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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Trio to stand trial over murder

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DEATH: Police pull Wayne Amey’s body from between two rocks at Mt Korong. Picture: JIM ALDERSEYA STRIPPER has been committed to stand trial over the murder of herformer partner, who was found wedged between boulders at Mount Korong incentral Victoria, having been strangled and stabbed to death.

Deputy chief magistrate Felicity Broughton found there was sufficientevidence for a jury to convict Robyn Lindholm and two men of murderingHawthorn gym owner Wayne Amey.

Ms Lindholm, 41, is accused of organising Mr Amey’s murder over aproperty dispute involving a farm they owned at Bittern, south east ofMelbourne.

She allegedly met with Torsten Trabert, 45, and John Ryan, 37, onDecember 10, 2013, at her Preston apartment and told them what to wearand how to cover their faces when confronting Mr Amey.

Police claimed she then handed the two men a swipe card to enter theunderground car park at Mr Amey’s Hawthorn apartment block.

Mr Trabert and Mr Ryan allegedly attacked Mr Amey with a baseball bat in the car park justafter 11.20pm that night before tying him up with rope, placing himin the boot of a car and driving away.

Mr Amey’s body was found wedged between boulders at a peak on thenorth side of Mount Korong on December 18.

The cause of death was multiple injuries including stab wounds,fractured ribs and neck injuries.

Ms Lindholm, Mr Trabert and Mr Ryan have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Amey.A five-day committal hearing at the Melbourne MagistratesCourt this week was told Ms Lindholm had been in a relationship with Mr Ameywhich ended badly. They had been due in court over a property disputeinvolving the Bittern farm the day after Mr Amey had been attacked anddisappeared.

After his arrest, Mr Ryan claimed Ms Lindholm became excited as theylooked for a place to dump the body, and sat on Mr Trabert’s lap.

He said Ms Lindholm later reversed Mr Amey’s red HiLux ute, which theyhad been travelling in, up to the boulders where they eventually leftthe body.

Mr Ryan said he and Mr Trabert pulled Mr Amey’s body from the ute’srear tray and dropped him in a gap between large boulders beforecovering it with sticks and rocks.

Mr Trabert told police that he, Ms Lindholm and Mr Ryan then droveback to Kyneton before parting company.

He and Ms Lindholm later collected a yellow motorcycle and rode to asecluded spot in Kyneton where they had sex before riding back toMelbourne.

When Ms Lindholm was arrested, she denied any involvement in themurder, denied any suggestion she wanted to kill Mr Amey and deniedever travelling to Mount Korong.

Cindy Devine, a girlfriend of Mr Amey’s, told the court Ms Lindholmhad threatened to go to a nursing home to slit the throat of Mr Amey’smother and had also warned him she would burn down his gym and makesure his son was inside.

Ms Broughton ordered Ms Lindholm, Mr Trabert and Mr Ryan appear in theSupreme Court for a directions hearing on August 29.

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‘Tired’ mum dies of undiagnosed diabetes

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“She loved being a mum”: Nicky Rigby with daughter Lily.Like most new mums, Nicky Rigby was exhausted in the months following the birth of her first baby. The 26-year-old put the overwhelming tiredness, as well as her sudden weight loss, down the demands of caring for daughter Lily.But the young mum was actually suffering from Type 1 diabetes and died as a result of not getting treatment for the undiagnosed condition.Her grieving family is now encouraging all new mums to pay close attention to how they are feeling and to seek medical attention if they are unwell.”Please don’t battle on through exhaustion like my brave Nicky tried to do,” Nicky’s devastated fiance Mark Wilson told UK’s Daily Mail.Nicky, from Wirral in north-west England, died after Mark returned home to find her found unconscious on her bed in July 2012. An inquest was later told she had suffered from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. As a result her oesophagus gradually deteriorated and lead to her death.Mark said the most difficult thing about losing his partner was knowing she would not get to see their daughter grow up.”Nicky was a natural with Lily, cuddling and feeding her. She loved being a mum, despite the sleepless nights leaving her feeling exhausted,” he said.”She didn’t want anyone fussing over her. She just said that all mums get tired like she was.”Nicky did eventually go to the doctor, but she was only prescribed iron tablets. Mark said the tablets didn’t help at all.On Mark’s birthday in July 2012, when Lily was only five months old, Nicky was feeling unwell. She decided to have an early night but encouraged her fiance to go out with friends to celebrate.  “Nicky wasn’t feeling great and insisted I go and enjoy myself. I kissed her goodbye then took Lily round to my mum’s house so Nicky could have a rest,” Mark said.But when Mark returned home later that night and went to check on Nicky he was faced with a horrifying scene.”I decided to switch on the light to see if Nicky was okay, and then saw she was surrounded by black vomit,” he said.He called an ambulance and tried unsuccessfully to revive Nicky. The paramedics arrived soon after, but were unable to revive her. An inquest into Nicky’s death heard the new mum had died from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is caused by consistently high blood glucose levels.It occurs when a severe lack of insulin leads to the body not being able to use glucose for energy. Instead, the body begins to break down other tissue to use as an alternative energy source.The inquest was told Nicky would be alive today if her condition had been diagnosed and treated with insulin injections to control her blood sugar levels. It is not known whether pregnancy played any part in the onset of Nicky’s condition, however Type 1 diabetes is different to gestational diabetes, which is routinely check for during pregnancy.A grieving Mark said he’s determined to make sure his daughter grows up knowing how special her mother was. He has put photos of Nicky around the house and made his daughter a memory box which contains a gold heart necklace he gave to Nicky, as well as her engagement ring.“I want Lily to look at the pictures of her mum and know she was a brilliant, fun person,” he told the Daily Mail.Type 1 diabetes: The symptoms to look out for* Excessive thirst* Frequent urination* Weight loss* Fatigue* Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision* Itching skin, particularly around the genitals* Nausea and vomitingSee your doctor if you’re worried about any symptoms.

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Bus drivers launch anti-privatisation petition

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Brisbane’s most used bus service, the CityGlider.Brisbane’s rail and bus union has called on Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to “stop dancing like a puppet to Campbell Newman” and publicly rebuff the State Government’s transport privatisation agenda.

Cr Quirk revealed two weeks ago Brisbane City Council’s transport arm will be forced to compete against private operators in late 2015 to retain control of the 70 per cent of the city’s bus routes it presently operates.

The State Government contestability process, which Transport Minister Scott Emerson has denied is privatisation by stealth, has been borne partly from the government’s commitment to keep fare rises at just 2.5 per cent per year.

On Friday, the Queensland branch of the rail, tram and bus union joined council’s opposition leader Milton Dick to launch a citywide petition on behalf of Brisbane Transport bus drivers to oppose potential privatisation of the city’s bus network.

The union’s state president Bruce Mackie said the city’s commuters would suffer should operational responsibility for the network fall into private hands.

“The fact is contestability is government speak for privatisation,” he said.

“Contestability, privatisation, goes hand-in-hand with the Newman Government’s agenda.

“The people of Brisbane deserve the best bus service, not the cheapest service, it is those unprofitable areas where we run a service because it is a service.”

Cr Quirk, a long time opponent of privatising the city’s public transport network, said two weeks ago that Brisbane Transport would “aggressively” fight to retain operational responsibility of the network.

But he conceded the ultimate decision was out of City Hall’s hands, with the state government to make the ultimate decision on the matter.

Both Mr Mackie and Cr Dick said on Friday the Lord Mayor needed to publicly oppose the premier’s contestability process for the benefit of the city’s commuters.

“I think it’s time the Lord Mayor of Brisbane stood up to Campbell Newman and said you are not going to privatise the city of Brisbane’s bus services. The fact is, people deserve that public transport,” he said.

“It’s time he started saying, ‘you are not going to destroy the public transport services in my city,’ and he needs to be in the media saying that.”

Cr Dick said the contestability process was the first step in selling off the city’s bus infrastructure, a claim Cr Quirk has repeatedly denied.

“This is the first step to selling off the buses in our city, the Lord Mayor needs to stand up to Campbell Newman, he need to fight for the commuters in our city, he needs to tell Campbell Newman and Scott Emmerson that Brisbane Transport is not for sale.

“As yet, he hasn’t done that.”

The council’s public transport chairman Peter Matic said Cr Dick’s claims of privatisation were nothing more than a scare campaign.

“These false claims are a cheap political stunt with no truth,” Cr Matic said.

“The Lord Mayor has previously said he does not support the privatisation of Brisbane Transport and has made it very clear on several occasions that Council will not be conducting a bus review this year.

“Council will be contesting the tender process once the State Government announces the details of contestability and we will be competing to win,” he said.

The current controversy over potential privatisation was sparked when council’s civic cabinet opted not to renew the long-time head of Brisbane Transport Allan Warren.

Mr Warren said in a memo to his 2700 employees council was seeking a “new dawn” for its transport arm.

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Win double passes to Magic in the Moonlight

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Colin Firth stars as Stanley and Emma Stone stars as Sophie in Sony Pictures Classics’ Magic in the Moonlight. Photo: SuppliedThe Ekka might be finishing up this weekend, but the Brisbane Times is teaming up with Sony to keep the good times rolling by giving away some free movie tickets.

We’re proud to be hosting a special preview screening of Magic in the Moonlight on Tuesday August 26 at Palace CENTRO Cinemas Fortitude Valley and we’ve got 100 double passes to give away for a 6.30pm screening.

Directed and written by Woody Allen, the film is set in the 1920s French Riviera. It doesn’t officially launch until August 28, which means special guests at the preview screening will be two days ahead of the game.

To be in with a chance of winning send your entry with details (name, age, mailing address and contact numbers) to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au with MOONLIGHT in the subject line.

Within the body of the email, answer the following question: The film is set in the 1920s, but what country is it set in?

Please note that entries with the wrong subject line will not be valid.

The first 100 correct entries will be sent confirmation of a double pass to the preview screening. Entries close 5pm, Wednesday August 20.

Magic in the Moonlight is an enchanting romantic comedy starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone.

The film follows Stanley; a cynical and arrogant English illusionist who is invited to unmask a possible swindle involving an alluring young clairvoyant named Sophie.

At first Stanley is confident that he can expose Sophie as a fraud in no time but, as he witnesses her accomplish numerous supernatural feats, he begins to question his whole rational world view – if Sophie’s powers are real, then anything could be possible.

Charming, funny and featuring terrific performances, Magic in the Moonlightdelves into the very heart of our belief in something more.

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Variety and Rotary support deserving Dubbo siblings

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Bob Male, Helena Patriarca, Ashley and Venicia Bush, Ray Tobin, Rob Goodwin with Finley (four years old) and Nioka Bush (eight years old) at the Rotary Club of South Dubbo and Queensland Variety Bash dinner. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEA deserving Dubbo family was the lucky recipient of a generous collaboration between Rotary Club of Dubbo South and the Queensland Variety Bash.

Siblings Nioka and Finley Bush both have cerebellum hypoplasia, a disease that leaves part of their brain undeveloped and cerebral palsy ataxa, which has left them with problems with balance and co-ordination.

Their parents Ashley and Venicia have to provide high levels of care whilst also supporting the family financially. South Dubbo Rotary and Variety donated almost $8000 worth of equipment to the family, including two walkers, support clothing and a Revolution chair for eight-year-old Nioka which allows her to transfer between wheelchair and furniture.

The family was extremely grateful for the support.

“It’s really fantastic, such a big help to us,” Venicia said.

“The cost of everything they need is so high, especially because there is two of them and getting funding is such an arduous process so to have these items donated to us is incredible.

“We really want to thank the people from the Rotary Club of South Dubbo and the Queensland Variety Bash.”

Rotary Club of Dubbo South’s Bob Male said the Bush family were deserving recipients.

“People from the Queensland Variety Bash came to us and said ‘have you got a worthy cause? If so we will match everything you can raise, dollar for dollar.’ so I went to Ashley and asked him what they could use,” Mr Male said.

“He modestly said there were people who needed it more than them but we convinced him and he said the children could really do with walkers and also these special support shorts and support shoes so that is what we got, as well as the chair for Nioka.

“We presented it to them last night [Thursday night] when the Variety people were here and it was great to be able to help out such wonderful people.”

An auction was also held as part of Thursday night’s celebrations to raise money and a generous bidder purchased one of the items, a one-metre tall hand-made teddy bear, for $1000 and donated it to a delighted Nioka.

“She loved it. It was made by a lady called Sue so it has been named Sue and it is sitting on Nioka’s bed,” Venicia said.

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