Time to ride your bicycles

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Pictured: The first Harley Davidson, a motorised bicycle so underpowered, it couldn’t go uphill. Photo supplied by Harley Davidson Motor CompanyWITH spring in the air, it’s the best time to get out the bikes and enjoy the outdoors.
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Council has encouraged bike riders to don their helmets and join the sixth annual Bong Bong Track (BBT) Family Fun Ride this Sunday at the Bong Bong Shared Pathway.

Adults and children of all ages are invited to bring their bikes along to help celebrate NSW Bike Week and enjoy a 9km return ride from Burradoo to Moss Vale.

Council’s road safety officer, Melanie Lausz said the free event was a fun way to encourage people to learn more about safe cycling and its benefits.

“Bike Week is an annual celebration of cycling across NSW, encouraging people from all walks of life to get on a bike and ride,” she said.

The event will begin at 10am at the southern end of Railway Road in Burradoo (past Oxley College) and riders will receive a free NSW Bike Week water bottle and wrist band.

Everyone is welcome to attend. If 9km seems a bit too much, riders can turn around at any point on the track and return.

The day will also feature free face painting, a treasure hunt for the kids and a barbecue sausage sizzle.

Members from the Southern Highlands Cycling Club will also be on hand with practical advice on correct helmet fitting and cycle safety.

In addition to their bikes, participants should bring a compulsory helmet, sunscreen and water.

To download a registration form visit 梧桐夜网wsc.nsw.gov419论坛.Registration forms will also be available on the day.

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Mayoral election process

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Wingecarribee Shire Council.THE mayoral election could see a new mayor take up the chair tonight.
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Each local government has the same system of election as prescribed by the Local Government Act and Regulations. Some have a popularly elected mayor, however, only a minority of Local Government areas follow this model.

Wingecarribee Shire Council elects a mayor and deputy mayor from one of the nine councillors.

Traditionally this has been by a show of hands, but councillors may choose on the night to hold a secret ballot.

Any councillor can put their hand up for the position of mayor or deputy mayor.

An initial vote will take place between councillors who have nominated to run for the position of mayor and deputy mayor.

After this vote, the two councillors with the highest votes will become the nominees for the second stage of the election.

However, if three nominees were to stand, and all three were to secure three votes, the three names would be put into a hat. The first person drawn out is discarded and the final two are re-submitted. Councillors must then re-vote on the two remaining candidates.

The councillor with the highest number of votes then becomes mayor.

The same voting process applies for the position of deputy mayor.

The mayoral election will be held tonight at 5pm at the council chambers in the Moss Vale Civic Centre and is open to the public.

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Celebrity leads Moon Festival

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Photo shoot in the lead up to the Cabramatta Moon Festival. Mayor will be there along with the headline act and people in Minion costumes. A few different pics for the wrap please. Pictures: Jeff de Pasquale
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PRINNIE Stevens has starred on screens around the country as a finalist on Channel Nine’s The Voice, but residents can see her up close and personal as the headline act for the Cabramatta Moon Festival.

The 31-year-old went from contestant to celebrity when she made it to the top four on the show in 2012 and has stayed in the spotlight.

She went on to team up with entertainer Mahalia Barnes to release an album of R&B and soul duets and now has her own six-track EP titled One Night.

Residents who attend the Cabramatta Moon Festival will be treated to live songs from her album which started at No. 13 on Australian charts.

Photo shoot in the lead up to the Cabramatta Moon Festival. Mayor will be there along with the headline act and people in Minion costumes. A few different pics for the wrap please. Pictures: Jeff de Pasquale

Born in Tonga, Prinnie said that for her a big part of the festival would be celebrating diverse cultural backgrounds.

“I’m really excited for the festival,” she said.

“I’m here representing the Polynesian sector of the city.

“People can expect exactly what they saw on the voice: pop, high-energy songs that will get you up and dancing.”

Thriller Live – Prinnie Stevens

The singer said she wants residents to use the festival as an opportunity to spend time with community and family.

“Realise how much you have in your own backyard and value that,” she said.

“My set really does cater for eight- to 80-year-olds so there’s something for everyone.

“It’s going to be great.”

Prinnie Stevens will perform at the Cabramatta Moon Festival on Sunday, September 27.

Photo shoot in the lead up to the Cabramatta Moon Festival. Mayor will be there along with the headline act and people in Minion costumes. A few different pics for the wrap please. Pictures: Jeff de Pasquale

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Community diary – September 16

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JP Desks
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THE Southern Highlands JP Deskis open at Springett’s Arcade Bowral each Wednesday, Supa IGA Store Moss Vale on Thursdays, Mittagong Market Place on Fridays and Saturdays – all 10am to 1pm weekly. There is a JP desk open at Colo Vale Market Place on the first Saturday of each month from 10am to 12 noon.

SEPTEMBER 1-30

Woodwork exhibition

AN exhibition of the Southern Highlands Woodies’ work, judged as excellent throughout the 2014/15 year, is now on display in Wingecarribee Council chamber’s foyer display cabinet. The exhibition will continue until September 30. The Excellence Award for the year, by members’ vote, went to Ian Pye for his emu egg jug with rosewood and claret ash. Works on display include bowls, dishes, vases, pens, bracelets, coasters, clocks, lidded boxes and Christmas decorations in a variety of local and imported timbers. Details about the Southern Highlands Woodies Group: Martin on 0418 658 601.

SEPTEMBER 14-27

Extended trading

FR CHRIS Riley’s Youth Off The Street Op Shop will be open for extended hours on Saturdays during the Tulip Time Festival. The festival runs from September 14 to 27. The op shop will be open from 8.30am to 2pm. This year a well-stocked plant stall will also be held on the front lawn of the op shop at 8 Bundaroo Street, Bowral. Other items will include vintage clothes, books, bric-a-brac, clothing, shoes and many other treasures.

SEPTEMBER 16

CWA crafts

MOSS Vale CWA welcomes everyone to coffee and craft which will be held on September 16 from 9.30 to 12.00 at the rooms at 66 Elizabeth Street, Moss Vale. Come along for a happy morning full of chats and laughter and a bit of crafting too. Details: Jennifer on 4862 3454 or 0418 600 068.

SEPTEMBER 17

Spring fashion parade

THE Mittagong store of St Vincent de Paul is holding a Spring Fashion Parade on Thursday September 17.The parade will include a wide range of designer labelled clothes including a range of shoes, handbags, hats, spring and summer wear and jewellery. The shop will be closed for normal trade that day, but will open for the parade which will start 1.30pm. Entry is $4 and includes afternoon tea.

Worm farming

WHAT you need to know to keep a worm farm happy and producing amazing compost and worm ‘tea’ for your garden. 10am – 11.30am at the RRC, 177 Berrima Rd, Moss Vale. Free – morning tea included. Bookings essential: 4868 0507.

Afternoon tea

Pepperfield Lifestyle Resort will hold an afternoon tea on September 17 from 2pm. This is a fundraising event for the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre to help improve the care and comfort of patients in the community and to enable the centre purchase some up-to-date equipment. Nursing Unit Manager Jo Pearson will give a presentation at the afternoon tea and there will be a raffle with many prizes up for grabs. Entry is $10 per person.

SEPTEMBER 18

Parkinson’s support

THE next meeting of the Southern Highlands Parkinson’s Suppport Group will be held on September 15 at 10.30am in the conference room of the old hospital in Bowral, entry via Ascot Road. On September 18 at 10.30.am – noon a function at Mittagong RSL will be held to outline the need for the services of a dual discipline neurological nurse specialist in our region to cover Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Goulburn Parkinson’s support groups and Stroke Southern Highlands Support Group. Morning tea will be available. All welcome including carers, families, those with MS and other relevant interested persons. RSVP: Reg Pratley 4862 3077 or Dympna Patricia Irwin 4869 5252.

SEPTEMBER 19

Awareness Week

On Saturday, September 19 the Mittagong Branch of CWA will hold a stall at the Mittagong Markets in support of Awareness Week. Information regarding CWA will be available and craft for sale. The markets are situated on the corner of Alice and Albert Streets, Mittagong, and commence at 9.00 am so come along and visit our Stall. Details : Beverley on 4871 1483.

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Mother of two-year-old boy who drowned in backyard pool in Melton South sedated

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Outside the Melton South house where the two-year-old drowned. Photo: Beau Donelly Firefighters drained the pool on Monday evening. Photo: Beau Donelly
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The mother of a two-year-old boy who drowned in a backyard pool in Melbourne’s west on Monday remains sedated in hospital.

The toddler, known only as Elijah, was found floating in the pool by his mother at their home in Melton South just after 1pm.

In a tragic twist, it is believed the boy’s biological father is due to be released from prison on Tuesday. The timing of his release is not believed to be connected to the boy’s death, but rather an unfortunate coincidence.

The boy’s mother began CPR before emergency services arrived on the scene, but the boy could not be revived.

The mother was taken to Melton police station after her son died, but was too distraught to be interviewed.

She was later taken to hospital, where she was sedated.

The toddler was not swimming in the pool at the time, but wandered into the pool area, police said. It is not clear what his mother was doing at the time, or how he managed to reach the pool.

Sergeant Ken Anderson told reporters at the scene that the pool was fenced.

“There’s a pool fence there, but whether there was a gate or not I don’t know,” he said.

Firefighters began draining the pool on Monday evening.

Officers from Melton City Council have inspected the pool, but are yet to give their report to police.

Neighbours said they did not know the parents of the child, who had moved into the rental house on Moorshead Street earlier this year.

Lio Faitua, who lives next door, said police had been to the house before. The family had only lived on the street for a few months, he said.

“It’s very, very sad,” he said. “It’s a shame. This is a good area.”

Monday was the warmest day in Melbourne since April this year, with the temperature reaching 26.2 degrees.

The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia released its annual Drowning Report on Tuesday.

The report reveals an alarming 30 per cent increase in the drowning deaths of children aged 0 to four.

Twenty-six children under the age of five drowned across Australia last year. Of those, four were in Victoria.

“Almost one in every 10 drowning deaths in Australia was a child aged 0 to four,” RLSS chief executive Justin Scarr said.

More than half of those drownings (54 per cent) happened in swimming pools.

“Supervision is a key factor,” Mr Scarr said.

“Home swimming pools continue to be the leading location for drowning in young children. This is an alarming sign and we urge people to remember the four key actions of the Keep Watch program; Supervise, Restrict Access to Water, Water Awareness and Resuscitation.”

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

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Last muster before Festival

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Former Parkes man Derek Thompson who was the guest artist at the 2014 Christmas Charity Muster. He took out a number of prizes during last year’s local Festival and is to participate again this year. The Parkes Country Music Association (CMA) muster this Sunday will be the last regular monthly event prior to the annual October long Weekend Festival.
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Singer/songwriter, Bill Murray, will be guest artist.

The greater part of activity at this time for the Parkes CMA committee is preparation for the Festival.

Many details need to be finalised and entries collated into sections of the Awards Talent Quest for which entries closed only yesterday.

(If you intended to enter and haven’t done so, late entries will only be considered if you do so as soon as possible and subject to section numbers having been received).

All the usual activities of regular musters will take place on Sunday with walk-up performers of any age, ability or music genre welcome to participate.

It is the great variety of music and songs provided by walk-up performers that make up the major part of the musical entertainment of the day, together with a performance by an invited artist.

Bill Murray, the guest artist, is from Cowra and is an elderly statesman of country music – a quiet, gentlemanly performer who will no doubt sing some of the old popular country songs that you know and can sing along with.

Bill has had a long career in music and in that time has rubbed shoulders with many of the well known names of Australian country music.

He did a guest spot in Parkes quite a number of years ago.

For the non-performing patrons of the muster, the music presented will no doubt provide ample opportunity to take to the floor for different styles of old time dancing.

There will also be a number of raffles, competitions and lucky draws that will give everyone an opportunity to take home a prize.

– – – –

The August Muster was an enjoyable afternoon despite guest artist, Stephen Cheney’s inability to perform due to illness.

There were nine walk-up performers, one of whom was a New Zealander, Dave Sutherland.

He and his wife were travelling through Parkes. He put his name down to perform and his accordian playing and singing was very much appreciated by our audience and musicians alike.

– – – –

At the recent meeting of the Parkes CMA it was decided the proceeds of the December Christmas Charity Muster will this year go to the local Can Assist branch.

The CMA has on a number of occasions over the years supported this worthy charity and will happily do so again.

Last year everyone turned pink to show their support for the local McGrath Foundation breast cancer work.

A very enjoyable function was enjoyed by an almost capacity crowd.

– – – –

With the arrival of spring, many CMA members are gearing up for the country music festival season which will see them soon travel to many and varied functions during September/October and November.

Following hot on the heels of the Parkes Festival will come the Bedgerabong Campout presented by Forbes CMC with a host of popular performers.

Then it’s on to Ariah Park, Rosewood (Tumbarumba), Leeton and Temora – busy time for those who follow the music.

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Turnbull should act on Plan

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There would not be many Griffith residents who don’t remember when Tony Abbott promised irrigators he would not support a Plan that would negatively affect district residents.
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Malcolm Turnbull.

However, there is no doubt the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which was formulated by John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull and implemented by the Labor Government, has done just this.

Mr Abbott was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull on Monday night.

Australians awoke to the shock announcement that Mr Abbotthad lost the support of his party.

Griffith residents should now demand the new Prime Minister reverse the impacts of the Plan he had a part in shaping.

Irrigators are faced with difficult decisions every single day because of the Plan.

Often they have to take a chance and plant the same number of crops from last year and hope water allocations will increase.

If this doesn’t happen they are forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on water or watch their crops die.

On behalf of Griffith and district residents, IencourageMr Turnbull to come and talk to irrigators about how the Plan has affected them and how the government can help ensure the district has a prosperous future.

I think the government owes irrigators that much.

It needs to act before it’s too late.

– MONIQUE PATTERSON

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No jail for former Victoria Police officer guilty of accessing child porn

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A former 10-year Victoria Police officer guilty of accessing child pornography who claimed he committed the offence during an “obsessive” search for an image of himself when sexually abused as a child has avoided an immediate prison sentence.
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Melbourne’s County Court earlier heard that Jason James Gibson at the time also had post-traumatic stress syndrome from his work with the disaster victim identification unit that included the MH17 plane explosion.

Gibson, 36, was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers who later found 1523 deleted child pornography files on three storage devices seized at his home in September last year.

Prosecutor Stephen Devlin told judge Wendy Wilmoth that 1445 recovered images were later classified as level one, the least severe in a scale to 10, and included six videos.

Gibson, unemployed, pleaded guilty to a charge of accessing child pornography between 2012 and 2014.

Defence barrister Neil Clelland QC accepted there was no image among those found that showed Gibson as a six-year-old with two young girls who also allegedly had been sexually abused.

Mr Clelland said as a result of Gibson’s three-year identification work he suffered PTSD and abused alcohol during which he developed a chaotic “obsession” of sitting in his lounge room searching for the image of himself.

Mr Devlin argued it was an aggravating factor that Gibson was then a police officer of 10 years who knew his conduct was wrong and described as “improbable” Gibson’s claim.

In her sentencing remarks on Tuesday, Judge Wilmoth said that sadly many children were abused and exploited by the creation of the images Gibson viewed and that in most such cases immediate jail terms were imposed.

But Judge Wilmoth said Gibson’s case was one where a different disposition was warranted.

She accepted on the balance of probabilities the opinion of three medical experts who supported his explanation after their extensive testing, clinical examination and assessment of him.

She concluded from their evidence that he was not seeking sexual gratification from the material and that her finding reduced his moral culpability and elevated his prospects for rehabilitation.

The significant mitigating circumstances, Judge Wilmoth said, which also included an early guilty plea and initially being forced to leave his home and only see his children under supervision, warranted a “more lenient disposition”.

Gibson was jailed for 12 months, but was released on a $2000 recognisance to be of good behaviour for two years with conditions that included supervision by corrections and sex offender management.

He must also be assessed for possible sex offender programs and will be subject for eight years to the provisions of the Sex Offender Registrar.

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‘My break-in terror’

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Obvious: Wagga mum, Judi Carey, is encouraging other Wagga residents to look for their neighbours and not leave valuables in obvious spots. Picture: Kieren L. Tilly.
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A recent break-in has left a Wagga motherfeeling vulnerable in her own home.

Between 11pm Thursday, September 10 and 7.30am the following day, Judi Carey’s Lake Albertfamily home was broken into while she and her two sons slept. The thief came into the house through the back sliding door before ransacking the kitchen.

Ms Carey’s handbag was taken along with her son’s wallet, phones and two sets of car keys.

The thief went through the mini-van before unlocking the garage and stealing the Ford Focus, which was found torched in Hay on Sunday.

“I won’t drop my keys or handbag in obvious spots like the kitchen bench now,” Ms Carey said.

“I will be a lot more vigilant and diligent with locking all doors at night.”

After her experience, Ms Carey also wants to encourage neighbours around Wagga to look out for each other.

“Be more aware of what’s going on in the neighbourhood and look out for your neighbours,” Ms Carey said.

“Some people live in the same street and wave or nod to each other but they don’t know each other’s names. Introduce yourself and get to know them. Keep connected and look out for each other.”

Ms Carey has lived in a quiet cul-de-sac for the last fouryears without incident and was shocked by the break-in.

Wagga police said Lake Albert is not one of the suburbs they experience a high level of crime in.

Her views were echoed by police, who are encouraging people to remain vigilant.

“Thieves will target opportunity and if you’re not giving them that opportunity chances are they will pass,” Duty Officer Inspector Peter Robertson said.

He said there are a few easy steps people can take to make their houses more secure.

Installing sensor lights, keeping the mail box tidy, getting neighbours to look out for your property and putting keys and wallets in less obvious locations are all simple steps which can help protect from thieves.

With the weather warming up, Inspector Robertson is encouraging people to ensure they close their windows when leaving home.

Ms Carey was lucky enough to have her handbag, wallet and phone returnedafter her bag wasfound in a reserve by someone walking their dog.Ms Carey has commended the Wagga police for their work.

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A pet is for life

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Cathy Beer will present a session on responsible pet ownership at the Home and Garden Show in October. Photo supplied
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HORRIFIED at the amount of dogs and cats surrendered at animal shelters across NSW, Cathy Beer decided to turn her decades of marketing experience away from the corporate world and towards educating people about responsible pet ownership.

Several years on, Cathy will be bringing her insights into pet welfare to the Highlands, where she and local dog trainer Margaret Gray will run sessions and have a stall at the Home & Garden Show in October.

“I was doing a leadership program and part of that was how to bring about change. In the back of my mind during the course was how we view and treat animals, so I decided to change my career and focus on helping people understand what it means to own a pet,” she said.

Cathy started by talking to people who work in the animal welfare industry, including the RSPCA and other rescue organisations, and joined several animal-related committees.

“It is a very complex area, however I think most pet owners are generally good people – some are just ignorant of what their responsibilities are,” she said.

Cathy then created a website called pets4life, through which she presents the different points of view relating to pets.

Cathy Beer will present a session on responsible pet ownership at the Home and Garden Show in October. Photo supplied.

“For me, it is going into the issue with an open mind and trying to understand the various viewpoints. I’m not trying to push any specific agenda; I’m just trying to get people to think before they commit to a pet.”

She said the challenge however is reaching those people who think they are doing the right thing, and don’t think they need education.

“I’ll just keep chipping away. The website is gaining traction and I’m starting to receive questions such as ‘How do I know I’m not buying from a puppy farm’ and ‘Should I get a second dog if I work full-time’. I put these questions out to our pet community through Facebook for feedback,” she said.

Cathy’s overall goal is to reduce the amount of animals surrendered to shelters and increase the welfare of pets.

“Good pet ownership means giving a pet a good life, not just an existence. It means understanding the basics of pet behaviour, having the financial means to look after them properly and being able to commit to meeting their physical, mental and emotional needs for at least 15 years for a dog, or 20 years for a cat.

“It is also important that children are taught how to treat their pets properly and are never left alone with a dog. It really worries me that people don’t see the potential for animal cruelty in some of the things kids can do to animals, and also the potential that the dog might bite back,” she said.

At the Home and Garden Show Cathy and Delta-accredited dog trainer Margaret Gray from Moss Vale will talk about what people need to consider before buying a dog, and then how to build a happy relationship with your pet using positive reinforcement.

“We’ll be sharing experiences and stories about the commitment you need to make, the costs of owning a pet, the risks of online pet shopping, and being prepared to include your pet when things change, such as your health or living conditions.

“You have to use your head and your heart when deciding to own a pet, and have your eyes and your wallet open.”

Margaret and Cathy will also have a stand at the show where Margaret will offer free dog training advice.

“My message is stop before you shop. Think carefully as pet ownership is a huge commitment. However, bringing a pet into your life is going to be one of the best things you’ll ever do, as long as it is done properly.”

Cathy and Margaret will be presenting on both days of the Home & Garden Show on October 10 and 11. For more details and the show’s program, visit 梧桐夜网homeandgardenshow南京夜网419论坛.

o For more information about pet ownership, visit pets4lilfe南京夜网419论坛

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