No signposts at crossroads

29/06/2018 // by admin

Editorial – August 8, 2014
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Gunnedah is at a crossroads.

The town that’s going places has now gone places and is standing at the junction, wondering which direction to turn.

While some other towns are wishing they had rich natural resources, our shire is torn between the riches above and those beneath the ground, and it is aching with the growing pains.

The burgeoning mining industry in this shire and the ones beyond it has brought new opportunities, new challenges, new faces, new heartbreaks and new hopes.

For some it has meant a job, a house, money for the farm, customers in the shop, business on the books and money for public projects.

For others, it has meant fear over properties that have been passed down through generations, trucks on the road, high rents and mines for neighbours.

But along with all the issues that come with the mining industry, is the issue of growth.

With growth comes necessary upgrades to highways – with their own issues such as whether the Visitor Information Centre should be located along the highways.

It also brings a growth in other industries. The network is here, the people are here, the land is here, and the industries want to be here.

At yesterday’s Gunnedah Shire Council planning, environment and development committee meeting, council considered an application for a grain processing plant on Marys Mount Road.

This 24-hour operation has local residents concerned.

“It is like council is preferencing big business over the current residents,” one neighbour of the site said.

In the meeting last night, council noted a number of potential “game changers” that will impact on Gunnedah and how it could develop over the next decade.

These were:

• Development of the Maules Creek Coal Project near Boggabri.

• Potential determination of the proposed Shenhua Watermark Coal Project near Breeza.

• Imminent determination of the Vickery Coal Project north west of Gunnedah.

• Establishment of a second rail overpass at Gunnedah. Realignment of the state highway and regional road network within the Gunnedah urban area.

• Interest from major new business in establishing in Gunnedah, and

• Increase in demand for housing and accommodation.

All of these things spell progress for the shire, but they also spell out the need for a great deal of caution.

To preserve our country way of life and our farming base, each of these things needs to be looked at in light of where they are taking us.

Council may not have the power to say yes or no to many of these things, but here is a strong word of caution that each application, each new move, needs to be looked at as part of the big picture.

We are changing, but this change can be managed to a degree.

Gunnedah needs leadership to protect and nurture the community, to deal with the substantial challenges and opportunities we face, and to make informed, and considered, decisions.

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Woman sexually assaulted on Brisbane train

29/06/2018 // by admin

Police are looking for a man over the alleged sexual assault of a woman on a Brisbane train last month.
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They have released pictures of a man they wish to speak to about the incident, which happened about 1am on July 26.

Police said the woman was travelling on an outbound service when she was approached by the man.

The assault stopped when two passengers came to her aid. The attacker then left the carriage at Loganlea station.

The man, who was dressed in a Brisbane Broncos jersey, was also wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.

The Broncos played a match against the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium hours before the incident.

The man is described as aged in his late 50s, about 180 centimetres tall with short grey hair an olive complexion and a heavy build.

Police have called for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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$150K bail for Russell Island man extradited for dangerous driving

29/06/2018 // by admin

A 38-year-oldman who fled NSW after a fatal car crash in 2000 was extradited from his Russell Island hometo face 17 charges.
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Bradley Hazeltonwas arrested last week and charged with 17 offences relating to a July 2000 crash whichclaimed the life of 20-year-old Dwayne Nicholson.

He was taken to Sydney and charged with dangerous driving occasioningdeath, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and 15 otheroffences.

Fronting Campbelltown Local Court on Wednesday, Hazelton did not enterpleas but sought release on bail, saying he promised to turn up forfuture court dates and abide by any conditions imposed as part of hisrelease.

Magistrate Janet Wahlquist granted Hazelton$150,000 bail despiteDirector of Public Prosecution lawyer Nadia Sawagid opposingthe application, saying he had avoided police detection for 14 years.

Ms Sawagid said Hazelton was only apprehended following an anonymoustip-off from a member of the public via Crimestoppers.

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Devils look to tame the Bulls – again

24/04/2020 // by admin

THE Gunnedah Daracon Red Devils are preparing for a backs-to-wall showdown with competition heavyweight Moree in the club’s final home game of the season at Rugby Park on Saturday.
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RED Devils’ lineout jumper Greg Campbell secures possession for his side in the recent clash with Central Northern pacesetter Narrabri at Rugby Park. The Devils were beaten 20-7 after Narrabri had led 10-7 at the break.

Decimated by injury and knowing the game will most certainly be a preview of the minor semi-final in just over two weeks time at Moree’s Weebollabolla Oval, the Devils are preparing for a Bulls’ onslaught on the day when the club recognises its sponsors.

“We are expecting a bumper crowd on Saturday which is our official Sponsors Day,” said Devils’ President, Stu Morrison.

“We will be looking to repeat the first round success at Moree when we upset the Bulls with what I believe was the gutsiest display in the four years I have been associated with the club.

“The following Saturday we travel to Tamworth to take on the Pirates so a win over Moree will be just the right tonic,” Morrison added.

The Devils will go into Saturday’s clash with 15 regular senior team players on the sideline.

“We have a full side out with injury in what has been a horror season for us.

“We just can’t take a trick.

“Young second rower Matt Roseby was injured at Inverell last weekend but we are hoping he will be back on the paddock for Pirates.

The club has lost open side flanker Jeremy Brown (knee) and centre Scott Mitchell (broken arm) in recent weeks, underlining the wretched injury run at the club.

“Jeremy is one of five players to wear the number 7 to be ruled out for the season with injury,” Morrison added.

“Joe Duffy came into the side and played exceptionally well but he too, is out with a season-ending problem.”

Morrison believes the side will be looking at its strengths when it takes on Moree.

“There is a great culture in the club and the players really play for each other and that is what could pull the boys through on Saturday.

“Our last three home games have seen fantastic crowds turn up to support us .

“Against competition leaders Narrabri two weeks ago we were right in it and only needed a few things to go our way and we could have got away with the points.”

The day kicks off at 12.30pm with the Under 16s taking on Pirates to be followed by the Second grade game.

The first grade encounter will get underway at 3.15pm.

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EDITORIAL: Coalition’sNewcastle nightmare

24/04/2020 // by admin

WITH the fascination of a slow-motion crash, the proceedings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption are turning the tables on Newcastle politics.
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For years, while the city supinely returned often-somnolent Labor state members, objectors argued for change.

Little by little a persuasive case was made that turning Newcastle into a swinging seat could bring only benefits by making the city an achievable target for both major parties.

Slowly a reluctant electorate began to agree, and when the blatant – though then officially unacknowledged – corruption that rotted NSW Labor from the head became too much to bear, the previously unthinkable happened.

Newcastle had occasionally returned a right-leaning independent, but this time it elected an openly declared Liberal. The expectation of voters was twofold. At a state level they wanted an end to the disgraceful behaviour that had tainted the ALP. At a local level they wanted a fair deal for the state’s second city.

The city had swung right in a resounding way and, to begin with, it seemed the new broom of the Coalition really would sweep clean.

All that promise now lies in confused ruins. The ‘‘cleanskin’’ premier, Barry O’Farrell, was an early casualty of an undeclared gift from a suspect source.

And now, piece by piece, an ugly picture is being assembled of the machinations behind Newcastle’s big swing. It is alleged that the Coalition and a group of wealthy businessmen conspired to sidestep the state’s ban on developer donations, and that big business interests actively sought to assist the new crop of politicians with generous gifts of cash and ferociously dishonest campaigns against unfavoured candidates.

The spectacle of Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell admitting to ICAC that he accepted more than $10,000 from a developer as ‘‘payment’’ for a painting worth much less, on a questionable invoice, and then used the money to pay his tax bill, has saddened many.

The MP’s further admission, that he received $10,000 in cash from another developer, must make his avowed intention to recontest his seat at next year’s election a tall order indeed.

Hunter people had expected the Coalition to deliver what it promised: an end to the dirty state of affairs that a long run of Labor rule had created.

The saga now unfolding in ICAC will have already persuaded many that this promise was largely broken even before the 2011 election.

Those so persuaded may feel regret that the conservative side of politics seems to have thrown away a rare opportunity to prove its bona fides. They may also regret the tremendous setback this squandered trust represents for Newcastle and its electorate.

Fight night starts at Black and Blue

24/04/2020 // by admin

FIGHT fans are in for a feast of the sweet science at Narrabri’s Crossing Theatre on Saturday night with two current world title holders stepping into the ring on what is a bumper promotion.
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WBU Super Featherweight titleholder Corey McConnell.

WBU Super Featherweight titleholder Corey McConnell will put his belt on the line in the 60kg class against Gerry Nardo from the Gold Coast while young Filipino rising star Joebert Delosreyes will give Sydney‘s John Ming a shot at his World Youth Championship belt in the co-main bout on the big card.

Both boxers were at David “Spike” Syphers’ Black and Blue Gym in Gunnedah last night, putting the final touches to their preparations.

They were joined by Gunnedah’s State Title holder, Wade Ryan, who will highlight a massive professional and amateur under card in what ranks as one of the biggest boxing promotions in country NSW.

“It is the first time two world and international title holders have fought in this part of the country and it is a great feather in the cap for the promoters and Narrabri’s Crossing Theatre,” Syphers said.

McConnell looked the goods as he went through his paces.

Whip-hard and with a stare that would cure head lice, McConnell is taking on Nardo, a Filipino with good credentials with the winner hoping for an eventual showdown with current WBC champion, Ryan Simono.

MConnell has the impressive record of 14 wins from 15 fights and only one loss as a professional and came to the money ranks with 88 amateur bouts under his belt.

All of McConnell’s fights have gone the distance as he is what boxing is all about.

“What the eyes can’t see the hands can’t hit and I have won all but a few rounds of my 14 wins through speed and my boxing ability,” McConnell said.

Twelve years in the professional ranks have set the 28-year-old up for what he sees are his big pay days to come.

“Nardo will be coming forward all night looking to sit me on my bum but that is how I like it,” McConnell added.

“They bring the fight to me and I will lead them around the ring.

“It is kind of like a dance but it is a dance they don’t like at the end of the night.

“After this fight I will be going after Will Tomlinson who I have been chasing for some time.

“We are hoping this fight will come off on the under card on Anthony Mundie’s next outing in Melbourne, ear-marked for sometime in November.

Joebert Delosreyes has an 18-15-3 record with 12 wins coming inside the distance.

He will fight Ming over six three-minute rounds in the Lightweight (61kg) division with his IBO World Youth Championship belt as the prize.

From Davo in the Philippines, the home of boxing legend Manny Pacquioa, Jobert has the punching power to put opponents to sleep early and won the belt in Sydney in late March.

Wade Ryan will take on Joel Delacruz on the under card. The first fight will be at 7pm, tickets are available at the door on online at www.crossingtheatre.

“This is the first international contest to be staged in a country town and the WBC division is regarded as the most prestigious in the sport, so fans are assured on a great night,” Syphers added.

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GREG RAY: MP refused to play ball

24/04/2020 // by admin

Garry Edwards, member for Swansea, opposed the Buildev marina proposal for Swansea. I WAS practically in despair over all this ICAC stuff.
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I mean, we’ve had allegations that former Labor puppet-master Joe Tripodi worked hand in hand with Nathan Tinkler to bring down Labor MP Jodi McKay in the seat of Newcastle because she wouldn’t back Tinkler’s coal-loader.

Why the hell would he do that? The ICAC reckons Mr Tripodi might have been planning a post-politics career working for Buildev, one of Mr Tinkler’s companies, but surely not?

Would any politician put their own financial interests above their government, their party, a city and a whole state full of voters?

I’m sure another explanation will emerge.

Though the ICAC has been sending me into a slough of despond, what with alleged bags of cash, fake invoices and tales of conspiracies, one small portion of the ICAC transcript cheered me up a little.

That was the bit where, in 2011, the new Liberal member for Swansea, Garry Edwards, came out publicly against another plan by Buildev for some kind of mega-marina on the waterfront at Swansea.

The Newcastle Herald wrote about it at the time. Mr Edwards thought the idea of handing a heap of super-valuable public land over to Buildev sucked and he said so. He backed keeping it public and improving it with public funds.

His stern position was not appreciated in some quarters, as you might imagine.

The contracts manager at the Daracon Group, a Liberal lawyer named Hugh Thomson who is now assisting the ICAC in return for a certain amount of immunity from prosecution, sent a pungent email to two of Mr Edwards’s Liberal colleagues.

The Daracon office-bearer emailed Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, saying: “Not sure if you guys feel up to reminding Garry who paid for the lion’s share of his campaign. Picking a fight with Buildev is not a smart move, particularly if he hasn’t engaged with them privately.”

(By the way, this probably isn’t relevant to anything, but Mr Thomson managed Mr Owen’s election campaign.)

Ouch. So there it is. Mr Thomson appeared to be under the impression that donations to a politician’s campaign are expected to be repaid with some sort of loyalty, or consultation at least.

Who knew? I thought developers paid politicians because they love the idea of democracy and they want to nurture a free and fair society where all are equal before the law.

I thought developers always put little notes on their donations that told the politicians to be careful not to do them any special favours, and to vote against their proposals if they felt that was best for the wider community.

But maybe I was wrong after all.

So, you’re wondering what happened next at Swansea, right?

Well, the Buildev plan didn’t get up.

And it turns out that the ICAC, despite looking as hard as it can, hasn’t been able to find any evidence that Buildev paid anything for Mr Edwards’s campaign, so maybe Mr Thomson was wrong about that one.

Mr Edwards apparently resisted approaches by at least one senior Liberal who was trying to sell him on the positive aspects of the Buildev plan, apparently using rough words to discourage him.

Brownie points for Mr Edwards, it seems.

I like to think the member for Swansea would have used the same rough words to his seniors in the party if Mr Thomson had been right and if Buildev really had funded the lion’s share of his campaign.

But isn’t it disturbing, this mistaken perception that some people appear to have, that campaign contributions from rich developers must be repaid in the coin of a friendly attitude to those developers’ plans?

That’s the kind of thinking that led to the government making donations from developers illegal, which in turn led to this whole mess in Newcastle where civic-minded businessmen with development industry interests were obliged to support democracy in awkward and cumbersome ways that the ICAC is now investigating.

Soon, perhaps, the High Court will rule that the ban on developer donations is invalid.

If that happens, then we can all get back to business as usual, open slather and no questions asked.

Heads tells Western Division’s 1974 success story in new book

24/04/2020 // by admin

LOCAL HEROES: Author Ian Heads with 1974 Western Division Amco Cup winners Dave Kent, Greg Fearnley and Bob Pilon at yesterday’s book signing. Photo: MATT FINDLAY 0807mfsigningTHE word miracle is bandied around all too much in sport, but from all accounts Western Division’s Amco Cup win in 1974 was just that.
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Written off at the beginning of the competition, Western Division – a ragtag, thrown together team made up of tradesmen from central west NSW – entered sporting folklore by winning the inaugural competition.

Coached by Johnny King, a winger in St George’s all conquering team of the 1960s, Western Division overcame several of the era’s greatest teams in Auckland, Canterbury, Manly and Penrith on its way to the title.

Ian Heads, the game’s pre-eminent author and historian, has now immortalised the 1974 Western Division team in his new book, The Night the Music Died.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Western Division’s title – and semi-final win over Manly at Wade Park – Heads was on hand in Orange yesterday for a book signing.

“The idea was in the back of my head for a long time,” he said.

“There is plenty of history in it and I always thought one day it would be good to tell the story, the 40th anniversary seemed perfect.

“It really is very close to the best underdog success story in Australian sport … the Western Division guys would have been 1000-to-one odds at the start.

“It was a real pleasure to write.”

Heads was joined by 1974 Western Division halfback Bob Pilon, who was awarded man-of-the-match in the grand final against Penrith, and front rower Greg Fearnley.

Pilon was playing for Orange CYMS at the time, while Fearnley was dominating for the Cowra Magpies.

“It was a very special thing to be a part of,” Pilon explained.

“All those games were grand finals for us. We based our game around defence, and just play what was in front of us otherwise. We thought once it was done it was over, but here we are 40 years later.”

The book features detailed accounts of Western Division’s Amco Cup campaign, and a first hand account of its clash with the touring Great Britain side at Wade Park – a game frequently labelled “the dirtiest ever played”.

The late Kevin Honeybrook officiated the game, and his account of the happenings of “Black Wednesday” has been printed for the first time in the book.

“That was an unexpected bonus really,” Heads said.

“It’s an interesting point of view, he thought he was going to be strung up. That’s the other element to that match, whether there was an element of fiddling with the referee at half-time. Did the powers that be not want England to lose?

“The English guys all said the game added a lot to their preparation for the following Test matches, it was a tremendously tough game.”

The Night the Music Died is available in Big W, book stores and newsagencies.

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Under 17s cement place at top of the table with 137 point win

24/04/2020 // by admin

U/9s: The junior Roosters played host to the formidable Cardiff Hawks and all the boys were extra keen for a run after last week’s wash-out. The Hawks jumped to an early lead, kicking four first-quarter goals against a Singleton side that lacked focus and struggled against the smothering tackles of their opposition. The second quarter was more competitive but the Roosters were still below their best, with the Hawks’ players showing more commitment to win the ball.
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Singleton clicked into gear in the second half, showing more run in the midfield and more muscle in defence. Connor Dicks had his best performance of the season and was ruthless in his attack on the ball. Dorian Thornberry showed off his slick hand and foot skills, while Dylan Lowry continued to make a physical impact.

Seth Kolatchew and Tom Wegner also got plenty of the ball, while Jordie Brown showed his continued improvement with his best game of the year. Jordie made a number of strong tackles to create loose ball in the midfield.

U/11s: Coming off a few wins of late, the Roosters had the mammoth task of taking on the undefeated ladder leaders in Cardiff Hawks.

The game started evenly with possessions being hard to earn. Cardiff have always been known for their rough and physical style and this was visible early which meant Singleton had to match it with them, and they did with Cameron and Darcy Saunders showing aggression and tackling hard.

The Roosters matched it with Cardiff for the first half and even managed a slender lead. But due to a timekeeper’s mistake the last two quarters were extended to 20 minutes rather than 15 minutes to make up for the two 10 minute quarters. This would test their fitness but Singleton still had the lead at three quarter time thanks to great play from the usuals Daltyn McCartney and Ben Horridge. Going in the final term neither team wanted to let this game go and it was a tense period with the scoreboard always changing. At one stage Singleton had a 9 point lead. But then Cardiff came hard and within the final minutes grabbed the lead.

After and the siren sounded, Cardiff had won by just five points and considering they were first and Singleton was fifth shows what a mighty effort it was.

U/17s:

The Singleton Roosters under 17 side travelled to Lake Macquarie to take on the Dockers. With two of the team’s defensive players out the contest promised to be close contest, just like the previous encounter earlier on in the year. By half time the Roosters had a commanding lead, and never looked back amassing a 137 point win. The win was delivered from the middle, with Max Hillier, Sam Howard and Joey O’Brien, ruthless in their attack on the ball. The forward line was served incredibly well by Campbell Huntington and Jackson Kolatchew.

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Gabby ‘tout simplement trop bon’ at Monte Carlo

24/04/2020 // by admin

GABBY O’Gorman and Emily Osmond, Gunnedah’s Golden Girls of tennis, have returned from their month-long tour of southern France where they took on some of Europe’s best young players.
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Seven tournaments in 21 days tested the girls, who were accompanied by Grafton’s Georgia Allen and Brittany Huxley, with 15-year-old Gabby stunning the clay court specialists by taking out the Monte Carlo Under 16 years tournament in a gruelling three-set marathon lasting three hours.

Proud mum Trish O’Gorman said the win stunned the French who regard the red clay as their own.

“Gabby won 3-6, 6-1,6-4 and then followed up with two more three set marathons in a schedule which had been disrupted by the weather,” Trish said.

“I was completely overcome when I heard of the win.

“To stand on centre court at Monte Carlo, where the worlds best players regularly play, and hold aloft the trophy after winning against the best players in France, was unbelievable.

The quartet, accompanied by Gunnedah coach and mentor Dale Martin, who is also Brit Huxley’s uncle, were based in Nice, in the south of France overlooking the pristine white sands and sparkling Mediterranean waters which are the playground of the rich and famous.

The girls took on some the top players from across the country and have returned with the experience that tournament play in their home country just can’t provide.

“After my win in Monte Carlo I had to play another three-setter and then a third tough match in Bignal, which is not far from Nice,” Gabby said.

“Often we had to play against opponents who are much older but the experience is invaluable.”

One of the girls Gabby took to the third set, going down 4-6, is based full time at the French Tennis Academy at Roland Garros, the home of French tennis.

“Gabby spent over eight hours on the court in one day and the girls all had tough schedules but no-one is complaining,” Trish O’Gorman added.

“Dale said the girls were tremendous ambassadors for tennis and Australia and they had a great time, fitting in a little sight-seeing as well.

“It was the trip of a life time and now it is back to the routine of school and of course, less spectacular settings for junior and open tournaments scattered around the eastern seaboard of NSW.

Since returning to Australia Gabby has played in a junior tournament in Tamworth, The Platinum Open, and beat Gosford’s Jasmine King in the Under 18 singles at Sawtell last weekend.

In the Open Singles she made the quarter finals against the best all-age players in NSW, and the semi-finals of the doubles, partnering Queensland’s Kyra Yap.

Next week Gabby is off to Grafton for that city’s Open tournament but will squeeze in a quick trip to Moree this Sunday for the Junior Development round which she needs to play to keep her ranking.

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Walk of fame

24/04/2020 // by admin

IN glorious winter sunshine former Wambo Hall of Fame inductees or their families joined dignitaries for the official launch of the Wambo walk.
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The walk, which now includes special pavers naming all Wambo Hall of Fame inductees, leads from the Singleton Public Library to the Civic Centre and ends near Singleton’s newest resident ‘The Pioneer’.

Federal member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon joked with those in attendance saying he had never been to Hollywood but that the Wambo walk may be as close as he gets to that famed boulevard.

“The people recognised in this walk are more important to their community than those found in tinsel town,” he added.

Since the inception of the Wambo Hall of Fame in 2009 there have been 23 inductees across six categories covering arts, science and education, business and industry (agriculture and mining), public service, sport, community service and meritorious families.

The year’s nominations which opened on August 6 and close on September 5 will include a new category wine and tourism.

Mr Fitzgibbon said the Wambo Hall of Fame represented three parts of thecommunity working together to achieve something special.

Mayor, John Martin, general-manager Lindy Hyam, Joel Fitzgibbon, Peabody Energy’s Suzanne Cryle.

Singleton Town Band conductor, Peter Knight.

Representing Singleton Lions Club Mick and Rhonda McCrone.

“You have business in this case Peabody Energy who have sponsored the award since its inception, local government through the initiative of Singleton Council to establish the award and people who become the inductees,” he said.

“It just goes to show what can be achieved when everyone works together.”

Speaking on behalf of the inductees 2012 inductee for Community Pride Ray Robinson said the golden thread linking all those who have joined the Wambo Hall of Fame was their volunteer work and their desire to help others.

“Each and everyone of the inductees worked for the betterment of our community,” he said.

Two of the original Wambo Hall of Fame inductees the Singleton Town Band and the Singleton Lions Club had representatives present at the official launch.

The sponsor of the award Peabody Energy through its local operation Wambo Coal was represented by Suzanne Cryle, communications manager Peabody Energy who said the company was proud to be associated with such a wonderful event.

“We know our employees at Wambo Coal hold this annual event very dear in their hearts because it recognises such outstanding members of the local community,” she said.

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Walking rings around town

24/04/2020 // by admin

BONNIE Doyle has been walking laps of Mildura Central for eight years, and now plans to “walk around Australia”.
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Still going strong: Walkers Lorraine Middleton, Ron Furey and Bonnie Doyle have been walking with The Mildura Central Walking Club for years. The group celebrates its 8th Birthday on August 7. Picture: Clancy Shipsides

That is no mean feat for an 83-year-old who has missed only one day with the Mildura Central Walking Club, and that was the first day the club started.

As the club celebrated its eighth birthday yesterday, few would try to calculate the number of laps of the mall she has completed.

Last week the club started a challenge to walk “around Australia on National Highway One”, a total of about 14,500km.

Each member has been given a pedometer, donated by the shopping centre, on which they can record the distance walked each

session.

The total distance walked by members is marked on a map of Australia to highlight their progress.

SCHS allied health assistant Linda Curran said 115km had been completed last Tuesday.

“When we get to Sydney we’re going to walk up the steps and across the bridge,” Ms Curran said.

“We’ll keep on going until we get to the finishing point in Hobart.”

Every Tuesday and Thursday club members walk laps of the shopping centre between 8am and 9am, with some finishing up to 10 rounds. One lap is 680 metres.

About 100 members, ranging from 22 to 90 years old, are registered with the club, with an average of 60 participating each session and up to 85 in warmer months.

Bonnie said she used to work in a service station and taught highland dancing for 50 years.

But in her later years she felt she “wasn’t getting enough exercise”.

Bonnie said the walks are also a great social gathering for members, who enjoy a morning tea and a chat afterwards.

There is no competition and members are encouraged to walk at their own pace.

An initiative of Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS) and Mildura Central, the club was started to help promote health and wellbeing in the community.

“SCHS realises that health and wellbeing relies on getting 30 minutes of physical activity a day and eating well, ideally five serves of vegetables and two of fruit each day,” SCHS primary health manager Mary Bassi said.

“Socialising and communicating with others is also an important aspect of wellbeing.”

Ron Furey, 69, has been walking the shopping centre for four years to keep active.

“I think it’s good for the community, the weather’s right – it’s never hot, it’s never cold,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 08/08/2014.

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Albatross Seahawk makes unscheduled hospital stop

24/04/2020 // by admin

SAFETY FIRST: Maintenance crews from HMAS Albatross work to fix an engine problem with a Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron, on the helipad of Shoalhaven Hospital.THERE was an unusual patient at Shoalhaven Hospital on Tuesday night.
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A Seahawk helicopter from HMAS Albatross was forced to spend the night on the hospital’s helipad with an engine problem after a medical evacuation.

The Seahawk from 816 Squadron is the aircraft aboard HMAS Newcastle, which was undertaking a readiness work-up off Jervis Bay.

On Tuesday evening a sick sailor had to be transferred by helicopter to the hospital for treatment.

Commander of the Fleet Air Arm Commodore Vince Di Pietro said the helicopter landed at Shoalhaven Hospital shortly after 6.30pm to deliver the patient.

“The crew was preparing to return to their ship when a warning light indicated there was a problem with one of the helicopter’s engines and they grounded the aircraft,” he said.

“With the Seahawk being a twin engine aircraft, the engine’s output are matched. There was a problem with the ability of the aircraft to match the required output.

“A maintenance crew worked on the aircraft overnight on the hospital’s helipad to rectify the problem with a replacement part.

“The crew rightfully followed safety procedures and there was no safety issue.”

Commodore Di Pietro thanked Shoalhaven Hospital for its assistance and support offered to the maintenance crew during the evening.

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