Frustration over new fitness fees

Gerringong fitness trainer Joel Roberts at South Werri Reserve. Picture: BRENDAN CRABBA GERRINGONG fitness trainer believes they are being ‘‘punished’’ for promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle by proposed new fees.
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Community views are being sought to help develop a policy for the use of Kiama’s public reserves for commercial fitness activities and personal training.

In August, Kiama council considered a report regarding commercial/personal fitness trainers using public reserves.

At the March meeting, councillors agreed to seek the public’s feedback on the draft policy for the use of public reserves for commercial fitness activities and personal training.

Gerringong personal trainer Joel Roberts often uses South Werri Reserve four days a week for an afternoon class.

He expressed his frustration with the proposed policy.

‘‘They are looking at charging up to $2400 per annum to use a designated public reserve.

‘‘This is not including the $200 initial permit fee they want to charge.

‘‘As a local personal trainer, I for one, think this is ridiculous.’’

According to the proposal, ‘‘in order to balance the needs of the general public in their passive and recreational pursuits with opportunities to allow commercial fitness trainers/groups, this policy nominates an individual maximum class size (participants) of 30’’.

The proposed fee structure suggests annual usage fees for class sizes of one-two participants $250; three-10 $1200; 11-20 $1600; and 21-30 $2400.

Mr Roberts said his groups ranged between 20-30 people a session.

‘‘Two-and-a-half grand a year is a lot of money; I didn’t expect it to be that much,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s frustrating, because all my (personal trainer) mates in other (local government) areas are paying so much less… And we’re only a small community.

‘‘I don’t mind paying a fee; we’re making money off public reserves.

‘‘It’s the cost, putting a limit on how many people we can have, they’ve also got time-frames when we can and cannot train.

‘‘We’ve also got Fitness Australia registration, our own insurance, we’ve got to update our equipment every year, we’ve got to continue to learn and do courses every two years.’’

According to the council’s report, ‘‘public reserve areas have been used for some time by commercial fitness training groups and personal trainers for commercial gain and council needs to ensure that there is a mechanism (by way of a policy) to permit such activities and impose reasonable requirements for the use of public reserves for such purpose’’.

‘‘The main issues to arise from the consultation included the need for a diversity/number of possible sites for trainers to conduct activities and also to carefully consider the fee structure particularly for the smaller/one-on-one groups where unreasonable fee structures are suggested to be commercially unsustainable.

‘‘The objective of the proposed policy is to provide for the effective management of commercial fitness trainers/groups occupying designated public land in the Kiama municipality to ensure open space areas can continue to be enjoyed and accessed by the community for general use and without adverse impact to surrounding residents, public risk and public infrastructure.’’

Submissions will be accepted until April 29.

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Special Anzac award for Bill Wilcox

HONOUR: Federal Member for Calare John Cobb, right, was in Oberon last week to present Oberon RSL Sub Branch president Bill Wilcox with the Anzac Spirit Award.
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Federal Member for Calare John Cobb was in Oberon last week to present Oberon RSL Sub Branch president Bill Wilcox with an Anzac Spirit Award.

Mr Cobb said the Anzac Spirit Awards were relevant as Australia celebrates 100 years since World War 1.

He said the war touched the lives of nearly every Australian and the impacts are still felt today.

For Australia, the war remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties.

“It is essential to commemorate, remember and learn from those who sacrificed their lives during years of conflict,” he said.

The Anzac Centenary Program encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved.

The Anzac Spirit Award is presented to sub branch members who are nominated by their peers for their ongoing contribution to the local community and sub branch members.

“I have known Bill for many years and I feel he is a deserving recipient of this award for his dedication to his RSL Sub Branch members,” Mr Cobb said.

Mr Cobb said there are about 40 RSL Sub Branches in NSW and all have nominated a member for the Anzac Spirit Award.

Bill Wilcox said he was proud to receive the award and it was a fitting time as Oberon’s commemoration of those who served in World War 1 is this Saturday.

All community members are invited to join in the street parade, which starts at 10.30am and concludes at the Oberon RSL Sub Branch Military Museum, where there will be a military memorabilia display, food and activities.

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Smith shines at Easter Bega shoot

• Dual AA grade winner, ball trap runner-up and high gun Charlie Smith collects a meat tray for his efforts.
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ORGANISERS of the Bega Gun Club’s latest shoot said it was hard to beat a combined continental and ball trap round on a fantastic autumn day.

With excellent conditions despite forecast showers, a solid field of 29 shooters turned out to take on the challenge.

The day began with a 25-target continental with Charlie Smith shooting one of the few best-possible scores for the day to win AA grade.

Phil Body took second with a score of 38/39 after a shoot-off.

Alf Niesar collected 24/25 to win A grade with John Siede needing another six targets to take second, 29/31.

B grade went to veteran, Doug Blewitt with a score of 24/25 with another veteran Brian Smith finishing second on 24/26.

In C grade, Tim Collins displayed good form to win with a 24/25 with Warren Packer on 21/25 in second place.

The second round was another continental with the “added spice” of point-score, organisers said.

Steve McIntyre from Cooma posted the second clean round of the day to win A grade on 75/75.

Runner-up was Alf Niesar with 69/75.

Robert Taylor continued his recent consistent form to claim B grade, 73/75.

Robert Secker shot 70/75 for second place.

Tim Collins did it again in C grade, scoring 64/75 for first place with George Toyne second on 58/75.

Smith dropped just one shot in the second round to win AA grade again with 74/75.

Body was consistent to finish in the runner-up spot on 72/75.

The day wrapped up with a 50-target ball trap round after a lunch break.

Organisers joked they should have shot this first.

“Many thought we should have shot this first as I’m sure lunch slowed the movements of many,” a spokesman said with a laugh.

Ray Welch cleaned up A grade with a fine score of 46/50.

Charlie Smith again featured with his 42/50 scoring him the runner-up spot.

In B grade, Bert Deacon and James Body finished the main round tied.

A brief shoot off, saw Deacon victorious 43/52 to James’ 42/52.

Simon Buckley managed to hold off Mick Diss to win C grade, with a score of 33/50 to Mick’s 32/50.

The club’s shoot raffle was finally won on the day.

Brian Smith took his mark and displaying great skill shot the five targets necessary to collect the $421.50 prize.

He only used his second barrel on the final target and members congraulated him on the win.

With two round wins and a runner-up spot in the third Charlie Smith was named the high gun for the day.

Smith has been in strong recent form at the local range and on away trips.

He recently took on the Veterans Games and won three gold medals from the three events he entered.

He topped the podium in the point-score, double barrel and champion of champions.

Next month sees shooters compete in the second round of the 25-target Fimac Engineering Shield Handicap sponsored by club president Shane Platts.

The day will also feature a 25-target double barrel and 50-target point-score.

Practice is from 9am with competition from 10am.

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Eagles determined to make a flying start

A SLOW start to last season has left the Muswellbrook Eagles weary of their Medowie opponents heading into Saturday’s opener at Victoria Park.
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Despite belting Medowie 5-1 at home and 7-3 away last season, the Eagles’ first grade side struggled to find form early in the competition.

They drew their first round 3-all against Merewether Advance and were beaten 5-0 by Raymond Terrace just two weeks later.

However, attacking midfielder Andrew Spradbrow said the Eagles were determined to get off to a flying start this time.

“We beat them pretty easily in both games last season but we are not going to be over-confident against them,” he said.

“We were a bit slow to get going last season so we’re taking them seriously.”

Spradbrow said the Eagles had a full-strength side for the opening round, which hadn’t been readily available throughout the pre-season.

He also praised the early form of captain-coach Lindsey Smith and Jaydan Klus.

Both players have shown their adaptability in being able to rotate between midfield and defence.

The opening clash kicks off at 3pm.

FOCUSED: The Muswellbrook Eagles will look to grab an early goal in their opening match against Medowie tomorrow.

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Throwback ThursdayApril 1986

Throwback Thursday | April 1986 Little Hayley Feltham, with mum Melanie and dad Kevin, was baptised in 1986 in a family heirloom gown of the Burridge Family that traveled from the United Kingdom
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Nursery News; Trudy Halloran and Scott Lingard welcomed Sarah-Ann in April of 1986.

Nursery News; Peter and Diane Aitkin welcomed the arrive of Mark.

Caravan Park Supporters lose the battle; the caravan park at the Glanmire Oval was closed in 1986.

Basketball action; Nancy Haslop receives a little helping hand from a Manly defender with jumping for possession

St Francis Xavier Church received a magnificent pipe organ in 1986 from the Brigidine Convent at Randwick, it was originally manufacture in Milan Italy by master organ craftsmen in 1928.

Natalie and Kerrie cook up a fresh batch of play dough on Gumnut House’s new stove which was donated by Lithgow Rotaract

Taking out the Rostrum shield for public speaking were Lithgow High School’s Sue Hogan and Stephen Gurney.

The Galloping Gumnut bus received a face lift with the thanks of the galloping grape in 1986.

Nursery News; Daniel James Reynolds was born in 1986 to Garry and Carmel

Wedding News; Julienne Davidson and Neil Hutchinson were married at the Lithgow Valley Inn in 1986.

Minkey Hockey was all the rage; some tiny tots exchanging pleasantries at the end of one of the games.

Some Lithgow Primary School Students making the school a brighter place

Donna Field leads the race for her opposition

Joanne Walker, Belinda Hewitt and Leanne Hewitt in a race for the ball

The reconstruction of the old Grand Central Hotel was to include a modern drive in bottle shop and a total renovation of the old hotel

Teals Juniors Presentation; Paul Johnston, Darren Thompson, Matthew Smith and Craig O’Hare

Teals Juniors Presentation; Tim Smith, Brad Marsland, Graeme Thompson and Michael Compton

Teals Juniors Presentation; Ben Lane, Jason Nunan and Greg Northey

Teals Juniors Presentation; Zac Hawes and David Perry

Teals Juniors Presentation; Mark Smith, Michael Wolfenden, Michael Hughes and Michael Maumull.

Frank Capamolla, Malcolm Gill, Adam Ellison and Brett Anthes.

What would easter be without a easter bonnet parade, here some of the Cooerwull Infants and Primary students show off their creations

Winners of the Mercury Annual Easter Colouring in competition; Anna Buttigieg and Kiona Potter

Rangers soccer club held a fundraising event for a trip to New Zealand by walking from Lithgow to the lake at Wallerawang. Bruce Wright lead the group along Marrangaroo straight

Lithgow Legion Womens Bowling Club unfurling the club’s first-ever pennant by President Mrs Marg Lorimer

St Patrick’s School captains Paul Stuart and Anne-marie Fitzpatrick received a new computer for the school after raising funds for the Crippled Children’s Society through a Sponsor a Brick fundraiser

Sandford Avenue residents awoke to find their fence demolished in 1986 after a vehicle failed to negotiate the sharp bend at the entrance to the Glanmire Sports oval

Well loved catholic priest Father Adrian Horan officiated at the wedding of Kerri Anne Ray and Bryan Craig Sullivan in 1986. The happy couple spent their honeymoon at The Resort in Surfers Paradise.

Lithgows under 12 Junior womens basketball team beat a strong Bankstown side in 1986 under the guidance of Julie McCracken. Leigh McLachlan, Darlene Sutherland, Julie McCraken, Natasha Single, Tracey Carter, Reign Single, Kristy Langbeing, Kirsten Davis, Chantel Knight, Amanda Brown and Krysten Savage

Read family reunion, four generations came together to meet their 74 year old uncle for the first time; jean Read, Matthew and Gibbons, Shirley and Mark Russell, Mary Willis, Agnes Read, Les Read, Cecil Read, Keith Russell, Michael Gibbons and Ern Read.

Brothers Les Read and his Cecil from England together in Lithgow after 63 years.

Some parent forums were held at Lithgow Primary School providing parents with an insight into topics. Teachers Christine Curran and Allan Robson address the parents

Holiday Pix from 1986 – The Snow family of South Bowenfels

Holiday Pix from 1986 – Joe Hassen spent his holidays at Little River

Holiday Pix from 1986 – Geoff Graves at a BBQ at Cox’s River.

Lithgow Chitu Ryu Karate Club held the Australian Championships at the Barton Street stadium in 1986, Col Phillips and Dave Hawken in action.

Lithgow High School legal eagles held a mock trial at the Lithgow Local Courthouse

Lithgow basketballers faced still competition when they faced Parramatta, Karen Renshaw attempts to snatch an intercep

Lithgow RSL club secretary Jenny Saxby presents the secretary of La Salle Cricket Club Bro Gabriel with a sponsorship cheque for the season while Paul Curran and Phil Dellabosca look on

The opening of the new wing of the Hill Street Tafe. The new addition cost $6.2 million and was named in honor of Mr Basil Genders the chairman of the Lithgow TAFE advisory committee

Two successful Lithgow enduro riders; Brooke Flanagan and Mark Avard

The Ladies Auxilary donated a heart-beat monitor and defibrillator machine to the Lithgow Hospital, Nick Delbridge, Brian Morrissey, Mrs Judy Batcheldor and Mrs Joyce Davis

Funding cuts threatened the Ancillary staff in the Western region in 1986. Margaret Hardie, Pat Charlton and Fay Roberts working hard at Lithgow High School

Opening of the New Wing of the TAFE college

Opening of the New Wing of the TAFE college

Opening of the New Wing of the TAFE college

Wendy Davis and Geoffery Stait were married at St Patrick’s Church in 1986, the happy couple honeymooned at Surfers Paradise and made their home on Wallerawang

Nursery News – Susan Hughes was welcomed into the world by her mother Leonie and father Kevin in 1986.

Nursery News – Donna and Ray Miller welcomed little Belinda.

Nursery News – Bill and Irene Goulding welcomed dashing Adam James in 1986

Nursery News – Linda and Larry Anderson were thrilled with the arrival of their son Jared who was a little brother to sleeping beauty Brooke

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Cooerwull School Easter Bonnet Parade

Brave Natalie Deveney helped her younger brother Andrew who was suffering from acute Lymphoblastic leukemia by donating her bone marrow

1986 Rodeo Ball photos

1986 Rodeo Ball photos

1986 Rodeo Ball photos

1986 Rodeo Ball photos

1986 Rodeo Ball photos

New St Patricks School captains inducted at a special Mass on St Josephs Day; Sr Susan, Rachel Delabosca, Kellie Dwyer, Christie Kiddle, Peter Raynor, Mathew Madden and Michael Quinn

Junior Hockey got underway at the Glanmire Sports oval in perfect conditions. Some junior girls receiving last minute instructions from their coach.

Cooerwull infants school visited the fire station and Michael Whalan and Kellie Ryan were ready to put out the fire.

Cooerwull infants school visit to Littleton Fire station in 1986

Some of the youngsters waiting to try their hand and feet in competition at the Karate Championships held in Lithgow in 1986

Junior Rugby League welcomed a boost with sponsorhip from the Commercial hotel for their referees; Dale Staines, Darryl Goodwin, Craig Preston, Graham Drury, Kim Munn, Chuck Biship and Barry Fitzgerald

Junior Rugby League welcomed a boost with sponsorhip from the Commercial hotel for their referees; Mr Millar presenting Mr Roberttson with the new referees’ jumper

Lithgow Amateur swimming annual presentation night; Les Drury presents Vanessa Hayden with her trophy

Lithgow Amateur swimming annual presentation night; Juanita Day and Ald Ian Holt

Lithgow Amateur swimming annual presentation night; Club Coach Barry Day presents Nicole Grant with her trophy

Lithgow Amateur swimming annual presentation night; Mr Leo Knight congratulates Kylie Cowden and Michelle Duffy

Lithgow Police Youth Club boys show off their skills in Tug O War which earned them a 3rd place at the Championships at the Royal Easter Show; Tony Baker, Graham Cheeny, Vince Cibulka, Darryl Goodwin, Paul Bott, Mark Wiggins and the club mascott Roman the Rottweiler

A training camp was held for the Western Regions girls primary basketball team at Wallerawang under the watchful eye of Bob Morrow

Computerised bettering was introduced at the Courthouse hotel, patron Barry Lane and hotel licensee Richard White check out the system

A Coloniel Fair was held in the grounds of Eskbank House; Paul Lawrence, Keith Lee and John Cullen admiring the wool spinning at the fair

The Lithgow Theatre Groups production was Pub Show Mark 2; Guy Hewitt, Tim Trevor-Jones, Kerry Lovegrove and Bob Morrow

Heritage Week Colonial Fair at Eskbank house; Steve Cunningham showing off some of his creations

Local’s Holiday pictures 1986; Narelle at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast

Local’s Holiday pictures 1986: Jonathon Troy signing the visitors book in Robbie Burns Cottage in Ayr Scotland.

Local’s Holiday pictures 1986; Gus Ferguson on the beach at Shoal Bay

Local’s Holiday pictures 1986; Dave Jeffs and Bill Dean on Skis at Lake Lyell

Promoting Future Hockey Champs; Warren Stokes from NSW Hockey Association Development Officer giving a few tips to future hockey stars at Lithgow Primary School in 1986

Two year olds Angie Boisen and Crystal Hewitt try out the ancient road roller that is among the permanent displays in the grounds of Eskbank house.

The staff that Care, at D& J Complex Lithgow

Your friendly alternative, the Lithgow Mutual Credit Union Staff

The Western Region Open Boys basketball team

Helping their Environment; students of Lithgow Primary school planting some trees and shrubs around the school.

Love at First sight; young Bianca Hemmy fell in love with a puppy on display at the Ats and Crafts in the park.

1986 Masonic Ball; Mr Neil Bateman and Mrs Jean Perry, Shane Roberts, Vicki Perry, Laureen Rutter and Sam Zammit.

1986 Masonic Ball; The debutantes and their partners.

Nursery News; Sharon Lock and James Lennox welcomed the arival of their daughter Jade Grace.

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; the undefeated under nine valley gold team and their awards.

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; Jason Mills receives the under 14 bowling award.

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; Glen Gavin receives his batting award form Trevor Mills

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; Jai Palmer receives his batting award from Trevor Mills

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; Cory Taylor receives his bowling award from Tom Stockton.

Lithgow Junior Cricket Awards presentation night; Ian Pilley presents under 14 bowling award to Gary Irvine.

Anzac Day Queen Elizabeth Park; part of the large crown that turned out in 1986.

Anzac Day celebration; the scouts

Anzac Day celebrations; The wreath placing ceremony.

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Artlee dominates, handing trainer major windfall

TODD Willan is convinced his fairytale win at The Championships Country Series Final will inspire rural trainers to greater success in the future.
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The 29-year-old Muswellbrook mentor saw his horse Artlee dominate a strong field at Randwick to take out the inaugural $300,000 race on Easter Monday.

“This event is going to mean everything,” he said.

“We don’t normally get the chance to go in restrictive races for that sort of money, so to give guys such as myself a chance means that you’ll probably be hearing a lot more fairytales.”

Willan only began his career three years ago but he has already benefited from the valuable advice of experienced trainers such as Peter Snowden, John Hawkes and John O’Shea.

Despite his early success, he said it was a path he didn’t initially contemplate.

“I never really wanted to train horses, I saw how hard it was,” he said.

“I didn’t want a part of it, but I started breaking in horses in Muswellbrook and from there I decided to take up my trainers licence.”

A former apprentice jockey, Willan said a trainer persuaded Artlee’s owners to give him an opportunity.

“I rode a few horses for a friend, James Balfe, and he told [owners] Gerry and Kathleen Feeney and Peter and Julie Rogers that I ride really well,” he said.

“He asked them if I could have a crack at breaking in a horse and they started me on Artlee’s half-sister, Marlee’s Dancer.

“They decided that I’d done a good job so I just kept going.”

Willan said Artlee, a winner in five of his eight starts, was only getting better with more experience on the track.

The four-year-old gelding was the last to qualify for the country final but never looked like being beaten.

“He was as good as any horse in that field,” he said.

“He’s still immature and very raw, but jockey Mitchell Bell has learned to ride him the more times that he has been on him.

“I think he’s only going to get better as he matures.”

DELIGHTED: Muswellbrook trainer Todd Willan with jockey Mitchell Bell after Artlee’s win in the country final at Randwick. Pic: KATRINA PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY

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TAFE loses place in education sector

Greens MLC John Kaye (centre) and NSW Teachers Federation representative Rob Long (back, fourth from left) meet with students of TAFE Illawarra Bega campus last year.IN WHAT has been labelled a complete surprise, the NSW Government has moved the responsibility for TAFE from Education to the Industry sector.
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“No-one as far as I know had been aware of it being discussed,” Bega TAFE’s NSW Teachers Federation representative David Grainger said of the move.

“It is a complete surprise.

“What does Industry really know about Education?”

NSW Teachers Federation organiser for Illawarra TAFE Institute Rob Long also said no consultation had been made over the decision.

“It’s obviously hugely disappointing that the new government has undervalued TAFE’s educational role,” he said.

“However, we look forward to a positive relationship with the new minister.”

The decision was announced after the NSW Liberals’ recent re-election to government and comes in the wake of their contentious Smart and Skilled TAFE reform package released on January 1.

TAFE will now fall under the portfolio of Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro.

“The move to the Industry, Skills and Regional Development portfolio aligns vocational training with industry representatives and business organisations,” a spokesperson for Mr Barilaro said.

“The decision aligns TAFE directly with Industry to create the jobs for the future.”

The spokesperson for Mr Barilaro said current TAFE funding arrangements are unchanged, but Mr Grainger thought the decision would mean less funding available for TAFE service delivery.

“I can’t see anything in the last 10 years having put in money so I don’t imagine this is a sudden reversal of that process,” he said.

Mr Long said his concerns over the transfer of TAFE to Industry included not having an educational voice in training packages, and policy being dominated by the needs of industry.

“You need to focus on student needs…not just the needs of the workplace, because there are a lot of students who need more support, such as students with disabilities,” Mr Long said.

He said Member for Bega Andrew Constance assured him the transfer of TAFE to Industry will have no adverse effect on Moruya and Bega TAFE campuses.

NSW Greens MP John Kaye said he was “outraged” over Premier Mike Baird’s decision to move TAFE into Industry.

“It’s the next step to privatisation of TAFE,” Dr Kaye said.

“It means the next generation of South Coast workers will not have the proper understanding of their worksite and will not have the opportunity to innovate.

“After just six months of ‘Smart and Skilled’, TAFE is on the ropes,” Dr Kaye said.

“Severing the connection to Education will push it over the edge.”

Mr Long said Smart and Skilled has so far seen a “huge” increase in fees, an increase in costs for students as they are no longer subsidised at the same level, and having hours cut from such courses as manufacturing and nursing.

Mr Long said similar privatisation of TAFE funding has occurred in Victoria and Tasmania, and this has led to an increase in “lower quality, dodgy providers”.

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Fit, firing Devils ready for Rams’ challenge

DENMAN Devils’ new first grade coach Paul Gallagher says his side has embraced old-fashioned values as they look to regain the Hunter Valley Group 21 title this season.
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The Devils won the competition two years ago but lost the 2014 grand final to the Greta-Branxton Colts in a nail-biter.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on back-to-back titles, a strong pre-season has seen Denman reach the Scanlon Shield final.

Gallagher is confident his side’s commitment at training has prepared them well for the first test of their title credentials against the Muswellbrook Rams at home on Sunday.

“I’m not a fancy coach, I believe in a lot of running,” he said.

“If you put the hard work in then you’ll get the results out of it; the boys have bought into that and are putting in the effort.”

However, he claims the rivalry between the two clubs will always make it a difficult game.

“They always come down here and give us a hard match,” he said.

“The history between our clubs goes back a long way and they always love coming over to our patch and knocking us off.

“I think their two halves and new signings will be dangerous and they have good, honest forwards.

“So we won’t be taking them lightly, that’s for sure.”

The Devils have picked up two main players in the off-season to boost their title chances.

James Standing, who played in the club’s grand final win in 2013, and front-rower Luke Freebody will both be part of the first grade side.

In this weekend’s other first grade matches, Aberdeen hosts Scone from 5.15pm on Saturday while Singleton takes on Greta-Branxton on Sunday from 2pm.

ON THE MOVE: Denman’s Paula Dinavalou spreads the ball wide last year.

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Royal honours for Singleton Champion

THE president of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) believes Susan Bower personifies everything the Sydney Royal Easter Show is about.
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Susan Bower (centre) with the president of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Robert Ryan and former NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.

And, as a result, the Singleton-born and bred lass was duly recognised in last month’s Parade of Champions for her dedication to the show.

“Susan epitomises all that is good about the show – Australia’s biggestcelebration of our country’s people, practices and produce,” Robert Ryan said.

“Central to the show are the Sydney Royal competitions, which showcase the skill, energy, passion and produce from rural NSW and beyond.

“The Parade of Champions honours those who go beyond winning theribbons and trophies.

“Some have been part of the show community for a large portion of their lives and between all of them have clocked up hundreds of shows in Sydney.”

The champions were selected by the RAS for their commitment and long service to show life, culminating in the prestigious parade on Excellence in Agriculture Day on March 31.

In its fourth year, the Parade of Champions is a chance to honour those who make the show the success it is today.

For Susan, herself, she has never missed a show.

And, in that time, boasts numerous achievements, including state finalist in The Land Showgirl Competition in 2002 and Rural Achiever in 2003.

She was nominated for her long-standing and continuing commitment to agricultural development in NSW and beyond.

“It was a huge honour,” Susan explained.

“The show is all about bringingthe country and city together in anenvironment built for learning, new experiences and showcasing the best of Australian agriculture.

“It was amazing standing there with the other people – many of whom have achieved some great things.

“To be included in that sort of group was humbling.

“I’ve been involved with shows from a young age – starting with cooking at Singleton and helping steward the beef cattle section.

“I also went through as a Showgirl and a Rural Achiever.”

Susan’s association with the RAS hasn’t ended there either.

She’s spent five years with the Youth Group and is a current board member of the RAS Foundation.

That organisation raises fundsto enable the awarding of ruralscholarships and community grants.

“Doing that is very rewarding,” Susan said.

“We gave out 59 scholarships this year alone.”

The local Westpac head ofagribusiness even helps the NAA ladies in Singleton.

“I’ve loved shows all my life,” she said.

“They’ll all about community.

“They also provide rural people with opportunity and showcase excellence in agriculture.”

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Vandals offered lifeline

Gavin Turner in front of some of the graffiti.A JOBS lifeline has been offered to graffiti vandals.
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Resident Gavin Turner made the gesture after spotting graffiti complaining about lack of work at Nyrstar smelter.

The graffiti was scrawled in huge letters on the overpass near Solomontown Primary School, justup the road from where Mr Turner lives.

He owns four rental properties and is “struggling to find people to weed or do some painting” at the sites.

“If they contact The Recorder, I can give them a job.

“It might just be shovelling weeds.”

Mr Turner suggested the jobless could also approach farms which were struggling to find people to put up fences or drive tractors.

He said that the vandalism was unnecessary and just detracted from the town.

The largest scrawl read, “Nyrstar hates ore children. How is high lead our fault?”, with smaller pieces under the bridge reading “Nyrstar – where are our jobs?”, “High lead levels are you fault … you breathe too much” and “Transforming employed to unemployed”.

Mr Turner was dismayed at the negativity towards the city’s biggest employer.

“Just look at it. Pirie seems to cop enough with the smelters,” he said.

“We would be a ghost town without the smelter. They think there’s no jobs now, imagine if they left! There are jobs around if they want them.

“It is just a gutless act, in my opinion.

“I know we have all been guilty of doing bad things as kids, but I have never done graffiti.”

The graffiti has since been removed.

Source: Port PirieRecorder

High hopes for tourism in Hepburn region

Minister for Tourism John Eren (L) travelled to Daylesford to discuss tourism in the region. He is pictured with Mary- Anne Thomas MP, Chris Malden, Wayne Cross, Patrick Baird, Alla Wolf Tasker, Judith Isherwood, Noel Harvey and Tess Brady.Picture: JULIE HOUGH MINISTER for Tourism John Eren visited Daylesford and Trentham on Thursday to discuss future opportunitiesandwork throughthe challenges facing the region.
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Mr Eren met with Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas and a group of key tourism operators to determine how to fill gaps in the system.

He said it was important to showcase the region to fellow Victorians.

“We really want to build on that intrastate tourism and help people discover their own backyard,” Mr Eren said.

“We know how important tourism is for the Daylesford region and we want to keep building on that.”

Skilling up residents and remaining vigilant with funding also remainchallenges for the region, he said.

But by listening, the government will “help overcome those hurdles”.

“There is a changing climate and we need to acknowledge and work with that,” Mr Eren said.

“People have big ideas for this region and we really need to take on board all of that information and help where we can.

“It’s really about giving our youth the skills to stay in the region and find work.”

Ms Thomas said she was glad Minister Eren had visitedDaylesford and Trentham.

“It is nice to see a commitment to our region and we will now work together for the future,” she said.

ButTourism Hepburn chairRobyne Head says she isdisappointed the group was not advised of the minister’s visit, until reading about it in the paper.

Ms Head said its members would have liked the opportunity to meet, even briefly, with Mr Eren.

“We find it particularly important to talk to him bsince the change ofgovernment and because thebudget is sotight,” she said.

“We would like an indication of what the region will get and they needto keep us informed.”

Ms Head said theTourism Hepburn board was made up of individuals on the ground, who often acted as the eyes and ears of the local happenings.

“Small business iscrucialto every small town so we look forward to meeting with the minister soon,” she said.

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

Search for missing Coogee mum intensifies

Missing since Wednesday morning: Jessica Bialek. Picture: FacebookPolice are scouring hotels, parks and reserves throughout Sydney as the search intensifies for a young mother who vanished from her Coogee home.
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Jessica Bialek, an accomplished photographer who has worked for the Australian Ballet and the Bangarra Dance Theatre, left her home on Dudley Street in Coogee just after 8.30am on Wednesday to walk to a nearby bank.

Detectives have visited the bank on Thursday morning in an effort to determine whether bank transactions showing up on her account recently were made in the past 24 hours.

The 37-year-old failed to return home to her husband and young daughter on Wednesday morning, alarming family and friends who have mounted a search to find her.

Ms Bialek’s husband, Sabino Matera, said he had been unable to reach his wife since he last spoke to her when she left home.

He posted a desperate message on Facebook around 8pm on Wednesday night, asking people to help him find her.

“She left home without her car and [has] not made contact nor returned home. Her phone is off. This is a real alarm,” he wrote on Facebook, where he is also circulating his wife’s photograph.

Eastern Beaches police commander, Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate, said police were looking in “all public places, canvassing through motels within the area and speaking to relatives, friends and loved ones”.

Ms Bialek, who has a background in dance and singing, is a freelance photographer specialising in performing arts photography, as well as fashion.

Other companies she has worked for include Opera Victoria, Circus Oz and the Victorian College of the Arts.

Police have launched an investigation into her disappearance, and say they hold concerns for her welfare.

Ms Bialek is described as being between 170-175 centimetres tall, with a slim build and dark hair.

Anyone who has seen her in the past day, or who has any information that could assist investigators, has been urged to contact Maroubra police on (02) 9349 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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

Fountain restored

THANKS to members of the Rotary Club of Singleton, the Munro Fountain has been, once again, restored.
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Rotary Club of Singleton president Warren Deaves,Dennis Allen and John Henderson

The water feature was originally a horse watering fountain donated to the town by the first mayor of the municipality, Alexander Munro.

“It was built in a foundry in Glasgow, transported to Australia and erected in the centre of George Street,” club president Warren Deaves said.

“It served its purpose for many years in the horse drawn era.

“However, it was removed when motor cars took over and, unfortunately, parts of the fountain werescattered around town.”

It wasn’t until 1982 that the Rotary Club of Singleton decided to retrieve the parts, restore the fountain and re-erect it in front of the Singleton Museum where it stands today.

This year’srestoration is, in fact, the third in the past three decades thatthe Rotary club has undertaken.

Mr Deaves felt that given the significance of this Singletonlandmark, he wanted to make the restoration one of his projects in 2015.

“Many hands make light work,” he said.

“Other willing helpers from the club were Dennis Allen, who was heavily involved in the previous two restorations, Bill Gee, Kerrie Bartrim, Marty Pall and John Henderson.

“Wonderful support was also provided by Tutt Bryant and Bunnings.”

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