Archive for July, 2019

July 22nd, 2019 by admin

Union fears Berry Sport and Rec Centre privatisation plan

FIGHT: Public Service Association (PSA) regional organiser Tony Heathwood (centre)with members outside the Berry Sport and Recreation Centre. Picture: Hayley WardenThe Public Service Association (PSA) is mounting a fight against the potential privatisation ofthe Berry Sport and Recreation Centre.
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Union representatives will meet with Kiama MP Gareth Ward on Thursday afternoon to talk through the government’s plan for the future of thewell-known centre.

Synonymous with school camps, the facility spans62 hectares of rural farmland on the outskirts of Berry.

However, the PSA fears the site’s accessibility as an outdoor education provider will disappear following any shake-up of its operations.

The Baird government isconsideringprivatising centres across the state, as part of an investigation into ways to improve service delivery.

PSA regional organiser Tony Heathwoodfears the Berry centre could be “taken out of community hands and operation for a substantial unknown period of time”.

“Which, if the port’s any indication, [could be] up to 99 years,” Mr Heathwoodsaid, citingthe long-term lease of Port Kembla port.

“[Ninety-nine years] isa hell of a long time to lose a community asset, even if it is leased.”

Mr Heathwood said the PSA was alsoconcerned about a“lack of transparency”.

“The government is not open and transparent about the process, in particular, and the cost-benefit to the community,” he said.

“It’s all about a short-term, sugar-hitcash injection.”

The unionwants the government toguarantee the Berry centrewill remain affordable and accessible to those who useit and an assurance it wouldremainpart of the school curriculum.

Uncertainty also lingers over the future of the 20 staff employed at the centre.

“A lot of those jobs are currently insecure, they’re in temporary employment, so they’ll become more insecure,” he said.

“There’s a concern for their jobs … going forward.

“The guarantees that the government has made in previous similar privatisations have not proven to be very satisfactory.”

The news of a potential operator shake-up comes after the government allocated money in its 2016-17 budget for the construction ofanatural outdoor play space at the Berry centre.

The play spaceis the first of itskind at such a facility inNSW and will allow children to explore anarea sans traditional equipment or “soft fall” surfacing underfoot.

Stage oneof thatproject should becompletethis year.


The minister responsible forthe state’s sport and recreation centres says the government is exploring ways to improve the facilities, buthas no plan to sell them off.

Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Sport, told theMercury theinvestigations were in their early stages.

“The NSW government is committed to ensuring sport and recreation centres continue to provide high quality outdoor education programs for schools and sporting groups, as well as key facilities for other community groups to use,” Mr Ayres said.

“There are no plans to sell sport and recreation centres, including at Berry.”

Parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said the government wanted to“maximise these centres and ensure the services and the recreation activities the community wants are occurring there”.

“We will always try and get the best possible use out of public assets for the community. The union will always try and run its scare campaigns,” Mr Ward said.

Mr Ayres said consultation, including with the Public Service Association,was ongoing.

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

July 22nd, 2019 by admin

Letter: Fluoride

In case you needed any more evidence of the breathtaking arrogance and anti-democratic practices of the previous council led by Mark Troy, a recent decision by Mackay Council should say it all.
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After canvassing their constituents about water fluoridation they found that 47% of those surveyed opposed fluoridation while 39% were in favour with 14% undecided. This is hardly what could be considered a landslide result. Even so they voted 6 to 5 to end this dubious practice of forced medication.

The mayor of Mackay said: “Everybody made a decision based on their research and the people they’ve spoken to along the way”.

How refreshing!

In Bellingen, however, when a plebiscite was conducted on the matter a full 70% of respondents voted against fluoridation. And what did we get as a result of this landslide? We were ignored and had fluoride put in our drinking water anyway.

Regardless of whether you think fluoride is good or bad for dental health putting any substance, medicinal or otherwise, in drinking water without the consent of the majority of people is draconian.

A little lesson on democracy is in order. We live in a representative democracy. That means those elected by, for and of the people are supposed to represent the people. It’s not complicated- Mark Troy et al I’m talking to you.

Hopefully our new Green Mayor and his team will be more amenable to the needs and concerns of those he represents. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I think it’s time to review this ill considered decision.

Kate Henwood, BellingenFurther information about the fluoride debateThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

July 22nd, 2019 by admin

Football alone is just not enough

Euphoria! My beloved Western Bulldogs had finally won the AFL grand final.
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I was so happy. Yet, a mere 24 hours later, I was frazzled.

My family,bearing the brunt of my mood, might well have used a few other descriptors.

My husband asked: “Why aren’t you happy? The Dogs just won the grand final?”

As wonderful as that was, it didn’t offset the fact that our house – post grand final party –was a mess.

Or that my kids were also frazzled and were acting accordingly.

Or that I was physically pooped after an overambitious, week-long house painting project.

Or that I was still emotionally wrung out from recent training on grief and loss.

Or that I’d tried to cope with all of the above by consuming left-over grand final chips and cider.

So, by then desperate, I reflected on the sort of spiritual self-care I ought to have used this week.

It is hard to be spiritually robust if our physical wellbeing is neglected.

Of course, abalanced diet, exercise and sufficient sleep are key.

For example, science shows walking affects our mental health positively.

It is also crucial to nurture ours mental wellbeing by taking time to still our minds and bodies.

This is something that is so rare in our busy days.

Meditative prayer is an example.

Relationships are fundamental to human wellbeing, so social time is important though people differ greatly whether they recharge around people or alone.

I require alone time which I usually find pottering in my garden.

But now for the most important part of self-care: find strength in God.

1 Samuel 30:6 states that instead of despairing or turning to fleshy ways of coping during a time of great distress “David strengthened himself in the Lord”.

There is nothing as beneficial for human wellbeing as our living God.

Strength, peace and hope are found in our heavenly father’s love.

Plus, we have constant access to help, encouragement and comfort through the Holy Spirit.

I will try and put these things into practice more.

I hope you might these reflections useful.Because in this life, even your team winning the grand final isn’t enough to get you through.

On behalf ofthe Horsham Ministers Association.Kate Polack is chaplain of Horsham College.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

July 22nd, 2019 by admin

Billy goes local for major film

QUIET ON SET: Ben Fitzgerald, Alex Lovas, Dean Meacham and Billy Guest filming “Heaven” on Friday, September 30. PHOTO: Lauchlan Eggins. lm100616filmPortland has become the home of a shady cult—a fictional one—thanks to Lithgow filmmaker Billy Guest.
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Billy, 21, is in his final year of studying film at Sydney’s Academy of Film, Theatre and Television and is directing his major work,Heaven, in the region.

Heavenis the story of a cult that lives off the grid.

Kevin, the cult’s leader played byBrett Jeffers, takes drug addicts off the streets to reform them.

The film is taking visual cuesfrom series likeBreaking Badand giving nods to filmsby the Coen brothers (No Country for Old Men, Fargo).

“It’s a really black comedy,” Billy said last Friday.

“The Coen brothers have a lot of little characters in all their films that don’t play a huge role but kind of make the story what it is, and make the film special in the way they write [them],” Billy said.

Billy has been shooting filmssince high school, and said he’s never really wanted to pursue anything else.

“I just liked messing around with friends, getting a camera,writing dumb scripts and shooting something.” he said.

While he moved to the city to learn the craft, Billy said Lithgow is full of great places to film.

“There’s a lot of old buildings, productions have come out here to shoot before… It’s very picturesque.”

For those interested in film-making, but unsure where to start, Billy said it can start with something as simple as your phone.

“There was a feature film shot entirely on iPhone that made it to Sundance Film Festival last year.”

“Get a camera, write a dumb script and shoot jokes with your friends.”

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

July 22nd, 2019 by admin

Rage Page: Meet Pete Murray

RAGE PAGER: Pete Murray may share the name of a famous Australian singer, but he’s more of a Chance the Rapper fan. PHOTO: Jacob Gillard. lm100616rageQ: How old are you, what school do you go toand where are you from?
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A:16, La Salle Academy andLithgow.

Q: Do you have any nicknames and is there a story behind them?

A: “PT Muz”, just my name shortened.

Q: Do you have any siblings?

A:I’m an only child.

Q: Favourite past-time?

A:Kicking back!

Q:What are three things you can’t do without?

A:My blue Hurley jumper, The Boys and the leader (Mum)!

Q:What would you like to do in the future and why?

A:Get a job that pays well.

Q:Name three people you’d invite for dinner and why?

A:Topdawg because he’s funny, Justin Bieber because I’d like to see him rap battle Topdawg and Jesus Christ to protect them from all those naughty words they might use.

Q:What sporting teams do you follow?

A:Lithgow Giants, because I’m a local.

Q:Biggest highlight for you this year so far?

A:To be decided.

Q:Who do you look up to and why?

A:Kendrick Lamar, because of his freestyle ability.

Q:What annoys you and what makes you happy?

A:Annoys:Anyone that dogs the boys.

Happy: Not dogging the boys.

Q:What do you spend the most money on and why?

A:Pointless stuff at the $2 shop.

Q:Favourite food, musician/band and film/tv show?

A:Chicken Schnitzel with cheese and bacon, Chance the Rapper, Narcos.

Q:If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one person and one item what would that be?

A:Jesus Christ because he could perform miracles and a knife.

Q:What would you be if you were an animal?

A:Harambe, the gorilla who died, because I really wanted to be the one who saved that kid.

Q:What are your hidden talents?

A:I can’t pronounce the word “always”.

Q:Pick a superpower and why?

A:Teleporting,to drop into awkward situations at the right time.

Q:Describe yourself in three words?

A: “Yeah the boys.”

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