Western Weekender January 16

Page 1

PANPA 2014 NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP

weekender the western

Printed on 100% recycled paper

FRI 16 JAN 2015 • Issue 1186

Soward’s mission

PROUDLY INDEPENDENT

Business Advice, tips and profiles on the best local businesses p.30-31

Penrith of the future Struggling CBD in the spotlight as PBA aims to revitalise our city centre KATHERINE TWEED

Panthers look to go one better in 2015 p.38

Foley mixes with locals p.5

Deadline closes in Businesses must make switch to NBN p.6

@ktweed_

M

eet the man who may just be the Penrith CBD’s saviour. The appointment of Jonathan Drane as the Manager of Investment and Development at the Penrith Business Alliance (PBA) is being seen as a key move in the long-held dream of revitalising the city’s centre. The Sydney developer is known for his work supporting and studying the transformation of Australian streets, like Palmer Street in Townsville, from nothingness to dining and hospitality hot spots. Mr Drane specialises in helping to revitalise cities and, with his new role at the PBA, he hopes to ignite a change in the Penrith CBD, focusing on High and Henry Streets. “I am coming in as an outsider, to an existing organisation that has been well established for five years. The PBA has asked me to come on board to give a fresh view,” Mr Drane said. “I will hold up what I call a ‘mirror’ to give them my view of Penrith and they will listen. From there, Penrith will decide what it wants.” The main aim of the PBA is to create more jobs in the Penrith area and to do so, Mr Drane said that the revitalising of certain areas would help. Mr Drane is currently part of the way through his research of the area which, upon completion, he will use to identify “catalyst areas” and then work with other PBA members and Penrith Council to create initiatives, projects and developments to bring those areas to life. Story continues on » p. 8

Jonathan Drane hopes to revitalise the Penrith CBD. Photo: Melinda Jane

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POLICE

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Police say mother dobbed in her son after finding device in his bedroom KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

P

olice have reassured the public that they have nothing to be concerned about following the discovery of a home-made explosive device in a local home this week. Officers from St Marys Local Area Command and the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Squad, were called out to a home in Warburton Crescent, Werrington, at about 8pm on Tuesday night, after a mother discovered an explosive device in the bedroom of her 23-year-old son. Officers moved in and removed the explosive device from the home, before taking it to a nearby park and detonating it. Police said that the device was dangerous, though small, and could have potentially been deadly in the wrong hands however, wanted to reassure the community that it was an isolated incident and was not related to any other recent incident. “I would like to stress to the community that this is being investigated as a one-off incident. There were no threats made and no person was put at risk by this incident,” said Inspector Michael Cruickshank of St Marys Local Area Command. Police initially appealed for the public’s help on Wednesday to locate the 23-year-

Michael Cruickshank of St Marys Police addresses the media on Wednesday. Photo: Melinda Jane old man, who hadn’t been seen since the discovery of the device. But late on Wednesday afternoon they confirmed that the 23-year-old had been arrested. “About 2.20pm, investigators attended a

According to witnesses speaking to the ABC, the device was a black package about the size of a mobile phone. It had wiring hanging out of it. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police.

home on Spur Street, Beaumont Hills, and arrested a 23-year-old man,” police said in a statement. The man was taken to Castle Hill Police Station and was being interviewed by police when the Weekender went to print.

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the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Explosive device found in home


4 troy.dodds@westernweekender.com.au

Luke who? How timing helped Mike Baird’s rise to popularity SUNDAYS 9.30am with kids programs 5.30pm Afternoon Service with kids programs

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Mike Baird would probably have to be pictured frying up Peppa Pig on a barbecue or endorsing Kale sandwiches before he fell out of favour with the NSW public and became a chance of losing the State Election in March. I have a feeling that the March 28 election is going to be something of a fizzer. In fact, I'm predicting Laurie Oakes will have called the election on Channel Nine so early that the network will be able to squeeze in an extra ‘The Big Bang Theory’ repeat episode. And it’s incredible to think that it’ll happen despite the Coalition going through all the dramas at ICAC and losing the likeable Barry O’Farrell as Premier. Mr Baird has slipped into the Premier’s chair with relative ease in terms of public recognition and acceptance. On the opposite side of the fence, Luke Foley would be unlikely to win a Celebrity Faces competition any time soon – nobody knows who the bloke is. And that in many ways all comes down to timing. In Mr Baird’s case, he became Liberal leader and within days was front and centre on every news broadcast in the country thanks to the Royal Visit by Prince William and Catherine. There was simply no better public introduction for the new Premier – and Mr Baird enjoyed instant recognition as a result. In Mr Foley’s case, he took the job in a period of the year when very few people are interested in what’s happening in the news, let alone state politics. John Robertson resigned just days before Christmas and barely anybody noticed. When Luke Foley was confirmed as Labor leader on January 5, most people were more interested in how many wickets Australia had taken at the cricket or more importantly, how

TROY DODDS @troydodds

Robertson resigned and barely anybody noticed

many beers were left in the fridge. It simply didn’t rate in the interest factor – very little does at this time of year. Tragedies also often provide glimpses of real leadership, and when the Martin Place siege happened last year, Mike Baird really stood up. He was visibly shaken by the events that were unfolding, but he provided stoic leadership and said the right things at the right time. Nobody wants tragedies like that to happen, but sometimes in politics, those tragedies can open the door for opportunities to prove to the public that you have the capabilities and the knowledge to handle difficult situations. John Howard’s response to the Port Arthur massacre is one such example. Luke Foley faces a massive challenge in the next few months as he tries to not only inform the electorate of his policies, but ensure that the same electorate knows who he is. He has an interesting story to tell. He was raised from the age of seven solely by his mother, has worked in call centres to make ends meet and studied at the University of New South Wales. He has three kids, is in his mid-40s and speaks well. But is anybody listening? In many ways, the work done by Labor candidates Prue Car, Emma Husar and Todd Carney in the local area has taken a hit given the change of leader so close to the election. The powers that be in Labor were left with no choice but to replace Mr Robertson, but it will do very little to help them on March 28. Their best bet is clawing back a few seats statewide and bringing back the margins held by MPs such as Penrith’s Stuart Ayres. Then they may have a real shot in 2019. As for Mike Baird, he probably can’t wait until polls close on March 28. It really is his election to lose.

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STATE ELECTION 2015

New Opposition Leader visits shoppers in St Marys DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

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N

ew State Opposition Leader Luke Foley has hit the ground running, visiting St Marys just days after being given NSW Labor’s top job. Accompanied by Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car, Mr Foley mixed with locals at the St Marys Village Shopping Centre last Friday. He said he wants to see a greater State Government focus on Penrith. “I want to remake greater western Sydney, we have to create smart jobs close to where people live,” Mr Foley said. “It’s about changing the city from a ‘hub and spoke model’ where everyone goes into the big metropolis in the morning and comes out again at night, to having four or five big centres. “The problem is there are 200,000 more people in the labour market here than there are jobs, but on the current trend that’ll be 300,000 in a decade’s time.” Mr Foley admitted bringing jobs and amenities to accompany population increase was a massive challenge, however insisted it will be sustainable. “We actually have to turn the whole objective of the State Government on its head if we’re going to pull that trick off.

Shop 23, Tattersalls Centre, 510-534 High Street, Penrith 2750

Tanya Davies MP Member for Mulgoa a

Werrington local Joe Fisher meets NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car at St Marys Shopping Village I think people need to understand no matter how many lanes we add to the M4, no matter how many more train services we put on, they’ll be full on day one,” he said. “The real answer is to create half a million new jobs in the greater west of Sydney over the next 25 years.” Ms Car said she was glad to bring Mr Foley to St Marys to demonstrate his support on creating jobs in the local area.

“Supporting the creation of thousands of more local jobs... is the right approach to making a lasting dent on Sydney’s congestion challenge,” she said. Bernard Bratusa, Liberal Candidate for Londonderry, criticised Mr Foley’s visit to the area. “Interestingly, Mr Foley’s visit to St Marys coincided with the circus being in town and not surprisingly his performance was more Labor smoke and mirrors,” he said.

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the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Foley says jobs are key


BUSINESS

Deadline looms for NBN switch Homes and businesses in Penrith must switch to NBN by February 20 KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

A

round 3,600 homes and businesses in Penrith will find themselves without Internet or phone lines if they have not switched to the National Broadband Network (NBN) by Friday, February 20. Penrith will be the first Sydney suburb to complete the transition to the NBN, which is scheduled to replace most of the existing landlines and Internet services in some areas of Penrith in just 35 days. There are still homes and businesses in NBN enabled areas of Penrith that are yet to connect to the NBN and are at risk of finding themselves without an Internet or phone service if they don’t elect to make the switch soon. “The move to the NBN is not automatic. The remaining residents and businesses in these areas need to move their landline phone and Internet services over to the NBN if they wish to continue using them. They have a choice whether to switch across or to make do with mobile solutions,” said Darren Rudd, NBN Co spokesperson. “We are particularly urging people with special equipment including EFTPOS terminals and medical and security alarms, which operate using a landline

Joh Dickens from Kingswood Florist has successfully made the switch to the NBN. Photo: Melinda Jane phone connection, to contact their preferred phone company and Internet service provider as soon as possible.” Local florist, Kingswood Florist, made the switch to the NBN in November last

year and owner Joh Dickens said that making the transition was smoother than she had expected. “I was actually freaking out a bit, thinking that it was going to be a nightmare, but

it was so simple to make the change,” she said. “The Internet is much quicker, our phone bills are cheaper and there is no drama. Everything is just going along as normal.”

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A man was struck to the face with a glass beer bottle in Penrith last weekend, leaving him in need of treatment for facial injuries. Police were called to the local licensed venue on Mulgoa Road at about 8.50pm on Saturday, January 10, with reports that a man had been glassed. Police allege that the two men involved, who were known to each other, got into an argument. The 25-year-old involved allegedly pushed the 38-year-old before striking him to the face with a glass beer bottle. Security apprehended the younger man who allegedly tried to escape. Police arrested the 25-year-old and charged him with ‘reckless wounding’ over the glassing incident. The 38-year-old was taken to hospital while the 25-year-old was treated by ambulance paramedics in custody for a minor hand injury. He will appear in court at a later date.

A woman will appear before Penrith Local Court next month after being charged with two counts of stealing. Police allege that at about 4.30pm on Friday, January 9, a 33-year-old woman entered a discount clothing store on High Street, where she selected a number of items of clothing and left without paying. Police say that she then went to a major shopping centre where she entered a sports store. She allegedly removed a number of items from their racks before attempting to leave the store without paying. She exchanged words with an employee of the store, drawing attention to herself. She then left the store and was followed by diligent security officers, who detained her as she was allegedly unloading the stolen items into a taxi at Penrith Railway Station. Police were called and recovered a significant amount of stolen clothing. She was charged with two counts of stealing and will appear in court on February 4.

Ropes Crossing: Man busted for mid-range drink driving A man will appear before court after being found driving with a mid-range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol in his blood. Police stopped a grey Holden Commodore in Ropes Crossing for the purpose of a random breath test. The 30-year-old driver of the vehicle, a male from Bidwill, was breath tested, returning a positive result. He then underwent breath analysis, which found he was in the mid-range. The man was handed a Field Court Attendance Notice and will appear before Penrith Local Court on February 23.

Llandilo: Police say early morning fire is suspicious Penrith Police are investigating a structure fire that occurred in Llandilo last week. Emergency services were called to Mayo Road, Llandilo at about 3.40am on Wednesday, January 7. Police arrived at the scene to find the structure well alight. The fire is being treated as suspicious and officers are calling on members of the public who witnessed any strange behaviour in the area at the time to contact them with information.

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the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

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Memorial coming

Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

A permanent Memorial to the victims, hostages, police and emergency service workers involved in the Lindt Café siege will be unveiled mid-way through 2015, according to NSW Premier, Mike Baird. “We will never forget Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, or the suffering that their loss inflicted on their loved ones,” Mr Baird said. “Nor will we forget the ordeal of the surviving hostages, or the courage of those police and emergency workers who put themselves in the line of fire on the awful morning of December 16 last year.” The Martin Place Siege Memorial Committee has been developed to oversee the design and construction of the permanent Memorial.

Locals listen The Animal Welfare League, which has a shelter at Kemps Creek, is praising the local community after recording its lowest number of post-Christmas abandoned pet cases ever. Each year the organisation is forced to take on hundreds of dogs and cats that are abandoned or surrendered because they are unwanted by the people who receive them as surprise gifts during the silly season. The organisation campaigns each year to encourage people not to give pets as surprise gifts and this year their campaign paid off, as it is the first year that the organisation did not have an influx of animals in the aftermath of the Christmas and New Year period, much to the delight of staff and management.

PENRITH CBD

Penrith is “lopsided” Balance and variety needed in Penrith CBD’s future Story continued from » p. 1 While Mr Drane will be using his studies of other towns and cities to help create a vision for Penrith’s future, he will be endeavouring to keep Penrith the town that locals love and enjoy. “Penrith is Penrith. It has got to have its own identity,” he said. In just four weeks, while it is too short a time for Mr Drane to form any specific ideas and plans, he can already see the potential that Henry Street and the Allen Place car park presents. “With the Westfield generating a lot of energy, Penrith is a bit lopsided. Riley Street is the happening cafe area, with all the wonderful foods you can get,” he said. “I am looking forward, if it is what Penrith wants, to see a balance created, where the quiet end of town presents a variety of different offerings for the 183,000 people who live here.” Mr Drane said that these offerings could come in a number of different forms, including an increased number of multicultural food options. PBA Chairman Paul Brennan said Mr Drane’s intimate understanding of the challenges in dealing with the players in the property development market will prove invaluable to the organisation.

GLENDENNING

AUTO REPAIRS

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS The following Development Applications have been received by Council: s PreTech Pty Ltd

DA14/1614

Leonay Golf Course, 1a Leonay Parade, Leonay Torrens title subdivision x 2 lots and construction of 8 seniors living townhouses Contact: Kate Smith on 4732 7705 Closing Date: 2 February 2015 s Zeliso Pty Ltd

DA14/1605

83 Jamison Road, Kingswood Demolition of existing structures and construction of multi-unit housing consisting of

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PBA Chairman Paul Brennan with Jonathan Drane in the Penrith CBD this week

DA14/1613

128 Glossop Street, St Marys Demolition of existing structures and construction of 6 x attic style villas and associated car parking, drainage and landscaping works Contact: Hannah Van De Werff on 4732 7714 Closing Date: 2 February 2015. Disclosure of Political Donations or Gifts Development Applications are displayed at the Penrith Civic Centre. By law, reportable political donations or gifts must be disclosed by anyone lodging a planning application to Council. Call 4732 7649 or visit penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

Shane 2/52 Christie St

St Marys - 9833 1724

WW9534

Viewing of Development Applications The above development determination/s may be inspected between 8.30am and 4pm Mondays to Fridays (except Public Holidays) at Council’s Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith. Officers of Council’s Development Services Department will be able to assist with your enquiries.

penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

penrithishere.com.au WW15225


9 the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

AUSTRALIA DAY

PENRITH

2015 CONCERT AT THE LAKES 26 JANUARY

FREE EVENT

SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL REGATTA CENTRE 6PM - 9:30PM

NEWS

Parking available from 5:30pm. Non smoking event. No alcohol. No glass or unsealed bottles. penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/ausday

CONTACT US

1300 736 836

ADMINISTRATION Penrith Office Civic Centre, 601 High Street. Opening Hours: 8.30am–4pm. Mon–Fri. St Marys Office Queen Street Centre, 207–209 Queen Street. Opening Hours: 8.30am–4pm. Mon–Fri. Switchboard Open: 8.30am–5pm. Mon–Fri. P: (02) 4732 7777 F: (02) 4732 7958 Write to: PO Box 60, Penrith NSW 2751. E: council@penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

SERVICES Waste Hotline: Freecall 1800 734 735 Illegal Dumping: Contact the EPA hotline on 131 555 and ask for the RID Squad (Regional Illegal Dumping Squad). Graffiti Hotline: Freecall 1800 022 182

MEETING DATES Council Meetings 2 February 2015 – 7.30pm (Ordinary Meeting) 9 February 2015 – 7pm (Policy Review Committee)

penrithcity.nsw.gov.au penrithishere.com.au

COUNCIL BRIEFS s This summer the library is promoting its fantastic online reading facilities. Library members can read and download hundreds of eBooks, audioBooks and eMagazines for free. This excellent service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even on holidays, you can read and download your favourite magazines or books for reading on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. All you need is your library card number. Use these services before the end of summer (28 February 2015) and win one of three iPads. This online service adds another layer to the library’s excellent suite of services. For further details visit penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/Library s In 2015 Penrith celebrates an important bicentennial year. The first building in Penrith was built in 1815 by William Cox (where the current Penrith Police Station is in High Street). From this time the European settlement of Penrith began.

PENRITH CITY COUNCIL ONLINE facebook.com/penrith.city.council twitter.com/penrithcouncil instagram.com/penrithcitycouncil youtube.com/penrithcitycouncil penrithcity.nsw.gov.au penrithishere.com.au

Council will be holding celebrations throughout 2015 including civic ceremonies and community events. s Penrith is hosting the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Sunday 25 January. Kids aged 7–15 years can register for the event, which includes a specially designed swim, bike and run course. Each participant receives an official Weet-Bix Kids TRY gold medal and a Champion Certificate. Visit try.weet-bix.com.au for details. s Another free Microchipping Day is coming to Jamison Park on 14 March between 10am and 2pm. The Coreen Avenue Vet will also be there and you can even get a free massage for your dog!

Lease of Land at corner of Rodgers and Somerset Streets to Healthscope Notification under Section 47A of the Local Government Act 1993 Nepean Private Hospital (Healthscope Limited) has applied to Council for approval to lease Council’s vacant land being, Lot 137, 138, 139 & part Lot 140 Orth Street, Kingswood as temporary car parking facility for hospital staff and customers.

PUBLIC NOTICES

The reason for this temporary car parking request is to accommodate

Application for the Use of Sportsgrounds Winter 2015

Nepean Private Hospital in the short term with car parking facilities

21 March 2015–6 September 2015

private development.

Applications are invited for the use of Penrith City Council’s Sports grounds for the 2015 Winter Season.

At the end of the leasing term the car parking facility will be redeveloped

All applicants (both new and existing) are required to attend an information meeting at Penrith City Council to submit an application for hire. Priority will be given to applications submitted at either of these meetings. Meeting details are as follows: When: 6.30pm on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 Where: Nepean Room, Penrith Civic Centre, High Street, Penrith

because their existing parking facilities were terminated due to

or returned to a grassed park area. These properties are classified as ‘Community’ land under Council’s Plan of Management and it is imperative that leasing is conducted under Section 47A of the Local Government Act 1993 – leases, licences and other estates in respect of community land – terms of 5 years or less.

OR

Submissions in writing may be made to Council concerning this

When: 4pm on Wednesday, 4 February 2015 Where: Nepean Room, Penrith Civic Centre, High Street, Penrith

proposal within twenty (28) days from the date of this notification

We ask that RSVPs be received by Friday, 23 January 2015. For additional information and to register for the meeting, please contact 4732 8232 or email: mwilliams@penrithcity.nsw.gov.au

Department, PO Box 60, Penrith NSW 2751.

and addressed to Penrith City Council C/- Property Development

For further information please call Christopher Moulang on 4732 7658.

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

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CAR PARK UPGRADE

Clubgoers urged to be patient Improvements to car park at Panthers desperately needed, management says KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

N

o longer will patrons of Penrith Panthers Leagues Club have to negotiate pot holes and uneven surfaces when endeavouring to use the car park, with the club implementing major upgrades over the next five months. The front car park at the Mulgoa Road venue is in the process of being completely resurfaced; a construction job that will take place in three stages, so as to minimise the inconvenience of club users. “The car park has needed major repair for some time now; the work needed to be done correctly as patching the surface was not an option,” said Panthers Chief Operating Officer, Sue McNeill. But the upgrades will not come without some inconvenience to Panthers’ patrons, as hundreds of parking spaces will be lost during each stage of the upgrades. In the first upgrade alone, taking place between now and Tuesday, February 17, a total of 365 spaces will be lost. Ms McNeill said that the club has a total of 2,200 spaces available for patrons. “There is ample parking across the property, especially at the rear of the building; we understand it may be inconvenient, however for the safety of our patrons

Excavator driver Conan Pfitzner with Sue McNeill from Panthers on Wednesday. Photo: Melinda Jane the works needed to be done and we are hoping that our patrons will be understanding during this time,” she said. “If we have any patrons that need assistance we are more than happy for people

to be dropped at the front door or place a call with the club upon arrival and we can have the courtesy bus collect you from your parking area.” A number of large trees are being

removed from the site and will be replaced by other shrubs and gardens. In addition to landscaping, the upgraded car park will include improved lighting and security.

Mayor’s News The weekly views of Penrith’s Mayor

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This time last year we saw a record number of residents become library members as part of our library summer membership drive. It was heartening to see such a great number of locals join. This summer we’re promoting the library’s fantastic online reading. Library members can read and download hundreds of eBooks, audioBooks and eMagazines for free. This excellent service is available 24 hours, seven days a week. Even when you’re away on holidays, you can read and download your favourite magazines or books for

reading on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. All you need is your library card number. And if you use these services before the end of summer (February 28, 2015), you could win one of three iPads. We expect the library to be just as busy as ever this holiday season. This online service just adds another layer to the library’s excellent suite of services. I hope you enjoy using it. For further details visit: www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/Library

ROSS FOWLER OAM Mayor of Penrith

Woolworths recalls Black Olives Woolworths is recalling Homebrand Sliced Black Olives 430g sold in Woolworths stores in New South Wales and Western Australia only with a Best Before date of 04-07-2016. Woolworths is recalling this product as it may contain glass and may pose a health risk if consumed. This recall only applies to products sold

in New South Wales or Western Australia and with a Best Before date of 04-072016. No other states or best before dates are affected. Consumers should return the product to their nearest Woolworths Supermarket for a full refund. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.


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WW15217


COMMUNITY

President steps down Malcolm Borland has had a life-long commitment to Penrith DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

A

fter 40 years as President of the Australian Foundation for Disability (AFFORD), former Penrith City Councillor Dr Malcolm Borland has stepped down. Dr Borland, who was an Alderman of Penrith City Council for 26 years, joined as a member in 1974 with a clear vision to provide the organisation’s service to more people with disability in more communities. After only one year as a member, the Penrith based medical practitioner was elected as president, and focused on extending the reach of the organisation’s disability services in the Greater Western Sydney region. Dr Borland said having lived and worked in the Penrith area for much of his life, serving as a medical practitioner for over 40 years and also a Penrith City Councillor, he is pleased to have played a role in its history. “I believe my experience in the local Penrith area helped me to understand the needs of people within the community and the services they required,” Dr Borland said. “When I first began as President, I could see the possibilities for delivering more

Dr Malcolm Borland services to people with disability within the community.” He said it had been a privilege and a very rewarding experience working with an organisation that has helped people with

disabilities for over 60 years, and made a huge difference in the community. “I would like to thank all those who have helped to shape AFFORD into the leading disability not-for-profit organisation that it is today,” he said. His successor, Neville Barnier said Dr Borland revolutionised the organisation into a leading disability service organisation for the Greater Western Sydney region. “[It] has changed dramatically over the 40 years that Dr Borland has been President. Dr Borland’s sound guidance and appreciation of the needs of customers has meant that the organisation has grown significantly in a relatively short amount of time,” he said. “Dr Borland’s service and dedication to Australians with disability and AFFORD staff is a reflection of his achievements as President.” Dr Borland’s tenure changed AFFORD from managing three Australian Disability Enterprises to now having 32 locations across NSW that is of service to over 2,000 people every day. After being one of the longest serving Presidents of any charity in Australia, Dr Borland will continue as a member on the organisation’s board and a medical practitioner in Sydney’s west, continuing to give back to the community.

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13 the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Woman injured during training


Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

14

STATE ELECTION 2015

War of words over hospitals Government and Opposition trade insults over emergency wait times and budgets DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

A

mid claims the Liberal State Government has secretly dropped its benchmark to treat patients within four hours, Health Minister Jillian Skinner reinforced its commitment to do just the opposite. Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord, said the Government abandoned the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) that saw patients to be treated within four hours of arriving in emergency departments. “The NSW Government should be working to improve emergency departments rather than trying to find devious ways to hide the state of emergency departments by dropping the four hour benchmarks,” he said. “This is what happens when the State Liberals and Nationals tear $3 billion from the NSW health and hospital system – patients are affected.” From January 1 this year, hospitals were to process 90 per cent of patients through emergency departments within four hours, but the State Government will now remain with last year’s target of 81 per cent. Only 69 per cent of patients are being treated within the timeframe statewide,

Labor Candidate for Londonderry, Prue Car, at Nepean Hospital. Photo: Melinda Jane with even less in Nepean Hospital at 48 per cent, and Labor Candidate for Londonderry, Prue Car, said the Liberals have well and truly left health services in the region to flounder.

“Nepean is being hit with cuts at the same time as it’s being swamped by population growth. That’s why the waiting lists are blowing out,” she said. As issues at hospitals emerges as a key

election issue ahead of the March 28 poll, Mrs Skinner moved to reassure patients that the four hour benchmark remained in place. She said hospitals are still committed to seeing patients within the four hour benchmark, but are keeping the 81 per cent target while reviewing whether the 90 per cent benchmark will be a “clinically-safe, long-term goal”. “The 90 per cent target for 2015 is part of the original National Partnership Agreement between states, territories and the Commonwealth, signed in 2011,” she said. “A key feature of that agreement was reward payments from the Commonwealth to states and territories for achievement of NEAT. The Commonwealth discontinued reward funding in last year’s budget.” Mrs Skinner said NSW hospitals are treating emergency patients faster than ever before despite huge increases in presentations, and condemned Labor’s claim of cuts to the NSW health budget. “There is no cut to the NSW health budget – this is a Labor lie. This year’s recurrent health budget is $18.7 billion, a 5.2 per cent increase on the previous year and a 20 per cent increase since Labor was in government,” she said. What’s your experience at Nepean’s ED? Call us on 4722 2998 to have your say.

News in Brief Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding a break-in and fire at a de-commissioned primary school in Badgerys Creek in the early hours of Wednesday morning. About 12am, emergency services were

WAREHOUSE / STOREMAN Hix Group is a Penrith based Trades Services company employing more than 60 staff across a range of trades including Electrical, Plumbing & Carpentry/Maintenance. We are seeking an energetic “all rounder” to join our team to provide warehouse and stores assistance for our technicians and management. Duties will include: • receiving and receipting goods ordered by our tradespeople using our electronic job management system • maintaining the factories & offices in a clean and tidy manner • checking equipment and tools in and out & organising servicing as needed

Fire

at school called to the school on Badgerys Creek Road after reports of a fire. On arrival emergency services found one building alight.

Other buildings at the school also showed signs of a break-in. Police and investigators attached to Green Valley Local Area Command attended and established a crime scene. Specialist forensic officers and Rural Fire Service investigators have also attended. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined and there have been no reports of injury. Due to the Badgerys Creek airport development, the school is no longer being used by teachers or students. Police are appealing for anyone with information about Wednesday’s incident to contact Green Valley police on 9607 1799 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

• utilising the forklift, ladders & other equipment as required • delivering goods to site • assisting trades staff and management to ensure efficient completion of projects/works You will have a current driver’s license and Forklift license, hold a White Card and may have undertaken First Aid training. You will be familiar with computers and able to learn our system. Ideally you will have worked in the Electrical or Plumbing industry in a similar role and be familiar with the products we use in the construction industry. We are seeking someone with a friendly personality who is willing to provide a range of support to Management and our team. If you are interested in this role, please send your resume to: Peter Foster, Purchasing Manager peter@hix.com.au Enquiries: 0247217500 WW15276

The Police Transport Command has more than doubled in size, reaching its target to deliver police numbers and combat crime on the transport network by 2015. The authorised strength of the Command reached 610 police last month (December 2014) – meeting a commitment to staffing levels made when the Command commenced operations in May 2012. More than 80 new officers started at the Command in December, bringing with them a variety of skills and experience which will form part of the Command’s crackdown on antisocial behaviour and crime on public transport.

Since May 2012, the Police Transport Command has made more than 6,700 arrests, resulting in more than 12,500

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get stronger charges and issued more than 120,000 infringements. NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell said this staffing achievement will reflect in a safer transport network.


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WW15008

the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

HALF YEARLY

15


16

COUNCIL

Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

Council encouraged by graffiti removal costs DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

T

WW15282

here’s only one thing to smile about when it comes to graffiti, and it’s that Penrith Council is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per annum on its removal. Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler, said even though graffiti still costs well in excess of $500,000 a year to remove, it has decreased substantially in the last few years due to the city’s proactive nature. “Cost for graffiti removal [in the 2014 financial year] is about $600,000 per annum down from about $900,000 several years ago,” he said. “It’s going down now because people aren’t getting any kudos because we are removing it quicker.” Despite the decrease in removal costs, Cr Fowler said it’s still an issue because it’s still costing the community to remove it. “With limited resources, it means funding is getting taken away from what could be used on footpaths or parks,” he said. Council relies heavily on the public to report matters, with a graffiti hotline on Council’s website that Cr Fowler said is quite well used. “Any graffiti that can be accessed from a public space, if it is offensive will be removed as soon as possible,” he said.

Graffiti at Jamison Park Cr Fowler said there’s a policy to get rid of offensive and obscene graffiti as soon as possible, with other graffiti generally being removed within three days. Graffiti on electricity infrastructure is a common issue, but Cr Fowler said it is quickly removed. “In certain suburbs including Penrith, South Penrith, Glenmore Park, St Marys, North St Marys, and St Clair there is an arrangement between Penrith City Council and Endeavour to remove graffiti within our time frame; offensive material ASAP and other graffiti within three days of being reported,” he said. “In the other areas Endeavour is advised of the graffiti and this is generally removed by one of their contractors within 14 to 21 days.” Cr Fowler said there’s still work to do in the graffiti battle but the current figures were encouraging.

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

18

ROADS

Project to transform Sydney

Penrith residents to benefit from WestConnex and widening of M4 Motorway DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

P

reparations to widen the M4 are scheduled to begin in two weeks as part of the $500 million WestConnex M4 Widening project. Assistant Federal Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced the approval, saying it’s a milestone for the economy, jobs and beating congestion. “[WestConnex] will create 10,000 jobs and deliver more than $20 billion in economic benefits to New South Wales,” Mr Briggs said. “WestConnex will transform Sydney by fixing the M4 and M5 and joining them together in a continuous free flowing motorway connecting to Sydney’s CBD, Airport and Port.” Thousands of motorists from Penrith use the M4 Motorway each day to get to and from work. The infrastructure is expected to cut typical trips between Parramatta and Sydney Airport by 40 minutes, bypassing up to 52 sets of traffic lights. “It will deliver better roads and slash travel times for motorists, meaning less time stuck in traffic and more time at home with the family or being productive at work,” Mr Briggs said. Preparation for the work will begin along the corridor this month, including final geotechnical work and investigation of utilities before site work begins in February. The design and construction of the 7.5km project is due to be complete by early 2017, easing congestion on one of Sydney’s biggest motorway corridors by cutting travel times in this section by up to 74 per

An artist’s impression of Homebush Bay Drive and the M4 cent. Mr Gay said it’ll be a huge boost for the motorists of Sydney. “The project will widen the M4 Motorway to four lanes in each direction between Parramatta and Homebush and include ramp upgrades such as new direct access from Homebush Bay Drive to the M4 westbound, removing a well known pinch point,” Mr Gay said. Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson

for Transport, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, said amid the “spruiking” of the M4 widening announcement, the government has failed to mention they will be putting tolls back on the corridor. “With no plan to combat road congestion in Sydney, western Sydney drivers currently sitting in the M4 parking lot will now be paying a toll for the privilege,” she said.

“Greens financial analysis of the project has shown that motorists could be in line for tolls up to $26 to use WestConnex just for the project to break even.” Most of the major construction is expected to take place behind safety barriers separate to the current motorway lanes to alleviate impact on motorists. Your views? Email us at news@westernweekender.com.au.

POLICE

Drug testing on local roads set to continue KATHERINE TWEED

P

Police conducted an operation in Cranebrook earlier this month

@ktweed_

enrith Police Officers are cracking down on drug-driving, with one completed operation under their belts this year and a number to come in the future. The operations have well and truly put drug users on notice that they won’t get away with driving while affected by illicit substances. A two-day operation running over Thursday, January 8 and Friday, January 9, saw 280 local people randomly drug tested as they travelled along Andrews Road, Cranebrook. 13 people were detected as having drugs in their systems but police are waiting on further analysis before charges are laid. Penrith Local Area Command Crime Manager, Grant Healey, said police would continue to crack down on drug use. “We are going to continue with this operation at every opportunity in and around the Penrith Local Area Command in the coming months,” he said.

“This particular type of test screens for a variety of different drug types, including cannabis, amphetamines and their derivatives.” Drug testing is simple, according to local police, who during a test take a sample of a person’s saliva, which is processed in just three minutes. If the test proves positive, police conduct further tests and wait until analysis of those tests is complete before laying charges. During the most recent operation, police also charged a woman for allegedly driving whilst suspended. Officers stopped the 29-year-old, who is from Cranebrook, as part of the operation but police soon discovered that the woman was allegedly driving while holding a suspended licence. The woman was handed a Field Court Attendance Notice to appear in Penrith Local Court on Thursday, February 5. Do you support drug testing of drivers on our roads? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Send an email to news@westernweekender.com.au.


19

HEALTH

the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Health club of the future From antigravity yoga to the latest equipment, Atmosphere launches in style KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

T

he first health club of its kind in western Sydney, Atmosphere Health & Fitness Club, has officially opened its doors this week in a move to inspire the way that local residents take care of their health and wellbeing. The health and fitness club offers a variety of services, including a 50m indoor pool, dedicated yoga and pilates studio, multisports interactive cycle studio, spin studio, group fitness classes, antigravity yoga, weights and cardio. It truly is a one-stop shop for the fitness and health needs of local people. “Our goal is to help the people of Penrith and western Sydney to reach their goals. We hope to do this not only with our state-of-the-art facility and equipment, which uses the latest in health and fitness technologies, but with the help of our dedicated team,” Club Manager, Dane Wigg said. “Customer service is of the utmost importance to us. We are here to inspire people to improve their health and fitness and live an active, healthy lifestyle.” Joining the club is simple and members are not locked in to any contracts. Each member is issued with a ‘wellness

The team at Atmosphere welcomed their first customers this week key’ after joining, which gives them access to all equipment, a wealth of fitness plans and a way to keep track of their progress. “Lots of people join a gym to find that it doesn’t offer the service that they want. We are confident that we have all bases of health and fitness covered. We even have

access to a dietitian and are anticipating opening a health centre with massage and spray tanning services available,” Mr Wigg said. “We want our members to feel comfortable with us and we have implemented a lot of strategies to achieve this. We even

have a kids club and baby nursery, with staff available to care for children aged six-weeks to 12-years.” The club is open from 5am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 5am-4pm Saturday and 6am-4pm Sunday. It’s located at 16-19 Lambridge Pl, Penrith.

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

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dear weekender... Time to fight back Terrorism can be stopped by a simple deterrent that cancels the ticked to their mythical paradise and three virgins. Governments must tell terrorists they will never get any form of religious burial, their body will not be returned to their family, they will be buried in pig entails and faeces and those jailed will have their food cooked in pig fat – no halal food to be provided ever; jail is not a holidayhome paid for by taxpayers where you can order food to your liking, you get what is served or nothing, that’s part of the penalty – no paradise. There’s no martyrdom in a grave full of pig faeces, then there will be a change in attitude. This was done successfully when just before WW1 there were a number of terrorist attacks on US forces in the Philippines by Muslim Extremists. General Jack Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts. His troops then brought in two pigs and slaughtered them in front of the now horrified terrorists. Muslims detest pigs believing they are filthy animals, to eat or touch a pig or any pig products is to be instantly barred from their

mythical paradise (and those virgins) and doomed to Hell. The soldiers dipped their bullets into the pigs blood and executed 49 of them, they then dug a hole and dumped the terrorist’s bodies, covering them with pig’s blood and entrails; they let the 50th man go. For the next 42 years there was not one terrorist attack from a single Muslim anywhere in the world. Enforce this effective prevention, Muslim mythical beliefs must never override the lives of our Citizens. There is a choice. GIL MAY, VIA EMAIL Editor’s note: We understand the above story to be an Urban Legend. There’s never been any official confirmation of such a story.

Playground worry The only issue at the fountains at Thornton is poor parenting (Western Weekender January 9). I have an eight and 11-year-old and we have been to the play areas at Thornton many times. The first time my girls saw the fountains I told them that they are not for playing in. Since then they have not tried to play in them. For Ms

Ryk to say that because there is no sign saying it is not a play area makes it a play area is ridiculous. There is no sign at the M4 to say that this is not a play area so does that mean that I can play there? Common sense has to come in somewhere. Children’s water play areas are designed with a level of safety. If you look at the fountains they have large metal jets that stick out about a foot from the floor of the fountain. If the fountain was designed for kids to play in would they have metal poles sticking up that kids could slip and fall on to? The answer is no. There are two play areas either side of the pavilion and some decorative fountains in front of the pavilion at Thornton. If you cannot tell the difference between the two then maybe you should find a play area elsewhere that won’t confuse you. BAZ, VIA WEBSITE

Fight continues Research recently released from Monash University has shown that firefighters face serious health risks through their exposure of dangerous materials while working to protect our

email: news@westernweekender.com.au post: Suite 2, 42-44 Abel Street, Jamisontown 2750

community. While firefighters work tirelessly this fire season to protect the community, this research is more pertinent than ever. These findings are in line with what we see in our day to day work – we have several clients who are former firefighters who have developed certain cancers and are actively pursuing workers’ compensation claims under the national workers’ compensation scheme Comcare. This legal recourse wasn’t always available though. Comcare’s presumptive legislation is relatively new and finally allows injured firefighters to pursue a claim if they have been diagnosed with cancer as a result of their years in the fire service. We would like to see the kinds of cancer covered by the Comcare presumptive legislation to expand to include skin cancers based on the findings of this research. Unfortunately, those who were diagnosed before the new Comcare legislation was introduced in July 2011 will continue to face substantial difficulties pursuing a claim and there are still several state Workcover schemes which don’t provide presumptive legislation. The evidence is clear

– our selfless firefighters who are being exposed to hazardous chemicals and fumes are going to be at a much higher risk of developing a terminal illness. It is for this reason that all of our brave firies should be entitled to compensation without question or prejudice. KATRINA STOUPPOS, SLATER AND GORDON LAWYERS

Feminism’s problem Well done Troy for standing up and saying what you believe (Western Weekender, January 9). As a 35-year-old woman, I have never really faced sexism or felt that I didn’t get a job or position because I was a woman. For some reason, feminism has changed dramatically in recent years, and everybody wants to jump onto the bandwagon. It’s become more about hating men than making things fairer for women. I honestly believe that any woman who puts in the effort and has the passion and enthusiasm can achieve whatever it is she sets out to. JULIE SMITH, VIA EMAIL

The Western Weekender reserves the right to edit letters for the sake of accuracy and space. For more information, see our public notices section.

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espite more and more of us being overweight, one fast food chain has made it even easier for locals to get their hands on food that health experts would probably put a giant red cross through. Red Rooster’s St Clair store is one of a number in NSW that are now offering a home delivery service. But Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition said the delivery service means “another barrier” is gone in the fight against junk food in western Sydney. “Western Sydney has a particularly big problem as it has high rates of obesity,” she said. According to the National Health Performance Authority, almost two thirds of western Sydney’s population is already at least overweight, with almost half that being classified obese. The delivery service is now available at St Clair Red Rooster, delivering to six of its surrounding suburbs including Colyton, St Marys and Oxley Park. The service offers over 70 different items from the Red Rooster menu with only one catch – it’s a minimum $25 spend. “It means you order things you don’t want, encouraging people to buy larger portion sizes and upsizing, adding that

Red Rooster now delivers extra sugary drink and encouraging people to order more than they would normally,” Ms Martin said. Red Rooster’s National Marketing Manager, Anna Jones, said the price point of the minimum spend is due to the nature of their customers. “Our stores are focused at families, and family meals start at that price point, with over 75 per cent of our sales being whole roast chickens,” she said. “We are still new into this roll out, we are getting tonnes of feedback. We address every single piece of feedback we get, and follow up on it to turn a bad experience into a good one.”


21

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the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

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Simple solution

COMMUNITY

A simply-worded letter that is directed at the patient and given to them prior to discharge from hospital can immediately improve their knowledge and understanding of their in-hospital tests and post-discharge recommendations, University of Sydney research reveals. Published in the Internal Medical Journal, the study found that while patients knew why they went into hospital, they had very little understanding of the tests performed while there, and recommendations for what to do when they go home. “Patients can often be anxious, and this may interfere with their understanding and recall of what has happened in hospital and what the required follow-up is,” said the study’s Geoffrey Tofler.

Follow us online Do you follow your favourite local newspaper on social media? The Western Weekender has a strong social media presence, keeping local residents up to date with what is happening in the Penrith area. On our Facebook page you’ll find breaking news, links to stories on our website plus all the latest traffic news and information to help you get to and from work easier. Logon to www.facebook.com/westernweekender and ‘like’ our page. On Twitter, you’ll find quick, relevant information related to Penrith. Logon to www.twitter.com/wwpenrith to find us. Follow us on social media and be informed on what’s happening.

Volunteers kept busy What would we do without the State Emergency Service? KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

J

ust over two weeks into 2015 and the team at Penrith NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has already been assisting the local community as storms batter Penrith. In just one storm on Friday, January 9, the organisation had nine requests for assistance in the local area, for fallen trees and damage to roofs and property, with the majority coming from Emu Plains and Emu Heights. But nine calls for assistance is nothing to the organisation, which recorded 600 calls between October and December last year and with the weather becoming increasingly unpredictable, chances are they will be called on more and more this year. The SES, made up of mostly volunteers, is facing a big year this year not only with a large amount of work anticipated, but as it celebrates 60 years since its establishment. While it is a big year for the SES as a whole, 2015 has a lot in store for the local unit as well. In addition to assisting members of the public who call for assistance during storms and other natural disasters, the unit is hoping to begin assisting the

SES volunteers are preparing for a very busy year community in other ways. “Our local unit will be promoting more storm safe and flood safe awareness in the local community by getting our storm and flood safe messages out via social media as well as sharing our activities such as storm events, searches, rescues significant training activities and events with the community,” said Penrith SES Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Michael Faccin.

The unit, which took on 17 new members late last year, is also investing valuable time into training. “We will be increasing our operational capacity through the increase in skill development of our members who will participate in new rescue training courses,” Mr Faccin said. Penrith SES is expecting to have an intake for new volunteers midway through this year.

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23 the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

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WATERFRONT LAKE HOUSE FOR SALE

OVERLOOKING KOSCIUSZKO THE JEWEL OF AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL PARKS THE EPICENTRE OF THE BEST TROUT & SALMON FISHING IN AUSTRALIA. SWIM, FISH, PADDLE, WATERSKI OR LAUNCH YOUR BOAT RIGHT FROM THE SANDY BACKYARD BEACH

PERFECT FOR A FAMILY LODGE - HOLIDAY RETREAT - RETIREMENT Lake Jindabyne and the 3 rivers are stocked with over a million trout and salmon. Kosciuszko National Park is a short paddle across the pristine lake where there are 4,287 square miles of hiking, mountain biking & snow sports. + 60 second walk right out front to a safe sandy swimming & fishing beach + Direct access to the lake for easy launching of any size boat + Most private location + Paved road + No road noise + Town water and sewage + Heaps of room for cars, RVs & large vegetable garden + No fleas & ticks + The safest location from bush fires + Unlimited water + Can step right out the door for great walks or hiking, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing etc + Best mountain bike trails and road bike riding roads in the country + Cruise or sail down to Jindabyne Town for lunch or shopping. 4 bdrm, 2 1/2 bath quality built house of cedar, Oregon and treated log construction - all anti termite materials. Large wrap around veranda/ deck with gates - safe for children and pets and perfect for entertaining and watching those glorious evening. Pine panelling throughout. Hardwood floors in the lounge kitchen area with two fireplaces - one two sided with fan. New kitchen with breakfast bar. Vaulted ceiling lounge dining room and upstairs, with reversible fans. * Huge work area/garage under. Lots of potential for expansion or even a granny flat.* Property located in quiet, friendly village of Kalkite on Lake Jindabyne. Golf, tennis, horse riding and equestrian, lawn bowls, quilting associations, flying/RC planes club, bike clubs & sailing club are all within 10-20 minutes of the residence as are schools, post office, supermarket, great shopping, pastry shops, cafes, restaurant, pubs, night clubs, movie theatre, new super clinic all within 20 minutes. The Snowy Mountains has year round the most diverse range of sports and activities in the country. From all snow and water sports to golf, tennis, lawn bowls, dragon boats, rock climbing, abseiling, white water rafting, hang gliding, shooting clubs, horse riding, equestrian, bush walking, 4WD driving - it’s all here for yourself, family or rental guests - be they honeymooners, corporate reward or a family just wanting to have fun and get away from the rat race or noisy crowded resorts. Additional income could be easily achieved by renting fishing, sailboats/ kayaks/canoes etc or 4WD tours - so many possibilities. Take another look at your life, get out of your sedentary rut and away from the rat race and the heat, humidity, traffic, crime and pollution to clean healthy mountain air in the healthiest, safest, socially cohesive region in the country. The price of this unique property is an absolute bargain at $545,000 as the cost rebuild from NRMA Insurance for the house only is $545,000 which means you get arguably the best waterfront lot in the entire region for $ ZERO.

For more information call or text Ken 0428 874 653 or Email: troutville333@gmail.com WW15156


COMMUNITY

25

DALE DRINKWATER

@daledrinkwater

A

western Sydney wonder woman has quit her job to devote herself to extending her helping hands to the homeless, but her two hands aren’t enough. Chris Cleary, 44, flipped her life upside down three months ago to co-found StreetMed, a not for profit charity that provides first aid services to western Sydney’s homeless. “It’s been monumental, massive. I gave up full time work and my husband now works two jobs as a fireman and an electrician,” Mrs Cleary told the Weekender. “He loves what I’m doing but week to week we struggle to pay the rent. I always question whether I’m being selfish doing this.” Mrs Cleary said as the only ones who provide street level mental health and first aid care to the homeless in the Nepean and surrounding regions, she and co-founder Dan Sasson, 42, have been inundated with people in need. “It is just such a need. One thing about homelessness is that they have a lot of mental health issues, and substance issues, so they don’t trust authority. If they hurt themselves they won’t call an ambulance and they won’t go to a doctor,” she said.

“We can do the initial act of getting them help, but then it’s the help that’s failing them and they are back on the street the next day.” StreetMed has only just survived on the out of pocket funding by Mrs Cleary and Mr Sasson, but aside from money, it needs volunteers on the street. “We want people to know we need help because we can’t sustain this,” Mrs Cleary said. “We need street volunteers, we need an events manager, we need some behindthe-scenes office people to keep records and statistics, so when it comes to applying for grants we have the documents.” Mrs Cleary is putting the call out for local people to help but said the challenge is finding the right people to do the right things. “Not everyone can work with homeless people and one of the biggest things is not judging,” she said. “You hear some amazing stories but you can’t look at someone and refuse to treat them.” Mrs Cleary says despite the challenges, she will keep working on the project. “It’s hard, but I believe in it and what we are doing,” she said. StreetMed will hold a fundraiser on February 21 at the Fitzroy Hotel in Windsor to raise money for medical equipment and a patient transport vehicle.

the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Life changing decision, but a fulfilling one

Chris Cleary from StreetMed. Photo: Melinda Jane

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

26

COMMUNITY

Following in their footsteps Cranebrook resident continues an amazing family tradition KATHERINE TWEED

@ktweed_

F

ollowing in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and relatives before them, Cranebrook’s David Henry has become the fifth generation of his family to enlist in the Royal Australian Navy. The 20-year-old Nepean Legacy legatee is part way through his recruit training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria, which will ultimately leave him as a fully qualified submariner, like his father and grandfather before him and a member of the Navy like his great-grandfather and great-greatgrandfather before them. While joining the Navy was not the first career path that Mr Henry looked at, the obvious talent for working in the armed forces that runs in his family was undeniable and led him to his enlistment. “After I learnt about dad being in the Navy and a Submariner, and granddad doing the same, and only recently learning that two generations before them were in the Navy too, that gave me a sense that joining would be doing the right thing – it’s in my blood,” he said. “But, even taking away the fact that I have had family in the Navy, I have always had that feeling of wanting to do something to give back.”

David Henry with his mother, Debbie In a way, Mr Henry is carrying out his training in memory of his father, who passed away when he was just threemonths-old after 20-years of service as a submariner.

“It is awesome to know that I am going through the same bases as he did, the same places that he was. Only a few years ago he was going through the same process, the same training, having a blast and coming

out the other end in the Navy,” he said. “I have a picture of dad back at base in his uniform. I think it was week two when we got our uniforms and it was a shock to the system to see that they were almost the same uniform. “It was awesome to know that I was wearing the same thing that he did. It made me a bit teary on that day but it was a good feeling.” Mr Henry has signed up for at least six years in the Navy but can see himself forging a much longer career. “In terms of my ultimate goal, dad had an award named after him and it is for submariners only,” he said. “I am going to try to do my best to get that awarded to me. “It would be interesting to have the Tim Henry award awarded to his son, that would be something special.” Mum, Debbie said that she could not be prouder that her son is following in the footsteps of his father. “I am proud, so proud. On his enlistment day, I was worried that I was going to cry a lot, not just because I raised him as a single mum but because of the career path he has chosen, given the circumstances,” she said. “But the whole time he did nothing but smile. When I saw him smiling, I thought ‘everything is going to be OK’.”

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he annual Premier’s Seniors Week Gala Concerts are a treat that seniors across the local area look forward to each year and with free tickets on offer, the event is enormously popular. It was announced last week that this year’s concerts will be held on March 17 and 18 at Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney. “The Premier’s Gala Concerts have become a ‘must-see’ event for our seniors, with music by world-class Australian performers and a fantastic spectacle on display,” NSW Premier,

Mike Baird said. Seniors will be rocking out ‘Viva Las Vegas’ style this year, which is the theme of the concerts, where tunes by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Celine Dion and Elton John will be heard. Free tickets will be available through Ticketek from 10am on Thursday, January 22. “These concerts are extremely popular so I encourage local seniors to get their tickets early and prepare to enjoy this world-class entertainment,” Penrith State MP, Stuart Ayres said. To purchase tickets, seniors can go to www.ticketek.com.au/nswseniorsweek or visit participating Ticketek outlets and Westfield concierge desks in person.


27 the western weekender Âť Friday 16 January 2015

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

28

How much does one

cage egg really cost?

You wouldn’t keep your pet like this. But hidden away in sheds across Australia, hens who are just as smart and sensitive as the family pet spend every waking moment in a cage — all for the sake of a cheap egg. She cannot sit comfortably or stretch her wings. Without the ability to exercise, her body is weak. Chances are that she, or one of her cage mates, is living

with an untreated broken bone. But trapped in a cage, in a shed with thousands of cages, no-one is ever likely to notice. Here she will spend 30 long hours to produce just one cage egg. The first time she will see the outside world — the world she was meant to live in — will be on the last day of her life, as she is trucked to the slaughterhouse.

“THAT AIN’T NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY” MAKE CAGE EGGS HISTORY. AnimalsAustralia.org/ladies

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29 the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Penrith RSL Fishing Club

Local businesses encouraged to get into the Australia Day spirit

• Charter boat out of Wollongong Twice a month • Yearly Christmas BBQ every year • Point scoring competition • Join at the Penrith RSL fishing club meetings at Penrith RSL on the first Wednesday of every month • Fishing club membership on $10

Local businesses are being urged to celebrate Australia Day Australia Day at Work is a chance to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian with your work colleagues. It’s an opportunity to get together as a team for a morning tea or lunch and remember how lucky we are to live in Australia. This year, the National Australia Day Council is giving you and your team the chance to add even more fun to the mix with a game of workplace cricket for your Australia Day at Work party. If you register your workplace for an Australia Day at Work party by January 19, you’ll be sent a pack that includes everything you need to play a game of workplace cricket. National Australia Day Council CEO Jeremy Lasek said Australia Day at Work is a great opportunity to celebrate this important day with your work community. “While many of us celebrate Australia Day with our family and friends,

Australia Day at Work gives us all the opportunity to extend the celebration to our work community as well,” said Mr Lasek. “Before workplaces pull up stumps for the public holiday, we encourage all Australians to celebrate Australia Day at Work either with a morning tea or by throwing some snags on the barbecue and include a fun game of cricket.” If your workplace plays a game of cricket and shares an image of the game by tagging the image with #australiaday on social media or by emailing a photo to info@australiaday.org.au, you will be in the running to win the Major Prize. The most creative image of a game of workplace cricket shared with #australiaday before Tuesday, January 27 will win an Australia Day at Work hamper and a trip for two to Sydney that includes flights, accommodation, dinner and a VIP Climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Register at australiadayatwork.com.au.

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

30

Dynasty Chinese 71 Billington Place, Emu Plains 4735 5810

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New owners, great food!

BUSINE S S OF TH E W E E K

Dynasty Chinese Restaurant has been a family favourite in Emu Plains for years, and now its new owners have introduced an exciting new menu

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he best Chinese restaurant in Emu Plains is now under new management, and to celebrate they have released an exciting new menu. Dynasty Chinese Restaurant has been operating for over 25 years, and is still a family owned business, but from December acquired fresh new management. Owner, Mr Lam, said the quality fully licensed restaurant is keeping its classic award winning menu, but has added a few extra quality items, to tantalise your taste buds. “We have a tasty Peking duck now, which the previous owners never had before and a crispy beef dish,” he said. “We have a wok fried diced steak with walnuts in honey and black pepper sauce, which is quite an exotic one so the flavours are incredible. “For the seafood lovers, we’ve added a fried soft shell crab dish with salt and pepper.” Dynasty won the Golden Chef Award for 2012 to 2013 for Best Asian Restaurant for its quality authentic Chinese dishes, but its exquisite new items are sure to impress. “They’re awesome dishes and have maintained their really high award winning quality,” Mr Lam said. Dynasty have great value lunch deals where you can get an entrée, a main with fried or steamed rice and a drink for only $12.80. Choose from two starters, and six different mains including mixed vegetables, honey chicken, Mongolian lamb, curry mini prawns, sweet and sour pork or pick between chicken and beef in a black bean sauce. “We are so proud to announce our new menu and we’re positive everyone will love it as much as we do,” Lam said.

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31

BUSINESS TIPS MICHAEL TODD Small Biz Connect Advisor Penrith Valley BEC

Inspirational women can be found everywhere

How to perfect your “elevator pitch”

When I research topics for this column, it is primarily quotes and/or business advice from men that I come across. This advice and the motivation that can be found in those quotes is inspiring and can definitely be useful for women in business. But I think it is also important for women to hear from other women. There are unique struggles for female business owners and sometimes we need to hear from those who’ve forged the way. So here are some of my favourite quotes for and from women in business: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” (Mary Anne Radmacher) “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” (Anne Sweeney – President of Walt Disney) “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” (Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo) “We need to accept that we won’t always

make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” (Arianna Huffington – Editor In Chief of Huffington Post) And this one from Melinda Gates goes beyond the realms of ‘business’, but for me personally, is a great reminder of us all being part of a much bigger picture: “If you are successful, it is because s o m e w h e r e , sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.” Sound advice we could all do well to listen to!

With time becoming more and more scarce these days, we don’t have the exclusivity or chances to present ourselves to potential clients that we once did. Whether it be at networking events, coffee meetings or impromptu catch ups, the 30-second commercial or the ‘elevator’ pitch is more important than ever. The elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you spark interest in what your business does. It is more important than some people think. Some business people have so many products or services that they find hard to explain quickly. However, there is no need to be flustered or unprepared when someone asks the inevitable question of “what do you do?” You never know when the next opportunity might come your way so by planning and being calm, you can really help your image and business. Now no one business is the same as the other but there is a general plan in coming up with your own elevator pitch. You need to decipher: • Who you are? (the business details) • What you do? (the types of products and/or services you offer)

• How you do it? (how you deliver, create or develop your services or products) Be clear, concise and specific. Explain how the services or products can add value. Today, competition is pretty big in most industries so make sure you outline why they need you and not another business with similar offerings. As an example, here is some words I say when asked what I do: “I am from the local Business Enterprise Centre which specialises in giving business advice and training. We assist over 1,200 businesses every year using our experience, exclusive resources and different way of thinking which generate results for clients that aren’t matched.” That pitch often leads to more questions. I don’t give out all the details, not to leave them wanting more but to add an element of suspense and curiousness that it creates. Add confidence and enthusiasm in what you do and represent and you have a big chance of potential clients remembering you. Leave an impact and image on them that you would expect from someone delivering their pitch to you.

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the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

MICHELLE GRICE Founder of Shel Design


Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

32

AUTO NATHAN TAYLOR

SUBARU

@natetaylor87

Subaru Australia has used the launch of the new, appropriately named Outback SUV, to coax Australian comedy legends, Billy Birmingham (The 12th Man) and Austen Tayshus back together for the first time since 1983. The pair were approached to create a new Outback TV campaign based on their iconic comedy hit ‘Australiana’, which was written by Birmingham and performed by Austen Tayshus. ‘Australiana’ was a pun-laden, spoken word comedy piece set around a typical Aussie backyard BBQ and used famous Australian place names, flora, fauna and iconography to tell the story. ‘Australiana’ spent an incredible 13 weeks at No.1 on the ARIA Singles Chart in 1983 and became Australia’s highest grossing single of all time. Disciple, Subaru’s creative agency, came up with the idea of paying homage to ‘Australiana’ as the creative platform for the Outback campaign. Agency partners, Tim Brown and Pete Buckley, approached Birmingham about writing the commercials with Austen performing them. The result is a very funny yarn about a quintessential, Outback loving Aussie family trying to organise a holiday road trip with other like-minded families. The ad tells the story of the family discussing who to invite and who to dump from their annual holiday road trip. Catch the entertaining clip on YouTube!

Flashback

New campaign reunites comedy legends as Subaru launches its new Outback SUV

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

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TENNIS Thunder play Stars The Sydney Thunder will be back at Spotless Stadium tomorrow night to take on the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. It’ll be the second last game of the season for the Thunder, who play the Sydney Sixers in a local derby to finish the regular season on January 22. The Thunder has continued to struggle in the popular Big Bash League this season, and sit in second last position on the ladder, ahead of only the Brisbane Heat. The match against the Melbourne Stars at Spotless Stadium tomorrow night gets underway at 7.10pm. For more information see www.sydneythunder.com.au.

Mohr set to return The GWS Giants have been boosted by some positive injury news, with big man Tim Mohr on target for a round one return from a knee reconstruction. The 196cm key defender’s horror run with knee and foot injuries last season plummeted to a new low in round 17 when he tore the ACL in his left knee. But the 26-year-old is on track to make his comeback in the Giants’ season-opener against St Kilda on April 5. “Tim Mohr’s looking to come back early in the season – he’s probably looking to play round one actually,” GIANTS co-captain Callan Ward told SEN on Tuesday.

Tennis talent search Are you the next big thing in Australian tennis? NATHAN TAYLOR

@natetaylor87

N

epean Tennis are on the lookout for the next crop of future tennis stars, and will be offering free coaching sessions from this weekend to track them down. A series of Talent Search development days will be conducted at Penrith’s Woodriff Gardens Tennis Centre from this Sunday, under the guidance of Tennis Australia coaches. “With so much tennis in the media, hundreds of kids give tennis a try at this time of year,” Nepean Tennis CEO, Chris Woodland said. “Our talent search days are designed to give these kids and their parents a chance to try tennis with a qualified professional coach absolutely free.” Nepean Tennis will be holding the free coaching sessions this Sunday, January 18 and Saturday, January 24 from 10am at Woodriff Gardens Tennis Centre, located in the centre of Penrith at the corner of Castlereagh Rd and High Street. For ongoing coaching programs or competitions, regular Term 1 programs

The search is on for the next big thing in Australian tennis resume on Tuesday, January 27. Nepean Tennis has coaching classes for beginners to advanced players aged from three-years-old up to six days a week.

For more information or to book your place at one of the talent search days, call Nepean Tennis on 4721 2880 or visit their website.

BOWLS // Mick Gilfoyle

2015 REGISTRATIONS All registrations are required to be done online through www.myfootballclub.com.au. Limited access to online registrations will be provided at the club. You then attend with your confirmation slip and finalise payment at the Penrith Paceway, Station Street, Penrith on the following dates and times: Saturday 17 January 10 - 2pm | Saturday 31 January 10 - 2 pm Sunday 1 February 10 - 2 pm | Saturday 7 February 12 - 4 pm

We are seeking players for all divisions.

Trials will be held for Under 16, 17 Boys and Premier League on Monday 2 February 2015 at 6.15 until 9.00 pm on Field 6.

Muster Nights

Day was held on the January 8. President Jackie Lewis welcomed everyone back and members were in good spirits after the festive season, showing enthusiasm for the 2015 bowls year. Winning team selected for the day was: D Carnevale, P Harvey, A Merrick def E Hunter, H Pearce, J Holdsworth; Runner Up team selected was A Leadbitter, E Gaynor, D North, R Havord; J Howe, M Jacka, Y Skinner def D Gray, J Sell, J Snape; B Coleman, P McCormack, A Dodds, C Thornton def M Auld, M Peasnell, M Collins, A Ritter; C Dark, N Norton, J Hunt, M Dempster def A Leadbitter, E Gaynor, D North, R Havord; P Tolhurst, L Holowaty, L O’Donaghoe, S Leach def M Henry, M McColl/ C Pugh, V Rumpf, B McNulty; A Jeans, R Crimston, D Weatherhead def M Boardman, H Hale, M Hobson. Best wishes to Col Crossingham who is on the mend after a battle with his health over the festive season.

Panthers represent great value

Under 5,6,7 Monday 23rd Feb 2015 Under 8,9,10 Tuesday 24th Feb 2015 Under 11,12,13, Wednesday 25th Feb 2015 Under 14 - 18 Thursday 26th Feb 2015 U 19 - AA Thursday 26th Feb 2015 All Muster Times Start at 6.30pm Meet at the back of the canteen.

Check out our website www.penrithfc.net for all details maria.lowenstein@det.nsw.edu.au

THE NDBA completed their Fours Championship last weekend with Matt Dunn, Rick Perry, Sean Sommerville and Chris Tindall (Austral) defeating John Dickson, Garry Douglas, Shaun Williams and Phil Clarke (Penrith). The Penrith boys got off to a massive start but the Austral team fought back and on an extra end won the match. In the semis, Phil Clarke’s side defeated another Penrith side skippered by Garry Adnum and in the other semi the Austral boys defeated Mat Slager’s side from Blacktown City. Unfortunately, the Triples championship that was to commence last weekend was washed out. 2015 will see the start of a major change in NSW with the planning of metropolitan areas change commencing in March and the membership payment system being overhauled to commence next financial year. Will the changes see the betterment of bowls? Only time will tell! Patrons and Life Members Bowls Trophy

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During the 2014 NRL Season the eight major partners of the Penrith Panthers generated $20,583,616 in media value, as reported by global sports marketing research agency Repucom. Repucom’s media value is generated through a number of different mediums including dedicated broadcasts, Internet exposure, print, media and peripheral TV. On average, the eight major sponsors of the Panthers saw an average increase of 98 per cent in media value during the 2014 NRL season compared to 2013.

A pleasing result for Panthers’ major sponsor OAK was that 68 per cent of Panthers fans were able to recall that OAK was the club’s Major Sponsor. The Panthers recorded a cumulative TV Audience across the 2014 NRL season of 8,231,009. This gave major sponsors a large audience base across Australia and New Zealand during broadcast games on Channel 9 and Fox Sports. At Sportingbet Stadium Penrith, the Panthers had 137,639 people through the gates at 11 home games in Season 2014, up 11 per cent on 2013.


35 the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

36

FOOTBALL

Socceroos shine and belief is restored PEACOCK’S POINT ADAM PEACOCK

FOX SPORTS is the only place to watch every game of the AFC Asian Cup LIVE with comprehensive pre and post-match coverage

“That’s my constant battle of trying to get some sort of understanding that the only ceiling we have is whatever we put ourselves. There’s something in the DNA of an Australian footballer that he will accept any challenge you throw at him. That’s not necessarily the case with other nationalities. There’s always some sort of baggage. But not with an Australian footballer; you’ve got to give him the tools, got to give him the belief and the understanding about how we try to play football like that”. Those are the words of Ange Postecoglou, months after our World Cup adventure ended in three defeats to Chile, Holland and Spain. But the signs were there. And after so long finding it hard to be certain about the Socceroos and where they are headed, this seems different. Two wins over Kuwait and Oman and the buzz is well and truly back. Yes, yes, yes. It’s Kuwait and Oman. Ask the general Australian sports fan about their respective prowess as football nations, and blank stares is what you can expect in return.

They are not Spain, Chile, nor the Netherlands. But they have been dispatched in a manner we might perhaps expect, but also in a way that has us excited about what this team might be able to accomplish. Of course the issues of depth don’t go away quickly. Regeneration starts five to 10 years in advance, and the 15 to 16-yearold’s coming through now are the ones that will take us into the next decade. Australian football’s problem is what happened 10 years ago, by sweeping aside the NSL for the A-League. A generation of lost boys was created – missing 18 months of professional football when they needed it most. We are almost through that period, and a major part of Postecoglou’s remit is to build depth as best he can. Not easy when it is barely there in the first place. Massimo Luongo looks a gem. Trent Sainsbury and Matthew Spiranovic at the back. James Troisi, Matt Leckie, Nathan Burns adding options in the final third. Tomi Juric caught the eye of Holger Osieck, the previous coach. All the chopping and changing in the six

months since the World Cup look to have given the Socceroos an edge. Postecoglou got a look at 43 players in his tenure, choosing the best 23 for this tournament. How he worked that out with such minimal time spent with them in week, sometimes day-long camps before friendlies only he can explain. Early indications are his eye and instinct are in good order. A reality check might be on the horizon. Or not. South Korea on Saturday for top spot in the group – vital to avoid a potential semi-final with Japan, and to ensure a semi-final in front of 80,000 in Sydney on Australia Day. Once the knockout stages arrive it will be a vastly different proposition to Kuwait and Oman. Fine details will be the margin between success and failure. But we are excited again. We look forward to the next Socceroos match with anticipation not trepidation. As Ange alluded to in those months between the World Cup and Asian Cup – the players need belief. They have it, and we as fans are getting it again. It can only be a good thing.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

2015 Registration Days Under 6 – A Grade 10 am- 2 pm 31 January – Henry Sports Club 7 February – Amart Sports Penrith 14 February – Henry Sports Club

CRICKET: Penrith have now won two straight after they defeated Eastern Suburbs in Round 8 of the Sydney Grade Cricket competition. Playing in a One Day match at Howell Oval, Eastern Suburbs batted first scoring 151. Penrith’s Pat Jackson was the pick of the bowlers with 3/38. When Penrith hit the crease in the afternoon, it only took them 43.4 overs to reach 6/152. Matt Hopkins was best with the bat scoring 50. Penrith have now moved to fifth position and will play FairfieldLiverpool this Saturday.

CRICKET: Penrith fast bowler Pat Cummins has been named in the Australian squad for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which begins in Australia and New Zealand in February. It’s fantastic news for the 21-year-old local who’s been battling injuries for most of his short career.

Under 6, 7 and 8 players registration only $60.00 inc shorts, socks & polo shirt All new players require original birth certificate plus photocopy Non refundable $25.00 deposit required upon registration Enquiries: Kim Wheatley – Registrar 0417 268 286 kimwheatley2@optusnet.com.au Coaches still needed for Under 6, 8 & 17 A Grade Training commences – 27 January 2014 – 6.30 pm U/19 Training commences – 28 January 2014 – 6.00 pm at Allsopp Oval

WW15204

AFL: The Penrith Rams have announced their coaching line-up ahead up the 2015 Sydney AFL competition which begins in April. Head coach Barry Denton will once again look after Penrith’s first grade squad after what was a disastrous 2014 season with injuries. John Rix will return to coach the Rams’ reserve grade side. After a terrific season with the Ramettes, Jason Bradley is back coaching the high flying ladies team while Anthony Hyland has been named

U19’s coach for the first time.

BASKETBALL: The Penrith Panthers men’s Waratah Championship League side will play their first trial game of the season this Saturday in Terrigal. They’ll take on the Central Coast Crusaders at 12.30pm. Meanwhile, the Panthers side will return on Sunday, January 18 to Mt Druitt to play the Western Sydney Basketball Association (WSBA) All Star Select team in a fundraising match to raise money for the WSBA’s trip to the Philippines to compete in the 2015 Global Goodwill Games. That game tips off at 11am at Kevin Betts Stadium.

PADDLING: Leonay canoe slalom champion Jessica Fox is back in the water, competing at the Australian Slalom National Championships in Victoria over the weekend. Fox admits that 2015 is an “important season” with the Olympic Games less than two years away. “We have got London world champs this year and the World Cup season which I am hoping I can do all of the races there and would obviously like to defend the title in London,” she said. With Rio in the back of every athlete’s mind Fox is looking forward to hopefully defending her K1 and C1 titles at the U23 World Championships in Brazil. “It will be good to get to Brazil and see what it is like as I have never been to South America before,” she said.


37

FOOTBALL

NATHAN TAYLOR

Have a fresh NU LOOK this

@natetaylor87

W

ith their rough season about to get even more challenging, with the start of the AFC Champions League around the corner, the Western Sydney Wanderers have made a number of new signings to help ease demand on the playing squad. This week the Wanderers announced the signing of young gun Kerem Bulut and former Newcastle Jet Sam Gallaway for the upcoming AFC Champions League tournament which kicks off at the end of February. 22-year-old Bulut is a fast and skilful striker who made his name for Australia with nine goals in 11 matches for the Australian U19 team that came runnersup at the 2010 AFC U19 Asian Cup before going on to score in the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2011. Gallaway, 22, a Coffs Harbour junior and product of the Australian Institute of Sport, will join the Wanderers following four seasons with Newcastle. A strong and competitive left back with a great work ethic, Gallaway is tipped to be one of the key players for the Wanderers as they defend their Asian Champions League crown. Meanwhile, on the back of the success that was Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono, the Wanderers have signed another Japanese international in Yojiro Taka-

the western weekender » Friday 16 January 2015

Depth for Wanderers

Sam Gallaway has joined the Western Sydney Wanderers hagi for the upcoming ACL campaign. With over 250 appearances for J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima, including winning back to back J-1 titles in 2012 and 2013, Takahagi is set to bring a touch of class and excitement to Western Sydney’s front third. “Takahagi is a very experienced and talented attacking player who has the versatility to play in a number of positions in the front third,” Wanderers CEO, John Tsatsimas said. “With caps for Japan, plenty of ACL experience and at 28-years-old, we have found a player that is hungry for more success, something as a club we are all striving for.” All three signings are only eligible for the 2015 ACL campaign.

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Friday 16 January 2015 « the western weekender

38

RUGBY LEAGUE

Soward puts focus on long season ahead NATHAN TAYLOR

H

@natetaylor87

e may have had a chance of playing in the Auckland Nines, if he wasn’t recovering from ankle surgery, and he’ll likely be selected as an Indigenous All Star this coming Monday, but star five-eighth Jamie Soward has only one focus on his mind – that’s keeping the Panthers on top this season. The 30-year-old premiership winner will enter his second season at the foot of the Mountains this year after putting the club on his back in 2014 and guiding them all the way to the grand final qualifier. No one saw Soward’s career resurgence coming last year but now everyone’s expecting big things from the pint-sized number six. Soward’s services are in high demand this pre-season too with the Auckland Nines and NRL All Stars game on the agenda as well as NRL trials, which begin next month. However to ease stress on his body, the former Dragons playmaker has already ruled himself out of the New Zealand novelty and may reconsider an appear-

ance at the All Stars, if his ankle isn’t right. “We’ve just got back out of the festive season and I’m more or less trying to get the body ready for a long season ahead,” Soward told the Weekender. “It’s only getting longer with all the stuff in the pre-season, you’ve got to be ready to go, so you’ve got to share it around and you can’t play everything. “If I’m selected for All Stars, I’m sure there’ll be a decision to be made but we’ve got a couple of trials to get ready for too.” Soward’s sole focus on the Panthers will be welcome news for fans and coach Ivan Cleary, who will no doubt want their best players fit for the start of the season proper. With so many players undergoing offseason surgery to be ready for Penrith’s March 8 clash against the Bulldogs, the Panthers could be fielding a side full of youngsters in Auckland later this month. “As fans saw last year we had a lot of injuries, a lot of guys are coming off surgery and have a lot of hard work to do to make sure they’re ready to go,” Soward said. “We’re pretty lucky at the moment, we’ve got a lot of outside backs that could easily go over there and play in the Nines and compete at a high level.”

Jamie Soward after training last Tuesday. Photo: Melinda Jane

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Brothers set to star in 2015 George and Robert Jennings expected to make NRL debuts this season NATHAN TAYLOR

second-rower Lewis Brown agreed, saying the Jennings brothers have big futures ahead of them. “The Jennings boys are naturally gifted, so are guys like Isaah Yeo and Tyrone Peachey, who aren’t young guys anymore but are definitely impressing,” Soward said. “Both the Jennings boys are very big specimens and have big careers ahead of them. The young hooker from Souths, Api [Koroisau], and also the likes of Tupou [Sopoaga] from the Sharks have really impressed me as well,” Brown added. It was a rough 2014 for George Jennings who was ruled out for the season after injuring his elbow in the Auckland Nines, however younger brother Robert’s season was much more impressive after he surprisingly debuted in the NSW Cup without having played a single game of Under 20’s. Both talents, who can play fullback, wing and centre, signed new deals last year and will remain with the Panthers for many years to come. At training last week, Panthers players also mentioned the emergence of impressive young centre Waqa Blake.

@natetaylor87

W

hen their brother Michael was a star for Penrith, George and Robert Jennings were just a couple of high school kids playing footy with their mates. Now, they could be following in their older brother’s footsteps by starring for the Panthers in first grade this year. Both boys, who each have the potential to be better than their State of Origin representative brother when it’s all said and done, have been training with Penrith’s first grade squad during the warm NRL pre-season. 21-year-old George and 19-year-old Robert have been so impressive training amongst the ‘big boys’ that their more experienced teammates strongly believe a first grade berth is 100 per cent on the horizon. “Both the Jennings boys are outstanding talents… they are incredibly talented and I definitely think you’ll see them in the NRL,” said Bryce Cartwright, who made his NRL debut in 2014. Panthers five-eighth Jamie Soward and

George and Robert Jennings on the training paddock

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Mr Burrell is hoping fans catch on to the move as well with the Bears’ 2015 AIHL campaign set to get underway on Sunday, April 26 when they take on the Adelaide Adrenaline at Penrith Ice Palace from 5pm. “The feedback [on the move] was better than I thought, a lot of our fans come from Penrith as do some of our players,” he said. “I think we may lose some fans [who aren’t willing to travel] but the ones we do lose, I think we’ll pick up from the local area anyway. “I strongly believe once people see a game live, they’ll fall in love with it.” It was a rough, old season for the Bears last year with injuries to key import players responsible for their downfall. The club won just six games all year but Mr Burrell has promised a much better effort from his group this season. “We have a few big imports joining us this year, which we are finalising at the moment,” he said. “Imports are a huge part of how any team goes but last year our import goalie got injured and also our leading scorer. When you lose half of your imports, no team can come back from that.”

@natetaylor87

T

he local ice hockey community will soon have another team to cheer for after the Sydney Bears of the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) announced they’ll move from Sydney Ice Arena in Baulkham Hills to Penrith Ice Palace for the upcoming season. The Bears, who finished a disappointing last in season 2014, will be hoping their new home in Jamisontown will be a lucky charm. After all, the last time the Bears took out the AIHL title – Goodall Cup – was back in 2007 when they were also tenants of Penrith Ice Palace. Speaking with the Weekender, Sydney Bears Vice President, Matthew Burrell, said he was very excited that Penrith will once again be home to the country’s highest level of competition ice hockey. “Our three-year agreement with Sydney Ice Arena was up, we had a few offers on the table but the offer from Penrith was the best and we’re excited to head out there,” he said. “A lot of players come from Penrith as well and, longer term, I think it’s the better option for us.”

The Sydney Bears are coming to Penrith Penrith Ice Palace is set to be fairly cramped this year with the Bears now sharing facilities or “ice time” with other clubs including the Penrith Phantoms and the Flyers Ice Hockey Club. The Bears are also currently looking for local sponsors and supporters ahead of their return to Penrith. For more information on how to support the club, visit www.bearsden.com.au.

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