February, 2019

‘Morale boost’ for CFA

HANDS OFF: Wangaratta volunteers protested the Victorian government involvement in EBA negotiations, now the CFA is celebrating the federal Senate decision.
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An intervention by the federal Senate to protect firefighters has been welcomed as “great news for volunteers” in the North East.

The amendment, passed37 to 31late Monday night,will make it unlawful for enterprise agreements to “undermine”volunteers in favour of professional, unionised workers.

Oneissue with the CFA agreementwas the influence of the United Firefighters Union, which had the power to sign off on changes to CFA policy.

But the organisation’s 60,000 volunteers had no say.

Rutherglen group officer Andrew Russell said the Senate decision was a step towards repairing damage caused to volunteers.

“I’m hoping this news might boost a bit of morale,” he said.

“There’s a lack of engagement among volunteers at the moment and it’s a bit because of the issues.”

Volunteers were still busy in the wet season, helping SES crews with flood relief.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke to CFA volunteers about a federal intervention when they rallied at Parliament house in Melbourne in June.

“That to me means a hell of a lot because it means he’s delivered his promise,” Mr Russellsaid.

“All I want now, more than anything, is a resolution because we’ve got really good relationships with our paid staff.”

Senator Bridget McKenzie

Senator Bridget McKenzie spoke in the Senate on Monday to thank CFA volunteers from Wangaratta and other parts of Victoria for travelling toMacedon in recent weeks for theinquiry into the Fair Work Amendment Bill.

“There are specific clauses right throughout the EBA which affect and impact on the CFA and their volunteers’ ability to do their job,”she said.

“The state legislation that sets up the CFA defines it as a volunteer organisation supported by employees, and that is rare and that takes unique management.

“It takes a unique approach to industrial relations –well, it should.”

She said UFUbossPeterMarshall claimed the agreement would not impact volunteers, but could not give her any evidence.

She said the bill was deliberately narrow so it would help the CFA, but not affect police, paramedics or other volunteers.

“Currently in Victoria, the CFA are in crisis with this EBA,” Senator McKenzie said.

“We on this side respect the role of both volunteer firefighters and paid firefighters and the courage that they all display in keeping us safe in emergencies.”

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

Munch on good mental health

MAKE A PLAN: Rural Adversity Mental Health Program Coordinator Stacey Doosey said it’s important to have a starting point when addressing mental health issues.
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Mental health is not the same as mental illness, and people should endeavour to maintain the wellbeing of their mind as they do (or should do) their body. A business breakfast at the Tenterfield Golf Club this Friday, October 14 will feature a presentation byRural Adversity Mental Health Program Coordinator Stacey Doosey with some basic mental health concepts to consider and implement.

“We’ll talk about what mental health means, and some tips and strategies to maintain it,” Miss Doosey said.“We’ll also look at how to help someone else, and how to approach doing that.

“It’s a short and punchy presentation, and there are some great videos in it produced especially for the presentation, and it’s rural-based.”

Miss Doosey said there are some particular strategies for seeking mental health support in rural areas, such as when living in a small town like Tenterfield where you may not want to air your concerns to health professionals you may later meet on the golf course.

She said people can feel isolated in these situations, but as well as resources in the community there are other options such as online support and phone services.

She said there are misconceptions around therapy, but there are online, self-paced programs thatmay not be as confronting.

“It’s important to have a starting point,” Miss Doosey said.

She said sometimes people don’t seek help because they don’t recognise that what they’re feeling is a mental health issue that can be addressed.

“They accept that how they’re feeling now is how it’s always going to be.”

This can lead to the higher rates of suicide in rural and remote areas.

In milder cases the solution can be as simple as becoming more active, improving sleeping patterns, or even becoming more socially-connected.

“You don’t even have to share your problems,” Miss Doosey said.“Just having people around can help.”

To attend the business breakfast contact Caitlin Reid at [email protected]论坛. It costs$15 including buffet breakfast, and runs from 6.45am to 8.30am.

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

Water Week makes a splash

Use water wisely: A catchment to tap water tour on October 22, as part of National Water Week, will give people a chance to learn more about our water supply.PORTMacquarie-Hastings Council is encouraging the community to get involved and celebrate National Water Week.
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Water Week makes its splash between October 16 and 22, and aims to inspire individuals, communities and organisations to work together in building awareness and understanding around water.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council director Jeffery Sharp said the week-long celebration was filled with programs and activities that werenot only educational, they werefun.

“The week is dedicated to encouraging us all to protect this vital resource, and highlights that we need to use water wisely today if we are protect it for future generations,” Mr Sharp said.

The community is invited to enjoyfree activities, tours and events.

Osmosis Photography Exhibition ‘Retrospective 2004 – 2016’The exhibition profiles the work of local photographers, taking their inspiration from water in the Hastings and linking community, art and the environment.

It’s a selection from the hundreds of images contributed to the Osmosis photography competition since 2004.

15 – 22 October 2016,Ross Family Studio – Glasshouse Port Macquarie

Monday toFriday, 9am to5pm : Saturday andSunday 10am to4pm.

Water Stories at the Library Free storytime sessions, craft and a visit from Whizzy the Waterdrop.

Targeted at pre-school aged children. (No bookings required)

Monday October 17, 10.30am – Wauchope Library

Tuesday October 18, 10.30am – Port Macquarie Library

WednesdayOctober 19, 10.30am – Laurieton Library

Catchment to Tap Water Tour Learn more about our water supply on this informative bus tour onSaturday October 22, 8.45am for 9am departure from Players Theatre.

Return about 1pm.

For further information visithttp://梧桐夜网pmhc.nsw.gov419论坛/nationalwaterweek

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

Access all abilities netballers win praise

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GOLDEN City access all abilities netballers have given their all at the State Netball Titles in Melbourne.

The club had two teams participating across two divisions, against six other clubs, including Geelong, Gippsland, Goulburn, Latrobe and Melbourne.

AAA is a mixed competition with each team having a maximum of three male players in each team on the court at the one time.

Golden City had 14 players involved and had a team in both division one and two.

Division one coach Ros Comer said the division one side took to the court without any male competitors.

“Despite being undermanned all the girls gave 100 per cent for all five matches,” she said.

They finished with one win, one draw and three losses.

Their win came against Chisholm Spiders by five goals, while the team drew 9-9 with Elmer.

Golden City was unlucky not win a second match, losing their final match against Gippsland in a nail-biter by one goal.

Kath Lakey was team manager and Maree Seary their umpire.

The reserve team, under coach Tracy Rigney, won three of its five matches to reach the semi-finals before being beaten by Barwon.

Golden City defeated Goulburn 4-2 and Latrobe Valley 11-2, before falling to eventual champions Barwon, who also beat Golden City in the semi-final.

A thrilling one goal win over Doncaster followed before a final round loss to Chisholm.

“Both coaches were proud of their players efforts and good sportsmanship,” Comer said.

“Thanks to Tracy Rigney from Strathdale Netball Association who stepped in at the last minute to coach the reserve team and get them to a final.”

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

Pizza hold-up ends in prison term

THE fourth gang member captured when police stormed a local pizza shop has been jailed for more than three-and-a-half years.
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Robert Gordon was sentenced to threeyearsandninemonths in prison for his part in the hold-up of the Domino’s Pizza shop in Armidalein October, last year.

Judge Stephen Hanley imposed a minimum of one year and nine months in jail for two counts of robbery armed with an offensive weapon, finding special circumstances in the case after specialist reports were tendered in court.

During sentencing last week in Penrith District Court, Judge Hanley also recommended Gordon be offered access to a specialist program while in custody, and ordered the sentence be served concurrently with other sentences that Gordon remains behind bars for.

The court had earlier heard Gordon had a significant criminal history and dysfunctional background.

After time served, he willbe eligible for parole in July, 2017.

Gordon’s three co-accused, including a 17-year-old boy, remain in custody for their part in the armed robbery on October 8, 2015.

The gang of four were caught inside the pizza shop during a coordinated police sting by Armidale detectives and the Target Action Group (TAG).

On the night of the hold-up, the investigators wereworking as part of an operation, code-named Strike Force Inga, and were carrying out undercover surveillance of the Girraween shopping complex after a spate of robberies at the centre.

Police saw a 17-year-old juvenile, along with three other men acting suspiciously shortly after 11.30pm.

The group ran into the shop armed with a concrete block, pieces of timber and a knife.

Moments later police surrounded the store, blocking the front and back entrances, before they stormed inside and captured the gang in the shopfront.

All four members were arrested and charged with robbery armed with offensive weapons.

The 17-year-old was sentenced to two years in juvenile detention for his role in the hold-up, while Christopher Andrews was sentenced to a head sentence of three years and six months, after he received a discount for his early guilty plea.He will be eligible for parole in April, 2017.

Cutmore was handed a four year sentence with a minimum of two years behind bars, making him eligible for parole in 2018.

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

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