Forgotten Lilac festival in limbo

A COUNCIL decision last October to call expressions of interest in a spring festival for Goulburn has flown under the radar.

The move came after Council withdrew support for the Lilac Festival in a bid to inject “renewal and community enthusiasm.”

The plan was to hold a spring festival on the coming October long weekend.

But a report to last Tuesday’s meeting revealed that no action had been taken on the resolution.

It came to light in a new report initiated by general manager Warwick Bennett.

The document updates councillors on actions taken following previous council resolutions, some stretching back to 2012.

Cr Banfield was surprised the spring festival idea hadn’t been pursued.

“Why hasn’t it been commenced?” he asked.

Mr Bennett replied he’d be finding out in briefing meeting.

“I think we’re cutting it fine,” Cr Banfield said.

Cr Sam Rowland said the oversight was disappointing, especially as he had asked about its progress at a council meeting several months ago.

Mr Bennett and corporate services director Brendan Hollands will meet with the Lilac Festival committee early this week/

The aim is to find out its plans for the festival and how the committee and council can work together.

As reported in Friday’s Post, Mr Hollands was hoping Mr Bennett would act as a “new face in the equation” to overcome existing tensions and move forward.

The new GM’s ‘matters arising’ report drew strong praise from councillors.

Cr Alf Walker said he found it very helpful.

It jogged Deputy Mayor Bob Kirk’s memory that there was another outstanding matter – Council’s endorsement of CBD improvement works recommended by a working party.

Mr Bennett said his report, to be tendered monthly, would enable management to focus on council resolutions and give councillors a guide on progress.

“And we will certainly be putting every effort into addressing the outstanding issues,” he said.

The report also revealed that a development consent, containing amendments, had still not been issued for a motorcycle facility approved off Sydney Rd last August.

A report was referred to the Sydney Catchment Authority on June 30. Meantime, on the broader front, Mr Bennett has signalled less Council reliance on consultants.

A separate report to last Tuesday’s meeting stated that Council would maximise inhouse management of a contract to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plan.

The new chief is formulating a new direction. It’s understood he met with councillors in a confidential briefing late last week.

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Great game for Tigers against Old Bar

Great Day For TigersIT was the annual charity day for the Wingham Tigers on Saturday against the Old Bar Beach Pirates at the Wingham Sporting Complex.

The Tigers’ First Grade team wore black and green jerseys to support Camp Quality and the Asthma Foundation.

The game did not start well for the home team when Old Bar Beach scored from dummy half inside the first five minutes to lead 6-0.

A chip and chase by the Pirates doubled their lead after a quarter of an hour.

Ten minutes later, another Pirates try made the score 18-0, and it looked like it might be a long day.

Five minutes before half time, Ben Welsh barged his way over the try line to exceed 700 first grade points in his 200+ grade game career for the Tigers.

Michael Rees added the extra points to make the score 18-6.

Then Tim Bridge scored in the canteen corner.

Michael Rees’ sideline conversion made the score 18-12 at the break.

In the first minute of the second half, Aaron Bakewell crossed in the scoreboard corner to bring the Tigers within two points of the visitors.

A quarter of an hour into the stanza, Wingham took the lead with a try to Michael Rees, which he converted.

About ten minutes from full time, a penalty goal from Matt Bridge made the score 24-18.

Five minutes later, Luke Steel missed a field goal, and then Michael Rees missed a penalty goal that would have secured victory.

In the final minute, instead of taking the option for a field goal, Matt Bridge passed the ball wide to Tim Watson who scored.

Michael Rees added the conversion for a fantastic 30-18 win.

(Ben Welsh, Tim Bridge, Aaron Bakewell, Michael Rees, Tim Watson tries, Michael Rees 4, Matt Bridge goals).

Reserve GradeRESERVE Grade games between these two clubs are always tough.

An early try to Brendan Butler, converted by Nick Beacham gave Wingham a 6-0 lead.

Ten minutes later, Russell Babekuhl scored in the scoreboard corner, and Mitchell Sweeney converted from the sideline.

Two tries in the final seven minutes of the half, to Garyn Burnes and Chris Butler, both converted by Nick Beacham, made the half time score 24-0.

It took until the midway point of the second half for the Pirates to score, and they backed it up immediately to trail 24-12 with a quarter of an hour remaining.

The Tigers repelled raid after raid from Old Bar Beach who were coming home strongly.

Inside the final five minutes, Nick Beacham slotted a field goal to seal a 25-12 victory.

(Brendan Butler, Russell Babekul, Garyn Burnes, Chris Butler tries,Nick Beacham 3, Mitchell Sweeney goals,Nick Beacham field goal).

Under 18sTHE Tigers Under 18s continue to improve with a 22-0 win over Old Bar Beach.

Tries to Ben Gallagher and Ryan Morris inside the first ten minutes, both converted by Ben Gallagher gave Wingham a 12-0 advantage.

A try to Brock O’Sullivan from dummy half, again converted by Ben Gallagher made the half time score 18-0.

The only points in the second half came again from Ryan Morris who scored in the corner.

(Ryan Morris 2, Ben Gallagher, Brock O’Sullivan tries, Ben Gallagher 3 goals).

League TagTHE Wingham Ladies League Tag team trailed 6-4 at half time with the home team score by Natalie Hinton.

Three second half tries gave Old Bar Beach a 20-4 win.

(Natalie Hinton try).

During the First Grade game, a blanket went around the ground to raise money for Alex McKinnon, the injured Newcastle Knights player.

And in the Charity Night at the Australian Hotel after the games, over $10,000 was raised.

Great work Tigers!Next Sunday, the Tigers travel to Kempsey to take on the Macleay Valley Mustangs.

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Family Feud brings happy results as Ten climbs out of abyss

Family Feud, among other hit-rating shows, has revived Channel Ten with the station counting double-digit prime time ratings growth in every major city.Offspring.

Masterchef Australia.


Finally, Channel Ten is getting its mojo back.

Our youngest commercial network, which turns 50 next week, is not out of the woods yet. But it has pulled itself from the brink of the ratings abyss.

Its revived version of Family Feud stunned sceptics with a stellar debut last week, surging past its game show rivals. MasterChef, which had long been on the slide, was Thursday’s No.1 program – giving the show its biggest audience in two years and Ten its first top-ranked position since February. This victory followed popular drama Offspring winning its time slot on Wednesday.

Since Easter, the network has enjoyed double-digit prime time ratings growth in every major city, up by more than one third in Sydney and almost 50 per cent in Melbourne.

All this has given Ten something it desperately needs: mass audiences. It’s a chance to break the vicious cycle sparked by a series of programming blunders a few years ago. Viewership dwindled, leaving fewer people to promote its shows to, and the rot set in.

Broadcast television is not a pure meritocracy, in which viewers simply select the series they like. Success begets success. Networks fret over their early evening game shows because they’re vital in funnelling viewers to their prime-time programs.

It’s early days for Family Feud, which had a combined metropolitan and regional audience of almost 1 million on its first two nights. Viewers like to sample new shows, so its ratings may well soften once the novelty wears off. Its figures are also likely to dip when Ten stops simulcasting it on its digital stations One and Eleven (though it has not confirmed when this will happen).

Already, Nine’s Eddie McGuire has reclaimed the title of top-rating game show host; his Hot Seat program overtook Grant Denyer’s Family Feud on its third outing. (It’s the second time McGuire has crushed a Denyer-led uprising. Last year, the pair were direct rivals, with Denyer’s Million Dollar Minute briefly beating Hot Seat before McGuire snatched back his ratings crown.)

Yet Ten programming chief Beverley McGarvey’s decision to revive the show has undoubtedly paid off. Overnight, it more than doubled the network’s 6pm audience. It has proven popular with lucrative younger viewers, despite fears it would attract a disproportionately older following. It even beat Seven’s news in Sydney last Tuesday.

Ten’s news and current affairs chief Peter Meakin – who previously  was at the helm of Seven and Nine’s news teams – also deserves some of the credit for luring Denyer to the network. Despite his dismay at having to axe 150 staff recently, his reputation and expertise have proven valuable.

It was Meakin, for instance, who secured Ian Thorpe’s exclusive ‘‘coming out’’ interview for Ten, which delivered strong ratings and huge publicity. (Not least for Family Feud, with its logo hovering over Thorpe’s neck for the duration of the broadcast.) Fairfax Media has been told that Thorpe’s manager, James Erskine, approached Meakin only, and that Seven and Nine were never seriously in the running.

MasterChef’s resurgence is also worth noting. As Fusion Strategy media analyst Steve Allen observes, its ratings dropped after it cynically aped the ‘‘engineered personality clashes’’ of My Kitchen Rules.

‘‘MKR is a drama that happens to be around cooking,’’ Allen says. ‘‘MasterChef is a cooking show. It’s gone back to cooking … they’re to be congratulated for it.’’

Ten still has a long way to go. Most nights, it takes fourth place behind the ABC; something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. And its commercial rivals will not relinquish their market share without a fight. But the signs are good for the network that once raked in more profit than Seven and Nine combined.

According to Allen, Family Feud is ‘‘the best thing Channel Ten has done in three years’’.

‘‘To a large extent, Ten has more interesting things about it than the other networks,’’ he says. ‘‘That’s great for them.’’

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MasterChef 2014 recap: Recipe for disaster

Food fight … someone will be going home from the final six. Just desserts … the elimination challenge sent contestants bananas.

Black aprons … Jamie, Ben and Laura face the chop.

Well, this is it folks. The final week of MasterChef. It’s like being in Dallas on the day JKF was shot.

The final six are in the kitchen to “cook their heart out” – and possibly serve it up with a garlic sauce. At stake is foodie immortality – or rather, a forgettable book deal and sponsorship deal with Clingwrap.

Laura, of course, is excited. “It’s not every week, it’s finals week”.

Oh dear, it’s a good thing she can cook, because compelling storytelling is not her strong point.

Brent likens the challenge to being in an athletics race, neatly insulting half the competitors at the Commonwealth Games.

Tracy is “in this to win”. Cool story, Tracy. You should sell the film rights.

The Three Musketeers of the kitchen – Gary, Matt and George, remind everyone of what they’ve just told the cameras – they’re cooking today.

Gary tries to calm everyone down by promising something “nice and gentle” to ease them into the challenge. Which is code for “we’re going to kill you slowly”. So cruel, Gary.

Everyone has a mystery box and everyone’s is different, with a hand-written note from a loved family member. Oh. Dear. God – they are crying now. Everyone is crying as they read out their letters, as if they had been in the trenches in World War I.

Emelia is bawling, reading the words from her mother who calls her “brave”. Brave? Did you beat the Germans with a whisk? No? No, you did not. You do not pass go and you do not get $200, Emelia.

Television producers love tears and they must have been eager for some to be shed in the show’s big last week. Now, Tracy is getting emotional after her husband called her “incredible” for going after her dream. I can’t take this.

Brent’s girlfriend tells him he “deserves this”. What Brent actually deserves is a new hair style – that man-bun does him no favours.

Noses blown, tears wiped, George announces the best three dishes will be saved, while the bottom three will have to cook for their lives in an elimination.

Laura is cooking crispy skin duck breast, dedicating this dish to her dad, a sentiment I’m sure he would appreciate if he could actually eat it.

Brent is annoyed his girlfriend picked ingredients she likes – jeez, you’d think she was sending you a message, Hair-Bun Man. Perhaps “think of me”? Think about it, Brent.

Brent makes a risky move and decides to create panna cotta in just 45 minutes. Will he succeed? The suspense  is killing me.

The ad break is on, and a promotion for Mrs Brown’s Boys is showing, ruining the appetite of everyone watching.

Next ad features season one winner, Julie, plugging a washing powder. Ahhh, so that’s where reality television stars go when they are no longer relevant.

Emelia is making Vietnamese snapper with pineapple. She thinks her mum picked the ingredients because she knows she’s done it but she wants to prove she can do more than when she was just in the top 50.

“I don’t want to be in the bottom three today”. Emelia is practically a philosopher at this point.

George has concerns over Laura’s duck and Brent’s panna cotta. I have concerns with George’s burgundy jacket. Really, George?

“I’ve got a lot to do,” Brent says, rivalling Emelia in the philosophy department.

“She’s really set me up, hasn’t she?” Brent says of his evil girlfriend. I wonder if Brent has cooked with foot and mouth, because that’s all he’s coming up with right now.

Gary asks: “Are you on the money? Do you know what you’re doing?”. Given there’s 10 minutes to go, this seems an odd question. Shouldn’t you have asked that 35 minutes ago Gary?

Brent is still wearing “my girlfriend is mean” face – his panna cottas are stuck in their mould. Plot twist! I never could have seen that one coming.

Tracy wants her thighs to be perfect and needs to strain off her sauce – um, is this a cooking show or a something best left for after 9.30pm and preferably on SBS?

Brent has resorted to using a blowtorch to loosen those stubborn panna cottas. But success is at hand, his dessert is saved. Now the schlub is smiling.

“Thank-you for giving me dessert, Maddy”. I sense Maddy won’t appreciate this last-minute turnaround after Brent practically accused her of sabotaging him and spoiling the end of the latest Spiderman movie.

Uh oh, Tracy has poured her special sauce all over the chopping board and looks like one of those people who claims to have just witnessed aliens in the sky.

“Oh my god,” she says, hands over her head. It’s okay Tracy – just get some paper towels. Tracy refuses to take my  practical advice and continues to look like she’s about to lose her mind.

First up to show off his pan-seared quail is Jamie, which is now minus the breasts because they were too dry. Matt tells him off for the teeny tiny portion but eats it anyway – rude. Gary loves the “variation of beetroots” but he wants the breast’s “meaty juices”. Oh my, I feel a bit flustered now.

Emelia is up and her snapper is deemed “extraordinary”.

Tracy knew her dish was “smashing” but her stuff-up could cost her. Spacey Tracy is back! George pulls his cravat off – I never knew he actually had a neck – to make George’s point that “something is missing” from her dish. Yeah, we knew that, George. No need for drama of Charlie Sheen proportions.

Ben’s dish “looks a bit weird”, says Matt. The fatty duck is overcooked and the polenta has soaked up too much sauce. If this was gladiator-era Rome, then it would be a thumbs down. And then death by angry tiger.

But this is MasterChef, so punishment is having to take a bath in your own tears.

Laura, also serving up duck, has done better, which wouldn’t be hard. Gary loves her mashed potato but the duck is overcooked, too. I blame the ducks at this point.

Whinging Brent is up and his dish looks good. That’s because it is good. George beams.

Everyone has been judged and the gods have spoken – Brent is the winner, along with Emelia and … they cut to an ad break.

We’re back and … it’s Tracy. The space cadet of the kitchen has won, even though she didn’t get everything on the plate.

So it’s now an elimination challenge – Ben, Laura and Jamie are handed black aprons.

Three of Australia’s “most cutting-edge” chefs walk through the door like sugared angels of death to help the trio.

The dessert is so long and complicated I didn’t have time to write it down. It looks like food Lego.

It’s a banana split but in disguise – the banana is actually a banana-shaped and coloured coffee and banana gelato foam that looks like cream and a chocolate and peanut sauce. Sounds good. FYI, I ate microwaved risotto for dinner, so I’m totally up on these skillz.

At this point, I feel sorry for these three losers. If I were among them, I would whip off that black apron and march out singing a Beyonce tune. This grown woman ain’t having none of that.

Jamie, Ben and Laura have two hours to recreate this Frank Gehry of desserts. Ben looks like he wants to cry, which for once, I’m okay with. Wave that white flag, Ben.

They’re off! All their ingredients are on the bench and they’re making gelato. Meanwhile, I’m eating Nutella from a jar.

Now, Jamie is using words like “foam”, “straining” and “Malibu”. I’m so confused. He’s already feeling confident five minutes in, which we all know is the kiss of death on this show. Smooth move, Jamie. He should be tearing his hipster hair out by the next ad break.

Laura is “all over the place” and has already stuffed up. Oops. But she refuses to start again and takes a “massive risk” by adjusting the recipe. Smooth move, Laura.

The three angels of death are visiting Laura, who is explaining her shortcuts. They are not impressed. “I’m in a lot of trouble,” she says. “I’m definitely starting to get really behind.”

Jamie cooks his bananas with a splash of “duh”, telling the cameras: “I’m trying to get everything done as quickly as possible”.

But he’s put the gelato in the blast freezer instead of the normal freezer – blast! He’s just done a Laura.

Ben’s parfait has turned to scrambled eggs, after he took his eyes off the stove for two seconds. That sounds like a food transformation of Jesus proportions. What Would Ben Do?

Everyone is suffering from brain bubbles. This is just sad now, like watching toddlers fight for the last crayon on Earth. It almost kills my joy of being mean to them. Almost.

Ben is back on track and within one second, isn’t again. Make up your mind, Ben – are you good at this or not? I’m getting whiplash.

“We are all biting our nails willing you to finish,” says Gary.

The five-minute countdown is on. Everyone is cooking their sauce and offering a prayer to the food god – aka Jamie Oliver – to save them.

Time is up and now they can walk away from their very own Food Olympics. Jamie is assembling his “banana split” in front of the judges. It’s tasting time and there are three men sitting at a table wearing stupid grins. They like it. Actually, George loves it. Jamie’s “packed a lot of flavour in”. Interpret that as you wish, ladies and gentlemen.

Ben is nervous as he wears the Bob the Builder hat and George asks him what his gut is telling him about his effort. My guess is “anxious”, closely followed by “hungry”.

Tasting the dish, Matt is unimpressed and George looks sceptical. Gary praises the gelato but George and Matt say the sauce is a mess – it’s separated and fatty.

Now it’s Laura’s turn. I had forgotten about her. But the smiling pixie of the group is wheeling up her goodies and giving it a red hot go. You be you, Laura.

“Are you going home?” Gary asks. Wow, way to be grateful to someone who’s just served you food.  Has Laura’s risk at tweaking the recipe when it went banana shaped worked? The judges love it, although her foam lacks flavour.

Clearly, it’s between Ben and Laura on who will walk out in shame, and then cry and proclaim, “Australia, you haven’t seen the last of me!”. Has that line ever worked for anyone from a reality TV show?

Before we find out, there’s an ad for King Island cheese, where the cheese maker actually hugs a wheel of cheese. I have never been so envious of another person before.

Back to the show and Jamie is safe. Wow, didn’t see that one coming. He and his hipster hair can relax now.

After a tongue lashing, Ben is told he’s going home. “It’s been an unbelievable experience I’ll never forget,” he says, before being asked his favourite moments. I’m guessing this won’t be one of them.

Six started this episode. Only five have survived. The judges promise us “no rules” in the next episode, which I’m interpreting as “you don’t have to wear pants”. I’m totally tuning in for that.

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Oscar McDonald makes VFL debut for North Ballarat Roosters

Oscar McDonald in action for the North Ballarat Rebels earlier this year. Picture: ADAM TRAFFORD

EDENHOPE-APSLEY product Oscar McDonald made his VFL debut for North Ballarat Roosters on Saturday.

McDonald, 18, a key position player who has starred for TAC Cup side North Ballarat Rebels this season, was picked as the Roosters’ 23rd player.

The Roosters enjoyed a 21.16 (142) to 9.9 (63) win over Bendigo Gold at Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium to maintain their place in the top eight.

“It was pretty exciting,” McDonald said.

“I played forward in the first half and found it a bit hard to get into the game. It was definitely easier down back.”

McDonald, the younger brother of Melbourne key defender Tom, has been among the Rebels’ most consistent performers this season playing at both ends of the ground.

In 13 matches, he has been named among the side’s best players on 10 occasions.

“I started off a bit slow trying to find my feet but the last eight or nine rounds I’ve found some form,” he said.

The Wimmera teenager collected nine disposals – five kicks and four handballs – on debut, plus three marks and three tackles.

McDonald said the VFL experience showed him what was required to make the jump to the next level of football.

“I’ve got to gain a bit of strength to play at that level,” he said.

Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said McDonald’s VFL performance was promising as he pushed for higher honours

“He acquitted himself quite well,” he said.

“It was another opportunity to expose him to a higher level coming up towards the draft combine and state combine announcements.”

McDonald was not the only Wimmera product in the Roosters’ team on Saturday.

Former Horsham player Chris Giampaolo kicked two goals, while Hopetoun duo Coleman Schache, two goals, and Lucas Cook, one, both hit the scoreboard as well.

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