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    Tori Darke: ‘It’s what I want for the rest of my life’

    2019 - 04.16

    Tori DarkeAustralian country music star Tori Darke, 24, will launch her new album at Rooty Hill RSL Club on February 27.

    After a month of travelling she will return to western Sydney to release her third record, Silver Lining.

    “It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind for me; it seems like yesterday I released my first single,” she said.

    “When I was 10 or 11, I did my first talent quest. When I was up on stage I shook like a leaf and didn’t move at all.

    “Being on stage was very scary then, but now I’ve been at it for a while and I haven’t felt that in a long time.”

    Since releasing her first single, Crawl, Darke has performed alongside The McClymonts, Emerson Drive and Doc Walker.

    Her tracks have climbed country music charts everywhere, with her song Disposable reaching No.1 on iTunes.

    Darke was trained across several genres, including rock and pop, but she said country had always been where her heart is.

    “Country is my forte. The thing I’m drawn to most is the storytelling and country music always has a story to it.”

    She said she was excited about the album launch.

    “It’s going to be really big. The new album will be different from before, it’s a bit more mature in terms of writing.

    “I just love being able to play to an audience.

    “I want to do it for the rest of my life.

    “There’s nothing better than the feeling of performing up on stage and hearing people singing your songs back to you.”

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    The cruellest birthday gift

    2019 - 04.16

    Desperate: Blaxland’s Rebekah Davison faces a two-hour trip for vital cystic fybrosis treatment because of a capacity shortfall. Picture: Shane DesiatnikMOST people about to turn 18 are focused on drinking and voting.

    But for Blaxland resident Rebekah Davison, her 18th birthday means facing a terrifying uncertainty about her disease.

    Rebekah has cystic fibrosis and from February 20, the adult clinic in Westmead will close its doors to new patients due to overcapacity.

    In October, when Rebekah turns 18, she may no longer be eligible for treatment at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead or its sister adult clinic and will be forced to travel over two hours to the nearest clinic at Camperdown.

    “All my life my medical needs have been met,” Rebekah said.

    “I’m genuinely frightened by the idea that I might not have the day-to-day care from an adult clinic.”

    Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease which suffocates the lungs and causes major respiratory problems and other debilitating problems.

    It means Rebekah needs a bimonthly check up at one of the three CF clinics — Westmead, Camperdown and Newcastle.

    “If there’s not enough money to keep funding Westmead, I will have to go Camperdown,” she said.

    “That means another two hours of travelling to get the clinical services I need.”

    Despite a 50 per cent increase in Westmead patients for Westmead, the clinics have had no new staff in seven years.

    Westmead clinic director, Associate Professor Peter Middleton, said accepting new patients could compromise standards of care.

    In a letter to the children’s hospital, he said current staffing levels were “unsustainable, even in the short term”.

    The NSW Greens have called for an extra $2 million in funding, with $700,000 going to Westmead.

    “We think that this is a fair ask,” Greens candidate for Parramatta, Phil Bradley, said.

    “It’s not a lot of money in the state’s $18.6 billion health budget.”

    But chief executive of Cystic Fibrosis NSW, Michele Adair, said even if the NSW government spent an extra $2 million, the problem of undercapacity would still exist.

    “Although there is no cure, advances in treatment mean people are living longer,” she said.

    “The average life expectancy is 37, and many young people die in their 20s. [But] for the first time ever there are now more adults with CF than children.

    “The government has failed to recognise the clinical capacity as life expectancy improves.”

    According to the National Standards of Care, the clinics should employ 68 staff.

    Together they employ less than 10, Ms Adair said.

    “We’re not being unreasonable or ridiculous,” she said.

    “Given the nature of Rebekah’s condition, the extra travel time places an additional risk to her health. The Minister for Health, Julian Skinner, has the authority and the responsibility to fix this.”

    NSW Minister for Health’s office declined to comment, instead referring Fairfax Media to NSW Health.

    A NSW Health spokesperson said immediate issues at the Westmead clinic have been addressed to ensure “this important group” of patients is provided with the best clinical care possible.

    “The service is operational and has accepted 10 new patients in the last three months,” they said.

    “There have been no changes to patient services.

    The spokesperson said the department provided grant funding to Cystic Fibrosis NSW in 2014/15 of $245,300 for family social work and support services.

    “The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) has also been working with NSW clinicians, service managers as well as patients and their families to develop a Cystic Fibrosis Model of Care, which will be distributed for clinician and consumer consultation later this year,” he said.

    “We will continue to work closely with Cystic Fibrosis NSW to ensure that the health care needs of adults with CF in NSW can be met now and into the future.”

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    Director’s dinos soar

    2019 - 04.16

    Are they birds or lizards?: Dinosaur Island is the first portrayal of recently discovered feathered dinosaurs.TheBlue Mountains take centre stage in a soon-to-be-released film from Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Matt Drummond.

    The area’s classic beauty forms one of the backdrops for his latest film, Dinosaur Island, a children’s story featuring feathered dinosaurs.

    The film’s release will cap off a stellar year for Drummond, who received an Emmy Award in September for his work as art director on the US History Channel production Big History.

    His independently funded Dinosaur Island will be released nationally on February 14 and has already had rave reviews.

    Drummond’s vision has caused some heated debate among paleontology buffs by depicting feathered, colourful dinosaurs which are in keeping with recent groundbreaking scientific findings.

    “Recent discoveries in China of feathered tyrannosaur species such as yutyrannus huali, Guanlong wucaii and Dilong paradoxus all provide us with solid evidence that tyrannosaurus-like other theropods had feathers,” Drummond said.

    “I knew there would be some controversy, especially since [director] Colin Trevorrow’s decision not to include feathered dinosaurs in Jurassic World, but we had no idea it would garner the attention it has.”

    Starring two young Australians in the lead roles, the film was shot on location in Vanuatu and in The Blue Mountains.

    A special screening will take place in Katoomba on February 8 to thank the community, whom he said had “got behind the film in every way”.

    It will be followed by a national release through Hoyts Cinemas.

    Drummond said he wanted to promote Australian films in what he said was a rapidly changing landscape for the industry.

    “In my opinion, Australian audiences have evolved,” he said.

    “They want to see Australian films but our culture is multicultural, and its audiences are sophisticated and expect the same level of production values and entertainment from Australian films as they get from Hollywood.

    “It’s wonderful to see something that’s striving for what everyone wants to see in cinema — and that is entertainment.”

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    Around District Greens: February 4, 2015

    2019 - 04.16


    Results: Thursday, ladies day, winners D. Crossley, W. Hogan and G. Sheehan. Special events: Club pairs, B. Jeffery def M. Sheedy; C. Glen def G. Sumner; J. Stevens def J. Leggett. Program: Monday, mixed mufti, names by 9.30am, play at 10am. Thursday, ladies day, names by 9.30am, play at 10am. Visitors welcome.


    Social winners on Thursday were Denise Allen, Gabby Hope, Robyn Thompson; novelty, Val Reid. Tomorrow will be social at 9.30am. No mufti played on January 27 due to weather.


    Winners from last week’s social bowls were L. Corcoran, R. Wood and S. Sneesby, B. Buckley, A. Scott and D. Bailey, L. Howe, J. McKim and U. Reckenberg. Names to be submitted for social bowls by 9.30am to begin play by 10am on Wednesday. Our Club Pairs Championship continued last week with two games played. Winners were J. Del-Degan and M. Crump, B. Crouch and A. Hill. The second semi-final will be played this week – L. Johnson and C. Field vs B. Crouch and A. Hill. Our Club Singles Championship gets underway this week as well. The Pennants teams for Grade 2 and Grade 3 were announced last week – the first game of Pennants will be played on Tuesday, March 24.


    Results: Thursday, social, winners G. Nevin, C. Abdilla, K. Bendeich; runners-up B. Copot, L. Batterham, P. Knox. Pennant trials: 4’s, Greta def Singleton RSL; 6’s, Greta def Miller Park. Championships Fours, J. Stewart, P. Martin, H. Jobson, B. Jobson def K. Burnell, J. Neumann, M. Dean, P. Hodges (j). Program: Thursday, Twilight Pointscore, Open Mufti, D.F.P, names by 4.45pm, start 5pm. Saturday, Pennant trial, 4’s v Singleton RSL at Greta. Sunday, Championship Fours semi-finals, 10am start, S. Gardner, P. Knox, L. Banister, P. King v M. Lill, D. Lawrence, K. Bendeich, J. Lill. Quirindi visit has been cancelled.


    Results: Tuesday (January 27), winners B. Marr, A. Laidlaw and D. Archibald; runners-up S. Davies and P. Turnbull. Thursday, winners T. Ross and J. Wilson; runners-up K. Lucas and P. Cornford; consolation J. Hodge and S. Davies. Saturday, winners C. Pearson and T. Bridge; runners-up B. Dann and A. Laidlaw; consolation B. Marr and H. Jobson.


    Results: Friday, winners G. Arndell, I. Snelgrove; runners-up J. Bishop, G. Winning. Program: Wednesday, men’s OTB, names by 9am, start 9.30am. Friday, mixed OTB, names by 5.30pm, start 6pm. Saturday, pennant trial at Stonebridge, 1pm start, teams on noticeboard (mufti dress).


    Social bowls names to be in by 9.30am for 10am start. The final of the club fours championship will be played tomorrow, C. Lee v M. McGuinness. Last week’s social bowls winners were B. Barnett, B. White and M. Borthwick; S. Chalker won the novelty. Entries for the club major singles championships are on the board, entries will close tomorrow at 12pm. Our bowls meeting will be held next Thursday (February 12) after bowls. For all bowls information please check our board.


    Winners B. Dann, N. Bates and T. Bridge; runners-up W. Kidd, D. Picton and J. Rumford. Group plays Friday morning, names by 9.15am. New players and visitors welcome.


    Results: Wednesday, no bowls due to rain. Friday, men’s bowls, winners J. Archer, R. George; runners-up R. Lambley, G. Cliff. Sunday, mixed bowls, winners D. Merrick, R. Lambley; runners-up L. Lambley, R. George. Program: Tuesday, mixed bowls time change starts February 10, names by 9.30am, start 10am. Wednesday, men’s four bowls pairs draw for partners, names in by 1.30pm for 2pm start, all bowlers welcome. Friday, men’s bowls four bowls pair draw for partners, names in by 9.30am, 10am start, all bowlers welcome. Meat raffle sponsor, Barry’s Quality Meats East Cessnock. Sunday, mixed bowls, names in by 9.30am for 10am start. Phone number for Tuesday, Friday and Sunday is 0409 458 456.


    Results: Thursday, winners R. Robson, C.Mitcheson and J. Goldman; runners-up J. Scarr, J. Wade and K. Donnan. Saturday, trial games 5’s, 6’s and 7’s against Lorn Park. This Saturday we will be playing Lorn Park at Lorn Park. Meet at Abermain Bowling Club at 11.45am. Most teams will have to use own transport. All pennant players required to play and anybody who cannot play ring D. Sidebottom on 0429 328 957 or G. Finlay on 4937 3610. Full pennant gear to be worn on Saturday.


    Results: Thursday, winners J. Del-Degan, M. Crump; runners-up S. Anderson, D. Crump. Jackpot not won. Program: Thursday, MOTB, names by 9am, 9.30am start, jackpot $152, sausage sizzle. Saturday, MOTB, names by 12.30pm, 1pm start. New pennant players welcome. Championship sheets are now up.


    Tuesday’s bowls cancelled due to the wet weather. Championship Fours played yesterday, Helen Condran played Judy Barrie, winners next week. Winners yesterday to play Dot McNab in the final next week. Sheet on board for Championship Threes. 2015 Pennants to be played Tuesdays only. Social bowls, names by 9am for 9.30am start. Raffle winner, Olga Ross. Thursday, sausage sizzle, jackpot, names by 9am, 9.30am start. Monday, February 16, charity bingo 10.30am start, raffle, tombala, 100 club, lunch available, all welcome.


    Results: Friday, winners D. Sloan, G. Wilkins; runners-up B. Johns, W. Parkinson. Saturday, winners J. McKerrow, R. Newton; runners-up K. Fenwick, I. Mann. Major singles: J. Tracey wof D. Callaghan; A. Appleby 31 D. Burgess 7; B. Baker 31 T. Appleby 16; D. Brooks 31 J. Callaghan 26; Z. Curtis 31 D. Kime 14; N. Dawson 31 P. Hampton 8; C. Parker 31 P. Ross 23; A. Rees 31 G. Solway 12; S. Critchley 31 B. Pitham 30; R. Dennis 31 V. Dobing 25.

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    Sister city supports council’s campaign

    2019 - 04.16

    SUPPORT: Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has announced he will join Whyalla City Council in the fight for the installation of overtaking lanes on Lincoln Highway.Whyalla City Council has been joined by Port Augusta City Council in lobbying state and federal governments for the construction of overtaking lanes on Lincoln Highway.

    Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has announced he will join in the fight for the installation of overtaking lanes after a horror month of fatalities on the stretch of road.

    “You’ve only got to look at the most recent tragedies in the last two weeks alone, and I think that unfortunately the stats are now there to justify why we should be having overtaking lanes,” he said.

    “I know there’s been some discussions particularly between Whyalla and Port Augusta a number of times, but it certainly needs to go from Port Augusta through to Port Lincoln, not just Whyalla.”

    Mr Johnson said it was senseless for the government to neglect the highway that plays home to the state’s “saviour”.

    “You’ve got to look at who services that road from an industry point of view, quite often we hear state government ministers riding on the coattails of the agricultural industry which has been the state’s saviour, particularly in the last 12 months, and these are the roads that service that particular industry,” he said.

    “One would like to think we’d put some investment into our economic saviour.”

    State Road Safety minister Tony Piccolo revealed overtaking lanes were being looked at as a long-term strategy, but confirmed no immediate plans had been considered.

    Read more here: Overtaking lanes unlikely in short term.

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    Tinkler’s lawyers ‘ready to go’ on Jets dispute

    2019 - 04.16

    Gallop tells Tinkler to move quickly or else

    Joel Griffiths up for Brisbane if selected

    NATHAN Tinkler has reportedly vowed to call in the lawyers as a stand-off with the FFA over the Newcastle Jets’ futurelooms.

    Tinkler told The World Game he believed the code’s governing body and Scottish club Dundee United, who had previously shown interest in buying the Hunter club, were “conspiring to kick me out of the game”.

    The former billionaire said he had the support of Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin and Brisbane Roar chief Chris Fong despite a bumpy road in the first few weeks of 2015that saw an exodus of coaching and playing staff.

    Tinkler said a successor for former chief executive Robbie Middleby was also planned to be announced on Monday, but that plan was scuppered due to ongoing coverage of an FFA deadline for the club to settle its debts.

    The coal magnate took aim at Dundee United and A-League boss David Gallop for what he argued was unfair treatment.

    “I very much doubt FFA has the resources to run the club itself and probably doesn’t have much more than $2 million to spend,” Tinkler told The World Game.

    “It just wants to give the licence to [Dundee’s]Stephen Thompson as fast as it can.”

    “Meanwhile, I am trying to push ahead with re-structuring the club, paying debts, appointing a CEO and signing players while FFA sits back and sets the bar higher and higher.”

    The Jets owner said he understood Stephen Thompson and David Gallop met on Tuesday “andthere is obviously a plan there to place me under as much duress as possible in the expectation I will roll over and go away”.

    “Well, it’s not going to happen,” Tinkler reportedly said.

    “It’s pretty clear that FFA and Dundee United are conspiring to kick me out of the game, so that Stephen Thompson can then be handed the licence for next to nothing. It’s a licence I paid a fortune for.”

    Tinkler has previously attempted to hand the Jets’ licence back to the FFA over the price he paid to take over the club.

    The Jets and former Knights owner said other A-League clubs had faced financial strain that was dealt with less publicly.

    “But, in my case, the FFA has chosen to play it out in the press and leak information and brief people because it suits their own agenda,” Tinkler said.

    “I have told the FFA all along that the debts that are due will be paid by the middle of February as we recapitalise the club … but they have continually changed the goal posts and imposed deadlines the whole way.”

    “My lawyers are ready to go on this and we will certainly be serving an injunction to stop FFA taking the club.

    “I have basically been set up to fail and Dundee United have been lined up to take over.”

    Tinkler said he planned to reveal a replacement for Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby, who resigned in January, on Monday but decided against it due to coverage of the January 31 deadline the FFA set for unpaid debts.

    “He’s a high calibre individual and had accepted the job and I was about to announce his appointment when the FFA stole my thunder and basically sabotaged the situation,” Tinkler told The World Game.

    Racing gets underway at Cessnock

    2019 - 04.16

    TOP SURFACE: The Cessnock track will be in great order for next Tuesday’s Wine Country Race Club meeting.Cessnock racecourse will host its first meeting of 2015 next Tuesday, February 10.

    The last meeting at Cessnock was on December 16 and nine meetings will be held on the popular track in 2015.

    The major meetings at Cessnock this calendar year include the Anzac Day meeting, the Jungle Juice Cup and Cessnock Cup meetings during the winter.

    Cessnock track manager Steve Tap said the track is great shape for the resumption of racing.

    “The recent rain was a godsend and there is an excellent coverage of grass on the track,” Tap said.

    “We had 99 millimetres in a week and the sunny weather since has been great.

    “We have done a lot of work on this track since the last meeting.

    “There can be up to 50 horses work on the track on fast mornings and all the local trainers are happy.

    “It’s full steam ahead for Tuesday.”

    Another man looking forward to the resumption of racing at Cessnock on Tuesday is champion jockey Robert Thompson.

    ‘RT’ rode his 4087th winner at Tamworth last Friday.

    “I love riding on my home track. I rode work there on Saturday and the track is spot on,” Thompson said.

    “It was one of the highlights of my career when I rode my tenth Jungle Juice Cup winner last year.

    “The racing is always of a high standard and a stepping stone for a long of younger horses.”

    Local trainer Jeremy Sylvester has built up a strong team in recent months and he is expected to have runners at Tuesday’s meeting.

    Racegoers should take advantage of free entry into Cessnock meetings where they can see top jockeys such as Thompson, Gibbons, King, Clenton and Lisnyy in action.

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    Northern Grampians council considers demolishing half its public toilets

    2019 - 04.16

    Picture: iSTOCKNORTHERN Grampians Shire Council will consider demolishing half its public toilets in a bid to flush extra spending from its budget.

    At a meeting on Monday night, councillors received a report advising them to knock down toilets at 10 sites across the shire.

    There are 24 public toilet locations across the shire.

    Under the plan seven toilet blocks would be demolished, three demolished with access points built for mobile temporary toilets and one demolished and replaced.

    The remaining seven toilets would be upgraded as part of a five-year strategic renewal and replacement program, which would cost council $1.05 million.

    Cr Wayne Rice said it was a case of looking closely at services provided by council.

    ‘‘If the toilet is only being used once or twice a year then there is no point in putting that into our budget over the next few years and saying we’re going to allocate $100,000 to replace it – that is just absolute nonsense to consider,’’ he said.

    ‘‘If they have no use we won’t be continuing to maintain them.’’

    Cr Karen Hyslop said the plan had come on the back of wide-ranging public consultation.

    ‘‘We will spend quite a bit of money over the next five years to keep our ratepayers and the public happy and comfortable,’’ she said.

    Under the plan, both blocks at Stawell’s Central Park on the Victoria Street side would receive $100,000 upgrades over the next two financial years.

    The Central Park toilets near the scoreboard, one of the blocks at North Park near the pavilion, the Stawell Historical Society, one of the blocks at St Arnaud’s Lord Nelson Reserve, the Great Western Recreation Reserve and both blocks at Lake Batyo Catyo would be demolished.

    Under the plan, council would spend $60,000 on mobile temporary toilets to be used at access points built following the demolition of toilets at Central Park near the pavilion, North Park near the pavilion and Lord Nelson Reserve.

    Toilets at Guthrie Park in Rich Avon wouldbe upgraded in the 2016-17 financial year.

    The toilets at the North Park netball courts wouldundergo a $250,000 upgrade in 2017-18.

    Cr Merrilee Reid said it was a great plan that the council should follow.

    Toilets at Cato Park and Scallan Street in Stawell would be upgraded at a combined cost of $175,00 in 2019-20.

    Toilets in Stawell at Federation Park, Main Street, Queen Mary Gardens as well as Halls Gap, Marnoo and the newer block at Great Western Memorial Park would not be changed in the next five years.

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