Jets have little to lose in taking more risks

LINCHPIN: Leonardo is pivotal to reviving the Jets’ attacking fortunes against Wellington on Sunday. Picture: Getty ImagesTHE Jets have not scored in six games. Their ninegoals in 14 games this season is the worst in the A-League by some distance,six fewerthan Perth’s 15. They rank last for shots and for shots on target. Only four Jets players have scored this season.
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Interestingly, according to Opta, the A-League’ssports data supplier, the Jets rank fourth in the league for what it terms “big chances”, with 27, but last in conversion rate, at just 22%, which lends credence to captain Nigel Boogaard’s observation this week that “as a group we are creating the chances”.

However you look at it, the side’s attack has been poor, even accounting for yet another disjointed preparation in the hangover from Nathan Tinkler’s sorry regime.

The mantra at training this week has been that the team do not need to change their approach and that the goals, and results, will eventually come.

“We’ve got ourgame plan, and we’re not going to shy away from that,” defender Daniel Mullen said.“We’re not going to change it. We know that it works.’’

Nevertheless, on Sunday, the Jets are at home toWellington, who have not won outside New Zealand since round two, have themselves scored only once in three games and are missing six-goal striker Roy Krishna.

Coach Scott Millerhas not apologised for sending his side out with a conservative mindset. A horrible defensive record last season (55 goals in 27 games) needed fixing, and to a large extent he has done that.

But it will be interesting to see whether he regards this weekend as a chance to take some risksand bank on his team’s improved resilience.

What are his options? Introducingyoung legsoff the bench earlier in the game? Committing more troops forward?The fans won’t hang him for trying.

Much will depend on whether Leonardo is fit, as the team’s counter-attack pivots off the littleBrazilian, takingpressure off David Carney. The No.10 tends to cheat a little when the team is under pressure, and they will need his positional sense and ability to beat the first defender to open up a Phoenix defence which has conceded 22 goals in 14 games.

Leonardo has trained through the heat this week after a month out injured and appears likely to start.

The transfer window swung open 10 days ago, and the FFA-owned Jets have made no signings to boost their attack, but it is hard to believe that, with a few hundred thousand in the kitty, they won’t find reinforcements before it closes.

On the plus side, Carney and Mark Birighitti are still at the club, despite rumoured interest from abroad, and Miller has signed OlyrooSteven Ugarkovic.

Ugarkovic looks like the kind of midfielder the Jets need, a mobile, technically strong player who can play the ball forward thenlink with teammates further up the pitch. For all the talk of the final third, this is an area of the Jets’ game which has been lacking for years.It is too much to ask that one player, let alone a 21-year-old, can transformthe team, but Jetsfans will see any change as good change.

BIG WHINGE

An optimist sees the glass as half full, a pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
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The whinger sees their glass as half empty with a lipstick stain and a chip and tells you they’re not really thirsty anyway, so why’d you bring them a drink?

We wouldn’t want to live in a world where people didn’t have the chance to complain. It’s how things get done better, we give feedback and sometimes we can find the solutions.

We all know a chronic complainer: they send dishes back at a restaurant, complain it’s too hot in summer and too cold in winter, their boss is a tyrant, their partner’s lazy and the kids don’t come and visit any more. (I wonder why!)

For some people, it seems that no matter what good fortune life brings them, there will always be something that they cancomplain about.

Won Lotto? It’s a burden to manage the tax. Bought a new house on the beach? Everything rusts too fast.

It’s like we have a homeostasis for happiness – after we have recovered from the initial horror of a tough time or the joy of a good time, we end up pretty much back where we started with regards to our own happiness.

(This is true for those who have won huge Lotto payments – six months later many people are as happy as before the won the money).

It can be a real downer to be around chronic complainers.

Sometimes complainers just want to be heard and those around them are in the habit of not listening to them because they are “over it”.

It becomes a vicious cycle – the more people ignore them and their view that the world is unfair, the more they need to seek connection to others in the only way they know how – complaining!

Sometimes it’s possible forwhingers to break the habit.

They can realise their glass might actually be full (they only fill the glass up to the halfway line these days) and can be poured into another glass without any problem.

Tarnya Davis is currently on holidays. This is a ‘best of’ column. Tarnyais a clinical psychologistand principal of NewPsychPsychologists,newpsych南京夜网419论坛Her book of columns,All Things Considered, is on sale at theherald南京夜网419论坛

Why I became an Elena Ferrante addict

CATCHING THE FERRANTE BUG
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I emerged into the new year feeling raw and removed from the physical world after six weeks’ holiday in which, among other things, I read the four novels in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. The books had been piling up beside my bed since Text Publishing brought out the English translation of My Brilliant Friend in 2013 until the final volume, The Story of the Lost Child, appeared last October. People (mostly women) told me that once you began reading you couldn’t stop and it’s true: I joined the army of addicts. If ever I pulled out my book in a cafe I was accosted by a woman who wanted to share: “So you’ve got the Ferrante bug,” whispered one. For me the fascination was first with the intimate first-person narration of the friendship between two women from childhood to middle-age, through love affairs, careers, motherhood, and their intense but ruthless bond, compromised by jealous rivalry; with the emotional nuances that change moment by moment like clouds. And then with the underlying portrait of the poverty, politics and crime of late 20th-century Naples and Italy. At times I wanted to abandon the characters to their small-minded meanness but I had to know if they would pull themselves out of the mess. Some did, many didn’t. Sometimes, as crisis piled upon crisis, I agreed with the odd critics who dismiss the books as soap opera. But mostly I felt I was in the company of a frank companion who confided a story of women’s survival despite the obstacles put up by society, men and their own bad choices. If you read Jennifer Levasseur’s email interview with Ferrante in Spectrum in December, you know the author is an Italian woman who writes under a pseudonym and guards her privacy. This adds to the allure of the books, which she admits draw on her life. There are clues for readers and lessons for writers in the text as the narrator, Elena Greco, carves out a writing career. As her fiery friend and alter ego, Lila Cerullo, says near the end: “Only in bad novels people always think the right things, always say the right thing, every effect has its cause, there are the likeable ones and the unlikeable, the good and the bad, everything in the end consoles you.” There is, thankfully, little consolation in these brilliant books. Now I must go back to her earlier novels, The Days of Abandonment, The Lost Daughter and Troubling Love. TOP BOOKS SALES OF 2015

My sense that “everyone” was reading Ferrante was not enough to put her on Nielsen BookScan’s Australian bestseller lists for 2015. At the top of the list, Andy Griffiths’ megaseller 65-Storey Treehouse series for children and adult colouring books propped up sales, while the most popular fiction was E. L. James’ erotic novel Grey. Among literary fiction, Harper Lee’sGo Set a Watchman, Richard Flanagan’s Booker-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer winner, All the Light We Cannot See, made the best showing. However, Text says Ferrante’s series has sold a total of 100,000 books in Australia since 2013 and My Brilliant Friend has sat on the independent bookshops’ weekly bestseller list for months. It was the No. 1 bestseller for 2015 at Brisbane bookshop Avid Reader and No. 2 (after The Mindfulness Colouring Book) at Readings bookstores in Melbourne.

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Australia v India ODI: game 1photos

Australia v India ODI: game 1 | photos Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images
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Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

Scenes from Australia’s first one-day international of the season against India. Pic: Getty Images

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Assault victim feared she would die

Vindicated: Tori-Lee Hillery after a Newcastle magistrate found her to be a witness of truth after her professional boxer former boyfriend assaulted her. Ms Hillery has been vilified on social media for reporting the assault to police. Picture: Simone de Peak. FOR a shocking few minutes lastSeptember the former girlfriend of professional boxer Kyron Dryden believed she was going to joinAustralia’s most horrifying list –the one woman a week to die at the hands of a partner or former partner.
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“I’ve watched him train. I’ve watched him fight. I knew what he was capable of,” said Tori-Lee Hillery, 21, of the night Dryden, 22, grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into a mirror, “choke-slammed” her to the floor, and called her a “stupid slut” on a film of the incident he later posted on social media.

“I thought, I’m going to die,” Ms Hillery said of the terror she felt that September day, after Dryden was found guilty on Monday of assault causing actual bodily harm, and pleaded guilty to breaching apprehended violence orders four times that requiredhim not to make contact with her.

She agreed to speak, backed by Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL) chief executive Robyn Cotterell-Jones, after months of being vilified on social media after Dryden was charged, culminatingin an ugly outpouring of commentary after his conviction.

It included that she was a “lying c…”, a “witch”, a “f…ing bitch”, a “stupid bitch”, a “slut”, that Dryden had yet to tell “the full story” and Ms Hillery deserved being assaulted nearly two months after her relationship with Dryden ended.

Kyron Dryden has been found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

The commentary included Drydensaying he was“unfazed and carefree about the situation” because he had“bigger things on my mind”.

Ms Hillery said the social media response was“worse than the assault in some ways”.

“If I’d seen this happen to another girl I don’t know if I would have reported it, but if no-one says anything this will never stop.

“I would say to these people who’ve written these things, never, ever, ever shame a victim as you have no idea how deeply it affects their lives already.

“Domestic violence victims don’t want your sympathy, and they definitely don’t want your opinion either.”

​Ms Cotterell-Jones said the social media commentary had reached“new lows in savaging the victim”, and was“like a cancer” that would silence other victims.

“The magistrate found one party to be honest, the other not,” she said.

“People have torecognisethat when anyone, hero or not, commits a crime andis found guiltyon the evidencein a court of law,blaming the victim will silence others from trying to be safe.”

Ms Hillery said she“never ever thought”Dryden would physically assault her. In text messages sent by Dryden to her after their relationship ended in July last year, he repeatedly demanded to see her, including one in which he said“Your (sic) seeing me I wanna see you, that’s it, I steal you if I gotta”.

After he was charged Dryden repeatedly breached apprehended violence orders requiring him not to contact Ms Hillery.

The NSW Government’s Combat Sports Authority, which is responsible for licensing and monitoring boxing and has a “fit and proper person” test as part of its registration that lists serious assault as a relevant consideration, said it was aware of the Dryden conviction.

The authority can take disciplinary action which “may affect the status”of a boxer’s registration.

Dryden, who won an International Boxing Organisation (IBO) world youth title in November, could also face action from the IBO, its Asia Pacific vice president Steve Scott said.

The IBO board will consider the case after Dryden is sentenced, with the possibility that Dryden could be stripped of the title if a custodial sentence was given, Mr Scott said.

“We await the sentencing to be completed and we hope that justice is done for all in this case,” he said.

Ms Hillery said she hoped that by speaking to police and giving evidence in the trial she gave other women the courage to speak. She called on people to support women when they report domestic violence. She called on people to think before they posted commentary on social media.

“After he was charged people were saying on social media that the truth would come out in the court. We’ve been to court and the truth’s come out,” she said.

The Herald, Newcastle

US Powerball jackpot worth $2.1 billion now open to Australians

Customers wait in line at the Blue Bird Liquor Store to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, California. Photo: Richard VogelAfter an expensive Christmas season it would be nice to come across a little extra cash in January, right?
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Try $US1.5 billion ($2.1 billion), the total kitty from the upcoming US Powerball jackpot and the world’s largest ever prize, which takes place on Thursday at 3pm AEDT.

For the first time ever, Australians can take a punt on the giant jackpot at a cost of $US14.

Lottoland was awarded a five-year licence by the the Northern Territory Racing Commission to give online gambling the green light in international lotteries.

“It’s quite incredible now to think Australian citizens through Lottoland can join in on the race to win a mega international lottery without having to leave the comfort of their own lounge room or office,” Luke Brill, Lottoland spokesman said.

According to Lottoland’s website, Australians are able to place a bet on the result of the lottery rather than enter the draw itself.

“Rest assured your winnings will be the same as if you had entered it for real,” the website says.

Before the licensing change, lotto enthusiasts would need to travel to the country of the lottery’s origin to play.

Were an Australian to win the jackpot, they would be required to pay the same taxes as an American citizen.

Powerball is a multi-state lottery based in the US that regularly offers super-sized jackpots that always starts at a minimum of $US40 million

To win, a player must choose five white balls from a spinning heap numbered 1 to 69, plus a red Powerball numbered between 1 and 26.

If you match the Powerball (and no white ones), a one-in-38 chance, you would get $US4.

Matching three of the white balls, a one-in-580 chance, would earn you $US7. If you’re truly living a charmed life and you hit the one-in-36,525 chance of picking four correctly, you would earn $US100.

The odds of winning the jackpot are now 1:292,201,338.

According to The New York Times, the odds of being struck by lightning this year are about one in 1.19 million – making it about 246 times as likely as winning the Powerball jackpot.

If you have a spare $US584.4 million lying around, you could buy every possible winning combination of numbers, guaranteeing victory. However, there is still the taxman to consider, and you may also have to split your winnings.

The world record jackpot has caused a lotto frenzy in the US, as continuous draws leading to no winner have caused the prize money to climb.

In New York, the state gaming commission has recorded ticket sales of up to $US3.3 million an hour.

The full amount is only paid if the winner chooses to take an annual payout over 29 years, otherwise the lump sum is considerably less.

State and federal government tax offices stand to collect a tidy sum from the eventual winner. The federal tax rate is 25 per cent, while state government tax rates vary according to state.

While the Australian Powerball Jackpot imposes no tax on winnings, Fairfax Media is attempting to confirm if an additional Australian tax would be applicable to an Australian winner of the US jackpot.

with New York Times

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Vladimir Putin denies setting his dog on Angela Merkel

Vladimir Putin swimming in a pool accompanied only by his black labrador Connie. Photo: suppliedIt’s a tale of ruthlessness and intimidation that has dogged one of the most important political relationships of the 21st century almost since it began.
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Now Vladimir Putin has spoken out to deny the rumour that he used his pet labrador to frighten Angela Merkel in a remarkable power play at one of their very first meetings.

The incident, which has become infamous in Germany, took place at a meeting at Mr Putin’s Sochi residence in 2007.

The story goes that Mr Putin, who had been briefed on Ms Merkel’s fear of dogs, brought his black labrador Connie to the meeting.

“The dog does not bother you, does she? She’s a friendly dog and I’m sure she will behave herself,” he was quoted as telling Ms Merkel at the time.

“No, she doesn’t eat journalists after all,” Ms Merkel is believed to have replied in Russian.

Despite her joke, photographs from the meeting show Ms Merkel looking extremely uncomfortable as Connie settles near her feet, while Mr Putin appears to be smirking.

Although Ms Merkel never commented publicly on the incident, the rumour grew that the move had been a deliberate ploy to intimidate the chancellor during negotiations.

But Mr Putin quashed that tale on Monday, telling German journalists he intended no such thing.

“I did not know anything about that,” he said when asked whether he was deliberately trying to frighten or embarrass the chancellor. “I showed her my dog because I thought she would like it. I told her so later and apologised,” he said in an interview with Bild.

Mr Putin added that he respects Ms Merkel and considers her a “sincere” person.

“She is very sincere and highly professional. In any case, I think the level of trust between us is very high,” he said.

Mr Putin and Ms Merkel’s relationship has emerged as one of the most important – and pugnacious – between European leaders in recent times.

They literally speak the same language – Mr Putin speaks German and served with the KGB in Dresden, while Ms Merkel learnt Russian while she was growing up in East Germany – and appear to have built a relatively frank rapport.

But the relationship between the two has been markedly cooler than Mr Putin’s close friendship with Ms Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder.

In particular, Ms Merkel has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Mr Putin in Europe and has been instrumental in introducing and upholding European sanctions against Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Connie, who died in 2014 at the age of 15, was given to Mr Putin in 2000 by Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s then minister of emergency situations, who is now defence minister.

She was by all accounts just as friendly as Mr Putin claimed.

Telegraph, UK

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg faces trial over Silicon Valley property deal

Protecting his privacy: Mark Zuckerberg claims he was bluffed into a payoff by the property developer. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty ImagesFacebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is headed toward a trial after all as the property developer who claims the billionaire broke a promise to introduce him to Silicon Valley’s elite has a new lawyer. The case was at risk of collapsing after developer Mircea Voskerician’s previous lawyer bowed out in October on the brink of trial and Voskerician told a judge he was having trouble finding a replacement. Voskerician’s new attorney, Guyton Jinkerson, appeared in state court in San Jose, California, Tuesday and Judge Patricia Lucas scheduled a trial for April 25, about 5 1/2 months later than it was originally set. The judge put the litigation on hold for two weeks to give Jinkerson a chance to catch up with the case, which was filed in May 2014. The court battle grew out of Zuckerberg’s agreement in 2012 to pay Voskerician $US1.7 million ($2.4 million) for rights to buy the house behind the Facebook co-founder’s home in Palo Alto, California. The developer claims he gave Zuckerberg a 40 per cent discount based on promised introductions and referrals in Silicon Valley that never materialised. Zuckerberg says the developer’s proposal to build a 890-square-metre house with a view into his bedroom was just a bluff to get a payoff from the 31-year-old billionaire. Zuckerberg has contested the authenticity of a bank statement showing Voskerician had $US3.9 million to support his cash offer for the property. Patrick Gunn, a lawyer for Zuckerberg, told the judge in October he thinks Voskerician’s previous lawyer, David Draper, withdrew after being confronted with the “fraudulent” bank statement provided by his client. In his written request to drop out of the case, Draper referred to an unspecified conflict with his client and cited California’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers. One of the rules he cited in a court filing forbids an attorney to litigate a matter “that is not warranted under existing law” or is “for the purpose of harassing or maliciously injuring any person.” He declined to comment on why he was leaving the case. Jinkerson and Nate Cooper, a lawyer representing Zuckerberg, declined to comment after Tuesday’s hearing. The case is Voskerician v. Zuckerberg, 114CV264667, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara (San Jose).
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Bloomberg

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Foxton’s second taste of The Jam

WHEN Paul Weller informed his bandmates in The Jam that it was over, Bruce Foxton felt lost.
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“It was a feelingof bewilderment, not really understanding why Paul wanted to leave the band because he never really gave us a reason at that time,” The Jam’s original bass playerFoxton recalls.

“I was devastated. That whole tour we really played well. I think we all wanted to go out with a bang and people to remember us at the top and I think we achieved that.

“But it was very sad. That was it. It had come to an end. Nothing lasts forever and you have to get up off the floor and move on.”

Three decades after The Jam playedits final show in Brighton on December 11, 1982, Foxton is reliving the band’s music in From The Jam – the group he founded in 2007alongside singer Russell Hastings and which also featured The Jam’soriginal drummer Rick Buckler until 2009.

The band faithfully reproduces The Jam’s classic songs (Going Underground, Down In The Tube Station At Midnight,Town Called Malice, The Modern World, Start!)complete with Foxton’s distinct bass lines and the vocalsof Hastings whichsounduncannily very much like that of “TheModfather”Weller.

“I believe those songs are still credible today and we play them with as much energy and passion as we can manage,” Foxton says.

“It’s not going through the motions, it’s not a cabaret act, it’s not a tribute band because it would be very difficult to be a tribute to myself [laughs], it’s just great to play those songs.

“I want to keep playing and while there’s an audience out there that wants to hear those songs and more, then I’ll supply it.”

Recognised as one of the most influential bands to emerge out of England in the 1970s,The Jam’s popularity has spanned the decades.

Foxtonis asked about the potentialof areunion “too often”, as isWeller, who has gone on record as saying of a comeback:“Absolutely, categorically, f***ingno. To me it would be against everything we ever stood for”.

“No matter what Paul says, people still ask about it. He’s adamant and, to be honest with you, I’m happy with what I’m doing,” Foxton says.

“I tend to agree that it’s probably best left in people’s memories of what we were like then.”

After The Jam split, Foxton says he had no idea “what I was going to do and where I was going to be”.

“I’d just lived day-to-day with The Jam. That band. And when it’s taken away from you, I was like ‘Wow, what do I do?’,” he says.

“I was lost. ButI love what I’m doing now with the band. It’s a lot more relaxed, there’s not as much pressure. Wetake the shows very seriously but there’s no pressure in terms of ‘Oh, God, we need another top 10 hit’.”

In recent years, Foxton has mended his relationship with Weller.

The pair had not spoken for 20 years beforethey reconnected in 2009 followingthe lossof Foxton’s wife, Pat, to cancer and, shortly after,the death of Weller’s father, John.

Weller invited Foxton to play on hisWake Up the Nationalbum, and he has since featuredonFoxton’s albumsBack in the Roomand the upcoming Smash The Clock which is set for release in March

Foxton says the realisation that life is short allowed the pair to put their differences aside.

“lt just bangs your head together and you think ‘Christ, what did we fall out over? Something really petty’.

“When you’ve got your loved ones dying, that’s important shit,not what we’d fallen out about. So we just got together and hugged each other and it’s all really nice now.

“But it took something as drastic as that to bring us to our senses.”

After a successful debut Australian tour in early 2015, From The Jam returns in September for a bigger run of dates including a show in Newcastle.

“I just love playing,” Foxton says.

“It sounds cliche and I remember years ago looking at Pete Townsend who, at that time, I think was about 40 and thinking ‘Oh, silly old bugger. Why doesn’t he give up?’ but now I know why he didn’t give up because it is in your blood and it’s what you do.

“Here I am, 60, and I’m still doing it. As long as I can and enjoy it and feel it’s worthwhile, I’ll carry on.”

Energy: The Jam’s original bass player Bruce Foxton live in action with From The Jam. The band performs at the Cambridge Hotel on September 8. Bookings at bigtix南京夜网419论坛

Toddler drowns in Griffith canal

Morris Road canalA familyouting has turnedto tragedyafter a toddler vanished from his parents’ side and plunged into an irrigation canal in Griffith on Tuesday night.
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Despite attempts made by paramedics to revive the 19-month-old boy,he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Griffith Base Hospital.

The family was visiting friends at Morris Road, Lake Wyangan when they decided to test out a remote control boat in an adjacent irrigation canal.

The family returned to the friends’ house soon afterand discovered the toddler was missing.

After a desperate search, a passing driver noticed the toddler floating in the canal and informed hisparents.

Paramedics recovered the boy from the canal and performed CPR, but it was to no avail.

The tragic incident dredgedup sombre memories forGriffith woman Robyn Shaw, wholost her young daughter Stacey-Lee in an irrigation canal 40 years ago.

The four-year-old was being looked afterby her grandparents when she followed the pet dog across the road and tumbled into a canal.

“It only takes a split-second for this to happen,” Mrs Shaw said.

“You can’tblame the parents andthey shouldn’t blame themselves.

“You can’t wrap them in cotton wool.

“No one should have to go through what we’ve been through.”

She said not a day goes by when she doesn’t imagine the life Stacey-Lee could’ve had.

“Igrieve for the parents because I know what they’re going through,” she said.

“It’s just a terrible freak accident.

“Every time Ihear something like this happenit brings back memories.

“It’s been 40 years but not a day go bywhen Idon’t thinkshe’s going to get married.”

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