‘I got it wrong’: Baird gives greyhound industry ‘one last chance’

‘I got it wrong’: Premier Mike Baird with Deputy Premier Troy Grant on Tuesday. Photo: Nine NewsPremier backs down on greyhound racing banThe NSW greyhound industry will be given “one final chance” by the Baird government under a new regime being touted as “the strictest regulations that exist anywhere in the country”.
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Premier Mike Baird declared “I got it wrong” while confirming he would back down on his original promise to close down the industry from July next year.

Instead, Mr Baird said the industry would need to sign up to mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for live baiting and registering greyhounds for their entire lives.

A new independent regulator will be headed by former Labor premierMorris Iemma. There will be more resources for enforcement and prosecution and animal welfare.

“I got it wrong, we got it wrong, the cabinet got it wrong and the government got it wrong,” Mr Baird said.

Premier Mike Baird announced a backdown over his greyhound racing ban on Tuesday. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Mr Baird said he knew a lot of people will be disappointed by the back down but said “we are listening”.

Cabinet revisited the decision to ban greyhound racing on Tuesday morning.

The move followed a sustained media and industry campaign since it was announced in July and amid expectations of a large swing against the government at the November 12 byelection in Orange.

The decision to ban the industry from July 1 next year followed the report of a special commission of inquiry headed by retired judge Michael McHugh.

It found up to 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years because they were too slow or unable to race.

The inquiry was prompted by revelations aired by the ABC’sFour Cornersprogram about live baiting in the greyhound industry.

The back-down comes despite Mr Baird having argued for months that closing the industry is “the right thing to do”.

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South West chefs surfing new turf

Wave of support: A team of surfing chefs from the South West will land at Bib & Tucker this month to raise money for SurfAid’s work in remote Indonesian villages. Photo: Supplied.A group of award-winning chefs from the South West will venture north to Perth this month for a special event to raise money for SurfAid.
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Two time world champion Tom Carroll and Yallingup surf legend Taj Burrow will join Aaron Carr (Vasse Felix), Tony Howell (Margaret River Hospitality Group), Dany Angove (Leeuwin Estate) and Paul Iskov (Fervor) at Bib & Tucker in North Fremantle.

Billed as ‘more than a cocktail party but not quite asit down dinner’, SurfingChefsfor SurfAid will feature dishes prepared by the guest chefs alongside McHenry Hohnen and Bunkerswines.

The evening is the brainchild of Must Winebar chef Russell Blaikie, who began calling on his chef-mates to cook for free to support the cause.

“SurfingChefsfor SurfAidis about partnering a line-up of amazingchefswhosurfwith some of the greatestsurfersin the world to cook, party, and raise funds for the important work of SurfAid,” Mr Blaikie said.

Chef Paul Iskov. Photo: Offshoot Creative

“Over the years, we’ve raised close to $300,000 for SurfAid’swork in the remote islands of Indonesia.”

The SurfAid organisation works to assist remote villages in programs toprovide clean water, access to basic health care, and improved nutrition all with a “hand up, not a hand out” philosophy.

Local chef Paul Iskov will take part in the event for the second time and said he was looking forward to the spirited ambience of the SurfAid kitchen.

“It’s a fantastic experience, everyone jumps in and helps out and because we are all together working it gives each chef more of a chance to engage with the diners and talk about what they’re making,” Mr Iskov said.

“I remember the first time I went up for the event a couple of years ago, the first thing I saw when I walked in was Tom Carroll behind a huge pile of prawns, prepping and getting involved.”

Mr Iskov said as a keen surfer who had spent many weeks surfing Indonesia’s best breaks it was important to give back to the remote villages.

“To know that all we need to do is give up buying a coffee a few times a week, or donate a few days of our time to make a massive difference to those communities is incredible.”

For more梧桐夜网facebook南京夜网/events/1784651085146372

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‘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.”

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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.

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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

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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.”

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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.

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Baird backflip on greyhounds racing ban

Major backflip: Mike Baird defends the ban in Parliament earlier this year. Picture: Edwina PicklesGreyhound racing is up and running again after a monumental backflip by the state government.
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“I got it wrong,” Premier Mike Baird said today, announcing the industry would be given“one more chance”.

Mr Baird said former premier Morris Iemma would chair a panel that would oversee “anew regime, and ensure NSW greyhound racing is the cleanest in the country”.

He said there would be mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for live baiting and greyhounds would have to be registered for their entire lives, so they could be monitored.

The decision follows growing unrest amogNational Party MPs, who were threatening to dump their leader Troy Grant.

“I know a lot of people will be disappointed,” Mr Baird said.

However, there were two basis on which the new decision had been made.

The first was “a crescendo of feedback” from the community opposed to a ban, and the second was a report which found the industry was prepared to make a strong attempt to reform.

Mr Baird said no individual, government or other organisation was infallible.

“Sometimes you will get it wrong,” he said.

”We are listening.

“Any good government needs to ensure it does exactly that –thatit does listen.

“While we always will be prepared totake strong decisions, we also have to be prepared to listen.”

Mr Baird said the initial principles upon which the ban was based had not changed.

“The animal cruelty we saw cannot continue,” he said.

”The first path we chose was wrong, but there is a new path and I can assure you that our determination [is just as strong].

”The industryhas been given another chance.”

Mr Baird said the RSPCA had been invited to join the panel to be headed by Mr Iemma, which would also include industry and government representatives.

The panel would report back to the government by the end of this year.

Subject to the panel’s recommendations, legislation would be introduced early in 2017 to repeal the ban.

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‘I’m sorry’: Premier Baird

APPETITE FOR CHANGE: Premier Mike Baird (right) and Deputy Premier Troy Grant front the media on Tuesday to announce a wind-back of the greyhound racing ban. Photo: WOLTER PEETERS
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A DECISIONto reverse the greyhound ban has been largely welcomed by Orange’sbyelection candidates, but some warn the future of the industry is still far from guaranteed.

Premier Mike Baird confirmed reports the government wouldbackflip on the ban on Tuesday and apologised to those in the industry who had done the right thing.

Mr Baird saidthe feedback received fromthe community showed it washorrified by Justice McHugh’s findings onanimal cruelty, whichledto the ban, but they also asked togive the industry one last chance.

“That’s what they’ve said consistently,” he said.

“In hindsight, we got it wrong – I got it wrong, cabinet got it wrong, the government got it wrong.”

The decision followed consultation by Dr John Keniry on how the industry would transition.

“He has advised cabinet there is a deep appetite for change,” Mr Baird said.

“The industry will be given that one last chance –I want to be clear, we are not returning to the status quo,the barbaric practices have to end.”

A panel will work with industry and animal welfare agencies, chaired by former premier Morris Iemma, with measures including a possible reduction to 15 tracks, breeding capped at 2000 dogs a year, a $1500 bond per greyhound and a no-tolerance policy on animal cruelty.

Nationals candidate for Orange Scott Barrett said the industry should have control of the reforms.

“I’ve said I want to see greyhound racing continue in NSW and this gives us a path forward and it’s a good outcome ultimately for everyone involved,” he said.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Phil Donatosaid the industry should receive more of the$35 million it contributed to the intercode agreement with harness and thoroughbred racing to spend on compliance and was concerned aboutthe $1500 bond and the economic impact of closing tracks.

“People can’t afford $1500–if theyhave a litter of 10, that’s $15,000,” he said.

He and Labor candidate Bernard Fitzsimon saidthere was still not enough detail.

“Nothing will be done before the byelection and people need to be very skeptical –it’s good news but we’ve got to keep fighting,” Mr Donato said.

“Until amendments to the bill are passed, there’s still no guarantees,” Mr Fitzsimon said.

Independent candidate Scott Munro believed the change would not have happened without an independent in the byelection race.

“We know Labor’son 30 per cent, the Shooters have got 13per cent and I got 15-18 per cent–they know the numbers,” he said.

“Country people don’t forget.”

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Impressive gym for all

Felicity Ralph and her daughter Millie with Parkes Fitness 4 All manager Mandy Reedy. Photo by Barbara Watt. Parkes’ newest gym, Fitness 4 All, will officially open on Saturday at 8am.
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Locally owned and operated by Shane Mann, Fitness 4 All boasts all brand new equipment in the fully renovated gym area of the PCYC in Pearce Street.

Shane said it has been a long-time dream of his to open a fitness centre for the community to be proud of.

“Having travelled the world duringthe past 10 years training in health clubs, piecing together new ideas and equipment types, I felt the time was right to make thedream a reality,” he said.

“To do so inside the PCYC, were I spent a majority of my childhood, makes it even more special!

“The PCYC is such a hidden treasure and has so much to offer as well.

“I named the business “Fitness 4 All” because I believe it truly is a health fitness centre for everyone, no matter what your fitness level, shape or size, we are here to help.

“I feel the new equipment, the floor plan inside the club, the weights, cardio, group classes and kids play area is exactly what was needed for the community.”

Shane said theequipment isthe most modern on the market and some of it (at the time it was ordered) hadn’t been seen in Australia before.

“The equipment selection provides us with the opportunity to cover all areas, whether it be for weight loss, specific sports training, weight gain, rehabilitation from injury or surgery, theaged or disabled,” he said.

The Fitness 4 All team includes manager Mandy Reed, three qualified trainers and four qualified instructors.

“I have surrounded myself with a fantastic, friendly and qualified teamwho, all being locals, understand what the community wants and needs to achieve a healthy body and healthy mind lifestyle,” Shane said.

“We are proudly associated withNorthparkes Mines and Fitness Passport and welcome any other organisations or groups to join us in building a healthy community.”

Go along andsee for yourself what Shane and the teamhave built – the doors open on Saturday at 8am.

“Come and meet our great team and take advantage of our free classes,giveaways and the super savingson our foundation membership deal,” Shane said.

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