Year-long wait for landline angers Mudgee resident

There are Mid-Western Region residents feeling let down by the delayed National Broadband Network roll-out yet some are struggling to establish a basic home phone connection.
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Residents who have moved in to new housing estates at Mudgee and Gulgong are waiting, in some cases, between seven and 12 months to secure their landline connections through Telstra.

This means many households in the region are going without a “satisfactory” internet service, having to connect online via mobile phones or wireless devices which can be an expensive exercise.

Moving in to a new estate along Doug Gudgeon Drive last November, Mudgee resident Joanne Ruming and her partner didn’t expect a wait of 12 months to establish a landline connection for internet use at home.

“When we moved in we brought with us a Telstra T-Box but now that hasn’t really been any use to us,” she said.

“We have purchased a wireless device and that costs us around $80 a month but it is sub-standard.”

In a statement to Ms Ruming, Telstra has said further work is required from Melton Road down Doug Gudgeon Drive as the “pit and pipe” infrastructure “wasn’t to specifications”.

When the respective housing estate was being built, developers employed a third party to install initial telecommunications infrastructure. However only conduits were laid, not the required cabling for connections which is to be provided by whichever telecommunications company acquires the “pit and pipe”.

A third party may also be hired to do this installation months after they laid the original conduits.

In a statement to The Weekly, a Telstra spokesman said the company “was in the process of acquiring part of the pit and pipe network to connect it back to the wider Telstra network.”

“Once successfully acquired, Telstra will cable the pit and pipe and connect the houses [on Doug Gudgeon Drive] to the wider Telstra network giving residents access to voice and data services.”

No time frame was given as to when this work would be completed. Telstra did not answer as to whether 12 months was an extraordinary time waiting for a home phone connection.

In the letter to Ms Ruming, Telstra has said should it need to amend council property that civil works would need approval from council however this apparently does not stop the “to-ing and fro-ing” of processing the requirements for installation.

The Weekly understands there are other new housing developments in the Mid-Western Region which have experienced similar problems and residents have waited months for connections to a landline service.

Once connected, residents then have to wait and see if a port is available for their broadband service.

In June another 170 ADSL2 broadband ports were opened by Telstra at the Mudgee exchange.

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Brothers 3 to pursue music dream, despite X-Factor disappointment

Brothers 3, Shardyn, Tayzin and Makirum Fahey-Leigh, pictured with mentor Dannii Minogue during the X Factor Australia final on Monday night.Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the fairytale ending Brothers 3 and Mudgee were hoping for on Monday night, with the local trio finishing third on the latest season of X-Factor Australia.
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However, the Fahey-Leigh brothers won’t be leaving the Australia music scene any time soon, with plans to continue doing what they love and hopefully making a career from it.

“We’re definitely not going anywhere soon,” Tayzin said.

The X-Factor winner was announced at the end of a two-and-a-half hour finale featuring performances from Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Olly Murs, and country pop powerhouse Taylor Swift – but to the disappointment of fans and Mid-Western Region residents, the boys from Mudgee finished their X Factor journey earlier in the show.

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported us, our family, our fans, everyone behind the scenes, and Dannii,” Makirum said.

Shardyn, Tayzin and Makirum Fahey-Leigh made their way onto the live shows after being chosen by the public as the wild card entry, and ever since then have done enough to impress the Australian public to have never been in the bottom two.

That run came to an end at the wrong time and Brothers 3 were told they were not in the X Factor top two halfway through Monday night’s show.

“X Factor has been the most amazing experience of our lives. Danni is a great mentor and being on the X Factor has actually made us closer,” Makirum said.

“We never imagined we could make it this far and it’s just been an amazing journey.”

“We came into this competition as three brothers who sang on the farm. And we’ve gone from singing on the farm to performing in front of Australia. It’s crazy,” Tayzin added.

Brothers 3 performed their audition song, Taylor Swift’s Safe and Sound, a duet with Guy Sebastian, and their winner’s single The Lucky Ones – a song that had the judges laughing and dancing in their seats from beginning to end.

“Not only were your performances great, but you’ve got a hit song. The country vibe you have is in right now, and I’m loving it. I’ve got to hear it on the radio, that song is incredible,” Redfoo said of The Lucky Ones.

A positives to come from the final two X Factor episodes on Sunday and Monday night’s was the coverage the Mudgee region received on national television.

The town was featured on screen for a few minutes after filming took place last Wednesday, and featured a visit to the boys’ farm,sweeping shots of the local region, and the street parade and concert at Parklands in front of hundreds of Brothers 3 fans.

“I literally knew nothing about Mudgee beforehand, and I’m so glad the boys have introduced me to the town. It’s city chic with country char, and it’s so beautiful I’m definitely planning a family trip back there,” Ms Minogue said.

Mid-Western Regional mayor Des Kennedy said he was very happy with the footage shown and couldn’t have hoped for something better for the region.

Brothers 3, and Dean Ray, were beaten to the top spot by 15-year-old Glendenning singer, Marlisa Punzalan, who received a recording contact with Sony Music Australia and the chance to open for Guy Sebastian on his latest Australian tour.

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Parking officer threatened with sword in Mudgee carpark

Mudgee police search the perimeter of a Byron Place property on Thursday after threats were made against a Council ranger. PHOTO: DARREN SNYDER 171014/ds police/4747Byron Place car park became a hive of activity on Thursday afternoon when local police arrested a 49-year-old Mudgee man.
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It is alleged at about 1.25pm a Mid-Western Regional Council ranger was performing duties in the car park when he was threatened by the man wielding a samurai sword.

Five police vehicles were immediately on the scene and the offender was arrested. The man was taken to Mudgee Police Station where he was charged with two counts of possessing a knife in a public place, intimidation, and using a weapon to commit an indictable offence. The surrounding area and a vehicle were also searched.

The 49-year-old will attend Mudgee Local Court on December 17.

As the incident occurred during shopping hours, police are asking for anyone who saw what happened to contact Mudgee Police Station on 6372 8599.

“If you saw this incident please help us rid our area of this violent behaviour, we are waiting for your call,” a police spokesman said.

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Money for Arts

GIVERS: Anita Bowen, chairperson of Foundation Barossa, David Thomas (OAM), founder of Cellarmasters Wines, Dorrien Estate and The Thomas Foundation and Margaret Lehmann. Two major financial announcements were made at a fundraising lunch held by Foundation Barossa last Thursday, October 16, which could see funding for the support of the arts and education last into perpetuity.
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The luncheon, held at the Old Redemption Cellar at Peter Lehmann Winery, was the setting for the announcements, which could see up to $1m raised.

The Lehmann Hess Foundation generously has donated $200,000 to the cause, while David Thomas (OAM), founder of Cellarmasters Wines, Dorrien Estate and The Thomas Foundation, announced a dollar for dollar challenge grant of $250,000.

“For me it’s about putting the money with causes you can trust, like Foundation Barossa, which is a safe guardian,” Margaret Lehmann said.

“The intention of the trust is to encourage, nurture and sustain the Barossa’s cultural identity.

“Peter (Lehmann) was always particularly interested in the arts.”

As for Mr Thomas’ generous offer, he was expecting $50,000 of the target to be reached with pledges from the 180-strong audience at the fundraiser, with more than $40,000 pledged.

He stood up on the stage and not only said he expected people in the room to help match the grant, he “demanded” it.

“I want to see the million dollar mark reached, within the next two years,” Mr Thomas said.

“And I want to then shake hands with the men and women who will help make this happen.”

Anita Bowen, chairperson of Foundation Barossa said she is overjoyed and overwhelmed at the response to the announcement.

“This is such a landmark for our organisation and a Trust such as this is so important to the Barossa and our way of life,” Anita said.

“Our target for this fund is $750,000 and in one day, we are, in effect, more than halfway there with in excess of $500,000 already raised. It’s an amazing expression of confidence and Barossa generosity.”

Application will be made to have the Peter Lehmann Cultural and Education Trust included on the Register of Cultural Organisations.

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Nominate now for Variety scholarships

Talented: 18-year-old Ritchell Lim says Variety WA has changed her life by helping her get closer to fulfilling her dream as a singer, songwriter and pianist.
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VARIETY, the children’s charity is seeking nominations for the 2015 Variety Scholarships.

The scholarships assist young people under 18 years of age living with illness, disability or disadvantage to discover their potential in the fields of arts, sport or education.

Variety WA chief executive officer Michael Pailthorpe said the scholarships could be life-changing for local youth in need.

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to children and young people who might not otherwise have the means to develop their talents and follow their dreams,” he said.

Scholarship applications close at midnight on December 12 and to apply or for more information visit www.varietywa.org.au

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Northern Jets snare Temora premiership duo

HEADED HOME: Nitschke-Schmidt Medallist Sam Fisher has signed with Northern Jets after four years with Farrer League rival Temora. Picture: Michael Frogley
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FARRER LEAGUE

TEMORA premiership hero Sam Fisher has departed the Kangaroos to return home to Farrer League rivals Northern Jets as assistant coach.

A month after guiding Temora to a third consecutive Farrer League premiership, Fisher has decided to return to his home club and sign with the Jets.

In a recruiting coup for the Jets, they have also signed speedy Temora forward Brad Moye.

The pair played in Temora’s past three Farrer League premierships.

Fisher endured an injury interrupted season but returned to play an integral part in Temora’s premiership claim and won the Nitschke-Schmidt Medal for best-on-ground in the grand final.

Fisher, 23, told The Daily Advertser it was not an easy decision to make.

“It was a very tough call,” Fisher said.

“I’ve obviously been at Temora for four years playing footy and I’ve made a lot of good mates winning three premierships.

“Making the call to go home was a pretty hard call, especially from a club that gives you that sort of success.”

The decision to return to the Jets has a lot to do with family for Fisher.

He now gets the opportunity to join brothers Jack and Ned at the Jets.

“I’m very excited,” he said.

“I’ll get to play with my younger brother Jack for the first time in first grade together and hopefully our other brother Ned can get up there and play firsts as well.

“Mitch and Lenny Haddrill are my first cousins too, so to play with all of them will be pretty exciting.”

The signing of Fisher and Moye is a strong start to the off-season for the Jets, who have already retained its playing list from this year.

SWITCHING TEAMS: Temora speedster Brad Moye (right) has signed with Farrer League rival Northern Jets. Picture: Les Smith

Moye has kicked 101 goals over the past three seasons for Temora.

Jets official Terry Walker is happy with the club’s first two signings.

“Sam’s pretty excited about it and so are we, to have him coming home after three flags and being pretty successful,” Walker said.

“Brad will be good for us too. He’s got a lot of pace, which is what we’ve been lacking.

“He kicks quite a few goals for a flank, wing type.”

The Jets met again on Tuesday night to finalise its position surrounding a replacement for outgoing coach Stu Hutchins.

Walker hopes the Jets will be able to make an announcement in coming days.

Canberra-based players Len Haddrill, Dane Keenes and Declan O’Rourke have all re-signed for another season at the Jets.

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Motorbike safety a priority in South West

Following recent motorbike fatalities on and off South West roads, motorbike enthusiasts are being urged to adhere to extra safety precautions.FOLLOWING recent motorbike fatalities on and off South West roads, motorbike enthusiasts are being urged to adhere to extra safety precautions.
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The death toll for motorbike riders and passengers has reached a total of 31 for 2014, and 28 including vehicles over the last month alone.

Back in April the Mail printed a story listing the riskiest times to ride a motorcycle and this message is now more prevalent than ever.

A review of fatal and serious injury motorcycle crashes in WA from 1995 to 2014 indicated that riders were most at risk between 3 and 6pm Monday to Thursday and between 6 and 9pm on Fridays.

Busselton’s officer in charge Senior Sergeant Steve Principe said fatal motorbike crashes tended to occur on the more winding and sweeping country roads for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons was due to roads often being misjudged and Senior Sergeant Principe listed a few key things to remember when riding.

“Safety gear is imperative, ensure helmets are worn at all times whilst riding as well as protective clothing,” he said.

“Also ensure your bike is road-worthy and check your brakes and tyres.”

Senior Sergeant Principe added that riders should assume other road users could not see them.

“Ride with your lights on at all times and take extra care at intersections,” he said.

He added that riders should always drive to the weather conditions as road surfaces could change.

The latest fatality was a 15-year-old boy who suffered severe head injuries after he was involved in an off-road motorcycle crash with his 15-year-old male cousin when their bikes collided head-on on October 5.

The other 15-year-old boy also received extensive injuries and was takento Busselton Hospital where he was thentransferred to Royal Perth Hospital for further treatment.

WA Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich addressed the State’s road toll this week, saying that more needed to be done.

“At the rate this is going it is going to be a shocking year for road fatals,” he said.

“It comes down to social conscience for drivers on our roads.”

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Kate Brien goes to New York to raise funds for Narromine

Generous Narromine resident, Kate Brien, is running the New York Marathon to raise money for the Narromine Cancer Support Group.
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Athletic Kate is venturing over to the United States at the end of the month to run the marathon she’s been waiting two years to run.

“Visiting New York has been a childhood dream for me and at the top of my bucket list. Another dream was to run the New York City Marathon in 2012 so I packed up my gear and headed over to the USA for a month’s holiday with my family and lived out my dreams,” she said.

Kate proved it wasn’t too easy to live out dreams, as the marathon was cancelled that year.

“I made it to New York, picked up my race day bib number and a few other things I needed from the Marathon Expo and it wasn’t long after that I was told the marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.

“The organisers didn’t think with so much devastation the marathon should go ahead.

“I was devastated myself and cried but I understood totally and vowed to come back and finish the job.”

Kate has decided this year is her year to run the marathon.

“This year is my year to live the final part of the dream, but I’m not only doing for myself, I’m running to raise funds for The Narromine Cancer Support Group,” she said.

To Kate, this is the perfect cause to fundraise for as they have helped out her family in the past.

“They are a wonderful group who helped us out at one time in our lives when we needed it and now I would like to repay some of their kindness by running this marathon in support of this wonderful charity in our little town,” she said.

The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world with more than 50,000 finishers in 2013.

The map below is where Kate will start her Marathon

Kate is calling on Narromine residents to sponsor her 42.2km run through one of the world’s most famous cities.

“If you would like to sponsor me you can make an online donation (by clicking here)or money can be dropped into the Narromine newsagents in an envelope with your name on it so I can add your name to the donations webpage or there is a money tin you can just pop money into,” she said.

“All the donations go straight to the Narromine Cancer Support Group.”

Kate is excited to finally run the race she’s been preparing for for more than two years.

“So after two long years waiting it’s now just under two weeks away and on November 2 I’ll be running my dream through the five boroughs of New York City,” she said. “I can’t wait! Thank you for your support!”

Send Kate you’re well wishes below.

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South West clean up champions

Hard at work: Yallingup Steiner School students assisted in the Tangaroablue beach clean up at Canal Rocks. MANY hands made light work at the tenth annual WA Beach Clean Up earlier this month.
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More than 1500 volunteers emerged on 120 beaches across the state on October 11 and 12 armed with gloves and clean up bags ready to make a difference.

South West marine conservation group Tangaroablue reported that lots of large items were found throughout the weekend, including a 200 kilogram pile of ropes and floats at Smiths Beach.

“Long lengths of rope seem to be a prevalent issue this clean up, especially in the South West,” WA co-ordinator Renee Mouritz said.

“Rope floating in the ocean is particularly dangerous to marine life; it has the potential to entangle marine animals and is also a hazard to boats and ships.”

A team of people will remove a section of tug boat rope that washed up at Injidup beach.

A full report will be available over the coming months at www.tangaroablue.org

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Diversity draws attention

Artistic visions: Visitors at last year’s art award exhibition.ENTRIES for the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award have flooded in, leaving organisers to sift through a record tally.
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A total of 616 artists submitted pieces to be judged across several categories.

After careful consideration, 397 artists were selected as finalists, including more than 100 primary and high school students.

Campbelltown Arts Centre director Michael Dagostino said the awards had attracted at least 100 more entries than usual. “It’s great to see a diversity of entries across all categories,” he said.

“We are very excited to be exhibiting double the amount of primary and secondary students’ art works this year.”

The Fisher’s Ghost Art Award offers artists a chance to present their work alongside their peers by displaying their work to more than 3000 very interested visitors.

Artists of all ages are competing for a $20,000 prize.

They also vie for the contemporary, drawing and print making and traditional awards, which all attract $3000 in prize money.

The photographer and sculptor judged the best will each be awarded $1000 and the Macability Award winner will get $500 and a teacher for 10 hours to sharpen their skills.

The Fisher’s Ghost Art Award exhibition officially opens on October 31 at 7pm and will run from October 25 to December 14 at Campbelltown Arts Centre, 1 Art Gallery Road. Entry is free.

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