Bail, warning for trio charged after theft

THREE men accused of arming themselves with a machete and knives before storming an Islington home were warned on Tuesday that if they breached their bail conditions they would have no one else to blame if they found themselves behind bars.

Louis Wayne Wotherspoon, Lewis Russell and Jake Christopher Richards are accused of kicking in the door of a Phoebe Street home at 1.20am on Monday, a police statement said.

The two occupants saw three men, one armed with a machete and another with one or two knives, the statement said.

One man said, ‘‘Sit down, shut up and get back in your bed,’’ while the others searched the house. One of the men later said, ‘‘It’s OK mate, you and your mate won’t get hurt unless you do something pretty stupid.’’

The trio fled with a bottle of rum, cannabis, tobacco and cigarettes.

Mr Wotherspoon, 25, of Benjamin Drive, Wallsend, was arrested a short time later and was allegedly found with two knives. Mr Richards, 25, of Tirriki Street, Charlestown, and Mr Russell, 23, of Caldwell Street, Merewether, were found in a car nearby.

Officers seized a bottle of rum, cigarettes, cannabis, two masks and a machete from the car, the statement said. All three men were charged with aggravated break enter and steal.

Mr Richards allegedly told police he was involved in the invasion and was wearing a mask while brandishing a machete, the statement said. Mr Russell denied any involvement while Mr Wotherspoon declined to be interviewed.

None entered pleas in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday where magistrate John Chicken granted bail, saying conditions could reduce any risk to the community or witnesses.

He noted Mr Richards and Mr Russell had nothing on their records while Mr Wotherspoon had only a minor matter five years ago. He warned the trio that if they breached the bail conditions they would have little chance of getting bail again.

The case was adjourned to December.

Dodgy digital – who wants to know?

WHEN we first changed over to digital television we had perfect reception.

However, after the last retune we are having a lot of trouble.

We were unable to watch the NRL grand final as was nearly everyone we talked to in our neighbourhood.

I called federal MP Bob Baldwin’s office to complain on the Tuesday after the long weekend.

I was told that I needed to check that our aerial was pointed towards Gan Gan where the digital reception tower is located (it is).

I was also told the weather is a large contributing factor and that it was the fault of the television stations as they were responsible for the retune.

I then called Prime and was told the retune was in fact organised by the federal government, not the television stations.

I was given the phone number for Digital Ready which also confirmed the retune was down to the government.

I called Mr Baldwin’s office back and told them of my findings. I was then told it was all the previous government’s fault.

Who is going to take responsibility and do something about it?

Diane Campbell

Lemon Tree Passage

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Moana-Veale’s waiting game

ALMOST THERE: Bathurst’s Tamsyn Moana-Veale has endured a long wait to get back into triathlon from injury, but the end is in sight. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 103013ptamsyn

THE long wait is almost over for Bathurst triathlete Tamsyn Moana-Veale to get back into action – only a few months are expected to remain until she can resume full training.

It’s been four months since Moana-Veale got a stress fracture in her foot while racing overseas for the French Stade Poitevin outfit, but she hopes to be back training with her team in January.

Watching from the crowd during Sunday’s opening round of the King Cain Wallabies triathlon series, Moana-Veale said she’s counting down the days until the ‘boot’ can come off her left foot.

“I came home to have it scanned and looked after but, unfortunately, I was in a cast for about five weeks. It got a little bit worse, so I had to undergo surgery, and it’s been about eight weeks since that surgery,” she said.

“Hopefully there’s only about one month left when I go for another scan and it’s all healed.”In what Moana-Veale called the biggest injury of a career, she was given the choice of having a screwput through the bone or hoping it would heal on its own.

She opted for the first choice.

That surgery brought with it some big setbacks to her training, but already the Bathurst athlete is making plans for where she can make her starts in the new season.

“I can swim and that’s about it. I’m not allowed to kick or push off walls, so I’m not allowed to do too much at the moment,” she said.

“Hopefully I’ll be back training with my squad I’m with in January, that would be the aim. It would be ideal to be back with them in November, but that would be just a little bit too soon.

“I’d like to do some of the Australian domestic races which I missed out on last year because I was injured – a lot less injured – but I still missed out there. Hopefully I’ll be back racing in January or February.”

The injury couldn’t have hit Moana-Veale at a worse time as she was finding some balance between her three legs while racing in Europe.

“Before this the most I’d been out is probably a couple of weeks, so to be out for five months is not quite what I’m used to, but that’s alright. It happens,” she said. “I was just starting to swim really well. I had a lot of early eight [minute] swims, I was riding pretty well and running was starting to come along well, so it’s a pity it happened at the time it did.”

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Lambie response

I’M disappointed by a personal editorial attack in The Sunday Examiner newspaper (October 19).

It painted a clear word picture.

The columnist essentially expressed the view that he’d like to physically attack and silence me by putting a “sock in my mouth”.

The young man who wrote these threats has never had the courage to set foot in my office and say hello, let alone confront me personally.

At the heart of this writing was the accusation I spoke out too much – and on too many issues.

Here’s a reality check.

As a politician who is part of a team which is privileged to hold the balance of political power in Australia, my office is inundated with information requests each day from Tasmanian and national media.

In addition, business leaders, union officials, ministers, politicians and ordinary Australians request, and in some cases demand, an opinion on a broad range of topics.

Out of respect, I try to ensure that all those requests for information are answered in a timely, polite and efficient manner.

As a matter of openness and transparency, I also try to share with all Tasmanians and Australians my response to these requests in media statements.

Last week in response to different people’s requests, I authorised the public release of seven letters to the editor and four press releases relating to: threats to 778 Tasmanian workers’ jobs caused by reckless union industrial action; maintaining lines of communication with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – in order to deliver justice to the families of victims on flight MH17; the need for immigrants to have undivided loyalty to Australian law and constitution – and not keep allegiances to any foreign power; a five-point action plan to properly protect Australians from ebola.

Apart from the implicit physical threat in The Sunday Examiner column, it’s also an insult to read an argument that those issues are not important and relevant to Tasmanians.

I’ve fought my whole life against thugs and bullies who’ve tried to intimidate me into silence.

It’s one of the reasons I chose to enter politics.

While I have breath in my body, I will never be frightened into silence by anyone.

I will continue to speak out for the ordinary Tasmanian, the underdog, for those who have lost their ability to speak.

— SENATOR JACQUI LAMBIE, Palmer United Party.

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Merger on the cards, says Guile

SHOALHAVEN City Council will be tempted by a $13.5 million state government incentive to seek a merger with neighbouring Kiama Council, according to Cr Andrew Guile.

Cr Guile said Shoalhaven would be driven to a merger because of its “poor financial position outlined in the recent sustainability report”.

“Hearing the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole talk about the benefits of reform at the NSW Local Government Conference leaves little uncertainty for areas like the Shoalhaven. With the consolidated financial returns showing that the 152 councils across NSW are losing more than $1 million a day, I can understand the government’s passion to see reform.”

Cr Guile said Shoalhaven was facing a deficit in its general fund of more than $1.3 million and projections for the next 10 years showed deficits of between $10 and $13 million.

“On top of this parlous financial outlook, Mayor Gash is on record as wanting to merge Shoalhaven and Kiama together. This would result in a massive increase in Shoalhaven rates over time which also correlates with the staff recommendations for rate increases in the financial sustainability report.

“Not only can Shoalhaven families not afford such increases, we also do not want to lose our local identity as a region. For all its faults, Shoalhaven City Council has the opportunity to represent the residents of our 49 towns and villages and this would be diluted if not lost in any merger.”

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Bay Tigers on course for Group 16

BATEMANS Bay Tigers Football Club had another successful weekend of fundraising activities with Gary Rixon’s trays at the Bayview on Friday night, a breakfast barbecue at Cameron’s and a meat raffle at Bridge Plaza.

The first registration day, anda free barbecue, for the 2015season, will now be held on November 21 at 5.30pm at Mackay Park.

Interested players can contact first grade coach Matt Cross on 0407 445 290.

It is vital that players register as soon as possible because the club must show Group 16 and the CRL that it has the capacity to field three teams next season.

The club has flyers with up-to-date details and an events calendar for all those interested.

Tigers’ president Bob Mitchell says training for 2015 will officially start on January 6 and January 9, and that several players have already started to get some miles into their legs.

“First sightings of the near-extinct Batemans Bay Tiger on the Far South Coast are being reported after an absence of nearly 36 years,” Mitchell said.

“A few credible witnesses have come forward – from Moruya way during the past season – and first-hand reports will be available next week.”

Classy centre Mason Harrison is a possible starter for nextseason.

“He will bring toughness and experience to what is shaping up to be a decent set of backs,” he said.

“All that is required now is for Adam Ruttley to put some polish on the show and the side will be in business.”


October 25: Cameron’s barbecue breakfast.

October 28: NRL kids’ gala day.

November 2: Group 16 AGM, 10am, Bega.

November 2: Sports and Leagues AGM, 10am, Mackay Park.

November 7-9: Camping Expo.

November 10: Camping Expo clean-up.

November 12: Group Seven AGM.

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Piece-rate drivers take fewer breaks

LONG HAUL: Damian Radburn in a B-double built for long haul trips says fatigue management is a high priority with his drivers.Truck drivers who are paid by the trip or the kilometre take fewer breaks and more drugs when driving, a new study has found.

In a paper presented to an international conference in Berlin this week, two Monash University researchers studied the way truck drivers’ compensation related to fatigue behind the wheel.

About 350 drivers in NSW and WA were surveyed over two years, in one of the largest studies of driver behaviour and compensation undertaken in Australia.

The researchers found that drivers who were paid a “piece rate” – or on a per-kilometre or per-trip basis – drove for an average of up to 5.3 hours between breaks. This was an hour longer than those paid a salary or hourly wage.

“Anything above four hours is really starting to get into higher-risk territory,” Jason Thompson, a co-author of the study and research fellow at the Monash Accident Research Centre, said.

More than 70 per cent of drivers surveyed were paid on an incentive, piece rate basis, a figure that rose even higher among NSW drivers.

Drivers paid on an incentive basis were also more likely to admit to using amphetamines behind the wheel: nearly 10 per cent of those who were paid per trip did so, compared with 2 per cent for those paid per kilometre and none on weekly or hourly wages.

“They reported all the signs of trying to fight sleepiness,” Mr Thomson said. “The fact that people are trying to fight fatigue and some people are going to lose that fight is concerning.”

Drivers on incentive payments reported slightly less sleepiness and fatigue. They also drove up to 150 kilometres a day more on average and were more likely to have slept in their truck the night before.

The new research comes as the federal government considers the future of the Gillard government’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, a national body with the power to set pay and conditions for truck drivers.

A review into the body was handed to Employment Minister Eric Abetz but is yet to be released.

The minister told federal parliament there was no evidence to justify claims of a link between remuneration and safety but declined to comment for this story.

Transport Workers’ Union assistant state secretary Michael Aird said the study’s findings proved a link between pressure on drivers and safety.

“There needs to be safe rates for truck drivers if lives are to be saved,” Mr Aird said. “The Prime Minister needs to decide if he’ll back truck drivers and the community and support the RSRT’s efforts to deal with the systemic issues causing over 300 deaths a year.”

National Road Transport Association chief executive Chris Melham said he backed the abolition of the national regulator.

“Despite an increase in the number of heavy vehicles on our roads and the distances travelled, accidents involving heavy vehicles are continuing to reduce at an increased rate,” he said.

Heavy trucks make up about 3 per cent of road traffic but more than 15 per cent of fatalities, according to the federal Department of Transport.

Damian Radburn is a director and driver at Kerden Haulage, South Nowra.

The company has 22 drivers and has never had a fatigue-related crash.

Mr Radburn said their long-distance drivers were paid by the kilometre and their local drivers were on a wage.

He said all drivers were told the freight was never worth the cost of a life.

“Most of our drives stop about midnight to sleep and start up again at about 7am. That way they’re not driving through those higher risk hours,” he said.

Mr Radburn’s sentiments were echoed by Terry Willett from Longfords Southern Delivery.

Mr Willett has driven trucks since 1970 and remembers circumstances that were very different to what today’s drivers work with.

“It was a time when drivers managed their own fatigue and were hauling loads with much less power than the trucks of today,” he said.

“I was doing interstate when trucks only had 150 to 210 horsepower on highways where you had to pull the mirror in or it would get knocked off.

“Now the trucks are far more powerful and on four-lane expressways.

“The first three trucks I ever drove put together don’t equal the horse power that I’ve got now.

“Today’s drivers are not doing any more kilometres now than we were doing way back when.

“Yes, we have come a long way as far as technology is concerned, but now the money you can earn doesn’t justify the expense.”

He said drivers paid by the trip or kilometre might push to cover more distance.

“Trip money encourages you to get in and get the job done, normally overnight and over longer distances.

“But with the log book restrictions, trip money can’t make you do things you’re legally not allowed to do. You have to take rest breaks,” he said.

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Augusta the lure for Herbert

LUCAS Herbert admits he’s thought about playing at Augusta every day for the past month.

Lucas Herbert blasts his way out of a bunker on his home course at Neangar Park.

The Bendigo teenager tees off in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne on Thursday with the winner to gain automatic entry to next year’s US Masters at Augusta.

“(Playing at Augusta) is a huge carrot,’’ Herbert said after playing a practice round at Royal Melbourne on Tuesday.

“Play really well this week and do everything right and there’s the lure of playing at Augusta.

“It would be huge… it would be a dream come true to play at Augusta.

“I’ve thought about it every day for the past month.”

Herbert enters the Asia-Pacific Amateur as one of the favourites.

He finished tied for fourth in this tournament last year in China and was second in the individual event at the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan last month.

Herbert also has the advantage of knowing the tough Royal Melbourne layout well.

“I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity,’’ he said.

“It’s a stroke event, which is where I play my best golf, and the tournament is on home soil on a course I’ve seen one million times.

“Most of the guys from Asia won’t have played a course like Royal Melbourne before.”

Royal Melbourne is famous for its slick greens and Herbert expects the strong Australian contingent of players to be hard to beat.

“It’s a different style of golf at Royal Melbourne,’’ Herbert said.

“I’m not saying it’s impossible for one of the Asian players to win, but knowing the course is a big plus.

“You have to play shots you normally wouldn’t expect to play.

“There’s places on these greens that you just can’t hit because if you do, you have no chance of stopping the ball on the green.

“If the wind gets up this week, even-par might win the tournament. Hopefully, we see some low scoring.”

Herbert has had to juggle his year 12 studies at Bendigo Senior Secondary College with preparing for the feature tournament.

Herbert has several exams to study for, but this week’s event has taken up most of his attention of late.

“In reality, this is my final exam,’’ he said.

“If I play well here and win, it opens doors for me as a career pathway in golf.

“If you finish year 12 well and get a good score then it opens up pathways to a good professional career.

“I’m still going to try hard with school, but this event is very important to me as well.”

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Cancer walk nets $6300

LUCRATIVE LAP: More than $6300 was raised in this year’s Coles Walk for Cancer.TEAM members from Coles, family, friends and residents joined together in the fight against cancer and walked the eight kilometres between Nelson Bay and Fingal Bay earlier this month, with great results.

This year’s Coles Walk for Cancer, held on October 4, and led by Tanilba Bay’s Gail Badger, raised more than $6300.

“The overwhelming generosity from the community [by] placing donations in our collection buckets and having photos taken with Dougal Bear, the Cancer Council bear, was unbelievable,” Ms Badger said.

“The community donations received in our buckets was $1537,” she said.

“Along with sponsorship money, we have raised over $6300 this year with some more money still to come in.

“This takes us over our goal and now brings us to over $51,200 raised for Cancer Council NSW in the last seven years.”

The walk is the brainchild of Ms Badger, which arose from losing family to cancer.

Ms Badger said the walk was her way of raising awareness about the vital job the Cancer Council performs while also raising much-needed funds.

Cancer information is available at Tomaree Library and Community Centre.

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NRL tippers taste victory

WELL DONE: Harbourside Haven top NRL tippers (front) Keith Holland, Gordon Reid and Don Hoard with (back) Dean Carney, Peter Feeney, Ken Thornett, Peter Arnold and Ray Newton. Picture: Ellie-Marie WattsHARBOURSIDE Haven Retirement Village’s top tippers for this year’s NRL competition were announced at a ceremony befitting the occasion.

Residents who had a stake in this year’s tipping competition gathered in the Shoal Bay retirement haven with members from the Men of League foundation.

The winners from each of the hostels, including the nursing home, were awarded a trophy and a certificate.

Everyone was then entertained by the Men of League’s Leo Toohey, who played for Parramatta, Canterbury and North Sydney during his rugby league career.

From hostel one, Keith Holland took out the tipping competition. His score of 234 points also made him overall winner.

From hostel two, Gordon Reid took out the number one spot with 230 points.

Don Hoard, whose great-grandson Aaron Woods plays for the Wests Tigers, won first in the nursing home with 222 points.

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