Failed break-in frightens Portland child

A Portland family had gone to bed in their Wade Street home when a child heard a noise about midnight and saw someone trying to open the window.A PORTLAND family has been left shaken after a flyscreen was removed from a child’s bedroom window overnight.
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Detective Sergeant Steve Brown, of the Portland police crime investigation unit, said the family had gone to bed in their Wade Street home when a child heard a noise about midnight.

The child told parents they someone was trying to open the window. Entry was not gained.

Police officers attended and a flyscreen was found removed and left near the window.

Detective Sergeant Brown said a Portland doctor’s surgery was also broken into overnight Monday.

It is believed that entry was gained to the premises about 2.30am and cash was stolen from a cash tin.

In Heywood a hairdresser’s salon in Edgar Street was burgled overnight Monday.

The front glass door was forced open, possibly by a jemmy bar or similar tool, between 8pm Monday and 8am Tuesday.

Nothing was stolen although the offender rifled through draws and cupboards in a search of valuables.

In Merino an isolated home in Mocamboro Road had its fridge raided.

The offender smashed a glass panel near the door to gained entry and stole cigarettes and juice valued at $40 between 1.30pm Monday and 4.30pm Tuesday.

Anyone with information about any of the offending is requested to contact the Portland police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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St Paul’s students aim for international qualifications

Ace: St Paul’s Grammar’s Rashmi Shingde, who got the International Baccalaureate’s top score. Picture: Gary WarrickSt Paul’s Grammar School’s year 12 students excelled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma last year, with many receiving high marks and two earning perfect scores.
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Rashmi Shingde, 18, from Leonay and Andrew Coulshed, 17, from Mount Riverview scored 45 from 45 in the International Baccalaureate (IB), which equates to an ATAR score of 99.95.

Other top-scoring IB Diploma students included Kara Cummins (IB 42: ATAR 99.40) from Mount Riverview, twins, Joe (IB 41: ATAR 98.80) and Tom (IB 40: ATAR 98.15) McMahon both from Cranebrook, Sally Armsworth (IB 40: ATAR 98.15) from Bligh Park and Mikey Epiha (IB 40: ATAR 98.15) from Richmond.

Ms Shingde said she and her whole family were surprised by the high result.

“I was jumping around and crying and calling my best friends,” she said.

“You work towards it but when it does come it always surprises you.”

She said her most rewarding IB subject was chemistry.

“I had a really awesome teacher, Mrs Clapin and we worked together,” Ms Shingde said.

“In the beginning I didn’t know much about it, but with a steep learning curve I knew a fair bit about that science by the end.”

Ms Shingde said the experience of doing the IB while other year 12 students did the HSC in her grade became normal.

“We still see our friends, doing common things like chapel, and other places.”

Her short-term goal is to complete her Bachelor of Medicine at the University of NSW where she’s been accepted and the long-term is crafting health policy.

“I want to help close the gap between the best information and technology and what is realistically accessible,” Ms Shingde said.

She believes St Paul’s Grammar was a good place to be an IB student.

“There are lots of resources you can tap into,” Ms Shingde said.

“The teachers are really good because they know the course well and their passion rubs off on you.”

Andrew Coulshed said the IB ideas were similar to the HSC but provide a broader focus.

He said each student completed three extra units called Creativity Action and Service that require 50 hours of extra-curricular time.

“I did hockey for action, piano for activity and did a community organisation at the hockey program for community service,” he said.

Mr Coulshed hopes to study medicine after focusing on greater Sydney health outcomes for his IB extended research project.

“I did a research essay on health outcomes of patients in the Sydney basin and how socio-economic factors influenced those outcomes.”

Mr Coulshed said the teachers and students supported each other.

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Ararat Storm search for new coach

NEW COACH NEEDED: Meghan Wik and the rest of the Ararat Storm are searching for a new coach in 2015. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
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ARARAT Storm Girls FootballClub is on the lookout for acoach, after both its headcoach and assistant coachtook positions with the NorthBallarat Rebels.

Will Bell and Olivia Miocic,who helped set up the club in2013, are moving on.

Storm plays in the BallaratFootball League youth girlscompetition.

Club president DavidNicholson said the club waslooking at coaching options.

‘‘We’ve got a few peopleinterested in the position butit is a bit hard because mostof the footy coaches aroundthe place are earning reasonablemoney,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of the parents havevolunteered if we can’t find acoach.

‘‘We are running into problemsbecause heaps of qualifiedpeople are alreadycoaching.’’

Mr Nicholson said hewould like to find a coach assoon as possible but was notpanicking.

‘‘We’ve got a little bit oftime because our seasonstarts a little bit later than themen’s football,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got options so wewon’t get to an emergencysituation, but it would bebetter to sort it out soonerrather than later.’’

Mr Nicholson said thecoach did not necessarilyhave to be from Ararat.

He said it would be preferableto recruit a female coachbut there was no issue with aman coaching the team.

Bell said he would like tokeep coaching the girls teambut no longer had the time.

‘‘I’m a development coachwith the Ballarat Goldfieldsdevelopment squad and I’mdoing some assistant coachingwith the North BallaratRebels youth girls,’’ he said.

‘‘Along with that, I amcoaching the Ararat Rats reservesteam.’’

Bell said he did not want tosee the team he helped createfall apart because it didnot have a coach.

He agreed the best situationwould be for the teamto have a female coach, withthe possibility of a parentworking as an assistant.

‘‘I’ve been chasing a fewgirls who have gone throughour system at the AraratStorm to see if they areinterested,’’ he said.

Bell said he would remaininvolved with the club andwould offer mentoring supportto any of the players ifneeded.

‘‘Unfortunately I just hadtoo much footy going on sohad to step down,’’ he said.

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Rio: no time for distractions after Glasenberg tilt

Rio Tinto’s year of living under the predatory shadow of Ivan Glasenberg has openedwith a set of production numbersthat confirm the quality of its recovery of competence, and illustrate the dimension of the challenge ahead should Glencore’s man make good on the takeover pitch so firmly anticipated by the London market.
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Rio Tinto has confidence in the growth plans of its Pilbara iron ore asset. Photo: Reuters

As much asRio boss Sam Walsh might want it otherwise, his every move through 2015 simply has to be received through the prism of the aspiration Glasenberg revealed last July. It was then, in a phone call apparently bubbling with distilled excitement, Glasenberg invited Rio’s chairman, Jan du Plessis, to join him in creating the world’s biggest mining company.

In early August du Plessis politely declined an offer that finally became public in October. And Glasenberg’s subsequent denial of any active interest in Rio meant under British takeovers rules Glencore cannot pursue the matter until April 10.

There is a fair bank of opinion that says Glasenberg will come back at Rio despite the fact that the new year equity markets have made the task of running an aggressive, all-scrip bid a more expensive task.

With energy and copper prices on the slide, investors have stripped nearly 10per cent of Glencore’s market capitalisation so far this year while trimming a relatively modest 3.6per cent from Rio’s.


But this divergence in valuation has been pretty much the story since Ivan’s call to Jan became public. Since July last, Glencore’s price has fallen 25per cent and Rio’s has shed 15per cent.

Just last week Rio’s Walsh urged his people to avoid obvious external distractions, to focus only on the tasks at hand – driving productivity, cutting costs, working Rio’s operations for cash and keeping the business safe.

It is hard to believe Walsh did not have Glasenberg at front of mind when he penned: “2015 will be another big year for Rio Tinto and we must not get distracted. Our time is best spent on setting our own course and staying true to it. Don’t forget, no one knows our company like we do and I am confident we will continue to deliver stunning results.

“We have made great inroads, and we will continue the momentum by staying very focused on achieving world-class delivery and making 2015 our safest year ever. I know we can do it. We are strong, resilient and resourceful and we thrive when the going gets tough.”

Now, just as they advertise Rio’s return to excellence, the 2014 full year production numbers also amplify the essential disconcert between the Glencore and Rio view on how to manage the inevitable cycles of the minerals and energy business.

Glasenberg, very famously, reckons big commodity producers should manage supply to sustain peak pricing and margin for as long as possible. He has loudly accused big iron ore producers of blowing the boom by swamping the market with new, ever cheaper supply.


Glasenberg’s view is that iron ore’s big fellas should not have chased the price down by sending ever more tonnes to the system. The simple fact that iron ore prices fell by 50per cent last year seems to reinforce this view.

That Glencore did exactly the same thing in coal through 2013-14 would, on the other hand, suggest sustaining efficiency in a time of surplus is a more complex formula than Glasenberg might acknowledge.

Of course, as if to demonstrate the error of everyone’s ways, Glencore stopped coalmining in Australia over Christmas in an attempt to contain the supply-side surplus that has so withered coal prices.

Rio, for its part, says every cent of the $US49billion spent on growing its Pilbara system over the past five years has done a lot more than simply introduce massive new volume into the global seaborne system.

With Tuesday’s confirmation it had crossed the threshold of 300million tonnes of annual production in 2014, Rio reiterated plans to deliver 330million tonnes of Pilbara product to market by this year’s end while embedding the potential to move to 360 million tonnes a year promptly after that. The logistical infrastructure for 330 million tonnes is already in place and the bits and pieces needed to get to 360 million tonnes capacity are 80per cent complete.

First published in the Australian Financial Review

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Air force plane spooks Great Lakes residents

Air force plane spooks Great Lakes residents SHOCK FOR SOME: It rattled windows and sent swimmers diving for cover but for those in the know it was an incredible photo opportunity. Wayne Hunt took this amazing photo of the C-130J Hercules during low level refresher training over Forster last week.
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SHOCK FOR SOME: It rattled windows and sent swimmers diving for cover but for those in the know it was an incredible photo opportunity. Wayne Hunt took this photo of the C-130J Hercules during low level refresher training over Forster last week.

Photo by Wayne Hunt.

Photo by Wayne Hunt.

Photo by Leah Farrell.

LOCAL LINK: At the controls of the low flying aircraft was Flight Lieutenant Shane Anderson who attended Great Lakes College before joining the Air Force in 2005.

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