Louise Markus coy on leadership vote

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Prime Minister-designate Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Leader Julie Bishop address the media at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday following Tony Abbott s defeat in a ballot 54 44. Photo: Alex EllinghausenFederal Member for Macquarie Louise Markus remained tightlipped on who she supported in the Liberal Party leadership contest on Monday night.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was defeated by Malcolm Turnbull 54 – 44 in the ballot.

The Gazette asked Mrs Markus’ office who she supported in the ballot but she replied in a statement only that her “priority is to continue to focus on and fight for what is important to the people of Macquarie”.

“I will continue to represent the people of Macquarie to the best of my ability. My commitment to residents of the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains remains the same,” she said.

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Tributes flow for Lucky Chance

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Lucky Chance was a well-known circus performer and adventurer. Photo: Facebook Lucky Chance attributed his Blue Mountains upbringing to his love of adventure sports. Photo: Facebook

Carol Hahnefeld with her son Lucky Chance and daughter Melanie Benham in 2012 after Mr Chance s recovery from a serious accident in France.

When Carol Hahnefeld nursed her son Lucky Chance to recovery following a life-threatening injury in 2011, she was overwhelmed by the support of the Blue Mountains community.

The Blaxland Preschool teacher has tragically called on that support again after her 31-year-old son died following an accident at Hanging Rock near Blackheath last Tuesday.

Blaxland Preschool shared the tragic news with its families last week, saying it had been “overwhelmed” by offers of support.

“Carol has asked that instead of flowers if people would like to make a donation to CareFlight or the Brain Injury Unit at Westmead Hospital that would be so appreciated,” director/teacher Deirdre Wilde said in an email to families.

Tributes for the former Blaxland High School student flowed on social media as news of his death spread. Lucky Chance, who had changed his name by deed poll from Toby Benham in 2008, was a skilled circus performer, BASE jumper and adventurer.

“There are beautiful people in the world, people who by their actions and their lives, show you that living every moment to its fullest is just worth it,” wrote one on Facebook.

“Amazing people inspire ordinary people to do amazing things. Lucky Chance you were one of those!” wrote Rodney Mason.

Mr Chance had a brush with death in 2011 when a base jump in France went wrong, leaving him in a coma for six weeks. He returned to his mother’s Emu Plains home during his recovery, where his positive attitude impressed all who knew him.

Speaking to the Gazette at the time, Ms Hahnefeld wanted to express her appreciation to the Blue Mountains community.

“I’m usually the ‘doer’ so it was really humbling to feel that so many people rallied around to help our family when it was in crisis,” she said.

While he no longer lived in the area, Mr Chance attributed his Blue Mountains upbringing to his love of adventure sports.

He told specialist publication, DSM, how his love of climbing began: “I’d never been to a climbing gym until I was about 13 when I moved to Emu Plains and there I got into climbing with a bunch of friends from Blaxland High. From then onwards I just climbed. I’d be training at least two or three times a week and climbing every weekend. I couldn’t get enough,” he said.

Mr Chance’s funeral was held yesterday (Tuesday).

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Bowral juniors win rugby title

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The Bowral under-14s players with team manager Georgie Poulton and coach David Loiterton. Photo suppliedRUGBY UNION

THE Bowral Blacks have won its first junior title in seven years.

The Blacks under-14s team won the 2015 Illawarra Rugby premiership on the weekend.

At the beginning of the season, teams were having difficulty fielding enough players to play a 15-a-side tournament in the under-14s age group.

In a bid to retain players and encourage this age group, the Illawarra clubs got together to solve the problem and created a new sevens competition for the 2015 season.

The under-14s comp was based loosely on the World Rugby 7s, which involves a series of tournaments being played throughout the season and points allocated according to placings at each tournament.

The premiership is then decided by total points across all 11 tournaments during the season.

The Bowral Blacks under-14s started the season with six players.

As word got out that there was a sevens competition on offer, the squad grew to 15.

Some of the Blacks players came from other codes such as football and rugby league, and some boys had never picked up a rugby ball before.

Bowral Blacks junior president Nick Combes said “we are all immensely proud of the boys”.

“The sevens tournament was the first of its kind in the Illawarra region,” he said.

“By adopting the sevens format, we were able to resolve the problem of a lack of players and field a Bowral Blacks under-14s team.

“It also allowed all the clubs to retain and even attract more players that in the absence of a rugby team to play with might otherwise have tried other codes or been lost to rugby altogether.”

Bowral under-14s coach David Loiterton said it was an excellent achievement.

“All their hard work has paid off and the boys will remember this for a long time,” he said.

“I’m also really pleased because with the support of the other clubs in the region we managed to create and run an under-14s competition at a time when it looked impossible.

“It’s a really positive achievement for this age group and maybe a hint as to how rugby can grow in the region.

“Sevens is an easy game to learn, it’s fast, exciting for spectators and good fun for the players.

“And some of these players will then go on to play the 15-a-side game.”

The Bowral Blacks will play host to the Southern Highlands Seven7s on October 3.

More details will be released shortly.

* By Alex Stone

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News in brief

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Long lunch

The Chef & I Catering will host a long table lunch this Saturday at the Camden Town Farm. The three-course lunch, which begins at 1.30pm, will feature ingredients from Camden Local Produce Markets and the community gardens. Tickets cost $60 a person; email [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.

Mayor’s fourth term

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak was re-elected mayor for a fourth consecutive term at last Tuesday’s council meeting. She won the ballot six votes to two against fellow councillor and former mayor Eva Campbell (councillor Greg Warren was not present for the vote). Councillor Peter Sidgreaves was elected unopposed as deputy mayor.

Recycling chief

Narellan Vale resident and former Keep Australia Beautiful chief executive Peter McLean has been named chief executive of the Australian Organics Recycling Association. “I’m very pleased to be involved in an industry which builds soil carbon, creates healthy soils, improves water efficiency and stops the loss of our vital soil nutrients,” Mr McLean said.

Fleas get busy

Dog owners are being warned to keep an eye on their pets as the flea season begins. Gregory Hills vet Natalie Pyle of Macarthur Veterinary Group said owners needed to put in place long-term preventative measures and be proactive. “We are expecting a busy paralysis flea season,” she said. “We can help by advising on suitable long-lasting preventative and treatment options.”

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Mel says goodbye to The Trans

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Sadly, this week we say goodbye to The Transcontinental’s editorial assistant, Melissa Bermingham.

SADLY, this week we say goodbye to The Transcontinental’s editorial assistant, Melissa Bermingham.

Melissa moved to Port Augusta in January to support her partner in his new career, but is now taking a leap of faith and moving to Katherine for a journalist position.

“We both knew that at some point in our careers one of us would have to go to the country, so if one got a job first the other would go along with them,” Melissa said.

She quickly used her initiative and came into The Transcontinental office asking for work experience, as she was a journalism graduate.

Not too far into her work experience former editor Ryan Smith and former journalist Stephanie Say were offered new jobs in the same week, creating the perfect opening for the budding journo.

“I hadn’t even finished the work experience officially, they kept pulling me into meetings asking ‘is this what you want to do, because we’ve got jobs’, and I just went with it,” Melissa said.

“I was like ‘heck yes’, I’m not going to say no.”

Since then Melissa has been thrust into the deep end as The Transcontinental weekend sports/social photographer and features writer, as well as a much needed helping-hand to the journos.

Melissa finishes up at The Trans on Monday, September 21, before jumping head first into a new role as a full-time journalist at the Katherine Times.

The Katherine Times is widely known in the media community as a fantastic breeding ground for journalists to develop their skills, in a close-knit team.

“This will be a big step-up for me, it should be good,” Melissa said.

While she’s looking forward to her new role and a new challenge, she said she’s sad to leave Port Augusta.

“I’ve really liked it here, and I was looking forward to joining a netball team next year when I didn’t work weekends,” Melissa said.

“I’m looking forward to trying out journalism in a new environment, and I really like small town papers, I think they are a niche market.”

As far as what she’s taken from her time in Port Augusta, Melissa said being interested in people’s experiences and being friendly to them has helped.

“They can sense you’re interested, and they talk to you about themselves,” Melissa said.

“It’s also really nice seeing everyone getting excited about my sports photos, and having people ask me to take photos of their kids in particular.

“It’s really good, it’s nice.”

She said it’s been really great getting to know everyone, and she’s enjoyed the great sense of community in Port Augusta.

“It is a really good team here too, everyone gets along really well, the team might be getting smaller but everyone is going to be working just as hard to keep it all together,” Melissa said.

“So hopefully I can come back in the future and be part of it all again.”

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