NEW ABATTOIR ANSWER TO USA MEAT QUOTAS? Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Cattlemen in The Centre are hoping to set up a "multi species"
export abattoir to minimise the effect of ongoing import restrictions
by the United States, the region's principal overseas market.
Central Australian Cattlemen's Association chairman Gary Dann, of Amburla Station, says French and Italian companies have shown interest in investing in "a small export works of free range, clean Centralian beef.
"It should be a multi species works.
"Camels are going very well," says Mr Dann, and since the Mad Cow Disease scare in Europe, "I believe horse meat has gone up in demand by 30 per cent."
Mr Dann says: "We don't have to have a big kill in Central Australia because we don't carry the big numbers."
The town hasn't had an abattoir since the one in Smith Street burned down in 1988, increasing the freight bill for pastoralists.
"We've got a big taxi fare from Central Australia," says Mr Dann.
"Whichever way we go we're looking at 1500 to 2000 km.
"It's cheaper to export meat in a carton than live: it can't die and it can't get bruised."
He says there is a good market for camels and an estimated 200,000 of them are roaming Central Australia Ð mainly the south west corner and into WA.
"The numbers built up over the years without any help at all," says Mr Dann.
"They can run on marginal country.
"They can handle the drier times.
"They are good eating.
"Aboriginal country down in the south western corner of the NT has large numbers.
"They are the preferred meant in the Koran.
"There's certainly a future there."
However, Phil Anning, regional director of the NT Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development, says the national trend is for "super abattoirs, very large ones".
"Very few operate with kills of less than 100,000 a year.
"The total turn-off from Central Australia is less than 50,000 a year.
"Consequently, any consideration for an abattoir would need a strong reason as to how it could operate on a scale so different to what is happening in the rest of Australia where small works have been closing down," says Mr Anning.
"This doesn't rule it out but investors would need a very good reason before committing to establishing a new, small meat works."
Says Mr Dann: "This is why it needs to be a works targeting niche markets."Mr Dann's comments come in the wake of the refusal by US President George W. Bush Ð despite earlier promises Ð to free up agricultural trade.
Last week Australian PM John Howard addressed the US Congress, saying Ð without achieving a change of US policy Ð that America's Farm Bill and its $300b subsidies "will damage Australia's farmers" and he is "intensely disappointed".
ABC television reported that only 15 per cent of US Senators and Congressmen were present to hear Mr Howard, and the chamber was filled with "aids, advisers and diplomats to make up the numbers".
Mr Howard's sentiment that "America has no better friend, anywhere in the world, than Australia" is unlikely to be shared by many Central Australian cattlemen.
The current US beef quota for Australia, which usually lasts into November, may be filled by August or September, mainly with cattle turned off drought stricken Queensland properties, especially from the Channel country, "traditional bullock country".
"You have a lot of heavier cut cattle coming off earlier," says Mr Dann.
JAPAN TRADEThe industry also fears that another market for Australian beef, Japan, may be swamped by US exports, which are cheaper by virtue of government subsidies.
"This is what's been happening all along," says Mr Dann.
"This is where we want a fair sort of deal, equal standing with their farmers.
"We have some of the most efficient producers in the world.
"If it was one on one we'd be able to beat them quite easily."
However, Mr Dann is not calling for subsidies.
"We still have the cheapest meat in the world Ð our public has had that for years.
"We've got the cleanest and the cheapest meat in the world."
He says farmers in Europe are also heavily subsidised Ð equivalent to almost half of the cost of a beast in Australia.
"They get paid up to $200 for young steers, irrespective of the market, before they even go to the market.
"It would be lovely to be guaranteed that, wouldn't it?"
Neville Chalmers, of Dalgety's Wesfarmers in Alice Springs, says the US decision is "not in our favour".
"That and the rising dollar are not helping a great deal."
Mr Chalmers says while Mr Howard has been "Mr Nice Guy", Mr Bush is unlikely to accede to Australian demands: "It's all well and good for Mr Howard.
"In the end the American farmers will be the winners.
"We'll be on the bottom rung.
"That's the way I read it."
Jock McPherson, of Elders in Alice Springs, says US trade restrictions affect not only beef but all meat products from Australia.
He says at the moment prices are holding up, just marginally below last year's levels.
Top quality bullocks sold to Japan are bringing $750 to $850.
Last year the price was $1000 to $1200.
The average price in May 2002 was similar to last year's $500 to $550.
At the highest point last year the average was $750.
MAJOR ABORIGINAL OWNED TOURISM VENTURE NEAR AYERS ROCK. Report by By KIERAN FINNANE.
A multi million dollar Aboriginal owned eco-tourism complex and wildlife sanctuary half way between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock is close to getting off the ground.
The complex will be developed on Angas Downs Station, fronting the corner of Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road.
At striking distance of both The Rock and Kings Canyon, the corner is already used as a pick-up and drop-off point by bus companies but at present is entirely without facilities: not so much as a toilet or a tap.
The development is proposed by the Imanpa community, through their company Lisanote Pty Ltd.
Lisanote owns the Mt Ebenezer roadhouse, 50 kilometres east on the Lasseter Highway, and recently paid off the mortgage on Angas Downs, a pastoral lease but also the traditional country of many people in Imanpa.
Imanpa itself is on an excision within the neighbouring pastoral lease, but the community is seeking to also create an Aboriginal Living Area on Angas Downs, around the site of the old homestead. This would make them eligible for ATSIC and local government funds for infrastructure development.
Sandra Armstrong, a director of Lisanote and resident of Angas Downs, says of the complex: "We need Aboriginal businesses, so that the children can work when they finish school.
"We are making the business on Angas Downs now and when we finish up, then our children and grandchildren will run the business and manage the land forever.
"The kids are going to the Nyangatjatjara College now and then later they will work at the new roadhouse and animal sanctuary on Angas Downs."
CEO Glendle Schrader says Lisanote is already in the market raising finance for the tourism complex, and pending approval of land title changes, will move immediately to detailed planning and construction.
The concept was displayed at the recent Australian Tourism Exchange in Brisbane and Mr Schrader says the response from industry was "very, very positive":
"Our analysis at moment, based on Transport & Works road counts, shows one million people per annum crossing the intersection of Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road.
"Many people cross the corner three times, as they drive from Alice to Kings Canyon, drive back to go to Yulara and then out.
"A typical roadhouse in an isolated area would assume they would get a third of all passing traffic, stopping for fuel, a hamburger and a Mars Bar.
"We've operated from the beginning on the assumption that we would only get passing trade but now we are asking the market, if we had this [accommodation complex] how many years would you forward contract the rooms?
"The response may force us to decide that it's worth introducing the whole infrastructure immediately rather than in a staged project."
Mr Schrader says there has been no infrastructure development on the Lasseter Highway in the last 10 years despite a doubling of road traffic in that time.
The plan therefore makes not only good business sense but would also provide urgently needed infrastructure.
Lisanote is talking to potential joint venture partners who are testing market response in Europe.
They are also working closely with the NT Government, especially Parks and Wildlife, and the federal agency, Environment Australia.
They have applied to convert a large part of the 3221 square kilometre pastoral lease to an Indigenous Protected Area, "the next best thing to a national park".
This would attract Commonwealth funds for their wildlife sanctuary plans, which include the reintroduction of endangered species.
The lease was largely de-stocked 10 years ago, with the exception of a small killer herd. The land has regenerated well, especially in recent good seasons.
The land types are diverse: ranges, some sandhill country, and large mulga stands Ð some of the largest remaining stands of old growth mulga, according to Mr Schrader.
The owners wish to still use some areas on the eastern, lusher side of the property for cattle, turning the rest over to the tourism venture.
To be known as the Angus Downs Wildlife Sanctuary, the complex will comprise a roadhouse, motel, backpacker accommodation, wilderness lodges, a caravan park and staff accommodation, all backing on to the sanctuary.
The concept design by Brendan Meney, architect of the recently completed Centre for Remote Health, has all the elements hidden from one another, and anticipates using the best and latest desert living technology.
The idea is to enhance people's appreciation of the environment and its wildlife, while at the same time coping cleverly with anticipated large numbers.
If it all goes ahead, the development will obviously have an impact on Imanpa's existing enterprise at Mt Ebenezer
Mr Schrader says business at the roadhouse is being "re-themed" towards Aboriginal arts and crafts, which Angus Downs won't provide.
The Aboriginal cultural experience there will focus on traditional land management and knowledge of country.
How ready are community members for employment at the sanctuary?
They are already involved at senior management, as the directors that own the property and the company that will develop it.
Tjuki Tjukanku, a director of Lisanote, resident of Angas Downs and senior traditional owner, says: "We're making a tourism business to make money for the children.
"We are keeping this land as Anangu land and the children can hold it forever É
ÔOUR' IDEAS"Lisanote is our Anangu company and these are our ideas, not the government's idea or other people's ideas.
"We have to take care of our land so that when we pass away, somebody doesn't come and take over."
Mr Schrader says there will be employment opportunities for people at Imanpa in the construction phase and in the development and maintenance of the animal sanctuary, as well as prospects for them with Aboriginal tourism. This will not be just around the sanctuary development, but also doing four-wheel drive tours to archeological and historical sites on the station.
"Research shows that tourists want all these things but haven't been able to get involved with them as much as they would like," he says.
Mr Schrader is also CEO of Wana Ungkunytja Pty Ltd, one of whose activities is Anangu Tours, based at The Rock. He says Anangu Tours, which last year had over 20,000 customers, is probably the largest employer of Aboriginal people in the south-western region, offering part-time tour guide work to some 60 people a year. To date this work option has not been available to people at Imanpa.
Is the project intended to compete directly with the resorts at Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon?
Mr Schrader: "In the tourism industry you probably get two types of people: one says that we should increase the size of the pie for everyone, the other says we should try to pinch a piece of the action from someone else.
"We try to work from a positive basis. If we offer a quality service in a desirable location at an attractive price then we're increasing the size of the pie.
"But this is an option which many people may prefer to take up rather than, for example, the Ayers Rock Resort option, which is at the top end of the market by Australian standards.
"The market is changing towards this type of eco-tourism experience."
DR TED SAYS WE NEED EDUCATION REVOLUTION.
Ted Egan, who has been made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the
Northern Territory University, is calling for a two way educational
experiment for adults in The Centre.
It would use the CDEP approach to pay Aboriginal adults to become literate in their own languages as well as English and to acquire living skills such as computer literacy, while in turn their teachers and others would become students of Aboriginal languages and culture.
Dr Egan's proposal was the focus of his occasional address at the university's graduation ceremony last Friday night, part of which we reproduce here:-
One of the great Territorians to my mind was Beulah Lowe, a Methodist missionary who went into Arnhem Land in the early 1950s with the agenda to translate the Bible into local languages. She did just that. Along the way she became totally fluent in especially Gupapuyngu which is the lingua franca of Arnhem Land.
The exciting difference with Beulah was that she was so grateful to the old people who had taught her that she in turn taught them to be literate in their own language. They could not read or write English but they were so proud of their acquired ability to read their own language.
There has been good educational achievement among the Aboriginals of north-eastern Arnhem Land, and I submit that this has largely been achieved because, at the outset, the adults were sold on the notion that education is a good thing.
Mandawuy Yunupingu was the first Aboriginal with an Australian first language to get a university degree. His father, Mungurrawuy Yunupingu, was ever so proud of the ability he had acquired from Beulah Lowe to read his own Gumatj language. He encouraged his children to attend school and derive maximum benefit.
As I look around me in Central Australia I see dreadful apathy towards education among Aboriginals. I think that Aboriginal literacy standards have dropped considerably in recent decades.
I see Aboriginal children listlessly walking the streets as though there was no school for them to attend.
I am saddened by the daily parade of Aboriginals as they shuffle from the welfare office to the bank to the bottle shop. At every place white people serve them, fill out the forms for them, and often despise them.
It is a huge problem that in Australia, from 1788, the attitude of whites was that Aboriginals had nothing of value to offer us Ð except their land, which we were going to take over in any case.
There was no attempt to learn language from them. Their vast level of knowledge of the land was largely ignored.
People of the First and Second Fleet contingents determinedly starved on a diet of rotten salted pork at Sydney Cove, in the presence of local Aboriginals who lived like lords on fish, seafood, local plant foods and kangaroos.
It took 25 years to cross the Blue Mountains because nobody thought to ask the locals for directions.
As a necessary process of taking over their land we institutionalised Aboriginals and then decided we must educate their children. Let's ignore the adults, there's no hope for them. Let's teach the children English and the way of the white man. They are bound to derive benefit and see the light.
I think ignoring the parents has been and is our biggest blunder, for I am sure that in many places there has been a subversive, and often not so subversive campaign among adults Aboriginals to negate the efforts of school teachers to bring enlightenment to the young.
At best, there is passive acceptance that the children are being educated away from their traditional attitudes and beliefs. At worst, I think children are being told by parents that this "school business" is yet another manifestation of whitefellers controlling our lives, eliminating our language, and taking over our culture and our land.
I have had talks with quite a few people in recent months about the notion of extending the CDEP approach on a trial basis into Aboriginal adult education, where adults are paid to be students in a practical, two-way educational experiment aimed at achieving literacy in their own languages and in English, and in the acquisition of the necessary skills of today Ð computer and communication skills, hygiene skills, skills that will give them the jobs normally done by white people, particularly in the tourism industry and in the management of their own communities and enterprises.
I envisage a school week, where Aboriginal adults for half the time are taught by teachers (including a pool of volunteers). These are not just teachers doing the three Rs Ð but there has to be plenty of that.
This is a volunteer team of computer experts, tourism operators, clothing consultants, shop owners, small business operators, trades people like bakers, welders, mechanics, hairdressers, health inspectors, medical personnel.
Those people run the show for half of the school week. Students are paid their "allowance" only if they attend, and achieve. There is no compulsion.
The other half of the school week is run by the adult Aboriginal students themselves, teaching the white teachers Ð and others Ð Aboriginal skills like language, bushcraft, anthropology, traditional practices. Yes, there will be exams.
Aboriginals have lived in this region Ð some of the toughest country in the world Ð for countless thousands of years, understanding every aspect of the country. If they did nothing else they devised a marriage system to prevent inbreeding that is unparalleled in the universe.
Their languages are some of the oldest in the world.
Many of us would avow that Central Australia is "the only place to live". Wouldn't it be nice if Aboriginals could pass on to us, on a formal level, some of their expert knowledge of the region? Why not Honorary Doctorates in Aboriginal Knowledge?
Why not a Central Australian University of Traditional Australian Studies?
Pipe dreaming? What I'm proposing is not just an attempt to do something because we have local problems, although there is certainly that aspect to it. At the same time it's an attempt to take education onto a positive, joyful, fulfilling level, the level that has you doing research or typing assignments because you want to do it.
At the same time I would hope that, however slowly, an enthusiasm for education engendered among adults might transfer to the younger generation. If Mum and Dad are the obvious beneficiaries of a well-rounded educational system it is reasonable to assume that they, like Beulah Lowe's group, who taught her and then were taught by her, might pass on to their kids the notion that this education business is a good thing.
Perhaps it could be called the Beulah Lowe experiment? It should of necessity start on a "crawl before we walk" basis. I'll be taking the matter further.
DO FENCE ME IN! COLUMN by STEVE FISHER.
Spend enough time in Alice Springs and a few things start to become clear. Take fences, for example.
A fence is a fence, isn't it? Well, actually, no. A fence in our town is a statement about where the owner comes from and where he or she wishes to end up.
Take the humble picket fence. A little piece of suburbia out in the desert. This poor little line of timbers feels out of place here in the Outback and would rather be in a street of green-lawned villas or Victorian townhouses.
What might be the excuse for this? Perhaps the owner misses Melbourne and finds the isolation of Alice a little scary. Or he wants his ex-commission three-bedroomed place to look like it aspires to something more. Either way, if it had a voice, the picket fence would want to leave the Centre and go elsewhere in Australia before it becomes termite fodder.
What about those six-foot high metal monstrosities? The ones with corrugations, either vertical or horizontal. Painted municipal green in colour. These fences say, "Keep out, I value my privacy" or, more intriguingly, "Wouldn't you like to know what goes on in here?". But, of course, you can't unless you are two metres tall.
If the town was somehow flattened by a freak asteroid collision, you can be sure that the green panels would be the only features left standing.
And then we have the metal bar fence. Those tough, straight vertical bars. Very European. Serious and authoritarian. Not easily shaken. Can be painted any colour. If too tall, they make you feel under detention. If too short, they offer no security and you wonder why such a forbidding fence is needed at all.
The metal bar fence is the ultimate image fence. It achieves little, but it says a lot.
We must not forget the brick wall. I saw a high and new brick wall the other day behind which a broken down house was hiding. In fact, the wall may have been worth more than the building. This tells us little, other than that a brick fence is a good investment, but only if you have something behind it that you really need to protect. Brick is not popular for fences in the Alice.
By now, you may start to think that I am simply sneering at the fencing peccadillos of the people of our town. That is not my intention. Fences are important. They frame a building and they make a statement to the passer-by. I even have a fence around my house, although I would prefer not to tell you the type.
You see, the open plans and manicured lawns of the Golf Course Estate are not for me. These seem like streets for driving only. If you walk, you don't know when you might stray on to someone's property, so you walk on the road instead. This means that houses without fences force pedestrians on to the bitumen.
This is a hazard which Government TV information bulletins should warn us about. Build a fence, they should say, and keep others safe (authorised by the Commonwealth Government, Canberra). Not only that, but a house with a lawn and no fence looks naked. It needs to put on clothes.
Which brings me to the point. The most common fence in town is the half-metre government pipe-and-mesh. The embodiment of cheap and cheerful. Dig underneath it and you will find the popular archaeology of the last 30 years, from chocolate bar wrappers to plastic toys to old coins spilled from the pockets of those who sat slumped against it in 1975.
The pipe-and-mesh fence properly marks the boundary of any place. It discourages children and animals.
It encourages neighbours to lean across for a yarn. It stretches out unbroken all over the suburbs of our town. There is nothing more homely and welcoming than the pipe-and-mesh.
Dogs urinate against it, drunks break bottles on it, vehicles reverse into it and the sun beats down on it for decades. But still it looks just the same.
Now there's the real spirit of Alice Springs.
TARGET TERRORISM, NOT CIVIL LIBERTIES. COMMENT by WARREN SNOWDON MHR.
In the current environment it is of the utmost importance that we
are tough on terrorism and terrorists.
However, it is also vital that we do not, in our haste to deal with terrorists, undermine the civil liberties that are at the heart of our democracy and way of life.
The original Anti-terrorist legislation presented by the Howard Government was rushed, it was sloppy legislation that did not properly target the terrorists. In its original form the legislation held every prospect of undermining our rights as citizens, including freedom of association and the right to protest.
The proscription of the groups or organisations by governments was one of the most ominous and disturbing aspects of the original legislation.
It gave extreme authoritarian power to a Minister, the Attorney General, or any other minister he nominates. The Attorney, or other Minister could ban an organisation simply by issuing a press release. This is totally unacceptable.
Under this proposal it would have been possible that peaceful protests, such as those being planned for Pine Gap later in the year, could have been defined as terrorist acts and the organisations behind them proscribed as terrorist organisations.
The Howard Government's proposals were reminiscent of another time. In the 1950's Robert Menzies tried to drive a wedge into the Labor party by banning the Communist Party. Even thought the vast majority of Australians did not like communists or communism, they voted down a referendum to ban it. The Australian community did this because proscription was a bad idea and because they thought it was antidemocratic.
They were right then and they are right now. We do not need proscription to target terrorism, nor do we need sloppy and rushed laws.
Proscription generally works for a government if the organisation they want to ban is visible and has a known membership. The terrorists of the 21st century are not on the radar. They are part of secret, clandestine organisations.
Governments, historically Ð the Nazi and various communist regimes, the South African apartheid regime Ð have proscribed for political advantage, not to defend the nation.
We should not risk the democratic rights of visible non-terrorist organisations to make it look like we are doing something about invisible murderers. We should not give a government of the future the ability to exercise massive power against its political rivals.
The hard-headed, effective approach is to properly define the offences and let the police and the courts do their jobs. Labor will be making sure that any anti-terrorist legislation targets terrorists and no one else.
Thankfully there has now been a Parliamentary inquiry in to the Bill and a series of amendments have been proposed that will address many of the deficiencies identified by Labor.
The original bills proposed such a wide definition that many forms of civil protest could potentially have been criminalised as terrorist acts. For example, unionists, farmers or indigenous people protesting, marching, or mass emailing could have fallen within the definition as soon as their actions were unlawful in any way Ð be it trespass, nuisance, or property damage.
Labor will ensure that the definition of terrorism is reframed to refer to the use of violence to influence the government or to intimidate or coerce the public.
The proposed bills threatened basic principles of our legal system. The onus of proof was to be reversed in many of the offences, so that people facing life sentences would have to prove their innocence, as opposed to the prosecution having to prove their guilt.
This is something that we cannot support. The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our law. Someone who does not have the knowledge or the intent, is extremely unlikely to be a terrorist and should be dealt with under the criminal law.
The legislation proposed also attempts to bring the criminal code into the information age. I am not convinced that emails should have any lesser protection than telephone calls Ð that is, we need an interception warrant that offers appropriate privacy protections, as opposed to a search warrant.
Labor will be proposing a set of legislative mechanisms to target terrorists, that will cut off terrorist funds. We support the legislation that classifies terrorism as a heinous crime and puts terrorists in jail for 25 years. Our model will target terrorists: it will not target the innocent bystanders.
This legislation will seek balance between the necessity to target and prosecute terrorists and safeguarding the basic democratic freedoms.
AUSSIE RULES: IT'S ON AT TRAEGER PARK. Report by
Aussie Rules in Central Australia is on a real high. On Saturday in an historic afternoon of the running game, teams from Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice came together at Traeger Park to play a "down the track" carnival.
Katherine proved too good for the Desert Warriors, winning 14.8 (92) to 9.7 (61).
Then in the under age game Desert Storm accounted for Tennant Creek, 20.14 (134) to 2.2 (14).
This Sunday, the Territory Thunder will test themselves against a full on CAFL representative side.
Meanwhile, in CAFL competition on the weekend Pioneers downed a resolute South 12.14 (86) to 11.4 (70) and Rovers had a field day scoring 26.18 (174) to Federals 6.7 (43).
Katherine have come off a season which runs from January until June and were in full flight against the confident Desert Warriors. Prominent in the Katherine line up were Dion Kelly who has a top reputation in the NTFL and proved to be a valued goal scorer. Also in the lineup was Rory Chapple who was a West cornerstone in years gone by. Sebastian Bowden, Owen Turner and Braun Bush were also prominent.
For the Desert Warriors the 31-point loss proved to be a disappointment but from it lessons have been learned. Rather than having a coaching box packed with advisers it may well be a good idea to have one appointed coach calling the shots. However Daryl Ryder, Don Scharber, Darren Young, Malcolm Ross and Oliver Wheeler were players who stood up in the encounter.
The obvious question now is when will the Katherine Districts League face the Central Australian Football League?
It was not possible this season as the CAFL were expecting that the Spencer Gulf League would make a return visit after the Centralian side went to Port Augusta last year. When the SGL pulled out, the Territory Thunder wasted no time in making themselves available for a match prior to the indication of Katherine's interest in a game. Maybe in 2003 such a game could take place.
On this weekend the CAFL take to the Thunder. To many it will seem to be a David versus Goliath affair. However the Thunder are coming off a series on the road where they have played and trained in Melbourne. Their premier game was against top TAC side Oakleigh where they went down by 19 points. This would have hardened the team, and with other games and professional training sessions undertaken, the Thunder will no doubt fly into Alice as a well-drummed unit.
For the CAFL, coach Roy Arbon has again stuck firmly to his policy of blooding young players. Several local and country players have failed to attract the attention of Thunder executives and this will be a chance for the CAFL to show that there are young men playing in the south worthy of consideration. Otherwise the brilliance of Graeme Smith, Jarrad Berrington, and a host of experienced CAFL campaigners should be overwhelming , but a good experience, for the Thunder.
In the games played last weekend Smith proved his true worth when Pioneer faced South. The Roos put up a good fight against a somewhat under manned Pioneer outfit, but again it was Smith who led from the front for the Eagles.
They ran on short of Trevor Dhu, Laughlan Ross, Clinton Pepperill, Ryan Mallard, and Norm Hagan.
South kept with Pioneer in the first half, being 6-2 to 8-5 down at half time and in the game. In real terms however Pioneer had dominated possession and not capitalised on opportunities.
After the big break South were late to enter the arena and the umpire interestingly bounced the ball just as their rucks crossed into the square. The decision however didn't handicap the Roos as they goaled through Gilbert Fishook and seemed to compose themselves.
The Eagles however took control of possession from that point and only for inaccuracy should have stitched the game up. At the orange break Pioneer held a 19 shots to nine advantage and yet led by a mere 25 points.
In the run home Craig Turner put the Eagles in an even more secure position with an early goal, but then South revived. They booted a volley of three goals in succession to come within nine points of their rivals.
A steadying goal however from Daniel Stafford signaled time up and the Eagles again collected premiership points.
The Eagles were well served by Wayne McCormack and Aaron Kopp who week in week out are reliable ball-getters, and have highly efficient disposal techniques. Vaughan Hampton again showed why he is an automatic pick in an 18, and Calvin Williams contributed well. But at the helm the best on ground points went the way of Smith.
In the South camp Gilbert Fishook booted six goals and proved to be a real force in the forward division. Ali Satour and Don Scharber did every thing right, and had the Roos been able to establish a pathway through the centreline their efforts would have been even more effective. Bradley Braun is a player on the move. He has developed and could become a tower of strength for the South team.
The game between Rovers and Federal proved to be a comprehensive defeat for the Undoolya Road side. Rover coach John Glasson has put in more than required in his role and the hard work is now paying off. To see the Rover brigade cruise from the centre bounce through to full forward with precision, was a signal to West and Pioneer that the race for the flag this year is not a two club affair.
Rovers booted six goals to one in the first term, after Max Fejo set them alight in the first minute of play. In the second session Feds fought back creditably, with Desmond Jack kicking two goals, and majors coming from Charlie Lynch and Shane Buzzacott.
In reply however after goal sneak Nathan McGregor scored, Clinton Ngalken put Rovers in a convincing position with two goals in as many minutes. This had come from the dynamic play of Oliver Wheeler who from this quarter onwards controlled possession of the ball at the centre bounce and effectively headed it in a forward direction.
At the big break Feds were looking down the barrel at 31 points down, 10.4 (64) to 5.3 (33).
In most games the third quarter is the one that tells. In the case of this game it was the start of the end for Federal. The Blues piled on a merciless 10.9 for the term while Federal could only muster 1.2. The highlight of the quarter was the explosive performance of Sherman Spencer who simply ran amok in the forward line scoring three personal goals and setting up plenty of others for the rampaging Rovers.
The more Wheeler belted the ball out of the centre, the greater were the opportunities for Rovers up forward. McGregor hit his straps with three goals for the term, and even Jamie Tidy joined the frenzy with a major.
In the final term coach Glasson showed no mercy. While he shifted players around, he urged his side to a full-on performance right to the bell. As a result a further 6.5 were recorded to Feds' two behinds.
Spencer continued to mesmerise with another three goals, while Edric Coulthard tasted the thrill of goal-kicking, as did Terry Mumu.
The 131-point win to Rovers was the biggest for the season by any side. Spencer, Wheeler, Tidy and Ngalken were in Rovers' best, while for Feds captain Daryl Ryder battled all day and both Charlie Lynch and Willy Naylor were true believers.
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