Kiama Council proposes 2.4% rate rise

Kiama Coucil is proposing a 2.4 per cent rate rise to cover the cost of not receiving income from land development. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOFor many years Kiama Municipal Council has benefited from income derived from its land development program through projects such as the Elambra Estate in Gerringong.
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But with the council’s work on Elambra now finished, the 2015-16 financial year will be the first year in decades the council will not receive income from land development.

Kiama’s draft 2015-16 budget is now on public exhibition and open for comment until May 29.

Kiama Council is proposing a residential rate rise of 2.4 per cent, which is in line with the rate peg limit set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), set in response to low inflation and subdued public sector wages growth.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler described the budget as ‘‘a balanced budget’’.

He said with the Elambra housing estate at Gerringong finished, the coming financial year would be the first in decades where the council would not receive income from land development.

‘‘There is still significant funds in reserve, some of which will be used next year for capital works, but it is now a declining resource,’’ Cr Petschler said.

He said a milestone would be reached next financial year with the last remaining timber bridge in the municipality at Cloonty Road, near Carrington Falls, replaced with a concrete bridge at a cost of $500,000.

‘‘The elimination of all our major wooden bridges is something we have been working on over many years,’’ Cr Petschler said.

He said while the council was content not to apply for a rate rise above the 2.4 per cent limit this year, council staff were now doing projections on future budgets.

‘‘What happens with future budgets will depend on what reserves we have and the tightening of revenue sources but it is too early to talk about that now,’’ he said.

The next financial year will be a good year for Jamberoo with $150,000 allocated for an upgrade of the town’s streetscape and $450,000 for an upgrade to the amenities block at Kevin Walsh Oval.

An allocation of $200,000 will see the Jamberoo Valley cycleway inch closer to the township.

The council has also allocated $650,000 to decommission Jerrara Dam, matching the allocation made in the current financial year.

Almost $800,000 has been allocated to fund eight projects in the Kiama Harbour/Blowhole Point precinct including $170,000 for energy efficient lighting and $80,000 to stabilise the bank near the Blowhole Point tennis courts.

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Uni seeks women for menopause study

Researchers Rhen Nealon and Hamish Evans with volunteer Maxine Kerr and Professor Peter Howe. Picture: Marina Neil. Photo by MARINA NEILCAN a substance commonly found in red wine, grapes and berries help ease some of the notorious side effects of menopause?
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It is a question researchers at the University of Newcastle’s Clinical Nutrition Research Centre are asking in a new study aimed at guiding women aged 45-plus towards healthy ageing.

“Some women transit the menopause with few or no symptoms while others suffer for many years,’’ says lead investigator, Dr Rachel Wong. ‘‘Even though the symptoms may eventually disappear there is nothing to celebrate.

‘‘That’s because post-menopausal women no longer have the protective benefits of oestrogen.

“This increases their risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke – conditions closely related to poor blood circulation,’’ she says.

‘‘A persistent decrease in blood flow within the brain can also contribute to premature cognitive decline.”

The substance, resveratrol, has multiple benefits for blood vessel health, enhancing circulatory function, says centre director Professor Peter Howe.

“We’re aiming to see if regular resveratrol supplementation can enhance blood flow responses to specific regions of the brain and thereby improve both mood and mental abilities, especially memory, in post-menopausal women,” he said.

The research team needs to recruit 80 post-menopausal women in the 45-85 age range for a randomised, placebo-controlled trial of a daily resveratrol dose of 150mg (two capsules) for 14 weeks.

Cerebral blood flow will be measured non-invasively with ultrasound and participants will be surveyed to monitor their mood, quality of life (including chronic pain) and other menopausal symptoms.

Participants must not be using insulin or warfarin therapy, smoke or be on nicotine therapy, or drink more than four drinks a day.

Volunteers should phone Hamish Evans on 49218616 or email [email protected]论坛 to register their willingness to take part.

Truckie’s boss to hand over the freight

PAY OUT: Pay back time for a courier driver whose boss has been ordered to pay nearly $10,000 in wages.THE former owners of a Central West transport company who underpaid a driver over a three-year period were ordered to pay the former employee $9551 at a sitting of the Chief Industrial Magistrate’s Court in Orange yesterday.
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The courier driver, Colin O’Neill who drove as part of a courier service for Parkes based A1 Freight Pty Ltd in the Orange, Millthorpe, Blayney and Neville areas was represented in court by solicitor Clive Hill.

Mr Hill told the court the payslips presented as part of his evidence to have his client reimbursed, spoke for themselves.

He said initially his client had been told he would be employed full time, but was never told his status was changed to a casual employee two weeks after driving for the company.

Awarding on behalf of the plaintiff, magistrate Terry Lucas gave Marisa Tandy, the former director of the business 28 days to pay the overdue wages to Mr O’Neill.

Ms Tandy’s solicitor Mark Olsen told the court many businesses such as the one formerly conducted by Ms Tandy struggled to understand award structures.

“There is a fundamental ignorance as to how the award system works in this country,” Mr Olsen said.

He said Mr O’Neill had entered into a pay arrangement with the business owners in such a way that it would not affect his pension.

However Mr Hill said he had issues with the system in place for his client to take meal breaks as well as being underpaid.

“Having a cigarette while a truck is being loaded does not constitute a meal break,” he said.

He also said the company had adjusted pay slips to reflect Mr O’Neill would be paid $17 per hour instead of the required $21 or $22.

“That was trying to recast history,” Mr Hill said.

Mr O’Neill worked for the courier company as a driver from 2011 to 2013.

Mr Hill applied to the court for costs of $767.36 to be awarded, however the request was denied by Mr Lucas.

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Local guides honoured with Anzac invitation

Mackayla Bond and Cadence Burroughs and another visiting guide (left), leading AFDA Midshipment and Officer Cadets. Mackayla Bond and Cadence Burroughs waiting to proceed in the parade.
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Cheryl Rutherford, Anne Kearle and Gaylene McCurley in front of the War Memorial.

GIRL Guides from the ACT and SouthEastern (SE) Region extended an invitationto Girl Guides from NSW to participatein the Centenary of Anzac.

Their goal was for 100 Girl Guides carryingAustralian flags in the Youth ColourParty which was to lead the march at theAustralian War Memorial.

Four Lithgow Guides in CadenceBurroughs, Mackayla Bond, Haylie Atkinsand Gemalla de Bezuveille-Howarth andLeader Cheryl Rutherford attended thismemorable event.

They met up with nine Bathurst Guidesand two Leaders who represented theCentral Western Region.

The ACT and SE Region arrangedaccommodation at a local school for thelarge group of Guides and Leaders whotravelled to Canberra, which comprisedabout 150 people.

The contingent was provided with teaon Friday night and Saturday breakfast.

Many attended the dawn service, butLithgow and Bathurst Guides decided toconcentrate on the morning parade.

On Anzac morning, the Guides walkedfrom the school to the meeting place atReid Oval adjacent to the War Memorial.

Once there, the Guides were put intogroups for the service task they were toundertake.

Haylie and Gemalla were part of theYouth Colour Party together with Scoutsand Boys and Girls Brigades.

Mackayla and Cadence were given thetask of carrying a placard for AFDAMidshipmen and Officer Cadets (groupnumber 68).

The Leaders were given the task ofmarshalling near to the Youth ColourParty.

Toward the end of the parade, all marshalswere invited to join the end of theparade.

The girls had sense of pride comingtogether with people from all walks of lifeto honour the fallen.

They witnessed uniformed, non-uniformed,descendants and internationalpeople who took part in the parade.

After the parade, the Lithgow Guidesviewed ‘The Home Front’ exhibition atthe National Museum.

The following day the Guides saw thesights of Canberra (as they were lost),went inside the War Memorial which wasextremely busy and visited the DinosaurMuseum and Cockington Green.

Back in Lithgow, the four girls gave arecount of some facts which stood out forthem at the weekend, to their fellowGuides:

Candence: Mackayla and I marched in front of avery loud band. We marched by the war memorial.

I thought that we would march behind the band,but we marched in front of the band. We werenumber 68.

The next day, we were going to the WarMemorial and got lost. We also went to theNational museum, Dinosaur museum,Cockington Green and had tea at Shangidumpling.

Mackayla: In the parade, we were near the endof the line. We had to stand in front of band whichwas loud.

I was holding the sign for the band. There werethousands and thousands and thousands of people.

We had to walk in front of them. I knew thatthere was so many people watching me.

I felt that it was a great thing to be there. We alsowent to Cockington Green which is full of dollhouses, mini castles, parliament houses, little peopleand a streaker in a football game

Haylie: On Anzac day, we went to the WarMemorial. Gemalla and I held up the flags for verylong time before marching. It got cold and weweren’t allowed to wear our jumpers.

We were on TV. There was a big screen and Icould see my face. At the National Museum, I readabout Basil Watson who wanted to join the RoyalFlying Corps and was not able to join up becauseof a previous accident. He crashed his plane anddied.

There I saw planes, an engine, a stuffed cockatoo,a camel, cockatoo, horse, platypus and kangaroo.

The next day, we got lost for an hour as the GPSwould not work. When we were lost, we had to askfor directions.

Gemalla: We travelled to Canberra on Fridayand stayed at Campbell school. We hung out withthe Bathurst Guides.

In the morning, we packed up items into the carand had breakfast. We then walked to the WarMemorial.

At the ‘round a bout’, we got the flags out. Haylieand I had to hold the flags forever.

We marchedwith the Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, Scouts andother Guides.

This was called a Youth Colour Party. We werelined up with four people across and close together.

There was about 100 present. After marching,we watched the big screen, sang the AustralianAnthem and a hymn.

We went to a dumpling place for tea. Later, weplayed skits with the Bathurst Guides and used differenthats for the skits. It was fun.

Thanks

Lithgow Girl Guides extend their thanks to JohnCobb for providing two new Australian flags forthe event.

Thanks go also to Karl Cook for refurbishing thespikes for the top of the flag poles.

According to the news reports, 120,000 turnedup for the service in Canberra.

Locally, the majority of the girls from theLithgow Girl Guide Unit either marched with GirlGuides or with the school they attend.

The Guides are in the process of working on theAnzac Centenary Challenge badge.

The criteria for the badge is that the JuniorGuides must complete three components, whereas,the Guide aged girls must complete five.

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Wallerawang power station’s final countdown

Wallerawang power stationWE knew it was coming but that hasn’t eased the regret at the passing of what has been a major contributor to our regional community for more than 50 years.
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EnergyAustralia announced yesterday that the first stages have begun in a program that will eventually see the demolition of the Wallerawang power station.

When the ageing power station was sold early last year EnergyAustralia initially announced it would be mothballed due to a dramatic downturn in demand for electricity.

It was subsequently announced that the plant would not be returning to service and would be demolished.

The demolition and rehabilitation of the site will be a huge task that EnergyAustralia says will take several years.

A spokesperson said yesterday salvage work beginning this month will be the first step in the entire plant’s decommissioning and rehabilitation.

She said the project will retrieve and sell usable items from the now closed power station.

EnergyAustralia has signed an agreement with Australian-owned EA Auctions* to ‘assist with asset disposal’.

As part of the project EnergyAustraliaemployees will oversee the safe removal of functional plant and equipment, primarily from within the power station’s turbine hall.

She said EA Auctions will then offer salvaged items for sale to its network of plant and equipment buyers ‘to recoup some of the anticipated costs of demolishing and rehabilitating the site’.

“EnergyAustralia will not begin demolishing the power station until salvage is complete and planning approvals are obtained,” she said.

“This process is likely to take some years.”

Further information on the project is available on

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* EA AUCTIONS is an Australian owned businesses experienced in asset disposals and tender and brokerage programs.

The company works across agriculture, forestry, mining, engineering and construction industries, managing the sale of used equipment and heavy machinery via auction or tender processes.

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