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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The sky really is the limit at the Woodstock Show

in 2013 Orange Helicopters also provided the Woodstock Show with a free ride for a gate entry and raffle, pictured above are the winners alongside operator Dean Brus.Orange Helicopters will once again be at the Woodstock Show, and are offering a lucky show-goer the opportunity to win a free helicopter ride just for passing through the gates.
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Dean Brus from Orange Helicopters is happy to be giving away the ten minute joyride.

“The country side is looking magnificent at the moment, and the winner will be shown around the local area,” he said.

The company will be at the show all day, offering ten minute and 25 minute packages.

“The most popular ride is out to Wyangala,” Mr Brus said.

“Most people coming to the show are locals and love the opportunity to see the area from the sky.”

Mr Bus says that joy flights are perfect for Father’s Day.

“Most dads have everything; this is a gift with a difference.”

Flights can be pre-booked as a great gift for dad, or they can be arranged on the day.

Bookings can be made by calling Mr Brus on 0438270370.

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Former Ballarat school staffer caught with 15,000 child porn images

A BALLARAT father and former employee of a local secondary school, caught with almost 15,000 child pornography images, mostly of young boys, also discussed grooming tactics with other online predators, a court has heard.
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A covert police operation revealed in 2012 that Lee Terrence Clarke, 42, of Wendouree, was also in possession of 388 child pornography videos, many featuring young boys involved in sex acts with older men.

The County Court at Ballaraton Thursdayheard Clarke, a father of two boys, had been the member of an online “peer to peer” file sharing network and that he shared his collection of child porn with 250 other users.

Commonwealth prosecutor Andrew Sprague said Clarke often discussed grooming techniques with other users.

Detailing some of Clarke’s online discussions, Mr Sprague told the court of one occasion in which a fellow user commented on Clarke’s large collection of child porn.

“It took a while to get it all, never stop trying,” the court heard Clarke wrote to the user.

The court heard Clarke, who also worked with local youth in his role with the air force cadets, “preferred” boys between the age of 12 and 16, but that much of his collection included pre-teen boys and girls.

Clarke was arrested by Ballarat police on October 31, 2012,after Clarke let a covert officer access his child porn while online.

The court heard police quickly alerted the principal of the secondary school about Clarke’s charges.

Defence barrister Michael Stanton said Clarke had been employed at the school since 2012, with his duties including a supervisory role on school camps.

Clarke pleaded guilty to charges of accessing child porn using a carriage service and making child porn available using a carriage service.

The defence barrister said Clarke initially told police he had no idea why he had engaged in such conduct, adding he made full admissions and was cooperative with investigators.

Mr Stanton said Clarke became exposed to pornography in 2011 while suffering relationship troubles, adding it was then that he “ultimately sought out child porn”.

He said Clarke had since engaged in counselling with a psychologist, adding the offending had cost Clarke his career and second marriage.

Mr Stanton said Clarke had never tried to justify the offending.

Judge Frank Gucciardo will sentence Clarke onSeptember 9.

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GALLERY: Parramatta girls’ topical HSC art

GALLERY: Parramatta girls’ topical HSC art Imogen King with her innovative self portrait. Picture: Gene Ramirez
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Meegan Armstrong with a clay figure from her installation ‘Migration’. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Claudia Stafrace with her portraits of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Digital skateboard designs by year 10 students at Our lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

Picture: Gene Ramirez

TweetFacebook Migration, about the plight of refugees.

‘‘I went onto the United Nation’s refugee agency website and read a lot of articles about how they were treated —badly in certain instances,’’ she said.

‘‘I wanted to bring awareness.’’

Claudia Stafrace, 18, painted portraits of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden after exploring the power of technology, government censorship and the dangers associated with sharing personal information online.

They were hung at her school’s annual art exhibition on August 20, two days after Assange announced he would leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has stayed for two years to avoid extradition.

‘‘My concept was to explore the power and paradox of technology — basically that knowledge can be limitless with the internet but there are different ways it can be used such as as a means to control people.

‘‘I invite the audience to question ‘Is the disclosure of information by private organisations really of benefit to society or is it actually damaging?’’’

Imogen King, 17, painted a self portrait inspired by Australian artist Brett Whitely’s Alchemy.

‘‘My work is an attempt at a self portrait without ever depicting the physical version of me and [to discover] how does one encapsulate personality and the way that one views oneself within the world,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s quite hard because you feel like this work should … show everything that you are and everything that you’re capable of. You become incredibly emotionally invested in it.’’

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North Wagga sign Chad and Kirk Hamblin as co and assistant coach

Chad and Kirk Hamblin enjoy their first training run with North Wagga on Thursday night. The brothers will co-coach and assistant coach the Saints for 2015. Picture: Michael FrogleyFarrer League
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RESURGENT Farrer League club North Wagga hopes two brothers hold the key to premiership success.

The Saints have secured the services of Chad and Kirk Hamblin for the 2015 season.

Chad, 28, has signed on to co-coach the club alongside Nathan Dowdle, while younger brother Kirk will act as assistant coach.

Both siblings boast impressive football resumes.

Chad won three senior premierships at Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, before switching to Collingullie-Ashmont-Kapooka where he won three more in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In 2010 he won CAK’s best and fairest medal and was named best on ground in the Farrer League grand final.

Chad Hamblin playing for CAK in 2010, when he won the club’s best and fairest medal.

Chad then travelled north for work, and returned home two years ago to coach Hume League club Culcairn.

Kirk, 25, won four flags with GGGM before jumping ship to Culcairn to play under his brother for the past two seasons.

North Wagga co-coach Dowdle played with Chad at CAK and pointed the Saints in the direction of the two brothers.

“Dowds contacted me about six weeks ago and I had to put it on the back burner until I made up my mind,” Chad explained.

“North Wagga has a young playing group with a lot of potential, they just probably need that little bit of experience on top.

“Hopefully Kirk and I can provide that.”

Chad will become the playing coach at the club after confirmation Dowdle has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and is facing the prospect of spending an entire season on the sideline.

While Dowdle’s immediate playing future is in doubt, he says he is looking forward to working alongside Chad and Kirk.

“Chad and I can work well together and bounce ideas off each other,” Dowdle said.

“Both those boys have been around very successful football clubs and know what it takes to win premierships.

“And the best thing is they are really nice people, and a really nice family which we are bringing to our club.”

Dowdle revealed the Hamblin signings could be just the start of a big off-season recruitment drive for the Saints.

Kirk Hamblin playing for GGGM in 2012.

He confirmed the club is “chasing some more guys” as it fights to become a Farrer League power.

North Wagga president Greg Fox was rapt to announce the arrival of Chad and Kirk.

“We knew we were probably short one or two experienced players,” Fox said.

“We’ve been chasing a couple of experienced players for a couple of years now, but you need a bit of winning form behind you to attract guys to the club.”

With North Wagga’s season over, the Saints will begin preparing to kick off pre-season later this year.

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Elders to start community garden in NarrominePoll

An unused and overgrown patch of land in Burroway Street will be transformed into a community garden, thanks to a partnership between Narromine Shire Council and the Ngarru Mayin Elders Aboriginal Corporation.
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Council will lease part of the area behind the Narromine Museum to the Elders for a peppercorn rental so that they can establish a community garden.

Narromine Shire Mayor, Councillor Bill McAnally said community gardens were a great way for people to socialise and to develop a sense of community.

“Council recognises that with the involvement of Councillor Ruth Carney and the Ngarru Mayin Elders Aboriginal Corporation, this garden will not only clean up a neglected area, but will have significant community and educational benefits,” Clr McAnally said.

“It has the added benefit of educating people in traditional bush tucker and the types of native plants that can be grown alongside common vegetables”.

“Council can see that this is both a worthwhile use of the land and a great way for the young and old to integrate and for the Elders to pass on lessons about traditional Aboriginal foods and culture. Several schools and community groups have already pledged their support”.

“There is no question that the Ngarru Mayin Elders Aboriginal Corporation has transformed the old Historical Museum and brought it back to life, so we are excited about what they might be able to achieve with the garden.”

The Narromine Men’s Shed has indicated its support for the project, after cleaning up the old blacksmith’s shop at the back of the museum and cataloguing all of the items.

Council will lease the area to the Elders for $1 for the first year and they will use drip irrigation for watering.

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It’s all or nothing: Heelers

IT’S what local rugby dreams are made of.
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Tomorrow, at Highbrook Park, neighbouring clubs Muswellbrook Heelers and Singleton Bulls go head-to head in not one, but two, major semi-finals.

The fierce arch rivals meet in the first and second grade encounters, with the winners moving through to the 2014 deciders in a fortnight’s time.

As a sidebar, the Wanderers and Cessnock face off in an 11.50am Hunter Cup curtain-raiser.

“We are proud that we’ve been selected to host the major semi,” Heelers president Tim Pike said.

“And, having three games of rugby, it does not get much better.

“I invite everyone up to Highbrook Park tomorrow to cheer on the Heelers.

“The canteen and the bar in the clubhouse will be opened.”

Muswellbrook’s first grade outfit finished the season in top spot, defending its 2013 minor premiership, while the seconds were just behind Singleton on the ladder.

“Unfortunately, due to a couple of forfeits at the end of the year, we were robbed of the chance to get the club championship,” Pike said.

“Both clubs have been very competitive this season with only a few points separating them.”

Going into tomorrow’s feature clash, Muswellbrook and Singleton share the spoils with each boasting two triumphs.

However, in the last outing, the Bulls prevailed.

“This was only after the Heelers gave away too many penalties and had players sent to the sin bin,” Pike explained.

“We’ll have to get our discipline under control if we’re to not only win but move straight into the grand final.

“The lead-up to the semi hasn’t been ideal either.

“Our last game was forfeited, giving the first grade team only one match in the past three weeks.”

Pike is confident some handy reinforcements will boost the Heelers.

“The return of hard-hitting Isaac Scholes to the forwards, after a stint overseas, will strengthen the pack,” he said.

“He’ll be ably supported by his brother Caleb and Matt Gallagher.

“Allan Johnson, at halfback, will lead the backline which is full of fast runners and finishers such as Lewyn Rapana and Pana Ravouvou.

“This will be a good, entraining game.”

Pike expects to witness another close encounter in second grade.

“We’ll have to produce our best form as Singleton has one extra win on us,” he told the Chronicle.

“The Bulls boast an older and experienced pack, so Heelers’ players like Scotty Almond and Alex Whylie will need to contain their forwards.

“Pat Kirkwood, playing arguably his best rugby, should dominate at the breakdown.

“We’ll also be relying on Edwin McTaggart, who has scored tries in his past three games.

“If Muswellbrook can get a fair share of ball, and get it to the backline, that is where we can win the match.

“Ethan Cridland and his brother Nathan have both shown a clean pair of heels on their way to the tryline this season.”

BIG OCCASION: Muswellbrook Rugby Club president Tim Pike (second from right) with Heelers, from left, Ben Hoffman, Brad Smith and Will Harvey, who are primed for tomorrow’s major semi-final at Highbrook Park.

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