Our sayCould be the best $50,000 council has spent

HIGH praise in the Australian Senate this week for the Bathurst Kangaroo Project’s relocation program was tempered significantly by the strange response from the government.
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Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon called on the Senate to recognise the great job Bathurst Regional Council was doing in working with a committed band of scientists, veterinarians and community volunteers to find a non-lethal way to managekangaroo numbers in the Mount Panorama precinct.

It is a project that has won the support of local businesses and community clubs and, as Ms Rhiannon said, should be held up as an example for all communities in finding new ways to battle old problems.

In truth, Ms Rhiannon’s praise probably missed the mark a little because while council has now confirmed its strong supportfor the project, it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table.

Senior council staff, in particular, have appeared resentful of the money –around $50,000 –spent on the project so far, primarily on hiring fencing for a temporary holding compound on College Road.

But that penny-pinching attitude has ignored the estimated $300,000 in professional fees supplied pro bono for the project so far, and also ignores the thousands spent on previous fauna studies and management plans that have done nothing to thin kangaroo numbers on and around the Mount.

If the relocation project is a success –and there are no guarantees what will happen, given this is the first time such a project has been attempted –then it will have achieved maximum results for a minimum outlay for council.

The real heroes that deserve Ms Rhiannon’s praise are project leaders Ray Mjadwesch and Helen Bergen who have committed countless unpaid hours to ensuring the kangaroos are safe and well in the compound, and those scientists and volunteers who have helped make it a success so far.

For all that, it is hard to see whyLiberal Senator James McGrath would seek to downplay what has been achieved.

He, too, seemed to think $50,000 was too much to spend on relocating a few kangaroos, though we have to wonder if the senator fully grasped the broader context of the story.

With any luck, this could be the best $50,000 Bathurst Regional Council has ever spent.

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Risky road

The RAC has released the results from its most recent Risky Roads survey, which asked the community to identify the most dangerous roads across regional and metropolitan WA.A stretch of the South Western Highway between Manjimup and Walpole has been named amongthe most riskyin regional WA, according to peak motoring body the RAC.
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The organisation has released the results from its most recent Risky Roads survey, which asked the community to identify the most dangerous roads across regional and metropolitan WA.

More than 6000 nominations were received.

Reasons for that stretch of road’snomination included crumbling road edges, its narrowness, a lack of overtaking opportunities and poor road marking.

The Bussell Highway, Capel made the WA and regional top ten.

RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said the survey results highlighted an urgent need for all major parties to commit to addressing the community’s concerns by increasing road funding ahead of the March 11 State Election.

“Western Australia has an $845 million road maintenance backlog and also has one of the worst road fatality rates in the country,” he said.

“Last year, 194 Western Australians died on our roads, with many more seriously injured.

“This was our worst year in eight years. Our road fatality rate has gone from being one of the best in the country to one of the worst, with the effects of road trauma estimated to cost WA $6.6 billion each year.

“As we head in to a State Election, RAC is calling on the next State Government to address WA’s poor road safety record by reducing the road maintenance backlog by at least 30 per cent over the next four years.

“We are also calling for the funds in the Road Trauma Trust Account, which was last reported to have $95 million unspent, to be allocated to road safety projects across the state.

“Western Australians who would also like to see these issues addressed can take action by visiting rac南京夜网419论坛/givemetime and emailing their local candidates ahead of the State Election.”

Mr Golsby said the RAC Risky Roads campaign encouragedcommunity members to voice their concerns about dangerous regional roads and intersections, to lobbyrelevant authorities to get them fixed and ultimately try to save lives.

“Since the 2014 Risky Roads campaign, eight of the top 10 roads and six of the top 10 intersections have had work planned, committed, started or completed, showing a willingness from local and state authorities to address community concerns,” he said.

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Wagga remembers Fall of Singapore 75 years onVideoPhotos

SERVICE: Fall of Singapore commemorative service organiser Bob Toose speaks to the crowd of about 70 who attended the annual event. Picture: Les SmithWAGGA and district men who died in the Fall of Singapore or as prisoners of war afterwards were honoured at a commemorative service on Wednesday.
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About 70 people attended the service at the Sandakan Memorial in the Victory Memorial Gardens, 75 years to the day after Japanese forces inflicted one of the heaviest Allied defeats of World War II.

Keynote speaker Michael Johnston said 22,000 Australian soldiers were captured at Singapore, while 7500 Allied soldiers, including Australians, died in the fighting leading up to the February 15, 1942, surrender.

“Of the 22,000 Australians made prisoner of war, nearly one in three, being about 8000, died in captivity,” Mr Johnston said.

He said among the men who died in the fighting were WA Folkard, RF Howard, GW Miller (all Wagga), KF Murphy (Marrar) and LA Tipping (Coolamon).

Wagga remembers Fall of Singapore 75 years on | Video | Photos Ray Smith raises the Australian flag during the Fall of Singapore service. Pictures: Les Smith

Wagga RSL sub-branch secretary Ken May pays his respects after laying a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial

Military personnel and civilians at Wagga’s Fall of Singapore service.

Corporal David Matthews sounds The Last Post

Ken May lays a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial on behalf of the Wagga sub-branch of the RSL

Korean War veterans Harry Edmonds (left) and Alan Evans

Saluting after laying wreaths during Wagga’s Fall of Singapore commemorative service are, from left: Lieutenant Commander Wayne Langworthy Royal Australian Navy, Colonel Mick Garraway Australian Army and Wing Commander Ross Magno Royal Australian Air Force

Wagga mayor Greg Conkey lays a wreath on the Sandakan Memorial on behalf of the city.

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City approves controversial telephone tower in Herron

Upset locals: Residents of Herron and Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup at the proposed site south of Dawesville. They are urging locals to write to the City of Mandurah to oppose a proposed mobile tower. Photo: Supplied.RELATED: Locals take a stand over Herron mobile tower proposal.
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The controversial Herron telecommunications tower proposal that angeredlocalresidents in Decemberwas given the go-ahead at the council meeting on Tuesday night.

The 70-metre-tall galvanished steel structure will be installed in anAmar Road site, which already has an elevation of 66 metres, and will substitute a decommissioned toweron Mt John Road.

It is expected the tower would improve telecommunication services in the Herron area for both residents and emergency services.

During the council meeting on Tuesday,Herron resident Jenny Rose and Liberal member for Dawesville Zak Kirkup voiced their concerns about the proposal, which they believed would affect the amenity of the area and threaten the nativewildlife.

According to Mr Kirkup, the tower, which will be visible from both Lake Clifton and the Harvey Inlet,is ‘disproportionatelytall’and its visual impact wasn’t correctly assessed.

Ms Rose said Herronwas a really residential community, with people moving into the area because of its rural setting, and she feared the new tower would impact the area’s peaceful character.

However, a spokesman from proponent Axicom said visibility would be reduced due to the dense vegetation and tree canopy of the area, and hesaid the public benefit of the tower outweighed its visual impact.

Several City of Mandurah councillors, including Lynn Rogers andCaroline Knight, spoke about the council’s lack of decision power over telecommunications infrastructure, and said rejecting the proposal could mean the State Administration Tribunal (SAT) could still approve it.

Councillor Jane Field welcomed the proposal and highlighted the need for better telephone coverage in the area, especiallyin the case of an emergency.

She reminded attendees of the Waroona and Yarloop fires on January last year, when Lake Clifton residents didn’t receive text messages to evacuate their homes.

Any clearing of vegetation would require the City’s approval prior to the works.

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Gippsland’s fair lady

Christine Turra as Eliza Doolittle in Bairnsdale Production Line Theatre Company’s My Fair Lady in 2015. photograph supplied
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The Hill End community will rally behind 18 year-old Christine Turra next month as she plans to jetset to the United States in June for a 10-week intensive acting course.

The Bairnsdale woman has been accepted into the ‘Stella Adler Academy’, one of the world’s most prestigious acting schools in Los Angeles after an audition in Sydney last year.

“(The production company) told me I would find out in two to three weeks and I hadn’t heard anything for about a month so I thought I didn’t make it and that was fine because I got a lot of experience out of it anyway,” Ms Turra said.

“But about two months after the initial audition I received an email saying that I’d been accepted… I almost deleted it because I thought it was junk (mail).

“I couldn’t believe it, I was speechless.”

Ms Turra, who is classically trained but performs mostly in musical theatre, said the course would give her a taste of life in the US.

“I’ve always loved America so this will be a good opportunity to see if I could cope and go on to complete a Bachelor of Acting and Performance at Stella Adler; that would be my dream,” she said.

The 10-week course will focus on theatre and film acting and work towards a showcase at the end of the course.

Ms Turra, who moved to Bairnsdale from Trafalgar when she was 12, joined the Bairnsdale Production Line Theatre Company where she first starred in Annie the musical.

“I was Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 2015, last year I was one of the leads in Thoroughly Modern Millie and this May I’ll play Belle in Beauty and the Beast,” she said.

“None of my family are musical, I just have supportive parents but I was named after Christine Daa in Phantom of the Opera, so perhaps there’s a connection there.”

The trip is expected to cost Ms Turra about $10,000.

The Hill End Football Netball Club will hold a fundraiser, ‘Gippsland to LA’, on Saturday, 18 March and 6pm where Ms Turra will perform a number of her favorite tracks.

“I’ll sing some classical songs like Ave Maria and some musical theatre tunes from the likes of CATS, Beauty and the Beast and My Fair Lady.”

A smorgasbord will be provided with prizes up for grabs, a raffle and auction to take place during the night. Cost is $30 per person. For more information phone Vicki Went on 0428 601 226.

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