Work starts on Laura to Gladstone Road upgrade

Work has started on a $1.2 million upgrade of almost three kilometres of the Laura to Gladstone Road as part of the state government’s road maintenance program.
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The works will involve reconstructing and widening the road.

Regional Development Minister and Member for Frome Geoff Brock said the long-awaited improvement to a section of the road will finally be receiving long-overdue attention.

“This road is a very important section to the north part of the state and is utilised by not only locals and the grain industry but also ever increasing road users accessing opportunities in regional towns,” he said.

“I have lobbied hard for improvement to the roads across the electorate of Frome and it is pleasing to see another arterial road being improved by the government.”

A total cost of $3.5 million is estimated for the project works. The first stage is expected to be completed by June.

Mr Brock has asked that periods of school holidays and grain harvesting time be avoided as much as possible to reduce incident opportunities and have the least interruptions to our communities.

The works form part of Mr Brock’s agreement with the Weatherill-led Labor Party, to help them form government at the 2014 state election.

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

10,000 and counting: rates petition off to Parliament

NO RATE RISE: The business community, councillors Liz Innes and Milton Leslight and resident Patricia Hellier present 10,268 signatures opposing the proposed rate rise to Bega MP Andrew Constance. A PETITION against a proposed Eurobodalla rate rise is guaranteed to be debated in the NSW Parliament, Bega MP Andrew Constance says, after it received more than 10,000 signatures.
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Resident Patricia Hellier, on behalf of Ian Hitchcock, presented the petition to the NSW Treasurer on Monday.

Eurobodalla Shire councillors Milton Leslight and Liz Innes and members of the business community also attended the hand over in support of the petition.

About 30 people gathered on the foreshore with a box containing petition sheets with 10,268 signatures.

Mr Constance said he, as a ratepayer, opposed the 6.5 per cent special rate variation which the Eurobodalla Shire Council was seeking through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

“I was horrified to get a letter, unsigned from council, which said they had to lift rates,” Mr Constance said.

“Our rate base cannot afford the type of proposal on the table.

“It is still at a level that is unjustifiable.”

IPART is expected to rule on council’s submission in mid-May.

The NSW Government is in caretaker mode and MPs elected on March 28 are due to take their seats in Parliament in early May.

Mr Constance said he would indicate to IPART that this was an “absurd” proposition with “no justification”.

“I am calling on council to absolutely put a hold on this, because Parliament doesn’t go back until early May,” he said.

“Go back to the drawing board and fix this proposal.

“The community is at a disconnect here.”

He said Parliament was bound to debate the matter.

“This will automatically trigger a debate in Parliament,” he said.

“If you table more than 10,000 signatures on a petition, we have to have a Parliamentary debate.”

He could not recall a larger petition.

“I can’t remember a petition of this size ever in this area.

“There was just over 5000 for the Local Environment Plan, (LEP).

“There has been nothing of this magnitude.”

Mr Constance called on council to reverse its submission for a rate rise to IPART.

“I hope the council will reverse this,” he said.

“They don’t have to progress this; they can pull it at anytime.

“They could pull this now and they should.”

Councillor Milton Leslight, a driving force behind the petition, said it was a statement from the community.

“It is a great example of showing that the community has had enough,” he said.

“They aren’t being listened to.”

Asked by the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner if some petitioners may have signed more than once, Cr Leslight said that was “very likely”.

“It is very likely there may be doubles, because you have people who are passionate about this issue,” he said.

“We won’t know until we go through it.”

The petition rejected a rate rise of any size.

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

Outright victory for East Bowral seconds

East Bowral’s second grade cricket team won its minor semi-final on the weekend. Photo: FDCCRICKET
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KEVIN Hill picked up six wickets to guide East Bowral’s second grade side to victory on the weekend.

Hill was a standout as his side recorded an outright win over Wingello in the minor semi-final at Tourist Road Oval.

East Bowral batted first and scored 8/223 from its allotted 50 overs. Jamie Stevenson top scored with 74 and support was provided by Nick Bell (49).

In reply, Wingello’s momentum was halted by an in-form Hill.

Hill took 4/28 and Andrew Dowe and Rhys McDonald picked up two wickets each as Wingello was bowled out for 80 runs.

With a lead of 143 runs, East Bowral captain Luke Neylan decided to enforce the follow-on.

Wingello fared better in its second innings, but was bowled out for 165 in 40 overs.

Hill, Trent Woods and Dowe took two wickets apiece.

Chasing just 28 runs to win, East Bowral only lost one wicket in the process. Neylan said a solid batting performance set up the victory.

“We share it around – if we struggle at the start, someone will get us out of trouble later.”

Neylan said Wingello deserved credit for putting in a gutsy effort.

“They were short a few players because the club was in the first, second and third grade finals.”

East Bowral now faces a sudden-death preliminary final this weekend against Mittagong.

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Cyclone Pam aftermath: Hurstville firies in Vanuatu emergency services return home

Cyclone Pam aftermath: Hurstville firies in Vanuatu emergency services return home Picture: NSW Urban Search & Rescue Task Force AUS-2 Facebook
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Relief: Fire and Rescue NSW officers make final preparations before leaving for Port Vila. Picture: Fire and Rescue NSW.

Relief: Fire and Rescue NSW officers make final preparations before leaving for Port Vila. Picture: Fire and Rescue NSW.

TweetFacebookThere are 42 firefighters, six paramedics, a police officer, an Emergency Management Australia member, two doctors and two engineers.

They will work on clearing critical infrastructure especially the old Port Vila Hospital, severely damaged by cyclone Pam.

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the taskforce was in a good position to respond to the recovery effort.

“I am proud FRNSW can help the people of Vanuatu in their hour of need,” he said.

“The fire engines, firefighting protective clothing and equipment in use in Vanuatu are ones which we donated, so we already have a close bond with the emergency services in that country.”

The taskforce is taking several tonnes of equipment including tents, drinking water, food and generators and can be self-sufficient for up to 14 days.

This is what Vanuatu’s capital Vila looks like right now. Our appeal: http://t.co/gCbeuypYbRpic.twitter南京夜网/lOOzbrYLrP

— Australian Red Cross (@RedCrossAU) March 16, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Volunteers are popping bubble of social isolation

Happy: Rosemary, Christine and Susan playing a game of ‘Trouble’ as part of the Community Visitors Scheme. photograph tom morrisonLATROBE Valley residents are being urged to volunteer 30 minutes of their time each fortnight, and visit those in the community who may feel socially isolated.
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The MS Community Visitors Scheme has been running for more than 20 years, but program coordinator Rosemary Joiner said more volunteers were needed in Gippsland.

Across the region there are about 70 volunteers visiting 100 people, who are mainly elderly, in aged care homes and do not have family nearby.

Ms Joiner said the program, run by Multiple Sclerosis in Victoria, aimed at reducing social isolation in older people or those in assisted-living facilities.

“It’s all about that social contact, it’s not about running bingo – it’s all about the social connection for that person,” Ms Joiner said.

“That’s why we match volunteers directly with that one person, so they know that person is there to see them and they can form a special friendship between the two of them.”

Ms Joiner, who has been involved in the federally-funded program for two years, recruits volunteers from all walks of life, including young mothers, full-time workers and retired people.

She said there was no shortage of people “becoming more isolated”, with the more than 20 aged care homes she works with, increasingly contacting her for visitors.

“I’m finding the need is definitely increasing,” Ms Joiner said.

“I’m really fearful people might see us out there and think they’re not the right person.

“We need someone with good communication skills, who has empathy and we also ask for commitment.”

Ms Joiner’s role involves matching volunteer visitors with a particular person, based on their interests, personality or age.

She recruits volunteers to visit Trafalgar, Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Newborough and Mirboo North, along with towns in Bass Coast, Baw Baw and South Gippsland regions.

Fifty-two year-old Christine Thomas has volunteered with the program for about 10 years.

An article in the local paper caught the Moe resident’s eye, and she’s been visiting people across Latrobe Valley ever since.

Ms Thomas, who works part-time, spends about an hour each week playing the board game ‘Trouble’ with 53 year-old Susan at Baptcare St Hilary’s Community in Morwell.

“Susan just loves my visits – she gets excited and the staff can always tell when I’m there, because the game is very noisy,” Ms Thomas said.

“I enjoy the regular contact and seeing the smile on her face.”

Ms Thomas urged the community to get involved, if for no other reason than friendship.

“Join for friendship – it’s an enjoyable time, you get to know a few other people,” Ms Thomas said.

If you would like to become a community visitor, visit www南京夜网munityvisitorsscheme.org.au, email [email protected] or phone on 9845 2729.

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