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NSW Fire and Rescue is responding to incidents relating to a storm in the Lake Macquarie area

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

10,000 homes blacked out, gas leak in Stockton, fires in Dungog Just thought we would share this picture my 16yr old daughter, Emma-Lee Webster from Blackalls Park, took whilst she was visiting at Cameron Park on Sunday afternoon.
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Lightning strike at Broadmeadow. Pic by Craig Smith, Twitter.

Merewether. Pic by Sally Ryan.

Lightning strike at Carrington. Pic by Jane Bourke-HuntCarrington

Maitland. Pic by Graham Harrison.

Newcastle, pic by JackNewtonCC.

Lightening strike over Pulbah Island. Pic David Jones.

Pic by Jay Small.

Pic by Justin Martin.

Pic by Darren Pateman.

Pic by Darren Pateman.

Pic by Darren Pateman.

Pic by Darren Pateman.

Merewether Baths. Pic by Dayne Steggles.

Pic by Alister Cant.

Pic by Alister Cant.

Pic by Michelle Faithful.

Pic by Jackie Sidney.

TweetFacebookUPDATE:A high pressure gas main is leaking at Stockton Hospital. HAZMAT and firefighters are in attendance. There are no evacuations.

In Dungog, 15 hectares are alight at Sugarloaf Rd, after a lightning strike. The Rural Fire Service is in attendance.

Rain has bucketed down in Newcastle between 7pm and 8pm Sunday.

Wallsend Bowling Club recorded 17mm, Macquarie College 19mm, Lookout Rd 15mm, Lambton Rd 16mm and Merewether pump station 12mm.

A severe weather warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology has been cancelled.

8pm:AUSGRIDhas confirmed that power has been cut to about 10,000 homes and businesses in the Hunter. Emergency crews are working to get supply back.

It is trying to restore power to homes but said because there was a total fire ban in place they would be required to patrol the entire length of power lines.This is to make sure everything is completely safe before the power is turned back on.

The SES has responded to 22 calls for assistance, mostly relating to leaking roofs.

Blackout breakdown

Swansea 3000 homes without power

Thornton 1000

Caves Beach 1700

Marks Point 900

Nords Wharfs 400

Pelican 400

7.15pm:A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman says firefighters are “flat out” in the Hunter responding to small fires from lightning strikes, including at Minmi, Tomago and Tarro.

They are en route to reports of a power pole which has caught alight in Shortland.

More to come

OPINION: Craig Wilson say businesses must go online or risk failure

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

A RECENT survey conducted by the Hunter Research Foundation shows that only 57per cent of companies questioned have a dedicated website, while just 37per cent of companies use social media to market their business.
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Despite more than 70per cent of the companies surveyed using the internet to conduct business-related research and to buy goods and services, companies are still failing to use this same technology to enhance their own business.

In 2015 the need to have a serious digital marketing strategy will be more crucial than ever. Here are seven things you need to do now to compete and thrive.

1. Get serious about online

Your customers start their search for a product or service online. They want the best information available immediately. If they can buy or inquire online, they will. If they need to physically visit your location to do business with you, then:

a. You’d better hope your competitors are in the same boat.

b. You must give them enough information online to ensure they make it to your fine establishment, or your competitors will.

Unless you get really serious about online and make it central to your plans, you can start considering new career options.

2. Create great content

Potential customers aren’t looking for you; they’re looking for answers and solutions. They don’t Google “your name”, they search for “the solution your service or product provides”.

They also trust the word-of-mouth effect of social media and are more likely to visit a site recommended to them by a “friend” online.

The key to all this is producing good content.

Good content offers solutions. It’s helpful and useful. Its not about your business, it’s about your customer’s potential needs. Good content gets shared online. It becomes popular. It tends to rank higher in search results. It speaks to the customer.

You need to produce good content on your website regularly. Static websites don’t deliver business.

3. Use social networks

Australians spend more time on social networks than any other country in the world. We like to share good information and social networks have made it easier than ever to share information at the click of a button.

At the very least, you should enable sharing buttons on your website so that visitors can easily share that great content you are hopefully producing.

To really get social, you need to set up accounts and dedicated pages for your business with Facebook, Twitter and probably LinkedIn. Then you have to work those accounts. There’s no escaping this … it has to be done.

4. Optimise your website for search

Being found online in search engines is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. You need to immediately start optimising multiple pages of your website for important industry search terms. The more they address needs and solutions the better. In my experience, search engine optimisation has been the single greatest contributor to business growth in the past decade and can provide a significant advantage over competitors.

5. Track conversion

Attracting traffic to your website is nice, but converting traffic into fans, inquiries and sales is even nicer. PDF downloads, newsletter subscriptions, inquiry forms, free trials … these can all work to help turn visitors into customers. But it only happens if you provide the right call to action. What are you doing to convert your traffic?

6. Think mobile

The smartphone is now ubiquitous. You need to pay serious consideration to how your business will compete with the growth of the mobile consumer. Is your website mobile friendly? Should you build apps? Is there a particular aspect of your business that is more suited to mobile that you can build upon?

7. Learn about inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is about attracting visitors and converting them to customers rather than the old advertising approach of blasting everyone with the hope of hitting some potentially interested buyers. Inbound leads to higher conversion rates and better use of your marketing budget. The more you think “inbound”, the more you will be acting like a modern web marketer.

Craig Wilson is managing director of digital marketing agency Sticky and co-founder of the DiG Festival.

Twitter: @mediahunter

Blog: mediahunter上海龙凤论坛m.au

Sydney’s heatwave nears record highs before rain brings relief

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Sea fog descends on Maroubra beach on Sunday. Photo: James AlcockParts of NSW sweltered through record high temperatures and severe fire danger on Sunday, with the hot weather lasting well into the afternoon.
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Most parts of the state will be in for a reprieve on Monday, although some parts of western Sydney and broader NSW can expect to continue suffering through the heat.

By mid-afternoon many parts of NSW were still suffering under temperatures that were getting close to hitting the November record of 46.6 degrees Celsius, before rain provided some relief.

Some children’s sports matches were cancelled as the high temperatures proved too much.

Richmond reached its highest November temperature since records began in 1939 about 3:30 pm, hitting 45.3 degrees.

At the same time, Penrith hit 44.9, and Cessnock Airport 44.5.

A spokesman for the Rural Fire Service said more than six water-bombing aircraft were used throughout the day to fight fires across the state, with three remaining at “watch and act” status by Sunday afternoon, but no property losses.

“Certainly, the temperatures have been way up there, along with the winds,” he said.

But while Sunday had seen seven total fire bans in place and a number of severe fire danger warnings, Monday was expected to have only one total fire ban, in the Dubbo area.

“Things are looking to back-off a little, and on the coastal areas things won’t be so hot,” he said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Peter Zmijewski said  the top temperature in the state was in the Wanaaring area, which reached 46 degrees.

“We won’t be seeing those widespread, very high temperatures [on Monday], although it will remain hot in some parts of the north-east of the state, around the north-west slopes and plains and the upper-Hunter,” he said.

On Monday, Sydney is expected to see a top of 30 degrees, with a 70 per cent chance of rain. Tuesday and Wednesday will see tops in the mid-20s, with a medium chance of rain.

Although parts of western Sydney would still see temperatures in the early to mid 30s, he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology had revised earlier predictions that inner and coastal Sydney would be hit with unusually high November temperatures on Sunday.

But people swimming in the eastern suburbs beaches were treated to another unusual sight – a strange sea fog that moved around the Coogee area for much of the day.

Mr Zmijewski said it was hard to know what was causing the fog, as it would usually occur further out to sea where it was not closely observed.

“Most of the time it is what we call a ‘steaming fog’, in other words some warm, moist air moving over cooler water,” he said. “It could also be caused by cold currents coming through”.

Edison Bayas, an under-13s coach for the Sydney Falcons, said some children’s soccer matches had been cancelled.

“It certainly was tough out there for the boys who played,” he said. “There were lots of ice-bucket challenges on the side-lines… but you can’t push it – it’s about the welfare of the children”. He said the rubber in the pitches made them easier to use in rain, but heated them up by several degrees in the heat.

Eric Myatt, the executive officer for the NSW District Cricket Association, said he had not heard of any children’s cricket matches being cancelled.

“We manage the games and just keep the drinks flowing,” he said. Umpires at each ground would call off matches if it got to hot, as well as using techniques such as spraying players on the field with water, he said.

Abbott’s $7 Medicare co-payment is on hold amid Senate ructions

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Not heard anything: Independent Senator Nick Xenophon assumes that the proposed Medicare co-payment is “on the backburner”. Photo: Quinn RooneyThe Abbott government’s $7 Medicare co-payment appears to be on hold, with crossbench senators saying they’ve had no recent discussions with the government about the controversial budget measure.
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With Parliament starting its final sitting fortnight of the year on Monday, the government is under pressure to snatch a legislative victory before Christmas, with its higher education reforms tipped to be the likeliest contender.

Cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss the year ahead. But the Abbott government faces perhaps even greater headaches getting legislation through the Upper House with Senator Jacqui Lambie expected to announce she will split from the Palmer United Party.

On the proposed $7 Medicare co-payment, key crossbench Senators Nick Xenophon, David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day all said they had not heard from the government lately on the issue.

“I just assume it’s on the backburner,” Senator Xenophon told Fairfax Media.

Senator Day likewise said he’d “not had any discussions lately”, while Senator Leyonhjelm told ABC’s Insiders program: “I haven’t had any discussions with [Health Minister] Peter Dutton’s office on that for quite a while now.”

A spokesman for Mr Dutton said that talks with the crossbenchers were “ongoing” but the government would “not provide a running commentary on these discussions”.

Labor on Sunday called on the government to rule out trying to push the co-payment through by regulation rather than legislation – a move it used to resume indexation on fuel excise and for its “future of financial advice” reforms before a last-ditch reversal by Senator Lambie and Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir.

Shadow Health Minister Catherine King said she wrote to Treasurer Joe Hockey last week demanding the government rule out “trying to sneak its GP tax in via the back door”.

Coalition sources meanwhile said there was concern in the ranks that Prime Minister Tony Abbott had not done enough to personally reach out to crossbenchers to win their support for contentious bills.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott retorted that “while we don’t comment on specifics of the Prime Minister’s schedule, discussions with crossbench senators are ongoing”.

Senate leader Eric Abetz will hold a briefing session for the crossbenchers on Monday morning to outline the government’s agenda for the final fortnight.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has indicated a willingness to compromise on his higher education reforms, though Senator Xenophon said on Sunday he could not see any breakthrough at present.

Among other changes, the reforms include the controversial abolition of caps on the fees universities can charge students.

On Monday, peak body Universities Australia will launch an advertising campaign to urge crossbench Senators to pass the reforms with amendments including reducing the cut to taxpayer funding to universities, keeping student loans at the low interest rate of inflation, and help for rural and poor students.

Complicating the task for the government, Senator Lambie is expected to quit the PUP after her spectacular falling out with leader Clive Palmer.

A spokesman said Senator Lambie would decide after consulting with “family friend and Tasmanian barrister” Glynn Williams, whom she was expecting to meet with late on Monday. Mr Williams is president of Poppy Growers Tasmania, which Senator Lambie supports, the spokesman said.

Hesitant buyers see properties passed in at auction

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

10/88 Alt Street Ashfield, didn’t go to auction. 279 Chalmers Street, Redfern, sold $90,000 over reserve for $1.19 million.
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2/225 Wardell Road in Dulwich Hill sold for $765,000.

Searing heat failed to thaw buyers’ cold feet in Sydney’s auction market at the weekend.

While some auctions were red hot, a noticeable chunk of the 870 Sydney homes listed to go under the hammer sold prior due to lack of buyer competition, with some auctions being postponed, passed-in or withdrawn.

Lack lustre registrations forced a last-minute auction cancellation of a basic, 45-square-metre unit at 10/88 Alt Street Ashfield. Despite the one-bedder needing minor cosmetic work, having a common balcony and being accessed by four flights of stairs, it was expected to sell because of the low price guide of $350,000 – $370,000.

Two first-home buyers due to register for the modest home pulled out just before 11am proceedings. Raine and Horne Ashfield agent Tony Andreacchio said the last time he cancelled an auction on the day was a decade ago.

“I was surprised with the no-shows,” he said.

“There were legitimate circumstances for the potential buyers to not participate; one was financial, the other was concern over the looming expiry lease.

“But surprisingly for this low-end, bargain price of the inner west market, we got very average numbers through with 21 group inspections and nine contracts issued.

“We’ve had other properties go through the roof but this one should still sell easily in the next two weeks because of the low price, parking and location, being a 10 minute walk to Ashfield Station.”

He said the vendors, who bought it in 2007 for $193,000, will relist the property on Monday morning for $375,000. After a minor cosmetic lift, the property would fetch between $375-$385 in rental return.

Many agents Domain spoke to during the week reported to selling prior or potentially postponing or cancelling auctions due to less competition.

Busy independent auctioneer Tom Panos blamed the recent drop in clearance rates on timing and too much choice.

“There are plenty of buyers and they are usually pickier during the year but now it’s all about getting their weekends back and some are waiting until next year to buy,” he said.

“The properties that tick all the boxes are doing exceptionally well but properties that only tick a few boxes only have one or two interested parties and not enough competition.

“Vendors are selling for less prior to auction because they are eager to get out before the year finishes.

“Normally my personal clearance rate is 90-95 per cent but this weekend I had two auctions in a row that didn’t sell which is very rare.

“Less people were attending open houses about seven weeks ago and now we are seeing more withdrawn auctions, properties being sold prior and auctions that are sold with the real estate agents grinding out a sale with just one bidder.

“This appears to be purely a result of demand and supply. Agents and vendors are all hopeful that when we restart auctions in February, the market will have the buoyancy of September and October of this year.”

Cooley Auctions head auctioneer Damien Cooley said he is also seeing this trend.

“No doubt the average number of bidders registering has reduced since winter due to the volume of property that has come on the market in November,” he said.

“Some suburbs have doubled, and some have tripled the number of properties on offer and buyers are spoiled for choice.

“There’s less likelihood more property will come on the market by the end of the year.

“The current stock has four to five weeks to sell but if they don’t they run the risk of being on the market in late January.”

While some properties struggled, there were solid performers too. A four-bedroom Victorian terrace at 279 Chalmers Street Redfern that sold $90,000 over reserve for $1.19 million and had seven registrations via Charles Touma of Belle Property Surry Hills.

A one bedroom, art-deco apartment at 2/225 Wardell Road in Dulwich Hill sold for $765,000 and had 18 bidders register via Ben Ayres of Raine and Horne Marrickville.

Swinburne University to get a new law school

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Swinburne University will start to enrol students in a new law course next year, adding to a crowded market for law degrees in Victoria.
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Dean of Swinburne Law School Dan Hunter said the university’s undergraduate course would focus on commercial law and would have an emphasis on students gaining practical experience in the field, something he said was lacking at other Victorian law schools.

“Our students will be trained in knowledge economy jobs and might not be going out into legal practice but could do a wide range of different things,” Professor Hunter said. “We want them to have the skills to thrive.”

He said Swinburne’s focus on science, technology and entrepreneurship would feed into the course’s approach, and students would learn about the sorts of legal questions facing technology start-ups such as tax concerns, incorporation and protecting intellectual property.

An oversupply of law graduates has flooded the crowded jobs market in recent years, with an Australian Financial Review analysis of enrolment data this year finding more than 12,000 people graduated from law degrees in 2012 in a field that comprises about 60,000 solicitor jobs.

In 2012, 69 per cent of law graduates were working in the legal field, but across all fields their total employment rate was higher than the average for other graduates.

Education Department figures obtained this year by the AFR show the number of domestic students enrolled in undergraduate law courses in Victoria in 2012 was about 7000, 27 per cent more than 2001’s figure. Student numbers at Victoria University, La Trobe University and Deakin University have doubled over that period.

Seven Victorian universities already offer law courses, but this 7000 figure does not include those enrolled in undergraduate courses at RMIT and Australian Catholic University.

The Swinburne Law School expects to enrol about 100 students.

Professor Hunter said, “We’re delighted to compete in that marketplace.”

“We’ll need to make sure the students are told they won’t necessarily go straight into the profession. They might do a range of other sort of jobs but we will train them for that,” he said.

Marque Lawyers managing partner Michael Bradley, a critic of the large number of people graduating from law schools, said Swinburne Law School’s focus could give its students an edge.

“It is an area law schools haven’t particularly focused on but those are areas graduates are expressing interest in – not surprisingly because that is where the economy is going,” he said.

Younger Newman twin peaks to snatch Queanbeyan Gift victory

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Thomas Newman (with trophy) and his identical twin Jack finished first and second in the Queanbeyan Gift. Photo: Melissa AdamsIdentical twin brothers Jack and Tom Newman are virtually inseparable, and wondered how good it would be to dead heat in the Queanbeyan Gift.
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That dream nearly became reality with Tom edging out his sibling by just 0.02 seconds to take the $12,000 winner’s cheque at Australia’s second-biggest handicap race in hot conditions on Sunday.

Tom, two minutes the junior of the 16-year-olds, beat his sibling for the first time to secure a victory he rated “the best moment of my life so far”.

He was the front marker of the race at 12 metres, and held off fast-finishing Jack (9.50 metres) and third-placed Zach Holdsworth (6.50 metres) to grab family bragging rights.

The twins hail from Largs in the Hunter Valley, a small town with a population of 1400 people.

“It’s usually the other way around, I’m the one coming second and he’s beating me,” Tom said.

“It’s good to change things up, but he’s always there pushing me and without him I probably wouldn’t have won this event today.

“Twelve thousand is a lot of money and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, probably throw it in the bank.

“It’s a good feeling knowing I can get him on one of the most important ones.”

Jack admitted there was plenty of banter with his brother before the race, but said he couldn’t ask for anyone better to beat him.

“I’m the oldest by two minutes. Every time I beat him he says it’s because I’m older,” he said.

“He’s been running fantastic and he deserves that cheque, I couldn’t think of anyone better to beat me.

“There was lots of trash talk coming down in the car, I can tell you that much.

“We were saying ‘wouldn’t it be great if we got a dead heat,and had to do a run off after that?'”

The brothers have been racing each other since they began Little Athletics aged six years and have been pushing each other to the limit ever since.

“We do everything together, it’s probably why we came first and second,” Jack said.

“We’d been going off raw talent until a couple of years ago when we thought we could go somewhere with this, and got some professional training with [Maitland coach] Bryan Gulliver.”

The women’s event was won by Perth-based beach sprinter Brittany Brymer (13.67 off 12 metres), after she finished third last year.

For the second straight year Sydney’s Ella Nelson was forced to settle for runner-up, with Nikki Venardos coming home third.

“It’s a long way to travel but the competition here is better than anything you can get in WA so you have to put the kilometres in,” Brymer said.

“I work at a clothes store so that pays my bills to get over here. Flights were about $600 and then there’s accommodation on top of that.

“It’s never cheap coming from interstate, but the extra competition is worth it.

“My number one goal is to make the Australian team in surf lifesaving and I’m working towards that.

Hunter mining investment set to collapse

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

INVESTMENT in mining is set to collapse by 40 per cent over the next four years, according to a new report by independent economic forecaster and industry analyst BIS Shrapnel.
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The Mining in Australia 2014 to 2029 report stated despite the fall, the mining sector would ‘‘continue to grow strongly in absolute terms, as well as in terms of its share of the national economy,’’ but that the shift away from investment and construction meant miners would experience low prices, high Australian dollar, weaker export demand growth and relatively high costs.

‘‘In terms of the mining investment bust, we have hardly begun – this has a long way to run,’’ Adrian Hart, senior manager of BIS Shrapnel’s Infrastructure and Mining Unit, said.

He said things were not looking particularly good for the Hunter Region with a risk the area would lose jobs as the mining production boom turned down.

He said a number of companies were starting to change their strategies and look into involvement in construction of infrastructure rather than mining production.

But Mr Hart said the pick up in production would occur elsewhere in the state, as it was becoming hard to get new projects off the ground and current projects were not looking to expand.

‘‘We have a weak outlook in investment in thermal coal, which will have the biggest impact on the Hunter Region,’’ he said.

He said Newcastle would still be a significant part of the thermal coal industry to Japan’s strong investor in the region through the port and mines.

‘‘The challenge will be in whether it grows significantly or just sustain current levels,’’ he said. ‘‘And it seems like it’s more likely to be the latter.

‘‘That means we’re not going to see the expansion of the T4 terminal for several years at least.’’

Pasminco clean-up complete

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Remediation of the old Pasminco lead works site at Boolaroo. Pasminco worker Robert Simmons pointing to work happening on the ‘Cell’ where contaminated soil is gathered .►Toxic Truth: More stories
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►Toxic truth: Archive

ELEVEN years after the Pasminco lead and zinc smelter closed, the site is up for sale and ready for a $750million redevelopment.

Remediation works on the site were complete, Pasminco administrator Ferrier Hodgson said.

Authorities say the clean-up is among the largest in Australia’s history.

The administrator gained NSW government approval to place 1.9million cubic metres of contaminated material in a 45-metre-high containment cell in a 19-hectare area on the site.

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‘‘We’re finalising the cell construction and capping works, which we hope to complete early next year,’’ Ferrier Hodgson director Richard Bastow said.

Colliers International is handling the sale of the site, to be known as Bunderra Estate.

Redevelopment, spanning 200 hectares, is planned to include 500 to 800 dwellings, new businesses, sporting fields and open space.

A Bunnings Warehouse has also been approved for the site.

And Pasminco land known as the ‘‘triangle paddock’’ had been sold to the Stevens Group, with a 90-lot residential subdivision planned there.

A $9million roundabout at the site would be done by Christmas, with an official opening in the new year, Mr Bastow said.

Cardiff Central, a 16-hectare section on the northern end of the Pasminco site, had been developed as an industrial estate.

‘‘Of 22 lots, we’ve sold all but six,’’ Mr Bastow said.

He said Ferrier Hodgson’s obligation had been to ‘‘remediate the site and try to recover money for Pasminco’s creditors, who are owed $2.6billion’’.

He said creditors had received 22¢ in the dollar and ‘‘the balance will be based on what we can sell the site for’’.

‘‘It’s not going to be much, given the stigma of it,’’ he said.

NSW Environment Protection Authority director of contaminated land and environmental health Craig Lamberton said it was ‘‘probably the largest clean-up program that’s happened in Australia’’.

‘‘That’s why we’re rather proud of it – we think it’s been a good turnaround,’’ Mr Lamberton said.

‘‘The site has been scraped back to rock, hazardous materials treated and taken off site and contaminants put into a large cell, which will be capped and turned into playing fields.

‘‘There’s still issues to negotiate about long-term management of the site, but it’s been a pretty big turnaround from 100 years of lead smelting.’’

Department of Planning documents show the cell has been designed to prevent contaminated material leaking or leaching.

The cell, to be constructed of non-permeable material, will also have a sophisticated drainage network built into its base.

No concern with the Ruff at the Australian Masters

04/12/2018 | 上海夜场 | Permalink

Everyone now knows that, on talent, Ryan Ruffels seems like Australian golf’s next big thing. But the way the 16-year-old carried himself on and off the course proved he also has the personality and mental strength to handle stardom in a sport that relies heavily on both. It would have been so easy for the rising amateur to be overawed playing with Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy on the first two days and all the media focus that came with it. Or conversely, fall off the radar over the weekend after the giddiness subsided. But Ruffels never had that let-down round, eventually finishing at three under. His play is as even as his demeanour, but it appears the Victorian also knows that the best golfers are those who give a bit more, and his insights through the media were exactly what the event needed in the absence of Adam Scott’s dominance. Expect to hear the “Ruff, Ruff, Ruff” chant, that began at Metropolitan with his 10-metre putt on the 18th on Friday, for many years to come.
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Records made to be broken

Considering the career-boosting tournament this has been for 18-year-old amateur Lucas Herbert, he probably won’t be shattered that it took just 24 hours for him to lose his exclusive hold on the course record at Metropolitan. He now shares it with Rhein Gibson, a professional from New South Wales, who equalled Herbert’s round of 65 on Sunday with an all-out attack that had a bit of everything – eight birdies, three bogeys and an eagle. It took him from one over par overnight (which would have earned him a cheque of about $5000) to  six under overall and equal fourth and about $40,000.. On Saturday, Herbert poured in nine birdies in his 65 that set a record because this is the first tournament using the club’s new layout. Herbert on Sunday threatened to become the first amateur to win the Masters when he was a joint leader early in the final round. However it fell apart when the Victorian registered three bogeys in four holes through the middle. Still, his performance, equal fifth overall, underlined the rise of Australian golf’s future this summer.

The one that keeps getting away

Having played the past two Australian Masters, Geoff Ogilvy will have to decide whether he attempts next year to claim the only triple crown title missing from his trophy cabinet. Much like Adam Scott, it was a strange week for Ogilvy. He stalked the field during the first three days with rounds of 69, 71 and 71 to be five under and three shots behind going into Sunday. You always thought he was coming. But then he never did. It was expected his class and experience in closing out in the final round (unmatched in this field except for Scott) would culminate in a Sunday surge that would give the unheralded names ahead of him the wobbles. However Ogilvy made it easier for the front-runners by never really giving himself a chance. He began his round with bogey on the third and then a six on the gettable 476-metre par 5 fourth (the third-easiest hole on the course) and he basically never fired a shot thereafter, eventually finishing at 75 for the day, 2 under overall and in equal 25th position.

All Wright … until the end

For much of the tournament, the thought of little-known 40-year-old Michael Wright completing a wire-to-wire victory over a field including Scott and Ogilvy was one that many people didn’t think was possible. We thought he might have got lucky on the first day, getting the best of the flukey winds that suited his game anyway. But he was still there after day two and by halfway through day three it seemed like he might have what it takes to win this event. He was honest with the media throughout about the mental battle he wages with himself when he has a club in his hands, and we can all relate to that at some level. It would have been a nice story. The winner’s cheque of $180,000 is chump change for the big names but would have meant plenty to a journeyman who revealed this week that he wasn’t in the financial position to fly his family to Melbourne to watch him play. As it turned out, the Queenslander never recovered from his nervous finish to the third round, when he and playing partner and day three leader Paul Spargo were warned for slow play and Wright carded four bogeys in his final eight holes. He tumbled down the leaderboard on Sunday with a round of 80 to finish  at one over, while Spargo ended up finishing equal  fifth on 281 after a final round of 73.