Quiet please: A plea for peace in the library

A quiet spot, no way: Theresa Kot says the council should spend money for a community centre and take “socialising” out of the library. Picture: John VeageLIBRARY regular Theresa Kot used to wonder if she was the only person who felt out of place at Kogarah Library.
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But a number of letters to the Leader in recent weeks (see extracts, below) criticising the library’s operations have confirmed her observations.

As is her lifetime habit, she goes in to do some quiet reading or research but can’t find the “quiet” bit anywhere.

“So, you walk into the library — and you ask yourself, am I in the right place?” she said. “The library space provides many more services and social facilities than could be anticipated of a library.

“None of these services and activities bring in an income for the library but the noise and disruptions created with these social activities do disturb the quiet environment sought by those using the library for educational purposes.”

Services on offer at the library include a child-minding or play centre for infants and toddlers coming with their parents and grandparents; commercial private tutorial services for private students; men and women playing board and card games; and socialising by individuals and schoolchildren groups.

Ms Kot said the 10-year-old library was now too small for the needs of the community — the study rooms are always booked — and Kogarah Council should use some of the money it obtained from developer contributions to build a community centre for those activities that do not involve books. Or at least find a way to separate the different uses.

“The two services do not fit well in the same space at the same time,” she said.

“I have been informed repeatedly that the library is a cultural centre and as such it must fulfil the multiple needs for the community.

‘‘And yet, I see that the library has shelves stacked with books and periodicals, and there are computer facilities for library users.’’

Ms Kot, a semi-retired pharmacist, has a few interim suggestions for improved library management:

– Put up signs in the library bringing attention to unacceptable behaviours.

– Remove commercial tutoring activities, child-minding and play-centre activities, social groups playing cards or board games, and people talking on the phone.

– Remove anyone eating and drinking in the library.

– No public address equipment or loud music playing during library hours.

– Better policing by staff.

– Move ‘‘cultural’’ and ‘‘socialising’’ activities to after-hours.

– The council should reinstate the lost art gallery space planned for the building at 79-87 Princes Highway.

COUNCIL COMMENT

‘‘Kogarah Library aims to provide a customer-focused library service that is responsive to the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of the local community.

‘‘The library is a welcoming community space providing resources and programs to support literacy and lifelong learning.

‘‘Kogarah Library has over 30,000 members and received over 317,000 visits last year. The library caters to a broad multicultural community and provides a variety of collections, programs and events for all ages.

‘‘The success of the library is evident in the fact that we have a very busy library with all of the events and activities being well attended.’’

There was no reference to Ms Kot’s concerns.

Do you agree with Ms Kot’s views on Kogarah library, or libraries in general? Click on the comment link below to share your view.

Separate spaces – excerpts from letters to the Leader re Kogarah Library:

Libraries used to be quiet places for reading, study and computer use. Today I walk away irritated by these varied, noisy, activities around me. My request to Kogarah Council: give me a library where I can work without constant noisy distractions. Move child-minding and child-play activities for infants and toddlers out of the library. Remove private commercial tutoring services from the library. Provide children with a suitable skate park. Terri Scott

I fully agree with Terri Scott. Most days I make use of the computer service at Kogarah Library, which I am very grateful for. However, many times there are inconsiderate people talking on mobiles, playing YouTube aloud and not on silent, children crowding a single computer chatting and screeching — all totally impervious and uncaring of others wanting a quiet place to do their work — which was what a library used to be.

Many people either don’t know the rules of a library or just don’t care. It’s time for some stringent enforcement to make Kogarah Library an ambient place in which to do one’s work, reading and study. Mark Schofield

I too have spoken to the staff at Kogarah Library over the constant excessive noise. The staff are too scared to ‘‘chat’’ to anyone who might stand up to them. Whatever happened to signage stating ‘‘Quiet, please!’’ in libraries and staff with the guts to enforce it. Joe Gale

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Lobbyists will ‘stop at nothing’ —Toole

A PUBLIC meeting in Lithgow has beenwarned that environmental lobbyists willstop at nothing to achieve their goals inshutting down the mining industry.
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The extreme lobbyists, it was claimed,would pursue their own ideology with totaldisregard for the community at large or thepain inflicted.

The comments came during a communitymeeting at Club Lithgow on Friday tohear the latest developments in the longdelayed process of approval for theSpringvale Colliery extension project.

Three years of delays — much of thisblamed on environmental activists — hasmeant that around 300 Springvale workerswill be taking indefinite enforced leave fromthis week until the approvals are confirmed.

It was only on Friday after intense lobbying‘by the other side’ in support ofSpringvale that the first stage of the finalthree pronged process was approved.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said themining industry is being increasinglyattacked by various environmental groups.

“It is frustrating that the attacks usuallycome from well funded activists who will doall they can to stop this project,” he said.

“They will stop at nothing includingseeking legal injunctions.”

This has to be countered by confirmingthe importance of the mining industry tocommunities like Lithgow.

Lithgow Council is currently campaigningto have submissions on mining applicationsto be restricted to residents of the localgovernment areas affected.

In the Springvale case submission werereceived from Perth and even from overseas.

Mr Toole said he was totally opposed to asecond PAC hearing on the Springvale issue.

He said the Premier has instructed hisdepartments to ‘get moving’.

“There has been too much stuffingaround,” he said — a sentiment that attractedno disagreement.

Centennial’s Katie Brassil said it hadbeen 1030 days (‘and counting’) since theapplication was first submitted.

She said it was frustrating that very timeagreement was reached on some aspect‘they again shift the goal posts’.

Ms Brassil said that Centennial hasobtained legal advice that there could notbe any so called ‘merit appeal’ against thePAC approval.

She said it was now up to the PAC toexpedite its review of the amendments fromthe department of Environment andPlanning and Centennial was looking forwardto the PAC confirming its previous recommendationso the matter could go toCanberra for a final tick.

Ms Brassil said it was a distressing situationthat the prolonged delays meant theSpringvale workforce — with all of its personalfinancial obligations — will be out ofwork until approvals are confirmed.

She urged the community to ‘stay strongand look after each other’.

By Monday the fleeting optimism for abreakthrough had evaporated afterEnvironment Minister Rob Stokes instructedthe PAC to do it all again.

It was a turnaround that has bothstunned and angered the local community.

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Footy tipping heats up

FOOTY TIPS: Footy tippers Joanne Rilstone and John Strycharski are both in the race to win this year’s Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition, which has three rounds to go.THE Port Lincoln Times footy tipping competition is heating up and tippers are getting nervous as the battle for the $2000 prize money comes close to an end.
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Only one correct tip separates the top four and two tips separate the top seven with three rounds of tipping to go, so it is still anyone’s chance.

The winner of this year’s Times footy tipping competition will walk away with $2000 cash, while second place will take home $750 and third place will win a $500 Drakes Foodland voucher.

Sitting atop the tipping ladder is Joanne Rilstone, who has maintained the lead for a considerable chunk of the season.

Mrs Rilstone said she was a die-hard football fan, which helped her with her tipping, and has always been an avid supporter of the Adelaide Crows.

“I’m a real football fan and watch every game every week,” she said.

“Every night we watch some sort of football program on Foxtel and at the end of the day I pick one.”

Mrs Rilstone is equal with John Nippress and maintains the lead with a better margin difference while Terry Edwards and John Strycharski are only one tip behind, with slightly worse margin differences.

Mr Strycharski said his tipping tactics were a lot different to Mrs Rilstone’s, as he kept his emotion away from the game in order to tip logically.

“I look at the ins and outs, but don’t watch a lot of the football,” he said.

“I hate watching it when it’s close – I might like a certain team to win but I barrack for the team I tipped.”

Mrs Rilstone is currently in the box seat to take out the top prize, however she said she knew tipping consistently from here on was important.

“The last few weeks have been nerve-racking,” she said.

“I can’t afford to drop one or two tips.”

Mrs Rilstone said she had held the lead through consistent tipping and was determined to continue her form to take out the major prize.

However she said she thought Mr Nippress (second place) was her biggest threat and it was definitely going to be close at the end of the season.

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Councillor moves on from Lincoln

GARDEN: Councillor Travis Rogers is leaving Port Lincoln to move to Queensland with his partner.PORT Lincoln City Councillor Travis Rogers attended his last council meeting on Monday as he prepares to move to Queensland with his partner.
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Mr Rogers had given notice previously of his intention to step down as councillor as he prepares to move to Gladstone.

Mr Rogers said the decision to step down came about after his partner was offered a job in Gladstone, which meant leaving Port Lincoln after living in the town for about 13 years.

“It’s important we support each other and what we want to do in life,” he said.

Mr Rogers was first elected to the Port Lincoln City Council in 2010 and was re-elected in the council election last year.

In his address to council, Mr Rogers thanked all councillors and staff he worked with for the past five years and said he had learned so much from his time as being a leader.

“Being a community leader shouldn’t be taken for granted, it’s an honour to be in that role and I learned so much from every other council member and staff along the way,” he said.

“I’m proud of the fact that the council is more inclusive and more representative of the community as it is, it has more of a social agenda, is more youth focused and has great guiding documents including long-term financial plans and infrastructure plans to ensure financial sustainability.”

One thing Mr Rogers would like to see happen in the future is to see the Murray Point area become an open recreational area, based on its environmental value.

In his address, Port Lincoln mayor Bruce Green thanked Mr Rogers for his service and credited him as always being considered, respectful and progressive.

The council’s chief executive officer, Rob Donaldson, also thanked him for his service and commended his ability to work through any difficulties.

As well as serving as a community leader, Mr Rogers has been an active member the community, including through the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service and West Coast Youth and Community Support.

He said as a drug and alcohol mental health worker he walked alongside people as they made positive changes in their lives and helped with several initiatives, including the services bush tucker garden.

One thing he aims to do in Gladstone is finish his degree in clinical psychology, with the goal of eventually going into his own practice.

Out of everything in the community, Mr Rogers said he would miss the people, the connections and the friendships he made during his time in Port Lincoln, but they wouldn’t be forgotten.

“Thank you to everyone who chose to support me and my ideas, particularly my fellow councillor colleagues and staff, and mayor Bruce (Green) for being a wonderful mentor for myself,” he said.

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‘Speechies’ have positive impact

SPEECHIES: Port Lincoln speech pathologists (back) Sarah Wallis, Majella Mrdjen, Kerri Trengove, Tamara Strudwick; front: Georgie Turner and Amber Lovell are raising awareness for Speech Pathology Week.LOCAL speech pathologists will host a story time day at the Port Lincoln Library next Tuesday to raise awareness about the service they provide as part of Speech Pathology Week.
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Coinciding with the 2015 Book Week, the story time day will give local speech pathologists from the education department an opportunity to show the public what they do to help.

Department for Education and Child Development speech pathologist Majella Mrdjen said there were a range of different people that “speechies” worked with.

She said however when it came to the education department, it was about building communication skills and fixing speech issues with young people.

“For children with speech or language issues, early intervention is key,” Ms Mrdjen said.

“If parents notice any issues, speech pathologists can help out.”

Next week the Book Week winners will also be announced and the library will be abuzz with young students.

Speech Pathology Week aims to raise awareness about the work speech pathologists do in their communities and the positive affect they have on young people in society.

There are more than 1.1 million Australians that have difficulty communicating, which is on-par with the number of people with diabetes and three times the number of people with dementia.

Ms Mrdjen said being able to communicate effectively was a crucial skill throughout day-to-day life and next week would highlight the importance of speech pathology to the local community.

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Shire shows its support for city’s bypass

Tony Doyle
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HINDMARSH Shire Council has thrown its support behind a proposed Western Highway bypass of Horsham.

Council made a submission about the project to VicRoads this month.

Chief executive Tony Doyle said removing heavy traffic from Horsham city was important for the Wimmera.

He said it was also important to reduce travel times for people travelling across the region.

Mr Doyle said council did not identify a preferred route.

“Given Hindmarsh Shire Council is not a representative body for these impacted parties, council believes it would be inappropriate for it to identify a preferred route, and rather focus its submission onHindmarsh shire,” he said.

Mr Doyle acknowledged each route had effects for houses, farms and amenities at Riverside and Dooen Heights.

He said council included a number of points in its submission to VicRoads, such as safety forHorsham residents andeconomic benefits.Council also raised the possibility of linking the bypass to the Wimmera and Henty highways in the future.

He said council hoped works on the bypass would start as soon as possible.

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OUR SAY: A Ronald McDonald House we can truly call our own

FOR so many years the name Ronald McDonald House was synonymous as a place in Sydney where families from Orange and the Central West could stay while their child was were receiving specialist care that was not available in the region.
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Fast forward to 2015 and now it is Orange’s Ronald McDonald House that is the leading the way in the provision of a facility for the people of the Central West they can truly call their own.

While the volunteers and staff of Ronald McDonald House need no motivation to stick to their task of maintaining Orange’s newly-opened house, the emerging trend that so many families are using the house as their accommodation and support base while their child is treated at the child and adolescent mental health unit is surely an incentive to remained energised and focused.

Families in distress are coming to Orange from five health districts, which equates to 86 per cent of the state, to access the mental health and other specialist services for their children at Orange.

So far 100 volunteers, including those who stay overnight, have come forward to be trained to work as volunteers at the house in a variety of roles.

However, as the number of families using the house continues to grow and it reaches its capacity daily, another 100 volunteers are needed to ensure the seven-day-a-week, 24-hour roster runs smoothly.

Orange and Central West residents should feel proud they have raised more than $4 million to build the house in Orange, and the occupancy so far by so many families who are experiencing the trauma of a child or adolescent struggling with a mental health problem is proof of the incredible generosity of the local and regional community who are making a difference in people’s lives.

The launch at the Ronald McDonald House ball on Saturday night of the “Can You Help Us Keep the Doors Open” campaign will take on a special significance now that the house is making such a difference to people’s lives.

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Mission accomplished as Ungarie chase flag

FAMILY AFFAIR: The Archibald crew, Kris, Reece, Michael, Wayde and Kyle all in Ungarie colours this year.WIN, lose or draw in Saturday’s Northern Riverina League grand final, the Archibald family haveachieved their goal for 2015.
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Ungarie will enjoy their first grand final appearance in 15 years when they run out to play Lake Cargelligo at West Wyalong on Saturday.

It will be a huge occasion for the township of Ungarie and it’s population of 300 as the Magpies look to break their premiership drought than spans back to 2001.

The last time Ungarie played finals, back in 2013, is a story in itself after the Magpies finished on the bottom of the ladder, only to be given the opportunity when the fifth and sixth placed teams could not field the numbers.

Kyle Archibald is one of a number of Ungarie juniors that agreed to travel home this season to play.

He, his brothers Michael and Kris, and cousins Wade and Reece wanted to have a year together and have also convinced friends to make the trip with them.

“The original plan was just for the five cousins to play together for one game,” Kyle explained.

“Things snowballed from there.”

Ungarie captain-coach Ryan McClintock moved he and his family homefrom Canberra a couple of years ago.

Kyle, who spent two years at Richmond as a teen, travels three hours from Yarrawonga every weekend to play at Ungarie.

Wade and fellow Ungarie junior Dave Barron travel two hours from Wagga, while Grant Daly and a mate make the four-hour trip from Bathurst.

Kris travels from Canberra, while Michael and friend,Fox Sports presenter,Ben Way make the long trip from Sydney during all hours of the night.

Kyle explains it is all for one simple goal.

“We want to see the small country community doing well,” he said.

“There is more to it than just a small town, and more to it than just a little football club.

“When we were kids growing up, the culture was great, the pub was packed on a Saturday night and that’s what we want these kids growing up into.”

Ungarie will go into the grand final as underdog after Lake Cargelligo trounced them by 61 points in the second semi-final.

Archibald believes if the Magpies produce their best, they can win, but also explained that the players had already achieved one goal.

“(A win) would be huge, just to get the buzz around town,” he said.

“Win, lose or draw, we’ve already acheived what we wanted to and that was to get the community together.

“To win a flag would just top it off.”

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Men’s shed boosters

A NUMBER of the Wimmera’s men’s sheds have been given a boost with federal government funding.
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ON TRACK: Rupanyup and District Consultative Committee vice-president Ray Kingston and project manager Adrian Tyler at the site of a men’s shed the committee is building. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Men’s sheds at Rupanyup, Harrow, Hopetoun and Kaniva were all awarded grants through the federal government’s National Shed Development Program.

A men’s shed being built by the Rupanyup and District Consultative Committee received $7000 through the grants program.

The shed is still under construction.

The group received the money forelectrical work and to connect the shedto a power supply.

SecretaryAdrian Tyler said the grant brought the consultative committee one step closer to completing and opening the shed.

He said the committee hoped to open the shed for community members to use before Christmas.

Mr Tyler said55 people had already registered interest into using the men’s shed.

He said he expected about 30 active members to attend regular meetings when the shed opened.

“It’s been an amazing response,” he said.

Mr Tyler said the consultative committeehad been working on building the men’s shedsince 2012.

“It’s been a long process but we’re nearly there,” he said.

Member for Mallee AndrewBroad welcomed the funding to all of the men’s sheds.

He said the grants helped fund the development and sustainability of the groups.

“Across the Wimmera and Mallee, I have seen the incredible contribution that the men’s shedsare making in our communities, particularly in our smaller towns,” he said.

Hopetoun Men’s Shed received $3000 for a number of tools including a welder, mitre saw, drill press and drill hammer.

The money will also be used to cover the cost of freight to transport the tools.

Harrow Men’s Shed also received $3000.

The men’s shed group will use the money to install a concrete path and safety rails to improve the accessibility of the shed.

Kaniva Men’s Shed received money fortools including saws, drills, heat guns, sanders and welders.

All men’s sheds were eligible to apply for up to $8000 in grant funding through the program, runby the AustralianMen’sShed Association.

Mr Broad announced the successful grant recipientson Monday.

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Whyalla Foreshore adopted as beach’s official name

The votes are in and Whyalla’s beach will now formally be called the Whyalla Foreshore. Pictured was mayor Jim Pollock.The votes are in and Whyalla’s beach will now formally be called the Whyalla Foreshore.
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It was resolved at the August council meeting that the beach be renamed Whyalla Foreshore, with the associated car parks being labelled Whyalla Foreshore Eastern Car Park and Whyalla Foreshore Western Car Park.

It was recommended to council that the foreshore be officially named and associated car parks be differentiated to assist emergency crews in locating persons in trouble in the case of an emergency.

The council undertook a rigorous public consultation process, with community feedback received indicating a strong preference for the name Whyalla Foreshore to be officially adopted.

From the public consultation period 142 submissions were received with 79 per cent of respondents preferring Whyalla Foreshore and the cark park names that were associated with this name.

Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock said the adoption of an official name for Whyalla’s foreshore area would assist emergency crews when faced with an emergency situation.

“It is necessary for us to have an official name and way to differentiate the different car parks and areas at the foreshore in the case of an emergency,” Mr Pollock said.

“While this won’t necessarily result in any changes for residents, it is important they are aware of the new name so that should they need to direct emergency staff to a situation they know where to send them.”

Notification of this recommendation will now be forwarded to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Geographical Names Unit for official gazettal.

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