Archive For 06/19/2018

Tourist dollar may be at risk

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LETTERS from residents and businesses have been sent to Housing Minister David Borger in a campaign against a public housing proposal.
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More than 220 letters from residents and about 60 from businesses also will be lodged with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council once a development application is received.

Town Beach precinct resident Margaret Bourke said she did not want anything to jeopardise tourism in Port Macquarie.

“We rely heavily on tourism, retail and hospitality, and I don’t want anything to interfere with the attraction of tourism in Port Macquarie,” the housewife said.

Mrs Bourke said she was not against public housing but had concerns about the quantity and concentration of three towers planned for a town block.

Information about the proposal also was varied, she said, which created confusion.

Residents raised concerns at a meeting on Wednesday about a lack of car parking in the plan.

Mrs Bourke said, although some residents would not have vehicles, surely their visiting friends and families would have cars.

Residents say overflow parking from the nearby public pool already spilled into Mowle St.

Mrs Bourke spoke about the proposal in the public forum section of Wednesday’s council meeting.

She asked the council if a social impact assessment was needed as part of the development application process.

Council’s development and environment director, Matt Rogers, confirmed that was the case.

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Dennis is hot under the dog collar

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Where’s Rusty? Dennis Shepherd and Sandy would like to know where the dog has gone.DOGNAPPERS have snatched the priciest pooch in Port Macquarie.
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The 2.5m, $15,000 blow-up hound – one of a pair kennelled on top of a Barton Cres store – was nabbed this week.

Promotional pet owners believe there may be a serial animal abductor among us, but police don’t agree.

The rustled dog, Rusty, was one of two promotional canines that had been on guard-dog duty at Trademark Building Supplies Home Hardware for just two days.

Thieves scaled the store’s 4m-high roof to steal the vinyl animal overnight on Tuesday.

It is the second theft of a promotional animal in Port Macquarie in just three weeks.

A 1.5m fibreglass monkey, valued by owners at almost $1000, was snatched from Bridle Demolitions in Lake Rd on January 6.

No sighting has been reported since the over-sized chimp went missing.

Trademark Building Supplies Home Hardware director Dennis Shepherd said Rusty travelled the country with his mate, Sandy, to promote the chain store.

“It is absolutely pathetic,” Mr Shepherd said of the theft.

“Just to have them here costs us $1500 for a week.”

Mr Shepherd said he had been told by a manufacturer of inflatable figures that the replacement cost for a 2.5m figure was about $14,700.

“I found out the last time one of the dogs was stolen was in Mudgee [in southern NSW],” Mr Shepherd said.

“It was found a few days later dumped in a creek just out of town so, hopefully, with the public’s help, we may find him.”

Rusty was taken between 5pm on Tuesday and 9am on Wednesday.

Phone Port Macquarie Police on 6583 0199 if you have any information about either Rusty or the missing monkey’s whereabouts.

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More police, fewer chases

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AS K. Wood from Wandandian wrote (SCR Letters, October 18) police chases are indeed a dreadful hazard, and most of the time our abundant supply of felons knows the police will cease the chase when it becomes too dangerous to the ordinary member of the public.
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A totally different way of looking at this very controversial situation would be to actually have enough police to do the job of catching these miscreants, before they travel far enough to do some damage or kill some motorist.

Nowra has a limited number of exits from the town and a few extra police vehicles across various roads along with spike strips would go a long way to curtailing the crooks’ success.

Add to that a bit of real punishment handed out by our soft soap court system, and we may be on the way to turning the Shoalhaven back into a place people actually want to live in. The black marks on every street attest to the respect these individuals have for the law. When caught, a smack on the wrist and an order to pick up papers around town is an insult to the Shoalhaven ratepayers.

R. Stanyer,

Sanctuary Point.

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The lender’s prerogative

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GOOD try, O. None (SCR Letters, October 20), in attempting to tell a story that may imply that to be pedantic is wrong.
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As you have written, to imagine an action and subsequent action, I say this:

If you come to me as a neighbour with a request to borrow something of mine, if I give it to you and how I give it is my prerogative. If that is being pedantic, then so be it.

The onus would be on the borrower to be grateful and not critical of the conditions under which it is given, regardless of how meaningless the request is.

And, as a final word, the practice of sending a child next door for a cup of sugar is reminiscent of an activity from the late 1960s.

Sadly, it would appear your thinking is of that vintage as well, so “chewy on your boot”.

Have a nice day.

B. Cumberland,

North Nowra.

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Cameras set to roll

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BLANK SCREEN: The CCTV camera monitor at the Nowra Police station is expected to come to life in the next two weeks.THE controversial CCTV cameras in Nowra could be switched on some time in the next two weeks following a direction from councillors that the general manager activate them.
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Earlier this year former Shoalhaven resident Adam Bonner lodged an application with the Administrative Decisions Tribunal to have the cameras removed.

However at Tuesday night’s council meeting Councillor Greg Watson moved a motion directing the general manager switch on the cameras immediately.

The motion was carried unanimously.

“We could have had them turned on all the time but I got sick of waiting,” Cr Watson said.

“Council wasn’t prepared to turn [them] on because Mr Bonner could go and seek an injunction to turn them off.

“My attitude is let him do it,” Cr Watson said.

He said he expected it could be another six months before the Admissions Decisions Tribunal (ADT) made its decision on the use of CCTV in the CBD.

“The wost thing that could happen is that Mr Bonner could seek an injunction in the Supreme Court to tell us to turn them off,” Cr Watson said.

“But there’s no great guarantee that he’d succeed in fact I think we’d have more chance of keeping them on.

“It probably means we’ll have them working over Christmas,” he said.

When Mr Bonner heard about the decision he said he wasn’t happy about it but was quick to point out that it had always been council’s decision not to turn them on.

“I believe they decided not to turn them on because the mater was before the ADT.

“If they’ve now decided to back pedal on that, even though the case is proceeding, then that’s on their head.

“In my view turning them on will make Nowra a less safe place.

“It will lift people’s expectations of security which can’t be met because those cameras are of such poor quality. People might not take their normal safety precautions particularly at night,” he said.

“The other thing is that it takes pressure off the police and let’s not forget the responsibility to maintain law lies with police.

“We need to keep the pressure up so they can be properly resourced,” he said.

“Most cameras currently operating would be eligible for the blind pension and that’s backed up by international studies.

“The UK Home Office says over 80 per cent of CCTV cameras are not of sufficient quality to be used by police.

“Nowra’s cameras are a poor quality camera. Council went with the cheapest option so it won’t take an image that is good enough for police to use in a court of law,” Mr Bonner claimed.

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Maroro mission to extend lead at Pittwater

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PORT Macquarie outrigger paddlers will be looking to build on their lead in the open mixed category when the OC6 Grand Prix series moves to Pittwater this weekend.
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Maroro members surprised their rivals at last month’s Wollongong Grand Prix with a dominant performance in the open mixed events, winning two of their three races to claim top place on the series ladder.

A strong contingent of local paddlers will travel to Sydney to contest men’s, women’s and mixed events.

In a season of “firsts” for the Maroro club, two more members made their racing debuts at the recent National Outrigger Sprint titles.

Gavin Lunn and Mick Lang had their first competitive outing against teams from around the country at Varsity Lakes, Bond University, on the Gold Coast.

Lang showed his liking for a challenge, contesting OC6 (six-person), OC2 (double) and OC1 (single) races, including back-to-back solo paddles in the master and senior master categories.

Lunn teamed up with Lang on the OC2 and also backed up in the OC6 events.

The two newcomers took plenty of inspiration from fellow first-season paddlers Tina Grant and Kim Roberts, who both managed to make their respective national OC1 finals, while their more experienced team mate Lauren Grant reached her open women’s OC1 decider.

The women’s team of Fiona Baker, Kerry Owens, Sarah Gormley, Kim Roberts, Kris Lewis and Grant also took great satisfaction from their 1500m heat, nosing their way into second place behind the Lisa Curry-Kenny coached Mooloolabah crew, which went on to win the open division overall.

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Locals have eyes on the prize

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LOCAL TALENT: Culburra Beach artists Glenn Duffield and Warwick Keen are finalists in this year’s Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize.FOUR artists from the Shoalhaven are in the running to win this year’s $20,000 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize.
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Warwick Keen, Glenn Duffield and Mark Willers from Culburra Beach and Clive Groves from Bomaderry will attend tonight’s award ceremony at Parliament House to hear the judge’s final verdict.

Now in its sixth year, the Parliament of NSW Art Prize is a $20,000 acquisitive award that recognises the achievements of NSW Aboriginal artists.

The event, which is held in conjunction with NSW Parliament and Campbelltown Arts Centre has this year attracted 43 works by 37 artists in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and drawing.

It is the sixth time Nowra TAFE teacher Warwick Keen has been shortlisted as a finalist in the exhibition.

Originally from Gunnedah, Mr Keen has been practising art for 35 years and is renowned for his vibrant contemporary paintings and carvings.

“I have been entering since it started and I’ve made the finals every time,” he said.

“One is a digital piece about my identity as a Aboriginal person. I’ve used images of some of my ancestors and a bit of text. It’s called ‘A Question of Identity’.

“The other is more of an abstract piece about assimilation. I call it ‘Almost Assimilated’ and it refers to myself as a person who has almost assimilated but still has roots.”

Fellow Culburra Beach artist Glenn Duffield is slightly more animated about tonight’s ceremony.

It is the first time he has entered his work into a competition and was “speechless” when he found his painting ‘Out of Time’ had been named as a finalist.

“I was ecstatic,” Mr Duffield said.

“Just speechless. I’ve been painting all my life and this is the first thing I have ever entered. But I’m positive Warwick will win it.”

A selection of works from the exhibition will be toured by Museums & Galleries NSW throughout the state in 2010-2012.

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Large contingent eyes off titles

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PORT Macquarie Swimming Club will send its largest contingent in history to this weekend’s Courtyard By Marriott NSW Country Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
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Under the guidance of coaches Michael Mullens and Cheryl Neville, 27 youngsters are expected to test their skills, and times, against the state’s best – in fact, more than 3800 rivals, who have nominated for the event.

And, strong medal chances fall on the sturdy shoulders of James Magnussen (17), Fiona Connell (18), Anna MacInnes (15), Ian Carey (14) and Brooke Hudson (15) while Daniel Thompson (15), Laura Cook (12), Laura Coleman (12) and Mekayla Everingham (11) are also capable of pulling off an upset or two.

Magnussen competed in the State Open Championships last weekend alongside Andrew Lauterstein, Eamon Sullivan and Kenrick Monk.

He swam well in the heats of the 100m freestyle to claim 12th overall (out of 115 competitors) in a time of 51.06, qualifying for the “B” final.

In the “B” final, the teenager registered a PB (personal best) of 50.74, which was faster than Patrick Murphy (24) and Tom Miller (22), who competed in the “A” 100m decider.

“James is going great guns at the moment,” Mullens told the Port News.

“He’s probably the fastest 17-year-old in Australia and, possibly, the world.

“But, I’m expecting PBs (personal bests) from everyone tomorrow and Sunday, and hoping for a couple of national qualifying times too.

“Especially, since each swimmer is now hitting his or her straps.

“It should be a big weekend.”

Mullens, who was recently named NSW Country coach of the year, said there were a few incentives to perform well.

“The National Age Championships will take place in Sydney in April, while a district team is being selected to tour New Zealand later in the year,” he admitted.

“Eight swimmers from the Mid-North Coast will be named in that touring squad, and there are still a few spots up for grabs.”

Meanwhile, a massive 3858 entries were collected for this weekend’s championships.

Events co-ordinator Jessica Morrissey said she was surprised by the dramatically-increased popularity of the competition.

“When we were finalising the entry count, we couldn’t believe how radically the numbers had gone up. It was a complete surprise,” she explained.

“The popularity of the championships this year will only add to the exciting atmosphere within the Olympic venue.

“We hope with more athletes cheering on their fellow team mates, more personal best times will be achieved along with some excellent record-breaking performances.

“This competition gives country kids an extra opportunity to qualify for the National Age Championships in April.

“The world-class facility at Homebush is the best in the state, which is sure to produce some very worthy qualifying times.”

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Manildra mates take a stand

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COUNT US IN: Stephen Hill and Peter Healey (front) will join their Manildra workmates Bruce Berryman, Brian Hanley, Mick Rees, Patrick Claven, Mark Manion, Graeme Wrightson, Daniel O’Dempsey, Adam Watson, Karl Tonacia, Bob Coney, Dennis Apperley, Ron Timbs, Trevor Williamson, Matthew Prince, Calvin Bennett, Mat Liddicoat, John Burling, Steve McConville, Angelo Cuda, Wayne Malby, Brett Roulstone, CIT was a conversation with a local domestic violence caseworker that convinced Stephen Hill that he and his Manildra workmates must support the Shoalhaven’s upcoming White Ribbon Day.
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He was shocked when he was told Australia had one of the highest rates of violence towards women of any developed nation.

“I am against violence towards women and so are all the guys at Manildra,” Mr Hill said.

He said at least 100 men from Manildra would attend the White Ribbon Day event on Thursday, November 25 at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre. Organisers want 900 men to attend the event.

Event coordinator Ray Carrall said getting 900 men to attend the event was not unrealistic – particularly if men felt strongly about the issue.

He said it would be a poor reflection on the male section of the community if 900 men did not attend.

Mr Carrall said there were many reasons why men should attend the event.

“You can attend to show support for women who suffer violence and show solidarity with other men that we are opposed to all forms of violence against women,” he said.

“Also, you can discover what you can do to help stop violence towards women.”

Mr Carrall said the feedback from last year’s event was encouraging.

“One man said to me he was so glad he brought his son to the event. He said the event was informative and a great example to young men about the importance of treating women with respect and dignity.”

Mr Carrall said it was time for men to take a stand against violence.

For more information about the White Ribbon Day event, contact Mr Carrall on 0432 349 313.

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Five teams circle three spots

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Pleasing situation: Hastings River District Cricket Association president Stephen Mitchell believes the play-off race will heat up in the coming weeks.WAUCHOPE RSL is on target to break a long-standing drought this season.
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But, the Hastings River District Cricket Association competition leaders will have to overcome the likes of St Andrews, defending premiers Port City Leagues, Camden Haven, Macquarie Hotel and, possibly, Port Panthers Pirates to do so.

With just two rounds remaining, only the Port Magpies are out of play-off contention.

And, while Wauchope RSL will easily claim the minor premiership in 2008-09, the remaining five combatants are equally determined to upset their fairytale run when the semi-finals start from March 21.

In the next month, the Saints, Port City, the Havens, Macquarie Hotel and the Pirates will all stake their claims for a shot at the current pacesetters – a scenario that has pleased association president Stephen Mitchell.

“It’s a good thing for the competition,” he told the Port News.

“Five teams fighting it out for three positions.

“Wauchope RSL is the obvious stand-out.

“They’ve performed right from the start of the season, but the usual suspects – St Andrews, Port City and Camden Haven – are still there.

“Macquarie Hotel is always in the mix too, while the Pirates and Magpies are far from being easy beats.

“They may be at the lower end of the table, however, they’ve troubled the other sides all year.”

Mitchell attributed the closeness of the competition to an even spread of talent throughout the clubs.

“Every side has players who can win a game,” he explained.

“But, I expect the 2008-09 champions to come from Wauchope RSL, St Andrews or Port City Leagues.

“The young blokes are shining through for Wauchope RSL.

“Captain Bill Newell has taken guys like Andrew Murrell, Matthew Broderick, Aiden Tredenick and Matt Miller to the next level.

“And, they’ve fitted in with some old heads in Jason Blythe and Brian Fowler.

“You can never discount the Saints, who’ve contested the past three grand finals.

“Any line-up with Brett Swain, Jonathon Toombs, Jonathon Cook, Robert Parker and Steve Cottom is always a danger.

“As for Port City, I honestly think they’re the ones to beat.

“It’s a quality team with players such as Jason Dodd, Jolon Homewood, Craig McElroy, David Bolster, Luke Stevens, Matt Rankin and Jason Herdegen.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the annual Beechwood Sevens tournament will be played at Beechwood Oval, Beechwood.

Comboyne and the hosts kick off the competition from 8.30am, with Port City and the Saints locking horns at 10am.

Wauchope RSL meets the Pirates in game three, at 11.30am, and Macquarie Hotel faces the Magpies from 1pm.

For further information, contact Seth Vagg on 0408 655 599.

The Westport Club table

Wauchope RSL85.8

St Andrews58.6

Port City Leagues49.0

Camden Haven45.4

Macquarie Hotel32.8

Port Panthers Pirates31.0

Port Magpies16

Road to the semis:

Round 13 (February 21-28) – Macquarie Hotel v Port City Leagues; Camden Haven v Port Magpies; Wauchope RSL v St Andrews; Port Panthers Pirates bye

Round 14 (March 7-14) – Macquarie Hotel v Port Panthers Pirates; Port City Leagues v Port Magpies; St Andrews v Camden Haven; Wauchope RSL bye

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