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Friday, 2 December 2016

ISSUE 24

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Local volunteers recognised with state awards STATE Member for Mount Druitt, Edmond Atalla MP, said he was pleased to have the opportunity to recognise three special volunteers from the Mount Druitt community. Ms Shayal Chand and Ms Shayal Karen from the Western Sydney University both received the “Volunteering Effort in the Community” Awards for their participation in the MATES Mentor program. MATES is a mentoring transition program that supports new university students in their first session at the Western Sydney University. MATES mentors are experienced successful students who meet with new students once a week to provide guidance and support. Mentors are friendly advisors who show new students how to be a university student and navigate the university learning environment. “I also had the pleasure of presenting Ms Lynette Smith with the “Volunteering Effort by the Newly Retired” Award,” Mr Atalla said. “Lynette was nominated by the Ngalluwal Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, where she freely volunteers her time and has been a huge support to the Centre. “Lynette is a “jack of all trades” and can be found preparing lunches for groups, assisting with the collection

and distribution of food hampers to helping with the gardens and outdoor areas.” Lynette is always on hand to welcome all to the Centre and to provide a smile and a friendly ear to those that simply want to chat. “It is important to recognise and to celebrate the volunteers in our communities. Unpaid volunteers are often the cement that holds a community together and their support

helps to make our community a better place for all,” Mr Atalla added. “These Volunteers provide a very valuable service to our community that would otherwise not exist. “Volunteers develop new skills meet new people and gain a sense of satisfaction as they make our society a better place.” “We can never put a dollar value on volunteering, because it’s always about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Five charged following robbery POLICE have charged five men following an alleged robbery in Glenwood on the weekend. Two teenagers, aged 16, were walking towards the intersection of Wanaaring and Moulamein Terrace when they were approached by five men. One of the men allegedly assaulted one of the teens after he ran towards a nearby park. The remaining men allegedly stole the teenager’s wallet and mobile phone, before the group fled the scene. The boy sustained lacerations and bruising to his face. The second teenager was uninjured during the incident. Officers from Quakers Hill Local Area Command were notified of the incident and attended shortly after. Police arrested five men nearby, and they were taken to Riverstone Police Station. The men, aged, 18, and 20, and three aged 19 were charged with robbery in company. They were all granted conditional bail to appear at Blacktown Local Court on Monday 19 December 2016.

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3 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

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4 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

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From the Journo’s Desk by Keegan Thomson ON White Ribbon day I attended a domestic violence forum only to hear the dramatic and purely sickening statistics about man-on-woman violence in this country. According to White Ribbon, the nation’s leading charity fighting to stop domestic and family violence, one in three Australian women have been physically or sexually abused by a man. One in five women receive frequent harassment in their workplace from a male. Domestic violence is the principal cause for women and children becoming homeless. One in four children are exposed to physical violence from a man in a household in Australia. Each week one Australian woman will die at the hands of a current or former partner. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, ‘what can we do to stop this?’ well the answer is simple in nature. We, and I’m mainly calling out all the blokes here, need to start respecting women in all areas of life be that work, home or out at the shops. Stand up, speak out and take action. No one is an innocent bystander. If your mate is smacking about his girlfriend or partner then you have an obligation to say something about it. The police recently launched a ‘no innocent bystander’ campaign which says everyone speak up when they see violence. You can make a call to the police via an anonymous tip and your details won’t even be taken down. If we don’t stand up then we are lowering the standards and letting these cowardly crimes continue. After all domestic violence doesn’t discriminate and is silent so anyone can be the victim of it. Your thoughts? keegan@nepeannews.com.au


By Keegan Thomson

DAMNING new evidence has been uncovered about the ailing state of TAFE funding across western Sydney. According to figures uncovered by a freedom of information document the NSW state government has axed $210 million from TAFE’s budget. Representatives from TAFE originally reached out to the government arguing TAFE would need the $210 million for future investments but the government at the time still cut the funds. The $210 million taken from the TAFE budget was reportedly left over after their operational costs but according to Treasury any left overs would have to be returned back to the government. Member for Londonderry and Shadow Skills Minister, Prue Car has accused the government of a cover up. “At a time when TAFE is being forced to sack teachers and hike up course fees it beggars belief that treasury has cut $210m its budget,” Ms Car said. “Treasury calls it a ‘repatriation’ but let’s be clear here that

this is a cut by another name.” “It didn’t matter that TAFE said it needed the money to pay for the so-called reform program, Gladys Berejiklian has effectively bullied TAFE into handing over the money. “It’s just another example of how this government is setting up TAFE to fail so that it can point to a market failure and invite the private sector to come in and replace it. The treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian referred comments to the Minister for Skills and Deputy Premier, John Barilaro who rebuked the Opposition’s claims and said the TAFE budget is

higher this year than it was last year. “TAFE NSW’s budget in 2016-17 is $1.82 billion, this is significantly higher than the actual spending in 2015-16 ($1.72 billion),” Mr Barilaro said. “TAFE NSW enrollments are also clearly on the increase and as of 9 October this year they stood at more than 501,000 (since the start of 2016), that’s up more than 122,000 on the same time last year,” he said. Budget documents show that TAFE lost over 5000 staff members between 2012 and 2015 with fee deregulation and budget cuts being blamed for both these figures.

Crash on M4 at Prospect INQUIRIES continue into a crash on the M4 at Prospect on Monday afternoon. About 12.50pm (Monday 28 November 2016) a Mitsubishi Outlander was travelling east on the M4 motorway when it was involved in a collision with a truck which was travelling in the same direction. After the collision the Outlander mounted an embankment before returning to the roadway. The driver was unconscious with the vehicle in reverse and driving in a circular motion. A number of other motorists came to assisted, and were able to bring the vehicle to a stop. Police attended and the driver, a man aged in his 30s, was taken to Westmead Hospital. His condition is not known at this stage. Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command are investigating the incident. It unknown at this stage whether the driver suffered a medical condition, or was rendered unconscious as a result of the crash. Any witnesses should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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TAFE woes worsen

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Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Make an adopted pet your Christmas Gift

No pools open or bin pick ups By Keegan Thomson

STRIKE action by Blacktown Council workers brought the city to a stand still. On Wednesday a strike stopped the collection of general waste bins across the council and closed both Blacktown Aquatic Centre and the Riverstone Swim Centre on what was a 32 degree day. The yellow recycling bins were still picked up however but the all other domestic waste services were cancelled. This included domestic garbage services, tree maintenance bookings, and driveway and some other council inspections booked were also cancelled. “We ask residents and ratepayers to leave their bins out for the time being and we will do our utmost to catch up with the collection service when we can,” said Blacktown City Council General Manager Kerry Robinson. “The issues behind the industrial action are currently being heard in the Industrial Relations Commission. “Blacktown City Council is following the Commission’s recommendations and calls on all other parties to the dispute to do the same,” he said.

UPDATE: LATE PRESS: The Industrial Relations Commission has recommended that striking Blacktown City Council workers return to work. In a hearing Wednesday afternoon, the Commission ruled that its recommendation should be put to the workers at meetings early Thursday morning. The result of the meetings were to be reported back to the Commission at 11.30 am Thursday morning.

BLACKTOWN City Council warns pets are lifetime commitments and should not be given as gifts. “As the operators of the largest Animal Holding Facility in Western Sydney, too often we end up with the mistakes people make,” said Blacktown Council’s Animal Education Officer, Jacqueline Benito. “Too often unwanted pets end up in the Animal Holding Facility (AHF), because they were not suitable. “If you want to give a pet as a gift, why not make a day of it at the AHF where you and your friend or family can adopt the pet that suits your circumstances? “It’s better to go to a shelter facility and adopt the right pet from the huge choice available rather than for the animal to end up with us after Christmas because it was not suitable,” she said. Pet owners are also reminded not to forget about their pets during the holiday season. “Owning a pet is a rewarding experience that comes with big responsibility,” said Ms Benito. “Pet owners should ensure their animals are healthy, well nourished, groomed, vaccinated, properly exercised and socialised,” she said. “From our experience we know this is the time of year is when our intake increases due to pet owners being away on holidays, and fireworks or summer storms scaring them into running away. “Make sure gates are secured and fences are checked to ensure pets are safe and contained over the holiday period.” Human Christmas feasting is not always appropriate for pets, she warned. “Christmas ham and turkey are suitable for pets but do not feed cooked bones or chocolate, pudding or lollies as these can be toxic. “Don’t forget to leave out extra water and ensure shade is available on those hot days ahead,” she said. Here are some tips on how to look after pets: • Ensure your pet is healthy by providing a proper diet and vet care as well as adequate exercise

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• Make sure there is always enough water • Ensure your pet wears a collar and name tag • Dogs and cats living in NSW are required to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age and lifetime registered on the NSW Companion Animals Register by six months of age • Dogs must be on a leash in public • Dispose of faecal matter in public places • Holidaymakers should ensure pets have a place to stay or someone to look after them It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their pet’s microchip details are kept up to date to allow for address, phone number or email changes. Council recommends owners add a secondary contact, such as a friend’s mobile or the pet’s regular boarding facility. Pet microchip details can be changed by writing to Blacktown City Council at PO Box 63, Blacktown, NSW 2148. To find out more about responsible pet ownership phone the Animal Holding Facility (9839 6161), ask your local vet or visit Council’s website www. blacktown.nsw.gov.au Give your pets a Christmas treat - AHF Education Officer Jacqueline Benito.

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Mayoress’ charitable Christmas collections By Keegan Thomson

MAYORESS of Blacktown, Anne Bali, is calling on locals to remember those less fortunate during this festive season. The wife of Mayor Stephen Bali is urging residents and businesses to donate gifts to the annual Mayoress Community Christmas Gift Appeal for the underprivileged. Mrs Bali has thrown her support behind three local Blacktown charities. “This year the gift appeal is focused around giving to three wonderful local charities; Junaya Family Development Services and Kids West; donations of money will go to the Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospitals Foundation,” Mrs Bali said. KidsWest is a local children’s charity that raises money for medical research, for educational programs to teach children about accidents, and for much needed medical equipment for kids living in western Sydney. Junaya Family Decelopment Services helps families who’re struggling with children who have learning disabilities up to the age of 18.

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 (from the left) Blacktown Hospital CEO, Sue-Ann Redmond, Junaya rep, Debra Deering, Mayoress Ann Bali and Junaya rep, Paula Pastega.

Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospitals Foundation collects donations and funds for all areas of the hospital. “The Appeal is an opportunity for the people of Blacktown City to show

their generosity by helping out those doing it tough this Christmas,” Mrs Bali said. If you’re interested in donating to the Mayoress Community Christmas

Gift Appeal you can leave donations at collection places all across western Sydney. A full list of collection points can found on the Blacktown City Council’s website.

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Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Former NRL star missing

GETTING TO KNOW....

Brad Bunting

By Conner Lowe

Blacktown Councillor with Conner Lowe

1. What was your first paid job? Waiter at Sizzler. I mastered carrying five plates. 2. What is your guilty pleasure? Maltesers, if I open a bag, I’ll keep eating them until they’re gone. 3. What is your biggest fear/phobia and why? Riding a horse, done it once and will never go back. 4. What is your worst habit? Not exercising enough. 5. Best advice you have ever been given? From my father when I was a kid; always treat women with respect. I have passed the same advice on to my son. 6. If you only had $50 left in the bank, how would you spend it? I wouldn’t see it, my wife would take it and spend it. 7. Favourite holiday destination and why? Maldives, my wife and I honeymooned there. It is the most beautiful place on earth. 8. Do you have a favourite sporting team? The Cronulla Sharks. I was at the grand final this year with my son. Best sporting moment I have ever experienced. 9. Name one reason that you love Western Sydney? The people. They are the friendliest and most giving people I know. I have been involved in a number of community groups in the area and the people of Western Sydney are very giving of their time. I now have the pleasure in representing them in Council. 10. In three words, describe your perfect Sunday? Time with family.

A FORMER NRL star has been missing from his home since Saturday evening. Chad Robinson left his Kellyville home roughly around 7:30pm with no phone or wallet and drove away in his silver Subaru Outback with registration plates CME54F. There are grave concerns for the 36-yearsold and a father-of-two and his family have pleaded with the media and public for anyone who may have any information about Chad’s whereabouts to come forward with any information. Monique Brennan, Chad Robinson’s sister spoke to the Daily Telegraph and spoke about the sadness this has brought to their family. “We are absolutely devastated,” she said. “We are desperately seeking any assistance from the community. We really want to see him come home. We love him,” she said. Chad Robinson played for the Sydney Roosters and had two spells at the Parramatta Eels before moving overseas to England, finishing his career in Rugby Union with Harlequin FC. Mr Robinson is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 180-190cm tall with a muscular build, fair complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone who can help locate Chad

Robinson is urged to call Castle Hill police on 9680 5399 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers. com.au/

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coverstory cover SYDNEY Motorsport Park’s Night Drive for Learners gets a star pupil when Stephen Bali Junior takes to the track next week. “I heard about the night drive program and by using the controlled area of the track, learner drivers get used to handling cars without the added stress of oncoming traffic,” the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said. “Like every parent who has a learner driver in the family, there is a concern that the first experiences handling the car are as safe as possible. “It sounds a bit counter-intuitive using a racing track, but the speed is limited and the learners only have to concentrate on going in the one direction and it is a good way to get used to handling a car. The Free Nightdrive sessions are held at Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek on the first Tuesday of the month for an hour and a half, beginning at 5.30 and 6.30pm, depending on the time of year. All the standard RMS Road Rules for Learner Drivers apply and each session is under the watchful observance of a Driver Academy Safety Officer. Nightdrive is one of a number of important community initiatives run

by the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC) at Sydney Motorsport Park, said ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews. Nightdrive at Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek is a unique opportunity for Learner Drivers to increase their on-road night driving experience,” Mr Matthews said. “Without the added stress on busy road traffic and oncoming cars, Learner Drivers and their supervisors

can gain much needed driving hours in a safe and less-stressed environment whilst getting an improved feel for the road and vehicle handling. “Driver safety is first and foremost. “The sessions run between 1 ½ to 2 hours each night, so drivers and their supervisors can spend as much or as little of the available time on track as they feel comfortable with.” December’s Nightdrive is the last for the year. Sessions resume on

Tuesday 17 January and then on the first Tuesday of the month. Conditions: • Drivers and Supervisors must book through the ARDC on 9672 100 or sydneymotorsportpark.com.au • Supervisors must be aged over 25. • All RMS conditions for Learner Drivers apply and participants must bring their licences with them and complete their session registration before participating.

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Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Slip, slop, SLACK leaves us red-faced By Kerrie Davies

I WAS fortunate enough to grow up on the beach, being both born and bred in Bondi. We moved to neighbouring Clovelly beach when I was ten, where I lived until I was an adult. Being a kid in the 70’s and 80’s meant education on sun exposure was pretty much non-existent. As ludicrous as it now sounds, the extent of sun protection was a clump of greasy zinc on the end of your nose. Furthermore, the “beach culture” did nothing to ward off damaging sun rays; in fact it encouraged them. As teenagers we judged each other by the level of tan achieved. If you were lily white you got the dreaded “westie” tag, and in the 80’s, nobody who resided within a bull’s roar of the ocean wanted that tag. As embarrassing as it is now to admit it, we’d lay in the sun all day on weekends, with baby oil on (can you believe it?) in order to acquire the soughtafter tan. Not many in my group of surfie buddies had particularly olive skin, so the hours spent baking usually resulted in a deep red with freckles that only lasted a day or two before the peeling started. So now, in my 40’s, I’ve started noticing some dots and spots on my skin that weren’t there before. I was terrified of seeing a skin cancer doctor because the memories of laying on a banana chair covered in baby oil would make all the blood drain from my face. So I kept putting making an appointment off. I put it off so many times that when I eventually decided just recently that I really, really should, I convinced myself that I’d have stage 4 skin cancer that couldn’t be fixed, and I’d only have mysef to blame for putting it off. By the time my appointment came up, I’d spent so many sleepless nights and when my name was called my legs were two pieces of jelly that could barely carry me into the consulting rooms. I went to Affinity Skin, located in High Street Penrith and Dr Kotz was amazing. Thankfully I got the all clear and I can tell you I never thought I’d be so elated to hear that I have an “age spot”. So considering all the damage rays I have encouraged to prey upon my skin, I’m incredibly lucky to have escaped with just freckles. But I will ensure I now stick to regular check ups and cover up each and every time I am exposed to sunlight. And anyway, a spray tan or tinted moisturiser

gives you a much nicer colour that the red / pink/ peeling / freckled look! Cancer Council research released last month shows fewer NSW adults are using hats to protect themselves from the sun and getting sunburnt on their face, head, ears and nose as a result. The data from Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey reveals that just 42 per cent of NSW adults wear a hat when exposed to UV on summer weekends, down from 47 per cent in 2003. In light of the findings, Cancer Council and the Australasian College of Dermatologists came together during National Skin Cancer Action week to remind Australians to remember to be SunSmart and slip, slop, slap, seek and slide. Rory Alcock at Cancer Council NSW Greater Western Sydney region, said that with 199 people in Nepean Blue Mountains expected to be diagnosed with melanoma this year, and 28 deaths expected, the results show that too few adults in NSW are understanding the importance of a combination of sun protection measures. “A five per cent drop in hat usage over the past ten years may sound small, but any downward trend

is a concern. This latest decrease shows that more than 240,000 people in NSW have stopped wearing a hat to protect themselves when exposed to UV on weekends. “Fewer than 1 in 5 adults in NSW used three or more sun protection measures during summer, which is a real worry given the prevalence of skin cancer in NSW and across Australia,” continued Mr Alcock. “Yet most skin cancers are preventable by the use of comprehensive sun protection. There can be a tendency for many adults in the Nepean and Blue Mountains area to slop on some sunscreen and think they are protected all day long. But sunscreen isn’t a suit of armour. It should be your last line of defence – a hat, clothing, sunglasses and shade are also key to protecting your skin. ” The data also showed some worrying trends indicating that the lack of broad-brimmed hats was translating to the places on the body where people across Australia are sunburnt. “The national research also shows that the face, head, nose, or ears are the most common places on the body that Australians get sunburnt, alongside the arms and hands,” Mr Alcock said. “There’s no doubt that by neglecting a range of sun protection measures, including slapping on a broadbrimmed hat, all Aussies are putting themselves at risk of a potentially deadly skin cancer.” Australasian College of Dermatologists’ President, Associate Professor Chris Baker, said that dermatologists regularly treated skin cancers that could have been easily prevented through proper sun protection. “Dermatologists see a lot of skin cancers on the face, ears, head and neck” Associate Professor Baker said. “These skin cancers are particularly concerning because they can arise quickly and are more difficult to treat. Surgery is the most common treatment, with visible scarring often unavoidable. Other treatments include topical therapy for some early skin cancers through to radiotherapy and chemotherapy for more advanced cancers. Sadly we don’t always get them in time.” He also urged Australians to keep a close eye on their skin, know what normal spots they have and to keep a watch for any changes. “It’s important to remember that skin cancer can be prevented and, if detected early, can often be successfully treated. If you notice any changes in size, shape or colour of an existing spot, or the development of a new spot, you should get it checked as soon as possible.”

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Midnight Basketball a slam-dunk success

By Keegan Thomson

K E E P I N G disadvantaged young people off the streets can be a challenge but a new initiative mixing sport with social inclusion has been hailed a true success. Midnight Basketball is a weekly community-driven sporting event for teenagers who are at risk of falling behind that puts a focus on social inclusion and competitive sport. Tess White, the Chief Executive of Midnight Basketball said the event

encourages kids to learn about social inclusion in an environment they can relate to. “The sport is the magnet that brings the kids into Midnight Basketball,” Ms White said. “From there they engage with social inclusion and respect.” At Midnight Basketball the participants play by the ordinary rules of basketball but before the game on the first week of the comp they sit down and write their own codes of conduct. “The code of conduct is written by the kids, so they set the rules for themselves, this way they’re engaged in discussion around the ways in which

they should be acting on and off the court,” Ms White said. In addition to the social skills and the sporting comp, the teenagers who turned up to the eight-week event held on Friday and Saturday nights received a hot meal and a free ride home. Ms White said the skills these kids learn at Midnight Basketball will set them up for the rest of their lives. “Some of the kids here don’t have a clear vision of what opportunity looks like but after learning these skills and working on them on the court they’re able to understand and see that there is something bigger,” she said. Some of the future opportunity

comes in the form of employment or internship positions with Midnight Basketball. Many of the coordinators of the comp are former players and participants of the program. “The Mount Druitt comp has been a massive success because we’ve had a real turn-around of participants who are now volunteering or working for some of the centres we host these events at,” Ms White said. “These kids are really being handed such great opportunity,” she added. The grand final of the eight-week long comp will wrap up in Mount Druitt on December 9 at the Emerton Leisure Centre from 7:30.

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Legends of the West By Garion Thain

NOT many residents get to enjoy the achievement of having part of a place they spend so much of their time named after them. But Bill Borg, secretary of the St Clair Comets Junior Rugby League Club, now has a field named after him at Peppertree Oval, a place he’s spent years of his time coaching, supporting and strengthening countless kids and young adults who have gone on to make him proud.

Mr Borg has been awarded a lifetime membership with the St Clair Comets thanks to his dedication with the club, a 27-year involvement in the capacity of club secretary alone. For him it’s a family commitment, first becoming involved with the club because of his young son, then going on to be involved in an official capacity with his wife Karyn, who among other things wrote the weekly club magazine for eleven years. Mr Borg has been a part of tremendous growth for the club in his tenure. By 1993, the club had grown from the 18 teams in play in 1989 to 43. He’s been around to see the best for the Comets at large, including a first ever Grand Final win for the A-grade rugby team this year, but he’s also put his face out there when he’s seen the worst, including – once again earlier this year – defacement and vandalism of Peppertree Oval and its fixtures, which he vehemently and publicly shamed and opposed, to raise awareness for the bill Penrith Council had to keep paying for the reckless actions of others. Mr Borg graciously offered some of his time to accept a Legend of the Nepean nomination from Councillor

Greg Davies and shared why he still to this day holds such close involvement with the Comets, and how he feels knowing there’s a field that bears his name. Mr Borg said his involvement with the club started as just a regular Dad. “Like most people that get on committees, I started out cooking on the BBQ when my son was playing,” said Mr Borg. “I was asked to go to an AGM back in 1989, and was told to put my hand up when nominations were called for a Club Secretary,” he continued. “I have been doing that job ever since. 27 years as club Secretary is a long time, but I have enjoyed my involvement. “I’ve made many, many friends over the years and have had many an argument over this time of my involvement with Junior league.” Mr Borg called it embarrassing, albeit very humbling to have an oval named after him. “When our Mini field at Peppertree Reserve was named The Bill Borg Mini Field I was overwhelmed by the whole process,” he said. “Nobody goes on a committee with a plan on how long they are going to be

there, or with a pre-conceived notion of what they will get out of it,” Mr Borg elaborated. “It is not about one person, it is about the commitment of many people who devote so many hours into the running of our Club.” Mr Borg and his wife Karyn have been St Clair/Penrith residents for over 30 years and despite “being close to retirement age,” have no intention of moving anywhere. The achievements of the club and the growth of its members is a facet Mr Borg describes as among the most rewarding. “It is very rewarding knowing that we as a committee have made a difference to so many of the kids that have come through our Club,” said Mr Borg. “It is amazing to see these kids that started playing when they were four years old grow into mature young men, with a great work ethic and a number of them even running their own businesses. “The discipline of playing in a team sport for some of these boys has been life changing,” he asserted. Mr Borg heralded the services JRLC’s provide to their local

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9673 6766  Bill Borg is a lifetime member of the St Clair Comets Junior Rugby League Club, also having a field at Peppertree Oval named after him. (Photo Tanya Davies, MP Mulgoa)

community, and commented on it with a request to the reader, “I encourage people to get involved and join the committee of your local Rugby League Club,” he said.

Mr Borg is a genuine bloke, very receptive and clearly a great contributor not only to his community in St Clair, but our region at large. Thanks for answering my questions mate.

Bill Borg was nominated as a Legend of the West by Cr Greg Davies. If you know a local legend, send us a nomination at nepeannews@aol.com

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14 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

A day in the life of... A Minister By Keegan Thomson

RELIGION often goes hand in hand with charity work and Minister Martin Beckett knows this better than anyone else. “Christianity, religion, and charity, it all works together and it is all about love,” Minister Beckett said. “For me you can’t have Christianity and charity without love, so naturally they both go together to create a better community.” Minister Beckett is a man with a big heart and a big career. He is the founder of the Rock Church, one of the west’s most popular local churches, and the CEO of Christ Mission Possible, an all encompassing charity based in western Sydney. “My main vocation is a minister of a local church, but that is just an introduction into everything else that I do here,” Minister Beckett said. “A few years ago I looked at what we’re doing as a church and thought, who is this impacting, how are we helping the community and what impact do we have on it?” Not being your typical Minister, Martin Beckett runs the The Rock as a fairly nontraditional church. Inside the church is a fully functioning cafe run by volunteers and disadvantaged people, there is a music hall with light and sound equipment good enough to put on a rock concert and his charity, Christ Mission Possible is run out the back of the premises. “Traditionally when a church is set up they do churchy things and they often don’t commit and get

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involved in the community. So we thought if a church packs up and leaves town does the community really miss it?” Minister Beckett said. “We want to help impact the community so that if The Rock leaves town tomorrow people will miss it.” Working with his ‘charity man hat’ on Minister Beckett has been able to build Christ Mission

Possible into a charity that positively affects tens of thousands of households across the state. “We took on Christ Mission Possible a few years ago and began feeding about 100 people a week,” he said. “We’ve been able to build that up and right now we’re feeding around 15 to 20 thousand households a week.” Minister Beckett said homelessness is a massive issue across western Sydney and he wants to curb the problem any way he can. “We run a number of programs to help in as many ways as we can. We run debt help, we have job clubs to help people get into employment, we’ve got around 100 people across the west in emergency housing and we’re even helping with drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” he said. To help him totally understand homelessness, Minister Beckett left his job and worked without income for 18 months to set up Christ Mission Possible. He said it inspired his charity work further. “I left my job and went on Centrelink, within that time I received three payments, I had to go look for work like everyone else but my wife and I went for 18 months without making money so we could set up Christ Mission Possible and what it is today,” he said. It has to be said that Christ Mission Possible wouldn’t be the charity it is today without the selfless and thankless efforts of Minister Beckett. They’ll be hosting a Christmas dinner for the disadvantaged at The Rock with more details announced soon via their facebook page.

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Santa pics for sensitive kids

SANTA is spreading his Christmas joy at Stanhope Village, providing a sensoryfriendly photo experience for children with disabilities. Santa photos for sensitive kids provides children with special needs and disabilities and their families with the opportunity to meet Santa in a specially designed environment with pre-booking, no queuing and quiet settings. All Santa photo packages also come with a complimentary Santa photo and gift for each child. Marketing Manager, Lisa Curtin, “We’re thrilled to be spreading the Christmas joy! Meeting Santa, especially for the first time, is a scary and exciting time for both child and parent which is why making it as stress free as possible is important.” “We’ll also have a few other Christmas activities going on throughout the season, from Christmas wrapping, carol singing, competitions, fresh food tastings and more. Stanhope Village is the perfect place for families to escape the summer heat and enjoy all that the festive holiday season has to offer,” said Ms Curtin

Stanhope Village will also be supporting their charity partner Mummy’s Wish, through the centre’s collaborative loyalty club Mums & Co, by donating $1 for every Santa photo package sold. Mummy’s Wish Founder, Bernadette Vella said, Mummy’s Wish Founder, Bernadette Vella commented, “A dollar mightn’t sound like a lot but for us it has a huge impact on the services we are able to provide for mother’s undergoing incredibly draining cancer treatments. “In Australia, 13 mothers are diagnosed with cancer every day, turning theirs and their families lives upside down. Mummy’s Wish can help with cost of mum’s treatment; provide cleaning, driving, cooking and anything else to help ensure the families’ physical and emotional needs are meet,” said Ms Vella. Santa photos for sensitive kids will be running on Tuesday 6 December, 2016 8am to 10am and Sunday 11 December 8am to 10am. To book, email info@ stanhopevillage.com.au or contact Stanhope Village Centre Management on 02 8814 4100.

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Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

I think they inhaled... with TP WHO are The Greens thinking of when they bring out the good old chestnut of the legalisation of illicit drugs? Are they seeing a few cool and relaxed folks inhaling the old weed in a peaceful and tranquil rainforest garden? Or a few professionals sniffing a bit of the white stuff on the rare occasion? Or are they looking at it through the lens of hard-core addiction where the need to get a fix is so crippling and debilitating that the user can’t keep a job, resorts to a life of crime and can no longer take care of themselves or their family? Does the perception make any difference at all? I mean what does it achieve - even if you did legalise these drugs, we do see a lot of medical heavyweights come out to say it’s bad for you. Could legalisation and improved quality of supply seriously help? Um let me think. Not on your life. In terms of the argument of making the drugs in controlled environments and cutting out illegal suppliers you may sway a few to see these benefits. However we as a society already have ready access to a seriously dangerous mind-altering drug that is already legal C2H6O otherwise known as ethanol or alcohol. It’s got the capacity to create addictions that take grip so tightly that it can ruin lives regardless of background. Haha you say “it’s only a drink” well not funny if you can’t function at work to keep food on the table. Or if you have too much your whole demeanour changes like Hyde to Jeckle and you hurt your friends and family. So not bloody funny then. Let alone the severe damage that you may be inflicting upon your

self. Drink enough alcohol and your body’s organs will just say “bugger off we’re done!” So we have a legal drug which can do so much damage and the financial cost to society is far greater than any tax revenue collected by governments. Sooo getting back to this ducky idea of The Greens and their “lets legalise the crap out of drugs” idea and factor in the potential cost to society in terms of people harming their health, their loved ones and let’s not forget that some of the little morsels that they wish to make legal are just as addictive as nicotine, a product we have seen many years too late as being extremely

unhealthy and we are legislating to practically make smoking all but illegal. I think driving home after a drug induced bender would be far more dangerous than a big night on the grog, but don’t be fooled into underestimating alcohol’s ability to stay in your system well into the following day. You may feel fine but you may not be. Maybe mandatory drug tests would be wise in the Houses of Parliament in an effort to at least prevent such ridiculous ideas coming out of the minds of our Pollies.

Veterans and defence service personnel suicide rate a national tragedy By Bart Bassett

AS the Patron of the Western Sydney Suicide Prevention and Support Network it seems astounding to me that as a country we are losing so many defence personnel to suicide. With recent figures stating we have lost the same amount of service personnel and veterans to suicide this year alone compared to the 13 years of defence personnel lost in Afghanistan you have to ask the question, what is wrong in defence support for veterans and serving personnel? A Senate inquiry is currently taking place into suicide by veterans and service personnel with a public hearing having taken place on the 18th November in Canberra and in Adelaide the day before. At the time of writing this article there had been 304 submissions already received by the Senate inquiry. How could things be so bad that all these people felt nobody was there for them, how could Defence itself have such a poor support structure and be so bureaucratic that this many people committed suicide after having served our country for us, this is a national disgrace. Governments send people into conflict and they do their job for their country and the support for defence personnel both during their service and post service should be second to none and devoid of bureaucratic delays when it comes to access for general support and employment opportunities post service. How could these numbers have been allowed

to get to such a deplorable level that now there needs to be a parliamentary inquiry to get to the bottom of the problem. Surely Defence must know that retuned service personnel need medical and physiological support as well as job support without the need for an inquiry. The way retuned service personnel were treated after returning from the Vietnam War was a national shame that we as a nation look back on now and know it was wrong but surely this current dereliction of duty towards service personnel is just as bad as the way Vietnam veterans were treated after their return. If we want people to join our defence force to protect our country and way of life then they

should be supported by Government always otherwise how as a nation can we expect young people to sign up to army, navy or airforce when they have seen how appallingly our return service personnel have been treated. The Government should take action immediately to ensure that any bureaucratic impediments for assistance to defence personnel and veterans are removed before waiting to act on the recommendations of the inquiry which could take too long with those delays allowing the possibility of more people falling through the defence support gaping cracks. Readers requiring support or information about suicide prevention can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


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Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Lightning Ridge: Land of Opals Photos: @exploringtheworldscranneys

By Ben Cranney

I WAS in Lightning Ridge, Northern NSW. I’d flown to Dubbo and then driven. You leave impersonal Sydney and her disregard for you as soon as you get to the airport. And thank god for that, because I’d left work late, the trains were delayed, and I didn’t arrive until after take-off. I ran, weaving through dawdling passengers, passed security who had a laugh at my fluster, to hear ‘Mr Cranney, we are leaving now’. They hadn’t left! I handed my ticket in and got on the plane 15 minutes after it was due to take off. I

doubt I would have had that luck with Tiger. We left before dawn the next morning to drive to Lightning Ridge. I was riding shotgun, watching for kangaroos and emus on the road which are serious traffic hazards at that time, and jealously listening to my Dubbo mates talk about being able to walk home for lunch. I learnt about the character of the towns we passed and that the coffee can still be decent even if the place wouldn’t pass a hygiene investigation. The closest the emus got was 50 meters away, and we arrived safely

in Lightning Ridge, the land of opal mining and the kind of place where you’d run into Crocodile Dundee’s kids. Start looking for them at the bowling club, for decent, cheap food and country priced beer. Keep looking as you wonder around the town, which is an outdoor museum to the way of the bush. Rusted out machinery litters empty paddocks, locally themed street art livens up the buildings, and abandoned, dilapidated cottages show the early living conditions of the opal miners, although it seems that modern miners embrace this simplicity too. The town’s built on the first opal

fields, but I didn’t get to the ones outside of town, but they are meant to be worth a visit. Just be mindful that many are on private property or are dangerous, so stick to the public land and find out which are safe. And then lament returning to Sydney, and pray that the old SAAB plane won’t take off. It almost didn’t. On a hot day and a short runway, the captain had to do some tricky flying and start from a burnout. He held the brakes and flattened the throttle. The plane lurched around like a dog straining at its chain. We took off, but with plenty more to explore, I’ll have to go back.

The Unintentional Medium By Suzi Samuel Someone to Watch Over Me MANY people involved in my line of work say that there is no such thing as coincidence and that the spirit world have everything mapped out for us. I’m not sure that I totally believe in that theory, but was it coincidence that my husband and I met when we were invited to the same dinner party? Maybe, but as it turned out later we had just missed each other quite a few times before. Coincidence or the hand of Gran? I have the privilege of organising the Legacy Badge Appeal in the Hawkesbury and am always looking for people to sell badges to such an extent that most of my friends now refuse to answer their phones around that time. However, this year I grabbed a couple of totally unrelated ladies to do a two hour stint only to find that they were both amazingly and maybe coincidentally psychic and really into the spirit world, in fact sisters under the skin, and they are now firm friends. We had lunch the other day and were discussing the different ways spirit contacted us. We all agreed that the main point of contact was that slightly shivery feeling around the shoulders and lower legs. Spirits are much too well behaved to go north of the knees. I have to say that last weekend

someone was definitely trying to contact me. I kept getting cold and shivery and my hair was being constantly ruffled. Not only that, but I kept finding feathers. Lovely little white feathers. Now, being rather a pragmatist, I put this down to pillows or cushions losing their stuffing, so I said to the angels that if they were really trying to give me a message, could they please leave feathers in

unexpected places. Well, you would be amazed where I found them - on top of the fridge, on the windowsill in the kitchen, in the bath and actually on the dog, so many in fact that I thought the poor old angels must be looking a bit mangy they were moulting so much. By this time I was sure that they were trying to tell me something really good was about to happen, but every time I asked, they just said wait and see.

The next morning on the train going in to Sydney, I checked my phone and there was a text message from my beautiful daughter in London who I haven’t seen for two years telling me she was coming over in ten days time. Something really, really good had happened and what a wonderful Christmas present. I was in a shopping centre on Friday and it was totally manic as was our local supermarket with people already desperate to stock up for Christmas and it made me think that the very best presents can’t be bought. Maybe we should all calm down a little and realise what is really important to us. Last Thursday the American transport system was so busy as people all over the States travelled to be with their families for Thanksgiving and being with our loved ones is really what it is all about. So maybe we should all listen to the angels a bit more. I wonder, did the Shepherds and the Three Wise Men really only follow the star or was there also a trail of little white feathers that helped them find their way to that lowly stable in Bethlehem. The Unintentional Medium is available online and at all good bookstores.


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E N T E R T A I N M E N T Arcadia Children’s Entertainment

All you need is love... and the Beatles

IT’S playtime for little kids AND big kids 18+. Richmond Club’s newest venture Arcadia Entertainment - is a $1.3million children’s fun entertainment centre created right in the heart of the community. Featuring Arcade Game machines, Party Zone rooms, Mini Golf 15-hole illuminated course, outdoor Climbing Adventure Land, outdoor cafe-style seating, parents retreat and more. Arcadia Entertainment is being open in 3 stages: Stage 1: December 17 approx 30 action arcade game machines Party Zone rooms Party menu packages - inc party bags, Arcadia card-play credits Beverage and food bar New toilet amenities including

parents’ room Stage 2: January Mini golf 15-hole illuminated forest theme course Stage 3: January Outdoor climbing area Adventure Land Outdoor cafe-style seating Long-play Arcadia credits, ensure our commitment to giving children and families a value-for-money, long-play experience. Open 7 days 9am - 10pm for kids under 18 9am - late for big kids 18+ Free members door-to-door courtesy bus Off-street parking 300m from Richmond Station and buses Party bookings essential: 4578 1144.

DIRECT from a record breaking national tour with the Australian Symphony Orchestra, the World’s premier ‘Beatles’ band returns to present the Beatles No1’s. They were the Number One rock & roll band of all time. They had the most Number 1 hit records of all time. Now, all the Beatles Number 1 hits in one sensational two hour concert presented by the ‘Fabulous’ Beatle Boys. Relive the magic of Beatlemania, as today’s Fab Four take you back to those incredible days when the Beatles dominated the music charts with as many as 7 songs in the Top 10 starting at No1. Audiences will hear every classic Beatles song that ever made No 1 and relive the magic and unique sound that made the Beatles the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band the word has ever known. No less than 35 chart toppers that made the four ‘mop tops’ so much a part of our lives back in those heady

days of the 60’s . Help, A Hard Day’s Night, Can’t Buy Me Love, Yesterday, Love Me Do, She Loves You, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, Let It Be, and many more; brought to Australian audiences with love from the Fabulous Beatle Boys to you. The ‘Fabulous’ Beatle Boys are as close as it gets to the original four lads from Liverpool as they play all the chart topping classics from 1963 to 1970. “The Fab Beatle Boys impress with their deft grasp of the Fab Four’s entire span.” – Glenn A Baker “Absolutely fabulous re-enactment of the Beatles” “So believable, it’s freaky” “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Catch the show featuring the Fabulous Beatle Boys at Workers Blacktown Saturday 10th December, 2016 – 8pm Tickets $25 members; $30 visitors Phone 9830 0600.

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Shackles (7) 5 Without ceasing (7) 9 Trademark or signature (9) 10 Long metal nail (5) 11 Tedious (7) 12 City in Washington state (7) 13 Estimate (9) 15 Whips (5) 17 A small picture inserted within another (5) 19 Unsteady in gait (9) 22 Frolic (7) 25 Affective (7) 26 Stitched (5) 27 Crooks (9) 28 Female siblings (7) 29 Funeral cars (7)

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DOWN 1 Preventing (7) 2 Not thinness (9) 3 Punches of sweetened milk and eggs (7) 4 Whipping boy (9) 5 An attribute of a people or era (5) 6 Female (7) 7 Poet T.S. _____ (5) 8 Searchers (7) 14 Frisky or flirtatious (9) 16 Not reproductions (9) 17 Asserts (7) 18 Pretentious talk (7) 20 Strange or rare objects (7) 21 Suppositions (7) 23 Caterwauls (5) 24 Strikes with the feet (5)


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Be merry and bright at St Mary’s

Keegan’s Kitchen

By Brooke Boyce

Minted rockmelon, baby tomato and prosciutto salad ... Serves 6

IF you’re in need of some extra merry and bright in the lead up to the holidays, look no further than the free Lights of Christmas light and sound show on the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral, in the heart of Sydney CBD. Running from 8 to 25 December, live choir performances begin at 7.30pm every evening, followed by the light and sound show from dusk until midnight. Joy to the World is the theme this year, and joy will certainly be projected upon the 75-metre-tall towers and spires of the cathedral. Expect animations of the Nutcracker Suite and Christmas tales, and a pictorial of Christmas decorations throughout the ages. Turn your visit into a fun and festive-filled night out in the city, and head on over to Martin Place where you can text your season’s greetings to the 21-metretall Christmas tree, for a seriously Instagram-able moment. Carol performances run each night from 6pm to 8pm, before a light show from 8.30pm to 9.15pm. Finish your night with some Christmas shopping in Pitt Street Mall (check online for extended trading hours), stroll past David Jones’ famous holiday windows, and indulge in some dinner, or dessert, in Westfield Sydney’s food court. To get to St Mary’s Cathedral, take the train to Central Station, ride the City Circle to St James and then enjoy a three-minute stroll across Hyde Park. To see your season’s greetings on the Martin Place Christmas tree, text 048 SYD XMAS (0487 939 627).

INGREDIENTS: For the salad 500 grams of heirloom tomatoes 1 rockmelon, cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes 12 slices of prosciutto Decent handful of mint leaves 1 small cucumber Tub of feta cheese For the dressing 1 1/2 tablespoon of sherry or red wine 3 tablespoon of olive oil 1 tablespoon of local honey

METHOD: First you want to make the dressing. Pop all the ingredients of the dressing into a bowl and whisk until everything is combine. Set aside with some plastic wrap over the top of the bowl. Halve or quarter your tomatoes into a desired size, there is no wrong size but it is more about how you want your salad to look. Cut up the rockmelon into chucks which match the size of the tomatoes. Peel the cucumber into long strips. Toss the tomatoes

and the melon chunks in a bowl with a little splash of the salad dressing. Season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper. On a serving platter roughly lay out the prosciutto and pile the rockmelon, cucumber and tomato mix on top. Throw on feta cheese and drizzle over with the dressing. Chop up your mint leaves and scatter them over the salad.


Battle for your place in a movie

By Keegan Thomson

LOCAL movie maker, and rock n roll diehard, Heath Davis is giving unsigned western Sydney bands and musos the chance to have their music played up on the big screen. Over the next four weeks Mr Davis is running a battle of the bands contest at Australian Arms Hotel in

Penrith with the winner’s music to be played in his upcoming movie, Book Week. Mr Davis said he was keen to showcase the flavours of the west. “We have some of the best talent out here and by showcasing it we’re able to give a leg up to some of the best unsigned artists,” Mr Davis said. He said there was a lot of bands showing a lot of potential. “We’ve had heaps of great acts so

far,” he said. “There has been such a diverse mix of artists as well. We’ve had people play from 15 year olds to 50 year olds, and the genres have been mixed too.” The rules are that each band needs to have at least one original song, but they can play covers during their half hour set in the battle of the bands comp. Advocating for the west, Mr Davis said his film, Book Week, would be

showcasing the best around western Sydney. “We’re going to be filming in western Sydney and the Blue Mountains with a crew that’s made up of western Sydney locals,” he said. Any fresh locals wanting to throw their hat into the ring for the battle of the bands can send Mr Davis an email at bookweekfilm@gmail.com or they can go to his facebook page www. facebook.com/bookweekfilm.

The Rat Pack from Vegas.. in Penrith! By Kerrie Davies

DIRECT from a sell-out tour of the U.S and the U.K comes the Encore Australian Tour 2016 of “THE RAT PACK FROM VEGAS”, a spectacular live concert production that takes you on a journey to the music of the most legendary trios in the history of entertainment. Simply known as The Rat Pack, these guys would be as prominent an influence to aspiring performers today as they were throughout their incredible careers. Audiences both young and, ahem.. more mature, are just as fascinated and intrigued today by the music of The Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. It was this love of the music and the respect and admiration for the men behind it that brought a trio of multitalented performers together as one to recreate an era long passed. But the music still remains very much alive today thanks to the efforts and talents of Robbie Howard, who portrays the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra, plus original cast mates Johnny Edwards, who portrays the always charming King Of Cool Dean Martin, and Nicholas Brooks who portrays the multi-talented Candy Man himself, Sammy Davis Jr. I spoke with Robbie Howard by phone as he headed to the airport to board his flight down under.

It was easy to tell, even over the phone, that the charming charisma needed to portray Sinatra is something that Robbie himself already has naturally, so he already had a great head start. Capturing the essence of Frank Sinatra is a work of art, and Robbie has studied his character and his ability to emulate him is uncanny. “There’s a lot of character studying involved, the voice, the look and the mannerisms all need to be perfected,” Robbie said. And perfection certainly has been achieved; Robbie stands apart from a look-a-like.sound-a-like entertainer. He works the audience with the same charisma as Old Blue Eyes himself. Robbie said audiences can expect much more than the timeless music of the Rat Pack. “We put on a compete show, the music, the history and a lot of jokes,” he said. Each performer on stage brings a variety of talent, which when combined together brings back to the days of old when the Rat Pack ruled Las Vegas. All the songs, all the fun and laughter are brought centre-stage as audiences will be taken on a nostalgic trip back in time. Not to be missed! Friday 9th December EVAN THEATRE, PENRITH PANTHERS Bookings: (02) 4720 5555.

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26 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Seven Hills Shopping Centre: one stop shopping The birth of one stop shopping introduced a new level of consumerism to Australia in the 1960s. Primarily, the new concept emerged as a consequence of changing urban patterns whereby suburbs, remote from main centres, expanded to accommodate Australia’s growing population. Often the centres filled a need for shopping facilities and services not otherwise addressed, however, the one stop nature of the cluster precincts sometimes came at the expense of existing businesses. Seven Hills experienced such a period when a very modern shopping centre opened adjacent to the railway line at Seven Hills, in November 1960 to cope with the upsurge in population caused by Housing Commission development during the 1940s and 1950s. There is no doubt that the area benefitted from increased employment opportunities even though the one-stop centre may have disadvantaged existing business.

 Aerial view

I

N 1959 the Dumas Investment Company purchased the Seven Hills property once owned by Claude William Davis. Davis, a one-time fruit grower, operated a general and produce store on the land from approximately 1919, until his death, in 1959.1 Gordon Richard Dumas was the managing director of Dumas Investment Company that had plans to erect several more of the innovative shopping precincts at west Cabramatta and Bass Hill. 2 However, newspapers of that era indicate the cluster concept was controversial especially with proprietors of existing businesses in Cabramatta who feared loss of trade and financial ruin. Town planning legislation, politics and local outrage eventually triggered a Local Government Inquiry on the proposed centre proposal for a hotel, thirty shops, a good size supermarket and parking provision for 886 cars. The offer (by Dumas) to include a baby health centre and library in the Cabramatta development did not sway the Inquiry. Furthermore, a statement by Mr Dumas to the effect that shoppers would benefit from the clustered nature of the shops, fell on deaf ears. The Minister for Local Government (Mr. P.D. Hill) rejected the proposal.3 In contrast, it seems that the Seven Hills project was built with a minimum of fuss perhaps because the new centre offered a whole new level of retail sophistication as well as better employment opportunities for residents. However, a Woolworths advertisement illustrated that in the 1960s, openings for women were still limited. Woolworths advertised for an experienced mercery ‘man’ to take charge in its ‘magnificent new double-storey branch’ in Seven Hills Regional Shopping Centre. The ‘right man’ was guaranteed a good salary as well as ‘unequalled security’ and ‘golden opportunities’ with Group assurance.4 On the day Woolworths began recruiting staff, a line of hopeful residents (mostly women) stretched from the centre across to Artillery Crescent on the north side of the railway line. The open concept designed by Dutch-born architect, Franz Johann Zipfinger, was built on fourteen acres of land located on the south side of Seven Hills. Dumas used Zipfinger to design shopping centres at Berala and Ryde.5 The architect stated his designs were based on successful American plans modified to suit conditions in Australia.6 He endorsed

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 Woolworths grocery store opposite a row of smaller shops

the notion that the busy housewife of the 1960s wanted to do her shopping quickly and conveniently within a single area rather than walk up and down the street.7 The cost of the Seven Hills project was £1.5 million and included a Woolworth’s grocery shop and a separate double-storey variety store, several smaller shops, a residential hotel and enough parking spaces for 1,200 cars. Reid Murray (NSW) Pty Ltd constructed the complex while G.G. Cleary Pty Ltd built the hotel with a public bar, which, at the time, was the second largest in Australia. The two-storey Woolworths variety store was less than successful and the Reid Murray group faced financial collapse in the mid-1960s. Continued next issue..... Supplied by Pamela Smith from Blacktown & District Historical Society 1

Jack Brook, The Seven Hills, A Village Divided, A Suburb United, Self-published, 2004, p. 64. 2 Biz, various dates. 3 Biz, 21.6.1961, p. 1. 4 Cumberland Argus, 12.10.1960, p. 19. 5 Biz, Close voting favours Cabramatta west centre, 7.9.1960. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid.

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SELLING REAL ESTATE IS A WHOLE NEW BUSINESS IN 2017

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THE world is changing rapidly and so is the Real Estate Industry. The marketing of property is now so dependent on www.realestate. com.au, www.domain.com.au and www.rpdata.com.au. As a result, a lot of Agents are working from their loungeroom or their car. They simply rely on their mobile phone and laptop. Negotiations are done in a café and contracts are signed on the boot of a car. I love the technology side but the working from a car scares me. I certainly wouldn’t want my deposit or

contracts in those unsecure locations. When I began selling over 20 years ago, a purchaser relied heavily on the Agent for information. They patiently waited to be called about new stock. They knew the Homes Pictorial magazine arrived each week with exciting new homes for sale. They could even go for a drive and discover something in an Agent’s window. We controlled the market by controlling

the information. In 2016, a property hits the webs and we get immediate responses from prospective purchasers. Alerts go straight to their phone for suitable properties. It is instant marketing to qualified buyers. We often have no contact with them until they turn up to an open home with full knowledge of the property. They know what the owner paid for it, what has sold

around it and they even have an estimated market value. This is before they even walk in the door. Agents have had to change to suit. The art of marketing and negotiation is our main role now. We need to market correctly with great photos, floorplans, and simple catchy text. It is well researched that the majority of buyers will only look at the first page of a search and will only click onto something if the main photo is enticing. The rest are quickly dismissed. So even though the way people view has changed, the basics are still the same. It needs to entice. Once we get them to the property, an experienced Agent can then start using their negotiation skills to maximise a sale price. The better it looks, the more people will come to a viewing. They may know all the data, but if they like the property and there is competition at the open home, then the Agent can use their skills to maximise your financial result. It is very simple. To discuss marketing your home call our Sales Team on 9627 0000.

SHARING PROPERTY OWNERSHIP SYDNEY house prices have grown more 2 per cent this year (Core Logic data) and this trend is expected to continue in 2017 with prices in Western Sydney to climb rapidly as a result of major public infrastructure spending where billions are being injected into transport, education and medical facilities in key locations such as Parramatta, Blacktown, Westmead, Mt Druitt, Badgerys Creek, the Northwest and Southwest regions which will bring jobs in these areas. There are billions more in residential and commercial construction projects under way which will boost ¬demand for local housing and drive up ¬prices making the entry into the property market not an easy one with the prospects of ever owning a home slowly slipping away. A strategy to enter the market is to cut the cost of property ownership in half by buying with a family member or friend. Save only half a deposit, pay only half the mortgage and cover only half of the bills. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Property co-ownership is a great way

to get a foot in the door at a reduced price but when it comes to mixing money and friendship, there’s plenty that can go wrong unless you take these important steps to forge a successful partnership. Agree on the big picture Talk together about your reasons for wanting to buy, your goals for owning a property and your timeframe for selling. You should both have similar mindsets and objectives. Put it in writing Have a legal ‘co-ownership’ agreement prepared that outlines the rights and obligations of each person with a share in the property. It should provide a formula for either of the co-owners to exit the investment - for example, they may have a change in financial circumstance or want to purchase a property with their new partner. The agreement should also include a mediation clause that outlines how disagreements should be resolved. Know your group finance options A joint mortgage is one way a group of property buyers can apply for a

mortgage as it allows them to combine their incomes in order to qualify for a higher loan amount than they would individually. As co-borrowers, you and your partner are held equally liable for repayment of the loan - so if one person stops making payments or makes late payments, the financial responsibility will fall to the others listed on the mortgage to make up for these payments. ‘Tenants in common’ is another way to consider structuring your lending. It allows you to have equal or unequal shares in the property, so one of you could own 40 percent and the other 60 percent. As co-ownership introduces more complexity than a typical individual owner-occupier or investor purchase, you should ensure you choose a borrowing arrangement that protects your investment. Seek advice Structure your lending to be as flexible as possible to consider future changes in personal or financial circumstance. We can sit down with you to discuss some ‘what if’ scenarios, such as what

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27 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

realestate real


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sport

Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

11 home games a big win for fans despite draw flaws: Fletcher By Stewart Moses @TheRiffMarn

PANTHERS Group CEO, Brian Fletcher, says the 2017 NRL draw is a win for Penrith fans despite some question marks over certain aspects of the draw, made worse by the NRL’s inability to consult with the club first. In what should prove to be a well-received decision, Fletcher has confirmed to Nepean News that the five year deal to play a home game in Christchurch has ended after just one year, declaring that competition points not dollars, is the club’s prime concern given the club’s sound financial position. The decision means Panther fans will in 2017 have the opportunity to watch eleven games at Pepper Stadium, which for members is an even bigger bonus, given membership pricing is based on the club playing ten home games, as explained by Fletcher. “What pleases me is that we’ve been able to withdraw the game at Christchurch and bring that back to our members and fans at Penrith,” Fletcher states. “That financial relationship is over. After talking to the chairman, myself, Phil Gould and the coach Anthony Griffin, we’ve put more value on two competition points then the dollars. “We’re looking long term not short term. Fortunately at the moment, the club is in a financial position that we can forego the financial benefits from Christchurch. “Penrith people want to watch a good football side and they want to watch as many games as they can at home so to bring this one back home is a bonus. “We’ve sold our membership packages for ten games and now there’s eleven at no extra cost. Fletcher was less impressed about the draw itself, questioning the NRL’s decision to not have Penrith play their biggest drawcard at home, Parramatta along with the allocation of a home

 Penrith are not happy to have lost their biggest drawcard game v Parramatta in 2017. Credit: 77 Media.

game against the Knights on the new but contentious Friday 6pm timeslot. The Panthers CEO was even more disappointed that the club was not given an opportunity to respond to such fixture allocations before the release of the draw. “The draw’s the draw. You’ve got to work to it but it’s disappointing that you don’t get any real input into it before it’s finalised,” Fletcher declared. “There’s a couple of things we probably could have helped them with the draw. “For instance, it’s a major disappointment that’s our biggest money game of the year crowd-wise, against Parramatta won’t be played at Pepper Stadium. “Surely from the league’s perspective, their statistics should tell them that and that they would factor that into their business model.

“Yet we’re playing St George and Newcastle twice so to me it doesn’t make sense that we’re not playing Parramatta twice over one of those two sides. “Also us playing (Newcastle at home) on a Friday night at 6pm doesn’t make much sense when many of our fans have got to make the trip in peak-hour up the M4.” One game which raises eyebrows is the timing of the 2017 Bathurst game, which has moved away from its traditional Saturday 3pm timeslot, instead to be played against Canberra at 5:30pm on the June long weekend, when conditions are expected to be much cooler. Although Fletcher confirmed the club would have preferred to have played this fixture in Bathurst by early April, the time allocated meant coach Anthony Griffin chose to play Canberra once again.

“We tell them what we want in relation to that game and we tell them early April,” Fletcher said. “But the draw came back and we got to say to the coach, there’s the draw now, which team do you want to take there and that was the game he decided should go. “I know Bathurst are delighted with the game. “It’s the Queen’s Birthday weekend and you might have the two grand finalists playing there in 2017, which is a real possibility, giving Bathurst a real quality game. “We’ve got a club in Bathurst too so it’s good to take one game there plus we get a lot of players coming down from there to play in our junior grades so it’s nice to give something back. “All we ask is for the town to come to the game and support us.”


Blue Sox intent on building momentum By Thomas Marriott

WITH an Opening Weekend series win to kickstart the 2016/17 Australian Baseball Season (ABL) against the Adelaide Bite, Sydney will be hoping to gain further thrust when the Perth Heat travel to Blue Sox Stadium at Blacktown International Sportspark this weekend. As four-time ABL Champions (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), Perth will cross the continent after a home series against the defending champions, the Brisbane Bandits. The Heat have their eyes hotly on their fifth ABL crown in seven seasons, despite going down in their opening weekend series at the Aces (3-1). Blue Sox in-form hitter and second baseman Tucker Neuhaus is hopeful he can keep his form with the bat up, after clocking an impressive 5 RBI’s in the opening home Series. “It’s been a good start. I’ve been happy with my swings well as of late and now just trying to continue to put the efforts from practise into the game,” Neauhas stated. “Like the opening series, if we can get a good start in the first game, we’ll put ourselves in a strong position.” However, the Australian Baseball League’s most successful team boasts a host of established Australian baseball powerhouses with national experience. It’s a team that veteran Blue Sox Manager Jason “Pops” Pospishil won’t be underestimating come this weekend. “There’s a reason they’ve done well and been a force in this competition. It’s because of the foundations they’ve built as well as their depth of

junior stocks,” Pospishil said. “We believe in our own ability, and I know if we put plans into effect, we are confident of getting the job done on our turf.” This series is of extra significance for the Blue Sox Manager, who on Friday, as a White Ribbon ambassador will address the crowd ahead of the first pitch. This will precede some very special pre-game entertainment from one of our local choirs. The weekend sees a special triple-treat of matches beginning with Saturday’s double header. Wear your favourite MLB jersey for your chance at lucky door prize glory and don’t forget to watch our Blue Sox Cheerleaders go around as part of our pre-game on-field program. On Sunday, join in the fun as Featherdale Wildlife Park visits the Blue Sox ahead

29 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

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before Game Four, with the cute and cuddly creatures live display in the forecourt from 11.00am. Round 3 Series: Perth Heat at Sydney Blue Sox, Blacktown International Sportspark. Game One: Friday 2nd December @ 7.30pm | White Ribbon Awareness Game Two: Saturday 3rd December @ 4.00pm | USA Night Double Header Game Three: Saturday 3rd December @ 7.00pm | Wear Your MLB Jersey Game Four: Sunday 4th December @ 12.00pm | Family Fun Day More information and tickets can be found at www.sydneybluesox.com.au Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @SydneyBlueSox

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30 Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

MY WORDS WITH MARK GEYER

LET’S SHAKE THE TITLE OF SECOND-WORST IN THE STATE

 White Ribbon forum at Panthers

 Walk n Talk at Pemulwuy

SUNDAY the 20th of November I took part in an amazing initiative called Walk ‘n’ Talk. It’s the brain child of ex Manly footy player Shannon Nevin who lost a mate to suicide (we are all getting touched by this way too much of late) and decided to do something about it. So he organised a ‘movement’ called Walk n Talk. The aim is to get as many people as possible to take a leisurely stroll whilst simply chatting to each other. Another thing in a ‘device riddled’ world we do far too little of. Shannon started them off on the Northern beaches and I was contacted by a mate, Dale Walker, to see if I wanted to be involved in the first Walk n Talk out West. “Sure do,” I said when he rang. So did six of my mates and my oldest son Logan and three of his mates. We met at 8.30am at Pemulwuy (a new suburb of Greystanes) had a brief chat and took off for a 6km walk. Once over, a bbq and music played for the 140 who turned up to walk. I was so impressed I am now going to organise a Walk ‘n’ Talk in Penrith around March next year. For more details check out the Walk ‘n’ Talk Facebook page. Last Thursday evening I was invited along to a public forum at Panthers to discuss the ever-growing problem of domestic violence. The event was organised by the Nepean Blue Mountains local health district, in

 Bowled over at the Pio

particular Monique Wakefield. I was invited to sit on a panel of four and discuss ways to prevent the ever growing epidemic. I know the word epidemic is a very strong one, but if you’re reading this and live in the Nepean district I’m afraid to tell you that we have the unwanted title of the second worst rate of domestic violence in the state!! I felt ashamed. We must lift our act people - it’s simply not good enough. If you are aware of it taking place tell someone, if you’re a victim of it you SHOULD NOT be. Freedom from violence is a basic human right and no man, woman or child should have to put up with it. And another thing... On a lighter note, last Friday we had an inaugural cricket fundraiser with proceeds going to the Great Walk Foundation. Mike Whitney and Dougie Walters were the guest speakers with the day hosted by yours truly and the Shepperd brothers Brock and Lewis. Troy ‘TK’ Kennedy was our auctioneer and the 120 people in attendance had a fantastic day of fun and frivolity. Thanks to Stuie Mathie and his band ‘No Secrets’ for playing on the night also, and a bigger thank you to the Penrith people who continually turn up to help local causes.

MG (random Westie) OAM


sport By Noel Rowsell

BASKETBALL New South Wales has chosen two strong line-ups in the State Under 20 Men’s and Women’s teams respectively, which will contest the 2017 Australian Under 20 Championships from 12th-18th February in Bendigo, Victoria. The Blacktown West Storm Basketball Association Youth League forward Makuach Maluach has been chosen in the State Men’s team, whilst Penrith Youth League centre Ella Tofaeono (Oakhurst) has been chosen in the State Women’s team. The men’s team in particular has an amazing array of talent, with two players from Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (COE), one player from the National Basketball League (NBL) and two players (including Maluach) currently in the Australian Under 19 Men’s squad (Emus). Maluach and Grant Anticevich are also both members of the Newington College basketball team, which will contest the prestigious Championship Division at this year’s Australian Schools Championships, which will run from Dec 4-9 in Melbourne. WOMEN: Natalia Beaumont Penrith; Bree Delaney - City of Sydney; Kimberley Hodge - Manly-Warringah;

 Makuach Maluach in action for the Blacktown Storm earlier this year. Photos courtesy of Noel Rowsell (www.photoexcellence.com.au)

Cassidy McLean - Newcastle; Kristina Moore - Hornsby; Madeleine Norris Sutherland; Shakera Reilly - Central Coast; Jasmine Simmons - Bathurst / Centre Of Excellence; Ella Tofaeono - Penrith; Milly Yates -Northern Suburbs; Scott Balsar – Head Coach; Lesa Mason – Assistant Coach; Lauryn Curtin – Assistant Coach; Manager – Lyn Kennedy; RESERVES: Sherrie Calleia – Hills District; Katie Castle

Western News 2 December 2016 Issue 24

Locals chosen for Australian Under 20 Championships

31

 Ella Tofaeono in action for the Penrith Panthers earlier this year.

– Manly Warringah; Losalini Katia – Hornsby; Emily Matthews – Bathurst; Tylah Mundine – Penrith MEN: Grant Anticevich Bankstown; James Beverley - Manly Warringah; Angus Glover - Centre of Excellence / Illawarra; Matthew Gray - Orange; William Hickey - City of Sydney; Patrick Lancaster - Illawarra; Makuach Maluach - Blacktown West; Brennan Rymer - Northern Suburbs;

Luke Schroerder - Manly Warringah; Kyle Zunic - Centre of Excellence / Illawarra; Tim Hudson – Head Coach; Dene Macdonald – Assistant Coach; Ben O’Neill – Assistant Coach; Manager – Matthew Cranney; RESERVES: Joel Rauch – Newcastle; Ziggy Tosic – City of Sydney; Jacob Foy – Newcastle; Jayden Prakash – Hills District; Lachlan Hutchinson – Sutherland

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Western NEWS Friday, 2 December 2016

sport

Wanderers Youth top of table By Conner Lowe

THE Western Sydney Wanderers sit on top of the Foxtel National Youth league table after a comfortable win over cross town rivals Sydney FC 3-0 in a terrific performance at Marconi Stadium. Two first half goals to Abraham Majok set the tone before Lachlan Scott came off the bench in the second half to seal the three points with his first touch. The Wanderers youth side controlled the game from the start and took advantage of their domination with a goal from inform striker Abraham Majok getting his first of the match after ten minutes. After some strong defence by the Wanderers, right back Brendan Hamill was able to force a turn over deep into the Sydney FC half and assisting Majok for his first of the game as he took the ball around the keeper to slot home the opening goal. The dominant start to the game continued for the Wanderers and Majok was so close to doubling the lead, but Sydney FC keeper Thomas Monas managed a fine save from Majok’s effort at the back post. The Wanderers were able to double their lead ten minutes before half time as Abraham Majok was able to capitalise on a loose ball on halfway, as he took the ball around the out-coming keeper and finish calmly to make it 2-0. After a tough first half in goals for Sydney FC,

Manos was forced from the field with an injury before seeing Mitchell Evans replace him. Evans was given a real test before the break with both Jaushua Sotirio and Majok going close but neither were able to add to the 2-0 score before half time. Emerging from the break eager to extend their lead, Western Sydney went within millimetres of a third when Majok’s shot on target squeezed past Evans with the Sydney FC defence forced to clear the ball off their goal line. The Wanderers would eventually find their third

goal as substitute Lachlan Scott scored with his first touch of the game. Scott was able to score a thunderous header as it hit the underside of the crossbar and over the line to extend the wanderers lead to 3-0. As well as giving the Wanderers local bragging rights, the 3-0 domination puts the Wanderers on top of Conference B after three rounds. Next week the Red & Black travel to Canberra to take on the FFA Centre of Excellence on Sunday 4 December. Kick-off is at 4pm.

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Westernnews 2december2016