Time to lend a hand

Rick Fourij of ‘Help us to help others’ with Sharon Edwards of the Horrocks Group CFS collecting goods to donate to victims of the Sampson Flat fires.Local not-for-profit community group, ‘Help us too help others’ together with the CFS and Gawler Salvation Army are working together to support victims of the Sampson Flat fires.
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Adelaide’s bushfire crisis is feared to have destroyed dozens of homes, and the dangerous weather forecast for the week could reignite the firestorm.

The catastrophic fires eased on Sunday but the blaze has continued to burn in all directions.

Rick Fourij and Chris Carter of ‘Help us too help others’ have organised a donation set-up in the Clare Woolworths car park, with the help of the region’s CFS and the Gawler Salvation Army.

Mr Fourij said they are looking for products and basic things affected people can use and they are not looking for money or perishable foods.

“We are looking for products which people can use such as tools, clothing, shoes, pet food, bottled water, sanitary products, sun cream, tooth brushes, back packs, nappies, wet wipes, toilet paper, cereal and much more,” Mr Fourij said.

“I will be here every day this week, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm for anyone who would like to make a donation.

“We believe these products will be very beneficial to those affected and at the end of the week, Chris Carter will take the donated products to the Gawler Salvation Army who will be in charge of distribution.”

Sharon Edwards of the Horrocks Group CFS said this was a great way to support those affected by the crisis in Adelaide.

“Everyone has to do their bit to help out and this allows us to transfer much needed goods,” Mrs Edwards said.

“This also shows how people are always thinking of others in times of need.”

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Wagga Live hits new heights

(Back from left) Entertainment directors Geoff Simpson and Dale Allison, along with big screen producer Michael Patterson, (front) Committee4Wagga chairwoman Judy Galloway and Events co-ordinator Belinda King reflect on a successful second edition of Wagga Live. Picture: Kieren L TillyWAGGA’S New Year’s Eve showcase showed no signs of second-year syndrome, with organisers reporting an attendance of more than 11,000 people to the event’s 2014 edition.
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In only its second year, Wagga Live has quickly grown into an institution on the city’s social calendar, filling a gap that had long been bemoaned by many in the community.

Committee4Wagga (C4W) chairman Chris Fitzpatrick, one of the driving forces behind the event, said it was important to continue to build on the event’s success.

“I think a city such as Wagga needs to have events such as this, just to make sure our residents feel like they’re looked after on New Year’s Eve and have somewhere to go,” he said.

The concept of Wagga New Year’s Eve spectacular was hatched by C4W in 2013 after years of debate as to whether the city should host an event to mark the occasion.

C4W was aided by a $135,000 contribution from Wagga City Council to cover Wagga Live’s first three editions, with that agreement due to expire after 2015’s event.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the event would be reviewed once that agreement concluded.

“After that, I guess it’s open for discussion,” he said.

For the first time this year, a small entry fee was charged for entry to the Wagga Live precinct – a decision which initially drew mixed reviews from the community.

Despite revellers having to pay to party this year however, crowds were up on the 2013 event.

“I think that’s a really pleasing aspect – people who did come were more than happy to make a contribution,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“The bottom line is you can’t run an event like that unless there is a small entry charge to cover the base costs.”

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School comments divisive

I am not sure why Stan Liacos feels that he is qualified to comment on the performance of local schools. He has certainly never set foot in our school.
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He seems impressed by the efforts of wealthy private schools to invest in infrastructure and is very comfortable in his relationship with BSSC and it’s gaol/theatre project.

That’s his bread and butter cheesy-smile photo opportunity specialty.

That’s easy stuff.

Where does Mr Liacos believe BSSC students have come from?

I once asked him at an Arts function if he ever got out into schools. No. I offered him a visit.

His comments about schools lifting their game are insulting and divisive or at the best ill-considered and impulsive.

He needs to apply the same amount of accountability rigor to his beloved Art Gallery with its half million dollar loss as he purports to do with our schools.

Schools such as mine in ‘lower socio-economic’ areas have achieved data levels equal to,and in some cases surpassing, the best schools in the State.

I would suggest that State Government schools in particular are subjected to equally as much annual monitoring as Mr Liacos and his fellow Council officers and I’m fairly confident the local public would have more confidence in us at the moment based on recent Council efforts.

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Angels of Blood Bank service in town

DOING THEIR BIT: This group of ladies generously lend their time and support to assisting donors each time the Australian Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank comes to town. Pictured (front, from left) are Ros Burge, Caroline Kingston, Margot Lyne, Patsy Crowe and Wendy Rickett, (standing) Elaine Macky, Jan Gavin, Wendy Gardiner, Nancye Hicks, Anne Steinke, Sandra Fallon and Meryl Morgan. Five volunteers were missing from yesterday’s morning tea and meeting. YESTERDAY volunteers from the Australian Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank in Cootamundra met to coordinate rosters for the upcoming year.
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With a team of close to 20 volunteers, local coordinator Nancye Hicks, herself a volunteer, is blessed.

The volunteers operate in conjunction with the Red Cross nurses who take blood from generous donors.

Their role involves checking donors in including checking their donor numbers, giving them a drink and a biscuit after their donation to ensure they are right to be on their way and where applicable booking future appointments.

Cootamundra bats above average in terms of donor numbers. We are one of the most generous towns in the district with dozens of donors arriving at the mobile unit, which sets up outside the Council office in Wallendoon Street, each time it arrives.

On their last visit to town on December 30 and 31, Nancye reported that about 35 donors arrived on the first day and with a shortened day due to New Year’s Eve the next day, 23 made their way through.

Donors come from all walks of life, some attending off the street when they see the bus and others making their appointment in advance.

There are men and women in suits and men and women in work boots. Young people, old people and those in between. There are mothers, farmers, businesspeople and tradies. Anyone can give blood and in Cootamundra they do in droves.

Donations are not allowed by those under 18 years of age and there are some health requirements which must be met to be eligible to donate.

Important information for those donating is they must drink up to four glasses of water or juice in the hours before they donate and ensure they have eaten a good sized breakfast or lunch.

They are also required to have their ID with you.

For more information and to make an appointment with the Australian Red Cross Mobile Blood Bank please phone 13 95 96 or visit www.donateblood南京夜网.au.

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Driver flees after hit and run in Peisley Street

POLICE are asking for the public’s help to track down the driver responsible for a hit and run in Peisley Street at 7.35 on Monday night.POLICE are asking for the public’s help to track down the driver responsible for a hit and run in Peisley Street at 7.35 on Monday night.
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The male driver of the white Ford Falcon was heading west down Summer Street and hit the 32-year-old female pedestrian after he turned right into Peisley Street.

The pedestrian lights were green when the pedestrian crossed the road.

Canobolas local area commend duty officer Bruce Grassick said police are trying to track down the driver of the Falcon who was described as being in his 20s and Caucasian and wearing a baseball cap at the time of the incident.

Inspector Grassick said there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident although witnesses were unable to provide a description of them.

Inspector Grassick said police were concerned that that the driver who “clipped” the pedestrian failed to stop, exchange details or help.

“In an incident like this the driver needs to stop and render assistance and establish what’s happened and see if medical aide is needed,” he said.

“It appears in this case the driver has disobeyed a red signal; this is something drivers need to be vigilant about.”

Inspector Grassick said the pedestrian was not serious injured.

“It could have been much worse,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Orange police station on: 63636399.

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Cricket: Central Highlands pathway players recognised

CENTRAL Highlands cricket region will honour its representative players at an annual cap presentation dinner at Midlands Golf Club on Wednesday night.
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Five of its six pathway teams will contest state championships later this month.

The new Cricket Willow United Kingdown Scholarship recipient will also be announced.

Each year the scholarship holder spends an English summer with Houghton Main Cricket Club in the South Yorkshire league.

Central Highlands pathway programs:

Under-18 boys: January 11-15

Under-16 boys: January 19-23

Under-14 boys: January 19-23

Under-14 girls: January 14-16

Under-16 girls: January 14-16

Under-18 girls: played in December

Regional squads:

UNDER-18 BOYS:

Mathew North (St Andrew’s), Aaron Forward (Rupertswood), Ryan Baker (Gisborne), Mitchell Zakynthinos (North Ballarat), Ash McCafferty (North Ballarat), Rowan Stott (Romsey), Jakob Tidyman (North Ballarat), Blake Thomson (East Ballarat), Austen Prendergast (Wendouree), Tom Le Lievre (Wendouree), Jake Wilkie (Darley), Nicholas Strangio (Bacchus Marsh). Coach: Paull Jeffrey

UNDER-16 BOYS:

Mitchell Lewis (Wallan), Tom Rogers (Gisborne), Zac Jenkins (Ballarat-Redan), Nicholas Stuhldreier (Bacchus Marsh), Sean Day (Romsey), Nathan Fowler (Wallan), Mitchell Bench (Colts-Phelans), Jack Cubley (Woodend), Dylan Landt (Sunbury), Jack Lalor (Bacchus Marsh), Matthew Milne (Romsey), Darby Semmens (Barkers Creek), Tom Millard (Derrinallum). Coach: Dan Schuppan

UNDER-14 BOYS

Ben Radford (Riddells Creek), Xavier Jenks (Bacchus Marsh), Joel Cadman (Darley), Joel Thornton (Ballarat-Redan), Harry Jones (Gisborne), Sam Ramsay (Gisborne), Hadley Bassett (Muckleford), Braden Spear (Gisborne), Riley Vernon (Gisborne), Matt Harris (Golden Point), Jack Riding (Ballarat-Redan), Jackson Perry (Golden Point), Sam Harris (Golden Point). Coach: Adrian Harris

UNDER-18 GIRLS

Emily Consiglio (Lancefield), Brianna Woodburn (Lancefield), Jacinta Goodger-Chandler (East Ballarat), Samantha Stevenson (Woodend), Kate KIle (Maldon), Jordan Loughnane (Ballan), Choney Meemusour (Guildford), Laura Prendergast (Golden Point), Jess Mundy (Woodend), Bianca Mackay (Gisborne), Jordyn Pearson (Sunbury), Emma Lynch (East Ballarat), Tegan Jenkin (Golden Point). Coach:Nicole Martin

UNDER-16 GIRLS

Natalie Svanosio (Golden Point) Jessica Dugdale-Walker (Woodend), Brianna Woodburn (Lancefield), Madeleine Ogilvie (Golden Point), Ciane Van Dyken (Golden Point), Isobel Hoye (Golden Point), Tayla Harris (Golden Point), Choney Meemusour (Guildford), Bianca Mackay (Gisborne), Georgia Kerr (Gisborne), Alana Roberts (Golden Point), Leah Hayes (Ballarat-Redan), Aynsley Darke (Golden Point). Coach: Lauren Marino

UNDER-14 GIRLS

Rebecca Sinclair (Golden Point), Kayla Stuchbree (Chalambar), Sarah Phillips (Tatyoon), Tahleah Ticehurst (Golden Point), Sophie Dyer (Buangor), Imogen Barlow (Gisborne), Nia Bentley (Golden Point), Georgia Paton (Gisborne), Karly Griffiths (St Andrew’s), Ella Hayes (Barkers Creek), Bridie Semmens (Barkers Creek), Sian Mortlock (Laanecoorie-Dunolly), Bridget Barlow (Gisborne). Coach: Jessica Kile

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Glenwood heritage property recognised with UNESCO award

Piece of history: The heritage listed Exeter Farm is home for Kent and Ashlee Weir, baby Zara, aged three months and Tiger the dog. “It’s peaceful and in the middle of suburbia,” Mr Weir said. Picture: Geoff JonesEXETER Farm is one of Glenwood’s best kept secrets.
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Conservation work done to save the state heritage-listed property was recently recognised with the Award of Merit in the 2014 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The second-highest honour given by the international cultural body was presented to Design 5 Architects, who co-ordinated the works.

Exeter Farm was built on land granted to Daniel Brien by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1821, and occupied by the family until 1923.

It’s the only surviving property of its kind in the Blacktown local government area, and consists of two rare and intact early 19th century timber slab cottages.

Exeter Farm was transferred to Sydney Living Museums in 2007.

Before conservation work began, the buildings were in disrepair, having been unoccupied for decades.

Works included major structural repairs, replastering, recladding, new floors, services and extensive landscaping, with all sound original material retained.

“The Endangered Houses Fund enables Sydney Living Museums to apply its expertise to save significant endangered buildings across NSW,” Sydney Living Museums director Mark Goggin said.

“Under the program, historically significant properties are conserved, protected and then offered back to the marketplace for the use and enjoyment of future generations.”

Riverstone MP Kevin Connelly with UNESCO’s Annmaree O’Keefe at the award-winning farmhouse in Glenwood. Picture: Geoff Jones

Kent and Ashlee Weir bought the property almost two years ago for $700,000.

“The award is a privilege because the house means a lot to us,” Mr Weir said.

“We love the place and for it to win an international award speaks for itself.”

The Weirs did some renovations and moved in last February.

“We love the open plan space and the heritage feel of the place,” Mr Weir said.

“All we had to do was put in a kitchen, laundry and ensuite and furnish it.

“There are lots of things that are really old about the place. We’ve always discovering something new about it.”

Exeter Farm has been quite a conversation topic with their friends.

“It’s not a house we’d sell in a hurry,” Mr Weir said. “It was been a blessing. When people don’t know the area come around for the first time, it’s not what they’re expecting.”

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COUNCIL BRIEFS: Update of Yass Park and Ride facility

Update of Yass Park and Ride facility
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Following completion of the Park & Ride Options Study, Council has successfully received a $330,000 grant from Transport for NSW to construct the park and ride bus facility in Lead Street Yass.

In preparation to undertake this project a review of the drainage infrastructure adjacent to the site indicates that an open drain is currently unstable and council agreed this issue needed to be addressed concurrently with the park and ride facility construction.

The council also recommended that the Ford Street (Yass River to Grampian St) stormwater drainage project be deferred and considered as part of the draft 2015/16 Operational Plan.

Water and Sewage

Council’s current strategic business plan for water supply and sewerage 2014 was adopted by council on the November 26 meeting.

It has been revised to incorporate Council’s current financial position and reflect council and community aspirations for water and sewerage infrastructure.

The plan identifies that the required infrastructure and services can be provided sustainably and identifies when specific projects are planned to be completed. It also shows a reduction in current water rates once Council’s current debt for the Yass Dam project is reduced, and a small increase in sewerage rates to cover the costs of the various new and upgraded infrastructure required to be provided.

Councillor Frost said that he does not want the plan to sit on the table for any longer.

“We want to keep it alive and get it going,” Cr Frost said.

Councillor Needham expressed his concerns over how it would affect the Greenfield Development if the developer wanted to put in a new subdivision.

Chris Berry assured councillors that there are systems in place to cater for these strategic plans.

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Quirindi Super 8s set for return in 2015

CRICKET:
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Super 8s cricket returns to Quirindi this Australia Day long weekend as teams from around the district battle for prizemoney and bragging rights.

Super 8s spokesman Mark Burgess said players and spectators can expect “quality cricket” at a venue with a solid reputation for favourable play.

“That wicket has long been renown as one of the best in the district,” Burgess said.

“It offers a bit for both batsmen and bowlers.”

Play is modelled on similar short-form tournaments, with eight players per team in a round-robin format. All players bowl one over and bowl off a one-step run-up.

The Quirindi competition has seen something of a revival in recent times after a number of wash-outs in previous years.

Burgess said interest waned due to the wet weather cancellations but he’s optimistic the competition canreturn to the glory days when they fielded nearly 20 teams per tournament.

Last year it was junior side the Falcons which emerged victorious in the 14 over, eight team competition.

A charity barbecue is also slated for this year’s event withproceeds going to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Those interested in fielding a team in the two-day cricket competition (January 24-25) in Quirindi can contact Mark on 0428 294 513 to register.

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No agreement on mining

MORE than $50 million has been injected into the local economy by mining but royalties remain virtually non-existent.
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Of concern: Conservation groups are lobbying to protect water catchments, like the area around Cataract Dam, from mining.

Local residents are up in arms as mining creeps closer to their homes, but a major development remains in limbo due to concerns suburbia would encroach on the mines. Love it or hate it: every Wollondilly resident has an opinion on local mining.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said the latest expenditure survey showed $50.1 million had been spent on goods and services in Wollondilly in 2013-2014.

“The survey … demonstrates the scale of mining’s contribution to western Sydney and the importance of mining to the broader NSW economy,” he said.

The figures are of little comfort to mayor Col Mitchell, who said residents and the area were not being fairly compensated.

Cr Mitchell, the former Association of Mining Related Councils chairman, said $90 million in mining royalties went to the NSW government recently as a result of minerals being extracted from the local area — but the council did not receive a piece of the pie.

“We are not getting anything and haven’t in any way received royalties,” he said.

Late last year about 20 local residents took Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell on a tour of Eliza Creek in Pheasants Nest.

The permanently flowing waterway, they said, would cease to run should Tahmoor Coal be given approval to mine under the creek as part of the company’s South Tahmoor proposal.

A company spokesman said “planning for this proposed project is in its earliest stages”.

In the eastern sector of the shire, Wilton Junction — a development that would result in an extra 11,000 to 13,000 homes and 30,000 to 35,000 residents — remains on hold.

In August 2013, the state government decided to put the western side of the proposal on ice after coexistence concerns regarding future residents and current mining leases were raised.

However a week later it softened its stance and announced an independent study into coexistence would be commissioned as part of the development’s rezoning application. Those studies were complete mid-2014.

A decision from the department is still yet to made but will be announced after the public exhibition period. Council has repeatedly said it will only support the proposal in its entirety.

Conservation groups have also continued to lobby for a ban on mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchments.

The government’s Gas Plan — released in response to the NSW chief scientist’s report into coal seam gas — did not specifically mention protection of the catchments.

Mr Rowell said the plan would “not allow anything to affect us out here especially in the [water catchment] special areas”.

The Independent Expert Scientific Committee also found Wollongong Coal’s proposal to extend its Russell Vale longwall mining licence could have “irreversible impacts” on the drinking water supply for Macarthur.

A decision from the state government regarding the expansion is expected soon.

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