THROSBY: ALP’s Stephen Jones wins

THROSBY: ALP’s Stephen Jones wins

Throsby candidates: Stephen Jones for the ALP and Juliet Arkwright for the Liberal Party Newly-elected ALP MP Stephen Jones with his wife Julia Quilter celebrate at the Illawarra Yacht Club. Picture: ROBERT PEET
Nanjing Night Net

Union official Stephen Jones will be among the new chums in Federal Parliament after winning the seat of Throsby tonight for Labor.Mr Jones is at the Lake Illawarra Yacht Club where he has just declared victory. PHOTO GALLERY: The Illawarra decidesWhile admitting there was a degree of arrogance in declaring before 50 per cent of the vote had been counted, Mr Jones said he had elected to put wind-wearied volunteers out of their misery. Addressing a crowd of around 100 ALP volunteers and devotees at the Illawarra Yacht Club tonight, Mr Jones praised retiring member Jennie George for passing on such a solid foundation. ‘‘As I’ve gone out around the place I’ll tell you its been a lot easier for me to say I’m Stephen Jones and I represent the Labor Party when you’re immediate predecessor has been Jennie George,’’ he said. ‘‘She has done such a fantastic job, been a fantastic community representative, a great advocate for Labor and Labor values.’’With over 70 per cent of the vote counted at 9pm, Mr Jones triumphed with 51 per cent of first preferences.Liberal candidate Juliet Arkwright took a notable 30 per cent of first preferences while Peter Moran of the Greens claimed close to 12 per cent.On a two-party preferred basis, Labor has taken 67 per cent of the vote with the Liberal Party taking 33 per cent.Mr Jones replaces the retiring Jennie George, a former president of the ACTU.Throsby lost some working class areas to the seat of Gilmore in a redistribution. COMMENT: NSW voters punish LaborTHROSBY: THE STATSUpdated: 10pmCounted: 54 of 54 booths (83.5% of votes)Primary votes:ALP 51.15%Libs 29.85%Greens 11.75%Nationals 5.42%Two-party preferred:ALP 60.85%Libs 39.15%

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

GILMORE: Gash expected tighter race

GILMORE: Gash expected tighter race

Gilmore candidates: The ALP's Neil Reilly and the Liberal's Joanna Gash Newlyweds Natalie Potter and Matthew Lightfoot arrive at Gerringong Public School to cast their vote. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Nanjing Night Net

Victory: re-elected Liberal MP Joanna Gash. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Sitting Liberal member Joanna Gash has defied her critics to win the marginal seat of Gilmore for a sixth term.She overcame the addition to her seat of Labor heartland around Shellharbour to record a convincing win over ALP rival Neil Reilly. PHOTO GALLERY: The Illawarra decidesAbout 8.15 tonight, Mrs Gash took to the stage at the Nowra School of Arts, declaring to more than 200 party faithful she was ‘‘delighted to be back’’. After spending the day handing out how-to-vote cards at every polling booth in her new areas in the north of the electorate, she arrived to a rousing reception at the Liberal Party function. A tally board in the hall showed she was the clear leader in almost all polling booths across the South Coast seat with the exception of a handful of booths, including at Flinders, Warilla and Shellharbour. She paid tribute to her campaign staff and family and said she thought the race would be closer. ‘‘We have made a dent in the Labor voting pattern up north (of Gilmore). That was something I really wanted to prove could be done. We didn’t win it in a lot of booths but we certainly gave it a good shake.’’At 9pm, with 75 per cent of votes counted, first preferences were: Liberals (Joanna Gash) 50 per cent; ALP (Neil Reilly) 36 per cent; Greens (Ben van der Wijngaart) 9 per cent. This would mean Mrs Gash would win on first preferences. On a two-party preferred basis, Mrs Gash would lead 54-46 per cent over Mr Reilly. COMMENT: NSW voters punish LaborWhile Mrs Gash has held the seat since 1996, this election it was notionally regarded a Labor seat (0.4 per cent) because of a redistribution.Gilmore stretches from Bawley Point in the south, up through Burrill Lake, Milton, Ulladulla and into Nowra. Further north Gilmore takes in Gerringong and Kiama. Since the redistribution it includes Shellharbour, Shell Cove, Barrack Heights, Warilla and a small part of Albion Park Rail. These were thought to greatly favour the ALP, but Mrs Gash seems to have made good inroads into this heartland.Labor candidate Neil Reilly declined to concede defeat despite Mrs Gash’s declaration of victory.‘‘You always wait until 100 per cent of the vote is counted,’’ he said.‘‘It’s like giving away your HSC with one exam remaining.‘‘It was an extraordinarily intense campaign with little time to prepare.’’He said the six per cent swing against Labor was not due to the change of ALP candidates in the seat.David Boyle, a high profile former rugby league player, was initially parachuted into the candidacy but withdrew in June after an outcry from furious rank-and-file members.‘‘David Boyle only affected one seat and when you look at that kind of swing right across the state I don’t think what happened was that influential,’’ Mr Reilly said.GILMORE: VOTING STATSUpdated: 10pmCounted: 61 of 62 booths (77% of votes)Primary votes:Libs 50.22%ALP 35.92%Greens 9.48%Two-party preferred:Libs 55.31%ALP 44.69%

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

DRAGONS BLOG: Round 24 footy tips

DRAGONS BLOG: Round 24 footy tips

So here’s why the Dragons need to win at Canberra. Because it’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing that we haven’t won there in forever. Okay since 2000, but still that feels like forever.It’s embarrassing to support a team that is usually in finals contention each year but who can’t beat a team that saves its best form until the moment the finals are out of the question (come on, Raiders fans, that must annoy you. That they can play like kings once the pressure’s off and they’re no chance of making the finals. That would annoy the hell out of me.Look, Big League this week says “since 2001, the Green Machine has made mince meat out of the Dragons”. Rugby League Week says “It’s 3716 days since the Dragons last won in Canberra”. And the Sydney Morning Herald says “when it comes to playing in Canberra, the Dragon suck big-time. Black holes wish they could suck that hard”.Okay, so I made that last one up but, if they did really say that, no-one would bat an eyelid, because it’s true. I’ve been there to see a few of those losses in person and few things are less enjoyable that sitting in an arctic-cold stadium after your team has lost to a side that should, realistically, have been little more than a speed bump.Well, I reckon this weekend is when the Dragons break their nine-year, seven-match losing streak. Why? Well, firstly, the game is being played in the afternoon rather than the night-time, when it’s much colder and when most of the Dragons’ Canberra losses have happened. So the Raiders won’t have the weather on their side.They also won’t have the throw caution to the wind “we’re not in the finals” attitude. Instead, they’ll be feeling a bit of pressure because the Raiders are still in the finals race and need to win every game to make the top eight. That creates a new wrinkle for them – they’re not just playing for pride this weekend. The result actually means something.Also after a small slump, the Dragons form has been on a steep climb the last two weeks – compared to late last year where we met them when the death wobbles had already kicked in.So it’s a new and better Dragons outfit going down to Canberra to face a worried and under pressure Raiders side. Dragons to win. The other games: Broncos, Bunnies, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Storm, Tigers, TitansSeason so far: 100 points
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Roosters’ James Aubusson could join Dragons

Roosters’ James Aubusson could join Dragons

Sydney Roosters hooker James Aubusson could be bound for the St George Illawarra Dragons next year.The Mercury understands Aubusson and his manager David Riolo have met Dragons officials about a possible move south for the 2011 NRL season.Aubusson, 23, is off contract at the end of this season and is keen on a shift to Wollongong. Full coverage of the Dragons With veteran rake Luke Priddis set to hang up his boots at the end of the year, the Dragons are interested in luring Aubusson to the club to fill the void.Aubusson, who has missed most of 2010 with an ankle injury, has attracted interest from several clubs, according to Riolo.When contacted by the Mercury yesterday, Riolo was reticent to comment on the situation."I don't like to get involved with player announcements," he said. "That's up to the clubs."Aubusson, a lively dummy-half who made his debut for the Melbourne Storm in 2007, is in the final year of a three-year contract with the Roosters.His brother Mitchell recently re-signed with the tri-colours, but James is unlikely to remain a Rooster beyond the end of the season.Nathan Fien still has another two years left on his contract and is the obvious first-choice No 9 selection for 2011, but Aubusson is no stranger to coming off the bench.In his 55 first-grade appearances, the former Australian Schoolboy has started on the pine 40 times, coming on as an impact player.Mark Gasnier's return has left the Dragons short on salary cap funds, forcing the likes of Jeremy Smith and Neville Costigan to move to rival clubs.But the release of those players not only frees up enough money to pay for Gasnier but would also cover Aubusson's pending move.Jon Green, who was one of Wayne Bennett's most consistent forwards during the representative period, is expected to become the latest victim of the squeeze.The Melbourne Storm will be desperate to attract several bargain buys ahead of 2011, and Green is one of the players on the club's radar.Despite being keen to remain a Dragon, a less than substantial offer from the red and whites has left the prop with an important decision to make in the coming weeks.His manager Gavin Orr said the Dragons weren't able to budge on their original offer."The Dragons are in a situation where they can't make any real offers to him because of the salary cap," Orr said."We've spoken to Craig Bellamy and the Storm are interested but in the end it is up to Jon and what he wants."
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Rico the missing monkey is alive: psychic

Rico the missing monkey is alive: psychic

Psychic Lynn Overhill with Rico's family at Symbio. Ms Overhill said Toro, Bella and Mitu told her their brother would soon return. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO Rico was stolen in May.
Nanjing Night Net

The good news from animal communicator Lynn Overhill is that Rico the missing cotton-top tamarin is alive. The bad news is he's still lost - and iron deficient.The psychic Mrs Overhill visited Symbio Wildlife Park this week and telepathically communicated with Rico's family of tamarins. The result was a message of hope: don't give up on a Rico reunion.Mrs Overhill is in Wollongong for this weekend's Spiritual Festival at the Master Builders Club and the Mercury arranged for her to visit Symbio in an attempt to get to the bottom of the monkey mystery.She says Bella, Mitu and Toro told her they missed Rico, but believed he would return soon.Mrs Overhill sensed that Rico is being taken care of by someone who fell in love with him when he was stolen, but he will be returned when the time comes for veterinary care - which could be soon if he is not being fed the correct diet.Apparently, those who have him are only feeding Rico grapes and other fruit, depriving him of the protein and iron-rich worms and bugs that are a vital part of his diet.But the big question remains unanswered: where is Rico? Mrs Overhill said she could not get a read on that from his relatives.The monkeys did, however, say they were happy with their habitat at Symbio and how much they were loved.The four pygmy marmosets that were also stolen were apparently too shy to communicate with Mrs Overhill. Park owner John Radnidge said it sounded like Rico would be able to reassimilate , though it could be difficult after such a long absence.Mrs Overhill claims to have had psychic communication with animals for 18 years and said "anyone can do it, you just have to clear your mind and heighten your senses through something like meditation".She will be appearing at the Spiritual Festival, alongside psychic Amanda Roussety and alchemy specialist Michael Lamb.Mr Lamb will conduct an interactive seminar based on his 23 years' experience of spirituality, astrology and science."I'm passionate about unifying people ... so it's all about universal love and understanding," Mr Lamb said.He is also an ancient mythology enthusiast researching folklore and legendary creatures. The festival runs from 10am-7pm today and 10am-4pm tomorrow.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.