Watchdog to probe Australia Post over banning a post box for the disabled

Councillor Andrew Murat with his prototype drive-through post box.DISABILITY Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan will take up the cause for a drive-through street-posting box in Armidale with Australia Post.
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Ms Ryan will ask the service why it has ruled out installing the special box when its own accessibility action plan, launched two years ago, commits to providing accessible products and services to the disabled.

“Australia Post is not providing accessible post boxes to the disabled and I will be raising this matter with them,” Ms Ryan said yesterday.

Armidale Dumaresq Council has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition calling for the installation of the special post box, designed by councillor Andrew Murat.

Cr Murat has spent about $1000 of his own money completing the project.

The post box is aimed at letting disabled people mail letters and parcels from their cars.

But Australia Post has ruled out installing the special post box, claiming it held concerns about the practicality and safety of the installation and it may present a dangerous situation for posties trying to clear the mail.

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Wake Up, Wimmera: October 22

PIC OF THE DAY: Send your photos of the Wimmera to [email protected]南京夜网.au or tag us on Instagram @wimmeramailtimes and use the hashtag #wakeupwimmera to have your pic included! Picture: MATT COUGHLAN
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WEATHER

We’re in for a scorcher – or a lovely warm day depending on your preference. On the way to oneof the hottest days since last summer with 35 degrees expected.

FIVE YEARS AGO

HORSHAM Rural City Council will campaign forwater to flow into Burnt and Bungalally creeks.Cr David Grimble made an impassioned plea tothe council at Monday night’s meeting to take aninterest in the fight of Burnt Creek farmers, who lastweek called for water authorities to release anenvironmental flow down the rivers.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

CELEBRITY VISITOR: Star Sydney jockey Tommy Berry enjoyed a quick stopover in Donald at the start of the week. He is pictured with, from left, back, Debra French, his sister Sam Spencer and Kristy French; front, Sharni French. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“I’ve met a lot of jockeys and some of them are a bit stuck up, but he’s just lovely.” – Donald resident Debra French who was delighted to meet multiple Group 1-winning jockey Tommy Berry.

TOP STORIES

Horsham’s Coughlin Park will undergo a $1.46-million upgrade to improve amenities for a range of sporting and community groups.

UPGRADE: Coughlin Park Management Committee chairman Brendan Ryan, Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy, Coughlin Park Bowling Club president Judy Bryan, Father Peter Hudson, Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty, Horsham Saints Football Club president Roger Sordello and Horsham Saints Cricket Club president Tim Lannen. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Wimmera secondary students will partner with Horsham Regional Art Gallery to host three exhibitions in the next three years.

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Rologas Fields upgrade a win for city

Steve McMillan is happy to see upgrades for Rologas Fields. ARMIDALE Sports Council chairman Steve McMillan was thrilled to see upgrades for Rologas Fields announced.
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“Any improvements to sporting infrastructure I’m happy to see – soccer, touch and junior and senior cricket all use Rologas Fields,” he said.

Council will be moving forward with a $1 million upgrade to the field, with assistance from the NSW government.

The refurbishments will include new toilets and showers for both home and away teams, as well as other amenities.

Demon Knights president David Farmer said he was happy to see improvements which will allow visiting teams to clean up before heading home.

“It will be good to have facilities for them to have a shower and change before getting back on the bus,” he said.

“The change rooms as they are, you can’t fit a full team in there.”

Councillor Andrew Murat estimated the improvements would be finished in the first half of 2015.

Cr Murat said the upgrades would also serve to give a good impression of Armidale to visiting teams.

The NSW government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme helps by subsidising interest on loans to complete projects.

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Views sought on future of old bridge

THE Shoalhaven community is being invited to have a say on the future of the old Nowra Bridge.
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Planning is now under way for a new bridge over the Shoalhaven River which will enable highway traffic to be removed from the 133-year-old Nowra Bridge and improve traffic flow for motorists.

The NSW government has put $1.6 million into the project, with the federal government committing $10 million towards planning and design.

Possible outcomes for the old bridge once the new bridge is open to traffic include retaining it, relocating it either whole or in parts or removing it.

No decision has been made and in the next few months the community will be invited to provide ideas, feedback and submissions on what the old bridge could be used for or how it could be remembered if removed.

During October and November the Roads and Maritime Services project team will hold information displays at a number of locations and events in the area to talk to the community about possible outcomes and ideas.

Staffed displays will be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26 at the Shoalhaven River Festival, on Wednesday, November 12 from 5pm to 7.30pm at North Nowra Community Centre and on Saturday, November 22 from 10am to 1pm at the Nowra School of Arts.

The feedback collected will be one of a number of factors to guide the proposal for the future of the bridge.

Other factors to be considered include conservation of the heritage value of the old Nowra Bridge and the cost and feasibility of potential outcomes.

Feedback and submissions on the future of the old bridge will be accepted until Friday, December 19 to ensure the community has adequate time to provide its views.

Feedback can be provided in person at the displays, by post PO Box 477, Wollongong, NSW 2500, email NowraBridgeProject @rms.nsw.gov.au, the information line on 1800 331 713, on Facebook at www.facebook 南京夜网/PrincesHighwayUpgrade or complete an online survey at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/nowrabridge.

A proposal is expected to be available for community comment in the first half of next year.

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Batters star in great game of softball

PHOENIX Hanson beat Phoenix Enduro in a quality game of softball on Saturday.
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Hanson won 10-8 in round two of the Camden Haven Port Macquarie Softball Association at Findlay Park with some strong batting the highlight of the match.

With Enduro’s new pitcher away, Rowena Meers stepped back into the position and she was well backed by her team.

Strong batting by Clare Hayes, Kristy Chant, Jackie Darcey and Jenny Clark took Phoenix Hanson to a good early lead.

By the fourth inning Hanson led by five runs and were holding well.

The teams were even in the field with only eight players on each side. In the fifth inning Enduro’s strong batting changed the scoreboard by adding four runs to close the gap between the two teams.

Hanson’s batters put another three runs across home plate, taking the score to 10-6.

With pressure on Phoenix Hanson to keep the lead in the last innings Enduro were unable to put the runs on the board with Hanson eventual winners in a great game of softball.

In the other scores of the day, Finnians beat Forster Lakers 8-1 and Diamonds beat Macleay 18-3.

Table: Phoenix Finnians 4, Diamonds 2, P Enduro 2, P Hanson 2, Forster Lakers 2, Wauchope Bago Tavern 2, Macleay 2

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League presidents look to 2015

Men in charge: Geoff Kelly is the Port City Breakers president while Phil Trembath is at the Sharks’ helm.PORT City Breakers president Geoff Kelly already looks forward to 2015.
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Kelly wants the club to put a difficult 2014 behind it and move on to next season.

He has a strong vision of what next season will look like. The Breakers’ first graders will help the future of the club out and family will be firmly on the agenda again.

Kelly wants to attract more juniors to the club and rugby league. He plans to have the kids take to the park ahead of the Breakers’ biggest matches this season.

Juniors will take to the field ahead of games against the Wauchope Blues, Port Sharks and Forster Tuncurry Hawks.

“We want to have kids from six to 16 playing on the back field [at the Regional Stadium],” Kelly said.

Training days are on the cards, too, with the seniors playing a role in helping the kids out.

“A lot of seniors will be involved with the juniors,” Kelly said.

Kelly has a strong committee to help him out. Dudley Millard is the vice president, Peter Hesse the secretary and Annette Rae the treasurer.

Ben Sprague will coach the side.

Trembath stuck his hand up to take the Sharks’ reins after Peter Cooke decided to have a spell.

Mick Cudmore is the vice president. Sharon Brock is secretary and Kim Trembath the treasurer.

The committee has hit the ground running. The club has already met with a couple of potential reserve grade coaches.

The Sharks’ retention committee has resigned most of last season’s crop of players, and Trembath is excited.

Matt Shipway has come back into the fold to coach the team.

Trembath said the club has a strong forward pack to work with.

“We need [to recruit] a decent centre, in my opinion,” he said.

“But there are already some pretty handy players at this club.

“We’ve got a strong forward pack.”

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Cowra police: thefts, assaults, trespass mar weekend

News in from the Cowra police station. FILE PHOTOCowra’s police were kept busy over the weekend with a number of incidents being reported.
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A 36 year old man has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he allegedly punched a 76 year old man to the head, causing him to fall on to the ground.

The alleged incident happened at around 4.40pm on Friday afternoon, in front of police who were patrolling the area.

The 36 year old was arrested as he crossed the road immediately following the incident, and was conveyed to Cowra Police Station. He has received conditional bail and is to appear in Cowra Local Court on Wednesday, November 5.

An ambulance was called for the victim who was taken to Cowra Hospital with lacerations to the back of his head and a concussion.

At around 11.50 on Friday night police were flagged down in Kendal Street by security. A window had been smashed on a Kendal Street premises, no entry was gained to the building as the window, which was damaged beyond repair, did not cave in.

In the early hours of Saturday morning trespassers gained access to the Cowra Swimming Pool. No damage was done to the premises, however the blanket, used to keep the pool warm at night had been peeled back.

At around 9am on Sunday morning a 42 year old male entered a shop on Redfern Street, police were called after staff at the business saw the man acting suspiciously.

Police spoke to the man before searching his backpack, locating a power tool inside. The man was conveyed to Cowra Police Station where he was issued a court attendance notice for stealing.

There was a report of stealing made from a location on Hartley Street, according to the caller four GPS dog collars were stolen between October 1 and October 18.

Another report of stealing came from a home on Appin Way. The occupant believes a power tool was stolen from their garage sometime between October 13 and 16, however admitted to Police that the garage was left unlocked during that time.

If you have any information which may be able to assist police with their investigations please call Cowra Police Station on 63415099.

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Monaros fill Tanunda Oval

MONARO FANS: Jye and Nate Gordon from Willaston enjoying the Rare Spares Show ‘n’ Shine event.Theninth biennial Monaro Nationals were held in the Barossa Valley last week from October 17 to 20, which included a huge turnout at Tanunda for the Rare Spares Show ‘n’ Shine event on Saturday.
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Over 260 Monaros filled the Tanunda Oval and a crowd of around 4000 enjoyed the day’s offerings, much to the organisers’ delight.

The nationals also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Holden HJ Monaro.

Organiser, John Newton said, “We were really pleased with how well the Rare Spares Show ‘n’ Shine went with the amount of cars, visitors, trade stalls, and kids’ corner and the entrants were certainly happy with the weather.

A line up of HJ GTS Monaros.

“A lot of the visiting Monaros came from Western Australia and Victoria, with this being their first trip to the region, and they were blown away.

“They said the region was a ‘hidden jewel’ and many invested energy and time at the wineries, on tours and got a good taste of the Barossa.

A 1969 HT ‘Kermit’ green Monaro on show at the event.

A broad range of Monaros were on show from original cars to show cars, which were highly modified.

After the event, a large number of the Monaros were driven to Kapunda to join in the Scase Automotive Show ‘n’ Shine event during the evening.

With the help of sponsors such as Rare Spares, Shannons Insurance, Winner Products Premium Interiors and Echuca Service Centre, the event certainly impressed car lovers.

Other sponsors that contributed include Livewire Solar and Electrical, Pacemaker Headers, Kies Winery, ULX110 Proven Custom Blend Oils, HKTG Parts Recovery, CA Schulz & Son, U Pull It Auto Recyclers, Redwood Classic Cars, The Dent-itian, Redwood on Target Fabrications and Concours and Custom Restoration.

The next Monaro Nationals will be held in a region of New South Wales (yet to be confirmed), and will be back in South Australia in 10-years time to another regional area.

FULL HOUSE: A snapshot of a some of the 260 odd Monaros on show at the Tanunda Oval at the Rare Spares Show ‘n’ Shine event held last Saturday.

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Shellharbour City Hub could cost millions more

An artist’s impression of the Shellharbour City Hub.TheStop the Hub community group estimates conditions placed on the approval of the Shellharbour City Hub development have added at least $2million in costs to what is currently a $57million project.
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Stop the Hub convener Dianne Quinlin said to put that into perspective, Shellharbour City Council recently sold the former council chambers and administration building at Warilla for $2million.

‘‘What was a folly is now an even more expensive folly,’’ Ms Quinlin said.

On Monday the southern Joint Regional Planning Panel approved the development application for the city hub, but not before imposing some strict conditions relating to flood mitigation works and car parking on the project.

As a result the council will need to make room for 24 additional car spaces within the development before consent is granted.

Shellharbour Council general manager Michael Willis said it was ‘‘premature’’ for anyone to speculate on the impact on the project budget or how specific works may be carried out.

‘‘We have an expert team who are experienced in projects of this size and nature, and they will provide professional advice,’’ Mr Willis said.

“This [approval] is a welcome step forward for this significant project.’’

Mr Willis said the council would work through each condition to determine how the hub design might need to be modified.

‘‘With any development approval there is likely to be conditions, and we will now look at the best approach to meeting each condition.’’

Mr Willis said the council had made it clear that a final decision on proceeding with the hub would be made by the elected councillors, subject to funding certainty for the project.

The Stop the Hub Group said the extra car spaces would need to be supplied by either by blasting further into the rock base or by altering the architecture of the administration building.

Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh believed the extra cost would be closer to $2.5million, which would be covered by the sale of more council assets.

Ms Quinlin said that at the same time as the Warilla administration building was sold, the neighbouring Warilla library was also sold for $2million.

‘‘Citizens are now paying $147,000 leasing costs for the Warilla Library with the cost of a replacement unfunded, to be built at an unknown location, in an even more uncertain time frame,’’ Ms Quinlin said.

‘‘The vast majority of the citizens of this city think the City Hub is a waste of money…the bureaucratic process that has permitted the City Hub to continue is an indictment of this process and local government.’’

Related storiesShellharbour City Hub clears hurdleCouncillors at war over hub land saleCity Hub: waste or worthwhile?This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Armidale woman defrauded friend

A TRUSTED friend who embezzled more than $9000 from a sick 77-year-old pensioner will spend at least nine months behind bars.
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In sentencing Megan Griffen in Armidale Local Court on Monday Magistrate Karen Stafford said the crime was deplorable as Griffen was herself a pensioner.

“You are on a Commonwealth pension and a [doctor’s report] shows you also have health problems,” Magistrate Stafford said. “What’s worse is you stole from someone in your position, only she was worse off.”

The court heard Griffen wrote six cheques to herself from $800 to $2600 between August and November last year.

This money came from the elderly victim’s bank account which held her pension funds and her late husband’s superannuation.

The victim had been in and out of hospital during the time of the fraud did not know the money had been taken until her son, her power of attorney, noticed the discrepancy in the account.

Griffen originally pleaded not guilty to six counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

She changed her plea on the day of the hearing, in which the victim, two police officers and staff from the credit union attended to give evidence.

Defence solicitor Stan Kozera urged the magistrate to allow his client to serve her sentence in the community, allowing her to pay $100 a week until she could pay back what she stole.

Magistrate Stafford said Griffen was convicted of 11 fraud charges in 2004 in which she was required to pay compensation.

“She was ordered to pay $6000 [back] and not one cent was made to the victim or victims.

“Why should I give her a chance when she didn’t pay any of the money back last time?”

Griffen was sentenced to 12-months imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months and will be eligible for release on July 19, 2015.

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