Action week about information

INFORMING: Julie McNeil, left, Lynette Bullen and Kerryn Griffin staffed an information display at Centrelink yesterday for Drug and Alcohol Action Week. Photo: JUDE KEOGHAN information display was set up at Centrelink yesterday to mark the beginning of national Drug and Alcohol Action Week.
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Representatives from the Lyndon Withdrawal Unit, the Magistrates for Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program and Kite Street Community Health informed Orange residents about the city’s drug and alcohol programs.

“It’s all about bringing our programs out to the community. The Lyndon unit is the only detox unit west of the Blue Mountains,” said Lyndon Withdrawal Unit drugs and alcohol counsellor Lynette Bullen.

“I think it’s extremely important to let people know what programs are out there and what certain substances are doing to us. We don’t want to hound people today, it’s just a nice and relaxed way to get the information across.”

MERIT case worker Julie McNeil promoted MERIT’s positive role in helping offenders with drug and alcohol problems.

“MERIT is aimed at getting people out of the criminal justice system and into help, so they can get their lives back together,” she said.

Community Health drug and alcohol counsellor Kerryn Griffin said she wanted to publicise the centre’s drug and alcohol helpline.

“We want people experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol to call 1300 887 000,” she said.

“When they call they will receive an assessment and be referred to the most appropriate service for them.”

Ms Bullen, Ms McNeil and Ms Griffin agreed that alcohol was the most commonly abused substance in Orange.

“People don’t realise that alcohol is the main killer, through binge-drinking and the likelihood of accidents,” Ms McNeil said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Civic plan go ahead

NOT FOR SALE … YET: Cr Pam Ryan argued that connecting the sale of the Function Centre to refurbishment of the civic precinct was “putting the cart before the horse”. Photo: BETHANY HALLORANGE City Council will push ahead with a plan to redevelop the Civic Square but the sale of the Function Centre has been taken off the agenda in the short term.
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Last week’s council meeting voted to develop a five-year master plan for the block bounded by Lords Place and Byng, Peisley and March streets. The plan will look at consolidating council services to the civic precinct and to provide space for growth.

Support for the master plan killed off a $633,800 proposal to refurbish the council chamber and associated administration areas.

About $100,000 of that will be used almost immediately to convert two committee rooms into office space and $300,000 will employ additional planning staff to deal with increased development activity. The funds will also be used to develop the master plan.

A report by general manager Allen Dwyer was tabled at Thursday night’s meeting.

“Council should be considering, say a five year plan to create a Civic Square precinct and consolidate operations for the next 30 years,” it said.

Cr Pam Ryan told the meeting that including the sale of the Function Centre and council buildings in Kite Street in the development of the master plan was “putting the cart before the horse”.

She said the development of the master plan should determine what was needed in the civic precinct redevelopment.

Cr Jeremy Buckingham said a master plan was a good idea but the sale of the Function Centre should be dealt with as a separate matter.

While a reference to selling the Function Centre was removed from the master plan investigation, general manager Allen Dwyer told the meeting the sale was pivotal to future expansion.

He said without selling the Function Centre and Kite Street buildings, council would need to win Tatts Lotto for the Civic Square redevelopment to go ahead.

Mr Dwyer said the intention was to retain the Function Centre until there was a suitable replacement.

Cr John Miller told the meeting the Function Centre was outdated and had become a burden on the council and community.

“The key here is that we are looking to replace the Function Centre with something that is more workable,” he said.

Cr Dick Niven said the Function Centre was built 40 years ago as a result of a great community effort.

“[But] it’s outlived its original purpose. It was a great thing. Amoco contributed to it, the Tilston family, the Glenroi people and a great number of people contributed … But we mustn’t have this attitude that it is there forever,” he said.

Cr Niven agreed the sale reference could be removed from the formal recommendation but council staff should not be forbidden from including the sell off in a master plan investigation.

Cr Niven also said the addition of a third floor should be part of the investigation.

“I can recall the time in 1976 when this [Civic Centre] was being built. Kell and Rigby were the contractors and the council at the time had absolutely stretched their budget as far as they could.

“Kell and Rigby were on site and said ‘for another $200,000 we can put the third storey on’. But council couldn’t stretch any further … It could be a solution now,” he said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Keeping up with kids no easy task

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
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CABONNE Council received seven letters from students in recent weeks.

The year 9 students from Molong Central School are learning about government and community action.

The letters all expressed a similar sentiment – the students were concerned about a lack of activities for young people in their local communities.

Suggestions for possible solutions to the problem included a heated pool, skate park, cinema, more discos, a youth centre with a games room, cycle paths and more sports events.

Some of the suggestions fall well outside the council’s jurisdiction – for example, it is not for the council to organise local sporting activities, build cinemas or run youth discos.

However, it is certainly within council’s capabilities to help fund and develop infrastructure such as skate parks and cycle paths. The question for the council to consider is – can the development of these sorts of facilities be justified, given they will cost tens of thousands of dollars?

The council has decided to undertake a review of the needs of the youth within the shire. It will consult with young people at community meetings and organise visits to the shire’s 18 schools.

Mayor John Farr observed that times had changed and the needs of young people had changed too. He said our young people were a product of a computer age and many were no longer satisfied with activities previous generations enjoyed.

Cr Peter Carman said the needs of youth appeared to be cyclical and the length of the cycles getting shorter – they were constantly needing something new to keep them entertained.

The council has adopted a sound course in undertaking the review. But as all 12 councillors recognised yesterday – it will not be easy.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Tigers meet their match

HARD AT IT: Tigers’ Brad Carmody (right) has his sights set on the ball at Anzac Park on Saturday. Photo: STEVE GOSCHAUSTRALIAN RULES
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BATHURST Bushrangers continue to show their opposition why they are the team to beat in this year’s Central West Australian Football League.

Orange Tigers were given the latest lesson, thrashed 21.9 (135) to 1.3 (9) in freezing, wet conditions at Anzac Park on Saturday.

Despite the huge loss Tigers captain-coach Tim Byrne was not disappointed with his side’s effort.

“I certainly wasn’t down on the players after the game,” Byrne said.

“Probably the last 10 minutes of the game was our best but they all ground it out to the end in trying conditions. The reserves had worse conditions. They had horizontal hail for about 10 minutes.”

Byrne said the players continued to work hard but were outplayed all over the ground, especially in the centre.

“We were one short all day which didn’t help,” Byrne said.

“I have to commend the efforts of the reserve grade guys who played in very ordinary conditions so we could field a fresh 16 in first grade. They came out of the woodwork to play.”

Byrne said a few players stood out in the testing conditions but

“I was pretty happy with the blokes,” he said.

“My best on ground was Andrew McIntyre and Russell King also played well. Luke Whitton in the first half was hard.”

Byrne kicked the Tigers’ only goal which he said was an indication of the game.

“I had another shot at goal from 20m out and it bounced along and then just stopped dead in the mud two centimetres short of the goal line,” he said.

Top goal kickers for Bathurst were Ben Crowley with four and Leigh Kingwill and Nathan Reid three each.

Bathurst did a great job to kick 21.9 in the conditions.

Bathurst’s best players were Sean O’Donnell, Kingwill and Justin Cooper.

In other the other CWAFL match Dubbo Demons 7.6 (48) edged out Parkes Panthers 6.10 (48).

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Jake revels in carnival atmosphere

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: Orange CYMS’ Sean Mullice tries to weave his way through Panthers players Mark Penrith-Smith (left) and Sam Thompson in Sunday’s Group 10 under 18 clash. CYMS led 10-0 early but were swamped 28-10. Photo: PHILL MURRAYCYMS LEAGUE
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TWO good wins and a loss was the sum total of CYMS’ efforts at the annual Mudgee carnival on Saturday.

CYMS defeated Mudgee 33-5 and Oberon 41-5 but went down to the big, strong Cowra side 33-14.

James Webster had an outstanding carnival and was named twice as man-of-the-match, twice as best defender and also took out the most improved player award. Webster worked tirelessly in all three games and showed some of the best attacking and defensive skills seen this season.

The halfback’s defence was relentless, bringing down opposing players more than twice his statue with textbook bootlace tackling.

Whenever in possession of the football, “Webby” proved a danger. His courage, commitment and skill was rewarded when he outpaced the Oberon side to score a runaway try.

Mat Egan worked hard all day, but in the game against Oberon took on a bigger workload and was named man-of-the-match.

Egan ran the ball up strongly and busted through the defence to cross for two great tries. Defensively, he put in a huge effort.

CYMS’ best defender against Mudgee was Luke Barnes, who also found time to cross for a quick try from dummy-half.

Most improved players for the Mudgee and Oberon games were Sam Evans and Tye Wiseman. Evans took on a big defensive workload, with some good hard tackling and committed running of the football.

Tye Wiseman, who was only available to play one game on the day, certainly made the most of it. His gutsy running of the ball from the fullback position resulted in an excellent try and his coolness and safe hands under pressure would have made David Peachey proud.

Rob Mortimer and John Warrington both put their hands up for work and handled the task well. Mortimer put pressure on the opposition teams all day with his sharp running and quick hands and scoried a lovely try.

Warrington was always working, tackling all that came his way and looking for an opportunity to put on the pace.

Todd O’Neill played solidly and had a busy day, bagging a hat-trick of tries.

Mat Gersbach, Jared Regan, Isaac Bulivou and Dylan Frecklington all played well and worked hard. Speed machine, Jacob Sutherland, tore through the opposition on several occasions and scored a good try which was only surpassed by his cartwheel celebration.

The forwards did the hard work up the middle with Jack Sheridan having a big day in defence and his strong running earned him a fantastic try late in the last game.

Josh Geaghan put in a huge effort, particularly in attack with 26 hit-ups and barging over the line for a couple of tries.

James Prestwidge and Joe Alexander played strongly with and made some big hits, Alexander also scoring a smart try.

Try scorers for the day: Josh Geaghan 2, Todd O’Neill 3, James Webster, Luke Barnes, Jack Sheridan, Jacob Sutherland, Joe Alexander, Rob Mortimer, Mat Egan 2, Tye Wiseman.

CYMS, equal first on the Group 10 competition ladder, takes on Oberon at Oberon next Saturday.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Emus to discuss stomping incident

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ORANGE Emus held a club meeting last night to determine what action would be taken after breakaway Stu Brisbane was stomped on by Forbes scrum half Troy Howe on Saturday.

Howe was yellow carded late in Forbes’ 18-17 win at Grinsted Oval. Video footage showed Howe coming into contact with Brisbane’s head, the incident coming only two weeks after Forbes hooker Greg Moxey was suspended for three games after being sent off for kicking Orange City forward Dom Westgeest in the head.

Coach Dave Cleal, who missed the game while on coaching duties with the women’s NSW Country team, said the club would decide whether or not to take further action.

“I only saw the video of it last night (Monday), but it looked like a pretty major stomp,” Cleal said.

“I don’t think Stu is real keen to take any further action about it, though.”

Cleal said while he was glad the referee took immediate action by sin-binning Howe, he believed that the sin-bin should not be used for foul play.

“The sin-bin is not really for foul play, it’s more for repeated infringements,” he said. “I think something like a head stomp should be more than a sin-bin, but I wasn’t there so I don’t know the circumstances.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Back on court together after 21 years

TOGETHER AGAIN: Sue Holden, Joanne Westcott and Lisa Payne, who played for Orange junior sides more than 20 years ago, will play together in the over 35 Orange side this weekend. Photo: BETHANY HALLNETBALL
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AFTER not playing together for more than 20 years, a partnership will be reunited in the Orange over 35 team this weekend.

Lisa Payne and Joanne Westcott played for Orange 21 years ago in a junior representative team and this weekend will compete in the over 35 State Championships in Campbelltown.

Payne and Westcott, along with Sue Holden, are three members of the team who have played for Orange in their junior days.

The over 35s, along with the under 17s and over 40s, will compete in the tournament this weekend.

Payne said it would be good to play alongside Westcott again for the first time since high school.

“This will be our first year playing together again,” she said. “I saw the (over 35s) team in the paper last year and saw Joanne was in it, so I thought I’d have a go this time.”

Payne and Westcott played together in defence in the past and will reunite that combination this weekend.

The pair played together for High A when they were at school, but both went their separate ways after they finished high school.

“I went to UNE at Armidale and Joanne went to uni in Bathurst,” Payne said.

Payne said there was only one disappointment about the championships this weekend.

“Last year they played in Gosford, so I thought we’d go to somewhere like Coffs Harbour, but instead we’re only going to Campbelltown,” she joked.

Payne, who now plays for division one side Robin Hood Mazda, said a lot had changed since she last played for Orange.

“When we played it wasn’t as serious as it is now,” she said.

“Now they (junior sides) do full-on training and the state age teams play in the adult comps on Saturday.

“When I played last we just trained and then went away.”

Holden, who plays in the centre third, played in Orange rep sides a couple of years below Payne and Westcott.

“When Joanne and I got into the team, we worked out that Sue was just below us when we played for Orange,” Payne explained.

While Payne plays in the local division one competition on the weekend, Westcott only plays in representative teams.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Kids upset over theft of pet rabbit

DEVASTATED: Children at Courallie Park Children’s Centre come to terms with the loss of their pet rabbit Zucchini (from left) Jai Regan, Hannah Bollinger, Christopher Anniken and Brianna Bargwanna. Photo: STEVE GOSCHCHILDREN at Courallie Park Children’s Centre were distressed yesterday to find their pet rabbit had been stolen.
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A light brown lop-eared rabbit named Zucchini had been a much-loved resident at the centre until Saturday.

“I came to pick Zucchini up on Saturday because he usually spends the weekends at my house,” said childcare leader Melissa Bargwanna.

“When I got here I found the cage flipped up and the rabbit missing.”

She said a number of the children felt Zucchini’s absence when they were dropped off yesterday morning.

“Some of them are asking where’s Zucchini? Other kids will be devastated when they find out he’s gone.”

She said Zucchini had an important role at the centre. “We took her on to teach the kids respect, responsibility and how to look after a pet.

“She’s also good for separation. When the kids are a bit upset when their parents drop them off, we take them out and show them Zucchini.”

Ms Bargwanna said the cage had obviously been flipped upside down to allow the thief to grab hold of Zucchini.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to take a rabbit from a childcare centre. It’s really sad,” she said.

“We just want Zucchini back in her rightful home.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Mine water could be city’s answer

WATER SOLUTION? Martin Gleeson believes water in the Lucknow mines could be pumped into Suma Park Dam. Photo STEVE GOSCHORANGE’S water crisis could be solved by pumping water from the Lucknow mines, a former Orange City councillor has said.
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Martin Gleeson said the abandoned mine tapped into an immense source of water, which could be pumped into Suma Park Dam.

“In the 1950s a mining company was looking at decreasing the water level to open the mine again. But they just couldn’t pump the water out,” he said.

He said two pumps powered by 12 cylinder Detroit diesel motors ran for two weeks but could not lower the water level.

“Water flooded the bridge at ‘Wellwood’, that’s how much water there was.”

The mining process creates arsenic and cyanide residue which can taint water sourced from mines.

However, Mr Gleeson said BHP conducted tests on residual waste at the mines in the 1990s and found there were “minuscule” amounts of cyanide.

“I’ve been told the water in the mines is as good as any spring water. If that’s true it would solve Orange’s water crisis. It would probably fill Suma Park Dam in a month,” he said.

Council water manager Wayne Beatty said council tested the water at the mines 10 years ago and found it unsafe to drink.

“I believe there were high levels of cyanide and arsenic found,” he said. “We could look into it again, but obviously we would have to work out whether pumping water from the mines is feasible.”

He said council had not been approached to conduct further tests on the mine water.

Mr Gleeson said he did not know why the option of pumping water from the mines had not been looked at in recent times. “I guess necessity is the mother of invention and we haven’t had to try it before now.

“But if test results on the water are good it could provide Orange with an unlimited water supply for the next 50 years,” he said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

Flu vaccine not to be sneezed at

FLU FREE: Dr Ken Hazelton gives Neil Cook his influenza vaccine early. Photo JUDE KEOGHAlthough the flu season hasn’t kicked in yet, it’s still a good idea to get vaccinated early.
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“When you get the flu it knocks you out, so it’s good to get people vaccinated now before it sets in,” Orange GP Dr Ken Hazelton said.

The peak season for the influenza virus is August-September, he said, and it was important that anyone over 65 years of age, or anyone at risk of other complications like heart failure, severe asthma or illnesses that affect the immune system (such as cancer), be vaccinated each year.

He said the vaccination was freely available to people on prescription and people can’t receive an infection from the flu vaccine as it contains no living organism.

“People might get aches and pains and feel a bit sore, but they can’t get infected,” Dr Hazelton said.

Employers are often hit hard financially by the flu as their workforce calls in sick over the winter months.

Some employers have crunched the numbers and decided to pay for their workforce to be vaccinated as it works out better financially for them, Dr Hazelton said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.