.5 centimetres, so please ensure that you measure them before putting them on ice.

Offshore, Rocky Island continues to be the pick of the locations for tuna to 20 kilograms, samson and kingfish.

One lucky angler aboard Absolute Fishing Charters landed and released a kingfish that was measured at 170 centimetres and weighed (in a sling) at 45 kilograms.

When the wind allows, all of the common reef species are being caught around Sir Isaacs and further out.

Port LincolnIt seems that blue swimmer crabs and big shitties have taken over the local bays.

One is slightly more popular than the other, I will let you guess which one is which.

King george whiting in the local bays have been undersized with the odd fish to 38 centimetres being caught.

For better sized whiting, try the north end of Thistle Island or around Louth Bay.

Blue swimmer crabs to about onekilohave been caught in Proper, Porter, Louth and Boston Bays.

There have been a lot of reports of some very large shitties caught by whiting fishermen.

I would advise to use berley sparingly around Proper Bay at the moment and if you start to catch undesirable fish, pick up the anchor and move.

North Shields Jetty has been good for squid and big garfish.

Watch your squid jigs though, as we have had another report of a bronzie grabbing one and taking off with it.

Yellowfin whiting are showing up on the local beaches in good numbers.

Some of these fish are pushing 38 centimetres, which is a good size for yellowfin.

From the sounds of things, there has been another kingfish escape.

Locally there are small rat kings attacking baitfish everywhere between Tulka and Tumby Bay.

Keep your eyes open in the marina as that seems to be a favoured spot for them.

Offshore has seen the tuna fishing pick up and drop off like a yoyo.

Some days the tuna have been thick from around Low Rocks, then the next day you need to go out to the Cabbage Patch to see one.

Trolling small, deep diving lures and skirts in purple and bluehave been the best methods.

The tuna have been averaging 15-20 kilograms, but there have been fish to 40 kilogramsout at the Cabbage Patch.

Kingfish and samson fish have also been caught in similar areas on jigs and live squid.

Tumby BayThe jetty has been fishing well for garfish on gents and squid.

The foreshore beach has had some good schools of yellowfin whiting during the high tides.

Nippers or worms have been the best baits for the yellowfin.

The Group has been fishing well for squid, king george whiting, garfish and rugger snapper.

Most Islands and reefs are holding quality fish, so it is just the prevailing wind direction that dictates where you should fish.

Be careful with your berley though, as the large shitties are up around here too.

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