In the Ditch POMONA BOWLS ON Wednesday, the ladies tried a new concept of “scroungers”. This is a game of drawing to the jack and requires good co... Read More »
Audi R8 created quite a stir when launched in 2007 because it showcased the German giant’s winning ways in the ultra-tough Le Mans 24-hour race, not to mention the advantages of all-wheel drive.
The original sold for an amazingly long time in supercar terms but an all-new model was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and details of the Australian imports have just been finalised.
Right from the start the Audi A8’s styling was out of the ordinary, particularly in the area of the controversial blades, usually in contrasting colours, in front of the rear wheels.
Obviously the Audi styling guys and gals have decided that the blades should be part of the DNA so have continued with them, albeit in a slightly less aggressive form, in the new model.
The deeper intakes at their leading edges do give them a determinedly positive appearance.
The R8 arrived with a highly-tuned 4.2-litre V8 engine in 2007.
A couple of years later it was joined by a big V10 powerplant, a unit that was shared, in modified form, with Lamborghini.
Brute force is important in supercars so it comes as no surprise that the ‘mere’ V8 is no longer offered, Audi instead concentrating on the V10.
Formula One racers may have given up V10 engines in exchange for little turbo-petrol units but Audi reckons big displacement, 5.2-litre, naturally aspirated engines are the way to go.
In its new format the Audi R8 V10 plus model provides 610 horsepower, 449 kW, that launches it to 100 km/h in a staggering 3.2 seconds.
That catapult-like acceleration is partly due to the tremendous grip on the ground by the latest iteration of Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.
And partly because the V10 doesn’t suffer from the indignity of having to get past the lag created by a turbo engine.
Hit the loud pedal and the R8’s response is instantaneous.
The mid-mounted engine producing a delightful shriek that rises and falls as it responds to the lightning upshifts by the S tronic dual-clutch seven-speed auto.
A 540 horsepower (397 kW) V10 R8 will also come to Australia, obviously at a lower price.
It will be some time before pricing and full Australian specifications will be announced prior to the new R8s launch in 2016.
Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.
Audi hasn’t ruled out introducing a V8 engine, as in the original R8, though this seems to be very much on the back-burner.
Built in a dedicated factory at Heilbronn, Germany, the new Audi R8’s complex multi-material space-frame is 50 kg lighter than the already low-mass original model.
Part of this trimmed-down construction is due to the experience built up in a series of racing cars.
The new R8 weighs in at just 1450kg.
By the way, we anticipate seeing several Audi R8 LMS, built to the new GT3 racing regulations, among the leaders in the annual Bathurst 12-hour event at Bathurst in February 2016.
Keep an eye (pun intended) on the newly developed laser-light headlight system that doubles the range of standard high beams.
Advancement through technology has been Audi’s slogan for many years so it comes as no surprise that a petrol-electric R8 hybrid will be sold.
A claimed range of up to 450 kilometres in ideal conditions will make it usable in day-to-day life.
Audi is working hard on methods of reducing battery charge time, still the bugbear of any electric vehicle, be it pure electric or working as a hybrid complemented with a combustion engine.
Electric cars haven’t exactly been a hit in Australia, partly because our governments refuse to assist buyers in any way, so the hybrid may not come to us.
In any case, Audi may choose to build it only with the steering wheel on the left.
At this stage the all-new Audi R8 is offered only as a coupe; a convertible ‘spyder’ was produced in small numbers in the about to be superseded R8 and may be planned for this new generation. Spokesman for Audi Australia Shaun Cleary seems pretty keen on a spyder for our sunny land downunder.
We will keep in touch and, hopefully, let you know of good news on a new open-top R8.
For more information contact Audi Barry Bourke, 755 Princes Highway, Berwick. Phone 9707 2222.
AFTER a successful trial of companion therapy on a grieving resident with dementia, a team of Berwick aged care workers have been nationally recognised for their efforts.
The companion therapy team at Bupa Berwick Aged Care are finalists in this year’s national HESTA Aged Care Awards in the team innovation category.
Up against four other finalists, the awards recognise aged care providers who make an exceptional contribution to their residents’ quality of life.
Bupa Berwick’s Care Manager, Ling Pang said a resident living with dementia began exhibiting signs of grief and loss after his companion died and since the therapy had improved considerably.
“The resident’s anxiety and distress has reduced and his emotional needs are fulfilled because he feels useful and is experiencing companionship again,” Ms Pang explained.
Under close supervision with a general practitioner, care manager, team leader, carers and support staff the therapy brought out the residents joy of talking and laughing again.
“In addition to addressing the clinical needs of the resident the team also considered how they could address his emotional needs,” she said.
The winners will be announced in Canberra at the HESTA Aged Care Awards dinner on Thursday 27 August and the team innovation category winner will receive a $10,000 development grant.
“WE CAN’T assume kids can swim.”
Doveton College Principal Greg McMahon said many students at the college had never been to the beach.
“In classrooms we have to explain the concept of the beach and set the scene before discussing it,” he said.
It’s one of Victoria’s most disadvantaged suburbs and with a large and growing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community Mr McMahon explained many of the students at Doveton College come from land-locked countries and can’t swim.
“I think the first point of call is that every child in Australia should be able to swim – it’s a key essential given we are surrounded by water,” he said.
Taught in physical education classes at the college, water safety is still a big concern.
“Swimming lessons are taught from November to December next door at the Doveton Pool in the Park which is the only time we get access to the pool.
“A very small number of our students have the skill set to compete in the school swimming competitions and we want to build that but we are trying to teach many to swim full stop, which is floating and freestyle,” he said.
In Victoria swimming and water safety education is not mandatory in the school curriculum and Assistant Manager at Dandenong Oasis YMCA, Trudy Micallef said it’s something she wanted to see changed.
“A number of other states have compulsory swimming lessons in schools so the YMCA along with other organisations are lobbying the government to get swimming lessons a part of the education system,” Ms Micallef said.
With more than 10 years under her belt at the YMCA, Ms Micallef said because of Victoria’s different water ways such as rivers, lakes and surf beaches, ‘swim safety is paramount.’
“Due to the high CALD community in Dandenong and surrounding suburbs swimming lessons are of even greater importance.
“This doesn’t just apply to children but also to adults who haven’t grown up around water, I think parents in particular that can’t swim generally pass on that fear to their children.
“If parents have basic swimming and survival skills it’s going be easier for them to teach their own children to be safe in and around water,” she said.
A 2012 to 2013 study by Life Saving Victoria found one in three children leave primary school without the required swimming skills.
“The biggest hurdle is some children haven’t been in the water before and don’t understand movement in water and their progression is slower, so the earlier we can get them into lessons the better,” Ms Micallef said.
THE saying goes, the family that plays together stays together, and for the Geisler/Maitland family that has not only proven true but also brought them plenty of success.
Veronica Geisler and her brother Angus Maitland have just returned from competing in the Australian Darts championships in WA (not their first and definitely not their last).
Both were representing Victoria for the fourth time at the titles, with Angus talking his sister into trying for the team four years ago and the duo making it first try.
Making it to the top eight in the ladies’ event, it was the mixed doubles that saw Veronica, a TAB agent, shine this year.
The top Victorian female competitor, she was teamed with the top male and well-known Australian team member Geelong’s Eddie Sims this year.
The duo made it to the top four in the Mixed Doubles before being knocked out by Australian representatives and eventual winners Corrine Hammond and Mitchell Klegg from NSW.
Angus, a TAB technician, didn’t make the finals this year but finished on 27 in the averages with Veronica 20.
And darts is a real family affair for the dynamic duo, with their mother and older brother also playing with several of Veronica’s children also competing – in fact two will go up for the under 24 and under 18 Victorian team in the next few weeks looking to follow in their uncle and mother’s footsteps.
She said they played in competitions at the Springdale Heights Tavern, with Angus playing Premier League at St Ives.
UPDATE: Tuesday, 4 August
POLICE have arrested a Warburton man who allegedly attempted to burn down a tree in town last month.
Yarra Ranges Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) Detective Senior Constable Ian Brown told the Mail that police today arrested and charged a 39-year-old Warburton man with causing a fire in a country area with intent to cause damage.
The man was bailed and will appear at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on 11 December.
POLICE are calling for witnesses to come forward after an alleged arson attack on a tree in Warburton over the weekend.
At 4pm on Sunday 19 July, passers-by noticed a man trying to light a fire under a large pine tree in Dammans Road, Warburton.
Yarra Ranges Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) Detective Senior Constable Ian Brown said the man was seen carrying sticks and bark, placing it at the base of the tree, and setting it alight.
A couple passing by saw the male and spoke to him at the time, and Det Sen Const Brown said the man told the couple the tree was “not indigenous” and a “pest”.
He said the flames reached about eight metres high, but were quickly extinguished by the CFA, who responded after calls from witnesses.
Det Sen Const Brown said anyone who might have witnessed any suspicious behaviour, or who saw the man light the fire, should contact police or Crime Stoppers.
“It was a very public sort of area, especially on a Sunday afternoon, right by the Yarra River,” he said.
“There could have been a number of people that would have seen that.”
He said the man would have been at the scene of the crime for “at least 20 minutes” while he gathered materials for the fire.
The ex-captain of Warburton Fire Brigade also saw the man at the scene and spoke to him at the time, according to Det Sen Const Brown.
The man has been described as aged about 30-40 years old, Australian and Caucasian, with light hair sticking out underneath a black beanie, with a scabby or acne-scarred face and was about six feet tall.
Police have released a facial image of the man they would like to speak to in relation to the fire.
Det Sen Const Brown said the tree involved in the fire was “scarred” but would live.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to contact Yarra Ranges CIU on 9739 2300.
In this week’s edition of the Mail, a report on this arson attack listed the road as “Damons Road”. This is incorrect, and the correct spelling of the road is “Dammans Road”.
The Mail apologises for any inconvenience this error may have caused.
VWFL – DIVISION 1 AND 3
WINNING ways continued in the south-east as Cranbourne and Endeavour Hills fought against the torrid conditions to maintain top billing respectively.
Cranbourne had to push past Melbourne University – kicking four last-term goals to retain top billing in Division 1.
With the wind buffeting Casey Fields – even worse than usual at the windswept venue – skill was effectively thrown out the window as get-it-on-the-boot became the prevailing attitude through the first half.
The Eagles adjusted after the half to return to finesse footy – working their way against the wind to kick two goals and outscore the MUGARs before using a tailwind to rattle off the remaining majors and push through another triumph more importantly.
Cranbourne coach Kris Smith could only sum up the win with one word: ugly.
“We played ugly – ugly is the best word to use,” Smith said.
“I think we were scrappy – the wind was howling down at Cranbourne like I’ve never seen before – it’s pretty tough to get footy in that weather.
“We reversed what we weren’t doing right at half time and switched on a bit more in that third quarter.
“Even though we kicked into the wind we were smarter with the footy and with the wind at our backs in the last, it made it pretty easy to run away with it.”
Smith praised his young forwards Hayley Wildes (three goals), who continued an exceptional debut VWFL season, and Brittany Wood (two goals), who returned to the senior line-up after getting dropped recently.
“Brittany Wood was pretty good – dropped a couple of weeks ago and she went back and got some touch,” Smith said.
“She was really good down forward and it’s good to show that you can go down and gain some confidence and return to the senior side.”
In what could be an early grand final preview, first-placed Cranbourne battles second-ranked Seaford, and Smith wanted to put to bed the loss to the Tigers earlier in the year with an emphatic, all-round effort on Sunday.
“We’ll get a good indication where both sides are at,” Smith said.
“Good test to see if our game plan stands up – just got to be clean with the footy and as long as we’re focused, we can get the job done.
“Our pressure and our tackling has to be up from what it was last week.”
The wind played havoc with Endeavour Hills’ goal-scoring, but the rampage in front of goals was enough to brush aside Bayswater in a 54-point win. Georgia Punton (four goals) and Sarah Wallace (three goals) were in the best alongside Rebecca Sadler and Ash Ladson.
The Falcons’ perfect record is up for grabs this weekend in the last round of the Division 3 home-and-away season when Endeavour Hills battles Mordialloc away from noon.
THE MOUNT Evelyn Station House has received a brand new access ramp for disabled patrons and parents with prams.
The old access ramp at the front of the building was deemed too steep and dangerous to use by those that need it most.
The shortfall of the old ramp was brought to council’s attention by local library users Vivienne Lyons and Jim Humphries.
The new ramp has been built to comply with current access standards and provides direct access into the Station House.
Mount Evelyn Station House manager Nicky Condello said the new ramp was a great addition to the building.
“The community have really embraced it and it has created a definite traffic flow through the station house,” she said.
She also said it was a great project for everyone involved, from the patrons of the Station House through to the contractors that built the ramp.
“It was a really good collective community effort. A completely positive experience from start to finish,” she said.
Yarra Ranges Mayor Maria McCarthy said anything that made life a bit easier for people with a disability was worth an investment from council.
“You can take things like this for granted when you’re able bodied.”
“It’s been really great to listen to the community and respond to their needs,” Cr McCarthy said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg visited Stanthorpe on Friday to discuss new legislation with volunteer firefighters.
Under a new Bill presented to Parliament by the Palaszczuk government, volunteer firefighters would have to attend 150 fires within five years to be covered for 12 specified cancers they may contract in the course of duty. Paid firefighters would only need to attend one fire to be covered.
This quota has not gone down well with the volunteers – or Mr Springborg, who is pushing the LNP’s Bill that would cover the insurance of full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters with no need for a quota.
Mr Springborg said he was at a loss to explain the differences in the two Bills.
“I can’t fathom it. When we were in government, we got the same department, we got the same advice and how they’ve come to a completely different conclusion is beyond me,” he said.
“This is peace of mind for firefighters. It automatically covers a dozen forms of cancer, these are rare, but nevertheless we believe they are generally attributed to the work that these guys do.
“We can’t work out if it’s just money or pigheadedness, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
The main concern for the volunteer firefighters was the fact that most of them agreed it would be hard to match the quota with one of them mentioning that if you attended one fire a month, it would be a big year. Under the proposed legislation it would require them to attend at least two and a half fires a month for five years to be covered. One of them also said that Stanthorpe had the highest fire rating in Queensland.
Roni Bau has officially been a volunteer firefighter since 2002 and says its time they were taken care of properly.
“We don’t feel like we’ve been looked after. I think they could do better for us, we have to fight for everything we want,” he said.
“Start looking after the volunteers, the official figure (of volunteer firefighters) is 35,000 and we look after 92 per cent of the state, we just want a little more respect.”
Mr Springborg said that he would just like the government to be fair.
“It sends the wrong signals to our firefighters that they aren’t valued in what they do in keeping the community protected,” he said.
At one point one of them said “we’re here for our community” as they all nodded unanimously in agreement. That’s why they do it.