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Kings’ TAB reign ends after 36 years

Posted by admin on 22/07/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

WHEN Alexandra Hills couple Desley and John King retire at the end of this month, their reign as the Kings of Cleveland TAB will be over.
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John and Desley King will retire from their Cleveland business after 36 years. PHOTOS: JUDITH KERR

But all bets will be on them joining the caravanning contingency to visit family in Western Australia.

While the couple has been the agents for the TAB, they have seen many changes in the betting industry since they moved to Cleveland in 1980.

The latest change in the industry was last week, when the NSW government moved to ban greyhound racing next year.

A bank of high-definition televisions flicker over multi-coloured stools inside the Cleveland TAB, one of the bayside’s most upmarket tabulated betting agencies.

WHAT’S THE BET? Cleveland’s John and Desley King will retire this month after running their Cleveland business for 36 years. PHOTO: JUDITH KERR

Mr King remembers the day he and wife Desley first walked into the Middle Street shop.

They took on the agency, sight unseen, from where they had been working and raising their two children in Blackwater, Central Queensland.

Both were surprised when the found Cleveland was not part of Brisbane and was only connected to the state’s capital via a single-lane “goat track”.

“We have seen many significant changes over the years,” he said. “In the 1970s, tickets were hand written and could only be collected at the office of issue.

“We are now able to take wagers on all major sports with multiple options within each sport.”

He also remembered the good times and laughs.

“On Melbourne Cup Day 2012, some of the girls had come in to the TAB after having lunch at The Sands and handed over all their tickets,” he said.

“One girl, who was all dressed up and had had a lovely day, handed over hers and started to walk away because she didn’t think she had won anything.

“I put the ticket through and she had won the trifecta 3.3 times.

“I had to call her back and she had a total meltdown and started dancing around the room when she found out she had won $167,000.

“She was laughing and saying she was going to buy a new car – it was magical.”

Mrs King also remembered the early days in the TAB, when she had a babe in arms while answering the telephone and manually filling out betting forms.

The couple first met out west and spent a year working at Moranbah in Central Queensland before three years at the Blackwater TAB.

“We decided to move on to enhance our careers and to give our two children, Tanya and Craig, more opportunities in life,” she said.

“Having arrived in Cleveland we loved the area and the country feel and have been the TAB agents here for 36 years.

“We are going to miss our clientele, the friendships we have formed, the laughs and good-natured banter, but as we are staying in the Redlands we are sure we will catch up with most of them from time to time.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Merriwa farmer fighting for action on wild dogs

Posted by admin on 22/07/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

Desperate to be heard,Merriwa farmer,ChrisKemp says he had no choice but to alert the media after wild dogs were the catalyst to him losing an estimated 700 head of sheep.
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He says theperennial pests weretravelling10kms from the Goulburn River National Park and making kills onhis Forest Reserve Roadproperty.

To make matters worsewedge-tailed eagles, the largest bird of prey in Australia,were followingthe wild dogs,and joining the feeding frenzy.

At times feral pigs would chime in and clean up the mess both the agile hunters left behind.

And,theNSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) did not want to know about it.

However, since he has gone public with his devastating lossthe organisationhas requestedto meet withlandholders.

The local farmer, who was born and bred in the area,says now the problem has beenacknowledged,a long-term strategy that involves not just baiting buttargeted trapping, and other measures, needs to be put in place.

“Baiting works with young dogs but older ones who have worked out how to bothavoid the bait and kill effectivelyare the problem,” he explains.

“After they would not listen to us back inMarch we put in place a coordinated trapping program.”

Mr Kemp says this led to the capture of16 dogs that were making their way from the park to surrounding properties.

“Landholders in the area are managing their own properties as required by the lawbut the national parksarenot doing the same,” he says.

“It isimportant things change as wild dogs coming out of the parksis an issueacross the state.”

CONCERNED: Merriwa farmer Chris Kemp. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

He says the government needs tosupport theNPWS and provide them with the necessary resourcesstop this happening.

“These dogs are not dingos and reducing their numbers should not effect the ecosystems of the parks.”

“If anything it is out-of-balance with the increased number of these wild dogs, they are coming right up to our houses.”

Disturbingly, from a grandmother taking her daily stroll in the Tweedto a young woman on horseback in the mid north coast hinterland, reports of wilddogs stalking people are on the rise.

Founder of the Mid North Coast Wild Dog Association Inc, Helen Tyrrel says they are getting daily reports of wild dog attacks.

They have co-ordinators from the Great Lakes area to the Gloucester district,and up north towardsCoffs Harbour. She says in April a young female on horseback was stalked by a black, rough, looking dogat Killabakh.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Live grenade removed from Griffith’s main street

Posted by admin on 22/07/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

Live grenade removed from Griffith’s main street The grenade.
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A police officer takes a photo of the grenade.

The grenade as seen from The Area Hotel.

The grenade is in the nearest parking bay, directly opposite the Haggia Sophia kebab shop.

Police establish an exclusion zone.

TweetFacebookFairfax Mediasource says the grenade appears to be a “Mk II pineapple grenade”. He said the grenades were an American device commonly used in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

The grenade, which appears quite rusted, is probably still live, according to the source, who asked not to be named.

He said in active military use, grenades were considered safe unless the ‘pin’ was removed or damaged. The pin prevents the detonator from activating.

Mk II grenades were a fragmentation-type grenade developed at the end of WWI.

10.49am:“Lock your doors and stay inside,” says Councillor Dino Zappacosta.

“I’ve never heard of a live grendade in the whole of the Griffith Council area, let alone the CBD,” he said.

Councillor Zappacosta has lived in Griffith for 68 years.

He said it was devastating to have such horrible news in a community that is so used to peace and harmony.

“It’s terrifying, most terrifying,” Councillor Zappacosta said.“Lock your doors and if travelling on the road, stay away.”

Griffith City Council confirmed operates CCTV cameras within the area. Access to the footage is via subpoena only except via police request.

Banna Avenue is expected to be closed for at least eight hours.

10.30am:A plainclothes police officer with “Griffith CI” on his vest confirmed police aretreating the grenade as live. He said they have called the bomb squad and they are expected to arrive withinfive hours. Banna Avenue is expected to beclosed for at least eight hours.

Meanwhile, an envelope containing an unknown powder was discovered at Wagga City Council on Thursday morning.

Emergency services are on site andthe situation is reportedly contained.

Update: 10.22am

The white commodore (right) ran the roadblock.

A white Holden Commodore drove into the exclusion zone on the wrong side of the road despite police yelling at the driver to stop. The car stopped near the library and has since been removed.

9.54am:Police have toldbusiness owners on the‘bottom block’ of Banna Avenuethey may not be able to open for a while.

Banna Avenue is closed between Kooyoo Street and Jondaryan Avenue.

9am:A suspected live grenade was found on Griffith’sBanna Avenue about 8.45am Thursday.

According to Inspector John Wadsworth from Griffith Local Area Command, the grenade was discovered by a council employee in front of the Haggia Sophia kebab shop.

It is believed to be a WWII-era grenade.

Griffith City Library and nearby workplaces were evacuated about 9.15am.

Police have created an exclusion zone at either end of‘bottom block’ and are waiting for Griffith City Council to set up barricades.

Police have called the bomb squad and it is believed the incident was referred to the army.

Area News

Train crash should never have happened

Posted by admin on 22/07/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

THE deaths of 11 people at a level crossing in northern Victoria nine years ago shouldhave been enough for something to be done about ALL level crossings in the state.
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But yet anothertrain crash, this timenear Colac on Wednesday afternoon, was proof nothing was really learned from the tragic crash at Kerang in 2007, where 11 people died and 23 injured after a truck ploughed into a V/Line passenger train at a level crossing.

Even after the 2007 crash, a coroner recommended transport authorities investigate new warning systems at level crossings.

Coroner Jane Hentlass made 25 recommendations, including calling for changes to level crossing warnings and emergency response procedures.

Nine years after the Kerang crash and after the recommendations from the coroner, the level crossing in question at this week’s crash was still to be fixed.

Oh, and this was despite it being “fast-tracked” 17 months ago for the installation of boom gates and warning signals.

Not good enough.

The level crossing in Pirron Yallock near Colac was named in a February 2015 media release as one of three country crossings fast-tracked for upgrades.

So why, a year and a half later, was nothing done about it?

It was a tragedy waiting to happen and, on Wednesday afternoon, it nearly was.

Eighteen people were taken to hospital after the V/Line passenger train and a truck collided at the level crossing.

It was amazing no-one was killed in Wednesday’s crash. But what really is the tragedy here is the fact it took a near-fatal experience to highlight the fact nothing had been done about this level crossing.

Which begs the question, how many other dangerous level crossings are still operating in Victoria without the necessary safety equipment, as recommended by the Kerang crash coroner?

Oh, but detailed design and planning hadbeen completed for the gates and electrical and signalling works at the Pirron Yallock crossing.

Again, not good enough.

“The installation of the boom gates and the signals are on track to be completed at the end of this year,” Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said on Thursday.

That’s not good enough Ms Allan. Works on this and other crossings needed to have been completed longbefore now.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Proponent spruiks a new ‘tri-city’ vision

Posted by admin on 22/07/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

An image from Consolidated Land and Rail Australia, a company planning a fast rail link between Melbourne and Sydney. Photo: CLARAA new city built between Albury and Wagga, as part of the bold new rail plan, would be locatedon farm land likelyin the Henty area.
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Consolidated Land and Rail Australia co-chairman Nick Cleary said the phantom township would be connected by its own ultra-quick rail link to each of the centres.

“Our plan is to build eight new, smart, sustainable, green field cities which will be connected by the high-speed train,” he said.

“Those cities would be in relative close proximity to existing towns and centres to enable access to existing healthcare, education and transport systems.

“The city we want to build between Albury and Wagga would service as a tri-city region to make sure we get a wonderful network of the three cities that helps the economic viability, the sustainability and productivity of those three centres.”

Mr Cleary insisted taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay a cent, as the venture would fund itself by utilising a finance scheme that wouldcapture land price increases.

“That value upliftwould pay for the civil and rail infrastructure going forward.

“We’ve secured land, that’s under our legal control and subject to milestones moving forward, with government, that’s to build our cities on.

“In terms of the corridor, that’s something we’ll need to talk to states and local governments about.”

A transport experthas dismissedthe latest plan as a potential “financialtrainwreck”that failsthe economics testbecause of excessivelyhigh costs. “It appears that this latest fast train proposal is driven by funding opportunities from higher land prices which can be highly speculative and unreliable,”GarryBowditch, head of the Better Infrastructure Initiative atSydney University, told Fairfax Media.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Former federal health minister Dr Michael Wooldridge was originally hit with a 27-month ban and a $20,000 fine. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui Mr Lewski is free to go about his business after the Full Court of the Federal Court threw out his 15 year ban.
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The corporate watchdog has been left with egg on its face after the Full Court of the Federal Court found the former directors of Prime Trust – who include businessman Bill Lewski, former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge and former Places Victoria boss Peter Clarke – did not breach the Corporations Act when they signed off on a controversial $33 million payment to Mr Lewski.

The Full Court found ASIC took too long to bring its case against the directors and as such a crucial meeting in July 2006 where the listing fee was granted by changing the constitution could not be considered.

The statute of limitations for breaches of the Corporations Act is six years.

“The failure of ASIC to commence proceedings before August 23, 2012 has been the primary cause for the complexities introduced into the proceeding, as no direct reliance could be placed upon the conduct that occurred on July 19, 2006 as establishing a contravention,” the Full Court found.

As a result, Justice John Middleton told a brief hearing in Melbourne on Thursday: “We are of the view the trial judge should not have concluded the directors breached the Corporations Act”.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is now facing a legal bill in the millions after the decision. The regulator is currently reviewing the decision that was handed down on Thursday morning.

Retirement village owner Prime Trust, once worth $560 million, collapsed in 2010 wiping out the savings of about 8000 investors.

The court matter rested on whether the directors of Prime Trust, who were also directors of the trust’s responsible entity Australian Property Custodian Holdings Ltd, had not acted in the best interests of investors when approving the deed to pay Mr Lewski a $33 million fee for listing the company he had founded ahead of its 2007 float on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Investors were left disappointed by the decision that overturned a 15-year ban for Mr Lewski and a $230,000 fine, four-year bans for fellow directors Kim Jaques and Mark Butler and a 27-month ban for Dr Wooldridge and a $20,000 fine for each. Mr Clarke was never banned but instead fined $20,000.

“We believe that the issues raised in the appeal judgment are complex and we are currently reviewing and considering the findings of the appeal judges,” Prime Trust Action Group member and Prime Trust investor Steve O’Reilly said.

It is unclear whether the directors will now sue the regulator for compensation over loss of income as Mr Lewski, Dr Wooldridge, Mr Jaques and Mr Butler have all been serving out their bans since the original banning orders were handed down in 2014.

Craig Shepard​ of KordaMentha, the liquidator for Prime Trust, said the ruling would not affect separate legal action brought by the liquidators to recoup $50 million for the listing fee.

“The outcome in favour of the former directors was significantly affected by the failure of ASIC to commence proceedings before August 23, 2012,” Mr Shepard said.

“The pending proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria is not affected by this limitation issue. There is direct reliance in the Supreme Court proceeding on the conduct of the former directors that occurred at the critical meeting on July 19, 2006,” Mr Shepard said.

In a statement released after the ruling, Dr Wooldridge said the demise of Prime Trust had taken a significant toll on many people including his family but particularly the unitholders who suffered loss.

“I am glad the decision by Mr Justice Murphy has been overturned; I always maintained his decision was unjust,” Dr Wooldridge said.

“This decision allows me to meaningfully rebuild,” Dr Wooldridge said.

A statement from Mr Lewski’s lawyers at SBA Law said: “Mr Lewski is very pleased with the result of the unanimous decision delivered today by the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia.

“He is particularly relieved that the Court found that all of the Directors acted honestly – as it has always been their belief that they had acted in accordance with, and in reliance on, their legal and professional advices,” Mr Lewski’s lawyers said.

A spokesman for Mr Clarke said the former senior government official was always confident he had acted appropriately in his role as a director of Prime Trust. Mr Clarke, who had only just joined the board ahead of the vote to grant the payment to Mr Lewski, abstained from voting on the payment.

Through his spokesman, Mr Clarke said “today’s decision by the Full Court of the Federal Court to absolve him of all contraventions following a four-year court battle with ASIC was a relief but also expected”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Possums at risk in South West region

Posted by admin on 20/06/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

THE population of a subspecies of brushtail possumsin the South West willcontinue to decline due toclimate change and habitat loss,according to an Edith Cowan University Centre for Ecosystem Managementstudy.
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Endemic to the South West of Australia, the koomal possumhas undergone a significant reduction in distribution due to its vulnerability to habitat fragmentation, introduced predators and tree/shrub dieback.

The ECU research, which used species distribution models, radio tracking and trapping to collate data,foundareas heavily infested with dieback were not occupied by koomal possums and thatkoomal presence was linked to the extent of suitable vegetation available.

Lead researcher Dr Shaun Molloy saidthe main geographic areawhere the possums live wasshifting and contractingwith climate change, which was having a significant impact on the species.

“Koomal have pretty much disappeared from the Wheatbelt and most of the inland part of their range, largely because of clearing and introduced predators,” he said.

“They are still persisting well in much of the Jarrah forest and in coastal areas because there is still good tree canopy cover.”

However, Dr Molloy saidthis cover wasdeclining, and inthe next 10 years the possums wouldcontinue topersist but in fewer and fewer areas.

“Climate change combined with other factors such as inappropriate fire regime, land clearing, man-made obstacles to movement such as roads and suburbs, weeds, pathogens such as dieback and introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats,all combine to have a potentially devastating impact on our native plants and animals,” he said.

“We all have to understand what a real and serious threat climate change is and how it combines with other impacts to threaten our biodiversity.

“I believe that our greatest problem is that we, as a society do not take the time to learn about our unique and wonderful plants and animals.I am convinced that if we knew more about them we would learn to care enough to make room for them in our future.”

Dr Molloy said responsible pet ownership, establishing native plants andprotecting nativebushland were great ways to start helping the koomal and other animal populations survive.

The locations in which koomal possums are located are on the decline due to their vulnerability to habitat fragmentation, introduced predators and tree dieback.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

TAFE must ensure Sth Coast focus remains

Posted by admin on 20/06/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

TAFE is not leaving town, the government says.
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However, Wednesday’s announcement that the state’s 10 autonomousinstitutes would make way forone overarching entity, appears to indicate otherwise.

Opinions are divided on what the reformmeans, and whether it is good for education and good for regions such as our own.

NSW Skills Minister John Barilaro said the institutes –including the Illawarra institute,which has 13 campuses from Wollongong to Bega and west to Yass –would be folded into one streamlined, multi-campus operation.

It’s a “once-in-a-generation reform” of the sector, effective immediately.

The barriers which currently exist between the institutes will be dismantled, the minister said.

There will be less duplication, administration will be streamlined and “One TAFE” will be efficient and strong, he said.

But common sense says regional areas will feel the effects of yet another “streamlining”.

Any loss of regional autonomy must be questioned. Can the government guarantee TAFE’s accessibilityin the Illawarra will bemaintained?

Will more of our campuses fall by the wayside?

Thewounds inflicted by the closure of the Dapto TAFE campus are still raw for many.

Among those with concerns isShellharbour MP Anna Watson, whosays changes to our TAFE campuses will make it easier for the state government to hide falling student enrolments, reduced course offers, cuts to teaching positionsand downgraded campus services.

In short, it will mean the state government can slice up any regional campus just like it did to Dapto over the last six years, she said.

The Dapto TAFE campus closed its doors on January 22 and has been replaced by a Connected Learning Centre, a shopfront, in the suburb’s CBD.

Despite the changes announced on Wednesday, the state government is not offering a single new dollar in extra funding to Illawarra TAFE, Ms Watson said.

Fairfax Media asked TAFE Illawarra to break down what the announcement means for this region.It replied with a generic statement from TAFE NSW.

The organisation is “up for the challenge”to deliver a strong, modern and more competitive educational system.

Let’s hope it can deliver.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New equipment at Blaxland

Posted by admin on 20/06/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

Ready to play: Ward 4 councillors, Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill, Anton Von Schulenburg and Brendan Christie inspect the new play equipment at Blaxland Oval.Playtime is a lot more interesting at Blaxland Oval now the new play equipment has been installed by Blue Mountains City Council.
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The new playground equipment is a Moduplay design and includes custom-built scaling walls, a spider net, bannister slide and a nest seat swing.

The play area has a combination of soft fall mulch and rubber soft fall pads for underlay.

“It’s a pleasure to see local children enjoying the new and improved playground,” said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.

“The new play equipment meets the community vision for the Blaxland Oval precinct which includes partial wheelchair access; reuse of the existing spinner and swings; and complements the retained equipment for younger children.”

The new play equipment waschosen to suit the demographic of the local community and to be age-appropriate for the range of ages of children using the park.

“The upgrade of Blaxland Oval play equipment is one of the many initiatives funded by the special rate variation that have been brought forward to improve services sooner rather than later to meet community needs,”said the mayor.

Blaxland Oval is one of a number of playgrounds across the city upgraded by council in the last year.

In recent months Blue Mountains council has conducted comprehensive research and community consultation on open space, play and recreation, to inform its approach to delivery of parks and recreation services in the future.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Coal seam gas hits big screen in new movie

Posted by admin on 20/06/2019
Posted in 南京夜网 

LOCAL STARS: Woody Naismith wants to reach out to local coal seam gas activist groups to appear in his film along with some of the nation’s biggest actors
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AN Aussie filmmaker has lined up some of the nation’s biggest actors to star in a movie exploring the complex issues a community faces when the coal seam gas industry comes to their town.

Woody Naismith wants those with a personal interest in the debate to contribute to his crowdfunding campaign to get the movie off the ground.

His movie,The Fox Hole, focuses on what happens when CSG company, Natural Gas Providers, establishes gas wells in a beautiful but fractured Australian country town, dividing residents and forcing them to chose been the economic benefits and the environmental impacts.

Sound familiar?

Naismith said he was inspired by a conversation he had with a friend in Narrabri.

“I called them up to talk about fracking, but they wouldn’t give me the time of day other than to say they were pro-coal seam gas,” he said.

“That really fed into the film and inspired me to replicate the real life situation. The film really plays on the idea of what’s more important – the economy or the environment?”

Naismith has signed up Gyton Grantley (HouseHusbands,Underbelly) and Rick Cosnett (The Flash,The Vampire Diaries) to star in the film, who all met at the Queensland University of Technology.

The movie is set in a “nowhere in particular, run of the mill” Australian town in NSW – a setting the region around Armidale and the New England could fill perfectly.

“I’d like to get up that way, particularly those beautiful, sun-drenched, browner parts of the area,” he said.

And it wouldn’t be a movie about coal seam gas without a community protest.

Naismith said he’d like to reach out to local activists groups to appear in the film.

“I thought what a great thing to have in the film, to get these people who are battling coal seam gas protesting on screen,” he said.

“I really want real Australia people represented in the film.”

Naismith is crowdfunding through the government-run website Australian Cultural Fund.

For more information, visitaustralianculturalfund.org419论坛/projects/the-fox-hole/.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.