Thumbs-down for port projects register

01/07/2018 // by admin

HARBOUR…At least two proposals have been put forward to export ore from the Port Pirie harbour. Here is a scene of the wharf.SOURCES familiar with the mining industry have pleaded with the State Government to keep a register of interest for proposed developments on the other side of the Pirie River.
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But the government and Port Pirie Regional Council were both cool on the idea and instead outlined initiatives that were already in progress regarding mineral export development in the city.

The sources said a register was desirable because of the multiple owners of land on the other side of the river and near the rifle range.

If introduced, such a register would streamline the response from council and the government to development proposals and speed the approval of projects.

Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis was asked by The Recorder to respond.

“We know of two concepts being proposed to develop the port,” he said.

“Sea Transport Corporation and Port Pirie Regional Council support the development on Solomontown Island while Carpentaria Limited and Flinders Ports propose a development on the town side of the port channel.

“The proponents are being case-managed in partnership between the Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Department and the State Development Department.

“This has included the development of a document detailing land-owners in the area which is provided to interested parties.

“The State Development Department is encouraging collaboration between the project proponents. The government is fully aware of the complexities associated with the specific proposals which cover commercial, community and environmental considerations.

“The government has consistently promoted investment opportunities for infrastructure development that has attracted interest from China, India and Canada. Invest in SA is leading the charge to assist the private sector identifying new capital providers and potential funding models.”

Late last year, the council and Regional Development Australia produced a strategic port expansion plan known as the Aurecon report.

Council chief executive officer Andrew Johnson said the report had been sent to 80 companies, including miners and infrastructure providers, and government agencies.

“They are looking at what the next stage might be. We have had discussions with a mumber of them who have got back to us,” he said.

“The report and a video ‘fly-through’ are on our website.”

He said the council was “in discussions” with a couple of parties, but he was unable to identify them because it was commercially sensitive.

He rejected the idea of a register of expressions of interest, saying that it was not warranted “at this stage”and that the council “knows who the key parties are”.

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Racist abuse of Jewish children on school bus an ‘isolated and random’ attack, say police

01/07/2018 // by admin

A group of drunken youths accused of chanting anti-Semitic abuse at a busload of Jewish primary school students had engaged in an opportunistic attack and had not considered the consequences of their actions, police say.
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Jewish leaders, however, say they are “deeply concerned” at the attack as it came after a spike in anti-Semitic incidents following the outbreak of war in Gaza.

Five youths, aged between 15 and 17, were arrested in Rose Bay in the early hours of Thursday morning but were too drunk to be interviewed at the time, superintendent Jason Box, the Eastern Suburbs local area commander, said.

Police are still searching for one boy following the incident on the route 660 school bus, which was travelling between Maroubra and Bondi Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

Superintendent Box said he did not believe the alleged offenders had specifically targeted a bus of Jewish children, aged between five and 12.

“Once they’ve got on this bus, I believe that they’ve then seen the target audience and that’s encouraged their behaviour. I do not believe it was targeted,” he said.

“I know international incidents at the moment do cause concern, but in my opinion it is isolated and random and I’m hopeful that everything will be put in context for this incident.”

A statement from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said:  “We as a community are profoundly troubled by this latest event and the sequence of anti-Semitic incidents that has preceded it.

“The gravity of this incident should not be underestimated.”

The previous incidents included a visiting Rabbi from Israel being set upon outside a Perth shopping mall by youths shouting anti-Israel slogans, and anti-Semitic graffiti being spray-painted on a wall of Carmel Jewish School, also in Perth. In Melbourne, a Jewish man was called a “Jewish dog” and beaten on a street by two men, the statement said.

The youths involved in Wednesday’s school bus incident were dressed in school uniforms and produced bus passes to board the bus, police said.

Superintendent Box said the bus driver did not appear to be aware of what had occurred.

Police allege the offenders got on the bus on Darley Road in Randwick about 3.50pm and, as the bus travelled towards Bondi, they racially taunted and made physical threats to the children, who were from Jewish schools in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – Mount Sinai College, Emanuel School and Moriah Collegen.

A spokesman for the State Transit Authority said the 660 bus served a range of schools.

“The route goes past a few schools but any school student can get on, it’s not exclusive in that way,” he said. “The students who boarded the bus were certainly allowed on board.”

He said the STA were assisting police and had turned over the CCTV footage from the bus.

Sources have told Fairfax Media the footage reveals little. It shows the alleged offenders all standing in the middle of the bus. It also shows a woman, possibly a mother, hammering on the doors of the bus.

One parent, Jackie Blackburn, later told police that the offenders were drunk at the time and yelled insults such as “kill the Jews”, “free Palestine” and “Heil Hitler” during their assault, which one police officer described as a “horrific” incident of bullying and intimidation.

Mrs Blackburn told Channel Nine that her eldest daughter, aged 12, was distraught when she phoned her from the bus and described how the teens were threatening to slit the children’s throats.

“I was actually chasing the bus, I was just saying to the kids ‘Where are you? Where are you?’,” Mrs Blackburn said.

Superintendent Box said the 25 children on the State Transit Authority bus were not physically harmed, but were traumatised by the event.

He could not say whether the alleged offenders had been at school that day, or where they were from.

The alleged offenders got off the bus on Bronte Road at Bondi Junction, police said. A number of children called their parents, who met them at Bondi Junction and called police.

Superintendent Box said at 3.30am on Thursday, police were called to Rose Bay over an “unrelated incident”, which he would not elaborate on.

An officer who went to the scene allegedly then recognised the five teenagers from the bus CCTV footage. They were arrested and taken to Waverley Police Station, but Superintendent Box said they were not in a state to be interviewed.

“They were released into the custody of their parents and guardians this morning due to their intoxication,” he said. They were expected to be interviewed on Thursday afternoon. No charges have been laid.

Superintendent Box appealed for the one remaining teenager to contact police.

All three schools and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry all declined to comment on how many students had stayed home on Thursday and how the school communities were responding to the attack.

Victor Dominello, the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the incident. Mr Dominello said public abuse and intimidation on the grounds of race or religion was “deplorable”.

Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said he visited some of the school children and their families shortly after the incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have to say that the children were traumatised,” Mr Alhadeff said.

“This is unacceptable. It is not what we do in Australia. We live in a country which comprises 200 different cultures and groups, and that diversity is what makes us the richest country in the world.

“That said, there is no place for racism, there is no place for bigotry. That is what we saw yesterday. That is what makes education and leadership and racial vilification legislation so important.”

Mr Alhadeff said he believed the recent violence in Gaza was a stimulus for the attack.

“It is documented that whenever there are major incidents happening in the Middle East, there will be those who use what is happening in the Middle East as a pretext to lash out against the Jewish community. We have seen that in the past, and we saw this in yesterday’s horrific incident,” he said.

Any witnesses or anyone with information about the incident has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00 or visit the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

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Who is searching for Australia? And what are they searching for?

01/07/2018 // by admin

Korina Sharpe (from the UK) tries on a pair of Ugg boots at the Ugg boot store in Sydneys Rocks district Photo: James Alcock Neighbours: Izzy announces to Karl that the baby was Gus’s and Karl kicks Izzy out. Photo: Channel 10
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Australia was far more popular in 2004 than it is now, according to Google trends.

And while the Ugg boot remains the Australian accessory of choice for fashionistas in the US and the UK, New Zealanders are more interested in moving over the Tasman to find work than in our footwear.

Fairfax Media has compiled the data on search terms related to Australia from 2004 until 2014, from three of our biggest sources of tourism, the US, the UK and New Zealand.

Google trends is an imperfect science but it does give an insight into what people search for when they think of Australia. The figures are not adjusted to reflect population size.

Overall, the UK was more interested in Australia than the US, but New Zealand trumped them both for total number of hits.

All three countries’ interest in Australia peaked in 2004 and has been in steady decline since.

 

2004 was a big year for Australia for international publicity: Jennifer Hawkins took out the Miss Universe crown and Mary Donaldson became the Crown Princess of Denmark. The devastating Queensland floods of 2011 was the most searched-for Australian news event throughout the decade. This applied to the US, the UK and New Zealand. In the UK, relative to population size, the English, particularly Londoners, were more interested in Australia than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

In the US, all the love came from Honolulu, Hawaii, with New York City and San Francisco in second and third. The hipster capital of Oregon, Portland, showed that it just wasn’t that interested in searching for Australia.

 

Over the pond, New Zealanders from Queenstown were the biggest users of Australian search terms, thanks to being inundated by Australian ski enthusiasts every season. They are followed by their northern cousins, Auckland.

So what are they searching for?

UK residents just want to get over here. Flights to Australia make up their most popular search term, closely followed by jobs. But the humble Ugg boot is rising, surging 500% over the decade.

 

In the entertainment arena,  the UK is all about the Australian version of MasterChef.

Australian soap Neighbours comes in a close second, where it is more popular in Scotland than in England.

Home and Away doesn’t rate a mention.

Meanwhile, the US wants to know what time it is Down Under, is more keen on Sydney than Melbourne and, like its colonial founders, loves an Ugg boot.

The World Cup was a big boost for searches relating to Australia in the past year, with Australia v the Netherlands taking out the top spot in both the UK and the US.

Australia’s biggest tourism ad, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, also struck a chord with US viewers throughout the decade.

In New Zealand, it has all been about jobs in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

“Australian visa” has also been a strong search term – even though Kiwis don’t need to apply for one.

Channel Ten’s The Bachelor was the most popular entertainment-related search term in New Zealand over the past year, up a massive 2950%.

In July, Vice magazine specified search terms such as souvlaki, nude beach and jihad, and looked at how frequently these terms were searched by each state relative to the other Australian states.

Vice found that of the Australian states, Tasmanians were most interested in the apocalypse, South Australians were looking into how to get rich, Western Australians were big fans of pork belly and NSW residents were looking for BYO restaurants more than the rest of the country.

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Belconnen barrier

01/07/2018 // by admin

The Redbacks need to beat Belconnen on Saturday to keep their hopes alive of winning the minor premiership. Everything hangs on this weekend for the Yass Redbacks Division 7 side. If they can beat Belconnen they will be in poleposition for the minor premiership but a loss could see them slide back down the ladder into fourth place.
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At present they’re in second-place, trailing Belconnen by a single point. But a win in this top of the table clash would

give them the outright lead with just one game to play against sixth-placed Tuggeranong.

“Everyone turned up [to training] on Monday the guys know how important this match is,” coach Gary Lennon told

the Tribune. In their last match the Royal Hotel/Think Technology Redbacks went down 2-1 in an exciting round eight contest at Scullin.

“That was one of the better matches we’ve been a part of; they scored two smashing goals that even made me applaud, so we’re going to have to be on our game to beat these guys.”

Cameron Betts comes back into the team this week and Mitch Darmody, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, had a run on Monday night.

“Yeah we’re starting to get everyone back now it’s just about making sure everyone is fit and ready to go.”

Lennon said the minor premiership was the elephant in the room.

“Yeah no one is really talking about it, we all just want to finish in the top two but to do that we probably have to beat

Belconnen anyway and that will get us pretty close to the trophy.”

The Redbacks won last weekend 6-4 against the winless Weston-Molonglo and Lennon said they were lucky to get awaywith it.

“It was a very ugly win we just couldn’t do anything, we were slow on theball…it was very frustrating,” he said.

“I thought we were going to get beat and get beat well, I mean they were 4-2 up at one stage. Hopefully it’s the kick up thebum they need.”

The top of the table clash kicks off at 3pm at Walker Park on Saturday.

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LETTER: Short-changed in preference

01/07/2018 // by admin

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WITH the Commonwealth Games now over, and Australia having the largest overseas representation, and having paid the largest colonial price in defending the mother country during World War 1, I wonder how much of the mother land still appreciates our sacrifice, now that the centenary of the war is being remembered.

My family, with both English and Scottish parents, and grandparents, who served, did not seem to count when my daughter applied for residency status in England.

If this was a general rule I would understand, but when citizens from countries we helped defeat take preference along with those from countries unable to compete at the Games, but still preferred, I feel we have been short-changed and the spirit of the Games a wee bit sadder.

Maybe it’s time we went our own way when one considers what England ever done for us, that came free.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

Broader approach needed in council

01/07/2018 // by admin

Well said Sue Watson.
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I too am passionate about our town and where it should be and the sad fact is scrutiny or questions are resented by those elected.

It is an obvious point in our elected team that they have perfected damage control because they fail so often.

A new fresh team is needed right across the spectrum now and those who have the power for themselves are exposed because they have failed us all.

Our town and region should be remarkable but the aims are from the bland and closed visionless faces.

They see little of the big picture for our town and stuff around with trivial matters.

We have people in our town who can get the best for us all and capture private investment but they a re left out the cold. Why?

The casino/convention centre and resort would have made our town. Let’s hear who canned it and the pattern of the town’s direction will be clearer.

As for the Harness Club, it has been obvious for years that it is in bad shape and not transparent or what it should be.

Stuart Davie,

Mildura

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Grain plant gets go ahead

01/07/2018 // by admin

A GRAIN processing plant has been approved to be built on Mary’s Mount Road by Gunnedah Shire Council’s planning, environment and development committee.
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Gunnedah Shire Council’s planning and environmental services director Michael Silver.

The committee approval, which was subject to a number of conditions, will go to a full council to be ratified at the end of the month.

The development proposes to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The plant will have the ability to process up to 28,000 tonnes of agricultural produce annually, with 9,800 tonne of oil and 18,200 tonne of seed meal produced.

About 12 residents were at the meeting yesterday, with Joe Newbery, whose property is opposite the Riverine Milling plant site, giving a presentation to council.

Mr Newbery said he had raised concerns including the plant’s 24-hour operation, road safety, school bus safety, koala protection and dust suppression.

“Lastly, we ask the council to consider that this industrial development is proposed to be constructed and operated right in the middle of a cluster of small properties all with young families,” Mr Newbery told the committee.

“At the moment, Marys Mount is a peaceful and harmonious community of families, most of whom have moved to this area in the past three to five years because of this character.”

Mr Newbery said residents were distressed Councillor Gwen Griffen had dismissed their concerns as “silly” in the meeting.

“It is like council is preferencing big business over current residents,” he said.

Gunnedah Shire Council received 17 submissions in response to the development application.

The report to the council committee by council’s planning and environmental services director Michael Silver said the development was “consistent with the land use objectives”. He said the issues raised in the submissions had been addressed.

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Future governments need compassion

01/07/2018 // by admin

I was shocked to read in Sunraysia Daily (Saturday, August 2nd) that our Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, considers people who think our society should be “more equitable and caring” are “misguided” and “communist”.
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Maybe Mr Broad is content that the top 5 per cent earn as much wealth in Australia as the bottom 40 per cent?

Perhaps he is in the top 5 per cent?

This may explain why he disparages greater equality.

I do not agree that wanting us to become a more fair, just, compassionate and caring society is “communist”, Mr Broad.

The choices and decisions made by the government of the day on our behalf impact on all our lives.

However, many agree that less care and concern is shown than in former times for those who struggle and are most vulnerable in our society.

But we certainly do not need the big stick of “communism” to force us to develop more caring policies.

The Australian Council of Social Services Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie stated that “the budget will hurt those that could least afford it … you will see an acceleration of inequality.”

Inequality is not a fact of nature but is caused by government policies, regulations and tax laws put in place on behalf of us all which directly impact on the community in which we live.

In Australia, inequality is rising.

The article also refers to The Australian Bureau of Statistics which has revealed that the richest 7 people in Australia hold more wealth than the 1.73 million households in the bottom 20 per cent, the wealthiest 20 per cent of households account for 61 per cent of total household wealth.

And in the last decade, the richest 10 per cent in our society received more income tax cuts than the bottom 80 per cent combined.

And the current unemployment benefit is 20 per cent below the poverty line, the lowest of all OECD countries.

Mr Broad decries addressing inequality because he believes it will “lower everyone to the same level” and would be “communist”.

This is a very simplistic view and I hope for all our sakes that our present and future governments develop policies which are more caring and compassionate than at present.

Valerie Easterbrook,

Mildura

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Helping local women in need

01/07/2018 // by admin

The Queanbeyan-based domestic violence advocacy team of Kerry Mobbs, Chris Jordan and Julie Abrahams (PHOTO: Jodie Fisher).A BLACK eye, having money withheld, being isolated from friends and family, verbally put down and constantly demeaned – these are the hallmarks of domestic violence.
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But staff at the Queanbeyan-based South Eastern Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service is doing their best to help women out of these awful situations.

They provide advice and support with their main role to assist women navigate the court system to successfully get their apprehended violence order (AVO). Their service reaches out to those in Queanbeyan, Goulburn and Cooma.

Manager Kerry Mobbs said the service has provided support for 220 women across those three areas in the last six months. The statistics at court are often said to reflect half of domestic violence incidents as many go unreported, she said.

“The legal system is so hard to understand, it’s very intimidating. It’s especially hard for Aboriginal women and non-English speaking background women because often they don’t know the rules here and their husband will tell them different things,” Ms Mobbs said.

“It’s totally hard for them because we’re challenging their beliefs about the role of men and women. It’s really difficult because they’re being told by their friends, by their religion or culture that it’s ok that he bashes her, doesn’t give her any money and that type of stuff.”

Domestic violence is a gender-based crime with 99 per cent of cases involving men as the perpetrator and women as the victim, Ms Mobbs said.

Although, domestic violence is often associated with being between a husband and wife, there is an increase of family violence between a child and their parent as well as in same-sex relationships.

Ms Mobbs said it was important to remove the stigma and feelings of shame and embarrassment that often comes with domestic violence.

The service has been running for the last five years and there’s been a steady increase from year to year.

“Some of the women we meet are just amazing. It can be really daunting for them,” she said.

“We have recently been able to promote ourselves by advertising our service on a taxi that drives around town.

“It’s about increasing community awareness of domestic violence. Our driver gets asked many questions about it. It’s good.”

– The South Eastern Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service is located at 247 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan. For more information, contact 6299 3835.

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Great Western to battle top team

01/07/2018 // by admin

THE GREAT Western Lions face the most arduous task in the Mininera and District Football League tomorrow when they travel to Moyston to take on ladder leaders Moyston-Willaura.
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Great Western forward Tim Shalders manages to get his kick away under pressure against Penshurst last Saturday.

The Lions will go in with some renewed confidence after several consistent performances in their past few matches.

Drawing confidence from last week’s two point loss to Penshurst, Great Western will hope to be competitive against a stronger Moyston outfit.

While it will be a difficult match up for the lowly ranked Lions, the side’s strong and contested style of play has put teams under pressure in recent weeks and they will look to take that into tomorrow’s game.

Great Western will look to put the Pumas on the back foot by playing a strong first quarter.

While Lions coach Nick Thomas was satisfied with his team’s performance last week, he said his side was not happy with the end result and will be hungry to cause a major upset tomorrow.

If the Lions are any chance tomorrow they will have to stop the run and carry style of play the Pumas use with devastating effect.

When the two teams met earlier in the season damaging midfielders such as Luke Thomas and Matt Peel, along with half backs Rhys Cronin and utility John Vanderwaal cut the Lions apart.

The Lions will look to in form youngsters Tom McCord and Cody Virgona, as well as Danny Grellet and consistent midfielders Lachie Malloy and BJ Burton.

The Lions will be further helped by the return of captain Brett Dowie who is coming back from a knee injury that forced him out of last week’s match.

Dowie is likely to start forward for the Lions, but could play a key role in defence if required.

Great Western will travel to Moyston tomorrow.

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