LETTERS: Coorabong twin servo puzzle

FEARS: The writer says the community is concerned with potential loss of jobs and businesses that may come with the proposed Cooranbong twin service stations. Picture: Kirk GilmourTHE citizens of Morriset, Dora Creek and Cooranbong are not against good development.
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But the twin service station proposal for Cooranbong (“Businesses concerned over servo”, Lakes Mail, August 6) makes no sense in terms of motorists’ needs for rest, food or ablutions given the multitude of choices available.

We are deeply concerned with the imminent loss of jobs and businesses in our communities because of this proposal.

This is the advice we have from the experts on the various business alliances in our towns.

These business owners have invested in our towns and provided job security for locals.

Of course, the developer’s expert advice that a twin service centre will have minimal impact on local businesses and jobs will not have been sought from any of those peak business groups, and the same I imagine would apply to his advice on noise, water, air, light and particle pollutants which will emanate 24/7 from such a development.

– Jeff Bromage, Cooranbong

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Driver banned until 2065 for terrifying behaviour

MANKIND is likely toset foot on Mars decades beforeserial offender Jovo Paul Arnold’s latest driving ban ends in 50 years time, in2065.
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An existing disqualification to 2057 was extended by another eight years in Wagga Local Court on Wednesdayafter the 37-year-old Orange man pleadedguiltyto driving whiledisqualified, dangerous driving, resisting police andtwo counts ofrefusing to submit to a breath test.

Arnold was also jailed until September 29 next year and spend another four months on parole after release.

Appearing in court via video link with the Junee Correctional Centre and representing himself after sacking his lawyer, Arnold wept as he begged for psychological or psychiatric help and rebuffed magistrate Erin Kennedy’s advice that it was in his best interests for Community Corrections to prepare apre-sentence report on him before being sentenced.

“In the past I have told the truth and it got me nowhere, it worked against me so today I just want to get on with it,” Arnold said before reading a prepared statement.

According to undisputedfacts tendered to the court, members of thepublic alerted police to Arnold’s alarming driving behaviour in a luxury BMWX5 heading into Temora on the Junee Road on July 30.

Witnesses said Arnold–towing a boat–drove on the wrong side of the road and has several near misses with other cars and trucks at high speed.

A number of driverspulled off the road becausethey were“extremely fearful” of a collision anda surveyor standing on the side of the road was so scared he bolted.

Police found Arnold weaving on Hoskins Street and approached him when he stopped his car in Park Street outside the Railway Hotel.

“As police got up to the vehicle they could smell the overpowering scent of intoxicating liquor coming from the vehicle,” the facts said.

A person who had encountered Arnold on the road came up to police and said:“I’m glad you got him. I thought he was gunna kill someone. He was doing at least 180km/h on the Wagga road.”

An open bottle of beer was in the car’s centre console and a carton lay open on the front passenger seat.

After being stopped by police, Arnold abused them, refused breath tests, would not tell them his name, resisted being handcuffedand stripped himself naked in the cells of Wagga police station.

Arnold’s traffic record includes multiple driving bans for drink-driving and driving while disqualified going back 15 years.

He has been jailed before for these crimes.

In court, Arnold cried as he begged for help to“settle my stupidity down”and spoke of the damage he was doing to his wife and two children.

“They can’t rely on me and be proud of me,” Arnold said.

“I keep doing stupid things.

“I can’t provide for them in jail.

“It’s clear I can’t deal with this myself.

“Can the court help me to find someone?”

In sentencing Arnold, Ms Kennedy described his behaviour on July 30 as extreme in the face of someone who is not a driver for all sorts of reasons.

According to the facts, Arnold refused to undertake breath tests three times at the Wagga police station.

Police said he three replies were“No, I won’t”, Not the way I’ve been treated” and“No way, you didn’t say please, so no”.

Arnold will be 87 before he can apply for a new licence.

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Swans boost AFL grassroots footy – hooray!

Kicking goals: Waratah Park, Sutherland, is the headquarters for AFL in Sutherland Shire. Players, officials and mayor Kent Johns and federal and state MPs turned out for the big announcement on Saturday. Picture: Jane DysonSYDNEY Swans AFL Club have strong ties with Sutherland Shire and news of the major upgrade to Waratah Park is expected to provide a pathway for the game’s future stars.
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The code overall will get a significant kick ahead with $1.5 million to be spent on Waratah Park, Sutherland, the sport’s new regional headquarters for juniors and open-age teams.

The announcement was made on Saturday morning at Waratah Park.

The Sydney Swans have had several shire-based players play premiership football.

Midfielder Lloyd Perris, 20, is a Cronulla Sharks junior who came through the Swans Academy and played grade football for St George.

Others first-graders include Nick Davis, a 2005 Sydney Swans premiership winner who had played for Ramsgate.

He has returned to Sutherland Shire and lives at Sylvania. Davis is working in development with the Swans.

Former Swans skipper Dennis Carroll, now 55, is from Lilli Pilli.

He looks after player welfare with the Swans.

Perris, who went to Woolooware High School, grew up at Woolooware, praised the funding for the game.

“It’s fantastic to be back in the shire where I grew up and where I played my junior football,” Perris said.

“To hear that Waratah Park will become the hub of AFL football in Sydney’s south is great, especially with the potential for programs like the Sydney Swans Academy to come out and runsessions here.

‘‘I am sure there will be plenty of kids drawn towards AFL by what’s on offer at the revamped Waratah Park.

‘‘I can’t wait to return when the works are completed to have a kick around.’’

The AFL playing fields are used already but the major funding announcement on Saturday secured the code’s future in the region.

AFL NSW/ACT chief executive Sam Graham said it was the ‘‘ biggest single investment to infrastructure the AFL has ever made in the region’’.

‘‘The works will be highlighted by new change rooms with a host of new amenities, a revamped playing surface and lights, new fencing around the ground, and safer pedestrian access,’’ Graham said.

Graham said Waratah Park will become the home of AFL in Sydney’s south, with the ground’s capacity increasing from 190 to 580 players.

Mayor Kent Johns said: ‘‘It’s great to see the local clubs, the AFL and the council working together to support the growth of the sport, the real winners are the children and the heroes are the mums and dads who raised the money and set up for the games every weekend.’’

Miranda Bombers and Southern Power clubs will be based there.

Graham was joined on Saturday at the announcement by Sutherland mayor Kent Johns, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, Sydney Swans player Lloyd Perris, Heathcote MP Lee Evans, upper house state MP John Ajaka and Miranda MP Eleni Petinos.

Sydney Swans general manager-football Tom Harley said the entire code was a winner.

“We’re really excited about the Waratah Park upgrade which will provide a first-class facility for community football teams,’’ Harley said.

Are you excited about the boost to the sport?

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A dog gone doggy fight over Memorial Walk

Francesca Jenkins-Iles walks her dog Billie. Below, signs prohibit dogs on the walk.DOG owners are set to fight the ban of their best friends from Newcastle’s Memorial Walk.
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Newcastle City Council has launched a four-week campaign to clear the cliff-top walk of dogs in the wake of complaints that dog-owners were flouting the ban that has been in place since the bridge opened earlier this year.

One Newcastle Herald reader wrote, in a letter to the editor, that she had seen 40-50 dogs on the bridge in the space of an hour. The council has erected more prominent signs and warned of fines of $329.

‘‘This walk is a memorial to the men and women from the Hunter that served in World War I. As a mark of respect dogs are not permitted on the Memorial Walk,’’ a council spokesperson said.

‘‘The location of the walk poses logistical difficulties for council crews to access the walkway to wash down the deck or to service waste receptacles as we do on the road-side paths.’’

But the 358-member Dog Lovers Social Group, Central Coast and Newcastle is preparing to challenge the dog-free zone.

The group is working on a petition to council, arguing dogs and their owners should be given the chance to enjoy the walk.

‘‘Maybe they could impose harsher penalties for people who don’t do the right thing, rather than banning everyone,’’ group organiser Michelle Pounder said.

Mikaela Dombkins’ great-grandfather served in World War I but she cannot see his name on the Memorial Walk when she walks her dog, Izabel.

Ms Dombkins, of Newcastle, said she was shocked by the new signs at the Strzlecki entrance to the walk. ‘‘It’s stupid, you wouldn’t think anyone would object to them being up there – particularly in Newcastle when so many people have dogs,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s not as if the floor has holes in it and their paws could get stuck, it’s safe for a dog to walk on it.’’

Owners have argued that dogs were involved in wars too but the RSL said the ban should not be lifted.

Newcastle RSL sub branch president Ken Fayle said no veteran would find it acceptable for dogs to be on the walk.

Mr Fayle, also a trustee on the Memorial Walk Trust, said he didn’t think anyone could hold their pet back when ‘‘nature urges it to go whenever and wherever they feel like it’’.

‘‘They are desecrating people who have gone before us,’’ Mr Fayle said. ‘‘It is a dedicated, living memorial and we don’t want dogs on it.’’

Walk architect Barney Collins is owner of two labradors and an avid dog walker.

He said the main issue with dogs was the risks posed by confined space.

If two dogs were coming in opposite directions and a fight broke out there would be nowhere for kids or others to go, Mr Collins said.

‘‘I have no issue with dogs being near memorials,’’ Mr Collins said.

‘‘But if dog owners allowed dogs to urinate on the memorial signage, I think that is a big issue. That is disrespectful.’’

Bar Beach resident Matthew Sullivan doesn’t have a dog but said he wouldn’t care if they were on the path – as long their owners cleaned up after them.

‘‘I don’t think the Diggers would have had a problem with it,’’ he said.

Merewether resident Karin Marshall says dogs should be allowed.

‘‘Most of the people who walk are the people who have dogs,’’ she said.

‘‘The whole point in having a dog is so you can exercise and by restricting where you can take dogs it is stopping people from having healthy habits,’’ she said.

But Gavin, of Merewether, who did not wish to give his surname, approved of the ban, saying it was awful to see droppings on the bridge.

‘‘Partly because it’s a memorial and it’s just such a lovely facility. I don’t want to see it spoiled by a bad few who might not pick up after their dogs.’’

Another Merewether resident, who did not wish to be named but whose miniature schnauzer was among the first to walk on the bridge when it opened, was ‘‘pretty annoyed’’ and disappointed to find his dog was prohibited.

‘‘It’s not some sort of sacred site. It’s not a war memorial.

‘‘It’s a bridge.

‘‘I’ve got several relatives that have done plenty of service for the country and they would think it was totally ridiculous,’’ he said.

Dog owner Francesca Jenkins-Iles said it was disappointing that her dog Billie was banned. ‘‘I’d love to be able to walk up there but I’m always with my dog,’’ she said, as she walked on the footpath below.

‘‘I can understand it is a memorial that was built in memory of the Anzacs – but dogs did fight in the war too.’’

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