Driver caught doing 219km/h fined and suspended

Bonkers might just be the best way to describe driving at 219km/h on a highway.
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A 29-year-old driver has been fined and had his licence suspended for doing just that in during a legal “road rally” while driving a high-performance Audi – with registration plate BONKERZ –  on a NSW highway.

Benjamin Peter De Bidaph, of Clarkson, Western Australia, pleaded guilty to driving in a dangerous manner, after police clocked him doing nearly double the 110km/h speed limit on the Hume Highway near Gundagai, in the state’s south, on October 25.

Other drivers had called police to report multiple sports cars emblazoned with “Modball Rally” stickers driving at “extreme” speed in the area, according to the police facts before Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.

Highway Patrol officers spotted a silver Rolls Royce travelling at 137km/h and increasing, quickly followed by the Audi RS6 wagon, which was overtaking two cars.

When police pulled over the Audi, Mr De Bidaph, who was driving with three passengers, explained he had been driving fast to “catch up with my mate” in the Rolls Royce.

When officers showed him his speed on their radar, he “thought it was amusing and asked if he could take a photo of the displayed speed for his father overseas”, the police statement said.

Mr De Bidaph’s solicitor, Andrew Tiedt, said his client was driving in a legal “road rally”, in which several people in different cars travel to the same destination, and had been tempted to speed because he was driving with other people in powerful cars.

“The problem is that [road rallies] can provoke that sort of conduct. It has led him not to engage in any more road rallies,” Mr Tiedt said.

“I’ve spoken to him at length … about the consequences that could have followed, had he hit someone, had there been some sort of accident. He understands that clearly.”

Modball Rally is described as a driving event in which people in modified sports cars travel – but don’t race – on public roads to raise money for charity.

Magistrate Janet Wahlquist ordered Mr De Bidaph, originally from the UK, to pay a $2000 fine and suspended his licence for one year.

Ms Wahlquist said: “A race course is the only place you can drive like that.”

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Social services caught inMorrison’s cross hairs

THE Immigration Bill recently passed by the Senate, with the support of six of the eight crossbench senators, has the following effects:
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Australia can now interpret the UN Refugee Convention however it likes;

The government’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers can no longer be challenged in the High Court;

Customs and navy boats are exempt from maritime laws;

The government can send boats and people to any country even if it does not adhere to the Refugee Convention;

Claims for asylum undergo a fast-track assessment, with no recourse to the Refugee Review Tribunal;

Children born in Australia to asylum seekers who arrived by boat become stateless; and

Non-refoulement obligations can be ignored so asylum seekers can be forcibly returned to places from which they have fled.

To persuade crossbench senators to support this Bill, the then Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, blackmailed them with his promise to release a number of children from detention, which he could have done at any time.

Ricky Muir, who finally voted for the Bill, stated it was a choice between bad and worse. Scott Morrison is now the Minister for Social Services.

What brutality will he inflict on the aged, the disabled and the unemployed? What bait will he use to persuade crossbench senators to support his proposals?

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Ryan Park survives opposition reshuffle

Keira MP Ryan Park. Picture: KEN ROBERTSONMemberfor Keira Ryan Park has retained his shadow cabinet portfolios after surviving minor ministerial changes made by new NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley on Tuesday.
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Mr Park said he would continue to advocate strongly in his roles as opposition spokesman for education and training and the Illawarra.

“I am very grateful to Luke Foley for the confidence he has shown in me,’’ Mr Park said.

‘‘I will continue to fight as hard as I can to develop policies and ideas to improve our local community and to enhance the educational outcomes for students right across NSW,” he said.

In a statement, Mr Foley said he had made ‘‘a limited number of minor modifications to the shadow ministerial responsibilities’’.

The new Labor leader will take on the portfolios of infrastructure, environment and western Sydney.

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Surf Report with John Veage

Surf Report with John Veage The Alley river mouth has burst its banks.Picture John Veage
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Lets face it ,its flat.Picture John Veage

Nelly and Melly going for a run.Picture John Veage

Col has nothing else to do either.Picture John Veage

I think there is Vodka in that cup….Picture John Veage

Strohy, I wonder whet gold he struck.Picture John Veage

More shooters than surfers.Picture John Veage

I used to think the full moon brought waves,Picture John Veage

Connor O’Leary blasts off the top.Picture Ethan Smith / SNSW

Parko punts at Dbah.Picture White/Surfing Queensland

Lunch looks good.Picture White/Surfing Queensland

A big hack from Macy.Picture White/Surfing Queensland

Sheldon Simkus-good name.Picture White/Surfing Queensland

Ty Richardson gets spoilt very young.Picture Cory Roberts / Surfing Queensland

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Medicare rebate changesan intolerable insult to GPs

Most people seem unaware that on January 19, the Medicare rebate for a GP consultation lasting six to 10 minutes will fall from $37.05 to $16.95, and then down to $11.95 from July 1.
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I am a GP. Sometimes I can resolve a patient’s problem in less than 10 minutes.

This is usually because of the fact that I know a particular patient or family very well, because our practice provides continuity of care, and because we have years of education, experience and hard work behind us. Occasional shorter consultations provide a much-needed opportunity to reduce the waiting room back-log while still offering high-quality care.

Forty per cent of my billings go directly to my practice to cover staff wages and their entitlements, rent, accreditation, supplies, etc.

None of these costs will drop despite the rebate falling 54 to 67 per cent over the next six months.

This is an intolerable insult to the practice of family medicine.

GPs earn considerably less than other medical specialists and yet we are crucial to cost-effective healthcare.

It beggars belief that I should use my experience and decision-making capabilities and expose myself to medico legal risk for $11.95. I cannot do it.

And it is unfair to expect families to be able to absorb the huge gap that will be necessary to keep a medical practice viable especially with further reductions for the 10-20 minute consultation planned for July, and the freezing of all these reduced rebates until 2018.

Is this really the kind of healthcare system we want?

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Labor candidates say new leader is ‘great news’

LABOR candidates on the South Coast have welcomed the new leader of the NSW ALP Luke Foley.
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South Coast candidate Fiona Phillips said Mr Foley was “great news” for the electorate she is contesting.

“I first met Luke Foley at Erowal Bay in 2014,” Mrs Phillips said.

“Luke struck me as a very down to earth, knowledgeable and genuine person, concerned with our area. Luke has often visited the South Coast electorate, in his NSW shadow minister role and as a past Duty Member of the Legislative Council for the South Coast electorate.”

Mrs Phillips singled out for praise Mr Foley’s focus on growing smart jobs and opportunities in the regions.

“It shows Luke understands the issues within regional areas like the South Coast,” she said.

Kiama candidate Glenn Kolomeitz described Mr Foley as “a good friend” of the electorate he is contesting.

“In recent months he and I have been working closely together, drafting a number of important environmental policies for the electorate, some of which are likely to apply statewide,” Mr Kolomeitz said.

“At all times Luke has been interested, enthusiastic and very engaged in issues affecting our community.”

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said Mr Foley should be judged on his actions, not his words.

“To date we haven’t seen a single commitment, single promise or a single proposed investment from each candidate. So the new leader of the opposition will have to articulate what he will do for our region, something to date Labor hasn’t done,” Mr Ward said.

South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said Mr Foley had a steep learning curve ahead of him as he transitioned to the lower house to become opposition leader.

“I’m sceptical of people moving from the upper house to the lower house; they often have an unrealistic view of how it works.

“Upper house and senate members tend to switch off at the end of the day. Lower house members have to work hard all year round.”

Mrs Hancock said she’d had dealings with Mr Foley in estimates committees.

“If he comes to the lower house he will have to learn some good manners,” she said.

Mrs Hancock paid tribute to Barbara Perry, who is contesting the preselection for Auburn, the electorate earmarked for Mr Foley.

“Barbara Perry in my view is one of the Labor members who has earned the respect of both sides of the house. I regard her as a friend. To do what they’re doing to her is reprehensible.

“I hope it’s an honest pre-selection.”

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Destination Coota for world cricket

LOADS OF FUN: This set-up in Dubbo as part of the Destination NSW Home Ground Cricket Tour will be coming to Cootamundra on Wednesday, January 21 as part of a roadshow travelling across regional NSW. MOMENTUM is building for the ICC Cricket World Cup this year and Cootamundra is part of the action.
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On January 21, the Destination NSW Home Ground Cricket Tour will arrive in town – Cootamundra being just one of 27 regional towns the tour will stop in.

It is our town’s connection to cricket through the great Sir Donald Bradman that sees the tour land here and the roadshow of free cricket-themed entertainment is not to be missed.

The Tour will feature junior cricket clinics led by Cricket NSW, a showcase of ICC Cricket World Cup memorabilia from the famous Bradman Museum, a giant inflatable replica of the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy and inflatable cricket nets for kids both big and small.

Live coverage of the Big Bash League (BBL) will also be on the big screen for locals to come down and watch in the evening.

During the junior clinic, everyone will have a chance to have a hit.

The Destination NSW Home Ground Cricket Tour is billed as “a summer celebration of cricket and community” that is already travelling through NSW.

In Lismore last month former Australian Test spinner Jason Krezja was part of the Home Ground Cricket Tour with school students having the opportunity to test their bowling skills against the man they used to call ‘Krazy’.

A to-be-confirmed ‘Legend of Cricket’ will appear in Cootamundra as part of the tour also. We will bring you details of who when released by Destination NSW.

The idea of the regional tour – as well as being loads of fun for local cricket fans – is to encourage people to secure their tickets for a trip to Australia’s home of cricket, the Sydney Cricket Ground, which will host five games including Australia versus Sri Lanka on Sunday March 8, followed by a quarter and a semi-final.

With so much cricket currently on our television screens and right here in town there is no better time to be a cricket fan!

Local cricketers have got behind the Destination NSW Home Ground Cricket Tour with a twilight Twenty/20 match to be played at Albert Park.

Former Cootamundra first X1 captain Scott Roberts and current Central Hotel captain Mick Cronin will captain the two sides.

Cricketers who are selected to play plus the umpires will be asked to contribute $20 towards fundraising efforts for the purchase of a specialised wheelchair for local youngster Joe Roberts.

The match will highlight the wonderful facility Albert Park is, while the game will also see the best cricketers in Cootamundra show their talents.

Fundraising will be complemented by raffles and a barbecue.

Home Ground Tour fast facts

The tour will come to Cootamundra’s home of cricket Albert Park on Wednesday, January 21.While it’s here, explore the Travelling Cricket Museum.Locals can watch the action at a unique video truck.People can carticipate in cricket activities and family fun.There will be appearances by former cricket greats.Also enjoy the activities hosted by the Cootamundra District Cricket Association including a T/20 fundraising match.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Kolomeitz rails against ticket price increase

PRICE HIKE: The Labor candidate for Kiama, Glenn Kolomeitz, is angry about train fare increases. Photo: SYLVIA LIBERAn argument has erupted over a jump in train travel costs, which the Labor candidate for Kiama, Glenn Kolomeitz, says is “blatant discrimination” against some South Coast commuters.
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Annual public transport fare increases came into effect on Sunday, with a blanket 20 cent increase on all paper train tickets.

Opal train fares have risen eight cents to 20 cents a trip, depending on the distance travelled.

A single journey from Bomaderry to Kiama will increase by 12 cents for card users, while a trip from Kiama to Wollongong will cost 16 cents more, according to Mr Kolomeitz.

He said any fare changes would “hit local families” but the paper ticket increase was “blatant discrimination” against those who used them.

“[Some] people, particularly the elderly, can’t buy Opal cards and they’re still relying on the paper tickets.”

Mr Kolomeitz said people living south of Kiama could buy Opal cards in only two places – Kiama and Nowra – and a lack of internet meant it was “virtually impossible” to buy one online.

“The Opal card should be a good system, it’s a system I fully support,” he said. “But it must be fair, it must be equitable and it must be accessible.”

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said cards could be bought over the phone and fees had increased only in line with CPI.

“The IPART recommendation was to go much further than that; we’ve rejected that finding,” Mr Ward said.

The $2.50 seniors Opal card cap and paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets remain unchanged.

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Adelaide Crows premiership players land tuna in Victor

Adelaide Crows premiership players Nigel Smart and Peter Caven show off their two good size tuna at the Victor Harbor boat ramp with local hotelier Andrew Hill.Recreational fishermen are flocking to Victor Harbor in large numbers.Many are hunting for southern blue fin tuna in the waters of Encounter Bay, while others are casually dropping a cray pot on their favourite grounds, whether it be off Granite Island, Wright Island, Seal Rock or around West Island.
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Victor Harbor anglers Mike Westley and Andrew Hill had two special guests on their boat on Tuesday, January 6 in Adelaide Crows premiership players Peter Caven and Nigel Smart.

“We ran our pots searching for crayfish and then we threw a line in and the boys pulled in two good size tuna,” Mr Westley said.

“They were rapt with what these waters offer.”

Encounter Bay’s Dave Turner and Tennyson’s Andy Tapp are both recreational cray fishermen who have registered pots in the waters of Encounter Bay and managed a little success this month.

Dave Turner from Encounter Bay andAndy Tapp from Tennyson have had craypots in the local waters for the past twoyears, and said this season has so far beenunpredictable.

“One day you have a good catch andthen the next and the next you getnothing,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Tapp agreed, but said it is the funand camaraderie that he enjoys.

“You come out so often for little return,but it does keep you active and you aredoing it with mates,” Mr Tapp said.

Victor Harbor’s Barry Lang is in a teamof two other local anglers who have twopot licences each.

“We catch the odd cray, but what we doenjoy is looking after the business ofAshley McCallum at the Yilki Store,” MrLang said.

“When we go out in the early hours ofthe morning we pop in and have a coffeeat Ashley’s afterwards to wind down fromthe up and down of the sea.”

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Ember attacks from abushfire pose major threat

If you live in Ballarat you should give attention to being on the receiving end of a major bushfire. Cities like Canberra and Bendigo will tell you fires do not keep to the surrounding country but can and do enter into cities.
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Our big danger is being on the receiving end of an ember attack from a fire in the Creswick state forest.

Twenty-five years ago I was part of a crew at Mollongghip where at 10 o’clock at night the sky contained thousands of burning embers drifting overhead and falling to the ground to start hundreds of spot fires. What put that fire out was an inch of rain.

Stringy bark gum trees in the forest are the problem. Fires love them and the up draft from the fires lift the bark embers into the heavens to go wherever the prevailing wind takes them. A wind from the north lands these embers in Ballarat, from the west and Bungaree gets them.

We could get over a thousand burning embers drift down into the city and while many of them will land on the roads, green lawns and tin roofs, many will land in dry grass, straw garden mulch and gutters full of leafs.

One spot fire is easy to handle but four or five hundred is quite a challenge.

What should you do if you live in the areas of the city with bushfire overlays, you should think of leaving your home and going to a safer area and hope the CFA might be able to save your home.

If you live in an area where you normally would think you’re safe, check you have no area of dry grass in your backyard or leaves in the gutters spouts. Fill a garbage can with water and have a bucket handy to splash a burning ember.

Your town water could be useless as everybody will be trying to damp down their properties.

The council sends notes out to cut grass down and they should extend it to cover bushy areas. They should mow down street areas where a fire risk is seen.

Long-term, they should remove the koala habitat overlays so block owners can make their areas safe.

Every street contains homes that are buried with scrubs and trees and they should receive notes to clean them up.

Council should put fire prevention to the top of the list, because it is not there now. Could the CFA examine my notes and if they agree they contain sense to letter drop homes in high risk areas with their advice on action required?

Individuals should look over their neighbours fence to see if they have taken precautions. If your neighbours home gets alight, you have a problem too.

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