Monthly Archives: May 2019

Drug supply strike force makes arrest in Wellington

POLICE investigating drug supply in the Dubbo area have charged a man in Wellington.POLICE investigating drug supply in the Dubbo area have charged a man in Wellington.
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Detectives from Strike Force Salco arrested the 35-year-old at a Wellington residence on Wednesday.

He was taken to Wellington Police Station and charged with possess prohibited drug, supply prohibited drug on ongoing basis, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, participate in criminal group and self administer prohibited drug.

The man was refused bail ahead of an appearance inDubbo Local Court.

Strike Force Salco, comprising detectives from Orana Local Area Command, was formed in March 2014 to investigate the alleged supply of methylamphetamines.

During investigations police allegedly identified a man dealing prohibited drugs on 28 separate occasions from premises in Hunter Street, Dubbo.

On July 22, 2014, the 35-year-old man was stopped by police and submitted to a search where he was allegedly found in possession of 18 deals of methylamphetamine and cash.

The drugs were seized and sent for scientific examination which confirmed they were methylamphetamines (Ice).

Detectives later conducted a search warrant at the Hunter Street premises where they allegedly located amounts of methylamphetamines and cash.

Two other people were arrested at the premises and charged with a number of drug offences. Their matters are now before the court.

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Dimboola’s Robin Kuhne new WorkCo manager

NEW LEADER: Robin Kuhne will take over the role of WorkCo general manager on Monday following the departure of Dean Luciani. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRIWORKCO’S new general manager Robin Kuhne plans to uphold the organisation’s high level of service to the Wimmera community.
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Mr Kuhne starts the role on Monday following the departure of long-serving manager Dean Luciani.

Mr Kuhne has been with WorkCo for eight years, including the past six as training manager.

“The general manager’s role seemed like a natural progression,” he said.

Chief executive John Ackland said Mr Kuhne was appointed after an extensive interview process featuring internal and external applicants.

“Robin has worked in several roles and is a very capable person,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing our current successful operations in the region.”

Mr Kuhne said maintaining WorkCo’s level of service across the state was important.

“The organisation has been extremely well led for a long period of time,” he said.

“I think it is the general manager’s role to ensure that high level of service is maintained.

“I’m sure there will be opportunities for me to put my own spin on things down the track.”

Mr Kuhne said although WorkCo continued to evolve, the fundamental message remained the same.

“We are here to support employment and training in the six regions we cover,” he said.

“It is a commitment shared by all WorkCo staff.”

Mr Kuhne said he was aware of the region’s needs.

“I was born in Dimboola, I still live in Dimboola and I have three daughters who attend the same schools I did growing up,” he said.

“I feel I am well positioned to understand the challenges our region is faced with.

“Having said that, I believe all challenges provide opportunities.”

Mr Kuhne entered the engineering trade before joining WorkCo as an apprenticeship field officer.

“With engineering you can get something designed and built in a short time,” he said.

“Here you are building relationships during a long period of time.

“The product involves a lot more work and effort, but overall it is a lot more satisfying.”

Mr Kuhne said some of the apprentices he employed eight years ago were now employing their own apprentices.

“It is very rewarding to see them come full circle,” he said.

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Kinder children go bush to learn about nature

Archer rubs a gum leaf to release the eucalyptus smell. Picture: PETER PICKERINGCAREY Street Kindergarten has been developing a ‘Bush Kinder’ program which is now up and running and gives its children the opportunity to learn and explore in a bush environment.
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Kindergarten director Kara Bartlett said the Australian bush provides a unique learning environment and once a fortnight the children spend three uninterrupted hours of quality play and exploration time using what nature has provided as learning materials.

“We forage for insects, bugs and beetles, build cubbies, climb trees and most of all have lots of fun,” she said.

“Bush Kinder is based on the European model of forest schools, where the learning takes place almost exclusively in an outdoor setting come rain, hail or shine.

“Bush Kinder is becoming more apparent in Australia as we are recognising the importance of learning in the outdoors and also trying to counter balance the research showing that Australian children are spending more and more of their time indoors involved in sedentary activities.”

Carey Street Kinder welcomed a special guest to its bush session recently, with Bill Speedy from Brambuk sharing with the children Aboriginal dreamtime stories and Australian folklore.

Ms Bartlett said the children really enjoyed having Mr Speedy share his knowledge of the bush and the connections of the Aboriginal people.

“Bill led us on a bush walk where he showed the children how to track a kangaroo, dingo and emu,” she said.

“He showed us how to find witchetty grubs in the trees and other bush tucker. Bill played the didgeridoo and then each of the children were able to have a try as well.

“He also taught us about some of the natural medicines of the bush and finished by showing us how to make a campfire with a stick and a piece of bark.”

Carey Street Kindergarten run bush kinder sessions once a fortnight on a Tuesday. If anyone has any further questions please contact Kara Bartlett on 5352 7738.

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Halls Gap Hub plans challenged

Will Halls Gap’s Visitor Information Centre return to the centre of town? That’s an assurance president of the Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association, Paul Turner is seeking from Northern Grampians Shire Council as construction of the Halls Gap Hub proceeds.A CHALLENGE has been issued to the Northern Grampians Shire Council to provide a commitment that Halls Gap’s Visitor Information Centre will return to the community hub precinct when development is complete.
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The challenge has come from the president of the Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association, Paul Turner, who expressed his concerns about the direction council appears to be taking in relation to the community hub and particularly, the Visitor Information Centre.

He said the majority of people in Halls Gap wanted a commitment that the Visitor Information Centre, currently located at Brambuk while construction on the hub precinct continues, would return to the centre of the township.

“We have a petition circulating at the moment that contains in excess of 200 signatures,” Mr Turner said.

“Our association has been concerned with the entire process, from the lack of consultation to the apparent change in focus by council.

“The majority of residents and business owners in Halls Gap want the Visitor Information Centre back in the centre of town where it belongs.”

Mr Turner said concerns had also been raised about council’s decision to call for expressions of interest for the use of parts or all of the hub precinct, which could include commercial interests.

He said this would be at the detriment of existing businesses in Halls Gap.

“We believe the community hub should be just that, for the community and not for commercial interests,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that the focus of council seems to have changed.

“We were told that council would be making a decision on both the location of the Visitor Information Centre and what the hub will contain, but we haven’t been given any indication either way.”

Shire chief executive officer, Justine Linley, said in relation to calls from the association about a lack of consultation, the community had responded well to a workshop-style meeting held in Halls Gap over the issue.

“We did conduct the consultation meeting a little different, whereby rather than having a speaker at the front answering questions from the floor, round table discussions took place with council representatives,” Mrs Linley said.

“This is the way council is conducting a lot of its consultations and we think it works well. Not only does it avoid a lot of conflict, it gives everyone in attendance the opportunity to have a say.

“In a public meeting forum, we find a lot of people don’t speak up and put their views across. Most people we spoke with said they were pleased with the process we adopted on the night.”

Mrs Linley said council was pleased that the community was taking such an interest in the project.

“We are very conscious that Halls Gap, like in a lot of small communities, there is a collective of whole bunches of diverse people with differing ideas,” she said.

“The views put forward by the Halls Gap Residents and Ratepayers Association is one view and a very important view, but it’s not the only view.

“There is a diversity of viewpoints in Halls Gap and for council to make the best decisions it can, we need to hear all those views, not just one section of the community.

“That’s the value of the approach we have taken, It allows us to obtain the views of all the diverse groups of people.”

Mrs Linley said the community hub petition would be tabled at council’s meeting in Stawell on Monday night. The procedure with petitions is for the documents to lay on the table for a month before being discussed by council.

In the meantime, Mrs Linley said she welcomed the community’s input.

However, Mrs Linley did allude to the fact that within the funding agreement in place with the Federal Government through the Regional Development Australia Fund and the State Government through the Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program, there is a requirement for the precinct to contain a commercial element.

“We have to be able to provide the best services that we possibly can to our ratepayers, while being mindful of our cash position and the requirements within the funding agreement,” Mrs Linley said.

“Both agreements have an economic development focus, so any discussion on the facility being just for the community is irrelevant.

“There does need to be a commercial element within precinct and therefore, we need to work hard to make sure that this becomes a thriving and financially viable hub.

“The critical thing is, this hub development has had a lot of time, energy and emotion put into it and I can understand why the community members feel a sense of ownership.

“It is a healthy sign that people are so passionate about the development. It means the facility is needed and was needed.

“In relation to the Visitor Information Centre, there are arguments for moving it back to the precinct, but there is also a strong case for retaining it at Brambuk.

“We can only present these options and arguments to council. Ultimately, it is up to the council to debate the issues and make a decision. We do however, have to be mindful that we need to do things that are needed and not just wanted.

“I really believe this debate to be a healthy one for Halls Gap. To see such a level of passion can only be a good thing.

“It really underlines the fact that the government did agree to fund the project.”

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