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Inverell Joeys leave Tamworth with tails up

INVERELL Joeys breathed new life into their 2016 Northern Inland McDonald’s Premier League first grade season when they snared a rare win in Tamworth on the weekend.
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When coaches collide – Joeys FC captain-coach Josh Cunningham (15) and Tamworth FC captain-coach Ben Davis come to grips in Saturday’s clash. Cunningham and his Joeys won 4-2. Photo: Barry Smith 250616BSD04

The Josh Cunningham-coached Joeys beat Tamworth FC 4-2 at Riverside, just their third win of the PL season and one which left them in eighth position after North Companions managed to secure a 1-all draw with competition leaders North Armidale United on Phil Wheaton Oval, North Armidale.

It was a huge effort for the Men In Black on Redmen home soil.

The return of Jake Thompson was a bonus for North Companions.

In Tamworth, the Joeys were surprising even their own coaching staff with a brilliant effort.

They led 3-nil against Tamworth FC at halftime before FC woke up and clawed their way back to 3-2 only for Joeys to add another match-sealer.

Geoff Miller, Mike Cashel, Hamish Mingeli and Cameron Gasson all scored for Joeys, team manager Darren Halliday said.

“We had a very good day, very unexpected though,” Halliday said of what was a 3-1 win in second grade and then the two-goal win in first grade.

“We hadn’t played for three weeks either so to win those two games was surprising.

“Second grade was one of the best games I’ve ever seen them play.”

First grade was a huge bonus.

“We’ve been having trouble finding the net but it all seemed to flow today and we defended really well too.”

In contrast, Tamworth FC manager Greg Bartlett couldn’t remember seeing the club play worse in either grade.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen second grade play,” he said of a side where Andrew Jones was having his first game of the season and duly scored the lone FC goal.

In first grade, Tamworth FC were outplayed in the first half to trail 3-nil.

“Then we played for about 25 minutes and come back to 3-2,” Bartlett said.

The Ben Davis-coached looked side to have another goal at its mercy but an equaliser went begging as Joeys went the full length of the field to score a match-sealer.

At Carter Street, Oxley Vale Attunga had a great start, with Dan Cannon scoring in the first minute against South Armidale.

However the Scorpions hit back with goals from Ben and Jamie Wright before Benn Genardini scored from a rebound off the cross bar.

OVA coach Tim Coates said it was a good team effort although Adam Watson and Lachlan Browne werestandouts.

“Adam worked his backside off in the middle of the field and Lachlan was his partner – they had great games.

“Will Menz and Jack Diebold continue to grow as well.”

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

Planning blueprint

Gunnedah Shire Council has adopted a new urban landuse strategy which outlines future development of the town over the course of the next two decades.GUNNEDAH Shire Council has adopted its biggest urban strategic plan in 30 years, which identifies opportunities for new commercial and industrial development.
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The document is a blueprint for the future development of the town over the course of the next two decades.

It has beendriven by a new gateway entrance earmarked for the eastern end of Gunnedah which identifies several commercial opportunities, as well as the realignment of the state road network with the joining of the Oxley and Kamilaroi highways, the proposed second rail overpass and Bloomfield Street being designated as aregional road and high mass load thoroughfare.

“Councilwant to ensure that development occurs in the right location in relation to future state road routes in Gunnedah,” Director of Planning and Environmental Services Mike Silver said.

“This is a town planning and business opportunities document.It focuses strongly on the entrances into the town.”

The document supports rezoning for a controlled business park zone at the eastern entrance from Tamworth on the corner of Boundary Road and Conadilly Streetfor commercial developments likecar yards and other businesses that require larger floorspace areas.

There is potential for a roundabout at that intersection with a road extending off Bloomfield Street to meet the highway.Some of the land in the area would remain residential.

The document also supports plans for the south western gateway, from Coonabarabran near Blackjack Road and the Oxley Highway, that would become the principal industrial zone.

The Boggabri Road entrance hasbeen earmarked as anindustrial zone, with a DA nowlodged for a service station near the former P.W. Brady & Sons pig saleyards. That zoning would allow for development to support the Oxley Highway roundabout with Warrabungle Street.

Council adopted the documentat its last meeting, however anyzoning proposalwould still need to go through NSW Planning channels.

Mr Silver saidcouncil doesn’t want to diminish the viability of the existing CBD business zone however there isa need forgreenfield sites for large commercial developments.The strategy also identifiesfuture residential development areas with the main expansion tobe west of Blackjack Creek.

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Great start to growing season

John Heard and Lockie Wilson needed gumboots as they looked at a canola crop sown by the Sudholz family, Noradjuha, last Friday following 13mm of rain overnight. Photo by Gregor Heard.
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Wimmera and Mallee farmers are enjoying the best start to their growing season that they have had in many years.

Paul Oxbrow, Rupanyup,said his canola, cereal and pulse crops were all out of the ground and looking “really good”.

He said the week before last, they had three frosts in a row but because they were followed by sunny weather, they had little impact on the crops’ growth.

Mr Oxbrow said in the “traditional June and July” wintry weather, they were receiving 10 millimetres of rain regularly and the black, self-mulching clay soil on his farm seemed to be handling the water well.

He said they’d been able to get the equipment on the tracks in the paddocks, as part of theircontrolled traffic farming (CTF) system, to spread urea over the cereals (including wheat, barley and oats) and canola, to ensure the crops got the nutrients needed to take advantage of the good water provisions.

“There’s a lot of positivity around –it’s a good start,” he said.

“But September/October will make or break us.”

He said reports of La Niña developing which increased the likelihood of good spring rains was boosting optimism, but farmers were still making conservative forecasts.

Ross Johns said they’d had a “reasonably good crop establishment” on themixed farming operation at Warracknabeal and Marnoo.

He said the majority of the paddocks sown to wheat, barley, field peas and beans were up and well established, and across the district it was better than average.

He said as with many in the district, he’d finished sowing by about May 20. He said the crops that were dry sown or continued once rains had started, were sown in “quite ideal conditions”.

“While the start is important what is really important is finishing rains to ensure grain fill,” Mr Johnssaid.

He said Wimmera and Mallee farmers were optimistic thanks to “wonderful rains” and the forecastLa Niña-induced rains, but at the end of the day, the spring rains would determine yields.

He said the cool weather had probably slowed growth a little and a few frosts had had limited impact.

Mr Johns said he would like to have more rainfall and the security of stored moisture before he applies fertiliser.

Jade Clark, Agritech Rural’s Dimboola branch manager, said getting rainfalls of 10mm-plus throughout the past six weeks had lifted weight off many farmers’ shoulders.

“Although we haven’t had a good soaking rain. Weneed a 25mm fall to get moisture down into the sub-soil.”

He said a lot of urea nitrogen had been applied in the past week and a half.

“Blokes were a bit hesitant and didn’t want to outlay early, but the good thing about nitrogen is it works well being spread n established crops and when it is as cheap as it’s been in the past 20 years, it’s a fairly easy decision to make.”

Mr Clark said there’s also been some spraying of grasses out of early legume crops and last week, broad-leaf weeds out of cereal crops.

John Heard and Lockie Wilson needed the winter footwear as they looked around a canola crop sown by the Sudholz family at Noradjuha last Friday following rainfall of 13mm the night before.

Despite the mercury read just 4 degrees, there was ankle deep mud and the wind could have cut glass.However, for farmers attending last Friday’s Noradjuha Crop Walk in the southern Wimmera, it was just as enjoyable as lazing on a beach in North Queensland.

Following a run of two drought seasons and a dry autumn there was some trepidation leading into the 2016 plant despite the promising long term forecast.

Since May, however, there has been good rain, with another 12.5-20mm falling across areas to the south-west of Horsham last week and crops are currently in the best condition for several years.

Although the rainfall in the south-west Wimmera is slightly less than in other parts of the region and significantly down on tallies in areas east of Bendigo, farmers in the district, which has a 450mm average annual rainfall and heavy soils and can be prone to waterlogging over winter in wet seasons are not complaining.

Organiser of the event Lockie Wilson said the day had been designed to observe several trials early in the growing season.

The group looked at efficacy of pre-emergent selective herbicides such as Boxer Gold, compared barley varieties and optimum sowing rates for the district.

He said the rain had meant a slight change in the day’s agenda as some of the dirt roads were wet, but added it was a problem the group was happy to have.

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Family court system is failing our children

IF the current Royal Commission into institutionalised sexual abuse has shown us anything, it’s that there are many, many children whose voices are desperately raised in a call for help that is all too often ignored.
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And just when it seemed we couldn’t, as a community, be shocked any more by the widespread whitewashing of abuse, comes a report by the Bravehearts organisation into the family court system.

According to Bravehearts, the Family Court has sent children to live with convicted sex offenders in Queensland.

The 277-page report, dubbed Abbey’s Project in memory of a young girl allegedly driven to suicide by the family court system failing to adequately deal with sexual abuse she suffered, examines 15 case studies and calls for a royal commission into the nation’s “dysfunctional” system of child protection.

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston has told the media that private funding had enabled the organisation to compile the report to highlight a system in crisis.

She told the ABC many lawyers were reluctant to raise issues of child sexual abuse, because the parent making accusations was viewed as vindictive by the Family Court.

“Children are being sent to live with convicted sex offenders,” she said.

“This is insane and this is unacceptable so our political leaders have to step up to the plate.

She is pleading with politicians of all persuasions to consider “doing the right thing by Australian children”.

“We’ve produced this report to demand that the Federal Government, no matter who is elected, conduct a royal commission into the family law court system,” she said.

“If they’re serious about children and they’re serious about protecting our families, then we need to have a federal royal commission and we need to unpick this system and find a better way to protect our kids.”

Bravehearts had actually tried to have these issues addressed by the current Royal Commission, but it was reportedly decided these issues would simply have overwhelmed an already heavy agenda.

“But that doesn’t make this problem go away,” Ms Johnston said.

“This is not anyone in particular’s fault, this is a system that is dysfunctional.”

She said the system could work so much better, but it needed to be reinvented.

I have no doubt there are parents who fling accusations at their partners when relationships are breaking down and acrimony is rising, but it is foolhardy in the extreme to assume this is always the case.

The Bravehearts report is utterly heartrending reading.

It is extremely difficult to read it through the case studies, particularly, without being distressed.

There is little doubt we need to see, in this country, a great many more resources allocated to our child protection system.

Child protection workers are as important to our community as police officers, firefighters, paramedics and medical staff, yet it’s a portfolio that never seems to get the same attention.

The NSW Government this week announced a $3.7 billion surplus.

Already, the government has asked to pony up for better health services.

Perhaps some pressure needs to be applied to the government, in a bid to have it MPs open the public purse a little wider and throw some additional funding towards frontline child protection personnel.

I cannot imagine it is a decision that would be regretted further down the track.

Jody Springett is a Fairfax writer

Rare, renovated charmer

STUNNING ART DECO: 158A Rocket Street has just been listed for sale, and has been beautifully renovated to highlight its original features.BEAUTIFULLY renovated to highlight its original features, 158A Rocket Street is a rare art deco charmer that has just hit the market.
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Chris Boserio, from Landmark Langlands Hanlon, has just listed the property andsaysit offersa unique opportunity to buy a one-of-a-kind home which has been lovingly restored and is now ready for the new owners to move straight in.

“Properties like this are hard to come by,” Ms Boseriosaid.

“It is absolutely immaculate. Everything has been redone from the new kitchen to the bathroom to the electrical wiring.There is nothing left to do but move in.”

Ms Boserio said period features were among the home’s attractions.

“The quality and authentic features of this art deco home holdall the charm of the deco period with a wide entryway, ornate ceiling and fantastic traditional light fittings,” she said.

“This rare home offers three double bedrooms all with built-in wardrobes, plus a home office which could be accessed from the back, making it ideal to work from home.All the renovations have been respectfully done in keeping with its era.

“The hub of the home is the near-new kitchen, with soft closing draws and a large island bench overlooking the dining room making it a wonderful room for entertaining.

“There is also a brand new bathroom with a large bath and separate shower which has been tastefully renovated.”

There is a separate toilet, plus a shower in the laundry that has also been newly renovated.

Outside is an entertainer’s dream:a large gabled carport which could be used for an outdoor entertaining area, and a beautifully paved backyard with established gardens, meaning everything is all very easy care.

“So all you have to do is sit back and enjoy this beautiful home,” Ms Boseriosaid.

“The home has been meticulously looked after to provide a comfortable living style and nothing has been spared in the renovations.

“Even the doors have retained their original art deco style.”

Ms Boserio said the property was also within easy walking distance to town.

Selling agent Chris BoserioTweetFacebookThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Barbs slung in the backblocks

As the Sydney Morning Herald this week was headlining its front page with an updated story on the battle for New England between incumbent and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and once long-time holder of the seat Tony Windsor, it was also signalling the rancour in a fight plumbing new depths.
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On exactly the same day, on another national front page, there was theastonishing story of Tony Windsor being accused of student bullying at his old school, Farrer, more than 50 years ago.

This is how low you can go in a battle for survival for one ambitious politician who now regards it as his and theresurrection of one who believes he has to reclaim it for his electorate’s better future.

The viciousness and brutality of this battle for even hardened campaign onlookers is appalling.

When Mr Windsor announced he was going to re-contest the seat, there was a dread among veterans about thebattlelines and the engagement rules.

Metro media types salivated at the prospect of some colourful campaign stuff and the interesting days ahead.

They spoke at length with local media about the highlights to come, in what was an election landscape looking decidedly banal, grey and soexceedingly long that it trailed off into the distance.

But now, the battle for New England has become ugly and repugnant in places, more bitterly engaged and waged than even the most crusted-on old media watchers might haveimagined.

The forays by metro media into the New England backyard has been like watching missiles being thrown in the night.

Metropolitan barbs slung into the country backblocks like terrorist raids.

Some have assaulted residents,electors and reporters as they strivefor the ever-personal remarks and colourful country quotes.

Some have been particularlyaggressive, demanding contactnumbers, old stories and paperprintouts and some of the localknowledge that will put them in place with the battling warriors.

And certain campaign types have muddied the waters too, integrity and honesty taking a backseat toelectioneering and wedge politics, as well as high-handed arrogance.

There was a certain schadenfreude or delicious irony in one anecdote then relayed back to this newsroom.

It involved the hapless bogging of a news team chasing after one campaign culprit and being led, like a goose chase of sorts, into the countryside, where the blacksoil plains were like a chocolate mud cake.

It was a lighter moment to savour in a campaign that’s been so tough it’s become grubby.

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Quality, disease-free product crucial to maintaining strong demand

GOOD PROSPECTS: Balco chief executive officer Rob Lawson said the Chinese market was looking good.
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BALCO chiefexecutive officer Rob Lawson has just returned to SA from China, where he says there is an increasing focus on hay quality ahead of quantity.

“Their domesticplantings of oaten hay have increased, but the need for quality, clean and disease-free fodder–which Australia is known to produce–is stillhigh among the high-end dairies,” he said.

“But there are milk pricepressures in China,like there is globally, so Chinese dairies are looking closer at how to more effectively produce their own quality product domestically.”

Mr Lawson said other developing marketswere Indonesia and Vietnam, while water restrictions in the Middle East would create opportunity for Australian growers.

“Freight rates are also becoming more competitive for us,” he said.

“Australian hay growers should be optimistic, but they need to make sure they have a relationship with a quality exporter.”

Mr Lawson said the hay season was off to a great start in SA, with the area sown up about 10 per centon 2015.He believed most Australian exporters would have minimal carry-over.

“The extra plantings should comfortably meet the demand,” he said.

Last year SA exported about 250,000 tonnes, at prices up to $250/t for oaten hay.

Mr Lawson said they weren’t expecting prices to be that high because of the likely extra volume.

“It’s important that the Australian industry manages thegrowth curve in a controlled manner, because as soon as there is oversupply, the price will drop,” he said.

Australian growers diversifying into fodder production could capitalise on rising demand from China.

About 850,000 tonnes of Australian fodder was exported overseas in the past year, mainly to Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

While Japan remains Australia’s largest fodder export market, increasing Chinese demand for Australian-grown fodder is expected to underpin growth for the foreseeable future.

Australian Fodder Industry Association executive officer Darren Keating saidChina wasan exciting prospect for fodder exporters.

“Three years ago we exported about 18,000t to China,” he said.“While last year we saw more than 160,000t exported.”

This growth demand reflects the continued expansion of the Chinese dairy industry, which official figures suggest has maintained a 12.8 per cent average annual growth rate since 2000.

Producing hay for export is more specialised than producing for the domestic market, with farmersproducing grain in regions with existing export facilities best placed to diversify their operations.

“If you are going to produce hay for export successfully, you have to know your customers and you have to know what they want,” MrKeating said.

“In terms of China, the only product we have market access for is oaten hay, which is mostly used in dairy production and beef feedlots.”

Mr Keating said diversifying into fodder could also help growers to spread risk.

“Obviously if you know how to produce hay or silage, especially for people with a focus on grain production, it gives you more options in the event of challenging environmental or economic conditions,” he said.

Australian hay production is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 billion, with oaten hay accounting for almost 75pc of hay exported from Australia annually, according to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Even if producers are not planning to export hay, its production can still help to spread risk and build resilience, according toRIRDCsenior program managerJohn de Majnik.

“We strongly encourage farmers to consider diversification strategies where appropriate,” Dr de Majnik said.“Export fodder provides one such opportunity.”

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

Local 99-year-old will continue to vote

Voting: Joan Kefford has some tea and biscuits as she chats about her political views after a game of bridge at the Senior Citizens Centre.Esperance resident Joan Kefford turns100 this year and has already made he way to the polling booths to cast her vote.
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“I voted because I felt that I should vote, I was able to go so I went,” Mrs Kefford said.

Mrs Kefford said a gentleman at the polling centre saw her date of birth.

“He looked down and saw the 19thof November 1916 and he said ‘that can’t be right,” Mrs Kefford said.

She said when she was younger her family told her to vote for Labor Party but it changed when she got married.

“-I asked my husband who I should vote for and he said ‘you must please yourself and make up your own mind’ so he stood his ground and I stood mine,” Mrs Kefford said.

Mrs Kefford said she loved Paul Keating for his wit but has changed her vote over the years.

She said this year she voted for the Nationals because she met Terry Redman at Escare and she liked his manner and approach.

“He said ‘oh what are you doing here’ and I said i’m here with the Wattle Club, but not like the flower’ and he said ‘I’m the leader of the National Party,” Mrs Kefford said.

“There was a big group of them and they were all very tall and I said to him ‘I thought you were a lot of basketball players coming in,” Mrs Kefford said.

Mrs Kefford attributes her wit and humour to playing bridge at the Senior Citizens Centre.

“It keeps the grey matter working,” Mrs Kefford said.

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

What they said: Gippsland

Over the course of the federal election campaign, The Express put questions to local candidates on various topics and published their answers each week. This is a collection of the responses by candidates for the seat of Gippsland.*Please note, some questions do not include responses from all candidates, as not all candidates had announced their nomination when the series began. In some cases candidates have chosen not to respond
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Darren Chester | National Party As a proud Gippslander, I love our region and am focussed on supporting jobs growth while providing the services we need for the future.I have a proven track record of delivering results for Gippsland, but there is much more to be done. The Nationals have a strong economic plan to support small businesses. As a Minister, it is my responsibility to ensure we get our fair share of resources for health, education, aged care, child care and telecommunications services.I remain relentlessly positive and optimistic about our region’s future and I’m confident that I can keep delivering for Gippsland.

Shashi Bhatti | Australian Labor PartyI’ve had many opportunities since arriving here in 1989. I’m a passionate, proud Gippslander keen to give back.All Gippslanders should have access to affordable health services. Preserving Medicare is key to this. Only Labor will protect it.Educational opportunities are vital for all people. Only Labor will provide needs-based funding to provide education – for the young to learn, and for adults to re-train.I’ll work with the community to achieve positive outcomes like the NBN, growing local jobs, and fairness in agriculture. Vote Labor – putting people first.

Ian Onley | The GreensThe spirit of Gippsland is one of mateship, aspiration, and community.Voting Greens ensures a voice for all of those in our community, showing your support for transparency, compassion and decency in Australian politics.At our core, we stand for the power of community action, for sustainability and for social equality.All Gippslanders are part of one community whose future is hanging in the balance, and now is the time to speak up to ensure our voice is heard on the issues that the major parties would prefer us silent.

Cherie Smith | IndependentGippsland is unique and its diverse needs cannot be boxed into the policies of Liberal/National Party, Labor, the Greens or any other party.I believe in protecting Gippsland from onshore gas mining, ensuring access to quality healthcare and broad tax reform that stops multinationals avoiding their obligations.A vote for me will send a message to the candidates of political parties that Gippsland must be their priority, not the interests of their party.A vote for me is a vote for Gippsland.

Ashleigh Belsar | Australian ChristiansI aim to be an honest, values-based representative with a heart to truly represent the people of Gippsland. I will always support life, family and true marriage. I will defend our kids against propaganda-fuelled education programs promoting queer gender theory, whilst I will promote genuine anti-bullying programs.I will always support freedom of speech and conscience. I won’t be swayed by trendy bandwagon issues or noisy minorities to the expense of real people and real issues. I will push for a future of healthy families, a clean environment and a flourishing economy.

Brian Heath | Family First PartyI am standing for those who believe families need to come first, not last.In Australia we have political parties that represent unions, big business, the environment, motoring and even the sex industry – but no one other than Family First is committed to giving families a voice in Parliament.Family is the building block of society, recognised in the Constitutions of hundreds of nations across the globe, including ours.Family First represents common sense economic policies and social values that strengthen Australian society by restoring the importance of the family.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy PartyThe Renewable Energy Party wants a transition from coal fired electricity to 100 per cent renewables by 2030.A ‘just transition’ is needed in the Valley.Full employment should be established before any generator closure, then gradually close one at a time – possibly beginning at Hazelwood.To save the Great Barrier Reef our PM would be far better directed to spending his $1 billion in Gippsland.The REP policy of 100 per cent renewables means a massive expansion of renewable energy across Gippsland.Vote 1 REP and tell Canberra you want a ‘just transition’.

Ben Buckley | Liberal DemocratsLDP is based on the principles of free markets and limited bureaucratic government.The GST consumer tax should never be more than 10 per cent.Repeal tax exempt status of privileged religious organisations operating commercially.Constitutional recognition of local government, avoid codes of conduct where councillors are expected to keep secrets from the people who elected them.The right to a voluntary vote to avoid expressing an opinion under threat of prosecution.More flood mitigation reservoirs, hydro irrigation and renewable energy schemes.LDP stands for freedom within a reasonable law.

Peter Dorian | Rise Up Australia PartyIf you vote for Rise Up Australia Party, then put all the majors last.The result is; Labor will realise they shouldn’t call Australians homophobes, they shouldn’t remove our right to vote. The Greens might try to stop destroying small and major business, and start to consider people instead of trees.When Australians preferenced RUA last election, the then-prime minister asked RUA why? That’s when he removed the title multicultural from our minister of immigration and since then there has been 98 per cent reduction in death at seas.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent As an Independent, I am responsible to the Gippsland community, and not any political party.I will advocate for improved transport and more Gippsland jobs in manufacturing, defence and aerospace; also greater housing affordability, lower energy costs and removal of the water tax.I propose a revised system of parity pricing for the dairy industry and agricultural products so that family farmers can retain their respect and dignity in a world of fluctuating commodity prices.I support the family unit and our Marriage Act. Please put me first when you vote.


Cherie Smith | Independent Increased access to support services such as crisis centres and mental health services are two ways we can address domestic violence in Gippsland. However, it is important to remember that domestic violence is a community issue and as such, an educated community is an essential tool in addressing domestic violence. Education surrounding domestic violence must provide us with the ability to identify domestic violence, which may not always be physical, as well as break down common assumptions about who may encounter domestic violence in their relationship.

Peter Dorian | Rise Up Australia Party It is easy to demonstrate that the problem began to double then triple when we as a society lengthened our alcohol distribution hours of sale. The lowest statistics on domestic violence were when pubs would shut at 6pm. Then men would be forced home as they had no were else to go. So if we reduced the hours of pubs, statistics would eventually reduce again. The other spike in domestic violence grew when we in Victoria brought in the pokie machine venues. Prior to that NSW had pokies and gambling venues and there statistics on domestic violence were greater.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent Family violence has been described by the Premier of Victoria as the “most urgent law and order emergency occurring in our state and the most unspeakable crime unfolding across our nation”. I affirm and commend the findings of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence which was released on 30 March 2016. Along with White Ribbon Australia, I fully support investment in initiatives to implement the 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission. Key changes include an individualised approach with specialised responses, and greater flexibility in the way services are delivered.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats To address domestic violence requires good governance. Together we Act. Early intervention with childhood and beyond, education, promoting healthy relationships and cultivating respect. Empowering individuals with skills creates cohesion within society. Social isolation, along with financial, physical, sexual, psychological abuse upon men and women requires action.A collective consciousness helps strengthen social structures, implementing strategies such as: prevention, inter personal development, consistent penalties, increased funding for support services, including correction of substance abuse, family court reform. Our duty is accountability, I encourage you to speak out against violence.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy Party The Renewable Energy Party’s ‘Just Transition’ will quickly provide full employment in the Valley. This will considerably reduce stress on the family budget as a cause of conflict. Although a single issue climate party the REP constitution upholds ‘a right to liberty’ and ‘security of person’. When this is translated into action it means they would support all practical measures to reduce violence both in the home and outside it.

Darren Chester | National Party As a White Ribbon Day Ambassador, I have worked with the government and community to develop a national response to domestic violence and have provided local leadership in campaigns to support vulnerable families.The Coalition is providing an extra $100 million over three years for front-line services, in addition to a $101.2 million Women’s Safety Package. This will include targeted help for Indigenous and culturally diverse women and their children.I have zero tolerance for violence against men, women and children, and all levels of government must continue to work with the community to reduce family violence and protect victims.

Shashi Bhatti | Australian Labor Party The nightmare of family violence is a reality for far too many Australian women and the data across the nation and in Gippsland in particular is truly awful. I stand by Labor’s frontline plan, developed in consultation with experts, academics and advocates like Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.The plan includes $70 million of targeted funding to ensure those suffering from family violence can access critical services when they need them, $50 million to frontline legal services, to ensure women suffering from family violence get legal support and $15 million in Safe at Home grants to help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own home.

Ian Onley | The Greens Domestic violence is a serious and growing problem in our society requiring behavioural change on many levels. The Greens have a bold plan to increase investment in front line services with a ten-year, $5 billion commitment. The Greens would create National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence against women and invest $2.2 billion in front line services in first four years. This includes creating a national peak body for specialist domestic violence services that protect the young and providing behaviour change programs and early intervention.

Ashleigh Belsar | Australian Christians As a child I grew up in a housing commission area in Latrobe Valley. Despite the vast majority of really good people in the area, issues associated with family violence surrounded my childhood. Problems like this need to be tackled from the root source. There is more than enough good evidence showing pornography, drug and alcohol abuse and unemployment being major contributors. I see no good reason why the Federal Government bans the sale of pornography in indigenous communities to protect their kids, but assumes it has no effect here.

Brian Heath | Family First Party Pornography is a tragic addiction that breeds a culture of violence against women. The largest consumers are boys 12 to 17. Material depicting rape and torture of women is readily available online. We need filters at an ISP level to protect households, as in the UK. This was opposed by the Greens and the Coalition in Australia. We need $4 billion for intervention services nationally, as recommended by the Royal Commission. Funding in this year’s Federal Budget was only $100 million and didn’t provide ongoing funding for first-on-call service providers.


Shashi Bhatti | Australian Labor Party I believe everyone should be able to access healthcare when and where they need it. Labor gave Australians Medicare and I will always fight to protect it. The Labor Party has consistently fought against the Nationals raising payments when you go to see the Doctor and the cost hikes on medicines and pathology.I will strive to have Gippsland health issues addressed; in particular, inequalities in rural health access, health and ageing, Aboriginal health and services around mental health.I believe Gippsland’s hospitals, community health services and GPs deserve better support.

Darren Chester | National Party We are privileged to have medical staff providing world-class health care locally, but the demand for services continues to increase.The only way to provide the quality care we expect is through a strong economy. On top of increased funding for Medicare and other health services, the Coalition contributed $2.7 million for a new dental prosthetics lab and university training clinic in Churchill; $2.8 million for drug rehabilitation services targeting ‘ice’; and funding for Gippsland Cancer Care Centre.Our total investment in health, aged care and sport will increase each year, reaching $89.5 billion in 2016–17.

Ian Onley | The Greens The Greens see health as an investment, not a cost. We would unfreeze Medicare indexation to support smaller communities with one doctor, struggling with frontline health services. Funding formula protected by legislation to stop reckless cuts and cost shifting. Certainty allows efficiency. Private Health Insurance subsidy is wasting $6 billion from our health system per year. We would put that money back into our public health system. The Greens achieved Medicare funded dental for children and we would extend this to adults. Poor oral health can lead to heart disease and stroke, efficiency in early intervention.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats As a Liberal Democrat I will press the Commonwealth to increase funding to the states out of GST revenues in relation to health matters, as it is their responsibility under Section 51 paragraph XX111 (a) of the Australian Constitution. I will also push to increase education in healthy dietary and exercise practices and avoidance of substance abuse, particularly with younger people, without overemphasising the fear factor. Personally, as an older person, I have found the health services where I live quite satisfactory.

Peter Dorian | Rise Up Australia Party The Medicare system does appear unaffordable at the moment. But if we adopt some measures that get the funding to the patient, then we can streamline the system. A customer recovery bonus system would prevent the mentality of some doctors creating drug dependant people so they get return business. It may appear to be more spending but the result will be more informed clients. The long term effect is less patients. In regards to the short supply of Doctors we have to import.

Brian Heath | Family First Party Gippsland needs more funding for after hours general practitioners to take the load off emergency departments and improvements in nursing ratios. We need to subsidise more medical students and interns to come to the country, including ongoing funding for the East Gippsland Community based internship. The government made a mistake when it scrapped the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program in 2015, which attracted young GPs to regional areas. Nationally, we need a reversal of the Medicare freeze otherwise it will increase the cost of seeing a doctor and discourage bulk billing.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy Party Climate change is a direct threat to all Gippslanders and is already affecting our health in many ways including heat exhaustion from heatwaves, injuries from floods and bushfires, longer term affects from smoke inhalation and pollution and the expansion of mosquito born virus such as Ross River Fever. Our policy – quickly phasing out coal fired generation – will improve the health of those in the valley and reduce the poisonous contaminants going into the Gippsland lakes. A massive boost to emergency and health services will be required.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent Good health starts with the early years and good nutrition. I support increased funding towards infant and maternal welfare nursing, with incentives to encourage mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months of their children’s lives. I seek to raise community awareness of the importance of good nutrition, fresh air, rest and exercise, and technology-free weekends. I encourage and support the role of community service clubs, scouts and guides, and the sharing of meals with family, friends and neighbours. A drug rehabilitation facility is desperately needed in Gippsland.

Cherie Smith | Independent Improving the health of Gippslanders needs multiple approaches, including comprehensive tax reform to pay for the things we need. We need to ensure general health in the area does not go backwards by limiting the out-of-pocket cost of seeing a GP. We need access to preventative health tools without having to go to Melbourne. We need greater access to consistent mental health support, which includes the availability of a Medicare rebate for video consultations. We need to ensure the future physical, and mental health of Gippslanders by banning onshore gas mining.

Ashleigh Belsar | Australian Christians Australian Christians affirms all Australians, irrespective of their income or location, should have access to essential health services. However, the increasing cost of health services to the public purse requires that individuals do what they reasonably can to care for and maintain their own health. I would support the promotion of healthy diets and lifestyles recognising the role responsible parenting has in fostering this. Studies are increasingly showing the benefits of time spent in the outdoors.Gippsland is blessed with a variety of beautiful locations to promote for healthy living.


Dr Christine Sindt | Independent The three key drivers of innovation for the future are connectivity of mobile devices, cloud technology and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Access to all of these is useful for problem solving; however, computers will not fix education. In Australia, 42 per cent of students do not meet national numeracy standards at year 8. We have great teachers in Gippsland who require more administrative support, more training and more upskilling in mathematics, so that they can teach for understanding, rather than for memory. Federation University will play a key role.

Darren Chester | National Party I talk to hundreds of students at local schools every year and remind them of the opportunity to work hard and achieve their full potential in their chosen field.Education is not purely the responsibility of teachers. As parents, we have a key role in building self-esteem by encouraging young people to aim high and learn new skills.Federal education funding has increased every year under the Coalition Government but I believe there’s more work to be done to support students who are required to move away from home for university or trade training. Some improvements have been made to the Youth Allowance system but I’m working to secure further support for country students and their families.

Ian Onley | The Greens The Greens’ education policy is guided by the principle that education is for public good and prosperity. That the wealth of a child’s parents should not affect the quality of education available and all levels of public education should be free. Funding to private and public schools should be on a basis of need and equity with emphasis on creative thinking, innovation and problem solving. We reject corporate sponsorship and privatisation of education, aiming to have the best publicly funded education system in the world, with reliably funded VET and TAFE delivering quality courses.

Shashi Bhatti | Australian Labor Party I am very passionate about education and I strongly believe every child should have excess to decent education at minimum cost. This will only be possible if school receive adequate funding from the Federal Government. Only the Australian Labor Party has an education policy which will deliver funding to each school on a needs basis. Labor will endorse fully funding Gonski and I will make sure in my electorate schools and TAFE colleges being neglected under the Coalition government to get adequate funding to be able to deliver quality education to all children regardless of their background.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy Party Although the Renewable Energy Party is a single-issue climate party, climate change affects all policies. Basic science education – in the general population and amongst our leaders – is a dismal failure. That our government can make laws not only in ignorance of physics but in contradiction to them is appalling. The greenhouse effect – humans burning fossil fuel increases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and leads to a warming planet. Send our politicians back to school to learn this. A massive upgrade in science education is required.

Brian Heath | Family First Party Better assist country kids who want to pursue university but can’t afford to move away from home to study. Allow principals and the school community to make decisions about what is best for their schools, not centralised governments.Scrap overly sexualised programs that override parental consent, such as Safe Schools, and replace with a genuine anti-bullying program. Secure funding for private schools so parents continue to have choice. Increase integration aid funding to help more students. Secure the future of chaplaincy and wellbeing services.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats The Liberal Democrats consider that parents want their children to receive a good education. It would be seriously unjust for children to miss out on education because their family lacked the means to provide it. We would remove barriers to open new schools, introduce external literacy and numeracy testing of students, provide incentives to upgrade the teaching profession through improved training, reward good teachers and sack bad ones, allow failed schools to close or be taken over by better performing schools, except of course in regional and remote areas, where extra consideration would apply.


Ian Onley | The Greens Transitioning our economy to renewable energy creates jobs in building base load solar thermal power stations, installing roof top solar and rehabilitating mines. Building battery storage, decommissioning power stations, research and development, all directly applying to Gippsland. Our trades are directly applicable to renewable energy construction, so the opportunity to train apprentices locally and rebuild our engineering capacity will grow and evolve. This will also enable manufacturing of high quality renewable and energy efficient components locally. Jobs have been disappearing in the coal industry for years, we need action and leadership from Government.

Darren Chester | National Party I will continue to promote shopping locally to support small businesses in the Latrobe Valley which are critical to creating job and training opportunities. At the same time, I will support our traditional industries such as paper production, power generation, timber and agriculture, which provide economic strength for our region. The Federal Government must give the business community the confidence and certainty it needs to hire more staff and I support our apprenticeship and training policies which are an investment in our greatest asset; our young people.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats The Liberal Democrats would press whatever party that is able to form government to reduce restrictions on private enterprise, particularly in the manufacture of solar, wind, tidal and batteries and other things that will replace people’s dependence on non-renewables. It is inevitable that our reliance on non-renewable, coal fossil fuel will diminish. A government should do all that is reasonable within their power to help people do what they can for themselves. Gippsland Aeronautics is an example of this.

Shashi Bhatti | Australian Labor Party In the short term if all the customers shop locally that will protect local jobs and help the businesses to invest more into their business hopefully employ more people. If a Labor government win the election, Bill Shorten is going to properly fund local TAFE colleges and other skills and training providers in local areas such as VCAL. So if the school leavers don’t want to go to university they can have job training and be ready for work. In the medium to long term Labor will invest more into renewal energy to take some pressure of coal-fired power stations in the Valley. If elected, I will make sure there is more investment in Gippsland and a manufacturing plant to make solar panels and windmill turbines and get full employment in Gippsland.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent I will advocate for an employment transition plan for Latrobe-Gippsland in conjunction with Local and State Governments. As a former Women-In-Engineering Coordinator, my focus is to build on Gippsland’s engineering expertise in mechatronics, robotics and 3D printing to take up manufacturing opportunities in defence and aerospace. I will advocate for all of Federation University’s engineering disciplines to be transferred to Latrobe-Gippsland, the Engineering Capital of Australia. I will strongly support the development of new job opportunities in conjunction with our Regional Fast Rail (Bairnsdale to Southern Cross), RAAF East Sale Base, Mahindra Aerospace and Defence Materials Technology Centre.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy Party The Renewable Energy Party will boost jobs in the Valley as the beginning of the ‘just transition’ in a number of ways. By placing an order for Earthworker heatpumps to be installed in government buildings over time, conditional on shifting the manufacturing to Morwell quickly and with a large apprenticeship program. By doing likewise with a massive expansion of solar, energy storage and efficiency with the contracts going to locals. Subsidising the manufacture of renewable energy parts such as wind generators or solar thermal mirrors in Morwell. Renewables means jobs.


Darren Chester | National Party My position on same sex marriage has been public for almost 12 months. I supported a conscious vote for all MPs and would have voted in favour of same sex marriage given the opportunity. However, I believe the plebiscite is the best way forward to allow all Australians to have their say on this contentious issue. I intend to participate in the debate in a respectful and moderate manner, and urge all others to do the same.

Ian Onley | The Greens I support marriage equality, everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. Changes to the marriage act should be decided by a parliamentary vote. A plebiscite would be needlessly expensive and divisive. I believe it should be done as soon as possible to allow people to get on with their lives. We already know the majority of Australians support marriage equality.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent Historically and theologically, marriage is for procreation, companionship, and to ensure the stability of the family unit. The key is the protection of the natural children of that union, and the children’s right to have their parents who produced them. Therefore, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and for same-sex couples the word “marriage” is a misnomer. I do not support changes to the Marriage Act. However, a plebiscite could uphold the rights of same-sex couples and offer them legal protection through a Civil Partnership Act.

Peter Gardner | Renewable Energy Party I am standing for the Renewable Energy Party which is seriously concerned about climate change. Climate change threatens us all regardless of age, race, gender or economic status and therefore should be a concern for us all. With regards to the same sex marriage question I believe it should have been put to a vote in the previous parliament and should be decided by the next elected body. The plebiscite was a ploy by the prime minister to satisfy an extreme rump in his party – usually the same who are climate change deniers and prevented any action on climate in the last parliament. The proposed plebiscite is a waste of taxpayers money.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats Same-sex marriage should be recognised as a human equal rights issue as it gives access to legal, social, emotional, financial and spiritual agreements. The act of marriage creates normal and legal obligations between individuals providing stable family environments. Section 51 (XXI) of the Australian Constitution clearly states hat the Parliament has the power to amend the marriage act, so there is no need for costly, unnecessary, compulsory referendum or voluntary plebiscite. Yes to same-sex marriage.


Daren Chester | National Party I will continue to fight to keep the jobs we already have in our traditional industries – including the power sector – while working with the community and all levels of government to attract new opportunities. The Nationals have announced new measures to encourage jobs growth for small businesses, which are a major source of employment in the Latrobe Valley. By government partnering with industry, we can retain and expand our agriculture, engineering and manufacturing businesses, especially food, plantation timber and paper. Further investment in the health sector is also critical for jobs growth.

Ian Onley | The Greens Our Renew Australia plan proposes a government authority to plan and drive orderly transition to a new economy, levering $5 billion of investment in renewable energy over four years. A pollution cap that will see the worst polluters phased out as new generation comes online. Moving from centralised generation to distributed generation, battery storage can take many forms and our location positions us well for service to distributed renewable generation. Research and development, rebuilding our engineering capacity, bringing great Australian ideas to fruition to manufacture high quality renewable components that the world needs.

Dr Christine Sindt | Independent There is no quick fix to transition to new jobs in Latrobe City and I don’t want to make empty promises. For too long, this part of Gippsland has been ignored, despite providing 85 per cent of the electricity to the rest of Victoria. When elected, I will ensure that there is open communication and dialogue between myself and Latrobe City Councillors. Most of all, I want to revive and encourage our engineering and manufacturing expertise which was built up through the State Electricity Commission of Victoria under General Sir John Monash.

Ben Buckley | Liberal Democrats Constitutional recognition of local government so the Commonwealth can influence the reduction of rate tax for commercial enterprises to encourage start-up businesses, employ people from the wind-down of the coal-fired power industry to avoid situations like when the Kiwi shoe polish manufacturer left Traralgon before the SEC restructure. Gippsland Aeronautics is an example of a successful venture. The Liberal Democrats policy is less restriction in reasonable fields of endeavour and governments should only do for people what they can’t do for themselves, i.e. less taxation.

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

Fund cut: financial blow for research

SA GRAIN producers have lamented a state government decision to cut funding to a world-leadingAdelaide plant genomics research centre.
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CASH SLASH: The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics will lose 10pc of funding, prompting fears of job losses and reduced grain industry research.

The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, based at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, will lose $1 million inannual funding in the upcoming state budget. The contribution made up 10 per cent of the centre’s total funding.

ACPFG chief executive David Mitchell said the centre, which conducts pre-breeding research on yield and yield stability in cereal crops, may be forced to cut 30 jobs from its 80 staff.

Grain Producers SA chief executive Darren Arney said the funding cut was “unexpected”and “disappointing”, particularly given the investment from SA growers into research and development.

“Growers fund research and government projects through their contributions to GRDC and the SA GrainIndustry Trust,” he said.

“The state government’s contribution to agricultural research, development and extension has declined significantlyand that slack has been put back on growers.”

Mr Arney and Dr Mitchell urgedthe government to continue its support while the centre transitions to an institute, which would provideresearch that hadbetter translation to industry.

“Grains areSA’slargest export and the government should have a role in ensuring we continue to be at the cutting edge of crop innovation,”Mr Arney said.

Dr Mitchell fearedthe centre’s transition would be stalled and the program’s focuswould revert back to producing scientific papers.

“Wheat is more important to SA than any other state in Australia in terms of economy so we have got the most to lose.Pre-breeding research is fundamentally important,” he said.

Agriculture minister Leon Bignell said the government had not intended to fund the centre “indefinitely”and would help find new commercial partners.

“SA should not be expected to be the only state to provide ongoing funds for the national research undertaken at the centre,” he said.

Opposition Agriculture spokesperson David Ridgway said the funding cutwas “short-sighted”and contradicted the state government’s commitment to agriculture, food and wine.

“The research conducted by the ACPFG iscrucial for the long-term sustainability and growth of this industry,” he said.“Agriculture has been our biggest industry for the best part of 200 years in SA, but it needs support.”

The recent outbreak of Russian wheat aphid in SA crops is an example of an industry dilemma which could go unfettered without agricultural research and development funding, according to grain industry leaders.

Mr Arney said the pest would incur a significant pesticide cost on the industry and was an issue a fully-functional Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics could help tackle.

“There is a public benefit in the state government putting money into research and development because we’ve got this recent outbreak of RWA,” he said.

“There are lines of tolerance andresistance out there and the genomics centre would be able to help fast-track the development of resistant plants to reduce chemical use and reduce expenses to farmers.

“RWA is not just a pest of cereal cropsso it affects pasture grasses and grasses on government landtoo.”

ACPFG chief executive David Mitchell said the centre would have had the potential to breed wheat varieties for RWA resistance.

“Having people readyand having technology and resources so you can jump on a problem quickly –that’s what research brings you,”he said.

Dr Mitchell said the ACPFGalso had programs to combatimpacts ofheat, drought and frost on yield and theresearch could be applied to disease resistance.

“We’ve also justordered a new gene sequencing machine that will be devoted almost entirely to agricultural purposes, and in particular the wheat genome,”he said.

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

Shoulder surgery adds to Lamb recovery

YOUNG gun Brock Lamb is unlikely to return for the Knightsbefore the end of the season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his shoulder.
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The 19-year-old has been sidelined since suffering a grade three syndesmosis injury to his right ankle in theKnights’ 20-12 loss to the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on May 21.

Initially, it was hoped the play-maker would be back on deck for the final month of the season.

He remains in a cam boot and is unable to drive a car and now his left shoulder is in a sling.

Lamb, whohad been playing with a shoulder injury, went under the knife for a clean up but the damage was worse than anticipated and required an arthrosocpic reconstruction.

* Hot on the heels of signing Huddersfield back-rower JoeWardle to a two-year deal from 2018, the Knights have been linked to Hull propJames Green.

The 25-year-old is off contract and the Hull Daily Mail reported this week that the Knights were one of a number of clubs interested in snaring the enforcer.

* Robbie Rochow has no doubts he will be better for the run after conceding that his match fitness was “not quite there” against the Dragons.

The back-rower played 57 minutes off the bench in his return from a 10-week lay-off with abroken arm.

“With me not doing enough tackling inmy preparation, my timing was a little bit out,” Rochow said. “I felt like Igot a bit more into the groove of the game in the second half. Idon’t think Iwas match fit at all. I need to do abit more weights as well. My upper body strength is not quite there either.I’lldefinitely be better for the start and be better next week.”

LGH frees up more beds

LAUNCESTON GENERAL HOSPITAL: Surgeons have been asked to take excess leave to allow medical patients access to surgical beds. Picture: Scott Gelston.SURGEONS at the Launceston General Hospital have been asked to go on leave as part of the Tasmanian Health Service’s strategy to deal with demand coming through the emergency department.
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THS chief executive David Alcorn said the initiativewould free up what were usually surgicalbeds for patients seeking treatment for seasonal illness.The request will only apply to staff with excess leave.

“This will not impact on elective surgery targets, which have already been met, as this is simply about the timing of when leave is taken,” Dr Alcornsaid.

Australian Medical Association state president Tim Greenaway said the beds were usually quarantined for surgical patientsand questioned the impact lifting that quarantine would have on peoplewaiting for elective surgery.

“The LGH has increased capacity but they’re not keeping some of those beds for surgical patients,” he said.

Opposition health spokeswoman Rebecca White said long-term solutions were required.

“Our concern is the minister still hasn’t come up with a permanent solution to the bed block issues at the LGH,” she said.

“Both the nursing staff and doctors have been telling the minister there are not enough beds.”

The government will also open12 beds on Ward 4D after nine out of 11 emergency department consultants announced they would resign, retire or reduce their hours because of a lack of resources and payissues. It is understood some doctors have since changed their mind.

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

Looking for work

Job hunter Deborah Peatey has taken to the side of the highway in the search for work. photograph bryan petts-jonesFOR Latrobe Valley jobseekers like Deborah Peatey, it is an ongoing struggle to find employment.
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A 43 year-old former cleaner from Traralgon, Deborah’s “desperation” for work has forced her take to the side of the Princes Highway in a last ditch-attempt to secure a job.

Speaking to The Express on Monday, Deborah said she had been actively looking for work since November, when she was let go from her previous employment.

But with no luck she is now at her wits’ end – tired, hungry and sick of applying for job after job.

“Any cleaning job, any job I’m qualified for I go for… but they always say I’m unsuccessful,” Deborah said.

Borrowing money to pay her bills and put food on the table, Deborah has resorted to drastic action in a bid to catch someone’s eye.

Every morning since Monday she has parked herself on the side of the Princes Highway with a sign looking for work.

Encouraging people to “stop and have a chat”, Deborah is hoping to stand out in a sea of applicants in what she described as competitive job market.

Her extreme measures follow the release last week of the nation’s latest quarterly job figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, revealing an above average unemployment rate for the region.

Latrobe-Gippsland currently stands at 7.7 per cent unemployment, slightly down from 9.1 per cent for the previous quarter but above the state average of 5.8 per cent.

In a statement to media, the State Government said full-time jobs across regional Victoria had increased by 4300 people over the past three months.

But the search for work has proved no easy feat for Deborah, who said she had attracted “a lot of attention” but no concrete job offers.

She said she was constantly fighting against hundreds of other job seekers for “any and every position available”.

“The population is getting bigger but the workforce seems like it’s getting smaller,” she said.

“I don’t think there are enough jobs; I think everyone is finding it hard.”

She said every weekday morning she would park herself on the highway, across from Latrobe Regional Hospital, until she secured work.

“It’s a matter of sticking out against 500 people going for the one job, so I’m just trying to stick out,” Deborah said.

The job hunting is wearing thin, but Deborah said she was determined not to give up, refusing to accept government payments or charity donations.

“I like the charities and appreciate all they do but I’d rather do it on my own, I like to pay my own way,” she said.

Anyone with work available can contact Deborah on 0439 404 440.

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

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