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weekender the western FRI 14 MAR 2014 • Issue 1144

Printed on 100% recycled paper

Our BMX whiz kid


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

Jobs masterstroke Hundreds of positions to be created after Masters gets green light CASSANDRA O’CONNOR

Jake’s a star on two wheels p.38

Woman of the Year p.5

AFL season kicks off Can Giants make an impact this year? p.40



enrith Council has given Masters the green light to build a new, 13,515 squaremetre home improvement store on Mulgoa Road in Jamisontown. The approval will see between 380 and 400 construction jobs created, and will eventually create 150 full-time equivalent positions. But it is likely to create more traffic headaches on Mulgoa Road, especially on weekends. An extraordinary meeting was held on Monday evening to discuss the proposal, which had unanimous support from Councillors. The Woolworths-owned Masters also had plans for a store on Station Street, Penrith at the old Panasonic site, but the controversial plans are now expected to be abandoned. Masters Development Manager, Anthony Pratt, said at the meeting that Masters is happy with the development outcome. “It has been a long process, the DA was lodged in October 2013 but before that was years of preliminary discussions,” Mr Pratt said. “We have had interest in two sites... we were effectively hedging our bets and that is reflective of our desire to have a store in Penrith as soon as possible.” He said there were issues with both sites, on Mulgoa Road and Station Street, but that a solution to traffic concerns at Jamisontown had been found with a new set of traffic lights to be installed just south of the Stuart Street intersection. “We want to get construction started around June this year but there is a lot of work to be done to make the deferred consent operational.”

Mayor Ross Fowler welcomes Masters to Penrith

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71-year-old dies in tragic blaze Police seize air conditioning unit as investigations into Jamisontown fire continue KATHERINE TWEED


The scene at the Jamisontown fire last Friday. Photo: Dean Asher

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mergency service officers expected the worst upon arrival at an Anakai Drive house fire last week and sadly had their fears realised when 71-year-old Rose Brown was pulled from the flames. NSW Fire and Rescue crews, NSW Ambulance officers and NSW Police were all called to the quiet Jamisontown street at 1.30am on Friday, March 7, to find a house engulfed in flames. NSW Fire and Rescue officers entered the home and pulled Ms Brown from the blaze. She was treated by local ambulance paramedics but died at the scene. “Being the time of morning that it was, 1.30am in a street like this, we always suspect the worst, that people are inside. So our crews immediately donned their breathing apparatus and with hoselines, attacked the fire from inside,” said NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent, Paul Johnstone. “During their search and rescue they did discover one elderly female inside the building... unfortunately she was unable to be revived.” The loss of the local grandmother has taken a toll on the community, including

neighbours and friends who personally knew her, but her death has also taken a toll on some she never met. “Dealing with a traumatic loss of life is extremely difficult in any circumstance as it not only has a profound affect on family and friends, it also has a vast impact on the emergency services who attend the incident,” said Inspector Jason Stone, NSW Ambulance Duty Operations Manager for the Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains sector. “All emergency service personnel have an innate necessity to help the community and we are depended upon to control and calm chaotic situations... we are also members of the community who have emotion just like everyone else and we get deeply affected by traumatic incidents such as this one in Jamisontown.” This is the fourth fatal house fire in NSW this year alone, with each incident involving elderly people. “One third of all fatalities in house fires in NSW are from over 65-year-olds, so the message we need to get out is working smoke alarms save lives,” said Superintendent Johnstone. Police are still investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been started in the bedroom, and have seized an air conditioning unit from the home.

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Disappearance of flight MH370 has us all intrigued and amazed FRIDAYS Youth


Much to the bemusement of my girlfriend, I’m a big fan of ‘Air Crash Investigation’ on TV. The bemusement comes because I’m not really a great flyer. Perhaps it’s the control freak in me, or just the feeling of being helpless if something does go wrong, but it’s just not my thing. I’m jumping on a plane tonight to head to Melbourne to cover Penrith’s clash with the Storm at AAMI Park tomorrow night and I’ve been dreading it all week. Part of the fear (but yes, only part of it – I’ve always been a nervous flyer) comes because in 2004, I was on a plane from Sydney to New York that got hit by lightning. Everyone else was jolted for a moment and then seemed to settle back down. I went for the scream like a little girl option, and then made good use of the vomit bag that all airlines provide in the back of the seat in front of you. The attractive blonde sitting next to me was obviously impressed. Problem was, my aim wasn’t great and my shirt managed to cop as much as the bag did. To make matters worse, the plane ultimately got diverted to Baltimore. We were put up in a hotel, but we couldn’t get our luggage off the plane, so my vomit-drenched shirt and I had to spend the night together, as well as the next day. The incredible story of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 this week has really amazed me. Here is a plane that, by all accounts, simply disappeared from the face of the Earth. It’s not the first time, however, that plane wreckage has taken so long to be found. In fact, there’s a couple of examples in recent times of jets crashing and not being found for weeks, if not years. An Indonesian jet that crashed in 2007 near to where MH370 went missing took a week to be spotted, and incredibly, the mostly intact fuselage still sits at the bottom of the ocean today. But the MH370 mystery made me take a look back this week into the handful of flights that

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have simply vanished, never to be seen again, with their fates still unknown. In March 1962, Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 was carrying more than 90 military personnel from Guam to the Philippines, but never arrived. There was no distress call, barely any credible witnesses and to this day, more than 50 years later, the mystery is unsolved and the wreckage has never, ever been found. Then of course there’s the famous incidents that gave the ocean between Florida and the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico the name “The Bermuda Triangle”. Two British South American Airways passenger jets disappeared within a year of each other in the late 1940’s. Neither was ever found. There’s a couple of other stories, too, but it appears that MH370 will, at the time of writing, be the latest to add to the relatively small list of planes that have simply vanished without a trace. And if it’s never found, the theories and discussion about that plane, which had six Australians on board, will go on for decades. In fact, the conspiracy theories have already begun to surface. One guy suggested the plane was hijacked and the passengers taken to North Korea. A few others suggest it’s at a secret airport in Vietnam, left over from the Vietnam War. Others say the timeline given doesn’t make sense. My favourite, and the most juicy, is that families have reported phoning loved ones who were on the plane, and the phone has been ringing, suggesting it’s impossible that the plane crashed. In reality, this is a big, big world and a jet liner is but a tiny speck in its oceans. The wreckage is out there somewhere and the 239 souls on board have perished. It is a tragedy beyond comprehension and for the families, the mystery of the crash location only makes their experience more painful. It puts our squabbles about QANTAS into some perspective, doesn’t it?

TROY DODDS @troydodds

Conspiracy theories have already surfaced

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Our Woman of the Year Hayley rises above her own challenges to help others CASSANDRA O’CONNOR

Tanya Davies MP Member for Mulgoa a



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


SMITH STREET AUTO CENTRE Ms Bellamy was Penrith’s Woman of the Year – a well deserved honour. “Hayley is an inspiration to the people within the community by not accepting physical limitations whilst in pursuit of her goals,� Mr Ayres said. “I congratulate Hayley on her dedication to achieving her goals and in encouraging others to strive for theirs. This award is an expression of the appreciation the people

of Penrith have for everything she does,� he added. The annual NSW Women of the Year Awards recognise the achievements of women across the state and acknowledge inspirational role models, women who have demonstrated excellence in their careers and women who have made significant contributions in their local communities.


Penrith MP Stuart Ayres presents Hayley Bellamy with her Woman of the Year award


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ayley Bellamy has been named Penrith’s 2014 Woman of the Year. Diagnosed at 18 months of age with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Ms Bellamy is reliant on an electric wheelchair and needs assistance for most of her physical needs. She was an Ambassador for the 2012 Don’t Dis My Ability Campaign and worked towards breaking down some of the obstacles in the area of employment, by encouraging equal employment opportunities for all those with a disability. Not letting anything get in her way, Ms Bellamy completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology and is in the process of completing her Bachelor of Design Visual Communication / Information Technology. She has also completed telephone support training at Lifeline, committing 92 hours of volunteer telephone support for the first 12 months following training. Somehow, Ms Bellamy also finds time to participate as a volunteer with Anglicare, assisting with administration. State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres was proud to announce this week that

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Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender


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Spider season


Public urged to help

As the weather begins to cool off slightly, you’ll spend more time in your home and car. The huntsman spider is also starting to spend more time indoors as it hunts for insects before their food starts to hibernate. As a result, you’ll soon start to notice the often unloved huntsman spider in cracks and crevices or running across the dashboard of your car. Don’t panic! The huntsman spider is actually your buddy, and cannot seriously hurt you. Their bark is worse than their bite. In New South Wales at the moment, keep an eye out for the Sydney Huntsman which is grey and often has a black stripe on top of its abdomen, the Shield or Badge Huntsman which is very flat and brown, the Social Huntsman which are brown and are often in groups, the Murray Banded Huntsman with black and pale grey striped legs and the Giant Huntsman. “The huntsman is well known to many Australian households and not necessarily in a positive way,” said Susanna Bradshaw, CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. “This infamy is probably a result of the great sizes they can grow to — up to 15 cms in some species — and the unfortunate habit they have of hiding in cars and the corners of rooms. “Huntsmans are easily disturbed and can move very fast, which is not a good combination for people scared of spiders.” Ms Bradshaw said in reality, Huntsmans are totally harmless to humans.

Police still hunting man who robbed St Marys servo KATHERINE TWEED



olice on the hunt for an armed robber have released CCTV images of a man they believe may assist investigations. It is hoped that a member of the public can identify the man, who may be able to help police arrest an offender who stole an amount of cash from a St Marys service station earlier this year. At about 2pm on Saturday, January 18, a man armed with a knife entered a Glossop Street service station. He threatened staff with the knife before stealing an amount of cash and fleeing north along Glossop Street. St Marys Local Area Command Officers arrived at the store shortly after, established a crime scene, which was forensically examined, and conducted an extensive search of the area. The offender is yet to be found, prompting the release of the CCTV footage. As investigations continue, police have released images of a man who they are keen to identify and speak with. “The man depicted in the images is described as being of Pacific Islander/ Maori appearance, about 180cm tall, with short dark curly hair and of a large

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Police would like to speak to this man about a robbery in St Marys in January build. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and black shorts and may also have a sleeve tattoo on his left arm,” a NSW Police spokesperson said. “Anyone who knows the man’s identity

or has any information that could assist investigators is urged to come forward.” Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page

Police snapshot Man charged after break and enter at South Penrith

Man charged following brutal alleged assault in Penrith

Woman caught with cannabis and smoking pipe in Penrith

Trio caught stealing from local shopping centre

A man remains behind bars following the break and enter of a South Penrith home last week. On Thursday, March 6, at around 2pm, an amount of jewellery and numerous personal items, including financial documents were taken from a Gilda Avenue home. Later that day, a number of purchases were made using those documents. Following police investigations, a 21-year-old St Andrews man was identified and arrested in Campbelltown that same evening. A search warrant was conducted at his home, where a number of items were seized, including the property that was stolen from the local home. Some of the items were also found in a Liverpool store. The man has been charged.

A drug dog operation on Monday, March 10, led to the arrest of a woman in the possession of illegal drugs. Police were patrolling on Station Street, near Union Lane, at 2.20pm on Monday when they had cause to speak to a 20-year-old woman. The drug dog gave an indication, which led to the woman being searched. Police allegedly located approximately 3.87g of cannabis in her possession as well as a smoking pipe. Police are making further enquiries and charges are expected to be laid by way of a future court attendance notice in the near future. Anyone with information should contact police.

Police investigating the brutal alleged assault of a Penrith man have arrested a 31-year-old male in relation to the offence. At around 8.30pm on Friday, March 7, the 43-year-old victim was assaulted on Lawson Street, Penrith. He was kicked to the face, which caused him to be dazed and disorientated. He continued to be assaulted and kicked to the head until witnesses nearby came to the victim’s assistance. The offender ran from the scene and later was refused entry onto a train because of disorderly behaviour. He then jumped onto the train line to prevent the train from leaving before he was coaxed back onto the platform by staff. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

Three youths have been caught stealing from a number of shops in the local area and as a result, one is to face court in the near future. At around 4pm on Monday, March 10, three young people were seen entering a number of shops and allegedly removing items without paying for them. They were stopped by security officers, who contacted police. The three were arrested and taken back to Penrith police station. Two of the youths were handed youth cautions and the third was charged and will appear at Parramatta Children’s Court next month. Anyone with information should contact police.


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Rehabilitation is a process that aims to maximise your recovery and restoration of independence after illness or injury. Our patients are accommodated in the rehab ward staffed by a highly qualified team near the fully equipped Gymnasium and purpose built Hydrotherapy Pool. Our team works closely under the direction of the Rehabilitation Specialists in collaboration with you, your GP and other Specialists to achieve a holistic assessment and integrated treatment regime dedicated to minimising the effect of disability. We offer specialised rehabilitation programs following: • Orthopaedic surgery hip / knee / shoulder joint replacement • Recent injury or accident • Limitations in mobility

Day Only Rehabilitation Service: Did you know that your Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy may be covered by your Health Fund with NO out of pocket expenses? Minchinbury Community Hospital has day rehabilitation sessions available for your rehabilitation, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy needs. Please call our friendly team on (02) 9625 2222 to discuss your Health Fund Eligibility.

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Caseworker numbers to rise Latest figures worrying but FACS Secretary promises positives are to come @cassandra_o


he latest data on caseworker numbers in western Sydney paints a bleak picture, but change is imminent according to the NSW Government. For the first time in September last year the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) published statistics on the number of caseworkers out in the community assessing children who may be at risk of harm. In western Sydney there was a job vacancy rate of 14 per cent, or 22 unfilled positions in the September 2013 quarter – and for the December quarter those vacancies remained. The Nepean Blue Mountains district recorded similar results with 21 vacancies over both quarters. Michael Coutts-Trotter, Secretary for NSW Family and Community Services, says that although vacancy rates for the December quarter were not up to standard, positions are being filled. “We are very very focused on recruiting great people to become caseworkers,� Mr Coutts-Trotter said. “In a couple of months’ time we will publish data for January, February and

March... and when I look at the reports coming through, I have confidence that the vacancy rate will come down though I cannot commit to a number.� Over the same six month period, both districts have seen child assessment rates drop. The completion rate of assessments has fallen in western Sydney from 18 per cent to 17 per cent and in the Nepean they have fallen from 19 per cent to 18 per cent. But Mr Coutts-Trotter said that staffing is not the main contributing factor to low assessment rates. “The statistics are also reflective of the nature of the work that is being done by caseworkers,� he said. “The decision to remove a child from a home is appropriately thorough and well documented but also lengthy as it involves family court approval and decisions about the future of the child. “A balance needs to be struck between the processes and documentation that must occur and the time that caseworkers have out in the field.� Mr Coutts-Trotter said that the recruitment process for caseworkers also takes longer than other industries as high quality candidates must be found, hence the delay in filling local positions. “There are qualifications such as social work, education and policing that may



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make a person suitable to become a caseworker, but qualifications tell us what a person knows, not what a person can do. We place people in real life situations to find out what people are capable of doing... so this process takes time,� he said.

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The Government is promising to lift child protection caseworker numbers. [File photo]


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CONTACT US ADMINISTRATION Penrith OfďŹ ce Civic Centre, 601 High Street. Opening Hours: 8.30am–4pm. Mon–Fri. St Marys OfďŹ ce 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.

COUNCIL BRIEFS s Residents and local business have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the future of Penrith’s City Centre. Through Penrith Progression community members can collaborate with businesses, investors and Council to explore how to transform the heart of Penrith into a destination to live, work and invest in. If you want a direct say in your city’s centre, and to work with some of this country’s leading urban designers, transport planners and economists, sign up now. We will be holding our ďŹ rst forum for Penrith Progression in late-March/early-April. Everyone who has registered with Penrith Progression is invited to join. Register now and ďŹ nd out more at




The following development application has been received by Council:

Waste Hotline: Freecall 1800 734 735

s Champion Homes (NSW) Pty Ltd

Illegal Dumping: Contact the EPA hotline on 131 555 and ask for the RID Squad (Regional Illegal Dumping Squad).

DA14/0028, DA14/0029, DA14/0031

2–18 Burrows Street, Penrith Attached dwellings x 9 and Studio Loft x 2 Contact: Clare Aslanis on 4732 8195 Closing Date: 28 March 2014

GrafďŹ ti Hotline: Freecall 1800 022 182



Penrith City Council has received Development Applications in respect of the subject properties. The consent authority for the development applications is Penrith City Council.

Council Meetings 24 March 2014 – 7.30pm (Ordinary meeting) 14 April 2014 – 7pm (Policy Review Committee)

s St Marys Land Ltd DA14/0209 Lot 8 DP 1176874 (No. 14–52) Cullen Avenue, Jordan Springs Construction and embellishment of a village oval with associated multi functional outdoor playing surface, amenities block, landscaping works, earthworks, lighting, car parking and recreational equipment and facilities. The proposal is an Integrated Development. The application seeks approval from the NSW OfďŹ ce of Water – Water Management Act 2000 Section 90. 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 17 March 2014 to 16 April 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 DA14/0209 For any queries relating to the proposal, please contact Hannah Van De Werff on 4732 7714.

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 17 March to 16 April 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 DA14/0213. For any queries relating to the proposal, please contact Pukar Pradhan on 4732 7726. s Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation DA14/0224 Mamre Anglican School Senior Studies Building for Year 11 & 12 Students Lot 4 DP 587334 (No. 45–59) Bakers Lane, Kemps Creek The proposal is Integrated Development under Section 91 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. In this regard, the applicant is seeking concurrent approval from the NSW Rural Fire Service under Section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997. 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 17 March to 31 March 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 DA14/0224. Council is required to make Development Applications and certain associated documents publicly available under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. There is a presumption in favour of publicly disclosing all submissions relating to this Development Application unless Council determines that it is not in the public interest to do so. For any queries relating to the proposal, please contact Karl Berzins on 4732 7991. 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 www.penrithcity.nsw. 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.


Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

s Mulpha FKP Pty Ltd DA14/0213 Lot 69 DP 1186025 (No. 62–72) Bradley Street, Glenmore Park Torrens title subdivision x 18 residential lots, 6 residue lots and public roads

The proposal is Integrated Development under Section 91 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. In this regard, the applicant is seeking concurrent approval from the NSW OfďŹ ce of Water under Section 91 of the Water Management Act 2000 and from the NSW Rural Fire Service under Section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997.

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10 Concern that handover of park will be delayed


New weeds list aims to prevent problems

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A Councillor Prue Car. Photo: Melinda Jane CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



he Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has admitted that there is still much to be done to deliver Wianamatta Regional Park. Representatives of the OEH gave Penrith Councillors a frank presentation on Monday evening to outline the next stages of creating Wianamatta. Regional Manager, Mike Patrick, said that despite site owner Lend Lease’s actions to remove emus late last year from the area, the aim of the OEH is to manage a


sustainable population of macrofauna on the site. “This is a new endeavour for National Parks and Wildlife Services. We are not zoo keepers, so we are taking on a new aspect of management,” Mr Patrick said. Cr Prue Car however raised a concern about when Lend Lease would hand over the lands that form the regional park: “We have been told that the handover would be completed by the end of 2014 so I think there is some confusion over what will be delivered by the end of this year”. The OEH said that a timeframe for handover has not yet been decided.


new noxious weeds list is now in force for all land in the Hawkesbury, Penrith, Blacktown and Hills Shire local government areas. All landowners should be aware of some significant changes to the list as noxious weeds are legally restricted or prohibited plants as gazetted by the NSW Department of Primary Industries. All in all, there are 110 plants now on the prohibited list, with 26 plants appearing for the first time, and the removal of 11. The Hawkesbury River County Council represents Penrith Council and other local areas and General Manager, Chris Dewhurst, said that the list is as much about prevention as it is eradication. “Serrated Tussock is on our list for the first time, and whilst we remain relatively free of the plant in our jurisdiction, it is causing havoc on farmlands to the south and west of us,” he said. “It takes over pasture and has virtually no food value to stock. Serrated Tussock is spread by wind and is very costly to control, so if we see it start to pop up in our region we want to act quickly, a noxious weed listing allows that to happen.” Another example of a change in the list


Noxious Kudzu weed in a Penrith creek according to Mr Dewhurst was a result of good long term community effort by groups such as the Willow Warriors who have been removing Black Willow from the banks of the Nepean River. “We have been continually impressed with the results these kayaking volunteers achieved controlling Black Willow in our river systems,” he said. “They have got the species down to manageable levels in the landscape, and the first time listing of Black Willow is a means of preventing it coming back. We can now stay on top of it.” The new list is on the County’s website.

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


Penrith Progression Penrith Progression is inviting the local community to help shape how our City will look, feel and grow. As key stakeholders in Penrith’s future, community members will work with Council, businesses, investors and developers to explore how to transform the heart of Penrith into an even better place to live, work and invest in. Penrith Progression will: - Identify catalyst projects and partnerships that will strengthen Penrith’s long-term economic growth; - Determine the best use of Council, State and privately-owned landholdings to attract investors and serve the current and future needs of our com-

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munity and business; - Integrate the efforts of relevant NSW Government agencies; and - Identify how Government can best leverage investment in infrastructure, expand services and enable private investment opportunities. We are inviting you to make your mark in realising our collective vision for our City centre. You have until March 21 to register your interest. We will soon hold our first forum, inviting everyone who has registered to attend.

ROSS FOWLER OAM Mayor of Penrith

Follow us on Facebook Want to know why the power is out? Or what those sirens are all about? Chances are, we’ve got it covered on the Western Weekender Facebook page. If you don’t already ‘like’ us on Facebook, jump onto your computer or smart phone and logon to westernweekender. You’ll find all the latest breaking news,

sports updates, traffic information and more, delivered by Penrith’s biggest on-the-ground team of journalists. Plus, at the Weekender, we never sleep, so we bring you news right around the clock. Follow us today and take part in the conversation about the stories that shape the area in which we live.








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Getting RID of illegal dumpers


More than $63,000 in fines for illegal disposal of waste across the Penrith area CASSANDRA O’CONNOR


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total of $63,360 in fines have been handed out to people in the Penrith region for illegal dumping of waste. The Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad (RID), a collaborative effort by western Sydney councils to stop illegal rubbish disposal practices, has issued 96 penalty infringement notices in Penrith in the last financial year (2012-13). Several operations were held during the year, all of which were successful in their planning and execution, according to Barry Ryan of the RID Squad. In a report to Council on Monday evening, Mr Ryan said that night time operations have been conducted in isolated rural areas of Castlereagh and Londonderry with the support of Penrith Council Rangers. “Whilst no offenders were identified, several vehicles with waste were sighted and followed out of the area, and it can only be assumed that they were preparing to dump the waste,” he said. Other operations have resulted in legal action. Surveillance cameras have been used and successfully captured a dump truck leaving building material waste on

Illegal dumping of waste in Londonderry that required action from the Western Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad Wilshire Road in Agnes Banks. The matter was referred to the courts and a fine of $10,000 was handed down. Of the most successful court cases

members tracked waste from Parramatta to Exeter Road in Kemps Creek. The fill containing asbestos waste was dumped on a rural market garden property.

though, an offender was found guilty on four offences of illegal dumping along Lee Holm Road, Dunheved and was fined $37,925. In another case, RID Squad


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Midwife’s teary goodbye 45 years after she started at Nepean Hospital, Sue Ulanas has retired

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fter almost 45 years in the one career, in the one location, Nepean Hospital midwife Sue Ulanas has said a teary farewell. The 67-year-old, who has spent her life delivering and caring for potentially thousands of local babies, retired on Wednesday. She began her long career at Nepean Hospital in August 1970, as a young woman desperate to get away from her country home and begin a career in fashion. But, it didn’t take her long to fall in love with nursing and midwifery, a career she wishes she would never have to leave. “When I started here, I remember thinking everybody [all the other nursing staff] was ancient – there weren’t many young people around here in 1970, we were just opening up really and Penrith was exploding in that time,” she said. “Now there is such a mixture of people.” She has seen many changes in protocol over the years as well as many medical advances but one thing she sees as a major, and perhaps the most beneficial change in midwifery, is the choices a family can have these days. When she began her career fathers

Sue Ulanas retired from Nepean Hospital on Wednesday. Photo: Melinda Jane weren’t allowed to witness a birth and it was some time before they were permitted into the room, only with written permission from a doctor.

“At such a special time, that helps the family bond together. Having the baby with you all the time is also a very important change,” she said.

By being part of a special part of a person’s life, Ms Ulanas has made lifelong bonds with thousands of women and is regularly remembered and approached by people on the street, or even “in a pizza shop”. “It really is a privilege to witness a miracle every day – what other job can you do where that happens?” she asked. “Almost every delivery is special. When the mother first sees her baby, she gets that little look in her eyes, that little look of wonderment. Some women have their sixth baby and are still as joyous as they were with the first.” The job is not always about happily bringing new life to the world, there are many difficult and often sad times in the job, especially in the event of a stillbirth. “Those times can be empowering too – the women can be empowering in the way they deal with it but it is still a sad time for everyone,” Ms Ulanas said. “You can learn from every experience, that way you can help the next person. You learn to take the positives from the experience, as sad as it may be.” Although she will miss her career as a whole, it is the staff, her second “family”, that she will miss most. Ms Ulanas is still planning on visiting the hospital on a voluntary basis.




10-year-old loses his locks for charity


PARRAMATTA LEAGUES CLUB 13-15 O’Connell St, Parramatta NSW 2150 Ben Gerber shaved his hair off as part of the World’s Greatest Shave this week

Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

TUESDAY 18th March 10am-4pm WEDNESDAY 19th March 10am-3pm



WEDNESDAY 26th March 10am-4pm THURSDAY 27th March 10am-3pm VISA, MASTERCARD & BANKCARD WELCOME, EFTPOS FACILITIES AVAILABLE. Genuine Product, Samples and Discontinued Lines. Please choose carefully as scratches, batteries, missing stones etc are not covered under warranty. 3 month limited warranty on movement ONLY (Flat batteries NOT covered). No Handbags, Plastic Bags or Tubs permitted in the Sale Area. A cloak room is available.



urrounded by his school mates and teachers, 10-year-old Ben Gerber said goodbye to his lovely blonde locks in the name of charity this week. Year Five students are not normally all that concerned about raising money for charity but this Nepean Christian School student is an exception. To raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation, Ben shaved his head during lunch-time at school on Tuesday, March 11, for the World’s Greatest Shave. “I wanted to raise money so that scien-

tists could find a cure. I don’t want people my age to die from cancer because that’s horrible,” he said. “I normally keep my hair quite long so it’s a big thing. There were lots of people around to watch.” Ben has raised well over $500 for the Foundation even though he has not personally known any children with cancer. The World’s Greatest Shave is the Leukaemia Foundation’s largest fundraiser. It has already raised over $7.3 million for the Foundation in this year’s campaign so far. For more information, visit www.


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Sydney Classic & Antique Truckshow on 15th June, 2014 (See website for more details)


Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

tion es) rith Sta (18 rid n y e a P d l l m es a s fro ent rid t acces m c e e r s i u D m • EE a ited FR m tage i l n U • & full s d s n u o s display ert c & n s l o l C a t • ade s itions $30 ialist tr ompet c c e & p Adults ildren s S e • m a g h g C rtainin up to 3 y Floss r i a • Ente F & s FaRyEinE g adult Balloon e e r p F h g • it n i w t in r 16, n unde s face pa t e n (Childret ID required e e r t F r • Studen r 13 years) & bee if ove drinks , s Q e i B h B p • o r t s& eum r prize to Mus y r t • Majo n e s include • Price

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The Easter Parade Has Begun!

Cook-off tests skills of students in the kitchen

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open every day, offering beau ful Devonshire Teas, gluten-free slices, mini ‘High Tea’, specialty teas and our own Nessie’s Daffodil Tearooms coffee Plus the widest array of new homewares and gi s ever, all showcased in the gallery’s ten beau fully-themed rooms. LAWSON GALLERY: ‘Badger House’, 3 Badgery Crescent, Lawson NSW 2783 Open 10am to 5.30pm daily Ph: (02) 4759 3434 (From Sydney, turn right at the San Jose Bridge lights BEFORE the Lawson township ... look out for the sign on the leŌ)





tudents from across the local area donned chef hats and pulled out their spatulas for an inter-schools hospitality challenge last week. On Friday, March 7, students converged on McCarthy Catholic College for the inaugural Hotel Management Institute (HMI) Challenge. Students took part in three challenges throughout the day, one of those being a high pressure cook-off. “In the kitchen there was a constant buzz of activity; I was stunned by the degree of knowledge these hospitality students showed,” said McCarthy Careers Adviser, Craig Laffin. “All students had fun and the tension

(because it was a competition) gave an extra element to the enjoyment.” Students also had to give a presentation, which they had prepared earlier, and take part in a problem solving challenge, where the students had to assist a person posing as a disgruntled hotel guest. Each team’s performance was judged by Ralf Bruegger, General Manager of the Escarpment Group, who is an international chef. Caroline Chisholm College students, Madison Pirrone and Sarah Simmons took out the first prize, winning themselves an Apple iPad each. A McCarthy Catholic College team, Ellen Storie-Gregory and Brooke Said, came second and Glenmore Park High School Students, Petra Henry and Teagan Simpson were awarded third place.

Honours for local senior citizens CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

our local residents have been recognised for their community involvement through the 2014 Penrith Seniors Week Local Achievement Awards. Penrith’s Murray Wilcockson has been recognised for his role as President and Chairman of the Penrith Disabilities Resource Centre. Helen Fitzgerald has been given a Local Achievement Award for her 17 years of service to the Nepean Hospital Pastoral Care Group. On weekly visits to the

hospital, she speaks fluent Greek and Turkish to patients, offering translation services and a friendly ear to listen to patients’ concerns. Equally worthy of recognition is Joan Peard, who was the instigator and founder of the Co-Op Foundation, assists with the organisation of the Glenbrook Spring Festival and even finds time to assist the local rotary club. Joyce Bellchambers is the president of PATH, a local disability advocacy information service and also leads a carers group in Penrith. The four volunteers were given their awards this week by Penrith MP Stuart Ayres.

Our NRMA Insurance Ball Amnesty will be at the Penrith Festival on Saturday 22nd March giving you the chance to swap your used ball (size 3 and above) for a new NRMA Insurance Wanderers Ball. To get involved with NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers visit: WW7629



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Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

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Our obsession with fast food 11 McDonald’s restaurants in Penrith highlights our love of eating out Andrew s Roa d


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f one thing is for certain, it is that we love our fast food chains. A new report has shown that 46 per cent of people in NSW eat take-away from a major chain every month and that the usual suspects are our favourites. The ‘Out of Home Dining Industry Report’ by Ipsos’ Enhanced Media Metrics Australia project, has found that Australians make 51.5 million visits to a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) every month, with 40 per cent of these consumers loyal to one or two brands. McDonald’s topped the list as the most popular brand among Australians, with 42 per cent of fast food consuming Australians visiting the ‘golden arches’ in the past four weeks. It was followed by Subway (29 per cent), KFC (23 per cent), Hungry Jack’s (16 per cent) and Domino’s Pizza (11 per cent). “Perhaps not surprisingly, it is young people, aged between 14 and 29, that are the heaviest users of dining out and takeaway options, with 86 per cent saying they eat out at least once a month and 60 per cent choose Quick Service Restaurants, with McDonald’s, Subway and KFC topping their choice of brands,” Ipsos Managing Director Simon Wake said. In Penrith, there are 50 major fast food chain stores, including 11 McDonald’s restaurants and 16 Subway branches. According to the report, the number of consumers willing to consider eating at Subway is much higher than those who actually visit the chain, with 52 per cent of fast food consumers considering it, but only 29 per cent going there.



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Fast food chains in Penrith: Locations of the major stores. Graphic: Maddy Searle But resisting the temptation of McDonald’s is much harder, with 42 per cent considering Maccas and 39 per cent then following up with a purchase. Overall, in the outer west and Blue Mountains, the average person buys takeaway 0.76 times per week, that’s just less than the Sydney average of 0.82 times per week. “Interestingly for brands, the study uncovered three key drivers for Quick

Service Restaurant consumers: price and convenience, health and taste,” Mr Wake said. “‘Price and convenience’ was the most popular choice, with over two thirds of the population choosing a fast food chain on this basis. “The next key driver was ‘health’, with a quarter of Australians carefully selecting a healthy option. ‘Taste’ was ranked as a key choice by just eight per cent of people.”

KFC locations • Westfield Penrith • Panthers complex Mulgoa Road • Aspen Street, South Penrith • Dunheved Road, Werrington • Corner of Glenmore Parkway and Town Terrace, Glenmore Park • Corner of Mamre Road and Banks Drive, St Clair Hungry Jack’s locations: • Corner of Parker Street and Copeland Street, Kingswood • Corner of Blaikie Street and Mulgoa Road, Penrith • Mamre Road, St Marys McDonald’s locations: • Peachtree Road, North Penrith • Westfield Penrith • Panthers Complex Mulgoa Road • High Street, Penrith • Star Court, Cambridge Gardens • Luttrell Street, Glenmore Park • Corner of Great Western Highway and Reserve Road, Werrington • St Marys Village, Charles Hackett Drive • Corner of Forrester Road and Boronia Road, St Marys North • Corner of Mamre Road and Hall Street, St Marys • Bennett Road, St Clair Red Rooster locations: • Mulgoa Road, Jamisontown • Russell Street, Emu Plains • Dunheved Road, Werrington • St Clair shopping centre


$2.7 million upgrade for school at Kemps Creek CASSANDRA O’CONNOR

Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender



amre Anglican School has big plans for its school grounds with a brand new $2.7 million Seniors Studies Centre to be built in the next 12 months. The Kemps Creek school located on Bakers Lane has, according to Headmaster Vic Branson, experienced exponential growth in the last few years that needs to be accommodated. “The school is experiencing very strong growth. We had 160 students enrolled in 2008 and next year, in 2015, we will have over 500 students so we need new facilities,” Mr Branson said. “In 2015 we are also going to re-establish our Year 11 and Year 12 so we need suitable study spaces for them.” Mamre Anglican School in 1994 was approved by Penrith Council for a maximum of 740 students and over a number of years will boost numbers to 600. The school is very grateful to have been

shown support from the Federal Government, which has made “a significant contribution” to the cost of the project. “We applied for funding through the Block Grant Authority for independent school funding and received a very large grant,” Mr Branson said. “We have been given $750,000 and the building will cost $2.7 million – the grants are not usually that large so we are grateful. The building really is quite modern in design and includes flexible learning spaces, seminar rooms and two science labs. “It will be built at the front of the school near the road and will certainly be a standout feature.” Plans have already been submitted to Penrith City Council for approval, with the new centre set to reinvigorate the identity of the school. “Construction will hopefully commence in May and subject to the weather take approximately six months to complete, meaning it will be ready for senior students next year,” Mr Branson said.

Headmaster Vic Branson with plans for the new study centre


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Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender



dear weekender...

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Behaviour in question What a pack of paranoid imbeciles (RBB will be back for Derby, Western Weekender March 7). If you don’t do illegal stuff and behave like morons you won’t get hassled. BRENDAN JOHNSON, VIA FACEBOOK

Remove the trouble makers The club and the FFA have simply reacted to what seems to be endless trouble, they have a duty of care to do so. The RBB should be working closely with the club to remove the trouble makers. STEFAN HOFFMAN, VIA FACEBOOK

Congratulations We wanted to congratulate the Western Weekender on its new look. At last, thought has been put into a local newspaper making every bit a joy to read for all at the table. Well done! STEVE, VIA WEBSITE

A Better Future? During the 1970’s I was a teenager living in country Victoria.

If I was aware, I would certainly have had no interest in a second airport 700km away in Sydney and since then have assumed that politicians had decided not to proceed based on the high cost of providing the infrastructure or perhaps the perceived loss of air and water quality and the effect these would have on the “food bowl” of Sydney. During the 1980’s I moved to Sydney and was busy travelling back and forth between Penrith and Sydney CBD working to pay off an expensive mortgage. I spent very little time in Penrith so an airport at Badgerys Creek was not high on my list of concerns. During the very late 90’s on a day I cannot recall, a glossy brochure arrived at my letterbox so I devoted some time studying the various runway options, A,B & C, all of which seemed to suggest that Penrith and Narellan would become flight path affected. The food bowl had mostly disappeared, replaced by growing suburbs like Cecil Hills, Glenmore and Harrington Parks but at least Oran Park was still housing a race track and a few rabbits. The nay message was very simple, spend

a day or two at Strathfield or Hurstville and the aircraft noise experienced there will be similar to what Penrith can expect since each would be a similar distance from an airport. I worked at Burwood for a few years so it was a good test. The yea message was based on jobs creation but apart from construction jobs very little was said about longer term job creation, a case of “build it and they will come” seemed to be implied. Our western suburbs climate is 10 or so degrees hotter or colder than the eastern suburbs so I speculated that a baggage handler driving on a tarmac at Mascot would have an easier life compared to colleagues doing the same in 40 degree summer heat out west. The spin at the time suggested that BCA would be an overflow airport but blind Fred could see that once operational tighter curfews would be placed at Mascot which would result in much more “overflow” at BCA which would become a 24x7 port. Given the spin, the higher number of hot, cold and fog bound days along with expected flight path and pollution issues I concluded

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

that a western airport would probably be closed for an unprofitable portion of the year thus making the project very questionable. History proves that politicians at that time thought the project had a few bugs compounded by public concern and shelved the idea – supposedly forever. Forever has expired and it is now 2014 and BCA is back in the news with the same argument supporting a need for a second airport and more jobs. Qantas is experiencing turbulence probably because fuel and tax expenses are too high and fares too low so I suspect a white elephant may be entering the room called western Sydney. Oran Park has lost its race track and rabbits so the housing landscape has increased significantly over the past 15 years. On the employment front what we really need is more white collar jobs out west to replicate high tech suburbs like Macquarie Park etc. It is suggested that the airport will need 10 years of construction before it starts to earn its keep which is good for the builders however I speculate that during that time the RAAF will move out of Orchard Hills prompted by

modelling the crash risk and the proposed Luddenham High Tech park if it proceeds, will close since it would be hard to concentrate on new technology solutions with Jumbos flying a few hundred metres above the roof. My eyes and hearing are not getting any better with age and I spend most of my time staying local these days so when the airport is finished I will be in my 60’s and probably care even less about Jumbos flying 700 metres above Penrith, likewise for most of the pushers of this project. Glenmore Park and Oran Park will have expanded to within sight of the runways but most of their home owners will be travelling to the east working to pay off their half-a-mill mortgage so they probably will not care either. My kids will not care because they will be smart enough to move to Bathurst or Nowra. My only concerns will be, will I be able to fly to Nowra from BCA door to door in less than one hour using a pensioner $2 return ticket and who do I sue when fuel is dumped over my home? DAVID MOORFIELD, GLENMORE PARK

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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Penrith Council has received an application to use the existing premises at unit 5/61-63 Batt Street, Jamisontown as a meat cutting facility. The existing premises are currently vacant and it is proposed that the existing ground floor space will be converted into a production cool room, wholesale cool rooms, dry goods storage and a dispatch cool room. Sunnyside Fresh Meat would be the tenant, who have been operating out of Bonnyrigg for several years but wish to relocate to Penrith. Service NSW was created as part of the NSW Government’s Simpler Government Services Plan and as part of the plan, 18 service centres are being established across NSW. One is planned for Penrith at Suite 1, 333 High Street Penrith. These centres offer a one-stop shop for 800 transactions relating to Roads and Maritime Services, Fair Trading, Births, Deaths and Marriages. Suite 1 is currently vacant but was previously occupied by the Department of Community Services. Plans for the Service NSW centre are now with Penrith Council.

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Penrith Council has put together a draft technical manual for the Penrith City Centre. Approved for public exhibition, the technical manual specifies

the standards of design, materials, and finishes for future street upgrades and maintenance. It covers street and footpath layouts, paving, kerb steps and ramp standards, street tree standards and street furniture such as bins, bollards and seats. Councillor Maurice Girotto has said that Penrith should declare itself open to theme park proposals after a report to Council on Monday evening suggested there is opportunities for private investment should there be interest. “I thank the staff for this good report... and I think Penrith should declare itself open to any proposal simply because of the tourism and employment aspects alone,” he said. Beat of a Different Drum, a fourhour free event for Penrith City’s youth, will be hosted by Fusion Western Sydney on March 22, 2014. The event, which will mark Harmony Day, will include a drumming workshop, a performance poetry workshop and feature X-Factor sensation Fortunate. Penrith City Council is a partner in Beat of a Different Drum, alongside TRI Community Exchange, Mission Australia, TAFE WSI, Nepean Migrant Access, Fusion Western Sydney and St Anthony’s Family Care.


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Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender


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New paper well received by locals We’d like to thank all our loyal readers, advertisers and supporters for the exceptionally good feedback we’ve received since the launch of the new-look Western Weekender last week. “It’s an exciting time for us and we’re so pleased that the readership has accepted the change with open arms,” said Weekender Editor, Troy Dodds.

Panthers legend Luke Priddis with the new-look Western Weekender “You always expect some negatives when changes are made but in this case, we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback.” Your Western Weekender now comes bagged every single week, so you no longer have to worry about the rain ruining your weekend read. Plus, we’ve launched exciting new products including our new A4 gloss property magazine Western Property and Extra Time, our bigger, better rugby league newspaper for the 2014 NRL season – dedicated to the Penrith Panthers.


Honour for our Suzi Council staff member recognised for hard work CASSANDRA O’CONNOR



Penrith Council staff member has been recognised at the recent Awards for Women in Local Government. Suzanne Flynn is Penrith Council’s chief rates clerk and received the award for Non-Senior Staff Member – Metropolitan Council at a ceremony in State Parliament House last Wednesday. Penrith MP Stuart Ayres congratulated Ms Flynn on her award. “Suzi has shown a staunch commitment to serving the Penrith community as chief rates clerk for Penrith City Council,’’ he said. “She also actively promotes women’s participation in local government. She has been a mentor in the City of Sydney’s Women in Leadership program, where she inspired her mentee into a supervisory role.’’ Ms Flynn is also currently an executive member of the NSW Revenue Professionals Society Inc and worked as a rates officer with City of Sydney for 13 years. Local Government Minister Don Page said the women recognised at the awards ceremony were very deserving. “The women recognised today have

Suzanne Flynn and Minister for Women, Pru Goward not just worked in local government in order to seek accolades,” he said. “They have been motivated to succeed – as leaders, advocates, mentors and professionals – because of their commitment to the communities and councils

that they serve. I commend them for this commitment. “The Awards showcase women who excel as community leaders and professional service providers in local government,” he concluded.

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Festival will rock Penrith CBD


Street parade will highlight major event in city centre on March 22 KATHERINE TWEED


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he local community is set to come together in celebration of all things Penrith, from our wide variety of small businesses to our exceptional talent, when the Penrith Festival rolls into town next weekend. The annual festival, covering High, Station, Riley and Woodriff Streets, brings thousands to the Penrith CBD each year and this year will be no exception. Penrith comes alive on Saturday, March 22, with an over 100-stall open street market and a street parade, as well as loads of free entertainment, activities and amusement rides. A vintage 50’s and 60’s theme will see Penrith transported back in time as festival attendees and business people alike dress up in their vintage gear to play games like hopscotch and a giant version of snakes and ladders, and enjoy themed entertainment. “It is all about bringing the community together and supporting Penrith’s CBD. It’s going to be a fabulous day of old fashioned fun,” said Penrith CBD Corporation CEO, Gai Hawthorn. In addition to the traditional street parade, kicking off at 12.30pm, and the market, there will be a couple of new and exciting additions to the festival for 2014. Those who are fans of Channel Nine’s ‘The Block’, will love the new ‘Sustainable Building Challenge’, sponsored by Sustainable Homes and Bunnings Warehouse. This inter-schools competition will see student teams from a number of local schools design, build and decorate (with

Penrith will come alive with fun and entertainment at the Penrith Festival next weekend design features purchased from local businesses on the day) their own mini homes before the public has the chance to vote for the winner after midday. Panthers fans will be thrilled with the opportunity to grab merchandise and tickets at the festival before the Panthers play their third game of the season at

Sportingbet Stadium later in the day. The vintage theme will be carried across to the game, where the festival atmosphere will be maintained. There will be two stages at the festival featuring live music and entertainment throughout the day, with one specifically designed for kids.

“This will be a day full of fun for all the family, so make sure you get out your vintage 50’s and 60’s costumes because you could come out with a prize,” Ms Hawthorn said. To enter the best dressed competition or for more information, contact the Penrith CBD Corporation by calling 4722 5556.


Author offers students inspiration and ideas KATHERINE TWEED



Tristan Bancks speaking with students at St Paul’s Grammar School

Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

unique presentation by teen and children’s author, Tristan Bancks, has inspired local students to pick up a book and get reading. The author, who grew up in the lower Blue Mountains, visited St Paul’s Grammar School recently to entertain middle school students with stories from his life and within his books, which include My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up and the Nit Boy series. In addition to sharing his life experiences, the author also shared some valuable tricks-of-the-trade with the local students, including where he finds the ideas for his writing, how he notes down those ideas and how he gets himself in the mood for writing. With the current generation of children growing up with more and more television options, smart phones, iPads and less printed material, it’s important that

students learn about books, writing and the inspiration that feeds them. Students were inspired after meeting the author, with some even claiming he had changed their attitudes to books altogether. “He made me want read, and I don’t like to read,” said one student at the school, Christian. Students looking forward to a career in writing one day were thrilled to meet a well-known author in person and have the opportunity to learn from him directly. “It was great to be up close and personal with an author I had seen from a distance at the Sydney Writers’ Festival,” said student, Noah. Students were able to take home copies of Mr Bancks’ newly released books, Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up. It’s hoped that talks like the one from Mr Bancks will help to engage students with reading, and potentially spark an interest in widening their knowledge and enthusiasm for printed materials.

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26 More support for parents on the way

Students pledge to make positive choices

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N The Ferguson family of Cranebrook say more support for parents is needed KATHERINE TWEED



arents of children living with disability often struggle to find their feet, but a new program launched recently assists parents in finding the right services. Cranebrook parents, Andrew and Cassandra Ferguson’s two children, seven-year-old Mackenzie and three-yearold Lachlan, have autism, are non verbal and are not toilet trained. “When Mackenzie was first diagnosed, my wife and I had virtually no idea what Autism was. After her diagnosis, we were

basically told ‘here’s a website, here’s a pamphlet’ and were sent on our way,” Mr Ferguson said. “For us, every day is hard, everything we do is hard. What a lot of services don’t consider is parents.” The ‘Stepping Stones: Triple P Project’ addresses the needs of parents and carers through a survey, which looks at the emotional, behavioural and social difficulties of children with disabilities. Mr Ferguson said the program will be life-changing for families who have a child who is newly diagnosed with disability. Visit to fill out the survey and receive parenting support.

epean Creative and Performing Arts High School’s entire Year 10 class of 2014 signed a special charter last week, declaring their dedication to their future studies and careers. Each student signed the charter to show their commitment to upholding the “earn or learn” philosophy taught by the school’s Wider Choices Real Futures program, inspired by the well respected Beacon Foundation. The program provides students with the opportunity to meet with local businessmen and women, and prepares them for life after school by teaching important skills that will assist them after graduating. “I think it is important that our school has this connection to the businesses in our area – I know I have benefited from it greatly,” said Year 11 student, Sam Spiteri, who signed the charter last year. “I hope to see more and more businesses enter the school and give students more opportunities. On the same note, I want to see more and more students giving it their all and making use of these opportunities.” The program has been deemed a success by the school, with 88 per cent

Student leaders Christian Magar, Jasmine Spiteri and Bethany Henry of the school’s Year 12 students in 2013 moving on to tertiary studies or full-time employment. Over 50 local business representatives were present at the ceremony, each signing the charter to show their support of the program and students. “The support from both Beacon and local businesses is still overwhelming and is testament to the relationships that have been developed and nurtured over the years,” said Principal, Max Foord. “I want to thank all businesses for their commitment to helping students make positive choices.”

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Alan Jones remains the undisputed king of breakfast radio after the release of the latest ratings on Tuesday. But the 2GB star’s massive win was overshadowed by Kyle and Jackie O’s success at their new station, KIIS FM. The former Mix 106.5, KIIS skyrocketed to number one on the FM dial with 8.8 per cent of the audience. Kyle and Jackie O’s breakfast show secured a 9.3 per cent share, equal with the WSFM breakfast show. The star duo’s former station 2DayFM suffered a major setback, not only losing the number one mantle at breakfast but falling by 4.5 per cent overall. 2DayFM, the king of FM radio for much of the last decade, now sits behind sta-

contagious infections known,” Dr Sheppeard said. “Complications can range from swelling of the brain and pneumonia to ear infections and diarrhoea. Since the beginning of the year, 26 cases of measles have been reported in NSW. Measles continues to be brought back to Australia by under-vaccinated young travellers to Philippines and South-East Asia. “As a result, people have now been infected with measles in Bathurst, on the Central Coast and in various parts of metropolitan Sydney. An infectious traveller has also spent time in Tamworth, Armidale and Singleton. “NSW Health urges everyone to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations.”

tions like Triple M, Triple J, Nova and SmoothFM. Its breakfast show dropped to a 3.8 per cent share from 10.4.


per cent Jones was the true winner though, collecting another big survey win with 15.2 per cent of the breakfast audience. Ray Hadley was also dominant, grabbing 16.3 per cent of the share from 9am-Midday.

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TV car winner to donate her old wheels to charity that helps kids in need



PLUMBERS Cranebrook’s Danette Bower will donate her old car to charity After winning a brand new car on Channel Ten’s new morning show ‘Studio 10’ last November, Cranebrook resident Danette Bower wants to pay it forward by donating her old car to charity. Mrs Bower will donate her much-loved old Daewoo car to the Kids Under Cover ‘Donate Your Car’ program which raises vital funds for youth homelessness prevention across the country. Mrs Bower said the first knowledge she had about the charity’s program was after a work colleague suggested the idea on Facebook. “I put up a Facebook status if anyone knew where to sell my car for parts,” she said. “One of the guys from work commented and said he donated his car to Kids Under

Cover. I wasn’t aware there was a charity that did that.” Mrs Bower’s car was collected this week and will now be taken for any mechanical repairs before being auctioned off to a new owner. 100 per cent of proceeds from the auction will go towards preventing youth homelessness. “I didn’t want to just get rid of the car. This makes me feel like I’m doing something that will benefit many people,” Mrs Bower said. Meanwhile, Mrs Bower’s husband Seth will also be taking part in the program by donating his old motorbike. For more information on the Kids Under Cover program visit www.

Safety Plan gets tick of approval Attorney General Greg Smith has endorsed the Penrith City Council Community Safety Plan as a Safer Community Compact. Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres said this meant the council was now eligible to apply for funding under the Safer Communities Development Fund for crime prevention projects. “I congratulate Penrith City Council on its efforts to promote crime prevention. The Attorney General’s endorsement of their Community Safety Plan is recognition of their good work,” Mr Ayres said last week. The Community Safety Plan targets the

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reduction of offences in public spaces – such as harassment and antisocial behaviour, motor vehicle theft and assaults – as well as domestic violence and malicious damage. “The plan develops actions and initiatives designed to improve the physical environment, to improve public space and at the same time deter crime,” Mr Ayres said. “The council has developed a wellconsidered Community Safety Plan to reduce a number of priority offences. It focuses on tangible strategies which involve local residents, community agencies and service providers.”


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isten up, Penrith… you’re about to get a lot more entertainment! Penrith CBD Corporation with the assistance of Penrith City Council will be activating the new Pop Up Park every Friday night and Sunday lunch with free, live entertainment for families. Penrith’s new area, the Pop Up Park, down the end of High Street, will be featuring local talent, free entertainment and encouraging all ages to come out and help revive the CBD. Over the next few months, watch out for foodie vans, outdoor cinema nights, school holiday activities, free Yoga classes, free art classes and much more. The entertainment begins at 6pm tonight, Friday, March 14 at the Pop Up Park in front of the delicious familyfriendly Avoca Woodfire Pizza Restaurant. It will then continue on Sunday afternoon from 11.30am with more music from talented local artists supplied by The Performance Academy. “I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful weekend than dining alfresco at Avoca Restaurant, or any of the other delicious restaurants in the CBD whilst listening to some great local talent,” Gai Hawthorn, CEO of Penrith CBD Corporation said. Over the next few weeks there will continue to be plenty on offer at the Pop Up Park for people of all ages to enjoy. During the upcoming Easter School Holidays the Pop Up Park will be transformed with plenty of activities for the kids including a cute Mad Hatters Tea Party. More information on events at the Pop Up Park and in the Penrith CBD can be found on the Penrith CBD Corporation Facebook page or


Penrith comes alive with fun Are you looking for some fun close to home? The Penrith CBD Corporation is organising free entertainment in the Penrith CBD as part of its plan to see more and more people coming into the central part of our city.

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Get out of the slump

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We all experience slumps in our enthusiasm for running our business. It is a rare person (if she exists at all!) who can maintain a high level of energy all the time. So how do you pep yourself up? Here are some tips: Use a business coach. A good business coach can give you the positive push you need, provide accountability and increase your enthusiasm immensely. Network with other business owners. Talking through

struggles and triumphs with other business owners can be a great release and a great way to increase your energy levels. Mutual support and a shared understanding will improve your outlook. Find a mentor. While it is valuable and important to meet with other business owners, meeting regularly with a mentor who has more experience is a great way to be encouraged. Mentors can often be a

source of advice and a sounding board for new ideas. Delegate. Often the most energy sapping part of running a business is the mundane and repetitive tasks. Wherever possible, find ways to outsource or hire staff to free you up to work on the areas that do inspire you. Commit yourself to lifelong learning. There is no one who can profess that they have learnt ‘everything’.

Of Australia’s 15.4 million Internet users, 11,704,000 made a purchase or placed an order over the Internet in the 20122013. While there is a slightly higher proportion of male than female Internet users (84 per cent compared to 83 per cent), the reverse is true for online shopping in 2012-2013. Over three quarters (76 per cent) of female Internet users shopped online compared to 75 per cent of male Internet users. Have you as a business owner or person thought about how

you can benefit from these big numbers? Do you have a good website? A nice presence on social media? Do constant checks on your search engine optimisation? List your business on online directories? The survey by ABS also found that travel, accommodation, memberships or tickets of any kind were the most common type of purchase for both males and females. You can’t underestimate the importance of the web.

After living and working in London for some five years and having fully succumbed to city lifestyle my son has not ever wanted to join me for anything west past Parramatta where we live. So when he emails me a Good Food expose on the success of Henri Marc in Penrith I took notice. He is one of tens of thousands of young professionals with a dollar to spare for good coffee and ambience who sustain the cafe culture that is a hallmark of city living. Not that we don’t have cafes and the like in the suburbs. However when places like Henri Marc which I personally love as well, gets noticed and is discussed by our brethren in the east it brings good omen for the city. According to the magazine the punters have been saying new Penrith cafe Henri Marc is like something you’d find in Surry Hills, but that does it a disservice. In opening their first cafe, Sophia and Aaron Bernecki are not looking to the city. Both chefs by trade, they moved back to their native Penrith in 2012 with the dream of opening the sort of place at which they’d like to eat. They opened Henri Marc, quickly expanding to a team of half a dozen employees. When large companies are often shedding jobs, we look to small businesses particularly those in the service industries to provide jobs. Henri Marc not only brings the chic factor and sophistication to the city lifestyle but also much needed local jobs. Entrepreneurs such as Sophia and Aaron are taking a real lead in our city.

MICHAEL TODD Business Manager of the PBAC

Importance of the web It was interesting to read recently that new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in 2012-2013, a massive 76 per cent of Australia’s 15.4 million Internet users (persons aged 15 and over) made a purchase or placed an order over the Internet.






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Walking to victory

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Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies presents Ryan with the State Representative Award NATHAN TAYLOR



alking is something we all do in our everyday lives but 14-year-old Ryan Thomson does it that little bit better. The local Twin Creeks resident recently took home gold at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships. Ryan was part of the NSW Athletics team who travelled to Townsville for

the event. The Emmaus Catholic College student competed in the U14 boys 3km Race Walk against some of the country’s top walkers. Ryan won the race by eight seconds, a huge testament to his coach, former Olympian Cheryl Webb. “I was just aiming for a medal and tried to get into a good position early,” he said. Only taking up the sport three years ago, the Colyton St Clair Little Athletics Club member clearly has talent to watch!

ith the Shute Shield rugby season just a fortnight away, another competition is about to get started for the slightly older generations of the Penrith area. Called Golden Oldies Rugby, the concept is enjoyed worldwide by men 35-years and over. Like junior games, the rules are modified to reduce the risk of injury. One team on the hunt for new players is the Penrith Legless Emus. 80-year-old Bob Bell is just one of the many current players keen on some new teammates to join in on all the fun. “Don’t let age beat you. I love the game and the friendships I’ve formed through it,” he admitted. The Legless Emus participate in regular social games, Gala Days and other events from March to October each year. They also attend ‘Oldies festivals’ worldwide, having played in the 2012 festival in Japan. This year’s festival will take place in Argentina. Players of all shapes, sizes and abilities are welcome at the Legless Emus – the only requirement is that you have to be at least 35-years-old and looking for some

Bob Bell in action good old fashioned fun. If anyone does get too serious on the paddock, Mr Bell likes to set them straight. “Life’s not all beer and football, some of us haven’t touched a football for months,” he joked. “The emphasis is on the Golden Oldies motto: fun, friendship and fraternity.” Registration will be held this Sunday, March 16 at Nepean Rugby Park. For more info call Ian Joliffe on 0425 370 025.

BOWLS // Mick Gilfoyle General Manager Required The Penrith Cricket Club competes in the Sydney Grade competition. The competition is the traditional feeder competition to the New South Wales state team. We also have two highly successful women’s teams. We are the home of notable players such as test star Patrick Cummins, NSW bowler Josh Lalor and NSW state coach Trevor Bayliss. Success in this role will be the ability to significantly grow the clubs revenue streams, cultivate and maintain high-level relationships with major stakeholders from the local district and beyond, boost the Penrith Cricket brand and oversee the club operations and cricket program to deliver sustainable long term performance.

Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

The General Manager will be responsible for: • Strategic Direction and Planning • Identify key issues and relationships relevant in achieving strategic operational and revenue goals • Playing a key role in budgetary matters, including the development of a cricket and commercial operations budget • Implement and ensure best practice processes are in place to support structures, strategies and operations, to promote, manage and control the resources and activities of the Penrith Cricket Club. • Managing all other paid employees of the Penrith Cricket Club • Identifying, analyzing, managing and reporting on operational, sponsorship, revenue generation and financial and compliance risk to the committee. Key relationships: • Reports to Penrith Cricket Club executive and committee • Key members of the committee including the president, treasurer, grounds manager, cricket manager, marketing manager, Head Coach and his other specialist coaches, respective team managers and captain’s. • Existing club sponsors and the broader local business network to entrench the Penrith Cricket Club brand as central to the community.

• Lead the clubs healthy already thriving relationship with Penrith City Council. • Penrith NRL club and Panthers Rugby League Club • Head Penrith Cricket Club representation with Sydney Cricket Association • Lead relationship building with Sydney Thunder • Penrith Junior Cricket Association and Penrith Junior Rep cricket Qualifications & Experience • Knowledge of sport and the Penrith District • Proven experience in business administration • Proven at projecting and managing budgets • Proven leadership • Knowledge and experience of commercial business, including sponsorship and revenue generation

THE WEATHER TOOK A TURN FOR THE best last weekend, which enabled the first two rounds of the NDBA Pennants to be completed. Some clubs had major troubles with players withdrawing on the Sunday with the replaying of the first round. However, some clubs have got through the two rounds with two wins; those being, Blacktown Workers in the No1 Grade, Penrith in Grade 3 and Grade 4, Windsor in 5-1’s, Wisemans Ferry in 5-2’s Springwood and Richmond in the 6’s and Glenbrook Panthers in Grades 7-1 and 7-2’s. There is a long way to go yet. The District has been advised that Mathew Searle has resigned. Mat has just completed his six month tenure at

BA and has made an impact on his region during this brief period. Mat has been headhunted to return to his previous industry, timber. We wish Mat all the very best with his new role and thank him for his contribution. Mat concludes his time on Friday, March 21. Congratulations to Trent Whittingham (Penrith) who for the second year has claimed the NDBA ‘Bowler of the Year’ award. He won by three points over fellow club mate Jim Lord. The NSW Government has opened a new grant program, ClubGRANTS Category 3 to increase participation in sport and recreation and support healthy lifestyles. Check it out!

HARNESS RACING // Lorraine Pozza

Location: This position is primarily located at Penrith Cricket Club, Station Street, Penrith NSW. This position will require car travel across Sydney. Proposed hours and remuneration: • Average of 3.5 days per week. Workload may be more during the season & less during off seasonw. • Annual base salary of $30,000 - $35,000 PLUS a negotiable commission structure. • The candidate will be employed in a contract capacity.

Applications for this role should include a covering letter and accompanying resume, and can be submitted to Enquiries can be directed to Mathew Thompson on 0408514574. WW7562

RETIRED POLICE ASSOCIATION Members and their guests were at the Penrith Paceway last Thursday night. Cyclonedomic ($4.40) driven by Josh Willick took out the first event after having an easy run in behind the leader Just Tootsie. Race two gave driver Blake Fitzpatrick the first of a winning treble with Young and Foolish ($4.10). He went three wide early and then sat outside the leader before taking the lead at the 200m mark. Im Tondelayo ($2.50), scored in race three with Blake again holding the reins. From last at the bell he went three wide to pressure the leader, Waste of Time, and after a brief struggle was too good in the run home. Outsider Blakes Jet ($15.60) driven by

Kylie Barnes took out race four after the leading horses poured on the pace and made it easier for horses to come from behind. The Redeemer ($2.60), after a few beaten runs was able to redeem himself in his backers’ eyes and win the fifth race giving Blake Fitzpatrick his treble for the night. The runner up Phil The Tooth showed that he will soon be in the winners list. Remember Rapunzel ($13.30) with driver Rob Morris took out the seventh race. Dawn Magic ($2.10) always looked a winner with driver Lawrence Dawson and took out the last event. Next week Penrith will be racing twice, first on Tuesday afternoon and then again on our usual Thursday night.

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SPORT Incident overshadows a great Sydney Derby



ADAM PEACOCK Sports journalist for the Fox Sports team

Derby was played in front of an incredible atmosphere at Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC won the Derby, but one incident in many won the headlines. Ali Abbas’ accusation that a Western Sydney Wanderers player had racially abused him hogged it all, placing it above the enthralling 90 minutes that preceded it, played in front of one of the best atmospheres anyone has ever seen in Australia. In any sport. Sitting in the Fox Sports studios, we couldn’t quite believe it when Abbas, still wound up with anger coursing through every vein, said what he did. His religion and where he’s from had been sullied. Allegedly. As much as you can know someone from meeting them a couple of times, Ali Abbas is an engaging character who is never too far from breaking into a full-face grin. That’s off the pitch. On the pitch he fights like few others do, and when things get him riled, he can lose it. Thank goodness Sasa Ognenovski was out there to act as security otherwise Ali’s red mist would have resulted in a red card. (On that, can we get Sash to organise security for next season on in the A-League? Just a thought…) Anyway, his demeanour has undertaken a whole different context since his post-game interview. Sydney put in the official complaint so let the investigation begin. As much as I love a good story, and good journalism, hopefully this all plays out the way it should – two people sitting down face to face to thrash it out, and if a resolution can’t be found, an independent expert in such matters can establish the truth. Of course, the media will delve a little deeper than that to expose the truth beforehand. The old default setting “Soccer’s Night of Shame” got a run over the weekend, but last time I checked, things like this happen when you’re driving, crossing the road, in a pub, out with your kids, playing rugby league, AFL, rugby union, ping pong, even chess. Let’s hope the process is the winner in all of this.


Sydney finish strong JUSTIN TODD


40,285-strong crowd greeted the players at Allianz Stadium for the highly anticipated Sydney Derby, with the clash carrying added pressure for both teams. Despite the incredible atmosphere, both teams were locked in a real arm wrestle and unable to create any real chances early on. However, several fouls, missed passes and frantic football in front of a raucous and passionate crowd made it clear that this was no ordinary match. Despite nerves and excitement overshadowing any sort of composure it was Sydney FC who almost took the lead. Terry Antonis slipped a through ball past Wanderers defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley to play Ranko Despotovic through on goal, but Ante Covic denied the Serbian with a solid one-on-one save. Whatever was said in the dressing room by Tony Popovic certainly worked as the Wanderers broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half. Santalab knocked down a cross from the left to Shinji Ono in the box and the Wanderers marquee struck a volley past Janjetovic and celebrated in front of his adoring



Aaron Mooy supporters. A missed Mark Bridge penalty soon after was a turning point in the contest as Sydney FC made the Wanderers pay. The home side had their equaliser through a free-kick as poor positioning from Ante Covic resulted in Matt Jurman heading into an open net. Two further goals ensured Sydney FC would walk away with bragging rights until the sides next meet.


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WSW running out of time Could mid-week trip be a blessing in disguise ahead of clash with Adelaide?


he Wanderers are in the middle of the toughest stretch of their brief existence as they try to improve their form on Australian soil, hosting Adelaide United this Saturday at 5.30pm at Pirtek Stadium. Since their first Asian Champions League group stage match, the Wanderers have lost three matches on the trot on Australian soil. That string – three goals conceded after an early opener to Ulsan Hyundai; a 2-nil blanking at home to Newcastle Jets and a tumultuous 3-1 loss to Sydney FC in the derby after again opening the scoring – sees the Wanderers face the greatest level of adversity they’ve experienced since the average sequence of results at the start of their inaugural season. Those results at the beginning of last year didn’t coincide with the added publicity pressures the club is now experiencing. A boost in focus and clarity of thought is needed to eliminate the catastrophic defensive lapses that have plagued their game in the last couple of weeks. Last

week in the derby it was an unconverted penalty that prevented the Wanderers from taking a 2-0 lead that seemingly broke their concentration. After that save by Sydney FC keeper, Vendran Janjetovic, the Wanderers conceded three goals to very obvious mistakes. Lax marking in the box allowed a goal from a free-kick in off a shoulder, a horrendous back pass gave Richard Garcia the easiest goal he’ll ever score and a handball in the box sewed things up in extra-time. What may help the side as they build into the match against United is a trip to China to play Guizhou Renhe in Guiyang. At first glance a long international trip in the middle of the week before hosting a big match isn’t the best preparation, but amid the pressure the Wanderers are facing in Australia some time away can be a boon. The players will spend more time bonding, focusing on their performances and generally honing their focus as a group. The hope will be the Wanderers return to Sydney with renewed vigour. Another reason getting away might help the side is there’s been some controversy surrounding the Sydney derby because


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Friday 14 March 2014 the western weekender

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of alleged racial insults towards Sydney FC player, Ali Abbas, by a player and a member of the crowd. This is an unfortunate – and if true, abhorrent – spill over from a passionate fixture. Aside from the alleged insults there was a high level of passion in this match and both sets of fans and playing groups will be on a high after it. There are hints the crucible is starting to take its toll on the Wanderers club in minor ways. Wanderers player Jerome Polenz has been proclaiming his indifference towards the “haters that came out of their holes” on Twitter, which in and of itself legitimises the notion the team is under pressure. The Red and Black Bloc returned from their self-imposed hiatus to add their noise and colour to the derby, but the tussle with the club isn’t yet behind them. It’s becoming imperative the Wanderers flip the switch on their form quickly if they are to be in position to make their presence felt at the pointy end of the season. Adelaide United will pose a very organised and potent threat that will require a huge effort to overcome and the Wander-


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ANTE COVIC Goal keeper for the Western Sydney Wanderers

Losing is particularly hard when it’s against a bitter rival like Sydney FC


We win as a team, we lose as a team

King of two wheels

Every loss stings but I’d have to say losing against Sydney FC stings the most. Last weekend’s game against the Sky Blues was one we shouldn’t have thrown away and that’s what it came down to in the end. We made a couple of individual mistakes in that second half and we got punished for them. It’s been our story of late. We’ve made mistakes in the past which we’ve gotten away with but lately we are getting punished for every mistake we make and we’ve got to weed that out. We had an opportunity to close out that game and we didn’t, and that loss really stung on the weekend. The Michael Beauchamp mix up in the second half which led to a Sydney FC goal was one of those uncharacteristic moments of the game. If you asked him to do that play 100 times again, he’d do it right 100 times. It’s just one of those things that can happen to the best players and unfortunately it happened to Meggsy on that day. None of us are going to sit and blame him or anyone else for that matter but we’ve got to weed that out of our game. We win as a team, we lose as a team. Unfortunately our recent run of losses has resulted in teams below us edging closer and closer. There’s not many games left and we really want that second spot. I think Brisbane’s really pushed away and it’s a matter of getting our head down and no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to start getting three points and that’s what it comes down to. We need to forget everything else and focus on the performance on field, because it’s a really critical stage of the season we are in right now. This weekend we hope to get back to our winning ways when we play Adelaide at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night. Adelaide are a tough side who have hit their straps mid-season. They’ve had some really good results and have been putting away some super goals as well. They’re a possession-based team who have really punished some sides this season. Adelaide are a team we can’t take lightly, even though we are at home.




early every kid growing up has a bike. But not every kid grows up without the need for training wheels. And especially not this kid, Jake Kovacic, who at just two is already a pro on his BMX. What makes this Glenmore Park toddler’s story so remarkable is that in the space of six months since owning his first bike, he is already competing in BMX competitions against kids much older than him. Jake’s passion for BMX is so rampant that from the moment he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed, everything in his life is BMX. “Jake watches YouTube videos of BMX races all day long and there’s also an iPad app with the gate start sound which he listens to over and over again until he falls asleep,” his father Mark said. Even when Jake’s not tearing up the dirt track in St Marys, he’s zooming around the house on his balance bike whilst talking about BMX non-stop. Mark said he was surprised and shocked at how fast his son picked up the popular sport. “It’s not something you expect your

Jake Kovacic. Photo: Melinda Jane kid to be doing at two-years-old without training wheels straight away,” he said. Later this month, Jake as well as a number of other great riders from around the state will converge on the St Marys BMX Track at Blair Oval for the Penrith BMX ‘Penrith Open’ on Sunday, March 30.





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CRICKET: Penrith’s first grade game against Bankstown has ended in a draw after rain unfortunately washed out most of the two-day match. When play finally got underway last Saturday, Bankstown batted first scoring 259. Penrith’s Pat Cummins was tremendous with the ball taking 4/40. When Penrith hit the crease later that day, they were 7/202 before stumps ended the match. Luke Morrissey was the best with the bat scoring 76. Penrith remain in second and will play the 17th placed Gordon in a two-day match this weekend at Howell Oval. The game will be the final match of the season before qualifying finals begin next weekend.

CRICKET: While our Penrith cricketers are marching towards their first finals campaign in years, one player who won’t be joining them is UK import Sam Billings, who flew out of the country this week to return to his English club, Kent. Billings, who was nicknamed Prince Harry early on, joined the team back in November and was a welcome addition to the side. Not only was he a great batsman on the field but a great bloke off it. Here’s hoping Penrith fans see him again next summer.

GRIDIRON: The Penrith Grizzlies have gone down in their latest match 36-16 against the Panthers in St George. This Saturday at 6pm, the Grizzlies will play their first home game of the season

against the Cubs at the UWS Hockey Fields in Kingswood. Meanwhile, the club is still on the hunt for both women and seniors players to take part in the upcoming respective competitions for both sides. Visit au for more information.

RUGBY: The Penrith Emus Grades and Colts sides defeated Illawarra in last weekend’s second pre-season trial. This Saturday, March 15, both the first and second grade Emus will play the Central West Blue Bulls at Nepean Rugby Park. Kick off at 1pm.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Round 4 of the junior rugby league representative season took place last weekend with two local sides, Penrith Panthers and Western Sydney Academy of Sport, doing battle. In the Harold Matthews competition Penrith hammered WSAS 44-0 while in the SG Ball competition Penrith defeated WSAS 28-14. This weekend the Panthers take on the Sydney Roosters and Western Sydney Academy of Sport play the St George Dragons.

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. You can Tweet Nathan @natetaylor87.





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“This is one of the biggest AFL games in Sydney this year and we are aiming for a sell out. The Sydney Derbies are going to become big events regardless of ladder position,” he said. “Key forwards provide great entertainment and we have All-Australian full forward in Jeremy Cameron, whilst AFL fans in Sydney will get to see Lance Franklin up close – just two of the reasons why this is a game you have to be at.” Along with their recent number one draft pick in Tom Boyd, former Swans premiership-winning ruckman Shane Mumford is also set to play his first game for the Giants against his old side, while other star recruit Heath Shaw will go head to head with brother, Rhyce. “The Swans have been in Sydney for more than 30 years and are a strong, established club that has achieved tremendous success on and off the field, and we want to continue to collaborate with them off-field to grow the game and on-field to grow the rivalry,” Matthews said. The GWS Giants battle the Sydney Swans at Spotless Stadium this Saturday, March 15 at 4.40pm.



rom tomorrow night, the honeymoon period is over for the GWS Giants. With a host of new faces and young talent to burn it’s time for the AFL’s easybeats to finally get serious. However, the task to get the year off to a good start won’t be all that simple as the Giants face the man that turned them down, Buddy Franklin, and the rest of his Sydney Swans teammates in the traditional Battle of the Bridge season opener. The Giants enter Saturday afternoon’s clash with the Swans at Spotless Stadium (formerly Skoda Stadium) as heavy underdogs but promising pre-season trial form – including a huge 68 point win over St Kilda a fortnight ago as well as narrow loss to Adelaide last Friday – will give them plenty of confidence to compete against the 2012 premiers. Giants Chief Executive David Matthews said fans of both sides should get out and pack the Sydney Olympic Park venue this Saturday afternoon, considering it’s the first time the round one fixture has been played away from the rather large ANZ Stadium.

Adam Treloar of the Giants in action Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media




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Western Weekender March 14  

March 14 edition of The Western Weekender