Illegal dumping investigator Craig Izzard denies bribery allegations at ICAC inquiry

Craig Izzard after appearing at the ICAC inquiry on Thursday. Photo: Peter RaeA former illegal dumping investigator told a corruption inquiry he was “surprised” to learn more than 200 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated waste had been dumped at a western Sydney property he was allegedly responsible for investigating.
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Craig Izzard, a former rugby league player for the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels, endured a day of rigorous questioning at the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday over his alleged involvement in “black market” dumping operations last year.

Mr Izzard maintained he had done nothing improper, as counsel assisting the commission James Mack guided him point-by-point through his employment code of conduct for the Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad (RID).

“Is it your evidence that, while employed in the Western Sydney RID, you always acted honestly?” Mr Mack inquired

“I would say so, yes,” Mr Izzard replied.

Mr Izzard is the principal person of interest in four allegations of corrupt conduct, including three times last year when he allegedly solicited bribes from people in exchange for not investigating their dumping activity.

Among the allegations, Mr Izzard is accused of soliciting a bribe from Reuben Matthews in exchange for turning a blind eye to dumping at his property in Willowdene Avenue, Luddenham.

But Mr Izzard said he had no involvement in investigating the site, despite email evidence showing he was asked by Liverpool Council to investigate dumping complaints in November 2014.

He told the commission he had been “surprised” to learn that more than 200 tonnes of waste was later dumped at the site and tests revealed it was contaminated with asbestos.

Matthews was later convicted of dumping offences and fined $55,000. Another man, Nosir Kabite, was fined $25,000 after pleading guilty to transporting the waste to the property.

Earlier in the week, Mr Mack extracted an admission from Mr Kabite that he and Mr Izzard had an understanding that involved the exchange of “favours”.

After numerous recordings of phone calls between Mr Kabite and Mr Izzard were played before the inquiry, Mr Kabite admitted the pair used the code word “drinks” when discussing bribes.

“Mr Izzard frequently asked you for drinks, and by drinks he meant bribes, and it was your job to go out and get Mr Izzard a drink? Do you agree with me?” Mr Mack asked Mr Kabite.

“Yes,” he replied.

Mr Kabite said he gave Mr Izzard money on “two or three occasions”, and each payment was between $500 and $700.

However, Mr Izzard maintained the payments were in connection with an unrelated energy business he owned, whereby Mr Kabite would sell refrigeration units for him.

He also denied attempting to solicit a bribe from another man, Antonio Barillaro, in connection with alleged illegal dumping at a property in Badgerys Creek, telling the inquiry he’d never heard of someone by that name.

The commission also heard Mr Izzard regularly advised Mr Kabite over his council-related dilemmas, including one time when he suggested Mr Kabite’s nephew could attempt to avoid a dumping-related fine by pretending someone else was responsible.

When asked by assistant commissioner Reginald Blanch if he realised he was advising someone to pervert the course of justice, he replied: “I think it was, I probably didn’t [think] about it, Mr Commissioner.”

Mr Izzard will continue giving evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

North shore offices are back in the spotlight

The north shore in Sydney is returning to its former self as more office towers are being constructed to satisfy the demand of the expanding commerce industries.
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Having gone through tough times when office vacancy reached heady levels of about 20 per cent, the area was turned into a residential zone.

But with significant stock withdrawals and rising rents in Sydney’s central business district, the demand for office accommodation across the north shore is expected to rise substantially, according to Knight Frank’s managing director, North Sydney, Angus Klem​.

He said North Sydney is now “well and truly an adjunct to the Sydney CBD”.

“Over the next two years significant stock withdrawals in the CBD will see an exodus of tenants to North Sydney and the other north shore markets,” Mr Klem said.

There is also the planned state metro line that has led the state government to buy up properties in North Sydney, which has led to a tightening of stock.

Knight Frank’s Giuseppe Ruberto​, director of office leasing, north shore, said a number of tenants were opting away from the CBD due to cost and the limited options available. He said instead tenants were choosing to operate within the north shore with North Sydney expected to be a big winner over the next 24 months.

“Effective secondary rents in the CBD core have risen by over 20 per cent in the last 12 months, with rents now sitting over $900 per square metre gross in some locations, so it is no surprise tenants are now considering other options. Recently we have seen tenants, including BT Australasia and Chubb Insurance, committing to North Sydney from the CBD,” Mr Ruberto said.

He said the lack of prime space in North Sydney was an issue of the past with 101 Miller Street as the only premium building available and experiencing strong leasing success with a number of floors leased, highlighting the demand for quality assets.

Another development is by DEXUS Property Group at 100 Mount Street,  North Sydney. The group has appointed JLL national head of leasing, Tim O’Connor, and JLL head of office leasing North Sydney, Paul Lynch, to partner with DEXUS’ leasing team, headed by Chris Hynes, on the project’s leasing.

DEXUS executive general manager of office and industrial, Kevin George, said the group had received some strong inquiries to lease the office space since it had agreed to buy 100 Mount Street. “Now that we have settled on the acquisition, we can progress leasing discussions,” Mr George said.

Knight Frank’s Tyler Talbot, director, institutional sales, North Sydney, said north shore investment activity had been strong over the past 12 months and this was expected to continue with high demand from both domestic and offshore groups.

“Limited quality stock, falling interest rates and the real prospect of significant rental growth has been driving down yields,” Mr Talbot said.

Knight Frank’s latest research report, the North Shore Office Market Overview: August 2016 found about 80,000 square metres of office stock has been earmarked for permanent withdrawal from the North Sydney market over the next four years.

According to Knight Frank’s Alex Pham, senior research manager, NSW, the significant withdrawal of stock saw the North Sydney vacancy rate dipping to its lowest level in four years at 7 per cent in July 2016.

Hotels sector braces for busy times ahead

The Novotel Darling Harbour was the first Accor hotel in Australia. Accor has grown to 208 hotels across the country.There are three mega trends that are being felt in the hotel sector and operators are taking up the challenge, says AccorHotel’s Asia Pacific chief executive Michael Issenberg.
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Speaking in Sydney for AccorHotel’s 25th anniversary in Australia, Mr Issenberg said hotels had a new “dream phase” where the “before and after” experiences at a hotel had changed the sector dramatically.

AccorHotels arrived in Australia with the launch of the Novotel at Darling Harbour and now has 208 hotels under 12 brands across the country. It will expand with its latest $3.9 billion purchase of the Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles hotel.

But Mr Issenberg said amid the new sharing economy and guests’ ability to plan and book a hotel room by themselves, and where every experience is put online immediately, its still old-fashioned service during the stay that remains the constant focus of hotel operators.

“Travel is now about the time it takes to plan and then book a holiday and select the appropriate hotel, which we call the dream phase, but once the guest arrives it’s back to offering the best service we can to make the stay enjoyable,” Mr Issenberg said.

“Everything has changed with technology and the sharing generation, so service is the differential for hotel operators.”

He said now that most people bring their own electronic devices and download movies, demand for cable TV in a room has diminished, but demand has risen for better Wi-Fi and technology outlets.

Mr Issenberg said the sector’s mega trends are the inflow of Asian travellers, the increased use of private stay accommodation, such as the group’s Onefinestay​ business, and the new sharing economy, which is not just the domain of the so-called millennials but where visitors like interacting in more relaxed lobbies and common areas.

“The growth of visitors from Asia is an important mega trend that is changing the hotel and tourism sector,” he said. “That includes having dual-speaking staff and different and more varied food, among many other services.”

This comes as the sector is bracing for an inflow of visitors for events that are now booked at the new International Convention Centre, which has been rebuilt in Sydney and opens later this year.

According to ICC Sydney, there are already more than 100 events booked and it expects to generate at least $200 million a year in economic benefits for NSW. Given the time and distance of travelling to Australia, it is expected that some guests will stay and see more of the country, which will benefit other states.

Business Events Sydney has booked 43 events to be hosted at UCC Sydney, of which 39 are international, which is its core focus.

Lyn Lewis-Smith, chief executive of Business Events Sydney, said of this pipeline 17 events will be hosted  next year, although she expects this to keep increasing over the next 12 months,

Ms Lewis-Smith said international conference delegates spend up to 6.5 times more than a regular tourist, so this super high yield traveller is the NSW government’s focus.

The chief executive and founder of Ovolo Hotels, Girish Jhunjhnuwala, said Sydney was the gateway to Australia for travellers around the world. And the opening of ICC Sydney will definitely further strengthen Sydney’s position in conventions, exhibitions and entertainment segments by attracting more international business travellers to the city.

“Hotel room demand is already at an all-time high in the city, and with the ICC’s opening, it’s going to likely accelerate rate increases, which is sure to benefit hotels in Sydney,” Mr Jhunjhnuwala said. “Overall room quality, however, continues to be a big issue, as there are limited new hotel openings and the majority of the city’s hotel room inventory is old and tired. Ovolo is well positioned with recently refurbished hotels in Darling Harbour and Woolloomooloo.”

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce at odds over new mining tax proposal

Barnaby Joyce, left, and Malcolm Turnbull appear to be divided over a proposed iron ore tax. Photo: Alex EllinghausenPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calls it “troubling” but his deputy Barnaby Joyce apparently doesn’t have a bad word to say about a West Australian plan for a new $7.2 billion mining tax.
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Mr Turnbull and Mr Joyce appear to have split over WA Nationals leader Brendan Grylls’ proposed iron ore tax hike.

While Mr Joyce was a leading critic of federal Labor’s now-defunct mining tax and has close ties to mining magnate Gina Rinehart, he appears to have an open mind on Mr Grylls’ controversial plan.

“Minister Joyce said the proposal was a matter for the state government and he would not run down any proposal that was designed to get a better deal for its constituents,” said a spokesman for Mr Joyce, who is currently acting PM.

WA Labor opposes the plan, in a reversal of the political positions taken on Kevin Rudd’s mining tax in 2010.

The apparent split has been exposed by the West Australian newspaper. Miners BHP and Rio Tinto are said to be infuriated by the proposal that would increase from 25¢-a-tonne to $5-a-tonne the “production rent” on iron ore, bringing in an estimated $7.2 billion over four years.

Speaking in Laos this week Mr Turnbull told the newspaper that Mr Grylls’ plan could damage investment in WA.

“It obviously sends a very troubling message to mining companies and other people considering making long-term investment,” he said.

“It’s a state issue, of course, but we view with great concern, as does the whole business community, the imposition of substantially increased taxes on particular, nominated companies.”

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan – a Nationals MP – has said he has “grave concerns” about the proposal.

Mr Joyce called Labor’s mining profits tax a “debacle” and a “shambles” and even criticised respected senior public servant Ken Henry for proposing it in his comprehensive tax reform review.

Grand designs: Inside Eddie Obeid’s unfinished Lebanese mansion

The stalled Lebanese mansion of the former Labor powerbroker Photo: Eryk Bagshaw Eddie Obeid leaves Darlinghurst Supreme Court in June. Photo: Christopher Pearce
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The living room of Obeid’s Metrit mansion. Photo: Eryk Bagshaw

Inside the stalled Lebanese mansion of former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid where 17 arches greet visitors. Photo: Eryk Bagshaw

The swimming pool Obeid was building for his grandchildren. Photo: Eryk Bagshaw

The villa is very Eddie.

Dominating a hilltop in northern Lebanon, the Obeids’ sandstone mansion features 17 archways, a domed roof, a swimming pool and a terraced garden. The master bedroom looks out towards an ancient grove of cedar trees. A lift well connects three storeys, including the basement “teenager’s retreat”.

Both Obeid’s ambition and taste for luxury are evident in the $US1.2 million ($1.6 million) renovation plan of the home bequeathed by his father.

“I want it to be a place my grandchildren can say, ‘This is where our grandfather was born’,” he said in 2013. “It’s a legacy to the family.”

Except the pool is empty, unlined, the staircase untiled. An overturned wheelbarrow rusts in one of the rooms upstairs. The “teenager’s retreat” contains a mouldy cushion, a lawn mower and wire.

Relatives in Obeid’s home village of Metrit say the renovation is in limbo. They have not seen the former Labor powerbroker and convicted criminal they call Edward for more than a decade.

A rare summer rain fell when Fairfax Media visited in late August.

“Press?” asked one villager, less used to tourists.

“Are you against Obeid?” asked a relative, wary of tales that have spread from the NSW Supreme Court to the village’s fig-covered lawns.

Another laughed while making a throat-slitting motion.

Metrit, population 100, with no transport and no school, is the ancestral home of the Obeids and many Lebanese-Australian families who fled during two decades of conflict between the 1970s and 1990s.

“Eddie done very well during the civil war,” said one of his relatives, who asked not to be named, after serving Fairfax Media a banquet lunch of tabbouleh, marinated eggplant, rice and supreme pizza.

“Too many people, their house had been destroyed, he talked to the government and took them over there to Australia.”

Obeid’s migration work made him a popular figure in the mainly Maronite Catholic village. He is also the reason a 40-house hamlet with no shop has a nine-person council.

He lobbied his Lebanese government connections for the village – ahead of other, much larger places – to become a municipality with hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funding for roads, electricity and water.

“You’re born here, you grew up here, that’s his village,” said the relative. “He was good to everybody.”

News, if not the finer details, of Obeid’s Australian court “troubles” have reached the village’s inhabitants, who are unlikely to see Metrit’s most famous political son anytime soon.

​Obeid, who recently suffered a stroke, had to surrender his passport last year to the NSW Supreme Court. He was tried over allegations he lobbied a maritime official without disclosing family business interests in Circular Quay cafes.

Convicted in June, he now faces a possible jail sentence. At the same time, Obeid and his son Moses face trial over a $30 million coal deal.

“Everyone can make a mistake,” says the relative. “No one deserves to be destroyed.”

Obeid still calls every month, says another, reflecting his emotional attachment to the village in which he and his five siblings were born.

In 2002, Obeid told Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star the Lebanese diaspora “not only feel nostalgia for their country” but also contribute to the country’s economic development.

But Obeid has also been accused of becoming too involved in local affairs.

More than a decade ago he intervened in a mayoral election to support a Shiite Muslim candidate over his Christian niece, Yolla Obeid.

Having requested two months’ parliamentary leave to attend to “urgent family business” in Lebanon, Obeid arranged for 22 people to fly in and vote for his preferred candidate. The politicking was allegedly an attempt to shore up Muslim support in case Obeid decided to enter Lebanese politics.

But signs suggest Obeid’s influence in a place 14,000 kilometres from Macquarie Street is on the wane. George Elias – a key Obeid backer who said in 2013 the authorities would “never get anything against him” – no longer serves as Metrit mayor.

And no work has been completed on the Obeid mansion for years, according to locals. Labourers were on site in 2013 but their abandoned work boots now house spiders.

Obeid declined to comment on the progress of his home. “You take the risk and write what you want,” he said,

One resident said there were no laws in Lebanon requiring completion of the home. The monument to the Obeid family could stand, incomplete, for decades in the town he once influenced from continents away.

ATO warns of phone scammers requesting payment for tax debts

The ATO is warning of telephone scammers. Photo: Erin Jonasson An ATO phone scam is doing the rounds. Photo: Ken Robertson KRZ
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The woman didn’t catch all of the threatening message on her elderly mother’s answering machine but the end part certainly caught her attention and left her frightened.

“Call this number or there will be consequences.”

The 82-year-old woman from Box Hill in Melbourne, who received the threatening call on Friday demanding she pay a “tax debt” over the phone, is just one of thousands of Australians being targeted by tax scammers.

“Part of the message had been cut off so I didn’t catch all of it, but I did catch the part about the consequences,” her daughter told Fairfax Media. “It took me by surprise, because I’m used to email scams but this call was quite brazen. It’s a disgusting message to leave on an elderly person’s phone.”

The call advised the woman to immediately phone a NSW number but the woman’s daughter, who did not want to be identified, said she suspected the call was a scam. “I thought I’d Google it first to get some background,” she said.

Her search revealed 19 other Australian households had been contacted by the same number within the week, all in regard to supposedly-outstanding tax debts or tax evasion.

The Australian Tax Office is reminding Australians to be wary of aggressive tax debt scams during tax time. From January to May this year, the ATO received more than 40,500 phone scam reports. It says more than 220 Australians were persuaded to hand over a total of $1.2 million to scammers.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said the ATO would never cold call about a tax debt. “We would never threaten you with jail or arrest, and our staff certainly wouldn’t behave in an aggressive manner,” he said.

Edwin and Annie Fabry, from Gold Coast, were told they had to pay $4300 in tax arrears.

“I told the man that I wouldn’t do any such thing over the phone and to put it in writing and mail it to our address, which he already had with our full name and home address,” Mr Fabry wrote in an online forum.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urged Australians to hang up on tax scammers following a spike in the number of people reporting that they had lost money to tax scams this year.

More than $1 million was reported lost to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website in the six months to June 30. This compares to a total of $1.6 million lost to tax scams last year.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the scams come in many guises but generally claim that the call recipient has underpaid their taxes and are required to replay the tax debt immediately or face frightening repercussions.

“Tax scammers are particularly aggressive so many people feel pressured to pay quickly without questioning them,” Ms Rickard said. “The most threatening scammers even say that police are on their way to arrest you but can be stopped if you pay immediately.”

She said scammers often use personal information found online to convince people of their legitimacy. They usually ask for payment for an “unpaid debt” via money transfer, credit card, direct debit cards or even iTunes cards, and calls appear to come from a local phone number but most use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers.

The numbers often look like Australian numbers, but are a proxy for a call made through an internet connection.

You can report suspected ATO email scams by forwarding the original email to [email protected]

You can also report scams to the ACCC via the Scamwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.

AFL: Geelong v Hawthorn: It’s the Cats, posthumouslyPhotos

AFL: Geelong v Hawthorn: It’s the Cats, posthumously | Photos Isaac Smith of the Hawks reacts after missing a shot on goal after the siren to win the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
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Cats players celebrate on the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Scott Selwood (left) and brother Joel Selwood of the Cats remonstrate with Sam Mitchell of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Players react after the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hawks players look dejected after a loss during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Lincoln McCarthy of the Cats celebrates a goal with Tom Hawkins of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jack Fitzpatrick and Sam Mitchell of the Hawks look dejected after a loss during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks looks dejected after a loss during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks and Alastair Clarkson, Senior Coach of the Hawks line up for the national anthem during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Chris Scott, Senior Coach of the Cats speaks with Sam Menegola of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Joel Selwood of the Cats hugs Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Isaac Smith of the Hawks misses a shot on goal after the siren to lose the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks remonstrates with Andrew Mackie of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cats players celebrate on the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Joel Selwood of the Cats addresses his teammates during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Chris Scott, Senior Coach of the Cats looks on during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats handpasses the ball during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Scott Selwood (left) and brother Joel Selwood of the Cats remonstrate with Sam Mitchell of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Hawks line up for the national anthem during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jordan Lewis of the Hawks runs through the banner during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cyril Rioli of the Hawks takes a spectacular mark over Corey Enright of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Scott Selwood of the Cats looks on with a bloodied eye during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Brendan Whitecross of the Hawks is tackled by Jimmy Bartel of the Cats during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Players react after the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Players react after the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Patrick Dangerfield (left) and Tom Lonergan of the Cats celebrate during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks runs onto the field during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Isaac Smith of the Hawks misses a shot on goal after the siren to win the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cats players celebrate after Isaac Smith of the Hawks misses a shot on goal after the siren to lose the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

: Sam Mitchell of the Hawks and Scott Selwood of the Cats wrestle as Grant Birchall of the Hawks and Joel Selwood of the Cats look on during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Chris Scott, Senior Coach of the Cats congratulates his players during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cats players celebrate after Isaac Smith of the Hawks misses a shot on goal after the siren to lose the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hawks players look dejected after a loss during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Corey Enright of the Cats marks ahead of Paul Puopolo of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Brendan Whitecross of the Hawks is tackled by Sam Menegola and Josh Caddy of the Cats during the 2nd AFL Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Tom Hawkins of the Cats and James Frawley of the Hawks compete for the ball during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cyril Rioli of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jimmy Bartel of the Cats marks the ball during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jimmy Bartel of the Cats is tackled by Ben McEvoy of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Daniel Menzel of the Cats celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Mark Blicavs of the Cats and Luke Hodge of the Hawks wrestle at quarter time during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cats players celebrate on the final siren during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Sam Mitchell of the Hawks is tackled by Sam Menegola of the Cats during the 2nd AFL Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Tom Hawkins (left) and Lincoln McCarthy of the Cats celebrate during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

James Frawley of the Hawks spoils a mark by Tom Hawkins of the Cats during the 2nd AFL Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Rhys Stanley of the Cats remonstrates with Sam Mitchell of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks and Umpire Dean Margetts share a discussion during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Paul Puopolo of the Hawks marks the ball during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Luke Hodge of the Hawks comes from the ground with a cut head during the 2nd AFL Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Cats players celebrate after Isaac Smith of the Hawks misses a shot on goal after the siren to lose the match during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Steven Motlop of the Cats fends off a tackle by Ben Stratton of the Hawks during the 2nd AFL Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats celebrates during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cyril Rioli of the Hawks marks the ball during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Cyril Rioli of the Hawks celebrates a goal with Josh Gibson of the Hawks during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

TweetFacebookWhat a beautiful thing, when finals football between two great rivals not only lives up to, but exceeds expectations.

Geelong’s two-point win over Hawthornat the MCG on Fridaynight will be remembered as something special, ending, almost inevitably, with a kick for goal after the siren.

It was the Hawks’ Isaac Smith who took the shot and missed in front of 87,533 fans, a moment which will surely haunt the 27-year-old.

But the form shown by both these teams will be enough to have every other finalist shaking in their boots.

The Hawks ran out without forward James Sicily, who had fallen ill.

He was replaced by 20-year-old Daniel Howewho did not have a big impact on the game – not that Hawthorn were ever likely to lack fire-power in their forward-line.

Take this piece of play in the second quarter.

Paul Puopolobooted a lovely centring kick to the front of the Hawks goal to partner-in-crime Cyril Rioli, who tapped the ball out of the air into the the hands of Jack Gunston.

Looking good? Isaac Smith kicks for goal after the siren to win the game for Hawthorn. Photo: Getty Images

As if infected with the whatever Puopoloand Rioli had, Gunstonwas lightning-fast with his handpass toLuke Breustwho booted the goal from just metres out.

Where were Geelong’s defenders in all this?

They were around, but they were nowhere.

When Hawthorn plays this well, when they seem able to simply sense where their teammates are and respond accordingly, opposition players could almost be excused for simply shaking their heads – that is what the rest of us did.

There were other times however, where Geelong could have done more but were simply caught flat-footed.

Early in the third term Breust managed to break away from a scrambling pack in front of Hawthorn’s goal.

He chipped the ball to Gunston, who had been waited alonefor at least 10 seconds in the goal score and put the Hawks two goals in front.

The Cats were often the slower team and theirdefence could not match thedynamism of the Hawks’ attack.

Although the scores were close, for much of the game Hawthorn had much more of the ball and many more inside-50s.

It was in the third quarter that they really looked like they were going toslip away, showing on the scoreboard the dominance they had enjoyed around the ground.

Fans of the reigning premiers were on their feet as Rioli flew through the air for a beautiful overhead mark, which set Dunstanup for a goal.

But just when the Hawks seemed like a sure thing, Geelong surged, electrifying the MCG.

Consecutive goals from DanielMenzeland Lincoln McCarthy, from a brilliant, instinctive snap shot put them back within striking distance, then a third fromMark Blicavs from the goal square had Geelong two-points in front.

A controversial free kick to Breust gave him the opportunity to kick one of the goals of the night – 40m out, from beyond the boundary line and under plenty of pressure, the ball soared through the middle.

But just moments later and with seconds to go until the last break of the game,Motlopreturned the favour to put the Cats two points up.

Rioli put the Hawks four points up with a set shot just minutes in and Breust could have extended the lead had he kicked truly from 45m out on a 45-degree angle.

Patrick Dangerfield set Cameron Guthrie up for a quick goal for Geelong, only for Hawthorn’s great veteranShaun Burgoyneto send one scoring through at the other end.

This was edge-of-your-seat finals football, showcasing the skills of some of the best in the game and almost too tense to watch.

Geelong’s Josh Cowan hit the post from a set shot, whichcould have been costly, so too Motlop’s miss on the run.

But persistent, dogged teamwork put Caddy just metres on a tight angle and he goaled, the chant Gee-lon, Gee-long erupted around the ground.

What had seemed unlikely at halftime suddenly became a reality – Geelong took victory and Hawthorn would be forced to fight for their place in the rest of the finals.

GEELONG 2.3 5.5 10.9 12.13 (85)

HAWTHORN 1.2 6.6 10.7 12.11 (83)

GOALSGeelong:Caddy 2, McCarthy 2, Motlop 2, Hawkins 2, Guthrie, Menzel, Selwood, Blicavs.Hawthorn:Breust 3, Rioli 2, Gunston 2, Schoenmakers 2, Burgoyne 2, Hill.

BEST Geelong:Dangerfield, J Selwood, Guthrie, Blicavs, Menegola, Hawkins, Caddy, S Selwood.Hawthorn:Burgoyne, Lewis, Hodge, Rioli, Breust, Mitchell, Whitecross, Birchall.

INJURIESHawthorn:Burton (calf), Duryea (hand), Sicily (illness) replaced in selected side by Howe.

UMPIRESStevic, Meredith, Margetts.

CROWD87,533 at the MCG

2016 Spring Awakening festival in CessnockPHOTOS, VIDEO

Spring Awakening festival | PHOTOS, VIDEO The Cessnock City RSL Pipes and Drums Band leads the lantern parade down Cooper Street to kick off the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.
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The Cessnock City RSL Pipes and Drums Band leads the lantern parade down Cooper Street to kick off the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Hundreds of people took part in the lantern parade at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

The Cessnock TAFE grounds were filled with lanterns, lights and fires for the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

The Cessnock TAFE grounds were filled with lanterns, lights and fires for the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

The Adrianna Mac Trio performed at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Emmie Hallett and Michael Murphy at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

An interactive drumming workshop was part of the fun at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Jessica Carmichael, Andrew Carmichael, Noah Attewell, Liz Attewell and Jaye Hoelscher at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Front, Trudy Agunbiade and Olu Agunbiade, and back, Joanne Worthington and Lara Boyd at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Cheryl Moore and Pat McCarthy at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Kerry McKendry and Margaret Barr at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Audrey Goodsir, Karen Goodsir, Macy Blake, Cleo Hunt and Lynn Burr at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

Gracie Lennard, Lochie Lennard, Jaxyn Brook, Isla Lennard and Bobby Schrader at the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

The Cessnock TAFE grounds were filled with lanterns, lights and fires for the Spring Awakening Festival in Cessnock on September 9.

TweetFacebookSpring Awakening lantern paradePost by Spring Awakening lantern parade.

Rio Paralympics day 2Photos

Rio Paralympics day 2 | Photos RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Brent Lakatos of Canada celebrates after winning the men’s 100 meter T53 final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Sophie Hahn of Great Britain celebrates after winning the women’s 100 meter T38 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images for Tokyo 2020)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Song Maodang of China celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men’s 100m Butterfly – S8 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Liam Malone of New Zealand leaves the track after competing in the men’s 100 meter T44 final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Liam Malone of New Zealand, Jarryd Wallace of the United States and Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain compete in the men’s 100 meter T44 final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Gold medalist David Nicholas of Australia celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for Men’s 3km Pursuit C3 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympics at Rio Olympic Velodrome on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Bronze medalist Tiffany Thomas Kane of Australia celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Women’s 50m Butterfly – S6 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Aurelie Rivard (L) of Canada and Sophie Pascoe (R) of New Zealand congratulate on winning the gold and silver medals after competing in the Women’s 50m Freestyle – S10 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: David Nicholas of Australia celebrates the victory and gold medal in the Men’s 3km Pursuit C3 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympics at Rio Olympic Velodrome on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Ben Weekes of Australia plays Tur Francesc of Spain in men’s singles on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Libby Clegg of Great Britain, with guide Chris Clarke, competes in the women’s 100 meter T11 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Rory McSweeney of New Zealand competes in the Men’s Javelin F44 final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Centre on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images for the New Zealand Paralympic Committee)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Maroua Brahmi of Tunisia, Mounia Gasmi of Algeria and Gemma Prescott of Great Britain pose on the medals podium after the ceremony for the Women’s Club Throw – F32 Final on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Mary Fisher of New Zealand competes in the Women’s 100m Backstroke – S11 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Coan McKenzie of the United States celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women’s 50m Freestyle – S7 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Sophie Hahn of Great Britain celebrates after winning the women’s 100 meter T38 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 9: Mariana Mohnen of Germany and Paola Klokler of Brazil during the Women Wheelchair Basketball match between Germany and Brazil at the Olympic Arena on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Dylan Alcott of Australia plays Sharga Weinberg of Israel in men’s quad singles on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez of Spain competes in the Men’s 3km Pursuit C1 Individual Pursuit Qualifying on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympics at Rio Olympic Velodrome on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) Hakim Ibrahimov and Elena Chebanu of Azerbaijan in action during the Women’s 100m – T12 Semifinals at the Olympic Stadium on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Mary Fisher of New Zealand competes in the Women’s 100m Backstroke – S11 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Ellie Cole of Australia competes in the Women’s 400m Freestyle – S9 on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Brenden Hall of Australia competes in the Men’s 400m Freestyle – S9 Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Gold medalist Zhangyu Li of China celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for Men’s 3km C1 Pursuit Final on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympics at Rio Olympic Velodrome on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 09: Dirk Passiwan #11 of Germany stretches to block Jake Williams #2 of the United States on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at on September 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

TweetFacebookKurt Fearnley is fired up for for his final Paralympic [email protected] “I have my family over there in the stands and my other family in the village with me. It is awesome” pic.twitter上海m/asKBbEWGk1

— Kate McLoughlin (@katemcloughlin4) September 9, 2016Live event tracker: Follow the 2016 Rio Paralympics here.

NRL Finals: Brisbane Broncos eliminate Gold Coast Titans but disputed calls dominate final

NRL: Broncos eliminate Titans, disputed calls dominate final | Photos Alex Glenn of the Broncos is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Sam Thaiday of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Tempers flare during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Anthony Milford of the Broncos is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try as Jarryd Hayne of the Titans looks dejected during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Oates of the Broncos scores a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Oates of the Broncos scores a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Konrad Hurrell of the Titans bumps off Sam Thaiday of the Broncos during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Josh McGuire of the Broncos attempts to break through the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jarrod Wallace of the Broncos celebrates scoring a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Leivaha Pulu of the Titans takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

A fan holds up a sign during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Alex Glenn of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Darius Boyd of the Broncos looks to pass during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jordan Kahu of the Broncos attempts to break away from the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Alex Glenn of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Sam Thaiday of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Parker of the Broncos during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Oates of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Alex Glenn of the Broncos is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ash Taylor of the Titans is injured during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Adam Blair of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Tempers flare during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Luke Douglas of the Titans looks dejected during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Nene Macdonald of the Titans is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

James Roberts of the Broncos breaks through the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Matt Gillett of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Anthony Milford of the Broncos passes the ball during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Greg Bird of the Titans during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Anthony Milford of the Broncos scores a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ash Taylor of the Titans passes the ball during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Parker of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

David Mead of the Titans is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Corey Parker of the Broncos and Jarryd Hayne of the Titans embrace after the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Darius Boyd of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Josh McGuire of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

James Roberts of the Broncos breaks through the defence during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

TweetFacebookIt has taken exactly one match for the NRL finals to descend into controversy around referees. The Gold Coast Titans are out, the Broncos advance but the post-game focus will surround a series of highly controversial calls at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

History will show the Broncos winning 44-28and even with some generous decisions in their favour, it would be difficult to argue that they weren’t the better team in a 13-try Queensland derby that surely now has some serious electricity.

The first sticking point surrounded a penalty try to Jordan Kahu early in the first half, the first in a finals game since Jamie Lyon’s against the Roosters in the 2013 grand final.

Titans centre Konrad Hurrell swung his boot around as Kahu was inches away from planting the ball and kicked it clear of his hands. It looked a neat piece of play but Bunker referees had little hesitation in awarding the penalty try.

They were right to the letter of the law and were later backed by referees boss Tony Archer. But it didn’t stop fierce debate from unfolding and the Titans would have little cheer about on that front for much of the night.

Down 22-18 early in the second half, Brisbane back-rowerAlex Glenn crossed for his second. It went upstairs but Bunker officials somehow managed to miss James Roberts kicking Ryan Simpkins after playing the ball.

Combined with David Mead being controversiallypenalised for dangerous contact with Corey Oates, who had climbed high to take the ball in his own 20m zone, the Titans were having one of those nights were little went their way.

That included losing halfback Ash Taylor for the final 45 minutes and back-rower Zeb Taia, who didn’t even make it to kick-off after injuring a quad during the warm-up.

Star signing Jarryd Hayne had his good moments but dropping the ball off the kick-off to start the second half was a telling error as Brisbane quickly pounced and were on their way to victory.

The first half was frantic from the opening whistle. Josh Hoffman was denied a try within the first two minutes, only for Chris McQueen to score minutes later and give the Gold Coast – notoriously slow starters of late – a welcome 6-0 lead.

Points avalanche: Jarryd Hayne can’t stop Anthony Milford scoring. Photo: Getty Images

Pulsing with energy and go-forward, the Titans were getting the best of things before a stunning series of plays that preceded the penalty-try ruling. Former Gold Coast man Robertscut them open on the left and was collared by Hayne a metre short.

Kahu would wrestle his way over on the next play before Hurrell’s boot sent the ball flying as he went to put it down. The penalty-try call appeared to be the right one and Archer, perhaps sensing the fan backlash, backed up his men in the middle during the half-time break.

“From our point of view, it’s a penalty try. Where they kick the ball out of his possession, it makes a significantdifference. He kicked it out of his hands,” Archer told Nine.

David Mead put the Titans back in front 12-6 after 15 minutes as Brisbane failed to clean up another kick before Kahu hit back after an Anthony Milford break down the left again, which would prove brittle all night for Gold Coast.

Hometown star: Alex Glenn enjoys the attention of teammates after his try. Photo: Getty Images

The Broncos were flying and Jarrod Wallace, powerful off the bench, went over under the posts as Brisbane settled clinically into their work. Battered and running on empty, the Titans somehow managed to conjure a try to Hoffman and lead 18-16 at half-time.

But halfback Ash Taylor was gone for the night and with him would go Gold Coast, who were hammered by referees in a second half that started in disaster for Hayne, who dropped the ball before watching Glenn score moments later.

Glenn’s second in the 51st minute came after the Roberts kick and the Titans were fuming.Down and effectively out by this point,Oates and then Milford hammered in the final nails.

Driver caught speeding on Hume Highway on the way to a funeral

Hume speeder heading to a funeral caught at 169km/h A 20-year-old Victorian man has had his car impounded after being caught speeding on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta. He and his passenger were on the way to a funeral, police said. Picture: NSW Police Force
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A 20-year-old Victorian man has had his car impounded after being caught speeding on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta. He and his passenger were on the way to a funeral, police said. Picture: NSW Police Force

A 20-year-old Victorian man has had his car impounded after being caught speeding on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta. He and his passenger were on the way to a funeral, police said. Picture: NSW Police Force

TweetFacebookTwo young men were on the way to a funeral when police caught them driving at almost 170km/h on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta on Thursday night.

Cootamundra Local Area Command highway patrol officers were on duty and patrolling the major highway when truck drivers alerted them to a car travelling at high speeds around 10.30pm.

It wasn’t much later that they came across a northbound Mazda 6 whizzing along the highway. A speed check indicated it was cruising at 169km/h, police said.

Soon after, the vehicle was intercepted and police spoke to the driver and passenger, both 20-year-olds from Victoria who police said were on the way to a funeral.

It emerged the driver had a provisional Victorian licence and was in the possession ofan expired NSW P-plate licence.

The vehicle, registered in the driver’s name,was allegedly not displaying P plates.

The young driver was issued infringement notices for driving at more than 45km/h over the speed limit, driving in the right hand lane with the speed limit over 80km/h and not complying with licence conditions (not displaying P plates).

The fines associated with those offences tally up to $2928.

As well as the tickets and fines, the young man will be without his car for three months and his NSW licence for six months.

The sedan was towed to Wagga and will remain impounded until December.

Acting Assistant Commissioner David Driver from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said the driver’s actions could well have led to friends and family needing to attend another funeral.

“With this driver and his passenger travelling to a funeral and given their high speed, any crash would have potentially resulted in friends and family attending their funeral also,” he said.

“We know that speeding, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seat belt or proper helmet, driving fatigued or distracted are all risks in fatal crashes on our roads.

“Whilst this driver has learnt a costly lesson, and will be without a vehicle and licence, at least he gets to go home. Sadly, many don’t.”

The pair arranged alternative transport after police transported them to Wagga.

The NSW road toll is currently at 274, 37 more than this time last year.

Brekkie Blog: Saturday, September 10, 2016

North-West weather
Shanghai night field

A trough is slowly moving across Tasmania this morning, while an associated low moves through eastern Bass Strait. The low will move away to the east tonight, as a narrow ridge of high pressure extends over Tasmania. A front is expected to cross the state on Sunday bringing a cold southwesterly airstream, which will tend southerly during Monday as a ridge of high pressure extends to the south of Tasmania. A low is then expected to develop along the southern New South Wales coast during Tuesday.

North-West news

►RAINor shine thousands of people are set toflock to Latrobe for the NWFL grand final on Saturday.Latrobe Football Club general manager, Kandice Blake, said a crowd of 4000 would be wonderful. Read more.

► THEthreatenedDevonport Show will be held again in Novemberbutorganisershavecalled for morevolunteers to come forward.The future of the 108-year-old Devonport Show wasassured forthis year saidAgricultural and Pastoral Society presidentLesley Young. Read more.

►DESPITE the wet weather, students were happy to get their hands dirty for the Latrobe BioBlitz.The aim forBioBlitz is to discover and record as many species as you can within 30 hours, and involves students working closely with naturalists, volunteers and scientists within the community. Read more.

State of the nation

Need anational newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.

► ILLAWARRA:Father’s Day started like a normal Sunday for Joseph Meli.That was until he was out walking through Crown Street Mall around Midday and noticed models on the catwalk during Heat 2 ofIllawarra’s Top Model.

Joseph has suffered from mental health personally and thought to himself“what a great thing they are doing”.

But it also got him thinking about what he could do to raise some more awareness and turn the depressing feeling that comesfrom the impact of a mental illness episode on itshead.

Lingerie Lad: Joseph Meli in the mall reflecting on all the interest he generated with his 20 second appearance on the Illawarra’s Top Model catwalk. Picture: Greg Ellis

► NEWCASTLE:Corrective Services NSW has unveiled its world-class training centre for new recruits in the former Tomago Detention Centre.

Corrective Services revealed it has started the recruitment process for150 officers who will be based at Cessnock CorrectionalCentre and undergo training at the new Tomago facility.

In a major milestone, the first recruits have become the first to graduate underCorrective Services’biggest recruitment drive in its history.

► TAS:Creating intrinsic sculptures is something that brings a great deal of enjoyment to artist Paul Brunyee.

As you drive up to his luscious green property you are greeted by some of his sublime sculptures.

“I’ve always been creative, in 1990 I had a small introduction into art cutting glass for a Dutchman,” Brunyee said.

“He was able to show me the benefits of cutting glass then I ended up for many many years with a leading glass designer namedJeffrey Hamiltonin Sydney.”

CREATIVE CIRCLE: Artist Paul Brunyee is a finalist in the Artentwine West Tamar Council Acquisitive Outdoor Sculpture Prize.

► BENDIGO: A formerBendigo Healthconstruction manager will next month plead to corruption and deception charges relating to goods and services said to be part of works clearing the way for the city’s new hospital.

It’s alleged Adam DavidHardinge, 39, stolemore than $30,000 in tools and equipment belonging to Bendigo Health, and allegedly gained more than $15,000 throughdeception.

Hardinge appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Friday where his matter was adjourned to a plea hearing on October 19.

► VIC:Among the many images gleaned from the Tromp family’s ill-fated car journey from outer Melbourne into the wilds of NSW – a long, 1500-kilometre road to nowhere – one remains more frightening than the rest.

The finer details of it are thin because the man who found Riana Tromp, 29, the eldest child of the successful berry farming family from Silvan, has opted not to elaborate beyond the basics. But what we know isKeith Whittaker, of Goulburn, got in his uteto drive to Canberra last week and felt a kicking on the back of his seat.

► PORT MACQUARIE:It might say spring on the calendar, but lifeguards operating in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region will get their first taste of summer this weekend when they are put through their paces at their annual proficiency and induction day.

Approximately 30 lifeguards will be at Flynns Beach on Saturday, September 10 for the formal induction process and testing of their skills and fitness.

The aim is for the recruits to be in peak condition and able to respond to any coastal emergency during the 2016/17 season.

► BATHURST:A crisiscan occur at any momentand having people reading and willing to help can make all the difference.

To markR U OK? day and World Suicide Prevention Day, which both occur this week,Lifeline Central West’s volunteer crisis supporters have stepped up to the mark.

The Bathurstcall centre, which takes crisis calls from across Australia usually operates from 6am-10pm, but from Thursday until Saturday this week volunteers will man the phones 24-hours-a-day.

HERE TO LISTEN: Lifeline Central West crisis supporters Astrid Taylor, Stephanie Robinson and (back) Vicki Byrnes are part of a marathon effort to answer as many calls for help as possible. Photo: NADINE MORTON

► WARRNAMBOOL:Elderly people who are being abused by family membersare encouraged to speak out.

Warrnambool police Acting Sergeant Shannon Kavenaghsaid elder abusewas a complex and hidden problem that occurred in thecommunity.

She said oftenfamily member or friend abusedthe older person, who did not report it for fear,shame or because they loved the perpetrator.

► WAGGA: MarcusStanford, the twin brother of the man who murdered schoolteacher Stephanie Scott, has been freed from the Junee jail.

Stanford hid in the back of a silver four-wheel-drive believed to be driven by his mother, going past waiting media camped at the gates of the Junee Correctional Centre this morning.

Stanford, who pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact of Ms Scott’s murder, was released after serving a 15-month fixed term jail sentence handed down on August 24 but backdated to June 15 last year when he went into custody.

National news►It has been just over10 years since John Bradley’s daughter,Heather–a budding actor – took her own life.YetMr Bradley, who has two other children, says grief still manages to “ambush” him.

“Last Sunday was Father’s Day,” he says. “I had some contact with my surviving children, but obviously notwith Heather. Those days, I feel, you get ambushed in your grief.

“I can hear just a bit ofmusic, see something –a photograph–orbump into someone.

►The education company at the centre of the donations furore that halted the front bench career of Labor senator Sam Dastyari is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the government’s new streamlined visa program, new data from the federal Department of Education reveals.

John Bradley says grief still manages to “ambush” him. Photo: Penny Stephens

Data released this week shows that 98.5 per cent of Top Education students are international, more than double the Australian private higher education institution average of 42 per cent. It has one of the highest proportions of international students of any private higher education institution in NSW.

Of the 13 local students the institution has enrolled, only 46 per cent successfully completed their first year.

National weather radar Top Education chief executive officer Minshen Zhu with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Top Education

International news►London:A furious Norwegian newspaper has taken Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to task for “abusing his power” as the world’s most powerful editor, after the social media company demanded censorship of the famous Vietnam war ‘napalm girl’ photograph.

Espen Egil Hansen, editor-in-chief of theAftenposten, the country’s biggest newspaper,has published a long tiradeagainst Mr Zuckerberg after receiving an email from Facebook saying the image contravened the site’s rules on nudity.

On this day Aftenposten’s editor-in-chief, Espen Egil Hansen. Photo: Aftenposten

The faces of Australia: Harris ‘Chip’ RedheadFor decades Harris ‘Chip’ Redhead has been seeing to the health of Blayney Shire residents as one of its longest serving GP’s, but if fate had turned a different corner, Dr Redhead could well have become an architect.

Chipping away: Harris ‘Chip’ Redhead will have a selection of drawings at the Barry Art Exhibition on September 17 and 18. Photo: Mark Logan

“I’ve always been interested in drawing, always, and before television of course I used to have a box of watercolours and I would copy the paintings on the wall,” he said. “I still have the original box of watercolour paint.”

That was in 1938 as an artistic 10 year old but it wasn’t until just after the Second World War had ended that Dr Redhead had his first lesson. Read more here.

Photos of the week: September 5-10, 2016

Photos of the week: September 5-10, 2016 ADELAIDE: Exhibitor Dusty Jones is the third generation of her family to show Romney sheep at the Royal Adelaide Show. Photo: JACQUI BATEMAN
Shanghai night field

BATHURST: MacKillop College Year 8 students Joely Drinan, Lauren Muir, Saige Dwyer, Marnie Watson and Meg Wilson on Wednesday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

BENDIGO: Are You Ok Day, included a petting zoo at LaTrobe University, Bendigo. Charlotte Bodenhamer. Photo: NONI HYETT

BATHURST: Johnno Seaman of Sid Newman Rural Supplies with a pallet of bloat block supplies. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

BATHURST: Deputy mayor Ian North and Phil Brock with the signed VZ Commodore back at the National Motor Racing Museum. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

BENDIGO: U15 Girls Cycling Time Trials. Neve Bradbury, St Kilda Cycling Club. Photo: NONI HYETT

BENDIGO: HDFL Football Grand Final. North Bendigo Vs Leitchville-Gunbower. Photo: DARREN HOWE

BENDIGO: HDFL Football Grand Final 2016. North Bendigo Vs Leitchville-Gunbower. Photo: DARREN HOWE

BENDIGO: Mario Espana is a forth gerneration circus performer on the wheel of death. He has broken over 17 bones in his body. Photo: GLENN DANIELS

BENDIGO: HDFL Football Grand Final 2016. North Bendigo Vs Leitchville-Gunbower. Photo: GLENN DANIELS

BUNBURY: Harvey ended Bunbury’s season on Sunday with a 29 point win in the first SWFL elimination final of 2016. Photo: CHRIS DE BLANK.

DUBBO: Jessica Willmott and Holly Taylor have spent months training to walk the Kokoda Trail. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

COLLIE: The Griffin Social Club will be winding down their operations after more than 60 years in the Collie community.

BUNBURY: Tim Seinor, Peter Gianfrancesco, and Antonio Gianfrancesco have been bestowed the title of Best Italian Gourmet Sausage in the South West

COWRA: Nicholas James shows off the hard work done by Carinya’s students for the pumpkin decorating competition at this year’s Cowra Show.

DUBBO: Kerrianne Nichols, Samuel Berryman, Marty Frew, Nicholas Steepe, Beverley Tyson, Joel Pickering, Anna Arrow, Kevin Jones.

DUBBO: PT Lord, Dakin and Associates agents, auctioneers Tony Morcom, Paul Dakin, Mark Garland, John Shadwell, at the Dubbo cattle sale. Photo: RACHAEL WEBB

FORBES: Flooding at Forbes. Photo: RACHAEL WEBB

DUBBO: Starting next week Karen and Jamie Manning, as well as their three children, will ride for 22 days to raise awareness and funds for Limbs4 Life. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

FOBRES: Flood waters on Friday morning at Landrace Rd, Forbes.

HUNTER: Actress Kellie Taylor will play the summoned spirit of Elvira the ex-wife in the Maitland Repertory Theatre’s new production, ‘Blithe Spirit’. Photo: PERRY DUFFIN

FORBES: Water on the road at Forbes. Photo: RACHAEL WEBB

FORSTER: Tina Gogerly has been turning trash into art. Photo: TINA GOGERLY

HUNTER: Holmesville resident Chris Halton with his unhappy neighbour

HUNTER: Firies work to put out grass fire in Woodville on Wednesday. Photo: PERRY DUFFIN

HUNTER: Hunter restaurants hold their own at annual Good Food Guide awards

LAKE MACQUARIE: Inside the Catalina Conference Centre, at Rathmines, ahead of its official opening. Photo: DAVID STEWART

LAKE MACQUARIE: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is coming to The Art House, at Wyong, in time for the September school holidays

HUNTER: Maitland’s Family Hotel General Manager Neil Hedges is delving into the historic pub’s past. Photo: JONATHAN CARROLL

HUNTER: Paranormal investigator Renata Daniel silhouetted outside Grossmann House. Ms Daniel will host a ghost hunt in the historic property next month. Photo: PERRY DUFFIN

LAKE MACQUARIE: Mary Parkinson with Christine Wenta from Toronto Workers Club after shopping for new garden ornaments. Photo: SIMONE DE PEAK

LAUNCESTON: Richardsons Harley Davidson’s Manager Chris Travers trains for the Strong Man Truck Pull for the Power Surge event on Saturday. Photo: PAUL SCAMBLER, The Examiner

MANDURAH: Coby, a three legged rescue dog, listens to Assumption Catholic Primary School students read in thier new Story Dogs program. Photo: JESS COCKERILL

LAUNCESTON: Songwriter Daniel Townsend and singer John Flanagan in the final throes of rehearsal before the opening of the Junction festival. Photo: SCOTT GELSTON, The Examiner

LAUNCESTON: Clare McCracken, artist behind the VILLAGE installation at Junction Arts Festival. Photo: PIIA WIRSU, The Examiner

MANDURAH: The Duyfken replica arrives in Mandurah from Bunbury. Photo: RICHARD POLDEN

NAMBUCCA: Bert Gray asks R U Ok. Photo: BRITT RAMSEY

NEWCASTLE: Joanne McCarthy with Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan at the close of the Catholic hearing. Photo: IAN KIRKWOOD

MANDURAH: The Mandurah War Memorial is back to its former glory after vandals destroyed it last year. Photo: NATHAN HONDROS

MANDURAH: The Duyfken replica on track to Mandurah from Bunbury. Photo: RICHARD POLDEN

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle surgeon Daron Cope devises brilliant way to remove facial tumour from Yvonne Boraso. Photo: MAX MASON-HUBERS

TAREE: Dave Quinlivan at Black Head, near where he was attacked by a great white shark last year. Photo: SCOTT CALVIN

PORT STEPHENS: Bernie Fitzsimons, president of the Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network, standing next to the memorial made of rocks at Boat Harbour. Photo: ELLIE-MARIE WATTS

PINJARRA: The feature film Three Summer was launched with a traditional Noongar ceremony at Fairbridge Village

PORT STEPHENS: Hunter Koala Preservation Society carer and rescuer Sue Swain with Dexter. Mrs Swain has been with the society for 13 years. Photo: ELLIE-MARIE WATTS

NYNGAN: Sonia Lane, Aime Taylor and Marley-Jo Wilson cross the finish line after the Cheetah Chase 10kms at the Dubbo Stampede. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE.

NEWCASTLE: Hamilton business operators have had enough. Photo: MATTHEW KELLY

ORANGE: Lolli Redini owner Simonn Hawke picked up a coveted hat with co-owner Leah Morphett at the Good Food Guide Awards. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle Knights awards 2016_ Dane Gagai, Trent Hodkinson recognised after club’s year to forget. Photo: JONATHAN CARROLL

NEWCASTLE: Newcastle Jets have sacked coach Scott Miller, barely a month before the A-League season kicks off

TweetFacebook Photos of the week: September 5-10, 2016​A look at photos taken by Fairfax photographers across Australia.