The X-Factor runner-up Dean a ray of hope for tiny Queensland town

Queensland X Factor contestant Dean Ray.The tiny Queensland town of Meandarra is celebrating after its most famous son finished second on The X-Factor.
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Dean Pritchard – known to fans as Dean Ray – was just pipped by Marlisa Punzalan in the final of the Channel Seven singing competition.

The 22-year-old grew up in Meandarra, which is five hours’ drive west of Brisbane and has a population around 80.

Manager of the Royal Hotel Emily Jamieson said Dean might be rocking slick hair and even slicker leather, but that wasn’t the case when they went to primary school together.

“Oh, he was a country boy,” she said.

“But he’s always been around music – he used to play the drums but now he’s an awesome guitarist and singer.”

Western Downs mayor Ray Brown said the Pritchards were a well known cattle farming family.

“It just goes to show that in rural Queensland and rural Australia, we have just as much talent as the big cities,” he said.

“We breed them pretty well out here – Pete Murray’s from Chinchilla.”

Dean attended Chinchilla High School.

Ms Jamieson said more than 400 people turned up last Wednesday night for Dean’s “coming home” visit for the show, where he met old friends and played a gig at the Royal Hotel.

“It was crazy, it was the busiest night Meandarra’s ever seen,” she said.

“I had some friends who came from as far away as the Gold Coast.”

But she said the bulk of the town went to a different location last night to watch the final.

“We tend to share everything around Meandarra, so because it was a big night here last Wednesday, we held it at the bowls club last night,” Ms Jamieson said.

She said since moving to Melbourne, Dean had been a regular visitor back home, and always played gigs at the pub when in town.

“We’ve always known how talented he is,” she said.

“He’ll go off and do massive things now.”

Cr Brown said Dean Ray was already set to headline Chinchilla’s famous Melon Festival in February next year.

“He’s been asked to everything we’ve got going on, I can tell you,” he said.

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$12 million to protect Goulburn River from Moolarben mine sediment

Moolarben Coal will spend about $12 million upgrading its water management system over the next year as part of a voluntary agreement with the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
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A legally binding Pollution Reduction Program was issued by the EPA in August and requires Moolarben Coal to complete numerous improvements by December 2015.

EPA Central West Region Manager, Richard Whyte, said upgrades to Moolarben Coal’s water management system aim to reduce the impact of the mine’s activities on the Goulburn River.

“The upgrades are being undertaken so that the water quality in the Goulburn River downstream of the mine is better protected from sediment during high rainfall,” Mr Whyte said.

“The upgrades will significantly increase the storage capacity of sediment control dams in the coal handling plant area. This will involve de-silting sediment control dams and the installation of new sediment control dams.”

Mr Whyte said Moolarben Coal’s clean water diversion drainage system will also be upgraded, allowing stormwater run-off not impacted by coal mining to remain separated and sediment free.

Environmentalist and mine neighbour, Julia Imrie, raised concerns yesterday that despite the upgrades, Moolarben Coal’s Environmental Protection Licence does not have enough flexibility after high rainfall.

She said Moolarben’s pollution limits are suspended when more than 44 millimetres of rain is received over a five day period. According to Ulan and Gulgong rainfall records, this particular event occurred 10 times during 2013.

Mrs Imrie also believes the limit for salinity of discharge waters is set too high and there should also be additional continuous monitoring of water quality in the Goulburn River.

“Rigorous on going management of on site water and sediment run-off will continue to be a complicated and problematic operation considering the close proximity of the open cut operations to the river and major creek lines and the potential size of the expanding mine footprint and disturbed area,” she said.

The upgrades will reportedly add to improvements made by Moolarben Coal following a series of water pollution incidents involving sediment during 2009 and 2012.

A spokesman from Yancoal, owners of Moolarben Coal, said on Monday that support from the Environment Protection Authority was a “positive step forward” for the mining complex.

He said support from EPA had also come for the mine’s water management plans, a condition of its Modification 9 planning approval.

“The approval allows us to commence new infrastructure workings to increase our surface water management controls in the interests of the operation and surrounding waterways,” the spokesman said.

“We have welcomed the EPA’s continued support for the development and implementation of Moolarben’s surface water pollution reduction program, following a long period of transparent discussions to determine the best outcome for all parties.

“The program reflects Moolarben’s continued commitment to implementing the highest standards of environmental management.”

Pollution Reduction Programs (PRPs) are legally enforceable and are either voluntarily entered into or directed by the EPA to be undertaken to reduce pollution or environmental harm.

PRPs are one of many regulatory tools the EPA uses to achieve environmental compliance by licensees.

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Brisbane Live: Tuesday October 21, 2014

Brisbane Live Dan nancarrow
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Tony Moore.

Princess Anne will spend four days in Brisbane from Tuesday. Photo: Bruce Adams

Amy Remeikis

Welcome to Brisbane Live, where you’ll find rolling coverage of the news as it happens in Brisbane

Good afternoon and welcome to Brisbane Live.

HRH Princess Anne has welcomed the completion of the newly- redeveloped RNA Showgrounds as she spoke at the opening of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth conference at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane Tuesday afternoon.

HRH Princess Anne, the president of the RASC, said five million Australians – one quarter of the nation’s population – attended an agricultural society show in the previous 12 months.

Dressed in a light fawn top, with an attractive silver brooch and light blue skirt, a Princess Anne also praised Queensland’s resilience since the most recent floods in 2011 and 2012.

She expressed surprise that 2014 was the first occasion the conference had been held in Brisbane.

Both Annastacia Palaszczuk and Campbell Newman have spoken of Gough Whitlam with respect.

Ms Palaszczuk said the former prime minister “inspired” her.

“Gough Whitlam’s time in office may have been cut short, but his legacy has lasted and will continue to inspire generations to come,” she said.

“One of my earliest memories is of the poster of Gough Whitlam on the wall in our family home.

“As a 20-year-old I was proud to be in a group that had dinner with Gough Whitlam.

“I was in awe to sit across a table and enjoy his conversation.” Premier Campbell Newman said his father, Kevin, was in the federal parliament with Mr Whitlam and while they had their political differences, “I know my father would want to say this, Gough Whitlam was a great Australian and he was a visionary…he was probably ahead of his time”.

Both offered their condolences to his family

The Premier pays tribute to former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam: https://t.co/M4a6uFnP7j#qldpol#auspol— Campbell Newman (@theqldpremier) October 21, 2014

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Pastor’s strength earns world silver medal

SILVER: Pastor Guntars Baikovs with his silver medal.The Barossa Valley’s Pastor, Guntars Baikovs has won a silver medal at the 2014 World Armwrestling Championships.
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Pastor Guntars collected his silver in the Masters Men 100+kg left hand division.

He finished fifth in the right hand section of the same classification.

The 36th World Armwrestling Championship was held at Vilnius in Lithuania in September.

Pastor Guntars whose work covers Tanunda St Paul’s and the Gnadenberg Lutheran Parish, had to compete in six to seven matches on each arm during the competition.

Interestingly, the longest part is not the match itself, but setting up / gripping up for the match.

“It may take quite a while,” Pastor Guntars said.

“To get a fair grip is like a half of victory.

“In one match, against a big Russian guy who won last year, it took three minutes to set up.”

The actual arm wrestle can take only one or two seconds.

“After you hear the command ‘Go’ it is push as hard as you can.”

Without disabled classes there were around 940 or so competitors from 46 countries.

The Barossa Valley’s Pastor Guntars was one of two who were the first Australian team to compete in the World Championships and placed 30th.

“We were very happy with the finish at our first attempt.”

“This was the first ever medal for Australian armwrestlers in the highest level of armwrestling competitions and this is a worthy introduction for Australian Armwrestling – history has been written.

“I need to thank Stefan Ahrens from the Ahrens Group for assistance in enabling me to attend the championships,” Pastor Guntars said.

It was the third time he has competed in the world titles and it was his best result.

“In 2002 at Springfield in the United States in the Seniors – 110kg class I finished fourth on the left and sixth on the right.

“Then in 2007 in Bulgaria, I competed in Seniors 110+kg and did so poorly, placing 19th and 23rd.”

Armwrestling is a popular sport in Europe with a very large media coverage.

Pastor Guntars said since May there have been regular practices for the South Australian armwrestling team.

“We are growing slowly, but growing.”

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Statement from the DiAngelis Hotel Group after proposal withdrawl

Speaking on behalf of the family, JBA Urban Planning Consultants director Liam McKay saidthe family was obviously disappointed at the IHAP recommendation and believe parts oftheir development application were not clearly understood.
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Mr McKay said that there werelegal options open to the familybut they werekeen to address thecommunity’s concerns.

“We recognise the community concern with some aspects of the development and we willwithdraw the DA with a view to working on those issues with the community and LiverpoolCouncil to ensure a better outcome for all,”he said.

After reflection, it was decided that parts of application needed to be better explained and somemisconceptions needed to be clarified.

“For example the traffic study was quoted at IHAP as suggesting two thirds of patrons would walkto the hotel. No such suggestion was ever put forward.

“It was a fact that a survey of similar establishments showed that approximately one third ofpatrons drove themselves to those hotels, meaning you would then have passengers in most ofthose vehicles, other people using public transport and taxis as well as those who might walk.”

Mr McKay said the proponent wants to have an open conversation with our neighbours abouthow we might address other concerns such as the use of laneway late at night and parkingfacilities.

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Mother dies in week before she was to plead guilty over son’s death

A police photograph that was tendered to court. A photograph taken by police of the family’s house in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs.
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A woman whose young son died after falling ill in their squalid home has died, just as she was scheduled to face court to plead guilty to charges.

Sources have confirmed the woman, 41, died last Thursday in hospital from an illness.

The woman and her husband were scheduled to appear before the County Court on Wednesday for a plea hearing over the death of their five-year-old son, who died on August 1, 2012, several days after he cut his big toe on an open tin of cat food.

The tin had been discarded in the house and was piled among junk, food scraps, mould, waste and faeces that filled every room of the house, in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs.

The boy’s mother and father, 43, both pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless conduct endangering a person and one charge each of failing to register the birth of a child.

The charges against the woman will now be withdrawn. The charges against the boy’s father will remain in place and are expected to be heard later this month.

The names of the woman and man and their son are suppressed so not to identify the couple’s other son, who was eight at the time of his brother’s death. That boy is now in foster care.

The couple appeared before chief judge Michael Rozenes in July, when the woman fainted in the dock soon after formally pleading guilty.

Judge Rozenes adjourned the hearing so the woman could undergo psychiatric assessment.

In documents previously tendered to Melbourne Magistrates Court, the boy fell ill in the days after cutting his toe. The woman discovered her son lying lifeless in his bedroom and rushed him to an ambulance station, where he was pronounced dead, the documents say.

One ambulance paramedic said in a statement to police that the boy had grey, mottled skin when he was brought to them and that he had a filthy bandage wrapped around his foot.

Photographs of the family home, taken by police and also previously tendered to Melbourne Magistrates Court, show rooms filled with piles of junk and food waste, and mould and faeces splattered across walls and appliances.

According to court documents, the boy who died was born at home, was never immunised or enrolled in school or kindergarten and only really had contact with his immediate family members.

The boy’s death will be the subject of a colonial inquest once the criminal proceedings are complete. It is expected the woman’s death will not be investigated by the state coroner, as it was not suspicious and she was not in custody at the time. Her husband remains on bail.

The boy’s death prompted an investigation by Bernie Geary, the principal commissioner of the Commission for Children and Young People, and details about the case were conveyed to the office of Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge.

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Tom Newlands back on home soil

Just over 10 months ago Tom Newlands was in a critical condition in Westmead Hospital, on Monday his family was celebrating his return to Narromine.
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It has been an emotional and incredible journey for the Newlands family since January 11 when Tom was the victim of a hit-and-run accident on Dandaloo Street.

During the past 10 months Tom has demonstrated his determination and motivation to return to his life before the accident.

BACK ON HOME SOIL: (back) Tony Everett, (middle) Sally Everett, Emily, Elisa, Tom and Nigel, Shelia and Ken Jones, Mick Clarke, (front) Nicholas, Jules Brennan and Aniyah.

At Cale Oval on Monday he said it was a great feeling to be home.

“It’s the best feeling, good to be in my own bed,” he said.

His family is also thrilled to have him home.

“It’s good to have Tom back, a bit of normality. The community has been wonderful (during his recovery),” step-dad Nigel Jones said.

“He’s come a long way and still has a little way to go yet.”

The community has rallied support for the family since the accident in January, holding many fundraisers in Tom’s name.

Spokesperson for the Tom Newlands’ Support Group, Sally Everett, is grateful to have him home. “It’s amazing to have Tom home. The whole family is nothing but inspirational the way they’ve fought to have him home today,” she said.

Now he has achieved his homecoming Tom has set his sights on getting back to work.

Head of engineering and Tom’s boss, Kerrie Murphy, said his position was at Narromine Shire Council was waiting for him.

“When Tom had his accident his traineeship was suspended for six months. When that was up we decided to suspend it for another 12 months,” she said.

“He’s been really keen to work towards getting back (to council) and it’s not an issue to hold his job.”

Tom and his family

Tom is looking forward to the prospect of working again.

“So it’s just getting better and hopefully getting back and earning some money,” he said.

There’s something else Tom is looking forward to: “Having a feed at the pub…I’m not going to lie,” he laughed.

Send Tom your congratulations by commenting below.

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Whitlam’s childhood home could be knocked down in days

Gough Whitlam’s childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne Gough Whitlam’s childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne
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Gough Whitlam’s childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne

Gough Whitlam’s childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne

Gough Whitlam’s childhood home in Rowland Street, Kew Photo: Mark Hawthorne

The childhood home of former prime minister Gough Whitlam could be demolished within days to make way for a “McMansion” after a heritage protection for the century-old property was refused by the state government and Heritage Victoria.

Boroondara Council and concerned residents have lobbied Premier Denis Napthine and Planning Minister Matthew Guy to save Ngara, the family home at 46 Rowland Street in Kew where Mr Whitlam was born in 1916.

According to local legend, the future prime minister was born on the kitchen table of the home.

Ngara was purchased by overseas buyer Youquing Liang for $3.3 million in November 2013, and the new owner wants to bulldoze the historic house to make way for a new residence.

According to documents obtained by The Age, Dr Napthine was advised of the historical significance of the property in May this year, and passed on the information to Mr Guy.

In June, Jim Gardner, the executive director of statutory planning and heritage at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, wrote to local residents on behalf of Mr Guy, and told them that heritage protection had been refused “on the grounds that there is not a prima facie case for inclusion of the place on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR).”

That letter, titled “Gough Whitlam birthplace”, was forwarded to Dr Napthine.

Mr Guy later refused permission for interim heritage protection to be given to the property.

According to Boroondara Council’s heritage application Ngara is worthy of heritage protection as a place of  “individual significance”.

At least seven other homes in Victoria have been given heritage protection because a prime minister was born in or lived at the property. These include nearby 10 Howard St in Kew, the former home of Robert Menzies, and 167 Cotham Road in Kew, the former home of Billy Hughes. The birthplace of John Curtin has also been given heritage protection.

City of Boroondara spokeswoman Deb Ganderton said an application to fully demolish the property had been lodged in April, but the council had only been alerted that the house was the birthplace of Mr Whitlam when it was nominated for the Victorian Heritage Register later in the month.

“Council investigated the association to Gough Whitlam and confirmed that the property was of local individual heritage significance,” she said.

“A request … was subsequently lodged with the Minister for Planning for interim heritage protection of the property on 7 May, 2014.

“That request was refused by the officers of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure under delegation from the Minister for Planning on 17 September, 2014.”

Ms Ganderton said a demolition permit was issued by a private building surveyor on October 14, just a week before Mr Whitlam passed away.

Local residents said they would be heartbroken to lose the property. “It’s sad to lose these places of local significance, but it seems we have lost the fight,” said one neighbour. “Instead we will have another large, bland building on the street.”

Jellis Craig’s Peter Batrouney said he was unaware of the property’s historical significance when he sold the three-bedroom early-Edwardian quietly off-market for $3.3 million last November.

“There was no heritage overlay on it when we sold it,” he said.

“The owner mentioned that there was some history to do with Gough Whitlam being in the house.

“That’s all I knew about it.”

Work has already begun on the demolition of garden surrounding the house, which has stood empty since it was sold.

Under Foreign Investment Review Board rules, a foreign buyer has two years to demolish an existing home to make way for a new dwelling.

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Tackling child abuse

MILDURA’S Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) continues to seek the best path for child abuse and sexual assault victims, Mildura Police Det Norm Tink said.
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SUCCESS: Mildura police SOCIT Detective Sergeant Norm Tink and Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Mallee Domestic Violence Service chief executive Joanne Sheehan-Paterson.Picture: Carmel Zaccone

Since the mutli-service unit started seven years ago, there has been a 30 per cent reduction in withdrawn complaints by victims of sexual assault or child abuse in the region.

Det Sergeant Tink said the unit’s success was due to the combined agency approach in dealing with victims.

In 2007 Victoria Police launched two pilot SOCIT’s to run as multi-discipline centres in Victoria, combining with other services to assist victims of sexual assault and child abuse.

One was established in Mildura, while a second was set up in Frankston – both locations chosen due to high rates of child abuse and sexual assault.

Mildura’s SOCIT was then restructured, moving from Mildura Police Station to Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Domestic Violence Service at Lime Avenue.

Det Sgt Tink said being in a private location with the services of Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Mallee Domestic Violence Service, enabled them to deal with victims from start to finish, and provide ongoing counselling after a court case was over.

He said this model wasn’t about reducing crime, because sexual assaults were individual and one-on-one, and police couldn’t be pro-active with such acts.

He said rather it was about providing a better service by police to support thevictims.

“It’s all done here. Counselling, forensic examinations interviews with kids and involvement with police,” Det Sgt Tink said.

“Before, victims would have to walk into the police station with other people around them, and deal with multiple police officers who weren’t specially trained to deal with them.

“A Deakin University evaluation (of the model) highlighted that because you have dedicated people working with these victims from start to finish, they tend to get better outcomes at court and better outcomes from the victims perspective.”

He said in 2013/2014 there were 4000 children sexually assaulted in Victoria, with 30 per cent under 10 years old.

Out of 4000, 41 of those were recorded in Mildura.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Wednesday’s Sunraysia Daily 22/10/2014.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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TOPICS: Cookie dough a Recipe to Riches

AJ Mills’s cookie chunk dough won on Recipe to Riches on Tuesday night. AJ Mills’ kids always suspected she made a cracking cookie dough, and the Waratah mother-of-three hopes Novocastrians won’t be able to get enough of it – at least for the next week.
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Her famed (among family and friends) chocolate chunk dough won last night’s episode of Ten’s Recipe to Riches, where contestants vie to turn their family recipes into top-sellers at Woolworths.

The supermarket giant will now sell the dough for seven days to gauge its popularity, with the overall series winner to be awarded a coveted permanent place on the shelves.

‘‘I have great memories of being in the kitchen with my mother,’’ AJ, 44, told Topics.

‘‘And all of those memories have gone into this cookie dough.’’

The treat is based on a recipe AJ found one day jotted among her grandmother’s possessions. Her mother, who died as a result of breast cancer when AJ was 24, crafted her own version and now the Laser Plumbing office manager makes it at home with her kids Jesse, Leeca and Ben.

She’ll be spruiking her winning wares at Woolies Marketown at 9.30am today. Victorian Garth Midgely won the first series of Recipe to Riches in January with his ingenius creation Chocorn.

THERE is a house in Carrington – a reader tells us, following yesterday’s news that Gough had died – called Whitlam House.

The revered former PM visited the neighbourhood in 1997, more than two decades after his immortal words on the steps of Parliament House, to unveil a plaque.

‘‘Whitlam House was opened by the Hon. EG Whitlam AC, QC, and blessed by Roger Herft, Eleventh Bishop of Newcastle, 21 November 1997,’’ it reads.

The brick one-storey was dedicated to the Missions to Seamen (now Seafarers), and our source tells us a big crowd gathered that day.

There also used to be a mural of the Great Man at Don Beppino’s Italian restaurant in Merewether, painted decades ago by the former part-owner Giuseppe Risicato.

Gough Whitlam standing in front of a portrait “Il Padrino” (The Godfather) painted by local artist Guiseppi Riscato. The portrait used to hang on the walls of the Don Peppino Italian restaurant in Merewether. Picture: Allan Jolly.

MELBOURNE City hosted Newcastle on Sunday in their first home game since rising from the ashes of the Melbourne Heart and, apart from the visitors relinquishing a one-nil lead at the death, all went well. With one exception.

The 15,000-strong crowd got what it wanted when star David Villa lashed in a late equaliser, but confusion reined as the teams were announced before kick-off.

According to the big screen, Kew Jaliens was suddenly in midfield, Marcos Flores shifted to the back and, weirdest of all, keeper Mark Birighitti came up as a striker. It’s to their credit that the players didn’t collectively demand: ‘‘don’t you know who I am?’’

As Villa’s strike bobbled cruelly into the net despite the Jets gloveman getting a hand to it, Birighitti might have wished he was playing up front.

​Email Tim [email protected]南京夜网.au or tweet @TimConnell or phone 4979 5944