Monthly Archives: December 2018

Roadworks blamed for accident

Police newsThe roadworks currently underway in Currajong Street were blamed as the cause of a collision between two vehicles on Tuesday afternoon.
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A 42 year-old Queensland man driving a Nissan Patrol was travelling east in Church Street when he attempted to turn left into Currajong Street.

He realised major works were underway, baulked and then collided with a Ford Falcon driven by a 53 year-old Parkes woman.

Police and Ambulance were called to the accident scene where the woman declined ambulance treatment.

However, according to police she later presented herself to the Parkes Hospital for observation.

The male driver was uninjured.

The Falcon was towed from the scene and only minor damage caused to the Nissan Patrol.

Meanwhile, Acting Inspector Jason Barker has reminded motorists of the changes to the law in regards to reporting motor vehicle accidents.

“The new regulations have been in place for almost 12 months now but locally, police are still receiving calls relating to minor accidents,” Acting Inspector Barker said.

“Police need only attend an accident for the following reasons – someone is killed or injured, a party fails to stop and exchange particulars, or a driver is allegedly under the influence of liquor or a drug.

“Tow away collisions still need to be reported to police within 24 hours of occurring, however, there may n ot be a requirement for police to attend the scene.

“In all other circumstances, motorists are asked to contact their insurance company directly to arrange repairs.

“May I stress that if ever anyone is in doubt following an accident, it is requested to call police for advice,” he said

Truck brings down

power lines

Police were called to control traffic after a truck brought down sagging power lines outside a residence on Orange Road on Tuesday morning.

It is understood the wires had been affected by the sudden burst of hot weather which saw temperatures in the mid 30s.

Police were first called to the scene at 11.30am and were in attendance for several hours whilst Essential Energy staff corrected the problem.

Parkes Shire Council Traffic Control diverted traffic via Military and Eugowra Roads throughout the emergency.

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Syrian refugees could call city home in future

Men overwhelmed with emotion collapse onto the shore praying moments after arriving on the Greek island of Lesvos by rubber dinghy with approximately 45 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan after a three hour journey from Turkey. Lesvos, Greece last month. Photo: Kate GeraghtySyrian refugees with no family connections in metropolitan areas are most likely to be settled in regional areas, however it is still unknown if they will come to Dubbo.
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Up to 7000 refugees will travel from Syria and the Middle East to NSW over the next 18 months with the first arrivals expected by the end of the year.

When asked if any of those 7000 would be settled in Dubbo, a Department of Social Services spokesperson said the federal government was continuing to work with state and territory leaders, the Australian Local Government Association and community organisations to discuss how they could contribute to the effort.

“Details of numbers and settlement locations are still to be determined,” the spokesperson said.

“In determining where humanitarian entrants might be referred for settlement services, the Department considers a wide range of factors including the size and composition of family groups, the availability of suitable and affordable accommodation, the existence of any links (family or friends), whether other refugee or migrant communities are in that location, the availability of access to mainstream services (including Centrelink and Medicare), availability of appropriate health services including torture and/or trauma services, access to English language tuition through the Adult Migrant English Program, access to appropriate translation and interpreting services, access to employment and education opportunities for children, adolescents and adults and opportunities for social participation and religious expression.”

NSW Co-ordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement Peter Shergold said many of the refugees would be well educated and have skills that would contribute to Australian society.

“Therefore the challenge is how can we harness that education and those skills so (refugees) can contribute to Australia as soon as possible,” he said.

“We do have to remind people that we have this proud tradition of accepting refugees and the refugees we are accepting are the ones who have borne the greatest pain.”

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Clinical services building almost finished

An aerial shot of the new clinical services building at Dubbo hospital. Photo: Contributed.THE KEYS of the new clinical services building of Dubbo Hospital will be in the hands of its acting general manager Graham Dyer in about three weeks.
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When workers in hard hats exit the building, he will lead its operational commissioning.

Within a few weeks of the completion of the two-storey building a start will be made on the refurbishment of the hospital’s renal unit.

It represents the final component of the $91.3 million stage one and two redevelopment of Dubbo’s public hospital.

Meanwhile, a committee has been formed to organise and run an open day at the new building, set to be a regional hub for surgery and maternity services.

Tours of the new clinical services building will be free but bookings will be essential.

“Details about how and when to book will be provided to the community once they are confirmed,” a Health infrastructure (HI) spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The state government body, managing the planning, design and delivery of capital works in the public health sector, has detailed work currently underway at the clinical services building now connected to Dubbo Hospital.

“Building works on the new clinical services building are now focused on fixtures and fitting placement, services commissioning, training, the installation of major clinical and office equipment, internal cleaning, and external works such as kerbing and footpaths, fencing and landscaping,” the HI spokeswoman said.

“These final activities are in readiness for the handover of the new facility to hospital in the coming weeks.”

The HI spokeswoman said the operational commissioning would take about six weeks.

“During operational commissioning, staff must begin the staged move into the new facility while continuing to provide existing patient care,” she said. “A key part of the transition planning process is to ensure minimal disruption to patient services. “During the operational commissioning period, staff must also undergo orientation and training to ensure they are familiar with their new work areas and work practices.”

The hospital’s renal unit will be expanded to accommodate five more chairs, taking the total number to 14.

“During the refurbishment period, renal services will be temporarily relocated away from building activities,” the HI spokeswoman said. “Further details about this relocation will be announced soon and renal patients will be notified directly.”

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Trio arrested after 150g ice seizure at Mataranka

ICE HAUL: Police discovered this 150-gram stash of methamphetamine hidden under the passenger seat of a vehicle at Mataranka on October 7. Photo: NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICETHREE men have been arrested on a range of drug charges after police discovered 150g of methamphetamine hidden in their vehicle at Mataranka on October 7.
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Detective Superintendent Kris Evans said at about 11am on Wednesday,a blue Holden Commodore pulled into a vehicle checkpoint established just outside of the township.

Upon a search of the vehicle, police located the ice secreted under the passenger seat.

Three males aged 23, 25 and 32 were arrested and charged with possessing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, supplying a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and possessing a thing to administer a dangerous drug.

Police will allege the ice was bound for Darwin.

“Ice is terrible drug that is causing pain and anguish to our community,” Detective Superintendent Evans said.

“It is an illegal drug made in unhygienic conditions and manufactured by unqualified people.

“The police are committed to apprehending those that seek to profit from its supply.”

The men appeared in Katherine Magistrates Court on October 8.

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OPINION: No risk to democracy in union donations

JEFF MCCLOY THE High Court of Australia’s rejection of Jeff McCloy’s challenge to key aspects of NSW election funding laws has left Premier Mike Baird smiling.
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It’s spared him from having to clean up yet another mess involving political donations and the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s investigation of those secretly given for 2011 state election campaigns, including to several former Hunter MPs.

But it’s a safe bet those over at NSW Liberal Party HQ were crying into their coffee while reading the judgment handed down on Wednesday morning.

The ruling upheld the ban on property developer donations, a ban on in-kind support and caps on the amount of money that can be donated to state campaigns.

A decision in Mr McCloy’s favour would not only have put him beyond the reach of ICAC, but those in the Liberal camp who had handled thousands of dollars in ‘‘washed’’ donations from other developers in the lead-up to the election would have come out looking better too.

If the laws were declared invalid, then they couldn’t have been broken in the first place, be it by one developer handing over cash in envelopes or the funnelling of developers’ money through a slush fund into party coffers.

Instead, the message from the High Court is that developers can’t donate in NSW – but unions can.

What instilled Mr McCloy’s legal team with confidence was that Unions NSW had already successfully challenged a similar state ban on corporations and associations making donations.

It may smack of double standards to some that an array of unions can back the ALP while the Liberals aren’t allowed to turn to a section of the business community for similar support.

According to constitutional law expert Professor Anne Twomey, of the University of Sydney, this arises from the court determining that a link between the limits that had been imposed on unions and a corruption risk had not been properly established, whereas in Mr McCloy’s case the court recognised there was such a risk with developers who stood to benefit from planning decisions. This justified infringing the freedom of political communication implied in the constitution, and the developer ban was found a legitimate means of doing so.

As paraphrased by Justice Stephen Gageler, Mr McCloy’s legal team contended that the laws remove the preferential access to candidates and political parties, which would otherwise come to those who have the capacity and incentive to make large donations – an argument ‘‘as perceptive as it is brazen’’.

‘‘It goes to the heart of the mischief to which the provisions are directed,’’ Justice Gageler noted.

As Professor Twomey puts it: ‘‘It was a fairly extraordinary argument to have run and you would have thought it wouldn’t have gained a lot of sympathy for Mr McCloy.

‘‘Perhaps in the circumstances he was going for broke and so he did.’’

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