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July, 2018

Fast rail link talk speeds up

Next stop Badgerys Creek: A proposed fast rail link to the future western Sydney airport is gaining momentum.A new rail link tothe future secondSydney airportviathe Blacktown LGA maybecome a reality.
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Thefeasibility of a fast train connecting the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs and the new airport were explored at the15 minutes – Fast Tracking the Dual CBDsforum on Friday, whereAurecon/Deloitte unveiled theirdiscussion paper findings.

Parramatta Council and the Sydney Business Chamber hosted the forum at Rosehill Gardens.

There are four options for the 15 minute fast train route between Parramatta and the CBD, which would take half the time it does now.

‘’This is more than just a thing, it’s a plan that’spotentially game changing,’’ Parramatta lord mayor Paul Garrard told the forum.

‘’We need both the governments and private sector to take a leap of faith to actually make it happen.’’

A linkfrom Parramatta to the Western Sydney Airport is proposed to go via the southern Liverpool LGA or the Blacktown LGA and would take 25 minutes.

TheBlacktown LGA route would be more direct and would connect to emerging and existing tourist attractions, including thenew Western Sydney zoo.

Bothlinksare unfunded andforum speakers said the CBDlink was more viable than the airport.

Federal ministers Paul Fletcher and Angus Taylor suggested the rail links could be funded through value capturing.

The idea didn’t go down well with City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore, who suggested governments instead redistribute the money allocated to Westconnex which was diverted from public transport funding.

‘’Sydney does well in global city rankings but gets marked down for poor public transport,’’ she said.

‘’The answer isn’t building more toll roads.’’

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali renewed calls for a more integrated transport network after wealerted to him to thereport.

‘’It’s nicepeople have got imagination,’’ he said.

‘’But they should stop sugarcoating it and put their money where their mouth is.’’

‘’An airportlink from Parramatta is ridiculous. Existing stations like Doonside, Rooty Hill, Pendle Hilland Riverstone don’t have lifts.’’

Cr Bali did support a proposedstation at the M4/M7 interchange if the Blacktown LGA route goes ahead.

‘’Blacktown International Sportsparkgets more use than Homebush,’’ he said.

Hesaid the CBDfast rail link should be extended.

‘’There’s more to western Sydney than just Parramatta,’’ Cr Balisaid

‘’Parramatta is the eastern suburbs of the west. Afast train should stop at Strathfield, Parramatta, Blacktown and Penrith.’’

WSROCcalled for careful consideration of route options.

“A very fast train from Parramatta to Badgerys Creek is a great concept, but if the route doesn’t have stations and stops along the way there will be very little benefit for commuters and businesses between these two locations,” president Tony Hadchiti said.

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Teens lured by evil drug ice in Bathurst

HAUL: Detective Senior Constable Aaron Burgess and Detective Senior Constable Ed Belfanti with drugs and weapons seized in recent raids. 030416drugs1AS the use of ice has tripled across Australia over the past five years, Bathurst police have been dealing with people as young as teenagers under the influence of the drug.
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The first research to track the growing rate of Australia’s addiction to the drug, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found that nearly 60,000 users were aged between 15 and 24.

Chifley local area command crime manager Inspector Luke Rankin yesterday said local police had put “enormous resources” into trying to stop the distribution of ice and other prohibited drugs.

He said the problem was both a policing and a social issue.

“We’ve dealt with teenagers, kids really, who have been under the influence of ice,” he said.

Inspector Rankin said the drug was more available and relatively cheap at about $30 a “point” and said police feared its availability put more people at risk of addiction.

He said the problem was not only the drug, but the other crime its use motivated.

“Organised crime here in the community, break and enters, thefts from retail stores; a lot of crime here in the community is drug-related,” he said.

“Subsequently, we have channelled enormous resources into targeting drug distribution on a number of levels.”

Inspector Rankin said the command’s incidents of supplying a prohibited drug were one of the highest on record, reflecting a commitment to targeting alleged suppliers.

He said when it comes to drug detection, “if you don’t look you don’t find”.

Inspector Rankin said police formed two strike forces, Wilke and Aport, to target the alleged supply of ice and heroin in the city.

“We went into the arrest phase late 2015, early 2016 and charged four persons in relation to prohibited drugs and firearms offences,” he said.

One man, 23-year-old David Peters (aka David Bettles), of Red Gum Place, was charged with multiple counts of supplying a prohibited drug and firearms offences.

The second strike force, Aport, which targeted heroin, has seen three people charged to date.

Two of those people – 50-year-old Robert Neal (aka Robert Morgan), of Annesley Crescent in Bathurst, and Rebecca Small, 37, from Annesley Crescent – were charged with supplying a commercial quantity of heroin.

Inspector Rankin said the allegations against those charged were still before Bathurst Local Court. All three remain in custody.

He said the arrests were the result of months of proactive investigations.

“People who provide us with information might wonder from time to time what happens with that information,” Inspector Rankin said. “I’m here to … give them an assurance the information they provide is invaluable to us.”

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Ballarat’s fernery set for redevelopment

REVAMP: Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Elizabeth Gilfillan and Raoul Dixon in the run down fernery. Picture: Kate Healy. THE Ballarat Botanical Gardens Fernery is set to undergo a major redevelopment.
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The project was officially launched on Friday evening giving guests the opportunity to hear about what changes willbe made to the facility as part of the upgrade.

The City of Ballarat has already provided a $1.4 million grant for the project, with a fundraising campaign now underway to see the project fullycompleted.

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens redevelopment convener​Elizabeth Gilfilan said the event was a big milestone on the way to redeveloping the fernery.

“(The redevelopment)will not be copying the past, it will be looking to the future, it will highlight sustainability and environmental issues,” she said.“It will give an opportunity for education and public awareness.

“Garden tourism is one of the fastestgrowing tourism activities in the world.”

Ms Gilfillian said the fernery had been derelict for at least 20 years.

“We have been working through that whole period to highlight it to council just how important it is to have this part of the gardensrevitalised from a tourism perspective and an educational perspective.”

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens president Raoul Dixon said the important thing to acknowledge is that it was not just a fernery.

“It will have a whole range of other features, and will have broad appealright through from children to adults.It will be a major feature of not just this botanical garden, but any botanical gardens,” he said.

“We think it will be a feature that will make the BallaratBotanical Gardens the best of any botanical gardensin any regional city in Australia.”

Laidlaw & Laidlaw Designed has been appointed as the landscape architect for the project.

“Fernery structures on a very grand scale were common in19th century gardens and Ballarat Botanical Gardens is fortunate to be one of the few which will revivethis tradition,” Andrew Laidlaw said.

“These structures were not just about housing plants, they were about providing an overallexperience for the visitors. Often the structures were architecturally exciting and a strong focal point inthe landscape.

“Together the architecture and plants created the experience. We are very honoured to bepart of the redevelopment of Ballarat’s fernery and believe we can create a wild and inspiring spacewhich excites people of all walks of life about plants.”

The Ballarat Botanical Gardens Trust Fund is now undertaking a public fundraising campaign withdeductible donations from individuals and organisations welcome.

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Panama shapes up

TAKING IT EASY: Golconda festival organisers Tim Carroll and Dan Rooke contemplate this year’s A Festival Called PANAMA. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER
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A FESTIVAL Called PANAMA boasts a carefully curated program of music, activities, and thought provoking presentations.

Set on an idyllic parcel of land, backing onto a ridge which the Panama Forest covers, the festival is a boutique affair.

This year will mark the third festival, and while capacity has slowly increased yearly, the festival has capped capacity at 1250 patrons.

Word spread about the festival’s unique atmosphere, and it sold out on Thursday.

The queues and crowds that could taint a festival experience wouldn’t be an issue here.

The site doesn’t have mobile phone reception and the event is zero-waste, ensuring no trace of the festival is left on the site.

The team behind the festival believe the lack of social media makes for a better interpersonal experience, with attendees able to focus on the festival rather than their phones.

Co-founder and artistic director Tim Carroll said by keeping the event free of overcrowding and queues, “we’re trying to deliver the best possible experience to the patrons and the artists”.

Mr Carroll and fellow festival director Dan Rooke spend much of the year planning the year, with progressively more team members joining the team a few months before the festival.

This year, 150 crew members will staff the festival.

Mr Carroll said the organisers are particularly proud of the diverse talent they’ve attracted this year.

Nigerian band leader Seun Kuti will headline the festival, performing with Seun Kuti & Egypt 80.

Mr Carroll said they are a “cult Afrobeat band from Nigeria that are coming in for it, and it’s their only show in Tassie . . . we’ve been really lucky to pick them up”.

In the past, the festival has attracted artists on the verge of huge success. Courtney Barnett headlined last year, before her meteoric rise to fame and a Grammy nomination.

Mr Carroll said the directors “always wanted to have an element of storytelling or spoken word at the event”.

This year, renowned journalist and podcast contributor and radio journalist Scott Carrier will make thought provoking presentations.

Mr Carrier, from Salt Lake City in the US, has contributed to hugely successful podcast series This American Life.

He also produced his own podcast series, Home of the Brave, as well as authoring books.

“He has a really interesting journalist’s storytelling sort of approach,” Mr Carroll said.

Vendors will purvey a rich range of quality Tasmanian produce to fuel festival-goers.

Curators have carefully crafted a selection of stalls that will have something for every hungry patron.

Laksa Kid will travel from Hobart for the event, and Launceston favourite Wanderlust will tote their distinctive pink van along.

Tempura mushrooms, wood-fired pizza and crepes will also be available.

The beverage selection will also be just as diverse, featuring Tassie favourites including Morrison Brewery beers, Devil’s Corner wines and Tasmanian whiskies. The site has a brewing licence, and traditional apple cider made on site will be available.

The festival has slowly increased capacity – in its first year 620 tickets were available, and in its second it sold out at 1000.

Although capacity was creeping up and the festival and its beautiful setting and relaxed philosophy became well known, Mr Carroll said it was imperative the experience remained low-key and enjoyable.

“The scale of it is really intimate, so the experience of watching bands or doing drinks or chatting with other patrons – it’s never crowded,” Mr Carroll said.

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THROWBACKPort Lincoln Cup 2016

THROWBACK | Port Lincoln Cup 2016 Libby Reu
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Murdoch dolphin scientists make a splash in Peel-Harvey waters

Murdoch dolphin scientists make a splash in Peel-Harvey waters Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.
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Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.

Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.

Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.

Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.

Ms Nicholson and her team primarily use photography to identify and record information on the dolphins. Photos: Supplied.

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Giddings relaxed ahead of semi-final showdown

Ed Morrish and the Colts bowlers have a big job to do against competition leaders South Dubbo. Photo: BROOK KELLEHEAR-SMITH
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REGARDLESS of the result on Saturday, RSL-Colts stalwart Wes Giddings feels his side are well placed for an assault on the Whitney Cup finals.

The defending premiers return to the field at No. 2 on Saturday with competition leaders South Dubbo at 1-14.

Colts scored 231 last week and while the men in red had developed a habit of winning during the past decade, Giddings said next weekend’s semi-final was the game that really mattered.

“They can all hurt you or they could all not hurt you,” he said of the Souths batting line-up.

“They’ve got plenty of depth so when you take three or four wickets they’re not all out, there’s still another six to win and that’s ideal.

“Whatever the result is it’s an ideal match heading into the finals.

“Our last month has been good and if we end up losing two matches then we’ve been playing tough cricket and I know the guys will come out the better for it.”

Hurting Colts’ chances heading into the final day of the regular season is the loss of opening bowler Ben Semmler.

Semmler has been an instant hit with his former club after returning from a spell at Tamworth during the new year period.

He took six wickets during the loss to Macquarie last round and his absence piles the pressure on to the likes of Ed Morrish and spinners Giddings, Nathan Jones and Marty Jeffrey.

“It’s an opportunity for other guys to step up and get some bowling under them,” Giddings said.

“It makes it a bit hard because he (Semmler) bowls tight and moves the ball regularly.”

Adam Wells is the man out for the Hornets with Mark O’Donnell (6 not out) and Mick Fraser (2 not out) resuming the chase.

As well as those two, the top side this season also had the likes of NSW Country player Mitch Bower, Tim Berry, Will Lindsay, John Colwell and Greg Rummans in the sheds.

“It’s a good challenge for us,” Giddings said.

“You’d hope if you scored 230 in a semi-final or grand final it would be enough to win so it’s a good chance for us to defend it and bowl at it.”

With Souths leading and Colts currently third this may well be a grand final preview but Giddings refused to say the winner would have an advantage going forward.

If Souths fail to win and Macquarie score and outright over Rugby then these sides could even meet in next week’s semi-final.

“I’m not too worried about them or Macquarie,” Giddings said.

“We’ve beaten them both once so far this season so it won’t affect our mindset.”

Saturday’s match resumes at 1pm.

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Dubbo looking to make amends for 2014-15 failure

RIGHT: Matt Ellis and his side will be chasing Whitney Cup glory on Saturday. Photo: BROOK KELLEHEAR-SMITH
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DUBBO will use the pain of losing last season’s Brewery Shield grand final when they travel to Nyngan for the 2015-16 decider on Sunday.

Last season Dubbo lost to Wellington on the final day of the season but skipper Matt Ellis was determined to achieve a different result this time around.

“There’s still some wounds from last year,” he said.

“It was a very disappointing experience but sometimes you need those to bring the best out of you in the future and there were some lessons learned in that match which will stand us in good stead.”

Nyngan have impressed this season and been a powerhouse at home while Dubbo have only lost the once, to Wellington.

The Dubbo side had a training run on Friday evening and the captain could not hide his excitement about the possibility of his side lifting the Brewery Shield for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

“Our guys have been preparing well getting ready to play at their best,” Ellis said.

“This is what it’s all about. All that hard work before Christmas and those early season wins and the effort week in, week out culminates in this big clash and I’m very excited about it.”

Dubbo’s batting has returned to form in recent weeks and the batting line-ups of both teams will go a long way to deciding the result.

Ellis highlighted Angus Cusack and Nick Karydis as key players in his middle order but was well aware there was plenty of firepower in the Nyngan side.

“I feel like we’ve shored up the batting order and Angus Cusack has really stepped up at number four,” he said.

“Nick Karydis at number five has scored some valuable runs too. I think they’re both averaging over 50 this season.

“Toby Miles is the (Nyngan) captain and he is a gun and has scored a lot of runs against us.

“He’s a very aggressive opening batsmen and someone we will be trying our best to restrict. Tim Smith in the middle order is very destructive too so they hold a lot of the cards.”

Ellis also highlighted Nyngan opening bowler Mitch Williams-Hedges, who plays locally for Macquarie, as someone who his side had to be wary of.

Sunday’s grand final at Nyngan begins at 10am.

o DUBBO: Matt Ellis (c), Pat Berryman (vc), Nick Karydis, Blake Watmore, Dan French, Tyler Woodrow, Tyler Spang, Michael Ying Sing, Tom Barber, Josh Thompson, Adlai Shipp, Angus Cusack.

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Blues out to clinch minor premiership

MACQUARIE will be dreaming of the minor premiership when their Whitney Cup match against Rugby resumes on Saturday.
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The Blues, and Ben Taylor in particular, were unstoppable last week as they wrapped up first innings points on day one at No. 3 Oval.

Rugby could only manage 104 batting first, with Taylor’s incredible 9-40 one of the standout performances of the season. Macquarie then reached 9-202 at stumps and declared immediately.

The Blues now need to bowl Rugby a second time on Saturday to be any chance of pinching top spot on the ladder.

They must also hope RSL-Colts defeat South Dubbo next door at No. 2 Oval.

Macquarie will fancy their chances of an outright following Rugby’s poor showing last week, which followed on from last round when they were dismissed for 155 by CYMS inside 52 overs.

If Rugby are to bat the day out a lot of the work may have to be done by one of their youngest batsmen.

Under-16s player Charlie Kempston has got better as the season has gone on and will again be crucial at the top of the order while Nathan Munro and James O’Brien will also be vital.

The other match of the round would have no bearing on the make-up of the finals but there was still plenty to play for.

CYMS had one of their better days of the season last week when they posted 8-251 against Newtown.

There were some nervous moments early on as the Cougars slumped to 4-33 but a century to 15-year-old Thomas Nelson saved the day.

The opportunity is now there for the men in green to score a win and leapfrog the Tigers into fourth spot on the ladder.

The Tigers meanwhile are desperate to finish the season on a positive note having found themselves in free fall since December.

At one stage last season’s runners-up were top of the ladder but they have now not won a match since early December.

Their hopes will rest with their top order batsmen, who have failed to post big scores in recent weeks.

The likes of Wayne Dunlop, Dan Holland and Skinner brothers will all be keen to spend some quality time in the middle to finish the season.

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Hot, but not Bright, start

Jason Bright will start race one from 18th and race two from eighth after a mixed day in Adelaide.IT WAS a hot start to the season for Border V8 identitiesBrad Jonesand DavidReynoldsat Adelaide’s Clipsal 500.
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Temperatures are forecast to keep risingfor Saturday’stwo races and then hover around 40 degrees again on Sunday.

With the car’sinterior topping 50 degrees, it’s the equivalent of running a marathon in the Sahara Desertfor the drivers. They all wear high-tech cool suits, that flow cold water around their body toensure they don’t suffer heat exhaustion.

All that makes Friday’s34 degrees seem like a walk in the park, but there was nothingcool about the action on track.

A couple of cars hit the wall at the famous turn 8, where thecars are topping 200km/h. Bryce Fullwood in the Dunlop series was one, completely rippingthe front end out his Ford Falcon.

Of the Border contingent, Jones Racing driversTim Slade and Jason Bright will start 18thand 17th in race one.

There was improvement for race two, with Bright inside the top-10 in eighth and Sladefurther back in 13th ​position.

After consistent performances in the morningand afternoon practice session, where they were both around the top 10, the BJR boys just couldn’t put the perfect laps together when the goinggot serious, which left Slade disappointed.

“If we could have put it together, we would have been easily top-10,” he said.

“The car felt good all day, so hopefully it will be a good race car. We’ll just get itright for qualifying on Sunday and make sure of it.”

Bright was also thinking of whatcould have been.

“We had better pace than that. I just didn’t get a good second lap in, inthe first session and it cost us. It makes it hard when you start a long way down. Today wasa bit of a struggle but it was good to get a top-10 start for race two. It shows the pace is inthe car,” hesaid.

ROCKY ROAD: David Reynolds endured a tough first day at the office in his new Erebus Holden Commodore at Adelaide’s Clipsal 500. Pictures: GETTY IMAGES

Reynolds had a tough debut with his new team. He will start race one from16th and race two from 22nd.

Reynolds was under no illusions as to the task ahead of theteam coming into season with them changing from Mercedes race cars to Holden Commodores only threemonths ago, but the reality hit home on Friday.

“It’s gone as expected, thisis hardest track in the season, it’s the first race of the year, we’re at the back of pit lane, which makes it hard in short qualifying sessions like today,” he said.

“We’re working at it but a second a lap is a lot of time,” Reynolds said referring to the distance from him topole sitter Chaz Mostert.

“I said it would take us until racefour or so to get a feel for it andthatlooks about right. We will take a lot away from this weekend.”

Saturday will see the V8s compete in two 39-lap races and then line up for a killer 78 lapson Sunday.

Chaz Mostert made a stunning return to V8 Supercars in Adelaide, claiming pole position for the second race.

Jason Bright

Tim Slade had a frustrating start to the season at the Clipsal 500, missing out on a top-10 position.

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