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Archive for December, 2018

A team of bowlers from St Johns Park won the annual Springwood in Springtime Bowling Tournament held from September 10-11.

Teams from Narooma, Mingara, Austral, Penrith, St Johns Park, Lawson, Hazelbrook, joined local teams to contest six games of two bowl triples over 15 ends during the two days.

Mick Bedford from St Johns Park in action in the Springwood in Springtime Tournament.

The first day was played in cool blustery conditions which tested the skills of all bowlers. However the cream of the bowlers started to rise to the top towards the end of the opening day with Rod Crean’s composite Lawson/Hazelbrook team leading on 121 points from the St John’s Park team 112.

These teams consolidated their positions early on Sunday, a day on which the weather proved to be much kinder. With the two leading teams vying for top position on the leadership board a new challenger, the Austral team, was quietly making their presence felt with wins in their two Sunday games. The outcome of this highly acclaimed $5000 tournament all rested on how these three teams came through their final games.

The eventual winners from St Johns Park, capably skipped by Mick Bedford, were the only team to register sixwins from their six games to finish with 237 points. Chris Tindall’s team from Austral filled second while a draw in their final game dropped Rod Crean’s team to third.

The winning bowlers from St Johns Park

Final men’s results: First – Mick Bedford, John Boniface, Mark Skelton (St Johns Park); second – Chris Tindall, John Whitely, Sean Sommerville(Austral); third – Rod Crean, Mick Galli, Nick Hancott (Lawson/Hazelbrook); fourth – Graham Neich, Chris Robbins, Neil Eldridge (Springwood/Penrith); fifth – Steve Blake, Tim Mitchell, Jim Peoples (Springwood).

Mondaysaw the women’s $2500 tournament conducted in perfect conditions. Daphne Stone’s Springwood team of Barbara Woolley and Margaret Thrift proved too strong for their opponents. The composite Glenbrook/Springwood team led by D. Gray was runner-up while third place was filled by M. Peasnell’s Glenbrook team.

The tournament was organised in excellent fashion by the men’s and women’s committees. Special mention goes to theleadership role played by Dick Evers.

The club also thankedsponsors Carlton Draught, Robert Oatley Wines, Coca Cola, and Steaks on St George Butchery at Faulconbridge.

This year’stournament was named after the late John Thrift, who was asupporter and benefactor of the Springwood club.

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WHISTLEBLOWERS – SINNERS OR SAINTS?Up to 1000 of the wealthiest Australians and their tax advisers are being investigated byofficials of our taxation department because of their links to the Panama Papers, thosedocuments released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists earlier thisyear. It listed more than 200,000 secret offshore clients of a Panama-based law firm.

INVESTIGATION: The ATO has identified more than 800 Australian taxpayers in the Panama Papers. Photo: Fairfax

The ATO revealed a few months ago that it had identified more than 800 individual Australiantaxpayers in those Panama Papers. It was a big breakthrough in the ATO’s campaign tosearch out the tax cheats who believe they are a special class and should not have to pay taxeslike the common people.

The Panama Papers could lead to these people being named andshamed and also bring some big money into our economy.Yet, many people still object to the fact that some brave people have been able to delve intothe questionable activities, not only by the rich and powerful, but by governmentsthemselves.

In fact, it could be argued that the big offenders in most cases are the governmentsthemselves that are so rigid in their strict rules and persistently refuse to allow the people toknow what they are doing. Why?

Governments can be quite childish in their insistence on secrecy. As a working journalist,your ancient scribe was often frustrated by government departments and officials who weresworn to secrecy, usually on the most ordinary issues where there was no need for secrecy atall.

Maybe it’s time we accepted that the big offenders were not the people who revealed the‘secret’ documents, but the petty-minded officials and politicians who don’t want anyoneknowing what they are doing or planning, even though you and I employ them.They are our servants, not the other way around.

Looking at the benefits likely to come from those Papers, isn’t it time we acceptedthe need for clever people capable of investigating irregular or illegal activities andrevealing those activities to the public?

Has the Australian Government sent a note of thanks to those brave people who releasedthe Panama Papers that could bring in lots of money from those tax cheats? Looking at thebenefits they will bring to Australia it would be petty for the government not to say ‘thanks’.

AND THEN VIRTUAL WAR?It had to happen. In fact, it is surprising that only now, many years after they were created,that the Australian military are talking about building our own military drones. It has evenbeen predicted that, sometime in the future, most war fighting will be done by unmannedmachines.

No longer will the footslogger get up at dawn to train, running long distances with fullmilitary gear just to be fit. The future military man will probably be able to sit in an air-conditioned office great distances away from the war, with a cup of coffee to keep him goinguntil his shift ends and he then undertakes the most dangerous part of his day, the drive hometo the wife and kids.

We(the great majority of the world’s people who wonder why nations, with all their scienceand high standards of living, still want to kill each other) might even hope that the next stepwill be ‘virtual war’ – a step up from the drone warfare–in which countries employ their topcomputer games experts to have ‘virtual wars’.

We could even have the Virtual War Olympics in which the three current hegemonycountries –the USA, China and Russia–produce their top nerds and computer games whizzesto compete against each other in a virtual war to find out which of the three countries wouldcontrol most of their virtual world.Apart from boosting the egos of the hegemony countries(those that want to dominate largeparts of the world), we also have the problem of those who set out to kill innocent bystandersbecause their religious/cultural leaders tell them their god wants them to do so.

This couldalso be a virtual war in which the winner is the one who can get his god to create miracles,such as fixing up the problems with the Great Barrier Reef or even ridding the world of killercancers.It all sounds like a sensible dream, a world in which the nerds compete against each other, inwhich no real bombs are dropped, no-one gets killed and billions of dollars, which were oncespent on old-fashioned, noisy, killing-people type warfare, are spent on making life muchmore pleasant for the rest of the world.

Ray Williamshas been a Post columnist since retiring from the newsroom in 1993.

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Speak out: Councillor Paul Tatchell is concerned that Moorabool Shire Council’s secure server was breached during 2013 and 2014. Picture: Kate HealyMoorabool Shire Council has been criticised for its response to an investigationinto a major security breach which sawconfidential council information leaked to the public.

TheLocal GovernmentInvestigations and Compliance Inspectorate hasreleased thefindings of itsinvestigation into aformer councillor,whoescaped prosecution, despiteallegations he“knowingly and repeatedly”accessed the Moorabool Shire Council’s secure serverwithout authorisation between November 2013 and May 2014.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, Western Victoria MP Joshua Morris said the statement from council released on September 8was inadequate.

“The Moorabool Shire Council last week released a media statement with regard to a report by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate that had been completed on the conduct of a former mayor, and this statement raises more questions than it provides answers,” Mr Morris said.

In the statement,Moorabool Shire Council chief executive Rob Croxford said “there wereno adverse findings against council officers or the current council”.

However, current deputy mayor Paul Tatchell said he was concerned with howtheinformation was obtained, given theInspectorate said the formercouncillor grosslymisused hisposition of powerby making improper use of information acquiredand accessing data without authorisation.

“It (the information) belongs to the shire. Our access is done via our own passwords and we don’t have a lot of control over it,” Cr Tatchell said.

“That information could be important to the future. Council doesn’t work in seven day cycles, we work in 20, 25-year cycles.

“You would hope that a person can go to the council and say something and it would remain private.”

The Courier sought an interview with Mr Croxford earlier in the week,however, the request was denied, with council electing not to issue more statements.

However, current mayor Allan Comrie saidon Monday thatsecurity of the council’s internal server had increasedin 2014when theallegations of misconduct first emerged.Under the new guidelines, all councillors were made to change their passwords.

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FUN TIMES: Camperdown’s Jaymie and Emily Finch shoot for goal on their farm while dad and coach, Peter, stands guard. Picture: Rob Gunstone.JAYMIE Finch’s grand final preparation revolvesaround ambulance call-outs; her sister Emily is jugglingmidwifery placement.

Their dadPeteris working the family’s sheep farm near Boggy Creek.

In between there is netball training at Camperdown.

The Finch family iseager to play a part in the Magpies’ firstopen grade premiership.

Peter, 59, is the off-field leader–the first male charged with leading aHampden leaguetop-grade netball team is one step away from creating club history.

Jaymie, 21, and Emily, 19, form the Pies’ sweet-shooting attacking end.

Together they lifted the Magpies to the 2016 minor premiership and will enter Saturday’s decideragainst Port Fairy with the belief they can end the club’ssix-game grand final losing streak.

There will be plenty to keep the Finch clan busy in the lead-up.

Jaymie is studying a double degree in nursing and paramedics at Australian Catholic University’s Ballarat campus.

She uses her holidaybreaks to gather much-needed on-the-job experience as an Ambulance Community Officer for the single-vehicle Timboon branch.

First-year Deakin University student Emily will sandwich the grand final between two weeks’ placement in Warrnambool.

Peter has always encouraged his daughters to gain a qualification, saying the farm will always be there as an option.

“All the girls have done something on the farm and help out–Jaymie less than the other two,” he joked.

Emily would like to follow her dad and work the land. She has helped lambing, shearing and marking.

“My goal is always to work on the farm but Dad said I had to get something under my belt,” she said.

“I’d rather be outdoors and able to do what I want, where I am not committed to a schedule.”

The Finch siblings–along with older sister Ashlee –started their netball at Warrnambool and District league club Timboon Demons.

Basketball was their first sporting love. Peter made a concrete court on their propertyand later installed a netball ring to help his two youngest daughters hone their shooting skills.

They still use that court.

“At home, he’s like ‘you should be out practicing goals tonight’,” Jaymie said.

“He might come out and have a shot with us some nights. Surprisingly he goes all right for someone who has never played netball or basketball in his life.”

Peter, an accomplished footballer with Cobden and Heytesbury, admits his tactics might leave a bit to be desired.

“I play to my rules, so it probably gets a bit rough,” he said.

Peter was appointed Camperdown coach in March –a month out from the season.He learned about the sportwatching his daughters progress through the ranks.

“I was probably like every male when they first start watching and blamed the umpires for everything because you don’t know the rules,” Peter said.

“You have to understand the game first. I have enjoyed it. I’ve sat beside a lot of good netball coaches over the time and have picked up bits and pieces.

“It’s been good for all the girls to have an outside perspective on it all.

“We’ve done a lot of different drills….weights stuff early and we’ve had tennis balls in there throughout the year; a lot of reflex stuff.

“Getting reflexes happening in netball is important because a fingertip or hand in the way could cause a turnover.”

FAMILY: Jaymie, Peter and Emily Finch are excited about the Hampden league grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Peter admitted it was “a bit awkward” coaching his daughters to begin with.

“They don’t listen to me at the best of times,” he laughed.

Jaymie and Emily have enjoyed having their dad as their netball mentor.

They believe his different perspective, no doubt influenced by his football background, has given the Magpies an edge.

“He has lot more authority. When you go to Melbourne netball academies a lot of the coaches there are guys,” Jaymie said.

“Everyone seems to listen better, he gets his point across.He knows everyone has played a lot of netball before and understands what to do and that we just need instructions.”

Emily said communication was easier because, as they say, blood is thicker than water.

“You can tellhim what you are thinking, unlike someone else coaching where you are a bit hesitant,” she said.“It’s the same as playing with Jaymie as well –we can yell at each other because it doesn’t matter in the end.Jaymie likes to call it ‘constructive criticism’.”

Theyare among the Hampden league’s most potent attacking combinations.But they startedin different thirdsof the court –Jaymie was a midcourter and Emily a defender.

“It’s a lot like basketball –you have a few screens. Emily shoots pretty quick too,” Jaymie said.

A third sister, track rider Ashlee, could add to the family connections.

“If she’s still around here next year she’ll look at playing somewhere,” Peter said.

“She came to training the other night and I whacked her in centre and she said ‘that’s the most running I’ve done for years’.”

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Moorabool Shire Council has announced the tender for its new kerbside collection trial, starting from January next year.

KG Coy & Sons Pty Ltd has been awarded the contract for the collection, removal and disposal of green waste.

Moorabool is the latest local council to turn towards green waste collection to improve its sustainability following what has so far been a successful initiativein Ballarat.

Bendigo has also completed a successful trial and has since moved into a permanent service.

Ballarat’s service has so far been well received, with the results of a survey the City of Ballarat’s My Ballarat spring editionmagazine showing that 86 per cent of respondents were86 per cent were in favour of the green waste collection service.

The survey also showed that76 per cent wanted a minimum fortnightly or monthly collection.

There were 378 responses to the survey.

The tender for the Moorabool service was awarded at at council meeting on Wednesday following a vote by council to providethe service to urban areas,following a community engagement process.

The non-compulsory service, which will likely cost between$80 and $100 a year, depending on take up rates plus the cost of a new bin,is part of the shire’sstrategy to reduce the amount of waste to landfill.

It’s also expected tolessen environmental impacts and extend the life of existing landfills.

“Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of kerbside garbage is made up of garden organics so the introduction of this new service is expected to divert up to 1000 tonnes away from landfill each year,” Moorabool Shire Council infrastructure general manager Phil Jeffrey said.

“Greenwaste will be collected fortnightly via a 240 litrekerbside service and will be taken to a specialised composting facility at Mount Wallace to be processed for landscaping and agricultural purposes.”

Residents eligible for the service willbe notified in late October.

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