Monthly Archives: August 2018

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2014 will be the year of the university in Lithgow

LITHGOW district residents will next month have their first opportunity to inspect the city’s latest tertiary education establishment.

Contractors are in the final stages of construction at the Hoskins Institute to prepare for its new role as an outreach campus for the University of Western Sydney.

The university’s Main Street shopfront office that has been providing information to prospective students for some months is already preparing to close.

Staff will be relocating to the new site ahead of the arrival of the first students.

Some people have already had a sneak peek when the university conducted ‘drop in days’ but had access only to the foyer and one study room where interviews were taking place.

There is much more to the new complex spread over two levels yet to be revealed to the general public.

The multi million dollar redevelopment was made possible through a grant from the previous Labor government in Canberra.

NEARING FINALISATION: There was a good deal of interest from prospective students and the just plain curious when the University of Western Sydney utilised its new premises for the first time for a drop-in session. There will be another session on January 24. lm010114LA7918

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Trouble free New Year’s Eve for Esperance police

DESPITE thousands of people descending on Esperance overnight for the annual New Year celebrations, police reported a relatively trouble-free evening.

Officers were out in force for the event in Esperance and surrounds.

Esperance police Sergeant Beswick said police attended a number of disturbances sporadically throughout the night, but said there was little more than the average Friday or Saturday night.

“Everyone was pretty well behaved,” he said.

Four motorists were charged with drink driving offences between 0.02 – 0.08.

Officers seized two vehicles on the night.

“All tasks were quickly dealt with and were under control,” Sgt Beswick said.

Police patrolled out as far as Condingup and the Duke of Orleans overnight and reported all individuals as “well behaved.”

Police report a fairly trouble-free evening in Esperance over New Year’s Eve

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Wallerawang School community recognised

WALLERAWANG Public School held its annual presentation day with a large crowd gathered to recognise students, parents and the wider community for their achievements over the year and the ongoing commitment they give to the school.

Relieving Principal Jenny Lamborn spoke about the strong partnership between home and school and the commitments of the staff in providing a quality education for the students.

Students were acknowledged for their academic achievements, effort, sporting prowess and citizenship.

Parents and community members were bestowed with awards from NSWPSSA sport, P and C Life Membership badges were presented and Outstanding Service to the School recognised.

Musical items formed part of the event and Year 6 were acknowledged for the contribution they have made to the school over their past seven years.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE SCHOOL: Tony Luchetti, Sloan Beecroft and Julie Clark; front Melissa Miles and Shireen Sheehan.

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Shark frenzy in WA turning popular jetty into a’kill zone’: diver

A slashed eagle ray and a severed sharks head. A severed shark head. Photo: Jenny Ough

An eagle ray, right side up, with deep cuts near its head and across its wings. Photo: Jenny Ough

Mangled shark body parts. Photo: Jenny Ough

An injury to the back of the head of a two-metre tiger shark. Photo: Jenny Ough

A Perth diver disgusted at the sight of severed shark heads and slashed bodies of marine creatures says some locals have been “whipped into a frenzy” over the possible threat of sharks.

Jenny Ough told Fairfax Media she was excited about photographing pregnant male seahorses when she headed into the water beside Ammunition Jetty at Woodman Point on December 23 but was instead met with morbid scenes of fish carnage.

She said she’d heard about a number of similar incidents that other divers had seen and said action needs to be taken to stop the “wasteful killing.”

Ms Ough said she believed a disproportionate amount of attention on shark attacks had encouraged some people to treat sharks and other marine life cruelly.

WA has seen seven fatal attacks in the past three years and sharks have attracted a lot of attention in the state.

While she saw a pyjama squid, pregnant male sea horses and a dolphin whizz by on her dive, those great experiences were overshadowed by what else she saw.

Within the space of three or four pylons she saw a severed shark tail, three small decapitated shark heads and two dead sting rays with deep vertical cuts along its wings.

“At this point, I was struggling to continue the dive, so moved back into the inner portion of the jetty to find some peace,” Ms Ough said.

But that was not the end of the disturbing scenes.

“I headed to another pylon then saw a beautiful tiger shark about 2 metres long lying on the bottom on its side, panting weakly as if it was suffocating,” she said.

Ms Ough turned the shark, that she believed had been caught and kept out of the water too long before being returned, upright.

“It took quite a few breaths there [I could see it’s gills moving in and out], then I thought I should start trying to swim it along a bit, when as I started to move, its tail fired up and off it went,” she said.

“The strength with which that spectacular tiger shark swam off with gives me some hope that whatever happened to it topside was not too damaging, and that maybe, just maybe, it will survive. So many others did not survive that night.”

Earlier in the year divers recorded a similar rescue operation which saved a tiger shark that was stabbed and left to die off the same jetty.

Ms Ough said she was aware of a group of people who go the the jetty and chum up the water, catch sharks, haul them up to get their “hero shots,” then cut them up and throw them back.

She said she did not mind people catching fish to eat by described this type of behaviour as senseless.

“They are nutters,” she said.

“This jetty is just a ‘kill zone’ for teenagers and crazed fishermen – not rational people.

“They’ll tell you they’re doing a community service.”

Edith Cowan University school of psychology and social science senior lecturer Dr Jennifer Loh said a disproportionate amount of attention on sharks in WA across the few years as a result of shark attacks, could have led some people to have a “warped” view of the threat that sharks and marine life pose.

“The perception of sharks is created through things like social media and what people see on TV and how much they see it through these forums, it does affect people’s perceptions of whether sharks are bad or good,” she said.

“We humans in general other than people like divers don’t have much exposure with sharks, so we take our knowledge of them from other places.

“If someone’s been hurt or horribly mauled by a shark, people can have a very visual impression of them and it lasts for a while in the mind even though most scientists would probably have a different perspective on the animals.”

While numbers obtained by Fairfax Media on December 14, 2012 showed that there were 14,580 stories about sharks across WA media outlets until that point in that year, the number of shark-related stories in WA media according to Sentia Media went up to 21,920 in 2013.

The Department of Fisheries has not compiled full details of the number of complaints it has received about cruel behaviour against marine life this year but urged Ms Ough to contact the department in regard to the incident.

Department spokesman Ashley Malone said it would not be appropriate to comment without details of this specific incident.

“The department does not condone the torture or inhumane treatment of fish,” he said.

“As noted earlier this year… there is a National Code of Practice for Recreational and Sport Fishing, which promotes responsible fishing; including looking after our fisheries, protecting the environment, treating fish humanely and respecting the rights of others.

“Education is considered to be the most effective tool in limiting unnecessary suffering and we encourage all fishers to adhere to that code.”

Mr Malone urged anyone who had information about such incidents to report them online.

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Jim kept busy at Christmas and Beyond

IT was a busy period in the lead up to Christmas Day for Pastor Jim Abberton.

Pastor Abberton was kept on the go picking up donated goods from Westfund’s annual Christmas Appeal at the Main Street branch.

At least $6000 worth of toys and food was collected, thanks to the generosity of Westfund members, local community groups and the general public.

There was also hundreds of dollars in cash donated with some Westfund members returning their health fund cash benefit straight back to the Appeal.

All donations went to Christmas and Beyond, who gave gifts and catered for up to 300 lonely and disadvantaged families and individuals on Christmas Day.

PRESENTS BY THE UTE LOAD: Pastor Jim Abberton and a trailer load of goodies he picked up from Westfund in Lithgow. lm010114appeal

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