With much of Melbourne’s attention focused on Derby day yesterday, auction activity was somewhat subdued. But among the 160 properties up for grabs, some good sales were still made – particularly for period property.
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In Carlton North, a three-bedroom Edwardian at 928 Drummond Street sold under the hammer for $1,064,000. Put on the market by Nelson Alexander at $990,000, it had attracted interest from three bidders.

Four parties competed for an entry-level two-bedroom Victorian property at 1 Richardson Street in Albert Park, quoted by Maher & Co at $700,000-plus, which eventually sold for $775,000.

The lower number of auctions proved to be a trump card for some vendors. Woodards attracted a crowd of about 55 to its auction at 110 Mackie Road in Bentleigh East of a two-bedroom 1950s property. Quoted at $480,000-$520,000, it sold for $570,000 – well above the reserve of $510,000.

In Mitcham, a three-bedroom unit at 2/51 Deep Creek Road, quoted by First National Real Estate Lindellas at above $500,000, sold under the hammer for $580,000 after competition among three bidders.

There were also some post-auction sales. In Northcote, an Edwardian family home at 6 Membrey Street, quoted by Jellis Craig at $1,250,000-$1,350,000, was passed in on a vendor bid of $1.25 million before selling for an undisclosed price after interest from three parties.

A three-bedroom property at 19 Empress Avenue in Kingsville – pitched at first home buyers – sold for $485,000 after it was passed in on a genuine bid of $460,000. Barry Plant had quoted $460,000-$490,000.

Another property that did not see an immediate result was 80 Clarinda Road in Moonee Ponds. While the auction of the renovated four-bedroom home drew a sizeable crowd, the property, quoted by Nelson Alexander at $1.37 million$1.47 million, was passed in on a vendor bid of $1.38 million.

CALL AUCTION ACTION with your auction results, tips and comments on 8667 2647 between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday.

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THE state government will revive Victoria’s only remaining sign language diploma course as it moves to stem the damage of Ted Baillieu’s TAFE cuts.
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From the middle of next year, anyone who wants to learn Australian Sign Language will be subsidised by the government in a newly revamped Auslan training program.

The decision to reinstate the course comes after Kangan Institute — which now runs the state’s only sign language diploma — told students in May that it could no longer offer Auslan beyond 2013 as a result of the government’s budget cuts. GippsTAFE also withdrew its Auslan program last year.

Kangan’s decision sparked a backlash against the government, which subsequently commissioned a review into how Auslan is delivered in Victoria. The review’s findings, to be released today, suggest previous courses were not commercially viable, hard to access, and failed to keep pace with the needs of the deaf community.

“There is a general agreement from participants that current Auslan course delivery has, on the whole, not kept pace with the needs and requirements of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community or the learning needs of current and future student cohorts,” says the report.

Skills Minister Peter Hall said that, given the economic and social importance of Auslan, the government would undertake a competitive tender process to ensure a capped number of places could be delivered from mid-2013.

Students would be able to enrol in a certificate or diploma program, and training is expected to cost less than it has in the past (Kangan’s diploma, for instance, cost students up to $2000 in fees under the current funding system).

Labor spokesman Steve Herbert described the tender process as a wasteful “bureaucratic exercise.”

“Clearly there’s a need for this training, and the government should simply fund a TAFE to provide it from the start of next year,” he said.

Other problems identified in the government’s report include:

■ The lack of access to Auslan programs for people living outside of Melbourne.■ The need to improve career pathways for students of Auslan, including for secondary school students.■ The shortage of Auslan teachers, trainers and interpreters, particularly in rural and regional Victoria.■ The need for a new funding model to ensure courses were commercially viable in future.

The decision to reinstate Auslan comes as the government continues to take a hit over its $300 million cuts to TAFE, particularly in regional Victoria.

Australian Education Union TAFE vice president Greg Barclay said he supported the decision to reinstate the course, but questioned how the new program would be funded.

Kangan spokeswoman Yvette Bockisch also welcomed the government’s decision.

“The Auslan course provides a very important course to the deaf community. The majority of our students are hearing students and are learning the language to become interpreters at RMIT,” she said.

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Brothers Mark (left) and Scott Eaton are set to run in the City2Sea next Sunday on Remembrance Day, which has a special meaning.NEXT Sunday’s City2Sea fun run falls on Remembrance Day – and for two runners it’s a day that’s especially meaningful.
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Scott Eaton has served in East Timor with the Army Reserve and his brother Mark is the recipient of an RSL scholarship, but it’s their grandfather who will be in their thoughts when there’s a moment’s silence before the start of the race.

Frank Eaton was a Rat of Tobruk, part of the Australian and British forces that successfully defended the Libyan port against the German Afrika Korps in 1941. If that wasn’t enough, he then saw service in Papua New Guinea against the Japanese. He died in 1995.

”It’s a chance to remember the sacrifice that others have made before you,” said Scott, 33. ”For us it’s our grandfather who’s the first one who tends to come to mind. It’s a chance to remember what these guys have actually sacrificed for the freedoms that we have – we have our family and our mates to enjoy because of what they’ve done.”

Running is an appropriate way to honour Remembrance Day because it’s an essential part of army life, said Scott. In his recent nine-month deployment to East Timor, where he drove trucks for the Combat Service Support Troop, he ran frequently to keep in shape and did the Dili Half Marathon.

East Timor was his first overseas deployment in 15 years of Army Reserve service. ”You train for so long. It’s good to go over and actually do the job for real,” said Scott, whose tasks included helping to run an orphanage.

”It was really good. It was a chance to do something that makes you feel like you’re making a difference.”

Running has been the link that has eased his transition back into civilian life.

A communications technician, he runs his owns business but also manages to squeeze in a five-kilometre run every day near his home in Vermont.

Mark’s training routine, thanks to the demands of his job as a partner in a St Kilda Road law firm, is somewhat lighter – 10 to 15 kilometres a week – but it was his idea to do the 14-kilometre City2Sea. ”I did Run for the Kids, and that’s 15 kilometres, so I should be able to do this,” he said.

Mark, 35, has a connection with the armed services as well – he was the recipient of the Norman A. Smith Memorial Scholarship at Glen Waverley RSL, which helped fund his law studies. ”The Anzac spirit really resonates with both of us,” said Mark. ”The concept of friendship and sacrifice and recognising that people have made significant sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy certainly means something to us. I certainly took it far more seriously having a brother who was serving.”

At 7.45am, 15 minutes before the race starts, there will be the RSL’s usual commemoration ritual, featuring The Ode, the Last Post, the silence and reveille.

The full minute’s silence will come at 11am in St Kilda’s Catani Gardens, where the run finishes.

”I just hope I’ve finished the run by 11 o’clock for the minute of silence,” said Mark.

■ For details on The Sunday Age City2Sea presented by Westpac, on November 11, visit thecity2sea南京夜网.au

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FOR Felice Wainer, her father’s legacy is vivid and his absence a void, even 25 years after his death. She is proud of him and his work, even as she reflects on a Melbourne childhood in which his presence was sometimes sporadic and often too intense for a young child to make sense of him.
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Her father was Bert Wainer, the controversial campaigner who fought a war against backyard abortion in the 1960s and 1970s and became a household name. As he fearlessly took on corrupt police and the conservative establishment in pursuit of the cause that consumed his life, his daughter grew up fearful that she would be harmed, or that her father would be killed.

As a Wainer, she was vilified. She was the daughter of the man they called the ”baby killer”. As she recalls today: ”I was aware of the fact that we were Wainer children … and when I was in high school I knew that he may be killed. I thought he would be assassinated one day.”

Hers was no ordinary childhood. But Bertram Wainer was a man who lived no ordinary life, and a life of no ordinary consequence for those whose destinies were defined by his cause. They are women, in the main: his daughter and two wives among them – as well as countless other women for whom safe and legal abortion is now a right.

The Wainer name will resonate with older Victorians who recall who he was and what he did, even as younger women draw a blank, unaware that his life had consequences for them.

When they learn about him, as they can tonight by watching the ABC movie about Wainer’s war against illegal abortion, Dangerous Remedy, many will surely thank him.

Some may consider him a sinner. In common, though, they are likely to be shocked by the Victoria depicted through his story: the cops are corrupt, the politicians contemptuous. But it is ordinary women who are the criminals as well as the victims – humiliated, harassed, frightened and ever in danger of an even worse fate: death at the hands of an illegal abortionist.

Through this brutal landscape strides Bertram Wainer, a Scottish doctor who had had enough of a system that corrupted the medical profession as readily as it did the police force. He rallied support among sympathetic colleagues; he forced the issue into the media; he launched his own war against the corrupt police.

In the process, he became a folk hero to some and the Devil incarnate to others. But as the movie depicts it, and his daughter confirms, Wainer didn’t care what forces opposed him or how hopeless his cause or what dangers he faced.

”He was a very powerful man,” she says of her father, who was a doctor in the Australian Army before starting his private practice, ”a very strong man. When he walked into a room you knew he’d walked in. A huge presence.”

When Felice, a Fitzroy fashion designer, first saw the actor Jeremy Sims in character, she was stunned. ”I went to the movie set and I met him and I just couldn’t really look at him. My father had enormous charisma … this huge persona and big charisma and Jeremy had it.”

Felice herself features in several key scenes in the film, and she admits finding it difficult to watch her family’s life portrayed on screen. ”I had to watch it three or four times actually … we always get surprised that it’s our life,” she says. ”It seems strange when you watch it in a movie because when you’re actually living in it at the time, it’s quite normal. It’s surreal.”

And then there’s the time frame depicted on screen. In reality, the years covered by the film reflect a period of about 12 years, but as compressed for dramatic purposes it seems much shorter. ”Anyone who sees that movie is going to think, ‘She had a pretty full-on year’, but that was all spread over time.”

It would be a harrowing and confronting period to live through, whatever the time span. When Felice Wainer is asked to describe it in her own way, she starts by noting that she, her parents and her three brothers came to Melbourne from Queensland in 1961. Her father and her mother, Barbara, separated soon afterwards. Felice was only three.

”Dad had his clinic in St Kilda,” she says. ”And the rampage started from that point forward, and to be honest we didn’t really see him a lot. We couldn’t. It was too dangerous.”

”The rampage”, as she describes Wainer’s campaign, gathered pace, and his children had to adjust to an extraordinary life in which contact with their father was dictated not only by his hectic schedule, but by the growing danger to his safety.

”We used to have to ring three times and then hang up and then ring back so he’d know it was us and he could pick up the phone. He did make efforts to see us but it was always so clandestine or random, just turning up so that nobody would ever know. I think Barbara, my mother, was terrified. She didn’t let on to us.”

As Felice grew older, the danger intensified rather than eased. As she entered her teens and began spending more time with her dad at his home in Ivanhoe, Felice grew to understand that she and her brothers were also at risk.

”He was acutely aware of security. We had an incredibly secure house. I had an emergency alarm button beside my bed that would go off to a private security company. I’m sure the government thought they were taking on this little GP from Scotland. But he was a highly trained military man, my father. He was not a little suburban doctor, he was a highly trained man and he trained all of us quite well. He taught me never to walk on the side near the gutters. I learnt a lot about security for myself, about watching who’s around.

”When I lived with him it was scary. Lots of things happened. The house was built for security, we had really big dogs. I was a very scared child. I was aware of danger from when I was very young.”

She had also become slowly aware that her father was a figure of public notoriety, and over time he educated her as to the reasons.

”He was always on television. At six or seven I started to realise people knew who my father was, then I started seeing him on TV. I didn’t really get what he was doing, I just knew he was well-known in some way.”

When she went to high school, it became clearer. ”I went to Ivanhoe Girls Grammar … and the parents didn’t like me. I had a boyfriend who was Catholic and I wasn’t allowed to go into their house. I think I took it in my stride. It was just our life.”

In two key scenes in Dangerous Remedy, the young Felice brings the perspective of innocence to the abortion wars raging around her, asking her father if the women have done something wrong. Her father explains that sometimes ”there’s a reason they can’t have the baby and the pregnancy is terminated”. She replies: ”And the police don’t like that?”

And in one of the most confronting scenes, Wainer shows his daughter an aborted foetus in a jar – a moment meant to demonstrate that for all Wainer’s advocacy for legal abortion, he took no pleasure in his work. ”Take a look,” he demands of his daughter. ”Look at it. You tell me how good it is.”

His daughter asks: ”Why did you do that?”

Wainer: ”It’s the lesser of two evils, Felice, but that’s all it is.”

It might sound like a scene invented for a screenwriter’s convenience – a way of letting a lead character make a complex point in the most simple way possible. But this, or something very close to it, did indeed happen.

”He did do the foetus thing,” she says. ”I would have been 14. I’d gone to visit him at the clinic and out the front there were all the Right-to-Lifers and somebody grabbed my belt on my jeans and said, ‘That designer belt was bought with the death of a thousand babies’ or something, and I thought, ‘I worked in a milk bar to buy this belt’. So I went inside and I said to him, ‘What is all this about?’ He said, ‘Come with me’.”

Her father then showed her an aborted foetus – not in a jar, but through a microscope. ”There was all this blood and lumps of tissue … I said to him something like, ‘So they’re right, you are a baby killer?’ And he said, ‘Yes, and you need to think about that’. I was annoyed at him for a short amount of time but I started to reconcile what he’d said to me – that abortion’s a terrible thing, but it’s a necessary thing. I started to understand that.

”He never asked any of us to go along with what he was doing. And that is probably the best legacy he gave me. I don’t follow anyone’s rules but my own. I didn’t have to agree with him. If I’d become a born-again Christian he would have been cool with that.”

And it was in the decade that followed – as Wainer stepped back from the abortion wars, having largely achieved his goals – that Felice was to learn the most important lesson about her father: that as a doctor, he dispensed courage as effectively as he did any medicine.

She’d married young, at just 20, to an Italian model. They’d only been married a year when her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It was a devastating blow, but her father made this his new and, as it turned out, final campaign.

”He was this tower of strength,” his daughter, now 51, recalls. ”He spoke to me every day. Every morning he’d ring me and every night and he’d visit me. He was extraordinary to my husband. I got really close to him. I loved his sense of humour, he was extremely funny, and had a totally mad sense of humour. All the things I knew about him that I guess people who didn’t like him couldn’t imagine. He was very funny. He was very compassionate.”

And then, as Felice faced the loss of her husband, suddenly her other rock was gone. ”He died in the midst of all of that. When he died it was horrific because I just needed him so much. It was not only losing a father, it was this person who was my rock. I was wrecked. A total mess.”

That was in January 1987. Wainer, one-time scourge of politicians and policemen and priests, was gone, farewelled at a funeral in the Melbourne CBD and no longer the enemy of the state of recent memory.

His daughter had last seen him a fortnight before, at a family dinner on New Year’s Eve. Exactly 25 years later, on New Year’s Eve 2011, she had her final words with her mother, Barbara, who died of leukaemia that day.

Her mother’s passing is still fresh; her father’s passing she can summon to mind as if it were yesterday. These, not the abortion debates, are the matters of life and death that Felice Wainer feels most keenly. ”My mother was my best friend. And I was great friends with my father. I was very lucky.”

But she knows why the state and the nation will remember him – and having seen his battles freshly depicted on film, she is happy to embrace that legacy. ”Impressed and proud, really,” she says. ”I’ve always been really proud about what he did.”

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A large pile of timber sleepers lies next to the railway tracks near Toorak Road, Toorak.HUNDREDS of timber sleepers have been stolen from Melbourne’s rail network and used as firewood, despite government health warnings and concerns they contain traces of asbestos.
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Metro Trains is replacing old red gum sleepers along the Glen Waverley line, but has been unable to stop the theft of wood stacked beside tracks and left unattended.

A Metro Trains spokesman confirmed the timber had low-levels of hydrofluorocarbons from oil and grease, but denied the presence of any asbestos.

”Our own staff and contractors patrol the railway line and work with police to try and prevent any theft of the wooden sleepers, but unfortunately some are stolen. There is no evidence to suggest any health risk associated with sleepers,” the spokesman said.

But the Victorian Department of Health has issued explicit warnings about burning railway sleepers, which can release harmful toxic fumes.

The Sunday Age spoke with a contractor employed by Metro Trains, who said he had been instructed not to sell the sleepers because they could contain a range of dangerous materials, including asbestos. He said much of the timber had been given to builders, who had used it to build retaining walls.

”We were told that it’s completely safe as long as they’re not cut or burnt. And that’s what I’ve been telling people we give it to, but who knows what’s happening with the stuff that’s been pinched,” the man said.

Firewood Association Australia secretary Alan McGeevy said he had received several complaints from people who had burnt the wood in open fires, barbecues and pizza ovens.

”What alerted us, was people calling saying ,’I’m burning this wood and I’ve got a bleeding nose and stinging eyes and feel like I’ve got asthma’,” he said.

Mr McGeevy said some older sleepers had been exposed to asbestos that was used to line brakes in trains until the mid-’80s. ”If you’re burning sleepers, the asbestos won’t burn,” Mr McGeevy said.

”It will congregate in the ash bed, so you have a perfect environment for that asbestos to get airborne. You don’t need much to do a lot of damage.”

A spokesman for the Australian Rail Track Corporation would not confirm if it was aware of an asbestos risk with old sleepers, or who was liable for any injury that occurred from burning the timber.

”ARTC requires these contractors to meet all necessary state environmental legislation and to identify and mitigate potential environmental issues associated with the recovery and disposal of timber sleepers,” the spokesman said.

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It is believed that the state government has not raised the issue of performance pay since negotiations resumed.A CONTENTIOUS push to introduce performance pay in schools has been thrown into doubt, with the state government refusing to say whether the plan will go ahead as part of a new wage deal with teachers.
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After months of industrial unrest, teachers and the government have returned to the bargaining table to nut out a deal for better wages and work conditions.

But while the union has revised its claim for a 30 per cent pay rise over three years, it is believed that the government has not raised the issue of performance pay since negotiations resumed in September.

Australian Education Union branch president Mary Bluett declined to comment on discussions, other than to say teachers had made it clear they would not sign up to any deal that involved paying staff through merit bonuses.

”Performance pay is not up for negotiation,” Ms Bluett said. ”You get the best outcome when you’ve got teachers working together and sharing best practice. Performance pay would undermine that and students would be the losers.”

Under the government’s original offer, all teachers would get a wage rise of 2.5 per cent, with anything above that to be matched by productivity offsets.

But seven out of 10 teachers would also receive performance pay, ranging from 1.4 per cent to 10 per cent of their annual wage, if they could meet targets that lifted classroom standards.

Asked repeatedly if the Coalition planned to push ahead with the idea, the government refused to answer. It also refused to say how much the plan was likely to cost taxpayers, or how it would pay for the proposal given some of the federal money it had initially earmarked for bonuses was no longer available following Commonwealth budget cuts earlier this year.

Teaching Profession Minister Peter Hall said he would not discuss details while negotiations were under way, but said the government was ”committed to ensuring we deliver an outcome that rewards good teaching and drives improvements in our schools”.

The decision by both parties to return to the negotiating table comes after months of industrial unrest, culminating in tens of thousands of teachers walking off the job twice this year as part of the largest school strikes in the state’s history.

But Mr Hall hit out at the union for continuing industrial action while negotiations were taking place. So far the union has conducted 17 rolling stoppages targeting Coalition electorates around the state, together with several additional work bans, such as not providing comments for students reports.

”We believe discussions have been productive and we will continue those negotiations in good faith for as long as it takes to reach a settlement. It is regrettable that the education union continues to engage in industrial action … whilst negotiations are ongoing,” Mr Hall said.

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IN LATE 1854, the goldfields of Ballarat are in open revolt against a Victorian government that has been heavily taxing the miners while treating them as mere vassals. Worse, the government has been sending out troops on armed ”licence hunts”, manacling those diggers not in possession of expensive mining licences.
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Matters come to a head on the morning of November 30, when shots are exchanged during yet another licence hunt.

That afternoon 10,000 miners attend a ”monster meeting” on Bakery Hill. It is here that the diggers elect Peter Lalor to lead them. The Irishman quickly calls for an armed insurrection.

”I want you, Signore,” Lalor says, gripping the hand of Raffaello Carboni warmly before pointing to a group of French and Italians who are without weaponry. ”Tell these gentlemen, that, if they cannot provide themselves with firearms, let each of them procure a piece of steel, five or six inches long, attached to a pole, and that will pierce the tyrants’ hearts.”

Hundreds of men step forward to affirm their willingness to fight, as Alfred Black – who Lalor names as his ”Secretary of War” – notes down the names of each of the companies, together with those they have elected to be their ”captains”.

The men in their six companies, with their captains in front, form up before the podium. Lalor raises his right hand towards the Southern Cross, palm facing outwards, and indicates that he wishes them to do the same.

”It is my duty now to swear you in,” he begins, his words rolling over this international sea of hard men, ”and to take with you the oath to be faithful to the Southern Cross. Hear me with attention. The man who, after this solemn oath, does not stand by our standard, is a coward in heart. I order all persons who do not intend to take the oath to leave the meeting at once.”

Not one man leaves.

Lalor removes his hat, kneels and raises his right palm outwards to the flag, their flag, and says in a forceful tone with measured pace, ”We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other, and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”

The sea of men, their heads bowed, their hands raised, repeat the words with a throaty rumble, ”WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS …” and follow the pledge with a unanimous ”AMEN”.

Carboni would record the wondrous look of the men at this moment: ”The earnestness of so many faces of all kinds of shape and colour; the motley heads of all sorts of size and hair; the shagginess of so many beards of all lengths and thicknesses; the vividness of double the number of eyes electrified by the magnetism of the Southern Cross; was one of those grand sights, such as are recorded only in the history of ‘the Crusaders in Palestine’.”

It is done. For the first time since the colonisation of this land began seven decades earlier, the fealty of a large body of colonists has been sworn to an entity other than the British crown. Instead, these men have sworn loyalty to each other, to their rights and liberties, and to this land beneath the Southern Cross.

Realising they need more men to help, emissaries are sent to nearby goldfields, such as Creswick, to ask for men with guns to rush to Ballarat.

Late evening, November 30, 1854

There is just something about the Scottish digger Tom Kennedy, a man who knows how to move the masses.

On this occasion, in Creswick, he has been so strong once again that he really has got them moving, marching, on the way to Ballarat. And, of course, he is at their head, wildly waving a sword as he leads the way.

As the armed diggers march out of Creswick, the German band accompanying them strikes up the tune of the wonderful French national anthem and battle hymn, La Marseillaise, the most famous revolutionary song of them all. And so they go, some humming, the French among them singing: ”Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrive.”

Perhaps the day of glory really has arrived – but the binding force upon these antipodean marching men is a little further along in the song: ”Contre nous, de la tyrannie, l’etendard sanglant est leve, l’etendard sanglant est leve!” Against us tyranny’s bloody flag is raised, the bloody flag is raised.

In Ballarat, Lalor has instructed his men to build a ”Stockade” – a higgledy-piggledy rectangular barricade composed of slabs of wood placed broadly upright but ”at a great slope facing outwards”, and anything else that comes to hand. The roughly four-foot high barricade surrounds a rough four acres of land. After all, if the government can have their enclosed ”Camp”, which lies on the other side of the large gully from Eureka, then the diggers can also have their own defensive enclosure.

Friday morning, December 1

Lalor gives the order for the military drills to recommence in earnest, and the 1000 men now inside the fortifications set to with a will, engaging in exercises that lift in intensity when word arrives that heavily armed redcoats are heading this way.

No matter that this proves to be a false alarm. Even if the troopers are not attacking now, it is obvious to all present that it is only a matter of time. Fortunately, more and more diggers keep pouring into their Stockade. In some ways they are like an army, but in one key way they are different. This nascent army has men from all over the world – men of entirely different cultures and levels of education. As later described by Carboni, ”We were of all nations and colours.”

Their points of unity, however, far outweigh their points of difference. Together, they are diggers; they are mates. They have worked together, suffered together, rejoiced together, and now they are united in their common disgust with an iniquitous government and a corrupt police force that have attempted to crush them.

They want democracy. They want the right to buy land.

The men in the Stockade finally take a breather in the heat of the day for lunch. One man who has no time to stop, however, is swarthy German blacksmith, John Hafele. He keeps working feverishly before his roaring furnace, making vicious-looking pikes – sharpened metal spikes secured to eight-foot poles – which he promises will most definitely ”fix red-toads and blue pissants especially”.

Nearby, Henry Nicholls has been summoned by Alfred Black, who has something to show him. It is nothing less than a Declaration of Independence, a document he hopes might be like the American Declaration of Independence by which America had severed its links with Great Britain. As Black regards Nicholls as a ”literary character”, he asks if Nicholls would mind having a look at it?

With a great deal of pride, Black begins reading it, and, as Nicholls would recall, ”rounded out his words with unction, rolling them over his tongue as if he enjoyed their flavour”.

Nicholls, however, does not. ”It was long, very long, very flowery and decidedly verbose,” Nicholls would later recall. ”It was spicy, high-flavoured, and I fancy that in it tyrants in general had a bad time of it.”

He declines to criticise as he sees that Black really only wants an opinion if it is a positive one. It would be unwise to say what he truly thinks. Whatever he says is just noncommittal enough that Black is more convinced than ever that he has a masterpiece on his hands. Before long, just as the sun is falling, Black stands on a stump and reads it out to the assembled armed diggers. Sure enough, he is cheered loudly at the whole idea of separating from Great Britain, if not necessarily at the words that he has chosen to express this view.

Friday night, December 1, Government Camp

It is time for the government authorities in Ballarat to have their own council of war, and on this evening Commissioner Robert Rede is again in conference with his two top military officers, discussing what must be done.

He has little doubt: they must move against the Stockade. Precisely how they should move against it is not a matter for him – it is a matter for these officers – but he has no doubt that it is the right course of action.

Rumours are still sweeping the goldfields that the diggers will attack the Camp first, and Rede is convinced that the ramifications of the success of such an offensive would be devastating. He is in no doubt that if the authorities lose this battle, they risk losing the entire colony – the stakes are that high.

But the same fear is felt by those within the Stockade. If the rebels lose control of the Stockade, they lose the diggings and the fight – and the rule of Her Majesty’s law will be re-established across the entire Colony of Victoria.

It is a matter of who can, and will, move first. And when.

Rede feels strongly that it should be sooner rather than later.

Pre-dawn, Sunday, December 3

Startled grunts fill the night. It is just after 2.30am and the 182 men of the 12th and 40th Regiments and 94 police, with their officers, are being woken inside the Government Camp. Stay quiet. It’s on. Leaving from the back of the camp to shield their move from possible observers outside the main gates, they are told to form up in the gully just to the east of ”Soldiers Hill”, a little under one mile north of the camp.

Usually such an exercise would be accompanied by shouted orders or bugle calls. But not on this occasion. The men know what to do. All their training, all their drills, have led them to this moment, to be able to form up quickly and move with stealth.

Once his men are gathered on the eastern flank of Soldiers Hill in the chill damp air, Captain John Thomas steps forward while an aide de camp holds the bridle of his horse. Now each man leans in close as the officer whispers instructions, even as they are served a tot of rum to warm their bellies.

Thomas’ words are crisp and precise: they are about to launch an attack on the rebels’ Stockade and they will go in just before dawn.

Those insurgents who ”cease to resist” are to be spared. And a last point: the soldiers are to do everything possible to remain silent – it is extremely important to get as close as possible to the Stockade without being detected.

All good? All understood? All content?

No, not entirely. Two soldiers, knowing they will be expected to fire on men they regard as innocent, promptly fall out of the ranks and resolutely announce that they will not march – only to be immediately arrested for their trouble. No matter. Better off without cowards in our ranks.

”We marched off in the dark,” Captain Charles Pasley would later tell his father, ”in such perfect silence that you could almost have heard a pin drop.”

No fewer than 100 men are on horseback, while 176 are on foot.

Just under two hours later, they are in position …

With the Stockade effectively surrounded, the word is quietly passed from rank to rank, soldier to soldier: ”Advance.”

And now the main body of soldiers under Thomas, with Pasley leading the forward elements, marches over the small rise they have been sheltering behind, while the mounted soldiers and police on the fringes go around it.

As one they strain their eyes to the east, looking for some sign of the rebels. They can see the barest silhouette of the enemy flag against the lightening sky way up to their east, fluttering just above the treeline. But if the soldiers can see the Stockade, that must mean that those in the Stockade can …

Suddenly the blare of a bugle coming from the Stockade shatters the silence.

One of the men with the Independent California Rangers Revolver Brigade, John Lynch, would record ”a terrible effervescence of hurry-skurry” around him as his fellow rebels rush from their bunks and tents and take up their posts, their guns and pikes in hand. But he would also report that he ”could hardly discern the military force at first”.

Soon enough, though, there they are. Up in the Stockade, the diggers really can now just make out the long line of redcoats some 150 yards down the slope, moving into the open and advancing.

The first of the sentries runs back, shouting a warning to the others: ”To Arms! To Arms!” With the bugle, and now the shouting, it is enough to wake even the most profoundly asleep, including Peter Lalor. He is instantly up and moving, realising that the redcoats have clearly come and, while more of a moral leader than a military one, at the very least he must quickly be seen to be present, doing whatever he can to get the defences of the Stockade organised.

At this point, the forces at Lalor’s rough command are just 70 men holding shotguns and rifles, 30 or so with pistols and 20 men with pikes.

By the time the bulk of the diggers have taken up their positions at the barricades, the situation is becoming just a little clearer. By now the redcoats and some of the foot police who are accompanying them are close enough that the diggers can clearly distinguish features.

It is time.

The diggers’ own Robert Burnette, a tiny but game-as-all-get-out fighting force from the California Rangers, steps forward, smoothly raises his rifle to his shoulder, takes aim in the rough direction of the advancing redcoats and pulls the trigger. Down in the advancing line, a lead ball sears from the shadows and hits Private Michael Roney of the 40th Regiment directly in the head.

RIP. Michael Roney. Born in Belfast 1833, died on the Eureka on December 3, 1854. The battle of the Eureka Stockade has begun …

■ This is an edited extract from Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution, by Peter FitzSimons, William Heinemann Australia, rrp $49.95.

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xThere was no Alessandro Del Piero for Sydney FC but not even his genius could have accounted for the colossal gulf in class that existed at Bluetongue Stadium last night.
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Quite simply, Central Coast might have half of the financial turnover of their city cousins, but they have double the talent and probably triple the organisation. After scoring first, Sydney were smacked around like never before. They’d never conceded seven goals.

Sydney weren’t just punished. They were utterly humiliated.

What a glorious moment of vindication for Graham Arnold, who turned down the chance to manage Sydney in the off-season. Whatever his reasons for staying put, perhaps for the first time he’ll wake up knowing he made the right decision.

Heroes for the Mariners? Take your pick. Start with Daniel McBreen, scorer of his first A-League hat-trick. His 35-year-old legs must have felt 10 years younger at full-time.

While some of the 15,686 crowd may have arrived feeling Del Piero’s absence meant there was no class No.10, they would have left feeling very different. Tom Rogic was tantalising; how will Holger Osieck – present in the stands – resist calling him up for the Socceroos?

He has not yet played 20 A-League matches but on talent alone the 19-year-old must be a real candidate to feature either in the friendly against Korea or December’s East Asian Cup qualifiers. Perhaps Osieck took a closer look at Josh Rose, too.

Rose might be 30 but he’s the forgotten left-back in international discussions. At this rate, Osieck might have to apologise to Arnold for stealing half his squad.

So that was the hosts. The visitors? They were just lucky this game wasn’t at home. They’d have been booed into the car park.

Sydney bluffed their way through against Perth Glory last Sunday, snatching three points they did not earn, but at least promised to be better. Those lessons were heeded for, oh, say 10 minutes. They even led one-nil at that point as Yairo Yau, Del Piero’s replacement, finished with a classy chip over Matt Ryan.

To borrow from the seasonal parlance, Sydney jumped well from the barriers but were spent by the first turn. When it came time to sprint, the Mariners went for the whip. On 16 minutes, Rose took the ball deep into Sydney’s defence and after repeat efforts, Rogic’s turn and shot had enough power to beat Ivan Necevski.

The Mariners then had the lead when Rogic put in a tame effort from distance that Necevski erroneously fumbled, allowing McBreen to race in and prise it from the keeper’s grasp. With Necevski beaten, McBreen threw his large frame in the way and while he couldn’t put a final boot on the ball, Sebastian Ryall could, putting the ball into his own net.

But the Mariners weren’t done with yet. Eight minutes before half-time Michael McGlinchey – cause of a torrid 45 minutes for young Sydney defender Daniel Petkovski on the right-hand side – won a penalty after getting the better of Trent McClenahan. McBreen rifled the spot kick into the right corner.

Having fallen behind early in the piece, the Mariners were now firmly in control. By now, Sydney FC coach Ian Crook’s demeanour had shifted dramatically.

He yanked off Petkovski and Kruno Lovrek. Petkovski, in just his second start, could be forgiven. Lovrek, a seasoned Croatian, set up Yau’s opener but did barely anything else. He has not started well in the harbour city. Yau, however, was showing something, and his wonderful scoop over the defence allowed Ali Abbas to race in. The Iraqi matched the incoming pass for skill, volleying over Matt Ryan to cap an outstanding move.

Fleetingly, Sydney had hope, but that was extinguished when McGlinchey’s excellent effort curled home after a jinking run.

The Sky Blues had a hand-ball claim turned down but that was as close as they would come as the Mariners piled on more misery.

In an unstoppable blitz, another goal to Rogic and a further two to McBreen followed. All goals mixed scything lead-up play with heinously poor defending.

The Mariners fans couldn’t wait until full-time to give the standing ovation, so they began in injury time. It was the very least their team deserved.

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THE promise by the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, to set up ”drunk tanks” across Sydney has been labelled ”Barry’s Fight Club” by police, who fear locking up hordes of drunk revellers will lead to more violence and may result in deaths in custody.
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Police are angry the government is ramping up plans for a sobering-up centre, claiming it will be a waste of money and a misdirection of overstretched police resources.

Mr O’Farrell first proposed the idea as a pre-election promise in 2010 when launching the Making Our Streets Safe Again policy and repeated the idea after 18-year-old Thomas Kelly died in Kings Cross in July.

The Sun-Herald understands police will be given discretionary powers to assess whether people should be placed in a sobering-up centre.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties president, Cameron Murphy, called it ”extremely dangerous” because large numbers of people would be incarcerated for dubious reasons, with a risk to their health and safety. ”This will be misused by police. It’s an absurd and expensive idea that doesn’t reduce the core problems of alcoholism, violence or public safety,” he said.

A police source told The Sun-Herald the government had not allocated funding for a scheme that, he said, would become a ”vomitorium of punch-ons”.

A spokesman for the Police Minister, Michael Gallacher, said “several options” were being considered and it was hoped an announcement would be made ”shortly”.

The NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, and senior police were working with the government to deliver this, he said. Mr Scipione and the Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, who have campaigned against alcohol-fuelled violence, declined to comment.

The Opposition Leader, John Robertson, said the centre was ”a recipe for disaster”. “This is bad policy, made worse by the fact that Barry O’Farrell won’t pay for any additional police to staff his ill-conceived drunk tanks,” he said.

The president of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber, said the proposal was ”a Band-Aid solution”.

”Putting a large group of intoxicated people in one location is absolutely ridiculous and a huge drain on valuable police resources,” he said.

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More than just charge and sync … Apple’s Lightning connector.This?post?was originally published on?Mashable.
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In 2009, the European Union convinced 10 of the top mobile phone manufacturers to abandon proprietary connections for charging phone batteries. A universal connection would ensure that the chargers consumers buy today will work with the phone they purchase tomorrow. That means fewer chargers and cables in landfills, where they could potentially leak lead, mercury and other harmful chemicals. The manufacturers?decided?to use micro-USB chargers, and the connectors have since become the norm on mobile phones, e-readers, MP3 players, digital cameras and much more.

However, not everyone has embraced the micro-USB standard. Most notably,?Apple, one of the 10 that agreed to the EU’s request, is only compliant thanks to an?adapter. And much to the chagrin of some consumers, with the release of the?iPhone 5?and the new?Lightning connector, it appears that Apple has every intention to avoid micro-USB for the foreseeable future.

So why is Apple so resistant to adopt the micro-USB standard?

Advanced functionality

One reason Apple has insisted on using proprietary connectors is because its connectors have the ability to do more than just charge and sync. For example, the?iPod Out?feature, which extends iPod functionality to compatible devices using Apple’s own user interface, is possible thanks to Apple’s new 30-pin Lightning connection. The same port can also output the iPhone/iPod/iPad display to an HDMI television through an adapter.

Of course, this could all be accomplished by using separate ports – a micro-USB port for charging and a proprietary port to handle the A/V heavy lifting. But splitting the two would mean trying to add another port to an already-cramped device. And because aesthetics and ease-of-use are hallmarks of the Apple brand, it’s no surprise the company doesn’t want to clutter up an i-anything with an extra port.

That being said, there is the option of using MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link), a connection that allows for charging, syncing and output to an HDTV using a micro-USB port. Unfortunately, as Samsung Galaxy S III users recently discovered, there’s?no standard?yet for the MHL connection. While every other MHL device has used a five-pin connection, the S III features an 11-pin port that enables simultaneous USB and MHL functionality, as well as providing power for the MHL-HDMI adapter (most adapters need an external power supply). So in order to make S III content display on a TV, users have to — you guessed it — buy a proprietary adapter.

Perhaps once a standard MHL connection is adopted, Apple will consider this a viable option. But there are still other factors that make Apple lean towards proprietary cables.

Quality control

The mysterious chip inside the new Lightning cable has been the talk of the tech town for the last few weeks. While some believe the chip simply allows the cable to work, no matter how you insert it into the port, others, such as the experts over at Chipworks, say it has all the earmarks of a?security chip. The prevailing theory is that the chip essentially acts like a key to the locked-down device, ensuring that only authentic, expensive Apple cables will work.

Whatever the case may be, the technology seems meant to thwart those industrious reverse engineers who make cheap knockoff cables and chargers. Naturally, they’ve already managed to?crack the chip?and will soon flood?eBay?and?Amazon?with $5 cables. But is it really worth it to save a few bucks? Maybe not.

Google programmer Ken Shirriff knows a thing or two about electronics. He decided to determine just what lived inside both a?cheap Chinese knockoff?and a?genuine 30-pin Apple charger. According to Shirriff, the knockoff disregarded many UL standards, used cheaper parts, produced more electrical noise that could damage the phone’s touchscreen, and posed a risk of electrical shock to the user. In contrast, the Apple charger used better parts, reduced noise with multiple layers of shielding, and went above and beyond the UL standards to ensure high voltages never reach your phone (or your fingers).

Although the Apple charger was superior in nearly every way, Shirriff estimates all that extra awesome probably only cost about $1 more in components. Even if you add in R&D expenses, it’s still difficult to see how Apple justifies charging $A25 for the charger. But at the same time, if an authentic Apple charger is less likely to break, damage your phone or send 340 volts coursing through your body, maybe it’s worth a little price bloat.

On a similar note,?Gizmodo?recently chatted with Peter Bradstock, owner of Double Helix Cables, who got his hands on some of the first working, knockoff Lightning cables. As with Shirriff’s cheap charger, the counterfeit cable was poorly constructed when compared to the official Apple cable, and included shortcuts like masking tape to hold the connector to the wires. So even though it does charge an iPhone 5, you might want to order extras for when the tape breaks.

But Bradstock also speculates that a future iOS upgrade could change the keycode on authentic cable chips, which could render your entire stock of fake cables useless in the blink of an eye.

It appears that the tight grip on quality control will continue, even with Apple’s authorised MFI (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) accessory partners. During an MFI meeting scheduled for November 7 and 8 in Shenzen, China, it is?rumoured?that Apple will announce the company will simply not licence the interface technology this time around. Instead, Apple will sell assembled Lightning cables and connectors to these approved third-party manufacturers for official i-compatible accessories. It seems likely that controlling the special chip — whatever it does — is a major factor in this decision.

The root of it all

Let’s face it: advanced functionality and quality control are important, but nothing justifies Apple’s proprietary cable like the almighty dollar.

A recent report by Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, estimates that it will cost Apple around?$US3.50?for the components inside a Lightning cable. This is a whopping 775 per cent increase over the 40 US cents it cost to manufacture the old 30-pin connector. But even factoring in other overhead costs, it still means they’re making a tidy profit when they sell the cable for $A25. In fact, Michael Morgan, a senior analyst with ABI Research, told Mashable that Apple will probably generate at least?$US100 million?in revenue over the next year just by selling Lightning cables and chargers. Even for Apple that’s no small potatoes.

Mashable?is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

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