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Bail denied for man accused of multiple AVO breaches

A SOUTH NOWRA man who allegedly contravened or attempted to contravene apprehended violence orders 17 times in a nine-day period has been refused bail in Nowra Local Court.
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Malcolm James Stewart, 35, of Isabel Close, appeared before Magistrate Dr Gabriel Fleming charged with nine counts of contravening an apprehended violence order and eight counts of attempting to contravene an apprehended violence order.

Police allege the offences occurred at Silverwater in Sydney between January 28 and February 5 this year.

Stewart did not enter any pleas to the charges.

He had previously pleaded guilty to destroying or damaging property, a timber internal door, on January 15 at Nowra, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and with contravening an apprehended violence order.

He pleaded not guilty to never holding a licence to drive on the road, driver/rider state a false name and with using a vehicle with number plate not correctly fixed.

He was also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, using an offensive weapon with the intent to commit an indictable offence, never being licensed, police pursuit not stop driving dangerously and with being in custody of a knife in a public place in late December.

He also faces charges of contravening an AVO in Nowra on December 31, drive while unlicensed on December 5 and had pleaded guilty to charges of never being licensed and carry an offensive implement in a public place in Nowra on November 16 and with being in custody of a knife in a public place in Nowra on September 6.

He also faces four counts of dishonesty obtain financial advantage by deception, receiving and disposing of stolen property, concerning an allegedly stolen St George credit card on February 2 last year.

It is alleged Stewart used the card to purchase a number of items including cigarettes and lighters, two energy drinks, fuel, three ice creams and a bottle of Sprite soft drink at South Nowra.

All matters will be back before Nowra Local Court on April 7.

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Leeton adds to wins in Young

GROUP Nine surprise-packet Albury have finished the inaugural Young Leaguetag Carnival with a win more valuable than the competition’s top prizemoney.
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While perennial Group 20champions Leeton are celebrating yet anotherleaguetagtitle, Albury are coming to terms with success of a different kind.

Thunder have ended an incredible sporting legacy by defeating Group Nine rival Brothers 6-nil at the fledgling championships.

The win will provide an immeasurable confidence boost for the new-look Albury team, as the squad prepares for the start of the Group Nine season.

“Brothers are the absolutebenchmark team of the Group Nine leaguetag competition,” coach Mark Daly said.

“No one has beaten them in years, so for us to do it so early in the season is just a great achievement for the girls.”

The win over Brothers paved the way for Albury to face eventual winners Leeton in an “exciting” semi-finalshowdown that went down-to-the-wire.

“The Leetongame was very exciting. The score ended up14-12,but they (the Greens) onlyscored in the last minute,” Daly said.

“It wasvery close. I am very happy with how the girls performed, especially since Leeton went on to win the final.

“It just goes to show how close the girls were.”

The much-favoured Group 20 powerhouse emerged victorious from the inaugural Young LeaguetagCarnivalafter an outstanding grand final performance.

The Greens lived up to expectations by accounting for Group Nine heavy-weight Temora 10-6 in Sunday’s grand final.

The win is helping generate plenty of anticipation ahead of the start of the Group 20 competition, which will see the Greens and rival West Wyalong share early favouritism.

Albury’s efforts at the carnival have seen Thunder leave a lasting impression on their rivals ahead of the upcoming Gundagai carnival on March 28.

“We have a few new faces and we have a lot ofnew structures in place,” Daly said.

“I amreally happy with how things are coming together. The team has a bit more experience and it’sshaping up as a really strong little squad.

“They improved in every game they played (in Young), and they are only going to go from strength to strength now.”

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Local government: Councils’ opposition to super merger ramping up

Holroyd Council mayor Greg Cummings: jobs could be lost. Photo: Geoff Jones Canada Bay mayor Angelo Tsirekas: hefty rises in rates.
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Holroyd Council mayor Greg Cummings: jobs could be lost. Photo: Geoff Jones

Holroyd Council mayor Greg Cummings: jobs could be lost. Photo: Geoff Jones

Holroyd Council mayor Greg Cummings: jobs could be lost. Photo: Geoff Jones

Councils are ramping up their opposition to the prospect of forced mergers after the state election by raising fears of higher rates, lost jobs and fewer services.

Leichhardt, Canada Bay, Ashfield, Burwood and Marrickville councils which face amalgamation into a “super council” of 342,000 residents are touting a report from consultants Morrison Low. The greatest negative effect, the report says, is the reduction in the number of councillors making it more difficult for residents to access their council.

The report says creating a super council would cost around $60 million more that the government would provide, would meet only four of the seven Fit for the Future benchmarks after 10 years and could mean higher rates for high-value properties.

Canada Bay mayor Angelo Tsirekas said his residents could pay up to 20 per cent more in rates, while businesses could pay 80 per cent more. The report says the average residential rate would rise in Leichhardt, Canada Bay and Strathfield and decline in Marrickville, Ashfield and Burwood.

At Holroyd Council more than 230 local residents and business owners attended a recent Hands off Holroyd rally. Most telling for the government was that all local sitting MPs and political candidates supported the council’s stance. A second rally will be held on March 19, nine days before the election.

“The meeting provided people the chance to find out how 450 jobs could be lost and crucial services like childcare, disability care, free baby immunisation and Meals on Wheels could be reduced or scrapped altogether,” mayor Greg Cummings said.

A paper challenging the arguments for amalgamation by the mayor of Mosman, economist Peter Abelson, and Macquarie University associate professor Roselyne Joyeux has been accepted for publication by the international journal Public Money and Management.

In the paper, Smoke and Mirrors, recently presented to a Local Government Professionals Australia forum, they dispute the claim that larger councils are more financially sustainable than small ones.

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State government’s funding boost to attract tourists to the region

THE NSW government has pledged to spend $6 million to boost tourism in regional NSW, with a plan that could benefit Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo.
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The funding would be spent on a regional conference strategy to increase midweek visitation to the regional centres through the promotion of business, sporting and community group conferences, meetings and exhibitions.

NSW deputy premier Troy Grant pledged to spend the $6 million in consultation with tourism and hospital industry representatives.

The strategy was influenced by a report by Tourism Accommodation Australia that stated regional NSW’s share of overnight visitor stays had dropped from 50 per cent to 45 per cent in 2012-13 and was on track to decline to 40.2 per cent by 2022-23.

Throwing support behind the conference strategy, the association’s communications manager Peter Hook said Orange had excellent weekend visitation but needed to pick up on midweek tourism.

“Orange is doing well from a leisure perspective but for hotels they need that overnight visitor to maximise their investment,” he said.

On the other hand he said Bathurst and Dubbo had appropriate conference facilities already in place, but needed to attract more people to use them.

He said the conference centre at Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and Charles Sturt University and Mount Panorama at Bathurst, were ideal facilities.

“What has happened in these sorts of places is that the Monday-to-Thursday business trade has diminished or stagnated but meets all of the conference modelling strategies,” Mr Hook said.

He said many businesses did not recover after the global financial crisis and usually held their conferences closer to their main bases in the city, so needed reminding of what was available in regional areas.

Brand Orange executive officer Rhonda Sear said the Orange-based tourism group had been working on increasing conference and business tourism in the region for the past 18 months.

“The thing is, we have been very limited in regard to conference venues in regard to capacity with what we do hold,” she said.

However, Ms Sear said there would be more facilities available in the future and the Orange Ex-Services’ Club was increasing its conference capacity as part of ongoing renovations.

Orange Ex-Services’ Club CEO Cameron Provost said the conference facilities would be upgraded in about three or four years as stage four of the renovation plan.

“I think it [the conference strategy] is a very good initiative, it’s very much welcomed by myself and the club,” Mr Provost said.

He hoped it would offer the not-for-profit club support or funding to complete the conference centre work.

“It would help with tourism and attracting events to town to help accommodation, shops and bed and breakfast places. It would not only benefit the club but the community as well,” Mr Provost said.

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O’Shea chases back-to-back Golden Mile wins

Bendigo’s Glenn O’Shea will race off scratch in Sunday night’s Andy’s Earthmovers-backed Golden Mile Wheelrace final at the Bendigo International Madison athletics-cycling carnival. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
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VICTORIOUS a year ago, Bendigo cycling champion Glenn O’Shea will chase consecutive Golden Mile Wheelrace wins at Sunday night’s finale to the Bendigo International Madison athletics-cycling carnival.

O’Shea will race off scratch in the Andy’s Earthmovers-sponsored track cycling classic.

A crack field in the Golden Mile final to be contested at 7.15pm at the Tom Flood Sports Centre includes Jackson Law (10m), Leif Lampater (20), Scott Sunderland (20),Sam Welsford (25),Callum Scotson (30) and Dutch star Roy Pieters (40).

Bendigo’s Luke Knox, who will make his deubt in the McCaig Daikin Airconditioning-backed Bendigo International Madison later on Sunday, has won through to the Golden Mile final.

O’Shea began the madison carnival by winning Friday night’s Andy Earthmovers-backed criterium in the heart of Bendigo.

A dual winner of the Bendigo International Madison, O’Shea was joint winner with yachtsman Glenn Ashby in the 50th Bendigo Bank Bendigo Advertiser-Prime 7 Sports Star of the Year award.

O’Shea is a four-time winner of Sports Star which was first won by cycling legend Frank McCaig in 1965-66.

Field for the Andy’s Earthmovers Golden Mile Wheelrace (1600m):

Glenn O’Shea scratch, Jackson Law 10, Nick Yallouris 10, Leif Lampater 20, Scott Sunderland 20.

Sam Welsford 25, Callum Scotson 30, Roy Pieters 40, Rohan Wight 40, Ben Abels 60.

Thomas McDonald 70, Thomas McFarlane 70,Evan Hull 80, Alex Porter 80, Derek Radzikiewicz 90.

William Key 105, Harrison Lodge 110,Todd Satchell 115, Luke Knox 125, Ashleigh Kay 135,

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Confidence high through Heat

POWER PLAY: Wagga Heat star Scott Hare goes on the attack against Bankstown rival Steven Batey at Bolton Park Stadium. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
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WAGGA Heat are riding a wave of confidence after demolishingmetropolitanforce Bankstown at Bolton Park on Saturday.

Heat coach Allan Mullins said the star-studded Wagga outfit had entered the game respectfully wary of their powerhouse rival’s potential.

“Heading intothe game we were a bit concerned becausethey had been semi-finalists the last few years,” he said.“We thought they would be strong, so we prepared very well during preseason and heading into the game.”

Mullins pointed to the squad’s “massivedefensive” effort as playing a crucial part in paving the way for the Heat to record a 76-51 win.“Our confidence is definitely up now,” Mullins said.

Among the Heat’s standout performers were American import Gage Daye, who added 28 points to thetotal.

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Quershi’s double is trouble for finals bound Bulldogs

LONG AFTERNOON: Alex Mitton was one of a number of Rugby Union bowlers made to toil on Saturday as a Jameel Qureshi special saw Blayney produce a big win. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030715crugby1
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THE Blayney Bushrangers have given Rugby Union some food for thought heading into their Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade semi-final, after handing them an eight-wicket thrashing on Saturday.

Jameel Qureshi joined ex-Rugby player Max Hope in Bathurst’s first grade double-hundred club as he hammered a sensational 208 at Brooke Moore Oval.

It helped his team to a massive first innings total of 378 in reply to Rugby’s 167 from day one.

It was Qureshi’s first century of the season in local cricket and handed Blayney their second win.

Rugby bore the full brunt of the knock as they were made to toil for a total of 101 overs. Instead of a possible minor premiership, they ended up fourth on the ladder.

Jameel Qureshi and his brother Imran (57) took their side past the required target without any further damage in the wicket column, having resumed at 2-48.

Rugby knew that breaking that stand in the early overs on day two was the key to victory but they couldn’t do it.

Instead they were forced to watch on as the siblings piled on 154 for the third wicket.

The Bulldogs were banking on having a second innings slog to try and grab some bonus points.

They didn’t get the chance thanks to Qureshi’s masterclass.

Blayney themselves had nothing to gain from a second innings given that their finals hopes were long gone.

“Imran and I spoke about it when I came back from playing in Sydney, the idea of hopefully batting for a full day together or having a big stand like that one,” Jameel Qureshi said.

“The pitch was pretty good, there was a bit in it for the bowlers early, but not like there was last week. We did it a bit tough early on, they bowled quite well, but it flattened out after that.

“We got to the session after tea and I asked Mitto [Rugby captain Andrew Mitton] if he wanted to call it quits, but they wanted to play for bonus points so we kept on going.”

After Imran Qureshi’s departure, Adrian Mielke (27) and Jayden Fuller (28) each gave Jameel good support.

But it was Jameel’s day and he was particularly brutal once he reached three figures.

Jeremy Thackray was a standout for Rugby, taking 4-46 from 21.4 overs, while Jim Tristrum picked up 3-76 from 20.

When Blayney were finally dismissed, it left Rugby with a measly 18 balls to face.

They made the most of them, smacking 37 thanks to Sam Macpherson (20 not out) and Thackray (17 not out).

Jameel Qureshi had no idea he was even approaching such a massive landmark in the latter stages of his innings, and said that it was among his best knocks but perhaps not at the top.

“I wasn’t too conscious of my score, I felt after I got to 100 that I could just keep batting for a bit and then maybe start to give things a bit of a crack,” he said.

“I didn’t know I was getting close at all.

“I don’t think it was quite the best I’ve batted, I offered a chance to Alex Mitton off his own bowling. I think the hundred against Parkes for Bathurst earlier this season was my best knock. This was up there though.”

The result means that Rugby, who went into the match playing potentially for top spot, now find themselves in a sudden-death final against City Colts.

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Local government: Plans afoot for high density zones on rail routes

Minister for Planning Pru Goward wants the seven precincts turned into thriving hubs. Photo: Brendan EspositoGovernment planners designated Campbelltown, 50 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district,   as a satellite city in the early 1960s. Now they are having another go, looking forward another 20 years.
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The plan is to develop higher-density zones within walking distance of railway stations at Glenfield, Macquarie Fields, Ingleburn, Minto, Leumeah, Campbelltown and Macarthur. These precincts would have shops, cafes, parks and jobs.

The boundary for each precinct will be 800 metres to 1.5 km around each station, representing a 10 to 20 minute walk.

The Minister for Planning, Pru Goward, said early studies will help identify what infrastructure and services were needed to turn the seven precincts into thriving hubs for homes, jobs and shops next to transport.

“Our plan is to work closely with councils to create energetic places alive with shops, places to eat and green open space to play,” Ms Goward said.

The Department of Planning is also looking at opening up new land release areas in the Great Macarthur region from Campbelltown down to Appin and Wilton. “Government recognises that there are a lot of proposals and private sector interest in the Greater Macarthur area which is why it will take an efficient, co-ordinated approach to the study,” the department said.

Community input will be sought after May when preliminary technical investigations are completed.

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Naden opens the season with a try for Penrith

Brent Naden jogs over for an easy tryBrent Naden has scored in the the Panthers opening Under 20’s Holden Cup match at Pepper Stadium as Penrith defeated the Bulldogs 30 – 12.
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The Panthers were first to put points on the board thanks to a brilliant cut out pass from Sione Katoa to Soni Luke, who flicked it off to Fairouz Elkander and put him into some open space on the 10m line, before he dived over to score in the 12th minute. Dylan Edwards converted to put the home side ahead 6-0.

Penrith maintained their momentum a few minutes later when Tyrone May capitalized off a slow restart and spotted an easy gap in the defence, before sprinting to the line to plant the ball down just outside the left hand upright. The conversion from in front increased our lead to 12-0.

With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, the Mountain Men had their third unanswered try thanks to a quick play the ball from Sione Katoa to Dylan Fuad, whose short power play burst through the final 5 metres and over the line. The kick added the extra 2 to extend the score to 18-0.

The Bulldogs almost hit back in the next set of six, but some solid Panthers defence held Brendan Cox up over the line.

The Panthers scored again with less than 5 minutes until the half time break thanks to a dazzling display of ball work from Brent Naden who slipped through a hole 20m out and jogged over to score. The conversion extended our lead even further to 24-0.

HALF TIME: 24 – 0 Panthers

The start of this half showcased the Panthers defence prowess when they fielded an attacking onslaught from the Doggies who dominated possession in the opening minutes. An impressive display from Logan Geyer derailed Canterbury’s next scoring attempt in the 44th minute, after he pushed their forward into touch.

The Bulldogs onslaught eventually paid off with Josh Bergamin sailing through our backline to score their first points in the 50th minute. The conversion took the score to 24-6.

It looked like a comeback could be on the cards for the Canterbury youngsters when they sent a flurry of passes across the park which scattered the Panthers defence, and sent winger Joseph Burchell over the try-line on the right hand side. The swinging kick through the posts narrowed the gap to 24-12.

But the Panthers weren’t ready to give up just yet and with a bamboozling ball play from the home side, Maliko Filino ran through the Doggies defence and around under the posts to reassert the home side’s dominance in the 67th minute. The conversion pushed the Panthers lead to 30-12.

The rest of the match bounced from one end of the field to the other, and despite numerous attempts by the visitors to put more points on the board, the home side held strong to walk away with their first win of the season.

FULL TIME: 30-12 Panthers

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Labor’s focus on women’s safety

Labour’s female candidates gather on International Woman’s Day as the party launches plans for a domestic violence court trial. From left, Melissa Cleary, Yasmin Catley, Jenny Aitchison, Sophie Cotsis, Kate Washington and Jodie Harrison. Picture: Jonathan Carroll NSW state election March 28, 2015: Get to know the seats in the Hunter
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A COURT specialising in domestic violence and sexual assault will be trialled in the Hunter if Labor is elected.

Opposition spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis, armed with the region’s five women candidates and Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison, unveiled the party’s plans to stop domestic violence and improve support for victims in Newcastle on Sunday.

Ms Cotsis said unveiling the plans on International Women’s Day confirmed the party’s desire to prevent violence against women with policy that ‘‘catches victims at every step’’.

Labor would spend $14.5 million to support womens refuges, counselling services, and programs focused on preventing violence and helping men to change their behaviour.

A Premier’s Council for Women would be set up to advise the government, and the Office of Women would again become part of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The plans would also see stronger penalties for breaching Apprehended Violence Orders, and protection for victims under the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Ms Cotsis said women who had experienced domestic violence or sexual assault needed to be guided through the process to report the crime and bring the perpetrator to justice.

She said the party introduced five days paid domestic violence leave in 2009, and would double it to further support victims.

‘‘Domestic violence and sexual assault takes over their life psychologically, mentally, socially … We’re looking at this from a co-ordinated approach – increasing the awareness that we need to change behaviour and stop violence against women … and showing women that they can get support.’’

There were 2704 domestic violence incidents and 544 sexual assaults reported in the Hunter between January and September last year.

Domestic violence rates in Newcastle, Maitland, Cessnock and Port Stephens are higher than elsewhere in NSW – a statistic all Labor candidates agreed was worrying.

Labor would also work with police across the state if elected to expand the role of domestic violence liaison officers.