Monthly Archives: November 2018

Nov
21
  • Mayor wants drain ‘shock’ resolved

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    DRAIN PAIN: Truck driver Steve Pilcher and his family are one of eight households which may eventually fork out thousands to pay for the drainage upgrade. Picutre: DARREN HOWERelated:Households to pay flood money
    Nanjing Night Net

    MAYOR Peter Cox has said he understood the shockeight households would have felt when theywere told they may be asked to contributetens of thousands of dollars toward drainage upgrades this week.

    But Cr Cox moved to reassure the Strathfieldsaye homeowners that they would not be paying upfront, even if his colleagues decided to endorse the scheme.

    “I can understand it’s been a bit of a shock to people because they’re not thinking of selling or redeveloping andyet now they’ve got this potential–because there has been no decision made at this point– this potential that at some point in time they might have to contribute towards this drainage,” Cr Cox said.

    Eight families and two developers were told what they could be asked to contribute toward the Guys Hill Roadunderground storm water drainage system on Monday night, with estimates ranging from $14,953 to $136,621.

    The need for drainage upgrades arose after the catchment area was rezoned to Residential 1 in 2011–but the first residents learnt about it was at a meeting in late August.Two subdivisions have since been approved,despite it not having sufficient drainage infrastructure in place.

    “It is a difficult questionbecause, obviously, some people want to develop their properties sooner and others are quite happy as they are,”Cr Cox said.

    GROWTH DRAINS: Mayor Peter Cox says council needs to find ways to lay the seeds for future growth.

    “But theissue is that we’ve got to develop a drainage project for the whole area, not just for the two subdivision that will go ahead sooner rather than later, and I guess the question for council is: do we go ahead with those two subdivision and put a substandard drainage system that will have to be pulled out in years to come?

    “Or do we build a drainage system that will be able to cope with all the run-off that will occurwhen all the other blocks are developed over the next five, 10, 20 or30 years?”

    The proposed special charge scheme which the city took to the eight affected households in their first meeting on August 24 proposed council payan estimated $94,000 toward the drainage works,the two developers pay approximately $168,000 and the remaining costs – an estimated $288,000 – be divided among residents according to land area.

    However, the city would cover the resident’s costs until such time as they sold or subdivided their land.

    Councillors discussed the issue when they met Wednesday night based on feedback from the two residentmeetings.

    “We arestill very much in discussion and consultation phase and council will need to undertake further consultation with the residents,” Cr Cox said.

    Mayor Peter CoxThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Nov
21
  • Letters to the editor

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    BURNING ISSUE: Furious irrigators burn copies of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in Griffith in 2010. The issue remains deeply divisive.Stop the basin plan liesIT IS complete nonsense that current water allocations have anything to do with the basin plan and it is unfortunate that a small section of the irrigation community are trying to hoodwink people into believing it (“Stop the rot, stop the plan: irrigators”,Daily Advertiser, September 8).
    Nanjing Night Net

    Every year the amount of water available to entitlement holders is divided up using formulas written down in state water sharing plans.

    As Shelley Scoullar knows full well, the number of entitlements hasn’t changed and the formulas haven’t changed.

    The only change is that a small portion of those entitlements are now owned by the environment.

    It is impossible that the volume of allocation a farmer receives this year would have been any different without the basin plan.

    The two are simply not connected.

    To look at it another way, as at July 31, storages in the Murray and Murrumbidgee were nearly half full, holding a total of 5,529GL.

    Of that, only 326GL or 5.9 per centwas environmental water under the basin plan.

    And every drop of it is subject to the exact same allocation announcements that Ms Scoullar is complaining about.

    We should also keep in mind that in response to noisy campaigns like this, the federal government is pulling out of water buybacks and instead putting $2.5 million a day into the bank accounts of irrigators in the Murray-Darling basin through generous subsidy programs like the On-Farm Efficiency Program.

    Public money is paid to these private businesses to upgrade their irrigation equipment so they can produce food andfibre with less water.

    And not only do irrigators get potentially millions of dollars’ worth of new technology, as a bonus they get to keep half the water that is saved.

    In exchange for this generous subsidy, the government returns the other half of the water to the river, so we can all benefit from improved water quality, abundant native fish populations and healthy red gum parks and forests.

    The results of a few years of looking after the river are starting to bear fruit.In 2013-14, environmental water that had been bought back from farmers was released in the Goulburn River, triggering a successful breeding of golden perch and silver perch, two threatened species.

    This wouldn’t have been possible without returning to the river some of the water that had previously been taken for irrigation. Governments must keep to the task of implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to safeguard the river system – which is the lifeblood of the nation, sustaining and supporting millions of Australians – before the next big drought hits.

    Jonathan La NauzeAustralian Conservation FoundationPlan an abject failureIT’S great to see the health initiatives from our federal health minister, Sussan Ley, including the DIY health checks that she announced this week.

    Unfortunately there’s a health check that Ms Ley seems to have forgotten, which happens to be in her own electorate.

    Remember us, Sussan?

    We’re the ones who elected you.

    Our region’s health is rapidly deteriorating because you have failed to support the food producers on which the regional economy relies.

    We, too, need a serious health check.

    All we are asking for is a fair go and a reasonable share of water so we can grow crops. Do you remember that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was supposed to provide a triple bottom lineresult, delivering equally to the environment, economy and people?

    In this respect it has been an abject failure and we would welcome some attention to try and right this wrong.

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

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Nov
21
  • Police briefs: Stolen X Box, plus alcohol

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    Canobolas Local Area Command Police BriefsPolice are investigating a report of a break and enter where an Xbox and alcohol was stolen. The incident occurred between 6.30pm on Friday 4 September and 10am on Saturday, September 5 in Coota St.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Jewellery, play station stolen

    Police are investigating a report of a break and enter where jewellery and play station was stolen. The incident occurred between 2pm on Saturday, September 5 and 2pm on Monday, September 7 in Evans St.

    Two generators stolen

    Police are investigating a report of a break and enter where two generators were stolen. The incident occurred over the last couple of weeks in Cowra Rd, Cowra.

    Pot plants stolen, fence damaged

    Police are investigating a report of a stealing and malicious damage where some pot plants were stolen and a colour bond fence was damaged. The incidents have occurred over the last couple of weeks in Mulyan St.

    Malicious damage

    Police are investigating a report of a malicious damage were a colour bond fence panel was damaged. The incident occurred between 2.15pm and 3.15pm on Monday, September 7.

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

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Nov
21
  • Essential Energy blames regulator’s cut: Jobs “surplus unfunded”

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    The jobs of two electricity workers in Cowra are described as “surplus unfunded” in a press release issued this week announcing Essential Energy redundancies.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The jobs are among 700 job cuts announced in what is described as phase 1.

    A further 695 jobs will go in phase 2.

    Jobs will also be lost at Bathurst (18), Blayney (2), Canowindra (1), Forbes (3), Orange (4), and Parkes (1).

    Essential Energy deputy chief executive officer Gary Humphreys said the job cuts are a consequence of the regulatory determination by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

    “We must now commence a significant period of transformation to safely align our workforce with the AER’s cuts to our capital and operating programs for 2014-19,” Mr Humphreys said.

    He said the regulator’s 30 per cent cut in operating expenditure had left Essential Energy without funding for an estimated 1,395 positions from 1 July 2015 – costing the business approximately $15 million per month.

    “Following an extensive review of business operations, Essential Energy has provided details to employees and the unions around the number of proposed unfunded positions in the first phase of workforce reductions required for our business to remain sustainable,” he said.

    “A period of consultation with potentially impacted employees has begun and will continue over coming weeks to explain processes and how they may affect individuals.”

    The 700 positions proposed in this first phase cover all Essential Energy regions and employee categories, and include a 20 per cent reduction in senior management positions. Almost 300 of the reductions comprise employees who have elected to take a voluntary redundancy.

    A second phase of reductions of a further 695 positions will be assessed once the outcome of Essential Energy’s appeal of elements of the AER’s determination is known. This is expected in late 2015.

    “Our revised regulatory proposal submitted to the AER in January this year had proposed a sensible three-year transitional approach, utilising natural attrition and further productivity improvements to reduce our costs to customers. However, the AER rejected this and backdated the funding cuts to 1 July 2014, leaving 1,395 positions unfunded. Essential Energy’s network charges to customers reduced by an average of $313 per annum on 1 July 2015,” he said.

    “As a consequence, we’ve got to start operating our business within the AER’s funding constraints and with fewer employees, while maintaining network safety and reliability and delivering a satisfactory level of service to our customers.

    “These proposed workforce reductions are regrettable yet unavoidable. We appreciate this is a difficult time for all Essential Energy employees and are committed to treating them with the highest level of respect and support throughout this process.”

    A new Essential Energy regional structure and other organisational changes – including the proposed consolidation of 10 under-utilised depots identified as surplus to business requirements – were also announced.

    Mr Humphreys and his Executive team will hold briefing sessions with more than 3,200 employees across the State from next week to provide further information about the business transformation and provide an opportunity for feedback and questions.

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

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Nov
21
  • Perfect pairs: ladies stepping out of the shadows at Orange Tigers

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    COUPLES RETREAT: Simon Kay, Dale Hunter, Jayarna Kay and Kristen Hunter have the unique opportunity of winning a grand final together on Saturday. Photo: MATT FINDLAY 0909mftigcouple1AUSTRALIAN RULES
    Nanjing Night Net

    BEHIND every great man, there’s a great woman.

    That’s how the old saying goes, and it could not be truer for the Orange Tigers in 2015.

    For Simon Kay and Dale Hunter, it’s their respective wives Jayarna and Kristen.

    The two men are a part of the Tigers’ top grade side, in search of its third straight Central West AFL title, but Saturday’s grand finals provide the pair a far more unique opportunity than just claiming a three-peat.

    They’ve got the chance to win a title alongside Jayarna and Kristen, who will play their own grand final for the Orange Tigerettes.

    That’s special.

    “Happy wife, happy life isn’t it? If they win then we can be happy in our game,” Simon laughed.

    “I think the ladies’ game will be more nerve-wracking than us running out or playing,” Dale said.

    “It’d be really incredible to see the ladies get up, in their first year they’ve shown so much interest and put together a team of 18 players in the last few months,” Simon added.

    “It really is amazing.”

    The Tigers have long been a family-oriented club, but the Tigerettes’ establishment this season has given the women around the club a chance to do more than just play a role off the field, and a number of them jumped at the chance to do so.

    Mrs Kay and Mrs Hunter, in particular, have dominated.

    “It is great, it’s really good on the weekends to be able to get together and share a common interest,” Simon said.

    “For 10 years I’ve been bringing my partner and my family to football to watch and now she can play too and be involved. It’s good, she has the same mood swings I do about football now,” Dale laughed.

    For Jayarna and Kristen, it’s about more than just playing.

    “I just like the spotlight being on me for once,” Kristen laughed.

    “And being able to get more touches than our partners,” Jayarna smiled.

    “Yeah, it becomes a bit of a competition to see who can get more disposals, or goals,” Kristen laughed.

    “What comes with [playing] is extra passion, having watched the boys for so many years and seen the love and dedication they have,” Jayarna explained.

    “That’s made us so much more eager to win our premiership.

    “We’ve also been able to see the boys grow, and develop as a team and I think it’s really helped us this year. Having that bonding aspect has helped us turn into a better side as well.”

    Both the Tigers and Tigerettes take on the Bathurst Bushrangers on Saturday at Country Club Oval, starting at 2.30pm and 1.30pm respectively.

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

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