Eaton man avoids jail after scaring public with crossbow

An Eaton man scared members of the public after he was seen walking in Australind armed with this crossbow. AN EATON man who alarmed residents by carrying a crossbow in public on June 9 has narrowly avoided jail.
Nanjing Night Net

Otis Vincent Powell, 21, faced the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear.

The charge was laid after members of the public contacted police to say they had seen a man walking along Cathedral Avenue in Australind wearing a mask and carrying the weapon.

Defence lawyer Ntuthuko McIngolwane told the court Powell had taken the crossbow out in public to return it to its owner – his brother.

But prosecutor Sergeant Brian McCormack said the police “highly doubted” that was true because of threats he was heard to make in prison.

“While in custody prison guards heard Mr Powell threatening to shoot a woman which suggests he was not returning it,” he said.

In sentencing Powell, Magistrate Kelvin Fisher said if he accepted the events the police claimed happened then he had very serious concerns for the safety of the general public.

“Your conduct indicates you were on a cocktail of alcohol and methylamphetamines which caused you to act erratically,” Magistrate Fisher said.

“You broke the law in a very serious way and you need to show me that you are not a risk to the community.

“People were rightly allowed to be concerned by your actions and the fear you instilled in them – if you accept that then you have hope for recovery.”

Mr McIngolwane indicated Powell has been receiving counselling for drug and alcohol abuse.

Powell had received a suspended term of imprisonment in May which Magistrate Fisher chose not to enact.

“But for the tremendous support you have around you, you would be bordering on an immediate custodial sentence,” he said.

“If you don’t accept the help now I fear you will come back to this court facing a long time in jail.

“The message you must take away from today is don’t waste this chance.”

Powell was sentenced to an 18 month intensive supervision order which includes ongoing counselling for anger management, drug and alcohol abuse and a nine month suspended term of imprisonment.

Powell was also fined $1200 for disorderly conduct at the Bunbury Forum Woolworths store where he threatened to get a gun and shoot the manager after staff questioned him for attempting to steal items.

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Painful wait for public patients on waiting list for oral surgery

PUBLIC dental services in Wagga are struggling to cope with demand, with a backlog of nearly 100 people suffering varying degrees of pain while they wait up to two years for surgery that requires a general anaesthetic.
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The Sydney-based oral surgeon who sees these patients is calling on the Department of Health to do more to reduce the waiting list.

“It (the problem) is a lack of manpower, and the lack of manpower is due to a lack of funds,” said Macquarie Street oral surgeon, Dr Evan Godfrey.

“The other thing we need is more (operating) theatre time.”

Dr Godfrey visits Wagga on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday every four weeks and sees public patients from as far away as Deniliquin and Young.

He is paid a sessional hourly rate as well as $2000 to meet his fixed costs for travel, accommodation, staff wages, material and rent for space in a private dental practice.

Dr Godfrey said he could operate on only four or five patients in Wagga Base Hospital on a Friday because operating theatre time is rationed, but over the next two days he could encounter between seven and 10 more patients who also need operations on dental problems such as infected teeth.

The 77-year-old oral surgeon has been coming to Wagga for the past 45 years and recently signed a new five-year contract with the Department of Health.

But while fit and expecting to see out the contract, Dr Godfrey is adamant the Department of Health needs to engage more oral surgeons to cope with the demand.

“I wrote to the assistant minister health about it and his reply was that the problem would be solved with graduates from CSU’s (Charles Sturt University’s) dental school,” Dr Godfrey said.

“I replied that unfortunately none of them are qualified to do the more specialised work – you need four to five years of post-graduate study.”

Dr Godfrey said there were other oral and maxillo-facial surgeons in the Wagga area, but they treated only private patients.

He said the sessional hourly rate he was paid would not attract these surgeons to work on public dental patients.

In fact, according to Dr Godfrey, the sessional rate he is paid by the Department Health is now $5 an hour less than it was in 2006.

“I’m managing, but I’m not happy to be paid less for something that is worth more than it was in 2006,” Dr Godfrey said.

Dr Godfrey said he hoped the upgrade of Wagga Base Hospital would provide more theatre time.

“Hopefully, in a couple of years when the upgrade is complete we will have more theatre time … but it’s a no-win situation at the moment.”

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) general manager Denis Thomas said in a statement the organisation acknowledged the high demand for specialist dental services in Wagga, and is exploring options to provide additional operating theatres and procedure rooms.

He added the MLHD was in discussions with an additional oral surgeon and the new hospital would provide more operating theatres and procedure rooms.

Visiting dental officers are paid in accordance with NSW Health policy.

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ICAC: Tim Owen gave back McCloy’s bag of cash – after a few days: poll

Suspended Liberal MP Tim Owen departs the ICAC after giving evidence. Pic: Wolter PeetersUPDATE: Tim Owen admits lying over giving Jeff McCloy money back
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TIM Owen on Monday became the second Hunter MP in less than a week to tell a corruption inquiry that he was handed an envelope full of cash by property developer Jeff McCloy, who is now the Newcastle lord mayor.

But unlike Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, Mr Owen said he didn’t keep the cash for his 2011 election campaign, dumping it in Mr McCloy’s mailbox a few days later.

‘‘It just wasn’t a particularly nice look,’’ Mr Owen, the Member for Newcastle, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday.

ICAC: August 2014 archive Operation Spicer

THREE months ago Tim Owen told the people of Newcastle he knew nothing about funding irregularities with his 2011 election campaign and was ‘‘appalled’’ that it appeared ‘‘highly likely’’ banned donors had helped back him into office.

He felt ‘‘undermined and very sad’’, he said when he announced in May he would not recontest his seat.

But yesterday, it was a different story, when the Newcastle MP became the Hunter’s second state representative in less than a week to admit to the Independent Commission Against Corruption that Jeff McCloy, now also Newcastle lord mayor, gave him cash in an envelope for his 2011 election campaign despite being banned as a property developer from contributing.

Mr Owen said he gave the money back to Mr McCloy a few days later.

And Mr Owen acknowledged he knew from at least mid-2011 that his campaign had been illegally funded by Newcastle development company Buildev – but he continued to speak with its directors on issues including Buildev part-owner Nathan Tinkler’s $1billion coal-loader proposal for Mayfield.

Mr Owen, who was forced to move to the crossbench last week when Operation Spicer’s hearings resumed, told the inquiry he was a ‘‘naive’’ candidate who had trusted senior Liberal MLC and future police minister Mike Gallacher and his campaign manager Hugh Thomson, a lawyer, to ensure all donations accepted were legal.

They had instructed him ‘‘we will handle the money’’ and ‘‘to keep my nose out of it’’.

Mr Owen told how he went to meet Mr McCloy for the first time during the campaign in Hunter Street. They were near a car, which may have been Mr McCloy’s Bentley, when the property developer ‘‘just handed over a thin envelope’’.

‘‘What no foreplay? What, ‘G’day, I’m Jeff McCloy’ and just handed you an envelope?’’ counsel assisting the inquiry Geoffrey Watson SC asked.

‘‘I can’t really remember … I said, ‘Well what’s in it?’,’’ Mr Owen replied.

He said Mr McCloy told him ‘‘there’s a little bit to help your campaign … cash for your workers.’’

He didn’t count the money but the envelope held hundred-dollar notes. Mr Owen took it home and ‘‘I must admit I thought ‘hmm, what do I do with this’.’’

Within a few days, he ‘‘dumped’’ the money in Mr McCloy’s letterbox because ‘‘it just wasn’t a particularly nice look’’.

‘‘I think I just put a little note on it that said ‘no thanks’,’’ Mr Owen said.

It follows evidence Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell gave to the inquiry last week that Mr McCloy gave him $10,000 cash in an envelope during a meeting in the businessman’s Bentley.

Mr Owen also admitted yesterday that he met with Mr McCloy at a coffee shop on the day Mr Owen was called in for a compulsory examination at the ICAC.

The Newcastle MP said they had discussed Newcastle’s art gallery project and Mr Owen had asked whether he’d ‘‘done anything idiotic’’ for the campaign.

‘‘Well you must have known he’d done one idiotic thing, which was offer the candidate an envelope of cash,’’ Mr Watson said.

‘‘That’s correct but anything else idiotic, no. I don’t know, it was pretty much a conversation of what else have you done, if he’d done anything else?’’ Mr Owen said.

He said Mr McCloy did not tell him of anything else. But Mr Watson said investigators had evidence Mr McCloy had provided a further $10,000 in cash to Mr Thomson for the campaign, and both Mr McCloy and Hilton Grugeon had paid $10,000 each to support radio host Luke Grant’s work as campaign media manager.

Asked if he agreed Mr McCloy was trying to buy influence, Mr Owen said Mr McCloy was a ‘‘generous’’ guy but ‘‘I agree, it does look bad’’.

However, he said there was nothing he as state MP had any influence over that would have benefited Mr McCloy, and described Mr McCloy and Mr Grugeon as ‘‘good men in terms of what I see they have done for the city’’.

In relation to Buildev, Mr Owen told the inquiry he knew the company was a banned developer but didn’t think it was illegal at the time that they paid Josh Hodges, a member of his campaign team, on a ‘‘consultancy’’ style basis – an arrangement he learnt of in about December 2010.

But in about mid 2011, he became aware Buildev had more significantly, and illegally, backed his campaign, after he and Mr Cornwell received an email from Mr Thomson urging them to tell Swansea MP Garry Edwards to stop criticising a Buildev Lake Macquarie marina proposal.

The emailed suggested Mr Edwards’ campaign had been funded by Buildev – but the ICAC has heard there is no evidence of that.

Mr Owen said he was ‘‘gutted’’ and wondered ‘‘what the hell’’ had gone on with his campaign.

He was also advised around that time that Buildev weren’t paying invoices that had been charged back to the Newcastle development company via companies used to provide other legitimate services to the campaign.

Mr Owen said he had a ‘‘difficult’’ conversation with Mr Thomson.

But he still helped chase up the money from Buildev, and continued to meet with them about their coal-loader plan.

‘‘Did you not think ‘it’s time to call it a day, I shouldn’t be meeting with them’?’’ Mr Watson asked.

‘‘It’s a fair point,’’ Mr Owen replied.

‘‘… It’s something that post-election I’ve regretted. All I can say is I never cut them any favours.’’

With the benefit of hindsight, he was ‘‘sorry’’.

Mr Owen acknowledged he had helped bring on board property developer and friend Keith Stronach as a campaign donor but said he thought Mr Thomson had arranged for the money to be provided legally.

He also knew of Bill Saddington giving money but did not know he had property developments.

And he was told during the campaign by Mr Thomson that his boss, David Mingay, the founder of major contractor and civil engineering company Daracon, was backing him.

As the Newcastle Herald recently revealed, Mr Mingay’s companies gave $20,000 towards Mr Owen’s campaign.

Mr Owen told the inquiry he said he did not realise during the campaign that Mr Mingay could be considered a developer.

Party crashers prompt warning

A WAGGA party that got out of control has prompted police to appeal to organisers of celebrations to contact them beforehand.
Nanjing Night Net

Wagga police crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Cloake, said two people were charged with common assault and a number of move on directions given after police were called to a party of about 200 teenagers at the Equex multi-purpose centre on Saturday night.

“The party was not registered and there was nil security and only limited control measures in place,” Inspector Cloake said.

He said parents of a number of under age children given move on directions were contacted and asked to collect their kids.

Inspector Cloake said parties could be registered on the Wagga police website.

“It’s basically a notification,” he said.

“Sometimes these parties can blow out.

“Word can spread quite quickly through social media so it is best to register parties so we can look over things.”

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Natural Gas a boon for regional Victoria?

The Sunraysia Daily report North-West ripe for CSG (06/08) rightly identifies an area of Victoria currently being explored for the possible development of natural gas reserves.
Nanjing Night Net

The report cites an unidentified Canadian study warning of risks of “drilling in the dark” – but it does not mention the fact that natural gas drilling has been carried out without significant incident in Queensland, NSW and WA for many years.

Just this week NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts declared he would be glad to have a CSG well on his property, urging a more rational approach from opponents.

Speaking to a newspaper in regional NSW, he said: “There have been a lot of lies and misinformation directed at this industry.”

The bottom line is that in the past 50 years around the world, 2.5 million gas wells have safely used hydraulic fracturing.

Natural gas from coal seams has been safely commercially extracted using hydraulic fracturing in Australia for 20 years.

The industry is well established in Queensland, and NSW, including in semi-rural farming areas at Camden, just south of Sydney.

Gas is in growing demand from consumers and industry – and the price looks set to rise unless new supply is brought on-stream.

At a time when manufacturing is contracting and unemployment growing, there is a big opportunity for regional Victoria to create jobs and generate additional income for land and business owners – all from responsibly managed, government-regulated resources.

That is what has happened in a number of states in the US and Canada.

And there is good reason to believe it can happen in Victoria, to the benefit of consumers, farmers and local businesses – and without harm to water supplies or agriculture.

Steve Wright,

Director Energy Resource

Information Centre

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Magpies need one point for promotion: PHOTOS

Maitland’s Harry Maguire takes the attack up to Cesnnock during the Magpies’ 6-1 win on the weekend. The Maitland Magpies are a single point away from promotion to next year’s Northern NSW National Premier League after thrashing Cessnock City 6-1 on Sunday.
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Magpies need one point for promotion: PHOTOS Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

Action from Maitland’s 6-1 defeat of Cessnock City on the weekend.

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Southbound Mandurah motorists to benefit from Kwinana Freeway extension

MANDURAH motorists are expected to benefit fromthe announcement of a widening project on the Kwinana Freeway southbound.
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In a decision announced by assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs and Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder, traffic merging on to the Kwinana Freeway from Roe Highway would enter the major road by a separate independent lane.

Mr Briggs said the Kwinana Freeway Southbound Widening Projectwouldaddress the significant congestion issues along the Freeway from Roe Highway to Armadale Road,including the Roe Highway westbound merge with Kwinana Freeway.

He said the project wouldsignificantly reduce congestion on Perth’s major southern arterial road and slash travel times for motorists heading south to Mandurah.

“The Kwinana Freeway southbound between Roe Highway and Armadale Road no longer has the capacity to meet today’s demands which is impacting on the economic output of Perth’s road network,” Mr Briggs said.

“This upgrade along with our other multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments like the Perth Freight Link and Gateway WA will unlock the productive capacity of Western Australia and create thousands of new jobs.

“Construction works are expected to commence in September 2014 and be completed in mid-2015.”

Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the corridor between Roe Highway and Armadale Road had experienced strong traffic growth, which was expected to continue.

“Large numbers of vehicles exit at Armadale Road, so the third southbound lane should improve the existing peak hour congestion conditions,” Mr Nalder said.

“Reducing congestion is vital to improving productivity, lowering business costs and improving the economy to create jobs.

“Construction of the third southbound lane along the 4.2-kilometre section of the freeway is similar to the previously completed section between Leach and Roe highways.

“While this important work will have a short term disruption on traffic flows, Main Roads will work with Lend Lease Engineering to determine the best way to maintain traffic movements for all road users.”

The $62million project is being jointly funded by the Australian Government and the WA State Government, with each committing $31m.

Under the proposal, theKwinana Freeway southbound wouldremain as two lanes under the bridge at Roe Highway with the third lane adjoining from the Roe Highway on-ramp.

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Candle-making a popular, fun activity

WHAT better way to meet new people than when your hands are busy?
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Each Thursday, 23 Wedge Street Community House runs craft days from 10am until 2pm.

This week it is candle-making, followed by candle melts next week, on August 21.

House co-ordinator Glenda Maher said the house had run candle-making previously and it was popular.

“I think that’s because people can make their own candle, they can pick their own scent and make their house smell nice with it,” Mrs Maher said.

The craft classes at the community house are always popular, but unfortunately due to space, Mrs Maher has had to keep the classes small.

“There is need out there for something like it,” Mrs Maher said.

“The classes are fun and you get to meet people.

“We did hand-knitting today and our hands were the needles, we had a little bit of fun and we learned a new skill,” Mrs Maher said.

While the classes are small, Mrs Maher encouraged anyone interested to book.

“We are trying to get some new faces in, but we don’t want to lose the ones we have,” Mrs Maher said.

So Mrs Maher has organised for those who participated in the previous class to put their names down, and those who haven’t done it before will get priority.

The classes are a gold coin donation at 23 Wedge Street Community House, Thursday 10am until 2pm and August 21.

For more information and bookings please call Rural Health on 6452 1266.

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Dream opportunity for young performer

Zach Beavon-Collin ready for The Arts Revue’s The Unlimited Dream Factory. Photo: SUPPLIED
Nanjing Night Net

Dubbo’s Zach Beavon-Collin is set to perform in his eighth production for the year with the University of Sydney, The Unlimited Dream Factory.

The avid performer was apart of a few musicals at St John’s College, such as The Pirates of Penzance.

He has been involved in seven shows so far this year including a zombie thriller called Quack, which he directed.

For Mr Beavon-Collin theatre is actually a side project to his IT degree, but he priorities have changed.

“It’s becoming a case of theatre becoming the degree and the degree becoming the side project,” he said.

Directing is certainly a passion of his and he is looking to get more involved with directing in the future.

The Unlimited Dream Factory is a six-month project for Zach, which involved writing and crafting the show’s live-stage sketches, song and dance numbers and video sketches.

The comedy sketch show will play in Sydney from August 21 to 23.

Mr Beavon-Collin said the show has a lot of great talent who were amazing to work with and the story provides a crucial idea that is sometimes forgotten.

“(The show) provides a lovely message of the importance of dreams and the innocence that comes with having a passion,” he said.

“A lot of really great talent worked on this show; it’s been great working with them.”

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Job prospects focus of new RDA initiative

A study to determine what demand there is for training and jobs in particular sectors of the Orana region over the coming years is about to take another step forward.
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From this week local businesses will be asked for their feedback as part of the Workforce Planning and Development Study, a joint initiative of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana, all three levels of government and local industry.

The study aims to provide a detailed insight into the workforce climate in the region, and will involve businesses from local shires including Nyngan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle, Wellington and the Mid-Western area.

RDA Orana Chair John Walkom said the research would help uncover workforce challenges, workplace training and skills requirements, recruitment and retention concerns and existing and future workforce demands in the Orana region.

“The research will help us to better understand the workforce capabilities, where there are gaps and how we can better match the needs of employers with workers who are trained with the right skills,” Mr Walkom said.

“As part of the research we will be speaking with employers and other key stakeholders to gain feedback on their businesses workforce needs and whether there are skills available in the local area.

“The feedback we receive from these surveys will be important in building a much clearer picture of the challenges local businesses in our region face and to look at how we can address these.”

He said employers in the region could get a phone call from a research team member inviting them to be interviewed for a short phone survey.

“If you receive that call I encourage you to be involved as the research will be used to inform a region-wide Workforce Planning and Development strategy that will be implemented to address the workforce challenges your business may be facing,” Mr Walkom said.

In the coming weeks, employers will be contacted by Urbis, the independent consulting organisation contracted to carry out the research.

The research is expected to be available for public release by the end of the year.

Employers who want to be involved can register their interest by emailing [email protected] or calling RDA Orana on 02 6885 1488.

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