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    No response from minister over query about charges


    2018 - 10.21

    Laurie Pengelly from Tamworth writes about Peel Valley bulk water charges.
    Nanjing Night Net

    THE Peel Valley’s irrigation industry employs many people.

    Tamworth residents pay State Water a lot more for their water than the residents of Dubbo, Wagga and Albury.

    Following the Nats’ media release in early July 2014 titled “Driving down water prices in the Peel Valley”, and with no sign of prices decreasing, let alone being driven down, on October 1, 2014, I wrote the following letter to Nationals Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson:

    Dear Kevin,

    Confidence in the Peel’s irrigation industry and associated businesses is at an all-time low. Irrigators have no available water determination (AWD) from Chaffey Dam, coupled with by far and away the highest bulk water charges levied by State Water.

    No one who did their homework would invest in an irrigation business in the Peel Valley under these circumstances.

    Whilst the AWD depends on rainfall, which is in the hands of God in all valleys, the excessive prices that water users in the Peel, including Tamworth Regional Council, pay for the water is in the hands of the NSW Coalition government.

    The irrigation industry of the Peel Valley would be grateful if you could confirm your recent media release and associated correspondence by issuing a public statement without caveat to the people of the Peel Valley that, as a result of your initiative, State Water will charge no more than $37 million for water commencing in the 2016-17 water year.

    Mr Anderson’s response:

    Thank you for your correspondence. I have made representation on your behalf to the Minister for Land and Water the Hon Kevin Humphries.

    I will be in touch with you as soon as I receive a reply.

    Copies of this correspondence should be available in Mr Anderson’s electoral office.

    Humphries’ response after five months: none. Anderson’s follow-up: none. Have the Nationals earned your vote? I don’t think so.

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

    Knives are out and gleaming


    2018 - 10.21

    IF WE’VE seen gritty and aggressive campaigns before, then you’d have to think Tamworth would be inured and used to another election battle.
    Nanjing Night Net

    But, while we never believed the third-round bout between Kevin Anderson and Peter Draper would be anything but feisty and hard fought, perhaps we hoped the personal pillorying of political opponents might have been lost in the history of the Windsor wars and the previous state bouts. Not to be. The knives are not just out but shining bright. The extraordinary attacks that go to the heart of personality and character have been loosed just lately.

    The last two days will surely see an increase in the fight. And we’re just not talking about the political personalities themselves.

    Some extraordinary slights have been slung by others about this 2015 state election.

    Not least by those on the sidelines, those wearing the mantle of management of business and community leadership.

    The gloves are off, it seems, when it comes to certain mining issues and the long-fought battle by environmentalists and anti-mining advocates and protesters.

    Coal seam gas might elicit plenty of hot air over its place in our world, but the no-holds-barred retaliation by people like Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn in our pages today against ecologist Phil Spark is just one. Like a Russian tank running over a peasant, Mr Flynn has taken no prisoners in his literary attack.

    Character assassination? Maybe. Tempered? Not at all. Inconsiderate and hasty? Maybe.

    And it will harden some opinion. It might not win him winnable friends. It can be construed as bullying and belligerent.

    And that might well be how many see the political stance taken by Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray.

    Cr Murray has angered many by what is seen to be his public backing – as the figurehead of the council and the council community – in campaigning for the incumbent Nationals MP, and with little disguise of it being personal and individual.

    Cr Murray was elected as a self-confessed independent candidate when he first stood for TRC. While the council’s conservative Nationals-heavy political weight is no secret to anyone, it is the branding of his stand, so openly, so wrapped in the mayoral robes, that grates with many. Readers and website comments have been overwhelmingly negative.

    The tenor of other letters and opinion pieces is in tune with this. There’s a take-no-prisoners attitude by many. The battle will be decided on Saturday night, but old friendships and collegial relationships might be the big losers.

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

    Cr Murray’s TV ad is deeply offensive


    2018 - 10.21

    AFTER viewing a recent local television advertisement which portrays the mayor of Tamworth, with council building in the background, coming out in public support of a particular candidate in the upcoming election, I am deeply offended that even our local representatives are willing to try to exert influence over our voting decisions.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Is this ad telling us that we, as the good taxpayers of Tamworth, should follow the council’s public endorsement of a certain candidate, as this is in the best interests of the Tamworth community? Is this ad telling us that this is the preferred person/party with whom the Tamworth council wishes to work after Saturday’s election?

    Does this therefore imply that if said candidate doesn’t win this Saturday, therefore having to step down as the local member, that our local council, which publicly supports said candidate, should also then step down, allowing a new council that is willing to work with whomever is elected to come into being to represent the people of Tamworth? Hmm, questions, questions. What a joke our democratic system has become in this country, when at every opportunity and from every angle we are told what to believe by those who hold the power.

    Do they honestly believe we are all that dumb that we can’t see what they are really up to? As individuals, we need to stop accepting blindly the propaganda that those in positions of power want us to believe and to see what they are spouting for what it really is.

    Jayne O’Hara

    Westdale

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

    Volatile, controversial lead-up to election


    2018 - 10.21

    MY FINAL thoughts on the 2015 state election.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Perhaps we could say this has been the most volatile and controversial election in our history.

    I see mining, poles and wires, the future of TAFE, education in general and health issues as occupying centre stage.

    All extractive industries are under very intensive scrutiny, none more so than on the Liverpool Plains. This is a no-no of monumental proportions.

    No matter what it costs, it must be stopped, and the plains established as a no-go mining area.

    The Chinese owners would surely know that an extraction of 30 million tonnes of coal on the Yangtze or Si Kiang would not be countenanced by the Chinese government. Why then should locals be happy?

    Our four candidates of all persuasions have agreed in principle that it is highly undesirable, but vary in their intensity.

    While Kevin is against the proposal, he’s jammed between a rock and a hard place, as his Sydney colleagues have approved it.

    Both Labor and Greens are vocal in their opposition.

    We are thankful that Tony Windsor had sufficient acuity to shift final decisions to the federal sphere, allowing Barnaby to get more time.

    However, as Nationals, both of these gentlemen will need to roar like lions and not squeak like mice, to ensure this abomination is put to rest forever.

    I rather agree with Peter Draper travelling a more middle-of-the-road path when he says “mining and agriculture can co-exist”.

    I was born, educated and grew up pre-war on the Tingha tin fields. Tingha is in a granite belt, and the effect of mining did not intrude on the black soils of Inverell.

    Extraction industries are short-term and can bring huge benefits, but seldom for more than 50 years.

    Employment opportunities are short also. Extraction is required to advance economies, but it can only co-exist in the right place at the right time and be strictly controlled in Australia’s interest.

    It would be helpful to voters if candidates could indicate how long it would take for the current income from the poles and wires to equate to the sale price.

    Finally, I suggest it is time for all candidates to express their contributions to education, and particularly TAFE, in terms of people, rather than bricks and mortar,and place increased moneyaccordingly.

    Gordon Clive Barnes

    MANILLA

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

    Business burglaries increasing


    2018 - 10.21

    BUSINESS burglaries in Launceston remain on the rise, causing a major headache for the city’s commerce.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Since July there have been 291 business burglaries in the North compared with 169 in the same time last year – a 71 per cent spike.

    The increase has prompted Northern CIB Detective Inspector John King to write to the Launceston Chamber of Commerce to address the problem.

    Inspector King told The Examiner that the increase could be related to a number of factors, including socio-economic and health issues.

    The rise in business burglaries, as well as house and car break-ins, comes after years of sustained reductions.

    As part of the Northern district’s crime management plan, offenders are asked to fill out questionnaires about the burglaries.

    Unsurprisingly, a desire for cash followed by electrical items – that can be quickly sold for money to buy drugs – appear to be the main motivations.

    “So we’re urging businesses to question whether they need to keep cash on the premises and, if so, making sure there’s appropriate security,” Inspector King said.

    Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said the burglaries were a drain for her members.

    “It’s quite distressing for businesses,” she said.

    Ms Tetlow said shoplifting was also a major concern for stores.

    “Unfortunately when you have got high unemployment it can cause these types of outcomes and I think, as a community, we all need to participate to improve the situation,” she said.

    Antisocial behaviour in the CBD has also raised its head again.

    Store owners along Brisbane Street say the problem is getting worse and children as young as eight are involved.

    Several of the traders blamed the bus stop outside Target for its role in attracting many people to a small space.

    One operator proposed splitting the bus stop into several locations.

    “When the average person can’t go about their daily routine without feeling intimidated, there’s something very wrong,” she said.

    “Something’s got to give, and it can’t be letting them get away with everything they want to do.”

    Tasmania Police will meet with businesses to discuss the issue at a forum next week.

    Metro said it had not received any reports of antisocial behaviour at the bus stop but urged people to report it.

    [email protected]南京夜网.au

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