Police hunt two men after Ballan Train Station burglary

01/07/2018 Posted by admin

Police tape cordons off area where burglars forced entry. PICTURE: David JeansPOLICE are hunting two men who broke into the Ballan train station and left empty handed.
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Police were at the scene on Monday to investigate an attempted burglary where it is believed two men broke into the station just after 6am.

It is believed the men forced entry to the station through an entrance door before smashing a counter window.

The train station remained closed on Monday as police investigated the scene.

Police say the men left empty handed and that the Myki machine was not damaged.

Police tape cordoned off the station-side entrance where it appeared the door lock had been damaged.

The station remained closed on Monday and the station master said he could not make any comment on the incident.

Police tape cordons off area where burglars forced entry. PICTURE: David Jeans

Police tape cordons off area where burglars forced entry. PICTURE: David Jeans

V/Line spokesperson Ebony Jordan confirmed a break-in had occurred at the station on Monday morning, however said it was not known when the station would reopen.

“V/Line is assisting police with their investigations following a break in at the Ballan Station in the early hours of this morning,” Ms Jordan said.

“We will work with the police to determine when the station reopens.”

Moorabool Police Crime Investigation Unit are urging any witnesses to contact Bacchus Marsh police station on 5366 4500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police tape cordons off area where burglars forced entry. PICTURE: David Jeans

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Oh brother, what a week for Old Boys

01/07/2018 Posted by admin

BOY, what a week.Old Boys allrounder Aaron Hazlewood completed an amazing few days by helping his club side to the top of the Tamworth first grade premiership and one-day tables as well as as lifting a War Veterans Cup trophy on Sunday and all after helping celebrate younger brother Josh’s brilliant Test debut against India at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.
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Old Boys skipper Ben Middlebrook plays forward in Sunday’s War Veterans Cup Final. The victory was part of a big week for the club. 211214GOA02

“It was a pretty good week for us,” Aaron said after Old Boys had beaten North Tamworth by 45 runs to win Sunday’s War Veterans Cup Final at No 1 Oval.

It had all started so well last week when the Australian selectors named former Old Boy player Josh in the 12 to tackle India in the Second Test at the Gabba.

It got better when the 23-year-old former “Bendy Boy” was named in the team and then handed his “baggy green” Australian cap by Test great Glenn McGrath last Tuesday morning.

The Hazlewood family was elated and proud – dad Trevor admitted to “doing handstands in the grandstand”.

Adding to that excitement was Josh taking 5-68 on debut, one of 16 Australians and emulating such greats as Dennis Lillee.

“It was awesome,” Aaron said.

“We had three days in Brisbane, Josh makes his debut, takes five wickets and also scores 32 not out.”

He also added another two wickets in the second innings to make it seven for the match, Australia wins by four wickets as well and he is confirmed in the side to play the Third Test, the famous Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from Friday.

It doesn’t get much better than that, Aaron said.

However, it did.

He comes home from Brisbane and opens the batting in Saturday’s one-day first grade clash with North Tamworth and scores 31.

He then takes the new ball and claims 3-14 from his seven overs to help steer Old Boys to a 21-run win over North Tamworth in their top of the table clash and leapfrog the Redbacks in both the premiership and one-day standings.

If that’s not good enough, the umpires award him the three points in the Best and Fairest Award, enabling the allrounder to shoot four points clear at the top of that table.

Then to wash it all down on Sunday, he sits back and watches teammates Simon Norvill (159) and Adam Lole (98) put on a third wicket stand of 280 to steer the side to 3-288 in the War Veterans Cup final.

He then takes 1-39 from his nine overs to celebrate his club’s first War Veterans Cup.

“It was a very good week,” he said.

“Norvs and Lolly set it up today.

“Adam Greentree bowled pretty well for them too early on (2-5 off 10) but we win our first WVC. How good’s that.”

Pretty good, Old Boys skipper Ben Middlebrook reckoned.

“I’m really proud of all the boys,” Middlebrook said after Sunday’s victory.

“It’s been a good week for the club, with Josh making his debut.

“We didn’t bat very well Saturday but were much better today.

“Simon and Adam did bat well to put on 280. They did give a few chances early on but once they got going it was great to watch.”

He also added North Tamworth skipper Michael Rixon also batted extremely well for his 98 from 96 balls.

Young spinner Will Chesterfield also came in for some praise.

North Tamworth had started its WVC Final run chase solidly but Chesterfield’s introduction not only dried up the runs but he claimed the wickets of opener Glenn Lewington (21) and batting star Kris Halloran (7), both caught at slip by Lole, and then had Joe Holt well caught by young Chris Coulton.

Chesterfield finished with the fine figures of 3-39 from his 10 overs.

“He did bowl extremely well during those middle overs,” Middlebrook said.

“Will and Aaron also bowled well but all the boys stuck to their job. Made us all proud today.”

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Steve Rutten is longboarders’ club champion for 2014

01/07/2018 Posted by admin

WILL BE MISSED: Neale Ashby said farewell to the Mollymook Longboarders at their last competition for 2014 on Saturday. Photos: LISA HARDWICK MOLLYMOOK Reef was the venue for the Mollymook LongboardersDecember contest, with nothing breaking at HQ at the usual assembly time.
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The Reef wasn’t exactly pumping, but there were enough contestable waves available, and prospects for Sunday didn’t favour a postponement, particularly as the 2014 presentation night was scheduled for Saturday. There was a healthy roll-up that included the club’s first potential junior member in over three years, Louie Pantelic from Broulee, who came with his own supporters group.

The contest also was the last for Neale Ashby, who has been transferred to the mid-North coast.

Young Louie, with grommet enthusiasm to burn, got off to a great start with a clear win in his first round heat.

Rob Maher, Adam Maher, and Steve Rutten were the other heat winners with progression direct to the semis.

In the first repechage round Neale Ashby couldn’t buy a wave in his heat, and he bowed out in his lowest ever finishing position; memorable for the wrong reasons.

Phil Schoer, who suffered similarly in his first round heat, found plenty of waves in his first rep heat and progressed easily to the second round. Tony Loves picked up the highest scored wave of the contest in his first rep round heat, which put him way ahead of the pack.

In the same heat Richard Austen came close to besting Greg Furmage for second place with much improved riding from his earlier heat, but he missed out in a split result, giving Greg passage into the second rep round.

SURF’S UP: Phil Schoer at the Mollymook Longboarders December competition.

In the second rep round, the hard luck stories continued with Ross Tomsen unable to find any decent scoring waves and failing to progress to the semis for the first time since 2012.

Bruce Metham also failed to progress from his heat, but Mike Greentree did, maybe the result of karma after a minor bingle when Bruce’s board skinned Mike Greentree’s leg; the second time in club contests when Mike has come off second best with a fin at the Reef.

In an earlier heat Rod Dale’s dismount in the shore break had shortened his board by about a foot.

Paul Hoyer gave a hint of what was to eventuate when he emulated Tony Loves and scored a “heat winner” wave to easily progress to the semis from his second rep round heat.

Unfortunately Tony couldn’t emulate his earlier self, or Paul, and was eliminated in his heat.

The success story was that of Mike Yule who progressed to his first semi since 2011, and riding a foamy to boot.

The two Phils also made the cut.

The usual late-morning deterioration in conditions that accompanies the finals made its presence felt as the first semi combatants paddled out. The scores in first semi were close with only 1.5 points separating first to sixth, and in a bit of a surprise, both Adam Maher and Steve Rutten were eliminated.

Greg Furmage’s usual waiting strategy paid off and he was clear winner, with Phil Schoer edging out Rod Dale for a berth in the final.

The second semi saw Louie a winner for the second time on the day with another enthusiastic effort and no lack of skill.

Ross Murphy was well ahead of third placed Rob Maher, who just squeezed in ahead of Mike Yule in a split result.

Greg Furmage caught only two waves in the final, but he set the benchmark with a high average score on his first wave, and had a similar score for his second wave that established a lead over the others until Paul Hoyer, in conditions that did not suit his powerful style, managed to find another “heat winner” with his last wave to pip Greg by 0.1 points.

In another blanket finish less than a point separated first to fourth with a wider gap to fifth and sixth.

Louie again went for it but his wave selection let him down.

Thanks to Geoff Barnett for contest administration.

Results: 1. Paul Hoyer, 2. Greg Furmage, 3. Ross Murphy, 4. Phil Schoer, 5. Rob Maher, 6. Louie Pantelic.

WAVE: Mike Greentree at the Mollymook Longboarders December contest.

THE 2014 presentation night was held at the Boardwalk Café in Ulladulla on Saturday, December 20.

Steve Rutten was announced as club champion, winning from Rob Maher by a mere three points, which is the difference between a placing in the top three in one contest final.

The top six for the season were: 1. Steve Rutten, 2. Rob Maher, 3. Ross Tomsen, 4. Neale Ashby, 5. Adam Maher, 6. Phil Cumming.

The Wil Maris memorial trophy for clubman of the year was won by Neale Ashby, who produced many memorable videos of club contests and the Charity Classic.

Southern Man Surf Shop generously donated the prizes, continuing unbroken support for the club since its inception.

THE next contest is scheduled for Saturday, February 21 after the holiday break.

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Oil price plunge sends petrol to four-year lows as Australia feels it at the pumps

17/07/2019 Posted by admin

A significant recovery in oil prices doesn’t look on the cards in the near term. Petrol in free-fall. It’s never been a better time to fill up.
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The spectacular fall in oil prices over 2014 is slowly trickling down to motorists, with the average retail price of unleaded petrol falling to a four-year low, CommSec says.

The price of Brent crude oil has slumped close to 40 per cent this year, as oil producing countries refuse to cut production output targets amid a global supply glut. In December alone, the oil price has dropped 14.7 per cent.

Figures from the Australia Institute of Petroleum showed that the national average Australian petrol price fell by 4¢ to $1.284 per litre. According to CommSec, the fall in petrol prices over the last month has been the biggest monthly decline in six years, with fuel now at a four-year low. The national average wholesale price was $1.144.

In the week to January 5, 2014, the national retail average for unleaded petrol was $1.587. It has now fallen 19.3 per cent. The wholesale price in the same period has dipped 22.9 per cent.

The margin on retail fuel prices has actually increased during a time when the oil price has fallen close to 40 per cent. The difference between wholesale and retail prices in January was 9.8¢, but is now 14¢.

In the week to December 21, average retail prices in Sydney were $1.212, Canberra was $1.443m Brisbane was $1.27, Adelaide $1.162, Perth  $1.254m, Darwin  $1.487 and Hobart  1.427.

A significant recovery in oil prices doesn’t look on the cards in the near term, with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, again ruling out production cuts over the weekend.

“If they want to cut production they are welcome: we are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut,” Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said.

With more competing sources of oil from outside OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries), especially from US shale, the battle of market share is pressuring prices.

Without OPEC intervention the market risks further imbalances.

Last week, Morgan Stanley cut their base case forecast for Brent crude next year from $US98 a barrel to $US70 per barrel. In its bear scenario, it saw oil hitting as low as $US43 per barrel.

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The Tabcorp v TVN stoush explained

17/07/2019 Posted by admin

While the sheer mention of the Tabcorp-TVN dispute has the potential to glaze over the eyes of even the most interested of racegoers, the unrest caused by the breakdown of negotiations could have far wider ramifications than just whether race meetings are broadcast live or not.
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Last Thursday Tabcorp on behalf of Sky Racing walked away from the negotiating table in a strategic move leaving TVN to find another buyer for its rights. It had taken two long years to reach this offical stalemate.

The history of the complex deal harks back to 2006 when key racing administrators in Sydney and Melbourne were determined to claw back their rights from Sky Channel and establish their own production network and then onsell those rights to Sky Racing.

However what the industry has learnt is that independence comes at a cost. And that cost has been felt on many levels.

TVN has splurged millions of dollars on consultants and advisers, one of whom received $10,000 a month for six years, with his role being little more than to call in once a month to chat with staff.

Sky Channel are aware they are the only suitor in the market that requires racing vision rights. So they left the table last Thursday without the rights, or digital platforms, content that TVN had nowhere else to sell anyway.

The finger of blame for the lack of live TV coverage from Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday has been pointed at the Victorian clubs that have the rights.

The Melbourne Race Club, the Moonee Valley Racing Club, VRC, and country Racing Victoria are the owners of vision and media rights in this state.

Racing Victoria, meanwhile, are the supposed governing body of racing but in reality control the stewards and little more. It is a ludicrous structure that is completely at odds with other sporting bodies.

AFL, NRL, cricket, swimming, athletics and even harness racing and greyhounds have an overriding body that speaks on behalf of everyone in that sport.

The rights clearly should be held by the governing body but the clubs have given that idea the thumbs down, maintaining that losing the rights would undermine their power.

As things stand, even TVN chief Bruce Mann concedes that there is only one bidder for the rights, with suggestions Channel Seven and Foxtel were interested in stepping in believed to be wide of the mark. That possibility was raised by Fairfax Media last week, but NSW race club, the Australian Turf Club, is fiercely against that plan.

It seems there is as much chance of Seven and Foxtel taking hold of the rights as there is of next year’s Championships being staged on the Crookwell picnic race track.

There are some anti-Tabcorp protagonists in the upper echelons of Victorian racing who believe “the lucky shop” has too much say and too much clout and looms as a bully across Victoria and NSW.

However a lot of the executives who dislike Tabcorp need to realise that Australia’s biggest wagering arm puts food on the table for the industry.

A cheque is deposited for $250 million each season from the TAB to keep racing in the lofty lifestyle it enjoys.

And there are those who maintain TVN should become a small-time production house, because in effect racing in Victoria and NSW are paying $14 million for the privilege of having their own “independent” operation.

There is also the steadily growing debt from the purchase of newpapers Winning Post and Best Bets for $15 million to consider.

Inside Racing, the long-time industry publication in Victoria, also faces an uncertain future after its contract with Slattery Media expires.

In the coming weeks Sky Racing and TVN will no doubt find another short-term solution that papers over the cracks, largely because of pressure from state governments who are watching the situation closely.

And if Racing Victoria fails to wrestle back the rights back from the clubs, RVL will also come under pressure.

RVL currently pays a group of the most astute racing minds in the world to oversee racing in this state but at the end of the day the clubs decide on most facets of horse racing. And there are three of them, all squabbling over their patch.

One interstate observer said these clubs should only make sure the beer is cold and the pies are hot and let those better qualified run racing.

If RVL can take the vision and media rights back, and subsequently could stop NSW Racing from walking away from the TVN deal, they will solve several problems and walk tall and with some authority.

If not, and Racing NSW understandably believes two years is more than enough time to broker a deal and look to Tabcorp for a direct resolution, all bets will be off and so will the gloves. All in the name of so-called independence.

Mug’s guide to the TVN-TABCorp stoush

What are the sticking points? The dispute is broadly over the rights to broadcast NSW and Victorian vision domestically on pay TV and in pubs and clubs, internationally and on digital channels. Tabcorp are willing to pay $30 million a year for the rights on a long-term deal and TVN wants $40 million on a short-term deal.

Who owns Sky and TVN? SKY Racing is owned by Tabcorp and TVN is owned 50 per cent by the Australian Turf Club, which is the NSW racing club, with the other 50 per cent split between the three Melbourne race clubs and Country Racing Victoria

What is the history? Sky’s right to broadcast NSW and Victorian racing expired on December 17, but the standoff has been going on for two years.

What’s been the result for viewers? Since Saturday, Sky has been unable to broadcast NSW and Victorian racing, resulting in TVN having to modify its coverage to incorporate the NSW and Victorian country meetings. In terms of hotels and clubs, TVN facilitated its vision to go into those which have Foxtel. However, many venues, particularly in country areas do not have Foxtel and therefore were not able to access the vision. Sky sought to facilitate a solution using its infrastructure that would get the vision to all venues, however this was blocked by TVN and therefore many country pubs and clubs did not show NSW or VIC racing last Saturday. TVN will again have a wall-to-wall coverage of the NSW and VIC meetings on Boxing Day.

Can this be sorted out? Tabcorp appear to hold most of the aces and the best hope would appear to be Racing Victoria wresting control of the media rights from the three race clubs and dealing directly with the wagering company.

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Sydney Thunder not getting carried away despite impressive win, says Gurinder Sandhu

17/07/2019 Posted by admin

Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat: As it happened
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The Sydney Thunder dominated the Brisbane Heat in the best Thunder performance in over three seasons of Big Bash action. But fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu says this does not mean it will be smooth sailing for the rest of the tournament.

For Sandhu the season will be won on weekly performances.  “It was a great win,” Sandhu said. “We’re feeling good at the moment getting a good win out of the way and hopefully we have another good couple of training sessions this week and get another win against the Sixers and then we’ll keep going from there.”

After three seasons of heartache for the fans in lime green watching their side succumb to the wooden spoon in all three years, the perennial Big Bash underachievers finally gave their supporters reason to cheer on Sunday night.

They cruised to a 56-run victory over the Heat after a 160-run opening stand from Thunder veterans Mike Hussey and Jacques Kallis. They scored the bulk of an extremely competitive 208-run total, the equal fouth-highest total in Big Bash history.

“It was nice to watch Jacques and Huss get a few runs at the top of the order,” Sandhu said. “It was good just relaxing out on the bench, watching the show. It’s always good to get a few wickets and contribute to the win.”

On Saturday night the Thunder side go into battle with cross-town rivals the Sydney Sixers. “I think it will be a great game, the Sydney derby,” Sandhu said. “You know it could be anyone’s day on the day, so we just have to turn up and go through the processes and do our thing and hopefully we can come away with the result. Hopefully we can get them out early and go from there.”

Former Proteas all-rounder Kallis is the first player to hit 10,000 runs and take 200 wickets in both Tests and ODI matches – and although he has not had the chance yet, Sandhu is looking forward to picking the brains of the all-rounder.

“Haven’t learnt much from Jacques at the moment because I haven’t had a chance to talk to him much yet,” he said.

“Hopefully the next few sessions, I get in and ask him about batting and how he bats and, obviously he’s an all-rounder, so ask him about bowling as well.”

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Longreach restaurant in trouble for anti-Islamic sign

17/07/2019 Posted by admin

A Longreach restaurant placed a sign reading “Sorry No Muslims” outside its front doors. Photo: Helen DayA Longreach restaurant that placed a sign reading “Sorry No Muslims” outside its front doors has caused consternation on social media.
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Local Helen Day posted pictures of the chalkboard outside the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Grill on its Facebook review page last Friday.

“Just a bit surprised to see the sign up [reading] ‘Sorry No Muslims’ … what’s that about?” Ms Day wrote.

“I certainly won’t be going into a place where my Muslim friends are not welcome!”

The full handwritten message on the sign read “2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine…the tradition continues…We turn money into beer [Sorry No Muslims].”

Ms Day’s pictures were reposted by Facebook group Boycott Halal in Australia? No Way, and a moderator for that group told Brisbane Times the image had since been shared widely.

“Our page has only been going three weeks and we had a ‘Total Reach’ of up to 7,000 people,” the moderator said.

“We put the story up a day and a half ago and are now reaching almost 80,000 people and rising, because of that one post.”

Anti-Islamic sentiment has risen in Australia since last week’s Sydney cafe siege, with movements like #illridewithyou acting as a counter argument.

Comments on the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Grill’s Facebook page have ranged from outraged to unapologetic.

The moderator of the page, who wished to remain anonymous, said some Facebook groups were trying to shut it own, or making comments such as Islam forbids alcohol consumption anyway so it shouldn’t matter if Muslims can’t enter a bar.

“We’ve been deleting disgusting and hateful posts from members of the Australian Defence League, Australian Brotherhood, Boycott Halal in Australia and lots of other anti-Muslim pages since we put up the post,” the moderator said.

A Longreach Regional Council spokesman confirmed a verbal complaint had been received.

He said they were seeking more information about the sign and would consider an investigation, or referring the matter to the appropriate body.

The spokesman said the operator of the Eagle’s Nest had a history of writing quirky, tongue-in-cheek slogans on his chalkboard that changed daily.

A spokeswoman for the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland said it had not yet received any formal complaints about the sign.

“I understand the Australian Human Rights Commission has received some enquiries about it and they have referred the enquirers to us,” she said.

“So it may just be a matter of time.”

However, the spokeswoman said under the legal definition of religious discrimination, the complaint would have to come from someone directly affected.

“Therefore if there was a Muslim person in Longreach who wanted to obtain the goods and services from Eagle’s Nest Bar and Grill but couldn’t because they didn’t serve Muslims, then that person could make a complaint to the ADCQ,” she said.

The Eagle’s Nest restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and calls to the owners’ home went unanswered.

The moderator of the Boycott Halal in Australia? No Way Facebook group said they should own up to writing the message.

“If they would only apologise and say they made a mistake, we’d be the first to publicise that. I wish they’d just clear it up so we can all move on,” they said.

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Cairns tragedy: Police and emergency responders offered counselling

17/07/2019 Posted by admin

State Emergency Service volunteers on the scene. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images Police on the scene of the mass killing in Cairns. Photo: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
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Police and emergency services personnel meet on Monday in the aftermath of the killing of eight children in Cairns. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Mother charged with eight counts of murder: courtCairns house to become memorialPublic mourning: a brief history

The outpouring of grief in the wake of last week’s alleged murder of eight children in Cairns has been laid bare for all to see.

However, the police and emergency responders who were there in the initial aftermath of the deaths and the subsequent events have shown a calm resilience.

But Deputy Police Commissioner Brett Pointing said, underneath that stoicism, those responders would all eventually have to face the sad reality of the situation.

The bodies of eight children – four girls, aged two, 11, 12 and 14, and four boys aged five, six, eight and nine – were killed in the west Cairns suburb on Manoora on Friday morning.

Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, the mother of seven of them and the aunty of the 14-year-old girl, has been charged with their murder.

Ms Thaiday, 37, also known as Mersane Warria, remains under police guard in the Cairns Base Hospital recovering from knife wounds.

Mr Pointing flew from Brisbane to Cairns on Monday to debrief emergency responders at the city’s main police station.

Those responders included police officers, State Emergency Service volunteers and police liaison officers.

Mr Pointing said even the most hardened officers would have been unprepared for the scene that awaited them at 34 Murray Street, Manoora.

“I don’t think you can ever prepare someone for a job of this magnitude,” he said.

“We do see a lot through our careers, but this one is really up there with some of the worst events that our people have been subject to.

“Young children that have had their lives cut short I think resonates with everyone and I don’t know how you can prepare people for that.”

Mr Pointing said while police were by nature resilient, they were “not bullet-proof” and would bear the scars of the horrific events in Cairns.

“I think, like everyone, they’re asking those big questions – ‘why?’,” he said.

“How could this happen?

“Police are only human. They have families themselves and whilst they are incredibly resilient, we’re going to work with them very, very closely to make sure they get through this in good shape as well.

“It’s happened at the worst time. It’s a time when all of us should be celebrating family, should be taking advantage of the school holidays and spending time with their kids.

“They should be celebrating each others’ company and celebrating life, not grieving the loss of life.”

Mr Pointing said the effort from everyone involved in the investigation had been “nothing short of phenomenal” in incredibly trying circumstances.

“I think we all know police and emergency services workers, as part of their job, see things from time to time that no human being should have to see and they do things that no human being should have to do,” he said.

Mr Pointing said the last three days had “felt like three weeks” for many involved in the investigation.

“It almost feels like it’s been unrolling in slow motion,” he said.

“So much has happened in the last three days and when you walk amongst the police you see they’re tired and many of them have put up an incredible effort over the last three days.”

Mr Pointing said there were internal mechanisms to support police, but acknowledged that might not be enough.

“We do tell our people – and this is very important – that whilst you can have all the support mechanisms, the greatest support comes from family and friends,” he said.

“We’ll be encouraging that to take place over the coming days, weeks and months.”

Mr Pointing said police would work with the local community to assist locals going through the grieving and healing process.

Acting Premier Tim Nicholls said more than 220 police had been involved in the case, many of whom had come from other cities to assist.

“Ambulance officers were among the first responders and we thank them for the caring way they have carried out their work,” he said.

“There are also numerous social service organisations at work in the community, from the Salvation Army keeping the barbecue going at the drop-in centre, to other church groups, Uniting Care Community and our own Department of Communities staff.

“They have all played a vital role and I want to offer them my heartfelt thanks.”

People in distress can telephone Lifeline on 13 14 11.

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Father rationed food to keep sons alive in outback

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

Ethan and Timothy Van Lonkhuyzen were missing with their father for 11 days and are recovering in hospital after being found. Photo: Supplied Steven Van Lonkhuyzen and his sons were found at Expedition National Park where they were stranded for 11 days. Photo: Queensland Police
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A Brisbane bayside man stranded for 11 days in outback Queensland with his two young sons has been praised for his resourcefulness in keeping the trio alive.

Steven Van Lonkhuyzen rationed what little food he had packed for an intended four day camping trip to feed Ethan, 7, and Timothy, 5, after his Mitsubishi Pajero became bogged in remote Expedition National Park, south of Emerald, on December 11.

He also used plastic containers to make the most of heavy rainfall, which kept the trio hydrated, a critical element of surviving recent humidity according to police search co-ordinator Acting Superintendent Mick Bianchi.

He said they were down to their last slices of bread when grazier Tom Wagner found them about 3.30pm Sunday, after mounting a one-man search following widespread media reports of their disappearance.

“We were very concerned about their welfare. It was very hot and humid,” Acting Superintendent Bianchi said.

“Steven told me they had some water with them in the car but that they were lucky there was lots of rain while they were stuck out there.

“He put a plastic container out and he thinks he caught about 40 litres of water.”

It was originally intended that the trio would stay at Mr Wagner’s home on Sunday night, however the boys were admitted to Taroom Hospital as a precautionary measure due to starvation.

Acting Superintendent Bianchi said they remained in hospital on Monday.

“The boys have lost some weight and are a bit emaciated but they’ll be nursed back to health within a few days,” he said.

Their father and national park rangers are working to extract the bogged vehicle.

Acting Superintendent Bianchi also praised Mr Wagner for mounting a search for the trio, after remembering seeing the vehicle enter the national park on December 11.

“I would like to thank Mr Wagner, who managed to find them off his own bat,” Acting Supt Bianchi said.

“It’s pretty indicative of the way country people pitch in and help each other.”

Mr Wagner’s discovery of the trio came just hours after police re-issued a plea for outback travellers to keep an eye out for them.

About 1pm on Sunday police said they were contemplating an air search, after an extensive ground search had failed to find a trace of them.

Soon after news of the trio being found alive on Sunday broke, Acting Superintendent Owen Elloy said they were extremely lucky Mr anger went searching for them.

“Somebody’s looking after them,” he said.

He said the area they were discovered in, known as the Tin Hut, was one a human footprint had barely touched and was well outside mobile phone reception areas.

“The Tin Hut, if you searched it on Google you wouldn’t find it, it’s a piece of land normally visited only by cattle. It’s black soil country, very soft, even police officers who are extremely experienced are having trouble getting in there,” he said.

The heavily-forested area would have made even their discovery by air a slim chance, Acting Superintendent Ellory said.

Mr Lonkhuyzen, Ethan and Timothy left their home at Lota, on Brisbane’s bayside, on December 11, intending to arrive in Cairns by December 15, after following an inland route.

The 37-year-old was last seen filling his vehicle at a service station in Miles, 330 kilometres west of Brisbane, that day and became stranded in the national park later that day.

His wife and the boys’ mother raised the alarm when the trio failed to arrive in Cairns by the scheduled date.

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‘Positive outcome’ for popular caravan park

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

MILDURA Rural City Council says the Lake Cullulleraine Caravan Park will continue to operate in the foreseeable future.
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Council confirmed late yesterday that following negotiations with lessees, a “positive outcome” had now been achieved.

Council corporate general manager Mandy Whelan yesterday said council had never issued a notice to close the Lake Cullulleraine Park.

However, she said council had been in discussion with the lessees for many months about a number of issues.

She said some of those related directly to them satisfying their obligations under their lease and to their responsibility as business operators to ensure the safety of their customers and visitors.

“While we still have some issues we are working through with the current lessee, we are confident this important community asset will remain operational and will be a safe and welcoming environment for future generations to enjoy,” Ms Whelan said.

Rhonda Hards, who along with husband Graham have leased the Sturt Highway holiday park from Mildura council for 11 years, told Sunraysia Daily in October that council issued them with a notice of closure two months ago proposing to shut the park permanently on January 1.

Mrs Hards said there was still four years left on the lease.

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Linda celebrates 100th birthday

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

CENTURY: Linda Budden celebrated her 100th birthday on December 22.Linda Budden credits a daily dose of porridge to her longevity.
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A resident at Cessnock’s Calvary Retirement Community, Linda (nee Maslen) celebrated her 100thbirthday on Mondaywith friends and family and was overwhelmed with the love and support she received on the day.

Born and raised at Bobs Farm, Nelson Bay, Linda met her husband Keith while visiting a cousin in Muswellbrook and they married soon after.

They had three children – Connie, Fay and Betty – and lived in Muswellbrook where they ran a fruit and vegetable farm for close to six decades.

Linda said that her “clean” lifestyle, including eating lots of fruit and vegetables and breathing in the country air, was maybe why she had enjoyed such a long life.

She also kept fit and was a champion tennis player.

“If there was a game on, I would be playing,” she said.

Up until a year ago, Linda still lived independently at a small unit in Muswellbrook.

Her daughter Betty said that she had she worked very hard with Keith making a living on the farm, but that the hard work had made her a very strong woman.

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Gym’s ‘Quickie’ campaign raises eyebrows

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

Fit N Fast Charlestown has come under fire for its “Quickie” campaign.‘‘FANCY a quickie?’’
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It’s the controversial advertising slogan from Charlestown gym Fit N Fast labelled ‘‘irresponsible’’ by at least one critic who says the company is subjecting employees to ‘‘sexual objectification, degradation and harassment’’.

David Leslie said he saw a female employee of the gym wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘‘Quickies 4 Sale’’ emblazoned on it outside Charlestown Square on Tuesday .

Confronted by how suggestive the slogan was, Mr Leslie said he asked the girl if the t-shirt encouraged unwelcome comments or attention. ‘‘Her sad reply was ‘‘I cop it at least three times a day’’,’’ Mr Leslie said.

The franchise’s ‘‘quickie’’ campaign centres around short workouts on varying equipment and the gym is believed to use several other similar slogans to attract new customers, including ‘‘Fancy a quickie… to lose weight?’’.

Representatives from Fit N Fast did not respond to questions from the Newcastle Herald.

Mr Leslie later posted a message on Fit N Fast’s Facebook page, calling on the company to cease using the ‘‘quickie’’ branding to protect its employees from harassment.

‘‘I understand you have a marketing campaign around this whole ‘‘quickie’’ thing but you’ve got to be kidding yourselves by making an employee wear this advertisement branded on their clothes,’’ Mr Leslie’s post read.

‘‘I think it is so irresponsible of Fit N Fast and potentially a failure of your duty of care towards your employees, in particular your female employees. ‘‘I consider it tasteless, tacky and cheap to use a suggestive buzzword to capture business. ‘‘As a concerned social observer I would ask that you cease branding this slogan on your uniforms and remove any other wording that suggests how I can ask for a ‘‘quickie’’. ‘‘This isn’t a case of ‘‘we are all adults’’, this is a case of removing physical objectification.’’

Mr Leslie’s post sparked debate about the issue of misogynistic or sexually suggestive slogans. The majority of people agreed with Mr Leslie, but there were some who thought staff would only wear the shirts if they felt comfortable or said the matter was between the company and it’s employees.

But Mr Leslie disagreed.

‘‘Even if you imagine their employees are genuinely happy to wear this slogan it certainly does not reaffirm the employee duty of care Fit N Fast have to eliminate sexual harassment within the workplace, nor is it socially responsible to promote sexual objectification and place ammunition in the hands of an individual to harass the wearing of such a slogan,’’ he said.

The post also prompted a response from Fit N Fast.

‘‘Thank you so much for taking the time to voice your concern for the welfare of our team members,’’ the reply said. ‘‘It’s great to know that there are caring people in society – especially given the recent events in Sydney.

‘‘We all need to look out for each other. So, thank you!

‘‘We absolutely apologise for any offence caused to you. It was never our intention.’’

Not content with a simple apology, Mr Leslie urged Fit N Fast to change the slogan and protect its employees.

‘‘We would never enforce a team member wear anything that they felt objectified them or potentially exposed them to harassment,’’ Fit N Fast responded.

A healthy pool means healthy summer fun

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

GRIFFITH and district residents have beenreminded to ensure their swimming pools arehealthy.
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Murrumbidgee Local Health District seniorenvironmental officer, Tony Burns, said if poolsweren’t maintained properly they could become asource of infection.

”As the weather heats up so does the opportunityfor bugs and infections to grow at a rapid rate,”Mr Burns said.

”Swimming pools provide the perfect environmentfor this to happen so it’s important to be vigilantin keeping the pool sparkling clean andhealthy.Diseases such as cryptosporidiosis are highlycontagious and are easily spread simply by swallowingcontaminated pool water.

“Many bacteria can be killed simply by usingchlorine and through normal pool filtration.However, diseases such as Giardia and cryptosporidiumare not eliminated so easily.Therefore we encourage people to take care not tointroduce these bugs to the pool in the first place,”Mr Burns said.

Here are some summer pool tips to keep youhealthy:

– Clean pool and filter regularly

– Operate your pool filter between 8 and 12 hoursper day depending on pool use

– Don’t allow pets in the pool.

– Stay out of the pool if you have been feelingunwell

– If you have experienced gastroenteritis, waituntil you have been symptom free for at leastone week before returning to the pool

- Avoid swallowing pool water

– Use disposable swimming nappies forinfants

- Avoid swimmers itch by keeping pools below 26degrees and well disinfected (chlorinated)

– Keep pool gates closed and make sure aresuscitation chart is clearly displayed nearby.

– Avoid using a heated spa bath after consumingalcohol. Alcohol causes blood vessels dilate andvenous pooling can occur resulting in faintingand possible drowning.

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