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DRAGONS BLOG: In tune after a great win

DRAGONS BLOG: In tune after a great win

I passed up the chance to be at Jubilee Oval last night.My Sydney-sider brother had a spare ticket and asked, even though I loathe Monday Night Football with some intensity, if I wanted to go.I did – though not by car. I didn’t want to drive myself up because that makes it hard to have a few beers at the game. And, for me, a few beers at the game is as much a tradition as claiming “they’ve been doing it all” day whenever the ref penalises the opposition – whether they’ve been doing it all day or not.The only other option was a train and State Rail’s schedule was profoundly unhelpful – getting me there 15 minutes after kick-off.So I watched it at home, which isn’t all bad. The beer is cheaper and the toilets are cleaner that at any stadium. And I never have to sit next to a fat guy who takes up all his seat and half of mine.But when I heard the crowd singing “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” at the end, I so wanted to be there. To be among the Dragons fans celebrating that game would have been fantastic.Because it was a great win. The Sea Eagles were the team that scored the most points against us this season (in fact, one might say they took us apart a little bit that day). And, even if they’re behind on the scoreboard they don’t give up (this season it’s when they’re ahead that they give up).Add to that the fact we were missing the stabilising influence of Ben Hornby and this was a game that could have gone the other way. But, fortunately for the Dragons fans, it didn’t and we racked up a 32-10 win – the most number of points we’ve scored this season.Yes, four of those points shouldn’t have been scored. I refer to the Mark Gasnier try, which I thought would be disallowed after seeing the first replay and was surprised to see video ref Bill Harrigan asking for replay after replay. But things did even up – Manly scored a try under the posts off a clearly forward pass (in fact, they probably got the better dodgy call given their try was under the posts and ours was out wide). So they got six points off the blunder, while we just got four due to a missed conversion.There were, however, better tries that deserve to be talked about. I’ve been waiting all year for Jamie Soward to speed up and do some broken field running. Sure, his try in this game wasn’t the 80m effort I’d been hoping for but I’ll take the 40m run that split the defence and stood up the fullback.I’ll also take Nathan Fien’s effort, scored with the help of the biggest dummy I think I’ve ever seen. At least three defenders bought it and he strolled over. It was Fien’s first try of the season so it saves him from the dreaded end of season nudie run for those who don’t get a four-pointer.Then there was Beau Scott’s long range effort, where he got to run 80m and not need the support of the much faster Soward on his outside.Overall the Dragons showed even more improvement from last week’s win over Easts. The defence was still as solid but that attack was quite a bit better. For mine, the big test for the Dragons will be Sunday’s game against the Raiders. They’ve been a bogey side of ours for years, regardless of how good we’re going, so that may well be sitting in the back of players’ minds. If we can put them away, I reckon it’ll speak volumes about the Dragons in 2010 – especially mentally.
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Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons front-rower Michael Weyman celebrates after scoring in Monday night's 32-10 thrashing of Manly at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah. Picture: DAVE TEASEIf this was a grand final dress rehearsal, and many believe it still could have been, then the officials have failed it dismally.Not one, but two officiating shockers marred St George Illawarra's easy victory over Manly on Monday night.The only positive was that both sides benefited from a decision each; Dragons centre Mark Gasnier was awarded a highly controversial first-half try while Manly were later given some fortune when Brent Kite's clearly forward pass to Kieran Foran was ruled to have travelled backwards. Full coverage of the Dragons Just three rounds out from the finals, the form of the officials, and not just a number of underperforming sides, will be of major concern.The decision to award Gasnier a try on the half hour was made by video referee Bill Harrigan, a perennial target of abuse from the Dragons territory due to his decision which went against the Dragons in the 1999 grand final. From foe to friend; his ruling that Gasnier had successfully grounded the ball to hand the Dragons a 10-0 lead simply looked wrong.Not only did Gasnier appear to lose the ball as he attempted a lunge at the line, but the ball also seemed to fall short. So it could have been disallowed on two counts, yet Harrigan gave the Dragons the benefit of the doubt.Harrigan conceded the ball had initially come down short of the line but said it was then rolled onto it."It was benefit of the doubt," Harrigan said. "There was no separation. The ball was put down before the line and then rolled onto it."But then after 49 minutes, the Sea Eagles were awarded their own benefit; Kite popped a short ball to Foran which was, in the officials' defence, somewhat difficult to see - but replays showed it travelled clearly forward.This has been a home for some stinkers. The Bulldogs were left baffled last year when video referee Steve Clark denied centre Jamal Idris the match-winning try against the Dragons due to obstruction. The call last night might not have been as critical, but it was arguably as bad.It came after Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had given his side a 13th minute lead when, from 44m, he sped through Foran and Anthony Watmough and rounded Michael Robertson to score a wonderful try.While this was another typical Dragons display, methodical muscle, there were other magical moments to rival Soward's; winger Jason Nightingale's effort to reach the field of play after seeming to be caught in his in-goal was superb.It's certainly a shame that such efforts will be overshadowed by the push of a button or the shrill of a whistle. The Sea Eagles did score next, with winger Tony Williams picking a Michael Robertson ball off his toenails in the final minute of the first half, but the damage had been done.By the time hooker Luke Priddis had dummied and offloaded to prop Michael Weyman, handing the NSW player his first try of the year, the Dragons were in control. The missed forward pass call gave Manly a glimmer of hope, but when Nathan Fien, called into halfback to replace ill captain Ben Hornby, scored after 55 minutes, and Beau Scott ran 80m seven minutes later following a ricochet, they had successfully strangled the Sea Eagles - and their grip on the minor premiership had firmed, too.The Sea Eagles were left precariously in seventh spot, and their co-captain Jason King was placed on report for a high tackle on Jarrod Saffy. ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 32 (N Fien, M Gasnier, B Morris, B Scott, J Soward, M Weyman tries; J Soward 4 goals) bt MANLY 10 (K Foran, T Williams tries; J Lyon goal) at WIN Jubilee Oval. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Shayne Hayne. Crowd: 14,740.NSW FOOTYTAB: Pick-the-score: Dragons 32 Sea Eagles 10 (5.5pts). Div: $242.80. Pick-the-winners: Eels, Sharks, Titans, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Dragons. Div: $164.30. Pick-the-margins: Eels (13+), Sharks (1-12), Titans (13+), Raiders (13+), Warriors (1-12), Storm (1-12), Tigers (13+), Dragons (13+). Div: $33,150.50.
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Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons step up to crush Manly

Dragons front-rower Michael Weyman celebrates after scoring in Monday night's 32-10 thrashing of Manly at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah. Picture: DAVE TEASE Dean Young for St George Illawarra breaks and gets a pass away. Picture: DAVE TEASE
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If this was a grand final dress rehearsal, and many believe it still could have been, then the officials have failed it dismally.Not one, but two officiating shockers marred St George Illawarra's easy victory over Manly on Monday night.The only positive was that both sides benefited from a decision each; Dragons centre Mark Gasnier was awarded a highly controversial first-half try while Manly were later given some fortune when Brent Kite's clearly forward pass to Kieran Foran was ruled to have travelled backwards. Full coverage of the Dragons Just three rounds out from the finals, the form of the officials, and not just a number of underperforming sides, will be of major concern.The decision to award Gasnier a try on the half hour was made by video referee Bill Harrigan, a perennial target of abuse from the Dragons territory due to his decision which went against the Dragons in the 1999 grand final. From foe to friend; his ruling that Gasnier had successfully grounded the ball to hand the Dragons a 10-0 lead simply looked wrong.Not only did Gasnier appear to lose the ball as he attempted a lunge at the line, but the ball also seemed to fall short. So it could have been disallowed on two counts, yet Harrigan gave the Dragons the benefit of the doubt.Harrigan conceded the ball had initially come down short of the line but said it was then rolled onto it."It was benefit of the doubt," Harrigan said. "There was no separation. The ball was put down before the line and then rolled onto it."But then after 49 minutes, the Sea Eagles were awarded their own benefit; Kite popped a short ball to Foran which was, in the officials' defence, somewhat difficult to see - but replays showed it travelled clearly forward.This has been a home for some stinkers. The Bulldogs were left baffled last year when video referee Steve Clark denied centre Jamal Idris the match-winning try against the Dragons due to obstruction. The call last night might not have been as critical, but it was arguably as bad.It came after Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had given his side a 13th minute lead when, from 44m, he sped through Foran and Anthony Watmough and rounded Michael Robertson to score a wonderful try.While this was another typical Dragons display, methodical muscle, there were other magical moments to rival Soward's; winger Jason Nightingale's effort to reach the field of play after seeming to be caught in his in-goal was superb.It's certainly a shame that such efforts will be overshadowed by the push of a button or the shrill of a whistle. The Sea Eagles did score next, with winger Tony Williams picking a Michael Robertson ball off his toenails in the final minute of the first half, but the damage had been done.By the time hooker Luke Priddis had dummied and offloaded to prop Michael Weyman, handing the NSW player his first try of the year, the Dragons were in control. The missed forward pass call gave Manly a glimmer of hope, but when Nathan Fien, called into halfback to replace ill captain Ben Hornby, scored after 55 minutes, and Beau Scott ran 80m seven minutes later following a ricochet, they had successfully strangled the Sea Eagles - and their grip on the minor premiership had firmed, too.The Sea Eagles were left precariously in seventh spot, and their co-captain Jason King was placed on report for a high tackle on Jarrod Saffy. ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 32 (N Fien, M Gasnier, B Morris, B Scott, J Soward, M Weyman tries; J Soward 4 goals) bt MANLY 10 (K Foran, T Williams tries; J Lyon goal) at WIN Jubilee Oval. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Shayne Hayne. Crowd: 14,740.NSW FOOTYTAB: Pick-the-score: Dragons 32 Sea Eagles 10 (5.5pts). Div: $242.80. Pick-the-winners: Eels, Sharks, Titans, Raiders, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Dragons. Div: $164.30. Pick-the-margins: Eels (13+), Sharks (1-12), Titans (13+), Raiders (13+), Warriors (1-12), Storm (1-12), Tigers (13+), Dragons (13+). Div: $33,150.50.

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Resistance grows on vegetation

Resistance grows on vegetation

At a meeting on Monday councils and farmers passed a resolution to continue lobbying both State and Federal governments to drop the directive.
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The resolution has also called for more information on which communities will be listed and for fair and adequate compensation if a compulsory system is kept.

The councils and farmers are also holding an information session on May 17 to raise further awareness and support of the issue.

The directive could force landowners who do not have a native vegetation management agreement to seek council approval before clearing or converting threatened non-forest vegetation communities.

Councils are worried they will bear the cost of administering the process and farmers believe a voluntary process of conservation is best.

The State Government will consider alternatives to the directive and a discussion paper on the issue is due to be released soon.

But both councils and farmers are worried the directive will still be introduced in December.

Rowallan MLC Greg Hall will put a notice of motion up during the Budget sessions of Parliament to reiterate the resolution.

"We want to flag to both Governments there is a concern out there in the community," Mr Hall said.

"We're putting the pressure on to get a better outcome for the rural communities."

Northern Midlands Council Deputy Mayor Don McShane said that if the directive was not scrapped farmers wanted compensation.

"If it does become mandatory in any form then landowners are resolute and completely united in their claim for compensation," Cr McShane said.

He said that one alternative would be to introduce a scheme similar to the private forest reserve programme.

The information session will be at the Oatlands Council Chambers on Tuesday, May 17, from 7pm.

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New guard for Hawks

New guard for Hawks

Oscar Forman, who will make his Hawks debut on Friday. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOThe Wollongong Hawks are poised to add the final piece of the puzzle for their 2010-11 NBL campaign.Nothing has been confirmed, but it is believed the Hawks have come to terms with an American point guard on a one-year deal.The mystery player has been out of college for almost three years and spent time in the NBA-aligned Development League. Full coverage of the Hawks While the Hawks would not reveal the 180cm New Yorker's identity, the club is expected to have its official 10-man team at training next week.The new player will make his Wollongong debut against the Sydney Kings in a September 3 trial at the Snakepit.Meanwhile, Hawks fans will get their first peek at off-season recruit Oscar Forman when Wollongong battles Hartford University on Friday night at the Snakepit.Forman and the incoming import are the club's only new faces on the playing roster for next season."Oscar's been training well and shooting the ball well. He gives us another guy who can stick the perimeter shot and looks like he'll fit in well with what we do," Hawks assistant coach Eric Cooks said.Former Illawarra junior rep and Gold Coast Blaze guard Tyson Demos will line up for the Hawks against the touring Americans.Missing from the home team will be Tim Coenraad and Rhys Martin, who will be playing for the Mackay Meteors in the Queensland semi-finals.Pint-sized point guard Zac Delaney will suit up for the Hawks, but they will be light on backcourt generals."Last year we had a similar situation against Vanderbilt where we started (shooting guard) Mat (Campbell) at the point guard, and there's a good chance Tyson will get some minutes at point guard on Friday," Cooks said.With Hawks coach Gordie McLeod still undergoing treatment in hospital for blood clots, Cooks and fellow assistant coach Matt Flinn will guide the team on Friday.A Hawks Legends game featuring several of the club's all-time greats will follow the main match.
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BlueScope invests $40m in steelworks project

BlueScope invests $40m in steelworks project

BlueScope has announced a new investment at its Port Kembla Steelworks. Picture: KEN ROBERTSONBlueScope Steel has used the announcement of a massive profit turnaround to reveal a new $40 million project at its Port Kembla Steelworks.The development was revealed as managing director and chief executive Paul O'Malley reported a net profit after tax of $126 million for 2009-10, compared to a $66 million loss the previous year.Mr O'Malley said the $40 million investment in a steam injection station would improve steel production and quality.He said Illawarra contractors had already started work on the project that would help put additives into iron.‘‘Plate manufacturers both domestically and internationally want higher qualities of steel all the time,’’ Mr O’Malley said.‘‘This investment keeps our competitiveness in the high quality space ... because that is where, as a company, we have to go.’’Mr O’Malley said it was important to keep investing in BlueScope Steel’s crown jewel.And he revealed the company still wanted to build a cogeneration plant at Port Kembla worth more than $1 billion.‘‘We are developing a pretty comprehensive 20-year asset reinvestment plan,’’ he said.‘‘There are a lot of opportunities to increase the quality of our steel. Producing a steam injection station is a part of that. We have to do that to remain internationally competitive and we have got to do the steam cogen project at some point. Government policy is still a bit of a question mark there.’’Mr O’Malley said having the two blast furnaces and sinter plant at full operation at Port Kembla after the completion of the No 5 reline a year ago was a major contributor to the company’s performance.He acknowledged the Wollongong workforce and Illawarra contractors for their contribution and said the company would keep looking at ways to make further improvements at Port Kembla in the short term.Mr O’Malley said the increase in production since the recommissioning of No 5 blast furnace had helped increase business downstream, particularly in Asia.‘‘We delivered an outstanding improvement in our Asian businesses, including record profits in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.‘‘We also achieved a significant reduction in the company’s permanent cost base.‘‘Also encouraging was increasing demand in Australia, strong export sales and good earnings results both in New Zealand and at North Star BlueScope Steel, our steelmaking joint venture in the United States.’’BlueScope directors yesterday declared a 5¢ per share fully franked final ordinary dividend for shareholders.
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Burke and Wills: part myth, part farce

Burke and Wills: part myth, part farce

Picture: EDWINA PICKLESOn Wednesday morning a ceremony will be held at the remarkably ugly cairn in Royal Park erected in 1890 to mark the departure spot of the Burke and Wills expedition 30 years earlier. Wednesday's ceremony, at which speeches will be made and the Governor-General will unveil a plaque, commemorates the 150th anniversary.It's actually a little early: the original plans had it slotted for Saturday, but apparently there's an election.The 20th - this Friday - was the actual departure date although, really, there's not much to celebrate. On August 20, 1860, the overstocked expedition left late and groaned its way only as far as Essendon. And so, on Friday evening, under the auspices of the Royal Society of Victoria, there will be a gala screening of the 1985 movie Burke & Wills. Actor Jack Thompson, who played Burke, will be there. Not so Nigel Havers (Wills), which is a pity. In Chariots of Fire (1981), Havers played an Englishman who ran fast. It would have been nice to ask him how he'd felt about subsequently playing an Englishman who walked slowly.To some, it has been both unfortunate and frustrating that the 150th events have hit snags such as funding problems and an election campaign. But I think it's wonderfully appropriate - because the expedition itself was a bit of a shambles, it would have been incongruous to have things run too smoothly 150 years later.Still, and with the greatest respect to those involved, I'm not sure the best bits of the story are being remembered.When we think of Burke and Wills we don't think of them leaving town. The dramatic bits of the story are their return to the depot at Cooper's Creek (April 1861) and the quintessential good news/bad news double: word that the continent had been crossed, but Burke and Wills were dead and their remains found (November 1861).They had actually died five months earlier, but this was a time before texts and Twitter. Still, the special newspaper posters announcing the death of the explorers caused a sensation. This was the Challenger space shuttle disaster of its time - intrepid souls had set forth and never returned.When I first became interested in the Burke and Wills story a decade ago, two things struck me. The first was how incredible it is.If you served up a script about explorers travelling for four months and then missing their rendezvous by a matter of hours it would be dismissed as far-fetched. The depot scene is like one of those French farces, with doors opening and closing and characters entering and exiting while not seeing one another. The second striking feature is how modern the story is.Burke and Wills, like Gallipoli and Ned Kelly, is one of the few topics that tend to stick from Australian history classes. We are taught to think of the mythic explorers being lost in time.But some key participants were still alive just over 100 years ago and there are sites around town still much as Burke would have known them - the Royal Society building, for example, and the Melbourne Club, where Burke went from being in disgrace (he owed money) to having his portrait hung in a prominent spot on a wall. A heroic death can do that for you.Mid-19th century newspapers, including The Age, reported the story, although there was no news to report for prolonged periods. As one poetic writer noted, it was as if the company of explorers had been "dissipated out of being, like dew-drops before the sun".Photographs exist of most of the main players. But only a couple show the expedition itself: one was taken at Royal Park; another at the first camp at Essendon. Burke is recognisable by his conical hat. Both pictures have been damaged; the figures are blurred and indistinct, as if they are soon to fade away.The technology that will record the 150th events will be much more sophisticated. But what, exactly, is being celebrated? In part, it is a rehabilitation of reputations. After all, footy commentators still lambast indirect players for "covering more ground than Burke and Wills".The Royal Society insists the commemorative events "will remind the nation not just of the tragic ending, but of the expedition's achievements in exploration and scientific discovery".Despite the stuff-ups, there were achievements. The massive monument at the Melbourne Cemetery describes Burke and Wills as "first to cross the continent". Ah, but did they? Most likely, they were mired in the boggy swamp near the Gulf of Carpenteria.There was no planting of flags or gambolling in the ocean. Burke, never much of a note-taker, wrote: "It would be well to say that we reached the sea." Hardly an affirmation of triumph. Still, much that followed, especially the pomp and ceremony of the state funeral in January 1863 (when, to be frank, there wasn't a lot left to bury), is a case study in turning tragedy into triumph. Already there is talk of commemorating the 150th anniversary of that funeral.But first comes Wednesday's commemoration of the departure. It's scheduled to start at 10am. In the interest of historical accuracy, however, I hope it begins very late, the crowd is unruly, and some of the participants are affected by drink. Then it's on to Essendon.Alan Attwood is editor of The Big Issue and the author of the novel Burke's Soldier (2003). The Age is a Royal Society of Victoria partner for the 150th anniversary.
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Briefs

Briefs

Arrest sparks Bin Laden hope
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[BB] ISLAMABAD - Jubilant Pakistani officials say their capture of al-Qaeda's presumed "number three" man will boost the hunt for Osama bin Laden, while US President George W. Bush hailed it as a crucial victory against terror.

Libbi also was Pakistan's most-wanted man, the main suspect behind two 2003 assassination attempts against President General Pervez Musharraf, and is likely to face the death penalty in Pakistan if convicted.

PNG police want Aussie pullout

PORT MORESBY - Disgruntled police officers in Port Moresby are demanding Australian assisting police leave the country.

At a union meeting about 300 PNG police officers called for the axing of Australia's Enhanced Cooperation Programme.

Officers at the meeting said no notable improvements had been made seen since the deployment of 150 Aussie officers late last year and that working relationships between the two forces had been poor.

Israel army kills two at protest

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers who were part of a group of stone-throwers protesting Israel's West Bank barrier yesterday.

Military sources said soldiers opened fire after coming under a barrage of rocks in Beit Leqia, west of Ramallah, saying they first tried non-lethal means of dispersing the crowd.

US silent over Iraq contracts

WASHINGTON - The US civilian authorities in Iraq cannot properly account for nearly $130 million that was supposed to have been spent on reconstruction projects in south-central Iraq, government investigators said yesterday.

There are indications of fraud in the use of the $125 million, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

A separate investigation of possible wrongdoing continues. More than $9 million of the total is unaccounted for.

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Kiss of death?

Kiss of death?

Premier Kristina Keneally embraces Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a campaign announcement last week. Picture: Alan PorrittIs the NSW Labor Party so on the nose it's affecting the election chances of its federal counterparts in the Illawarra?This is the question being asked as the nation counts down the days to Saturday's poll.Greens member and former Cunningham MP Michael Organ believed constant controversy dogging the party at local and state government levels in the region would have "a real impact"."We've had a corruption scandal at Wollongong council, we've also had a lot of scandal with regards to the state Labor government," he said. "I think people are, rather than just naturally voting Labor as they have done in the Illawarra, they're thinking, 'Hang on, what am I going to do here?' " Julia Gillard: 'don't blame me for their sins'VOTE: Will the NSW ALP's performance be the kiss of death for the ALP in the federal election?But ALP stalwart and former Keira MP Colin Markham said while people were "browned off" with NSW Labor and that might commute to the federal arena, the damage in Illawarra would be minimal."There will be a percentage of people who will vote against federal Labor because of what's happening at a state level, that some people will say, 'Bloody Labor, look what's been going on in NSW'."But I think Sharon Bird [Cunningham], Neil Reilly [Gilmore] and Stephen Jones [Throsby] won't have any trouble whatsoever," Mr Markham said.A weekend newspaper report suggested residents of western Sydney could bring down the Gillard government, in protest over state Labor's performance.The ALP suffered a crippling swing of almost 26 per cent against it in the Penrith by-election in June, while a Newspoll found the party's primary vote had fallen to a record low of 25 per cent in May-June.But Gilmore hopeful Mr Reilly said the scandals had not impacted on his campaign."In the last week or so I must have doorknocked 800 homes ... people do have a clear delineation as to what is a state matter, what is federal and what is local," he said.State Member for Kiama Matt Brown agreed. "I couldn't imagine why an Illawarra voter would punish a federal Labor candidate because state Labor is just continually committed to our area," he said.The Liberal Party's Gilmore incumbent Joanna Gash believed the scandals were damaging.She pointed particularly to "issues like transport" and "general mismanagement".
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Get rid of helmets say public health researchers

Get rid of helmets say public health researchers

Picture: NICK MOIRAlmost 20 years after Australia became the first country to make it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet, two Sydney University researchers say the law does not work and we would be better off without it.Chris Rissel and a colleague, from the university's school of public health, said their research showed that although there had been a drop in the number of head injuries since the laws were introduced in 1991, helmets were not the main reason.General improvement in road safety from random breath testing and other measures were probably the cause, he said.''I believe we'd be better off without it,'' he said of the laws. ''I'd recommend a trial repeal in one city for two years to allow researchers to make observations and see if there's an increase in head injuries, and on the basis of that you could come to some informed policy decision.''Dr Rissel said that although helmets protect heads, they also discourage casual cycling, where people use a bike to get milk or visit a friend.Scrapping compulsory helmet use, he believes, would reverse that, improve health rates and reduce injury rates because getting more cyclists on the roads would make motorists better at avoiding them.To reach their conclusions, Dr Rissel analysed the ratio of head injuries to arm injuries among cyclists admitted to hospital between 1988 and 2008. He assumed the ratio would not change unless helmet use reduced head injury rates compared with arm injury rates.Their findings showed that most of the fall in head injury rates occurred before the laws came into force.After the new laws, they found ''a continued but declining reduction in the ratio of head injuries to arm injuries [and] … it is likely that factors other than the mandatory helmet legislation reduced head injuries''.Dr Rissel said for many cyclists, particularly children and those riding longer distances, helmets were a good idea.Although good ideas usually travelled around the world, only New Zealand had adopted Australia's model.The state's peak cycling body, Bike NSW, was briefed on Dr Rissel's paper but was not persuaded by it. ''The data in the study is neither complete nor compelling … We don't think it would stand up to scrutiny,'' said the chief executive of Bike NSW, Omar Khalifa.He believed the study failed to include cyclists who did not go to hospital because helmets saved them from a head injury.''We believe riders who have ridden and fallen would almost all support the fact the helmet may have saved them from more serious injuries but … the study does not pick up any of that.''Without any compelling data on the numbers of extra cyclists that would result from scrapping the law there was no reason for the change.''Some say they'd prefer not to have it, but very few complain about having to wear them because they realise there's a potential benefit.''
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