Cundletown boat ramp upgrade

Kendall Reserve boat ramp: Residents raising concerns that include its steep slope, difficulty in manoeuvring cars with trailers, and limited parking.MidCoast Council, in partnership with Roads and Maritime Services, is calling on local residentsto provide feedback on options for upgrading the Kendall Reserve boat ramp in Cundletown.
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With the Manning River on our doorstep boating is one of our favourite pastimes, and Kendall Reserve in Cundletown an ideal location for launch.

A need to upgrade its current boat ramp and facilities has been identified, with local residentsraising concerns that include its steep slope, difficulty in manoeuvring cars with trailers, and limited parking.

To address the areas highlighted, Royal Haskoning DHV has been commissioned to prepare two concept plans for upgrading the facility, which are now on public exhibition.

“The first concept is based on retaining and upgrading the existing ramp and surrounding facilities, while the second includes the construction of a new two-lane boat ramp at the north-west end of the reserve,” Dan Aldridge, MidCoast Council’s manager for community spaces, recreation and trades said.

“Both the plans have merit, and we’re now looking to the community to provide input on which option will best serve their current and future needs.”

A drop-in session will be held at Kendall Reserve from3pm to 6pmonThursday, December 15, providing an opportunity for locals to find out more about each option by speakingwith staff from RMS, MidCoast Council, and the RHDHV design team.

For those who aren’t able to make the drop in session, the draft concept plans can be found on the ‘have your say’ section of MidCoast Council’s website at梧桐夜网midcoast.nsw.gov419论坛/kendall-reserve

Community members are invited to make a submission before5pmonFriday,December 23.

This investigation has been funded through the NSW Boating Now program, which aims to ensure our waterways remain safe and accessible.

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Taking time to celebrate all types of success

For the past month, ever since VCE exam supervisors last uttered the phrase,“Time’s up”, 47,000 Victorian students have waited nervously to receive their results.
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For 35 young people around the state, that wait ended in elation: they received the highest possible ATAR of 99.95.

One diligent Bendigo student is among them.

But for every student awarded a “perfect” score, there is a dozen or more young people for whom just receiving their Victorian Certificate of Education is a milestone achievement.

They too deserve to be delighted today.

It is a shame the intangibility of their success, unable to be pinned down in numbers, makes celebrating their performance more difficult.

How does one know that the teenage girl who scraped an ATAR in the mid-50s did so despite a crippling case of anxiety?

What about the young man who worked two casual jobs throughout the entirety of his senior schooling yet still made time to cram for exams?

Consider the arts student who spent hours in Drama, Music and Visual Communicationclasses despite having already won a spot in a prestigious design course.

Their efforts are just as perfect as any ATAR.

We can be sure teachers and principals willacknowledgetheir efforts; it issomething schools are doing better and more often than ever before.

But it is also important the rest of the community follows the schools’ lead.

We must not measure a young person’s worth on two years of academic performance.

An ATAR exists purely for the purpose of university admission, not to eternally pigeonhole its recipient as “smart” or “stupid”.

There are those whose scores did not threaten the 90s that will go on to transform the world we live in.

And there are high-scoring pupils who will change university course, or make mistakes. And that’s okay too.

These are young people aged just 17 or 18.

Their lives have barely begun, so we certainly should not be writing their legacy just yet.

They have a long time left to make their mark on society and when they do, you can be sure no one will be talkingabout their ATAR.

– Mark Kearney, journalist

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Malcolm Turnbull to address Australian Republican Movement dinner, monarchists unhappy

Malcolm Turnbull on the eve of the 1999 republican referendum. Photo: Mark Baker Mr Turnbull on the day after the republican’s defeat in the 1999 referendum. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Mr Turnbull and Thomas Keneally at the launch of the Australian Republican Movement in Sydney on 7 July 1991. Photo: Dean Wilmot

Mr Turnbull with Eddie McGuire and Hazel Hawke at the Republican Movement headquarters in South Melbourne. Photo: Mark Wilson

Malcolm Turnbull is going back to where his political career began with a much anticipated address to mark the 25th anniversary of the Australian Republican Movement.

The Prime Minister will speak at the event on Saturday night which the movement hopes will press the reset button on the republican debate.

The gala event will be held in the Great Hall of Sydney University with the top tier tables costing $3000.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Prime Minister has agreed to join us for our 25th anniversary commemoration,” the ARM’s national chairman, Peter FitzSimons, said.

“It is an occasion to honour those who’ve got us to this point, and the PM is, of course, at the forefront of our founding fathers and mothers. The dinner is also a moment for the ARM to outline its vision for the future. A vision in which Australia takes the lead and completes the journey to full and final independence.”

Mr Turnbull was a founding member of the Australian Republican Movement and became synonymous with the push for Australia becoming a republic.

He was a major financial backer of the movement and unsuccessfully led the campaign for change in the 1999 referendum on whether Australia should break its ties with the monarchy.

In an emotional speech on the night of the referendum, Mr Turnbull famously declared that then prime minister John Howard would be remembered by history as “the prime minister who broke this nation’s heart”.

Mr Turnbull has remained a republican but the issue has dropped off the agenda.

Saturday’s speech has sparked curiosity because the Prime Minister has since distanced himself from the republican cause saying that success would only follow the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

On Australia Day this year, Mr Turnbull warned that he had no interest in leading the republican cause to another “heroic defeat” and that a referendum would fail if it was seen to be politically driven.

Philip Benwell, the chairman of the National Monarchist League, said Mr Turnbull was “forgetting the reality of politics”.

“We know that more Coalition voters support the constitutional monarchy than not. They are prepared to tolerate Malcolm Turnbull because he has made the proviso ‘not yet’,” Mr Benwell said.

“His now active support, if the rumours are true, of a republic will throw even more conservative and traditionalist voters into the arms of minor parties, such as the Christian Democrats, One Nation and the Liberty Alliance. These parties do not support a republic and it is estimated that by far the majority of their members are monarchists.”

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Football continues its growth

On the up: Football Mid North Coast director Mike Parsons is thrilled at the continued growth of the sport in the area.FOOTBALL continues to go from strength to strength across the country.
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After the weekend’s announcement that the sport was the number one in club-based participation sport, those figures rang true not only nationally but across Northern NSW.

Football Mid North Coast Chairman Mike Parsons is proud of the games continued growth.

“The announcement officially confirms what was widely accepted, that football is the largest sport in Northern NSW,” Parsons said.

“The total number of registered players in Northern NSW alone has grown by 42 per cent in the last decade to a record figure of 64,186 players for 2016. In our zone, in the 2016 season, junior numbers have increased 7.3 per cent andseniors are up a staggering 16.8 per cent, giving a total of 6,400 players participating in the World Game.”

“Aside from the international profile of the game, key drivers for this growth continue to be football’s appeal as a great game and its attractiveness to all ages and abilities for men, women, boys and girls, with huge growth in the number of females participating.”

Parsons said it also reflected the accessibility of the game.

“28 clubs participate across the Mid North Coast. It’s something that we have achieved through the stabilisation of registration fees by sound financial management and the support of major financial partners in community football such as the Newcastle Permanent Building Society,” Parsons said.

But the continued growth of the ‘World Game’ across the Mid North Coast was not without its challenges.

“As our game continues to grow, we face a number of challenges, including increased pressure on facilities with added demands for drainage, lighting and amenities, as some clubs are stretched to accommodate the player demand in their area,”Parsons said.

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Call to withdraw airport support

A call has gone out for Penrith City Council to withdraw support for Western Sydney Airport following the federal government’s final sign-off on the project.
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The airport became a certainty today (December 12), as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joinedInfrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher to signoff on the plans.

But locals have expressed unease with what they believe are essential details missing from the plans.

Newly elected Labor councillor Ben Price said the plans failed to deliver on two essential criteria, and that Penrith City Council should withdraw its support for the project.

“Some of the preconditions for [previous council] support were a curfew to match Kingsford Smith Airport, government to commit to construct a North/South Rail Link, which would be fully operational before a flight took off and a number of other environmental conditions.

“Fast forward and we now have the airport approved without at least two of the critical pre-conditions being met.

“The curfew is not included in the plans and furthermore the Federal Infrastructure Minister, Paul Fletcher, has advised council that the airport will operate without a curfew.

“It doesn’t get much clearer than this.

“We are no closer to getting a north/south rail line. In fact the state government can’t even commit to reserving a rail corridor for the future construction of a line let alone having a fully operational service in place before the opening of the airport.

“Without a north/south rail line the residents of western Sydney will miss out on a lot of the benefit that an airport might bring to the area.”

Cr Price has called for a council report to see if otherenvironmental pre-conditions have been addressed in the final EIS, but said he was “not holding my breath”.

“There is now a clear case to argue that with many of our preconditions not being met that council ought to reconsider our position and either reaffirm our support and risk betraying the undertakings council make to our ratepayers or look to withdraw it,” he said.

“I believe council should withdraw its support for the airport.”

Lindsay MP Emma Husar described the final approval of the airport a “bitter farce”.

Mr Turnbull had given the projecthis tick of approval without a jobs plan being in place, without a commitment to rail infrastructure from day one and without the necessary site impact tests being completed, she said in a statement.

“On May 6, 2016, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure said the final flight paths would be contained in the final EIS, but they weren’t. We still don’t know what the flight paths will look like, and I can only suppose that means there’s something to hide,” she said.

“The Prime Minister has today approved an airport without actually knowing what it will mean to the communities, schools, families and businesses that will be affected.

“It’s a bitter farce, and the people of western Sydney have a right to feel conned and cheated by the actions of this Liberal government.”

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) alsoreaffirmed its concerns over the airport’s final approval conditions.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said quality of life must be maintained for local residents.

“Currently, we do not have enough certainty that this will be the case,” he said. “Equity is a key concern for WSROC and unlike Kingsford Smith, Western Sydney Airport has no specific operating limitations, no noise abatement strategy, and no insulation or noise sharing programs.

“We don’t even know where the flight paths will be located.

“In addition to protections, WSROC wants to see the government’s plan for maximising the airport’s potential for employment, access to services, social inclusion, and regional connectivity.

“We need a transport network that gives both businesses and residents easy access to the airport and its surrounding employment lands. A single link to the city won’t cut it.”

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Timber mill fined

Dongwha sawmill.
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Dongwha Timbers’ sawmill has been issued with a Penalty Notice for $15,000 by compliance officers from the Department of Planning and Environment.

Dongwha Timbers were penalised for tracking mud and dirt onto public roads after failing to seal an internal road within the site.

Theinvestigation was carried out following complaints to the department by Snowy Monaro Regional Council.

Manager of General Affairs at Dongwha Timbers, Michael Dyer confirmed the company had been fined $15,000 for allowing mud and debris to exit the site.

“Dongwha Timbers has been conscious of mud and debris exiting our site especially this year with the high rainfall.

“We are now working the the department to ensure this issue is rectified in a timely manner,” he said.

Department of Planning and Environment compliance officer issued five penalties worth $75,000 to quarry, timber and waste management facility operators in southern NSW for breaching approval conditions.

During October they inspected 57 sites throughout NSW and 12 in the southern region where they issued five $15,000 fines –the highest possible fine the department can issue.

Executive director of Resource Assessments and Compliance, Oliver Holm said the department actively inspected sites, did spot checks and undertook unannounced visits to ensure companies were complying with their conditions.

“We take breaches seriously and the community has an expectation that any breach will result in the appropriate action,” he said.

Penalty’s of $15,000 were also issued to Holcim’s Cooma Road Quarry in Queanbeyan; CEAL’s Ardmore Park Quarry in Bungonia with two fines going to Veolia Environmental Services’ Woodlawn Waste Facility in Tarago.

Compliance enforcement can include warning letters and orders, fines of up to$15,000 and prosecutions for the most serous offences with penalties of up to $5 million.

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Rules changes for juniors

SIX-A-SIDE, one pass, six-tackle sets and quarters, rather than thirds, are just some of the changes set to be introduced to junior footy in a bid to boost participation rates across the region.
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Country Rugby League regional manager Western, Peter Clarke said the changes, which will be implemented from the under 6s age group right across the state, have been backed by the Rams region.

Cominginto play in 2017, junior league stars of the future will get the benefit of longer periods of time with the ball in hand with little consequence for mistakes – a chance rule is also being introduced for forward passes, knock-ons and running into touch at an under 6s level.

Clarke said the main focus on the changes was to make the game more enjoyable for junior age groupswith the non-competitive nature of the competitions across the Western Division extending from under 6s through to under 9s.

“And in Group 14, they’re stretching it to include under 10s next season,” Clarke added.

MAJOR CHANGES for under 6s and under 7s:

Six players per team, not eight;Eight minute quarters, not 10 minute thirds;One pass requirement, not two;Six tackles per set, not four;No scrums;Defenders stand 5m back;No conversions, no kicks in general play; Knock-on, forward pass, run into touch –chance rule (under 6s only);

“It’s more about encouraging kids to be part of our game at an early age, and making sure that time in the game is an enjoyable experience so the pathway into older age groups is clear.”

Clarke said making the changes to junior league known now, five months out from the start of the season, would ensure there’s no excuses come kick-off.

The NRL added it will continue its policy of positive and appropriate off-field behaviour amongst parents, spectators and participants.

“Children and young adults learn from those around them and we are committed to ensuring that those in our game, no matter what level and age, are respectful at all times,” NRL chief of football Brian Canavan said.

Clarke agreed.

“(Parents) can be (an issue). A lot of the time the trouble from the sidelines is because parents don’t know the rules. This is a means of making sure the communication is there,” he added.

Clarke was confident the changes, which filter up through the grades –at varied degrees -until international rules are applied in full foe the under 13s, would help facilitate junior league participation, which is still strong in thearea.

“In general, our numbers are steady, and certainly the growth of league tag has helped those numbers.”

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Perfect location but it needs a freshen up

It’s one of the most recgonisable scenes in Tasmania, and even on a national scale it’s a big one for tourists.
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But the introduction to Cradle Mountain is pretty second-rate.

The comparison between Cradle Mountain’s current visitor centre and a truck stop is pretty spot on.

In fact I’ve seen a few truck stops around the country which would leave the Cradle Mountain centrein theirwake quite comfortably.

As a first impression for visitors from around the globe, it’s pretty abysmal.

And quite rightly Cradle Mountain should be one of the major tourist drawcards for visitors from every corner of the earth.

If it was the truckstop crowd you weretargeting then it may not be a big deal. But at Cradle Mountain we should have something fitting of one of the State’s premier tourist attractions.

But the pace to make progressfor a new master plan to bring the visitor experience at Cradle Mountain into the 21st century,from some quarters, has been pedestrian to say the least.

This is despite a lot of work going into the creation of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan to provide a strong case for the overall project to take the experience to the next level.

It includes a major new visitor experience to welcome people, a major new commercial hub, a cable car to increase access to the park, and a new viewing centre on the shores of the iconic Dove Lake.

Despite a great amount of enthusiasm and praise for the plan, it appears to have all but stalled.

It was quite a contrast at the weekend to see the effusive support from our state and federalgovernments for the new proposal for Macquarie Point –a stone’s throw from central Hobart -compared to the glacial pace to act onCradle Mountain.

Standing alongside the brains trust from MONA, the government representatives were like a group of kids at Christmas.

But it was like getting blood from a stone to get the Turnbull Government behind the project at the Federal Election, with a paltry $1 million committed to further work to provide more paper to back the project.

Many other projects in the past have been given big buckets of Federal money in the past with a lot less on paper –one involving chocolate just north of the capital immediately springs to mind.

The Tasmanian Government has been more forthcoming from a funding point of view, but concerns were raised at the weekend when the Parks and Wildlife Service advertised for a project manager for the visitor centre.

The master plan for Cradle Mountain is a whole lot broader than just avisitor centre.

That’s why the weekend’s advertising raised a red flag with the tourism industry.

It needs to have the same sort of entrepreneurial input as Macquarie Point and other key projects in the state.

Getting it right at Cradle Mountain is a once in a generation opportunity for the North-West of the state.

It will hopefully give the region a new lease on life and drive a spike in tourism like MONA has done for the south of the state.

Not everyone can be lucky enough to have the vision and commitment of David Walsh.

Which is why a clear commitment from both governments is critical.

The Federal Government needs to rethink its reluctant approach, while their state colleagues need to quickly lift its status within the halls of power.

Too much has happened to let it stagnate.

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Volunteering: ‘The cornerstone of what makes communities successful’

BORN TO HELP: Bega Rotary’s Fay Steward said volunteering was just part of growing up in her family environment. Picture: Alasdair McDonaldFor Fay Steward, volunteering is in her blood, and was just part of growing up in her family environment.
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”When we volunteer our time, money, or talents, we help make the world a better place,” the Tarraganda resident said ahead of many volunteer’s busiest times –Christmas.

“I think it’s the cornerstone of what makes communities successful.

Pitching in to help others in need, sharing knowledge and experiences andempowering others to get ahead in life, are all aspects of volunteering that have become part of Ms Steward throughout the years.

“I was also inspired by a few teachers during high school about the importance of using my education to benefit the broader community,” she said.

“So I guess there was never any doubt in my mind that volunteering would be something I’d do throughout life whenever I could.”

She still holds fond memories of her first day as a volunteer with the SES at the tender age of 15.

“My biggest worry was not being able to complete the rescue training courses, and that I would be assigned permanent kitchen duties…luckily this didn’t happen,” she said with a smile.

“It’s a bit like your first day in school; you don’t know anyone, everything is new, you’re not entirely sure what you’re going to be doing, and you don’t know if you’re going to fit it – but you think it’s a good idea – so you stick at it.”

Since moving to the area Ms Steward has become a member of Bega Rotary.

“I was a bit nervous fronting up to my first meeting; but that only lasted 5 minutes,” she said.

“It’s been great joining a local club which has such an enormous depth of experience, and a level of enthusiasm and commitment to community that I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

“There was no sense of ‘having to gain your stripes’ before getting involved in some really interesting projects – they were more interested in what my skills and interests were and how I’d like to apply them.

Some of the projects include support for the Community Care Accommodation, Rotary Driver Awareness and the Book Fair.

“What really interested me most was the Science and Engineering Challenge event that Rotary is running with the University of Newcastle in March next year,” she said.

“It’s an annual nation-wide competition and 2017 will be the first time it’s held in our area.

It will give 256 students in Year9 and 10, from eightschools across the region the chance to showcase innovation and academic achievement in science, engineering and technology.

“We’re hoping it will inspire local young people to aim for a career in science or engineering, which in turn could result in making a real difference to their own future and the well-being of the community overall.”

Bega Rotary’s involvement in the Bega Toy Drive is about expressing the importance of a sharing society, she said.

“Christmas is a wonderful time of the year; but it’s also a time that shows up the sharp contrast between those who have and those who are less fortunate,” Ms Steward said.

“In many ways it’s seeing children being happy that makes Christmas special, and there’s something about being around happy kids that brings families together.

“So anyone who donates toys, as well as the volunteers who collect and arrange distribution of toys are doing everyone a great service.

“It sends a message about the importance of sharing and giving within our community.”

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Letters to the editor

Congratulations, Bruce and OliveWonderful pictures and story. Congratulations Bruce and Olive on 50 years withguide dogs.
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What a privilege to call you both our friends for many decades through pipe bands, dancing, church, meals on wheelsto name a few of your interests and still time to educate those lovely guide dogs.

Best wishes into the future.

Noel and Greg RankinCall for ring roadGreat to see the proposed plans for the widening of Napier Street are now starting to take shape, all this should have happened 20 years ago.

I personally believe that Bendigo would be far better offwith a ring road to remove all those vehicles that travel needlessly through our great city causing undue traffic problems.

As was quoted to me the other day, ”tomorrow’s infrastructure is cheapertoday” something the current transport minister seems to have missed.

One can only hope that her attempt at road widening is a lot better than her parties attempt at giving us a fast train with only asingle track to Melbourne that has be plagued with problems from day one.

Robert K Smallpage,HuntlyBe safe on the roadsEvery year we look forward to the festive season – it is a time to relax, celebrate and be with those we love.

It is also a busy time – a time of travel, parties and distractions which makes it a dangerous time on our roads.

Already this year we have seen 270* lives lost on Victorian roads, 36* more than this time last year.

This not only represents the lives lost, but also the families, friends and communities left mourning their loved ones.

As a motor vehicle accident lawyer, I have represented many families and have unfortunately seen the widespread devastation caused by road accidents.

By being patient, prepared and responsible behind the wheel this festive season, we can all enjoy a safe, well deserved break with our loved ones.

Joanne Panagakis,Slater and Gordon Practice Group LeaderCountry in troubleAfter the latest economic news, the R word has surfaced in regards to the economy.

I don’t think anybody seriously thinks that December spending will be negative, but if it is, Australia is in real trouble.

Assuming that Christmas comes and goes as normal, February next year and onwards will tell a very different story.

Traditionally, spending in these early months is slow, but with an economy already slipping further into the mire, the rate of spending is likely to flat line longer, keeping the LNP spin doctors burning the midnight oil, trying to think up more excuses to hoodwink the public into believing that all is well, and any way, if not, it is Labors fault, that the LNP have tripled the debt and doubled the budget deficit.

The minister, Mathias Cormann, continues to parrot the rehearsed lines of wibble wobbling, that we have been accustomed to for the past four-and-a-half years.

Will Australia slip into recession, well we wont have to wait long.

All indications point to MYEFO continuing to show a spending problem, caused by falling revenue.

Early next year and onwards, will tell us if we are going to fall off the financial cliff – for the first time in 25 years.

And who is in government – the superior economic managers.

Ken Price, Eaglehawk Have you got an opinion? Send a letter to the editor to [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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