Climbing off the canvas: Tony Abbott trades verbal blows with Bill Shorten in Parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Climbing off the canvas: Tony Abbott trades verbal blows with Bill Shorten in Parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Climbing off the canvas: Tony Abbott trades verbal blows with Bill Shorten in Parliament on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

There comes a moment in certain prize fights when the contestant least-liked by the crowd goes down, spitting blood, both eyes all but closed.

At that moment, part of the unreliable crowd suddenly switches sides, hollering for the bozo to get up and go on with it.

Hearing this unaccustomed encouragement, the fellow crawls to his knees and on the count of nine, makes it back to his feet, shaking his head.

It is at this moment that the bloke who thought he’d had it won has to make a decision.

If everything he’d tried no longer worked, should he shift gear, try a new strategy?

Bill Shorten found himself with just such a dilemma on Tuesday. And just stood there, throwing the same old punches, discovering they failed to find a target.

Tony Abbott was supposed to be back in the dressing room by now, out cold, his trainers shaking their heads, sinking the boot into his inert form every now and then for the hell of it and telling each other they knew all along he had a glass jaw.

Instead, he was still in the ring.

And he was, at least a little bit, on his toes, having performed his own last-minute switcheroo.

He’d listened to the crowd, figured he had nothing more to lose, ditched his attempt at the sneaky uppercut. And he’d begun dancing. And taunting.

No more five-buck co-payment for a visit to the doctor, he sang, as if he’d been playing rope-a-dope all along, rather than tying both hands behind his own back.

Shorten could do nothing but accuse Abbott of hitting below the belt.

It was awkward, for Shorten and his seconds had spent months yelling that the co-payment was a dirty filthy trick that would ruin the game for everyone and if Abbott had any decency he’d kill it.

And here was Abbott declaring that it was, in fact, dead, buried and cremated.

Shorten kept coming, unsure what to do, but determined to remind Abbott that he and his seconds had called the newly non-existent co-payment and the the GP tax the right and proper thing to do, and why didn’t he think so now?

Abbott kept dancing. The co-payment was toast. Gone. Goading, too, accusing Shorten in his latest three-word slogan of “jeering, sneering and smearing”. It wasn’t quite “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, but it was preferable to lying unconscious on the canvas, the count reaching 10.

Malcolm Turnbull, not a fight fan, sat in the bleachers, humming. “Everyone should be zen,” he’d declared earlier to those still wanting to know if Abbott was about to suffer a KO.

Everyone, it seemed, had forgotten that Abbott was such a bruiser that he’d won two boxing Blues at Oxford. He’d won all four bouts required, Not one of them made it past the second round.

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A 23-year-old Albert Park man has died following an alleged train surfing accident in Melbourne’s south-east last month.
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Investigators believe the man jumped, or fell, from the top of a train as it reached the McKinnon Railway Station around 10:45pm on February 25.

Witnesses alerted Protective Services Officers and police after spotting the man on top of a carriage. PSOs performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The man was taken to Alfred hospital with life-threatening injuries and died on Friday, police said.

Police and Metro personal have warned of an increasing “subculture” of dangerous behaviour on Melbourne’s rail network.

“You get this kind of behaviour on most train networks, but it seems to be a lot worse here than I’ve seen elsewhere,” Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala told The Age at the time.

Mr Lezala said Metro and Public Transport Victoria were looking into ways to make trains harder to climb.

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Volunteer Sarah Morrison records cyclists on their way to work on Super Tuesday. Photo: Wayne TaylorMelbourne cyclists were out in force on Super Tuesday, with numbers up as much as 17 per cent in some of the city’s commuter hot spots.
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At the corner of Swanston and Flinders street the number of cyclists was up 17 per cent on last year.

Bicycle Network general manager of government and external relations Chris Carpenter said the positive numbers reinforced the need for local councils to invest in cycling infrastructure.

“Our Super Tuesday figures show, yet again, that local councils and state governments need to invest in better bike infrastructure. Some of our main commuter routes – such as Melbourne’s Main Yarra Trail – are now at saturation point, not leaving room for Australia’s bike-riding population to grow,” he said.

Super Tuesday, an event organised by Bicycle Network, is in its ninth year and each year volunteers record the number of cyclists crossing major road and path intersections across Australia.

Bicycle Network then analyses the data and submits the findings and bike-riding facility recommendations to local councils.

On Swanston Street, 920 riders crossed La Trobe Street, a 5 per cent increase. Most locations recorded between five and 15 per cent growth in cyclist numbers.

“With this new data, it’s the perfect time for councils to review bike and transport plans and increase the level of investment in these much needed facilities,” Mr Carpenter said.

Some of the extremely busy routes, such as the Yarra Trail, also had an increase in cyclist numbers, but at a slower rate because the paths were already full at peak periods, he said.

Forty-three councils in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia took part in the event.

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Top billing: Mildura Lawn Tennis Club vice-president Mark Vorwerk is excited by the level of young talent entered in the Mildura Grand Tennis International, which begins this weekend. Picture: Carmel ZacconeTHE tennis stars of the future will be showcased at the 2015 Mildura Grand Tennis International,­ which begins Sunday.
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Mildura Lawn Tennis Club (MLTC) will host the Australian Pro Tour event for the eighth year, which features some of the best up and coming Australian and international tennis talent.

International players Brydan Klein of Great Britain and Hiroko Kuwata of Japan will headline the men’s and women’s draws respectively.

Men’s No.2 seed and 2014 finalist Dane Propoggia and 369th ATP-ranked Maverick Banes, as well as 313th WTP-ranked Jessica Moore will carry Australian hopes in the tournament.

MLTC vice-president Mark Vorwerk said locals would see “the future of Australian tennis” in the tournament.

“Jess Moore had quite a good year (in 2014) and looks to be playing really good tennis,” he said.

“She got into the qualifying rounds of Australian Open and did fairly well there. She could be quite a good player, she’s only 24.

“Dane Propoggia made it to the final of the qualifiers for the Open wildcard, so he got very close.

“He lost last year against Brydan Klein here, so he is quite a good grass court player.”

Local talent will also have an invaluable opportunity to test themselves against the best on home courts during the Grand International.

Young stars Zac Robinson and Sheree Moore have got wildcards for the men’s and women’s draws respectively, while another local, Andrea Mastrippolito, has already qualified.

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Value added: GrainCorp’s Mark Palmquist and Gordon Bradbery at the new $20 million liquid terminal at Port Kembla which has been hailed a “vote of confidence” for Wollongong. Picture: ROBERT PEETGraincorp’s $20 million liquid terminal is a “vote of confidence” for Wollongong, according to lord mayor Gordon Bradbery.
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While the Port Kembla facility has been operating since October, it was officially opened on Tuesday by Cr Bradbery and GrainCorp CEO Mark Palmquist.

The facility – made with steel from BlueScope – features 10 silos, each 16 metres tall and capable of storing 1250 cubic metres of liquid.

That liquid could be anything from lubricants, oils and different types of chemicals to tallow and edible oils.

Cargo ships bring the liquid into port and pipes take it from the ships into the silos. Once there, tanker trucks drive up to the terminal to fill up and distribute it nationwide.

Cr Bradbery, who had been watching the facility steadily climb upwards from his office on level nine of the council chambers, was pleased with the finished product.

“It’s a vote of confidence to see the infrastructure in place,” Cr Bradbery said.

He said that for every $1 invested, there was a “spin-off” of around 168 per cent for the regional economy.

“It also adds to the mix of reasons we have the port here.

“The port is not just about coal any longer, it’s about products such as oil and grain exports as well, so this is a multi-faceted operation at Port Kembla now.

“It also brings pressure on government to invest more in connectivity, in terms of infrastructure for rail and road transport. This is another incremental addition to the argument for the Maldon-Dombarton line.”

Mr Palmquist said there were compelling reasons to choose Port Kembla as the home for the liquid terminal.

“Port Kembla represented a very good geographical spot for us to expand in liquid terminals,” Mr Palmquist said.

“But it’s also taking advantage of us having a site here already for us to work with. So we’re able to build it at a cheaper overall cost which is a big support to our customers.”

He also said being able to use BlueScope steel cut transport and logistics costs.

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Wag: Newshound is looking for clever pooches and political watchdogs with a nose for news and the ability to sniff out a scoop.Have you got a clever pooch that brings in the paper every morning? How about a puppy that barks at the TV news?
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Well, the Mercury wants to know about it – Max the Mercury Newshound is looking for dogs that bring the news to Illawarra households.

Show us your dog’s news sniffing skills by sending in a creative photo of your dog gathering the news of the day.

Every entry will receive a $10 voucher for Pet Stock Wollongong or Albion Park.

The first prize winner will receive a Pet Stock dog package, to the value of $1000 while two runners-up will each win a $100 gift card for Pet Stock Wollongong or Albion Park.

The competition starts on Saturday. Email your photo to [email protected]南京夜网.au and visit the Mercury website to see if your entry is in our online gallery.

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File pictureFrom July 1, getting the National Broadband Network could cost some Illawarra residents as much as $300 while others will get it for free.
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Connecting to the NBN was free, but the federal government has decided to introduce a one-off $300 fee to NBN Co from July 1, after previously planning it to start on March 1.

“The charge only relates to new connections to new premises in new developments, not NBN connections to established premises,” a Department of Communications spokesman said.

“The July 1 date will provide the development and communications sectors with more time to adjust. From July 1, NBN Co will charge retail service providers. It will be up to retail service providers if and how they pass on the charge.”

The government has also introduced a $600 fee per home and $400 per apartment to developers for providing the NBN infrastructure in the building phase.

While this is now in force, the government will not collect any money until the second half of 2015.

“The government is introducing charges for telecommunications infrastructure in new developments to facilitate competition, which will promote long-term efficiency in the servicing of new developments,” the spokesman said.

“It should be noted that charging developers, who directly benefit from the deployment of essential infrastructure, is consistent with the approach of other utilities, such as water, electricity and gas providers.”

None of the charges will be retroactive.

Labor member for Throsby Stephen Jones feels the full cost of both the $600 developer fee and the $300 provider charge will ultimately be passed onto the homeowner.

Mr Jones claimed these charges were unfair as homeowners didn’t really have a choice as to whether they wanted to connect to the NBN.

“The copper network is being switched off and the NBN is being switched on,” he said.

“You’ve got no choice and the government is passing the cost onto the households.

“Labor took the view that this was something we need to do and we’ll absorb the cost of connection fees into the project.

“The new government is taking a different view and they’re passing the cost onto the consumer.”

Mr Jones expressed concerns the charges could create haves and have-nots.

“There is a risk it will create a digital divide,” Mr Jones said.

[email protected]南京夜网.au

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File pictureCalories – it’s a term used widely everywhere, but what is an actual calorie?
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Calories are defined as: “A unit of heat equal to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1000 grams of water by 1 degree.” This unit is used as a measure of the amount of heat energy released by food as it is digested by the body.

Now what does all this mean? Well, essentially it’s all to do with energy. Energy in versus energy out.

If we burn off more energy than what we consume we are ahead of the calorie equation and will maintain or lose weight.

However, once we start to increase our calorie ingestion or decrease our calorie burn rate then we start to get behind in this very simple equation.

Here are some tips regarding calories and their values:

■ To lose 1kg of weight we need to burn roughly 7300 calories.

■ There are 4.2 kilojoules in a calorie.

■ If we ingested 200 calories less or burnt 200 calories more per day we would lose 10kg over the course of one year.

■ Lean muscle burns more calories at rest, so ensure you are getting some form of resistance/weight training into your sessions each week. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn per hour while sitting at work or sleeping.

■ Always choose water over the higher calorie infused soft drinks and fruit juices.

Keeping on the right side of the calorie equation will not only benefit your health and wellbeing, it will benefit so many other facets of your life.

Happy training!

Lukas Chodat is the director of Chodat Fitness.

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State Labor’s plan to scrap the chemotherapy co-payment has been welcomed by Cancer Council NSW South Region spokeswoman Tina Hunt.
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Ms Hunt said abolishing the co-payment was one of five issues Cancer Council NSW had identified in its statewide campaign, Saving Life: Vision for Change.

She welcomed Keira MP Ryan Park’s announcement on Monday that the co-payment for the life-saving treatment would be abolished if Labor won this month’s state election.

The shadow minister for the Illawarra said a Labor government would provide $6.2 million to ensure that chemotherapy was free to all cancer patients in NSW public hospitals.

“It is heartening to see political parties acknowledge the financial burden on cancer patients, and recognise the role that state government can play in helping patients and carers at a difficult time in their lives,” Ms Hunt said.

“We know that some cancer patients can pay up to $180 in co-payment fees for their initial chemotherapy treatment and may be charged even more for further treatment.

“Removing this financial cost will help ease the burden for cancer patients and their families.”

Ms Hunt said over the past seven months Cancer Council supporters had held over 100 meetings with local MPs and candidates about the five issues where state government action would make the most difference to cancer.

Mr Park said the chemotherapy co-payment was introduced by the state’s Liberal-National Government in 2012, and NSW was the only state where it existed.

He said the co-payment was required for the first prescription of each chemotherapy drug. As the first round of chemotherapy could involve four or five separate drugs, it was common for patients to pay around $180 for their first treatment.

If the treatment program changed and new chemotherapy medicines were prescribed, patients must then pay another co-payment, on top of other medical costs.

“It is a critical thing that people who are going through chemotherapy don’t need any additional stress, particularly financial stress, as they are battling what is a very traumatic disease,” Mr Park said.

“We want to make sure that patients – their families and loved ones – are not hit with additional payments and bills for this necessary treatment.”

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said co-payments for drugs dispensed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme were the policy responsibility of the Commonwealth Government, which introduced co-payments in 1960.

However, Ms Skinner said the NSW government was considering options regarding the removal of co-payments for all public hospital outpatients across a number of diseases, including cancer.

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Mi-Sex is one of the acts that will be headlining at Solid Gold, a touring show featuring some of the best-known bands from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.There are a lot of illnesses and accidents you expect to befall a musician.
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But a stroke is not one of them. And yet that’s just what happened to Mi-Sex keyboard player Murray Burns while on stage at a gig in the Yarra Valley.

“I had a stroke, believe it or not,” Burns says.

“I couldn’t stand up. I just had no idea, it was just the most surreal feeling you could ever imagine. I basically went to sleep within about 10 minutes and I woke up three days later.

“I thought I was OK but apparently it was quite funny to hear me talk because there wasn’t much happening.

“I had to learn how to walk again, but I feel fantastic now.”

But, while he’s better, guitarist Kevin Stanton has had to leave the band due to ongoing back problems.

They’re not the sort of injuries the band would have had to deal with in their heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The band best known for the song Computer Games got a surprising rebirth, when former Noiseworks member Steve Balbi said he was keen to sing for the band.

Balbi replaces original lead singer Steve Gilpin, who died in a car accident in 1992.

“We stopped playing when Steve died and we really never gave it much thought,” Burns says of a reunion. “Don [Martin, bass player] had been involved in other things that weren’t to do with music. He said, ‘right, time to put down my pen and computer. I’d like to play again occasionally, just for fun’.

“Steve Balbi and Don got together and Steve said, ‘I’d love to sing for you if you ever decided to play again’.”

A one-off show went so well that Balbi became the new frontman for the band. While Gilpin had a very distinctive voice, Burns says Balbi doesn’t try and copy him but rather brings his own approach to the songs. “He has a totally, totally different voice,” Burns says.

“Steve Balbi really relates to the theatrical side of a lot of Kevin Stanton’s lyrics.

“He doesn’t sound in any way like Steve and we don’t expect him to.

“In fact we love that he brings his own flavour to Mi-Sex songs.

“Some of them, he does his own thing with the songs. The songs are still strong enough to stand up on their own and be totally recognisable.”

He’ll be putting his own take on some of those songs when the band takes part in Solid Gold, a touring show featuring bands from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

For Burns, the shows – and the reunion as whole – gives the band’s younger fans a chance to see them play live.

“Because we stopped playing at the end of 1983, there would have been people 13, 14 years old who watched us on Countdown but never actually got to see us play live because they weren’t old enough to get into pubs,” Burn says.

WIN Entertainment Centre, May 30

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