Jun 22

Debate on council mergers revives memories

Same old story: John Graham, an engineering officer with St George County Coucil for 37 years remembers how council staff and residents fought against council amalgamation in the late 1970s. Picture John Veage Seat of power: The old St George County Council building in Montgomery Street, Kogarah.
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RECENT debate on council amalgamations is a case of history repeating for one St George resident.

John Graham worked as an engineering officer for 36 years at the former St George County Council and was one of the many staff members who fought moves in the late 1970s by the then Wran Labor government to force through amalgamation of the city’s county councils.

At the time, various county councils in metropolitan Sydney had control over the electricity supply for their own local government areas.

St George was the first county council in NSW and was constituted in 1920 to arrange and control the distribution of electricity within the municipalities of Bexley, Hurstville, Kogarah and Rockdale.

They joined together and formed St George County Council as an electricity co-operative, with the council getting its supply from the local railway substations.

The state government decided to merge all the county councils in the metropolitan areas to be incorporated under the control of Sydney City Council and Prospect and McKellar county councils.

The move was opposed vigorously, particularly in St George.

As a junior council staff member at the time, John Graham was one of the many foot-soldiers who joined in the fight to save St George County Council.

“We took up a petition collecting 80,000 signatures — almost every house in St George — protesting against the amalgamation,” Mr Graham said.

“We shut the council down and delivered brochures to every household, all in one day. “All the council staff got involved, indoor and outdoor staff, engineers, customer service.”

The brochure printed by St George County Council urged residents to call their local MP and voice their protest.

“We almost got sued because we published the brochure with all the home phone numbers of all the state politicians,” Mr Graham said.

The unified action of the staff reflected the family attitude at St George County Council.

“Everyone looked after the customer,” Mr Graham said.

“We even had a desk where customers could bring in their electrical appliances to be repaired for free.”

The government was successful in its amalgamation push: the three St George municipal councils were stripped of their control over electricity supply.

Do you think the amalgamation of local councils would be a good thing?

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Jun 22

Two badly hurt in Rydalmere crash

A couple were in a serious condition and seven others were taken to hospital after a three-car crash in Rydalmere on Saturday night.
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Two west-bound cars collided on Victoria Road at 10.15pm, witnesses told police.

One of the cars then hit a power pole while the other was pushed into oncoming traffic where it hit another car.

A couple in their 60s, passengers of the car that crossed to the wrong side of the road, were transferred to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition with internal injuries.

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Jun 22

Teen asked to leave party before throwing metal rod which pierced Liam Knight’s skull

The host of a party that was gatecrashed, leaving teenager Liam Knight with a metal rod through his skull, confronted a boy and asked him to leave, only to turn around minutes later and see him on the roof of a backyard shed throwing building materials at the crowd, a court has heard.
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The father, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was hosting an 18th birthday party for his son at their Forestville home on January 11 when a group of uninvited boys jumped over the back fence about 11.30pm.

He told a committal hearing at Parramatta Children’s Court that he shone a torch in the face of one boy and asked him to leave but the boy pushed him aside and scuffled with two other boys.

The father yelled out for help from bouncers guarding the front of the house but couldn’t be heard over the music so he started to walk inside.

He told the court he turned around seconds later and saw the boy climbing onto the roof of the shed.

The 17 year-old allegedly started throwing building materials that were on the roof of the shed at the crowd of partygoers, including a 2.5 metre metal rod that pierced Liam Knight’s skull, leaving him in a critical condition on life support.

Doctors told his parents, Trevor and Mary Knight, that their son may not survive the attack but he has since gone through months of intensive rehabilitation and has learnt to walk and surf again.

The boy, 17, and another man, then 18 years old, have been charged with throwing building materials from the roof of the shed at the crowd.

A committal hearing for the pair is hearing from 14 witnesses who were at the party, including 12 Year 12 students about to sit their HSC.

Teenage partygoers, none of whom can be identified, have described the mayhem as objects were pelted across the yard.

“I just remember metal bouncing off [the pool fence] and things being thrown,” one 17 year-old boy said.

“Stuff was, like, just missing me,” a 16 year-old guest said.

One boy said he tried to chase some of the gatecrashers down the street but they were confronted by three people, one of whom punched one of the party guests.

The 18 year-old host of the party told the hearing that he was inside the house when he heard his father had been punched in the face.

He ran out into the backyard and saw a boy fall or jump off the back of the shed and disappear over the back fence.He then realised Liam had been badly injured.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

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Jun 22

Kitchen Spy: Charlotte Wood

Novelist, cookbook author and blogger Charlotte Wood in her kitchen. Photo: Steven Siewert Wood uses Lomondo extra virgin oil for dressings and drizzling. Photo: Steven Siewert
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Patrice Newell’s purple garlic. Photo: Steven Siewert

Charlotte Wood’s Full Circle Suds Up Dish Brush with biodegradable replaceable parts. Photo: Steven Siewert

Charlotte Wood couldn’t live without her Green Pan Rotterdam saute pan. Photo: Steven Siewert

Wood’s secret vice is Lindt chilli chocolate.

Wood’s Otto stovetop espresso maker. Photo: Steven Siewert

A salt pot Wood bought in the insect market in Shanghai. Photo: Steven Siewert

One of Wood’s favourite kitchen items is this chopping board that was made by her brother-in-law, Simon. Photo: Steven Siewert

Wood likes chefs who have a simple, earthy approach to cooking. Photo: Steven Siewert

Novelist, cookbook author and blogger Charlotte Wood shows us around her kitchen cupboards.

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Jun 22

Queensland Ballet announces dazzling 2014 season

Queensland Ballet announces dazzling 2014 season. Photo: Michele MossopQueensland Ballet will debut a new work, remount an old favourite and dazzle with an international coup during its 2014 season.
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“This season has much bolder ambition,” artistic director Li Cunxin said.

“It’s definitely another huge step of making this company great.”

The man known to literature as Mao’s Last Dancer took over the reins of the QB at the end of 2012, making this his second official season.

The 2014 highlight – the Sir Kenneth MacMillan production of Romeo & Juliet – also marks a full circle moment for Cunxin, who never got the chance to star in that particular version.

“I still remember when I was a young dancer, I watched a live telecast by the American Ballet Theatre,” he said.

“I watched with a beer in hand and take-out food, glued to the TV, and thought – if one day I’m lucky enough to do this, I will have died and gone to heaven.”

A resident at the Houston Ballet Theatre at the time, Cunxin worked with MacMillan on other ballets (“he was incredibly demanding, really challenged you”), and starred in other productions of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, but never this particular version.

“So now I have the chance to get this ballet for our dancers to do.”

He said the Queensland Ballet corps would learn much from guest international superstars Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta and Steven McRae, who were secured with help of the Newman government’s Super Star Fund.

“Normally this ballet is performed by the Royal Ballet or the American Ballet Theatre, which have got enormous resources and a lot of dancers,” he said.

“So for us to have Lady Deborah MacMillan to give us the rights, to entrust this production to us, is just such a privilege for us.”

The first performance of 2014 will be a new ballet of Coppelia, about a lifelike doll and two jealous lovers. Set in the small South Australian town of Hahndorf in the late 1800s, the production will feature the delightful music of Leo Delibes.

A mix of four works called Flourish will demonstrate the range of the Queensland Ballet ensemble, and the company will also tour the successful 2013 production of Cinderella to the regions.

Surprisingly, Cunxin has chosen to finish 2014 with The Nutcracker, a repeat of the 2013 end-of-year production.

“Virtually everywhere in the world, Europe and North America, have the annual tradition of The Nutcracker,” he said.

“It’s so popular, so I’d like to bring that tradition to Queensland.”

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Jun 22

Rioli and Lake set to miss start of season 2014

Hawthorn’s Brian Lake has been offered a three-match ban. Photo: Channel 7 Nick SUban and Sam Mitchell clash
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Cyril Rioli has been offered a one match ban for this incident with Docker Michael Barlow. Photo: Channel Seven

Nick Suban will face the tribunal for this incident with Hawk Sam Mitchell. Photo: Channel Seven

Cyril Rioli is officially on notice for his habit of dragging the arm of opponents in tackles after he and Hawthorn premiership teammate Brian Lake were offered suspensions by the match review panel.

The Hawks are set for delayed starts to 2014 after being offered bans of, respectively, one and three matches for incidents out of Saturday’s grand final. Both were hampered by the AFL policy of doubling punishments for incidents that occur in grand finals.

Fremantle’s Nick Suban has been referred directly to the tribunal for grabbing at the cheek of Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell. Rather than that being because of the seriousness of the offence, however, the referral was seemingly because the panel believed the prescribed base penalty of three matches, which would have doubled to six, would have been too severe.

Rioli has been punished for an incident involving the Dockers’ Michael Barlow in which he forcefully pushed his opponent’s arm behind his back as part of a tackle. Match review panel chairman Mark Fraser said the Hawks midfielder forward had done similar in the past, notably against the Western Bulldogs’ Ryan Griffen in round 17, but that this latest incident was more severe.

Fraser rated Rioli’s tackle on Barlow, in which he grabbed him by his right arm as “great” but said the problem was that he then “continues on past that and takes his arm backwards”.

“We think that that’s unnecessary and unreasonable in the circumstances,” Fraser told the AFL website.

“There has been occasions in the past where Rioli has grabbed people by the arm like that and briefly held it there, but this time he’s gone a bit too far. We were looking last time when he did it on Ryan Griffen; this time he’s increased the impact with that so we believe that’s worthy of a charge.”

Lake was punished for an incident in which he arrived too late to prevent Dockers’ opponent Michael Walters taking a mark and raised his elbow and made a glancing blow.

“Walters takes the mark and Lake runs through and sticks the elbow out there, contacts him high. We believe his intent was to strike him. He doesn’t try to make body contact or bump him, just raises the elbow . . . low impact but a striking action,” Fraser said of Lake, the reigning Norm Smith Medallist.

“By sticking the elbow out he knows that a strike’s going to occur, so it becomes intentional.”

Had it not been for the grand-final loading Lake would have been suspended for one match and Rioli would have escaped with a reprimand.

Soon after the punishments were announced Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge tweeted his anger about them.

“The afl should change the Double points system for GF. It should only be for intentional contact. It is a contact sport!!” he said.

Shortly after he added, in reference to the 2004 grand final when retiring Brisbane spearhead Alastair Lynch literally went out swinging: “Yeah our players have to take their penalty but AFL bought it in to stop the lynch haymakers. I don’t think that should cover all reports.”

Suban will face the tribunal over an incident in which he grabbed at the cheek of Mitchell as they both lay on the ground after duelling for possession.

While the panel can choose to refer incidents directly to the tribunal because it considers them serious enough to warrant a stiffer penalty Fraser implied the panel had done so for Suban for the opposite reason, because it would have seemingly resulted in a six-match ban, or a four-match ban with 87.5 carry-over points with a guilty plea.

“You see Suban grab Mitchell on the face there. We believe . . . it’s unnecessary and unreasonable, but by going through the table of offences we think it should be determined by the tribunal,” Fraser said. “We weren’t comfortable with what the table of offences gave us.”

While the tribunal hearing is scheduled to be held on Tuesday evening, as per usual, the AFL would consider requests for postponement if that was too soon for Suban and Fremantle, or Hawthorn if it chose to challenge one or both of the penalties for Rioli and Lake.

MATCH REVIEW PANEL FINDINGSNick Suban (Fre) unnecessary face contact to Sam Mitchell (Haw). Referred directly to tribunal.Cyril Rioli (Haw) rough conduct to Michael Barlow (Fre). Reckless, low impact, body contact. 125 points up due to grand-final loading to 250 (2 matches); 187.5 with guilty plea (1 match).Brian Lake (Haw) striking Michael Walters (Fre). Intentional, low impact, high contact. 225 points up due to grand-final loading to 450 (4 matches); 337.5 with guilty plea (3 matches).

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Jun 22

Baby murder accused wants trial moved

A man accused of murdering a baby during a home burglary in Bendigo wants his trial moved to Melbourne because of publicity surrounding the case.
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Harley Hicks, 20, of North Bendigo, appeared briefly in the Supreme Court on Monday charged with murdering 11-month-old Zayden Veal on June 15 last year.

Defence lawyer David Hallowes told Justice Lex Lasry that the main issue at Hicks’ trial would be who killed the baby.

He said Hicks was initially interviewed by the Bendigo criminal investigation unit after his arrest about the home burglary and not the death of the baby, which raised issues about the fairness of the police interview.

Crown prosecutor Michele Williams, SC, opposed the defence application to have the trial moved from Bendigo to Melbourne.

Ms Williams said 52 witnesses would be called to what was expected to be a four-week trial and and they all came from Bendigo.

Justice Lasry adjourned the case to December 16 for discussion on the change of venue application.

During a committal hearing in Bendigo Magistrates Court early this month, court documents revealed Hicks had blamed his friend for the alleged murder and suggested the killing may have been related to a conflict over drugs.

Hicks told an undercover police officer his friend Aiden Kirby had been in conflict with Zayden’s family and killed the baby as a result.

“Hicks recalled he last saw Kirby walking toward the house where the infant was murdered,” the undercover officer said in a statement tendered to the court.

“Hicks said that Kirby used to purchase drugs from the dead infant’s parents and believed that there could have been some issues between the parties which resulted in Kirby murdering their child.”

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Jun 22

Melbourne faces wild weather as wind sweeps across Victoria

Hold on to your hats — the wild and windy weather is about to kick it up a notch.
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Peak gusts of up to 120km/h are expected to hit metropolitan Melbourne before nightfall with a gale warning issued for all coastal districts as well as across the north-east of the state.

Elevated and exposed coastal areas will bear the brunt of the damaging winds, which tested the SES overnight with more than 100 calls for assistance, with the vast majority – 86 – coming from the metropolitan area.

Melbourne residents have been urged to batten down the hatches with south-westerly peak bursts expected of up to 120km/h – easily strong enough to uproot trees already loosened by two weeks of windy weather.

The Royal Botanic Gardens was closed on Monday due to severe weather – the second time in a week.

A Gardens spokeswoman said this was due to a new policy that dictated the closure of the grounds whenever winds exceeded 80 km/h.

A high pressure system moving slowly across the Tasman and a vigorous north to north-westerly flow is responsible for the intensifying cold front that is crossing western Victoria into the central districts.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, damaging winds averaging 50-60 km/h with peak gusts of 90-100 km/h (reaching up to 110km/h over elevated areas) are forecast for parts of the south-west, central, north-east, west, and South Gippsland and East Gippsland districts.

Peak wind gusts are likely to increase around Melbourne to 120-130 km/h on Monday evening in exposed and elevated areas, with thunderstorms also forecast.

Wind gusts recorded on Monday morning include 104km/h at Mount Buller and 96 km/h at Mount William.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.Secure or store loose items around the house, yard and balcony.Keep clear of fallen power lines.For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

Though this week’s weather may leave Melburnians reaching for the woollens, new Bureau of Metereology data showed that Melbourne’s average maximum high temperature in September was 20.1 degrees, marking the first time the entry in the record books has risen above 20 degrees for the month.

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Jun 22

Witnesses sought for fatal crash

Victoria Police have appealed for witnesses following a fatal collision on the Bellarine Peninsula that killed a Melbourne woman on the weekend.
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The 33-year-old Richmond woman was killed in the crash on Melaluka Road, near Reedy Lakes Court, Leopold, just after 5pm on Saturday. Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have seen a white Toyota Hilux utility travelling near Portarlington Road before the crash, around 4.30-5pm.

It is believed the Toyota was travelling erratically and at high speeds when it collided with the woman’s Ford Focus sedan.

The woman died at the scene and her identity has yet to be made public.

The 24-year-old driver of the utility, from Belmont, is currently under police guard in hospital.

Anyone who saw the collision or has information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers南京夜网.au

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Jun 22

Trainers set for close season

WINNER: Winner of race two Harder, ridden by A Patterson, crosses the line in first place ahead of favourite Cost Me Diamonds, ridden by J Potter.CALIFORNIAN Devil and Pioneer Prince gave Trackside followers the perfect start to the local racing season on Thursday.
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The two best bets both led and won as predicted at the odds of $2.10 and $9.50, a combined all-up price of $20.90 which was terrific value.

Winners were spread around on the day with seven different trainers tasting success and it looks another competitive season for the trainers’ premiership.

Krystal Bishop and Ronnie Bell were the leading jockeys both riding a winning double.

Race 1 Rating 62 1000m

As expected Son Of A Gun settled just off the speed in the small field and when asked for the big effort he responded under the urgings of Justin Potter to wear down Good Conduct who never shirked the task.

The Robert King-trained winner has returned well after throat surgery and more wins look in store for this late comer to racing.

Clearly the best horse in the race his starting price of $2.70 got punters off to a great start to the season.

Warraside was the other runner from the event to follow. He wasn’t the best away from the barriers and had a good look around at his first start here. His closing third was full of merit.

Race 2 Maiden 1000m

Harders and race favourite Cost Me Diamonds jumped well and were sent forward to dispute the lead with Harders gaining the upper hand upon straightening.

Kicking clear the Annette Morrison-trained three-year-old won easily, much to the surprise of most punters.

It was a good training performance from Annette Morrison to present Harders looking so good prior to the race and he ran accordingly, despite his poor two-year-old form.

The winner paid $14.90 but $21 was seen on course.

Cost Me Diamonds looks an honest filly; she held her ground in the run home to hold second from Jilly’s Edge.

Of the other runners Delaway Brow wasn’t beaten far, Black Dancer hit the line well and first starter Highest Note was slowly away before making some late ground to finish midfield and will improve over more ground.

Race 3 Maiden 1000m

Kooda Duchess is another John Dunn runner that races well here.

As mentioned in the Trackside preview her two seconds last season behind subsequent city winners Deebersonus and Quick Lover proved she isn’t hopeless.

Given a great ride just behind the speed by apprentice Krystal Bishop, she was produced at the perfect time three wide on the home turn and went to the line well holding of the challenge of favourite Heza Hussler.

Runner-up Heza Hussler will be improved as will third place getter Lewis Street but all honours were with the winner.

Race 4 0-68 1200m

Californian Devil showed good early speed to take up the role as pace maker, traveling well he toughed out a solid win but not without giving favourite backers a scare as Marina Del Ray peeled off his back and challenged late.

Four wins now from five starts at this track and distance for Californian Devil, no doubt we will see more of him here this season.

Mighty Moment was the black booker, she got back to last and made good ground over the concluding stages to run third. Look for him over the longer trips.

Race 5 0-58 1000m

Just Pure Fun was well supported in betting despite her being noted over more ground, local hoop Ronnie Bell gave this one a great ride and got her to the outside of the tearaway leader Image Master on the bend having done minimal work in the run and she let down nicely over the concluding stages.

Impressive training performance Brian Lear and Ronnie Bell for his patient ride deserves accolades.

He’s A Houndog held second from the fast finishing Okaman who was an eye catcher from the back.

Social Assasian didn’t have any luck and this was a forgive run.

Race 6 Rating 80 1000m

Pioneer Prince booted through to lead and as predicted the advantage of the inside around the home turn enabled this one to pinch that winning break.

Libby Hopwood lifted him over the line as it tired late over the final 50 as the unlucky and well supported Hank’s Nephew dived late. Dire Warning was also closing on the line to grab the trifecta position.

Pioneer Prince has now 15 races for trainer Mick Whittle.

Mumslad and Corduroy also both ran well fresh being beaten around a length in a blanket finish.

A bumping dual at the 150 metre mark between placegetters Hank’s Nephew and Dire Warning no doubt had an impact on the result but sometimes the place to be is out in front in the clear.

Race 7 Fillies and mares 0-68 1000m

Bluzar showed her customary dash and gave a great sight into the straight but Aftonland had a good run in transit and was able to get up on the inside and prove too good. The winner is trained by April Cornell.

Bee In Her Bonnett finished at a great rate out wide to grab Bluzar on the line for second spot.

The next meeting is a family day this Sunday, October 6.

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