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Pastor Daniel Nalliah

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for help, I’ll be dead,� Ms Prohaska said. “After that I forget that my arm feels sore and I’m not feeling it any more and I try to climb.� Ms Prohaska remembered her duress alarm device, which the attacker had thrown into the front room. Summoning all her strength and suffering from impaired vision, Ms Prohaska crawled to the room and made her life-saving reach for the alarm device, pressing the button and contacting security services and paramedics via the

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intercom. “After that he’s (paramedic) talking and talking and saying please talk to me and I pull all my energy together and he said ‘Are you all right?’ and I said ‘I’m not all right, somebody cut my throat’,� she said. Police broke a window to bypass the front door which the assailant had locked and found Ms Prohaska clinging onto life, barely conscious on the floor. She was rushed to Dandenong Hospital where she stayed for a month. Continued on Page 4

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Thursday, 31

October, 2013

south eastern

Page 1

WHEN Tara, from Berwick Primary School, heard that one of her teachers was diagnosed with cancer, she decided she would cut her hair to raise money for breast cancer research. For the full story turn to page 3. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

NARRE WARREN 8794 9111

A EUMEMMERRING man has vowed never to venture â&#x20AC;&#x153;anywhere nearâ&#x20AC;? Doveton again after he and his dog were viciously attacked by an uncollared pitbull in Waratah Reserve. Mark, who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want his surname published, said he was terrified when a pitbull attacked and bit his brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boxer cross Staffordshire terrier, Buddy, on Saturday morning and was warning residents to be on the lookout for it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the most terrifying moment Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve experienced,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want it to happen again.â&#x20AC;? Mark, who takes care of Buddy on

the weekends and regularly walks him at Waratah Reserve, said he heard the pitbull before he saw it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was walking the outline of the soccer oval where the fence follows the stormwater drain,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As I passed the park area I heard the dog but I kept walking and when I turned around I saw this thing heading towards us, about 30 metres away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most dogs usually stop about 10 metres away but this one didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop,â&#x20AC;? he said. The pitbull jumped at Buddy and started attacking him despite Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best efforts to deter the other animal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I jumped in front of the pitbull and

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it came towards us to get at Buddy,â&#x20AC;? Mark said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attacking my dog, then heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attacking me.â&#x20AC;? Mark, who is 110 kilograms, said he then started punching and kicking the animal but it could not be stopped. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve boxed before but after two minutes of fighting this animal I was stuffed,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was feeling hopeless. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never felt hopeless before.â&#x20AC;? Mark had to let go of Buddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lead before two residents from neighbouring houses heard the commotion and came out to help. One had a shovel while his neighbour picked up a tree branch and managed to force the

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animal to stop attacking Buddy, after which it fled. Buddy suffered from a scratch to his shoulder blades and bite marks and lacerations in his cheek following the attack. Mark has since contacted Dandenong Police and Casey Council and warned locals to be wary of the reserve. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People have to be careful if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re walking around Waratah, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so remote,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If something does happen to you, you have no chance. I was just lucky I had people there.â&#x20AC;? Casey Community Safety manager Caroline Bell said a council officer had visited Waratah Reserve after Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sighting of the pitbull but had been unable to locate it.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Council has been in contact with the victim and is investigating the matter, however council is unable to identify where the offending dog may have originated from,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Council is appealing to residents to come forward if they witnessed the incident and to assist council in identifying the offending dog.â&#x20AC;? According to the Domestic Animals Act it is an offence for any animal to attack another animal and all animals need to be under effective control at all times. Reports can be made to the City of Casey on 9705 5200.

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By LACHLAN MOORHEAD CASEYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Multi-faith Network may get the chance to address the United Nations in New York. The mayor of Casey will call upon the State Government and State Opposition to support a bid for the group to speak at the famous UN headquarters in Manhattan. In a notice of motion that he plans to submit next week, Casey mayor Geoff Ablett will call for the council to meet with the State Government and Opposition to discuss the viability of the Casey Multi-faith Network travelling to UN headquarters in New York to present its mission objectives and explain its community involvement. The development comes after Cr Ablett spoke of the virtues of the Casey Multi-faith at a special dinner last month to celebrate his appointment as mayor, calling for the group to meet with delegates at the UN. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like the multi-faith to put a presentation together for the UN,â&#x20AC;? Cr Ablett said

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Members of the Casey Multi-faith Network attended a special council meeting last month where they were formally recognised for their involvement in delivering the multi-faith statement. Back: Abdul Hamid, Brian Parry, president Jim Reiher, Kriemhilde Lawrenz, Pam Mamouney, Siva Natarallabam and Irlande Alfred. Front: Yasina Hamid, Michele Halsall, Robin Dzedins, Enza Nicotera, Indira Fonseka and Gamini Fonseka.

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this week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will recommend that council write to both State Government and State Opposition to co-ordinate a meeting regarding the concept.â&#x20AC;? Cr Ablett, a Casey Multi-faith delegate along with deputy mayor Amanda Stapledon, said the networkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s message of tolerance and harmony had to be heard on a global scale. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone turns on the TV and sees conflict between various faiths overseas, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s English or on the West Bank and one of the first things I did was to organise Multifaith delegates on the council,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Casey is the biggest municipality in the state, with 50-odd families moving in a week from different faith groups. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to tolerate and understand peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s differences.â&#x20AC;? Jim Reiher, president of the Casey Multi-faith Network, said he was humbled by Cr Ablettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s UN suggestion and agreed that the networkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s message was one that the whole world needed to hear. Continued Page 7

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and interviewed by police for carrying bows and arrows in the same area. A Parks Victoria spokesperson said the pair were carrying a target with them and had no intent to harm any wildlife. A Victorian Police spokesman said it was a disaster waiting to happen to carry weapons in this type of environment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People need to use common sense and not go off with a bow and arrow or any weapons that they could fire and hurt wildlife or humans,â&#x20AC;? the spokesperson said. This latest attack comes after the death of a male kangaroo shot in the neck by an arrow in Narre Warren in November. Kangaroos are protected under the Wildlife Act and anyone with information can contact Wildlife Victoria on 1300 094 535.

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Wildlife Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sue Anderson nursing Hilary the kangaroo in her final moments and (inset) Hilary was unable to fully recover from the arrow wounds to her back and side. Pictures: WILDLIFE VICTORIA

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couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, I turn over and I want to start climbing up. The next minute I hear the shutting of a door and I thought heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d left but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see because my face is so swollen.â&#x20AC;? With blood pouring from her neck and barely conscious, Ms Prohaska crawled step by step on her hands and knees up the basement stairs to her living room. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The staircase is sharp and bruising and I have to climb it. Halfway I stop, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it; I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go any longer, my arms are very sore, (but) if I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go

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Ilona Prohaska miraculously survived being stabbed by an attacker in her Endeavour Hills house - and still bears the scars on her throat. 107773 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS The assailant then took Ms Prohaska downstairs to the basement room where he stabbed her in the throat, leaving her unconscious on the floor before fleeing. When she came to, Ms Prohaska said the first thing she felt was hot water. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wake up downstairs and in my mind Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m feeling hot water but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not hot water, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m lying down in my blood and that is warm. The next minute heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (the attacker) coming into my mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then I was thinking I have to go for help. I want to stand up but I

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A WILDLIFE Victoria spokeswoman has called for stricter penalties for animal cruelty following the death of an eastern grey kangaroo shot by two arrows a fortnight ago. The call comes as two people were questioned by police for carrying bows in the same Endeavour Hills area last week. Wildlife Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amy Amato said fines werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a harsh enough punishment for animal cruelty. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe justice will be served as with many other incidents like this in the past, the penalties for such crimes are just not significant enough,â&#x20AC;? she said. A 21-year-old Dandenong man was interviewed and released pending further inquiries in relation to the attack on Hilary, who was rushed to an emergency wildlife vet after being shot with two arrows in her back and side. Ms Amato said Wildlife Victoria was planning to release Hilary before $15,990 her condition took $a16,990 turn for the worse on Friday night. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tears have been flowing as Hilary touched many hearts and we all hoped that she would make a miraculous recovery, but it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to be,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unfortunately, her injuries were too severe and as much as Hilary $24,990 $26,990 showed some promising signs of recovery, the stress and pain was just too much for her.â&#x20AC;? Fears for the kangarooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-being and potential spinal damage were rife after one arrow was lodged 14 centimetres deep in its back. Coincidentally,$a28,990 man and woman $28,990 were issued a warning under the National Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Act by Parks Victoria

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FIVE months after she was viciously stabbed and left for dead in her Endeavour Hills home, Ilona Prohaska is still too terrified to return. The Hungarian grandmother, who has lived in Endeavour Hills for 35 years, had her throat cut by an intruder for $70 and a bank card but afterwards managed to claw her way through her Georgette Crescent house to contact paramedics using her emergency duress beeper. After four weeks in hospital, with significant persisting injuries to her neck tendon, shoulder and arms and a permanent scar etched across her throat, the 73-year-old is now living in a nursing home where she is struggling with mounting costs. She desperately wants to return home, but has vowed not to until a security door is installed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m too scared to come back home but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let somebody put me out of my home, what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked for all my life,â&#x20AC;? Ms Prohaska said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If I have to die, I have to die at home.â&#x20AC;? On Tuesday afternoon, 21 May, Ms Prohaska was expecting a visit from an insurance representative and opened her front door after she heard knocking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I opened the door a little bit and I looked outside and I said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Can I help you?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and I look up and down and then I look in his hand and see a big knife,â&#x20AC;? Ms Prohaska said â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went to quickly close the door and he marched faster and kicked the door and the door hit me on my head and I fly here (into the next room) where the tiles finish and I drop onto my bottom.â&#x20AC;? The attacker took what little cash Ms Prohaska had in her purse along with a bank card, demanding the pin number and threatening her if she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t co-operate.

S

A group of talented basketballers are embarking on a tour to educate school children about the importance of eradicating racism. BRIDGET SCOTT spoke to Sibit Tot from Endeavour Hills, one of about eight players who will travel throughout regional Victoria with his basketball team later this year.

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Ms Mammone said she hoped the person or people who stole the spa would return it or turn themselves in to police. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to think that there is $26,990 $27,990 still some decency in people. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want this happening to anyone else,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want people to stop and think about the wider consequences of their actions.â&#x20AC;? Anyone with information about this incident is urged to $29,990 $ contact Crime Stoppers.29,990

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angry when she discovered the spa was stolen, especially as Daniel did so much advocating for people with CP. Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent aim $26,990 was to get post office mail boxes and bank ATMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lowered, so they were accessible for people in wheelchairs. He had written to the local minister as well as the banks to bring their attention to the is$29,990 sue.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;He can have a full range of movements in the spa and the physio can get in with him,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, with his cerebral palsy, if he is cold it is difficult to bring his body temperature up and if he is warm, it is difficult to bring his temperature down. So with the spa, we can control the temperature, but we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t at the pool.â&#x20AC;? Ms Mammone said she was

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core muscles and it improves his balance,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although he is wheelchairbound, Daniel can sit more upright in his chair and has better control of his hands and arms.â&#x20AC;? Ms Mammone said the spa was better than using a bath tub as it was portable, he could move around in it, and it was better than the pool for its temperature control and accessibility.

Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother Sharon said she and her husband Vince were away for a working project and Daniel was in respite when the spa was stolen from their St Helenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crescent property. Ms Mammone said the spa was used as part of Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physiotherapy program, and it had great benefits for his mobility. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It relaxes his muscles, helps him develop his strength in his

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A SPA used for hydrotherapy by a young man with cerebral palsy was stolen from his Narre Warren South home last month. Daniel Mammone, a 25-year-old suffering from CP, was shocked to find a Camaro blow up spa, which was packaged in a box, stolen from his garage between 1 March and 12 March, just months after it was purchased.

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Daniel Mammone, an activist for people with cerebral palsy, was shocked to find a spa used for hydrotherapy was stolen from is home last month. 98306 Inset: A blow-up Camaro spa was stolen from a Narre Warren South home last month.

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tors did not put their addresses on the petition because people had received death threats. She said council should listen to opposed residents and said she wanted to â&#x20AC;&#x153;save council the headacheâ&#x20AC;? because if the permit was granted, objectors would most likely take the matter further, referring to VCAT. City of Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said no matter what decision was made, the issue could be taken to VCAT. Sherene Hassan, a member of the mosque, said she hoped members of the mosque and of Catch the Fire could exist peacefully on Green Street. Pastor Nalliah said the decision made by the council was â&#x20AC;&#x153;politically correctâ&#x20AC;? and said it was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;sad day for Australia.â&#x20AC;?

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Seamus Hill

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ably) be challenged at VCAT or court, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the rights of the objectors.â&#x20AC;? The move met resistance from Cr Rosalie Crestani, who was the only councillor to vote against the permit. Cr Crestani asked several questions about how the council officers would ensure the hours of operation, maximum patrons and parking requirements in the report would be adhered too. Officers replied the applicants were obliged to follow councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s requirements and could face fines or be taken to VCAT if they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Cr Crestani said there were a lot of unanswered questions in the council report, including who would be in control of the mosque and if they would have any affiliation with offshore entities. Cr Crestani said some of the objec-

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closed theatre sessions since 2011 due to Baillieu Government funding restraints,â&#x20AC;? Ms Fitzpatrick said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theatre nurses are currently being redeployed when theatres are closed or lists are cancelled. ANF is working closely with members and management during this very challenging time to ensure workforce stability is maintained.â&#x20AC;? ANF has called on the leaders of both levels of government to negotiate and to fix to the current funding situation. Narre Warren South MP Judith Graley and La Trobe MP Laura Smyth, both Labor, have blamed the State Government funding cuts for the possible closure. Minister for Health David Davis did not reply to requests for comment made by the News before it went to print. For more, turn to Page 11

Cr Smith said he supported the council officersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; recommendations, and would have also supported them if they had recommended the council refuse the permit. He said the councillors needed to make a decision based solely on planning grounds and not religious or personal views, and added the application fitted the councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planning requirements. He said council would receive criticism from members of the community regardless of their decision. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Council canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win on this. There are probably as many people against it as there are for it. The people who are against it are just more vocal,â&#x20AC;? Cr Smith said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This application had to be made on planning grounds and will (prob-

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or ambulances will carry the burden. Politicians are putting the politics before peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives and it should be the other way around.â&#x20AC;? Australian Nursing Federation (Victorian Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said the ANF understood Southern Health was yet to make a decision about service cuts, if any, to Casey emergency department. Ms Fitzpatrick said that to alleviate some of the uncertainty caused by unconfirmed rumours, the union contacted Casey management to remind them of their obligations under the public sector nurses and midwives enterprise agreement to consult with ANF about proposed service changes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;ANF can also confirm that while there is definitely a lot of uncertainty, at this stage, no theatre nurse positions have been lost. Casey theatres have already experienced permanently

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ther to go to other hospitals, meaning the ambulances will be out of the area,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153; It puts an increased workload on paramedics and on other hospitals. Dandenong Hospital is already full, now it could be even busier as a result of the Emergency Department closure.â&#x20AC;? Secretary of the Ambulance Service Union, Steve McGhie said the union expressed their concerns to Ambulance Victoria and the State Government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Any closure of beds and wards means ambulances will be tied up or utilised and unavailable for longer, which puts patients at risk,â&#x20AC;? Mr McGhie said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The State Government is playing a political game with the Federal Government which is disappointing. Both of them need to fix the problem

CASEY Council on Tuesday passed a controversial planning application which means a mosque will be built next door to an outspoken Christian church. Police, security guards, a media swarm and a man in a chicken suit criticising the council were among those at the council chambers on Tuesday, when councillors approved a permit for a mosque in Doveton. Cr Sam Aziz was not at the meeting, where councillors voted nine to one to approve a permit made by Achivision for the use and development of a mosque on a three-acre site at 27, 29 and 31 Green Street, Doveton despite strong opposition. Pastor Daniel Nalliah and Catch

the Fire ministries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; currently building on a one-acre site at 25 Green Street - voiced strong opposition to the mosque. The council received four objecting petitions which included over 2000 signatures. The move to approve the mosque was made by Cr Wayne Smith, following recommendations by council officers. He said many of the objectors were non-residents and about 1900 signatories on one petition did not leave their address, raising a question over its validity. He said it was interesting to note another planning application for an Ebenezer Christian Assembly Church near Green Street, on Claredale Road, received far fewer objections than the mosque application.

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not travel to other locations. She said the Emergency Department at Casey Hospital was always busy at night, and the closure of it in the evenings would put a strain on nearby hospitals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crazy at nights, sometimes people have to wait five or six hours. If they go to Dandenong, they may have to wait longer now,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am hoping both the federal and state government come to the party and find a solution. The whole health system needs a shake-up.â&#x20AC;? Another medical professional who also asked to remain anonymous said not only would the closure of the Emergency Department in the evening affect patients and other hospitals, it could also increase wait times for ambulances who have to transfer injured or sick Casey residents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People will not have to travel fur-

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Health jobs fear Good neighbours? CASEY Hospital staff have been anxiously waiting to hear whether their jobs could be affected if the Emergency Department closes at nights. Rumours are rife among hospital staff that the Emergency Department will be closing its doors during the evening, which could push patients to other hospitals, put added strain on ambulance services and force night shift workers to switch locations or resign. Southern Health has not replied to requests made by the News to confirm or deny the allegations, but one employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said she could be forced to choose between changing hospital locations and resigning. She said, if asked to make a choice, she would have to resign as she had commitments during the day and could

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â&#x2013; Stricter penalties called for animal cruelty after kangarooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ...

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Council canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win on this. There are probably as many people against it as there are for it. The people who are against it are just more vocalâ&#x20AC;Ś

If only they were of age to vote ... former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was treated like a rockstar at Hallam Senior College when he and Holt MP Anthony Byrne opened a new multi-million dollar training centre. For full story, turn to page 4.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then I was screaming my head off, it was so indescribably painful. I was screaming, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;God let me dieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; anything to stop the pain.â&#x20AC;? - Narre Warren resident Ann Fogarty describing the pain she felt when she was burned during the Ash Wednesday fires. She spoke to the News in February on the 30th anniversary of the tragedy as she launch her book, Forged with Flames. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Council canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win on this. There are probably as many people against it as there are for it. The people for it are just more vocal.â&#x20AC;? - Casey councillor Wayne Smith in March about the decision to grant a mosque a building permit despite strong opposition from Catch the Fire ministries. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I spent a lot of time travelling overseas and one thing that stuck out is how older people can determine their own future, but children canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.â&#x20AC;? - Narre Warren North man Phil Cerbu, as he was preparing to spend 36 days riding on a postie bike across Australia to raise funds for child rights organisation Save the Children. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe justice will be served as with many other incidents like this in the past, the penalties for such crimes are just not significant enough.â&#x20AC;? - Wildlife Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amy Amato when Hilary the kangaroo died after it was shot with two arrows in Endeavour Hills in August.

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News - Berwick - 09th January 2014