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During the past three months, we’ve seen seven mixed teams fight it out for the right to be the 2013 Nyngan Futsal champions.

Lots of laughs and lots of skill were displayed each week. We had teams from the local mines, police, schools and local businesses this year.

The grand final came down to the two top teams of ‘The Tazers’ and ‘Mixmash’. Dan Cooper, Dan McIntosh, Lucy Reid and others up against the might of Andrew Bockos, Richard Perry, Elecia Sandall and co.

The standard was extremely high throughout an absorbing grand final tussle.

Two 15-minute halves couldn’t separate the teams with the score locked at 7-all.

Going into extra time, the tension just soared to a new level.

The Tazers looked set to take their first title with a crucial goal but ‘Mixmash’ equalised with seconds remaining. Yeehaa!

The two tired teams were up for some more extra time looking for that elusive golden goal. The crowd roared and cheered every tackle and watched as the two weary teams battled it out.

The moment came when man of the match, Dan Cooper, sliced through and scored the winning goal. 9-8 was the final result in favour of ‘The Tazers’.

Thanks to all of those who played this season and I look forward to seeing you all again next year as you try to wrestle the title away from the local police.

o The Tazers: Lucy Reid, Dan McIntosh, Luke Edwards, Dan Cooper, Kira Sweet, Stephanie Wynne, Irene Tarasenko, Mick Cobcroft, Joel Breaden (away).

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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An old-fashioned “people person” has won the Professionals Salesperson of the Year Award in South Australia.
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Peter Thomas has spent the past 22 years based in Laura with the real estate firm, conducting his business face-to-face with clients and enthralling them with his country charm.

He has sold many properties on multiple occasions, including one at Jamestown nine times, according to the locals who keep track of his exploits.

Peter was a farmer at Gulnare before walking into the office of real estate agent Gavin Mannix, of Port Pirie, where a job had been advertised, and exclaimed, “I reckon I could do this”.

The rest is history, thanks to support from his wife Marg and the team at the Port Pirie office of Professionals who provide back-up on his travels throughout the Mid North.

He deals with clients in an area extending from Laura to Gulnare and across to Crystal Brook and including Melrose, Wilmington and Jamestown.

Many of the sales involve broad-acre farms or subdivisions creating hobby farms.

“There are a lot of return clients. We build the business on service,” he said.

“I go to them, not them come to me. You have to treat the little properties just as importantly as the big ones.”

Peter, who is a grandfather many times over, is thrilled to be “number one at 71”.

Chris Keane, who is principal at Professionals Port Pirie, said Peter was well-known in the area and around Port Pirie through his involvement in sport and service clubs.

He still plays bowls regularly. He and Marg are very family- orientated, having five children and lots of grandchildren.

“Peter is an excellent ‘people person’ with much of his business conducted face-to-face or on the telephone,” Chris said.

“He is not a great lover of email and texting, but fully understands that it is a necessary part of conducting business today.

“Peter is well supported by Marg and the office staff in Port Pirie which enables him to get on with the business of listing and selling.“

The real estate consultant has been in the top 10 salespeople for Professionals each year.

Peter has been awarded the Salesperson of the Year title for the Professionals for SA for 2012-13.

He won this award in 2009 and has been runner-up twice.

TOP CONSULTANT…Peter Thomas receives his award.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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THE largest survey of school zone signs ever conducted in NSW and the ACT has found 45 per cent (45%) of schools surveyed along the NSW North Coast still have faded signs that are hard to see.
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Ten schools from the Mid-North Coast were identified in the figures including Telegraph Point and Comboyne Primary Schools.

The NRMA’s Keep School Zones Safe survey received more than 900 responses from schools and P&C committees about the condition of school zone signs at 537 schools, 78 of which were in NSW North Coast.

The responses showed that over three-quarters (76%) of signs surveyed in the region had not been upgraded to the Australian-standard, fluorescent yellow green colour.

NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said school zone safety was a priority with thousands of students across the region back at school for Term 4.

“Signs at 17 per cent of North Coast schools captured in the survey were also faded or hard to see because they were obscured by trees, power poles or other roadside clutter,” Ms Machin said. “This is not good enough; every single school in the north coast should, at the very least, have well-maintained and highly visible signs that meet the Australian standard NRMA recommends.

“The report shows school zone safety is a major concern, with over two-thirds (69%) of responses received from the region wanting safety issues around schools addressed. “

Comments from a Comboyne School representative that were published in the survey identified congestion as a considerable safety concern.

The NRMA’s Keep School Zones Safe survey also identified unclear road markings in school zones along the NSW North Coast.

‘Our school is in a rural area and opposite the school zone is a dairy. The 2 mini buses have to do a 3 point turn in the driveway of the dairy, reversing back towards the school bus zone to turn around. This area is quite congested with parents picking up students and cars parked on a grass verge opposite the school. I feel this not quite adequate or completely safe.’

The condition of the road outside the Primary School at Telegraph Point was also highlighted as an issue in the survey.

‘Our small school is on Mooney Street Telegraph Point, the road out the front of the school is very badly damaged as we are at the end of a t-intersection, and on route to a caravan park so we get large cars towing caravans turning right and cars and trucks absolutely fly past all hours of the day whether its school safety times or not, local police are supposed to patrol the area, but, of course they don’t.’

The responses from the NSW North Coast report that almost three-quarters of schools in the region (72%) lack school crossing supervisors or lollipop people during busy drop off and pick-up periods, and a staggering 78 per cent of schools lack flashing lights.

The survey found:

– 45 per cent of 40km/h painted road mark badges;

– 23 per cent of zebra crossings; and

– 32 per cent of dragon’s teeth road markings were worn and faded.

Faded and worn: dragon’s teeth road markings

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Local government luck of the draw. THE push for the Shire ofBusselton to become a City came from council at a great financial cost, not thecommunity and it came with promises of greater prosperity for all including newindustries and businesses which has not occurred.
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Behind the scenes however,the council was aware of impending new and generous allowance scales whichwould benefit councillors if they were governing a City rather than a ruralshire.

The increases were to mymind essential for WA had fallen behind other states but more importantly,something had to be done to attract more and better qualified people’s interestin becoming a councillor. It hasdone that for we have seen twelve aspirants who seek to find a place on thecouncil.

To my mind however, thesystem we presently use to obtain and elect councillors still has not changedand it is still a popularity contest to see who is successful. Any other jobwith allowances such as what councillors now receive would have real dutystatements, business standards, qualification requirements, experiencecomparisons etc together with appropriate interviews yet to be a councillor oneonly needs to be over 18 years of age, is an elector of the district andreceives the most votes.

The only details that thevoters ever know about councillor aspirants is what they reveal in the votingpaper and whatever the local papers glean out or what a candidate provides inhandouts or public meeting if there is any. The question could be, were theaspirants attracted to the dollars or were they moved to bring knowledge andabilities to enhance the council?

In general we elect people,usually men, without knowing their qualification both educational and business,their life experience, their ability to work in a group setting, to communicatewithin council and with the community, are competent, etc.

History demonstrates timeand time again that councils have divisions, power groups, political leanings, incompetentmembers and people unable to fulfil the dynamic and sometimes a frustratingroll which generally never attracts kind comment or community thanks for theirefforts.

My comments are not meantto demean new and existing councillors for they may all be suitably qualifiedin every sense of the meaning but I don’t know if they are or not and as theywill be making decisions that will impact upon my family, is why I raise thisissue.

Until elections for localgovernment, which is a business, is changed, the same process will continue butfor those who will be elected, congratulations and the best of luck for thecoming four years for you will have been fortunate to win the lucky dip.

John Wilkins

Kalgup

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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A storm cell bringing high winds and lightning headed for the Blue Mountains, just added to the danger for firefighters battling out-of-control blazes in the area yesterday.
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Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the storm was expected to probably only bring up to two millimetres of rain, but also lightning and strong winds, increasing the fire danger. Winds of up to 70km/h had been detected.

He said the storm translated to “very difficult, very dangerous fire behaviour and firefighting conditions”.

Firefighters in the field, particularly in the more rugged country, were warned to be ready for the storm and would be “extracted” from the area if needed.

With about 24 hours before the worst of the forecast fire danger conditions developed in NSW, fire crews have seized the opportunity to take a more aggressive approach to back burning.

Yesterday they linked two of the Blue Mountains fires before they joined in more dangerous circumstance.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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THE state government will cap future rent increases for South Australians who hold leases for shacks on Crown land or in National Parks, including those at Smoky Bay.
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Rent increases are to be capped at $2000 for shack leases revalued on a three yearly basis, and $3500 for those revalued on a five yearly basis.

There are about 300 life tenure shacks on Crown land and another 100 in national park reserves, with the payable rent reviewed by an independent valuer.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said shack rents had always been based on the state receiving a fair return for the private and exclusive use of state land assets.

“Land valuers have advised the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources that while the overall market is down, absolute beachfront shacks continue to attract a premium compared to shacks that are further inland,” he said.

“Consequently, this has resulted in some waterfront sites attracting particularly high land values, and potential rent increases of up to $7175 after July 1.”

The new policy will apply immediately on rents from July 1, with shack owners and members of the Shack Owners Association to soon receive letters on how the policy will work.

Mr Hunter said if a shack owner was subject to the cap, their next rent bill would detail the amount that would have been payable, and the amount as adjusted under the cap.

The next round of rent notifications is scheduled for next month and Mr Hunter said he expected about 14 local shack owners would be affected by the new cap.

The announcement came on October 16, which coincided with the demonstration by shack owners at Parliament House in Adelaide.

Opposition Sustainability and Government spokesperson Michelle Lensink said the government’s decision came because there was a rally on the day.

“Because of the action of the shack owners, the government thought to ‘throw them a bone’,” she said.

“There’s still no tenure or anything else they want.”

The opposition has declared its support for shack owners across the state and Ms Lensink introduced bills to amend current laws on the same day as the protest.

One bill deals with ongoing leases and tenure on Crown land, while another focuses on national parks.

SHACK CAP: Minister Ian Hunter has announced rent increases will be capped at $2000 for those evaluated on a three yearly basis, and $3500 for those on a five yearly basis.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Metropolitan firefighters from interstate have backed up hundreds of NSW colleagues who were heading out to help rural crews in the bushfire emergency.
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Up to 170 NSW Fire and Rescue tankers and engines with almost 800 officers were sent to fire-ravaged communities in the Blue Mountains yesterday.

Ten crews from Queensland and 10 from Melbourne arrived in Sydney today to man metropolitan posts.

It’s one of the largest mobilisations in the history of Fire and Rescue NSW, Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

He said the fire threat in the Blue Mountains was unparalleled and warranted the “unprecedented number” of resources.

Firefighters are battling to get on top of the Blue Mountains fires ahead of worsening conditions today.

The 1994 bushfires and 1997 Sydney hailstorm are the only other incidents that required such widespread mobilisation.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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More than 90 per cent of all NSW public schools are set to receive a boost in funding under a new system that distributes money based on students’ socio-economic backgrounds.
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The funding, which includes an additional $100 million from the federal government’s Gonski agreement, will be rolled out across state schools from next year.

Under the new scheme announced on Tuesday, the funds – which are on top of a school’s base budget for staffing and operations – will be allocated according to need.

Schools with pupils from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds or with more Indigenous students will get more money.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the new model more accurately reflected the differences between schools.

“This means more than 90 per cent of all public schools will receive more funding,” he said.

But the government acknowledges about 180 schools with students from more privileged socio-economic backgrounds will be worse off.

The new funding model will also give principals and school communities more control over funding, with the proportion of their budget controlled by them eventually rising from 10 per cent to 70 per cent

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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ABOUT 155 people attended the NSW Cavy Club show at Oatley on Sunday where hundreds of these pets – known more commonly as guinea pigs – were shown in competition.
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There were buff, golden and even lilac-coloured creatures, long haired, short haired, some with hairy rosettes and others that looked like teddy bears.

Some had hair so long it normally has to be in wraps like a woman’s hair rollers so it doesn’t become a trip hazard.

The NSW Cavy club show. Pictures Jane Dyson

At the end of the day though, the Best in Showcavy wasSymphonia Silver Island, from a breed known as Rex.

Owner Jayne Anthony said she had 27 cavies to the show, almost double the number shown by many other owners.

‘‘The average stud is 130, sometimes people have more than 200 in the one stud,’’ Ms Anthony said.

That’s a whole lot of love and on Sunday it was being spread around.

It was the first time in many years that the club had held its show at Oatley and most of those who attended were adults. Some visited from as far afield as Canberra and Yass.

For Ms Anthony, of Tuggerah on the Central Coast, it was a brief but welcome return to St George which she left 4 years ago.

She had a beauty therapy salon at Bexley.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Honeypot Lingerie was among an outstanding range of businesses that presented displays dedicated to the art of the great wedding in Clare on Sunday.
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The shop, which has been open for seven weeks in the main street of the town, hosted a stall at the Clare Valley Wedding Expo, providing inspiration to bride-to-be Sarah Fiegert, of Riverton.

Sarah will marry Luke McDonald at Riverton on October 18 next year.

Proprietor of Honeypot Lingerie Alisa Willis was assisted at the stall at Valleys Lifestyle Centre by her daughter Abagail Willis, 13, who was photographed beside a vintage silk nightie.

Explaining the reason for opening her shop, Alisa said: “I wanted to do something for myself. I like pretty girlie things. I have been shopping – now I can buy heaps of products.”

Honeypot Lingerie offers items including lingerie, sports bras, sleepwear, corsets, swimwear, fascinators, maternity clothes, jewellery, sunhats and handbags and much more. Find us on Facebook or phone 8842 2063.

Meanwhile, Merrilyn Williams, of Clare Valley Flowers, posed with a bouquet of white flowers, but said coloured blooms would soon be all the rage at weddings, especially for bridesmaids.

Near the entrance to the expo, Clare Valley-based Pike’s Wines combined with Handmade Catering to present a catering and event management service.

Sure to be popular at wedding receptions is Pike’s Riesling, judged the best in Australia at the International Riesling Challenge in Canberra.

Brides-to-be, their bridesmaids and mothers and mothers-in-law had a great time at the expo.

Alisa Willis, left, of Honeypot Lingerie, Clare, chatted with bride-to-be Sarah Fiegert, of Riverton, at the Clare Valley Wedding Expo.

Abagail Willis displays a vintage silk nightie at the Honeypot Lingerie stall.

BLOOMS…Merrilyn Williams, of Clare Valley Flowers.

EVENTS…Nicole Ramsey, left, Stuart Oldfield and Cathy Pike talked about catering and event management at the expo.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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