Archive for June, 2018

70 sheep dead after two trucks plough through Lillimur flock

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

THE Western Highway willbe shut for part of Wednesdaynear Kaniva after two trucks ploughed into a flock of sheep on Tuesday night.

Horshampolice Sergeant Jason Bergen said more than 70 sheep died.

Hesaid the trucks were travelling east on the Western Highway at Lillimur at8.50pm when they smashed into the flock, which had escaped from a nearbyproperty and wandered onto the road.

“Thefirst truck jackknifed on the road, and the second had extensive damage to thefront,” he said.

Thedrivers were uninjured.

Sgt Bergensaid leaking fuel mingled with the sheep carcases, smeared along the road’ssurface.

He said theWestern Highway was closed for a period of time.

Sgt Bergan said heavy haulage attended, but were unable to remove the trucks.

He said the trucks were left on the side of the Western Highway, pendingheavy haulage’s return.

“Thehighway will be closed again for short period of time while they recoverthe trucks,” he said.

Sgt Bergen said another truck sped through the sceneat 2.20am,while emergencyservices and council workers were working to clear the road.

“AnotherB-double truck drove through clearly displayed 80km and 40km signs and collidedwith a council vehicle,” he said.

Thecouncil car was doing traffic control.

SgtBergen said the driver was uninjured, although their vehicle sustained somedamage.

“Thedriver was issued a penalty notice for careless driving,” he said.

Hesaid the driver put their own safety and the safety of all those still clearingthe road in danger by failing to slow down.

“It’sa good reminder for people – if they see flashing light or signs telling themto do 80 or 40 kilometres an hour, they’re there for a reason,” he said.

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Blues bowled over 

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

BOTH first grade premierships hung in the balance until the season’s final seconds.

The Fireflys men’s line-up secured a third Goulburn Hockey Association title in four seasons with a gripping 3-2 win over minor premiers, North Blues.

The women’s first grade decider was every bit as prolific.

Taralga on Saturday overturned a 1-0 deficit en route to a 2-1 double extra-time victory.

In total, the Fireflys scored three grand finals from six attempts on Saturday. The open men’s success was iced with 2-0 victory to the Flys’ second tier side and a 7-0 hiding courtesy of the club’s under 13s outfit.

Both top division deciders lived up to pre-match hype. The North Blues came agonisingly close to exacting revenge from an 8-0 whitewash to the same opponent in the 2012 grand final.

Aided by the return of internationals Daniel McPherson, Aaron Kershaw and Todd Devlin, the men in red and white notched the narrowest of victories.

Captain-coach Steve Downey stepped up to the mark deep into the second period of extra time.

He coolly slotted a penalty attempt, handing the Flys back-to-back premierships and again breaking North Blue hearts.

“One of the hardest grand finals I have played in.

“Thanks to the Blues for a great game,” Fireflys defender Scott Grant wrote on Facebook moments after fulltime.

“Up the mighty red and whites. A gutsy win boys, now let’s party.”

Earlier Jake Humphries and Aaron Kershaw netted goals for the victors while Andrew Grandovskis and Daniel Fleming scored for the runners-up.

Like both first grade deciders, the men’s second division play-off was a beauty.

Goals to Joel Bowden, Jono Gann, Rob Naismith and Adam Toole handed the Colts a free-flowing 4-2 win over the North Blues – a line-up comprising plenty of young guns and a few old heads.

Geoff Selmes and Nathan Chambers kept the underdogs in the hunt with goals. Ultimately, the Colts’ experience prevailed.

A Jake Staines’ first half hat-trick set the tone for the Drifters’ 7-4 under 17s grand final triumph.

The Drifters overcame an early setback in the form of a Kurt Devlin goal on their way to a premiership.

Lachlan Lewis and Damon Deaton bagged doubles and Ben Staines, Sam Coogan and Blake Shirvington one each.

OUT OF MY WAY: North Blues midfielder Aaron Dooley is knocked off balance as Jake Humphries shoots for goal. Photo: Darryl Fernance.

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Margie’s term makeshistory 

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

LOVE her or loathe her; Cr Margret O’Neill is an icon of local politics.

She’s a straight talker, isn’t afraid to stand by her convictions and always calls it like she sees it, even when it doesn’t sound too pretty.

Next week, she will celebrate her 72nd birthday, making her both the oldest and longest serving councillor in our city’s history.

For 30 years her door has been open to the community – she wishes she had a dollar for every cuppa she’s had with a ratepayer to discuss their concerns – and she’s been vocal in the establishment of some of our most important sporting infrastructure.

For some though, she’ll always be remembered as the lady who traded her mayoral robes for a pink tracksuit, a charge she denies to this day.

“It wasn’t a tracksuit, it was a Maggie T pantsuit and it cost me a fortune…” she laughed during an interview with the Post.

“I’m still known as the tracksuit mayor and for that colourflavoured voice of mine but you have to have a sense of humour in life.”

Cr O’Neill fondly remembers the old days when her colleagues were a close-knit team that worked together, took jest in good humour and abided by the unwritten rule that if you had a fight at the table, you had a drink together afterward.

She was elected to Goulburn City Council in September 1983.

The often outspoken public official served as deputy mayor from 1987 to 1993 and as mayor from 1993 to 1999. She later became one of the first people elected to Goulburn Mulwaree Council in 2004 and has served with her unique brand of distinction ever since.

At last Tuesday’s meeting she was presented with a gold watch and flowers and thanked her for her service to the community.

Cr O’Neill has seen a lot of changes in local government over the years and not for the better, she says.

“The councillors in those days were more involved in the community and in those days we weren’t paid,” she said.

“A lot of people argued that if we wanted to be more professional we’d have to start getting paid but at the end of the day your there to represent the community not to get paid… “We also used to go out and knock on doors and try to achieve things but that doesn’t happen anymore, now we have staff to do those things. But, you have to get into the nitty gritty and get your hands dirty and that’s what I’ve always done.”

Cr O’Neill has a great love for our city and her continued contribution is undeniable.

She is director of the board of the Challenge Foundation, which assists young people with disabilities.

She is also a director of the Goulburn Racing Club, and patron of Goulburn District Junior Rugby League, Goulburn Basketball and the Goulburn Harness Club. Cr O’Neill is also a life member of Goulburn District Rugby League.

At a council level, she has chaired a number of important committees over the years. She currently chairs eight council committees and sits on an additional two.

Cr O’Neill is proud of her role in establishing the Sporting Hall of Fame, the Ray Harvey Sports Foundation, the Sports Council, purchasing of Carr-Confoy Park and bringing big employers to town, like the Woolworths, Target and the abattoir.

However, she still has a number of items on her to do list before the sun sets on her civic service.

She has every intention of completing her term – unless god needs her sooner (her words) – and she wants to see the multifunction centre through as well as upgrades delivered for the cemeteries.

Her only regret was her strong avocation for amalgamations, it hasn’t worked and now she fears what might happen if the state government gets its way in the future.

Cr O’Neill is unashamedly working class and very down to earth.

She’s never backed down from a verbal stoush and one thing has always been true: you know exactly where she stands.

“When I think something isn’t right I’ll be the first one to tell you.

I never go behind people’s backs. I always have the discussion, whether it is with staff, councillors or the community,” she explained.

“I think, when you’re a councillor you’re not just a councillor, you’re also a friend and a social person and you’re there to help people out and I think I’ve achieved a lot by doing that.”

IN BLOOM: Cr Margret O’Neill will celebrate her 72nd birthday, making her both the oldest and longest serving councillor in our city’s history.

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The Coalition is heading backwards

Friday, June 22nd, 2018


I’m starting to think we didn’t get much of a deal when we decided to change the federal government. We got rid of a bunch racked by infighting and bad at executing policy, but substituted a bunch with a very limited idea of what needed to be changed to get us back on the right path.

What a to-do list: sack econocrats guilty of having worked with the enemy, pass an edict against climate change and discourage all discussion of it, stop publicising boat arrivals, build more motorways, move to a cut-price national broadband network and take science for granted.

It’s early days, of course, and there’s more, but not a whole lot more: abolishing the onerous tax on our impoverished global mining companies, getting rid of red and green tape (translation: making it easier for big business to get its way without delay) and beating up the Tax Office for being too diligent in making small business pay its tax.

It’s as if Tony Abbott believes returning the Liberals to power will, of itself, solve most of our problems. Everything was fine when we last had a Liberal government,so restore the Libs and everything will be fine again.

It smacks of complacency, of a belief that nothing much has changed or could change. But that’s not how Ian McAuley, an economist at the University of Canberra, sees it in his chapter of a new book from the Centre for Policy Development, Pushing Our Luck: Ideas for Australian Progress.

McAuley argues that, after another round of good luck with the resources boom, we need to secure our long-term prosperity by building a more resilient economy. (He harbours the eccentric notion that there’s more to economy policy than balancing the budget, but even Abbott has abandoned that goal.)

”The legacy of our economic history conditions how we think,” McAuley says. ”After Federation we diversified our economy by building up a strong manufacturing base behind tariff walls. That started out as a smart policy, but it has left us with an undue concern for ‘making things’ rather than creating value.

”Our success in commodities, which allows for little product differentiation, has contributed to a ‘price taker’ mentality in business and therefore an obsession with production costs. We think about productivity in terms of mere cost reduction, particularly when labour costs are involved …

”And our strong growth in the 20th century has created unrealistic expectations about profitability; we find it hard to imagine that the days of easy investment returns may be behind us.”

We need to break free of the notion that our economic fortune must inevitably be driven by the fluctuating demand for minerals and energy, McAuley argues. And our dependence on coal exports makes us particularly vulnerable.

”As more countries place a price on carbon, or switch to other energy sources for local environmental or health reasons, there is a chance that we could find ourselves left with some large holes in the ground and idle ports and railways.”

The experience of many countries shows that an abundance of natural resources can become a curse because it leads them to keep all their eggs in one basket.

”The consensus among economists is that countries can avoid the resource curse only by treating natural resources as an opportunity to invest through a sovereign wealth fund or domestically in education and infrastructure.

”We should see carbon pricing as an opportunity for industry modernisation, to prepare for an era in which many countries are cleaning up their energy sectors and limiting their carbon emissions.”

McAuley says the old manufacturing model was one in which physical capital was expensive and labour was comparatively cheap. Our thinking, still focused on physical capital, distracts us from a new realisation of the meaning and role of capital.

”Capital in the form of a row of machines or a fleet of trucks is less important than the capital in the form of ideas, skills and education, capacities to communicate and to work with others – human capital, in other words. It is the knowledge worker who is emerging as the capitalist of our day, but we are a long way from recognising this.”

Rather than thinking about manufacturing and its products, we should think about activities people undertake in adding customer value. Some activities involve transformations to physical products, but there are many other ways to apply skills to add value.

”Policies directed at developing manufacturing for its own sake are bound to fail. Those that enable businesses to adapt to big changes and to develop strong positions in global value chains are more likely to be effective for all businesses, regardless of their sector.”

In summary, McAuley says we need to understand the risks of being too dependent on natural resources, break from our old obsession with producing physical products, focus on increasing customer value and not just reducing costs, get rid of the class struggle model of economic activity, stop thinking the only goal is job creation and develop realistic ideas about the rate of profitability.

”We pay far too little attention to our human capital. We still see education expenditure as an expense, or even as a welfare entitlement. And we pay even less attention to our environmental, social and institutional capital,” he concludes.

It’s hard to imagine Abbott has any of these things in his field of vision.

Ross Gittins is the Sydney Morning Herald’seconomics editor

Prime Minister Tony Abbott celebrates his election victory with his family. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

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No time for local commuters 

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

WHILE commuters will benefit from three extra weekly services between Sydney and Canberra, the new NSW TrainLink timetable is a big disappointment for Goulburn travellers, says local rail advocate Leon Oberg.

The extra services will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, meaning customers will now have three daily return services linking Australia’s biggest city and the nation’s capital, every day of the week.

Morning journeys from Canberra to Sydney will be around 13 minutes faster thanks to improved stopping patterns.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward detailed the timetable changes in two press statements on Thursday – both of which fail to mention Goulburn (the city).

Train customers in the Southern Highlands will benefit from 55 extra weekly services and journey time reductions of up to 40 minutes a week, she said.

“A new timetable will be introduced in October, delivering improved connections, faster journeys and regular departure times for many customers,” she said.

“Travellers in Moss Vale will now have a genuine commuter service to the City, leaving Moss Vale at 6.29am and arriving at Central via Macarthur at 8.34am.”

Mr Oberg said Ms Goward was more concerned about trumpeting the vastly increased services between Sydney and Moss Vale rather than addressing the needs of Goulburn people.

“Yes, Goulburn misses out yet again for while there are absolutely no changes to the Goulburn weekend commuter timetable which comes into play from October 20, all week-day services continue in-situ albeit to slightly tweaked timings,” he said.

“Thankfully, the key Endeavour services that presently run to and from Sydney, will continue to do so.

“That said, Goulburn people have to some extent been inconvenienced with the most popular and economical commuter service, the 7.14am not departing now until 7.40am.

“And while the previous service was timetabled two hours 46 minutes to Central, the revised service will take two hours 54 min with added time required to attach two cars in Moss Vale and an extra stop at Tahmoor.

“Its afternoon return from Sydney will be 4.02pm (currently 3.48pm), arriving Goulburn at 7.07pm.”

He said Wingello, Tallong and Marulan passengers using the bus to access Goulburn for shopping or appointments will find it will be leaving five minutes earlier and return from Goulburn five minutes later from October 20.

Mr Oberg said there were no meaningful changes in the new timetable from the draft released in May.

“And despite a diversity of local bodies including the Goulburn Workers’ Club’s Day Out Society membership, the Goulburn Group and Mayor Geoff Kettle all taking the matter up with the administration and being massaged with reassuring words from Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian that the timetable was still in progress, this city’s needs have in reality been ignored, particularly in respect to the 7.14am Sydney Endeavour,” he said.

“Many insist its later departure will deliver many users into Sydney too late for most meaningful appointments, or days out.

Some urged that train be moved to a circa 7am departure and not the present five, but seven days a week.”

He said the “one genuine positive” was the restoration of the missing three Canberra-Sydney Xplorer services (former CountryLink).

“For more than a decade, the evening service has confusingly not returned from Canberra on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays,” he said.

“But I must point out that in one of Ms Goward’s press releases she insists there will be six additional evening Xplorer services between Canberra and Sydney each week. It’s three.”

Ms Goward said customers travelling longer distances, such as between Moss Vale and Sydney, will generally notice reduced journey times thanks to connections to faster services at Campbelltown via the Airport and East Hills Line.

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the new NSW TrainLink timetable is a big disappointment for Goulburn travellers, says local rail advocate Leon Oberg.

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Lilac Time fireworks 

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Follow @bmurphy92IT started with confusion and ended with a barb aimed at this newspaper.

Miscommunication surrounding conditional support requirements of the Lilac City Festival committee was brought to a head on Thursday night during a council workshop.

As of August 2009, Council support for the festival was conditional if the committee supplied evidence of current insurance, public liability cover, annual financial reports and articles of association.

All of these had been abided by, bar one … the financial reports.

In May 2013, a letter was sent to the festival committee requesting submission of reports and other required information in relation to both the 2011 and 2012 festivals.

No response was received.

“Council is considering whether or not to withdraw total support,” general manager Chris Berry told the seven present Lilac committee members during Thursday night’s workshop.

“The main issue has always been the financial statements; just to make sure that requirement of council is met.”

Speaking for the committee Heather Landow questioned the need for financial statements, explaining that a volunteer audits the reports and can only do so in his own time.

“We can’t give you audited reports before the end of April,” she said.

Mr Berry, Community Services director Jim Styles and the seven present councillors resolved that if unaudited reports could be submitted by the end of January Council would allow for audited reports to be handed in by the end of April.

If this is consistent, there would be no reason for council to withdraw support upon conditional terms.

Confusion around whether the Committee was currently registered as a licensed charitable fundraising group was also cleared on the night. A search of licensed charitable groups found no results for the committee as of Thursday last week.

Committee member Yvonne Neale attributed the misunderstanding on the NSW Government Licensing Service, claiming “it’s their fault, not ours”.

Ms Landow explained that the license was current, although not updated on the Government website.

“They lost our application and we’ve been to-ing and froing with them for the last nine months,” she said.

“I rang them as late as Wednesday and they said ‘yes we have got everything but we haven’t done anything about it yet’.”

At the time of publication, the website had been updated to show the current licence, which will expire next year.

Workshop warms up Meantime, a dispute with individual councillors and “lazy” volunteers has led to an extensive and somewhat exclusive Lilac committee membership process, it was revealed at the workshop.

Following discussion on conditional support requirements, Cr Margaret O’Neill inquired about committee membership. She said in the past, two council representatives joined as volunteers to construct a cooperative relationship between the two organisations.

“There’s a lot of people that come to this council to ask how they can join in on Lilac Time,” she said.

Mr Berry said he had written to the committee a number of times seeking applications for councillors in particular.

“From a council perspective I think I’ve written on two or three occasions now saying there was a number of councillors who were interested in becoming members and asked for membership forms,” he said.

No such forms were supplied.

“My view is… that if someone wants to come along and become a member they are provided with the forms, they sign the forms, it goes to a committee, the committee sees it and they can either accept it or reject it but they’re not prevented from getting a form in the first place.”

Ms Neale said applications go before the committee where the fate of the applicant is decided. Past experiences with certain councillors led to the reluctance of extending the invitation to the current councillors, she said.

“Every time we’ve had certain councillors there’s been trouble… (but) there’s many councillors here who we would like to work with,” she said.

“The committee has been pretty upset with Council,” Ms Landow added.

“We have some councillors that may be accepted and some of them that mightn’t and that causes factions. If we don’t have any we don’t have a problem.”

Mr Berry reminded the committee that the actions of certain individuals shouldn’t prevent the consideration of other interested persons.

“I’ll give you some membership forms but may I say now that if we knock you back, do not get vindictive,” Ms Landow said.

As for the general public, perhaps it’s time to prove the committee wrong.

“(The volunteers) come and they fill out a form and we don’t see them too much.

Once you give them a job you don’t see them anymore,” Ms Neale said.

As the evening drew to a close, Mayor Geoff Kettle highlighted festival promotion.

He noted that he had received feedback about lack of advertising and promotion leading up to the annual event.

“If you want assistance with those things the Mayor has indicated that all you have to do is copy it in on an email and he will put it in his column,” Mr Berry advised.

With a quick glance back to your scribe, Ms Landow said “I hate to say this but who reads the Goulburn Post these days… no offence”.

This year’s Lilac Festival will be held from Friday October 4 til Monday October 7. There will be a range of entertainment and activities planned for the weekend included the civic business displays, carnival, Lilac Queen crowning, fireworks and markets. The festival procession will take place on Sunday, October 6 at 11am.

GLORY DAYS: Lilac time in 1968

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Ghida Youkhana has found hope

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Ghida Youkhana and her mother Ashmony Shamoon fled war-torn Iraq in 2007 when years of living with the threat of violence became too much.

The pair initially travelled to Syria, where they lived for two years while they applied for humanitarian visas to Australia.

“We had two options, America or Australia,” Ghida says. “We chose Australia because it is a better country; we felt that it was safer than the United States.”

Ghida, now 50, and 82-year-old Ashmony arrived in Australia in 2009 and settled in Lalor.

September 17 was Australian Citizenship Day and mother and daughter became Australian citizens at a ceremony in South Morang.

The ceremony was the nation’s largest on Australian Citizenship Day, with 500 people taking the pledge.

For Ghida, living in Lalor is a different world from her native Nineveh in northern Iraq.

The Nineveh region is still unstable, with 21 people killed in a suicide bomb attack just last week.

“It is not a place where you can fulfil your dreams,” Ghida says.

She had finished a commerce degree and then a hairdresser traineeship in Iraq, and worked as a hairdresser for five years before she left the country.

Safety is not the only issue that plagues Iraqis, she says.

Another key issue is fewer opportunities for employment. Now Ghida is undertaking a teaching course at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE.

“Here I have many friends of different nationalities – they speak Spanish, Italian and Arabic,’’ she says.

Ghida says she also enjoys living in Lalor, “a beautiful suburb” where “people are very nice”.

Although Ashmony can’t speak English well, Ghida says it is comforting that her mother can spend time with Iraqi friends from the community and attend their church.

But Ghida and Ashmony still face challenges living as Iraqi immigrants in Australia.

Ghida’s younger sister has been trying to get a visa to come to Australia, but she has found the migration process difficult and lengthy.

“The laws are very strict and she has been trying for a long time,” Ghida says.

There is also a brother in Germany who has been unable to obtain a tourist visa to visit his mother and sister in Australia.

That has meant Ghida and Ashmony have to visit him, which Ghida says is taking its toll on her ageing mother.

“She has difficulty walking and it is hard for her to travel,” she says.

But Ghida says they are very happy to be living in Australia.

They finally have opportunities they have never had before.

But most importantly, she says, they feel safe here.

We’re home: Ashmony Shamoon and Ghida Youkhana at the citizenship ceremony. Picture: Cathy Jackson

Firebreak urgentlyneeded at Potato Point: community

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

WITH ominoussigns of a dangerous fire season ahead, the Potato Point community has scaledup its efforts to convince authorities to restore a 200-metre firebreak on thecoastal community’s approaches.

Until the late1980s, Potato Point located north of Narooma and east of Bodallawas largely surrounded by several hundred metres ofgrassland.

However, sincethe declaration of the Eurobodalla National Park in 1995 very little work hasbeen undertaken to preserve the firebreak.

Thick forest andscrub has taken over the firebreak and now reaches the back fences of somePotato Point properties.

The EurobodallaBush Fire Risk Management Plan 2010 says the fire risk to Potato Point is high.

The CommunityAssociation believes that if Potato Point faced a major bushfire this year,similar to that which threatened the village in 1985, many properties and somelives could be lost.

While wanting topreserve the integrity and beauty of the Eurobodalla National Park, thecommunity and local Rural Fire Service have pressed the National Parks andWildlife Service to restore and maintain a buffer zone for over a decade withlittle success.

The community isnot wanting the firebreak stripped bare. Instead, it is asking that theundergrowth and dead fuel be cleared and the tree cover thinned to establish apark-like firebreak that would be practical for firefighters to defend on theapproach of a major fire.

In April thisyear, the Potato Point Rural Fire Service, on behalf of the Potato Pointcommunity, asked the NSW Minister for the Environment and Heritage, RobynParker, to restore a 200-metre firebreak around Potato Point.

In her response,Minister Parker made it clear that the community’s request would not be met.

A Potato PointCommunity Association has been formed to take this fight forward.

Posters andbumper stickers have been produced to raise the profile of the cause.

The community hasalso invited Minister Parker and the local member Andrew Constance to visit tosee for themselves the severe fire-risk.

Central Tilba RFSopen day

THE Rural FireService will hold an open day at the Central Tilba fire shed this Saturday from11am to 2pm.

Everyone invitedto meet local volunteers and have some fun.

There will be asausage sizzle and information on many aspects of fire control and prevention.

Try rolling outfire hoses, watch the use of fire hoses, and even use one, try starting a firepump, have a close up look at the fire trucks, booklets to assist withpreparation of a Bush Fire Survival Plan.

Balloons and kidsactivity booklets will all be available.

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Train commuters have their say

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Lack of parking at and around stations, safety concerns and poor train services are the biggest problems faced by commuters, a survey report released by the RACV last week shows.

Titled On Track, the online survey had 4600 respondents who use Metro and V/Line services. It looked at train services, stations and surrounding infrastructure and commuters’ travelling habits.

Sunbury line Metro travellers are the unhappiest among metropolitan Melbourne’s commuters, with only 3 per cent happy with the trains they catch.

On the South Morang line, 7 per cent of commuters were happy with train services, while 8 per cent were happy on the Craigieburn line.

Sunbury line commuters raised the highest number of safety and security concerns (9 per per cent), while 7 per cent of Craigieburn residents highlighted safety worries.

South Morang line commuters’ main complaints were about the bad behaviour of passengers on trains, train trips being too slow and having difficulty finding parking.

RACV public transport and mobility manager Thanuja Gunatillake said the survey results showed that, overall, people wanted better train services, improved safety and more car parking spots.

Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said there was a history of poor reliability of train services and overcrowding issues on the Sunbury line, and there was room to add more trains to the line. He said there were serious issues with feeder bus services and the low levels of pedestrian and bicycle amenity in the outer north, especially on the South Morang line.

Hammer attack resultsin attempted murder charge

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

A MAN has beencharged with attempted murder after allegedly assaulting a woman with a hammerand blinding her in the left eye during a domestic dispute at Wallaga Lake onSaturday.

Shane AnthonyPatten faced Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday via audio-visual link from theSouth Coast Correction Centre, charged with attempted murder and recklessgrievous bodily harm.

Mr Patten did notapply for bail, however it was formally refused by Magistrate David Degnan. Heis yet to enter a plea to the charges.

District Courtpublic prosecutor Brett Diggins sought a six-week adjournment to prepare thebrief of evidence.

The matter wasadjourned to Batemans Bay Local Court on November 25 where Mr Patten isexpected to again appear via audio-visual link.

Police allege heassaulted the 36-year-old woman with a hammer during a domestic dispute atabout 3am on Saturday morning.

Emergencyservices were called to a house on Umbarra Road, Wallaga Lake, where they foundan injured woman.

The woman wastaken to Bega Hospital and then transferred to Canberra Hospital for treatmentof facial fractures after allegedly being hit with a claw hammer.

Police from theFar South Coast Local Area Command investigated the matter and charged MrPatten over the alleged assault.

About 8.50am onSaturday, the 39-year-old man was dropped off at Narooma before attending thelocal police station.

He was arrestedby police and charged with attempted murder and recklessly inflicting grievousbodily harm.

Police have nowlocated the motorist, who dropped the man off in Narooma, and whom they hadbeen searching for.

A CanberraHospital spokeswoman on Monday said the woman was still in a “critical butstable” condition.

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