14 February 2017

Page 14


Bombing survivours return to Darwin 75 years after attack ALMOST 75 years ago, a young Mornington lad and then 18-year-old army enlistee experienced an event that rocked Australia - the unthinkable enemy attack on Darwin. Next week, the now 95-year-old World War 11 veteran will fly north again, this time for the anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. Alan Day, who still lives in Mornington and is president of the Darwin Defenders Melbourne committee, was there in 1942 when the Japanese flew 64 raids on Darwin and 33 raids on other targets in Northern Australia. The RAAF medical orderly watched in horror as aircraft darkened the skies above Darwin and peppered the small town and harbour with bombs, killing more than 200 people. It will be a bitter-sweet experience for Mr Day, who is looking forward to meeting up with other survivors and defence personnel, but who is still haunted by his wartime experiences. “I’m very excited and honoured to be invited, but I’m not even sure if there will be anybody else that I know, because I’m 95 you know,” he said. Mr Day, who also served in Borneo with the army, said he had seen some destressing things during the war. “Medical orderlies were faced with some terrible scenes, because we were the ones who had to go out to check the bodies and see who was dead or alive,” he said. “It was all

pretty confronting.” Mr Day will spend five days in Darwin and will join around 45 former diggers, evacuees, widows and civilians for the occasion, including 29 bombing of Darwin veterans. Veterans Affairs minister Dan Tehan said Australians would pause and reflect on the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin on 19 February. He said the attacks had brought World War 11 to Australian shores, and Australians should pause to remember those killed and those who defended Darwin “on this national day of observance”. The national commemoration, organised by the Northern Territory government, will recognise the anniversary with a service at the Cenotaph on the Darwin Esplanade at 9.30 am, with an air raid siren at 9.58 am to mark the precise time the first attack took place. The Australian American Association of the Northern Territory will also conduct a USS Peary memorial service. “Australia has been fortunate that global conflict has rarely reached our shores and the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin is an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost because of the attack and to be grateful for the men and women of our armed forces who fight to defend us.” Liz Bell

Defending Darwin: World War 11 veteran Alan Day is heading back to Darwin to commemorate the anniversary of the Japanese bombing. Picture: Yanni

Shire’s pay ploy Continued from Page 1 The union says Mr Cowie told them late last year council is looking at outsourcing the running of Home and Community Care (HACC) services provided by the shire. “Council are seeking to reduce employees’ current entitlement to take a redundancy rather than have their employment transferred to the new provider,” Ms Jackson said. “It is also an attempt to cut their current conditions to make it more attractive for potential contractors and service providers to take the employees on.” The possible outsourcing of HACC services comes after the shire put out an expression of interest last year for contractors to manage Sports and Leisure operations on behalf of council. “No decision to contract out the running of facilities has been made yet,” Ms Jackson said. “We believe this is because the current enterprise agreement doesn’t make the transfer of employees an attractive proposition for either council or the potential contractors and service providers.” Mr Cowie would not comment when asked questions about the offer to pay staff a one-off “incentive” ahead of a vote to accept the enterprise bargaining agreement. “It’s inappropriate for us to comment on enterprise bargaining agreements while negotiations are still taking place,” Mr Cowie said. “We take these negotiations very seriously and will continue the dialogue with our employees directly.” At January’s public council meeting he said negotiations were ongoing. “We've done fairly extensive enterprise bargaining negotiations between ourselves as the shire employer and the unions that represent different groups of staff within the shire,” the CEO said. “That is an important piece of work that the organisation does to try and, as best as possible, give a fair pay rise to the staff but also attempt to contain the costs of operations for the future.” The existing agreement expired at the end of December. Council staff will vote on the new EBA at the end of February. A majority is needed for staff to accept the new pay and condition terms. All employees, both permanent and casual, have equal voting rights.

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Mornington News 14 February 2017

Community Events

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