OPINION: Absence of impartial planning system

RECENT donation revelations concerning AGL’s Gloucester Gas Project raise deep community concerns about its approval and future operation.
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The project was hurriedly approved under the former Part 3A provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act by an outgoing government that was in caretaker mode.

Such practice, though not illegal under planning law, was highly irregular and caused much criticism at the time.

However, that situation was worsened by the assessment procedure.

The Planning Assessment Commission was supposed to provide an independent assessment made at arm’s-length from the planning pressures of the time but examination of the process shows it was anything but independent.

The Director-General’s 64-page Environmental Assessment Report (November 2010) concluded with the recommendation that the Planning Assessment Commission approve the project and sign the attached instrument of project approval.

The Planning Assessment Commission responded by acknowledging the inadequacy of geological and groundwater assessments but accepted the Department’s position that the project could be satisfactorily developed using the adaptive management process.

Obtaining proper environmental assessment was doomed from this point.

The use of adaptive management overrides the application of the precautionary principal as required by Commonwealth environmental law but the applicant’s mere assertion that the precautionary principle had been considered was sufficient to satisfy the excessively liberal Part 3A planning provisions.

The Planning Assessment Commission accordingly approved the project with 13 operational conditions which, although providing nominal improvement, did not address the critical deficiencies in the assessment and approval process.

We are now aware of the political donations made by AGL at the time.

AGL’s present lack of social licence for the project and the deep community concern are natural developments from the inadequate planning procedure and the recent revelations.

No amount of AGL publicity, promises and propaganda can rectify the problem. In consideration of all the issues we can but regret the absence of an honest and impartial planning system.

Garry Smith

Gloucester

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Symposium: impact of global crises on NSW

The Community Relations Commission for a multicultural NSW ( CRC)) Symposium whichattracts community leaders from all around our State will this week discuss the impact oncommunities in NSW of conflicts and other humanitarian crises in other parts of the world in Parramatta today.
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The Chief Executive Officer of the CRC, Mr. Hakan Harman, said: “This is a difficulttime for many communities in NSW affected by overseas conflicts.

“The conflicts in Gaza, Iraq and Syria and elsewhere clearly have real implicationsfor people with family and community connections in those parts of the world.

“There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding in many parts of the Middle East andacross other parts of the World today, and our thoughts are with the innocent victimsof these conflicts.

“NSW is home to people who have come from every corner of the world. Many havefled places of conflict and strive to find peace and security in this beautiful State”, hesaid.

Asked why Parramatta was chosen as the locaiton,Mr Harman said:“Parramatta is the geographical, commercial and cultural capital of Western Sydney and is the heart of greater Sydney.

“Parramatta represents a diverse multicultural community with 45% of its population being born overseas and over 40% from Non English Speaking Backgrounds”.

On 20 August 2014, the CRC’s annual symposium will carry the theme, The impacton communities in NSW of conflicts in other parts of the world’.

“The symposium is an opportunity for communities to come together anddemonstrate ‘harmony in action’.

“We want NSW to set an example for the world, to show how people can livetogether in peaceful coexistence.

“The NSW Government stood by the cultural and religious communities of NSW intheir united opposition to proposed changes to the federal Racial Discrimination Act.

Now it is more important than ever that we protect all communities from vilificationand extremist hate.

“Whatever happens in other parts of the world, the CRC and the NSW Government willcontinue to work with all of the communities of NSW to uphold and protect our cohesiveand harmonious multicultural society.

“We are hoping that the discussions at the symposium will produce some good ideas andsome practical steps to maintain the harmony we all seek for ourselves and our families.

“We have invited a list of impressive speakers who will examine the state of communityrelations in NSW, in particular the impact of those overseas events.

“We expect this symposium will send some clear messages of calmness to the wholecommunity in New South Wales.

“Issues discussed during the Symposium assist the CRC to confirm and realign priorities andto advocate for change to services and programs as appropriate”, Mr Harman concluded.

“The Symposium is also an opportunity for the Minister for Citizenship andCommunities, Victor Dominello, to launch our new strategic plan, our vision, ourpurpose and our key the deliverables for the next three years”, Mr. Harman said.

Endorsing the CRC’s Strategic Plan, 2014-17, Mr. Dominello, said: “Ourmulticultural society is no longer a small segment of our community. It is a vitalpiece of our collective NSW identity and the time has come for us to revisit who weare and who we want to be.”

The symposium will be held all day on Wednesday 20th August at the Novotel Hotel 3350Church Street, Parramatta.

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Abbott and Hockey: Why poor people don’t matter

GITTINS: SAVING CAPITALISM FROM ITS EXCESSES:We simply cannot take the capitalist system, which produces such plenty and so many solutions, for granted. Ross Gittins comments.
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It doesn’t seem yet to have dawned on Tony Abbott that he was elected because he wasn’t Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd, not because voters thought it was time we made a lurch to the Right.

The man who imagines he has a “mandate” to mistreat the children of boat people, ensure free speech for bigots, give top appointments to big business mates and reintroduce knights and dames, represented himself as a harmless populist before the election.

Illustration: Kerrie Leishman.

The other thing he doesn’t seem to have realised is that just as he has us moving to reduce our commitment to action against climate change and to make the budget much less fair, the rest of the advanced economies are moving the opposite way.

President Obama is taking steps to overcome Congress’s refusal to act on global warming, the Chinese get more concerned about it as each month passes and the International Monetary Fund is chastising us for our apostasy.

And while we use our budget to widen the gap between rich and poor, people in other countries are realising the need to narrow it.

Wayne Swan, former Labor treasurer, noted in a speech on Monday that “centre-right political leaders across the globe are acknowledging the obvious truth that capitalism is facing an existential challenge . . . only last week ratings agency Standard and Poor’s emphasised yet again that high inequality is a drag on growth”.

In Australia, however, an increasing “vocal minority has decided to oppose any reform, no matter how necessary and no matter how obvious in its benefits to the whole nation, if they perceive it is in their short-term interests to do so.

“This is a recipe for unnecessary political division and widening social inequality, and unfortunately permanent reform failure,” he says.

Australians had done much better than the Americans at matching strong economic growth with social equity but, according to Swan, “we’re witnessing the Americanisation of the Right in this country. Obsessed with defending the advantages of the wealthiest in our society”.

In his various efforts to defend rather than correct his first budget’s unfairness, Joe Hockey seems to be doing just that. Meanwhile, the messages coming from international authorities are very different.

In a recent paper on policy challenges for the next 50 years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned the growing importance of skill-biasedtechnological progress and the rising demand for skills, will continue to widen the gap between high and low wages.

Unless this was corrected by greater redistribution of income, other OECD countries would end up facing almost the same level of inequality as seen in the US today. “Rising inequalities may backlash on growth, notably if they reduce economic opportunities available to low-income talented individuals,” it warns.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, noted in aspeechthat the 85 richest people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population – 3.5 billion people.

“With facts like these, it is no wonder that rising inequality has risen to the top of the agenda – not only among groups normally focused on social justice, but also increasingly among politicians, central bankers and business leaders,” she said.

“Many would argue, however, that we should ultimately care about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.” As it happens, Hockey has defended his budget’s unfairness with just that argument.

“The problem is that opportunities are not equal. Money will always buy better-quality education and health care, for example. But due to current levels of inequality, too many people in too many countries have only the most basic access to these services, if at all. The evidence also shows that social mobility is more stunted in less equal societies.”

Disparity also brings division, she said. “The principles of solidarity and reciprocity that bind societies together are more likely to erode in excessively unequal societies. History also teaches us that democracy begins to fray at the edges once political battles separate the haves against the have-nots.”

Pope Francis put this in stark terms when he called increasing inequality “the root of social evil”.

“It is therefore not surprising that IMF research – which looked at 173 countries over the past 50 years – found that more unequal countries tend to have lower and less durable economic growth,” Legarde also said.

Get that? Until now, the conventional wisdom among economists has been that efforts to reduce inequality come at the expense of economic growth. Now a pillar of economic orthodoxy, the IMF, has found it works the other way round: rising inequality – as is occurring in Australia, the US and almost all advanced economies – seems to lead to slower growth.

Lagarde said other IMF research had found that, in general, budgetary policies had a good record of reducing social disparities. Social security benefits and income taxes “have been able to reduce inequality by about a third, on average, among the advanced economies”.

What can we do? “Some potentially beneficial options can include making income tax systems more progressive without being excessive; making greater use of property taxes; expanding access to education and health; and relying more on active labour market programs and in-work social benefits.”

Perhaps in his efforts to get a modified version of his budget passed by the Senate, Hockey could bring in the IMF as consultants.

Ross Gittins is economics editor.

SMH

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Griggs wins nail-biter at Bombala bowls tournament: Photos

Griggs wins nail-biter at Bombala bowls tournament: Photos The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.
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The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

The final of the handicap singles championships on Saturday saw G Griggs def P Jones, 23-20. While some players managed to get in some games in Bombala, the tournament in Ulladulla was a wash-out.

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Artyculture record broken

TROPICAL: Chloe Sharpe designed and modelled the dress that her grandmother Joy Crosby made. It won the adult section.
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PRETTY: Megan Grainger modelled teen winner Amy Flavell s design.

CREATIVE: Georgina Gaston modelled incentive winner Therese Flavell s design.

BRIGHT: Jasmin Piggott modelled Beth Hammond s design, which was equal people s choice winner.

CUTE: Bree Alcock won the children s section.

AMAZING: Kate Grainger won the people’s choice and the best accessorised dress in the Artyculture parade. Her dress weighed about 25 kilograms.

THIS year’s Artyculture parade at the Eyre Peninsula Field Days broke participation records from previous parades.

“It was wonderful, we had more models than we have ever had before,” one of the organisers Maureen Johnson said.

Along with more models, Mrs Johnson said there were also a record number of 26 entries in this year’s parade.

“That is mainly because of the Cleve Area School’s involvement in the parade this year.”

Mrs Johnson said the Eyre Peninsula Field Days pavilion where the parade was held was packed every day and there were a number of people who put in a lot of work.

“There are so many people who work behind the scenes of the parade,” Mrs Johnson said.

“Jasmin Piggott did a wonderful job with the choreography and Jo Sampson just has to be thanked for all of her hard work and for being the compere.”

“Nathan Rosenzweig did all of the music, Tina Rosenzweig was our main dresser and Sue-Anne Marino did a wonderful job with makeup.”

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Andamooka and Hornridge remember Troy Gum with memorial trophy

RESPECT: Players from both Hornridge and Andamooka had a minute s silence for the Troy Gum Memorial Trophy match.
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Andamooka and Hornridge remembered the passing of friend and teammate Troy Gum with one minute’s silence before clashing in the Troy Gum Memorial Trophy match.

The game, now an annual tradition, pays a homage to a man tragically taken by cancer two years ago.

Troy grew up in Roxby playing football for Hornridge and was affiliated through friendship with the Andamooka football team.

The game as the french say was “a fait accompli”.

I suppose that is a fancy way of saying “yep, knew Andamooka were going to get their backside’s kicked”.

The 1.4-10 to 20.12-132 final score, however, doesn’t reflect the courage shown by the Andamooka boys despite the shellacking.

Kangaroos coach Craig Whyatt reflected on a season that demonstrated Andamooka’s inability to match it with the rest of the league, yet was pleased that under the circumstances his team had the courage to duke it out irrespective of the what the scoreboard was telling them.

While most teams had their fair share of injuries and absent players, arguably Andamooka suffered the most.

So for Whyatt and his band of brothers it’s the end of a forgettable season.

Hornridge on the other hand are major contenders in this year’s finals, however, while they might of got some match practice in against the hapless ‘Roos, they cannot afford to bask too long, if at all, in Saturday’s victory.

When the game is broken down, Andamooka kept a much stronger and aggressive Magpies to four goals in the first quarter and in the third the ‘Roos clipped a flatfooted Magpie run by only conceding four goals.

The truth of it is the ‘Pies should have slotted at least another four or six plus, against a Kangaroos side that had little or no run off the bench and inferior football skills.

The point is, Hornridge cannot afford to stray off the path and must play four quarters of consistent football.

If they are stalled by a depleted team such as Andamooka, imagine what a well oiled Roxby Districts, an unpredictable Olympic Dam, or if Coober Pedy manage to present its best side, will do to them if they stray too far from coach Mitchell’s plan.

DODGE: Hornridge’s Clayton Millard dodges defenders during his side’s win on Saturday.


Wymer: disaster funding for repairs not capital works

After the devastating floods of December 2010 and March 2012 across NSW, Young Shire Council pocketed $4.2 million in funding assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
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This amount of cash may sound like a windfall, but it could only be spent on repairing damage caused by the floods and heavy rainfall, Young Shire Council director of operations Dirk Wymer said,

“The fundamental principal of natural disaster funding is to repair… not to complete capital works,” he said.

“Under the program, council is eligible to have the costs of repairing identified damage reimbursed.”

Mr Wymer said the funding totaled $950,000 for 2013/14, including $450,000 to assist with gravel road repair, and the remainder on sealed road projects.

“Council will be carrying out the final inspections on the program with the RMS staff,” he said.

Although Mr Wymer couldn’t give a figure to how many complaints the shire receives on the rural roads, he said council faced major obstacles to funding road upgrades and maintenance.

This, he said, was not a problem unique to Young.

“The Local Government Infrastructure Audit June 2013 in which the total infrastructure backlog for all NSW councils was estimated to be $7.4 billion at 30 June 2012, of which $4.5 billion relates to roads and related assets and $1 billion relates to buildings. The infrastructure backlog is over $1000 per head of the NSW population,” Mr Wymer said.

“Another of the challenges facing not only Young Shire but local government is the resilience of the road pavements. Thin flexible pavements have not been designed for the increasing volumes and weight of road freight traffic and a period of extended rainfall can result in lots of damage to the network.”

And cuts to the indexation of council’s federal assistance grants, set to come into effect this week, will put a further squeeze on council’s funding.

Mr Wymer said the expected shortfall of $475,000 in roads funding could set council’s works projects back by up to a year.

But Mr Wymer denied a resident’s claim a council grader and roller sat inactive on the side of the road for weeks.

“I don’t believe a claim of a grader sitting idle for eight weeks could be justified given council is given regular reports on the works program and also regular reports on plant utilisation,” he said.

Looking to the future, Mr Wymer said council was planning for the ongoing improvement of roads.

These plans include the reconstruction of the urban heavy vehicle routes through town, an application to participate in the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme, plans to widen the shoulder on Murringo and Milvale Roads, planned gravel roads reconstruction and resheeting and bitumen sealing some of the local gravel roads carrying higher traffic volumes.

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Snakes charm Penrith’s future scientists

New friend: Penrith South Public School year 6 pupil Lanu Cross-Taateo, 11, and year 4 pupil Lucas Golovchenko, 10, handle a python at an excursion to the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury campus. Picture: Gene RamirezPenrith South Public School pupils scaled new heights of learning during a visit to the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury campus for National Science Week.
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The year 6 pupils and 12 technology club members in years 3-6 handled pythons, lizards and other reptiles, discussed climate change, and made short movies with iPads to record their thoughts on their environment.

Year 4 pupil and reptile aficionado Lucas Golovchenko, 10, said he learned the children’s python was named after the English scientist who discovered it and that lizards were less easily agitated than snakes.

“The best part about today was getting to know facts more strongly,” he said.

“Holding the lizards and snakes was a good inspiration as well.

“Blue-tongue lizards are actually really gentle creatures.

“If you are going to get close to one you should be gentle and treat it how you would want to be treated.”

Year 6 pupil Jaylen Maipi, 11, said the climate talk focused on how much water animals and crops need and how to conserve water.

Classmate Lanu Cross-Taateo, 11, said the advice included not wasting water during shower times.

“They say if you just want to go for a shower to wash your body you should only go in for four or five minutes,” she said.

The UWS Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment’s communications manager David Thompson said it was the first time the university had offered the program to engage students in natural heritage and environment topics through technology.

“We’re hoping that it will reinforce their curiosity and their interest in all things environmental,” he said.

“By getting the students to record the small movies and document their own experiences the idea is to engage them in thinking about the science of our natural environment.”

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AQUATIC: Paddleboard action for all at foreshore festival

FAMILY-FRIENDLY: The paddleboarding fun starts at 10am on Sunday, August 31. Picture: Dean OslandLAKE Macquarie stand-up paddlers are invited to take part in the inaugural Central Coast Saltwater Festival on Sunday, August 31, at The Entrance.
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The event, the opening event of the stand-up paddleboard season, is along The Entrance foreshore. There are two major races, the 6-kilometre race and the 100-metre race. Paddling starts at 10am.

The family-friendly event has multiple categories – male/female, opens, over 40s, over 50s and juniors. Registration costs $55 and includes items such as a T-shirt and dry bag.

The festival will also have market stalls, kids’ activities and entertainment. All proceeds go to Kamira, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for women with children.

■ Visit centralcoastsaltwaterfestival南京夜网.au.

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LEAGUE: Scorpions climb to second on ladder

MAIN MAN: Macquarie Scorpions would like nothing more than to win the title for inspirational skipper Danny Vaughan. Picture: David StewartMACQUARIE moved into second place on the Newcastle rugby league premiership ladder with a 26-6 win over leaders Western Suburbs at Toronto on Saturday.
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The win locked in a top-three finish for the Scorpions.

The minor premiership is now also a possibility for the Scorpions with just one round to play before the semi-finals.

Halfback Mick Moran scored a try to open the points for Macquarie, and set up a 14-nil lead at the break.

But the news was not all good for Moran, club football secretary Stephen Woodbridge said.

“Unfortunately for the Scorpions, Moran left the field not long after scoring when he suffered a calf injury that could sideline him for the vital clash against Cessnock this weekend,” Woodbridge said.

Coach Barrie Moore was ecstatic after the game. He said it was easily the club’s best win of the season.

“He heaped praise on the team’s defensive display, and said that was the difference between the two teams,” Woodbridge said.

“He said to concede only one try to Wests – and that was from a kick – emphasised just how well they defended across the park.”

Andy Sumner and Randall Briggs were very strong in that department, and a hat-trick of tries to centre Royce Geoffrey was impressive.

Moore said it was a special day for the Scorpions. Not only did they win in front of the Scorpions Old Boys, but it could also have been captain Danny Vaughan’s last game at Toronto.

Moore said it was not the time to get carried away.

“Although we have played some very good football and cemented a top-three spot, we have not won anything yet, and the club needs to lift further leading into the semi-finals,” he said.

The Scorpions travel to take on Cessnock this Saturday. Though a win could have them win the minor premiership, a loss will almost certainly see them finish third on the ladder and forced to play their first semi-final away from home, Woodbridge said.

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Have your say on hospital bus while you still can

SUPPORT: Noleen Robinson, left, collects the latest batch of letters from the Lakes Mail’s Hayley Thurtell. The Lakes Mail is one of several local businesses where locals can leave their letters backing the bus campaign. Picture: David StewartTHE community campaign calling for a public bus service linking Morisset and Wyong Hospital must end next week.
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South Lake Macquarie Public Transport Action Group (SLMPTAG) chairwoman Noleen Robinson said almost 950 signed letters had so far been collected.

She is urging locals to get on board and add their voice to the campaign in the final week.

“Time is now of the essence, as we have only a few days to go before we must close our campaign on Sunday, August 31,” Ms Robinson said.

“Then all letters will be collected from the local collection points in the district, and prepared for the staff at MP Greg Piper’s office to collate and get ready for Greg to take down to Sydney and present to State Parliament and the Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian.”

Ms Robinson said it was clear from letters received so far the service was “desperately needed”.

“So many people explain that they have to ask their families – who are often living in Sydney – to come up here and drive them to the hospital,” she said.

Others have written in detail about the physical and emotional ordeals endured catching a train from Morisset to Wyong, then having to catch a bus from the station to the hospital at Kanwal.

Ms Robinson said the proposed bus service would ease the burden for hundreds of locals.

CAMPAIGN ON THE ROADLOCALS can support the campaign for a bus service linking Morisset with Wyong Hospital in two ways.

(1) Tell your story

Explain to the Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian exactly what was involved in your journey by public transport to and from Wyong Hospital – either as a hospital patient, or as a visitor, or in accessing the specialist services at the hospital campus.

Leave hard copies of your letters at the collection points listed on this page.

Or email them to [email protected]南京夜网

(2) Sign the form letter

A form letter outlining the case for the bus service is available for signing at the listed collection points.

Collection pointsTHE locations where locals can access the form letter, or leave their personal letters, include:

MEDICAL PRACTICES

GP Super Clinic, Dora St, Morisset

Tristar Medical Group, Short St, Morisset

South Lakes Medical Group, Doree Pl, Dora Creek

Southlakes Medical Group, Alton Rd, Cooranbong

Wyee Medical Clinic, Wyee Shopping Centre, Wyee

Bonnells Bay Surgery, Bay Shopping Square, Bonnells Bay

CHEMISTS

Morisset Main Street Pharmacy, Dora St, Morisset

Priceline Pharmacy, Morisset Square, Morisset

Dora Creek Pharmacy, Doree Pl, Dora Creek

Bonnells Bay Pharmacy, Bonnells Bay Rd, Bonnells Bay

Wyee Centre Pharmacy, Wyee Shopping Village, Wyee

Cooranbong Pharmacy, Freemans Dr, Cooranbong

RESIDENTIAL VILLAGES

Bay Village Estate, Fishery Point Rd, Bonnells Bay

The Grange, Gimberts Rd, Morisset

Lake Macquarie Village, Stockton St, Morisset

Rosedale Gardens, Deaves Rd, Cooranbong

Mecca Village, Rutleys Rd, Wyee Point

BUSINESSES

The Lakes Mail, Yambo St, Morisset

Morisset Newsagency, Dora St, Morisset

Morisset Square Newsagency, Morisset

Lake Macquarie Hotel, Dora St, Morisset

Bottlemart, Dora St, Morisset

Colin Moore’s Meat Market, Dora St, Morisset

Yummy Thai, Dora St, Morisset

Corlett’s Home Timber and Hardware, Gateway Bld, Morisset

Hunter Office Supplies, Alliance Ave, Morisset

Wyee Mini Market, Wyee Rd, Wyee

AGENCIES

Southlakes Carers, Dora St, Morisset

Morisset Neighbourhood Centre, Dora St, Morisset

Salvation Army, Station St, Bonnells Bay

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Sensitivity needed

WHEN it comes to the issue of Troy William’s sacking as a school chaplain Jim Campbell and Claire van Ryn are blind to the facts.
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Firstly under his conditions of employment he is not allowed to express a religious opinion.

Presumably as part of his training he would have been acquainted with the need to deal with issues sensitively.

But more importantly the voicing of a religious opinion which is in conflict with established fact is highly dangerous.

Sexuality, like eye and hair colour, is what you are born with and not subject to personal choice. In consideration of all the factors involved it is absurd to suggest anyone would choose to be gay.

Adolescence is surely one of the most troubling periods in our lives so our young deserve sexuality and relationship issues in the broadest sense to be treated with understanding and sensitivity.

This is gravely important given the shameful suicide figures of our youth in this country.

—RALPH MARSHALL, Launceston.

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Callous robbery

A WHEELCHAIR-dependent man had two disability scooters stolen from his home over the weekend.
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Forty-nine-year-old Colin Edgar (pictured) was asleep in his Cowper Street home in Young when thieves stole the Shoprider scooters at about 1am on Sunday morning.

Mr Edgar said the two scooters, worth about $7500, were under the pergola behind the house.

“I’d say somebody might have known but I don’t know,” he said.

“It’s a bit rotten.”

Mr Edgar, who lives on his own, uses a wheelchair inside his home and the mobility scooters for the yard and outside.

As the robbery took place, Mr Edgar heard the beeping of the scooters as they were put into reverse, but wasn’t fast enough to see the offenders.

“It would have taken me too long to get up and in my wheelchair,” he said.

Mr Edgar phoned a friend, who contacted local police later that morning.

“Don’t know who (it could have been),” he said.

“Probably just to warn other people to try and keep their machines inside or in the shed or locked up.

“Hopefully the police will find out something about it.”

Mr Edgar has lived in his home for nine years and has never had anything stolen before.

Cootamundra Local Area Command (LAC) crime prevention officer Peter Guthrie circulated an email appealing for information.

Mr Guthrie said the offenders detached the charger from the scooters and drove them to the top of Earl Street, leaving tyre imprints on the grass.

“The male victim of this offence suffers from a brain injury which prevents him from the use of his lower limbs,” he said.

“Therefore the mobility scooters are an integral part of his life in enabling him to travel, not only around his house, but to and from town.

“This callous stealing is sickening and police require information from the public in order to bring these criminals to justice.”

Anyone with information should contact Young police station on 6382 8199 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

FOOTNOTE: Thanks to the outrage Don Luff voiced about Colin’s plight on the John Laws show yesterday morning, a new scooter is on its way to Young thanks to the generosity of a mysterious Ocean Shores benefactor and a delivery service offered to deliver the mobility device to Colin.

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