Wallarah 2 mine EIS on public display

PUBLIC comment is being sought on a new proposal for the Wallarah 2 coalmine.
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The project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) and associated documents went public on Friday with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

The department said the mining proposal would undergo a comprehensive assessment for issues including water and biodiversity impacts.

The documents will remain on public exhibition until June 21.

The applicant, Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture, proposes to:

● extract up to 5 million tonnes of coal per year for up to 28 years, using underground longwall mining methods;

● construct and operate a range of associated infrastructure, including rail spur, coal stockpiles, ventilation shafts, and a gas drainage and capture system;

● transport coal from the mine by rail; and

● progressively rehabilitate the site.

The proposed underground mine is about 5km north-west of Wyong, with surface facilities at Tooheys and Hue Hue roads.

For more information on the project, and how to make a submission, visit major projects.planning.nsw.gov.au and search for Wallarah 2.

MINE PLAN: The EIS and other documents will remain on public exhibition until June 21. Picture: Robert Rough

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Blues too strong in the wind

Port Fairy vs WarrnamboolLast Saturday’s games at Reid Oval were played in trying windy conditions for footballers and netballers.
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I watched a small amount of netball on Saturday: getting a ball in the ring on a normal day looks hard enough but to do it with a howling wind in your face would be extremely difficult. Most scores over the weekend were very low due to tricky conditions.

The footy started very similar to last week, losing the toss and kicking into the wind. Warrnambool had plenty of the ball in the first quarter having 11 shots at goal for only three goals. Even champion goal kicker Jason Rowan was having a hard time in front of the big sticks.

The second quarter showed why Warrnambool is the reigning premier, restricting Port to just two points and going into half time with just four points on the board. But all was not lost with five for the half we were still a chance for a win. But the Blues came out in the third kicking eight goals leaving Port with just seven behinds at the last break.

Those loyal fans who made the trip and stayed until the end had some joy in the last quarter, with the Seagulls booting seven straight a pleasing way to finish a tough day with no bench to make moves.

Coach Sam Rudolph had another good game until he got injured with only minutes to go.

Sam Anson is finding the tempo of a higher league and will get better with each outing.

Dylan Gunning was also a good performer. I must make mention of Isaac Martin’s game: I thought he was terrific playing on ball. Hopefully down the track he will be our own Ben Goodall (Koroit champ).

The highlight of the weekend was the performance of our under 14 football side when they defeated Warrnambool by five goals. A remarkable achievement by Paul McNamara’s boys. They are a very small side but they are quick. Both umpires had trouble keeping up.

Their tackling, kicking to position and backing up were a credit to the coach.

Next time they play at home do yourself a favour and see what I’m talking about.

Congratulations to all those from the club who participated in last Thursday’s Anzac Day March. They should be very proud to have been involved in such a memorable day.

Teas will be back next Thursday night after Anzac Day and May races both falling on a Thursday.

I have to finish my article on a very sad note with the passing of an old customer and great bloke, John Brebner, who passed away from a long illness last Thursday.

John was very appreciative of a good cut of meat, was a very active committee man at the golf club, loved a good chat about any sport but I couldn’t share his early season enthusiasm about his beloved Tigers. I’ve never barracked as hard for another side as I did on Friday night hoping John’s Tigers could get up for him.

Over the past couple of years I really have missed close contact with John, but have some great memories as do Nick, James and Zac at the butchers.

View a full photo gallery online at www.moynegazette南京夜网.au

Have your say on city plan: Bell

LAKE Macquarie City Council is calling for residents to consider its latest draft for a long-term strategic plan for the city’s community development.
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Titled Lake Macquarie City Council’s Draft Community Strategic Plan 2013-2023, the document builds upon the Lake Macquarie Community Plan 2008-2018.

Council general manager Brian Bell said the plan focused on six areas:

■ Caring for the Environment

■ Caring for our Community

■ Sport, Recreation and Culture

■ Transport, Roads and Drainage

■ Urban and Economic Development

■ Civic Leadership.

To read the draft plan and delivery program, visit lakemac南京夜网.au or visit the council’s customer service centre in Speers Point, or your local library.

Staff will be at Toronto library today from 5pm to 7pm, and tomorrow, from 10am to noon, to answer questions.

GENERAL MANAGER: Brian Bell.

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Take heed

What a great letter from David Lambert (April 24), Bowlo site a community asset.
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Let us hope that some of our councillors take heed of his message.

In a recent bowls journal a forward-thinking mayor wrote about the opportunity for his area to hold bowls events, such as we once did in Batemans Bay.

“Having facilities in our region to host these activities makes me very proud. It is good for our economy, our local businesses as well as community spirit. I love the opportunity to welcome visitors to our little piece of paradise and hope they enjoy their time here as much as we locals do.”

How good would this be in our little piece of paradise?

Tricia Wheeler

Durras

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Taking the scenic route through the countryside

Bash Historians Ian Lee, Allan Banks, Darrell Hanns, Will Kelly and Gordon Grant at Scotchys Rock, Hollywood . Crossing the Lachlan River at Aubyn Vale .
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The Bush Bash continued through various properties.

Group photo at Frogmore Hall.

The Boorowa Rotary Club held another successful Boorowa Bush Bash on the weekend of April 26-28.

Twenty-two Participants in 11 vehicles started with lunch at the Boorowa Recreation Club provided by the club committee and then made their way to a Rugby quarry where they were met by Paul Reardon and Will Kelly of the Rugby Bush Fire Brigade.

Paul gave participants the opportunity to experience the power of a fire hose, which the children particularly enjoyed, although there were some out of control moments where everyone ended up a little wet. Paul also conducted a valuable demonstration on hill stalls.

He was brave enough to take the most enthusiastic of the Bush Bashers up the steepest incline of the quarry to demonstrate the importance of staying cool when in trouble.

The group were then met by Bush Bash Historian Gordon Grant, who lived most of his life in the Rugby area and, along with Will Kelly who has also lived in Rugby all his life, guided us through the properties ‘Narrawa’, ‘Auburn Vale’ and ‘Hollywood’ giving a running history lesson about bushrangers, early settlers and the Chinese barrow pushers along the way.

The day ended at the spectacular ‘Hollywood’ shearing shed.

A very tasty dinner and breakfast at ‘Hollywood’ were provided by the Rotary Club of Crookwell.

Next morning the Bush Bashers continued their trek through the paddocks and dusty roads to Crookwell, where they were given a tour of the Lidner Sock Factory, and then on to Laggan, where the Laggan Public School Auxiliary provided yet another outstanding meal.

Although all would have then liked to go to sleep under a tree for a while they carried on to Tuena for some free time.

Bashers went gold panning, hiking and ice cream eating before continuing on the challenging ‘main road’ via Bigga, to our bush camp site at the Reid’s Flat recreation ground. Dinner at the Reid’s Flat Hall provided by the hard working Hall Committee was followed by entertainment by talented local rocker Paddy Cummings.

The locals joined in and had a great time.

After breakfast on Sunday the Bush Bash crew, all starting to look a little worse for wear, headed off guided by Darrel Hanns.

Darrel gave the Bashers the rare opportunity to drive to the top of Mount Darling.

The view was spectacular to say the least, with a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.

Darrel was able to tell the Bashers where they had been travelling over the weekend. Reluctantly leaving the ‘top of the world’ the Bush Bashers travelled via Wyangala Dam to Frogmore for lunch provided by the Frogmore Hall Committee, and a debrief session.

Local Historian Ken Chudleigh gave a brief history lesson about Frogmore.

A challenge had been set on the first day of the Bash for each car to write a ballad or bush poem, and these wonderful little gems of imagination were recited to the group by their authors.

The aim of the Boorowa Bush Bash is to put much needed money into the small communities in the area, and to give city people the opportunity to get their 4WD’s dirty, while having a great time.

All of this was successfully achieved.

An auction was held each night, providing great entertainment, with participants parting with generous amounts of money for the donated items.

The final tally for the weekend put $3500 into the small communities of Crookwell, Laggan, Reid’s Flat and Frogmore along the way, and there will be a further $1200 for local projects.

The Boorowa Rotary Club would like to thank all those who provided the outstanding meals along the way, our mechanics Shane and Eric Apps, the landowners who gave permission to drive through their properties, and those who allowed us the privilege of learning some of the rich history of the Boorowa area.

Most of all the participants of the 2013 Boorowa Bush Bash need to be thanked for their participation and enthusiasm for a great weekend in the country, and hope to see you next year.

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How families can get $75 power rebate

LOCAL families risk missing out on a $75 electricity bill rebate because the NSW government has failed to publicise the scheme, Opposition Leader John Robertson warned this week.
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Mr Robertson urged Lake Macquarie and Central Coast residents to get their application in before the June 14 deadline.

Energy Minister, and Minister for the Central Coast, Chris Hartcher said the money was there, and the government wants eligible families to take full advantage.

But Mr Robertson said statistics gained from a Freedom of Information request told a different story.

He said Mr O’Farrell promised families a $75 electricity bill rebate, “but two years later, local households are yet to receive a single cent”.

“The O’Farrell government should really be automatically issuing this rebate to households – we know it has access to the information of eligible families,” he said.

Mr Hartcher said the advent of a new online application process had resulted in almost 7500 applications being processed since March.

He conceded that processing applications had taken longer than anticipated to finalise, but he emphasised that no eligible families would miss out.

The $75 rebate rises to $125 from July 1 this year, and to $150 by 2014.

It is available to households who currently receive the Commonwealth government’s Family Tax Benefit A or B.

“More than 540,000 families across NSW are eligible to receive the rebate as a credit on their electricity bill,” Mr Hartcher said.

“If also eligible to receive the NSW government’s Low Income Household Rebate, households could be saving up to $250 off their electricity bill.”

■ To apply for the rebate go to energy.nsw.gov.au and click on Family Energy Rebate, or call the government hotline on 1300 136888.

YOUR MOVE: Chris Hartcher said the electricity bill rebate money was available, and eligible families need only to apply.

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Seven months for combination of offences

A man was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and fined over $1000 for a list of offences in Mudgee Local Court on Friday, April 19.
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Scott Michael Martin, 38, of Winbourne Street, Mudgee, pleaded guilty to a combination of breaching Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) and traffic offences.

For the charge of Contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO he was sentenced to four months imprisonment with an additional three months.

The good behaviour bond he was on at the time was revoked and he was fined $400 plus court costs of $83.

For the charge of Stalk/intimidate intend fear physical/mental harm he was sentenced to four months imprisonment to run concurrently with the other term.

For another count of Contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO, Martin was fined $500 and ordered to pay court costs of $83.

He was also fined $250 plus court costs of $83 for Never licenced person drive on road, $100 plus court costs of $83 for Use vehicle on road motor vehicle tax not paid, and, $100 plus court costs of $83 for Use uninsured motor vehicle.

In total Martin was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and fined $1350 plus $415 in court costs.

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Too much for too little

Readers who have no time, or patience, to scan the vast, uncoordinated information “dumped” on our councillors need to know about one wee sentence in the papers for council’s meeting on April 23.
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On page 60 of [3] 013/65 Budget Review for the period ended 31/3/2013. E05.9535, is the following: The Divisional Manager of Economic Development now has additional responsibilities and staff with a commensurate grade change”.

This is code for

promotion.

With Eurobodalla’s economic deterioration spiralling for several years, we have been paying about $200,000 a year for a supposedly capable, motivated, high-performing executive to keep the shire ahead of the field.

But the appalling decline in businesses, construction, employment, family security and property values is measurably worse than surrounding shires.

Businesses, trades and concerned residents know that wads of activity statements and spreadsheets are no substitute for delivering the goods.

They know also that responsibility involves accounting honestly for actual performance and accepting the consequences of any shortfall.

These principles are also enshrined in the Local Government Act.

It requires senior staff to be accountable by being employed on a competitive basis with contracts of up to five years subject to meeting annual performance hurdles.

Our council has evaded this long-standing requirement, with ruinous consequences.

When councils are unwilling to disclose the qualifications and achievements of executive staff, when they are not proud about what we pay them and when they promote individuals secretly without inviting competition, residents and newspapers must ask, why?

When will we begin to see efficient, open and accountable government?

Don Burns

Tuross Head

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I was in Heaven

It’s not often Singleton’s Kellie Thomas is compared to a Spice Girl.
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But, the Westpac bank teller stepped in to Mel C’s (aka Sporty Spice) vocal role to help rock legend Bryan Adams sing his hit single When You’re Gone in front of a sell-out crowd at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday night.

Mrs Thomas was plucked from the audience and thrown into the spotlight – much to her delight and good friend Kayleen Horne, who accompanied her to the show.

“I’ve been a Bryan Adams fan forever and I’ve seen him in concert four or five times,” she told the Hunter Valley News.

“It’s funny – he always gets someone up on stage to sing with him – so I said to Kayleen on our way to the venue that ‘tonight’s my night’.

“Then when he announced what he was doing, I jumped up straight away.

“Luckily, the lights were on our section of the crowd, so I got noticed.

“I was that excited when Bryan called me down – it was a once in a few thousand chance; I turned to Kayleen and said ‘make sure you film it’.

“Even though I was a bit nervous, the excitement soon took over.

“Bryan was really good too, encouraging me to keep singing.”

The 29-year-old more than held her own with the superstar, interacting with Adams and fellow band members during the number.

Afterwards, Mrs Thomas received the singer’s guitar pick, a program and six shirts, which now hold pride of place in her wardrobe.

“It was a dream come true – and a memory I’ll have for a lifetime,” she admitted.

“It’s easily the best night I’ve had.

“A few people in the audience knew me, so there were some texts on my phone when I returned to my seat.

“Everyone was stoked for me.”

THOUGHT I’D DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN: Singleton’s Kellie Thomas proudly shows off her Bryan Adams souvenirs this week; and (inset) on stage with the rock legend at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday night.

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Dora Creek pennant win a breakthrough

DORA Creek Women’s Bowling Club has broken a long-term drought in winning the Lake Macquarie District Bowling Association’s Grade 4 pennant at Valentine Bowling Club.
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The Dora Creek team accounted for Charlestown 42-35 in the final.

Publicity officer Mitzi Hopgood said it was the first pennant won by the club in its 35 years.

The club, had, however, won a variety of shields including Pennant, City Mission, Legacy, and Mollie Lee shields, Ms Hopgood said.

The bowlers paid tribute to coaches Gary Yates, John Hardy and Neville Jensen for their patience, teaching skills and support.

“The ladies played on a grass green and they normally play on synthetic, so it was a great adjustment,” Ms Hopgood said.

FIRST FLAG: The winning Dora Creek bowlers are, from left, Beryl Bowling, Lorraine McEwen, Margaret Cooper, Della Davies, Dawn Grace, Margaret Hardy, Maree Macbeth and Shirley Holman.

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