Archive for: ‘December 2018’

Power bills likely to rise under privatisation |POLL

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

Dubbo residents could receive a shock to the hip pocket if electricity privatisation becomes a reality. Dubbo residents could receive a shock to the hip pocket if electricity privatisation becomes a reality.

New research by the McKell Institute has calculated bills could cost up to $350 extra over the next five years under the proposed privatisation of the electricity network.

Premier Mike Baird recently proposed leasing 49 per cent of the ‘poles and wires’, generating an estimated $13 billion to help fund $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

Using comparisons between publicly owned and private owned companies the Nothing to gain, plenty to lose report found privatisation could lead to an increase in operating expenses, resulting in higher power bills costing between $38 and $103 more a year.

“After extensive analysis, the report found that based on the implications for the budget and the efficiency of the entity there is no logical case for privatisation,” economist and report author Stephen Koukoulas said.

However, member for Dubbo Troy Grant said the Australian Energy Regulator determined electricity prices and found prices would come down.

“The Australian Energy Regulator is an independent national body and has determined there would be no power price reductions from holding the electricity distribution networks in public ownership,” Mr Grant said.

“Other independent analysis proves the NSW Liberals and Nationals government’s plan is the right thing to do for consumers, and will free $6 billion worth of capital for our regional communities.

“The opposition and the Electrical Trade Union will say and do anything to scare people in the Dubbo electorate, but the reality is our poles and wires are not for sale.”

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Mr Koukoulas said one of the biggest factors contributing to higher overheads, especially in regional areas, would be the geographical size of the ‘poles and wires’ network- the greater the distance to be serviced, the higher the cost per customer.

The report states costs could be reduced if privatised networks decreased their service levels in remote areas, but less servicing could see more frequent and lengthier power failures.

Mr Koukoulas said once the electricity network was sold it would be almost impossible to get back and the government needed to know the consequences.

The report was commissioned by Stop the Sell Off.

The company’s campaign director Adam Kerslake said there is now detailed, data-driven research showing privatised electricity networks are less efficient with overheads growing at a faster rate.

“Mr Koukoulas has provided the hard numbers that blow apart the myths and generalisations used to promote what is essentially a fire sale to build an electoral war chest,” Mr Kerslake said.

“In recent weeks we have seen the Federal Government’s energy regulator find that the highest power prices in Australia are in South Australia, where the network is privately owned, while the NSW Auditor General revealed that power employees have delivered $3 billion to consumers through increased efficiencies.”

Mr Koukoulas said the report has already sparked debate and he hoped it would have an impact on the government’s decision.

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Sheep auction raises $5000 for McGrath Foundation

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

Mathew Dickerson, Tony Ferrari, Eddie Purseglove, Brad McRae, Darren Ferrari, McGrath Breastcare nurses Margie Collins and Vanessa Hyland, (front) Paul Bartlett and Kevin McGrath with some of the pink sheep that were auctioned off to raise money for the McGrath Foundation. Photo: BELINDA SOOLENearly $5000 has been raised for the McGrath Foundation by the auction of 11 sheep at the Dubbo Saleyards yesterday.

Organiser and Trangie Hotel publican Shane Dalton was delighted to see the support from the district for the initiative, which is in its fourth year. He was happy with the total.

Six farmers from Trangie donated the sheep, which went under the hammer at 11am yesterday.

To set them apart from the other sheep at the sale, the special 11 were sporting pink dots as well as the odd star and crescent moon.

McGrath breast care nurses for Dubbo, Vanessa Hyland and Margie Collins said they were thrilled by the support shown by the community.

Mr Dalton said the sheep sale marked the start of a busy month of fundraising, which includes the Pink Twenty20 cricket, bowls events, a golf day and culminates with the traditional McGrath Foundation pigeon race from Narromine to Trangie on Jane McGrath Day, January 5, next year.

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‘Technical issues’ to blame for QantasLink turn back

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

AN aircraft travelling from Dubbo to Sydney turned back following a “technical issue” with one of its engines. AN aircraft travelling from Dubbo to Sydney turned back following a “technical issue” with one of its engines.

A QantasLink spokesperson said flight QF 2039 returned to Dubbo shortly after take-off on Friday afternoon when the captain received a warning light in the flight deck indicating a problem with the left engine.

“As a precaution, the engine was shut down,” a QantasLink spokesperson said.

“The flight landed safely and passengers were re-accommodated on the next available services.”

Dubbo man Jamie Riley told the Daily Liberal he thought he “was about to die” when passengers smelt smoke and one of two propellers stopped spinning during their flight to Sydney.

He described seeing “fear in some of the passengers’ faces” and then clapping when the aircraft had landed safely after turning back 10 minutes into the flight.

Mr Riley, who had been flying to Sydney for surgery, was so spooked by the incident he changed his mind and decided to make the trip by car instead.

The QantasLink spokesperson said while passengers may have smelt fumes in the cabin there was no smoke.

The aircraft involved was a 74-seat Dash 8 Q400 series, which made its debut in Dubbo in March last year.

Most of the passengers on the plane involved in the mid-air incident were moved to the following service on Friday night, about an hour-and-a-half after their scheduled service, the QantasLink spokesperson said, while others were placed on the first flight to Sydney the following morning.

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Kolic defeats Finlay in junior tennis nail-biter

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

TEAMWORK: Kirrily Blaylock and Dale Westover enjoying their twilight match.

Saturday (December 6) was the last game before the Christmas break and conditions were windy.

Kolic played Finlay and while Kolic won the match overall by two sets, two of the sets went down to the wire.

They were the top double which was a thriller, with the Finlay pairing of Zac Packard and Maggie Daw just coming away with a win in a tie breaker over Thomas Beltrame and Tara Gavan.

The other tie breaker was the single between Jamie Walker and Grace McKnight, with Grace just winning in a tight one.

The other match between Carcuro and Riordan saw Riordan also claim victory by two sets but there were no real close matches within this encounter.

An interesting tussle however was seeing Marissa Kurbatfinski return to tennis, and immediately required to play at number one.

She partnered Blake Packard in the top double against Jay Miller and Julia Carcuro, this hard-fought match saw Marissa and Blake come away with a 6/4 win.

Junior tennis is now on Christmas holiday break and will return on the Saturday after school goes back (Saturday, January 31), when all coaching and matches will resume as normal, for the second half of the season.

Any children who turned five are welcome to join in the half season of Hot Shots Coaching.

Best of luck to the players who are representing Port Augusta in the State Country Carnival at Memorial Drive in Adelaide in January.

Teams are as follows;

Senior Mixed: Sam Daw, Simon Finlay, Bridget Manning, Georgina Kite.

16U Girls: Nicole Manning, Hannah Manning, Laura Carcuro, Alex Beal.

16U Boys: Justin Bentley, Darien Kurbatfinski, Blake Packard, Dylan Herde.

14U Girls: Maggie Daw, Julia Carcuro, Alyssa Magor, Grace McKnight.

14U Boys: Declan Franks, Ryan Finlayson, Mitchell McKnight, Corey Finlayson.

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Indoor cricket plan proposed for land near Glenn McGrath Oval, Caringbah

16/12/2018 Posted by admin

Proposal: Former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and Cricket officials have had discussions with Sutherland Shire councillors about an indoor cricket training centre. Picture: Cole Bennetts/Fairfax MediaCRICKET NSW hopes to build a $2.5 million indoor cricket training centre on land near Glenn McGrath Oval at Caringbah.

Representatives from Sutherland Shire junior, men’s and grade cricket and Cricket NSW have been investigating the possibility of establishing a Sutherland Shire Indoor Cricket Development Centre at Breen Park, Caringbah.

Former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and Cricket NSW officials met with Sutherland Shire mayor Kent Johns and councillors Carmelo Pesce and Tom Croucher in October to put their case. They had looked at a number of sites, including Sutherland Oval No. 1, Tonkin Oval and Gwawley South Oval.

But the area known as Glenn McGrath lower oval, or Caringbah No. 2 oval, is their preferred site because of the quality of its turf wicket, available land space and accessible location.

Sutherland Shire Council supported the development application in principle but asked Cricket NSW to look at other locations, including Waratah Park and Barden Ridge.

Cricket NSW proposes building eight indoor nets in a one or two-storey building in the central portion of the lower oval at Breen Park and promised financial commitment to the project.

There is also a proposal to apply for local, state and federal government grant funding if the plan proceeds.

Cricket NSW manager of state infrastructure Anthony Brooks described the project as a fantastic opportunity for the shire to help youth fulfil their potential and serve existing players from the area.

“We need a facility in Sydney’s south to serve the young guys and girls who are coming through on their player pathway,” Mr Brooks said.

“The only opportunity if they want to practise is to go to the SCG or Bankstown Memorial Oval. We really believe the shire has the chance to have world-class facilities, which will not only create jobs but attract international visitors.”

A pre-development application meeting was held with the council in March. But a report by the council’s planning staff found shortfalls in the plan, particularly regarding parking and the use of public land.

Cricket NSW was told the site was not suitable for the proposed development.

“The volume of space proposed to be built on will result in reduced ability of the site to function as an open recreation space for current and future residents,” the report said.

The proposal will result in a reduction of passive recreation areas. The loss of green space is inconsistent with the implementation of the Caringbah Centre Strategy but there were significant benefits to the cricket and broader sporting communities, the report said.

What do you think of the proposal?

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