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weekender the western FRI 18 APR 2014 • Issue 1149

Printed on 100% recycled paper

Will their house rule?


Happy Easter

Have a great long weekend!

Come fly with me Badgerys Creek gets green light but not everyone’s smiling CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



Our reality TV stars p.26

Council gets on its bike p.23

Premier resigns 2015 election becomes a true fight p.4

Does your child suffer D

GROWING PAINS? Cal ls U s For Hel p

St Clair resident Mark O’Connor is against Badgerys Creek Airport. Photo: Melinda Jane

■ Do they wake at night with pain in feet and legs? ■ Do they feel sore and tired after activity? ■ Does your child seem to trip and fall more than others? Many times Parents are told by well-meaning professionals- “They will grow out of it” or “come back when they are older”. Growing pains can be a result of poor foot or leg posture. The pain maybe a result of the way your child walks or runs. There are often answers to these complex problems that can provide relief to the pain your child is suffering.

We W e have appeared as foot health experts in

Penrith 4732 2007 St Marys 9673 2987

A Step Ahead



total of $2.9 billion in new roads infrastructure and 60,000 jobs is not enough to win over St Clair resident Mark O’Connor. Mr O’Connor said he felt “seriously let down” that the Federal Government had chosen Badgerys Creek for Sydney’s second airport. Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed on Tuesday that Badgerys Creek would be the airport’s location and the following day made a commitment to spending $2.9 billion over the next eight years to provide supporting roads infrastructure. “It will be a major catalyst for investment, jobs growth and tourism in the region for decades to come,” Mr Abbott said. “Although the western Sydney airport will not be fully operational for a decade, planning for the new airport will start immediately and construction should start in 2016.” And as a sweetener, the Federal Government will provide upgrades to Elizabeth Drive, Bringelly Road and the Northern Road, whilst also ensuring a rail corridor to access the airport is preserved. “These are vital pieces of road infrastructure and what they mean is that the announcement... is not just an announcement about an airport; it is an announcement about jobs and infrastructure for western Sydney,” Mr Abbott said. “The Government recognises the need for genuine consultation on this important issue.” But Mr O’Connor said his concerns have been falling on deaf ears, and is totally against the Badgerys Creek plan. Story continues on » p. 5

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Hoping for a miracle discovery


Penrith man called in to help look for missing Malaysia Airlines jet CASSANDRA O’CONNOR

he search for missing flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 has been arduous, emotional and exhausting but one local State Emergency Services (SES) volunteer was prepared and willing to help. John Vickers, operations officer for Penrith SES, received a call on Friday, April 4, asking if he would be willing to help the search efforts in Perth, Western Australia. With skills as an air observer for the SES and a former military man, he flew to Perth on Sunday, April 6 and for the next three days was on standby to help the search effort. “On the Monday we didn’t go out to the search area as the conditions were not great, but on Tuesday we were flown out on a global express jet with Western Australian SES air observers and an Australian Maritime Safety Authority team leader,” he said. “On the Wednesday I was with Victorian SES members and we were on a New Zealand Golf Stream jet. “We had been briefed on what to look for; life jackets, debris, dinghys, rafts, oil slicks, plane seats. “We were flying at about 1,000 feet and

doing what we called ‘legs’, stretches of about 100 kilometres. It would take us about 30 minutes, then we would turn around – which was our three minute break and we would often change seats – and then fly back again a little further over.” Even though the planes were comfortable, acting as an observer is incredibly strenuous work according to Mr Vickers. “There’s three of you on each side and your eyes do become very tired constantly looking at the ocean, and because you are flying low to the ground you need to have your life jacket on,” Mr Vickers said. “Occasionally you might spot something that you get the others to look at but we didn’t find anything. “On the first day of searching we only saw a few buoys and search ships and on the second day the same.” Just getting to the search area was itself a tiring journey as it would take between two and three hours to fly to the search area located 2,000km from the Perth coast, before spending the next five hours searching for signs of the missing plane. After flying back to Sydney on Thursday, April 10, Mr Vickers said that the search was certainly an interesting experience. “I’ve been with the SES for 16 years and I have helped out with many different

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John Vickers (far left) with fellow SES air observers events... this was certainly interesting though,” he said. Mr Vickers has helped with numerous flood rescue efforts all over the country

including coordinating helicopters in the floods at Grafton and in Queensland. He also assisted with the severe hail storms that hit in NSW in 1999.

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender




O’Farrell’s reign corked as 2015 election becomes a true battle 6pm Connect Groups 7pm Service

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Ross Fowler North Ward Penrith City Councillor

0419 738 484 Authorised by Ross Fowler, 11 Tindale Street, Penrith


The shock resignation of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on Wednesday is at first glance a blessing for Opposition Leader John Robertson and the Labor Party. Just three years after being batted into oblivion by the electorate, Labor is suddenly back in the picture and much of it comes down to a single bottle of wine. A bloody expensive bottle of wine, but a bottle of wine nonetheless. There seems no doubt that this whole saga has a few twists and turns yet to play out, but on face value, I do feel a little sorry for Mr O’Farrell. I’ve met him probably four or five times and had a couple of long, one-on-one conversations and always felt he was a legitimate, hard working and sincere person. When he became Premier three years ago it was on the back of a range of Labor Party scandals and dramas that the public had simply had enough of, and it seemed that Mr O’Farrell was, in some ways, the shining light. It was never going to be easy and Mr O’Farrell certainly didn’t get it right all the time, but riding the wave of a first term government has always been one of the more difficult, perhaps underrated challenges in politics. In the end, rules are rules and on Wednesday Mr O’Farrell realised the game was up. Whether or not the line he’s sticking to about his memory lapse over the $3,000 bottle of wine is true or not will be a matter for the court of public opinion in the coming days and weeks. The next big question will be who takes over as Premier and most in the know expect that person to be Mike Baird. Some would say this gives the Liberals a clean slate and the honeymoon period will be enough to get them over the line at the election. But did the slate really need cleaning? I can’t see anyone winning out of this other

the western weekender Suite 2, 42-44 Abel Street, Penrith NSW 2750 P (02) 4722 2998 • F (02) 4731 6255

TROY DODDS @troydodds

than John Robertson and Labor, who will now feel they have a legitimate chance of winning next year’s election, a thought that would have had you sent to the nearest loony bin just a few short days ago. Given Mr O’Farrell’s departure is not the result of a long-standing controversy and came so quickly, there’s no built-up public anger, which could benefit the Liberals during their re-build. But it will also allow Mr Robertson to take a whole new platform to the election, one that could see him become Premier around this time next year.

Much of it comes down to a single bottle of wine

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Take off for Badgerys Penrith Council still has concerns over airport plan Story continued from Âť p. 1

Phone: (02) 9833 2913 Address: Shop 1/159 Queen St, St Marys 2760 Email: Mail: PO Box 138, St Marys NSW 1790


Tony Abbott and Fiona Scott “Council looks forward to the improvements to infrastructure,� Mayor Ross Fowler said. “Council still has concerns about the environmental and social impact that the airport will bring and will consult with its community to obtain the best results for its city,� he added. Tony Abbott: Page six


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“In the last two years we have heard nothing. When the Federal Government got elected the issue reared its head again,� Mr O’Connor said. “I am strongly opposed to the airport and we do need the roads infrastructure, but this will reflect poorly on the Federal Government.� Mr O’Connor’s concerns are echoed by former federal Lindsay MP Jackie Kelly and the Western Sydney Conservation Alliance. Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs will be working with NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay to deliver the airport infrastructure package. Speaking exclusively to the Weekender, Mr Briggs said that the Federal Government in an unusual move had decided to fund the majority of roads upgrades required for the airport. “We have decided to fund 80 per cent of the roads with 20 per cent from the NSW Government. Bringelly Road is quite close to tender already and Elizabeth Drive and The Northern Road are a bit further behind,� he said. “We are going to get cracking on the roads and, of the $1.2 billion over the next

four years, we are hoping to spend some of that this year.� In defending claims that residents had not been consulted on the location of the airport, Mr Briggs said a “decision was made rightly or wrongly� on Badgerys Creek and that the government would be pushing ahead with its development. “I think there will always be people who say they should have been spoken to more or consulted,� he said. Mr Briggs added that residents would have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns during the planning process at a state and federal level. Lindsay MP Fiona Scott addressed Glenmore Park Residents Group on Tuesday evening and admitted there was opposition to the airport. “There were the usual characters and some people were opposed, but I had a few bail me up afterwards saying how excited they were by the announcement,� she said. A Penrith Council opinion survey conducted earlier this year indicated that while 52.2 per cent of local residents are in favour of an airport at Badgerys Creek, 47.8 per cent either oppose it or don’t have an opinion. Currently, Penrith Council’s formal stance on Badgerys Creek is to oppose the airport.

Tanya Davies MP Member for Mulgoa a


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

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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Airport will change the west for the better TONY ABBOTT Prime Minister

Western Sydney is getting the jobs, the roads and the airport that it deserves

For 50 years, there’s been talk about an airport at Badgerys Creek. The talk is over. The decision has been made. Western Sydney is getting the jobs, the roads and the airport that it deserves. One in 11 Australians live in western Sydney. Over the next 20 years, its population is expected to increase by 50 per cent from two million to three million. Western Sydney needs a major airport and is big enough to sustain one. The new airport in Badgerys Creek will generate 4,000 new jobs during construction. The airport development is expected to create 35,000 jobs by 2035, increasing to 60,000 jobs by 2060. Around the world, we have seen that once airports are built, other businesses seek to locate themselves near the airport. Transport providers, logistics companies, parcel services, caterers, hotels and businesses needing access to the airport tend to locate themselves in the vicinity. Currently over 200,000 people in western Sydney have to leave the region for work every day. By creating more jobs in western Sydney pressure is reduced on the entire Sydney road system.

The typical western Sydney worker drives 18 kilometres to work, compared to just eight kilometres in some other regions in Sydney. The 1,700 hectares put aside for the airport site and the 10,000 hectares zoned for commercial and industrial development should become an economic lung for western Sydney – with more jobs closer to home. This is the largest project ever undertaken in western Sydney, with the new airport expected to see its first flight in the mid-2020s. Building a new airport means major road and transport upgrades in western Sydney. The Government has already committed $1.5 billion towards WestConnex and is backing the airport with major road commitments to be announced in coming days. Roads and transport links must be ready and operating long before the airport is complete. Roads first; airport second is the approach we will take. The people of western Sydney are smarting from Bob Carr’s failed policies that saw population first; roads second. We will get the roads

completed first so that the airport is a success from day one. Building better infrastructure is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy that will deliver a strong and prosperous economy. In western Sydney, this will mean bulldozers on the ground and cranes in the air to build the airport, transport infrastructure and roads of the 21st century. Thousands of people will be involved in the construction of the terminals, car parks and runway as well as the roads and transport linkages that will lead to the site – and tens of thousands more will be employed once the airport is up and running. Planning and design work will get underway almost immediately. Construction should begin in 2016. I will work closely with the state government to ensure that western Sydney gets the modern infrastructure that creates jobs, improves productivity and keeps people out of traffic jams. A new airport in western Sydney with supporting infrastructure will make life better in Sydney and make the economy stronger.

Dear Penrith, We’re pleased to announce that the new Westpac Penrith branch is now open. Our new open-plan layout is designed to make banking more convenient, more helpful, more welcoming and, well, more open. We’ve also installed 24/7 self service banking facilities, so you’ll be able to:

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

• Deposit cash and cheques safely, anytime

a new way of banking in Penrith © Copyright 2014 Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.

• Receive cheque deposit details printed on the back of your receipt • Get change whenever you need it • Access our Night Safe for ease of depositing your days takings So why not come down and take a look at the future of banking? We’re open. Yours Sincerely, Sashi Reddy Bank Manager, Westpac Penrith. Experience the new Penrith branch. Borec House Cnr Henry & Station Sts, Penrith, NSW, 2751



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Police snapshot Multiple injuries after trail bike accident at St Marys

Police are on the hunt for two men who robbed and assaulted a pair of fishermen before taking off in one of the victim’s cars last week. At about 11.30pm on Wednesday, April 9, two men from Werrington County attended the Nepean River, off Devlin Road at Castlereagh to fish. At about 1am, the men heard a voice behind them enquiring about the fishing the men were doing. The unknown men both produced knives, pointing them at the fishermen and demanded they hand over their property. The men took the fishermen’s money, phones and the keys to the car they arrived at the location in. One of the victims was punched in the face before the offenders left the scene, stealing the green Ford Falcon. The car was later found and seized for forensic testing.

A man injured whilst trail biking in bushland near St Marys had to be rescued by 4WD after neither car nor helicopter could make it to the scene. Earlier this month, the man was riding in bushland with two friends, when he was involved in an incident and came off his bike. The men were trail bike riding in bushland kilometres from sealed roads, only accessible by bike. Ambulance officers were unable to access the man and called on air support however, the helicopter was not able to land as the ground was too wet from recent rainfall. Eventually, ambulance paramedics were able to gain access to the man by 4WD. The man was treated with spinal precautions and diagnosed with a fractured leg and shoulder.

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Drugs seized after police spot questionable duo in car park

Police investigating after suspicious unit fire

While conducting patrols of Jamisontown, police had cause to speak to two men sitting in a parked car and discovered one man was in the possession of cannabis. At about 5.30pm on Friday, April 11, there were two men sitting in a car parked in a Jamisontown car park. Police approached the people and observed one of the men using scissors to cut up what police allege to be cannabis. The vehicle and both persons were subsequently searched. Approximately three grams of cannabis was located. The 26-year-old male, who was in possession of the illegal drug, was issued with a cannabis caution and the drugs were seized.

A unit complex in Penrith had to be evacuated following a suspicious basement fire. Around 6am on Monday, April 14, two people attended a car park in the basement of a Haynes Street apartment building. While there they noticed a small fire but were unable to extinguish it and contacted emergency services. The unit complex was evacuated and one resident was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished and the scene was examined. Police believe the fire has been deliberately lit, with an unknown cause. Enquiries into the cause of the fire are still continuing. Contact police with any information.

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Late night fishermen robbed and assaulted at Castlereagh


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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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Yes, there’s an election coming Political bickering begins as Labor points finger at Government over health issues

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tate Opposition Leader John Robertson has met with local Labor candidates at Nepean Hospital to raise concerns about staffing levels and hospital charges. Among his greatest concerns is that the State Government has cut funding for hospitals by $3 billion. “They have been spending on bits and pieces but there are not enough staff to provide the standard of service expected by western Sydney families,� he said. “This government has cut $3 billion from staffing and that's having a direct impact on hospitals like Nepean. They can say what they like but the labour expense cap is creating staffing pressures.� Mr Robertson said that after speaking to hospital staff, departments such as birthing and midwifery are really feeling the staffing pressures. Londonderry Labor candidate, Prue Car, said that emergency is also feeling the pressure. “Penrith is a growing region and people expect services such as health to grow too,� she said. “The pressure on Nepean emergency is not because people are turning up with minor ailments. It’s because the State

Todd Carney, Emma Husar, John Robertson, Greg Chidgey, Prue Car and Allanah Anson Government has cut $3 billion from the system and this means less staff dealing with more patients.� Allanah Anson, executive member of the


s Lot 3139 DP 1168995 (Lot 3139) Sinclair Parade, Jordan Springs

The following development applications have been received by Council: s Property Innovations Group


2 Braddon Street, Oxley Park Residential – demolition of existing structures and construction of a multi-unit housing development (5 x attic style villas) with associated car parking, landscaping and drainage works Contact: Aaron Howard on 4732 7774 Closing Date: 5 May 2014 s Baini Design


172 Canberra Street, St Marys Residential – demolition of existing structures and construction of a multi-unit housing development (5 x attic style villas) with associated car parking, landscaping and drainage works Contact: Mahbub Alam on 4732 7693

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT Penrith City Council has received a Development Application in respect of the subject property. The consent authority for the development application is Penrith City Council.

203 residential lots, public road and associated civil construction works The proposal is an Integrated Development. The application seeks approval from the NSW Rural Fire Service – 2URAL&IRES!CTandDepartment of Planning – 7ATER-ANAGEMENT!CT Section 89, 90 & 91. The Development Application referred to in this notice and supporting documentation accompanying the subject application may be inspected at the locations listed below at any time during ordinary ofďŹ ce hours, in the period from 21 April 2014 to 20 May 2014. Any person may, during the exhibition period, make a submission in writing to Penrith City Council, in relation to the Development Application. Where a submission is made by way of an objection, the grounds of objection are to be speciďŹ ed in the submission. The submission is to include Council’s reference number DA14/0369. For any queries relating to the proposal, please contact Aimee Lee on 4732 7429.

Closing Date: 5 May 2014

s Maryland Development Company Pty Ltd

Police Association NSW and Penrith Valley Community Unions said that the hospital staff shortage is having a direct impact on police too.


Penrith City Council has received a Development Application in respect of the subject property. The consent authority for the Development Application is the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) for the Sydney Metro West Region in accordance with Section 23G of the %NVIRONMENTAL0LANNINGAND!SSESSMENT!CT  s C I D Group Pty Ltd


Lot 3991 DP 1190132, Lot 3990 DP 1190132, Lot 3989 DP 1190132 (Lot 3991) Jordan Springs Boulevard, Jordan Springs

“When we come down here and experience delays, our cars are off the roads when we should be out in the community,� she said. “Particularly when Justice Health cannot take prisoners, police are left baby-sitting prisoners that need medical attention... this has happened at Amber Laurel in Emu Plains.� Labor candidate for Mulgoa, Todd Carney, said an unconfirmed plan by the Federal Government to introduce a $36 fee for patients visiting emergency wards would be terrible for families. “Tony Abbott never said a word before the election about charging people to visit the doctor or go to Nepean Hospital. We don't want to live in a country where the credit card replaces the medicare card,� Mr Carney said. State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, defended the criticisms made by the Opposition. “We've invested a record $619 million in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District this year – an increase of 5.3 per cent, one of the biggest boosts in the state,� he said. “Nepean Hospital’s budget has increased by $15.6 million this year to $364 million – a jump of 4.5 per cent – and will continue to grow.�

Proposed mixed-use development – construction of a community title subdivision development including attached and detached housing (69 dwellings), mixeduse residential at buildings (160 units) with ground oor commercial/retail tenancies and associated road construction, car parking, landscaping, drainage works and earthworks The proposal is Nominated Integrated Development. The application seeks approval from the Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Rural Fire Service – 2URAL &IRES!CT and NSW OfďŹ ce of Water – 7ATER -ANAGEMENT!CT The Development Application referred to in this notice and supporting documentation accompanying the subject application may be inspected at the locations listed below at any time during ordinary ofďŹ ce hours, in the period from 7 April 2014 to 12 May 2014. Any person may, during the exhibition period, make a submission in writing to Penrith City Council, in relation to the Development Application. Where a submission is made by way of an objection, the grounds of objection are to be speciďŹ ed in the submission. The submission is to include Council’s reference number DA14/0294. For any queries relating to the proposal, please contact Kate Smith on 4732 7705. 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 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. OfďŹ cers of Council’s Development Services Department will be able to assist with your enquiries. WW8531


   In developing the Our River Masterplan during 2013 better management of vegetation along the Nepean River corridor and improved amenity were identified as priorities for our community. Specialist ecological consultants are now working with Council and the community to prepare a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) and to update the existing Plans of Management (POM) for the Nepean River in Penrith. • Do you want to help improve and maintain the natural landscape of the river area?

CONTACT US 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:

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 28 April 2014 – 7.30pm (Ordinary meeting) 12 May 2014 – 7pm (Policy Review Committee)

• Do you want to learn more about how vegetation can be managed along the Nepean River corridor?

  A workshop will be held at Council 6-8pm Wednesday 7 May 2014 to discuss what a VMP is and why we need one; how vegetation within the river corridor can be managed to achieve a healthy river and improved amenity and get feedback to help prioritise actions.

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We’ll also provide an update on the Our River project and explain the importance of community support to protect the Nepean River environment. RSVP for the workshop to Victoria Patterson by Wednesday 30 April on 4732 7642 or email

COUNCIL BRIEFS s Penrith City Council is giving lucky students the opportunity to be Junior Mayor or Junior Councillors, learn how the Council works and take part in a mock Council meeting as part of Local Government Week 2014. To enter the competition, students need to imagine they are Mayor and outline two things they would do to make the City of Penrith a better place to live. Entries must fit on one A4 piece of paper, or be an audio visual file. Entries can be a story, poem, artwork or comic strip. For more details on how to enter – go to s The inaugural Running Scared event will be held at the Sydney Regatta Centre on Friday, 2 and Saturday, 3 May 2014. Labelled as ‘Sydney’s First and Scariest 8km Night Obstacle Course’, Running Scared sees participants negotiating more than 15 challenging and fear-invoking obstacles – while zombies, werewolves and other denizens of the night follow in hot pursuit. To register for the event, either as a single participant or as a team, go to Registration closes Friday, 25 April 2014. s Quad bikes equipped with video cameras and GPS are currently roaming Penrith City’s footpaths and cycleways.Penrith Council has contracted a local company to survey every path in the City. The exercise will allow Council to make the best decisions in regards to improving our 500km network of paths. The quad bikes are labelled and run by certified pavement inspectors.


The purpose of this EOI, issued by Penrith City Council, is to seek interest from private sector investors in providing investment in or partnering with the Consortium, to establish a commercially sustainable Penrith CBD based Smart Work Hub. A Smart Work Hub is a centre that allows an alternative place of work for either commuters or home/office workers. The aim of the centre is to bring jobs to the City, increase work/life balance by reducing travel times for commuters. The centre may provide

All imaging is focused on path surfaces and there will be no recording of private property, commercial or residential.

private offices, but generally provides an open plan, collaborative

For more information contact Council on 4732 7584.

capability to support remote working away from an employee’s

s Want to have some fun, while helping to protect your local environment? Bushcare is open to all ages and no experience is required. For more information contact Council on 4732 8088 or email

work space, with meeting rooms, phone and video conferencing

normal place of work. EOI Documents An electronic version of the tender is available at no charge by contacting Russell Cook by email at


Submission Details:

Smart Telework Hub Pilot

All submissions are required to be lodged electronically on the forms provided in accordance with the lodgement instructions contained in the Documents and must be lodged no later than 5pm Monday, 5 May 2014, via email to the above contact officer. Responses received after the advertised closing time may not be considered.


Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

Penrith City Council has submitted an application as the lead in a Penrith Consortium, consisting of Penrith City Council, the Penrith Business Alliance, Penrith CBD Corporation, and the Penrith Valley Business Enterprise Centre to the NSW Department of Trade, Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services for a grant to establish and operate a Smart Telework Hub(s) pilot.


10 Changes could prevent future serious crashes


Scott gives exporting scheme thumbs up

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Penrith Councillor Tricia Hitchen on Castlereagh Road. Photo: Melinda Jane CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



vertaking will no longer be allowed on one of the most dangerous sections of Castlereagh Road at Cranebrook after residents complained that dangerous accidents were occurring due to speeding and overtaking drivers. Penrith Councillor Tricia Hitchen and Londonderry MP Bart Bassett made representations to the Roads and Maritime Services to have overtaking limited after numerous residents complained about the dangerous bend near Chapel Lane.

“Quite a few residents said that there had been dangerous accidents and incidents where slower vehicles have been travelling along Castlereagh Road and a vehicle has tried to overtake on the bend, but has nearly resulted in a collision with an oncoming vehicle,” Cr Hitchen explained. The RMS has agreed to change the signage on Castlereagh Road. From Church Lane travelling south on Castlereagh Road there will be double lines for 400m to indicate no overtaking and for 50m from Church Lane stretching northwards. She said that Penrith Council was also working to remove trees at the intersection of Church Lane to improve visibility.

ederal Lindsay MP Fiona Scott has welcomed the Coalition’s initiative to support small and medium businesses reach their export potential with a $50 million boost to the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme. The EMDG scheme is a Federal Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. “These grants assist small and medium businesses gain a foothold in new export markets, ensuring they can become selfsustaining exporters,” Ms Scott said. Concept Paints in St Marys specialises in the manufacture of automotive, industrial and ancillary paint products and received funding through the EMDG scheme previously. Managing Director Joseph Kaltoum said that with Federal Government assistance the company has entered a number of foreign markets including America, Canada, South America, the Middle East, the South Pacific and New Zealand, which has allowed them to increase their business by 26 per cent. “Our primary competitors are multinational companies, who have far bigger budgets to allocate to marketing, exporting and driving sales,” Mr Kaltoum said.

City of Penrith RSL Sub-Branch

“We’re a relatively medium sized business, to export a product overseas is not simply a matter of one or two meetings but rather almost a two year pipeline of regular meetings, supplying and shipping of samples. “Because of our expansion into export markets our business has doubled its number of employees.” Ms Scott encouraged other businesses to look at the EMDG scheme. “It is all about working together to find those new areas and industries where local businesses can enter into the export market as that is how Australia will remain competitive,” she said.

Mayor’s News


The weekly views of Penrith’s Mayor

Airport announced Now that a decision to build Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek has been made, we await more detailed plans. Council has made numerous calls for details on the range and scope of the airport to be released so that proper infrastructure planning can start. Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week announced more than $3 billion will be spent on roads in western Sydney to support the city’s second airport. Economic benefits and employment opportunities which undoubtedly result from the project overall, but they

ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE FRIDAY 25TH APRIL 2014 Commencing at 4.30am from Castlereagh St side of the RSL Club for a Silent March along High St to Memory Park, for the Service that commences at 5am, after the Service, returning to the RSL Club for breakfast.

must be enough to benefit the local community as well as the region and NSW. We want tangible prosperity for Penrith. We know that seven out of 10 local residents believe Penrith will be better off with the airport at Badgerys Creek. But any social and environmental impacts will need to be addressed. When we have more information, Council will be able to inform and engage further with our community.

ROSS FOWLER OAM Mayor of Penrith

Woman threatens to jump from roof

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

Joseph Kaltoum with Fiona Scott

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A woman threatening self harm sparked a major emergency response at Nepean Hospital last week. Emergency services officers, from NSW Ambulance, Police and Fire and Rescue, were required to work together to calm the patient threatening to jump from the roof of the local hospital at Kingswood. At about 5pm on Thursday, April 10, emergency services teams from Penrith were called to the local hospital after

security officers had seen the woman on CCTV footage. There they found the young woman, who was a patient of the hospital at the time, standing on the roof and threatening self harm. With the help of police negotiators, the woman was rescued at about 8pm, bringing the drama to an end some three hours after it started. Lifeline: 13 11 14.

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender





Locals shun flu vaccine

Phoebe Donaldson, 22, hasn’t had the flu vaccine. “I don’t like needles, that’s one reason, and I guess I haven’t really heard all that much about it. My sister is studying to be a nurse so she had it and my mum is a teacher so she gets it too. It never really crossed my mind – in my line of work it isn’t important.”

Less than one in four aged 25 to 49 get annual flu shot

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ith this season’s flu virus tipped to be the worst we’ve seen yet, experts had expected a flood of people of all ages racing to get immunised. But instead, according to the Influenza Specialists Group (ISG), an Australian organisation made up of flu experts, more than half of young to middle aged adults have not had the vaccine, despite knowing it is one of the best ways to protect themselves from contracting the virus. The Western Weekender took to the streets of Penrith, chatting to people from the area and the Blue Mountains, to discover how the local people feel about the vaccine. Of all those we spoke to, from ages 22 to 60, we failed to find a single person who had received the vaccine this year. Most had the same story, that they hadn’t really considered the vaccine at all and didn’t mind taking the risk, but there were others who’d had a bad experience in previous years. 58-year-old Karen Colley, who we caught up with in High Street last week, hasn’t had the vaccine for years after having an adverse reaction, but expressed her

Struggling with the flu? concerns that the community doesn’t take the flu as seriously as it should. “The virus itself doesn’t seem as dangerous [to many people]. If they are administering a vaccine to prevent young people from getting serious contagious diseases, we tend to immunise, but as you get older you think ‘a bad case of the flu isn’t going to be as devastating’ which, of course I know isn’t true,” she said. ISG Chairman, Dr Alan Hampson, said influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness which can affect anyone, including the fit and healthy. “However there is a belief among young to middle-aged adult Australians, includ-

ing those who are at increased risk of complications, that they are at low risk of contracting the virus and that they don’t require vaccination,” Mr Hampson said. According to the organisation’s recent survey, only 24 per cent of people aged 35 to 49 get an annual flu shot, even though 95 per cent say they have experienced flulike symptoms. ISG says that many of those surveyed believed that the vaccine is only necessary for those in risk categories, a “worrying” finding. “There is clearly low overall awareness among young to middle-aged Australians about how to outsmart the flu,” said Professor Robert Booy, ISG board of directors member and vaccine and infectious diseases expert from Sydney. “When we’re talking about potentially life-threatening complications and 13,500 hospitalisations from the flu each year, understanding how to protect yourself against flu should be resonating far more strongly than it is.” Although reasons for not getting the vaccine vary, many of those who do get the vaccine get it because it is subsidised by their employer. For more information on the vaccines available, jump online and visit www.

Carolyn Lawson, 60, hasn’t had the vaccine “I haven’t really thought about it, to be quite honest. I have heard about it but I haven’t even considered it. I had it years and years ago and it made me really sick but perhaps times have changed.” Jason Girdham, 35, hasn’t had the vaccine “I don’t need it really. I have heard a lot about it, both good and bad things. My immune system is alright as it is.” James Hutchinson, 57, hasn’t had the vaccine “I cared for my mum for five years and I always used to tell her to take the vaccine, to go and get it, and she did. I told my dad too but men are more stubborn – like me!”

News in Numbers JOIN US

With two long weekends landing backto-back this fortnight, local employees are thrilled with their three public holidays in the space of just over a week however, they aren’t as thrilled as those who looked ahead in their calendar,

at ImagineNations Church TH I S E A STE R



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scoring an extended break. According to a recent survey, 14 per cent of young adults have booked annual leave for Tuesday, April 22, Wednesday, April

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23 and Thursday, April 24, effectively scoring 10 days out of the office without making so much as a dent in their accumulated annual leave hours. Hix Group, a local business offering a range of trade services, has allowed almost 20 per cent of their staff base to take the days off as annual leave. “We would have encouraged more only that we are extremely busy at present and will need the staff on board,” said owner Lea Hicks. “In effect it is a great way for the staff to have a good length break and charge their batteries but it is mostly our managers taking the time off.” The official public holidays during this period are today (April 18), April 21 and April 25.

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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On Sunday, April 13, the Luke Priddis Foundation held its annual Fitness for Autism at Jamison Park, attracting a healthy crowd for the 5km walk/run. The day was complemented by a number of family friendly activities afterwards, including face painting, a jumping castle, a free sausage sizzle (courtesy of Rotary) and two fire trucks from the local Regentville station adding to the spectacle. With April being World Autism Awareness Month, LPF Board Member and father of two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Andrew Ferguson, wanted to play his part and inspire his family by running a marathon from Parramatta Park to Jamison Park.

Andrew was joined along the way by Luke Priddis Foundation Ambassador and World Champion triathlete Andrea

5km effort

Forrest, as well as local teenager with ASD, Cameron Leader. Andrew crossed the finish line in a tick over three-and-a-half hours – an extraordinary feat from this modest and humble father from Cranebrook.


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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender




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Labor wants signs to slow down drivers


Prue Car and Walt Secord on Dunheved Road in Werrington













abor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car and Shadow Roads Minister Walt Secord have endorsed an innovative new way to stop motorists from speeding – without hurting the hip pocket. Visiting Dunheved Road at Werrington County last week, Cr Car said that residents were very concerned about speeding on the main thoroughfare. “Doorknocking residents in Werrington County and Werrington Downs, there have been a number of complaints about drivers speeding past the local shopping centre, making it difficult for those turning onto Dunheved Road,” she said. But rather than install a speed camera to deter motorists, Mr Secord and Cr Car would like to see solar-powered speed monitors trialled along the road.

The speed monitors show a driver their speed so that they are reminded to slow down. It would cost $5,300 to install. “The O’Farrell Government claims that it wants to change behaviour and would be happy if no one was fined. That’s why speed monitors are a great solution – they tell motorists if they are over the speed limit so they can respond immediately, instead of receiving a fine weeks later,” Mr Secord said. “They are being trialled in Leichhardt Council and have been successful and would be a good solution in Werrington too.” Cr Car called on the State Government to trial the speed monitors in Werrington County as soon as possible. “Everyone wants safer roads and the Government should be exploring different ways to make this happen,” she said. “Responsible motorists often just need a reminder to slow down.”


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air Trading Minister Stuart Ayres has congratulated the tradespeople of western Sydney after recent compliance checks in the region were vastly positive. “More than 120 building sites were inspected as part of Fair Trading’s Operation Nepean and the vast majority of plasterers, bricklayers, plumbers, concreters, electricians, carpenters,

tilers and painters were found to be doing the right thing,” Mr Ayres said. “This is an excellent result for western Sydney and signals to the marketplace that growth in the sector is being matched with regulatory compliance.” Under Operation Nepean, Fair Trading inspectors targeted non-compliance with home building and associated legislation and 270 tradespeople were interviewed on site. A total of only five breaches were detected, resulting in fines totalling $4,500.




Avoid a disaster this holiday period

Council to host summit on homelessness @cassandra_o


Your life could be saved by improving your quad bike safety equipment KATHERINE TWEED



ith the Easter long weekend in full swing and the ANZAC Day public holiday approaching, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is calling on the public to make safety their key aim when riding quad bikes this weekend. The call has come following a large number of quad bike deaths. There have already been five in Australia this year and 60 reported between 2011 and 2013. “Riding a quad bike can be a very

dangerous activity. All riders, no matter how experienced, need to take precautions to avoid serious injury or death,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard. A number of the recorded deaths, as well as a great many injuries have come following unsafe practices, including the lax use of helmets. “Riders are advised to wear protective gear at all times. This includes a helmet, long sleeves, long pants, boots or other sturdy shoes with a closed toe, and gloves,” Ms Rickard said. The ACCC also cautioned riders to ensure they are well schooled in how to use the vehicle and where to use it.

“We have this list of issues; disability after an accident, financial stress... if we can address the issues causing homelessness that will reduce the numbers,” he said. “It really seems like Leper colony sort of stuff, not to target these issues.” Cr Karen McKeown is Council’s representative on the Nepean Blacktown Regional Taskforce on Homelessness and said that the perception that homelessness primarily affects men is wrong. “I went to the launch of a report commissioned by the Mercy Foundation [on Monday] and it clearly shows that older women are also at great risk of homelessness,” she said. A number of service providers will be invited to speak at the summit and workshops held in conjunction with the summit will explore targeted issues such as advocacy, social inclusion and immediate support required in Penrith. Wentworth Community Housing, which provides accommodation services in Penrith, has generously offered to contribute $1,000 to the summit as a sponsor. “We play an active role in the community and when the Mayor informed us of the summit we thought it would be great to get involved as we work closely with Council... we’d like to see solid summit outcomes like programs,” said Nick Sabel from Wentworth Community Housing.

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enrith Council will host a summit on homelessness to bring together community organisations to address the growing number of people who find themselves without accommodation in Penrith each night. The need for a summit was originally raised by local homelessness support worker, John Toms and taken to Council by Cr John Thain in February. Just a month and a half later, and Council has made plans to host the summit in August this year at a cost of $6,000. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of people in Penrith experiencing primary homelessness (sleeping rough on the streets or improvised homes) has increased from 63 in 2006 to 69 in 2011. Local service providers say the numbers could actually be far greater with young people choosing to ‘couch surf’ and many accommodation services operating at capacity. “Homelessness is on the increase and it is something that we are all concerned about as Penrith continues to grow,” Cr Thain said. Cr Maurice Girotto said that the list of factors leading to homelessness is quite disturbing.


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Campaign aims to cut cruelty Sad story of kittens dumped in rubbish bin highlights need for awareness

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ith countless unwanted pets being dumped at the Animal Welfare League each year, the organisation is asking for donations from the community to help care for neglected animals. The Animal Welfare League, which has a local shelter in Kemps Creek, is holding its Autumn Appeal and hopes to raise $65,000 by the end of April. Based around the theme ‘Animals are not rubbish’, the campaign uses a recent example of four kittens found in a supermarket dumpster to illustrate the Animal Welfare League’s work in rescuing abandoned pets. After being discovered by a local couple and brought to the Kemps Creek Shelter, the four kittens were cared for around the clock by vets but sadly one died, with the three surviving cats being given new lives through adoption. The kittens’ story is all too familiar to the Animal Welfare League’s senior behaviourist Rose Horton, who sees an influx of abandoned pets every day at the shelters. “Sadly it’s really common and it’s a daily occurrence, which is the saddest part,” she said. “If you can’t look after your animal, never feel that you need to dispose of it, that’s what the Animal Welfare League is available for 24/7, which is taking unwanted pets.” Ms Horton said that the Autumn Appeal would raise desperately needed funds to buy surgical equipment for the Animal Welfare League’s vet clinics, which provide vital services to shelter animals and are open to the public.

Rose Horton from the Animal Welfare League is encouraging people to donate to their new appeal “We’re doing so many desexing surgeries every day but definitely every little bit counts,” she said. “The vet clinic also looks after our shelter animals, so providing them with all their routine preventative care, worming, vaccinations, all those things add up.” She also hopes that the appeal will raise awareness amongst the community about

the services that the Animal Welfare League provides for pets. “‘Animals are not rubbish’ is definitely the message we’re trying to get out, but we’re trying to promote that these are sadly all too common acts of cruelty and neglect that we see on a daily basis,” she said. Members of the public can show their

support by donating to the Autumn Appeal, adopting pets from a shelter, or volunteering their time. Mrs Horton said the more money raised, the better the result for the animals. “If we can raise more money, we can save more lives so we’d love for the community to help,” Ms Horton said. To donate, visit


Fundraiser set to make a difference KATHERINE TWEED

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender



fter learning the horrible news that her own children were victims of child abuse at the hands of a family friend, Michele Ellery took it upon herself to ensure no victim of abuse goes through their journey alone. Through her own not-for-profit organisation, ‘We Have The Time! Do U Have The $$$’, the local mum has organised a fundraiser and awareness event for next month in support of Bravehearts, a child abuse prevention organisation. The inaugural Queen of Hearts event is expected to become an annual occasion to show the community’s support for victims of child abuse, as well as to raise awareness and funds for Bravehearts. “I am trying to bring out people from every part of the community, every walk, to show the victims that although there may be the bad people out there, there are also the good people too,” Ms Ellery said.

“I have condensed it all into one day to raise awareness and funds but also to celebrate the survivors, the victims, and show them that there is no judgement against them, there is no need for shame.” The Village Green Parkland, Central Close, Ropes Crossing, will be transformed from 11am on Saturday, May 3, into a bustling fair, complete with over 65 market stalls, carnival rides, a custom car show and live entertainment. There will be raffles and prizes to be won throughout the day and there will be a number of guest speakers, including retired boxer, Jeff Fenech. Ms Ellery said she hopes the day makes a difference. “If one person goes home and remembers what they hear, my job will be done. I want people to start conversations because gone are the days of keeping this behind closed doors,” Ms Ellery said. Because of the support of local businesses, there will be free entry on the day. All proceeds will be donated to the Bravehearts organisation.

Michele Ellery is holding the Queen of Hearts fundraiser. Photo: Melinda Jane


local news

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender



dear weekender...

local news

Pension age If Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott want to raise the pension age to 70 they now need to inform ALL employers to start employing people over 50 first because it’s no use raising the pension age if employers are not going to bother hiring any mature aged workers. This will make Labor easy to return to power if Liberals keep penalising pensioners all the time! DIANA MCCARTY, VIA WEBSITE

visit Australia. That’s a very socialist point of view, so let’s remove all the bludgers on the public purse. G. May makes no mention of the costs to taxpayers for retired former PMs that amount to millions annually. There is no mention of corrupt Labor Party MPs and union officials, generally being one and the same. PETER TOWNSEND, SOUTH PENRITH

Sincere thanks On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to thank your readers who participated in and supported the World’s Greatest Shave 2014. Thousands of brave Australians signed up to shave or colour their hair to help lessen the impact of blood cancer. As the Leukaemia Foundation receives no ongoing government funding, funds raised by the World’s Greatest Shave will help meet the increasing demand for our support services, which sees one Australian diagnosed with a blood cancer or a related blood disorder every 46 minutes. Each year, the Foundation supports thousands of people and their families by providing services at

Difficult balance In response to G.May’s letter “Cost Concern” (Western Weekender April 11), when a Government inherits an enormous debt such as has the Abbott Liberal government from the previous Labor Party the difficult thing to balance is who to disappoint when cutting costs as the losers will surely vote through their hip pockets. To reduce the massive debt, the government has to take away the things that should never have been handed out in the first instance, which as history shows Labor always does when in office. G. May criticises the costs of the Pope and the Royals when they

no cost. These services include: information, emotional support, transport and accommodation for regional families required to relocate closer to metropolitan treatment centres. We also invest millions of dollars each year into vital research to improve treatments and find cures for blood cancer. In New South Wales we hope to raise over $6.1 million. Thanks to all of our supporters, we are on our way to reaching our goal. There is still time for people to sign up or make a donation by visiting On behalf of all those diagnosed and their families in New South Wales who will be supported as a direct result of the World’s Greatest Shave, thank you. CHRISTINE MCMILLAN GENERAL MANAGER, LEUKAEMIA FOUNDATION

Not happy with Wilcox You’re kidding (Wilcox palmed off, Western Weekender April 11). 2UE felt sorry for the Palmer United candidate and paid his unpaid election poster bill. 2UE there were plenty of other candidates in the last election that incurred electoral expenses. And

email: post: Suite 2, 42-44 Abel Street, Jamisontown 2750

Mr Wilcox can you please remove your Palmer United sign that is still standing outside the Colonial golf course at Werrington. Being reminded of Cliver Palmer and his campaign of self interest every time I drive that way is doing my head in. GEOFF BROWN, VIA FACEBOOK

Footy at wrong time Saturday afternoons are no good for a club like ours, with so many young families needing to run kids around to sport, and for people who have to work Saturdays (Let’s talk about you, Extra Time April 11). I reckon we would have had an extra 10-20 per cent on top of current crowds if we had played Sunday instead. Food prices are a bit high, but you can get around it by eating before or after, or bringing your own, although there are some restrictions there. MATT BROWN, VIA FACEBOOK

Too scared to go I am a Penrith supporter, I went to the Penrith v Bulldogs game a couple of weeks ago with my brother in law, four-year-old

daughter, five and eight-year-old nieces. We were forced to leave 20 minutes early due to a drunken Penrith supporter hitting my brother in law on the back of the head during the game and planning his violent attack on my brother in law and five-year-old niece after the game in the car park because they were passionate Bulldog supporters. Now, my daughter and nieces are all too scared to ever attend another game. Such a shame when I thought the NRL was a great family outing. LISA THOMAS, VIA FACEBOOK

Fans are just lazy I don’t get how people can keep pulling the “it’s too expensive” card on this issue. Seriously, what else does the club have to do to get you up off your lazy butts and come to the games? You say it’s too expensive, the club cuts membership prices, brings in an 11-month instalment plan and has half price food and drink for an hour at the games, funny how these facts are completely ignored by the lazy brigade with their “same old excuses”. ADAM HOUGH, VIA FACEBOOK

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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State Penrith MP Stuart Ayres hopes Green Bridge construction will begin soon


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ew animations of the Nepean River Green Bridge have been launched on the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website showing a “more in situ perspective” of the bridge in its surroundings. Penrith MP Stuart Ayres said that the animations, which cost thousands of dollars, were developed to show residents a more accurate perception of what the bridge will look like. “You can see that the truss design complements the design of the Victoria Bridge in particular the rail bridge,” Mr Ayres said.

Of particular note is the revised designs for the eastern landing of the Green Bridge on the Log Cabin site, which creates two potential development sites by bisecting the block. “A trapezoidal shape has been deliberately chosen to form a path that is in the desired line to connect with the rest of the path network, but also an area that I envisage would become the forecourt to whatever development occurs on the former Log Cabin site,” Mr Ayres said. The animations are the final piece of the concept design for the bridge. “Depending on the tender process, we could see construction start in November and possibly take 12 months,” Mr Ayres said.

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TILE REGROUTING Is mould taking over? Stuart Ayres presents the grant to NDVN stall run by specialist domestic violence workers. The stall will have giveaways including educational materials, vouchers and self-care information. The aim is to provide soft entry approach information as well as specific domestic violence information. Additionally, children’s activities and entertainment will be provided by local businesses and artists in order to create an inviting space for families to participate in the educational and interactive experience of the day.

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he Nepean Domestic Violence Network (NDVN) will be holding a special event in the Penrith Pop Up park on May 8 after receiving funding from the State Government. Last Friday, April 11, Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres presented the Nepean Domestic Violence Network with a NSW Government grant of $1,000 to help raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence. “Nepean Domestic Violence Network has been awarded this grant to undertake a ‘Stop D V Day’ project in Penrith’s ‘pop up’ park and will include an information stall with educational material and selfcare information,” Mr Ayres said. “These small grants are part of the NSW Government’s domestic violence reforms to increase the focus on prevention and early intervention.” The Nepean Domestic Violence Network will work in conjunction with local businesses to raise awareness of the impacts of domestic violence in the Penrith community, highlighting that the prevention of domestic violence is a community wide issue and responsibility. The event, which will be held on Thursday, May 8, will consist of an information


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Quad bikes check path safety


Innovative way for Council to maintain and fix footpath and cycleway network CASSANDRA O’CONNOR


local news


f in the coming weeks you are shocked to see quad bikes on the city’s footpaths and cycleways, it’s not what you think! Far from hooligan behaviour, Emu Plains based company Infrastructure Management Group will be using the technologyfitted quad bikes to survey every metre of Penrith’s extensive footpath and cycleway network. Their quad bikes have cameras on them to collect detailed video imaging and GPS references to help Council assess the condition of over 500 kilometres of paths and make good decisions for their maintenance and improvement. The vehicles are clearly identifiable and operated by certified pavement inspectors. They will travel at a brisk walking pace, use hazard lights and other warning devices, and will give way wherever possible to other footpath users. They will even inspect paths through public reserves. Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler said Council has listened to the community’s message that paths are a top priority for them. “This exercise will equip us with the data to target problem areas more quickly and efficiently, for the benefit of the safety and convenience of our residents and visitors,” he said. “This overview of our entire path network is a first for our City. It’s also another example of Penrith leading the way, as I understand the brand new quad bikes, owned by a local company, are in demand for overseas work after finishing here.”

Stephan Hopkins, Mike Wilken, Karl McDermott and Nick Moore speaking with Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler Penrith Council said that residents should be assured all imaging is focused on the footpath surface with some limited viewing of areas directly alongside.

There will be no image recording of any private property or structures, commercial or residential, hence there are no privacy concerns.

If you have any concerns or would like to know more, please contact Council’s Asset Systems Engineer, Alexx Alagiah on 4732 7584.


Busy weekend ahead for after hours services CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



The Nepean After Hours GP Clinic treated 5,000 patients last year

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

hile most people are preparing for some respite in the lead-up to the Easter break, local after hours medical services are preparing for one of the busiest periods of the year. Nepean-Blue Mountains Medicare Local (NBMML), which coordinates the after hours services for the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Penrith areas, is reminding residents about their options for non-urgent medical treatment during Easter if their usual GP or medical centre is closed. The Nepean After Hours GP Clinic, located beside the Nepean Hospital Emergency Department, is available to treat patients when their regular GP is not available. It is staffed by a roster of local GPs who will treat patients and then refer them back to their regular GP for ongoing care and consultations.

Patients do not need to make an appointment to be treated at the Nepean After Hours GP Clinic, however it is recommended they present as early as possible after opening, due to high demand. Dr Shiva Prakash, NBMML Board Chair says the after hours services are a great example of how NBMML works to provide “the right care from the right level of the health system at the right time”. “The Nepean After Hours GP Clinic has had a significant effect on reducing the number of non-urgent cases at Nepean Hospital’s Emergency Department,” Dr Prakash said. It is open from 8pm until 11.30pm on weekdays, 8pm to midnight on Saturdays and 2pm to 10pm on Sundays and public holidays. Last year it treated nearly 5,000 patients. All patients are bulk billed. The National GP Helpline can also provide health information and assistance from a registered nurse or medical advice from a GP. The National GP Helpline is a free call to 1800 022 222.

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SES needs locals to put their hand up to help

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Local SES crews hard at work. The organisation is currently looking for volunteers CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



enrith State Emergency Services (SES) is on the look-out for the next generation of emergency volunteers. On April 23 at 7.30pm the Penrith SES will be hosting an important information evening about joining the SES at their Penrith office on the corner of Gipps and Fowler Streets in Claremont Meadows. Spokesperson for the Penrith SES, Dean Asher, said that they are keen to recruit new field and operations members. “We are looking for many more field and operations members, as over the

past two years our volunteers have got married, had children, moved interstate or changed jobs and their changes has seen them leave the service. So we are looking to grow again,” he said. “Penrith NSW SES is equipped with a modern operations facility and members will be trained in many aspects of emergency management and will work with other emergency service organisations.” Anyone over 16-years-old can join the SES and assist in the various operations they undertake. If you want to find out more, send an email to or attend the information evening.


Imagine a world without factory farming... You would never lock your dog inside a tiny cage and deprive her of all the things that bring her joy and quality of life. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and social as our canine friends, yet they and other animals suffer intense confinement, stress, and surgical procedures without pain relief behind the closed doors of factory farms. Our choices can set them free. By refusing factory-farmed, consuming fewer animal products, or going meat-free, you can help create a kinder world for animals.

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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26 Ryan and Candy hope their house rules

local news




ot a bad idea – buy a house, go on a reality television series and have the whole place renovated for nothing, right? Well, there is a small catch – your newly purchased house will be made over by a bunch of total strangers. This was the predicament Emu Plains couple Ryan Pusic and Candy Stuart were in when they signed up for the second series of Channel Seven’s hit renovation show, ‘House Rules’. From the makers of the mega hit ‘My Kitchen Rules’, ‘House Rules’ sees six teams from around the country put their homes on the line and their skills to the test in a fight for supremacy and a life changing prize – their entire mortgage paid off. Speaking with the Weekender, the couple said they got the idea to apply for the show after seeing an ad on Gumtree. “Candy and I were always big fans of the show but it was more luck than anything how we got on. I was at home one day looking up Gumtree to find a new sparky for my electrical business and I saw the show was advertising for contestants,” Ryan said. “We purchased our home in Emu Plains

in July last year and we were both really nervous about having strangers renovate our house but excited at the same time,” Candy added. The homes are divided up into five zones with contestants having seven days to renovate one zone, for example a bathroom, with five special ‘house rules’ the home’s owners give the contestants prior. Ryan admitted while the whole experience was rather nerve-racking to begin with, he knew the show’s other five couples would be feeling the same butterflies as he and Candy. “Your home is everything, so we definitely took that into account when we were renovating other people’s homes and we’re sure the other teams did that as well,” he said. “We pretty much put our lives on hold for a few months because we were so focused on the competition. You’re so involved in everything that you don’t have time to even answer your phone,” Candy added. Ryan, who grew up and was schooled in Penrith, said there was no better place for him and his partner Candy, originally from Port Macquarie, to settle down and have a family. “Even the other contestants said our street is really nice. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it out west,” Candy added. ‘House Rules’ premieres soon.

Candy Stuart and Ryan Pusic will appear on Channel Seven’s ‘House Rules’




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Mural project breathes new life into Colyton and inspires local youth


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The mural at Colyton is unveiled earlier this month What used to be your average wall on the outside of Colyton’s Friendly Grocer has been transformed into a work of art as part of a community project organised by St Clair Youth and Neighbourhood Team. Over five weeks the wall was transformed into a mural representing the community of Colyton by the youth living in the area, with the help of a wellknown artist and dedicated local youth workers. The mural, just one aspect of the five part project known as ‘Capture Colyton’, was unveiled on Tuesday, April 8. Artist Claire Nakazawa said it was a fantastic local project to be involved with. “It was really fun over the five months to see [all who participated] coming together and becoming more comfortable with each other,” she said. “It has been really inspiring to me as a worker, and inspiring to see the creativity and energy [of those who took part] grow.” The two-year project, which included photography and sustainability workshops, was developed to encourage the Colyton community to get involved in community life. Penrith City Council’s Magnetic Places program funded the Capture Colyton initiative.

Dose of Dorin

“Council is very proud of what we call ‘Magnetic Places’ and it was an initiative of Council’s some time ago to create a

“It has been really inspiring to me as a worker, and inspiring to see the creativity and energy of those who took part grow” Claire Nakazawa sense of neighbourhood and community within the city,” said Penrith City Mayor Ross Fowler, who helped to unveil the mural. “While this Capture Colyton placemaking project is coming to an end, I think it has really created an energy that will continue to flow through the community for many years to come.” Colyton residents can see the completed mural outside the Friendly Grocer on Day Street. A total of 15 community members created the mural.

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ust Patio Furniture is delighted to announce the opening of their wonderful new store in the Penrith Homemaker Centre. “Our relocation is an investment in our future,” said Just Patio Furniture’s Tracy. “After a successful launch of our brand in a small store in Bella Vista it soon became apparent that we needed to expand to larger premises to display our eye-catching and quality product range. “The residents of the Penrith and surrounding area will now benefit from an extensive range of functional outdoor dining settings, modular lounges, sofa sets and decorative day beds as well as shade solutions for all outdoor entertaining areas at very affordable prices.” Just Patio Furniture also offers an extensive range of lanterns, wall art, candles, clocks and outdoor accessory items to complement their huge furniture range. “Offering the latest in beautiful homewares allows our customers to create their own unique and complete outdoor space,” Tracy said. “Our experienced staff are happy and willing to assist you with ideas in creating your outdoor oasis all year round.” And why wait weeks when Just Patio Furniture can offer immediate delivery Sydney-wide on most items? “We specialise in year round supply for our customers to enjoy Sydney’s fabulous weather,” Tracy said. “Visit our new store soon to view first hand our incredible store and say hello to our friendly staff. “We are open seven days!” Visit their website to view their incredible range.


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31 BIJAI KUMAR CEO of the Penrith Business Alliance

Badgerys Creek

Performance reviews

The announcement by the Federal Government to build an airport at Badgerys Creek has finally helped stop speculation about the location of Sydney’s second airport. While the announcement has been met with great enthusiasm due mainly to the job numbers (some 60,000-plus) associated with this major economic infrastructure project, some critics have expressed doubt whether the airport will ever be built

given the onus for building the project rests entirely on private capital and a motivation for a healthy return on investment. Hence there is a suggestion that what we have simply secured so far is a airport site and a great number of studies, including one on economic feasibility and extensive community consultations will need to be undertaken to determine if the airport is built. An airport in any regional setting, particularly,

a region such as ours which has struggled for decades to provide local jobs for its residents, brings fresh hope to the people and a new economic independence and aspirations to become a global player. But most importantly the airport becomes a catalyst for significant infrastructure investment and activation of new development opportunities for industry and commerce in the region.

that not everyone is cut out for business ownership: but I also thought I would come across as ‘superior’ if I stated that fact. But I have realised that business ownership requires a particular set of personality traits. It requires being comfortable with risk and the potential for instability or unknown outcomes. It requires being excited about the journey as much as the end result. Often people who have never run their own business only see the ‘glamorous’ side: setting

your own schedule, working from home (in some instances), being your own boss, and so on. And while these are all aspects that are positives, there are also many things that are not as easy or good as they seem: being ultimately responsible for the failure or success of a project (or in fact the whole business) or needing a high level of intrinsic motivation to keep forging ahead. But for someone who is ‘cut out’ for it, those ‘negatives’ are not a hindrance – and in fact can be what they thrive on.

As a business owner and employer, you invest your time, money and energy into continually growing. A big part of growth is down to having motivated employees. One of the best ways to ensure employees are satisfied with their job is by holding employee performance reviews at least once a year. Business owners hate doing them, but they are so important. To make your performance reviews as productive and as painless as possible, have a look at these suggestions: • Be prepared. First of all, make sure you are fully prepared before sitting down with the employee. Decide both what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. • Start with positive. It’s important to state the employee’s strengths at the beginning of the review. • Don’t be confrontational. It’s also important not to criticise the employee. The objective is to evaluate job performance and not the person. A performance review that turns into a gripe session misses the opportunity to raise employee morale. • Be consistent. Top performers should be congratulated and weak performers need to hear that their performance requires improvement. • Address what’s important to the employee. Since job satisfaction is the most important factor affecting an employee’s attitude, an effective review should look into areas that include issues most important to that employee.

MICHELLE GRICE Founder of Shel Design

It’s not for everyone In the early days of being a business owner, I quite regularly encouraged many friends to start a business themselves. As time went by, however, I began to realise that my well meaning advice might not be so valuable. I was beginning to be aware


MICHAEL TODD Small Biz Connect Advisor Penrith Valley BEC


   Est. 1983

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This is an Australian Government funded initiative under the Digital Local Government Program.

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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Safety boost

Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

Th bulky The b lk nature t off car seats t iis on th the way outt thanks to new VOLVO technology


Volvo Car Group has unveiled the revolutionary Inflatable Child Seat Concept which will change the future of child protection. As any parent knows, children’s car seats are historically bulky, hard to move and tedious to mount. This is why Volvo Cars has designed a lightweight and inflatable rear-faced child seat concept using ground-breaking technology. The seat is safe, easy to pack and carry and will enable parents to use it in many situations not practical with the seats on the market today. Lawrence Abele, Design Manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre and the designer behind the new seat, had his two children in mind while designing the concept seat. “For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis,” he said. “For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.” The concept presents new opportunities, for example grandparents and friends who take care of your kids and need an ultramobile child seat. It is also very convenient when travelling by taxi, rental car or bus, situations where you historically had to rely on the safety measures available. The seat inflates in less than 40 seconds and deflates with an integrated pump.




Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender






ANTE COVIC Goal keeper for the Western Sydney Wanderers

Finals are a totally different ball game and we know that it’ll be sudden death from now on


Win proved that anything is possible

Tackle crackdown

We showed a lot of character during last Saturday night’s fightback against the Melbourne Heart and it proved games are never over until the final whistle goes. Having said that, I did have my doubts. Falling behind 2-1 with 25-odd minutes to go, I did get déjà vu from the Sydney FC game earlier this year and I admit I started to ponder things. Fortunately we got the win we wanted, the win we desperately needed. The last 15 minutes was a fantastic performance by us. It was aggressive and very dominating. What we can take out of that game is that we are a team that is capable of coming back from difficult positions. Don’t get me wrong, Melbourne Heart played very well but we really showed some fighting spirit. It was one of those victories that you really savour because there was so much riding on the result. If we lost that game there was a possibility of finishing sixth because it was such a huge weekend of games. Luckily it panned out the way we wanted and we got the job done. Most of our team travelled to Korea earlier in the week for our AFC Champions League game against Ulsan Hyundai. The others who stayed back, including myself, went back to training on Monday. We still have a fairly busy schedule with the Champions League going on but having this weekend off from the A-League finals will help us in the long run and will be very beneficial. Finals football is very different to the regular season because you know it’s a one off, sudden death game. You have to perform and be switched on otherwise you don’t get a second chance. I’ll be watching the games from home this weekend having a look at how each team plays and handles the pressure.




rom this weekend, the NRL will begin to crack down on lifting tackles with any player who puts an opponent into a dangerous position set to face time on the sidelines. The move comes after an extensive review of performance data and tackle analytics over the first six rounds, which included the devastating spinal injury to Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon last month. NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg, said any player involved in a dangerous lifting tackle on an opponent could expect to be charged unless they pulled out of it quickly. A dangerous position is where the head or neck of the tackled player dips below the horizontal level of the hips.

“If you lift a player and put him in a dangerous position you will be charged unless you pull out quickly and return the player to a safe position,” Mr Greenberg said. “The only discretion the Match Review Committee will have is the grading of the charge.” Mr Greenberg said the edict followed an extensive review of tackles so far this season. It found that there had been a significant decrease in three-man tackles from 36 per cent to 30 per cent since the new rules were introduced at the start of the season. “We believe it is not the three-man tackle that is of concern but the dangerous lifting tackle where the player goes beyond the horizontal. That’s where the focus will be for the Match Review Committee,” Mr Greenberg said.

EXTRA TIME IF YOU love the Penrith Panthers, you need to be reading Extra Time every week. Troy Dodds, Nathan Taylor, Erin Molan and Luke Priddis bring you the best coverage of the Panthers and the NRL each week. Plus, there’s the Masked Panther with all the latest Panthers news and gossip. With feature stories, photo spreads, celebrity tipping and more, Extra Time is the home of rugby league in Penrith. Find your copy with the Weekender every week.

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THIS WAS the response from Steve Laker from the STDBA which was John Long’s own District: “Well done to Nepean! Congratulations to all the players. I know Longy would have been as proud as punch watching his event being played by some of our past and still present best bowlers and many of them good friends of John. “I am sure there would not have been one bowler there who did not know John and I am sure it meant just that bit more to the Nepean boys winning the inaugural John Long Trophy. Please pass on our congratulations to the Nepean DBA.”

As a result the following NDBA players were selected to represent Zone 5 at Milton Ulladulla in May. Ross Antram and Rick Perry (St Marys RSL), John Burke (Glenbrook Panthers), Jim Lord, Ron Pittaway and Gary Adnum (Penrith). Kingswood completed their Singles Championship and the winner was Ross Strothers who defeated Tony Mansour in a close match 31-26. Congratulations to those NDBA players who represented Zone 5 in the event against a star studded Zone 13 only being beaten three rinks to two in the morning but four to one in the afternoon.

HARNESS RACING // Lorraine Pozza LAST THURSDAY night was the night of the PFD Food Services Cup, a race that has been traditional at the Paceway for many years. The Executive of the PDF Food Services entertained their guests in our Sky Lounge and a great deal of interest centred on the running of the main Cup event which was race five. Race one started the night of well for favourite backers when Munroe ($3.10) with Jarrod Alchin aboard was untroubled to maintain the lead keeping his main opposition and runner up Bye Bye Sir pocketed behind him. Swift Exit ($5.80) driven by David White in race two was another to lead and win. He just held on from Proven R but the third horse That’s Fire Power way showed he is close to a win. The third went to Long Cool Woman ($2.90) driven by Amanda Turnbull. Consistent Whata Escape ($6.50) aided

by a good drive from Glen McElhinney scored a good win from the Bathurst trained Skewbridge Road in the fourth. The main race the PFD Food Distributors Cup went to Freyberg ($6.70) driven by James Rattray. He went to the front after 300m and dictated the pace. The favourite Chariot King had to race facing the breeze for a greater part of the trip and when called on for his effort just failed to collar the winner Freyberg. Murphy Maguire ($4.10) driven by Brian Birch obtained an inside run close to the line in race six to just win. Dusty Delight ($18.60) won the seventh while Flytomo ($3.20) driven by Jim Douglas opened up a big lead in race eight but Wink ($2.50) finished determinably to just get up and finish with a dead heat. Rick Alchin drove Montcalm nicely in the one out one back spot and finished too well to win the last.




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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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Penrith’s the “perfect” course Europe’s best converge on local area for U23 World Championships





ne of Europe’s best young paddlers believes Penrith’s Whitewater Stadium is one of the best courses in the world. In town for the U23 World Championships, which begin next week, 20-year-old Czech kayaker Jiri Prskavec admits the 2000 Olympic Games venue is one of his favourites to compete at each year. “This is actually my fifth time in Penrith. I come every year because in Europe it’s winter and over here it’s nice and warm. It’s the perfect course, I love to paddle here,” Prskavec told the Weekender. “I think it’s one of the best courses because it’s not very fast. There’s some technical parts which is really good for me. It’s perfect for short lines.” Prskavec, who’s been training in Penrith since early March, will compete as the red hot favourite in the U23 K1 slalom. Last year the Czech star was the 2013 ICF World Championship K1M silver medallist and was also a double gold medal recipient at the European Championships in Poland. After those impressive results, he’s now hoping the Penrith course will be kind to him so he can carry on his good form.

“I competed really well in Europe last year and I’m just going to try to make my best run and see where it puts me,” Prskavec said. But Prskavec will be under some intense pressure with the man that beat him to the 2013 title, German Mathieu Biazizzo, and Australian Jaxon Merritt breathing down his neck during the competition. Merritt, who hails from Victoria, is in scintillating form having achieved a career best result winning the Oceania Championships earlier this year. “I think Jaxon Merritt is very good right now especially here in Penrith. He’ll be a strong competitor,” Prskavec said. More than 50 athletes from 31 countries will contest the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 World Championships with racing beginning this Wednesday, April 23 at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium. Following next week’s event, which wraps up on April 27, Prskavec will head home to prepare for the European Championships in Vienna. He admits that competing around the world is great fun, but sometimes it does take its toll. “It’s a cool lifestyle [travelling the world] but sometimes you get sick of it and want to come home but I’m not complaining,” Prskavec said.

Jiri Prskavec will compete in Penrith next week. Photo: Melinda Jane

Winter Competition Starts 12th May 2014

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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

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Teams can be registered at our Showroom, 7/31 Coombes Dr, Penrith WW7751


Sports journalist for the Fox Sports team

Goals need to be spectacular to attract attention, and the players delivered last weekend

Wonderful final week, now it’s sudden death Now that we can catch our breath, perhaps we can make sense of what we saw in the final weekend of the A-League regular season, before the quick-fire finals series gets underway. Saturday was monumental, not least the Wanderers’ comeback win in Melbourne. It was shades of last season the way Tony Popovic’s men fought until the very end. Great signs. Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners were perhaps more impressive in a pure football sense – Victory simply cut Wellington apart, the Mariners with the best tactical display against Brisbane, with counter-attacking football at its best. All three again proved the Asian Champions League has helped, not hindered the domestic cause. The best thing for a neutral perspective was the quality of goals. Not sure if everyone has been to some kind of finishing school, but given in the first half of the season there was a real dearth in spectacular goals, it was more than welcome. I counted seven top notch, belong-anywhere-in-the-world strikes over the final four games of the season. As a non-football loving colleague said to me recently – with so much sport on, much of it of the highest quality, we need the spectacular goals so the sport gets airtime in front of the most eyeballs. So to the finals, where hopefully it continues in the setting of sudden death games. Wanderers get the golden ticket of second spot – golden for two reasons: no team has ever won the A-League from OUTSIDE the top two, and they get a week off amidst their Champions League travel. Regardless of this week’s trip to Korea, they should account for Guizhou next week and find themselves in the Champions League knockout stages. Now who to play in the A-League? There is the very real prospect a Sydney Derby could happen on ANZAC Day weekend.


Emus go down again




Malakai Watene-Zelezniak in action for the Emus. Photo: Nardia Sly @natetaylor87



t seems rising Panthers star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak isn’t the only member of his family scoring tries after his older brother and Penrith Emus winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak put on a show during last weekend’s loss to Eastwood. Watene-Zelezniak, who made the switch from league to join the Emus this season, scored two tries in his side’s 44-26 loss at Nepean Rugby Park. Emus coach Sateki Tu’ipulotu believes a

lack of experience in capitalising on scoring opportunities once again hurt his side. “You may only have a couple of opportunities a game against the top sides, we’ve just got to be clinical and take the opportunities when they come,” he said. “In training we’re working on putting the players through game time scenarios so they improve on that aspect.” This week the Emus will look to win their first game of the Shute Shield season against Randwick. “Randwick lost away from home last week but they’ll be very tough this week back at home,” Tu’ipulotu said.


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Friday 18 April 2014 the western weekender

he best female skaters from the Western Sydney Rollers will be strapping on their skates headed for Adelaide in June after 20 were selected to compete at the Australian Roller Derby Championships. Known as the Great Southern Slam, the competition is the world’s largest competitive roller derby event and will feature teams from across Australia and New Zealand. Last year’s season was one of unparalleled success for the Western Sydney Rollers representative team, The Boutlaws, after they became Divisional Champions at the Eastern Region Roller Derby Tournament.

The Boutlaws will travel to the Great Southern Slam for the first time and already have their sights set on taking home the big prize. “We think we have a reasonable shot of making the finals in Adelaide,” Western Sydney Rollers skater, Kate Slan said. “We know we have strong players who can perform well under pressure. There is tough competition at the Great Southern Slam but we’re confident we will skate at our best.” To raise funds for the team’s biggest tournament to date, the Western Sydney Rollers will be holding a Roller Disco Fundraiser at Penrith Skatel this Sunday, April 20 at 5pm. Tickets are $15, which include skate hire. The disco will include raffles, games and prizes.



Brothers create history sport

Real family affair as Glenmore Park youngsters help Sydney Uni to cricket title @natetaylor87



lenmore Park brothers Harris and Chris de Kretser have made history after they became the first pair of brothers in Sydney University’s 150-year cricket history to team up and win a premiership. 18-year-old Harris and his 16-year-old brother Chris, both spin bowlers, were outstanding in their recent sixth grade Metropolitan Cup grand final win over Blacktown earlier this month. Older brother Harris was named Man of the Match with a 4/14 haul, while younger brother Chris can lay claim to notching up the most wickets throughout the season. “I’m not someone to go on wickets but it’s good to have one up on him,” Chris told the Weekender. Both boys admitted playing with each other throughout the season made each of them feel comfortable and at ease, and both hope they continue playing cricket with each other into the future. The strong brotherly bond the pair share makes the whole experience particularly special.

Bowling machines: Glenmore Park’s Harris and Chris de Kretser. Photo: Melinda Jane “It’s easier playing with Harris because we can talk to each other about anything we want plus I don’t have to drive too much,” Chris said.

“I teach him (Chris) a few things here and there, and I encourage him out on the field. I hope we continue to go up the grades together,” Harris added.

Harris and Chris are just two of nine former Penrith Junior Cricket Association players who currently play for Sydney University, five of which played in the same sixth grade premiership-winning side. Both brothers admit they wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of former coaches Barry Coad, Paul Barnes, Paul Chester, and Ian and Josh Clarke. “Barry Coad was my coach during my junior cricket days at Glenbrook-Blaxland,” Harris said. “After getting dropped from the Penrith reps team when I was 14, he encouraged me to continue playing and I ended up getting the district bowling award for most wickets not long after.” The pair also said Sydney University head coach Gary Whitaker was instrumental in their individual success over the 2013/14 season. The club had a monster year, winning three titles all up as well as the coveted club championship. “Sydney University is a good club with good coaches and a good bunch of blokes, so I can’t really complain about it at all,” Chris said.


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BASKETBALL: In what can only be described as farcical circumstances, there was a major stuff up between the Penrith and Manly Basketball Associations last weekend, resulting in no games being played in round five of the Waratah Championship League competition. Penrith had reportedly arranged for a change of times, for both the men’s and women’s games, with the former going back to 6pm and the latter brought forward to 4pm. NSW Basketball allegedly failed to advise the Manly Warringah Association, resulting in the Sea Eagles men turning up for the early time slot. Both Penrith and Manly Warringah Associations were unhappy about waiting around for two hours (to play either the men’s game or women’s game) and agreed to abandon the round. Penrith officials spoke to NSW Basketball during the week to re-schedule both games later in the season.

AFL: The Penrith Rams have been beaten convincingly in their third game of the season 52-21 by the Illawarra Lions. For the second straight week, Penrith were never in it, scoring just two points after three quarters. Joshua Anasis scored two goals for the Rams in the fourth quarter. This weekend the Rams will have a week off due to the Easter break and will return to action against Macquarie University on April 26. Meanwhile, the Penrith Ramettes ladies team did the club proud yet again thrashing the Gosford Wildcats 72-1.

SOCCER: The Western Sydney Wanderers caused a massive upset this week, beating Ulsan Hyundai 2-0 in the ACL.

ICE HOCKEY: After being relegated to division two, the Penrith Phantoms are blitzing their opponents week after week. During last weekend’s double header the Phantoms thrashed the Canterbury Ice Cubes 8-3 and backed it up in their second game 7-2 over the Norwest Emperors. The side will enjoy a well-earned weekend off due to the Easter break and will return to competition on April 27.

RUGBY LEAGUE: The final round of the junior rugby league representative season took place last weekend with some great results for both the Penrith Panthers and Western Sydney Academy of Sport sides. In the Harold Matthews competition Penrith won a tight clash over Cronulla 18-14 while WSAS also won defeating Parramatta 23-22. In the SG Ball competition Penrith belted Cronulla 50-4 while WSAS lost to the Eels 28-20. Penrith will be the only local team taking part in this weekend’s finals with the Panthers taking on the Tigers in Harold Matthews and the Roosters in SG Ball.

If you would like your sporting results, club event or anything sports related mentioned in ‘Around the Grounds’ next week please email nathan.taylor@westernweekender. or call 4722 2998.






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Duo is raising the bar Two local youngsters heading to Australian Gymnastics Champs NATHAN TAYLOR

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wo local gymnasts from YMCA Penrith will be heading to Melbourne next month to compete at the highly coveted Australian Gymnastics Championships. It will be the first time 16-year-old Corey Dehn and 10-year-old Annabelle Passau will represent NSW at the prestigious tournament, taking place at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena. Annabelle, who travels from her home in the Blue Mountains to YMCA Penrith up to five times a week, said she was both excited and nervous about making the team. “I’m excited to go to Melbourne to compete against other states and make new friends,” she said. Annabelle will compete on the bars, beam and floor with the latter being her favourite. Annabelle said she loves doing gymnastics because she gets to hang out with her friends. “I’ve been doing gymnastics for around five years and I hope to continue doing it as I get older,” she said. Also making the team is St Marys Senior High School student, Corey Dehn, who’s been

Corey Dehn and Annabelle Passau

doing gymnastics for 10 years after his mum encouraged him to give it a go. “My mum thought I was so flexible and daring to do stuff, so I thought it was a good idea,” Corey said. “I now train four hours a day, three days a week and even coach young kids coming through at YMCA.” Corey, who competes on floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and the high bar, said it was his ultimate goal to make the Australian Gymnastics Championships and the moment he found out he was left speechless. “Last year I had the chance to make the Nationals but I didn’t place overall,” he said. “This year when they finally called out my name at the presentation I was almost in tears, that’s how happy I was. “All the other gymnasts that got chosen their parents didn’t even cheer but when my name got called out the whole club got up and cheered.” Both gymnasts hope they do their absolute best when competition gets underway on May 21. Keep an eye on the Weekender for news on how they go.


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Weekender April 18  
Weekender April 18  

April 18 edition of the Western Weekender