Archive for July, 2018

A MAN arrestedinside a hotel room drug den hasdenied he is atrafficker, a court has heard.

Jacob Adam Williams’trialstarted in the Launceston Supreme Court on Monday.

Mr Williams has been charged with two counts of drug trafficking and one count of dealing with the proceeds of crime.

He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

The Crown alleges Mr Williams was part of a methamphetaminedrug enterprise uncovered by detectives at Peppers SeaportHotelin June2014.

But Mr Williams says he is an ice addictand was at the hotel to score drugs, not to sell them.

Crown Prosecutor John Ransom told the jury during his opening addressthat Mr Williams was first apprehended by police at Hotel Charles on February 11, 2014 with ice stuffed down his underwear.

He was then found lying on a bed inside a Peppers Resort Hotel room on June 5, 2014 alongside several bags of ice, a gun, scales, mobile phonesanda vacuum seal machine.

He was bailed the following day, and the Crown alleges he was found at the hotel again, this time offering employees large sums of money to allow him back into the room in which he was arrested.

Mr Ransom said detectives were made aware of this and searched the room again, where they uncovered a sack of more than $133,000 cash hidden inside an Ottoman.

“(The room) had all the hallmarks of such a place,” Mr Ransom said.

Mr Williams lawyer Evan Hughes admitted his client was “hopelessly and completely addicted to an insidious drug”, butwas not involved in the sale of it.

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Pre-polling pitch: Michael Ord, Mick Fell and Alasdair Webster outside the Springwood voting booth which is open every day except Sunday until the election.More and more voters are choosing to cashin their electoral chips early in Macquarie this time around.

By the time voters go to the polls on Saturday July 2,political pundits are predicting that,such is the popularity of pre-polling,a whopping one in three, perhaps even as many as one in two constituents, could have already cast their vote.

In the first week aloneof pre-polling in Macquarie at the booths in Katoomba, Springwood and Richmond,some 3209 residents had chosen to pre-poll,compared to 1090 inthe same first four days of pre-polling in the 2013 Federal Election.

A pre-poll was opened inKatoomba a week earlierthis time aroundto cater for the expected increase in demand.Pre-pollis meant to be done only by voters who can’t get to a polling booth on election day. This year the election falls during the NSW school holidays.

The Australian Electoral Commission said there has been a steady rise inpre-polling. In 2010, 18 per cent of the nation voted early and by 2013 that has risen to 27 per cent.

AEC divisional returning officer Debbie Bush defended the ease of pre-polling.

Early voters: Hazelbrook’s Dave and Kathy Morrison are on their way to Mungo National Park in south-western New South Wales and will be away for the election.

“It’s a growing trend.We have to make sure everyone has an opportunityto vote,” Ms Bush said.

Scrutineers are seeing a steady streamof voters daily. Blue Mountains City Council’s Mick Fell, a Labor councillor from Ward Three, said the pre-polls “ended up the largest booth by count”.

But former federal member, Alasdair Webster, who is manning the pre-polling booth at Springwood for the Coalition, said he was disappointed bythe ease of early voting because of busy lifestyles.

“From my day there’s vastly more [voting early],” he said. “It was very hard to pre-poll then. It was almost non-existent. The booths certainly weren’t open for three weeks. I think it’s imperative that people vote on one day –it’s not strict enough, but that’s how it is and we have to be out and about manning the booths.”

One couple with legitimate grounds to early voting wereHazelbrook’s Dave and Kathy Morrison, who are now making their way to Mungo National Park in south-western NSWand will be away for the election.

“We don’t have a clue where we are going to be,” Mrs Morrison, who cited Medicare and health as her concerns, told the Gazette.

Mr Webster, who hasbeendoing his own scrutineering outside the Springwood booth, said early indicationsshowedfavourable numbers for the incumbent Louise Markus.

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During the winter months Joey Hobby’s name, and image, is sprinkled liberally amongst the sporting pages of the Blayney Chronicle.

SPORTS STAR: Branch manager of NAB Blayney Amos Northey presents Bears under 16’s Joey Hobby with his junior sports award. Photo: Mark Logan

It would come as no surprise then to find that Joey Hobby was awarded May’sjunior sports person.

Sponsored by NAB, Hobby was selected for his well-known prowess on the rugby league field.

Although he’s dabbled in cricket and enjoys a game of golf, it’s on the rugby leaguefield that he excels.

Centre with the Bears under 16’s side and currently sitting at third on the ladder, Hobby believes that only one of the teams above them is harder to beat.

“Cyms and Bloomfield are above us at the moment but Cyms are our toughest opponents,” he said.

It’s not the local derby though that he believes has truly tested his mettle, it’s the representative matches that he’s had to battle through.

“This year I’ve played five for the Western Rams up in Tamworth and they were really tough games,” he said.

The selective nature of the representative games meant that there were no weak links in the opposition’s defences.

“Because every player stood out, unlike when you come back to club and you have two or three stand-outs, in the representative games the whole team is tough,” he said.

Hobby said that teaming up with players he’s never met before was a valuable learning experience.

“I think that thebiggest lesson that I’ve learnt from playing representative games was the value of teamwork,” he said.

When he’s not wandering the golf course or playing league, Hobby can be found tearing around his family’s property on his trail bike.

Like most teenagers he has a rebellious streak, and it’s not one that sits well on the home front.

“I’m a Roosters supporter,” he laughed,“I broke out on my own becausethe rest of the family are Bulldogs supporters.”

To the chuckles of Blayney Sports Council’s Jim Newman, Hobby declares that the Cowboys will win the NRL grand final.

Mr Newman went on to explain why Hobby was chosen as this month’s junior sports person.

“Just outstanding performances in the games,” he said, “That’s whyrugby league nominated him.”

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Open: The fire-ravaged town of Yarloop opens after several months of clean-ups following the Waroona fires in January. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.The southern part of fire-ravaged town ofYarloop is due to open this week after several months of clean-ups following the Waroona fires last January.

The town, which got destroyed in the Waroona blaze that killed two elderly men and destroyed 181 properties, is expected to be fully opened to the publicby August.

Premier Colin Barnett will also front the town residents during an event at the Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre on Thursday morning, in which he will present the findings of a long-awaitedextensive inquiry into the bushfire.

The Premier had appointed former Victorian Country Fire Authority chief Euan Ferguson earlier this year to undertake theinquiry which would shed light on how the authorities handled the fires.

The visit also comes in the wake of major clean-ups in 71 of the properties in town, including the controversial clean-up quote provided by the state government appointed cleaning company to the Yarloop Hotel.

Yarloop Primary School and the police station are due to reopen very soon,the school aimsto be operational by the start of the first term next year.

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Organisers Kevin Webb, who is Ann Webb’s great-grandson, and Lynne Woods were thrilled with the massive crowd who turned out to celebrate ancestor Ann Webb.THEY came from near and far, from across the road to all the way from the Northern Territory to celebrate a remarkable woman.

More than 200 people converged on the St Peter’s church at Tarana last month to celebrate 145 years since pioneer Ann Webb signed the deed for the land for thechurch.

Relatives and visitors from Queensland, all over NSW, as well as Sydney, Melbourne and even the Top End crammed into the historic church and spilled out around it to join in aservice to commemorate Ann Webb’s contribution to the Tarana region.

There were plenty of surprises and hugs as people came across relatives they hadn’t seen in decades, and lots of chatter as everyone caught up on the family news.

Ann Webb, along with her husband William, came to Tarana from Cornwall in England on February 26, 1840, and made their home in the valley.

Today many of Ann’s descendants still live and farm in the valley.

Ann’s great-grandson Kevin Webb saidAnn’s husband William was killed in a wagon accident in 1852, and because there was no cemetery, he was buried in Bathurst.

Mr Webb said with this tragedy, Ann decided to give land, as well as materials, for a churchand cemetery to be built.

“She didn’t want other families to go through that,” he said.

Mr Webb said there had been awful weather in the lead-up to the event, but the sun shone on the large crowd on the day.

The service including representatives from all denominations of the Christian church, as Mr Webb saidAnn had intended the church to be used by all.

“It was Ann’s wish that all denominations were welcome in the church,” he said.

The service also included performances by Ann’s great-great-great-grandson Adrian Perry and great-great-great-great-granddaughter Brooke Webb.

Mr Webb said he was thrilled with the turn-out.

“It was just fantastic that such a great pioneer is still so greatly respected today,” he said.

“To put in a bit of effort and get that result was just wonderful.

“We just wanted to honour her generosity and legacy. She didn’t do it for herself, she did it for the community.

“She would have been tough, but she would have had to be. But she was very generous.”

Planning is already underway for a family reunion weekendin the next five years.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the Oran Park Town sales office in Sydney on Monday Photo: Andrew Meares Opposition Leader Bill Shorten gestures during the Australian Labor Party 2016 federal election campaign launch. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Federal election 2016: News, video and analysis

The difficulty of travelling around Sydney is one of the biggest issues facing the city. And it is such a big issue Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten don’t seem to know what to do about it.

The western Sydney policies released by the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader over the past two days are striking for what they are not. That is – they are not anything like a clear indication to potential voters of what it is they are being asked to vote for.

They are not promises to build shiny new train lines to take commuters from Place A to Place B.

They are not promises to build big bus terminals, or tram lines, or to spend billions of dollars on any one thing in particular.

Instead – they are indications the Coalition and Labor want to be seen to be interested in western Sydney, want to seen to be something to improve people’s lives there, but are not quite sure what that might be, nor what it might cost.

Turnbull’s policy, announced in Oran Park in Sydney’s south-west, is to announce a grand “City Deal” for western Sydney.

The “deal”, such as it is, appears an omnibus policy to improve land, housing and, hang it, the environment as well.

The idea of a City Deal comes from the UK, where various levels of governments have teamed up with developers to work on projects.

But apart from saying that it will involve a Badgerys Creek airport, and that it will involve the state and local governments, there’s little else that Turnbull was saying about his particular deal on Monday.

There’s not even a pot of money promised to support whatever “deal” it is that’s been struck. For a politician who has presented himself as the epitome of forward-thinking urban mobility, the whole thing is pretty underwhelming.

To an extent, however, the lack of specificity is understandable.

The federal and state governments are currently doing a study into what sort of rail lines should be extended to a Badgerys Creek airport, and those studies are awkwardly timed to be completed after the July 2 election.

Shorten’s policy, announced on Sunday, is slightly more detailed. Shorten is promising $400 million for some sort of rail line through a Badgerys Creek airport from south to north.

Even this, however, is hard to understand and hard to imagine to what it would lead.

The real cost of a train line would be billions more than promised. And Labor’s condition that the line should run from south to north – there is little detail apart from that – also pre-empts the findings of the study into the best way to connect Badgerys Creek by rail. Perhaps people would prefer to travel east to west?

There is one silver lining to the vagueness in the Sydney transport and urban planning promises of the major parties. The fewer ideas they commitment to before the election, the fewer bad ones they will be stuck defending after.

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Dr Khim Harris and Eugenie Harris at the Metricup location, where they say the benefits of serene surroundings and dedicated medical treatments would treat drug and alcohol addictions. Photo: Nicky LefebvreA new private rehabilitation facility planned for the South West could be open as soon as 2017 with the City of Busselton calling for public comment on the proposed hospital.

Managing Director Dr Khim Harris, along with wife and business partner Eugenie have sought approval for the hospital to be established in Metricup and said care would be offered to people battling drug and alcohol dependencies.

“There are many people within the community who do not relate to the public perception of an ‘addict’ and therefore find it hard to seek treatment,” Dr Harris said.

“While drugs like ice receive a lot of attention in the media, we expect a large percentage of our patients will be dealing with alcohol dependency and other behaviour that has become damaging to family and work life.

The hospital will feature a 10-bed inpatient unit and a day centre for up to 30 people staying in chalet accommodation on the property to complete a 90-day recovery program.

“While it’s not a celebrity style luxury rehabilitation clinic, we stronglybelieve in the therapeutic benefits of the region, in such a peaceful setting with lots of opportunities to connect with the environment,” Mrs Harris said.

Dr Harris said the public perception of addiction was one that excluded “normal, working families” who did not take on the outward appearance or live in squalid conditions associated with drug and alcohol dependency.

“Many people believe rehabilitation to be quite confronting, and it’s very easy to say ‘That’s not me’ because they don’t relate to those harrowing cases.

“The reality is that there are thousands of people dealing with addictions to alcohol, over the counter medicationand prescription drugs who need a place to deal with the deeper issues behind those dependencies.”

If approved, Margaret River Privatewill be the first of its kind in Western Australia.

Dr Harris said while the hospital would take a “strong medical approach” to addiction treatment, it was important for surrounding residents and community members to understand that programs would not be similar to methadone or other medically-assisted clinics.

“Research shows that people who are dependent on alcohol or drugs can break the cycle of addictionthrough medically-assisted treatment combined with recovery-focused therapies within a communitysetting,” he said.

“There are a number of similar facilities around Australia but none of this kind in WA.

“We aim to establisha highly confidential recovery program that combines farming and recreational activities with group therapy, one-on-one counselling and a range of add-on therapies by visiting health professionals.

A recent plan from the WA Mental Health Commission identifieda pressing need to increase private and non-governmental health facilities to ease reliance on government funded services, already at capacity particularly in regional areas.

“People with private health cover could expect to pay very little for the rehabilitation program at Margaret River Private, while patients without private cover will also find the service extremely affordable,” DrHarris said.

“Many people find the idea of rehabilitation very confronting, the thought of being associated with the stark image of addiction portrayed in the mainstream.

“We want to help mums and dads, employees, people who have found themselves relying on something that is causing physical or emotional damage to their lives and are looking for solutions.

The City of Busselton has opened the matter for public comment until July 13.

More information on the proposal can be found at busselton.wa.gov419论坛/Developing-Busselton/Public-Consultation

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It may not be council’s responsibility but the car park outside the PCYC in Pearce Street is looking rather worn and in need of repair.

Councillor Belinda McCorkell tabled a question at the most recent Council meeting – asking what Parkes Shire Council may be able to do to assist the club.

She also indicated that the club was also trying to raise money for an outdoor play area.

In her letter to Council, Cr McCorkell indicated the club currently has 580 active members who run a variety of sporting activities.

After-school and vacation-care programs are also provided for approximately 40 children during school holidays.

“The major concern is the car park and if the club could possibly get some help to resurface and line mark the parking area that would be great,” Cr McCorkell wrote.

“PCYC is a not for profit organisation and as such relies heavily on the support of the community and from grant funding.”

Council’s General Manager Kent Boyd recommended that council inspect the car park and report back on the cost to repair.

“Funding for the play equipment has been referred to the grants team to look for suitable grant opportunities,” Mr Boyd said.

Cr Michael Greenwood commented that the PCYC appears to be under resourced.

“May I suggest that we invite the manager to address council so as to give us a better understanding of the issues facing them,” Cr Greenwood said.

Cr Kenny McGrath said that while the car park was in a terrible condition the problem lay in the fact it wasn’t a council car park.

“There are a few other problems with the club at the moment with things slowing down a bit. But the car park is the main issue. The lighting is really bad and a problem for parents wanting to pick up or drop off children,” Cr McGrath said.

Mayor ken Keith suggested that council undertake an inspection of the car park and determine what needs to be done.

“A cost could then be brought back to a future council meeting,” Cr Keith said.

In the end council resolved to invite the PCYC manager to a future meeting.

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COVERAGE: The Federal Government has announced Cape Jaffa is one of 26 South Australian towns among 135 communities nationally to receive a 4G small cell base stationThe Federal Government has announced Cape Jaffa is one of 26 South Australian towns among 135 communities nationally to receive a 4G small cell base station, providing the latest in fast mobile data capabilities to even more rural and regional areas.

Telstra customers in even more rural and regional South Australian communities will benefit from fast 4G mobile coverage on Australia’s largest mobile network as part of Telstra’s $165 million commitment to regional Australia and the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.

Telstra General Manager for SA, Mark Bolton, said rolling out the small cell technology was part of Telstra’s commitment to expand its 4G coverage to 99% of the Australian population by June 2017.

“The growing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is changing the way we live. We don’t just make calls with them anymore, we do so much more,” Mr Bolton said.

“As the carrier with the nation’s largest mobile footprint and the first to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local communities and businesses and we are excited to add another first to the list by delivering this innovative small cell technology to rural South Australia.

“The introduction of fast 4G data services via a small cell in these locations will mean residents will be able to access social media and video on the go for the first time as well as increased opportunities for local businesses.

“It also opens a digital door to emerging technologies such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which will, in due course, allow customers to make voice calls using 4G. Mr Bolton said the 26 small cells sites, which are funded solely by Telstra, were in addition to 11 South Australian communities of 429 areas nation-wide who will benefit from expanded Telstra 3G and 4G coverage under Round One of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.

“When we made our bid under Round One, our core objective was to maximise new coverage to regional communities, which is why we made this additional pledge to further expand mobile data services at our own expense,” he said.

“We worked closely with the Federal Government to identify the communities who were eligible for this small cell technology and we are proud to be part of this important initiative which will connect so many more regional communities.

We will also continue to work with the Government to identify further opportunities to deploy this innovative technology to more rural areas.

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I bought the paper for a quiet read, and a found a huge headline saying “Call for mayor to say sorry”.

I thought he must have done something wrong, and that would be unlike him.

On reading this article I found the mayor has done nothing amiss.

He has simply voiced an opinion which makes a lot of sense.

I’m extremely thankful that we have a mayor who genuinely cares for the children who attend our schools.

I’m ashamed that so few are saying the same thing.

The LGBTIQ program for schools is garbage, and why has it been allowed to get as far as it has?

If Martin Foley is the Minister for Equality, why isn’t he promoting equality, instead of the supposed rights of a loud minority?

Equality means equal rights for all. We already had that.

We don’t need a Minister for Equality pushing his own wheelbarrow.

The people of Victoria deserve better from the government.

I don’t know how he can say a rational opinion is ill-tempered or ill-advised. James Price has no right to say Mayor Milne has done any damage.

He obviously hasn’t.

It reminds me of an old Chinese saying –“The empty pitcher makes the loudest noise.”

I hope it fires up the silent majority to support Mayor Milne.

Incredibly dangerous?

Is that how you see an opinion that differs from your own?

Ruth Robertson


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