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Kiwis up for chukkas at Tambo

Top shots: Tambo players Jamie Sargood, Jekka Lloyd and Jacob Ross playing against Taroom at Emerald’s annual carnival in 2016. Photos: Anne-Maree Lloyd.A polocrosse spectacle not seen before in western Queensland is in the making, thanks to the Tambo Polocrosse Club.
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Vowing to save the sport from the ravages of drought and hard times, the club is bringing some ofNew Zealand’s best polocrosse players across the ditch to takeon the cream of Queensland’s clubs at its annual carnival.

The chance to play against a team from thePutaruruTirauPolocrosse Club, a North Island club which boasts several NZ representative level players, is expected to attract around 40 teams for the May 20-21 carnival, and large crowds.

Tambo club president Rachael Sargood said the initiative was designed to save polocrosse in the west.

“One pregnancy, or one person moving away, and our club is in jeopardy,” is how she described the current state of play for what is undoubtedly the region’s most enduring club.

“Tambo’s done it tough –everyone’s busy and trying to make a dollar. Even hardcore players couldn’t muster last year.”

Jamie Sargood taking the ball up against Jess Taylor at Emerald’s 2016 carnival.

The effects have been felt even more deeply elsewhere –neither Longreach nor Muttaburra clubs were able to host a carnival in 2016 –and Rachael and others fear that with only one active club, there will be no more central west polocrosse zone.

“The main thing is to keep holding carnivals and giving spectators really top level competition,” Rachael said. “We can put on a great carnival every year but you don’t get that same adrenalin rush without a crowd there cheering.”

As well as the highest seeded teams playing a round robin against New Zealand, the Bob Sargood Memorial competition will take place below that.

Charleville is Tambo’s closest club, two hours away, but as the central west competition has declined, players generally have to travel upwards of four or five hours one way to get a game on weekends.

“Polocrosse is growing hugely in the south east, and we needed to find a way to drag those players up to our part of the world,” Rachel said.

Tambo Polocrosse Club president Rachael Sargood with club patron Robyn Sargood.

Theidea has received a lot of support from clubs in the south–Tansey, Chinchilla, Wandoan, Warwick and Cunningham are expected to send teams up for the chance to try out their horsemanship against an international team.

The Tambo club is paying for airfares for New Zealand the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council has offered to house them for their five-day stay.

Arriving on Wednesday night, the Kiwis will try out their mounts on Thursday and Friday as well as taking part in a sponsor meet and greet, before “hooking in” on Saturday.

The New Zealand polocrosse season runs from December to April so the players will be match fit and ready for the many challenges expected from NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as around Queensland.

Rachael hopes Tambo’s initiative will pave the way for clubs such as Longreach to “have a crack” at doing something similar in two years’ time, which they would be standing ready, willing and able to support.

“The ones that are playing now want to keep playing, and their kids are coming through,” she said.

“It’s an amazing family sport. (My husband) Jamie and I both play, as well as our two sons, aged 11 and 13, who will be representing Queensland in April.

“Polocrossegives them the opportunity to play at all sorts of levels. It would be sad for people not to have the chance to play such a good sport in the future.”

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Mosquito danger

VIRUS ALERT: Murrumbidgee Local Health District has received a record number of reported Ross River Virus cases in January.A record number of reported Ross River Virus cases in January has prompted public health officials to warn Young residents to safeguard against mosquito bites.
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Ongoing detections of arboviruses in mosquitoes trapped in the region has prompted the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to issue a warning message for the local region.

In January, the Public Health Unit received 148 notifications of people infected with Ross River Virus, up from 116 in December.

Director Public Health Tracey Oakman said this is a significantly higher number of notifications than they usually receive in January.

“Over the current season, I have received notification of a number of different arbovirus detections in mosquitoes, including Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus, Kunjin and Sindbis Virus,” she said.“There is a heightened risk to people in the region of contracting one of the arboviruses if they are bitten by a mosquito.

“There is no specific treatment for these viruses. The best way to avoid infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”These mosquito-borne viruses are spread by bites from mosquitoes that have fed on animals that carry the virus.”

The viruses are not fatal to humans but they can cause persistent and debilitating symptoms such as joint aches and pains, fever, chills, headache and sometimes a rash.

“The rash usually disappears after seven to ten days, but some people may experience these symptoms for weeks or even months,” Mrs Oakman said.

Mrs Oakman saidpeople can take simple precautions against mosquito bites.

“People should screen all windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside, avoid being outside unprotected, particularly during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When outside cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear,” she said.

“Apply mosquito repellent regularly to exposed areas, but don’t use repellents on the skin of children under the age of three months. “Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water.”

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Trailerboats transforming game fishing

HAVING AN IMPACT: The evolution of trailerboat technology and capability has put game fishing within the financial reach of many anglers.This year’s Interclub will see an increase in entries with upwards of 140 boats tipped to hit the water.
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WATER WARRIORS: Modern trailerboats are more than capable of heading out wide in and can match it with the big game fishing boats.

It’s atrend being noted across all game fishing tournaments this year and is being attributed to the new generation of trailer boats making the sport more accessible.

In days gone by, the relative costs of running a big marlin boat out to the Shelf meant you’re only option was to get on board as a team member of the millionaires’ club.

BIG RIGS: A number of the US designed Viking gamefishing boats from Port Hacking Game Fishing Club are heading up for this year’s Interclub.

But new technology has been slowing breaking down the financial barriers.

“These big trailer boats run on the smell of an oily rag compared to the cruisers and are well and truly capable of mixing it with the big boats,” NSWGFA president Gary Chenoworth said.

“It can easily cost you $1000 in fuel alone just to get out to the Shelf and back.

“The new trailer boats have a similar range and are financially within reach of a lot more guys who seem to be opting into the market for themselves.”

This year’s Interclub will have a great range of boats on display showcasing the new and classic styles.

“We had a big convergence last weekend for the Billfish Shootout and a lot of them will have hung around for Interclub,” Mr Chenoworth said.

“Port Hacking are bringing up five or six 50ft Vikings. Top Notch, a striking Cabo Express Entourage, will be part of a three-team attack coming up from Shell Harbour.”

There will be no sail past this year.Instead, 140 boats will line up at the heads between 7am and 7.15am on Friday for a spectacular shotgun start.

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‘Abusing the system’

PART OF THE TEAM: Wall Flat farmer Sam Martin, with his working dog Blue, claims the 75 per cent rebate on dog registration currently offered by Mid Murray Council. Photo: Emmalie Balnaves-Gale.Mid Murray Council have proposed toremovetheworking dog registration rebate to ensure people “stop abusingthe system”.
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Dog owners could facethe standardregistration fee of$70, compared to the $15 they currently pay, when they register next financial year.

Council CEO Russell Peate said a reasonable number of people were registering their dogs dishonestly.

“People are registering their dogs as working dogs just to get the rebate when they’re not actually working dogs,” he said.

“We’ve got breeds like poodle, miniature schnauser, shihtzuand silky terriercurrently registered as working dogs.”

Across Mid Murray, 464 dogs are registered as working dogs, allowingowners to claim a 75 per cent reduction on their registration rates.

Mr Peate said council were looking at ways to ensure farmers weren’t penalised by the change.

“There is sympathy from councillors for genuine primary producers with genuine working dogs but we have to ensure we don’t have people abusing the system,” he said.

A council report stated thata voluntary rebate wasnot required by council, as all costs relating to a working dog, including registration, weretax deductible and fully refundable.

However, Mr Peate said this only applied if the owner was making a profit and so many local farmers were struggling.

He said council would discuss a more practical system of verifying a sincere registration.

In the past, acouncil officer has beenrequired to view each dog undertaking its work activities to determine whetherit is used primarily for the purpose of herding stock.

Mr Peate said this had proven verytime consuming for Regulatory Services Staff and impractical for the future.

In 2016/17, council received $8,120 in registration fees.

Without the rebate, council’s income would double to $16,240.

Deputy Mayor Kelly Kuhn said the current system was costing council a lot of money.

Mr Peate said the proposal remained on the table for the next council meeting on March 14.

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South Regional TAFE host Chinese digital animation students

South Regional TAFE lecturer Mike Dunn inspired the Chinese Digital Animation Masterclass by providing an insight into the creation of virtual reality videos assisted by interpreter Yan Lyu from the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office. Photo: Fran Jackson.South RegionalTAFE recently hosted a digital animation masterclass for a delegation of Chinese students, positioning the college as a world leader in the area of teaching digital animation skills.
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The delegation of 10 Chinese students participated in a one-and-a-half day masterclass to learn about the latest developments in digital animation in Western Australia.

The college bid successfully for funding to run the course as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the sister state relationship between WAand theZhejiang province in China.

Sister State relationships aim to create and develop cultural and friendship links between overseas countries. These links can lead to developments in trade, business and cultural exchanges.

South RegionalTAFEmanaging director Duncan Anderson said the college was chosen to host the event after showcasing its abilities in digital media and animationand for its proven track record in nurturing creative industries.

“We were really pleased to host this event at our Margaret River education campus and welcome the Chinese students to the South West,” Mr Anderson said.

“It was a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate our digital animation skills training and encourage the students to further engage with WA’s creative industries.

“I would like to thank our experienced local lecturersincluding Mike Dunn and Fran Jacksonfor running the masterclass and the other staff involved in making this event possible.”

November 2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Sister State relationship between WA and China’s Zhejiang Province with the governments of both regionsworking together to create a program to celebrate the milestone and promote collaboration.

Australia’s creative industry is estimated to be worth $32.8 billionand China is continuing to show an interest in nurturing relationships between WA and Chinese animators and production companies.

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League of Legends: OPL split 1, week 5 recap

The winds of change began to stir in Week 5 of the Oceanic Pro League as Abyss Esports nabbed their first win of the split, while top dogs Chiefs Esports Club and LG Dire Wolves encountered momentary setbacks against weaker teams. If you’re trailing in your tipping comps it’s still too early to start backing the underdogs, but keep a watchful eye on them because that could change soon. Play of the Week
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Our fifth Play of the Week wasn’t a particularly impressive display of mechanical prowess. Nor was it a decisive fight that influenced the outcome of the game. It just happens to be one of the more hilarious moments of Split 1 so far.

Forgive the observers for missing the opening moments of Joshua “Wzrd” Russell’s beatdown on Ryan “Chippys” North, but we ended up catching the best part of the ‘fight’: caster Matthew “Fish” Stewart yelling out “Ghost Wzrd!” with glee as Wzrd sprinted to last hit Chippys with Rune Prison (Papa bless its instant cast point) before Realm Warping away like two millimetres to escape a tower and two pursuers.

Sure, Sin lost the game, but they won our hearts. Tainted Minds v Abyss Esports

Result: 2-1 Abyss Esports

The soap opera that is Tainted Minds entered its second season this week as their new roster took to the Rift for the very first time. Jackson “Pabu” Pavone’s OPL debut delivered on the hype as he styled on Zachary “Pacman” Bayne’s Camille in Game 1, doubling him in last hits well into the midgame. Still, TM’s inexperience showed as they were unable to advance their game state beyond stubbornly split pushing, and Abyss took a key fight near Baron 25 minutes in to take control of the game.

Undeterred, TM stormed back into Game 2 as Pabu continued to make Pacman his whipping boy up north. This time, they were able to snowball their advantage into a couple of objectives. Abyss nearly made it back after winning a 34-minute fight for Baron, but TM were able to work the map with their split pushing duelists to secure the win.

Pacman came back with a vengeance in Game 3, notching a bizarre solo kill over Pabu’s Singed just two minutes in, allowing Sebastian “Seb” de Cegile to work his magic on the rest of the map. Seb’s trademark hyper aggressive play quickly accelerated Abyss into the game, and they would ultimately finish with a 20-4 kill lead over the rookies to give them the match. Chiefs Esports Club v Avant Garde

Result: 2-0 Chiefs Esports Club

Evan “Ceres” Mascarenhas declared war on Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland after clapping two other high-profile top laners, but would be quickly humbled as Samuel “Spookz” Broadley showed up early for first blood. With Simon “Swiffer” Papamarkos dominating in the mid lane on Zed, it was an easy win for Chiefs as they finished in just 26 minutes.

Avant Garde were first off the block in Game 2 as Stephen “Triple” Li retaliated with a solo first blood against Swiffer, giving his team the advantage they needed to keep pace with Chiefs through to the midgame (and even claim a small lead). In the end, the experienced Chiefs came out on top with a breathtaking Baron fight at 31 minutes, but Avant proved that they’re not a team to be taken lightly. Legacy Esports v Exile 5

Result: 2-0 Legacy Esports

Game 1’s opening minutes were remarkably bloodless as Legacy slowly creeped to a gold lead, but everything exploded twelve minutes in as Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver somehow found himself with a Bard double kill in a fight that put Legacy firmly in the lead. James “Tally” Shute and Tim “Carbon” Wendel finished the game deathless with 4/0/13 and 5/0/14 kill splits respectively.

Exile 5 continued to search for their way into the match in Game 2, but substitute Drew “Midbeast” Timbs struggled mightily in an already tough situation as Legacy stormed to another textbook win, only dropping two deaths on the way. Sin Gaming v LG Dire Wolves

Result: 2-1 LG Dire Wolves

When Richard “Phantiks” Su limped into the studio with an injured arm (courtesy of teammate Chippys’ overly physical basketball play), it was Shern “Shernfire” Tai who stepped up in the mid lane in his place. He was clearly shaky, but the Wolves managed to pull out a win despite a late hiccup.

Claiming that the game was “too close for [his] liking”, Phantiks returned in Game 2 miraculously healed by the spirit of battle. Unfortunately for the Wolves, the OPL is not a shonen anime, and Sin were able to steal a game behind Victor “FBI” Huang’s 5/0/11 Jhin.

An early Baron in Game 3 saw the Wolves take control of the game, but Sin were able to meet them at every turn for a good ten minutes despite trailing in gold. In the end, it was the Wolves who would take the game as an all-in initiation in the mid lane 32 minutes in gave them uncontested control of the map, and eventually the match.

The Oceanic Pro League continues next Saturday from 3 PM AEST as Dire Wolves take on Abyss Esports Club. Watch live at http://oce.lolesports南京夜网.

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Uber CEO launches ‘urgent’ investigation into alleged sexual harassment

Author and engineer Susan Fowler. Photo: Shalon Van Tine/susanjfowler南京夜网Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced an urgent investigation into claims of sexual harassment and sexism within the company.
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The action comes in response to an overnight blog post by former employee Susan Fowler titled One Very, Very strange year at Uber, in which she details her experiences of working as an engineer at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco from November 2015 to December 2016.

Her account details harassment beginning on the first official day, when her manager allegedly sent a message saying he was in an “open relationship” and “looking for women to have sex with him”.

After reporting the incident to HR, upper management allegedly said the manager in question was a “high performer” and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for “what was probably just an innocent mistake”, according to Fowler’s post.

She also refers to the gender imbalance of the company: “When I joined Uber, the organisation I was part of was over 25% women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another eng organisation, this number had dropped down to less than 6%.”

“Women were transferring out of the organisation, and those who couldn’t transfer were quitting,” she continues.

“There were two major reasons for this: there was the organisational chaos, and there was also the sexism within the organisation. When I asked our director at an org all-hands about what was being done about the dwindling numbers of women in the org compared to the rest of the company, his reply was, in a nutshell, that the women of Uber just needed to step up and be better engineers.”

Fowler is also critical of the company’s managerial culture, referring to a “Game-Of-Thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management”.

Uber boss Travis Kalanick responded to the claims via Twitter: “What’s described here is abhorrent & against everything we believe in. Anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

“I’ve instructed our CHRO Liane to conduct an urgent investigation. There can be absolutely no place for this kind of behaviour at Uber.”

A tweet out of the original blog post by Susan Fowler has received almost 10,000 retweets and 900 responses. @susanthesquark This is awful. I’m very sorry it happened to you. I can’t imagine how that must have felt and still feels now.— Chris Sacca (@sacca) February 19, 2017

The CEO courted controversy recently over his membership of an advisory group to President Trump.

He was quoted in a 2014 GQ article referring to women on demand as “boob-er”. 1/ After reading @susanthesquark’s post (https://t.co/xMJ3VMfUlq), I’ve decided to delete @Uber and use @lyft. Sexism is wrong. pic.twitter南京夜网/WbzHACiUoz— Ryan Carson (@ryancarson) February 20, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

AVJennings warns of housing shortfall as profits ease

Bayside: Waterline Place, a residential development by AVJennings at Williamstown in Melbourne. Photo: SuppliedAVJennings​ predicts it will see improved second half results as developments come to fruition and the decision to switch its product mix filters through to buyers.
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The home builder reported a statutory profit after tax for the December half of $14.1 million, down 14.4 per cent on $16.5 million from the previous period. The interim dividend was unchanged at 1.5¢ per security.

Over the period, the group has shifted its focus to more built form assets away from land sales, which accommodates the increasing demand for affordable homes across the country. Sydney remains under-supplied, while the rate of house price growth has abated.

AVJennings chief executive Peter Summers said because of development timing with the shift to built form, the earnings have been skewed to the second half.

On the subject of affordability, price growth and taxes, he said governments should not look at “short-term reactionary impacts, but rather long-term visionary policies”.

“There remains a significant shortfall in housing, particularly in traditional housing. Our focus is on this traditional housing market,” Mr Summers said.

He said the country was about 200,000 homes under-supplied, while a “new Melbourne” is needed about every 10 years to accommodate forecast population growth.

But Mr Summers said there was a risk of over-supply of inner-city/CBD apartments in Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Property continues to be one of the country’s largest industries and as Australia continues to grow, the need for housing gets greater each year,” he said.

“For our customers, the main concern in terms of confidence is employment and that remains relatively stable, as does the interest rate environment.”

New projects, such as Waterline in Williamstown, Melbourne is a mixture of apartments and townhouses and a total build-out.

“Waterline is a game changer for our Victorian operations. Having more built form will mean greater absolute margins per sale and deeper sales channels as the market for completed product is many times larger than the market for land,” he said.

Mr Summers said the group’s margins for the period were 26 per cent which is above the margins for the corresponding period last year of 23.6 per cent.

“Overall margins are always subject to differences in product mix and project mix and hence need to be read cautiously. However, it is fair to say that like-for-like margins have strengthened but at slower rates than previous years. We continue to be a business focused on volume rather than price,” he said.

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Five things to like about week one of the JLT pre-season series

He’s back: everyone was happy to see Jarryd Roughead back on the park Photo: AFL MediaJarryd Roughead’s return from his battle with cancer warmed the hearts of the football world – and there was more for joy for the Hawks with what appears to be a forward line deep in talent and diversity. With Jack Gunston and Luke Breust rested, the Hawks booted 11 first-half goals, and 15 for the match. Cyril Rioli was at his bubbly best with three goals, young midfielder Kade Stewart added two (including the match-winner on the siren) and Ryan Schoenmakers, after a rugged 2016 when he managed only six senior games because of poor form and a groin injury, took four marks and booted two goals. Former Tiger Ty Vickery was goalless but competed well and had 10 disposals, earning praise from coach Alastair Clarkson. New skipper Roughead hade 14 touches and a goal, and will almost be a like a star recruit this season – something Jaeger O’Meara showed he was ready to handle while restricted to playing half of the match.
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Travis Cloke gives Bulldogs a kick along

He’s back. Yes, it’s early days but Cloke, after a bruising 2016 when he played a career low number of matches (13) at Collingwood, showed he be a force at his new club. Cloke appears to have shed a few kilograms and was happy to hunt up the field for the football against Melbourne at Whitten Oval, finishing with a goal and a long-range super goal. He was initially seen as cover for injuries but there is no reason to think the 29-year-old cannot command a regular spot in a team which struggled for marking options inside 50 last season.That the Dogs like to move the ball quickly should help the one-on-one specialist. Coach Luke Beveridge was also happy that Cloke “kicked the ball well”, considering goal conversion has been a major issue. “He’s trained hard and we’re hoping we find the best qualities in his performances this year and there were some really good signs,” Beveridge said. Stewart Crameri, returning from his anti-doping ban, had 16 touches up forward and will also add firepower. While we are at the Whitten Oval, the double-header with the AFLW match up second worked well, with strong crowds for both matches. Tick.

The Bulldogs get around Travis Cloke Photo: Getty Images

Cats ready to cover for retired greats

While Geelong’s short-sleeved guernsey baffled some supporters, there was much to like on the field in a four-point loss to Hawthorn in Launceston on Friday night. Three new faces were particularly impressive, with former Kangaroo Aaron Black (four goals) combining well alongside Tom Hawkins, Zach Tuohy enjoying 33 touches across half-back and filling the role held for so long by the retired Corey Enright, while draftee Brandan Parfitt had 11 disposals through the midfield wearing Jimmy Bartel’s former No.3 guernsey. That the Cats will also have Harry Taylor up forward as a tall marking option means the reliance on Hawkins – the major issue last season – won’t be as great.

Zach Tuohy gets a handball away Photo: Getty Images

Demons rise to new depths

The Demons appear ready to become legitimate top-eight contenders this season, and that’s because of greater depth in the midfield and more options up forward. Christian Salem, having battled injury and illness over the past two years, had 19 touches against the Bulldogs and looks ready to become a consistent outside onballer. Angus Brayshaw, after a season affected by concussion, found plenty of the ball, while former Hawk Jordan Lewis enjoyed a game-high 28 disposals, including 19 handballs, through the midfield and across half-back. They join the likes of Nathan Jones, Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver in an imposing midfield. Coach Simon Goodwin was pleased with Lewis’ output. “By his own admission he probably struggled to settle into the game early. But once he did, I thought his direction, particularly down at half-back, was very good,” he said. A streamlined Jesse Hogan booted four goals and has found support from second-year tall Sam Weideman, who booted two goals and will also assist Jack Watts inside attacking 50. Angus Brayshaw is back after a season affected by concussion  Photo: AFL Media

Kangaroos still have some bounce

Many have tipped the Roos to slip from the top eight after culling more than 1700 games of experience but their performance against a sub-strength Sydney at Coffs Harbour on Sunday showed they are likely to remain a finals contender in what shapes as another log jam in the middle rungs of the ladder. There is enough emerging talent – Ed Vickers-Willis, Mitch Hibberd and Declan Mountford to name three – who should help to keep the Roos more than competitive although it’s clear club leaders such as new skipper Jack Ziebell, Shaun Higgins and Ben Cunnington will need to have strong campaigns. Former Bulldog Nathan Hrovat will add run and goalkicking power through the midfield and up forward. For the Swans, young stars Callum Mills (29 disposals, eight marks) and Isaac Heeney (23 disposals, nine tackles) look set to cover for ball magnet Tom Mitchell, now at Hawthorn, through the midfield.

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Call for price to reflect value on businesses acquired for crossing removal

Accountant Peter Smith’s Cheltenham office is to be compulsory acquired as part of the Victorian government’s level-crossing removal project. Photo: Joe Armao, Fairfax Media. Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan, announces how the level crossings at Charman, Balcombe and Park roads on the Frankston line will be removed. Photo: Joe Armao, Fairfax Media.
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Peter Smith long suspected this day may come. The future of his office had been uncertain for many months as he waited to find out whether it would be acquired to allow for the removal of the level crossing at Cheltenham.

On Monday morning the state government finally confirmed the compulsorily acquisition of his office, which backs onto the railway track just metres from the station.

Mr Smith owns the office where he has run his accounting firm since 2006. It employs three people, including him.

Mr Smith now wants the price he is paid for his property to reflect its value to his business in addition to the bricks and mortar.

“A lot of new clients come in just because they see the business here rather than seeing it on the internet,” he said. “It is hard to put a price on that.”

Finding a comparable position will be no easy task for his small accounting business that has up to 600 clients.

But Mr Smith is not alone. The government on Monday morning announced it was compulsorily acquiring 25 residences and seven businesses. The properties to be acquired are all in Cheltenham, including a pharmacy that has operated more than 90 years there.

A dental surgery beside Mr Smith’s business will also be acquired.

On Monday the government revealed new details about the removal of three level crossings on the Frankston line.

The rail line will be lowered under Charman and Park roads in Cheltenham and Balcombe Road in Mentone.

Cheltenham and Mentone stations will also be rebuilt. Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said affected property owners and residents had been notified about the acquisitions on Sunday and the following morning.

Mr Smith said he expected to have between 12 and 18 months before needing to move out of his office. But he now faces a new round of uncertainty about the acquisition arrangements. The purchase price is among his greatest concerns.

“There are enough things to worry about in the day without this as well.”

Despite the inconvenience to his business, Mr Smith accepts that lowering the train line rather than building a “sky rail” is a more appealing option for many residents.

“If I didn’t have a vested interest that would probably be my preferred solution,” he said.

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