Monthly Archives: January 2019

Little advance on Merimbula CBD landscape plans

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In January 2014 Spiire Landscape architects engaged by the council published a CBD Landscape Master Plan – design vision and options report for Merimbula.
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Merimbula was one of four urban centres in the shire to be the subject of a townscape analysis undertaken by the consultants, the others were Bermagui, Bega and Eden.

Council has earmarked $1 million for Merimbula works and the same for Bega, while Eden and Bermagui have been allotted $500,000.

But don’t count on there being much action in Merimbula’s CBD for some time as the plans have still to go through a number of council processes.

The draft masterplan is to be the subject of a councillor workshop, what it determines will then be a matter for community consultation via the public exhibition process and the outcome of that will then go to a council meeting for ratification.

When the News Weekly asked how much the Spiire consultancy was costing the ratepayers a council spokesperson said:“No can do with the Spiire costs. The costs are part of a bigger contract and commercial in confidence.”

Merimbula’s CBD is long overdue for a makeover.

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Men charged with robbery and impersonating police

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Two men were charged with impersonating police and armed robbery in Blacktown on Thursday.
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Police allege the two men were involved in break-and-enters at businesses and stealing goods and cash, between July 3 and August 11.

They also alleged the men were link to car-jacking incidents involving the impersonation of police officers and, on one occasion, the use of a glock-style pistol.

Strike Force Buster was established in July to investigate these crimes.

Following investigations, officers stopped a car in Glenn Street, Dean Park about 7.35pm, Thursday.

Its number plates had allegedly been stolen that day in Doonside.

Police arrested two men, 18 and 23, and later charged them with robbery while armed, impersonating police and dishonestly obtaining financial advantage.

The younger man was also charged with goods in custody.

They appear in Penrith Local Court on October 24.

FC Bendigo keen to spoil Box Hill’s party

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FC Bendigo will be out to disrupt Box Hill United’s promotion challenge when the teams clash at Truscott Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
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The Towners sit in 12th position, whilst their opponents will start the weekend at the other end of the NPL1 ladder in 3rd spot.

CLASS ACT: Forward Matthew Breeze will be crucial to FC Bendigo’s hopes against Box Hill. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

The top two NPL1 teams at the end of the season are promoted to Victoria’s premier division, the NPL.

Bendigo is coming off the back of a 4-1 defeat to Dandenong City.

Coach Steve Martin is hoping his side can take its chances this week.

“Last week’s score line didn’t reflect the way the game was played,” Martin said.

“I thought we created a lot of opportunities and didn’t take them, whereas Dandenong were able to take their chances when they got them.”

Martin said team discipline would be an important factor in snapping a winless streak that has risen to six games, having faced some testing opposition in recent weeks.

“It’s been a challenge facing some mature teams over the last few weeks,” Martin said.

“Facing these strong teams has been good for our squad to see where they are at, as a bit of a measuring stick.

“We have to remain disciplined for the full 90 minutes this week, that is crucial when you are playing someone like Box Hill.”

Bendigo was comprehensively outplayed the last time these two sides met, suffering a 3-0 defeat at Wembley Park in May.

Full-back Ryan Davidson will return to the starting line-up, having missed the last week through suspension.

Goalkeeper Sebastian Mattei will again miss through injury, whilecaptain Trent Waterson is rated only a 50/50 chance of returning.

The match takes place at Truscott Reservein California Gully. Kick-off is at 3pm, while the under-20s will begin at 1pm.

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Palette: late start hasn’t deterred Ron

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LATE STARTER: Ron Bishop modestly acknowledges that he’s “won a few awards”.Picture by PERRY DUFFIN The Mercury this week launched a new weekly series, Palette, written by art-lover Marilyn Foster, that looks at some of the region’s leading artists.
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Local artist Ron Bishop is living proof that it’s never too late to start.

As a young boy he always enjoyed drawing. He would have loved to paint also, but with a wife and children, plus a farm to take care of, he just couldn’t find the time to pick up a paintbrush.

Two years before retirement, Ron made the decision to attend an art course at Tamworth TAFE. This gave him the impetus he needed to begin painting in earnest.

Moving to Maitland with his wife Ivy giving him further encouragement and Ron soon became a member of the Maitland Region Society of Artists.

Since 2006, Ron modestly states that “he has been lucky enough to win a few awards”. To date he has won seven, which is a great achievement.

He works with acrylics and likes to paint scenes that offer a challenge.

He was particularly impressed when Herman Pekel (whose workshops he attended in 2010) encouraged him to introduce more colour into his works.

Ron paints on a regular basis, finding painting a very relaxing and therapeutic and encourages other artists to do the same, as that is the best way to improve.

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Cory Bernardi to defy PM by co-sponsoring bill aimed at altering ‘Bolt laws’

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Senator Cory Bernardi plans to defy the Prime Minister on amendments to Racial Discrimination laws. Photo: Alex EllinghausenLiberal Senator Cory Bernardi is set to defy Prime Minister Tony Abbott and co-sponsor a bill aimed at changing the Racial Discrimination Act, which the government abandoned just over a week ago.
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Family First Senator Bob Day is planning to introduce a compromise bill, which will simply strike out the words “offend and insult” from the legislation rather than entirely overhaul the section as the government has proposed.

That proposal aims to make it no longer an offence to “offend” or “insult” someone on the grounds of his or her ethnicity. The Coalition pledged to reform the act after News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached the legislation in 2011.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott abandoned the election pledge after a backlash from many of his own MPs and ethnic communities who said it watered down protections against race-hate speech.

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi had already said he would vote for Senator Day’s bill but has now told Fairfax Media he intends to go further and throw his full weight behind the bill by co-sponsoring it.

“We promised to reform Section 18c at the last election and I intend to honour that promise,” Senator Bernardi told Fairfax Media, in a clear rebuke of the Prime Minister’s decision to break the election promise.

He said it was a “matter of principle” and he wanted to let dismayed “grassroots members of the Liberal party” know that there are “some members of Parliament who are absolutely committed to freedom of speech in this country”.

Senator Day said it was a “great initiative of Cory’s to get on board” and said the move could help “other Liberals get on board”.

But he said he was seeking broad support and wanted to de-politicise the debate and urged a Labor senator and other crossbenchers to also consider co-sponsoring the bill.

“It would be nice if a Labor person would join in, I’m scouting around for anyone else who might want to get on board,” he told Fairfax Media.

The bill would have little chance of ever becoming law but Senator Day said “every little bit helps”.

“Anything’s better than nothing,” he said. “If we can just remove the words ‘insult’ and ‘offend’, it would solve the Andrew Bolt problem – being hauled off to court because someone said they were offended.

John Roskam from the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has said Bob Day’s compromise model would be “impossible” for the government to refuse. He raised more than $40,000 from angry supporters to fund an attack against the prime minister for breaking the government’s promise.

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