Ricky Smedts.WARRNAMBOOL Mountain Bike Club (WMTBC) will close its season with another two-hour enduro tonight before returning to the drawing board to work out its next chapter.
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WMTBC committee member Jeff Mutsaers said tonight’s race would mark “the end of chapter one”, with the club’s permit to use Thunder Point expiring with daylight savings.

He said the club was keen to continue hosting races in Warrnambool, particularly after its competitive schedule had been embraced this season.

Mutsaers believes hosting local races is crucial when it comes to the growth of the club.

“It’s really all come to an end so we have to go back to the drawing board and try and get another year,” he said.

“We’re really hopeful that we can make that happen.

“We’ll be working with the council and DSE to come to some sort of arrangement.”

WMTBC is ending its season with an eventful couple of days, with 2010 world 24-hour solo champion Jessica Douglas visiting the club last night to run junior clinics.

This afternoon the Forrest rider will assist coaches with a mountain bike skills session, which is part of her training business.

“The nucleus of the club is that we exist for juniors and development,” Mutsaers said.

“In this sport, generally what happens if you make it, you have to leave town and you spend a lot of time on the road chasing competition.

“Generally when somebody gets to that level, they’re not interested in little local events.”

But not Douglas, who is willing to share her knowledge and passion with clubs and give youngsters an insight into what it takes to reach the elite level.

This afternoon’s coaching session will be followed by the season-ending two-hour enduro, which will also incorporate the Thunder Point Dirt Criterium Series, as the first lap will count towards competitors’ handicaps. WMTBC held an enduro race in January, which attracted about 50 riders.

While the dirt criterium series is focused on improvement as riders compete against themselves, the enduro is a more competitive event.

“It’s who can do the most laps in two hours,” Mutsaers said.

Ricky Smedts took out the enduro in January and will be one of the riders to beat tonight.

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THE south-west has been left out of the three-year rollout for high-speed fibre cable internet delivered in the first stage of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
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The federal government’s eventual nationwide network will connect to 3.5 million homes in 1500 towns and suburbs over the next three years, but will not be fully complete until 2021.

NBN Co Ltd boss Mike Quigley said today’s launch of the three-year schedule was a “turning point” for the federal government project.

“We are moving out of doing the trials, doing all the planning, all the negotiations with Telstra deal, submissions with the ACCC,” Mr Quigley said.

NBN Co, the government-owned builder of the $35.9 billion network, is commissioned to deliver high-speed fibre cable broadband to 93 per cent of homes, schools and businesses by 2021.

When is the NBN coming to you?

But an infuriated Member for Wannon Dan Tehan has described the rationale for the three-year rollout as a “complete joke”.

“The problem is this is a city-centric federal government, which is not allocating broadband on a needs basis,” he said.

“It finds all the excuses in the world to just deliver to major capital cities because they can get the commercial gains they need for the $50 billion the NBN is costing to roll out.

“That is why you’ll see areas of NBN rollout occuring in major metropolitan centres where broadband needs are not equivalent to those in regional and rural areas.

“I don’t think this government has the competenancy levels to determine how the rest of the rollout will take place.

“One lives in hope it could be based on a needs basis but everything we’ve seen indicates they will continue to operate on an ad hoc basis on the whim of the NBN and the minister.”

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Bob Dylan around the time of his first album in 1962.IN 1962, the musical landscape was very different.
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The Twist

As with every year, there are certain albums that helped shape the future of music more than others. Here are some of them.

Green Onions – Booker T & The MGs

WHILE the rock ‘n’ roll of fame inducted Booker T & The MGs in 1992, it’s a rare acknowledgement of the impact and importance of this oft-overlooked instrumental rhythm and blues combo. Beginning as a session band for Stax Records, the group backed Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, Albert King and many more on hundreds of recordings. They influenced The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival, were one of the first racially integrated bands to make it big in the south (keyboardist Booker T Jones and drummer Al Jackson were black, guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn were white), and they helped shape soul music, R&B and the Memphis sound. Their recording landmark is the 1962 album

Here’s a pretty cookin’ live version of

Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music – Ray Charles

IN 1962, country and western music was primarily the domain of white musicians, while it was mostly black artists playing soul, blues and R&B. The US was still a segregated country and Martin Luther King Jr was yet to make his “I Have A Dream” speech. Such a political, racial and musical climate helps make Ray Charles first studio album of 1962 (he made a sequel later that year) one of the greatest crossover albums of all time and arguably one of the most important records of all time. Charles, who had played in a “hillbilly band” in his youth, had recently signed a new contract with ABC-Paramount Records that featured an annual advance, higher royalties, a studio space, ownership of his masters and – best of all – creative control. He exercised the latter to do the unthinkable (his label were initially against the idea) by reimagining honkytonk standards, country ballads, and Nashville twangers into swinging and stylish big band tunes. Charles’ soulful voice is backed by tasty horn arrangements, sweet strings and a “supper-club choir” (as it’s described in

Here’s that big hit, sounded like country has never sounded before:

Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan

THE Bob Dylan legend (at least on record) begins here. After a year of working his way up through the ranks of New York’s burgeoning folk scene, the 20-year-old secured a record deal, but instead of recording the songs he’d been playing in the coffee houses and bars of Greenwich Village, Dylan ditched most of his set in search of the ideal tracklisting. Only two of the songs on his self-titled debut are his own –

This version of

Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf

CHESTER “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett was something of a rarity among black blues singers of his age. He didn’t succumb to the temptations that dogged many of his peers, he acquired a fair recording contract, and his career and popularity rarely waned over three decades. It was this album – the follow-up to his debut

Of course,

Live! At The Village Vanguard and Coltrane – John Coltrane

COLTRANE was one of the most important figures in jazz; he was also perhaps the only one to be canonised (he was made a saint by the African Orthodox Church). After doing his apprenticeship with Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk – he learnt from the best – Coltrane emerged in 1960 to form his own group. By 1962 the line-up had settled into what is known as Coltrane’s Classic Quartet and they released two albums –

And here’s 23 minutes of Coltrane live in Germany, including with his take on

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SAFETY fears for campers and their equipment have scuppered plans for an elite under 18 football match to be played at Port Fairy’s Gardens Oval on Easter Saturday.
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The south-west’s TAC Cup sides North Ballarat Rebels and Geelong Falcons were scheduled to meet at Port Fairy but organisers have been forced to relocate the game to Warrnambool’s Reid Oval.

Rebels regional manager Phil Partington said they had no choice but to abandon the Gardens Oval fixture after issues were raised by Moyne Shire.

“There were a few safety concerns with campers around the ground, especially behind the goals,” Partington told The Standard.

“We had quite a few meetings with the Port Fairy Football Club and the council felt it was too much of a risk to have it on Easter Saturday with so many campers and caravans there if one was damaged or if a person got hit with a football.”

Partington said the Rebels, who annually hold a game in the south-west, would continue to look at Port Fairy as a possible host.

“We are keen to hold a game at Port Fairy. It might not happen to be Easter Saturday,” he said.

“Just on the promotion of the TAC Cup’s 21st birthday, we thought the crowd and population in the town of Port Fairy, a TAC Cup game would have been great.”

Moyne Shire recreation officer Gerard Auld said he was as disappointed as anyone the game could not go ahead.

“Around three quarters of the oval, campers are going to be camping up against the rail,” Auld said.

“It would be great for Port Fairy and great for the AFL to bring it here, but it would be the same if you were at home with your family on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday having a meal and a football went straight through the shade sail and landed on the table, sending everything everywhere.

“I doubt you would give the football back to your neighbour.

“We’ve got people who have been booked in for years and we have no idea whether they even like football.”

Auld said liability would have fallen on the Port Fairy club but under its insurance it was only covered for one claim.

“It may not happen, but if it does, people will be looking to council for money,” he said.

“Our risk assessment people have said the risk is too great.”

Auld said the shire had looked at installing temporary netting behind the goals but it would cost $20,000 to do it properly.

“And that was only going to be temporary,” he said.

He said the shire was keen for such a match to be held at the venue in the future and it would look into installing permanent nets behind the goals.

Partington said the Rebels had been fortunate to be able to switch the game to Reid Oval, which initially hadn’t been available. But after East Warrnambool and Deakin University moved their opening game to this Sunday, it opened up Reid Oval for use on Easter Saturday.

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CORANGAMITE MP Darren Cheeseman says Labor needs to reconnect with the average voter after the party’s drubbing in the Queensland state election.
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Newspoll this week revealed the Coalition leads Labor 57 to 43 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, enough to see Liberal and National MPs returned with a thumping majority.

The gap has blown out in recent weeks, from a two-party preferred margin of 53 to 47 per cent last month.

But Julia Gillard leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister after last month’s leadership ballot between the incumbent PM and her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

Mr Cheeseman told News Limited this week that the federal government needed to refocus on its traditional voting constituency in order to retain power.

“We have a massive amount of work to do. We are coming from a long way behind and I know there is a lot of anxiety in the caucus,” he said.

“We have to do a lot of work to reconnect with the group of people our party was established to represent, working people.”

Labor sources have confirmed that Mr Cheeseman has a reasonably safe footing as the endorsed Labor candidate for Corangamite.

Some figures within Labor branches were critical of Mr Cheeseman’s public support for former foreign minister Kevin Rudd in his bid to return to the prime ministership last month.

Senator Michael Ronaldson, who acts as the patron Coalition representative in the seat, said the relationship between the Prime Minister and Mr Cheeseman was frosty.

“Mr Cheeseman’s constituents now understand that he hates the Prime Minister and that he now believes the Labor Party no longer represents workers,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“But what they can’t understand is why he lied to them at the last election and said there would be no carbon tax imposed on the people of Corangamite.”

Corangamite has been a closely-fought electorate for the past decade, with veteran Liberal MP Stewart McArthur losing the seat to Mr Cheeseman at the 2007 election. The Labor MP won a second term by narrowly defeating Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson in 2010.

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