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August 20th, 2019 by admin

Industrial action suspended

STRIKE: 180 Port Augusta Hospital nurses and midwives have suspended industrial action.Around 180 Port Augusta basednurses and midwives have suspended industrial action across SA Health and other public sector services.
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Previous industrial action included social media campaigning and wearing campaign t-shirts.

They joined Nurses and Midwives across South Australia on September 30after receiving an offer from the South Australian government addressingtheir enterprise bargaining claims.

The new offer includesapay increases of 2.5% each year which will see South Australian nurses amongst the best paid in Australia.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) SA Branch CEOElizabeth Dabars welcomed the progression.

“We are pleased the SA Government has approved an offer that appears to deal with the substantial issues raised,” she said.

“As a sign of good faith, our Bargaining Committee and Executive have agreed to suspend our industrial campaign whilst we check the details of the offer and iron out any last matters.”

It followsnurses and midwives at Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health Servicestartingindustrial action on Monday September 26 after apay and conditions dispute with the state government.

Ms Dabars said the ANMF SA Branch is delighted the offer addressesall of the key issues members have been campaigning for including:

improved minimum staffing levels – particularly for aged care beds in country health services;changes to classification structures that will improve career development for enrolled nurses in particular;increased support for professional development and workforce renewal strategies which shouldhelp new graduates obtain work and allow experienced nurses and midwives to mentor them as they prepare to exit the workforce themselves;provision of additional incentives to nurses and midwives when offered separation packages;restoring paid overtime and related conditions for middle level nurses undertaking clinical activities after hours; andMs Dabars said the checking process should be completed early next week after which time the ANMF (SA Branch) Executive will make a recommendation to members on a final response to the offer.

That will be determined through a vote of all public sector nurses in the coming weeks.

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

August 20th, 2019 by admin

Letter: Smoking

I write in the hope to achieve greater consideration from local smokers.
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Having spent most of my life in this area, I remember a time when going to a local event be it private, community or a music festival was not synonymous with standing in a cloud of second hand smoke. By and large smokers would leave an area, have a cigarette and return to the group, but these courteous days seem to be over in Bellingen.

The last fouror fiveevents I have been to in Bellingen have had me and my kids leave smelling like we spent our time in the smoking section of some seedy bar. Smokers are now standing in food lines surrounded by families, puffing away; participating inkids activities smoking; sitting only a few metres away in large groups right next to food being served and dancing to music in front of stages while smoking both day and night.

I support an adults right to smoke if they want to – but please respect mine not to. Even conservative medical organisations contest that second hand smoke causes morefrequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome and that there is no safe level of exposure. Newer research is also highlighting the dangers of third hand smoke (the toxic and hard to remove residues left over on surfaces from smoking).

I ask that other non-smokers please speak up when smokers light up near you, food or kids and ask them to leave the area while imbibing. Let’s remind people that it is unacceptable.

I ask that smokers return to a more courteous behaviour.

I ask that event organisers make it clear where smoking is and isn’t acceptable, so event goers don’t have to take on groups unsupported.

Name and address supplied and withheld on requestThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

August 20th, 2019 by admin

A long wait is over for Windsor

BATHURST Cycling Club hasproduced one of its best ever performances at theNational Road Cycling Masters with five different medallists in the road race events.
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Mark Windsor,Stacey Fish,Jim Lavis,Bruce Goddard andRosemary Hastings showed why the Bathurst club should be considered a force to be reckoned with thanks to their strong performances at Griffith.

Windsor was the pick of the bunch with not only a gold medal in the men’s masters six (MMAS6) road race but also the overall championship for his age group.

Lavis(MMA8) also picked up an overall champions jersey thanks to his consistent performance across the three racing disciplines –a second, third and fourth.

It ends a long hunt for Windsor in his quest to win anoverall champion’s jersey at Masters Nationals.

“I’ve won the road race in the past but it’s about trying to get the results across all the different events and I’ve never been able to get that champion’s jersey before,” he said.

“I’ve been trying hard for many years to get that jersey. It was very satisfying to win.”

Windsor producedan impressive breakaway winin the road race to win by 22seconds overSouth Australian pairing Douglas Berry and Martyn Hughes.

With many eyes watching his every move Windsor had to be careful in picking the right time to make his movein the 70 kilometre event.

“I get pretty well marked so I’ve got to do a lot of attacks, a lot of which are dummy ones. If I can get away I know I’ve got the best time trialling ability in the field, so if I do they’ve got to work hard to get me back,” he said.

“It was all about trying to build that gap before the final climb …so I made the move about 15km out from the finish and it stuck.”

Windsor’s sixth in the criterium and third in the time trial were good enough for him to claim the champion’s jersey.

Fish (WMA3)and Lavis picked up silver medals in theirroad races while Goddard (MMA7) and Hastings (WMA8) found bronze.

Windsor said the Bathurst contingent should be incredibly proud of their achievement.

“To have five separate medallists in the road race is amazing for Bathurst,” he said.

“They’re a quality group who all have the experience to be up there. Everyone was quite supportive of each other and everyone went out there with the right attitude.”

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

August 20th, 2019 by admin

Show does not go on in this wet

Walbundrie Show 2015The cancellation and postponementof dozens of agricultural shows across the region is placing anenormous economic and emotional strain on country communities, a show stalwart has claimed.
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Walbundrie Show Society president and newly electedGroup 8 Riverina chairman Max Webb said this year’songoing wet weather had dampened theviability of many country shows.

Gate takings this year were probably half what they usually were atWalbundrie-traditionally one of the district’s biggest shows, Mr Webb said.

One of the biggest impacts was felt in the horse events, with the showjumping cancelled and numbers well down in the hackrings due to the cancellation of horse events at other shows in the lead-up to Walbundrie.

However numbers were still “aboveexpectations” given the heavy downpours in the preceding week.

“We had 90mm in an hour on the Wednesday of the Henty Field Days,” Mr Webb said.

He added Walbundrie’s ovalheld up remarkably well thanks to itssandy, loamy soil, which kept the surface fairly firm.

Other towns across the regionhave not been so fortunate, prompting the cancellation or re-scheduling of their show’shorse events.

“I went out to Culcairn and the oval was really wet so they didn’t run the horse rings because the ground gets too chopped up,” Mr Webb said.

“It does detract from the overall atmosphere when there is a big empty hole in the middle of your grounds.”

“Extensive flooding has also limited road access to many showgrounds, discouraging would-be visitors.”

Rising insurance premiums coupled with ongoing maintenance costs are already stretching the viability of many shows, according to Mr Webb.

“When you add in thisyear’s wet weather then income does not meet costs,” he said.

“There are flow-on effects to the community – it does affect morale and people are worried about what the future holds.

“If this rain keeps up, farmers won’t be able to get on their canola to windrow; theground is too heavy.

“I think it’s time the rain took a bit of a spell.”

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

August 20th, 2019 by admin

Centenary of 1918 secures $50k for RSL

GOULBURN Mulwaree Council has voted to give the local RSL Sub Branch $50,000 to assist with planning for AnzacDay and Remembrance Day services in 2018.
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SIGNIFICANT MOMENT: Cadet Under Officer Elijah Fernance during last year’s Anzac Day centenary commemoration in Goulburn.

In the initialletter to the council requesting the funding, Goulburn RSLSub-Branch secretary Mal Ritchie said in 2018the branch was proposingto stage a similar event to that heldin 2015, which markedthe centenary of the Anzac landings.

The letter saidthis event wouldcommemorate the end of WWI and that it wouldhappen onAnzac Day,2018.

“This year being the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI will obviously be a bigger than the usual commemoration, and we certainly appreciateassistancetowards the costs,” Mr Ritchie wrote.

“We arebeginning to plan for 2018 and this would be a load off our back regarding funding,” the letter said.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the council voted to allocatethe $50,000 in the 2017/18 budget to assist with these commemorations.

At the meeting, Goulburn Muwlaree general manager Warwick Bennett confirmedthe expenditure would assist to televisethe 2018 Dawn Service into Belmore Park.

OnThursday,Goulburn RSLSub-Branch president Gordon Wade thanked the council for giving the RSL Sub Branch the funding.

“Theplan is to hold fitting events to commemorate the centenary of the ending of WWI in 2018,” Mr Wade said.

“We have started planning it, but there is a fair bit to do so,this grant will be very helpful to us to stage the event.

“Noting that 2018 is the centenaryof the cessation of WWI, weintend to duplicate the service that was held on Anzac Day in 2015, whereby the Dawn Service on Rocky Hillwillbe transmittedontoa large screen in Belmore Park.

“We are very appreciative for council’s contribution to assist with this. Wehope this money will also assist us with the Remembrance Day service, which will also be asignificant event that will be held on Rocky Hill in 2018.”

In 2015, the centenary of Anzac Day drew massive crowds into Belmore Park and onto Rocky Hill for the Dawn Service. It was the first time that the service had been televised to the park. There was also a moving sunset service onRocky Hill.

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

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.

CAMP GROUNDS ‘NOT FOR SALE’

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.