Entertainment program added to outdoor dining precincts


Roving street
performers will bring cheer to three expanded outdoor dining precincts across
Geelong and Geelong West.

The City is
adding an entertainment program to its streetscape improvements in Pakington
Street, Yarra Street and Union Street, to enhance the experience of visitors
and encourage further dining and shopping activity.

New al fresco
dining areas were constructed this week in Pakington Street (between Autumn and
Preston streets), with diners already embracing the enhanced open-air
atmosphere.

Mayor Stephanie
Asher said the expanded outdoor dining areas and free entertainment provided
even more reasons for people to visit Geelong’s cultural and shopping
destinations.

The new al
fresco areas allow cafes and restaurants to expand their dining options, which
will help in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The addition
of musicians and street artists will further lift the atmosphere of the
precinct, encouraging visitors to linger and spend more time more eating and
shopping.

The City last
week received a $300,000 grant from the State Government under the OutdoorEating and Entertainment Package.

The funding was
allocated to councils that had experienced increased patronage at local
eateries and increased demand for outdoor dining infrastructure.

The grant will
support the ongoing provision of infrastructure in identified hospitality
precincts, further street-based activities including entertainment, and
campaigns to help draw people to these areas.

To complement
the increased dining opportunities, the roving street entertainment program
will entertain diners and pedestrians.

A program of
artists and locations will be released in the coming days.

The Government
funding will also allow the City to continue fast-tracking applications and
approvals for outdoor dining permits, and to continue waiving permit fees.

More than 70
temporary permits for new or extended al fresco areas have been issued by the
City since September 2020, with businesses embracing the chance to safely
expand.

There are now
more than 170 venues in Greater Geelong offering outdoor dining, hosting a
total of more than 2060 chairs.

This includes
venues supported by the City’s first outdoor dining activation in The Terrace,Ocean Grove, which is remaining in place until 18 April.

All outdoor
dining precincts will be promoted to residents and visitors through
co-ordinated campaigns, including It’s Our Backyard, which encourages the
Geelong community to think local first when seeking goods and services.

Details on It’s
Our Backyard can be found at https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/itsourbackyard/default.aspx

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Travel news latest: Four more countries added to UK ‘red list’



While its idyllic island of Zanzibar is packed with Russian tourists, Tanzania faces a Covid conundrum with a mysteriously absent president, writes Sarah Marshall.

Although many airlines will only carry travellers with a negative PCR test, Tanzania has no official requirements. Enticed by the promise of easy entry, guaranteed sunshine and slashed resort rates, a new type of tourist is appearing.

Several times a week, direct scheduled and charter flights from Moscow bring coachloads of Russian holidaymakers to Zanzibar. 

Response from locals is mixed. “Some arrive with a beer in each hand,” one guide joked to me. “But they keep us busy; we are grateful for that,” he quickly added.

Reports from other hoteliers I met were less favourable. One manager of a boutique beach resort in the north complained of non-guests trespassing onto the property and leaping into the pool; another, based in Stone Town, was concerned by the number of skimpy dressers walking through the historic streets of what is still a predominantly conservative Muslim society. 

Read the article in full.



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Fight to save century-old Queensland saleyard continues despite being added to heritage register


The fight to save a century-old saleyard south of Brisbane from redevelopment isn’t over, despite locals winning a battle for it to be heritage listed.

The Beaudesert Pig and Calf saleyard has been a meeting place for locals in the Scenic Rim since 1905 — the fortnightly event acting as more than a sale but a focal point for the community.

The saleyard was due to be demolished last year, as the space is included in the Scenic Rim Regional Council’s $8 million town redevelopment plans.

Those who attend the sales say the area’s rural culture and heritage will be lost if it is demolished, as urban development encroaches on the town just an hour outside of Brisbane.

A group of locals petitioned to save the saleyard, successfully getting it added to Queensland’s heritage register, but the council is set to appeal the listing in the Queensland Environment and Planning Court.

The exterior of the saleyard, which was built in 1905.(Supplied: Department of Environment and Science)

‘An icon that needs to be kept’

Peter Hayes is the operator of the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard and has been running sales there for about 30 years.

“I don’t think they’re listening to the people … if it changes, well it’s got to change, but I don’t think that’s what the people want,” Mr Hayes said.

“The local people were very excited and very happy the thing was going to be kept and restored.

Olivia Gilroy attended this week’s sale with her neighbour and said the saleyards were important for the elderly people living in the area.

“People look forward to it, it’s every two weeks, it’s on the calendar, it’s more than a sale, it’s a social thing, it’s a mental thing,” Ms Gilroy said.

A man in a hat talks into a microphone.
Beaudesert saleyard operator Peter Hayes has been working at the saleyard for three decades.(ABC News: Rachel McGhee)

Council to continue with appeal

Despite being one of the last of its kind, the Scenic Rim Regional Council is going ahead with plans to appeal the heritage listing.

To win, it must prove the saleyard does not meet the heritage criteria.

Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard.
Council is opposing the heritage listing.(Supplied: Department of Environment and Science)

Cliff Kroesen was the applicant on behalf of the community who put the saleyard case forward to the Queensland Heritage Council.

“For council to successfully appeal, they would need to satisfy the Planning and Environment Court that the saleyards do not have a strong or special association with the Beaudesert Farming Community,” he said.

“Given the extremely strong social connection that the saleyards have and the current focus on the mental wellbeing of primary producers, it would be quite difficult to mount any sort of convincing argument that the saleyards did not satisfy [the] criteria.”

‘Saleyard not safe’

Mayor Greg Christensen said parallel to the appeal, recent engineering reports found the site’s safety standards aren’t up to scratch.

He said an unintended consequence of the heritage listing could mean the end of operations at the saleyard.

“Very often a heritage-listed building cannot have any modification whatsoever because it adjusts the character of the building,” he said.

“Our initial engineering shows that in its current state, this building is not safe, or suitable, for ongoing use with livestock because it fails basic engineering needs, environmental needs and animal welfare needs.

“They’re pretty key issues for us as a region to meet our legal responsibility.”

Cr Christensen said he recognised the importance of the town’s rich rural culture and always planned to pay tribute to that through a memorial site in the town’s new development.

“We believe all of those aspects are important to carry forward and celebrate into the future, we just want to be able to do that in a way that is sustainable and legal in terms of how we have to manage the facility.”

He said if the sales can’t continue at the current site in future, they can be held at another location.

“We do have other operators who have expressed interest in providing that opportunity if it can’t continue in it’s current location.”

The significance of Beaudesert’s Pig and Calf Saleyard is outlined on the Queensland Heritage Register.

It said the saleyard is important surviving evidence of the region’s dairy and pig producing industries, which was one of the most prominent in Queensland in the 20th century.

From over 100 towns which reported holding regular pig and calf sales, purpose-built 20th century pig and calf saleyards are documented at 40 towns, and only nine are known to remain throughout the state.

Two sheep in a pen.
Sheep at the Beaudesert saleyard in Queensland’s Scenic Rim in February 25, 2021.(ABC News: Rachel McGhee)

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St. John’s wins on home court vs. Xavier


Julian Champagnie’s 21 points and 16 points and nine rebounds from Marcellus Earlington off the bench led host St. John’s to a 93-84 win over Xavier on Tuesday night in Queens, N.Y.

Point guard Posh Alexander added 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Red Storm (14-8 overall, 8-7 in Big East) and Rasheem Dunn had 17 points. St. John’s won its seventh in the past eight games.

The Red Storm led from the 9:43 mark of the first half on, and added to their lead in the second half. They went up 62-50 on an Alexander pass to Champagnie for a dunk, one of seven dunks for the St. Johns on the night.

Isaih Moore had three of the Red Storm’s slams in head coach Mike Anderson’s 400th career victory.

Zach Fremantle had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Colby Jones added 20 for Xavier (11-4, 4-4).

Earlington’s 3-pointer gave St. John’s a 65-52 lead, one of his four 3s. But the Musketeers stayed close, as Nate Johnson’s 3 made it 65-59 with 10:51 to play.

A key offensive rebound tip-in by Alexander gave St. John’s an 82-73 lead with 2:24 to play and a twisting layup from Champagnie, the Big East’s leading scorer, sealed the Red Storm’s win.

St. John’s took a 46-38 lead into halftime, leading by as many as 10 points during the first half. Earlington came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper, the long jump shot giving the Red Storm a 34-26 lead with 5:44 to play.

Xavier cut the lead back to two as Freemantle had 10 first-half points, but the play of the half came on an Alexander steal and transition lob to Champagnie for a dunk and a 44-35 St. John’s lead.

Champagnie had 12 first-half points for the Red Storm, with Alexander dishing out seven assists.

St. John’s ended Xavier’s 12-game winning streak in the overall series.

–Field Level Media

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Two AFL champions added to All-Australian selection panel


Two fresh faces have been added to the 2021 All-Australian selection panel.

Jude Bolton and Nick Riewoldt have accepted invitations to join the panel, while Luke Darcy has resigned to focus on his director role at the Western Bulldogs.

Bolton is a 325-game champion at the Sydney Swans, winning two premierships in 2005 and 2012.

Riewoldt, a five-time All-Australian, is St Kilda’s longest serving captain, booting 718 goals in 336 games.

Dual Adelaide premiership player Courtney Cramey and former Geelong captain Melissa Hickey were also added to the AFLW All-Australian selection committee.

AFL GM of Football Operations Steve Hocking said: “We look forward to Courtney, Jude, Melissa and Nick’s unique insights and perspectives on the game as members of the AFL and AFLW All Australian selection panels, respectively.

“Each player has enjoyed a decorated career in their own right and their success as players has them well-placed as selectors of men’s and women’s All Australian teams for years to come.

“On behalf of the AFL, I would also like to acknowledge and thank Luke for his contribution as a selector over a period of 10 years.”

AFLW All Australian Selection Panel

Nicole Livingstone (chair), Sarah Black, Courtney Cramey, Tim Harrington, Melissa Hickey, Steve Hocking, Sharelle McMahon, Kelli Underwood, Josh Vanderloo, Shelley Ware.

AFL All Australian Selection Panel

Gillon McLachlan (chair), Kevin Bartlett, Jude Bolton, Steve Hocking, Glen Jakovich, Chris Johnson, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson, Nick Riewoldt, Warren Tredrea.





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Four new high-risk exposure sites in Melbourne’s north added to growing list


Two swim centres, a bakery and a supermarket in Melbourne’s north have been added to a growing list of high-risk exposure sites on day two of Victoria’s five-day lockdown.

A positive case attended Elite Swimming Pascoe Vale on Monday, February 8, between 5pm and 6pm and the Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre, also in Pascoe Vale, between 4pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday, February 10.

The Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre in Pascoe Vale (pictured) and Elite Swimming Pascoe Vale have been added to a growing list of exposure sites.

A positive case also shopped at Woolworths at Broadmeadows Central on Tuesday, February 9 between 12.15pm and 12.30pm followed by a nearby Ferguson Plarre from 12.30pm to 12.45pm.

The four new exposure sites are listed as Tier 1, which means anyone who visited them during the times outlined must immediately test and isolate for 14 days regardless of the initial test result.

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SECOND CHANCE: Another White on Whitehaven long lunch added


Organisers from one of Australia’s most exclusive foodie experiences are offering a second opportunity for people to get involved in the dazzling event.

An insatiable appetite for the 2021 White on Whitehaven Long Lunch resulted in the event being booked out in just 28 hours.

Popular demand for the lunch on Whitehaven Beach has prompted organisers to release a second seating on Sunday May 30 – the day after the first seating.

Fish D’vine co-owner Kev Collins, who is hosting the event, said the record-breaking take-up of tickets proved Australian travellers were hungry for world-class food experiences at home.

“The response to White on Whitehaven has been amazing,” Mr Collins said.

“We had a three-year plan to grow this event and it’s taken just 28 hours to cement itself as one of Queensland’s must-do experiences.

“Those lucky enough to secure a ticket will be treated to renowned Fish D’vine mojitos, Laurenti Champagne, canapes and a fresh seafood station on arrival. We will then serve a delicious seafood buffet lunch, all COVID Safe, of course,” he said.

Previously held as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, this year the long lunch will be a stand-alone event.

The Clipper Race is held every two years and is due to take place again in 2022-23.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the sellout of the first event was a vote of confidence in the Whitsundays as a holiday destination.

“This is a great example of tourism rebuilding better with unique and engaging visitor experiences,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“It’s a wonderful outcome for White on Whitehaven to sellout and to be in a position to announce a second event to meet demand.

“We know unique events are always popular and important for supporting jobs and our economic recovery.”

Tickets are now on sale for the White on Whitehaven Long Lunch. Picture: Tourism Whitsundays

More stories:

Community’s insatiable appetite for food truck delights

7 places to beat the heat in Mackay this heatwave

Blooms on display for reopening of Mackay Orchid House

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Tash Wheeler said she was thrilled to see such a triumphant return for the long lunch.

Tickets are $399 per person and include:

– Transfers to and from Whitehaven Beach

– Mojitos, freshly shucked oysters, salmon sashimi and canapes on arrival

– Fresh Seafood and BBQ meat buffet lunch (delivered COVID Safe)

– Bottomless Laurenti Champagne, Australian wines, beer, sand soft drink

– Live entertainment

– Share dessert platters

For tickets and holiday packages, visit here.

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Captain Cook memorials in Britain added to ‘topple the racists’ list


The “Topple the Racists” list, compiled by the Stop Trump Coalition in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, has more than doubled in length since it was first published in June 2020, analysis by The Daily Telegraph found. Other monuments targeted by campaigners, who claim that Britain “must face the truth about its colonial past”, include the Oxford tribute to Cecil Rhodes and numerous statues of Robert Peel.

“James Cook invaded Australia just over 250 years ago. He claimed possession over the entire nation even though it clearly belonged to the people already there,” the coalition’s website reads.

“What followed was 250 years of genocidal activities and policies based on race that murdered thousands of women, men and children. Captain Cook symbolises racial oppression and violence. [The statues] must be removed.”

Captain James Cook in Hyde Park Sydney.

Captain James Cook in Hyde Park Sydney.Credit:Peter Braig

Robert Goodwill, the MP for Whitby and Scarborough – home to one of the statues and the Memorial Museum – said targeting the memorials was “completely ridiculous”.

“Captain Cook is one of the proudest sons of Whitby. The statue is one of our best-known landmarks, and the Captain Cook museum is one of our most popular tourist attractions,” he said.

“They’re trying to erase important aspects of our history, and we all need to study history and learn from any mistakes. There were things done in the name of the Empire that would not be acceptable now, but we don’t need to expunge them from history.”

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Tourists visit the seaside town in North Yorks from as far away as Australia to see the harbour from which Captain Cook first set sail on his voyage, Mr Goodwill added. “We’re proud of Captain Cook in Whitby, and we wouldn’t countenance any attempts to remove him from the history books.”

The statue, which was designed by sculptor John Tweed, has overlooked Whitby, where all four of Cook’s ships were built, since 1912.

Wetherspoons is understood not to have any plans to rename The Resolution, its Middlesbrough pub named after Cook’s flagship, as the pub chain believes that the link is entirely historical. A spokesman for the company said: “It goes without saying that slavery is abhorrent. We will examine any examples of historical connections which are brought to our attention, including The Resolution, and discuss with customers and staff.”

Polling commissioned by the BBC in 2002 resulted in Cook, who made the first recorded navigations of New Zealand and indigenous Australia, being ranked at number 12 in the corporation’s list of the 100 greatest Britons.

Under laws outlined by Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, statues, plaques and memorials will not be removed without a formal planning process, with prominent context being given for more controversial monuments. The new legislation will take effect in spring.

Telegraph, London

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Travel news latest: Concerns that Spain will be added to the UK’s ‘red list’



Ski industry bosses in France have revealed the financial impact that the prolonged closure of ski lifts is having on businesses.

According to reports from the Domaines Skiables de France (DSF) ski lift operators will miss out on at least €1 billion of business this season.

But the impact extends far beyond the lift systems. Popular après-ski destination La Folie Douce, which has restaurants and bars in eight mountain locations across France, hasn’t been able to welcome a single visitor since last March.

“The losses are almost 100 per cent” said general manager Artur Reversade, according to website challenges.fr.

It is a similar scenario for equipment rental shops. Sports 2000, a chain with ski shops in multiple resorts, reports business is down 90 per cent year on year.

Claude Jay, mayor of the Les Belleville which includes major resorts Saint Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, estimates that winter tourism “sustains between 350 and 400 shops and service providers” and generates “12,000 jobs,” in his region alone.

Resorts are still waiting to hear if lifts will be allowed to start turning at all this season: last week, the ban on their closure was extended until March.



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The Bachelor Added 5 New Contestants and Things Went South Fast – E! Online


Victoria: I just really didn’t like when you shut me down during conversation and I feel… 

Katie: Are you talking about today when you were calling Sarah names?

Victoria: When I said ‘the trash took itself out?’ I just would love an apology, because…

Katie: You’re not gonna get an apology.

Victoria: You told me to stop when I wasn’t done expressing myself. 

Katie: Expressing yourself and name-calling are two different things.

Victoria: Um, well, I can do whatever I want. And I can express myself with name-calling when I choose to. 

Katie: If that’s how you wanna express yourself and if you wanna be toxic and rude, go for it. 

Victoria: Yeah, and if you wanna express yourself with your dildo and think you’re ready for an engagement, you can do that. 



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