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December, 2018

Disrupting drugs in public

FOR most people, Friday night is a time to clock off, head home,and plan for some weekend time-out.For the Police Transport Command, it’s a time to clock on, head out, and patrol for some wayward travellers.
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THE NOSE KNOWS: Leading Senior Constable Aaron Gleaves with drug detector dog Maddy.

For drug detector dog Maddy, it isherlast night on the beatwith handler Leading Senior Constable Aaron Gleaves.Maddy and Gleaves gottheir detection accreditation together in 2010, but it’s time for the labrador to retire.

Transport Command are the officers,mostly uniformed, but sometimes plain clothed,who patrol public transport.This can mean trains, buses, ferries, trams, eventaxis.

On October 14, it’s a combined operation between the Command and officers from Goulburn, Bowral and Wollongong.Operation Disrupt removes drugs from the railways, drunk or drug-affected travellers, and fare evaders.In between scheduled trainsat Goulburn Railway Station, the officers also sweep throughlicensed premises.

Maddy is integral to the operation. Cannabis has a pungent odour, even to the human nose;pills, comparably, are scentless.But not to Maddy, whose keen canine olfactory,some 200 times stronger, can sniff out such drugs, even secreted in plastic ziplock bags.Subtle changes in her behaviour can indicate drugs present. Gleaves also observes how people respond to her.

MOBILE UNIT: Found drugs are taken to a laboratory van to be weighed, verified and bagged as evidence.

A sweep of a Canberra to Sydney train just before 7pm is all-clear.“No news is good news,” says operationcommander Sergeant Michael Chubb. Public safety is the ultimate aim: “Drugs destroy lives … You don’t want people affected by drugs on public transport,” he says.

But as passengers disembark from the next train,Maddy gives a “tell” and a bag search reveals 16g of cannabis, weighed, verified and bagged as evidence in a nearby laboratory van. The man is cautioned. If there’s a next time, he willface court.“It’snot an automatic grab, search and lock away situation,” Sgt Chubb says. “There are firm guidelines.”

During Operation Disrupt,seven people were searched, and four arrested. A Goulburn man, 27, was charged with possessing a prohibiteddrug after a pub sweep found he hadMDMA (ecstasy). Two Goulburn men,aged51 and 58,receivedcourt attendance notices for possessing cannabis; and a man,44,received an official caution for cannabis possession.

Maddy’s work is done, but for Sgt Chubb and Transport Command, it goes on.

OPERATION DISRUPT: Sergeant Michael Chubb (centre) thanks personnel on one of the night trains. Photos: Ainsleigh Sheridan

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Aged care funding cuts force change

Cootamundra Nursing Home CEO Alex McKenna and Chariman Fred Byrne. Picture: Contributed. The Cootamundra Nursing Home is calling for community understandingas itprepares to make tough structural changes forced upon it by aged carefunding cuts announced in the 2016-17federal budget.
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The changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) would see per-resident funding for Complex Health Care (CHC) needsdecreaseby an average of $5489 per yearfromJanuary 1, 2017 according to a review ofthe impact of the budget cuts, carried out by Ansell Strategic.

That figure is closer to $6655 per year or roughly 11 per centof each resident’scosts according to Cootamundra Nursing Home CEO Alex McKenna.

Mr McKenna said a funding decrease of that size will make it harder for the community-ownednursing home to maintainhigh quality care.

“What we try to do is deliver a very high standard of care with a higher than industry standard ratio of staff to patients.

“Our capacity to do that has now lessened,” Mr McKenna said.

He assured the CootamundraHerald thatthe cuts would not mean job losses.

“We need to streamline our operation but we don’t want to have an impact on wages or hours.

“There may be a change in hours in future however our preferenceis to have as minimal impact as possible.

“Our last option would be to drop any jobs,”Mr McKenna said.

The changes to the ACFI are in response to higher than expected growth in aged care funding claims.

A statement on the Department of Health website said the funding cutsaim to slow this growth.

“In response to this much higher than anticipated growth, the Government announced a range of measures … to mitigate this growth and bring it back to more sustainable levels,” the statement said.

For the Cootamundra Nursing Home, it makes things tough.

“We’re a community-run, not-for-profit home and funding cuts will inevitably mean the way in which we operate will change.

“We’re probably going toneed the community’ssupport and understanding more than ever looking to the future,” he said.

Cootamundra Nursing Home chairman of the board Fred Byrne is urging community members to highlight any concerns they may have about the impact of these cuts to their local MP.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Spiders’ defeat breaks drought

AFTER battling through a winless campaign last season, Bethanga got their season off to a perfect start with a win over Howlong on Saturday.
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Batting conditions were tough, but it looked as though the Spiders were in the box seat after bundling the home side out for just 106.

A top-order collapse looked likely to doom the Bethanga innings, but the middle order recovered to give them something to defend.

But, with the exception of a nice 36-run stand from Caleb Hobbs, Bethanga were able to cause similar problems for the Howlong top order.

Kieran Salome snared five wickets for the home side, putting them in a strong position to win after tea.

Howlong tail-enders Daniel Watts (21) and DarrenPenn (6) had other ideas though.

Their final wicket stand threatened to pull the rug out from under Bethanga, until the mildly controversial stumping of Watts brought the game to an end.

With the five-run triumph their fist in well over a year, captain Brodie Sirl said spirits were high.

“We were pretty happy to get over the line,” he said.

“Our goal was to win three games this season, so we’re off to a good start.

“Winning games early always puts you in a good position.

“We know we’re not necessarily in the finals picture this season, but hopefully we get a bit of momentum from this.”

With the wicket playing tricks on almost everyone, Sirl was happy to have scraped over the line in a nail-biter.

“It got down to the wire,” he said.

“It was tough to bat on, there were a lot of players getting caught.

“It was a bit of a two-paced wicket, it was popping a bit at one end and quite slow at the other.

“Hopefully we’ll get some confidence from the win and kick on.”

Howlong’s Nick Dolan took full advantage of the variable wicket, finishing with five wickets for the the bargain price of just six runs.

In other matches, a four-wicket haul forJake Styles got Mt Beauty’s season off to a fine start, defeating Barnawartha-Chiltern by six wickets.

An impressive 91-run effort from Andrew Creamer helpedDederangto a convincing 75-run victory over Eskdale.

Kiewa were too good for Wodonga in a close encounter, cleaning up the tail efficiently to avoid an upset loss.

Just 13 runs separated the Bulldogs and the reining premiers.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Our sayNew Mount events a tale of two negotiations

THE good news for the Australian Skateboard Racing Association is that Bathurst Regional Council is in negotiations to bring a new event to Mount Panorama.
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The bad news, it won’t be theirs.

Council has consistently rejected overtures from ASRA to bring a round of the skateboarding World Cup to Mount Panorama next February, citing a raft of concerns.

First, councillors were warned that council’s relationship with the organisation had proved difficult during the running of the short-lived Newton’s Nation events on the Mount around a decade ago and then there were queries over just how much in-kind financial support the World Cup organisers were seeking from council.

Now, a report to go to council on Wednesday night recommends councillors not only refuse to financially support the event but also refuse to make Mount Panorama available for the event at all.

That report statescouncillors need to be mindful of the concerns of residents living on the Mount about any new events being added to a busy calendar on the the circuit.

So it would probably comes as something of a surprise to ASRA to learn that a separate item to be discussed on Wednesday –behind doors during a confidential meeting of council –proposes doing just that.

While few details have so far been released to the public,the item concerning “a proposal for a new motor racing event proposed to be held at the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit” has already been before council a number of times and –clearly –has not been rejected just yet.

So maybe the problem for ASRA is not that council does not want to subject Mount residents to the inconvenience of a new event but, rather, that council does not want to subject residents to the inconvenience of a skateboarding event.And that decision is likely to be one of simple dollars and cents.

The simple nature of the events means a new motor racing event would be worth far more to the city than a skateboarding event, and that’s probably where the discussion ended.

If Mount residents were going to cop a new event, council was always going to ensure it was the most lucrative.

Of course, if council was genuinely concerned about keeping Mount residents happy then it would reject the motor racing event as well –and may yet do so.

Until the item is discussed in open council, though, we just won’t know.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

High emotion atop Buffalo

UP TO TASK: The Beechworth Primary School team along Bowmans Road. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG
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THE story of an Albury boy, 4, had those part ofawheelbarrow pushfrom Beechworth to Mount Buffalo feeling emotional at the end of their tough trek on Sunday.

CHALLENGE: A total of 24 teams took part in the second 88km walk from Beechworth to Mt Buffalo. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

There were 24 different causes aided bythe second Beechworth Barrowthon.

The 88km fundraising weekend walk from Beechworth to Mount Buffalo generatedalmost $82,000 in donations.

Team Justa and Gunk received $20,000 in support offour-year-old Seamus Clancy from Albury who wasdiagnosed in May with a rare genetic disease,adrenoleukodystrophy.

EARLY RISE: The event kicked off from 7am in town and finished midday Sunday. Picture: BEECHWORTH PHOTOGRAPHERS

ALD affects one in 18,000 boys and leads to permanent disability or death within two to five years of diagnosis.

Barrowthon organiser Guy Wilkinson said the Clancy’sgratitude made for an emotional finish in front of the Mount Buffalo Chalet at midday on Sunday.

“We all pausedwhen Justin Clancy was speaking,” he said.

“He said the lift in his spirits to knowhe had this support had been really meaningful.

“He’s so pragmaticand just deals with what life has handed them,but it must just be devastating.”

The team raising the next largest amount, Coolangatta Gold with $10,000, took part in asimilar vain.

Member Sam Niedra said former Beechworth man Jonny Allen nominatedaByawatha family whosefive-year-old, DarcyhasDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

DMDmeans Darcy will probablybe in a wheelchair by the age of 12.

“The beautiful thing is Darcy’scousins,grandparents and family all came along and made a weekend of it, greeting us at the halfway point at Porepunkah and again at the top,” Mr Niedra said.

“It’sbeen a real physical challenge,but we feel really privileged to be able to help out a family with a real need.

“It makes it feel really personal when you’re a parent.”

Mr Wilkinson said the event, which originated from abet made in1935, was becoming a staple fundraiser.

“This year we had 240 participants anda whole group of kids, so there was300 people at some points during the track,” he said.

“Last year it was 100 participants and 17 teams so we were absolutely blown away.

“We’lldefinitely do it again next year and most people said to us ‘we’ll see you then’.

“They cross the line exhausted, some in tears –they’re doing it for a reason so there’s this outpouring.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.