Monthly Archives: October 2019

Grampians National Park graffiti artist receives corrections order

Photos of destruction found on vandal’s phone An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

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An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappA HORSHAM man who spray painted graffiti near a significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sitein the Grampians destroyed the paint cans in a fire, a court has heard.

Caleb Boydcote, 23, faced Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with criminal damage, as well as drug and weapons charges.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

MagistrateRonald Saines sentenced Bodycote to a 15-month community corrections order.

The court heard that between September 1 and November 11, Bodycote and two co-accused went to Hollow Mountain in the Grampians.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Belinda Ryan said the area had Aboriginal significance.

She said Bodycote walked about one kilometre to a cave, where he caused extensive damage by spray painting the rock.

Bodycote then lit a fire and stayed the night, destroying the paint cans in the fire, before leaving the next day.

On November 18, police searched Bodycote’s home, where police located a receipt for paint cans and a map of the Grampians National Park, outlining Hollow Mountain.

Police also found about four grams of cannabis, cannabis seeds, shotgun ammunition, two swords, a homemade sword, a double-edged dagger and a butterfly knife.

They also found a torch, that was thought to be missing from the Horsham Police Station.

Police also searched a co-accused’s house in Stawell, where they found paint cans, a phone and a digital camera.

The court heard that photos on the phone depicted Bodycote damaging the rock face and lighting a fire.

A video showed paint cans exploding in the fire.

Senior Constable Ryan said Bodycote took responsibility for all the damage at Hollow Mountain andno-one else was involved.

The court heard that it cost $4267.44 to clean the rock.

Defence solicitor Julia Barling said Bodycote was in a downward spiral, smoking cannabis and making poor decisions.

“He bought the weapons off the internet or at second-hand stores –he didn’t know they were illegal,” he said.

Ms Barling said he had made a stupid decision when he choseto damage the rock.

MagistrateRonald Saines said it was confronting to hear incidents of environmental vandalism.

“It not only affects the Aboriginal community, but the tourist industry and national parks,” he said.

“It is so disappointing that anyone would find this amusing.”

Mr Saines said he would have preferredif Bodycote was made to clean up the site himself.

“There are also elements of dishonesty and criminal damages, as well as various drug charges, which is concerning,” he said.

“You need to decidewho you want to become, rather than being in the revolving door of the justice system.”

Wimmera Mail-Times

Trump’s tweets distraction from decisions being made at White House

Washington: Stories of women who have had enough, Snapped has been going gangbusters in the US reality TV genre for years. You know the kind of story – cheated woman drives over lover or husband; puts the car into reverse gear and drives over him again.

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But in the era of Donald Trump, Americans get to watch a real, media-political version of this show. “Fake news” luminaries such as The New York Times and The Washington Post cracked months back – driving over the 45th president time and again in angry editorials and strident op-eds.

But it wasn’t till this week that The Wall Street Journal, the very conservative and very sensible, Murdoch-owned WSJ, snapped – its Wednesday editorial tears into Trump for his false and lying tweets.

Likening the teetotaller commander-in-chief to a desperate alcoholic, it thunders on Trump’s widely-debunked claim that former US president Barack Obama had ordered wire taps on Trump Tower: “The President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.”

The Journal often is accused of covering Trump with kid gloves. But throwing into reverse, the editorial’s author drives over the President again – damning his “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods”. And then it guns the engine before making another run: “If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake president.”

Theories abound on Trump’s obsessive, reckless tweeting – it’s a fight to defend the legitimacy of his presidency; it’s innate – he was groomed since childhood to wage total war on any threat, real or perceived; or it’s all a distraction – creating a crisis to divert attention from other crises and/or from the dire impact of his legislative and executive decisions.

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California at Berkeley, sees a deliberate strategy at work. Analysing Trump’s March 4 wire-tapping tweets, Lakoff lays out four elements on his blog: Pre-emptive framing: He frames first. He creates a new presidential scandal – Obama’s wire tapping – an accusation without evidence, and with all evidence against it.Deflection: He puts the onus on his squeaky-clean predecessor.Diversion: The press bit and the diversion worked. It generated headlines questioning whether Obama, rather than Trump, had committed wrongdoing. The diversion worked, at least temporarily.Trial balloon: Will the public accept it, or listen to a discussion of it long enough to distract the press and the public from the treason issue?

Bruce Miller, a political science professor at the University of Albany, doesn’t buy this theory of calculated distraction. “That’s rarely the case,” he tells Fairfax Media. “All the tweeting is an unavoidable part of his personality ??? so provocative and unchecked that it has a perverse impact ??? leaving a sense of a frenzied, chaotic start to this presidency.”

But calculated or otherwise, the distraction is profound. Stories that might run for days get bumped from the headlines as an army of political journalists changes gears, going after the latest Twitter feed.

Not getting the attention they would ordinarily deserve are a litany of White House decisions or, as in the case of his proposed budget, Trump’s wish list for federal spending cuts that often target the very people he promised to watch out for, those of whom he said in his inauguration speech in January: “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”.

These include his proposal to undo what is called the Fiduciary Rule, an Obama edict that was to come into force this year, by which small-time retirement investors would be protected from financial advisers who scam them of an estimated $US17 billion ($22.3 billion) a year; tax cuts worth hundreds of billions for the rich that are buried in Trump’s makeover of Obama care; and the upending of programs worth billions that help the poor, especially in remote and rural America, with the likes of legal advice, banking, community infrastructure, job training and shelter – affordable housing, heating and weather-proofing.

Trump has put medical research on the chopping block; along with a series of economic revitalisation programs, like the Appalachian Regional Commission, which covers hard-pressed coal country; and vital long-term environmental efforts, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the clean up of the sprawling Chesapeake Bay, North America’s biggest estuary.

The new president’s determination to undo a swathe of Obama’s “stupid” climate policies is hugely consequential – but this too gets short shrift in the Twitter wars. Climate change research and prevention programs would be eliminated along with a series of vehicle and power plant pollution control efforts that were deemed necessary to counter planet warming.

They were part of Washington’s commitment to reduce greenhouse pollution by 26 per cent by 2025 under the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change – which Trump says he’ll junk. And Trump wants to weaken rules that protect hundreds of rivers from pollution.

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: we’re not spending money on that anymore,” Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney said while briefing reporters on budget proposals.

Trump is arguing against laws that prohibit US companies paying bribes to get overseas contracts. And having paid $US25 million to settle class actions against his own university, work is underway to relax rules that make it difficult for other private colleges to scam their students.

Among Trump’s 23 executive orders and memoranda, his crackdown on migrants and refugees from first seven and then six predominantly Muslim countries earned continuous headline coverage, but much of the rest has been lost in the weeds.

So called sanctuary cities, of which there are more than 100, would be denied all federal funding unless they co-operate in Trump’s efforts to round up undocumented migrants as thousands more immigration and border patrol agents are hired ahead of spending billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall on the Mexican border.

Trump’s “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganising the Executive Branch” could see whole agencies eliminated, with their work being shunted to private contractors or offloaded to the wary state governments.

And just in case Trump doesn’t go the whole hog, Republicans have introduced these bills in congress: HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency – Shutters the EPA by the end of next yearHR 610 Vouchers for Public Education – Switches school funding to a states-run voucher systemHR 899 Terminate the Department of Education – Closes it by the end of next yearHR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood – Denies funding for all its work unless it agrees to cease abortionsHR 785 National Right to Work – Further weakens trade unionsHR 147 Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – Recriminalises abortionHJR 40 Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 – Would reverse the Obama administration’s effort to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill

In several recent polls Trump’s approval rating languishes at 37 per cent and seemingly, that drives his tweeting excesses because, as explained by some in his inner circle, he is frustrated by his inability to control the narrative and to dominate the discourse of his chaotic presidency.

It could be that as a weapon of choice, Twitter is nearing the end of its useful life for Trump. A poll by Fox News last week found that 32 per cent of voters “wish he’d be more careful” in his tweeting – only 16 per cent of voters approved of his social media communications; and even among Trump voters, just 35 per cent approved.

Maybe, just maybe, a space is about to open up for some serious political debate.

Community input needed for next phase of Throsby Creek planGALLERY

A LOT has changed in and around Throsby Creek over the past two decades. Once a desolate and polluted stormwater drain, the city’s largest urban waterway now supports a thriving ecosystem.

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Times are changing: Throsby Creek bird watcher Tom Clarke. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The creek’s change in fortunes has also helped drive the property boom in Maryville and Tighes Hill in recent years.

The blueprint for the transformation, the 2001 Total Catchment Management strategy, has recently been reviewed.

Work is now underway onthe 2017 Throsby Creek plan and community input is now sought into its development.

Community members have the opportunity to discuss and have input intothe plan at the Throsby Creek Action Station to be held at Islington Park on Sunday, April 2 between 9am and 3.30pm.

“The new plan will consolidate and focus the efforts of agencies responsible for action within the creek and catchment for the next six years,” event coordinator SusanMorley who works for Hunter Local Land Servicessaid.

Turning the Throsby tide Bleak: A degraded section of the Carrington foreshore in 1992. The area is now thriving with mangroves.

Carrington Mangroves, 1992

Dredging the main channel, 1992

Dredged sediment, 1992

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960 Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappTighes Hill resident and Hunter Bird Observers Club member Tom Clarke will be among those sharing informationon the day.

“It’s amazing to see the changes that have occurred in the birdlife around the creek over the past 28 years,” Mr Clarke said.

“We have seen new bird species move into the area while others have moved on.”

The creek drains stormwater from a 3000 hectare catchment area that extends to Charlestown.

The main channel betweenMaitland Road and Hannell Street was last dredged in 1992.

While much of the sediment has returned, a Hunter Water spokesman there were no immediate plans to re-dredge the channel because studies had shown sedimentation did not impact on flooding.

A new sediment study to determine where the sediment is coming from is underway.

“With sedimentation in the tidal reaches of Throsby Creek forming as part of a natural process, a range of options are being investigated to determine if it is more beneficial to have treatment options throughout the catchment, or if dredging the sediment in the lower reaches is the most suitable management method,” the spokesman said.

“The outcomes of this study will feed into the future plans for the creek,”

Throsby Creek Action Station:Sunday 2nd April,Islington Park, 9.00am – 3.30pm

ADVERTISING FEATURE: AEH Retirement Living in Sugar Valley offers a pristine golfing experience for both the young and old

ABOVE PAR: Sugar Valley Golf Club has been in continuous operation for over 50 years and is suitable for beginners and experienced golfers alike. In May 1936, the Macquarie Golf Club was foundedon Notley’s Paddock, the site of the now Sugar Valley Golf Club.

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GOING GREEN: Sugar Valley Golf Club boasts pristine courses that offer great fun for everyone from beginners to the more experienced golfer.

Macquarie was the first golf club foundedwithin the Lake Macquarie local government area with 35members and a nine-hole course.

Fast forward 80 years and the Sugar Valley Golf Club, set in the picturesque valley of Mount Sugarloaf,has undergone an extraordinary transformation under the careful management of course superintendent Dave Johnson.

Gone are the goat tracks, and in their place is a redesigned, boutique, easy walking course, perfect for those looking for a quicker round or who find it difficult to manage larger courses.

Eighteen holes spread over 3100 metres –that’s only three to four hours at even a leisurely pace.

Other courses in the area range from5000m to 6000m.

The result is a family-friendly environment perfect for children and seniors alike.

The layout is great for beginners, due to its size, but at the same time, also a testing short-game challenge for experienced golfers.

Nine dedicated holes with alternate tees deliver a surprisingly diverse front and back nine surrounded by an abundancy of wildlife that call the course and creek that circles it home.

The greens and surrounds have never been in better condition thanks to Dave and his team of volunteers.

Carts are available for hire and barbecue facilities and golf clubs are available for use free of charge.

The course is currently running its autumn super special – an unbeatable $10 social round for unlimited holes and $5 for children under 18.

And as always the 19th hole awaits at the nearby West Wallsend Workers Club for those looking for a relaxing end to their game.

You can play socially or competition. The ladies run their’son Thursday mornings. The men’s comp is on Saturday morning.

Located at Boundary Street, West Wallsend, Sugar Valley offers the beauty of a laid-back, country atmosphere with the convenience of being only 30 minutes from the Newcastle CBD and fiveminutes from the M1 and Hunter Expressway.

For further information or inquiries, check the Facebook page (facebook苏州美甲学校/sugarvalleygolf) or call 4953 2891.

Five highlights in your travel weekMarch 24

Pacific Dunes Golf Club … a challenging test for any golferPacific Dunes Golf Club in Port Stephens has partnered with accommodation providers, shuttle services and Fly Pelican to offer new fly-stay-and-play packages out of Sydney.

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An example of the packages involves staying at Ramada Resort at Shoal Bay. This option is priced from $147.50 per person twin-share midweek, including one night’s accommodation, green fees for 18 holes and lunch at the Greenhouse Eatery, with a $20 surcharge per person on weekends.

Flights between Sydney and Newcastle with Fly Pelican are priced from $59 per person one-way, including 20kg of baggage and all taxes.

Phone (02) 4916 0500 苏州美甲学校论坛portstephens.org苏州美甲学校论坛 Kimo Estate …luxury boutique accommodation near Gundagai

Tourism to regional New South Wales is booming, at least partly due to the opening of new luxury boutique accommodation offerings such as Kimo Estate, near Gundagai.

Set on a 7000-hectare working farm, Kimo Estate has built luxury eco-huts that sit proudly on the hills with 360-degree views over the Murrumbidgee River flats.

The architecturally designed huts provide a quiet spot to refresh, and feature solar power, a beautiful bathroom and gourmet breakfast.

The property’s 100-year-old workers’ cottages have also been stylishly refurbished and feature sweeping verandahs.

苏州美甲学校论坛kimoestate苏州美甲学校 Uluru Fork and View … a new dining experience in Central Australia

Central Australian small-group specialist SEIT Outback Australia has partnered with ATG Downunder to launch Uluru Fork and View, a double-decker bus that’s been converted into an open-top restaurant at the base of Uluru.

Groups and private charters can now enjoy a dinner tour or a progressive three-course meal, while individual travellers can hop on for a morning-tea experience which is available daily.

A fully guided four-to-five hour sunset tour is priced at $250 per adult ex Ayers Rock Resort, including a three-course set menu and a premium-beverage package.

苏州美甲学校论坛seitoutbackaustralia苏州美甲学校苏州美甲学校论坛If you prefer cheese and wine to chocolate eggs, then the Sunshine Coast isn’t a bad place to head this Easter.

The region will play host to the Kenilworth Cheese, Wine & Food Fest on Easter Saturday (15 April) — a free event that kicks off with a cheese-rolling competition, features a Cheester Egg Hunt for children aged four-to-seven years, and includes gourmet cooking demonstrations showcasing produce from the Mary Valley.

Other events on the Sunshine Coast this Easter include the Ocean Street World Festival on Sunday, April 16, when Maroochydore will celebrate diversity at a free event featuring artists across four stages, with acts from Japan to Bolivia, and Budapest to Jamaica.

There’s also the Pa and Ma Bendall Memorial Surfing Contest Surfers, one of Australia’s oldest surfing competitions, which will attract plenty of talent to Caloundra’s Moffat Beach over the whole Easter long weekend from 14-16 April.

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach has an Easter deal priced from $255 per night in a one-bedroom apartment (minimum three-night stay).

Phone 131 517 苏州美甲学校论坛mantra苏州美甲学校苏州美甲学校论坛苏州美甲学校论坛visitsunshinecoast苏州美甲学校. The John Morrison SBF All Stars Big Band … Thredbo-bound this April.

Thredbo Jazz turns 30 this year and the 2017 festival will bring some of the country’s best jazz and roots music to the rooftop of Australia from April 28-30.

The festival program will see 17 bands playing in a variety of venues from the village to the top of the mountain, so festival goers can catch performers in different settings across the weekend.

Australian jazz legend Bob Barnard will return with the Barnard Family Jazz Band, and Thredbo crowd favourites, the Kirrawee High Band, will also return to show off their youthful energy and prodigious talent.

All-inclusive festival and accommodation packages are priced from $160 per person per night.

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