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The Border Mail Election Guide 2016MURRAY

The Basics-19500 sq km, 104,430 enrolled to vote and 18,041 pre-polled up to June 29
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-The main towns are Yarrawonga (key booth), Avenel, Boort, Bridgewater on Loddon, Cobram, Echuca (key booth), Euroa, Kyabram, Mooroopna, Murchison, Nagambie, Nathalia, Numurkah, Rochester, Rushworth, Shepparton (key booth), Tatura, Violet Town andWedderburn

– Industries include sheep, wheat and fruit processing

What happened last timeParliamentary member for 20 years Sharman Stone won with 60 per cent of first preferences. In her last term shecame to loggerheads with her party as she advocated for funding for SPC Ardmona.

The Candidates Nationals – Damian Drum

Damian Drum

Ballot order: 1

Party: The Nationals

Bio: The Nationals have gone on a full offensive to try and take this seat from the Liberals with Damian Drum, theformer-Fremantle Dockers coach, vacating hisVictorian state parliament position for a tilt at the seat. Like Marty Corboy in Indi, Mr Drum has received support from the big wigs of his party with Darren Chester and Fiona Nash stopping by to make a few announcements. These included $97 million for a new Echuca Bridge, $20 million for a Goulburn Valley Jobs and Investment Package, $20 million in more road related projects.The coalition also pledged $550 million in loans for dairy farmers.

Liberals – Duncan McGauchie. Picture: Facebook

Duncan McGauchie

Ballot order: 4

Party: Liberal

Bio:Duncan McGauchie comes from the western part of the Murray electorate and has no easy task trying to hold the seat for the Liberals. His main electoral policies revolve around water, transport and employment.Just like Sophie Mirabella in Indi he has also been at the coalition announcements for funding made by Nationals ministers as well as a boost with a visit from deputy Liberal leaderJulie Bishop who did a walk-through. Mr McGauchie was a former adviser to theBaillieu government.He has also been doing some interesting things with his social media presence:

Alan John Williams

Labor – Alan Williams. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 10

Party: Australian Labor Party

Bio: Labor got about 20 per cent of first preferences in the last election and it’s hard to see them having an impact in this safe coalition seat. The candidate running for the party is Alan Williams who had a go in a Victorian state election back in 1973. His party have given their preferences to the Liberals ahead of the Nationals which could have a big impact on the two-candidate preferred race between Mr McGauchie and Mr Drum.

Ian Christoe

Greens – Ian Christoe. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 3

Party: The Greens

Bio:The Greens have gone the other way with their preferences favouring the Nationals over the Liberals. Mooroopna’s Ian Christoe hopes to boost his party’s 4 per cent first preferences from the 2013 election. The Greens’ believe Murray has potential to be a “solar energy powerhouse”. Mr Christoe has stuck to spruiking the benefits of the Greens broader policies for the electorate.

Fern Summer

Independent – Fern Summer. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 6

Party: Independent

Bio:Fern Summer took a leave of absence from the Greater Shepparton Council to run in this year’s election. In 2013 she nabbed 986 first preference votes running for the Bullet Train for Australia Party, this year she’s going it alone as an independent.

Securing a bullet train for the Murray is still on her wishlist alongside no cuts to Medicare, a Shepparton bypass, fast tracking marriage equality and banning corporate political donations alongside other progressive policies.

Like other independents in the Murray race she is hoping to capitalise on the disillusionment with the major parties and the success of DIY campaigns as seen in neighbouring Indi.

Jeff Davy

Citizens Electoral Council – Jeff Davy. Picture: CEC

Ballot order: 7

Party: Citizens Electoral Council

Bio: Truck driver Jeff Davy got 316 votes in the 2013 election. The CEC predominatley wants to see aGlass-Steagall-stylebanking which was introduced in the US in 1933 before having elements repealed in 1999. The CEC also believes global warming is “a fraud”.

Robert Danieli

Australian Country Party – Robert Danieli. Picture: ACP

Ballot order: 9

Party: Australian Country Party

Bio: Alexandra man and former councillorRobert Daniele missed out on a spot in the upper house of the Victorian government in 2014 by a handful of votes for the Australian Country Party. His interests are in water and agriculture and, with his party, providing an alternative country option to the Nationals.

Andrew Bock

Independent – Andrew Bock. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 2

Party: Independent

Bio: From Euroa, Andrew Bock believes Sharman Stone was a good member for the region but dislikes the war between the Liberals and Nationals over the seat and says it should be about people and policies. Mr Bock is in favour of a mostly fibre NBN, increasing the refugee intake, marriage equality, constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders and raising welfare payments. He is against fracking andpokies.

Nigel Hicks

Independent – Nigel Hicks. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 5

Party: Independent

Bio: Farmer Nigel Hicks decided to run as an independent because he didn’t believe current political interests had farmers, and, the communities they worked in, in mind. He wants to address “flawed water policy”, reduce irrigation fees, stop the sale of land to overseas interests and establishing a government owned bank to assist with the growth of regional projects alongside other agriculturally-centred policies.

Diane Teasdale

Independent – Diane Teasdale. Picture: Facebook

Ballot order: 8

Party: Independent

Bio: Diane Teasdale last ran as an independent in the 2007 election getting 615 first preference votes. Ms Teasdale told the Shepparton Newsshedoesn’t trust the major parties and she has concerns for the dairy industry.

Ms Teasdale has given her preferences toMr Hicks, second, and the Rise Up Australia Party, third, in the lower house and encouraged voters to vote for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in the senate.

Yasmin Gunasekera

Rise Up Australia – Yasmin Gunasekera. Picture: RUAP

Ballot order: 11

Party: Rise Up Australia Party

Bio: Yasmin Gunasekera ran for the division of Deakin in the 2013 election where she got 327 votes. She coordinated her parties state and territory presidents during the last election.

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

Panel to assist with Harden Piggery application

At the ordinary meeting of Hilltops Council on June 22, council’sAdministrator Wendy Tuckerman endorsed a recommendation by staff to appoint anIndependent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) to assist in the process ofassessing a Development Application for a piggery, within the former Harden Shire,currently before council.
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According to council’s general manager Anthony McMahon, the formation of theIHAP does not change who makes the final determination on the application.

“The IHAP plays an advisory and independent assessment role in the developmentassessment process and they will be providing their recommendations back to council staff who will then provide a final recommendation to be put before counciland considered by council’s Administrator,” MrMcMahon said.

The IHAP is expected to consist of five members with expertise in the fields of soils,groundwater, odour, biodiversity and traffic.

“We are currently undertaking theprocess of sourcing panel members who will then meet and be briefed on theapplication and provided with all relevant information relating to the application,” Mr McMahon said.

“Itis likely they will also undertake a site visit before undertaking an assessment ofavailable information and reporting back with recommendations relating to theirrespective areas of expertise.”

A report on the development is anticipated to be put before council at its Septembermeeting with the exact timing dependent on both the timeframe required to allowthe IHAP to undertake its assessment as well as timing of responses from several government agencies.

“Because the development is considered integrated development under planninglegislation council is required to seek what are known as general terms ofagreement from relevant state government agencies before determining thedevelopment. Council is still not certain as to when all general terms of agreementwill be received.”

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

YOUR SAY – THE ELECTION

CONTESTLEN Langan asks us to accept that Australian politics consists of two rival caterers in a contest for the opportunity to govern Australia.This attitude has resulted in a system that promotes blind party loyalty with disregard for sound democratic government.
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Blind adherence to parties allows influential groups or individuals with vested interests to use the democratic process as a means to attain power and influence by means both honest and dishonest rather than by sound democratic process.

Relegating minority parties and independents to the status of “pension prospectors and opportunists” is an insult not upheld by the long, proud record of minor parties who represent a wide range of community-based interests rather than restricting themselves to those represented by the government or the opposition.

An independent like Doris Blackburn, 1946, who pioneered the women’s rights and Aboriginal land rights, does not deserve the insult of “opportunist”.More recently, Brian Harradine, a representative who was always accessible to his community, achieved $150 million for a range of projects in Tasmania.

Similarly, at this time, we have strong independents who work hard to represent their communities, often at odds with any major party agenda.

I suggest thanking the small parties and independents.The majority work hard, without the support of the financial power of vested interests and by supporting the democratic process, with their focus on policy, not party.

Geraldine Robertson, Trevallyn.ALLIANCESVOTERS should recall that the ALP/Green alliance left this country with a large debt close to $280 billion. This was after they promised to deliver surpluses for six years, when it fact they were the largest deficits in Australian history.Now we learn from Mr Shorten that a Labor Government would run large deficits for the next four years but with a promise to return to surplus within 10 years. Can we trust them again?

Cor Udan, Launceston.ECONOMIC MANAGEMENTTHE Liberal Party’s track record on economic management is hardly one to be proud of. In their three years of government the Liberal Party have tripled the deficit, stripped funding from schools and universities and hospitals and reduced the wages and living conditions of ordinary Australians.

Their record is not one of economic management for all Australians.Their only ‘new’ idea to build Australia is to allow businesses to pay less tax.There is absolutely no certainty that the money that businesses make from paying less tax will trickle down to improve the lives of ordinary Australians.

The only certainty is that the rich will become richer.Economic management, really?

Megan Short, Mowbray.MEMBER SUPPORTWITH the federal election closing in, remember Brett Whiteley supported Tony Abbott’s hard line measures against pensioners. Time to put the record straight.

Ross Coppleman, Ulverstone.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sunshine Bay residents not convinced

A group of Sunshine Bay residents is not convinced by the Anglican Church’s claim it will not build a men’s rehabilitation facility as part of a large complexon church land on Crosby Drive, on the western side of George Bass Drive.
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Canberra-Goulburn AnglicanArchdiocese property managerMichael Stallard said the church would not build a men’s rehabilitation accommodation facility like Hope House in Batemans Bay, and that it did not have any plans or money to build anything there at the moment.

Development applications were submitted to council in April 2012, December 2015 and May 2016.

Residents living near the site are not reassured by Mr Stallard’s words, as group spokesman Jay Post says.

“If they do not intend to build anything there, then why did they submit the DA?” he said.

“We can only go by what is on the plans, which have Hope House on them and keep mentioning future development.

“How can we be sure? What they are saying is very ambiguous.”

The residents’ feelings about such a development are far from ambiguous, as they purchased their properties in the area with the ‘peace and quiet’ factor andwithout knowledge of such a plan.

They believe that their property values and quality of life will both go down.

“We don’t want this development,” Mr Post said.

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

Riverina gets creative in love search

While Riverina residents are heading online more than ever, there are still people looking for traditional spaces to find love.
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Beck Hennessy from event planners Stella and Bruce said a speed dating night held last year wasin response to a lack of other opportunity.

She said the event had resulted in several relationships and showed a need for more ways to meet people “besides the bar at 3am”.

“We saw that it hadn’t been done before, and Wagga is a hard place to meet people,” she said.

“I was single myself at the time and had tried the online dating scene.”

Rendezvous organiser Judith Jenkinsonsaid the social club, which caters for couples and singles over 50, had noticed a decline in people joining as a way to meet a partner.

“There’s beena few relationships formed within the group previously,” MsJenkinsonsaid. “But I understand that many are now trying internet dating.”

New social clubs are appearing online,with Riverina residents taking the initiative to start exclusive virtual spaces.

One Facebook group, Wagga Wagga’s hottest singles chat,boasts more than 500 members andtouts itself as the “premier singles chat page” for unattached city residents.

Australia wide, people under 30 are taking to smartphone app Tinder.

While regional breakdown isn’t available, the app’s creators estimate 15 per cent of the nation’s population is on Tinder, the highest percentage of any country.

The application lets users set the sex, age and distance they would like to search in.

Prospective partners then appear, with the option to swipe left for no or swipe right for yesbased on a few photos and a short bio.

If both parties “swipe right” then an online chat can take place.

But Ms Hennessy said she believed that many, especially women, were still craving a dating scene that required more effort.

“Every week we get a message saying ‘when is the next one?’,” she said.“This says to us people feel there is not many other places to meet single people in Wagga.”

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

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.

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

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.

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