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need2know: RBA statement awaited

Local shares are poised to open higher as more data points to a strengthening of the US economy.
Nanjing Night Net

What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 27 at 5522

• AUD at 85.68 US cents, 98.53 Japanese yen, 69.17 Euro cents and 54.10 British pence

• In late trade, S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.2%

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%, FTSE +0.2%, CAC +0.5%, DAX +0.7%

• Spot gold rises 0.3% to $US1143.88 an ounce

• Iron ore falls 1.4% to $US75.38 per metric tonne

• Brent oil slips 0.2% to $US82.81 per barrel

What’s on today

RBA Statement on Monetary Policy, Australian October Construction PCI, US October labour force report, US consumer credit, Germany September industrial production.

Stocks to watch

Credit Suisse has cut Origin Energy to ‘underperform’ and has a $13.50 target price, down from an earlier target price of $15.00.

UBS has a “neutral” rating on Commonwealth Bank of Australia and a target price of $80.“CBA announced unaudited Cash NPAT of ~$2.3bn in 1Q15 (to 30 Sept). This is slightly ahead of the numbers embedded in our 1H15 forecasts,” the investment bank said in a broker’s note.

The following stocks will trade ex dividend today: National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Kingston Resources (rights issue), Austin Exploration (stock split).

Currencies

On the $A, Ray Attrill, global co-head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote: “For all the compelling fundamental reasons for the AUD fall, we can’t ignore the fact that the simple break below the recent low of around 0.8650 provided the cue for fresh bouts of selling, with almost a full cent taken off the currency following that.”

ECB chief Mario Draghi fended off complaints about his leadership style and firmed up a promise of €1 trillion to revive the struggling euro zone economy.

The rouble may have plunged 25 per cent against the US dollar so far this year, but some currency traders are betting on a further 10 per cent drop in 2015 on the grounds that the currency is still expensive once trade and inflation are factored in.

Commodities

Oil markets fell back after a one-day spike as worries about high supplies returned to haunt traders, while the dollar pressed on with its rally which weighed on commodities priced in the currency.

Aluminium advanced for the first time in three days after the latest jobless claims data bolstered positive sentiment on the US economy.

Orange-juice futures dropped 1.1 per cent extending a slump into a bear market as US demand ebbed and prospects improved for a bigger citrus crop in Florida, the world’s second-largest producer.

United States

US stocks are higher in afternoon trade in a volatile session on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting fresh records on an indication that the European Central Bank would take more policy action if needed to boost a struggling euro zone economy.

First-time jobless claims dropped 10,000 to a three-week low of 278,000 in the week ended November 1, the Labor Department reported. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 285,000.

Labor Department figures on Friday morning in the US may show nonfarm payrolls rose 235,000 last month and that the jobless rate probably held at a six-year low.

Europe

Europe’s main stock markets ended higher after  ECB chief Mario Draghi signalled the central bank was readying further stimulus measures if needed to combat deflation and stagnation within the eurozone.

“The governing council has tasked ECB staff and the relevant Eurosystem committees with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed,” Draghi told reporters.

Draghi’s comments followed a call by the OECD to overcome its reluctance and undertake quantitative easing given the very weak state of the eurozone economy and the risk of damaging deflation as inflation is running at just 0.4 per cent.

Qatar Investment Authority and a US investor have approached Canary Wharf-owner Songbird Estates about a possible takeover, a deal which would increase the sovereign wealth fund’s presence in London real estate.

What happened yesterday

Australian shares reversed early gains on Thursday as banks were sold down and miners sank, with Fortescue plunging dramatically after the iron ore price hit a five-year low.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 11.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5506.1. The broader All Ordinaries Index dipped 13.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5479.2.

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

Facing a wall of silence

Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.
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In information supplied to Cornish’s creditors on October 31, the company owes more than $4 million to about 254 companies.

On September 8, W. Bill Cornish Pty Ltd sold their Narromine, Gilgandra, Gunnedah and Quirindi branches to Wideland Ag and Construction, before Cornish’s went into liquidation.

Shaw Gidley was appointed as liquidator on October 22 and PKF Lawler have been named as administrators.

However, creditors trying to uncover additional information have hit continual dead ends.

ITC National’s Director Peter Briggs, said he was not concerned about the money he was owed, but about the handling of the situation.

Mr Briggs said after contacting PKF Lawler he was told to contact Cornish’s director Doug Upcroft directly, however his number had been disconnected.

Mr Briggs was also given Jacqi Upcroft’s phone number but found it been disconnected as well.

“I can only hope there is a thorough investigation into the conduct of the directors of Cornish’s. To shut shop on a Friday (September 5) and the new owners commence business on the Monday (September 8) leaving only a PO box as a contact for the entire Cornish’s group stinks.”

He said he would like to find out what happened to the proceeds of the sale of Cornish’s.

Gason Sales and Marketing manager for agriculture Peter Piddington said he was also failing to find answers.

“I made a number of phone calls and left messages and I’ve had no calls returned,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see an old established business go out of business. We’ve been dealing with them for 30, 40 years. It’s very disappointing when these things happen.

“The way it has all worked out is disappointing,” Mr Piddington said.

A meeting of creditors is expected to be held with Shaw Gidley on November 12.

Shaw Gidley and PKF Lawler were both contacted for comment but did not respond.

Wideland Ag and Construction did not wish to comment and Mr Upcroft could not be reached for his response.

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

GALLERY: The week that was in the central west

GALLERY: The week that was in the central west PARKES: The NRMA’s partnership will see direct support for two of the Festival’s major precincts: The NRMA Cooke Park Main Stage in the popular Cooke Park precinct and The NRMA Festival Boulevard.
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ORANGE: Her flair for jazz may have served her well during The Voice, but at Molong Central School yesterday, Holly Tapp’s pop and folk talents attracted the students’ attention.

FORBES: The dry finish hasn’t been kind to Forbes farmers but results from a local crop competition show that wheat and barley yields are holding up well considering.

COWRA: Canowindra have made their way to the top of SportsPower Cup table after a remarkable victory at Henry Lawson Oval against Grenfell on Saturday afternoon.

ORANGE: Owner of Pete’s Car Wash Peter Mueller with some of Orange’s veterans Barry Bettles, Allan Bennett, Ben Cook and Lindsay Wright who will be eligible for a free car wash on Remembrance Day. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

PARKES: Trainer Ricky Watt and his good looking chestnut gelding Tyson’s Tiger prevented a clean sweep by local stables at the Dubbo TAB meeting on Saturday.

GRENFELL: Lisa Schaefer, owner and creator, of Lisa Schaefer Millinery was thrilled to receive confirmation last week that her designs had been short listed in the very exclusive category of “Invitation Only” in the Crown Oaks Day, Myer Fashions on the Field, Millinery Awards.

BLAYNEY: A few months back fire badly damaged the facade and awning on the Oliver building in Adelaide Street and since then Council has been working closely with the owner to repair what is now a very unsightly building.

ORANGE: Jockeys (front) Brooke Timmis, Tiffany Jefferies, Cat Markwort and Rachel Hunt and at back, Kacie Chater, Eleanor Webster-Hawes and Ashleigh Borg made up the all female line up at the Orange Melbourne Cup races. Photo: STEVE GOSCH. 1104sgjockey1

FORBES: The enthusiasm was visible yesterday when kids took to the soccer field to be coached by former Matildas star and potential 2015 Women’s World Cup player Renee Rollason.

COWRA: Traditional Ukrainian folk dancers Melissa Rohozynsky, Katerina Kobryn amd Melania Berehovy performing a welcome dance during Saturday’s twin events at Europa Park.

CANOWINDRA: Kain Earsman cleaned up the awards at the Tigers’ presentation night including first grade’s Best and Fairest, Players’ player, the Josh Lynch Medal and the Club player of the Year.

ORANGE: Tori Moore, Kate Butcherine and Sophie Law had their money on Jeff Brasch’s horse Devil in a Dress when she ran round at Towac Park for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 1102sgtowac

PARKES: Police and emergency services confer about the ‘plane crash’ and criminal activity at the Parkes Airport during the mock training exercise on Saturday. Some 65 personnel were involved in the special event. Photo: RENEE POWELL

BLAYNEY: CHAMPION Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley has prevailed in a dramatic finish to win his fifth New York marathon.

FORBES: The champagne was flowing and the women were dressed in their racing best at this year’s Forbes Toy Library’s Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

COWRA: The dangers to home renovators from asbestos removal is the theme of Asbestos Awareness Month for November.

ORANGE: Around 80 residents took to the streets on Friday night to protest against sexual violence and take part in the Reclaim the Night walk.

BATHURST: David McKibbon believes the erection of a dry stone wall on the O’Connell Road will one day cause a serious accident as it impedes motorists’ line of sight on that busy stretch of roadway on the outskirts of the village. Photo PHILL MURRAY 110514pwall

BATHURST: Bathurst Family History Group members Barry Konemann and Ron Murphy (left) and Bob Freeman (right) working on the damaged headstones at Bathurst cemetery with Bathurst Correctional Centre inmates George, Luke and Rene. Photo PHILL MURRAY 103114pgraves

MUDGEE: A Bedford MFR fire truck, circa 1970s, was named in honour of the late Joshua Pedley at Mudgee Motorfest on Saturday. Pictured are family members Phillip and William Pedley (right) with Mitchell Pedron, Mid-Western Regional Councillor Paul Cavalier and Alan Selman AFSM. PHOTO: COL BOYD

OBERON: Oberon Multi Purpose Service has installed a flagpole and raised an Aboriginal flag as part of the health district’s commitment to “Closing the Gap”.

OBERON: On Thursday last week students from Black Springs Public School travelled to the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery to see the Art Express exhibition.

OBERON: Oberon RSL Club held a best dressed competition on Melbourne Cup day. The winners were Kathy Robinson and Geoffrey Jones.

RYLSTONE: Diners were impressed by the food and the relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at this year’s Rylstone StreetFeast.

BATHURST: Inland Building and Construction’s Jordan Price, Mackenzie Smith, Josh Pleming and Chris Yewdall putting the finishing touches on one of the outdoor play areas at Jenny’s Kindergarten and Learning Centre.

BATHURST: Amanda Griffin and Julia Sjollema got up close and personal with their catch of the day at Bathurst’s annual carp blitz. Photo ZENIO LAPKA. 110414zcarp8

BATHURST: Developer Lester Hewitt at the new Icely Estate near Eglinton as the pouring of the kerb and guttering enters its final stage. Photo BRIAN WOOD 102214lester

BATHURST: The Assumption School students dressed up for their Melbourne Cup celebrations. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK 110414cassumptn

BATHURST: Western Advocate readers sent in lots of photos of hail after a fierce storm on Wednesday afternoon. This photo was sent in by Tanya Willey.

LITHGOW: Mayor Maree Statham and niece Regan Scott get into the Halloween spirit.

MUDGEE: Trine Gay, Alex Reynolds, and Sue Jakins celebrated the Melbourne Cup in style.

MUDGEE: Vehicles of all makes and vintages came from afar for the annual Cudgegong Cruiser’s Motorfest at the Mudgee Showground on Saturday.

DUBBO: Virginia Carter plies the knitting needles to add poppies to a vast visual tribute to those who fought for their country – the tribute is called 5000 Poppies and will be created in Melbourne in 2015. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Dubbo turned out in style to celebrate the 2014 Melbourne Cup at the Dubbo Turf Club. Pictured are Kym Johnson, Kirsty Colliver, Alanna Lawes and Sue Walsh. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: The Orana Rural Fire Service (RFS) are assisting Orana Local Area Command with the investigation of a blaze that stretched 164 hectares along the eastern edge of the Newell Highway on Tuesday morning.

DUBBO: Hannah Wright, Maddison Wallace, Paris Burns and Candace Brien after they finished their final HSC exam. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Broken Hill to Dubbo 24-hour Zoo2Zoo riders Matt Keele, Paul Schroder, James O’Reilly and Antony Bishop after achieving their goal with 20 minutes to spare. Photo: GREG KEEN

DUBBO: Tony Ryals at the site of a planned and now approved multi-dwelling housing and serviced apartments development with frontage to Cobbora Road at Dubbo.

DUBBO: Harley Palin with sons Sonny, 6 and Jasper, 3 at the Macquarie Regional Library book sale. Photo: GREG KEEN.

MUDGEE: A Day On The Green brought a little bit of everything to Robert Oatley Vineyards on Saturday; rock, country, soul, local talent, rain, sunshine, and three decades of hits from one of Australia’s most loved musicians. Pictured is Marlene Cameron from Mudgee with Tracey Mclean from Gold Coast.

NARROMINE: The cream of the crop of agriculture students attended the Rotary Youth Crop, Agronomy, Grain and Seed Camp in Narromine.

TRANGIE: The children dressed up to visit registered houses for the annual Halloween “trick or treat.”

WELLINGTON: Alice Chad and Laughlan Bailey get in the spirit for Melbourne Cup celebrations.

BATHURST: Stephen Champion from the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre this week launched the 2015 season program, packed full of variety. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 110314zbmec1

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Dob in a druggie anonymously

DRUG BUSTERS: Far South Coast Local Area Command’s senior constable David Bates and Inspector Mick MacPherson are preparing for Operation Bauds, which will give residents the opportunity to inform police about drug offenders.Ifyou are a user of illegal drugs, November might be a bad month.
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Far South Coast Local Area Command police will launch Operation Bauds, where Eurobodalla and Bega Valley residents can ‘dob in druggie, anonymously’ next Monday. The operation will run until the end of the month.

Acting FSC LAC Inspector and crime manager Mick MacPherson said the operation would target illicit drug offences, whether it be dealing, use, cultivation or manufacturing.

“Drugs have a massive ripple effect on the greater community,” he said.

“People with information can ring our special line on 4478 9937, and leave their report anonymously on an answering machine.

“Any information will be treated with the strictest confidence.”

A police spokesman said drug use caused trauma for families and financial hardship as well as health and social issues.

“There is the tying up of police, ambulance, hospitals and courts and the crimes that people are likely to commit to support their habit and because their behaviour is affected,” he said.

Mr MacPherson said the opportunity to report drug matters anonymously would appeal to many.

“Anonymity is always a good thing, and that is why Crime Stoppers has been so successful,” he said.

He said it did not matter how trivial something seemed; the police want to know about it.

“Anything can be of value, and significant in the long run,” he said.

Drug matters can still be reported directly to police officers and to Crime Stoppers.

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Film review: Interstellar

Trailers have given away little about this film, other than “Matthew McConaughey goes to space to save dusty world”.Interstellar
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(M) 3.5 out 5

Director: Christopher Nolan.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow.

FILM-MAKERS have long tried to predict the future.

One of the most intriguing of these sci-fi predictions is 2001: A Space Odyssey – a film that’s now confusingly set in the past -and it is the obvious reference point for Christopher Nolan’s own attempt at prophetic cinema.

Just as 2001 wanted to explore the possibilities of space and beyond, Interstellar aims to go to the final frontier and further, all the while exploring the nature of humanity and the unknowns of the universe.

Even the structures of the two films are similar, which makes it even harder to avoid these comparisons – it’s impossible not to think of Interstellar as Nolan’s Space Odyssey.

As such,this filmis incredibly ambitious,even for the director who took us into a dream inside a dream inside a dream with relative ease. However, this might bea starbridgetoo far.

As fascinating and scientifically intriguing as it is, Interstellar asks a lot of the viewer in terms of endurance (it’s almost three hours long) and whether you will buy into the plot twists that come with its cosmic destination. And after just one viewing it’snot immediately obvious how successful it is.

The film spends the first hour on Earth sometime in the possibly not-too-distant future, where climate change has wiped out billions of people and ruined most of the world’s crops, leaving the planet a dusty husk of its former self.

Among the farmers struggling to keep the world’s mouths fed is Cooper (McConaughey), a former test pilot who turns to corn farming after the government shuts down non-essential programs, and while he still secretly yearns for the adventures of his youth, Cooper is mostly content to raise his two kids.

That is until some weird happenings in the family home inadvertently lead him into space as part of a mission to find a new home on a new planet in order to save what remains of humanity.

Obviously there are some major plot points removed from this synopsis, but you’re better off not knowing them and just enjoying the surprises. Nolan’s typical secrecy meant the trailers gave away little about this film in the lead up other than “McConaughey goes to space to save dusty world” and that’s one thing of the key things Interstellar has going for it – it’s a journey into the unknown for the characters and audience alike.

But is it an enjoyable one? That’s the question you might find yourself asking as you walk out of the cinema after three bum-numbing hours.

Interstellar is definitely fascinating. It’s filled with amazing ideas, stunning visuals, great performances, and what is apparently a level of scientific theory that’s interesting if you’re so inclined.

But after all this brain fodder and some genuinely awe-inspiring moments we finally reach the third act – and it’s a long time coming – the story takes a turn that will either leave you tearing up your ticket or glued to your seat.

My initial reaction was the former but the more the film went on and the more I think about the film in the hours since watching it, the more I am willing to forgive it. Maybe. To be honest I’m still undecided.

And that’s the general feeling I’m left with after seeing Interstellar – a sensation of indecision.

Large parts of the film are stunning, such as the depictions of blackholes, wormholes and space travel, but other bits are not so great, such as some of the dialogue, the lack of characterisation, and that plot twist. There are questions unanswered – some deliberately so but some seemingly ignored – and while this does make me want to watch it again to dig a little deeper into the film, its length is kind of off-putting. At the same time, the fact that I’m still thinking about it so much is probably a positive.

Interstellar is ambitious, perhaps overly so, and it’s engaging and intriguing, perhaps at the expense of being truly entertaining. For now, the best I can say is that, yeah, it’s pretty cool and particularly impressive on the big screen but not quite the five-star classic that Inception or 2001: A Space Odyssey is.

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What’s On in Grenfell

Wednesday – November 5th
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Weddin Community Nursery (WCN) at Grenfell TAFE – all welcome – 9am

Martial Arts class – rear of IGA – 6.30pm

Playgroup – BLUE DAY – Grenfell Public School Hall Call Emma: 63431717

Royal Far West Meeting – 22 Rose Street 2pm

Local Health Meeting – 6pm Multi Purpose Service (MPS)

Thursday – November 6th

Leisure Group – Uniting Church Hall 10am – 12noon ALL WELCOME

Friday – November 7th

Indoor Bowls – Grenfell Bowling Club – 7pm

Swimming Club – 6pm Grenfell Swimming Pool

Twilight Golf – 5pm Country Club

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse – Cowra Local Support Group at 12:30pm. Open to all survivors in the community. If interested contact Pascale on 6342 1612.

Sunday -November 9th

Social Golf – Country Club – from 8am

Museum Open – Camp St – (between Fire Station and Council Chambers) – 2pm-4pm

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The Tremolos reunite for free concert

The Tremolos formed in 1964 and were a big hit amongst the Grenfell Community performing at many different functions and events over a period spanning approximately two years.
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The band members consisted of Ronnie Plant lead guitar, Noel Cartwright rhythm guitar, Andrea Ladlow (Virtue) piano and vocals, Robert Farrell bass guitar and Barry Virtue drums.

The Tremolo Band played a good variety of music from The Beatles to Old Time Waltzes.

This November the band will reunite for a single event at the Grenfell Bowling Club on November 15, 2014, entry is free and there will be a Courtesy Bus running with other attractions such as Lucky Door prize and spot dancing, the night is designed to be a fun night for the whole family to enjoy.

There will be a smorgasbord meal with bookings essential by ringing the Club on 02 6343 1656 or you can order a Counter meal from the Rinks restaurant.

The music will kick off at around 8pm, so for a fun, night of music and memories make your booking today, entry to the Club is free and children are most welcome.

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Netball coup for the Storm

STAR TEAM: Shellie Davies, Aleisha Langdon, Tracy Wilson, Mali Roberts, Glen Cowling, Sandy Truscott, Jodie Bouwmeester and Zenda McConnell.
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THE Strathfieldsaye Football Netball Club has pulled off a coup, securing the coaching talents of netball identity Zenda McConnell for the 2015 season.

McConnell, a legend of the White Hills Football Netball club, has decided to take up the Storm’s 17-and-under coaching position.

A coach for the past 25 years, McConnell has led the Demons to three A-grade premierships.

She has also been a Northern Central region 15-and-under squad team selector for the past two years.

“Zenda’s appointment is reflective of the importance the club sees on building a strong future and culture within the club,”Strathfieldsaye president Glen Cowling said.

“Appointing experienced coaches is only the first of many initiatives the club is adopting.

“The 17-and-under grade is the future of the club and it requires the same importance as our senior grades.”

Mali Roberts has been reappointed coach of the A-grade team.

This season the Storm’s senior team missed out on finals, finishing with six wins and 12 losses.

The 2015 Bendigo Football Netball League season will be her second year as head coach of the Storm.

Players Shellie Davies and Sarah Hill will step up next season, also taking on coaching roles.

Hill will be an assistant to McConnell with the junior team.

Jodie Bouwmeester will also become a development coach, while the B-grade team will be led by Aleisha Langdon and B-reserve team by Sandy Truscott.

Next season the club will also introduce two development teams.

The club willhost trials for its 17-and-under teams on November 16, 19 and 24 if required.

The sessions will be held at Flight Centre Park on Tannery Lane at 5.30pm.

Expression of interest forms are available on the Strathfieldsaye FNC website.

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Crusoe College students eye spot at national track and field titles

Matthew Higgs, Cooper Saunders and Ella Farnell, Picture: CONTRIBUTED
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THREE Crusoe College students will be competing at the All Schools State championships on Saturday.

Cooper Saunders, Ella Farnell and Keely Farnell will be competing in various track and field events.

The trio will be chasing a spot at the national titles, which will be held in Adelaide later this year.

Cooper, Ella and Keely as well as Maddison Hill and Matthew Higgs took part in the State Schools Athletics finals at Lakeside Stadium last month.

The students represented the Loddon Mallee region, with Cooper, Ella and Keely winning the right to compete at the All Schools final.

Crusoe Secondary College teacher Erin McGurk said it was great to have five students involved with such a high level competition.

She said regardless of their outcomes the students should be proud of what they have been able to achieve.

Cooper had a strong meet at the final, winning the under-13 boys triple jump.

He jumped 11.06m and bet the second placegetter Aitken College’s Nathan Andersonby just two centimeters.

Ella came second in the under-13 triple jump with a 10.11m jump.

She was just 12 centimeters short of winner Isabella Phanivong from Frankston High School.

Ellawas a consistent performer throughout the competition, managing to jump the same distance she qualified with.

Maddison came sixth in the 1500m race walk with a time of 8.30.61.

She was less than a minute behind the eventual winner.

Matthew was third in the under-16 javelin with a throw of 45.51m and was eighth in the 16-year-old discus throw.

Keely placed fifth in the under-16 girls triple jump with a jump of 9.21m and seventh in the long jump with a distance of 4.31m.

McGurk said she wished the trio headed to the All Schools finals the very best.

The championships will also be held at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park.

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CWA day branch news

Our branch held our Annual meeting on October 23rd with a pleasing number of members present.
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President Sonia Groen welcomed the members with a special welcome to our Group President Mrs Jenny Thompson who chaired the meeting for the election of our office bearers for 2015.

Sonia opened the meeting with the Anthems and Motto before giving her report.

Reports were then given by Secretary Judy Mitton, Treasurer Robyn Logan and Mavis Drogemuller for the Craft Shop. The Craft Shop operated with 36 volunteers and is open from Monday till Friday and some weekends if the need arises.

Coral Mitton gave her publicity report and Sonia Groen gave the Agricultural and Environment report.

Kath Smith our cheer-up Secretary gave her report followed by cultural officers Sally Norrie and Edith Taylor’s report.

Mrs Jenny Thompson then chaired the election of office bearers. All of last years office bearers were re-elected unopposed.

Patrons – Kathleen Smith and Lola Madden

President – Sonia Groen

Secretary – Judy Mitton

Treasurer – Robyn Logan

Craft Shop Secretary – Mavis Drogemuller

Craft Shop President – Esma Baker

Craft Shop Treasurer – Robyn Logan

Vice Presidents – Ruth McKellar and Esma Baker

Group Councillors – Sonia Groen and Judy Mitton

Cheer – Up Secretary – Kath Smith

Publicity Officer – Coral Mitton

Agricultural and Environment – Sonia Groen

Cultural – Sally Norrie and Edith Taylor

Ruth McKellar gave a vote of thanks to Jenny and presented her with a lovely posie. Afternoon tea was then enjoyed.

Our next Meeting will be held at 1.30pm on Thursday November 6th at the Uniting Church Hall. All interested Women are Welcome

Coral Mitton

CWA Publicity Officer

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Planning for Newcastle under the spotlight

“This whole city is being controlled by people who are rich”: Joan Dawson. Picture: Ryan Osland4:10: Thanks for joining us. Read tomorrow’s Newcastle Herald for my complete rundownand analysis of today’s proceedings.
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4:05:A bit of a shouting match to end the day between Catherine Cusack and Joan Dawson. No proof that a decision to cut the rail line was in any way corrupted, but some strong opinions on both sides of the debate.

The same strong opinions that we’ve been listening to for more than two decades.

Fred Nile has wrapped up today’s proceedings.

The second hearing will be held in Newcastle in on November 21.

“There is no cost-benefit analysis that supports cutting the rail line”: Kim Cross. Picture: Ryan Osland

3:56:Voltz and Shoebridge steering discussion on the value of the rail line in Newcastle.

Kim Cross says Hazzard and O’Farrell ignored a number of reports. She said the cost-benefit analysis of the closure is “a house of cards”.

“There is no cost-benefit analysis that supports cutting the rail line,” she said. “We’re still waiting and we’re 50 days out from closure.”

3:42:”It’s the process we’re concerned about,” Dawson said. “There has been very inadequate consultation. This whole city is being controlled by people who are rich.”

3:40:Joan Dawson says it’s “not truncation as they call it, it’s a chop, or a cut”. She also referred to the government’s designs for the Wickham interchange resembled a “carport on steroids”. And it’s not an interchange, she said, it’s a terminus.

3:37:Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson tells the inquiry her group is not “anti development, but earnestly believes that a city deserves adequate public transpoort to it”.

3:24: Newcastle council’s handling of the proposed developments on the Lynch’s site was like saying “do as I say and not as I do” to other developers,” Shoebridge said.

Inquiry on the planning process in Newcastle and the broader Hunter region at the Novotel Newcastle – pictured is David Shoebridge. Picture: Ryan Osland

3:14:Labor’s Linda Voltz says the council being the consent authority for a development it planned to undertake itself reminded her of ‘Porpoise Spit’ in the film Muriel’s Wedding. She also wondered why a council pushing to reconnect the city with the harbourfront was itself wanting to build a three-storey building on the harbourfront.

3:10:Residents representing Honeysuckle Residents Association are now addressing the hearing.

Resident Alistaire Christie said the group was concerned with Newcastle council’s “persistent attempts” to develop the old Lynch’s Prawns site on the harbourfront.

It should be noted, though, the council abandoned any development plans for the site several months ago.

Honeysuckle Residents Association Peter Medi, Alistair Christie, Bruce Wade. Picture: Ryan Osland

Mr Christie, though, said the group remained concerned at why the council spent “more than $300,000” in its attempts to build on a site that it was the consent authority for.

2:58:Shoebridge offers an open invitation to the hearing to former Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell. The invitation followed comments from Whitebridge residents who said they “wondered” if the $10,000 donations to his campaign which were aired at the recent ICAC inquiry had interfered with due process in the Whitebridge land deal.

The hearing has taken a 15-minute adjournment.

Liberal Catherine Cusack. Picture: Ryan Osland

2:53:Cusack asks residents that, given no development has been approved at Whitebridge, their concern is more about anxiety than about any evidence of corruption. The comment draws scorn from residents in the public gallery.

2:46:Liberal Catherine Cusack points out there is no development approval for the Whitebridge site, suggesting a lot of the debate and concern is over something that hasn’t happened yet.

2:43:Whitebridge residents raise concerns that the real estate agent who sold the land on behalf of the state government also acted for the land owner at a later stage. They said there should have been some separation.

Whitebridge resident Michelle Burdekin. Picture: Ryan Osland

2:27:Grugeon’s plan “effectively trebled” the number of lots that were originally “signed off on by the Council and department of planning”, resident Michelle Burdekin said.

2:25:Whitebridge residents say they grew concerned about Hilton Grugeon’s “incompatible development” when it was revealed to be much bigger than what the council planning strategies had previously suggested.

2:20:Newcastle residents have stepped down from the hearing. Residents from Whitebridge now getting their opportunity.

2:16: Asked by Donnelly how many members of the inner city residents alliance actually live in the inner city, Mr Evans said “about 40%”. The remaining 60 per cent come from outside of the 2300 postcode, he said.

2:08:Resident Brian Ladd asks why UrbanGrowth was able to buy two-thirds of GPT’s city landholdings “for such a ridiculously low price”. Shoebridge suggests the transaction might have been made to “save GPT”, or was part of a deal which might have made “big returns” to GPT down the track.

Resident Brian Ladd. Picture: Ryan Osland

2:02:Evans attacks Premier Mike Baird for not honouring his promise to “make amends” for the actions of his MPs exposed by ICAC.

Instead, he said the Premier attended a business function where Newcastle business people paid $150 a head to meet with him. “It’s a clear indication of the perversity of insiders getting access to the Premier when the community is shut out,” he said.

1:58:Evans tells the hearing he thinks lobbyists with vested interests have “captured” debate and “shut the community out”. He said the “overwhelming majority of people in this city” do not want high rise in the city’s heart. He said there is “more than enough development” happening in Newcastle to satisfy demand.

1:51:Hearing has resumed. Geoff Evans addressing committee on behalf of Newcastle Inner City Residents Alliance.

Dr Geoff Evans addresses the inquiry. Picture: Ryan Osland

He said NICRA was concerned about the lack of public Consultation and “farcical changes” to inner city planning laws made by the state government.

From inside the inquiry: Picture: Darren Pateman

1:00: Hearing has adjourned for lunch. Council planners have been allowed to step down. Representatives of Newcastle Inner city residents will appear when the hearing resumes at 1.45pm.

12:59: Shoebridge accusing Lake Council of not reading its own planning policies properly. The developer had worked it out, he said, and that’s why he was proposing to build 91 residential lots on his land at Whitebridge at the same time as the Council was saying it could only accommodate 50.

12:48:”How do we go from council’s LEP which proposed 50 dwellings to a development application for 91 dwellings,” Shoebridge asks in relation to land owned by developer Hilton Grugeon.

12:47:Shoebridge raising concerns about the extent to which Lake Council might have failed to properly notify or consult Whitebridge residents about land rezoning.

12:41:Voltz asking about Whitebridge land sold by the government and now subject to an application for a residential subdivision. Shoebridge asking about when council rezoning plan at Whitebridge was put to the state government

12:37:Voltz asking Lake planners about rezoning processes and the power of the council to rezone land that is privately or publicly owned.

12:35:Mr Chrystal and Ms Gaynor have stepped down. Three planners from Lake Macquarie council are now being questioned.

12:31:Shoebridge asks why so many people want to remove “the barrier” between the city and the harbour that is the heavy rail line and then build on the corridor to create “another barrier”. That’s certainly what Honeysuckle is, he said.

The committee has taken a short adjournment.

David Shoebridge and Fred Nile seek answers from Peter Chrystal and Jill Gaynor. Picture: Darren Pateman.

12:29:Nile asks Chrystal if he thinks the decision to run light rail down Hunter Street, or remove the rail line at all, is aimed at creating a land grab for developers to build on the existing heavy rail corridor.

Chrystal says the corridor has not been discussed by the council. He is not aware of any plans and the council has no formal view on it.

12:23:Chrystal also says the urban renewal studies were first discussed by the council in 2006 and 2008. He said the plans were on public exhibition for four months from December in 2012.

Pearce points out the plans have been on the table for a long time, and decisions were not made on a whim at the eleventh hour by the state government.

12:16:Nile asks Chrystal if he thought the citizens of Newcastle, Maitland and Dungog had been consulted sufficiently on plans for the rail line.

Chrystal says the public consultation period was open for three or four months. “That’s a lot longer than normal,” Mr Chrystal said.

12:09:Shoebridge asks Gaynor and Chrystal if they’d ever had conversations with former lord mayor Jeff McCloy about his preferred route for the light rail line.

Jill Gaynor, Manager of Strategic Planning Services at the City of Newcastle. Picture: Darren Pateman.

Ms Gaynor said it had been discussed once and McCloy said he favoured the light rail running down Hunter Street. The council’s submission, however, reflected the decisions made by the council at that time, she said.

12:04:Shoebridge asking again why council GM Ken Gouldthorp didn’t seek the views of the councillors when he got request from parliamentary committee.

Chrystal says the GM understood the request was made of the council and not of the elected council, and he had the delegated authority to respond as he did.

11:59:David Shoebridge says the management of Newcastle council had “shown contempt” for the parliamentary inquiry by not including the elected councillors in discussions about the council’s submission to the inquiry.

11:54:Chrystal responding to questions from Voltz. Says the council was comfortable with the new CBD being pushed towards the west end with the east end becoming “more boutique retail and residential”.

He concedes that the council has issues with the lack of parking included in the proposed university campus.

Peter Chrystal, Planning and Regulatory Director for the City of Newcastle, appears at the inquiry. Picture: Darren Pateman.

11:47:Asked by Voltz about the council’s submission on the rail line, Peter Chrystal says it was council’s preference to extend light rail further east to Parnell Place to provide access to the beaches.

11:37:That’s it from Broad and Hawes. Senior Newcastle council planners Peter Chrystal and Jill Gaynor join the committee at the table housing all the Mentos mints.

11:33:Pearce asks Broad about the original GPT plan for city centre. “Was it a lost opportunity?”

“Absolutely,” Broad replies.”We saw GPT as a once in a lifetime opportunity. The private sector wanting to spend $800 million in the city centre was something we’ve never seen before, but it was lost.”

Greg Pearce asks questions of Bob Hawes and Paul Broad. Picture: Darren Pateman.

11:24:Greg Pearce asking Hawes and Broad about the Newcastle Centre Renewal Report commissioned by the previous Labor government which spells out the cost benefits of removing the rail line.

Also refers to surveys undertaken by Hunter Valley Research Foundation, also commissioned by Labor, which found that 93% of Newcastle wanted action taken to renew the city.

11:21:Nile asking Broad and Hawes about light rail and transport.

“We want something that meets the needs of the future,” Broad says.

“The number of people travelling on public transport is appalling. We should fix it.”

Broad said the plan has been around for decades but under previous governments “we never had any money to do it”.

11:17:Nile asks if the Boxing Day truncation of the rail line could be pushed back or postponed.

“That’s a government decision, chairman, not ours, but we support it [Boxing Day cut].

“The issue has been around for 20 years, chairman, it’s time to move.”

11:13:”This sounds more like a Laurel and Hardy administration or a Bob Askin administration,” Shoebridge says of HDC’s operations.

Shoebridge accused of heading a “disgraceful smear” of Hawes.

11:08:Bob Hawes under fire from Shoebridge over property owned by him at Wickham. Shoebridge calls it a “gross conflict of interest”.

Hunter Development Corporation General Manager Bob Hawes answers questions. Picture: Darren Pateman.

Hawes says the properties are lodged on his pecuniary interest register.Hawes said nothing has been kept from the public, nothing from the HDC board. It’s been on the public record since he began his role with HDC.

Broad says Hawes left HDC board meetings when “anything affecting Bob’s property” was discussed.

11:01:Lynda Voltz asking Hawes about the “500” provided by the university and GPT.

“The 500 what,” Broad asks.

“Residential apartments,” Voltz says.

“There are none proposed in the university project,” Broad points out.

10:56:Well that didn’t take long to heat up! Lynda Voltz drilling Hawes and Broad about why land that was once part of a working harbour was being converted to residential.

It’s not, says Broad, pointing to the commercial head offices of NIB and Sparke Helmore – “white collar jobs that were not there before”.

How many jobs, Voltz asks. “Ask NIB,” Broad snaps back.

10:50:Paul Broad tells the inquiry that HDC first discussed truncating the rail line in 1992 and then again in 2009.

Hunter Development Corporation Chairman Paul Broad makes his way to the inquiry. Picture: Darren Pateman.

Connecting the harbor front with the city was always HDC’s motivation, he said. He tells Lynda Voltz the empty sites at Honeysuckle have always been identified as development sites.

10:42:Fred Nile has opened the inquiry and warned that “this is not a forum for people to make adverse comments about others”. I think he might struggle with maintaining that line!

HDC chairman Paul Broad and general manager Bob Hawes have been sworn in.

10:35:And Fred has let us back inside. Sill no Mentos on my makeshift table though. Hunter Development Corporation chairman Paul Broad will be first to answer questions when we get under way shortly.

Novotel Newcastle, the site of today’s inquiry. Picture: Darren Pateman.

10:25:Only a small crowd here for the first of three public hearings. Some familiar faces in the crowd and plenty of whining about why the bowls of Mentos mints are restricted to the committee’s table and not in the public gallery! Or maybe that was just me whining.

Anyway, the committee has just arrived. Fred Nile has asked for everyone except committee members to be booted out of the room so the committee can have a private conversation

10:16am:Fred Nile and the inquiry members are having a quick drive around Newcastle in their mini bus to familiarise themselves.

Cannot confirm rumours they’ve popped into The Rock Shop on Hunter Street but plenty saying they were spotted in the drive-thru of King Street Maccas.

10:11am:Committee chairman, Christian Democrat Fred Nile, has already raised plenty of eyebrows this morning by saying he wanted to delay the state government’s planned Boxing Day shutdown of the heavy rail line into Newcastle. That’s quite a concession from a supposedly independent chairman who hasn’t yet heard a word from any of the witnesses called before his inquiry.

Fred Nile.

Mr Nile, of course, is chairing the inquiry with Greens MLC DavidShoebridge acting as deputy. Also on the committee are four members of parliament’s upper house – Labor’s Greg Donnelly and Lynda Voltz and Liberals Greg Pearce and Catherine Cusack.

Follow the inquiry with Jason Gordon.

10:00am:Good morning all!

Going to be an interesting day here at the parliamentary inquiry into planning processes in Newcastle and the Hunter at the Novotel.Or let’s just call it the Nile Inquiry.

Today’s public hearing will hear from 17 witnesses, and it’s open to the public if you want to pop your head in. If not, stick with us here and follow all of today’s proceedings as they happen.

And feel free to send us your thoughts.

Wimmera passenger rail lines feasibility study: Councils urge State Government to pay

Horsham chief executive Peter Brown believes passenger rail is a major issue for the region. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERWESTERN Victorian councils have urged the State Government to help pay for a feasibility study into passenger rail lines in the region.
Nanjing Night Net

Ten western Victorian councils, including all Wimmera councils, have agreed to put up a combined $40,000 towards the study.

Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown told candidates for the seat of Lowan at a breakfast in Horsham on Thursday that passenger rail was a major issue for the municipality.

Mr Brown said passenger rail would bring many benefits to the entire Wimmera.

“The return of fast and reliable passenger rail to other regional cities like Bendigo and Warrnambool has benefited them a lot economically,” he said.

“Rail is easy to access and it is good for older people or people who have disabilities.”

Mr Brown said many people caught a bus from Horsham to Ararat to go on to Melbourne.

“A shuttle rail service from the Wimmera to Ararat would make it easier to swap services and go on to wherever they need,” he said.

Mr Brown said there was a rail line from Horsham to Ararat that could be used, but it was a different gauge to the line from Ararat to Melbourne.

He said the ideal scenario would be a standard gauge line through the Wimmera to Horsham and then on to Ararat.

From Ararat people could transfer to the broad gauge line to Melbourne.

Mr Brown said the feasibility study would determine whether the project was worth pursuing.

“We don’t quite know the extent of the issues we face or the cost yet,” he said.

Ararat Rural City Mayor Paul Hooper said it was an important issue.

He wrote to candidates for the seat of Ripon on October 20 to ask for their support.

“There is an enormous number of people travelling to Ararat from the north and south to use the train here to get to Melbourne,” he said.

“Consultation with councils north and south of us has revealed that they believe a train service would enhance the liveability of their shires.”

Cr Hooper said the show of money by the councils involved proved they were serious about the issue.

“It is an important issue,” he said.

“We don’t expect it to be resolved overnight.

“We understand a significant study needs to be done and we’re putting it firmly on the agenda.

“We’re hoping to get some funding from the State Government to match ours.”

Greens candidate for Ripon Rod May said he supported the push for passenger rail.

“The Greens have pledged that we will develop the public transport system of Victoria because it is a more sustainable way of moving people and goods across the state,” he said.

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

Library lines

Don’t forget to check out the display of clippings and minute book excerpts relating to the history of the Grenfell Library currently on show in the library to mark the 75th anniversary of the passing of the NSW Library Act.
Nanjing Night Net

There is some fascinating material on the emotive issue of whether or not to join a regional library and some of the statistics of yesteryear are very challenging – in 1970 the library declared a circulation of 49, 530 items (and they only loaned books and magazines at that time – no DVDs, etc!) and a total membership of 2,606 which included 1,203 children spread over six schools.

At the time of writing there were just three new books and one audio book on MP3 available so the New Materials display will be a little sparse this week. But there are a number of orders in the pipeline so the situation should improve in coming weeks.

Have you had a look at the library’s Facebook page or blog of late?

There is a cute photo of three young engineers enjoying the LASY (and the air-conditioning?) in the children’s area on Facebook.

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

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