GP fee will pass: Tony Abbott stands firm on contentious budget measure

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is confident a GP fee will pass the parliament despite widespread opposition. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesCormann stokes debt fears in push to transform budget debate
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is standing firm on introducing a fee for visits to the doctor, but he has given his clearest signal yet that a compromise deal could see pensioners face a lower GP co-payment.

As the government negotiates with the crossbench, Mr Abbott said he expected the $7 payment would eventually pass the Parliament, despite stiff opposition from the Palmer United Party to the measure in its current form.

Mr Abbott has refused to explicitly say what ground the government could give on the $7 fee policy, but hinted broadly at the direction the government was considering.

“We don’t exempt pensioners from a PBS [Phamraceutical Benefits Scheme] co-payment,” he told Brisbane radio.

“Their co-payment is normally a little less than the co-payment that the public faces.

“So if we don’t exempt pensioners from the PBS co-payment, why should they be entirely exempted from the Medicare co-payment?”

The Prime Minister’s comments came as the government appeared to be attempting shift the budget narrative away from one of “crisis” – Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said on Monday night negotiations would be a “marathon, not a sprint” – and as the government released modelling that showed only about $20 billion of $19 trillion of expenses over four years contained in the budget had not been passed.

The government is now stressing that the current political debate about the budget is about structural measures that for the most part will not come into full effect until the fourth year of the current budget, with savings to ramp up over the next decade.

About $40 billion in savings have not been passed when other measures, such mining tax-related expenditure, are included.

Mr Abbott said the GP fee was one measure that he believed the government would win approval for because it “makes sense”.

“I’m pretty sure that we will end up with a modest co-payment,” Mr Abbott said.

“The precise detail of the arrangement – let’s wait and see how we go with our discussions … with the crossbench.”

He said a fee “makes economic sense, it makes health policy sense”.

“Frankly, it makes fairness sense,” Mr Abbott said.

“Because in the end these systems have got to be sustainable.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey also defended the proposed fee, saying directing the capital in the medical research fund would help the budget bottom line.

”Effectively the savings in health go into the medical research future fund. And given that all that money is not going to be spent, but the return on the investment from the medical research future fund will gradually increase over time, the overall benefit of our health reforms is a significant saving to the budget,” he said.

Asked why the government had not made that argument before, Mr Hockey replied: ”We have, but perhaps you didn’t hear it.”

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said on Wednesday the government could not argue that the medical research fund, which its co-payment was intended to fund, was part of its budget repair strategy.

Mr Bowen said the proposed fee was simply “a matter of prejudice and it’s a matter of undermining the fundamental universality of health care”.

“It is charging people to go to the doctor which means your wealth will determine your health.

“That is completely undermining the principles of Medicare which have existed now in Australia for 30 years, were bipartisan, it’s in clear breach of an election commitment and we won’t stand for it.”

Mr Abbott’s comments come after Finance Minister Mathias Cormann moved to reset the budget debate overnight, calling for a “reality check” about the state of the Australian economy.

Senator Cormann rejected media discussion of the budget as “noise” and said suggestions the budget was unfair were “nonsense”.

Follow us on Twitter

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

‘Over the top, shrill and wrong’: Tony Abbott slams Clive Palmer’s remarks about China

Clive Palmer and Tony Abbott Photo: Alex EllinghausenPalmer’s ‘absurd’ TV rant condemnedComment: Mr China no more
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has joined the chorus of government ministers condemning Clive Palmer’s vitriolic comments about the Chinese government, slamming the mining magnate’s comments as ”over the top, shrill and wrong”.

On Monday night’s Q&A program Mr Palmer described the Chinese as “mongrels” who “shoot their own people”.

In his first comments on Mr Palmer’s outburst – described by the Chinese government as “absurd” and “irresponsible” – Mr Abbott said the China boom had kept Australia going through the worst of the global financial crisis.

”It’s one of the reasons why we want to maintain a strong relationship with China, one of the reasons why what Clive Palmer said the other night was so destructive,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio.

“Really it’s very hard to understand why someone who wants to be influential in our nation’s life would be so simplistic and counterproductive.”

Mr Abbott said he believed Mr Palmer’s comments were driven by a personal business dispute with Chinese company CITI Pacific.

“I think the Chinese appreciate Australia enough to understand that Mr Palmer just speaks for himself on an issue like this and he certainly isn’t speaking for Australia,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Palmer stood by his comments in an interview in Perth on Wednesday after a meeting his Palmer United Party Senate Dio Wang, who is of Chinese descent, saying they did not discuss the topic.

“No we didn’t discuss this at all,” he said, adding his colleague had not been offended by the remarks.

He said West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s comments that he was a racist were not correct.

“I think my comments have been taken out of context,” he said.

“I called the people that we’re dealing with in our company bastards.

“We’re not talking about Chinese people, we’re talking about the Chinese communist government who are suppressing their people.”

Yet in a later statement, Mr Palmer stepped back from his criticism of the Chinese government, saying his comments referred only to ”one Chinese state-owned company that has failed to honour it agreements and announcements made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in early 2006”.

The statement went on to say that he has been ”an admirer of China and its people for many years” and the Palmer United Party was ”very fortunate to have in its ranks Australia’s first mainland-born Chinese”.

Australia and China are currently negotiating a free trade agreement.

Treasurer Joe Hockey, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Andrew Robb have previously blasted Mr Palmer’s comments.

Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie escalated Mr Palmer’s comments on Tuesday by warning Australians risked becoming “slaves to an aggressive, anti-democratic, totalitarian foreign power”.

“If anybody thinks that we should have a national security and defence policy, which ignores the threat of a Chinese Communist invasion — you’re delusional and got rocks in your head,” she said in a statement.

Asked if there was a comparison between Senator Lambie an controversial former MP Pauline Hanson, Mr Abbott responded ”quirky newcomers” often attracted celebrity-like attention, adding both were ”populist outbreaks on the right of politics”.

”And I think in the end both pretty counterproductive in our national life,” he said.

”But having said that, I accept . . . the people of Australia elected the Senate that we’ve got, and we are prepared to work constructively with the Senate that we’ve got.”

Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce compared Senator Lambie’s comments with drunken talk ”at the corner pub”.

”These things sound amusing when they’re said after 15 beers but they’re very, very dangerous if you want to say them on national television,” he told the Nine Network.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Palmer’s outburst was ”unhelpful” and ”silly”.

”I wish he hadn’t said them. I hope he wishes he hadn’t said them,” he said.

Mr Morrison said Chinese immigrants had made an ”enormous contribution” to Australian society.

Follow us on Twitter

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

Kasiano out for season

Canterbury’s premiership chances have taken a hit after prop Sam Kasiano was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Nanjing Night Net

Kasiano’s ankle injury is worse than first thought and the New Zealand international will require surgery this week.

“We can confirm we have a tentative surgery date booked for Thursday,” Bulldogs physiotherapist Steve McCullagh told the club’s website.

“He’s done a good job with the injury and we won’t be seeing Sam again this season.”

Another Bulldogs forward, Lloyd Perrett, injured his ankle in last Friday’s win over Parramatta and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. Forward Josh Jackson suffered a concussion against the Eels but is expected to be cleared to take on Wests Tigers.

Canterbury CEO Raelene Castle finally confirmed league’s worst-kept secret – her club’s signing of Cronulla hooker Michael Lichaa – during a blog with fans on Tuesday night. Other confirmed signings include Cowboy Curtis Rona, Easts Tigers flyer Jarrod McInally and Eel Jacob Loko.

Castle said the Bulldogs were negotiating extensions with Corey Thompson and Perrett.

“We are currently finalising details with Perrett – we will announce once we have him signed and sealed!” Castle wrote.

The former boss of New Zealand Netball said the club was still on the lookout for a marquee fullback but said Sea Eagle Brett Stewart wasn’t on the radar.

“No – he is contracted for 2015 at Manly,” she wrote.

“We are looking for a fullback that adds major playing value to our roster but also is a good cultural fit. We are working on it and we understand as well as you do how important this is. That is why we want to get it right … Sammy [Perrett] has been great and we will only sign the right player.”

Castle also ruled out Israel Folau, David Mead or Darius Boyd joining the Bulldogs next year but said Broncos utility Josh Hoffman was a player of interest if allowed to leave before his contract expired next year.

“We would look at him if he is released,” Castle wrote.

Castle also flagged a review of the lower grades after disappointing recent performances.

“We agree that performance has not been acceptable and we will be completing a review at the end of the season,” she wrote.

“It is our aim to generate at least 2 players each year capable of playing first grade, Last year was Lloyd Perrett and Moses Mbye.”

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

Can you afford it? Can you afford to ignore it?

Our home prices are among the world’s highest and still haven’t peaked.
Nanjing Night Net

But if you’re thinking of buying there’s no need to rush, because from here on the rises are expected to be more sedate as the surge in building approvals kicks in and real incomes falter.

At the same time, rents for units are more than keeping up with inflation in Sydney and Melbourne though at best are flat in the other capitals.

Independent property commentators are tipping values will rise an average 6 or 7 per cent in the next year, compared with about 10 per cent last year.

‘‘Normally property prices keep going up until interest rates start to rise. There’s more upside ahead with very low rates, in fact fixed rates have been coming down but the gains will slow down a bit,’’ Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital says.

So when might rates rise?

Not for ages. Economists don’t expect the Reserve Bank to lift rates before its US counterpart, the Federal Reserve, which is planning to but hasn’t set a date as such, apart from making it clear that it won’t be until well into next year. In any case the smart money is even gambling that the Reserve has another cut in it.

Despite (or by pushing up prices perhaps because of) record low rates, affordability is a real issue.

Going up: Property investors, Melinda Lee and Kabe Franklin. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Then there’s Sydney, described as ‘‘one out of the box’’ in the past year by Andrew Wilson, senior economist at Australian Property Monitors.

‘‘That has been due to low interest rates and investor activity, which is half the market,’’ he says, predicting 2 per cent price rises in each of this and the next quarter for Sydney.

‘‘Pent up demand has been released through lower interest rates, especially for investors in Sydney. Once it works its way through the system it wanes in impact,’’ Wilson says.

The other places to be in the next year are Adelaide and Brisbane, mainly because they have some catching up to do after last year’s under-performance.

‘‘Melbourne is likely to record half the growth it did last year – so that will be about 4 to 5 per cent,’’ Wilson says.

‘‘Perth is looking flat this year,’’ he says, and it wasn’t a reference to the city’s topography.

Just as record low mortgage rates have boosted demand, an unusually long home building slump has limited supply. No wonder prices have been shooting up.

Although there’s a boom in housing construction under way it still has a lot of, um, ground to make up.

‘‘It’s the strongest in more than a decade but isn’t enough to make up for the under-building in the previous 10 years,’’ Oliver says.

In fact the adult population is still growing faster than new homes are being built, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

St George Bank estimates the housing shortage is running at 101,300 dwellings a year.

Even so, there’s no getting around the problem of affordability.

Affordability trap

Caught in the middle between low rates and high prices, both records, are household incomes. Wages fell in real terms over the past year and rising unemployment isn’t about to turn that around for a while.

Over time property prices rise on average by the growth in household disposable incomes.

These rose strongly after the global financial crisis as Australia’s export revenues soared thanks to China’s massive spending program, which concentrated on resource-hungry infrastructure. This filtered down to the neighbourhood as jobs, cheaper manufactures and wage increases.

Those days are over, though property prices have been the last to adjust to the new reality.

That’s why once interest rates start increasing, it seems around 5 per cent annual average rises will be the best that can be expected. That suggests real growth of only 2 per cent a year.

The return for investors will be higher when you add a gross rental yield of about 4 per cent on average. This probably won’t change much because even though prices are expected to rise, which would reduce the yield, rents will also be going up.

But remember costs such as maintenance, council rates and strata levies typically knock 1.5 per cent off this.

Also more than half of recent building approvals have been for units, suggesting a looming localised glut, since new apartment blocks tend to be built near each other. Buying off-the-plan also means you’re paying a developer premium.

Anyway there’s no chance of a property bubble while affordability is so constrained – potential first home buyers are staying away in droves – and bank lending is subdued.

The latest QBE annual survey of intending buyers in the next five years found a distinct cooling in sentiment.

Taken in late June, it showed 36 per cent thought the next 12 months would ‘‘be the best time to buy’’ compared with 42 per cent at the same time last year, mainly the result of the budget.

But come to that nor is a correction likely. The market is underpinned by interest rates that will remain low into the foreseeable future, because economic growth is relatively subdued and the housing shortage will take years to overcome.

ACTION PLAN Get your finances in order before you see the bank. Save for a deposit with the same lender for the best deal, or see a mortgage broker. Don’t be fooled by a cheap interest rate. Check the comparison rate that will take into account fees. Choose a mortgage with an offset account and use it. Fix some of your mortgage as protection but not all of it. Have your loan approved before you buy.Case study: Property performers

Paying rent can be dead money but sometimes so can earning it.

Yet doing both may be the easiest way of building a property portfolio.

Former pre-school teacher turned flight attendant, Melinda Lee, and store manager partner,Kabe Franklin, are looking for their fifth property, while renting themselves.

Nor do they do negative gearing – all four properties pay for themselves.

To refinance one of their properties they even broke a fixed-rate, two year loan with eight months left to run that dropped the rate from 6.33 per cent to 4.69 per cent for three years. Although this cost $1500, it only took five months to make up from the savings in interest.

Lee, 29, bought her first property – a two bedroom unit in North Parramatta – at 22 putting to good use the fact her father Kevin Lee is a buyer’s agent and doubles up as a mortgage broker. Its value has since doubled.

Originally it was an interest only loan but she subsequently switched to a normal one, which has become a winning strategy.

‘‘I lived there for a year because of the first home owner grant. After I moved out and when the rent was high enough to cover the whole mortgage repayment, I switched to a principal and interest loan. That way the tenants pay it off.’’ She and Franklin have been renting ever since, though they tried living in one of their properties but found they didn’t like the area.

‘‘It’s rented by uni students. They pay $530 a week and we pay $545 a week for which we get tax benefits and get to live in a nicer area,’’ Lee says.

The couple use the equity in one property as collateral for the next.

Their cardinal rule is that the rent must at least cover the monthly principal and interest on the mortgage.

‘‘It must cover the whole repayment. A lot of investors buy to just cover the interest payment and rely on capital growth but I don’t think values will double again like they did for my first unit, because wages won’t be going up as much,’’ Lee says.

They prefer two bedroom units though number four was a house in Albury.

‘‘There’s a bigger range of potential tenants with two bedroom units. We wouldn’t live in a one bedroom flat – there’s no space or storage. It wouldn’t suit a single mum with a kid for instance,’’ Melinda says.

They always fix. ‘‘The tenants are paying off the loan and it’s a long-term investment, so the rate doesn’t matter. It’s just good to lock in,’’ she says.

Financing your dream

Lining up a home loan starts well before you set foot in a bank, let alone look for a property. ‘‘It takes the average couple 4.1 years to save a 20 per cent deposit for their first home, if they save 20 per cent of their joint income,’’ Kevin Lee, director of Smart Property Adviser says.

‘‘The best way to develop a savings plan is to allocate two weeks to keeping a detailed record of what and how you spend,’’ he says.

That 20 per cent wasn’t plucked out of the air either. Lenders want to see an 80 per cent loan-to-valuation ratio. And yes, the first home buyer grant counts as saving.

While you can get a loan with a slightly lower deposit, you’ll pay for the privilege.

That comes in the form of mortgage insurance, widely misunderstood as protection for you. It’s anything but.

In fact mortgage insurance protects the lender against you. Since you have to buy it upfront it’s usually spread over your loan, which lifts the cost again because you’re paying interest on it. So you end up with higher repayments.

The premium escalates exponentially for every dollar you’re above the 80 per cent.

‘‘Budget for costs such as stamp duty (about 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent of the purchase price) as well. If your parents can give or lend you a few thousand that can save $10,000 in mortgage insurance,’’ Tony Harris, director of themoneystore南京夜网.au says.

And don’t forget properties have to be maintained. Even units come with ready made expenses such as strata levies and sinking funds.

Loyalty is the new black for banks.

‘‘You look more favourable to a bank if you have an account or a credit card with it. Pick one and build up a history with it,’’ Harris says.

And get your house in order so to speak, before you see a lender.

‘‘A loan will be knocked back on one overdue payment on a credit card in the past three months. And don’t swap jobs half way through the application,‘‘ he says.

Then there’s the question of which loan will suit you best. Mortgages come in all shapes and colours.

That’s easy: pick the one that you can pay off fastest. Oddly enough it may not be the one with the lowest rate.

‘‘Non-bank lenders can look cheap on the surface but there are establishment, valuation and solicitor fees. Banks charge an annual $395 package fee only,’’ Harris says.

As well, a basic no-frills loan will be very restrictive when it comes to paying it off sooner. A more expensive one with an offset account may have you debt free sooner.

Offset accounts are up there with the magic of compounding. In fact, there’s a connection. Extra repayments go in a special account earning the same rate as the mortgage costs. One cancels out the other, so the mortgage falls and you’re not taxed on the interest you earn.

The beauty is you can re-draw the money if you need it again.

This is also why you shouldn’t fix the whole loan; most fixed rate loans don’t have offset accounts or allow extra repayments.

Even so, when starting out there’s a case for an interest only loan just to get you on your feet.

‘‘The repayments are lower and you can swap to a principal and interest one any time. It gets you started but don’t stay on it,’’ Harris says.


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


Why have shortsighted councils, public works authorities and self-interested groups been allowed to dismantle the cultural heritage of the Parkes community, building by fine building and space by lovely space?
Nanjing Night Net

Any examination of the photographic record of the built heritage of Parkes shows that until the 1960s its style and amenity was gradually built up in a positive and progressive manner.

Graceful public, commercial and religious buildings were combined with elegant streetscapes and gardens.

Over the past 50 years the community is gradually being left with a hotchpotch of disconnected remnants.

A number of quality elements have been lost.

They have been replaced with bland presentations that make no particular contribution to the built and cultural character of the community.

In some cases all that presents is a plaque to tell the passer-by that a beautiful or significant building once occupied this site.

It was demolished however for the sake of pull-up concrete walls and retail interiors reminiscent of aircraft hangers.

As is well evidenced in many country communities, such lesser quality replacements eventually become neutral or dead spaces.

Once established, this pattern is very difficult to redress.

Now, a particularly fine, art deco former bank building in Clarinda Street is scheduled for demolition.

What for?

Not for something more grand or beautiful, but rather to create a car park, which will further mar the chief commercial streetscape.

Nowadays, in many communities, this style of inter-war, commercial building has become a valued heritage asset.

Not so for some it seems, when it is in the way of the bitumen.

The arguments they present are simply about short-term retail advantage and the non-heritage-listed status of the building.

Surely good civic planning should be about offering something better to a community.

It should aim to improve visual presentation and amenity.

It is not about offering something worse.

I would urge Council and all involved in this matter towards a more creative approach in the retention of this fine building and its adaptive re-use for community benefit.

It may take some imagination and even some dialogue with local groups.

The loss of such beautiful buildings has an often-unforeseen finality.

They are rarely replaced with something that elevates the pride of the community.

Paul O’Donnell BTh MA MEd MHeritCons (Hons)

Senior Heritage Consultant and Principal, Care for Cultural Patrimony

Available culturalpatrimony南京夜网

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

Weekend sport schedule August 23 and 24

Members of the Penrose Tennis Club Elizabeth Ellis, Dawn Jonas, Mike Jonas, Patsy Day, Klaus Elber, Judy Elber, Irene Davenport, Maria Dunn, Caroline Hartley and Nigel Hartley (not in order) have worked hard to get the Penrose tennis courts resurfaced. Photo by Lauren StrodePENROSE’S new and improved tennis courts will officially be unveiled on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The courts were first laid in the early 1990s.

But since then have not been resurfaced.

Club members have worked hard for years to raise the money to resurface the courts and will finally be able to show off their hard work on Saturday.

The new courts will be officially unveiled at 2pm.

Moss Vale will also host the second round of the junior Group 6 finals over the weekend with Highlands teams in action on both Saturday and Sunday.

And if the rain stays away there will be plenty of other sport to watch across the Highlands over the weekend.

– Netball at Eridge Park on Saturday

– Junior hockey at Welby on Saturday morning

– Senior hockey at Welby on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday

– The Bowral Blacks will have their final home games at Eridge Park on Saturday. Kick off times are 12.15pm (Colts), 1.30pm (second grade) and 3pm (first grade)

– Junior soccer on Saturday morning at Boronia Park (Hill Top), Ironmines Oval (Mittagong), Stephens Park (Bowral), Yerrinbool Oval, Gib Gate and Tudor House

– Senior soccer on Saturday afternoon at Boronia Park (Hill Top), Ironmines Oval (Mittagong), Stephens Park (Bowral) and Yerrinbool Oval

– Have a game of bowls at Bowral, Bundanoon or Robertson Bowling Clubs

– Enjoy a game of golf at Highlands, Gibraltar, Bowral, Moss Vale or Mt Broughton Golf Clubs

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

PHOTOS: 2014 BFNL junior best and fairest night – the winners

PHOTOS: 2014 BFNL junior best and fairest night – the winners Hamish Coulton U/16.5 Senior Best and Fairest Winner from Bacchus Marsh and Selie Hay U/17 Netball Senior Best and Fairest from Lake Wendouree, PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK
Nanjing Night Net

Will Johnson U/12 Reserves Leading Goal Kicker (Darley)PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Sam Joyce U/12 Seniors Leading Goal Kicker (North Ballarat)PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Connor Ascough U/14 Reserves Leading Goal Kicker (Darley), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Dale Harris U/14 Seniors Leading Goal Kicker (Bacchus March), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Blake Graham U/16.5 Reserves Leading Goal Kicker (Bacchus Marsh), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Rhys Baker U/16.5 Seniors Leading Goal Kicker (Bacchus March) PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Allana Van Dyken U/13 Netball Best and Fairest Winner (Mount Clear), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Chelsea Dickinson (Bacchus Marsh) and Jaime Smith (Darley) U/13 Netball Best and Fairest Runners Up. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Jamie Quick (North Ballarat) U/12 Seniors Best and Fairest Winner, PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Eva Gillett Netball U/15 Senior Best and Fairest Winner (Lake Wendouree) PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Zara Nevett U/15 Senior Best and Fairest Netball Runners Up (North Ballarat) PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Riley Bishop U/14 Seniors Best and Fairest Winner (Bacchus Marsh), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Jack Butter U/14 Seniors Best and Fairest Runner Up (Sebas), PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Celie Hay Sprit of Sport Award (Lake Wendouree) with Georgia Cann and Superintendent Andrew Allen. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Hamish Coulton Sprit of Sport Award With Superintendent Andrew Allen. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach James Bik U/10 Football Coach of the Year (Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach David Cowell U/12 Reserves Football Coach of the Year (Redan). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Karl Drever U/14 Reserves Football Coach of the Year (Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Peter Bath U/12 Seniors Football Coach of the Year (Lake Wedouree). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach John Polkinghorne U16 Seniors Coach of the Year (North Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Barb Carter U/11 Netball Coach of the Year (Lake Wendouree). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Tecia Bik U/13 Netball Reserves Coach of the Year (Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach John Segrave U/13 Senior Netball Coach of the Year (Bacchus Marsh). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Gina Haase U/15 Netball Reserves Coach of the Year (North Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Lisa James U/15 Senior Netball Coach of the Year (Lake Wendouree). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Beck Ryan U/17 Reserves Netball Coach of the Year (Redan). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Coach Tanya Oakley U/17 Seniors Coach of the Year (Darley). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Guest Speaker Collingwood Premiership Captain Nick Maxwell. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Guest Speaker Collingwood Premiership Captain Nick Maxwell. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Guest Speaker Collingwood Premiership Captain Nick Maxwell. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Guest Speaker Collingwood Premiership Captain Nick Maxwell. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK


Celie Hay U/17 Netball Senior Best and Fairest (Lake Wendouree). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Greta Steven (North Ballarat) , Caitlin Bewley (Darley) U/17 Netball Senior Best and Fairest Runners Up. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Hamish Coulton U/16.5 Senior Best and Fairest Winner from Bacchus Marsh PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Ryan Thomson U/16.5 Senior Best and Fairest Runner Up (East Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

U/13 Senior Netball Most Valuable Player Paetyn Jarred (Lake Wendouree) PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

U/15 Senior Netball Most Valuable Player Eva Gillett (Lake Wendouree) PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

U/17 Senior Netball Most Valuable Player Ruby Ancrum (Darley). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Robert Allan Medal Awarded to U/12 Senior Football Harry Sharp (East Ballarat). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Robert Allan Medal Awarded to U/14 Senior Football Riley Bishop (Bacchus Marsh). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Robert Allan Medal Awarded to U/16.5 Senior Football Hamish Coulton (Bacchus Marsh). PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Merv & Mary Howard Memorial Junior Club Champinship Awarded to North Ballarat’s Stuart McKee, and Di Nevett. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

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

No! No! No!

B.M. Cunningham (Letter August 6) is quite right.
Nanjing Night Net

We should be saying No! No! No! to the proposed new car park on Clarinda Street.

Clarinda Street is the face of our town.

It needs to be attractive not only to residents but also to visitors and others considering moving here to set up businesses or just to live, so that they appreciate the vibrant, interesting and friendly town that we all enjoy.

A car park in the middle of the town would certainly not meet this criterion and on no circumstances should it proceed.

I’ve been told that the Coles group considers that this parking area would bring a lot more business to their complex.

This I doubt.

The problem is undoubtedly of their own making.

When their large store first opened as a K Mart, it was always full of customers, and there were no complaints of inadequate parking space.

When they closed down K Mart, their customers migrated to Big W where they are still to be found.

Changing this shop to a Target store was a great miscalculation.

It does not fit the demographic of Parkes.

What woman for instance would want to buy a good outfit in a town of this size from a rack of many of the same clothes, and see others identically dressed?

Not many I’m sure.

And most of us would not buy say an electrical item or bed linen there if it were available more cheaply in other local stores.

I have endeavoured several times to find the right present for a friend in Target and have not yet succeeded, while only last week I first tried to buy a narrower electric blanket there to fit an older single bed.

They didn’t have one, but Big W did.

Someone should say to the Coles group that we ‘think you’d better think it out again.’

I believe the paper has received a huge number of tweets against the proposal.

I would suggest to all these wise people, and all others who agree, that they now email the council at [email protected] parkes.nsw.gov.au and let our representatives know how much we all feel that this proposal should not go ahead.

Pam Nankivell,


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

Murraylands teachers, support staff excel

Passionate educator: Lameroo Regional Community School teacher Cathy Miegel is showing student Scaton Nassif how to use a sound and lighting board. Mrs Miegel is one of three Murraylands educators recognised for their work through the South Australian Excellence in Public Education Awards.Teachers and support staff from around the State have been recognised for their hard work and dedication to their profession in the South Australian Excellence in Public Education Awards.
Nanjing Night Net

Three Murraylands teachers have made it to the first stage of the awards – Lameroo Regional Community School’s Cathy Miegel, for Primary School Teacher of the Year, and Mypolonga Primary School’s Necia Zadow and Eastern Fleurieu R-12 School’s Heather Partridge, for School and Preschool Support Staff Member of the Year.

Mrs Miegel said she was humbled to receive the award for her work as a German and performing arts teacher.

“I just do what I do; I don’t do it for awards or gold stars,” she said.

“I think it’s the community recognising the teachers they have in the community … the teachers making a difference in the students’ lives.”

Similarly, Mrs Zadow said the community had been supportive of her work.

“It’s been lovely to receive messages from the school community and the wider community,” she said.

“I’m very honoured to receive the award.”

Mrs Partridge said she was nominated twice and did not know who had put forward her name.

“It was lovely – I certainly didn’t expect to go further than (being nominated),” she said.

“It’s actually humbling, to work with wonderful support staff and be recognised among them.”

Each winner received $500 for professional learning and the winner’s list will be cut to 70 finalists, who will vie for one of seven awards.

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

Keith hospital under new board management

Keith hospital has struck a management deal with Adelaide’s community-run Western Hospital that should help its quest for sustainable independence.Keith hospital has struck a management deal with Adelaide’s community-run Western Hospital that should help its quest for sustainable independence.
Nanjing Night Net

The chairs of both hospitals’ boards signed an agreement a week ago under which the Western Facilities Management Service, an offshoot of the Adelaide hospital, will take over management of Keith’s hospital.

The agreement will run for two years, with an option to extend it for another two, and will involve the installation of a new chief executive officer and director of nursing from October 1.

However, Keith hospital will otherwise remain intact: a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation that will keep its current board.

Board chair Janet Allen said the community was relieved to have reached the agreement.

“Western are providing us with their corporate knowledge and systems, facility management – it’s a very exciting time for the hospital,” she said.

“It’s given us a bigger network to work with – we’re not working in isolation – and stability in management.

“We’re pretty excited and hoping to build the business.”

Keith Action Group chair Robyn Verrall said the announcement was great news for the hospital and the community.

“I think it’ll probably turn the hospital into a fully functioning business unit for the Tatiara district,” she said.

“We have had community pledges that overwhelmed the board, we have had ute musters, high teas, water, a Gourmand Best in the World charity cookbook, garage sales, picture evenings – just to name a few – many people wanting to assist, and now we have a tangible, workable outcome.”

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