Horsham early years plan out for public comment

PLANS: The Horsham and District Early Years Plan 2014-17 has been released to the public Picture: THEA PETRASSHORSHAM Rural City Council has released a draft plan that will revolutionise early years development in the municipality.
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The Horsham and District Early Years Plan 2014-17, released to the public on Monday night, guides changes to infrastructure and services for children up to eight years of age during the next 10 to 15 years.

At the heart of the plan is an integrated services model for the city, which will see the progressive development of three early childhood centres.

The centres will be located in Horsham North, Horsham West and Horsham South.

The aim of the centres is to provide children and their families with an accessible, friendly and seamless ‘one stop shop’ where they can access a broad range of early years services.

These services might include long-day childcare, occasional care, kindergarten, maternal and child health services, playgroup and other health and well-being services such as early childhood intervention and parenting classes.

Mayor David Grimble said the plan focused on providing quality services, programs and facilities that were more readily accessible to the community.

“It also focuses on the development of new infrastructure to support the integration of early years services and programs in the community,” he said.

Cr Grimble said the plan signified a major shift away from previous modes of operation.

“The benefits of such a model can be significant,” he said.

“A strong network of early years service providers working together and linking services in an integrated way is considered the best way to meet the needs of families and children.

“This includes promoting collective resources, training and development opportunities, recruitment and retention of staff, exploring virtual visits and consultations with families and general service improvements.”

Council community services director Angela Murphy said council’s Social Infrastructure Plan identified and analysed existing early years services in the municipality.

She said asset condition, ownership and capacity to expand to provide an integrated service model were all considered.

“With limited capacity to expand on existing council sites, the report recommends development of infrastructure in three areas, staged over a period of 10-plus years to respond to travel distances, access to services, vulnerability of families and population growth,” she said.

Ms Murphy said the Horsham North Children’s Hub was council’s top priority.

A children’s centre fronting Kalkee Road on council-owned land adjoining Dudley Cornell Park has been proposed.

The estimated cost is $4.09 million, with funding still to be sourced.

“In the medium term, development of a centre in the west in response to proposed new housing developments has been highlighted in the Horsham Framework for Managing Growth, with development in the south in the long term to cater for residents south of the river,” Ms Murphy said.

The second hub can be expected in the next five to 10 years, with the third hub more than 10 years away.

Cr Sue Exell said the plan was a result of extensive consultation.

“The document has 28 groups of people from all walks of early years education coming together,” she said.

“With that many groups, there shouldn’t be too much that’s slipped through.

“I’d really encourage the community to read through it and see if there is anything that has been missed from a community perspective.”

Ms Murphy said copies of the draft Horsham and District Early Years Plan and the Social Infrastructure Plan were available on council’s website or at Horsham Civic Centre at 18 Roberts Avenue.

The plans are open for public comment until November 21.

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Valentine’s day in threes final

VALENTINE Lakers won their first Newcastle District No.1 grade three threes title when they beat defending titleholders Raymond Terrace No.1 60-46 in the final round last Wednesday.
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The trio of Bruce Williams, Terry Jones and Bob Bradley laid the foundations for the win, defeating Anthony Ellercamp, Jamie Minter and Lennon Scott 29-9.

The other successful Valentine rink was Bob Dally, Col Mullen and Bill Ahoy, who defeated Haydn Bojkowski, Jason Stokes and Ian Lean 19-13.

Shaun Richards, Michael Abel and Matthew Baus kept Raymond Terrace in the match, downing Owen Jefferson, Neil Percival and David Govan 24-12.

The No.2 grade has been reduced to three sides in Dora Creek Workers No.1, Lorn Park and Lowlands. A round-robin will be played to determine the winner and runner-up.

■ Ettalong (99.5points) have retained the lead in the BCIB Challenge despite an upset 9.5-5.5 loss to Kahibah (49).

Kahibah’s Matt Sargeant beat Aaron Sherriff 11-8, 7-17, 2-1 in the singles and Glenn Dow edged out Paul Freestone 6-4, 6-4 in the triples.

Raymond Terrace (96.5) moved within three points of the leaders after a 11-4 victory over East Maitland, winning the singles and pairs rubbers.

Ian Lean defeated Clinton Doust 16-6, 11-9 and Michael Abel and Matthew Baus beat Chris Dunn and Jake Lawton 9-7, 11-3.

Kurri Kurri and Nelson Bay are equal third (84.5), followed by Charlestown (81) and East Cessnock (80.5). Defending champions Kurri Kurri thrashed East Cessnock 16-0, while Nelson Bay edged out Valentine 9-6.

■ Ettalong Memorial is this week hosting the NSW State Championships.

South Tamworth’s Scott Thorning and Nathan Wise defeated Ron Davis and Danny Barrett (North Haven) 23-13 in the state pairs final.

Jason Stokes and Matthew Baus (Raymond Terrace) were defeated 21-16 in the quarter-finals by Ali Forsyth and David Axon (Taren Point).

Swansea Workers players Doug Wilson and Keith Rearden were also defeated in the quarter-finals in the senior pairs, losing 26-15 to Noel O’Brien and Robert Wright (Wagga Rules). O’Brien and Wright went down 21-18 in the final to David Shearer and Crawford Linton (Belrose).

Lennon Scott (Raymond Terrace) has qualified for the semi-final of the blue ribbon state singles championship and Michael Beesley for the state senior singles championship semi-final.

In the semi-finals played on Tuesday, Scott played Bruce Lack (Temora) and Beesley took on Noel James (Tuncurry).

The finals of both championships were scheduled to be played on Tuesday night.

The state fours championship starts on Wednesday and the triples on Friday, with Dennis Fan, Ian Barrett, Damian Robb and Jay Walls (Charlestown) to contest the fours and the Kotara trio of Wayne Squires, Logan Brown and Keiran Lott the triples.


Dot is Trangie’s True Hidden Treasure

Far from being a daunting prospect, the approach of birthday number 100 adds another year of memories to those already stored by Trangie’s Dot Collie and invokes a sense of appreciation for the fact that she is still able to enjoy life, making the most of every day given her.
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Dot Collie,99 , with daughter Lyn Dowton of Warren.

Born in Sydney on February 16, 1915, the second of four children born to the Coady family, Dorothy Margaret grew up in Trangie. She was educated at St John’s Catholic School and is today, arguably, the oldest surviving ex-student and also Trangie’s oldest resident. Dot spent her teenage years helping run her grandmother’s tea shop in Derribong Street, on the site where the CWA rooms now stand.

It was during these years that Dot developed a work ethic that was to accompany her throughout the many productive years ahead and which, at 99, is still predominant in all she does. A capable craftswoman, Dot has produced what would now be hundreds of knitted articles for charity: tiny garments for premature babies in Africa, knitted squares for the charity Wrapped with Love and of course, innumerable pieces for family and friends.

For the thousands of tiny babies born into the impoverishment of Third World countries, these gifts from the heart would have played a significant part in reducing the mortality rate. In 1937 Dot married local boy George Cronin and the couple made their home at The Grove where they raised three children, Margaret, Lyn and Peter. Tragically a second son died in infancy. Dot moved to town after George’s death in 1984. Bowls became a big interest in her life: she enjoyed many trips away as a team member and was made a life member of Trangie Bowling Club.

Dot working on one of her many knitted garments for charity.

In 1986 Dot married Frank Collie. After Frank’s death in 2004 Dot moved into Kurrajong Court where she very quickly settled into the routine of communal living and became a much-loved and respected resident, helping out when and where she could.

Alongside her craftwork, Dot names gardening as her other love.

Dot spends her days either knitting or crocheting.

While she admits to moving a little slower than she did 20 years ago, Dot is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to turning out impeccably made knitted items.

At 99, some days are good for Dot and some are not so good.

On the good days Dot can be found in her room happily knitting and communicating with the aid of a sight board as her hearing has deteriorated over the years.

Many times a grandmother and a great-great grandmother to three, Dot attributes her longevity to ‘hard work and good living,’ an inspirational lady who is most assuredly, a hidden treasure.

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What’s New Pussycat? delights audiences

CREATION: Pam Deckert and Jess Robarts, as Puss and Witch Winifred, in a scene with the camel created by artist Mary French. Picture: BELINDA ELLIOTTAUDIENCES at Horsham Arts Council’s What’s New Pussycat? performances will be treated to a work of art in more ways than one.
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Wimmera artist Mary French constructed a camel’s head and neck to feature in the musical. Two cast members operate the camel.

Mrs French said Debbie Boutcher and Sandy Wills approached her after having trouble sourcing somebody to construct the animal.

They had looked in both Australia and overseas.

The camel’s head is made of foam and has an operational blinking eye, which Mrs French said was tricky to work out.

“The blinking eye had to be operated from quite far away from the head, which was difficult,” she said.

She said her husband and mechanical engineer Peter French assisted with the functionality of the camel.

Mrs French said she had to study many images of different camels to get the personality and character the council was looking for.

“It was very challenging but I enjoyed giving the camel some personality,” she said.

Mrs French said she had been making puppets for many years for various parades.

She had made puppets for Snuff Puppets in Melbourne and live theatre company Erth.

What’s New Pussycat? will continue at the Horsham Centre Cinemas on Thursday at 8pm and Friday at 8pm, with the final performances on Saturday at 2pm and 8pm.

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Tamworth pays tribute to Gough Whitlam

*Scroll down to read the full tribute speech in parliament from New England MP Barnaby Joyce.
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TRIBUTES are flowing from across the political divide for former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, remembered as a political colossus, social visionary and friend of regional NSW.

Mr Whitlam, who was elected to the top job in 1972 before being sensationally dismissed from office three years later, passed away today, age 98.

He has been credited with making Australia a more inclusive and compassionate society, delivering free university education and universal healthcare, ending conscription and the death penalty and making Advance Australia Fair our national anthem.

A deeply polarising figure, particularly in conservative strongholds like the New England/North West, Mr Whitlam last visited the region in 1995 as Tamworth’s Australia Day ambassador, also opening the new visitor’s information centre.

Tamworth Shire Council deputy mayor at the time James Treloar said Mr Whitlam’s visit divided the community.

“We got hate mail when people found out he’d be opening the visitor’s centre,” Cr Treloar said.

“But he was just wonderful: enormously intelligent, a great speaker and a fantastic sense of humour.

“He gave greater social justice to Australia than any other person.

“He was a true statesmen who thought about the next generation, not just the next election.”

It was Mr Whitlam’s charisma and towering presence that most struck local ALP life member Bill Forrest.

“I met him that day and everyone wanted to shake his hand,” Mr Forrest, a former ALP candidate, said.

“He had an incredible presence about him and made an enormous contribution to Australian political history.”

Tamworth woman Charna Graham had a more personal recollection of Mr Whitlam, having become friends with him while operating a business next to his electorate office in Liverpool in the early 70s.

“We knew him quite well socially and he was very charming and always a gentleman,” Mrs Graham said.

“When he walked into a room, you knew he was there, and not because he spoke the loudest.”

New England MP Barnaby Joyce praised Mr Whitlam in parliament as man of “bravado and presence”.

“This bravado and colour gave Whitlam presence,” Mr Joyce said.

“This bravado and colour was emblematic of courage, and courage and presence gave nurture to vision-courage, presence, vision and wit.

“Whitlam was a breath of fresh air.

“Whitlam also had a vision of decentralisation. Gough Whitlam showed this vision in pushing the Labor Party to adopt policies that pushed their focus past the outer suburbs of major cities and into regional towns and growth centres of inland Australia.”

MP JOYCEPAYS TRIBUTE TO WHITLAM

I rise to concur with the remarks that have been made. I remember few things from when I was eight, but I certainly remember where I was on 11 November 1975, as I suppose many people in this room do. I must admit that the discussion that happened under the banana palm at Henderson Street, Valla Beach between ourselves and our neighbours showed two distinct sides of a political fence. But why was it that one person could have such an emblematic effect on the Australian people? Why was it that one person had the capacity to draw people out? Why was it that one person had so much presence?

At six foot four inches tall Margaret said that he was the most delicious thing she had ever seen, and it is with great loyalty that their relationship, their marriage lasted for so long and was so self-fulfilling for both of them. But I think to remember Whitlam we have to look at the colour of the person—the wit of the person—and I think the retort from Charlie Jones is one of the classics that remain. Whitlam in describing himself said:

I travel economy and I’m a great man, and I could travel economy the rest of my life and I’d still be a great man. But most of the people around this table—

and that was the cabinet—

are pissants, and they could travel first class the rest of their lives and they’d still be pissants.

This bravado and colour gave Whitlam presence. This bravado and colour was emblematic of courage, and courage and presence gave nurture to vision—courage, presence, vision and wit. Whitlam was a breath of fresh air. He stepped away from the former doctrinaire process of politics. He was a staple that heralded a new political age. He was the new Labor leader. He was a Labor leader from a new form of schooling. He was seen in many instances as Liberal in his views. My parents when they had a choice between McMahon or Whitlam voted for Whitlam. They didn’t the second time. But this was how he was seen: he was seen as visionary.

His courage was evident when, at the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Sydney University Regiment in 1939. He did not need to be called; he joined. His courage was seen when he advanced to the rank of flight lieutenant and was in the 13 Squadron, flying a Lockheed Ventura bomber, I believe.

His courage was present when he stood up for funding for Catholic schools. I would like to quote something from 10 August 1969 at the Sydney Town Hall, when there was a rally and those who stood up against Catholic school funding were heckling him from the audience. He looked at them, to one lady in particular, and said, ‘Go back to Belfast!’ From a person who had been schooled at Knox Grammar, who had grown up on the Protestant side of the fence, it was yet another statement of a person who had real courage and commitment, who would stand against the crowd.

His courage was there when he was threatened with disendorsement by the Labor Party. His courage was there when he resigned on behalf of Brian Harradine, because Brian Harradine was not going to be given a position on executive. He stood to the challenge of a vote and won the vote. This is the reason the person is a giant. This is the reason the person is emblematic. This is the reason the person has character. And this is the reason this person is so well remembered.

Whitlam also had a vision of decentralisation. Gough Whitlam showed this vision in pushing the Labor Party to adopt policies that pushed their focus past the outer suburbs of major cities and into regional towns and growth centres of inland Australia. Gough once said in the parliament:

One of the saddest things in Australia is that whenever one goes to the country one finds a local newspaper and a report of farewell for some teenager or man or woman in his or her early 20s who is leaving for the city.

By which is meant the state capital. It is something that still happens too often today. The results of the Whitlam government’s regional initiatives and that subsequent governments have been mixed. Still, Whitlam introduced changes to regional development policy that persist today. He substantially extended the use of section 96 to provide direct Commonwealth payment to local governments, including introducing a Commonwealth Grants Commission process to make payments to local governments based on need. Under special legislation introduced by the Whitlam government, Australia was carved into 76 regions with different types of regional organisations established in them. One of those was the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. WSROC still exists today and most local governments are members of regional cooperative societies and surrounding administrations. He established the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation, the results of which are seen in a population in excess of 100,000 people today.

Whitlam also was a person who saw his future and the future of the nation in education and in his engagement with China with Zhou Enlai. Whitlam was also a person of strong intellect and a student of the classics. He used his prize money from winning the 1948 and 1949 Australian National Quiz Championship as part of his deposit on a house. The other part came from his war service loan. This was a house in Cronulla.

But Whitlam in a way helps us to find who we are. Yes, at times, it became tribal—it became, in some instances, hostile. But he was a person who helped everybody to find where they stood politically. I must admit that there are so many on this side who found their way into politics, as noted by the Deputy Prime Minister, because of an opposition to some of what Whitlam represented. But no-one ever doubted the integrity of his beliefs. No-one ever doubted the strengths of his beliefs. No-one ever doubted his passion. No-one ever had to be told twice as to what he was saying. It was quite clear he knew who he was and he knew where his nation was to go.

A notable anecdote has been given to me by one of the staff in my office. She was working with the Australian high commission in Nigeria in 1980 and recalls a delightful visitor, Whitlam, who after he had left politics came as part of a delegation. She recalled how he was charming and witty as a dinner guest. Coincidentally, a Frenchvin ordinairewas served for dinner with a brand of Agneau Blanc. He declared his gratitude that she had served such an appropriately named wine. He took the empty bottle back to his room, soaked the label off as a memento, and gave it to her. She also received a charming note. That is also a statement of the humility of a person who looks into the heart of someone that is just passing by and makes sure that their life is a better place by meeting them.

After Whitlam came Hawke. Many would say that because of Whitlam came Hawke. Whitlam deserves the honour of our nation as one of the great politicians of our time, one of the great politicians of our era. In so doing we also remember the life of Margaret and offer our condolences to the children of their union: Nick, Tony, Stephen and Catherine. May he rest in peace.

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The Crown approved for Wollongong

ADM architects’ concept drawing of The Crown development which has been approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.Plansfor hundreds of new apartments and more than a dozen new shops to be built on the former Dwyers Holden site have been given the official go-ahead by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
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The residential and commercial complex – known as The Crown – involves 14 ground floor retail tenancies fronting Crown, Corrimal and Burelli streets, as well as 317 units spread across four towers which range from nine to 15 storeys high.

A series of townhouses will also be built around a four-level parking station.

Approving the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday, panel members praised the developer’s contextual studies showing how the buildings would fit into the city.

They also said they were comfortable with the plan’s ‘‘quite large’’ departure from Wollongong’s floor space ratio controls, as it was primarily related to car parking on the site.

‘‘I think the design .. is an appropriate response to the site and will provide much needed housing the Wollongong CBD,’’ panel member Alison McCabe said.

Mr Daoud said he looked forward to being able to develop the ‘‘beautiful site in Wollongong, which is also quite central’’.

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EDITORIAL: Land use conflicts on the rise

CONFRONTATIONS between resource extraction industries and other land users are becoming more common and more intense in the Hunter Region.
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The bitter argument over coal seam gas at Gloucester, and the fierce battle of words over Anglo American Coal’s Drayton South expansion plan in the Upper Hunter are typical of the trend.

Four protesters were arrested at Gloucester on Tuesday while trying to disrupt the impending start of ‘‘fracking’’ by AGL, which has permission to extract coal seam gas in the area.

Protesting residents of the town and their supporters are concerned that gas extraction operations may harm rivers, aquifers and farmland, while the company is anxious to start earning money from its substantial investment.

Supporters of the AGL project say the extra gas supply may help stabilise prices in NSW after large-scale exports begin from Queensland in coming months. The Australian gas industry is about to be transformed – like the coal industry before it – from being largely domestic-oriented to overwhelmingly export in character. That means Australian gas users will no longer be insulated from paying world parity prices.

The anticipated sharp price rise will boost profits for gas extractors, but will make life harder for many households and could also cost jobs in industries that depend on gas for their energy.

Price, as always, is a product of the interplay of supply and demand.

The massive oversupply of coal on the world market, coupled with a downturn in demand as end-users seek cleaner energy sources, has caused a big decline in prices for the Hunter’s main export.

This, however, has not prevented mining companies from seeking to expand. Some miners are pursuing expansions to help them lower their unit production costs in a bid to stay viable in a harsh market where higher-cost mines are likely to close.

Unfortunately, some lower-cost coal reserves lie in positions that make their extraction intrusive to other land users. That’s the problem with Anglo American’s Drayton South proposal, which has threatened some of the Upper Hunter’s most important horse studs.

After many months of fiery debate, during which the mining company has used the threat of job cuts to pressure the government and the community, it is being reported that Drayton South has been refused.

This is certainly bad news for those who may lose their jobs.

But in an economic environment where announcements of offshoring, lay-offs and factory closures are common across many industries, it is hard to argue that the commercial interests of one mining company operating in a heavily oversupplied coal market should take precedence over other viable and sustainable pre-existing land uses.