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Guarding the crop against diseases

Calls today for increased global investment into research and development to prevent the spread of potentially devastating crop diseases have been welcomed by Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
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GRDC chairman Keith Perrett says a recently-released report by an international team of researchers, warning that the strain of stem rust known as UG99 remains a threat to world crop production, serves as a timely reminder of the need for ongoing funding of cereal crop protection research.

Mr Perrett says significant Australian research dollars have been and will need to continue to be directed towards research and development (R&D) aimed at halting the spread of – and ultimately eliminating – rust diseases such UG99.

“GRDC, on behalf of Australian growers and the Australian government, each year invests $30 million in an extensive portfolio of crop protection research projects and initiatives right around the globe,” Mr Perrett said.

“GRDC has long recognised just how critical it is to address crop protection issues as potentially destructive as UG99, so we welcome any investigations and reports that underline to the broader community the importance of work being carried out in this area and the need for all countries to contribute to funding. As the world population grows at a rapid rate, secure food production remains a fundamental priority for us all.

“Australia plays a pivotal role in not only producing safe and healthy grain that is sought by domestic and international markets, but is also an important player in terms of providing dollars, resources and expertise to enhance global R&D into long-term food security.”

Mr Perrett said that given the threat of cereal rust to food security, Australia has adopted a nationally co-ordinated approach to rust control since rusts are airborne, pathogenically variable and sporadic in their occurrence.

“GRDC is the key funder of the Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP) involving various research agencies from the University of Sydney, CSIRO Plant Industry, University of Adelaide, plus all state departments of agriculture, among others.”

GRDC has in place a strategic management plan for cereal rust control and has committed to an investment of up to $6 million per year until 2017.

“About two-thirds of that investment is in pre-breeding and integration into breeding of rust-resistant varieties,” Mr Perrett says.

Mr Perrett says the cost of stem rust to the grains industry in Australia is estimated to be $8 million, but without current management strategies that cost would be as much as $478 million.

“But it’s not just stem rust that we are concerned about,” Mr Perrett says. “The GRDC approach is to look at all strains of rust. In fact, stripe rust is the rust disease which presently has the most economic impact in Australia.”

Mr Perrett says the GRDC remains committed to investing in research, development and extension in areas which matter most to Australian growers, the broader grains industry and consumers.

o GRDC chairman Keith Perrett.

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Green light for teachers to move with the times

ORANGE teachers were pulled out of the Stone Age and thrown into a new era of rock’n’roll through professional development workshops this week.
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Dr Rick Allen, an American educational psychologist who taught maths at the same school as United States president Barack Obama, spoke to hundreds of public school teachers about the importance of changing with students and leaving traditional teaching methods behind.

The program is called Green Light Classrooms.

“Red light stands for teachers who haven’t changed when students have,” he said.

“Students need to stand up more, talk more, play music.”

Dr Allen said the natural behaviour of children was to talk with friends, run around and be active and classrooms needs to adopt the same theory.

“Traditional teaching is devoid of emotions,” he said.

He bases his model on brain-based learning theories that show people can only concentrate for up to 10 minutes.

Teachers need to learn to teach in short bursts and reward students for success with music and dancing.

“Students need to feel successful as often as they can,” Dr Allen said.

“They need to be rewarded with a big dance, it’s quick and easy and they need to know yeah, we rocked.”

Orange school education director Paul Stirling said Dr Allen’s approach to learning was based on an appreciation that today’s students are “digital natives” whose brains are hardwired differently.

“They have grown up in a fast-paced world of digital technology,” Mr Stirling said.

“Dr Allen believes that they have shorter attention spans and are used to learning through self discovery.

“Success comes from different teaching strategies and he has found success wordwide by engaging students in interactive and brain-based learning.”

NEW AGE: Dr Rick Allen spoke to teachers at Canobolas Rural Technology High School on Tuesday about staying clear of traditional teaching methods. 0430nkdrallen

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Stay alert near overhead power lines while aloft

With aerial spraying activities under way in many parts of the state, Essential Energy is reminding property owners and pilots to be aware of the potential danger posed by overhead powerlines.
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Essential Energy’s regional general manager and Water Operations Far West Region Guy Chick said there had been three recent incidences of aircraft involved in aerial spraying in western NSW and southern Queensland coming into contact with powerlines.

“Anyone engaging in activities such as aerial application, mustering, property or powerline inspections needs to remember that the smallest contact between a plane and powerlines can be fatal,” Mr Chick said.

For more information contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 or visit www.essentialenergy.

To report an incident contact 132 080.

“Essential Energy has about 200,000 kilometres of powerlines across 95 per cent of NSW. As the height of overhead electricity lines vary significantly with changing topology, pre-flight planning and briefings are crucial.

“Pilots and those who engage their services need to be mindful of safe work practises and always identify the location of the overhead electricity network before taking to the air.”

He said farmers could take simple measures to reduce the risk to pilots and their aircraft.

“Powerlines can be difficult to see from above, especially at dawn and dusk and on rainy or overcast days,” Guy said.

“Essential Energy recommends farmers install line markers to increase the visibility of powerlines on their property. Flag markers are lightweight, visible both day and night and flap in the breeze to attract attention. Essential Energy can fit them for a fee.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the location of overhead powerlines on properties and surrounding areas – the information could save your life.”

Maps detailing the location of Essential Energy’s overhead electricity network are available on request for individuals and companies involved in aerial activities. Contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 or visit www.essentialenergy南京夜网.au/content/overhead-electricity-network-maps.

To report an incident involving an overhead powerline, contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.

Essential Energy also has available for download a ‘Low Level Aerial Activity Safety Fact Sheet’ at www.essentialenergy南京夜网.au/asset/cms/pdf/safety/AerialSafety.pdf and a short film clip on aerial safety around powerlines at www.essentialenergy南京夜网.au/content/agribusiness.

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Floral entries encouraged for show

Twenty-one members and interested yet-to-be members (we will work on them) came along to the Uniting Church Hall for the April 2013 Garden Club meeting.
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Two guests were also welcomed – May Clarke, our Floral Art tutor, and Noreen Pulver who is the Floral Art Steward at the Nyngan Show.

Noreen attended the meeting to encourage more entries in the Floral Art section of the Nyngan Show which is only a small section in the Wye Pavilion. Noreen gladly welcomes more entries, as the numbers are small each year.

Floral Art may be a dying art so we all have to do our bit to keep the Floral Art section alive and well at the Nyngan Show.

The Garden Club is organising markets for June 8 (long weekend) as part of the 130-year celebrations of Nyngan Railway.

Eleven stalls have been booked so far with several stallholders from Cobar also interested in attending.

The Garden Club will have a stall at the markets and maybe an entry in the parade as well.

Lots of activities are being planned for the celebration including a street parade, dinner and train rides.

Train rides will be offered on the Saturday and Sunday.

Griffith Bus Tour – there have been a couple of changes to the itinerary, as Gilgandra is no longer going on the trip.

The bus will now leave Nyngan at 7am on the Saturday morning and the wineries will not be open on the Monday.

Names are required for the bus to be booked and a deposit of $100 needs to be brought along to the May meeting (May 27).

If anyone would like to attend the dinner dance on Saturday night, an extra deposit of $10 is required.

The dinner dance includes a three-course meal with wine and juice on tables.

Christmas Hamper – it was agreed that members would contribute towards the purchase of goods ($5 each). This makes it easier to put together the hamper for the Christmas markets.

Nyngan Community Hub has been approached by businesses in the main street with the idea of having a market stall type of event for local businesses.

This will probably be held in late October or in early November to encourage locals to shop locally.

The idea was discussed at a Bogan Community Tourism and Business Group meeting and it was thought that late night shopping on a Thursday night may be the way to go.

Two suggestions were put forward for future bus trips – the Blue Mountains (and Leura) or Melbourne Flower Show.

Details of these trips will be kept for consideration. The raffle winner today was Di Donald.

The meeting ended and after a quick bite to eat and a cuppa, the Floral Art lessons began.

May passed on many tips and methods to achieve a lovely design with the One Flower Arrangement.

May’s two examples were lovely and both so different.

Tips included

o Wiping large green leaves with baby oil to give that glossy look, using bottles or flat containers and also using a tray covered with a fabric drape with added embellishments as required to complete the effect you are trying to achieve.

o Chinese Elm and Tortured Willow branches add height and extra interest to a design.

o If you are using florist’s oasis make sure none of it is visible to the judge’s eye.

o Pick flowers early in the morning and soak them well in a bucket of water.

o Also make sure the oasis brick has been well-saturated.

o Blutac or plasticine may also be used to stabilise a design but must always be applied before the addition of water to the bottle/dish etc.

o The lip of bottles and other edges must also be covered but no part of the flowers or greenery may touch the table/tray.

o Instead of vases you can also use bottles or pie plates or any other containers.

o Embellishments may be anything like fabric, ornaments, stones, shells, tools etc. Anything that adds to the design, appeal and the look you are trying to achieve.

Within a short time there were several beautiful designs on the tables. The focus was on greenery this lesson and there were many different shades and textures with some striking effects produced.

Well done to everyone and thank you very much to May for the many tips and tricks shared.

The next meeting will be held at Mary Burley’s garden on May 27 at 12pm. Please bring your lunch, a chair and deposit for the Griffith bus trip if you are attending.

Dates to remember

May 27: Meeting 12pm at “Woodlands Station”

June 24: Meeting at 18 Cathundril Street.

December 7: Christmas Carnival and Markets

Looking forward to rain, many hours of gardening and beautifying our town.

The Happy Gardener

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Resident abandoned in fight

Alone: Dianne Baltussen was shocked to watch as a developer knocked her fenced down despite warning signs against her wish.
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A Murray Bridge resident says she has been abandoned by the council and police after a neighbouring property developer knocked down her fence without warning.

Verdun Street resident Dianne Baltussen said Aspire Property Invest began work on a Grey Street property behind her home in 2005 with the intent to build six homes.

Ms Baltussen said she arrived home on October 10 last year to find her back fence leaning on a 65-degree angle.

“I looked over the fence and could see the development site behind had been levelled with backfill and quarry dust up to, against, and pushing over the fence,” she said.

“Which, I add, was already inside the true boundary line.”

Ms Baltussen said she had not received a letter of intent and was given no warning that her fence would be compromised.

After contacting the Murray Bridge council about her situation, Ms Baltussen said she was alerted to multiple errors in the developer’s actions.

Ms Baltussen said she had a land surveyor assess the situation who confirmed the fence was entirely inside her boundary line, except for one strainer post in the corner.

“The very next day I released all beams, iron and nails from that post so he could pull the post out,” she said.

In a letter dated October 30, Murray Bridge council health, building and compliance manager Clarry Fisher notified Ms Baltussen that the developer had promised to replace the fence when the dwellings were completed.

Ms Baltussen said it was not the result she was looking for.

“It’s not about the fence, it’s not about the money, it’s about principle,” she said.

“It’s my property and he showed complete disregard for that.”

Three months later the next issue in the dispute flowered in the form of the noxious weed, caltrop.

In spring, the development site became overgrown with the weed and Ms Baltussen again contacted the council in fear it would spread to her property if the fence was taken down.

She said she was directed to the Natural Resource Centre SA Murray Darling Basin, who inspected the property next door and informed her it was badly contaminated.

Ms Baltussen said the man who helped her even went as far as to say he would testify in court on her behalf, however, the organisation would not confirm the conversation after being advised by its media coordinator.

The ongoing dispute reached boiling point last month, when Ms Baltussen heard banging outside her house on April 19.

“I raced to the window and it broke my heart,” she said.

“(The developer) was on a mad rampage with his co-worker, just belting into the fence and knocking, pushing any which way all the time looking to see if I had noticed yet.”

Ms Baltussen called the police, but she said she was left even more heart-broken after their visit.

“The sergeant came late on the scene and didn’t look at nearly all the information the other policemen did,” she said.

“They didn’t understand half of what had happened.

“They said “look at your old fence, he’s putting up a new one” … all the time telling Scott to continue”.

Ms Baltussen said she was upset after the run-in – not only because of the invasion of her property – but also because she felt the police had failed to help.

“The police sergeant failed to act on my complaint,” she said.

“They gave the developer permission to proceed and have no right to.

“I was the one that obeyed the rule book, kept my land clear of declared weed, never knocked over a neighbour’s fence and not tell them.

“I’ve got no one to fight for me.”

Ms Baltussen said the entire dispute was based on principle and could have been avoided.

Ms Baltussen said she was now considering seeking legal advice.

Aspire Property Invest did not return calls from The Standard.

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Animal activist Raye rejects ‘hate’ charge by hunter

Vocal opponent of hunting: Sylvia Raye says she will not be silenced. Picture: Chris LaneST GEORGE resident Sylvia Raye has had her critics over the years but never before has she been accused of peddling hate.
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The entertainer and animal activist was referred to as the ‘‘high priestess of hate’’ in a recent online post about hunting by blogger Garry Mallard for her vocal opposition to hunting.

After the post was published Ms Raye received intimidating emails.

She said she would not be silenced and would continue to oppose hunting.

‘‘I’m pretty courageous and I’m going to continue fighting against shooting in the national parks,’’ she said.

Ms Raye was targeted for her comments regarding Game Council chairman Robert Borsak, who gained notoriety after shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe.

‘‘It is absolutely ridiculous – Robert Borsak is the one who shot the elephant, not me,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been to a war zone and seen what guns and violence can do; surely we should be aiming for a kinder world without unnecessary killing going on.

‘‘I will speak out for injustice, that’s what I do.’’

Mr Mallard said that Ms Raye had promoted her personal causes and philosophies broadly through social media.

‘‘Freedom of speech does not include the right to demonise or vilify a cultural group, and many hunters identify themselves as people preserving skills and practices as part of their cultural heritage,’’ he said.

‘‘As a man who grew up in the shire, I am proud of the hunting heritage passed down to me by my grandfather and father, both also long-term and socially responsible, contributing residents of the shire.

‘‘I refute that I have ever associated Ms Raye or her activities with acts of terrorism.

‘‘[But] when people peddle messages of hatred in a manner that dehumanises their target, such messages [can] incite irrational and often extremely violent acts in response, the inspiration for which they are quick to deny all responsibility for.’’

Do you think hunting is cruel or a legitimate sport?

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Abbott rides his way into the SE

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott emphasised the importance of a strong economy when he visited the SE earlier this week.
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Asked whether the electorate of Barker had been taken for granted due to being a “safe” Liberal seat, Mr Abbott said the best thing the government could do was provide a strong economy.

He said throwing money at electorates in order to “buy” their votes was not the right way to go about it.

“A government that tries to buy votes rather than earn votes is invariably a bad government,” he said. “A government that is throwing money at local monuments as it were is a government which is invariably going to be bad at managing the economy.”

Mr Abbott was in Barker taking part in the Pollie Pedal ride, raising money for Carers Australia.

Showing the years of sitting in Parliament have not affected his fitness, Mr Abbott said he felt fine following the ride from Meningie to Kingston on Monday – more than could be said for one of his fellow riders.

“It’s bloody sad we had a wretched feral deer jump out in front of one of our riders (Wayne Heathcote) today,” he said.

“It’s not absolutely clear what damage he suffered but it looked like a broken collarbone and a pretty badly smashed-up ankle. He’s probably going to be off his bike for three or four months I suspect.”

After a meet and greet at the Kingston Community School Mr Abbott held a community forum at the town’s football clubrooms and answered questions about subjects such as foreign ownership of Australian land and the live export trade.

He supported foreign ownership, saying Australians should get the best price possible on their land, regardless of who is buying.

He also supported the live export of Australian livestock with Indonesia – describing the suspension of trade on the back of a television expose as “one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in Australian history.”

Mr Abbott also reiterated his plan to get rid of the carbon tax if he were made Prime Minister.

After the forum he spoke with the Herald about the National Broadband Network and the differences between Labor’s plan to connect fibre-optic cables to homes and the Coalition’s proposal to link them to existing infrastructure.

“The government’s NBN is not coming near here any time soon – it’s really just a pipe dream as far as communities like Kingston are concerned,” he said.

“Our NBN will ensure every single community gets access to 25 megabits per second download speeds – that’s five times the current national average maximum download speed – by the end of 2016.

“So you’ll get faster broadband more quickly under the Coalition and the cost to the taxpayer will be vastly less – we think we can save $60 billion by doing it our way.”

He also responded to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on Monday regarding a revenue shortfall of $12 billion in the Federal budget.

“It’s not an announcement, it’s an excuse,” he said. “She is basically saying ‘we’re not going to be able to keep our commitments because the revenue has collapsed’.

“That’s nonsense – the revenue hasn’t collapsed at all, it’s just all her spending commitments are growing exponentially and she’s trying to make excuses for the fact she can’t manage the budget.”

Mr Abbott threw his support behind Barker’s Liberal candidate, Tony Pasin.

“He’s a local, he’s very able and very energetic,” he remarked. “I think that makes him an outstanding candidate and I think it means if he gets elected he’ll be a really good member.”

He said he was “inevitably” sad to see outgoing member Patrick Secker go but it was for the best.

“Sooner or later your time is up,” he said. “Of course I am disappointed, but in the end all of us have to answer to our party as well as to the wider electorate.”

Liberal candidate for Barker Tony Pasin (left) and Federal opposition leader Tony Abott in Kingston on Monday as part of the “Pollie Pedal” ride.

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Hottest summer ever? Yes it was, say experts

Western Sydney has just had its hottest summer on record and scientists say it is undoubtedly a result of human-induced climate change.
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But much of the heat has dissipated from debate on how to dampen the effects of climate change.

In Parramatta at least, a grass-roots conference of residents, activists, politicians and community groups has kept climate change on the agenda and will meet again next week.

“Climate change is here – that’s the word from climate scientists,” climate change activist Fred Fuentes said.

‘‘And it’s going to be worse for western Sydney.

‘‘The Climate Commission has shown that the number of hot days in western Sydney has increased by 60 per cent (since records started).

‘‘It’s critical that we act now, to reduce carbon emissions and replace fossil fuel-driven energy with sustainable, renewable forms.’’

Mr Fuentes said increasing temperatures in western Sydney were exacerbated by large islands of concrete and asphalt that absorbed and radiated heat from the sun.

‘‘The conference will be a crucial opportunity for those in Sydney who are concerned to stop the slide into runaway climate change to get together to discuss the way forward,’’ he said.

Speaking at the conference will be journalist and author Simon Butler, anti-coal seam gas activist Jess Moore, and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The advocacy group, Beyond Zero Emissions, will give a presentation on the possibility of powering the economy solely from renewable energy.

Details: The second annual Climate Change Social Change Conference, Parramatta Town Hall on Saturday, May 11.

■Summer 2012/13 was the hottest on record;

■Parramatta experienced its hottest temperature, of 45.5 on January 18;

■Australia’s average maximum temperature on January 14 was a record-breaking 40.33;

■In March the Climate Commission said there was a 500:1 chance the number of broken records was a natural event.

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Network scrutinised

Residents in Bourke, Louth, Wanaaring, Cobar, Nyngan, Girilambone, Coolabah, Hermidale and surrounding areas can expect to see low-flying aircraft inspecting powerlines from the beginning of May through to the end of July, as Essential Energy carries out its annual aerial maintenance inspections.
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Weather permitting, these inspections will operate every day during daylight hours.

Essential Energy’s regional general manager far west and water operations, Guy Chick said the inspections were an important part of Essential Energy’s annual maintenance program to provide a safe and efficient electricity supply to customers.

“Aerial inspections are the perfect tool for patrolling and inspecting overhead powerlines.

“It is a fast and effective method and is not dependent on ground conditions or powerline access,” Mr Chick said

“Taking to the sky allows us to systematically assess the electricity network and easily pinpoint potential weaknesses, including faults, areas where the network has suffered damage from storms or where there is vegetation overhanging powerlines.

“Once identified we are then able to send in an Essential Energy crew directly to the site to address these problems,” he said.

“The inspections are carried out by fixed wing aircraft, fitted with high-resolution digital cameras, GPS equipment and computers which improve visibility, allowing our team to get a better snapshot of our network,” he added.

Essential Energy’s comprehensive check of the network includes the scrutiny of poles and wires from above as well as from the ground, ensuring the network is in the best possible condition to provide safe and reliable power supply to customers.

“Owners of sensitive animals should also advise Essential Energy on 13 20 80 if they require a no-fly zone so arrangements can be made prior to aerial inspections starting,” Mr Chick said.

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No, they aint war games

‘‘Yes, we really kicked ass..’’
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So said a young Australian at Gallipoli, now a must-visit on any tourist itinerary on the grand tour of Europe and environs.

There it is in two: the ignorance of history and the tragic Anzac story, and the innappropriate Americanism ‘‘kicked ass’’.

Ladeez and gentlemen, for your entertainment: the Roosters v the Dragons and Anzac Day.

No surprise that Anzac Day—football has become an entertainment extravaganza: it’s all showbiz now in the computer age.

Thus we had Brad Fittler and Ben Hornby descending in a helicopter before presenting the inaugural Ashton-Collier Cup to an Army representative.

Fittler said it was ‘‘awesome’’ and humbling.

We had commentators with the obligatory sprigs of rosemary and making the point that a rugby league game couldn’t be equated with the Anzacs, as the pre-match extravaganza rolled on.

Then we had the Ray Warren-Phil Gould contradiction: saying as veteran Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello sprinted away for a try: ‘‘Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. Lest we forget.’’

AFL coach Mick Malthouse is aware of a world outside of football. He once made reference to Kofi Annan, the then United Nations secretary general.

But Malthouse also once got into trouble for berating his team for not showing some of the Anzac spirit on Anzac Day. Only a game of football.

At least St George Illawarra coach Steve Price didn’t berate his team with Anzac spirit references after the Dragons were beaten.

Older Roosters-Dragons fans might remember other times and other Anzac Day matches.

A time when the game was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and was preceded by a simple performance by a military brass band, unaccompanied by helicopter arrivals, hype and television.

A time when old Diggers went to the football or the Randwick races and when two-up was permitted just for the day.

A time when everyone had fathers and uncles who had seen war service.

A time when if they weren’t marching, fathers sat in front of black-and-white televisions and watched the Anzac Day march, every minute of it, and weren’t to be disturbed.

Silence was understood.

It was a solemn day. That was understood too.

It was also a less diverse, more monochrome, more repressive Australia accused of apathy by those who decried its provincialism.

Was that apathy better than the flag-waving American-style aggressive nationalism of now, the type that would have been anathema then?

It’s a moot point.

Few travelled overseas then, most couldn’t afford it, and packaged tours to Gallipoli were beyond imagining.

Better times now.

The Kontiki-style packaged tour to Ypres-Gallipoli-El Alamein and all points in between can’t be far away; there’ll be the Papua New Guinea five-day special, and for the adventurous, the Kokoda Track abseiling-bungee jump tour.

For those who want to travel in leisurely five-star luxury, who could beat the Islander cruise, incorporating the Coral Sea, Solomon Islands, Guam and Wake Island and ending at Pearl Harbour.

If you want to kick a goal, now that’s a kick-ass holiday.

It’s called progress.

Entertaining as the Gai and Tom Waterhouse-John Singleton melee-brouhaha-contretemps-controversy is, with special guest appearances by colourful identities such as Andrew Johns and Allan Robinson, a couple of developments have been overlooked.

First More Joyous, the catalyst for the controversy, should be retired.

It’s obvious the great mare aint what she used to be and it would be only a shame if her record should be tarnished, and the memory of how good she was be dimmed, if she races on.

Second, and more disturbing, has been the retirement of Waterhouse’s Pierro and the imminent one of John Hawke’s All Too Hard, Black Caviar’s half brother.

This is predictive of a European-style future in which young stallions are whisked off to stud at three and four, as soon as they’ve won a group-one race that establishes their sire value.

Racehorses have always been bred to race, but it’s doubtful if stallions will now race on for season after season, proving their greatness and being compared with the greats.

In a moment of hyperbolic extravagance, Gai Waterhouse said Pierro was the best horse seen in 50 years.

Perhaps. We’ll never know.

All that could be said is that Pierro has been a genuine and gutsy runner of high class in his mere 14 starts, but there have been perhaps 50 three year olds of similar potential at the same stage of careers in the last 50 years.

Interestingly, Pierro’s sire Lohnro had a full racing career before retirement.

Fellow three year old All Too Hard may go to England for the Queen Anne Stakes in June.

This seems to be the new template: establish stud value in Australia, then consider whether to embellish it if the horse can win a group one overseas.

The Hawkes have intimated they’d prefer the horse to race on, that he could be as good as Lohnro.

Long odds of that.

Big prizemoney on offer but bigger prizes at stud for the owners.

Romance of the turf?

That’s pretty much fiction now. Little chance for the little man among the big boys in this lucrative worldwide game.

The biggest losers are racelovers who will ask: Pierro-All Too Hard, how good might they have been?

And a big cheerio to Glenn Maxwell.

The Big Show has been a no-show for nine Mumbai matches in the Indian hit-and-wiggle aka the cauldron aka Twenty/20cricket. He hasn’t been picked.

Nice non-work if you can get it for a lazy million.

Time for any prospective footballer to pick up a bat and ball. Beats getting smashed every weekend for a fraction of the dough