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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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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Rural roads send Debbie postal

Debbie Prest knows a thing or two about the local roads.
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As a contractor for Australia Post she travels some 44,772 kilometres every year. And up until October 2012 she served four years on Young Shire Council.

So having served time on both sides of the fence – she’s no longer content to sit in the middle.

“I’m calling you Edwina because I am fed up,” she said on Monday from her mobile phone.

At that point Deb was sitting 35 kilometres north west of Young on Blayneys Road which weaves toward the Weddin Moun-tains.

“When I was serving as a councillor [council’s director of operations] Dirk Wymer promised us the best roads in 20 years and I am asking where are they?” She said.

She’s well qualified to judge – the 287 kilometre journey Debbie takes three times a week sees her travel from Young along some of the shire’s more remote rural roads, stretching from Lirambenda in the north, across to Bimbi to the west and further west to Longhursts Road, which just skirts the edges of Morangarell. Her journey back to Young weaves through the village of Bribbaree, the back roads of Thuddungra.

On Monday she did most of this journey in her station wagon at 40 kilometres per hour. Worst roads were Ashville School Road, Blayneys Road and Barries Lane.

Peppered with potholes and water laying across the road, mud patches that have her sliding from side to side, she wonders how the people who regularly use those routes to travel to Grenfell and Forbes.

And she’s frequently asked why she doesn’tdrive a four wheel drive.

“Why should I – I’m driving on a public road – these roads should be able to be used by everyone,” she said.

“People always say you know when you’re in the Young shire because the roads are so bad but I am here to tell you as soon as you cross the creek and hit the Weddin Shire the roads are beautiful,” she said.

She contends that the funding given to council following the devastating floods of 2010 and 2012 should have been put to better use.

“We got around $4 million in funding on top of the usual allocated road funds and I can’t see how that has been spent,” she said.

“There’s no gravel on the roads, the formwork is terrible, the drains are located in inappropriate places and in some instances guide posts have been graded into the ground – I mean how much is one of those?”

She says that residents of these outlying areas were disgusted.

Rural roads send Debbie postal Baileys Road

Bribbaree village

Blayneys Road

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Scammers need to be stopped

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched a new campaign to disrupt scammers who are conning millions of dollars from Australians every year.
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A successful trial saw the ACCC team up with businesses to firstly identify people who appeared to be at risk of being conned and then secondly to issue warning letters to those would-be victims.

Romance scams, in financial terms, account for more than a quarter of all the money Australians lost to scammers last year.

These wannabe Romeos are ripping off unwary Australians for about $25 million a year in romance scams, but all up these grubs snaffled a heart-breaking $90 million.

So if you’re sending thousands of dollars via an international wire transfer to someone in, say, western Africa, after forming an online relationship with them, you can expect the ACCC to drop you a line asking if you’re completely confident you’re not going to be scammed.

The ACCC’s fifth annual report on scam activity in Australia highlights the significant harm that these rip-offs continue to cause to our community.

According to the report, in 2013 nearly 92,000 scam-related reports were received by the ACCC, an increase of almost 10 per cent from 2012, although the amounts of cash they snaffled reportedly dropped.

“Actual losses are likely to be much higher than what is reported to the ACCC – people report scams to a number of agencies, some don’t recognise that they have fallen for a scam, and unfortunately many others are too embarrassed to report their experience,” the ACCC said.

For the third consecutive year the ACCC has seen a drop in what it calls the “conversion rate” of people who responded to an approach by a scam admirer and subsequently lost money – from 48 per cent in 2011 to 46 per cent in 2012 to 43 per cent in 2013.

However, those who were stung were hit hard because, as the ACCC reports, “financial losses continue to remain substantially disproportionate to contacts”, with dating and romance scams making up only 3 per cent of all scam-related contacts in 2013.

If you have some concerns about a romance scam – or any other type of scam, from a dodgy phone call to an email phishing scam – check out www.scamwatch.gov.au.

There are lots of tips on dealing with potential scams, as well as updates on the latest rip-offs doing the rounds.

While it’s good news, to some extent, that more people are realising they are being conned, the cost to those stung by scammers is still far too high.

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AD FEATURE: Dress your home at Emporium

BIG CHOICE: Ruth Allen at the large Charmhaven showroom this week. Picture: David StewartRUTH and Greg Allen of Emporium Blinds, Curtains, Shutters and Awnings, at Charmhaven, aren’t kidding when they say they take their work personally.
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“We’re both really passionate about what we do,” Ms Allen said.

And they understand that customers feel the same way about getting it right when adding curtains, blinds, shutters or awnings to their homes.

“We’re very honest and we’re committed to providing a very personalised touch for our customers to make sure that their window dressings will be just right,” she said.

“And if that means that the customer has to come back and see us 20 times before they feel comfortable about their decision, then that’s fine.”

Emporium Blinds, Curtains, Shutters and Awnings aims to provide quality products at affordable prices.

The Allens and their staff make the process simple for customers: from providing a free measure and quote and expert advice, to making the product, and then installing it, they handle it all.

The Charmhaven showroom stocks a range of quality fabrics from the likes of Warwick, Wilson, Rowe, Morris Kain and Nettex.

There’s every style of made-to-measure curtain and blind imaginable, in a myriad of fabrics and materials, colours and patterns.

And the made-to-measure awnings are sourced locally from a manufacturer at Kincumber, and Sydney.

Outdoor and privacy blinds are particularly popular, Ms Allen said.

Outdoor PVC blinds, typical of those featured in trendy Terrigal eateries, are increasingly being added to the decks of local homes.

Depending on the style and type chosen, they can help to block the wind and harsh afternoon summer sun.

The Allens share an immense sense of satisfaction in exceeding a customer’s expectations.

“I get very excited when people phone or drop in to tell us how happy they are with us,” she said.

“It tells us that we’ve done a great job and made them feel special.”

■ Emporium Blinds, Curtains, Shutters and Awnings is at 2 O’Hart Close, Charmhaven. Phone 4393 2100.

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Man bashed during Mount View home invasion

Police are hunting two men who bashed a 51-year-old man during a home invasion atMount View on Tuesday night.
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Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said the men, one armed with a bat and the other wielding a wrench, entered the Pyne Way home about 8pm.

Inspector Zdrilic said they beat the man on the head with the weapons before they stole a quantity of cash and left the premises.

A 39-year-old woman, who was also at the home during the incident, was not physically injured.

The 51-year-old man was air-lifted to John Hunter Hospital with head and arm injuries.

He is in a stable condition.

A crime scene was established at the site and forensic investigations are ongoing.

One of the offenders was described as being Caucasian while the other a Pacific Islander. Both men were of a large build.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact Maitland police on 4934 0200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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AD FEATURE: Swimart franchisee the finest

TOP TEAM: Andrew and Hollie Morton credit their staff with Swimart Charmhaven’s success. Picture: David StewartPOOL and spa business Swimart Charmhaven has picked up a host of awards at the 2014 Swimart conference in Malaysia.
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Owner Andrew Morton returned with awards for NSW Franchisee of the Year, Best Sales Growth, and Australasian Best Sales Growth.

“We have a really motivated team of staff – that’s our 11th award in eight years, so it shows how great the staff are,” Mr Morton said.

Swimart Charmhaven has been recently renovated to include a spa showroom.

It will accommodate the arrival of the new resort and swim spas range, which is exclusive to Swimart.

The new range is powered by Waterco pumps and air blowers, which means the spas are made in Australia, Mr Morton said.

“A lot of people buy spas from overseas brands, but if they break it’s hard to get the parts to fix them,” he said.

“But because our spas are made in Australia, it ensures their quality and if there does happen to be a problem, it’s easy for us to get the necessary parts to fix it.”

There are three spa models to choose from: the Phuket, Bali or Hawaii.

Starting from $7490, the Phuket is the basic model.

But there is a large range of added extras available to fully customise any spa.

The optional add-ons range from steps and ladders to lights, subwoofer speakers in the seats, and global wi-fi.

“With the global wi-fi you can access your spa from anywhere in the world,” Mr Morton said.

“So if you go overseas and forget to turn the spa off, you can log in and do it remotely.”

Another product Mr Morton is excited about is the new chlorine-free pool system.

“It’s great for people with a chlorine allergy, asthma or eczema,” he said.

■ Visit the Swimart Charmhaven store at 1/1 O’Hart Close, Charmhaven, or call 4392 6412.

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