Monthly Archives: July 2019

Carnival plays straight bat to vandals

TAMWORTH District Cricket Association president Richard Bullock was delighted with another great turnout to the Central North Invitational Cricket Carnival in Tamworth on the weekend.
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Mid North Coast’s Fraser Carroll bowls to Scot’s College in their Under 16 clash on Saturday. 031015GGC03

Northern Inland hosted teams from Mid North Coast, Hunter Valley and Scots College in Under 13, 14 and 16 age divisions.

The 12 teams complete their three-day carnival today.

The only dampener on the weekend was the vandalism of Riverside 2’s centre square during the week.

Bullock said the ground would be out of action for up to a month.

“Some inconsiderate idiots decided they would take to Riverside 2 to do some circle work,” Bullock said.

“The result is shattering.”

He said the vandalism had affected not only the weekend’s carnival but the regular Tamworth season starting this Saturday.

“This nice work, by thoughtless idiots now has this ground out for approximately a month,” he said.

“All the hard work by Jonesie (Adam Jones) and his crew at Riverside in the off season is a waste. Just disgusting, something has to be done.

“We lost the TRECC ground for a few weeks as well to the same thing. We are lucky that we have so many turf wickets but we will still have to push a few games onto synthetic.”

Tamworth Regional Council had promised bollards and cameras at Riverside to partition off the grounds and take footage of vandals and their cars.

Bullock said the carnival had not been affected.

“It always takes a fair bit of organising,” he said.

Northern Inland began its Under 16 carnival with a good 94-run win over Hunter Valley at Dick Edwards Oval on Saturday.

Toby Whale top scored with 64 for NI while AJ Pretorious (21) and Nick Willoughby (29) also made good runs.

Kieran Dennis (11no) and Jack Hannaford (12no) then combined in a late unbroken partnership with Hannaford hitting a six off the last ball of the innings to take his team to 8-194.

HV then fell for 100 with James Austin (3-21 off eight overs) and Jye Paterson (2-7) the pick of the NI bowlers.

Playing Scots College yesterday NI limited the Sydney school side to 7-145 with Hugo Patterson’s unbeaten 46 a highlight for the visitors.

Opening bowlers Jaiden Tasker and James McGowan were impressive, left armer Tasker, from Inverell, claiming 2-16 off his eight overs and McGowan, from Gunnedah but attending Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, taking 2-21 off his eight overs.

NI then knocked over the run chase quickly, finishing 1-147 in the 25th overs after opener Jye Paterson (78) and Toby Whale (48no) had completed a good stand.

“Two good wins,” NI coach Chris Paterson said yesterday.

His side plays Mid North Coast today in their final game at Dick Edwards Oval.

Mid North Coast lost their first game when they replied to Scots Colleges’ 228 with 228 on Saturday and were “in the balance” with Hunter Valley yesterday.

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Protest leads to policy change

A public meeting on how to deal with sea level rise at Marks Point and Belmont from December 2014. Picture: Jonathan Carroll A PUBLIC uprising over Lake Macquarie City Council’s sea level rise measures led to a change in policy direction, mayor Jodie Harrison said.
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“There’s been some learnings about having community meetings where you get 300 people who are angry,” Cr Harrison, of Labor, said.

“It isn’t a good way to bring the community along.

“It’s almost a no-brainer, but it needed a few of those meetings for people to wake up to it.”

At one meeting held at Marks Point in 2013, Cr Harrison was heckled by a hostile crowd.

Former Marks Point resident Barbara Davis said in 2013 that the council had “given us no opportunity to research and develop plans to protect our properties in the event sea levels should rise”.

With Liberal councillors pressuring Labor over the issue and residents pushing for change, the mayor backed moves for more community consultation.

“I think it’s really important that we bring the community with us,” Cr Harrison said.

Deputy mayor Brian Adamthwaite, of Labor, said “there’s been a definite desire to make sure it’s an inclusive process”.

Cr Adamthwaite, a possible mayoral candidate at next year’s council election, was committed to continue Labor’s support for residents in the long term.

The consultation led residents to prepare an “adaptation plan” to protect properties against future rising seas at Marks Point and Belmont South. Council staff worked with residents to further develop the plan and councillors recently voted to seek public comment on it.

The plan marked a dramatic change from the council’s previous sea level rise policy, which favoured property restrictions over property protection.

Residents argued this agenda caused property prices to fall and insurance premiums to rise, which the council denied.

These same residents will push for development controls to be reviewed to reflect the new policy direction. Additionally, they want a review of notations relating to sea level rise, which were placed on about 10,000 properties in 2009.

Liberal councillor Ken Paxinos said the new plan was “a good move”, but added “pity it didn’t happen a lot earlier”.

Cr Paxinos said the plan was “a significant change” because it would allow people in areas at risk of future sea level rise to “stay where they are and prepare themselves for it, rather than retreat”.

“At one stage, council staff were saying ‘we won’t let you subdivide or put in duplexes or do anything that might increase the number of people in an area’,” he said.

Cr Paxinos said the new plan included “a lot of talk”, which he hoped would “manifest into something that is reasonable, sensible and logical”.

Liberal councillor Jason Pauling said the new plan provided a “framework to defend property rights”, but he cautioned that the controversy was not over.

Cr Pauling said a big part of the council staff’s previous direction was “fear of litigation, where council approves a development that subsequently turns out to be inundated”.

But he said the risk of the council being sued in 50 years for approving a dual occupancy now seemed “pretty remote”.

A council staff statement said it had “demonstrated a commitment to real engagement with flood-affected communities.”

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Lake council slammed for ‘green’ bias

Boolaroo and Speers Point looking south over Lake Macquarie. Council’s new sea level rise plan is one of ‘defence rather than retreat’.LAKE Macquarie City Council had been operating like a “green empire” for years and placing the environment ahead of people, former Swansea MP Garry Edwards said.
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“That’s the commentary you get in the street,” Mr Edwards said.

Mr Edwards said the council had been “too green for a number of years now”.

“It is time to rein them in,” he said.

He said the council’s new direction on sea level rise policy appeared to show that environmental extremism was having less influence at the council.

Asked about whether it had been building a green empire at the expense of people, a council staff statement said: “At no time has council received any such criticism”.

The statement said residents had rated “caring for the environment as the most important of council’s focus areas”.

“Council listens to the wishes of its residents,” it said.

Labor councillor Barney Langford said it was “absolute rubbish that there’s been green empire building going on”.

Liberal councillor Jason Pauling said the prevailing political outlook of council staff had “clearly been green-left.”

“It’s no surprise the environment has been front and centre, but it needs to be tempered with balance,” Cr Pauling said.

The Newcastle Herald reported recently that councillors had voted to seek public comment on a draft “adaptation plan” to protect properties against future rising seas at Marks Point and Belmont South.

This was a big turnaround from the council’s previous sea level rise policy of property restrictions.

Mr Edwards said the previous policy caused developers to “stay away from the place.”

“The place stagnated thanks to council’s persistence with what I believe was an unsuitable policy,” he said.

“It hurt a lot of people.”

Mr Edwards lost his seat to the ALP at the last state election, having run as an independent.

This followed his departure from the Liberal Party over revelations at ICAC that he had accepted about $1500 in an envelope for a raffle from developer Jeff McCloy during the 2011 election campaign.

Mr Edwards, a former Lake Macquarie Liberal councillor, said he backed the council’s new sea level rise plan of “defence rather than retreat”.

Labor councillors have indicated support for the new plan.

“It’s great to see the ALP councillors are finally coming on board,” Mr Edwards said.

Cr Langford said a group of residents devised the plan to adapt to sea level rise risk, which was part of an “exemplar community consultation process”. “When I came on council, the whole issue to do with sea level rise was front and centre,” Cr Langford said.

“Council staff came to us and said we need to develop a process for engaging with the community to manage this and that’s what we have done,” he said.

He said council staff had responded to state government guidelines.

“It was nothing to do with any kind of agenda, other than we have a problem and we need to work with the community to solve that problem,” he said.

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Champions burn up Oakburn dirt

MORE than 160 young riders descended on Oakburn Park and flew around the dirt Tamworth track in the National Junior Track titles.
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Mitchell Kruger, Caleb Wilkens and McKenzie Booth battle for position and an Australian title at Oakburn Park on Saturday. Photo: Gareth Gardner 031015GGD01

Australian champions were crowned across 15 different classes ranging from the five-year-olds on 50cc bikes to the 17-year -olds on 250cc machines.

Tamworth Motorbike Club president Paul Slade said the weekend was a success for the club and region despite the heat.

“The sun made it a bit more difficult but there is no complaints,” Slade said.

“There has been some really good racing all weekend.”

Tamworth riders Damon Elms and Cameron Donald were on fire, riding their way into the finals on Sunday afternoon for the chance to be crowned Australian champion on their home track.

“The boys are riding pretty well and should do alright in the finals.”

The event has brought hundreds of people into town for the long weekend, and is just the start of a huge few months for the club that will culminate in a massive Indoor Show at the AELEC in December.

“Eighteen years ago we held the junior long track titles here, but this is the biggest season we have had for a very long time,” Slade said.

“There is going to be some world class riders at the AELEC.”

“It is going to be huge.”

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