French views offered during nuclear tour

VISITORS: Travelling from France to Quorn were Pierre Jobard, Jelena Bolia, Patrice Torres and Phillippe Dallemagne, with the federal government’s Bruce Wilson.

FRENCH nuclear waste facility director Patrice Torres said there were a number of factors taken into consideration before establishing a site in the Champagne region.

“One of the reasons why it is located there is the clay at the site, which is a natural barrier for the waste,” he said.

“There is also low seismicity and the flooding risk is low in the region.”

Mr Torres spokeat a meeting in Quorn on Friday, where attendeesraised concerns about a site being proposed forthe Flinders Ranges, particularly after the earthquake activity experienced in SA that week.

But the federal government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Bruce Wilson said the site would not go ahead without thorough research on its suitability to houselow and intermediate level waste safely.

French producer Pierre Jobard says being located near a nuclear waste facility has had no effect on his ability to farm, the marketing of his produce or on the value of his land.

Mr Jobard was a partof theFrench delegation to visit Quorn, at a meeting attended by about 30 people.

“I grow wheat, canola and hemp crops, run 120 cows for dairy production and grow winegrapes,” he said.

“In the early 1990s, one hectare of agriculturalland in France was worth the same price as 1ha of land in Champagne. Today, 1ha of Champagne land is worth 100ha of agricultural land.

“There hasn’t been an impact on sales and marketing from the region. The cheese created from the dairy I produce is marketed as being from a distinctive region, and that marketing has happened since the facility arrived in the region.”

Director of the Aube disposal facility in the Champagne region, Patrice Torres, said before the site was established many people had fears about itseffect on tourism numbers andagricultural produce.

“Champagne is obviously the leading product in the region, and there hasn’t been an effect on the marketing of that, but cabbage is also another major product,” he said.

“For local cabbage farmers, the value of what they produce has remained stable, while in other areas of France it has gone down, so it shows co-existence hasn’t been a problem.”

Meetings were also held at Hawker, Port Augusta and Kimba last week.

No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA committee president and Buckleboo farmer Peter Woolford attended the Kimba meeting withabout 100 people.

“One of the main things I took away from the French delegation was a point about the process for setting up the facility, in their case the community nominated to host it, not individuals,” he said.

Mr Woolford said it wasdisappointing two newnominations had been made to housea site near Kimba.

“We are again forced to stand up for our community and our agricultural industry,” he said.

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Call for new debate on arts centre

DEBATE: Cr Sam Rowland in the lane way near the rear of the McDermott Centre. This is the part of the building that is up for demolition.

Some councillors are calling for time out on the new Performing Arts Centre, to assess concerns about a possible cost blowout.

Others say the ball needs to keep rolling on the project to keep on track with federal funding.

A closed-briefing session was held with councillors on Tuesday night to discuss their concerns about the centre.

Cr Sam Rowland is just one of the councillors calling forrenewed debate over the need for a Performing Arts Centre.

“The debate needs to be over the need for such a centre given the probable cost blowout and questionable priority over other community infrastructure projects,” Cr Rowland said.

“The cost of the performing arts centre has grown by $4 million since the idea was first tabled and work hasn’t commenced yet. It should be noted that it is a heritage building and the likelihood of complications arising during construction is very high and as a result, the cost is likely to again increase well beyond the current $11.4 million price tag.”

He said there had been little discussion over the ongoing operation and maintenance costs of the centre after its completion.

“The reality is, this centre could end up being a multi-million dollar black hole on Council’s budget for many years to come,” he said.

“The Council has agreed to build and fund multiple community infrastructure projects of significant size, totalling in excess of $40 million within a very short period of time, it would be irresponsible for us as councillors not to have renewed discussions and debate when concerns arise and to prioritise each project to ensure proper thought and planning goes into each.”

He was not asking council to scrap the project altogether, rather to “have a renewed discussion about it.”

“There is no doubt that the arts community in Goulburn has been neglected and underfunded for a long time, but equally so, there is a need to provide for a much broader range of the community and we as a Council need to ensure that we strike the right balance when funding projects of such significant size and cost,” he said.

“I’m not asking Council to do away with the proposal altogether, I’m asking Councillors to have a renewed discussion over our capacity to build the performing arts centre without sending the community into debt, as well as to discuss our ability to operate the centre successfully after building completion, and to do so when funding other projects of such significant size and cost.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Bob Kirk has said there is a need to push ahead.

He said an impendingrescission motion from Cr O’Neill had not been forthcoming –at the time of the briefing session.

“It has not been lodged so it has not warranted further discussion,” Cr Kirk said.

“While there is no motion before the council to rescind the motion made late last year, we push ahead. We made another decision to go to tender for the demolition of part of the building and thereis no reason for thatnot to proceed.

Cr O’Neill has raised questions and I say we need toresolve the questions while we are together – there may be a practical solution and we can sort it out.The motion at the moment is for a detailed design to be completed and this is almost done. When this is submitted we will go out to tender for construction.

“When the quotes come back we still have an opportunity as a council to review the costs.The point is we need tokeep it moving alongto ensure we get the federalgovernment funding.If there is a cost blowout we can stop the project and consider it.

“We are all concerned about costs,but we cant stop it moving along – we have to manage it that way.”

Following the briefing session Tuesday night, Cr Rowland said the council would be seeking another independent assessment to be undertaken on the construction and the possible cost of the new building.

“The Working Party will then turn their attention to the operational side of things,” he said.

“But –this is a discussion we have to have in public.”

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Plumbing the past

STANDARD, NEWS, COBDEN CISTERN CHAPEL 170210 Pictured: Brian O’Shannessy and Tony Van Rooy stand outside the Cobden Cistern Chapel. Picture: Morgan Hancock

It’s not surprising the plumbers who made an “Ettamagoh” dunny to race in the former dunny races at the Warrnambool Gift have created a “Cistern Chapel” plumbing museum.

Warrnambool plumbers Tony Van Rooy and Brian O’Shannessy obviously like a bit of fun but their Cistern Chapel is much more than dunny humour.

The collection of plumbing paraphernalia shows how changes in plumbing technology have made life a lot easier as well as highlighting past plumbers’ skills and the dangers they faced.

Mr O’Shannessy said he first thought his friend Tony’s pastime of collecting plumbing paraphernalia was “stupid” before he caught the bug and joined him at a few collectors’ rallies.

The collection grew and the two got a site at the South Western District Restoration Group’s centrethat is next to the Cobden Miniature Railway andMini Golf Park.

In the true spirit of the old plumbers who were ingenuous infixingthings, they recycled a corrugated iron shed from nearby Dixie to create a home for the makeshift museum.

It houses everything from old night soil cans toelaborate ceramic and metal piping configurations andthebig array of different styles of toilet cisterns after which the museum is named.

Other exhibits include round the corner chisels and coin-operated gas meters.

Most have not been restored to add to the allure of their age.

Tony, 67, and Brian, 62, have both been plumbers for many decades and know the tales behind many of the items including the inspiration for the saying “as flat as a shit carter’s hat.”

In the time before sewer pipes were installed, night soil carters took away the toilet cans from backyard toilets.

They carried the cans on their shoulders and the hats they wore toprotecttheir heads from spillage often wore flat.

Many of the museum’s exhibits are more than 100 years old such as a water main made of overlapping wooden slats bound with wire.

When the absorbentwood became wet, it swelled to become watertight.

Other items are bathroom water heaters using woodchips or gas that sometimes burnt the bathrooms down.

Mr O’Shannessy said people today took for granted having abig supply of hot water.

The earlybathroom heaters often only produced sufficient hot water for one bath which meant all family members shared the same bath, with the last one in often getting a lukewarm or cold one.

The exhibits elicitlots of laughs and stories from visitors’ about their experiences with similar items.

Comic signs such as “Old plumbers don’t die, their plungers just perish” and a “Plumber’s Poem” add levity to the museum.

Plumbing the past Brian O’Shannessy and Tony Van Rooy get the feel of some of toilets on display at the Cistern Chapel at Cobden. Pictures: Morgan Hancock

Just a few of the many old items that can be found at the Cistern Chapel at Cobden.

Tony Van Rooy and Brian O’Shannessy with soldering equipment and other old plumbers’ tools.

Coin-operated plumbing are some of the many museum exhibits that bring back memories.

Part of the big array of toilet cisterns at the Cistern Chapel.

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Unlawful Entry rose in January

Mypolice stats showing the increase in other thefts and unlawful entry crimes in January, compared to December in the Mount Isa division. Image: Mypolice.qld.gov419论坛.THEFT and unlawful entry increased in Mount Isa in January when compared to the month previous, but this is according to contradictory statistics.

Figures on Queensland Police Service’s website Mypolicestate that in Mount Isa there were 33 reported incidents of unlawful entry in January. There were 16 incidents in December.

Reports of “other theft”, which excludes unlawful entry, also increased. There were 78 incidents in January and 60 in December.

But these figures do contradict the more specific online Qld Police Service Crime Map, which Mount Isa Police Station’s officer-in-chargeSenior Sergeant Renee Hanrahanrefers to when saying there were no significant increases of crime when making annual comparisons.

The crime stats for other thefts, unlawful entries and robberies in January, 2017. Image: Qld Police Service Crime Map.

The Crime Map says that in January there were 58 “other theft” crimes. In December there were 60.

But it also shows in January there were 29 unlawful entries, while there were 16 in December.

Senior Sergeant Hanrahan said she would find out why the figures on both websites were different. There were many factors that might explain an increase between January and last December.

There would be typical influxes if comparing statistics monthto monthbecause of these factors.

These factors included school holidays, and wet conditions cutting off access to surrounding communities which affects local short-term population, Senior Sergeant Hanrahan said.

Property owners leaving their homes unattended while on holidays can be another factor.

In January there was also one robbery, according to the crime map. The map shows the unsolved crime happened at Lake Moondarra on Australia Day.

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We are concerned

FOR five years, the Greens haveenjoyed their peaceful location at Casuarina Close.

PEACEFUL: The residents of Casuarina Close are hoping to hear more about limits on proposed development before it is approved.

At an ordinary council meeting on Tuesday night, resident Michelle Green addressed those present regarding a development application she believed would affect her family and their neighbours.

The applicant was seeking to constructa two-storey vehicle sales premisesin Rutherford Road, next to the 12-home cul-de-sac.

“Noise, lighting, lack of privacy, visual amenity, traffic flow, security and impact on property process and rental returns is of great concern to ourselves and our neighbours should his building be constructed as planned,” Mrs Green said.

She said their major concern was the possibility of impact on residents’ comfort.

“Our main marketing point when advertising for the rental market was the quiet nature of the street and the house being set up perfectly to accommodate shift workers,” she said.

“We have a genuine concern the impact of noise in the neighbourhood could lead to lower occupancy rates and rental returns.

“If and when we decide to sell, we also believe we may take a financial hit due to the less than desirous nature of noise pollution and the visual amenity of a large commercial building in the near vicinity.

“We are a young family working hard to get ahead in life and absolutely cannot afford to accept a financial loss on this property.”

She askedthe development application be deferreduntil further reassurances could be given regarding noise concerns, and the design of the building to bereconsidered to better facilitate harmonious coexistence with neighbouring residential zones.

Mrs Green said she believed the response by the applicant in regards to concerns of noise complaints was insufficient.

“I would think that before approval is given, the DA must clearly state what upgrades will be included to achieve acceptable noise levels,” she said.

“We absolutely support building bigger, better businesses and job creation in the Muswellbrook Shire.

“However, we do feel this DA gives insufficient consideration to the impact of Casuarina Close will experience if it was to be approved in its current format.”

The application was deferred to the next ordinary council meeting in March.

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