Archive for February, 2019

Why we need protection from unhealthy choices

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

A healthy country is a wealthy country. The link between health and a productive economy mustn’t be forgotten. A central role of government is to protect us. Once it was from infectious diseases. Now it’s pervasive harmful food and beverages that require the same approach – regulation and legislation –as experience from tobacco control has shown.

Governments’ efforts are failing us despite at least a decade of sound evidence of what needs to be done. National leaders are yet to heed the calls for protective policies. As with the hard road to reduce smoking, industry opposes the experts. They cry, “nanny state”and infringement of the free market and argue for people’s rights to make harmful choices as well as healthy ones.

NO SUGAR COATING: Expecting individuals to keep themselves healthy in a world where there is a vast array of unhealthy products is unrealistic.

Expecting individuals to keep themselves healthy in a world where there is a vast array of unhealthy products and barriers against making the right choice is unrealistic.What is starkly obvious is that where people live influences their health –wealthier suburbs are healthier suburbs but chronic diseases affect all of us, rich and poor.

The problem of chronic diseases is not one of poor behaviour by individuals, it is a problem of contemporary environments and working and living styles that put us all at risk, and that most affect those with the least resources.

This is why national leadership is necessary.

In 2009, Australia introduced mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour used in bread to reduce the numbers of infants born with spina bifida. Reformulation of food saves lives. Reducing the salt content in processed or pre-prepared foods has the potential to save more than 3000 lives a year by lowering our average blood pressure.

This month, both the presidents of medical colleges and the Australian Medical Association publicly called for a sugar tax. The negative effects that high levels of sugar consumption have on health are known. Overweight and obesity affects one in four children. Young people are consuming more than 23 teaspoons of sugar daily. And public opinion supports a sugar tax.

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration, a think tank at Victoria University, has launcheda policy report calling on Australian governments to lead in protecting us.The report has been developed with a national collaboration of experts, clinicians and organisations.The report,Getting Australia’s Health on Track, urges governments, state, local and federal to collaborate and implement 10 priority policy actions on risk factors that are effective and affordable.

Protection and promotion of good health and prevention of avoidable death and disease are central tenets of our national values. They are characteristics of thriving communities and a thriving economy. Australia has led the way in protecting people from the impacts of smoking and in preventing road deaths. We have invested in providing national access to high-quality health services and to lifesaving and health-promoting technologies and treatments. We know that good health, and recovery from illness, cannot be left to the capacity and resources of individuals.

There is no lack of evidence about the growing economic burden of preventable chronic diseases; there is ample evidence of what needs to be done to reduce that burden. Our economyand communitiesneed urgent action to improve our national health.

Rosemary Calder is director of theAustralian Health Policy Collaboration,Victoria University.

Ultimate Art’s Michael Formosa hoping Inter Dominion first-round winners looking for easier runs in Bunbury

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Ultimate Art captured by Ashlea Brennan during his Inter Dominion preparations in Perth.MICHAEL Formosa is counting on some respite from opening-round heat winners Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire when Ultimate Art tries to stay in contention for the $1.1 million Perth Inter Dominion final on Tuesday night.

Ultimate Art and his Ellalong trainer-driver were seventh in their first heatat Gloucester Park on Friday night and need a better result at Bunbury on Tuesday to give themselves a realistic chance of qualifying for the 10-horse decider on December 9. Ultimate Art picked up four points to sit 21st in the 30-horse series after the first of three rounds of heats. The last round is on Friday night at Gloucester Park.

After drawing gate six in the opening heat, Ultimate Art gained seven, the extreme outside of the front line,for Tuesday’s 2100-metre qualifier where Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire drew two and four respectively.

Ultimate Art was unable to make up significant ground fromlast after a slow early tempo and wide run on the home turn on Friday night, but Formosa was hopeful of a turnaround.

“He pulled up good and never had a hard run, so he’s going to definitely benefit from that,” Formosa said.

“He’s just going to need that bit of luck to get some points now. Seven, it’s a lot tougher from there and it’s a fairly hard heat withtwo heat winners in it, drawn two and four. I’m just hoping they are going to want easy runs and that will give me a chance to get into the race.”

The heat is scheduled for 10.15pm (AEDT).

On Friday’s heat, Formosa said he was hoping to finish fifth or better but his plans to sit midfield and finish strongly were thwarted by the relatively slow first half. His aim was drive Ultimate Art more aggressively on Tuesday night.

“Once they sorted their positions out, nothing happened then,” he said.

“Once Lennytheshark went forward Ihad to go then or not at all, but in saying that, I didn’t think I’d be last. I thought there would be a couple behind me.

“A couple of horses further up the line, they stopped a long way out. The leaders got away, and it made it a lot harder for us.Hindsight’s a great thing, isn’t it? But we’ll try to take the luck out of it next time.

“But he seems to be reallyfull of himself at the moment and is raring to go.”

Heat five of the series is:








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A-League: Forgotten man Labinot Halilti in frame as Jets prepare to battle leaders Sydney FC

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

SET TO STRIKE: Veteran Labinot Haliti is in line to return to the Jets squad for the battle against Sydney FC. Picture: Jonathan CarrollFORGOTTEN man Labinot Haliti is set to be recalled for the Jets’crunch clash with Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

What’s more, the veteran striker could start.

Haliti has played28 minutes in two appearances off the benchsince his return from a knee reconstruction in round two.

But with Morten Nordstrand (hip flexor)under a fitness cloud and Aleksandr Kokko (jaw)sidelined for at least another fortnight, the seasoned front-man looms as a key figure.

“We have found it difficult without a No.9, a target man, to hold the ball up,” coach Mark Jones said.“Labiis someone who you want in your team when he is fully fit and right to go.”

Jones “lost a fair bit of sleep” over the decision to leave Haliti out of the squad which went down 2-0 to the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday.

With defender Iain Fyfe short onmatch fitness,Wayne Brown carrying a calf niggle and untried Andy Brennan starting,Jones needed cover on the bench.

“It was extremely difficult not to take Labi to Melbourne,” the coach said.“We knew that there were some people who might not last a full game.It limits whoyou put on the bench if you know that one playerdefinitely has to come off and maybe another one.”

However, Jones didn’t bank on Nordstrand having to be replaced at half-time.The Dane was still feeling tightness in his hip flexor on Monday. He will be assessed later in the week but Jones was hopeful that he would be available for the second clash in five weeks against the runaway leaders.

Haliti reacted to his omission by scoringa spectaculargoalin the youth team’s 2-all draw with the Mariners on Saturday.

“He responded the right way,” Jones said.“It’s hard for him to have to go back and play youth league. It is a dent to his pride. But it was good for him to get some game time and match fitness. His attitude has been exceptional. It’s a team game and we need to keep everyone doing what is best for the team, and Labiunderstands that.”

The Jets had a season-low35% of possession against Victory.

“We turned the ball over in transition quite a bit,” Jones said.“In the first half we defended really well but there were moments in transition we could have done better.”

A lack of ball hasbeen an ongoing issue.The only game the Jets have finished in front in the possession stakes was the 2-0 loss to Wellington in which they had50.1%.

“We have tried to play out …our biggest downfall so far has been our ability to keep the ball in transition,” Jones said. “We need people who are confident on the ball.”

Newcastle quartet selected in Bush Blues for Australian Country Championships

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

BUSH BLUES: Newcastle bowler Thomas Allen has been named in the NSW Country squad. Picture: Josh CallinanTwenty-year-old Wests bowler Tom Allen will make his Bush Blues debut at the Australian Country Championships in Wollongong in January.

Allen was one of four Newcastle players named in the 14-person NSW Country squad on Monday, joining incumbents Nick Foster (Stockton) and Joe Price (Wests) as well as recalledPat Darwen (Merewether).

Allen and Riverina’s Jarryd Hatton were the two under-23 players selected, which this season became aCricket Australia requirement for all participating states.

Central North skipper Tom Groth is again the wicketkeeper while former Merewether and Cardiff all-rounder Kaine Harmsworth also made the cut.

Tamworth’s Jeff Cook, who played at Cardifflast summer,will coach the side

The team announcement was made after the weekend’s NSW Country Championship final with Western easily accounting for Central Coast by seven wickets at Ourimbah.

It was Western’s third title in five seasons.

Newcastle were unable to defend their crown after finishing fractionally behind Central Coast on the overall standings in the group stage atNarrabri a fortnight ago.

The nine-day national carnival starts on January 3. Two-day matches have been scrapped. Instead the six teams will play two full rounds of one-day and T20 fixtures.

NSW COUNTRY: Peter Gallichan (Central Coast), Tom Allen (Newcastle), Djali Bloomfield (Southern ACT), Pat Darwen (Newcastle), Nick Foster (Newcastle), Keiran Gray (Southern ACT), Tom Groth (Central North), Kaine Harmsworth (Central Coast), Jarryd Hatton (Riverina), Ben Mitchell (Southern ACT), Jordan Moran (Western), Jonathan Nicoll (Riverina), Joe Price (Newcastle), Cameron Suidgeest (Southern ACT).

PREVIOUS: Tom Allen’s life on the road

STORM: Newcastle’s bizarre NSW Country Championship campaign

EDGE: Steel win T20 double header

PHOTOS: Newcastle district wrap from Saturday

OPINION: Should ball tampering become legal?

Blayney seeks full review

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Despite a reduction in size, a rezoning proposal for Orange Airport is yet to convince other stakeholders.

An Orange City Councilproposal to rezone 114 hectares ofprimary production and environmental management land just south of the airportto a mix of general industrial andbusiness is currently on public exhibition.

The proposal has been a contentious one for Orange Council raisingthe ire of nearby landholders concerned about water pollution, and the use of prime agricultural land for industry.

Opponents have stated that Orange Council should wait post-merger before proceeding with the plan.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment ruled the rezoning would not go ahead unless the councils agreed to an addendum to the Blayney Cabonne Orange Rural and Industrial Lands Strategy.

But Blayney mayor Scott Fergusonsaid he wanted to see a full review.

The Blayney Shire already has 40 hectares of industrial land serviced by road, rail and gas, with another 40 hectares available for expansion.

“We have concerns any industrial development would have a severe impact on our site,” he said.

“We’ve sold little bits and pieces and we’re not seeing a lot of demand.”

Among those looking carefully at the proposal will be Blayney and Cabonne councils and member-elect for Orange Phil Donato due to concerns about water quality and industrial land supply.

Mr Donato said he wanted to see the rezoning held in abeyance until the proposedamalgamation between the three councils was dealt with.

“There’s three jurisdictions that relies on and that’s the first obstacle,” he said.

“We’re opposed to prime agricultural land, which is what it is, being rezoned into industry or commercial and it’s a water catchment area as well.”

Orange council spokesman Nick Redmond said demand for industrial land in Orange itself was highand while it was important to get the balance right, it was inevitable any expansion of the city would cut into agricultural land.

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