20. 11. 2018
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Council thrown in deep end over new pool

Council thrown in deep end over new pool

The criticism of the Burnie City Council over the new aquatic centreseems unfounded and unfair.
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Years in the making, the opening of the pool has been shrouded by negativity about the design, particularly the lack of an indoor children's pool or play area.

The Council has delivered what it promised to deliver: a year-round facility to ensure the community has access to a pool throughout the colder months.

It will accommodate learn to swim programs and lap swimmers. A statement issued by the council this week said Sea-Lyons Aquatics, whichisoperating on the pool on behalf of the council, will also provide a number oforganised and informal leisure activities.

The Burnie Aquatic Centre working group represented the needs of the community and worked with the council over several years to see the pool through to completion.

It is the costliest project undertaken by the council since the Round Hill sewage treatment facility, completed 15 years ago.

While an indoor children's play pool may be convenient during winter, it would come at huge expense to the ratepayer.

In a political climate critical of both excessive governmentspending and rate rises, it is hard not to think that council would have come under fire for adding significant further expense to the project.

The councilinitially could not find the funds to allow the redevelopment to go ahead.

The project was made possible by significant state and federal government contributions, which came after lobbying by the council and the working group over the course of several election campaigns.

For those thinking the pool will serve no purpose, look wider. The poolincludes accessible changerooms and a ‘Pool Pod’ to lower those using wheelchairs into the pool. Burnie is the third location in Australia to embrace the technology, which was first developed for the 2012 Olympics.

The outdoor splash pad, which features eight different pieces of play equipment, is also fully accessible and will accommodate children in wheelchairs.

It will suit children of all ages from toddlers through to teenagers and will provide a fun and interactive environment.

The North-West is not without an indoor children’s pool –Splash in Devonport offers a warm water play pool –but Burnie has been delivered within a budget and to serve as many people as possible.

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20. 11. 2018
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Bumper budget’s good for western Sydney

Bumper budget’s good for western Sydney

June’s 2016 NSW Budget was a bumper edition for western Sydney.
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WSROC president Councillor Tony Hadchiti

There were few surprises, however Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC)was pleased to see a renewed commitment to western Sydney infrastructure projects such as the Sydney Metro, Parramatta Light Rail and a suite of road upgrades.

Councils have also welcomed a continuation of the NSW Infrastructure Acceleration Fund, which will ensure critical infrastructure is in place for our new western Sydney communities as they are built.

The Budget also proposed a number of initiatives to target skills shortages across the state.

WSROC has previously called for a more direct approach to tackling the west’s skills shortages and the Budget’s Smart, Skilled and Hired program has offered a response to these calls.

The program promises to assist unemployed youth find training and employment in industries experiencing worker shortages such as construction and disability care.

Additional funding has also been set aside for VET enrolments and TAFE scholarships in technology-based growth industries, encouraging our young people to train for the jobs of the future.

While the Budget did not include any new funding for western Sydney arts, WSROC welcomes the much greater focus on local artists and grass roots organisations: essential for ensuring a diverse range of voices are contributing to our state’s cultural dialogue.

We are also pleased to hear $2.8 million in grants will be available for community projects, activities and partnerships that celebrate cultural diversity – one of western Sydney’s most important assets.

This funding will encourage cultural sharing and promote a sense of belonging for new Australians.

Finally, western Sydney has received a substantive, and critically needed boost to health infrastructure.

However, this is just the beginning of what is needed – particularly in the west’s outer ring.

Overall, western Sydney will do well from the 2016 Budget.

However, every cent is greatly needed, and WSROC will continue to call for further investment in the region over the coming year.

Councillor Tony Hadchiti is the president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils

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20. 11. 2018
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Punting on a better timeslot

Punting on a better timeslot

FRIDAY DELIGHT: Itz Gemmas Delight, driven by Gareth Rattray, wins in Devonport last Friday at a meeting that proved popular with punters. Picture: Greg MansfieldEarly indications are that Tasmanian harness racing backed a winner with its move to a Friday afternoon timeslot last week.
Nanjing Night Net

The Devonport meeting, originally scheduled for the following Monday night, was brought forward as part of an overall change in programming strategy.

But, while most of the meetings moved to Fridays will be run at night with Sky 2 coverage, two were able to secure Sky 1 coverage during the afternoon.

Betting turnover on the Devonport meeting jumped dramatically compared to the previous Friday night meeting on Sky 2.

In fact, it was reliably reported that the national totalisator hold on the last race alone exceeded the total hold on the previous meeting.

There is another Friday afternoon meetingin Hobart on July 22.

LAUNCESTON will also race in a daytime slot on Sunday with a big nine-race program to start at 11.30 am.

All races will be shown on Sky 1.

The final two heats of the BOTRA novice drivers series have attracted capacity fields andboth appear to be open races.

This should ensure a good finish to theseries as only six points separatesthe top five on the leaderboard.

RYLEY MAJOR is an acceptor for a Vicbred Super Series race at Melton on Thursday.

The race carries$12,455 in prizemoney and Ryley Major could also pick up a $7000 bonus for his first metropolitan win in Victoria.

Beauty Point trainerRohan Hillier has listed Gavin Lang to drive the star three-year-oldwho is perfectly drawn in barrier 2.

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20. 11. 2018
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Melbourne continues to lure Tassie’s best

Melbourne continues to lure Tassie’s best

FURTHER AFIELD: Beaufort Lad, pictured with Bulent Muhcu after winning at Mowbray on Sunday, could be heading for Melbourne. Picture: Greg Mansfield
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Promising stayer Beaufort Lad could be about to join an ever-expanding lineupof Tasmanian horses chasing winter riches in Melbourne.

Longford trainer John Blacker is keen to test the four-year-old in Victoria, at least at midweek level, before giving him a break and setting him for next year’s Hobart and Launceston cups.

If he makes the trip, he will help Jerilderie Letter, Iggimacool, Kenjorwood, Royal Rapture, Nunivak and Box Of Frogs fly the Tasmanian flag over the next few weeks.

And, the biggest Tasmanian name of them all, The Cleaner, is not too far away from joining the party.

“Beaufort Ladis a natural stayer and I think he can win a big race,” Blacker said.

“If we do head to Melbourne, he’ll have only one start because I want to set him for the major cups next season.

“There’s nothing much coming up for him here so I’ll see if I can find a suitable midweek race over 2000 metres.

“He’s ready for that trip now.”

Kenjorwood and Iggimacool are both likely to contest the $150,000 Winter Championship final at Flemington on Saturday where they have 59.5kg and 56.5kg respectively.

Iggimacool also has the option of the Leilani Series final for mares but she would have to carry a massive 61kg in that non-claiming race.

Jerilderie Letter, a very unlucky fourth after racing wide at Caulfield last Saturday, has topweight of 60kg in this week’s $120,000 Silver Bowl Series final.

The Scott Brunton-trained stablemates Nunivak and Box Of Frogs have each had unplaced runs in Victoria in the past fortnight and are likely to be given another chance before returning home.

Brunton said he had erred in running Box Of Frogs on the synthetic track at Pakenham after the meeting was moved from a grass track at the last minute.

The Cleaner continued along the comeback trailwith an 800m jumpout at Cranbourne on Monday.

He led most of the way before finishing second and was kept under a firm hold by jockey Steven Arnold.

Stable spokesman Manny Gelagotis said the horse “went OK and most importantly pulled up sound”.

THE STEWARDS’ inquiry into the positive swab returned by weight-for-age star Admiral at Mowbray in February is likely to startin the next fortnight.

Admiral tested positive to the non performance-enhancing druglignocaine –alocal anaesthetic mainly associated withdental surgery –after winning the $100,000 George Adams Plate.

Trainer Barry Campbell said on Sunday that he had received no advice as to when the inquiry was likely to be held.

However racing director Tony Murray said on Monday it should be “within the next couple of weeks”.

Under the rules of racing, Admiral will be disqualified unless there is some fault with the test or procedures and thepositive finding is overturned.

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