Monthly Archives: June 2018

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Moree man charged over crash

A MOREE man will reappear in court in July after he was charged over a serious motorcycle crash.
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The 19-year-old was charged in April with negligent driving, failing to stop and assist after an accident and being unlicensed.

The charges stem from a motorcycle accident in March in which a 26-year-old woman was seriously injured after she was thrown from the bike.

A Moree man will reappear in court in July after he was charged over a serious motorcycle crash.

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Stevedore death uncovers danger

CRUSHED: Waterfront worker Greg Fitzgibbon died when crushed by aluminium ingots.Full report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
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A LOADING accident that killed waterfront worker Greg Fitzgibbon on a Newcastle wharf was the sixth of its type in 27 months, a report into his death has found.

Mr Fitzgibbon, 56, was killed on September 23 last year while working for his employer, Newcastle Stevedores, on a cargo ship, Weaver Arrow, at the Eastern Basin wharf at Carrington.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report issued on Tuesdaysaid Mr Fitzgibbon was climbing down aluminium ingot packs to work on a lower tier of the cargo when the packs toppled over.

His workmates raised the alarm but he was crushed under the ingots and died at the scene.

The bureau said the company had never had a stevedore fatality but there had been five instances of ingot cargoes toppling or falling in the 27 months before Mr Fitzgibbon was killed.

‘‘No one was injured as a result of those incidents, however, each of the incidents could have resulted in serious injury,’’ the report said.

The accident happened about 9.10pm on a Sunday, and the report found that fatigue was a factor, and that Mr Fitzgibbon was working his ‘‘fourth 15-hour ‘double-header’ in a seven-day period’’ when he died.

The Maritime Union of Australia’s assistant national secretary, Warren Smith, said the union was ‘‘quite shocked at the extent of the criticisms’’ in the report and was determined to ensure that Newcastle Stevedores improved its safety standards.

The bureau said the company’s loading procedures ‘‘did not adequately address the risk of the cargo toppling over and the implementation of basic precautions, such as using ladders to climb between cargo tiers, was not effectively monitored or enforced’’.

‘‘It was usual for some stevedores to climb up or down ingot packs to work on different cargo tiers instead of using the ladders provided,’’ the bureau said.

‘‘The investigation identified that the ingot cargo units or lifts [multiple packs of ingots strapped together] were inherently unstable and prone to toppling over.’’

Mr Smith rejected any criticism of the workers involved, saying it was up to management to enforce safety standards.

The bureau was an investigatory and advisory body only but the union expected that other bodies, such as WorkCover, would investigate the potential for prosecutions.

Mr Smith said a coronial inquiry was also expected.

Newcastle Stevedores managing director Geoff Beesley declined to comment on the report.

VIDEO: Lake foundation aids needy

A FOUNDATION has been established to encourage philanthropy that allows people to give money to any cause in Lake Macquarie they wish.
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The Lake Macquarie Foundation will officially launch soon, with the aim of helping people ‘‘do something that lasts forever’’.

Foundation chief executive Jo Bright will unveil its charter at a business breakfast in Belmont today.

She said the foundation was ‘‘a vehicle for giving’’.

‘‘The idea is to be able to support any cause or anything you’re passionate about in Lake Macquarie,’’ she said.

‘‘The great benefit is it doesn’t have to cost you anything in your lifetime.

‘‘A lot of it is based on bequests [giving by will].’’

It took the foundation two years to overcome red tape and meet legal and governance requirements.

All money given will be invested conservatively in a fund with the Commonwealth Bank.

Nine Lake Macquarie business people are board members of the foundation, including former mayor John Kilpatrick, financial planner Darren Glover and former Knights chairman Rob Tew.

The foundation’s chairman Greg Hopper said donations would increase in value, with 5per cent given each year to beneficiaries that donors select.

‘‘It might be a surf club, park, walkway, sailing club or art gallery – whatever you love in Lake Macquarie,’’ he said.

‘‘The original money given never dwindles.’’

He said a person with $1million in assets, for example, might give $100,000 to the foundation and leave two children $450,000 each. Those same kids could oversee how the money was spent.

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoLake Macquarie City Council supported the foundation, giving staff help at times.

PHILANTHROPY: Jo Bright and Greg Hopper. Picture: Simone De Peak

Controversial Golden Point land set to be sold

A CONTROVERSIAL Magpie Street block of land is under contract.
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However, the potential owner will remain anonymous for privacy reasons until the sale is completed, which could happen within the next month.

The land has been owned by Sovereign Hill since 1997, but has been used by Golden Point residents as a public park for several years.

A cricket pitch, training nets, a basketball court and a disused tennis court are all on the site.

However, Sovereign Hill is now selling the surplus land to buy a larger site further along Magpie Street for a planned expansion.

PRD Nationwide Ballarat agent Brenden Barclay, who is selling the land, said he could not talk about the proposed sale due to privacy concerns.

Sovereign Hill chief executive officer Jeremy Johnson said he also could not discuss the potential deal.

“We just hope that a sale will emerge out of it,” Mr Johnson said.

Resident Peter Wills said about 1640 people had signed a petition to Ballarat City Council to recognise the land’s “current and long-standing use”.

Magpie Street residents protest about the sale plans last year.

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Gill grasps new role with North Central  Netball 

GILL Davey says she’s “feeling her way” as the new North Central Netball regional liaison officer, but expect her to get the hang of it pretty quickly.
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Few people have more experience of local netball than Davey.

She played in the Golden City and Heathcote associations, before embarking on a 20-year umpiring career.

“I’m better known around netball circles for my umpiring, because I was an independent umpire and I umpired a lot in the Loddon Valley, Bendigo Football Netball League and a little bit out in the Heathcote league,” Davey said.

“The past five years I’ve spent in junior cricket administration at White Hills Cricket Club.”

Umpire co-ordinator Meagan Keating has long thought Davey’s netball talents weren’t being put to enough use.

That’s why Keating encouraged her to apply for the recently vacated RLO position, previously held by Nadine Holland.

“Meagan’s always in the background telling me I’ve got this immense netball brain that’s going to waste, she’s seen what I’ve been doing in terms of cricket administration and thought this was a way for me to get back into netball,” Davey said.

The Epsom Primary School teacher is full of ideas to improve the pathways for netball players, umpires and coaches in the region.

“It’s up to me to take the role wherever I like,” she said.

“I’ve got ideas to perhaps have a sleepover style camp during the school holidays aimed at some of the younger girls before they hit that 16-year-old mark, to try and combine my schoolteacher role and try to look for some grant funding for those ideas.”

As the North Central’s RLO, Davey links netball associations and leagues in the area with Netball Victoria.

“My role involves organising meetings from a region perspective where all clubs and associations have representatives and organising region teams,” she said.

“Obviously we’ve just had inter-league, the next step up is representing the region, so that’s state titles in October.

“It’s all about the pathways, because if players want to get identified and go onto Regional State League they need to be playing in the regional teams.”

Applications for the open, 17s and 15-and-under regional netball teams close on Friday.

The first training session is Monday, June 10.

To be eligible players or umpires must participate in one of the following associations: Golden City, Bendigo-Strathdale, Bendigo FNL, Heathcote, Loddon Valley, Maryborough, Castlemaine, Rochester, Echuca, Woodend, Kyneton or Deniliquin.

For more details, contact your league secretary or Gill Davey on 0488 010 369.

EXCITED BY CHALLENGE: North Central Netball region liasion officer Gill Davey. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

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Bright start rolls on for Blacks

Rugby union
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THE Griffith Blacks women’s team has set its sights on an undefeated season after blitzing the first five rounds of the new Southern Inland Rugby Union sevens competition.

The Blacks are yet to taste defeat after the side was assembled in haste at the start of the year to give women’s rugby union in Griffith a long-awaited and welcome return.

On the back of Saturday’s crushing 27-0 win over Wagga City at home – the second time the team has held its opposition scoreless this season – Griffith is now 12 points clear on top of the ladder and looking more than comfortable.

Few at the club expected such success to come so quickly – but now that it has, there is no point setting limits to what can be achieved.

“Everyone was just chuffed that union came back for the girls so they could have a run,” team manager Elenoa Loseli said.

“Hopefully they can go through the whole season undefeated. That’s the goal.

“If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but the girls definitely have it in them.”

The shortened version of the game has suited the Blacks right down to the ground. Not only does it make it far easier to assemble a team compared with the full 15-a-side format, it also plays to the team’s strengths.

“A lot of the players come from a league tag background and other sports and they’ve taken it on really well,” Loseli said.

“The reason why the team’s so powerful this season is because every player brings something different. They’re not all exactly the same. Everyone works together really well.

“The majority of us did know each other before the team came together… but now we’re all really close.”

Loseli’s father, Blacks club stalwart Loa, coaches the side.

She described him as an “oldie” of Griffith rugby union, having previously coached first, second and third grade men’s teams.

“He’s a really big part of our success. He’s brought all that knowledge across to the team and the girls really respect him,” she said.

“They keep developing more and more.

“Every single game has been an achievement for the girls.”

The Blacks will cool their heels this weekend with a competition-wide bye but next weekend, they will be back at it against Leeton, the side they defeated 24-10 at home in the opening round.

ON THE MOVE: Griffith’s Lele Katoa has her eyes up in Saturday’s big win over Wagga City in driving rain at the Coro Club Oval. The Blacks hope to continue their stunning undefeated start to the season for as long as possible. Picture: Anthony Stipo

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Bendigo Senior SC faces crucial test on basketball court 

BENDIGO Senior Secondary College’s girls’ basketball team will be striving to beat Hallam in today’s School Sport Victoria premier league match.
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After tipping off their campaign with consecutive home games at Bendigo Stadium, the Lions venture onto Hallam’s court.

The hosts were beaten by Box Hill, 69-31, but struck back to thrash Rowville by 73 points.

Despite the hosts’ hot run so far, BSSC will be doing all it can to convert scoring chances and defend strongly.

A first-year player with the Bendigo Braves in the SEABL, Josh Garlepp is coach of BSSC for today’s match.

Garlepp has teamed up with his older brother, Josh, and Lady Braves and Bendigo Spirit star Renae Camino to play key roles in the Lions’ preparation and on game-day.

After a 21-point loss to Rowville in round one, Bendigo Senior struck back brilliantly against Box Hill.

The contest was decided in the final seconds as Box Hill won by a point.

A talented Bendigo Senior team includes Victoria Country representatives Molly Greetham and Caitlin McLachlan.

Both will play key roles in the Lions attack.

Kyneton’s Jess Mangan was one of BSSC’s best in the battle with Box Hill and her athleticism is a huge plus at both ends of the court.

The Lions will look to Brooke Bolton and Chloe Finnigan to set up and finish off attacks.

Jasmin Drummond, Madi Higgins, Adele Rogers and Monica Wellington will be keen to play well in this match, which will decide final standings for the semi-finals to be played on June 19 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Grand finals in the SSV premier league basketball competitions for boys and girls will be on June 26 at MSAC.

Standings in the SSV girls’ basketball premier league after two rounds:

Box Hill 2 won, 117 for, 78 against, 150 per cent; Rowville 1 won, 1 lost, 139 for, 45 against, 308 per cent; Hallam 1 won, 1 lost, 116 for, 81 against, 143 per cent; Bendigo Senior 0 won, 2 lost, 80 for, 102 against, 78 per cent.

SET FOR BATTLE: Bendigo Senior Secondary College’s Monica Wellington, Chloe Finnigan, Jess Mangan, Adele Rogers, Jasmin Drummond and Brooke Bolton. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

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LGH patient costs cut 10 per cent

NORTHERN Tasmania’s major public hospital has cut patient costs by 10 per cent to take it close to tough new national pricing guidelines.
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New Tasmanian health purchasing chief executive Mike Pervan told a government budget estimates hearing yesterday that the Launceston General Hospital’s performance had been outstanding.

Mr Pervan said that all three of the state’s major public hospitals had achieved significant price reductions since the previous financial year but the LGH’s had been very close to the national average.

The surprise news comes nearly 12 months after a new activity based public health structure was introduced as part of national health reforms.

There has been concern expressed since the start of the new regime that Tasmania would never achieve the national pricing benchmarks.

LGH chief executive John Kirwan said the hospital had seen a significant improvement in its costing from 2011-12 and knew that it was on target to come close to the national benchmarks this financial year.

His plan is for the LGH to be more efficient than the national average so that it creates capacity for extra activity.

“It has been a lot of hard work but we now have a very good handle on what jobs cost,” Mr Kirwan said.

“We have identified all costs whether it’s in nursing, allied health, medical or pharmacy.

“We believe that we will do even better as we become more efficient and national pricing comes down when other states start costing properly.”

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Ballarat Grammar teacher wins national award

A BALLARAT teacher will fly to Alabama in July to represent Australia in a rare international space camp, after winning a top national teaching award.
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Ballarat Grammar’s Sophie Fenton received the NEiTA 2013 Australian Scholarships Group International Space Camp Award last week, beating thousands of teachers from across the country and in the process becoming the Australian Teacher of the Year.

She and two students from New South Wales will fly to the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, for a one-week adventure where they will explore topics in science and technology covering space history, astronaut training and simulated missions.

The announcement came after she was awarded a national excellence in teaching award last Friday and a state excellence award last year, which put her in the running for the big prize.

The assistant director of staff development and head of history and politics at Ballarat Grammar, Ms Fenton said the recognition was an honour she didn’t expect.

“I often walk out of the classroom thinking ‘next time I will do that better’ and often don’t think I’ve nailed it,” Ms Fenton said.

“But this award is about acknowledging effort, thinking and engagement and I am very humbled.”

Ms Fenton will join 30 other international teacher of the year award recipients at the July event, where the focus will be on teaching principles.

“But it won’t all be work,” Ms Fenton said.

“We also get to do really cool things like flying space shuttles and experiencing weightlessness.”

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Ballarat Grammar teacher Sophie Fenton.

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Yacht skipper found dead

A yachtsman found dead in waters off Badger Island west of Flinders Island yesterday had also run into trouble 10 days earlier.
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A police helicopter located the body of Donald Joseph Marshall, 78, about two kilometres east of the island at 1pm yesterday.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of Mr Marshall’s death and why he left his vessel, which still had its life raft attached.

Mr Marshall made a mayday call before 2am yesterday.

Police found his unoccupied vessel partially submerged about 5.45am.

The 21-foot yacht had run aground on the southern side of Badger Island and was damaged.

Tasmania Police Inspector John King said Mr Marshall was an experienced yachtsman who had been living at sea for about three decades on and off.

The yachtsman had ties to Queensland and South Australia and was attempting a circumnavigation of Australia.

Initial confusion about the location of missing yachtsman Donald Marshall did not cause long-term delays in finding his body, Inspector King said.

Inspector King said authorities initially received two calls in the early hours of yesterday morning about a vessel hitting some rocks in the Furneaux Group of islands.

“Both were on opposite sides of the Furneaux Group,” Inspector King said.

“Some quick investigations showed it was the same incident.

“Mr Marshall thought he was on the east side but he was on the west side.”

Authorities are unaware how long Mr Marshall had been in the water for.

There were swells of a metre to 1.5 metres overnight between Monday and Tuesday and mist had affected visibility.

Inspector King said it appeared that Mr Marshall had not used a rescue craft, but he was found “quite close” to shore.

“We are unsure if Mr Marshall had left his vessel deliberately or by accident,” he said.

Inspector King said police had no information about what Mr Marshall had done before running aground, but the skipper had told authorities if he was going to leave his vessel he would activate his EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

Mr Marshall also called authorities for help on May 26, when a wave struck his yacht and he was injured.

He was about nine kilometres offshore from Stanley and two local fishermen rescued him.

A police image of the submerged yacht.

Tasmania Police Inspector John King checks a map for the location of Donald Marshall’s stricken yacht. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

A police hand-out of the yacht.

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