Garness returns, but still doubts over team

St Michaels have been buoyed by the return of fast bowler Dave Garness for the 2016-17 season.
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Dave Garness, pictured bowling for St Michaels in 2014, will be back at the Wagga club for the upcoming season.

Garness has returned to the club following a year in Cootamundra with Ex-Servicemans.

He can’t wait to get back involved in a higher standard of cricket.

“I am pretty keen to get back over and started,”Garness said.“I missed the competitiveness of it.

“I enjoy the boys at St Micks and while I enjoyed playing in Coota it wasn’t as strong as Wagga.”

Garnessis looking to help the team go on step further after they were beaten by Lake Albert in last season’s grand final.

Coach Ryan Forsyth expects he will be a big boost for the team’s bowling ranks.

“He decided to stay in Cootamundra last year with some family commitments he hadbut he is really excited and keen to come back, make an impact,” Forsyth said.

Doubt remains over the availability of Angus Le Lievre, who is weighing up a move to Canberra, after making a big impact in the second half of last season.

Forsyth believes Garness would be an ideal replacement in the bowling ranks ifLe Lievre doesn’t play.

“The fact that we have Dave would almost replaceAngus in terms of his bowling,” Forsyth said.

“In terms of his batting we’d just have to find a couple of bats to fill the void.”

With the seasondelayed dueto the wet weather, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding who will line up for last season’s grand finalists.

Chase Grintell has moved to South Wagga while Fraser Noack and Rhys Lloyd have both left with university commitments.

Another with uni commitments is Tom Byrnes, but he is expected to return.

“I am confident we will get him back,” Forsyth said.

“He is a junior and has really enjoyed his time here, particularly last year but first are foremost are his commitments in Sydney.

“He travels back for footy and it is a huge commitment for him.”

Despite uncertainty over the team,Forsyth is confident the Saints will once again be pushing their claims for the title.

With a number of changesthis year, Forsyth expects a fairly even competition.

“I reckon it will be a really even comp this year from what I’ve heard in terms of player movements,” he said.

“That is pretty exciting and the fact that the association has got together and revamped the draw, the Twenty20, which won’t be happening this year, the one-day final and the points system just makes it exciting.”

The club is yet to lock in a captain for the season, with James Elliott yet to commit to the role again.

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Racing NSW to the rescue

TOUGH TIMES: Wagga trainer Gary Colvin and his staff evacuate horses from his stables over the October long weekend as flood waters hit. Picture: Colvin RacingRACING NSW have come to the rescue of Southern District racing participants and delivered an emergency funding relief package as a form of compensation for washed out meetings.
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Southern District experienced a month like no other when it went through September without a single meeting, with nine consecutive wash outs as constant rain wreaked havoc on the region.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys AM announced on Tuesday an emergency funding relief package of up to $500,000 for trainers and owners in the Southern District Racing Association (SDRA).

This comes on top of additional race meetings that have been scheduled where possible.

V’Landys, who is on a working holiday in the United States, said Racing NSW wanted to help where they can.

“The funding relief is a response to the uncharacteristically high rate of abandoned race meetings in the Southern and Western regions in the past six weeks,” V’Landys said.

“The incredibly high rate of abandonments has affected trainers in particular, who have to pay their staff and continue running costs.

“Racing NSW is fully committed to our participants and this was the appropriate action to compensate the trainers and their owners.”

Racing NSW have identified horses that had accepted in cancelled meetings and will contact trainers in coming weeks to organise relief.

A $1000 payment will be made with $500 going to the owner, and $500 to the trainer.

There is also funding available on application for any significant storm damage caused to a trainer’s property or supplies by the rain, wind or flooding.

Wagga trainer Gary Colvin has been out his stables for the past week and will soon start the clean up after flood waters forced he and his team out.

He was pleased to hear about Racing NSW’s funding package.

“It’s bloody great,” Colvin said.

“It’s great to see them do that sort of stuff.

“It’s hard on the owners too, not just the trainers, because their horses aren’t running. We’ve been poking around for a couple of months without racing and they have got to pay the bills. We miss out on the cream because we’re missing out on percentages.

“Both parties have suffered pretty bad.”

Colvin said relief packages like these help give owners confidence in the racing industry.

“We’ve got to keep people involved in racing,” he said.

“Calling off these races, people start shaking their heads and it’s hard on everyone.”

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Wet weathers adds fuel to fire

Central Victoria is likely to experience rapidly escalating fire behaviour in late summer fuelled by excessive growth, predicted thunderstorms and late heat waves.
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Emergency Management Victoria is preparing for a shorter but more intense fire season, with fire agencies currently planning fuel control.

Ballarat’s wettest September on record has fuelled extreme growth in the area which is expected to dry out in mid-summer causing extreme concern for fire authorities.

The Bureau of Meteorology’smanager of climate prediction Dr Andrew Watkins toldThe Courierabove average bushfire potential was predicted for the whole of Victoria –particularly Central and Western Victoria.

“We’ve actually had very good rainfall into winter and early spring temperatures have been a bit warmer than normal causing good vegetation growth,” Dr Watkins said.

While cooler weather is expected to continue for a few months the excess growth will start to dry out mid summer.

“We have had more growth than usual,and as we head into summer the rainfall and cooler temperatures mean the fire season might start later than normal,” Dr Watkins said.

“Last year we had fires in October, we haven’t seen any so far but we can expect the season to start much closer to the start of summer.”

The Southern Australia Season Bushfire outlook, published before the major rainfall, says the areas above average rainfall coupled with an 80 per cent chance of above average temperatures indicates strong late spring drying is likely in forest areas including the Wombat Forest and Otway Range.

“When we get into mid to late summer the warm temperatures and less rainfall may mean that extra growth will start to dry out,” Dr Watkins said.

A spokeswoman for the state’s emergency services commissioner Craig Lapsley said the next outlook would be released in November.

“The Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC Seasonal Outlook has predicted an above average fire season for Victoria,” she said.

“Even with the recent and continuing rainfall an above average season is still a chance though the season is likely to be later and a little shorter.

“The areas of Victoria not under water will start to dry out as the weather warms, promoting growth and potential fire risk across the State. Traditionally, Victoria’s worst period for fire is in January and February. It is something the fire agencies are aware of and continuing to plan for.”

DELWP has been contacted for comment.

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Drill plan shelved

BP will not progress with its exploration drilling plans in the Great Australian Bight offshore South Australia.
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In a statement released on Tuesday, the companyannounced the decision to instead focusoperations on projects deemed suited for the short-to-medium term.

The petroleum giant was seekingapprovalto begin drilling off theWest Coast, about 400 kilometressouth-west of Ceduna.

BP managing director Claire Fitzpatrick said the project hasnot been shelvedbecause of the pending decision from a federalindependent inquiry.

“We have looked long and hard at our exploration plans for the Great Australian Bight but, in the current external environment, we will only pursue frontier exploration opportunities if they are competitive and aligned to our strategic goals,” she said.

“Afterextensive andcareful consideration, this has proven not to be the case for our project to explore in the Bight.”

SouthAustralian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young welcomed the news, vowingto workwith the government to protect the area from exploration.

“BP have said goodbye to the Bight, I say good riddance to BP,” she said.

“This is a great win for the community who made it clear that BP weren’t welcome from the beginning.”

Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter said the news cameas a total shock.

“It’s a serious setback and money that was to be spent won’t be,” he said.

“People were anxious it would be done safely and we took provisions to ensure that would be the case.”

Wilderness Society South Australia Director Peter Owensaid otheroil and gas companies should follow BP’s lead.

“We should not be expanding the fossil fuel industry into pristine treacherous seas where the risk of spills is far greater than we’ve seen before,” he said.

Australiangas company Karoon has its ownexploration plan for a section of the Bight.

Great Australian Bight

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How to be water-wise

Model behaviour: The interactive water catchment model will be on display at Moruya Riverside Markets on Saturday, October 15, showing how water flows through the catchment.Every year in October, Australia celebrates National Water Week, which this yearruns from October 18-24and encourages communities to take action to protect vital water sources.
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As part of Water Week, Eurobodalla Shire Councilwill be at Moruya Riverside Markets on Saturday,October 15, with informationon how we harvest our water, tips on saving water in the home and garden, and handing out free reusable drink bottle gifts thatcan be filled up at our refill station in the park.

The interactive water catchment model will also be on display at the markets on Saturday,October 15.

You can seehow water flows through the catchment and how activities on the land can affect our water supply.

You can seehow we collect and treat and deliver water to houses.

Or you can see how sewage is treated when the toilet isflushed in the model house.

Last year, as part of water week, Council launched a new water-wise garden check program.

A water-wisegarden check is free for Council’s water customers and involves a personal visit by a friendly member ofCouncil’s environment team.

Garden owners can learn some easy tips that will help them save water, spendless time watering and grow a garden that can flourish with local conditions.

As part of the visit gardeners canalso receive some free native plants and a hose trigger nozzle.

To participate, residents can book for a check by contacting Council’s Sustainability Education Officer during office hours on 4474 1000.

Water-wise gardens are low maintenance, reduce your water bill, can cope better with the weather, helpkeep more water for local rivers and grow better in our local conditions.

Othersimple things you can do to save water includechecking your water meter to see if you have any leaks,installing flow restrictors to existing taps and showers (which you can get for free through our showerhead exchange program) and,choosing water efficiency rated appliances and fittings when you are upgrading or replacing old ones.

For more information about saving water, please visit Council’s website at 梧桐夜网esc.nsw.gov419论坛.

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Call to stand against Emu Plains prison proposal

An aerial view of Emu Plains Correctional Centre. Picture: SuppliedPENRITH mayor John Thain has called for the community to unite against a state government proposal to develop amaximum security prison in Emu Plains.
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It was revealed last monththat the government would submit a proposal to the council which would see 640 maximum security inmates added toEmu Plains Correctional Centre.

The site on Old Bathurst Roadis currentlyhome to 200 minimum security female prisoners.

But the government has announced plans to house 400 maximum security males and 240 maximum security females in a rapid-build facility on the same site.

Cr Thain said he held grave concerns about the development of the facility, which he said was announced without “any prior knowledge” of the council.

He asked the community to send a “unified message” to the government that the facility was “not acceptable”.

“Apart from recognised flooding issues on the proposed site, I am concerned, and I encourage local residents to be, at the potential impact of a maximum security prison on the social fabric of our community,” he said.

“As the state government has had limited contact with council on this issue I want them to take that further and to talk our community about their proposal before they come to us.

“It may be unusual to do this but I want the government to gauge the community’s appetite for this maximum security prison before they come to council.

“I don’t want the government going to the community and giving the impression that they have consulted in any way with council on this.”

State Member forPenrith Stuart Ayrestold Fairfax Media that he had“some concerns around the proposed facilities [sic] impact on local flooding” and looked forward to seeing how the issue was addressed.

Minister for Corrective ServicesDavid Elliott said the new facility would “stimulatethe area’s economy” with the creation of more than 200 jobs andallow the government to “respond to the rising prison population while being an investment in community safety”.

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‘Basin pain is real’: report confirms towns hit by plan

PROTEST: Riverina water campaigner Paul Pierotti at an anti-basin plan meeting in 2012. Mr Pierotti says a new report confirms the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has hurt communities.
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A Riverina water campaigner says a report on the controversial Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) proves it is damaging communities.

On Monday the Murray-Darling Basin Authority released a report that showed one town had lost almost one in five jobs because of the basin plan.

Griffith water spokesman Paul Pierotti wondered what the full impact of the plan had been on the Riverina sinceemployment in northern irrigation communities had been“smashed” by the removal of water.

“Of all the water recovered through the MDBP 14 per cent has come from the northern basin and 86 per cent from the southern basin,”Mr Pierotti said.

“Imagine the impact on the southern basin if this is happening in the north!”

Basin authority chief Phillip Glyde said the effect on jobs was “highly variable” with some not affected at all.

“Towns like Brewarrina and Coonabarabran… have a low reliance on irrigated agriculture,” he said.

“We have strong confidence that the impact of water recovery on employment in these centres is minimal.Other centres, such as Warren, have already experienced significant impacts on employment.”

Mr Pierotti said thebasin plan had failed to deliver.

“There is no formula to see that there can be a triple-bottom line benefit for people, planet and profit,” he said.

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Boonah welcomes new principal

Boonah State High School principal Cheryl Bullion.‘WHEN you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life’,is the philosophy of thenewBoonah State High School principal Cheryl Bullion.
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Ms Bullion, who started in the roletwo months ago, said she was looking forward to making her mark at one of Scenic Rim’s most respected schools.

Before taking up the role at Boonah, Ms Bullion worked for five years at Warwick State High School and, previously,seven years at Calamvale Community College.

She said the position at Boonah High was an opportunity she “could not pass up”.

“When the position became available, I was happy to take it so I could live close to my family in Beaudesert,” Ms Bullion said.

“The students are delightful and very respectful and the staff are very dedicated … they are prepared to go an extra mile for the students.”

Ms Bullion, a 40 year teaching veteran,said the schooloffereda variety of opportunities for students.

“There is a pathway for every student at Boonah whether it is cultural, sports, academic, vocational or agricultural,” she said.

“The students really get involved andgrasp those opportunities.”

She said she was looking forward to a series of firsts, including formals, sporting carnivals and award nights.

“It’s an exciting time for me and also for the year twelve students,” she said.

“They are just about to finish and they have their formal coming soon.”

Ms Bullion said she was happy to see primary schools in Boonah work with her.

“We have a fantastic transitioning program for students who go from primary to high school,” she said.

“We make sure theirexperience is a good one … they are prepared, happy and not nervous.

“Every student should have success and we should do everything we can to ensure that they have it.”

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Getting warmer: dive on in!

Cover Eden Pool: Donations invited by an innovative ‘coin line’ run by (back row) Jack and Georgia Caldwell, (front) Sophie Switzer, Chelsea and Kaitlyn Hoare and Holly Switzer, during the Spring Splash Shopping day on October 6. Picture: Melina Caldwell.
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The Eden pool is open for the summer season, with patronage more important than ever in the light of the BVSC’s Aquatic Facilities’Review.

And Eden Swimming Club president Melina Caldwell said the lynch-pin to increasing patronage is increasing water temperature.

Ms Caldwell said the 70-strong memberclub intended to start eveningswim training this week, but the water is still too cold.

“So we will wait until next week, for hopefully some sunshine to warm it up a bit,” she said on Tuesday.

Ms Caldwell said the Eden Swimming Clubis engaged in“major fundraising”to purchase a pool coverto help raise, and maintain, a more swim-able temperature.

“If the long-term plan is to close the Eden pool, in the short-term we aim to increase the patronage so that hopefully it doesn’t close at all. And the only way we see that possible is to get the water warmer,” Ms Caldwell said.

Ms Caldwell said theclub has already saved up“a substantial amount” but now needs “community input” to raise the final $10,000to buy the cover, and haslaunched a Facebook appeal.

“Weneed 1000 community members to donate $10 each, and we will achieve the goal,” Ms Caldwell said.

“That has taken off quite well. We’ve had a fair bit of money go into our bank account. And we also raised $700 on the Spring Splash shopping day on October 6.”

The club did this via an innovative donation system;writing“Cover Eden Pool” in chalk on the pavement, over which people could lay down coins to fill in the words.

Donations can now be made at Eden’s branch of theIMB Bank, or via direct deposit to BSB#641 800, account# 200589397.

Meanwhile,Eden Marine High School has spoken out in support of the pool.

Although the school failed to complete a survey requested by the Aquatic Facilities’ Review, principal Lisa Wingluck assured that “the high school has always remained committed to the pool”.

“This summer, we will hold PE, fitness and water polo classes in the pool, as well as scuba diving practice and snorkelling for the Marine Studies’ and PASS elective students,” Ms Wingluck said on Tuesday.

The high school’s competitive swimming carnival and separate “fun day” is also booked for Term 1 next year.

“The pool has been very accommodating with opening hours,” Ms Wingluck said.

Nearly completed coin line, created by donation coins laid upon the chalked words “Cover Eden Pool”, during the Spring Splash shopping day October 6. Picture: Melina Caldwell

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What’s on your mind?  Share your thoughts

Euthanasia debate ‘not easy’We are supposed to be having a debateabout whether euthanasia should become legal in Australia.
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That is not an easy debate to have.

The word euthanasiaitself – what does it mean?

Doesn’t everybody know it means, under certain medical circumstances, being allowed to intentionally kill somebody?

But, no, one side of the debate doesn’t want the word “kill” to be used.

They prefer “helping them die”.

This is aterm so vague that it cannot be rationally debated.

The same people say new laws are needed to allow patients to refuse treatment.


Present laws already allow that.

The principles involved are clear enough.

Legalised intentional killing is never the best choice.

Arnold JagoGive careful thought to workplace safetyThe NSW Legislative Council standing committee on Law and Justice is currently conducting a review of the NSW workers compensation scheme.

This followsfurther changes made to the scheme in 2015.

Submission to the Upper House inquiry closed at the end of September.

The public hearings will be held in early November.

It is perhaps timely then that October is Safe Work Month.

I would urge all employers and workers to use the next few weeks to think about workplace safety.

It is also important for them to take extra steps to protect themselves and their co-workers from injury and to ensure that everyone returns home safely.

I would also urge you to spare a thought for those who have been injured at work.

While the NSW Government has addressed some of the difficulties faced by injured workers in the past year, the reality is some injured workers are still without vital support.

No one wants to be injured at work.

However, those who have been injured at work deserve to have their rights restored.

Stuart BarnettWorkers Compensation General ManagerSlater and Gordon LawyersThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tribute for retired councillor

Emeritus mayor Charlie Lowles served on Blacktown Council for 27 years. Picture: Gene RamirezMember for Chifley Ed Husic paid tribute to a former Blacktown councillorin federal Parliament this week.
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Emeritus mayor Charlie Lowles called time on his tenure after 27 years on the council before the 2016 local government elections.

The 84-year-old Blackett residenttold the Star he “thought it was time” to step down and open the door for fresh blood.

“I thought I could bring something to the table but I never imagined I would be on the council for so long,” he said.

“I’m very proud of my achievements but I knew it was time. If you stay on too long you take away the opportunity for new people to have their say.”

A fierce advocate for the Mount Druitt area, Mr Lowles said western Sydneywas experiencinga pivotal time in itshistory and wanted to see all three levels of government come together toaddress issues surrounding youth unemployment and education.

“I think there’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said. “It’s the responsibility of federal, state and local government to provide services for the people.

“There’s less and less work out there for young people in our community. There needs to be pathways put in place.”

Mr Husic spoke of his gratitude to Mr Lowles during a sitting of Parliamenton Monday afternoon, saying hehelped to shapetoday’sBlacktown Council area.

Mr Husic said the service ofMr Lowleswould be“remembered for generations”.

“Charlie Lowles is one of the great volunteers of the Blacktown and Mount Druitt area; his public service will be remembered for generations and is a huge legacy to live up to,” he said.

“We are all grateful for the generosity he showed at all times through his pursuit of social justice, fairness, educational opportunities and multicultural cohesion.”

Mr Husic calledMr Lowles an “unsung hero” of the Labor Party in western Sydney.

“I will always be indebted for the care and guidance he extended to me as a new Member of Parliament.

“I don’t think there will ever be another Charlie Lowles in our area but we can aspire to serve as well as he did. His lasting contribution is a monument to his stamina, decency and good will.”

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali said the man affectionately known as the ‘mayor of Mount Druitt’ was a “pioneer” for the council.

“I’ve known Charlie for many years.His knowledge, support and fortitude were very important for me, especially when I first became mayor,” he said.

“There are lots of people who serve in government for a long time and you wonder what they have achieved. That’s certainly not the case with Charlie.”

Cr Bali said Mr Lowles legacy would include his successful lobbying for the construction ofEmerton Leisure Centre, the roll-out of emergency pendants for the sick and elderly and his support of muliti-culturalism.

Ed Husic has paid tribute to ‘unsung hero’ Charlie Lowles. Picture: Supplied

Bridge replacement to improve safety

Bridge renewal: Hyndmans Creek Bridge is one of three Comboyne Road bridges identified for replacement.MOTORISTS who travel alongComboyne Road can look forward to three new bridges.
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Hyndmans Creek, Bulli Creek and Hartys Creek bridges are reaching the end of their servicelives.

Thestructures will be demolished and replaced with reinforced concretebridges.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has identified thethree timber bridges on ComboyneRoad for replacement as part of the council’s continued commitment to improving the safety forroad users.

Council director Jeffery Sharp said the Bridge Replacement Program waspart of the significant upcoming works program to be rolled out across the local government area over the next three financial years.

“This builds on last year’s $85 million capital works expenditure, a record achievement for council,” Mr Sharp said.

The $3 millionproject delivery of Hyndmans and Hartys Creek bridges will be jointly funded by the council and Roads and Maritime Services, whichiscontributing $820,000 through theRepairand Improvement of Regional Roads program.

The Bulli Creek bridge is a $1.6 million project and will be jointly funded by the state government through Restart NSW and federal government’s Bridges Renewal Program.

Mr Sharp said the new bridges wouldbe built from prefabricated concrete componentswhich wouldhelp minimise the impact of road closures to the community.

Pre-construction workincluding vegetation clearing and shoulder widening will begin nextweek at Hyndmans Creek bridge with speed reductions and traffic controls in place.

During 2017, thecouncil will close Comboyne Road on two occasions to facilitate works, includingdemolition, installation of concrete girders, guard rail and barriers and asphalting for eachbridge.

Detourswill be in place for the shutdown period.

Traffic controls will be in place during the works program and road users are advised to expectdelays and allow extra travel time.

The council would like to thank the community for their patience while these important works take place.

Further information on the bridge replacements including timeline and alternative routes canbe found at 梧桐夜网pmhclistening南京夜网419论坛/hyndmans or by contacting the council on 6581 8111.

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From the Saint

THE SAINT: Photo by @terrencecass85 on Instagram. If you’d like a photo featured, message us on the Lithgow Mercury Facebook page!Dog day dilemma continuesThe ban on greyhound racing may be over, at least for now, but the future remains as clouded as ever for Lithgow’s long established racing club.
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Although there is some relief in the industry after NSW premier Mike Baird’s backflip, there are still many questions to be answered.

As part of the reforms still being pursued the number of tracks operating in NSW is to be slashed.

And the Lithgow club administrators believe they’re on the hit list.

The problem is that Lithgow is a non TAB track so any returns to government coffers from that source do not exist.

The government has already flagged that TAB clubs will get preference and tough luck for the remainder.

It was a similar issue that contributed to the demise of the once flourishing Lithgow Trotting Club meetings.

Bathurst got the cream and Lithgow was thrown out with the empties.

Lithgow dog people are hopeful they may still race on home turf by president John Brain admits they’re not optimistic.

Forced outOne of the Lithgow east end’s oldest businesses shuts its doors today.

Spilletts’ Sewing and Embroidery has been a successful family operation for 29 years.

But a major part of its business was the provision of school uniforms

And local schools have been progressively becoming their own uniform suppliers with ‘in house trading’.

The loss to Spilletts has created a vacuum impossible to fill so the closing down sale has been in full swing.

The east end will be all the poorer for it.

On and on it goesStill in the CBD and that seemingly endless problem in Station Street was even more of an eyesore early this week.

Barricades tumbled all over the footpath haphazardlywhile awaiting whatever repairs are planned to an adjoining business.

Is anyone out there going to take responsibility for this mess!

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