Singleton a priority

AFTER listening to the evidence presented to him during a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Shadow minister for communications Jason Clare agrees Singleton should be included in the next roll out of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The NBN is Australia’s new network for fixed line phone and internet services but due to the nature and size of our country the steps toprepare for installation differ for each location.

POSITIVE TALKS: Singleton mayor John Martin, Gill Eason, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow minister for communications Jason Clare and Shaun Barry.

Accompanied by Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, Mr Clare listened intently as local business leaders, the mayor and council staff put forward their case.

From Mt Thorley and Broke to McDougalls Hill and the town centre, the stories of howunreliable internet connections and mobile phone coverage is disadvantaging localbusinesses were numerous.

Singleton Business Chamber’s Gill Eason says the problem is not only affecting already established businesses.

“Internet access for businesses in the Mt Thorley and McDougalls Hills area just dies at around 3.30pm so trying to use the internet is just a waste of time. They may as well pack up and go home,” she says.

“This lack of capacity also means that many new businesses can’t even get access to aninternet connection or phone line.

“At a time when we are trying to diversify the local economy and attract new businesses to the area this is unacceptable.”

Business operators in outlying regions, like Broke, also face similar challenges, she says.

Council’s economic development officer Selana Avard agrees this technology is vital if we are going to diversify the economy and retain our “core population”.

She pointed out how now would be the perfect time to lay cables in Singleton’s town centre with the pavement being pulled up for the upgrade.

Mr Clare says with the next roll out update due at the end of the month, now is the time to lobby the federal government.

“They promised areas with the poorestservices and greatest need for upgrades will receive first priority,” he says.

“Given the evidence I have heard today Singleton should be a priority.”

Mr Clare says under Labor, Singleton was scheduled to get the world class fibre-to-the-premises NBN.

In the meantime, Mr Fitzgibbon will encourage Telstra to upgrade their current services.

At present the Bridgman Ridge is the only area in town connected to the NBN.

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Asbestos disposal investigation

THE state’s peak environmental watchdog could yet prosecute a company accused of illegally transporting and disposing of asbestos last year.

Investigations are continuing after a quantity of the hazardous material was found last November on private property on Wandobah Road at Tambar Springs.

The bonded asbestos is understood to have been contained in debris from a house in Gunnedah that had been demolished following a fire.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued a clean-up notice to the demolition company to remove and dispose of the material correctly.

It also took formal regulatory action, in the form of a warning letter, against the company that transported the asbestos.

However, EPA local manager Simon Smith said investigations into whether the conduct breached the Protection of the Environment Operations Act were ongoing.

“This incident serves as a reminder to companies that there are significant penalties for transporting and accepting waste unlawfully,” he said.

“If the waste is contaminated with material like asbestos, then the company and its operators may be

placing themselves and others at risk by handling it.”

Anyone who sees illegal dumping occurring, or comes across waste that has been illegally dumped, is asked to report the matter on 131 555.

– Ross Tyson, Northern Daily Leader

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The week that was around the regionPhotos

The week that was around the region | Photos FORBES: The trailer for a documentary following ultramarathon runner Kirrily Dear’s White Ribbon run in November last year has been released.

PARKES: The team at Parkes Shire Visitor Information Centre is thrilled to welcome its new Parkes Shire Tourism Trainee, Jemima Hilder.

ORANGE: Dog owners in a social housing complex in Maxwell Avenue say they’re living in fear after dog bait was found in a number of yards.

GRENFELL: Al Furey will be in Grenfell for a week of meetings to be held at The Henry Lawson High School Hall.

COWRA: Festival goers lined the streets and cheered on from their verandahs as the annual Festival of International Understanding parade headed up Brougham Street.

ORANGE: Jade Nonnenmacher is making the most of the new car smell after winning the Robin Hood Hotel’s Mitsubishi Mirage promotion on the weekend.

BLAYNEY: Andrenalin, glamour and fast-paced fun – this weekend’s Millamolong John Davis Volvo Polo Carnival will have it all.

CANOWINDRA: The Mitchell String Quartet will be performing later this month in Canowindra at All Saints Church Canowindra, bringing with them the sounds and music from palace chambers.

ORANGE: Russell Culverson has had enough of animal carcasses being dumped on the edge of the road and wants authorities to crack down on recreational hunters who do the wrong thing.

FORBES: With everything from turkeys to turtles on show, this year’s St Laurence’s Primary School fete will certainly have the cute factor.

PARKES: The Parkes Memorial Hill Committee met at the memorial to sign off on new interpretive panels for the memorial and the new garden.

COWRA: Local pole dancer and pole studio operator Lauren Barker performed at Encore recently. The highlight of Lauren’s evening was the performance by Amber Ray and Jedda J Jordan.

ORANGE: Four Canobolas Rural Technology High School students will learn to tell traditional Aboriginal stories through dance as part of the Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Rekindling Youth program.

FORBES: Forbes Magpies are looking to a successful 2015 season and with a fresh line-up of senior coaches and new players, things are certainly looking up.

CANOWINDRA: Member for Orange Andrew Gee announced $9,220 towards a bus shelter upgrade in Canowindra under the latest round of the NSW Government’s Regional Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme.

BLAYNEY: Blayney Shire mayor Scott Ferguson believes Millthorpe’s Redmond Oval could become one of the region’s premier sporting facilities after it undergoes a $500,000 revamp.

PARKES: Runs were not easy to come by in the A grade cricket match between Royals and Commercial Colts. Only Luke Clarke and Phil Dunford were able to post reasonable scores for Royals against the under-manned Colts.

COWRA: More than 140 people attended a forum in Sydney last week opposing the construction of a dam at Cranky Rock.

ORANGE: Ppolice are asking for the public’s help to piece together the movements of a 50-year-old man who was found dead on National Avenue early on Sunday morning.

ROCKLEY: Wayne Crisp, originally from Rockley, saddled up to compete in the open bull ride on Novocane at yesterday’s Rockley Rodeo. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK 030815crodeo

BATHURST: Eleven inmates spent their first night at the Kirkconnell Correctional Centre on Monday.

BATHURST: Bathurst High Year 10 students Josh Broes and Emily Kavwenje received guidance from nurse Alison Parker during a hands-on program held at the hospital to show the teens the graphic effects of risk-related behaviour.

BATHURST: Nasho Barry Stuart and the Lone Pine, which has links to the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli, growing in the grounds of Bathurst Cemetery. Photo BRIAN WOOD 030915pine3

BATHURST: Porters Cafe owner Chris Bergen has joined the call for CCTV in the CBD after his store fell victim to a malicious damage attack on Friday night. Photo PHILL MURRAY 030715pchris

BATHURST: Three men were transported to Orange Hospital after a two-car accident west of Bathurst on Monday. It was the fourth accident on the same stretch of road in five months. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK 030915cmva4

BATHURST: Jackson Butler from Butlers Events at Carrington Park this week helping put the finishing touches on the corporate marquees that have been erected for Saturday’s big NRL match between the Panthers and Titans.

LITHGOW: John Barnes and Col Hunter enjoy the Portland Art Show. The art show raised more than $25,000 for local charitites. lm031215art13

LITHGOW: The local mining union sponsored a community meeting at the Workmens Club on Tuesday night to discuss the state of the Lithgow economy.

MUDGEE: Pigeon breeder Brian Jones and judge Allan Driscoll with the Champion Fancy Pigeon and Champion Utility Pigeon of the 2015 Mudgee Show.

MUDGEE: There was colour, colour everywhere at Lawson Park on Sunday as more than 500 people took part in the first annual Dye Hard Fun Run.

MUDGEE: There were pirates of all sizes at the PCYC as part of Monkey Madness’ pirate week shenanigans.

OBERON: Oberon High School Year 12 students participating in an HSC Study Skills Day.

OBERON: Oberon school student got the chance to learn the ropes from former NRL players Nathan Hindmarsh, Ian Schubert and Josh Perry when they visited Oberon as part of the Hogs for the Homeless Ride.

BATHURST: Record entrant and crowd numbers, burnt rubber and heart-thumping action, had organisers boasting of the most successful Bathurst Autofest ever.

DUBBO: Three Oriental small-clawed otter pups at the zoo will soon start to venture out of their dens more frequently. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

DUBBO St Brigid’s School, Parish Priest Father Greg. The Catholic Church will celebrate 150 years this year, with a number of activities planned throughout the year. Photo: TAYLOR JURD

DUBBO: Ability Links team members Melissa McWilliam, Melissa Goedee and Cassie Gardner invite the community to leave their handprint on a banner at the program launch on Thursday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Organisers Geoff Smith (Rotary) and Carly Donohue (University of Newcastle), with Mudgee High School students Adam O’Connell, Daniel Reinhard and Josie Ajer McConnell. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

WELLINGTON: A ‘fast-running fire’ on the Mitchell Highway, which came as close as 200m from homes on an estate near Wellington, was deliberately lit.

DUBBO: Macquarie Anglican Grammar School student Holly Adams shortly after completing her first solo flight from Narromine to Dubbo.Photo: ANGELA CLUTTERBUCK

DUBBO: Director of ‘Away’ Kate Bain and president of Wesley House Players Rhonda Kerr promote the production in the lead-up to opening night on Friday, March 13. Photo: HANNAH SOOLE

DUBBO: Darrio Manifest Phillips with his young troops. Photo: KATHRYN O SULLIVAN

DUBBO: Ten years on; Dot Stevenson, Dubbo, Christine Lord, Gilgandra, Pam Whitney, Tamworth, Shirley Cheney, Blayney, Julie Darley, Orange, Judy Regan, Dubbo and Jan Mackintosh, Dubbo. Photo: LAURA McINTYRE

WELLINGTON: Lilah Wykes gives her very best smile, after the 5-year-old was plucked from Wellington in a national modelling agency competition.

DUBBO: Kiffin Miller, Olivia Watson, Sarah Minto, Steve Gulckman, Abbi Fox, Shivawn Stevens, Kim O’Conner, Karen Hagan and Melia Condon get stuck in, planting a new medicinal garden at the School of Rural Health. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

WELLINGTON: Police, State Emergency Services and paramedics deliver the man into the helicopter at Wellington on Saturday night.

DUBBO: CWA Macquarie group handicraft officer Carolyn McCulloch with some of the exhibits from across the region entered in the group competition judged at Dubbo. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

NARROMINE: Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, Adine Hoey and Mayor of Narromine Shire, Bill McAnally.

NYNGAN: Local businesses contribute to the latest milestone for Nyngan Solar Project.

NYNAGN: Jill Elder, Samantha Hicks and Chris Elder attending the Zone Showgirl finals.

NYNGAN: Kathryn Lamond AGL Energy, Bruce Smith First Solar, Jim Hampstead Deputy Mayor of Bogan Shire, Anthony Fowler AGL Energy. Anthony Roberts, Greg Bourne Chair Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Mark Stephens AGL Energy.

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Eastlake too good on day two

Guy Gillespie’s 2/63 in 17 overs was not enough for Queanbeyan to stop Eastlake. Photo: Steph Konatar.

EASTLAKE snagged the minor premiership after winning the Cricket ACT two-day competition by seven wickets against Queanbeyan at Freebody Oval last week.

Queanbeyan set 350 in day one, and early in the day it looked to be a difficult task as the Bluebags made runs hard to come by for Eastlake.

After a couple of early wickets from Guy Gillespie and captain Sam Taylor, Eastlake sat at 2/76 heading into lunch.

The Bluebags managed another early wicket after lunch and they looked to be in control until fomer Queanbeyan batsmen Michael Spaseski and Vele Dukoski stepped onto the crease.

Spaseski and Dukoski made life for the Bluebags very difficult, scoring 146no and 132no respectively.

Guy Gillespie was the best bowler for Queanbeyan, bowling 2/63 in 17 overs.

Queanbeyan captain Taylor said there were a few opportunities his team should have taken, but ultimately they were outplayed.

“We needed to take catches and had a couple of misfields, but we didn’t do anything momumentally wrong,” he said.

“It was a flat deck, dry day and a harsh outfield, a little bit harder and probably better suited for batting and they jumped on that.”

Spaseski and Dukoski were two batsmen that should not have been given an inch, Taylor admitted.

“(Spaseski) and (Dukoski) are two blokes you don’t want to get going,” he said.

“But credit where credit’s due, we were outplayed.”

Taylor suggested the current Bluebags would not have played against the pair any differently, despite their Queanbeyan links.

“I mean it would be nicer if everyone could stay at the club,” he said.

“It might have given the boys a bit of fire in their bellies, but I don’t think they would’ve thought about it really.”

“Let bygones be bygones” said the captain, insisting the team would not dwell on the loss and was looking towards their semi final against West’s UC at Freebody Oval this weekend.

“We’ve forgotten about the loss and we’re looking forward,” he said.

“We’re ready and pumped up for a good finals series.

“We got our home semi, but West’s are going to come out firing and we’ve got to be ready for that.”

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IT started with a man exposing his genitalia on a pub dance floor and ended with another man facing court on two serious assault charges.

South Australian Geoffrey Wilson, 42, fronted Gunnedah Local Court last week to answer charges relating to an incident in the Club House Hotel in the early hours of September 27 last year.

Magistrate Barnett heard that a dance at the popular hotel had been uneventful until security staff received complaints that one of the male dancers had dropped his trousers to his ankles and was exposing himself.

Two security staff escorted the man from the floor who left the area without incident.

At this point Wilson is alleged to have approached the staff members and asked why they were removing the dancer from the floor.

Wilson has then said “why are you giving me the eye”, and attempted to grab the shirt of one of the security officers.

Wilson was then pushed through the door of the hotel by the staff with several punches being thrown during a struggle on the footpath which spilled out onto the road.

Just as the staff members were getting the upper hand with Wilson, the dance floor exhibitionist joined in, kicking one of the staff several times in the head as he fell to the ground.

Police were quickly on the scene but both Wilson and the dance floor man had left the scene.

Security staff followed both into the carpark of KFC.

They found Wilson sitting on a bench.

Wilson then ran at one of the staff and both men fell to the ground, striking a steel poll.

Wilson sustained minor injuries to his head and his victim an injury to his arm as he struck the pole.

Wilson was detained until police arrived and he was kept in hospital overnight for observation.

Police obtained CCTV footage of the incident which aided them in their investigations.

Wilson declined to be interviewed over the incident.

Magistrate Barnett fined Wilson $2500 on one count of assault and dismissed a second charge.

A MAN who fired two shots from a large-calibre Lee Enfield rifle outside his Hunter Street home has narrowly escaped jail.

Forty-eight-year-old Anthony Roden appeared in Gunnedah Local Court last week on five firearm-related charges arising from an incident late last year.

Roden was charged with using a firearm near a public place, having possession of an unregistered firearm, using an unauthorised firearm, not keeping a firearm safely and with having possession of ammunition when he appeared before Magistrate Barnett.

Evidence supplied to the court detailed how Roden had “gone for his gun” after hearing whistling, yelling and name-calling outside his home on the evening of October 10.

Police were told Roden had removed the Lee Enfield from a Remington firearms case which he had secreted under a concrete step at the side of the dwelling after becoming “alarmed when he heard someone calling him a dog”.

He was to later tell police that he had become anxious when he heard what sounded like a shot from the direction of the showground.

He admitted that he had fired one shot from the rifle before putting it back under the step.

Police were quickly on the scene and saw a “shadowy figure” running from the scene.

Officers found one spent casing on the footpath and were told by several witnesses that at least two shots had been fired in quick succession.

Police then asked Roden’s partner for permission to search the premises and were given consent.

A search turned up the Remington firearms case with the Lee Enfield, while inside the dwelling police found a green ammunition box in the main bedroom which contained one spent .308 casing and 14 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition.

Roden later handed himself in to Tamworth police, making full admissions to the charges.

Mr Barnett sentenced Roden to five months jail on the first charge but suspended the sentence on him entering a Section 12 (suspended sentence) bond with orders he accept supervision and guidance from the Probation and Parole Service.

On the ammunition charge, Mr Barnett recorded a conviction but imposed no penalty while on the remaining three charges he placed Roden on a Section 9, two-year good behaviour bond with the usual conditions relating to supervision and guidance.

On a separate charge relating to the assault on his female partner, Roden was placed on an additional Section 9, 12-month bond.

This charge arose after an incident on April 28 last year when Roden had grabbed his victim by the arms.

A GUNNEDAH woman has been fined and put off the road for six months on a mid-range drink-driving conviction.

Belinda Sams, 52, of Barber Street, blew .108 when she was pulled over by police in Barber Street just before 1am on February 28.

Sams’ Toyota Camry was stopped by police on a random breath-testing patrol.

The defendant told police she had consumed four Jack Daniels and Coke after finishing work.

She was fined $350.

IT has taken almost two years but a Yarrabin man has finally faced Gunnedah Local Court on a charge of causing malicious damage.

Magistrate Barnett was told 20-year-old Nathan Walsh had been with a group of friends shortly before 2am on the night of September 28, 2013 when they walked past the premises of Goodstart Early Learning Centre.

It was alleged Walsh had run at the Colorbond fence and threw himself at the panelling, causing several sheets to pop out with both Walsh and the sheets landing inside the premises.

Walsh pleaded guilty to the charge and was placed on a Section 9, 12-month good behaviour bond.

A BLOOD-ALCOHOL reading of .108 has cost a George Street resident $750 and his licence for nine months.

Robert Williams, 58, appeared before Magistrate Barnett last week in Gunnedah Local Court on one count of mid-range drink-driving.

Williams was charged with drink-driving after his Toyota Hilux was pulled over by police as it left the carpark of the Railway Hotel shortly after 5pm on February 26.

He told police he had five schooners of Tooheys New beer prior to driving.

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