Teachers welcome Gonksi reforms

Western Sydney teachers have welcomed the news that NSW is the first state to sign up to the Gonski reforms, and will receive $5 billion in additional federal funding to implement them.
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Premier Barry O’Farrell and state Education Minister Adrian Piccoli today announced they would find an extra $1.7 billion in the state’s budget to help deliver the reforms.

A group of teachers from Blacktown, Glenwood and other suburbs visited Canberra to encourage the welcome outcome the day before the Council of Australian Governments meeting of April 19.

The meeting broke without a decision on the Gonski reforms by any state government.

Mr O’Farrell said Gonski would provide more resources and fairer distribution of them in NSW schools.

“The NSW government’s … education reforms delivering more local decision-making by principals and school communities, focusing on quality teaching, and improving literacy and numeracy standards are consistent with the direction of the Gonski Report,’’ he said.

A guarantee of Commonwealth funding will be legislated by July 1.

State funds are expected to be found by deferring the abolition of inter-governmental agreement taxes, an efficiency dividend to be implemented in 2015 and state budget savings — some from reforms to vocational education and training fees and subsidies.

Mr Piccoli said the funding would deepen and accelerate education reforms in NSW, including allocation of resources directly to schools.

He said the majority of Gonski funding would go to schools that need it most.

Quakers Hill High School principal Lauretta Claus said Gonski offered a model that addressed inequities in the distribution of funds to schools.

She said the federal government’s schooling resource standard — built on Gonski principles — was similar to past funding arrangements, but the more generous base student amount of $12,193 would effectively allow her to hire 16 more teachers.

‘‘If you had 16 extra teachers that’s the opportunity to provide an even greater diversity of subjects,’’ she said.

‘‘Public schools are the heavy lifters.

‘‘The majority of students that meet the loading requirements, the kids from low socio-economic backgrounds, whose English skills are limited and those with a disability are all met by the public system.’’

Teachers see green

Here’s what the signatories said:

‘‘Our students and staff deserve better learning and working resources/facilities. Most people would be amazed at what public schools are able to achieve with such limited resources. Imagine what could be achieved with real funding for support, resources and facilities.’’

‘‘I care about education. I care about the welfare of students. I give a Gonski.’’

‘‘Do you want us to provide a sub-standard education for our students? We need your support!’’

‘‘The students are our future and we need the funds to guide them to the right career. Teaching is a vocation and needs funding.’’

Today’s children will be paying your old-age pension. Do the right thing for the future.’’

‘‘Quality teaching depends on quality funding in our public schools.’’

Showing support: Quakers Hill High School principal Lauretta Claus and Blacktown Teachers Federation president Liz Rose flank a mobile billboard which asked Premier Barry O’Farrell to deliver NSW’ share of funding recommended by the Gonski Review. Picture: Mike Sea

Young Tigers have good start to 2013 season

JUNIOR LEAGUE
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The 2013 season is in full swing with three rounds completed already.

Once again NJRLC has received excellent registration numbers across all age divisions, in particular large numbers in our mini football ages (five to nine years).

The competitive age groups (10’s, 11’s, 12’s, 14’s and 16’s) have also held up very well, while a few extras in the 14’s and 16’s wouldn’t go astray.

It is not too late to register this year, if you are interested please call 0409 222 903.

Under-9s

The Nyngan Under 9’s travelled to Narromine on Saturday expecting a hard game.

Nyngan players Reg Herbert and Jack Buchanan started the day in strong fashion tackling players well above their weight.

Tom Yeo and Jesse Beetson ran well and were hard to stop every time they had the ball. Will Richards is continuing to improve pulling off some good tackles and showing some surprising speed with some long runs.

The twins Jack and Tom Gadsby troubled the defence continually all game. Nyngan continued to go try-for-try in the game with a good “Bomber” Healy being hard to stop. It often took four to five tacklers to bring him down.

Rory Quarmby played well saving some certain tries with good defence. Digby “Rein” Barrow was hard to catch with his elusive running and scored a try with a good run from dummy-half and looked certain to score another, but only to be stopped by desperate defence.

Saxon Grant played well and showed surprising speed with several long bursts through the middle of the Narromine defence. When these boys get their defence in order they will beat anyone on their day.

Under 11’s.

Last year’s grand finalists have continued their good form from the past season. After the first three rounds they remain undefeated.

On Saturday the boys took on the always-tough PCYC Dubbo team and came away with a very impressive 18-6 victory.

After a tight opening 10 minutes, Will Boag got the Tigers on the board with a very determined effort from 20 metres out. Toby Smith added the extras for a 6-0 lead. The score remained the same until half-time, thanks to some great defence from everyone, especially Lachy Donnelly and Cale Dunn.

The second half didn’t quite start how they would have liked with an early PCYC try leveling scores at 6-6.

From then on the game was all Nyngan. Captain Bill Quarmby led from the front again. He was well supported in the forwards by Jack Ryan and Tyler Martin.

Tough work up the middle enabled wide-running backrowers Kyle Hall and Will Boag plenty of room to move and they made plenty of ground each time they got the ball.

Lock forward Sonny Knight was as usual outstanding making 39 tackles and many line breaks. Col Robb-Piper and Toby Smith controlled the ruck area well and both were rewarded with tries in the second half.

The new recruits Emma Teale and Zander Wood also played very well, both gaining in confidence each week. Emma’s got plenty of pace to burn and Xander has all the skills.

Full-back Cale Dunn turned in another five-star effort, tackling fearlessly and causing the defence problems each time he touched the ball.

His combination with Lachy Donnelly in the centres is just starting to gel.

Coaches pick for Player of the week went to Will Boag, great game Boagy!

Under 12’s

As with the 11’s, the 12’s also remain undefeated after a decisive victory against Narromine.

Star of the show was Bill Sheather who crossed for a hat-trick of tries. Bill really has flown off the blocks early this year, playing great football each week.

Campbell Woolnough was another to standout, scoring a try from a kick-off and proving dangerous with each touch.

Cooper Ryan, Terrence Ryan and Cooper Martin also deserve a mention for relentless work in defence.

This team is a big chance of going for back-to-back premierships but this will only happen if the boys can make sure they get to training each week.

Under 14’s

The one that got away. The boys got out to a good lead before knocking up late in the second half.

Scores finished level at 44-all. Best for Nyngan were Tom Garment and Corey Turk. Tom Waterhouse and Jak Jeffery also worked hard throughout.

Under 16’s:

Despite being beaten by Wellington, the 16’s put in 100 per cent effort throughout. Best for Nyngan were Mitchell Williams-Hedges, Logan and Jackson Hourn.

All teams are away this weekend please check with coaches for game times.

Next home game will be Saturday May 11.

o A good crowd watched the Nyngan junior Tiger games when they played St John’s.

o Nyngan Tiger Kyle Hall in action.

o Lachy Donnelly a flyer for the Nyngan Tigers.

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More housing and respite

QUILT: Jill Anderson and Karin Oswald from the Quilters Guild with Bedford s Seth Carey and Cara s Narelle Scafidi at the presentation of a Quilters Guild quilt to the new Bedford residents.A THIRD supported accommodation home for people with a disability will open in Port Lincoln later in May.
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This follows the opening of not-for-profit organisation Cara’s second supported home, which now has tenants moving in.

Since its first local camp two years ago, Cara has acquired three homes offering accommodation and respite options, the first being acquired in September 2011 offering accommodation and respite in three units, with the second and newest being this new four-person home, and a third home to open later this month offering respite services for six young people.

Cara chief executive Denice Wharldall said the newly opened home offered the opportunity for greater independence for people living with a disability.

The new home opens the door to a wider range of support services for people living with a disability and their families.

The home, which was built under the Bedford Homes for 100 program and is managed by Cara, welcomed its first residents last month.

The property has facilities tailor-made for residents who use wheelchairs, including wide hallways, double doors to bedrooms and bathrooms, easy to access kitchen facilities, ramps, 24-hour on-site staff support, and a garage built to accommodate wheelchair transport vehicles.

Ms Wharldall said in recent weeks the final touches had been put in place, with furniture, electrical equipment and carpets supplied and installed by local businesses to accommodate the four residents.

“As a disability services charity, we have recognised the ongoing issue where clients in Port Lincoln have needed to travel to Adelaide or Port Augusta in order to receive respite and accommodation services.

“This new home is one of three Cara is now managing in the Port Lincoln area since we commenced services here.”

Cara first started in Port Lincoln with its Camps for Kids program.

The camps program offers children with a disability across South Australia the opportunity for a fun weekend away, which also provides much needed respite for their parents.

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Dalgety’s Patty Thompson retires from volunteering

AFTER being part of the Dalgety Hall Committee for 29 years Patty Thompson – ‘Mrs Spick and Span of Dalgety’ – has decided to hang up her broom and take off her apron as Secretary of the Dalgety Hall 355 Committee.
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The Snowy River Shire Council acknowledges Pat’s unpaid years of service to the community. The current 355 Committee hope those who have enjoyed the use of the Hall join them in their congratulations and reflect on this enormous feat that is only one year from the “Big three-0 (30 years ) as a volunteer on this committee.

Michelle White has now taken up the responsibility as secretary. She always has the community at heart and has participated on other community committees, P & C, Tennis Club, currently involved with the Coolamatong Club and is the Dalgety School Bus operator.

Maybe it is a type of succession planning as Michelle is also the daughter of Megan and Jeffrey Power, who are also part of this “Powerful Team” of the Dalgety Hall group of volunteers, along with Judy Walters and Gloria and Rodney Mugridge.

At his last 355 meeting and AGM, outgoing council representative, Councillor Bill Smits commented to Councillor Vickii Wallace, “This committee has always been well recognised by Snowy River Shire Council and the wider community, as hard working and doing a great job.”

Clr Smits said “it is very much a hands on group, whether it be cleaning up after a function or oiling the floors themselves”.

The Dalgety Hall is not only the hall Patty keeps clean. Patty has also looked after the Dalgety School for 25 years and has kept the Buckley’s Crossing Hotel tidy for along time.

Many of the large homesteads have had Patty’s elbow grease to keep them looking their best. Patty is also a member of CWA and Red Cross and keeps herself busy in many other ways within the community.

Patty’s move to bustling Berridale from “River Glen”, Dalgety, would have been initially sad; leaving her lovely riverside homestead and extensive garden beds. But her new garden now overflows with flowers and vegetables with the assistance of her “partner in crime” Keven Burke.

At the recent Dalgety Show, Patty blitzed it with most successful exhibitor in vegetables, in the flowers; four 1st and two 2nd prizes, in cookery three 2nd prizes and a 1st prize in needlework.

Patty and Keven have a common love of music. Patty has revived the musical afternoons in Berridale at the CWA rooms and they are both key members of the monthly musical afternoons at the Cooma Bowling Club, with Keven on his harmonica and Patty by his side.

The council’s general manager, Joe Vescio, has thankrf Patty for her contribution to the community and notes the fantastic example she has set as a community volunteer.

There are many ways residents can contribute to their community with volunteering for the local hall committees being one of them.

Kings sucked into Game of Thrones

Kings for a …? The Southern Kings will be playing for their very survival in their maiden season in Super Rugby when they take no the Waratahs. Photo: Gallo ImagesPort Elizabeth: Super Rugby’s newest side has more than respect and legitimacy to play for; the Kings are playing for sheer survival.
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As the controversial new entrants to the South African conference, having taken the place of the under-performing Lions towards the end of last year, there are no guarantees of a future beyond this season.

Despite toppling the Western Force to become the only Super Rugby debutants to win their first game, the Kings continue to track at the bottom of their conference and will face the Lions in a two-game promotion-relegation fixture if the status quo remains.

And while it is impossible to imagine the Rebels – Australia’s youngest club – having to operate under such uncertainty, it has been a daily reality for Kings staff and players who have no capacity to plan or look ahead.

Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said early on he decided he could not worry about anything beyond the next game.

“The key thing for us is that we’ve got to do the best we can in every game, and if at the end despite that we have to play promotion-relegation that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we have to deal with that,” he said.

“But I’m pretty confident we’ve developed as a side, and we are absolutely determined to remain in Super Rugby.”

Solomons and his head coach, the former Canterbury and Crusaders hooker Matt Sexton, made just one change to the side that succumbed to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week, returning prodigal young winger Sergeal Petersen to the starting line up after the 18-year-old was cleared of a groin strain.

Captain Luke Watson, who fractured cartilage in his throat against the Force in round one, will again be on the bench, leaving intact promising back row trio Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt and Cornell du Preez.

Solomons said there was no formula to the side’s success against Australian sides, and a win against the Waratahs would not come easily.

“It’s just worked that way … we were a determined lot against the Brumbies [28-28 draw] and we played very, very well in that game,” he said.

“Aganst the Rebels we didn’t play as well but I think we deserved the win, while the Force was our opening game, and it was going to take a lot to beat us. There was a lot of emotion running high.”

Solomons gave nothing away about how the Kings would tackle the Waratahs, and was coy when asked if he had pored over footage from last week’s loss to the Bulls. Stand-in captain Andries Strauss signalled he did not want his side drawn into a fight they could not win.

“They do throw the ball around a lot and play from anywhere on the field,” he said.

“Ideally we’d like to stick to our structures and not fall into the trap of throwing the ball around willy-nilly. We’re really just focusing on doing the things we want to do right, and hopefully we can get the right result.”

Kings: George Whitehead, Sergeal Petersen, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss (c), Siyanda Grey, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, Rynier Bernardo, Steve Sykes, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Reserves: Virgile Lacombe, Grant Kemp, David Bulbring, Luke Watson, Nocola Vergallo, Waylon Muray, Siviwe Soyizwapi

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Mariners in SOS to Socceroos

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will ask Socceroos boss Holger Osieck for a helping hand next week as he hopes to arrange a friendly between the Mariners and the Australian national team.
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After successfully qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League, Arnold will give his players the next four days off to recover from what has been an arduous campaign, having also claimed the A-League championship last month.

But he hopes he can spike his side’s sharpness after the mini-break with a friendly against the Australian team in Gosford, where the A-League-based Socceroos will be in camp in the lead-up to next month’s decisive World Cup qualifier matches.

“I’ll have to maybe ask a favour off Football Federation Australia,” he said. “The Socceroos are in camp next week and we need a game. It’d be great if we could play the home-based Socceroos in a friendly game next Thursday just to keep us fit.”

The FFA confirmed to Fairfax Media that it would be more than possible – but it requires Osieck’s approval first.

The Socceroos will be staying in the region for a camp that crosses over with one being staged by Young Socceroos, who are beginning their preparations for the under-20 World Cup in Turkey next month.

Arnold is keen for his Mariners to have a hit-out against both sides.

“I had a brief discussion with Gary Moretti [Socceroos team manager],” he said. “They need a game, the under-20s need a game, [and] we can accommodate both teams. If they’ll help us, that’ll be fantastic because we need a game.”

The first leg of the Mariners’ round of 16 ACL match is at home on May 15 before the return leg will on May 22.

Central Coast’s opponents won’t be known until Wednesday night, when the two top teams in Group F – China’s Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors – square off at Guangzhou’s Tianhe stadium.

Despite losing a 3-2 thriller against Urawa Red Diamonds last week, the Chinese side has a one-point advantage over Jeonbuk.

The Mariners will face whoever finishes top of the group, while the second-placed team will play Kashiwa Reysol, who disposed of the Mariners 3-0 at Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.

Arnold said he was holding himself responsible for what happened in the second half, when the visitors scored all three goals.

“I take responsibility from 1-0 on because I thought the first 60 minutes we were really good value,” he said. “When they got the goal against the run of play we went man on man over the whole park. We tried to press high, and that gave them more space.

“When you give quality players more space they hurt you but we had to go for it, and we couldn’t rely on the other result. We had to try and get it back and win the game ourselves. We opened up, we gave too much space and we played into their hands.”

However, in the end, the Mariners had to rely on the other result – and it came up trumps, with Suwon Bluewings holding on for a 2-2 draw away to Guizhou Renhe.

Only last week did the Mariners’ end Suwon’s hopes of qualifying from the group stages with a stunning 1-0 win.

“We’ve got to thank Suwon but the result last week was the result that got us into the last 16,” he said. “It’s a wonderful history-making moment.”

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Slow and steady wins the race

Planting slow maturing wheat varieties earlier in the year could be the answer to maintaining high yields in Southern Australia, despite its changing climate.
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Research carried out with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) shows slow maturing varieties planted earlier in the year have a better chance of delivering consistently high yields for growers in the Southern Cropping Region.

Dr James Hunt, a Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) researcher, said planting slow maturing varieties as early as mid April could let crops take advantage of precious stored soil moisture.

“It turned out that those slow maturing varieties planted early could take much better advantage of that stored soil water and had quite a significant advantage over main season varieties sown in May,” he said.

“What having a slow maturing variety in a wheat program allows you to do is open up your sowing window so you can take advantage of small rainfall events when they come.

You can start taking advantage of small events when they come as far back as April, or with winter wheats, back in March.

“In the last 17 years there’s been a marked decline in April and May rainfall.

“What that has meant is that we have less sowing opportunities in that main season period.

“There hasn’t been a decline in February/March rainfall – if anything it’s increased, and you can start to use that to replace our traditional autumn break.”

The research project monitored four wheat varieties planted across trial sites at Lake Bolac and Westmere (Victoria) in the high rainfall zone, Temora and Junee (NSW) in the medium rainfall zone, and Condoblin (NSW) in the low rainfall zone, with each variety planted between mid-April and late May. Results showed slow maturing variety EGA EagleHawk sown in mid-April outstripped the mid-fast variety Lincoln sown in mid-May by 0.8 tonnes/ha at Temora in 2011 and 2.1 tonnes/ha at Junee in 2012.

Although dry conditions late in winter at Condoblin meant all varieties sown mid-April to mid-May had roughly the same yields, low density plantings benefitted the yield of slow maturing varieties Eaglehawk and Bolac, but reduced yield in fast maturing wheats sown later.

Eaglehawk sown in mid-April at 30 plants/m² out-yielded Lincoln sown in mid-May at 90 plants/m² by 0.4 tonnes/ha in 2011 and 0.6 tonnes/ha in 2012.

High density plantings of Bolac at Lake Bolac yielded 7.0 tonnes/ha, compared to a mid maturing variety at 6.6 tonnes/ha and the fast maturing variety at 6.0 tonnes/ha, planted in late April, early May and late May respectively.

Bolac and mid-maturing variety Derrimut also performed well at Westmere when planted in early May.

Dr Hunt said early planting allowed slow maturing varieties to generally use stored soil moisture far better than faster maturing wheats.

“The main reason for the yield difference is that with slow maturing varieties, when you sow them early, they’re in the ground a lot longer, so their roots are able to use stored soil moisture much more efficiently,” he said. “They also lose less water to evaporation because they cover the soil surface faster because they’re developing at a time when the soil surface is warm and the air’s warm.

“They also have a longer stem elongation phase, which is when grain number is determined, so they grow a lot during that time and set a very large grain number, and thus yield.”

o CSIRO researcher, Dr James Hunt.

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Better understanding our schools

INDONESIAN VISIT: Education Secretary of Lutheran World Federation Ridwin Purba, Navigator College principal Kaye Mathwin-Cox and Gereha Kristen Protestan Simalungan (GKPS) school principal Jintan Saraghi at the college this week.TWO Indonesian education representatives visited Port Lincoln this week to better understand how local schools work.
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Lutheran World Federation education secretary Ridwin Purba and Gereha Kristen Protestan Simalungan (GKPS) school principal Jintan Saraghi spent the week at Navigator College to see how they could better understand the way students are taught and mirror management systems at the school.

Mr Purba said the visit was to observe and take practises back to Indonesia to use and better schools in the country.

“We will take what is useful back … this might mean a system of management of how to model a school,” he said.

“Things are really different in Indonesia.”

Mr Purba said he would also observe teaching practises and also the lutheran way of the school.

Navigator College principal Kaye Mathwin-Cox said the visit was a great opportunity for the school as well as enhance the partnership between the college and GKPS.

She said there was as much the college could learn from GKPS as their Indonesian counterparts could learn off them.

“When we went to Indonesia last year, it was their way of life to respect and honour their families,” she said.

“Everything is about the family bond.”

Mrs Mathwin-Cox said the 10 students that participated in the school’s trip to Indonesia last year came home with a different perspective that could be carried over to school life.

“With a new understanding, they found in Indonesia, because they have less then we have, they appreciate what they get.”

The school hosted a cultural experience on Tuesday night for students and parents, and an assembly yesterday also highlighted Indonesian culture with Mr Purba and Mr Saraghi conducting the morning chapel.

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No 1 for graphite

NO 1: Lincoln Minerals says the region is the number one graphite region in Australia.THERE is little doubt Eyre Peninsula has become the number one graphite province in Australia, according to Lincoln Minerals.
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Addressing the second day of the Paydirt 2013 South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre yesterday, Lincoln’s managing director Dr John Parker said the emerging graphite industry on Eyre Peninsula should have every confidence of going from strength to strength with the potential for numerous projects to move from possibility to probability.

“With the round of fresh results coming this year from the three or four graphite focused explorers on the peninsula, it is now reasonable to expect that there are going to be several world class graphite deposits identified in the region,” Dr Parker said.

Dr Parker said there was an exploration target of between 7 and 20 million tonnes of graphite at Lincoln’s wholly-owned Kookaburra Gully project (near Koppio) alone, and there were other significant electromagnetic anomalies in the nearby vicinity.

n Continued page 2

“Many of the emerging targets are high grade graphite, and that positions Eyre Peninsula through deposits such as Kookaburra Gully in the top 10 graphite resources globally.”

Lincoln has defined an indicated and inferred resource of 2.25 million tonnes at Kookaburra Gully, has completed scoping studies across the project, and is pursuing the establishment of a $2 million pilot plant on site by early next year to provide processed graphite samples for sampling and testing by potential international customers.

It will be undertaking further drilling later in 2013 on the Kookaburra Gully Extended project with the aim of delivering a maiden resource, with similar work on the historic Koppio graphite mine near Kookaburra Gully to update by early 2014 the historic resource estimate of 57,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

The scoping study estimated a processing plant could be constructed and commissioned on site at Kookaburra Gully at a capital cost of around $38 million.

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Scouts venture into hall deal

Murray Bridge Scouts Ryan Allchurch, Callum Tasker, Samuel Montgomery-Pittaway, Sophia Allchurch, front, Nickisha Crouch, Paris Montgomery-Pittaway and Sarah Tasker are ready to help get their Adelaide Road Scout Hall back in order.THE Murray Bridge Scout Group will remain in its Adelaide Road headquarters after a stand-off with the Murray Bridge council ended late last month.
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The council said 18 months ago it would strip Scouts SA of its lease over the ageing hall, giving the group three months notice to vacate the building in September 2011 and citing a maintence backlog worth almost $200,000.

The decision sparked an outcry from local Scouts members and an argument over the original 75-year-old leasing conditions of the hall until councillors voted last month to accept a compromise that would see the group remain in the building.

There are conditions on the 20-year deal though.

The council has insisted Scouts accept a five-year works schedule to fix drainage and structural issues, committing $70,000 this financial year to assist them while Scouts have agreed to contribute $20,000 this year and more in subsequent financial years.

If Scouts do not keep up with the $170,000 of upgrades the council has reserved the right to remove the lease with three month’s notice.

Council contracts manager Malcolm Downie said the two groups met mid-April to discuss terms of the agreement and that work would start shortly.

“A lease will be sent to Scouts SA for execution shortly in accordance with the terms and conditions of council’s resolution,” he said.

“Contractors are expected to commence work from Monday, April 29, to replace the roof cladding, upgrade the electrical switchboard and wiring, underpin the rear extension, install a retaining wall on the eastern boundary, remove the asbestos lining in the shower alcove and replace the front entrance portico with a lightweight structure in keeping with the original design.”

Scouts SA chief executive officer Dan Ryan said the agreement was a great result for both Scouts and the council.

“We’re very excited with the fantastic result and it’s good to see the council and Scouts working together for the mutual benefit of the youth of Murray Bridge,” he said.

Mr Ryan said Scouts had always intended to invest in the hall and he was pleased to see the council accept its plans to improve the facility.

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