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Now that’s a pothole

Posted by admin on 19/09/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

ROAD DAMAGE: The Cunningham Highway east of Goondiwindi is severely potholed, is not sinking into the abyss.GOONDIWINDI mayor Graeme Scheu says the Cunningham Highway east of Goondiwindi is not sinking into the abyss, but is severely potholed.
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Cr Scheu said he wasconcerned that some reckless media reports has misled many people and unduly increased call traffic to the Goondiwindi Regional Council and the Department of Main Roads in what is already a busy period.

“There is a reasonable size pothole on the highway that has grown beyond the normal size as a result of the ongoing wet weather we have experienced,” Cr Scheusaid.

“The photographs run with stories on social media earlier today were not even from this region and let alone of the actual hole so I thought it important to show people what it actually looks like.

“I can confirm that contrary to the reports the highway is open but is down to one lane around the area due to the rough surface.

“I encourage people to use the 131940 service to get the most accurate and up to date information as our teams feed it through to them.”

Cr Scheu also encouraged motorists todrive “to the conditions” as roads were severely damaged and water continued to cover the road in some places.

Damage to the Cunningham Highway east of Goondiwindi.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Young auctioneers put their skills to the test

Posted by admin on 19/09/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

CONTENDERS: The competition between the nine finalists was “very, very close”, ALPA chief Andy Madigan says. Picture: Laura Griffin.A newcomer to the Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition,Toby Newnham, has won the coveted Graeme Lanyon trophy.
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Mr Newnham, who has worked with Elders Swan Hill since June, said it was “fantastic and surreal” to win.

The 25-year-old had previously entered in the NSW competition.

Jack Hickey, Elders Camperdown,was named runner-up at Monday’s final.

ALPA chief executive Andy Madigan said the calibre of the young auctioneers was improving, and the final points givenfor voice, diction, price and manner were“very, very close” this year.

“Some of them have improved due to being in the competition before, as well as the training and practice they’ve done since the auctioneers’ school (in June),” he said.

“The training we do in Victoria, we’ve honed it down so that we’ve got the formula right and it’s starting to show in the contestants.”

The competition is held in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).

Competitors auctioned threepens of three cattlethat had been assessedinthe RASV Prime Stock Competition. Finalists were selected at an auctioneer’s school in Bendigo.

Each school is attended by experienced auctioneers and speech pathologists who instruct the attendees on improving their skill.

“ALPA is passionate about the training of young stock agents,” Mr Madigan said.

“These competitions are a way of investing in the future of our industry and promoting the integral role that stock agents play in the supply chain.”

It is an industry winner Mr Newnham is passionate about.

The stands at Pakenham’s Victorian Livestock Exchange were packed with friends and family of the contestants as well as cattle buyers, sellers and other industry representatives keen to meet the young men coming up the auctioneers ranks.

This year’s judges wereBernie Grant, LMB Linke Livestock Hamilton; Justin Keane Corcoran Parker Wodonga, Bill Egan, SEJ Leongatha.

Mr Hickey, 23, was also surprised to come in second because he said the competition was very tight between good auctioneering performances at the top-end.

He said the competition was a great way to make connections in the industry, improve skills and introduce oneself to other people in the industry.

Mr Newnham and Mr Hickey have also won the opportunity to represent Victoria at the2017 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition, held atthe Sydney Royal Easter Show.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dreaded bye is back for high five

Posted by admin on 19/09/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

NO SECOND TEAM: Craig Rogan and his Orange City teammates will be one of five sides in the ODCA’s top flight, the Warriors won’t nominate a second team either. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0314sgcrick9Orange’s top cricketers face consecutive weeks without play after just five teams nominated for first grade inthe 2016-17 season.
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Efforts to bring a sixth team into the contest, to alleviate a bye situation, have failed.

Orange City rejected a proposal to bring its second grade team into the top tier at a meeting this week.

CYMS provided a second team, Moroneys, in first grade last season but after an unsuccessful time in which they only won one game, they arenot continuing.

“In the last six years it has been an on-going thing. It is not an ideal situation,”Orange District Cricket Association president Mark Frecklington said on Wednesday.

He said the bye meant teams would miss at least two weeks play at a time –and possibly more if there were washout weekends.

“We have two-day games. We’d have to go to more one-day cricket.

“I wouldn’t rule it out. We’ve talked about it with the clubs and agreed thattwo-day cricket was for all the season but it is something the committee could look at.”

Frecklington said there would be an email conversation between the association and clubs in the next few days before the final draw was released.

He said they would also look at schedulingRoyal Hotel Cup Twenty20 games forteams having a bye to give them a game.

The association is also working with the Waratahs club to see if they can field a first grade side the following season after dropping out several years ago.

And he said the associationhadmade approaches to teams outside Orange, including Blayney who compete in the Bathurst competition.

“We’ve asked that question before,” Frecklington said.

“It is one option, Blayney coming across. We’ve raised that with them but so far to no avail.”

In the lower divisions it is expected seven teams will contest second grade, six in third grade and five in the development grade fourth tier, the Centenary Cup.

Frecklington said this year a limit of just five players over 20 years old would be placed on the Centenary Cup teams to aid junior development.

That will create a total of 23 teams, with between 250 and 300 players this season.

The opening ball of the 2016-17season will be bowledon the traditional opening date, which isthe first Saturday after the long weekend, October 8, weather permitting.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Think before you cast your vote for council

Posted by admin on 19/09/2018
Posted in 南京夜网 

It is an exciting scenario when we have residents within our community who have already announced publicly that they will stand at the next council elections. This is certainly a healthy sign in any democracy.
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I hope that these aspiring candidates keep in mind the bigger picture of a future Bendigo. I want to see candidates with the vision and imagination to take Bendigo to the next level of its development. The prospect of candidates standing basically on a one issue platform concerns me. We’re better than that.If I were to wish anything for Bendigo it is that the councillors who are elected bring with them an open mind to the door of the chamber.

We already have new candidates discussing the thorny old question of arts and tourism funding. The arts can never be reduced to ‘just a commodity’ which has to pay its way. Sporting venues, free concerts, theatres, the public library and any number of other amenities and activities the council supports cannot ever totally pay their way. Our Greater Bendigo council is a provider of services and entertainment for our community; that is part of its responsibility.

State and federal governments make the big spending commitments; local governments support local services which allow the community to participate in a variety of activities conducive to well-being and good health. It all comes out of our rates. Our rates have never been reduced simply to repairing pot holes and footpaths. Bendigo has a fine reputation as a city which supports a rich variety of activities and interests, both sporting and cultural.

To make an uncorroborated assumption as one aspiring candidate did, that ‘Jane and Joe ratepayers don’t go to art exhibitions and don’t visit the gallery at all’ smacks of its own prejudices and dislikes. I may never see a football match played on a local sportsground but it delights me that so many people enjoy participating or simply watching a game. The flow-on effect of these activities benefits all our community. I don’t begrudge the next generation using these facilities, or the cost on the public purse. The costs associated with maintaining sporting facilities, for example, cannot be funded by entrance fees alone, particularly with the number of sporting venues scattered around Bendigo, plus the about-to-be renovated tennis courts.

Do we close the library, Ulumbarra , the Capital Theatre and the Bendigo Art Gallery for good measure?

I read letters from aspiring councillors who, if elected, appear hell-bent on arriving at council already mounted on their chariots, swords raised, enthusiastically promising to slash council extravagance on all manner of council funded activities. This is exactly where a measured, considered approach must be taken.

It is challenging for council with budget constraints to juggle the competing demands in a community. Councillors are always conscious of that concern, but the rewards must be very satisfying when a project is approved by council, supported by council financially at least in part, and it proves to be a real plus for all Bendigonians.

So, please aspiring councillors, consider the ‘bigger picture’ and how that impacts on the Bendigo community into the future. Consider all recommendations put to council, listen to qualified council officers, and consider all sides of an issue very carefully and thoughtfully before voting.I also hope that we, the Bendigo voters out there, listen very carefully to these aspiring councillors and think carefully whom we elect to office.

ANNIE YOUNG

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Battle of Long Tan veterans Tom Humphries and Terry Ryan at the Springwood Vietnam Vets’ Day. Picture: Damien MadiganMore than a month after the thorough round of commemorations and publicity of the 50thanniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, the Gazette asked a veteran of that battle if the commemorations and very public acknowledgement of his contribution had begun to expunge his anger and bitterness at thewhole Vietnam episode of his life.
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Cranebrook’s Terry Ryan’s answer was complex but there was a ray of light at the end.

The Gazette previouslyinterviewed himin August about his experience in the Battle of Long Tan, for the 50thanniversary.

In that story Mr Ryan said veterans of Long Tanwere angry about their treatment during the battle, being “hung out to dry” by not getting reinforcements, and at having to bury the 245 Viet Cong dead with shovels as the commanding officers didn’t want to risk their bulldozers.

His eyes flashed as hesaid he knew all the dead from the battle, but there was only one from his section –Paul Large, of Coolah, near Mudgee.

Despite all the ceremonies for the 50thanniversary, he still doesn’t feel the 108 individuals who were in the battle havereceived sufficient recognition.

“Out of 108 only a few have received special recognition. Every soldier who served in an infantry battalion at Vietnam should receive some recognition.”

They had, back at the time, from the US whenPresidential Citations from Lyndon Johnson were handed outafter the war. Theywere also offered awards by the South Vietnamese government, but by the time it came around to awarding them, that government no long existed, so the Australian government said they couldn’t accept it.

“But now we can wear the South Vietnamese Cross of Valour with Palm,” he said with satisfaction.He is bitter they were acknowledged by those two governments but not our own until decades later.

Why did he think that was?

“Your guess is as good as mine!” he said. “It’s ironic that the officers always get recognition –they’re the ones who put people up for awards!”

He said one officer who wasn’t awarded to the extent he should have been wasDelta Company’ssenior NCO, Sergeant MajorJack Kirby who was awarded a DCM [Distinguished Conduct medal]. Mr Ryan and others feel he should have scored the VC.

“It was him and what he did that day that kept us together, right to the very end, running around, supplying us with ammunition, carrying wounded back to a semi-safe area,” Mr Ryansaid.

“Even when the Viet Cong were coming he stayed with us, crouching down amongst all of us, going man to man. He was wonderful, he really was, he was like everyone’s father. He was about twice our age. He’d been to the Malayan emergency and Borneo.

“He was killed in the January or February after by friendly artillery fire.”

He also feels thatthe intensity of the battle at Long Tan should have resulted in special awards, as “nearly a whole section was wiped out”.

“When they went in next day [to the scene of the battle] they [the fallen]were still lying facing the enemy with their weapons in the firing position. It looked like they were asleep as the rain had washed away all the blood.”He said two were still alive, and both were saved.

His sympathies don’t just lie with our side. He made a surprising comment about the recent issue ofveterans not being allowed by the Vietnamese governmentto visit the site of the battle this year.

“There’s been so much from the PM and the Veterans Affairs minister about that, but when that announcement was made at Canberra, Tom, Kevin and I [fellow Long Tan veterans]clapped,” he said.

He explained thata number of vets had made money from the pilgrimages, “and the three of us believe there were heroes on both sides”.

“If they’re going to hold anything it should be a jointone with the Vietnamese. They’re our friends now. They had far more casualties –245 bodies. They carried away another 300 overnight. That must have taken immense courage. Army intelligence suggests there were 800 casualties [on their side] in all.

“The North Vietnamese declared that battle a success for them, as propaganda. They said they wiped us out and our tanks so I can understand them being sensitive to us going over there.

“But the winners write the history. The Vietnamese people struggled against the Chinese, French and Americans. My local baker is from Da Nang. His brother used to do this [cocks fingers like a gun]every time I walked in the shop,” he smiled.

“I would like to go back to Vietnam but as an individual, not part of a group and would love to meet some of the former soldiers I fought.”

A couple of years ago however he found he’d travelled back there in a way he didn’t want. Afriend took him to the Vietnam War hall at the Australian War Memorial with a hauntingly realisticjungle fighting soundscape.

“It was very realistic,” he said, shaking his head. “They had a chopper there, and the sounds over the speaker, then there was an explosion and I was on the floor. I was surprised and shocked [at his instant reaction]. I got over it quickly though.”

The stress of the battle haunts him physically.“I still see the waves [of Viet Cong] coming at us in their hundreds. It was like shooting ducks in a gallery. I was feeling the fear but also sorry for them –what they would have gone through to do that.

“I still have nightmares, probably every night, but fortunately I always wake up before anything real bad happens. I’m just used to it.”

He said the 50thanniversary commemorations began onthe Friday before the anniversary of Long Tan when the Naval Association put on a big Vietnam vets’ dinner for 250 at Rooty HillRSL.

“It was a very big night. I had to cancel my golf game the next day!” he said with a smile.

At the dinner large photos of the 18 who died at Long Tan featured prominently, and Rita Thomas,the sister of one of those killed in the battle,Jack Jewry -put a poppy on her brother’sphoto, and Mr Ryanput one on another photo.

On August 14 he attended the Springwood Vietnam Veterans’ Day march and ceremony.Then on the day of the anniversary they were flown to Canberra then to the 6thBattalion parade atEnoggerah in Queensland the next day then back to Sydney, all over three days. He ran into Tom Humphries and another Long Tan veteran he hadn’t seen for 50 years, Kevin Graham who was wounded in the chest during the battle.

Have those events begun to make him feel more at ease with his memories?

“I’m still extremely bitter, but the Vietnam Vets’Day at Springwood on August 14 –I got more closure that day than ever before,” he said.“It was very personal.That’s where I met Tom Humphries. We each thought the other was dead. It was 50 years since we’d seen each other.

“We both recognised each other as we approached. We led the march that day. As the ceremony began we were both called up and introduced to the crowd and that actually felt very, very good.”

He said at the functionafterwards they were presented with a small gift from a local Vietnamese doctor and her daughter, thanking the community for welcoming them to their country.

“She also made a large donation for veterans who lost their homes in the big bushfire [at Winmalee]. Her father was a former South Vietnamese Army paratroooper. It was very moving.

“The Springwood day, the Rooty Hill dinner gave us some closure and the parade at Enoggerah was also fantastic. The Governor General spoke at that and his comments were directed to us. He said ‘never let soldiers of today coming home be treated like we were’. Even the RSL eventually let us in and now the RSLs are virtually run by Vietnam vets.”

Linking up with other Long Tan vetsTom Humphries and Kevin Graham was a real and lasting benefit from the 50thanniversary events.

“Tom’s got a small farm [at Cowra] and Kevin drives cattle trucks. I ring Tom once a week and he rings me. I sent them both a copy of the new David Cameron book on the battle, and a bottle of wine and a Blue Mountains Gazette [with the story of the Vets’ day at Springwood].

“I’ll go to Cowra for one of their ceremonies, and I might go to New Zealand for the 51stceremony.”

He’s also giving a talk to Windsor Rotary and the Blue Mountains Air Cadets soon.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.