Monthly Archives: May 2019

Grant attacks union over sell-off ‘scare tactic’

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DUBBO MP Troy Grant has hit back at claims by the Electrical Trades Union that Essential Energy will be sold off after next year’s NSW state election, describing them as a scare campaign.

Lobby group Stop the Sell Off has been touring the western region and organisers including ETU secretary Steve Butler claimed as many as 200 jobs could be lost from Dubbo if the government goes back on a promise to exclude Essential Energy from the deal.

However, Mr Grant said Essential Energy wasn’t for sale and reiterated that the proposal the government will take to the next state election in March is a 99-year lease rather than a sell off.

He said the deal was a dual win for regional NSW and the Dubbo electorate, with jobs saved and a windfall of as much as $6 billion to be spent on infrastructure.

“I understand that regional communities want guarantees that regional jobs will be protected, which is why we have moved that Essential Energy be excluded from the partial lease of the state’s electricity distribution network,” Mr Grant said.

“The Electrical Trades Union and the Labor Party are only trying to stir up a scare campaign that regional NSW will lose jobs as a result of this government’s once-in-a-generation proposal to lease 49 per cent of the network, and deliver a huge windfall for visionary infrastructure projects but there can be no trust in the commentary from Labor and the unions.”

The decision by Networks NSW not to take on any apprentices for the first half of 2015 was made on logic, not a political stunt to make the companies seem more appealing to potential buyers, Mr Grant said.

“Employers change the structure of their businesses from year to year, so it’s not surprising that the future number of apprentices recruited by Networks NSW will vary depending on the needs of their customers and the network,” he explained.

“Networks NSW has advised they will re-commence recruitment – based on business need, rather than location – for 2015 after a review of their business proposal by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) later this year.”

Meanwhile Stop the Sell Off was in Parkes, one of three training centres for Essential Energy, and Mr Butler reiterated his claims that the company will be sold.

He said the number of apprentices taken on by Essential Energy had plummeted since the coalition came to power.

“In 2011, 129 new apprentices started work with Essential Energy across regional NSW, but by this year that number had plunged to just 30, with not one new apprentice starting next year,” he said.

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Ebola’s spread a concern for OrphFund founder

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The founder of a children’s organisation based in Sierra Leone is concerned the spread of Ebola could reach some of those ithelps to carefor.

StevenArgent, who lives in Campbells Creek near Castlemaine, iscalling on the public to raise funds to help his organisation, OrphFund, take steps to prevent theEbola outbreak reaching villages of children inSierra Leone.

Mr Argent founded OrphFund in 2005 and has used the organisation to helpbuild traditional homes, primary schools andsecondary schools for children in remote villages, mostly in Sierra Leone andKenya.

The not-for-profitconductsinterviews with familiesin remote villages to determine who the most vulnerable children are, sends in teams of unpaidWestern volunteers to set up appropriate facilities,which arethen run bylocal,paid workers and teachers.

Mr Argent said the organisation had started out with 40 children in the remote village of Kamakwie, and now had about 2000 children across about five different schools and villages across Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is consideredone of the two most affected countries caught up in the Ebola virus’smost recentoutbreak, whichis causing concern among health authorities because of its spread.

Mr Argent describedSierra Leone as being close to the epicentreof the outbreak and the worst hit.

He said sanitation issues were a concern in some of the villages, especially because of some aspects of localculture.

“It’s not unusual to shake hands for the entire time you are speaking to someone,” he said.

“We’ve gotwater tanks full of chlorinated water so people wash properly.”

He said another concern wasthe rising cost of food and supplies.

“The costofchlorinated soap hastripled,” he said.

“We do need money for it, the cost of essentials is going up, we can’t just increase what we’ve got coming in (without additional help).”

He said initially, about five or six weeks ago,his local team did not think Ebolawas an issue, but that had changed when aboutthree weeks ago a leading doctor inSierra Leone died because of the virus.

“That made people react,” Mr Argent said.

“It’s something we’ve had to set up an appeal for, we’reconcerned we won’t be able to protect our kids if it gets into our centres.

“All of them are a concern, you realise they don’t have the resources. Here we can stamp things out quickly.”

Mr Argent said what struck the biggest chord with himwas seeingpictures of “absolutely empty, desolate streets” inSierra Leone’scapital, Freetown.

“When I saw the photos of the capital empty, it just seems really apocalyptic,” he said.

“That’s scary in a place so usually full of bustling streets and busy markets.

“There is talk now of a 30-day curfew.”

To help Orphund’s Ebola campaignappeal, visit www.mycause苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au/page/79501/emergencyebolaresponseforourkidsinsierraleone

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Southern NSW Street Lugers slide into Number 1

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Southern NSW Street Lugers slide into Number 1 WHIZZING PAST: Nic McKirdy flys down the Noosa ProAM track on the weekend. Photo James Travalos

HERE HE COMES: Showing off his speed at the Noosa ProAM is champion Nic McKirdy. Photo Max Heaton

PODIUM: Nic McKirdy receives his trophy on podium. Photo Tyler Johnson

PODIUM: Nic McKirdy receives his trophy on podium. Photo Leon Battis

CELEBRATION: Australia’s number one luger –Nic McKirdy. Photo Leon Battis

TweetFacebookPost by TV coverage of the Noosa ProAM.

McKirdy was racing against 27 other entrants from across Australia and he managed to set the fastest street luge qualifying time on the 14-corner course and the second fastest in the classic category.

It set him up for a better draw when it came to the four-person races knockout races.

“My goal was to set a good qualifying time and on the run I was constantly trying to pick the cambers as best as possible to give me the extra speed for the run to the finish line,” McKirdy said.

When it came to racing McKirdy’s combination of speed and strategy enabled him to win six of seven, only finishing second in the classic luge final.

McKirdy said strategy was a key to winning heats and finals.

“In the four-person races you may not get the ideal line but it’s a simple matter of using drafting and other riders to your advantage,” he said.

“Riders ahead of you punch a hole in the air and it gives you less wind resistance.”

McKirdy believed Noosa-based riders had a “distinct advantage” before the race as would have been able to practice on the track.

“The track was an interesting challenge as it was quite a long track with many corners but not a lot of breaking was required,” he said.

“It was not a fast course by normal standards but there were some bumpy areas so keeping your speed was critical.”

Southern NSW Street Lugeplacings at the end of the Australian season:

Street luge

Nic McKirdy 1

Bill Salmon 13

Chris Markwort 17

Ken Jacobs 19

Jo Jacobs 39

Jason Beard 46

Classic luge

Nic McKirdy 1

Ken Jacobs 9

Click here for previous street luge coverage in the Narooma News

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Out of control fire: Ballengarra State Forest closed

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File pic:THE public is being asked to avoid Ballengarra State Forest, which has been closed due to a fire along Cooperabung Range Road.

Forestry Corporation’s Protection Supervisor Mick Wilson said the area was extremely dangerous.

“We have more than a dozen units from Forestry Corporation and the Rural Fire Service tackling this fire, with more than 25 fire fighters on site getting the blaze under control,”Mr Wilson said.

“We are asking people to stay out of the Ballengarra State Forest until further notice for their own safety,”

“We’re also advising drivers along the Pacific Highway to take care in smoky conditions, particularly during the early morning and in the evening.

“Even once the flames have been extinguished, there is a very real risk of falling trees following fire.

“Trees can fall or drop branches silently and without warning.

“It’s not always obvious if a tree has been damaged or weakened.

“The safest place to be is outside the forest.”

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, visitwww.forestrycorporation苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au

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Don’t deny it, you wrongly use ‘refute’

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CAN YOU PROVE IT? Don’t use refute unless you can go to court and prove your claim.

Years ago somebody mentioned the term “straw man” and the expression went over my head, because I had no idea what it meant.

But I do know that throughout my newspaper career I refrained from using refute to mean deny and I made sure reporters and contributors in my sphere of influence did not use refute to mean deny.

In recent times, however, refute has found its way into our news media more frequently.

I am inclined to think it is because some elements in the news media want to make their reports appear stronger.

I dare not mention the word sensational.

But let’s come back to straw man.

Here is an obscure term representing a situation that might be making a comeback, if it ever left us.

Its origins seem to be unknown.

My big dictionary takes up several pages to define straw, but when it comes to straw man it simply says “a man of straw” – decidedly unhelpful.

I might ask for my money back.

A popular explanation for straw men is that it used to represent aperson who stood outside a court with a straw in his shoe, meaning his testimony could be bought.

He would deny anything.

Can you imagine a person standing outside a courthouse these days with a bit of straw in his shoe?

Somebody might walk up to him and say “hey mate, you’ve got a bit of straw in your shoe”, but it is more likely that he would be told to move on or a good lawyer would destroy his evidence in court.

I can accept that a straw man was a man without assets. He didn’t have to be dishonest to have no assets.

The term also covered someproposed legislation, put forward in draft form, to determine what the public thought of it before amendments were made.

I have a concern that some media outlets – not this newspaper of course – will deliberately, or accidentally, misread an argument so they can reject it.

It might be better if I don’t record a specific example, but I know that many times I have screamed at the television, or sometimesnewspapers, something like “hedidn’t say that”.

Anyway, what about refute and deny?

We used to say a person denied something. The word refute meant, and in my book still refers to, denying something and offering proof.

So when you appear in court you can say to the judge “I didn’t do it” and watch as his eyes glaze over and he says to himself “I think I’ve heard this before”. That’s a denial.

But you can refute the argument that you stole lollies at Spencer Street station last Saturday if you can prove that you were in Afghanistan at the time of the theft.

Incidentally, when I was a little boy a popular term at the time was Afghanistanism.

That meant newspapers having a preoccupation with nothing of importance – or anything that had nothing to do with anything else.

These days, Afghanistan does mean something.

I just thought I would throw that in.

But next time you hear a television station say something like “he refuted the suggestion” that station almost certainly means he denied the suggestion.

I concede that in our livinglanguage, a refutation is coming around to a denial.

But just remember not to stand in front of the courthouse with a bit of straw in your shoe.

www.lauriebarber苏州美甲美睫培训学校 [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

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