“I’M BLOODY LUCKY”

Kody Nestor suffered severe shoulder injuries in Friday’s fall at Mudgee. Photo: JANIAN McMILLAN (梧桐夜网racingphotography南京夜网419论坛)DUBBO jockey Kody Nestor will undergo surgery this week on shoulder injuries suffered in Friday’s horrific fall in the Mudgee Gold Cup (1600m).
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The popular rider described the aftermath of the five-horse pile up as being “like a war zone” as riders and animals lay on the ground, but conceded things could have been a whole lot worse.

Nestor was riding Scottish Border for Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer, and was caught in the middle of the carnage that marred the $35,000 feature event, which ultimately saw just seven runners cross the line and Garry McCarney’s gelding Fox Solid first past the post.

Stewards have opened an inquiry into the fall but adjourned it in order to be able to take evidence from the riders involved.

Nestor suffered a dislocated and broken shoulder in the fall, which occurred when Devilgate Road (Aaron Bullock) appeared to clip the heels of the leader Lancelot, ridden by Anthony Cavallo.

It started a chain reaction that saw Scottish Border, Are You Sure (Jay Ford) and Goldstone (Glenn Lynch) all hit the turf.

He was airlifted from the track to Orange hospital, and after being treated he returned home with wife Anna on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m bloody lucky. We all are really because it’s one of the worst falls I’ve seen, let alone been involved in,” he said yesterday.

“I remember the whole thing and when I hit the deck I looked up and there were blokes on the ground and horses everywhere. It was terrible, it was like a war zone.

The fall at Mudgee is one of the worst in recent memory.

“I was following Mick Travers (All Sixes) and then I saw that first horse come down. Mick’s horse got over it but then mine couldn’t and I came down hard on my left shoulder and just rolled with it.

“Once things had settled a bit I got up and looked at my right arm and my legs and thought I was okay but when I looked for my left I couldn’t see it because it was about three inches away from where it should have been.

“That’s when the pain kicked in and I laid back down and started swearing and carrying on. It was excructiating but everyone, from the stewards to the ambulance officers and nurses, were great and they looked after me and gave me some pain drugs to make me as comfortable as possible.”

After a couple of nights with minimal sleep, Nestor will attempt to get to Sydney on either Monday or Wednesday in order to undergo surgery to repair the shoulder.

“I can’t lay down so Anna has propped me up on the couch and I actually got a good couple of hours sleep while sitting up on Saturday night, but I got none on Friday,” he said.

“If I can fly on Monday I’ll try to get down there, otherwise it will be Wednesday, but I’m pretty keen to get the surgery done as soon as possible so I can start the rehab.

“I’ve watched the replay a couple of times and some people would probably be spooked off after a fall like that. I’d ride tomorrow if I could so I’ll do everything I can to be back as soon as possible.

“Now that I’ve had a bit of time to sit back and think about it I’m just glad everyone is okay.

“I know Mark Milton lost his horse, which is terrible, but I just shake my head how that was all.”

THE AFTERMATHJOCKEYS

* Kody Nestor – Dislocated and fractured left shoulder. Will go to Sydney on either Monday or Wednesday for surgery.

* Greg Ryan – Concussion and swelling in knee and ankle. Will assess before determining whether he will ride at Orange on Tuesday.

* Jay Ford – Broken hand. Will be assessed by doctors to determine if surgery is required

* Glenn Lynch – Badly fractured left foot and facial lacerations.

* Aaron Bullock – Fractured collarbone in three places and suffered concussion. Will also be assessed by doctors this week

HORSES

* Sooner Or Later – Suffered a broken leg in the incident and was put down.

* Are You Sure – Swelling and abrasions on hind leg. More will be known when swelling subsides

* Devilgate Road – Stiff and sore around the head and neck. Was knocked out for a short period. Will be retired

* Scottish Border – Jarred up in the legs after doing three laps of the course after the fall. Will be fine.

* Goldstone – Stiff and sore with some skin off nostrils and lips but otherwise fine.

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The week in pictures, December 6Photos

The week in pictures, December 6 | Photos INVERELL: Alynya Westgarth and Sharon Farnhill with Emma Kastelein at the Dramamatics disability theatre group performance. Photo: Michèle Jedlicka
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CEDAR CREEK: Kevin the Wandering Minion enjoys being back at Cedar Creek State School

GLEN INNES: Red Cross Christmas Tree Competition. Photo: Georgina Bayly

GLEN INNES: Wraps with love knitters thank the town. Photo: Georgina Bayly

INVERELL: Duke Bailey, Courtney Smith, Madison Bright, Courtney Bright and Kim Marsh on the pavement raising awareness on World AIDS Day, December 1. Photo: Michèle Jedlicka

INVERELL: Emily King, Will Adams, Charlene Hair and Jack Riley at the Dramamatics disability theatre group performance. Photo: Michèle Jedlicka

INVERELL: Inverell Public School’s Night at the Movies Concert. Photo: Naomi Shumack

INVERELL: Inverell Public School’s Night at the Movies. Photo: Naomi Shumack

INVERELL: Jake Cracknell and Hamish McLachlan with their regional World Skills VET in Schools medals for agriculture. Photo: Michèle Jedlicka

INVERELL: Macintyre High School SES cadets celebrate their course completion. Photo: Michèle Jedlicka

MOUNT COTTON: Sirromet Winery’s chief winemaker Adam Chapman will present internationally recognised wine courses at the winery in Mount Cotton. Photo: Jack Tran

NEWCASTLE: Volunteers are at the final stages of refurbishing William The Fourth, in Newcastle Harbour PHOTO: MARINA NEIL

RICHMOND: Scott McClymont, Rosella Plains, Mount Garnet, grazes 800 head of cattle west of Richmond. Photo: ANDREA CROTHERS

WOLLONGONG: Black Hawk helicopters in action during a counter-terrorism exercise at Illawarra Regional Airport on Monday. Picture: Adam McLean

WOLLONGONG: Blake Shortland with rare triplet calves Ebony, Mini and Red. The heifers were born on November 20 at the Shortland Dairy Farm in Tongarra. Picture: Robert Peet

WOLLONGONG: Melina Rinses and David Frith danced in the light of the old lighthouse at Wollongong Harbour, which was lit up to acknowledge World AIDS Day. Picture: Adam McLean

WOLLONGONG: Rodney and Taja Bungate spotted a giant, sandy-coloured lion passing through the bushland that rises up to meet the back deck of their Bundeena home. Picture: Angela Thompson

WOLLONGONG: X Factor contestant Cyrus Villanueva visiting fans in Wollongong Mall during the filming of the reality television show. Picture: Adam McLean

BATHURST: Bathurst Regional Council employee James Bruce measures the width of the supercroc’s 800mm mouth while installing the latest exhibition at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK

PARKES The Champion-Post’s ‘Bush Kids’ photo gallery has been an overwhelming success. Photo CONTRIBUTED

ORANGE: Orange Anglican Grammar students Lachlan Skinner and Luke Robinson with their industrial and modern lamps that received awards in the University of Wollongong STEM awards. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

COWRA: Cowra received a taste of royalty last week when Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Tuku’aho, High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga visited ahead of the Festival of International Understanding next year.

GRIFFITH: Bronte Allen, Ashley Pianca, Emma Armstrong and Alyssa Allen wowed the crowd with their performance. Picture: Mary Napoli

COOTAMUNDRA: A saltwater crocodile was one of the main attractions at the Cooper St Vet grand reopening. Picture: Katherine Maclagan

WAGGA: Riverina Regional Library outreach and promotions co-ordinator Amy Heap with one of the novels discussed during book club this year. The library has more than 90 book club groups, a figure that has skyrocketed from just 16 a few years ago. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

WANTABADGERY: Lauren Goldsworthy on the family farm with her dog, Tim, nearly one year after receiving a double lung transplant. Picture: Supplied

COLEAMBALLY: An aerial shot of the cotton harvest at the Murrumbidgee Shire Community Demonstration Farm. Picture: Lynn Walsh.

LEETON: Whitton-Murrami Public School students Jessica Eldridge (left) and Jake Wynn with P&C president Linda Newman preparing for the Christmas hams raffle.

BOWRAL: Soul Warmers Cafe co-ordinator Karen Williams with the Soul the teddy bear at a fundraiser for homelessness in the Southern Highlands. Photo by Emily Bennett/Southern Highland News

BRAIDWOOD: Kiah Drue Ecclestone in her film in the finals of a National Short Film Competition. Kiah is home educated and produced the film by herself. The film was about “Every movie matters, whether you think it’s boring or fun. Don’t steal movies because you won’t like the consequences.” Braidwood Times

COOMA: Cooma took a stand against a violence against women with a march in Cooma’s Centennial Park and CBD for White Ribbon Day. Photo: Cooma-Monaro Express.

GOULBURN: A fire at South Goulburn last Friday burnt over 60 hectares and blocked traffic on the Hume Highway for hours. Photo Darryl Fernance.

WINDELLAMA: Ambulance personnel conduct triage at the accident site, grading the injured as red label (life threatening injury), yellow label (serious but not life-threatening) and green label (ambulatory and lesser injuries). Photos supplied by NSW Ambulance

QUEANBEYAN: Jeremy Tran of Queanbeyan enjoyed the The QBN Gift’s Street Party. Photo Gemma Varcoe.

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Wedding photographer accused of pawning high-end equipment denied bail

A wedding photographer charged over a string of alleged frauds involving the pawning of high-end photographic equipment worth $176,000 has been denied bail.
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Mark David Jones, 47, appeared in Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday charged with nine counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

Police allege between July 2013 and May 2015, Mr Jones hired expensive high-end photographic equipment from a range of companies on at least nine occasions.

It’s alleged the Castle Hill man pawned the equipment shortly after hiring it, and through a range of methods deceived the hire companies into believing he was a genuine customer who was still in possession of the equipment.

The nine offences during this time amounted to more than $176,000, the court heard.

The court heard Mr Jones moved to Australia from the UK in 1992 and may still posses a UK drivers’ licence. However, Mr Jones told the court he no longer has a UK passport and would surrender his Australian passport if granted bail.

But the magistrate found he posed an “unacceptable risk” of failing to appear in court and refused bail, saying the charges are “extremely serious”. Mr Jones will appear in Central Local Court on Wednesday.

Police say their investigation continues and further charges are likely. Queensland police are also investigating the matter.

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Brandis attacks Ian Macfarlane for Nationals defection, Shorten says switch is first visible fault line in Turnbull government

Former Liberal minister Ian Macfarlane holds up an ALP membership form, sent to him during Question Time on Thursday. Photo: Alex EllinghausenAttorney-General George Brandis has attacked Ian Macfarlane for defecting to the Nationals Party last week, saying his colleague’s attempt to game the system has left a “very bad taste in people’s mouths.”
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It is one of the most high-profile attacks from the Coalition on Macfarlane in recent days, as the fallout continues from his shock defection from the Liberal Party that has left the Turnbull government in disarray.

Senator Brandis on Sunday accused Mr Macfarlane of trying to “game the system,” saying no “backbencher” should be able to force a cabinet reshuffle on Prime Minister Turnbull just by swapping parties.

“I don’t believe that Mr Macfarlane should have done what he did,” Senator Brandis said on Channel Ten’s Bolt Report on Sunday.

“I think it’s left a very bad taste in people’s mouths, the way in which this has been done.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has described the former Liberal minister’s defection to the Nationals as “the first visible fault line” in the Turnbull government.

Mr Shorten says Mr Macfarlane’s shock switch to the junior Coalition partner was in some ways “an even bigger crisis” for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull than the controversy over his Special Minister of State Mal Brough.

“Sooner or later Malcolm Turnbull will have to make a decision about Mal Brough. This guy’s teetering on the edge,” Mr Shorten said in an interview the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

“But the Ian Macfarlane issue goes to deeper disunity within the Liberal Party.”

The recriminations in the government continued at the weekend with the former industry minister forced to deny he’d told Mr Turnbull he would stay if he was reinstated to the front bench.

Mr Macfarlane, the representative for Groom, is actually a member of Queensland’s Liberal National Party but is seeking local endorsement to switch from the Liberal party room to the Nationals party room after he was dumped from Mr Turnbull’s ministry.

It also emerged that Mr Turnbull had pulled out of a fundraising event he was scheduled to attend with Macfarlane on Sunday.

Mr Shorten told Insiders that since the leadership change, the Prime Minister had “run the line that I could get right of the previous leader and everything’s fine” when all the while his Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss had been in talks with Mr Macfarlane behind the scenes.

“Your Deputy Prime Minister has been negotiating with an unhappy former Liberal minister to change parties,” Mr Shorten said.

“Now, maybe people think that’s just the way of politics. But if your Deputy Prime Minister knows that this is going to embarrass the leader Malcolm Turnbull, and it clearly is embarrassing, if he knows it’s going to make Malcolm Turnbull angry, and it clearly has … there’s a real issue there.”

He said Mr Turnbull would face a test in whether he gave in and returned Mr Macfarlane to cabinet, a decision that could “make all the younger Liberals very angry”.

“Now, I’m sure they will be working overtime to paper over the cracks, but this is the first visible fault line of a government which is bitterly divided,” Mr Shorten said.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told Sky News’ Australian Agenda on Sunday it had been “a difficult week” for the government, which is also under pressure from Labor over Mr Brough’s involvement in the Peter Slipper affair.

On Mr Macfarlane’s defection, he said the Member for Groom’s preselection had been “ratified on the basis he was sitting in the Liberal Party room” and it was by no means a “fait accompli” that he could transfer to the Nationals as that would have to be approved by the LNP state executive.

“Potentially other people would have sought preselection if they knew that it was going to be a National Party seat or an LNP seat resulting in that person sitting in the National Party party room,” Mr Dutton said.

with Gareth Hutchens

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IPART rate call blasted by RAMROC

UPSET: Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils chairman Terry Hogan has blasted the 1.8 per cent rate rise for councils next financial year.
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THE Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s decision to cap NSW council rate increases by only 1.8 per cent next financial year has been slammed by one of the region’s most senior local government figures.

Former Jerilderie Shire mayor andRiverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils chairman TerryHogan said the figure wasludicrous andbased on flawed methodology.

He said thedecision would continueto tear away at the financial fabric of councils at a time when some were heading for mergers.

Albury Council rates have risen2.4 per cent this financial year.

“Forthe past 38 years state governments of all political persuasions have implemented rate pegging,which is nothing more than an ongoing political ploy, because state governments over time havesimply wanted to gain favour with the general public,” Cr Hogan said.

“In reality, what rate pegging has achieved over those 38 years is to erode the revenue base of councils.

“On the other hand, state taxes over that same time have increased exponentially.

“When the GSTwas introduced in 2000, it was specifically designed to phase out a number of state taxes, dutiesand levies, including stamp duty.

“Of course, these taxes have never been fully phased out.”

Cr Hogan said smaller councils had little chance of being “Fit for the Future” if they could only raise rates by 1.8 per cent.

The decision also didn’t factor infederal government-imposed freeze on the indexation of financial assistance grants.

“Unfortunately, the IPART methodology does not even take these revenue shortfalls into account,” he said.

Cr Hogan said a mid-sized council in the region would only yield an additional $78,000 in general rate income from a1.8 per cent increase.

Albury mayor Henk van de Ven said his council would accept the decision.

“If there is any other in budgetary and wage increases above this figure across the whole of government is when I would get upset,” he said.

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#TBT GALLERY: Daily Liberal December 1989 – Part 3Photos

#TBT GALLERY: Daily Liberal December 1989 – Part 3 | Photos Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.
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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Photos from the pages of the Daily Liberal in December 1989.

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Racing CEO announces North West’s achievers

Last race: More To It passes race favourite Too Many Lies just before the finish line in the BenchMark handicap.
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THE Mount Isa Race Club announced the best local and regionaljockeys, trainers and horses of the year during the Christmas at the Races event at Buchanan Parkon Saturday.

The awards were presented by Queensland Racing’s acting chief executive Ian Hall, who was visiting the clubs to learn firsthandthe local racing community’s concerns of the industry, and by State Member Rob Katter.

The North West Region’s trainer of the year was Denise Ballard.

The region’s jockey of the year was Aaron Spradau.

Spradau was also declared the local jockey.

Carry Me was the region’s horse of the year, owned and trained by Justin Bawden.

The local apprentice jockey was Tamara Ticknell.

Mount Isa’s trainer of the year was Patrick Inwood.

And the local horse of the year was Fortza, the Inwood trained horse that won the open handicap that day.

Fortza is owned by Janelle Montgomery, who said; “he was my find in a sale, which makes it special.

“He was my gamble.”

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Clues to saving Barrier Reef could come from coral thriving in warming oceans

Scientists are investigating how corals like this can withstand the ravages of global warming. Photo: Western Australian Museum Braving the elements: porites corals like this might save reefs. Photo: Western Australian Museum
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Bonaparte Archipelago has some of the most heat-tolerant corals in the world. Photo: Western Australian Museum

While warming oceans are putting much of the Great Barrier Reef under serious threat, some coral is actually flourishing under these tough conditions.

Little-known reefs off the coast of north-western Australia have shown extraordinary resilience and are thriving, scientists have discovered.

The extraordinary resilience of the colourful corals of the Bonaparte Archipelago, a string of several hundred small islands and submerged banks off the Kimberley coast, might offer a solution to struggling reefs elsewhere, said lead researcher Zoe Richards of the Western Australian Museum.

The local reefs and islets, created as a result of rising seas thousands of years ago, are in an intertidal zone with huge tidal movements of up to eight metres that exposes the corals at low spring tide for more than three hours and then entirely submerges them during high tide.

“This is part of the reason why the corals are so tolerant to heat stress,” Dr Richards explained.

“One minute they are out of the water exposed to the sun then the next they are submerged, surrounded by sediment-laden water which is ripping around really fast in the current. So, corals growing on these reefs have become accustomed to change and have grown to tolerate a wider range of conditions than those in more stable sub-tidal environments.”

Being relatively close to the centre of marine biodiversity of Indonesia, this coral community probably gets replenished from there, she added. “In addition, there are no large urban centres or agricultural developments nearby – so the waters are near-pristine with little water pollution,” Dr Richards said.

She is investigating other possible reasons for the corals’ resilience. These include an abundance of photo-protective pigments that reflect light at low tide, the secretion of mucous that acts as a natural sunscreen and the existence of symbiotic partners, such as the micro-organism cyanobacteria, which can handle the heat.

“It may also be that the Bonaparte corals may feed on small particles in the water at high tide and reduce their metabolic rate during low tide,” Dr Richards said.

Finally, she said, high levels of sediment in the water may help offset some of the light stress while the strong currents help the water to mix.

“The Kimberley corals provide hope that corals may be able to adapt to warming environments – and the opportunity to further explore what traits enhance stress resistance,” Dr Richards said.

“Armed with this knowledge, we can further explore whether stress tolerance can be boosted or bred into corals from other areas, such as the Great Barrier Reef, which is highly susceptible to climate change.”

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Taylor Swift in Brisbane: flawless beyond her 26 years

Taylor Swift performs during her ‘1989’ World Tour. Photo: Mark MetcalfeTaylor Swift had a blank space, baby, and on Saturday night, she wrote Brisbane’s name.
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The 1989 World Tour hit Suncorp Stadium in a blaze of colour, energy and an endless array of midriff-baring costumery before tens of thousands who packed the venue to worship at the altar of T.Swift.

“Good evening Brisbane, I’m Taylor,” she told the adoring crowd, before going on to add, “and I was born in 1989.”

Glad we got that one cleared up early.

At a stadium where the most fervent support is usually reserved for Queensland’s state of origin team, the American songstress inspired equally ardent devotion.

It was in Brisbane late last decade where she played her first Australian gig as a teenager, she told the crowd, at “a small bar”, about as stark a contrast you could find to the stadium spectacular of her 2015 return to the city.

That “small bar” was the Tivoli, in a tour that came on the back of her first international number one, the Romeo and Juliet-inspired Love Story, which she said on Saturday night, she wrote on her bedroom floor as a 17-year-old.

The country-style song that reached number one in 2008 made Saturday night’s set list late in the piece, and while well received, was clearly demonstrative of how far the singer’s style had evolved from her Nashville roots to the pure pop of last year’s 1989.

And it was that pure pop, or one song in particular, everyone in the crowd came to see.

The mega hit Shake it Off was delivered in a spectacular blaze of colour and energy, that had the entire crowd on its feet, shaking it off with her.

The 178 centimetre singer who almost singlehandedly brought back the high waisted short shorts had clearly inspired a legion of women in the crowd, many of whom were bopping along in their own Swift-esque shorts and crop top combinations.

It was a song that clearly demonstrated the culmination of the pop princess’s evolution.

From the youthful optimism of Love Story, which just didn’t seem to quite fit any more, to 2012’s assertive We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together to Bad Blood from 1989, an ode to the betrayal of a friend, Swift has, like Pink before her, clearly chosen her own path, and it’s one that speaks to legions of fans of all ages.

The hordes of primary school girls and teenagers in the crowd, numbers of whom suggest the singer’s Brisbane concert numbers would have halved had it been held on a school night, clearly demonstrate the widespread appeal of her new pop style alone.

But her willingness to use her own heartbreak as inspiration for her songwriting, and then, by way of Shake it Off deliver a big, “I don’t give a shit what you think” has propelled her into a new stratosphere of power.

It’s one that clearly resonates with her largely female fan base. At just a week shy of her 26th birthday, the singer is already an almost unparalleled force in the performance world.

Her almost flawless stadium show belies a maturity well beyond her years and her lack of ego clearly contributes to the ardent fandom she enjoys.

It’s a magnetism that makes it hard to imagine her star will do anything but continue to rise. Sadly for many, this may mean her days of performing at the Tivoli may never come again.

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Bikers for Kids Toy Run, Santa Fun Run 2015 | photos

Bikers for Kids Toy Run, Santa Fun Run 2015 | photos Newcastle Bikers for Kids annual toy run at Newcastle Foreshore on December 6, 2015. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
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TweetFacebook Bikers for Kids Toy Run and the Variety Santa Fun Run.Pictures from the Bikers for Kids Toy Run and the Variety Santa Fun Run, both held in Newcastle on December 6.BIKERS and cannon fire might not seem like traditional Christmas fare, but the annual Toy Run that kicked off in Newcastle on Sunday helps bring the season alive for Hunter children in need.

On-lookers liningthe harbour as the 38thannual Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run thundered past.

Each year about 10,000 leather-clad motorcyclists ride from Stockton to the Newcastle Foreshore donating gifts to the Salvation Army, an Sunday was no different.

Last year the event made $97,000, which goes toward vouchers of about $150 that parents can use to buy presents for their children.

A short walk down the road, more than 2000 people donned a more time-honoured Christmas outfit, pulling on red hats and suits totake onthe five-kilometreVariety Santa Fun Run.

Starting at Harbour Square inHoneysuckle, the runners and walkerstook thescenic route along the harbour, part ofa bid to raise $250,000 to help sick, disadvantaged orspecial needs children.

Variety chief executive Tam Johnston said the run was “a hoot”.

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