A woman has died following a head-on collision in Narre Warren North. The two-car collision occurred at Heatherton Road and Fairmont Court about 2.30p... Read More »
SINCE its return to Australia four years ago, Infiniti has gone about quietly making inroads into the Australian market.
Now, that is to be ramped up with plans for seven models to land by year’s end.
First cab off the rank is the Infiniti Q30, which the Japanese company calls an ‘active compact vehicle’, which the company expects to become the volume model.
The Q30 comes in three model grades with three engine choices.
Infiniti Q30 is available in three model grades; GT, Sport or Sport Premium. The Q30 Sport model sits 15mm lower than the GT, while individual suspension settings produce a distinctive ride and handling.
The Q30 cuts a dash with an edgy exterior.
Headlamps with a distinctive feline appearance flank Infiniti’s signature double-arch radiator grille; a thin A-pillar gives the driver a clearer three-quarter view; a coupe-like profile is emphasised by a sharp hip line crease and shallow glassed area extending to a crescent-cut rear.
The Q30 GT includes LED front foglamps, body-coloured and heated door mirrors, as well as satin chrome dual rectangular exhaust tips, while 18-inch alloy wheels add to the overall striking appearance.
Sport models feature different guards, gloss black grille and 19-inch alloy wheels. The rear bumper is differentiated by dark chrome dual rectangular exhaust finishers.
Interior designers chose high quality materials to create a modern-looking and luxurious cabin.
A super-soft, tactile material is used to line many of the surfaces, such as door trims and the centre armrest, to which occupants have most contact.
Dinamica, a new Italian suede-like material used increasingly in the high-fashion industry, has been applied to the roof-line and pillars, and Q30’s seats are upholstered in premium materials such as Nappa Leather and Alcantara.
The entry-level GT comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, while the Sport and Sport Premium are available with either a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine or 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel.
Prices start at $38,900, plus on-road costs ($42,875 estimated driveaway) for the 1.6-litre petrol GT, while the range-topping 2.2-litre diesel Sports Premium tips the scales at $54,900 ($59,335).
The free-revving turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine delivers 115 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque, resulting in acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds. Combined urban / highway fuel consumption is 6.0 litres per 100 km with carbon dioxide emissions of 139 g/km.
The 155 kW / 350 Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine powers the Q30 Sport and Sport Premium models to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. Fuel consumption is 6.3 litres per 100km with a CO2 output of 147 g/km.
The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel comes up with 125 kW of power and peak torque of 350 Nm from an accessible 1400 to 3400 rpm has fuel consumption rate of 5.2 litres per 100 km (with a CO2 output of 120 g/km).
This unit is used in the Q30 Sport and Sport Premium models clocking a respectable 8.3 seconds for the sprint from rest.
All models rely on a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, tuned especially to suit the Q30 offering near seamless up and down-shifts.
Space and practicality are not compromised by the coupe-like exterior; occupants and luggage enjoy some of the best in the segment, notably the 430-litre boot, which thanks to a wide aperture and square dimensions, easily takes two large suitcases, with 60:40 split-fold rear passenger seats freeing up even more room.
The Q30 interior has been engineered to minimise driver fatigue and deliver a high degree of comfort through a low level of noise, vibration and harshness in the cabin.
Aided by a rigid body shell, the extensive use of sound-absorbent materials and new audio technology, resulting in what we are told is a 10 per cent advantage over the competition in audibility at speeds of up to 120 km/h.
Added to this, in the 2.2-litre diesel variant, is a new Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) system, which emits sound waves through the four door speakers to counteract noises that may distract and fatigue the driver, such as low frequency booming from the engine.
In a run at launch through Sydney and to the south, this was particularly noticed in terms of cabin quietness of the diesel in comparison to its petrol counterpart – slightly unnerving if the presence of the ANC was unknown.
The two larger engine Q30s also benefit from Active Sound Control, which monitors the throttle pedal position, engine speed and road speed, and works to smooth out any variations in engine tone to project a pleasing sound under acceleration.
Infiniti Q30’s seats feature so-called ‘zero gravity seats’ have been engineered to match the curvature of the spine, providing a consistent level of support and minimising pressure on lower and upper back muscles, replacing the spinal curvature that many traditional seats force occupants to adopt with a more even alignment between chest and pelvis.
Extensive upper body support also spreads the occupants’ weight more evenly all the way up the chair.
This technology also is applied in the Sports seats fitted to the Q30 upper-level models.
The Infiniti holds a steady course on the road thanks to specially tuned shock absorbers, while the ride remains consistently smooth and comfortable.
Enhanced body stiffness, hence low NVH, plus responsive linear steering, deliver the driver a feeling of being in complete control.
The Brembo brake package was designed especially for Infiniti to give the Q30 a linear build-up of performance under hard braking, particularly from high speeds, and an overall progressive feel.
Light braking delivers a strong initial ‘bite’ and for emergencies ‘over delivers’, bringing the vehicle to a safe and immediate stop.
Active safety features include ABS anti-skid brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
The park brake is electronic. Driving assistance technology is offered in various forms across the Q30 range.
Included are forward collision warning with forward emergency braking, auto high beam assist, intelligent cruise control and intelligent park assist.
Drivers can tailor the Q30 to their preference through the Drive Mode Selector, offering Standard, Eco or Sport by changing engine and transmission settings to suit driving style – from instant urging to fuel saving somnambulance.
Infiniti’s own InTouch infotainment system, first introduced on the Q50, has been upgraded to give intuitive tablet-style operation by the driver via a 7.0-inch touch screen on the centre console.
A range of InTouch apps on offer are designed to make the journey safer and more enjoyable.
Key information is also displayed on the dashboard directly in front of the driver, while Bluetooth hands-free connectivity cuts down distractions for the person behind the wheel.
Australasian New Car Assessment Program praised Infiniti for making Autonomous Emergency Braking standard in the new Q30.
It has a five-star safety rating.
Built in a new multimillion dollar bespoke plant in Sunderland, UK, the Q30 stays true to the concept revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
It’s an in-house development designed and engineered to meet exacting Infiniti standards.
High-spec standard features are the name of the game with the Q30, the only option being a Bose Premium Sound system.
Infiniti offers a warranty of four years or 100,000km, while service intervals are 12 months or 25,000 kilometres
Infiniti Q30 1.6t GT $38,900 ($42,875, approx. driveaway)
Infiniti Q30 2.0t Sports $44,900 ($49,055)
Infiniti Q30 2.0t Sports, with Bose Sound, $45,900 ($50,085)
Infiniti Q30 2.2d Sports $46,900 ($52,145)
Infiniti Q30 2.2d Sports, with Bose Sound, $47,900 ($53,175)
Infiniti Q30 2.0t Sports Premium $52,900 ($57,295)
Infiniti Q30 2.2d Sports Premium $54,900 ($59,335)
Fishing has taken Paul Worsteling around the world.
“Fishing is not about fish,” he told the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Business Awards breakfast on Wednesday 24 August.
“Fishing is about place and faces.”
He’s seen baby bears in Alaska, a blue whale in Portland, Victoria, and killer wales with their babies off Exmouth, Western Australia.
In Papua New Guinea Mr Worsteling visited a village where the children had never seen a white person.
“I lifted up my top and showed them my belly,” he said.
“They started crying and ran into the jungle.”
He even met his wife, Cristy, through the hobby that he’s grown into a career spanning radio, television, books and two tackle shops.
Mr Worsteling grew up on a farm in Cranbourne and found his love for fishing when his dad put 500 fish into a dam.
“I went down there with a fishing pole because I just wanted to see what was under that water,” he said.
“I couldn’t physically see the fish unless I actually caught them.
“I became a fishing text book guru.”
He caught his first fish on a school camp, made friends with a neighbour with a boat, and joined Cranbourne Angling Club.
There he met a guy with plans to open a tackle shop and volunteered to help him set up.
Mr Worsteling bought the business on 9 September 1996, aged 22.
To build its profile he wrote articles for fishing magazines, gave fishing reports on radio and offered fishing guru Rex Hunt advice.
In 2000 Mr Worsteling organised a fish trip for Rex’s Fishing Adventures television program. It was the start of a four-year stint on the show.
“It definitely brought people into my business,” he said.
The show came to an end and Mr Worsteling got the opportunity to make his own, IFISH.
He films 30 half-hour and 10 hour-long episodes each year and spends up to 40 weeks a year filming around the world.
“It has done what I hoped it would do for my business,” he said.
His top business advice was “always strike while the iron is hot”.
“Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today,” he said.
He said word of mouth couldn’t be beaten and good staff was any company’s greatest asset.
“I like to rule with a feather duster,” he said.
“We respect each other and get the best out of each other.”
Mr Worsteling said the world constantly changed so business owners should always consider the future.
“And sharing is caring,” he said, referring to social media.
THE Casey Cavaliers are no strangers to achieving incredible things in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Stewart Baird’s Big V basketball Division 1 men’s side last Sunday afternoon defeated a Blackburn Vikings outfit that had won a staggering 22 games in a row prior. Their last loss came way back in the opening round of the season against fellow powerhouse Warrnambool, but in Sunday’s preliminary final Baird’s men won the battle of attrition.
In front of a crowd that spilled well beyond the available seats on Court 4 at the State Basketball Centre, the Cavs won a brilliantly entertaining, yet physical, contest 85-77.
Big man Dean Johnson got off to a strong start in the paint – both offensively and defensively – in the opening stanza but the Cavs couldn’t break free of the Vikings despite going at nearly 54 per cent shooting from the floor. The home team got out in transition at every opportunity – with six more field goal attempts for the game, and 11 more shots at the charity stripe.
After leading by just three at quarter time, the Cavs found themselves down six early in the second as the Vikings pushed the tempo to new levels.
But as the quarter wore on, the visitors began to match them in that area with strong rebounding leading to quick outlet passes and fast break buckets of their own. All told, they restricted Blackburn to just two offensive boards for the quarter.
In a physical battle, Ben Louis was again outstanding on Vikings star Brendan Trewella, who finished the game with 23 points but on just 3-10 from the field.
In a sign of the physical intensity of the game in the first half, only one three point attempt was made from the two sides combined.
After leading by four at the main break, Blackburn jumped ahead by eight early in the third before Casey guard Mitch Chapman – who, along with a host of other Cavs players, had battled illness during the week – sprung to life. He finished with 20 points for the contest on 50 per cent shooting including 2-3 from downtown. He was the visitors’ barometer, particularly after Blackburn guard Nick George went down with a left knee injury in the third.
The Cavs led by a point with a quarter left to play before ultimately prevailing by eight points thanks to standout efforts from Brent Hobba (18 points, 10 boards) and Matt Witherden (11 points, 13 boards, 5 assists and 2 blocks).
“I’m really proud of the boys,” Baird said after the final buzzer.
“They’re a great shooting team but we’ve really focussed the last month on just challenging every shot on the floor – no matter how far away you are, go and challenge that shot.
“The other thing we spoke about pre-game and at practice was that all the pressure was at their at end – 22 wins in a row. We’ve been in that position – we walked into a finals series last year having won 17 on the trot and coughed it up, so we know that sort of pressure.
“We knew that if we could hang with them or even put a bit of a lead on the board that it would impact them mentally.”
The next task – Warrnambool in a best of three game grand final series, beginning at Cranbourne this Sunday at 1.30pm.
The Seahawks haven’t lost at home all season, and the Cavs will need to find a way to change that if they’re to win the Division 1 title.
“Getting the home one is going to be very important for us because down there they’re tough as hell,” Baird acknowledged.
“I don’t think they’ve lost at home, so we need to get the home one and put some pressure them. It’s a three-game grand final series so anything can happen.”
The Cavs’ Division 2 women’s side begins its own grand final series this weekend as well, traveling to Melbourne University to take on the home side from 7pm on Saturday. Game two is back at Cranbourne at 7.30pm on 3 September, with the third game (if needed) also at Cranbourne from 12.30pm the following day.
Councillors launch counter attack over plans to close station…
Casey councillors are outraged over a trial closure of Endeavour Hills police station’s front counter on weekend nights.
Once touted as a 24/7 police station, the station will be closed to the public at 5pm rather than 11pm on weekends, but police patrols on those nights will be increased.
Councillor Louise Berkelmans, who heads the council’s community safety committee, said the “desperate” move showed that police resources were stretched thin in Casey.
“They are so desperate to get more police on the streets in Casey. They’ve got to the point they have not got a choice.”
Councillor Rafal Kaplon said: “How much can you continually rejig existing resources?”
He said the council had repeatedly lobbied for the State Government to increase police numbers due to crime rates soaring by 19 per cent in the past year.
According to Crime Statistics Agency figures, crime rose in Endeavour Hills in 2015-’16 by 45 per cent, Doveton by 22 per cent and Hallam by 11 per cent.
Full-time equivalent police positions stationed in Casey are two less than in November 2014 – when the State Government took office.
Police said a review found low numbers of public attendances and phone calls to Endeavour Hills station, particularly on weekends.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the trial was about getting “more police on the road” to respond to calls and proactively prevent crime.
“The trial will see additional police patrolling on weekends for longer, not less.
“As the Chief Commissioner has clearly stated, he’d rather see police working out in the community instead of filling out paperwork behind a counter.”
Acting Senior Sergeant Carolyn Hill, of Endeavour Hills police, said most people who attended the station required documents to be signed.
“There’s still a counter service available to sign documents on weekdays and weekend days, as well as (on weekend nights) at Dandenong and Narre Warren stations.
“The whole community is getting a better service with that extra police resource on the road.”
Opposition police spokesman Edward O’Donohue said Victorians were “rightly concerned” by the “out of control” spate of carjackings, home invasions, drive-by shootings and gang violence, he said.
“When will Daniel Andrews acknowledge there is a frontline police numbers crisis in Casey and across Victoria before further stations have to close or have their opening hours cut?”
The station’s weekday public opening hours of 7am to 11pm are unchanged.
During times when the station’s counter is closed, phone calls will be diverted to Narre Warren police station’s 24-hour counter service.
For urgent police assistance, the public is advised to call triple zero.
Police say the trial will be evaluated at the end of the year.
A SPECIAL ceremony will take place on Sunday morning to unveil memorial stones in honour of Australian service personnel.
Pakenham RSL plans to erect seven stones beside the Pakenham cenotaph over two stages in recognition of those who have served or fought overseas since World War II.
The first three stones represent the Korea, Malaya and Indonesia (Far East Strategic Reserve), and Vietnam wars, while the remainder expect to be installed by late next year to honour those who served in peace keeping efforts in Somalia, East Timor and Iran, and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The line of stones will serve as a commemorative walk for service personnel, their families and the general public to pay their respects.
The unveiling ceremony will take place at 11.30am on Sunday 28 August at the Pakenham cenotaph, with guest speaker military historian Marcus Fielding and speeches from Australian war veterans from each of the three conflicts.
Lunch and refreshments will be served following the ceremony at the Pakenham RSL Hall, corner James Street and Snodgrass Street, Pakenham.